This jetton was issued as a warning to the Protestant Dutch against proposals of peace with Catholic Spain. The obverse depicts Pope Gregory XIII standing by King Philip of Spain. The latter offers an olive branch while holding the collar of the Inquisition behind his back The reverse displays a mouse, representing Prince William of Orange, father of Maurice of Orange, trying to free the Flemish lion from the column of Inquisition. A veteran of battles in the Low Countries may have worn this jetton at Jamestown.
An excerpt from Jamestown Rediscovery II, by William M. Kelso:
It is not unusual to find casting counters on 17th-century Virginia sites, but this piece is exceptional in that it depicts a rather complicated story about a 1579 episode in the long Dutch Protestant struggle to free their country from Spanish and Vatican oppression. The obverse shows Pope Gregory XIII conspiring with Philip II, King of Spain, to dupe the Belgian lion into accepting an olive branch. It is a false gesture of peace, however, for behind his back Philip holds the collar of the Spanish Inquisition ready to slip over the lion’s head. On the reverse the abusive collar is actually around the lion’s throat and a chain links the collar and its wearer to the “column” of the Inquisition. But all is not lost for Belgium! A mouse is chewing through the collar, symbolically showing that the anti-Spanish, anti-Catholic warrior, William of Orange, would not accept the false peace offered by the Spanish at the Conference of Cologne in 1579.