The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 27, Number 13, March 31, 2024, Article 24


Happy Easter. Here's an excerpt from a 2015 article by Andrew Crellin on the tradition of Maundy Coinage. -Editor

1902 Maundy coins The first royal Maundy money ceremony took place when King Charles II gave people undated hammered coins in 1662. The distribution of coins to deserving citizens across the UK on Maundy Thursday continues today - Maundy coins have proven to be a rewarding, challenging and historic series of coins for collectors to acquire.

Many sources describe Maundy Thursday as the Christian holy day just before Good Friday, and that it commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles. The term maundy refers to the foot-washing ceremony that Jesus Christ originally performed on his disciples.

While a foot-washing ceremony will strike many non-Christians in the 21st century as being rather archaic, this passage of the Bible shows that Christ intended it to be a physical demonstration of the equality of all in the eyes of God - no man is so higher or lower than another that they cannot wash their brother's feet, or have them washed:

"If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them."

There are many countries in the world where many churches of the Christian faith observe Maundy Thursday as part of Easter activities - Great Britain however is the only country in the world that has included silver maundy coins as part of the commemorations.

According to the Royal Mint, the tradition of royal maundy money in Great Britain is thought to have started as early as the thirteenth century, when …members of the royal family to take part in Maundy ceremonies, to distribute money and gifts, and to recall Christ's simple act of humility by washing the feet of the poor.

A royal Maundy coin has been struck for distribution in a set of royal Maundy money by the English monarch during royal maundy ceremony on Maundy Thursday. The four coin denominations that have been included in royal Maundy coin sets since 1670 are Fourpence (3d); Threepence (3d); Twopence (2d) and Penny (1d).

  Maundy Coin Set Official Case

There are as many recipients of royal Maundy Money as there are years in the sovereign's age. At the royal maundy ceremony, the monarch hands each recipient two small leather string purses. A red purse contains ordinary coins, while a white one contains silver Maundy coins, amounting to the same number of pence as the years of the sovereign's age. In 2015, the Queen performed the pre-Easter tradition of handing out silver maundy coins to the elderly in Sheffield. The Queen handed out two purses – one red and one white to each of the chosen recipients. The white purse contained Maundy coins to the value of 89 pence, while the red purse contained a £5 and a 50p coin.

To read the complete article, see:
Easter's Maundy Thursday and Maundy Coinage (

In a dramatic change from tradition, this year's service was led by a stand-in for the ailing monarch. -Editor

Queen Camilla 2024 Maundy ceremony Queen Camilla participated in an ancient rite on Thursday that can be traced back to 600 A.D.—and marked a historic first by doing so. Camilla stood in for King Charles at the Royal Maundy Service at Worcester Cathedral, distributing gifts of coin purses to attendees, a ritual traditionally performed by the monarch at the pre-Easter service.

This is the first time a royal consort has ever distributed the traditional Maundy gifts solo, and the service is a highlight of the royal calendar. Charles's schedule of public engagements has been slimmed down due to his ongoing cancer treatments, and this is considered the most important occasion he has had to reallocate thus far.

Camilla was greeted at the historic cathedral by officials and given a small bouquet. She wore a white coat dress and tan boots, pinning gold and sapphire flower brooches to the coat's collar. The jewelry also bore a sentimental significance: The pins once belonged to the late Queen Elizabeth II, who attended the event almost every year during her 70 years on the throne.

During the service, Camilla distributed coin purses as a gift to 75 men and 75 women, the number of recipients a nod to Charles's age. Each giftee received a white purse with a custom silver Maundy coin and a red purse had a £5 Tudor Dragon coin, as well as a commemorative 50 pence coin in honor of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution's 200th anniversary.

To read the complete article, see:
Queen Camilla Stands in for King Charles in Historic First (

The BBC and other news outlets interviewed some of the Maundy recipients. -Editor

  2024 Maundy coin set
  2024 maundy coins

To read the complete articles, see:
Norfolk and Waveney Christians at Royal Maundy service (
'I didn't think I was old enough for Maundy money' (

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Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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