Introduction by W. A Shaw, 1896link








17th July, 1702.
To the Rt. Honble. Sidney Lord Godolphin Ld. High Treasurer of England.
According to yor Lordps direction we have examined the values of several forreign coyns & endeavoured to inform our selves of the values of Gold in proportion to Silver in several nations & considered the ways of preserving the coyn. And by the accompts we have met with, Gold is higher in England than in France by about 9d. or 10d. in the Guinea, then in Holland by 11 d. or 12 pence in the Guinea, then in Germany & Italy by 12d. in the Guinea or above. In Spain & Portugal Gold is higher than in England by about 11 d. in the Guinea, for the great quantity of Silver coming from the West Indies has brought down the price of silver in all Europe in proportion to Gold and principally in Spain where the Bullion first arrives. The low price mends the market and thereby carries Silver from Spain into all Europe & from all Europe to the East Indies & China, the Merchant bidding more for it than it goes for among the natives. In Spain the Merchants advance about six per cent. or above, for silver: At which rate a Guinea is worth about 21 s. 3 3/8d. & sometimes less. In England they advance 3d. or 4d. per ounce, and at the rate of 3d. per ounce advance a Guinea is worth but 20s. 6 1/6d.

Gold is therefore at too high a rate in England by about 10d. or 12d. in the Guinea. And this tending to the decrease of the silver coyn we humbly conceive that one way of preserving this coyn is to lower the price of Gold suppose by taking 6d. 9d. or 12d. from the price of the Guinea so as that Gold may be of the same value in England as in the neighbouring parts of Europe. France has set us an example for in the last year when the Lewidor was raised there to 14 livres the Ecu was raised only to 72 sols. but it is now raised to 76 sols. tho' the Lewidor be raised only to 14 livres as before. So that Gold in respect of Silver is lower in France now then in the last war in the proportion of 76 to 72 that is by above 13½d. in the Guinea.

The liberty of melting forreign monies into ingots in private shops & houses for exportation gives opportunity of melting down the money of England for the same purpose, for restraining of wch a law might be usefull against exporting any Ingots of Silver melted down in England except in a publick Office to be appointed or erected for that purpose.

The law by barring the exportation of forreign silver after it is coyned prevents the coynage thereof, because the merchant cannot afterwards export it, & tends to discourage the importation of silver into England because the merchant can make no use of it whilst it stays here in the form of Bullion. The bringing of silver to the market of England & the turning it into money should rather be encouraged as the proper means of encreasing the coin, silver being more apt to stay with us in the useful form of money then in the useless.form of Bullion. If the merchant might export what he coyns, some part of what he coyns would be apt to be laid out here, and this liberty may be allowed him after some such manner as is described in the scheme hereunto annexed.

The licensing the exportation of Bullion whilst the exportation of the money is prohibited makes silver worth more uncoyned than coyned, & thereby not only stops the coynage but causes the melting down of the money in private for exportation. For remedying this mischief it may be perhaps better on the contrary to prohibit the exportation of Bullion & license that of money, & whenever the money is in danger to license the exportation of so much money only as shall from time to time be coined out of foreign Bullion.

The safety & encrease of the coyn depends principally on the ballance of trade. If the ballance of trade be against us the money will be melted down & exported to pay debts abroad & carry on trade in spight of laws to the contrary, & if the ballance of trade be for us such laws are needles & even hurtful to trade. If trade can be so ordered that no branch of it be detrimental to the nation the money will be safe. For which end luxury in foreign commodities should be checkt & the exportation of our own commodities encouraged. If a law were made & well executed against trading with more gold and silver by any Merchant or company of Merchants then in certain proportions to the value of the goods exported, such an addition to the Act of Navigation might put Merchants upon searching out sufficient ways of vending our commodities abroad & as we humbly conceive, be more effectual for preserving the coyn then the absolute prohibition of the exportation thereof.

As for the alteration of the standard we are humbly of opinion that if the value of the several species to be hereafter coyned be diminished without changing the denomination, it will occasion the melting down & recoyning the species already coyned, for the profit that may be made thereby. And if the value be increased the Merchants & people will value their goods by the old money already coyned in wch they are to be paid, & the new money of greater value (if any shall be coyned) will be pickt out for exportation & the Importer who coins it will lose the over value to the discouragement of the coynage, & in payments made by tale to forreigners the nation will also lose the over value.

But if it be purposed to retain the value of the several species or quantity of fine silver therein & only to alter the allay, we humbly are of opinion, that if small money which by continual use weares away fast & is apt to be lost, were coined of coarse allay as is done in several countries abroad, provided it were well coyned to prevent counterfeiting, such money would weare longer and be less apt to be lost than the small money now in use. By small money we understand Groats, Threepences, Twopences & pence, unless the penny by reason of its smallness should be made of copper.

