New coin marking the Tower of London’s former role as a state prison released by The Royal Mint, as part of a coin series in collaboration with Historic Royal Palaces.
• The commemorative coin features the inscription ‘My Libertie Denied’, which was carved into the walls of the Tower of London by a prisoner.
• This new coin, ‘The Infamous Prison’, forms part of a four piece special Tower of London collectable coin series, with each coin highlighting a part of the Tower’s fascinating history.
• This year’s Tower of London series is designed by heraldic artist, Timothy Noad
As well as the Cupro-nickel Brilliant Uncirculated Coin, the coin will also be available as a Silver Proof Coin, Silver Proof ‘Piedfort’ Coin and Gold Proof Coin.
Both gold and silver proof coins will be limited mintage.
On the 2nd November The Royal Mint released a new £5 denominated coin which reflects on the Tower of London’s historic role as a state prison. The coin was created by the Royal Mint in collaboration with Historic Royal Palaces – the independent charity which cares for the Tower of London – and is the final coin in a collection of four commemorative Tower of London coins.
The coin’s design includes the inscription, ‘My Libertie Denied’ which was carved onto the wall of the Beauchamp Tower in 1581 by prisoner Thomas Miagh, who was accused of leading a rebellion against Queen Elizabeth I. The reverse design features a special Tower mint mark, which can also be found on the other coins within The Tower of London collection.
The Tower of London was built as a fortress and royal palace, but also served as a prison for those who were deemed to pose the greatest threat to national security. The first prisoner of the Tower of London was Ranulf Flambard, Bishop of Durham who was charged with embezzlement in 1100; although he was also the first person to escape the prison, just a year later in 1101. Other famous prisoners of the Tower include Anne Boleyn, Guy Fawkes and even Princess Elizabeth, who was later crowned Elizabeth I. The last people held at the Tower of London were the Kray twins in 1952.
Clare Maclennan, Divisional Director of Commemorative Coin at The Royal Mint said: “The final coin in our special Tower of London collection commemorates the history of the prisoners held at the Tower. Designer Timothy Noad explores the story of the prisoners themselves, by featuring a haunting piece of graffiti etched onto the Tower’s wall in the 16th century; ‘My Libertie Denied’, truly encapsulating the human side of what we think of today as the infamous prison.”
Emma Saunders, Head of Brand Licensing and Business Development at Historic Royal Palaces commented: “The Prisoners coin, the final release of what has been such a special collection, commemorates one of the most notorious functions of the Tower – as a prison. It is little known that many of the Tower’s prisoners sought to be remembered by leaving detailed and artistic carvings in the Tower’s stone walls. These graffiti, which can still be seen by visitors today, give us a visceral connection to this important part of the building’s history.”