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Post mediaeval Scottish coinage 1513-1707

Started by Deeman, June 03, 2021, 10:16:53 PM

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Deeman

Introduction

The post mediaeval Scottish era commenced with the reign of James V who acceded the throne after the death of James IV at the disastrous Battle of Flodden in 1513. Scotland once again had an infant Stewart king on the throne, and once again, the regency years provided factional unrest and political manoeuvrings as the nobility vied for control of the kingdom.

During the reign of James V coins bore dates for the first time and there was a shift to continental coin standards, which increased notably during the reign of his daughter, Mary. Also, James V was the first Scottish king to strike gold coins bearing a portrait.

The coinage of James VI was as complicated as that of his mother, Mary, and covers two periods – before and after his accession to the English throne as James I in 1603. Reforms of 1603 saw Scottish coins minted that were the equivalents of English coins.

Charles I greatly simplified the coinage to make it conform more to English standards. During his reign, his relationship with Parliament quickly deteriorated. Charles had inherited the autocratic views of his father, which found its expression in the "Divine Right of Kings" to rule as they saw fit. His relationship with Parliament quickly deteriorated. This eventually led to the outbreak of Civil War in 1642, culminating in victory for Cromwell's Parliamentarians and their Scottish allies, and the establishment of the Commonwealth, during which time no coins were struck in Scotland.

After Cromwell's death, his son Richard ruled instead, with notable lack of success, and circumstances began to favour a restoration of the monarchy. In May 1660 Parliament proclaimed Charles II king and he returned to England from his exile in France. Charles II re-opened the Scottish mint and coins were struck based on the Scottish merk. In 1682 several of the Scottish mint officials were found guilty of corruption and the mint was closed until the reign of James II, re-opening in 1686.

During the reign of William and Mary the Scottish mint returned to coins which were equivalent to English coins, still based on a relative value of twelve (Scots) to one (English).

The regnal terms over this period are:
James V 1513-42
Mary 1542-67
James VI 1567-1603 (pre-accession to the English throne)
James VI (I of England) 1603-25
Charles I 1625-49
Charles II 1660-85
James VII (II of England) 1685-88
William II (III of England) and Mary II 1689-94
William II (III of England) 1694-1702
Anne 1702-14

Images show examples of coins struck from James V to Anne up to the Union of Scotland and England in 1707. No Scottish coins were struck after 1707. The last coins - British silver coins - ever struck in Scotland were issued at the Edinburgh mint in 1709.

Deeman

James V 1513-42

James V was just over 1 year old when his father was killed at Flodden field and he inherited the throne. Once again, the Scottish nobles fought for power during the King's period of infancy. John Stewart (2nd Duke of Albany) returned from exile and was offered power but was vigorously opposed by James' mother Margaret and her second husband Archibald Douglas (6th Earl of Angus) who took control and held James a virtual prisoner for three years, exercising power on his behalf.

When he escaped from his stepfather's authority, James ruled with authority but was sympathetic to the needs of the poor of Scotland. He brought the Borders under control and the Highlands and islands. It was a time of the rise of Protestantism in Europe and England, but James did not tolerate 'heresy' and strongly supported the Catholic Church.

James allied with France. His army suffered a crushing defeat against England in Nov 1542. Shortly afterwards his daughter Mary was born. The lost battle and the disappointment in the lack of a male heir made the 30-years-old king heart sick and he died few days later in grief.

Deeman

#2
James V first coinage 1513-26

Coins issued:
Gold – eagle; unicorn; half-unicorn
Billon – plack

James V's first years on the Scottish throne were dominated by Queen Margaret, as James inherited his titles at the age of one. What he inherited in the treasury was an odd mixture of coins of all sorts of denominations that were mostly silver pieces struck by his father, essentially copies of English groats and fractions, along with billon placks and pennies, many by his father, but a mass of earlier, worn coins too.

Under James V rising gold prices necessitated a revision in the value of the unicorn that was in circulation (introduced by James III at 18/- Scots) to 20/- and then, in 1526, to 23/-. Of the lower denominations, only the billon plack (4d Scots) was issued. All the coins of James V were struck in Edinburgh.

James V's reign was the last to use Lombardic characters.




Gold 'eagle' (17/-)

Struck by the Duke of Albany, regent during the minority of James V, who remained in office until James V was declared of age in 1526. No image of coin, just a depiction from The Numismatic Chronicle 1891.



Obverse cross pattée mintmark, IACOBVS.·.DEI.·.GRA.·.REX SCOTRVM.·. (James, by the Grace of God, King of Scots), crowned shield of Scottish Arms, flanked by saltires.
Reverse: crown mintmark, IOHNNIS.·.ALBANIE.·.ET.·.DVCIS.·.GVBERNA ('Under the protecting wings of John' - referencing John, Duke of Albany, the regent during the minority of James), the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove facing, nimbate and wings outspread, claws holding riband which curls upwards over wings bearing SVB VMBRA SVARVM (Hide me under the shadow of thy wings).




Gold unicorn (18/-)



Obverse: crown mintmark, IACOBVS:DEI GRA.·.REX SCOTRV   M.·. (James, by the Grace of God, King of Scots), unicorn standing facing spectator's left supporting shield of Scottish Arms, 'X' under unicorn.
Reverse: crown mintmark, EXVRGAT.·.DEVS.·.ET.·.DISIPENT.·.NIMICI.·.E (Let God arise and let his enemies be scattered), large twelve-pointed radiant sun over cross fleury.






