John Blanke’s Petition to Henry VIII
National Archive TNA, E101/217/2, no.150
The BBC article on the black British history you may not know about says "[JohnBlanke] petitioned for 8p a day. I don't know what the conversion is today, but that showed he knew his worth." He did indeed successfully petition Henry VIII, it was not for 8p per day but for a pay increase from 8d per day to 16d per day.
The d was an old penny. UK currency was converted to decimal in 1971 when 2.4 old pennies (d) became 1 new pence (p).
John confidently asked for his wage to be doubled as he was ‘true and faithful’ servant who was doing the same job of as trumpeter who had died. His wage went from 3.3p a day to 6.6p per day making his annual pay go from £12 to £24.
What that is worth today is difficult to say as according to Dr Miranda Kaufmann in Black Tudors he had his livery, board and lodging paid like other court servants. But when the court travelled the servants often had to pay for their own accommodation and travel.
From Elizabethan England web
Labourer: £5 to £10
John Blanke: before petition £12 after £24
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