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Faversham Tokens

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Token (front)
Arms: (Gules, three lions passant guardant in pale or: dimidiating, azure, as many hulls of ships argent) The shield suspended from a knotted riband. Words: CINQUE PORT HALFPENNY 1794

Token (reverse side)
An English Round Ship with one mast at sea, with two men on deck, one of whom is blowing a horn; while two more are kneeling on the yard, one on either side of the mast. Seven fish are seen swimming in the water. Words: PAYABLE AT FEVERSHAM

18th Century halfpenny tokens

During the latter half of the eighteenth century, the copper coinage of Britain had been much neglected. The shortfall in legal tender was made up by millions of imitations.

The penny was still made of silver but so small that it was easily lost. The issue of halfpence and farthings was spasmodic and forgeries so rife they made up two-thirds of any change given. [a Faversham Token is picture left]

In Kent tokens were issued from most of the major towns including Faversham, Feversham on the coins.

One of the attractions of these provincial tokens is the strong local themes employed in the designs.

Those from Kent are no exception; the token for Faversham showing medieval sloop and a variation of  three lions coat of arms.

The names of local tradespeople found on coins was usually impressed into the rim. The 1794 Faversham Token had the imprint "Payable at John Crowss Copper Smith".
 

17th Century farthing tokens

During the mid 17th century, farthing tokens were issued, also to facilitate small change. Known examples from Faversham are

William Buck, 1669 (stag)
Robert Hogben, vintner, no date
William Knight, grocer, 1666
Francis Waterman, mercer, no date

Text and pictures are copyright of Ken Elks and reproduced with his kind permission from his website The Coinage of Britain