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Scottish contemporaries
James V, King of Scotland 1513-1542
Mary Stuart, Queen of Scotland 1542-1567


James III,   King of Scotland 1460-88


Groat n. d. (1484-88).   ō 25 mm, 2,94 g.   SCBC 5289.
Obv.:   IΛᗭOBVS⦂DIᗺ⦂GRΛᗭIΛ⦂RᗺX⦂ᗭOTRV   (ᗭOTRV = scotorum)
Crowned three-quarter facing bust; annulet on border to right.

Rev.:   +DnS - PROTᗭ - ORᙏᗺT - ᗭTRΛO / +VILL - Λ ᗺD - ⦂In⦂B - VRGI
"God is my Defender and my Redeemer / Villa of Edinburgh"
Long cross pattťe; crowns in second and third quarters, pellets and annulets in first and fourth.
This is the first coin minted outside of Italy to bear a realistic, renaissance style portrait.
In the last years of his reign, James III "struck some remarkable groats and half-groats with his three-quarter bust facing left, quite different from the profile busts on Italian coinage. The name of the artist is unfortunately unknown, but its resemblance to contemporary panel portraits shows it to represent a true likeness of the king. This tour de force is an isolated phenomenon, portraiture not being repeated again until late in the reign of James V (1526)." - Grierson, p.202.

Compare the picture of an unknown artist, watercolour on paper, 24x16cm, National Galleries Scotland.

James V,   King of Scotland 1513-1542
At the age of 1Ĺ years James V followed his father James IV, who died in a battle against England. His mother Margaret Tudor, sister of Henry VIII, was the first regent. In 1528 James V took over power, which he had to escape from his stepfather with his mother's help.
James allied with France. His army suffered a crushing defeat against England in November 1542. Shortly afterwards his daughter Mary (Mary Stuart) was born. The lost battle and the disappointment in the lack of a male heir made the 30-years-old king heat sick and he died few days later in grief.


Groat n. d., 2nd coinage 1526-39.   ō 25 mm, 2,61 g.   SCBC 5376.
Obv.:   +IACOBVS⦂5⦂DEI⦂GRA⦂REX⦂SCOTOR   -   Crowned bust to the right.
Rev.:  ⦂VILL - A⦂ED - INBR - VGh X  -  Scottish coat of arms on long cross.

Edinburgh is referred to here as a villa, otherwise as an oppidum (latin for fixed place) like on next coin.


Groat n. d., 2nd coinage 1526-39.   ō 24 mm, 2,76 g.   SCBC 5378.
Obv.:   +IACOBVS ... SCOTORV   -   Crowned bust to the right.
Rev.:  ⁖OPPI - DV⁖E - DINB - VRGI  -  Scottish coat of arms on long cross.


Ducat 1540, 3rd coinage 1539-42.   ō 22 mm, 5,84 g.   SCBC 5373; Friedb.25.
Obv.:   IACOBVS∑5∑DEI∑GRA∑R∑SCOTOR∑1540   -   Bust to the right, ringlet behind the neck.
Rev.:   + HONOR∑REGIS∑IVDICIVM∑DILIGIT  "The king's honor loves justice"
Crowned Scottish coat of arms on floral cross.
The ducats of James V are the first dated coinage of Scotland.


2/3 Ducat 1540, Edinburgh.   ō 20 mm, 3,69 g.   SCBC 5374; Friedb.26.
Obv.:  ⚜IACOBVS∑D∑G∑R∑SCOTORVM∑1∑5∑40   -   Bearded bust right, wearing bonnet. Mm: ⚜ (lis).
Rev.:   +HONOR∑REGIS∑IVDICIVM∑DILIGIT  -   Crowned Scottish coat between I - 5.

