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The Silver Coins of England

Edward Hawkins, 1841
Sole Monarchs of England - Henry, Bishop of Winchester and Robert

Table of Contents

Henry, Bishop of Winchester.

Henry, Bishop of Winchester, was the illegitimate brother of Stephen, and there can be little doubt of the coin here described having been struck by his authority. It has on the obv. a crowned head, with a crozier before it; the legend HENRICVS EPC. The reverse resembles in a great degree those of Robert, (280), Stephen, (278), and has for legend, STEPHANVS REX. (279). The coin is unique, in the Pembroke collection; a piece is unfortunately broken out of it. Pembroke Cat. Part 4. Plate 23. Rud. i. 21. Sn. p. 6. C. This prelate was Legate a latere at the time of the death of Henry, and through the influence which this office gave him he assembled the clergy and some powerful nobles, and procured his brother Stephen to be elected king. His influence and his interference upon other occasions were so very considerable, that it is probable this was the time when the coin under consideration was struck, as it would clearly intimate that Stephen's claims were acknowledged by the church, or at least by one of its most powerful prelates, and the Pope's representative.


Figure on horseback armed with a sword, conical bonnet on head, RODBERTUS…ST--T. The last T may be a cross. Rev. cross patee concaved at the ends upon a cross fleury, D with various ornaments in place of legend. (280). MB. 1. Rud. i. 20. Pemb. pt. iv. pl. 4. Sn. p. 6. B.

The type and character of this coin leave no doubt of its having been struck about the same time with those of Eustace, Stephen and Matilda, and Stephen, (278); (specimens of these four coins were found together, in 1684, at Catall near Wetherby, in Yorkshire) and there is not any personage to whom it can be ascribed with more propriety than to Robert, Earl of Gloucester, the illegitimate son of Henry I. It is extremely rare; the British Museum has one, the Pembroke one, a fragment; and another is supposed to exist, but in what cabinet is not at present known. This piece is of good silver, and, consequently, not from one of those debased coinages, which are said to have been so injurious to the public in those times; but under what circumstances this prince had, or assumed, authority to strike money, we have not any means of ascertaining. The letters which follow the earl's name are partially obliterated, and have not been explained.

Stephen | Table of Contents | Stephen and Matilda

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