Medieval English Hammered Farthings - Richard II

This online guide is designed to help

  • Metal Detector enthusiasts
  • Museum Curators
  • Coin Dealers & Collectors

accurately identify and classify their English Hammered Farthings.

Click here to identify your Richard II Farthing fast.


Background:

The shortage of small change - both farthings and halfpence - was a continuing problem throughout the Middle Ages. The farthing played an essential part of London life - particularly among the poor and in small everyday transactions.

A farthing paid for: the toll for a laden horse to cross Holborn Bridge; the price of half a gallon of best ale; the cost of two red herrings; or the charge imposed by the city for every laden horse passing through the city gates1.

Wardens of the Mint2:

  • Thomas Hervy (1377)
  • John Gurmonchester (1377-88)
  • Guy Roucliff (1388-92)
  • Andrew Neuport (1392-9)

Masters of the Mint2:

  • Gautron de Bardes (1377-91)
  • Nicholas Malakin (1395)
  • John Wildman (?)
  • Nicholas Malakin (1396)
  • Geoffrey Mullekyn (1396-8)

For more background information about Richard II farthings click here.


Overview:

Farthings of Richard II are rare, but they have a reputation for being rarer than they actually are - though a single variety with a small rose in each reverse quarter is extremeely rare.
From a numismatic point of view, there are several features of note on the farthings of Richard II.

The die used for the king's head is the same as that used at the end of Edward III's reign.

As with the earlier Edward III Post-Treaty farthings, the diameter of the inner circle is only 5.5mm.

A recent study of 30 Richard II farthings found 12 obverse dies.

Spink groups the Richard II farthings into broad types: large head; small head; with neck; without neck; and with either pellets or roses on the reverse.

Withers has gone into more detail and listed a number of spelling and punctuation varieties - though further varieties are bound to appear as more examples come to light. Somewhat surprisingly, the latter do not consider with or without a neck as separate types!

This listing treats a head with a neck and a head without a neck as different classes.

      Some examples appear to be missing the "spearheads" in the
      crown:

Richard II

Farthing - damaged crown
      But on close inspection, all examples have faint traces of
      the missing "spearheads":

Richard II Farthing - normal

crown



Richard II Farthing - 1b with neckRichard II Farthing - 1a with

neck

Date: 1377-1399
Mint: London
Type: BUST with NECK

Diameter: 10-11mm (i.c.d.o: 5mm)
Weight: 0.20-0.35g (4½grains3)

Obverse: RICΛRDVS:REX:AnGL'
    Small neat head (same punches as used by Edward III, type 9
    & 10). Crown with spearheads between side fleurs.
    Bust with neck. Every example seen has the inner circle branch into
    three parts to the right of the crown giving the appearance that it
    has been double-struck. (Unlike the obvserse, the reverse of this
    coin has actually been double-struck)
Reverse: CIVI TAS LOn DOn
    "Long Cross" with three pellets in each quarter.

Reference(s):
  W. RII 1a
  S.1701  
  N.1333a
  Purvey2: Series 1
Scarcity: Very Rare

Guide Price:
  £100 (Fine)
  £275 (Very Fine)



Richard II Farthing - 1b with neckRichard II Farthing - 1b with

neck

Date: 1377-1399
Mint: London
Type: BUST with NECK

Diameter: 10-11mm (i.c.d.o: 5mm)
Weight: 0.20-0.35g (4½grains3)

Obverse: RICΛRDVS:REX:ΛnGL:
    Small neat head (same punches as used by Edward III, type 9
    & 10). Crown with spearheads between side fleurs.
    Bust with neck.
Reverse: CIVI TAS LOn DOn
    "Long Cross" with three pellets in each quarter.

