When it was minted in 1776, the Continental Currency coin didn’t have a denomination. There were silver, brass and pewter versions and numismatists still aren’t sure how they were used because there is no value notation on the coins themselves and no historical records authorizing the coins have survived. There are about 60 of these coins extant, most of them pewter. Only four of the silver Continental Currency coins are known and one of them has just sold at auction for $1,410,000. An impressive result for a coin whose original value is unknown.
On February 10th, 1776, the Continental Congress authorized the creation of the first national currency, paper notes in denominations from 1/6th of a dollar to 80 dollars. The name came from the Spanish dollars, whose reliable silver weight and purity had made them a global currency since they were first minted in 1497, used to back the notes. The design of the Continentals, as the notes became known, was the work of Benjamin Franklin, a long-time advocate for paper money who as early as 1736 had printed paper currency for New Jersey. The obverse of the Continental fractional dollars has the Latin “FUGIO” (I fly) written over a sundial and the charmingly Old Richard-esque legend “MIND YOUR BUSINESS” written underneath it. (It’s not really sure what he meant by that legend, but it probably wasn’t “mind your own business” in the way we think of it today. It’s more likely to have been a literal meaning of business as in see to your money-making. It could have been a rebus with the sundial and FUGIO legend, meaning something like time flies so take care of your business.) The reverse has 13 linked rings, each labeled with the name of one of the colonies, surrounding a sun containing the legends “AMERICAN CONGRESS” and “WE ARE ONE.”
The borders and devices for the Continentals were the work of engraver and artist Elisha Gallaudet who had engraved New York State notes in 1771 and New York City notes, the first currency issued by an American city, in 1774. Elisha Gallaudet also engraved the dies of the Continental Currency coin that just sold. He left his mark — EG FECIT (EG made it) — on the silver coin making it one of very few coins from the colonial period to bear its maker’s signature. Experts believe that the Continental Congress intended the coins to replace the one dollar paper note.
The four resolutions from May 10, 1775 to May 9, 1776 provided for the issue of paper money in various denominations, including the one dollar bill. The six resolutions of July 22, 1776 through September 26, 1778 omitted the one dollar denomination. Thus, it is logical to conclude the pewter pieces were intended as a substitute for the paper dollars in those issues. The coins had minimal intrinsic value, and like the paper bills they replaced, were valued according to the public’s confidence in Congress, who guaranteed their value at one dollar each.
The mintage figures are unknown, but the pewter coins appear with enough frequency to suggest they were produced in substantial numbers. Many of the coins were undoubtedly melted during this period, because Benjamin Franklin observed that pewter was sorely needed for the canteens used by soldiers in the Continental Army. The most reasonable explanation for the brass examples is that they represent dies trials. The silver coins are of full weight and value, suggesting that a precious-metal coinage was contemplated, but the Continental Congress was chronically short of funds and had no reliable supply of silver, so this idea must have been abandoned quickly.
Instead they stuck with the paper notes which were cheap to produce but depreciated at an alarming rate. There were too many of them in circulation, and the British took advantage of their weakness to distribute huge amounts of counterfeit notes, devaluing them even further. Within three years of the first issue Continentals had dropped to 1/5th of their face value. A year later they had plummeted to 1/40th of their face value. A year after that they were no longer being used as currency at all. It wasn’t until the Constitution was ratified that Continentals finally scraped up a little bit of worth: 1% of face value to be exchanged for treasury bonds.
Franklin’s fabulous design got another bite at the currency apple in 1787 when it graced the first official penny of the United States of America, today known as the Fugio Cent after the Latin “I fly” legend.
"A team of scent scientists" have developed a new body spray deodorant that promises to give you that medieval warrior smell! Norse Power is an actual product, created by Visit York and the Jorvik Viking Centre and it helps recreate what a Viking probably smelled like.
Photo courtesy Visit YorkWhat do you get in a bottle of Norse Power Deodorant For Men?
