Dating in sterling
The Bank began to print the notes in 1855, no doubt to the relief of their workers.
From 1717 the UK defined sterling's value in terms of gold rather than its original silver, but it was not until the 1870s when Germany adopted gold that the gold standard came about, ushering in an era of grand scale international trade.
The UK suspended the gold standard in 1914 bowing to the necessaries of war.
Wartime manufacturing caused inflation and helped enliven trade unions and the Treasury, rather than the Bank of England, printed some banknotes itself during the war years.
The Bank provided stability, but the pound still suffered from market ups and downs.
The pennies were coined to keep Viking raiders away by paying protection money or danegeld.
A century and a half later Athelstan, the first King of England, founded a series of mints across his newborn nation, unifying the output in the Statute of Greatley in 928 and founding sterling as a national currency.
In 1694 King William III established the Bank of England to fund his fight with France.
Goldsmiths had issued bank notes - promises to pay set against gold deposits - from the 16th century, but although the Bank of England was the first central bank in history, it has not always had exclusive control over the pound. The authorities fined one Daniel Perrismore for forging 60 £100 notes - a lot of money in the late 17th century.
That same republican threat caused a series of runs on the bank in 1797, ushering in a period of fiscal restriction, which lasted until 1821.