Featured Lady Godiva Conder Token

Discussion in 'World Coins' started by Roman Collector, Aug 6, 2020.

  1. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    Seventeen a beauty queen
    She made a ride that caused a scene
    In the town

    Her long blonde hair
    Hangin' down around her knees
    All the cats who dig striptease
    Prayin' for a little breeze
    Her long blonde hair
    Falling down across her arms
    Hiding all the lady's charms
    Lady Godiva

    Peter and Gordon’s 1966 single celebrates the world’s most famous tax protest, the 11th century ride of Lady Godiva, wife of Leofric, Earl of Mercia in Anglo-Saxon England. While Godiva was very much a real historical figure, modern historians view her fabled unclothed ride through town as implausible.[1]

    The story of the lady’s naked ride was first recorded in Roger of Wendover’s 13th century book Flores Historiarum. The fable has been embellished over the centuries by such figures as the chroniclers in the Benedictine abbey of St. Albans, Daniel Defoe, and Alfred, Lord Tennyson,[2] but its plot is simple:

    Earl Leofric, who was the Lord of Coventry, England, was subjecting the town to high taxes at great cost to its citizens. His wife importuned him to lower taxes to relieve his citizens. Not wanting to reduce his income, he refused her appeals over and over, until one day he gave in, saying he’ll cut taxes if she rides naked on her white horse through the town at midday. Lady Godiva took him up on the challenge and (somewhat covered by her long hair) rode through the town while the citizens of Coventry all, by agreement, stayed indoors and averted their eyes. According to the legend, all but one did -- Tom the tailor, who was then struck blind, becoming infamous as "Peeping Tom."[4]

    Lady Godiva appears on privately minted halfpenny tokens issued 1792-1794 during Great Britain's Conder token craze. At the time, small change was in short supply and private mints struck hundreds of trade tokens, often with imaginative designs, to meet the need. The legend PRO BONO PUBLICO appears on many Conder tokens, meaning that they were struck for the public good.

    Lady Godiva Half Penny Conder token.jpg

    This halfpenny token, designed by William Mainwaring and struck by William Lutwyche,[5] shows the nude equestrian on its obverse along with the date and the legend PRO BONO PUBLICO. The reverses of these tokens come in two varieties: an elephant with a castle turret in place of a saddle (the symbol of Coventry) or a church steeple with the Coventry Cross atop.[6] Each type bears the legend COVENTRY HALFPENNY. The edge reads: PAYABLE AT THE WAREHOUSE OF ROBERT REYNOLDS & CO.

    The need for such unofficial coinage ended in 1797 when Great Britain started striking copper half pennies and pennies.

    The token series takes its name from James Conder (1761–1823) who cataloged the pieces in his 1798 book, An arrangement of Provincial Coins, tokens, and medalets issued in Great Britain, Ireland, and the colonies, within the last twenty years, from the farthing to the penny size.

    Post your Conder tokens or anything you feel is relevant!


    1. Coe, Charles. "Lady Godiva: The Naked Truth." Harvard Magazine, 2003. https://harvardmagazine.com/2003/07/lady-godiva-the-naked-tr.html

    2. Green, Ben G. "The Coventry Half Penny Token." The Numismatist, Mar. 1904, pp. 77–79. https://archive.org/details/TheNumismatist1904Vol17/page/n91/mode/2up

    3. Coe, op cit.

    4. Pollak, Henry. Coinage & Conflict. Coin & Currency Institute, 2001, p. 15. See also Charles Coe and Ben G. Green, cited above. The Peeping Tom character, the tailor who was struck blind for looking, was added to the story no earlier than the 17th century; see Marina Warner. "When Godiva streaked and Tom peeped," The Times, 10 July 1982

    5. Tebben, Gerald. "Lady Godiva's Tax Protest." Coin World, 8 Apr. 2015, www.coinworld.com/voices/gerald-tebben/lady_godiva_s_taxpr.html.

    6. Green, op cit. For an illustration of the latter reverse type, see: https://coins.ha.com/itm/medals-and...xf45-technically-a-conder-token-/a/288-8310.s
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2020
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  3. The Eidolon

    The Eidolon Well-Known Member

    Here's my 1793 one. Thanks for sharing the info! Lady Godiva Halfpenny 1793.jpeg
  4. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Numismatic jack of all trades & specialist in none Moderator

    Here's my Chichester Conder, which was a relatively recent purchase.

