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Polperro one pound note - photo copyright Polperro Heritage Museum - all rights reserved November 2012
Rare Polperro bank notes come home
In early October 2012 the David Kirch collection of English provincial
bank notes was auctioned at Spinks in London. The collection included
two very rare Polperro Bank notes. The trustees of the Polperro Heritage
Museum are delighted that they were able to purchase both notes and to
have them back in the village where they belong. They will be on display
in the museum next year (2013).
The "Smugglers' Banker"
Zephaniah Job was born at St Agnes in 1750 and came to Polperro in the
early 1770s. Being an educated man, he set up a school for the local community
and also became a very astute and wealthy businessman with an interests
in most things that turned a profit. He also became the steward to the
Trelawny estate in Pelynt. In Polperro he is remembered as the “Smugglers
Banker”. "Free trading" (or as the Government saw it - smuggling)
was at its zenith during the late 18th and early 19th centuries, especially
during the time of the Napoleonic wars and Job put the “trade” on a sound
financial basis, organising the cargoes with the Guernsey businessmen,
collecting monies due and arranging legal assistance when it was needed.
The Polperro men flourished under his guidance.
Polperro five pound note - photo copyright Polperro Heritage Museum - all rights reserved November 2012
Polperro's own Bank Notes
Zephaniah Job was also a money lender, so in 1806 he obtained a banking
licence and began issuing Polperro Bank notes in £1, £2,and £5 denominations
which were printed in London and payable by Christopher Smith Son & Co,
one of the London merchant bankers he dealt with. These provincial notes
were basically a promissory note and it was essential that enough coin
was always to hand to redeem any notes that were presented, something
that Job was diligent about during his lifetime. Job died unexpectedly
in 1822 leaving behind a legacy as a fine businessman and a benefactor