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.