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GM24318

Henry II Penny, Tealby type, class D3, Carlisle Mint, moneyer William Fitzerembald

Henry II (1154-89), silver "Tealby" Penny, Type D3 (c.1167-70), Carlisle Mint, moneyer William, facing crowned head with hand holding sceptre to edge, Latin legend and beaded borders surrounding both sides, commences upper left, hENRI REX A, rev. short voided cross pattee, small cross pattee saltire in each angle, +WILLAM. ON. CAR., weight 1.84g (BMC 219A this coin; N.959; S.1340). Toned, a little crimped around rim, one light crease on obverse, hairline scratch on reverse, a little weak in parts though with a decent portrait, a bold to good very fine and a rare issue.

The legend reads "Henry King of the English" on the obverse and "William of Carlisle" on the reverse. The obverse die has a die link to the Newcastle Mint.

The cross and crosslets type coinage of King Henry II is more often called "Tealby" because of the enourmous find of a hoard of this coinage in late 1807 which amounted to over 5,700 pieces. They were found at Bayons Manor farm near Tealby in Lincolnshire, and the first report was written in the Stamford Mercury of the 6thNovember 1807. From this hoard alone, 17 new mint towns for the coinage were added to what was known as of 1807, however only some 600 + pieces were saved for the national and other important private collections with 5,127 pieces deemed unworthy and sent to be melted at the Tower of London.

The first Plantagenet King of England Henry Curtmantle, as he was also known was the son of Matilda Empress and Count Geoffrey V of Anjou born on the 5th March 1133, ruled England from 19th December 1154 to 6th July 1189. He was made Duke of Normandy age 17 in 1150 by King Louis VII of France, and became Count of Anjou and Maine a year later upon the death of his Father. He married Eleanor of Aquitaine making him Duke of that region in 1152 after her marriage to Louis VIII had been annulled. He later also became Count of Nantes by a treaty in 1158 meaning that before even the age of 40 he was in control of a great swarth of land stretching from parts of Wales and eastern Ireland across to the western part of France later called the Angevin Empire. At times during his reign he also partially controlled Scotland and the Duchy of Britanny. He became King of England after King Stephen agreed to a peace treaty in the light of Henry's military expedition of 1153 meaning that he would inherit the kingdom on Stephen's death which duly happened the year after. After the turmoil of the previous reign Henry successfully restored Royal administration and built the kingdom back up to be similar to what it had been under his grandfather Henry I with a hegemony over Wales as well as control of lands in Anjou, Maine and Touraine. However his attempts to forge a relationship with the church resulted in a conflict with former ally and Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket through the 1160s until Becket's infamous murder by knights in the sanctity of Canterbury Cathedral in 1170. He also faced a "cold war" conflict with King Louis VII of France for several decades having expanded his empire at Louis' expense.

Henry produced eight children with Eleanor, five sons and three daughters. His second son Henry was made co-ruler with his Father and was known as Henry the Young King but would pre-decease his Father by six years, the eldest son William who was the ninth Count of Poitier had died at the age of 3. Henry the Young King did rebel against his Father over tensions of inheritance and was supported by younger brothers Richard (later the Lion Heart) and Geoffrey as well as their mother Eleanor. The rebel alliance was supported by France under King Louis and later his son Philip II, Scotland, Brittany, Flanders and Boulogne and the Great Revolt of 1173-74 was only silenced by King Henry's swift military action spearheaded by talented local commanders. The revolt arose again a decade later in 1183 which culminated in the death of Henry the Young King at the age of 28. Meanwhile the Norman invasion of Ireland from 1169 until 1177 resulted in King Henry declaring his son John, later King, as Lord of Ireland and claiming all lands though his Norman knights there had to continue to gradually fight and physically adopt the territory as part of the Angevin Empire.

A final rebellion in 1189 caused by Richard's fears that John would be made the next King rather than the proper succession of himself as the elder surviving brother, led to King Henry being defeated by Richard and Philip II and retreating to Chinon Castle suffering from a bleeding ulcer where he died and was succeeded by Richard.

Some sixty miles west of Newcastle, the City of Carlisle on the River Eden was devastated by the Danes in 875 and in ruins until 1092 when William II fortified it by building a castle. The silver and lead mines on nearby Alston Moor were used to supply the mint with metal during the twelfth century and a Bishopric was established in 1133. David of Scotland seized the town on the accession of Stephen but later in the Peace of Durham, was confirmed to his son Henry. In 1139 the town was ceded with his Earldom of Northumbria to the Scottish crown and not restored to the English till 1157. Minting activity occurs from Henry I to Henry III with issues of David of Scotland and Henry of Northumbria.

The relatively recently published book "The Metal in Britain's Coins" by Dr Graham Birch and published by Spink has a chapter devoted to the sources of medieval silver coinage, and one of the few issues traceable to silver mined locally in England, is the penny coinage of the Carlisle Mint from the later Norman reigns of Henry I and Stephen to that of Henry II and Richard I. Henry I visited Carlisle in 1122 and was impressed by the minting potential first establishing a mint there having commissioned extra defences, and a rental from the Burgesses of £5 a year is recorded to the King from 1125 onward. This fee had jumped to £45 per annum by 1130 and then to £500 by 1133 clearly showing the success from a discovery of a new vein of silver near Cross Fell in the Silver Beck-Minersdale region. The powerful Erembald family from Flanders soon arrived to become involved in the minting activity, and three generations over a fifty-year period dominated the moneying of coinage in this region continuing through the Anarchy period in the reign of King Stephen. Stability returned with the advent of the reign of Henry II and in 1158 Henry reorganised the royalty payments system taking away the miners rights to silver giving them only a revenue stream from the lead by products. Henry offered them the chance to mint as well as mine giving the opportunity for integrated business, that was first taken up by William Fitzerembald. Henry also authorised a new mint to open at Newcastle and William operated at both locations on a combined rental of £100 a year. An auction process of the rights to mint and mine occurred on an annual basis, and though Fitzerembald was usually the winning bidder against all comers at ever higher levels, he sometimes failed to meet the rental targets, accruing an eventual debt of some £2,100. The activity certainly boosted the economy of this northern area and Dr Birch estimates that the mines accounted for about 1% of the national gross domestic product of England at this time. William Fitzerembald did lose the rental for 1180-81, and again in 1184-85 when it was run by custodians with more proper accounting passing to Alanus Monetarius - Alain as we have here on this coin, who either alone or with partners ran the mint and mines till 1198 at lower rent levels than his predecessor and met his targets. He perhaps also operated at Durham. For further detailed reading it is advised to consult Dr Birch's learned publication.

Provenance:

Ex Derek F. Allen Collection gifted to F. Elmore-Jones.

Ex F. Elmore-Jones, Norman and Plantagenet part one, Glendining, 13th April 1983, lot 1131. With his tickets.

Ex John Mattinson Collection of Carlisle Mint, part I, Dix Noonan and Webb, Auction 164, 9th October 2019, lot 2235.

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

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