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|Small Cross Type Silver Penny of Edward the Confessor|
Edward was born in about 1003, the son of Ethelred the Unready and his wife Emma. He had a younger brother Alfred. After the death of Ethelred, Canute (Knut Sveinsson) acceded to the throne via Edmund Ironside, Ethelred's half brother. Canute immediately sent for Ethelred's widow Emma, married her and subsequently had a son Harthacnut.
During the reign of Canute, Edward remained in exile in Normandy. He became deeply involved in religion, and took a vow of chastity, which helped to create more confusion over the succession to the throne after his death. In 1041 he was recalled to England by his half brother Harthaknut (Hardaknut), and through the influence of the powerful Earl Godwin, he succeeded to the throne on the death of Harthaknut the next year.
Edward died on January 1066. His greatest memorial is Westminster Abbey which he founded. After his death, he became a cult figure, and was canonised as St Edward in 1611.
The only coins issued for Edward were silver pennies, as for most Anglo Saxon kings. The penny illustrated is a short cross penny struck on a small flan (blank).
Portrait of Edward, left, helmeted and draped.
Short cross with pellet in centre of cross.
Seaby catalogue #1175
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