1526 cinquefoil countermark for revaluation (23/-).




Gold half-unicorn



Obverse: crown mintmark, IACOBVS DEI:GRACIA·REX SCOTOR  VM: (James, by the Grace of God, King of Scots), unicorn standing facing spectator's left supporting shield of Scottish Arms.
Reverse: crown mintmark, FXVGAT:DFVS·FT·DISIPFNT:NIMICI·FIVS (Let God arise and let his enemies be scattered), large twelve-pointed radiant sun over cross fleury.




Billon plack



Obverse: IACOBVS·DEI:GRA·REX·SCOTORVM (James, by the grace of God, King of Scots), crowned shield of Scottish Arms, double tressure of three arcs not extending beyond bottom of shield, crown either side.
Reverse: VILL / A:DE / :EDIN / BVRG (Town of Edinburgh), floriate cross fourchée, centre mullet, saltires and crowns in opposite angles. (James IV plack had crowns in all angles.)


Deeman

James V second coinage 1526-39

Coinage introduced:
Gold – 'Abbey' crown
Silver – groat; third-groat

A new gold coin, the gold crown, also known as the Abbey crown, replaced the unicorn, with a value of 20/- (Scots). Groats, bearing a profile portrait of the king, were reintroduced with their value increased to 18d Scots. At the same time, the half-groat was abandoned and replaced by a third-groat, valued at 6d.

The design of James' new gold and silver coins followed foreign models closely. The crown design was clearly based on the French écu au soleil, while the silver was adapted from England's very recent groat, on which the profile bust of Henry VII's last issue was modified with fuller clothing and wider crown for the second coinage of Henry VIII.

In 1527 a special building for the Scottish mint was erected at the Abbey of Holyrood, and the new gold crown that had recently been issued by James V became known as the 'Abbey' crown. Prior to the building of the new mint, rent was paid to individuals for the use of their houses for coining, so-called cunzie-houses in Scottish dialect.




Gold 'Abbey' crown



Obverse: representation of sun on French crowns mintmark, IACOBVS.·.5.·.DEI.·.GRA.·.REX.·.SCOTORVM (James, by the Grace of God, King of Scots), crowned shield of Scottish Arms, 'X' either side of shield (XX standing for 20 shillings).
Reverse: crown mintmark, .·.CRVCIS.·.ARMA.·.SEQVAMVR.·. (Let us follow the arms of the cross), imagistic cross with a large fleur-de-lis at the end of each bar, centred by a large quatrefoil, thistle-head occupying each angle of the cross.




Silver groat 1526-28



Edinburgh referred to as a villa.
Obverse: + IACOBVS ⦂ 5 ⦂ DEI ⦂ GRA ⦂ REX ⦂ SCOTOR (James, by the grace of God, King of Scots), right facing bust wearing a mantled arched crown.
Reverse: ⦂VILL / A⦂ED / INBR / VGh X (Town of Edinburgh), floriate cross fourchée surmounted by shield of Scottish Arms.




Silver groat 1529-39



Edinburgh referred to as an oppidum (latin for fixed place).
Obverse: + IACOBVS.·.5.·.DEI.·.GRA.·.REX.·.SCOTORV (James, by the grace of God, King of Scots), right facing bust wearing a mantled arched crown.
Reverse: .·.OPPI / DV:E / DINB / VRGI (Town of Edinburgh), floriate cross fourchée surmounted by shield of Scottish Arms.




Silver third-groat 1529-39



Edinburgh referred to as an oppidum (latin for fixed place).
Obverse: + IACOBVS:5:DEI:GRA:R:SCOTORV (James, by the grace of God, King of Scots), right facing bust wearing a mantled arched crown.
Reverse: OPPI / DV:E / DINB / VRGI (Town of Edinburgh), floriate cross fourchée surmounted by shield of Scottish Arms.




Deeman

#4
James V third coinage 1539-42

Coinage introduced:
Gold – ducat; two-thirds ducat; third-ducat.
Billon – bawbee; half-bawbee.

For ten years, the crown and groat denominations dominated commerce in Scotland, and then just as suddenly as they had appeared, they ceased to be minted in 1539.

In 1538 the silver third-groat was replaced by the billon bawbee (25% silver), also valued at 6d (Scots). (Name derived from the Laird of Sillebawby, a mint-master.) A billon half-bawbee was introduced at the same time. Production of the groat ceased temporarily. The following year rising bullion prices necessitated the abandonment of previous coins and the introduction of a new gold denomination, the ducat with a value of 40/- (Scots).

For the first time ever, the ducats bore a date, 1539 and 1540. Accompanying denominations, the two-thirds ducat and third-ducat, minted in 1540, were also dated. Such dating predates the English coins by a decade when Roman numeral dates were adopted on gold and silver of Edward VI, but the first gold coin to have familiar 'Arabic' dating in the English series are actually the Oxford gold issues of Charles I from 1642, the great grandson of James V.




Gold ducat (40/-) dated 1540



First Scottish gold coin to bear a portrait.
Obverse: saltire mintmark, IACOBVS∙5∙DEI∙GRA·R∙SCOTOR:1540 (James, by the Grace of God, King of Scots), Renaissance style bearded profile mantled bust facing right wearing bonnet.
Reverse: cross mintmark, HONOR! REGIS∙IVDICIVM∙DILIGIT (The King observes justice) (Psalm 98:4), crowned shield of Scottish Arms over cross fleurée.




