TOWER of London. Coins. 83

TOWER of London. Coins.

Which twenty four by Weight then appointed, were as much as the former thirty two Grains of Wheat; a Penny Force twenty five Grains and an Half; the Penny Deble or Feeble twenty two Grains and an half, &c.

Now for the Penny Easterling how it took that Name I think good briefly to touch. It hath been said, that Numa Pompilius, the Second King of the Romans, commanded Money first to be made: of whose Name they were called Numi. And when Copper Pence, Silver Pence, and Gold Pence were made, (because every Silver Penny was worth Ten Copper Pence, and every Gold Penny worth Ten Silver Pence) the Pence were therefore called in Latin, Denarii. And oftentimes, the Pence are named of the Matter and Stuff of Gold or Silver. But the Money of England was called of the Workers and Makers thereof; as the Floren of Gold is called of the Florentines that were the Workers thereof; and so the Easterling Pence took their Name of the Easterlings which did first make this Money in England, in the Reign of Henry the Second.

The Penny Easterling how it took the Name.

H. 2. made a new Coin in the 3d of his Reign.

Thus have I set down, according to my small reading in Antiquity, these Money Matters; omitting the Imaginations of late Writers; of whom some have said, Easterling Money to take that Name of a Star stamped in the Border or Ring of the Penny; other some, of a Bird, called a Star or Starling, stamped in the Circumference; and other (more unlikely) of being coyned at Strivelin or Starling, a Town in Scotland, &c.

Starling Money, when it took beginning in this Land.

Now concerning Halfpence and Farthings. The Accompt of which is more subtiller than the Pence, I need not speak of them more, than that they were only made in the Exchange at London, and no where else: First, pointed to be made by Edward the First, in the Eighth of his Reign; and also at the same time the said King's Coin was some few Groats of Silver, but they were not usual. The King's Exchange at London was near unto the Cathedral Church of S. Paul, and is to this Day commonly called, The Old Change; but in Evidences, The Old Exchange.

Of Halfpence and Farthings.

The Old Change.

The King's Exchanger in this Place, was to deliver out to every other Exchanger throughout England, or other the King's Dominions, their Coining Irons; that is to say, one Standard or Staple, and two Trussels, or Punchions. And when the same were spent and worn, to receive them with an Account what Sum had been coined, and also their Pix, or Box of Assay, and to deliver other Irons new graven, &c. I find that in the 9th of King John, there was, besides the Mint at London, other Mints at Winchester, Excester, Chichester, Canterbury, Rochester, Ipswich, Norwich, Linne, Lincoln, York, Carleil, Northampton, Oxford, S. Edmondsbury, and Durham. The Exchanger, Examiner, and Tryer, buyeth the Silver for Coinage; answering for every Hundred Pound of Silver, bought in Bullion, or otherwise 98l. 15s. for he taketh 25s. for Coinage.

The King's Exchanger's Office.

Mints in England.

Patent 9. K. John.

Diminishing of Coin.

King Edward the First, in the 27th of his Reign, held a Parliament at Stebunheth, in the House of Henry Waleis, Maior of London, wherein amongst other Things there handled, the transporting of Starling Money was forbidden.

Starling Money forbidden to be transported.

In the Year 1351, William Edington, Bishop of Winchester, and Treasurer of England, a wise Man, but loving the King's Commodity more than the Wealth of the whole Realm and Common People, (saith my Author) Caused a new Coin, called a Groat and a Half Groat, to be coined and stamped, the Groat to be taken for 4d. and the Half Groat for 2d. not containing in Weight according to the Pence called Easterlings, but much less, to wit, by 5s. in the Pound. By reason whereof Victuals and Merchandizes became dearer through the whole Realm.

Thom. Wals.

First Groats and Half Coined.

About the same Time also the old Coin of Gold was changed into a new; but the old Floren or Noble, then so called, was worth much above the taxed Rate of the new. And therefore the Merchants ingrossed up the old, and conveyed them out of the Realm, to the great Loss of the Kingdom. Wherefore a Remedy was provided, by changing of the Stamp.

