The Collection of British and Irish Banknotes formed by the Late Edward Barnby

Date of Auction: 13th April 2010

Sold for £100

Estimate: £60 - £80

British Provincial, Devon, Dartmouth, Dartmouth General Bank, Five Pounds, 24 September 1818, B 1384, for John Hine & Henry J. Holdsworth, signed by John Hine (Outing 639B; Grant 957A). Good fine £60-80


The Dartmouth General Bank was founded in 1808 by Charles Bulteel, a local merchant. It was located above the Kings Arms tavern, at what is now the junction of Raleigh road and Lower street. One of its earliest accounts was that of Dartmouth Corporation, then controlled by the Holdsworth family. Following a technical bankruptcy order in July 1810, the management of the bank was reconstituted as a partnership between the Hine and Holdsworth families. The notes were printed on paper produced at the Warfleet paper mill in Dartmouth, owned by Arthur Howe Holdsworth, head of the family. Arthur’s brother, Henry Joseph Holdsworth (1785-1823), was the active partner in the bank, along with John Hine Sr (†March 1824), who was engaged in the Newfoundland fishery trade. The death of Holdsworth in June 1823 prompted an internal investigation into the bank’s affairs which subsequently showed that it must have been insolvent for some time, but strenuous efforts were made to keep a lid on the situation and it was not until five days before Hine’s death that the bank stopped payment. The full story of the subsequent court cases to resolve the bank’s fate is related by I.H. Smart (Dartmouth Industry and Banking, the story from 1795 to 1925, pp.11-16)