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Archival Skills: Weights and measures

Guide to the skills required to successfully work with archives

“Subjectivity measures nothing consistently”

Toba Beta, My Ancestor Was an Ancient Astronaut 

Brief guide to weights and measures

If your research includes the use of accounts, maps, and estate papers you will need to be aware that, prior to the Metric system with which we are now familiar, other systems of measurement were in use in the UK.

Prior to the Metric system, standards for weights and measures were governed by the imperial system in Britain.

The imperial system had developed out of various locally and regionally used units which began to be standardised from 1824 with the introduction of the Weights and Measures Act.

This governed measures of length, height, area and weight. Monetary values were also calculated differently, with the units pounds, shillings and pence being used to denote a decreasing scale of value.

A map of Everingham that uses the scale of chains

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