Penny (English coin)
The English penny a coin of 1.3 to 1.5 grams pure silver, was introduced around the year 785 by King Offa of Mercia. These coins were similar in size and weight to the continental deniers of the period and to the Anglo-Saxon sceats which had preceded it. Throughout the period of the Kingdom of England, from its beginnings in the 9th century, the penny was produced in silver. Pennies of the same nominal value, one 240th of a pound sterling, were in circulation continuously until the creation of the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707; the name "penny" comes from the Old English pennige. Its abbreviation d. comes from the Roman denarius and was used until decimalisation in 1971. Due to their ubiquity pennies have accumulated a great number of idioms to their name recognizing them for their common-ness and their miniscule value; these might include: cut off without a penny mean enough to steal a penny off a dead man's eyes not have two pennies to rub together penny-pincher penny-wise and pound-foolish worth every penny Anglo-Saxon silver pennies were the currency used to pay the Danegeld protection money paid to the Vikings so that they would go away and not ravage the land.
As an illustration of how heavy a burden the Danegeld was, more Anglo-Saxon pennies from the decades around the first millennium have been found in Denmark than in England. In the reign of Ethelred the Unready, some 40 million pennies were paid to the Danes, while King Canute paid off his invasion army with another 20 million pennies; this adds up to about 2,800,000 troy ounces of silver, equivalent to £250,000 at the time, worth about £10 million in 2005 money. The penny weighed 20 to 22.5 modern grains. It was standardized to 1/240th of a Tower pound; the alloy was set to sterling silver of 925/1000 in 1158 under King Henry II. The weight standard was changed to the Troy pound in 1527 under Henry VIII, i.e. a pennyweight became about 1.555 grams. As the purity and weight of the coin was critical, the name of the moneyer who manufactured the coin, at which mint appeared on the reverse side of the coin. From the time of King Offa, the penny was the only denomination of coin minted in England for 500 years, until the attempted gold coinage issue of King Henry III in 1257 and a few halfpennies and farthings in 1222, the introduction of the groat by King Edward I in 1279, under whom the halfpenny and farthing were reintroduced, the issues of King Edward III.
At the time of the 1702 London Mint Assay by Sir Isaac Newton, the silver content of British coinage was defined to be one troy ounce of sterling silver for 62 pence. Therefore, the value of the monetary pound sterling was equivalent to only 3.87 troy ounces of sterling silver. This was the standard from 1601 to 1816. History of the English penny History of the English penny History of the English penny History of the English penny History of the English penny History of the British penny History of the British penny Decimal Day, 1971 Penny Coins of the pound sterling Sixpence Coincraft's Standard Catalogue English & UK Coins 1066 to Date, Richard Lobel, Coincraft. ISBN 0-9526228-8-2
Much Ado About Nothing
Much Ado About Nothing is a comedy by William Shakespeare thought to have been written in 1598 and 1599, as Shakespeare was approaching the middle of his career. The play was included in the First Folio, published in 1623. By means of "noting", Benedick and Beatrice are tricked into confessing their love for each other, Claudio is tricked into rejecting Hero at the altar on the erroneous belief that she has been unfaithful. At the end and Beatrice join forces to set things right, the others join in a dance celebrating the marriages of the two couples. In Messina, a messenger brings news that Don Pedro, a prince from Aragon, will return that night from a successful battle, Claudio being among his soldiers. Beatrice, niece of Leonato, a governor of Messina, asks the messenger about Benedick, Don Pedro's companion, makes sarcastic remarks about his ineptitude as a soldier. Leonato explains that "There is a kind of merry war betwixt Signor Benedick and her."Upon the arrival of the soldiers, Leonato welcomes Don Pedro and invites him to stay for a month and Beatrice resume their "merry war " and Pedro's illegitimate brother Don John is introduced.
