Money could be as essential to everyday life in medieval England as it is today, but who made the coinage, how was it used and why is it important? This definitive study charts the development of coin production from the small workshops of Anglo-Saxon and Norman England to the centralised factory mints of the late Middle Ages, the largest being in the Tower of London. Martin Allen investigates the working lives of the people employed in the mints in unprecedented detail and places the mints in the context of medieval England's commerce and government, showing the king's vital interest in the production of coinage, the maintenance of its quality and his mint revenue. This unique source of reference also offers the first full history of the official exchanges in the City of London regulating foreign exchange and an in-depth analysis of the changing size and composition of medieval England's coinage.
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'This detailed and clearly-written history of English coinage from the Anglo-Saxon age through the Tudor period fills the longstanding need for a comprehensive and judicious synthesis of the numismatic and documentary evidence for all facets of monetary history from the acquisition of bullion, through the size of the circulating medium, to the role of mint profits in the fiscal organization of the state.' Alan Stahl, Princeton University, New Jersey
'The provision of coinage was a fundamental responsibility of a medieval king of England and Martin Allen here provides a book-length exploration and dissection of what this meant in practice, weaving together numismatic and documentary sources to make a complex subject clear and comprehensible. There is nothing on the English coinage to match it for the medieval period and there is no question it will be a standard work for a generation.' Barrie Cook, British Museum
'In 1953, Cambridge University Press published Sir John Craig's The Mint. Forty years later it published A New History of the Royal Mint, edited by Christopher Challis. Another twenty years of historical scholarship have passed in this field. Martin Allen has brought it together, and extended it, in this, the next landmark volume.' Peter Spufford, University of Cambridge
'This is a well-written and readable book that draws together an often complex array of documentary, statistical and archaeological material and presents it in a comprehensive and digestible format. In the history of English numismatics there are few authors that can claim to have succeeded in delivering such a comprehensive overview of their subject area; indeed the volume is unmatched in European medieval numismatics. This will be a mainstay for students of English medieval currency for a generation.' The Society for Medieval Archaeology
Martin Allen is a Senior Assistant Keeper in the Department of Coins and Medals at the Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge and an Affiliated Lecturer in the Faculty of History. His first book, The Durham Mint (2003), was awarded the North Book Prize of the British Numismatic Society and his numerous publications and research have established his reputation as one of the leading experts on the money and coinage of medieval England.
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