Yorkshire Numismatist, volume 4

INTRODUCTION

 

JAMES BOOTH

 

 

The majority of the papers collected together in this volume were initially delivered at colloquia held in Leeds and York in 2011 under the auspices of the YNS. Their publication marks the culmination of a period of dynamic activity for the Society, co-ordinated by our current President Tony Abramson, who has been over the last two decades a tireless promoter of the cause of numismatics, both in the local context of Yorkshire and on the national level.

The 'Moneta Britannia' colloquium on Roman coinage took place in York in July, under the direction of Lee Toone. Five of the papers are presented here. Richard Bourne's piece on Carausius fleshes out the sparse and censored documentary narrative, giving evidence from the coins of an early setback in Constantius's attempt to retake Britannia. Paul Di Marzio's substantial essay on the London Mint (297-325) presents the fruits of a decade of passionate collecting, and will become essential reading on the subject. In a stop press addition to Di Marzio's essay Hubert Cloke records a new variety of an early London follis. Adrian Marsden offers a wide-ranging conspectus of recent research into the production of the irregular coinages of the third and fourth centuries, our understanding of which is currently being  much advanced by the efforts of responsible metal detectorists. Finally Tony Abramson himself builds on the recent researches of Anna Gannon, Gareth Williams and others in a wide-ranging account of the Roman prototypes of the early Anglo-Saxon coinage.

The second section, on Medieval Coinage, consists of nine essays based on presentations given at the 'Yorkshire Festival of Numismatics', which Tony Abramson organised as part of the International Medieval Congress in the University of Leeds in July 2011.

Five essays treat the early Middle Ages from quite different conceptual and historical perspectives. Tony Abramson's free-ranging essay makes large claims for the monetary 'success' and also the aesthetic achievement of the sceatta coinage. Hendrik Mäkeler's ideas-piece on 'globalised monetary systems' cites Baltic area Viking Age hoards, with their 'pecked' coins from widely scattered sources, in support of a Hayekian argument in favour of a supra-national economic theory as against the 'Westphalian model' which defines currencies in terms of the nations which authorise them. There is topical relevance here to the modern economic situation with the shaking of national defences around currencies and the rush to gold. Tom Williams returns us to less heady numismatic territory with a meticulous historical account of the Alfredian borough of Wallingford, in the course of which he lists a substantial corpus of 520 surviving coins from the reign of Æthelstan to that of Henry III.

Gareth Williams's title suggests that the last Anglo-Saxon king of England might have been a queen. In the event, however he offers not revelations concerning Harold's sexual orientation, but a closely-argued exploration of the implications of the anomalous minting of his sole coin-type at Wilton. Williams conjectures from the large number of Wilton dies, and the irregular appearance of many of the coins, that Harold's sister Edith, the Confessor's widow, must have maintained her independence here during the months following the battle of Hastings, offering the opportunity of legitimacy to any government which might be proposed in the name of Edgar Atheling, Harold's sons or the Conqueror. This is a highly plausible deduction though absolute proof will perhaps be forever lacking.

Henry Fairburn addresses one of the large intractable debates concerning medieval coinage: the point at which we can begin to talk plausibly about a money economy. He scrupulously documents some medieval weights and measures, using evidence from the Domesday Book and other sources, with a focus on the value of salt. Though a loaf of bread must have been worth far less than a farthing in the late eleventh century, he nevertheless offers evidence that even at this time some day-to-day requirements would have been regularly bought and sold through the medium of coinage.

Six essays of widely different focus treat later medieval topics. Martin Allen's impressively documented 'Coinage and the late Medieval Economy' applies numismatics to thirteenth and fourteenth century history. Through careful deployment of the discontinuous records Allen estimates that that gold coinage supplied most of the total value of the currency by 1377, though much of it may have been immobilised by hoarding, while silver was the principal medium of domestic commerce. Allen suggests that fluctuations in the sizes of England’s gold and silver currencies were a significant cause of economic change after the Black Death.

