During the 1140s, an unusual series of coins began to be produced in the Southwest of England. These pieces effectively combine an obverse design utilised on the ‘Watford’ pence of Stephen with the reverse of Henry I type XV pieces (quadrilateral on cross-fleury). Encountered in the names of Earls William/Robert of Gloucester and Patrick of Salisbury, these coins were also struck in the name of Henry of Anjou (the future Henry II) – son of Henry I’s daughter Matilda and Count Geoffrey of Anjou. This article brings to light a new cut halfpenny struck for the latter, and demonstrates that the type (those struck in the name of Henry) in fact encompasses several different die-groups.
The BMC type I or ‘Watford’ pence of Stephen are his most commonly encountered issue, with hundreds known from old collections, museums and (more recently) as detecting finds. Though the greatest output of this issue is from the mint of London, there were also a large number of ‘provincial’ mints striking the type. One of the latter, only properly evinced as a mint in the mid 20th century, is Rye in East Sussex. In recent years, the number of coins struck at Rye has increased as a number of detector finds have been recorded on the EMC and PAS databases. This article seeks to achieve two objectives: first, to summarise the known examples of Rye mint ‘Watford’ issues and produce some small analysis into the number of dies alongside historical research concerning this mint. Secondly, to effectively publish a new Rye coin which has recently surfaced in the author’s collection.
In 1795 a large hoard of over 1000 coins of Edward the Confessor and William I was unearthed in the orchard of Mr Shelley at Oulton, Staffordshire. Very little is known about the hoard other than there are no known Harold II coins and the William I coins are limited to BMC i and ii. P.H. Robinson contributed two articles to the Journal, the first in British Numismatic Journal Volume XXXVIII (1969), pp 24-30, The Stafford (1800) and Oulton (1795) Hoards and the second to the Miscellania section of Volume XLIX (1979). A small parcel of coins from the Oulton hoard which have been in the hands of the Shelley family since the 18th century has recently come to auction in Australia where members of the family have lived since the 1860’s. This parcel doubles the number of proven coins from the hoard.