A High Grade Richard III Groat
As I get closer to acquiring a coin from each of the British kings on my list, I have gone back and upgraded a few pieces.
Richard III ruled for only three years, from 1483 until 1485. He was the brother of Edward IV and had no right to the crown because Edward had two sons. When Edward died unexpectedly, Richard took the two boys into “protective custody” locked them away in the Tower of London. Richard made the case that they had no right to the crown because their father had been illegally married to their mother. Edward had been committed to a noble woman, but he chose a commoner instead.
A majority of people think that Richard III had the boys killed. Their bodies were buried behind an old staircase that was unearthed years later. Their bones are now buried at Westminster Abby. Some people think that Henry VII had them killed. Both kings would have had their reasons.
Other than the murders, Richard III seems to have been a decent king. He tried to reconcile the differences between the waring Lancaster and York sides and was a good administrator.
His reign was cut short when Henry VII (Tudor) challenged him. At the Battle of Bosworth, Richard charged into the line in the effort kill Henry quickly and end the rebellion. Richard was cut down instead. He would be the last British king to die on the battlefield.
Richard's body was disposed of quickly. In 2013, his bones were discovered under a parking lot in Leicester City. They confirmed that Richard had a curvature of the spine.
This is often exaggerated in Shakespeare’s Richard III where he is portrayed as a foul villain. We need to remember that Shakespeare, for all of his talents as a writer, was also a politician who wanted to be on the Tudor Family’s good side.
Richard's coins are usually found in low grade when you can find them at all. This was my first Richard III coin, a penny. This is actually a little better than average. This piece was struck at the Durham Mint under Bishop John Sherwood. That's why the coin as the big "S" under Richard's portrait. And no, this was an early rendition of Superman
And here is my recent purchase, a groat. This is graded EF-45, and it's "all there" at least by American standards. This is close to as good as it gets for most collectors when it comes to these coins.