The guinea was a coin of one quarter ounce of gold, minted in Great Britain between 1663 and 1814. The name came from the Guinea region in West Africa, where much of the gold used to make the coins originated, it was the first English machine-struck gold coin worth one pound sterling, equal to twenty shillings, but rises in the price of gold relative to silver caused the value of the guinea to increase, at times to as high as thirty shillings. From 1717 to 1816, its value was fixed at twenty-one shillings; when Britain adopted the gold standard the guinea became a specialised term. Although the coin itself no longer circulated, the term guinea survived as a unit of account in some fields. Notable usages included professional fees, which were invoiced in guineas, horse racing and greyhound racing, the sale of rams. In each case a guinea meant an amount of one pound and one shilling, or one pound and five pence in decimalised currency; the name forms the basis for the Arabic word for the Egyptian pound الجنيه el-Genēh / el-Geni, as a sum of 100 qirsh was worth 21 shillings at the end of the 19th century.
The first guinea was produced on 6 February 1663. One troy pound of 11⁄12 fine gold would make 44 1⁄2 guineas, each thus theoretically weighing 129.438 grains. The denomination was worth one pound, or twenty shillings, but an increase in the price of gold during the reign of King Charles II led to the market trading it at a premium; the price of gold continued to increase in times of trouble, by the 1680s, the coin was worth 22 shillings. Indeed, in his diary entries for 13 June 1667, Samuel Pepys records that the price was 24 to 25 shillings; the diameter of the coin was 1 in throughout Charles II's reign, the average gold purity was 0.9100. "Guinea" was not an official name for the coin, but much of the gold used to produce the early coins came from Guinea in Africa. The coin was produced each year between 1663 and 1684, with the elephant appearing on some coins each year from 1663 to 1665 and 1668, the elephant and castle on some coins from 1674 onward; the elephant, with or without the castle, symbolises the Royal African Company, whose activities on the Guinea Coast of Africa resulted in the importation of much gold into England.
The obverse and reverse of this coin were designed by John Roettier. The obverse showed a fine right-facing bust of the king wearing a laurel wreath, surrounded by the legend CAROLVS II DEI GRATIA, while the reverse showed four crowned cruciform shields bearing the arms of England, Scotland and Ireland, between which were four sceptres, in the centre were four interlinked "C"s, surrounded by the inscription MAG BR FRA ET HIB REX; the edge was milled to deter clipping or filing, to distinguish it from the silver half-crown which had edge lettering. Until 1669 the milling was perpendicular to the edge, giving vertical grooves, while from 1670 the milling was diagonal to the edge. John Roettier continued to design the dies for this denomination in the reign of King James II. In this reign, the coins weighed 8.5 g with a diameter of 25–26 mm, were minted in all years between 1685 and 1688, with an average gold purity of 0.9094. Coins of each year were issued both without the elephant and castle mark.
The king's head faces left in this reign, is surrounded by the inscription IACOBVS II DEI GRATIA, while the reverse is the same as in Charles II's reign except for omitting the interlinked "C"s in the centre of the coin. The edge of the coins are milled diagonally. With the removal of James II in the Glorious Revolution of 1688, his daughter Mary and her husband Prince William of Orange reigned jointly as co-monarchs, their heads appear conjoined on the guinea piece in Roman style, with William's head uppermost, with the legend GVLIELMVS ET MARIA DEI GRATIA. In a departure from the previous reigns, the reverse featured a new design of a large crowned shield which bore the arms of England and France in the first and fourth quarters, of Scotland in the second quarter, of Ireland in the third quarter, the whole ensemble having a small shield in the centre bearing the rampant lion of Nassau. By the early part of this reign the value of the guinea had increased to nearly 30 shillings; the guineas of this reign weighed 8.5 g, were 25–26 mm in diameter, were the work of James and Norbert Roettier.
