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The British Museum

HAMP-290F1A: Modern badge ('Billy and Charley')

Rights Holder: Hampshire Cultural Trust
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Unique ID: HAMP-290F1A

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Awaiting validation Find awaiting validation

Two early-modern lead alloy 'Billy & Charleys' or 'Shadwell forgeries' of Mernick's badges series ( Both have parallels in the Museum of London, noted in the undated badges (also named undated medals) section of the website.
The smaller badge weighs 74.4g and measures 91mm x 76mm. One face depicts a king's head (no.3) facing with 13 01 to either side, the other face depicts an open-beaked pecking bird right. It has a trefoil loop. Reference: Mernick 132
The larger badge weighs 106.4g and measures 98mm x 83mm. One face depicts a king's head (no.5) facing with m Q to either side, the other face depicts a soldier with 0 1 to either side and holding a sword in one hand and a spear in the other. It has a triangular loop. Reference: Mernick 133
With thanks to
Jon Milward, Bournemouth University, for the measurements and images. He further comments that XRF analysis confirms the objects contain 90% lead with some tin and other metals.
William Smith (Billy) and Charles Eaton (Charley) were forgers who produced, between 1857 and 1870, thousands of objects in lead and brass, intended to dupe a public eager to acquire examples of the sorts of medieval antiquities being discovered in an ever growing London (


Please note this find has been recorded from photographs only, with measurements supplied by Jon Milward, Bournemouth University.

Find of note status

This has been noted as an interesting find by the recorder.

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: MODERN
Period from: MODERN
Period to: MODERN
Date from: Circa AD 1857
Date to: Circa AD 1870

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 2

Personal details

This information is restricted for your access level.

Materials and construction

Primary material: Lead Alloy
Completeness: Complete

Numismatic data

No numismatic data has been recorded for this coin yet.

Spatial metadata

Region: South East (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Hampshire (County)
District: New Forest (District)
Parish or ward: Fordingbridge (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SU1414
Four figure Latitude: 50.92528783
Four figure longitude: -1.80218043
1:25K map: SU1414
1:10K map: SU11SW
Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Gardening
General landuse: Other
Specific landuse: Garden

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: HAMP
Created: 4 years ago
Updated: 2 years ago

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