Obv: A pig trampling on emblems of royalty, PIGS MEAT PUBLISHED BY T. SPENCE LONDON. Rev: THOS. SPENCE SIR THOS. MORE THOS. PAINE in center 3 lines, NOTED ADVOCATES FOR THE RIGHTS OF MAN around. Edge: Plain.
Extra Fine. Polished reverse die.
So much to say about Thomas Spence that many books can do far better than I in this newsletter, so I’ll just deal with the token. ‘Pigs Meat’ was the title of Spence’s weekly newsletter that he would hand out to the public expressing his political views. Known as the first socialist, he was a fervent critic of the crown and its treatment of the ‘swinish multitude’. The obverse shows a swine trampling all over symbols of royalty while also advertising his periodical. The three Thomas’s on the reverse are known to most. Thomas More lived much earlier and is probably included in this group because of his Utopian views and his refusal to bend a knee to Henry VIII after he divorced Catherine of Aragon, which led to his beheading. Look at Middlesex D&H 837 for the Tory response to this die.