All collections » Tokens » Birmingham Poorhouse Halfpenny
The obverse features the Birmingham workhouse and a circular inscription: "BIRMINGHAM POORHOUSE HALFPENNY TOKEN PAYABLE THERE". The old workhouse in Birmingham was built on Litchfield Street in 1733. In 1766, the left wing was added as an infirmary, and in 1779 the right wing for workers.
The reverse side depicts a bee swarm near
the hive. Circle legend: "FOR THE USE OF THE PARISH, J. Alston,
Fecit. 1796". J. Alston was somehow connected with the
workhouse at the time of the release of the token and most likely could have
been the creator of the images on the token.
The edge is engraved with a pattern. There are options with a smooth edge.
Dalton & Hamer: 63
Engraver - Wyon, manufacturer - Kempson. According to Charles Pye, only 6 pounds of tokens were issued (100 lb = 45.359237 kg), but this seems unlikely, since these tokens are not uncommon. If this figure is correct, this release is unlikely to have been used for circulation.
In 1788 half-crown tokens were issued bearing the initials BWH , which is also attributed to the Birmingham workhouse. On the front side of this token, a woman is depicted giving alms to a beggar.