Silver half groat of Henry VIII
Tudor, struck in the period 1544-1547
Found during archaeological excavations at Wolvesey Palace, Winchester, Hampshire
During Henry VIII's reign (1509-1547) there was a serious problem with his finances, which were in a shambles due mainly to his extravagances. To increase revenue it was decided to reduce the silver and gold content of the coinage. The debasement of the silver money did not occur till the third issue of 1543 when 'silver' coins were given a two-thirds copper content. For the first time in England's history the coins were not worth their metal content. This half groat, struck in York, is an example of Henry VIII's debased third coinage and characteristically the portrait on the obverse is depicted three-quarter-face.