A penny for the poor. The widespread practice of monetary charitable donations in Delft and Zwolle, 17th-18th century

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Abstract

Research on the level of monetization of early modern societies has often emphasized the lack of a coherent coin policy, and defective coin circulation. In this article, using a thus far unexplored source, namely account books of poor relief institutions in which collection revenues have been specified per type of donated coin, it is argued that in the urban areas of the Dutch Republic money was in fact widely available. Not only were, in principle, all households, from rich to poor, expected to donate to charitable causes, the account books suggest that indeed a majority of the population contributed to collections on a frequent basis. This indicates that the Dutch Republic was a highly monetized society, in which also poorer households had no problem to find coins
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-38
JournalTijdschrift voor Sociale en Economische Geschiedenis = The Low Countries Journal of Social and Economic History
Volume11
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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