Henry VII of England
Henry VII was the King of England and Lord of Ireland from his seizure of the crown on 22 August 1485 to his death on 21 April 1509. He was the first monarch of the House of Tudor. Henry attained the throne when his forces defeated King Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth Field, the culmination of the Wars of the Roses, he was the last king of England to win his throne on the field of battle. He cemented his claim by marrying Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV and niece of Richard III. Henry was successful in restoring the power and stability of the English monarchy after the civil war, his supportive stance of the British Isles' wool industry and his standoff with the Low Countries had long-lasting benefits to all of the British economy. However, the capriciousness and lack of due process that indebted many would tarnish his legacy and were soon ended upon Henry VII's death, after a commission revealed widespread abuses. According to the contemporary historian Polydore Vergil, simple "greed" underscored the means by which royal control was over-asserted in Henry's final years.
Henry can be credited with a number of administrative and diplomatic initiatives. He paid close attention to detail, instead of spending lavishly he concentrated on raising new revenues and after a reign of nearly 24 years, he was peacefully succeeded by his son, Henry VIII; the new taxes were unpopular and two days after his coronation, Henry VIII arrested his father's two most unpopular ministers, Sir Richard Empson and Edmund Dudley. They were charged with high treason and were executed in 1510. Henry VII was born at Pembroke Castle on 28 January 1457 to Countess of Richmond, his father, Edmund Tudor, 1st Earl of Richmond, died three months before his birth. Henry's paternal grandfather, Owen Tudor from the Tudors of Penmynydd, Isle of Anglesey in Wales, had been a page in the court of Henry V, he rose to become one of the "Squires to the Body to the King" after military service at the Battle of Agincourt. Owen is said to have secretly married the widow of Catherine of Valois. One of their sons was Edmund Tudor, father of Henry VII.
Edmund was created Earl of Richmond in 1452, "formally declared legitimate by Parliament". Henry's main claim to the English throne derived from his mother through the House of Beaufort. Henry's mother, Lady Margaret Beaufort, was a great-granddaughter of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, fourth son of Edward III, his third wife Katherine Swynford. Katherine was Gaunt's mistress for about 25 years, thus Henry's claim was somewhat tenuous: it was from a woman, by illegitimate descent. In theory, the Portuguese and Castilian royal families had a better claim as descendants of Catherine of Lancaster, the daughter of John of Gaunt and his second wife Constance of Castile. Gaunt's nephew Richard II legitimised Gaunt's children by Katherine Swynford by Letters Patent in 1397. In 1407, Henry IV, Gaunt's son by his first wife, issued new Letters Patent confirming the legitimacy of his half-siblings, but declaring them ineligible for the throne. Henry IV's action was of doubtful legality, as the Beauforts were legitimised by an Act of Parliament, but it further weakened Henry's claim.
Nonetheless, by 1483 Henry was the senior male Lancastrian claimant remaining, after the deaths in battle or by murder or execution of Henry VI, his son Edward of Westminster, Prince of Wales, the other Beaufort line of descent through Lady Margaret's uncle, the 2nd Duke of Somerset. Henry made some political capital out of his Welsh ancestry, for example in attracting military support and safeguarding his army's passage through Wales on its way to the Battle of Bosworth, he came from an old, established Anglesey family that claimed descent from Cadwaladr, on occasion Henry displayed the red dragon of Cadwaladr. He took it, as well as the standard of St George, on his procession through London after the victory at Bosworth. A contemporary writer and Henry's biographer, Bernard André made much of Henry's Welsh descent. In reality, his hereditary connections to Welsh aristocracy were not strong, he was descended by the paternal line, through several generations, from Ednyfed Fychan, the seneschal of Gwynedd and through this seneschal's wife from Rhys ap Tewdwr, the King of Deheubarth in South Wales.
