After being enthralled by Mike Saunders' recent update on our village website entitled "A brief history of West Leake", local resident, Tim Henshall has been inspired to make a special purchase. He has bought an authenticated silver penny from the time of Edward II, who stayed in the village back in 1318.
A small number of these hammered coins have been found in and close to the village, but the find location of the example bought by Tim is unknown. The diminutive coin features an image of the king, with flowing curly locks beneath a rudimentary crown.
"It's fascinating to think that almost exactly 700 years ago, someone was holding this very coin", said Tim, whilst hoping that it was right here in West Leake.
According to Nationalarchives.gov.uk, a silver penny in 1318 had the equivalent buying power of £1.92 in 2017 (which might not sound much, but that's a 19,200% increase). A skilled tradesman only earned around the equivalent of £5/day at the time - so a penny in 1318 was the reward for around 3 hours work of skilled labour. It's therefore fair to assume that the original owner might well have been annoyed at its loss.
Tim will be bringing the tiny coin along to the Coronation celebrations on Sunday 7th for anyone interested to see it.
For more information on coins from this period, please see https://www.ukdfd.co.uk/pages/edwardian-Pennies/Edwardian%20Pennies%20P1.htm