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Information about currency: Manx Pound (pre-decimal)

Currency nameManx Pound (pre-decimal)
CountryIsle of Man
Dates1668 - 1971
System

1 Pound = 20 Shillings, 1 Shilling = 12 Pennies

Description

The Manx pound (Manx: Punt Manninagh) is the currency of the Isle of Man, in parity with the pound sterling. The Manx pound is divided into 100 pence. Government notes and coins, denominated in pounds and pence, are issued by the Isle of Man Government.

The first Manx coinage was issued privately in 1668 by John Murrey, a Douglas merchant, consisting of pennies equal to their English counterparts. These "Murrey Pennies" were made legal tender by order in 1679, when the Court of Tynwald outlawed the unofficial private coinage that had been circulating prior to and alongside John Murrey's pennies (English coinage was also allowed by this Act).

In 1708, the Isle of Man Government approached the Royal Mint, and requested that coinage be issued for the island. The then Master of the Mint, Sir Isaac Newton, refused. As a result, the first Government issue of coins on Man took place in 1709. This coinage was made legal tender on 24 June 1710. In 1733 Tynwald took the opportunity to prohibit the circulation of any "base" (not silver or gold) coinage other than that issued by the Government.

Because of the similarity between Manx and British coins, it was profitable to change shillings to Manx coinage and export them to Great Britain, making a profit of £2 for every £12 in Manx coinage so transferred. This happened on such a scale that by 1830 the island was almost totally deprived of copper coinage.

In an attempt to resolve this problem, a proposal was introduced to abandon the separate Manx coinage in favour of British coins. This was rejected by the House of Keys in 1834 but they were overruled by the British Government in 1839. An Act was passed declaring that "... the currency of Great Britain shall be and become, and is hereby declared to be, the currency of the Isle of Man", and this remains Manx law to this day. There was resentment on Man to this change, with some islanders feeling defrauded, and serious rioting took place in Douglas and Peel. These were known as the 'Copper Row' riots, and were put down by the Manx militia.

The Royal Mint issued a total of £1,000 in copper coins. Following an Act in 1840, these were valued at 12 pence to the shilling. All coins issued before 1839 were declared by this law to no longer be 'current' and were recalled by the Board of Customs and exchanged by the Royal Mint at their original nominal value for the new coinage. After 1839, no further Manx coins were issued, and they gradually became scarce and were replaced in general circulation on the island by the coinage of the United Kingdom. They did not cease to be legal coinage on Man until decimalisation in 1971. Banknotes had been privately issued for the island since 1865.

In 1971 the United Kingdom moved to a decimal currency with the pound subdivided into 100 pence. The Isle of Man Government, having issued its own banknotes for ten years, took the opportunity to approach the Royal Mint and request its own versions of the decimal coins, which were introduced in 1971.

Currency Manx Pound (pre-decimal) was used:
Country From To
Isle of Man Manx Pound (pre-decimal) 1668 1971