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Fabulous discovery of more coins, but alas, none from the reign of Richard III….

coins

“…A spectacular hoard of centuries-old coins found in a brook in the borough [Atherton] gives a small but perfectly-formed window into the past…”

Fancy that. Thomas Jackson was poking around in a brook when he found a small rusty box, containing…43 old coins! How wonderful. The coins are apparently not that valuable. The earliest is from the reign of Henry III, the latest from the time of the Civil War.

It makes me want to don my wellies and set off for the nearest stream! Well done Mr Jackson.

For more about this, see here.

 

 

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Another of Richard’s half-angels found….

DNW-Richard-III-Half-Angel-2

Gold half-angels are scarce enough, but those from Richard’s brief reign are truly rare. Now one has been found in a field close to Bosworth, and is to be auctioned. It joins the exceedingly slender ranks of those previously discovered.

To read the whole story of its unearthing, click here:

See also: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/news/fleeing-army-may-have-dropped-richard-iii-gold-coin-h8fwxqbsc

http://www.rugbyadvertiser.co.uk/news/rare-gold-coin-found-in-field-near-rugby-expected-to-sell-for-up-to-15-000-at-auction-1-8250201

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5092541/500-year-old-coin-amateur-treasure-hunter.html

Postscript: Since writing the above article, the coin has been sold for the huge sum of £40,000! An association with Richard III certainly carries some clout.

More old coins found, including one of HVII’s….

more coins

Just how many more ancient coins are waiting for someone to find them? And how many hoards? It never ceases to be exciting.

There is a date of 1504 for at least one of these, so I guess we know who hid them! Step forward Henry VII, and admit it’s one of your stashes. If you’d lost a coin, you’d have had the entire county dug up until it was found!

 

Fancy a Richard III coin in your collection…?

Richard coin

Richard’s coins are, inevitably, rare. He didn’t reign long enough for there to be all that many. However, one of his “long cross pennies” is up for auction, and can be viewed from noon, Monday, 4th September 2017, at the Emmanuel Centre, 9-23 Marsham Street, Westminster, London SW1P 3DW.

Cheque books and plastic at the ready, ladies and gentlemen? At the very least, scuttle along there and take a peek.

 

The King’s Barge House on the Thames in Southwark….

City of London Barge House, Lambeth

 

I could not find an illustration of the actual original royal barge house (except that drawn in the map below) but above is an illustration of a grand barge house used by the City of London in Lambeth. The King’s Barge House may have been very similar.

The King’s Barge House was halfway between the Tower and Westminster, where the barges were moored. It was on Upper Ground, alongside Barge House Stairs, on the site of the present jetty near the OXO Tower. Here the Royal Barge Master saw to maintenance and preparation for state occasions. The barge house may have been there in the time of Henry VI and earlier, until the middle of the 17th century, when it fell into disuse and eventually crumbled away. A survey in June 1652 described it as ‘a building of timber, covered with tile, 65 feet in length, and 26 feet in breadth; but much out of repair, and valued at £8 per annum’. It was situated at the western edge of Paris Garden, near the remains of Old Barge House Stairs.

The quayside at Old Barge House Stairs - next to the OXO Tower

Quayside at Old Barge House Stairs – next to the OXO Tower

Barge House Stairs - 1

Remains of Barge House Stairs

It appears that Paris Garden was almost entirely encircled by the Pudding Mill Stream, but by the start of the 17th century there was confusion about the exact boundary between it and Prince’s Meadows near the river. The problem might have arisen because the Barge House was near or over the sluice from Pudding Mill Stream into the river.

prince's meadows 1636 - showing barge house - 1

Halfpenny - near king's barge house - 1

A post medieval copper alloy trade token or halfpenny from the Upper Ground near the King’s Old Barge House, Southwark dating AD1656-1674.

 

A Boss from Buckingham & Crowland Connections

Henry Stafford fascinates me in a dark sort of way. I walk past the spot where he was executed almost once a week. I have always felt he is marginalised by historians because no one quite knows what to make of his behaviour, so he gets  pushed to the side as just  an unsuccessful rebel who lost his head. Over the years we have had silly theories, such as the one that he was enraged because didn’t get his hands on the Bohun inheritance quick enough (having to ggo through parliament, it wasn’t coming any quicker!) and the other one that he was horrified by news of the the death of the princes (he was a contender for being’right in there’ if they were killed, and if he actually KNEW, why was it all a case of  rumour and whispers; why was he not declaring his knowledge openly across the land?) I am even doubtful about his supposed ‘support’ for Henry Tudor, as what could Henry have given him that he did not already have? I see it more as an alliance of sort, and Henry Stafford may have been as eager for the crown as Tudor.

