Introduction by W. A Shaw,
[Dorso.] MR. NEWTON'S MEMORIAL CONCERNING THE PROPORTI0N OF GOLD AND SILVER IN VALUE.
1701, Sept. 28
To the Rt Honble the Lords Commrs of his Majties Treasury.
MAY IT PLEASE YOR LORDSP.,—
By the late Edicts of the French King for raising the monies in France the proportion of the value of Gold to that of Silver being altered, I humbly presume to give yr Lordps notice thereof. By the last of those Edicts the Lewis d'or passes for fourteen Livres & the Ecus or French crown for three livres & sixteen sols. At wch rate the Lewis d'or is worth 16s. 7d. sterling, supposing the Ecus worth 4s. 6d. as it is recconed in the court of exchange & as I have found it by some Assays. The proportion therefore between Gold & Silver is now become the same in France as it has been in Holland for some years. For at Amsterdam the Lewis d'or passes for 9 Guilders and nine or ten styvers wch in our money amounts to 16s. 7d. & it has past at this rate for the last five or six years.
At the same rate a Guinea of due weight, & allay is worth £ 1, 0s. 11 d.
In Spain Gold is recconed (in stating accompts) worth sixteen times its weight of silver of the same allay, at wch rate a Guinea of due weight and allay is worth 1£ 2s. 1 d. but the Spaniards make their payments in Gold & will not pay in Silver without an abatement. This abatement is not certain, but rises & falls according as Spain is supplied with Gold or Silver from the Indies. Last winter it was about five per cent.
The state of the money in France being unsetled, whether it may afford a sufficient argument for altering the proportion of the values of Gold & Silver monies in England is most humbly submitted to yor Lordps great wisdome.
MINT OFFICE, Sept. 28, 1701.
Treasury Papers,vol. lxxvi. No. 36. Autograph in Newton's hand.
Html-edition after William A. Shaw's edition in: William A. Shaw, Select Tracts and Documents Illustrative of English Monetary History 1626-1730 (London: Wilsons & Milne, 1896) [reprint: (New York: Augustus Kelley Publishers, 1967)], p.135-136 — webdesign: Olaf Simons, Sep. 2004.