- Item 105047 - English three halfpence coin, Queen Elizabeth I, Richmond Island, 1568
- Contributed by Maine Historical Society
- Item 105047
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This tree halfpence coin, dating to the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, was found on Richmond Island in 1855. One side depicted the Queen, while the reverse included the words "FLORENT CONCORDIA REGNA," or "nations flourish by peace."Show Details
The coin was hidden by Walter Bagnall, the first European settler on Richmond Island. He became wealthy by cheating the Wabanaki, specifically the female leader Warrabitta’s family, at his trading post. According to Massachusetts Governor Winthrop, "Bagnall...was a wicked fellow, and had much wronged the Indians." Because Bagnall had violated his social responsibilities, Warrabitta’s brother, Skitterygusset, killed Bagnall in 1631 and burned down the trading post. This act was a redistribution of power and asserted Wabanaki jurisdiction of the area.
It is thought that Bagnall hoarded and buried money just before his murder. The number of coins and their international span demonstrates the far reaches of the fur trade in Maine.