Obv: Bust facing left, IOHN HOWARD F.R.S. around, HALFPENNY . (below). Rev: Female seated instructing boy to unlock prison doors with his key, GO FORTH above, REMEMBER THE DEBTORS IN GOAL around. Edge: MASONIC HALFPENNY TOKEN MDCCXCIV.
Uncirculated and brown. Reverse well struck.
After being imprisoned in France under deplorable conditions, John Howard’s life became a mission of prison reform. Mostly debtors, who were often falsely accused, and would often languish for years, were the focus of his attentions. He would often enter prisons in disguise to learn more of the prisoners’ sufferings. While on a tour of Europe and Asia, he contracted Typhus, and later died on January 20, 1790. He is buried in present day Ukraine.