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The Silver Coins of England

Edward Hawkins, 1841
Sole Monarchs of England - Charles I

Table of Contents

Charles I., 1625-1649.

Charles I. ascended the throne March 28, 1625, and very soon began to make arrangements for the issue of a coinage upon the same principles as that of his father. It consisted at first of crowns, half- crowns, shillings, six-pences, half-groats, pence; groats, threepences, and half-pence, were subsequently coined in some of the provincial mints; the metal was of the standard fineness, 11 oz. 2 dwts. silver, and 18 dwts. alloy, and the weight was in the proportion of 7 25/31 grains to the penny, and it was remarkable that during all his troubles and difficulties no debasement took place, however rude his coins may have been in form and workmanship.

The types, or rather the modifications of the types, of his coins are exceedingly numerous, partly owing to the taste and fancy of those who had the direction of affairs at the regular mints, and partly owing to the want of skill in the persons who were engaged in the various occasional mints in different parts of the country. We lament that we are not able to point out from which mint each piece was issued; but the difficulties of doing so are insurmountable. If we examine those, which are considered to have been the production of the Tower, we cannot but remark that they vary exceedingly in the style and quality of the workmanship; some, which are so very inferior as to lead to a supposition that they are imitations executed in the country, were not improbably produced at the Tower by inferior workmen, after the established officers of the mint had escaped from London and joined the king's party. Others again were certainly fabricated in the country towns but in which cannot always be ascertained; Aberystwith, Bristol, Chester, Exeter, Oxford, Worcester, York, are generally distinguishable. Several coins however exist which cannot be assigned to any of these places, and it is only from some supposed similarity, in the modification of the type, to the coins of some known locality that we are induced to believe that they were struck in some neighbouring district, or in some place held by the royal army at the same, or nearly the same time, as that whose type and workmanship it resembles. these we shall endeavour to point out when we come to describe each type. We shall begin with those pieces, which are supposed to have issued from the Tower mint, taking the several denominations in succession.

James I | Table of Contents | Charles I, Crowns

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