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17th Century Tokens : Bengeworth-Dudley in Worcestershire

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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W2: Worcestershire, Bengeworth (Farthing): (Date Unknown)
O  A lion rampant
EDWARD PITTWAY AT THE
R  E F P
RED LYON IN BENGWORTE E F P
Image not available
Edward Pittway appears to have been one of the leading Quakers of the district, and a man of good position, having been Mayor of Evesham in 1648. When George Fox, in 1655, obtained information that the magistrates of Evesham had put several of his followers in prison, he determined to visit the town, previously sending for Edward Pittway, to ascertain if the information he had received was correct, and to know if it was true, as had been reported, that the magistrates of the town had ordered a pair of high stocks to be erected on the occasion of his proposed visit. Pittway informed him that the rumour was quite correct, and at night both set out for the town, and in the evening there was "a large and precious meeting" of Friends. The followers of Fox had become objects of rancorous persecution by the magistrates of Evesham, and formal representation was made to Cromwell concerning their conduct. Twelve of the persons whose names had been attached to the document were fined in sums varying from £2 to £20, the amount last mentioned being laid on Pittway.

The following entry occurs in one of the books of the Evesham Corporation:

"5th Octr, 1655. This day Edward Pitway, the capital burgess, was removed therefrom; being indicted at the sessions for publishing a scandalous paper against the magistrates; for abusing Mr. Robert Martin; for his rude behaviour in court and for his eveil behavious towards Mr. Recorder."

A short time after this several of the most prominent Quakers of the district were imprisoned, and others persecuted; but their numbers rapidly augmented. They met at Pittway's house, afterwards the Red Lion Inn--from which our token was issued--and subsequently the Northwick Arms. By the year 1675 the Quakers had obtained a distinct burial-place at Bengeworth, behind the dwelling-house of Pittway, which, says May, in his "History of Evesham," remains the property of the Society, though at present cultivated as a garden. This piece of land, [?] feoffment dated July 16, 1675, was, in consideration of £5, conveyed by Edward Pittway, of Bengeworth--and again, by feoffment of March 19, 1678, by Stephen Pittway--unto trustees (being Quakers), their heirs and assigns, "for such purposes only as between the parties and other persons concerned were formerly agreed upon, and no otherwise." The property is described as a small piece of garden ground in Bengeworth, adjoining "the Parsonage Close," and behind the dwelling house of the said Edward Pittway. with way or passage through the yard gates of(?) the south side of the said dwelling-house.

An engraving of this token appears in Tindal's "History and Antiquities of the Abbey and Borough of Evesham" (plate v., p. 142), reading on the [missing or see number 3]

W3: Worcestershire, Bengeworth (Farthing): (Date Unknown)
O  A lion rampant
EDWARD PITTWAY AT THE
R  E F P
RED LION IN BENGWORTH E F P
Image not available
Nash gives an engraving of what was evidently a poor specimen of this token, reading

O. . . . PITTWAY AT THE = A lion rampant.
R. RED LYON IN BENGWORTE = E I P

There was probably a considerable number of tokens issued by Pittway as they are comparatively common; I have several in my own collection.

W5: Worcestershire, Bewdley (Farthing): (1653)
O  A lion passant gardant
SAMVELL CART
R  S M C
IN BEAVDLY 1653 S M C
Image not available
W6: Worcestershire, Bewdley (Farthing): (1653)
O  A lion passant gardant
SAMVELL CARTER
R  S M C
IN BEAVDLY 1653 S M C
Image not available
From an engraving given by Nash. The letters forming the surname have the appearance of being unduly crowded. On three specimens in my collection the reading is as No. 5. and it is not improbably that the letters ER existed only in the fertile imagination of the engraver.
W10: Worcestershire, Bewdley (Uncertain): (1670)
O  Legend in five lines
THO: / FARLOE / CAPPER / IN BEWD / LEY
R  A cap, 1670
[No Legend]
Image not available
This is engraved by Boyne.

The following interesting entry is found in the Ribbesford registers:

"1671, Feb. 9, Thomas, son of Thomas ffarloe and Joane, borne in April, 1665, baptized before by a minister not ordain'd by a Byshop, for wch his ffather was p'sented and ordered to have this child baptized by one episcopally ordained."

W11: Worcestershire, Bewdley (Farthing): (1656)
O  A hat
WALTER PALMER OF
R  W A P
BEWDLEY CAPPER 1656 W A P
Image not available
One of the most eminent cappers of Bewdley was Walter Palmer, who lived in the High Street, in the house now belonging (1883) to Mr. Marcy. His daughter Sarah was married at Ribbesford, August 23, 1688, to Israel Wilkes, grandfather of the notorious John Wilkes, member for middlesex, and editor of the North Briton. Another daughter married Dr. James Douglas, Physician to Queen Caroline, and his son George married Anne Johnson in 1687, and was grandfather of Mrs. Key, wife of Jonathan Skey. Fuller ("Worthies," p. 49) says this occupation ("capper") set no less than fifteen callings to work. Machinery was forbidden, and the trade protected by law. In 22nd Edward IV a penalty of 40s. was inflicted upon anyone setting up a fulling-mill. A mill would thicken and full more caps in a day than four score men, and it was considered inconvenient to turn so many labouring men to idleness. In the 3rd Henry VIII it was enacted that no caps or hats ready wrought should be brought from beyond seas. In 13th Elizabeth caps were to be worn by all persons (some of worship and quality excepted) on Sabbath and holy days, under penalty of ten groats. This was repealed in 39th(?) Elizabeth. By an act of the common council of London in 1665 all caps were to be brought to Blackwell Hall, except Monmouth and Bewdley caps. The French Protestant refugees brought into England the use of hats, and the new fashion caused the decline of the Bewdley manufactures. In the time of Charles II, Mr. Tarrington says: "Cap-making in Bewdley is grown so low, that great part of the ancient cap-makers in that town are wholly decayed, and the rest at this present day are in a very low condition."--Burton's "History of Bewdley" (8vo., 1883, pp. 12 and 13). Mr. Burton further says the trade appears to have afterwards revived, and to have lingered on till the beginning of the present [19th] century. The "Worcestershire Guide" for 1797 enumerates amongst the callings excercised here, "Dutch and sailors' caps, which are much prized for excellent napping." Capmaking is now a thing of the past.

