Author Topic: Birmingham pub token  (Read 92 times)

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Offline brandm24

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Birmingham pub token
« on: October 03, 2020, 03:00:43 PM »
This is an interesting pub token because of the name and small diamond-shaped symbol counterstamped on it.

George Rotton was the landlord of the Stag's Head Tavern on Summer Lane in Birmingham from 1861 until 1869. In that year, according to information found on the British Museum website, he "gave up lincence 1-4-1869 and went to the Lamp Tavern Cannon St."  It would account for his name being stamped on this Lamp pub token.

Checking Birmingham directories from 1849 and 1850 (the only ones available to me) I found the propreitor of the Lamp Tavern in those years was Joseph Stinton. The address was 33 Cannon. George Rotton wasn't listed anywhere in the directories. Whether he took over the proprietorship from Stinton in 1869 is unknown to me. In any case, Rotton was connected with the Lamp until at least 1875 and probably later. If someone could flesh out the history more I'd appreciate it.

Another interesting thing is the small diamond-shaped counterstamp on the reverse. It obviously has a small symbol of some sort within the diamond but I can't make it out. Does anyone see anything that I'm not?

Apparently, Rotton stamped his name on tokens he "inherited" from the former proprietor, who ever that was. I didn't come across any other examples of tokens from either pub to make a comparison.

Bruce
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Offline FosseWay

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Re: Birmingham pub token
« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2020, 05:59:31 PM »
I've found George Rotton in the 1861 and 1871 censuses, where the information matches what you've found.

1861: Vine Inn, 33 St George Street
George age 42, retail brewer and gun finisher
Sophia age 40, his wife
6 sons: George 18, Henry 16, James 10, Hammond 8, Thomas 6, Walter 7 months. The eldest two are also gun finishers.
All born in Birmingham.

1871: Lamp Tavern, 33 Cannon Street
George age 52, licensed victualler [= publican]
Sophia 50
son George 28, licensed victualler's assistant
son Hammond 17, jeweller
son Arthur 2
daughter-in-law Julia 27
granddaughter Nellie 3

A later rate book confirms that Julia is the wife of George Jr and not one of the other brothers. The "son" Arthur aged 2 seems unlikely (Sophia would have been 48). I suspect he is probably George Jr's and Julia's son but the enumerator got their wires crossed.

I also found George Sr's baptism record; he was born 10 Dec 1818 and baptised 8 Mar 1819 at St Philip's church, Birmingham, son of William and Amelia of Lichfield Street. William is a mathematical instrument maker.

I can't find when he married Sophia, but they are living together in 1841 on York Street, and he is a gun finisher.

I found a directory (which you may already be aware of) - 1858 Dix's Directory, where George is a retail brewer at 33 St George's Street.

He died on 5 Nov 1876 at Cannon Street and his will was proved 23 Mar 1877 at under £3,000.

Offline brandm24

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Re: Birmingham pub token
« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2020, 08:50:37 PM »
Many thanks, FosseWay, I can always count on you to come up with good information.

I don't recall where I saw the 1875 date that confirmed he was still proprietor of the Lamp Tavern. That would be the end of his ownership as he died in 1876 according to your research. Any thoughts on the small punch on the reverse? At first I thought the small figure inside the depressed diamond might be a stag and thus a connection to the Stag's Head, but after examining it closely I see that it isn't.

Bruce
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Offline FosseWay

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Re: Birmingham pub token
« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2020, 09:34:26 PM »
No, I'm afraid I'm none the wiser on the stamp. It might even have been there before George put his name on the other side.

Offline brandm24

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Re: Birmingham pub token
« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2020, 11:05:19 AM »
The stamp is so small that I first thought it was a small hole, then realized it was actually a counterstamp. It's the size you might expect to see as a silversmith's back stamp, so maybe it was added by someone else like you say.

Bruce
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Offline FosseWay

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Re: Birmingham pub token
« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2020, 11:18:52 AM »
George's son Hammond was listed as a jeweller in 1871 (presumably an apprentice given he was 17). Could be that's where the jeweller's/silversmith's stamp came from... Pure speculation, of course!

Offline brandm24

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Re: Birmingham pub token
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2020, 11:27:01 AM »
Now that's a real possibility. Thanks for the info.

Bruce
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