Claudio's feelings for Hero, Leonato's only daughter, are rekindled upon seeing her, Claudio soon announces to Benedick his intention to court her. Benedick, who despises marriage, tries to dissuade his friend but Don Pedro encourages the marriage. Benedick swears. Don Pedro tells him that when he has found the right person he shall get married. A masquerade ball is planned in celebration of the end of the war, giving a disguised Don Pedro the opportunity to woo Hero on Claudio's behalf. Don John uses this situation to get revenge on his brother Don Pedro by telling young Claudio that Don Pedro is wooing Hero for himself. A furious Claudio confronts Don Pedro, but the misunderstanding is resolved and Claudio wins Hero's hand in marriage. Meanwhile, Benedick dances with Beatrice. Beatrice proceeds to tell this "mystery man" that Benedick is "the prince's jester, a dull fool." Benedick, enraged by her words, swears. Don Pedro and his men, bored at the prospect of waiting a week for the wedding, harbour a plan to match-make between Benedick and Beatrice.
They arrange for Benedick to overhear a conversation in which they declare that Beatrice is madly in love with him but afraid to tell him. Meanwhile and her maid Ursula ensure Beatrice overhears them discuss Benedick's undying love for her; the tricks have the desired effect: both Benedick and Beatrice are delighted to think they are the object of unrequited love, both accordingly resolve to mend their faults and reconcile. Meanwhile, Don Pedro's brother Don John, the "bastard prince", plots to stop the wedding, embarrass his brother and wreak misery on Leonato and Claudio, he informs Don Pedro and Claudio that Hero is unfaithful, arranges for them to see John's associate Borachio enter her bedchamber where he has an amorous liaison. Claudio and Don Pedro are taken in, Claudio vows to humiliate Hero publicly. At the wedding the next day, Claudio denounces Hero before the stunned guests and storms off with Don Pedro. Hero faints, her humiliated father Leonato expresses the wish. The presiding friar intervenes.
He suggests the family must fake Hero's death in order to extract Claudio's remorse. Prompted by the day's stressful events and Beatrice confess their love for each other. Beatrice asks Benedick to kill Claudio as proof of his devotion, since he has slandered her kinswoman. Benedick at first denies her request. Leonato and his brother Antonio challenge him to a duel. Benedick does the same. Benedick is one of the few who believe Hero. Luckily, on the night of Don John's treachery, the local Watch apprehended Borachio and his ally Conrade. Despite the comic ineptness of the Watch, they have overheard the duo discussing their evil plans; the Watch arrest the villains and obtain a confession, informing Leonato of Hero's innocence. Though Don John has fled the city, a force is sent to capture him. Claudio, stricken with remorse at Hero's supposed death, agrees to her father's demand that he marry Antonio's daughter, "almost the copy of my child that's dead" and carry on the family name. At the wedding, the bride is revealed to be Hero.
Claudio is overjoyed. Beatrice and Benedick, prompted by their friends' interference and publicly confess their love for each other; as the play draws to a close, a messenger arrives with news of Don John's capture – but Benedick proposes to postpone his punishment to another day so that the couples can enjoy their new-found happiness. Don Pedro is lonely, thus Benedick gives him the advice "Get thee a wife." Stories of lovers deceived into believing each other false were common currency in northern Italy in the sixteenth century. Shakespeare's immediate source could have been one of the Novelle by Matteo Bandello of Mantua, dealing with the tribulations of Sir Timbreo and his betrothed Fenicia Lionata in Messina after King Piero's defeat of Charles of Anjou through the translation into French by François de Belleforest. Another version featuring lovers Ariodante and Ginevra, with the servant Dalinda impersonating Ginevra on the balcony, appears in Book
A sceat was a small, thick silver coin minted in England and Jutland during the Anglo-Saxon period. Its name derives from Old English sceatt, meaning "wealth", "money", "coin", applied to these coins since the 17th century based on interpretations of the legal codes of Mercia and of Kent under its king Æthelberht, it is however, that the coins were more known to contemporaries as "pennies", much like their successor silver coins. They are diverse, organized into over a hundred numbered types derived from the British Museum Catalogue of the 1890s and by broader alphabetical classifications laid out by British numismatist Stuart Rigold in the 1970s; the huge volume of finds made in the last thirty years using metal detectors has radically altered understanding of this coinage and, while it is now clear that these coins were in everyday use across eastern and southern England in the early 8th century, it is apparent that the current organization is in considerable need of adjustment. Sceattas carry legends of any kind, though a small number do name the mint of London and others carry short runic legends such as'Aethiliraed' and'Efe', which refer to moneyers rather than kings.
