Arms found on Merchant Tokens, 1644-1673

This page describes the coats of arms found on merchant tokens issued in England between 1644 and 1673.

At the time, a scarcity of small change and the absence of any contrary regulation led many merchants to issue their own coins, for values ranging from a farthing to a penny. These were made of copper and were redeemable on demand, when presented in sufficient quantity, by the issuer whose name was on the token. This phenomenon was widespread. Over 12,700 different tokens from 1,700 different English towns have been catalogued. it was ended when the royal government asserted a monopoly on the coinage of small denominations and proceeded to issue its own pennies and half-pennies.

R. H. Thompson has been cataloguing the tokens of the Norweb collection. So far, 5 volumes have appeared in the Sylloge of Coins of the British Isles published in London by Spink (vols. 31, 38, 43, 44, 46). These volumes cover all English counties except London and Middlsex, which will appear in later volumes, as will Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and the Isle of Man. The catalogue is completely illustrated and each token precisely described. Moreover, there is an index of types, so that armorial tokens can be very easily found.

Armorial tokens, about a hundred, are few in comparison with the thousands of tokens issued over all They represent only 2% of the tokens catalogued by Thompson. Almost all tokens bear the name of the issuer in the legend of the token; the center of the coin is filled with initials, depictions or arms of towns or corporations. I have only listed the tokens where the field represents a shield with heraldic charges, and I have excluded arms of corporations and towns (many towns issued their own tokens; members of various corporations such as the brewers or grocers used those arms on their tokens).

What is interesting is that few of these arms can be identified from visitation records or grants. (I trust Thompson's extraordinary diligence on the matter). Most can be from Burke's General Armory, Papworth's Ordinary or local works (Joan Corder's Arms of Suffolk, 1965), but we do often not know the authority for the arms. There is one instance of arms that are known to have been later disclaimed. There is an interesting example of a Flemish family settled in England, continuing to use its merchant mark on a shield with an English-style crest; the family later adopted or was granted heraldic arms.

The following table presents the information. The first column gives the description of the arms as made by Thompson; the second gives the identifying legend on the token in quotation marks, as well as additional biographical information found by researchers between brackets. The third column gives the place of origin of the token (town and county). The fourth, when applicable, gives the reference for the identification of the arms. The last column gives the reference to Thompson's catalogue (volume number in lowercase Roman numerals and token number).

