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Monarchy of the British Isles, from Celtic times to today, including the Commonwealth of Oliver Cromwell


robinjojo
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I thought a collaborative retrospective of coinage from Numis Forum members might be a timely topic, and a very broad one as well.  I only have a few coins, all modern, the earliest being Henry VIII.  Could we be able to post coins from the kings and queens, and the coinage of Oliver Cromwell, going back to the Celts and Anglo Saxon rulers to today's late monarch?

Here are my offerings.

England, Henry VIII, debased groat, Bristol Mint, 5th bust.

1729280271_D-CameraHenryVIIgroatBristolMint5thbustSal7-26-20.jpg.792dae667b723462c8b6e9312047b0a6.jpg

 

England, Edward VI crown, 1551

679907093_D-CameraEdwardVIcrown1551Davisson20027-27-20.jpg.f25ca40af90a3d4eb626d5f4a424a16e.jpg

 

England, Elizabeth I, crown, mm 1, 1602.

1246408737_D-CameraElizabethICrownmm11602reducedimage11-15-20.jpg.11cf9b68b736fecba609e1f6e6a1fbd6.jpg

 

Scotland James VI, sword ryal of 30 shillings 1571.

Dav 8467

30.4 grams

1624314179_D-CameraScotlandJamesVISwordRyalof30shillings1571Dav846730.4gKarlStephensApril19979-10-22.jpg.a67a4d5713fe0e3d05a6e0c8cbe13387.jpg


England,  Charles I, Oxford half pound,, 1643.

S-2945A

60.2 grams

1145712468_D-CameraCharlesIOxfordhalfpoundreduced1643World-wide60.2gS-2945A11-21-20.jpg.ecb26b9fec676fbb7e5579e6eb451724.jpg

 

 England, Commonwealth, Oliver Cromwell, crown 1658 over 7.

1184718708_D-CameraOliverCromwellcrown1658over7GlennShincke30.1gS-2945A11-22-20.jpg.6985c8bf41371464e09031879f914a8f.jpg

 

England, Anne ,crown Vigo 1703.

1204709712_D-CameraAnnecrownVigo1703Heritage1992Dav.133830.00g3-24-22.jpg.bd55d230bb1691d23592746ae9033e53.jpg

 

Kingdom of Great Britain, George I, crown, South Seas Company (SSC), 1723.

991989823_D-CameraCrownSCC17236-16-20.jpg.9109ea9abdbd22918a1661a466b04234.jpg

 

Kingdom of Great Britain, George III England 2 pence, Soho mint.,1797.

KM 619

57.02 grams

420729262_D-CameraGeorgeIIIEngland2pence179757.02gKM619Sohomint3-25-22.jpg.b2726d8c01b3f04c4712a043193b0d42.jpg

 

That's pretty much it for me.  There are plenty of gaps,   I am completely missing the Plantagenets and earlier rulers.  Other than the George III 2 pence, I have nothing for the 19th and 20th centuries.  What else is out there to fill the gaps?  Duplicates are welcomed,  as well as coins in any denomination and metal.

 

Edited by robinjojo
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  • robinjojo changed the title to Monarchy of the British Isles, from Celtic times to today, including the Commonwealth of Oliver Cromwell

We should be able to get back to William I and perhaps Alfred the Great, depending on what counts as a monarch or a qualifying coin (Matilda? Do the silver issues of Edward IV/V count as Edward V? What about the Viking rulers of the Danelaw?). When you get to the Saxons, the kingdom splinters (so you have lots of kings at the same time) and for the 450 years before about 780 there were hardly any attributed coins, or even coins at all. The Roman coins of London are simple, then with the Celts you have a similar problem to the Saxons.

Anyway, I have a lot of coins for this. I'll post a few for now.

Victoria ‘Bun Head’ Penny, 1865
image.png.62d223c9c07ffc3024a627371304ba38.png
London. Bronze, 31mm, 9.38g. Laureate and draped bust (2nd portrait); VICTORIA D:G:BRITT:REG:F:D:; toothed border. Redesigned Britannia seated with shield, holding trident, facing right; ONE PENNY; date in exergue (KM 749).

