Martin Coles Harman

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1 Puffin coin of 1929, bearing the portrait of Martin Coles Harman

Martin Coles Harman (born 1885 in Steyning, Sussex) was an English businessman who bought the island of Lundy in 1925 and proclaimed himself King of Lundy. He later issued an independent Lundy currency of Half Puffin & 1 Puffin coins, which were nominally equivalent to the British Halfpenny & Penny, resulting in his prosecution by the United Kingdom authorities for issuing illegal coinage under the Coinage Act of 1870. The House of Lords found him guilty in 1931, and he was fined £5 with fifteen guineas expenses. The coins were withdrawn and became collectors' items. Harman's son, John Pennington Harman was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross in Kohima, India in 1944. There is a memorial to him at the VC Quarry on the east side of Lundy. Martin Coles Harman died in 1954.