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An Historical Account of English Money, 3rd Edition
Stephen Martin Leake, Esq, 1793
James I

James I. A.D. 1602-3.

[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.]

Immediately upon the demise of Queen Elizabeth, the crown of England lawfully [Stat. 1. Jac. 1, c 1.] descended to James King of Scotland, whereby the two kingdoms became united under one Imperial crown; and because [Proclamation in Rymer, tom. 16, p. 605.] the Scotch nobility, and others who attended his Majesty hither, could not be provided with current English Money, the Scotch gold Coin, called the Six Pound Piece, was made current for Ten Shillings, and to be equal to the English Angel, or Sovereign of gold.

The first indenture [Mint Books.] for coinage is with Sir Richard Martin, and his son, masters and workers, dated the twenty-first of May, in his first year, for coining gold of twenty-three carrats, three grains and a half fine, into pieces of Ten Shillings, Five Shillings, and Two shillings and Sixpence, (which must be Angels, Half and Quarter Angels,) privy mark a fleur de lis; and of Crown gold twenty-two carrats fine, pieces of Twenty Shillings, Ten Shillings, Five Shillings, and Two Shillings and Sixpence (meaning Sovereigns, Half Sovereigns, Crowns, and Half Crowns,) privy marks the thistle; and of silver, Crowns, Half Crowns, Shillings, Sixpences, Twopences, Pence, and Halfpence; all of the same weight and gooness, as were coined by the forty-third of Queen Elizabeth. Those first Coins are known from others of the same speices, by the titles ANG. SCO. For the next year, by proclamation [Rymer, tom. 16, p. 603.] dated the twentieth of October, King James assumed the title of King of Great Britain, which style was directed by the proclamation to be thenceforth used upon the Coin.

The eleventh of November was a new indenture with the same persons as before, raising the pound of Crown gold to thirty-seven Pounds, four Shillings in tale, and the pound of silver into fifty-two Shillings by tale, to be coined into several new species of Money, as particularly specified in a proclamation for making the same current, bearing date the sixteenth of the same month. Mr. Lownds [P. 52.] has misplaced this indenture to his first year.

Thie proclamation [Rymer, tom. 16, p. 605.] sets forth, That, to remedy the inconvenience by the Scotch Coin, being current here at equal value with the English, and to prevent the exportation of the English gold Coin, as had been done of late in large quantities, the same not bearing a due proportion to the silver, as in other nations; and being worth more in its true value than allowed for here, his Majesty had caused new Coins, both of gold and silver, to be made of several stamps, weights, and values, but of one uniform standard and allay, to be current within the kingdom of Great Britain. That is to say,

"One piece of gold of the value of twenty Shillings sterling, to be called the Unitie, stamped on the one side with oure picture fomerly used, with this oure style, Jacobus. D. G. Mag. Brit. Franc. & Hib. Rex. And on the other side oure arms crowned, and with this word, Faciam eos in Gentem unam."

"One other gould Money of tenne Shillings, to be called the Double Crowne."

"And one other gould Money of five Shillings, to be called the Britainè Crowne; on the one side with oure picture accustomed, and oure stile as aforesaid; and on the other side oure armes, and this word. Henricus Rosas, Regna Jacobus."

"One other piece of four Shillings, to be called the Thistle Crowne, having on the one side a rose crowned, and oure title, Ja. D. G. Mag. Brit. F. & H. Rex.; and on the other side a thistle flower crowned, with this word, Tueatur Unita Deus."

"Also, pieces of Two Shillings Sixpence, to be called Halfe Crownes, with oure picture accustomed, and this word, J. D. G. Rosa Sine Spina; and on the other side oure armes, and this word, Tueatur Unita Deus."

"And for silver Moneys, pieces of Five Shillings, and Two Shillings Six-pence, having on the one side oure picture on horseback, and oure stile aforesaid."

"And pieces of Twelve-pence, and Six-pence, having oure picture formerly used, and oure stile as aforesaid and on the other side oure armes, and this word, Quae Deus conjunxit, nemo separat."

