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City of London cross..

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Hello all,

This silver (?) gilt cross with the coat of arms of the City of London is a minor mystery. It measures 38 mm (1,5 inch?) across; I just cannot remember when, where or why I picked it up, and it is now staring into my face.

The obverse center is engraved with the coat of arms of the City of London.

The reverse is also engraved with :

- the name F.CROSLEY Esq. on the upper arm,

- the caption The Rt HONble / F. BESLEY / LORD MAYOR / J. AUSTON Esq. Aldm / J. VALLENTINE Esq. ALD / SHERIFFS on the center.

- the date 1869 on the lower limb of the cross.

No hallmark to be seen. The attatchment ring swivells.

It obviously is carefully made and engraved as a token of appreciation would be; What could it really be ?

The slightest bit of information will be gratefully received.

All the best


Edited by Veteran
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The City of London have always been very prolific in their awards. They have such a long history that traditions

have been built-up. When the Freedom Of the C of L is given to a VIP, then the two members who present the

Casket are awarded tipstaffs to carry in processions.

The fact that it is given in the name of the Lord Mayor and two of the Sheriffs makes me think that it may have been a

bravery award - but, equally, it might have been for someone retiring. You have his name - contact the Museum of

London - who hold most of the records. I am sure they will be able to help you - please let us know what you find out ?


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Not a great deal of help but a bit of info to start, names seem to be different

Sheriffs of London

1869 Sir Joseph Causton, Sir James Vallentin

Besley, Robert (1794-1876)

civic activist and Lord Mayor was born in Exeter on 14 October 1794. Here he began his business life in his father’s shop where, as an apprentice, he learned the skills of printing. It was here too that his brother managed the Devonshire Chronicle as a newspaper of West Country Liberalism. These two elements - printing and a Liberal politics - would inform the rest of his business and civic activities.

In 1820 he joined the firm of Messrs. Thoregood, typefounders, based in Fann Street, where he later became head. Other interests included Chairman of the Scarborough and Whitby Railway Company and Chairman of Griffin’s Wharf. In 1854 he began his representation of the Aldersgate ward on the Common Council and from 1861 to his death he was Alderman. By 1864-5 he was Sheriff and in 1869-70, Lord Mayor. In between he was Governor of the Queen’s Anne Bounty and of Stone lunatic asylum. He died at Victoria Road, Wimbledon Park on 18 December 1876, and was buried at Battersea cemetery.

Causton, Sir Joseph (1815-1871)

businessman and civic activist, was born of uncertain date at St. Alban’s in 1815. He came to London in 1829 and with the assistance of his uncle, Matthew Foster, commenced business as a wholesale stationer at 37 Eastcheap in the City. He became a Common Councillor for Billingsgate in 1848, Master of the Skinners’ in 1861, and Alderman for Bridge Within from 1867 until his death (he had unsuccessfully contested Cheap in 1858) and Sheriff for London and Middlesex in 1868. The pinnacle of his career occurred when the Queen opened Blackfriars Bridge and Holborn Viaduct in 1869 and he was knighted at Windsor Castle to mark the event. He died at Champion Hill, Camberwell on 27 May 1871 and was buried at Norwood Cemetery a few days later, leaving at least one son who was to become Lord Southwark.

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Thank you both very much. I apologize for this late reply to your most interesting and useful comments ( computer troubles !!).

I will attempt to get in touch with the Museum of London, as suggested by Mervyn. If and when I get an answer, I will be happy to report back to this post.

The genereous information about the officials mentioned on the reverse of the cross given by Taz brings a lot of added interest to this piece. i wonder if there has been anything published about the circumstances of these "awards" given by the City of London ?

Further information, if available, will again be gratefully received.

Best regards


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