'Jacobite' James II 'Gunmoney' Coins For Sale

Charles II died with no legitimate heir to the throne, and his brother James, Duke of York, came to the throne as James II. King James II was Catholic and the Protestants of England did not care for him. A son and heir was born to James II, at which time the people appealed to William, Prince of the house of Orange in the Netherlands, requesting that he take the English throne. Lacking the support of the people, James II fled to France, where he gathered an army and returned to Ireland. His aim was to invade England from Ireland, and retake the English throne.

One problem facing James was lack of funds to support his army. James established mints at Dublin and Limerick and issued a token coinage consisting of these Jocobite Gunmoney Crowns, Halfcrowns, Shillings, and Sixpence. These were struck in 1689 and 1690, bearing not only the year but also the month of manufacture. The Gunmoney coins were to be redeemed by his followers in Sterling, and with interest, when he re-took the throne. The month was to aid him in knowing how long the piece had been held, and what to pay. These 'coins' were first struck from metal obtained from obsolete field cannons, thus the term 'Gunmoney' though any metal he could get was fair game, and many were struck using bells, cooking pots, pans, and scrap.

William, installed on the throne of England as William III, invaded Ireland and defeated James at the Battle of Boyne River. He seized the mint at Dublin, eventually demonetizing the token coinage in 1691. The mint at Limerick held out for James well into 1691, and continued to coin 'Gunmoney' in its smaller forms until late that year. James fled to France, and died there in exile. The actions of James II and William III have relevance to the present day. William III gave lands in Ireland to his Protestant followers who helped defeat James II in 1690 and to this day they call themselves 'Orangemen', after William of Orange. The Catholic population and the Protestant population wound up in a divided country.

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James II Ireland 'Jan 1689, ERA for FRA' Gunmoney Sixpence 020052

Rare James II Ireland 'Jan 1689, ERA for FRA' Gunmoney Sixpence
Gunmetal, 2.99 grams, 21.28 mm. Dated January 1689. Obverse: profile bust with IACOBVS II DEI GRATIA legend. Reverse: crown over crossed sceptres dividing initials I R with mark of value XXX above and MAG BR ERA ET HIB REX legend, with 1689 above crown and Jan below [no punctuation for machine 1?]. S. 6583JJ. About very fine for issue.

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James II Ireland 'Jan 1689, ERA for FRA' Gunmoney Sixpence 020052

Coin Book and Other References:

S = Coins of Scotland, Ireland and the Islands
WW = Wildwinds.com (reference & attribution site)

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