Running a local history website I am often asked 'How much is that worth today?' This is not the straight forward question that it seems at first sight. A lot depends on the context of the enquiry and the underlying figures used in the calculations, and pressures caused by floods, famines, wars and pestilence. The further you go back in time the less raw data is available so it is not surprising that the figures do not give a smooth line if plotted on a graph.

Rather than trying to do all the research and complicated sums we have used the following website www.measuringworth.com*(External links open in a new windows.)* when compiling the table shown below. Measuringworth.com give two answers depending on what you are trying to achieve. One is for people who just want to know how much something (say a loaf of bread) costs in today's money, and is based on the Retail Price Index. The other is for people who want to know how affordable something was and is based on average wages. Their website is well worth a visit and explains more fully why they use these two measures.

The National Archives also has a 'currency converter' http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/currency/ but don't be surprised that the two sites produce different figures.

Rather than trying to do all the research and complicated sums we have used the following website www.measuringworth.com

The National Archives also has a 'currency converter' http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/currency/ but don't be surprised that the two sites produce different figures.

Purchasing Power of £1 compared to 2007 valuesFigures supplied by: Lawrence H. Officer, "Purchasing Power of British Pounds from 1264 to 2007," Measuring Worth, 2008. URL http://www.measuringworth.com/ppoweruk/. |
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Year |
RPI |
Average Earnings |
Comments |

Use for "buying a loaf of bread" type of questions |
Use for how "affordable" this would be to the average person type questions |
||

1275 | £355.39 | £11,822.40 | |

1300 | £390.93 | £10,010.23 | Great Famine 1315-1322 |

1325 | £303.93 | £7,865.52 | |

1350 | £430.26 | £6,987.23 | Black Death 1348/9 |

1375 | £304.03 | £5,067.60 | Peasants Revolt 1381 |

1400 | £400.78 | £5,283.69 | |

1425 | £472.29 | £4,958.07 | |

1450 | £520.14 | £5,246.55 | Wars of the Roses 1455 |

1475 | £549.74 | £4,755.63 | Plague 1498 |

1500 | £501.55 | £4,755.63 | |

1525 | £466.79 | £4,755.63 | Reformation 1534 |

1550 | £243.02 | £3,780.97 | |

1575 | £184.16 | £2,441.86 | First Treaty of Nonsuch 1585 / London Plague 1592–1594 |

1600 | £141.16 | £1,947.48 | Gunpowder Plot 1605 |

1625 | £138.24 | £1,776.22 | |

1650 | £87.99 | £1,533.37 | Plague 1665 / Fire of London 1666 |

1675 | £125.66 | £1,449.82 | |

1700 | £130.43 | £1,604.57 | Bank of England Formed 1694 |

1725 | £123.10 | £1,572.26 | South Sea Bubble 1720 |

1750 | £138.67 | £1,445.15 | |

1775 | £97.63 | £1,312.79 | First cotton mill 1771 |

1800 | £52.03 | £769.62 | Corn Laws 1815 |

1825 | £66.59 | £776.42 | Railway Age starts 1825 / Met Police Formed 1829 |

1836 | £75.52 | £784.33 | Cholera 1832 / Epsom's New Work House started 1836 |

1850 | £82.37 | £746.30 | Penny Post starts 1840 / Irish potato famine 1845 |

1875 | £67.55 | £502.61 | |

1900 | £77.58 | £421.01 | |

1914 | £68.80 | £360.15 | WW1 Starts |

1918 | £34.91 | £172.39 | WW1 Ends / Flu Pandemic |

1925 | £40.88 | £181.88 | |

1939 | £44.44 | £169.89 | WW2 Starts |

1945 | £30.93 | £97.90 | WW2 Ends |

1950 | £24.69 | £73.23 | |

1975 | £6.04 | £9.51 | |

2000 | £1.21 | £1.31 |

Angel / Noble = 6s.8d (33.3p)(* = some coins had different values at different times)

Crown (post 1551*) = 5s. (25p)

Farthing = 0.25d (1/960 of £1)

