Art

Melting and Circulating the Saints


Cromwell Saints Circulation

One of the challenges faced by Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658) during his tenure as Lord Protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland was a severe shortage of silver. Without the precious metal, the nation ran into the prospect of being unable to make coins.

Cromwell ordered his advisors to scour the country, looking for any source of silver they could find. After a search of a local cathedral, his men reported, “The only silver we can find is in the statues of the saints standing in the corners.”

Satisfied with this answer, Cromwell responded, “Good! We’ll melt down the saints and put them in circulation!”


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