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Montgomeryshire collections


Vol. 73 1985

A halfpenny token from Montgomery

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grocery wares"6. There are at least two other examples of Welsh tokens displaying the Grocer's
arms, which were issued by traders described in documents as mercers7.
Although this particular token is unusual, other tokens of this period occur frequently
throughout both England and Wales. They were issued by private retailers and served as low
denomination coinage during periods of shortage of official copper currency. In the latter part of
the seventeenth century, during such a period of scarcity, copper tokens were issued in other
areas of Powys besides Newtown. Examples are known from Llanfyllin, Welshpool, Llanidloes
and Machynlleth8.
Janet Ann Arnold.
Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust.
6Henry Hughes, Mercer of Conwy 1663 and Thomas Jones of Denbigh, Mercer 1666 (Boon, 1973, p 104).
7ibid. p 36-37; Boon cites the quotation from the Oxford Dictionary.
"Mont. Coll., Vol. 26, p 162-163.
In two recent issues of the Collections (Mont. Coll. 70, p. 123 and Mont. Coll. 71, p.86) reference
has been made to Owen Owens who became Vicar of Berriew at the age of 20 in 1734.
This is, of course, against the rules of the Church of England which required in 1549 that a
deacon should be 21 and a priest should be 24 and this rule, as far as priests are concerned, has
been re-asserted on many occasions since then1.
I was aware, however that Wales was not always responsive to the rules laid down by
Canterbury. One also finds the rules being repeated (13 Eliz. 1571 and 44 Geo. 1804).as if it were
necessary to re-emphasise them. One can quote the example of John Gwynn who was "Parson"
of Llangurig (1562-82), Llanidloes (1564-98) and Trefeglwys (1593-98) but does not appear to
have been in holy orders2.
The Chirbury registers are ornamented by asterisks tracing the descent of prominent families
of the parish. Thus we find, inter alia, the following entries:-
April 23rd 1741 Edward Farmer and Mary Roberts married.
May 12th 1746 Thomas, son of Edward and Mary Farmer, baptised.
The register itself was signed from May 1st 1768 onwards by Thomas Farmer curate who
remained curate of Chirbury until 1801 and was then vicar until 1812.
Thomas Farmer can have been barely 22 when he took over as curate.
Nevertheless it seemed desirable that further investigation should be made.
Owen Owens does not appear in the Berriew notitia of Spring 16833 or in the Brithdir Court Leet
return for April 1683. Owen Owens of Brithdir is however listed as a member of the jury in
October 1683 and appears in the Brithdir lists until 1699 at least.
Owen Owens is churchwarden in 1686/7 and signs the 1686 Bishop's Transcript4 and the 1686/7
'I am grateful to the Venerable Owen Thomas for assistance in this matter.
2Mont. Coll. 3, pp 131,134; Mont. Coll. 5, pp 39617; Mont. Coll. 6, pp 47,178; Mont. Coll. 7, 41; Mont. Coll. 54, pp 41,
108. A note in Mont. Coll. 7, p 41, reads: "Although he does not appear to have been in holy orders, it was not
uncommon in those days for livings to be held by those who were not ordained". Owen Owens lived over a century later
than John Gwynn but before Thomas Farmer.
yMont. Coll. 70, p 100.
4Mont. Coll. 72, p 26.
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