Groat is in Coins.

Groat. An English silver coin worth four pence.

Chronicle of Gregory 1464. 1464. And this year was it ordaynyd that the noubylle of vj s. viij d. shulde goo for viij s. iiij d. And a newe cane was made. first they made an Angylle and hit went for vj s. viij d., and halfe ande Angyl for xl d.; but they made non farthyngysa of that gold. And thenne they made a gretter cune and namyd it a ryalle, and that wentte for xs., and halfe the ryalle for vs., and the farthynge for ij s. vj d. And they made newe grotys not soo goode as the olde, bat they were worthe iiij d. And then sylvyr rosse to a grytter pryce, for an unce of sylvyr was sette at iij s., and better of some sylvyr. But at the be-gynnynge of this mony men grogyd passynge sore, for they couthe not rekyn that gold not so quyckely as they dyd the olde golde. And men might goo thoroughe out a strete or thoroughe a hoole parysche or that he might chonge hit. And some men sayd that the newe golde was not soo good as the olde golde was, for it was alayyd.

Note a. That is to say, no quarter angels.

Wriothesley's Chronicle 1520-1529. Nov 1526. This yeare, in November, the Kinge enhaunsed his coyne,c that is to saye, the riall at 11s 3d, the angell 7s 6d, the halfe riall and halfe angell after the rate; allso he made a new coyne which was a George noble at 6s 8d and a crowne of the duble rose at 5', and valued an ownce sylver fyne sterlinge at 3s 8d; and allso made new grotes and halfe grotts after the rate.

Note c. By reason of the good weight and low valuation of the English coin, merchants daily carried orer great store, because the same was much enhanced there; so that to meet with this inconvenience, as it was said, proclamation was made in the month of September, the sixth day, throughout England, that the angel should go for 7s 4d, the royal for 11s, and the crown for 4s, 4d. And, on the 5th of November following, again by proclamation, the angel was enhanced to 7s 6d, and so every ounce of gold should be 46s, and an ounce of silyer at 3s 9d. in value. — Stow, p. 526.

Letters. Around 1536. Letter CXI. Cotton. MS. TITUS, B. I. FOL. 388. Original.

Note. The present letter, being addressed to Cromwell (age 51) as lord privy seal, must have been written between 1536 and 1540. The writer (age 39) was the daughter of John lord Husee and the wife of Walter (age 33) the last lord Hungerford. He was afterwards attainted and beheaded at the same time with Cromwell; "which certainly," says the chronicler Hall, at the time of his death seemed to be very unquiet in his mind, and rather in a frenzy than otherwise. Perhaps his ill treatment of his wives filled up his cup of remorse.

Most piteously complaining and meekly beseeching your good and gracious lordship tenderly to consider the humble complaint and true intent of me, your most poorest and unfeigned beadswoman, Elizabeth Hungerford (age 39), now abiding as I have been long in captivity and as a prisoner within my lord's castle of Hungerford [Map], where no creature is suffered nor dare come unto me at any time, what need soever I have or shall happen unto me, for my lord's displeasure, but all only such as is by him appointed at this time, which have not only heretofore sought all the means they might to rid me in secret out of my life, but yet daily doth, as it is not unknown to all this country, if it shall please your good lordship to inquire of any gentleman or yeoman dwelling about my lord. I will except none.

