​The Long Cross Pennies of Henry III 

Bury St. Edmunds

In 1247 The Bury Chronicle recorded that there was an alteration to the coinage of England and King Henry granted a newly cut die to St Edmund's. The new die was to be used freely with the right of exchange, just as the king himself used his dies. The new mandate was issued in December. It may be that the town had been left out of this change initially, as there is evidence that two monks, Edmund de Walpole and Thomas, went from Bury with charters to see the barons of the exchequer to prove that the abbot of St Edmund had the right to a mint and exchange.

The earlier Short cross coins were had been produced at Bury in the reign of Henry III. The aim of this new design was to help deter the clipping of silver from the edge of the coinage.... John of St Edmunds. John was the name of the first moneyer, no doubt licensed to make coins in Bury by the Abbot, who himself held the King's mandate to arrange for their production. The first voided long cross pennies from Bury were of class 1b; the earliest Bury pennies up to and including class 4 were struck under John; it is only from class 5 that other moneyers appear: Randuf, Renaud, and Stephan.

Coins from Renaud appeared from 5g - about the time the Brussels Hoard was sealed, as did coins of Stephen.  The provincial mints opened to help with production were closed again by 1250, but the royal mints of London and Canterbury and the ecclesiastical mints of Durham and Bury St Edmunds remained open.​ 


In 1278 all the Jews in England were unexpectedly seized and imprisoned. Their houses were ransacked looking for evidence of clipping the king's coinage. Soon afterwards in November all the goldsmiths and officials of the country's Mints were also put into custody and their premises searched. At Bury, despite the privilege of the Liberty, five goldsmiths and three others were marched off to London by the town bailiff. The king then allowed them to be sent back to Bury for trial, as a special favour to St Edmund. In 1279 all the Jews and some Christians convicted of clipping or falsifying the coinage, were condemned to hanging. Some 267 Jews were condemned to death in London. John de Cobham and Walter de Heliun, were the justices appointed to determine pleas over money, and they were sent by the king, Edward I, to Bury to hold a court at the Guildhall. The monks regarded this as flouting in an unheard of way, the liberties of St Edmund's church. Even worse, any fines levied went to the royal Treasury, and not to the abbey convent. Because the Sacrist was in charge of the Mint at Bury, he was also fined 100 Marks, for the transgressions of the moneyers.