Old traditions with coins
On a sunny day in Kingston upon Hull I was having a nice relaxing walk through one of the oldest cemeteries as one does .
I was looking up at the tree canopy when I saw what I thought was an unusual tree fungus growing in a weird pattern .
Closer inspection shows that it is indeed money ! coins stuck in the tree trunk , a practice dating back to the early 1700’s .
Very rare to see nowadays but it is said to be an offering to a deity for good health .
People would hammer coins into the tree believing they could rid themselves of a sickness .
It is also said that if you take these coins out of the tree you will have ill health .
It used to be believed that divine spirits lived in trees, and they were often festooned with sweets and gifts – as is still done today at Christmas.
These coins are about 30 feet up the tree , a canon 21 zoom camera was used to get these images .
Strange carvings was found at the foot of the tree showing a hand print and a dancing fairy type creature .
Pennies on graves — The act of leaving pennies on graves is a tradition worldwide .
Some people leave a penny as a mark of respect and to commemorate a love ones memory .
Some people leave a penny to pay the ferryman to take the soul across the river styx so the soul isn’t wandering the Earth . ( As in Greek mythology )
In Greek culture , a silver coin was placed in the mouth on the tongue to pay the ferryman .
In war the tradition of leaving a coin on the grave took place when visited by a fellow soldier .
The coins were a way to for soldiers to leave a message to the family of the fallen when they didn’t have direct contact.
The coin was also considered a down payment on a beer when the soldier was to meet again in the next life .
In all cases it says that their memory is worth something to the visitor to the grave .
Disease cured by coins –
Coins which had been given at communion could be rubbed on parts of the body suffering from rheumatism and it was thought that they would effect a cure.
Medallions showing the “Devil defeated” were specially minted in England and distributed amongst the poor in the belief that they would reduce disease and sickness.
The tradition of touch pieces goes back to the time of Ancient Rome, when the Emperor Vespasion (69–79 AD) gave coins to the sick at a ceremony known as “the touching.”
Many touch piece coins were treasured by the recipients and sometimes remained in the possession of families for many generations, such as with the “Lee Penny” obtained by Sir Simon Lockhart from the Holy landwhilst on a crusade.
This coin, an Edward I groat, still held by the family, has a triangular-shaped stone of a dark red colour set into it.
The coin is kept in a gold box given by Queen Victoria to General Lockhart.
It can supposedly cure rabies and various animal ailments.
The coin was exempted from the Church of Scotland’s prohibition on charms and was lent to the citizens of Newcastle during the reign of King Charles I to protect them from the plague.
A sum of between £1,000 and £6,000 was pledged for its return .
Below is the Tickle Token
It is modeled after the medieval English Touch Pieces.
In the 17th Century English Kings would bless sufferers of scrofula by touching them with coins.
To be touched by a monarch with the touch coin was indeed good luck .
The touch coins were modeled after the gold Angel ,one side featured the Archangel Michael and a ship was on the other.
Each piece was personally bestowed by the monarch.