Two coin hoards and an empty container of a possible third hoard have all been found within a 20m square area along High Street in Colchester, Essex between 1902 and 2000.
The first hoard (Colchester 1) was discovered in the back garden of 25 high Street, on July 5th, 1902. It consisted of 11,000-12,000 English silver short cross pennies and contemporary Scottish and Irish issues buried in a lead vessel; the closing date was c.1237.
The second hoard (Colchester 2) was discovered within the same house plot in 1969. It consisted of 14,065 silver pennies buried in a lidded lead canister, mainly of the English voided long cross type alongside contemporary Scottish and Irish issues. The majority of the coins were struck before 1256, with a few additional coins added 16 to 22 years later, giving a date of deposition of around 1278.
The Colchester hoards are likely to have been the property of a Jewish financier; their non-recovery may be directly connected to the discrimination and attacks on Jews of the late 13th century that culminated in the expulsion of the Jews from England in 1290. It is known from contemporary documentary evidence that several stone houses belonging to the Jewish community stood on the site where the hoards were found in the 1270's. Furthermore, the deposition date of the Colchester II hoard would seem to tie in very well with the pogrom of 1278, when many Jews were arrested and executed.
Whilst there is no absolute proof connecting the deposition and non-recovery of what were then very large amounts of money, the connection with Colchester's Jewish community is indeed a likely one. The second Colchester hoard contained the largest amount of voided long cross pennies ever found in England, and provides a valuable data source to supplement the information now available for the Brussels Hoard. Over 11,300 VLC pennies of classes 1 thru' 5 were found, and in addition there were 1,916 class 6 coins of Ion of Bury.