Sir Isaac Newton was an English mathematician, astronomer and author, recognised as one of the most influential scientists of all time, a key figure in the scientific revolution. His book Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, first published in 1687, laid the foundations of classical mechanics. Newton made seminal contributions to optics, shares credit with Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz for developing the infinitesimal calculus. In Principia, Newton formulated the laws of motion and universal gravitation that formed the dominant scientific viewpoint until it was superseded by the theory of relativity. Newton used his mathematical description of gravity to prove Kepler's laws of planetary motion, account for tides, the trajectories of comets, the precession of the equinoxes and other phenomena, eradicating doubt about the Solar System's heliocentricity, he demonstrated that the motion of objects on Earth and celestial bodies could be accounted for by the same principles. Newton's inference that the Earth is an oblate spheroid was confirmed by the geodetic measurements of Maupertuis, La Condamine, others, convincing most European scientists of the superiority of Newtonian mechanics over earlier systems.
Newton built the first practical reflecting telescope and developed a sophisticated theory of colour based on the observation that a prism separates white light into the colours of the visible spectrum. His work on light was collected in his influential book Opticks, published in 1704, he formulated an empirical law of cooling, made the first theoretical calculation of the speed of sound, introduced the notion of a Newtonian fluid. In addition to his work on calculus, as a mathematician Newton contributed to the study of power series, generalised the binomial theorem to non-integer exponents, developed a method for approximating the roots of a function, classified most of the cubic plane curves. Newton was a fellow of Trinity College and the second Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, he was a devout but unorthodox Christian who rejected the doctrine of the Trinity. Unusually for a member of the Cambridge faculty of the day, he refused to take holy orders in the Church of England.
Beyond his work on the mathematical sciences, Newton dedicated much of his time to the study of alchemy and biblical chronology, but most of his work in those areas remained unpublished until long after his death. Politically and tied to the Whig party, Newton served two brief terms as Member of Parliament for the University of Cambridge, in 1689–90 and 1701–02, he was knighted by Queen Anne in 1705 and spent the last three decades of his life in London, serving as Warden and Master of the Royal Mint, as well as president of the Royal Society. Isaac Newton was born on Christmas Day, 25 December 1642 "an hour or two after midnight", at Woolsthorpe Manor in Woolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth, a hamlet in the county of Lincolnshire, his father named Isaac Newton, had died three months before. Born prematurely, Newton was a small child; when Newton was three, his mother remarried and went to live with her new husband, the Reverend Barnabas Smith, leaving her son in the care of his maternal grandmother, Margery Ayscough.
Newton disliked his stepfather and maintained some enmity towards his mother for marrying him, as revealed by this entry in a list of sins committed up to the age of 19: "Threatening my father and mother Smith to burn them and the house over them." Newton's mother had three children from her second marriage. From the age of about twelve until he was seventeen, Newton was educated at The King's School, which taught Latin and Greek and imparted a significant foundation of mathematics, he was removed from school, returned to Woolsthorpe-by-Colsterworth by October 1659. His mother, widowed for the second time, attempted to make him an occupation he hated. Henry Stokes, master at The King's School, persuaded his mother to send him back to school. Motivated by a desire for revenge against a schoolyard bully, he became the top-ranked student, distinguishing himself by building sundials and models of windmills. In June 1661, he was admitted to Trinity College, Cambridge, on the recommendation of his uncle Rev William Ayscough, who had studied there.
He started as a subsizar—paying his way by performing valet's duties—until he was awarded a scholarship in 1664, guaranteeing him four more years until he could get his MA. At that time, the college's teachings were based on those of Aristotle, whom Newton supplemented with modern philosophers such as Descartes, astronomers such as Galileo and Thomas Street, through whom he learned of Kepler's work, he set down in his notebook a series of "Quaestiones" about mechanical philosophy. In 1665, he discovered the generalised binomial theorem and began to develop a mathematical theory that became calculus. Soon after Newton had obtained his BA degree in August 1665, the university temporarily closed as a precaution against the Great Plague. Although he had been undistinguished as a Cambridge student, Newton's private studies at his home in Woolsthorpe over the subsequent two years saw the development of his theories on calculus and the law of gravitation. In April 1667, he returned in October was elected as a fellow of Trinity.
