1647 Bandon farthing - Obverse BB in circle, Reverse 3 castles, 1 above 2 in circle

O’Brien Rare Coin Review: Coinage of the Cities of Refuge (Bandon 1646-49)

Bandon in 1641 The rural counties of Leinster, Munster and Ulster were sparsely populated by Protestant settlers that had been given land in recent plantations. In many places, the Catholic tenants that had previously worked the farms were still in the locality and subsisted as landless outlaws (woodkerne, or tories). When rebellion broke out, some…

Henry II of England, Short Cross Class 1B Penny, Moneyer Oslac of Worcester

O’Brien Coin Guide: Why did Henry II not issue coins for Ireland?

Background Henry’s Troubled Succession Henry was born in France at Le Mans on 5 March 1133 as the eldest child of Geoffrey the Fair, Count of Anjou, and the Empress Matilda, so titled because of her first marriage to Henry V, the Holy Roman Emperor. Henry’s mother was a very powerful woman: She was the…

Charles I (1625-1649), Confederate Catholics, ‘Rebel Money’, Crown, mm. pellet

O’Brien Rare Coin Review: Confederate Catholic Coinage of 1642-43 (Kilkenny/Rebel Money)

Introduction In the older literature, these coins are referred to as ‘Kilkenny Money’ but are now, more properly referred to as ‘Confederated Catholic Coinage’ or ‘Rebel Money.’ There are two opinions re who actually these enigmatic coins – one thinks they might have been minted by the Catholic Confederacy in Kilkenny from as early as September 1642…

O’Brien Coin Guide: Maltravers ‘Patent’ Farthings (1634-36) for Charles I

Introduction In 1634 another farthing patent was issued, to Henry Howard, (Lord Maltravers) and Sir Francis Crane, their issues being known as Maltravers Farthings. Howard had married Lady Elizabeth Stuart, daughter of Esme Stuart, 3rd Duke of Lennox in 1626, so this patent was ‘passed on’ to yet another member of the royal family. The other…