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Title: The Coinages of the Channel Islands
Author: Lowsley, B.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                       THE COINAGES
                          OF THE
                      CHANNEL ISLANDS.



                 ROYAL ENGINEERS (RETD.).

  Author of Contributions on "The Coins and Tokens of Ceylon" (_Numismatic
  Chronicle, Vol. XV._); "The XVIIth Century Tokens of Berkshire"
  (_Williamson's Edition of Boyne's XVIIth Century Tokens_); "Berkshire
  Dialect and Folk Lore, with Glossary" (_the Publication of the English
  Dialect Society_), &c., &c., &c.





  ISLANDS                                                    1


  ROMAN COINS IN THE CHANNEL ISLANDS                         7



  THE JERSEY SILVER TOKENS OF 1813                          28





  CHANNEL ISLANDS COPPER TOKENS                             39

  SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES                                       40

The Coinages of the Channel Islands.

BY LIEUTENANT-COLONEL B. LOWSLEY, (Retired) Royal Engineers.

  Author of Contributions on "The Coins and Tokens of Ceylon"
  (_Numismatic Chronicle_, _Vol. XV._); "The XVIIth Century Tokens of
  Berkshire" (Williamson's Edition of Boyne's XVIIth Century Tokens);
  "Berkshire Dialect and Folk Lore, with Glossary" (the Publications
  of the English Dialect Society), &c., &c., &c.


Before treating of the Channel Islands coinages in detail, it may be of
interest briefly to notice in order the various changes and the
influences which led to these.

The earliest inhabitants of the islands of whom anything is known were
contemporaneous with the ancient Britons of Druidical times. Jersey and
Guernsey are still rich in Druidical remains. The Table-stone of the
Cromlech at Gorey is 160 feet superficial, and the weight, as I have
made it, after careful calculation, is about 23-3/4 tons. It rests on
six upright stones, weighing, on an average, one ton each. In the very
complete work recently edited by E. Toulmin Nicolle[A] is the following
interesting note:--

"That traces of the old Northmen, which were once obscure, have now
become clear and patent; that institutions, long deemed Roman, may be
Scandinavian; that in blood and language there are many more foreign
elements than were originally recognized, are the results of much
well-applied learning and acumen. But no approximation to the proportion
that these foreign elements bear to the remainder has been obtained;
neither has the analysis of them gone much beyond the discovery of
those which are referred to Scandinavia. Of the tribes on the mainland,
those which in the time of Cæsar and in the first four centuries of our
era have the best claim to be considered as the remote ancestors of the
early occupants of the islanders, are the Curiosilites, the Rhedones,
the Osismii, the Lemovices, the Veneti, and the Unelli--all mentioned by
Cæsar himself, as well as by writers who came after him. A little later
appear the names of the Abrincatui and the Bajucasses. All these are
referable to some part of either Normandy or Brittany, and all seem to
have been populations allied to each other in habits and politics. They
all belonged to the tract which bore the name of Armorica, a word which
in the Keltic means the same as Pomerania in Sclavonic--_i.e._, the
country along the seaside."

[A] "The Channel Islands." By the late David Thomas Ansted, M.A., and
the late Robert Gordon Latham, M.A. Revised and Edited by E. Toulmin
Nicolle. Published by W. H. Allen and Co., 13, Waterloo Place, London.

All evidences that can be gathered would tend to prove that before the
time of the Romans the Channel Islands were but thinly populated. There
are no traces of decayed large towns nor records of pirate strongholds,
and the conclusion is that the inhabitants were fishermen, and some
living by hunting and crude tillage. The frequent Druidical remains show
the religion which obtained. Any coins in use in those days would be
Gaulish, of the types then circulated amongst the mainland tribes above

The writer of the foregoing notes considers that the earliest history of
the Channel Islands is as follows (page 284):--

"1. At first the occupants were Bretons--few in number--pagan, and
probably poor fishermen.

"2. Under the Romans a slight infusion of either Roman or Legionary
blood may have taken place--more in Alderney than in Jersey--more in
Jersey than in Sark.

"3. When the Litus Saxonicum was established, there may have been
thereon lighthouses for the honest sailor, or small piratical holdings
for the corsair, as the case might be. There were, however, no emporia
or places either rich through the arts of peace, or formidable for the
mechanism of war.

"4. When the Irish Church, under the school of St. Columbanus, was in
its full missionary vigour, Irish missionaries preached the Gospel to
the islanders, and amongst the missionaries and the islanders there may
have been a few Saxons of the Litus.

"5. In the sixth century some portion of that mixture of Saxons, Danes,
Chattuarii, Leti, Goths, Bretons, and Romanized Gauls, whom the Frank
kings drove to the coasts, may have betaken themselves to the islands

"To summarise--the elements of the population nearest the Channel
Islands were:--(1) original Keltic; (2) Roman; (3) Legionary; (4) Saxon;
(5) Gothic; (6) Letic; (7) Frank; (8) Vandal--all earlier than the time
of Rollo, and most of them German; to which we may add, as a possible
element, the Alans of Brittany.

"That the soldiers of the Roman garrison were not necessarily Roman is
suggested by the word "Legionary." Some of them are particularly stated
to have been foreign. There is indeed special mention of the troop of
cavalry from Dalmatia--"Equites Dalmatæ."

The inference from the above, as regards coins current in the Channel
Islands prior to the Norman conquest of England, would clearly be that,
subsequent to the circulation of the first uninscribed Gaulish coins as
imitated from the Phillippus types, there followed the well-struck Roman
issues, which, in course of time, were superseded by the coinages used
and introduced by later invaders and settlers.

British-struck coins of the Saxon kings are rarely found in the Channel
Islands, the coins used at the Saxon period of England being doubtless
drawn by these islands from Normandy and Brittany. There have never, so
far as is known, been regal or state mints established in the Channel
Islands, with the exception of the strange venture by Colonel Smyth in
the reign of King Charles I., which will be fully noted in turn

"Freluques" and "enseignes" also perhaps appear to have been struck in
Guernsey, and a few copper tokens, as will be described, were introduced
by banks and firms. But from the time of the Romans until the present
century, French and other foreign money has been imported, and formed
the recognized currency.


As referred to in the preceding general notes, the earliest coins known
to have been in use in the Channel Islands are of the same types as used
at the time on the near coast of France. They are styled Gaulish, and
are generally of the following description:--

_O._ Sinister head in profile; nose, lips, eyes, and ears expressed by
duplicate lines; tracery or ornamentation in front of the face, and
profuse rolls of curling hair.

_R._ Figure of a horse, extravagantly drawn and decorated, and with
ornaments or gear of some kind above and below. Often the mane of the
horse is arranged and curled, as if specially so dressed for parade or
show, and almost suggests decorations as still sometimes adopted by
American Indian or other barbarian chiefs. There are reins, too, in some
instances, and these are sometimes held by a rough representation of an
arm and hand. The legs of the horse always indicate gallopping. The
symbols underneath it are usually either (1) the wild boar, as perhaps
indicative of the most important local wild beast in the chase; (2) the
chariot wheel, as representing that the horse would draw this vehicle,
there not being room to show the whole on the coin fully and in rear of
the horse; (3) the implement described by Sir John Evans[B] as a
"lyre-shaped object." It would be most interesting to ascertain what
this instrument--which is frequently delineated--may really be. It might
be a musical production of the bagpipe character, or a head-dress, or a
warlike weapon. An extensive museum or collection of very ancient
implements should solve the problem.

[B] "The Coins of the Ancient Britons." By Sir John Evans, K.C.B.,
F.S.A., F.G.S. Published by J. Russell Smith, 36, Soho Square, London.

As regards the metal of which the coins are made, Sir John Evans, at
page 128 of his work, states as follows:--

"These coins are formed of _billon_ or base silver, which appears to
vary considerably in the amount of its alloy. From an analysis made by
De Caylus (Donop. Médailles Gallo Gäeliques, page 24) of two coins,
their compositions were found to be as follows:--

                   A.            B.

  Silver         ·0413         ·1770
  Copper         ·8414         ·7954
  Tin            ·1166         ·0265
  Iron           ·0005         ·0009
  Gold           ·0002         ·0002
                ------        ------
                1·0000        1·0000

"The weight of the larger pieces ranges from 80 to 105 grains, and that
of the smaller coins is about 25 grains."

It will be observed from the above analysis how considerably the
proportions of the white metals, as silver and tin, vary in these coins,
and this variation, as regards metallic composition, is so universal
that amongst a large number in the same "find" you will even, on
cleaning the coins, see some of them look as if made of silver, and the
colour vary, until you reach some that appear hardly better than wholly
of copper. It would be very interesting to know where the metal or ore
for these coinages was procured from. There must have been a natural
mixture of most of the metals.

I have looked through a "find" of more than 200 Jersey Gaulish coins,
which are in the possession of R. R. Lemprière, Esq. They were turned up
by the plough on his manor of Rozel; and whatever covering had enclosed
them had either gone to decay, or become broken up, as they were quite
loose. He had cleaned a few of them. Even to the eye the metallic
composition varied greatly--some being of the colour of silver, and some
lowering to that of copper. In this lot there were but two of the
smaller size of 25 grains, and I think that proportion may perhaps give
some indication as to the relative rarity of the two coins; for at a
rough estimate one seems to meet only about one in a hundred, which is
of the smaller kind. The larger Gaulish coins are common; large "finds"
of the types formerly used in the Channel Islands having been made on
the adjacent mainland of Normandy and Brittany, and also on the south
coast of England.

Sir John Evans mentions (page 128) the hoard at Mount Batten, near
Plymouth (_Numismatic Journal_, Vol. I., page 224), and that in the
_Arch. Assoc. Journal_, Vol. III., page 62, is an account of a find of
them at Avranches, written by Mr. C. Roach Smith; also in 1820 nearly
1,000 were discovered in Jersey; and previously, in 1787, there had been
a find in that island. The manor of Rozel seems to have been most rich
in furnishing specimens. In addition to the number in possession of the
seigneur of Rozel, as before referred to, there are from that district
of the island collections at the St. Helier Museum, and with Lady
Marett, Wm. Nicolle, Esq., Dr. Le Cronier, E. C. Cable, Esq., and

They are often turned up in agricultural work, and many farmers possess
a few, but will not part with them, nor with their stone or bronze
spear-heads, arrow-heads, axe-heads, and jars, as there is often some
superstition that it is unlucky to let these be sold away from the
neighbourhood where they were dug up.

