Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Seven Guineas a Term


One of the sacrifices that Mum and Dad made for GB and I was to use their very limited resources to send us to a Prep School.

Looked at by today’s standards the fees are laughable – seven guineas a term when I first started at Ryebank. (A combined total of 21 guineas a term for GB, Roger and I). For those not old enough to remember the Great Recoinage of George III the guinea was the major unit of currency until in 1816 it was replaced by the sovereign, a coin with the value of a pound. Even after the coin ceased to circulate, the name guinea was long used to indicate the amount of 21 shillings - £1.05 in decimal currency. The guinea had an aristocratic overtone; professional fees and payment for land, horses and art were often quoted in guineas right up until decimalisation in 1971.

The fees went up to 8 Guineas in 1956 and were 10 Guineas by the time I left.

Note that the receipt for 1958 has no stamp – presumably it was around the end of the 1950s that the requirement to fix a stamp upon receipts disappeared. In the United Kingdom, stamp duty was a form of tax charged on instruments (that is, written documents), and required a physical stamp to be attached to or impressed upon the instrument in question. Like Income Tax, Stamp Duty was supposed to be a temporary tax. It was introduced in 1694, during the reign of William and Mary under "An act for granting to Their Majesties several duties on Vellum, Parchment and Paper for 4 years, towards carrying on the war against France". During the 18th and early 19th centuries, stamp duties were extended to cover newspapers, pamphlets, lottery tickets, apprentices' indentures, advertisements, playing cards, dice, hats, gloves, patent medicines, perfumes, insurance policies, gold and silver plate, hair powder and armorial bearings. Stamp duty was so successful that it continues to this day through a series of Stamp Acts though the only real surviving signs of it are on house sales and shares.

No comments:

Post a Comment