Fellows were required to become ordained priests, although this was no
Royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom
The royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom, or the Royal Arms for short, is the official coat of arms of the British monarch Queen Elizabeth II. These arms are used by the Queen in her official capacity as monarch of the United Kingdom. Variants of the Royal Arms are used by other members of the British royal family. In Scotland, there exists a separate version of the Royal Arms, a variant of, used by the Scotland Office; the arms in banner form serve as basis for the monarch's official flag, known as the Royal Standard. In the standard variant used outside of Scotland, the shield is quartered, depicting in the first and fourth quarters the three passant guardant lions of England; the crest is a statant guardant lion wearing the St Edward's Crown, himself on another representation of that crown. The dexter supporter is a crowned English lion. According to legend a free unicorn was considered a dangerous beast. In the greenery below, a thistle, Tudor rose and shamrock are depicted, representing Scotland and Ireland respectively.
This armorial achievement comprises the motto, in French, of English monarchs, Dieu et mon Droit, which has descended to the present royal family as well as the Garter circlet which surrounds the shield, inscribed with the Order's motto, in French, Honi soit qui mal y pense. The official blazon of the Royal Arms is: Quarterly and fourth Gules three Lions passant gardant in pale Or armed and langued Azure, second quarter Or a Lion rampant within a double tressure flory-counter-flory Gules, third quarter Azure a Harp Or stringed Argent, the whole surrounded by the Garter. Motto "Dieu et mon Droit" in the compartment below the shield, with the Union Rose and Thistle engrafted on the same stem; the Royal Arms. They appear in courtrooms, since the monarch is deemed to be the fount of judicial authority in the United Kingdom and law courts comprise part of the ancient royal court. Judges are Crown representatives, demonstrated by the display of the Royal Arms behind the judge's bench in all UK courts.
In addition, the Royal Arms cannot be displayed in courtrooms or on court-house exteriors in Northern Ireland, except for the courtrooms of the Royal Courts of Justice in Belfast and the courts in Armagh, Downpatrick, Magherafelt, or Omagh, the exterior of court buildings that had them in place prior to the 2002 law. As the United Kingdom is governed in the monarch's name, the British Government uses the Royal Arms as a national symbol of the United Kingdom, and, in that capacity, the coat of arms can be seen on several government documents and forms, passports, in the entrance to embassies and consulates, etc. However, when used by the government and not by the monarch the coat of arms is represented without the helm; this is the case with the sovereign's Scottish arms, a version of, used by the Scotland Office. The Royal Arms have appeared on the coinage produced by the Royal Mint including, for example, from 1663, the Guinea and, from 1983, the British one pound coin. In 2008, a new series of designs for all seven coins of £1 and below was unveiled by the Royal Mint, every one of, drawn from the Royal Arms.
The full Royal Arms appear on the one pound coin, sections appear on each of the other six, such that they can be put together like a puzzle to make another complete representation of the Royal Arms. The monarch grants Royal Warrants to select businesses and tradespeople which supply the Royal Household with goods or services; this entitles those businesses to display the Royal Arms on their packaging and stationery by way of advertising. It is customary for churches throughout the United Kingdom whether in the Church of England or the Church of Scotland to display the Royal Arms to show loyalty to the Crown. A banner of the Royal Arms, known as the Royal Standard, is flown from the royal palaces when the monarch is in residence, Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace being her principal abodes; this protocol applies to the monarch's principal residences in Scotland, where the Royal Standard is flown. When the monarch is not in residence the Union Flag, or in Scotland the ancient Royal Standard of Scotland, is flown.
