Catalogue Entry: MINT00813

Detailed list of grievances against Lord Lucas (Lieutenant of the Tower) and his staff.

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/409-10, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

[Normalized Text] [Diplomatic Text]


Asserts the traditional exemption by royal warrant of the Mint and its personnel from the jurisdiction of the Tower, and complains of the arrest on Mint territory of Mint labourer Philip Atherton by a constable of the Tower. Graphic account of a fight between a Tower guard and the son of a porter of the Mint, which nearly degenerated into a public riot. Lucas demands free access to all Mint properties including the workers' houses, and has twice, without consulting the Mint officers, searched the house of [former assistant engraver] James Roettier on the pretext that the exiled King James was said to have been seen there. The Mint cannot vouch for the security of its equipment and stocks of gold and silver if constables of the Tower are permitted to 'invade' it at will. The Tower guards 'begin to be rather a grievance then security unto us'. A lock on the press-room door was broken open, presumably with the guard's connivance. A drunken officer attempted to force entry into a Mint house and attacked a servant, while a Tower guard stood by. Lucas has authorised his soldiers to fire on Mint personnel if provoked, and forbidden food or drink to be brought into the Tower for Mint workers in the melting house or press-room. The workers have responded by cutting production by a third and are threatening to go on strike. Lucas claims he is acting within his authority, and the Treasury are requested to inspect the statutes and give a clear ruling on the respective rights and privileges of the Tower and the Mint.

Printed in NC, 4: 242-6.

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Professor Rob Iliffe
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Fellow & Perne librarian, Peterhouse, Cambridge

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