Love Tokens are the art of the underclass, first appearing in the mid 18th century. They were initially engraved by the giver on the currency halfpenny of the period. Out of these developed the sailor’s farewells and valentines and subsequently the convict love token. These were produced in prison prior to transportation to Australia.
Daniel Bates was convicted of breaking into a farm in Stoneleigh, Warwickshire. The Leamington Spa Courier of March 1833 reported that he had stolen “five geese, four ducks and five couples of fowls” and was sentenced sentenced to seven years transportation. He had previously been acquitted of machine breaking in 1830.
These coins were known at the time by the prisoners as “Leaden Hearts” and were the parting gift of the convict to their family prior to leaving for Australia.