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Compare the symbol for about a pound in weight, which is represented by ‘lb’ - it comes from the same. A shilling was represented by ‘s’, originally short for ‘solidos’, a Roman coin. A penny was represented by ‘d’, short for ‘denarius’, a Roman coin. A halfpenny was represented by ‘ob’, short for ‘obolus’, a Roman coin. A farthing was represented by ‘qua’, short for ‘quadrans’. When transcribing documents that mention amounts of money, do not expand the abbreviations such as li, ob, etc.Leave them abbreviated, and remember to transcribe li as ‘£’. Top of page Square measurements were given in acres (abbreviated to ‘a’), roods (‘r’) and perches (‘p’).Most people today are still familiar with the classic Roman numerals.Be aware, however, that you will find them represented in a slightly different way in documents written in English. A ‘1’ by itself, or at the end of a number, was usually represented by a ‘j’.For further information about measurement see Colin Chapman, ‘How heavy, how much and how long?: weights, money and other measures used by our ancestors’ (Lochin,1995).(Click for pdf version) Erich J Speckin The field of questioned documents examination covers several issues.

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Until the Calendar Act of 1752, the year in England began officially on 25 March (Lady Day), and not 1 January (even though this was when New Year’s Day was celebrated).

Watch out for documents written in the reign of Charles II.

Although he came to the throne in May 1660, after the Commonwealth period, he actually calculated his regnal year as beginning on 30 January 1649, the date of the execution of his father Charles I.

Ordinal numbers are represented by superscript letters following them, just as today. Top of page Money was calculated in pounds, shillings and pence. The pound was represented either by ‘li’, or £: transcribe both with a £ sign before the amount given. It was worth two-thirds of a pound, that is 13s 4d.

This symbol is actually an elaborate ‘L’, from the Latin ‘libra’, meaning pound. Half a mark (one-third of a pound) was therefore 6s 8d.

Counting was done in scores (a score = 20), so you will often come across something like this: xx iiij ( 20 over 4), which means 4 times 20, or four score, which is 80.

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