An example of copper coinage milled during the reign of Charles II (1649–85). This turner dating from 1663 was found in the grounds of the Earl’s Palace, Kirkwall, during levelling operations on 4 May 1951.
Worth two pence Scots, the coin features a crowned ‘CRII’ for ‘King Charles II’. A thistle takes centre place on the reverse.
The legend translates as ‘Charles by the grace of God King of Scotland, England, France and Ireland’. In Latin, it reads: ‘CAR DG SCOT ANG FRA ET HIB R CR’.
A motto meaning ‘no one shall hurt me with impunity’ is on the reverse. This is written: ‘NEMO ME IMPVNE LACESSET’.
Charles II was named King of Scots soon after the execution of his father, Charles I, in 1649. He was crowned at Scone on 1 January 1651, but fled to Europe later that year. This was his second period of exile due to ongoing conflict throughout the British Isles and Ireland.
No coins were made until Charles II was restored to the English throne in 1660. And not a single gold coin was issued during his reign.