But in October 2018, government ministers opted against scrapping it, in hope of developing a more durable and secure note. Here's what we know.
When will the new £50 be released?
There are currently 300 million £50 notes in circulation, with a combined value of £16.5billion.
The Bank of England has said we won't be seeing the new £50 note before 2020.
The new version will be made of plastic rather than paper, like the current £5 and £10.
The Sun revealed last month that Treasury bosses had decided to save the note after considering scrapping it due to money-laundering concerns.
Who will feature on the note?
Bank governor Mark Carney said the banknotes are a great way to celebrate the contributions of Britain's "greatest citizens".
The new £50 note will feature a renowned British scientist.
The scientist may specialise in any field of science, including astronomy, biology, bio-technology, chemistry, mathematics, technology and zoology.
And Bank of England has asked members of the public to offer their suggestions.
Who is on the shortlist for featuring on the £50 note?
The Bank of England committee has drawn up a shortlist.
- Stephen Hawking, 1942 – 2018 – The most famous physicist and cosmologist of the modern age, Hawking is arguably best known for his work on black holes and his 1974 discovery that they emit radiation. Dubbed "Hawking radiation", the finding caused controversy as it was widely believed that nothing, not even light, could escape their gravity.
- Alan Turing, 1912-1954 – One of the most influential figures in the development of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence, Turing also played a vital part in the development of the Enigma Machine at Bletchley Park during the Second World War.
- Dorothy Hodgkin, 1910-1994 – Hodgkin confirmed theories on the structure of penicillin and vitamin B12 and discovered the structure of insulin through her advancement of X-ray crystallography – the technique used to determine the three-dimensional structure of molecules.
- Rosalind Franklin, 1920-1958 – The chemist and X-ray crystallographer's work was integral to the discovery of the structure of DNA, and was the first to suggest that it may be helical.
- Magnus Pyke, 1908 – 1992 – The nutritionist was famous for his work promoting the importance of a nutritious diet to the British public and worked to find alternatives to vital foodstuffs during wartime food shortages.
- Marie Stopes, 1880 – 1958 – Although a palaeobotanist – someone who studies plant fossils – by training, Stopes campaigned for women's access to birth control and founded a network of family planning clinics. Although the clinics that bear her name now offer abortions, Stopes was opposed to abortion in her lifetime.
- Charles Babbage, 1791 – 1871 – A mathematician and pioneer of computing. His "Difference Engine" developed in the 1820s was one of the forerunners of the computer.
- Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, 1836 -1917 – The first woman to openly qualify as a doctor in Britain, Garrett Anderson also founded her own medical school. A noted suffragist, she also became the first female mayor and magistrate in Britain.
- Isambard Kingdom Brunel, 1806 – 1859 – One of the most successful engineers in British history, his achievements include the Clifton Suspension Bridge, the Great Western Railway and Great Britain – the first iron-hulled, propeller-driven ship to cross the Atlantic ocean.
Who is on the current £50 note?
The current £50 note was issued on November 2, 2011.
It features Matthew Boulton and James Watt.
The English manufacturer and Scottish engineer joined forces to produce marine and stationary steam engines.
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