Coin - Penny, Aethelred II, England, 997-1003 Numismatics Reg. No: NU 25506

Silver coin, Denomination: Penny
London Mint
Aethelred II (978-1016); Kings of All England
Moneyer: Aethelwerd; Type: Long Cross (997-1003)

Aethelred II ascended the throne after the murder of his half-brother, Edward the Martyr, by Aethelred's retainers when the king had come to visit him on the evening of 18 March 978. His reign saw increasing raids from Denmark both in number and strength, culminating in the Danish conquest of England under Cnut.

During the reign Aethelred a variety of different reverse designs were produced. These were part of a deliberate policy to raise revenue by periodic demonetization of the old designs. When new coins were struck the king would take a share of the silver used and the Exchequer would charge the mints for the new dies. In addition, the removal of old coins would help keep the coins in circulation at correct weight.

Aethelred died in London on 23 April 1016 and was succeeded by his son Eadmund.

Aethelred became known to history as the Unready. Unready is a mistranslation of the Old English - Æþelræd Unræd which translates to 'noble counsel no counsel'. His name meant 'noble counsel' and the epitaph suggested he received poor advice. However, the later victory of Cnut marking a successful Danish conquest of England has meant Aethelred the Unready has been adopted.
Acquisition Information:
Transfer from Melbourne Branch of Royal Mint, 1978
Discipline: Numismatics
Dimensions: 19 mm (Diameter)
Weight: 1.385 g (Weight)

More information

Themes this item is part of: Numismatics & Philately Collection
Primary Classification: COINS
Secondary Classification: Great Britain - England
Tertiary Classification: working strikes
Series: Anglo Saxon
DateEra: 997-1003 AD
Denomination: 1 Penny
Obverse Description: A bust of the King wearing armour facing left, the base of the bust reaches the edge of the coin, around, + AEDELRED REX ANGL
Reverse Description: A long cross voided; around, + AEDE LPER DMO LVND (Aethelwerd moneyer London).
Edge Description: Plain
Shape: round
Material: Silver
Issued By: King Aethelred II, London, England, Great Britain
Mint: Lincoln (Mint)
References: North 774
  1. [Book], J. North, English Hammered Coinage, Spink & Son Ltd., London, 1963, p.111, no.774 Pages
  2. [Book], Philip Skingley - Spink & Sons Ltd., Coins of England and the United Kingdom, Spink & Son Ltd., London, 2007, p.128, no.1151 Pages

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