William 1st Silver Penny

Contributed by Anthony

Click image 2 below to hear the Radio 4 interview about this object

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Our family (Sweatman) emanated from the City of Oxford in England where we have two records from the Doomsday Book of families living in 'hovels' or 'holes in the wall'. They were 'Moneyers' and were licensed to produce coin of the realm. Six coins (William I Silver Pennies 1066 - 1087) reside on display in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford that have the name S?ETMAN stamped on the reverse.

We also have one of these silver coins which obviously, is very much treasured !

The 'A' in the name of Sweatman is an option that developed much later on.

The 'W' within the name is represented by a letter (?) that looks very similar to a p but is narrower and the curved part descends at 45° to meet the descending stroke and named (wynn, win or wen) and is descended from a Saxon 'runic' letter.

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Comments

  • 2 comments
  • 1. At 09:38 on 10 June 2010, Keith Briggs wrote:

    There is no chance that the modern surname Sweatman comes specifically from Swetman the moneyer in Domesday Book, simply because hereditary surnames were not used until at least 200 years after Domesday. The font-name Swetman was common after Domesday, and it will be one of these later Swetmans who give the modern surname. For example, B. Seltén, The Anglo-Saxon heritage in Middle English personal names, vol2, p156 has a long list of 12th and 13th century Swetmans. Similarly, the claim on the audio clip that the identity of the name of the moneyer with a modern Tony Sweatman proves ancestry cannot be justified. (In any case, DB has two Swetmans in Oxford. See http://www.pase.ac.uk/pase/apps/persons/index.html for other examples.)

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  • 2. At 18:20 on 1 October 2010, romanbaz wrote:

    Amazing that your name is on a coin this old, and you are a relative.

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Location

Oxford

Culture
Period
Theme
Size
H:
1.5cm
W:
1.5cm
D:
0.1cm
Colour
Material

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