Gold two-thirds ducat dated 1540



Value £1/6/8d (Scots).
Obverse: lis mintmark, IACOBVS·D·G·R·SCOTORVM·1·5·4·0 (James, by the Grace of God, King of Scots), Renaissance style bearded profile mantled bust facing right wearing bonnet.
Reverse: cross mintmark, HONOR·REGIS·IVDICIVM·DILIGIT (The King observes justice) (Psalm 98:4), crowned shield of Scottish Arms, 'I' to left, '5' to right of shield ('I 5' standing for James V).




Gold third-ducat dated 1540



Value 13/4d (Scots).
Obverse: lis mintmark, IACOBVS·D·G·R·SCOTOR·1540 (James, by the Grace of God, King of Scots), Renaissance style bearded profile mantled bust facing right wearing bonnet.
Reverse: cross mintmark, HONO·REGIS·IVDICIV·DILIGIT, (The King observes justice) (Psalm 98:4), crowned shield of Scottish Arms, 'I' to left, '5' to right of shield ('I 5' standing for James V).




Billon bawbee 1539-42



Value 6d (Scots).
Obverse: cross mintmark, IACOBVS·D·G·R·SCOTORVM (James, by the Grace of God, King of Scots), crowned thistle dividing 'I 5'.
Reverse: lis mintmark, OPPIDVM·EDINBVRGI (Town of Edinburgh), crown on saltire flanked by fleur-de-lis.




Billon half-bawbee 1539-42



Value 3d (Scots).
Obverse: cross mintmark, IACOBVS·D·G·R·SCOTORVM (James, by the Grace of God, King of Scots), crowned thistle dividing 'I 5', annulet above 'I' and bar above '5'.
Reverse: lis mintmark, OPPIDVM·EDINBVRGI (Town of Edinburgh), crown on saltire.



Deeman

Mary 1542-67

Mary Stuart was born a few days before the death of her father James V in 1542. At one year old she was crowned queen of Scotland and contracted to marry with the future King Edward VI of England. Their heirs were to unite England and Scotland. When King Henry VIII demanded from Scotland to abandon the alliance with France, the Scottish parliament terminated the marriage contract of their queen, whereupon England took military action against Scotland. Following the battle fought in 1547 against the English at Pinkie, she was forced into exile.

In 1548 she came to the court of Paris, where French became her mother tongue and where she took her surname Stuart. Now Mary was contractually promised to Francis II, son of King Henry II of France. Henry raised the young Mary, Queen of Scots, hoping to use her ultimately to establish a dynastic claim to Scotland. On 24 April 1558, Henry's fourteen-year-old son, the Dauphin Francis, married Mary.

In 1561, after the Dauphin, still in his teens, died and with French help Mary was able to return to Scotland on 19 Aug 1561 and reclaim her throne. Regents having ruled in her place meantime. The Scottish Reformation became effective in 1560, as one result of a revolution against French domination, with a consequent widening Protestant - Catholic split. A Protestant husband for Mary seemed the best chance for stability. Mary married her cousin, Henry, Lord Darnley, on 29 July 1565, but it was not a success. Darnley was murdered in Feb 1567.

Mary had now become attracted to James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell, who was accused of Darnley's murder but was found not guilty. Shortly after he was acquitted, Mary and Bothwell were married. This so antagonised her subjects that she was forced to abdicate in favour of her son, James VI. She was imprisoned in Leven Castle in 1567, but in May 1568 escaped, gathered together a small army but was defeated at Langside by the Protestant faction. Mary then fled to England.

In England she became a political pawn in the hands of Queen Elizabeth I and was imprisoned for 19 years in various castles. Mary was found to be plotting against Elizabeth and executed in 1587.

Deeman

#6
Mary first coinage (minority) 1542-53

Mary's coinage is divisible into phases: minority years; exile in France prior to marriage; first marriage; first widowhood; second marriage; second widowhood to dethronement in 1567. During her reign numerous issues appeared in gold, silver and base metal, many of them comprising denominations never previously struck. In Mary's reign the Roman lettering was finally adopted.

At the beginning of Mary's reign James, Earl of Arran, was appointed Governor and he so remained until his resignation in April 1554. During the regency the cinquefoil, one of Arran's family emblems, appeared on all coins struck, except the Stirling bawbees.

Coinage issued:
Gold – 'Abbey' crown; 20 shillings piece.
Billon (25% silver) – bawbee; half-bawbee.

No silver coins were issued until 1553. In the early part of the reign the only coins struck were gold Abbey crowns (undated) and twenty-shilling pieces (1543), and a great mass of billon bawbees and half-bawbees. The gold coins were struck by the Edinburgh mint. Bawbees were struck at Edinburgh from 1542 and at Stirling in 1544, eventually being replaced by pennies in 1554.




Gold 'Abbey' crown 1542



Value 23/- (Scots).
Obverse: mullet mintmark, MARIA·DEI·GRA·REGINA·SCOTORVM (Mary, by the Grace of God, Queen of Scots), crowned shield of Scottish Arms, cinquefoils flanking shield.
Reverse: crown mintmark, ·CRVCIS·ARMA·SEQVAMVR (Let us follow the arms of the cross), imagistic cross with a large fleur-de-lis at the end of each bar, centred by a large quatrefoil, thistle-head occupying each angle of the cross.




