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1216 – 1272, Henry III, AR Penny, Struck 1217 - 1242 at London, England (Short cross type)
Obverse: HENRICVS REX around central circle enclosing a crowned, draped and bearded facing bust of Henry III holding a sceptre tipped with a cross pommee in his right hand.
Reverse: + GIFFREI ON LVND. Voided short cross dividing legend into quarters, crosslets in each quarter of inner circle. Cross pattée in legend. Moneyer: Giffrei, cognate with the modern English name of Geoffrey.
Issue type 7c, distinguished by the degraded portrait and large lettering.
Diameter: 19mm | Weight: 1.1gms | Die Axis: 4
SPINK: 1356C

Henry III was the eldest son of King John and came to the throne at the age of nine. He was king of England from 1216 until his death in 1272, ruling longer than any other English monarch until the reign of George III.
Henry expressed a lifelong interest in architecture and much of what constitutes the Tower of London today is a result of Henry’s work, he added several towers and a curtain wall to expand the White Tower beginning in 1238. Westminster Abbey however, is considered to be Henry's greatest building work. The project began in 1245, when Henry sent his architect Henry de Reynes to visit the French cities of Rheims, Chartres, Bourges and Amiens and Paris’s royal chapel Sainte-Chapelle to learn the Gothic technique that he much admired.
The Westminster Abbey that stood previously on the site had been erected by Edward the Confessor in 1042. Edward the Confessor was a hero of Henry’s, and he probably named his son (the future Edward I) after him. The foundations and crypt are still those of Edward the Confessor’s Abbey, but everything above ground today is the building begun by Henry III. The tomb of Edward the Confessor was moved to a new position of honour in 1269 at the very centre of the new abbey, and when Henry III died in 1272 he was buried beside Edward’s shrine in the exact position the bones of his hero had lain for 200 years.
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