Standards of the Realm, c 1558-1588.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Queen Elizabeth's sets of Exchequer standard Troy and avoirdupois weights, made in London. The reigns of the Tudor monarchs in the late 15th and 16th centuries witnessed rapid economic growth, necessitating the establishment of standard weights and measures. Under Henry VII new Exchequer standards of weight, length and capacity were made and copies were sent to 43 shire towns in England. Elizabeth I issued three sets of standard weights during her reign. The third set - the avoirdupois weights shown here - made in 1588, were so successful that they remained the primary standards until 1824.