The Long Parliament Assumes Control of the Mint
STUART. Charles I.
|CNG 90, Lot: 2567. Estimate $300.
Sold for $280. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.
1625-1649. AR Halfcrown (34mm, 14.50 g, 8h). Group III, type 3a3. Tower (London) mint (under Parliament); im: P within brackets. Struck 1643-1644. CAROLVS · D’ · G’ · MAG’ · BRI’ · FR’ · ET · HI’ · REX, Charles on horseback left, holding reins and raised sword / · CHRISTO · AVSPICE · REGNO ·, garnished oval coat-of-arms. Cf. Brooker 354-6 (for type); North 2213; SCBC 2778. Near VF, toned, typical areas of striking weakness, some doubling, die break under horse’s left foreleg. An unusual rendering of the horse, with both forelegs galloping. Rare.
From the Ian Gordon Collection (acquired in Toronto, 1994).
From its establishment in November 1640 until its formal dissolution in 1660, the Long Parliament was the catalyst for the English Civil War and its subsequent events. Initially called by Charles I to handle the royal financial crisis caused by the Bishops' Wars (1639-1640), which had bankrupted the king, the new Parliament became the platform for those unhappy with the intrigues surrounding the prevention of the appointment of Sir Henry Vane the Elder (1589-1655) as Secretary of State. Influenced by John Pym (1584-1643), who became the leader of the opposition to the king, Parliament proceeded to enact legislation, including the Dissolution Act, designed to prevent Charles from acting with absolute authority any longer. It also oversaw the execution of two of the king's advisers, Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Stafford, and Archbishop William Laud. In December 1641, Parliament presented Charles with a list of grievances of the king's "misdeeds". Known as the Grand Remonstrance, it proposed a Parliamentary solution (including pro-Puritan church reform and Parliamentary influence in the appointment of royal ministers). Ignoring this, Charles then moved to arrest the members of Parliament he believed to be encouraging the kingdom to turn against him. In early January 1642, the king enetered the House of Commons to arrest John Pym, John Hampden, Denzil Holles, Sir Arthur Haselrig and William Strode (along with Viscount Mandeville) on a charge of treason. When Charles was unable to locate them there, he abandoned London for Oxford, where, along with those royalist members of Parliament who followed the king there, the Oxford Parliament was formed. London, with its government and especially its mint, remained under the control of Parliament.