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Blackfriars Halfpenny D&H257a

Middlesex Blackfriars Halfpenny
Figure of a friar / Arms of London
Edge: Plain (not in collar)
Dalton & Hamer: 257a

Middlesex Blackfriars Halfpenny D&H257a

The obverse side of the token depicts a monk of the Dominican Order holding a cross in his left hand and a circular legend: "Payable in Blackfriars London". The Dominican monastery in London was founded in Holborn in 1223 and was dedicated to the Virgin Mary and John the Evangelist. In 1276, Edward I gave permission for the order to move to a new location between the River Thames and Ludgate Hill. Until their dissolution in 1538, the Blackfriars - as the Dominicans called themselves - had a large monastery at the site, which is still named after them. In the Middle Ages, their monastery was used for major state events, including meetings of Parliament and the Privy Council. In 1529, the divorce proceedings of Queen Catherine of Aragon (1485-1536) and King Henry VIII (1491-1547) took place in the monastery. In 1555, Queen Mary Tudor (1516 - 1558) gave the Church of St. Bartholomew the Great on Smithfield to the Dominican Order in an attempt to restore the Catholic faith in England, but died soon after. In connection with the persecution in 1559, the activities of the Dominicans in London were stopped. After the collapse of the monastery, its lands were transferred to private hands, becoming a convenient place for trade and the location of craftsmen's workshops and very soon turned into a very popular area of ​​the city.

The reverse side depicts the coat of arms of the city of London: a silver shield divided into four parts by the cross of St. George, in the first quarter of which there is a red sword - a symbol of the martyrdom of St. Paul; on top of the shield is a silver helmet crowned with a dragon's wing with the cross of St. George, denoting the power of the peers of the kingdom; on either side of the shield are silver shield-bearing dragons with a red cross on each wing. Beneath the shield, a ribbon is inscribed with the Latin motto of the city: "Domine dirige nos", which translates as: "Lord, guide us."