The sold British newspaper The Times uses the Hanoverian Royal Arms as a logo, whereas its sister publication, The Sunday Times, displays the current Royal Arms. The Royal Arms are displayed in all c
Penny (British pre-decimal coin)
The pre-decimal penny was a coin worth 1/240 of a pound sterling. Its symbol was d, from the Roman denarius, it was a continuation of the earlier English penny, in Scotland it had the same monetary value as one pre-1707 Scottish shilling. The penny was minted in silver, but from the late 18th century it was minted in copper, after 1860 in bronze; the plural of "penny" is "pence" when referring to a quantity of money and "pennies" when referring to a number of coins. Thus 8d is eight pence, but "eight pennies" means eight individual penny coins. Before Decimal Day in 1971 twelve pence made a shilling, twenty shillings made a pound, hence 240 pence in one pound. Values less than a pound were written in terms of shillings and pence, e.g. 42 pence would be three shillings and sixpence, pronounced "three and six". Values of less than a shilling were written in terms of pence, e.g. eight pence would be 8d. This version of the penny was made obsolete in 1971 by decimalisation, was replaced by the decimal penny, worth 2.4 old pence.
The kingdoms of England and Scotland were merged by the 1707 Act of Union to form the Kingdom of Great Britain. The exchange rate between the pound scots and the English pound sterling had been fixed at 12:1 since the Union of the Crowns in 1603, in 1707 the pound Scots ceased to be legal tender, with the pound sterling to be used throughout Great Britain; the penny replaced the shilling of the pound scots. The design and specifications of the English penny were unchanged by the Union, it continued to be minted in silver after 1707. Queen Anne's reign saw pennies minted in 1708, 1709, 1710, 1713; these issues, were not for general circulation, instead being minted as Maundy money. The prohibitive cost of minting silver coins had meant the size of pennies had been reduced over the years, with the minting of silver pennies for general circulation being halted in 1660; the practice of minting pennies only for Maundy money continued through the reigns of George I and George II, into that of George III.
However, by George III's reign there was a shortage of pennies: things had got so bad that a great many merchants and mining companies issued their own copper tokens e.g. the Parys Mining Company on Anglesey issued huge numbers of tokens. In 1797, the government authorised Matthew Boulton to strike copper pennies and twopences at his Soho Mint in Birmingham. At the time it was believed that the face value of a coin should correspond to the value of the material it was made from, so they had to contain one or two pence worth of copper; this requirement meant that the coins would be larger than the silver pennies minted previously. The large size of the coins, combined with the thick rim where the inscription was incuse i.e. punched into the metal rather than standing proud of it, led to the coins being nicknamed "cartwheels". These pennies were minted over the course of several years, but all are marked with the date 1797. By 1802, the production of issued provincial tokens had ceased. However, in the next ten years the intrinsic value of copper rose.
The return of minted token coinage was evident by 1811 and endemic by 1812, as more and more of the Government-issued copper coinage was melted down. The Royal Mint undertook a massive recoinage programme in 1816, with large quantities of gold and silver coin being minted. To thwart the further issuance of private token coinage, in 1817 an Act of Parliament was passed which forbade the manufacture of private token coinage under severe penalties. Copper coins continued to be minted after 1797, through the reigns of George III, George IV and William IV, the early reign of Queen Victoria; these coins were smaller than the cartwheel pennies of 1797, contained a smaller amount of copper. In 1857 a survey by the Royal Mint found that around one third of all copper coinage was worn or mutilated by advertisements. Two years Thomas Graham, the Master of the Mint, convinced William Ewart Gladstone Chancellor of the Exchequer, that so large a part of the copper coinage must be taken out of circulation that it was worth introducing a whole new coinage which would be "much more convenient and agreeable in use".
