Victorian Farthing with Deep Blue Beads
Victorian farthing on a string of deep blue and black glass beads with a silver finish.
Before 1971, when the British adopted a decimal system, British money was a chaotic jumble of coins. The smallest unit was a quarter farthing, followed by a third farthing, half farthing and finally the farthing. Four farthings made a penny, also known as a pence. Then there are twopences (pronounced tuppences), threepences (pronounced thruppences), groats, sixpences, shillings, florins, half crowns, double florins, crowns, half guineas, half sovereigns, sovereigns (worth a pound) and guineas. Victoria became queen when she was just shy of her 18th birthday. Her predecessors ruled Hanover as well as Britain. However, women were not allowed to inherit titles in Hanover, so Victoria only ruled in Britain, while her uncle ruled Hanover. Until 2015, Victoria was Britain's longest ruling monarch. That honor now belongs to Elizabeth II. Victoria never said “We are not amused,” despite being famous for it. She was widowed fairly young and never stopped wearing mourning clothes. For the rest of her life, she had her late husband's bed warmed every night and fresh clothes laid out for him every morning. Since, her reign, every royal girl has had the name Victoria included in their legal name. That practice, ironically, stopped with the girl who eventually became Elizabeth II.