It’s all about money, honey!

Since I already wrote a post on the debasement of coinage during Henry’s reign, I thought I’d look up a little about coining methods, techniques and laws regarding minting during the time. At a time when there was no paper money, and certainly no plastic money or electronic money, mints were used exclusively for making coins from different metals.

Coins were produced in Roman Britain, but an English mint was only set up around 650. The mints were held by many different individuals as businesses, but eventually, by the reign of Henry, they had all consolidated into one single mint in London. Considering that the mint was held by the king, it was just added to the royal treasury. It produced copper, silver or gold coins in the name of the King and received a portion of the metal as seigniorage. Seigniorage was a kind of royalty paid to the mint for services rendered.

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Acts of the Henrican Reformation

Henry wanted to marry Anne Boleyn, and hence started the Reformation. He dumped poor Catherine, got married and made his own church with the help of Anne, and had Elizabeth who went on to become the greatest queen evah! And then he executed poor Anne and broke all the monasteries. This is the Reformation. Alright, I am simplifying it, but after hearing so many versions of the above, I am often left pulling out my hair. There are just so many things wrong with this.

Without the divorce there would therefore have been no Reformation, which is not at all the same thing as to say that there was nothing to the Reformation but the divorce.

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Sumptuary Laws under Henry VIII

Sumptuary laws are legal acts that mark a person’s social status by legally specifying what they could wear, what they could eat, and even what kind of furniture they could have in their homes. Henry VIII’s opulent court called for such laws, but these were also applicable to those lower in rank, and even to monks and laypersons. A difference between the Tudor sumptuary laws and sumptuary laws practiced by other countries was that in England, the laws originated in Parliament, whereas in most other countries, these laws were local, and applicable only within the towns.

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