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Research Coins: Feature Auction


Two Extremely Rare Issues of the Lords Justices
From the Bridgewater House Collection

CNG 91, Lot: 1583. Estimate $7500.
Sold for $7000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

IRELAND, The Great Rebellion. Issues of the Lords Justices. 1642-1649. AR Crown (43mm, 27.33 g, 6h). Ormonde Money. Struck in the name of Charles II, 1649. (lis) CAR · II · D · [G · MAG ·] BRIT (cinquefoil stops), large crown / [(lis) F]RA · ET [· HIB ·] REX · [F · D &], large V; [S above]. D&F 336; SCBC 6553. VF, toned, usual areas of striking weakness. Extremely rare.

From the Innisfree Collection. Ex Künker 165 (8 March 2010), lot 481; Bridgewater House Collection (Sotheby’s, 15 June 1972), lot 577.

Following the increase in racial and religious discrimination against the native Irish population during the first third of the seventeenth century, an open rebellion exploded in October 1641 as two Protestant Lords Justices had prevented the Irish parliament from passing a bill which would have alleviated Catholic grievances. Though the rebel forces failed in their attempt to seize Dublin Castle, they quickly found success at Ulster, whence the rebellion spread around the countryside. Following the outbreak of civil war between King Charles and the English parliament the next year in 1642, the rebel forces of Irish Catholics gave their support to the King, further placing them at odds with the English Protestants.

An emergency coinage was first issued during this period under the Lords Justices, with various denominations struck on cut pieces of flattened plate, commonly referred to as ‘Inchiquin Money’ after Lord Inchiquin, who was appointed to command the Protestant forces at Munster. The later issues of this coinage continued with more regular flans, though acknowledged allegiance to Charles with a crowned ‘C R’ on their obverses. Known as ‘Ormonde Money,’ they were named after the Earl of Ormonde, who was appointed Lieutenant of Ireland in 1643.