For What It’s Worth – April/May/June 2018

In keeping with the theme of the last couple of articles in the Wayback Times, I wanted to present another outstanding example of a British historical medal. As we have discussed, medals were produced to commemorate a wide variety of people, places and events. This one has it all! It has size, (50mm or 2 inches), it is silver, it features a new incoming English monarch and has a fantastic scene on its reverse.

The medal is listed as “The Landing of William of Orange at Torbay 1688.” William of Orange was William III of the Netherlands and after marrying Mary II of England he became King William III of England also and reigned as William and Mary until her death near the end of 1694, after which he ruled as sole monarch until 1702.

You may wonder how a Dutch King became the ruler of England. His mother, also Mary, was the daughter of King Charles I. In 1677 he married Mary, who was his fifteen year old first cousin, the daughter of his uncle, James II. James was Catholic and when he came to power, in 1685, he was unpopular with the Protestant majority which opened the door to invite in the champion of the Protestants of Europe.

The medal, engraved by George Bower, a medallist at the Royal Mint, features an armoured and draped bust of William with the scene of his arriving fleet, of reportedly 500 ships, in the harbour at Torbay.
It is truly magnificent, especially for the period during which it was produced.

Its catalog value would be around 1500 British pounds or about $2600 Cdn.
Happy hunting and enjoy the Spring!