Reference(s) *:
  W. RII 1b
  S.1701
  N.1333a
  Purvey2: Series 1
Scarcity: Very Rare

Guide Price:
  £100 (Fine)
  £275 (Very Fine)



Richard II Farthing - 1c with neckRichard II Farthing - 1c with

neck
Date: 1377-1399
Mint: London
Type: BUST with NECK

Diameter: 10-11mm (i.c.d.o: 5mm)
Weight: 0.20-0.35g (4½grains3)

Obverse: RICΛRD:REX:ΛnGL
    Small neat head (same punches as used by Edward III, type 9
    & 10). Crown with spearheads between side fleurs.
    Bust with neck.
Reverse: CIVI TAS LOn DOn
    "Long Cross" with three pellets in each quarter.

Reference(s) *:
  W. RII 1c
  S.1701
  N.1333b
  Purvey2: Series 2
Scarcity: Very Rare

Guide Price:
  £100 (Fine)
  £275 (Very Fine)



Richard II Farthing - 1d with neckRichard II Farthing - 1d with

neck
Date: 1377-1399
Mint: London
Type: BUST with NECK

Diameter: 10-11mm (i.c.d.o: 5mm)
Weight: 0.20-0.35g (4½grains3)

Obverse: RICΛRD:REX:ΛnGL:
    Small neat head (same punches as used by Edward III, type 9
    & 10). Crown with spearheads between side fleurs.
    Bust with neck.
Reverse: CIVI TAS LOn DOn
    "Long Cross" with three pellets in each quarter.

Reference(s) *:
  W. RII 1d
  S.1701
  N.1333b
  Purvey2: Series 1
Notes:
  This variety, with the colon (more accurately double pellet) stops is
  the most common of this Type. Nevertheless, this is still a very rare
  coin.

Scarcity: Very Rare

Guide Price:
  £100 (Fine)
  £275 (Very Fine)



Date: 1377-1399
Mint: London
Type: BUST with NECK

Diameter: 10-11mm (i.c.d.o: 5mm)
Weight: 0.20-0.35g (4½grains3)

Obverse: RICΛRDxREXxΛnGL
    Small neat head (same punches as used by Edward III, type 9
    & 10). Crown with spearheads between side fleurs.
    Bust with neck.
Reverse: CIVI TAS LOn DOn
    "Long Cross" with three pellets in each quarter.

Reference(s):
  W. RII 1e
  S.1701
  N.1333b
  Purvey2: Series 2
Scarcity: Very Rare

Guide Price:
  £100 (Fine)
  £275 (Very Fine)



Richard II Farthing - 1f with neckRichard II Farthing - 1f with neck

Date: 1377-1399
Mint: London
Type: BUST with NECK

Diameter: 10-11mm (i.c.d.o: 5mm)
Weight: 0.20-0.35g (4½grains3)

Obverse: RICΛRD:REX:ΛnGLIE
    Small neat head (same punches as used by Edward III, type 9
    & 10). Crown with spearheads between side fleurs.
    Bust with neck.
Reverse: CIVI TAS LOn DOn
    "Long Cross" with three pellets in each quarter.

Reference(s):
  W. RII 1f
  S.1701
  N.-
  Purvey2: Series 2
Scarcity: Very Rare

Guide Price:
  £100 (Fine)
  £275 (Very Fine)



Date: 1377-1399
Mint: London
Type: BUST with NECK

Diameter: 10-11mm (i.c.d.o: 5mm)
Weight: 0.20-0.35g (4½grains3)

Obverse: RIEARD:REX:ΛnGLIE
    Small neat head (same punches as used by Edward III, type 9
    & 10). Crown with spearheads between side fleurs.
    Bust with neck.
Reverse: CIVI TAS LOn DOn
    "Long Cross" with three pellets in each quarter.

