A Coinage for Ireland

In 1331, amerciaments were ordered to be received no longer in heifers, but in deniers. Edward the third passed this decree in the hope of improving the trade of Ireland, and the revenue; and he ordered a coinage for Ireland, but no specimens of it have been found. Seventy years after, the prince of Leinster’s horse was rated at 400 cows, and the relator of this fact expressly adds, that, in Ireland, they barter by exchange, one commodity for another, and not for ready money. Even so late as 1570, Campion says, they exchange by commutation of wares for the most part, and have utterly no coin stirring in any of the great lord’s houses. The couped arm occurs on many of the Danish, Irish, as well as on the Saxon coins. It is well explained by the law of Athelstan, “If any coiner adulterates money, let his hand be cut off and fixed over the mint.” A coin of Sihtric, found in Queen’s county, shows the hand, with a nail through the palm.

Monthly Repertory, 1708

September 15, 2014