King Henry the First produced sticks of polished wood, with notches cut along one edge to signify the denominations. The stick was then split full length so each piece still had a record of the notches.
The King kept one half for proof against counterfeiting, and then spent the other half into the market place where it would continue to circulate as money.
Because only Tally Sticks were accepted by Henry for payment of taxes, there was a built in demand for them, which gave people confidence to accept these as money.
He could have used anything really, so long as the people agreed it had value, and his willingness to accept these sticks as legal tender made it easy for the people to agree. Money is only as valuable as peoples faith in it, and without that faith even today's money is just paper.
The tally stick system worked really well for 726 years. It was the most successful form of currency in recent history and the British Empire was actually built under the Tally Stick system, but how is it that most of us are not aware of its existence?
Perhaps the fact that in 1694 the Bank of England at its formation attacked the Tally Stick System gives us a clue as to why most of us have never heard of them. They realised it was money outside the power of the money changers, (the very thing King Henry had intended).
What better way to eliminate the vital faith people had in this rival currency than to pretend it simply never existed and not discuss it. That seems to be what happened when the first shareholder's in the Bank of England bought their original shares with notched pieces of wood and retired the system. You heard correctly, they bought shares. The Bank of England was set up as a privately owned bank through investors buying shares. Even the Banks resent nationalisation is not what it at first may appear, as its independent resources unceasingly multiply and dividends continue to be produced for its shareholder's.
These investors, who's names were kept secret, were meant to invest one and a quarter million pounds, but only three quarters of a million was received when it was chartered in 1694.
It then began to lend out many times more than it had in reserve, collecting interest on the lot.
This is not something you could just impose on people without preparation. The money changers needed to created the climate to make the formation of this private concern seem acceptable.
Here's how they did it.
With King Henry VIII relaxing the Usury Laws in the 1500's, the money changers flooded the market with their gold and silver coins becoming richer by the minute.
The English Revolution of 1642 was financed by the money changers backing Oliver Cromwell's successful attempt to purge the parliament and kill King Charles. What followed was 50 years of costly wars. Costly to those fighting them and profitable to those financing them.
So profitable that it allowed the money changers to take over a square mile of property still known as the City of London, which remains one of the three main financial centres in the world today.
The 50 years of war left England in financial ruin. The government officials went begging for loans from guess who, and the deal proposed resulted in a government sanctioned, privately owned bank which could produce money from nothing, essentially legally counterfeiting a national currency for private gain.
"If the American people ever allow the banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation, and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property, until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered. The issuing power of money should be taken from banks and restored to Congress and the people to whom it belongs. I sincerely believe that the banking institutions having the issuing power of money are more dangerous to liberty than standing armies." - Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) (who would, today, be labeled a 'kook' and a 'flake' even as hundreds of thousands face foreclosure or the 'chance' to refinance into 40yr & 50yr mortgages.)