Statutes of the Realm: Volume 7, 1695-1701. Originally published by Great Britain Record Commission, s.l, 1820.
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Persons bringing wrought Plate to be coined between 1st Jan. 1696 and 4th Nov. 1697 to be paid for the same at the Rate of 5s. 4d. per Ounce
Description of marked Plate to be received; Persons bringing Plate not so marked may elect to have the Quantity of Sterling Silver contained therein; or have the same Plate melted and assayed at the said Allowance.
For the better encouragement of such Persons as have or shall have any kind of wrought Plate to bring the same to be coined into the lawfull Coins of this Realme and to the end the Species of lawfull Moneys may be encreased for the Advantage of Co[m]merce and other publick Affaires be it enacted by the Kings most Excellent Majesty by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons in this present Parliament assembled and by the Authority of the same That any Person or Persons Natives or Forreigners Bodies Politick or Corporate that shall either by themselves or by their Servants or others that they respectively shall intrust in that behalfe bring or carry any wrought Plate of any sort or kind whatsoever att any time or times betweene the First Day of January One thousand six hundred ninety six and the Fourth Day of November One thousand six hundred ninety seven either into his Majesties Mints or any of them within this Realme of England or to such Person or Persons as by his Majesty under his Royal Signe Manual shall be authorized to receive the same shall be then and there paid for such Plate att the Rate of Five shillings and Foure pence for every Ounce to be reckoned and allowed as is herein after mentioned and that the Master and Worker of his Majesties Mints his Deputy or Deputies or such other Person or Persons as shall be thereunto authorized as aforesaid shall and by this Act they are severally required and enjoyned to receive all such wrought Plate as shall be so brought in and which shall plainly appeare to have thereupon the Mark co[m]monly used att the Hall belonging to the Company of Goldsmiths in London besides the Workmans Mark as sterling Silver and the Price thereof shall be reckoned allowed and paid for att the said Rate of Five Shillings and Foure pence an Ounce without tarrying till it be melted and essayed and in all Cases where the wrought Plate so brought shall not have the said Marks thereupon then the Party bringing the same shall have itt in his or her Election either to have the Quantity of sterling Silver contained therein (according to which the said Rate is to be allowed) to be determined and adjusted by the Master and Worker of the Mint his Deputy or Deputies or by such other Person authorized to receive the same as aforesaid who shall declare the said Quantity of Sterling Silver upon his Oath according to the best of his Skill and Judgement and make the said Allowance accordingly or if the said Party bringing such Plate shall not declare himselfe or herselfe willing that the said Officer of the Mint or such other Person to be authorized as aforesaid should determine upon Oath the said Quantity of sterling Silver in his or her Plate or shall forthwith after such Determination made declare him or herselfe to be injured thereby that then and in every sach Case the said Party bringing such Plate shall have the same forthwith melted and essayed and shall be allowed after the said Rate of Five shillings and foure pence an Ounce for every Ounce of sterling Silver which shall be found therein.
II. Masters, &c. of the Mints, before they act, to take the Oath following. Commissioners of Treasury may administer the Oath.
And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That the said Master and Worker of the Mint his Deputy or Deputies for receiving of the said Plate and such other Persons as shall be authorized by His Majesties Royal Sign Manual as aforesaid before such times as hee or they respectively shall intermeddle in the receiving or taking in any Plate by virtue of this Act shall severally take their Corporal Oath in the for me or to the effect following.
I. A. B. do solemnly promise & declare That in all Cases where (in pursuance of the Act of Parliament in this behalfe) I am to determine or declare the Quantity of sterling Silver contained in any wrought Plate that shall be brought to me I will faithfully and impartially declare and determine the same and the Allowance which is to be made for such Plate by virtue of the said Act according to the best of my Skill and Judgement without any Covin or Malice and without any Favor or Affection and that in my Accounts and in all other Matters and Things to be done and performed by me in relation to the said Act of Parliament I will faithfully and honestly performe the Trust in me reposed. So help me God.
