Archaeological Numismatist

Tag: post-medieval

Some Worcestershire treasures: new publications for October 2022

The new issue of the Worcestershire Recorder has landed through my letterbox, and features a great selection of pieces exploring the county’s fascinating archaeology and local history – including two articles by yours truly!

The first article takes a fresh look at an enigmatic gold coin found during building work in Worcester in November 1859. While the coin can no longer be traced, written sources allow us to identify it as a cruzado of Manuel I of Portugal (1495-1521). These coins were legal tender in the mid-Tudor period, but are exceptionally rare as archaeological finds, with just 20 examples recorded across all of England and Wales. The Worcester cruzado fits within the existing distribution pattern, which has a south-western skew that reflects the role of the Bristol Channel as a hub of 16th-century Anglo-Iberian trade.

The second article is co-authored with my good friend Kate Potter-Farrant, and presents the results of fieldwork by the North Worcestershire Archaeology Group (NWAG) at Furnace Farm, Shelsley Walsh, in 2017. These investigations revealed activity dating from the Roman period to the present day, including the remains of two 18th- to 20th-century labourers’ cottages and post-medieval ironworking waste. The article builds on Kate’s incredible work on the finds assemblage, undertaken as part of her degree in Archaeology and Heritage Studies at the University of Worcester, and casts new light on a site excavated by a top-tier community group.

So why not have a look? To purchase a copy of the Worcestershire Recorder, get in touch with the Worcestershire Archaeological Society.

For a full list of my publications to date, check out the ‘Publications’ page on this website.

A Civil War hoard from Hampshire: new publication for September 2022

We’re now in September, and I’m pleased to share news of another article I’ve written that’s out in the wild!

This one appears in the Autumn 2022 Newsletter of the Hampshire Field Club & Archaeological Society. It reviews the evidence for a previously unnoticed hoard of Civil War-era silver coins found at Mousehole, nr Southampton, in May 1889. The hoard is an interesting one, consisting of shillings and sixpence hidden in a leather bag or purse some time after 1638. The article explores the circumstances of its burial in the light of other Civil War hoards from Hampshire, and suggests that it represents a stash of ‘ready money’ hidden just before the outbreak of war in August 1642.

So why not have a look? To get your hands on a copy, contact the Hampshire Field Club & Archaeological Society via their website.

For a full list of my publications to date, check out the ‘Publications’ page on this website.

Elizabethan treasures from Surrey: new publication for July 2022

I’ve just got my hands on a copy of the February 2022 edition of Surrey’s Past, the new-look version of the Surrey Archaeological Society’s (SyAS) venerable Bulletin. This issue contains fascinating insights into the ongoing SyAS excavations at Cock’s Farm, Abinger, new thoughts on the Anglo-Saxon cemetery at Guildown, and much else inbetween, including a short note by me on the Pirbright hoard of Elizabethan silver coins.

Discovered in 1844 but long since lost, the Pirbright hoard was previously unknown to scholarship, but can be carefully reconstructed through archival research. It consisted of c.120 silver coins of Elizabeth I, and was hidden far away from prying eyes on the edge of Pirbright Common in 1567-71. The article explores the find in the context of hoards and money in Tudor Surrey, and suggests that it might represent the household savings of a prosperous yeoman farmer from the local area.

So why not have a look? You can download the article directly here, or read the entire issue via the SyAS website.

For a full list of my publications to date, check out the ‘Publications’ page on this website.

Get into the groove: two new publications for April 2022

The Spring 2022 issue of the Worcestershire Recorder has just hit the shelves, and contains a whole host of fascinating articles on archaeology and history in the county. It’s also got two little articles by me – both on radically different topics!

The first article is a co-authored piece with Richard Lloyd from the University of Worcester, and discusses our recent research into the mysterious ‘groove marks’ that cover large swathes of the church of St John in Bedwardine, Worcester. Drawing on the work of James Wright, we reject the claim that these are ‘arrow marks’ from medieval archers, and instead suggest that they reflect the removal of ‘holy dust’ for use in medieval and early modern folk remedies.

Groove marks at St John in Bedwardine (© Murray Andrews)

The second article discusses a small group of clay tobacco pipes from Astley that had been donated to the North Worcestershire Archaeology Group. The assemblage spans the 17th to 19th centuries, and offers a snapshot of the shifting market for tobacco in post-medieval and modern Worcestershire.

So why not have a look? To purchase a copy, get in touch with the Worcestershire Archaeological Society.

For a full list of my publications to date, check out the ‘Publications’ page on this website.

A haul of hoards: new publications for March 2022

Members of the British Numismatic Society will have by now received copies of the 2021 edition of the British Numismatic Journal, which features three new articles I’ve written on medieval and early modern coin hoards.

‘Three Tudor hoards containing continental gold coins’, British Numismatic Journal, 91 (2021), 115-125.

