Scrip number 851 for one hundred £5 shares issued to William Williams by The Centennial Land Bank Limited, Melbourne, on 19 July 1888. The shares are numbered 29031 to 29130.

The scrip features vignettes of an Aboriginal person aiming a spear at a kangaroo and the Exhibition Building in Carlton Gardens, site of the 1888 Melbourne Centennial International Exhibition which was held to celebrate the centenary of white settlement.

The Centennial Land Bank was floated in 1888 by Frederick Illingworth and JE Pounds. In its first year of operation, the Centennial Land Bank looked like a safe and profitable company to invest in; the 'first issue of shares yielded a £10,000 premium...A dividend of 10 per cent was paid, plus a bonus of 20 per cent.' (Cannon, 182) However the success was short lived. Illingworth and Pound had borrowed heavily from other banks to pay for their shares and personal land holdings. When land prices fell in 1889-1890, they were unable to pay their debts. Illingworth absconded to Perth in Western Australia: only £600 was 'realized to meet Illingworth's debts of nearly £300,000' (Cannon, 184). Pound's declared bankruptcy in 1891; his debts of £140,000 were paid at a halfpenny in the pound. The bank had closed by 1892.

Physical Description

Printed in black ink on cream stock, with handwritten text in black ink. Decorative cartouche on left hand side. Broker's stamp top right side. Two shield-shaped illustrations with indigenous hunting scene and Royal Exhibition Building.

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