RepositoryLambeth Palace Library
LevelFile
Alt Ref NoMS 254
Extentvi + 402 ff.
TitleTHE ROYAL MINT, COINAGE AND CURRENCY EXCHANGE
DateEarly 17th century
DescriptionCopies of treatises, memoranda, and other documents concerning coinage and the exchange of currency, with numerous examples of the rates of exchange of European currencies, and proposals for minting coins in England and Ireland, mainly from the reign of Henry VIII to that of James I.
Written in a uniform hand, probably that of a copyist employed by George Carew, 1st Earl of Totnes, who owned this book. The copies were made from a volume of texts, including many original documents, in the library of Sir Robert Cotton, which was subsequently damaged in the Cotton fire of 1731with partial loss of text throughout (now British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x).

ff. i-ii. blank.
ff. iii recto - vi recto. Table of contents.
f. vi verso. blank.
ff. 1r-4v. 'Breifes of records concerninge the King's Exchandge in auncient tymes'. Notes on records from the reign of Henry III to that of Edward IV. Probably extracted from British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, ff. 1-42.
ff. 5r-8v. 'About exchange in Hen. 8 tyme by Mr. Gresham'.
ff. 5r- 7r. Copy of a letter [written by Sir Thomas Gresham (c.1518-1579)] relating his service as royal agent in the Netherlands in succession to Sir William Dansell [royal agent in the Netherlands 1547-51] and his success in reducing the royal debt. Written following the death of Edward VI in 1553, and petitioning for the continuing favour of Queen Mary. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, ff. 43r-44v). Extracts printed in J.W. Burgon, 'Life and times of Sir Thomas Gresham', 2 vols (London, 1839), pp. 115-120.
ff. 7v-8v. Copy of a letter from Sir Richard Gresham (c.1485-1549) [to Thomas Cromwell] proposing the building of a Bourse or Exchange for traders in the City of London. A postscript refers to the dissolution of Walsingham Priory. 25 July [1538]. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, f. 46v). Calendared from the mutilated original in 'Letters and papers ... of the reign of Henry VIII', vol XIII part 1, 1892, no. 1453. Also printed, with the deficiencies of Otho E x made good from another manuscript, in J. O. Ward, 'Lives of the professors of Gresham College' (London, 1740), appx, pp. 1-2, no. i.
f. 9r. 'Exchange in H 8 tyme by the Lo. Audley Chancelor, in his owne hande' . An incomplete copy of a letter from Thomas Audley, 1st Baron Audley (c.1488-1544), Lord Chancellor from 1533, concerning a 'proclamation for exchangeinge'. n.d. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, f. 47r-v). Printed in J. O. Ward, 'Lives of the professors of Gresham College' (London, 1740), appx, p. 3.
ff. 9v-11v. 'Exchange'. A brief exposition. Includes (f. 11r-v) 'Ffor a remedye and increase of welthe therefore'. n.d. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, f. 48 r-v).
ff. 12r-13v. 'Reasons to prove that the reformacion of exchange made by bills is most necessary ... for ... his Maiestie ... and the generall good of the Realme' (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, f. 49r-v).
ff. 14r-18r. 'Exchange'. A further exposition. At f. 15v is a reference to an agreement made by Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, while Governor of the Netherlands in 1586. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, ff. 50r-52v).
ff. 18r-19r. 'Inconveniences growinge to the Kings Maiestie and the Common Wealthe by the abuse of exchange beinge by the merchandisinge thereof become a trade'. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, f.53r-v).
ff. 19r-20v. 'An abstract out of the statute and recordes shewinge the inconveniences of the merchants exchange and the reputation of the Royall Exchange'. Temp. James I. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, f. 54r-v).
ff. 21r-30v. 'The patent nowe demandit for exchange'. Copy of the patent of 9 March 17 Elizabeth I [1575] granting the office of Keeper of Exchange to William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley, with a similar draft patent temp. James I. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, ff. 55r-60v).
ff. 31r-34v. 'Mr. Stanleyes opinion of the change of moneyes anno 1563'. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, ff. 61r-64v). Thomas Stanley (d. 1571), was Under-Treasurer of the Mint.
ff. 34v-61r. 'A treatise of the Exchanges and Bankes by whose practise groweth the scarsitye of money in England and the remedye thereof written to the Queene by Garret de Malines, merchant stranger anno 1598' [Gerard Malynes (fl. 1586-1641),writer on economics and adviser to James I on trade]. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, ff. 65r-79v).
