Facts behind the faces to be on the new banknotes

Plastic bank notes are to be issued by the Bank of England for the first time when the new £5 featuring Sir Winston Churchill will appear in 2016. A £10 note featuring Jane Austen is to follow a year later. Here are a few facts behind the famous faces:

  • The earliest recorded use of the word 'baseball' in an English novel is in Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey written in 1798-1799.
  • Austen received her one and only known proposal of marriage from Harris Bigg-Wither, which she declined.
  • Around 1816, Austen began to suffer from a debilitating and painful illness, which was never diagnosed. Today it is believed to have been Addisons Disease, a tubercular disease of the kidneys.
  • Austen's last two works, Persuasion and Northanger Abbey were released posthumously, and were the first to identify her as the true author.
Winston Churchill on a new banknote
Winston Churchill on a new banknote Credit: Bank of England
  • Winston Churchill is half-American, on his mother's side. Jennie Jerome was the daughter of American millionaire Leonard Jerome.
  • Churchill was a prolific painter, producing nearly 600 works throughout his lifetime. In December 2006, one piece, ‘View of Tinherir’ from 1951, sold at auction for a record £612,800.
  • In 1899, Churchill escaped a prisoner of war camp whilst as a correspondent in South Africa, during the Boer War.
  • Churchill died on the exact same day as his father - only 70 years later - at the age of 90, in January 1965.
  • The statesman served under an impressive six monarchs: Queen Victoria, King Edward VII, King George V, King Edward VIII, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth II.