These new coins were minted in bronze, their specifications were no longer constrained by the onerous requirement that their face value should match the value of the base metal used to make the coin. These new coins were introduced in 1860 and a year the withdrawal of the old copper coinage began; the specifications of the bronze version of the penny were a mass of 9.45 g and a diameter of 30.86 mm, remained as such for over a hundred years. Pennies were minted every year of Queen Victoria's reign, every year of Edward VII's reign. George V pennies were produced every year to the same standard until 1922, but after a three-year gap in production the alloy composition was changed to 95.5% copper, 3% tin, 1.5% zinc, although the weight and size remained unchanged. Thereafter, pennies were minted every year for the remainder of George V's reign, although only six or seven 1933 coins were minted for the king to lay under the foundation stones of new buildings. A few pennies of Edward VIII exist, dated 1937, but technically they are pattern coins i.e. coins produced for official approval, which it would have been due to receive about the time that the K
Farthing (British coin)
The British farthing coin, from "fourthing", was a unit of currency of one quarter of a penny, or 1⁄960 of a pound sterling. It was minted in bronze, replaced the earlier copper farthings, it was used during the reign of six monarchs: Victoria, Edward VII, George V, Edward VIII, George VI and Elizabeth II, ceasing to be legal tender in 1960. It featured two different designs on its reverse during its 100 years in circulation: from 1860 until 1936, the image of Britannia. Like all British coinage, it bore the portrait of the monarch on the obverse. Before Decimal Day in 1971, there were 240 pence in one pound sterling. There were four farthings in a penny, 12 pence made a shilling, 20 shillings made a pound. Values less than a pound were written in terms of shillings and pence, e.g. three shillings and six pence, pronounced "three and six" or "three and sixpence". Values of less than a shilling were written in pence, e.g. 8d, pronounced "eightpence". A price with a farthing in it would be written like this:, pronounced "nineteen and elevenpence farthing".
The purchasing power of a farthing from 1860 to its demise in 1960 ranged between 2p to 12p. The original reverse of the coin, designed by Leonard Charles Wyon, is a seated Britannia, holding a trident, with the word FARTHING above. Issues before 1895 feature a lighthouse to Britannia's left and a ship to her right. Various minor adjustments to the level of the sea depicted around Britannia, the angle of her trident were made over the years; some issues feature toothed edges. Over the years, seven different obverses were used. Edward VII, George V, George VI and Elizabeth II each had a single obverse for farthings produced during their respective reigns. Over the long reign of Queen Victoria two different obverses were used, the short reign of Edward VIII meant that no farthings bearing his likeness were issued; the farthing was first issued with the so-called "bun head", or "draped bust" of Queen Victoria on the obverse. The inscription around the bust read VICTORIA D G BRITT REG F D; this was replaced in 1895 by the "old head", or "veiled bust".
The inscription on these coins read VICTORIA DEI GRA BRITT REGINA FID DEF IND IMP. Coins issued during the reign of Edward VII feature his likeness and bear the inscription EDWARDVS VII DEI GRA BRITT OMN REX FID DEF IND IMP; those issued during the reign of George V feature his likeness and bear the inscription GEORGIVS V DEI GRA BRITT OMN REX FID DEF IND IMP. A farthing of King Edward VIII does exist, dated 1937, but technically it is a pattern coin, i.e. one produced for official approval, which it would have been due to receive about the time that the King abdicated. The obverse shows a left-facing portrait of the king; the pattern coin of Edward VIII and regular-issue farthings of George VI and Elizabeth II feature a redesigned reverse displaying the wren, one of Britain's smallest birds. George VI issue coins feature the inscription GEORGIVS VI D G BR OMN REX F D IND IMP before 1949, GEORGIVS VI D G BR OMN REX FIDEI DEF thereafter. Unlike the penny, farthings were minted throughout the early reign of Elizabeth II, bearing the inscription ELIZABETH II DEI GRA BRITT OMN REGINA F D in 1953, ELIZABETH II DEI GRATIA REGINA F D thereafter.
Pound sterling Mill British Coins – information about British coins Collection of copper & bronze pennies of Great Britain About Farthings A photographic collection of farthings Farthings Private Collection of farthings dating from 1799-1956
Sovereign (British coin)
The sovereign is a gold coin of the United Kingdom, with a nominal value of one pound sterling. Struck from 1817 until the present time, it was a circulating coin accepted in Britain and elsewhere in the world. In most recent years, it has borne the well-known design of Saint George and the Dragon on the reverse—the initials of the designer, Benedetto Pistrucci, may be seen to the right of the date; the coin was named after the English gold sovereign, last minted about 1603, originated as part of the Great Recoinage of 1816. Many in Parliament believed a one-pound coin should be issued rather than the 21-shilling guinea struck until that time; the Master of the Mint, William Wellesley Pole, had Pistrucci design the new coin, his depiction was used for other gold coins. The coin was unpopular as the public preferred the convenience of banknotes, but paper currency of value £1 was soon limited by law. With that competition gone, the sovereign not only became a popular circulating coin, but was used in international trade and in foreign lands, trusted as a coin containing a known quantity of gold.
