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On Saxon Coins struck at Norwich, with the
Moneyer's name of Manning.
THE REV. CANON C. R. MANNING, M.A., F.S.A.
The coins on which I have to offer a few notes are more interesting to myself personally, than perhaps they may be to others. They are those of local mints of some of our Saxon kings which bear the name of MANNING as the moneyer, or mint master. I do not pretend to much knowledge of numismatics, but anyone who has looked at the Saxon series knows that the coins usually represent on the obverse the head of the king, or some other device, and on the reverse the name of the town where they were struck, generally in an abbreviated form, and the name, or part of the name, of the moneyer who was responsible for them. Mr. Edward Hawkins's Silver Coins of England, p. 427, tells us that“ in former times it was customary to grant to various individuals, in different parts of the country, the privilege of coining and issuing money in the name of the reigning sovereign. The pieces so issued were to be of a prescribed type, size, weight, and standard, that there might be one uniform appearance in the coins circulating in the kingdom. It is probable that in many instances the dies were actually made in London, and transmitted to the various mints where they were to be used. Το prevent fraud, it was necessary that the coins issued
from every mint should be tested ; and for this purpose the trial of the Pix at Westminster was established, whereby pieces taken at random from the whole mass coined at each mint were melted and assayed; and, if found to be of the prescribed weight and fineness, the moneyers, masters, and workers of the mint received their quietus, and were freed from all charges which might thereafter be brought against them, grounded upon any imputed failure in the execution of the contract under which their privilege had been granted to them. It was probably in order that each moneyer's coins might be separated at these trials of the Pix, and that each might be responsible only for his own works, that the names of the moneyers, or of the mint, or both, were stamped upon the coin, and formed part of the type.”
Whether these moneyers were residents in the towns to which their names are attached, or whether they were to some extent peripatetic, and followed the king about the country, is, I believe, a disputed point with those who have studied the subject. We may, perhaps, gather from Juvenal that potters followed the camp, although he writes in a highly satirical vein :-“ Figuli tua castra sequantur.” (Sat. iv. 135). But one of our chief numismatists, who is also one of our members, Sir John Evans, President of the Numismatic Society, tells me that in his opinion, so long as their names appear with those of mint towns, they were fixtures in those towns, although they may, from time to time, have been moved or promoted from one mint to another. I am bound to prefer his view, as I should like to believe that the numerous Mannings in Norfolk were all descendants of the moneyer of Norwich
1 The word “on” before the town is taken to mean "in,” not "of.” Archdeacon Pownall (in Num. Chron., new series, vol. xx., p. 68), thinks this is some evidence that moneyers went from town to town, and may account for the great rarity of some mints.
of nine hundred years ago. It may be worth noting that the two counties in which the name has been most prevalent from very early times are Norfolk and Kent, and that moneyers of the name are found not only on coins of the Norwich mint, but also on those of Canterbury and Dover. Guillim, in his Display of Heraldry, says that the first of the name in England were "descended of an ancient family, so called from Manning, a town in Saxony, from whence they came into England before the Conquest.” They appear to have left their name at Mannington, Norfolk, and Manningtree, Essex. The office of moneyer may have been held by successive members of the same family ; but it is clear that a moneyer under Æthelwulf at Canterbury in 850 must have been a distinct person from him of Norwich under Æthelred II., a hundred and fifty years later, whose penny is here illustrated. In the lists of moneyers of different reigns given by Snelling, Ruding, Hildebrand, Hawkins, Henfrey, and other writers, there are many with the name MANNA or MONNE; but for my present purpose I regard these as distinct names, and not abbreviated forms of MANNING. They occur often in the Northumbrian district, although there are not a few of the Norwich and Thetford mints. There is also apparently a diminutive in MANNECIN and MANTICEN of Æthelstan and Eadred. The earliest coin I have noted with MANNINC or MANNING is the Canterbury penny of Æthelwulf, King of Wessex, already mentioned, which has no bust of the king, but on the obverse + EDEL + VULF + REX, and within a circle, DORIBI, written round a pellet; and on the reverse + MANNING MONETA, and the monogram of CAN within a circle. This is an extremely rare variety. Another of the same reign has obv., the king's bust to the right, diademed, and his name ; and rev. + MANNING M with a cross in a circle, partly patteé and partly crosslet. This is thought to be unique. Of Æthelbearht, A.D. 858-866, Hawkins mentions one of the same moneyer, with the words arranged between the arms of a cross. Of Æthelred I., also King of Wessex, A.D. 863-871, there is a coin with the king's bust to the right, with the moneyer's name MANNINC in three lines, the upper and lower in lunettes, which is also very rare. In the large find of Saxon coins at Dorking in 1817, described in the 19th Vol. of the Archæologia, there were six of Æthelwulf, with MANNINC for the moneyer, and fifteen of Æthelbearht. Of the great King Alfred, A.D. 872-901, Hawkins mentions specimens of a type similar to those of his brother Æthelred. None of these are of the Norwich mint, for that appears to have been first established under Æthelstan A. D. 925-941. In his reign we have MANTICEN at Norwich of the type with a small cross in the centre of the reverse. Of Edmund (Wessex) A.D. 941-946 (not the Royal Saint), there are similar ones; also of Eadred, A.D. 946-955. Under Æthelred II. (sole monarch) “the Unready," A.D. 978-1016, the Norwich coins are very numerous; he had mints in at least forty different towns in England, and Mr. Henfrey enumerates no less than fiftyeight varieties of his Norwich coins alone, 4 several of which have MANNIE and MANNING for the moneyer. The one here illustrated is a rather common one, and has, obverse, the king's bust to the left, with sceptre: all within the inner circle ; legend ÆDELRÆD REX ANGLO, followed by a cross;
16th edition, 1724, p. 138. 2 Catalogue of Montagu Sale, 1895, No. 471.
i Catalogue of Montagu Sale, 1895, No. 482. 3 Ib., No. 610.
3 Blomefield, in his History of Norwich (plate to Vol. III.), erroneously assigns a coin with the London monogram to the Norwich mint (Henfrey).
* British Archeological Association Journal, vol. xxxvi.
reverse, a double cross or cross voided, with the four letters C, R, V, x in the angles, all within the inner circle ; legend, with a cross at commencement, MANING MO NORDPI. The other coin illustrated is a variety of this reign, of the same moneyer, in my possession. It has the king's bust to the right, and the reverse has the Manus Dei from heaven, between Alpha and Omega on each side of it.? A duplicate of this coin is in the Castle Museum, and was found, I believe, in Ipswich in 1863.
These are the latest coins I know of with the name of Manning as the moneyer. Canute and his successors coined largely at Norwich, Edward the Confessor especially so; but I find no Mannings among them. I hope that my ancestor, if I may call him so, made his fortune and retired.
Moneyers' names continued to be placed on coins down to the reign of Henry III., and there is a solitary instance of one under Edward I. The Norwich mint existed for the same period, and, after a lapse of nearly two hundred years, was revived again under Edward IV., to make gold nobles and half nobles, and silver groats; after which time it ceased to exist. It is not known where the mint was situated, but no great space would be required for the necessary implements. Mr. H. W. Henfrey, in his valuable paper on “the Ancient Coins of Norwich,” in the thirty-sixth vol. of the Journal of the British Archæological Association observes “that it should be distinctly understood that the mint at Norwich
was always a royal mint, striking coins for national currency, under the immediate authority
Hildebrand Type C, Hawkins, fig. 204. ? Hildebrand Type B 2.
? A site in S. Peter Mancroft parish has been mentioned. It would, however, probably only belong to the later coinage. VOL. x11.]