Full descriptions of some "finds" are given in the annual issues of the
_Société Jersiaise_, together with illustrations. The illustrations
differ little as regards the types shown from those given in the works
of Evans and Hawkins. There is, however, one point to be observed that
is interesting and noteworthy--_i.e._, Gaulish and Roman coins have been
found enclosed together in the same urn, thus indicating that the two
coinages had concurrently come into the possession of the same person
before being hidden. This appears proof of concurrent circulation. The
small urn found by Mr. George Amy, of Rozel, close to the spot where the
landslip occurred in 1875, is in the Jersey Museum. It is, of course,
hand-made pottery, and burnt nearly black. It contained both Gaulish and
Roman coins--the former, both of _billon_ and silver, being mainly of
the smaller or more rare sort, and each weighing only from 18 to 28
grains. The urn was a small one, the top having been covered by a flat
stone, with a larger stone keeping this down in its place.

By consideration of the metal values of Gaulish and Roman coins turned
up in the same "find," we might arrive at the relative current values as
regulated and assigned at the period.


After conquest and occupation by the Romans, the Gaulish currency, as
well as that of ancient Britain, was superseded by Roman issues. Mr.
Edward Hawkins, in his standard work on the Silver Coins of England[C]
(page 22), tersely and precisely explains what happened in England; and
the Channel Islands came within the same provisions and action.

[C] "The Silver Coins of England." By Edward Hawkins, F.R.S., F.A.S.
Published by Bernard Quaritch, 15, Piccadilly, London.

"It is natural to suppose that when the Roman power had become
established in Britain, the ordinary money of that empire would form the
general circulation of this country, and that British money would be for
the most part, if not entirely, superseded. Gildas asserts that an edict
was actually issued and enforced, ordaining that all money current in
this island should bear the image and superscription of the Roman
Emperor; and the circumstance of Roman coins being almost daily turned
up in every part of the country amply confirms his statement. It is
quite unnecessary to enter here into any description of that money, as
it is perfectly well known to everyone, and numerous treatises and
descriptions of it have been published in all languages."

Just as stated above, it would be but going over ground already
thoroughly well trodden to treat of the different Roman coins discovered
in the Channel islands. They are similar to those which have come to
light on the south coast of England and in Normandy and Brittany. I
will, however, append at length the following note from William Nicolle,
Esq., Jurat, of Bosville, King's Cliff, Jersey, who has favoured me with
particulars of Roman coins found in Jersey, and now in his possession:--

"The Roman coins in my possession are 342 in number, and form part of a
find which was made in February, 1848, in the district of 'Les
Quenvais,' in the parish of St. Brelade's, Jersey. They were described
in a paper which was contributed to the Worcester Congress in the summer
of 1848, by the late Mr. F. C. Lukis, F.S.A., the eminent Guernsey
archæologist, and which was published in the 'Journal of the
Archæological Association,' Vol. IV., page 272.

"Mr. Lukis says:--'By a series of sections the accumulation of sand in
Les Quenvais bears marks of several inundations, quite distinct in
their appearance, and varying somewhat in their directions. The soil and
clay beneath this sandy mass exhibit Roman vestiges of pottery and other
articles, so that we cannot be far wrong in attributing the change in
this supposed fertile district to a period not far removed from the
Roman subjugation of western Europe. Fragments of Roman pottery from
beneath the sandy hillocks of Les Quenvais, in the possession of Col. Le
Couteur, of Jersey, Aide-de-camp to Her Majesty, present indubitable
marks of the possession of this district by those conquerors. And, as if
a further proof were wanting, in February last a jar[D] of coarse
earthenware, which contained 400 brass coins in excellent state of
preservation, was dug out from the substratum, where it may have been
lodged at the time of the Roman occupation of Jersey.'

[D] This jar is in my possession.

"Mr. Lukis then proceeds to describe at length the different varieties
of coins in this find under the respective emperors, though his details
are not always correct.

"Of the 342 brass coins in my possession 208 are coins of Constantine
the Great, or his son, 86 of Licinius, 16 of Maximinus, 14 of Maxentius,
11 of Maximianus, and 7 of Constantius Chlorus.

"Two emperors had the common name of Maximianus. The elder reigned from
286 to 310, and the younger from 305 to 311. Of the 11 coins of these
emperors, there are 7 of the elder and 4 of the younger. The first bear
on the obverse the legend _D. N. Maximiano P. F. S. Aug._, and the
second the words _Imp. C. Val. Maximianus P. F. Aug._

"Constantius I., or Constantius Chlorus, reigned one year, from the
first of May, 305, to July 25th, 306, when he died at Eboracum, now
York. During the whole of this period he remained in Gaul and Britain.
The 7 coins of this emperor are all of the same mintage. An exact
_facsimile_ of them is given on page 262 of Stevenson's 'Dictionary of
Roman Coins,' with the slight difference that in the exergue the letters
are P. L. N. instead of P. T. R.

"Constantine the Great reigned from 306 to 337. He was the son of
Constantius Chlorus, and was with him at Eboracum at the time of his
death, and there assumed the purple. His son, Constantius II., or
Junior, was named Cæsar by his father in 317, and died in 340. There is
no proper criterion by which to distinguish the coins of these two
emperors. Of the 208 coins of Constantine in my collection there are
about 30 varieties.

"Maximinus II. reigned from 305 to 313; Maxentius from 306 to 312; and
Licinius from 307 to 324.

"It is probable that all, or almost all, the 342 coins of this
collection were minted during the first quarter of the 4th century--in
fact, during the ten years between A.D. 305 and 315."


In preceding "General Observations on Coinages for the Channel Islands,"
I have noted that from the time of the Romans the currency continued to
be by _introduced_ or _foreign_ coins. Naturally enough, the islanders
would have only to do with coins which would be accepted by those on the
neighbouring mainland with whom they had commercial transactions. There
was not sufficient interior traffic to make requisite any local coinage
of their own.

It would be uninteresting and of no practical utility to treat in detail
of coins thus imported for temporary and outside, as well as home,
convenience and necessity, but I will now give notes and extracts which
will, I believe, clearly indicate the nature of currency arrangements
which obtained from the days of the early kings of England.

I am indebted to Le Quesne's "History of Jersey"[E] for interesting
information recorded of the coinages and currency of that island, and to
the Rev. G. E. Lee for the Guernsey records. The original states
documents from which these particulars were collated are still
preserved. The denominations of coins officially in use at various
periods appear thereby.

[E] "A Constitutional History of Jersey." By Charles Le Quesne.
Published by Longmans and Co., London, 1856.

"An order of King John, dated 25th March, 1208, directs the Exchequer to
reckon to the bailiffs of Southampton _twenty sols_ which they paid for
a ship in which Stephen de Oxford sailed to Guernsey and Jersey by
order of the king."--_Le Quesne_, page 476.

"Orders from the English Crown in the early part of the 13th century
specified coins as follows for payment in Jersey:--An order from King
John of the 11th of November, 1212, directed that the Treasury should
pay to Philip d'Albigny, going to the island of Jersey, of which
Hasculfus de Soligny was governor, 40 marks for fortifying the
island."--_Le Quesne_, page 476.

"In the 8th year of the reign of King Henry III., 1224, there was an
order on the Treasury to deliver to the Governor of Jersey, Galpidus de
Lucy, _400 livres_ for the payment of eight knights, each knight to
receive _two solidos_ per diem; for the pay of thirty-five cavalry
soldiers, each to receive _twelve deniers_ per diem; and for the pay of
sixty foot soldiers, each to receive _seven deniers_ per diem."--_Le
Quesne_, page 476.

There were also similar grants in the two following years.

"The only direct tax which the Dukes of Normandy had the right to levy
was called moneyage, or fouage, or hearth money. From the _Extent_ of
the Royal Revenue in Jersey, prepared by Commissioners in the year 1331,
this tax was also due to the Crown in Jersey. It was to be levied every
three years, and consisted of _12 deniers_, or _one sol_, for every
hearth in the Duchy."--_Le Quesne_, page 79.

"There is a valuable _Extent_ of the Royal Revenues in Jersey drawn up
in the year 1331 by Robert de Norton and William de la Rue,
commissioners specially appointed for the purpose. In this _Extent_ we
find that William de Barentin held the manor and fief of Rozel by
homage; that this fief _owed sixty sols one denier_ relief; and that
whenever the King of England paid a visit to this island, the seigneur
of this fief was bound to meet his sovereign on horseback in the sea, to
the depth of the girths of the saddle; and during the residence of the
king in Jersey he was to be his butler, and to enjoy the known
emoluments of that office. The seigneur de Rozel, as also all the other
seigneurs holding _in capite_, owed suite de cour at the chief pleas of
the Royal Court, as they do still to this day. For the fief de Meleches
and other fiefs, held by Geffray de Carteret, there was due annually, by
the seigneur to the Crown, the sum of _forty livres one sol_. The fief
de Meleches reverted to the Crown as an escheat from Thomas Pinel, in
the time of King John, and was granted by Edward III. to Renault de
Cartaret, father of the then holder. The fief and manor of St. Ouen was
held by Renault de Carteret by homage; and the relief, when due, was
_nine livres_. The seigneur of this fief was bound to serve the king, in
time of war, at Gouray Castle, at his own expense, for the term of two
parts of forty days, and had to provide horses and armour. The wardship
of this fief and manor, during the minority of the seigneur, was in the
Crown. The manor and fief of Saumarez was held by homage by William de
St. Hillaire, and owed, as relief, the sum of _ten livres_. The seigneur
of the fief des Augrès was in the hands of William Bras de Fer; and he
had to meet the king, when he arrived in Jersey, on horseback, to the
girths of his saddle, in the sea; and the fief owed, as relief, the sum
of _seven livres_. Besides the services due by the fiefs de haubert, we
find that a great number of persons owed stated sums annually to the
Crown for the lands held by them. The names of the persons are
mentioned, together with the quantity of land, for which a fixed annual
sum was due. For instance, several persons owed for a _bovata_ of land
the sum of _eight sols_ annually. This was the usual amount; but we find
that in some cases the charge was _six sols_, _seven sols_, _nine sols_,
_ten sols_, and in a few cases as low as _three sols_. The _bovata
terræ_ is the same as an oxgauge or an oxgate of land, or as much as an
ox can till; but being a compound word, it may contain meadow, pasture,
and wood necessary for such tillage.