Essays by Richard Kelleher and David Harpin focus on personal fashion and superstition in coin jewellery. Kelleher illustrates the shift from badge types before and after the Norman Conquest to dress hooks in Edward I’s reign, reviews the use of annular brooches, pendants and rings made from coins, and suggests that 'some notional ritual process' may lie behind the practice of bending coins. On a similar theme, Harpin discusses coin brooches in the period between the reigns of John and Edward III, during which time the annular or ring brooch gave way, with the advent of buttons, to the more decorative (and often larger) disc brooch. Gilding, Harpin suggests, may have been a sign of religious significance rather than simply a fashion statement, and some brooches were clearly intended to offer amuletic protection.

Laura Mitchell's paper gives an intimate view of the religious jumble in the mind of the late fifteenth-century scribe of a list of recipes in the Bodleian Library. Among spells to ensure invisibility and to make a woman lift up her skirts, the scribe includes a charm to ensure that one always has money in one’s purse. The reader is advised to make the purse from a mole's skin in the month of May, write some Latin mumbo jumbo on it in the blood of a bat, and then place it in the choir of a church for seven days and nights. How many readers put this recipe to the proof is an intriguing historical conjecture forever beyond reach of research.

This section of the volume ends with Barrie Cook's richly evocative discussion of the surviving accounts of royal visits, particularly to York, from the time of the Conqueror to that of Henry VIII. Increasingly, alongside the time-honoured gifts of oxen, sheep or grain, large quantities of coins – small, very showy but easily portable – featured in these choreographed public displays. Cook's account of the thousand gold angels offered to Richard III in York in September 1483, together with the equivalent of 300 angels for his Queen, conjures up an image to set the modern collector salivating.

The third section, 'Hoards', opens with Joyce Hill's evocative piece applying ideals of honour and dishonour found in Beowulf and the surviving fragments of Old English heroic poetry, to the unique features of the Staffordshire Hoard. In a primitive aristocratic world where elite weapons brought 'honour' to their possessors, and swords were given names ('Nægling', 'Hrunting'), and passed on as heirlooms, Hill sees in the way the objects in this hoard of war-booty have been disassembled a deliberate humiliation, or in modern terms 'dissing', of the defeated warriors. Her quotations from Old English give this essay great immediacy. Wiglaf in Beowulf evokes the shame of the outcast denied the 'receiving of treasure and the giving of swords': 'Deað bið sella / eorla gehwylcum   þonne edwitlif!' – 'For everyone of noble rank death is better than a life of disgrace!' As in the case of Gareth Williams's essay on Edith, Hill's deduction seems highly plausible, though final certainty can perhaps never be achieved.

Adrian Marsden returns us to numismatics proper in a most useful summary of the Aldborough Sceatta hoard, so similar to the Aston Rowant find. Gareth Williams examines the contents of the Silverdale Hoard, and adds an apparent 'Harthacnut' to the list of Viking kings of York, evidenced by a single coin. Finally, Stephen Briggs takes advantage of recent advances in digitisation and information retrieval to make an initial list of neglected accounts in newspapers of hoard discoveries made in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. His is very much a work in progress, with more to follow.

A miscellaneous section of 'Other Matters' includes three essays of local relevance: Abramson's edited version of the late Elizabeth Pirie's account of the Lorin Kay Collection of Northumbrian stycas; David Pickup's moving essay on medals commemorating the bombardment by a German battleship in 1914, which killed 18 people in Scarborough and 7 in Whitby; and Robert Barraclough's update to his ongoing catalogue of all the checks known to have been issued by Yorkshire Co-operative Societies. The section ends with Stephen Briggs's obituary of the highly-regarded Yorkshire museum curator and numismatist, Graham Teasdill, who died in 2010.

The volume concludes with abstracts of the seven talks given to the Society during 2011, ranging from Gareth Williams on the Vale of York Hoard to Lee Toone on the London mint during the Tetrarchy and Geoff Percival, whose talk on paranumismatics featured perhaps the most unlikely numismatic item to appear in this volume: a copper piece of 1908 engraved: 'Mrs Darling of Scale Lane Hull is a LIAR'. The News of the World may no longer be with us. But all human life is here in YN4!

