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Thomas Hardy Halfpenny

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 Posted 03/06/2021  3:19 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add Lucky Cuss to your friends list Get a Link to this Message

Thomas Hardy was a humble shoemaker, but more importantly the secretary and treasurer of the London Corresponding Society, founded to promote the rights and welfare of common laborers. In this latter capacity, he became a prime target of the administration of William Pitt the Younger in their efforts to repress and hopefully extinguish any attempts at social and democratic reform in Great Britain. Charged with treason, if found guilty Hardy's punishment was specified to consist of being "hanged by the neck, cut down while still alive, disemboweled (and his entrails burned before his face) and then beheaded and quartered."

The government brought unprecedented resources to bear on obtaining this conviction. Of the eight barristers pressing the case against Hardy, Attorney-General Sir John Scott's opening statement was more than 100,000 words long and lasted for nine hours. However, this bluster was for naught. The government's case required a concept of treason that went far beyond the statutory definition, and the jury took only three hours to reject it. However, although acquitted and something of a popular hero for it, Hardy was ruined personally, professionally and financially by his ordeal.

This example of a political Conder token is a bit mushy in appearance on its obverse, possibly due to deterioration of the die through overuse.

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 Posted 03/06/2021  3:24 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Coinfrog to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Very interesting, thanks.
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