Although sceattas present many problems of organization and dating, they carry a breathtaking variety of designs bespeaking extensive Celtic and Germanic influences. These designs include human figures, birds, crosses and monsters, all of which have been elucidated by Anna Gannon. Tony Abramson has published an illustrated guide for nonexperts. One series, has been linked to King Aethelbald of Mercia on the basis of its iconography, though this attribution is tenuous and recent research suggests it is unlikely, it has been suggested on the basis of the iconography of certain sceattas that they were issued by ecclesiastical authorities, such as bishops or abbots. Minting may not have been a urban or secular prerogative, coins were used for many payments and purposes beyond pure commercial buying and selling. Associating sceattas with particular mints or kingdoms is difficult and must be based upon study of find-spots. Most have been found by metal detector since the 1970s. In this way, it has been possible to attribute some types with considerable confidence, such as series H with Wessex and series S with Essex.
In Denmark, series X has been plausibly associated with the early trading center at Ribe. The chronology of the sceattas is very hard to unravel; some of the earliest series use the same designs as the pale gold thrymsas and, by analogy with coins from the better-understood Frankish material, can be dated to the 680s. It is known; the thirty or forty years after 680 saw the production and circulation of the'primary series' of sceattas, which were of good metal quality and weight. They were minted in Kent and the Thames Estuary, though a few were produced in Northumbria bearing the name of King Aldfrith. The'secondary series', struck from c. 710 to c. 750, saw a massive expansion of minting all over southern and eastern England to every major Anglo-Saxon kingdom. One or more types can be attributed with more or less confidence to Wessex, Sussex, Kent and East Anglia. There was much copying and debasement, weight could fluctuate considerably. There are few hoards from this period with which to construct a relative chronology, any new discovery could radically alter our current understanding.
The end of the sceattas is difficult to pinpoint, it is that there was a period of some decades in the middle of the 8th century when few if any coins were being produced in England. Sceattas Abramson, Anthony I. J. Sceattas, An Illustrated Guide, Great Dunham. Bosworth. An Old English Dictionary. Gannon, The Iconography of Early Anglo-Saxon Coinage: Sixth to Eighth Centuries, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Riché, The Carolingians: A Family who Forged Europe, University of Pennsylvania Press, ISBN 0-8122-1342-4. Rigold, Stuart, "The Principal Series of English Sceattas", The British Numismatic Journal, No. 47, pp. 21–30. Http://www.kernunnos.com/porc/index.html https://web.archive.org/web/20050303224159/http://www.allmetal.karoo.net/saxcoins1.html https://web.archive.org/web/20070205055926/http://www.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/coins/emc/
Henry III of England
Henry III known as Henry of Winchester, was King of England, Lord of Ireland, Duke of Aquitaine from 1216 until his death. The son of King John and Isabella of Angoulême, Henry assumed the throne when he was only nine in the middle of the First Barons' War. Cardinal Guala declared the war against the rebel barons to be a religious crusade and Henry's forces, led by William Marshal, defeated the rebels at the battles of Lincoln and Sandwich in 1217. Henry promised to abide by the Great Charter of 1225, which limited royal power and protected the rights of the major barons, his early rule was dominated first by Hubert de Burgh and Peter des Roches, who re-established royal authority after the war. In 1230, the King attempted to reconquer the provinces of France that had once belonged to his father, but the invasion was a debacle. A revolt led by William Marshal's son, broke out in 1232, ending in a peace settlement negotiated by the Church. Following the revolt, Henry ruled England rather than governing through senior ministers.
He travelled less than previous monarchs, investing in a handful of his favourite palaces and castles. He married Eleanor of Provence, with. Henry was known for his piety, holding lavish religious ceremonies and giving generously to charities, he extracted huge sums of money from the Jews in England crippling their ability to do business, as attitudes towards the Jews hardened, he introduced the Statute of Jewry, attempting to segregate the community. In a fresh attempt to reclaim his family's lands in France, he invaded Poitou in 1242, leading to the disastrous Battle of Taillebourg. After this, Henry relied on diplomacy, cultivating an alliance with Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor. Henry supported his brother Richard in his bid to become King of the Romans in 1256, but was unable to place his own son Edmund on the throne of Sicily, despite investing large amounts of money, he was prevented from doing so by rebellions in Gascony. By 1258, Henry's rule was unpopular, the result of the failure of his expensive foreign policies and the notoriety of his Poitevin half-brothers, the Lusignans, as well as the role of his local officials in collecting taxes and debts.
