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Galley Halfpence - Ukdfd

Galley Halfpence - Ukdfd

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Published by UKDFD
From the late 14th to the 16th century, small silver coins known as ‘galley halfpennies’
circulated widely, but illegally, in England. They were, in fact, Italian soldini,
principally those struck for the city-state of Venice under the authority of the ruling
doge. They were brought to England by ‘galley men’ trading wine and other goods,
and their name may derive from Galley Quay in Thames Street, London, which was
reputedly the centre for their distribution.
From the late 14th to the 16th century, small silver coins known as ‘galley halfpennies’
circulated widely, but illegally, in England. They were, in fact, Italian soldini,
principally those struck for the city-state of Venice under the authority of the ruling
doge. They were brought to England by ‘galley men’ trading wine and other goods,
and their name may derive from Galley Quay in Thames Street, London, which was
reputedly the centre for their distribution.

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Categories:Types, School Work
Published by: UKDFD on Feb 24, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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01/12/2010

 
Galley Halfpence - ukdfdhttp://www.ukdfd.co.uk/pages/galleyhalfpence.html[24.02.2009 02:32:01]
General Information
Reference Articles
Galley Halfpence
Historical Background
From the late 14
th
to the 16
th
century, small silver coins known as ‘galley halfpenniescirculated widely, but illegally, in England. They were, in fact, Italian soldini,principally those struck for the city-state of Venice under the authority of the rulingdoge. They were brought to England by ‘galley men’ trading wine and other goods,and their name may derive from Galley Quay in Thames Street, London, which wasreputedly the centre for their distribution.The English coinage at the beginning of this period was undervalued in relation toforeign currency, and consequently found its way to the continent, where it wasprofitably melted down. This depletion of the supply of bullion and the resultingshortage of coins, particularly small change, caused real difficulty for many people,and created a demand that was filled by the soldini. In 1402 the Commons petitionedthe king to provide halfpennies and farthings for the poor people, but little was doneto alleviate the shortage. However, the concern of the authorities regarding thecirculation of galley halfpence can be judged by the fact that they were prohibited bystatute five times during the 15th century, and finally in 1519/20. There is evidence,however, that they continued to circulate until at least the 1530’s, by which time it ispossible that their value had reduced to a farthing.
The Coins
The design of the soldino changed several times during the period that it circulated inthis country, and its size reduced from c.15mm to c.12mm. The main types are:
Type 1
Obverse: [Doge’s Name] DVX; Doge standing left, holding banner; mint control marksin right fieldReverse: S MARCVS VENETI; Winged lion of St Mark, holding book of gospels
 
Galley Halfpence - ukdfdhttp://www.ukdfd.co.uk/pages/galleyhalfpence.html[24.02.2009 02:32:01]
 
Soldino of Michele Steno (1400-1413)
Type 2
Obverse: [Doge’s Name] DVX; Doge standing left, holding banner; mint control marksin right fieldReverse: No Legend; Winged lion of St Mark, holding book of gospels, all within aquatrefoil with four external annulets between the lobes
Soldino of Nicolo Tron (1471-1473)
Type 3
Obverse: [Doge’s Name] DVX (in exergue), S M V; Doge holding banner andkneeling before St MarkReverse: LAVS TIBI SOLI (Praise To Thee Alone); Standing figure of Christ facing,haloed and holding cross; mint control marks in exergue

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