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Birmingham Halfcrown D&H1

The front side depicts a seated female figure personifying Mercy, giving alms to a beggar leaning on a stick. Beside him stands a boy in rags, while to the left of Mercy sits a naked child.
The reverse side features a monogram of the letters “BWH” and a circular legend: “TWO SHILLINGS AND SIX PENCE”.
Edge is smooth.
Engraver - Dixon (Dixon), manufacturer - Gimblett (Gimblett).

The Birmingham workhouse for 600 people was built in 1734 at the intersection of Litchfield Street and Steelhouse Lane. The construction of the main building cost £1173; later, in 1766, the left wing was added, where the infirmary was located, and in 1779 the right wing of the workshop was added.

In 1783, for ease of administration, two Birmingham parishes were merged into one by a local act of Parliament. The association was managed by 108 guardians (Guardians of the Poor), running the affairs of the workhouse "with apartments for the sick and crippled, the old, the powerless and infirm, those who are able to work for the benefit of production, manufacture and trade, and also to punish for idleness, stubbornness and debauchery." In 1848, 645 people were kept in the Birmingham workhouse.

In the early 1810s, there was another shortage of small change coins in circulation in the country. In Birmingham, tokens of various denominations were minted for several years to help the poor. Local merchants could exchange these tokens for official coins at the Birmingham workhouse.