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A short history of coins and currency - John Lubbock - ebook

A short history of coins and currency

A short history of coins and currency


Discusses the origin of money, the coinage of Britain, the weight of coins, and banknotes and banking. Indicates the means taken to secure a satisfactory currency, and how Kings and Parliaments in the past have attempted to debase the standard and reduce the weight of the coins. Elementary


This little book is founded on an Introductory Address which I had the honour of delivering some years ago, as the first President of the Institute of Bankers. It was, however, almost rewritten last year as a Lecture delivered at the London Institution. 

Mr Magnus has done me the honour of suggesting that it should be included as one of the volumes in the Home and School Library, which he is editing for Mr Murray. 

The second part is new. It deals with the weights of coins; the standards adopted; the means are taken from time to time to secure a satisfactory currency; and, I regret to add, those also perhaps, even more, numerous by which Kings and Parliaments have attempted to secure a temporary and dishonourable advantage, by debasing the standard and reducing the weight of the coins. In this respect, we may fairly claim that our own Sovereigns and Parliament are able to show (with a few exceptions) an unusually honourable record. 

In spite of all that has been written on the subject, the principles on which our currency is based are very little understood. We frequently hear Sir Robert Peel's celebrated question, " What is a Pound ? " put forward as if it were some abstruse and mysterious conundrum, instead of having been long ago clearly answered, and determined by Act of Parliament. I have also endeavoured to explain in simple language the law which regulates the issue of Bank-Notes. 

I have to thank Sir John Evans, Mr Barclay Head, and Mr Grueber for much valuable assistance. Mr Grueber has also been so very kind as to look through the proof sheets. I am also indebted to the Governor and Court of Directors of the Bank of England for some interesting particulars bearing on the Evolution of the Bank-Note in its present form.

book details :
  • Author: John Lubbock
  • Publication date 1902 
  • Company: New York: Dutton

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