Bedfordshire ( 81), Potton, John Harper "in Middlesex", 1657


17th century token



John Harper "in Middlesex", 1657

Obv:  IOHN HARPER OF            =         1657

Rev:  POTTON IN MIDLES:X     =          I H


BW Bedfordshire 81, Middlesex 169.  Norweb 9416.

Near Fine, some corrosion.

The reverse legend is very unusual.  There is no place in Middlesex called Potton.  Furthermore, this is the only token which bears the county name of Middlesex.  John Harper's existence in Potton is well attested, and so the conclusion must be that the token was issued by Harper for the purposes of trade in Middlesex.

Oddie (Bedfordshire Seventeenth Century Tokens, 2011) points out that the style of the token differs from all other Bedfordshire issues.  It therefore seems likely that Harper commissioned it when travelling out of his home county, rather than rely on the offerings of token salesmen visiting Bedfordshire.