This poster will introduce my current PhD research on 17th century trade tokens. These privately issued, centrally produced, copper alloy ‘trade’ tokens are a mass phenomenon responding to particular economic and political circumstances between 1648 to 1672 in England, Wales and Ireland but have many international parallels. They will be considered in the light of international and cross-period models of monetisation, non-state coinage and credit. The poster will examine the claims made on the tokens themselves about their issuing and use, in particular the claim they are ‘for the poor’.
By comparison to other forms of money the poster will aim to encourage readers to think more broadly about monies of the poor and the way certain credit instruments and forms of payment, from tokens to prepayment electricity keys, were, and are, associated specifically with the financially unsecure.