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from UK DETECTOR NET Guest I am attaching a weight that I have had a long time. I have over the years found many of them and I have made the effort to research them and learn. There's one thing about this hobby and that it is if you are really interested in your finds you will learn more in this hobby that you ever learned at school. I have misplaced most of my notes on my finds, and as time catches up with me the memory retention is not as it should be, but I am placing this onto the site as a kind of learning curve for some that may be grateful for the info: I know that there are some knowledgable persons on here who could help everyone to understand a little more about what they are finding. The W & M are probably self explanatory. the A is something to do with when we separated the Troy system and switched to Imperial. The Dagger is maybe a guild marking, The Ewer (or coffe pot) has lots of meanings and I believe the position of the spout in relation to a clock face is only one of them, the two G's in the boxes I have forgotten, as with the centre punch mark. Bring on the Big Boys.
732 - reign of Ethelbert II (king of Kent) The 'acre' is in common use. ~960 - reign of Edgar the peaceful
It was decreed that all measures must agree with standards kept in London and Winchester 1215 - reign of King John (lackland) An agreement to have a national standard of weights and measures was incorporated into the magna carta. 1266 - reign of Henry III An act of this date established that a penny (money) should weigh the same as 32 grains of wheat, twenty pennies to make one ounce, and twelve ounces to the pound. Eight pounds was to be the weight of a gallon of wine. You will notice the link between money and weight, and that 240 pennies equals one pound. 1304 - reign of Edward I This is where things got complicated. A statute declared that for medicines a pound would be of 20 shillings, or 12 ounces. All other things would be weighed with a pound containing 15 ounces - in all cases an ounce being 20 pennies. 1352 - reign of Edward III A statute of this year established the stone as 14lb - a value it has kept ever since. 1532 - reign of Henry VIII An act of this year laid down that butchers should sell meat by haver du pois weight - from where we get avoirdupois. 1707 - reign of Queen Anne The wine gallon, which was fixed at 231 cubic inches. This is the basis of the liquid measures still in use in the US of A. It must be said that this gallon is actually of Edward the first's time, the 1707 act really only clarifying its size. 1824 - reign of George IV The famous 'weights and measures act (5 Geo IV c 74) established the 'Imperial' system of weights and measures. The act comes in to force in 1826. 1878 - reign of Queen Victoria The troy pound was declared illegal. For avoirdupois weights, commercial weights could only be the following: 56lb, 28lb, 14lb, 7lb, 4lb, 2lb, 1lb, 8oz, 4oz, 2oz, 1oz, 1/2oz, 1/4oz, 2dr, 1dr. Until this date, it was common to see other denominations in trade use, especially 8lb. 1969 - reign of Elizabeth II The apothecaries system was outlawed for dispensing medicines, in favour of the metric system. 1971 - reign of Elizabeth II The 'L.s.d.' system of money was replaced with the 'decimal' system. 1972 - reign of Elizabeth II
The passing of the European Communities act hands over 'competance' for weights and measures legislation (and everything come to think of it) to Brussels. ceejay You probably know most of this but as you say useful information for others:Crowned 'WM' = the royal cypher for William & Mary Sword of St Paul = London Guildhall mark A = Averdepois (avoirdupois) Ewer = London Founders Company mark These marks tell us this is a trade weight verified during the reign of William & Mary (16881694) and it is was tested and marked by the London Founders Company for use under the Averdepois system - hence the 'A'. The Averdepois system used for normal trade goods was based on a pound (standardised in 1588) which was divided into 16 ounces and weighed 7,000 grains. Other weights in use from 1588 were based on the Troy system used for precious metals etc. which had a pound divided into 12 ounces totalling 5,760 grains. The 'GG' marks are interesting but I do not know there significance. They can only be a maker's mark or a later mark put on for regional use. I have a list of the latter and it does not conform to any of those. petethedig So what can you deduce from this one Ceejay? I'd appreciate some help with the detail please! There's a C with a crown above it, a sword and a ewer at the 7pm spot. Interesting post this!
ceejay Pretty much the same applies Pete. The crowned 'C' though for Charles I or II. There is a way to differentiate between the crowned 'G' of the three Georges but not as far as I am aware between the two Charles. So your weight was marked some time between 1625-49 or 1660-85. The 'A' is often missing from the smaller weights of one ounce or below so that might explain the absence on yours.
The basic unit of weight in the British system is the grain - originally based on the weight of a grain of barley (but note that money was based on the grain of wheat - and that three grains of barley weigh the same as four of wheat). This grain is the troy grain - there is no other weight of the same name. The weight of one grain is constant throughout the many different systems of British weights. As you will see below, the ounce and pound are anything but contstant, but have altered to meet circumstances over a period of over a thousand years. The avoirdupois pound is the pound in general use today. As its name implies, it was intended to be used for weighing heavy goods. This pound is of 7000 grains, and is split into 16 ounces (each, therefore of 437.5 grains). Each ounce is divided into 16 drams (which my calculator makes of 27.34375 grains each - much more fun than metric isn't it?).
Throughout this history of this land, laws have been made relating to weights and measures. At first, these were necessary both to protect the consumer and to facilitate free trade. Since joining the EU/EEC/Common Market the emphasis has changed - trade is protected from foreign (that is: non-EU) competition, and to suit big business it is necessary to restrict choice by the consumer to essentially EU goods. This has the happy (for the EU that is) consequence of enabling the EU to have more control over what is bought and sold. Roman times A lot of the Imperial/Customary measures trace their origins back to Roman times (which explains the similarity of most pre-metric European measures), and no doubt laws were enacted in those times relating to weights and measures. At the moment, I know little about these laws. Saxons to Stuarts Written copies of many laws still exist (or are referred to in later documents) which relate in some ways to weights and measures. The domesday book, being in effect an asset register for the Norman kings uses the contemporary measures. The most important document in this time period is Magna Carta (i.e King John's Magna Carta of 1215 - there were quite a few others), which famously sets out the requirement for there being just one sytem of weights and measures in use throughout the land. Strictly speaking Magna Carta is not a law, but more like a contract between the King and his subjects (in this case the Barons), and cannot be overruled by a mere act of Parliament. Orange, Hanoverians, Saxe-Coburg etc. As we get more modern, it becomes easier to find, read, and understand the laws of weights and measures. Weights and Measures acts per se were passed in 1824, 1834, 1835, 1861, 1878, 1889, 1892, 1893 and 1904. Currently, the major topic is the 'outlawing' of most of the Imperial system, which was meant to have come into power on 1st Jan. 2000. This isn't a 'law' in the way one would normally understand the term, merely an instruction from our leaders in Brussels. Contrast this to the way things were done in the past - the Assize of Bread and Ale, a law passed in 1266 (51 Hen. 3, stat.1), which among other things says '... by the consent of the whole realm of England, the the measure of our Lord the King was made, that is to say, an English penny, called a sterling, round and without any clipping, shall weigh 32 wheat corns ...'. It would seem that 750 years ago medieval kings of England had a better notion of democracy than than Brussels ever will. In practice, many places seem to continue pricing and selling goods in units that the consumer wants (i.e. Imperial), rather than the 'metric' units that Brussels and its departments (especially the BBC) wants us to use. A recent court case has agreed with Brussels, and decided that the weights and measures act 1985, which allows trading in Imperial units is overruled by the 1972 European Communities act - an act which in effect says that whatever Brussels wants Brussels gets. Where it leaves us is trying to decide whose country it is. The people like to think it belongs to them. The Government and the courts thinks it belongs to the unelected and unelectable elite in Brussels. At the moment, evil bannana sellers are being perscuted, drugs are being legalised, 'double jeapordy' is being brought in so that people can be tried for crimes they've already been found not guilty of committing... Time for a quote: ... the only sure bulwark of continuing liberty is a government strong enough to protect the interests of the people, and a people strong enough and well enough informed to maintain its sovereign control over its government.
avoirdupois weights 16 drams = 1 ounce 16 ounces = 1 pound 7 pounds = 1 clove 14 pounds = 1 stone 28 pounds = 1 tod 112 pounds = 1 hundredweight 364 pounds = 1 sack 2240 pounds = 1 ton 2 stones = 1 quarter 4 quarters = 1 hundredweight 20 hundredweight = 1 ton NB: The sack is not in common use. There was a 'Butchers stone' of 8lb until the end of 1939. The Troy pound was of 5760 grains, and was divided into 12 ounces, so a troy pound is lighter than an avoirdupois pound, but a troy ounce (at 480 grains) weighs more than an avoirdupois ounce. The troy pound was declared illegal in 1878, but the troy ounce continues in use today for weighing gold. The troy ounce is split into 480 grains, and you will see 1/2 ounce weights marked both '240 grains' and '0.5oz'. However, the apothecaries system also has an ounce weighing 480 grains, being divided into 8 drams (sometimes spelled drachms) of 60 grains, each dram being split into 3 scruples, of 20 grains. To make things more fun, a 2 dram weight would be marked '3ij' - I think that '3' means 'scruples' (there being 3 to the dram), and the 'ij' being an old-fashioned way of quoting the Roman numeral 'ii'. It doesn't end there - there are 20 pennyweights to the troy ounce, so the 1/2 ounce weight mentioned above could also be marked as '3iv' or '10dwt'. Troy & apothecaries weights 1 ounce = 480 grains 1 ounce = 24 scruples 1 ounce = 20 pennyweights 1 ounce = 8 drams
ceejay Posted:  One measure of Wine shall be through our Realm, and one measure of Ale, and one measure of Corn, that is to say, the Quarter of London; and one breadth of dyed Cloth, Russets, and Haberjects, that is to say, two Yards within the lists. And it shall be of Weights as it is of Measures. petethedig -
Thanks Ceejay, your right it fits the Charles II just right for this site! Its also under the ounce in weight! Brilliant as usual! rufus I'd like to know how to differentiate one crowned 'G' from another..they are Georges, but which one? When did the circular bronze official weights make an appearance..the earliest I have seen in the flesh has a crowned 'H' presumably for Henry VII or VIII. Guest How are you coming on Rufus??. Because as you can now see the coin was a precious commodity (Silver) and directly related to its weight. this then leads to the clipping of them, and obviously then the need for coin weights.
ceejay rufus wrote: I'd like to know how to differentiate one crowned 'G' from another..they are Georges, but which one? When did the circular bronze official weights make an appearance..the earliest I have seen in the flesh has a crowned 'H' presumably for Henry VII or VIII.
I'm getting my info from a useful little book 'English Weights - An Illustrated Survey' by Norman Biggs. Well worth getting if you are interested in weights - it's a small book and I don't think it is too expensive. Earliest round brass weights have a crown stamped incuse and date from the late-14th to 15thC. Earliest stamped with a royal cypher (crown over 'h') are indeed Henry VII/VIII. George I - - crowned G at 11 o'clock- sword at 12 o'clock - A at 1 o'clock - ewer at 6 o'clock. George II -- crowned G at 9 o'clock - sword at 12 o'clock - A at 3 o'clock - ewer at 6 o'clock. George III - crowned G at 3 o'clock - sword at 12 o'clock - A at 9 o'clock - ewer at 6 o'clock. The latter also for George IV up to 1826. rufus - Posted: Thanks for the info CJ...I'll have to get the book. Here's my most interesting weight ~ Official 4OZ lead trade weight with various marks. a. Royal cipher 'G' under crown b. Sword of St Paul (dagger - City of London Guildhall) c. Circular Libra mark of the Worshipful Company of Plumbers. George I too...crowned 'G' at 11 and sword at 12 o'clock. Was this weight used exclusively by plumbers? It was found on a site with evidence of lead working everywhere....and why is it perforated?
wildmantel I thought that you may be interested in knowing what some of your weight were used for.... I did not think you needed to weigh bras - this must have been an early cross your heart complete with two birds Roman bras weight Pic 0018 6 Unciae Semis "r s" 157,7 gram sign with a cross and two birds. http://www.scales-and-weights.com/index.htm
ceejay rufus wrote: Thanks for the info CJ...I'll have to get the book. Here's my most interesting weight ~ Official 4OZ lead trade weight with various marks. a. Royal cipher 'G' under crown b. Sword of St Paul (dagger - City of London Guildhall) c. Circular Libra mark of the Worshipful Company of Plumbers. George I too...crowned 'G' at 11 and sword at 12 o'clock. Was this weight used exclusively by plumbers? It was found on a site with evidence of lead working everywhere....and why is it perforated?
The mark is St Michael with scales and is that of the Plumbers Company who were given the right to check and stamp all lead weights in the City of London from c.1588. Interestingly the grant of their official crest in 1588 mentions “an Archangel holding a Sword and Balance” – no sign of a sword in the mark on any of the lead weights that I have seen?? Not sure what the hole is all about but earlier shield-shape weights often seem to have this feature too. I haven't noticed this on any other round lead weights though. The link below has a lot more info and will explain what the plumbers were responsible for:http://archiver.rootsweb.com/th/read/LONDON-COMPANYS/2000-09/0968758186 And a few more quotes gleaned:From earliest times the Church of the Plumbers Company was St. Michael's, Crooked Lane and for this reason the Patron Saint of the Company is St. Michael (the mark on lead weights). The former Hall stood in Chequer Yard, Bush Lane from 1532. After destruction in The Great Fire of 1666 it was rebuilt but was demolished in 1863 to make way for Cannon Street Station. Today the Company is no longer a trade association instead existing as a charitable institution. petethedig Just to pick up on a small point you made Ceejay? On my Charles weight I too have a small hole that looks deliberate any ideas? Do you think some small amount of weight might be removed this way to make them precise? ceejay Some of the brass weights have file marks on the bottom which I would imagine is the way that
most would have been adjusted. Your weight appears to be holed near the outer rim - is that what you mean?? It may have become damaged or it may be a casting flaw that has come apart at a later stage but it certainly would not have been verified in that condition. petethedig Well the lights not good now I'm looking at it, but it may be a casting fault as you say! Thanks rider Here are more Weights to get your teeth into, the square one with four dots and crown has the same on the back the one next has a letter or figure but i dont know what it is, the two small lead ones at the top are blank on the back these two are the oldest i think, will post more later when i sort them out.
Guest Can anyone kindly sort out the markings on this for me please
rufus Rider, I too have one of those square weights that looks like a domino, in your picture. Mine is exactly the same as yours but with five dots, not four. Also has the same punched mark both sides, but I cannot decipher it. I thought it might be a game piece if it was not a weight. Rod_Bluntrufus wrote: Rider, I too have one of those square weights that looks like a domino, in your picture. Mine is exactly the same as yours but with five dots, not four. Also has the same punched mark both sides, but I cannot decipher it. I thought it might be a game piece if it was not a weight.
These are bullion weights, Rufus. Each annulet (or dot) represents a pennyweight, so yours will be five, and Rider's four pennyweights. Some, like Rider's, have a lion or other countermark. rufus What date are they Rod? Mine was found in an area where the finds are mostly 12th - 13th Century, but this weight looks later to me. Rod_Blunt rufus wrote: What date are they Rod? Mine was found in an area where the finds are mostly 12th - 13th Century, but this weight looks later to me.
The date range given by Norman Biggs in Bullion Weights is c1600-1850, Rufus.
rufus That's interesting though...a penny weight of silver bullion? Given that the price of bullion is unstable and subject to market forces, how can a weight like this function properly? A five penny weight might be equal to four penny's worth in a few years! Or am I getting the wrong end of the stick? rufus If bullion weights is what they are and they are tied to the arbitrary value of a penny, a unit that fluctuates in value all the time, then that makes these weights very unusual doesn't it? All other weights are measures of definable quantities, even coin weights which are stamped with the denomination. I wonder if they could be a Civil War effort to define and standardise the currency, which at that time was in a state of flux? Troops were being paid with hastily struck irregular coins made from recycled church plate, and no doubt also they were paid in hunks of silver in the absence of a regular coin supply. A 'penny's worth' would make sense only in such a situation, don't you I think? Rod_Blunt The pennyweight is a constant unit of weight, equivalent to 24 grains (approx. 1.56 grams), or one-twentieth of a troy ounce. Although originally based on the weight of the silver penny, it was later standardised. The English troy standard is first mentioned in documents of the late 14th century. rider Rufus The punch mark is a crown but as you say a game counter could be on the cards as they say, will see what comes up on the net. digger john heres a weight , that I think I posted some time ago, been reading this thread, and also find it a fascinating subject
rufus Thanks Rod, I had a feeling it would be based on the medieval penny somehow. Ill chuck my Civil War theory out of the window! IB1 Have a look at this site if your interested in coin weights. http://www.galata.co.uk/ rider Thanks also Rod at least that is one lot sorted ceejay If you look on this page you will see what the 5(Pwt) * 8 (Gr) one is all about:http://www.netmarshall.co.uk/Coinweight2.htm
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