George Shenton Unissued One Pound Trader's Note ca 1865 Extremely Fine
Front: Denomination in letters either side of central black swan. Space for serial numbers, signatures and date of issue below.
This is an attractive example of an important and scarce WA trader's note.
A small number of shinplasters such as this were issued by several Western Australian merchants from the late 1800's to facilitate trade in the face of a lack of circulating currency and coinage.
George Shenton was an influential merchant in the formative years of the Swan River Colony, the Shenton name retains deep connections through the Western Australia community to this day.
Shenton is one of a very small number of merchants in this 3rd of the Australian continent who chose to issue their own currency note - he is also one of the earliest known.
The printer of this note is unknown, only four issued notes (signed, dated and with a serial number) are known. Issued notes are obviously quite rare but fortunately a small number of unissued remainders such as this are available to the collectors market.
They are an affordable and scarce representation of the energy found in the Swan River Colony in the 19th century.
The watermark used in the paper these notes were printed on has not been fully identified yet - we have handled several different examples over the years, and have seen several different sections of a larger pattern on each of them. It will be interesting to finally decipher what the watermark is!
About George Shenton Snr (1811 - 1867)
George Shenton was born in Winchester, England, and began his career as an apprentice to a devout Wesleyan pharmacist in Portsmouth at the age of 15. He later ventured to Western Australia in pursuit of better health and fortune. In Western Australia, Shenton played an active role in various community organizations, serving as a trustee for the Swan River Mechanics' Institute and the Western Australian Total Abstinence Society.
He was also known for his passion for gardening and contributed Cape Lilac trees to St George's Terrace. Strong religious convictions led him to serve the Wesleyan Methodist community as a lay preacher, Sunday school superintendent, and class leader. He also supported the church's missions to Aboriginal communities and generously contributed to the construction of Wesley Church in Perth. Shenton married Ann Catherina in 1838, and they had eleven children, with three sons and seven daughters.
About George Shenton Jnr (1842 - 1909)
Sir George Shenton was a merchant and politician born on March 4, 1842, in Perth, Western Australia, to George Shenton and Ann (nee Cousins). He traveled to England in 1855 to finish his education at the Wesleyan Collegiate Institute (Queen's College) in Taunton and returned in 1858 to join the family business. Following his father's death in 1867, he assumed control of the business and married Julia Theresa, the daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel Eichbaum, stationed at the imperial military base in Perth.
Shenton played a large role in public life with his membership in the Perth City Council, serving from 1867 and chaired from 1875 to 1877. He also held the position of Perth's first mayor from 1880 to 1884, being re-elected as mayor in 1886-88.
Sir George Shenton passed away on June 29, 1909, in London. He left behind six daughters, as his wife had predeceased him. His estate, valued at ¬¨¬®¬¨¬Æ¬¨¬®¬¨√Ü¬¨¬®¬¨¬Æ¬¨¬®‚àö√ú¬¨¬®¬¨¬Æ¬¨¬®¬¨√Ü¬¨¬®¬¨¬Æ¬¨¬®¬¨¬£186,627, consisted mainly of real estate. The government acquired his riverside residence, Crawley House, along with over 100 acres (40 hectares) of surrounding land, which later became the location of the University of Western Australia.
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