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England - Charles I, Gold Triple Unite, minted Oxford during the Civil War, 1642

Stock code: CM000481X
Country: England, Stuart
King (reign): Charles I (1625 - 1649)
Denomination/metal: Gold Pounds, Three (Triple Unite)
Date/mint mark: 1642
Type Oxford Mint, 'Declaration'
Ref. no: Schneider 286; N 2381; S 2724

Obv. Half length tall figure of Charles to left, wearing crown and full armour holding a sword and an olive branch. Plumes behind, 'CAROLVS DG MAG BRIT FRAN ET HI REX'. Rev. Declaration in a three line scroll, 'RELIG PROT / LEG ANG / LIBER PAR' (Protestant Religion, Laws of England, Liberty of Parliament), three plumes above with mark of value, date below; around 'EXVRGAT DEVS DISSIPENTVR INIMICI' (Let God arise and let the enemy be scattered).
46mm, 27g. GVF - Good Very Fine, strongly struck

TheTripleUnite, valued atsixty shillings, 60/-or three pounds, was the highestEnglishdenomination to be produced. It was struck at the Oxford Mint set up during the first English Civil War of 1642-6 and issued between January and March of 1642 at the hurriedly set up mint at New Inn Hall in Oxford. This huge coin was issued, at least in part, for use as gifts to those whom the King wished to 'cement' to his side in the Civil War. Thus he obverse design for the coin features an armoured bust of Charles I, with broadsword raised, and yet in visual dichotomy he bears an olive branch clutched over his heart. Charles was visually appealing to either nature of the benefactor he was seeking to entice. The bust on this coin is very hawkish which is the earliest type, later he had it changed to a more benevolent softer style. On the reverse he put his famous declaration – uttered in 1642 when he swore to to uphold the Protestant Religion, the laws of England and the freedom of Parliament. Very rare and spectacular coin!

Bank of England, ONE MILLION POUND banknote 1948 - One of only two 'million pound' notes in existence!

Stock code: B000001X
Country: Great Britain
King (reign): George VI - (1936 - 1952)
Denomination/metal: Banknote Pounds, One Million
Date/mint mark: Bank of England

0mm, 0g. VF - Small hole cancellation through signature. Light creases and some handling otherwise good very fine to about extremely fine and extremely rare.

One Million Pounds, 30 August 1948, D 000007, on Bank of England watermarked paper, PAYABLE ON DEMAND, signature of E.E. Bridges, Secretary to the Treasury, bottom right, stamped ‘CANCELLED, 6 OCT. 1948, BANK OF ENGLAND’. Monies received through the Marshall Aid plan after World War II, were subject to strict accountability. The Treasury had to borrow from the Bank of England on a short term basis and to help with the book keeping requested the printing of high value notes. The total order sent to The Bank of England printing works was for Three Hundred Million Pounds in varying denominations, starting from Twenty Five Thousand Pounds. It is believed that the entire issue was subsequently destroyed with the exception of numbers Seven and Eight for One Million Pounds which were presented to the British and American Treasury Secretaries respectively.

England, James I gold Unite (20 shillings) issued 1604 – 1605.

Stock code: CM001061
Country: England, Stuart
King (reign): James VI (1567 - 1625)
Denomination/metal: Gold Shillings, Twenty (Unite)
Date/mint mark: Mintmark 'Lis' – Nov. 1604 – Jun. 1605.
Type Second Issue.

Obv. Crowned king in full armour right holding orb and sceptre, IACOBVS DG MAG BRIT FRANC ET HIB REX'. Rev. Crowned and garnished Royal Arms dividing 'IR', FACIAM EOS IN GENTEM VNAM'. (I will make them into one nation).
37mm, 9.84g. AVF - About Very Fine, well struck but with a little wear.

Although this coin has seen a little wear, because it was strongly stuck all the main features are still visible and it is still a very attractive piece of this first Stuart monarch of England. Called a 'Unite' because of James's wish to 'unite' the nations of England and Scotland – which sentiment he chose to be the reverse legend of his twenty Shillings piece. This is a concept that is particularly relevant today !

