A token monument

Started by Figleaf, April 11, 2010, 02:15:42 AM

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Rare coin returns to Chipping
Saturday 10th April 2010

A COIN created for Chipping's most famous resident has returned to the village after 340 years.

The trade token, which is believed to be unique, bears the name of John Brabin, a wealthy cloth merchant who helped build parts of the Ribble Valley village.

It was bought at a postal auction by a consortium of local people and bears the inscription 'John Brabin of Chipping in Lancashire 1668 His Halfpenny'.

It is now on show at Brabin's Shop and Gallery in Talbot Street in the village.

Private tokens were minted by shopkeepers because there was a shortage of small coins at the time. The practice was stopped in 1672.

The shop is owned by the Brabin's Trust, which was set up by money left in Brabin's will to support education and help the poor of Chipping and neighbouring Thornley and Bowland-with-Leagram.

Paul Hunt, who has run the shop with his wife, Laura, for more than four years, said the token was part of a collection built up by an enthusiast who died recently.

He said: "It is a tangible link to the past of the village and we believe that it is the only one in existence.

"We are very pleased that we have managed to bring it back to the village and there were many people, particularly the local history society, who helped to raise the funds.

"It was probably used in these premises 340 years ago and it seemed like the right thing to do to bring it back."

It is planned for the coin to be on permanent display at the shop together with other information about Brabin.

The Chipping History Society have also been collecting items about his life.

These include his will, which was on recent display, detailing everything he left from money and gold to wheels of a cart, a family tree and letters.

John Brabin came to Chipping, it is believed from London, in 1668 to set up a clothing trading shop and dye-house.

On his death in 1683 he left his fortune to the village and both the former school, now a private house, and alms houses on Longridge Road were built with money from his will.

History panel.

• John Brabin, born in London in 1640, was a dyer and wealthy cloth merchant who moved to Chipping in the mid 1660s. He had relatives in Bleasdale, Preston, the Fylde, Lunesdale and York. Some of his relatives were also merchants and involved in foreign trade.

• He built a shop, and an adjacent house, in Talbot Street, Chipping and the shop was completed in 1668, and a date plaque was included above the doorway of the house.

• Brabin died in 1683, bequeathing to trustees properties called Goose Lanc House and Waller tenement to build a school for the poor children of Chipping, Thornley and Leagram, and almshouses which subsequently housed impoverished women.

• During a period of a quarter of a century – from the execution of Charles I, through the Commonwealth and into the period of the restoration of Charles II – privately minted tokens were used by shopkeepers because there was a shortage of small value coins. This practice was stopped in 1672.

• This is the only one of John Brabin's tokens known to exist. The token was purchased from a private collection, for an undisclosed sum, via a London auction house.

Source: Lancashire Telegraph
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.