The Tun in Aldersgate Street


A farthing token issued in the name of the Tun in Aldersgate Street

A farthing token issued in the name of the Tun in Aldersgate Street

The above copper farthing measures 15.6 mm and weighs 0.92 grams. It was possibly issued by the landlord of a Tun Inn or Tavern in Aldersgate Street, London.

Obverse: (star) AT.THE.TVNN.IN , around depiction of a barrel (or tun) on its side.

Reverse: (star) ALDERSGATE. STREET , around a triad comprising T | .A. | .E

ldersgate Street (c.1720)

Aldersgate Street (c.1720)

Aldersgate Street ran north from the Aldersgate in the city wall through the Ward of Aldersgate Without.

Based on the style of this farthing token it is likely to date to the 1650s. With only the triad of the token issuers’ initials to work on (i.e. Mr. T.A. and Mrs. E.A.) it is very difficult to attribute it to named individuals. Trading under the sign of the tun (i.e. barrel) it is very likely that the token’s issuers were inn or tavern keepers as the symbol of the “tun” is synonymous with that of vituallers of the time. A review of Hearth Tax returns for Aldersgate Street in 1666 indicates only one male individual with initials that fit those on the token. These belong to a Thomas Apsley who is recorded as a single man occupying a property having 2 hearths.  If this is the same person as the Mr. T.A. mentioned in the token (of which there is only a possibility) it has to be assumed that by  1666 Thomas Apsley had become a widower and was no-longer a publican as such a small number of hearths is not typical for a tavern or inn.

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Filed under Tokens from North of the City Walls

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