Trade tokens were used in place of coins to fill shortages in the national currency issued by the crown. At Redfern’s Cottage we hold a significant collection which contains over two hundred trade tokens
These vary in size and shape (e.g. circular, octagonal); feature a range of images (e.g. objects, coats of arms); other features are their issue dates and the value of goods they could be exchanged for (e.g. half penny, penny).
Most of the tokens produced were distributed in the C17th. They often record their issuers’ names (e.g. James Loyed, William Laythropp, William Wakelin, Robert Gilbert, Jeffery Power, John Leese, William Leese, John Halsey and William Cartwright), and issuers were often members of merchant guilds (e.g. Grocers, Haberdashers, Innkeepers and Mercers).