The voided long cross coinage
(1247-1279)

A decision was made at the King's Council held at Oxford in 1247 to undertake a major recoinage, due to the poor quality of the coinage in circulation. The king's brother, Richard, earl of Cornwall provided 10,000 marks in silver in return for a half-share of the proceeds from the recoinage. Initially only the London, Canterbury and Bury St. Edmunds mints were employed, however in 1248 a further eight mints opened. These mints were closed in 1250 and the type modified to include the king holding a sceptre, only the London, Canterbury, Bury St. Edmunds and Durham mint remained open. Following Henry III death in 1272 the coinage continued to be struck in his name during the early years of Edward I reign.

As only pennies were struck, coins were frequently cut into halves and quarters to make halfpennies and farthings. The cross on the reverse aided this practice.

In 1257, a gold coin was struck to the value of 20 silver pennies. Known today as the 'Gold Penny' the issue was intended to mirror the adoption of gold coinage by Florence, France and Naples a few years earlier. Initially undervalued against silver the coinage this experiment proved unsuccessful. It was revalued at 24 silver pence in 1270, however the majority specimens must have been melted down. All the known examples (less than 10) are struck by the king's goldsmith Willem at the London mint. 

The primary work on this series is by L.A. Lawrence and arranges the coinage into seven classes with further sub-classes. An extremely useful book on this coinage is Christopher Wren's guide to identification.

The illustrations below give only a broad outline of the coinage, those seeking more detailed information should look in North's English Hammered Coinage Volume I and to the specialist works below.

 
  Henry III, Class 1a, b (1247-1248)
CLASS 1a
OBVERSE
HENRICVS REX
(star & crescent at 12 o'clock)
Crowned facing bust, no sceptre.
 
REVERSE
ANGLIE TERCI
(no mint or moneyer's name)
Voided long cross with trefoil of pellets in each angle.
 
(Illustrated left)
CLASS 1b
OBVERSE
HENRICVS REX ANG
Crowned facing bust, no sceptre.
 
REVERSE
LIE TERCI (mint name)
Voided long cross with trefoil of pellets in each angle
Touch image to learn more
 
  Henry III, Class 2a, b (1248)
OBVERSE
HENRICVS REX TERCI
(star at 12 o'clock)
Crowned facing bust, no sceptre.
 
REVERSE
Moneyer's and Mint's name
Voided long cross with trefoil of pellets in each angle.
 
 
Touch image to learn more
  Henry III, Class 3a, ab, b, bc, c (1248-1250)
OBVERSE
HENRICVS REX III
(star at 12 o'clock)
Crowned facing bust, no sceptre.
 
REVERSE
Moneyer's and Mint's name
Voided long cross with trefoil of pellets in each angle
Touch image to learn more
 
Henry III, Class 4a, ab, b,  (1250-1251)
5a1, 5a2, 5a3, b1, b2, c-i (1251-1272)
OBVERSE
HENRICVS REX III
(star at 12 o'clock)
Crowned facing bust, with sceptre.
 
REVERSE
Moneyer's and Mint's name
Voided long cross with trefoil of pellets in each angle
 
Touch image to learn more
Edward I,  Class 6, 7 (1269-1279)
OBVERSE
HENRICVS REX III
(star at 12 o'clock)
More realistic looking crowned facing bust, with sceptre.
 
REVERSE
Moneyer's and Mint's name
Voided long cross with trefoil of pellets in each angle
 
 
Touch image to learn more
 
 

 

Mints & Moneyers

Bristol Elis, Henri, Iacob, Roger, Walter
Bury St. Edmunds Ion, Randulf, Renaud, Stephane
Canterbury Alein, Ambroci, Gilebert, Ion, Nicole, Ricard, Robert, Walter, Willem
Carlisle Adam, Ion, Robert, Willem
Durham Ricard, Roger, Willem
Exeter

Ion, Philip, Robert, Walter

Gloucester Ion, Lucas, Ricard, Roger
Hereford Henri, Ricard, Roger, Walter
Ilchester Huge, Jerveis, Randulf, Stephen
Lincoln Ion, Ricard, Walter, Willem
London Davi, Henri, Iohan, Nicole. Renaud, Ricard, Robert, Thomas, Walter, Willem
Newcastle Adam, Henri, Ion, Roger
Northampton Lucas, Philip, Tomas, Willem
Norwich Huge, Iacob, Ion, Willem
Oxford Adam, Gefrei, Henri, Willem
Shrewsbury Lorens, Nicole, Peris, Ricard
Wallingford Alisandre, Clement, Ricard, Robert
Wilton Huge, Ion, Willem
Winchester Huge, Iordan, Nicole, Willem
York Alain, Ieremie, Ion, Rener, Tomas
 
Bibliography
Lawrence, L.A., The Long Cross Coinage, British Numismatic Journal 9, 10 and 11, London, 1912-1914)
Wren, C.R., The Voided Long Cross Coinage (1247-1279), An Illustrated Guide to Identification, Whitstable, 1993.
 
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