«Lead Currencies carry us through History»

Kingdom of England, William I the Conqueror, Penny

 back

Kingdom of England, William I the Conqueror, Penny (obverse) Kingdom of England, William I the Conqueror, Penny (reverse)

After the death of Edward the Confessor, Duke William of Normandy claimed power over the Anglo-Saxon kingdom. He defeated the last Anglo-Saxon King Harold II at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. William the Conqueror (1066-1087) built up an efficient state institution in England. The coinage system remained unchanged – even the Anglo-Saxon staff was left in duty, as the names of the mint masters on William's coins show. The penny depicted here bears the name of a certain Aelfwine. William made only one modification: he altered the weight of the penny to 22.5 grains (1.57 grams), and this remained unchanged for the next two centuries. Supposedly, the English penny owes the label "sterling" to this stability, because "steor" was an Anglo-Saxon word for "stable" or "solid."

 back