Northumbria Aethelred I 2nd reign 789-96AD Silver Sceat Shrine Issue


Code: FS848

Northumbria Aethelred I 2nd reign 789-96AD Silver Sceat Shrine Issue, CVDCLS

S857, 13x14mm, 1.20g

This exceptional type was once thought to depict the Shrine of St. Cuthbert, based on an interpretation of the reverse legend as SCT CVÐ. However, current scholarship agrees that the type belongs firmly to the series of small base silver Northumbrian sceats bearing the names of moneyers, and that the legend is more properly interpreted as the CVD CLS, for the moneyer Cuthgils.

In SCBI 68, Stewart Lyon suggests this ‘shrine’ type could have been issued to commemorate the attack on Lindisfarne, and therefore date to 793-6.


This coin is a part of the ‘John Cross Collection’ of Anglo Saxon coins. John was an avid collector of coins from across the Anglo Saxon period for many years, he sadly passed away in 2020. His coins were recovered by executors who appear to have destroyed all paperwork relating to them meaning that there are no tickets or provenance prior to his collection. Tony Abramson has compiled an inventory of his early coins, a copy of which is available on request and individual numbers on the back of our tickets relate to this. The collection contains many rarities, seldom offered on the open market so this is a good opportunity for collectors to obtain rare coins which are usually unavailable.


Æthelred I (774-779, 790-796) –             a king with two reigns, Æthelred was deposed in 779 but returned to rule in 790. In 792, he achieved a substantial act of diplomacy by allying with Mercia through marriage to King Offa’s daughter Ælfflæd. However, the next year Lindisfarne was raided for the first time by marauding Vikings – Æthelred’s popularity subsequently tumbled, as many saw this event as God punishing his brutal habits of murdering potential rivals. Chroniclers record that he was killed by a group of his own nobles at Corbridge in 796.

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