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1794 Newgate Halfpenny

 
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Author Previous TopicReplies: 9 / Views: 324Next Topic  
Pillar of the Community
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 Posted 02/16/2021  4:34 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add Lucky Cuss to your friends list Get a Link to this Message

I believe I posted another of these quite some time back, but have since acquired this nicer example. Although undenominated, its size indicates it would've been valued as a halfpenny. My impression is that this issue did circulate to some extent, but almost certainly the real purpose in striking them was to make a political statement rather than facilitating everyday commerce.





The building depicted on the obverse is the infamous Newgate Prison, where at that time the four gentlemen identified on the reverse were confined for sedition. Two of these, Henry Symonds and James Ridgway, were held for publishing Thomas Paine's The Rights of Man (Paine meanwhile had fled to France). Daniel Holt had also printed Paine's works. Rev. William Winterbotham, a Baptist preacher, had been sentenced for his utterances from the pulpit, but the construing of any of his exhortations as radical, revolutionary, or subversive seems in retrospect dubious at best.

Here verbatim is the close of one of Winterbotham's sermons for which he was prosecuted:

"Take no doctrine on trust; you have the scriptures in your hands, use them as the touchstone of truth; persecute no man for his religious tenets; labour to spread abroad the rays of divine truth; attend with diligence to the instruction of the rising generation, and instil into their minds proper principles of civil and religious liberty. As Britons, it behoves you in the present important crisis to act with that dignity which has long characterised this nation."

The above seems hardly like anything even remotely approaching rabble-rousing, and a pretty flimsy pretext for Winterbotham's conviction and the four years of incarceration imposed, but that was what happened.

The fact is that at the time the establishment was highly anxious on account of the upheaval that had just occurred in newly republican France and there was indeed an element of hysteria in their fear of what a similar movement might portend for the British monarchy, system of government, and societal norms. As a consequence, any perceived criticism or disrespect (even albeit of the mildest sort) of the king, his ministers, parliament, the courts, or the Church of England was viewed as needing to be ruthlessly suppressed and punished. The powers that be had adopted what we would call today a zero-tolerance policy.

Here's a bit more on Conder tokens as they relate to Thomas Paine and the spread of his humanistic ideals:

Fa1Ft9J4_CM

Colligo ergo sum
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 Posted 02/16/2021  8:09 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@lc, it seems to me like you have a whole mess of these Conder tokens and in amazing condition. Have you shown us a group shot ever?
"If you climb a good tree, you get a push."
-----Ghanaian proverb

"The danger we all now face is distinguishing between what is authentic and what is performed."
-----King Adz

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 Posted 02/16/2021  8:43 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Lucky Cuss to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Well, not so many, really, and they're certainly not all in such nice shape and/or so interesting as the ones I've recently posted. But as of late, I've become more discerning, and definitely have put condition at the top of my list of acquisition criteria, with historical significance a close second. Ones exhibiting artistic merit also get my attention.

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 Posted 02/16/2021  9:09 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Ok yes good to become more discerning as your collection matures. Maybe consider starting a "post your conder" thread if you feel so-moved. Not sure that we have done one of those before here on CCF.
"If you climb a good tree, you get a push."
-----Ghanaian proverb

"The danger we all now face is distinguishing between what is authentic and what is performed."
-----King Adz

Pillar of the Community
United States
4349 Posts
 Posted 02/17/2021  09:05 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Lucky Cuss to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

There is a general Conder thread already, started way back in 2014: http://www.coincommunity.com/forum/...IC_ID=167738

I've been posting my pieces individually, though, partly due to the background material I like to include.

Colligo ergo sum
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 Posted 02/20/2021  1:28 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add JasonKflo to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
nice coin . I love Conder tokens . Affordable way to get some cool old coins
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 Posted 02/20/2021  5:00 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Spence to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
There is a general Conder thread already


Just found it today and came here to let you know about it!
"If you climb a good tree, you get a push."
-----Ghanaian proverb

"The danger we all now face is distinguishing between what is authentic and what is performed."
-----King Adz

Pillar of the Community
United States
4349 Posts
 Posted 02/23/2021  08:58 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Lucky Cuss to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

An account of the history of Newgate Prison: https://www.historic-uk.com/Destina...gate-Prison/

Colligo ergo sum
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 Posted 03/13/2021  12:37 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Lucky Cuss to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Another history of Newgate Prison, concentrating on the appalling conditions that prevailed therein and its primacy as the site of executions: https://www.capitalpunishmentuk.org/newgate.html

Colligo ergo sum
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