Alan Turing Will Be on the Bank of England’s Next £50 Note

/ 5 years ago
Alan Turing Will Be on the Bank of England's Next £50 Note

The Bank of England‘s £50 note is currently their largest, issued back in 2011. It measures 156mm x 85mm and it features both Matthew Boulton as well as James Watt. The two are the leading lights of the industrial revolution, developing and marketing steam engines in 1775.

However, the Bank of England will soon update this with a new polymer model. Offering superior durability and featuring a new design that will have a new face. The selection list includes several notable English citizens, however Alan Turing received the most votes.

Who is Alan Turing?

Turing is a English mathematician, computer scientist, logician, cryptanalyst, philosopher and theoretical biologist. However, he is most notable for his contribution during the second world war.

He worked for the Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS) at Bletchley Park. Here he devised a number of techniques for speeding the breaking of German ciphers.

Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing in The Imitation Game (2014)

Turing’s contributions have now been immortalized in film, such as 2014’s The Imitation Game. However, after the war he was convicted of gross indecency for being a homosexual. His conviction led to the removal of his security clearance. Thus barring him from continuing with his cryptographic consultancy for GCHQ.

In September 2009, Prime Minister Gordon brown acknowledged a petition to apologise for Turing’s prosecution. Although unfortunately, his exoneration did not happen until 2017.

When Will This Bank Note Enter Circulation?

The new red polymer £50 with Alan Turing’s likeness will enter circulation in 2021.

According to the Bank of England’s circulation figures, there are currently 344 million £50 notes out there. This has a combined value of £17.2bn.

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