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The Gold Coins of England

Robert Lloyd Kenyon, 1884
Henry V (1413-1422)

Table of Contents

HENRY V, 1413 TO 1422.

The coins of Henry V resemble those of his predecessor, and are of the weight established in 1412. The kingís name is not distinguished by numerals on any of the coins of Henry IV, V, or VI, but the earlier coins of Henry IV may be known by their weight, and all his later ones have either a trefoil ornament in the field or more than three lis in the French arms. On Henry Vís coins there are never more than three lis in the French arms, and any which have a trefoil in the field have also a pierced cross at the beginning of the legend on one side or the other, a mark which we believe never appears on coins of Henry IV, and very rarely on those of Henry VI before his restoration. On Henry Vís coins no other mark than a cross ever appears at the beginning of the legend, nor is there anything but saltires between the words. The marks on the gold series correspond to a great extent with those on the silver, and this enables us to arrange the coins with much greater certainty than we could otherwise have attained.

Several complaints were made in Parliament during this reign of the clipping, filing, washing, and counterfeiting of the coins. In 1421 the gold coins are said to have been less scarce than the silver, so much so that silver money could not be obtained in exchange for a noble even of full weight; but the gold coins must have been in a very bad condition, for in this year the tax collectors, who generally received money only by weight, were ordered to accept any noble which by its weight was of the intrinsic value of 5s 8d, in full payment of the sum of 6s 8d, which was its original value; and by a statute of this same year all gold coins which were less than their lawful weight were ordered to be brought to the Tower of London to be recoined. This was the only place in England at which gold coins were struck during this reign. In June, 1420, Henry married Catherine, daughter of the King of France, and by the treaty made on this occasion he agreed to relinquish the title of King of France and adopt that of Heir of France instead, during the lifetime of Charles V but this agreement does not seem to have been acted upon in England, as all his coins bear the title of King of France.

NOBLES. Type as those of Henry IV. There is no flag at the stern of the ship. They all have a mullet in the field below the kingís wrist, and a quatrefoil in the second quarter of the reverse, thus corresponding with the second class of the groats and half groats of Henry V.

1. HENRIC x DI x GRA x REX x ANGL x Z x FRANC x DNS x HYB. Quatrefoil after Hyb, trefoil at prow, three ropes from stern, two from prow, ornaments on side of ship lion, two lis, lion, two lis; annulet below them and between the kingís arm and his sword. Rev. IHC x AVTEM : TRANSIENS : PER : MEDIV : ILLORV x IBAT MM cross pierced. See Num. Chron., N. S., v. p. 174, No. 1. Wt. 107 grs. This is almost identical with Rud. iii. 3, the weight of which, however, shows that it was struck before 1412, whereas the pierced cross appropriates this coin to Henry V. 2. Obv. legend as last, but DNS :, quatrefoil after Hyb, two ropes from stern, one from prow, ornaments on ship, lion, two lis, lion, two lis (?), annulet below them. Rev, legend and MM as last, trefoil in first quarter. MB. 3. Same as 2, with broken annulet (?) between the kingís arm and his sword. Ornaments on ship, lis, lion, lis, lion; pellet instead of trefoil in first quarter. (24) MB. 4. Same as 1 without the quatrefoil after Hyb, the trefoil at prow, and the annulet between the kingís arm and his sword; the annulet on the side of ship is broken. MB. 5. Same as 1, but without the trefoil at prow and the annulet between the arm and the sword; slipped trefoil and broken? annulet on side of ship, ornaments and ropes as 1. Rev. MM cross and pellet. MB. Wt. 106.3 grs. 6. Same as I but : after Z and Dns, no trefoil at prow, no annulets. Rev. MM plain cross and pellet. MB.HALF NOBLES. Type like the nobles. They all have a mullet over the shield on obv. 1. HENRIC x DI x GRA x REX x ANGL x Z x FR x D x HYB. Mullet over shield, three ropes from stern, two from prow. Ornaments on ship, lion, two lis, lion, two lis; broken annulet below them. Rev. DOMINE x NE x IN X FVRORE X TVO : ARGVAS : ME MM plain cross, broken annulet in first quarter. (25) MB. Wt. 52.8 grs. 2. Same, but H for Hyb, broken annulet in second quarter instead of first. EVANS. 3. As 1, but reading F x DN x HY, two ropes from stern, one from prow, no annulet visible on side of ship, pellet in first quarter, annulet, not broken, in second; no trefoils in spandrils on rev. MB. 4. As the last, but reading D HY x, and omitting the last two us. Rev. MM pierced cross, trefoils in spandrils. EVANS.

