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ACCOUNT OF

HOARD

OF

ROMAN

COINS

FOUND NEAR LUTON, BEDFORDSHIRE.

COMMUNICATED TO
THE NUMISMATIC SOCIETY OF LONDftK'.
* *
BY JOHN EVANS, ESQ.

LONDON :
1863.

^V." U\

ACCOUNT OF A HOARD OF ROMAN COINS FOUND


NEAR LUTON, BEDFORDSHIRE.
By John Evans, Esq.
[Read before the Numismatic Society, January 15, 1868.]
Through the kindness of John Shaw Leigh, Esq., of
Luton Hoo, I am enabled to communicate to the Society
an account of a hoard of Roman coins discovered on
the 2nd of December last upon his estate. They were
enclosed in a coarse earthenware vase, which lay but
little below the surface of the soil, and which was
broken in pieces by the labourers who discovered it, who
immediately proceeded to appropriate the spoil. The
number of coins that was found has been variously reported
as from 1,000 up to 10,000; but, in point of fact, I
believe, from all the circumstances which have come to
my knowledge, they hardly exceeded 800 or 1,000 at the
outside. Some fragments of the urn which contained
them have been preserved, and from them it appears that
it did not exceed four inches in external diameter, so
that it would require ingenious packing to get the coins
into the urn had they been as numerous as some reports
made them. The material of which the urn was formed
was clay mixed with pounded shellsI think cockle
shells. It was but imperfectly burnt, and, as far as can

ON A HOARD OV EOMAN COINS FOUND NEAR LUTON.

be judged from the fragments, devoid of ornamentation


of any kind. Of the coins, about 350 came into the
possession of Mr. Leigh, who obligingly allowed me to
examine them; others fell into the hands of various
persons in the neighbourhood, and of these I have added
to the list I made of Mr. Leigh's coins such as have
come under my notice. I have also received from one of
our members, Mr. Allen, of Winchmore Hill, an account
of this same discovery, with a list of nearly one hundred
coins which he has examined, which added the names of
Caracalla, Macrinus, and iEmilianus to those with which
I was already acquainted. In the subjoined catalogue of
the coins comprised in this hoard I have incorporated
Mr. Allen's list with my own, and given the reverse legends
of such coins- of each reign as I have seen, though without
discriminating the number of coins of each type.

List of Coins found at Luton Hoo.


Caracalla
Macrinus

2
1

.
Elagabalus.

CONCORDIA MILIT
PVDICITIA

1
Julia Mjesa.
.

Sev. Alexander.
P. M. TR. P. VI. COS. II. P.P., PROVIDENTIA AVG.

2
5

Gordian III.
AEQVITAS AVG., AETERNITATI AVG., FELICIT. TEMPOR., 10 VI CONSERVATORY LAETITIA AVG. N., LIBERALIT AS AVG. III.,
P. M. TR. P. II. COS. P.P., SAECVLI FELICICarried forward

11

ON A HOARD OF ROMAN COINS FOUND NEAR LUTON.


Brought forward

3
.11

Gordian III. (Continued.)


TAS, SECVRIT. PERP., VICTOR. AETER.,
VIRTVTI AVGVSTI

15

Philippus Sen.
AEQVITAS AVGG., ANNONA AVGG., ROMAE
AETERNAE, SECVRIT. ORBIS
...

10

Otaoilia.
CONCORDIA AVGG., PIETAS AVGVSTAE

Philippus Jun.
AETERNIT. IMPER
Trajanus Decius.
ABVNDANTIA AVG, ADVENTVS AVG..GENIVS
EXERC. ILLYR1CIANI, PANNONIAE .
.

Etruscilla.
FECVNDITAS AVG

3
Herennius.

PIETAS AVGG

Trebonianus Gallus.
FEL10ITAS PVBLICA, PAX AETERNA, PIETAS
AVGG., VICTORIA AVGG.
....

MILIANU8

Valerianus.
APOLINI CONSERVA., FIDES MIL1TVM, LAET1TIA AVG G., LIBERALITAS AVGG., ORIENS
AVGG., P. M. TR. P. II. COS. II. P.P., P. M. TR.
P. V. COS. IIII. P.P., SALVS AVGG., VICTORIA
AVGG., VIRTVS AVGG

31

Gallibnus.
APOLLINI CONS., AVG. (Griffin and Centaur) CONCORDIA EXERC1T., DEO MARTI, FIDES
MILITVM. GERMANICVS MAX. V., IOVI
VICTORI, - IMP. C. E. S. LAETITIA AVG.,
L1BEKO P. COflS. AVG., ORIENS AVG., PAX
Carried forward

.87

ON A HOARD OF ROMAN COINS FOUND NEAR LUTON.


Brought forward

.87

Galliencs. (Continued.)
AETERNA AVG, PAX AVGG., PIETAS
AVGG., PROVIDENTIA AVG., PROVI. AVG.,
PROVIDENTIA AVGG., VBERTAS AVG.,
VICTORIA AET., VICT. GERMANICA, VIR
TVS AVG.
.
.
43
Salonina.
AETERNITAS AVG., DEAE SEGETIAE, FELICITA8 PVBLICA, IVNO REGINA, PVDICITIA
AVG., VENVS FELIX, VENVS VICTRIX. .