 

The Yorkshire Numismatist, Volume 4.
Contents
Acknowledgements, Tony Abramson
Foreword, Michael Metcalf
Introduction, James Booth

 

Part 1: Romano-British Coinage
Opuscula Carausiana – Richard Bourne
The Roman Mint of London: A Collector’s Perspective – Paul DiMarzio
A Transitional Issue from the Roman Mint at London – Hubert J. Cloke
Recent Research on Irregular Coinage in Late Roman Britain – Adrian Marsden
The Roman Influence on Early Anglo-Saxon Coinage – Tony Abramson

 

Part 2: Medieval Coinage
Sceats: How Do We Assess Their Success? – Tony Abramson
Globalised Monetary Systems of the Viking Age – Hendrik Mäkeler
The Mint at Wallingford: An Introduction to the Corpus – Thomas J. T. Williams
Was the Last Anglo-Saxon King of England a Queen? A Possible
Posthumous Coinage of Harold II – Gareth Williams
The Value and Metrology of Salt in the Late Eleventh Century – Henry Fairbairn
The Currency and the Economy in Late Medieval England – Martin Allen
The Re-use of Coins in Medieval England and Wales (c.1050–1550):
An Introductory Survey – Richard Kelleher
Late Medieval Coin Brooches – David Harpin
Monetary Magic in Late Medieval England – Laura Mitchell
The Commyng of the King: Coins and the York Royal Entry – B. J. Cook

 

Part 3: Hoards
Honour and Dishonour: Reflections on the Staffordshire Hoard in the
Light of Old English Heroic Poetry – Joyce Hill
The Aldborough (Norfolk) Hoard of Sceattas – Adrian Marsden
A New Coin Type (And a New King?) From Viking Northumbria – Gareth Williams
Numismatics from Newsprint 1753–1884: Some Lost Yorkshire
Hoards Exposed – C. Stephen Briggs

 

Part 4: Other Matters
The Lorin Kay Collection of Northumbrian Stycas – Tony Abramson
Remember Scarborough – David Pickup
Yorkshire Co-Operative Checks – Robert Barraclough
Obituary: Graham Teasdill, 1935–2010 – C. Stephen Briggs
Part 5 – YNS Transactions, 2011, Abstracts of Talks to the Society
Yorkshire Paranumismatics – Geoff Percival
The London Mint AD 319 to 325 – Lee Toone
The Origins of the Troy Standard – Robert Tye
Ottoman Coins – Peter Watson
Decimalisation of Europe in the Nineteenth Century – Richard Fife
The Vale of York Hoard – Gareth Williams
Keeping Them in the Family – Denis Martin

 

350pp, vii. © YNS 2012.
Typeset by The Charlesworth Group. Printed by Charlesworth Press.
£25 + £6.90 P&P (inland).

 

Feedback

'...especial congratulations on reviving YN - I bought a set of 1-3 last year and was really impressed by the breadth and quality of it.'

RA, 2nd Nov 2012.

It looks as though you have another top level collection here. You have, single-handedly, made Yorkshire for the time being the centre of British numismatic studies.

JB, 15th Nov 2012.

Its title suggests rather limited scope but it is anything but, with papers from numerous leading numismatists on an extremely wide range of topics.

SNC, vol. CXX, no.2, p. 115, ref 4278, October 2012

 

YN4 is available from Spink.

 

The Yorkshire Numismatist - Volume III

"it is little short of a miracle to have attracted the quality and variety of papers in the time available"

 

Below are the Introduction to, and Content of, and The Yorkshire Numismatist, volume 3, the occasional but highly regarded journal of the Yorkshire Numismatic Society. Included are over 22 full-length articles extending to 250 pages. Many contributors are internationally recognised numismatic authorities. Many of these articles are important contributions to numismatic literature.

This excellent journal is highly recommended. Order instructions can be found below.

INTRODUCTION
Planning Volume III of The Yorkshire Numismatist has been an involved logistical exercise. Without the advantage of the numerous numismatic contacts of the previous editor, the late Peter Seaby, and with the considerable lapse of time since his signal achievement in compiling volumes I and II, momentum had to be built from a 'cold start'. Given the ambitious timescale, based on the intention of producing volume IV in time for the April 1999 BANS Congress, appropriate material for this third volume had to be procured, produced, financed and distributed to a very tight timetable. Each of these stages presented considerable challenges in view of my absence of experience in such concerns.