England, Charles I silver Crown, struck during Civil War at Truro 1642 – 1643.

Stock code: CM001063
Country: England, Stuart
King (reign): Charles I (1625 - 1649)
Denomination/metal: Silver Crown
Date/mint mark: Mintmark 'Rose' – 1642-43.
Type Truro Mint
Ref. no: S 3045.

Obv. King crowned and armoured on horse left, sash flying out, 'CAROLVS D G MAG BRIT FRA ET HI REX'. Rev. Round, garnished Royal Arms, CHRISTO AVSPICE REGNO' (I reign under the auspice of Christ).
42mm, 28.82g. VF - Very Fine, upper bust a little weakly struck

These coins are normally quickly and badly struck but this example exhibits very little wear, a full legend with a very well struck reverse. However the upper bust of Charles is a little weak but the detail in the horse is very good. This coin is a better specimen than the plate coin in 'Coins of England'. When the Civil War began in 1642, the Tower mint fell into the hands of Parliament and Charles was forced to open a mints in Royalist held western England at Shrewsbury, Bristol and Oxford Truro and finally Exeter. (1642 -46). In 1643 the king was already minting coins in Truro and on 4 September, after a siege, Exeter surrendered to Prince Maurice and the city remained in Royalist hands till 9 April 1646. On 3 January 1644 Sir Richard Vyvyan received a Royal Commission to set up a mint in Exeter;

England, Charles I. 'Second Issue' Silver milled sixpence issued 1638 and 1639.

Stock code: CM001177
Country: England, Stuart
King (reign): Charles I (1625 - 1649)
Denomination/metal: Silver Penny, Six (Sixpence)
Date/mint mark: mm. 'Anchor', 1638 - 1639
Type Briot's Second Milled Issue
Ref. no: S 2860.

Obv. Crowned bust left, denomination (VI) behind, 'CAROLVS DG MAG BRIT FR ET HIB REX'. Rev. Royal Arms on cross recerclee,'CHRISTO AVSPICE REGNO', (I reign under the auspice of Christ).
25mm, 2.93g. GEF - Good Extremely Fine, light correction marks on obv., very attractive iridescent toning to lustre.

Superb example of this Second Milled sixpence with fantastic iridescent lustre of blues and pinks. Charles employed the Frenchman Nicholas Briot who issued his machine made coins (ie milled rather than hammered) as an experiment in 1631 and 1632 and then again, after his return from Scotland, in 1638 to 1639 when this coin was made. This example exhibits virtually no wear although there are the normal correction marks - but otherwise has a fantastic portrait of the king. Although he produced superior coins that were well and precision struck, Briot and his milling machines were unpopular at the Tower of London. However in 1633 Charles had made Briot 'Chief Engraver' and a few years later Briot again attempted mechanisation at the Mint. Unfortunately, this second attempt was shelved after only a few months by the Civil War and thus in this piece we have not only a very rare and superiorly produced coin but also an important 'landmark' in the issue of milled British coins which would not be fully instituted at the Mint for a further thirty years.

Celtic Britain CORIELTAUVI, Vep Corf (retrograde) pale gold Stater AD 5 – 25.

Stock code: CM001196
Country: England, Celtic
King (reign): Vasu Deva II (288AD - 300AD)
Denomination/metal: Gold Stater
Date/mint mark: cAD 5 – 25
Type First Coinage.
Ref. no: BM 3296; vA 930; S -

Obv. Crude wreath design. Rev. Disjointed 'Celticised' horse, three pellets below horses tail, 'VEP' above, '(C)ORF' below.
20mm, 5.2g. GVF - Good Very Fine.

Very interesting example of this Corieltauvi stater – with the upper part of the legend 'VEP' being retrograde. A very rare variation! The meaning of Vep Corf is not really understood – CORF could perhaps be read as COR F, i.e. son (Filius) of Cor, or does COR refer to 'Corieltauvi'. Vep was probably a 'chief' of the Corieltauvi, a tribe based in the English East Midlands and Lincolnshire, around the time of the Roman conquest of Britain. Who ever Vep was he probably produced coins over a considerable period as the series has many variations and issued coins from around AD 5 – 25.