Which Oath shall and may be administred by any One or more of the Co[m]missioners of His Majesties Treasurey or the High Tresurer for the time being or by any of His Majesties Justices of the Peace who shall give the Officer or Person taking such Oath a Certificate of the same in writing.
III. Officers of the Mints to enter the Owners Names, Weight and Value of the Plate so brought in, and within 7 Days, Persons authorized are to carry the same to the next Mint; New Monies, &c. applied to pay for Plate so brought in.
And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That the said Officer of the Mints his Deputy or Deputies and the said Persons so authorized by His Majesties Royal Sign Manual to receive and take in Plate as aforesaid shall in Books to be by them kept for that purpose make faire Entries of the Names of the Bringer or Owner of the said wrought Plate and of the true Weight of the same in sterling Silver and the Value thereof to be computed att the said Rate of Five Shillings and foure pence for every Ounce and that the Persons so authorized by His Majesties Royal Sign Manual as aforesaid shall within every Seven Days carry or cause to be carried all the Plate so by them respectively taken in and received to the next Mint or Mints where the same together with all other the Plate which shall be brought into the said Mints directly in pursuance of this Act as aforesaid shall forthwith be coined into the lawfull Coins of this Kingdome and the coining thereof shall not be delayed by reason of any course prescribed in the Mint for coining of other Silver and the new Moneys proceeding from any Plate brought in as aforesaid together with such other Moneys as shall be appropriated or appointed for this Service shall be applied from time to time to pay for any Plate that shall be brought in pursuant to this Act.
IV. Plate brought in to be paid for out of the Monies imprested for that Service, or out of new Money, by Master of the Mint.
And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That the Master and Worker of His Majesties Mints or his respective Deputies or Persons imployed by him and also the several Persons to be authorized by His Majesties Royal Sign Manual as aforesaid shall out of the Money which shall be imprested or paid to them respectively for this Service or out of the new Money which shall proceed from Plate to be brought in by virtue and in pursuance of this Act as aforesaid pay and satisfie to the respective Bringers of the said Plate the said Allowance of Five shillings & foure pence by the Ounce for the same which Payments att the time of the bringing in of the said Plate shall be made to the Owners or Bringers of the same by the Officers appointed to receive such Plate as aforesaid having Money in his or their Hands for that purpose.
And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That in every City Towne or Place where a Mint is or shall be established or imployed for the coining of the said Plate and for the recoining of hammered Money or either of them and in every City Towne or Place where a publick Office shall be appointed by His Majesty for the taking in of wrought Plate as aforesaid the Master or Worker of such Mint or Mints his Deputy or Deputies or the Persons so to be appointed for such publick Offices respectively shall once in every Fourteen Days during the continuance of the said Service cause publication to be made in writing to be openly affixed and exposed whereby all Persons concerned may be informed of the Quantities of wrought Plate or ha[m]mered Money so brought in how much thereof respectively shall from time to time have been made into new Moneys and how much thereof shall then remain in the Mint or such publick Office not coined under the Penalty of forfeiting the Su[m]m of Twenty Pounds to any Person or Persons that shall sue for the same and to be recovered by Action of Debt or of the Case Bill Plaint or Information in any of His Majesties Courts of Record att Westminster wherein no Essoign Protection Wager of Law or more then one Imparlance shall be granted or allowed Any thing in this Act contained to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding.
VI. No Deduction for Solder, unless in any hollow Part of the Plate.
( (fn. 1) ) Provided always and be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid That all such wrought Plate that shall be brought in pursuant to this Act whereon there shall be the Marks before appointed to be on the same shall be received by the Person or Persons impowered by this Act to receive such wrought Plate as sterling Silver without making any Deduction for Soader unlesse for such Soader as shall be in any hollow Part of the said Plate.
VII. Treasury may advance £50,000 out of unappropriated Monies for the said Allowance of 5s. 4d. per Ounce; which is to be Part of the Sum of £125,000.