They were produced in all years between 1689 and 1694 both without the elephant and castle. Following the death of Queen Mary from smallpox in 1694, William continued to reign as William III; the guinea coin was produced in all years from 1695 to 1701, both with and without the elephant and castle, the design being the work of Johann Crocker known as John Croker, since James Roettier had died in 1698 and his brother Norbert had moved to France in 1695. The coins of William III's reign weighed 8.4 g with an average gold purity
Dresden is the capital city and, after Leipzig, the second-largest city of the Free State of Saxony in Germany. It is situated near the border with the Czech Republic. Dresden has a long history as the capital and royal residence for the Electors and Kings of Saxony, who for centuries furnished the city with cultural and artistic splendor, was once by personal union the family seat of Polish monarchs; the city was known as the Jewel Box, because of its baroque and rococo city centre. The controversial American and British bombing of Dresden in World War II towards the end of the war killed 25,000 people, many of whom were civilians, destroyed the entire city centre. After the war restoration work has helped to reconstruct parts of the historic inner city, including the Katholische Hofkirche, the Zwinger and the famous Semper Oper. Since German reunification in 1990 Dresden is again a cultural and political centre of Germany and Europe; the Dresden University of Technology is one of the 10 largest universities in Germany and part of the German Universities Excellence Initiative.
The economy of Dresden and its agglomeration is one of the most dynamic in Germany and ranks first in Saxony. It is dominated by high-tech branches called “Silicon Saxony”; the city is one of the most visited in Germany with 4.3 million overnight stays per year. The royal buildings are among the most impressive buildings in Europe. Main sights are the nearby National Park of Saxon Switzerland, the Ore Mountains and the countryside around Elbe Valley and Moritzburg Castle; the most prominent building in the city of Dresden is the Frauenkirche. Built in the 18th century, the church was destroyed during World War II; the remaining ruins were left for 50 years as a war memorial, before being rebuilt between 1994 and 2005. Dresden has nearly 560,000 inhabitants, the agglomeration is the largest in Saxony with 780,000 inhabitants. According to the Hamburgische Weltwirtschaftsinstitut and Berenberg Bank in 2017, Dresden has the fourth best prospects for the future of all cities in Germany. Although Dresden is a recent city of Germanic origin followed by settlement of Slavic people, the area had been settled in the Neolithic era by Linear Pottery culture tribes ca. 7500 BC.
Dresden's founding and early growth is associated with the eastward expansion of Germanic peoples, mining in the nearby Ore Mountains, the establishment of the Margraviate of Meissen. Its name etymologically derives from meaning people of the forest. Dresden evolved into the capital of Saxony. Around the late 12th century, a Slavic settlement called Drežďany had developed on the southern bank. Another settlement existed on the northern bank, it was known as Antiqua Dresdin by 1350, as Altendresden, both "old Dresden". Dietrich, Margrave of Meissen, chose Dresden as his interim residence in 1206, as documented in a record calling the place "Civitas Dresdene". After 1270, Dresden became the capital of the margraviate, it was given to Friedrich Clem after death of Henry the Illustrious in 1288. It was taken by the Margraviate of Brandenburg in 1316 and was restored to the Wettin dynasty after the death of Valdemar the Great in 1319. From 1485, it was the seat of the dukes of Saxony, from 1547 the electors as well.
The Elector and ruler of Saxony Frederick Augustus I became King Augustus II the Strong of Poland in 1697. He gathered many of the best musicians and painters from all over Europe to the newly named Royal-Polish Residential City of Dresden, his reign marked the beginning of Dresden's emergence as a leading European city for technology and art. During the reign of Kings Augustus II the Strong and Augustus III of Poland most of the city's baroque landmarks were built; these include the Zwinger Royal Palace, the Japanese Palace, the Taschenbergpalais, the Pillnitz Castle and the two landmark churches: the Catholic Hofkirche and the Lutheran Frauenkirche. In addition significant art collections and museums were founded. Notable examples include the Dresden Porcelain Collection, the Collection of Prints and Photographs, the Grünes Gewölbe and the Mathematisch-Physikalischer Salon. In 1726 there was a riot for two days after a Protestant clergyman was killed by a soldier who had converted from Catholicism.