All wch is most humbly submitted to yor Lordps great wisdom.


MINT OFFICE, 7 July 1702.



Dwt. Dwt. Gr. Dwt. Gr. Mi. D.
The Ecu of France or Piece of 60 sols. Turnois W1 1 17 13 17 11 2 54.13
The three-Guilder piece of Holland or piece of 60 styvers W 2 20 8 20 3 12 62.46
The Ducaton of Holland or piece of 63 Styvers S2 3 20 21 21 3 15 65.59
The Patagon or Rix doller of Holland or piece of 50 Styvers W 14 18 0 16 20 15 52.28
The 10-schelling piece of Zeland, or piece of 60 styvers W 2 20 6 20 1 13 62.21
The Lyon Doller of Holland or of the Ducaton W 44 17 14 14 2 7 43.7
The Ducaton of Flanders or pieces of 60 sols or Patars S 20 22 21 8 2 66.15
The Patagon or cross Doller of Flanders or piece of 48 Patars W 12 18 1 17 1 13 52.91
The Doller or Patagon of the Bishop of Liege W 12 17 22½ 16 22 5 52.48
The Ducaton of Cologn S 3 20 18 21 0 15 65.2
The Doller of Cologn W 13 18 0 16 22 14 52.53
The Piastre of Spain or Sevil piece of 8 Reaus now raised to 10 W 17 12 17 9 3 53.88
The New Sevil piece of eight W 14 0 13 21 15 43.11
The Crusado of Portugal of 400 Res now raised to 480 W 2 11 4 11 1 13 34.31
A Ducat of Naples of 10 Carlins or 5 Tarins W 3 14 13 1 0 40.43
An Escuti or Ecu of Rome or piece of 10 Julios 1684 ... 20 14 ... ...
The Teston of Rome or piece of three Julios W 1 5 21½ 5 20 19 18.21
The Ducat of Florence & Leghorn or piece of 7 livres S 8 20 20 19 18 64.57
The Crown of Florence & Leghorn or 4/5 of the Ducat W 1 16 17¾ 16 16 0 51.66
The Croisat of Genoa or piece of 7½ lires S 7 24 15 25 9 11 78.74
A Ducat of Venice with the words Ducaton Venetus upon it W 23½ 14 14 13 0 19 40.42
Another Ducat of Venice with the number 124 upon it ... 18 2 ... ...
A Crusat of St. Mark of Venice with the numb. 140 upon it ... 20 6 ... ...
The double Gulden of the Elector of Hanover W 7 18 18 18 3 16 56.29
The Gulden of the Elector of Hanover or piece of 2/3 S 17½ 8 10 9 1 18 28.14
The half Gulden of the Elector of Hanover or piece of 1/3 S 17½ 4 5 4 12 19 14.07
The Gulden of the Elector of Saxony or piece of 2/3 W 41 11 3 9 1 14 28.12
The Gulden of the Duke of Zell, or piece of 16 Gute Grosh W 43 11 1 8 21 13 27.6
An half Gulden of Brandenburg or piece of 1/3 W 43 5 13 4 12 5 14.0
An old Gulden of the Elector of Brandenburg now raised from 24 to 26 Marien Grosh W 43 12 4 9 19 9 30.41
A Gulden of the Bishop Hildesheim or piece of 24 Marien Grosh now raised to 26 W 40½ 11 22 9 17 17 30.21
The four Mark piece of Danemark of coarse allay W 61 14 8 10 9 10 32.23
The four Mark piece of Danemark of finer allay W 21 11 13½ 10 11 5 32.45
The eight mark piece of Swedeland [standard] 20 4 20 4 0 62.52
The four Mark piece of Swedeland W 58 13 10 9 21 7 30.73
The Rixdoller of the last Emperor Ferdinand III W 10½ 18 9 17 12 4 54.27
The Rixdoller of the pre sent Emperor Leopold W 10½ 18 9 17 12 4 54.27
The Rixdoller of Sigismund III. & Vladislaus IIII. Kings of Poland W 10 18 9 17 13 4 54.4
The Rixdoller of Ferdinand Archduke of Austria W 10½ 18 5 17 8 17 53.78
The old Banck Doller of Hamborough W 8 18 9 17 17 4 54.92
The old Rixdoller of Dantzick W 10½ 18 9 17 12 4 54.27
The old Rixdoller of Thorne neare Dantzick W 12 18 17 8 15 53.85
The old Rixdoller of Nuremburg W 6 18 10 17 22 1 55.55
The old Rixdoller of Hanover W 8 18 12 17 20 2 55.3
The old Rixdoller of Lunenburg W 10 18 11 17 15 2 54.65
The old Rixdoller of the Elector of Brandenburg W 9 18 13 17 19 1 55.17
The old Rixdoller of Lubec W 9 18 16 17 21 17 55.52