Mary Stuart,  Queen of Scotland 1542-1567
Mary Stuart was born a few days before the death of her father James V in 1542. One year old she was crowned queen of Scotland and contracted to marry with the future King Edward VI of England. Their heirs were to unite England and Scotland. When King Henry VIII demanded from Scotland to abandone the alliance with France, the Scottish parliament terminated the marriage contract of their queen, whereupon England took military action against Scotland. Now Mary was contractually promised to Francis II, son of King Henry II of France. In 1548 she came to the court of Paris, where French became her mother tongue and where she took her surname Stuart, for English Stewart.


Testoon 1553, type I, first period (1542-58).     ō ? mm, 4,84 g.   Spink 5481.
Obv.:  ✱∑MARIA∑DEI∑GRAcia∑Regina∑SCOTORVM   -   Crowned bust to the right.
Rev.:   +∑DA∑PACEM∑DOMINE∑1553∑   "Give us peace, O Lord"
Crowned coat of arms of Scotland between ✱ - ✱.


3 Pounds 1555, Edinburgh (= 60 Shillings).     ō 28 mm, 7,67 g.   Spink 5397; Friedb.33.
Obv.:  ∑MARIA∑DEI∑G∑SCOTOR:REGINA∑  -  Bust left with pearls in her hair and around her neck.
Rev.:   ∑IVSTVS∑FIDE∑VIVIT∑1555∑   "The righteous live by faith"
Crowned coat of arms of Scotland.

Compare the portrait of the 13-year-old Queen, painted in 1555 by FranÁoise Clouet, court painter in Paris.


Ducat of 60 Shilling 1558 (2nd periode).     ō 30 mm, 7,63 g.   Spink 5399, Friedb.35.
Obv.:   FRAN∑ET∑MA∑D∑G∑Rex∑Regina∑SCOTOR∑DELPHIN∑VIEN   -   Francis and Mary face to face.
Rev.:   ∑HORVM∑TVTA∑FIDES∑1558∑   "Belief in them is everything".
Mary married the French hereditary Prince Francis as planned in 1558, who a year later, at the age of 15, succeeded his father Henry II on the throne of France. When Francis II died in 1560, the strictly Catholic Mary returned to Scotland in 1561, which had become increasingly Protestant.

French silver medal 1558.     Re-coinage 19th century, ō 52 mm.   Eimer 40.
(without signature of G. Martin) on the wedding of the Dauphin Francois with Mary Stuart.

Obv.   as before.
Rev.   ∑FECIT∑VTRAQVE∑VNVM∑1558   "He made one of the two"
The French Hereditary Prince (Dauphin) is represented in the shield by dolphins and three lilies.


Scottish Testoon 1561.     ō 28 mm, 6,20 g.   Spink 5422.
Obv.:   ∑MARIA∑DEI∑GRA∑SCOTORVM∑REGINA∑ 1561   -   Bust to the left.
Rev.:   SALVVM∑FAC∑POPVLVM∑TVVM∑DOMINE∑   "Save your people, Lord"
Crowned coat of arms France / Scotland between two crowned M.
Mary Stuart returned to Scotland as a widow in 1561.

Queen Mary Tudor of England died in 1558. The Catholic Church had never recognized King Henry VIII's divorce from his first wife. As a result, Mary Stuart of Scotland was able to lay claim to the English throne as the granddaughter of Henry VII, but Elizabeth occupied it as the "ilegitime" daughter of Henry VIII.
A very unpleasant development followed: Mary Stuart's two marriages, two murders, a kidnapping, her abdication and flight to England, 18 years imprisonment, her conspiracy against queen Elizabeth, the conviction for high treason and finally the execution in 1587.
But Mary Stuart's son became the first ruler of Great Britain, in 1567 as king James VI of Scotland and 1603 as king James I of England and Ireland.


Uniface medal o. J. (1572-78).     ō 66 mm.   Kress 543; KŲhler Belust. vol.5 p.233.
MARIA STOVVAR REGIna SCOTIae ANGLIae
On the back: IAcobus PRIMAVEra (Italian medalist, active 1568-85)
The claim to the title "Queen of England" cost her her head.

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