ff. 61r-103v. 'A treatis of tripartite exchange according to the three essentiall partes of traffique ... by Garrard de Malines merchant anno domini 1610' [Gerard Malynes (fl. 1586-1641),writer on economics and adviser to James I on trade]. Includes (ff. 100r-103v) 'A dialogue betweene a polleticion and a merchaunte concerninge this treatise of exchaunge'. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, ff. 80r-100v).
ff. 104r-108v. 'Whether over ballancinge of Englishe commodities by forreyne be a cause that our moneyes are transported out of the realme'. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, ff. 102r-104r).
ff. 108v-114r. 'Sundry notes of waights and measures of England'. Ends: 'This booke written in the moneth of December Anno Domini 1574 17 R. Eliz. By Thomas Langton'. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, ff. 104r-107v). Probably a continuation of the previous text: B.L. Cotton MS. Otho E. x, ff. 102-107 are written continuously in a single hand.
ff. 114v-134v. 'An ample discourse written of the practise of the Exchaunge of all countreyes with the differences betweene naturall exchaunge and mearchaunte exchaunge with the estimacion of all other countreyes moneyes with ones of England'. Includes an account of English and foreign coins in the year 1575. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, ff. 108r-120v). This text, known as the 'Memorandum for the Understanding of the Exchange' has been attributed to various authors. It is attributed to Sir Thomas Gresham in Raymond de Roover, 'Gresham on foreign exchange' (London, 1949), pp. 290-309.
ff. 135r-139r. 'Fflanders, Spaine, Ffraunce. Questiones...' Questions and answers concerning exchange. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, ff. 125r-129v).
ff. 139r-148r. Questions concerning exchange. Begins: 'Right Honourable, May it please your Lordship to calle some skyllfull marchaunte of the cittye of London and to know by hym the trewthe of the questiones followinge ...'. Includes references to exchange rates in the years 1587-89. At f. 139v is transcribed the signature of 'Robert Cotton Bruceus' (f. 139r-v) [Sir Robert Bruce Cotton (1571-1631), who adopted the name Bruce after the accession of James I]. This occurs separately from the text at the foot of the page in the original (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, ff. 125r-129v).
ff. 148r-158r. A treatise on trade and customs. Begins: 'The nature of all thinges that consist in action...' (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, ff. 139r-144v).
ff. 158r-160r. 'Considerationes for the restraint of transportinge goulde out of the realme and allso for the mynters and coyners thereof''. Begins 'Where the Queenes Maiestie is moved...' Ends 'And soe it is concluded that for this reasones neither the baseinge of the standarde nor the raysinge of the vallues of the coyne of goulde is like to staye it from transportacion'. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, ff. 145r-146v).
ff. 160v-161r. A table of measures to be taken to enrich the realm and recover the Queen [Elizabeth I] from debt. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, ff. 147r-148v).
ff. 161v-163v. 'Againste the alteracions moved maye be obiected amongst other thinges as followeth'. Includes (f.163r-v) 'Towchinge the offerers of the proiecte, beginning 'It seemeth that they be either mynte men or such as would be mynte men ...' Temp. Elizabeth I.
ff. 163v-165v. 'To bringe in silver by inhancinge gould' Temp. James I. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, ff. 152r-v).
ff. 165v-168r. Petition to the King [James I] from Patrick Leslie, 1st Lord Lindores (d. 1608) and Sir Robert Stewart to be granted an office concerning 'ymployment of strangers for bringing in of bullion to prevente transportacion'. n.d. [between 1603 and 1608]. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, f. 153r-v).
ff. 168r-170v. 'An order ... in what maner the proiect maye be put in use and executed, whereby all strangers and denizens ... maye be howlden to employmente...'. Reference is made to the trading activities of Robert Delabarr in London from 1549 to 1604. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, ff. 154r-155v).
ff. 171r-194v. Notes on English and Scottish coins and coinage from the time of Ethelnoth, Archbishop of Canterbury (d. 1038) to the reign of Elizabeth I. 1597 or later. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, ff. 163r-174v).
ff. 195r-199v. Notes on the Mint, especially appointments and indentures concerning the Master of the Mint and other officials. Temp. Henry IV-temp. Richard III. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, ff. 175r-184v).
ff. 200r-201v. Abstract of an indenture between the King on the one part and Ralph Rowlett [Sir Ralph Rowlett (d.1571), Deputy Master of the Mint] and Martin Bowes [Sir Martin Bowes (c.1500-1566) Sub-Treasurer of the Mint], masters and workers of gold, on the other. n.d. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, ff. 185r-186v).
ff. 202r-209v. Indenture appointing Martin Pirry as Master of the Mint in Ireland, and appointing other officials in the Mint there. 4 Edward VI [1550-51]. British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, ff. 187r-191v).
ff. 210r-266r. [Thomas Aunsham], 'In this present treatis is declared many proper and notable instructions very necessary and convenient to be had of all estate and specially to those which wilbe a Master or Warden or any other mynister whithin the Kings Minte...' Included are several references to the current year 1506 (ff. 218r, 228r, 229r). At f. 261r is 'The very manner howe to make a caple or a good teste to affine therein silver, after the manner used in the Mynte whithin the Tower of London in Anno 1508'. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, ff. 199r-235v). Another copy (British Library Harley MS. 38, ff. 237-283) has the same title, with an identification of the author, 'written by Thomas Aunsham practitioner in mint affaires in anno 22 Henry 7[1506-07]'. Aunsham was deputy to the Comptroller/Assay Master at the Tower Mint from c.1509 to c.1520 (Christopher Challis, 'Mint officials and moneyers of the early modern period', p. 54).
ff. 266v-272v. '1610. A waye to increase the Kinges yearely revenewe by advancinge of the coyne'. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, ff. 1235v-241v).
ff. 273r-274v. 'The differences delivered by the officers of his Maiesties Mynte in Englande: the answer of the Mynte Masters of Scotland and their agreement the third of October 1604'. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, f. 242r-v).
ff. 275v-280r. 'A proiect for the reducinge of the moneyes of England and Scotland to a conformytie ...'. Temp. James I. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, ff. 243v-248v).
ff. 281v-287v. 'A proiect for Ireland' A proposal for the use of coins of base metal in Ireland. Temp. Elizabeth I. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, ff. 249r-252v).
ff. 287r-296v. 'a proiect for Ireland. How your Maiestie maye give unto her army theire full paye ... yet be a gayner...'. Temp. Elizabeth I. British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, ff. 253r-258v).
ff. 297r-301v. 'A proiect made by Capteyne Edmond Hayes for a mynt in Ireland'. Temp. James I. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, ff. 259r-260v).On Edward Hayes and his brother Thomas and their experimenting in the royal mint after 1601 see Henry Symonds 'The Elizabethan coinages for Ireland' in 'Numismatic Chronicle' 4th series xvii (1917) pp. 97-125. On Edward Hayes and his contacts with George Carew, Earl of Totnes see MS. 607 pp. 219, 222, 246, 248, and MS. 617 p. 202. In a letter to Carew of December 1611 Hayes responded to objections to his project for a mint in Ireland (MS. 607, p. 248)
ff. 302r-313v. 'Hayes his discourse for the standard of Ireland'. Temp. Elizabeth I. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, ff. 261r-271v).On Hayes see the note on ff. 297r-301v. Cf. Calendar of State Papers, Ireland, 1601-03, p. 225.
ff. 314r-319r. 'Here followeth certayne obiections made by such of theire honor.es as were appoynted by her Maietie to consider of a proiect tendered to her Highenes for easinge of the Irishe Exchanges. To which wee have thought good ... to offer our answeres'. Probably a continuation of the previous text; the two items are written in continuation in the same hand in British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, ff. 261r-271v).
ff. 319r-320v. 'The opynion of Sir Richard Martyn [Sir Richard Martin (1534-1617), Master of the Mint) towchinge the base Irishe moneyes'. Temp. James I. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, f. 272r-v). With a note 'a falce and foolishe accompte' (written in another hand in the Cotton manuscript).
ff. 320v-322v. 'A proiect for reducinge the Irishe money from xiid to viiid'. Temp. Elizabeth I. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, f. 273r-v). On a project in February 1603 to decry the Irish shilling to 8d see MS. 607 pp. 219, 222.
ff. 322v-328r. 'A motion for preventinge of counterfett moneyes made beyonde the seaes, that they shall not passe the Exchange in Ireland'. Includes a proposal to mint new coins for Ireland, and answers objections raised by Sir Richard Martin. Temp. Elizabeth I. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, ff. 274r-276v).
ff. 328r-329r. 'A briefe estimate of her Maiesties charge in ready money for her army and debte compounded for and payed in the sayde Realme [Ireland] betwene the firste of Aprill 1601 and the laste of December 1602'. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, f. 277r-v).
ff. 329v-335v. 'The draughte of a patten for coynage in the Lowe Countreyes'. A proclamation in the name of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, as Governor of the Netherlands [1586-87]. In Latin. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, ff. 278r-283v).
ff. 336r-339v. 'The Duke of Cleve [William, Duke of Julich-Cleves-Berg (1516-1592)] his pattent to his Mynte Master.' 20 October 1572. In Latin. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, ff. 286r-288v).
ff. 340r-v. Conversion tables from English sterling to French crowns and from florins to English sterling. n.d. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, ff. 299r-300v). Sewn in after f. 340 are two sheets of different paper (now numbered as ff. 340a-b) with notes in the hand of George Carew, Earl of Totnes, on the introduction of copper coinage.
f. 342r-v. 'The severall coynes or peeces of goulde and silver appoynted to be made after the severall standardes hereafter mencioned'. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, f. 301r-v).
f. 343r-v. 'Mr. Palmer's note of valluacion of coynes current'. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, f. 303r-v). Probably relates to Andrew Palmer (d. 1599), goldsmith, Comptroller and Assay Master at the Tower Mint 1582-99 (Christopher Challis, 'Mint officials and moneyers of the early modern period', p. 65).
f. 344r-v. 'Concordances of the vallewes of Ffrench crownes with Englishe money'. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, f. 304r-v).
f. 345r-v. Copy of a letter from Richard Martin, Warden of the Mint [afterwards Sir Richard Martin, Master of the Mint] to William Cecil, Baron Burghley, Lord Treasurer, concerning small coins to be made of copper. 1 October 1576. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, f. 305r-v).
ff. 346r-348r. 'Ffrom Mr. Wiklife and Mr. Humfrey for small moneyes'. Copy of a letter addressed to 'your honnor' supporting the issue of small coinage. Temp. Elizabeth I. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, ff. 306r-307r). Probably relates to William Humfrey (d.1579), a goldsmith, Assay Master of the Mint.
ff. 348r-350r. 'Hans Ffleming stranger his offer for the encrease of her Maiesties treasure in the Low Countries yf she be pleased to take the goverment of the same'. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, f. 307r-v).
ff. 350r- 360v. 'An answer to the reasones for coyninge small moneyes of copper'. Temp. Elizabeth I. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, ff. 308r-313v).
f. 361r-v. 'Certaine coynes of brasse or copper in severall states'. n.d. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, f. 314r-v).
ff. 362r-363v. Copy of a letter from Humphrey Covert to an unnamed Lord, concerning the use of tokens by tradesmen and appealing for the introduction of copper coinage for the benefit of the poor. Temp. James I. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, f. 315r-v).
ff. 364r-370r. 'The necessitie of small moneyes'. Ends: 'Towchinge the cunage of these copper moneyes the author humblie craveth the preferment...'. Signed (f. 370r) 'Edward Hayes'. Temp. James I. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, ff. 316r-317v). On Hayes see the note on ff. 297r-301v.
f. 370v. 'Smaller moneyes'. A table. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, f. 320). Possibly belonging with the preceding item, but the two items are written in different hands in the Cotton manuscript.
ff. 371r-380v. 'An answer to the reasons for coyninge small moneyes of copper'. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, ff. 321r-327v). Another copy of the text at ff. 350r-360v.
ff. 381r-384r. 'Copper moneyes'. Begins: 'The proiector of the busines of farthinge tokens dothe humblie shewe unto your Lordship that the offer by the mynisters of the lord Duke of Lenox is altogether ymmaginarie ...'. Signed (f. 384r) 'Garrard Malynes' [Gerard Malynes (fl. 1586-1641),writer on economics and adviser to James I on trade, a partner with John Harington, 1st Baron Harington, in the patent of 1613 to issue brass farthings]. Temp. James I [c. 1613-14]. On the proposal by the Duke of Lennox see below, ff. 388v-389v.
ff. 384v-388r. 'Reasons for the coyninge of pence, halfepence and farthings of copper ... and for abolishing of tokens made for lacke of such small moneyes in England...'. A proposal to James I to undertake 'the coynage of one hundreth thowsand weight of copper into pence, halfepence and farthinges...' (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, ff. 328r-331v).
ff. 388v-389v. 'The Duke of Lenox his offer and exceptions towchinge the farthinge tokens'. n.d. [c.1613-14]. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, f. 332r-v). A patent for coining brass farthings was issued to John Harington, 1st Baron Harington, in 1613. After his death in 1613, and the death of the 2nd Baron Harington in 1614, the patent was surrendered by the family to Ludovick Stuart (also known as Ludovick Stewart), 2nd Duke of Lennox and 1st Duke of Richmond. See 'Stuart Royal proclamations', vol 1, ed. James F. Larkin and others (Oxford, 1973), no. 128.
ff. 389v-393r. 'Blacke moneyes'. A proposal for the issue of £600,000 in black money to prevent the export of silver. Temp. James I. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, ff. 333r-334v).
