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Pounds, shillings, and pence: a history of English coinage

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Title :  Pounds, shillings, and pence: a history of English coinage
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Comments Pounds, shillings, and pence: a history of English coinage

ERRATAbrbrI woke up the following day after publishing this with an annoying thought buzzing in my head Had I misread the AD&D Players' Handbook? I checked it, and saw that I had Sorry GarybrbrThe point of electrum was to be worth ten times the value of silver, not to be worth half that of gold, so 1ep=10sp would have been a useful and clear way to express the conversion rate When writing out a list of values like this, it is worthwhile being consistent or comprehensive Anyway, yes, if 1ep=10sp and 20sp=1gp, then it is true that 2ep=1gp It would also help to use a bigger typefacebrbrAlso, I managed a worse error, which was to to assign the slang terms 'bob' and 'tanner' to the wrong coins I know how this happened too Partly it was reading an incorrect source, partly it was a failure of layout by me of my notes, and partly it was because I was brought up in a decimalised world which used pre-decimal coinage, so the coins familiar to me in my youth were the shilling, which was worth 5p (five NEW pence) and the florin, which was worth 10p, and said on it "two shillings" This meant that the 'bob' piece was worth 5p which is close to the 6d of the sixpence, which is why I conflated these two in my oxygen-starved head A shilling was a 'bob' and a sixpence was a 'tanner'brbrArgh! A THIRD error has surfaced, and the video has yet to be up a full day! The chap in the 1913 bank says that a 1913 sovereign is 18 carat gold Wrong They were 22 carat gold They were so valuable in this period that they used to weigh them all individually in the mints to check thembrbrAnd yes, a FOURTH error: when I show the sub-multiples of 100, the graphic misses out the number four I know exactly how this happened When I checked the webpage from the new version of my website, from which the numbers were taken, I see that the formatting had been screwed up where my web-designer had put

instead of

, with the result that 5 and 4 came out as 54, which I had then corrected to 5 brbrBy Crikey - a FIFTH error! A diligent viewer has written in to point out a contradiction in my stated values of the sovereign Further research now suggests that the Henry VII sovereign was originally valued at twenty shillings (today one is up for auction and they demand a £20,000 deposit just to get the right to bid, and the last one sold in 2013 for about $500,000) brbrI really wish I could put on-screen corrections, as once I could Please, YouTube, bring back that feature
Comment from : Lindybeige

FYIThe dollar symbol was an S with a U over it for United States Over time the bottom of the U disappeared leaving an S with two lines through it vertically which was then simplifiesd to just one vertical line
Comment from : Robert

Wondering, since England won’t be using the euro anymore will they go back to the way they used to do money? I don’t know what they’re actually doing since brexit , the information is probably out there but I can’t be bothered to google it at the moment
Comment from : MissMeganBeckett

Pimp My Forklift
"It's nowhere near as complicated as I thought"brblooks at the video durarion/bbrSuuuuure
Comment from : Pimp My Forklift

Fabulous ⚘
Comment from : UИKИOWИ ИORIE

bloody romans
Comment from : Thatvikingguy

American here; American bad at math here to be more specific That being said, this is really cool to learn about and the sub-multiples of an even numbered currency base seems more, idk, sophisticated than the prime one Very cool to learn about alongside some of the history of British coinage!
Comment from : 0x0ism

Daniel Roy
It seem like part of the confusion is the fact that prices were listed in coins rather than pence value
Comment from : Daniel Roy

Daniel Roy
a sytems of 240 cents to a dollar would make sense, but adding a middle value like a shilling just seems unnecessary Just print the number of pence the coins is worth
Comment from : Daniel Roy

Rat King
Can we have £240? is that a weird compromise?
Comment from : Rat King

I liked that, especially the Marks bit All in all Educataining 😁
Comment from : EgoEroTergum

British Pound in Czech language is still called libra
Comment from : RamsesTheFourth

Paul 815
The Dollar $ is derived from the spanish 8 reales chunky silver coin roughly equivalent 1 silver dollar The $ is taken from the right column framing the spanish crest with the writing "ultra" wwwyoutubecom/watch?v=E4-iACBSFUU
Comment from : Paul 815

Robert Match
I got to visit London the Summer of '69 which was at the tag end of pence and shillings I was highly numerate and thought it was loads of fun Two years later I was back and now it was New Pence Many small prices had not changed which meant they had gone UP 140 (240d=100NP)
Comment from : Robert Match

