Saturday, 6 April 2013

A-Z Challenge 2013: F is for Farthing

I can dimly remember farthings.  They went out of circulation on 31 December 1960, so although I was too tiny to have actually used them, there were still some lying around our house.  They were first minted in 1714.


A farthing is a quarter of a penny.  Well, actually, when the word originated, it meant a quarter of anything (farthing-land was about 30 acres), but came to be used for the quarter-penny.  When decimalisation took
over in this country, the new penny was the same size as the old farthing.

Even though a quarter of a penny sounds like a small amount, there were coins that were of even smaller value.

The third-farthing was minted for use in Malta.

Half-farthings and quarter-farthings were also minted for use in the colonies.  The half-farthing was also introduced to Britain and kept going for 25 years.

15 comments:

  1. Very interesting posts, Ros...I am a bit of an Anglophile, so I appreciate them! Happy A to Z!


    MakingtheWriteConnections

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  2. I was recently looking at early 1800s U.S. probate records and was surprised to see some values down to the quarter penny. It just reminded me that everything was much less expensive then than now.

    I love the little bird on the farthing coin above. He's adorable.

    I also wanted to tell you how impressed I am with you and the others who are doing a letter of the alphabet every day in April. I'm struggling through Alona Tester's Family History Through the Alphabet challenge and feel an accomplishment to post those every week. You're really good to post daily!

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  3. Hi Nancy - thanks for stopping by. The little bird is a wren - rather a disappointment that he doesn't appear on any other coins, he is so cute!

    I did the genealogy trivia thing last year for the A-Z Challenge and loved it so much. I'm doing it again.

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  4. Hi, Ros!

    Thanks for the information!

    I do actually remember the coin on the left!

    Enjoy the challenge!



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  5. Ah Farthings! I don't remember them but my Dad used to collect coins so we too have some lying around the house.

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  6. Thanks for stopping by, VikLit!

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  7. Thanks, Ros for the reminder about Farthings which I too only vaguely remember. I like your short punchy postings in this A-Z Challenge. I am finding my theme of a Sense of Place proving a bit too much work in sourcing the photographs and the research - I am trying to do too much, so it was not the best of choices. However I am enjoying it but keeping up with the pace is a challenge in itself - and we are only at F!

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  8. It could still be a good choice, ScotSue - just make it only one pic and a couple of paragraphs. You could always do it all over again next month when the Challenge is over. I love your writing! :o)

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  9. I've only heard of farthings because I'm in the US but it is such a cute little coin and minted in my birth year too.

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  10. Wow! I didn't know that!! I just asked my mom and she knew what it was right away! I don't remember seeing one however. www.sandysanderellasmusings.blogspot.com

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    1. Ah! the Fudge lady! Hope you enjoyed my fudge recipe which I left on my comment on your blog. Thanks for stopping by.

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  11. Thank you for visiting Tattered Past. I thought about doing genealogy as a subject for A to Z. I'm glad you are doing it I've already learned something. I'll be back.

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    1. Glad you are enjoying my genealogy trivia. More to come! like Indexing, Lord of Misrule and more. Thanks for stopping by.

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  12. I started reading your post on email (where the pictures don't show) and initially thought you were talking about Penny Farthing bicycle. lol.

    I don't think we had a Farthing minted in Australia.

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  13. Very interesting, especially about the fractional farthings. I'm one who enjoys the origins of names - farthing being 1/4th of something is fascinating. And how nifty to get a photo of something I had only heard of. Well done! Quick, fascinating and to the point!
    Diana at About myself, by myself…

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