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Small Cross Type Silver Penny of William I Click to return to Hammered Coins IndexChard 24 Carat Home Page

Obverse of William I Silver Penny
Reverse of William I Silver Penny
William I
William I is familiar to all as William the Conqueror, and the year of his accession to the English throne, 1066, is one of the best remembered dates in English history. He was born in 1027 at Falaise in Normandy, the illegitimate son of Robert Duke of Normandy and a tanner's daughter called Arlette. On his father's death in 1035 he was accepted as the Duke. There were many rebellions and invasions during his reign over Normandy, but he survived them.
He is believed to have received promises to the English throne from Edward the Confessor, and the support of Harold Godwinsson, the son of Earl Godwin. On Edward's death, Harold became king as Harold II, having reputedly been nominated by Edward on his deathbed. William sought and was given papal support in his claim to the English throne, and promptly invaded England. William famously won the Battle of Hastings on the 14th October 1066, Harold being killed by an arrow through his eye. This was the last successful invasion of England.
William brought with him many substantial changes in government and administration. In 1086 he ordered the compilation of the Domesday Book. Parts of England were not subdued until 1086, and revolts continued both in England and Normandy. William died on 9th September 1087 at Rouen from an injury sustained after his horse stumbled. He left Normandy to his son Robert, and England to his younger son William II (Rufus).

Silver Pennies
The only English coins struck for William were silver pennies, as was typical for the period.

Bonnet Type Silver Penny
The coin illustrated shows William wearing a helmet with the appearance of a bonnet.

Portrait of William, facing, wearing a bonnet.

Cross superimposed on a star.

Seaby catalogue #1251

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