The first article discusses three previously-unrecorded coin hoards from Tudor England. Notably, each hoard contains gold coins struck in continental Europe, a fascinating phenomenon most recently discussed by Richard Kelleher. Aside from their numismatic interest, the hoards have some interesting archaeological and historical associations: one find from the River Thames near Lambeth Palace was probably lost by a traveller taking the famous Horseferry to Westminster, while the likely owners of the two hoards from Southampton and Pendock can be traced in historical records.

View across the River Thames towards Lambeth Palace (Image © Tagishsimon for Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0)

The two other articles also record coin hoards. On describes an 1859 discovery of coins of Henry I and Stephen hidden at Dalton-in-Furness during the twelfth-century ‘Anarchy’, while the other gives summary listings of 47 medieval and post-medieval coin hoards reported under the Treasure Act 1996 by December 2020.

All in all, plenty of material to whet your numismatic whistle! To purchase a copy, get in touch with the BNS via their website.

For a full list of my publications to date, check out the ‘Publications’ page on this website.

‘Aged like a fine wine’: new publication for June 2021

New publication alert!

The latest Bulletin of the Token Corresponding Society is out now, and features an article I’ve written on an enigmatic series of countermarked coin tickets issued by ‘Massey’ of Abergavenny, Kidderminster, and Ludlow.

Countermarked wine ticket of Massey of Kidderminster
(Image © Murray Andrews)

Drawing on new historical and numismatic research, this article reassesses the series as a whole, providing new evidence for their dates and circumstances of production. Crucially, I argue that all three tickets were in fact issued by the same person: Thomas Massey (c.1750-1800), a travelling wine merchant active in the Welsh Marches during the late eighteenth century.  This conclusion reiterates the importance of coins, tokens, and tickets as communication media in the past. If countermarked coin tickets didn’t help advertise Massey’s business, it’s not clear why he’d bother to make them on three separate occasions!

If you want to learn more, why not give it a read? To purchase a copy, get in touch with the Society via their website.

For a full list of my publications to date, check out the ‘Publications’ page on this website.

Cash in the attic: new publication for May 2021

New article alert!

The Cercle d’Études Numismatiques have just published the 2020 volume of the Journal of Archaeological Numismatics (JAN). This year’s offering is a special issue on the ‘Archaeology of Monetary Deposits’, and has a fantastic selection of papers on coin hoards across space and time: from Ireland to Italy, and from antiquity to World War 2!

My article explores late medieval coin hoarding in domestic contexts, using Britain and Ireland as a case study. Taking in evidence from nearly 200 hoards, the article uses a range of statistical techniques to explore how and why medieval hoarders hid their money at home. Like all JAN articles, it’s lavishly illustrated with colour maps and graphs – and, as an added bonus, there is a full gazetteer providing a point-of-entry to the hoards themselves.

So why not have a read? To purchase a copy, get in touch with the editor via the CEN website.

For a full list of my publications to date, check out the ‘Publications’ page on this website.

BNS/RNS conference 2021: registration now open!

On 10 July 2021 the British Numismatic Society and Royal Numismatic Society will host their annual joint conference, to be held in person at the Ashmolean Museum and online via Zoom. This year’s conference tackles an appropriate theme on the fiftieth anniversary of UK decimalisation: the reform of currency systems, past and present.

There’s an impressively broad range of papers, covering coin reforms from antiquity to the present day. I’ll be speaking in the afternoon session about the reform that killed the medieval English currency: the Tudor Great Debasement. The talk will include new insights from projects that I’m currently working  on, including a synthesis of Tudor coin hoards from England and Wales, and of course the Sylloge of Coins of the British Isles volume on Chris Comber’s magnificent collection of Tudor coins.

‘Old Coppernose’: silver coinage during the Tudor Great Debasement
(Image: © The Portable Antiquities Scheme, CC BY 2.0)

Registration is now open, with in-person tickets costing £30 and online tickets costing £10. If you’re a student, online tickets are free! So why not book today – just follow the instructions on the Eventbrite page.

Cromwell and counters: new articles for January 2021

New year, new publications!

Coinage in Cromwell’s England

The new issue of Coin Collector Magazine has just been published, featuring an article by me on the coinage of Oliver Cromwell and the Commonwealth of England. It’s lavishly illustrated with some stunning gold and silver coins, so why not take a look? Copies are available from the publisher’s website, PocketMags, or all good newsagents near you.

Jetton from St James’s Palace

Secondly, a new edition of London Archaeologist is now available, featuring a great article by PCA’s Stacey Harris on a watching brief at St James’s Palace – curiously enough, the very place where Charles I resided before his execution in 1649. Anyway, I mention it not only because it’s a nice report on fascinating site, but because the star find is one that I reported on: an unusual Romulus and Remus jetton of Hans Kraunwinckel, dated 1601.  If you’re interested, do check out the publisher’s website!

For a full list of my publications to date, check out the ‘Publications’ page on this website: here.

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