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3.20. ¶Of the Coynes of Englande. Cap. 20.

¶Of the Coynes of Englande. Cap. 20.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 THe Saxon Coyne before the Conqueſt is vtterly vnknowne vnto me: how bée it if my coniecture be any thing, I ſuppoſe that the ſhillynges of ſiluer, in thoſe dayes did counterpeiſe our common ounce, though afterwarde it came to paſſe that it aroſe to twentie pence, and ſo continued vntyll the tyme of King Henry the eyght, who firſt brought it to thrée ſhillings and foure pence, [...]pper [...]oney. and afterwarde our Syluer Coyne vnto braſſe & copper monies, by reaſon of thoſe in|eſtimable charges, which dyuers wayes op|preſſed him. But as king Edward his ſonne began to reſtore ye aforeſayde Coine againe vnto fine ſiluer: ſo Quéene Mary his ſucceſ|ſour did continue his good purpoſe: notwith|ſtanding that in hir time the Spaniſh mo|ney was very common in England, by rea|ſon of hir mariage with Philyp King of Spayne.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 After hir diſceaſe the Lady Elizabeth hyr ſiſter, and now our moſt gracious Quéene,Siluer re|ſtored. and ſouereigne Princes, did finiſh the mat|ter wholly, vtterly aboliſhing the vſe of cop|per Coine, and conuerting the ſame into fine Syluer, as péeces of halfpeny fardyng, of a po [...]y, of thrée half pens, péeces of twoo pence, of thrée pence, of foure pence (called ye groate) of ſixe pence vſually named the teſ|tone, and ſhilling of twelue pence, whereon ſhée hath imprinted hir owne ymage, & em|phaticall ſuperſcription.Olde gold Our Gould is ey|ther olde or new. The old is that which hath remained ſince ye time of king Edwarde the thirde, or béene Coyned by ſuch other Prin|ces, as haue reigned ſince his diſceaſe, with|out abaſing of the fyneſt of that mettall. Therof alſo wée haue yet remayning, the Ryall, the George noble, the Henry Ryall, the Saint, the Angell, and their ſmaller pée|ces, as halfes or quarters, though theſe in my time, are not ſo common to be ſéene. I haue alſo behelde the Souereine of twen|ty ſhillinges, & the péece of thirtie ſhillyngs, I haue harde lykewiſe of péeces of forty ſhil|lings, thrée pounde, fiue pounde, and tenne pound. But ſith there were fewe of them coi|ned, and thoſe only at the commaundement of the kings, yearely to beſtow where their maieſties thought good in lieu of new yeres gyftes and rewardes: it is not requiſite that I ſhould remember them here amongſt our currant coynes.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 The newe Golde is taken for ſuch as be|ganne to be coyned in the latter dayes of king Henry the eyght,New gold at which time the fi|neſſe of the mettall began to be very much alayed, and is not likely to bée reſtored for ought that I can ſée: & yet is it & ſuch as hath béene coyned ſince by hys ſucceſſours prin|ces of this Realme in value and goodneſſe equall and not inferiour to the coyne and currant Golde of other nations, where eche one doth couet to gather vppe our olde finer Golde: ſo that the Angels, Ryalles, & No|bles, are more plentifully ſéene in Fraunce and Flanders, then they be by a great deale within the Realme of England. Our péeces nowe currant are of tenne ſhillinges, fiue ſhillings, & two ſhillinges and ſixe pence on|ly: and thoſe of ſundry ſtampes and names, as half ſouereines, quarters of Soueraines, (otherwyſe called Crownes,) & halfe Crow|nes: lykewiſe Angels, halfe Angels, & quar|ters of Angels, or if there be any other, in good ſooth I knowe them not, as one ſcaſely acquainted with any ſiluer at all, much leſſe then God it wote with any ſtore of Goulde.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 EEBO page image 127The firſt currant ſhilling, or péeces of twelue pence were coyned by kyng Henry the eight: thoſe of fyue ſhillinges, & of 2. ſhil. & 6. pence, & the half ſhil. by king Edward ye ſixt: but the odde péeces aboue remẽbred vn|der the groat, by our high & mighty Pryn|ces Quéene Elizabeth, the name of ye groat peny: 2. pence: ob. & farding, being more aun|cient then yt I can wel diſcuſſe of the time of their beginnings. Yet thuſmuch I read that king Edwarde the firſt in the eight yeare of his reigne, did firſt come the peny & ſmalleſt péeces of ſiluer roundewyſe, which before were ſquare, and woont to haue a doubble croſſe wyth a creſt, in ſuch ſorte that the peny might eaſily be brokẽ, eyther into halfs or quarters, by which ſhift onely the people came by halfe pence and fardinges, that o|therwyſe were not ſtamped nor coyned of ſet purpoſe.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 Of forren coynes we haue both the Duc|cates, the ſingle and the double: the Cruſa|does, with the lõg croſſe & the ſhort: ye Por|tigue, a péece very ſolemly kept of dyuers, & yet oft times abaſed with waſhing, or elſe abſolutely coũterfeicted: and finally yne french and flemiſh crownes, onely currant among vs, ſo long as they holde weight. But of ſil|uer coynes none at all: yet are the Dalders and ſuch, often tymes brought ouer, but neuertheleſſe exchanged as Bullion, accor|ding to their fineneſſe and weight, and after|warde conuerted into coyne, by ſuch as haue authority.