Edited by John Conduitt
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William III Shilling, 1700image.png.0042cb6bb469fb44edcb8d404b731fe8.png

Tower. Silver, 26mm, 5.98g. Laureate and draped Type V bust right; GVLIELMVS·III·DEI·GRATIA. Four undivided cruciform shields around lion of Nassau with surmounting crowns of similar width, plain angles; MAG·BR·FRA·ET·HIB·REX·. Edge diagonally milled (S 3516).

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Henry VII Regular Type Profile Issue Groat, 1505-1509
image.png.353fffdf04bd8de26c8416c9f2cc0cdb.png
Tower. Silver, 3.08g. Crowned and draped bust of Henry VII facing right, wearing an arched imperial crown; triple band to crown; HENRIC' · VII' · DI' · GRA' · REX · AGL' · Z ·] FR' (variant on F’) with saltire stops. Royal shield of arms over long cross fourchée; POSVI DEV . · A DIVTOR E' : MEV' with double saltire stops; mintmark pheon both sides (S 2258).

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Henry VI Rosette-Mascle Groat, 1430-1431

image.png.f3219be5d09c9e5e5e4198c35e01c268.png
Calais. Silver, 26mm, 3.82g. Crowned facing bust in tressure of arches, with rosettes & mascles in legend; + hЄnRIC DI GRΛ RЄX ΛnGL’ Z FRΛnC. Long cross pattee, trefoils in quarters, rosettes and mascles in legend; + POSVI DЄVm ΛDIVTORЄ mЄVm; VIL LA CALI SIE (S 1859). Ex Cambridge Hoard 2001.

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No other takers so I'll add some more 😂

George VI Five Shillings, 1951
image.png.e9ae6ff2e562aaa7ea258cab3bdb329c.pngLondon. Copper-nickel, 39mm, 28g. Uncrowned portrait of King George VI left; GEORGIVS VI D:G:BR:OMN:REX F:D: FIVE SHILLINGS. St George slaying the dragon right, date and engraver's initials in exergue, 1951 B.P (Benedetto Pistrucci). Edge: Incuse legend MDCCCLI CIVIUM INDUSTRIA FLORET CIVITAS MCMLI (S 4111). Legal tender at 25 pence.

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William III and Mary II Farthing, 1690
image.png.a2c7260e7a8ce5f20ab69385f8c916c2.pngTower. Tin with copper plug, 22mm, 5.96g. Large conjoined cuirassed busts right; GVLIELMVS ET MARIA. Seated figure of Britannia facing left, spear in left hand, olive branch in right, shield with Union flag resting at left, legend around, date in exergue; BRITAN NIA. (S 3451). Tin farthings were first produced in 1684 for Charles II, with a central copper plug to prevent counterfeiting. They were meant to give the ailing Cornish tin industry a boost, but little tin was used and the coins corroded quickly.

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This is a topic close to my heart, as I am attempting such a thing, a set of all the rulers of the British Isles, including England, Ireland, and Scotland.  I have set my limits at coins of the Anglo-Saxons until the present day.  I have been resisting adding the Celtic coins, mostly because if I start with Celtic, I feel there is an obligation to then add Roman coins, who were the overlords of Britain after the Celts, from the time of Claudius all the way to Honorius.  And that makes the collection a bit too large and unwieldly, and loses the British focus.  So I decided to start with Saxon, though I may eventually consider adding coins of the Celtic tribes.  I suppose Celtic alone could be added without Roman, it just might feel a little disjointed.

I calculated a total of 138 different rulers of the British Isles from Saxon times to today who issued coins.  Some are disputed, such as Louis VIII of France or Matilda.  Some are regnant consorts, such as Philip II of Spain, husband of Mary, but who maybe shouldn't be considered a "king".   Some are Viking warlords who may have taken the name of king, but really were probably tribal leaders.  I did not include any of the bishops or barons who issued coins, that would bring the total number higher.

Of that 138 rulers, I currently have 103.  Several I will never obtain as they are so rare, the only known examples are in museums (such as Beorhtric of Wessex).  Some of the Saxon petty kings may ultimately be prohibitively expensive, such as Eric Bloodaxe, Viking king of York, or Eadbald, king of Kent.  But the search continues.

I'll post a few of my favorites.  This thread has so far been showing modern-ish coins, so I'll post a few older ones.

