News & Blog

Bristol Theatre Tokens

Posted on Thu, 11 December 2008 by Phil Mussell - General News, Coin News

The Britsol Old Vic is seeking help with the whereabouts of the silver tokens issued when the Theatre Royal Bristol was opened in 1766. The tokens were sold in May 1766 as a way of raising money to pay for the theatre that still stands on King Street in Bristol. Fifty of the tokens were made and sold, each individually numbered 1 to 50 (although we know of at least two where instead of the number, the original owners name was engraved on the token) and sold for £50. Each coin is 3cms/1.25inches in diameter, inscribed with “KING STREET Theatre Bristol May 30 1766” on one side and “The Proprietor of this Ticket is Entitled to the Sight of Every Performance to be Exhibited in this House”, with the number of the individual token on the other.

The theatre is currently undergoing a refurbishment and following the fundraisers of 1766 another fifty silver tokens have been minted by the theatre, in the 1766 design. The new tokens are numbered 51 to 100 and are being given in return for donations of £50,000 or more.

The theatre are trying to trace the tokens both for the history of the theatre and in the hope that it may lead them to people who would be interested in helping the theatre with its redevelopment.

If anyone out there knows anything then contact Lucy Topham on