1422-30 England 1/2 Noble MS63

London mint. King standing facing in ship, bearing sword and shield, annulet at sword arm / Floriated cross, h in center. SCBC 1805; Friedberg 113.
King Henry experienced a mental breakdown after the loss of Bordeaux, with Richard, Duke of York taking control of the government as regent until his recovery the following year. Civil war broke out in 1459, leading to a long period of dynastic conflict known as the Wars of the Roses. Henry was taken prisoner by Richard of York at Northampton on 10 July 1460 but was rescued on February of the following year by forces loyal to Margaret. He was deposed on 29 March 1461 following the victory at Towton by Richard's son, who took the throne as Edward IV. Henry suffered another breakdown and, despite Margaret continuing to lead a resistance to Edward, he was captured by Edward's forces in 1465 and imprisoned in the Tower of London. Richard Neville, the Earl of Warwick, restored Henry to the throne in 1470, but Edward defeated Neville and retook power in 1471, imprisoning Henry in the Tower once again.

Henry died in the Tower during the night of 21 May 1471, possibly killed on the orders of Edward. He was buried at Chertsey Abbey, before being moved to Windsor Castle in 1484. Miracles were attributed to Henry after his death, and he was informally regarded as a saint and martyr until the 16th century. He left a legacy of educational institutions, having founded Eton College, King's College (Cambridge) and All Souls College, Oxford. William Shakespeare wrote a trilogy of plays about his life, depicting him as weak-willed and easily influenced by his wife, Margaret.

Annulet issue. Very sharp struck portrait, extremely rare in this quality.

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