Darren Mills
I feel very reassured
Comment from : Darren Mills

One Ghost
"A dollar for no reason that anyone knows for sure"brOh god now it's the "Dollar sign started out as the letters U and S laid on top of each other" argument all over again
Comment from : One Ghost

How did the actual kings gold get to the people? Did he just mint them and throw them out in the street? Was there a monarchs reserve system? Lol Or did it get paid out to the lords then from the lord's to his employees and underlings? I'm really curious now
Comment from : bryan

It would have been cool if we base money (or perhaps our numerical system) on powers of two (instead of powers of 10) and used base 12 instead of base 10 (decimal):brbrBills: 1,2,4,8,16,32,64,128,256 (which is surprisingly close to 240 which many other currencies were used to denominate another currencybrbrBase 12: can be evenly divided by 1, 2, 3,4,6,12 allowing for half, thirds, quarters, sixths, and twelfths brbrdecimal only evenly divides half, fifths, and tenths, quarters unevenly and thirds are technically not possible brbrAlso we could account in binary or any power of two very easily making it readily Scalable and also have conceptual relatablity between computers which are based in binary
Comment from : Pyroon

Antonio E Aquino
Decimalised currency system (base 10) is easier to compute than the Carolingian monetary system (base 12) However, when it comes to practical use in terms of selling anything, base 12 is more flexible and more useful than base 10 My take on the issue of base 10 and base 12 in the currency system is this -- Decimalised currency system is easier to compute whereas the Carolingian monetary system is easier to use
Comment from : Antonio E Aquino

crasstafari crasstafari
If you listen on headphones it is like Mr Beige is swimming back and forth through your head Which I think is a good feature
Comment from : crasstafari crasstafari

dylan tyt
I just like the information
Comment from : dylan tyt

Another great show
Comment from : Oooo

Agent Neely
This is not dissimilar from the difference of metric and imperial system As a farmer with some college in engineering I use metric for long term accurate calculations but standard system for quick imprecise measurements because both systems have different areas of efficiency
Comment from : Agent Neely

48:11 A bob wasn't 6d, it was a shilling !
Comment from : bouli3576

240 makes perfect sense: You can count to twelve on one hand and duodeciminal is really handy and if 20 silver coins make one gold coin then you have 12*20=240
Comment from : Quirriff

Daniel Brahneborg
Swedish noisy people at 11:00 or so Filmed in Visby, maybe?
Comment from : Daniel Brahneborg

Sarcasm Man
breakfast lunch dinner
Comment from : Sarcasm Man

Two things, 1 I didn't know pounds were decimalised i always assumed it was still some 12-variant And 2, i recently for a dnd game wanted to look up values for things in the 17th century, learned about the 1-20-12 system and decided to adopt it Haven't run it yet but it was quite easy for me to start thinking in such conversions I did not however bother with farthings guinneas and threepence They don't seem to serve much of a purpose other than colloquial terminology or smaller denomination
Comment from : friggin149

It's 3am and I wanted to watch this again before bed only to remember it's a hour long xD
Comment from : HYDE

Archefluxx Happy Hardcore
I'm sure I bumped into this guy in the smoking area of Ministry of Sound and he told me all of this in exactly the same manner
Comment from : Archefluxx Happy Hardcore

Tao Liu
Higher denomination notes were mainly used for moving money around before electronic transactions were a thing Historically the US had banknotes as high as $10k
Comment from : Tao Liu

A person
Hahayou sounded so much like Mitch Benn I thought it *was Mitch Benn until I looked at my screen and saw that it wasn't actually Mitch Benn I'm glad I don't like Mitch Benn very much
Comment from : A person

Martha Moore Fillinger
I'm sure somebody else has already mentioned this bprobability/b of the USA's dollar sign of an S with 2 lines (more likely 1 line) vertically threw the S I remember being told our symbol is a U and an S on top of each other (US = United States) With the U placed on top of the S you get the S with 2 lines vertically threw it At some time the bottom curve of the U being removed And then at some point 1 of the lines was removed What I remember being taught in school
Comment from : Martha Moore Fillinger

Rip are majesty
Comment from : Sentis

Veronica Vaes
I miss the lecture videos
Comment from : Veronica Vaes

Weaponized Emoticon
Man, a 240 is so good Divides by so many numbers! 120 or 180 wouldn't have been so bad either
Comment from : Weaponized Emoticon

