It was generally estimated at this time that a yearly income of £150 was the bare minimum for middle-class life, and that a family needed £300 to live respectably in a town, where expenses were higher. A good urban artisan's wage in 1835 was round about a pound a week. An income of £1,000 put a man at the top end of the middle class.
For those unfamiliar with pre-decimal coinage:-
- 12 pence (12d) = 1 shilling (1s. or 1/-)
- 20 shillings (20s. or 20/-) = £1
- One pound and one shilling (£1-1s or £1/1/0) = 1 guinea (1 gn.)
- One-quarter of a penny (¼d) = 1 farthing
- Half a penny (½d) = one halfpenny
A half-crown, or half-a-crown (mentioned in Chapter 6) was a coin worth 2s 6d
The suffix "-pence" is now usually pronounced as it is spelt. This practice only began after decimalisation, when for a time "pence" was usually prefixed by "new". Previously, "-pence" (in compound words) was always shortened to something nearer "pnce".
For example, in "threepence", the ee and e were pronounced short ("thrupnce" or "threhpnce").