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Cromarty Image Library

Cromarty Communion Token - 1833
The Cromarty Archive
Cromarty Communion Token - 1833

Picture added on 04 March 2005
Comments:
Which Church is this Communion Token From?
Added by Craig Simms on 06 March 2005
This probably belongs to the Church of Scotland Congregation of Cromarty as it is dated before The Disruption of the Church of Scotland in 1843 when the Free Church of Scotland was formed.
Added by Donald Boyd on 09 March 2005
In 1896 Kirk Session Clerks were asked to send examples of old communion tokens and information about them. 2 tokens were sent from Cromarty - from 1797 and 1833. So, yes, it is the Church of Scotland. The Gaelic Chapel (also part of the established church) had its own tokens issues in 1840.
Added by David Alston on 10 March 2005
These pieces are sometimes found counterstamped and sometimes not (as is the case with quite a few other Scottish churches). When the number is very low, a table number is usually indicated, an administrative measure to facilitate equal distribution of communicants between the available tables; where high, it is presumed to be the serial number of an individual communicant on the church's membership roll. When the number is low, there is obviously scope for ambiguity. Table numbers obviously tend to be higher in large town and city churches, and the highest I know of is 13; where the token is unstamped, that means either that the church did not need more than one table, did not mind which table an individual communicant used, or that the token was a spare. Similarly serial numbers can go up to some hundred, usually only in cities, the highest I have seen being 1970 for Edinburgh St.Cuthberts. The table number system is far more frequent, known in connection with several hundred token types as opposed to just a dozen or two for serials.

Cromarty is unusual in that the known surviving tokens tend to include a predominance of very low numbers but that others, too high to be table numbers, are known to exist. This implies that the church may at one time have swapped over from one system to the other; obviously table numbers occur multiply, serial numbers singly, so evidence of the former would prove. The numbers I have heard of to date are 1, 2, 5 {?? from memory, not sure about this one}, 49 and 86. How many communicants would Cromarty have had in 1833? and is there any surviving record in the local archives which numbers them?
Added by David Powell on 07 July 2007
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