Aella, 862 to 867.
This would be the place for inserting the coins of Aella, if any well authenticated specimens were
known to exist. In the year 1833, when digging an unusually deep grave in the churchyard at Hexham,
the sexton discovered a bronze vessel which contained probably 8000 stycas, consisting of a few of
Heardulf, 2000 of Eanred, 2000 Ethelred, 100 Redulf, 100 Apb. Eanbald, 800 Abp. Vigmund, and about
3000 which were dispersed without having been examined. Redulf died in 844, Vigmund was Abp.
from 831 to 854. As there was not any coin found of Wulfhere, the successor of Vigmund, nor of
Osberht, the successor of Redulf, it is probable that these coins were buried not later than 844. Mr.
Adamson, in his account of this discovery, Archaeol, vol. xxv. p. 303, describes a coin which he
attributes to Aella, who began to reign in 862. If this were really a coin of Aella, this hoard could not
have been buried before 862, in which case it is exceedingly improbably that there should not have
been coins both of king Osbercht and Abp. Wlfhere. But, in fact, the letters upon this coin are so
blunderingly transposed, and it is so doubtful whether the important letter L be not in realty a T, that
the probability, almost the certainty, is, that it is not a coin of Aella, but one of those of which, in Mr.
Adamson's own words, "nothing in the least satisfactory can be made out."
In 1808 a hoard of 542 stycas was turned up by a plough in Kirk Oswald, Cumberland, viz. 99 Eanred, 350
Ethelred, 14 Redulf, 15 Osbercht, 1 Abp. Eanbald, 58 Abp. Vigmund, 5 Abp. Wlfhere. It will be
observed that in this hoard stycas of Osbercht and Wlfhere are mixed with those of their
predecessors; and therefore it is highly probable that, if the Hexham hoard had been deposited as late
as 862, it would have contained coins of these two personages. The improbability, therefore, of the
disputed coin having been struck by Aella is increased.
In the collection of Mr. Willet was a styca which he considered to belong to Aella; at the dispersion of
that collection it escaped notice, and what has become of it is not now known. If we may judge of it
from the plate, Rud. E. 1, which Mr. Willet caused to be engraved of some of the unpublished coins in
his collection, we might assent to its being a coin of AElla; but we confess that we have some
misgivings, and are disposed to consider it one of the many blundered coins of Ethelred and Aeilred.
See Rud. E. 1. No stycas are known after this period.
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Northumberland - Regnald