Standards of the Realm, 1495-1601.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
The Exchequer, or treasury department, of King Henry VII (1457-1509) created new standards of measurements for merchants in the late 15th century and subsequently sent standard weights to 43 English shire towns. Three of these are among the earliest English measures, the standard bushel and standard gallon, isued in 1495, and the standard yard, isued in 1497. Elizabeth I (1533-1603) also isued standards, among them the standard ell, a cloth measure of 45in (114cm) which was in use until 1824, and the capacity measures of the gallon, bushel, quart and pint.