Knight takes a King

Edward Longshanks.
Edward Longshanks.

A Banchory man has discovered a 13th century English coin in a Stonehaven field and donated it to the town’s Tollbooth museum.

Metal detector enthusiast Keith Knight found the Long Cross silver penny dating from the reign of Edward 1 (1272 to 1307).

Edward I was King of England at the time of the First War of Scottish Independence.

His fearsome reputation lead to him being nicknamed ‘The Hammer of the Scots’ and overwhelming height to the name ‘Longshanks’.

It was on his orders that William Wallace was hung, drawn and quartered in London after the Scottish rebel refused to swear allegiance to the English crown.

Many will remember Patrick McGoohan’s portrayal of Edward in the 1995 Mel Gibson film Braveheart.

Edward’s army were active in Deeside, with the King himself believed to have stayed the night at the Peel of Lumphanan on his way North.

Sir John de Melville paid homage to Edward at the Peel in 1296.

It is also documented that some 30,000 men at arms and 5,000 English mail-clad knights visited Kincardine O’ Neil during Edward’s reign leaving the village with “neither mault nor ale”.

Offshore worker Keith told the Piper about the penny: “(The coins) are relatively common in England there aren’t many up this way... I’ve only found two in the last twenty years.

“(The penny) might have been as much as a week’s pay for an English soldier so you certainly wouldn’t be happy if you dropped it! But it might have been a rich merchant, which wouldn’t have stung so much.”

Keith’s hobby sees him travelling all around Britain hunting for rare finds.

He also reads a lot on history which he feels adds another element to his discoveries: “There is a lot of buried history out there and if you know the history of a find they can be even more interesting. You find a coin and just wonder about who it used to belong to and why it is there.”

Keith’s latest find is just one of many that spans the centuries and eras: “I’ve found a sixpence in Stonehaven dating from the reign of Elizabeth I (1533 – 1603)... I’ve found 1st Century Roman Coins in Salisbury... but they’re ten a penny in England. They (the Romans) were in England for four centuries.”

But one of his finds certainly went off with a bang after discovering a World War 2 bomb in Donside.

“I found a large bomb up near Alford, seemingly a German plane dropped it... we had to call the bomb squad in to dispose of it!”

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