An Historical Account of English Money, 3rd Edition

Stephen Martin Leake, Esq, 1793
Henry IV


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Henry IV. A.D. 1399.

[Note: Original spelling style has not been preserved in this transcription. f is rendered in the modern s, etc. ie, Majefty and Reverfe are presented as Majesty and Reverse resepectively.]

In the second year [St. 2 H. 4. cap. 5. Rastal, 22. 4 H. 4. cap. 16.] of this King, the Statute of the fifth of Richard the Second was renewed, prohibiting the transportation of gold and silver in Money or bullion, without licence, and the Money of Scotland, and of Flanders, and other countries beyond the seas, were to be voided out of England, or put to Coin, by the Christmas following, upon pain of forfeiture. The merchants at Calais to do the like by foreign and Scotch Money there. But this last had no effect for want of a sufficient quantity of small Money for common use. And therefore, two years afterwards, the Commons [Parl. Rolls, 4 H. 4. in WM. in Off. Arm. p. 264.] prayed an ordinance to remedy the great mischief for want of Maille and Farthings, and by that means of the use of foreign Money, as Maille of Scotland, and others called Galley Halfpence, and clipped Halfpence, and in some places leaden tokens. It was thereupon enacted, [Stat. 4 H. 4. chap. 10.] that the third part of all silver Money should be made in Halfpence and Farthings, and of this third part, the one half to be Halfpence, and the other half Farthings, and the coiner to be sworn to do the same; and that no goldsmith or other person melt the same, under penalty of quatreble the value: and to multiply [St. 5 H. 4. ch. 4.] gold and silver was made felony. Money was likewise prohibited [9 H. 4. ch. 8.] to be carried out of the realm to the court of Rome. In the eleventh year [St. 11 H. 4. cap. 5.] Galley Halfpence were absolutely prohibited, and wherever found to be forfeited to the King, and the statutes and ordinances relating to the Coins of Scotland, and the parts beyond the seas, were enjoined to be duly executed.

These Galley Halfpence were a Coin of Genoa, [Stow's Survey Lond. tom. 1, lib. 2, p. 40.] brought in by the Galleymen, or men that came up in the gallies with wine and merchendize, and thence called Galley Halfpence, broader than the English Halfpenny, but not so thick, and probably base metal, because two years afterwards a statute [St. 13 H. 4. ch. 6.] was made to confirm the former law, considering the great deceit, as well of the said Galley Halfpence, as other foreign Money.

We have but one indenture for coinage in this reign in Lownds, which is in his third year, being the same as the twenty-seventh and following years of Edward the Third, and eighteenth of Richard the Second. But Stow says, that in his thirteenth year, anno 1411, he caused a new Coin of Nobles to be made, fifty to the pound; and in the Parliament rolls [13 H. 4. WM. in Off. Arm. p. 420.] of the same year, is an ordinance for increase of Coin, whereby the master of the mint in the Tower, might make of every pound of gold, fifty Nobles, and of silver thirty Shillings sterling, of the allay of the old Money; the ordinance to being at Easter next, and to endure to the end of two years; and if at the end of that time it be found against the profit of the King and his realm, then to cease.

The Nobles of Henry the Fourth, and their parts, are exactly like those of Richard the Second, imitating his predecessor in his Coin, as well as his great seal, which he usurped [Sandford's Genealog. Hist. p. 265. Notes.] with his crown, only rasing out the name RICHARDVS, and putting in HENRICVS.

The Groat is also like his predecessor's HENRIC. DI. GRA. REX. ANGLIE or (ANGL.) Z. FRAN. or (FRANC.) One has three small pellets in triangle, on each side the neck. Reverse as usual, CIVITAS LONDON, or VILLA CALISIE, and various mint marks, as the cross-crosslet, a cross pierced, a fleur de lis, a mullet, &c. And I have seen a Groat of London mint, having a star or mullet upon the left side of the King's breast. The Half Groat is like the Groat, but on some the title of France is abbreviated to FR. and F. One has the middle of the cross quatre-pierced, with a small pellet in the center.

The Pennies have the head without the rose, HENRICVS. REX. ANGL. Z. F. Reverse, the cross and pellets, of London, York, or Calis mint. One of York mint has a small mullet, within a rose in the center of the cross, and a point (or mullet) on each side the crown: another Penny of this King has on each side the head a rose, and fleur de lis, with a rose in the centre of the cross upon the reverse.

The Halfpenny, HENRICVS REX. ANGL.

We do not know that this King coined any Money in Ireland, but an author [Davis's Reports in Irish Hist. p. 162.] says, that in the year 1404, he ordered the Noble of his five immediate predecessors to pass in Ireland for ten Shillings; and from that time all sorts of Coin went at a higher rate there, than in England: but it happens only two of this King's predecessors coined Nobles, so that the author is mistaken as to the fact, or the reign.

But he is said [Rymer, tom. 10, p. 544. Vasc. 11 H. 6.] to have coined Money in Aquitaine.

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