Concerning the undervaluing of new placks and hardheads

[James Douglas, earl of Morton], the regent's grace, and estates assembled at this present convention, having consideration of the great inconveniences that now proceeds amongst our sovereign lord's lieges, in default of victuals and all other merchandise and goods that are put to dearth and raised and put to exorbitant prices, and held and abstracted from markets through occasion of great quantity of false counterfeited money, placks and lions, otherwise called hardheads, struck in coin in the time of the government of [Mary of Guise], the queen dowager and regent, our sovereign lord's grandmother of good memory; as also of false coiners, not only within this realm but outwith the same, so subtly and in such form of metal that it is very hard to the ignorant to discern and know the true from the false. Therefore the regent's grace, with the mature advice and deliberation of the estates presently convened for the good of our sovereign lord's lieges, eschewing of dearth and many other inconveniences, has ordained and ordains the said new placks last coined to have course and passage amongst all our sovereign lord's lieges in time coming after this present proclamation, for 2d the piece, and all the said lions, otherwise called hardheads, for 1d the piece, and that none of our sovereign lord's lieges shall be held to receive the said placks and hardheads after this present proclamation of any dearer value and price than is above-specified. Moreover, because it is well known that the greatest part of the said placks and hardheads now passing in this realm are, and have been, adulterated, false and counterfeit, as well within this realm as without, which being the chief occasion of dearth are, by act of parliament made of before, ordained to be clipped, therefore ordains and commands all persons, possessors of the said new placks and hardheads in their hands, to bring or send the same to our sovereign lord's coin-house to John Carmichael, warden thereof, to be seen and considered by him, James Gray, sinker, John Hart and Nicol Sym, appointed visitors thereof, or any one of them, with the said John Carmichael, between the date hereof and 20 November 1575, to the effect that such as they find false and counterfeit may be instantly clipped down and put in a closed locked coffer, upon account and inventory of the quantity received from every person; and such of the same money as is found of the lawful and true coin of this realm to be thus marked [...] by the said James Gray and delivered again to the owner, which placks and hardheads so marked shall have course and passage thereafter for the value and prices above-written, without any stop or contradiction. With certification that such of the new placks and hardheads as shall not be sighted and in this sort marked between now and the said day shall in no way have course or passage thereafter amongst our sovereign lord's lieges, but the persons whatsoever with whom they shall be found thereafter unmarked shall be pursued and punished as wilful putters out and changers of false and corrupt money, according to the laws of this realm.

  1. NAS, PC1/7, pp.310-11. Back
  2. In this space is an asterisk surrounded by a heart shape. Back