The connection of John Wilkes, a member of Parliament, and editor of the North Briton newspaper, with this family, will be seen from the pedigree following. He was prosecuted for his independent attack against the abuses of the Government. In 1768 he was returned for Middlesex, but delcared by the Commons to be disqualified from taking his seat; though he was four times returned as member for the county, the rival candidate, Colonel Luttrell, with only a fourth of the votes, was declared to be the sitting member, and took his seat in the Commons in his stead. The agitation out of these things led to the publication of the splendid letters of "Junius," the author of which has never been discovered; as well as the début of the celebrated Charles James Fox, in defence of the liberties of the people.

It seems probable that the Wilkes family originally came from Bewdley. There are still some people of that name at Button Oak, in Dowles parish. The following extracts from the Ribbesford registers should be of interest:

Baptism. 1593. Oct. 14, Katheren, the daughter of John Wilkes.
Marriage. 1615. Oct. 12, Arthyr Palmer and Elizabeth Shelly at Dowles.
Marriage. 1680. Aug. 26, Walter Palmer and Anne Pooley. Licence.
Marriage. 1688. Aug. 23, Israell Wilks and Sarah Palmer. Licence.

In the Bewdley Chapel and Bridgewardens' Accounts we find entries referring to Mr. John Wilkes, who was chapelwarden in 1643, and a mercer in the town:

1600.--Pd to John Wilkes the 12 of May 1600 by Mr. Cowpur appoyntment for the hier of a horse to Lichfield about the survaur of the schole house.

1630.--Receipts for Seates in the chappell of John Wilkes mercer 00 03 00.

The gateway on the old bridge was pulled down when the bridge was removed. It "was under an arch in a timber-house of two stories which stood on one of the piers of the bridge; on one side of the house was a dwelling for the gatekeeper, and on the other a prison! It is said there was an ancient chapel at the foot of the bridge, which was dedicated to St Ann, and the old inhabitants inform me that the place thereabout was in former years called 'St. Ann's Corner.' The intention in erecting these chapels on or near bridges was that travellers should return thanks in them and pray for safe journeys. The custom is of very high antiquity." --"The Rambler in Worcestershire," by John Noake, 1851.

W14: Worcestershire, Blockley (Uncertain): (1667)
O  A pair of cropper's shears
THOMAS WARNER
R  T V W
OF BLOCKLEY 1667 T V W
Image not available
A token issued here is by Boyne included under those of Gloucestershire.

Bromsgrove

Boyne describes only five tokens as being issued here; I am therefore enabled to add five unpublished varieties of this town, making a total of ten. The name of the town is variously spelt Brovmsgrove, Bromesgrove, and Broomsgrove. It is supposed by many that Bromsgrove was formerly known as Boarsgrove, and Burcot as Boarscot, but there appears to be no evidence in support of the supposition; at all events, the tokens of the seventeenth century do not in any way favour the idea. The device adopted on the seals of the various town authorities is a boar, similar to the above woodcut.
W18: Worcestershire, Bromsgrove (Farthing): (1669)
O  I D
IOSIAH DINGLEY I D
R  1669 in a circle of stars
IN BROMSGROVE 1669
Image not available
During the restoration of Beoley Church, near Reddich, on taking up the Belfry floor, among other coins found was one of Josiah Dingley's tokens.

The Dingleys or Dineleys are an old Worcestershire family, and in reference to the name "Oddingley," a village in Worcestershire, the following ancient couplet relates to a traditional fight between two Saxon giants, Odd and Dingley, as to the name of the place, in which Odd, getting the worst of the encounter, shouted:

"O Dingley! Dingley! spare my breath,
It shall be called Oddingley Heath."

John and Luke, two sons of Josiah Dingley, were buried in 1686, the former on January 6, and the latter on June 11. A Joseph Dingley, probably a brother to Josiah, was living in the town at that time.

W19: Worcestershire, Bromsgrove (Farthing): (Date Unknown)
O  The Grocers' Arms
HENRY IEFFREYS
R  H I
IN BROMSGROVE H I
Image not available
W32: Worcestershire, Droitwich (Farthing): (Date Unknown)
O  Arms: three barrows
THOMAS CALCOTT
R  Arms: checky
IN DROITWICH
Image not available
In the registers of St Andrew's we find:

"Bur: Thomas, the sonne of Thomas Calcott, was buried the xivth day of April, 1642."

"Bap: Thomas, a second sonne of Thomas Calcott was baptized the xxviij day of Aprill, 1642."

Dudley

Dudley properly belongs to Worcestershire, although surrounded by Staffordshire. The tokens, however, assign it to both counties.
W37: Worcestershire, Dudley (Farthing): (Date Unknown)
O  The Mercers' Arms
WILL BIGGS OF DVDLEY IN
R  W M B
STAFFO . . . W M B
Image not available
W38: Worcestershire, Dudley (Farthing): (Date Unknown)
O  The Mercers' Arms
WILL BIGGS OF
R  W M B
DVDLEY IN STAFFO W M B
Image not available
W41: Worcestershire, Dudley (Farthing): (Date Unknown)
O  A hand, holding a pen
THOMAS OXFORD
R  T E O
DVDLEY IN WORCESTER T E O
Image not available

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