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BAHAMAS 1806: Earliest Colonial Commemorative.

This is the earliest coin of the colonial series that bears in its design the commemoration of an historical event. That of Captain Woodes Rogers and Pirate Expulsion.

The size and weight were identical to the English Half Penny. They were declared 12 for one shilling with a limit of 2s currency. The reverse designed was copied from the seal of the islands and the motto 'Commerce Restored by the Expulsion of the Pirates', which was adopted in 1717 until Bahamian independence in 1973. This is in reference to the supression of pirates by Captain Woodes Rogers who was appointed the first royal governor of the Bahamas Governor.

Pictured here is The quintessential, definitive and scarce, Engralied edge British Royal Mint Business Strike. in original, Pristene, Perfect, Refelective Brown Uncirculated condition. A regular strike on the mint's coin press intended to create a regular coin intended for circulation and REFLECTIVE-proof like, With a mintage of 120,000 WOW!

Reference Catalog Pridmore-#1,
an amount of 120,000 requested by the Assembly in 1806 to the nominal value of 500 pounds. Ordered on 30th June and struck at the Soho Mint, Birmingham. The dies were prepared by Conrad Heinrich Kuchler a Flemish engraver engaged by Boulton in 1793, who did most of the die work at Soho. The obverse die was that used for an English Half Penny of 1806.

History of the Bahamas.
On 11th April 1718 Captain Rogers set sail for the Bahamas with a brief to use whatever means necessary to suppress the pirates and a Royal Pardon for any that surrendered before 5th September 1718.

The Bahamas were originally a base from which English government sanctioned privateers, could harass the Spanish, The Bahamas had belonged to Great Britain since 1670, but had only become a refuge for pirates. Nassau had become a rouge possession ruled by pirates who Respected no Authority. .

Edward Teach, The infamous pirate Blackbeard, also lived in Fort Nassau. Fellow pirates appointed him as the magistrate of their 'Privateers' Republic.' He enforced his own style of law and justice, by running off the remaining citizenry to exile on the island of Great Exuma until Royal Governor Woodes Rogers arrived in 1718. Upon arriving on the sail ship: The Delicia, and accompanied by HMS Milford, HMS Rose and two sloops, Shark and Buck, They anchored at New Providence island on 26th July to find a French ship burning in Nassau harbour. Pirate Charles Vane had set the ship afire hoping to draw out one of the Royal Navy ships, but when they all arrived he fled.

Rogers received a group of representatives from Harbor Island who assured him that, many of the pirates were eager to accept the King's amnesty. On the following day, as he landed, he was received with joy by some three hundred persons. The repentant pirates formed a military guard of honor in two lines and fired muskets in celebration. Rogers quickly consolidated his power. He selected several trustworthy men of Harbor Island who had not been pirates, balancing them with an equal number of his own company, to act as an organizing council. and set about the business of repairing the fort that had fallen into neglect and sent Blackbeard's old mentor, Captain Hornigold, who had accepted the King's Pardon, out to catch Vane.

Blackbeard, who was out to sea when Rogers arrived and would not accept a Royal pardon, moved to another Caribbean Isle and continued his raids. Until his death in a legendary sea battle off the coast of Virginia in 1718. Rogers, a fellow privateer, would have arrived to a headquarters of more than 2,000 pirates.

All remaining pirates were captured and hanged. Woodes Rogers himself could not escape this life of bloody violence; he died in Fort Nassau in 1732 of mysterious causes.

Hornigold did manage to capture a party of ten pirates on the island of Exuma, 130 southeast of New Providence. Woodes Rogers decided to set an example and eight of them were executed / hanged on 12th December. Disease and lack of money meant that he couldn't accomplish all he had set out to do. Soon afterwards the government stopped sending support to Woodes Rogers and even refused to answer his pleas for help. In 1720, he returned to London, but his successor, George Phenney, was a failure and the islanders asked that he return, this he did in 1729 along with his son and daughter. Once again he couldn't accomplish all he wanted to and he died in Nassau on 15th July 1732. Although he couldn't do all he had wanted Woodes Rogers had driven the pirates from their base in the Bahamas and helped break their hold in the Caribbean.

Chart Your own Navigation:

1806 Bahamian Penny
Bahamas 1806 penny commem. / click to Super size

K.I.A.C. Spotlight Features:

Bahamas Original COA

Link to the ANA
Kid Tested, Mother Approved

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Page Est. 01 April 2004. Updated January, 2017.

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