NLM-C416AF: Post-Medieval Coin: Irish Halfpenny of James II

Rights Holder: North Lincolnshire Museum
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Unique ID: NLM-C416AF

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Awaiting validation Find awaiting validation

Copper alloy coin. Milled halfpenny, kindly identified as an Irish issue of James II (1685-1688), dated 1686.

Obverse description: Bust laureate cuirassed left

Obverse inscription: [---] DEI GRATIA

Reverse description: Crowned harp left; dated 16 86

Reverse inscription: illegible

Diameter: 26.3mm, Weight: 6.61gms, die axis: 12


If this identification were sustained, it could be a rare shred of evidence relating to the recruitment, and in this case the return also, of soldiers to serve with elements of the nascent British army under William III (1694-1702). Such a coin as this, which was not intended to circulate in England, may have been brought back as a souvenir by a survivor from William's polyglot expedition to Ireland, after engagements such as the Siege of Athlone, the Battle of Aughrim, and the Battle of the Boyne. His departure might have been marked by his folding and leaving a sixpence as a keepsake. Modified coins of this period (oft-referred to as 'love tokens' but limited to a very much narrower period than expression of romantic inclination would demand) may relate to military recruitment, though the Kings Shilling is held to be a later convention, perhaps linked to the similarly unpopular American War of 1812. Army service could be a grim occupation, but soldiers enjoyed particularly low esteem through its association with James II's autocratic aspirations and with his successor's foreign wars.

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: POST MEDIEVAL
Period from: POST MEDIEVAL
Date from: Exactly AD 1686
Date to: Exactly AD 1686

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Weight: 6.61 g
Diameter: 26.3 mm

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Wednesday 12th December 2018

Personal details

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Other reference numbers

Other reference: NLM41496

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Manufacture method: Milled
Completeness: Complete

Coin data (numismatics)

Denomination: Halfpenny
Ruler/issuer: James II of England
Category: Modern
Type: Irish: halfpenny of James II, copper, regular coinage (S 6576)
Obverse description: Bust laureate cuirassed left
Obverse inscription: [---] DEI GRATIA
Reverse description: Crowned harp left; dated 16 86
Die axis measurement: 12 o'clock
Degree of wear: Worn: fine

Coin references

No coin references available.

Spatial metadata

Region: East Midlands (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Lincolnshire (County)
District: West Lindsey (District)
To be known as: Wharton

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: GPS (from the finder)
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: NLM
Created: 3 years ago
Updated: 3 years ago

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