Copper one Penny Surcharged Token, minted by the Royal Mint, London, circa 1806. Issued by King George III. It was surcharged by Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper, circa 1855. Although the newspaper was sold in Australia, it is most likely that the tokens stamped 'LLOYDS WEEKLY NEWSPAPER 3D POST FREE' found their way to the colonies in the pockets and purses of British immigrants and were readily absorbed by the colonial economy, which at the time was desperately short of official currency.

Founded by the British publisher Edward Lloyd (1815-1890), Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper was originally issued from 1842 as Lloyd's Illustrated London Newspaper, it initially sold for two pence, a third the sixpence cover price of its main rival the Illustrated London News. Lloyd had kept the price low by publishing the newspaper illegally without paying the required stamp duty, but after seven weeks was forced to relaunch the publication as Lloyd's Weekly London raising the price to threepence to cover the duty. It soon became one of Britain's first mass market newspapers. In 1849, it was renamed Lloyd's Weekly Newspaper, providing an earliest likely date for these tokens. By 1853, circulation had reached 90,000 copies a week. In 1860 Lloyd dropped the price back to one penny and circulation rose to 500,000 copies by 1872. In 1896, six years after Lloyd's death, it became the first newspaper to regularly sell one million copies an issue. Lloyd spent large amounts of time and money promoting the newspaper, with one of his ploys being to pay his staff in coins stamped with the publications name, although this practise was later declared to be illegal under the Coinage Act 1861.

Physical Description

A worn British Penny, circa 1806 LLOYDS WEEKLY NEWSPAPER 3D POST FREE on both sides

Obverse Description

Worn circa 1806 penny surcharged LLOYDS WEEKLY NEWSPAPER 3D POST FREE

Reverse Description

Worn c. 1806 penny surcharged LLOYDS WEEKLY NEWSPAPER 3D POST FREE

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