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The Silver Coins of England

Edward Hawkins, 1841
Sole Monarchs of England - Henry II

Table of Contents

Henry II., 1154 to 1189.

When Henry ascended the throne the coinage was in a bad state from adulteration and clipping, and measures were adopted for the general issue of a new coinage, which was carried into effect about 1156. This new coinage was extremely ill struck, being very irregular in size and shape, and in parts quite illegible. Such were the coins found at Royston in 1721, and the 5700 found at Tealby in Lincolnshire in 1807, though they were as fresh as when they came from the mint. In 1180 Henry sent for a foreign artist, Philip Aymary of Tours, to superintend a new and improved coinage; and the result of his labours is seen in the coins, which have laterly been assigned to Henry III., but which must not be restored to Henry II. They are not well executed, but the coin is round and the legend legible.

The type of his first coinage is the king's bust with nearly a full face, holding a sceptre in his right hand. Rev. cross potent with a small cross in each angle. He is styled HENRI R. RE REX A. AN ANG ANGL. (285). Rud. ii. 4. S. 2. i. 9. Sn. i. 32. Snelling, i. 31, and Rud. Sup. ii. 5, give a profile bust of the king with this reverse, but do not state their authority. None such appeared amongst the 5700 Tealby coins, nor have we seen one elsewhere.

The type of the second coinage is the king's head, with a front face, inclused within the inner circle, outside of which is his hand holding a sceptre. Rev. cross composed of double bars, having a small cross botone in each quarter, all inclosed within the inner circle. He is styled HENRICVS REX. (286). Rud. ii. 13, 14, 15. S. i. 15. S. 2. i. 10-13. Sn. i. 39-40. Upon both types the names of the moneyers and mints appear. Upon some pieces, especially of the second coinage, a letter, probably the initial of a surname, occurs after the moneyer's name. Snelling is mistaken in supposing one coin to read OF instead of ON. See his i. 40, and page 10. Rud. Sup. 2. i. 13. The coin is in the Museum, and reads distinctly ROGEROF-R-ON C, probably Canterbury. Upon one coin of this type no name of moneyer appears, but only CIVITAS LVNDE. Rud. S. i. 15. MB.

Eustace and William, son of Stephen | Table of Contents | Henry III

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