England, Charles I. Gold Triple Unite, struck at Oxford 1642.

Stock code: CM001219
Country: England, Stuart
King (reign): Charles I (1625 - 1649)
Denomination/metal: Gold Unite, Triple
Date/mint mark: 1642
Type Declaration issue, Oxford Mint.
Ref. no: Beresford Jones dies III/S2; Schneider 286; Brooker 832; N 2381; S 2724.

Obv. Crowned taller half-length armoured figure left, holding sword midway in field and long olive branch in left hand not touching upper shoulder, no scarf, Oxford plume to right, 'CAROLVS D G MAG BRIT FRAN ET HI REX'. Rev. Declaration inscription in three lines on a wavy scroll, 'RELIG PROT / LEG ANG / LIBER PAR' (Protestant Religion, Laws of England, Freedom of Parliament), three Oxford Plumes and value 'III' above, date below. 'EXVRGAT DEVS DISSIPENTVR INIMICI' (Let God arise and His enemies be scattered).
45mm, 26.92g. GVF - Good very Fine, well struck with a crisp bust, light handling marks.

The Triple Unite, valued at sixty shillings, or three pounds, was the highest English hammered denomination to be produced. It was struck at the Oxford Mint set up during the first English Civil War of 1642-6 and issued between January and March of 1643 (although dated 1642 ie in the old calender) at the hurriedly set up mint at New Inn Hall in Oxford. This huge coin was issued, at least in part, for use as gifts to those whom the King wished to 'cement' to his side in the Civil War. Thus the obverse design for the coin features an armoured bust of Charles I, with broadsword raised, and yet in visual dichotomy he bears an olive branch over his heart. Charles was visually appealing to either nature of the benefactor he was seeking to entice. The first bust on these coins was very hawkish (as on this example) and next year he had it changed to a more benevolent and softer style. On the reverse he put his famous declaration – uttered at Wellington in September 1642 when he swore to to uphold the Protestant Religion, the laws of England and the freedom of Parliament. A very rare (about two hundred are thought top be in existence) and spectacular coin! In January 1642 the 'Long Parliament had seized power in London and Charles was forced to move north. He reached Nottingham by late August but then turned west to Oxford which he reached in October and set up Court and prepared for war. On the 26th of October the Civil War commenced with the battle of Edgehill and then followed the famous battles and sieges of Naseby, Newark and Oxford. Peace negotiations in Spring 1646 came to nought the war continued into a second phase when the Scots invaded in 1648. During this time it was the King's sole right and prerogative to strike coins and to support the 'Royal Cause' supporters' plate, flatware, jewellery and any precious metal was donated to the king to turn into coin to finance the Royalist effort. Coins were struck at Oxford after the mint was hurriedly set up by Thomas Bushell in January 1643 to pay for men, arms, rent, supplies etc. for the war effort but these large gold coins, the ultimate image of Royal Power, were primarily used to procure allegiance. They were never intended to be saved and most were melted down at the end of the war to be turned into current coin – when the concept of 'kingship' had changed forever. A few survived and this rare and magnificent coin, the largest British hammered gold coin, is truly emblematic of this troubled age, the last king of England to rule by divine right.

English Colonial America, Silver 'Pine tree' Sixpence. Dated 1652, struck for Massachusetts in the 1660s.

Stock code: CM001217
Country: England, Stuart
King (reign): Charles II (1660 - 1685)
Denomination/metal: Silver Penny, Six (Sixpence)
Date/mint mark: (1652) generally issued in 1660s
Type Pellets at trunk variety
Ref. no: Noe 33; Breen 48; Whitman 670.

Obv. Pine tree within pellet ring, 'MASATHUSETS IN'. Rev. Date over denomination 'VI', 'NEW ENGLAND AN DOM 1652'.
19mm, 2.11g. GVF - Good Very Fine, dark toning, obverse struck a little off centre.

