A set of Elizabethan weights

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A set of Elizabethan weights

In 1588 Queen Elizabeth ordered that new sets of standard weights should be used throughout England. They were issued from London. The set supplied to Exeter was kept at Guildhall, where local trading standards were enforced. The set of weights, made of bronze, was designed to nest neatly one within another. The four largest survive: 256, 128, 64 and 32 troy ounces. Nine further weights would once have fitted within them. Each has the following inscription on its side: ‘EL’ crowned AN° DO, 1588, REG. XXX’ (‘Elizabeth crowned the year of Our Lord, 1588, the 30th year of her reign’).

Acknowledgments: RAM Museum

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