Edward the Confessor, 1042-1066, sovereign & eagles penny, Ulfcetl of York, ex-Elmore Jones

Session 4

Abstracts - Session 4

1. Martin Allen
‘The currency and the economy in late medieval England’
Estimates of the English currency between the Black Death and the second half of the fifteenth century show a fall in the size of the silver coinage, which may have affected retail trade and other parts of the economy dependant upon the availability of small change. The use of foreign coinage as an alternative form of small change was inhibited by legislation. Gold coins increasingly supplied the largest element of the English currency, but coin hoards support the assumption that much of the gold currency was immobilised in reserves of cash. The contribution of credit and written financial instruments to the money supply is controversial and impossible to quantify.

2. Tony Moore
‘Medieval ‘traveller’s cheques’: financing foreign travel in fourteenth- and fifteenth-century England’
Medieval English kings frequently sought to regulate and control bullion flows from England, including the use of financial instruments such as bills of exchange. From the mid-fourteenth century they introduced a licensing system for non-mercantile letters of exchange. Between 1367 and 1424 there are over 1,000 surviving licences, issued to a wide variety of travellers and for a great range of sums. This paper will analyse the recipients in terms of their social status, likely destination, purpose of travel and the amount of money that they were licensed to export in cash or to collect abroad.

3. Barrie Cook
‘Kings, coins and royal entries in late medieval England’
In early modern England, coins formed an integral part of many royal ceremonies, helping to define the relationship of the monarch to God and to his or her subjects. It seems clear that many of these ceremonies either began or became formalised in the late medieval period, especially in the 15th century, and this paper attempts to examine the evidence for the role of coins in one of most public and in some ways most symbolic of these ceremonies, the king’s formal entry into the cities and towns of his realm. The particular focus will be the pre-coronation procession into the City of London and royal entries into York made by Richard III, Henry VII and Henry VIII.