on a bend raguly three bezants "Philip Eldred apothicary 1659" Wallingford, Berskhire (Eldred of Norfolk, Suffolk, London; Burke 320) i209
lion rampant between 3 fleurs-de-lis "Jo. Goodwin draper" Wallingford, Berskhire (Goodwyn, Buckinghamshire Burke 410) i211
two chevrons, on the upper one a crescent for diff "Ann Hall 1652" Wallingford, Berskhire i212
Argent a bend between two cotises engrailed sable "John Whitfield mearcer" Wantage, Berks (Whitfield Burke 1104) i236
Chevron between three mullets "Moses Bruch apothecary 1666" New Windsor, Berks. (Bruch near Warriongton, Lancas Burke 137) i248
Chevron surmounted by another between three trefoils slipped "Anthony Speer" Wokingham, Berks. (Speer Burke 953) i278
On a fess three crosses patonce, on a canton 5 fleurs-de-lis "Edward Winch 1666" Wycombe, Buckinghams. (Winch Burke 1123) i363
On a chevron bet. 3 leopards' heads as many trefoils slipped "John Frohock 1670" Cambridge, Camb. (Frohock Burke 380) i389
Per chevron, in chief 2 mullets, in base a heathcock "Joseph Heath 1666" Cambridge, Camb. (Heath, Co Durham Burke 474) i392
sable a cross engrailed or, in the first quarter a mullet argent all within a bordure ermine; crest, a griffin sejeant "Sandis Peyton" Cambridge, Camb. grant of arms 1641 i403
lion rampant within bordure, C: a demi-goat "Francis Russell 1663" Cambridge, Camb. (Russell, Norfolk) i409
Two bends engrailed, the lower one couped at the top, in chief an escallop "William Wagstafe mercer" Isle of Ely, Camb. (Wagstaffe, Warwick Burke 1062) i453-4
Three fishes haurient a crescent for diff, impaling a two-headed eagle displayed, within a bordure "John Salmon 1667" [arms disclaimed in 1668 before Dugdale] i510
Fretty and chief "Robert Radford 1668" Chester, Cheshire (Radford, of Irby Burke 835) i514
Chevron embattled between three spearheads "Elizabeth Price 1666" Nantwich, Cheshire (Pap 449) i521
on a bend three pierced mullets, a crescent for diff; C: demi-unicorn rampant "Richard Manaton 1664" Bodmin, Cornwall (Manaton, Cornwall) i528
Argent three wyverns passant in pale sable within a bordure engrailed sable bezanty "Thomas Will" Bodmin, Cornwall (Wills, of Wivelscombe and Saltash Burke 1118) i529
Three boar's heads erased, [also] On a bend three trefoils "Richard Lobb 1655" Falmouth, Cornwall i532
Three butterflies volant "John Penhelick 1666" Helston, Cornwall (Penhellicke, Cornwall Burke789) i540
Three gards "James Kempe 1668" Penryn, Cornwall (Kemp, of Crugsillick and Truro; C. S. Gilbert 2:171) i557
Two bars, in chief a chevron impaling: on a bend engrailed three fleurs-de-lis "Thomas Spry 1667" Penryn, Cornwall (Spry, Cornwall Burke 956 impaling Melhuish C. S. Gilbert ) i559
eagle displayed double-headed "Thomas Worth 1665" Penryn, Cornwall (Worth, Cornwall Burke 1136) i560
three lions rampant guardant "John Blunt 1665" Penzance, Cornwall i562
Three cocks "Anthony Cocke 1666" Redruth, Cornwall i564
Per fess, a pale, three trefoils slipped "Nathaniel Symons 1657" Barnstaple, Devon (Symons, Devonsh Burke 993) i621
six-pointed figure formed of two triangles "Josias Elliot" Bideford, Devon i626
a bend between six crosses crosslets "William Furneaux 1670" Newton Abbott, Devon (Pap 213) i737
vair, chief, over all on a bend three mullets John Shebbeare 1667" Okehampton, Devon (Shebbeare, Devon Burke 918) i745
chevron between three pears "John Cooke" Plymouth, Devon i758
chevron between three trefoils "Edward Harvey 1657" Corfe Castle, Dorset ii877
6 crosslets or trefoils 3, 2, 1 "Christopher Ware" Shaftesbury, Dorset ii963
ram's head "John Stuckie glover 1659" Sherborne, Dorset ii981-2
paly of six or and sable three eagles displayed counterchanged "John Whetcombe 1657" Sherborne, Dorset (Whitcombe, Somerset Pap 326) ii984
On a chief three lion's heads erased "John Richardson 1664" [grocer] Durham, Durham (Richardson, Durham, granted 1615; Pap 579) ii1062-3
three battle-axes edges to sinister "R. L." Barking, Essex (Lewdson Pap 12) ii1085