Michelle Brown, Marketing Manager of Visit York, explains, "Historical research indicates that the Vikings were quite particular about personal hygiene, especially when compared to the Anglo Saxons. But even so, this only meant washing once a week, which by today’s standards isn’t exactly the height of cleanliness! And for a Viking raider, who’d travelled hundreds of miles over land and sea, and spent their days fighting bloody skirmishes, it’s fair to say they wouldn’t always have carried the most alluring aromas around with them.
"With Norse Power we wanted to try and capture the sort of smells that would have been part and parcel of the lives of Viking warriors around the time that York was the Norse capital of England. But more than that, with all of the bath products, deodorants, perfumes and aftershaves available today, we wanted to give male visitors to York the unique chance to cast aside their allegiance to modern aromas and instead embrace the smells from an era of true warriors!"
There might be a few bottles of Norse Power still left at the Visit York Visitor Centre - go to http://www.visityork.org/ for more information.
Roman Maryport, near the western edge of Hadrian's Wall, has produced a number of interesting artifacts in previous digs. In 2014, archaeologists will focus on the investigation of a large, 3-room, stone-strip building discovered in 2013. (pictures)
Laurels vs. Pelicans returns this year to Southern Region War on Saturday, June 28th. Wondering what this is and how it came to be? The Gazette asked the person who started it, Mistress Catrin o’r Rhyd For. (Mistress Catrin is also a Gazette editor.)
Where did the idea for Laurels vs. Pelicans come from?
How is the money raised?
Some peers offer incentives to donate, like Mistress Aife gave away autographed brain balls. This year Baroness Sabine is offering to play entrance music for a peer on her rauschpfeife in return for a donation. The pieces can be period or modern, so someone can enter to the Imperial Death March if a $20 donation is made to make it happen. A Betting Man’s Guide has been sold both years also.
So this isn’t a period activity?
What is your favorite part?
How much of the money goes to the Pennsic war chest?
Has it changed at all?
Also, we initially said no chivalry could take part, but Sir Geoffrey Fitz Galen offered to use the Perm of Death, which was a wig on a flail. We changed our minds, and what he did with that flail was memorable and almost scandalous. The next year Syr Cedric of Thanet fought using the Drop Spindle of Fate with his arm around his wife, who was wielding the Distaff of Doom. Now we ask that chivalry who enter try for a specialty weapon – and are delighted that they are willing to use their fighting skills in this unconventional way to help the kingdom!
How can a Pelican or Laurel sign up?
How can other people help?
Where can people find out more information or donate?
Photos by Lord Hugh Tauerner, Mistress Brita Mairi Svensdottir and Baroness Cateline la Broderesse
Filed under: Interviews Tagged: Laurels vs. Pelicans
Caristiona encourages anyone who attended the 2014 Rowany Festival to take a moment to fill out the online survey.
Gwen reports that Vladimir Radescu was the victor of the May 10, 2014 Crown Tournament in the Kingdom of Northshield. Count Vladimir was inspired in his endeavor by Countess Petranella Fitzallen of Weston.
Skeletal remains previously thought to date to the 13th century have been re-examined and found to date to the time of the Norman Conquest. The radiocarbon dating results and the evidence of his violent death makes this skeleton the only one ever documented that could have been killed in William the Conqueror’s invasion of England.
Skeleton 180 was unearthed in 1994 at the site of the cemetery of the medieval hospital of St. Nicholas. It was one of 103 skeletons excavated at the site, only a few which showed signs of a violent death. Those were of particular interest to archaeologists because the hospital was adjacent to the field where the Battle of Lewes was fought on May 14th, 1264. The Battle of Lewes saw the defeat of King Henry III by the baronial faction led by Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester. Henry was forced to cede his power to a council led by Montfort, making Montfort de facto king of England for a year (he would be killed in battle with Prince Edward, the future King Edward I, in August 1265), a momentous year for parliamentary democracy since Monfort called the first parliament with elected representatives.
