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Money

Living and learning in the past for you

Money in the 17th century was calculated on the basis of pounds, shillings and pence (l.s.d., for libri, solidi, denarii, from the Latin).

2 farthings = 1 halfpenny (pronounced hayp-nee)
2 halfpence (pronounce hay-pence)= 1 penny (d)
12 pence (pennies) = 1 shilling
20 shillings = 1 pound

In addition there were other values of money used:

1 mark = 13s 4d (therefore half a mark = 6s 8d)
1 laurel = 20s (the king's head bore a laurel crown)
1 angel =- 10s (the coin bore a figure of St Michael)
1 groat = 4d (therefore half a groat = 2d)

Many household accounts books of the time still typically used Roman numerals for calculations. It is therefore useful to remember the numbers used:

1= i, 2= ii, 3= iii, 4= iiii
5= v, 6= vi (v + i), 7= vii (v +i+i) and so on until
10= x, 20= xx and so on until
50= l
100= c
500= d
1000= m

Thus the number 1678 would have been represented by the letters:
mdclxxviii
(for 1000 + 500 + 100 + 50 + 10 + 10 + 5 + 1 + 1 + 1)

Typically the last i in a written number was represented by a j, so 4 would have been shown as iiij, or 6 as vj.

 

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