Queen Elizabeth I English sixpence coin, Richmond Island, 1578

Contributed by Maine Historical Society

Queen Elizabeth I English sixpence coin, Richmond Island, 1578

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This sixpence coin was part of the cache of coins hidden by Walter Bagnall on Richmond Island, near Cape Elizabeth.

In 1628, Bagnall was 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." Bagnall 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 coin depicted Queen Elizabeth's head, crowned, with a rose behind her back. The rim was stamped with the Latin text "ELIZABETH D.G. ANG. FR. ET HI. REGINA," translated as "Elizabeth, by the grace of God, Queen of England, France, & Ireland." The reverse of the coin featured shield, the year 1578, 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, 1578
  • Creation Date: 1578
  • Subject Date: 1578
  • Town: Richmond Island
  • County: Cumberland
  • State: ME
  • Media: Silver
  • Local Code: 819*15
  • 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

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