In the first months of his tenure of office he had to deal with the furious opposition to Wood's halfpence, and to counteract the effect of Swift's Draper's Letters.
Formerly, when floods resulted from this obstruction, the townsfolk of Helston acquired the right of clearing a passage through it by presenting leathern purses containing three halfpence to the lord of the manor.
In halfpence or farthings.
"I am afraid the people would only say that your majesty was returning them change for their pounds in halfpence," answered Peel.
The first experiment which he has recorded was the construction of a voltaic pile with seven halfpence, seven disks of sheet zinc, and six pieces of paper moistened with salt water.