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This website is brought to you by a team of very passionate historians and metal detectorists. We are not part of the grab it and run brigade.
History is extremely important to us and recording finds and working alongside archaeologists is of utmost importance.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Ancient finds uncovered at Norwich inquest In total, the tales of six groups of valuable artefacts from ages past and how they were found were told at yesterday’s inquest. Among the hoard was a collection of 14 socketed axes, which were disturbed by machine from their site of rest on land near Aylsham, the owner of which is Lord Walpole. The axes all date to the Ewart Park metalwork phase reaching back further than 800BC, and were discovered in March by Robert and James Alston who were using a metal detector at the time. Also discussed and designated treasure was a silver medieval brooch from near Northwald made in the design of two intertwined snakes, which was found in May last year by Steven Gray who was metal detecting. Dating back to the 13th century, it had nicks to represent scales, as well as detail including eyes, mouth and ears. Michael Carlile was another person to make a fortunate discovery while using a metal detector, this time in Emneth near Wisbech in April last year. He came across a medieval silver hooked strap end and at the inquest it was said to be dated around the 15th century, while in August 2010 Stratton Strawless was the site for the discovery of an incomplete medieval silver seal-matrix by James Normandi. http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/ancient_finds_uncovered_at_norwich_inquest_1_1124545

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

University of Salford to dig Manchester boroughs


The University of Salford has announced a four year archaeology project which will see 9,000 people involved in digs.
Dig Greater Manchester, which will also include a study in Blackburn, will see volunteers work alongside experts at 11 sites.
Brian Grimsditch, who works at the university's Centre for Applied Archaeology, said it was "one of the biggest projects in the country".

Monday, 7 November 2011


Ashstead pensioner finds rare 17th-century half crown coin


ONE of the latest exhibits to be added to the British Museum's website is a rare 17th century half-crown unearthed by an Ashtead man using a metal detector.
Keith Andreae, 78, made the discovery while searching farmland near Urchfont in Wiltshire.
At first he thought he had found a small piece of silver bullion, but Mr Andreae handed it to Surrey finds liaison officer David Williams for a closer look.
It turned out the find was an exceptionally rare Irish half-crown minted during the Irish Rebellion of 1642 as an emergency currency by the Lords Justices of Dublin.
The coin is an irregular polygon, stamped on both sides with the weight of a half-crown in pennyweight and grains (9dwt, 6gr).

Precious gold and ruby ring found in field

A METAL detection enthusiast scouring the South Yorkshire soil unearthed a 14th century gold ring studded with a ruby and an emerald, an inquest heard.
Metal finishing plant worker Paul McEvoy, aged 44, found the medieval finger ring just six inches beneath the surface .
He had been using his metal detector to search a stubble field in Thurcroft, near Rotherham.
Mr McEvoy, from Dinnington, told the Rotherham hearing: “I thought I had dug up a squash bottle top but it turned out to be a ring.”
He said on the day of his discovery he had been metal detecting for an hour - and had otherwise found only modern spoons, nails and a buckle.
The find, made in July, 2009 was verified by Beverley Nenk from the Department of Pre-History at the British Museum in London.
Landowners Judith and Hedley Leaning were at the inquest and said the land - which had been left fallow after growing wheat - was farmed by Richard Crowe from Tickhill.

Metal Detectorists throw away Millions!!!!

Metal Detectorists throw away Millions!!!!

It is quite true to say that in the UK alone, there are Millions of
pounds worth of pieces of scrap metal just lying around. Much of it is
in Gardens, Parks, Farms, Commons, Beaches etc. Some of it has been
lying there for thousands of years. Now it is not true that all
detectorists finds are coins, brooches, rings etc. If that was the
case then everybody would be doing detecting. In truth these finds
only constitute a small percentage of finds made. A lot of stuff found
includes cans, bottle tops, iron, lead, etc. Some metal detectorists
remove this rubbish and throw it away. Other less responsible
detectorists just bury it again. This is a stupid excercise as quite
often they will find themselves digging up the same scrap on their
next detecting mission.

