Stuart Harrison dressed as Samuel Johnson and with Joanne Wilson

A historic coin competition has been launched in Lichfield to celebrate Samuel Johnson’s birthday.

The competition has been organised by Lichfield District Council’s tourism team Visit Lichfield.

The council owns a wonderful collection of historic coins and medals. The star of the collection is a Half Crown dating back to Johnson’s time, which is on display in the Lichfield Heritage Centre. A great selection of the coins is also on display in the bookshop at the The Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum. 
Joanne Wilson, Museums and Heritage Officer at The Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum, said:

“We want to know what you think Dr Johnson might have spent the coin on. It could be anything from a quill and ink to a new wig! So if you are aged from four to fourteen, put your thinking caps on and come up with Dr Johnson’s shopping list and you could win a golden ticket to all of the Summer Fun at Sam’s House arts and crafts workshops. The sessions, at The Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum, will be great fun and are running every Wednesday from July 29 to August 26.”
To enter the competition, pop into The Samuel Johnson Birthplace Museum, the Heritage Centre, or the Tourist Information Centre in the Lichfield Garrick, and pick up a We’ve got it coined entry card. Simply fill in the back and send it to the Visit Lichfield team by July 19.

Elizabeth Thatcher, Lichfield District Council’s Visit Lichfield Manager, added:

“We’ve discovered lots of fascinating historical coins, such as a George I Farthing and a George II Brunswick Thaler, and want lots of people to see them. To see a sneak preview of the coins online, visit This is a really exciting year for Lichfield, and there will be lots of fun events to celebrate all through the year. To find out what’s going on, and to join in the festivities, please go to”

Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

One reply on “Lichfield historic coin competition to celebrate Samuel Johnson’s birthday”

  1. We believe Samuel Johnson would have wanted to spend it on an English dictionary. Obviously, he could not do so as none yet existed, so he had to write his own. Looking at the descriptions on eBay of historic coins, Johnson’s Dictionary should be possibly be judged as a failure, although this would be a somewhat harsh and unfair criticism if it were not intended to be humourous.

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