Money and Prices

Searching on the web for money and costs in French usage and currency is a bit like banging your head against a wall. English you can find, and lots of it, but not French. Out of sheer frustration I have begun a price listing. This is cobbled together from various sources, which are listed at the bottom of the page. If you want English Prices for approximately the same period, try the Medieval Price List. He maintains there that the English Pound and the French Livre are equivalent, but I question this. The English currency was much stronger then the French for most of the Hundred Years War, and the French currency went through a roller coaster of devaluations, inflation and stabilization.

In France in this period there was no central mint, so there were fluctuations in the currency from region to region. The livre bordelaise (used in the Tolouse region) was worth more than the livre parisis, (used in the Paris region) which was worth more that the livre tournois (used in the Tours/Angers region), so try to get paid in livres bordelaise, if you can! The prices below are in livre parisis, unless otherwise noted. If you want to make them into regional currencies for persona reasons, the livre tournois is worth about 1/4 less than a livre parisis, and a livre bordelaise is worth about 1/4 more.

Prices are given in Livre ( l.), Sou (s.) and Denier (d.) and are in livre parisis unless otherwise noted. The breakdown is the same as for the English Pound at the time, i.e. 1 = 20 = 240. To give some perspective in the matter, at a rough extrapolation, the livre is worth about US$ 1000.00, the sou (also sometimes called the sol) about US$ 50.00, and the denier about US$ 4.00. A lesser currency, the obole essentially a half denier, is worth around US$ 2.00. In addition to the basic l./s./d., there is also the ecu which are roughly equivalent to the livre, and the Franc, which was introduced as part of a fiscal reform in 1360, which was the equivalent of a livre tournois. The mouton is worth 1 livre 3 sou.

Comparative Currencies:

  1. Pound Sterling: Strong compared to the French Livre. Call it 1 Pound Sterling = US$ 1800.00.
  2. Mark: Used in York, about 2/3 of a Pound Sterling.
  3. Mark: Used in Strasbourg, about 4/5 of a Livre
  4. Florin: Used in Lyon, 4/5 of a Livre
  5. Gulden: Used in Strasbourg, 55% of a Livre

Abbreviations

Measures

Wages

Occupation Wage Year Source Notes
King of France 2,000,000 l. p/a 1384-1388 EFC from the Aide (a sales tax) and the Gabelle (the salt tax)
  1,000,000 l. p/a 1384-1388 EFC from the Taille(the direct tax)
        Again, this fluctuates. While this may have been the level at the beginning of the war, it goes down to about 10% of this once the war starts, then rises and falls for the duration of it.
Grand Seigneur (Dukes/Counts) 10,000 l. p/a 1340's-1390's ADM +/-, depending on the Seigneur in question
Minor Lord 500 l. p/a 1340's-1390's ADM, OdCFPS +/- depending, though mostly minus, it must be said. At the extreme low end one seigneurie granted to one of the king's followers brought in no more than 60 l. p/a.
Poor Knight 25 l. p/a 1340's-1390's ADM +/- depending
Master Huntsman to the King of France 10 s. per day or 182 l. 16 s. p/a 1398 H&H plus maintenance at 100 l. p/a
Huntsman 3 s. per day, or 54 l., 15 s. p/a 1398 H&H plus clothing at 100 s. p/a
        plus maintenance at 80 l. p/a
        plus boots and axes at 17 s. p/a
Varlet of Hounds 8 d. per day, or 12 l., 3 s., 4 d. p/a 1398 H&H plus clothing at 40 s. p/a.
        plus maintenance at 16 l. p/a
Page of Hounds 8 d. p/d, or 12 l., 3 s. 4 d. p/a 1398 H&H plus maintenance at 8 l. p/a
Mason 10-15 l. p/a 1370 GM  
Knight Banneret 40 s. p/d 1351 AoA  
Knight 20 s. p/d 1351 AoA  
Squire 10 s. p/d 1351 AoA, OdCFPS In the OdCFPS it's listed as 10 s. tournois
Varlet at Arms 5 s. p/d 1351 AoA  
Foot Soldier 3 s. p/d 1351 AoA  
Armour Bearer 2 1/2 s. p/d 1351 AoA or any similar attendant


Clothing And Armor

Item Cost Year Source Notes
Armor for a Man at Arms 25 l. tournois 1360 OdCFPC  
Breeches 8 s. 1398 H&H for a poor varlet who has no wages
Shoes 4 s. 1398 H&H for those same varlets


Weapons

Item Cost Year Source Notes
Cannon 2 ecus 1356 AAFHYW As purchased by the city of Laon
Garros (arrow like shot for abovesaid cannon) 2.25 ecu per dozen 1356 AAFHYW As purchased by the city of Laon


Household Goods

Item Cost Year Source Notes
Round Wooden Tub 2 s., 8 d. 1398 H&H for watering the hounds
Pails 2 s. 1398 H&H  
Candles 12 d./lb 1398 H&H  
Rope 2 d./toise 1398 H&H  
Heavy Rope 4 d./toise 1398 H&H to raise water from the well
Earthenware Pot 8 d. 1398 H&H  


Foodstuffs

Item Cost Year Source Notes
Beans 12 s./minot 1398 H&H  
Salt 6 s./bushel or 19 s./minot 1398 H&H  
Wheat 58 s./minot 1398 H&H  


Livestock

Item Cost Year Source Notes
A Prime Pig 18 s. 1398 H&H  
Warhorse 75 l. tournois 1360 OdCFPS  
Squires Mount 28 l.tournois 1360 OdCFPS  


Expenses and Fines

Item Cost Year Source Notes
Expenses for a squire on campaign 7 s. tournois p/d 1360 OdCFPS  
Upkeep for a Flagellant 4 d. p/d 1340 ADM  
For rupture of the Public Peace 60 s. 1390 ADM  


Miscellaneous

Item Cost Year Source Notes
The city of Avignon 80,000 florins 1348 CathEn Purchased by Clement VI, from queen Joanna of Naples.
Galley of 60 oars, expected to last 3 years 800 l.t. 1336 HYWI  
Crew for same, for an 8 month season 2,280l.t. 1336 HYWI  
Mobilization expenses, oars, sails, armor and stores for same @ 1,275 l.t. 1336 HYWI  






Crustus an Mors

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