"Raulin le François owed for forty-two acres of land--twelve in Trinity
parish, and thirty in that of St. Laurens--an annual dinner to the king
at Michaelmas, which was, however, partaken by the bailli, the vicomte,
and the clerk of the king. This dinner could be commuted for the payment
of _twelve deniers_, which does not raise any extravagant notions of the
style of living in those days. The abbot of St. Saviour's, however, for
the priory of Bonnenuit, owed to the king annually an apparently better
dinner, for it was estimated at _eleven sols_. There were also due to
the Crown, as there are still to this day, by various persons, a
quantity of geese, fowls, eggs, and chickens. The tenants of the Crown
had various personal services to perform, such as carting the wine,
hay, and wood belonging to the king, and keeping the royal mills in
repair. The right of wardship, usually considered as incidental to
feudal tenures, does not appear to have obtained in Jersey, except in
the case of St. Ouen's manor. The right of marriage, or maritagium,
which was accompanied in some cases with considerable hardships, does
not appear to have prevailed or to have been exercised in this island.
This claim, when admitted, was often the source of large fines paid by
individuals to the Crown, and of much vexation and tyranny."--_Le
Quesne_, page 82.

"In a grant of Sir Richard Harliston, dated 15th September, 1479, there
is mention of both corn and money rents--the former to the amount of 8
qrs., 7 cabots, 2 sexrs., and the latter to _12 groats, 13 sous, 6
deniers_. The grant was for services rendered during the siege for the
recovery of Mount Orgueil Castle."--_Le Quesne_, page 125.

"On the 26th of January, 1534, the value of the current coinage was
regulated, and the same thing took place about this time as regards
coins in Guernsey."--_Le Quesne_, page 191.

"On the 20th February, 1561, the price of cider in Jersey was fixed at
_one Esterlin_ the _Pot_; and the brewers were ordered to make beer
(servoise) for the use of the sick, the price of which was to be fixed
by the constables and principal parishioners."--_Le Quesne_, page 192.

In the reign of King James I., under date the 20th July, 1607, a
commission was appointed, under presidency of Sir Robert Gardiner,
knight, for the determination of differences in Jersey; _it also had
scope as regards Guernsey_.

"The first article of complaint by the governor was relative to the
value of the French coins. At these times there was very little, if any,
English coin in circulation, and there was, strictly speaking, no fixed
standard of value in Jersey. The _livre tournois_ could scarcely be
called a standard of value, and yet it was that by which the market
price of commodities was known. It was the ideal currency of the island,
that in which accounts were kept. The actual current money was French;
and any variation in its value compared to the livre tournois would
have, of course, to be regulated in Jersey.

"Any change in the value or denomination of coins is attended with
serious inconveniences, and it may, in some cases, be highly injurious
to a large class of the community. This is more likely to be the case
when the coins of two countries are adopted; when two different
currencies are in circulation; when any variation in the value of the
coins of one of these countries takes place, and the relative value,
owing to that change, has to be ascertained and determined by a
legislative or administrative body. Great caution is required in these
matters; and, at a later period, the greatest discontent was caused in
Jersey, and even a riot ensued, from an alteration in the value of the

"The States of Jersey, a few years before the arrival of the
commissioners, perceiving that the King of France had altered and
advanced his several coins, established what they considered an
equivalent value between these coins and the moneys in Jersey after the
old rates. The difference was about seven per cent. The _French crown_
was advanced to _four sous_ more, the _guardesen_ from _fifteen sous_ to
_sixteen sous_, the _teston_ from _fourteen sous and a half_ to _fifteen
sous and a half_, and the _franc_ from _twenty sous_ to _twenty-one sous
four deniers tournois_. The only money in circulation was French; and
the governor claimed the payments due to the Crown in moneys at the old
rate. The commissioners were of a different opinion; they said that it
would be no prejudice to his Majesty or to the governor if the moneys
were received after the new advancements or alteration; and besides, it
would be a great contentment to the people of the island to pay the same
after the rate or value at which they had received it; but as the
commissioners considered that it was a prerogative of the Crown to
diminish, alter, or advance any moneys current among his own subjects,
they ordered that the relative value of the moneys should continue as
regulated by the States, 'until his Majesty's pleasure be known what
other course and order in times to come shall be held and kept therein.'
This decision of the commissioners was confirmed by the lords; but it is
added in the Order, 'that in time to come, because it is a prerogative
of his Majesty, and only appertaineth to royal right, to diminish,
alter, or advance any moneys current among his subjects, we require that
this be not until his Majesty's express consent be thereunto first had
and obtained.'"--_Le Quesne_, page 225.

The following two interesting extracts are from "Charles the Second in
the Channel Islands," by S. Elliott Hoskins.[F]

[F] "Charles the Second in the Channel Islands," by S. Elliott Hoskins,
M.D., F.R.S. Published by Richard Bentley, London.

"The Prince of Wales, driven out of England without resources, having
nevertheless, at his own cost, to maintain soldiers and sailors; to
provide for a host of needy followers; to build fortifications for his
protection; and to defray the travelling expenses of the numerous
messengers going and coming from all parts, was reduced to great straits
at this period. Jersey could supply him but inadequately, and from
France he could obtain but slender and uncertain assistance. In order,
therefore, to improve the state of his finances, and in some measure to
provide for current expenses, it was resolved, at the recommendation of
the council, that an establishment for coining bullion should at once be
set up.[G] A house was accordingly hired in Trinity parish, Jersey, from
one Michael le Guerdain, which was speedily fitted up with furnaces for
fusing the precious metals, and with presses and dies for striking and
stamping coin, under the direction and superintendence of one Colonel
Smith, who was appointed Master of the Mint.

[G] NOTE 1.--"In the year 1684 Charles the Second is said to have issued
tin coinage; had he made it a legal tender in 1646, when it was
plentiful and precious as an article of barter, the speculation might
have proved profitable."

"Chevalier goes on to state that the money herein coined consisted
chiefly of pieces resembling English half-crowns, which passed current
at thirty sous each. The obverse of these pieces, called St. Georges,
was stamped with an effigy of the king on horseback holding a drawn
sword in his hand; and the reverse impressed with roses and harps,
proper to the royal arms, interlaced with fillets, crosses, and other
devices. Some shillings were likewise coined, and besides these a small
number of Jacobuses, said to be worth twenty shillings apiece."--_Hoskins_,
Vol. I., page 416.

"Our journalist reverts to the subject of the mint set up in Jersey some
twelvemonths before, which at that time promised to become a profitable
financial speculation. The manager, Colonel Smyth, he informs us,
originally a landed proprietor, and a man of good family in England, had
been, before the troubles, master of one of his Majesty's provincial
mints, and by virtue of his office an honorary privy councillor. On the
breaking out of the civil war he commanded a regiment in the king's
service, but, at its termination, fled with hundreds of others into
France, from whence he came to Jersey, with his wife and a large train
of domestics, during the Prince of Wales's sojourn in that island. Being
desirous of exercising his former profession, and, moreover, provided
with dies and other coining implements, he succeeded in establishing a
mint under his royal highness's sanction and the countenance of the
governor, but not, as we shall see, under the patronage of the
chancellor of the exchequer.

"In a few months the concern turned out to be an utter failure--partly
owing to mismanagement, partly to an alleged scarcity of bullion. Smyth,
a person of expensive habits, who kept up an extravagant private
establishment, becoming deeply involved, was forced to dispose not only
of his household goods, but of the greater part of his machinery,
reserving merely the dies he had brought over with him. Towards the end
of May he again sought refuge in France, intending, as he said, to send
his wife into England to compound for his sequestered estates.

"Chevalier, although he admits that Colonel Smyth, 'étant à Jersey, fit
de la monnoie de quoi je ne dis rien,' is a firm believer in the actual
existence of a mint from whence were issued coins of gold and silver of
legal tender. Misled by his assertions--on all other subjects rigidly
accurate--we confidently bestowed considerable time and industry in
seeking to obtain specimens of the St. Georges, jacobuses, half-crowns,
and shillings, so minutely described, and alleged to have been struck in
Jersey. The perusal, however, of the subjoined letter dissipated the
illusion--proved that the mint was a Mississippi Scheme, a South Sea
Bubble on a small scale, and that the master thereof was little better
than a swindling adventurer--thus accounting for the non-existence of
the coinage in any numismatic collection:--


"I will tell you a tale, of which it may be you may know somewhat; if
you do not, take no notice of it from me. When we were in Cornwall,
Colonel Smyth (who was Sir Alexander Denton's son-in-law, and taken in
that house), having obtained his liberty by J. Ashburnham's friendship
upon such an exchange (one of the councillors of Ireland) as would have
redeemed the best man, came to us from the king at Hereford. To me he
brought a short perfunctory letter from my lord Digby, but from J. A. to
my lord Culpeper his dispatch was of weight; his business, to erect a
mint at Truro, which should yield the king a vast profit; Mr. Browne, J.
A.'s man (who was long a prisoner with him) (_sic_); the king's dues, by
a special warrant (which I saw), to be paid to Mr. Ashburnham.

"What he did in Cornwall I know not, for you perceive he was to have no
relation or reference to me, which, if you had been Chancellor of the
Exchequer, you would have taken unkindly. Shortly after the Prince came
hither he came to us, having left Cornwall a fortnight before we did.
You may imagine my lord Culpeper was forward to help him, and how he
promised to set up his mint, and assured us that he had contracted with
merchants at St. Malloe to bring in such a quantity of bullion as would
make the revenue very considerable to the Prince. We wondered why the
merchants of St. Malloe should desire to have English money coined. He
gave us an answer that appeared very reasonable: that all the trade they
drove with the west country for tin, fish, or wool, was driven with
money; and therefore they sent over their pistoles and pieces-of-eight,
in which they sustained so great a loss that their merchants had rather
have this bullion coined into English money at 20 in the hundred than
take the other way.

