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Obverse of a silver coin. Around the edge is the inscription: 'COENVVLFREX', 'King Coenwulf'. It has the letter 'M' in the centre. This silver penny was found in excavations near Covent Garden. In 796 Coenwulf became king of Mercia, the Anglo-Saxon kingdom based in central England. He succeeded King Offa, who had made Mercia powerful and extended his rule over most of southern and eastern England. Coenwulf was not as powerful, but he retained control of Kent, Sussex, Essex and East Anglia. Lundenwic, where this coin was probably minted, was Mercia's most important trading port.
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