Gaunt, J. Edited and Expanded by Gary Oddie. Bedfordshire Seventeenth Century Tokens. Llanfyllin, 2011. Quarto, pp. 154, colour illustrations throughout, tables, card covers. Limited print run.
The upheavals of the seventeenth century had many consequences for the everyday activities of the people of Britain. A shortage of small change resulted in many shopkeepers and tradespeople issuing their own tokens between 1648 and 1672. These provide a tangible record of a group of people who otherwise do not appear in the history books. One hundred such issues can be attributed to the county of Bedfordshire. This new book lists not only many unrecorded varieties but also opens a window on the lives and day to day activities of the token issuers themselves. Extensive use of contemporary records sheds light on the trades, wealth, beliefs and final wishes of the token issuers. The catalogue illustrates every known variety of token twice life-size. The photographs, along with an analysis of some of the design features of the tokens, allow comparison with the issues of other counties. An essential record for students of Bedfordshire seventeenth century tokens and the token series more generally. Of interest to all those studying local, social and family histories of this period.