Richard Charbonneau
240 silver pennies weighed (very roughly) 1 pound, thus 240 pence = 1 pound in currency
Comment from : Richard Charbonneau

Just received my degree in Economics last week Figured this video would be a good way to celebrate =)
Comment from : Zachary

Lee DHendon
Why didn't they use the guinea keep the schilling at 12d and just decimilize the pence much better! 🤔 so you end up with 2520 units!
Comment from : Lee DHendon

Gul Majeed
It's all about confusion Confusionism like the Chinese practice Swindling people and military and workers information to take full advantage of the poor person And your pocket and the purse
Comment from : Gul Majeed

Mike H
I don't understand the 240 rant Who cares about it's fractions?? How often are you splitting money up into even fractions? Not to mention that actually sounds really *inconvenient*, rather than more convenient "Oh look I have 1 1/2 coin, 7 1/3 coins, 5 1/4 coins, and 41 1/20 coins This is so much more convenient than having 50 1/100 coins and 3 1/10 coins How ever will I add that up to learn I have 80¢?"brWhy would anyone want to deal with the mess that is fractions when you can use decimal?
Comment from : Mike H

The weight thing is so neat, except the penny doest weigh 2x the ha'penny! The Ha'penny is 567g while the penny is 945g It should be 567 x 2 which is 1134 brbrAll other coins add up perfectly Why is this!?
Comment from : LeaveDavidAlone

Thế Cường Lưu
Nếu như những người làm nháy thì đúng là tội đồ của lịch sử họ sẽ nhân lấy báo ứng của chúa
Comment from : Thế Cường Lưu

I know that I'm a year late but if electrum is 10x more valuable than silver then it is worth half as much as gold, as stated in the book
Comment from : Alex

Anyone else yearning for 240d to make a return?
Comment from : TW MS

Bill Potter
This is the most entertaining video about coinage I have ever seen!
Comment from : Bill Potter

first name last name
Got me convinced
Comment from : first name last name

5:59 "sorry scotland, sorry wales" brbrOrangemen wept
Comment from : allmikau

David DeChamplain
After the 240 pence discussion, I want to see Lindy do a video on why we should use a base-12 number system
Comment from : David DeChamplain

Mathew Palmer
what about the 4 pence coin??
Comment from : Mathew Palmer

ARC the Cartoon Master
Someone should show this video to Viced Rhino - the fact that we have 10 fingers total is clearly evidence that we weren’t intelligently designed, and it will really help prove useful in his battle against creationists
Comment from : ARC the Cartoon Master

ARC the Cartoon Master
26:40 Ah, so bthat’s/b what was meant by “made such a mark” in iHMS Pinafore/i - Sir Joseph was saying he was making bank as office boy For the longest time, I thought he meant he left his mark on the lawyer firm he worked at
Comment from : ARC the Cartoon Master

ARC the Cartoon Master
19:17 This was me exactly as a kid - I thought the quarter was the currency of the USA
Comment from : ARC the Cartoon Master

Peyo pdg9
Saya ada one Penny Elizabeth II, George V,VI 1920,1921,1938,1963
Comment from : Peyo pdg9

Juan Demarko
But it was Charlemagne
Comment from : Juan Demarko

It might be better but WHY? Why go through the trouble of changing the system if it doesnt improve your life much
Comment from : phoda

Mind Flux
44:45 reminds me of 'Yes Minister":(in the Christmas special) James Hacker: "but this does not mean that we have to bow the knee to every directive from every little bureaucratic Bonaparte in Brussels They've turned our pints into litres and our yards into metres; we gave up the tanner and the threepenny bit, the two bob piece and the half crown But they cannot and will not destroy the British sausage"
Comment from : Mind Flux

3 Harder
Not using decimal for coinage is more complicated, even if we grew up using a different system like 12, the problem is that our number system is base 10 while our coinage system would be base 12, that would be really, really annoying Try asking an american how many miles are 15753 feet and time how long they need to answer, then ask an european, the same thing about kilometers and meters
Comment from : 3 Harder

Alan Wyatt
I remember using imperial coins as decimal Also, had a 1/3 farthing coin in my youth Is that as small a denomination as it went? [One farthing was 1/4 penny A 1/3 farthing was 1/12 penny 2880 of them to make a pound!]
Comment from : Alan Wyatt

