A fourth part. Penny pieces used to be divided into four parts, thus, farthing, and two a halfpenny. (Anglo-Saxon, feor- thung.)
?This yere the kynge made a newe quyne, as the nobylle, half-nobylle, and ferdyng-nobylle.?
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894