His more immediate ancestor, Tudur ap Goronwy, had aristocratic land rights, but his sons, who were first cousins to Owain Glyndŵr, sided with Owain in his revolt. One son was executed and the family land was forfeited. Another son, Henry's great-grandfather, became a butler to the Bishop of Bangor. Owen Tudor, the son of the butler, like the children of other rebels, was provided for by Henry V, a circumstance that precipitated his access to Queen Catherine of Valois. Notwithstanding this lineage, to the bards of Wales, Henry was a candidate for Y Mab Darogan – "The Son of Prophecy" who would free the Welsh from oppression. In 1456, Henry's father Edmund Tudor was captured while fighting for Henry VI in South Wales against the Yorkists, he died in three months before Henry was born. Henry's uncle Jasper Tudor, the Earl of Pembroke and Edmund's younger brother, undertook to protect the young widow, 13 years old when she gave birth to Henry; when Edward IV became King in 1461, Jasper Tudor went into exile abroad.
Pembroke Castle, the Earldom of Pembroke, were granted to the Yorkist William Herbert, who assumed the guardianship of Margaret Beaufort and the young Henry. Henry lived in the Herbert household
History of the English penny (1485–1603)
The History of the English penny from 1485 to 1603 covers the period of the Tudor dynasty. Henry Tudor, who reigned as King Henry VII between 1485 and 1509, had a rather tenuous claim on the throne, being the Lancastrian claimant via an illegitimate descendant of Edward III when all the more senior candidates had been killed off in the Wars of the Roses, he brought the wars to a conclusion with his 1485 victory at The Battle of Bosworth and subsequently consolidated this power through a variety of means, including his marriage to Elizabeth of York Henry VII's reign was plagued by pretenders to the throne, whose existence was a result of the King's insecure grasp of power. He was able to subdue each of these attempted usurpers without particular difficulty; the whole style of Henry's coinage marked a break with what had gone before — the king's bust becomes much more lifelike, the shields on the reverse become much more detailed. Henry's first coinage is like that of Henry V and VI, minted at London, Canterbury and York the inscription is one of a variety of HENRIC DI GRA REX ANG — Henry by the grace of God King of England.
Soon, Henry introduced what is known as the Sovereign coinage, so-called because the king is depicted seated on a throne, while the reverse shows the royal shield over a cross. This issue is regarded as marking the division between the coins of the Middle Ages and of the Renaissance in England; the Sovereign coinage was minted at London and York, inscribed with one of a variety of HENRICUS DI GRA REX ANG. Henry VIII is one of England's more interesting monarchs, not just for having married six times, but numismatically too. Henry's first coinage still used his father's portrait. With higher bullion prices on the continent, the weight of the silver coins was reduced again. Pennies were minted at the London and Durham mints. With the reformation starting in the 1530s, the principal effect as far as the coinage was concerned was the closure of the ecclesiastical mints of Canterbury and York — in future all mints would be Royal mints, under the control of the crown who would get all the revenue; the second coinage, of 1526–1544 had a different inscription, H.
D. G. ROSA SIE SPIA — Henry by the grace of God a rose without a thorn. At this time the pound standard for mintage was changed from the local Tower pound to the internationally known troy pound; the coins were minted at London, the Canterbury and York ecclesiastical mints. The Dissolution of the Monasteries in the 1530s and the ratification of the First Act of Supremacy in 1534 resulted in a huge financial bonus for the king, but by 1544 Henry was running short of money, thanks to his own extravagant lifestyle and expenditure. Henry's solution was to drastically lower the fineness of the third coinage to only one-third silver and two-thirds copper; this was understandably not popular with the people, it resulted in Henry acquiring the nickname "Old Coppernose" as the silver rubbed off the high-relief part of the coin design. By this time there were two mints in London, at the Tower and in Southwark, both of them, together with mints in Bristol and York produced the debased coinage which bore the inscription H.