1 Weak/ 2 Strong.


GOLD MONIES — UNWORN. Assay. Weight. Standard
at 4£
per oz.
Car. Dwt. Dwt. Gr. Dwt. Gr. Mi. S. D.
The Lewid'or W1 0 4 8 4 7 8 17 2.8
The Spanish Pistole W 0 4 8 4 7 8 17 2.8
The Moeda of Portugal W 0 6 21 6 20 11 27 5.1
The old Italian Pistole W 0 4 4 4 15 16 9.5
The Sequin Chequin or Zacksen of Venice S2 1 2 2 10 11 9 9.1
The Hungary Ducat S 1 2 2 2/3 2 9 7 9 6.7
The Ducat of Holland coynes ad legem Imperii S 1 2 2 2 9 3 9 6.3
The Ducat of Campen in Holland S 1 2 2 2 9 3 9 6.3
The Ducat of the Bishop of Bameberg S 1 2 2 2/3 2 9 7 9 6.7
The Double Ducat of the Elector of Hanover S 1 2 4 10½ 4 17 9 18 10.9
The Single Ducat of the Elector of Hanover ... 2 ... ...
The Ducat of Poland S 1 2 2 5 2 8 12 9 5.2
The Ducat of Swedeland ... 2 ... ...
The Ducat of Danemark S 1 2 2 2 9 3 9 6.3
A Double Pistole of Pope Urban 1634 ... 8 14½ ... ...
An half Pistole of Pope Innocent XI. 1685 ... 2 4 ... ...
A double Pistole of Placentia ... 8 10 ... ...
A double Pistole of Millain ... 8 13½ ... ...
A single Pistole of Millain ... 4 ... ...
A double Pistole of Genoa ... 8 16 ... ...
A Pistole of Savoy 1675 ... 4 ... ...

1 Weak/ 2 Strong.


MINT OFFICIE, Jul. 1702.



[Appended to Preceding.]


THE Ecu of France goes there for 3 livres 16 sols. & by the weight & assay is worth 4s. 6d. English, and thence the Livre is worth 1s. 2.21d. The Lewid'or goes there for 14 livres, which [is in] amount 16s. 6.94d. English, at which rate a Guinea is worth 20s. 8¼d., for as 17s. 2.8d. (the value of an unworn Lewid'or in England according to the annexed Table), is to 16s. 6.94d. (the value of the same in France) so is 21s. 6d. (the value of an tinworn Guinea in England) to 20s. 8¼d.

By the French King's Edict of 17 Sept. 1701, the Mark of fine gold is valued at 494 livres 6 sols. 4 deniers & the mark of fine silver at 32 livres 16 sols. 7 deniers. According to which proportion a Guinea of just weight & fineness, is worth 20s. 8¾d. in English Silver money of just weight and fineness.

The Ducat is coyned every where in Germany & some northern countries adjoining of the same weight & fineness, excepting that the Hungary Ducats are more certainly of full value. It is coyned for two old Rix dollars of the Empire or nine shillings English & usually goes at that rate or within two or three Styvers more or less whereas in England it is worth 9s. 6d.3. But if the Rix dollers be of a lower value, as are the Rix dollars of Holland, Flanders, Danemark & some other places, the Ducat may go for two Rix dollars & 6, 8, or 10 Styvers or above.

In Holland the Guilder or Floren is of equal value with 20s. 8.2d. English, & the Styver is 1d.041. as may be collected from the said Table. And there the Ducat goes usually for 5 Guilders & about 5 Styvers that is in our money for 9s. 1d.3. At which rate a Guinea is worth 20s. 6¾d.

The Lewidor goes in Holland for 9 Guilders & about 9 styvers, or 16s. 4¾d. At wch rate a Guinea is worth 20s. 5½.