Perspective and 'position'
However, perhaps more fundamental were the questions of perspective and 'position', mix and balance. I believe there is a place for a regular journal addressing 'applied numismatics'. A broad gulf seems to have developed as the artificial and excessive price rises of the late '70's have inhibited collecting, whilst increasingly conscientious detecting has greatly expanded our knowledge and justified greater resource allocation into numismatic research.

Existing regular publications serve the quite distinct sides of this gulf and have quite different objectives. Whereas the populist magazines carry useful and informative material and provide an excellent medium for dealers, the more studious hardback annuals cater for academic, original output which become fundamental works of reference.

Without wishing to offend (but no doubt succeeding), both sides seem constrained by self-imposed stylistic protocols. Nevertheless, here is a niche for this journal. I make no apology for any failure to disguise contributors' style with the latest stylistic pedantry or grammatical mode.
I do, however, take responsibility for any typographical errors contained herein.

Mix and balance
Applied numismatics simply puts numismatic evidence to work in other disciplines. Nothing new here. The theme of this volume is numismatic evidence in British archaeology, economic and social history. I requested contributors to view this in a broad context appealing to a wide audience of numismatists, historians and economists. Lack of time and contacts constricts this to some degree, and the wish to accommodate contributions from members, and anchor the content to our regional base, impose voluntary constraints. Having taken a pragmatic view of these limits I am delighted with the quality and variety of the articles here published. I hope you enjoy reading them!

Preview
'Heroic' may suffice to describe Philip de Jersey's assumptions in his refreshing break from academic inhibition in attempting to approximate the volume of Celtic finds.

The journal's Anglo-Saxon section is particularly strong and it is most encouraging to find existing members making worthy contributions to national debates. James Booth's 'conspectus' of Northumbrian coinage, 670 to 867, is most illuminating and Mike Bonser's summary of productive sites is an important step towards improved recording. Elizabeth Pirie's note will, no doubt, stimulate response. Veronica Smart's incisive paper responds to an earlier article.

Derek Chick's long-awaited interim study "towards a chronology of Offa's coinage" is probably the major work in this journal. I am flattered he chose to publish here.

Although academic application and originality tend to diminish with recency, Brian Robinson's item on Captain Cook, David Pickup on the Wilberforce election and Frank Mellor's opus on 'Presidential Awards for Lifesaving' all contain elements of original work.

The extent to which seventeenth-century tokens can reveal local history is nicely illustrated by the coincidental inclusion of both tokens subject of Geoffrey Percival's piece, in the extensive finds list submitted by Jim Halliday. Mr Halliday's productivity is indeed remarkable!

It is hoped that the next edition of the Journal will focus on Monetary Studies. Scott Seman's tangential but learned contribution (first printed in his list 59x) is now included to remind us of the enormous width of our favoured subject.

The 'Observations' section is intended for short notes on items of interest (Michael Cuddeford on single detector finds, Richard Plant on Eras), news (Bryan Sitch on Leeds Museums, Joe Cribb on the BM's new HSBC gallery), reviews and opinion (Paul Withers on writing an article). All the better if these latter two categories provoke debate. Tim Owen's observation on relative pricing, whilst light-hearted, nevertheless demands serious attention from cataloguers involved in valuation. Even in a dynamically changing market, better guidance is achievable.

I hope 'The Northern Register' is not too pretentious a section title. I do not imply anything as ambitious as a Sylloge but more an opportunity to publish finds and publicise collections (Yorkshire Museum, Craig Barclay and Leeds University, Christopher Challis). In my parochial view John Rumsby's introductory phrase "Kirklees... Borough includes...several smaller towns such as Cleckheaton, Heckmondwike and Holmfirth." conjures up a wonderfully vivid image whilst keeping our Yorkshire feet resolutely on God's own acre!

There remains much organisational work, regionally and nationally, in making numismatic evidence more accessible, in building bridges between disciplines and between institutions, and in directing and presenting published material in creative, informative and intelligible ways. Your participation will make this a reality.
AIJA 1st May 1997.



