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the coin in his reign much diminished by the fraud of clip- CHA P. ping, he had new coins made all over England.
We may add a few particulars of the coin which occur in Domesday-book. Sometimes a numeration is made very similar to our own, as £.11:13:4. Sometimes pounds and sometimes shillings are mentioned by themselves. In other places, some of the following denominations are inserted :
Una marka argenti,
52 The meaning of arsas and arsuram, as books say that the bishop of Salisbury inapplied to money, is explained in the Black stituted the arsura, in the reign of Henry Book of the Exchequer to be the assay of the First. It is added, that if the examined money. The money might be sufficient in money was found to be deficient above sixnumber and weight, yet not in quality. It pence in the pound, it was not deemed lawfni: by no means followed that twenty shillings, money of the king. Liber Niger Scacarii, which constituted a pound weight, was in cited by Du Cange, Gloss. 1. p:343. The fact a pound of silver, because copper or bishop cannot, however, have invented the other metal might be intermixed when there arsura in the reign of Henry, because Domes. was no examination. For this reason, the day-book shews that it was known in the
It seems reasonable to say, that such epithets as purissimi auri, and æsodenes gold, that is, melted gold, refer to money paid and melted.
But if the Saxon silver coins were only the larger and smaller pennies, what then was the scyllinga? In the translation of Genesis, the word is applied to express the Hebrew shekels." In the New Testament, thirty pieces of silver, which the Gothic translates by the word sianBKIN, or silver, the Saxon version calls scyllinga.+ The etymology of the word scyllinga would lead us to suppose it to have been a certain quantity of uncoined silver; for, whether we derive it from rcylan, to divide, or sceale, a scale, the idea presented to us by either word is the same; that is, so much silver cut off, as in China, and weighing so much.
I would therefore presume the scyllinga to have been a quantity of silver, which, when coined, yielded five of the larger pennies, and twelve of the smaller.
The Saxon word scætt or sceat, which occurs in the earliest laws as a small definite quantity of money, is mostly used to express money generally. I would derive it from sceat, a part or division; and I think it meant a definite piece of metal originally in the uncoined state. The sceat and the scyllinga seem to have been the names of the Saxon money in the Pagan times, before the Roman and French ecclesiastics had taught them the art of coining:
The value of the scæt in the time of Æthelbert would appcar, from one sort of reasoning, to have been the twen
time of the Conqueror. In Domesday-book This passage seems to express, that £.65 of it appears that the king had this right of coined money was only worth £.50 in pure assay only in a few places. Perhaps the silver, according to the assay of the mint. bishop, in a subsequent reign, extended it Whether this depreciation of the coin exto all money paid into the exchequer. isted in the Saxon times, or whether it fol
An intelligent friend has favoured me lowed from the disorders and exactions of with the following extract from Domesday: the Norman couquest, I have not ascer“ Totum manerium T. R. E. et post valuit tained. xl libras. Modo similiter xl lib. Tamen 33 See Genesis, in Thwaite's Hepta.. Ieddit 1 lib. ad arsiram et pensum, quæ teuch. valent bxv lib." Domesday, voli. fo. 15. b. 34 Matthew, xxvii. 3.
tieth part of a shilling. His laws enjoin a penalty of twenty CHAP. scyllinga for the loss of the thumb, and three scyllinga for the thumb-nail. It is afterwards declared that the loss of the great toe is to be compensated by ten scyllinga, and the other toes by half the price of the fingers. It is immediately added, that for the nail of the great toe thirty sceatta must be paid
Now as the legislator expresses that he is estimating the toes at half the value of the fingers, and shews that he does so in fixing the compensation of the thumb and the great toe, we may infer, that his thirty sceattas for the nail of the great toe were meant to be equal to half of the three scyllinga which was exacted for the thumb-nail. According to this reasoning, twenty sceatta equalled one scyllinga.
About three centuries later, the scætta appears somewhat raised in value, and to be like one of their smaller pennies; for the laws of Æthelstan declare thirty thousand scætta to be cxx punda. This gives two hundred and fifty sceatta to a pound, or twelve and an half to a scyllinga. Perhaps, therefore, the sceat was the smaller penny, and the pening, properly so called, was the larger one.
We may be curious to enquire into the etymology of the pening. The word occurs for coin in many countries. In the Franco-theotisc, it occurs in Otfrid as pfening;" and on the continent one gold pfenning was declared to be worth ten silver pfenning." It occurs in Icelandic, in the ancient Edda, as penning."
