Coins - Gun Money

From Bulletin No. 1 - Issued by Craigavon Historical Society in April 1968

Ireland holds one almost unique distinction in that certain coins issued in Ireland had not only the year inscribed but also the month.

King William of OrangeKing James IIWe owe a lot to King William and James II who came to Ireland in 1689. James came to raise an army to fight William, but, unfortunately for him he had very little money so what could he do. Well, he did just what a lot of us would like to do - he made his own. He coined crowns, half-crowns, shillings and sixpences (said to be made from cannon), for the payment of his troops, which coins were to be exchanged at a later date for silver coins. It was a case of "first come, first served" because the new silver coins were to be redeemed progressively.

These coins were first issued in June 1689, but in the year 1689 the new calendar was introduced, with the result that some coins issued early in 1689 follow those issued later in the year. How Irish can one get'. The last issue was in October 1690.

Alas for the original holders of these coins for they were never redeemed, but, if any member has an ancestor so unfortunate at this time, then perhaps he would produce the gun money and make a handsome profit in 1968.

* Contributors to this issue included:
D. M. Holt, K. Clendinning, T. Hutton, K.N. McClelland, J.F. McShane and S.J.W. Cooper.

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