Saturday, September 23, 2006

# Posted 12:34 PM by Patrick Belton  

NEATO FACT OF THE AFTERNOON: In honour of a new year. And for greater insight into Gordo for what it's worth. This from the Oxford Popular History of Britain (Kenneth Morgan, ed. p. 166):
The more the sheriffs' renders were made in cash [in 1129-30 with the monetarisation of annual renders made by sheriffs to the treasury, heretofore, pre-Conquest, paid in kind], the greater the need for an easily followed but quick method of making calculations in pounds, shillings and pence. Thus the chequered table cloth (from which the word exchequer is derived) served as a simplified abacus on which the king's calculator did sums by moving counters from square to square like a croupier. The earliest reference to the exchequer dates from 1100.
The implication for Mr Brown and New Labour is clear. (Actually, it isn't, but it's a neat fact nonetheless.)
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A fact relating to money in "honor" of the Jewish New Year? Do I detect a hint of anti-semitism?
No, I was actually just hoping to borrow a fiver.
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