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Metal detectorists discover farthing in Croxton Kerrial inscribed William Clarke who had close connections to Grantham’s Sir Isaac Newton

A farthing discovered by metal detectorists has close connections to a young Isaac Newton.

Metal detectorists Andria Halfacre and David Crossland discovered the farthing, inscribed with William Clarke, in Croxton Kerrial.

After discovering the farthing, Andria researched William Clarke, and found out he was an apothecary based in Grantham’s High Street and also provided lodgings for Sir Isaac Newton while he attended The King’s School.

The farthing, inscribed William Clarke, has connections to Sir Isaac Newton.
The farthing, inscribed William Clarke, has connections to Sir Isaac Newton.

“It’s so fantastic there is so much history in this little coin,” said Andria.

She added: “When we found it, it was covered in mud but we knew it would be some sort of farthing.

“It was David who found it, but I go home and do the research. There were lots of resources online.

The farthing was discovered in Croxton Kerrial.
The farthing was discovered in Croxton Kerrial.

“By finding it, we are saving it and we are sharing that little bit of history. People may not have known that an apothecary in Grantham had a link to Isaac Newton in his younger life.”

William Clarke was born in April 1609. He was married twice, first to an unknown woman and they had two children named Joseph and William.

He then married Katherine Babington and they had two children named John and Martha.

During the English Civil War, William sided with Parliamentarians and when Grantham was captured by Royalists on March 23, 1643, William was accused of high treason.

On May 11, 1643, Grantham was captured by Oliver Cromwell and William was released.

Following his release, he built up his wealth and land, but lost much of his fortune following restoration.

In 1654, William provided boarding to Isaac Newton as he was due to attend The King’s School.

Many of Isaac Newton’s biographers note that lessons taught by William sparked Newton’s interest in chemistry.

Andria and David plan to take the farthing to the Portable Antiquities Scheme, run by the British Museum and Museum Wales to encourage the recording of archaeological objects found by members of the public.

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