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measures for beer, such as the gallon, pottle, and quart, were ordered by statutes; and that they, the said Commons, had no small money to pay for the smaller measures, which was greatly injurious to them, and therefore they prayed that it would please the King and Council to command that halfpennies and farthings should be made to pay for the smaller measures and other little purchases, for God, and for works of charity; and that the victuallers throughout the realm should be charged to sell their victuals answerably to the size of the money. This was in 1378. So little had the grievance been remedied that in 1393 complaint was made to the King that so great had been the scarcity of halfpennies and farthings, that the poor were frequently ill supplied, so that when a poor man would buy his victuals and necessaries and had only a penny, for which he ought to receive one halfpenny in change, he many times did spoil his penny (probably by cutting it in halves) in order to make one halfpenny. In such exigencies we can well imagine graduated pieces in lead to have been issued by private persons as tokens for local circulation.”

It is remarkably strange that the pewter money issued by Cromwell, Charles II., James II., and William and Mary, was not of sufficient quantity to render the circulation of private tokens unnecessary. In all probability the circulation of leaden tokens did not cease until the affluent supply of small change was coined by George I. in the early years of his reign. By the notes at the end of this paper it will be seen that some of the issuers manufactured their own tokens and very cheaply.


Nicholas Ball, marketman, of Chudleigh, in Devonshire, has inscribed some particulars of the mode of issuing these lead tokens. His book of accompts, yet extant, states under the head of expenses: "January 24th

1562. Item: paid for A nyron with a prynt; and for lede, and for smytyng of my tokense, iijs." Again the accompt for the year ending February 23rd, 1566, has under the same head, expenses: “Paid for ij pownde of led for tokens, and for making of the same to tokens xxijd." A third notice in the "Market accompte made by Nycholas Ball, market man, ended the 23rd of February, 1567," exhibits an outlay, "Paid for led and for tokens, for ij years paste xvjd."


In the parish book of St. Peter's of Mancroft, Norwich, are the following entries:—

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The following is an account of the receivings, by tokens, of the co municants at various times:

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HE English crown pieces commend themselves as a subject of study on account of their large size and handsome designs, rather than for their ancient history. The whole of the crowns were struck at Tower Hill, London, except where specially mentioned to the contrary. Compared with other English silver coins, they are of recent date, the first specimen having made its appearance in the reign of Edward VI., in the year 1551. The issue of that year proved insufficent to meet the public requirement, and further issues took place in 1552 and 1553.

O. The king on horseback, with the date below; EDWARD VI., D.G. AGL. FRA. Z. HIB. REX. (variously abbreviated).*

R. Arms of France and England quarterly, and a Cross Fleuree, POSVI DEVM ADIVTORE MEVM. The pieces of

*The inscription on nearly all the coins which are described are variously abbreviated.

1551 have Y for a mint mark (Sir John Yorke). Those of 1552 and 1553 have a Ton for a mint mark (Throgmorton).

During the reign of Queen Mary no crowns were issued, but in the following reign of Queen Elizabeth, crowns were struck in 1601 and 1602.

O. The queen crowned holding a sceptre and orb;


R. Shield garnished, containing the arms of France and England quarterly, and cross fourchee, POSVI DEVM


During the succeeding reign of James I., crowns were issued from the Tower Mint in 1603, 1604, 1605, 1607, 1613, 1621, and 1624. They are of two types called the "Exurgat” (Exurgat Deus dissipentur inimici).

O. The king on horseback to the right. IACOBVS D. G.


R. A shield in a large garnished shield in four grand quarters. First and fourth, France and England; second, Scotland; third, Ireland. EXVRGAT DEVS DISSIPENTVR INIMICI. And the "Quæ Deus" (Quæ Deus conjunxit nemo separet) types. Some specimens have a plume over the shield.*

O. The king on horseback to right, IACOBVS D. G. MAG.


R. Arms as first issue, qVE DEVS CONIVNXIT NEMO


The reign of the unfortunate King Charles I. presents us with a variety of crowns, namely:

The Tower crown, the Oxford crown, the Shrewsbury crown, the Exeter crown, and the Briot crown, and

*The "Exurgat" type was struck in 1603 and 1604 only, and the "Quæ Deus" in 1604 and later years.

specimens of some of them were struck in 1625, 1627, 1628, 1629, 1630, 1631, 1632, 1633, 1634, 1635, 1636, 1638, 1639, 1641, 1642, 1643, 1644, and 1645.


O. The king on horseback; CAROLVS D. G. MAG. BRIT.


R. Shield with arms as on the crown of James I.; CHRISTO, AVSPICE. REGNO.


O. and R. as last, but finer workmanship. The letter B for a mint mark.


O. and R. similar to last. A rose or castle for a mint mark.

O. Similar to last.


R. RELIQ. PROT. leg. liber. PAR., and the numeral V (for five shillings), the date below motto round the coin;



O. and R. as last, the declaration divided by one dot between the words.

The Tower crowns have two distinct types, one with the oval and the other with the square shield. Sometimes the shield divides the letters C.R. (Carolus Rex), and on some specimens the shield has a plume over it.

The Exeter crown is similar to the Tower crown with the oval shield, except that the Exeter crown has a rose or a castle for a mint mark.

The Oxford crown and the Shrewsbury crown can only be distinguished by the dots between the words of the declaration, RELIG. PROT. LEG. ANG. LIBER. PAR. (The

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