Silver groat of Henry IV
Lancastrian, struck during the period 1411-1413
Found at Winchester, Hampshire
Henry IV ascended the throne in 1399 at a time when there was a severe shortage of bullion. Around 1411, to compensate for this, he reduced the weight of all coins. Gold issues were reduced by ten per cent and silver by about sixteen per cent. This groat, or fourpence, is an example of this so-called 'light coinage'. (Coins struck before the reduction are called the 'heavy coinage'.) The legend on the reverse is in two circles with the innermost reading CIVITAS LONDON. Groats were only struck at the London mint and all issues from this reign are very rare.