Four rare black and white St Albans five pound notes, issued 170 years ago, are set to fetch at least £500 at auction next month.

The four Victorian fivers are all emblazoned with the words ‘Bank of St Albans’ and were issued by the short-lived bank in 1841 and 1842, shortly before it went bust in 1842.

At least one of the notes is signed in the bottom right hand corner by the bank’s proprietor, George Alfred Muskett, who was also MP for St Albans between 1837 and 1841 and one of Rickmansworth’s most colourful 19th century inhabitants.

He and his wife, Sarah, and their daughter, Selina, lived at The Bury in Bury Lane, Rickmansworth.

Muskett became a big shot in the Hertfordshire banking world in 1834 when he established the Bank of St Albans. But like so many early nineteenth century English provincial banks, the Bank of St Albans went bust and in 1843, the year after his bank’s collapse, Muskett died aged 57, although it is not clear whether he committed suicide.

Now 170 years later four five pound notes from Muskett’s St Albans bank are up for sale and they are expected to fetch between £500 and £700 at the British banknotes auction at Spink in Bloomsbury, London, on Tuesday October 4.

According to auctioneers Spink the St Albans fivers are in “good fine condition”.

Barnaby Faull head of the banknotes department at Spink, said: “In the late 18th and early 19th centuries most towns and cities in England used to issue their own banknotes. Merchants would get together and set up their own banks, but their notes, which were like IOUs, could only be used locally, so when provincial banks such as the Bank of St Albans, went bust their notes became completely worthless.”