Henry II Coins
Henry II was King of England, from 1154 to 1189, and was one of the most influential kings of medieval Britain. After a period of civil war, Britain was fractured, but the young King reunified the country and controlled significant portions of France. His sons, Richard the Lionheart and King John, would both go on to become King’s following Henry’s death in 1189.
The English economy was under severe strain when Henry inherited the throne; years of civil war had cost the throne significant amounts of money. Two new pennies; the Awbridge silver penny, and the Short Cross penny were both introduced throughout Henry’s reign, in an attempt to stabilise the English currency.
These silver pennies are over 850 years old, and would make a very fine addition to any old coin collection.
King Henry II Coins
Henry II, also known as “Henry Curtmantle”, was born in France on March 5th, 1133. Despite eventually becoming the King of England, Henry spoke only French and Latin, though reportedly he could understand English.
Henry’s mother, Empress Matilda attempted to claim the English throne following the death of her father, King Henry I in 1135. Instead, her cousin Stephen of Blois was crowned King, and a civil war broke out amongst supporters of the two. The civil war went on for some years, only officially ending in 1154 when Stephen died, and Henry could be officially crowned.
In 1173 Henry II’s reign was threatened by the “Great Revolt”; an uprising of his own son “Young Henry”, supported by France, Scotland, and Flanders. The civil war lasted almost a year, and resulted in Henry II accepting several penances in order to secure peace once more.
The majority of coins produced during Henry’s reign were silver pennies of the long cross, short cross, and AR varieties. Mints in Henry’s reign were reduced to ten across the country.
Henry II died on July 6th 1189, and was succeeded by his son, Richard I.
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