Picture of Queen Elizabeth I
 

Elizabethan Period Money and Currency

  • Elizabethan Money and Currency 1558 - 1603
  • History of Coinage - Fineness
  • The History of the Penny
  • Units of Currency & Value of Money
  • Elizabethan Money and Currency - Wages
  • Elizabethan Money and Currency Equivalent to modern day money

Picture of Queen Elizabeth I

 
 

Elizabethan Period Money and Currency

Elizabethan Period Money and Currency - From 1558 - 1603

What was the Money and Currency and currency like during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I? What was it worth? What were the wages like? The money and currency of the period was all in coins - there was no paper money. During the Renaissance period coins were minted in either gold or silver.

 
 
 

The English pound originated from a measure of weight which was used to represent a sum of money. 240 pennies equalled a pound or 20 shillings equalled one pound. The penny was the basic monetary unit of the period. The names of the English units of currency and how they were abbreviated in written format date back to the Roman period.

  • A penny was expressed as the letter 'd' - an abbreviation for denarius, a silver Roman coin
  • A shilling was expressed as the letter 's' - an abbreviation for sestertius, a silver Roman coin
  • A pound was ( and still is ) a letter 'L' crossed with a bar, expressed as a which derives from an abbreviation for Libra, the Latin word for pounds
 

A combination of pounds, shillings and pence would be expressed as 5..2s..6d.

Elizabethan Period Money and Currency - History of Coinage - Fineness

The weight of silver of gold contained in a coin determined what the value of the coin would be. Coins were always alloyed with another metal. The amount of silver or gold contained in the alloy is known as the fineness.  

Elizabethan Period Money and Currency - The History of the English Penny

The first documented reference to the penny is dated 790 AD when the first English penny was minted in silver. The design of the penny frequently changed depicting the images of various rulers. The first Anglo-Saxon pennies depicted a cross on the reverse of the coin as a symbol of Christianity. These crosses were used as guidelines to cut the penny into halves and quarters hence the term 'cut coinage'.

 
 

The halfpenny (worth half the value of a penny) and farthing (worth a quarter, or a fourth, of the value of a penny) instead of being roughly cut were were then minted. The word farthing was derived from 'fourthing'. The penny changed from silver to copper in 1797 then changed to bronze in 1860 and copper plated steel in 1992.

Elizabethan Period Money and Currency - From 1558 - 1603

The following table details the different coins, or units of currency, and their values. 

Units of Currency & Value of Money

The Penny was the basic monetary unit
 
Farthing
1/4 penny
 
 
Half penny
1/2 penny
 
 
Threefarthing
3/4 penny
 
 
Penny
1 penny
1d
 
Half groat
2 pennies
2d
 
Groat
4 pennies
4d
 
Sixpence
6 pennies
6d
 
Shilling
12 pennies
1s
 
Half crown
30 pennnies
2s 6d
 
Quarter angel
30 pennies
2s 6d
 
Crown
60 pennies
5s
 
Half angel
60 pennies
5s
 
Angel
120 pennies
10s
 
Half pound
120 pennies
10s
 
Ryal
180pence
15s
 
Pound
240 pence
20s
1
Fine Sovereign
360 pence
30s
1 10s 

Elizabethan Money and Currency - Wages

Just as today the amount of wages was purely dependent on the job, or occupation. The Elizabethan lower classes would have only only traded in pennies - a pound would have been out of their reach in terms of spendable money and currency. Some examples of the wages which were earned during the Elizabethan period are as follows:

  • A nobleman - 1500 to 3000 per annum
  • A merchant - 100 per annum
  • A parson - 20 per annum
  • A carpenter - 13 per annum
  • A laborer - 1500 to 3000 per annum
  • A nobleman - 5 per annum

Elizabethan Money and Currency Equivalent to modern day money
The pound in the Elizabethan period would be roughly equivalent to about 400 US dollars at present.

Interesting Facts and Information about Period Money and Currency
Some interesting facts and information about Elizabethan Period Money and Currency

Elizabethan Period Money and Currency
Additional details, facts and information about the Elizabethan Period can be accessed via the Sitemap.

 

Money and Currency

  • Interesting Facts and information about Money and Currency during the Elizabethan Period
  • Money and Currency in the Period
  • Elizabethan Money and Currency 1558 - 1603
  • History of Coinage - Fineness
  • The History of the Penny
  • Units of Currency & Value of Money
  • Elizabethan Money and Currency - Wages
  • Elizabethan Money and Currency Equivalent to modern day money
 
 

Queen Elizabeth's Coat of Arms

 

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Queen Elizabeth's Coat of Arms

Elizabethan Period Money and Currency

 

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