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Early Edwardian Farthings

Classification

 

Illustrations of the crown types and letter forms referred to below can be found in the Identification Aids section.

The wide date ranges associated with some of the later coins reflect the difficulty of relating the farthings to their more accurately dateable penny counterparts, and even the relative chronology of some of the types is speculative. For discussion on dating and chronology, see the section entitled Observations and rationale.

Farthing Group A

Type 1a (1279) - Spink 1443; North 1051/1 

 

Farthings of Type 1a have Crown A, a bifoliate crown with no intermediate ornaments between the central fleur and the side fleurs. The letter A is barred, but the bar is often thin and weak. E is open. N may be normal or reverse-barred, the two forms sometimes occurring on the same coin. S is composite. There is sometimes a colon (:) between the two words of the obverse legend. All farthings in this Group (i.e. Types 1a-3c) were struck from 0.765 fine silver, rather than the sterling standard of 0.925 used for all other denominations, in order to increase their size.

 

Obverse legend: EDWARDVS REX
Reverse legend: LONDONIENSIS; LONDRIENSIS (rare)
Mints: London only

Type 1c (1279) - Spink 1443A; North 1051/2

 

Farthings of Type 1c have Crown B, a trifoliate crown with no intermediate ornaments between the central fleur and the side fleurs. The outer leaf of the right side-fleur, however, is sometimes missing due to the punch becoming damaged, as on the coin illustrated. The letter A is barred, but the bar is often thin and weak. E is open. N may be normal or reverse-barred, the two forms sometimes occurring on the same coin. S is composite. There is sometimes a colon (:) between the two words of the obverse legend. See Observations and rationale for comment on Type 1c.

 

Obverse legend: EDWARDVS REX
Reverse legend: LONDONIENSIS; LONDRIENSIS (rare)
Mints: London only

Type 2 (1280) - Spink 1444; 1452, 1454; North 1052

 

Farthings of Type 2 have Crown C, a tall trifoliate crown with ornaments between the central fleur and the side fleurs. The letter A is barred, but the bar is often thin and weak. E is open. N is usually reverse-barred, but, possibly as a result of muling with earlier reverse dies, it is barred normally on some coins. S is composite. The colon found on some earlier coins between the two words of the obverse legend does not occur on this type.

 

Obverse legend: EDWARDVS REX
Reverse legend: LONDONIENSIS; VILLA BRISTOLIE; CIVITAS EBORACI
Mints: London, Bristol, York

Type 3c (1280) - Spink 1445, 1452, 1454; North 1053/1

 

Farthings of Type 3c have Crown D, another trifoliate crown with intermediate ornaments, but it has shorter side fleurs and a more curved headband than the preceding type. The letter A is barred, but the bar is often thin and weak. E is open. N is usually barred normally, but, possibly as a result of muling with earlier reverse dies, it is reverse-barred on some coins. S is composite.

 

Obverse legend: EDWARDVS REX
Reverse legend: LONDONIENSIS; VILLA BRISTOLIE; VILLA BRISTOLLIE; CIVITAS EBORACI
Mints: London, Bristol, York

Farthing Group B

Type 3d (southern mints) (1280-1281) - Spink 1445A, 1452, 1453; North 1053/2

 

Farthings of Type 3d usually have the same crown (Crown D) as Type 3c, but their obverse differs from all preceding types in having a new legend and no beaded inner circle. A few London coins of this type have Crown E, which is readily distinguishable from Crown D in having very large arrowheads as intermediate ornaments. See Observations and rationale for further comment on this crown. From this type onwards (until the star-marked issue of 1335), the coins are of sterling silver, and consequently tend to be slightly smaller than their alloyed predecessors. The letter A is barred, but the bar is often thin and weak. E is open. N is normal. S is composite. This type and the following type differ only in respect of their mints, and are often combined under the designation 3de.

Obverse legend: E R ANGLIE
Reverse legend: LONDONIENSIS; VILLA BRISTOLLIE; CIVITAS LINCOL'
Mints: London, Bristol, Lincoln

Type 3e (northern mints) (1280-1281) - Spink 1453A, 1454; North 1053/2

 

Farthings of Type 3e have the same crown (Crown D) and other details as Type 3d. The letter A is barred, but the bar is often thin and weak. E is open. N is normal. S is composite. This type and the preceding type differ only in respect of their mints, and are often combined under the designation 3de.