"Also pieces of Two-pence, having on the one side a rose crowned, and about it J. D. G. Rosa Sine Spina, and on the other sie a thistle flower crowned, and about it, Tueatur Unita Deus.."

"And one Penny, having on the one side a rose, and about it J. D. G. Rosa Sine Spina; and on the other side a thistle flower, and about it Tueatur Deus."

"And the Halfpenny, having on the one side a rose, and on the other side a thistle flower."

The next year, by an indenture, [Mint-Books, Lownds, p. 53.] dated the sixteenth of July, a pound weight of gold of the old standard, was to make forty Pounds ten Shillings by tale, in Rose Rials, at thirty Shillings each; Spur Rials, at fifteen Shillings; and Angels, at ten Shillings: privy mark, the rose.

The ninth of May 1611, being the ninth year of this reign, the King (as usual) was present [Stow, p. 911.] at the trial of the Pix, and diligently viewed and examined the state of his Money and mint, and the eighteenth of the same month a proclamation [Stoe, p. 912.] was made to prevent the culling out, melting, and transporting the weighty gold Money, gold becoming so scarce in England, that for near two years there was not any usual payment made in gold, and the gold Coin called the Unitie, which was here worth but twenty Shillings, was valued in foreign parts at twenty-two Shillings. This was owing to the great quantity of silver brought into Europe, upon the opening of the mines of Peru and Mexico. For remedying this inconveniency, the gold Money was raised two Shillings in the Pound by proclamation, the twenty-third of November viz.

The piece of gold called the Unitie22
The piece of gold called the Double Crown11
The piece of gold called the Britaine Crown56
The piece of gold of Scotland called the Six Pound Piece11

All other pieces of gold of the Coin of any former Kings of this realm, at that time current, were to bear the like increase in price in proportion, viz.

Every piece of   
gold formerly
current for
s. d. To be now
current for   
s. d.
30 33
20 22
15 166
10 11
5 56
26 29

The following year, by indenture [Lownds, Rymer, tom. 17, p. 19.] with Sir Richard Martin, master and worker, dated the eighteenth of May a pound of gold of the old standard, was to make forty-four Pounds by tale, in Rose Rials, Spur Rials, and Angels: and the pound of crown gold forty Pounds, eighteen Shillings, and Fourpence, in Unites at twenty-two Shillings, double Crowns at eleven Shillings, British Crowns at five Shillings and Sixpence, Thistle Crowns at four Shillings and Fourpence three Farthings, or Half British Crowns at two Shillings and Ninepence a-piece. And upon the death of Sir Richard Martin a commission, [Rymer, tom. 17, p. 19. 1617, Pat. 15 J. 1. p. 13. dors.] dated the twenty-third of August 1615, was directed to the Lord Knivet, and Edmund Doobleday, warden, and other officers of the mint, to coin the same sort of Money as had been formerly coined by the said indenture of the eighteenth of May; so that the pound of fine gold was raised seven Pounds ten Shillings, and the pound of crown gold seven Pounds eight Shillings and Fourpence above what it was in Queen Elizabeth's time.

The third of September 1619, in the seventeenth year of King James, was a new Coin [Camden's Annals of James I. 1619.] with his head surrounded with a laurel, whereupon it soon got the name of Laurels among the vulgar, of different values, viz. Twenty Shillings, with XX. behind the head, ten Shillings, with X. and five Shillings with V. These were of crown gold; and the same year were coined pieces of thirty Shillings, fifteen Shillings, and ten Shillings, and new Angels of the old standard. These were probably the same species and value as mentioned in an indenture in this twenty-first year. The indenture [21 James I. 19. pt. Claus. No 2.] is dated the seventeenth of July, with Randal Cranfield, master-worker in the Tower, for making Rose Rials at thirty Shillings, Spur Rials at fifteen Shillings, and Angels at ten Shillings of the old standard. The pound by tale forty-four Pounds ten Shillings; to the King for coinage fifteen Shillings; to the master two Shillings; and to the moniers four Shillings: and of crown gold, Unites, at twenty Shillings, forty-one to the pound; Double Crowns at ten Shillings, and BritainCrowns at five Shillings: which standard of twenty-two carrats fine, and two allay, the King ordained and established to be the right standard of the said three Monies. For coinage of the same fifteen Shillings per pound to the King, and six Shillings and Fivepence to the master and moneiers: and of silver Money, pieces of five Shillings, half five Shillings, Shillings, (sixty-two to the pound) half Shillings, Twopences Pence, and Halfpence. But, upon divers complaints, the said Cranfield [Rymer's Foedera, tom. 18, p. 6.] was sequestered the thirteenth of January in the last year of King James.

