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)
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 dobry (a ‘good’
Of course the value of currency
differed considerably at different times.
A. F. S.