Museum Reproductions Web Shop


No 535 "Gun Money" James II Half-Crown

No 535 "Gun Money" James II Half-Crown Image

After his abdication, James II fled to France in December 1688, but he returned only three months later in order to regain the throne from his Protestant successor, William III.

He landed in Ireland and it soon became necessary for him to pay the Catholic troops he had collected in that country, together with those he had brought with him from France.

Since the Protestants either hoarded or sent most of their gold and silver across to England because of the threat of Civil War between supporters of James and William, it meant that there was a lack of precious metal, and any that James managed to collect from his supporters was immediately sent abroad to buy arms for his Catholic troops.

To pay the army it became clear that an emergency or token coinage was necessary. This token coinage was termed ‘gun money’, and the denominations included half-crowns, shillings and sixpences which were struck in brass at Dublin and Limerick. The crown appeared later.

Supplies of brass to mint the coins soon became very low thus all types of base metal had to be used, including two obsolete guns from Dublin Castle, and the same fate befell many other French and Irish cannons. The source of the metal gave rise to the name ‘gun money’.

Our example is the half-crown dated to August 1689. It is in Fair condition

Your Price:£3.99
Weight:14.00 g