A Solley Trading Token
by Bill Solley
This article was originally published in the December 2002 edition of Soul Search, the journal of The Sole Society
Reprinted with the kind permission of Lynne Burlingham, daughter of Bill Solley deceased
Left: The inscription reads "JOHN SOLLEY IN" Right: The inscription continues: "WINCHAM IN KENT". The initials I.S.P. in the centre are the initials of John Solley and the initial of his wife's Christian name.
During the seventeenth century a shortage of small coinage led to the issue of brass tokens by traders, local government and others. They represented a pledge, to be redeemed either in goods or in coins of the realm. The work token is of Anglo-Saxon origin, the work then being 'tacon', the term for a sign or symbol.
This surviving token was passed on to me by my grandmother and I have been trying to check records of the Solley family living in Wingham to see if any of them matched the details on the token. So far I have been unable to establish a link.
The Red Lion Inn at Wingham is reputed to date from the thirteenth century and it is possible that the token originated here. The present brewers' records do not go back far enough to confirm the name of the owner when this coin was in use. My search continues.
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