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English 17th Century Token, BW 163 of Gloucestershire.

THIS FARTHING IS OWND IN TETBVRY 1669. Rev, Ye ARMES OF THAT BVRROVGH. Shield with 2 Dolphins. Bronze 22mm. It is a mystery why there are Dolphins on the Arms as Tetbury is landlocked and its wealth was based on the wool trade. A 3 hundred year old mystery!

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Nice piece. An internet search revealed a couple of ideas:


1. http://www.bbc.co.uk/gloucestershire/conte...o_feature.shtml

"We learn why the town's UNOFFICIAL coat of arms is that of two dolphins - supposedly because in Medieval times the lord of the manor's ship was saved from sinking by two dolphins."


2. http://www.tetburyonline.co.uk/trivia.htm

"Despite being founded on the wool industry and being many miles from the open sea, Tetbury’s town coat of arms features two dolphins and no-one is quite sure why. The dolphins can be seen all around Tetbury, noticeably on the weather vane on top of the Market House and the crest of Sir William Romney’s School. They first appeared on the Town’s coat of arms in the late 17th century but quite why these creatures feature in a land-locked town coat of arms remains unclear. Possible explanations involve the Romans, as a mosaic featuring dolphins was found nearby or possibly the dolphins featured in the livery of the Berkeley family who owned the area in the 16th century. There is also a story involving another local family, one of who was allegedly saved from drowning by dolphins as he crossed the Irish sea. The only truth about the origins however is that no-one knows the truth."


3. As a result, a single dolphin appears on the badge of Stroud and Tetbury District,

see http://www.randwickscoutgroup.org.uk/stroud_tetbury.htm


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I find tokens (like this one) to be the most interesting part of numismatics as they are often free to mint more interesting coins with more interesting and wider variety of subject matter...very cool token BTW.

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