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NOTES ON THE ANNALS OF THE SCOTTISH
1661. ON New Year's Day, 1661, Parliament solemnly ratified and confirmed the liberties, privileges, and immunities of the officers of the mint,' which had been granted to them from the time of David II., and often confirmed by his successors, and especially by James V., in the thirtieth year of his reign, and by James VI. in 1584 and at other times. This Act recites fully all the privileges and liberties claimed and enjoyed by the officials of the mint, and refers particularly to the grants formerly made.
The Provost of Edinburgh, Sir Robert Murray of Cameron, protested, in name of the municipality, against any encroachment on the rights of the Burgh of Edinburgh by this ratification, and his protest is entered on the records of Parliament.
On the same day a warrant was given 2 to Charles Maitland, General of the Mint, to search for and seize
Acts," vol. vii. p. 227, c. 237.
Ibid., vol. vii. p. 233.
any tools or articles belonging to the mint, and carry them there for his Majesty's use.
On the 12th of June three thousand stone weight of copper was ordered to be coined into turners.3 The General of the Mint and the Master (Sir J. Falconer) were to furnish the copper equally between them; and it was specially ordered to be good, pure copper, without any mixture of brass, and of the same intrinsic value as the last. Each turner was to weigh one drop and a half, with an allowance of four grains more or less for remedy. Two thousand stone weight was to be coined within the space of three years, and the remainder when the Lords of Privy Council should think fit. They were also empowered to decide as to the impression and legend. As soon as the mint was in readiness to issue this new coinage, the Privy Council was to prohibit the importation and currency of all foreign copper coin; but any copper which was required for the coinage was to be imported free of duty.
A stock of 20,000 merks Scots was also provided for the mint; and it was ordered that any silver or gold found in Scotland was to be taken to the Cunzie house, and paid for at the rate of one ounce of coined gold of 22 carats for the ounce of bullion of 24 carats; and similarly the silver ounce of 12 denier fine, to be paid for by an ounce of minted silver coin of 11 denier. A coinage of four-merk pieces, with half, quarter, eighth, and sixteenth parts, was also authorized, and it was remitted to the Privy Council to fix the type and legends.
The Privy Council on the 2nd of October considered a report given in to them by the Lord President of Session 3" Acts," vol. vii. p. 254, c. 273. • 44 grains troy.
P. C. R., p. 45.
and the Provost of Edinburgh, regarding the petition lately presented by the General of the Mint. The Council recommended that letters should be granted at the instance of the General or Master of the Mint against any one contravening the Acts about bullion; and they advised that Sir John Falconer should be sent for to come home with the stamps, and that the receivers should pay the £300 ordered by Parliament immediately.
On the same day a letter to the secretary was read and approved of, proposing to raise the value of the gold coins in proportion to the late rise in England, and also requesting that the new dies might be delivered as soon as possible to Sir John Falconer, that he might return to Scotland and get the coinage commenced without delay. A proclamation was issued against turners made of mixed metal, and one-third less in weight than they ought to be. These were represented as bearing on the obverse the legend DEVS PROTECTOR NOSTER, and on the reverse NOMEN DOMINI SIT BENEDICT. These were altogether prohibited, and importers of them were to be punished.
The Lords of the Privy Council approved, on the 4th of November, of a letter to the King, asking that, in future, his royal commands concerning the coinage should be sent direct from himself to the Privy Council, and not through the Lord Secretary. This request was apparently complied with. On the 26th of November a proclamation was made raising the gold coinage to the same rate as it was current in England, or about one shilling and four pence on the xxs. piece.
6 P. C. R., p. 66.
1662. The Lords of the Privy Council on the 24th of April caused a proclamation to be made forbidding the importation of any foreign copper coin; but seeing that the mint was not yet in readiness, they permitted, temporarily, the currency of French "doitts," at one penny Scots each.
On the 10th of July the band of caution for Briot and Sir John Falconer was produced by the Lord Register, and registered in the books of the Council. It had been formally made in August and October, 1637.
On the same day a report was given in by certain commissioners about the differences which had arisen between the General and the Master of the Mint, chiefly about the expenditure of the £300 already mentioned, and about the lodgings in the mint. Sir John Falconer was to have whatever rooms he required for himself and his family, and any accommodation not required by him was to be given up for the General's use.
Lord Tarbet was added to the Commissioners of Privy Council formerly named, and they were appointed to meet on the 9th of August, and report regarding the mint and the copper money.
The King, on the 14th of November, commanded Thomas Simon to make puncheons 10 with his Majesty's effigies thereon and the royal arms, for the mint in Scotland. These were to be for one gold coin of 20 merks, for silver coins of 4 merks, 2 merks, 1 merk, half-merk, and 40d. pieces. These dies, with the exception of the one for the gold coinage, were delivered to the General of the Mint in the January following.
7 P. C. R., p. 141.
P. C. R., p. 169. 10 Ruding, vol. ii. p. 10.
1663. This was followed in June by a minute of the Council 11 appointing certain lords to meet and consider the propositions given in by the General of the Mint regarding the coinage, and to make inquiry for certain articles belonging to the mint which were at one time in the possession of the late Sir James Hope of Hopeton.
On the 2nd of July an Act was passed anent the mint, ordering the delivery to the graver of the puncheons for the 4 merk piece, 2 merk piece, 1 merk, half-merk, and 40d. pieces, in order that dies and matrices might be prepared forthwith.
Another Act on the 20th of October gave the types, &c., of this coinage. It ordered the issue only of 2 merks, merk, and half-merk pieces, and the type was to be the same as on the puncheons produced by the General, and since graven by the graver of the mint. The weights, standard, and remedies were also fully specified.
It will be observed that this only authorised the coinage of three out of the five species of coins noticed in the Act of Parliament. Joachim Harder is mentioned as the
sinker of the irons.
On the 1st of December the Council wrote to the Lord Secretary, 12 stating that the standard pieces furnished by King James to the Scottish Mint had been lost during the time of the late troubles, and requesting others to be sent, as they were necessary for the coinage which was about to go on in the Scottish Mint. Three separate standards were required, one for exchequer, one for the General, and one for the master worker.
1664. On the 9th of February, the Lords Justice Clerk and Register were recommended to speak to Sir
"P. C. R., p. 269.
VOL. XIV., N.S.
12 P. C. R., p. 238.