Manuscripts and Special Collections


Term Definition
Abacus Wooden frame, with balls threaded onto horizontal wires, used for mathematical calculations
Acquittance Note verifying that a payment has been made, and attesting that the payer is released from his debt or obligation
Annuity Annual payment of money
Arabic numerals Numerals in current use, e.g. 1, 2, 3, 4
Arrears Money owed but unpaid, e.g. previous year’s rents not paid to the landowner
Assessment Table showing the names of people liable to pay a tax or rate, and the amount of money they should pay towards that tax or rate based on criteria such as their relative wealth or the value of their possessions
Assets Goods or property which benefit a business, and which can be made liable for the repayment of the business’s debts
Balance The difference between the credit side and the debit side of an account
Balance sheet Account showing the financial position of a company on a particular date
Bank Financial institution storing money deposited with it by its customers, and lending money out at interest on the security of those deposits
Bank note Paper substitute for money, originally issued by a bank as a receipt for money deposited with it
Bearer Person in possession of a bank note, promissory note or bill of exchange
Bill written demand for payment for services done or goods rendered in the past
Bill of exchange Written instruction to a third party (e.g. a money lender or a bank) to pay money to another person
Capital Money used as an investment in order to start a business
Cash 1. Coins or paper money
2. In accounting, a term for money in general
Cash book Chronological record of receipts and payments
Charge and discharge Method of accounting giving an overview of receipts and expenditure over the course of a fixed period of time
Cheque Written instruction to a bank to pay money to another person
Compotus Latin word for an account, especially used in manorial records
Credit 1. An amount of money allowed to a debtor; e.g. those given credit are allowed a certain amount of time between receiving goods and having to pay for them
2. The side of an account used to record incoming payments
3. A payment into an account
Creditor Person who is owed money for goods or services
Day book Daily record of business transactions
Debit 1. The side of an account used to record outgoing payments
2. A payment out of an account
Debtor Person who owes money for goods or services
Impersonal ledger Ledger for accounts not associated with individual people or companies, e.g. for property or assets
Interest Money added to the cost of credit or a loan, usually calculated as a percentage of the principal sum
Invoice Itemised list of services done or goods rendered, given to the customer along with those goods or services
Journal Another word for Day book
Ledger Record of accounts associated with a business
Levy Another word for a tax or rate, e.g. a churchwardens’ levy for repairs to the church
Liabilities A company’s debts or obligations
Note See Bank note or Promissory note
Personal ledger Ledger for accounts associated with individual people or companies
Principal Money lent in a loan or mortgage, to be repaid with interest
Private ledger Ledger for confidential accounts
Profit and loss account Account listing receipts and expenditure over a stated period
Promissory note Written promise by one person to pay money to another
Quittance See Acquittance
Rate A tax assessed on the basis of relative wealth or amount of property owned, e.g. Poor Rate
Receipt Written verification of a payment
Roman numerals Numerals used in Latin and in common use in Britain until the seventeenth century, e.g. i, ii, iii, iv, v, x, l, c
Shares Equal proportions of the capital of a company, sold to investors in order to raise money for the business
Shareholder A person owning one or more shares in a company
Sterling Another word for the currency of the United Kingdom (£)
Stocks Varying proportions of the capital of a company or the debt of a government institution, sold to investors in order to raise money
Subsidy A one-off sum of money raised by Parliament from a tax, for the benefit of the monarch
Tithes One-tenth of agricultural produce (hay, corn, sheep etc.), given to support the church
Voucher A bill or receipt that has been accepted as correct
Waste book Book for keeping rough notes of daily business transactions


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Manuscripts and Special Collections

Kings Meadow Campus
Lenton Lane
Nottingham, NG7 2NR

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 4565
fax: +44 (0) 115 846 8651