Reference(s):
  W. RII 1g
  S.-
  N.-
  Purvey2: Series 2 var
Scarcity: Very Rare

Guide Price:
  £125 (Fine)
  £300 (Very Fine)



Richard II Farthing - 1h with neck

Date: 1377-1399
Mint: London
Type: BUST with NECK

Diameter: 10-11mm (i.c.d.o: 5mm)
Weight: 0.20-0.35g (4½grains3)

Obverse: RICΛRDxREXxΛnGL
    Small neat head (same punches as used by Edward III, type 9
    & 10). Crown with spearheads between side fleurs.
    Bust with neck.
Reverse: CIVI TAS LOn DOn
    "Long Cross" with roses in each quarter. Only 3 examples with
    roses are known.

Reference(s) *:
  W. RII 1h
  S.1704
  N.1335
  Purvey2: Series 3
Scarcity: Extremely Rare

Guide Price:
  £135 (Fine)
  £400 (Very Fine)



Richard II Farthing - 1h with neck

Date: 1377-1399
Mint: London
Type: BUST with NECK

Diameter: 10-11mm (i.c.d.o: 5mm)
Weight: 0.20-0.35g (4½grains3)

Obverse: RICΛRD·REX·ΛnGL
    Small neat head (same punches as used by Edward III, type 9
    & 10). Crown with spearheads between side fleurs.
    Bust with neck. The X is composed of a pellet and dashes.
Reverse: CIVI TAS LOn DOn
    "Long Cross" with roses in each quarter. Only 3 examples with
    roses are known.

Reference(s) *:
  W. RII 1i
  S.1704
  N.1335
  Purvey2: Series 3
Scarcity: Extremely Rare

Guide Price:
  £135 (Fine)
  £400 (Very Fine)



Date: 1377-1399
Mint: London
Type: BUST with NECK

Diameter: 10-11mm (i.c.d.o: 5mm)
Weight: 0.20-0.35g (4½grains3)

Obverse: RICΛRD·REX·ΛnGL
    Small neat head (same punches as used by Edward III, type 9
    & 10). Crown with spearheads between side fleurs.
    Bust with neck.
Reverse: CIVI TAS LOn DOn
    "Long Cross" with three pellets in each quarter.

Reference(s):
  W. RII 1l
  S.1701
  N.1333a
  Purvey2: Series 2
Scarcity: Very Rare

Guide Price:
  £100 (Fine)
  £275 (Very Fine)



Richard II Farthing - 1m with neckRichard II Farthing - 1m with

neck
Date: 1377-1399
Mint: London
Type: BUST with NECK

Diameter: 10-11mm (i.c.d.o: 5mm)
Weight: 0.20-0.35g (4½grains3)

Obverse: RICΛRDVS:REX:ΛnGL
    Small neat head (same punches as used by Edward III, type 9
    & 10). Crown with spearheads between side fleurs.
    Bust with neck.
Reverse: CIVI TAS LOn DOn
    "Long Cross" with three pellets in each quarter.

Reference(s) *:
  W. RII 1m
  S.1701
  N.1333a
  Purvey2: Series 1
Scarcity: Very Rare

Guide Price:
  £100 (Fine)
  £275 (Very Fine)



Richard II Farthing - 2 with neck

Date: 1377-1399
Mint: London
Type: BUST with NECK

Diameter: 10-11mm (i.c.d.o: 5mm)
Weight: 0.20-0.35g (4½grains3)

Obverse: RICΛRDxREXxΛnGL
    Crown like type 1, but with a new larger face and long straighter
    hair. Crown with spearheads between side fleurs. Bust
    with neck. No initial cross! Reverse: CIVI TAS LOn DOn
    "Long Cross" with three pellets in each quarter.

Reference(s) *:
  W. RII 2
  S.1704A
  N.1334
  Purvey2: Series 2
Scarcity: Very Rare

Guide Price:
  £150 (Fine)
  £450 (Very Fine)



Date: 1377-1399
Mint: London
Type: BUST without NECK

Diameter: 10-11mm (i.c.d.o: 5mm)
Weight: 0.20-0.35g (4½grains3)

Obverse: RICΛRDVS:REX:ΛnGL'
    Small neat head (same punches as used by Edward III, type 9
    & 10). Crown with spearheads between side fleurs.
    Bust with no neck.
Reverse: CIVI TAS LOn DOn
    "Long Cross" with three pellets in each quarter.

