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17th Century Tokens : Newbury-01 in Berkshire

W Numbers refer to Williamson's  Trade Tokens Issued in the Seventeenth Century in England, Wales and Ireland, (1891)

See also other Counties issuing 17th Century Tokens

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Newbury

There were no halfpence issued from Newbury; thirteen farthings were issued, amonst these being five varieties of town farthing. The Cowslade farthing is convex.

the name of the town is spelt,

6 times NEWBERY
4 times NEWBRY
1 time NEWBVRY
1 time NEWBERRY
1 time NEWBVRYE

Mr. H. J. Reid, F.S.A., in sending me a speciment of the convex Cowslade farthing, points out that the device is not a lion, as described in the former edition of Boyne, but that is is an animal "Antlered."

My brother, Mr. L. Lowsley, of Hampstead Norreys, has given me a considerable number of the Newbury Borough farthings. I have made careful comparison, with the result that it is found there are five varieties. The number of dies appears to have been large, for nearly all the tokens compares were from different ones.

Concerning this Newbury token Mr. Walter Money, F.S.A., author of the "History of Newbury," writes to me:

"The brass farthings issued by the Newbury Corporation in 1657 were very numerous, as the municipal body, as trustees of a great number of charities, with a considerable rental, and no end of small doles, must have required a good deal of this necessary small change. All the farthings stamped with the sign of the Castle (the borough arms) on one side, and B.N. on the other, were officially issued by the Corporation, who undertook, if they were 'cried down,' to pay in silver the same amount as they were put out for. The difference in the dies probably arose from the coins having been struck for the Corporation by different persons, or tradesmen, who adopted a little variation in the 'design.' The name is also indifferently spelt, as you know, at that period. No one was permitted to issue these Borough tokens but the Corporation. There was no restriction as to tradespeople issuing their own farthings or tokens, beyond the requirement that the metal or material used, whether lead, pewter, or brass, should of itself fully represent the value of the farthing, under a penalty of forfeiting the whole of them, and a fine of 20s. I think you will find the Borough farthings were all brass.

"All our Corporation records have either been appropriated or lost, excepting one or two volumes of Court Leet Records, etc. Even the Minute Books of the Council, up to the last four or five years, have gone."

W51: Berkshire, Newbury (Farthing): (1657)
O  A castle, the battlements having three raised portions
BOROVGH OF NEWBRY
R  1657 B N
IN COVNTY OF BERKS 1657 B N
Image not available
The Castle shown in this token is narrow and lofty, and the battlements are of greater height than in other varieties; the doorway of the Castle also is narrow and high; the masonry is shown as of a coarse description.
W52: Berkshire, Newbury (Farthing): (1657)
O  A castle, the battlements having four raised portions
BOROVGH OF NEWBRY
R  1657 B N
IN COVNTY OF BERKS 1657 B N
Image not available
The line of the battlements, as shown on the token, is sometimes curved. The gateway of the Castle is small and low; the masonry is extremely neat and even.

This is, perhaps, the variety most frequently met with.

W53: Berkshire, Newbury (Farthing): (1657)
O  A castle, the battlements having three raised portions
BOROVGH OF NEWBRY
R  1657 B N
IN CWNTY OF BERKS 1657 B N
Image not available
This is not uncommon. The W is formed as if it might be intended that O is conjoined with V.
W54: Berkshire, Newbury (Farthing): (1657)
O  A castle, the battlements having five raised portions
BOROVGH OF NEWBRY
R  1657 B N
IN COVNTY OF BERKS 1657 B N
Image not available
The line of battle ments is somewhat less curved than in the two last named varieties. The Castle is broad, the gateway small, and the masonry neatly and evenly marked.
W55: Berkshire, Newbury (Farthing): (1657)
O  A castle, the battlements having three raised portions
BOROVGH OF NEWBERY
R  1657 B N
IN COVNTY OF BERKS 1657 B N
Image not available
It is extremely rare.

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