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Æthelred II (978-1016)

Anglo-Saxons, Æthelred II (978-1016), First Hand type, silver penny, Melton Mowbray? (MEDELTV), moneyer Hilde (same dies as Stockholm coin, ex Barshaga, Gotland hoard), 1.14g, broken. Found near Easton, Hampshire, 1999.

This is only the third-known coin of this mint and it allows us to see a much fuller form of the mint name. Hitherto, when only MED could be read, it was identified as the mint of the Abbey of Peterborough (Medehamstede), but this new coin shows that to be wrong. Medeltun, now seen on the coin, is a classic Old English form of modern Middleton, Malton or Melton. The three surviving coins are linked by moneyers and style with Lincoln and Stamford, and so the mint is likely to be within the Five Boroughs, the most appropriate town being Melton Mowbray, Leics. This coin is highly important, not merely for identifying a new Anglo-Saxon mint, but for removing an otherwise exceptional attribution of a mint to the Abbey of Peterborough.


Purchased from the Coins & Medals Fund with a matching grant from the MGC/V&A Purchase Grant Fund, 1999