Compare 1587 edition: 1 In olde time we had ſundrye Mintes in Englande, and thoſe commonly kept in Ab|baies and religious houſes before the con|queſte, where true dealing was commonly ſuppoſed: moſt of all to dwel. As at Ram|ſeye, Bury, Caunterbury, Glaſſenbury and ſuch like, ſundry exemplificats of ye graunts whereof are yet to be ſéene in wryting. But after the Normans had once gotten the ma|ſterye, they truſted themſelues beſt wyth the ouerſight of their Mintes, and therefore erected diuers of their owne, although they afterwarde permitted ſome for ſmall péeces of Siluer, vnto ſundry of the houſes afore|ſayd. In my time diuers mints are ſuppreſ|ſed as Southworke, Bryſtow, &c. and al coi|nage is brought into one place, that is to ſay the Tower of London, where it is continu|ally holden and peruſed, but not without great gaine to ſuch as deale wtall. There is alſo coinage of Tin holdẽ yearly at two ſe|uerall times, that is to ſaye Midſomer and Michaelmas in the weſt country, which at the firſt hearing, I ſuppoſed to haue béene of money of the ſayde metall and graunted by Priuiledge from the Prince, vnto ye townes of Haylſtone, Trury, & Loſtwithiel. How|beit vpon farder examinatiõ of the matter, I finde it to be nothing ſo, but an office one|ly erected for the Prince, wherein he is al|lowed the ordinary cuſtomes of the mettall and ſuch blockes of Tinne as haue paſſed ye handes of his Officers, are marked wyth an eſpeciall ſtampe, whereby it is knowne that the cuſtome due for the ſame, hath ordinari|ly béene aunſwered. It ſhould ſéeme & in my opinion is very likely to be true, that whyle Romains reigned here, Kingſtone vppon Thames was the chiefe place of their coy|nage for this prouince. For in earing of the grounde about that Towne in tymes paſt, and nowe of late (beſides the curious funda|tion of many goodly buyldinges that haue béene ripped vp, and diuers coines of braſſe, ſiluer, and Golde, with Romaine letters in painted pots that haue béene found there) in the dayes of Cardinall Wolſey, one ſuch pot was diſcouered ful as it were of new ſil|uer lately coined. Another with plates of ſil|uer ready to be coyned. And the thirde wyth cheanes of ſiluer, ready as it ſhould appears to bée melted into coine, whereof let thys ſu|ffice to countenaunce out my coniecture.

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