There were likewise four different proclamations [Rymer, tom. 17, p. 133, 376, 605.] in his tenth, sixteenth, twentieth, and twenty-second year, to prevent the exportation and consumption of Coin and bullion, and to bring the same, as well into the kingdom, as into the mint. For this purpose, a price was set upon the several species of foreign Coin. All profit to be made hereof upon the exchange of gold and silver Money was prohibited, as well as the melting of Coin; and to prevent unnecessary waste, all gold and silver foliage was forbid to be used upon buildings, furniture, cloaths, or other ornaments, except in armour or weapons, or in arms or ensigns of honour, at funerals, or monumnets of the dead; and forbidding the making of gold and silver thread, and enjoining that the statute of the fourth of Henry the Seventh should be duly observed; and, Lastly, the King abolished the company of Gold Wire-Drawers: but, as to the exportation, there was a saving clause for the East-India Company, not to discharge any liberty which they had, by the lawful use and practice of their charter, being a company that deserved so well to be upheld and encouraged.

The Sovereign of his first coinage of crown gold, or new sterling, has his figure in wrought armour, crowned, looking to the left, the scepter in his right hand resting upon his shoulder, and orb in his left hand, being likewise represented with a beard and whiskers, which we see upon all his Money, but had not been used before since Henry the Third, except upon the braod-faced silver, and the gold Money of Henry the Eighth; JACOBVS. D. G. ANG. SCO. FRAN. ET. HIB. REX. Reverse in a shield crowned between I. R. the arms, viz. quarterly; first and fourth, France and England, quarterly; second, Scotland; third Ireland; with this epigraphe, which he had formerly used upon some of his Scotch Coins; EXVRGAT. DEVS. DISSIPENTVR. INIMICI. (Psalm lxviii. v/. 1.) A thistle-head the mint-mark.

The Half Sovereign has the King's bust in armour, crowned, and a long beard, the like epigraphe, but HIBER. for HIB. and the same reverse.

The Unite, or Sovereign of crown gold, vulgarly called Scepter, from the scepter thereon, has the King's figure like a Sovereign, but in plain armour; his style being now altered upon the Money; IACOBVS. D. G. MAG. BRIT. FRA. ET. HI. REX. But on his great seal he still continued the title of England and Scotland, because there were still separate seals as distinct kingdoms. The reverse of this is also like the Sovereign, but with a different and suitable motto; FACIAM. EOS. IN. GENTEM. VNAM. These have various mint-marks, as a castle, fleur de lis, thistle, cinqfoil, &c.

The Double Crown has his bust crowned, with the like epigraphe and reverse as the former, but this legend, HENRIC. ROSAS. REGNA. IACOBVS. alluding to the union of the two roses, or houses of York and Lancaster, by Henry the Seventh, and of the two kingdoms by himself, as he observed in his first speech to his Parliament. This has a rose for the mint-mark.

Another, after the raising of the gold, has XII. behind the head.

The Britaine Crown is like the Double Crown, but has I. R. on the sides of the crown above the arms. A rose the mint-mark.

The Thistle Crown has a rose slipt and crowned, between I. R. and this epigraphe, IA. D. G. MAG. BR. FR. ET. HI. REX. Reverse, TVEATVR. VNITA. DEVS. A thistle slipt and crowned between I. R. and a castle the mint-mark.

