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William III and the War in Ireland in Twelve Objects: 3. Jacobite Gun Money

Updated: Jun 1

One of the most public signs of power and authority in any country is to have the monarch’s image appear on coinage.

Given that the new regime was a Joint Monarchy, both William III and Mary II appeared on coins made at the Royal Mint.

James was forced to mint his own coins to help pay his soldiers. In many cases they were made from melted down church bells and cannons. As a result, the coins were nicknamed ‘Gun Money’.

You will note that the coin has a month as well as a year stamped on its face. This is because the coins were minted at various times during the Jacobite campaign in Ireland and were to be gradually redeemed for silver should James regain his throne.

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