So why would detectorists throw scrap away? Well quite often it is too
much inconvenience. Maybe they only go detecting once a month and
don't collect enough scrap to turn into cash. Maybe they don't
understand the shear value of the metal they are throwing away. It is
this and the different types of scrap metal that we will look at
further.

Here are  a few different types of metal you might find:

GOLD
PLATINUM
SILVER
BRONZE
COPPER
ALLIMINIUM
IRON
STEEL
LEAD etc

All have value. In some cases such as gold you might only need as
little as an ounce. In other metals such as Iron you may need to have
30/40 llbs to make it worth your while visiting a scrap dealer. In the
case of Gold, Platinum and Bronze a visit to your local jeweller is
probably your best course of action. As for Bronze, Copper,
Alliminium, Iron, Steel and Lead then you would need to obtain a lot
more in quantity. In this case you would usually need to bring it to
your local scrap company by vehicle. Always be careful when handling
any kind of metal. Wear Gloves. In all cases leave melting of such
items to the experts - as harmful fumes can be emited.

Good hunting and please look after our planet.

Regards
Steve
Largest known U.S. coin hoard reported
by Littleton Coin Company, nearly 1.75 million coins.

November 17, 1998

The largest known hoard of U.S. collector coins, a record 1.746 million items, is reported by Littleton Coin Co., Littleton, New Hampshire.  The coins were stored for decades in canvas bags and 55 gallon metal drums, and hidden behind the walls of an anonymous Midwest collector's house, prior to being purchased recently by Littleton.

Described as "The Midwest MegaHoard," the 7.6 ton purchase includes 950,000 circulated Indian Head cents, 308,000 Liberty Head/V nickels and 488,000 Indian Head/Buffalo nickels.

"I'm told the collector spent 25 years accumulating the hoard and the floor boards of his house were sagging under the weight of all those coins," said David M. Sundman, Littleton President.

It took several months to ship the first 1.358 million coins to Littleton's northern New Hampshire headquarters.  They were contained in 390 canvas bags and boxes with a combined total weight of 15,290 pounds.

"By far, this is the largest single purchase Littleton has made in its 53 year history.  It certainly surpasses the hoard of 300,000 Buffalo nickels we bought earlier this year, and that was an amazing record number at the time," said Sundman.

Acquired for a multi-million dollar price, Sundman estimates it now will take a full year to sort the MegaHoard by denomination, date, mint mark and grade.

"Our numismatic staff also will carefully look for varieties and errors, such as overdates and any three-legged Buffaloes," he explained.

Assorted items from the Midwest MegaHoard will be displayed in an exhibit at Littleton's bourse table during the Florida United Numismatists (FUN) convention in Orlando, January 7 - 10, 1999.

"We're always in the market to buy collections and accumulations, and I personally thought the big Buffalo hoard we bought earlier this year would be a once-in-a-lifetime purchase.  Happily, I was wrong!  This exciting opportunity to acquire nearly 1.75 million coins at one time makes me wonder in amazement at what hoards still might be uncovered in the future," Sundman said.

According to the 1997 book, American Coin Treasures and Hoards, by well-known numismatic author and researcher Q. David Bowers, the previously known record-sized private coin hoards were

A million 1950 nickels struck at the Denver Mint accumulated in the 1950s by Houston, Texas dealer A.J. Mitula;
407,000 silver dollars found hidden in the Reno, Nevada home of LaVere Redfield when he died in 1974;
and a collection of over 300,000 assorted rare U.S. and foreign coins assembled by Chicago beer baron Virgil Brand who died in 1926.
Littleton is a family-owned business started in 1945 by Sundman's father, Maynard. The dealership has grown the past half century to become one of the largest coin companies in the world with 250 full-time staff handling more than 100,000 customers' orders each month.

For additional information about the Midwest MegaHoard, contact Littleton Coin Co., One Littleton Coin Place, Littleton, NH  03561.  Phone 800-645-3122.
 


