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Calendar of State Papers, Domestic Series,
of the Reign of Charles II. (1660-1667)

Preserved in Her Majesty's Public Record Office.

1660, May--Petition
William Garrett, citizen of London, For permission to serve the King in the office of the farthing tokens, by which, on small disbursements for tools, he hopes to bring a good annual profit to His Majesty, and greatly to relieve the poor in trading. Has sustained irreparable losses by his constant loyalty.

1660, Oct. 6.
Proposition by Sir Wm. Parkhurst, that to meet the necessity for small money, and to obviate the inconvenience of tradesmen's tokens, and of the frequent practice of coining--which has become so common that the implements are openly sold--copper farthings to be coined of full intrinsic value, which will prevent the Dutch dealing in them, be a convenience for petty traders, and encourage charity. An officer should be appointed and paid by His Majesty to supply the same to the traders, and in a few years the city and most country towns would be supplied.

1660, Nov.--Petition
Henry Howard. For a grant for 18 years of the office of farthing tokens, granted in 1635 to his father, Henry Earl of Arundel, and the late Sir Fras. [Francis] Crane, of which his father purchased Cranes' moiety, in 1639, for £6,000; and had a new grant for 21 years, but in 1642 the Parliament sequestered the profits, whereby he lost the residue of his term.

1660, Nov.--Petition
George Monck and James Powell alias Paul. For a license to make brass or copper farthing tokens for those who wish to have them engraved with their names and dwellings, in order that the presses for that work may not be used for coining; also for power to suppress other engines or tools made for that purpose.

1660, Nov.--Petition
Petition from Mayor Erasmus Purling. For perusal of his propositions relative to his inventions in metals and minerals, His Majesty having sole power of regulating the coinage. Annexing, 1. Proposals to supply £400,000 worth of farthings, to be given from the office at 21s. for 20s., the moiety to be for the King, who may have £100,000 worth advanced.

1661, June 5.
Sir Henry Slingsby to the King. Represents that as to farthings, His Majest has the undoubted prerogative of coining them: prays that no coinage may be allowed save in the Mint, and under government inspection; that as to making farthings of base metal, tin would be the best, but the easiness of working it, and its ready intermixture with lead, makes it open to coiners, and if that were attempted to be prevented by raising the price of tin, His Majesty having the pre-emption thereof, foreigners would buy their tin in Germany or elsewhere, to the injury of the owners of tin, and of the Turkey Company whose trade is chiefly in it; brass is objectionable on account of the smell; copper is the fittest metal; a contract should be made with Sweden for supply thereof, and then it should be coined and issued at so little increase in price as to make counterfeiting disadvantageous. To avoid danger of a glut, the Mint should be always ready to exchange farthings for silver money, if requested, and should forbear to make more than demanded: moneys made of mixed metals would be expensive, and would not answer. As to small silver moneys, the charge of coinage in lesser pieces being greater in proportion than larger, he suggests that coins of pence, 5 farthings, three half-pence, 7 farthings, &c. be made, so as to obtain change without use of silver pieces smaller than a penny.

John Harwar and others to the King and Council. Possess large quantities of brass and copper tokens, pence, half-pence and farthings, which the owners now refuse to receive back, saying they are exempted therefrom by His Majesty's pardon of such offenders. Request some means of redress to prevent their utter ruin

1666, July 27. Whitehall
News letter
.... The King, on some complaints, has recalled the privateers' commissions granted to Sir Wm. Courteen's executors on account of their losses. The Attorney General is ordered to prosecute several persons for making tokens. The Council sent messengers to Harwich and Yarmouth for the earliest news of the fllet, which to get out sooner, left some ships behind and took out their men. .....

1667, Jan. 4.
Order at general meeting of the Fishing Company approving the proposals of Sir Edw. Ford, and the petition grounded thereon, and appointing a committee to present the same to the King, and to prepare arguments in its favour, and attend the Council to speak in its defence. Annexing,

I. Petition of the Governor and Company of the Royal Fishing to the King, for a grant of the sole power of coining and issuing farthings, not to be counterfeited, according to a proposition made by Sir Edw. Ford, he giving security to prevent the export of gold and silver by importation of counterfeit farthings; to hinder prejudice to the people, by taking back farthings at same rate; to give 21s. worth of farthings for 20s. silver, and 5s. out of every 20s. to the Fishing Company.

II. Statement of the inconvenience and losses resulting from the issue of tradesmen's tokens, especially in the late contagion and fire, and yet that the profits of them are such that they are made, in spite of an order to the contrary.

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