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The Warwickshire, Coventry Pawnbroker Tickets 1915-1923 have been transcribed and licensed from the Coventry Family History Society after being discovered in an attic.
The tickets provide an insight into pawnbroking during and immediately after the First World War, they reveal items that people pawned, how much they were landed and how often they received loans.
Dating from the 24 April 1915 until the 3 October 1923, the tickets cover items that were pawned at Wm. Brookes at 1-2 Silver Street and 118 Gosford Street and Philips Electric Arc Welding Ltd.
Pawnbroking is the oldest form of secured lending available to man and goes back over 3000 years. The Bank of England, established in 1694, was in part a state run pawnshop. Charles 1st established his own pawn bank to help to finance the civil war against Cromwell. Despite this, under the commonwealth, when he defeated Charles 1st Cromwell decided to dissolve all pawn shops in the UK.
Pawnbrokers were easily identified by their signs of three golden balls, a symbol of St Nicholas who, according to legend, had saved three young girls from destitution by loaning them each a bag of gold so they could get married.