18th Century Tokens

The regal copper coinage commenced in 1672 but it was only issued grudgingly and was never plentiful. In the reign of George II the copper series stopped in 1754 and light-weight forgeries soon circulated in large numbers to swell the inadequate supply of good coins. Regal coppers were not struck again until 1770 and they again stopped in 1775, so forgeries were made in even larger numbers. It is, therefore, small wonder that many exasperated trades people once again demonstrated their independence and initiative by issuing small change of their own—the eighteenth century tokens. London, in fact, was better supplied with coppers than the Provinces, as what little there was, tended to gravitate to the breweries, of which there were many in London. For this reason, the only tokens with a Tower Hamlets connection were made for collectors or for advertising, apart from a very rare early issue for a brew house in Goodmans Fields.


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