The campaign in 2013
On 2 May 2013 we issued the following press release:
Following the recent news that Winston Churchill will be on the new £5 note, surely Walter Bagehot would be a most appropriate figure to be on a future Bank of England banknote in the near future, and certainly by 2026, his birth bicentenary.
This matter is decided by the Bank of England, who receive suggestions from the public. However, Bagehot is not on their current list of public nominations: http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/banknotes/Documents/about/banknote_names.pdf.
An e-petition has just been created to promote this: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/49498 (see below). Please sign the e-petition and spread the word among your friends, colleagues and family, eg by email or by social media (the e-petition contains options for resending via Twitter, Facebook etc).
Put Walter Bagehot on a banknote
Responsible department: Her Majesty’s Treasury
Walter Bagehot (1826-1877) is a leading writer on financial and banking issues, still influential and relevant today’s banking & financial crises, cited by Robert Peston and Mervyn King among many others. Inventor of the Treasury Bill and praised on his death in a Chancellor’s Budget speech. Ministers should urge Bank of England to mark his legacy by putting him on a banknote, perhaps around 2026, the bicentenary of his birth.
This petition reached 70 signatures before it closed after 6 months (under the old UK Government e-petition rules). Unfortunately, it was not successful in getting Bagehot on a banknote, and the field of nominations and criteria adopted by the Bank of England since 2013 has meant that his chances of being selected were poor.
The current Bank of England policy is “to celebrate people who have shaped UK society through their thought innovation, leadership or values”, which the Fund believes should certainly make Bagehot a suitable candidate in the future, in addition to his direct relevance to the Bank of England through his seminal work on central banks, and related financial and economic issues. The Fund therefore hopes that a suitable occasion will arise where it can promote – whether by e-petition or otherwise – Bagehot’s strong case for inclusion on a Bank of England banknote.
For the Bank of England criteria and selection process, see https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/banknotes/banknote-characters, and https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/about/people/banknote-character-advisory-committee.