Royal Mint appoints first female chief in its thousand-year history

Anne Jessopp

The Royal Mint has appointed its first female chief – the first in its one thousand-year history.

Anne Jessopp has been appointed as the Deputy Master of the Mint and will lead work to provide Britain with its cutting-edge secure currency. She will also develop the commemorative coin and bullion arm of the business.

Jessopp’s first ceremonial role will be to lead the annual Trial of the Pyx. First held in 1282, the Trial of the Pyx tests the integrity of the nation’s coins, ensuring that they are the proper weight and size, and contain the right amount of precious metals.

In a ceremony, which has not changed since before Henry VIII’s reign, the Deputy Master of the Mint brings these chests to London’s Goldsmiths’ Hall, where the coins are checked by an independent jury. The Jury consists of leaders from the financial world and six assayers from the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths who, wearing traditional red robes, put the coins to the test.

Remarkably, the history books reveal that if the coins fail the test, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who is the ceremonial Master of the Mint, risks losing a hand as punishment.

Throughout history, 94 Minters have had their right hands cut off by order of the King. However, this has not happened for hundreds of years.

Speaking of her new appointment, Anne Jessopp, Deputy Master of the Mint, said, “I am delighted to be appointed to lead this unique and important British organisation.”

“The Royal Mint has an impressive history of over 1,100 years and its longevity is due to its ability to adapt as society changes.”

“This was never truer than today, as we reinterpret The Royal Mint for the 21st organisation throughout our history – authenticity, security, precious metals, craftsmanship and design.”

“I have had the privilege to work for The Royal Mint for almost 10 years and it is testament to the great colleagues and opportunities I have had, that I have been able to develop the skills that enable me to take on this role.”

The Exchequer to the Secretary to the Treasury, Robert Jenrick welcomed the appointment and said, “Anne Jessopp brings a wealth of expertise to this role.”

“With her decade of experience at the Royal Mint, I am confident she will ensure the UK continues to have the most secure currency in the world, and our coins are loved and collected the world, and our coins are loved and collected the world over.”

“It may have taken over 1,000 years but the Mint is now finally led by a woman, and I am certain Anne will do a great job.”

About the author

Alison is the Digital Content Editor for WeAreTheCity. She has a BA Honours degree in Journalism and History from the University of Portsmouth. She has previously worked in the marketing sector and in a copywriting role. Alison’s other passions and hobbies include writing, blogging and travelling.