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Home > Members' Coin Collection Galleries > *Alex > BRITAIN - HAMMERED COINS
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1199-1216, John, AR Penny, Struck 1207 – 1211 at Dublin, Ireland
Obverse: IOHANNES REX around triangle enclosing a crowned and draped facing bust of King John holding, in his right hand, a sceptre tipped with a cross pommée which extends through the side of the triangle into the legend. Quatrefoil to right of bust.
Reverse: ROBERD ON DIVE around triangle containing sun over crescent moon and a star in each angle. Cross pattée at apex of each point of the triangle and above legend on each of the three sides. Moneyer, Roberd.
Third issue “REX” coinage, struck to the same weight and fineness as the English standard.
This was the only coinage struck by King John in his own name.
Diameter: 18mm | Weight: 1.2gms | Die Axis: 4
SPINK: 6228

John was King of England from 1199 until his death in 1216. The baronial revolt at the end of John's reign led to the sealing of the first Magna Carta, a document sometimes considered an early step in the evolution of the constitution of the United Kingdom.
John, the youngest of the five sons of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine, was not expected to inherit significant lands which resulted in him being given the nickname John Lackland. However, after the failed rebellion of his elder brothers between 1173 and 1174, John became Henry's favourite child. He was appointed Lord of Ireland in 1177 and given lands in England and on the continent. John's elder brothers William, Henry and Geoffrey died young and when Richard I became king in 1189, John was the potential heir to the throne. John unsuccessfully attempted a rebellion against Richard's administration whilst his brother was participating in the Third Crusade but despite this, after Richard died in 1199, John was proclaimed King of England.
King John contracted dysentery at Lynn in 1216 but, just before his death, he managed to dictate a brief will. This will still survives and as part of it John requested: "I will that my body be buried in the church of St. Mary and St. Wulfstan of Worcester".
Some of King John's favourite hunting grounds were in Worcester, at Kinver and Feckenham, and he had a special affection for Saint Wulfstan, one of the two great Anglo-Saxon saints whose shrines and tombs were also at Worcester. Both Saint Wulfstan and Saint Oswald can be seen in miniature beside the head of the effigy of King John on his tomb.
Medieval effigies usually show the subject in the prime of life, however the effigy on King John's tomb is unique in that not only is it a life-like image of him, it is also the oldest royal effigy in England.
King John's tomb has been opened twice, once in 1529 and again in 1797. At the first opening it was said that John's head was covered with a monk's cowl, however it is now thought that this was probably his coronation cap. When the tomb was opened for the second time the antiquarians responsible discovered that a robe of crimson damask had originally covered the king's body but, by 1797, most of the embroidery had deteriorated. They also found the remains of a sword which lay down the left side of the body along with parts of its scabbard.
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File Size:156 KB
Date added:Sep 13, 2019
Dimensions:1584 x 794 pixels
Displayed:7 times
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Stkp  [Sep 14, 2019 at 01:49 PM]
Very nice
quadrans  [Sep 16, 2019 at 01:29 PM]
Wow, nice piece..
Anaximander  [Sep 19, 2019 at 09:10 PM]
Nice! That's one I didn't know even existed.