STUART. James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth.
1649-1685. AR Medal (38mm, 29.94 g, 12h). Beheading of the Duke of Monmouth. By J. Smeltzing. Dated 1685. (star) IACOBUS INFELIX DUX MONUMETHENSIS, bare head right / HUNC SANGUINEM LIBO DEO LIBERATORI (unto God, the Deliverer, I pour out this blood
), severed head set on ground, upturned left and spewing forth blood; in two lines in exergue, CÆSA CERVIX · LON :/IULY 15|25 1685 (his neck cut on the 15|25th of July in London
). MI 615/26; Eimer 280; van Loon III, p. 328. EF, toned and lustrous.
Ex Christie’s (26 February 1980), lot 361.
The eldest of Charles II’s illegitimate sons, James Scott, the First Duke of Monmouth, sought the throne upon the death of his father rivaling Charles’ younger brother and James’ uncle, James II. Attempting to capitalize on his uncle’s unpopularity and Catholic stance, the Duke, albeit born illegitimately, professed his Protestant views, had himself crowned as King, and led a small attack upon his uncle. No match for the royal army, the uprising was swiftly quelled, and the Duke was sentenced to death by beheading on Tower Hill on 15 July 1685.