Gold 20 shillings dated 1543



Obverse: cross mintmark, MARIA·D·G·SCOTORVM·1·5·4·3 (Mary, by the Grace of God, Queen of Scots), crowned shield of Scottish Arms.
Reverse: mullet mintmark, ECCE·ANCILLA·DOMINI (Behold the handmaid of the Lord), crowned MR monogram, cinquefoil below.




Billon bawbee



Value 6d (Scots).
Obverse: cross mintmark, MARIA·D·G·REGINA·SCOTORVM (Mary, by the Grace of God, Queen of Scots), crowned thistle dividing 'M R'.
Reverse: lis mintmark, OPPIDVM·EDINBVRGI (Town of Edinburgh), crown on voided saltire, cinquefoil each side.




Billon bawbee (voided saltire)



Obverse: cross mintmark, MARIA·D·G·R·SCOTORVM (Mary, by the Grace of God, Queen of Scots), crowned thistle dividing 'M R'.
Reverse: [lis] mintmark, OPPIDVM·EDINBVRGI (Town of Edinburgh), crown on voided saltire, cinquefoil each side.




Billon bawbee 1544 (Stirling)



Obverse: cross mintmark, MARIA·D·G·REGINA·SCOTORV (Mary, by the Grace of God, Queen of Scots), crowned thistle dividing 'M R'.
Reverse: crown mintmark, OPPIDVM·STIRLINGI (Town of Stirling), Jerusalem cross.




Billon half-bawbee (voided saltire)



Value 3d (Scots).
Obverse: cross mintmark, MARIA·D·G·R·SCOTORVM (Mary, by the Grace of God, Queen of Scots), crowned thistle dividing 'M R'.
Reverse: lis mintmark, OPPIDVM·EDINBVRGI (Town of Edinburgh), crown on voided saltire, star (intended as a cinquefoil) below.



Deeman

#7
Mary second coinage (exile pre-marriage) 1553-58

This covers Mary's exiled post regency period up to her marriage with the Dauphin Francis. During her reign there was an even greater shift towards continental coin standards.

Coinage introduced:
Gold – 44 shillings piece; 22 shillings piece; ryal; half-ryal.
Silver – testoon; half-testoon.
Billon – (25% silver) plack; penny.
Billon – (<10% silver) lion.

The gold 44/- and 22/- coins were struck in 1553. These pieces have the letters I G (for Iacobus Gubematoris) on the obverse, referencing James, Duke of Albany, the regent during the minority of Mary and meaning 'under the protecting wings of James'.

In 1555 a new coinage gold ryals and half-ryals were introduced, value 60/- and 30/- (Scots) respectively. Both ryals and half-ryals were struck in 1555, 57 & 58.

The new silver testoons, first struck in 1553, had an initial value of 4/- (Scots), but within two years it had to be revised upwards to 5/-. The 1553 testoon was produced in France with the new screw press process, for which a new mint had been established by Henry II in July 1553 at the 'Jardin des Estuves', where these pieces were made. The testoon was the first milled coinage of Scotland. A redesigned hammered testoon was struck in 1555 together was a half testoon, then valued at 5/- and 2/6d (Scots) respectively. Both values were then redesigned, struck 1556-58.

Billon placks (4d Scots) introduced 1557.

Billon lions (1½d Scots) introduced 1555 (also known as 'hardheads'). 'Hardhead' is said to be a reference to the Anglo-Gallic coin of 3 deniers tournois struck by Edward III in the name of Philip III of France, whose nickname was 'the bold', in archaic French 'le hardi'.

Billon pennies introduced 1554, design change 1556.




Gold forty-four shillings dated 1553



Obverse: cross pattée mintmark, MARIA·DE·I·GRA·R·SCOTORVM (Mary, by the Grace of God, Queen of Scots), crowned shield of Scottish Arms, flanked by 'I G' for Jacobvs Gubernatoris.
Reverse: cross pattée mintmark, DILIGITE·IVSTICIAM·1553 (observe justice), crowned monogram (MREG) of Maria Regina, cinquefoil either side.

Apparently, there is an extremely rare variety of the 44/- coin dated 1557 with 'M R' instead of 'I G' and RM monogram on reverse flanked by a cross pattée.




Gold twenty-two shillings dated 1553



Obverse: MARIA·D·G·R·SCOTORVM (Mary, by the Grace of God, Queen of Scots), crowned shield of Scottish Arms, flanked by 'I G' for Jacobvs Gubernatoris.
Reverse: cross pattée mintmark, DILIGITE·IVSTICIAM 1553 (observe justice), crowned monogram (RM) of Maria Regina, cinquefoil either side.




Gold ryal (60/-) dated 1555



Obverse: MARIA·DEI·G·SCOTOR·REGINA (Mary, by the Grace of God, Queen of Scots), portrait facing left with hair filleted and wearing pearl necklace.
Reverse: ·IVSTVS·FIDE·VIVIT·1555· (The righteous live by faith), crowned shield of Scottish Arms.




Gold half-ryal (30/-) dated 1558



Obverse: MARIA·DEI·G·SCOTOR·REGINA (Mary, by the Grace of God, Queen of Scots), portrait facing left with hair filleted and wearing pearl necklace.
Reverse: ·IVSTVS·FIDE·VIVIT·1558· (The righteous live by faith), shield of Scottish Arms below small crown.




