Pitt & Fox (Halfpenny token) - 1795

Side 2: HONOUR
Under the hand: JAMES
Dalton & Hamer 804c (Middlesex, Spence's)
Mm. 29 - Copper
Plain edge

Thomas Spence (1750-1814) was a Radical democrat and advocate of the common ownership of land. He was born in Newcastle-on-Tyne , England and was the son of a Scottish net and shoe maker. Later Spence left Newcastle for London where he opened a shop just off Chancery Lane in Holborn. He also hit on the idea of producing coins featuring expressions of these sentiments which circulated and thus spread far and wide his radical ideas and proposals. Such a point of view was not received very well by the authorities - especially when Britain was fighting Republican France and such activity could be taken as sedition and treason.
Spence went to prison in 1794 for high treason and served several months. On coming out he really became a coin-dealer - selling tokens to collectors and once again got into trouble for his political pieces. He was particularly enamoured with Thomas Paine and the egalitarian principles that Paine proposed in his 'Rights of Man' in the new United States of America. In 1799 he was arrested for seditious libel and went to gaol for a year and on being released continued with his radical propaganda in th form of pamphlets.

On this token we see Charles Fox, the leader of the Opposition very gleeful which is a result of the situation of  William Pitt the Prime Minister who is unhappy at his unpopularity and inability to control 'sedition and revolt' - or as Spence would have it  'liberalism and republicanism'.
The heart in hand is a salute to Fox who honourably, 'devoted his heart and his hand to the Liberal cause'.

Dalton & Hamer 804c - Middlesex, Spence's

O: The heads of Pitt and Fox conjoined. ODD . FELLOWS. QUIS RIDES.
R: Heart in hand. As No. 682.
A. 627b
E: Plain. This latter is sometimes found on very small flans.