|TOWER of London. The Mint. ||102
October 1573. to the 12th of July 1578. Gold Money coined were
poiz 629 Pound Weight, 8 Ounces, one Penny Weight and six
From April, as aforesaid, to Octob. ult. 1573. Silver Monies coined
were 55675 Pound Weight, six Ounces. From Octob. ult. as
aforesaid to July 1578. Silver Monies coined were 94238 Pound
Weight, 10 Ounces, 16 Penny Weight.
Anno 1577. There was a Trial-piece made: Which Trial-piece tried
the Work-Master of the Mint his Monies. Which Mr. Martin the
Warden brought into Goldsmith's Hall; being a just and good
Standard in Fineness; as he divers Times reported it to be by Trial
made thereof in France and Flanders. And by many other Trials
of the same made, before the preferring of the same to the
Goldsmiths. And another Trial-Piece was made, authorized by the
Privy Council, to touch Plate.
A Trial Piece made.
In the Year 1570, and odd, one Nicholas Rykward, formerly a
Dependant on Walter Pepperd, belonging to the Queen's Mines in
Ireland, petitioned the Queen about the Mint Ashes. The Rubbish
and Ashes of the Tower Mint were cast out as of no Value, and
laid rejected by the Space of four or five Years; and other some for
20, 40, 60, or 100 Years and upward, (as vain and of no
Estimation) after the Silver and other Metals had been tried,
washed, fined, and molten. This Man thought, that by further
trying, good handling, and Husbandry with Labour, these Heaps of
Rubbish might be wrought, and reduced to some Commodity and
Profit. In Consideration whereof he humbly besought the Queen
to grant to him and his Assigns all that Rubbish and Ashes of all
her Mints, which had been so cast out in the Tower, or such Parts
of them as she should please, with convenient Liberty to make,
search, dig, take and use the same; filling and making good the
same Places and Grounds which he shall break, and leaving them
in as good Case or better than he found them; during some
reasonable Term of Years, by her Majesty to be limited: With
Proviso, that none other should have, use, or occupy the trying of
the same Ashes nor Rubbish, nor the Earths wherewith the same
were mingled: To be taken at some reasonable Yearly Kent, or Part
of the Grain or Profit that should grow thereby.
Richard Martin before mentioned, now Master of the Mint,
Alderman of London (afterwards Sir Richard Martin, Knt. and Lord
Maior) was a very able and honest Man, and long had served in
that Office. But he could not escape Enemies and Enviers. These
had set on a beggarly, bold Fellow to accuse him (the Slander
whereof ran abroad, and made a great Impression upon him) as
though he coined not good Standard. Whereupon to satisfy the
Queen, the Lord Treasurer, and all other, in his Truth and
Faithfulness, he made an Offer in April 1586. to the said
Treasurer, propounding Means, whereby Trial might be made of
the Goodness and Fineness of her Majesty's Money. Which was,
that a Jury of honest and indifferent Persons should be sworn to
try, and present the Truth unto her Majesty's Commissioners
touching the Work-masters Dealings in making the Queen's
Monies. The Jury to be made up of Aldermen, Merchants, and
Commoners of the best Rank and Quality. And that they repair to
the Mint, and there see the weighing, assaying, commixing and
melting of one Pot of Silver Ingots, and another Pot of Spanish
Monies. And that after the just Standard of 11 Ounces 2d. Weight
fine of pure Silver of 12 Ounces fine, and 18d. Weight of Alloy,
according to her Majesty's Indenture, and as always it hath been
done from time to time.
Master of the Mint his Office.
Sir Richard Martin.
And that these Pots shall be severally molten, and cast out into
small Ingots, as is used for making the Monies. That then for most
rency, there may be taken three of those small Ingots of either
Pot, for making the Pot-Assay in manner as followeth, viz. One
small Ingot of the first Range, another small Ingot of the midst of
the Pot, and another small Ingot of the last Range of the same Pot.
And that of every of these small Ingots there be taken a just and
equal Proportion to make the Pot-Assay, the Lib. subtil being of
15 Grains. To make the same, there is to be taken of every of
those three small Ingots, five Grains. And that after the Monies
shall be made hereof, this Jury may also see the Money-Assays
made. And when this is done, the said Jury, in Presence, and by
Survey of the said Master-Worker, may collect one full Pound
Weight of all the Monies made in the Time of the said Master-
Worker, as the same shall appear by their several Privy Marks,
either out of her Majesty's Receipt, or out of Mens Purses, as they
are to be found, as it shall please the said Commissioners to
And when one full Pound Weight of every sort of those Monies
shall be so collected, that then every Pound Weight thereof may
be severally molten, and just Essays thereof severally made in
Presence of the said Jury and Officers of the Mint. And that then
the Premisses to be presented before the said Commissioners, as
the same shall be truly found.
In the doing all which Things, the Accusers themselves, and others
which they shall desire, or as many of them as your Honours shall
think meet, may be present to see how all things are done. So the
whole Action and Circumstances in and about the making of the
said Monies shall be plainly laid open, for plain Satisfaction of the
Truth to her Majesty, her honourable Council, and all others.
Which Truth the said Master-Worker desireth to be made
apparent; and nothing doubteth but that his true and faithful
Dealing will also appear therewith, to the evident Confutation of
those slanderous Accusations which have been raised against him.
Anno 1597. some Goldsmiths and others made a Complaint again,
and preferred a Petition against Misdemeanors in the Mint; which
were likely to cause great Decay of her Majesty's Profit by
Thousands of Bullion that might and would come in; utterly
discouraging her Subjects that would bring in Bullion into the
Mint. The great Hindrance whereof they made to be; for that Sir
Richard Martin did detain great Sums of their Money perforce,
which had been long before coined, converting it to his own Use.
But this seems to be only the Complaint of some few peevish Folk;
there being but Seven Hands to the Petition, and the two first
Women, viz. Mary Feek, and Susannah Franknel. This Man laid
long under the Spleen and Malice of some People, but as formerly,
in a Letter to the Lord Treasurer, he appealed to the Searcher of
all Hearts, who best knew how unjustly he was accused, and
earnestly desired an honest and indifferent Jury for Trial of his
Cause; so it bespake his faithful and good Service, that the Queen
continued him thus long in her Service.
Some complain against the Mint Master.
Lastly, Let me add two or three Things more, and so conclude this
Discourse of the Mint.
Though the Kings of England had serveral Mints in other Places in
the Realm, yet this was a Privilege peculiar to the Mint in the
Tower, that the King's Seals throughout the Realm were to be
engraven within the Tower only. For it appears on Record in the
Exchequer by sundry Writs there recorded, that when as any Seal
of the Kings of this Realm in former Times were to be graven, then
a Writ was directed to the Warden of the Mint, limiting him the
Form of such Seal, with a Commandment,
"The he should do such
The King's Seals to be engraven only in the Tower Mint.