London (1983), New Cheapside, Myles Letherbarrow, Halfpenny, 1670


17th century token

Finsbury (Metropolitan Middlesex)

New Cheapside, Moorfields

Myles Letherbarrow [at the sign of the hart]

Halfpenny, 1670

1.48g, 20.9mm dia.

BW 1983, Norweb 7947.

Very Fine.  Exceedingly rare and the finest known example.

In the period after the Great Fire of 1666 a number of new and rather temporary streets emerged outside the main area of the conflagration, allowing trade to continue while the rebuilding work got under way in the City.  New Cheapside, located in or around Moorfields, was one of these.  In April 1667, only seven months after the Fire, Samuel Pepys walked into Moorfields where he found "houses built two storeys high, and like to stand, and must become a place of great trade till the City be built, and the street is already paved as London streets used to be - which is a strange, and to me an unpleasing sight."

A "Milles Letherborrow" christened a daughter, Ellen, in May 1671 in St Stephen Coleman Street, the same parish in which much of Moorfields lay.