The Half Crown has the King's bust crowned as before, I. D. G. ROSA. SINE. SPINA. Reverse like the Britaine Crown, only in this the shield of arms extends, at top, to the edge of the Coin. A fleur de lis the mint-mark.

The Rose Rial, or Royal, of thirty Shillings, is the very same Coin which in the times of his predecessors was called a Sovereign, being of fine gold, exhibiting his figure sitting upon his throne, in state, with the portcullis at his feet, like theirs, IACOBVS. D. G. MAG. BRIT. FRAN. ET. HIBER. REX. Reverse, the double rose, with the arms as before described, in the center, and the legend used by Queen Mary, A. DNO. FACTVM. EST. ISTVD. ET. EST. MIRAB. IN. OCV. NRIS. Mint-marks, a castle, a rose, a key, &c.

His Spur Rial has his figure like the old Rial or Noble, standing in a ship in armour, and crowned, a sword in his right hand, and in his left a large shield with his arms. Upon the side of the ship a rose, and at the head a flag, with the initial letter I. in it; IACOBVS. D. G. MAG. BRIT. FRAN. ET.HIB. REX. Reverse, a sun with a rose in the center, the four cardinal rays flori, with a fleur de lis at the points, and a lion of England under a crown in each quarter, all within the old rose as usual, very nearly resembling Queen Mary's Rial, (except in the fashion of the ship) and with the same legend, but in Roman characters; A. DNO. FACTVM. EST. ISTVD. ET. EST. MIRABILE. A rose the mint-mark.

The Thirty-Shilling Pieces, of the old standard, coined in his seventeenth year, have the figure of the King sitting in his chair of state, in his robes, having baout his neck a large ruff, (which I have not observed upon any other of his Coins) and likewise the collar of the garter, (which he first put upon he great seal, and upon his gold Money.) The crown upon his head, scepter in his right hand, and orb in his left, resting his feet upon a portcullis; the ground diapered with rose and fleurs de lis, and the back of the chair adorned with thistles; IACOBVS. D. G. MA. BRI. FR. ET. HI. REX. Reverse, and escocheon of the arms within a broad circle, both divided by the old cross flori; each quarter of the circle charged with a lion of England, between a fleur de lis and a rose, and over the arms XXX. for the value. The mint-marks various; as a fleur de lis, a mullet, a trefoil, a thistle.

The Fifteen Shilling Piece, of the same mintage, has the Scotish lion sejant, holding the scepter in his right paw, and with his left supporting the shield of arms, between the figures X. and V. denoting the value. IACOBVS. D. G. MAG. BRIT. FRA. ET. HIB. REX. Reverse, exactly like the Spur Royal.

The Twenty Shilling Piece (of the same year) of crown gold, commonly called Broad Pieces, and Laurels, by way of distinction from the Unites, which were likewise vulgarly called Broad Pieces, These have the King's bust laureat, looking to the right, and XX. behind the head. IACOBVS. D. G. MAG. BRI. FRA. ET. HIB. REX. Reverse, the escocheon of arms crowned, and divided by the old cross. FACIAM. EOS. IN. GENTEM. VNAM. The mint-marks, a fleur de lis, a thistle, a mullet, a cinquefoil. One with a trefoil, has a smaller shield than usual.

The lesser pieces, of Ten Shillings, and Five Shillings, are like the Twenty Shilling Piece, distinguished by the figures X. and V. behind the head, both of them bearing the legend, HENRICVS. ROSAS. REGNA. IACOBVS.

The Angel has St. Michael as usual, and reverse, the ship with three masts, having a large main-sail, with the arms thereon. On the side of the ship, lions and fleurs de lis; at the head and stern a lion rampant, and a like lion in a flag or streamer, pendant from the main-top-mast-head. A mullet the mint-mark.

The new Angel of Ten Shillings is like the former, but has X. for the value under the Angel.

