English Coinage of the Tudors

Started by Deeman, May 12, 2022, 10:50:15 AM

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Deeman

Edward VI third period 'fine' silver shilling

The shilling had a weight of 92 grains, 0.929 fine, with a diameter of 32mm. The obverse depicts a crowned bust facing, slightly left, of the king with Tudor rose to the left and denomination in Roman numerals (XII) to the right, all within a circumscription which translates to 'Edward VI, by the Grace of God, England, France and Ireland, king.' The reverse design is a long cross fourchée surmounted by a square-topped shield bearing the King's arms. The circumscription divided across the quadrants of the cross is POSUI DEUM ADJUTOREM MEUM or abbreviation thereof which translates to 'I have made God my helper' from Psalms 54:4.





1551-53 shilling, London, tun initial mark both sides.
Obverse inscription is ЄDWARD VI D G AGL' FRA' z hIB' RЄX, colon stops.
Reverse inscription is POSVI / DЄV' A / DIVTOR / Є' mЄV', pellet stops.

Deeman

Edward VI third period 'fine' sixpence

The sixpence had a weight of 46 grains, 0.929 fine, with a diameter of 28mm. The designs and inscriptions for London issues follow those of the shilling, with VI for denomination. The York issue has CIVITAS EBORACI (City of York) for the reverse inscription.





1551-53 sixpence, London, tun initial mark both sides.
Obverse inscription is ЄDWARD VI D G AGL' FRA' z hIB' RЄX, colon stops.
Reverse inscription is POSVI / DЄV' A / DIVTOR / Є' mЄV'.





1551-53 sixpence, London, 'y' initial mark both sides.
Obverse inscription is ЄDWARD VI D G AGL' FRA' z hIB' RЄX, colon stops.
Reverse inscription is POSVI / DЄV' A / DIVTOR / Є' mЄV'.





1551-53 sixpence, York, pierced mullet initial mark both sides. (Extremely rare.)
Obverse inscription is ЄDWARD VI D G AGL' FRA' z hIB' RЄX, colon stops.
Reverse inscription is CIVI / TAS / ЄBO / RACI.

Deeman

Edward VI third period 'fine' threepence

The threepence had a weight of 23 grains, 0.929 fine, with a diameter of 21mm. The designs and inscriptions for London issues follow those of the shilling, with III for denomination. The York issue has CIVITAS EBORACI (City of York) for the reverse inscription.





1551-53 threepence, London, tun initial mark both sides.
Obverse inscription is ЄDWARD VI D G AGL' FRA' z hIB' RЄX, colon stops.
Reverse inscription is POSVI / DЄV' A / DIVTOR / Є' mЄV'.





1551-53 threepence, York, pierced mullet initial mark both sides. (Extremely rare.)
Obverse inscription is ЄDWARD VI D G AG' FR' z hIB' RЄX, colon stops.
Reverse inscription is CIVI / TAS / ЄBO / RACI.

Deeman

Edward VI 'sovereign' penny

The penny had a weight of 7.5 grains, 0.929 fine, with a diameter of 18mm. The obverse design depicts the king, crowned, seated facing on a throne, robed, holding orb and sceptre, within a circumscription, translating to 'Edward, by the Grace of God, a rose without a thorn.' The reverse design features a quartered shield of the Royal Arms upon a long cross fourchée dividing the coin into four quadrants with a circumscription, split across the quadrants identifying the city.





1551-53 penny, London, tun initial mark on obverse.
Obverse inscription is Є D G ROSA SINE SPI, lozenge stops.
Reverse inscription is CIVI / TAS / LOn / DOn.

Deeman

Edward VI third period 'fine' farthing

An official farthing of fine silver was produced although there is no known indenture authorising its production. The farthing had a weight of 3 grains, 0.00625oz troy at 0.929 fine, 9mm diameter. The obverse design is a portcullis and chains with a circumscription which translates to 'Edward, by the Grace of God, a rose without a thorn'. The reverse design is a long cross fourchée dividing the coin into four quadrants circumscribed by an inscription identifying the city, split across the quadrants with each inner quadrant having a trio of pellets.





