Henry I penny – new variant

Photo: Bristol City Council CC By SA2.0
Issued by: Henry I
Denomination: Penny
Period: Medieval
Date found: 29/04/2024
Location: Sandhurst, Gloucestershire


A penny of Henry I, which Martin Allen on the PAS records describes as “a new variant with inner circle but no crown on the obverse, and with a cross fleury on reverse“. Consequently, it is considered to be a Find of Note of National Importance.

The reverse reads +DRIV:[  ][N?]:[C, E or L]ODE giving the moneyer as Driu. This name is known as a moneyer at Hereford in  Stephen type 7 and Henry II’s Cross and Crosslets (Tealby) coinage but is previously unknown for Henry I. The identity of the mint is unclear.

The PAS record notes that there our two other known Henry I types that have a three-quarter facing portrait, holding a sceptre (Type 6 and Type 15). It suggests that “The new coin appears to sit stylistically and chronologically between the two

Type 6

Type 6, North 862, c. 1107

Type 15

Type 15, North 871 c. 1125-35

Bent coin

When found the coin was bent

Henry I penny as found.
Photo: Bristol County Council CC By SA2.0

The shallow even curve of the fold suggests that it may have been wrapped around a thick cord rather than being plough damage.

It may have been a prayer or pilgrims token.