British Coin from 16th Century Found in Canada

April 7, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. end up /ɛnd ʌp/ (v. phrase) – to arrive or be placed somewhere
Example: The coin I lost ended up in the trash can.

2. hearsay /ˈhɪərˌseɪ/ (n.) – unproven information that a person heard from another person
Example: Historical experts do not believe in any hearsay unless there is enough evidence.

3. dispute /dɪˈspyut/ (n.) – an argument or conflict over something
Example: The parties involved are open to settle their dispute.

4. indigenous /ɪnˈdɪdʒəəs/ (adj.) – living or naturally originating in a specific area
Example:  Some indigenous groups in Asia were from the Malay race.

5. anecdote /ˈænɪkˌdoʊt/ (n.) – short and interesting story about a real or fictional event
Example: The speaker told funny jokes and anecdotes to capture the audience’s attention.


Read the text below.
A former security technician’s discovery of a 16th century British coin may change Canada’s history.

With a handheld metal detector, Bruce Campbell found the coin called “shilling” [SHIL-ing] in the shores of Vancouver [van-KOO-ver] Island last December 2013. The coin is said to have been made in 1550s. Historians estimate that this coin ended up in Canada’s Pacific Coast in 1579 during a British exploration to California. Aside from the shilling, Campbell also found an 1891 Canadian coin, a 1960s dime, and a 1900s penny.

According to historical records, Spanish explorers were the first Europeans to arrive in the Canadian province called British Columbia in 1774. The British Royal Navy arrived in the area only four years after the Spanish explorers.

However, some historians argue that in the 1579 British exploration, Sir Francis Drake already reached the said province. According to hearsay, Queen Elizabeth I ordered Drake to hide this story to avoid territorial dispute with Spain.

Book author Samuel Bawlf [bawlf] said that Campbell’s discovery may prove that the British were the first to land in British Columbia. Bawlf said that Drake might have given some shilling coins to the indigenous people in Canada to let the next generations know that England arrived in the province first.

However, Grant Keddie of the Royal British Columbia Museum does not agree with Bawlf’s claims. Keddie said that the lack of convincing evidence will continue to weaken the author’s argument. Keddie added that Drake’s own anecdotes were all burnt after a London fire long ago, leaving no concrete evidence of his exploration in the province.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         In your opinion, what will be the implications if the “Drake theory” is proven to be true?
·         Do you think this is an important discovery? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         How important is a country’s history? Kindly explain your answer.
·         If you could change one thing about your country’s history, what would it be and why?


April 7, 2014