Home World & Ancient Coins Forum

A Richard II Grote

BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,383 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited February 17, 2023 9:33AM in World & Ancient Coins Forum

Richard II coins are quite scarce, especially in attractive condition. This half penny is actually above average.

Recently I upgraded to this groat (4 pence). This is S-1680, the “bushy hair” variety. I have learned that these coins are quite scarce for the same reason the Henry IV coins are. They contained too much silver relative to their face value. Large number of pieces were exported to the continent and melted. This one is well above average.

Richard II, Lived 1367 to 1400, Ruled 1477 to 1399

Richard II became the King of England when he was 10 years old. During my studies of the British monarchs, I have noted that when a young man who became king before the age of 20, it did not work out well. Richard would add to that observation. Richard II became king in 1377. The finest moment of his reign came at the very beginning.

High taxes under Richard’s grandfather, Edward III and the black death had led to widespread unrest among the peasantry. A peasant mob had killed the Archbishop of Canterbury. The mob was in London, demonstrating.

At first, Richard took refuge in the Tower of London, but then he decided to meet the head of the rebels, Wat Tyler. At the meeting, the Mayor of London, fearing for the king’s safety, killed Tyler. The mob could have turned violent, but instead, Richard stood before them and said, “Sirs, will you kill your king? I am your leader. Follow me.” The crowd broke up with promises from Richard that there would be changes. This was Richard’s finest hour, but he would break his word.

Richard’s stand against the mob impressed the nobility, but it would not last. Richard’s chief benefactor was his uncle, John of Gaunt, who was the wealthiest and most powerful noble in England. He gave Richard positive advice, but it was not enough.

Richard played favorites among the nobles. He treated some of them well and other poorly and spent money lavishly on feasts, parties and entertainments while others suffered. He ignored his promises to the peasants. He demanded that people scrape and bow to him, and treat him as a monarch.

The nobles rebelled. Richard held on to his crown with the promise that he would reform his ways. He kept those promises for only a short while, and then he went back to his old ways. At one point he razed a building because his wife had died in it.

John of Gaunt died in 1399. Upon his death, Richard seized John’s son, Henry Bolingbroke’s, property. Richard and Henry had been childhood friends. They had taken the Order of the Garter together, but that did not matter. Bolingbroke went into a temporary exile, plotting his response.

The other nobles realized that if Richard could take Bolingbroke’s property that none of them were safe. Much of Richard’s support disappeared.

Henry Bolingbroke returned to England with a force of men. Richard was in Ireland at the time that Bolingbroke returned and was unable to overcome Henry’s advantage. Richard II was forced to abdicate and was imprisoned at Pontefract Castle. There he starved to death, either by choice of by force. Henry Bolingbroke became King Henry IV.

Richard II was the last of the direct line of Plantagenet kings.

Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible. I am also collecting at least one coin for each Roman emperor from Julius Caesar to ... ?

Comments

  • Another nice upgrade. I read too that most of his farthings and halfpennies were struck in the first 3 years and nothing else until his 11th.

  • Namvet69Namvet69 Posts: 8,600 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Musta been loads of double dealing, back stabbing, intrigue in that royal house. Thanks for sharing. Really nice upgrade. Peace Roy

    BST: endeavor1967, synchr, kliao, Outhaul, Donttellthewife, U1Chicago, ajaan, mCarney1173, SurfinHi, MWallace, Sandman70gt, mustanggt, Pittstate03, Lazybones, Walkerguy21D, coinandcurrency242 , thebigeng, Collectorcoins, JimTyler, USMarine6, Elkevvo, Coll3ctor, Yorkshireman, CUKevin, ranshdow, CoinHunter4, bennybravo, Centsearcher, braddick, Windycity, ZoidMeister, mirabela, JJM, RichURich, Bullsitter, jmski52

  • Bob13Bob13 Posts: 1,412 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great write up and great coin!

    One nit-picky edit: "High taxes under Richard’s father, Edward III and the black death..."

