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Quill4

Old Coppernose

Posted on 2010.06.27 at 15:57
Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: Penny Lane - The Beatles
I learned this from an old book of numismatic trivia. It seems that the title of this post was a nickname given to the fellow seen to the right. I realize it’s a rather crude likeness of King Henry VIII, but it’s an apt choice of portrait for the purpose of explaining this odd nickname.

During the reign of Hank 8, the English economy went into a steep decline. I’m not here to point fingers or to assign blame, but one of the results of this crisis was the debasing of English coinage. It might be hard for a contemporary reader to understand the significance of that, but basically, for many centuries, coins were supposed to be intrinsically worth the stated value of the coin. For example, a penny was supposed to contain a penny’s worth of copper, etc. This system worked fine in a society where precious metal prices were consistent from year to year, but for that and other reasons, hardly anybody mints coins that way anymore.

Back to 16th century England – like many rulers before and since, Hank 8 ameliorated some of the economic crunch by gradually reducing the silver content of his coins. When he first took to the throne, a silver groat such as the one seen here contained over 90% silver. By the time he was done, it contained less than 40% silver. The remainder of the metal content consisted primarily of copper which, then as now, was a lot cheaper than silver. When any coin begins to wear, the first parts to erode will be the highest points of the design. In this case, the highest point was His Majesty’s nose. And when it began to wear, it took on a darker, distinctly copperish hue. Hence, the undignified nickname given to him by a largely powerless citizenry that could do little to change their country’s economic fortunes, but could at least come up with little insults for the man whose policies had emptied the nation’s coffers.

Comments:


moonlitrose9
moonlitrose9 at 2010-06-27 17:15 (UTC) (Link)
There's also the possibility, although I've never heard it expressed, that he did literally have a copper nose. He was suffering from tertiary syphilis and it was common in this condition for the nose to be eaten away by the disease!
Chuck
charlesofcamden at 2010-06-29 17:28 (UTC) (Link)
That's an intriguing theory! They should utilize that on the TV series "The Tudors," now that they're entering the latter days of Henry VIII's reign.
beth_green
beth_green at 2010-07-01 22:31 (UTC) (Link)

Playing catch-up

I was tempted to enter 'Playing Ketchup' in the subject line but I didn't want to confuse you. I saw something on The Onion website today and thought of you.

Back when I was in college, I thought the Onion was brilliant. In more recent years, I have all too often reacted with puzzlement to many of their allegedly humorous posts. That being said, I actually LOL'd at one of their videos and wanted to share the link with you. It's a faux news blurb regarding the Boston Globe tailoring itself to its 3 remaining readers. If you decide to watch, make sure you catch the visuals such as the 'You have a dentist appointment at 3 today' banner. The news includes a mention of the Chicago Tribune having changed its format to all Beyonce Photos and coupons.

Link:
http://www.theonion.com/video/boston-globe-tailors-print-edition-for-three-remai,17572/

Back to your LJ: A rebuilt computer means that I didn't have a link to your livejournal. A Google search using the terms "charles of camden" and livejournal yielded three results, one of which was your actual LJ. Interestingly, the link was only to a specific entry from 2006. I read it because like most of your entries, it was worth my time and effort to do so. I don't remember reading the entry way back when, but I'm an old person and may have simply forgotten. You wrote about your Ren 'Festibo' experiences.

From there, I proceeded to read your most recent entries.

Re: Break Inn's - I am reminded of my decision not to patronize establishments whose owners are spelling impaired. For example, I have never set foot inside our local 'Faymus Chicken.'

Re: the Camden house: Thanks so much for sharing. I was told years ago by one of my brothers not to personally visit because the neighborhood was too unsafe, so the only info I get is second-hand. I have complained more than once about Detroit City politics that will never allow the neighborhoods with only one or two houses remaining on a block to simply be bulldozed so that the ever-decreasing resources of the city can be better used. Too bad no one in Chicago can come over here and knock some sense into folks. When I mentioned this to Dad, he said, "Remember how it was nearly impossible to get rid of the blocks needed so that the auto company's Poletown could be built?" Therefore, neighborhoods like Camden have streets that have degenerated into dirt and lumps of tar; there are no street lights left because every time they were replaced the residents broke them; and the police don't come when called because they are spread too thin. At least the former mayor is currently in jail and under Federal indictment.

When I saw that only one of your cats had gone to CC's, I was worried that something had happened to the other. If so, your LJ didn't mention it.

I won't comment on any of your hockey entries because, well ... the Red Wings.

I must say that I like to watch curling, and am proud of the Canadians who banded together to make the movie 'Men With Brooms.' The fact that one of the stars, Paul Gross, is totally *hot* may have biased my opinion.

And, finally, I liked the particular entry that I used to send this comment. You and I are among the few people who would find this information fascinating despite the lack of pop culture reference.


Chuck
charlesofcamden at 2010-07-18 15:26 (UTC) (Link)

Re: Playing catch-up

Thanks for the link to the Boston Globe story. Very funny!
As for CC and the cats, there's no problem. It's just that CC planned on spending a lot of her summer at Carmelot, so the best solution seemed to be for her to take Puck with her, especially as he is much more "her" cat while Cy is much more "my" cat.
Thanks for checking in!
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