Irish Coin Daily: Edward IV, Light Cross & Pellets coinage, Groat, Drogheda

The Irish Coin Cabinet, The Old Currency Exchange, Coin Dealer, Dublin, Ireland

Date: 1472-78 ?

Edward IV (1461-1483), Light Cross and Pellets coinage, Groat, Drogheda, mm. pierced cross, nothing by neck, g on breast, rev. reads villa de drogheda, extra pellets in two quarters, annulets in others, 2.01g/3h (S 6341A; DF 134). Good very fine, attractively toned

Edward IV, Light Cross and Pellets coinage, Groat, Drogheda, mm. pierced cross, nothing by neck


Edward IV, Light Cross and Pellets coinage, Groat, Drogheda mint, m.m. pierced cross, crowned bust facing, nothing by neck, “G” on breast, rev. cross and pellets with extra pellets in two quarters, annulets in others. Good very fine, attractively toned.

  • Weight: 2.01 g
  • References: S 6341A; DF 134


  • Facing bust, “G” below bust, cinquefoils by neck; all within tressure of arches
    • The “G” stands for Germyn Lynch, Master of the Mint
    • Germyn Lynch, who flourished in the mid-late 15th century, is recorded as having served as a shipmaster, goldsmith, freeman and alderman of London
    • He was also the Master of the Irish mints – a post from which he was dismissed five times on account of making lightweight coins, such as the issue above
  • Legend:
      • Translates as: “Edward, King by the Grace of God, Lord of Ireland


  • Long cross pattée, with cross and pellets with extra pellets in two quarters, annulets in others
    • Inner Legend: “VILL  A DE  DROG  HEDA”
      • Translates as: “Villa of Drogheda”
      • Translates as: “I have made God my helper”


Apart from having its own mint, where coins of the realm were produced, the Irish Parliament convened at Drogheda several times during the period 1472-78, i.e. at the time these coins were minted. Drogheda had only recently received its charter (Borough of Drogheda Act, 1467) and had its first Lord Mayor (Mayor of Drogheda Act, 1467). The later addition of a charter for a mint would be a huge boost to the local economy.

  • 1475 (21 July)
    • William, Bishop of Meath and deputy to George, Duke of Clarence (and Lord Deputy) held a parliament at Drogheda. He had replaced Kildare as Chancellor and the king sent him 220 archers in April, to enforce the king’s will on Ireland
      • A mint was authorised for Drogheda in 1475
      • The coins issued here were lighter and contained less silver than those in England. This stopped them from being used outside of Ireland and helped preserve the amount of coins in circulation in Ireland at this time.
    • The year 1475 was an interesting year for Ireland
      • The Butlers (of Ormond) rose to power and the Fitzgeralds (the Geraldines of  Kildare) fell from grace (having been on opposite sides in the continuing Wars of the Roses)
      • Pope (Sextus IV) issued a Papal Bull on May 5th for the foundation of a university in Dublin to John Walton, Archbishop of Dublin. Walton had a brief to re-establish it; but nothing practical seems to have been done to comply with it
        • A university had already been established in 1320
        • Its campus was located at St Patrick’s Cathedral
        • Three Doctors of Theology were appointed
          • It maintained an intermittent existence for the next two centuries, but shortage of funds ensured it never flourished
          • No graduates were ever recorded
          • The funds available seem to have been used as extra stipends by the Cathedral
  • 1476 (6 December)
    • Walter FitzSimons (who later became Archbishop of Dublin, 1484-1511) was the Proctor of this Parliament. One of the proclamations from 1476 declared that:
      • The coin lately made in Cork, Youghal, Limerick and all other places in Munster, except Waterford, being neither lawful in itself nor lawful in weight or alloy, was declared void, and forbidden to be taken in payment.
    • The English king was clearly having problems in controlling money supply and the powers outside of the Pale of Dublin were taking full advantage of his weakness.
  • 1478 (19 November)
    • In 1478, Garret Mór, Earl of Kildare refused to yield the role of Lord Deputy to Lord Grey. A Parliament summoned by Grey at Trim on 6 November 1478 annulled one summoned by Kildare at Naas in May.
    • Proclamations from 1478 declared:
      • Confirmation of appointment of Thomas Archbold, alias Thomas Galmole, as master of the mint in Ireland
      • Governors of Ireland not to call Parliaments to meet, etc., at any places save Dublin and Drogheda
      • Confirmation of patents appointing the King’s son George Lieutenant of Ireland and Henry Lord Grey, his deputy


  • Anglo-Norman
    • House of York
  • Edward IV (1471-1483)
    • Second period of rule (11th April 1471 – 9th April 1483)
      • War of the Roses
  • Hammered



Other coins in this Series:


Further Reading:




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