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I may mention that the window of this last Lord Glandore's favourite sitting room in Ardfert House immediately overlooks them. It is, I believe, kept in much the same condition as in his lifetime. The windows of the reception and dining rooms, and the boudoir of his wife (sister of -the last Duke of Dorset), lie at the back of the house, where until a few years ago, there was a quaint old bowling green, which has now given way to flower beds and shrubberies, a progressive improvement in the eyes of all, I suppose, save those who prefer to see the old surroundings of old mansions preserved, if they are not injurious to health or unsightly. It is surely a mistake to sweep away a little old ivied ruined church, with an avenue leading to it from the mansion, down which Sir Koger de Coverley might have walked with his friends :ind tenants, to plant out their site with clumps of shrubs and mosaics of scarlet geraniums and calceolarias. Or still worse, to pull down the fine old Elizabethan or Jacobean mansion itself, and to erect instead of it an imitation mediaeval castle, as wearying to the eye as the geometrically arranged staring groups of geraniums and calceolarias, or as I heard a little Irish servant girl once call them, CaMeolearys, a proof that the youthful Celtic imagination can throw a queer glamour over the most prosaic and common-place things. Modern admirers of the revived taste for the furniture of Queen Anne's days will, however, be pleased, to their heart's content, with the fine oak panelling of the inner hall and staircase at Ardfert House, redolent, like the vanished bowling green, of the—

'' teacup times of hood and hoop, And when the patch was worn."

There are also interesting portraits of Talbots, Sackvilles, and Crosbies on the walls throughout the house. One small half length portrait of Lady Anne Crosbie nee Fitz Maurice, daughter of the 1st Earl and 21st Baron of Kerry, has a remarkably sweet gentle face, quite bearing out the traditional and written accounts that she shared the amiable characteristics of her better known sister Lady Arabella Denny, whom the statesman and man of the world, the second Earl of Shelburne in his "Autobiography," edited by Lord Edmund Fitz Maurice, and the saintly John Wesley, in his Journals, praise so highly. The artist and antiquary who travels from Tralee by the North Kerry Railway to Ardfert Station, and who is permitted by the unfailing courtesy of the owner to spend a summer day examining the beautiful ruined friary, demesne, and fine old mansion-house, will find much to gratify and interest him.


By W. FRAZER, F.R.C.S.I., Hon. Fellow, Society Of Antiquaries, Scotland,


rPHE "Floreat Rex" Coinage, so termed from the inscription it bears, is usually known in Ireland as " St. Patrick's " pieces. They occur of two sizes, larger and smaller, considered to be intended to circulate for pence and halfpence, and described by Thoresby as halfpence and farthings. Which opinion is correct I will not venture to affirm definitely, but am inclined to believe the prevalent idea is preferable.

The larger sized copper pieces have on one side a kneeling figure of David playing on a harp; above is placed a Royul crown and the inscription, Floreat * Bex. On the reverse of the coin is the representation of a bishop standing erect in his robes and mitred, holding a crosier with one hand, and the other hand is outstretched, having a shamrock. In front is a group of figures consisting of two represented at length, and the heads of several others; behind the bishop is a shield having on it three towere in flames, the armorial bearings of the city of Dublin. Above the upper edge of the shield are shown the heads of three persons. These pieces vary in weight, ranging from 120 to 148 grains, according as they appear more or less worn, or were perhaps struck on flanges of varying thickness. A solitary unique proof in silver, of this coin, is preserved in the collection of the Royal Irish Academy. A variety struck in copper from a different obverse die has the inscription divided as follows :—Flore At Rex aud without the star (*). Both appear equally common. They are, however, much scarcer than the smaller or halfpenny coinage. The edges of all the pieces are grained with vertical lines, and have a small piece of brass struck into the copper in the situation of the Royal crown, and were minted in a mill similar to the best struck English coins and medals of the time of Charles I. The motto above St. Patrick is Eccb Grrx.

The smaller-sized coinage, to judge from the numerous varieties observable in its dies, as exhibited in the specimens contained in my own cabinet, must have been a more extensive mintage than is usually supposed. Primarily they are separable into two distinct groups, all having alike the kneeling figure of David with his harp, above which is placed a crown and the inscription, Floreat Rex. On the reverse is the figure of a mitred bishop; his outstretched hand is driving off serpents, a griffin, &c., and he holds a double cross, not a crosier, as shown in the larger pieces; behind him is a church with tower and steeple, the motto being Quiescat Plebs. The sub-divisions of this coinage are :—

Group No. 1.—There is represented under the kneeling figure of David a landscape, consisting of a number of prolonged ridges. He is attired in a flowing robe, on which he kneels, and has a shawl or upper garment thrown across his shoulders. On the reverse the church is drawn of large size, its spire reaching upwards to the top transverse bar of St. Patrick's double cross, or approximating to it; if apparently it seems placed somewhat lower down, this is due to its lower position relatively to the figure on the die, for all of this group have a high tower and elevated steeple above the church.

