Topic: Pre-Confederation Government of Canada Debenture of 1855  (Read 7321 times)
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« on: May 12, 2013, 02:07:12 pm »

Illustrated below is a fascinating debenture that I like to think of as being a "Bank Legal" version of the low-denomination Province of Canada debentures described in some detail in the Charlton Government Paper Money Catalogue (25th edition, pages 95-97). The similarities between this £500 debenture and the Charlton pieces are several, including the same interest rate (6%), the same printer (Rawdon et al.), the same signature of the Deputy Receiver General (C.E. Anderson), etc. The £500 debenture is clearly marked "Transferable" at the top although this one was payable after 20 years rather than 12 months as with the Charlton pieces. The splendid oval portraits of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert are the same as those appearing on the City of Hamilton debentures of the same period (Charlton Catalogue, page 42). The printed area measures approximately 18 cm x 33 cm.

The 40 original interest coupons have been clipped off from the bottom of the certificate and they were presumably redeemed at the time. This certificate has been trimmed close to the design on all sides as evidenced by a few missing characters of manuscript text on the back. This certificate was cashed for its principal value (£500 = $2,000) on 10 July, 1875.

It is interesting that no French text whatsoever appears on this £500 debenture, unlike on the low-denomination pieces illustrated in Charlton. One naturally wonders whether separate French-text debentures were issued(?) This certificate has been cut-canceled and it carries a manuscript comment in indelible blue pencil that reads "Retrieved through Mr. Barbeau. J.D.H."

This £500 Government of Canada Debenture is the first such Pre-Confederation bond that I have come across although examples presumably exist in various archives.

" Buy the very best notes that you can afford and keep them for at least 10 years. " (Richard D. Lockwood, private communication, 1978).

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