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Wood's halfpence


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1722.

There was a shortage of coin in Ireland in 1722 and much of it was old and worn. Since there was no mint in Ireland, a patent was granted to a Wolverhampton ironmonger, William Wood, to supply just over £100,000 in halfpennies and farthings. There was vociferous protest from Ireland and an almost total refusal to handle the money. Swift's anonymous Drapier's Letters in 1724–5 raised a flame. Walpole revoked the patent in 1725 and Wood was privately compensated. The episode suggests how tense Anglo‐Irish relations were.

Subjects: European History — British History.


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