The British government promoted the use of the sovereign as an aid to international trade, the Royal Mint took steps to see that lightweight gold coins were withdrawn from circulation. From the 1850s until 1932, the sovereign was struck at colonial mints in Australia, in Canada, South Africa and India—they have been struck again in India since 2013 for the local market; the sovereigns issued in Australia carried a unique local design, but by 1887, all new sovereigns bore Pistrucci's George and Dragon design. Strikings there were so large that by 1900, about 40 per cent of the sovereigns in Britain had been minted in Australia. With the start of the First World War in 1914, the sovereign vanished from circulation in Britain, replaced by paper money, it did not return after the war, though issues at colonial mints continued until 1932; the coin was still used in the Middle East, demand rose in the 1950s, which the Royal Mint responded to by striking new sovereigns in 1957. It has been struck since both as a bullion coin and, beginning in 1979, for collectors.
Though the sovereign is no longer in circulation, it is still legal tender in the United Kingdom. There had been an English coin known as the sovereign, first authorised by Henry VII in 1489, it had a diameter of 42 millimetres, weighed 15.55 grams, twice the weight of the existing gold coin, the ryal. The new coin was struck in response to a large influx of gold into Europe from West Africa in the 1480s, Henry at first called it the double ryal, but soon changed the name to sovereign. Too great in value to have any practical use in circulation, the original sovereign served as a presentation piece to be given to dignitaries; the English sovereign, the country's first coin to be valued at one pound, was struck by the monarchs of the 16th century, the size and fineness being altered. James I, when he came to the English throne in 1603, issued a sovereign in the year of his accession, but the following year, soon after he proclaimed himself King of Great Britain and Ireland, he issued a proclamation for a new twenty-shilling piece.
About ten per cent lighter than the final sovereigns, the new coin was called the unite, symbolising that James had merged the Scottish and English crowns. In the 1660s, following the Restoration of Charles II and the mechanisation of the Royal Mint that followed, a new twenty-shilling gold coin was issued, it had no special name at first but the public soon nicknamed it the guinea and this became the accepted term. Coins were at the time valued by their precious metal content, the price of gold relative to silver rose soon after the guinea's issuance. Thus, it came to trade at 21 shillings or sixpence more. Popular in commerce, the coin's value was set by the government at 21 shillings in silver in 1717, was subject to revision downward, though in practice this did not occur; the term sovereign, referring to a coin, fell from use—it does not appear in Samuel Johnson's dictionary, compiled in the 1750s. This economy was disrupted by the Napoleonic Wars, gold was hoarded. Among the measures taken to allow trade to continue was the issuance of one-pound banknotes.
The public came to like them as more convenient than the odd-value guinea. After the war, Parliament, by the Coinage Act 1816, placed Britain on the gold standard, with the pound to be defined as a given quantity of gold; every speaker supported having a coin valued at twenty shillings, rather than continuing to use the guinea. The Coinage Act did not specify which coins the Mint should strike. A committee of the Privy Council recommended gold coins of ten shillings, twenty shillings, two pounds and five pounds be issued, this was accepted by George, Prince Regent on 3 August 1816; the twenty-shilling piece was named a sovereign, with the resurrection of the old name promoted by antiquarians with numismatic interests. William Wellesley Pole, elder brother of the Duke of Wellington, was appointed Master of the Mint in 1812, with a mandate to reform the Royal Mint. Pole had favoured retaining the guinea, due to the number extant and the amount of labour required to replace them with sovereigns.
