Reign of William the Lion ends today

04 Dec 2020  Fri

William the Lion is also known as Garbh, "the Rough", reigned as King of Scots from 1165 to 1214. He had the second-longest reign in Scottish history before the Act of Union with England in 1707.

William was the second son of the Scottish Henry, Earl of Northumberland, whose title he inherited in 1152. He was forced, however, to relinquish this earldom to King Henry II of England in 1157.

Succeeding to the throne of his elder brother, King Malcolm IV, in 1165, William joined a revolt of Henry’s sons in an attempt to regain Northumberland. He was captured near Alnwick, Northumberland, in 1174 and released after agreeing to recognize the overlordship of the king of England and the supremacy of the English church over the Scottish church.

He chartered many of the major burghs of modern Scotland and in 1178 founded Arbroath Abbey, which had become probably the wealthiest monastery in Scotland by the time of his death. William was succeeded by his son Alexander II.

Depicted here is a silver Penny issued under his reign from Edinburgh or Perth mint. The obverse of a coin depicts crowned head facing left, crown formed by three connected pellets; sceptre to left. The reverse of a coin inscribed with a voided short cross; stars in quarters (4 stars of 5 points).

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