Serving the communities of Bures St Mary and Bures Hamlet

The Bures Token


1. Trade tokens were not issued by the government but by merchants, tradesmen and manufacturers,
because of a lack of small change coppers - pennies, halfpennies and farthings.
Until the reign of Queen Victoria the government never issued enough of these coins. George II stopped issuing them in 1764 and George III only issued them between 1770 and 1775.
By the late 1780s there was not enough small change in circulation; in addition, the coins that were available were very worn and there were many forgeries.
Tradesmen and manufacturers took a practical view and decided to issue their own coins, although this was illegal and the government didn`t agree with them.
A grocer would issue them, to help him in his day-to-day trading and to enable him to provide the halfpenny change which was so very necessary at the time.

2. In the seventeenth century a vast number of traders tokens were made and used.
Almost every, different occupation (business) were represented. A major impetus for the
production of these tokens was the tremendous increase in trade with goods being made for cash sale,
but this coincided with a severe shortage of small denomination coins. Consequently traders issued
their own small value coinage to be given as change when selling goods.
Research courtesy of Google

token token
Bures token. The actual size compares with todays 5p piece. The left picture is engraved "BEWERS 1659" .
The right picture is engraved "THOMAS DANIELL"

Courtesy of John Ineson.