The Hartlib Papers

Title:Copy In Hand ?, Blondeau'S Proposals For Coinage
Dating:[1653?]
Ref:8/20/1A-2B: 2B BLANK
Notes:See also 26/48 and 27/20/7.
[8/20/1A]

          Blondeaus proposalls about
         a new way of coining of money
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[another hand:]
            Mr Blondeau's Remonstrance.
Severall Kings of France & other great persons & among the rest the late Cardinall of Richelieu & Mr des Nojers one of his cheifest Counsellours & a Minister of state in France, have often desired to finde out the Invention to coyne the money after the way I doe now present unto this state & even the said Cardinall & Mr des Nojers had proposed a great reward to the man that should happen to finde it out: this together with the said Mr des Nojers his solicitation did move Peter Blondeau to make use of his best industery & skill to finde out the said Invention; the which after a long study & a vast expense of time & money did soe happiely succeed unto him with the assistance of God:;'/ The <said> Cardinall happened to dye about that time. & not long after the late King Lewis the 13th whereby the said Blondeau was in some measure disappointed of his pretension yet hee made his addresses unto Cardinall Mazarin, & by him hee offered unto Lewis the 14th now reigning in France this his Invention but the Cardinall though hee did relish the busines yet being unwilling to make such a great change dureing the Kings Minority hee desired the said Blondeau to put off his motion untill the King should bee in age and in the meane while ordered an yearely pension unto the said Blondeau & a lodging in the Kings Louver where to this day his family doth abide;'-/ The state of England having in the meane while happiely altered the Government, & established a free state, the said Blondeau his zeale to the protestant religion; & his affection to the present Government made him resolve to forsake his present advantages & future hopes, to come & present this state with his Invention & having first sent some paterns which were very well relished by the honorable Councell of State who approved of them & gave them some incouragements hee repaired himselfe in person hither, But was noe sooner arrived, that Doctor Gourdon thereunto moved by one David Ramage opposed his settlement, the said Ramage saying hee could doe as much as the said Blondeau; & the said Doctor confidently reporting that had hee the said Blondeau's paterns, hee would without failing finde out the Invention;'.= The said Ramage effected indeed some what, but farre from what hee vndertooke; for hee made some thicke peeces marked upon the brimes; wherein it is observable that the said peeces soe marked are done two severall ways, the one is very ancient & chargable because long adoeing, & which cannot bee done upon <the> ordinary coyne which is thinne; the other way is that which the said Blondeau hath found out; which is very expeditive & quick, & thefore very little chargable, & is done as well upon the thinne peeces as upon the thicke ones; the said Ramage hath made vse of the first way, that is the ancient: but the said Blondeau is the only man, that may make vse of the second;'.= As for Doctor Gourdon, after hee had kept the said paterns whole three months, hee insisted to have them somewhat longer; saying some men had promised him they would finde out the Invention; but having kept six months longer hee was soe farre from geting the said Invention, that hee returned unto the said Blondeau part of his paterns, without effecting anything;'.= I have affirmed in my proposition that my invention will prevent the counterfeiting, moulding, Clipping, or any way altering the money; which I doe yet offer to maintaine & make good;'= And whereas some men doe object that assoone as the way I vse shall bee made publicke; then it may bee counterfeited; To that I answer first that the Invention needs not to bee made publicke; but if it bee the pleasure of the State; the Machins where with the brims are marked may bee kept secret among few men, who shall bee swourne to keepe it and not to reveale it to any: 2ly: I answer that though they bee made publicke, the Machins that are vsed therein are soe big and heavie being between 1 & 2000 pound weight, and soe difficult to bee made; and afore they bee perfected, ought to goe through so many hands, that the great expenses requisite thereunto will dissuade anyone
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to undertake it; the rich not being willing & the poore being unable to lay out soe much money for an uncertaine profitt, besides the hazard of being discovered by the privity or soe many men through whose hands the Machins ought to passe afore they bee serviceable which affordeth mee a third answer that the Machins imployed therein being soe great as aforesaid, they doe require a very large roome and a great number of men to worke about them; and consequently noe private man can undertake the same, without being instantly discovered; where as the money that is coyned with the hammer, requireing but an hammer & two stamps; which can easily be hidden and carried in a mans pockett, it is most easy to counterfeit the same and that secretly: yea any man that can grave can make make himself with very little cost all what is requisite to coyne with the hammer all which is prevented, as aforesaid by my Invention, etc. Some doe reply to that; that the money coyned with the hammer cannot easily bee counterfeeted because of the noise that ought to bee made in the stamping; which doth not happen in the presse or Mill; I answer that every Gunmaker or Locksmith or any other that makes vse of a vice. can with two small stamps coyne the money in the said vice without any noyse, by pressing the same at severall times, but if they were put to marke all the peece at one stroake: as in the said Blondeau's Invention it ought to bee, then it is impossible to doe it without strong & heavie Machins as aforesaid;'.
Some doe object that it can bee moulded; but to this I returne noe answer. for it is a thing knowne to all understanding men in the way of moulding; that it is absolutely [word deleted] prevented by my Invention: etc. To object that it can bee Clipped is noe lesse absurd then to say that the sun is darke, or the fire cold, & therefore I pass over that objection; etc. Lastly some[altered] doe object that it can bee washed or otherwise altered; To this I answer that I have dilligently inquired and studied with great expenses all the ways of washing, and made severall experiences of them; I can boldly say that I know as much therein as any man & can wash both Gold and Silver severall ways with an extreame dexterity: and therefore I may certainly affirme, that it is impossible to take never soe little from a peece soe coyned by washing; but it will take away its luster and polishing and spoyle the worke which is most neat and delicate, soe that the grossest man and most unskillfull can easily perceive that it lookes as it had been moulded; besides that the ingredients that are requisite: and the charge necessary to bring againe together the Gold or Silver, will cost more or as much at least; as the profitt of washing may come unto; therefore I doe conclude that noe body will vndertake it;' etc. The money coyned meerly at the Mill can bee made with very small Machins, but that which is propounded by the said Blondeau cannot bee coyned without great many big, and heavie Machins;'----