Home  / MSS/0116

Coinage. Deeds, proclamations and other material relating to coinage

Reference code
Coinage. Deeds, proclamations and other material relating to coinage
14th-16th century
Level of description
Extent and format
ff. v + 339.
Leather binding, brown, blind- and gilt-tooled (?19th century).
Scope and content
Deeds relating to coins and coinage, many original, printed proclamations, Hen. VIII-Eliz., etc., autograph memoranda by Sir Richard Sackville and Lord Burghley, treatises on coinage and transcripts; compiled mostly temp. Jas. I, with earlier and later material. Many items owned by Sir Robert Cotton (signatures, fols. 61, 150, 159, and annotations throughout; see the list by Dr Colin Tite, FSA, on file in SAL); the latest dated MS item is his speech, 3 Sept. 1626 (item 7). For Cotton's library see C. G. Tite, The Manuscript Library of Sir Robert Cotton (Panizzi Lectures, 1993; British Library, 1994). See also Cotton's Discourse touching the alteration of coyne (1626). Partial contents lists, fols. iii (by the Rev. William Norris, Sec. SA), iv. Engraved titlepage by Renald Elstrack, with the arms of James I and royal badges (from The Workes (1616) of James I), title and imprint cut out, fol. v. Listed in detail (76 items) by Ellis (1816), 38-43. Many items in this collection are also in BL Harl. SAL/MS/660; Cotton MS Otho E.x. C. E. Challis, A New History of the Royal Mint (1992) gives details of many of the original documents in (3) from copies in the PRO.

Summary contents:-

(1) Treatise on the wages of a Roman foot soldier by Sir Thomas Smith (d. 1577), with dedication to Sir William Cecil (1st Baron Burghley 1571). Lacks chapter 30 (cf. contents list, fol. 1r, v). Also in BL Harl. SAL/MS/660. Printed in the Appendix to J. Strype's Life of Sir Thomas Smith (1820). (Ellis, item 1). fols. 1-24v;-

(2) Proofs of plates for J. Speed, History of Great Britain (1611). Cotton was correcting proofs in 1609. Cut-out engravings from Speed are mounted in Cotton's coin catalogue, BL Harley SAL/MS/254, fols. 157-64v. See the note by Dr C. Tite in The Numismatic Chronicle (1992), 178. (Ellis, item 2). fols. 29-56;-