The Danes still use penge as their term for money or coin; and if we consider the Saxon penig as their only silver coin, we may derive the word from the verb punian, to beat or
33 Wilkins, Leg. Anglo-Sax. p. 6.
38 I. Alem. prov. c. 299. cited, by Schilter in his Glossary, p. 657.
29 Ægis drecka, ap. Edda Sæmundi, po » It is used by Otfrid, 1.3. c. 14. p. 188. 168.
ao Ibid. p.72.
BOOK knock, which may be deemed a term applied to metal coined,
similar to the Latin, cudere.
That the Anglo-Saxons did not use coined money before the Roman ecclesiastics introduced the custom, is an idea somewhat warranted by the expression they applied to coin. This was mynet, a coin, and from this, mynetian, to coin, and mynetere, a person coining. These words are obviously the Latin moneta and monetarius ; and it usually happens that when one nation borrows such a term from another, they are indebted to the same source for the knowledge of the thing which it designates.
An expression of Bede once induced me to doubt if it did not imply a Saxon gold coin. He says that a lady, foretelling her death, described that she was addressed in a vision by some men, who said to her, that they were come to take with them the aureum numisma (meaning herself) which had come thither out of Kent. This complimentary trope Alfred translates by the expressions, gyldene mynet.''
The passage certainly proves, that both Bede and Alfred knew of gold coins; and it certainly can be hardly doubted, that when gold coins circulated in other parts of Europe, some from the different countries would find their way into England. The use of the word aureos, in the Historia Eliensis, implies gold coin ; 4and that coins called aurei were circulated in Europe, is clear from the journal of the monks who travelled from Italy to Egypt in the ninth or tenth century. In this they mention that the master of the ship they sailed in charged thein six aureos for their passage. But whether these aurei were those coined at Rome or Constantinople, or were the coins of Germany or France, or whether England really issued
" Schilter has quoted an author who gives “ Bede, 1. 3. c. 8. and Transl. p. 531. a similar etymology from another language, 42 L aureob, p. 485.
x aureos, ib. Ixxx “ Pænings nomine pecunia tantum numerata aureis, p. 484. c aureos, p. 486. * significat, a pana, quod est cudere, sig- *3 See first volume of this history, ” Gloss. Teut. p. 657.
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similar ones from its mint, no authority, yet known, warrants us to decide.
That the pennies of different countries varied in value, is proved by the same journal. Bernard, its author, affirms that it was then the custom of Alexandria to take money by weight, and that six of the solidi and denarii, which they took with them, weighed only three of those at Alexandria.**
The silver penny was afterwards called, in the Norman times, an esterling, or sterling; but the time when the word began to be applied to money is not known."
There has been a variety of opinions about the value of the Saxon pound.“ We have proof, from Domesday, that in the time of the Confessor it consisted of twenty solidi or shillings. But Dr. Hickes contends that the Saxon pound consisted of sixty shillings,47 because, by the Saxon law in Mercia, the king's were gild was one hundred and twenty pounds, and amounted to the same as six thegns, whose were was twelve hundred shillings each." And certainly this passage has the force of declaring that the king's were was seven thousand two hundred shillings, and that these were equivalent to one hundred and twenty pounds; and according to this passage, the pound in Mercia contained sixty shillings. Other authors". assert that the pound had but forty-eight shillings.
We have mentioned that a scyllinga, or shilling, consisted of five greater pennies, or of twelve smaller ones. But in the time of the Conqueror the English shilling had but four pennies : “15 solz de solt Engleis co est quer deners."So This
44 See first volume of this history, means literally silver, and ceiniawg, both
these seem to imply a penny. See Wotton's 45 The laws of Edward I. order the penny Leges Wallicæ, p. 16. 20, 21. 27. Their of England to be round, without clipping, word for a coin is bath. and to weigh thirty-two grains of wheat, in 47 Hickes, Dissert. Ep. p. 111. the middle of the ear. Twenty of these 4 Wilkins, Leg. Anglo-Sax. p. 72. were to make an ounce, and twelve ounces 49 As Camden, Spelman, and Fleetwood. a pound. Spelm. Gloss. p. 241.
50 Wilkins, Leg. Anglo-Sax. p. 221. In '40 The Welsh laws of Hoel dda use punt the copy of these laws in Ingulf, p. 89. the or pund as one of their terms for money. expression is quer bener deners, or four better They have also the word ariant, which pennies.