Images courtesy of Portable Antiquities Scheme. For coin description and discussion see the BNS Research Blog article,  Ceolbald  of Northumbria: A New Look at an Old Moneyer, by Arthur Gran.

Welcome to the November 2020 issue of BNS E-NEWS, which circulates in the week prior to each Society meeting to all members who have provided the Society with an email address.

For the present, because of government restrictions enforced due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Society is meeting online via Zoom.

Please click on any of the article headings below:

Minutes of the October meeting

Our next meeting

Our lecture on 24 November

Library latest

BNJ 90 being distributed this week: BNJ 87 now online

Don't forget to check out the latest Blog contributions

Money & Medals Newsletter 80: numismatics in lockdown

Dates for your diary


The Warburg Institute, where the RNS/BNS Numismatic Library is located, has reopened and the RNS/BNS Numismatic Library is set to reopen on Tuesday 24 November. As you would expect, there are several new COVID-19 procedures and policies that the Warburg require all library visitors to follow.


The following is a summary of the Warburg guidance for visitors:

a. All visitors to the RNS/BNS Numismatic Library must have a pre-approved appointment to visit the library.
b. When arriving at the Warburg, you must check in at the reception desk. Anyone who is not on the Warburg’s “Pre-Approved Visitor List” will be denied access to the building – without exception.
c. Visitors may be asked to register for “track and trace” before they can enter the Warburg.
d. Masks must be worn at all times within the Warburg, including the RNS/BNS Library.
e. The RNS/BNS Library will be cleaned on Tuesday mornings and on Wednesday to ensure the library is kept clean.
f. Please ensure that 2m social distancing is observed at all times in common areas and within the RNS/BNS Library (e.g. if the reader needs to browse the stacks behind the librarian's desk, the duty librarian will need to move away to ensure 2m separation at all times.)
g. Please only use the recycling and rubbish bins found in the main corridors of the Warburg and do not leave any rubbish in the RNS/BNS Library.
h. Only one duty librarian and one visitor can access the RNS/BNS Library on any one day. Ad-hoc visits to the library are not allowed by the Warburg at this time.

Please note – the RNS/BNS Library is only open on Tuesdays between noon and 17:00.



1) Members must request an appointment by emailing the RNS/BNS librarian at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., stating:
        a. Full name
        b. Date of visit requested (please only request a Tuesday between noon and 17:00).

2) All requests for an appointment must be received by the RNS/BNS Librarian at least 1 week before visiting to allow time for the librarian to co-ordinate access with the Warburg.

3) As only one visitor can access the RNS/BNS Library on any one day, appointment requests will be handled on a first come, first served basis.

4) Please do not make any arrangements, until your appointment has been confirmed by the RNS/BNS Librarian, confirming that the appointment has been accepted by the Warburg.

This is a first step towards reopening the RNS/BNS Library, while following the Warburg’s COVID-19 policies and procedures. The RNS/BNS Numismatic Library is an exceptional resource to be enjoyed by all members of the two societies – even if it is just one visitor at a time, for now.


Although physical meetings are suspended for the present, the Society's officers and Council continue to meet virtually and work continues on several aspects of Society business.

The Society is actively investigating moves to online presentations of Society lectures, hopefully starting next month – a necessary innovation, not just because of the current situation which remains very fluid, but which will enable all those who, whether for reasons of time or distance, cannot attend physical meetings once they are allowed to resume. The Covid-19 experience has considerably boosted the use of online technologies for meeting and instruction and numismatic societies the world over are reconvening as online gatherings, which happily means that members can remain involved with their chosen groups wherever they live.

It is not anticipated that the Society will be able to physically meet until mid-2021. Alongside online developments, the Society's programme for 2021 is in active preparation. It is hoped to accommodate those speakers who were due to address the Society this year, including Sir Mark Jones, David Swan, Dr Gareth Williams and Chris Barker, in next year's schedule. In addition, government restrictions permitting, thought is being given to staging a Summer Meeting in early July 2021 on the theme of Currency Systems, offering a nod to the 50th anniversary of UK decimalisation, for which other events are in the planning stages. If a physical Summer Meeting is possible, it is hoped that it can be staged at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.




The latest edition of the Money and Medals Newsletter is now available: click here

Established earlier this year, the John Casey Fund provides grants for research by individuals into coins, medals, tokens, jetons and paper money of the British Isles, the British Commonwealth and the territories that have been subject to British rule.

Financed from a generous bequest to the Society by the late John Casey (†2016), it is envisaged that two or three awards will be made annually. The first such award has now been granted to Richard Brickstock, for the analysis and publication of the Roman coin moulds from Fulford, York.

Applications are particularly welcomed from younger scholars enrolled with higher-education institutions, although applications from independent scholars and from other researchers will also be considered favourably.






Announcing the publication of an important new work...


Andrew Burnett, ‘The Hidden Treasures of this Happy Island.’ A History of Numismatics in Britain from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment.


3 volumes: volume I: pp. xxxvi + 566, 200 illus.; volume II: pp. xvi + 612, 140 illus.; volume  III: pp. xiv + 626, 40 illus. ISBN 0–901405–36–1

British Numismatic Society Special Publication no. 14; Royal Numismatic Society Special Publication no. 58; Distributed by Spink & Son Ltd., 69 Southampton Row, Bloomsbury, London, WC1B 4ET

Available as a 3-volume set: £150.

Price to Members of the British Numismatic Society: £95.

To order: visit

       Burnett cover  


The book provides, for the first time, a comprehensive account of the collecting and study of coins inBritain from 1500 to 1750. Many new discoveries, such as the existence of a Tudor royal collection, have been made in the course of the research. In addition, important scholars and collectors havebeen identified, who are otherwise virtually unknown, such as James Cole, John Harrison, Simonds D’Ewes, John Marsham and Francis Sambrooke. The development of the early university collections, at Cambridge and Oxford is also described. Many unpublished documents have been identified, transcribed and, when in Latin, translated. Most are from the British and Bodleian Libraries, but many other manuscript sources have also been used, in the UK and abroad. The book is divided into 37 chapters, which are broadly chronological, with several thematic treatments interspersed. 73 appendices cover specific topics. Finally, there is a substantial ‘Register’, a catalogue raisonée of all the people who are known to have had an interest. 

Andrew Burnett was Deputy Director of the British Museum from 2002 to 2013, having spent his previous career in the Department of Coins and Medals. He was appointed a CBE by the Queen in the New Year’s Honours of 2012, and he is a Fellow of the British Academy and of the Society of Antiquaries of London. He is past President of the Royal Numismatic Society, the Roman Society and the International Numismatic Commission. He has been awarded the Silver Medal of the Royal Numismatic Society, the Jeton de Vermeil of the French Numismatic Society and the Huntington Medal of the American Numismatic Society.