Daily entries from the 17th century London diary
Here's a good overview, from Grahamt's annotation on 4 Feb. 1660 (http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1660/02/04/#c1318 ):The basic units were l.s.d or pounds, shillings and pence, but named coins of other denominations were common, e.g. a groat (until 1662)4 farthings = 1d (penny) 4d = 1 groat12d = 3 groats = 1s (shilling) 5s = 1 crown (half-a-crown = 2s 6d)20s = 4 crowns = 1l or
More on Money
Taken from PHE's annotation of 6 Feb 1660 (http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1660/02/06/#c1437 ):
In about 1970, the pound was decimilised so that one pound is now 100 pence. The shilling became extinct. One
money slang:tuppence = 2d;tenner = 10l;tanner = 6d , 1/2 s;thrupence= 3d;dollar = 5s, based at a time when the pound = 4 dollars;1/2 dollar mate; haffa crown;
A little more money trivia:1.5d is always pronounced three- ha'pence, and was 1/8th of a shilling; 1.25d would be said penny-farthing; 1.75d penny-three-farthing.a 240d pound is actually very useful for traders. It has factors of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 12, 15, 16, 20, 24... whereas the 100p pound only has:1, 2, 4, 5, 10, 20, 25...This makes it easier to divide into smaller units and matches well with imperial units of measure like 12" = 1', 16oz = 1lb, 8pts = 1 gal. For example, if silk is 3s per yard, than 4'4" is 4s4d. With a 100p pound the buyer would need to buy either 4' (=20p) or 4'6" (22.5p) to get a reasonable match between whole inches and monetary units. This is a little contrived, but illustrates the point. Naturally, with a metric measuring system, then a metric monetary system makes more sense.
[Annotation by Language Hat for 14 March, 1659/60. For example sentences (including the day's Pepys entry!), see here at:http://www.pepysdiary.com/diary/1660/03/14/#c3091 ]half a piecemeans half a sovereign or guinea; OED:Popularly applied to an English gold coin; orig. to the unite of James I, and afterwards to the sovereign, and guinea, as the one or other was the current coin. Hence
More coin data Charles I mint,.. mark etc.In 1654 Gold bullion is recorded in London as having a value of
"Guinea " The gold "Guineas" according to Liza Picard ( Restoration London P144) The name came about because the gold was imported from Guinea by Africa Company. At this time Coins were milled to last longer. But I do beleive it was stop people getting their percentage with a penknife.Same source. Tokens were Issued due shortage. ( my thought:- due to growth of the economy and inflation and bad Harvests, riots and the general troubles of the times.) any way interesting reading.Bills of Exchange J. Evelyn mention his transactions of Bills of Exchange(13 times) going thru Merchants setting up accounts taking cash for local transactions. On His Grand tour of the Continent,He has this contact at Leghorn(Ligorne,Liverno) for providing large Sums on His Making a Bill of Exchange and the settling of same.
Ducket(t), DucatPer L&M: Spanish gold or silver coin worth 9s. 4d. and 3s. 6d. respectively
Gilder, Guilder: Dutch Money of account worth about 2s. Per L&M
Duccaton [, Ducatoon]: large silver coin of the Netherlands worth 5s 9d.per L&M
But it's not as simple as all that!
Only joking, but the story is about to get yet more complicated.
For many decades and through much of Pepys' life there was a severe shortage of small change in England - it wasn't worth the government's efforts to make these low-value coins in sufficient quantities. As a result, many of the taverns and coffee houses made their own tokens which they handed out in small change (usually worth a 1/4 penny (a farthing) or a 1/2 penny). Technically this was illegal but successive governments let it go.
The tokens could be used in the places where they were made, and usually in the shops in the immediate neighbourhood because they could take them back to the tavern; but the farther away you were, the less likely they were to be accepted as being good money.
On the back of the coins are usually a combination of the value (e.g. 1/2 penny), the street the tavern is in, perhaps the landlords name, and the date.
But most people still couldn't read, so on the front was usually a depiction of the symbol on the pub sign - so illiterate people could find the pub that made that particular token.
From this, for example, we know that The Three Cranes depicted the stork-like birds not machinery.
But I find the tokens from the "Salutation" tavern more interesting. M. Stolzenbach has pointed out that this must originally have been a Roman Catholic symbol (an Angel greets the Virgin Mary). However, by Pepys' time, its tokens (and so its signboard) merely showed 2 men greeting each other on the road. So showing how things can be sanitized.
I understand Pepys never mentioned these little almost worthless tokens in his diaries although he probably had some in his pocket on most days: it makes you wonder what things that are obvious to us in our own time will be mysterious to people 300 years from now.
A long story on enlish moneyECONOMICS OF ENGLISH COINAGE NOMINATIONS
Another version of exchange rate: [Foreign coins were in frequent use at this time. A Proclamation, January 29th, 1660-61, declared certain foreign gold and silver coins to be current at certain rates. The rate of the ducatoon was at 5s. 9d.]