And whereas my said lord Hungerford (age 33) of late, unknown to me, obtained a commission of your lordship to the intent he would have been from me divorced for mine incontinency, as he damnably hath reported to my great slander and utter confusion in world, objecting such a crime of me unto your lordship and other as I never offended in, I take God to record; and now perceiving with himself that he could not, nor yet can prove, any manner of cause on my behalf to him given to be divorced, but that I may sooner object such matters against him, with many other detestable and urgent causes, than he can against me, if I would express them, as he well knoweth. And farther, that it pleased your good lordship of your goodness and charity to advertise him at the sending forth of your commission that I should have things necessary in every behalf, as it beseemed for his own honour, and that he should depart somewhat with me yearly towards my sustentation and living; which things chiefly, as I suppose, is the very cause only at this time of his stay in this matter: for surely it may please your good lordship to understand that it will grieve him not a little to depart with one groat at any time, although I am not of myself owner of one penny, nor have any earthly friend more than your lordship in this world able to help me, or house to resort unto, or that any man will or dare speak or do for me towards your lordship, or any other, for fear of my lord's displeasure: by reason whereof now of his own presumption he hath discharged your lordship's commissioners assigned, without any exa- mination or amendment had or used of his demean- our towards me. And so am I, your most woefullest and poorest beadswoman, left in worse case than ever I was, as a prisoner alone, and continually locked in one of my lord's towers of his castle in Hungerford, as I have been these three or four years past, without comfort of any creature, and under the custody of my lord's chaplain, sir John a Lee [Note. Sir John a Leigh was made knight of the Bath in 1523, and died August 27th, 1543.- Har/. MS, 897,fol. 16.], which hath once or twice heretofore poisoned me, as he will not deny upon examination. And after that he heard say that your lordship's pleasure was that my lord Hungerford should give me yearly a pension for my honest sustentation, he then said and promised my lord that he would soon rid me for that matter, and so ease my lord of that money paying, if he might have the keeping of me again, as now he hath; and I am sure he intendeth to keep promise with my said lord, if your good lordship see not remedy in this behalf shortly, for I have none other meat nor drink but such as cometh from the said priest, and brought me by my lord's fool continually, mine old servitor, as all men in these parts knoweth. Which meat and drink, con- sidering the priest's promise made unto my lord, and his acts heretofore done unto me, as my lord well knoweth, I have oft feared, and yet do every day more than otlier, to taste either of the same meat or drink; wherefore many and sundry (times) I have been and yet am fain to drink water, or else I should die for lack of sustenance, and had, long ere this time, had not poor women of the country, of their charity, knowing my lord's demeanour always to his wives, brought me to my great window in the night such meat and drink as they had, and gave me for the love of God, for money have I none wherewith to pay them, nor yet have had of my lord these four years four groats.

And thus, my singular good lord, I am like to perish I fear me very soon, unless your good lord- ship, moved with pity and compassion, will command my said lord Hungerford, now being in London as I believe, to bring me before your lord- ship; and also the said priest, sir John h Lee; by whom your lordship, upon his examination, shall perceive many strange things of my lord's demean- our: and to the intent that I may, upon causes rea- sonable, be divorced from my said lord, or else require him to suffer me to come out of prison. And then will I come up on foot with some poor body unto your lordship, for the security of ray life, if it may please you to condescend thereunto, as I shall most humbly beseech your good lordship, for surely I will not longer continue this wretched life with him; I had rather destroy myself, or beg my living from door to door. And therefore, on the reverence of Jesus Christ, let not his fair, crafty, and subtle tongue longer defraud your good lordship in this matter. But require his lordship to send for me, and safely to be brought before your lordship, without farther delay; or else to command some other man at your lordship's pleasure to fetch me from him. And in so doing I shall be most bounden to pray, as I do evermore, to God for the preservation of your honourable estate long to endure.

By your most bounden beadswoman,.

Elizabeth Hungerford.

Pepy's Diary. 07 Mar 1660. I spoke too with Mr. Pierce the surgeon, who gave me great encouragement to go to sea with my Lord. Thence going homewards, my Lord overtook me in his coach, and called me in, and so I went with him to St. James's, and G. Montagu (age 37) being gone to White Hall, we walked over the Park thither, all the way he discoursing of the times, and of the change of things since the last year, and wondering how he could bear with so great disappointment as he did. He did give me the best advice that he could what was best for me, whether to stay or go with him, and offered all the ways that could be, how he might do me good, with the greatest liberty and love that could be. I left him at Whitehall, and myself went to Westminster to my office, whither nothing to do, but I did discourse with Mr. Falconbridge about Le Squire's place, and had his consent to get it if I could. I afterwards in the Hall met with W. Simons, who put me in the best way how to get it done. Thence by appointment to the Angel in King Street, where Chetwind, Mr. Thomas and Doling were at oysters, and beginning Lent this day with a fish dinner. After dinner Mr. Thomas and I by water to London, where I went to Herring's and received the £50 of my Lord's upon Frank's bill from Worcester. I gave in the bill and set my hand to his bill. Thence I went to the Pope's Head Alley and called on Adam Chard, and bought a catcall there, it cost me two groats. Thence went and gave him a cup of ale. After that to the Sun behind the Exchange, where meeting my uncle Wight by the way, took him with me thither, and after drinking a health or two round at the Cock (Mr. Thomas being gone thither), we parted, he and I homewards, parted at Fleet Street [Map], where I found my father newly come home from Brampton very well. He left my uncle with his leg very dangerous, and do believe he cannot continue in that condition long. He tells me that my uncle did acquaint him very largely what he did intend to do with his estate, to make me his heir and give my brother Tom (age 26) something, and that my father and mother should have likewise something, to raise portions for John and Pall. I pray God he may be as good as his word. Here I staid and supped and so home, there being Joyce Norton there and Ch. Glascock. Going home I called at Wotton's and took home a piece of cheese. At home Mr. Sheply sat with me a little while, and so we all to bed. This news and my Lord's great kindness makes me very cheerful within. I pray God make me thankful. This day, according to order, Sir Arthur (age 59) appeared at the House; what was done I know not, but there was all the Rumpers almost come to the House to-day. My Lord did seem to wonder much why Lambert (age 40) was so willing to be put into the Tower, and thinks he has some design in it; but I think that he is so poor that he cannot use his liberty for debts, if he were at liberty; and so it is as good and better for him to be there, than any where else.

