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FM18664

Charles I Halfcrown Hartlebury Castle, mm three pears, with H C on reverse

Regular price £3,750
Regular price Sale price £3,750

Charles I (1625-49), silver Halfcrown, undated, Hartlebury Castle Mint (Worcestershire c.1646), armoured King on horseback left, crowned holding upright sword, tip of sword and King's crown breaks inner circle, flowing scarf with two ends behind, Latin legend and beaded borders surrounding, initial mark pear, CAROLVS. D: G. MAG. BRIT. FRAN. ET. HIB. REX,rev. oval quartered shield of arms on decorated frame incorporating H and C to lower left and right, Latin legend and beaded borders surrounding, initial mark three pears, CHRISTO. REGNO. AVSPICE., weight 13.36g (Bull 679; Brooker 1137; N.2626; S.3129).Toned with usual weak areas though quite circular for one of these irregular issues, with contemporary edge blank filing marks, otherwise Fine for issue with all the important elements visible with the pear mint marks and the H of HC, very rare.

The abbreviated obverse legend translates as "Charles, by the Grace of God, King of Great Britain, France and Ireland. The abbreviated reverse Declaration translates as "I reign under the auspices of Christ".

Hartlebury Castle was the traditional seat of the Bishops of Worcester having been first granted by King Burgred (852-874) in 855 to Bishop Aelhun, and remained a home for the succeeding Bishop right up until 2007. The house was fortified as a castle by Bishop Giffard in 1268 when he was given the relevant permission. During the time this halfcrown coin was struck c.1646 and throughout the Civil War period from 1642 Hartlebury Castle was held for King Charles I with a garrison of 120 men under Captain William Sandys. The Roundheads captured the castle on the 16th May 1646 after a two day siege and without a shot being fired and the four century old fortifications were dismantled in 1648 though the buildings were not demolished as it was easier to sell on rather than going to further expense. The castle was restored to the Bishop in 1660 at the time of the Restoration of the Monarchy, and it was Bishop James Fleetwood in 1675 who restored the castle into a country mansion in much the style that it still is today. George III and George IV both visited with Boishop Hurd and Queen Elizabeth II visited in 1980 after the Royal Maundy service at Worcester Cathedral in 1980. For the last five decades the castle has housed the Worcestershire County Museum in one wing as well as the Hurd Library since 1782 from the time of Bishop Hurd. The Bishopric were prompted to sell the castle on the retirement of Bishop Henry Selby in 2007 and the Castle Trust was formed and had made the purchase by 2015.

Provenance:
The William Oldknow Collection.

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