PAS Finds

PAS Finds: week ended 1 July 2022

PAS Finds: week ended 1 July 2022

My selection of the detecting finds recorded at the PAS in the week ended 1 July 2022.

Featured Find

“Crux Pellit” threepenny of James III of Scotland

Photo: The Portable Antiquities Scheme CC By SA2.0
Period: Medieval
Date found: 01/07/2022
Location: Allerdale, Cumbria

These copper-alloy coins were never legal tender in England and hence are rare finds here with only eight being recorded on the PAS. This has been designated a Find of Note of County Importance.

“Crux Pellit” coinage

The coins have their name because they bare an abbreviated form of the inscription CRVX PELLIT OMNE CRIMEN, “the cross drives away all sin”. In this example the legend reads CRVXo PELLITo OIEo CRImo.

Until relatively recently there was disagreement as to the origin of these coins; some doubting as to whether they were of Scottish origin at all and if they were then they were thought to be from an ecclesiastical mint. In 2008 Nicholas Holmes published an article in the British Numismatic Journal entitled “THE SCOTTISH COPPER CRUX PELLIT COINAGE: A TYPOLOGICAL ANALYSIS“, building on work by Mrs J.E.L. Murray in the 1970’s. This provided some, but not all, of the answers to mystery behind the coinage.

The available evidence points to them being minted on behalf of James III of Scotland although the style of lettering and crude workmanship suggests that they were not produced in the official mint and probably by workmen who were not normally involved in coin production. Mrs Holmes gave a tentative estimate that a total of 4 million of these coins were minted although only a few hundred now survive.

Cochrane’s placks

In contemporary documents Murray identified the coins as being referred to as “three-penny pennies” or “Cochrane’s placks”. It is not clear why Robert Cochrane, Earl of Mar was associated with the coinage. The copper coinage was unpopular among the Scottish people and Cochrane, either by his own design (as a favourite of the king) or at the behest of the kings enemies took the flack. And flack he took as he was hanged in Lauder in 1482 at the same time as the “crying down” of the black money by the Lords of Council.

Selection of other finds

Photo: Birmingham Museums Trust CC By SA2.0

Radiate of Carausius

Coins of Carausius used to be quite scarce until they started to be unearthed here, there and everywhere in England. This, of course, is because England was his main base. The latest coin is yet another important coin of this usurper emperor. It is believed to only the second coin of its type and is designated a Find of Note of National Importance.
Photo: Hampshire Cultural Trust

“Newbury Head” silver unit of the Belgae

A Find of Note of Regional Importance.
Photo: The Portable Antiquities Scheme CC By SA2.0

Figurine of Jupiter

With the body missing it is difficult to be sure which god this is but bearded male figures are associated with the Roman gods of Jupiter or Neptune and the Celtic god Sucellus. It is a Find of Note of County Importance.
Photo: Bristol City Council CC By SA2.0

Late Medieval Reliquary box

A silver gilt circular reliquary box, dating to the 15th to mid 16th century, depicting the Lamb of God (Agnus Dei). It contains a woven fabric and some white strands which are believed to be hair. It is being considered as Treasure.
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