Lackington's halfpenny token

1794 in Birmingham
William Lutwyche
Roger Dixon

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Token, copper, 28mm diameter. London halfpenny. (DH Mddx 353). Issuer James Lackington, 1794, ½d. Obverse Bust of James Lackington and 1794. Reverse Figure of Fame: ‘Halfpenny of J Lackington Allen and Co. Cheapest booksellers in the world’. More than 700,000 Lackington tokens were issued (only valid in Lackington's business), struck by Lutwyche of Birmingham. Notes Lackington published his memoirs in 1791. These revealed him as a self-made man. While a journeyman shoemaker he started selling secondhand books, becoming a fulltime bookseller in 1774. By 1791 his profits were £4,000 a year. When the token was issued he was selling about 100,000 books a year.

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