"After several debates, in which (though there seemed no convincing
argument to expect great profit from it) there was not the least
suggestion of inconvenience, he pretending that he had all officers
ready at St. Malloe, and such as belonged to the King's mint, and
likewise his commission under the great seal (for he produced only the
warrant under the sign-manual), the Prince writ a letter to the
Governor, Bailiff, and Jurats to give him countenance, and to assign him
some convenient place to reside in. Shortly after the Prince went away,
the Colonel proceeds, brings his wife hither (who in truth is a sober
woman) and takes a little house remote from neighbours, but pretended
that the Prince's remove and other accidents had hindered the advance of
the service, but that he hoped hereafter to proceed in it. Here he
lived soberly and reservedly; and after two or three months here was
found much adulterated money--half-crown pieces which had been put off
by people belonging to him. One only officer he hath, an old Catholic,
one Vaughan, who is a good graver.

"The Governor (who is strangely civil to all men, but immoderately so to
such gentlemen as have seemed to serve the King in this quarrel) was
much perplexed, the civil magistrates here taking notice of it (the base
money), and sent to him to speak with him; told him that he believed his
education had not been to such artifices, and that he might be easily
deceived by the man he trusted, who was not of credit enough to brave
the burthen of such a trust; that if this island fell into suspicion of
such craft, their trade would be undone; and therefore (having showed
him some pieces of money) desired him by no means to proceed in that
design, till satisfaction might be given by the view of such officers
who were responsible for it. The Colonel denied some of the pieces to be
of his coining, but confessed others, and said it was by mistake too
light; but I had forgot to tell you that he had assured me, two or three
days before, that he had yet coined none.

"To conclude (though much troubled), he promised the Governor not to
proceed further in it. Then he came to me, and told me a long and
untoward discourse of a great trust between the King, Mr. Ashburnham and
himself, and one more, which he would not name, but led me to believe it
was Mr. A.'s friend at Paris, and that the design was originally to coin
dollars, by which he could gain a vast advantage to the King. He found
me not so civil as he expected, and therefore easily withdrew, and the
same day attempted the Governor, and offered him a strong weekly bribe
(enough to keep you and me and both our families very gallantly) to join
with him and assist him. His reception was not much better there, so
that he has since procured a good stout letter from the Prince to
command the Governor, Bailiff, and Jurats to give him all countenance,
and to advance the service. This will put an end to it, for the Governor
will deal freely with the Prince, though upon the confidence we have
still naughty new money. The reason of the Governor's exceeding
tenderness is his duty to the King, to whom such a communion (which
indeed is a strange one) would draw much dishonour. Tell me if you know
anything of this, and whether you think your friend so wise, and careful
of his master's honour as he should be; beyond this say nothing of it,
except to my lord Hopton, who can tell you how scurvy a thing it is.

                                                         "EDW. HYDE.

"Jersey, February 24th, 1647.

"There is some discrepancy between this account of the affair and
Chevalier's; not so much, however, considering that one writer was
before, while the other was behind the scenes. The two narratives
combined complete the history of the Jersey mint--a history evidently
discreditable to certain personages, and therefore never intended to
meet the public eye. Even the unsophisticated chronicler is intuitively
aware that some mystery attaches to the transaction, which prevents him
from writing with his usual unreserve."--_Hoskins_, Vol. II., page 138.

"In 1646, men of the Jersey Militia each received _5 sols_ per diem on
Field days."--_Le Quesne_, page 486.

"A great improvement was effected in the organisation of the militia by
Sir Thomas Morgan. He divided the militia into regiments, and remodelled
the artillery. On his proposition, in order to compel the men to attend
with regularity to their military duties, so essential for the
preservation of the island, the States, on the 25th September, 1666,
ordered that fines should be levied by the vingteniers for all defaults
in the following proportions:--

  A commissioned officer                           _sixty sols_.
  A cavalry soldier                                _thirty sols_.
  A private soldier, with musket (mousquetaire)    _twelve sols_.
  A private soldier, with halbert or staff
   (halbarde ou baston)                            _eight sols_."

                                           --_Le Quesne_, page 489.

"It is an indication of the little traffic of the Island that payments
were usually made in _liards_--small copper coins of the value of
one-eighth of a penny. There are acts of the States passed at different
periods alluding to the scarcity of money. According to the prevalent
notions of those times, and of a much later period, one chief object of
commercial legislation was to keep as much money or actual coin in the
country as possible; and the balance of trade was to be so regulated as
to insure this result. The exportation of coin has therefore, in various
countries, been occasionally prohibited under severe penalties. The same
notions existed in Jersey, and it was equally believed that coin or
money could be retained, and should be retained, by legislative
enactments. We find an act of the States, of the 3rd of October, 1701,
forbidding all persons to take or send out of the Island to foreign
countries any gold, silver, or other coin, to a larger amount than
_thirty livres tournois_ at a time, on pain of confiscation of the
money, besides a fine; and, in addition to this penalty, confiscation of
the vessel on board of which such moneys should be found, and three
months' imprisonment of the master and crew. This prohibition did not
produce the results anticipated by the States; for we find them, on the
9th of April, 1720, complaining that, although the sending out of the
Island of gold and silver was forbidden, yet very little remained in the
Island. They could not understand that if a profit or benefit was to be
derived in the purchase of commodities or provisions in France with
actual money, such money would unavoidably find its way there. Coins,
being in fact merchandise, will follow the same rules of exchange, and
will be attracted to those parts where they bear a greater exchangeable
or market value. The actual value of a coin in currency must be that of
its intrinsic value; and if temporary circumstances cause it to bear a
greater value elsewhere, thither it will tend, till the balance is
restored, in defiance of any attempts to arrest its progress.

"The ill-success of the States, in their prohibition of the exportation
of gold and silver coin, did not lead them to perceive the futility of
the measure; but they were fearful that the copper money, the _sous_ and
the _liards_, would follow their betters, particularly as sous and
liards had risen in value in France, and that thus the Island would be
deprived of all metallic circulation. They therefore, on the 9th of
April, 1720, prohibited the carrying out of the Island of _liards_ and
_sous_ to a larger amount than five livres tournois for each person,
under the penalty of confiscation; and all persons were authorised to
seize the moneys thus exported, and to require the assistance, if
necessary, of the constables and centeniers in the searching of the
vessels; while the master and crews on board of which such sums should
be found, if cognizant of the fact, were to be liable to a fine and an
imprisonment of three months.

"By an act of the States of the 3rd of May, 1720, it appears that there
was no longer any gold or silver in circulation: it had disappeared,
having been sent out of the Island; and the only metallic currency
remaining was that of _liards_, which it was probable would also
disappear. The States, in consequence, found it impossible to repay the
sums which had been generously lent, without interest, by individuals,
for the works at the harbour; and in order to obtain a supply which was
to enable them to pay their debts, and to avoid the loss accruing from
the variable market value of the coins, they resolved on the adoption of
a plan which could only increase the evil, and perpetuate the banishment
of gold and silver coin. The States evidently confused the want of funds
with the want of metallic money; for had they possessed the former, the
latter would have been forthcoming. An easy mode of creating money,
according to them, which was to enable them to pay their debts, without
any detriment or cost to anybody (sans qu'il n'en coûte rien à
personne), and to build the harbour without any expense to the Island,
was by the issue of a paper currency, from the circulation of which the
public were to derive much benefit, and which, besides, would not be
liable to fluctuation in value. They seemed not to be aware that a paper
currency must be based on a metallic one; that it must represent, and be
exchangeable for, a metallic currency, and therefore must follow the
fluctuations of the latter in value; since, if not exchangeable, at the
option of the bearer, for metallic value, it at once becomes
depreciated, and drives from circulation the metallic currency by which
it is designated. The lower the value of the notes, or paper currency,
the greater will become the scarcity of the coin. Such would naturally
be the result of the enactment of the States, for they decided on
issuing notes of a very low value. For instance, there were to be

                    2,000 notes each of twenty sous.
                    1,000   "    "   "  thirty sous.
                    1,000   "    "   "  sixty sous.
                    1,000   "    "   "  one hundred sous.
                    750     "    "   "  ten livres.
                    500     "    "   "  twenty livres.
                    300     "    "   "  thirty livres.
                    240     "    "   "  fifty livres.

The aggregate amount of these notes was fifty thousand livres.

"The scarcity of gold and silver continued; and the States, on the 21st
of December, 1725, declared that the only metallic currency in
circulation was liards or deniers. They had on previous occasions
prohibited the exportation of this copper money; they now forbade its
importation, under pain of confiscation. In the following year,
perceiving no doubt the futility of their enactments, they allowed, by
their act dated the 19th of September, 1726, a free trade in liards--the
free importation and exportation of this coin. On the same day they
appointed a committee from their body to prepare a representation to his
Majesty in Council, on the subject of the relative value of the coins in
circulation in the Island. This representation was adopted by the States
on the 25th of November, 1726. The ulterior sanction by Council of the
recommendation of the States was the occasion of serious commotions and
discontent in the Island. The avowed object of the States in their
request to the Crown was to prevent the exportation of gold and silver
coin from the Island, and to encourage the exportation of liards to
France, which they asserted passed in Jersey above their intrinsic
value, and with which they were very much burdened--reasons among the
very worst which could be given, or upon which a legislative enactment
could be based.

"An Order in Council, dated the 22nd of May, 1729, was issued, approving
of the proposed alterations in the currency by the States; and it was
accordingly ordered:--

"That the French silver coins be current in the said Island only
according to their intrinsic value, in proportion to the British

"That the British crown-piece do continue at seventy-one sols; the
half-crown at thirty-five sols and a half; the shilling at fourteen
sols; and the sixpence at seven sols.

