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To Lawrence Harriot Smith for work done in the office.
To William Bradford for Candles and wooden trayes
To Joseph haut for Scales and weights.
To James Collinson for covering Tables and
To John Collins for Cartage of ffarthings unto
To the ffees paid at the Exchecq at the Receipt
The Total of payments and disbursements
And so the said Accomptant is indebted to the King's Majtie in Ready Money 5365€ 10s. 00d.
And remaining in Copper Blanks 1462 lbs. 6 oz. weight to bee accounted for upon the next Account.
Declaratno 27 October 1674.
Labelled on the back :
"Account of JAMES HOARE ffor Copper ffarthings from 20 July 1672 Unto the 20 Aprill 1678."
NOTES ON THE ANNALS OF THE SCOTTISH
THE original records of the various coinages of James VI. -now for the first time published-are of the highest degree of importance, and throw a complete light on the numismatic history of his reign. The contemporary acts of the Scottish Parliament, quoted by Cardonnel and Lindsay, and the few acts of the Privy Council, and extracts from the later Mint registers-given by the lastnamed author, comprise all that has been hitherto known of the History of the Scottish Mint during this important period. A careful search through the unprinted minutes of the Privy Council has added many most interesting acts and proclamations relating to the various coinages and changes in the value of the money. Other authentic documents have also been preserved. Among these will be found a "Compt of the Coynehous maid be Thomas Achesone," extending from April, 1582 (with a few blanks), to August, 1606. Several of the original warden's books or registers of the daily operations at the Mint; overtures or reports by the master coiner relating to proposed alterations in the coins; contracts between the King, the Lords of Council, and the various
individuals who at different periods leased the profits of the money have been preserved, and afford almost complete information regarding the fineness, weight, type, and changes in the value of all the coins of this reign. The most important and interesting of the results of this investigation will be found noted under the various years to which they belong.
1567. The first coinage of this reign was authorised by an act of Privy Council,1 dated in the month of August, which minutely specifies the type, weight, fineness, and value of the sword dollar, or "James Ryall," and the twothirds and one-third parts of it. Proclamation, by the royal authority, was made on the 1st September,2 commanding all and sundry to receive the new coins at the respective values of xxx/, xx/, and x/.3
The Scottish Parliament in December authorised the King, with the advice of the Regent, to "prent and cunze gold and siluer of sic fynes as vtheris cuntreis dois ; and ordered that no "layit" or billon money be struck except with the consent of the three Estates of Parliament. It was also made illegal to break down or melt coined money, under pain of confiscation of the goods of the offender. Another act of the same session provided that men of judgment were to be chosen in every town, before whom all sums of money were to be paid, and who were to clip in pieces all false money. One penny per pound was fixed as the fee for the clipper, and the
'Privy Council Records, (MS., Edin.), 1567, p. 81; Balfour's "Annals," vol. i. p. 341; Cardonnel, Ap., No. 2, p. 2. 2" Diurnal of Occurrents," p. 120.
"Scots Acts," iii. p. 29 c. 21.
"Scots Acts," vol. iii. p. 80, c. 24; also p. 45, c. 91.
Provosts and other municipal officers were to furnish houses in which the examination of the money was to take place.
Lindsay notices these acts in his view of the Scottish Coinage, but gives them in the wrong order, and is also incorrect in the date. Great frauds appear to have been practised at this time about the money, and vigorous measures were taken to repress them. A merchant of Dundee, named Robert Jacke, was one of the principal offenders, and carried on his operations on a very extensive scale. He fabricated false hardheads in Flanders, and imported them into the country. This having been found out, it is noted in Birrel's Diary that he was hanged and quartered.
An act of Parliament' was passed on the 22nd December, which provided that in consequence of the money of the realm having been made lighter than it ought to be, by "roungeing, clipping, and wesching," the xxx/, xx/, and x pieces were to be weighed with weights of the ounce, two-thirds, and one-third ounce respectively. These weights were to have a special stamp or device on them. It would be interesting to know if any of these weights have been preserved. The ounce was the Scottish or French ounce, and lighter by 7 grains than the ounce of the English Troy standard.
In order to prevent the importation of foreign or false money, another acts provided for the sharp punishment of false coiners; and altered the values of the smaller coins. "Nonsunts," or the "Twelff penny grote" of Francis
View of the Coinage," p. 58.
"Dalzell's "Fragments," p. 14; Balfour's "An.," vol. i. p. 342. ""Scots Acts," vol. iii. p. 89, c. 24.
"Scots Acts," vol. iii. p. 48, c. 72.
and Mary, were to pass for six pence: "babeis," (the Edinburgh and Stirling placks) for three pence; "plakkis," (possibly those with the legend "servio," &c.), for two pence; "hardheads," for half-pennies; and "penyis" to stand as they were.
The Treasurer's accounts for this year show the names and wages of the officials of the Mint, and no change appears to have taken place since 1564, except that Gray, the "sinkar of the Irinis," gets a larger sum, probably owing to the new dies required for the "James Ryall." A lease of the Mint for ten years, from February, 1567, was entered into with Robert Richardson, at a yearly rent of £3,333 68. 8d.; but it does not appear to have continued more than three years.
1570. The measures for preventing the importation of base money seem to some extent to have failed. For in 1570, the Convention of Boroughs 10 supplicated the Lords of Articles to make inquisition and punish those who were found importing false hardheads or placks, so that innocent merchants might be cleared.
An act of the Privy Council of this year, relates to the half-merk or quarter-merk, coins which appear almost immediately. From a "discharge of the cunze of halfmerkis and xld. pecis" in the Treasurer's accounts, it appears that the profit arising from every stone of sixteen pounds, "passing the Irnis" of silver, eleven penny fine, was twenty pounds; and the profit arising from the coinage of the half-merk and forty-penny pieces, was fourteen pounds ten shillings and ten pence per stone.
1571. Among the manuscript collections of the late Earl of Haddington preserved in the Advocates' Library,
"Registrum Compotorum Thesaurii." (MS. Reg. Ho. Edin.) 10 Records of the Convention of Boroughs," p. 22.