Queen Elizabeth I English shilling coin, Richmond Island, 1560

Contributed by Maine Historical Society

Queen Elizabeth I English shilling coin, Richmond Island, 1560

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Description

This shilling coin was part of the trove of gold and silver hidden by Walter Bagnall on Richmond Island. Bagnall was the first European settler on Richmond Island, near Cape Elizabeth, in 1628. 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."

Bagnall had violated his social responsibilities, and as a result, 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.

The front of the coin once featured Queen Elizabeth I's crowned head, with the text "ELIZABETH.D.G.AN.FR.ET.HI.REGINA" (Elizabeth by the grace of God, Queen of England...) along the rim. The reverse depicted the shields of England and France and the words "POSUI DEVI ADIVTOREM," or "I have made God my helper."

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About This Item

  • Title: Queen Elizabeth I English shilling coin, Richmond Island, 1560
  • Creation Date: 1560
  • Subject Date: 1560
  • Town: Richmond Island
  • County: Cumberland
  • State: ME
  • Media: Silver
  • Dimensions: 3.2 cm x 3.2 cm
  • Local Code: 819*9
  • 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
Website

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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