Silver testoon dated 1553 (then value 4/-)



First non-hammered coin, produced on screw press.
This design only issued 1553.
Obverse: cinquefoil mintmark, ·MARIA·DEI·GRA·R·SCOTORVM (Mary, by the Grace of God, Queen of Scots), crowned bust facing right.
Reverse: cross mintmark, ·DA·PACEM·DOMINE·1553· (Give us peace, O Lord), crowned shield Scottish Arms flanked by cinquefoil.




Silver testoon dated 1555 (then value 5/-)



This design only issued 1555.
Obverse: cross potent mintmark, MARIA·DEI·GRA·SCOTOR·REGINA·1555 (Mary, by the Grace of God, Queen of Scots), crowned 'M' flanked by crowned thistle head.
Reverse: COR·HV / MILE· / DILICI / E·DNI· (A humble heart is the delight of the Lord), cross potent surmounted by shield of Scottish Arms.




Silver half-testoon dated 1555 (then value 2/6d)



This design only issued 1555.
Obverse: cross potent mintmark, MARIA·DEI·G·SCOTOR·REGINA·1555 (Mary, by the Grace of God, Queen of Scots), crowned 'M' flanked by crowned thistle head.
Reverse: COR·HV / MILE· / DILICI / E·DNI· (A humble heart is the delight of the Lord), cross potent surmounted by shield of Scottish Arms.




Silver testoon dated 1556



Date on both obverse and reverse.
Obverse: cross potent mintmark, MARIA·DEI·G·SCOTOR·REGINA·1556 (Mary, by the Grace of God, Queen of Scots), crowned shield of Scottish Arms, flanked by 'M R' with pellet below each letter.
Reverse: crown mintmark, IN·VIRTUTE·IVA·LIBERA·ME·1556· (In thy strength deliver me), Jerusalem cross.




Mary testoon 1557 countermarked



Crowned thistle head re-valuation countermark by James VI in 1578. Value 7/4d.




Silver half-testoon dated 1556



Date on both obverse and reverse.
Obverse: cross potent mintmark, MARIA·DEI·G·SCOTOR·REGINA 1556· (Mary, by the Grace of God, Queen of Scots), crowned shield of Scottish Arms, flanked by 'M R' with annulet below each letter.
Reverse: crown mintmark, IN·VIRTUTE·IVA·LIBERA·ME 1556· (In thy strength deliver me), Jerusalem cross.




Billon plack (4d) dated 1557



Obverse: cross mintmark, MARIA·DEI·G·SCOTOR·REGINA·1557 (Mary, by the Grace of God, Queen of Scots), crowned shield of Scottish arms dividing 'M R'.
Reverse: SERVIO·ET·VSV·TEROR·1557 (I serve and am worn by use) floriate cross fourchée, centre saltire, crown in the angles.




Billon plack (4d) dated 1557 countermarked



Heart and star countermark, the arms of the Earl of Morton, regent for James VI, in 1575 to verify genuine.




Billon lion (1½d) dated 1555



Date on obverse and reverse.
Obverse: cross mintmark, MARIA·D·G·SCOTOR·REGINA·1555 (Mary, by the Grace of God, Queen of Scots), crowned 'M'.
Reverse: ·VICIT·VERITAS·1555· (Truth has conquered), crowned lion rampant.




Billon lion (1½d) dated 1555 countermarked



Heart and star countermark, the arms of the Earl of Morton, regent for James VI, in 1575 to verify genuine.




Billon penny 1554



Obverse: MARIA·D·G·R·SCOTORV (Mary, by the Grace of God, Queen of Scots) crowned bust facing, open crown.
Reverse: ·OPI / DV·E / DINB / VRGI (Town of Edinburgh), cross fourchée, cinquefoil and crown in alternate angles.




Billon penny dated 1556



Obverse: cross mintmark, MARIA·D·G·SCOTOR·REGINA (Mary, by the Grace of God, Queen of Scots), Jerusalem cross.
Reverse: VICIT / VERITAS / 1556 (Truth has conquered), crown above.





Deeman

#8
Screw Press



Three-person operation: boy feeding blank planchets into press and one person on each arm of screw top, pulling strings.

Deeman

#9
Mary & Francis third coinage 1558-60

Mary married the French hereditary Prince Francis as planned in 1558, who a year later, at the age of 15, succeeded his father Henry II on the throne of France. When Francis II died in 1560, the strictly Catholic Mary returned to Scotland in 1561, which had become increasingly Protestant.

Coinage introduced:
Gold – ducat.
Silver – re-designed testoon & half-testoon (FM monogram).
Silver – (50% silver) groat.
Billon – (<10% silver) lion re-designed.

The gold ducat was only struck in 1558; there are no half-ducats.

The silver testoons and half-testoons had two issues, 1558/9 before Francis' accession to the French throne, and 1560 post-accession.

The silver groat (also known as 'nonsunts', taken from the reverse inscription) were struck 1558/9, value 12d (Scots).

Billon lions (1½d Scots) continued 1558-60 with added dolphins.




