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Research Coins: Feature Auction


A New Type for the Pembroke Mint

CNG 111, Lot: 1089. Estimate $5000.
Sold for $5000. This amount does not include the buyer’s fee.

NORMAN. Henry I. 1100-1135. AR Penny (19mm, 1.31 g, 10h). Star in Lozenge Fleurée type (BMC xiii). Pembroke mint; Gillepatrick, moneyer. Struck circa 1121. Crowned bust left, holding scepter / + GILLEPATRIC : ON PAI :, lozenge with incurved sides; star at center, fleur at each end, and trefoil of annulets in each quarter. Hancock –; EMC 2018.0306 (this coin); SCBI –; North 869; SCBC 1274. Good VF, find patina. Well struck. Previously unrecorded type for this extremely rare Welsh mint.

Found near Horncastle, Lincolnshire, 2018.

Arnulf of Montgomery founded Pembroke as a stronghold in 1093 during the Norman invasion of South Wales following the death of Rhys ap Tewdwr, the last king of Deheubarth. The castle was entrusted to the brilliant warrior Gerald of Windsor (c.1075–1135), who successfully defended it against a series of Welsh assaults that regained much territory that had been lost to the Normans. During Gerald’s command, a mint was established at Pembroke and the Pipe Roll of 1129-30 records ‘the moneyer Gillopatrick’ rendering accounts. Very few coins are known today for Pembroke.

Gerald of Windsor married Nest, the daughter of Rhys ap Tewdwr, a much celebrated beauty of her age. As a young woman Nest had been a hostage in the Norman court and became a concubine of the future Henry I, bearing him a son. The children of Gerald and Nest would become the progenitors of several of the great Anglo-Norman dynasties. Many famous persons can claim descent from ‘the sons of Nest’ including John F. Kennedy!