Roman Coins found at Bovey Tracey

Reported in

William T Peter Shortt. (1852). Collectiana Curiosa Antiqua Dunmonia:
An essay on some Druidical remains in Devon, and also on its noble ancient camps and circumvallations
Exeter: W C Featherstone. London: J B Nichols & Son. page. 11.

Prepared by Michael Steer

November 1837. The following small coins were found on Furzely, in the Shillet while digging stones for repairing the roads, under Mr John Cann's house, and are the most perfect of the lot found. They were communicated to me by Dr Crocker:

Gallienus, spiked crown, coin washed with silver or tin, and ill struck. Reverse: VICT(oria) GERMANICA; alludes to one of his early or more successful campaigns

Valerianus (P. Licin), his father, washed also Reverse: A victory...VICTO AVG

Postumus- bearded. SAECVLI FELICITAS.By his victories giving happiness to the empire, signified by a spear in one hand, in the other a globe, emblem of power.

Ditto: washed with silver, a galley or ship with rowers. Also LAETITIA AVG(usti), as on a coin of Allectus. Alluding to prowess by sea. The coin struck on 11th February, a day sacred to Pan and the genius of the Emperor.

Victorinus the Elder. Reverse: INVICTVS. The Sun as a youth running etc. Invictus an ordinary title of the Sun, and of many heathen deities as before observed.

Claudius II Gothicus. Reverse: Fortune reclining on a pillar, with Cornucopia etc. ADVENTVS AVG implies his visit to some part of the empire, or to Rome.

All about 270 AD. A Roman road is supposed to be traced in the vicinity, coming from Haldon towards Hennock and Ilsington, and thence by Bovey and sandy Gate to Hembury Fort, in Buckfastleigh.

Bovey Tracey is noted in history for being the place where Lieutenant General Cromwell, January 8, 1646, with the van of the army of Fairfax, beat up the quarters of the Royalist General, Lord Wentworth, about six at night and took 400 horse, 7 colours, one of them the King's Colours with a crown and CR upon it. (Clarendon says that this affair took place at Ashburton. He is, however, wrong in this respect). Cromwell's coup de main so astounded the Royalists, that indeed at Ashburton next day, their rear guard was driven through the town with the loss of 9 men and 20 horse which "Inforced the rest of their horse to flie severall ways". And 120 who escaped to Ellington (Qy? Ilsington) Church fled also away.

The principal officers of the royalist army at Bovey, where engaged at cards when Cromwell burst in upon them with his troopers from Crediton, and only escaped by throwing their stakes of money out of the window among the Round Heads. 'which whilst our soldiers" says Sprigge, "were scrambling for, they escaped out at a back door over the river, and so saved their best stakes. It was a very severe winter, and this affair and another at Bowe in which Sir Hardresse Waller beat a large body of the royalist horse and dragoons, took place the same day, immediately preceding the storming and capture of Dartmouth, which was on the 19th January.

V Ludlow, mem.p. 167.

J Sprigge's Anglia Red. And Merc. Civ. January 8th to 16th, 1646

It was nearly supper time when the Cromwellians entered the town, from Crediton.