Whichever way you look at it Thomas Spence was a remarkable man. You don’t have to have any sympathy for his political objectives to wonder at a self taught, working class boy, who invented a phonetic language, became a teacher of English, conceived a plan for property redistribution and radical political reform and produced a most extraordinary series of Conder tokens.
Arnold is an old village situated about four miles from the ~ centre of the City of Nottingham on the main road to Mansfield. It is now incorporated within the city boundaries. Possibly this village is more famous as being the birthplace of Richard Parkes Bonnington than for the issue of its tokens.
In the last decade of the eighteenth century small change became very scarce, and the country was flooded with innumerable tradesmen's tokens, mostly of the halfpenny size, of which large numbers were struck at Messrs.
For the second part of my Address I would like to return to the theme of eighteenth-century provincial coinage and its manufacturers, a subject I broached last year when I spoke about the work of John Gregory Hancock and the Westwood brothers and their joint concern in tokenmaking.