What just happened?

To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site


Collection online

Additional options
Production date to

Or search by



  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Silver medal.(obverse) Shield of France and Scotland, impaled and crowned.
    (reverse) A vessel pursuing her course, though dismasted by a storm.

  • Date

    • 1579
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Diameter: 27.5 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Position

      • Inscription Content

        MARIA . D . G . SCOTOR . REGINA . FRAN . DOI.
      • Inscription Translation

        Mary, by the grace of God, Queen of Scots, Dowager of France.
      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Position

      • Inscription Content

      • Inscription Translation

        Only by a direct course.
      • Inscription Type

      • Inscription Position

      • Inscription Content

      • Inscription Comment

  • Curator's comments

    Medallic Illustrations 1
    This counter, more rare than registration nos. M.6886-M.6888, expresses the opinion of her friends that Mary pursued a straight, the only safe, course for one in distress, as for a ship suffering in a storm.

    See Pemb. Cat. P. 4. T. 27; De Bie, Jacques, ‘La France métallique’, Paris, 1656 (fol.), Pl. 62; Anderson, James, ‘Selectus Diplomatum et Numismatum Scotiæ Thesaurus, &c.’, Edinburgh, 1739 (fol.), Pl. clxv. 26.


  • Bibliography

    • Medallic Illustrations 1 p130.81 bibliographic details
  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Associated places

  • Associated events

    • Associated Event: Mary's conduct as a ship heading for port in a storm on the only safe course
  • Acquisition name

  • Department

    Coins & Medals

  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • 127
  • C&M Catalogue number

    • MB1p130.81
Silver medal.

Obverse & Reverse

Image description



If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: collectiondatabase@britishmuseum.org 

View open data for this object with SPARQL endpoint

Object reference number: CME888

British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.

View this object

Support the Museum:
donate online

The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.

About the database

The British Museum collection database is a work in progress. New records, updates and images are added every week.

More about the database 


Work on this database is supported by a range of sponsors, donors and volunteers.

More about supporters and how you
can help