• 1/2 Penny 1774-1782, KM# 140, Ireland, George III
  • 1/2 Penny 1774-1782, KM# 140, Ireland, George III
Description

George III (George William Frederick; 4 June 1738 – 29 January 1820) was King of Great Britain and Ireland from 25 October 1760 until the union of the two countries on 1 January 1801, after which he was King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland until his death.

His life and reign, which were longer than any other British monarch before him, were marked by a series of military conflicts involving his kingdoms, much of the rest of Europe, and places farther afield in Africa, the Americas and Asia. Early in his reign, Great Britain defeated France in the Seven Years' War, becoming the dominant European power in North America and India. However, many of Britain's American colonies were soon lost in the American Revolutionary War. Further wars against revolutionary and Napoleonic France from 1793 concluded in the defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.

In the later part of his life, George III had recurrent, and eventually permanent, mental illness. Although it has since been suggested that he had the blood disease porphyria, the cause of his illness remains unknown. After a final relapse in 1810, a regency was established, and George III's eldest son, George, Prince of Wales, ruled as Prince Regent.

Obverse

A right-facing laureated portrait (type 3 with long hair) of George III, and incused into the rim are the words "George III, the King" in Latin.

GEORGIVS · III · REX ·

Reverse

Depicts a Celtic harp crowned by the St Edward's Crown, name of country in Latin above and date below.

Hibernia is the Classical Latin name for the island of Ireland. The name Hibernia was taken from Greek geographical accounts. During his exploration of northwest Europe (c. 320 BC), Pytheas of Massilia called the island Iérnē (written Ἰέρνη). In his book Geographia (c. 150 AD), Claudius Ptolemaeus ("Ptolemy") called the island Iouerníā (written Ἰουερνία, where "ου"/ou stands for w). The Roman historian Tacitus, in his book Agricola (c. 98 AD), uses the name Hibernia.

The Celtic harp is a triangular harp traditional to Brittany, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. In Ireland and Scotland it was a wire-strung instrument requiring great skill and long practice to play, and was associated with the Gaelic ruling class. In the Republic of Ireland, it appears on the coins and coat of arms. From early times to the end of the 19th Century Ireland is unique in having a musical instrument, the harp, as its national emblem.

St Edward's Crown is one of the oldest Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom and the centrepiece of the coronation regalia. Named after Edward the Confessor, it has traditionally been used to crown English and British monarchs at their coronation ceremonies. The current version was made for the coronation of Charles II in 1661.

HIBERNIA·
17 81

Edge

1/2 Penny

Kingdom
Sp# 6614 KM# 140
Characteristics
Material Copper
Weight 9.3 g
Diameter 28 mm
Thickness 6 mm
Shape round
Alignment Medal

Related coins

Bronze, 1.78 g, ⌀ 17.14 mm