In 1729, by decree of King Augustus II the first Polish Military Academy was founded in Dresden. In 1730, it was relocated to Warsaw. Dresden suffered heavy destruction in the Seven Years' War, following its capture by Prussian forces, its subsequent re-capture, a failed Prussian siege in 1760. Friedrich Schiller wrote his Ode to Joy for the Dresden Masonic lodge in 1785. During the decline of Poland Dresden was site of preparations for the Polish Kościuszko Uprising; the city of Dresden had a distinctive silhouette, captured in famous paintings by Bernardo Bellotto and by Norwegian painter Johan Christian Dahl. Between 1806 and 1918 the city was the capital of the Kingdom of Saxony. During the Napoleonic Wars the French emperor made it a base of operations, winning there the famous Battle of Dresden on 27 August 1813. Following the November Uprising many Poles, including writers Juliusz Słowacki, Stefan Florian Garczyński, Klementyna Hoffmanowa and composer Frédéric Chopin, fled from the Russian Partition of Poland to Dresden.
National poet Adam Mickiewicz stayed several months in Dresden, starting in March 1832. He wrote the poetic drama Dziady, P
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is an 1865 novel written by English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll. It tells of a young girl named Alice falling through a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures; the tale plays with logic. It is considered to be one of the best examples of the literary nonsense genre, its narrative course, structure and imagery have been enormously influential in both popular culture and literature in the fantasy genre. Alice was published in 1865, three years after Charles Lutwidge Dodgson and the Reverend Robinson Duckworth rowed in a boat, on 4 July 1862, up the Isis with the three young daughters of Henry Liddell: Lorina Charlotte Liddell; the journey ended five miles away in the village of Godstow. During the trip Charles Dodgson told the girls a story that featured a bored little girl named Alice who goes looking for an adventure; the girls loved it, Alice Liddell asked Dodgson to write it down for her.
He began writing the manuscript of the story the next day, although that earliest version no longer exists. The girls and Dodgson took another boat trip a month when he elaborated the plot to the story of Alice, in November he began working on the manuscript in earnest. To add the finishing touches he researched natural history for the animals presented in the book, had the book examined by other children—particularly the children of George MacDonald, he added his own illustrations but approached John Tenniel to illustrate the book for publication, telling him that the story had been well liked by children. On 26 November 1864 he gave Alice the handwritten manuscript of Alice's Adventures Under Ground, with illustrations by Dodgson himself, dedicating it as "A Christmas Gift to a Dear Child in Memory of a Summer's Day". Some, including Martin Gardner, speculate there was an earlier version, destroyed by Dodgson when he wrote a more elaborate copy by hand, but before Alice received her copy, Dodgson was preparing it for publication and expanding the 15,500-word original to 27,500 words, most notably adding the episodes about the Cheshire Cat and the Mad Tea-Party.
Chapter One – Down the Rabbit Hole: Alice, a girl of seven years, is feeling bored and drowsy while sitting on the riverbank with her elder sister. She notices a talking, clothed White Rabbit with a pocket watch run past, she follows it down a rabbit hole when she falls a long way to a curious hall with many locked doors of all sizes. She finds a small key to a door too small for her to fit through, but through it she sees an attractive garden, she discovers a bottle on a table labelled "DRINK ME," the contents of which cause her to shrink too small to reach the key which she has left on the table. She eats a cake with "EAT ME" written on it in currants. Chapter Two – The Pool of Tears: Chapter Two opens with Alice growing to such a tremendous size her head hits the ceiling. Alice is unhappy and, as she cries, her tears flood the hallway. After shrinking down again due to a fan she had picked up, Alice swims through her own tears and meets a Mouse, swimming as well, she tries to make small talk with him in elementary French but her opening gambit "Où est ma chatte?" offends the mouse and he tries to escape her.