CONTENTS
Foreword, Michael Metcalf
Introduction & Acknowledgements, Tony Abramson

CELTIC
Cast away riches: estimating the volume of Celtic coinage found in Britain, Philip de Jersey

ANGLO-SAXON
Northumbrian coinage: the productive site at South Newbald, James Booth
Fifteen years of coin finds from productive sites, Mike Bonser
Towards a chronology for Offa's coinage: an interim study, Derek Chick
Eanred's penny: a Northumbrian enigma, Elizabeth Pirie
A problem of convention: a belated reply, Veronica Smart

MEDIEVAL
Long cross moneyers of York, Ian Dowthwaite

POST-MEDIEVAL
The Yorkshire coiners: `Owt for Nowt', Tony Abramson
Captain James Cook's distribution of Maundy money, Brian Robinson

SEVENTENTH-CENTURY TOKENS
Edmund Dring and Jerome Madox, Geoffrey Percival
A seventeenth-century token of Durham, Ian Taylor
Yorkshire re-attributions of seventeenth-century tokens, Robert Thompson

MEDALS
The medals produced for the 1807 York Paliamentary election, David Pickup
United States Presidential awards for lifesaving at sea, Frank Mellor

MONETARY STUDIES
African bracelet money, Scott Semans

OBSERVATIONS
Single coin finds: some observations, Michael Cuddeford
Eras in numismatics, Richard Plant
The definite article: advice from a numismatic scribbler, Paul Withers
Hammered coins: relative price and scarcity, Tim Owen

THE NORTHERN REGISTER
Coin finds reported to the Yorkshire Museum 1992-6, Craig Barclay
Recent finds of seventeenth-century Yorkshire tokens, Jim Halliday
Seventeenth-century tokens in the collection of the University of Leeds, Christopher Challis
Yorkshire checks and passes in the Kirklees Museum, John Rumsby

INFORMATION
Current events at Leeds Museum: archaeology & numismatics, Bryan Sitch
The new HSBC Money Gallery at the British Museum, Joe Cribb
The British Association of Numismatic Societies: Officers & Members, Philip Mernick

PROCEEDINGS
The Yorkshire Numismatic Society 1991-6, Lee Toone.
 

EDITORIAL COMMITTEE
Tony Abramson, Robert Barraclough, James Booth, Richard Fynes,
Alan Humphries, David Lee and Lee Toone.

246p, p/b © YNS, 1997.

 

 

 

TESTIMONIALS

What some of the cognoscenti are saying about YN3:

"a terrific achievement...I'm glad I took a page of

advertising" Patrick Finn.

a splendid issue..." James Booth.

“Congratulations on a splendid volume" Mark Blackburn.

“...on achievement to be proud of..." Philip de Jersey

“Congratulations" Michael Metcalf

“...an excellent volume...' Derek Chick.

“lots of things to refer to in the future..." Robert

Thompson.

“...just spent the whole day reading it!" Mike Bonner.

“My astonishment was unbounded....result is remarkable" Paul Withers.

 

 

Erratum

Due to a telephonic line glitch while transmitting the final proof for printing, the following text was omitted from page 134:

