Irish Half Crown

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Date:1690

Description:

Irish Gunmoney brass half crown, 1690

Diameter 27mm

The obverse features the laureate bust of James II facing left and the inscription 'JACOBUS II DEI GRATIA', Latin for 'James II By the Grace of God'. The reverse features a crown with two sceptres crossed behind and topped with fleur-de-lys. To the left and right are the letters 'J R' for 'Jacobus Rex' (King James). Above are three 'X's which indicate that the equivalent value of a half crown was thirty pence, and below is the month in which the coin was issued, 'May'. The date is above and the inscription around the outside reads 'MAG. BR. FRA. ET. HIB. REX', a Latin abbreviation meaning 'King of Great Britain, France and Ireland'. James II was deposed as King of Great Britain, Ireland and France on 11th January 1689. However he retained the support of the Irish and the French and fled to Ireland where he was finally defeated in July 1689 at the Battle of the Boyne. Due to his circumstances there was a shortage of regal coinage and Gunmoney was a token coinage, minted at either Dublin or Limerick. Like all token coinage Gunmoney was suppsed to be redeemable once regal coinage was available again.

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Donor ref:LEAMG : M704.1928.3 (66/16510)

Source: Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum

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