Godric Minted Coins

Godric the moneyers.

Godric The Moneyer

Godric the moneyers.

Lincoln had a number of moneyers at least sixteen these were responsible for minting some ninety-three known coins of the first type issued for Edward the Confessor at that mint. The coin would have the king /ruler on one side and the moneyers identity on the other while some moneyers were represented by only one coin; some twenty three were struck by Godric at Lincoln alone. Numismatists can identify the dies used to produce the coins and the number of moneyers involved in the mint. By identifying the number of dies we have a much better indication of a mints activity. Only one large mint, Lincoln, has been systematically analysed in this way, but the coins recovered in the Beaworth hoard make it possible to gain some idea of the number of dies used in each mint to produce the last type of coin issued for William I. The coins of this type show that, although Cambridge and Steyning were then both one-moneyer mints, Cambridge is represented by one surviving reverse die, while Steyning has five. The contrast is equally marked in such two-moneyer mints as Hartford, Stafford and Tamworth, all with two dies, Chichester with ten, and Lincoln, Wallingford and Warwick with nine dies each. The largest mints were Canterbury with thirty-nine dies and a Godric moneyer, London with forty-nine dies, and a Godric moneyer also, (see illustration and notes) and Winchester fifty dies, all of them had eight moneyers each. (These figures are taken from the British Museum Catalogue.       


 Harold II, issued by the moneyer Godric of Thetford. It was struck from the same dies as a coin in the British Museum collection (BMC ii, p. 474, no. 122).

The obverse inscription reads +HAROLD REX ANG and the reverse reads +GODRIC ON _EOTI.

 Cnut 1016-1035 Godric on the reverse (GODRIC ON LVN) were being struck at the London Mint 1029-1036. 


 Silver pennies of Ethelred II, Long Cross type (North 774), struck by Godric of London.


Reign Cnut dated 1024-1030 moneyer Godric on LVDDEN (London) Pointed Helmet; BMC xiv; Hild. G, Seaby 1158, North 787. SCBI#14-2620, 2621, reverse of 2622; SCBI#30-509


 Godric Coin - Anglo-Saxon Pennies.  Edward Confessor, Pacx type, Godric, moneyer Godric ON LINC, rev P in fourth quarter, 17.5grains, 1.13g


 Aethelred II, 978-1016. Penny, “Helmet”, London mint, 1003-09. Armoured, Helmeted bust l. rev: Long Cross Trefoils, “GODRIC MO LUND” (London).

 The pipe rolls of the Exchequer contain accounts of the royal income, arranged by county, for each financial year. They represent the earliest surviving series of public records, and are essentially continuous from 1155 onwards until the 19th century; one roll from 1129-30 also survives. A copy of each pipe roll - known as the Chancellor's Roll - was also sent to the Chancery. (The unusual name - officially it started out as the 'Great Roll of the Exchequer' - comes from the distinctive way in which the membranes were sewn together, which made them look like pieces of piping when rolled up.)

The sheriffs' accounts form the core of the early pipe rolls. The sheriff was the king's representative in the county, and was responsible for collecting revenues from the royal estates and other sources. The rolls also record some items of expenditure by the sheriffs, and include lists of lands formerly part of the royal estates, which had been given to private individuals. In addition, there are payments of feudal dues and taxes, 'offerings' to the king in connection with legal disputes, records of penalties (amercements) imposed by the itinerant justices, and miscellaneous items such as enrolled charters. As time went on and the volume of administration increased, some of these categories were removed into separate series of records (including, in the 14th century, the accounts of the royal estates).

The early pipe rolls provide a useful source of information from a period when few other records are available. Those from the late 12th and early 13th century have been published with indexes, mainly by the Pipe Roll Society. It is therefore fairly straightforward to search the early pipe rolls for entries relating to particular names (although see the * A note on surnames in early records). However, interpreting the entries may be less straightforward. Nearly all the printed texts are in Latin, and many of the earlier volumes use 'record type' to reproduce the highly abbreviated style of the originals. Beyond this, while the significance of many entries may be fairly clear, interpreting others may require some knowledge of the administrative procedures. One other point to bear in mind is that many of the entries record outstanding debts, which were presumably copied from roll to roll until they were paid - and, of course, information copied from year to year may easily become anachronistic. The Pipe Rolls do not give any explanation as to why Godric owes the treasury ten marks, but it is unlikely as to be connected with the closure of the Worcester mint in 1158, because the first pipe Roll entry only appears in 1160/1. this is clearly a new debt and may have nothing at all to do with minting. Godric simply being described as the moneyer as a means of identification. A Godric who had coined at Worcester might still be referred to as a moneyer in 1160/1, even though minting had ceased there in 1158, since there is evidence to suggest that men who had once served as moneyers might retain the title as a kind of by-name even after they had stopped actively minting. However, we do not know whether the Godric in the Pipe Rolls should be identified as a Worcester moneyer at all. It is very possible that he might actually be a moneyer working at another mint and there are a number of moneyers known from the Tealby issue whose names could have been abbreviated God… in this way. Those working at Lincoln, London and Canterbury. There is clear evidence from Winchester how ever that moneyers could be given that title there even though they actually coined at other mints (Nightingale (1982) I am sure the custom is likely to have existed elsewhere. So yes Godric moneyers, but it is difficult to know for sure how to interpret the evidence for his career as a moneyer, he was present at Lincoln but was he actually coining under title at other mints? This consists of a single coin in star in lozenge Fleury 1121/3 with a clear GODRIC signature and three Watford pennies 1136/45, all of which read only GO… . In addition a moneyer called GOD… appears in the Worcestershire section of the Pipe Rolls for Henry II, 1160/1, where he is recorded as owing ten marks which he pays off in this and the following year. (Allen, probably following the editor of the Pipe Rolls, expanded the name as Godefridus, but both Pipe Roll entries actually have only the ambiguous and unexpanded form God… . 

*A note on surnames.

How do we know that Godric is identified correctly various points have a bearing on how we assess this evidence. One point to bear in mind when using earlier records is that hereditary surnames came into common use in England only gradually in the centuries following the Norman conquest. Although some hereditary surnames, such as Bigod, de Warenne and de Vere, do occur in Domesday Book (usually they reflect the family's place of origin on the continent), they are the exception rather than the rule, even among feudal tenants.

It's particularly important to beware of components of the name which look like surnames, but are not - although in some cases they later evolved into them. For example, the tenant of the manor of Norton might be called 'William of Norton' (or 'William de Norton' in Latin or French). If the manor changed hands, a generation later we might find the new tenant, even if completely unrelated, called Richard de Norton. Conversely, if one man held two manors, he might be described as William de Norton at one time, and William de Sutton at another. Characters such as 'Thomas fitz William' can also be dangerous. Originally this was no more than a French form of 'Thomas son of William' (hence the much later selection of 'fitzRoy' as a suitable surname for the illegitimate son of a king).

Because surnames were undeveloped in the earlier medieval period, the indexes of printed records and historical texts are often arranged by forename. In using indexes, it's important to check whether this is the case, as the system is likely to be applied also to families which did bear hereditary surnames, sometimes without giving cross-references.