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Research Coins: Feature Auction

CNG 91, Lot: 1599. Estimate $500.
Sold for $425. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

STUART. temp. James II. 1685-1688. Cast AR Medal (57mm, 39.06 g, 12h). Stability of the Anglican Church. Unsigned. Cast 1688. THE GATES OF HELL SHALL NOT PREVAILE (–Matthew 16:18), Jesuit and Monk, standing right and left and holding spade and pickaxe, respectively, attempting to undermine an Anglican church supported by manus Dei / WISDOM HATH BVILDED HER HOVS SHE HATH HEWEN OVT HER 7 PILLARS (wisdom has built her house and has chosen her seven pillars, –Proverbs 9:1), seven medallions of the Bishops committed to the Tower of London: Archbishop William Sancroft (middle – Canterbury), Bishops Francis Turner (upper right, proceeding clockwise – Ely), Thomas Ken (Bath), Sir John Trelawney (Bristol), Thomas White (Peterborough), John Lake (Chichester), and William Lloyd (St. Asaph); each surmounted by miter; above, head of cherub facing. MI 625/42; Eimer 289; cf. van Loon III, p. 364. Good VF, lightly toned.

Following the exclusion crisis in the late 1670s over the fear of the rise of Catholicism, James II proposed the Declaration of Indulgence in 1687–the first step in establishing the freedom of religion in England. The ensuing protest however concerned the bill's lack of guarantee that the Anglican Church would remain as the established church, with many leaders within the clergy refusing to read the declaration. This act against the crown was led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, William Sancroft, along with six other bishops (Bishop Henry Compton being included on this medal on account of his earlier dissent to Catholicism and removal from office by James), and resulted in their imprisonment in the Tower of London. Brought to trial before the Court of the King's Bench, the bishops were acquitted, serving as a precursor to James' deposition shortly thereafter by his nephew, the Protestant William III of Orange, in the Glorious Revolution