Adam Dowdall Just Found the Oldest Coin in Beckwith County

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Last time I wrote about metal detector enthusiast Adam Dowdall was the day he searched for things in my yard. Today he found his very first Spanish silver coin with a clear date of 1766– which makes it the oldest coin he has ever found.  His father, Councillor Brian Dowdall agreed. He said it’s probably one of the oldest coins to be found in Beckwith. Why are there Spanish coins in this area?

The shortage of currency that had been experienced in the original North American colonies prior to the War of Independence continued in the remaining British North American colonies into the 19th century. The economy was still dependent on the fur trade and coins from England. Trade with various colonies plus the United States, resulted in an influx of additional additional Spanish-American coinage. In Prince Edward Island, officials punched out the centres of the Spanish American coins and made two coins: the one shilling and the five shilling.

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Adam’s coin dealer said the British government issued Spanish coins to the settlers because of a shortage of Canadian tokens so that’s how his coin made it to the area. He is right–but there is also another reason. Local fur traders would take their goods to New York state where they would get more bang for their buck.The fur traders would either barter for goods, or get hard cold cash paid in Spanish currency. Spanish coins came into Canada as early as 1662 and were also charted as currency.

 

Rick Roberts just added this:
Another potential reason for the Spanish coin to be in Beckwith is that several early military settlers (both British regulars and Swiss mercenaries of the DeWatteville Regiment) had been posted to Cadiz, Spain c1811-1813. The DeWatteville Regiment then served on garrison duty at Kingston from October 1813 to the winter of 1816, then at Niagara-on-the-Lake, Sorel, and LaPrairie, Prescott and back to Kingston, before being disbanded and awarded land grants in the Perth area in June of 1816.

Watch for Ron Shaw’s upcoming book ‘Influence and Ambition, The First Persons of Perth’ which will be published by Global Heritage Press in spring 2016 for more details

About lindaseccaspina

Linda Knight Seccaspina was born in Cowansville, Quebec about the same time as the wheel was invented and the first time she realized she could tell a tale was when she got caught passing her smutty stories around in Grade 7 at CHS by Mrs. Blinn. When Derek "Wheels" Wheeler from Degrassi Jr. High died in 2010, Linda wrote her own obituary. Some people said she should think about a career in writing obituaries. Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa from 1976-1996. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off she finally found her calling. Is it sex drugs and rock n' roll you might ask? No, it is history. Seeing that her very first boyfriend in Grade 5 (who she won a Twist contest with in the 60s) is the head of the Brome Misissiquoi Historical Society and also specializes in local history back in Quebec, she finds that quite funny. She writes every single day and is also a columnist for Hometown News and Screamin's Mamas. She is a volunteer for the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, an admin for the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page, and a local guest speaker. She has been now labelled an historian by the locals which in her mind is wrong. You see she will never be like the iconic local Lanark County historian Howard Morton Brown, nor like famed local writer Mary Cook. She proudly calls herself The National Enquirer Historical writer of Lanark County, and that she can live with. Linda has been called the most stubborn woman in Lanark County, and has requested her ashes to be distributed in any Casino parking lot as close to any Wheel of Fortune machine as you can get. But since she wrote her obituary, most people assume she's already dead. Linda has published six books, "Menopausal Woman From the Corn," "Cowansville High Misremembered," "Naked Yoga, Twinkies and Celebrities," "Cancer Calls Collect," "The Tilted Kilt-Vintage Whispers of Carleton Place," and "Flashbacks of Little Miss Flash Cadilac." All are available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle. Linda's books are for sale on Amazon or at Wisteria · 62 Bridge Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada, and at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum · 267 Edmund Street · Carleton Place, Ottawa, Canada--Appleton Museum-Mississippi Textile Mill and Mill Street Books and Heritage House Museum and The Artists Loft in Smith Falls.

3 responses »

  1. Another potential reason for the Spanish coin to be in Beckwith is that several early military settlers (both British regulars and Swiss mercenaries of the DeWatteville Regiment) had been posted to Cadiz, Spain c1811-1813. The DeWatteville Regiment then served on garrison duty at Kingston from October 1813 to the winter of 1816, then at Niagara-on-the-Lake, Sorel, and LaPrairie, Prescott and back to Kingston, before being disbanded and awarded land grants in the Perth area in June of 1816.

    Watch for Ron Shaw’s upcoming book ‘Influence and Ambition, The First Persons of Perth’ which will be published by Global Heritage Press in spring 2016 for more details.

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