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In the Blathwayt family's trade bills money is stated in pounds (£), shillings (s) and pence (d). There were 240 pence in the pound and twelve pence in the shilling, and twenty shillings to the pound. This system was used in the United Kingdom until 1971.

The list of prices below is collected from the trade bills in the Fitzwilliam Museum's collection, and so are most accurate for the period 1764-86.

More information about money in this period as well as images of coins and tokens can be found on the Money section of the online exhibition.





A needle

at a haberdashery


One mango in 1755

British Museum, Heal collection


One bottle of ink

at a bookseller & stationer's


One tallow candle

at a chandler's


One stone chamber pot

at a chinaman's


A skein of cotton thread

at a haberdashery


A quire of best foolscap paper
One mango in 1768

at a stationer's

at a merchant's


To clean and mend a servant's breeches

at a breeches maker's

4s 6d

A pair of black silk gloves

at a haberdashery warehouse


A pair of cotton hose
A pint of Arquebusade water to cure gout & other ailments

at a hosier's

at a linen seller's

10s 6d

A pair of white silk hose

at a framework knitter's

11s 6d

To make up a calash hood trimmed with lace

at a haberdashery warehouse


One plain shirt

at a linen draper's


To dye 20 yards of white silk yellow
six spermaceti candles

at a silk dyer's

at a chandler's


One ruffled shirt

at the same linen draper's


To make up a dress for a pet monkey

at a robe maker's


Half a dozen handkerchiefs

at a linen draper's


For a fine set of shovel and tongs

at an ironmonger's

£1 2s 6d

A year's rate for paving, repairing, cleaning and lighting the streets of St James parish (1779)
9 yards of pea green cotton

(Gloucester Archives)

at a linen draper's

£1 4s

Making up a silk sack dress

at a robe maker's

£1 7s

A crimson silk sash

at a laceman's

£1 11s 6d

A pair of silken stays

at a linen draper's

£2 2s

A pair of stays

at a robe maker's

£3 6s

Enough lace to make ruffled cuffs for dress sleeves

at a haberdashery warehouse

£4 4s

A pair of two-light girandole candlesticks

at a glass cutter's

£4 12s

4 pairs of livery breeches for servants

at a breeches maker's

£5 4s

4 hats for servants

at a hat maker's


A pair of cut-glass cruets

at the same glass cutter's

£8 10s

Enough patterned ducape to make a dress

at a mercery

£12 2s

Enough white satin to make a dress

at one of the best mercers in town

£17 5s

Enough tissue (light-weight silk) to make a dress

at the same as above

£33 15s 7d

Kitting out a house with new fireplaces & tools

at an ironmonger's


Annual income of a minor tradesman, who would struggle to support a family


Annual income of substantial London tradesman, providing a comfortable living