Charles I, 1625-1649, Silver Crown (1642-43)
KM-333, S-3045, 29.97 grams, 45mm. Provincial and Civil War issue, Truro mintmark (rose), armored king on horseback left, holding raised sword, head in profile, sash flies out in two ends, CAROLVS:D:G:MAG:BRIT:FRA:ET:REX, reverse: oval garnished shield, CHRISTO AVSPICE REGNO. Struck on a slightly uneven planchet (as normal), localized striking weakness is noted on each side. Attractively toned a deep steel-gray color.
Sir Richard Vyvyan was commissioned on November 14, 1642 to coin money, and subsequently, a mint was established at Truro. There was no mention in the commission that any specific engraver was to be employed, but Vyvyan was asked to send three messengers to produce "pyoners and tooles, up to seven or eight dozen." Pyoner was the local word for a working miner, and there is no evidence of any skilled engraver having been employed. There is moreover, no evidence of machinery at the mint, and the list of tools at the mint seized from Vyvyan's house by the local Parliamentary committee (1646) does not include any mention of it. Of course, this was four years after the mint commenced work, and since only a relatively small number of the Truro/Exeter could have been struck by machine, it is quite probable that by then, the machine had either been destroyed, or was no longer in operation. The absence of evidence of the existence of machinery therefore does not (we think) preclude the possibility of its use. The type of machine we have in mind could have easily been made by local Cornish miners. A parallel case would be the Irish Ormonde money coins which are definitely considered to have been struck by machinery, although no evidence of that exists either.
Miss Coate's paper makes it clear that the mint tools were provided locally and not by Bristol or Oxford, and the general evidence is the bullion was also supplied by local plate and not from elsewhere. The designer of the crowns must obviously have been a skilled workman, it is possible that Sir Richard Vyvyan obtained a goldsmith from Exeter which was known as a goldsmith's town, instead of Truro. It may well be that is engraver did not accompany the mint when it moved to Exeter, and the general standard of workmanship of the Exeter crown coins falls considerably below that of the 1642 pieces.