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amones on the cons that has worde
coining was very ancient in England. It was customary among the Anglo-Saxons for the coiners to put their names on the coins struck by them. The quantity of Anglo-Saxon coins that has in the course of time been found and examined, has afforded an opportunity for inspecting and comparing a considerable number of names of coiners in England, especially from the eighth and ninth centuries until far into the thirteenth. About Ed. ward the First's time, the names of the coiners were no longer suffered to occupy so conspicuous a place on the coins as previously.
In the eighth and ninth centuries the names of these coiners are purely Anglo-Saxon. But in the tenth century, and especially after the year 950, pure Danish or Scandinavian names begin to appear; for instance, Thurmod, Grim, under King Edgar (959-975); Rafn, Thurstan, under King Edward (975-978); Ingolf, Hafgrim, and others. These Scandinavian names are more particularly found on coins minted in the northern part of England, or at all events in the districts that were early occupied by the Danes to the north-east of Watlinga Stræt. But under King Ethelred the Second (979-1013), who contended so long with Svend Tveskjæg and Canute the Great (and con. sequently, therefore, before the conquest of England by the Danes was completed), such a number of Scandinavian coiners arose all at once, in consequence of the rapidly-increasing power of the Danes, that the names of forty or fifty may be pointed out on coins of Ethelred alone that have been found in different parts of England. During the Danish dominion, Scandinavian names naturally appear no less frequently on the coins of Canute the Great and Harald Harefoot; nay, even after the fall of the Danish power, they are to be met with, in almost the same number as before, on coins of the Anglo-Saxon king, Edward the Confessor (+ A.D. 1066).
The following table exhibits, from the coins themselves, a list of fifty names of Danish-Norwegian coiners in
FIFTY NAMES OF DANISH-NORWEGIAN COINERS IN ENGLAND IN THE
YEARS 979-1066, CHIEFLY FROM HILDEBRAND'S “Anglo-Saxon COINS IN THE ROYAL SWEDISH COLLECTION OF COINS FOUND ON SWEDISH GROUND." (Stockholm, 1846. 4to.)
Edward Confessor (+ 1066).
Arncytel .... York
coln, Norwich Auti ......
London, Lincoln Beorn (Björn)
York Colgrim...... Lincoln, York Lincoln, York Lincoln, York Lincoln, York Dreng Lincoln
Lincoln Eilaf .....
York Eistan ...
London Jelmer (Hjal
mar. Justan,or Jus
kil). Styrcar, Stir- Lincoln, York York
ceir. Sumerled.... Deptford, Not- Lincoln, Nor- Lincoln
Lincoln tingham, York, wich
Lincoln Swan ......
Lincoln Swegen ...... London, Lei- Leicester
cester Thor .....
|York Norwich Valrefenn.
Ipswich Winterfugl ..
York Wintreda ..York
England that appear most frequently from 979 to 1066 ; or in that period which embraced, as well as immediately preceded and followed, the Danish dominion; together with the names of the places in which the respective coins were minted. We must remember, besides, that there must have been several coiners of the same name at one and the same time. Thus, for instance, we find coins of Ethelred bearing the name of “As,” or “ Oscytel,” though minted in cities so far distant from one another as Exeter, London, Cambridge, Leicester, and York. Again, as it is nowhere stated that “ Arncytel,” for instance, who was coiner in York under King Ethelred, was the same man as Edward the Confessor's coiner in that city, it is clear that the fifty names here given might very easily have belonged to ninety or a hundred different persons; yet they are but a selection from a greater number. The same difficulty, however, occurs with these names as in the previous consideration of the Scandinavian names of places and of the popular language; namely, that owing to the great similarity between the Saxon and Scandinavian tribes in ancient times, it is often almost impossible to decide with certainty what is exclusively Saxon and what Scandinavian. But at all events, the annexed list contains, at most, hardly more than a couple of names that might have been current in Saxon England before the Danish conquests.