D. G. ROSA SINE SPINA; the debased coinage caused rampant inflation, so when Henry died in 1547 he left behind a country with a sickly nine-year-old king, religious turmoil, economic unrest. Moreover, the influx of silver and gold from Central and South America into Spain and thus to the rest of Europe was destabilising the price of bullion and making the situation worse; until 1551, what is known as the posthumous coinage was produced — these were coins which were the same as Henry's last issue, but with a different portrait of him. Inflation over the last thirty years had made the penny much less important, in fact for the next few reigns the most common coins would be shillings and groats; the reign of Edward VI though short was numismatically important for seeing the introduction of new denominations — the silver crown, half crown, shilling and Threepence — which were to survive until 1971, which were a reflection of the increasing wealth of the country. The new coins were struck with the aim of revitalising the economy.
Edward VI's pennies however, were still struck in debased metal at the Tower, Southwark and York, with the inscription E. D. G. ROSA SINE SPINA — Edward by the grace of God a rose without a thorn. In 1553 Edward died and was succeeded — after the nine-day rule of Lady Jane Grey — by his older sister, the Catholic Queen Mary. Pennies of her first year, bearing her head alone with the inscription M. D. G. ROSA SINE SPINA — Mary by the grace of God a rose without a thorn — are quite rare. In 1554 she married Philip, the Prince of Spain, put his portrait on the coinage as well as her own. Both fine silver and base metal pennies of this reign were issued from the Tower mint, with the legend P Z M D G ROSA SINE SPINA — Philip and Mary by the grace of God a rose without a thorn; when Elizabeth I ascended the throne in 1558, England was an impoverished country, in religious turmoil, with a coinage, in a poor state after Henry VIII's debasement, since when little had been done to improve either the quantity or quality of the coins in circulation.
The coinage system as a whole urgently needed reform, Elizabeth boldly set about doing this. Throughout her reign large quantities of gold and silver coins of many denominations were pro
Tower of London
The Tower of London Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London, is a historic castle located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the eastern edge of the square mile of the City of London by the open space known as Tower Hill, it was founded towards the end of 1066 as part of the Norman Conquest of England. The White Tower, which gives the entire castle its name, was built by William the Conqueror in 1078 and was a resented symbol of oppression, inflicted upon London by the new ruling elite; the castle was used as a prison from 1100 until 1952, although, not its primary purpose. A grand palace early in its history, it served as a royal residence; as a whole, the Tower is a complex of several buildings set within two concentric rings of defensive walls and a moat. There were several phases of expansion under Kings Richard I, Henry III, Edward I in the 12th and 13th centuries; the general layout established by the late 13th century remains despite activity on the site.
The Tower of London has played a prominent role in English history. It was besieged several times, controlling it has been important to controlling the country; the Tower has served variously as an armoury, a treasury, a menagerie, the home of the Royal Mint, a public record office, the home of the Crown Jewels of England. From the early 14th century until the reign of Charles II, a procession would be led from the Tower to Westminster Abbey on the coronation of a monarch. In the absence of the monarch, the Constable of the Tower is in charge of the castle; this was a trusted position in the medieval period. In the late 15th century, the castle was the prison of the Princes in the Tower. Under the Tudors, the Tower became used less as a royal residence, despite attempts to refortify and repair the castle, its defences lagged behind developments to deal with artillery; the peak period of the castle's use as a prison was the 16th and 17th centuries, when many figures who had fallen into disgrace, such as Elizabeth I before she became queen, Sir Walter Raleigh, Elizabeth Throckmorton, were held within its walls.
This use has led to the phrase "sent to the Tower". Despite its enduring reputation as a place of torture and death, popularised by 16th-century religious propagandists and 19th-century writers, only seven people were executed within the Tower before the World Wars of the 20th century. Executions were more held on the notorious Tower Hill to the north of the castle, with 112 occurring there over a 400-year period. In the latter half of the 19th century, institutions such as the Royal Mint moved out of the castle to other locations, leaving many buildings empty. Anthony Salvin and John Taylor took the opportunity to restore the Tower to what was felt to be its medieval appearance, clearing out many of the vacant post-medieval structures. In the First and Second World Wars, the Tower was again used as a prison and witnessed the executions of 12 men for espionage. After the Second World War, damage caused during the Blitz was repaired, the castle reopened to the public. Today, the Tower of London is one of the country's most popular tourist attractions.
Under the ceremonial charge of the Constable of the Tower, operated by the Resident Governor of the Tower of London and Keeper of the Jewel House, the property is cared for by the charity Historic Royal Palaces and is protected as a World Heritage Site. The Tower was orientated with its strongest and most impressive defences overlooking Saxon London, which archaeologist Alan Vince suggests was deliberate, it stood out to traffic on the River Thames. The castle enclosures; the innermost ward is the earliest phase of the castle. Encircling it to the north and west is the inner ward, built during the reign of Richard I. There is the outer ward which encompasses the castle and was built under Edward I. Although there were several phases of expansion after William the Conqueror founded the Tower of London, the general layout has remained the same since Edward I completed his rebuild in 1285; the castle encloses an area of 12 acres with a further 6 acres around the Tower of London constituting the Tower Liberties – land under the direct influence of the castle and cleared for military reasons.
The precursor of the Liberties was laid out in the 13th century when Henry III ordered that a strip of land adjacent to the castle be kept clear. Despite popular fiction, the Tower of London never had a permanent torture chamber, although the basement of the White Tower housed a rack in periods. Tower Wharf was built on the bank of the Thames under Edward I and was expanded to its current size during the reign of Richard II; the White Tower is a keep, the strongest structure in a medieval castle, contained lodgings suitable for the lord – in this case, the king or his representative. According to military historian Allen Brown, "The great tower was by virtue of its strength and lordly accommodation, the donjon par excellence"; as one of the largest keeps in the Christian world, the White Tower has been described as "the most complete eleventh-century palace in Europe". The White Tower, not including its projecting corner towers, measures 36 by 32 metres at the base, is 27 m high at the southern battlements.
The structure was three storeys high, comprising a basement floor, an entrance level, an upper floor. The entrance, as is usual in Norman keeps, was above ground
Threepence (British coin)
The British threepence coin simply known as a threepence or threepenny bit, was a unit of currency equaling one eightieth of a pound sterling, or three old pence sterling. It was used in the United Kingdom, earlier in Great Britain and England. Similar denominations were used throughout the British Empire, notably in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa; the sum of three pence was pronounced variously THRUUP-ənss, THREP-ənss or THRUP-ənss, reflecting different pronunciations in the various regions of the United Kingdom. The coin was referred to in conversation as a THRUUP-nee, THREP-nee or THRUP-nee bit. Before Decimal Day in 1971 there were two hundred and forty pence in one pound sterling. Twelve pence made a shilling, twenty shillings made a pound. Values less than a pound were written in terms of shillings and pence, e.g. forty-two pence would be three shillings and six pence, pronounced "three and six". Values of less than a shilling were written in terms of pence, e.g. eight pence would be 8d.
The three pence coin – expressed in writing as "3d" – first appeared in England during the fine silver coinage of King Edward VI, when it formed part of a set of new denominations. Although it was an easy denomination to work with in the context of the old sterling coinage system, being a quarter of a shilling it was not popular with the public who preferred the groat. Hence the coin was not minted in the following two reigns. Edward VI threepences were struck at the York mints; the obverse shows a front-facing bust of the king, with a rose to the left and the value numeral III to the right, surrounded by the legend EDWARD VI D G ANG FRA Z HIB REX. The reverse shows a long cross over the royal shield, surrounded by the legend POSUI DEUM ADIUTOREM MEUM, or CIVITAS EBORACI. Queen Elizabeth I produced threepences during her third coinage. Most 1561 issues are 21 mm in diameter, while ones are 19 mm in diameter; these coins are identifiable from other denominations by the rose behind the queen's head on the obverse, the date on the reverse.
The obverse shows a left-facing crowned bust of the queen with a rose behind her, surrounded by the legend ELIZABETH D G ANG FR ET HIB REGINA, while the reverse shows shield over a long cross, dated 1561, surrounded by the legend POSUI DEU ADIUTOREM MEU. Dates used for the smaller coins were 1561–77. Threepences of the fourth coinage are identical except for having a lower silver content. There was a rare milled coinage threepence, produced between 1561 and 1564 with similar designs and inscriptions to the hammered coinage threepences; the threepence denomination fell out of use again during the reign of King James I, while during King Charles I's reign it was not produced at the London Tower mint, but was produced at various provincial mints. The denomination is identified by the numeral III appearing behind the king's head. By far the most common Charles I threepences were produced at the Aberystwyth mint between 1638 and 1642, they feature a left-facing crowned bust of the king with plumes in front of his face and the numeral III behind him, with the legend CAROLUS DG MA B FR ET H REX, with the reverse showing the royal arms on a large oval shield with plumes above the shield, the legend CHRISTO AUSPICE REGNO – I reign under the auspices of Christ.
Plumes were the identifying symbol of the Aberystwyth mint, but the Bristol and Oxford mints used dies from the Aberystwyth mint so plumes appear on their output too. Milled coins were produced at the York mint between 1638 and 1649, which look similar to the Aberystwyth product but without the plumes – the obverse features a left-facing crowned bust of the king with the numeral III behind him, with the legend CAROLUS D G MAG BR FR ET HI REX, with the reverse showing the royal arms on a shield over a cross, with EBOR over the shield and the legend CHRISTO AUSPICE REGNO. Coins were produced at the Oxford mint between 1644 and 1646, using the Aberystwyth dies for the obverse, while the reverse of the 1644 coin shows the Declaration of Oxford in three lines: RELI PRO LEG ANG LIB PAR. 1644 OX – The religion of the Protestants, the laws of England, the liberty of Parliament. 1644 Oxford, while around the outside of the coin is the legend EXURGAT DEUS DISSIPENTUR INIMICI – Let God arise and His enemies be scattered.
This coin appears dated 1646. A further type produced at Oxford had on the obverse the king's bust with the denomination behind him, the letter "R" below the king's shoulder and the legend CAROLUS D G M BR F ET H REX and the Aberystwyth reverse; the mint at Bristol produced rare threepences in 1644 and 1645. In 1644 the Aberystwyth obverse was used to produce a coin with the reverse showing the Declaration of Oxford: REL PRO LEG AN LIB PA 1644 – The religion of the Protestants, the laws of England, the liberty of Parliament 1644, while around the outside of the coin is the legend EXURGAT DEUS DISSIPENTUR INIMICI – Let God arise and His enemies be scattered; this was with a plumelet instead of a plume in front of the king's face. In 1644 the Exeter mint produced a scarce threepence, it features a left-facing crowned bust of the king with the numeral III behind him, with the legend CAROLUS D G MA BR F ET H RE, with the reverse showing the royal arms on a shield with the date 1644 above the shield, the legend CHRISTO AUSPICE REGNO.
No threepences were produced by the Commonwealth of England. The final hammered coinage threepences were produced at the start of
Bristol is a city and county in South West England with a population of 459,300. The wider district has the 10th-largest population in England; the urban area population of 724,000 is the 8th-largest in the UK. The city borders North Somerset and South Gloucestershire, with the cities of Bath and Gloucester to the south-east and north-east, respectively. South Wales lies across the Severn estuary. Iron Age hill forts and Roman villas were built near the confluence of the rivers Frome and Avon, around the beginning of the 11th century the settlement was known as Brycgstow. Bristol received a royal charter in 1155 and was divided between Gloucestershire and Somerset until 1373, when it became a county of itself. From the 13th to the 18th century, Bristol was among the top three English cities after London in tax receipts. Bristol was surpassed by the rapid rise of Birmingham and Liverpool in the Industrial Revolution. Bristol was a starting place for early voyages of exploration to the New World.