The following variations in the dies are known to me :—




These coins are all well struck, made from copper, with milled or grained edges, and have a small brass stud imbedded in or near the Royal crown above the head of David. Usually they appear to be more worn or rubbed than the coins of group No. 2, and seem as if struck with less care, hence I feel disposed to think they were possibly the first coinage issued.

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Group No. 2.—There is no appearance of ground work, or ridges, shown under King David's kneeling figure. In addition to the long robe and the shawl thrown over his shoulders, is seen a remarkable article of attire depending from his neck and reaching lower than the knees, placed between them and the sounding board of the harp and terminating in a triangular expansion, so that it appears like a pendent alb. On the reverse of the coin the church is represented of smaller size and the steeple less elevated, and its proportions are altogether less than in the former series. It seldom reaches beyond the lower cross bar of St. Patrick's double cross. All the coins of this class are likewise milled and were struck in a collar,

and have brass studs in the usual position upon or near the Royal crown. One example has a small o, a little bird and a figure of 8 under the kneeling figure of David. Amongst fourteen specimens which I have, the following variations in the die are present. Floreat Rex: Eight specimens.

Floueat :Hex. One specimen, and a silver proof piece. (There are three more silver impressions in the collection of the Royal Irish Academy, all struck from the same die.)

FtorEAT :Bex: Four specimens.

In preparing these lists I have tabulated the more distinctive and important variations in the inscriptions, neglecting minor differences as unimportant.

Numismatists who have described this coinage differ considerably in their opinion respecting its history. The following brief summary will show the leading views entertained respecting it. Evelyn in his "Discourse of Medals Ancient and Modern," folio, 1697, gives an accurate engraving of one of the smaller coins and describes it. He says: "It is, I think, an Irish coin." Of this special specimen, Dr. Aquilla Smith conjectured that, as Evelyn places it amongst the silver medals of the reign of Charles II., it was probably a silver proof such as I have already mentioned.

Thoresby in 1715, mentions amongst coins of the reign of Charles II. this description of an " Irish (silver) medal," and states further, "these were also originally of copper and were current, I presume, for halfpence and farthings, for they are of different dimensions," and he then proceeds to describe the larger and small-sized coins in full.

Bishop Nicholson, in " The Irish Historical Library," published in Dublin in 1724, copies Thoresby's descriptions, and adds : they " are still common in copper and brass," and "are current for halfpence and farthings." He, however, describes them along with the coins of the reign of Charles I. Dean Swift, in the same year, 1724, mentions the small " St. Patrick's coin which passeth now for a farthing, and the great St. Patrick halfpenny."

Leake, in his "Historical Account of English Money," published in 1726, notices these " copper pieces which have passed for halfpence and farthings in Ireland, but for what purpose they were coined and by whom is uncertain." He thinks it probable that they were struck in the reign of Charles I. for the use of the Irish rebels.

Harris, in his edition of Sir James Ware's Works, in 1745, thinks they were coined in the time of Charles II., and describes the larger and smaller coins as halfpence and farthings. They are not mentioned in the former edition of Ware's Work, published in 1705. Simon in his " Essay towards an Historical Account of Irish Coins" in 1749, supposed they were struck by the rebels " in honour of St. Patriok, and of their new order of knighthood," in Kilkenny, and that the silver pieces were intended to pass for shillings.

Dr. Cane, of Kilkenny, in a Paper published in the Proceedings of the Kilkenny Archjeological Society, stated his opinion that they were made on the Continent, and brought to Ireland by the Nuncio Rinuccini for the use of the Confederate army.

The late Dr. Aquilla Smith, when criticising Dr. Cane's views, and in his valuable description of the "Confederate coinages" in silver and copper, has shown that certain rude pieces struck at Kilkenny, hearing a crown and crossed sceptres on one side, and a crowned harp on the reverse, were the copper coins issued under the Nuncio Einuccini. These are of coarse, almost barbarous, execution. Again, whilst frequent mention is made of large amounts of silver pieces contributed from abroad for the use of the Confederates, there is no allusion whatever respecting any foreign power sending to Ireland a coinage in copper.

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So far we have traced the History in Ireland of those interesting pieces. Their subsequent record must be resumed in May, 1682, in the State of New Jersey, where the General Free Assembly decree:—

"That Mark Newbie's half-pence, called Patrick's Halfpence shall from and after the said Eighteenth Instant, pass for halfpence Current pay of this Province, provided he the said Mark give sufficient security to the Speaker of this House, for the use of the General Assembly, from time to time being, that he the said Mark, his executors, and administrators, shall and will change the said halfpence for pay equivalent upon demand, and provided also that no person or persons be hereby obliged to take more than five shillings in one payment."

"This, the first Banking Law passed in New Jersey, shows a very conservative spirit to have been abroad in the colony, and one which would have been worthy of emulation by more modern financiers. But what was

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