Last year, with the 750th anniversary of the battle coming, the Sussex Archaeological Society commissioned University of York battlefield expert Tim Sutherland and osteoarchaeologist Malin Holst to take a fresh look at the most notable of the St. Nicholas skeletons: skeleton 180. There have been significant advances in battlefield and forensic archaeology since 1994. The society’s hope was that new analysis would determine whether 180′s wounds were received in battle rather than as a result of, say, violent crime or a personal dispute.
As part of the re-examination, the University of Edinburgh radiocarbon dated the skeleton and found to everyone’s surprise that it dated to 1063 with a 28-year margin of error. If skeleton 180 did die in battle, therefore, it wasn’t the Battle of Lewes. The fatal blows are on the back of his skull, six sword injuries inflicted from behind.
Osteoarchaeologist Malin Holst from the University of York, who was commissioned by Sussex Archaeological Society to examine the skeleton, said: “The first injury was probably a cut to the right side of the ear and upper jaw. This was then followed by a series of sword cuts, all delivered from the left hand side behind the victim, in a downward and horizontal motion.”
However she has discovered much more which helps build up a picture of the individual. Malin said: “He ate a diet particularly rich in marine fish, and was at least 45 years old but may have been older. He had some spinal abnormalities and suffered from chronic infection of the sinuses. He showed age-related wear and tear of the joints of his spine, shoulders and left wrist, which might have been uncomfortable. He had lost a few teeth during life, possibly as a result of receding gums. He had two small tumours on his skull.”
His final injury wasn’t the first time he sustained a dangerous head wound. A wound to his left temple incurred up to two years before his death caused a blot clot. It was thoroughly healed by the time he died, however.
There’s still no confirmation that skeleton 180 was killed in battle. He could have been attacked by brigands who slashed at his head until he fell. Further research is necessary and it may not ever be possible to determine whether he was a victim of civilian violence or a battlefield fatality. At the very least it’s a window into the violent period the followed the Norman Conquest.
Last Saturday the Crown Tournament to determine the Heirs of our esteemed Brennan Augustus and Caoilfhionn Augusta was held in the Barony of L’Ile du Dragon Dormant in the Crown Principality of Tir Mara.
The first round of the Tournament was fought using a round robin format. All combatants were divided into 4 different pools. The combatants in each pool are listed below. The Gazette’s thanks Lady Cat Lennox for the use of her photos from the event.
Filed under: Events, Heavy List Tagged: Crown Tournament, Crown Tourney, spring crown
Lilies War Webminister Eynon reports that the War's Master Schedule is online and has been updated. A printable version is available from Google Docs or in PDF format.
An excavation of a site near the Bedouin village of Hura by the Israel Antiquities Authority has revealed a 6th century Byzantine church, complete with amazingly intact mosaic floors. (photos)
The original artwork of Wolverine’s first appearance in comics sold at auction Friday for a record $657,250. It ties the record for the most expensive comic book art in general — Todd McFarlane’s original 1990 cover art for The Amazing Spider-Man #328 sold in 2012 for $657,250 — and sets a new record for original artwork from the interior of a comic, beating out an iconic image of Batman and Robin drawn by Frank Miller for 1986′s The Dark Knight Returns which sold in 2011 for $448,125.
“We knew when this artwork surfaced that is was, without doubt, one of the most significant pieces of original comic art ever drawn,” said Todd Hignite, Vice President of Heritage Auctions. “It has now brought a final price realized commensurate with that status.”
Penciled by Herb Trimpe and inked by Jack Abel, the drawing introduced the mutant Wolverine in the last panel of the last page of The Incredible Hulk #180 in October of 1974, making this year the 40th anniversary of Wolverine’s first appearance. The story written by Len Wein puts Hulk in the wilds of Canada where he hopes to enjoy a little r&r, only to find himself tangling with the Wendigo. The Canadian government, concerned about the very large green man with anger management issues, sends in a secret weapon to handle him: Weapon X, aka, Wolverine. “If you really want to tangle with someone,” the mutant helpfully suggests, “why not try your luck against – the WOLVERINE!”
