Royal Bank of Scotland announces shortlist to appear on new £10 note

Royal Bank of Scotland announces shortlist to appear on new £10 note

The Royal Bank of Scotland has today announced that James Clerk Maxwell, Mary Somerville and Thomas Telford have been shortlisted to appear on its new polymer £10 note, set to be issued in the second half of 2017. The final decision will be made following a public vote running from Monday 1 February to Sunday 7 February.

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01 February 2016

The new £10 note shortlist: James Clerk Maxwell, Mary Somerville and Thomas Telford


The nominees

More than 400 people got in touch to nominate an historical Scottish figure who they felt had made a significant contribution in the field of science and innovation.

Of the 128 different nominees, three have been shortlisted and one will be chosen by the public to appear on the Royal Bank of Scotland’s new £10 note.


- James Clerk Maxwell , Physicist (1831 – 1879)
A pioneer of electromagnetism, James Clerk Maxwell’s discovery of the unified theory of electricity and magnetism directly led to the application of electromagnetic radiation. Einstein considered Maxwell to be his hero and the greatest physicist since Newton whilst his findings were described as “the most significant event of the 19th century” by fellow physicist Richard Feynman.


- Mary Somerville, Scientist, Science writer and translator (1780 – 1872)
At a time when women’s participation in science was strongly discouraged, Mary Somerville was a true pioneer and was jointly nominated to be the first female member of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1835. Somerville’s writing influenced James Clerk Maxwell and John Couch Adams with her discussion of a hypothetical planet perturbing Uranus leading Adams to look for and discover Neptune.


- Thomas Telford, Civil Engineer (1757 – 1843)
Known as the ‘Colossus of Roads’, Thomas Telford built over 1,000 miles of roads in his lifetime and became the first president of the Institution of Civil Engineers. In his native Scotland, Telford designed numerous infrastructure projects such as the Caledonian Canal and the Telford churches, as well as harbours and tunnels. Much of his work remains in use across the UK to this day.


The voting process

Voting for the final decision opens on Monday 1 February and closes on Sunday 7 February. It will take place on the Royal Bank of Scotland’s Facebook page - - where images of each of the nominees will be posted along with biographies to help people make up their mind. The portrait with the most ‘likes’ will be chosen to feature on the new £10 note.

Commenting on the nominees, Chief Marketing Officer, David Wheldon, said:

“I am delighted that we have been able to engage the public in this process. We received many high quality nominations.

“The strength of our shortlist is indicative of the significant contribution that Scotland has made to the field of science and innovation. I would be very proud for any of these nominees to appear on our new £10 note.

“Anyone who wants to have their say should visit our Facebook page and cast a vote. I look forward to finding out which of these great figures is chosen”

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