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Money!!

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Rowan
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Money!!

Post by Rowan » Fri January 9th, 2009, 1:50 pm

I meant to ask this question the first time I encountered a monetary amount actually given in Jean Plaidy's book, but I was nowhere near a computer when I read it and was too lazy to go back and find it when I was. :D Thankfully, though, it's come up again giving me the opportunity to ask. As a reminder, the book I'm reading is about Eleanor of Aquitaine. She (Plaidy) indicates a monetary amount as: £3.16.10. When did the pound system come into existence? And what do the 16 and 10 denote?

Thanks in advance for enlightening me!

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Post by Vanessa » Fri January 9th, 2009, 3:53 pm

That sounds like pre-decimalisation English money to me. Pounds, shillings and pence. Three pounds, sixteen shillings and ten pennies. Or £3 16s 10d. Funnily enough, it was know as Lsd! Twenty shillings in the pound, 12 pennies in a shilling. I think I'm correct there. Decimalisation was about 1971.
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Post by Rowan » Fri January 9th, 2009, 3:55 pm

Thanks Vanessa!

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Post by EC2 » Fri January 9th, 2009, 5:46 pm

The monetary unit in Eleanor's time was the silver penny and was estimated as a unit of weight (hence the worry when people were clipping the edges off pennies or when the quality of the silver fluctuated). There were twelve pennies to a shilling and twenty shillings to the pound. There was a unit of monetary weight called a mark which was thirteen shillings and four pence. Sometimes money was enumerated in writing at the exchequer in pounds, shillings and pence, sometimes in marks. I've seen marks written in novels as if a mark is just one coin, but it's not. It's what 13s 4d actually weighs. Pennies could be split in half if small change was needed, or even quartered, which is where the coin the 'farthing' or 'fourthing' comes from.
There was gold about in small quantities, often from the middle east and known as a Bezant (from Byzantium), but I'm not sure about the weights and measures involved in a mark of gold (although I know a man who does :D !)
Here are some silver Henry II pennies at e-bay
http://coins.shop.ebay.co.uk/items/?_nk ... sacat=3394
Last edited by EC2 on Fri January 9th, 2009, 5:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: needed to change url
Les proz e les vassals
Souvent entre piez de chevals
Kar ja li coard n’I chasront

'The Brave and the valiant
Are always to be found between the hooves of horses
For never will cowards fall down there.'

Histoire de Guillaume le Mareschal

www.elizabethchadwick.com

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Rowan
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Post by Rowan » Fri January 9th, 2009, 6:05 pm

Please don't confuse me EC. I'm looking at the URL in the email notification I got from your response and I noticed that it's not eBay like here in the forum. :p :p :p

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Post by Vanessa » Fri January 9th, 2009, 6:29 pm

Well, I think I must be a bit confusing because I thought it was an amount which had been pencilled into the book, or it was an old book! :o
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Rowan
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Post by Rowan » Sat January 10th, 2009, 4:14 pm

Why would you think you're confusing Vanessa? Your answer made sense...

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Rowan
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Post by Rowan » Mon January 12th, 2009, 4:37 pm

[quote=""EC2""] There was a unit of monetary weight called a mark which was thirteen shillings and four pence. [/quote]

This unit came into play in the story as the amount that was required to pay the Holy Roman Emporer in order to ransom King Richard. 100,000 marks is what England was asked to pay.

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Post by Richard » Tue February 24th, 2009, 3:19 am

240 silver pennies make up a roman "pound". The penny was abbreviated "d" for the ancient Roman coin, denarius. In medieval French this became deniers.

20 denarii in Rome made a solidus - or in Britain, a shilling. Abbreviated "s". Solidii could be gold, and a gold solidus as issued by Constantinople was often called a "bezant" in the West. It was roughly equivalent in size to the Arab gold dinar. The West it seems stuck to silver coinage for the early medieval period.

And finally the pound, 12 solidi * 20 d/s = 240 denarii or pennies to the pound. The abbreviation "L" comes from the French livre and Latin libra. And yes, that's also the lady with the scales.

I found in my research one of the most confusing things was sorting out exactly how much anything cost, because everyones' deniers and solidii seemed to be different sizes and weights. I ended up making a table and converting everything to the raw metal weight for equivalence.
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