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The Viking Attack on Huntingdon

431199.

ANGLO-SAXON, Kings of All England. Æthelred II. 978-1016. AR Penny (18.5mm, 1.44 g, 12h). Helmet type (BMC viii, Hild. E). Huntandune (Huntingdon) mint; Æthelstan, moneyer. Struck 1003-1009. + EDELRED REX EIGO, helmeted bust left; geometric design by forehead / + ÆÐ ELZT AN M’ Θ HV •, voided long cross with triple-crescent ends and pellet at center; in each quarter, trefoil on pile. Eaglen, Huntingdon 94.1 (dies D/c) = SCBI 7 (Copenhagen), 442 (same dies); BMC 121; North 775; SCBC 1152. VF, wavy flan, some pecks. Rare.


Eaglen’s detailed study notes a number of irregularities in the Helmet coinage of Huntingdon – “obverses passed from moneyer to moneyer, or mint to mint, the loan of a moneyer, and very light coins.” He suggests the possibility that these unusual events were a result of a Viking attack on the city in 1010. This would, however, necessitate the updating of the Helmet type from 1003-1009 to 1003-circa 1010.