Reference(s):
  W. RII 1a
  S.1703
  N.1333a
  Purvey2: Series 1
Scarcity: Very Rare

Guide Price:
  £95 (Fine)
  £250 (Very Fine)



Richard II Farthing - 1b no

neckRichard II Farthing -

1b no neck
Date: 1377-1399
Mint: London
Type: BUST without NECK

Diameter: 10-11mm (i.c.d.o: 5mm)
Weight: 0.20-0.35g (4½grains3)

Obverse: RICΛRDVS:REX:ΛnGL:
    Small neat head (same punches as used by Edward III, type 9
    & 10). Crown with spearheads between side fleurs.
    Bust with no neck.
Reverse: CIVI TAS LOn DOn
    "Long Cross" with three pellets in each quarter.

Reference(s):
  W. RII 1b
  S.1703
  N.1333a
  Purvey2: Series 1
Scarcity: Very Rare

Guide Price:
  £95 (Fine)
  £250 (Very Fine)



Richard II Farthing - 1c without

neckRichard II Farthing -

1c without neck

Date: 1377-1399
Mint: London
Type: BUST without NECK

Diameter: 10-11mm (i.c.d.o: 5mm)
Weight: 0.20-0.35g (4½grains3)

Obverse: RICΛRD:REX:ΛnGL
    Small neat head (same punches as used by Edward III, type 9
    & 10). Crown with spearheads between side fleurs.
    Bust with no neck.
Reverse: CIVI TAS LOn DOn
    "Long Cross" with three pellets in each quarter.

Reference(s):
  W. RII 1c
  S.1703
  N.1333b
  Purvey2: Series 2
Scarcity: Very Rare

Guide Price:
  £95 (Fine)
  £250 (Very Fine)



Richard II Farthing - 1d without neck

Date: 1377-1399
Mint: London
Type: BUST without NECK

Diameter: 10-11mm (i.c.d.o: 5mm)
Weight: 0.20-0.35g (4½grains3)

Obverse: RICΛRD:REX:ΛnGL:
    Small neat head (same punches as used by Edward III, type 9
    & 10). Crown with spearheads between side fleurs.
    Bust with no neck.
Reverse: CIVI TAS LOn DOn
    "Long Cross" with three pellets in each quarter.

Reference(s):
  W. RII 1d
  S.1703
  N.1333b
  Purvey2: Series 2
Notes:
  This variety, with the colon (more accurately double pellet) stops is
  the most common of this Type. Nevertheless, this is still a very rare
  coin.

Scarcity: Very Rare

Guide Price:
  £95 (Fine)
  £250 (Very Fine)



Richard II Farthing - 1e without

neckRichard II Farthing -

1e without neck

Date: 1377-1399
Mint: London
Type: BUST without NECK

Diameter: 10-11mm (i.c.d.o: 5mm)
Weight: 0.20-0.35g (4½grains3)

Obverse: RICΛRDxREXxΛnGL
    Small neat head (same punches as used by Edward III, type 9
    & 10). Crown with spearheads between side fleurs.
    Bust with no neck.
Reverse: CIVI TAS LOn DOn
    "Long Cross" with three pellets in each quarter.

Reference(s):
  W. RII 1e
  S.1703
  N.1333b
  Purvey2: Series 2
Scarcity: Very Rare

Guide Price:
  £95 (Fine)
  £250 (Very Fine)



Richard II Farthing - 1f without

neckRichard II Farthing -

1f without neck

Date: 1377-1399
Mint: London
Type: BUST without NECK

Diameter: 10-11mm (i.c.d.o: 5mm)
Weight: 0.20-0.35g (4½grains3)

Obverse: RICΛRD:REX:ΛnGLIE
    Small neat head (same punches as used by Edward III, type 9
    & 10). Crown with spearheads between side fleurs.
    Bust with no neck.
Reverse: CIVI TAS LOn DOn
    "Long Cross" with three pellets in each quarter.

