Four Alms Badges (1728)

Edward Vincent, London

The badges are decorated with the arms of Sir Joseph Banks with stitch holes running around the circumference of each. There are 10 badges in total, one of which is in the British Museum (1925, 2-14,1).

In his Will, Sir Joseph declared, 9That as soon as he could get brick and other materials ready, he designed to build an hospital or almshouse for 10 poor decayed farmers come to poverty by loss of cattle or other inevitable accidents, and not by idleness, drunkenness, or other extravagance’…

He also ordered, ‘ 10 new blue gowns to be made, and badges of silver with his alms upon it to be set on the right arm of every gown, only to be worn on going to church on Sundays and Christmas days, or other public feasts’.