ff. 393v-395v. 'Copper moneyes. Obiectiones and answers concerninge the coynage and yssuinge of small moneyes of copper'. Temp. James I. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, ff. 335r-336v).
ff. 396r-398r. 'The cheife hedds of the proiect'. A proposal to the Privy Council by Thomas Herison for various economic reforms including the issue of small copper coinage. Temp. James I. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, ff. 347r-348v, where the proposer's name is given as Thomas Herisson).
ff. 398r-400r. ''Decryed moneyes brought to the Mynte Eliz. Regina xii.o'. Tables of money 'out of the Queenes Maiesties receipte' paid to Thomas Stanley (d. 1571), Under-Treasurer of the Mint, 'before the firste falle of the moneyes' and from 2-3 Elizabeth I [1561-62]. (British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x, ff. 350r-351v).
ff. 401-402. blank.
LanguageLatin and English
FindingAidsNew description by Richard Palmer, 2011
PhysicalDescriptionOriginal vellum binding (re-backed with leather spine), with the arms of Carew (three lioncels passant, armed and langued) as centrepiece on each cover.
340 x 290 mm.
Paper leaves.
CustodialHistoryFrom the 'Carew-Sheldon' manuscripts. Recorded [as item 3] in the 'Carew-Sheldon' catalogue dated 1664: 'Breifs of records concerning moneys and exchange of moneys and the King's mint, being a collection of severall persons writing. MS folio' (Bodleian Library, Tanner MS. 275a, f. 2r). These manuscripts were acquired by Gilbert Sheldon (1598-1677), Archbishop of Canterbury. All, or nearly all, were previously owned by George Carew, 1st Earl of Totnes (1555-1629). See M. R. James, 'The Carew manuscripts', English Historical Review, vol 42, 1927, pp. 261-267, and M. R. James, 'A Descriptive Catalogue of the Manuscripts in the Library of Lambeth Palace: The Mediaeval Manuscripts' (Cambridge, 1932), p. 401.
CopiesCopied from British Library, Cotton MS. Otho E. x. Other copies of a number of the texts are found in Harley MS. 251 and other manuscripts in the British Library. See British Library, Class Catalogue of Manuscripts 12B, Public Revenues; State estabishments; Private Accounts, vol 1, ff. 329-461, Royal Mint.
RelatedMaterialSee MS. 255.
MS. 725 also concerns the Elizabethan Mint and currency exchange.
PublnNoteChristopher Challis, 'The Tudor coinage', 1978.
Christopher Challis ed, 'A new history of the Royal Mint', 1992
Christopher Challis, 'Mint officials and moneyers of the early modern period', British Numismatic Journal, vol 45, 1975, pp. 51-76.
Christopher Challis, 'Mint officials and moneyers of the Stuart period', British Numismatic Journal, vol 59, 1989, pp. 157-197.

Show related Persons records.

Related name records
CodeNameDates
GB/109/14535Carew; George (1555-1629); Earl of Totnes; statesman1555-1629
GB/109/10666Gresham; Sir; Thomas (?1519-1579)?1519-1579
GB/109/17338Audley; Sir; Thomas (c.1487-1544); Baron Audley of Waldenc.1487-1544
NA2506James I (1566-1625); King of England, Scotland and Ireland1566-1625
GB/109/15096Cotton; Sir; Robert Bruce (1571-1631); 1st Baronet; antiquary and politician1571-1631
NA2488Elizabeth I (1533-1603); Queen of England and Ireland1533-1603
GB/109/16123Martin; Sir; Richard (1534-1617); goldsmith1534-1617
DS/UK/6039Dudley; Robert (c.1532-1588); Earl of Leicester; courtier and magnatec.1532-1588
GB/109/17319Stuart; Sir; Ludovick (1574-1624); 2nd Duke of Lennox; Duke of Richmond1574-1624
GB/109/22128Gresham; Sir Richard (c.1485-1549); Lord Mayor of Londonc.1485-1549
GB/109/22129Malynes; Gerard (fl. 1586-1641); writer on economicsfl. 1586-1641
GB/109/22130Leslie; Patrick (d.1608); 1st Lord Lindoresd.1608
GB/109/22131Rowlett; Sir Ralph (d.1571); Deputy Master of the Mintd.1571
GB/109/22132Bowes; Sir Martin (c.1500-1566); Sub-Treasurer of the Mintc.1500-1566
GB/109/22133Aunsham; Thomas (fl 1509-1520); Official of the Mintfl 1509-1520
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