chevron between there hanks of thread "Francis Arwaker 1660" Chelmsford, Essex ii1117-21
per fess (?) in chief a chevron between three crescents decrescent, in base a bar "John Harvey" Coggeshall, Essex ii1154
merchant's mark with crest: swan "Giles Tayspill [Toyspell] 1668" b. 1636, son of Jooris; originally Flemish family; also tokens issued by James b. 1634, with marks of difference Colchester, Essex ii1228-9
a bar between three crosses formy fitchy "Humphrey Sarjent 1659" Pleshey, Essex ii1337
on a bend three fleurs-de-lis "N. B." Prittlewell, Essex (Pap 239) ii1338
on a chief three roundles; C: stag statant; supporters: stag "John Preston 1668" Tillingham, Essex ii1403
lion rampant double queued, ducally crowned "Thomas Bentall" Toppesfield, Essex (Benthall, Salop Burke 72) ii1406
lion rampant with two heads "Thomas Mason 1669" Cheltenham, Gloucest. (Mason, co. Galway, Ireland Burke 666) ii1605
chevron between three lion's heads erased "George Ferebee 1666" Cirencester, Gloucest. (Ferreby, W. Berry, Encyclopaedia Heraldica vol. 2) ii1627
griffin segreant; C: demi-griffin "Daniel Collins mercer" Gloucester, Gloucest. (Collins, Salop) ii1663
fess between 3 battle-axes, C + M "Robert Raye 1663" Hartley Row, Hamps. (Ray in Burke 841) iii1876
Crossbow unbent point downwards between 3 moorecocks "Benjamin Highmore 1668" Ringwood, Hamps iii1984
Chevron between 3 crosses crosslet fitchy "Tristram Turges 1666" Ringwood, Hamps. (Turgis, Visit Hants. 1686 219) iii1985
Chevron between three birds, "Christopher Bell" Southampton iii2005
Ermine a fess nebuly and in a canton a ducal coronet: "Henry Norborne 1668", Southampton (Vis. Hants 1686, 80-1) iii2016
Three crosses formy on a chief three lions heads erased, "James Bengo in Pembridge 1667" [blacksmith] Pembridge, Herefords. (cf. grant of arms to Bengough in 1856, Burke 70) iii2083
chevron between 3 roses, C + M "John Rugeley 1667" Hitchin, Herefords. (Burke 878) iii2219
A sword in bend, hilt to dexter chief, between two mullets of 6 points pierced "John Hatley" St. Neots, Huntingdons. [baker] (Burke 467) iii2355
Fess between 3 crescents "Thomas Ockman" [grocer] Canterbury, Kent iii2417-8
Chevron between 3 fleurs-de-lis "John Coleman 1664" [grocer] Chilham, Kent iii2455
3 chevrons, C: a greyhound "Richard Frances 1669" Lamberhurst, Kent iii2620
Cross formy fitchy "Gervase Maplisden", [mercer] Maidstone, Kent (Visit Kent 1619-21 156-7) iii2631
On a chevron 3 crescents "John Cobham 1666" [silk weaver] Rochester, Kent iii2701-4
3 boars "John Dichfield 1669" Warrington, Kent iii2804
cross flory, "Ralph Coleman" [apothecary] Burton Overy, Leices. iii2815
cross moline, "Henry Croddyn" [chandler] Melton Mowbray, Leices. iii2893
cinquefoil ermine a chief chequy "William Hobson" [brewer] Boston, Lincolns. (Pap 869) iii2915
cross moline, "Thomas Paper 1656" Spilsby, Lincolns. iii2986
lion rampant "John Brandon mercer" [d. 1659] Swinshead, Lincolns. iii2997
beast or monster rampant "Robert Drake" Cromer, Norfolk iv3023
nine mullets 3, 3, 2, 1 "Giles Bridgman" [merchant 1646-9] King's Lynn, Norfolk iv3078-9
on a bend double cotised a pellet, C+M "Thomas Cannon 1658" Swaffam, Norfolk (Pap 269, granted 1614) iv3239
bend between 6 cross crosslets, ducal coronet "Peter Richardson 1657" Walsham, Norfolk iv3256
per pale a saltire wavy "Roger Waters" [glover] Yarmouth, Norfolk (Pap 1062) iv3356
lion rampant, C+M "Will Filbrigg" [line-draper "gent." 1687] Oundle Northamp. (Burke 344) iv3422
six cloves 3, 2, 1 in chief letters "Daniel Mauley chandler 1657" Oundle Northamp. iv3426
thee bulls' heads caboshed, C: bull's head couped + M "Charles Gore 1663" [mercer 1682, woollen draper 1684] Towcester Northamp. iv3470
two lions comvatant in chief a rose "Patrick Herron" [mercer] Towcester, Northamp. (B 482) iv3472
a bend "William Scroopp 1669" Retford, Nottinghams. iv3557
a bend or "William Goldfinch" [schoolmaster and scrivener] Chinnor Oxfords. iv3609