Florin = 2s. = 24d (10p)

Groat = 4d (1.5p)

Guinea (post 1717*) = £1 1s. (£1.05)

Half Crown (post 1551*) = 2s.6d (12½p)

Half-Penny 0.5d = (1/480 of £1)

Mark (Not an English Coin*) = 13s.4d (66.6p)

Ora (Not an English Coin) = 16d (6.6p)

Pence (Post Decimal) = 2.4d (1p)

Penny (Pre Decimal) = 1d (0.5p strictly 1/240 of £1)

Ryal (also known as a Rose Nobel or Royal)= 10s. (50p)

Shilling (also known as a Bob)= 1s. = 12d (5p)

Sixpence (also known as a Tanner) / Helm = 6d (2½p)

Sovereign (post 1817*) / Unite / Pound = £1

Threepenny piece = 3d (1p strictly 3/240 of £1)

s.d | p | s.d | p | s.d | p | s.d | p | |||
---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

1d | ½p | 5s.1d | 25½p | 10s.1d | 50½p | 15s.1d | 75½p | |||

2d | 1p | 5s.2d | 26p | 10s.2d | 51p | 15s.2d | 76p | |||

3d | 1p | 5s.3d | 26p | 10s.3d | 51p | 15s.3d | 76p | |||

4d | 1½p | 5s.4d | 26½p | 10s.4d | 51½p | 15s.4d | 76½p | |||

5d | 2p | 5s.5d | 27p | 10s.5d | 52p | 15s.5d | 77p | |||

6d | 2½p | 5s.6d | 27½p | 10s.6d | 52½p | 15s.6d | 77½p | |||

7d | 3p | 5s.7d | 28p | 10s.7d | 53p | 15s.7d | 78p | |||

8d | 3½p | 5s.8d | 28½p | 10s.8d | 53½p | 15s.8d | 78½p | |||

9d | 4p | 5s.9d | 29p | 10s.9d | 54p | 15s.9d | 79p | |||

10d | 4p | 5s.10d | 29p | 10s.10d | 54p | 15s.10d | 79p | |||

11d | 4½p | 5s.11d | 29½p | 10s.11d | 54½p | 15s.11d | 79½p | |||

1s.0d | 5p | 6s.0d | 30p | 11s.0d | 55p | 16s.0d | 80p | |||

1s.1d | 5½p | 6s.1d | 30½p | 11s.1d | 55½p | 16s.1d | 80½p | |||

1s.2d | 6p | 6s.2d | 31p | 11s.2d | 56p | 16s.2d | 81p | |||

1s.3d | 6p | 6s.3d | 31p | 11s.3d | 56p | 16s.3d | 81p | |||

1s.4d | 6½p | 6s.4d | 31½p | 11s.4d | 56½p | 16s.4d | 81½p | |||

1s.5d | 7p | 6s.5d | 32p | 11s.5d | 57p | 16s.5d | 82p | |||

1s.6d | 7½p | 6s.6d | 32½p | 11s.6d | 57½p | 16s.6d | 82½p | |||

1s.7d | 8p | 6s.7d | 33p | 11s.7d | 58p | 16s.7d | 83p | |||

1s.8d | 8½p | 6s.8d | 33½p | 11s.8d | 58½p | 16s.8d | 83½p | |||

1s.9d | 9p | 6s.9d | 34p | 11s.9d | 59p | 16s.9d | 84p | |||

1s.10d | 9p | 6s.10d | 34p | 11s.10d | 59p | 16s.10d | 84p | |||

1s.11d | 9½p | 6s.11d | 34½p | 11s.11d | 59½p | 16s.11d | 84½p | |||

2s.0d | 10p | 7s.0d | 35p | 12s.0d | 60p | 17s.0d | 85p | |||

2s.1d | 10½p | 7s.1d | 35½p | 12s.1d | 60½p | 17s.1d | 85½p | |||

2s.2d | 11p | 7s.2d | 36p | 12s.2d | 61p | 17s.2d | 86p | |||

