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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 ?
Her dad took the Queen's Shilling at 15, served with the Green Howards and left military college with diplomas, his brother was an officer, her grandfather was a submariner during the Second World War, and her great-grandfather served with the Irish Guards in the First World War.
Every fallen soldier underlines the fact they are nothing but cannon-fodder, these boys who took the Queen's shilling to escape from housing schemes and unemployment.
They have done their bit, doing what they pledged to do when they signed on the dotted line and took the Queen's shilling.