All collections » Tokens » Arnold Village
About four miles from the center of
Nottingham, on the main road to Mansfield, was the old village of Arnold. It
is currently part of the city. Perhaps this village is better known
as the birthplace of the artist Richard Parkes Bonington than as the place where
the provincial coins were minted.
Davies quotes from Boyne: "The Arnold Works factory was engaged in spinning wool on Kean in Nottingham." This is not true. The tokens were issued by Messrs. Robert Davison and John Huxley of Arnold. Both of them belonged to the old families of Nottingham, were important business people and well-known philanthropists.
The Huxleys, who were hereditary malt workers, and the Davisons, who were engaged in knitting, joined forces to build a worsted mill near the River Lyn in Nottingham; this factory was destroyed by fire in January 1791. As far as is known, no tokens were issued for this factory. After the fire, new construction began in the village of Arnold, not far from Arnot Hill House, where Mr. Huxley lived. Production was launched by the end of the year. The factory employed about 1000 men - a very large number of employees in those days who simultaneously worked in the same building; of these, there were about 400 adults and 600 students.
The pupils were mostly boys from workhouses in London, Bristol and other large cities. They were forced to work many hours a day, were poorly fed and kept in appalling conditions, leading to high mortality; up to 7 people often died per week. For several years this factory brought in a lot of income, but in 1811 it was closed due to the decline in the worsted trade. It was not possible to find new tenants and in the end the factory was completely destroyed.
The tokens were issued in denominations
of Crown, Half Crown, Shilling and Sixpence. The design of the
tokens is the same and differs only by indicating a different denomination. Made
of copper, some of which were silver or gold plated.
On the obverse, a fleece hanging from a tree and a circular inscription: “Davison and Hawksley” are depicted. The reverse side depicts Roman Fasces surmounted by an ax, crossed with a spear, on top of which is put on the Phrygian Cap and a circular inscription: “Arnold 1791 Works”, and below the denomination is indicated.
FE Burton, JP, Arnold Village Tokens, BNJ, 17(1923)