17th century copper halfpenny token
Issued at Winchester in 1669
Such tokens were issued by tradesmen and town corporations to ease the dire shortage of small change that existed up to 1672. This example was issued by the Winchester Corporation and bears the inscription, in five lines, A WINCHESTER HALF PENNY 1669. The reverse shows the arms of the city surmounted by the initials CW (City of Winchester). Interestingly it was found inside the late 16th century oak chest, now on display in the Westgate, by museum staff in 1973. The chest had originally been the corporation's coffer and during the 17th century had been located in the city's Guildhall.