Wolverine shared his first cover with Hulk on the next issue (#181) and the two continued their minuet with the Wendigo through issue #182. Wolverine then moved on to the company that would make him famous, appearing in Giant-Size X-Men #1 in May of 1975. He didn’t get his first solo title until 1982.
A year later, Trimpe gave the artwork from that last page of The Incredible Hulk #180 to a young fan who quietly kept it all these years. He wasn’t involved in the collector community, so nobody knew that the work had survived until a few months ago when Heritage Auctions announced that it not only existed, but was going up for auction. The seller, who has chosen to remain anonymous, planned to give the bulk of the after-tax profits to charity, including the Hero Initiative which raises funds to support comic book artists and writers in need.
The buyer is collector and sports card dealer Thomas Fish. According to Heritage Auctions’ website, he’s been amenable to purchase offers on freshly acquired works in the past, so it’s likely an investment piece intended for resale.
The Falcon Banner, the news source for the Kingdom of Calontir, reports that special parking restrictions will be in place for the first Friday of Lilies War 2014.
Duke Michael of Bedford, inspired by Duchess Seonaid ní Fhionn, was the victor of the May 3, 2014 Crown Tournament in the Kingdom of Atlantia.
Their Majesties Brennan Augustus and Caoilfhionn Augusta, Emperor and Empress of the Kingdom of the East, on 10 May 2014, AS XLIX traveled to their Shire of Blak Rose, and held court at Whitsuntide Fest.
After a brief address to the populace, they called forth Mori Katsu. His virtues expressed, they thus made him a Lord of the Court, presenting an AoA with a scroll by Sakurai no Kesame.
Next was called before them Sadira of Montevale. She was made a Lady of the Court, and presented an AoA with a scroll by Scroll by Elisenda de Luna.
Their Majesties called before them Cian ap Cadwallader. They named him a Lord of the Court, and he was thus awarded an AoA with a scroll by Elsa de Lyon.
Master Ruslan was called before the court. He presented words from Their Majesties Lohac, as well as a sealed scroll.
Maestra Sol was called before Their Majesties. She brought with her numerous residents of Blak Rose, and presented to Emperor Brennan and Empress Caoilfhionn a number of exquisite gifts.
Jessica of Blak Rose was called forward. Her many great works cited, she was made a Lady of the Court, and received an AoA scroll by Nest verch Tangwistel. His Majesty Brennan, however, issued her a quest to seek a more proper name befitting a Lady of the Court prior to his next visit to the Shire.
Then was Rodney Fythlyn Hundboldse called before the court. His talents in playing numerous musical instruments noted, he was presented with the cup symbolizing his inclusion in the Order of the Troubadour, and an additional cup for his inspiring Lady Wife. He further received a scroll by Mariette de Bretagne.
Their Majesties invited the children to come forward. They were given the chance to chase after the Royal Toybox, while avoiding the intermittent rain, and much laughter pealed across the court.
His Majesty invited forth all those who participated in any form of combat during the day. Thanking the Soldiers of the East, he presented each with coin to pay them for their continued service to Crown and Kingdom.
Next was called forward Khamsa bint Rasheed ibn Daoud al-Hourani. She was made a Lady of the Court, and received an AoA scroll by Nest verch Tangwistel.
Marcus of Owlsherst was requested before the court. His combat prowess spoken highly of, he was inducted to the Order of the Gawain. He received a garter from the arm of the Emperor, and a scroll by Katherine Stanhope.
Now came before the court Elspeth of Silverkeep. She was made a Lady of the Court, and presented with an AoA scroll by Ylaire St. Claire.
Odd Wulfgarrson was called before the court. He was made a Lord of the Court, and received an AoA scroll by Harold von Auerbach.