Reference(s):
  W. RII 1f
  S.1703
  N.-
  Purvey2: Series 2
Scarcity: Very Rare

Guide Price:
  £95 (Fine)
  £250 (Very Fine)



Richard II Farthing - 1g without neck

Date: 1377-1399
Mint: London
Type: BUST without NECK

Diameter: 10-11mm (i.c.d.o: 5mm)
Weight: 0.20-0.35g (4½grains3)

Obverse: RIEARD:REX:ΛnGLIE
    Small neat head (same punches as used by Edward III, type 9
    & 10). Crown with spearheads between side fleurs.
    Bust with no neck.
Reverse: CIVI TAS LOn DOn
    "Long Cross" with three pellets in each quarter.

Reference(s):
  W. RII 1g
  S.-
  N.-
  Purvey2: Series 2 var
Scarcity: Very Rare

Guide Price:
  £110 (Fine)
  £250 (Very Fine)



Richard II Farthing - 1h without neck

Date: 1377-1399
Mint: London
Type: BUST without NECK

Diameter: 10-11mm (i.c.d.o: 5mm)
Weight: 0.20-0.35g (4½grains3)

Obverse: RICΛRDxREXxΛnGL
    Small neat head (same punches as used by Edward III, type 9
    & 10). Crown with spearheads between side fleurs.
    Bust with no neck.
Reverse: CIVI TAS LOn DOn
    "Long Cross" with roses in each quarter. Only 2 examples with
    roses are known.

Reference(s) *:
  W. RII 1h
  S.1704
  N.1335
  Purvey2: Series 3
Scarcity: Extremely Rare

Guide Price:
  £135 (Fine)
  £400(Very Fine)



Richard II Farthing - 1i without

neckRichard II Farthing -

1i without neck

Date: 1377-1399
Mint: London
Type: BUST without NECK

Diameter: 10-11mm (i.c.d.o: 5mm)
Weight: 0.20-0.35g (4½grains3)

Obverse: RICΛRD·REX·ΛnGL
    Small neat head (same punches as used by Edward III, type 9
    & 10). Crown with spearheads between side fleurs.
    Bust with no neck. The X is composed of a pellet and dashes.
Reverse: CIVI TAS LOn DOn
    "Long Cross" with roses in each quarter. Only 2 examples with
    roses are known.

Reference(s) *:
  W. RII 1i
  S.1704
  N.1335
  Purvey2: Series 3
Scarcity: Extremely Rare

Guide Price:
  £135 (Fine)
  £400 (Very Fine)



Richard II Farthing - 1l

without neckRichard II

Farthing - 1l without neck

Date: 1377-1399
Mint: London
Type: BUST without NECK

Diameter: 10-11mm (i.c.d.o: 5mm)
Weight: 0.20-0.35g (4½grains3)

Obverse: RICΛRD·REX·ΛnGL
    Small neat head (same punches as used by Edward III, type 9
    & 10). Crown with spearheads between side fleurs.
    Bust without neck. Obverse: Type 1i.
Reverse: CIVI TAS LOn DOn
    "Long Cross" with three pellets in each quarter.
    Reverse: Normal - 3 pellets not roses in quarters.

Reference(s):
  W. RII 1l
  S.1701
  N.1333a
  Purvey2: Series 2
Scarcity: Very Rare

Guide Price:
  £100 (Fine)
  £275 (Very Fine)



Richard II Farthing - 1m without

neckRichard II Farthing -

1m without neck

Date: 1377-1399
Mint: London
Type: BUST without NECK

Diameter: 10-11mm (i.c.d.o: 5mm)
Weight: 0.20-0.35g (4½grains3)

Obverse: RICΛRDVS:REX:ΛnGL
    Small neat head (same punches as used by Edward III, type 9
    & 10). Crown with spearheads between side fleurs.
    Bust without neck.
Reverse: CIVI TAS LOn DOn
    "Long Cross" with three pellets in each quarter.

