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17th-Century Farthing Trade Tokens

The list of tokens of this county is mainly from the Yorkshire division of Boyne's "Tokens issued in the Seventeenth Century in England and Wales" (1858), and also from the same author's smaller work, "The Yorkshire Tokens" (1858), with Addenda (1870). Many tokens have, however, come to light since the publishing of these works, revealing new names of places as well as issuers, and places and names included in Boyne's works have since been transferred to other counties. Dunnington has, for instance, with its two issuers (Nos. 73 and 74, Boyne), been transferred to Lincolnshire, and Wragby (No. 328, Boyne) also to Lincolnshire, and the one issued by Richard Neast, which in Boyne (No. 103) is place to Haworth, to Highworth, Wiltshire. Mr. Baldwin, of Plumstead, informs us that he met with this token at Southrop, a village some seven or eight miles from High worth, where it had been found in removing the thatch from an old house, along with several Highworth tokens. Seven tokens are transferred from Richmond, yorkshire, to Richmond, Surrey, as per reasons stated under the head of Richmond; and Boyne, No. 347 (Thomas Caverley, Bootham), is placed to Rootham, Kent. No. 362, Boyne (John Hvtchenson, York) has been found, on a more careful reading, to be the same as No. 363, Boyne, but has been struck on Christopher Morley's token (No. 378, Boyne), and shows part of the older inscription. By taking away Dunnington and Wragby, the number of places of issue is diminished by two, and we ahve added thirteen, viz.: Almondbury, Anlaby, Cranswick, Great Preston, Goole, Helmsley, Honley and Holmfirth, Horton, Market Weighton, Middleham, Popeley Gate and Woodhouse. The number of tokens added is very small for the size of the county, especially so when taken in comparison with many of the other counties; this may be partly accounted for. Mr. Boyne was a native of Yorkshire, and also a resident at the time of the compilation of his great work, and had opportunities for collecting information respecting this county, which we know, from a communication he has made to us, was his "pet county."

the number in out own cabinet is 378, and in the list which follows all in our possession are marked with an asterisk. B.M. signifies those in the British Museum, and the other possessors' names are given in full.

Yorkshire is the largest in area of the counties of England, and it has the largest series of tokens next to the Metropolitan counties of Keny, Middlesex and Surrey. The earliest date on them is one of Pontfract, 1649, and the latest is 1672, of which latter date there are several. Only one town piece is known, and that is of Bridlington, of which there are two varieties.

It may be interesting to some to learn that among the issuers of these counties many were loyal, as shown by the devices on the tokens (it being borne in mind that it was chiefly during the commonwealth that the tokens were issued), as the King's Hear, the King's Arms, Rose and Crown, George and the Dragon, and other insignia of royalty--especially in the north of Yorkshire. In Richmond, for instance, out of the twelve issuers in that town, eight have the King's Head, one a crown, and one George and the Dragon on them. At Guisborough all the five tokens issued there bear the King's Head, and at Yarm five out [of] the six issued have the King's Head on them. But where so many emblems of royalty are found, it is strange how seldom the names of James and Charles occur--James only appearing eight times, and Charles only four, in the whole of the 448 known of the county.

Most of the Yorkshire tokens are circular, the only departures being nine heart-shaped and four octagonal. They have the Arms of most of the incorporated trade companies of London, which were often used by persons of a similar trade throughout the country. They have also the Amrs of the abbeys of Bridlington, Selby and Whitby; of many private families, and the principal devices of the tavern signs, as well of shop signs and articles sold by the issuers. In some cases, as in Nos. 143 and 144, Hull, the issuer, Lyonell Buckle, has placed a buckle on each of his tokens, as a rebus on his name. On No. 203, issued at Robin Hood's Bay, are represented Robin Hood and Little John. A York music-master (No. 447) has an early example of Punchinello, now a wide-world favourite.

We must acknowledge the information derived from an article in the Numismatic Chronicle, New Series, vol. xx., by Mr. H. S. Gill, "On the Unpublished Yorkshire Tokens of the Seventeenth Century," as also much kindness received personally from Mr. Gill, who has always communicated most fully and freely facts concerning tokens he in his extensive knowledge and research has obtained. But we must be permitted to say that the work he quote from in "The Contemporary Notes on some of the Issuers of Hull and other Towns" is one that we do not admit as authentic, and therefore the matter that Mr. Gill in his article extracts from those notes is not given here.

We also wish to acknowledge with thanks the great kindness that so many of the clergy of different parishes in the county have conferred on us, by examining their parish registers, and for the information they have given.

Charles E. Fewster

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