Arthur Farrow
A tanner was 6d
Comment from : Arthur Farrow

You're one of my most favorite channel and I'll happily engage in a parasocial relationship
Comment from : LEO8341

I want to be a teacher, specifically a history teacher However, I decided to pursue nursing However, it is this man who I aspire to be like if I ever do change my mind again Storytelling is so much fun but also takes so much thought and skill This man obviously has what it takes to inspire an entire generation
Comment from : Zebra

j gomez
I keep coming back to watch this thing NVM its great educational value, it's just HILARIOUS!! Great job
Comment from : j gomez

Sean Sumner
I know this is an older video but I've got to say my bit for Uncle Sam The quarter perhaps makes more cultural sense here in the US than practical sense As we never adopted the metric system of measurement, quarter, eighth, sixteenth, ect type measurements are incredibly common in trades (though gradually fading in favor of the simpler metric system) It seems an easier concept to break things down into fourths than it does fifths in that regard
Comment from : Sean Sumner

captain chaos
Northern Ireland also uses the pound because it's also part of the UK
Comment from : captain chaos

This was a great video! Always found the british coinage system rather odd but this made a lot of sense Having so many different denominations sounds awkward today but makes sense as it facilitated payments and divisionsbrbrMinus the Guinea, that doesnt make sense lol
Comment from : José

Kim Cason
Having lived in Britain during the Period of Change over from 240d to 100p ( or New Pence)br The New Currency was all very confussing, as everyone was Trying to workout what that converted to in 'Old money'brbr PM Harold Wilson I think statedbr "This will not Affect the Pound in your Pocket!"brbr Well it Felt like it Did, but People Begrudgingly put up with itbr But it did Devalue the £ and caused price Increases for those 'Dozen Eggs' Because the price was Rounded up Not Down!brbr I think he was Turffed out as PM After or Even before the Day it changedbr But it was all so UK could join the EU!! 🤪brbr Look at how that played out! Opps!brbr Meddle with the Coinage at your Peril!brbr Great Story and yes I am a Numismatist, since before the Change over Date And in my Youth as a Paper Boy It affected my Tips at the End of the Week As everyone felt like they were being Screwedbr But oddly it did wonders for my Collection As Everyone was getting Shot of those Old Pennies ect sitting around the House!!brbr Swings and Roundabouts, I guess!?br Great Video!br Cheers All Kim in Oz 😎
Comment from : Kim Cason

Don Dovahkiin
"Sorry Scotland, Sorry Wales, not Sorry Ireland "
Comment from : Don Dovahkiin

Matthew Hale
As a proud Englishman I find embarrassing but yet again we have a subject being portrayed as an English subject when it’s actually a British subject these coins were circulated throughout most of Britain the title of this video should be British coinage
Comment from : Matthew Hale

Dungeons and Dobbers
1st half of the video: Interesting an informative talk about the history of pre-decimalised British currencybr2nd half of the video: "Oh crap, Lindy's gone off on one of his weird rants pining after the Glory Days again"
Comment from : Dungeons and Dobbers

Nick Wyatt
There's a bit here I don't understand At around 1615 in, he mentions Henry 1 and the Anglo Saxon Chronicles and then a few moments later (1718) he introduces the Normans as a new 'chapter' But Henry 1 bwas/b a Norman (being the fourth son of William)
Comment from : Nick Wyatt

Simon Arnold
I totally agree with the end of this video It worked very well for centuries, based on fractions minus and plus, this meant as you pointed out that you could sell more of a cake, for both less than a penny or more than a penny Under the decimal system you were locked to the lowest half pence We went metric and this caused a ripple effect, that we are still suffering today The Australian, 10-shilling Dollar would have made more sense for us while avoiding that ripple caused by a sliding £ just before and just after 1971 Australia went for compromise, keeping the shilling, while understand £ was losing value
Comment from : Simon Arnold

Leod McAbre
But I THOUGHT you WANTED a guinea that divides by 3 and 1gn = 21 shilling does that, dividing by 3 you 'd get a crown and a florin each brSo there you go and Bob's your 12 pence
Comment from : Leod McAbre

