Farm Tokens - Local Money

A half pence coin issued by John Preston at Tillingham in 1668

Photo Courtesy of Ian Sant

John Preston occupied land at Tillingham called Bakers where he lived with his wife, Mary and his children John, Samuel and Will.

Bakers was a farm with houses, barns and stables .

Amongst the crops grown were hops.


Woodham Walter Farm Tokens

By the later half of the 1600's the living standards of many people had improved to the extent that they need money to pay for services such as boot makers and ale houses.

The change in circumstances brought about a shortage of small coins need for use for small traders.

Most coins issued by the Government were in much higher denominations.

This was partly historical in that money was only required by the wealthy for larger purchases and partly due to vanity of the monarch who did not consider it suitable for their head to be displayed on a coin of lesser value than silver or gold.

The solution to this was local money in small denominations that was minted by traders, publicans and even farmers.

This money was taken as payment by other traders in the locality.

Another local to issue tokens was William Lone of the Dapers Arms, Southminster.

By 1700 Government had issued sufficient small coins and the use stopped.

Due to the low quality and volume of the official coins minted, shortages occurred again at the end of the 1700's and the beginning of the 1800's and tokens reappeared.

After about 20 years sufficient official coins were once again available and the use of tokens for coins ceased.

Tokens issued by Thomas May at White House farm, Woodham Walter around 1800