Great Britain 1688 half crown
"Great Britain. Halfcrown, 1688. James II. Obverse: Second laureate draped bust of king by John Roettier. JACOBVS II DEI GRATIA. Reverse: Cowned cruciform shields, plain angles. Edge reads QVARTO. Some tiny striking flaws and usual small patches of weakness, but a well struck coin overall, and the rarer second bust which features on the coinage of this comparatively brief (four-year) reign. Deeply toned with sharp hair detail, this specimen has seen little or no wear, and has presumably been proudly housed in several numismatic collections during the last three centuries. NGC graded AU-58.</p>The half crowns of James II come in two types; S-3408 (first bust) struck 1685-87 and S-3409 (second bust, shown here) struck 1687-88. Both are expensive in nice condition.
Eventually, after a succession of still births and daughters who had died in infancy, on 10th June 1688 (the year this coin was produced) James II's wife gave birth to a son. Until then it was possible that the church might have tolerated James, as his heir presumptives Mary and Anne were Protestants, but the young James would be raised a Catholic. The Bishop of London and six supporters invited James's son-in-law William of Orange to England, to protect his wife's succession to the throne. William replied, accepting their offer.
William's army landed at Brixham on November 5th 1688 and was welcomed at Exeter. Over the next two weeks most of the major cities and bishoprics in England declared their support for William. James's army was based at Salisbury, but he retreated to Reading and called a war council. His commander-in-chief, John Churchill, and others, defected to William on the same day, and the next day James discovered that his daughter Anne had also defected. Eventually, James began negotiations and then fled from London on 10th December 1688. He was captured, but allowed to leave for France.
In early 1689 James went to Ireland where his authority was still respected. He raised an army and governed Ireland for over a year, until William took his army to Ireland and defeated James at the Battle of the Boyne in July 1690. James returned to France where he died aged 67 in 1701."
Recorded mintage: unknown.
Specification: 15.05 g, .925 fine silver.
Catalog reference: S.3409; ESC-502, KM 462.
- Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1601-1700, 6th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2014.
- Rayner, P. Alan, and Maurice Bull, English Silver Coinage from 1649, 6th Ed., London: Spink & Son, 2015.
- Lobel, Richard, Mark Davidson, Allan Hailstone and Eleni Calligas, Coincraft's Standard Catalogue of English and UK Coins, 1066 to Date, London: Coincraft, 1995.
- Skingley, Philip, ed., Standard Catalogue of British Coins: Coins of England & the United Kingdom, 46th edition, London: Spink & Son, 2011.
- Goldberg, Ira, Larry Goldberg, John Lavender, Yifu Che, Jason Villareal and Stephen Harvey, Goldberg Sale 110: the Pre-Long Beach Auction, Los Angeles: Goldberg Coins and Collectibles, 2019.