Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Saturday 10 February 2024

Medieval French coin hoards

Medievalists.com has an article which reports on two separate coin hoards from the same archaeological excavation in Guérande in France. The history of this southern Breton coastal town is set out by Wikipedia at Guérande

Of the two hoards one is from the turn of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries and the other, divided into three portions, has been assigned to 1341-42. On the basis of the date and the recorded attack and consequent sack of the town in 1343 ( not mentioned in the article ) the presumption must be that the hiding of the coins was related to the events of the Breton civil war.

What makes these discover of greater interest is the fact that they still include wrappings put around the coins - care was taken to keep the coins safe in their box or in the later cases, their earthenware pots . With all such finds there is the sense of sadness that whoever hid their savings failed to return and reclaim them. Each instance is an individual human tragedy that is otherwise unrecorded.

The article about the discoveries can be read at 2000 medieval coins discovered in France

No comments: