The British Tradition of Maundy Money

Maundy Cash are cash historically given out by the Monarch as a present to the poor at Royal Maundy. The ceremony, which is related to Christianity, is held on Maundy Thursday which is the day earlier than Good Friday. The Maundy set consists of 4 cash, denominated one penny, two pence, three pence and 4 pence. The variety of units given out to every man and girl is equal to the age of the Monarch in years.

Historical past

Royal Maundy most likely dates again to the 13th Century. Maundy derives from mandatum which Jesus mentioned which means ‘that ye love each other’. It was the act of washing the toes of the poor and giving meals and clothes to the poor. The Royal Households of the center ages copied the ceremony as a method of exhibiting humility.

By 1699 the Monarch opted to ship a consultant fairly than attend themselves, and never lengthy after the act of washing toes was deserted. By the 19th century the Royals thought that giving cash was extra handy than meals and garments and initially gave cash of the day however later gave specifically made silver cash.

It was not till 1931 that King George V restarted the custom that the Monarch attended in individual. Queen Elizabeth virtually all the time attends and has solely missed just a few ceremonies. The ceremony was historically in or close to London (primarily Westminster Abbey) however in recent times has moved across the nation at varied Cathedrals akin to Leicester, Sheffield, Manchester, York Minster and Armagh.

The cash was given to the poor however nowadays are given to folks nominated for his or her work carried out within the native Church. So on (say) the Queen’s 90th birthday, she would give 90 units to chose males and 90 units to chose ladies. The cash could be issued in a leather-based purse; a white one incorporates the Maundy cash, and a crimson purse containing present coinage as an extra reward.

The Maundy Cash

The 4 cash are specifically made: one penny, two pence, three pence and 4 pence. They don’t seem to be the identical cash as in circulation and are fairly small (between 11.1 mm and 17.6 mm).

Since decimalisation these have been upgraded by legislation from penny to new penny. They’re produced from Stirling silver (92.5% silver) and though particularly made for this ceremony they’re nonetheless authorized tender. The design is just about unchanged from 1822.

The reverse, which is a topped numeral inside an oak wreath, was created by Jean Baptiste Merlen again in 1822 and has solely been altered barely since then.

The obverse reveals the top of the monarch as you’ll anticipate. Nonetheless, when you take a look at the Queen Elizabeth obverse you possibly can see that the portrait is the unique portrait used from when she first issued cash; though the Queen has had about 5 portraits the unique (by Mary Gillick) remains to be used.

Even again in Victorian days the recipients of Maundy cash quickly offered their units for a premium, particularly across the time of the Jubilee when Individuals prized the memento. The purses might additionally fetch a good-looking quantity.

Apart from the units given out by the Monarch, many different units are minted for official presents and for collectors. These are issued in a case fairly than a handbag. Many got to Mint staff or different officers. Maundy units might be ordered from the financial institution till 1908, when 9,929 have been minted in that 12 months. Sellers scrambled for units and offered them at excessive revenue. This finally received slightly out of hand and the Mint in the reduction of manufacturing closely. Lately the mintage numbers have been round 1600-1900 units.

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