This is the Union Jack, which is not the "English Flag" but the flag of the United Kingdom.
The English flag is this one, the flag of St. George.
When James VI of Scotland became James I of England in 1606 he combined the Scottish flag of St. Andrew with the English one.
Later, an extra red diagonal was included for Northern Ireland.
Now, England uses a decimal coinage system, but prior to the 1970s the coinage was complicated and had a long lineage.
Pennies (d from dinarii) were the basic unit in Anglo Saxon times, but then they were silver. Later they were copper, then alloy.
12 pennies = 1 shilling. (Originally pure silver.)
20 shillings = 1 pound, (£ from L for livre) but the first coin for this is in the early nineteenth century — the gold sovereign.
From Charles II's time, the unit was the guinea. The value varied, but from 1700 on it can be taken to be 21s.
Bank notes were not common until the 19th century, and even after then many items, particularly luxury items, were priced in guineas.
Farthing — 1/4 penny
Halfpenny — pronounced hayp'ny
Threepenny bit — pronounced thruppenny/thruppence
Groat — 4d (1351-1662)
Sixpence or sixpenny bit. Pure silver in the past.
Florin — 2s (from 1849)
Half-crown — 2/6 (as for crown, but in use up to the 1970s)
Crown — 5/- (from Henry VIII in gold and silver. Became silver only in 19th century, and a special occasion coin in the twentieth.)
A sum of money would be written £10-8-3, meaning ten pounds, eight shillings, and three pence. That would be said, "Ten pounds eight and three." Two shillings and ten pence would be 2s 10d, or 2/10, and said as "two and ten."
The English weigh things in ounces, pounds, and stones. A stone is 14 lbs.
A million is a million, but a billion is a million million.
An English pint is 20 oz. A US pint is 16 oz.
A gill is a quarter of a pint.
A furlong is 220 yards.
A league is about 3 miles
A chain is 22 yards
Rod, pole, or perch are about 5.5 yards
A rood is 1210 square yards
A hundredweight is 112 lbs
England can look very small to a North American, but even now travel isn't as speedy as over here. The main reason is that most areas are densely used or populated, and where that's not true, the terrain is difficult. (The central Peak District, the Lake District, the various moors.)
In early times a lot of travel was done by water because it was easier than by land. What roads there were followed water because horses need a lot of it. England is cut by rivers flowing down from the spine of the Pennines, and these often presented challenging obstacles. The rivers Welland, Trent, Ouse, and Mersey are mere streams beside the Mississippi, but if you want to cross them and there's no bridge or ford, they might as well be. William the Conqueror was held up for a fortnight (two weeks) for lack of a ford.
The Pennines, which run as a spine down the middle of England, are pimples next to a mountain range, but crossing them has always been a challenge, discouraging east-west travel.
Here are two common routes with main towns along the way. One way to find maps to use in research is to look in remainder catalogues for UK road atlases put out each year by the AA and RAC. These are large scale -- from 3 to 5 miles to the inch -- and show villages. I also use them for finding local names for characters since people were often named from villages and towns.
Try here, and check out other wonderful offerings at the same time.
London to Gretna
London to Bath
Examples of traveling distances (taken from charts in THE CHRONOLOGY OF BRITISH HISTORY, by Palmer, Century Ltd 1992 0-7126-5616-2
London- York, (188 miles) This is the Great North Road.
Roman Legion, on foot 19 days (10 miles a day. Presumably a routine march.)
Roman Courier, on horse, 4 days (50 miles a day, which is about what a horse can do.)
1066, King Harold's army, c 7 days ( 27 miles a day. This was a desperate march)
1606, on horse with many changes, 16 hours (12 miles an hour.)
1730, coach, 4 days (Daily range over different distances and terrain 34 to 45 miles. Typical for coach travel without a change of horses.)
1785, coach, 2 days (Daily range over different distances and terrain 60-140 miles. Difference in probably accounted for by state of roads and availability of changes of horses)
1830, coach, c 18 hours* (Daily range over different distances and terrain 200-250. Good roads and regular changes are normal now, as is driving through the night.)
1889, train, c 4 hours
1939, train, c 2 hours
Remember, this is an established and somewhat maintained route, even in earlier times. Most other roads would be much slower. Before the nineteenth century, most roads were deep mud when wet, and hard ruts when dry.
The increased speed above shows the effect of improved road surfaces, the toll-road system, and the availability of frequent changes of horses through the posting system. However these couldn't eliminate the problems of rough terrain for coaches, particularly when crossing the Pennines or getting into the north, the Welsh border, and the southwest.
Over reasonable roads, a horse can do about 50 miles a day. The same goes for a suitable team pulling a coach. With changes about every hour, 12-18 mph is possible. If you're not familiar with the needs of horses, find a horse person and pick her brains. Jean Ross Ewing prepared an excellent handout for the RWA conference in 1999 and it is on the web. Click here. Remember above all that horses need rest, food, and water. They can't just go on and on like an engine.
The figures above can be used to extrapolate traveling times, but if the travelers are not using the established roads of the time, the time could be much extended. The paved Roman roads gradually decayed, but were still better than others in the middle ages. By the 18th century, however, most roads were neglected and difficult, and likely to be impassible after heavy rain. That led to the toll road system that slowly brought about improvement.
Coaches were rare in England until the eighteenth century, because of poor springs and roads. They can't have been pleasant to ride in. Riding and packhorses were more practical and women would often ride pillion but this wasn't practical for speed so if they were regular travelers they probably rode astride. But then, most land travel was at a walking pace one way or another.
Some other links.
http://www.pemberley.com/janeinfo/janeinfo.html Jane Austen and her times.
http://www.daviddfriedman.com/Academic/England_18thc./England_18thc.html English law in the 18th century.
http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/ilej/ Old journals on line
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Acropolis/7517/learning.html A Regency Repository
http://www.S-Gabriel.Org/docs/#england English names.
http://www.fsu.edu/~crimdo/forfeiture.html Forfeiture law for treason and such.
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