Research into the marks and the duties

Note on units


During the period of the coal duties the pound () was divided into twenty shillings (s.) each of which was divided into twelve pence (d.). A sum of one pound, three shillings and sixpence would be written as 1 3s 6d or 1/3/6. Sums of less than a pound were written analogously: 3s or 3/- and 1s 6d or 1/6. Amounts of a few shillings and pence might well be expressed just in pence, so this latter amount might also be written as 18d. All these different conventions were used in documents relating to the duties and the text on this website does so too. No attempt has been made to give modern-day equivalences.


For the use of regnal years in the citation of Acts of Parliament see the note on Citation of Acts of Parliament.

Weights, distances, dimensions, etc

During the period of the coal duties, weights, distances, dimensions etc were expressed in imperial units and the historical sections of this site follow this usage. Until 1831 coal was sold both by weight (measured in tons), and by volume (measured in chaldrons). The chaldron was a customary measure which varied between different areas of the country but in London was equivalent to about 25 hundredweight (1¼ tons) -- see Smith's Sea-coal for London pp 363-64.

For modern times, in for example describing locations and dimensions, I have used metric units, sometimes with imperial equivalents. The makers of the markers would of course have used imperial units in specifying dimensions.

Page created by Martin Nail: Contact me. Last revised 22nd August 2013

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