Pepy's Diary. 08 Nov 1660. This morning Sir Wm. and the Treasurer and I went by barge with Sir Wm. Doyley and Mr. Prin (age 60) to Deptford, to pay off the Henrietta, and had a good dinner. I went to Mr. Davys's and saw his house (where I was once before a great while ago) and I found him a very pretty man. In the afternoon Commissioner Pett (age 50) and I went on board the yacht, which indeed is one of the finest things that ever I saw for neatness and room in so small a vessel. Mr. Pett (age 50) is to make one to outdo this for the honour of his country, which I fear he will scarce better. From thence with him as far as Ratcliffe, where I left him going by water to London, and I (unwilling to leave the rest of the officers) went back again to Deptford, and being very much troubled with a sudden looseness, I went into a little alehouse at the end of Ratcliffe, and did give a groat for a pot of ale, and there I did... So went forward in my walk with some men that were going that way a great pace, and in our way we met with many merry seamen that had got their money paid them to-day. We sat very late doing the work and waiting for the tide, it being moonshine we got to London before two in the morning. So home, where I found my wife up, she shewed me her head which was very well dressed to-day, she having been to see her father and mother. So to bed.

Pepy's Diary. 30 Jul 1662. Thence with Captain Fletcher, of the Gage, in his ship's boat with 8 oars (but every ordinary oars outrowed us) to Woolwich, Kent [Map], expecting to find Sir W. Batten (age 61) there upon his survey, but he is not come, and so we got a dish of steaks at the White Hart, while his clarkes and others were feasting of it in the best room of the house, and after dinner playing at shuffleboard1, and when at last they heard I was there, they went about their survey. But God help the King (age 32)! what surveys, shall be taken after this manner! I after dinner about my business to the Rope-yard [Map], and there staid till night, repeating several trialls of the strength, wayte, waste, and other things of hemp, by which I have furnished myself enough to finish my intended business of stating the goodness of all sorts of hemp.

Note 1. The game of shovelboard was played by two players (each provided with five coins) on a smooth heavy table. On the table were marked with chalk a series of lines, and the play was to strike the coin on the edge of the table with the hand so that it rested between these lines. Shakespeare uses the expression "shove-groat shilling", as does Ben Jonson. These shillings were usually smooth and worn for the convenience of playing. Strutt says ("Sports and Pastimes"), "I have seen a shovel-board table at a low public house in Benjamin Street, near Clerkenwell Green, which is about three feet in breadth and thirty-nine feet two inches in length, and said to be the longest at this time in London"..

Pepy's Diary. 25 Dec 1662. By and by down to the chappell again where Bishopp Morley (age 64) preached upon the song of the Angels, "Glory to God on high, on earth peace, and good will towards men". Methought he made but a poor sermon, but long, and reprehending the mistaken jollity of the Court for the true joy that shall and ought to be on these days, he particularized concerning their excess in plays and gaming, saying that he whose office it is to keep the gamesters in order and within bounds, serves but for a second rather in a duell, meaning the groom-porter. Upon which it was worth observing how far they are come from taking the reprehensions of a bishopp seriously, that they all laugh in the chappell when he reflected on their ill actions and courses. He did much press us to joy in these publique days of joy, and to hospitality. But one that stood by whispered in my ear that the Bishopp himself do not spend one groat to the poor himself. The sermon done, a good anthem followed, with vialls, and then the King (age 32) came down to receive the Sacrament.

Pepy's Diary. 19 May 1663. That being done it was dinner time, and so the Controller would have us dine with him and his company, the King (age 32) giving them a dinner every day. And very merry and good discourse about the business we have been upon, and after dinner went to the Assay Office and there saw the manner of assaying of gold and silver, and how silver melted down with gold do part, just being put into aqua-fortis, the silver turning into water, and the gold lying whole in the very form it was put in, mixed of gold and silver, which is a miracle; and to see no silver at all but turned into water, which they can bring again into itself out of the water. And here I was made thoroughly to understand the business of the fineness and coarseness of metals, and have put down my lessons with my other observations therein. At table among other discourse they told us of two cheats, the best I ever heard. One, of a labourer discovered to convey away the bits of silver cut out pence by swallowing them down into his belly, and so they could not find him out, though, of course, they searched all the labourers; but, having reason to doubt him, they did, by threats and promises, get him to confess, and did find £7 of it in his house at one time. The other of one that got a way of coyning money as good and passable and large as the true money is, and yet saved fifty per cent. to himself, which was by getting moulds made to stamp groats like old groats, which is done so well, and I did beg two of them which I keep for rarities, that there is not better in the world, and is as good, nay, better than those that commonly go, which was the only thing that they could find out to doubt them by, besides the number that the party do go to put off, and then coming to the Comptroller of the Mint, he could not, I say, find out any other thing to raise any doubt upon, but only their being so truly round or near it, though I should never have doubted the thing neither. He was neither hanged nor burned, the cheat was thought so ingenious, and being the first time they could ever trap him in it, and so little hurt to any man in it, the money being as good as commonly goes.

Pepy's Diary. 01 Jul 1663. Thence by water with Sir W. Batten (age 62) to Trinity House, Deptford [Map], there to dine with him, which we did; and after dinner we fell talking, Sir J. Minnes (age 64), Mr. Batten and I; Mr. Batten telling us of a late triall of Sir Charles Sydly (age 24) the other day, before my Lord Chief Justice Foster and the whole bench, for his debauchery a little while since at Oxford Kate's1, coming in open day into the Balcone and showed his nakedness,.... and abusing of scripture and as it were from thence preaching a mountebank sermon from the pulpit, saying that there he had to sell such a powder as should make all the (women) in town run after him, 1000 people standing underneath to see and hear him, and that being done he took a glass of wine.... and then drank it off, and then took another and drank the King's health. It seems my Lord and the rest of the judges did all of them round give him a most high reproof; my Lord Chief justice saying, that it was for him, and such wicked wretches as he was, that God's anger and judgments hung over us, calling him sirrah many times. It's said they have bound him to his good behaviour (there being no law against him for it) in £5000. It being told that my Lord Buckhurst (age 20) was there, my Lord asked whether it was that Buckhurst that was lately tried for robbery; and when answered Yes, he asked whether he had so soon forgot his deliverance at that time, and that it would have more become him to have been at his prayers begging God's forgiveness, than now running into such courses again...

Note 1. The details in the original are very gross. Dr. Johnson relates the story in the "Lives of the Poets", in his life of Sackville, Lord Dorset "Sackville (age 20), who was then Lord Buckhurst, with Sir Charles Sedley (age 24) and Sir Thomas Ogle, got drunk at the Cock, in Bow Street, by Covent Garden [Map], and going into the balcony exposed themselves to the populace in very indecent postures. At last, as they grew warmer, Sedley stood forth naked, and harangued the populace in such profane language, that the publick indignation was awakened; the crowd attempted to force the door, and being repulsed, drove in the performers with stones, and broke the windows of the house. For this misdemeanour they were indicted, and Sedley was fined five hundred pounds; what was the sentence of the others is not known. Sedley employed Henry Killigrew and another to procure a remission from the King (age 33), but (mark the friendship of the dissolute!) they begged the fine for themselves, and exacted it to the last groat". (The woman known as Oxford Kate appears to have kept the notorious Cock Tavern in Bow Street at this date.

Evelyn's Diary. 12 Jul 1666. We sat the first time in the Star-chamber. There was now added to our commission Sir George Downing (age 41) (one that had been a great ... against his Majesty (age 36), but now insinuated into his favor; and, from a pedagogue and fanatic preacher, not worth a groat, had become excessively rich), to inspect the hospitals and treat about prisons.

Vesta Monumenta. 1734. Plate 1.43. The golden seal of Edmund, King of Sicily, between 1254 and 1261, a royal of Edward the Black Prince around 1364, a chaise of Edward the Black Prince around 1363), a salute of Henry VI around 1423), an angelot of Henry VI around 1427), a rose noble of Henry VII between 1485 and 1489, a silver jeton of Perkin Warbeck, Pretender around 1494), and a Tournay groat of Henry VIII around 1514. Engraving by George Vertue (age 50) after his own drawings. 459 x 273 mm.

Chronicle of Gregory Introduction. It was just after this that, to meet his heavy expenses, Edward enhanced the value of the old coinage and issued new coins of inferior gold containing more alloy. New groats of silver were also issued and ordered to pass current at fourpence; but they, too, were of inferior metal to the old groats. The result was what must inevitably have taken place according to the ill-understood laws of political economy. People did not like to receive the new coinage. The new angels and nobles of gold were difficult to pass, and a man might go through a whole street or parish before he could get them changed. Silver too rose in price to three shillings an ounce or more. Moreover at the beginning of the change "men grudged passing sore, for they could not reckon that gold so quickly as they did the old gold."