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GM24282

William I Penny, Profile type, Romney Mint, Moneyer Wulfmaer

William I (1066-87), silver profile Penny, type I (c.1066-68?), Romney Mint, Moneyer Wulfmaer, crowned bust left with sceptre, extending to bottom of coin, legend commences at lower left with outer beaded circle surrounding both sides, +ILLELMV REXI, rev. annulet at centre of cross fleury, +PVLFMÆR ON RV, weight 1.33g (BMC type I, 39-41; N.839; S.1250). Toned, good very fine, rare this well preserved.

The legends translate as "William King" on obverse and "Wulfmaer of Romney" on the reverse.

North records up to five moneyers working at Romney in types 1 and 5 to 8.

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 14th October. 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.

Romney is nearly ten miles from Hythe in the "Garden of England" Kent and was an important port in Saxon and Norman times being one of the "Cinque Ports" however with subsequent silting up of the area the village of Romney now lies over three miles from the sea today and is now more well known for the raising of sheep and lambs. Minting activity occurs here from the reign of Aethelred II to Henry I.

Provenance:

Ex Dix Noonan and Webb, Auction 65, 16th March 2005, lot 185.

Ex Dix Noonan and Webb, Auction 69, 15th March 2006, lot 1315.

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

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