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This is another Commonwealth coin, but struck after Oliver Cromwell's death in 1658. Coins with the anchor mintmark are attributed to Richard Cromwell. However, he resigned in 1659, so this coin is from a sort of interregnum.

Commonwealth Sixpence, 1660
image.png.c4a029ba3df69f9b2d92e40b3abc1cae.pngTower. Silver, 2.98g. Arms of England surrounded by a wreath, anchor mintmark above; · THE · COMMONWEALTH · OF · ENGLAND. Arms of England and Ireland, topped with mark of value in Roman numerals; · GOD · WITH · VS · 1660 · VI · (S 3220). Ex Samuel Birchall of Leeds (1761-1814), precursor to James Conder and author of A Descriptive List of the Provincial Copper Coins or Tokens issued between the Years 1786 and 1796, arranged Alphabetically.

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redwulf-coenred-1b-i.jpg.ddc6557aaee5d379684e780361ca64b3.jpg

Redwulf, king of Northumbria, 848

 

offa-duda-1b-ii.jpg.cc7f7c5fc7008a4fc15c9a6e76059e68.jpg

Offa, king of Mercia, 757-796

 

eadwald-lul-1c-ii.jpg.fbe87344ddf48c5bc92edc12d4f28064.jpg

Eadwald, king of East Anglia, 798

 

aethelwulf-liaba-1c-ii.jpg.59ae6aa733914e5d00ef666484c2a660.jpg

Aethelwulf of Wessex, 839-858

 

william-i-1c-ii.jpg.566730abf70a67f24b03610aa43244b2.jpg

William I "the Conqueror", king of England 1066-1087

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4 minutes ago, Nap said:

This is a topic close to my heart, as I am attempting such a thing, a set of all the rulers of the British Isles, including England, Ireland, and Scotland.  I have set my limits at coins of the Anglo-Saxons until the present day.  I have been resisting adding the Celtic coins, mostly because if I start with Celtic, I feel there is an obligation to then add Roman coins, who were the overlords of Britain after the Celts, from the time of Claudius all the way to Honorius.  And that makes the collection a bit too large and unwieldly, and loses the British focus.  So I decided to start with Saxon, though I may eventually consider adding coins of the Celtic tribes.  I suppose Celtic alone could be added without Roman, it just might feel a little disjointed.

I calculated a total of 138 different rulers of the British Isles from Saxon times to today who issued coins.  Some are disputed, such as Louis VIII of France or Matilda.  Some are regnant consorts, such as Philip II of Spain, husband of Mary, but who maybe shouldn't be considered a "king".   Some are Viking warlords who may have taken the name of king, but really were probably tribal leaders.  I did not include any of the bishops or barons who issued coins, that would bring the total number higher.

Of that 138 rulers, I currently have 103.  Several I will never obtain as they are so rare, the only known examples are in museums (such as Beorhtric of Wessex).  Some of the Saxon petty kings may ultimately be prohibitively expensive, such as Eric Bloodaxe, Viking king of York, or Eadbald, king of Kent.  But the search continues.

I'll post a few of my favorites.  This thread has so far been showing modern-ish coins, so I'll post a few older ones.

You have a lot of great coins for this.

I haven't excluded the Celts - but they add about 60 more kings, many of whom aren't certainly kings, so it's a bit of an undertaking. The Romans are easy if you stick to those who struck coins in Britain, which is about a dozen or so, although Magnus Maximus is a huge problem. I collect the other emperors too (who didn't strike coins in Britain) but only where the coins were found in Britain. It isn't too bad as I only collect emperors who had any authority in Britain, so I don't worry about all the expensive usurpers and stop around AD400.

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James II Fourpence, 1686
image.png.023d5535ddafb38ac1634ea730eb4ea4.png
Tower. Silver, 18mm, 1.86g. Laureate portrait of King James II left; IACOBVS·II· DEI·GRATIA. Central denomination, IIII, with crown above dividing date; MAG·BR·FRA·ET·HIB·REX· (S 3414). These were used for Maundy, but before the Great Recoinage of 1817, there’s no evidence non-circulation strikes were issued, nor any denomination higher than 1d being used in the Maundy gift before 1731.

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9 minutes ago, John Conduitt said:

You have a lot of great coins for this.

