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An Historical Account of English Money, 3rd Edition

Stephen Martin Leake, Esq, 1793
Queen Mary

Table of Contents

Queen Mary, A. D. 1553.

[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.]

One of the first acts of this Queen, to ingratiate herself with her people, upon her accession to the throne, was the regulation of the Coin. This was done by a proclamation [Kennet's Hist. England, L. Q. Mary, p. 335. Notes. Stow's Annals, p. 616.] the fourth of September, wherein her Majesty calling to remembrance the great charges that had come to her, and her loving subjects, by reason of the base Monies, as well made in the realm, as counterfeited in other realms, and issued here; and resolving no longer to suffer the said inconveniences, declares, she had ordered within her mints, these several Coins, as well of silver, in fineness of the standard sterling, as also of gold, viz. the whole Sovereign of fine gold, to be current for thirty Shillings; Half Sovereign, to be called the Royal, for fifteen Shillings; the Angel current for ten Shillings, and Half Angel: and of silver, the Groat, the Half Groat, and Penny: and all base Monies were to be current, at the rates declared in a proclamation made in the time of King Edward the Sixth; and to counterfeit foreign Coin [Stat. 1 Mary, St. 2, c. 6. I Ph. and M. C. II.] current within the realm, or to import false Money, was made treason. But what the proclamation calls standard sterling, was not so fine, by two pennyweights, as the old standard or sterling; for by indenture [Lownds, p. 24, 49. Old Mint Books], dated the twentieth of August, with Thomas Egerton, Thomas Stanley, and others, they covenant to make of gold, of the old standard, Sovereigns twenty-four to the pound, at thirty Shillings each; Rials forty-eight, at fifteen Shillings; Angels seventy-two, at ten Shillings, and Angelets at five shillings: ans of silver, eleven ounces fine, Groats, a hundred and eighty to the pound, Half Groats, and Pennies. And the sixth of December following, after her marriage, was a commission to the same persons, to make Shillings, sixty to the pound, Half Shillings, Quarter Shillings, and Halfpennies; according to and under the covenants of the indenture of the twentieth of August. The said persons had likewise the authority to make the base Monies, to be brought in by the Prince, two manner of Monies, of the standard of three ounces fine, and nine allay, viz. Rose Pence, four hundred and eighty to the pound, and Halfpence, the pound weight to make forty Shillings in current Money. And in November, the second and third of Philip and Mary the same persons were to make seven thousand pounds of the aforesaid standard of pence.

The Groat, before her marriage, has her head in profile, crowned, looking to the left; a necklace about her neck, with a cross pendant thereto, the epigraphe in old English characters; MARIA. D. G. ANG. FRA. Z. HIB. REGI. Reverse, the arms of France and England quarterly, divided by the old cross; VERITAS. TEMPORIS. FILIA taking to her device [Sandford, p. 500.], by persuasion of the clergy, the figure of Time drawing Truth out of a pit, and the same legend she used upon her seal before her marriage.

The Groat, after her marriage, has he head as before, but her husband's name in the legend; King Philip being, by the marriage articles, to take upon him the title of his wife's dominions; (and after he was King of Spain, he used it upon the Spanish Money,) PHILIP. Z. MARIA. D. G. REX. Z. REGINA. Reverse, the arms as before, POSVIMVS. DEVM. ADIVTO. NOS. a fleur de lis the mint-mark.

The Half Groat, PHILIP. ET. MARIA. D. G. REX. ET. REGINA. Reverse, POSVI. DEVM. ADIVTO. NOS.

The Shilling of Philip and Mary, has the King's bust in armour, bare headed, and about his neck the order of the Golden Fleece, and that of the Queen in her ordinary habit, facing her husband, like Ferdinand and Isabel of Spain, who are so represented upon their Coins; and, no doubt, this ambitious Prince had hopes, not only to establish the Popish religion here, but, in like manner, by this match to unite England to Spain. Over their heads is the crown of England, and the date 1554. PHILIP. ET. MARIA. D. G. R. ANG. FR. NEAP. PR. HISP. Reverse, a shield, with the arms of King Philip and Queen Mary, impaled under the crown, and XII. for the value; POSVIMVS. DEVM. ADIVTOREM. NOSTRVM.

Another Shilling, like the former, wants the date.

The Sixpences like the Shillings, but have VI. instead of XII.

Another Shilling with the date 1555, when the Emperor Charles the Fifth, King Philip's father, having resigned to him the kingdom of Spain, the stile upon the Money is altered; PHILIP. ET. MARIA. D. G. REX. ET. REGINA. ANG. but upon the great seal the titles were Rex et Regina Angl. Hispaniar. Franc. utriusq. Sicilie, Jerusalem, et Hib. Fidei Defensor. &c.

Another fair Shilling wants the last syllable in Regina.

A Sixpence, 1557, with the same legend, but the last words are abbreviated to AN. and NOS.

