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Collection of William Sykes' Private Tokens,


A collection of private tokens issued by numismatist, William Sykes, in 1902.  Die sinker J.A. Restall.  Samuel H. Hamer —the 'H' in D&H, and the principal author of the Provincial Tokens Coinage of the 18th Century— contracted Restall to manufacture several private tokens.  Subsequently when Sykes sought to issue some of his own tokens, he was directed to Restall by Mr. Hamer.  The results are the tokens pictured.

A highly attractive group of bronzed tokens, virtually as struck. Each depicting historically significant Yorkshire buildings and monuments. Exactly 50 of each design were struck. Despite having been issued more recently than our beloved 18th century tokens, these are not at all easy to hunt down and, by way of British numismatic history, are intimately connected to the "Conder" series.

Sykes' collection of British 18th century tokens passed to an heir who later consigned it to auction with Spink in 1986.  The following two paragraphs provide some background and are an excerpt from Spink 51. Below that are details about the places memorialzed on the pictured specimens.

William Sykes (1861-1941) was a lifelong resident of Yorkshire, England.  In [1902], Sykes issued his own series of private tokens depicting Hull buildings.  In this, he was guided by the similar issues of W.J. Davis and S. H. Hamer.  In 1903 Sykes joined the British Numismatic society, and in 1909 he became a founding member of the Yorkshire Numismatic Fellowship, together with his great friend, Thomas Sheppard, curator at Hull Museum.  Sykes served as president of the Yorkshire society in 1911-1912, and was its fourth medalist in 1923.

"William Sykes' interest in numismatics is believed to have started with his joining the East Riding Antiquarian Society in 1894.  An early officer of this society was Charles Edward Fewster (1847-96), the Yorkshire editor of Williamson's Boyne.  At the sale of Fewster's coins in 1898, Sykes bought the large group of 17th century tokens of Hull.  The acquisition of these tokens spurred Sykes to attempt to create the most complete collection of Hull tokens ever formed, of all periods....He soon became known to many of the token specialists of the day, and his purchases included, in 1902, the entire eighteenth-century Yorkshire series formed by James Atkins.

Sykes' Tokens

Hull Dock Offices:

The hull dock offices were built in 1871 at a cost of £90,000. It was the home of the Hull Dock Company which ran the entire dock system. It was designed by C G Wray in an Italianate style. It originally overlooked the Princes Dock and Queens Dock. The Queens dock was filled in and is now Queen's Gardens. The building is decorated with dolphins and other maritime symbols. It was acquired by the city council in 1968 and converted for use by Hull Maritime Museum which moved there in 1975.

Hull Grammar School:

Hull Grammar School was first established in 1486, rebuilt and added to from 1578-1583 and subsequently purchased by the Vicar of Holy Trinity Church in 1875.  A new grammar school building was erected in 1891 on Leicester Street, which was officially opened by the Mayor of Hull (E. Robson, J.P.) on 27 January 1892. The new school was built in the Collegiate Gothic style, having an elevation of red bricks with stone dressings. It has a large entrance hall, one large room, 50 feet by 22 feet, two class-rooms, 20 feet by 22 feet; with the former headmaster's room, large cloakrooms and lavatories, on the ground floor. The porter's room was located to command a view of the classroom doors and superintend entry and exit of pupils. The upper floor is reached by a stone staircase. Here were classrooms of a smaller size, an assistant master's room, and a room for general purposes. In the large room was a gallery for visitors at public events, and, this room could, when necessary, be divided into two.

Holy Trinity Church:

The largest parish church in England when floor area is the measurement for comparison. Founded by Edward I, the church dates back to about 1300 and contains what is widely acknowledged to be some of the finest mediaeval brick-work in the country.  William Wilberforce, who led the parliamentary campaign against the slave trade, was baptised in Holy Trinity Church.

Hymers College:

John Hymers, born 20 July 1803 in Cleveland, Yorkshire, was a professional educator. 

By his will of 24 August 1885 Hymers bequeathed all his property to the mayor and corporation of Kingston upon Hull as a foundation for a grammar school "to train intelligence in whatever rank it may be found amongst the population of the town and port".

The property was to provide for the foundation of a grammar school, "for the training of intelligence in whatever social rank of life it may be found among the vast and varied population of the Town."[3] Although an obscurity in the wording of the will rendered the bequest invalid, his brother and heir, Robert Hymers, voluntarily granted the sum of £50,000 to establish the school.

Hymers opened in 1893, on the site of the old Botanic Gardens of Hull, as a school for boys. The school quickly established itself, and the first headmaster, Charles Gore, was soon admitted into the HMC, with all subsequent headmasters also being members. Hymers was a fee-paying school for most of its history, and many scholarships and bursaries were given to pupils whose parents' could not afford the fees, in accordance with John Hymers' will for the training of intelligence, regardless of social rank.

Hull Royal Infimary:

Hull General Hospital was built in 1782, then in 1884 the Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh laid the foundation stone for a new building and it was renamed Hull Royal Infirmary. This was in the centre of Hull. A key person in establishing this was John Alderton (medic).

After 1948 Hull Royal Infirmary was renamed the Western General Hospital. In 1963 work was begun on a new hospital to replace most of the old buildings on the site. It was subsequently decided that this should assume the title of Hull Royal Infirmary and should replace the Infirmary buildings in Prospect Street. It was also to absorb the Victoria Hospital for Sick Children. The new buildings were completed in 1966.

Statue of William III:

Equestrian statue of William III is a historic statue in the centre of Queen Square in Bristol, England. The statue of William III by John Michael Rysbrack, cast in 1733 and erected in 1736 to signify the city's loyalty. The bronze statue is on a Portland ashlar pedestal with a moulded plinth and cornice. It has been designated by Historic England as a grade I listed building.

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