Search

Historic King John coin discovered

PUBLISHED: 17:39 14 February 2008 | UPDATED: 10:26 03 July 2010

ATTIC FIND: Malcolm Ferrow with the silver coin thought to have been minted just after the granting of Great Yarmouth's charter

ATTIC FIND: Malcolm Ferrow with the silver coin thought to have been minted just after the granting of Great Yarmouth's charter

Alan Thompson

A SILVER coin thought to have been minted for the granting of Great Yarmouth's Charter by King John has turned up in an antique dealer's collection.

Malcolm Ferrow from Gorleston was looking for some documents in his loft when he discovered the coin, dated 1209, hidden among items of an old collection he bought 30 years ago, and hadforgotten about.

A SILVER coin thought to have been minted for the granting of Great Yarmouth's Charter by King John has turned up in an antique dealer's collection.

Malcolm Ferrow from Gorleston was looking for some documents in his loft when he discovered the coin, dated 1209, hidden among items of an old collection he bought 30 years ago, and hadforgotten about.

Mr Ferrow, 74, who ran an antiques business on Hall Quay said: “I bought up a job lot of documents and coins from a Mr A R Bishop's estate when he died. In a letter to the Eastern Daily Press in 1934 he had written to say a coin was found on the site of what was then called the old rifle butts, north of the town. I assume that's where rifle practice took place.

“It was embedded in marram grass. It must have been awful for the person who lost it. The coin was probably worth an old penny, which was a lot of money in those days.”

Mr Ferrow said the discovery in the 1930s was significant because it was the only coin to be have been found at the butts.

In 1721, a quantity were found at Royston in Hertfordshire and more at Teaslby in Lincolnshire in 1807.

He said: “My mind wonders as to what life may have been like in Yarmouth at that time of the Charter.”

Historians have recorded that in the middle ages the prosperity of Yarmouth was based on herring fishing and by the 12th century a herring fair was held at Yarmouth. Fairs were held only once a year and merchants came from all over Europe.

Mr Ferrow said that short cross coins, similar to the one he has, were minted across three or four reigns - the first ones porobably during the reign of Henry II between 1154 and 1189.

The life and times of the original collector, Mr A R Bishop is still shrouded in something of a mystery and Mr Ferrow hopes readers can help. Mr Bishop is believed to have been connected to St George's Church in Yarmouth and lived on St George's Plain.

If you have any information, contact Alan Thompson, The Mercury, 25 Regent Street, Great Yarmouth NR30 1RJ email: alan.thompson2@archant.co.uk

THE unveiling of a 25ft high carved fountain memorial will be the centrepiece of celebrations to mark the 800th anniversary of the granting of a Charter to Great Yarmouth.

The Charter granted townspeople certain rights to a become self governing community and raise their own taxes.

Plans have already been unveiled for a series of festival events to mark the anniversary and which add to Yarmouth's already rich heritage. It is hoped government funded projects corporate sponsorship and grants from the Lottery will pay for the celebrations which will involve as many townspeople as possible especially schoolchildren.

Among the projects being considered are a 25ft-high granite carved fountain especially commissioned to provide a permanent memorial to the granting of the Charter.

Artist Ernie Childs of Great Yarmouth Potteries is currently working on producing sketch drawings of the fountain sculpture which will be sited in St George's Park. He also plans a 10ft x 5ft painting of the historic scene when the Charter was delivered to the people of Yarmouth at the Tolhouse in the year 1208.

The faces of those in the painting though will be the faces of people who live in the borough today and it is hoped to hang the artwork in a prominent part of the town to enable everyone to visit and see it. A collection of prints will also be made so anyone who appears in the painting will be able to keep their own copy for posterity.

Mr Childs is hoping to have the painting finished in time for it to go on show during the Maritime Festival in September.

Plaques marking the Charter will also be dedicated and placed near the Town Wall near St Nicholas Parish Church and either at the Tolhouse Museum or the Time and Tide Museum. A banquet copying as much as possible from the menu from the original 13th century celebrations is planned for inside St Nicholas Church and Canon Michael Woods is keen to see a fireworks display from the top of the church tower.

A collection of prints will also be made so anyone who appears in the painting will be able to keep their own copy for posterity. Mr Childs is hoping to have the painting finished in time for it to go on show during Yarmouth Maritime Festival in September.

It is set to be a busy year for the talented sculptor and artist who is also producing a set of goblets for the Guild Feast on May 17 and limited edition charter tankards

Anyone interested in appearing in the painting should call Great Yarmouth Potteries on 01493 850585 or email: childsgyp@hotmail.com

ORGANISERS of the Charter event are asking for leaders of voluntary organisations to come forward to be part of a procession to mark the start of the celebrations on Sunday, March 16.

The organisations representatives will need to go to the Town Hall at 2pm with the procession leaving at approximately 2.40pm for the service in the church at 3pm.

Anyone interested should email lauragoodman@great-yarmouth.gov.uk or call her on 01493 846125.

ends

Latest from the Great Yarmouth Mercury

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists