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GM24392

Edward II Penny, type 10cf3(a1) of Edward I, London Mint

Edward II (1307-27), silver long cross Penny, class 10cf3 (a1), (1301-1310), London mint, facing crowned head, legend and beaded border surrounding, +EDW R AIIGL DIIS hYB, broken E, rev. long cross pattee, tri-pellets in inner angles, legend and beaded border surrounding, CIVI TAS LON DON, weight 1.38g (SCBI 39:636 North; N.1042/2; S.1412). Toned a bold very fine.

The Latin legends translate as "Edward King of England, Lord of Ireland" on the obverse and "City of London" on the reverse.

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 as 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.

Capital City London upon the River Thames following Roman occupation, minted some of the earliest Saxon coins with gold Thrymsas and silver denarii with a "Londuniu" signature. Mercian Kings beginning with Offa minted coins there, but the first coin to actually say City of London upon it is the unique Ludica portrait Penny that was found in 2016, followed by subsequent coins of Ecgberht. In 871 the Danes wintered in London for the first time but was King Alfred of Wessex who settled and fortified the capital circa 880 to resist further invasions. Edward the Elder incorporated the City in Wessex in 911 and it resisted a major attack in the reign of Aethelred II in 1009. However, London submitted to the Danish Swein in 1013, but three years later the citizens accepted Eadmund Ironside as King and resisted a siege by Canute.

Later unsettled times occurred in the anarchy period of the reign of King Stephen, remaining loyal to the King except for a few months in 1141 when Empress Matilda was admitted but within a short time expelled. Coinage activity here has been mostly constant throughout history from the Romans until the reign of our current Queen and only moving out to Wales from 1969.

Provenance:

Ex Classical Numismatic Group, E-Sale 458, 18th December 2019, lot 712.

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

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