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GM24346

Henry III, Long cross Penny, type 3d1, Canterbury Mint, Moneyer Willem

Henry III (1216-72), silver Penny, voided long cross type, Phase II (1248-50), class 3d1 (c.1248), Canterbury Mint, moneyer William, neat facing crowned head, legend commences at top with inner and outer beaded border surrounding, initial mark six pointed star, +hENRICVS REX. III', rev. long voided cross pommée, trio of pellets in each angle, legend surrounding with inner and outer beaded border, WILLEM ON CAN:, weight 1.31g (N.988; S.1364A). Dark tone, a little uneven in shape with hairline surface crack vertical on face, otherwise a bold very fine.

The legend reads "King Henry the Third" on the obverse and "William of Canterbury" on the reverse.

In an effort to curtail clipping of the edges if coins, Henry III was the first to introduce a coinage where the reverse cross extended to towards the rim of the coin so any tampering of the edge would be more obvious to the casual observer. The new design having a voided cross pommée with groups of three pellets in each inner angle. The coinage running for a 32 year period from 1247 until 1279 in the reign of Edward I.

Nine year old Henry who was born on 1st October 1207 succeeded his Father under the protection of William Marshall on 28th October 1216 with a coronation at Gloucester Cathedral and who reintroduced the terms of the Magna Carta from 1217, after quelling the Baron's rebellion at the battles of Lincoln and Sandwich, under which all future government was based.

At age 18 in 1225 Henry agreed to abide by the Great Charter which was a later version of the Magna Carta limiting Royal power and protecting the barons. Henry was also Lord of Ireland and Duke of Aquitaine and attempted to regain lands in France in 1230 to no avail. A revolt in 1232 by Richard Marshall the son of William was ended by a peace settlement with interaction from the church. Henry preferred to home rule and married Eleanor of Provence in 1236 with whom he had five children, the eldest being the future King Edward I. He was known for piety and charity and adopted Edward the Confessor as his patron saint. He did try invading Poitou in 1242 but suffered defeat at the Battle of Taillebourg and by 1258 his rule at home was becoming unpopular over foreign policy and taxes. A coalition of barons seized power expelling Henry's Poitevin half-brothers and reforming government with the Provisions of Oxford. Henry with the baronial government enacted peace with France in 1259 giving up lands in France in exchange for Louis IX recognising him as ruler of Gascony, but instability later continued. In 1263 the baron Simon De Montfort seized power resulting in a second Baron's War with Henry receiving support from Louis and culminating in the Battle of Lewes in 1264 where Henry was defeated and taken prisoner. Henry's sone Prince Edward came to the rescue by defeating De Montfort killing him at the Battle of Evesham in 1265 and freed King Henry. Henry wanted to exact revenge on the rebels but was persuaded by the church through the Dictum of Kenilworth of 31st October 1266 to take a less harder line and reconcile. Henry died after recurring illness on 16th November 1272 after the longest Medieval reign in English history and is buried in Westminster Abbey.

The City of Canterbury is 16 miles north-west of Dover with gold Thrymsas known bearing its name as one of the most important mints in southern England during the 8th and 9th centuries. In 809 the Danes were bought off for £3,000 but the town was taken by them in 839 and 851, again circa 981 and finally in 1011. There were two moneyers who worked for the Archbishop and in 1189 this increased to three. The Abbot of St Augustine had the privilege of one die in eight until 1161 at Canterbury though the coins do not seem to bear any ecclesiastical marks, though pennies of Henry I type XIV can have an annulet on the shoulder for moneyers Algar and Willem. We also know for Henry II that the Abbot's moneyer was Alferg. There are die links with Hythe and Lewes in the reign of Aethelred II and with Hythe for William I.

Provenance:

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

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