I haven't excluded the Celts - but they add about 60 more kings, many of whom aren't certainly kings, so it's a bit of an undertaking. The Romans are easy if you stick to those who struck coins in Britain, which is about a dozen or so, although Magnus Maximus is a huge problem. I collect the other emperors too (who didn't strike coins in Britain) but only where the coins were found in Britain. It isn't too bad as I only collect emperors who had any authority in Britain, so I don't worry about all the expensive usurpers and stop around AD400.

Magnus Maximus is one of the few Roman coins I own 🙂

He is a towering figure in British mythology, even though he was just a minor usurper in Roman history.

The Roman coins from London are rather expensive relative to other mints.  I also don't really care that much about collecting the various mints.  If I was to put together a Roman set, I would also start with the emperors that had a connection to Britain, such as Claudius, Septimius Severus, Constantius Chlorus, etc.

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William II Rufus Voided Cross Penny, 1092-1095
image.png.478b60aa51e1c5594e0ed7a0e96ab0e1.pngLondon. Silver, 1.38g. Crowned bust facing, star either side; + þillelm rei. Voided short cross potent over cross pommée; + þvlfþord on lv (moneyer Wulfword (Wulfweard) on London) (S 1260). The stars may have been added in 1093 after the annular solar eclipse. William I also featured stars on his coins, struck soon after the appearance of a bright comet in 1075, and Halley's comet that accompanied his invasion of England in 1066.

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3 minutes ago, Nap said:

Magnus Maximus is one of the few Roman coins I own 🙂

He is a towering figure in British mythology, even though he was just a minor usurper in Roman history.

The Roman coins from London are rather expensive relative to other mints.  I also don't really care that much about collecting the various mints.  If I was to put together a Roman set, I would also start with the emperors that had a connection to Britain, such as Claudius, Septimius Severus, Constantius Chlorus, etc.

I think I have a complete emperor set of Roman London coins. You can get most of them for well under £100 in good condition if you go for the common issues. I also have a few associated with Britain, some of which aren't cheap. I'll post those too.

Hadrian As, 119
image.png.c4de5c15e3c52131dec25f20ab79a531.png
Rome. Bronze, 10.00g. Laureate bust right; IMP CAESAR TRAIANVS HADRIANVS AVG. Britannia seated facing, holding sceptre, large shield to right; PONT MAX T R POT COS III; S C; BRITANNIA in exergue (RIC II.3, 241).

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Quoting Chris Rudd, "Cunobelinus, hound of Belenus, was the most potent tribal king of his time - the most powerful in Atlantic Europe - who personally controlled more land, more lives & more wealth by AD 41 than any tribal leader west of the Rhine". 

1898783797_CelticStaterCamulodunumMint.jpg.c337e4427326750ef9e5e4a3d6a41bd0.jpg

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23 minutes ago, Nap said:

I also don't really care that much about collecting the various mints.

No I looked at the list, and it's worse than collecting monarchs. Some have very few coins available and one or two have no coins outside museums. You'd also have to have a few dozen of monarchs like William I and Henry I, which would not work with most bank balances.

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I'll bolster the medieval representation...

Richard I Class 3ab2 Penny, 1190-1194
image.png.e0467c68f53382c6b447e6ee1e84d90a.png
London. Silver, 1.40g. Crowned facing bust with sceptre to the left, 7 pearls to crown, whiskers made up of small curls up side of face; ҺЄNRICVS R ЄX. Voided short cross with quatrefoils of pellets in angles within inner beaded circle; WILLELM · ON · LV (moneyer Willelm) (S 1347; SCBI Mass 812, this coin). Ex Professor Jeffrey P Mass. From the Wainfleet (Lincolnshire) Hoard 1990, 380 short cross pennies and 3 halfpennies deposited before 1205.

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We already have half the monarchs back to William I.

Edward III Third Coinage Class 2 Penny, 1344-1351
image.png.0057417daee0c00d4295b59cf9249e3f.pngTower. Silver, 18.5mm, 1.28g. Crowned bust facing, Lombardic Ns and annulet stops; +EDWA R ANGL DNS HYB. Reverse I: long cross and three pellets in each quarter, Lombardic Ns; CIVI-TAS-LON-DON (S 1544).

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