1551-53 'fine' farthing, London. (Only known example.)
Obverse inscription is [E] D G [ROS]A SINE SPI.
Reverse inscription is CIVI / TAS / [LON / DON].

Deeman

Mary I

After Edward VI's death, his sister Mary Tudor (otherwise known as Bloody Mary) became Queen of England in Aug 1553 following her succession on 6 July. Mary was the first Queen Regnant of England (that is, a queen reigning in her own right rather than a queen through marriage to a king) and among the first in Europe. While it could be argued that Matilda was briefly Queen Regnant in 1141 and that Jane Grey was for nine days in 1553, Mary Tudor was the first female to consolidate power and hold it, be crowned as Queen Regnant, and be widely recognised as the English monarch.

She was the sole ruler for less than twelve months. On 25 Jul 1554, she married Philip II of Spain. From 1554 to 1558, Philip was her co-ruler of England, though she had the ultimate authority. Aged 37 at her accession, Mary wished to marry and have children, thus leaving a Roman Catholic heir to consolidate her religious reforms, and removing her half-sister Elizabeth (a focus for Protestant opposition) from direct succession. The marriage was childless; Philip spent most of the time on the continent. The marriage was not the result of courtship; it related to England and Spain forming an alliance which dragged England into a war with France leading to the loss of Calais in 1558, which meant that England no longer had any ownership of land in France.

Mary restored papal supremacy in England, abandoned the title of Supreme Head of the Church, reintroduced Roman Catholic bishops and began the slow reintroduction of monastic orders. Mary also revived the old heresy laws to secure the religious conversion of the country; heresy was regarded as a religious and civil offence amounting to treason (to believe in a different religion from the Sovereign was an act of defiance and disloyalty).
As a result, around 300 Protestant heretics were burnt in three years - apart from eminent Protestant clergy such as Cranmer (a former archbishop and author of two Books of Common Prayer), Latimer and Ridley, these heretics were mostly poor and self-taught people.

Apart from making Mary deeply unpopular, such treatment demonstrated that people were prepared to die for the Protestant settlement established in Henry's reign. The progress of Mary's conversion of the country was also limited by the vested interests of the aristocracy and gentry who had bought the monastic lands sold off after the Dissolution of the Monasteries, and who refused to return these possessions voluntarily as Mary invited them to do.

Mary's aggressive policies that did more harm than good, even in terms of her own objectives. Mary's reign of around five years was characterised by internal conflict, religious strife, an illogical alliance with Spain, losses in battles, and a curtailment of liberties. For England, it was a very sad and troubled era.

Deeman

Mary I coinage

All coinage was struck at the Tower mint. A proclamation dated 20 Aug 1553 declared the restoration of the standard of the gold coins to 23.875ct and an indenture of the same date ordered the sovereign, to be current for 30/-; the half-sovereign, to be called the ryal, current for 15/-; the angel at 10/- and the half-angel at 5/-. Silver coinage was struck at 0.916 fine.

Philip is said to have brought with him to England an enormous quantity of coined gold and silver and it may be that these foreign coins, having a legal currency by virtue of proclamations, made it unnecessary to undertake any large English coinage. Philip and Mary gold and silver coins are of the same weight and fineness as those of Mary, the silver being at 8 grains to the penny, except a base piece of that denomination which weighed 12 grains. An account for 1554-55 states that certain "testons and pieces of twopence of the base moneys" then current, had been melted down and converted into rose pence of 3oz standard, 0.25 fine, at a weight of 12 grains. This coin has no history outside the figures in this account. It was used as a halfpenny.

Initial marks used were pomegranate and halved rose & castle for Mary issues; lis and halved rose & castle for Philip and Mary issues. For Mary issues, these usually appear at the end of the first or second word of the inscriptions. The pomegranate was the family badge of Aragon and Mary was the daughter of Henry VIII's first wife, Katherine of Aragon.

Mary denominations

Sovereign.
Ryal.
Angel and half-angel.
Groat and half-groat.
Penny.

