Robert III Half Groat Coin
Cromarty Courthouse Museum
This coin is one many silver coins that have been found by metal detectorists in the fields above Cromarty in the last few years. It is one of the few coins from a Scottish King found in the fields. The coin is a half groat. A groat was worth four pennies, so the half groat was worth two pennies. It was a relatively low value coin, but it would have been a disappointing loss to the person who lost it.
We know that this coin was minted sometime between 1390 and 1403. During this period, King Robert ordered new coins in response to the clipping of coins. Clipping was a practice where somebody would shave off a small amount of silver from the edge of a coin for their own use. This coin was minted as part of the King’s attempts to wipe out this illegal practice.
This coin also suggests that the Cromarty Fair was still running as an event at this time – for over 200 years from around 1200 to 1400. It may well have been in existence before these dates and have continued after.