Formal instruction to the Mint came with an indenture dated February 1817, directing the Royal Mint to strike gold coins weighing 7.988 grams, to say, the new sovereign. The Italian sculptor Benedetto Pistrucci came to London early in 1816, his talent opened the doors of
Coins of the pound sterling
The standard circulating coinage of the United Kingdom is denominated in pounds sterling, since the introduction of the two-pound coin in 1994, ranges in value from one penny to two pounds. Since decimalisation, on 15 February 1971, the pound has been divided into 100 pence. From the 16th century until decimalisation, the pound was divided into 20 shillings, each of 12 pence. British coins are minted by the Royal Mint in Wales; the Royal Mint commissions the coins' designs. As of 31 March 2016, there were an estimated 30.14 billion coins circulating in the United Kingdom. The first decimal coins were circulated in 1968; these were the five pence and ten pence, had values of one shilling and two shillings under the pre-decimal £sd system. The decimal coins are minted in copper-plated steel, nickel-plated steel and nickel-brass; the two-pound coins, and, as from 28 March 2017 the new one-pound coins, are bimetallic. The coins are discs, except for the twenty pence and fifty pence pieces, both of which have faces that are heptagonal curves of constant width, the new one-pound coins, which have faces with 12 sides.
All the circulating coins have an effigy of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse, various national and regional designs, the denomination, on the reverse. The circulating coins, excepting the two-pound coin, were redesigned in 2008, keeping the sizes and compositions unchanged, but introducing reverse designs that each depict a part of the Royal Shield of Arms and form the whole shield when they are placed together in the appropriate arrangement; the exception, the 2008 one-pound coin, depicts the entire shield of arms on the reverse. All current coins carry a Latin inscription whose full form is ELIZABETH II DEI GRATIA REGINA FIDEI DEFENSATRIX, meaning "Elizabeth II, by the grace of God and Defender of the Faith". In addition to the circulating coinage, the UK mints commemorative decimal coins in the denomination of five pounds. Prior to decimalisation, the denomination of special commemorative coins was five shillings, that is, 1⁄4 of a pound. Crowns, had a face value of 25p from decimalisation until 1981, when the last 25p crown was struck.
Ceremonial Maundy money and bullion coinage of gold sovereigns, half sovereigns, gold and silver Britannia coins are produced. Some territories outside the United Kingdom, which use the pound sterling, produce their own coinage, with the same denominations and specifications as the UK coinage but with local designs. In the years just before decimalisation, the circulating British coins were the half crown, two shillings or florin, sixpence, threepence and halfpenny; the farthing had been withdrawn in 1960. There was the Crown, which was, still is legal tender, worth 25p, but did not circulate. All modern coins feature a profile of the current monarch's head; the direction in which they face changes with each successive monarch, a pattern that began with the Stuarts. For the Tudors and pre-Restoration Stuarts, both left and right-facing portrait images were minted within the reign of a single monarch. In the Middle Ages, portrait images tended to be full face. From a early date, British coins have been inscribed with the name of the ruler of the kingdom in which they were produced, a longer or shorter title, always in Latin.
The English silver penny was derived from another silver coin, the sceat, of 20 troy grains weight, in general circulation in Europe during the Middle Ages. In the 12th century, Henry II established the sterling silver standard for English coinage, of 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper, replacing the earlier use of fine silver in the Middle Ages. The coinage reform of 1816 set up physical sizes for silver coins. Silver was eliminated from coins, except Maundy coins, in 1947; the history of the Royal Mint stretches back to AD 886. For many centuries production was in London at the Tower of London, at premises nearby in Tower Hill in what is today known as Royal Mint Court. In the 1970s production was transferred to Llantrisant in South Wales. Scotland and England had separate coinage. Coins were hand-hammered — an ancient technique in which two dies are struck together with a blank coin between them; this was the traditional method of manufacturing coins in the Western world from the classical Greek era onwards, in contrast with Asia, where coins were traditionally cast.
Milled coins were produced first during the reign of Elizabeth I and periodically during the subsequent reigns of James I and Charles I, but there was opposition to mechanisation from the moneyers, who ensured that most coins continued to be produced by hammering. All British coins produced since 1662 have been milled; the English penny first appeared as a silver coin. It was derived from another silver coin, the sceat, of 20 troy grains weight, in general circulation in Europe during the Middle Ages; the weight of the English penny was fixed at 22 1⁄2 troy grains by Offa of Mercia, an 8th-century contemporary of Charlemagne. The coin's designated value, was that of 24 troy grains of silver, with the difference b