Copyright © University of Cambridge. All rights reserved.

'Oh for the Mathematics of Yesteryear' printed from http://nrich.maths.org/

Show menu


old wooden military catapult.A garrison of $600$ men has just enough bread to allow $24$ ounces a day to each man for $35$ days; but, with the news that the enemy was planning an attack, the garrison was forced to reinforce to $4 800$ men. The enemy arrives and decides to enforce a siege - to reduce their own loss of life. How many ounces of bread a day must each man in the garrison be allowed, to hold out $45$ days against the siege of the enemy?

If the transport of $60$ cwt. (hundredweights) of bread for $20$ miles costs the garrison $£14 \; 10\text{s}$. (i.e. Fourteen pounds ten shillings), what weight can be carried $30$ miles for $£5 \; 8\text{s } 9 \text{d}$?

n.b. in those days:

$12$d(pennies) = $1$s (shilling)

$20$s = $£1$ (pound)

$16$ ounces = $1$ lb (pound - "weight")

$112$ lb= $1$ cwt