Saturday, February 16, 2013

Who is Thomas de la Rue?

At the back of some of your Malaysia ringgit, you can find "Thomas De La Rue". Who is Thomas de la Rue? Thomas de La Rue on your banknote is a printer company, De La Rue plc; a British security printing, paper making and cash handling systems company headquartered in Basingstoke, Hampshire. It also has a factory on the Team Valley Trading Estate, Gateshead. The Company was founded by Thomas de la Rue who moved to London in 1821 and set up in business as a stationer and printer. In 1831 his business secured a Royal Warrant to produce playing cards, in 1855 it started printing postage stamps and in 1860 it began printing banknotes. In 1896, the family partnership was converted to a private company.

1 ringgitPhoto: Malaysia 1 ringgit banknote reverse.
   de la Rue
Photo by Wikipedia: Thomas de la Rue

Thomas de la Rue (24 March 1793 – 7 June 1866) born in La Forêt in Guernsey. He married Jane Warren in 1814. Thomas de la Rue was apprenticed to a master-printer at St Peter Port in 1803. He went into business with Tom Greenslade and together they launched the newspaper, Le Publiciste. Thomas de la rue's first commercial venture was in 1813, when he published the first edition of le miroir politique newspaper in guernsey.

In 1816 he left Guernsey for London where he initially established a business making straw hats. Then in 1830 together with Samuel Cornish and William Rock he founded a business of card makers, hot pressers and enamellers. By 1837 his wife, both his sons and his eldest daughter were involved in the business. In october 1853, de la rue was awarded the contract to print adhesive fiscal stamps for the UK's board of Inland Revenue. Not only the first stamps to be surface printed, they were also the first perforated stamps to be issued. In 1855 Thomas was made a Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur. In 1858 he retired from De La Rue handing over the management of the business to his sons William Frederick and Warren. Thomas de la rue printed its first paper money in 1860 the Mauritius 5, 1 and 10 shilling note.
printing factory
Photo by Wikipedia: De La Rue plc. printing factory.

In 1921, the de la Rue family sold their interests. It was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1947. The Company, then called Thomas De La Rue & Company, Limited, changed its name in 1958 to The De La Rue Company Limited. A takeover bid for De La Rue was made by the Rank Organisation plc in 1968 but this was rejected by the Monopolies commission as being against the public interest. In 1991 the company’s name was changed again - this time to De La Rue plc. In 2003 the Company acquired the banknote printing operations of the Bank of England. The Debden Security Printing Ltd printing facility, owned by De La Rue, which prints Bank of England bank notes.

De La Rue sells high-security paper and printing technology for over 150 national currencies. They claim to be the largest such corporation in the world. De la Rue makes paper and prints banknotes for many banks worldwide, including:
  • Bahrain Central Bank of Bahrain
  • Bank Negara Malaysia
  • Barbados Central Bank of Barbados
  • Belize Central Bank of Belize
  • England Bank of England
  • Fiji Reserve Bank of Fiji
  • Guatemala Banco de Guatemala
  • Honduras Banco Central de Honduras
  • Iraq Central Bank of Iraq
  • Isle of Man Isle of Man Government
  • Jamaica Bank of Jamaica
  • Kenya Central Bank of Kenya
  • Kuwait Central Bank of Kuwait
  • Republic of Macedonia National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia
  • Scotland The Royal Bank of Scotland
  • Singapore Monetary Authority of Singapore
  • Sri Lanka Central Bank of Sri Lanka
  • Tanzania Bank of Tanzania
Source: Wikipedia, De la