The collapse of the wool trade

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The collapse of the wool trade

In the 1790s many traders and factory owners issued tokens for use in their businesses. Only one Exeter person was among them: Samuel Kingdon, the ironmonger. His tokens depict Bishop Blaize, the traditional patron saint of clothworkers, holding a woolcomb, the symbol of his martyrdom, and surrounded by the words 'SUCCESS TO THE WOOLLEN MANUFACTORY'. The reverses show the city arms. Rather than succeed, however, the industry in fact collapsed entirely at the end of the 18th century.

Examples of both the halfpenny and farthing tokens issued at Exeter are shown.

Acknowledgments: RAM Museum

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