QUARTER NOBLES. Type similar to the former ones, obv. a shield with the arms of France and England quarterly, those of France being three lis only, within a double tressure of eight arches, the whole within an inner circle. All of them have a lis above the shield. Rev, within a double tressure of eight arches is a cross having a lis in the centre within a compartment of four arches and four angles, the limbs are foliated, and there is a lis opposite each of them, and a lion passant guardant in each angle. The whole within an inner circle.

1. Legends transposed, EXALTABITVR : IN : GLORIA being placed on the shield side of the coin. MM pierced cross, lis above shield, trefoil? and annulet on each side, two annulets below; annulet at each angle of tressure. Rev. HENRIC REX ANG Z FRAN, MM pierced cross, one or two saltires between the words. EVANS. 2. HENRIC x REX x ANGL x Z x FRANC. MM pierced cross, lis above shield, trefoil on one side, mullet on the other, annulet at six angles of the tressure. Rev. EXCVLTABITVR : IN : GLORIA, MM pierced cross. (26) MB. 3. Exactly the same, but only one saltire between words on rev. MB. 4. HENRIC X REX X ANGL X Z X FRANC. MM pierced? cross, lis above shield, broken annulet on one side, mullet on the other, annulet at six angles of the tressure. Rev. EXALTABITVR : IN : GLORIA. MM cross pierced. MB. See Rud. i. 17, where the MM on both sides is a plain cross, and the stops on the obverse are represented as trefoils. 5. HENRIC x REX : ANGL Z x FRACIE MM plain cross, lis above shield, broken annulet? at each side, annulet at each angle of the tressure. Rev, as the last, but only one saltire after each word, MM plain cross. MB. Wt. 20grs.

TABULAR VIEW.
Noble. ½Noble. ¼Noble.
MM pierced cross; mullet, trefoil, and annulet in field; annulet on ship; quatrefoil in legend and in 2nd quarter Nm.Chr
MM pierced cross; mullet in field; annulet on ship; quatrefoil in legend and in 2nd quarter; trefoil in 1st quarter +
MM pierced cross; mullet and broken annulet in field; annulet on ship; quatrefoil in legend and in 2nd quarter; pellet in 1st quarter +
MM pierced cross; mullet in field; broken annulet on ship; quatrefoil in 2nd quarter +
MM plain cross and pellet; mullet in field; trefoil and broken annulet on ship; quatrefoil in legend and in 2nd quarter +
MM plain cross and pellet; mullet in field, quatrefoil in legend and in 2nd quarter +
MM plain cross; mullet in field; broken annulet on ship and in 1st quarter +
MM plain cross; mullet in field; broken annulet on ship and in 2nd quarter Evans
MM plain cross; mullet in field; pellet in 1st quarter, annulet in 2nd +
MM pierced cross; other marks as last Evans
MM pierced cross; lis above shield; trefoil and annulet each side, two annulets below Evans
MM pierced cross; lis above shield, trefoil and mullet at sides +
MM pierced cross; lis above shield, broken annulet and mullet at sides +
MM plain cross; us above shield; broken annulet each side +

Henry IV (1399-1413) | Table of Contents | Henry VI (1422-1461)


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