Article reproduced with kind permission from www.littletoncoin.com

Viking Hoard Discovered In Cheshire By Metal Detecting Club

An intriguing hoard of Viking silver was discovered in 2004 by a metal detecting club.  Initially only a few fragments were found, but very shortly several large silver items were unearthed.  Although not immediately clear, it was soon determined that the items were Viking.  22 silver objects were found in all including bracelets, an ingot, and a large decorated silver rod.   This is not the first time a treasure hoard has been discovered by metal detectors clubs or enthusiasts.  Metal detectors have been used to locate buried treasures for decades.  Only on occasion are there collections or hoards having great historical value discovered, but the use of metal detectors has been a favorite hobby of millions of people across the world.

The Vikings roamed Britain throughout the 10th century and there are no doubt many buried or hidden treasures yet to be discovered.   Treasure hoards are often found in close proximity to rivers, as the navigation of rivers and large streams was one of the predominant modes of transportation in early times.   The Vikings are thought to have traveled the rivers often, sometimes burying their valuables along the way in order to keep them safe until they could be retrieved at a later time.  Thanks to the enthusiasm of the Lune Valley Metal Detecting Club, the world can now view this valuable treasure that has great historical significance in the United Kingdom and around the world. 

The Viking hoard is currently being examined by a British museum after which it hopefully will make it's permanent home at the Grosvenor Museum in Chester according to the Treasure Act.   With every treasure and artifact uncovered, a bit of history becomes more apparent and many finds have been unearthed at the hands of metal detector users since the advent of the metal detector.  With each new piece of history discovered, the record of human history changes accordingly.  For may metal detector enthusiasts, it is the excitement and anticipation of finding some object of historical value that is the driving force rather than the hope of personal gain and riches, although many people have gained personal wealth from artifacts they have discovered using a metal detector.

The Viking Hoard is yet one more example of the history that has yet to be discovered in regions across the world.  Although many recent finds have been in the United Kingdom, there are surely many hidden and buried treasures yet to be unearthed in all countries around the world.  The use of metal detectors is not only a means to locate objects that would otherwise remain unknown, but also an excellent hobby and form of exercise that can be enjoyed by all ages.  The discovery of the Viking Hoard is an exciting historical find that will add to and help preserve the history of the Vikings and the Untied Kingdom.  Metal detector operators are sure to continue to find numerous types of treasure and valuable objects throughout the world.


King Coenwulf of Mercia

Coenwulf became king in 796 after the death of Ecgfrith.  Ecgfrith, the son of Offa, ruled for only five months and there is speculation that Coenwulf was responsible for Ecgfrith's death.  Coenwulf's claim to the throne was his descent from Cenwalh, who was a younger brother of past kings that had ruled Mercia 150 years prior to Coenwulf's ascension to the throne.  In 796, Kent rebelled against Mercia, which had ruled Kent since 785.  Coenwulf won the support of the church largely due to the Church's dislike of Aethelheard, Archbishop of Canterbury, who had fled the country at the beginning of the rebellion.  By 798 Coenwulf had successfully invaded Kent and captured the rebellious king Eadbert Praen.  Coenwulf named his brother Cuthred the king of Kent after Praen's capture.  Cuthred ruled until his death in 807, after which Coenwulf took control of the country himself.

Throughout his reign, Coenwulf successfully waged wars against East Anglia and the Welsh of Powys and Gwynedd.  Coenwulf's reign was filled with turmoil and blood shed, mostly that of the opposition.  Mercia continued to hold military supremacy in the region until the 820s, after Coenwulf's death.  Mercia did experience some rebellion and opposition, but under Coenwulf there was either a peaceful resolution to any conflicts or Coenwulf made certain that Mercia was victorious in the event a resolution could not be reached.  Coenwulf reigned until his death in 821. Coenwulf's brother Ceolwulf I   succeeded him as king of Mercia immediately after his death.

