Obverse of a plantation token of James II: 17th century
© Museum of London
Full image caption
Obverse of a plantation token of James II used in West Indies and American colonies. The reverse shows an equestrian figure of a king. The obverse has an inscription 'IACO[ ]VS II DG MAG. BRIT[ ]AN[ ]IIB (R)EX' and four crowned shields of the English arms linked by chains. When the price of tin collapsed in England, this metal was used to make coins, including tokens for circulation in the West Indian and American colonies. During the mid 17th century, 200,000 British people emigrated to the Caribbean, mostly to escape religious persecution. Here, they acquired large estates and produced sugar on plantations run using slave labour. Sugar became Britain's most valuable import and created much new wealth. By 1775, there were nearly 800 sugar plantations in Jamaica.
1666 AD - 1700 AD