17

Saloninus.
IOVI CRESCENTI, PIETAS AVGG., SPES PVB
LICA, CONSECRATIO

14

Valekiancs Jcn. (?)


DEO VOLKANO

POSTDMUS.
COS HIT, DIANAE LVCIFERE, FELICITAS AVG.,
FIDES MILITVM, HERO. DEVSONIENSI,
HERC. PACIFERO, IOVI CONSERVATORI,
LAETITIA AVG., MONETA AVG., NEPTVNO
REDVCI, ORIENS AVG., PAX AVG. - P.M. TR.
P. COS. II. P.P., PROVIDENTIA AVG., SAECVLI FELICITAS, SALVS POSTVMI AVG.,
SALVS PROVINCIARVM, SERAPI COMITI
AVG., VICTORIA AVG., VIRTVS AVG.
. 205
ViCTORINUS.
INI0TV3, PAX AVG., PIETAS AVG., SAECVLI
FELICITAS, SALVS AVG., VIRTVS AVG. . 106
Marius.
VICTORIA AVG

Claudius II.
FELICITAS AVG., FIDES EXERCL, GENIVS
EXERCL, IOVI STATORI, P.M. TR. P. II. COS.
P.P., PROVIDENT. AVG., SALVS AVG., SPES
PVBLICA, VICTORIA AVG., VIRTVS AVG. 32
506

ON A HOARD OF ROMAN COINS FOUND NEAR LUTON.

The coins are all of silver, billon, or small brass, and


extend from the time of Elagabalus, a.d. 218222, to
that of Claudius Gothicus, a.d. 268. They do not appear
to present any very remarkable reverses, though some few
of them are rather scarce. The only one which I shall
more particularly cite is one in billon of Postumus, with
the reverse DIANAE LVCIFERE (sic), Diana marching
to the right, with a quiver on her shoulder, holding a
dart or spear in both hands; at her feet a dog (?). As
no coins of Tetricus are present, and Mariuswho may be
regarded as his immediate predecessor in the empire of
Gaul, though his reign is reported to have been but of
three dayshas his coinage represented in the hoard,
there can be but little difficulty in assigning a date for
its deposit. In the following short summary of the
events of that eventful period, I have followed the chro
nology given by M. Cohen in his short summary of the
reigns of each emperor prefixed to the catalogues of
their coins in his "Medailles Imperiales." In the year
267, Victorinus, who had been associated with Postumus
in the empire of Gaul and Western Europe about a.d. 265,
was assassinated at Cologne; Gallienus being still the
more legitimate representative of the Caesars. The mother
of Victorinus (Victorina), upon his death, having first
succeeded in getting her grandson, Victorinus the younger,
(of whom no coins are known), elected as emperor by the
army at Cologne ; on his being assassinated, as his father
had been before him, nominated Marius as his successor,
at the beginning of a.d. 268. He also was assassinated,
after a reign of three days, in the provinces of the Rhine,
though M. de Witte has shown that it is probable that
he had already for some time been proclaimed as emperor
in the west of Gaul. But in March, 268, Gallienus was,

ON A HOARD OF ROMAN COINS FOUND NEAR LUTON.

after the manner of the Roman emperors of that period,


murdered at Milan ; and on the 24th of that month
Claudius Gothicus was, by general acclamation, called to
be his successor. In the meantime, in Gaul, Tetricus
had been, on the death of Marius, nominated by Victorina
as his successor, and was proclaimed at some time in
a.d. 268 before the month of March. By this account it
would appear that Claudius Gothicus, at Milan, and
Tetricus, at Cologne, were both proclaimed emperors at
much the same time ; but we learn from Trebellius, that
the accession of Tetricus was prior to that of Claudius ;
and yet in this hoard of coins, discovered in Britain,
those of the Eastern Roman emperor are present, while
those of Tetricus, whose rule comprised Gaul, Spain,
and Britain, appear to be absent. Now in what manner
is this to be explained ? It appears to me that the
only solution is to be found in the fact that at the
time of the election of Tetricus he himself was absent,
and it was only on his arrival at Bordeaux that he was
installed as emperor. We may, therefore, well imagine
that his coinage does not date from quite so early a period
as his proclamation as emperor, and that though Claudius
and Tetricus may be said to have mounted the imperial
throne at the same time, yet that the coins of Claudius
commence at a slightly earlier period. It is, perhaps,
hardly safe to assume the entire absence of the coins of
Tetricus from this hoard, as the whole of it has not been
examined, but it seems extremely probable. Still, some
of the coins of Claudius bear the second year of his
tribunician power upon them. It is, however, a curious
circumstance that none of the money of that emperor
bears the date of the first year of his tribunician power.
Under auy circumstances, there can be but little doubt

ON A HOARD OF ROMAN COINS POUND NEAR LUTON.

that this hoard of coins must have been deposited either


in the year 269, or, as appears to me more probable, in
the summer or autumn of 268. The immediate neigh
bourhood of Luton has not, I believe, been prolific of
Roman remains ; but several antiquities of the Roman
period have been discovered at Harpenden, midway
between Luton and St. Alban's ( Verulamiuin), and it
seems probable that a road existed at that time, running
much the same course as the present road from St. Alban's
to Luton.