"That the French liards be reduced to their old value of two deniers
each; and that the British half-pence be current for seven deniers; and
the farthing for three and a half. And his Majesty doth hereby further
order that the said coins do pass in all manner of payments, according
to the said rates; but that this order shall not take effect till the
expiration of six calendar months from the date thereof; and to the end
that no person may pretend ignorance hereof, the bailiff and jurats of
his Majesty's said Island of Jersey are to cause this order to be
forthwith published, and to take care that it be executed according to
the tenor thereof."

The act of the States and the Order in Council were, to say the least of
them, highly injudicious. The only coin apparently in circulation was
the _liard_, and the accounts were kept in _livres_ and _sous_. The
proportion between the sol and the livre remained unchanged; but it
followed, from the new law, that if a person did not meet his
liabilities within the specified time of six months, his debts were
consequently increased fifty per cent. if he had to pay them in liards;
and he could pay them apparently in no other coin. The value of the
_sol_ relative to the _liard_ was raised fifty per cent.; that is, six
liards were to be estimated as equivalent to one sol, instead of four
liards as heretofore. Now, on what grounds could the States establish
this great difference, when it did not exist in reality? We ascertain
positively by an act of the States of the 21st of December, 1725, that
the real exchangeable difference between the liards, at their estimated
value of four to a sol, and gold and silver coin, was only twelve per
cent. in favour of the latter. The rate of exchange between countries is
not dependent on or regulated by any legislative authority, however
despotic or absolute it may be, but is regulated by the real intrinsic
relative value of the coins in circulation in the two countries; and
hence the rate of exchange, compared with the par of exchange, will show
the depreciation sustained by the circulating medium of a country; for
the difference between the par and the rate of exchange should in
ordinary circumstances not exceed the cost of transmission of the
precious metals from one country to the other. Now, by an act of the
States of the 21st of December, 1725, we learn that they were indebted
to a merchant at St. Malo for the proceeds of the sale of a cargo of
wheat, which had been taken possession of and sold to the people by the
States, at a time of great scarcity in the Island. They had remitted a
portion of the amount; but there remained a balance due of 3,332 livres
tournois, which Mr. Patriarche had engaged to remit to St. Malo. The
States ordered that this amount should be paid to Mr. Patriarche by the
deputy viscount in liards, thus incidentally proving that there was in
reality no other coin in circulation; but as Mr. Patriarche had to pay
the amount to the merchant at St. Malo in gold and silver, and as these
bore a premium compared to liards, the loss, or rather the amount of the
premium, had of course to be made good by the States; and they
accordingly ordered that that difference, amounting to 416 livres ten
sous, should be raised by rate on the parishes, and placed in the hands
of the deputy viscount, for payment to Mr. Patriarche. We are thus
enabled satisfactorily to ascertain the real comparative difference
between the value of the liard and other metallic currency, or, in other
words, the premium which the latter bore compared with the copper
currency, at the rate of four liards to the sol. By a calculation on the
data thus furnished, we find the difference to be precisely twelve per
cent. in favour of gold and silver; and we are also to bear in mind that
the great scarcity of gold and silver would of course add to the
premium. By the Order in Council the difference was to be established at
fifty per cent.

"The States soon perceived that they had either committed a great
mistake or that they must yield to public opinion, which was strongly
and decidedly opposed to the change ordered. They accordingly, on the
20th of December, 1729, petitioned his Majesty in Council for the recall
of the Order in Council, being apprehensive that the said regulations
would not answer the ends they at first expected from them. The States,
on the 24th of April, 1730, named a deputy in support of their petition.
Counsel were heard by the committee of the Privy Council for the States,
and also for several members of the States and others who opposed the
petition of the States; but the opinion of the committee was, that the
Order in Council regulating the currency ought not to be suspended or
revoked, but carried into execution. His Majesty in Council, therefore,
on the 9th of July, 1730, ordered that the said Order in Council of the
22nd of May, 1729, be carried into execution: but that during the term
of six months from the date hereof all creditors in the said Island do
receive their debts, if tendered to them at the rate at which the coins
went current immediately before making the aforesaid Order in Council;
and, in case of refusal, that such creditors do forfeit one-third of
their debts to the benefit of the debtors."

In 1774, in France, from whence the small change for the Channel Islands
was being obtained, the _sou_ was equivalent to twelve deniers, the
_double-liard_ or _half-sou_ to six deniers, and the _liard_ or
_quarter-sou_ to three deniers.

"Established custom, and the relative value of coins, proved of greater
force than the Orders in Council. Livres, and sous, and liards tournois
continued, in fact, the currency of the Island at their old rate; and
many of the native inhabitants of the Island still keep their accounts,
or make their reckonings, in the livre tournois--the livre being
estimated at twenty sous, and the sou at four liards or twelve deniers.
When the English currency was, in the year 1835, adopted as the legal
currency of the Island, it was done by declaring the relative value
which it bore in circulation to the livre tournois. This was to meet the
objections which were raised to the adoption of the English standard
with regard to wheat rents, and other mortgages, which were estimated in
the old currency tournois. Twenty-six livres tournois, or old French
currency, were declared to be equivalent to one pound sterling, which
was, and is now, the current rate.

"Allusion is still made in some legal and official documents to
order-money or, as it is called, argent d'ordre, or argent selon l'ordre
du roi. But the question may reasonably be asked, 'What is order-money?
What is the standard of order-money? Does order-money really exist, or
has it ever existed?' The livre of order-money is considered worth fifty
per cent. more than the livre-tournois; and the distinction is supposed
to be derived from the Order in Council of the year 1729. But that Order
in Council did not establish that difference: it did not change the
relative value of the sou and the livre. There was, in fact, no such
thing as order-money, except for liards, and thus it did not apply to
sous or livres. The value of the liard, as compared to the sou, was, it
is true, changed and regulated; but the relative value of the sol,
compared with the livre, could not be changed or affected thereby; it
remained the same as before. There were twenty sous to the livre: the
coin, the sou in circulation, was not enlarged, or made of more
intrinsic value. Such as it was before, such it remained still. There
was no other sou or livre known or acknowledged in use than the
tournois; and the Order in Council did not substitute any other. The
Order in Council could not, with any degree of fairness or justice, be
supposed to affect those persons who paid their accounts in sous or
livres, or in gold or silver, and not in liards. This was not, however,
the view taken of the Order; and hence the indignation felt; for the
interpretation given, and the claim of fifty per cent. more than was in
fact due, bore the semblance of great injustice.

"The present value in circulation in Jersey of English silver coin will
illustrate my meaning. The shilling passes current for twenty-six sous,
or thirteen pence of old Jersey currency; but the value of the shilling
is not intrinsically or really changed--whether it is called twelve
pence British or thirteen pence Jersey. In either case, a shilling
remains a shilling, a pound sterling a pound sterling, worth twenty of
the shillings, whether called twelve pence or thirteen pence. The
intrinsic value of the coin, of the shilling, is precisely the same; and
its relative value to the sovereign is not in the slightest degree
modified. The only mode of changing the value of a coin is by an
addition of the metal of which it is composed, or by deterioration. If a
coin contains the same quantity of metal of the same standard, it does
not vary in intrinsic value, whatever may be the denomination given to
it, or whatever may be the depreciation of a coin of less value. For the
same reason, whether the sou was called six liards or four liards,
twelve deniers or eight deniers, that made no difference whatever in the
real intrinsic value of the sou or the livre. Persons could not in
justice be compelled to pay their accounts in liards, when the amount
was stated in livres or sous; and hence to oblige them to pay fifty per
cent. more than the amount due, when the amount offered was gold or
silver, livres or sous, was egregiously unjust."--_Le Quesne_, page


Since the coats of arms for the islands of Guernsey and Jersey appear on
the coins minted for these islands in England in the nineteenth century,
the following notes may be of interest:--

In 1279 King Edward I. granted a Public Seal, with arms (as for
England), to the islands of Jersey and Guernsey. The arms for Guernsey
now differ only from those of Jersey in being surmounted by a sprig of
laurel, or another plant. It is not, however, stated why or when this
sprig was conferred. The arms read--

      _Gu_--three lions or leopards passant gardant--_or_.

From the impressions of the Bailiewick seals, at different periods, it
appears that slight differences occur. The inscription on the seal for
Jersey runs--"S. Ballivic Insule de Jerseye."

Alderney and Sark, being dependencies of Guernsey, have on legal or
authoritative documents either the seal as granted for that island or
else local seals, as will be specified.

The Rev. G. E. Lee, Rector of St. Peter's, Port Guernsey, communicates
the following interesting and very full note on the above-named

"Edward I., in the 7th year of his reign, November 15th, 1279, granted a
seal for the use of both Bailiewicks. The seal used in both islands was
the same in all respects, except that one had, as legend, _S. Ballivic
Insule de Gerseye_, and the other, _S. Ballivic Insule de Gernseye_.
Both seals are appended to a document formerly belonging to the abbey of
Mont St. Michel. The seals bore the three lions of England crowned, _and
were both surmounted by a branch_, of which more below. The document is
of the year 1315. The Guernsey side has the counterseal of Macey de la
Court Bailiff. The Jersey counterseal has no name, but bears three lions
passant, with some sort of bird as a crest. The Bailiff of Guernsey
still uses a _facsimile_ of the original seal. In Jersey the seal has
been modernized, and the surmounting branch omitted, perhaps by the
carelessness of the engraver. The said branch is usually styled a laurel
branch, but why I know not. It has stiff sprays, and I am convinced was
intended for the _Plantagenista_, the well-known badge used by King
Edward I."

It cannot, however, but be observed that if the sprig be intended to
represent the slight, insignificant foliage of the Plantagenista [called
"Broom" in the south of England], the design is very unlike and

As regards the official seals used locally for Alderney and Sark, under
date, Alderney, 22nd February, 1895, the Procureur of Alderney informs

"The Guernsey seal is not ours, nor is it ever used by us. A _facsimile_
of our seal and coat of arms is enclosed, but I know not when granted,
nor by whom."

