BRITISH Iron rings were used for money by the ancient Britons, and Segonax, a petty king under Cassivelân, is the first whose head was impressed on the coin. Gold, silver, and copper coins were struck by Cunobelin.
The ROMANS introduced their own coins into the island.
The oldest ANGLO-SAXON coin was the sceatta (pl. sceattae ), sixth century. In the reign of Ethelbert, King of Kent, money accounts were kept in pounds, mancuses, shillings, and pence. One of the last being equal to about 3 pence of our money. 5 pence = one scilling, 30 scillings one manca or mancus, and 40 one pound. Mancuses were in gold and silver also.
The NORMANS introduced pence with a cross so deeply impressed that the coin could be broken either into two or four parts, hence the terms half-pence and fourthings.
The Angel, a gold coin (7s. 6d.), was introduced by Edward IV., and had a figure of Michael slaying the dragon.
The Bawbee first came into use in the reign of James VI. of Scotland. (French, bas-billon, base copper coin.)
The Carolus (20s.) was a gold coin of the reign of Charles I.
The Crown (5s.) was first issued in 1553. Crowns and half-crowns are still in common circulation. English Dollars (4s. 6d.) were introduced in 1798.
Our Sovereign was first issued in 1816, but there were coins so called in the reigns of Henry I. (worth 22s.), Edward VI. (from 24s. to 30s.).
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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