Great video
Comment from : Rajathon

Absolutely brilliant - thank you SO MUCH! I posted this on my FB page just so I could find it quickly as a reference 240 Pence in the Pound meant that you could easily buy, say, one egg! For years I did all the photography for Spinks coin catalogues and the manager here in Australia was James Noble - I never realised until now how he must have been destined for his job!
Comment from : dummatube

Corey Karber
4 quarters equals a dollar is pretty easy to be fair it's one quarter of a dollar 1 quarter 1 fourth does no one else say half, quarter, eighth?
Comment from : Corey Karber

My new favourite YouTube video
Comment from : I_Only_Harley

Alans Snack
tell us that story again, about you being in a room of girls, and them watching greece
Comment from : Alans Snack

albert bahoogadin
Yet the "POUND" began in Scotlandoh yes, how very english in deed hmmmCLOWNS!!
Comment from : albert bahoogadin

I frankly can't get over the solid-i and denari-i 🤣
Comment from : SimplyJustRed

Eh, just make it worth 21 then, lmao
Comment from : Sb129

If the system had persisted then even today a Pound would still be at least 2 US Dollars, and prices would appear lower to a foreigner A 1 Euro chocolate bar would cost half a Pound or so 1 grand a week would be a high wage brbrA McLaren would cost £100000 or so
Comment from : Visionist

David Brown
excellent All the Best from Wales
Comment from : David Brown

Dr Thomas Rasberry
PhD in math here, I indeed am wondering why we aren't on the British system of money Why do you think we have 360 degrees in one rotation? The benefit with multiples, I guess, is that you can cut coins with it easily and make it easy to remember what something costs (no "$4999!, $9999! $54999!) but the problem (tremendous!) is that s != 20c (it's about 80c) and g != 20s (it's about 100s), and certainly g != 400c (it's about 8000c)
Comment from : Dr Thomas Rasberry

Colin Baldwin
I’ve only just discovered this channel and I’m already hooked brI’m 69 and remember posh shops displaying prices in guineas (65gns)brI also remember the owner of our local cycle shop following decimalisation working out the purchase tax (pre VAT) and adding it up in his head in £/s/d then looking at a conversion chart to decimal coinage
Comment from : Colin Baldwin

Victory Mansions
The amount of times the UK TV show The Chase ends up with 3 contestants splitting a 33 or 66 recurring is very often It always makes me wonder how they actually divide it to the players
Comment from : Victory Mansions

Pete Cowley
The S in dollars $ stands for smackeroonies This is 100 historical fact trust me
Comment from : Pete Cowley

Nis Gotthardsen
Watching Blackadder episodes on Youtube Zapped to this Lindebeige, hard to tell the ddifference😆😄😂
Comment from : Nis Gotthardsen

dividing things into 10 or 100 or 1000 and so on works well because we count in radix 10 what if we made new numerals for 10 and 11 to use a radix 12 system? how hard could it be to make the whole world learn to count and do basic arithmetic all over again?
Comment from : JRS

Baby Inuyasha
There's an online calculator for pounds shillings and pence by the way
Comment from : Baby Inuyasha

Luke Mullan
So, at one time possibly, you could be called Bob and pay with Bobs and if something you bought is rubbish, that would be bob also?
Comment from : Luke Mullan

พิมพันธ์ สุรางค์กูร
You remind me so much of John Cleese Which makes you a very entertaining YouTube personality Keep up the good work
Comment from : พิมพันธ์ สุรางค์กูร

Eivind Thorsen
31:08 This sounds just too silly to me! You are not fooling anyone that have seen The Holy Grail brKing Arthur was obviously Lindybeige in armoured disguise, and rumor has it that King Arthur was also God, so you must be lying =I
Comment from : Eivind Thorsen

Comment from : frans

idiotproof dalek
A Vivian Stanshall reference This is why I love BEIGE And also SHIRTS
Comment from : idiotproof dalek

Gato Villano
At 6:33, could it be that the dollar as a ''$'' symbol because of the silver dollar Because originally, one once of silver was worth 1 American dollar
Comment from : Gato Villano

I submit my vote in favour of mime and contemporary ballet
Comment from : Brandon

Shiboline MRess
Excellent work, and so fun!
Comment from : Shiboline MRess

Christian Minton
Seems like a decent argument for the inch as well Just saying Easily divisible
Comment from : Christian Minton

gerald blaney
A Tanner was a sixpenny bit, not a thrupenny bit, and a Bob was a Shilling
Comment from : gerald blaney

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