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PostPosted: Tue Aug 21, 2007 6:33 pm 
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Source: Red Coat and Brown Bess. Museum Restoration Service, Bloomfield, Ontario. 1970. Anthony Darling. p. 9.

"The wages of a private in a foot regiment amounted to 8 pence a day, but 25% was requisitioned for clothing and 5% went to the Paymaster-General to cover the cost of administrative services." Paymaster-General deductions, such as the ones mentioned above were called: off-reckonings.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2007 11:02 pm 
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Any clue what that converts over to in todays currency? That doesn't sound like allot but I guess you wouldn't have very much to spend your money on if your living expenses were covered by the crown. I love how they give with one hand and then take away with the other. ouch.

mike.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:34 am 
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Mike,

I know that since the Napoleonic period the British currency system has undergone an overhaul. I had it explained to me years ago and the conclusion we came to was that it was about $0.10 a day. However, it's a great question and perhaps between the two of us we can research the issue and come to a better, more recent, conclusion.

Cheers,
Pud


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 Post subject: A Soldier's Pay
PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2007 1:53 am 
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OK.

Regarding a soldier’s earning power back in 1812, this is what I’ve learned:

In 1971 the British currency system was changed to a decimal system. Therefore, there are now 100 pence in one British Pound.

A Pound is actually officially known as a Pound-Sterling. In the old system of British currency (the one during Napoleonic times) a penny was also called a pence, but only when more than one penny was present. They were made of copper.

Originally there were:
12 pence in 1 shilling and
20 shillings in 1 Pound

Therefore, there were actually 240 pence in 1 Pound compared to 100 pence per Pound today.

One-quarter of a Pound was known as a Crown.

A Pound came in two forms:
- A paper bill, called a Note and or
- A gold coin, called a Sovereign

With this knowledge we can calculate that “8 pence a day” back then is the same value as “3.33 pence a day” today.

Looking at today’s actual exchange rate: 1 Pound equals $2.1154 Canadian. Therefore, 8 pence a day in 1812 was like $0.07 cents Canadian value today! However,…

Let’s get some real perspective on these facts and figures;

A ‘breadmaker’ in 1795, in Britain, made 5.14 pence per day. A ‘soldier’, thankfully, made more at 8.0 pence a day during the same year.

Sources indicate that ‘bread’, in Britain in 1795, cost 12 pence per gallon. A gallon of bread was actually 8.7 pounds in weight. Therefore, 8 pence would have bought 5.8 pounds (weight) of bread. That’s only 4 loaves of bread by today’s bread packaging standards!

If you were earning minimum wage today in Canada you would earn about $55.00 per day. That’s about $41.00 take-home per day. Therefore, today, you’d be able to buy about 22 loaves of bread with your take-home earnings compared to only 4 loaves of bread for those poor sods back then (and that’s even before their deductions!).

Enough of my statistical drivel: What it means, is that if the common soldier were living, and earning, amongst us today he’d be getting $7.58 Canadian per day (before deductions). Poor wretch!

So, there you have it.

Cheers,
Pud


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 25, 2007 12:27 pm 
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And to think that the Reg force Canadian Soldier today makes 50K per year as a first year corporal (4 years in the army) things have changed.

Mike.


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