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1551 - The people of London blame the refugees for the rising cost of living.
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They believe that the arrival of so many new people is resulting in shortages and making everything dearer. They complain to the City authorities, the Mayor and Aldermen.

Their unhappiness about the rapidly rising prices is understandable. Are they right about the reason for it? No.

Bad weather has caused a poor harvest. This means there is less food, so food prices are rising. There is also another problem, to do with the value of the coins in people's pockets.

In Tudor times coins are made of real gold and silver. The metal they are made of is valuable. When the coin is spent, it is exchanged for goods food, clothes or anything else of the same value as the gold or silver it is made of.

King Henry the Eighth hit on a way of making money for himself by issuing coins that were 'debased'. This means that they were lighter in weight than they had been before. The metal alloy they were made of also contained a lower proportion of gold or silver. This practice has continued in the early years of King Edward the Sixth's reign.

The Tudor public has begun to realise that the coins in their pockets no longer have as much gold or silver in them as they once had. People selling goods insist on being given more of these coins in exchange. So prices are driven up. It takes more coins to buy the same amount of goods. 



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