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Soho Mint - Token Timeline

John Wilkinson, Iron Master, Half Penny Token, Reverse, Soho Mint,1792

Matthew Boulton’s original and abiding intention for his Mint was the production of large quantities of copper coinage for the British Government. The delays, caused by several different difficulties, in awarding him the contract for regal coppers meant that a lot of very expensive equipment was lying idle. So, with a degree of reluctance, Boulton accepted orders for ‘provincial halfpence’ from the earliest days of his Mint’s existence. The first tokens to leave Soho were the Roe and Cronebane pieces, which were shipped in September 1789, a few months after the completion of the Mint.

 

The following list contains information collected about each of the tokens issued for Great Britain and Ireland, the date shipped from Soho, where known, the date and denomination of the token, the general name applied, and the name of the customer for whom it was struck. Total numbers issued are more problematic. Sometimes these are known with complete accuracy, sometimes they can be calculated from the weight of copper used, and sometimes they are estimated from the best knowledge available.

 

Great credit is due to Dr Richard G Doty, who collected much of this information for his book ‘Soho Mint and the Industrialisation of Money.’

Soho Mint

1789 September

 

Macclesfield Halfpenny, dated 1789

Struck For: Roe & Company, Macclesfield, Cheshire

Designer:                                  Engraver:

Weight: Approx 36 coins per 1lb of copper

Mintage: Estimated to be around 600,000 pieces

Shipped from Soho: September 1789

1789 September

 

Cronebane Halfpenny, dated 1789

Struck For: Roe & Company, Macclesfield/Allied Irish Mine Co

Designer:                                  Engraver:

Weight: Approx 36 coins per 1lb of copper

Mintage: Estimated to be around 1,000,000 pieces

Shipped from Soho: September 1789

1789 September

 

Anglesey ‘Druid’ Halfpenny, dated 1789

Struck For: Thomas Williams/Parys Mine Company, Anglesey

Designer:  Hancock                    Engraver:

Weight: 28,350lbs struck. Approx 35 coins per 1lb of copper

Mintage: Estimated to be around 992,250 pieces

Shipped from Soho: September 1789

1790 June

 

Wilkinson Halfpenny, dated 1790

Struck For: John Wilkinson, Iron Master

Designer:  Hancock                    Engraver: Dumarest

Weight: 603lbs struck. Approx 32 coins per 1lb of copper

Mintage: Estimated to be around 19,296 pieces

Shipped from Soho: June 1790

1790 October

 

Anglesey ‘Druid’ Halfpenny, dated 1790

Struck For: Thomas Williams/Parys Mine Company, Anglesey

Designer:  Dumarest                   Engraver: Dumarest

Weight: Approx 32 coins per 1lb of copper

Mintage: Estimated to be a few dozen patterns only

Shipped from Soho: late October 1790

1791 January

 

Wilkinson Halfpenny, dated 1790

Struck For: John Wilkinson, Iron Master

Designer:  Hancock                     Engraver: Dumarest

Weight: 11,228lbs 4oz struck. Approx 36 coins per 1lb of copper

Mintage: Estimated to be around 404,217 pieces

Shipped from Soho: January 1791

1791 July

 

Southampton Halfpenny, dated 1791

Struck For: Taylor, Moody & Company, Southampton

Designer:                                  Engraver: Dumarest

Weight: Approx 40 coins per 1lb of copper

Mintage: See below

Shipped from Soho: July 1791 but returned as unsatisfactory by customer

1791 September

 

Anglesey ‘Druid’ Halfpenny, dated 1791

Struck For: Thomas Williams/Parys Mine Company, Anglesey

Designer:  Hancock                     Engraver: Dumarest

Weight: 35,962lbs struck. Approx 32 coins per 1lb of copper

Mintage: Estimated to be around 1,150,784 pieces

Shipped from Soho: September 1791

1791 October

 

Cornish Halfpenny, dated 1791

Struck For: John Vivian/Cornish Metal Company

Designer: Dumarest                    Engraver: Dumarest

Weight: Approximately 1 ton struck. Approx 32 coins per 1lb of copper

Mintage: Estimated to be around 76,070 pieces

Shipped from Soho: October 1791

1791 October

 

Glasgow Halfpenny, dated MDCCXCI (1791)

Struck For: Gilbert Shearer & Company, Glasgow

Designer: Dumarest                    Engraver: Dumarest

Weight: Approx 36 coins per 1lb of copper

Mintage: Estimated to be around 82,148 pieces

Shipped from Soho: October 1791 - the first shipment of these tokens.

