A halfpenny for them?……….

The Sciapod, Dennington
The Sciapod, Dennington

Today I decided to go and have a chat with the Sciapod, he rests in Dennington church on a pew end. I like to think that he is protecting cheeses from the heat with his enormous feet. As I was studying him and taking pictures two couples arrived and we started chatting. One couple were interested in the Sciapod and the church history, the other was trying to do some research into Edward Stubbs.  They had found a trading token dated 1668. I had no idea about trading tokens.  During the period 1648-1672 coinage was scarce and merchants had tokens made carrying their details, to be used in change. Rather like a modern loyalty card it also encouraged customers to return to use their tokens for more goods. The token that had been found whilst metal detecting was inscribed with the words Edward Stubbs 1668 and His Halfpenny also a rose and crown.  There are examples of three similar tokens in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

I wasn’t able to help the visitors out much but have since done some investigations. If my reading of the various online records is correct Edward Stubbs was recorded as a death in Dennington, buried March 9th 1715; I cannot find a birth record, so he may have been born elsewhere. He married Rose Curtis on 15th May 1665, but she died and was buried in 1666. Edward then went on to have a child Elizabeth, with a lady called Elizabeth, the child is marked as dead, I wonder if the mother died too because the next record in 1671 shows Edward and Susanna registering a birth of a boy, Thomas who survived. Then there is Edward (1674, survived), Deborah (1676, died), John (1678, survived), Henry (1680, survived but died 3 months later), Richard (1683, survived, by now Susanna appears as Susan in the register), and finally Robert in 1689.  That’s seven children with Susanna, the girls all died.

Interestingly there is on record in 1696 of a baptism of John Smith who was ‘base born’ of a mother from Kellshall and father from Aldeburgh but ‘put to nurse’ to Edward Stubbs of this parish (Dennington).  The father is noted as John Smith and the mother S? – So who, did Susanna have a fling? In 1698 there is a record indemnifying the parish of Dennington for any expenses arising from John Smith a child taken in by Edward Stubbs. So although Edward was willing to take the child on, evidently the Parish didn’t want to take the responsibility if it fell to them.

Edward Stubbs died as mentioned in March 1715.  There is one other record of interest, a marriage of Edward Stubbs to Alice Moulton in 1703, however, this could be Edward of the token or the son born in 1674.

Of course I had hoped I would find he was a cheese factor, but there is no record I have found of what his business was. An interesting tale none the less.

All that from one little token…… I wonder if your Nectar card and an internet search could say as much?


A little post script, I have just received pictures of the token…

The crown and rose
The crown and rose
'His Half Penny'
‘His Half Penny’

2 thoughts on “A halfpenny for them?……….

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