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An Historical Account of English Money, 3rd Edition

Stephen Martin Leake, Esq, 1793
Richard II

Table of Contents

Richard II. A. D. 1377.

[Note: Original spelling style has not been preserved in this transcription. f is rendered in the modern s, etc. ie, Majefty and Reverfe are presented as Majesty and Reverse resepectively.]

This King coined Nobles, Half Nobles, and Quarter Nobles, Groats, Half Groats, Pence, and Halfpence, of the same standard and value, as were coined in the 27th of Edward the Third. The only indenture in Lownds, [P. 37.] is in his eighteenth year, when Nicholas Malakin, a Florentine, was master and worker.

In his fifth year, a law was made, [Stat. 5 and 14 R. 2. Rastal, No 18, 19.] to prevent the transportation of gold or silver, in Money or bullion, and the Graot, Half Groat, Penny, and Halfpenny of Scotland, was to be current only for half: and in his seventeenth year, [27 R. 2. cap. 1. 14 R. 2. Rastal, 19.] the statute of the ninth of Edward the Third, against melting of Halfpence and Farthings, was renewed, adding Groats and Half Groats, which had come into use since the making of that statute. All foreign and Scotch Coins, both of gold and silver, were prohibited to be current, and directed to be brought to the bullion, to be molten into coin of England; and that no man should send English Money into Scotland, to change the same for Scotch Money.

The nobles are like those of his grandfather, but with a different epigraphe, RICHARD. D. G. REX. ANGL. FRANC. Z. DNS. HIB. Z. AQT. Here we have both France and Aquitaine mentioned, contrary to the usage of Edward the Third. The lions on the side of the ship are passant to the left, whereas those of Edward are to the right. Reverse, the initial letter of his name, within the rose in the centre.

Another has a different epigraphe, RICARD. DEI. GRA. REX. ANGL. DNS. HIB. Z. AQTN. leaving out the title of France, (though we find it upon his great seal) which perhaps he relinquished in 1396, upon his marriage with the Lady Isabel of France, when a truce was established between the two kingdoms for twenty-eight years.

The Half Noble the like.

The Quarter Noble, RICARD. DI. GRA. REX. ANG. in all other respects like his grandfather's.

The silver Money of the Second and Third Richard being alike, we are under the same difficulty to distinguish them from each other, as we were those of Edward the Third and Fourth, the form of the letter N, being the only difference supposed to be between these, as between those. By this means, there are some pieces ascribed to Richard the Third, which by the weight must belong to this Richard, who, as well as Edward, used the old English N upon his gold Money, therefore the weights and scales must determine it. The difference in weight is likewise the same between these two Richards, as between the Edwards. These Groats that weigh above two pennyweights, three grains, may undoubtedly be placed to Richard the Second, making allowance for what they usually fall short (though perfect) of the indenture weight; and also for clipping, they being generally clipped into the letters of the legend. This allowance being made, I believe, most of those pieces ascribed to Richard the Third, will be found to be Coins of this Richard. And indeed, as they are more plenty (though scarce) than the other, it is much more probable they should be the Second Richard's who reigned twenty-two years, than Richard the Third's, who reigned but two.

The Groat and Half Groat have the King's head full faced and crowned, within the rose, (which the lesser pieces want) like his grandfather's, RICARD. DI. GRA. REX. ANGL. Z. FRANC. Reverse, the cross and pellets, with the double circle, and the usual legend, POSVI, &C. in the lesser circle, CIVITAS. LONDON.

A Penny, which weighs fourteen grains and a half, though much worn, RICARDVS. REX. ANGLIE. Reverse, the cross and pellets, CIVITAS EBORACI.

A Halfpenny that weighs seven grains, RICARD. REX. ANGL. Reverse, CIVITAS LONDON.

In the ninth year of his reign, he created [See the Patent in Selden's Tit. Honour, p. 41.] Robert de Vere Earl of Oxford, Marquis of Dublin, and Duke of Ireland, with the fullest prerogatives of sovereignty; and amongst others, to coin Money of gold and silver, of the goodness of English Money; but whether he ever made use of this power is uncertain. As also, whether the King himself coined any Money in that kingdom, though he was twice in Ireland, and in his eighteeth year called a Parliament there.

But this King coined Money [Rymer, tom. 10, p. 544. Vase. 11.] in Aquitaine; and that in Speed [Speed's Hist. England.] is undoubtedly a French Royal, coined there, bearing a near resemblance to the Black Prince's, having the figure of the King crowned in like manner, with a sword in his hand. Only this is the half figure, and without the canopy, RICARD. D. GRA. ANGLIE. FRANCIE. REX. D. AQIT. The reverse, almost the same as the Black Prince's, but with a different legend, AVXILIVM. MEVM. A. DOMINO. (Psalm cxxi. v. 2.)


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