Monday, 23 January 2017

Henry VIII half groat and a buzzard

Henry VIII half groat
I found a Henry VIII half groat last weekend on a club dig. I was heading back to the car because the frozen ground was melting and thick clods of clay soil were clinging to my boots and detector head. The detector located something, and when I put the pointer to the ground it beeped and I spotted the silver coin on the surface. It is a second coinage (1526-44), profile portrait type. It was grey in colour until I cleaned it and it is now a beautiful silver.
obverse
not all letters are readable on my coin, full lettering should be
HENRIC VIII D GR AGL Z FR
meaning
Henry VIII by the Grace of God King of England and France

reverse
CIVITAS CANTOR (City of Canterbury) indicates the mint

WA on each side of the shield is the insignia of Archbishop Warham of Canterbury.

A groat was worth 4d (four pence), so a half groat was 2d. There is continental influence in the name groat. Groot is Dutch for great or large, a word related to the French gros. The full groat coin was much larger than the silver penny.
More info about the groat here: http://www.coins-of-the-uk.co.uk/fourd.html

A similar coin is better condition can be viewed here: http://www.wildwinds.com/coins/SE/SE2343.html

I visited Warnham Nature Reserve and from the tern hide I watched a roosting Buzzard in a tree opposite being pestered by two magpies. There was also a bat hibernation box hanging high in a nearby tree.
bat hibernation box

bat hibernation box

Buzzard, Buteo buteo

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