Sunday, 3 June 2012

Roman, Hearth tax and a ferrule


Yesterday evening we took Bea to Jackie's and admired her yellow roses before heading to Tom and Jill's for dinner. We were given a tour of their lovely garden, which Bea especially wanted to see being a keen gardener. 
Bea's photo of Jill's poppies
This morning I joined members of my detecting club and was rewarded with two finds. The first is a mid 17thC token from Steyning, which is in the same area of West Sussex where I made the find.  It is a 1/4d token issued by John Groomes. The following information is from the 2009 book “The Tokens, Metallic Tickets, Checks and Passes of West Sussex, 1650-1950" by Ron Kerridge MA and Rob de Ruiter LRPS. Ron gave a very interesting talk to our club shortly after publication and I with him when I found a flint scraper which he verified as he is an expert in that area too.
The parish register of Preston (Brighton) contains the following marriage entry:  ‘1656, June 19th John Groomes of Steyning and Elizabeth Whittington of Beeding had ye purpose of marriage published 3 several market days, viz., ye 21 and 28 May and ye 4 of June, in ye market of Stenning, and no exepts. made ag. It.  And they were married here ye 19th June, Ano. 1656’.
The initial IEG on the token are for John and Elizabeth Groomes (The G is over the IE). John Groomes of Steyning, tallow chandler, purchased a property from Richard Washer in 1641.  The Hearth Tax Returns of 1664/5 record him for five hearths  (at one shilling each), which were collected twice yearly  at Michaelmas (29 September) and Lady Day (25 March), starting at Michaelmas 1662. The Hearth Tax lasted until 1689.
The coin is 16.0mm diameter and weighs 1.13g.
Side one has IN.STENING.CHANDLER round the outside and G IE in the middle.
Side two has IOHN.GROOMES.IN with a stick of five candles in the middle.
It is assumed the token was produced during the period 1656 – 1669 when Elizabeth died.

My other find is a copper alloy object which looks like a ferrule which has been squashed flat: 26mm long, 18.2mm wide, 2.74g.
Appropriately there were many Roman Snails wandering around the field:
Roman Snail, Helix pomatia

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