London Corresponding Society, Halfpenny, 1795 (D&H Middlesex 286)
Obv: Four men standing. The fable of the bundle of sticks. Around the perimeter LONDON CORRESPONDING SOCIETY. The first L of LONDON touches the old man's robe.
Rev: A dove flying with an olive branch. Around the perimeter UNITED FOR A REFORM OF PARLIAMENT. Ex: * 1795 *
Edge: Milled (Atkins p. 91, 204; D&H Middlesex 286)
Near gem uncirculated with substantial original color. Rare, thus.
The London Corresponding Society was founded on 25 January 1792 by John Frost (1750–1842), an attorney, and Thomas Hardy, a shoemaker. The principle aim of the Society was parliamentary reform, especially the expansion of the representation of working class people. As the Society expanded, the government took notice and it became deeply infiltrated by spies. In May 1794 the government took more action; some of the leaders were arrested and Hardy, John Thelwall and John Horne Tooke were tried for treason in October, but were acquitted. The government responded with the so-called Two Acts – an extension of the treason laws with the Treasonable Practices Act and also the repressive Seditious Meetings Act in 1795. More arrests followed and, in 1799, the Society itself was declared illegal under the Corresponding Societies Act, effectively ending the LCS.