Math Muddle

You have been transported back in time, and you can save an ancient ancestor from being hanged on Gallows Hill. All that you have to do is to pay her jail bill. (In 1692, people were billed for their jail expenses.) Her bill is itemized below, but you'll have to do some math to save her. She was imprisoned from January 25 until April 4, 1692.

The colonists are still using the British currency system, and unfortunately the British are not yet on the decimal system. There are twelve pence to a British pound. Furthermore, you only have modern American money with you, so you will have to make a conversion. Each British pound is worth five modern American dollars.

To save your ancestor, you'll have to figure out the bill in terms of modern American money. Are your math skills strong enough to save your ancestor, or will your family's genetic history be permanently altered?

How much money will it cost you to save your ancestor ?

Dungeon Bill
Food 2 pence per day
Blanket (rental) 1 pence per day
Chains (rental) 1 pence per day
Jailer's Tip (One time expense) 10% of the total bill

(CAUTION: Look up the "Gregorian Calendar" to see when it was adopted and to determine if 1692 was a leap-year.)

Math Muddle Solution

  1. There are seventy days between January 25th and April 4th . (The Gregorian Calendar was not adopted by Great Britain until 1753 so February will have 28 days - Jan-7, Feb-28, Mar-31, April-4 - 70 total days)

  2. The basic bill was five pence per day, so multiply the five pence times the seventy days to get a totaf bill of 350 pence.

  3. The Jailer's tip is 10%, so add 3 5 to the 3 50 basic bill to arrive at a grand total of 385 pence.

  4. To convert the pence to pounds, you need to divide by 12.

  5. To convert the pounds to dollars you must multiply by 5

    (385/12) X (5/1) = 160.41666 = $160.42

  6. To save their ancestor from Gallows Hill, your students will need to spend $ 160.42. If they couldn't do the math, perhaps their family's math gene may have died along with their ancestor on Gallows Hill!

Back to Witch Dungeon | Back to Education