At the outbreak of war in 1642, Thomas Simon remained with the Royal Mint in the Tower of London which was now under Parliamentary control. His fellow engraver, Thomas Rawlins, went in the opposite direction, siding with the King to join the Royalists. Charles I appointed him Chief Engraver and he produced coinage dies for use at the various stand-in mints established by the Royalists around the country. One example of his work from this period is this impressive crown piece struck at Oxford, and it is possible to make out the skyline of the city in the space beneath the King’s horse. Simon and Rawlins would almost certainly have known each other. Both were of a similar age, had worked at the Mint, and both had been apprenticed to Chief Engraver Edward Greene, facts which starkly illustrate just how the country’s loyalties were split by years of war.

Oxford Crown RMM5131.jpg

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