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SHILLING, Eng. law. The name of an English coin, of the value of one twentieth part of a pound. In the United States, while they were colonies, there were coins of this denomination, but they greatly varied in their value.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
After leaving school, instead of taking the King's Shilling or becoming a miner like many of his former classmates, he got a job as an usher at the Playhouse and later the Empire eventually winning his first Equity role in Bob Carlton's You'll Never Walk Alone at the Everyman.
One might speculate that Turing's increasing madness was an expression of self-loathing for 'taking the King's shilling' in 1939 rather than continuing to dedicate himself to science.
This book gives the reader an insight into the glory and the suffering covering all parts of army life from taking the King's shilling through to punishment right down the conclusion - death in some cases.

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