Act regarding the coin

The king's majesty, his nobility, council and estates presently convened, considering the great confusion and inconvenience presently within this realm through the multitude of diverse sorts of foreign gold and silver of variant weight, prints and prices current without any certain stand but at the appetite of the giver out and receiver, to the great trouble, inconvenience and hindrance of his highness's subjects of all estates and degrees; for remedy whereof, albeit there have been diverse acts made by his majesty, his nobility, council and estates heretofore discharging the course of all foreign gold and silver within this realm and upon what prices the same should be imported to serve as bullion to his majesty's mint-house, yet the same acts have taken no effect nor execution but are and have been plainly violated and contravened by great numbers of his highness's lieges, and the rising and maintenance of the dearth of foreign coin so fostered and avowed that the same is far above the prices of his majesty's proper money, albeit in all other well governed commonwealths and republics all foreign coin licensed to have course is ever upon inferior prices to their own proper coin. And now his majesty, his nobility, council and estates presently convened, considering the present estate and condition of his highness's subjects who are not able to underlie the extremity of the said acts, and his majesty being always careful to moderate the same for their ease and relief and for the common welfare and benefit of the whole realm, his majesty therefore, with advice foresaid, has concluded, statute and ordained that the ounce of foreign silver of the fines of 11 denier shall have course hereafter within this realm for 48s only, and the ounce of foreign gold of 22 carat fine for £28 16s, and that the particular species and prices of foreign gold and silver shall have course and pass upon the prices following agreeable always to the particular prices of the ounce: that is to say the English testoon, weighing 4 deniers and 18 grains, at 9s 6d, the 15 sou piece, weighing 7 deniers and 12 grains, at 15s, the Spanish rial, weighing 21 deniers and 6 grains, at 43s 4d, the cross dollar, weighing 22 deniers and 10 grains, at 42s 4d, and all his highness's own money to have course according to the former proclamation; the Spanish pistolet, weighing 2 deniers and 14 grains, at £3 2s, the crown of the sun, weighing 2 deniers and 14 grains, at £3 3s 4d, the Henry ducat of France, weighing 5 deniers, 12 grains, at £6 18s, the gunhole angel, weighing 4 deniers, at £5, the double ducat, weighing 5 deniers, 10 grains, at £7, the Ghent noble, weighing 6 deniers, £7 13s 4d, the Portugal ducat, weighing 1 ounce and 4 deniers, at £35, the angel noble, weighing 4 deniers, at £5 3s 4d, the Henry noble, weighing 5 deniers, 10 grains, at £7, and the old rose noble, weighing 6 deniers, at £7 15s. And with this his majesty's thistle noble to give hereafter £7 16s, the hat piece £4 9s, the lion piece £5, and all the remainder of his majesty's gold coin in no way to be broken down but to have course and price according to the rate of the ounce of 22 carat fine at £30, as the act of parliament appoints. And ordains letters to be directed to make publication hereof by open proclamation at the market crosses of the head burghs of this realm, through which none pretend ignorance of the same; and to command and charge all his highness's subjects to conform themselves to the premises and in no way to take upon hand to receive or give out in exchange any of the particular species above-written of gold and silver upon higher prices than is particularly above-expressed, under the pain of escheating their whole moveable goods and gear to be collected and uplifted to his majesty's use, and ordains letters of publication to be hereupon directed.

  1. NAS, PA8/1, f.18r-18v. Back