Country: England, Tudor
King (reign): Edward VI (1547 - 1553)
Denomination/metal: Gold Sovereign, Half
Date/mint mark: mm. arrow, 1549
Type Second Period, Crowned Bust
Ref. no: Schneider 672; S 2438
Obv. Crowned, cuirassed bust of Edward right, 'EDWARD VI DG AGL' FRA' Z HIB' REX'. Rev. Crowned, garnished Royal Arms dividing 'ER', 'SCVTVM FIDEI PROTEGET EVM', (The shield of Faith shall protect him), rosette stops.
29mm, 4.94g. GVF - Good Very Fine, well struck
This half sovereign of 10 shillings issued in the first part of the Boy King's reign, ie when he was only ten years of age, is a superb contemporary portrait of Henry VIII's sickly son Edward VI. The portrait is well struck and shows youth well. It is consequently a desirable piece and rare in this grade of preservation. Just over five years later, in February 1553, at age 15, Edward fell ill. When his sickness was discovered to be terminal, he and his Council drew up a "Devise for the Succession", attempting to prevent the country being returned to Catholicism. Edward named his cousin Lady Jane Grey as his heir and excluded his half sisters, Mary and Elizabeth. However, this was disputed following Edward's death and Jane was queen for only nine days before Edward's half-sister, Mary, was proclaimed Queen. She reversed Edward's Protestant reforms, which nonetheless became the basis of the Elizabethan Religious Settlement of 1559.