Gold ducat (60/-) dated 1558



Obverse: cross pattée mintmark, ·FRAN·ET·MA·D·G·R·R·SCOTOR·DELPHIN·VIEN (Francis and Mary, by the grace of God King and Queen of Scots, Dauphin and Dauphiness of Vienne), armoured bust of Francis, mantled and veiled head of Mary wearing ruffled collar, facing one another, crown above.
Reverse: cross pattée mintmark, ·HORVM·TVTA·FIDES·1558· (Belief in them is everything), cruciform pattern of four crowns and eight intertwined dolphins; cross of Lorraine in each quarter.
Vienne is the chef-lieu ("capital") of the Dauphiné, giving its name to the Dauphin. The dolphin was the heraldic emblem of the dauphin (eldest son of French king, the heir apparent).




Silver testoon (5/-) dated 1558



Obverse: crown mintmark, ·FRAN·ET·MA·D·G·R·R·SCOTOR·D·D·VIEN (Francis and Mary, by the grace of God King and Queen of Scots, Dauphin and Dauphiness of Vienne), arms of Dauphin impaled with Scottish arms over cross potent.
Reverse: cross pattée mintmark ·FECIT·VIRAQVE·VNAM·1558· (He has made both one), crowned 'FM' monogram flanked by patriarchal cross.




Silver half-testoon (2/6d) dated 1558



Obverse: crown mintmark, ·FRAN·ET·MA·D·G·R·R·SCOTOR·D·D·VIEN (Francis and Mary, by the grace of God King and Queen of Scots, Dauphin and Dauphiness of Vienne), arms of Dauphin impaled with Scottish arms over cross potent.
Reverse: cross pattée mintmark ·FECIT·VIRAQVE·VNAM·1558· (He has made both one), crowned 'FM' monogram flanked by patriarchal cross.




Silver testoon (5/-) dated 1560



Obverse: cross mintmark, ·FRAN·ET·MA·D·G·R·R· FRANCO·SCOTORQ· (Francis and Mary, by the grace of God, King and Queen of France and Scotland - abbreviated version of Franciscus et Maria Dei Gratia Rex et Regina Francorum Scotorumque), Scottish crowned impaled arms of France and Scotland, cross to left, saltire to right.
Reverse: cross pattée mintmark VICIT·LEO·DE·TRIBV·IVDA·1560 (The lion of the tribe of Judah has prevailed), crowned 'FM' monogram flanked by crowned lis on left and crowned thistle head on right.




Silver testoon dated 1560 countermarked



Crowned thistle head re-valuation countermark by James VI in 1578. Value 7/4d.




Silver half-testoon (2/6d) dated 1560



Obverse: cross mintmark, ·FRAN·ET·MA·D·G·R·R·FRANCO·SCOTORQ· (Francis and Mary, by the grace of God, King and Queen of France and Scotland), Scottish crowned impaled arms of France and Scotland, cross to left, saltire to right.
Reverse: cross mintmark VICIT·LEO·DE·TRIBV·IVDA·1560 (The lion of the tribe of Judah has prevailed), crowned 'FM' monogram flanked by crowned dolphin on left and crowned thistle head on right.




Silver groat (12d) dated 1558



Obverse: cross pattée mintmark, ·FRAN·ET·MA·D·G·R·R·SCOTOR·D·D·VIEN (Francis and Mary, by the grace of God King and Queen of Scots, Dauphin and Dauphiness of Vienne), crowned 'FM' monogram flanked by crowned dolphin on left and crowned thistle head on right.
Reverse: IAM·NON / SVNT·DVO / SED·VNA /·CARO· (They are now not twain but one flesh), cross pattée above, ·1558· below, patriarchal cross each side.




Billon lion (1½d) dated 1559



Obverse: cross mintmark, FRA·ET·MA·D·G·R·R·SCOT·D·D·VIEN (Francis and Mary by the grace of God King and Queen of Scotland Dauphin and Dauphiness of Vienne), crowned 'FM' monogram flanked by a dolphin.
Reverse: ·VICIT·VERITAS·1559· (Truth has conquered), crowned lion rampant.




Deeman

#10
Mary fourth coinage (between marriages) 1561-65

Coinage struck for the period following the death of Francis to her second marriage to Lord Darnley. No billon issues.

Gold – crown 1561.
Silver – 1561-dated issue of 1560 testoon design; re-designed testoon and half-testoon 1561/2.




Gold crown (20/-) 1561

An extremely limited strike after which no further gold coinage took place in Scotland until 1575, when twenty-pound pieces of James VI were issued.



Obverse: cross mintmark, MARIA·DEI·GRA·SCOTORVM·REGINA·1561 (Mary, by the Grace of God, Queen of Scots), crowned shield bearing the Arms of France half effaced by those of Scotland.
Reverse: star mintmark, EXVRGAT·DEVS·ET·DISCIPENTVR·INIMICI·1561 (May God arise and scatter his enemies). Four crowned M's cruciform with a thistle head between each, star of eight points in the centre.




Silver testoon (5/-) dated 1561



Francis died on 5 Dec 1560, so this coin was issued when Mary was a widow. A rare striking of the 1560-design testoon issued under the joint rule of Francis and Mary due to the fact that an updated coinage was not ordered until later in 1561.




Silver testoon (5/-) dated 1561



Obverse: ·MARIA·DEI·GRA·SCOTORVM·REGINA· (Mary, by the Grace of God, Queen of Scots), portrait facing left in French bonnet and high-necked dress, date in decorated cartouche below.
Reverse: cross mintmark, ·SALVVM·FAC·POPVLVM·TVVM·DOMINE· (Save your people, Lord), crowned shield bearing the Arms of France dimidated by those of Scotland, flanked by crowned M.




