Edward the Martyr AD 975-978 Silver Penny Stamford


Code: GS367

Edward the Martyr AD 975-978 Silver Penny

Diademed bust left / Cross

Stamford mint / Moneyer LEOFING

S1142, 20mm, 1.22g. A minor weakness to the hair, otherwise a sharp overall strike with wonderful style, metal and tone.

From the Norwebb, Duke of Argyll and Grantley Collections, the latter sold by Glendenning’s on 22nd March 1944 (Lot 1107). Comes with previous printed label and typed coin envelope.

Edward ‘The Martyr’ (975-978): Taking the throne as a child of only twelve after the early death of his father, Edward was the eldest son of Eadgar. However, he lacked popular support as his mother had not been Ælfthryth – who had been officially anointed as Queen alongside Eadgar at his coronation in 973. To the Anglo-Saxon nobility, this gave him a lesser status. Already weak and easily manipulated as a child monarch, Edward was seemingly undermined by his own nobles and relatives – regional instability becoming rife and governmental business grinding to a halt. In 978, he was brutally murdered at Corfe, Dorset -with some suggesting that the force behind this was his own step mother Ælfthryth, keen to help propel her own son Æthelred onto the throne. Buried quickly with little ceremony – he was only after some years accorded a proper, royal reburial. When exhumed, the corpse was reportedly found to be in perfect condition. This was declared a miracle, and as such Edward acquired the epithet ‘The Martyr’ due to both this occurrence and his untimely, murderous death at the hands of his own people.

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