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GM24235

Harold I Penny, fleur de lis type, Lincoln Mint, Moneyer Godric

Regular price £2,950
Regular price Sale price £2,950

Harold I (1035-40), silver Penny, fleur de lis type (c.1038-40), Lincoln Mint, moneyer Godric, diademed bust left with sceptre, legend and toothed border surrounding, commencing at top, +NADI: O LD REX, rev. pellet at centre of voided long cross, pellet topped fleur de lis between pellets in each angle, legend and toothed border surrounding, +GO DRR C ON LINC, the NC ligatured, weight 0.90g (SCBI Copenhagen 18:218-219; BMC type Vc 51; cf.Parsons 374; N.803; S.1165).Dark tone, good very fine and with an interesting mis-spelling out of the Regal name.

The abbreviated legends translate as on the obverse "King Harold (?)" and on reverse the moneyer "Godric of Lincoln." The apparent misspelling of the Regal name may have been a confusion on where the moneyer allegiance lay, as if he almost intended to write Harthacanute's name at first with "NADI:" for HARÐI perhaps then ended it after a colon with OLD of Harold. An intriguing legend. The Parsons reference his "Coins of Harold I" by H. Alexander Parsons, British Numismatic Journal volume 15, 1919. He lists a coin reading NADOLD rather than exactly what we have offered here.

According to North the Lincoln Mint operated with up to 31 moneyers in this reign through all three types.

Harold Harefoot was apparently the younger of two sons Canute had with Aelfgifu, before marrying the Emma the widow of Aethlered II and having Harthacanute by her. His older brother Swein was sent to rule Norway until being expelled in 1034 and pre-deceased his Father in Denmark at the end of the year. On Canute's death the men of Mercia and Northumbria therefore chose Harold as the next ruler. Meanwhile Queen Emma in Winchester with the King's bodyguard and treasure supported her son Harthacanute who was still in Denmark, as did Godwin of Wessex, and claims of illegitimacy towards Harold became rife. War was avoided by Harthacanute's absence, but did not bode well for his cause, his half-brother Alfred later attempting to visit his mother at Winchester, being treacherously captured at Guildford by Godwin and handed over to Harold, who had him fatally blinded and sent to perish in Ely. Wessex accepted Harold as King by 1037 and Emma fled to Normandy, and though watchful of invasion by Harthacanute nothing ever came, remaining peaceful until his death in his early twenties on 17th March 1040. He was nicknamed "Harefoot" on account of his sporting ability and was buried in Westminster. On arrival Harthacanute had him dug up and thrown in a marsh, but secretive supporters recovered his body and had him interred elsewhere in London.

The City of Lincoln situated on the north bank of the River Witham some 33 miles north east of Nottingham was occupied by the Danes in 918 but the army there submitted to Edward the Elder and in 942 was one of the Five Boroughs. William I built a castle here in 1067 and the minster of St Mary was taken by Remigius of Dorchester as his cathedral in 1072. Later Rannulf the Earl of Chester and William de Roumare Earl of Loncoln, seized the castle to hold against King Stephen in 1140. The King besieged the castle and was captured in defeat at the Battle of Lincoln with the town sacked and burnt. The castle was later surrendered to Stephen by Rannulf who three years later granted it back to him.

Minting activity is thought to commence here with the "St Martin" coinage and then from Eadred to Henry III. In the middle of the reign of Henry I the signature of the Lincoln Mint changes to NICOLE until the end of Stephen's first type and in some later short cross coinage, this being a French name for the city seen in some mediaeval documents, with Lincolnia being the name in Latin.

Provenance:

Ex Davissons, Cold Spring Minnesota, USA, mail bid sale 37, 21st February 2018, lot 115.

Ex Dr John Tooze Collection, Dix Noonan and Webb, Auction 163, 18th September 2019, lot 1055.

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

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