In 1785 Governor Vandergraff, took over Ceylon from Governor Falckt. He found the revenues of the island inadequate to the expenses; and the Treasury exhausted by additional number of troops, which the Company had been under the necessity of raising, since the year 1780, for the protection of the colony. To obviate these difficulties, he, resolved on 1785 March 19th to issue Ceylon's first Paper Money.
Dated 1785 May 10th, 25,000 Rix-Dollars called Kredit Brief of
the denominations 50, 100, 500, 1000 Ryxds, were issued.
Transcripted By Codrington in CCC page 124 as
No .... Goed voor Ryksdaalders 1000
Wy ondergetekende Certificeeren, dat toonder deeses, by De Compagnie te goed heeft Een Duizend Ryksd. van 48 zwaare Stuyv. Ind : Geld (In Dutch)
Also in Sinhala and Thamil
Codrington Translates the Dutch to English as
No .... Good for RD 1,000
We the undersigned, certify that a sum of one thousand Rix-Dollars of 48 heavy Stuivers, Indian Money is due from the company to the holder hereof.
Kolombo den 10 Mai Anno 1785
They were signed by Sluysken the Hoofd Administrateur (Chief Administrator) and Raket the acting Negotie Boekhouder (Negotiating Bookkeeper) and counter signed by Secretary Billing
They were cancelled 1787 April 5th.
Detailed breakdown of 14 issue dates in Colombo between 1785-1792 (5-1000 Ryxd), 1 issue date in Trincomalee from 1788 (25-100 Ryxd) and 2 issue dates in Batticaloa between 1789-1789 (5-200 Ryxd) with known recorded quanties of each issued denomination are given in page 143 of Codrington's CCC.
In 1793 certain Kredit Brieven were found to have been falsified by alteration of the figures. On 1793 December 17 all Kredit Brieven issued before 1792 September 1st were recalled and exchanged for new notes and copper coins.
I don't know of any images of these older Kredit Brief notes, which have been published. Were they all recalled and destroyed. However Codrinton seems to have had access to some or documentation as to what they looked like.
After the British Invasion of Ceylon in 1795 the Dutch surrendered to British, Trincomalee on 1795 August 26th, Jaffna on 1795 September 27th. Doubts arose among the populace about the ability of the Dutch Government to redeem the Kredit Brieven owing to the threatened investment of Colombo by the British. By Plakaat of 1795 December 18th Notice was given to issue Paper Money of smaller denominations 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10 Rix-Dollars. Called Kas Nooten the notes were issued dated 1796 January 1st.
The British under Article 6 of the Capitulation of Colombo, on 1796 February 15th accepted the liability for up to £50,000 (i.e. 468,750 Ryxd) of Kredit Brieven and Kas Nooten still in Circulation and pay interest at 3% per Annum, payable half yearly.
Notes were Endorsed in English with
3 pCent per annum on this Kredit Brief payable by the British
Government of Ceylon under the condition of the Sixth article of the
Capitulation of Columbo. and on back of Kas Nooten
Bearing Interest 3 pCent for Annum
Below a Black rectangular Seal with Arabic text in middle of Signature Geo ⬛ Gregory over Reg? George Gregory was collector for Colombo.
By contemporary account by Anthony Bertolacci, written in 1817, the Kredit Brief and Kas Noot were Paper currency notes at time of issue and gave no Interest. They were no longer Currency, but Treasury Bonds after they were endorsed and liability taken over by the British. See Dutch notes
In 1938 B. W. Fernando in his book Ceylon Currency British Period 1795-1936, added this ineresting historical background on page 34 as a Note to Para 52.
The Dutch promissory notes taken over by the British Government in 1796, were never called in. The question of their redemption came up for consideration during Sir Robert Peel's ministry when an application was received in 1846, from a holder in England for the payment of the face value (28,123 rix dollars) in sterling (£2,109.4.6.) in respect of 237 Kredit Brieven and 120 Kas nooten for which he was receiving annually £61.7.6¾. as interest at the rate of 3 per cent. per annum less 3 per cent. premium due to the Ceylon Government in consequence of the payment being made in England. Mr. W. E. Gladstone then expressed the opinion that it was obvious from the terms of the Capitulation that the holders of the certificates given in lieu of the promissory notes of the Dutch Government were not entitled to demand their redemption by the Government and that Her Majesty's Government could not sanction a compliance with the application.
The Government found that the promissory notes had depreciated in value by 50 per cent. to 60 per cent., and published a notification dated January 24, 1857, in the Gazette of the same date giving notice that the holders of the Dutch Kredit Brieven and Kas Nooten, on presenting same at the Treasury, Colombo, would be paid at the rate of £40 for every £100 of nominal principal. Thereafter most of the notes were purchased by Government at 60 per cent. discount and cancelled.
In 1894 negotiations were started with a view to paying off the 357 notes in UK amounting to 28,123 rix dollars, the Government off erring the holder 75 per cent. of their value in rupees (at 75 cents a rix dollar) converted into sterling at 1s. 2d., current rate of exchange; but the holder was not prepared to accept anything less than the sterling value at 1s. 6d. a rix dollar as originally fixed. In 1896 however on the death of the holder his heir accepted an offer of £1,250 plus an annuity of £25 for life and surrendered the notes.
There were still outstanding 122 Kredit Brieven and 8 Kas Nooten amounting to 18,887 rix dollars with four holders in Ceylon on which a sum of Rs. 425 was being paid annually as interest out of the Public Debt vote and, in 1907, the Treasurer proposed that these notes too should be paid off. The Attorney-General (Sir Anton Bertram) whilst stating that it was with the greatest diffidence that one ventured to differ from such an authority as Mr. Gladstone thought that it was possible that he did not minutely scrutinize the terms of the Capitulation, and expressed the opinion (the Solicitor-General concurring) that the liability to pay interest carried with it a corresponding right to discharge that liability and that the Government might payoff the notes at the face value. After obtaining the approval of the Secretary of State and protracted negotiations with the holders the Government bought in the 130 notes in 1912, for a sum of Rs. 13,890 and cancelled them, thus wiping off finally a permanent charge on public funds.
In 1924 H. W. Codrington in his monograph Ceylon Coins and Currency describes the two Ryxds note in the Colombo Museum. Description does not include the Endorsement in English in the back, which with the Signature and Seal were clearly added by the British under Article 6 of the Capitulation of Colombo.
In 2012 when I investigated the Coins and Currency collection of the Colombo National Museum to provide a Report to the CID after the 2012 March Burglary, I saw these notes for the First time, as they were not on display. The 2 Ryxds Kas Noot explicitly described by HWC was sadly missing from the Colombo National Museum Coin and Currency collection.
* Ceylon Coins and Currency By H. W. Codrington. Colombo 1924
Chapter X Dutch - Page 124, 144