|The term "farthing" is derived from the word fourthing or feorling because the first farthings were simply pennies cut into four pieces.|
For many years it was thought the first silver farthings were produced in the reign of Edward I (1272-1307) but five examples have been discovered in recent years dating from the reign of Henry III (1216-1272).
It was decided in the reign of King Charles II (1660-1685) that halfpennies and farthings needed to be produced as coins in their own right.
These depicted Britannia on the reverse, where she remained until 1937 until she was replaced by a Wren.
In 1936, Edward VIII asked the Royal Mint to come up with some modern designs for the reverse of the coinage. One designer the sculpture Harold Wilson Parker submitted designs known as the Royal Animals Set which included a Dove, Stag, Wren, Swan, Sturgeon and an Eagle (which the Royal Mint rejected because of it's association with America).
The King liked this set but eventually chose heraldic designs by George Kruger-Gray but in light of Wilson Parkers work the Wren was kept for the farthing.
The last farthing in the UK was minted in 1956 (the year of my birth) but was withdrawn from circulation at the end of 1960.
|Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes)|
A lovely little bird I get to see in my garden.