On a ship out of Bristol in 1497 John Cabot, a Venetian, became the first European since the Vikings to land on mainland North America. In 1499 William Weston, a Bristol merchant, was the first Englishman to lead an exploration to North America. At the height of the Bristol slave trade, from 1700 to 1807, more than 2,000 slave ships carried an estimated 500,000 people from Africa to slavery in the Americas; the Port of Bristol has since moved from Bristol Harbour in the city centre to the Severn Estuary at Avonmouth and Royal Portbury Dock. Bristol's modern economy is built on the creative media and aerospace industries, the city-centre docks have been redeveloped as centres of heritage and culture; the city has the largest circulating community currency in the UK—the Bristol pound, pegged to the Pound sterling. The city has two universities, the University of Bristol and the University of the West of England, a variety of artistic and sporting organisations and venues including the Royal West of England Academy, the Arnolfini, Spike Island, Ashton Gate and the Memorial Stadium.
It is connected to London and other major UK cities by road and rail, to the world by sea and air: road, by the M5 and M4. One of the UK's most popular tourist destinations, Bristol was selected in 2009 as one of the world's top ten cities by international travel publishers Dorling Kindersley in their Eyewitness series of travel guides; the Sunday Times named it as the best city in Britain in which to live in 2014 and 2017, Bristol won the EU's European Green Capital Award in 2015. The most ancient recorded name for Bristol is the archaic Welsh Caer Odor, consistent with modern understanding that early Bristol developed between the River Frome and Avon Gorge, it is most stated that the Saxon name Bricstow was a simple calque of the existing Celtic name, with Bric a literal translation of Odor, the common Saxon suffix Stow replacing Caer. Alternative etymologies are supported by numerous orthographic variations in medieval documents, with Samuel Seyer enumerating 47 alternative forms; the Old English form Brycgstow is used to derive the meaning place at the bridge.
Utilizing another form, Rev. Dr. Shaw derived the name from the Celtic words bras, or braos and tuile; the poet Thomas Chatterton popularised a derivation from Brictricstow linking the town to Brictric, a leading landholder in the area. It appears that the form Bricstow prevailed until 1204, the Bristolian'L' is what changed the name to Bristol. Archaeological finds, including flint tools believed to be between 300,000 and 126,000 years old made with the Levallois technique, indicate the presence of Neanderthals in the Shirehampton and St Annes areas of Bristol during the Middle Palaeolithic. Iron Age hill forts near the city are at Leigh Woods and Clifton Down, on the side of the Avon Gorge, on Kings Weston Hill near Henbury. A Roman settlement, existed at what is now Sea Mills. Isolated Roman villas and small forts and settlements were scattered throughout the area. Bristol was founded by 1000. By 1067 Brycgstow was a well-fortified burh, that year the townsmen beat off a raiding party from Ireland led by three of Harold Godwinson's sons.
Under Norman rule, the town had one of the strongest castles in southern England. Bristol was the place of exile for Diarmait Mac Murchada, the Irish king of Leinster, after being overthrown; the Bristol merchants subsequently played a prominent role in funding Richard Strongbow de Clare and the Norman invasion of Ireland. The port developed in the 11th century around the confluence of the Rivers Frome and Avon, adjacent to Bristol Bridge just outside the town walls. By the 12th century Bristol was an important port, handling much of England's trade with Ireland, including slaves. There was an important Jewish community in Bristol from the late 12th century through to the late 13th century when all Jews were expelled from England; the stone bridge built in 1247 was replaced by the current bridge during the 1760s. The town incorporated neighbouring suburbs and became a county in 1373, the first town in England to be given this status. During this period, Bristol became manufacturing centre. By the 14th centur
James VI and I
James VI and I was King of Scotland as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and Ireland as James I from the union of the Scottish and English crowns on 24 March 1603 until his death in 1625. The kingdoms of Scotland and England were individual sovereign states, with their own parliaments and laws, though both were ruled by James in personal union. James was the son of Mary, Queen of Scots, a great-great-grandson of Henry VII, King of England and Lord of Ireland, positioning him to accede to all three thrones. James succeeded to the Scottish throne at the age of thirteen months, after his mother was compelled to abdicate in his favour. Four different regents governed during his minority, which ended in 1578, though he did not gain full control of his government until 1583. In 1603, he succeeded the last Tudor monarch of England and Ireland, Elizabeth I, who died childless, he continued to reign in all three kingdoms for 22 years, a period known after him as the Jacobean era, until his death in 1625 at the age of 58.
