Details of the recipients of the low numbered new £50 banknotes

Freedom of Information rules mean that, as a public authority, the Bank of England is obliged to disclose certain types of information, both proactively and on request.

Date: 2 August 2021


When we release a new banknote, we hold back some of the first printed notes with especially low or symbolic serial numbers. We donate these to people and institutions that were involved in the development of the note or who traditionally receive a note when a new series is issued. A list of the recipients of low numbered £50 polymer banknotes donated to individuals and institutions is available below.

The Bank of England (the ‘Bank’) also conducted an auction through Spink & Sons of low serial numbered £50 notes on 15 July, details of which can be found on the Spink & Sons website. The auction raised £237,040 to be split between 3 charities which were chosen by the Bank’s employees: Shelter, NSPCC in aid of Childline and the Albert Kennedy Trust. Further information on the auction can be found on the banknote auction news release.

Serial Number Recipient
AA01 000001 Her Majesty the Queen
AA01 000002 Unissued
AA01 000003 Prime Minister
AA01 000004 Chancellor of the Exchequer
AA01 000005 Donated to Charity Auction
AA01 000006 Deputy Governor (responsible for Notes)
AA01 000007 The Chief Cashier
AA01 000008 Bank of England Museum
AA01 000009 British Museum
AA01 000010 Turing Family
AA01 000011 Donated to Charity Auction
AA01 000012 Chair of the Bank’s Court
AA01 000013 Donated to Charity Auction
AA01 000014 De La Rue
AA01 000015 CCL Secure Limited
AA01 000016 Royal Mint
AA01 000017 Kurz
AA01 000018 Mark Carney
AA01 000019 Donated to Charity Auction
AA01 000020 Donated to Charity Auction
AA01 001936

London Mathematical Society

The London Mathematical Society own the copyright to the Turing paper from which the mathematical table and formula on the back of the note were taken.
1936 – The year the paper was written.

AA01 001940


GCHQ hold the copyright for the images of the Bombe technical drawings used on the note. The Bombe was the machine used to crack the enigma code. 1940 – The year the first Bombe went into operation.

AA01 001941

Bletchley Park Trust

Turing undertook codebreaking work at Bletchley Park during World War II. Bletchley Park Trust assisted with elements of the note design and unveil. 1941 – The year the Enigma code was broken.

AA01 001948

Science Museum Group

The ‘Think Science’ event to launch the character nomination process was held at the Science Museum, London and the character unveil was held at the Science and Industry Museum, Manchester. Both are part of the Science Museum Group.
1948 – The year Turing joined the Computing Machine Laboratory in Manchester. Also the year the world’s first stored programme computer was made.

AA01 001950

National Physical Laboratory

The image of the ACE Pilot Machine based on photograph provided by NPL.
1950 – The year the photo was taken

AA01 001951

National Portrait Gallery

The National Portrait Gallery own the photograph of the image of Turing on the back of the note.
1951 – The year the photo was taken.

AA01 002017

Queer Britain

Queer Britain is a charity working to build the UK’s first LGBTQ+ museum. They currently run exhibitions in various locations while they work towards the permanent museum.

2017 - The Policing and Crime Act contains the amnesty and pardon provisions known informally as ‘Turing’s Law’. The Act received royal assent on 31 January 2017.