Thomas De La Rue, Millennium - Foreign Paper MoneyInv# FM2187 Foreign Paper Money
Born on Le Bourg, Forest, Guernsey to Rachael (née Allez) and Eleazar de la Rue. Thomas was the seventh of their nine children. Thomas de la Rue was apprenticed to a master-printer, Joseph Antoine Chevalier in Saint Peter Port in 1803.
He went into business with Tom Greenslade and together they launched the newspaper Le Publiciste. Having fallen out with Greenslade, Thomas de la Rue launched his own publication, Le Miroir politique, first published on 6 February 1813.
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 "cardmakers, hot pressers and enamellers". in 1831, de la Rue was granted the right to print playing cards, making it the first company to do so; it printed its first pack the following year. Soon afterwards, Thomas hired Owen Jones, a well-known designer and architect. By 1837 his wife, his two sons William Frederick and Warren De la Rue and his eldest daughter were involved in the business. In 1855 Thomas was made a Chevalier (Knight) of the Legion of Honour. In 1858, he retired from De La Rue, handing over the management of the business to his sons.
Thomas de la Rue died in Kensington in 1866.
He married Jane Warren (17 June 1789 – 22 September 1858) on 21 March 1816. He had six daughters and two sons: Mary, Elizabeth, Georgiana, Louisa, Jane, Warren and William.
There is a pub on The Pollet, Saint Peter Port, Guernsey, named after him.
The States of Guernsey issued a commemorative one-pound note in July 2013, to mark 200 years since the first commercial venture of Thomas De La Rue. The note is in circulation alongside the standard one-pound note, differing in the portrait of De La Rue on the reverse and a TDLR letter prefix.
De La Rue plc (UK: //, US: //) is a British company headquartered in Basingstoke - England, that designs and produces banknotes, secure polymer substrate and banknote security features (including security holograms, security threads and security printed products) for central banks and currency issuing authorities. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange.
The company was founded by Thomas de la Rue, who moved from Guernsey to London in 1821 and set up in business as a 'Leghorn' straw hat maker, then as a stationer and printer. In 1831 he secured his business a Royal Warrant to produce playing cards. In 1855 it started printing postage stamps and in 1860 banknotes. The company's first banknotes were made for Mauritius. In 1896, the family partnership was converted into a private company.
In 1921, the de la Rue family sold their interests. The company was first listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1947. Then called Thomas De La Rue & Company, Limited, it 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 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 1965 De La Rue established a joint venture with the Italian printer and inventor Gualtiero Giori called De La Rue Giori. Based in Switzerland, the company specialized in building banknote printing equipment. The company printed banknotes for the Central Bank of Iran during the 1960s.
In 1995, the company acquired Portals Limited which had been listed on the London stock market since 1904. For almost 300 years Portals had been one of the leading banknote paper manufacturers in the world, having manufactured banknote paper for the Bank of England since 1724.
In early 2002, De La Rue purchased Sequoia Voting Systems, a California based company that was a large provider of electronic voting systems in the United States, from Jefferson Smurfit plc for $23 million. After losing money for three years in a business way out of the company's traditional lines, on March 2005 Sequoia was sold to Smartmatic, a multi-national technology company which had developed advanced election systems, voting machines included.
Following the Panama Papers leak, it was revealed that from 2002 until 2010, De La Rue had secretly contracted New Delhi businessman Somendra Khosla to obtain contracts in exchange for a 15% commission.
The company was recognised by Hermann Simon as a role model for other small- to medium-sized businesses in his book Hidden Champions.
The Highest Perfection, a history of De La Rue was published in 2011. Written by Peter Pugh for De La Rue, it covered the years 1712–2003.
In August 2014, the company announced the appointment of Martin Sutherland (formerly of BAE Systems Applied Intelligence) as chief executive officer.
In 2016, the Cash Handling division (Cash Processing Systems) was sold to Privet Capital. In December 2016, the company announced it had purchased the DuPont Authentication division.
In March 2018, the company sold the paper business. De La Rue retained a 10% share in the new business, Portals International Limited. In April 2018, the company decided to appeal against the decision of the British government to manufacture passports in France. It subsequently decided against appealing.
In October 2019 the company sold its Identity Solutions business to HID Global for £42m.
On 26 July 2019, the Serious Fraud Office opened an investigation into De La Rue plc for suspected corruption in South Sudan. They later decided to close the case.
De La Rue sells high-security paper and printing technology for over 69 national currencies.
De La Rue also produces a wide range of other secure documents, including:
In 1843, De La Rue established its first overseas trade, as De La Rue's brother Paul travelled to Russia to advise on the making of playing cards. Thomas de la Rue's designs for playing cards are the basis for the modern standard design. The playing card business was sold to John Waddington in 1969.
The company has also printed postage stamps for the United Kingdom and some of its colonies, for Italy and for the Confederate States of America. Some famous stamps such as the Cape of Good Hope triangulars were printed by De La Rue & Co. after Perkins Bacon fell out of favour with the postal authorities of the time. The first 50 years of postage stamp production were chronicled in John Easton's The De La Rue History of British and Foreign Postage Stamps 1855–1901 (Faber & Faber, London, 1958).
De La Rue claims to have developed the first practical fountain pen in 1881 and was a leading manufacturer of fountain pens in Britain. Products were marketed under the "Onoto" brand. Production of fountain pens by De La Rue ceased in Britain in 1958 but continued for a few more years in Australia.
During the 1930s De La Rue created a number of board games. These included a cricket game, Stumpz, which was produced in a number of different editions, and Round The Horn, a game which re-created the then annual race of grain-laden, square-rigged sailing cargo ships from Australia to London. The games consisted of high quality components and used playing cards as part of the component set.