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Kingdom of England, Edward the Confessor, Penny

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Kingdom of England, Edward the Confessor, Penny (obverse) Kingdom of England, Edward the Confessor, Penny (reverse)

On January 6, 1066, the most important men of England gathered on Thorney Island to the west of the city of London, after keeping vigil for twelve days beside the body of their dead King Edward (1042-1066). Now the king was carried to his grave in the Abbey church he had himself founded. On the morning of Christmas Day 1065, only twelve days before that 6th of January, the sick, frail King Edward had proudly looked on as the archbishop consecrated the new church. The Abbey was Edward's life work, and for it and his notable piety he became known as "Edward the Confessor." Before that, a small community of monks had lived on Thorney Island for generations. Their modest monastery church, or "minster," had been adequate for their needs. But now a new church stood there beside the Thames the modern cruciform church built of light-coloured stone put even St Paul's Cathedral in the shade. And from its position at the west end of London, balancing the "East Minster" of St Katherine's at the eastern end, the new church on Thorney Island was called the "West Minster." Today, we know it as "Westminster Abbey."

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