And to the end a Sum of ready Money may the more speedily be provided to pay for wrought Plate which shall be brought in pursuant to this Act be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That it shall and may be lawfull to and for the Co[m]missioners of His Majesties Treasury or any Three or more of them now being or the Lord Tresurer or any Three or more of the Co[m]missioners of the Tresury for the time being out of any Money that is or shall be advanced or lent to His Majesty upon the Creditt of any Aid Fund or Revenue whatsoever (not being the Money appropriated to the Repaym[en]t of the Principal or Interest of Loans or to the Satisfaction of any Bills of Creditt established by Act of Parliament) to issue and apply any Su[m]m or Su[m]ms of Money not exceeding the Su[m]m of Fifty thousand Pounds for & towards the Payment of the said Rate or Allowance of Five shillings and foure pence an Ounce for Plate and the Charges of taking in and coining the same which Su[m]ms so issued and applied shall be reckoned to be part of the Su[m]m not exceeding One hundred twenty five thousand pounds for coining of hammered Money and Plate and Charges thereunto incident Any thing herein or in any former Act of Parliament contained to the contrary notwithstanding.
From 25th March 1697, no Silver Plate to be of less Fineness than 11. oz. 10 dwt. to a Pound Troy, except Silver Wire, &c. not markable; Plate how to be marked.; Penalty; Goldsmiths Company allowing Plate for good contrary to this Act,; Penalty.
And whereas it may reasonably be suspected that part of the Silver Coins of this Realme hath been by Persons regarding their owne private Gain more then the publick Good molten and converted into Vessells of Silver or other manufactured Plate which Crime hath been the more easily perpetrated by them in regard the Goldsmiths or others Workers of Plate by the former Laws and Statutes of this Realme are not obliged to make their Plate of finer Silver then the Sterling or Standard ordained for the Moneys of this Realme Be it therefore enacted by the Authority aforesaid That from and after the Five and twentieth Day of March One thousand six hundred ninety seven no Goldsmith Silversmith or other Person whatsoever shall work or make or cause to be wrought or made any Silver Vessell Plate or Manufacture of Silver lesse in Fineness than that of Eleven Ounces and Ten penny Weight of fine Silver in every Pound Troy nor putt to sale exchange or sell any Silver Vessells Plate or Manufacture of Silver made after the said Five and twentieth Day of March (unlesse it be Silver Wyre or such things as in respect of their smallnesse are not capable of receiving a Mark) until such time as such Vessell Plate or manufactured Silver shall be marked as followeth (that is to say) with the Workers Mark to be expressed by the Two first Letters of his Sirname the Marks of the Mystery or Craft of the Goldsmiths which instead of the Leopards Head and the Lyon shall for this Plate be the Figure of a Lyons Head erased and the Figure of a Woman co[m]monly called Britannia and a distinct variable Mark to be used by the Warden of the said Mystery to denote the Yeare in which such Plate is made upon paine that all [such (fn. 2) ] Silver Vessells Plate or other manufactured Silver which shall be made exposed to sale sold or exchanged contrary to this Act or the Value, thereof shall be forfeited the one halfe thereof to the King and the other halfe thereof to such Person or Persons that will seize or sue for the same to be recovered by Action Bill Suit or Information in any Court of Record wherein no Essoigne Protection Wager of Law or more then one Imparlance shall be admitted and if any Silversmith Goldsmith or other Person shall after the said Five and twentieth Day of March make any Silver Vessells Plate or manufactured Silver contrary to this Act and the same shall be touched marked or allowed for good by the Wardens or Masters of the said Mystery or those authorized or imployed by them for the essaying and marking of Plate and if in the same there shall be found any Falshood or Deceit then the Wardens and Corporation of that Mystery for the time being shall forfeit and pay the Value of the Plate so deceitfully marked the one halfe thereof to the King and the other halfe to any Person or Persons that shall buy the same and be grieved thereby to be recovered as aforesaid Any thing in this or any former Act or Acts of Parliament contained or any other Order or Provision heretofore made to the contrary notwithstanding.
IX. Cap. 6. ante.
Collectors may receive the Land Tax in wrought Plate at 5s. 4d. an Ounce, &c. before 1st Jan. 1697. No Allowance for Solder, except in hollow Part of Plate; Receipt of Collector a Discharge against the Crown.
