Victorian Currency, money and wages paid to various people for various jobs, etc.
£1 (also shown as 1l.) was 20 shillings.
1 shilling (1s.), was 12 pence. Also often known as a ‘bob’, as in “I paid six bob for this”,
Thus there were 240 pence (20 x 12) to every pound.
Other Victorian words to do with currency:-
1 guinea was £1 1s. (or 21 shillings) – ie. a pound with an additional shilling.
1 crown was five shillings. (and half-crown two and a half shillings, of course)
A half-sovereign ten shillings.
1 farthing was a ¼ penny.
“four or five days a week, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., with three-quarters of an hour for dinner and half an hour for tea.”
Washers, 2s. 6d. to 2s. 8d. per day
Ironers, 3s. 6d to 4s. per day, piece-work ;
Collar-ironers, 3s. 6d. to 5s. per day, piece-work
Butlers, £40 to £100
Footmen, £20 to £40
Pages, £8 to £15
Cooks, £18 to £50
House-maids, £10 to £25
Nursery Governess £20 to £40
Parlour-maids, £12 to £30
Maids of all Work, £6 to £15.
See more on this link: http://www.victorianlondon.org/finance/money.htm
Click HERE to read on Wikipedia more about Walter Tull. The link [like all other links] will open in a new window.
Queen Victoria – reigned from 1837-1901.
Click on this link to read more on Wikipedia about Queen Victoria.
On THIS LINK you can read about Victorian Food.
This information from: http://www.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/Homework/victorians.html
Our first History topic will be The Victorians! All the words in green are links, which will open in a new window.
The Victorians lived over one hundred and fifty years ago during the reign of Queen Victoria (1837 to 1901).
What does Victorian times mean?
Victorian times means during Victoria’s rule. The time Queen Victoria was on the throne. She ruled for 64 years.
What was it like living in the Victorian times?
There was no electricity, instead gas lamps or candles were used for light.
There were no cars. People either walked, travelled by boat or train or used coach horses to move from place to place.
Why are the Victorians so famous?
Britain managed to build a huge empire during the Victorian period. It was also a time of tremendous change in the lives of British people. In 1837 most people lived in villages and worked on the land; by 1901, most lived in towns and worked in offices, shops and factories.
During Queen Victoria’s reign:
- Britain became the most powerful and richest country in the world, with the largest empire that had ever existed, ruling a quarter of the world’s population.
- Towns and cities got piped water, gas and, by the end of the century, electricity
- The number of people living in Britain more than doubled from 16 million to 37 million, causing a huge demand for food, clothes and housing.
- Factories and machines were built to meet this demand and new towns grew up, changing the landscape and the ways people lived and worked.
- Railways, originally built to transport goods, meant people could travel easily around the country for the first time. Railways brought new foods to towns and cities.
- Soldiers were at war all over the world especially in 1850 – 1880.
- Many households had a servant or servants – in 1891, 2 million servants were recorded in the census
- Seaside holidays were ‘invented’ (became popular).
- Police Force ‘invented’.
- At the beginning of the Victorian period crossing the Atlantic took up to eight weeks. By 1901 it took about a week.
- New cookers and gadgets for the home were invented.
Images and source: innovationslearning.co.uk
Invented by:George Stephenson.
Information: George Stephenson was born in 1781. He worked as a fireman in a coal mine, but was also a very clever mechanic. At that time, in 1814, after the coal had been dug up, it was put into big carts that ran on rails to be pulled out of the mine. This was an extremely difficult and dangerous job so the owner of the mine asked Stephenson to build an engine to do the pulling instead. His very first engine could pull 30 tons at a speed of 4 miles per hour. This was much more coal than any men could pull.
George Stephenson had invented a steam engine to move coal in a coalmine before Queen Victoria became queen. However, in 1825, he went on to invent the first public railway to carry steam trains and also the first public passenger train, which he called the ‘Locomotion’.
Years later, when the owners of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway offered a prize for the best steam engine, Stephenson won the prize with a very special engine which he call ‘Rocket’. This was special because it travelled at speeds of 30 miles per hour.
The very first electric train was invented by a German in 1879. Electric trains were quieter and not as dirty as steam trains but it was many years before they were used for passengers.
Invented by:Alexander Graham Bell.
Information: Alexander Graham Bell was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1847. When he left school, he worked for his father who was a speech therapist, teaching deaf people to speak. He caught tuberculosis (a very dangerous lung disease) when he was 23, so the family moved to Canada where the climate was drier.
After a year the family moved to Boston in America where Bell became a Professor at Boston University. He worked on his telephone idea in his spare time trying to pass messages to his assistant in another room. He further developed his idea and by 1876 took it to the patent office to ‘file’ a patent on it.
Another inventor, Elisha Gray, had also been working on a similar idea. He also took his idea to the patent office, but 2 hours later than Bell, and as the ideas were so similar, he was not allowed the patent.
