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Wales, Llantrisant, William Price, Jesus Christ memorial token

£50.00

William Price, oval copper memorial token to Jesus Christ 1884:
Obverse: Vowels of the Welsh alphabet around serpent encircling goat.
Reverse: GWEL JESSU CHRIST O YR TANYN LYSCO, etc, in five lines.
Weight: 10.23grams. Diameter: 37mm x 25mm.

Dr William Price (1800-93), Chartist, heretic, archdruid and pioneer in the legalisation of cremation in Britain, studied at St Bartholomew’s Hospital and became an FRS in 1822. A gifted surgeon, he nevertheless acted with complete nonconformity, practising nudism, advocating free love and fathering several illegitimate children throughout central Glamorganshire. A leader in the failed Chartist rising of 1839, he was obliged to flee to France dressed as a woman; returning to his native Wales he named himself the Son of the Primitive Bard and claimed that, in turn, his son would be the next ruler of the earth. After numerous speculative ventures in and around Pontypridd he was forced to leave the town in 1873 after being acquitted of the manslaughter of a patient, moving to Llantrisant with his 16-year old housemaid Gwenllian Llewellyn, who gave birth to their first child, Iesu Grist [Jesus Christ], in August 1883. Unfortunately the infant succumbed and Price cremated him on 13 January 1884 with full druidic rites. His subsequent trial and acquittal had an enormous public impact and led to the start of cremation being accepted as a way of disposal of the dead in the UK.

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