1. Money in the 1600s

16th century mason's yard
16th century mason's yard

16th century mason's yard

When the East India Company was first set up in 1600 it owned £68,373. This was a huge amount of money for a relatively poor country like England. To put it into perspective, at this time a skilled craftsman like a stonemason or a carpenter could expect to earn around 7 pence for a day's work. It would have taken 100 stonemasons 64 years, working every day, to earn £68,373 between them.

How much do you think it would cost today to buy ships and cargo and sail to the other side of the world?