Their Majesties called forward Elsa de Lyon. Lucan and Jana, many years before, had inducted the Lady into their Order of the Maunche. Her scroll would be presented to her now…were it not still incomplete. The pretense ended, she was presented with a Writ, and the Order of the Laurel was called forth. She would answer the question set before her at the coming Southern Region War Camp, as to whether she would join the most austere order. The writ was on a scroll created by Kay Leigh Mac Whyte.
Concluding a day of much merriment and fun, thus closed the court of Their Imperial Majesties, Brennan Augustus and Caoilfhionn Augusta. Long may they reign over the Empire of the East!
Filed under: Court
This is a recurring series by Mistress Alys Mackyntoich on whether certain names currently can be documented to period based on existing evidence.. There are a lot of names that people think are medieval, but actually aren’t, and others which people think are modern, but in fact are found in the SCA’s period. If you would like to suggest a name, send an email to the Gazette.
Today’s names are Shakespeare’s heroines.
The names of Shakespeare’s heroines are frequently requested as SCA names. Many of these names are easily found in period Europe.
Beatrice is found in various spellings throughout Europe, including England, France and Italy, through the later parts of period. , 
Bianca is found as a female name in Italy.
Celia likewise is a female Italian name.
Cordelia is found in sixteenth and early seventeenth century England.
Hero is found as a female given name in England, the Netherlands and Germany.
Juliet is found in early seventeenth century England.
Olivia is found in England and Italy., 
Portia can be found as the name of real women in sixteenth century Italy.
We very recently found evidence of Miranda as a female given name in Spain.
We are still researching whether a number of other Shakespearean names are documentable. As more and more period books and documents become generally available through digitization, we continue to uncover evidence for names we previously thought “undocumentable.”
 “English Names found in Brass Enscriptions” by Janell K. Lovelace (http://heraldry.sca.org/names/brasses/women.html)
 “Names from Sixteenth Century Venice” by Julia Smith (http://www.s-gabriel.org/names/juliana/16thcvenice.html).
 “Feminine Given Names from the Online Catasto of Florence of 1427″ by Josh Mittleman (http://www.s-gabriel.org/names/arval/catasto/)
 “Something Rich and Strange: “Undocumentable” Names >From The IGI Parish Records” by Alys Mackyntoich (http://heraldry.sca.org/names/SomethingRichandStrange.html).
 “England Marriages, 1538–1973 ,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/NJ9C-GYB), Hero Olde and Wilmott, 17 Jan 1603; citing Gwinear, Cornwall, England, Batch: M02571-3; “Netherlands, Marriages, 1565-1892,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/FN7W-NTG : accessed 22 Apr 2014), Hero Cornelisz and Jannetje Alberts, 08 May 1611; citing Amsterdam, Noord-Holland, Netherlands, Batch: M01224-8
 “England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/V5LP-V4L), Juliet Mordent, 15 Jul 1621; citing SAINT BOTOLPH BISHOPSGATE, LONDON, LONDON, ENGLAND, Batch: P00161-1
 “England Marriages, 1538–1973 ,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/V52F-1F9), Ricardus Howarde and Olivia Hille, 11 Jun 1587; citing High Ham, Somerset, England; Batch: M01936-2
 “España, defunciones, 1600-1920,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/FNMS-RL8), Miranda Miguel, 10 Feb 1642; citing Murcia, Murcia, Spain; Batch: B86284-3
Filed under: Heraldry Tagged: heraldry, names
Officials of Lilies War, which takes place June 13-22, 2014 at Smithville Lake in Clay County, Missouri, have announced that tours for the public will be available June 15, 2014.
Threads Magazine has anncounced its 2014 American Sewing Expo (ASE) Challenge: 1/2-Scale Design Challenge on the theme of "Fashion Icons through the Ages." The contest is limited to 100 entries and garments must be finished by August 1, 2014.