Silver testoon dated 1562



As 1561 testoon but slight change in portrait orientation, reverse inscription starts with cross pattée mintmark, larger lis in shield and lower crowned Ms.




Silver testoon dated 1561 countermarked



Crowned thistle head re-valuation countermark by James VI in 1578. Value 7/4d.
Displaying similar dies to those used for the 1562 testoon.




Silver half-testoon (2/6d) dated 1561



Obverse: ·MARIA·DEI·GRA·SCOTORVM·REGINA· (Mary, by the Grace of God, Queen of Scots), portrait facing left in French bonnet and high-necked dress, date in decorated cartouche below.
Reverse: [cross] mintmark, ·SALVVM·FAC·POPVLVM·TVVM·DOMINE· (Save your people, Lord), crowned shield bearing the Arms of France dimidated by those of Scotland, flanked by crowned M.




Silver half-testoon dated 1562



As 1561 half-testoon but slight change in portrait orientation.




Silver half-testoon dated 1561 countermarked



Crowned thistle head re-valuation countermark by James VI in 1578. Value 3/8d.





Deeman

Mary & Henry fifth coinage 1565-67

Mary married her cousin, Henry, Lord Darnley, on 29 July 1565, but it was not a success. Like her previous marriage it turned out to be of short duration with tragic and often chaotic circumstances.

Lord Darnley was Mary's cousin; they had a shared grandparent and link to the English crown through Margaret Tudor, eldest daughter of Henry VII. Darnley was also distantly related to the Scottish crown through his father, a descendent of James II. Dynastically, Darnley was a perfect match for Mary because of his connection to the English throne, which would support her claim to the English succession, and because he was not a foreign prince.

The marriage was a disaster. Darnley was arrogant, immature and irresponsible. His constant demands to be crowned king of Scotland in his own right alienated both his wife and the Scottish nobles. His behaviour worsened after the birth of their son, the future King James VI of Scotland and I of England. On 10 Feb 1567 Darnley was found murdered at Kirk o'Field, Edinburgh. The murder is one of the great historical mysteries, and there has been much debate about the extent of Mary's involvement.

The coinage struck during their marriage was the ryal (30/- Scots) 1565-67, two-thirds ryal (20/- Scots) 1565-67 and third-ryal (10/- Scots) 1565/66, now silver denominations. The ryal is also known as the 'Crookston dollar', as applied from stories relating to the supposed courtship of Mary and Darnley under the famous yew tree of Crookston Castle.

The first issue was a 1565 ryal showing the busts of Henry and Mary face to face with Henry's name placed before Mary's. This caused a lot of controversy and the coin was almost immediately withdrawn. Among the nobles there was resentment that on the coin his name was before hers with the implication that his status was comparable to hers.

This was followed by ryal denominations showing a tortoise climbing a palm tree - a choice of design the meaning of which has been subject to lots of speculation. It is thought its significance reflects the relative positions of Mary and Darnley, as queen and subject, before marriage. Possibly the 'palm tree' could actually be the Crookston yew.




Silver ryal dated 1565 face-to-face



Obverse: thistle head mintmark, HENRICVS·&·MARIA·D:GRA·R·&·R·SCOTORVM (Henry and Mary, by the grace of God, King and Queen of Scots), busts of Henry and Mary face to face uncrowned, date below.
Reverse: cross pattée mintmark, QVOS·DEVS·COIVNXIT·HOMO·NON·SEPARET· (Whom God has joined let no man separate), crowned shield of Scottish Arms, flanked by a thistle head.




Silver ryal dated 1566



Obverse: cross pattée mintmark ·MARIA·&·HENRIC⁹·DEI·GRA·R·&·R·SCOTORV· (Mary and Henry, by the grace of God, queen and king of Scots), crowned shield of Scottish Arms, flanked by a thistle head.
Reverse: thistle head mintmark, ·EXVRGAT·DEVS·&·DISSIPENTᴿ:INIMICI·EI⁹· (Let God arise and let his enemies be scattered), crowned palm tree with a tortoise ascending, DAT GLORIA VIRES (Glory gives strength) on a scroll across trunk, date either side.




Silver ryal dated 1566



Variant: Strike E⁹ instead of EI⁹ in the reverse inscription.




Silver ryal dated 1566 irregular strike



Strike differs with obverse inscription placing Henry before Mary, ·HENRIC⁹·&·MARIA·DEI·GRA·R·&·R·SCOTORV· (Henry and Mary, by the grace of God, king and queen of Scots).




Silver ryal dated 1565 countermarked



Crowned thistle head re-valuation countermark by James VI in 1578. Value 36/9d.




Silver two-thirds ryal dated 1565



Design and inscriptions same as ryal, differentiated by size and weight.




Silver two-thirds ryal dated 1566 countermarked



Crowned thistle head re-valuation countermark by James VI in 1578. Value 24/6d.




Silver third-ryal dated 1565



Design same as ryal with changes to both obverse and reverse inscriptions (same transliteration).
Obverse: ·MARIA·ET·HENRICVS·DEI·GRA·R·ET·R·SCOTORVM· (Mary and Henry, by the grace of God, queen and king of Scots).
Reverse: ·EXVRGAT·DEVS·ET·DISSIPENTᴿ·INIMICI·EIVS· (Let God arise and let his enemies be scattered).