Reference(s):
  W. RII 1m
  S.1701
  N.1333a
  Purvey2: Series 1
Scarcity: Very Rare

Guide Price:
  £100 (Fine)
  £275 (Very Fine)



Date: 1377-1399
Mint: London
Type: BUST without NECK

Diameter: 10-11mm
Weight: 0.20-0.35g (4½grains3)

Obverse: RICΛRDxREXxΛnGL
    Crown like type 1, but with a new larger face and long straighter hair.
    Crown with spearheads between side fleurs. Bust with no
    neck. No initial cross!
Reverse: CIVI TAS LOn DOn
    "Long Cross" with three pellets in each quarter.

Reference(s):
  W. RII 2
  S.1704A
  N.1334
  Purvey2: Series 2
Scarcity: Very Rare

Guide Price:
  £150 (Fine)
  £450 (Very Fine)



Date: 1377-1399
Mint: London
Type: BUST without NECK

Diameter: 10-11mm
Weight: 0.20-0.35g (4½grains3)

Obverse: RICΛRDxREXxΛnGLIE
    Crown like type 1, but with a new larger face and long straighter hair.
    Crown with spearheads between side fleurs. Bust with no
    neck.
Reverse: CIVI TAS LOn DOn
    "Long Cross" with three pellets in each quarter.

Reference(s) *:
  W. RII 2 variant
  S.1704A
  N.1334
  Purvey2: Series 2
Scarcity: Very Rare

Guide Price:
  £150 (Fine)
  £450 (Very Fine)



Identify your Richard II Farthing fast...

  • Check the size of the head (i.e. small or large).
  • Check the reverse type (i.e. pellets or roses).
  • Check whether the bust has a neck.
  • Match the obverse legend.
  • Click on the link.
Can't find your coin?
Small head - Pellets in reverse quarters
With Neck Without Neck
 RICΛRDVS:REX:ΛnGL  RICΛRDVS:REX:ΛnGL
 RICΛRDVS:REX:ΛnGL'  RICΛRDVS:REX:ΛnGL'
 RICΛRDVS:REX:ΛnGL:  RICΛRDVS:REX:ΛnGL:
 RICΛRD:REX:ΛnGL  RICΛRD:REX:ΛnGL
 RICΛRD:REX:ΛnGL:  RICΛRD:REX:ΛnGL:
 RICΛRDxREXxΛnGL  RICΛRDxREXxΛnGL
 RICΛRD:REX:ΛnGLIE  RICΛRD:REX:ΛnGLIE
 RIEARD:REX:ΛnGLIE  RIEARD:REX:ΛnGLIE

Large head - Pellets in reverse quarters
With Neck Without Neck
 RICΛRDxREXxΛnGL  RICΛRDxREXxΛnGL
   RICΛRDxREXxΛnGLIE

Small head - Rose in reverse quarters
With Neck Without Neck
 RICΛRDxREXxΛnGL  RICΛRDxREXxΛnGL
 RICΛRD·REX·ΛnGL  RICΛRD·REX·ΛnGL

Can't find your coin?




1 KENT, JPC. 1987: 'An Issue of Farthings of Richard II' BNJ 57, p. 118.

2 PURVEY, F. 1962: 'The pence, half-pence and farthings of Richard II,
  of the mints of London, York and Durham' BNJ 31, p. 88-108, 4 pls.

3 SEABY, BA. (ed) 1948: Notes on English Silver Coins 1066-1648 to
  help collectors in their classification
(London, Seaby). pp 87


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