Chapter Three – The Caucus Race and a Long Tale: The sea of tears becomes crowded with other animals and birds that have been swept away by the rising waters. Alice and the other animals convene on the bank and the question among them is how to get dry again; the Mouse gives them a dry lecture on William the Conqueror. A Dodo decides that the best thing to dry them off would be a Caucus-Race, which consists of everyone running in a circle with no clear winner. Alice frightens all the animals away, unwittingly, by talking about her cat. Chapter Four – The Rabbit Sends a Little Bill: The White Rabbit appears again in search of the Duchess's gloves and fan. Mistaking her for his maidservant, Mary Ann, he orders Alice to retrieve them. Inside the house she finds another little bottle and drinks from it; the horrified Rabbit orders his gardener, Bill the Lizard, to climb on the roof and go down the chimney. Outside, Alice hears the voices of animals; the crowd hurls pebbles at her. Alice eats them, they reduce her again in size.
Chapter Five – Advice from a Caterpillar: Alice comes upon a mushroom and sitting on it is a blue Caterpillar smoking a hookah. The Caterpillar questions Alice and she admits to her current identity crisis, compounded by her inability to remember a poem. Before crawling away, the caterpillar tells Alice that one side of the mushroom will make her taller and the other side will make her shorter, she breaks off two pieces from the mushroom. One side makes her shrink smaller than while another causes her neck to grow high into the trees, where a pigeon mistakes her for a serpent. With some effort, Alice brings herself back to her normal height, she stumbles upon a small estate and us
A proclamation is an official declaration issued by a person of authority to make certain announcements known. Proclamations are used within the governing framework of some nations and are issued in the name of the head of state. In English law, a proclamation is a formal announcement, made under the great seal, of some matter which the King in Council or Queen in Council desires to make known to his or her subjects: e.g. the declaration of war, or state of emergency, the statement of neutrality, the summoning or dissolution of Parliament, or the bringing into operation of the provisions of some statute the enforcement of which the legislature has left to the discretion of the king or queen in the announcement. Proclamations are used for declaring bank holidays and the issuance of coinage. Royal proclamations of this character, made in furtherance of the executive power of the Crown, are binding on the subject, "where they do not either contradict the old laws or tend to establish new ones, but only confine the execution of such laws as are in being in such matter as the sovereign shall judge necessary".
Royal proclamations, although not made in pursuance of the executive powers of the Crown, either call upon the subject to fulfil some duty which they are by law bound to perform, or to abstain from any acts or conduct prohibited by law, are lawful and right, disobedience to them is an aggravation of the offence (see charge of Chief Justice Cockburn to the grand jury in R. v. Eyre and Case of Proclamations 1610, 12 Co. Rep. 74. The Crown has from time to time legislated by proclamation, but this enactment was repealed by an act of 1547. The Crown has power to legislate by proclamation for a newly conquered country. In the British colonies, ordinances are brought into force by proclamation. In many British protectorates the high commissioner or administrator was empowered to legislate by proclamation. In the old system of real property law in England, levied with "proclamations", i.e. with successive public announcements of the transaction in open court, barred the rights of strangers, as well as parties, in case they had not made claim to the property conveyed within five years thereafter.