Both Graham Bell and Elisha Gray were trying to invent a way of sending speech through wires and cables at the same time as each other. Bell reached the office where people register their inventions first, and so he won the right to make telephones for everyone.
All the cabling was very complicated, particularly the way in which the cables were switched about to connect the lines to different people. This was done by people who spent the whole day plugging and unplugging the telephone lines in a huge board of sockets. (There were lots of wrong numbers and bad connections in those days!)
When a new automatic switching system was invented, it became much easier and reliable.
Invented by:William Henry Fox Talbot (Photography)
Information : Talbot was born in 1800. One of his favourite subjects at school was chemistry, but this got him into some trouble, as many of the things he was experimenting with were causing explosions. Instead, he continued his experiments at a nearby blacksmith’s shop.
In 1833, when he was on holiday in Switzerland with his wife, he was trying to take pictures with the only camera available at the time. He couldn’t get any god pictures at all, and on returning home, started experimenting.
By the end of the year, he was able to make “photogenic drawings” (as he called them) by exposing a chemically sensitive paper to sunlight with objects such as leaves, lace, etc. on top. This produced what is now called a negative image, with white where the original scene was dark, and vice versa. Talbot recognized the value in producing a negative image at first, because it meant that the picture could be copied. When the paper negative was soaked in oil it became transparent, and could then be printed onto another piece of paper, producing a positive.
In late September 1840, he patented the positive / negative process.
A Frenchman called Daguerre had just announced that he also had invented a photograph, and although the image was much clearer than Talbot’s, he could not make any copies of his photos.
Invented by: Guglielmo Marconi (Radio)
Information: Guglielmo Marconi was born near Bologna in Italy in 1847. When he was 20, he heard about a discovery that another scientist had made. This scientist had shown that there are invisible waves that travel through the air. Marconi thought that it would be possible to send messages over these waves, and start experimenting. He needed to make two machines one which would send the messages, and one, which received them.
His first success was in making a bell ring by sending a (wireless) signal across a room. Later, he increased the distance that the signals could be sent to over 3 km.
Nobody in Italy wanted to give him money to start making his machines, so he moved to Britain and in 1901 took out a patent for them. Here in Britain, the Post Office, the army and the navy were all interested in his invention.
Nowadays radio is used more for entertainment but we do still hear news bulletins and information on it.
People had been trying to send and receive information without using wires and cables for a long time, but it was Marconi who actually managed it. He made a radio wave transmitter using sparks and a receiver to pick the waves up and turn them into electricity again. This electricity was then turned into sound.
In 1901, he managed to send signals from England to America, although it was in Morse code (lots of dots and dashes).
Sending speech across great distances came much later.
Invented by:Rowland Hill
Information: Before stamps were invented, it wasn’t the person sending the letter who paid for the postage, but the person who received the letter. Also, the cost depended on how far the letter had to go and it was getting very expensive. People were stopping writing letters.
By chance a teacher called Rowland Hill saw a postman bringing a letter from London addressed to a young village girl. She examined the letter, but because the postage on it was too expensive, she refused to accept it. Rowland Hill paid the postage and she told him that the letter was from her fiance working in London, but as she was too poor to afford letters from him. Rowland thought this was terrible and he tried to sort the problem.
Rowland Hill was born on 3rd December 1795, in a town called Kidderminster. He thought of the idea of sticky postage stamps. This meant that the sender could pay the postage, which was the same cost through the whole of Britain. This cost only varied if the package was particularly heavy.
The basic cost of sending a letter in Britain was 1 penny. The stamp was black in colour, and was named the Penny Black.
Soon afterwards, lots of other countries used this idea, but to avoid confusion, they had to put the name of their country on it.
Great Britain is the only country that does not have its name on the stamp, only a picture of the Queen.
Click on THIS LINK to find more information on other inventions, like the vacuum cleaner, coke, toilet and the sewing machine.
Next information from this link:
Queen Victoria (1819-1901)
Victoria was the daughter of Edward, the Duke of Kent and Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg.
She was born in Kensington Palace in London on May 24th, 1819.
