English three halfpence coin, Queen Elizabeth I, Richmond Island, 1568

Contributed by Maine Historical Society

English three halfpence coin, Queen Elizabeth I, Richmond Island, 1568

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This tree halfpence coin, dating to the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, was found on Richmond Island in 1855. One side depicted the Queen, while the reverse included the words "FLORENT CONCORDIA REGNA," or "nations flourish by peace."

The coin was hidden by Walter Bagnall, the first European settler on Richmond Island. He became wealthy by cheating the Wabanaki, specifically the female leader Warrabitta’s family, at his trading post. According to Massachusetts Governor Winthrop, "Bagnall...was a wicked fellow, and had much wronged the Indians." Because Bagnall had violated his social responsibilities, Warrabitta’s brother, Skitterygusset, killed Bagnall in 1631 and burned down the trading post. This act was a redistribution of power and asserted Wabanaki jurisdiction of the area.

It is thought that Bagnall hoarded and buried money just before his murder. The number of coins and their international span demonstrates the far reaches of the fur trade in Maine.

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About This Item

  • Title: English three halfpence coin, Queen Elizabeth I, Richmond Island, 1568
  • Creation Date: 1568
  • Subject Date: 1568
  • Town: Richmond Island
  • County: Cumberland
  • State: ME
  • Media: Silver
  • Dimensions: 1.8 cm x 1.8 cm
  • Local Code: 819*4
  • Object Type: Physical Object

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For more information about this item, contact:

Maine Historical Society
485 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101
(207) 774-1822 x230

Use of this Item is not restricted by copyright and/or related rights, but the holding organization is contractually obligated to limit use. For more information, please contact the contributing organization. However, watermarked Maine Memory Network images may be used for educational purposes.

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