There is one gold coin in existence that bears the name of Coenwulf.  A 1200-year-old gold penny was discovered in England alongside the River Ivel.  This coin was sold to an American collector for 230,000 pounds at an auction.


image courtesy of Spink

The History Of Tudor Coins

The Tudor monarchs included:


Henry VII 1485-1509
Henry VIII 1509-1547
Edward VI 1547-1553
Lady Jane Grey 1553-1553
Mary 1553-1558
Elizabeth I 1558-1603

During the medieval period the English economy was growing steadily.  The growth of towns and increased trade with the European mainland created a need for additional coinage, including the introduction of gold.  England's prosperity was largely based on animal husbandry and agriculture, with industries such as commerce and wool textiles.  The expanding economy of the period was hindered by the arrival of the Black Death, which caused a fifty percent drop in the population.  The Black Death affected more children and males than women, which led to disastrous consequences for the economic growth the region had been experiencing. With the end of the Black Death, economic recovery began leading to higher wages and prices, which further stimulated the demand for coinage.

This economic recovery did not last long.  Trade with the mainland decreased due to the wars led by English kings directed towards defending or increasing territorial possessions.  There continued to be occasional outbreaks of the plague and other illnesses.  This combined with war and a continued decline in the population left the economy in ruins by the accession of the Tudor monarchs, beginning in 1485 with Henry VII.  Henry's new economic policies proved to be very effective in increasing the wealth of the nation.  The fist coinage of Henry VII consisted of the groat, penny, half-groat, and half penny in silver with traditional he gold coins consisted of the ryal (ten shillings) the angel (six shillings and eight pence) and the half-angle (three shillings and fourpence). The gold coinage was scarce however.


Henry VII's major accomplishment in coinage was the introduction of a realistic profile of the king on the groat, half-groat, and the newly minted testoon.  The design of the penny was also changed at this time to portray the king on a throne, making it known as the sovereign penny.  The first coinage of Henry VII was basically identical to that of his father, but with the words HENRIC VII replacing the name of the prior king.  In 1526, the increasing value of gold led to an increase in the value of gold coinage.  To preserve the standard six shilling eight pence coin, the George noble was introduced which featured St. George slaying a dragon.  This coin and two additional coins, the half-George and the rose crown proved to be unpopular and were discontinued and replaced by the gold crown, worth five shillings and a half-crown.


In 1526 the silver groat and half-groat featured a portrayal of a young Henry VIII.  Beginning in 1544, the nations economy necessitated some major changes to the third coinage of Henry VIII.  The gold coinage was returned to its original values but reduced in weight to compensate for the difference.


The early coins of Edward VI were identical to the coins of his father until 1550 when Edward produced silver coins, which were the first to include a date, shown in Roman numerals.  In 1551 as part of a major reform, Edward's early coins were replaced with silver coins of higher quality, which bore the value of the coin Latin numerals.  This was the first instance of Latin numerals appearing on English coins.


Also as part of the reforms that were taking place within the kingdom, a gold sovereign was struck with the king enthroned with a subject facing him, but this coin was replaced soon with a lighter twenty-shilling coin featuring a three-quarter bust of Edward VI.  The high quality silver coins from 1551 forward included a crown and half-crown depicting the king on horseback.  This design continued until the Commonwealth.


Lady Jane Grey was proclaimed queen in 1553.  She was deposed nine days later and eventually executed in 1554.  There were no new coins struck in this period.


The coins struck by Mary are divided into 2 parts.  Initially Mary stuck coins in her own right and after her marriage to Phillip of Spain in 1554, new coins were issued.  The earliest issues include a gold sovereign valued at 30 shillings, angels and half-angels, and a ryal.  Silver coins in this period did not include shillings or half-crowns, but groats, pennies, and half-groats continued.  After 1554, sixpence and shillings were introduced bearing the likenesses of Mary and Phillip.


After the succession of Elizabeth, the low quality silver coins were recalled and replaced with silver coins of high quality.  Some of the base silver coins were countermarked and devalued, the coins of Edward VI included.  There were many changes to coinage during the reign of Elizabeth including the beginning of milled coins.  The gold coins of Elizabeth's era consisted of the sovereign, the pound and half-pound, the crown and the half-crown.  The silver coins from this time included the shilling, penny, groat, and half-groat.  Towards the end of Elizabeth's reign, halfpence coins were struck featuring a bust of the queen holding a scepter and an orb.

