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The Silver Coins of England

Edward Hawkins, 1841
Sole Monarchs of England - Henry VIII, Second Coinage

Table of Contents

Henry VIII., 1509 to 1547.
Second Coinage

The SECOND coinage of Henry VIII. took place in his eighteenth year, and is distinguished by bearing his own profile, instead of that of his father, upon the groats and half-groats; and by other differences upon the other coins which will be noticed in the proper place. The standard in this coinage remained the same 11 1/10 oz. fine, 9/10 alloy, but the weight was reduced from 12 grains to 10 2/3 to the penny.

The Tower groat has the profile of Henry VIII., being younger and fuller than that of his father, surrounded by his titles of king of England and France, with various modes and degrees of abbreviation. The reverse has the cross and shield with the POSVI legend. MM. Rose. Rud. vii. 15. MB. Lis. (396). MB. Arrow. Sn. iii. 24. MB. Sun and cloud. MB. Pheon. MB. The York groat has the smae type, but, on the reverse, the Cardinal's hat is under the shield, T. W. for Thos. Wolsey, at the sides, the mint name for legend, and MM. a cross voided, Rud. vii. 16. Sn. iii. 27. MB.

The Tower half-groat resembles the groat in type and legends and has MM. Rose. Rud. vii. 18. Lis. MB. Lis, with rose MM on reverse MB. Arrow. Sn. iii. 23. MB. Sun and cloud. HUNTER.

There are also Canterbury half-groats, with a W A. at the sides of the shield, with MM. on both sides, cross fleuree Rud. vii. 17. MB. the reverse MM. is, sometimes, the letter T. MB. or T on both sides. Sn. iii. 32. MB. or shell. MB. or rose. MB. one of these last reads, by a blunder, CIVITOR CANTOR. MB. or key. SHEPHERD. or rose obverse, and cross fleuree and T on reverse. SHEPHERD. Others with T. C. at the sides for a Thos. Cranmer and MM. Catherine wheel, alluding to Queen Catherine whose cause he espoused. Rud. vii. 20. Sn. iii. 34. MB. All these read on reverse CIVITAS CANTOR.

The York half-groats are also very similar, having at the sides of the shield T. W. a Cardinal's hat below, and MM. a cross on both sides. (397). Rud. vii. 19. Sn. iii. 26. MB. Others have E. L. for Edw. Lee, Abp. from 1531 to 1541, without the Cardinal's had and with MM. a key. Rud. vii. 21. Sn. iii. 29. MB. Sometimes the letters are L. E. Rud. Sup. iv. 20. Sn. iii. 30. MB. All these have the legend CIVITAS EBORACI. Abp. Lee was the last person who used the privilege of placing the initials of his name upon the coins struck under his authority.

To the second coinage we are disposed to assign all those pennies with the type of the king seated upon his throne, which have for legend, variously modified, H. D. G. ROSA SINE SPINA, the letter N being often omitted, sometimes other letters; and in one instance, upon a york penny, SPINA is converted to SPIAE. Rud. vii. 8. The reverses are, as those of the former coinage, the cross and shield, with the places of mintage, London or Durham, for legend.

The Tower pennies have for MM. Rose. Rud. vii. 22, MB. Arrow. Sn. iii. 22. MB. Lis. MB.

The Durham pennies have T W at the sides of the shield, and Cardinal's hat below, for Thos. Wolsey, with MM. crescent. Rud. vii. 8. MB. Trefoil. Sn. iii. 25. MB. Star. MB. They have also C. D. at the sides for Cuthbert Tonstall, Bp. from 1530 to 1560. MM. Star. (399). Ru.d vii. 9. MB. A Durham penny also occurs with this MM. without any letters or allusion to any Bishop. MB.

There is one coin with militates against the arbitrary rule which we have proposed for separating the pennies of the first and second coinage: a Canterbury halfpenny with the legend of the king's titles only and the letters T. C. for Thos. Cranmer who was not Abp. till 1533. This must belong to the second period, and shews that, at least at Canterbury, the old legend was retained. Rud. vii. 12. Sn. iii. 33.

The halfpence are formed after the fashion of those of Henry VII. but much smaller, having the full face, crowned, the bust unclothed; Rev. the cross and pellets: the ROSA legend on the obverse, the place of mintage on the reverse.

The Tower MM. are, Rose. Snell. P. 23. Lis. Rud. Sup. iv. 11. 12. MB. Arrow. Rud. vii. 23. Sn. iii. 21. MB.

The Canterbury halfpence have W A for Abp. Wareham, no MM. Rud. vii. 11. Sn. iii. 31. or T. C. for Tho. Cranmer. MM. Catherine wheel. (398). MB. and one, with the king's titles instead of ROSA legend, has T C at the sides, for Tho. Cranmer, and MM. portcullis. Rud. vii. 12. Sn. iii. 33.

The York halfpence have E L for Edw. Lee, and MM. a key. Rud. Sup. iv. 19. Sn. iii. 28. MB.

To this coinage may also be assigned two rare farthings. One has on the obverse a portcullis, MM. an arrow. RVTILANS ROSA. Rev. a rose upon the centre of a cross. HEN. . . . . AG. (400). Rud. Sup. 2. xvi. 24. MB. The other has for reverse a cross with a pellet in each angle H D. GRATI. Rud. 18. Rev. J MARTIN.

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