1791 October

 

Southampton Halfpenny, dated 1791

Struck For: Taylor, Moody & Company, Southampton

Designer:                                  Engraver: Dumarest

Weight: Approx 40 coins per 1lb of copper

Mintage: Estimated to be around 160,000 pieces

Shipped from Soho: October 1791 after having been cleaned at Soho. See above

1792 February

 

Glasgow Halfpenny, dated MDCCXCI (1791)

Struck For: Gilbert Shearer & Company, Glasgow

Designer: Dumarest                    Engraver: Dumarest

Weight: Approx 36 coins per 1lb of copper

Mintage: Estimated to be around 401,693 pieces

Shipped from Soho: February 1792 - a second shipment of the 1791 tokens

1792 July

 

Anglesey ‘Druid’ Penny, dated 1791

Struck For: Thomas Williams/Parys Mine Company, Anglesey

Designer:  Hancock                     Engraver:

Weight: 2,128lbs struck. Approx 16 coins per 1lb of copper

Mintage: Estimated to be around  34,320 pieces

Shipped from Soho: July 1792 - the last of the ‘Druid’ tokens

1792 August

 

Wilkinson Halfpenny, dated 1792

Struck For: John Wilkinson, Iron Master

Designer: Hancock                      Engraver: Dumarest

Weight: 2,354lbs 9oz struck. Approx 40 coins per 1lb of copper

Mintage: Estimated to be around 94,183 pieces

Shipped from Soho: August 1792

1792 August

 

Southampton Halfpenny, dated 1791

Struck For: Taylor, Moody & Company, Southampton

Designer:                                  Engraver: Dumarest

Weight: Approx 40 coins per 1lb of copper

Mintage: Estimated to be around 26,255 pieces

Shipped from Soho: August 1792 - a second tranche of the 1791 tokens

1793 March

 

Leeds Halfpenny, dated 1793

Struck For: Henry Brownbill/Samuel Birchall, Leeds

Designer: Ponthon                      Engraver: Ponthon

Weight: Approx 40 coins per 1lb of copper

Mintage: Estimated to be around 172,233 pieces

Shipped from Soho: March 1793 - first tranche - mintage includes the second tranche

1793 December

 

Inverness Halfpenny, dated 1793

Struck For: Macintosh, Inglis & Wilson, Inverness

Designer: Küchler                        Engraver:  Küchler

Weight: Approx 42 coins per 1lb of copper

Mintage: Estimated to be around 122,577 pieces

Shipped from Soho: December 1793

1793 December

 

Wilkinson Halfpenny, dated 1793

Struck For: John Wilkinson, Iron Master

Designer: Hancock                      Engraver: Dumarest

Weight: Approx 40 coins per 1lb of copper

Mintage: Estimated to be around 92,553 pieces

Shipped from Soho: December 1793

1794 August

 

Lancashire Halfpenny, dated 1794

Struck For: Daniel Eccleston, Lancaster

Designer: Ponthon                      Engraver: Ponthon

Weight: Approx 48 coins per 1lb of copper

Mintage: Estimated to be around 109,247 pieces

Shipped from Soho: August 1794

1794 November

 

Inverness Halfpenny, dated 1794

Struck For: Macintosh, Inglis & Wilson, Inverness

Designer: Küchler                        Engraver:  Küchler

Weight: Approx 42 coins per 1lb of copper

Mintage: Estimated to be around 96,668 pieces

Shipped from Soho: November 1794 - the second year of issue

1795

 

Swainson’s Halfpenny, undated

Struck For: Isaac Swainson, Frith Street, London

Designer: Ponthon                      Engraver:  Ponthon

Weight: Unknown

Mintage: Estimated to be around 12 patterns only

Shipped from Soho: Unknown

1795 January

 

Ibberson’s Halfpenny, undated

Struck For: Christopher Ibberson, The George & Blue Boar, Holborn, London

Designer: Ponthon                      Engraver:  Ponthon

Weight: Approx 48 coins per 1lb of copper

Mintage: Patterns only, scarce but not rare

Shipped from Soho: January 1795

1795 March

 

Wilkinson Halfpenny, dated 1795

Struck For: John Wilkinson, Iron Master

Designer: Hancock                      Engraver: Dumarest

Weight: Approx 40 coins per 1lb of copper

Mintage: Estimated to be around 86,448 pieces

Shipped from Soho: March 1795 - the last of the Wilkinson tokens

1795 October

 

