‘Extremely rare’ 1870 £1 promissory note at next weekend’s Regina show

An “extremely rare” £1 promissory note issued by the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) in 1870 will be on display at next weekend’s Regina Coin Club Show and Sale.

Issued at Fort Garry during the Red River Rebellion, the note is “one of only a handful” of promissory notes still in existence according to George Manz, president of the Regina Coin Club and a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association. The notes were issued in four denominations, including five shillings, one pound, five pounds and 10 pounds.

“According to George B. Winship’s manuscript, ‘Red River Disturbances,’ Louis Riel demanded that the HBC reopen their business so the colony and its Provisional Government could function properly as the rebellion and the closing of the HBC fort had drastically affected the fur trade and other trade as well,” wrote Manz in the July-September issue of the Regina Coin Club Newsletter, adding Riel “guaranteed to protect the HBC in exchange for a loan of $25,000.”

“According to Winship, the HBC ‘tacitly complied with the demand, but in the matter of the loan they asserted that they did not have that amount of money on hand.’ The problem was solved when it was suggested that HBC Promissory notes could be printed at the New Nation newspaper.”

The Regina Coin Club Show and Sale will be held Oct. 20-21 at the Turvey Centre near Regina, Sask. For more information, click here.

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