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Papers Relating to the Scots in Poland (1576 - 1798)
Appendix I


POLISH CURRENCY

In order to guide us a little about the value of Polish coins, it is useful to find that Miss Baskerville tells us that ‘60 groszy = 2 zloty’ (p. 87). The value of the latter can be found approximately from this extract from Fynes Moryson’s Itinerary (1617). ‘The Polonians coyne gold Duckets of the same value with the Hungarian Duckets (whereof I have spoken among the moneys of Germany), and these Duckets at this day are given for seventy Polish grosh, which of late were worth no more than sixtie five. Venceslaus, King of Bohemia, was crowned King of Poland about the yeere 1300, who first brought silver money into Poland, namely, Bohemian groshen. (I meane those of silver, not the white grosh), which to this day are currant in Crakaw and those parts. For before that time the Polonians did traffick with little pieces of uncoined silver, and with exchange of skins and other commodities. At this day the Polonians, as well as the Germans, make all contracts by silver guldens, but have no such coyne stamped. Thirty Polish grosh make a silver gulden, and a doller at this day is worth fortie Polish grosh, at the least, which not long since was worth no more than thirtie five grosh, but to this day in contracts thirtie sixe Polish grosh make a doller, howsoever a doller in specie (that is, in kinde) be worth fortie grosh at the least. Three Pochanels make a Creitzev, and seven pochanels make a Polish and Bohemian groshen of silver. At Danske in Prussia (of old a province of Germany, but lately annexed to the Crowne of Poland), they coyne Hungarian dukets of gold (as they doe in Poland), and they have two coynes of gold, called Mitreis and half Mitreis. And I received of a merchant there, each Hungarian ducket, and each halfe mitreis, for a doller and a halfe with one sesling, and each mitreis for three dollers and two seslings. And thirtie size Polish grosh did there make a doller. But I remember that I did there change an Hungarian ducket for fiftie size Polonian grosh, which value passeth the former about a grosh and a halfe. For a sesling of Hamburg makes a Danish shilling, and that is little more than a half Polish grosh.’ My friend M. A. de Guttry adds to this the following table :—

Grosz = 3 szelagi =18 denars (a denar was the smallest piece of money and existed only till 1883).

Zloty (florenus per mediam sexagenam seu florenus numeri polonicalis) = 80 grosze.

Czerwony zloty=dukat=45 grosze. The value of this money changed in the years 1528-1650, from 45 grosze to 182 grosze. In the time of King John Sobieski (1674) a czerwony zloty had the value of 6 zloty 15 grosze.

The issue of zloty was in silver, that of czerwony zloty in gold.

Tynf= 18 groszc.

Tynf dobry (a ‘good’ tynf)=38 grosze.

Of course the value of currency differed considerably at different times.

A. F. S.


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