Author Topic: Bahamas: The pirate kingdom smasher  (Read 1587 times)

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Offline Figleaf

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Bahamas: The pirate kingdom smasher
« on: November 13, 2009, 09:18:01 PM »
Anybody who likes pirate stories knows that Tortuga and the Bahamas were favourite pirate hangouts. The Bahamas were converted from pirate outpost to proper British colony by Woodes Rogers, an impossibly colourful adventurer, whose exploits also include circumnavigating the globe, rescuing Alexander Selkirk (better known as Robinson Crusoe, Rogers was a friend of Daniel Defoe), writing a book, being a two term governor of the Bahamas and holding the Spaniards, who wanted the Bahamas for themselves and had the means to take it, at bay. All the while, he was financially exploited by the investors who financed his adventures, the United East India Company and the Crown.

Rogers is remembered on the Great Seal of the Bahamas, which features a sailing ship and the motto  EXPULSIS PIRATIS RESTITUTA COMMERCIA, commerce restored by throwing out the pirates. That seal, in turn, inspired the 1806 penny. The coin was designed by Conrad K├╝chler, a friend of the Boulton family, and struck at the Soho mint in Birmingham. Before these coins were struck, the coins in circulation were largely British Guineas, Brazilian gold Johanneses and Spanish gold doubloons as well as spanish colonial silver. Copper did not circulate. This was probably the most important reason why the 1806 penny was not accepted. The issue failed. This is all the more remarkable since the coin is mostly seen in used condition.

The ship could be a Royal navy frigate or a merchantman. The rigging is a bit strange, with the square sail between the main mast and the fore mast. Does anyone know more about the ship?

Peter
« Last Edit: May 16, 2010, 08:24:56 PM by Figleaf »
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline bruce61813

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Re: Bahamas: The pirate kingdom smasher
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2009, 10:29:30 PM »
Well to help start this, the ship is a Naval Frigate, merchant men would not carry that much sail, mostly because of the larger crew need to handle it.
 
http://www.coins.nd.edu/ColCoin/ColCoinIntros/Bahamas.intro.html, this is the same as you published in the original message, but has some references to
: "On this coin see: F. Pridmore, The Coins of the British Commonwealth of Nations to the End of the Reign of George VI 1952, Part 3: Bermuda, British Guiana, British Honduras and the West Indies,London: Spink and Son, 1965, pp. 72-74; Robert Chalmers, History of Currency in the British Colonies  London: n.p., 1893, 161-169; Chester Krause and Clifford Mishler, Standard Catalog of World Coins  ed. Colin R. Bruce II, Iola, Wis.: Krause, 1991, vol. 1, p. 224, KM-1; and Andre Clermont and John Wheeler, Spink's Catalogue of British Colonial and Commonwealth Coins  London: Spink, 1986, p. 59 ." so if someone has these books there may be more information. But from the information given, it looks like a generic frigate of the Napoleon war era/


Bruce
« Last Edit: November 13, 2009, 10:45:10 PM by bruce61813 »

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Bahamas: The pirate kingdom smasher
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2009, 10:43:59 AM »
I have all books except the last, but there's no information on the ship on any of them. I tend to agree that it is a man of war, but I would have expected latin sails between the fore and main masts.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline bruce61813

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Re: Bahamas: The pirate kingdom smasher
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2009, 04:41:18 PM »
The frigate is shown with aabout all her sails flying. If you look at the coin, the two sails between the first and second masts are her 'stunsils'  or 'staysails' . Those are like our modern spinnaker, as they are not hard rigged to the mast, but for the lack of a better description, held up by ropes only. These were used for added speed when going down wind.

Bruce