A coalition of his barons probably backed by Eleanor, seized power in a coup d'état and expelled the Poitevins from England, reforming the royal government through a process called the Provisions of Oxford. Henry and the baronial government enacted a peace with France in 1259, under which Henry gave up his rights to his other lands in France in return for King Louis IX recognising him as the rightful ruler of Gascony; the baronial regime collapsed but Henry was unable to reform a stable government and instability across England continued. In 1263, one of the more radical barons, Simon de Montfort, seized power, resulting in the Second Barons' War. Henry mobilised an army; the Battle of Lewes occurred in 1264, where Henry was taken prisoner. Henry's eldest son, escaped from captivity to defeat de Montfort at the Battle of Evesham the following year and freed his father. Henry enacted a harsh revenge on the remaining rebels, but was persuaded by the Church to mollify his policies through the Dictum of Kenilworth.
Reconstruction was slow and Henry had to acquiesce to various measures, including further suppression of the Jews, to maintain baronial and popular support. Henry died in 1272, he was buried in Westminster Abbey, which he had rebuilt in the second half of his reign, was moved to his current tomb in 1290. Some miracles were declared after his death. Henry was born in Winchester Castle on 1 October 1207, he was the eldest son of King Isabella of Angoulême. Little is known of Henry's early life, he was looked after by a wet nurse called Ellen in the south of England, away from John's itinerant court, had close ties to his mother. Henry had four legitimate younger brothers and sisters – Richard, Joan and Eleanor – and various older illegitimate siblings. In 1212 his education was entrusted to the Bishop of Winchester. Little is known about Henry's appearance. Henry grew up to show flashes of a fierce temper, but as historian David Carpenter describes, he had an "amiable, easy-going, sympathetic" personality.
He was unaffected and honest, showed his emotions easily being moved to tears by religious sermons. At the start of the 13th century, the Kingdom of England formed part of the Angevin Empire spreading across Western Europe. Henry was named after his grandfather, Henry II, who had built up this vast network of lands stretching from Scotland and Wales, through England, across the English Channel to the territories of Normandy, Brittany and Anjou in north-west France, onto Poitou and Gascony in the south-west. For many years the French Crown was weak, enabling first Henry II, his sons Richard and John, to dominate France. In 1204, John lost Normandy, Brittany and Anjou to Philip II of France, leaving English power on the continent limited to Gascony and Poitou. John raised taxes to pay for military campaigns to regain his lands, but unrest grew among many of the English
Crown (English coin)
The crown known as the "crown of the double rose", was an English coin introduced as part of King Henry VIII's monetary reform of 1526, with a value of five Shillings. The first such coins were minted in 22 carat "crown gold", the first silver crowns were produced in 1551 during the brief reign of King Edward VI. However, some crowns continued to be minted in gold until 1662. No crowns were minted in the reign of Mary I, but silver as well as gold crowns again appeared in the reign of her successor Elizabeth I; until the time of the Commonwealth of England it was usual for some crowns to be minted in gold as well as in silver, so both versions of the coin can be found for James I and Charles I. The silver crown was one of a number of European silver coins which first appeared in the 16th century, all of which were of a similar diameter and weight, so were more or less interchangeable in international trade. English silver crowns were minted in all reigns from that of Elizabeth I; the Charles II Petition Crown, engraved by Thomas Simon, is exceptionally rare.
For the silver crowns, the composition was the Sterling Silver standard of 92.5 per cent silver and 7.5 per cent copper established in the 12th century by Henry II. This was harder-wearing than fine silver, yet still a high grade; the hardness discouraged the practice of "clipping", although this practice was further discouraged with the introduction of the milled edge. With the creation of the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707, the English Crown was superseded by the British Crown, still minted, although now with a face value of five pounds
Henry V of England
Henry V called Henry of Monmouth, was King of England from 1413 until his early death in 1422. He was the second English monarch of the House of Lancaster. Despite his short reign, Henry's outstanding military successes in the Hundred Years' War against France, most notably in his famous victory at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, made England one of the strongest military powers in Europe. Immortalised in the plays of Shakespeare, Henry is known and celebrated as one of the great warrior kings of medieval England. In his youth, during the reign of his father Henry IV, Henry gained military experience fighting the Welsh during the revolt of Owain Glyndŵr and against the powerful aristocratic Percy family of Northumberland at the Battle of Shrewsbury. Henry acquired an increasing share in England's government due to the king's declining health, but disagreements between father and son led to political conflict between the two. After his father's death in 1413, Henry assumed control of the country and asserted the pending English claim to the French throne.
