Silver groat of Henry VIII, first coinage, dating to AD 1513-1518. Tournai mint. Coins of this type are uncommon, with only one other recorded on the PAS database. The PAS record designates it as a find of note: National Importance
On the reverse is the legend CIVITAS TORNACEN, indicating the mint of Tournai. The town of Tournai, which is in modern day Belgium, was captured by Henry VIII in September 1513 and brought an end to his campaigning in this area. To mark this, English style groats were struck from dies prepared by Henry Basse. Production began in the following March and lasted only a few weeks, during which 2,381 pounds of silver was made into groats and half-groats.
The obverse has a mint mark of a crowned T and the legend reads HENRIC DI GRA REX FRANC Z AGLIE – Henry, king of France and England, rather than the usual England and France.
Treaty of London
Tournai remained English until the Autumn of 1518, when it was handed back to the French as part of the “Treaty of London”. This treaty was a non-aggression pact between the major European powers of the time. It was brokered by Cardinal Wolsey and served to greatly increase the standing of Henry VIII in European political circles.