Introduction by W. A Shaw, 1896link


[Dorso.] MINT REPORT ON PORTUGESE COINS. (10 Nov. 1725).






To the right honble. the Lords Commisioners of Her Majesty's Treasury.
In obedience to your Lordships order of reference of the 23 of September last, in which your Lordships are pleased to direct us to cause the weight and assay to be taken of 5 sorts of Portugal gold moneys mentioned in your order, and to report the same to you with our opinion at what value they may reasonably go in Ireland in case his Majestie by his proclamation shall think fit to make them current in that kingdom: we have caused 5 pieces of those 5 sorts one of each sort fresh out of the Portugal mint to be weighed and assayed by our assaymaster and valued, and they proved as follows:

Pieces Weights Assay.
Oz. Dwt. Gr. £ s. d.
1 0 1 3— sta weak 0 4 4
2 0 2 8+ sta strong 0 9 1
3 0 4 15— sta weak 0 18 0
4 0 9 5+ sta strong 1 15 10
5 0 8 9+ standard 3 11

By these assays taken one with another the money is standard and by the weights of the 5 pieces the species increase in weight and value from the least to the greatest in the proportion of two to one, the second being double to the first, the third to the second, the fourth to the third and the fifth to the fourth. Mence the value of the highest species gives the values of the other four.

The biggest piece being standard and weighing 18 dwt. 9 gr., is worth £3, 11 s. 6½ d., supposing a guinea to be worth 21 shillings, and this may be reckoned the value of the pieces of the biggest species one with another when they come fresh out of the Portugal mint.

But the merchants will be apt to cull out the lightest species for Ireland and to send the heaviest to the melting pot; and the pieces will quickly grow lighter by wearing in Portugal before they come into Ireland and the smallest pieces will wear fastest in proportion to their weight and value and if they are to be made current by proclamation some abatement of the value must be made for this lightness. Suppose by putting the pieces of the biggest species singly equal in value to 3 guineas and a third part of a guinea, or 3 of them equal in value to 10 guineas, 3 of the next sort to 5 guineas, 3 of the middle sort to 2½ guineas and the rest in proportion.

All which is humbly submitted to your Lops. great wisdom.


MINT-OFFICE, Nov. 10, 1725.



Treasury Papers,vol. ccliiii. No. 48.

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.178-179 — webdesign: Olaf Simons, Sep. 2004.