C17th Tradesmen’s Tokens
Due to the shortage of small change in official coinage in 1648, traders took it upon themselves to circulate their own farthings and later, half pennies and a few pennies. Charles II suppressed the tokens in 1672, when he introduced his own regal copper currency in small denominations.
Little is known of the manufacture of the tokens, but the fact that identical designs and devices occur on tokens of quite different localities would suggest that salesmen travelled the country collecting orders and drafting designs.
Obverse. – “William Hanson of”
Reverse. “Caistor His Half Penny 1668”
Will – William Handson 1670 – a mercer (possibly a dealer in fine silks and materials) Collection, Lincoln
Other known tokens: Edward Denty 1668 Half penny grocers’ mercer Collection Lincoln
John Lathorp 1668 Half penny grocers’ arms Collection Lincoln, Spalding Gentlemen’s Society, Private collection
William Ward 1656 Farthing Grocers Arms Spalding Gentlemen’s Society