The Treasury of the Government of the Isle of Man have launched (11th January) a new crown coin which features St. Patrick, an important figure in IOM history and eventual conversion from local beliefs to Christianity. The Isle of Man does not have a patron saint, but if they were to adopt one, St Patrick would be a strong contender, even if they had to share him with Ireland, as he is credited with bringing Christianity to those shores initially.
In Christian Tradition in Mann, ‘Most people in this part of the world think of Christianity as coming from the East, but here in Man it came to us from the West, borne by the Irish Saints and was first established upon a small rocky islet off the west coast of our land’. According to IOM legend, St Patrick first set foot at Peel islet where he built a church and which has ever since been called St Patrick’s Isle. The remains of this earliest church can still be seen among the ruins of Peel Castle. It is said that St Patrick was returning from Liverpool to Ireland in A.D. 444 with a band of 30 followers and landed in the isle of Eubonia (Isle of Man) ‘Where he found people, as least the rulers, given to magic. But being overcome or convinced by his preaching and miracles, they were converted or else expelled from the Island’. (ref: Sacheverell’s survey of the Isle of Man, 1702) St Patrick apparently stayed there for three years, continuing to convert the locals. He is said to have blessed the Isle of Man ‘from end to end’, freeing it from toads, snakes and ‘venomous beasts, visible devils and a multitude of magicians’.
The coin, struck by the Pobjoy Mint, UK depicts St Patrick on the reverse, with staff in his right hand, mitre and robes casting out serpents during his time on the Isle of Man. The coin’s denomination of “1 CROWN” is positioned just over St. Patrick’s left shoulder with a tangle of snakes just below his depiction. The obverse includes a fine effigy of Queen Elizabeth II, who is also Lord of Man – by Ian Rank- Broadley FRBS.
The coin is available in both Cupro Nickel and Proof Sterling Silver (mintage of 10,000 pieces) with weights of 28 grams and diameters of 38.6 mm. for both examples. This coin is also available in Gold and in a choice of sizes, please contact Pobjoy Mint directly for details. For more information on this and other coins produced by the Pobjoy Mint, please visit their website at: http://www.pobjoy.com/ukworld/section.php/1054/0