The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 18, Number 42, October 18, 2015, Article 14

PETER MCTAGGART (1732-1825+)

John Lupia submitted the following information from his Encyclopedic Dictionary of Numismatic Biographies‎ for this week's installment of his series. Thanks. As always, this is an excerpt with the full article and bibliography available online. This week's subject is Peter McTaggart -Editor

Peter McTaggart (1732-post 1825) was born in Galloway, Wigtownshire, Scotland. He married Martha (1734-) in Scotland in 1752, and had a son James McTaggart (1754-1843). They immigrated to the British North American colonies sometime after the birth of their son James, but before 1761. By 1761 they settled at Boston, Massachusetts, where he worked as a merchant.

McTaggart, Peter ad
Boston Gazette and Country Journal, Monday, June 22, 1761.

In June 1761 we find him advertising in the Boston Gazette and Country Journal, the sale of “Sundry Medals of his present most Sacred Majesty GEORGE III, struck on a fine white Metal. One side contains, an exact portrait of His Majesty : The other Side a Heart encircled with Oak and Laurel Branches : the Motto, ENTIRELY BRITISH.”

Note his address is given as New-Boston, which was the "West-end of town". Three months earlier, from March 17-20, 1760, the "Great Fire" at Boston's "West-end" called "New-Boston" began at a joiner's shop and spread due to strong winds, which eventually destroyed 349 buildings. Despite the difficulties many suffered at "New-Boston" the medal honoring the anticipated new King was something so desirable that McTaggart highlighted its sale so that all of his other goods and wares were relegated to a footnote in his advertisement "Also, sundry other Articles."

One wonders if these "other Articles" were also exclusively numismatic. The odds of that are unlikely considering the historical milieu and were most probably an assortment of household goods, foodstuffs, or various materials, fabrics, metal goods, and so forth. The political gist of the advertisement shows strong support for the Royal Crown as did the governor Thomas Pownall, who resigned just 19 days before this advertisement was published.

GEORGE III 1760 Medal

Illustration in The Numismatist, Vol. XVI, No. 9, September (1903) : 262. This is the accession medal bearing the inscription proclaiming George III king. This is a later design from that described by McTaggart since it proclaims George III as king October 26, 1760, four months after his advertisement.

These were pre-accession to the Royal Throne medals struck, and most probably continued to be dispersed early in his reign prior to his marriage and coronation in September. The illustration below taken from The Numismatist is the accession medal based on a similar design described by McTaggart in his advertisement with the exception of the plinth block and its inscription, which, of course, relates to events four months in the future. Consequently, the accession to the throne medal (if we can properly call it that) prior to coronation must have been anticipatory of George II's demise, which eventually came October 25th of that year.

Apparently this medal was to spread the propaganda that the grandson of George II, though not an Englishman, is "Entirely British," namely in education, culture, affections and sentiment. The phrase "Entirely British," mimics that of the March 8, 1702 Accession Medal Queen Anne (1665-1714) "Entirely English" designed by John Croker and its copy made by Christian Wermuth.

The engraver at the British Mint of Italian descent, Thomas Pingo (1714-1776), designed the Accession Medals in silver and bronze. The heart within a wreath of laurel and oak rests on a plinth block bearing the 4-line inscription BORN MAY 24/1738/PROCLAIMED/OCTR. 26 1760. Is the medal described by McTaggart also by Thomas Pingo? Is this a mere propaganda medal clearing the path of contention and opposition to the soon to be new king?

George III (1738-1820), ascended the throne of England on October 22, 1760 and crowned September 22, 1761, two weeks after his wedding to Charlotte Sophia of Mecklenburg-Strelitz.

In 1790, according to the U. S. Census McTaggart moved to York Township, York County, Pennsylvania. He appears to have left the United States before 1800. He is listed in the 1825 Census of Quebec, Quebec, Canada together with his son James and a daughter. He died in Sophiasburgh Township, Prince Edward County, Ontario, Canada.

To read the complete article, see:

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at

To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor at this address:

To subscribe go to:



Copyright © 1998 - 2020 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.

NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster