Pound Scots

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David II (1329–1371): penny
+DAVID DEI GRACIA, crowned head left; sceptre before [REX] SCT TOR Vm+, long cross; mullets in quarters.
18mm; 1.31 g; circa 1351–1357.

The pound Scots (Modern Scots: Pund Scots, Middle Scots: Pund Scottis) was the unit of currency in the Kingdom of Scotland before the kingdom unified with the Kingdom of England in 1707. It was introduced by David I, in the 12th century, on the model of English and French money, divided into 20 shillings, each of 12 pence. The Scottish currency was later debased relative to sterling and, by the time of James III, the pound sterling was valued at four pounds Scots.

In addition to the pound Scots, silver coins were issued denominated in merk, worth 13 shillings 4 pence (two-thirds of a pound Scots). When James VI became King James I of England in 1603, the coinage was reformed to closely match that of England, with 12 pounds Scots equal to the pound sterling. In 1707, the pound Scots was replaced by the pound sterling at a rate of 12 to 1, although the pound Scots continued to be used in Scotland as a unit of account for most of the 18th century.

Today there is no distinct Pound Scots; but Scotland's three largest clearing banks (the Royal Bank of Scotland, the Bank of Scotland and the Clydesdale Bank) still print paper notes denominated in pounds sterling. These notes may be accepted as payment throughout the United Kingdom, but are much more commonly seen in Scotland; they represent the same Pound Sterling value as do Bank of England notes in England and Wales.

List of Coins of the Pound Scots[edit]

  • Pistole – Gold, 12 pounds Scots
  • Dollar – Replacement for the ryal, 60 Scots shillings (James VI)
  • Ryal – Gold, 1565
  • Crown or Lion – Gold (James I)
  • Half-crown, Demi-Lion or Demys – Gold (James I)
  • Ducat or "bonnet" – 40 shillings, 1539 (James V)
  • Mark or merk – Gold (giving rise to the term markland)
  • Noble – Gold, worth half a mark, 1357 (David II, reintroduced by Robert III)
  • Unicorn - Gold, 18 shillings Scots, 1484/5 (James III)
  • Half-unicorn – Gold, 9 shillings Scots (James IV)
  • Testoun – silver, 1553. Was produced in France with the new process of mill and screw, being the first milled coinage of Scotland.[1]
  • Bawbee – Billon, six pence from 1537
  • Shilling
  • Groat – Silver, equivalent to four pence, from 1357 (giving rise to the term groatland)
  • Half-groat – Silver, equivalent to two pence, from 1357
  • Turner – Billon, two pence (James VI), later copper.
  • Bodle – Copper, two pence (Charles II)
  • Hardhead – also called Lion, billon coin circulated in the reigns of Mary and James VI
  • Penny – Billon, one of the earliest coins, dating from David I. Later made of copper; giving rise to the term pennyland.
  • Halfpennies – Initially literally half of a penny, these became minted coins in their own right in c.1280. Later made of copper.
  • Farthing or quarter-penny – These were originally quarters of pennies, but as with Halfpennies, became coins in their own right in c.1280. Later made of copper.
  • Plack

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stewart: The Scottish Coinage