Browse texts by category: Rights and Privileges of the Mint

1.

Copies of English and Latin warrants and other records dating back to the reign of Richard I relating to the appointment, oaths, duties, privileges and powers of lieutenants, chief porters and wardens of the Tower.

Author: Unknown

Source: MINT 19/3/344-85, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00800

2.

Council orders to the Mint to supply a list of residents there not connected with the Mint, and to the Lieutenant of the Tower to hand over to the Mint the buildings claimed by it.

Author: Unknown

Source: MINT 19/3/436, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00801

3.

Documents relating to the expulsion of non-Mint personnel from Mint premises.

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/418-19, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00802

4.

Another clerical copy of MINT00802(a) (Mint 19/3/418r).

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/437, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00803

5.

Royal warrant to the Lieutenant of the Tower.

Author: Unknown

Source: MINT 19/3/422, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00804

6.

Royal warrant to the Mint wardens William Parkhurst and Anthony St Leger repeating the order to expel non-Mint personnel.

Author: Unknown

Source: MINT 19/3/420-21, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00805

7.

Confirmation of Tower residents' privileges.

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/402, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00806

8.

Holograph notes on smiths, plumbers and repairs, with names of several officers and servants, dating back to 1643.

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/413-14, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00807

9.

Holograph extracts from earlier masters' indentures relating to Mint independence and freedom of entry and exit.

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/401, 403, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00808

10.

Holograph copy of a clause in the master's indenture guaranteeing freedom of entry and exit.

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/408, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00809

11.

Draft report: 'An accompt of what belongs to the Warden of his Mties Mint within the Tower of London', listing the buildings regarded as the warden's property and those that used to be regarded as such.

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/1/25, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00810

12.

Certificate exempting Christopher Priddeth, by virtue of his position as Mint clerk, from civic duties and taxation.

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/404-5, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00811

13.

Clerical copy of MINT00811 (Mint 19/3/405) with emendations by Newton and name left blank.

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/406, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00812

14.

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

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00813

15.

Indignant denial of the charges levelled in MINT00813 (Mint 19/3/409-10).

Author: Lord Lucas

Source: MINT 19/3/386-9, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00814

16.

Clerical copies of affidavits supporting MINT00814 (Mint 19/3/386-9) from the bailiff and beadle of the Tower, the guard involved in the fight, his guests, the Tower guards and others.

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/390-99, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00815

17.

Report on wardens since 1672 with commendation of Newton as the first not to treat the post as a sinecure.

Author: Thomas Fowle

Source: MINT 19/1/21-3, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00816

18.

Report of the demolition by the Ordnance Office of the smith's house at the Mint.

Author: Thomas Fowle

Source: MINT 19/3/415, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00817

19.

'Draught of a Memoriall by the Officers of the Mint relateing to the Mint privileges'.

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/416-17, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00818

20.

Reply to complaints about the demolition of the smith's house.

Author: Ordnance Office

Source: MINT 19/3/412, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00819

21.

The smith's house has probably belonged to the Ordnance since the latter's creation.

Author: Ordnance Office

Source: MINT 19/3/429-30, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00820

22.

Holograph notes on expenditure 1687-8.

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/1/345, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00821

23.

The Irish Mint, which Lucas [Lieutenant of the Tower] now demands possession of, was transferred from the Mint to the Ordnance during the civil wars but restored to the Mint in 1662.

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/400, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00822

24.

Complaint about encroachments on Mint jurisdiction.

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/407, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00823

25.

Further holograph draft of MINT00823 (Mint 19/3/407), also dated 20 July 1715.

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/424, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00824

[1]

Includes a number of case histories of Tower privileges being confirmed or challenged, and a list of lieutenants from the reigns of Henry VIII to Charles I.

[2]

Another clerical copy in PRO, Mint 1/1, pp. 141-2.

[3]

(a) (Mint 19/3/418r) 18 February 1661 [= 1662]. Warrant to the Mint to give twenty days' eviction notice to all non-Mint personnel. Officers are henceforth forbidden to sublet without express permission.

(b) (Mint 19/3/418v) 2 May 1662. Minutes of a Whitehall court sessions at which orders were issued to the Lieutenant of the Tower to evacuate non-Mint personnel, as required in the foregoing.

(c) (Mint 19/3/419r) 4 August 1662. Instructions from John Robinson, Lieutenant of the Tower, to his staff to carry out the foregoing order.

[4]

Everyone living between the two gates of the Mint but not connected with it is to be expelled at once (previous orders to this effect having been disregarded).

[5]

John Wallis, weigher, is to be paid £16 p.a. rent for life out of the Mint's profits for his house in the Mint, and Thomas and John Woodward, assayers, the same for their house, these buildings being required for other staff.

