A coin of a king of Machiavellian intrigue found within nine miles of the battlefield
By Geoffrey Cope – www.petitioncrown.com ……
Richard III, who took the crown of England over 500 years ago and put the two young princes of his late brother Edward IV in the Tower of London to achieve his ambition. Hated by many, he was the last king to lose his life on a battlefield in England at Bosworth in Leicestershire 1485 after being king for three years.
In the summer of 1485, an unknown person lost a freshly minted angel near were the Battle of Bosworth in the county of Leicestershire. Was he one of Richard III’s or Henry Tudor’s soldiers making his way to do battle in the seemingly endless conflict of the ‘War of the Roses’, or was the coin lost whilst the previous owner was leaving to return home? We can never know if the coin witnessed the battle, but its loss so soon after being struck is a bonus for the modern collector as a piece of such quality is a rarity. Richard III’s wonderful ‘boar’s head’ mint mark is as clear as a summer day.
A gold ANGEL coin with a Value of 6 Shilling & 6d. Whomever such a coin was a person of wealth. Weight 5.16g
The image of the Archangel Saint Michael slaying a dragon, The image of an English galley with the monogram ‘H’ and a rose set below the main topmast, the ship surmounted by a shield bearing the King’s arms, the legend inscribed PER CRVCE TVA SALVA NOS XPC REDE.
Unique ID: LEIC-E209C1
Bosworth was possibly England’s most important battle. The fortunes of the two Houses contesting the throne of medieval England were reversed; where history was about to have a change of author; where a rebel force defeated the king’s army which was twice its size; where King Richard III of England died on the battle field, and with this the Yorkist claim to the throne was effectively quashed. Like a phoenix from the ashes, Henry VII was to stake his claim to the English throne and reinstate the House of Lancaster as the Royal line following the deposition of Henry VI by Edward IV in 1461 and again in 1471.
Richard III made many enemies along the way, not least because he was not first in line for the throne and had acquired it under a cloud of suspicion. Richard as the brother of Edward IV, he was given custody of his nephews (Edward V and the Duke of York) on Edward IV death on April 9, 1483, but having locked them up in the Tower of London they disappeared and Richard acceded to the throne on June 26 of that year.
A jig-saw of treachery, Richard, was who was supposed to be the ‘protector’, created a web of mystery as to how and to whom he gave the order for the death of the young princes, children that should have been kings of England.
Treachery and changing sides was the order of the day during the Wars of the Roses when nobody’s support could be taken for granted and none more so than during this final battle when soldiers changed sides, taking with them one third of Richard’s 12,000 strong army and providing Henry with the larger force. On seeing this defect, Richard’s reserves, led by the Earl of Northumberland, failed to join in battle and this proved decisive in sealing Richard’s fate.
With the defeat of Richard at Bosworth, the near 90-year-old festering sore arising from the overthrow of Richard II by Henry IV was finally resolved when Henry Tudor married Edward IV’s daughter Elizabeth in 1486, thus uniting the two warring factions.
Richard III is the subject of an eponymous play by William Shakespeare.
Sold at Spinks 45’000 gbp with commission 4 Dec 2012