The Penny of the base Money, instead of the Queen's head, has a rose; M. D. G. ROSA. SINE. SPINA. Reverse, an escocheon of her arms, CIVITAS. LONDON.

The Sovereign has her figure sitting upon the throne, in her robes, with crown, orb, and sceptre fleuri, at her feet a portcullis, in all, but the form of the crown and sceptre, resembling her father's first Sovereign, the epigraphe in old English characters; MARIA, D. G. ANG. FRA. Z. HIB. REGINA. MDLIII. Reverse, the arms in the centre of a large double rose; A. DNO. FACTV. EST. ISTVD. Z. EST. MIRA. IN. OCVL. NRIS. These pieces Mr. Evelyn [Evelyn's Numismata, p. 92.] miscalls Rials, and says they were scattered at her coronation.

He likewise mentions [Evelyn's Numismata, p. 92.] pieces of Money, whereon Queen Mary is joined with her husband, in some whereof he has the title of Angliae Rex: the reverse, Bellorophon killing the Chimera, representing the suppression of the western insurrection of Wyat and Carew, anno 1554, as also that of St. Quinin, anno 1557.

The Rial has her Majesty's figure standing in a ship, crowned with an arched crown, a sword in her right hand, and shiled in her left; upon the side of the ship a rose, and in a banner at the sterm a Roman M. The epigraphe in old characters, MARIA. D. G. ANG. FRA. Z. HIB. REGINA. MDLIII. Reverse, the sun, &c. like Edward the Fourth's, and Queen Elizabeth's A. DNO. FACTV. EST. ISTVD. Z. EST. MIRABI. IN. OCVL. NRS.

Her Angel has the figure of St. Michael, as usual, MARIA. D. G. ANG. FRA. Z. HIB. REGI. Reverse, like her brother's Angel, but M. instead of E. with the legend of the Sovereign, A. DNO. FACTV. EST. ISTVD. Z. EST. MIRABI. the mint-mark a fetter-lock.

The Angel, after her marriage, PHILIP. Z. MARIA. D. G. REX. Z. REGINA. A. Reverse, instead of M. and the rose, has PM. and the same legend as the others. A. DNO. FACTVM. EST. ISTVD. Z. EST. MIRABILE. A fleur de lis the mint-mark.

Camden [Remains, ch. Money.] mentions Crowns of Philip and Mary, of gold, whereon was Mundi Salus Unica; and in a Dutch Placard [Fo. Antwerp, 1633.] for Money is a draught of such a piece, called a Crown of England; by which it appears there were such Coins commonly current in the Low Countries. These, according to the draught, have on one side the arms of Philip and Mary, impaled under a crown, like the Shilling, only the crown is here much larger in proportion; PHI. REX. ANGL. ETC. Reverse, a device in form of a cross, the ends crowned, like what is seen upon some of the larger Rials of Charles the Fifth's father; and on some other Spanish pieces; in each quarter of the cross is something like a sceptre, placed like the sceptres upon our Guineas; MVNDI. SALVS. VNICA. As there is no mention of Queen Mary in the titles, we may pronounce it no English Coin, nor yet of Spain, since Spain is not mentioned; and even upon his Spanish Rials, and Dollars, though he stiled himself HISP. Z. ANG. REX. yet he never put the English arms. By the title of England only, these pieces were undoubtedly coined by King Philip in the Low Countries, soon after his marriage, before he was King of Spain.

Ireland. In the proclamation for the currency of the new Money, the first year of Queen Mary, the realm of Ireland is particularly excepted, forasmuch as her Coin there had a special standard; which standard, as appears by the Shilling before her marriage, was of base allay, like what followed. And in the second year of Philip and Mary, Sir Edmund Peckham, Knight, [Mint Books.] treasurer of the mint, Thomas Stanley comptroller, and William Knight, assay-master, or two of them, were impowered to make of ten thousand Pounds of base Monies, to be brought in by the Prince, Shillings at Twelvepence Irish, forty to the pound, or a hundred and twenty Groats, three ounces fine, and nine ounces allay. And by another commission, they were to coin seven thousand Pounds of the like base Monies for Ireland. And in the third and fourth of Philip and Mary was another commission for coining five thousand five hundred Pounds of base Monies, to be converted into Harp Groats for Ireland, of the same standard.

The Shilling before her marriage, of base allay, has her head crowned, MARIA. D. G. ANG. FRA. Z. HIB. REGINA. Reverse, a crowned harp, between M. R. crowned; VERITAS. TEMPORIS. FILIA. MDLIII.

Another of the like base metal, after her marriage, PHILIP. Z. MARIA. D. G. REX. ET. REGINA. The crown above their heads, with the date 1557, or 1558. Reverse, a crowned harp, between P. and M. crowned; POSVIMVS. DEVM. ADIVTOR. NOSTR.

In her last year, the Rose Pennies [Irish Hist. lib. p. 166.] of Henry the Eighth, and Edward the Sixth, mixed with brass, were by English proclamation restrained to Ireland.


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