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GM25825

William I Penny, profile left type, Wareham Mint, moneyer Aegelric

Regular price £7,500
Regular price Sale price £7,500

William I (1066-87),silver profile Penny, type I (c.1066-68?), Wareham Mint, Moneyer Aegelric, crowned bust left with sceptre, extending to bottom of coin, legend commences at lower left with outer beaded circle surrounding both sides, +PILLELM REXI,rev.annulet at centre of cross fleury, +IEGELRIC ON PERH, weight 1.17g (BMC type I, 48; SCBI -; N.839; S.1250).Toned with some light chipping of rim at top of obverse, a touch weak in parts though good very fine and of the highest rarity for type and moneyer.

The legends translate as "William King" on obverse and "Aegelric of Wareham" on the reverse. Aegelric first appears as a moneyer at Wareham with this first profile issue of William I and is one of five moneyers at this mint in this reign.

This actual coin is illustrated with the chipped rim showing in the article by former owner of the coin P. W. P. Carlyon-Britton on the "Numismatic History of William I and William II" published British Numismatic Journal Volume V from 1908, plate XI fig.1.

The first Norman King of England, William the Conqueror born around 1028 was the son of Robert I of Normandy and Herleya. A descendant of Rollo, William became Duke of Normandy in 1035, he subsequently married Matilda of Flanders in the 1050s ensuring a powerful ally in that neighbouring region. After a protracted struggle and quashing rebellions, his hold over Normandy was eventually secure by 1060 and with appointment of supporting abbots and bishops in the Norman church, and he subsequently secured the region of Maine in 1062. William's first cousin once removed was the childless Edward the Confessor of England and from this family connection and that Edward had previously told him he would succeed, he assumed a claim to the throne of England over Harold Godwinson, who Edward had named as his successor on his deathbed in January 1066. William also claimed that Harold previously had promised the throne to him in the event of succession, Harold having sworn over holy relics in William's presence as depicted in the Bayeux tapestry. William therefore built up a powerful invasion force to cross the channel and fight for the right to rule England as of September 1066. He landed at Pevensey Bay and after setting up camp with a basic fort at Hastings he marched north to meet Harold at Senlac Hill at Battle, East Sussex on the 14thOctober. A battle raged for most of the day, with at one point a rumour spread that William was slain resulting in him having to remove his helmet and reveal he was alive and fighting, boosting the morale of the Normans for the final onslaught in which Harold perished, either from an arrow in the eye or cut down by a horseman. William then went on a military tour to put down local uprisings leading to his crowning in Westminster Abbey on Christmas Day. He made arrangements in London for governance for whenever he would be in Normandy, and by 1075 his hold on England was almost complete with many forts and castles constructed. His later years involved quelling other uprisings in Europe and difficulty with his eldest son Robert Curthose, but his most famous achievement in England was the preparation of the Domesday Book in 1086; a survey of the land and the land-owners and nobles within it, listing pre-conquest and current holders at that time. William died in September 1087 leading a campaign in northern France and was buried at Caen. Normandy was given to eldest son Robert, with England given to his next surviving son William Rufus.

Situated 15 miles east of Dorchester in between the Rivers Frome and Piddle, Wareham was once a thriving port and is mentioned in the Burghal Hidage. In 875 it was taken by the Danes and later devastated by William I in 1067. It was the stronghold of Robert of Gloucester and surrendered to Stephen in 1138, but revolted in 1139 when Baldwin de Redvers landed, and later recovered by Stephen in 1142 strategically cutting off communication for the Angevin party with the continent. However Robert returned on the way from Normandy and took the harbour and town and eventually recaptured the castle after three weeks of siege. Minting activity occurs first for Aethelstan and then from Edgard to Stephen with various Baronial issues and for Matilda.

Provenance:

Ex William Allen of Dorking, Sotheby, 14th March 1898, lot 345

Ex L. A. Lawrence, Sotheby, 24th February 1903, lot 31 part.

Ex Philip William Poole Carlyon-Britton, does not seem to appear in sales off 1913 and 1916.

Ex Richard Cyril Lockett, English part one, 6-9th June 1955, lot 883 and plate XX, sold for £11.

Ex A. H. Baldwin & Son Ltd, 1996 with ticket priced at £650 in the hand of Michael Sharp.

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