A Roman marching camp from the 1st to 3rd century A.D. has been discovered near the town of Hachelbich in Thuringia. It’s the first Roman military camp found in the eastern German province and the first camp that is more than a day’s travel from the eastern border of the empire on the Rhine. In fact, it’s closer to the Elbe River than it is to the Rhine (the Elbe is about 150 miles east of the site, the Rhine 220 west), a strong indication that the Roman military did not completely withdraw to the Rhine even after three legions led by Publius Quintilius Varus were slaughtered by Germanic tribesmen at the Battle of Teutoburg Forest in 9 A.D.
The discovery of a large third century battlefield on Harzhorn hill in Lower Saxony in 2008 confirmed that there was a significant Roman military presence east of the Teutoburg Forest more than 200 years after Varus’ humiliating defeat. Archaeologists estimate about 1,000 Roman soldiers fought (and won) at Harzhorn. The Hachelbich marching camp is about 60 miles southeast of Harzhorn. It covers 18 hectares and was large enough to accommodate an entire legion of around 5,000 soldiers. As a marching camp, it wasn’t a permanent fortress, but rather a protective enclosure built by the legionaries in one evening so they could camp down in a defended position. They wouldn’t have spent more than a few days there while on their way elsewhere, in this case probably east towards the Elbe.
The site was found in 2010 during road work, but it was kept quiet while archaeologists explored the area. They excavated more than two hectares and covered another 10 hectares with magnetometers and aerial surveys. Now that the site has been identified as a military camp, the Thuringian State Office for Heritage and Archaeology has announced the find. They’re keeping the exact location a secret, however, to keep looters from ravaging the place on the hunt for portable Roman artifacts.
A rough rectangle with round corners, the camp is standard Roman military issue. No matter where they were, legions on the move set up a minifortress in the wilderness at the end of each day’s march. At Hachelbich, the meter-deep trenches dug around the camp were the easiest feature to spot in the soil. Two perimeter trenches have been found, each more than 400 meters long.
On the camp’s northern edge, the soldiers built a gate protected by another trench that projected out past the perimeter. “It’s typically Roman—no Germans did that sort of thing,” Kuessner says. The trenches were part of a simple, but effective makeshift perimeter defense: A low wall of dirt was thrown up behind the trench, then topped with tall stakes, to create a defensive barrier almost 3 meters wide and 3 meters high. Erosion wiped away the wall long ago, but it left discolorations in the soil where the trench was dug.
Archaeologists also unearthed the remains of eight bread ovens close to the camp perimeter, which shows an impressive commitment to quality food considering the legionaries weren’t going to be there for long. Some artifacts confirming the military nature of the camp were found: four hobnails from the soles of Roman caligae, fittings from a sword scabbard and horse tackle.
The style of the artifacts places the camp in the first two centuries of the first millennium and radiocarbon dating supports the range, but archaeologists haven’t found anything to narrow it down any further or link to the camp to the reign of a certain emperor. Excavations will continue this year and the next at least. After the crops in the valley are harvested this fall, archaeologists will be able to excavate the farmland. They hope to find coins that will provide a precise date, or an artifact with the legion number on it that would write a new chapter in Roman military history.
In celebration of William Shakespeare's 450th birthday, magician Teller (the quiet one), recently co-directed a new version of the Bard's magicial play, The Tempest. In a video, Teller discusses the production with Mark Mobley for a segment of NPR's The Record.
TheGazette has received the following request for a volunteer:
As you may or may not know the Archery Community has a quarterly newsletter called “Quivers and Quarrels.” We have had a wonderful editor/Chronicler working on it but she needs an immediate replacement.
Are there any Archery enthusiasts you know who would flourish in this kind of role? The Q&Q Chronicler serves as a deputy to me and has a host of people supplying material for their newsletter.
If you know anyone who might be interested, please have them contact me at email@example.com. I will gladly answer any questions they may have about the job. This might also be a good training ground for future Kingdom Chroniclers.
Please spread the word.
Filed under: Archery, Uncategorized Tagged: archery, volunteers