Sunday, 6 November 2011


Highways Agency unearths hidden past along the A46 in Nottinghamshire

HIGHWAYS AGENCY News Release issued by COI News Distribution Service on 25 August 2010

Archaeological remains dating back to the last Ice Age together with Iron Age and Roman settlements have been uncovered as part of a Highways Agency scheme to upgrade the A46 between Newark and Widmerpool.

Among the finds were ancient flint tools and flint knapping debris that date back to about 11,000 BC - this was around the end of the last Ice Age, when Stone Age hunter-gathers returned as the climate began to warm up.
Geoff Bethel, A46 Highways Agency project manager, said:

"As the A46 follows the route of the old Roman road, we expected to uncover a number of artefacts from Roman Britain and we were not disappointed; but to uncover such rare flint tools dating back to the end of the Ice Age was very exciting.
"We worked very closely with English Heritage, our contractor and the archaeology teams to make sure the road route design avoided the important areas of archaeology during construction."

The design for the A46 route ensured that the majority of the nationally important site of Margidunum Roman town, near Bingham, was avoided by the new road scheme.

Most evidence of such early people has been found in caves. The pieces of flint found at Farndon appear to show these people were making things out in the open, indicating the possibility of a temporary campsite.

The excavations also provided valuable insight into the Iron Age and Roman communities that used to live in the area. Evidence of an Iron Age settlement at Owthorpe Junction, just east of Cotgrave, was uncovered. Further north at Stragglethorpe junction, a 4,000 year old Neolithic circular monument was located, with eight Bronze Age burials.
The archaeological team uncovered part of the settlement that lined the road leading into the town. Finds included Roman timber buildings, rubbish pits, wells and track ways, as well as a number of burials, all dating back around two thousand years. The stone lining of one of the wells has already been donated to the local Bingham Heritage Trails Association.

Phil Harding, Stone Age expert and presenter of Channel 4's 'Time Team', worked on the excavations as a field archaeologist for Cotswold Wessex Archaeology. He said:

"Among the findings was a piece from a Neolithic axe made of greenstone, a type of stone from the Lake District. It was very distinctive, only a chip the size of a stamp, but exciting nonetheless. The stone was very good quality and very distinctive - you could tell a person's wealth or status by the number of axes he owned, or the flint it was made from."
"Overall, there were enough bits and pieces to suggest we have evidence of hunting people, gathering, camping, and visiting the confluence of two rivers right through to the time of the first farmers.

Neil Macnab, of Scott Wilson Ltd, principal archaeologist for the contractor Balfour Beatty, said:
"The exciting discovery was of the flint tools and tiny fragments of flint knapping debris, which show very primitive activity occurring in an open area by hunter gathers. To find this in an open area, rather than in a cave is what is unusual, and could mean that they stopped to make something while out on the move."

Jon Humble, English Heritage's regional Inspector of Ancient Monuments, said:

"The line of the A46 coincides with part of one of the most important roads from Roman Britain - the Fosse Way that linked Exeter with Lincoln. So when the dualling of the A46 was being planned, we knew that the Highways Agency would have to consider the potential for important archaeological discoveries over the full length of the road scheme.

"More than a hundred archaeologists have worked very closely with the road designers, highway engineers and earth-moving contractors to ensure that important archaeological remains have been properly recorded and recovered. The Romans understood the value of first-rate team-work - I like to think they would have been impressed!"
Highways Agency unearths the past: Roman 'industrial estate' discovered near the A1

HIGHWAYS AGENCY News Release issued by COI News Distribution Service on 24 August 2010

A Roman 'industrial estate' has been discovered as a result of archaeological work for the Highway Agency's £318 million scheme to upgrade the A1 to a three-lane motorway between Dishforth and Leeming in North Yorkshire.
The unearthed site is linked to a known imperial fort at Healam Bridge, near Dishforth, built some 2,000 years ago.
The excavation, which started in July 2009 and was completed this summer, has given experts a rare opportunity to investigate a Roman site devoted to industrial activity.

