Harry Eccleston

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H N Eccleston
Born (1923-01-21)21 January 1923
Coseley, West Midlands, England
Died 30 April 2010(2010-04-30) (aged 87)
Upminster, Essex, England
Education Bilston School of Art
Alma mater
  • Artist
  • Illustrator
Organization Bank of England
Known for Designing banknotes

Harry Norman Eccleston, OBE (21 January 1923—30 April 2010) was an artist from Coseley, West Midlands, England.[1] He was the first full-time artist and designer of banknotes at the Bank of England.[2]


He trained at Bilston School of Art, and in 1939, Birmingham College of Art, then later, after Royal Navy service in World War II,[2] at the Royal College of Art.[1] He produced paintings and etchings of the industrial landscape of the Black Country.[3]

Banknote design[edit]

He joined the Bank of England in 1958 as their first in-house artist-designer, and was the designer of the "D" series of British banknotes — the first pictorial notes. They all featured Queen Elizabeth II, as well as Isaac Newton (£1), the Duke of Wellington (£5), Florence Nightingale (£10), William Shakespeare (£20) and Christopher Wren (£50). The notes were issued in 1970 and in use until 1981.[2] He retired from the Bank of England in 1983.[4]


He was made Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1979.[2][4] In 2003 he was given an honorary doctorate of arts, by the University of Wolverhampton, for his services to banknote design and printmaking.[2]

Art works[edit]

Examples of Harry Eccleston's work are held in a number of public collections, including the Black Country Living Museum[5] and Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.[6]


  1. ^ a b The Independent
  2. ^ a b c d e The Guardian - obituary
  3. ^ The Free Library
  4. ^ a b Bank of England
  5. ^ "BBC Your Paintings: Harry Norman Eccleston". BBC. Retrieved 3 April 2013. 
  6. ^ Grimley, Terry (September 2005). "An artist of great note". Birmingham Post. Trinity Mirror Midlands. Retrieved 3 April 2013.