Although this list cannot make any pretensions to completeness, still it will prove, even in its present form, that these Scandinavian names exist on coins from places in the most distant parts of England, both south and north of Watlinga-Stræt; as well as from those most essentially Anglo-Saxon cities, Exeter, Winchester, Wilton, Lewes, and London. From this last circumstance, some might, perhaps, contend that Scandinavian names were frequently borne by Anglo-Saxons, who in one way or another were related to the Danes; and in this respect one might cite the instance of the Anglo-Saxon Earl Godwin, whose sonspossibly by a Danish wife-were called Harald and Svend; and it might consequently be argued, that the proof adduced from these Scandinavian names of the Danish capacity for skill in art is not sufficiently conclusive.
It cannot of course be denied that the Anglo-Saxons, in whose veins there was a mixture of Scandinavian blood, sometimes bore Scandinavian names. But as a rule, the names that have been cited must have belonged to Danes or Northmen, and their immediate descendants. It is well known that the Danes were settled everywhere in England, even in the southern cities, particularly those just cited; and that, too, in considerable numbers : as, for instance, in Exeter, where in later times there was a St. Olave's Church; in Winchester, which obtained a Scandinavian “ Husting;" not to speak of London. This alone affords a natural explanation why Scandinavian coiners should be found in the south of England; but we should further observe, that those names of coiners about which there might be most doubt are found to the north-east of Watlinga-Stræt. The preceding tabular view will clearly prove that they occur especially in the old Danish part of England, in the five Danish fortified towns, and in York. The two cities, Lincoln and York, which, according to the statements of history, had, in the eleventh century, a very numerous, if not preponderating, Scandinavian population, are remarkable for having the greatest number of coiners with Scandinavian names. Some of these names are so peculiarly Scandinavian, that we cannot without difficulty assume them to have been borne at that time by Anglo-Saxons. Such are “ Othin ” (Anglo-Saxon, Woden) and “ Thor;" names that did not sound well in the ears of Christians : also “ Northman ” and “ Ustman," or “Ostman,” by which the Anglo-Saxons designated the Norwegians and Danes, who came from the North and East. “Östman," especially, was an appellation commonly given by the inhabitants of the British Isles in those times to the Scandinavian tribes that dwelt to the east of them.
Among other names, those of “Colgrim” and “ Valrefenn“
may be noticed as frequently appearing, and as peculiar to Lincolnshire, a district occupied in such great numbers by the Danes. Names of birds appear on the whole to have been often assumed in the old Danish part of England. Thus in York we find a “ Ræfn,” or “Ravn” (Raven); “ Siafucl," “ Sæfuhel,” or “Söfugl " (Seafowl);.“ Swan" or “Svane” (Swan); and “ Winterfugl” (Winterfowl). Strangely enough, there also appears a “Sumrfugl " (Summer-fowl) as the name of a coiner, who minted coins for the Danish-Norwegian king Magnus the Good, in Odensee; and as English coiners were at that time employed in Denmark, this Sommerfugl perhaps came over from the north of England. It was, indeed, quite natural that Denmark and the rest of the North should procure their earliest coiners from Danish North-England, where there were plenty of them of Scandinavian origin. The English names found on the oldest Scandinavian coins (of the first half of the eleventh century) are consequently by no means universally Anglo-Saxon, but often Scandinavian; as Svein, Thorbaern (Thorbjörn), Ketil, Thorkil, Othin, Thorstein, Thurgod, Thord, and others. It is remarkable, that the names of “Sumerled" and "Winterled," answering to those of Sommerfugl and Winterfugl, were also found at that time in York. Another remarkable name is that of “ Widfara” (the far-travelled), which seems to indicate either that its bearer had come from a great distance, or had made long voyages.
These Scandinavian names, which, as I have said, are just as frequent on coins minted immediately after, as on those struck during, or just previously to, the Danish-English kings' dominion, by no means cease with Edward the Confessor (+ 1066). During Harald Godvinsön's short reign, we further meet with Outhgrim, Snaebeorn (or Snéebjörn), Spraceling (Sprakeleg), Thurcil, Ulfcetel, &c.; nay, even after the Norman conquest, and as long as it was customary to place the coiners' names on the coins, Scandinavian names may be recognised. Thus, under William