    They could be habit-forming, if one isn't careful.

    Great Britain (Chichester, Sussex): copper Conder token ("Chichester Halfpenny"), 1794
    [​IMG]PCGS MS63 BN; population 4 with 4 higher as of August 2020.

    Last edited: Aug 7, 2020
  5. Roman Collector

    Roman Collector Supporter! Supporter

    You're welcome!

    That's gorgeous!
    lordmarcovan likes this.
  6. Chris B

    Chris B Supporter! Supporter

    Here is my Godiva

    and one of my Favorites 1797 Hampshire
    thejewk, capthank and Roman Collector like this.
  7. Cachecoins

    Cachecoins Historia Moneta

    Big fan of these. I should say that some time ago I found that Wikipedia did not have a page for these and James Conder so I started both. Since then my tokens have been replaced by others as people came and added info and judged mine not to be the best example to show but this was the first Conder token on Wikipedia. :)

  8. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Numismatic jack of all trades & specialist in none Moderator

    Chris B likes this.
  9. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Numismatic jack of all trades & specialist in none Moderator

    Brilliant! Kudos to you for laying the foundation.
  10. Larry49

    Larry49 Member

    York 1795a.jpg York 1795b.jpg

    As described on p. 284 of James Conder’s original list (1798):

    Yorkshire (halfpenny size)
    29. O. A West View of York Cathedral. Ex. “York, 1795.”
    R. View of a Castle and Drawbridge, “Clifford’s Tower, A.D. 1100.”
    E. “York Built A.M. 1223, Cathedral rebuilt A.D. 1075.”

    May I also recommend a stunning volume by Jon D. Lusk, British and Irish Tradesmen and their Copper Tokens of 1787-1804 (Ypsilanti Michigan, 2014) – even though it does not include my York token.

    York Castle, a fortified complex and an important royal fortification in the north of England built originally on the orders of the Norman King William I to dominate the former Viking city of York; after a major explosion in 1684 rendered the remaining military defences uninhabitable, York Castle continued to be used as a jail and prison until 1929; by the late 20th century the ruin of Clifford's Tower had become a well-known tourist destination and national monument; today the site is owned by English Heritage and open to the public. https://en.numista.com/catalogue/pieces108349.html

    Clifford’s Tower is what remains of the Castle of York. The original was built by William the Conqueror. Highlights and lowlights in its history are noted in the online guide: https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/cliffords-tower-york/

    In Jewish history, the castle is known as the place where the Jews of York took refuge in March, 1190 when attacked by a mob at the time of the Third Crusade (Richard the Lion-Heart). Without any means of escape, most took their own lives. The massacre is commemorated in a 1961 poem by the late British poet Jon Silkin:

    …Absence of Jews
    Through hatred, or indifference,
    A gap they slip through, a conscience
    That corrodes more deeply since it is
    Forgotten – this deadens York.

    All Europe is touched
    With some of frigid York,
    As York is now by Europe.
  11. HoledandCreative

    HoledandCreative Well-Known Member

    Someone else had to be watching in order to catch Tom, the tailor.
    Roman Collector likes this.
  12. Cachecoins

    Cachecoins Historia Moneta

    I was sad they removed my coin though :(
  13. yarm

    yarm Junior Member Supporter

    A buff version of Lady Godiva on horseback appeared on a medal by Ottley awarded to artist Henry Bright in 1867.

    image03562 24 (1).jpg
  14. Black Friar

    Black Friar Well-Known Member

    I just happen to have one handy, one of my personal favs. D&H, Dorsetshire 95 Dorsets95Sherbx copy.jpg
  15. Black Friar

    Black Friar Well-Known Member

    Can't find my Godiva pics, so here is another I think you all might enjoy. A fun Spence farthing. Middlesex890.jpg
  16. coin_nut

    coin_nut Well-Known Member

    1790 half penny token, does this count as a Conder token? 1790 GB 1-2 p token obv.JPG 1790 GB 1-2 p token rev.JPG
  17. Chris B

    Chris B Supporter! Supporter

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