Everingham Family History Record Reprint... (c)July 2000

Understanding Old World
& Medieval Currency

information gathered from many different sources.

AMERCEMENT: A financial penalty inflicted at the MERCY of the king or his justices for various minor offences. The offender is said to be IN MERCY and the monies paid to the Crown to settle the matter is called amercement. See also: "Fines."

ANGYLDE: The money compensation which a wronged person is entitled to receive.

ANNONA: Annual levy on the wheat crop; tribute levied on proprietors of land to sustain the army.

AUGUSTAL: A thirteenth-century Italian gold coin copied after the aureus by Frederick II and weighing from 30 to 40 grains.

AUREUS: A gold coin created by Augustus as the chief unit in his monetary system. It weighed one forty-second of a pound but was later debased. It was the forerunner of Constantine's solidus and the Byzantine solidus or besant.

BORH: Surety.

BROTBAN: Bread money.

BURDATIO: A tax corresponding to the English relief or heriot; a tax, tribute, rent, or burden.

BYRBAN: Beer money.

CAVAGIUM: Head tax.

CEAP: Bargain.

CEAPGELD: Sale price.

DANIQ: A coin or weight, one-sixth of a dirham or, more frequently, of a dinar.

DENARIUS: The English silver penny, hence the abbreviation "d." and the coin most common in circulation. A penny; sometimes money in general.... First issued by the Romans during the Punic Wars replacing the didrachma as the main silver piece. At time of issue it was equal to 10 asses, but was later debased.

DINAR: From the Greek "denarion", Latin "denarius", the unit of gold currency under the Caliphate. The term went out of use between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries.

DIRHAM: From the Greek "drachma", the unit of silver currency used in the Islamic states from the beginning to the Mongol conquests.

DRACHMA: The principal coin of ancient Greece; widely used, its weight and value varied in different times and places; 12 silver solidi among the Visigoths.

DRINCLEAN: Payment due from tenant to lord for ale.

FAIDA: "Blood-money".

FEOH, FIOH: Money, payment.

FODRUM: Any Money paid to king or emperor in lieu of lodging and provisions for them; a military tax imposed on vassals.

FOLLES: Byzantine coins, sometimes of gold.

FREDUM: A fine for disturbing the public peace.

LOGRIA: Gain or profit.

MAEGBOT: Compensation paid to family.


MANCUS: 30 pence.

MARABOTIN: A gold coin of the Arabs of Spain.

MARCA: A mark, eight ounces, two thirds of a pound; the mark of silver is 13 shillings and four pence; the mark of gold, 6 sterling.

MARK: A measure of account accepted throughout western Europe as equivalent to 8 oz. of silver (no coins known as Marks ever circulated in England). In England a mark was two-thirds of a pound or 13s. 4d. or 66.66 pence.

MONEY: The common currency in England in the late middle ages and until decimalization in 1971 was the Pound consisting of a pound of silver which was divided into 20 shillings (20s.) or 240 pence (240d.). One penny equaled two half-pence or four farthings. Thus, for example, 1 11s. 6d. was the equivalent in decimal terms of 1.575.

MONEYER: A person licenced by the crown to strike coins, receiving the dies from the crown, and keeping 1/240 of the money coined for himself.

NUMMUS: A generic term for coins, especially small coins.

OBOLE: One-half denarius or halfpenny.

ORA: The eighth part of a mark; sometimes reckoned at twenty pence, sometimes at sixteen pence. Fifteen orae equaled one pound in the tenth century.

PASCUARIUM: Payment for pasturage.

QUADRANS: A farthing.

SOR-PENNY: Customary payment for pasturage. Exact definition unknown.

STALLAGE: Any Money paid for permission to have a stall in a market or fair.

STATER: A gold coin worth three solidi among the Visigoths; a silver coin of various values.

TARIN: A gold coin.

TERUNCII: Small coins.

THRYMSA: A coin worth three pence Mercian.

TRIENS: One third of a gold piece or solidus in Gaul in the sixth century.

USURY: The interest charged on a loan. Forbidden by Canon Law.

WERGILD: In Anglo-Saxon times, all society was graded according to blood-price or wergild- the sum of money reckoned as proper compensation in case of homicide.

WIDOWS MITE: tiny copper coin of little or no value from Roman or Biblical era.

Everingham Family History Archives