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1531-1544 Henry VIII Halfgroat York Archbishop Lee

1531-1544 Henry VIII Halfgroat York Archbishop Lee Obverse

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Hammered silver Halfgroat of Henry VIII, struck in York between 1531 and 1544 in the name of Archbishop Lee. The obverse shows the right facing crowned portrait of Henry with cropped hair within a beaded circle with a key mint mark above. This initial mark was used at the mint of York while Edward Lee was Archbishop: from 1531 until his death in 1544. He’s remembered for his dispute with Erasmus and his difficult relationship with Henry. Though he generally submitted to the plan cooked up by Thomas Cromwell to enable the king’s divorce from Queen Catherine of Aragon and subsequent marriage to Anne Boleyn, Lee was constantly under suspicion during his tenure. After getting tangled up in the 1536 Pilgrimage of Grace he was defended by Cromwell. He would be the last archbishop of York who coined money. His Halfgroats display his initials to either side of the shield of royal arms that appears on their reverse. This shield is quartered by a long cross fourchee which is breaks through a linear circle. The reverse also features a York key mint mark and the lettering for ‘Eboracum’ - the Roman name for the city. The ecclesiastical mint in the northern cathedral city was one of six mints - other than that located at the Tower of London - that operated during Henry’s reign, including Bristol, Dublin and Canterbury as well as other London sites at Southwark and Durham House. This silver coin weighs 1.36 grams and has a diameter of 17.7 millimetres. Grade: GF - Light even tone, legends weak in areas but strong bust and shield details: overall Good Fine. Spink 2348.
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Second coinage. Right facing crowned portrait of Henry VIII within beaded circle. Key mint mark. Legend: 'HENRIC VIII D G R AGL Z FR'.


Shield of royal arms in linear circle, quartered by long cross. 'L' and 'E' to either side of the shield. Key mint mark. Legend around reads: 'CIVI | TAS | EBO | RACI'. 


GF - Light even tone, legends weak in areas but strong bust and shield details: overall Good Fine.


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