Jump to content
  • The above Banner is a Sponsored Banner.

    Upgrade to Premium Membership to remove this Banner & All Google Ads. For full list of Premium Member benefits Click HERE.

  • Join The Silver Forum

    The Silver Forum is one of the largest and best loved silver and gold precious metals forums in the world, established since 2014. Join today for FREE! Browse the sponsor's topics (hidden to guests) for special deals and offers, check out the bargains in the members trade section and join in with our community reacting and commenting on topic posts. If you have any questions whatsoever about precious metals collecting and investing please join and start a topic and we will be here to help with our knowledge :) happy stacking/collecting. 21,000+ forum members and 1 million+ forum posts. For the latest up to date stats please see the stats in the right sidebar when browsing from desktop. Sign up for FREE to view the forum with reduced ads. 

‘Elephant & Castle’ Why so contentious?

Recommended Posts

This is bit of a quiz question, although some may already know. 

If you ask the locals in the Borough of Southwark, S. London, they may well say it’s an Underground Station on the Northern Line, the name of a Pub, or shopping centre with statue, or even the avatar of a TSF member @ccfcpaul ! Yes, it’s all those things, but in reality it represented something ‘dark’ and sinister in the past. 

Clues are these:- 1) 17th century gold coins, and a recent Bank of England exhibition related to this emblem. It’s  a fascinating piece of History.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Royal Africa Company had competition from the East India Company and the South Sea Company - 2 other Trading Companies, as well as dealing with the French, Dutch, Portuguese and even the Danish! All these had bases/ fortifications along the Atlantic and Bay of Guinea coast from the Gambia to Nigeria. It was a very lucrative business. The RAC had only 3 things in mind - Gold, Ivory, and SLAVES!  Gold was shipped back to the RM to be minted into Guineas. Thousands of elephants were slaughtered for their ivory, and of course thousands of slaves were shipped across the Atlantic. At the time many slaves were branded with either RAC or DoY. Before James II became King, he was known as the Duke of York, being the brother of Charles II, so he had his own brand!. 

Photos show how some guineas had a sort of privy mark of an elephant under the monarchs effigy, this one William and Mary.

Perhaps after statues of slave traders were pulled down, the B of E decided to hold an exhibition of its links with the slave trade. It made uncomfortable viewing.

So for me the RACs Elephant & Castle emblem will always be a reminder of those awful times.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Always good to be reminded of the history behind these.  Thanks for sharing.

The Elephant and Castle mark also appears on a few silver coins: 1681 shillings and halfcrowns I think.  These are pretty rare, and sought after by some collectors.  The Elephant on its own appears on some silver shillings and halfcrowns dated 1666.

There are lots of variants to collect in Charles II silver for those with deep pockets!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Cookies & terms of service

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. By continuing to use this site you consent to the use of cookies and to our Privacy Policy & Terms of Use