Be that as it may, there is not all that  much known about Buckingham, and we don’t even have  a proper portrait of him–the one that exists is clearly based on that of Buckingham’s own son, Edward Stafford. In it, he certainly looks roguish, like a medieval Bill Sykes.

During my recent research, however, I have come across seveal items of interest of this rather sidelined figure. A few years back a high status decorated boss was found at his manor of Bletchingley, dating from the 1470’s. It may not have been Buckingham’s personal adornment,  but it was very likely the possession of one of his retinue.

http://www.culture24.org.uk/history-and-heritage/archaeology/art48529

The other item I discovered is perhaps more interesting. The Abbot of Crowland (Croyland) Abbey established a hostel for student monks in Cambridge. Later on between 1472-83, the hostel came under the  patronage of the Duke and his family and got a change of name-to Buckingham College. As the Crowland Chronicle is noted as being very pro-Woodville, this could be one reason why this is so;  since Catherine Woodville, Queen Elizabeth’s sister, was the wife of Henry Stafford.

The college itself (renamed Magdalene in the 16th c) seems quite interesing archaeologically, with a collection of coins known as the ‘Magdalene hoard’ turning up on the edge ofthe property.

mag

 

 

 

 

Even more evidence of Richard III’s innocence….?

edward-v-angel-coinc

I confess to not knowing that Edward V coins had ever been minted. There doesn’t really seem to have been time to have reached that point. However, as it’s clear they were coined and distributed, I have cause to consider the implication.

We have the old, old story that Richard was a dastardly, murderous uncle who intended all along to snatch his nephew’s throne. Well, if that were so, would he really authorise the preparation and issue of coins bearing said nephew’s name? Surely he would regard it as a pointless waste of money? Cut the Edward V and go straight from Edward IV to Richard III. (Cue cunning snigger and rubbing together of evil, clawed hands.)

But no, Edward V coins were issued, and promptly. To my mind this is yet more evidence that Richard was innocent of any wickedness. He had every intention of seeing his nephew crowned, and was as shocked as everyone else when the truth about Edward IV’s dealings with Lady Eleanor Talbot came to light.

To read about the recently discovered coin, go here.

Since I originally found the newspaper article about the discovery in Tolpuddle of the Edward V Angel, I have been in touch with Susan Troxell who, in December 2015, delved into the very same point about the unlikelihood of Richard ordering the minting of such coins if he had designs upon stealing the throne. She has written a detailed and considered blog about it (being much more knowledgeable and erudite than me!) and I cannot encourage you enough to take a look. While it deepens the mystery in some ways, with boar’s head symbols appearing on some coins, in others it flings the curtains aside and lets a lot of light in!

 

 

Auction of coins from Edward III to Richard III….

henry-iv-groat

No illustrations of Richard’s coins, unfortunately. The above is a Henry IV groat, estimated price of £3-4,000). But Richard’s coin(s) are in this auction today. Get your plastic cards out, ladies and gentlemen…

Spink Auctions: From Edward III to Richard III, Lord Stewartby’s 4th Sale

Mediaeval English gold nobles, but not our King Richard….

Gold Noble Henry IV

Unfortunately this link does not concern itself with Richard III, but it is very interesting anyway. It seems that such coins of the first usurping Lancastrian, Henry IV, are rarer than those of the unfortunate Richard whose throne and life he took. Sound familiar? Except, of course, that in the case of Richard III, just about everything is rarer than Henry VII. And more desirable.

http://www.coinweek.com/featured-news/english-gold-noble-coins-of-kings-richard-ii-henry-iv-and-henry-v/

Did Richard “touch” for the King’s Evil…?

I have just bought an interesting and absorbing  book, the ‘Encyclopaedia of Superstitions’ by E & M Radford, originally published in 1949.

Reaching the section on the King’s Evil (scrofula, which was believed to be cured by the touch of the monarch) I read: ‘The practice was introduced by Henry VII of presenting the person “touched” with a small gold or silver coin.” It seems that Dr Johnson was given one that had St George and the Dragon on one side and a ship on the other. Some of them have a hole pierced through them, so they could be worn around the neck.

Intrigued, I Googled “touch piece” and found other sites, including the following, which has  an excellent photograph of several such coins. http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/broughttolife/objects/display?id=4546

Another much more detailed article about these touch pieces at https://francisyoung.wordpress.com/2016/01/21/the-gold-angel-legendary-coin-enduring-amulet/

My question is, did Richard ever “touch” those with scrofula? I know his reign was very brief, but even so, did he find time to do this?

Henry's touchpieces

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