These proclamations were made sixteen times, four times in the term in which the fine was levied, four times in each of the three succeeding terms. Afterwards the number of proclamations was reduced to one in each of the four terms; the proclamations were endorsed on the back of the record. The system was abolished by the Fines and Recoveries Act 1833. On certain rare occasions, the heralds of the College of Arms and the Lyon Court still publicly read out certain proclamations such as the proclamation regarding the dissolution of parliament or proclamations regarding the monarch's coronation, where they are read at the steps of the Royal Exchange in London and at the Mercat Cross in Edinburgh. Proclamation of accession of Elizabeth II Proclamation Day Proclamation For the Encouragement of Piety and Virtue Proclamation of the Irish Republic Ukase Edict Decree Presidential proclamation Letters patent Proclamation of Indonesian Independence Introduction, Proclamations of Accession of English and British Sovereigns, Heraldica, 2007
Half crown (British coin)
The half crown was a denomination of British money, equivalent to two shillings and sixpence, or one-eighth of a pound. The half crown was first issued in 1549, in the reign of Edward VI. No half crowns were issued in the reign of Mary, but from the reign of Elizabeth I half crowns were issued in every reign except Edward VIII, until the coins were discontinued in 1967; the half crown was demonetised on 1 January 1970, the year before the United Kingdom adopted decimal currency on Decimal Day. During the English Interregnum of 1649–1660, a republican half crown was issued, bearing the arms of the Commonwealth of England, despite monarchist associations of the coin's name; when Oliver Cromwell was made Lord Protector of England, half crowns were issued bearing his semi-royal portrait. The half crown did not display its value on the reverse until 1893. King Henry VIII 1526: the first English half crown was struck in gold. King Edward VI 1551: issued the first half crown in silver; the coin showed the king riding a horse.
Queen Mary I: the half crown was struck on Mary's marriage to Philip II of Spain in 1554 but was never issued for circulation. Three specimens exist. Http://www.petitioncrown.com/spare15_LK47.html Queen Elizabeth I: gold half crowns were issued again. At the end of the reign silver half crowns were issued. King James I: gold half crowns were issued again. During the reign silver half crowns were issued. King Charles I: silver half crowns were issued, including those struck as obsidional money, money of necessity during the Civil War period. Commonwealth of England: Oliver Cromwell silver half crowns were issued. During the years 1656 and 1658 milled half crowns were issued of Oliver Cromwell. King Charles II 1663–1685: silver half crowns were issued, this period saw the end of the hammered issue of half crowns. King James II 1685–1688: silver half crown. King William III & Queen Mary II 1689–1694: silver half crown. William III of England 1694–1702: silver half crown. Queen Anne 1702–1714: silver half crown.
King George I 1714–1727: silver half crown. King George II 1727–1760: silver half crown. King George III 1760–1820: silver half crown. King George IV 1820–1830: silver half crown. King William IV 1830–1837: silver half crown. Queen Victoria 1837–1901: silver half crown. King Edward VII 1902–1910: silver half crown. King George V 1910–1936: silver half crown, sterling silver until 1919 50% silver. King Edward VIII 1936: 50% silver half crown. Not issued for circulation. King George VI 1937–1952: 50% silver half crowns were issued until 1946 when the metal was changed to cupro-nickel. Queen Elizabeth II 1952–1970: the last half crown was issued in 1970 shortly before decimalisation. From George III, 1816, they had a diameter of 32 mm and a weight of 14.1 g, dimensions which remained the same for the half crown until decimalisation in 1971. The mintage figures below are taken from the annual UK publication COIN YEARBOOK. Proof mintages are indicated in italics. Half crown - View coins from the Commonwealth of England period, 1649–1660, including halfcrowns.
British Coins - Free information about British coins. Includes an online forum. Coins of the UK - A full history of the half crown. - Publishers of COIN YEARBOOK The History of the Half-crown
George I of Great Britain
George I was King of Great Britain and Ireland from 1 August 1714 and ruler of the Duchy and Electorate of Brunswick-Lüneburg in the Holy Roman Empire from 1698 until his death in 1727. George was born in Hanover and inherited the titles and lands of the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg from his father and uncles. A succession of European wars expanded his German domains during his lifetime, in 1708 he was ratified as prince-elector of Hanover. At the age of 54, after the death of his second cousin Anne, Queen of Great Britain, George ascended the British throne as the first monarch of the House of Hanover. Although over 50 Roman Catholics were closer to Anne by primogeniture, the Act of Settlement 1701 prohibited Catholics from inheriting the British throne. In reaction, Jacobites attempted to depose George and replace him with Anne's Catholic half-brother, James Francis Edward Stuart, but their attempts failed. During George's reign, the powers of the monarchy diminished and Britain began a transition to the modern system of cabinet government led by a prime minister.