Irish farthings: [ + a pic of the precursor to American cent; size that is]Charles II granted a patent to strike farthings for Ireland to Sir Thomas Armstrong in 1660. This issue was similar to the farthings of James I and Charles I from before the English Civil War. The issue was prohibited by the Governor of Ireland in 1661 and it does not appear to have been issued in large number nor to have circulated widely before this prohibition.The period beween 1657 and 1674 (just before and after the restoration of the monarchy in England) is characterised by the issuing of numerous small penny and twopenny tokens. There are over 800 different issues and they include examples from every city, almost every town and a few villages in Ireland. The tokens of this period will be covered in Irish Tokens (1200 to 1858). http://www.irishcoinage.com/MILLED.HTM
charles 2 coin the frances stewarthttp://www.romanbritain.freeserve.co.uk/frances...milled coinage and other coins
A coronation coin of CIIand his nemesis's coin - OC -Oliver cromwell coin 1658 http://www.christophereimer.co.uk/single/7890.htmlThe Coronation of Charles II, April 23rd 1661 coin april 23 [ Oak day.]http://www.christophereimer.co.uk/single/7890.html
Not sure if this is the right place or a relevant article to put here? but thought it interesting enough to post to the group, "Dollars from hell" BBC History magazine p.33 http://www.bbchistorymagazine.com/content/issue...
Angel from Glyn on Mon 17 May 2004,A gold coin: there were three
avoirdupois weight : 16 oz per pound or 7,000 grains or 16 drams [16 ounces]14.58 troy ounces equals one poundfor conversions etc: see http://www.metric-conversions.org/weight-conver...
12 troy = 13.16571 ounces12 troy = 373.2417 gramsounces (troy) a unit of apothecary weight equal to 480 grains or one twelfth of a troy pound pennyweights A measure of Troy weight equalling 24 grains or the twentieth part of a Troy ounce (there are 12 ounces in a pound Troy). Pennyweight is usually abbreviated dwt.http://www.metric-conversions.org/weight/troy-o...es-to-ounces.htm
40 troy ozs= 2.742857 lbs at 2.5L per oz40 troy ozs = 1244139 grams DescriptionThis is the weight and description of the raw scrap received by Jensen from the customer. It is in troy ounces. (16 avoir-du-pois ounces equals one pound. 14.58 troy ounces equals one pound). The balance the company uses to weigh incoming lots is calibrated every six months to ensure accuracy and the log in process is videotaped as a trained technician describes the contents of the package. http://www.jensenindustries.com/refining/certif...
LSD : 3 good sytes and clarification.Before 1971 Britain had an unusual non-decimal money system.Old Sterling Currency,
guye ffalkes on Mon 22 Nov 2004, 8:42 pm | Link
More on Guineas...
"The Guinea coin of 1663 was the first British machine-struck gold coin. The first one was produced on 6 February 1663 (1662 Old Style), and was made legal currency by a Proclamation of 27 March 1663. 44 and one half guineas would be made from one Troy pound of 11/12 fineness gold, each weighing 129.4 grains. The denomination was originally worth one pound, or twenty shillings, but an increase in the price of gold during Charles II's reign led to it being traded at a premium. In 1670 the weight of the coin was reduced from 8.4
from:Michael Robinson on Mon 2 May 2005, 6:13 am | LinkGrain
Norfolk slang for coins 1950s and 60s1d Clod3d Joey (normaly for old silver )but
remained the same for the brass ones.2/6 Halfcrown =Half Oxford (Oxford Schoolar ) = Dollar
Coinage and Money in Later Stuart England &A Brief History of British Regal Copper Production during the Late Seventeenth Century http://www.kipar.org/historical-resources/histo...
1662 Charles II Silver Crownhttp://www.coinoftheyear.com/1662.html
“Some ninepences were current [in late 1662] (Irish shillings of James I), but they were rare.” L&M, iii.266.n.2
Here are images of the Irish shillings of James I, but they are denominated sixpences http://www.irishcoinage.com/JAMES1.HTM
from Dave Bell on Fri 25 Nov 2005, There are more details on early English (and Scottish) milled coinage here http://www.kenelks.co.uk/coins/earlymilled/earl... (Second half of the page for Blondeau).It appears that Peter Blondeau himself had very little direct involvement in the post-Restoration coinage.better understanding of the evolving cerated coin.
According to Large Glossary: Mark , be Token, or as money 13s.4d or 2/3rds of a pound sterling [easterling]
According to the historical currency calculator on http://www.projects.ex.ac.uk/trol/scol/calcoluh...1 pound in 1675 was worth about 62 pounds today or about 108 dollars US.
ref JWB query about guianois 15 Mar 2005. This has no connection with guineas but refers to an issue of coins for Aquitaine, France (also known as Guyenne) by Edward III in 1361. The reference could be to gold or silver coins.
Log in to post an annotation.
If you don't have an account, then register here.