Henfrey, Henry William (DNB00)

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HENFREY, HENRY WILLIAM (1852–1881), numismatist, born in London on 5 July 1852, was eldest son of Arthur Henfrey the botanist [q. v.], and was educated at Brighton College, but was prevented by an accident from proceeding to Oxford. He was encouraged in his natural bent for archæological and numismatic studies by Peter Cunningham (1816–1869) [q. v.], Joseph Bonomi (1796–1878) [q. v.], and Admiral Smyth. One of his first numismatic writings was a paper in the ‘English Mechanic’ on the Queen Anne's farthings. He joined the Numismatic Society of London in 1868, became a member of the council, and contributed to its proceedings twelve papers, chiefly on English coins and medals, which were printed in the ‘Numismatic Chronicle.’ He was a foreign member of the Belgian and French numismatic societies, and of several American societies. He was elected a member of the British Archæological Association in 1870, and contributed papers to its proceedings, especially on the medals of Cromwell, and on the coins of Bristol and Norwich. At the time of his death he was arranging for the press a history of English country mints, for which he had been for many years collecting material. This, however, has not been published. In 1870 he published ‘A Guide to the Study of English Coins,’ London, 8vo (2nd edit. by C. F. Keary, London, 1885, 8vo), a well-known and useful little handbook; and in 1877 his principal work, the ‘Numismata Cromwelliana,’ London, 4to, giving a full account of the coins, medals, and seals of the protectorate. Henfrey died, after returning from a visit to Italy, on 31 July 1881 at Widmore Cottage, his mother's house at Bromley, Kent.

[Proceedings of Numismatic Soc. pp. 21, 22 in Numismatic Chronicle, 1882, 3rd ser. vol. ii.]

W. W.