Superb example of this early and very rare American Colonial coin. Beautiful lustrous grey patination, well struck although the obv. Is a little off centre – particularly good example and difficult to better! As early as 1650, the colony of Massachusetts Bay was a commercial success. But an inadequate supply of money made trading difficult. England was not inclined to send gold and silver coins to the colonies, for she too were in short supply. Taking matters into their own hands, Boston authorities allowed two settlers, John Hull and his assistant Robert Sanderson, to set up a mint in the capital, Boston in 1652. The two were soon striking silver coinage - shillings, sixpences, and threepences. Nearly all of the new coins bore the same date: 1652. It is thought that the device, the pine tree, may symbolize one of the Bay Colony's prime exports, pine trees for ships' masts. Massachusetts coinage not only circulated within that colony, but was generally accepted throughout the Northeast of America, becoming a monetary standard in its own right. The majority of the coins were actually struck a few years after the date they bear (up to the 1670s) which poses the question,' why the 1652 date'? Some believe that it was intended to commemorate the founding of the Massachusetts mint, which did occur in 1652. Others believe the choice was a reflection of larger political events. Coinage was a prerogative of the King and in theory, these colonists had no right to strike their own coins, no matter how great their need. However, in 1652, there was no king - King Charles I had been beheaded three years previously, and England was a republic. The people in Massachusetts may have cleverly decided to put that date on their coinage so that they could deny any illegality if, as did happen, there were a re-establishment of the monarchy!

England, James II. Silver Halfcrown, 1686.

Stock code: CM001326
Country: England, Stuart
King (reign): James II (1685 - 1688)
Denomination/metal: Silver Crown, Half
Date/mint mark: 1686
Type First laureate type
Ref. no: ESC 494; S 3408

Obv. First laureate and draped bust left. Rev. Crowned cruciform shields, garter star at centre, date above, second 6 over 2 in date, edge inscribed in raised letters and dated SECVNDO.
32mm, AEF - Toned, light haymarking, reverse die flaw through Scottish shield and adjustment marks at date and on obverse drapery as per usually seen, otherwise nearly extremely fine.

Great Britain, Victoria. Silver Halfcrown 1840

Stock code: CM001328
Country: England, Hanoverian
King (reign): Victoria (1837 - 1901)
Denomination/metal: Silver Crown, Half
Date/mint mark: 1840
Type Young head
Ref. no: ESC 673; S 3887

Obv. Young head left with two plain fillets in hair, ww incuse on truncation, date below. Rev. Crowned quartered shield of arms within wreath, edge milled.
31mm, GEF - Uneven tone, a few tiny obverse hairlines, otherwise an attractive good extremely fine, with reverse lustre.

England, Charles II. Silver Halfcrown 1683.

Stock code: CM001331
Country: England, Stuart
King (reign): Charles II (1660 - 1685)
Denomination/metal: Silver Crown, Half
Date/mint mark: 1683

Ref. no: ESC 490; S 3367

Obv. Fourth laureate and draped bust right. Rev. Crowned cruciform shields, interlinked Cs in angles, garter star at centre, edge inscribed in raised letters and dated TRICESIMO QVINTO.
33mm, EF - Lightly toned, softly struck in parts, otherwise a pleasing extremely fine, reverse better, a superb example.

England, Cnut. Silver Penny, quaterfoil type, Bedford mint.

Stock code: CM001332
Country: England, Medieval
King (reign): Cnut (1016 - 1035)
Denomination/metal: Silver Penny
Type Quatrefoil type, Bedford Mint, Moneyer Leofwine.
Ref. no: BMC type VIII; N 781; S 1157

Obv. Crowned and draped bust left within quatrefoil, legend commences at lower left, +CNVT REX ANGLORVM. Rev. Long voided cross with pellet centre and tri-crescent terminals, over quatrefoil with pellet on each cusp, +LEOFPINE N BDE.
19mm, 1.23g. VF - Dark tone, a bold very fine and rare.

Celtic Britain, Corieltauvi. Gold Stater, c.45-10 BC.