After the Union of the Crowns, he based himself in England from 1603, only returning to Scotland once in 1617, styled himself "King of Great Britain and Ireland". He was a major advocate of a single parliament for Scotland. In his reign, the Plantation of Ulster and British colonisation of the Americas began. At 57 years and 246 days, James's reign in Scotland was longer than those of any of his predecessors, he achieved most of his aims in Scotland but faced great difficulties in England, including the Gunpowder Plot in 1605 and repeated conflicts with the English Parliament. Under James, the "Golden Age" of Elizabethan literature and drama continued, with writers such as William Shakespeare, John Donne, Ben Jonson, Sir Francis Bacon contributing to a flourishing literary culture. James himself was a talented scholar, the author of works such as Daemonologie, The True Law of Free Monarchies, Basilikon Doron, he sponsored the translation of the Bible into English that would be named after him: the Authorised King James Version.
Sir Anthony Weldon claimed that James had been termed "the wisest fool in Christendom", an epithet associated with his character since. Since the latter half of the 20th century, historians have tended to revise James's reputation and treat him as a serious and thoughtful monarch, he was committed to a peace policy, tried to avoid involvement in religious wars the Thirty Years' War that devastated much of Central Europe. He tried but failed to prevent the rise of hawkish elements in the English Parliament who wanted war with Spain. James was the only son of Mary, Queen of Scots, her second husband, Henry Stuart, Lord Darnley. Both Mary and Darnley were great-grandchildren of Henry VII of England through Margaret Tudor, the older sister of Henry VIII. Mary's rule over Scotland was insecure, she and her husband, being Roman Catholics, faced a rebellion by Protestant noblemen. During Mary's and Darnley's difficult marriage, Darnley secretly allied himself with the rebels and conspired in the murder of the Queen's private secretary, David Rizzio, just three months before James's birth.
James was born on 19 June 1566 at Edinburgh Castle, as the eldest son and heir apparent of the monarch automatically became Duke of Rothesay and Prince and Great Steward of Scotland. He was baptised "Charles James" or "James Charles" on 17 December 1566 in a Catholic ceremony held at Stirling Castle, his godparents were Charles IX of France, Elizabeth I of England, Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy. Mary refused to let the Archbishop of St Andrews, whom she referred to as "a pocky priest", spit in the child's mouth, as was the custom; the subsequent entertainment, devised by Frenchman Bastian Pagez, featured men dressed as satyrs and sporting tails, to which the English guests took offence, thinking the satyrs "done against them". James's father, was murdered on 10 February 1567 at Kirk o' Field, Edinburgh in revenge for the killing of Rizzio. James inherited his father's titles of Duke of Earl of Ross. Mary was unpopular, her marriage on 15 May 1567 to James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell, suspected of murdering Darnley, heightened widespread bad feeling towards her.
In June 1567, Protestant rebels imprisoned her in Loch Leven Castle. She was forced to abdicate on 24 July 1567 in favour of the infant James and to appoint her illegitimate half-brother, James Stewart, Earl of Moray, as regent; the care of James was entrusted to the Earl and Countess of Mar, "to be conserved and upbrought" in the security of Stirling Castle. James was anointed King of Scots at the age of thirteen months at the Church of the Holy Rude, Stirling, by Adam Bothwell, Bishop of Orkney, on 29 July 1567; the sermon at the coronation was preached by John Knox. In accordance with the religious beliefs of most of the Scottish ruling class, James was brought up as a member of the Protestant Church of Scotland, the Kirk; the Privy Council selected George Buchanan, Peter Young, Adam Erskine, David Erskine as James's preceptors or tutors. As the young king's senior tutor, Buchanan subjected James to regular beatings but instilled in him a lifelong passion for literature and learning. Buchanan sought to turn James into a God-fearing, Protestant king who accepted the limitations of monarchy, as outlined in his treatise De Jure Regni apud Scotos.
In 1568, Mary escaped from her i
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