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The shilling was a British coin first issued in 1548 for Henry VIII, although arguably the testoon issued about 1487 for Henry VII was the first shilling.

Table of contents
1 History
2 Withdrawal
3 Irish shillings
4 Other countries' shillings
5 See also
6 Other meanings


Shillings had a value of 12 pence; equal to one-twentieth of a pound.

The name shilling is believed to come from old Scandinavian skilling, meaning a mark on a stick.

The abbreviation for shilling is "s.", from the Latin solidus.

A slang name for a shilling was a bob (which was always singular, as in "ten bob note"; "that cost me two bob").

To take the King's shilling was to enlist in the army or navy.


The last shillings issued for circulation were dated 1966, although proofs were issued as part of a collectors set dated 1970. From 1968 new decimal coins, "five new pence" with the same weight and specifications, started to replace shillings. They were finally withdrawn in 1990, when a new, smaller, five pence coin was reduced.

Irish shillings

In Ireland, the shilling was issued as 'scilling' in Irish Gaelic. They had kept the original 12-pence value on their shilling. It was issued until 1969, and after 1971, like Britain, the general public often used a shilling to pay 5-pences to shops, etc. When the Central Bank of Ireland issued a smaller five-pence piece, the shilling was finally demonitised in 1992

Other countries' shillings

Shillings were also issued in Australia and New Zealand before decimalisation in the 1960s, in Austria (schillings) until the advent of the Euro, and in the Scandinavian countries (skilding) until the Scandinavian Monetary Union of 1873. Shillings remain the basic currency unit of Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania.

See also

Other meanings

Shilling is also a fraudulent way of bididng in an