The Barbican coins.


The  Barbican coins are among the most common coins from Christian 4.´s  time in Tranquebar. The adverse has C4 and the reverse has a stylized Three-turreted gate.

Three coins are made with the same stamp, but with different weight:

    Km 48   ½ kas 2 g,              KM 47,1   1 kas 3,8 g                     Km 47,2   2 kas 7,7 g

KM 48    ½ kas weight about 2 g. The most common C4 coin from Tranquebar

KM 47,1  1 kas weighing about 3,8 g. More rare.

KM 47,2  2 kas weighing 7,83 g. Unique

Another type of The Barbican coins differs from the first 3 Barbican coins by a small circle on both sides. On the adverse behind the 4  in C4. On the reverse in the left tower.  KM 46,1. It is also known as the heavy Barbican coin, the 2 kas or the double kas. It has an average weight of 7,7 g.

Now a new version of this coin has appeared. It has been made by the same stamps as KM 46.1, but the weight is only 3,7 g, so it is a 1 kas. In future catalogs it will be KM 46.2. The coin is unique



Km 46.2  new 1 kas  weighing 3,7 g          KM 46.1  2 kas  weighing  7,7 g


At the reverse it is difficult to see the circle in the left tower of these two coins.   Low in the right tower is a stamp crack in both coins.

There might be another heavier Barbican gate coin. The Indian numismatic G. Arumugam has mentioned that he once had a very heavy Barbican coin weighing about 40 g. It could be attempt to make a 10 kas coin, or it might be a weight for a scale to weigh a certain number of coins.

It is difficult to say when the Barbican coins have been minted. They have no dates or ships names and there are no coins with overstrikes.The weight of the coins might help us. The average weight of all The Barbican coins 1/2 kas, 1 kas and 2 kas are 3,79 g for one kas.

If we look at other of C4´s coins the weight is falling from the start to the end of C4.´s ruling period and the  weight is like this:

Early coins up to 1640 about 4 g.

Coins from  1644 and 1645 in average 3,72 g.

Coins from  1646 and 1648 in average 3,41 g.

According to weight the Barbican coins fit in well with other kas from 1644 and 1645.

How was the situation in Tranquebar about 1644 and 1645

Tranquebar has for years had a bad and unlucky governor Mr Pessart. He has made debt everywhere. He had been in debtors prison in Masulipatam. In Tranquebar everything was in decline and the moral was low. Rumors about the situation has reached Denmark  and Willum Leyel was send by the ship Christianshafn to examine the situation and perhaps dismiss Pessart.

In September 1643 Christianshafn reached Tranquebar. Leyel demanded account from Pessart. Pessart lured Leyel to a journey along the coast of India to find the money. Here Pessart manage to get away from Leyel. He hurried back to Tranquebar, rented more money, equipped a ship, took everything of value with him from Tranquebar and sailed towards Japan.

When Leyel reached back to Tranquebar 1. June 1644 he found Dansborg in a sad state. Pessart had removed all he could remove, canons, weapon and all supply.

Leyel started the reconstruction of Dansborg. I 1644 and 1645 he had a new bridge made, repaired the gate, windows and doors replaced and many more things. The years 1644 and 1645 were busy years with many activities in Tranquebar and much money was needed. 

The weight of the Barbican coins  at 3.79 g for one kas is similar to the weight of other coins from 1644 and 1645. Governor Willum Leyels thorough restauration of Dansborg at the same time indicate that the coins could be from 1644 to 1645.