Philip and Mary denominations

Angel and half-angel.
Halfcrown (pattern, Philip on obverse, Mary on reverse).
Shilling (facing busts).
Sixpence (facing busts).
Groat and half-groat (only Mary's bust).
Penny (only Mary's bust).
Base penny (rose).

Deeman

Mary sovereign

The sovereign had a value of 30/- at a weight of 240 grains, 0.5oz troy at 0.995 fine (23.875ct) with a 44mm diameter. The obverse depicts the queen with imperial crown, seated facing on a high-back throne with decorative side pillars and patterned back, robed and holding orb and sceptre, the Tudor symbol of portcullis at queen's feet, tressure of trefoils on inner circle. The circumscription translates to 'Mary, by the Grace of God, England, France and Ireland, queen, 1553'. The reverse design features a quartered shield of the Royal Arms within a double rose, symbolising the union of York and Lancaster after the Wars of the Roses. The Tudor rose is surrounded by a ten-arched double tressure divided into five two-crescent sections by the leaves of the emblem. The circumscription reads A DOMINO FACTUM EST ISTUD ET EST MIRABILE IN OCULIS NOTRIS or abbreviation thereof translating to 'This is the Lord's doing and it is marvellous in our eyes', Psalms 118:23.





1553 dated sovereign, pomegranate mark after MARIA on obverse.
Obverse inscription is mARIA D' G' AnG' FRA' / z hIB' RЄGInA m D LIII, annulet stops.
Reverse inscription is A DnO FACTV' ЄST ISTV z ЄST mIRA' In OCVL' nRIS', annulet stops.

Deeman

Mary ryal

The ryal had a value of 15/- at a weight of 120 grains, 0.25oz troy at 0.995 fine (23.875ct) with a 34mm diameter. The obverse depicts the crowned queen standing facing in a ship, holding a sword and quartered shield, flag at the stern with the letter 'M' and rose on the hull, within a circumscription translating to 'Mary by the Grace of God, England, France and Ireland, queen, 1553.' The reverse design is a rose within a sunburst upon a floriated cross with lis terminals within a tressure of eight arches, in each angle of the cross a lion passant guardant with crown above, all within a circumscription. The circumscription reads A DOMINO FACTUM EST ISTUD ET EST MIRABILE IN OCULIS NOTRIS or abbreviation thereof translating to 'This is the Lord's doing and it is marvellous in our eyes', Psalms 118:23.





1553 dated ryal, pomegranate mark after MARIA on obverse.
Obverse inscription is mARIA D' G' AnG' FRA' z hIB' RЄGInA / m D L / III, annulet stops.
Reverse inscription is A DnO FACTV' ЄST ISTVD z ЄST mIRABI' In OCVL' nRI', annulet stops.

Deeman

Mary angel

The angel had a value of 10/-, at a weight of 80 grains, 0.167oz troy at 0.995 fine (23.875ct), with a diameter of 28mm. The obverse of the angel depicts archangel St. Michael, haloed and winged, standing with both feet on the dragon and piercing it through the mouth with a spear, the other end of which ends in a cross-crosslet which normally marks the termination of the circumscription which translates to 'Mary, by the Grace of God, England, France and Ireland, queen.' The reverse design is an English galley with two ropes to the mast from the stern, one from the prow and with 'M' and a rose set below the main topmast, the ship surmounted by square-topped shield bearing the Royal Arms, all within a circumscription of A DOMINO FACTUM EST ISTUD ET EST MIRABILE IN OCULIS NOTRIS or abbreviation thereof translating to 'This is the Lord's doing and it is marvellous in our eyes', Psalms 118:23.





1553-54 angel, pomegranate mark after MARIA on obverse and ISTVD on reverse.
Obverse inscription is mARIA D' G' AnG' FRA' z hIB' RЄGIn, annulet stops.
Reverse inscription is A DnO FACTV' ЄST ISTVD z ЄST mIRABI' etc, annulet stops.

Deeman

Mary half-angel

The half-angel had a value of 5/-, at a weight of 40 grains, 0.0833oz troy at 0.995 fine (23.875ct), with a diameter of 19-20mm. The designs and inscriptions are reduced versions of those of the angel.