2s.3d | 11p | 7s.3d | 36p | 12s.3d | 61p | 17s.3d | 86p | |||

2s.4d | 11½p | 7s.4d | 36½p | 12s.4d | 61½p | 17s.4d | 86½p | |||

2s.5d | 12p | 7s.5d | 37p | 12s.5d | 62p | 17s.5d | 87p | |||

2s.6d | 12½p | 7s.6d | 37½p | 12s.6d | 62½p | 17s.6d | 87½p | |||

2s.7d | 13p | 7s.7d | 38p | 12s.7d | 63p | 17s.7d | 88p | |||

2s.8d | 13½p | 7s.8d | 38½p | 12s.8d | 63½p | 17s.8d | 88½p | |||

2s.9d | 14p | 7s.9d | 39p | 12s.9d | 64p | 17s.9d | 89p | |||

2s.10d | 14p | 7s.10d | 39p | 12s.10d | 64p | 17s.10d | 89p | |||

2s.11d | 14½p | 7s.11d | 39½p | 12s.11d | 64½p | 17s.11d | 89½p | |||

3s.0d | 15p | 8s.0d | 40p | 13s.0d | 65p | 18s.0d | 90p | |||

3s.1d | 15½p | 8s.1d | 40½p | 13s.1d | 65½p | 18s.1d | 90½p | |||

3s.2d | 16p | 8s.2d | 41p | 13s.2d | 66p | 18s.2d | 91p | |||

3s.3d | 16p | 8s.3d | 41p | 13s.3d | 66p | 18s.3d | 91p | |||

3s.4d | 16½p | 8s.4d | 41½p | 13s.4d | 66½p | 18s.4d | 91½p | |||

3s.5d | 17p | 8s.5d | 42p | 13s.5d | 67p | 18s.5d | 92p | |||

3s.6d | 17½p | 8s.6d | 42½p | 13s.6d | 67½p | 18s.6d | 92½p | |||

3s.7d | 18p | 8s.7d | 43p | 13s.7d | 68p | 18s.7d | 93p | |||

3s.8d | 18½p | 8s.8d | 43½p | 13s.8d | 68½p | 18s.8d | 93½p | |||

3s.9d | 19p | 8s.9d | 44p | 13s.9d | 69p | 18s.9d | 94p | |||

3s.10d | 19p | 8s.10d | 44p | 13s.10d | 69p | 18s.10d | 94p | |||

3s.11d | 19½p | 8s.11d | 44½p | 13s.11d | 69½p | 18s.11d | 94½p | |||

4s.0d | 20p | 9s.0d | 45p | 14s.0d | 70p | 19s.0d | 95p | |||

4s.1d | 20½p | 9s.1d | 45½p | 14s.1d | 70½p | 19s.1d | 95½p | |||

4s.2d | 21p | 9s.2d | 46p | 14s.2d | 71p | 19s.2d | 96p | |||

4s.3d | 21p | 9s.3d | 46p | 14s.3d | 71p | 19s.3d | 96p | |||

4s.4d | 21½p | 9s.4d | 46½p | 14s.4d | 71½p | 19s.4d | 96½p | |||

4s.5d | 22p | 9s.5d | 47p | 14s.5d | 72p | 19s.5d | 97p | |||

4s.6d | 22½p | 9s.6d | 47½p | 14s.6d | 72½p | 19s.6d | 97½p | |||

4s.7d | 23p | 9s.7d | 48p | 14s.7d | 73p | 19s.7d | 98p | |||

4s.8d | 23½p | 9s.8d | 48½p | 14s.8d | 73½p | 19s.8d | 98½p | |||

4s.9d | 24p | 9s.9d | 49p | 14s.9d | 74p | 19s.9d | 99p | |||

4s.10d | 24p | 9s.10d | 49p | 14s.10d | 74p | 19s.10d | 99p | |||

4s.11d | 24½p | 9s.11d | 49½p | 14s.11d | 74½p | 19s.11d | 99½p | |||

5s.0d | 25p | 10s.0d | 50p | 15s.0d | 75p | £1.0s.0d | £1.00 |

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