This seal is a lion rampant, with a sprig in right paw, and above the
legend JUGE D'AUREGNY. The heraldic tinctures are not indicated on the

With reference to the seal used locally for Sark, W. F. Collings,
Esquire, informs me, under date, Sark, 8th March, 1895:--

"The seal of the Seigneurs was authorized to be used by act of the Royal
Court, Guernsey, bearing date the 12th day of August, 1661, by virtue of
a clause in Letters Patent of James I.--of date, August 12th, 1611. The
seal was lost in the wreck of the steamer _Gosforth_, November 26th,

The Rev. G. E. Lee supplements the above as follows:--

"I find that the Alderney seal was granted by the Lords of the Privy
Council, on May 23rd, 1745. It bears the legend _Sigillum Curiæ Insulæ
Origny, 1745_.

"Origny is an older form than Auregny; the mediæval Latin was

"The seal you have got with _Juge d'Auregny_ is not the official seal I
have described, but an adaptation of it doubtless.

"I can gather no record of any minting having ever taken place in
Guernsey. There is, however, an estate in the parish of St. Andrew
called _La Monnoye_ or _Monnaie_, which _may_ mean 'The Mint.'"

The extract furnished by Mr. Le Brun, vicar of Alderney, with the
impression of the seal of that island, is:--

"Sceau ou _cachet accordé_ à La Cour, 1745, Mai 23e. Les Seigneurs du
Conseil Privé de Sa Majesté, par leur ordre ou Conseil de ce Jour
authorisent (_sic_) la Cour d'Auregny d'avoir un cachet pour certifier
tous et tels ecrits qui leur pourront être présentés pour y opposer le

Under date 27th March, 1895, the Rev. G. E. Lee supplements his previous

"I have seen Sir Edgar MacCulloch, and he agrees with me that the
Alderney seal is a creation. I have now seen two documents of Sark. The
first, of 1818, is sealed with a large seal, two inches in diameter, in
green wax, bearing the de Carteret arms and supporters. The seal is
called "Le sceau de la Seigneurie de l'île de Serk." On the reverse is a
counterseal, with the arms of the then seigneur, P. Le Pelley.

"The other deed is of 1852, and sealed with the Le Pelley arms, which,
on that occasion, are called 'Le sceaux de la Seigneurie de cette
île'--the seigneur being P. C. Le Pelley.

"The late Mr. Collings, I suspect, used the de Carteret seal, which
seems to have been lost in the wreck of the _Gosforth_. The de
Carterets, no doubt, used the seal with their own arms, and some of
their successors certainly used this same seal as the official seal for
the island."

The _arms_ of the ancient family of de Carteret are, with supporters,

             _Gu_--four Fusils in Fess conjoined _arg._,

and _crest_, a squirrel sejant holding a sprig--_ppr._, and their
historic motto--"LOYALL DEVOIR."


The Hon. Sir C. W. Freemantle, K.C.B., Master of the Royal Mint, has
courteously favoured me with particulars of coinages as specially struck
for the Channel Islands.

As regards the Jersey 3s. token of 1813, and the 1s. 6d. token of the
same date, he says:--

"These were coined at the Royal Mint, under authority from the Committee
of Council on Coins, dated 5th February, 1813.

"£10,000 worth of silver bullion was purchased and coined into tokens of
3s. and 1s. 6d., nominal value. The current value of these coins appears
to have been £11,473 17s. 6d., but there is no information as to the
value of each of the two denominations of coins issued."

The Viscount of Jersey [Le Gros] kindly supplements the above with the
following local information:--

"On the 26th October, 1812, the States, having taken into consideration
the want of specie and of small coin current in the island--a want which
makes itself more and more felt, both amongst the inhabitants and the
troops in garrison--decided to order, with the sanction of Government,
the coinage of a certain quantity of small silver tokens for circulation
in this island. A committee of nine members was named to consider the
amount and value of the coins to be issued, and to enquire into the cost
of such issue.

"The States requested H.E. the Lieut.-Governor Don to consult His
Majesty's Ministers on the matter before proceeding further therein.

"On the 12th December, 1812, a letter from Lord Chetwynd, clerk of the
Privy Council, dated 18th November, 1812, in reply to the
Lieut.-Governor's application, having been read, the States instructed
their Committee to take the necessary steps for the coining and putting
in circulation in the island of small silver coins to the value of not
more than £10,000 of such amounts and design as they may consider most

"On the 20th March, 1813, the silver coinage struck at the Royal Mint by
authority of the Lords of the Privy Council for circulation in the
island, being expected to arrive any day, which coins are of the value
some of 3s., some of 1s. 6d., and bear on one side the arms of the
island, and on the other their value--the States instructed their
Committee to take the necessary steps to put these coins into
circulation as soon as they arrive, and the States engaged to take back
the coins at their respective value, whenever it may become necessary,
after having given one month's notice, both by publication in the
several parishes and by advertisements in the local newspapers, to the
holders to bring the coins to the Treasurer of the States, and receive
the amount thereof."

       *       *       *       *       *

The Viscount of Jersey [Le Gros], in a letter dated Seafield, 19th
October, 1893, further informs me:--

"The result of the issue of these coins was that they were exported in
large quantities--to Guernsey especially, and, I am told, to Canada
also, where they were at a premium, passing, no doubt, as if of the same
value as English coins of the same denominations.

"These coins, or what remained of them in the island, were called in by
the States in 1834, in which year English money was declared the sole
legal tender."

The above-named two Jersey silver tokens read respectively:--

  _O._ STATES OF JERSEY, 18 13 = The arms of Jersey--viz., _gules_,
  three lions passant gardant _or._

  _R._ THREE | SHILLINGS | TOKEN, in three lines, within a wreath of oak


  _O._ STATES OF JERSEY, 11 13 = the arms of Jersey.

  _R._ EIGHTEEN | PENCE | TOKEN, in three lines, within a wreath of oak

These silver tokens were the only coins of that metal ever struck for
the Channel Islands. The countermarked Spanish dollars, indented "Bishop
de Jersey and Co.," belong to Guernsey, and will be noticed together
with the other coins of that island.


The Viscount of Jersey [Le Gros] favours me with the following

"In 1834 it was enacted that from the 1st October, in that year, English
money alone should be legal tender in the island, and that the pound
sterling should be considered equal to 26 _livres_, old French currency,
which was, up to the date above given, currency of the island.

"There being 20 _sous_ to the _livre_, and 20 _shillings_ to the_
pound_, a shilling became the equivalent of 26 _sous_. The value of the
Jersey penny, or _pièce de deux sous_, therefore, became 1/13th of a
shilling, the half-penny, or sou, 1/26th of a shilling, and the
farthing, or _pièce de deux liards_, 1/52nd of a shilling."

As regards the above, in plain English we may call a _livre_ a franc, a
_sou_ a half-penny, and a _liard_ a half-farthing, as current in Jersey.

Sir C. W. Fremantle, Deputy-Master of the Royal Mint, has most kindly
given me full particulars as to dates and amounts of actual supplies of
copper coins to Jersey; and the Viscount of Jersey has furnished me with
records of quantities ordered; thus collectors will now be able to
judge as to rarity of the different issues, and also to know for certain
when they may happen to meet with patterns or coins not sent to Jersey
for circulation.


                                             Pence    Half-Pence Farthings
                                           (2 _Sous_).(1 _Sou_). (1/2 _Sou_).

  Copper coins bearing date 1841. (The        116,480   232,960    116,480
  order, dated 13th July, 1840, was to the
  value of £1,000). These, and up to
  date, 1871 inclusive, were for 1/13th,
  1/26th, and 1/52nd.

  There was a further supply in 1844           27,040    232,960      --

  On December 13th, 1850, there was an                No record.
  order, to the value of £1,000, for
  copper coins; but there is no record in
  the Royal Mint that supply was made
  therefrom. Still, both pence and
  half-pence of date, 1851, were supplied
  for currency, and are still common.

  Copper coins of date, 1858 (ordered to       173,333    173,333      --
  value of £2,000 on 15th October, 1857).

  Copper coins of date, 1861                   173,333    173,333      --

  Bronze coins of date, 1866, ordered to       173,333    173,333      --
  value £2,000 under date 8th Dec, 1864

  Ditto, ditto, 1870. In 1869 the old copper    173,333   173,333      --
  issues were called in to be used for
  recoining and re-issue as bronze
  coinage--as type of late bronze coinage
  of 1866. These re-coined issues were
  dated 1870 and 1871.

  Bronze coins of date, 1871 (in continuance    173,333   173,333      --
  of last-named order).

  Bronze coins of date, 1877. These coins      260,000    312,000    312,000
  coins were 1/12th, 1/24th, and 1/48th
  of a shilling respectively, instead of
  being 1/13th, &c., as previously. On
  February 25th, 1876, the leading
  tradesmen of Jersey had petitioned the
  States to this effect, and the States
  ordered £2,000 of the new denominations
  accordingly. At the same time, the
  coins of former denominations were
  called in. This new coinage was ordered
  through the Royal Mint, but actually
  struck by Messrs. Ralph Heaton, of

  Bronze coins of date, 1881. £260 worth        81,380     --           --
  of bronze farthings of 1877, for which
  there had been no demand in Jersey,
  were sent back to the Mint, and re-coined
  into pence, and thus re-issued.

  Bronze coins of date, 1888. (£2,000 were     195,000   130,000        --
  ordered, but only £1,000 supplied). In
  1894 the remainder of the bronze
  coinage ordered for Jersey in 1888 was
  supplied. The value of this further
  supply, bearing date 1894, was £_750_
  in coins 1/12th of a shilling, and
  £_250_ in coins 1/24th of a shilling.
  The original "States" authority was of
  the 16th January, 1888, confirmed by
  Order in Council dated 17th March,
  1888. The first half, £750 and £250
  respectively in denominations, had been
  re-coined in September, 1888.

The descriptive reading of the first copper coinage of Jersey is as
follows, dates and values being altered as required--values issued being
1/13th, 1/26th, and 1/52nd of a shilling:--

_O._ Dexter Bust[H] of Her Majesty the Queen, with hair banded, as in
the English contemporary shilling, with the legend VICTORIA: D: G:

[H] By _dexter_ bust is meant that the features, as eye, nose, and
mouth, are towards the dexter edge of the coin or shield.