Traders' accounts are full of references to a certain number of manillas of this type or that buying a specified commodity at a given time – all useless now as we have no way of knowing what sort of manilla was meant. Ships' manifests and other records of the day usually refer simply to brass or copper without specifying its form, or they may enumerate either the number or total weight of "manillas," but never both. We know from the above account that the manillas traded by the Portuguese in the 16th century were heavier than those of the English in the 19th, and that manillas of different weights were made contemporaneously for trade into different ports.
Shown in Benin, Royual Art of Africa, by Armand Duchateau, on p.36 is a massive manilla of 25cm across and 4.5cm gauge, crudely cast with scoop-faceted sides, and well worn. Presently in the Museum für Volkerkunde in Vienna it could be the heaviest (no weight given) and earliest manilla known. The Portuguese manillas for trade into Elmina in 1529 weighed about 0.6 kilo (21.2oz), while the 1548 contracted pieces of 160 or 190/100 arates noted above would have been about 0.28 and 0.25 kilos (10 & 8.5 oz) respectively. I have two examples resembling Johansson's Mkporo manilla which weigh 0.274 and 0.276k. Manillas carried on a 1645 Dutch expedition are said to have weighed 1 1/2 modern Dutch ounces, or about 0.15k (5.3 oz.). This could have been the still common manilla (Johansson's "Popo") which averages nearly 5 oz. Zay (1892) in writing of French Colonial monies, also noted a "Birmingham" manilla of 0.14 - 0.15k used in the Ivory Coast and called "Igbi."
Regarding English manillas, Herbert quotes an earlier author on the secrecy practised in that industry. Deliberate secrecy or simple unconcern, the net effect is that we have little to go on today. If Quiggin's fig.26 #3 & 4 do represent pieces exported from Birmingham in 1836 as implied, they appear to be one of the smaller types depicted in Johansson's chart. On p13-14 he illustrates and names 9 types of crescent manillas, presumably the fruits of his own research, as the names do not correspond to those he notes from other sources.

 

 

 

The Yorkshire Numismatist - Volume II

YN2 was edited by John M. Ferret, Peter J. Seaby and Alan Humphries.

144p, p/b © YNS, 1992.

 

Contents:

Acknowledgements

Foreword by CHRISTOPHER CHALLIS

The Order of the Prototype Gold Staters of the Corieltauvi

by JEFFREY MAY

The Shape of the Dies of the Early Staters of the Corieltauvi

by CHRISTIANE DE MICHAELI

The Seventh-century Gold Coinage of Northumbria

by E.J.E. PIRIE

Seventh Century Gold Coins from York

by D. TWEDDLE AND J. MOULDEN

The Mid Ninth-century Coinage of Archbishop Wigmund of York in the Light of Metal Analysis

by G. R. GILMORE AND D. M. METCALFE

Chronology of the St Peter Coinage

by Sit IAN STEWART AND STEWART LYON

The Punchanella Token of York

by MELINDA MAYS AND DAVID WYLDE

Seventeenth Century Tokens and Personal Seals

by MELINDA MAYS

Two Eighteenth Century Collectors

by WILLIAM JAMES SMITH

Yorkshire Temperance Establishments: Part II

by J.P. MOFFAT

Numismatic Discoveries and Research in York - An Update

by RICHARD HALL

Coins from the Pontefract Castle Excavations

by IAN ROBERTS AND PETER SEABY

Miscellaneous Coin Finds from Yorkshire and Northurnberland

by PETER SEABY

Numismatic Activities in Leeds City Museum

by E.J.E. PIRIE

What Others Publish

Henry Mossop: an Appreciation

Proceedings of the Society for l988-90

Obituary - Peter John Seaby

The Rules of the Society

 

 

The Yorkshire Numismatist - Volume I

YN1 was edited by John M. Ferret and Peter J. Seaby. 112p, p/b © YNS, 1988.

 

Contents:

Editors' note and acknowledgements

Foreword by MARION M, ARCHIBALD

Early Northumbrian Orthography and a Problem of Convention

by E. J. E. PIRIE

A Viking copy of an Alfred London-Monogram penny from Doncaster

by MARION M. ARCHIBALD

Notes on the PAXS' Type of William

by D. M. METCALF

Henry I Coins: Design Characteristics and Chronology

by PETER SEABY

A Civil War Hoard from Breckenbrough, North Yorkshire

by EDWARD BESLY

Unpublished Seventeenth-Century Tokens of Yorkshire

by MICHAEL DICKINSON

Yorkshire Temperance Establishments. Part I

by J. P. MOFFAT

German Porcelain Medallions, 1938-1942

by EDUARD F. WINKLER

Fred Pridmore and his Numismatic Works

by P, D. MITCHELL and P. J. SEABY

Current Work on the Yorkshire Museum Numismatic Collection

by MELINDA MAYS

What Others Publish

Obituary

The Proceedings of the Society for 1986 and 1987

The Yorkshire Numismatic Society 1974 to 1987

Rules of the Society

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