Abstinence from Alcohol – Temperance Pendant

For those of you who thought that the well-known aphorism ‘abstinence makes the heart grow fonder’ summed up the effect of sexual frequency on sexual appetite, then you are in for a disappointment.

Phillip’s Pendant

The catalyst for this post was new detectorist on the Premier MDF Phillip Cramphorn ( Crampo ). He asked if anyone had seen one of these; most people answered in the negative. Although I’ve seen many pendants of this kind, this is the first from the Catholic Total Abstinence League of the Cross that I’ve come across.
© Phillip Cramphorn
It was in 1873 that Cardinal Henry Manning founded the organisation. Most people called it the League of the Cross. Of course only Catholics could become members and they took the pledge:
I promise to you, reverend father, and to the League of the Holy Cross, by the help of God’s grace, to abstain from all intoxicating drinks.’ Usually added was,. ‘and I also promise to be faithful in the practice of my holy religion.’
Time did not limit the pledge. The Constitution and Rules of the League stated that the pledge itself was not binding under sin. But breaking it would be a sin for those who knew that doing so ‘would thereby expose themselves to the danger of intemperance.’ The League of the Cross still existed in 1913.  However, by the mid-1920s it no longer existed.

Church of England Medal

© UKDFD – Found by Dave Clarke
Shown above is a Church of England Temperance Society medal in the form of a cross with expanding arms, a vesica-shaped centre, and an integral suspension loop at the top. The society was founded in 1862. The inscription reads CHURCH OF ENGLAND TEMPERANCE SOCIETY : WHETHER YE EAT OR DRINK DO ALL TO THE GLORY OF GOD.


Temperance is defined as showing restraint in eating or drinking, and especially avoiding alcohol. Have you ever read the leaflets that come with medications? Mrs John pointed this out to me after I started going for palliative care.
The reason was the story I told her after my first day at the Hospice. In a corner of the room was a trolley full of beers, wines and spirits. It didn’t seem in harmony or keeping with the surroundings so I asked its purpose. One of the volunteer helpers informed me that the booze was for ‘clients’ and asked what was my favourite drink.
When I told her it was white wine she immediately went over and rescued ( detectorist term ) a small bottle of Pinot Grigio. It was 10.15 and I declined her kind offer for it was too early. The wine was warm, anyway. She retorted that ‘somewhere in the world the sun was over the yardarm’ and that was justification enough. At my suggestion the bottle was placed in the ‘fridge and brought out at lunchtime. For the last twelve weeks or so I have enjoyed a glass of wine at 12.30. I understand that they call me “Pinot John’ so nurses and helpers didn’t confuse me with another guy with the same name

Initially Worried

Nevertheless, I felt anxious and troubled by what Mrs John had pointed out to me in the leaflet so asked a visiting doctor should I be quaffing wine at lunchtime. Her reply warmed the cockles of my heart. “Don’t worry about it John. Have two, but don’t drink in excess. The manufacturers of the medications are just covering themselves!” Sorted.


Michael, from Canada, tells me that he found the Band of Hope temperance medal from his days detecting in Britain. He says that the organisation was founded in 1847 and 50 years later had a membership of 3.2 million children, aged 6 and over. Hope UK still exists, providing help and guidance to youth, drug counselling and aid. He concluded . . . it’s the old stuff with some history attached that make our hobby so much fun.
Courtesy of Michael ( Fenian ) The left reads: THE HOLDER OF THIS MEDAL WAS ONE OF THE TEN THOUSAND SINGERS WHO GAVE TWO CONCERTS AT THE CRYSTAL PALACE ON TUESDAY AUGUST 1, 1871. The legend around the periphery reads UNITED KINGDOM BAND OF HOPE UNION CHOIR. The rather indistinct lettering on the other side reads LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION – WINE IS XXX . . . the rest I can’t decipher.
Michael has supplied information on the lettering I was unable to read: ‘Be Thou Faithful Unto Death’ – ‘Wine Is A Mocker’ – ‘Bring Up A Child In The Way We Should Go’ (wording on the ribbon).

12 thoughts on “Abstinence from Alcohol – Temperance Pendant”

  1. I have found a couple of, well I guess, temperance medallions, John. They were not the same as the one that you have shown.. But the Canuck version. Lol.

    That said, since I do not /cannot drink, the exhortation is lost on me

    Interesting article indeed


  2. I have sent an email with some pictures showing the Italian couple who started the Australian winery “ Yellow Tail” that was mentioned in your blog.
    I think the Temperance pushers must have given up early in Oz, no medallions found by me. I wonder if our members have found them. Lots of religious medallions get found though.

  3. Good post John. My friend dug a Temperance medal a few months back, it was the first I had heard of them. Closest thing to it I ever found was an Alcoholics Anonymous sobriety coin.
    And by the way, yellow tail is my favorite brand. The Shiraz Cabernet is awesome

  4. Hi john many thanks for he history of my token . It’s very interesting. I am really enjoying looking at your site. Crampo

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