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The Silver Coins of England

Edward Hawkins, 1841
Sole Monarchs of England - Eadward the Confessor

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Eadward the Confessor, 1042 to 1066.

Upon the death of Harthacnut, in 1042, the succession reverted to the old line, and Eadward, the surviving son of AEthelraed II. mounted the throne. His coins are exceedingly various in type, size, and weight; some weigh as high as 28 gr. others as low as 15, yet they must all be considered as pennies, the very lightest weighing more than half the heaviest; the two extremes are rare; every intermediate weight is common. Halfpence and farthings were formed by cutting the pennies into two or four pieces. At Thwaite in Suffolk, where a considerable number of coins of this period were found, there were several specimens of half and quarter pennies thus formed, and some of both are now in the British Museum. Amongst the coins of the Conqueror, found at Beaworth, were also some halves and quarters, and, as the whole collection had evidently never been in circulation, they were probably issued from the mint in that form. The types of the Confessor, which we have seen most frequently divided, are Nos. 2, 3, 12, 16. His coins are of two different sizes, 9/16 and 13/16 of an inch diameter respectively; the smaller weighing about two thirds only of the larger. The king's style is Rex Anglorum, expressed more or less at length, and the name is spelt in almost every variety of mode. Upwards of 400 varieties of moneyers' names occur and the place of mintage is always mentioned, except in one instance where the name of Spraceling occurs alone.

The following is a description of the very varied types of this king's coins.

  1. The king's head to the left, filleted; sceptre. Rev. cross, limbs gradually expanding, issuing from a central circle or circles.

    The London coins have occasionally one or more pellets in the field, Rud. xxiv. 2, 6. A Leicester coin has an annulet in the field, f. 1. like the York. f. 5. (219). The small coins of this type weigh about 18 gr. the larger 27. Rud. xxiv. 1 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. MB. 36. of which 24 are of York mint.

  2. Similar head. Rev. cross voided, within inner circle, on the centre a square compartment with pellets at the corners. Occasional marks occur on the obverses and reverses of this type, and appear to be moneyers' marks. Weight 13 to 18 gr. (220). Rud. xxv. 21, 22, 23, 24. MB. 69. 13 halves 11 quarters.
  3. Similar head. Rev. cross voided, terminating in a crescent, an annulet on the centre, PACX in the angles. (221). Rud. xxiv. 12, MB. 9. 5 halves 1 quarter. Weight 16 to 18 grains, r.
  4. King's head to the right, bearded, crowned, sceptre. Rev. cross voided, each limb terminating in an incurved segment of a circle. Weight 21 gr. (222). Rud. xxiv. 9, 10. MB. 25; 9 being of York.
  5. Similar head. Rev. small cross. Rud. xxviii. 1. MB. 1. unique?
  6. King's bust to the right, crown arched with pendent, terminating in three pellets, hanging down at the side. Sceptre in front. Rev. cross voided, pyramid, terminating in a pellet, in each angle. On a Chester coin the head is helmeted. (223). MB. 1. On a Wallingford coin the sceptre is omitted, and each limb of the cross is decorated with a curved ornament. Rud. xxv. 28. extremely rare. On a Huntingdon coin, one pyramid has three pellets. The York coins substitute an annulet for one of the pyramids. Rud. xxv. 27. Weight 20 to 23 gr. Rud. xxv. 26, 27. MB. 28, of which 14 are York.
  7. Similar head. Rev. cross terminating in two crescents, in the centre an annulet on which pyramids are based in the angles. (224). Rud. xxv. 35. MB. 1. extremely rare.
  8. Similar head. Rev. PAX written across the field. Rud. xxiv. 11. C. 21. MB. 2. extremely rare.
  9. King's bust, front, bearded, crowned, sceptre in hand. Rev. cross voided, pyramid in each angle, same as No. 6. Rud. xxv. 25. v. r.
  10. King's head, front, bearded, crowned. Rev. small cross. Weight 18 gr. (225). Rud. xxv. 29, 30, 31. MB. 27, of which York 18, Lincoln 1.
  11. Similar head. Rev. small cross, four crescents close to inner circle opposite each angle. Rud. xxv. 32. MB. 1. unique?
  12. King's bust to the left, radiated crown. Rev. small cross. (226). Rud. xxv. 33, 34. MB. 28. of which 19 York. 7 halves. Weight 17 gr.
  13. King's bust to right, very rarely to left, mitred, sceptre in hand, terminating in a cross, or three pellets, &c. Rev. cross voided, terminating in three crescents; annulets in the centre. (227) Rud. xxv. 18, 19, 20. Weight 22 gr. MB. 44, of which York 23, Lincoln 1.
  14. Similar head. Rev. Confessor's arms, as No. 15. Rud. xxv. 17. HUNTER. unique?
  15. King seated on throne, orb in left hand, sceptre in right. Rev. cross voided, martlet in each angle; called the Confessor's arms. (228). Rud. xxiv. 13. xxviii. 2. Weight 21 gr. MB. 21. The York coins have generally an annulet over two of the birds. Rud. xxv. 15, 16. MB. 5. A leicester coin has an annulet on one limb of the cross. Rud. xxiv. 14. MB. 1. A Lincoln coin has for reverse that of No. 4. Rud. xxviii. 3. MB. 1.
  16. King's bust to the left filleted. Rev. cross voided. These are all of the small size, 9/16 of an inch diameter. Weight 13 to 18 gr., and sometimes not more than 9 or 10. (229). Rud. xxvi. 36, 37, 38. MB. 92. 20 halves 9 quarters, of those 12 York.
The York coins of the types No. 1, 3, 4, 6, 10, 12, 13, 16, have an annulet in the field of the reverse, and one coin of each of the Lincoln mints of Nos. 10, 13, has a similar annulet.

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