Edward died when Victoria was but eight months old, upon which her mother enacted
a strict regimen that shunned the courts of Victoria’s uncles, George IV and William IV.
|In 1837 Queen Victoria took the throne after the death of her uncle William IV. Due to her secluded childhood, she displayed a personality marked by strong prejudices and a willful stubbornness. Barely eighteen, she refused any further influence from her domineering mother and ruled in her own stead. Popular respect for the Crown was at a low point at her coronation, but the modest and straightforward young Queen won the hearts of her subjects. She wished to be informed of political matters, although she had no direct input in policy decisions. The Reform Act of 1832 had set the standard of legislative authority residing in the House of Lords, with executive authority resting within a cabinet formed of members of the House of Commons; the monarch was essentially removed from the loop. She respected and worked well with Lord Melbourne (Prime Minister in the early years of her reign) and England grew both socially and economically.On Feb 10th, 1840, only three years after taking the throne, Victoria took her first vow and married her cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. Their relationship was one of great love and admiration. Together they bore nine children – four sons and five daughters: Victoria, Bertie, Alice, Alfred, Helena, Louise, Arthur, Leopold, and Beatrice. Prince Albert replaced Melbourne as the dominant male influence in Victoria’s life. She was thoroughly devoted to him, and completely submitted to his will. Victoria did nothing without her husband’s approval. Albert assisted in her royal duties. He introduced a strict decorum in court and made a point of straitlaced behavior. Albert also gave a more conservative tinge to Victoria’s politics. If Victoria was to insistently interject her opinions and make her views felt in the cabinet, it was only because of Albert’s teachings of hard work.The general public, however, was not enamored with the German prince; he was excluded from holding any official political position, was never granted a title of peerage and was named Prince Consort only after seventeen years of marriage.. His interests in art, science, and industry spurred him to organize the Crystal Palace Exhibition in 1851, a highly profitable industrial convention. He used the proceeds, some £186,000, to purchase lands in Kensington for the establishment of several cultural and industrial museums. |
Her popularity was at its lowest by 1870, but it steadily increased thereafter until her death. In 1876 she was crowned Empress of India by Disraeli. In 1887 Victoria’s Golden Jubilee was a grand national celebration of her 50th year as Queen. The Golden Jubilee brought her out of her shell, and she once again embraced public life. She toured English possessions and even visited France (the first English monarch to do so since the coronation of Henry VI in 1431).
Victoria’s long reign witnessed an evolution in English politics and the expansion of the British Empire, as well as political and social reforms on the continent. France had known two dynasties and embraced Republicanism, Spain had seen three monarchs and both Italy and Germany had united their separate principalities into national coalitions. Even in her dotage, she maintained a youthful energy and optimism that infected the English population as a whole.
Oliver Twist and Victorian-Times
In the workhouse the boys would have been fed on watery gruel and would have slept on the floor with nothing but sacks for covering, and a constant cold chill from both the wind and the dreary, terrifying atmosphere of the building. The workhouse was a very “Christian” institution concerned with the souls of its inmates. To that end there would be plaques carrying religious messages “God is just”, “God is good”. The Guardians of the workhouse believed that they were improving the inmates’ morality as well as saving them from decline.
Workhouses were common institutions with their roots going back far further than Oliver’s time. Anybody of any age could be sent to the workhouse for a variety of reasons including lack of work, minor crimes and destitution. The inmates of the workhouse were grouped into seven categories.
- Aged and infirm men
- Able-bodied men and youths older than 13
- Youths and boys between 7 and 13
- Aged and infirm women
- Able-bodied women and girls above 16
- Girls between 7 and 16
- Children under 7 years of age
Families were not allowed to stay together. One man demanded the ‘release’ of his wife and children. He was then told ‘you may take your children, but we buried your wife three weeks ago’.
The workhouses had a very strong work ethic. In Oliver Twist we see a typical form of work, that of picking oakum. Other forms included bone crushing and corn grinding. The combination of this severe workload and poor diet resulted in many inmates dying within the walls of the workhouse.
“A dirtier or more wretched place he had never seen. The street was very narrow and muddy and the air was impregnated with filthy odours. There were a good many small shops; but the only stock in trade appeared to be heaps of children, who, even at that time of night, were crawling in and out at the doors, or screaming from the inside. The sole places that seemed to prosper, amid the general blight of the place were the public houses.” Chapter 9 [Oliver Twist]
Who was Ada Lovelace? Often overlooked, Lovelace was the world’s first programmer, and one of the first people in the world to describe a computer. She was the daughter of wild poet Lord Byron, and was taught mathematics from a young age in an attempt to discourage her from following in his footsteps. In 1842 Lovelace translated notes on her colleague Charles Babbage‘s Analytical Engine, an early computing machine. In the process, she included notes on how the machine could be used to calculate Bernoulli numbers – the very first computer program! Lovelace managed to do this even though she’d never seen the Analytical Engine, as it was never built. (However, the Science Museum did one according to his plans in 1985, which is still on display).
Victorian Britain was in great need of a computer, as most tasks involving complex mathematics (such as navigation or accounting) relied upon huge tables of pre-calculated numbers. These were laboriously put together by clerks, and prone to errors in calculation, transcription, and printing. Early computers promised to automate and improve upon this system, but it was Lovelace who saw the true potential of these machines, that they could handle data of all kinds, that distributed computer networks could improve the processing power, and even that they might one day compose music. Lovelace was a visionary thinker and a true pioneer, so raise a toast to her and all women in science today!