The old Coin of Gold changed.

Coins of Gold enhaunced.

In the Year 1411. King Henry IV. caused a new Coin of Nobles to be made of less Value than the old by 4d. in the Noble, so that Fifty Nobles should be a Pound, Troy Weight.

A new Coin of Nobles.

In the Year 1421. was granted to Henry V. a Fifteen to be paid at Candlemas, and at Martinmasse, of such Money as was then currant Gold, or Silver, not overmuch clipped or washed; to wit, that if the Noble were worth 5s. 8d. then the King should take it for a full Noble of 6s. 8d. and if it were less of Value, than 5s. 8d. then the Person paying that Gold, to make it good to the Value of 5s. 8d. the King alway receiving it for an whole Noble of 6s. 8d. and if the Noble so payed were better than 5s. 8d. the King to pay again the Surplusage, that it was better than 5s. 8d. Also this Year was such scarcity of white Money, that though a Noble were so good of Gold and Weight, as 6s. 8d. Men could get no white Money for them.

Nobles Clipped or Washed.

More plenty of Coin in Gold than in Sliver.

In the Year 1465, King Edward the Fourth caused a new Coin both of Gold and Silver to be made, whereby he gained much. For he made of an old Noble a Royal, which he commanded to go for 10s. Nevertheless to the same Royal was put 8d. of Allay, and so weighed the more, being smitten with a new Stamp, to wit, a Rose. He likewise made half Angels of 5s. and Farthings of 2s. 6d. Angelets of 6s. 8d. and half Angels 3s. 4d. He made Silver Money of Three Pence, a Groat, and so of other Coins after that Rate, to the great Harm of the Commons.

Coins of Gold allayed, and also raised in Value, in Ed. IVth, his Reign.

Rose Nobles.

"W. Lord Hastings, the King's Chamberlain, being Master of the King's Mints, saith the Record, undertook to make the Monies under Form following; to wit, of Gold a Piece of 8s. 4d. Starling, which should be called a Noble of Gold. Of the which there should be Fifty such Pieces in the Pound Weight of the Tower. Another Piece of Gold, 4s. 2d. of Starlings, and to be of them an Hundred such Pieces in the Pound. And a Third Piece of Gold, 2s. 1d. Starling. Two Hundred such Pieces in the Pound, every Pound Weight of the Tower to be worth 20l. 16s. 8d. of Starlings. The which should be 23 Carects, 3 Grains, and half 5, &c. and for Silver 37s. 6d. of Starlings. The Piece of 4 Pence, to be 112 Groats, and two Pence in the Pound Weight."

L. Hastings, Master of the Mints.

In the Year 1504. King Henry VII. appointed a new Coin; to wit, a Groat, and Half a Groat, which bare but half Faces. The same time also was coined a Groat, which was in Value 12d. but of those but a few, after the Rate of Forty Pence the Ounce.

Half faced Groats, in Hen. 7. his Reign.

In the Year 1526. the 18th of Henry VIII. the Angel Noble, being then the sixth Part of an Ounce Troy; so that six Angels were just an Ounce, which was 40s. Sterling, and the Angel was also worth two Ounces of Silver; so that six Angels were worth twelve Ounces of Silver, which was 40s. A Proclamation was made on the 6th of September, that the Angel should go for 7s. 4d. the Royal for 11s. and the Crown for 4s. 4d. And on the 5th of November following, again by Proclamation, the Angel was enhaunced to 7s. 6d. and so every Ounce of Gold to be 45s. and the Ounce of Silver at 3s. 9d. in Value.

In Hen. 8. his Reign.

Gold and Silver enhaunced.

In the Year 1544. the 35th of Henry VIII. on the 16th of May, Proclamation was made for the enhauncing of Gold to 48s. and Silver to 4s. the

Base Monies coined and currant in England.