Wroxham – Marle Pit Token

This threepence alloy token (© The Trustees of the British Museum) is in the collections of the British Museum and it dates from 1797, when it was used to pay agricultural workers in Wroxham. There were three main periods when these trade tokens were used, the first crisis was in the mid-seventeenth century, the second crisis was in the 1790s and the third crisis was in 1810 and the years that followed. The crisis came about because there was a shortage of small coins in circulation and thousands of these different tokens came to be issued. There’s a big collectors industry now built up around the collection of these tokens and there was a novelty about them at the time as well.

The British Museum acquired this token in 1818, given by Lady Dorothea Banks, and they came from a collection established by her sister-in-law, Sarah Sophia Banks, who had died in the same year as the donation was made.