Mary, Sovereign,
Lot 959
Mary, Sovereign, 15.3g, queen enthroned holding orb and sceptre, portcullis at feet, date MDLIII at end of legend,
Sold for £12,337 (US$ 20,535) inc. premium
Auction Details
Mary, Sovereign,
Lot Details
Sovereign, 15.3g, queen enthroned holding orb and sceptre, portcullis at feet, date MDLIII at end of legend, R.square-topped shield in centre of Tudor rose, within double tressure, double annulet stops, A DNO FACTU EST ISTUD Z EST MIRA IN OCUL NRIS, m.m. pomegranate (N.1956; S.2488), very fine with excellent portrait and very well preserved, very rare.


  • By a proclamation of the 20th August 1553, and an identure of the same date made with Thomas Egerton, Thomas Stanley, and others, it was ordered that the gold coins to be henceforth made were to be the Sovereign, which was to be current for 30s; the Half sovereign, to be called the Royal of gold, and to be current for 15s.; the Angel at 10s.; and the Half angel at 5s. All to be of fine gold, i.e. of the old standard, 23cts. 3 1/2 grs. fine gold to 1/2 gr. alloy. In 1561 Sir Thomas Stanley and Thomas Fleetwood were treasurers of the mint (Rud., I, 339, note I); in 1551 he was comptroller. Ruding in his list of Mint-masters mentions Sir Thomas Stanley as in office, with others, from the second year of Elizabeth to her fourteenth year, and again in the fifteenth. By a commission, dated 31st December, first year of Elizabeth, Sir Edmund Peckham. (q.v. Vol.IV, p. 442), High Treasurer of the Mint, Thomas Stanley, comptroller, and others, were authorised "to make sovereign at thirty-shillings, twenty-four to the pound weight; angels at ten shillings, seventy-two to the pound; and Angelets, of the finess of twenty three carats ten grains and a half fine gold and one grain and a half alloy, as the record has it, instead of three grains and a half fine and half a grain alloy, which bear the same proportion, and shew evidently the mistake, and of crown gold, twenty-two carats fine; Sovereigns at twenty shillings, thrity-three to the pound, Half-sovereigns, Crowns, and Halfcrowns. Remedy, as well as for fine crown gold, two grains; coinage four shillings. And of silver (eleven ounces fine and one ounce alloy). Shillings, sixty to the pound; Half shillings, Groats, Halfgroats, and Pence. Remedy, two penny weights; coinage to the queen eighteen-pence per pound weight.

    Ruding gives further the further interesting note: "It appears that, during the last reign, money for the use of Philip's foreign dominions had been coined in the Tower of London. The implements which were made use of for that purpose were, upon the late queen's decease, detained by the officers of the mint, who supposed them to belong to their office; but they were afterwards restored, upon a certificate from Mr Stanley, the comptroller"

    On the 17th of February 1558-9, acommission was granted also to "Sir Edmund Peckham, Knight, High Treasurer of the Mints, Thomas Stanley, comptroller within the Tower of London, and others, to coin twelve thousand pounds of the base English money into twenty-four thousand pounds Irish.

    On the 1st May 1559, a similar commission was issued authorising the officers of the Mint to alter the base monies then current, into harpe shillings and groats, to be defraid about the Queen's affairs in Ireland. Four thousand pounds of such money to be coined into eight thousand pounds Irish.

    Commissioners were appointed on the 12th of January 1572-3 to receive an account from Mr Thomas Stanley, then master of the mint, no such account having been given in by the Master of the Mint from the time of Edward VI., and during the reign of Mary until the 15th year of Elizabeth.
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