A rare penny minted in 1066 following the Battle of Hastings is set to be auctioned next month. The coin carries the message “William rules as king” and provides a horrifying insight into period of great change in British history.
The penny was produced in Romney, Kent, shortly after William the Conqueror’s decisive victory over Anglo-Saxon forces at Hastings on October 14th, 1066.
Six days after that, the Norman army arrived in Romney and defeated remaining local resistance. They then burned down the town.
Norman’s burning Saxon buildings shown on the Bayeux Tapestry. A campaign of terror followed the Battle of Hastings.
The news of Romney’s fate probably ensured that the stronghold of Dover surrendered without much resistance.
William ordered coins to be minted across his new kingdom – including at Romney.
The penny up for auction is believed to have been produced by a moneyer named Wulfmær and provides a unique snapshot of Norman control in the aftermath of the conquest.
Historians suggest Romney was selected as a minting site because of the town’s resistance to William’s invading forces. The striking of coins asserted Norman power over the defeated Saxons.
While the coin itself is a mute witness to this turmoil, the historical context and rarity make it a fascinating artefact for scholars and collectors alike.
Norman coin specialist Gregory Edmund of Auctioneers Spink values the penny at £2,000. It marks a pivotal period in British history that saw the dawn of Norman rule after centuries of Anglo-Saxon control.
The coin will go under the hammer next month and is likely to generate interest from collectors eager to own a rare survivor from the Norman Conquest. Its owner will possess a unique glimpse into numismatic history.