And whereas several Persons, who are possessed of Plate who are or shall be assessed by an Act intituled An Act for granting an Aid to his Majesty as well by a Land Tax as by several Subsidies and other Duties payable for one Yeare for or in respect of their Manors Lands Tenements Rents Offices Persons Stocks Debts or other Matters or Things charged by the said Act or shall be charged by other Act or Acts that shall be passed this Sessions of Parliament and may be willing and desirous to pay or satisfie in wrought Plate having the Hall Marke att the Rate of Five shillings and foure pence an Ounce all or several of the Monthly Payments by the said Act intended to be satisfied by them and all other Payments that shall become due by any Act or Acts that shall be passed this Sessions of Parliament Be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That it shall and may be lawfull to and for any Person or Persons att any time before the First Day of June One thousand six hundred ninety seven to satisfye & pay the respective Collector or Collectors in such wrought Plate att such Rate as aforesaid without and deduction for Soader unlesse for such Soader as shall be in any hollow Part of the said Plate all or any such other Monthly or other Payments assessed upon him her or them for the said whole Yeare or for any Months thereof before hand which said Collectors are hereby enjoyned and required upon every such Payment so made before hand to give the Party or Parties paying the same an Acquittance expressing the Su[m]m received for such Monthly or other Payments for the respective Ma[n]nors Lands Tenements Rents Offices Persons Stocks Debts or other Matters or Things for which such Payments shall be so made and every such Acquittance shall be a good Discharge against His Majesty His Heires and Successors as if the Su[m]ms chargeable by the said Act on such Mannors Lands Tenements Rents Offices Persons Stocks Debts or other Matters or Things were assessed or answered att such several and respective Monthly or other Payments as aforesaid Any thing in the said Act contained to the contrary notwithstanding.
And to the end that such hammered Silver Coin of this Kingdome as is made current in Payments att the Rate of Five shillings and two pence by the Ounce Troy and is and shall be from time to time brought and paid into the Receipt of His Majesties Exchequer att that Rate may be recoined and that all such Plate as is authorized by this Act to be received att the Rate of Five shillings and foure pence an Ounce until the said First day of June One thousand six hundred ninety seven for the Aid Subsidy or other Payments aforesaid may also be converted into the lawfull Coins of this Realme Be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That all such hammered Silver Coin or Plate so received or to be received shall from time to time by the Direction of the Com[m]issioners of His Majesties Tresury or any One or more of them, now being or the High Tresurer or any or more of the Com[m]issioners of the Tresury for the time being (who have hereby full Power and Authority given them in that behalfe) be melted downe and cast into Ingotts and be delivered into His Majesties Mint or Mints by Indentures with the Master and Worker of the Mints to be there reduced to Sterling and coined by the Mill and Presse into the lawfull Coins of this Realme and that all the new Money proceeding from such Ingotts (except the necessary Charge of making the new Money and of melting and refining the Silver) shall from time to time by the like Direction be applied and placed to the respective Accounts of the particular Revenues Taxes Loans or other Branches to which the said hammered Moneys or Plate respectively did belong and shall be issued paid out and disposed accordingly so farr as it will extend att the Receipt of Exchequer for Payment of Principal Interest Annuities or other Uses or by the respective Receivers General upon Bills of Creditt in such and the like Course Order Manner and Forme as ought to have been observed in case the Receipt or Collection in Plate or such hammered Money had been made in the lawfull and current Monies of this Realme and so as that in all Cases where any of the said hammered Money or the Money for which such Plate shall be received were appropriated by any Act or Acts of Parliament for Satisfaction of Loans or Annuities or for Payment of Bills of Creditt or for any other Uses the new Monies coming instead thereof (so farr as the same will extend) shall be appropriated issued and applied to the same respective Uses and in the same Course and Order as are prescribed by such Acts without being diverted or divertible to any other Use or being misapplied under the Penalty of incurring the same Forfeitures and Disabilities by the Officers of the Exchequer Receivers General and other Persons concerned therein as they would have incurred for diverting or misapplying the lawfull and current Moneys of such Taxes [or (fn. 3) ] Revenues or other Branches respectively.