Posts Tagged ‘penny’

A penny from the rec

July 16, 2015

Today we look at a penny which is getting on for 200 years old. It was found by metal detectorist Norman on the old recreation ground in Market Lavington.

Reverse of 1823 penny found on the old Recreation Ground in Market Lavington

Reverse of 1823 penny found on the old Recreation Ground in Market Lavington

As we can see this is an 1823 penny and in remarkably good order.

King George III was on the throne at the time

King George III was on the throne at the time

The king at that time was George III. He had a long reign of almost 60 years but by the time this coin was minted he was old and suffering from the mental illness that made people deem him insane. His son had been the effective monarch for years as the prince Regent.

Now the finding of an 1823 coin doesn’t mean the coin was lost in 1823. Our curator recalls that in his 1950s childhood pennies were still in circulation with Queen Victoria’s old head on them. They dated from the 1890s so they were more than 50 years old. But he also recalls that these old pennies were very worn, with writing and images almost worn away. With the condition of this coin, it suggests it wasn’t all that old when it was lost. As this is one amongst quite a goodly collection of coins from before Victoria’s reign it does suggest that the old rec was in use for more than just agriculture at least back into the mid-19th century.

For those who like these things, somebody who earned that penny back in 1823 would today earn more than £5 for the same work. It wasn’t lost lightly.

 

A Penny for your Thoughts

July 26, 2014

It isn’t only metal detectorists who turn up old coins. So, too, do gardeners and here we have such a find. It isn’t Roman nor even medieval, but it is more than 100 years old. It’s a good old penny coin.

Old penny found at Beech House in Market Lavington

Old penny found at Beech House in Market Lavington

It features the head of King George V who reigned in the United Kingdom from 1910 to 1936. This coin dates from the early years of his time as King as we can see on the reverse side.

The coin's reverse side.

The coin’s reverse side.

It is dated for 1913.

This penny was found in the garden of Beech House on White Street in Market Lavington in 2014.

If the coin had been lost when it was new, then it would have been a member of the Viner Johnson family who lost it. But coins like this had a life of fifty years or more. From the 1930s, Beech House was the home of James Welch and family and in the 1960s Tom and Peggy Gye moved in. The coin could have been lost by any of them or of course by any house visitor.

Incidentally to purchase what that penny bought in 1913, you’d need about 36p today. And remember the old pennies needed 240 to make a pound which means about 90 fold inflation over the 101 years. But we are all much better off now and in income terms that penny is now about £1.37.