Once a Week (magazine)/Series 1/Volume 5/Ana (October 19, 1861)
Easterling Money.—A manuscript in the Cottonian Collection, “Faustina,” E. V., art. x., fol. 52 a, written by Arthur Argade, derives the term “sterling” money as follows:—“I suppose the name by meanes of Easterlings from vs, being Germaynes brought up in the mynes of sylver and copper there, were vsed here in England for the reducynge and refynynge the diuesyte of coynes into a perfect standard. As in the beginning of the Quene’s Mat. raigne they were brought hyther by Alderman Lodge (wth whom I was famylyarlye acquaynted) by her Mat’s. order for the refynynge of o base coignes. And this he toulde me, that the mooste of them in meltynge fell syke to death wth the saoure, so they were advised to drynke in a dead man’s skull for theyre recure. Whereupon he, wth others who had thoversyght of that worke, procured a warrent from the counsaille to take off the heades vppon London Bridge, and make cuppes thereof, whereof they dranke and found some reliefe althoughe the moost of them dyed.”
When Lord Erskine was admitted a freeman of the Fishmongers’ Company, I partook of the inauguration dinner, and, of course, he made a speech on the occasion. On coming home, he said to me, “I spoke ill to-day, and stammered and hesitated in the opening.” I said, “You certainly floundered, but I thought you did so in compliment to the fishmongers.”—M. J.