Great Britain - 1793

½ Penny Token (D & H 238 - Warwickshire, Coventry)
Obverse - Great Britain  - 1793 Reverse - Great Britain - 1793
Obverse - Lady Godiva riding a horse.
Legend: PRO BONO PUBLICO with 1792 in the exergue.
Reverse - Armorial bearings of the city of Coventry. (An elephant with a castle on his back.)
Diesinker, Mainwaring; manufacturer, Lutwyche. Five tons struck. Common, but not in extra fine condition, and is expensive due to its popularity with American collectors. (About 30/-.) The designs are mediocre. The elephant has a sad and tumble-down appearance and looks like a stuffed toy; while the off fore-leg of the horse is wooden, and Godiva's toes are missing in some specimens, and too long in others.
Comments. Reynolds & Co. were ribbon weavers in Coventry.
   The legend of Lady Godiva riding through the streets of Coventry draped only in her hair is unsupported by any contemporary evidence. Leofric and his Countess did, however, found a monastery in Coventry during the reign of Edward the Confessor. William of Malmesbury wrote at length of the monastery , but made no mention of this extraordinary tale. It was first mentioned by Matthew of Westminster, who lived some two hundred and fifty years after the alleged incident. The addition of "Peeping Tom" was later still. Nevertheless, the token commemorates the legend; and pageants, attended by the mayor and corporation, of Lady Godiva on horseback, Jason with the Golden Fleece, Woolsorters, Bishop Blaze, Woolcombers, etc., have been held from time to time, and add colour to the life of the city.
   The armorial bearings of the City of Coventry are rendered upon an old authority as "Per pale gules and verts, an elephant and castle or." with a crest: "A cat statant proper."
   There are only trifling differences in the seven dies of this token. They are all dated 1792.
Commercial Coins 1787-1804., pp. 199-200
Obviously this piece is from 1793 and its edge reads: PAYABLE AT BIRMINGHAM LONDON OR BRISTOL. Check out the hi-res scans if you have the bandwidth. Despite the commentary above it's an interesting token.
D & H 238 - Coventry
O: Godiva, as before; head of figure close to second O of BONO, period close to last letter of legend. Date in Ex: 1793.
R: Elephant and castle, no period at end of legend. N and Y nearly touch tail of elephant, and there is a protuberance about the centre of the tail.
A. 178

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