1856 James Swan & Co.,
A Token struck by James Swan & Co. in 1856 for use in St. Sebastian Mills, Colombo, Ceylon.
St. Sebastian Mills, Colombo, Ceylon
|Lowsley #Unlisted Pridmore #p97
|Obverse : ||JAMES SWAN & CO ST-SEBASTIAN MILLS.|
Mill building with Chimney and smoke.
¤ COLOMBO CEYLON ¤
|Top and bottom lines along periphery, between plain circle and raised rim.
|Reverse : || ST SEBASTIAN MILLS|
SWAN & CO
+ COLOMBO CEYLON +
| Top and bottom lines along periphery, between plain circle and raised rim.
JAMES SWAN & Co. From an early directory it is found that
J. Swan was a planter in 1845 on an estate called Morankande,
Harispattu, in Central Province. In 1848 he had joined a firm styled
Swan, Keir & Co. In 1849 he was the Secretary of the Ceylon Chamber of
Commerce but in 1850 was its Chairman. In 1855 he was living at
Marandhan and, as the Marandhan Store token
also bears the date 1856, he seems by
then to have carried on business under his own name as James Swan &
The St. Sebastian Mills token is associated with the first coconut oil
mills established in Colombo in 1832, which Ackland & Boyd (1829-1848)
acquired from the Ceylon Government. These mills were first started by
Governor Sir Robert Wilmot Horton, Bart (23 Oct. 1831 - Nov. 1837), and
actually ran on Government account for a short time. Considerable
progress was made in the manufacture of oil, and Ackland & Boyd
introduced into the mills the first oil machinery in Ceylon worked by
As Ackland & Boyd went into liquidation in 1848 it would seem that the
mills then passed into the hands of James Swan & Co. James Swan died
in 1865 and the name of the firm disappears from the directories after
* Coins and Tokens
of Ceylon, Lieut. Col B. Lowsley, Num. Chron. Sr III Vol. XV, 1895.
* The Coins of British Commonwealth of Nations to the end of the
reign of George VI 1952
Part 2 - Asian Territories by F. Pridmore Spink & Son Ltd., 1965.
The 600 dpi images are displayed at 200 dpi.
I thank Shiran Cruse, Kandy, Sri Lanka, for the scans of this token
from his collection which is now with me.