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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

King's Shilling


PFF

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One shilling given on attestation. Recruiter got 2/6, also the civilian medical examiner.

Yes.

Not understood: the answer is a shilling!

Off-topic, no idea, doubt it, with current Chancellor!

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In regard to 3rd query-being in the USA-am not familier with english monetary system-

curious to know if a "Shilling" was equal in value to the "pound" or "pence"?

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In regard to 3rd query-being in the USA-am not familier with english monetary system-

curious to know if a "Shilling" was equal in value to the "pound" or "pence"?

Just to add to your confusion, a shilling used to be worth 12 d (pence) but now it is worth 5p (pence).

Andy

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Before decimalisation, a shilling was worth 12 pence. i.e. one twentieth of a pound. That equates to 5 pence now. One New Pence = 2.4 old pennies. A recruit receiving a shilling in 1914 could have bought a few pints of beer with it.

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2/6 is two shillings and sixpence.

Refered to as "two and six"

12 pence to the shilling. 20 shillings to the pound.

zoo

PS. Wait until we get on to crowns and florins, :)

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The 2/6 was alsp called half a crown,

John

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The 2/6 was alsp called  half a crown,

John

two half crowns will give you five bob

:rolleyes:

chris

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In the London area it was known as "Two and a kick" or "Half a Dollar".

So, were there four US $ to an British pound at one stage?

IIRC it was also known as a "Tosheroon".

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So, were there four US $ to an British pound at one stage?

I use the rough estimate that five US or Canadian dollars were equal to one English pound, up until the 1960's.

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So, were there four US $ to an British pound at one stage?

Yes.

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this may give you a bit more background detail into the 'King's Shilling' (from the BBc site beyond the broadcast)

Richard Callaghan, Curator of the Redoubt Fortress Museum at Eastbourne, Sussex, told Making History of the origins of an old tradition of enlisting in the services.

Taking the King's shilling was like the handshake before an official contract. It was the way the army got men to join and probably goes back to the end of the English Civil War and the creation of the British Standing Army. By the time of Wellington a daily wage was still only 2p, so a shilling would be a useful bounty for joining the army. When a man actually joined up he was given a substantially larger bounty although the cost of his uniform was taken out of it.

Some incentive to join up was necessary because the army was not liked - it was often said that the red uniform attracted only whores and lice. In some parts of the country it was better paid than the main occupation - for instance, the weavers in the north and north-west were very lowly paid - so the recruiting parties concentrated on poorer communities.

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:ph34r: So have they stoped giving out the shilling i recall we had a ceromony in the TA 1/52 Lowland in the 70s and we got a shilling so is it still given out , I cant recall why we got it if was a symbolic gesture to the old regimental ways or some thing like it .

Dan

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I still have mine I was given when I joined up in 1964.

John

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See attached picture of a shilling.

John

post-1365-1111615176.jpg

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This site should answer your questions.

As for giving an equivalent to modern recruits, I suppose the Queen's five p doesn't sounds so enticing - so much for decimalisation!

To give you an idea of modern values, it now costs 20 pence to spend a penny at Euston Station, which means an ordinary pee now costs four shillings (£0/4/- = 48 old pennies)

Easy, isn't it!!

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What exactly was the "King's Shilling"?

Originally (say at the time of the British Civil War Not To Pay Taxes aka the American Revolution) taking the kings shilling was a sucker’s ploy. The army was so unpopular that recruiting parties resorted to dropping a shilling into a man’s beer! If you drank from the container, you were said to have picked up the King’ Shilling and so joined the army. The later tradition was a self-deprecating joke on behalf of the army.

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So, were there four US $ to an British pound at one stage?

The dollar in question was originally the Spanish Dollar, which was about the same size and weight as the British Crown (5 Shilling), the Royal Mint produced some dollars in the early 1800s The Mint also took some Spanish Dollars, French Ecu and US Dollars and countermarked them for circulation within the British Empire.

The British in India continued to produce ‘trading dollars’ throughout the nineteenth century.

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£SD = Livre Sesterti Denari was a Roman system of coinage which the English took over to be pounds shillings and pennies (pence) and then continued until 1971. Originally it was a pound of silver and 240 were how many pennies could be made from that pound (lb). So there were: 240 Pennies to the Pound, 12 Pennies to a Shilling and 20 Shillings to the pound. Amounts could be written out as both £/S/D or S/D so 1/1/1 was 1 pound 1 shilling and 1 penny and 2/6 was 2 shillings and 6 pence.

In 1914 all the following were in circulation. These were most likely to have been minted in the reigns of Victoria (1837-1901), Edward VII (1901-1910) or George V (1910-36)

Sovereign (pound coin)

Half Sovereign (10 Shillings or could be written 10/-) both gold

The following were sterling silver

Crown (5/-)

Half Crown (2/6)

Florin (2/-)

Shilling

Sixpence

Threepence

The following were made from copper (early Victorian) or bronze

Penny

Halfpenny

Farthing (quarter of a penny)

Third Farthing (for use in Malta)

With help from Spink's Standard Catalogue of British Coins.

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Originally (say at the time of the British Civil War Not To Pay Taxes aka the American Revolution) taking the kings shilling was a sucker’s ploy. The army was so unpopular that recruiting parties resorted to dropping a shilling into a man’s beer! If you drank from the container, you were said to have picked up the King’ Shilling and so joined the army. The later tradition was a self-deprecating joke on behalf of the army.

This is believed to be the reason why some tankards were made with glass bottoms. You could see if anything was lying on the bottom and choose not to drink it.

Nigel

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the Royal Mint produced some dollars in the early 1800s

I forgot to say that the Bank of England Dollars had both Five Shillings and Dollar written on them. If not the origin of the idea of 4 dollars to the pound certainly would have reinforced it.

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Now for coins that weren’t in circulation and some nick names.

The Guinea (1/1/-) was replaced by the Sovereign, in 1817, but was still used for prices: as in a 2 Guinea suit.

The Half Guinea (10/6) was replaced by the Half Sovereign, as above.

Bob = Shilling.

Tanner = 6d.

3d was pronounced thruppence

Btw ‘to spend a penny’ = to go to the rest room.

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