(3) Original royal writs and deeds conc. coinage, 14th-16th century, with some extracts and copies. Latin, French and English. Vellum or paper, folded or trimmed and laid down. Some items imperfect. (Ellis, items 3-18). fols. 58-92:- (a) Copies of deeds relating to the three mints held in Canterbury, temp. Rich. I and John; copies, temp. Jas. I. Latin. (Ellis, item 3). fols. 58-9v;- (b) 'Iste sunt Allocaciones Cuneorum'. Copies and extracts conc. coinage, temp. Hen. III-Edw. III; copies, 14th century. Latin. Signature of Sir Robert Cotton, fol. 61. (Ellis, item 4). fols. 61-7v;- (c) On the corruption of coin; temp. Edw. III. French. (Ellis, item 5). fol. 68;- (d) Deed of William de Turnemire, Master of the Mint, dated the day after his mint contract (8 Dec. 1279; cf. Challis (1992), 699); copy, 14th century. Latin. (Ellis, item 6). fol. 70;- (e) Original indenture between the king and Walter de Barde, Master of the Mint; 11 Feb. 1363. French. Challis, 705. (Ellis, item 7). fols. 71-4;- (f) Original indenture between the king and Richard Garner, Master of the Mint; (Feb. 1409; cf. Challis, 708). French. Imperfect at the end. (Ellis, item 8). fols. 75-8;- (g) Original indenture between the king and William Rus, Master of the Mint; 8 Sept. 1431. French. Some damage near the end. Signed by the Abps of Canterbury and York, etc. Challis, 709. (Ellis, item 9). fols. 79-82;- (h) Original indenture between Edw. IV and Thomas Galmole, Master of the Mint, conc. the Dublin and Waterford Mint; (March 1483; cf. Challis, 716). English. Imperfect. Royal monogram at the top. Impression of an Irish penny in the margin. (Ellis, item 10). fols. 83-4;- (i) Royal writ to the Keeper of the Privy Seal for Letters Patent conc. payments due to Edmund Shaa in respect of his appointment as Engraver; 1 March 1465 (Shaa was appointed on 26 Feb. 1462, cf. Challis, 182-3). English. (Ellis, item 11). fol. 85;- (j) Royal writ to the Bishop of Rochester, as Keeper of the Privy Seal, for the drawing up of an indenture between the king and William, Lord Hastings; 23 Feb. 1469. English. Cf. Challis, 713. See Archaeologia, 15 (1806), 164-78, for the text of the indenture. (Ellis, item 12). fol. 86;- (k) Royal writ to the Keeper of the Privy Seal for Letters Patent to John Davyson, Chancellor, conc. payments from the profits of mines of gold and silver to Richard, Earl of Warwick, and others; 22 Feb. 1469. Latin. (Ellis, item 13). fol. 87;- (1) Royal writ for Letters Patent for a licence to John Messelden, merchant, and Robert Messelden his son to practice alchemy; 13 Feb. 1452. English. (Ellis, item 14). fol. 88;- (m) Royal writ for Letters Patent for an indenture between Edw. IV and Thomas Galmole, conc. the Dublin and Waterford Mint; 8 March 22? Edw. IV (1482). (Challis, 716, dates the indenture March 1483). English. (Ellis, item 15). fol. 89;- (n) Royal writ from Hen. VII to Giles, Lord Dawbeny, and Bartholomew Read charging them with the exercise of the office of Master of the Mint in the Tower; 1 March 1489 (cf. a later commission to the same, Challis, 717). English. Royal monogram at the top. (Ellis, item 16). fol. 90;- (o) Royal writ to the Treasurer, Barons, etc., of the Exchequer for the delivery of silver to William, Marquess of Suffolk (William De La Pole, 1st Marquess of Suffolk); 16 Nov. 1446. English. (Ellis, item 17). fol. 91;- (p) Royal writ to Sir Martin Bowes and Ralph Rowlett for the printing of money 'called Harpes' for the realm of Ireland; 25 Jan. 1542. English. (Ellis, item 18). Signature of Henry VIII (stamped). Countersigned by the Council. fol. 92;-

(4) A brief discourse on the alteration of moneys since Edw. III, with a note of the weight and value of moneys coined temp. Eliz., Jas. I. (Ellis, item 19). fols. 93-107v;-

(5) 'Cambium regis'. Short account of the office of Exchange. (Ellis, item 20). fols. 109-10;-

(6) Printed proclamations conc. coinage, Hen. VIII-Eliz., with one of Will. III. (Ellis, items 21-45, 76). fols. 111-48, 337;-

(7) Speech of Sir Robert Cotton to Chas. I at Council, conc. the alteration of money, 3 Sept. 1626. Signed. (Ellis, item 46). fols. 149-50;-

(8) Discourse of Sir Richard Sackville (d. 1566), Chancellor of the Court of Augmentations, conc. the decrying of money, 1561 (endorsement). Autograph. (Ellis, item 47). fols. 151-2;-

(9) Reasons against the decrying of money by Lord Burghley (Sir William Cecil, 1st Lord Burghley 1571). Autograph. (Ellis, item 48). fols. 153-4;-

(10) Treatise against the enfeebling of silver coin, 8 Oct. 1612. (Ellis, item 49). fols. 155-8;-

(11) Treatise on the weights of English money, assay, etc. With tables and pen drawings of equipment. Contents list signed by Sir Robert Cotton. (Ellis, item 50). fols. 159-215;-

