You are in [Artefacts] [Trade and Industry]
This article includes examples of several local industries:
- Timothy Lucas token c1660 (photo kindly sent by John Lynes, Sep 2019)
- A collection of tokens sold in 2020 (see main article for details).
Earthenware stone flagons:
Earthenware and stoneware flagons are typical of those used by many trades during the 19th century. They have stone coloured body, with light tan necks and shoulders, and usually range from half-gallon to two-gallons in size. They wer used to contain wine and spirits.
Those shown in the gallery are impressed:
After the Civil War (1642-1651), small change was becoming so scarce and in bad condition that it caused difficulties in every day trading. Parliament seemed unwilling to mint small change because the cost would have been more than its value. Traders took it upon themselves to issue their own coinage, and so long as their value was honoured it was considered a lawful thing to do. However, it was not a good solution, as usually the tokens could only be exchanged at the shop that issued them.
Tokens were usually struck in copper or brass, the commonest denomination being farthings (¼d), but there were also halfpennies and pennies.
Meanwhile, Parliament still did not issue small change, and the old currency, by deterioration and old age gave encouragement to the production of spurious specimens. It was officially stated at this time that less than a quarter of the pence and half-pence in circulation were genuine. Business dealings became severely hampered. Petitions and appeals to Parliament were of no avail, so traders decided to accept only "Tower" money, i.e. minted at the Tower Mint. This caused further confusion, as the bulk of the community was unable to distinguish the good from the bad.
In Hungerford we are aware of several tokens, including:
- William Bell, Vintner at The Bear.
- Timothy Lucas, Spice merchant - a farthing token.
- Thomas Sare, Wheelwright and Constable
- John Butler, a tallow merchant - a farthing token, the design including the Tallow Chandlers' Arms in the centre. Tallow chandlers made and sold tallow candles and domestic goods such as soap and sauces.
Parliament was at last forced to do something, and what, they did was most extraordinary. Everybody was allowed to make their money for themselves. Any man who chose to make a thing called a halfpenny or farthing was free to do so, and it was legal tender. This situation was common throughout the British Isles, and it was too good an opportunity to be lost. The whole country was swamped with halfpence and farthings of the greatest varieties.
In August 1672 Charles II and Parliament forbade their further use and met the country's needs by minting official high quality copper small change - both halfpennies and farthings. Coinage with images of the King and Britannia replaced the multitude of privately issued local tokens, symbolically uniting the country and restoring royal control over the currency. Britannia has been on all coins since, and on all Bank of England notes since the bank was founded in 1694.
The "British Farthings" website (http://www.britishfarthings.com/Tokens/17th-Century/Berkshire/Hungerford.html) lists a few 17th Century Tokens from Hungerford in Berkshire. (The "W" Numbers refer to Williamson's Trade Tokens Issued in the Seventeenth Century in England, Wales and Ireland, (1891)):
W35: Berkshire, Hungerford (Farthing): (Date Unknown)
O The Tallow Chandlers' Arms
R I E B
IN HVNGERFORD I E B
John Butler was churchwarden in 1651.
W36: Berkshire, Hungerford (Farthing): (Date Unknown)
O A rose
R I L
IN HVNGERFORD I L
He was an uncompromising Royalist, and was engaged in Penruddock's rising in Salisbury in 1665. He was taken and beheaded the same year, behaving himself with the greatest stedfastness and courage. This token, which has no date, must have been issued prior to the year 1665.
W37: Berkshire, Hungerford (Farthing): (Date Unknown)
O Three cloves
R T F L
IN HVNGERFORD T F L
The following are extracts from the Parish Register:
"Timothy Lucas, churchwarden, 1650.
"Timothy Lucas, Senior, Gentleman, buried Octer 3, 1668.
"Timothy Lucas, buried Jany 18th, 1676."
