CORN-9A1215: Edward VI shillings (obverse)

Rights Holder: Royal Institution of Cornwall
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Rights Holder: Royal Institution of Cornwall
CC License:

Rights Holder: Royal Institution of Cornwall
CC License:

Rights Holder: Royal Institution of Cornwall
CC License:

Rights Holder: Royal Institution of Cornwall
CC License:

Rights Holder: Royal Institution of Cornwall
CC License:

Rights Holder: Royal Institution of Cornwall
CC License:

Rights Holder: Royal Institution of Cornwall
CC License:

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COIN HOARD

Unique ID: CORN-9A1215

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Awaiting validation Find awaiting validation

Seven silver-plated copper alloy copies of silver shillings of Edward VI (1547-1553); the bust is not like either Bust 3 or 4 which should be found on a coin of this date and mint, which suggests an attempt at a forgery, where the face has been carved into the die by hand, so that the cheeks, ear and nose do not resemble the correct busts. The coins seem to have been hammered from two different dies as they all have the same 't' mintmark for Canterbury (Spink 2468, North 1921) on the obverse and the arrow for the year 1549 on the reverse, where there is also the same mistake in the legend which reads TINOR and not TIMOR DOMINI FONS VITE. MDXLIX.

It is likely that many forgeries like these were in currency at the time of Edward VI's reign, as a proclamation of 30 April, 1551, mentions that coins were being counterfeited both abroad in and in England and orders the profile shilling to be made current at 9d. Since April 1549 several mints had been striking shillings of 6 rather than 8 ounces fine, with their weight reduced from 80 to 60 grains, or from about 5 to 3.9 grams. So these forgeries were probably produced between April 1549 and October 1551, when Edward issued his first 'Fine' coins and drove out of currency the worst issues of his reign (J.D.A. Thompson, 1948, 101). These coins on average weigh about 5 g, so they appear to be trying to copy the heavier originals.

Notes:

These are likely associated with a hoard of nine forged silver plated copper alloy shillings of Edward VI that were found in 1946 on the same hillside in the vicinity of a castle which dates from the time of Edward VI (HER PRN 7293). These also have different mints on the obverse and the reverse of the coins (Thompson, 1948, 102). The recorder is in correspondence with the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford where these coins were first identified and were last seen, but until they are found, this group does not fall under the definition of Treasure under the Treasure Act 1996.

The first two coins pictured are from Findspot 1, and the group of five coins are from Findspot 2.

The measurements below represent one of the coins (on the left) from Findspot 1 which is in the best condition and almost complete.

The last four photographs have been taken after cleaning and conservation by Laura Ratcliffe at the Royal Cornwall Museum (report on file) and are in numerical order as the coins are numbered from 1 to 7.

Subsequent actions

Current location of find: Isles of Scilly Museum, St Mary's
Subsequent action after recording: Donated to a museum

Chronology

Broad period: POST MEDIEVAL
Subperiod from: Early
Period from: POST MEDIEVAL
Date from: Circa AD 1549
Date to: Circa AD 1551

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 7
Thickness: 1 mm
Weight: 4.4 g
Diameter: 32 mm

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Friday 3rd August 2012 - Wednesday 5th September 2012

Personal details

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Other reference numbers

SMR reference number: PRN 7293

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Secondary material: Silver
Manufacture method: Struck or hammered
Completeness: Incomplete
Surface Treatment: White metal coated

Spatial metadata

Region: South West (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Isles of Scilly (Unitary Authority)
District: Isles of Scilly (Unitary Authority)
Parish or ward: Tresco (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SV8816
Four figure Latitude: 49.962439
Four figure longitude: -6.35200785
1:25K map: SV8816
1:10K map: SV86SW
Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Other chance find
Discovery circumstances: Found while walking on holiday.
Current location: Isles of Scilly Museum, St Mary's
General landuse: Grassland, Heathland
Specific landuse: Heathland

References cited

Author Publication Year Title Publication Place Publisher Pages Reference
Kitchen, G.M., Sinclair, M. and Skingley, P. 2004 Coins of England and The United Kingdom Spink and Sons Ltd 224, No.2468
North, J.J. 1991 English Hammered Coinage: Volume 2. Edward I to Charles II, 1272-1662 London Spink and Son Ltd 102, No.1921
Thompson, J.D.A. 1948 Numismatic Chronicle Series 6 London Royal Numismatic Society 100-103

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: CORN
Created: 9 years ago
Updated: 9 years ago

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