Queen Elizabeth I English sixpence coin, Richmond Island, 1569

Contributed by Maine Historical Society

Queen Elizabeth I English sixpence coin, Richmond Island, 1569

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This coin was part of the cache of gold and silver hidden by Walter Bagnall on Richmond Island before 1631. 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.

The front of the sixpence coin featured Queen Elizabeth's head crowned and rose behind her back. The text along the rim proclaimed "ELIZABETH D.G. ANG. FR. ET HI. REGINA," the Latin for "Elizabeth, by the grace of God, Queen of England, France, & Ireland." The reverse of the coin featured a shield and the text "POSUI DEV. ADIVTOREM. MEV.," or "I have made God my Helper."

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About This Item

  • Title: Queen Elizabeth I English sixpence coin, Richmond Island, 1569
  • Creation Date: 1569
  • Subject Date: circa 1569
  • Town: Richmond Island
  • County: Cumberland
  • State: ME
  • Media: Silver
  • Dimensions: 2.5 cm x 2.5 cm
  • Local Code: 819*13
  • 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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