20 Pound Sterling note William Shakespeare

Pound Sterling GBP
Bank of England - Twenty Pounds
Great Britain banknotes 20 Pounds note William Shakespeare
Great Britain 20 Pounds William Shakespeare
Bank of England 20 Pound Sterling note 1970 William Shakespeare

Obverse: Queen Elizabeth II in court robes. Bank of England logo: Britannia seated next to a pile of coins and a shield, holding a spear and a laurel or olive branch. Saint George slaying the dragon, who is placed in William Shakespeare's plays.
Reverse: The balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet. English poet and playwright William Shakespeare (1564-1616) - Marble statue of Shakespeare in the Poet's Corner in Westminster Abbey by William Kent, dedicated in 1740.
Watermark: Portrait of William Shakespeare.
Texts: Bank of England. I Promise to Pay the Bearer on Demand the Sum of Twenty Pounds. London, for the Governor and Company of the Bank of England.
Issuer: Bank of England.
Printer: Bank of England Printing Works.
Predominant colour: Purple.
Material: Cotton paper.
Design: The Pictorial Series D notes were all designed by Harry Eccleston, assisted by Roger Withington and David Wicks. They are called pictorial because they feature pictorial representations of famous British figures.
Signature: J.S. Fforde (1970) - The 24th Chief Cashier, John Standish Fforde was born on 16 November 1921. During the war he served as a pilot in the RAF. After the war he returned to Oxford where he became a Fellow of Nuffield College. He entered Bank service in 1957. He was appointed Chief Cashier on 1 July 1966, a position he held until 28 February 1970.
Date first issued: 9 July 1970. Date last issued: 5 June 1991. Date ceased to be legal tender: 19 March 1993.
Legal tender: No, but exchangeable forever at Bank of England in London.

Bank of England 20 Pound notes


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The Pictorial, Series D, notes were all designed by Harry Eccleston, assisted by Roger Withington and David Wicks. They are called pictorial because they feature pictorial representations of famous British figures. The first one issued was the £20 which was first issued on 9th July 1970. The Pictorial £5 note appeared on 11th November 1971 followed by the £10 note on 20th February 1975 and the £1 note on 9th February 1978. The £50 note was introduced in 1981.

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare (26 April 1564 (baptised) – 23 April 1616) was an English poet, playwright, and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist. He is often called England's national poet, and the "Bard of Avon". His extant works, including collaborations, consist of approximately 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and a few other verses, some of uncertain authorship. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.
  Shakespeare was born and brought up in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire. At the age of 18, he married Anne Hathaway, with whom he had three children: Susanna, and twins Hamnet and Judith. Sometime between 1585 and 1592, he began a successful career in London as an actor, writer, and part-owner of a playing company called the Lord Chamberlain's Men, later known as the King's Men. He appears to have retired to Stratford around 1613, at age 49, where he died three years later. Few records of Shakespeare's private life survive, which has stimulated considerable speculation about such matters as his physical appearance, sexuality, and religious beliefs and whether the works attributed to him were written by others.
  Shakespeare produced most of his known work between 1589 and 1613. His early plays were primarily comedies and histories, which are regarded as some of the best work ever produced in these genres. He then wrote mainly tragedies until about 1608, including Hamlet, Othello, King Lear, and Macbeth, considered some of the finest works in the English language. In his last phase, he wrote tragicomedies, also known as romances, and collaborated with other playwrights.
  Many of his plays were published in editions of varying quality and accuracy during his lifetime. In 1623, however, John Heminges and Henry Condell, two friends and fellow actors of Shakespeare, published a more definitive text known as the First Folio, a posthumous collected edition of his dramatic works that included all but two of the plays now recognised as Shakespeare's. It was prefaced with a poem by Ben Jonson, in which Shakespeare is hailed, presciently, as "not of an age, but for all time".
  In the 20th and 21st centuries, his works have been repeatedly adapted and rediscovered by new movements in scholarship and performance. His plays remain highly popular and are constantly studied, performed, and reinterpreted in diverse cultural and political contexts throughout the world.

Statue of Shakespeare in Westminster Abbey

William Kent designed a statue for Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey. The design was executed by the sculptor Peter Scheemakers and installed in 1740. Its creation was funded by Lord Burlington and Alexander Pope, among others. There are carved heads on the pedestal, which probably depict Queen Elizabeth I, Henry V and Richard III. Shakespeare is depicted leaning on books and pointing to a scroll which has a slightly misquoted version of Prospero's lines from The Tempest about the globe dissolving to "leave not a wrack behind".

Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare early in his career about two young star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately reconcile their feuding families. It was among Shakespeare's most popular plays during his lifetime and, along with Hamlet, is one of his most frequently performed plays. Today, the title characters are regarded as archetypal young lovers.

Bank of England 20 Pound notes