The coinage of Aethelred I (865-71)

The coinage of Aethelred I (865-71)

Adrian W. Lyons and William A. Mackay

British Numismatic Society, Vol. 77 (2007)


From the pages of North the coinage of Aethelred I looks very straightforward. It is largely confined to the ubiquitous Lunettes coinage. This type, initially the sole type of Burgred of Mercia, was subsequently minted in a very wide range of styles for three monarchs and an archbishop over a period of some twenty years. The issues of Aethelred I and Archbishop Ceolnoth are only a small part of this. There is, of course, a four-line design that seems to follow on from Aethelberht, and a debate about certain anomalous coinages bearing the name ‘Aethelred’, but not much else. As a result it has received limited attention over the years.

The earliest authorities – Fountaine, Ruding, Lindsay and Sainthill – barely recognised the coinage and the next 125 years of scholarship viewed it as either an appendage of Burgred or as the first type of Alfred. Honourable interventions by Blunt, Lyon, Metcalf and Northover, and a very substantial series of contributions by Pagan, have redressed this neglect, but the coinage of /Ethelred I and Archbishop Ceolnoth has never received a thorough evaluation on its own merits. Furthermore there has been no comprehensive consideration of the coinage of late ninth-century England for twenty years. Inevitably a number of intriguing finds and re-discoveries have been recorded that need to be fitted into such a review.

Click here to read this article from the British Numismatic Society

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