In the parable read in the Mark Degree a penny is the amount given to each of the laborers in the vineyard for his day’s labor. Hence, in the Masonic instructions, a penny a day is said to be the if wages of a Mark Master. In several passages of the authorized version of the New Testament, penny occurs as a translation of the Greek word , op which was intended as the equivalent of the Roman denarius. This was the chief silver coin of the Romans from the beginning of the coinage of the city to the early part of the third century. Indeed, the name continued to be employed in the coinage of the Continental States, which imitated that of the Byzantine Empire, and was adopted by the Anglo Saxons.
The specific value of each of so many coins going under the same name, cannot be ascertained with any precision. In its Masonic use, the penny is simply a symbol of the reward of faithful labor.
The Lodge at York
According to the oldest Masonic sources, the birth of organised English masonry occurred when King Athelstan convened a grand council of the mason’s trade. The assembly was acknowledged to have occurred in York in 926. It was convened by Athelstan’s youngest son, Edwin, who became the greatest patron of Masonry and the source of the York legend.