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Great Britain: Charles I Shrewsbury Half Pound 1642,...

2014 January 14 - 16 Selections From the Eric P. Newman Collection Part III Signature Auction - New York #3029

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Auction Ended On: Jan 14, 2014
Item Activity: 7 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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1642 Shrewsbury Half Pound

Highly Desirable Civil War Issue
Charles I Shrewsbury Half Pound 1642, S-2920, North-2364 (rare), VF30 NGC. No ornaments beneath the horseman, pellets in place of mintmark. An evenly worn example of this Civil War issue struck at the temporary mint located southeast of Chester, The flan is undamaged and generally of good shape; the equestrian king and his steed are fairly clear; there is some doubling in the legends, but the lettering is all clear and easily read; the surfaces are toned a light silvery gray. The famous Declaration, which set the nation to war, appears in well-detailed letters in two lines. The date 1642 is sharp directly beneath, and above the Declaration appear three clear Shrewsbury plumes with the value "X" (10 shillings) beneath the central plumes and a stop, or dot, on each side. This issue was among the last, and one of the largest in silver, to feature the defiant Latin legend which declared the king's divine or absolute right to rule his land, EXVRGAT DEVS DISSIPENTVR INIMICE, taken from Psalm lxvii.1 and translating to warn Charles's enemies thus: "Let God arise and let His enemies be scattered."

After this coin was struck, the Civil War continued in two segments in which, not his enemies, but King Charles's own troops suffered scattering as a result of tangling with the army of Oliver Cromwell. This ended, of course, in the final surrender of the monarchy when King Charles was beheaded for "treason" -- and a bitter, difficult decade followed, the 1650s, the only period in history when England had no monarch. The date 1642 is particularly significant as it was in this year that Cromwell raised troops for Parliament against the king, and Charles in reaction issued his defiant Declaration at Wellington (the slogan of which he then had placed on many of his coins as a political message). This was also the year in which Charles ordered his mint moved from Aberystwyth to Shrewsbury. Beginning in the middle of October three denominations were minted there: the huge Triple Unite made of gold, and the thick Pound and Half-Pound coins made from silver mined in Wales -- all important early-war money made for a conflict which ended in the defeat of the monarchy and altered the course of history.

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