_R._ Ornamented Shield of Arms of Jersey (_gules_--three lions or
leopards passant gardant), with STATES OF JERSEY around upper half--1/13
OF A SHILLING around lower half. This type was issued from 1841 to 1861

The bronze coinages of dates 1866, 1870, and 1871 have the bust
coroneted, and an oak leaf scroll, and the ONE THIRTEENTH written fully
instead of expressed in figures and as a fraction, and initials of
Leonard C. Wyon on truncation of neck. The issues were but of 1/13th
and 1/26th of a shilling--none of 1/52nd (farthings).

The bronze coinage of 1877 and subsequently reads as follows--with
differences for values and dates:--

  _O._ Dexter Coroneted Bust of Her Majesty, with seven-pointed star
  below, and letter H for Heaton (minters) within the legend VICTORIA

  _R._ A pointed Shield of Jersey arms, dividing the date 18-77--STATES
  OF JERSEY above, and ONE TWELFTH OF A SHILLING around lower half.
  These were issued of the values 1/12th, 1/24th, and 1/48th of a
  shilling, thus inaugurating for the Jersey penny the same fractional
  part of a shilling as obtained for the English penny.


I am very greatly indebted to the Rev. G. E. Lee, M.A., F.S.A., Rector
of St. Peter's Port, Guernsey, for the trouble he has kindly taken in
searching old records and statutes relative to the currency in that
island during the last 350 years. He has courteously given me permission
to publish his extracts just as transcribed, and I here append these


_Orders of the Royal Court and of the States of Guernsey._


1.--1535, March 21. No one is to coin "freluques" in future.

2.--21st January, 1537. The carolusis to be held worth 12 deniers, and
     the vache worth 3 liards.

3.--Collas Guillemotte (22nd January, 1553) is authorized to coin
     _enseignes_ of latten.

4.--Michaelmas, 1581. Her Majesty's Receiver and others are to receive
     the coins named below at the values attached thereto, as  follows:--

          The French crown = 20 silver groats.
          Flemish crown = 19-1/2do.
          Pistole = 19 do.
          Double Ducat = 14 Sols sterling.
          Double Millerays = 14 do.
          Noble, Henry of France = 14 do.
          Croizadelittle cross = 20-1/2 groats.
          Ditto potence = 20 do.
          Poll head= 15 do. Real of Spain = 6d. ob. sterling.

5.--Michaelmas, 1582. Value of various coins fixed as follows:--

          French Crown at 19-1/2 Gros.
          Flemish at 19 do.
          Croyzade little + at 20 do.
          Do., + potence, at 19-1/2 do.
          Pistolet at 18-1/2 do.

6.--Jan. 16, 1586. Value of coins fixed as follows:--

          French Gold Crown at 19-1/2 Gros of silver.
          Flemish at 1 sol tournois less than the Escu soll.
          Pistolet at 2 sols tournois less than the Escu soll.
          Frank at 6 silver gros (if of full weight).
          Half Frank at 3 do.
          Quarter Crown at 4-1/2 gros.
          Half quarter Crown at 2-1/4 do.
          Teston of France at 17 deniers.

7.--30th September, 1605. French coins, not worn out--_e.g._, quarter
     and half-crowns, testons and half-testons, francs and
     half-francs--are to be received at the rate of 64 sols to the
     crown. Reals to be held worth 5 deniers.

8.--4th October, 1619. Many unauthorized persons having coined
     freluques, this is forbidden under pain of public whipping "jusqu'
     à effusion de sang."

9.--6th October, 1623. The Normans having sent hither a quantity of
     deniers tournois, which they are passing for doubles, the Governor
     is asked to appoint a person to coin freluques.

10.--17th April, 1626. The island being flooded with foreign doubles, no
     one shall be compelled to take more of them than the value of 2
     sous tournois per crown of the money to be paid to him.


11.--February 26, 1640. A quantity of light French coin being current in
     the island, traders and others insist on weighing these moneys,
     refusing to take them at more than their true value. It is ordered
     that such money be always weighed, as is done in Normandy.

12.--On the 3rd of the said February, 1640, it had been ordered that all
     such coins should pass for their nominal value without weighing.

13.--Aug. 9, 1646. The States complain that whereas by their ancient
     customs they were allowed in Guernsey to pay all dues to the King
     in such money as was current in Normandy, the Governor and his
     Deputy had insisted on continuing to pay such French money as they
     had in their possession after it had been recalled, and would no
     longer pass in Normandy.

14.--Jan. 4, 1649. It hath been ordained this day that the English
     shilling, being worth 12 pence sterling, shall go in this island
     for 12 sols tournois in payment, and receate and other species of
     English money in proportion.


15.--Oct. 5, 1713. Great numbers of deniers having been brought into the
     island, not less than 15 of them shall be counted for a sol

16.--April 26, 1718. The last order is annulled, and the value of a
     denier fixed at 14 to the sol tournois.

17.--April 22, 1723. Great abundance of deniers still being imported,
     they are now to be valued at 16 to the sol tournois.

18.--Dec. 2, 1723. The value of deniers fixed at 20 to the sol tournois.

19.--Dec. 7, 1723. Marked sols are not to pass current.

20.--Oct. 3, 1763. Great quantity of Liards (commonly called Great
     Doubles) being constantly sent out of the island, small change is
     difficult to get. The order of Court of 2nd June, 1741 (which fixed
     the value of the said liard at 13 for 2 sols tournois) is annulled.
     Liards of France, alias Grand Doubles, are to go 6 to the sol
     tournois; but none need accept more than 7 sols tournois at each

21.--March 28, 1797. In order to keep in the island all English money
     and all foreign coin which can be used, the Court orders that the
     French 6 franc pieces shall be held equal to 5s. 3d. sterling, and
     three livres pieces shall be held equal to 2s. 7-1/2d. sterling;
     and inasmuch as the Bank of England has put in circulation a
     quantity of Spanish dollars, fixing their price at 4s. 9d. sterling
     per dollar, the said dollars shall pass current here at the same
     value, and may not be refused. No money to be exported from

22.--Jan. 22, 1798. The last order repealed so far as relates to Spanish

23.--Sept. 30, 1799. No coined money is to be embarked here on pain of
     confiscation. Merchandise imported is to be paid for by bills on
     London or other places; the masters of vessels are only to receive
     enough cash for their expenses here.

24.--Jan. 2, 1802. Owing to the scarcity of coined money, the Court
     renews the ordinance of March 28, 1797, and orders that the said 6
     livre pieces shall be current, and held worth 5s. 3d. sterling, and
     the 3 livre pieces worth 2s. 7-1/2d. sterling. Export of money
     again forbidden.

25.--May 12, 1802. Last ordinance _re_ 6 livre and 3 livre pieces

26.--Jan. 17, 1803. Deniers and centimes are not to be passed for
     liards, and to prevent fraud these small coins are not to be used
     in _rouleaux_, in which pieces of lead, wood, &c., are often to be

27.--Aug. 5, 1809. Export of money again forbidden, except of foreign
     dollars in parcels brought to the island, but not circulated.

28.--Oct. 1, 1810. To the same effect.

29.--March 9, 1813. The importation of silver and copper _tokens_

30.--April 26, 1813. The ordinances forbidding the export of money
     repealed, except as regards money of the United Kingdom.

31.--July 6, 1816. The Constable complaining of the inconvenience caused
     by the fluctuation in the value of French money, "which has always
     been current in this island," the said coins are to pass at their
     current value, but may be refused.

     The values are fixed  thus:--

          Pieces or crowns of 6 Francs to be worth 4s. 10d.
          Petits Ecus, 2s. 4d.
          Pieces of 24 Sous, 10d.
          Pieces of 12 Sous, 5d.

     This order is not to apply to worn-out or defaced coins, or to
     Irish shillings and sixpences.

32.--April 24, 1817. The last order repealed, but the coins must be
     clearly marked, and need only be received to a fixed amount.

33.--June 14, 1821. Liards are to be held worth 7 to the sou.

34.--April 15, 1829. The order of 6th July, 1816, repealed so far as
     regards the old French crowns of 6 francs.

35.--April 27th, 1829. Considering that French money has been from time
     immemorial, and still is, legal currency in this island, orders
     that the _new_ French coinage shall be in use here--one franc to be
     worth 10 Guernsey pennies.

36.--May 1, 1848. The French money not always being available in
     sufficient quantity, English gold and silver coins and Bank of
     England notes are to b used concurrently with French money. The
     pound British sterling is to be held worth £1 1s. 3d. Guernsey

37.--Jan. 21, 1850. The last ordinance repealed.


Sir C. W. Freemantle kindly gives me the following information
respecting copper coins minted and supplied for currency in Guernsey:--

                                      |    DENOMINATIONS SUPPLIED.
                                      |    1    |    2    |    4   |    8
                                      |  DOUBLE.|DOUBLES. |DOUBLES.| DOUBLES.
                                      |£  s. d. |£  s. d. |£  s. d.| £  s. d.
                                      |         |         |        |
  [I]Copper of date 1830--Values sent |858 13 4 |         |420  0 0|
     [I]Additional sent in 1831       |         |         |420  0 0|
                                      |         |         |        |
  [I]Copper of date 1834--Values sent |         |         |        |410 13  4
     [I]Additional sent in 1836       |         |         |105  0 0|102 13  4
     [I]  "        "     " 1837       |         |         |210  0 0|205  6
     [I]  "        "     " 1839       |         |         |210  0 0|205  6  8
                                      |         |         |        |
  [J]Copper of date 1858--Values sent |         |58  9   0|237 12 6|464  7  0
                                      |         |         |        |
  [J]Bronze of date 1864--Values sent |         |         |218 18 0|463  8  0
     [J]Additional sent in 1865       |         |         |224 16 0|723  0  0
  [K]Bronze of date 1868--Values sent |33 10  6 | 36  2 10|120  4 0|228  0  0
                                      |         |         |        |
  [K]Bronze of date 1874--Values sent |         | 48  2  0|144  4 0|305  4  0
                                      |         |         |        |
  [L]Bronze of date 1885--Values sent |29  4  6 | 74  5  0|145  4 0|290  8  0
                                      |         |         |        |
  [L]Bronze of date 1889--Values sent |58  6  6 | 37  2  0|217 12 0|924 16  0
                                      |         |         |        |
  [L]Bronze of date 1893--Values sent |29  3  6 |         |108 16 0|490  0  0

[I] Coinage executed by Messrs. R. Boulton & Co., Soho, Birmingham.