In the Countries of the Electors of Brandenburg Saxony & Hanover & Dukes of Zell, Brunswick, Lunenburg, Wolfenbuttel & some other places are coyned Guilders of one & the same value by consent of the Princes, tho' of various allays. This Guilder consists of 16 Gute Groshes or 24 Marien Groshes, & 46 Marien Groshes are accounted the value of an old Rix dollar or 4s. 6d. English. So that a Guilder is worth 2s. 4¼d. or thereabouts. By the Table it is worth 2s. 4 1/7d. according to the weight & assay. Now a Ducat goes in the countries above mentioned for 3¾ Gilders or 8s. 9 3/7d. & sometimes for two or three Groshes more. If it be valued at 9s., a Guinea at that rate will. be worth 20s. 4d. In the same countries a Lewid'or is valued at 7 Guilders or thereabouts, that is 16s. 5d. At which rate a Guinea is worth 20s. 5¾d.

At Hamborough the Ducat goes for two Dollars & about 8 or 9 sols. lubs or sols. of Lubec. This Dollar is three marks lubs that is 48 sols. lubs reckoning 16 sols. to a mark. But the Cross doller which is worth 4s. 4.9d. goes for 52 sols. lubs and therefore the other doller which goes but for 48 sols. lubs is worth only 4s. 0.84d. or thereabouts. The Marks & sols. lubs are at Hamborough accounted double to the Marks & sols. Dans or of Danemark, & the four Mark piece or Crown of Danemark goes at Hamborough for two Marks lubs & by the assays of several pieces is worth 2s. 8.4d. as in the Table. And at this rate three Marks lubs are worth 4s. 0.6d. English. This is the value of the common Hamborough Doller, & two Dollers & nine sols. lubs (the value of the Ducat) are 8s. 10.4d. At wch rate a Guinea is worth 20s. 0¼d.

At Dantzich Gold is very scarce. Their Guilder consists of 30 Grosh, & the Bank Doller wch is worth about 4s. 6d. goes for three Guilders 23 Grosh. Whence the Guilder is 14 2/3d. The Ducat is there valued at about 7 Guilders 12 Grosh, or two Bank Dollers wanting 4 Grosh, that is about 8s. 10.09d. And at this rate a Guinea is worth 19s. 11½d.

At Geneva the Hungary Ducat was lately valued at two Ecus & 2 or 3 sols. of France, that is at 9s. 2d. or 9s. 3d. At which rates a Guinea is worth about 20s. 9½d. There also the Lewid'or was lately valued at 3¾ Ecus of France or 16s. 1½d. At which rate a Guinea is worth 21s. 0½. But Gold was lately higher in France then at present, wch might raise the price of Lewid'ors at Geneva. For there the Spanish Pistole was valued only at 3 2/3 Ecus or 16s. 6d.

At Geneva the Croisht goes for 7½ lires & by assay is worth 6s. 6¾d. & therefore the lire of Genoa is 10½d. And there the Pistole is valued at 17½ lires, that is 15s. 3¾d.

At Florence & Legorn the silver Ducat goes for 7 lires and by assay is worth 5s. 4.57d. & therefore the lire of those places is 9.224d. And there the Pistole of Italy goes for 20 lires or 15s. 4½d. & the Lewid'or & Spanish Pistole for between 20 & 21 lires.

At Rome Florence Legorn Bullogne & Ancona (a city upon the Gulph of Venice) three Julios make a Teston & the Teston by assay is worth 1s. 6.21d. & thence the Julio is 6.07d. Ten Julios make the Escudi or Ecu of Rome but I cannot yet procure that piece of money for an assay. At Florence three Julios are 2 lires & 10½ Julios make the Ducat & thence the Julio is 6.15d. Now in those cities the Pistole of Italy goes for 30 Julios or 15s. 4½d. & the Spanish Pistole for 31 Julios or 15s. 10.65d. supposing the Julio 6.15d.

At Bologne & Ancona the Sequin of Venice goes for 18 Julios or 9s. 2.7d. & the Hungary Ducat for 17 Julios or 8s. 8.55d. If the Ducat of Venice whose value is set down in the Table, be that Ducat, as I am told, wch goes now at Vencie for 6 lires 4 sols. de Piccoli, the Lire of Venice will be 6.52d. And there the Hungary Ducat wch goes for 16 lires will be worth 8s. 8.82d. & the Sequin of Venice wch goes for 17 lires will be worth 9s. 2.84d. & the Pistole of Venice wch goes for 28 lires will be worth 15s. 2.56d.

At Millain the Piece of eight went lately for 5 lires 17 sols. & the Philip or silver Ducat for 6 lires so that the Philip is to the piece of eight (or 4s. 6d.) as 40 to 39 & therefore is worth about 4s. 7 5/13d. This piece, as I am informed, goes at Venice for 8½ lires & therefor the Sequin wch goes at Venice for 17 lires is there worth 9s. 2 10/13d. as before.

