• Code 11617

LONDON (Southwark), Kent Street. The White Bear.

Æ Halfpenny. ND.  Diameter 18.5mm.  * AT· THE· WHITE· BARE around; in centre HME above a bear walking left.  R. * IN· KENT· STREETE around A FAR THING CHANG ER in five lines. BW 288 Norweb 4948;  Everson 676.   Mediocre. 

From John Strype's survey (1633 edition)
KENT STREET so called as being seated in the Road out of Kent into Southwark, a Street very long, but ill Built, chiefly Inhabited by Broom Men, and Mumpers†. But here are divers large Yards wherein are vast Stocks of Birch, Heath and some only of Broom Staves which the Master Broom Men dispose of to those that make the Brooms. In this Street are these Places MAIDEN HEAD ALLEY, long, narrow, ordinary Built and Inhabited. CROSS KEYS ALLEY hath a dirty narrow Entrance, and with a long turning Passage goes into Red Bull Alley, very meanly built and inhabited by Broom Men. ... WHITE BEAR ALLEY, an open Place, containing ten or twelve Houses the Habitation of poor People.
† beggers. 
Bear baiting was a popular sport at the time

Southwark.   Although the area was settled in the Roman period when it was the lowest bridging point of the Thames the name ‘Suthriganaweorc’ is of Saxon origin and dates from the 9th century.  In the Domesday Book of 1086, it is known as ‘Sudweca’ meaning 'southern defensive work' the southern location referring to the City of London to the north, and Southwark was at the southern end of London Bridge where it had an ideal position, for not only did it lie on the main London to Canterbury road, but its position close by the Southwark end of London Bridge attracted water traffic.
The end of London Bridge, on the Southwark side, was known as Bridge-foot and was frequently visited by Pepys. 

British Tokens - 17th Century -  London  -  Southwark - Kent Street - The White Bear  -

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