I READ with interest, and delight, M R McVittie’s letter (31 May) about the history of the pound. Perhaps even as – if not more – interesting is the Scottish innovation by the Bank of Scotland on 7 April, 1704, (before the Union of 1707) of the £1 note; actually £12 Scots, which equalled £1 sterling. This helped to revolutionise the pace of commerce in Scotland.
But in the early 1820s there were a series of disastrous banking failures south of the Border. So, in 1826, the United Kingdom parliament proposed legislation to ban the issue of banking notes worth less than £5. This caused uproar throughout Scotland. Following a widespread campaign, this proposal was cancelled for Scotland. As a leading light in this campaign, the head of Sir Walter Scott still appears on Bank of Scotland Notes.
I would refer those interested in a full history of the £1 note to The One Pound Note In The History Of Banking In Great Britain by William Graham, which, sadly, has been long out of print. It was published by James Thin, Edinburgh, in 1911.
Robert M Dunn