The Shilling of his first coinage, has his bust in armour, crowned, looking to the left, with a large bear and mustachees; XII. behind the head; IACOBVS. D. G. ANG. SCO. FRA. ET. HIB. REX. Reverse, a plain escocheon of the arms, EXVRGAT. DEVS. DISSIOENTVR. INIMICI. an escallop, or fleur de lis, the mint-mark.

A Sixpence, with VI. behind the head, like the Shilling, and the date 1604 above the arms; a fleur de lis the mint-mark.

The Shilling, after the alteration of the stile, IACOBVS. D. G. MAG. BRIT. FRA. ET. HIB. REX. and XII. behind the head as the former. Reverse, the arms in a plain shield; QVAE. DEVS. CONIVNXIT. NEMO. SEPARET. Mint-marks, an escallop, coronet, or fleur de lis, &c.

Another has BRI. for BRIT. with the Prince's device, or Welch feathers, through a coronet, above the arms, being of the Welch mines [Chamb. State of England, nineteenth edit. 1700, p. 32. Heylin's Cosmography, fol. Lond. p. 276.] in Cardiganshire, discovered in thie reign by Sir Hugh Middleton, and have been worked ever since with success; whereas all others in England have not answered the charges of working. Nor does Great Britain want gold mines, for such have been discovered [Malines, p. 183, 184.] at Crayford-Moore in Scotland, in the sands of the river, twenty-two carrats fine, and the like in England, at Brickill-Hill, near Spilsbury in Lancashire; but it is not likely they afforded any quantity to set the mints at work.

The Twopence has his Majesty's bust like the Shilling, with II. behind the head; I. D. G. ROSA. SINE. SPINA. Reverse, a plain shield of the arms, with a thistle head above it, and the same mint-mark.

The Penny has I. behind the head, and the same mint-mark.

Another with a fleur de lis for the mint-mark, has two sceptres in saltier behind the arms.

The Rose Twopence has a rose crowned, I. D. G. ROSA. SINE. SPINA. Reverse a thistle crowned, TVEATVR. VNITA. DEVS. A thistle the mint-mark.

The Penny like the Twopence, but wants the crown: Some of these have the motto, Tueatur Unita Deus, on both sides, and are heavier than the former.

The Halfpennies have the rose on one side, and thistle on the other, without any inscription; but some have the rose on both sides.

There is likewise a very neat Penny of the milled sort, weighing six grains, having on one side the letters I. R. under a crown, and between a small rose and thistle. Reverse, a portcullis, crowned.

The Crown Piece of the first coinage, exhibits the King on horseback in armour, crowned, and holding a drawn sword upon his shoulder: upon the trappings of the horse a rose, crowned, IACOBVS. D. G. ANG. SCO. FRAN. ET. HIB. REX. Reverse, an escocheon of the arms, EXVRGAT. DEVS. DISSIPENTVR. INIMICI. A thistle-head the mint-mark.

The Half Crown like the Crown.

The Crown and Half Crown, after he took the stile of Great Britain, has his figure like the former, only the rose and crown upon the horse-trappings are smaller; IACOBVS. D. G. MAG. BRI. FRAN. ET. HIB. REX. Reverse as before, but a different legend; QVAE. DEVS. CONIVNXIT. NEMO. SEPARET. A fleur de lis or thistle the mint-mark.

There is also an English Crown, with the thistle, crowned, upon the horse's furniture.

The necessity of coining copper Money at this time, appeared by the prodigious quantity of private tokens of lead and brass, which every tradesman made and paid for Halfpence. Sir Robbert Cotton [Cotton's Pieces, 8vo. Lond. 1672, p. 199, 200.] reckoned there were above three thousand retailers of victuals and small wares, in and about London, that used their own tokens; that, one with another, a cost yearly of five Pounds a-piece, whereof the tenth remained not to them at the year's end; and when they renewed thri store, it amounted to fifteen thousand Pounds, besides what was in other parts of the kingdom. He therefore proposed the coining of tokens by the King's authority, whereby the advantage made by the retailers might accrue to the crown. Whereupon it pleased the King, [Gerard Malyne's Consuetudo, vel Lex Mercatoria, 1656, folio, p. 185.] to approve of the making of Farthing Tokens, to abolish the said leaden Tokens, in derogation of the King's prerogative royal; which Farthing Tokens, being made by Engines, of mere copper, in the year 1613, have on the one side two scepters crossing under the diadem, in remembrance of the union between England and Scotland, and on the other side the harp for Ireland, with this inscription, IACOBVS. D. G. MAGNAE. BRIT. FRAN. ET. HIBER. REX. For these a method of rechange [Rymer, tom. 18, p. 108.] was settled, whereby the subject had the use without loss, and the same were generally current throughout England, Ireland, and Wales, to the benefit of all sorts of people. So that these pieces were not Irish Money (as they are generally esteemed from the harp upon them) but designed to be equally current in both kingdoms.

