COLLECTION: Numismatics

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"Lord Baltimore" fourpence

ca.1659
Origin: England, London
Diameter: 18 mm Weight: 24.56 grains
Silver
Gift of the Lasser Family
Acc. No. 2004-8,10
Label:In contrast to Protestant New England, Maryland was under the rule of Cecil Calvert, the second Lord Baltimore, an Irish Catholic who had almost absolute control of the colony. Calvert believed that his 1632 charter from the King gave Maryland the right to its own coinage and contracted for the Tower Mint to produce it in 1659. When Calvert was challenged the same year, his right to strike coins for use in Maryland was upheld, resulting in a relatively small issue of denarii (pennies), fourpences, sixpences and shillings.

The obverses of the silver Lord Baltimore coins bear his portrait with a Latin legend that translates to "Lord of Mary's Land," while the reverses bear the Calvert family arms flanked by the numeral of the denomination. These coins, the first precious metal issues produced in England for America, were out of use by 1700 and are very scarce today.

Breen-74 (large head)