Stock code: CM001342
Country: England, Celtic
King (reign): Corieltauvi
Denomination/metal: Gold Stater
Date/mint mark: c.45-10 BC
Type Uninscribed Coinage, Kite Type (c. 45-10 B.C.)
Ref. no: VA 825-1; BMC 3181-3; S 392

Obv. Abstract head of Apollo right. Rev. Disjointed horse left, kite-shaped box containing four pellets above, three-armed spiral below.
16mm, 5.47g. EF - A little softly-struck on obverse, otherwise extremely fine.

Anglo-Saxon England, Normandy. Silver Penny of William I, PAXs type, Lincoln mint.

Stock code: CM001314
Country: England, Anglo-Saxon
King (reign): William I - (1066 - 1087)
Denomination/metal: Silver Penny
Type PAXS type (1083?-86?), Lincoln Mint, Moneyer Siferth.
Ref. no: BMC type VIII; N 850; S 1257

Obv. Crowned facing bust with sceptre, crown type 1, breaking linear circle at bottom, legend commences lower left, +PILLELM REX. Rev. Cross pattée, letters P A X S each within annulet in each angle, linear circle surrounding, +SIFER ON LINC.
19mm, 1.4g. GVF - Pleasing good very fine.

Anglo-Saxon England, Mercia. Silver Portrait Penny of Coenwulf, King of Mercia.

Stock code: CM001312
Country: England, Anglo-Saxon
King (reign): Coenwulf (796 - 821)
Denomination/metal: Silver Penny
Type Portrait type, Moneyer Diormod
Ref. no: Naismith C39 1; N 347; S 916

Obv. Diademed bust right to edge of circle, head within linear circle, legend commences at lower left, +coenvvlf rex m. Rev. Double pincer shaped cross on cross pommée with wedges, +diormod moneta.
21mm, 1.3g. VF - A little bit ragged on part of rim, otherwise lightly scuffed near face, toned good very fine and very rare.

England, Mary I. Fine silver groat, issued 1553-1554.

Stock code: CM001307
Country: England, Tudor
King (reign): Mary (1553 - 1554)
Denomination/metal: Silver Groat
Date/mint mark: 1553-1554
Type Only issue
Ref. no: S 2492

Obv. Crowned bust left, 'MARIA DG ANG FRA Z HIB REGI'. Rev. Royal Arms on a cross fourchee, 'VERITAS TEMPORIS FILIA' (Truth, the daughter of Time).
24mm, 2.18g. GVF - Good Very Fine, well struck with a beautiful dark patination.

Very good example of this single issue (1553/54) of Mary, also the largest silver denomination, before she married Philip of Spain. Superb portrait, well struck, detailed and nicely toned. Rare. Aged 37 at her accession, Mary wished to marry and have children in order to leave a Catholic heir to carry on her religious reforms. To this end she removed her half-sister Elizabeth (a focus for Protestant opposition) from direct succession. Mary restored papal supremacy in England, abandoned the title of Supreme Head of the Church, reintroduced Roman Catholic bishops and began the slow reintroduction of monastic orders. Mary also revived the old heresy laws to secure the religious conversion of the country; heresy was regarded as a religious and civil offence amounting to treason (to believe in a different religion from the Sovereign was an act of defiance and disloyalty). As a result, around 300 Protestant heretics were burnt in three years - apart from eminent Protestant clergy such as Cranmer (a former archbishop and author of two Books of Common Prayer), Latimer and Ridley, these heretics were mostly poor and self-taught people. Apart from making Mary deeply unpopular, such treatment demonstrated that people were prepared to die for the Protestant settlement established in Henry's reign.

England, William III. Silver Halfcrown 1700.

Stock code: CM001330
Country: England, Orange
King (reign): William III (1694 – 1702)
Denomination/metal: Silver Crown, Half
Date/mint mark: 1700

Ref. no: ESC 561; S 3408

Obv. First laureate and draped bust right. Rev. Crowned cruciform shields, Lion of Nassau at centre, date above, edge inscribed in raised letters and dated DUODECIMO.
33mm, EF - Well-toned, a few small contact marks to portrait, two light hairline marks on reverse, otherwise extremely fine.

England, Edward the Confessor. Silver Penny, facing bust type. Oxford mint.