Inverness Halfpenny, dated 1795

Struck For: Macintosh, Inglis & Wilson, Inverness

Designer: Küchler                        Engraver:  Küchler

Weight: Approx 46 coins per 1lb of copper

Mintage: Estimated to be around 79,316 pieces

Shipped from Soho: October 1795 - the third year of issue

1795 October

 

Hornchurch Halfpenny, undated

Struck For: George Cotton, Romford, Essex

Designer:                                   Engraver:

Weight: Approx 48 coins per 1lb of copper

Mintage: Estimated to be around 10,565 pieces

Shipped from Soho: October 1795

1795 December

 

Dundee Halfpenny, undated

Struck For: William Croom, Dundee

Designer:                                   Engraver:

Weight: Approx 46 coins per 1lb of copper

Mintage: Estimated to be around 53,499 for two consignments

Shipped from Soho: December 1795 - the first shipment

1796

 

Upper Canada Halfpenny, undated

Struck For: Gov. John Graves Simcoe, Upper Canada

Designer: Ponthon                      Engraver:  Ponthon

Weight: Unknown

Mintage: Estimated to be around 10 original and 50 restrikes only

Shipped from Soho: Unknown

1796 February

 

Dundee Halfpenny, undated

Struck For: William Croom, Dundee

Designer:                                   Engraver:

Weight: Approx 46 coins per 1lb of copper

Mintage: Estimated to be around 53,499 for two consignments

Shipped from Soho: February 1796 - the second shipment

1796 February

 

Inverness Halfpenny, dated 1796

Struck For: Macintosh, Inglis & Wilson, Inverness

Designer: Küchler                        Engraver:  Küchler

Weight: Approx 46 coins per 1lb of copper

Mintage: Estimated to be around 85,524 pieces

Shipped from Soho: February 1796 - the fourth and final year of issue

1796 June

 

Stort Navigation Halfpenny, dated 1795

Struck For: Sir George Jackson, Bt. Bishops Stortford

Designer: Küchler                        Engraver:  Küchler

Weight: 562lbs struck. Approx 44 coins per 1lb of copper

Mintage: Estimated to be around 24,728 pieces

Shipped from Soho: June 1796 - Boulton’s favourite token!

1796 August

 

Penryn Halfpenny, apparently dated 1794

Struck For: George George

Designer: Küchler                        Engraver:  Küchler

Weight: Approx 40 coins per 1lb of copper

Mintage: Estimated to be around 19,092 pieces

Shipped from Soho: August 1796

1796

 

Myddelton’s Halfpenny, dated 1796

Struck For: Philip Parry Price Myddelton

Designer: Küchler                       Engraver: Küchler

Weight: Unknown

Mintage: Estimated to be around 10-20 original patterns only

Shipped from Soho: Unknown

1801

 

Enniscorthy Halfpenny, apparently dated 1800

Struck For: Robert Woodcock, Enniscorthy, Ireland

Designer:                                   Engraver:

Weight: Approx 58 coins per 1lb of copper

Mintage: Estimated to be around 655,304 pieces

Shipped from Soho: 1801

1802

 

Arnold Works, sixpence, shilling, halfcrown, crown, undated

Struck For: Davison & Hawksley, Arnold, Nottinghamshire

Designer:                                   Engraver:

Weight:

Mintage: Patterns only, of which the sixpence is least rare, followed by the shilling

Shipped from Soho: 1802 - this is based solely upon the date of a bill in Soho archives

1803 February

 

Tullamore, thirteen pence (Irish), dated 1802

Struck For: Viscount Charleville, Tullamore

Designer: Hancock                      Engraver: Hancock

Weight:

Mintage: A first tranche of 4,100 was struck - see also below

Shipped from Soho: February 1803 - Hancock’s last token

1804 July

 

Tullamore, thirteen pence (Irish), dated 1802

Struck For: Viscount Charleville, Tullamore

Designer: Hancock                      Engraver: Hancock

Weight:

Mintage: A second tranche of 6,051 was struck - see also above

Shipped from Soho: July 1804

1793 May

 

Leeds Halfpenny, dated 1793

Struck For: Henry Brownbill/Samuel Birchall, Leeds

Designer: Ponthon                      Engraver: Ponthon

Weight: Approx 40 coins per 1lb of copper

Mintage: Estimated to be around 172,233 pieces

Shipped from Soho: May 1793 - second tranche of the mintage listed above

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1789

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1801