Coinage

Sponsor

Centre for Metropolitan History

Publication

Author

W. H. and H. C. Overall (editors)

Year published

1878

Supporting documents

Pages

89-90

Citation Show another format:

'Coinage', Analytical index to the series of records known as the Remembrancia: 1579-1664 (1878), pp. 89-90. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=59917 Date accessed: 31 July 2014.


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Contents

Coinage.

III. 97. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council, enclosing a Petition from the Merchants of London, complaining of the losses sustained by them by the circulation of light Spanish coin, which had been prohibited by Proclamation in Spain from passing current there otherwise than by weight, and had since been largely imported into England and passed away at full value, and requesting the Council to mediate with His Majesty to prohibit its currency otherwise than by weight, which would have the effect of bringing it all to the Mint to be coined into current money.
6th June, 1613.

III. 98. The Petition of the Merchants referred to in the preceding Letter.

IV. 90. Letter from . . . . (in margin, the Duke of Lenox and the Earl of Bedford (fn. 1) ) to the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen, stating that the King had granted to them Letters Patent for the sole making and uttering of Farthing Tokens of copper (fn. 2) ; and in order that such grant might be more easily effected, they had taken a convenient place in Lombard Street, and had authorized Simon Chambers, Gentleman, and Thomas Garrett, Goldsmith, to attend the business there, and to make it a staple place for the ready re-change of such tokens. They request the Lord Mayor and Aldermen to assist them with their advice and countenance for dispersing the new tokens, the suppressing of any others, and the punishment of offenders.
9th November, 1617.

Footnotes

1 Edward, third Earl of Bedford, succeeded to the title 1585; died, 1627.
2 Before the regin of James the First, nothing beyond pennies and halfpennies in silver appear to have been attempted to supply the poor with a currency. In 1611, Sir Robert Cotton propounded a scheme for a copper coinage; this was not, however, carried out. A scheme to enrich the king, produced the farthing token, weighing six grains, and producing 24s. 3d. for the pound weight of copper; half the profit was to be the king's, and the other half the patentce's. The first patent was granted to Baron Harrington, of Exton, Rutlandshire, April 10th, 1613, and a Proclamation was issued May 19th, 1613, forbidding the use of traders' tokens in lead, copper, or brass. The new coin was to bear, on the one side, the King's title, "Jaco. D.G. Mag. Bri., two sceptres through a crown"; on the reverse, "Fra. et. Hib. Rex., a harp crowned." The mind mark, a rose. A Proclamation was published June 4th, 1625, prohibiting any one from counterfeiting this coin. Upon the death of Lord Harrington, in 1614, the Patent was confirmed to Lady Harrington and her assigns; subsequently it was granted to the Duke of Lenox and James Marquis of Hamiliton, and on the 11th July, 1625, to Frances, Duchess Dowager of Richmond and Lenox, and Sir Francis Crane, Knight, for seventeen years, the patentees paying to the King one hundred marks yearly, By a Proclamation issued in 1633, the counterfeiters of these tokens were, upon conviction, to be fined 100l. a piece, to be set on the pillory in Cheapside, and from thence whipped through the streets to Old Bridewell, and there kept to work; and when enlarged, to find sureties for their good behaviour. On the 3rd of August, 1644, the Mayor, Aldermen, and Commons of the City of London petitioned the House of Commons against the inconvenience of this coin, and the hardship suffered by the poor in consequence. No farthing tokens being issued during the Commonwealth, private persons were under the necessity of striking their own tokens. The practice being, however, contrary to law, was subsequently prohibited by a Proclamation issued August 16th, 1672. It further appears, by an advertisement in the London Gazette, No. 714, September 23rd, 1672, that an office called the "Farthing Office," was opened in Fenchurch Street, near Mincing Lane, for the issue of these coins on Tuesday in each week, and in 1673–4 an order was passed to open the office daily. These measures not proving effectual to prevent private coinage of tokens, another Proclamation was issued October 17th, 1673, and another December 12th, 1674. These farthing tokens encountered the contempt and scorn of all persons to whom they were tendered, as being of the smallest possible value. Sarcastic allusions were made to them by dramatists, poets, and wits; "Meercraft," in Ben Jonson's "Devill is an Asse," Act ii, sc. I, played in 1616, alludes to this coin and its patentee.—Vide Ruding's 'Coinage'; Senelling's 'Coinage'; Beaufoy's 'Catalogue of Traders' Tokens,' published by the Corporation, &c.


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