    Richard was Edward III's grandson (son of the Edward the "Black Prince").

    My current "Box of 20"

  • SimonWSimonW Posts: 568 ✭✭✭✭✭

    English monarchy is very interesting…

    I'm BACK!!! Used to be Billet7 on the old forum.

  • BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,383 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Bob13 said:
    Great write up and great coin!

    One nit-picky edit: "High taxes under Richard’s father, Edward III and the black death..."

    Richard was Edward III's grandson (son of the Edward the "Black Prince").

    Yes, thank you. I should have thought about that one.

    For England's sake, it's a shame that the "Black Prince" didn't survive. Richard II was certainly a loser.

    My Black Prince coin is heavily ghosted and not very nice.


    It is interested to note that the "Black Prince" name had two meanings. For the British it might have been for the color of his armor. For the French it was for the color of his soul. They regarded him as a devil.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible. I am also collecting at least one coin for each Roman emperor from Julius Caesar to ... ?
  • NapNap Posts: 1,700 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Much like the king himself, the coins of Richard II are much forgotten. Richard I was a better hero. Richard III was a better villain. Wat Tyler and Henry of Lancaster were not as good adversaries as Saladin (for Richard I) and Henry Tudor (for Richard III).

    Pennies and halfpennies of Richard II are common but the groats are tough. I would say on the whole the groats might be tougher than those of Richard III, despite the latter’s much shorter reign.

    Bill, if you aren’t aware, your coin is variety Potter III and is actually provenanced to the WJW Potter collection, the guy that literally wrote the book (well, article) on these. The style of bust is similar to the coins of Henry IV.

    Here is my Richard II groat, which is variety Potter I, with a bust very similar to that seen one coins of Edward III

  • ashelandasheland Posts: 22,569 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Splendid coin Bill! 👍

  • BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,383 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Bill, if you aren’t aware, your coin is variety Potter III and is actually provenanced to the WJW Potter collection, the guy that literally wrote the book (well, article) on these. The style of bust is similar to the coins of Henry IV.

    Yes, I was aware. The London dealer who sold this piece to me attached a copy of the article by Potter with the coin. I didn't mention it here because I was interested in presenting the history of Richard II.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible. I am also collecting at least one coin for each Roman emperor from Julius Caesar to ... ?
  • SwampboySwampboy Posts: 12,863 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Wonderful piece. So well struck.
    I don't have a medieval coin with such original patina.
    Can you translate the legends to us Bill.

  • BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,383 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 18, 2023 2:17PM

    @Swampboy said:
    Wonderful piece. So well struck.
    I don't have a medieval coin with such original patina.
    Can you translate the legends to us Bill.

    Okay, here goes. Not all of the letters are visible, not even on a high quality piece like this.

    Obverse:

    **+ RICARD x DIxx GRAxx REXx AnGLxZx FRAnCIE Z **

    "Richard by the grace of God, king of England and France”

    Reverse, inner circle:

    **CIVI TAS LON DON **

    “City of London” (mint)

    Outer circle:

    +POSVI DEVmxx A DIVTOR Emxx mEV

    “I have made God my helper.”

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible. I am also collecting at least one coin for each Roman emperor from Julius Caesar to ... ?
  • SwampboySwampboy Posts: 12,863 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thank you Bill

    +POSVI DEVmxx A DIVTOR Emxx mEV

    “I have made God my helper.”

    Pretty powerful statement that

  • tcollectstcollects Posts: 737 ✭✭✭✭

  • BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,383 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Swampboy said:
    Thank you Bill

    +POSVI DEVmxx A DIVTOR Emxx mEV

    “I have made God my helper.”

    Pretty powerful statement that

    For Richard II, I think that it was more of a slogan than a philosophy of government.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible. I am also collecting at least one coin for each Roman emperor from Julius Caesar to ... ?
  • CladiatorCladiator Posts: 17,917 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Fantastic thread, thanks to Bill and all others who've contributed. This is why this forum is awesome.

Sign In or Register to comment.