London ( 589), Half Moon Court, S.M. at the Halfe Moon


17th century token

City of London

Half Moon Court

S.M. "at the Halfe Moon in the Corte", 1658

BW 589, Norweb -.

Good Fine with slightly patchy toning. Extremely rare.

This token uses the same obverse die as BW 588 issued by "W.B." in 1648, so they evidently relate to the same establishment.

Samuel Pepys was a regular visitor to a tavern called the Half Moon.  In most instances in his diary he does not mention the actual location.  The issuer of this token clearly thought that "at the Halfe Moon in the Corte" was sufficient to identify it, which suggests that it had a certain notoriety at the time, and so it may well have been the Half Moon which Pepys knew.

Apart from the related BW 588 we are aware of only one other type which was issued from a Half Moon Court, a 1663 token of R.D. (probably Richard Drew) of "Half Moon Co[rte] in Bow Lane".  This was published in the Token Corresponding Society Bulletin (Vol 10 No 6, March 2012, p. 204, and Vol 10 No 7, June 2012, p. 272).

Immediately after the Great Fire consumed it a considerable amount of property in the Half Moon Court off Bow Lane (also known as Lugg Yard) was owned by Anne, the widow of William Blathwaite, as recorded in one of the decrees (D-113) of the Fire Court.  "Anne" and "Hannah" are cognate, which might explain the initials (W.B. and wife H) on the earlier variant of this token.  For the time being, until better evidence can be found of the identity of the issuer, we think that this Half Moon Court has the best claim.