Short Cross Pennies
Class 8a (c.1242) - Spink 1357A; North 981 and 981/1
In this article, coins of class 8a are subdivided into 8a1 and 8a2 on the basis of their reverse types alone, i.e. both sub-classes share the same 8a obverse type (but see Class 8a Note below). The diagnostic feature of the 8a obverse is a curule style X, and the majority of coins have tall lettering. The 8a1 reverse has a cross pattée initial mark and tall lettering. The 8a2 reverse has a cross pommée initial mark, like 8b, but with tall lettering. Single, double or triple-pellet stops may be used in either or both legends. Gallery images 1-3 illustrate respectively an 8a2 coin of London, an 8a/8b mule of London, and an 8a/8b mule of Bury (with shorter obverse lettering).
Mints: Bury, London
Class 8b (c.1242-c.1244) - Spink 1357B; North 981/2
Coins of class 8b have a cross pattée style X in REX and a cross pommée initial mark on the reverse. The lettering is shorter than that of 8a, and the beard has an external outline. Single, double or triple-pellet stops may be used in the obverse and reverse legends.
Mints: Bury, Canterbury, London
Class 8c (c.1244-1247) - Spink 1357C; North 981/3
Coins of class 8c are of crude style with coarse, thick lettering. They have a cross pommée style X in REX and a cross pommée initial mark on the reverse. Single, double or triple-pellet stops may be used in the obverse and reverse legends. The pellet on the king's chin of earlier class 8 coins is often omitted on those of class 8c.
Mints: Bury, Canterbury, London
Class 8 Note
Mass (SCBI 56) relabels North's 8a as 8a1, 8b1 as 8a2, 8b2 as 8b, and 8b3 as 8c. North, himself, had considered the same relabeling in his 1988 BNJ paper, but opted to retain the then established classification to avoid possible confusion.
Class 8a Note
Mass (SCBI 56) subdivides the obverses of class 8a, but his criteria are somewhat complicated, and the benefit of the subdivision is questionable. In the present article, the sub-classes 8a1 and 8a2 are based solely on the reverses. An 8a1 coin is one that has an 8a obverse combined with an 8a1 reverse. An 8a2 coin is one that has an 8a obverse combined with an 8a2 reverse. This approach increases the number of coins regarded as 'true coins' and reduces the disproportionate number that would otherwise be regarded as mules or hybrids. The mules that remain are 7c3/8a1 and 8a/8b. The key to recognising them is the lettering and/or the reverse initial cross:
The obverse of 7c3 can be distinguished from the obverse of 8a by the form of the letter X in REX, and by the closing bar of the letters C and E: On 7c3 the X has short round-ended limbs, and the closing bar of C and E is curved; on 8a the X is curule-shaped, and the closing bar of C and E is either absent or straight.
The obverse of 8a can be distinguished from the obverse of 8b by the letter X of REX: On 8a the letter X is curule-shaped; on 8b the letter X is pattée (but often with misaligned limbs).
The reverse of 8a2 can be distinguished from the reverse of 8b by the size of the lettering: On 8a2 it is large; on 8b it is small. (Compare reverses of images 1 and 2 in the Class 8a gallery above.)
No class 8a coins (including mules) of Canterbury have been traced, although it seems likely that they were struck.