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 of weight, length and capacity were made for merchants and copies were sent to 43 shire towns in England. Elizabeth I (1533-1603) isued three sets of standard weights during her reign, which began in 1558. The third set, made in 1582, were so succesful that they remained the primary standards until 1824.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library