1553-54 half angel, pomegranate mark after MARIA on obverse and EST on reverse.
Obverse inscription is mARIA D' G' A', FR' z hIB' RЄGI', annulet stops.
Reverse inscription is A DnO FACTV' ЄST ISTVD z etc, annulet stops.

Deeman

Mary groat

The groat had a weight of 32 grains, 0.916 fine, with a diameter of 24mm. The obverse depicts a crowned bust of Mary facing left within a circumscription which translates to 'Mary, by the Grace of God, England, France and Ireland, queen.' The reverse design is a long cross fourchée surmounted by a square-topped shield bearing the Royal Arms. The circumscription divided across the quadrants of the cross is VERITAS TEMPORIS FILIA or abbreviation thereof which translates to 'Truth, the daughter of time.'





1553-54 groat, pomegranate mark after MARIA on obverse and VERITAS on reverse.
Obverse inscription is MARIA D G AGL' FRA' z hIB' RЄGI', annulet stops.
Reverse inscription is VЄRITA / S TЄm / PORIS / FILIA.

Deeman

Mary half-groat

The groat had a weight of 16 grains, 0.916 fine, with a diameter of 19-20mm. The designs and inscriptions are reduced versions of those of the groat.





1553-54 half-groat, pomegranate mark after MARIA on obverse and VERITAS on reverse.
Obverse inscription is MARIA D' G' A' FR' z hIB' RЄGI'.
Reverse inscription is VЄRIT / AS T / ЄmPO / FILIA.

Deeman

Mary penny

The penny had a weight of 8 grains, 0.916 fine, with a diameter of 14-15mm. The obverse depicts a crowned bust of Mary facing left within a circumscription which translates to 'Mary, by the Grace of God, a rose without a thorn.' The reverse design is a long cross fourchée surmounted by a square-topped shield bearing the Royal Arms. There are two types of reverse circumscription divided across the quadrants of the cross. One is VERITAS TEMPORIS FILIA or abbreviation thereof which translates to 'Truth, the daughter of time.' The other is CIVITAS LONDON, City of London.





1553-54 penny, pomegranate mark after ROSA on obverse and VERITAS on reverse.
Obverse inscription is M' D' G' ROSA SINE SPINA.
Reverse inscription is VERI / TAS / TEMP / FILIA.





1553-54 penny, pomegranate mark after ROSA on obverse.
Obverse inscription is M' D' G' ROSA SINE SPINA.
Reverse inscription is CIVI / TAS / LON / DON.

Deeman

Philip and Mary angel

The angel had a value of 10/-, at a weight of 80 grains, 0.167oz troy at 0.995 fine (23.875ct), with a diameter of 28mm. The obverse of the angel depicts archangel St. Michael, haloed and winged, standing with both feet on the dragon and piercing it through the mouth with a spear, the other end of which ends in a cross-crosslet which normally marks the termination of the circumscription which translates to 'Philip and Mary, by the Grace of God, king and queen of England,' sometimes with 'England' missing. The reverse design is an English galley with two ropes to the mast from the stern, one from the prow and with 'P' and 'M' set below the main topmast, the ship surmounted by square-topped shield bearing the Royal Arms, all within a circumscription of A DOMINO FACTUM EST ISTUD ET EST MIRABILE IN OCULIS NOTRIS or abbreviation thereof translating to 'This is the Lord's doing and it is marvellous in our eyes', Psalms 118:23.





1554-58 angel, lis initial mark both sides.
Obverse inscription is PHILIP z MARIA D' G' REX z REGINA A', pellet stops, wire line inner circle.
Reverse inscription is A DNO FACTVM EST ISTVD z EST MIRABILE, pellet stops.





1554-58 angel, lis initial mark both sides.
Obverse inscription is PHILIP z MARIA D' G' REX z REGIN', pellet stops, large wings, beaded inner circle.
Reverse inscription is A DNO FACTVM EST ISTVD z EST MIRABI', pellet stops.