Standard Henry VII Winchester bushel, 1497-1509.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
This is one of the earliest English measures still in existence. The reigns of the Tudor monarchs in the late 15th and 16th centuries witnesed rapid economic growth, necesitating the establishment of standard weights and measures. Under Henry VII (1457-1509) new Exchequer standards for measuring weight, length and capacity were made for merchants and copies were sent to 43 shire towns in England.