a fess between three birds, C: skull "Michael Cornish" [mercer 1680] Chipping Norton, Oxfords. iv3611
six martlets 3, 2, 1 "Thomas Applebee" [chandler] Oxford (Pap 335) iv3677-8
unicorn rampant "John Toldervery milliner 1660" Oxford iv3727-8
on a bend three fleurs-de-lis "John Potterill" [apothecary] Oakham, Rutland (Powtrell: Pap 239) iv3867-8
three demi-lions rampant on a chief 3 covered cups "Thomas Butler" Uppingham, Rutland iv3871
three mullets pierced impaling ermine on a canton a fleur de lis "Edward Wollaston junior 1670" Bishop's Castle, Shrops. (Pap 993, 359) iv3879
three leopards' faces "Edmond Clarke" Shrewsbury, Shrops (Fox-Davies 1915, 724) iv3913
a fess between 3 board' heads couped "William Alanson 1666" Wem, Shrops (Allaunson: Burke 11) iv3934
on two bars seven escallops 4 and 3 "John Shenton mercer 166" Wem, Shrops iv3937
a sword erect between two wings coinjoined tips upwards "John Rogers 1669" Bridgwater, Somerset iv3994
ermine on a canton a crescent "John Grenway" Crewkerne, Somerset iv4020
chevron between three fleurs-de-lis "John Curle junior 1666" Freshford, Somerset (Pap 422) iv4032
a chevron between 3 bugle-horns "William Foster 1669" Kilmersdon, Somerset (Pap 451) iv4071
quarterly, 1. Sinister hand appaume erect, 2. Two [?sides of bacon] in pale, 3. [circular tool], 4. Three pellets 1 and 2 "William Wintar" South Petherton, Somerset iv4097
three mallets "Andrew Gamull 1669" Stone, Staffords. (Gamull of Olton, Visit. Staffordshire 1664, 144) v4214
on a bend three cross crosslets "William Crane" [draper; gent. at visitation 1664] Beccles, Suffolk (Corder col. 88) v4239
chevron between three garlands "John Baythorne 1657" Bury St. Edmonds, Suffolk (Corder col. 192) v4264
quarterly, 1-4 eagle displayed, 2-3 fess between two helmets "James Elliston 1659" Clare, Suffolk (Corder col. 119, 324) v4310
chevron between three fleurs-de-lis "Joseph Ray 1665" Laxfield, Suffolk (Corder col. 167) v4398
two chevrons "Thomas Kngihts" Saxmundham, Suffolk (Corder col. 222) v4441
ermine on chief indented three griffins heads, C "Robert Chaplyn 1667" Sudbury, Suffolk (Corder col. 241, granted 1593) v4475
quarterly 1. three lions passant guardant, three skins(?), 3. Lion rampant, 4. Crescent "Thomas Edmondes 1650" [mercer 1637] Kingston upon Thames, Surrey v4629
fess dancetty with crescent for difference "George Vasavour" Bankside, Surrey (Pap 707) v4749
fess in chief three torteaux, C: stag trippant "John Preston 1668" [innkeeper] Bermondsey, Surrey (Pap 718) v4942
three horses heads couped, bridled "M. H." [innkeeper] Rotherhithe, Surrey (Pap 928) v5029
three fishes hauriant 2 and 1 "John Pemell draper" Lewes, Sussex v5229
on a chevron three escallops "Robert Grove draper 1667" Robertsbridge, Sussex (Pap 483) v5250
two daggers in saltire points upwardsd, in chief a mullet of 6 points pierced "Richard Leather 1669" Birmingham, Warwicks. v5289
quarterly 1-4 sword bendwise point in chief, 2-3 chevron with crescent difference "Richard Smalbroke" Birmingham, Warwicks. (Pap 1103) v5294
three cloves a bordure nebuly "T. H. mercer and grocer 1668" Coventry, Warwicks. v5319


*: Sandys/Sandis Peyton, son of Henry Peyton of Lincoln's Inn, Esq. and Katherine Clifton, was married 18 May 1637 in St. Dionis Back Church, London to Margaret Wilson. He received a licence from St. Bartholomew's Hospital in London, and described himself as a druggist in his will, dated 27 Feb 1678, and proved by his widow in London 20 June 1682. His father, Henry Peyton an Examiner in the Court of Chancery, was granted arms by Sir John Borough on 24 July 1641. Sir Edward Peyton of Iselham, baronet, made a declaration that Henry was a branched out member of his family. His father died in 1656 and Sandys/Sandis is named in his will. (Communication from Joanne J. Hughes, 2/19/2001).
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Last modified: Feb 20, 2001