Coins and Historical Medals (9 February 2021)

Date of Auction: 9th February 2021

Sold for £70

Estimate: £40 - £60

A 4pp ALS from John Lindsay at Maryville, Blackrock, Cork, 16 August 1842, to John Yonge Akerman, on the subject of the “Presumed Skeatta of Archbishop Theodore” (Num. Chron. 1842/3, pp.158-9, where reproduced in its entirety). Very fine £40-£60


The letter reads: “My Dear Sir, At the sale of the late Dr Nott’s coins a small lot of Skeattas came into my possession which included one so remarkable that I am induced to offer a few observations on it. In type it differs but little from that given in Hawkins Pl. 3 No. 33 but at the left side of the figure holding the cross and bird on the reverse and immediately under the bird appears the letter T which I can scarcely consider any thing else than the initial of the name of the Saint or Archbishop whose figure is represented. The coin appears to belong to that class now acknowledged as Northumbrian and from the similarity the figure with cross and bird bears to that with 2 crosses on the coins of Abp. Egbert we may suppose it to belong to one of those Abps of York who preceded that prelate.
“On referring to the History of the Church of that period we find that John of Beverley and Wilfrid II were the prelates who immediately preceded Egbert but that prior to these the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of all England was possessed by the celebrated Theodore who appears to have enjoyed this very extensive power from 668 when he arrived in England until his death in 692, and I can hardly help suspecting that this little coin exhibits the initial of his name and was struck by him or in honour of him. It may indeed appear a slight foundation on which to raise such an appropriation, but when we consider that the period when this coin was struck could not be many years distant from that in which this prelate flourished, that the figure on the reverse resembles that on the coins of Abp Egbert, whose coins exhibiting the entire name of that prelate would appear to have been struck later than the coin in question which by its initial may have led to placing the Archbishop’s name at full length, that the type evidently assigns it to a Saint or Archbishop, and that Theodore is one of the 3 persons to whom even if no letter had occurred on this coin we should be inclined to attribute it, the probability that this letter may be the initial of the Abps name will I think be admitted.
“I feel greatly obliged for the Proceedings of the Numismatic Society several numbers of which were kindly forwarded to me by either you or your brother Secretary Mr Smith. I remain my dear Sir, faithfully yours, John Lindsay”