The concept of banknotes was first brought to Europe from the East by travellers like Marco Polo and William of Rubruck in the 13th century. However, centuries would elapse before real banknotes would takeover the European economies. Sweden led the way in 1661 by issuing the first short-lived European banknotes with relative success. In 1694, The Bank of England was chartered and started issuing noted in 1695 with the promise to pay the bearer the value of the note on demand. They were initially handwritten to a precise amount and issued on deposit or as a loan. There was a gradual move toward the issuance of fixed denomination notes, and by 1745, standardized printed notes ranging from £20 to £1,000 were being printed.