Stock code: CM001325
Country: England, Medieval
King (reign): Edward the Confessor (1042 - 1066)
Denomination/metal: Silver Penny
Date/mint mark: 1062-1065
Type Facing bust type (1062-65), Oxford Mint, Moneyer Heregod.
Ref. no: Freeman 109; BMC type XIII; N 830; S 1183

Obv. Crowned and draped facing bust within linear circle, legend commences at top, +EADPARD REX ANG. Rev. Cross at centre, linear circle surrounding, +HEREGOD ON OXEN.
17mm, 1.09g. GVF - Toned, good very fine.

England, Edward the Confessor. Silver helmet type Penny, Godric of Leicester mint.

Stock code: CM001333
Country: England, Medieval
King (reign): Edward the Confessor (1042 - 1066)
Denomination/metal: Silver Penny
Date/mint mark: 1053-1056
Type Helmet type, Godric of Leicester Mint.
Ref. no: BMC type VII; N 825; S 1179

Obv. Helmeted bust right with sceptre to edge of coin, legend commences at upper right, edper d rex. Rev. Short voided cross with annulet centre, three crescent terminals, all within linear circle, +godric on leher.
19mm, 1.6g. VF - Weak in parts with a nice portrait, toned a bold very fine, reverse weaker, very rare.

England, Elizabeth I. Gold Pound of Twenty Shilling, sixth issue.

Stock code: CM001318
Country: England, Tudor
King (reign): Elizabeth I (1558 - 1603)
Denomination/metal: Gold Pound, One (20 Shillings)
Date/mint mark: 1583-1600
Type Sixth issue (1583-1600)
Ref. no: Schneider 799/-; B&C F6; N 2008; S 2534

Obv. Ornate crowned bust left, beaded circle surrounding, initial mark woolpack (1594-6), annulet and comma stops on obverse, ELIZABETHo D’o G’o ANG’o FRA’o ETo HIBo REGINAo. Rev. Crowned quartered shield of arms, E to left, R to right, beaded circle surrounding, annulet stops on reverse, SCVTVMo FIDEIo PROTEGETo EAMo outer beaded circle surrounding both sides.
37mm, 11.11g. GVF - A little weak at reverse mint mark and corresponding part of obverse, a few other light marks, otherwise good very fine.

England, 'Fine silver issue' Crown 1551 of Edward VI.

Stock code: CM001375
Country: England, Tudor
King (reign): Edward VI (1547 - 1553)
Denomination/metal: Silver Crown
Date/mint mark: 1551
Type Fine silver issue.
Ref. no: N 1933; S 2478

Obv. Edward, crowned and in full armour holding sword in right hand, riding war horse right which is heavily caparisoned, date below, 'EDWARD VI D' G' AGL' FRANCI' Z HIB' REX. Rev. Royal Arms on cross fourchee, 'POSVI DEVM ADIVTORE' MEVM', (I have made god my helper).
42mm, 30.75g. AEF - Almost Extremely Fine, a well centred and struck example.

Superb example of this crown of Henry VIII's young sickly son as king – the details in the horse's caparisons and Edward's armour are well struck and very clear and the coin has a very nice toned lustre. Edward was England's first monarch who was raised as a Protestant came to the throne at the age of ten. His reign was marked by economic problems and social unrest that, in 1549, erupted into riot and rebellion. An expensive war with Scotland, at first successful, ended with military withdrawal and Boulogne-sur-Mer in exchange for peace. The transformation of the Anglican Church into a recognisably Protestant body also occurred under Edward, who took great interest in religious matters. It was during Edward's reign that Protestantism was established for the first time in England with reforms that included the abolition of clerical celibacy and the Mass and the imposition of compulsory services in English. In February 1553, at age 15, Edward fell ill. When his sickness was discovered to be terminal, he and his Council drew up a "Devise for the Succession", attempting to prevent the country being returned to Catholicism. Edward named his half-sister, Mary and she was proclaimed Queen and she reversed Edward's Protestant reforms!

Scotland, David II. Halfgroat struck at Aberdeen (very Rare) 1357-67.

