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Calendar of State Papers, Domestic Series,
The Commonwealth

Preserved in Her Majesty's Public Record Office.

1649-1650, Edited by Mary Anne Everett Green, 1875
Vol I, 30 May 1649: Council of State. Day's Proceedings
23. The business of farthing tokens to be considered to-morrow.

1650, Edited by Mary Anne Everett Green, 1876
Vol IX, May 1650.
63. Answer of Sir Jno. Harvey to Mr. Violet's 4 papers respecting bullion and coin.
...To the third paper as to the farthings; I think it both good for trade and for the poor to have them, but they should be of full value, whether made of tin or copper, and I would have it treason to make them anywhere but in the Mint; query whether there might not be sufficient tin obtained from the State's mines to pay for their make, and of such a weight that no other person could undertake it without loss....

1651, Edited by Mary Anne Everett Green, 1877
Vol XVI, Aug 9, 1651: Council of State. Day's Proceedings.
3. Mr. Scott added to the Mint Committee, and the proposition for making farthings referred to the said committee; Mr. Frost to attend them.

1651-1652, Edited by Mary Anne Everett Green, 1877
Vol XVI, Nov 18, 1651
95. Propositions [by Thomas Violet to the Mint Committee] for making farthings of tin. 1. Whether to make them of copper or tin, and if of tin, of such weight that no encouragement be given to import them from beyond the seas.

Objection.--Copper money for small exchanges goes current in almost all places in the world, but tin in few or no countries; and as it may be adulterated with lead, tin farthings can be easily counterfeited.

Answer.--That as in England we have the richest tin mines in Christendom, and it is a treasure peculiar to this nation, we ought highly to improve this blessing, and do as the last King of Sweden, who had great quantities of copper mines in Sweden, which he improved by setting thousands of his subjects at work on them, and not only sold the copper in casks and bars, but also made coins of 1½ oz., which went for a penny, and paid his army with them, and at such a low value that his copper coin has often been imported to England, and sold to braziers.

By these means he derived great advantages, as by paying his soldiers with copper, the latter paid his quarters, and being so heavy he could not march with any quantity, and bring made at a full value, though in copper, it was as welcome to the boors in Germany as gold or silver. The like advantages may be made of our tin mines, and with our soldiers, especially in Ireland and Scotland, and set many thousands of people at work in the tin mines of Cornwall, provided the tin pieces be made so heavy, and of such fine tin by the assay, that nothing should be got by it but the pay of the workmen. For avoiding the counterfeiting of them, an Act should be passed, making it treason for any one to make farthings of tin, but such as the Statute shall appoint.

Many other reasons have been presented to the Committee to which the writer refers. [1 page.]

Vol XVI, [Nov. 18. 1651]
96. Proposals to the Mint Committee for coining brass or copper farthings, there being sensible loss, for want of them, in buying and selling, chiefly to the poor; and chandlers in London and Westminster minting farthings themselves to prevent this,--

That eight farthings pass for a penny, but so large that 9 or 10 are worth a penny to the braziers, so that their size will prevent their being carried away; no man to be compelled to take more than 16 in one payment. [3/4 page.]

Vol XXIV, May. 1652
13. "A paper about engines to mint withal." On 14 March 1649-1650, Rich Johnson, John Corbet, Wm. Taverner, and David Rainage [Bergantino: Ramage?], moneyers of the Mint in the Tower, seized tools belonging to Reeves in White Cross Street, used in making copper farthings unlicensed, which, if made at all, should be done in the Tower.

A year ago such tools were taken from Reeves, with stamps for half-crowns, and a contract between him and another in London, for making thousands of rix dollars, and pieces of eight, for which contract Reeves received 20l.

If such tools are kept by private persons, it will be impossible to prevent counterfeiting. In France it is death to anyone to keep such tools, and it should be the same here. [1 page.]

Vol XXV, Nov 4 1652: Council of State. Day's Proceedings.
16. The proposals of Edw. Rowland, goldsmith, concerning farthings, referred to the Mint Committee, to confer with him, and report their opinion; Sir Jas Harrington to take care hereof.

Vol XXV, Nov 30, Council of State. Day's Proceedings.
1. The Mint Committee to consider the proposition of Col. Downes for farthing tokens for the use of Chichester.

1653-1654, Edited by Mary Anne Everett Green, 1880
Vol ???, Mar 16, 1653-4: Council. Day's Proceedings.
7. Order on Col. Jone's report from the Mint Committee, that the several petitions and proposals concerning farthings be laid aside.

1655, Edited by Mary Anne Everett Green, 1881
Vol XCVI, April 19 1655.
Notes of petitions referred to the Committee for Petitions, on which no reports nor Council orders were given. All from I. 92.

Hen. Pilkington, for liberty to make farthings. [No. 43.]

Vol XCVIII, June 19 1655: Council. Day's Proceedings
7. A printed paper concerning an office for common farthings, kept at the house of Richard Abbot, in Threadneedle Street, referred to the Lord Mayor of London, as the issuing of them is without authority.

Vol XCVIII, June 19. 1655 (Whitehall): Council. Day's Proceedings
Pres. Lawrence to the Lord Mayor of London. His Highness and Council send you a printed paper importing that certain persons have issued farthings which are countenanced by public authority, though they have received no such stamp, but rather the contrary; as these proceedings prejudice the State, you are to examine the matter, and proceed against the offenders according to law. [I. 76. p. 141.]

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