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Chelsea Halfpenny D&H277

Middlesex Chelsea Halfpenny 1795
A sailor with a wooden leg / Hope
Edge: Milled
Dalton & Hammer: 277

Middlesex Chelsea Halfpenny D&H277

By order of an unknown customer, Latvich issued a token in 1795, on the front side of which a beggar retired military or sailor with a wooden leg and a crutch is petitioning the seated Britain. 
In 1681, by decree of Charles II, the Royal Military Hospital was established in Chelsea for military discharged from service without families.

On the reverse side is depicted leaning on an anchor, symbolizing the English navy, Britain, personifying Hope. Circle Legend: The Support of our Endeavors.

In 1795, the troops defeated in Flanders were to return to England, and the obverse was perhaps intended to draw attention to their plight, while the reverse reminded the public that the navy was not to be neglected.

Engraver: Arnold, manufacturer: Lutwyche, customer unknown.

Descriptions of Battles by Sea & Land, in Two Volumes, From the Kings Library's at Greenwich & Chelsea. Dayton, Robert. March 1801. National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London

Later, Robert Dighton (1752-1814) depicted in his engraving a lively conversation between two veterans on a bench. On the left sits a Greenwich pensioner, and on the right, in a red coat, a pensioner from the Chelsea military hospital.