GROAT (adapted from the Dutch groot, great, thick; cf. Ger. Groschen; the Med. Lat. grosses gives Ital. grosso, Fr. gros, as names for the coin), a name applied as early as the 13th century on the continent of Europe to any large or thick coin. The groat was almost universally a silver coin, but its value varied considerably, as well at different times as in different countries. The English groat was first coined in 1351, of a value somewhat higher than a penny. The continuous debasement of both the penny and the groat left the latter finally worth four pennies. The issue of the groat was discontinued after 1662, but a coin worth fourpence was again struck in 1836. Although frequently referred to as a groat, it had no other official designation than a "fourpenny piece." Its issue was again discontinued in 1856. The groat was imitated in Scotland by a coin struck by David II. in 1358. In Ireland it was first struck by Edward IV. in 1460.
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