[J] Coinage executed by Messrs. Henry Joy & Co.

[K] Coinage executed by Messrs. Partridge & Co., Birmingham.

[L] Coinage executed by Messrs. Heaton & Sons (now "The Mint,"
Birmingham, Limited).

The type of all the above copper and bronze issues for Guernsey remains
generally the same, there being, of course, specified the various dates
and differences for value.

The description of one coin, as following, will therefore answer in
general terms for the whole of the issues:--

  _O._ The Guernsey Arms [_gules_, three lions passant gardant _or_],
  surmounted by a sprig of three laurel leaves, the whole within two
  laurel branches fastened by a ribbon, and with GUERNSEY under.

  _R._ 8 |DOUBLES| 1834, in three lines. Minor points, such as the
  omission or insertion of the wreath of laurel and the beaded circle,
  are fully described in the works of Mr. James Atkins[M] and of Mr. D.
  F. Howorth[N], and need not therefore be repeated here.

[M] "The Coins and Tokens of the Possessions and Colonies of the British
Empire," by James Atkins. Published by Bernard Quaritch, 15, Piccadilly.

[N] "Coins and Tokens of the English Colonies and Dependencies," by
Daniel F. Howorth, F.S.A., Scot. Published by Swan Sonnenschein & Co.,
Paternoster Square, 1890.

P. Briard, Esq., makes the following interesting communication
respecting the "Double" from information he obtained from Guernsey:--

"The present Guernsey "Double" owes its name to an ancient French coin
which became later the "Liard," and equals the 1/4th part of a sou. I
see, by an ordinance passed in the year 1763, the following clause:--

"'Que les paiements qui se firont en Liards de France ou Grand-Doubles
seront sur le pied de seulement de six Liards ou Grand-Doubles par sol

"By another ordinance of more than a century before--viz., in 1626--I
find these words: 'D'autant qu' à present, le païs estant rempli de
_Doubles_ apportis par les estrangers, plusieurs demeurent charges de
grande quantité d'iceux doubles qu'ils ne peuvent mettre ny débiter à
leur grande perte et dommage. A esté ordonné que dormavent seul recevant
argent, ne sera tenu en prendre à plus de la valeur de deux sous par
escu sur l'argent qu'il recevra.'

"In the margin opposite this ordinance there is insertion of the words
'Doubles ou Liards,' thus showing decisively that with us in Guernsey a
Double was a Liard, and a Liard a Double. In France, however, in ancient
coinage a Liard was the fourth part of a Sou, and a Double intrinsically
held of slightly higher value. We have kept the value of the Double to
be the same as that of the Liard--that is to say, our Guernsey
half-penny is _quatre doubles_, and our penny _huit doubles_.'"


The only silver coin for Guernsey was the Spanish Dollar, overstruck or
countermarked as follows:--

  _O_. BISHOP DE JERSEY & CO. = The arms of Guernsey within a double

  lines--wreath of oak. Specimens of this countermarked coin are now
  very rare. The one in the Leycester Sale, of June, 1888, lot 189,
  sold, together with the Jersey 3s. Tokens, for £3 10s.; and a higher
  price still has been more recently obtained.

Respecting this coin, the Viscount of Jersey [Le Gros] writes to me,
under date 21st September, 1893:--

"The firm of Bishop de Jersey & Co., who issued the token in question in
1809, carried on the business of bankers in Guernsey under the style of
"The Guernsey Bank." This Bank was in existence for about ten years in
the beginning of the present century, and was, I am told, the first to
issue paper money (£1 notes) in Guernsey. It came to grief, however,
after this short time.

"There are descendants of Mr. Bishop still living in Guernsey.

"'Mon Plaisir' is the name of the family estate of the Guernsey family
of de Jersey, of which the partner in the Bank of that name was a

"Bishop and de Jersey are two distinct family names, both belonging to


I have not, during two and a half years' stay in Jersey, been able to
find any 17th century token of the Channel Islands.

The supply of small copper coins from France at that period prevented
any inconvenience from want of currency of low denominations, and so
probably no 17th century tokens were struck.

Nor were there any penny nor half-penny tokens struck for the Channel
Islands between the years 1788 and 1797, when the issue of these, prior
to the regal copper coinage of 1797, was so extensive in Great Britain.

But in the years 1812 and 1813 the copper currency, as well as that of
silver, ran short, owing chiefly to the great drain caused by the
Continental wars and the suspension of mintage work in common with other
industries; accordingly, a few tokens, only six in all, of the penny
size were issued from two sources.

The description of these is as follows:--

  1. _O._ JERSEY BANK TOKEN, 1812 = Laureated sinister bust of George III.

  2. _O._ JERSEY BANK, 1813 = A draped sinister bust of King George III.
     _R._ ONE PENNY TOKEN--The figure of Commerce seated.

     _R._ TO FACILITATE TRADE, 1813 = Prince of Wales Plume of ostrich
     feathers and motto.

  4. _O._ As last.
     _R_. Laureated bust of King George III. within oak leaf wreath.

  5. _O_. As last.
     _R._ ONE PENNY TOKEN within a wreath.

  6. _O._ As last.

All the above-mentioned tokens are rare. I can find none whatever issued
since 1813, nor prior to 1812. I have, in the above descriptions, taken
the _obverse_ of tokens as the side of the coin specifying the Bank or
other source of issue. This makes uniformity in the descriptions more
apparent perhaps, though, in one case, it wrongly throws the bust on the


All sorts and conditions of small coins were formerly current in the
Channel Islands. These were almost entirely of French mintage. Even at
the present day, if at any ordinary shop in Jersey you take change in
coppers, you will probably find amongst them two or three French sous,
two or three Jersey pence or half-pence, an English penny or two, and
one or two coins of Spain or Italy, and, until lately, even perhaps one
of the numerous coins introduced by the Russian troops who were formerly
in Jersey.

At such public institutions as the main Post Office, none but English
and Jersey or Guernsey pence and half-pence are the coppers received or

As regards gold and silver currency, none but English-struck coins are
usually fully current and tendered everywhere.

Le Quesne, at a footnote, page 263, writes:--"The average weight of a
Jersey quarter of wheat is 260 lbs. English. Compared to an English
quarter, the proportion is 13/24."

The Rev. G. E. Lee says:--"From the earliest times the quarter (Guernsey
measure or measures) of wheat has been the unit of currency here, the
value of the quarter being every year proclaimed by the Royal Court and
_affeuré_ in terms of so many _livres_ and _sols tournois_.

The livre tournois is now held to be worth 1/14 of the Guernsey pound
sterling--_e.g._, in purchasing a property the contract will stipulate
the value (even at the present day) _in quarters of wheat_, generally
adding a proviso that the quarter payable is to be redeemed for £14
trs.--_i.e._, £1 Guernsey sterling. Fines imposed by the Court are
always expressed in livres, sols, and deniers tournois."

With reference to extracts furnished me by Mr. Lee, he adds further:--

"English and French coins of every sort seem to have been current here
[in Guernsey] from earliest times, the local value being fixed
occasionally of such coins as were least in accord with those of

"The most common former local coin seems to have been the _freluche_,
which I take to be equal to the double.--_i.e._, the _double denier

£1 notes have been issued, by authority of the States, both for Jersey
and Guernsey.

With reference to the mixed copper coins in circulation, mention has
been made that there were Russian pieces tendered as small change. The
following extracts from most interesting notes written by Miss Phillipa
L. Marette, of La Haule Manor, for "The Jersey Ladies' College
Magazine," will show clearly how it was that Russian coins were for a
while current in the Channel Islands:--

"That clause in the Bill of Rights which forbids the landing of foreign
troops in England, is responsible for the 'Russian occupation of
Jersey,' for by it the Russians, who were our allies in the ill-fated
expedition to Holland (undertaken for the re-establishment of the Prince
of Orange), were prevented from taking up their quarters in England,
and so were let loose upon the Channel Islands, there to await the
arrival of their transports. Great was the excitement of the inhabitants
when, on the 24th November, 1799, the first detachment of the Russian
Corps of Emmé (now the Pauloski Regiment, which still wears the same
head-dress, a tall gilt mitre) arrived in this island.

"Week after week brought fresh numbers, and by January, 1800, 6,505
Russians were landed in Jersey, the sister island of Guernsey also
receiving about the same number, and the whole force being under the
command of a Frenchman, General Vilmeuil, who was created a
Field-Marshal on the restoration of the Bourbons.

"As there were also at this time about 8,000 English troops in the
place, it was somewhat difficult to find accommodation for the

"A large camp was formed on Grouville Common. Many were quartered in the
St. Helier's Bay in the so-called 'Blue Barracks,' which were on the
sand hill that then stretched between First Tower and Cheapside. Mention
is made of Laurence's and Pipon's Barracks, the exact site of which I am
unable to discover. They were probably private houses hired as temporary
quarters, for we find that the old Parsonage at St. Brelade's, St.
Ouen's Manor, and Belle Vue, near St. Aubin's, were all used as such.
About St. Aubin's were distributed 995 men of a regiment of Chasseurs
and a regiment of Grenadiers--61 being in hospital there. The General
Infirmary of the island was also hired by the Russians, and was used
mostly as a hospital, though some duty troops were also located therein.

"The Russians were only detained in the Channel Islands about six
months, and by June 10th, 1800, had all left Jersey. The mortality
amongst them was very great, doubtless aggravated by defective sanitary
arrangements and overcrowding. One of their rough burial grounds on
Grouville Common was consecrated some years after their departure. They
were buried usually in gardens, &c., near where they died, wrapped in
their blankets only."

The lady who furnishes the above interesting facts, gives also in her
paper other most quaint and valuable particulars of these strange
visitors. She had spent much time in gleaning all that could be got
together, and this proved no easy matter, for, although the Russian
occupation of the Channel Islands occurred but 97 years ago, there is
little obtainable record remaining.

I have somewhat fully inserted notes to show how Russian coins became
current in the Channel Islands, because this has puzzled many.

At the present time all English money is commonly current throughout the
group of islands.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Coinages of the Channel Islands" ***

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