Short Cross Pennies

Classification

Class 1 (1180-c.1189)

All class 1 coins were struck during the reign of Henry II, and it is the only class attributed to this king. The coins are divided into three sub-classes, the first two of which are further sub-divided. The earliest coins have square C's and E's, as the preceding Tealby coinage, but these were soon replaced by round letters of Lombardic style. The king's hair is represented by small crescents, of which there are fewer on the left side of his head than on the right (often 2/5). His beard is represented by finely engraved lines, and the band of his crown consists of a line of five large pellets.

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Class 2 (c.1189-c.1190)

All class 2 coins are attributed to the reign of Richard I. The bust frequently lacks a neck or collar, and the face tends to have a rounded outline. The king's hair is represented by a variable number of wiry curls on each side of the head, and his beard consists of a mass of wiry whiskers. The whiskers are confined to the chin, and do not extend up the side of the face. The crown band almost invariably has five large pellets, as class 1. Coins of class 2 are most easily confused with those of class 1c, but can be differentiated from them by the form of the letter N.

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Class 3 (c.1190-c.1194)

All class 3 coins are attributed to the reign of Richard I. They are divided into two sub-classes, based on the form of the hair curls. The bust tends to be long and narrow with a beard of small crescents, which extend up each side of the face. The hair consists of several crescentic curls, the number of which is approximately balanced on each side of the head. The crown band usually consists of seven pellets. For the first time in the series, ligated letters sometimes occur in the legends.

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Class 4 (c.1194-1204)

Class 4 coins are divided into three sub-classes. The first of these was struck during the reign of Richard I, the second spanned the reigns of Richard and John, and the third was struck during the early years of John. The coins are the most stylistically degenerate of the whole series, with some of the busts being truly grotesque. The most significant diagnostic feature of the class is the king's beard, which consists of irregularly spaced pellets rather than crescents or lines. The lettering is also very wide, with frequent misspellings and incomplete letters.

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Class 5 (1204-c.1210) - Spink 1383; North 1013

All class 5 coins were struck during the reign of John. The coins are divided into three sub-classes, the first two of which are further sub-divided. They represent the result of measures taken to address the poor state into which the coinage had fallen, and are of markedly better style and execution than their immediate predecessors. Except on the earliest coins, which represent an experimental phase, the king's hair is depicted by two or three large ringlets (often with a central pellet) on each side of the head. The beard consists of a line of neat vertically inclined strokes along each side of the face and under the chin, where they often flank a central pellet. The crown band usually consists of five pellets.

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Class 6 (c.1210-1217/18)

Class 6 spans the later years of John's reign and the first few years after the accession of Henry III. The class is sub-divided into a total of nine sub-classes, and includes many different styles of bust. The main diagnostic feature that distinguishes coins of this class from those of its predecessors is the form of the letter X. On coins of the earliest sub-class, the letter resembles a Saint Andrew's cross, but on all susbsequent coins it takes the form of a squat letter with short, round-ended limbs. The curls are similar to those of class 5, with early sub-classes usually having two each side, and later sub-classes having three. The crown band usually consists of five pellets.

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Class 7 (1217/18-c.1242)

All class 7 coins were struck during the reign of Henry III. The coins are divided into three main sub-classes, each of which is further sub-divided. On the earliest coins, the busts are of good style and the lettering is small and neat, but both deteriorate quite quickly, with later busts becoming 'chinless', as the head descends into the inner circle, and the lettering becomes large and untidy. Two useful pointers to class 7 are the presence of two-and-a-half hair ringlets on each side of the head, and the absence of stops between words in the reverse legend.

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Class 8 (c.1242-1247)

All class 8 coins were struck during the reign of Henry III. The coins are divided into three main sub-classes, the first of which is further divided. The busts are markedly different to any of their predecessors, and also differ between the three main sub-classes. The letter X is again a diagnostic feature, with three completely different forms used respectively for the three main sub-classes. Single, double or triple-pellet stops are often used between the words of both the obverse and reverse legends.

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