CORNISH-L ArchivesArchiver > CORNISH > 1997-12 > 0882038332
From: Allen Spry< >
Subject: Cornish/English Tokens
Date: Sat, 13 Dec 1997 12:38:52 -0600
At John Zimmerman's suggestion, I will
give a brief explanation on Cornish/British
During the English Civil War(1642-1649) the
English Parliament confiscated all of the metals
that were normally used in the minting of English COINS for the purpose
of making and
manufacturing of weapons and munitions for
the war purpose. Because of this, there became
a shortage of regular English COINS for the
purpose of everyday business transactions.
I wan't get into the economic ramifacations
of this conundrum, but because of the
SHORTAGE of legal tender, the Parliament
granted the rights to (certain?) counties and
their citizens to mint their own TOKENS not
coins for the purpose of conducting everyday
These TOKENS were minted by English citizens, usually in their own
and were normally made of brass,copper,or some other subordinate
materials. It is my
understanding that the respective county
acknowledged these tokens to be used as
LEGAL TENDER during the Civil War and
shortly after. Circa 1680, the Parliament
set into law that no more TOKENS could be
minted(Surname) and be utilized as legal
tender. You can imagine how many English
tokens were minted during this period.
The Royal Cornwall Museum,River Street,
Truro,Cornwall TR1-2SJ has a large collection
of Cornish Tokens. In fact, they have (3)
Thomas Spry 1667 Penryn,Cornwall tokens.
Some tokens are very rare and some are not.
There is of course a much longer historical
story to these tokens but just wanted to give
a brief summary.Thanks.
Sincerely, Allen Spry