Shilling, William IIIdetails

[Picture: Shilling, William III]
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Shilling, William III

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This wood-engraving shows the two sides of a shilling from 1699, in the reign of King William III of England. The coin has the King’s portait in profile on one side and shields on the other for Ierland, England, Scotland and Wales.

“It was resolved that the money of the kingdom should be recoined according to the old standard both of weight and of fineness; that all new pieces should be milled [that is, have a texture around the circumference to that you can tell if a coin has been clipped or shaved]; that the loss on the new pieces should be borne by the public; that a time should be fixed after which no clipped money should pass, except in payments to the government; and that a later time should be fixed, after which no clipped money should pass at all. The loss was to be met by the imposition of a tax on windows, which continued to be levied long after the immediate occasion had passed away. (p. 401)

The coin shown here was one of the new ones at the Restoration of the Coinage. You still see older houses in England with windows that were bricked up in the eighteenth century to save paying the tax, and also newer buildings, well into the nineteenth century, with bricked-up windows as an affectation, because of the window tax.



26 x 56mm (1.0 x 2.2 inches)

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