 

Obverse legend: E R ANGLIE
Reverse legend: NOVI CASTRI; CIVITAS EBORACI
Mints: Newcastle, York

Type 3g (1280-1281) - Spink 1446, 1452; North 1053/3

 

Farthings of Type 3g are similar to those of Types 3d and 3e, but have Crown F, a new trifoliate crown on which the outer leaf of the side fleurs is more spread, and the middle leaf of the side fleurs points outwards. The letter A is barred, but the bar is often thin and weak. E is open. N is normal. S is composite. See Observations and rationale for comment on Type 3g. 

 

Obverse legend: E R ANGLIE
Reverse legend: LONDONIENSIS; VILLA BRISTOLLIE
Mints: London, Bristol

Type 4de (1285-1289) - Spink 1446A; North 1054/1

 

Farthings of Type 4de usually have Crown D, but Crown F is also rarely found. The face and obverse legend are as those of Types 3c-3g, but the coins are readily distinguishable, as they have a new reverse legend. The new legend is the form used on all subsequent farthings in the series covered by the present article. The letter A is barred, but the bar is often thin and weak. E is open. N is normal (sometimes weakly barred) or unbarred. S is usually composite.

 

Obverse legend: E R ANGLIE
Reverse legend: CIVITAS LONDON
Mints: London only

Type 5 (1289-1296) - Spink 1446B; North 1054/2

 

Farthings of Type 5 have Crown G, which is markedly larger than all the preceding types, and has the appearance of being too large for the king's head. The face is also larger and more rounded. The letter A is weakly barred or unbarred. E is open. N is normal (sometimes weakly barred) or unbarred. S is composite or one-piece. On some coins the letter G has a long descending terminal. 

 

Obverse legend: E R ANGLIE
Reverse legend: CIVITAS LONDON

Mints: London only

Type 6-7 (1289-1296) - Spink 1447; North 1055

 

Farthings of Type 6-7 have Crown H, which is of more slender proportions and less splayed than the preceding type. The same crown is also used on Type 9a coins, where it becomes damaged. The letter A is weakly barred or unbarred. E is open. N is normal (sometimes weakly barred) or unbarred. R is wedge-tailed or crescent-tailed. S is composite or  one-piece. On some coins the letter G has a long descending terminal (as on the example illustrated). Many coins have a swollen cheek on the right side of the king's face. Eyes may be almond-shaped or pellets.

 

Obverse legend: E R ANGLIE; E R ANCLIIE (error)
Reverse legend: CIVITAS LONDON
Mints: London only

Farthing Group C

Type 8 (1294-1301) - Spink 1448; North 1056

 

Farthings of Type 8 have Crown J, which is a new trifoliate crown with very large side fleurs on long stalks. The coins can be distinguished from the foregoing types by another change to the obverse legend. The letter A is unbarred. E is closed. N is normal (sometimes weakly barred) or unbarred. R is wedge-tailed. S is of thin, one-piece type.

 

Obverse legend: E R ANGL DN
Reverse legend: CIVITAS LONDON

Mints: London only

Type 9a (1294-1301) - Spink 1449; North 1057/1

 

Farthings of Type 9a have Crown H, as Type 6-7, but during this issue the left spearhead and the pointed middle leaf of the right fleur become damaged. The middle leaf of the central fleur also shortens with progressive wear of the punch. Several different faces are used, the first being the same as one used on Type 6-7, the last being the one that is also used on Type 9b. The letter A is unbarred. E is closed. N is normal (sometimes weakly barred) or unbarred. R has a notched or crescent-shaped tail. S is one-piece.

 

Obverse legend: E R ANGL DN; E R ANGL AN (error)
Reverse legend: CIVITAS LONDON
Mints: London only

Type 9b (1299-1301) - Spink 1449A; North 1057/2

 

Farthings of Type 9b have Crown K or Crown L, both of which are new. All coins have a small face, which first occurs on late coins of Type 9a. The letter A is unbarred. E is closed. N is weakly barred or unbarred. R has a notched tail. S is one-piece. Mules exist with the obverse of Type 9b (Crown K) and the reverse of Type 10. See Observations and rationale for comment on Type 9b. 

