Dated 1615, this medal bears the bust of Maurice of Nassau with the legend, “MAVRUTUVS,AVR.PRINC.COM.NASS.ET.MV.MAR.VE.FL.EQ.OR.PERISCELIDIS 1615.” It commemorates the December 19, 1612 induction of the Prince of Orange as a knight in the English Order of the Garter. Born in Germany, Maurice replaced his father as governor of Holland in 1585 and led the Netherlands in their struggle of independence from Spain. He is best known for modernizing the Dutch army.
Many Englishmen helped the Dutch in fighting Spain, including Jamestown colonist George Yeardley, who joined Maurice’s troops when he was only 16. Later on, Yeardley also became a knight and served as governor of Virginia three times: from 1616-1617, 1619 to 1621, and again from 1626 to 1627.
Another of these medals was found at Flowerdew Hundred, Yeardley’s plantation in Prince George County, Virginia. Two are in the British Museum (1 silver and 1 copper alloy) and two were found in Rhode Island during archaeological excavations of an Indian burial dating to the third quarter of the 17th century.