​The Long Cross Pennies of Henry III 

Example of a class 1b reverse, this one reading “LOH” for London. Other London mint spellings are “LON” and “LVN”.


Note that all pennies are shown enlarged, their actual size is 18-20 mm in diameter. Most 1b coins begin "hEN..." or "hEH..." and each occurs in similar numbers.  The use of H/N is believed to be a matter of style of the die-maker and is not significant enough to be a major factor in defining different groups of 1b coins.


A variety worth finding is a coin having an obverse with a double cross-bar on the letter H.  Another point to look at is the number of pellets below the crown; five pellets are most commonly seen, then three, and scarcest are those with four pellets.


On most coins the beard on the king’s face is made up of  a series of pellets, however on some coins the beard is made of strokes, see below right..

Coins from Canterbury read LIE/TER/CI’/CAN and those from Bury read LIE/TER/CI:/AED

When Churchill and Thomas studied the remnants of the Brussels Hoard they were looking at about two-thirds of the original quantity of English coins. Some 25,000 coins having been sold, stolen or melted down.

Of the coins that were sold it must be assumed that more of the relatively rarer pennies were disposed of in comparison to more common coins. One must therefore realise that rarer coins are probably under-represented in the remnants of the hoard available for the Churchill and Thomas study. Nevertheless, the contents of the 50,000 or so coins that they examined give a rough idea of relative abundance of various pennies. Here is what the data show for class 1b: 

Page updated June 28th 2017

Varieties: In addition to the beard of strokes,  class 1b from both London and Canterbury obverses can be found with “ANG” abbreviated to “AN”. On London coins, the H of hEHRICVS may be found with a double cross-bar. 

Mules (mixtures) of class 1a and 1b are also found.  As class 1a was only issued by the London mint, both these mules are also from London only. The 1a/1b and 1b/1a mules are equally as rare as class 1a coins, and, as with class 1a, the 1a/1b mules are found with and without a caul.

 As previously noted, class 1b coins can be found with either three, four or five pellets under the crown; four pellet coins are the scarcest and most sought after.

Scarcity: London and Canterbury class 1b are scarce whereas  class 1b coins of Bury are very rare and are seldom seen on the market; they are as rare, or rarer, than class 1a pennies. The 1a/1b and 1b/1a mules have a similar rarity and value as class 1a coins.


An example of a class 1b coin with a beard of strokes not pellets. Note four pellets under the crown-band on this coin.



Example of a class 1b obverse, this one with three pellets under the crown. Beard made up of pellets.

Class 1b

Class 1b coins of Bury are rare indeed.

Class 1a is a relatively simple class, in that it was only issued from one mint, London, and neither the mint name nor a moneyers’ name appeared on the coin.  Things get a little more complex with class 1b as production now spreads from London to Canterbury and Bury as well, and the mint name now appears on the coins, but no moneyers’ names yet.

Class 1b has a change of obverse and reverse legends, putting "ANG" onto the obverse and adding the mint name to the reverse.   London coins are the commonest and Bury the scarcest.