Stock code: CM001377
Country: Scotland
King (reign): David II (1329 - 1371)
Denomination/metal: Silver Groat, Half
Date/mint mark: 1357-67
Type Second Coinage, Small, Young Bust, Aberdeen mint.
Ref. no: S 5112; Burns -.

Obv. Crowned bust left holding sceptre, 'DAVID DEI GRA REX SCOTORVM'. Rev. Cross Potent with five pointed voided star in each angle, outer legend 'DN'S PROTECTOR MEVS' (God is my Defender), inner legend 'VILLA ABERDON' (Town of Aberdeen).
23mm, 2.25g. GVF - Good Very Fine, well struck and nicely toned.

Superb little coin - beautiful condition and well struck resulting in all legend, both sides clearly legible. Secondly very rare because it was struck at Aberdeen. The vast majority of this issue were struck at Edinburgh and very few at the much smaller mint of Aberdeen and particularly this denomination. David was Robert the Bruce's only surviving son, born in 1324 when the Bruce was aged 50, and he was only five years old when his father died. At the age four, he was married to Joan, sister of Edward III of England (she was seven) as the Bruce tried to establish better relations with England. Following the death of Bruce in 1329, David was crowned at Scone on 24 November 1331, holding a small sceptre specially made for him. The young King David was driven into exile in France in 1334 but returned from there in 1341, deposing Edward Balliol for the last time. In response to an appeal for help from France, King David invaded England in 1346 but was captured at the Battle of Neville's Cross, remaining a prisoner at the English court until the Treaty of Berwick in 1357. He was returned to Scotland on payment of a large ransom and it was at this time that this second issue of coins was designed and this particular coin struck. David ruled with authority and included burgesses as well as nobles in the Parliament and trade increased during his rule. But he is frowned on for pushing the idea of a union of the Scottish and English crowns (in part to repay the ransom) but he also spent much of his time on self-indulgent fancies. David married a second time, to Margaret Drummond, but he died in Edinburgh Castle in February 1371 without legitimate issue. He was no doubt disappointed that his heir was his nephew, Robert II, son of Walter the 6th High Steward of Scotland and the founder of the Stewart dynasty. For many years he had regarded his nephew with considerable suspicion as Robert was a son of Marjorie Bruce, a daughter of King Robert I, and thus had a legitimate claim to the Scottish throne.

England, William & Mary. Gold Guinea 1689 (elephant & castle).

Stock code: CM001376
Country: England, Orange
King (reign): William and Mary (1688 - 1694)
Denomination/metal: Gold Guinea
Date/mint mark: 1689
Type Elephant and Castle issue.
Ref. no: S 3427

Obv. Laureate, conjoined busts right, Elephant & Castle mark below, 'GVLIELMVS ET MARIA DEI GRATI'. Rev. Crowned Royal Arms (with Lion of Orange in pretence) in rococo garnishing, 'MAG BR FR ET HIB REX ET REGINA'.
25mm, 8.31g. AEF - Almost Extremely Fine. Slightly weak strike to the centres, superb surfaces with some mint brilliance.

Very attractive guinea of William & Mary bearing the 'Elephant & Castle mark meaning that the gold had come from Africa. Some original lustre in the fields and the apparent wear in the centre of each side is weakness of strike rather than caused by circulation. The 'Elephant' Mark below the monarch's portrait denotes gold Supplied by the Royal African Company. The 'Royal African Company' was founded in 1660 as 'The Company of Royal Adventurers Trading to Africa' by Charles II, who was restored to the throne in that year. The Company ensured profits by exercising a monopoly on the trade from the West African coast. It enforced this trade monopoly by seizing other English merchant ships who tried to trade illegally with the locals. The original company collapsed in 1667 when England lost the Second Anglo-Dutch war, which the company had helped to provoke by attacking nearby Dutch merchant outposts. Re-Emerging in 1672, the Company merged with the Gambian Merchants Company to form the 'Royal African Company'. In addition to mining gold and silver, the Company's most important trade 'good' was in human beings. Manufactured goods were traded with local chieftains in return for captured fellow Africans, who were transported across the Atlantic to supply the new world with cheap labour. Millions of Africans were traded this way between 1672 and the end of the company's involvement in slaving in 1731.