 

Obverse legend: E R ANGL DN
Reverse legend: CIVITAS LONDON
Mints: London only

Farthing Group D

Type 10 (1301-1310) - Spink 1450; North 1058

 

Farthings of Type 10 have Crown M, a new bifoliate crown with a very low central fleur. The beaded obverse inner circle is restored with this type and remains on all subsequent farthings covered by the present article. The letter A is unbarred. E is closed and may be round or angle-backed. It is sometimes from a C punch to which a central bar has been manually added to the die. N is usually narrow with incurved sides and barred, but occasionally unbarred or straight sided and barred. S is one-piece. W is sometimes in the form of two distinctly separate V's. See Observations and rationale for comment on Type 10.

 

Obverse legend: EDWARDVS REX; EDWARDVS REX A; EDWARDVS REX AN; EDWARDVS REX ANG
Reverse legend: CIVITAS LONDON
Mints: London only

Type 10-11 (1305-1335) - Spink 1474; North 1070/1

 

Farthings of Type 10-11 have Crown N, a new bifoliate crown with a taller and differently shaped central fleur to the preceding type. The headband of the crown breaks up on the punch from early in its use, and is incomplete or missing on the great majority of coins. Several varieties of this type exist with obverse legends that begin in odd positions (2 o'clock, 6 o'clock, etc.), rather than the usual 12 o'clock position. The letter A is unbarred. E is angle-backed and closed. N is usually narrow with incurved sides and unbarred, but a faint bar can be seen on some coins. The two uprights of the N often merge and the letter looks like a sub-rectangular block with incurved sides. S is one-piece.

 

Obverse legend: EDWARDVS REX; EDWARDVS REX A; EDWARDVS REX AN; EDWADVS REX AN (error); EDWARDVS REX AX (error); EDWARDVS RX AN (error)
Reverse legend: CIVITAS LONDON
Mints: London only

Edward II Cl 10-11 Farthing London.jpg

Type 13 (1305-1335) - Spink 1474; North 1070/2

 

Farthings of Type 13 have Crown P, a crown with a distinctive left side fleur the inner leaf of which curls downwards and touches the crown band such that it forms a closed loop. The initial cross is usually made up of four wedges, which when slightly worn has the appearance of a square with concave sides. However, a small number of the coins (seemingly those with the longer forms of obverse legend) have a normal cross pattée. The letter A is unbarred. E is round-backed and closed. N is usually unbarred. S is one-piece.

 

Obverse legend: EDWARDVS REX; EDWARDVS REX A; EDWARDVS REX AN
Reverse legend: CIVITAS LONDON
Mints: London only

Type 15d (1305-1335) - Spink -; North -

 

Farthings of Type 15d have Crown R, a new neat symmetrical bifoliate crown with tall side fleurs. The initial mark is a cross pattée. The letter A is unbarred. E is angle-backed and closed.  N is normal. At first sight the letter S appears to be a one-piece type, but under magnification it can be seen to be of two-part composite form.

 

Obverse legend: EDWARDVS REX AG
Reverse legend: CIVITAS LONDON
Mints: London only

Star-Marked Issue

Class 1 (1335-1343) - Spink 1542; North 1101

 

Farthings of Class 1 of the star-marked issue have Crown S, a very low crown without intermediate ornaments. The coins can be readily identified by the presence of a star in the obverse and reverse legends. An asterisk (*) in the legends shown below represents a star in that position on the coin. The silver of this issue is 0.833 fine.

 

Obverse legend: EDWARDVS REX A*; EDWARDVS REX AA*; EDWARDVS REX AN; EDWARDVS REX AN*; EDWARDVS REX ANG*
Reverse legend: CIVITAS *LONDON
Mints: London only

Class 2 (1335-1343) - Spink 1542A; North 1104

 

Farthings of Class 2 of the star-marked issue have Crown T, a tall crown without intermediate ornaments. The coins can be readily identified by the presence of a star in the obverse and reverse legends. Although they are presently only known of London, farthings of this type were probably also struck at Reading. Dies were ordered in 1339 for both farthings and halfpennies, and rare examples of the latter denomination have survived. An asterisk (*) in the legends shown below represents a star in that position on the coin. The silver of this issue is 0.833 fine. 

 

Obverse legend: EDWARDVS REX ANG*
Reverse legend: *CIVITAS LONDON; CIVITAS *LONDON; CIVITAS LONDON*
Mints: London, see above