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Bury Halfpenny D&H26

On the obverse is the azure coat of arms of the city of Bury St Edmunds, inside which are three golden crowns, each of which is pierced by a pair of crossed arrows. On top of the shield is a helmet, above the wreath of which a wolfhound sits with a human head crowned with a crown clamped in its front paws. The circle legend reads SUCCESS TO THE PLOUGH AND FLEECE. 


In 855, at the age of 15, Edmund became king of East Anglia. In 869, during the invasion of England by the Danish Vikings, for refusing to bow to pagan idols, King Edmund was tied to a tree and shot with bows. After his death, Edmund was ranked among the saints by the Roman Catholic Church. According to legend, the tormentors beheaded the English king, and so that his subjects could not find the head, they threw it into the thorn bush. The first miracle happened right there: the head of the saint was found after they heard the howl of a wolfhound guarding the shrine. That is why, subsequently, this animal was placed on the images of Edmund, protecting the holy head from wolves, and the martyr himself became the patron saint of those pursued by wolves. It is also narrated that the head was attached to the body and buried near the place of execution, having built a small wooden chapel. In 902, when the remains of the saint were transferred to Bedricksworth (the place where the four counties of East Anglia converge: Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire; the city was soon renamed Edmundstown, and then received the name Bury St. Edmunds), they were found to be incorrupt and the head is fused with the body. Another important event contributing to the veneration of the saint is due to the fact that just 30 years after the death of the martyr, when the terrible memories were not erased from the memory of eyewitnesses, the Danish conquerors, led by King Guthrum, converted to Christianity and themselves began to venerate King Edmund as a saint. Since then, a mass pilgrimage began to his incorruptible relics. In 1214, in the abbey church, during the struggle for the Magna Carta, the barons of England gathered to take an oath in the fight against King John the Landless for their rights and freedoms.

The reverse side depicts the imperial crown inside crossed laurel and palm branches, on top is a monogram of the letters P and D (Philip Deck). The circle legend reads THE COMMERCE OF BRITAIN.

Edge Lettering: Accepted at Philip Dack Post Office, Bury (PAYABLE AT P. DECKS POST OFFICE BURY -XX-).

Engraver Wyon (Wyon), manufacturer Kempson (Kempson), issued 5 cwts (1 cwts = 100 lb = 45.359237 kg).