​The Long Cross Pennies of Henry III 

The chronologic sequence of the various sub-classes is uncertain - the better engraved class I coins probably precede the coarser class II coins, but the chronologic order of the various subclasses is questionable.

It has already been noted elsewhere on this website that the double triangle coins of class Ia have the potential to be sub-divided to the same degree as some of the other sub-classes. The graph shown left suggests that the classification of class IIa coins may also benefit from further sub-division. 

Henry III Class Ia, Spink 6235

The above classification has been around for a number of years and suffers from a number of problems, not least being the contrast between the simplified classification of the double triangle coins compared to the more detailed breakout of the single triangle coins.  Amongst the latter, the presence of a jewelled crown or the presence of shoulders have been used to differentiate various sub-classes, but this same type of variation has not been used to sub-divide the double triangle coins.

The Irish coins found in the Brussels Hoard give a rough idea of relative scarcity:

---------------------- Henry III ---------------------------

------------------ King John ---------------

Henry III Class Id, Spink 6239. This style of crown is seen only on the scarce Class Id coins; other Henry III coins either have the crown and fleur type as shown on the class 1a on the right, or simply with three floating pellets above the crownband as in the class II coins. 

Two examples of pennies of King John - these were the last coins minted in Ireland prior to the minting of the Henry III coinage.

Click here to see illustrations of the different classes and types.

Henry III Class Ia, Spink 6235

The Change in the Style of the Crown : John to Henry III

Henry III Class Ia, Spink 6235

One might question whether the sequence of the English issues provides any clues as to the correct sequence of the Irish sub-classes, however the Irish pennies were issued at a time of relative stability of the design of the English coins. English sub-classes 5a, 5b and early 5c were current, and these coins have only minor differences - mainly in the shape of the eyes, and of certain letters, particularly R and X.   I have yet to look at these attributes of the Irish coins, and hope to do so once I've been able to acquire a significantly greater number of images.  Another complication is that some of the English subclasses may have been issued concurrently rather than sequentially.

A simpler design, probably a little quicker to engrave compared to the coin on the left.


Dublin Mint

The Irish coins of Henry III, with their characteristic triangle, were all struck in Dublin, no earlier than September 1251 and no later than the recall of the Irish dies in January 1254. The dies were prepared in London, probably under the supervision of Richard Bonaventure and David of Enfield, and then sent to the Dublin mint. The obverse design is based on that of King John issued over 40 years earlier. Some distinguishing features to look for on the obverse of the Irish pennies:· 
- The presence or absence of a thin inner line
to the triangle
- Crown band curved or not       
- Single or double band to crown·         
- A distinctive diadem type crown·         
- Fleurs of crown and sceptre made of pellet         
- Shape of letter S, central pellet or not on the S.·         
- Style of the eyes·         
- Pellet before Henricus·or elsewhere in obv. legend         
- Kings shoulders·(present or not)         
- Number of curls either side of king’s head·         
​- Cinqfoil vs sexfoil