1850 Spittal Presbyterian Church Communion Token, Northumberland UK

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#AD221: 1850 Spittal Church Token, Reverend Porteus Genealogy


This is an original old 1850 English Presbyterian Church Communion Token for the early United Presbyterian Church of Spittal, Northumberland, England. The 19th century Minister at the time was Rev. William Porteous. It is clearly dated 1850.  Spittal sits in northern Northumberland, England on the River Tweed across from Berwick upon Tweed. Spittal Beach is a famous beach. Interestingly, the name Spittal comes from a very early Leper hospital which was there in the middle ages.

The "Spittlers" or non conformists worshipped in Spittal in a barn or stable loft for years before their own Presbyterian church of St Paul's was built in 1878. In English church history, Protestants who did not "conform" to the already established religious governance of the Church of England were called non conformists.

Text on the antique token front reads:
Text on Reverse reads:
(This a bible verse from 1 Corinthians, 11:28)

Note: Reverend William Porteous was the son of the beloved Rev. James Porteous of Spittal. There is a published book entitled "Memorial of the Rev. James Porteous, Coldstream. Being addresses delivered in connection with his death by J. Stark and others, Published by W. Oliphant & Company in 1870. There is also an extensive look at the life of both Reverend William & his father Rev. James Porteus, which can be found online. It has many wonderful anecdotes of their personal and preaching lives, as well as their church lives. It is named "Two Centuries of Border Church Life: With Biographies of Leading Men and Sketches of the Social Condition of the People on the Eastern Border", Volume 1 by James Tait, Publication date 1889, Published by J. & J.H. Rutherfurd.

These vintage tokens can be found made of metal, pewter, old lead, early pewter, brass, copper brass, and in many different shapes and sizes. This token is rectangular in shape. Tokens were issued to church members to provide entrance to the Lord's Supper. They eventually became replaced with the use of communion cards. Click images to see condition in close up views. A wonderful early old piece found in West Yorkshire, England.

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Size: 1 and 1/8 inches x 7/8 inches
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