(until 1879) a shilling given a recruit in the British army to bind his enlistment contract.
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Also called, when a queen was sovereign, queen's shilling.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
when the sovereign was female queen's shilling
(until 1879) a shilling paid to new recruits to the British army
take the king's shilling British archaic to enlist in the army
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012