TOWER of London. The Mint. 102

TOWER of London. The Mint.

October 1573. to the 12th of July 1578. Gold Money coined were poiz 629 Pound Weight, 8 Ounces, one Penny Weight and six Grains.

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.

Mint Ashes.

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 Indiffe- 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 appoint.

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 a "

The King's Seals to be engraven only in the Tower Mint.

Seal,