Great Britain (Evasion) Halfpenny Token H. L. (Hugh Latimer) 7.87 grams Atkins 398
Hugh Latimer (c. 1487 – 16 October 1555) was a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, and Bishop of Worcester during the Reformation, and later Church of England chaplain to King Edward VI. In 1555 under the Catholic Queen Mary I he was burned at the stake, becoming one of the three Oxford Martyrs of Anglicanism.
Evasion tokens were produced at the end of the 1790s, and were designed to exploit a legal loophole that allowed private manufacturers to produce pseudo-coins imitating the regal issue, as long as they were not exact copies. To the illiterate eye, there was little difference between the ‘evasion coppers’ and the regal coppers that they supplanted. They were of course lighter and thus were profitable to manufacture. The manufacturers were many of the same who had produced the Provincial Series (Conder) tokens i.e. Kempson, Lutwyche, and like the later ‘blacksmith tokens’ used in Canada, they were deliberately crudely made, so that they would look worn even when newly manufactured. A series that is both whimsical and fun to collect.