In an old mint-book I find this account of the Money coined in the first ten years of King James's reign.

In Angel Gold by tale131771
Crown Gold8384281010
In Sterling English Money  137890219

But the whole silver Money, as we have it in Mr. Lownds's [Lownds, No 103.] Essay, is thus calculated, viz.

In his first twelve years155801499
In the seven last years10298198
And adding, by estimation, for two or three intermediate years3900407
The whole will amount to170000000

The Scotch Coins of King James, after he was King of England, are but few: by Scotch Coins, meaning only pieces coined in Scotland, of a different species from the English, or bearing some national distinction: for, as for those pieces of gold and silver, made current in the united kingdom of Great Britain, by the King's proclamation in his second year, though Mr. Anderson has inserted them as Coins of Scotland in his Tables, they may much more properly be called English, being of a species never known in Scotland before, coined in England, and principally for the use of England, and no other than the Coins of England made current in Scotland by proclamation, because it was found inconvenient to have the Scotch species current here.

A Sovereign of his first year, is like the English, but his figure larger than ordinary, and the scepter very broad. Reverse, the shield of arms, wherein Scotland is borne quarterly, in the first and fourth quarters; which distinguishes the Scotch Coins from the English of the same species. The legend, EXVRGAT. DEVS. &C. A thistle the mint-mark. Coined, perhaps, before he left Scotland.

The silver Crown, Half Crown, Shilling and Sixpence, is like the English, but quartering the arms of Scotland in the first and fourth quarters, France and England, quarterly in the second, and Ireland in the third. QVAE. DEVS. CONIVNXIT. NEMO. SEPARET.

A copper piece, IACOBVS. D. G. MAG. BRIT. The branched thistle. Reverse, FRAN. ET. HIB. REX. behind a lion, two points. The half of it has one point behind the lion.

In Ireland, King James finding the rebellion wholly suppressed by Queen Elizabeth, called in [Irish Hist. lib. chap. of Money.] her mixed Money; and by indentures [Mint Books.] the twentiety of August, in his first year, and the twelfth of January, in his second year, Shillings and Sixpences were coined, and sent over thither, of the same goodness as their old ones, being about three quarters the value of the English.

Those of his first and second year, before he assumed the title of Great Britain, have his head, or bust in armour, crowned looking to the left; IACOBVS. D. G. ANG. SCO. FRA. ET. HIB. REX. Reverse, the harp crowned; EXVRGAT. DEVS. DISSIPENTVR. INIMICI. A bell the mint-mark.

The other, IACOBVS. D. G. MAG. BRIT. FRAN. ET. HIB. REX. Reverse, HENRICVS. ROSAS. REGNA. IACOBVS. A martlet or a rose for the mint-mark.

The Sixpences are like the Shillings, but with this legend, TVEATVR. VNITA. DEVS.

The copper Money (like his son's) has two scepters in saltier through the crown; IACO. D. G. MAG. BRI. or BRIT. Reverse, the harp crowned, FRA. ET. HIB. REX. it is extremely thin, and no bigger than a silver Twopence; and it is probable was designed for the use of England as well as Ireland.

In the first ten years [Mint-Books.] of this reign there was coined in Irish Sterling Money, one houndred and sixty-six thousand, two hundred and seventy-three Pounds, eleven Shillings.

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