Cousland Day 1

Well, that was a hard day…  sun rain, sleet, wind, sun, rain, more rain…

and fortunately the folks from AOC archaeology came along to help…  though I have reason to believe that one person will be coming next weekend..  :)  won’t you Gilrean? 

opened up Tr 1 the glasshouse tench…    er….   nuffink so far!   (thanks Midlothian YAC) 

 opened Tr 3 the garden feature …  um…   stoney ground… 

 geofizz in the upper fields…  er…  nothing

 the Detectorists …  something!   though not that much…  but we did get something..  including my fave..  a gun money coin.. Gunmoney is a token coinage issued by James during his Irish campaigns against William III (William of Orange). The coins are made from brass which was salvaged from many sources including church bells, but probably not cannons – from which the name derives.

Gun Money

Gunmoney was a token issue and the intention to redeem it with silver coin following James’s success – the coins (except the crowns) are dated by month as well as year – this was to facilitate the orderly redemption of the brass coinage.  As we are aware ..  things did not go exactly to plan!

 One problem facing James was lack of funds to support the army he headed. James established mints at Dublin and Limerick and issued a token coinage consisting of Crowns, Halfcrowns, Shillings, and sixpence. These were struck in 1689 and 1690, bearing not only the year but also the month of manufacture. The coins were to be redeemed by his followers in Sterling, and with interest, when he re-took the throne. The month placed on the “coins” was to aid him in knowing how long the piece had been held, and what to pay.

They 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. Later issues were reduced in size because of this shortage, and many pieces were overstruck on other tokens and coins, as well as struck in pewter – this latter being quite rare today.

The calendar in use at the time was what is called “old style” – or OS – where the new year started on March 26th. Thus, the tokens struck in March 1689 and those struck in March 1690 were actually struck in the same month.

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.

  

1 Comment

Filed under BAJR Talk

One response to “Cousland Day 1

  1. Hi there – yes, I will, sorry. Got my dates mixed up, had no idea when it was. Hope you find something today!

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