A silver denier of Andrew I of Hungary (obverse)

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A silver denier of Andrew I of Hungary (obverse)

This coin dates from the reign of Andrew I of Hungary, between 1046–61. The photo shows the obverse side. In publishing this remarkable find, Marion Archibald of the British Museum wrote as follows:

'This is the first medieval Hungarian coin known to me from an archaeological context in England. Extraordinary as such a find is, there was a political event at precisely the right time which provides a context for the arrival of a Hungarian coin in England. After the death of Edmund Ironside in 1016 and the triumph of Cnut, the two sons of the former were exiled in 1017 and found refuge in Hungary. In 1054 Edward the Confessor was still childless and negotiations were begun to arrange the return of the elder and only surviving son of ‘the Exile’. He eventually reached England in 1057 but died before the end of the same year. It would have been natural for Edward the Exile and members of his suite to have brought cash with them to England from Hungary and although they ought to have changed it into English money, no doubt a certain proportion escaped the net. While one is often reluctant, in a period of peace and active trade, to postulate a direct connection between a political event and a coin’s arrival in England, the coincidence of dates is so suggestive as to make me reasonably confident in postulating some connection with the return of Edward the Exile from Hungary.'

Acknowledgments: © Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Exeter City Council

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