Towards the end of his reign, actual political power was held by Robert Walpole, now recognised as Britain's first de facto prime minister. George died of a stroke on a trip to his native Hanover, he was the last British monarch to be buried outside the United Kingdom. George was born on 28 May 1660 in the city of Hanover in the Duchy of Brunswick-Lüneburg in the Holy Roman Empire, he was the eldest son of Ernest Augustus, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, his wife, Sophia of the Palatinate. Sophia was the granddaughter of King James I of England through Elizabeth of Bohemia. For the first year of his life, George was the only heir to the German territories of his father and three childless uncles. George's brother, Frederick Augustus, was born in 1661, the two boys were brought up together, their mother was absent for a year during a long convalescent holiday in Italy, but corresponded with her sons' governess and took a great interest in their upbringing more so upon her return. Sophia bore Ernest Augustus a daughter.
In her letters, Sophia describes George as a responsible, conscientious child who set an example to his younger brothers and sisters. By 1675 George's eldest uncle had died without issue, but his remaining two uncles had married, putting George's inheritance in jeopardy as his uncles' estates might pass to their own sons, should they have had any, instead of to George. George's father took him hunting and riding, introduced him to military matters. In 1679 another uncle died unexpectedly without sons, Ernest Augustus became reigning Duke of Calenberg-Göttingen, with his capital at Hanover. George's surviving uncle, George William of Celle, had married his mistress in order to legitimise his only daughter, Sophia Dorothea, but looked unlikely to have any further children. Under Salic law, where inheritance of territory was restricted to the male line, the succession of George and his brothers to the territories of their father and uncle now seemed secure. In 1682, the family agreed to adopt the principle of primogeniture, meaning George would inherit all the territory and not have to share it with his brothers.
The same year, George married his first cousin, Sophia Dorothea of Celle, thereby securing additional incomes that would have been outside Salic laws. The marriage of state was arranged as it ensured a healthy annual income and assisted the eventual unification of Hanover and Celle, his mother was at first against the marriage because she looked down on Sophia Dorothea's mother, because she was concerned by Sophia Dorothea's legitimated status. She was won over by the advantages inherent in the marriage. In 1683, George and his brother, Frederick Augustus, served in the Great Turkish War at the Battle of Vienna, Sophia Dorothea bore George a son, George Augustus; the following year, Frederick Augustus was informed of the adoption of primogeniture, meaning he would no longer receive part of his father's territory as he had expected. It led to a breach between father and son, between the brothers, that lasted until Frederick Augustus's death in battle in 1690. With the imminent formation of a single Hanoverian state, the Hanoverians' continuing contributions to the Empire's wars, Ernest Augustus was made an Elector of the Holy Roman Empire in 1692.
George's prospects were now better than as the sole heir to his father's electorate and his uncle's duchy. Sophia Dorothea had a second child, a daughter named after her, in 1687, but there were no other pregnancies; the couple became estranged—George preferred the company of his mistress, Melusine von der Schulenburg, Sophia Dorothea, had her own romance with the Swedish Count Philip Christoph von Königsmarck. Threatened with the scandal of an elopement, the Hanoverian court, including George's brothers and mother, urged the lovers to desist, but to no avail. According to diplomatic sources from Hanover's enemies, in July 1694 the Swedish count was killed with the connivance of George, his body thrown into the river Leine weighted with stones; the murder was claimed to have been committed by four of Ernest Augustus's courtiers, one of whom was paid the enormous sum of 150,000 thalers, about one hundred times the annual salary of the highest paid minister. Rumours supposed t