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Before the Roman invasion, Britain was populated by Celtic tribes with well-established cultural and economic links with continental Europe. Although Julius Caesar conducted the first Roman campaign in Britain in 55 B.C., the conquest did not begin until A.D. 43, during the reign of Claudius. The British tribes initially opposed the Roman legions, but by 84 the Romans had decisively conquered southern Britain and had pushed into what is now southern Scotland. In 122 they fortified the northern border with Hadrian's Wall, which spanned what is now Northern England. In 142 Roman forces pushed north again and began construction of the Antonine Wall, but they retreated back to Hadrian's Wall after only twenty years. Following the conquest, native Britons were subject to the Roman governors but mostly kept their land, and a distinctive Romano-British culture emerged. The Roman Empire retained control until its departure about A.D. 430.
England, Henry II, 1180 - 1189
Henry II struggles to make an impact on history. He ruled between the Norman Conquest and Magna Carta. He was great grandson of William the Conqueror, husband of Eleanor of Aquitaine and father to two of our more familiar kings, Richard the Lionhearted and King John. WO95136. Silver penny, short cross class 1b; North I 963; SCBC 1344, VF, toned, light marks, weight 1.461 g, maximum diameter 19.2 mm, die axis 0o, London mint, moneyer Iefrei, 1180 - c. 1189; obverse hENRICVS REX (King Henry), crowned bust facing, crown with cross, 2 curls on left, 5 curls on right, cruciform scepter in right hand, hand and scepter dividing legend outside inner linear border; reverse + IEFREI • ON • LVND, voided short cross, four pellets connected by X in each quarter, inner dot border; $360.00 SALE |PRICE| $324.00 ON RESERVE
Anglo-Gallic, Edward III, 1372 - 1377
This type and similar billon Anglo-Gallic coins looked silver when issued, but after some use turned black, hence their nickname, "black money." They were usually hastily and poorly struck, heavily circulated and worn, and seldom hoarded. Surviving examples are now rare and mostly low grade. ME94138. Billon double au leopard sous couronne, SCBC 8080, Elias 92c, Duplessy Féodales 1092A, Elias Collection 167, Boudeau 500, Poey d'Avant 2895, VF, dark toning, clashed dies, flan adjustment marks, tight flan, edge cracks, weight 0.912 g, maximum diameter 19.8 mm, die axis 90o, obverse + ED' REX : AnGLIE (King Edward of England, trefoil after ED and at end of legend), crown with leopard left below, rosette under leopard, all within inner circle; reverse + mOnETA DVPLEX (rosette at end of legend), cross pattée with crown in 1st and 4th angles, all within inner circle; scarce; $500.00 SALE |PRICE| $320.00
Anglo-Gallic, Henry VI de Lancastre, King of France and England, 1422 - 1453
In 1422, the year old king of England inherited the French throne from his mad grandfather Charles VI of France; the iconography of this type represents the unification of the two nations. Ten years later Joan of Arc would make an appearance which would eventually loosen the English grip on France until by 1436 only Normandy and part of Maine remained in Henry's control. WO95135. Silver grand blanc aux écus, Elias 281a (RR), Ciani 602, Duplessy 445, Lafaurie 449, SCBC-SII 8166; cross ancrée (anchored) mint mark, aVF, toned, weight 3.019 g, maximum diameter 28.5 mm, die axis 180o, Auxerre mint, authorized 23 Nov 1422; obverse (cross ancrée) FRANCORVm: ET: ANGLIE: REX (King of France and England), shields of France (on left) and England (on right), side by side, hERICVS (no abbreviation mark) above; reverse (cross ancrée) SIT: nOmEN: DnI: BENEDICTV (Blessed be the name of the Lord), Latin cross, fleur-de-lis to left, leopard left on right, hERICVS below; ex Classical Numismatic Auctions XX (25 March 1992), lot 1465 (catalog online); very rare; $350.00 SALE |PRICE| $315.00
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Allen, D. The Coins of the Ancient Celts. (Edinburgh, 1980). Coins of England & the United Kingdom, Standard Catalogue of British Coins. (London, -).
Cottam, E., et al. Ancient British Coins. (Chris Rudd, Norfolk, UK, 2010).
de Jersey, P. Celtic Coinage in Britain. (London, 1996).
de la Tour, H. Atlas de monnaies Gauloises. (Paris, 1892).
Hobbs, R. British Iron Age Coins in the British Museum. (London, 1996).
Nash, D. Coinage in the Celtic World. (London, 1987).
Sear, D. Greek Coins and Their Values, Vol. 1: Europe. (London, 1978).
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