(12) Two printed leaves, with representations of coins dated 1557-86. Dutch. (Ellis, item 51). fols. 216, 216*;-

(13) Action taken against counterfeiting. (Ellis, item 52). fol. 217;-

(14) Matters to be considered by the Warden of the Mint. (Ellis, item 53). fol. 218;-

(15) Fees paid to the officers of the Mint, 3 Edw. VI. (Ellis, item 54). fol. 219;-

(16) Treatise on the computation, fines and valuation of all coins of gold or silver. (Ellis, item 55). fols. 220-38;-

(17) Declaration of the gains, commodity or profit which should come to the Queen through the Mint Masters and officers of the Mint. (Ellis, item 56). fols. 239-44v;-

(18) Two memorials by Humfrey Holt regarding uniformity of a standard to prevent the export of coin. In the hand of Ralph Starkey. (Ellis, item 57). fols. 245-7v;-

(19) Treatise on mintage by William Humfrey addressed to Sir Thomas Parry, Master of the Wards and Treasurer of the Queen's household. (Ellis, item 58). fols. 249v-65;-

(20) Report of a commission on weights, bullion and values of silver money of England and the Low Countries, Feb. 1564. (Ellis, item 59). fols. 266-78v;-

(21) Treatise on mintage. (Ellis, item 60). fols. 279-87;-

(22) Recommendations to Jas. I conc. attempts to control the import or export of coins and suggesting that permitting the use of Spanish dollars would be beneficial. (Ellis, item 61). fols. 289-92v;-

(23) Abridged treatise conc. the undervaluation of gold and silver in England, 23 May 1596. (Ellis, item 62). fols. 293-303v;-

(24) Table relating to gross and fine weights. (Ellis, item 63). fols. 305-11v;-

(25) Discourse on the valuation of coin. (Ellis, item 64). fols. 312-15v;-

(26) Mr Kenrick's opinion for reducing gold and silver coins to a parity. In the hand of Ralph Starkey. (Ellis, item 65). fol. 316;-

(27) Opinions of merchants to prevent the export of gold and silver, 1608. (Ellis, item 66). fols. 317-20;-

(28) Remedy to prevent the export of money, and reasons against the enhancing of gold. (Ellis, items 67, 68). fol. 321r, v;-

(29) Copies of statutes conc. the export of gold and silver and commodities. Annotations by Lord Henry Howard (Earl of Northampton), fol. 323. (Ellis, item 69). fols. 322-3;-

(30) Project to make silver proportionably equivalent to gold. (Ellis, item 70). fol. 324;-

(31) Copy of the report made by the Merchants Adventurers and officers of the Mint conc. the export of money. (Ellis, item 71). fols. 325-6v;-

(32) Answers to four propositions of the Earl of Salisbury (Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury 1605), Lord High Treasurer, delivered to Jas. I and the Privy Council. (Ellis, item 72). fols. 328-9v;-

(33) Memoranda for understanding the exchange. (Ellis, item 73). fols. 330-1;-

(34) Papers conc. losses to the realm from abuse of the exchange, cf. BL Cotton MS Otho E.x. In the hand of Ralph Starkey. (Ellis, item 74). fols. 332-6;-

(35) Note conc. the state of gold and silver coinage, 24 Aug. 1626. (Ellis, item 75). fol. 336v. (Inf. Dr Colin Tite, FSA, Dr Nigel Ramsay, FSA).
Previous reference number(s)
Archival history
Binding fragments, vellum, fols. 338-9v, from a treatise on philosophy (whether prudence is a virtue), 15th century, annotated by Sir Robert Cotton with directions to a binder.

Fragment of letter from W. Herne, 30 March 1752 (fol. ii), suggesting that the collection might have been formed by a Mint Master and that Martin Folkes would have been 'glad of it' (Martin Folkes, PSA, d. 1754; see MSS/0274, MSS/0657 conc. his work on coins).