Copper 'Harrington' farthing of James I
Stuart, issued in the period 1613-1625
When Elizabeth I died in 1603, James VI of Scotland ascended the English throne as James I, the first Stuart king. In 1613 James granted a licence to Lord Harrington allowing him to produce copper farthings. These coins were popular as for many years the public had been demanding lower denominations. In large towns such as London the poor used lead tokens, issued by tradesmen and others, as coinage. The legend on the obverse of this example, which continues on the reverse, reads IACO DG MAG BRIT FRA ET HIB REX - James, by the Grace of God, King of Great Britain, France and Ireland. This was the first copper currency in the English series.