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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 9, February 26, 2006, Article 6

BOOK REVIEW: CLIP A BRIGHT GUINEA

This week on the Yahoo discussion group for the Colonial Coin
Collectors Club (C-4), Roger Moore published a nice book review,
and with permission I'm republishing it here:

Roger writes: "This evening I finished the very quick read –
“Clip a Bright Guinea” by John Marsh.  Mike Ringo brought the
group’s attention to this book a month or so ago and on his advice
I bought the book.  It is a fascinating look into the coin
counterfeiting culture in England under the reign of George III.
In an isolated and desolate part of the Yorkshire moor a group of
subsistence farmers and others joined together to defraud the
government by extensively clipping and counterfeiting of coins.

The group was organized by one David Hartley who would become
known as “King David” for the fact that he seemed to hold total
control of the local coinage and through enforcers made shop
keepers participate in his clipping and counterfeiting business.
The book provides an excellent accounting of how the entire saga
of building the counterfeiting empire occurred and how it was
dismantled – largely due to the efforts of one Robert Parker, a
local attorney.

I do not want to give the story (historical) away for those not
having read the book yet, but you will be interested in descriptions
of “hung in chains” and the spectacle that had to be endured by
wayfarers during that era when traveling into large cities where
executions were carried out.  It is a highly entertaining and
very easy read.  You will come away with a flavor of the times
with its defined class structure, poverty and the ineffectual
Treasury officials that lead to the counterfeiting boon. It also
lets one see the bravery and dedication of a few honest and
conscientious men in overcoming a community resistant to stopping
the counterfeiting.   A great read that will be available in the
C-4 library!!!"

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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