About the object

Masonic symbols

The objects represented on this token are stone masonry tools. They include a level, square, compass, trowel and gavel. These tools have a practical purpose, but they were also used as spiritual symbols by the Freemasons. This organisation developed complex rituals and mythology in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and is still active today. Historians debate whether its roots lie in professional stone workers’ guilds.

Gaining preference?

We haven’t yet been able to match this token with a child. We also don’t know what its original purpose was within the Freemasonry movement. Freemasons were expected to help fellow members and their families. It’s possible that whoever left it with a child at the Hospital hoped it would help get them preferential treatment.