Tag Archive | Thomas Wriothesley

Coining and Debasement in Henry’s Reign

There are a million and one books written on Henry’s wives, and a somewhat fewer number devoted to the religious schism in his reign. It is amazing to find that there are very few books that deal with the economics of the times.

One of the nicknames Henry VIII was given by his affectionate (and not so affectionate) subjects was Old Coppernose. This refers to the fact that with wear and tear, the silver varnish of his debased coins wore off in time, leaving the copper exposed. So how and why did the debasement happen?

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