|TOWER of London. Coins. ||83
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
H. 2. made a new Coin in the 3d of his
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
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
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.
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
Nobles Clipped or Washed.
More plenty of Coin in Gold than in
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.
"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
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