Gary Frost, Highways Agency project manager, said:

"The Highways Agency is committed to protecting this country's heritage and working with organisations to do so. Throughout we have worked very closely with the experts in the field, including English Heritage, to preserve important archaeology.

"With the A1 we knew we were delivering this essential road improvement scheme in an area rich with history but even so, the findings made were far more than expected. They uncovered a hidden world, showing how the Romans sustained the fort and the surrounding area. The artists' impression of how the site could have looked really helps bring it to life."

A major feature of the industrial complex was a water powered flour mill used to grind grain and produce food for the garrison and other units travelling along the Roman road of Dere Street - the modern A1. The adjacent buildings, thought to have been occupied up to the 4th century AD, may also have been a supply centre for a wider area.
There is also an indication that the Roman occupants may have worn socks - rust on the nail from a Roman sandal appears to have impressions from fibres which could suggest that a sock-type garment was being worn.

Other artefacts uncovered on the A1 include animal bones, pottery, coins, metal work and brooches, and 14 human cremations were found in individual pits, along with the well-preserved skeleton of a horse underneath a building. The animal is thought to have been slaughtered as a sacrifice to the gods to bring the building good luck.
Blaise Vyner of AECOM, Cultural Heritage Team Leader for the Joint-Venture contractor Carillion Morgan Sindall, said:

"We know a lot about Roman forts, which have been extensively studied, but to excavate an industrial area with a mill is really exciting. We hope it can tell us more about how such military outposts catered for their needs, as self sufficiency would have been important. The findings show how the route has served people throughout the different periods.

"The industrial area comprised a series of large timber buildings, mostly on the north side of a beck, which powered the mill. It would have supplied the fort with goods and provisions - probably processing meat and other food, as well as flour, and could also have developed into something of a settlement focus in its own right. You only have to look up the road to Catterick to see how garrison towns are serviced by local shops. Perhaps we have something similar here."
Neil Redfern, English Heritage North Yorkshire & City of York, said:

"The Roman remains at Healam Bridge have illustrated the importance of this site on Dere Street and given us an insight in to industrial processes which had not previously been recognised or understood at the site.

"The time span of the remains uncovered illustrates how the site developed from a frontier fort and settlement to a more settled site with strong local economic role relating to the presence of mills along the banks of the beck. The complexity and depth of deposits were unexpected and the excavation team has dealt with them very professionally."

Very little is known about the Roman fort itself, which is now a scheduled monument and which only came to light as a result of geophysical surveys carried out in the 1990s in readiness for the A1's planned upgrading. The line of the new road was adjusted to avoid the main site.

Further south, work on the A46 in Nottinghamshire has also uncovered archaeological remains dating back to the last Ice Age, together with Iron Age and Roman settlements which have been uncovered as part of a Highways Agency scheme to upgrade the A46 between Newark and Widmerpool.

Among the finds were ancient flint tools and flint knapping debris that date back to about 11,000 BC - this was around the end of the last Ice Age, when Stone Age hunter-gathers returned as the climate began to warm up.
Footage of the findings being uncovered on the A1 can be viewed on the Agency's YouTube page by clicking on www.youtube.com/highwaysagency and images of the findings from along the A1 and A46 can be viewed on Flickr via www.flickr.com/highwaysagency.


Coinage of King Stephen (1135-54 AD)



Stephen, grandson of William the Conqueror and nephew of Henry I, was
crowned king in 1135. Stephen reigned as king for nineteen years
until his death in 1154. In the early years of his reign as king,
Stephen introduced new coinage throughout England and opened new mints
to produce the coins. While considered a kind and decent man, Stephen
was not generally thought of as an effective ruler. The years Stephen
spent as king were years filled with turbulence and criminal activity.
As a result, the production and quality of coinage declined with the
passage of time.



