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The Silver Coins of England

Edward Hawkins, 1841
Northumberland - Aethelred

Table of Contents

AEthelred, 840 to 848.

The coins of Athelred are stycas, differing, in general, from those of his predecessors only in the arrangements of the pellets, crosses, &c., which form the types. One of his moneyers, Leofdegn, aims at something more, introducing the letters A or M [Lombardic M], with various little ornamental forms and arrangements, into his types, and even attempting to represent an animal (122), but whether a horse, a dog or a deer, it would be presumptuous to assert. Upon this king's coins the word REX, in whole or in part, sometimes appears, and the king's name is spelt with every possible variation, even by the same moneyers. MO or MONET occurs occasionally in addition to the moneyer's names, of which there are nearly fifty varieties. A few specimens will shew, more clearly than any description, the kind of improvement effected in the forms of the types by Leofdegn (117) to (122), Archaeol. vol. xxv. Rud. x. xi. xxvii. MB. 382.

A silver and a copper coin of Aldfrid have been already noticed, and in this reign of Aethelred another instance occurs of the same kind, for in the collection of Mr. Brummel is a coin of this king (123), 18 gr. in fine silver, in all other respects resembling his usual stycas. These anomalous pieces we can scarcely consider otherwise than as caprices of some one engaged in the mint; it is highly improbable that they should have formed part of the general currency of the country.

There are a few coins existing from which it might appear that AEthelred and his father Eanred held at one time a united sway, unless the coins in question were accidentally struck on one side with the dies of Eanred, after the accession of AEthelred, (114), Archaeol. vol. xxv. p. xlii. It may be remarked that AEthelred's name is never spelt AEILRED, as on this coin, except upon some of those where the name Eanred occurs on the other side, and upon one or two coins by Leofdegn. It may then be doubted whether the associate of Eanred be in fact his son AEthelred, or some other price with a nearly similar name. If blundered legends were not too common on stycas, this supposition might seem to be confirmed by a coin which bears the names of EDILRED REX on one side and AEILRED R on the other (115). Defective records and incorrect coins throw many stumbling blocks in the way of numismatists.

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