By John F Chown, Forrest Capie
This booklet provides an in depth and excellent background of cash from Charlemagne's reform in nearly AD800 to the tip of the Silver Wars in 1896. It additionally summarizes 20th century advancements and areas them of their historic context.
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Extra resources for A History of Money: From AD 800
In 1265 Louis also tried to institute a gold coinage, but repeated the mistake made a decade earlier by Henry III: see below. His new coin, the denier d’or, or ecu, (the first, but not the last, time the name was used for a coin) was the same weight as the gros but ten times its value. This was the same, and wrong, bimetallic ratio of ten adopted by Henry, and the coin never became established. A possible explanation is that both rulers took a more authoritarian view of economic affairs than did the Italians (where political power was in the hands of the rich merchants) and thought they could impose an artificial value on the gold coins.
The earliest example is perhaps the least well known. Boleslas II of Bohemia (967–99) married Emma, sister of Aethelred II of England (978–1016) and struck an extensive coinage, many of which were closely copied from an English prototype (Aethelred’s ‘hand’ type of 979–85), which has a hand of providence, surrounded by a legend, on the reverse). These were unusual in one respect. The king’s name and title on English coins is, with one minor exception under Edward VI on the same side as his portrait.
There was also a change of type. The formalised bust of the King was now represented beardless and with a five pointed crown. There was still no attempt at portraiture—indeed Edward himself did have a beard. g. CIVITAS LONDON or VILLA NOVICASTRIA (for Newcastle). There were still three pellets in each of the four quarters of the cross. This general design was to persist for over two centuries (until the Tudor debasement) although during this period the royal name did change with that of the reigning monarch.