If my sums are correct, the French king was not niggardly when he sent the 30,000 crowns to Scotland in 1543. In today’s terms he sent £15 million in Scots currency, and £3 million in English currency. (But I still haven’t discovered which currency was the right one.) It was to be used as bribes to persuade Scots nobles to turn against Henry of England and cleave instead to France and the Roman Catholic church.
I’ve been searching the internet for Population figures for Europe in sixteenth century, and though the figures differ by a couple of hundred thousand in some reports, and remembering that pre 1800, most are best guesses, here is what I found:
Europe 105 million,
France 10 million,
England 4 million
and Scotland half a million.
Even today the Scots number only 5,222,200 against England’s 51,809,700. Northern Ireland comes in at 1,788,900 and Wales 2,999,3000. Amazingly, there are almost as many people of Scots descent living in the USA as there are in Scotland – four million plus, and in the current generation alone 800,000 people born in Scotland now reside in either England, Wales or Northern Ireland.
What does all this add up to? Nothing much, except that I am so easily carried away by facts and figures!