Henry Murdac Silver Penny


Henry Murdac Silver Penny

Archbishop of York under Stephen


1.14g 19.5mm

Spink – 1322

North – 934 Extremely Rare


Henry Murdac Silver PennyHenry Murdac Silver Penny£17,750.00

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DENRIC[V]S EPC. Crowned bust r. holding crozier in place of the sceptre in the right hand, star in front.



STEPHANVS REX. Cross pattée with bar on each limb over saltire fleury.


Small edge chip at 6 o’clock and split at 9 o’clock with resulting furl otherwise better than very fine, glossy dark tone and excessively rare. Only 8 other examples known and only 3 of which are full flan coins. Same dies as no 9.


Found Lincolnshire and listed on EMC as 2016.0199


At the time of publication of R. P. Mack’s ‘Stephen and the Anarchy’ in the British Numismatic Journal, 1966, there were only 2 examples known. The publication by M. Allen in 2016 ‘The York Local Coinage of the Reign of Stephen (1135–54).' in The Numismatic Chronicle, there were a total of 5 coins known. With recent metal detecting finds the corpus now stands at a total of 9 examples.


1. British Museum - B.MC 272; ex Pembroke 35. 1.03g (chipped). Mack 1966, p. 85, no. 229a. (The current Spink and North plate coin)

2. Found near Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire, c.2003; EMC 2003.0013; BNJ Coin Register 2003, no. 298. 1.10g (chipped). Sold DNW Auction, 19 Mar 2003 - Lot 552. At the time catalogued as "the best of the three known examples".

3. R.P. Mack; ex Ryan 936; Grantley 1317; Carlyon-Britton 1498. 1.16g (chipped). SCBI 20 - Mack Collection - Number 1637.

4. Found near York, by 2011; EMC 2011.0241. 0.30g (three fragments).

5. Found near Driffield, East Yorkshire, c.2011; EMC 2014.0017; BNJ Coin Register 2015, no. 125. 0.24g (cut farthing).

6. This coin

7. Found Lincolnshire, April 2018; EMC 2018.0150 (cut farthing).

8. Found Skelton, North Yorkshire 2019; EMC 2020.0419. Sold DNW/Noonans Auction, 9 Feb 2021 - Lot 118 (Realised £23,000 Inc. P.)

9. Found Lowthorpe, Yorkshire, 1 August 2021; EMC 2021.0207. Sold DNW/Noonans Auction, 11 Oct 2021 - Lot 1051


"Henry Murdac was consecrated as archbishop of York by Pope Eugenius III at Trier in 1147, to replace the current archbishop, William Fitz Herbert, but when he arrived in Yorkshire in 1148 William of Aumale and Hugh du Puiset, a nephew of Stephen, organised opposition to him. Murdac excommunicated Aumale, Puiset, and the citizens of York, and in response Puiset excommunicated Murdac, but Puiset left York before the end of the year to look after the bishopric of Winchester during Henry of Blois's absence in Rome, reducing the opposition to Murdac in York.36 Henry Murdac met David I at Carlisle, where he was probably involved in the planning of an invasion of Yorkshire by David I, Henry of Anjou and Earl Ranulph of Chester, but this plan was abandoned in the spring or early summer of 1149, after Stephen went to York to assert his authority." Henry Murdac imposed an interdict on York, and when Stephen's son Eustace arrived in the city in May or June 1149 he found "the sacred offices discontinued', indicating that Murdac now had sufficient support in York to make his interdict effective. William of Aumale probably transferred his support from William Fitz Herbert to Henry Murdac at about this time, well before Murdac's formal reconciliation with Stephen in about January 1151. In these circumstances it is likely that the Bishop Henry coinage began in 1149 or 1150."

ALLEN, MARTIN. “The York Local Coinage of the Reign of Stephen (1135–54).” The Numismatic Chronicle, vol. 176, 2016, pp. 283–318.


Data sheet


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