Silver third-ryal dated 1565 countermarked



Crowned thistle head re-valuation countermark by James VI in 1578. Value 12/3d.

Deeman

Mary sixth coinage 1567

In 1567, Mary was widowed, re-married and dethroned all in the space of four months.

Darnley was murdered in Feb 1567. On 15 May 1567, Mary and James Hepburn, Earl of Bothwell, were married at Holyrood according to the Protestant rites. Exactly a month later, the final showdown between Mary and the Protestant lords took place at Carberry Hill near Edinburgh. Two days after Carberry, Mary was imprisoned on the isle of Lochleven. The young Queen with the golden future was just 24, and her life was effectively over.

The coinage struck during her last year on the throne was the ryal (30/-), two-thirds ryal (20/-) and third-ryal (10/ ). It followed the design adopted during her marriage with Darnley without the reference to Henry on the obverse inscription. A third-ryal exists dated 1566.




Silver ryal dated 1567 (same is applicable to the two-thirds ryal)



Obverse: cross mintmark, ·MARIA·DEI·GRA·SCOTORVM·REGINA· (Mary, by the Grace of God, Queen of Scots), crowned shield of Scottish Arms, flanked by a thistle head.
Reverse: thistle head mintmark, ·EXVRGAT·DEVS·&·DESSIPENTᴿ·INIMICI· EI⁹· (Let God arise and let his enemies be scattered), crowned palm tree with a tortoise ascending, DAT GLORIA VIRES (Glory gives strength) on a scroll across trunk, date either side.




Silver third-ryal dated 1567 countermarked



The only difference from the ryal is a slightly modified reverse inscription thus:
"·EXVRGAT·DEVS·ET·DESSIPENTᴿ·INIMICI·EIVS·"
This image has a crowned thistle head re-valuation countermark by James VI in 1578. Value 12/3d.



Deeman

James VI 1567-1603 (pre-accession to the English throne)

James was the only child of Mary Queen of Scots and her second husband, Lord Darnley. The infant James last saw his mother on 24 April 1567 at Stirling Castle. On 24 June 1567 Mary was forced to abdicate in favour of her son James VI, who as a result became king just after his first birthday. As an infant, James had councillors ruling in his name, until he took up his personal reign in his mid-teens, in the early 1580s.

James was one of the most long-standing monarchs of Scotland, king for 58 years (1567-1625) from the age of one. But he is notable not just for the length of his reign, but for the amount that he managed to achieve within it. Of these achievements, perhaps the most significant of all was his careful management of his peaceful succession to the English throne in 1603. In doing so, he brought the 'auld enemies', the kingdoms of Scotland and England, together under the kingship of one monarch.

The coinage of James VI was as complicated as that of his mother. It is remarkable for the extraordinary variety of types introduced, and for the frequent changes in the qualities and weights of the coins. However, it can be divided into two periods, that before his accession to the English throne and that after. In the early period several new denominations were introduced. Some were continuations of coins from the reign of his mother, others revivals of earlier denominations such as the rider and the lion. In silver, several totally new coins made their appearance, with values between two shillings and forty shillings. The old unit of account based on multiples and fractions of the sum of six shillings and eightpence, reappeared in a coin called a merk. Production of these coins ceased with the reforms of 1603 after which all the coins minted were the Scottish equivalent of English denominations, using a standard of twelve Scottish pounds being equal to one English pound.

Deeman

#14
James VI first coinage 1567-71

In 1567, the first coinage of this reign, the sword dollar or 'James ryal' and its fractions, was authorised in August. In December it was authorised, with the advice of the Regent, that no billon money be struck. It was also made illegal to break down or melt coined money, under pain of confiscation of the goods of the offender. Another act provided that 'men of judgment' were to be chosen in every town, before whom all sums of money were to be paid, and who were to clip pieces all false money. One penny per pound was fixed as the fee for the clipper. Great frauds appear to have been practised at this time and vigorous measures were taken to repress them. In order to prevent the importation of foreign or counterfeit money, another act reduced bawbees from 6d to 3d, groats (nonsunts) from 12d to 6d and placks from 4d to 2d. Lions (hardheads) and pennies remained at face value.

Coinage introduced:
Silver – Silver ryal (sword dollar) (30/-) 1567-71
Silver – Silver two-thirds ryal (sword dollar) (20/-) 1567-71
Silver – Silver third-ryal (sword dollar) (10/-) 1567-69, 71




Silver ryal dated 1569



Obverse: ·IACOBVS·6·DEI·GRATIA·REX·SCOTORVM· (James VI, by the grace of God, king of Scots), crowned shield of Scottish Arms, crowned I and R either side.
Reverse: .·.PRO·ME·SI·MEREOR·IN·ME.·. (For me; but against me if I deserve), crowned upright sword, date either side, pointing hand to upper left, value XXX (for 30/-) to right.




Silver ryal dated 1567 countermarked



Crowned thistle head re-valuation countermark in 1578. Value 36/9d.




Silver two-thirds ryal 1568



Same as one ryal coin but value XX for 20/-.




Silver two-thirds ryal dated 1571 countermarked



Crowned thistle head re-valuation countermark in 1578. Value 24/6d.




Silver third-ryal 1570



Same as one ryal coin but value X for 10/-.