[6]

Entitled 'The Verdict of his Matis Iury for ye Royal Tower of London & ye Libertis thereof, sworn [...] Nov 26. in ye 29th year of ye Reign of ye Sovereign L[ord] K[ing] Charles ye 2d [ie.1677, Charles II's reign being deemed to have begun upon the death of Charles I]'. Confirms the exemption of Tower residents from jury service and taxation, subject to their taking an oath of loyalty at the Tower's court of record.

[7]

[Largely drawn from old bills, apparently with a view to establishing precedents for occupation of and jurisdiction over various properties within the Tower.]

[8]

Printed in NC, 4: 219-20.

[9] Treasury

[10]

Printed in NC, 4: 242-6.

[11]

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.

[12] Treasury

[13]

Extracts printed as a footnote in NC, 4: 245, n.2.

[14]

Atherton was arrested on criminal charges and without Lucas's knowledge. The guard's fight with the porter's son arose because the porter's family demanded bribes to open the gate. After hearing of the alleged sighting of King James in Roettier's house, Lucas tried three times to find a Mint officer to consult before searching the house, but without success. All inhabitants of the Tower are obliged to take oaths of loyalty at the Tower's court of record, and though this has hitherto been waived in the case of Mint employees, Lucas is no longer prepared to permit this infringement of the Tower's jurisdiction. Suspects the story of the drunken officer is as untrue as the claim that Lucas authorised his men to fire on Mint workers. He did forbid drink to be brought into the Tower for Mint workers, or food sold by them to the soldiers, following a complaint that the soldiers spent their cash on food and drink from the Mint workers though in debt to their own victuallers. Counters with charges that the Mint workers are habitually drunk and provoke the Tower guards: a sentry was recently almost murdered by a drunken horsekeeper and other Mint personnel.

[15]

Each of the ten sheets carries a different deposition: the first four are dated 16 July and the last two 26 July; the others are undated but obviously contemporary.

[16] Isaac Newton

[17]

Calendared in NC, 7: 411 (no. X.616) (but this gives the misleading impression that Fowle still was under arrest at the time of writing).

[18]

Lists precedents for the Mint's privileges to have its officers exempted or released from arrest. An account of Fowle's own recent arrest on unspecified charges [curfew-breaking?], from which he was released after two days through the comptroller's intervention.

[19] Mint

[20]

Calendared in NC, 7: 409 (no. X.610.2).

[21]

So far as Fowle is aware, having worked in the Mint for nearly 27 years, the house of the smith to the Mint always belonged to the Mint, even though the smith to the Ordnance sometimes worked there.

[22]

[See also the related memorandum to the Treasury of 16 June 1699, possibly a variant draft of this, in PRO, Works 3/1, ff.12v-13r (printed in NC, 7: 410-11 and The Wren Society Report, 18 (1941), 151-2).]

[23]

On encroachments since 1660 by soldiers of the Tower on property assigned to the Mint. In particular, they have demolished the house of the smith [Thomas Sylvester] (probably with his connivance) and begun building a new one. Sentries continue to be posted within the Mint despite two cases of sentries being caught stealing silver. Request a clear ruling on boundaries, suspension of the building work, control over the Mint gates, and the expulsion from Mint territory of all people not connected with it.

[24] Mint

[25]

Printed in NC, 7: 412. Newton's report seems not to have survived, unless the reference is to MINT00818 (Mint 19/3/416-17).

[26]

The Master General of the Ordnance will send a reply to Newton's report about ownership of the smith's house as soon as the matter has been laid before the Treasury, though there is no question that it belongs to the Ordnance, 'having bin time out of mind in the Office'.

[27] Treasury

[28]

Full letter in PRO, T1/67, no.34.

[29]

Numerous extracts from old decrees and statements by Ordnance employees in support of this contention.

[30]

[A clerical copy of regulations to the same general effect, restricting repair and building work on Mint properties and dated 21 December 1700, is in PRO, Mint 1/7, p. 22.]

[31]

Followed by draft regulations that no repairs be done to Mint buildings for the sake of letting them, that workmen who send in bills for such repairs be dismissed, and 'That the Gunner of the Tower do order the Guns in such a manner that upon firing they may do the least harm to the windows of the Mint'.

[32] Lords Justices of England

[33]

[Note on dating: Lucas lost his governorship of the Tower at Anne's accession (8 March 1702) so the document must pre-date that, but by how much is a moot point.]

[34] Treasury

[35]

Printed in NC, 6: 235.

[36]

Hatton Compton, Lieutenant of the Tower, has placed the Earl of Oxford under guard in the comptroller's house without authorisation from the Mint officers. This is contrary to the statutes exempting the Mint from military jurisdiction and sets a dangerous precedent. Followed by a holograph draft of MINT00320 (Mint 19/2/210).

© 2020 The Newton Project

Professor Rob Iliffe
Director, AHRC Newton Papers Project

Scott Mandelbrote,
Fellow & Perne librarian, Peterhouse, Cambridge

Faculty of History, George Street, Oxford, OX1 2RL - newtonproject@history.ox.ac.uk

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