In 1415, Henry embarked on war with France in the ongoing Hundred Years' War between the two nations. His military successes culminated in his famous victory at the Battle of Agincourt and saw him come close to conquering France. Taking advantage of political divisions within France, he conquered large portions of the kingdom and Normandy was occupied by the English for the first time since 1345–1360. After months of negotiation with Charles VI of France, the Treaty of Troyes recognised Henry V as regent and heir apparent to the French throne and he was subsequently married to Charles's daughter, Catherine of Valois. Following this arrangement, everything seemed to point to the formation of a union between the kingdoms of France and England, in the person of King Henry, his sudden and unexpected death in France two years condemned England to the long and difficult minority of his infant son and successor, who reigned as Henry VI in England and Henry II in France. Henry was born in the tower above the gatehouse of Monmouth Castle in Wales, for that reason was sometimes called Henry of Monmouth.
He was the son of Henry of Bolingbroke and Mary de Bohun, thus the paternal grandson of the influential John of Gaunt, great-grandson of Edward III of England. At the time of his birth, Richard II, his first cousin once removed, was king. Henry's grandfather, John of Gaunt, was the king's guardian; as he was not close to the line of succession to the throne, Henry's date of birth was not documented. However, records indicate that his younger brother Thomas was born in the autumn of 1387 and that his parents were at Monmouth in 1386 but not in 1387, it is now accepted that he was born on 16 September 1386. Upon the exile of Henry's father in 1398, Richard II took the boy into his own charge and treated him kindly; the young Henry accompanied King Richard to Ireland. While in the royal service, he visited Trim Castle in County Meath, the ancient meeting place of the Irish Parliament. In 1399, Henry's grandfather died. In the same year, King Richard II was overthrown by the Lancastrian usurpation that brought Henry's father to the throne and Henry was recalled from Ireland into prominence as heir apparent to the Kingdom of England.
He was created Prince of Wales at his father's coronation and Duke of Lancaster on 10 November 1399, the third person to hold the title that year. His other titles were Duke of Earl of Chester and Duke of Aquitaine. A contemporary record notes that during that year, Henry spent time at The Queen's College, Oxford under the care of his uncle Henry Beaufort, the chancellor of the university. From 1400 to 1404, he carried out the duties of High Sheriff of Cornwall. Less than three years Henry was in command of part of the English forces, he led his own army into Wales against Owain Glyndŵr and joined forces with his father to fight Henry "Hotspur" Percy at the Battle of Shrewsbury in 1403. It was there that the sixteen-year-old prince was killed by an arrow that became stuck in his face. An ordinary soldier might have died from such a wound, but Henry had the benefit of the best possible care. Over a period of several days, John Bradmore, the royal physician, treated the wound with honey to act as an antiseptic, crafted a tool to screw into the broken arrow shaft and thus extract the arrow without doing further damage, flushed the wound with alcohol.
The operation was successful, but it left Henry with permanent scars, evidence of his experience in battle. For eighteen months in 1410–11, Henry was in control of the country during his father's ill health and took full advantage of the opportunity to impose his own policies; when the king recovered, he dismissed the prince from his council. The Welsh revolt of Owain Glyndŵr absorbed Henry's energies until 1408; as a result of the king's ill health, Henry began to take a wider share in politics. From January 1410, helped by his uncles Henry Beaufort and Thomas Beaufort, legitimised sons of John of Gaunt, he had practical control of the government. Both in foreign and domestic policy he differed from the king, who discharged the prince from the council in November 1411; the quarrel of father and son was political only, though it is probable that the Beauforts had discussed the abdication of Henry IV. Their opponents endeavoured to defame the prince, it may be that the tradition of Henry's riotous youth, immortalised by Shakespeare, is due to political enmity.
Henry's record of involvement in war and politics in his youth, disproves this tradition. The most famous incident, his quarrel wi