Moneta Gallery Coin Museum



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Kentucky_HalfPenny_1796
U.K. & U.S.A - Kentucky Half Penny 1796

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Moneta



Registered: August 2005
Location: Arizona USA
Posts: 1,866
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Kentucky Settlement, Philip Myddelton, Halfpenny, 1796, in bronzed-copper, standing figure of Liberty welcoming standing figure of Hope with infant genii, anchor and cornucopia in background, rev. Britannia seated left in forlorn pose, regarding a cap of Liberty on the ground, edge plain, 11.12g/6h (Whitman 8900; Breen 1074; cf. DNW 142, 2207). Tiny verdigris spots on obverse at 10 o’clock and by Liberty cap, otherwise extremely fine (looks AU+ to me) with dusky old patina, extremely rare (est. value: £5,000-8,000. Provenance: From a Distinguished UK private collection. Sold by & text w/photo; with permission from Dix Noonan Webb 'DNW Auction', Sep 2018.


Philip Parry Price, later Myddelton, “a thin man, about 5 feet 10 inches high, with high cheek bones, of rather genteel appearance, has a little of the Yankee dialect” was an English entrepreneur and merchant living in Bloomsbury square, London, at the beginning of 1796. He had returned to England from Philadelphia, where he is recorded as being in practice as a medical doctor in 1794, the previous autumn following the death of a relative, adding the name Myddelton at that time. Over the winter of 1795-6 he advertised in the Reading Mercury, Staffordshire Advertiser, Derby Mercury and many other provincial English newspapers, claiming to own large tracts of land in Northern Kentucky bordering the Ohio river and promising a new life for settlers and artisans to emigrate thither. To give credence to his plan he instructed Matthew Boulton, with whom he had engaged in correspondence over the previous month, on 24 January 1796, to strike a coinage for him which included the legends "British Settlement Kentucky and Payable by P.P.P. Myddelton." Dies were executed (almost certainly by C.H. Küchler) and the first silver pieces, thought to total 53 specimens, delivered to Myddelton on 8 March 1796. He returned most of them as it would appear that Boulton misinterpreted his order, the demand being for a ton of copper which Myddelton wanted to take with him to America. Boulton struck a few bronzed-copper pieces, said to total 11 specimens in all, but Myddelton’s scheme had been attracting attention from the authorities who, on 4 March 1796 and only days before he was due to set sail to Nantucket, saw fit to indict him with trying to entice talented English artisans to emigrate to the United States, violating a 1783 statute prohibiting such acts. Temporarily obtaining bail, Myddelton was back in Newgate prison by 6 April, pending trial, at which he was defended by Thomas Erskine, the attorney commemorated on a number of tokens and medals. (See this Museum) Pleading not guilty, Myddelton was convicted on 9 June and sentenced by the Chief Justice, Sir James Mansfield, to a year in prison, at the end of which he was to pay a £500 fine. An appeal to Rufus King, the American Minister at the Court of St James, came to nothing; declared bankrupt in January 1797 and unable to pay the fine, Myddelton was kept in prison until November 1799 when the fine was paid. Subsequently styled as a doctor, Myddelton was appointed the principal medical superintendent at the Hanover Park mental asylum in Carlow. He took a lease on Carlow Castle from Hans Hamilton, MP for Dublin, but in modifying parts of the original Norman edifice by dynamiting part of the structure Myddelton only succeeded in destroying over half the building in 1814. In later life he is recorded as living in Bath in 1827.
· Date: August 30, 2018 · Views: 100 · Filesize: 139.0kb · Dimensions: 900 x 431 ·
Keywords: U.K. & U.S.A - Kentucky Half Penny 1796
Denomination: Half Penny
Reference #: Whitman 8900; Breen 1074
Date/Mintmark: 1796
Condition: XF
Weight: 11.12 g
Metal: bronzed copper
Additional Categories: Tokens

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