Stephen's coins were minted at Bedford, Bramber, Bristol, Bury St
Edmunds, Cambridge, Canterbury, Cardiff, Carlisle, Castle Rising,
Chester, Chichester, Cipen (possibly Ipswich), Colchester, Corbridge,
Derby, Dorchester, Dover, Durham, Eden, Exeter, Gloucester, Hastings,
Hedon near Hull, Hereford, Huntingdon, Ipswich, Launceston, Leicester,
Lewes, Lincoln, London, Newcastle, Northampton, Norwich, Nottingham,
Oxford, Pembroke, Peterborough, Pevensey, Rye, Salisbury, Sandwich,
Shaftesbury, Shrewsbury, Southampton, Southwark, Stafford, Steyning,
Sudbury, Swansea, Tamworth, Taunton, Thetford, Tutbury, Wareham,
Warwick, Watchet, Wilton, Winchester, Worcester, and York.

The Stephen penny of Cambridge featured the king's head with a
crescent behind and a sun in front of the head. In the 1140's, the
English government lost control of the coinage due to a country
divided between areas that remained loyal to Stephen and areas in
Wales and western England that were controlled by Stephen's
opposition. Stephen's opponents issued coins produced from dyes that
were deliberately defaced as a rejection of Stephen's authority in his
kingdom. Other coinage issued by opposing parties replaced Stephen's
name with enigmatic language that was possibly a reference to Empress
Matilda, daughter of Henry I and Stephen's cousin.

Coinage from the reign of Stephen included coins showing a cross
directly over the king's portrait. King Stephen was thought by many
to be weak of character and unable to maintain control of his country.
During Stephen's reign, Matilda asserted her claim to the throne as
the daughter of Henry I. Recognized briefly as Lady of the English,
coins were issued in Matilda's name after Stephen was captured during
the battle of Lincoln in 1141. In addition, many coins were issued
for Matilda's supporters as a means of paying for the civil war that
followed after Stephen's release from captivity. Coins have recently
been discovered from that time period that have added to the list of
coinage issuers during times of civil war.

The Matilda penny of Oxford copied the Stephen penny of Cambridge
exactly with the exception of Stephen's name being replaced with
Matilda's. Matilda had numerous supporters in Wales and Cardiff. The
Matilda penny of Cardiff was struck in Norman in the town of Breteuil.

Matilda's coins were minted at Bristol, Cardiff, Gloucester, Oxford, and Wareham, and possibly also at Calne and Canterbury.

During the reign of King Stephen, a coin was produced giving
Matilda's son Henry of Anjou the title of future king. Robert, earl
of Gloucester, was a supporter of Matilda and the illegitimate son of
Henry I. Earl Robert had considerable power in Bristol and Wilshire,
and issued coinage showing a lion resembling his seal.

Another supporter of Matilda and Henry of Anjou was Patrick, earl of
Salisbury. Earl Patrick struck 4 coins, three of which are now part
of the Conte collection. Eustace FitzJohn, accused of plotting with
Matilda, deserted and joined the Scots. Eustace fought against
Stephen in the Battle of the Standard. In 1138 Eustace struck a coin
showing an image of himself holding a sword. During this same time,
the Scots occupied the northern part of England. The Scots minted the
avid I of Scotland which was directly copied from the coinage of
Stephen.

In 1153, after the death of Stephen's son Eustace of Boulogne, the
civil war ended and Matilda's son Henry of Anjou was officially
recognized as the heir to the throne. Stephen was allowed to remain
king until his death in 1154. Stephen's last type was issued during
the first four years of Henry II's reign as king. This coin was
struck in Gloucester and still displayed the name of King Stephen


Saturday, 5 November 2011


Medieval gold ring declared treasure

A METAL detecting enthusiast unearthed a 14th century gold ring studded with a ruby and an emerald, an inquest heard.
Metal finishing plant worker Paul McEvoy, 44, found the medieval finger ring just six inches beneath the soil surface in a field in Thurcroft, Rotherham.
Mr McEvoy, from Dinnington, told the Rotherham hearing: “I thought I had dug up a squash bottle top but it turned out to be a ring.”
He said he had been metal detecting for an hour and until then had only found modern spoons, nails and a buckle.
The find, made in July, 2009, was verified by Beverley Nenk from the British Museum.
Landowners Judith and Hedley Leaning were at the inquest and said the land which had been left fallow after growing wheat was farmed by Richard Crowe from Tickhill.