W38: Berkshire, Hungerford (Farthing): (Date Unknown)
O A chandler
R I S
IN HVNGER FORD I S
There is an entry in the Parish Register that "Thomas Sayer the Hatter" was buried June 24, 1693. Mr. Walter Money, F.S.A., informs me there were several families of this name, but the Joseph Sayer was Rector of Newbury from 1663 to 1675. Francis Sayer, his father was Rector of Yattendon."
The "John of Gaunt" Halfpenny Tokens:
The "John of Gaunt" halfpenny tokens shown in the gallery are from a much later date - 1792.
The obverse shows the Bust of John of Gaunt in robes and ducal coronet. The reverse shows the arms of the Borough of Lancaster. Remarkably, the edge is inscribed "PAYABLE AT THE WAREHOUSE OF THOS. WORSWICK & SONS. X." They appear to have been gold and silver smiths, watchmakers and jewellers in New-street, Lancaster. They were also bankers, and the banking firm of Worswick and Sons was established in 1794 by Thomas Worswick. The firm had commercial interests in the West Indies, and this may account for the tokens being payable at the warehouse. It is thought that about five tons were minted - and there are many forgeries and imitations.
This token coin was found in the area of Crown Mews in the 1990s, and was given to the Hungerford Historical Association.
See: John of Gaunt halfpenny token - sale details. (from Stewart Hofgartner)
The collection of tokens:
A collection of 17th century tokens from Berkshire, including several from Hungerford, was sold online in 2020. They are shown in the Photo Gallery, and were described as:
- John Hall, Halfpenny, 1667, 1.15g/12h (N 56; BW. 5)
- Henry Meales, Farthing, 1657, 0.43g/12h (N 59; BW. 7)
- Edward Goldinge, 1668, 1.56g/6h (N 1782; BW. 26)
- William Bell, Halfpenny, 1668, 1.80g/3h (N 87; BW. 34)
- John Butler, Farthing, 1.13g/6h (N 82; BW. 35). A John Butler farthing token, c.1665. The large Butler family included John Butler, tallow-chandler in 1664. Reference is made in a sale of a similar token to The Tallow Chandlers' Arms, but I know of no other reference to this.
- Richard Weston, Halfpenny, 1669, 1.65g/12h (N 88; BW. 39)
- William Lovegrove, Farthing, 1664, 1.22g/9h (N 163; BW. 94),
- Daniell Martin, Farthing, 1653, 1.21g/6h (N 166; BW. 99)
- Robert Pidgion, Farthing, 1663, 0.80g/12h (N 172; BW. 106)
- Jon Goodwin, Farthing, 1.11g/6h (N 211; BW. 135)
- Ann Hall, Farthing, 1652, 1.23g/6h (N 212; BW. 136)
Surviving evidence of local ironworks can be seen at many places around Hungerford.
The railings near the Down Gate leading on to the Common Port Down (and many others around the town) bear the imprint of one or other of two important ironworks in the town, Gibbons Kennet Works, and Cottrell's Eddington Works.
Examples of glass bottles used by various retailers can be found in Hungerford.
W. Champ & Sons was a mineral water manufacturer c1939-c1949 in part of the old brewery building (Hungerford Sanitary Laundry) behind Manor House in the High Street.
Prior to this, between c1896-1914, William Champ ran the dairy "Champ & Macklin Dairy" at 100-102 High Street. Alf Macklin continued the dairy in his own name thereafter.
Tom E. Crook was the landlord of the Crown Brewery between 1897 and 1913. He was responsible for the re-fronting of the building c1903, but went bankrupt in 1913 - the Capital & Counties Bank foreclosing.
Hungerford Sanitary Laundry:
This promotional brochure includes many historic photographs of the laundry, and much detail of its operation. For more see the Laundry.
Chilton Electric Products Portable Spin Dryer: The Chilton Factory made a number of small electrical products, and its shaver sockets were distributed around the whole world. It was a big employer in the town. One such surviving product is the Portable Spin Dryer.
For more see Chilton Factory.
- John of Gaunt halfpenny token - sale details. (from Stewart Hofgartner)