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GM24390

Edward II long cross Penny, type 14, Bury St Edmunds Mint

Edward II (1307-27), silver long cross Penny, Bury St Edmunds Mint, class 14 (1317-20), facing crowned bust in beaded circle, pellet eyes, initial mark cross pattee and legend surrounding, beaded outer border, +EDWAR R ANGL DNS hYB, rev. long cross pattee, tri-pellets in each inner angle, beaded circles and legend around, VILL' SCIE DMV NDI, weight 1.45g (SCBI 39:916 North; N.1065; S.1465). Toned, a little uneven in shape, otherwise good very fine and rare.

The Latin abbreviated legend translates as "Edward, King of the England, Lord of Ireland" and on the reverse "Town of St. Edmondsbury"

Edward II the only surviving adult son from the first marriage of Edward I was born at Caernarfon Castle, Wales on 25th April 1284 and from age of 16 was accompanying his Father on campaigns into Scotland in 1300 and was knighted in 1306. Following his succession in 1307he married Isabella of France the half-sister of his Father's second wife and daughter of Philip IV to relieve political tension with that nation and they were both coronated on 25th February 1308. They had two sons and two daughters and Isabella supported her husband's lavish treatment of his favourite Piers Gaveston whom he had recalled from exile against his Father's dying wish as soon as the latter had passed and Isabella used her French background to assert power and influence which snowballed through the reign. The barons influenced Edward to agree to reforms called The Ordinances in 1311 and they banished Piers Gaveston; Edward retaliated by revoking the reforms and calling Piers back, but the barons led by Edward's cousin Thomas second Earl of Lancaster seized Piers and executed him. Several years of unrest followed including English forces being pushed back in Scotland with the success of Robert the Bruce against Edward at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. A new favourite emerged in Hugh Despenser the Younger and after toleration of seven more years Thomas of Lancaster and the barons seized the Despenser's lands leading to their exile and Edward embarking on a short military campaign culminating in the execution of Thomas of Lancaster. Edward then revoked the reforms of 1311, confiscating lands and ordering further executions, but unable to move further into Scotland he signed a truce with Robert the Bruce.

Opposition continued to grow and in 1325 Edward's wife Isabella who had been sent to France to negotiate a peace treaty refused to return and turned against her husband and allying with Roger Mortimer invaded England in 1326. Edward's regime collapsed and he retreated to Wales where he was captured in November leading him to relinquish the crown in January of 1327 to his 14 year old son Edward and he subsequently died whilst prisoner at Berkeley Castle on 21st September.

Situated on the River Lark some 27 miles north west of Ipswich the original settlement was called Beadericeworth until early in the 11th Century with a monastery flourishing there and later an abbey possibly invested by Canute. The influence of the Abbot of Bury was already established by the time of Edward the Confessor granting him the "Honour of St Edmund" and a franchise to mint coins. The rights continued to be recognised by succeeding kings until closure of the Mint at the time of Edward III with the town then called St Edmundsbury until more recent times.

Provenance:

Ex Classical Numismatic Group, E-Sale 458, 18th December 2019, lot 716.

Ex Collection of an English Doctor part III, Sovereign Rarities fixed price list online August 2022.

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