William Nicolson - Ralph Thoresby - 1698/9-02-25

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William Nicolson

William Nicolson - Ralph Thoresby - 1698/9-02-25
FINA IDUnique ID of the page  16339
InstitutionName of Institution.
InventoryInventory number.
AuthorAuthor of the document. William Nicolson
RecipientRecipient of the correspondence. Ralph Thoresby
Correspondence dateDate when the correspondence was written: day - month - year . February 25, 1699
PlacePlace of publication of the book, composition of the document or institution.
Associated personsNames of Persons who are mentioned in the annotation. John Sharp I, Thomas Tanner, Cuthbert Tunstall
LiteratureReference to literature. Hunter 1832, vol. 1, pp. 360-51, Burnett 2020b, pp. 869, 875 n. 187, 895, 904 n. 182, 9052
KeywordNumismatic Keywords  English , Medieval , Saxon , Scottish
LanguageLanguage of the correspondence English
External LinkLink to external information, e.g. Wikpedia  https://archive.org/details/lettersofeminent01thor/page/360/mode/2up
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Grand documentOriginal passage from the "Grand document".

'Your account of Edward the Fourth’s coins, &c. came a little too late to be placed, by me, in their proper places; but yet, I hope, you will find them accounted for when the book comes to your hand. Your collection is certainly the most complete of any in our English coins, and we are extremely indebted to you for the additions you have made to my Lord Archbishop’s incomparable notes on that subject, His Grace’s authority prevailed on me to omit some pieces, whereof Mr. Tanner had given me notice, coined by Archbishop Lee and Bishop Tonstall, telling me that he neither had any such himself, nor had seen them elsewhere. This I took for a certain sign that my friend Tanner was mistaken; and yet I now begin to think that he was not, having one in my own custody, which I take to belong to the former. Have you none of these?
My Lord Archbishop was pleased to communicate half a sheet of notes upon our golden coins (in his own handwriting) to me, when he returned my own papers, and kindly gave me the perusal of those he afterwards sent you about the silver ones; but I never saw so large observations on them as you mention. Perhaps I had hit upon all but what that paper brought; and so his Grace might not think it proper to send me the rest. I would gladly flatter myself with the hopes of that being my case, though at the same time I cannot but, on this information, suspect that my account will fall much short of what it might have been. I have taken the confidence to request his giving me a transcript of those on the Scotch coins; and to let his Grace know that it is my opinion that one of those which (in his notes on the English) is ascribed to William the Conqueror, does indeed belong to William, King of Scots: so the half face and erected sceptre, directly before the King’s nose, persuade me to believe. I have a few of the coins of that kingdom, but none older than David the First. I am sure they had money much older than that reign; but yet I do not altogether believe (what I have read in some of their best historians) that King Donald the First coined money in the latter end of the second century, whereon a cross was impressed, to notify his conversion to the Christian faith. A list of such coins as you have, which you take to belong to the ancient kingdom, will oblige, Sir.'

(Hunter 1832, vol. 1, pp. 360-5; Burnett 2020b, pp. 869, 875 n. 187, 895, 904 n. 182, 905)


  1. ^  Hunter, J. (ed.)(1832) Letters of Eminent Men addressed to Ralph Thoresby, FRS, London.
  2. ^  Burnett, Andrew M. (2020), The Hidden Treasures of this Happy Land. A History of Numismatics in Britain from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment, BNS Special Publ. No 14 = RNS Special Publ. No 58, London, Spink & Son.