Monday, July 27, 2015

King John Lackland

24 December 1166 – 19 October 1216
It looks like the obverse might have been double struck.  Interesting.
There is a short cross on this one.  Sometimes there are long crosses that extend near the edge of the coin.  These were like this to make it easier to divide the coin  equally along the center lines.  This would be the only way to make change or to pay smaller amounts.  The value was in the silver content at this time, and right up to the 20th century.  Now, the coin only represents value, the metal itself is worth very little and it is a crime to deface coinage.

John was the youngest of Henry II's legitimate sons.  He finally ascended the throne after Richard's death.  I bet this bummed Robin Hood out after all the trouble they had while John was running the country during Richard's absence.  John actually spent a lot of time in England, and was a better administrator.  He did not get along with the barons or the pope, however, in a stuggle over the rights of kingship and its limits. and was constantly on the run or warring his way through Baronial estates punishing those who opposed him.  In one escapade while trying to elude the Baronial Dogs of war and the new king, Louis I who had invaded from France, he was heading along the east coast of England in a train of wagons that included the crown jewels and other wealth.  He decided that it would be safe to cross what is known as the wash(a tidal bay that is near swamp or body of water depending upon its mood.  It has probably silted up more since that time.) with his retinue and in the process had the entire treasure bogged down and washed away, including the ancient crown and many other irreplaceable objects.  John also was forced to sign the Magna Carta at Runnymede which he later refuted and the pope anulled.  Still a great document.  John was not good at personal PR and made bad choices.  Still a better king than his brother, he was just there to take the beatings when Richard rarely set foot on the island.. 
Average to high prices for his coins.  This end of reign penny from 1199 to 1216 was about $125.00.

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