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The hundred (Latin: centena) was an English unit of measurement used in the production, sale, and taxation of various items in the medieval kingdom of England. The value was often not equal to 100 units, mostly owing to the continued medieval use of the Germanic long hundred of 120. The unit's use as a measure of weight is now described as a hundredweight.

The Latin edition of the Assize of Weights and Measures, one of the statutes of uncertain date from around the year 1300, describes hundreds of (red) herring (a long hundred of 120 fish), beeswax, sugar, pepper, cumin, and alum ("13½ stone, each stone containing 8 pounds" or 108 Tower lbs.), coarse and woven linen, hemp canvas (a long hundred of 120 ells), and iron or horseshoes and shillings (a short hundred of 100 pieces).[1] Later versions used the Troy or avoirdupois pounds in their reckonings instead and included hundreds of fresh herrings (a short hundred of 100 fish), cinnamon, nutmegs (131/2 st. of 8 lbs.), and garlic ("15 ropes of 15 heads" or 225 heads).[2]

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  1. ^ Ruffhead, Owen, ed. (1763a), The Statutes at Large, Vol. I: From Magna Charta to the End of the Reign of King Henry the Sixth. To which is prefixed, A Table of the Titles of all the Publick and Private Statutes during that Time, London: Mark Basket for the Crown, pp. 148–149. (in English) & (in Latin) & (in Norman)
  2. ^ Statutes of the Realm, Vol. I, London: G. Eyre & A. Strahan, 1810, p. 204