Concept

History of the English penny (c. 600 – 1066)

Summary
The history of the English penny can be traced back to the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of the 7th century: to the small, thick silver coins known to contemporaries as pæningas or denarii, though now often referred to as sceattas by numismatists. Broader, thinner pennies inscribed with the name of the king were introduced to Southern England in the middle of the 8th century. Coins of this format remained the foundation of the English currency until the 14th century. Overview The history of Anglo-Saxon coinage spans more than five centuries, from the end of Roman rule in Britain in the 5th century, down to the death of Harold Godwinson at the Battle of Hastings on 14 October 1066. It can be divided into four basic phases:
  • c. 450 – c. 550: a very low level of coin-use in Britain, characterised by re-use of Roman coinage, though often in a non-monetary context. A small number of coins continued to be brought in from Gaul and elsewhere on the Continent.
  • c. 550 – c. 680: the 'gold' p
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