Wood’s Halfpence (889 words)

Historical Context Essay

  • Paul Baines (University of Liverpool)


William Wood (1671-1730) was originally an ironmaster from Wolverhampton. Through the patronage of the Earl of Bradford he held the place of Receiver-General of the land tax for Shropshire, an office with many opportunities for peculation of exactly the kind later identified by the Tory satirists as typical of Sir Robert Walpole’s supposed habit of government by corruption. Wood came to prominence as a partner in a group supplying iron to London during an embargo on Swedish iron, but he was involved in many other production companies, including one which supplied copper coinage to the Royal Mint. Another venture, which involved the foundation of a public company to supply metals round England and Wales, turned out to be in breach of …

Baines, Paul. "Wood’s Halfpence". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 11 February 2005
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=1526, accessed 20 October 2016.]