Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Charles I (27 March 1625 - 30 Jan 1649) Coinage And History

Charles I (27 March 1625 - 30 Jan 1649) Coinage And History

The following two images are a Halfcrown of Charles I Eye Mintmark that dates it to 1645 Tower Mint Under parliament, even though it looks worn, it's in a rather good state for it's age as that at that time because of the war, it was common for the coinage to have problems with the control of standards.

The Second image is of a Charles I Scottish Twenty Shilling, Thistle Mintmark the most probable identification would be Spink 5590 or 5591. Third coinage (1637- 42), bust of new style. My guess is 5590, which is described as 'bust wholly within inner circle, F over crown on rev' or 5591, no F on reverse, but it's difficult to tell due to wear. Even though it's worn it's easy to tell that the quality is better for a hammered coin from this time period, The betterstriking was perhaps a combination of the fact that the Master of the Mint was Nicholas Briot (from 1636 to 1642) and that the coins were produced on a screw press. Later his son-in-law John Falconer took over the role. Some further history can be found below.

Charles I (27 March 1625 - 30 Jan 1649) - born 19 November 1600 - one marriage with nine offspring

Charles I the second son of James I had a weak and sickly childhood and was of quite small stature. He inherited a weak inflationary economy due to the influx of gold and silver from America, and impoverished it by his extravagance. He was deposed for disregarding Parliament, trying to arrest five members and unwisely levying taxes without its consent. This caused the emergence of a radical republican army under the command of Oliver Cromwell. Charles had to leave London relying on traditional Royalist strongholds like Oxford. This means that the coinage of Charles I is one of the most complicated and fascinating in the entire British series, with the great number of provincial Royalist issues and the intriguing Obsidonal coinages from the City’s under siege.

Charles was captured in 1648 and was beheaded at the Mansion House on Whitehall in 1649 aged 48. He famously gave Bishop Juxon a large gold five pound piece as a last act on the scaffold and this has become known as the Juxon Medal and is on display in the British Museum.The reign is one of the most diverse and interesting numismatically ranging from the fine machine made coins of Nicholas Briot to the crudely struck siege pieces of the Civil War struck on old silver plate. Branch Mints were set up around the country starting with Aberystwyth in 1637. The Farthing issues continued under the Duchess of Richmond and Lord Maltravers, finishing in 1644 when the licence was revoked by Parliament.

At the other end of the spectrum were the silver Pounds, the largest British coins ever minted, and the magnificent gold Triple Unites, the largest gold coins ever produced. Many different locations in England and Wales had their own mints throughout the reign and during Civil War. The provincial mints are Aberystwyth, Asbhy, Bridgnorth, Bristol, Chester, Exeter, Hartlebury Castle, Hereford, Oxford, Shrewsbury, Truro, Worcester, York, and the siege mints of Carlisle, Newark, Scarborough and Pontefract. With the large number of mints and denominations coupled with the troubled times during the reign, this equates to an enormous number of different coinages, showing the history and movements of the King in a very unusual period.

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