YeOldeCollector Posted March 13, 2009 Report Share Posted March 13, 2009 King Burgred, a name which is not often the first in mind when thinking about English history. Burgred was the king of the powerful kingdom of Mercia, made famous by the greatest of the old monarchs; Offa. Offa was, after all, the monarch who introduced the penny into circulation which rivalled the Frankish developments of similar recoinage. Mercia was located in the present day Midlands, i.e. Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire etc. As with many names in use today, Mercia is a Latinised form of Old English with the original name being Mierce which means 'People of the Marches/Boundaries'. Burgred ascended the throne in 852 to become the last king of Mercia due to the Viking Danes. Very soon after becoming king he allied with Ethelwulf of Wessex, (Wessex = West Saxons, just as Essex means East Saxons, Sussex means South Saxons etc.), in order to control Wales. Their joint campaign worked out well and the alliance was sealed when Burgred married Ethelwulf's daughter. Aethelred was king of Wessex from 865-71 and, with his brother Alfred the Great, joined forces with Burgred to try and expel the Vikings who occupied Nottingham in 868. Although the military might of Mercia was truly formidable and they had combined with the forces of the more powerful Wessex, their siege of Nottingham was not successful. The Mercians had no choice but to make peace which made the Vikings withdraw to York. The Vikings then proceeded to march through Mercian territory in 874 which caused Burgred to finally admit defeat and flee to Rome. The 'Anglo-Saxon Chronicle', created under the authority of Alfred the Great of Wessex in circa 890 and updated until King Stephen, states "This year went the [Viking] army from Lindsey to Repton, and there took up their winter-quarters, drove the king, Burhred [burgred], over sea, when he had reigned about two and twenty winters, and subdued all that land. He then went to Rome, and there remained to the end of his life." The penny above is a superb example of Burgred's 'Lunette' type. The obverse features a diademed bust looking right with the legend; BURGRED REX, starting at 7 O'clock. The reverse has the unbroken lunettes with the moneyer's named in three lines. The first line reads MON, the second reads EDEVLF and the third reads ETA. This therefore shows that the MONETA was EDEVLF, i.e. Ethelwulf. It really is better than the photo suggests and, in hand, I would grade this EF. For a coin that is about 1150 years old I think that is quite an achievement for such a long time. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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