At Naples the Ducat of Silver is worth 3s. 4.43d. And there the Pistole as I am informed goes for 45 Carlins or 4½ Ducats that is for 15s. 2d.

By all wch gold seems to be lower in Italy then in France, the Spanish Pistole being everywhere worth less then 16s. At which rate the Guinea is worth less then 20s.

In Spain the Pistole is recconed at 4 pieces of eight or 18s. wch is 9.2d. more then in England. And in Portugal the Moeda is recconed at ten Crusados or 28s. 7.1d. wch is 14d. more then in England — At wch rates a Guinea is worth 22s. 5½d. in Spain & 22s. 5d. in Portugal.

In these recconings standard Gold is valued in England at 4£ per ounce as Goldsmiths value it for the melting pot. The standard value is £3 19s. 8¾d. At wch rate about 7/8th of a penny are to be added to the value of the Guinea in foreign Countries.


MINT OFFICIE, 7 Jul. 1702.



[Appended to Preceding.]


ALL Silver imported & designed for Exportation except Forreign Money to be examined & enterd in the Mint; & for that end, upon its first arrival at London, to be brought to the Mint by the Owner, & two or more other Witnesses, who shall there prove the importation upon oath. And such of the said Silver as is not yet in the Ingot, to be there melted down into Ingots, the Mercht: paying a 1d. per pound for the melting. And these Ingots & all other Ingots of the Silver above mentioned shall at the choice of the Merchant be coin'd into Moneys, or markt with a Stamp provided in the Mint for that purpose. And the Master of the Mint (if desir'd) shall give the Merchant an indebted Ticket certifying the weight of the Moneys coyn'd out of the said Forreign Silver, & the time of the Coynage thereof, which Ticket shall be cut out of a Book provided in the Mint, & be enter'd in the same book.

Ingots not marked with the Mint Stamp may not be Exported, nor carry'd on Board any Ship, nor bought or sold, but may be brought to the Mint for encreasing the Coin, excepting that Ingots of fine Silver may be sold by Refiners to Silver Smiths, Wyerdrawers & such other Artificers as manufacture the same. This Law now obtains in France by an Edict of March was a Twelvemonth for preventing the melting of the moneys.

The Merchant upon delivering the Mint Tickets at the Custom House, may within a Year after the Coinage of the Moneys mention'd therein, by warrant of the Commissioners of the Customs upon a day appointed in the Warrant, Ship for Exportation the said Moneys, or the same weight of like moneys, or any part thereof & also any Ingots wch have the Mint Stamp upon them, and any Forreign Moneys & the customer shall enter the same & file the Tickets.

All Silver English Moneys before shipping for Exportation, to pay 1½d. per ounce Troy, at the Custom house, for the Charges of assaying, melting & Coyning the same. Which Duty shall be kept apart with the Duty already granted for Encouragement of Coynage; & therewith paid into the Exchequer and thence imprest to the Mr. of the Mint for the same uses.

Penalties on them who counterfeit the Mint Stamp, or the Mint Tickets or ship off Silver not licensd, or without paying the duty, or upon any other dav then that appointed in the Warrant, or under anv other name than that of the true Owner. Or buy or sell unmarkt Ingots or knowingly bring Silver to the Mint to be marckt, or Coin'd as Forreign which is not foreign.

Such a Law would enable the Officers of the Mint to understand the State of the Money, wth respect to Trade. It would render Trade freer than at present. It would save the Merchant the trouble of attending with his Bullion, and Witnesses at Goldsmiths Hall, & Guildhall, after he has melted it at the Refiners, or Goldsmiths. It would check the melting down of her Majesty's moneys for Exportation or for sale to Goldsmiths, much better than the Laws do at present. It would encrease the Coynage in her Maties Mint & decrease the Indian Manufacture of coyning our Bullion in Ports, where the company have not a Mint of their own, for which coynage the Indians receive of us a large Seignorage. It would be profitable to the Merchant by the use of his Gold & Silver when turn'd into Money before Exportation. It would encrease our coin, as wefl by the Merchants Money running amongst us, till Exportation, as by what is not Exported within the year. It would be of great Credit to the Nation, by the Merchants exporting their Gold & Silver in the form of English money to be current in Forreign Nations and thereby make us appear abroad more rich, & potent, then We do at present. And all this would be done without any new charge to the Government. And if the Government should pay the Charge of Coynage, or any part thereof, it would be paid by one part of the nation to another part thereof, without loss to the whole.


MINT OFFICIE, 7 Jul. 1702.



Treasury Papers,vol. lxxx. No. 105.

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.136-149 — webdesign: Olaf Simons, Sep. 2004.