Browse texts by category: Tin Trade

1.

The Mint has room to store over 2,000 tons of tin without interfering with coinage work

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/560, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00676

2.

Holograph draft report on the staff and equipment necessary for the Mint to take charge of storing and selling tin on behalf of the Crown.

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/476, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00677

3.

Four holograph drafts of MINT00677 (Mint 19/3/476).

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/473, 492, 506, 508, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00678

4.

Holograph draft memorandum on organisation, staff and apparatus required for the Mint to handle tin.

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/494, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00679

5.

The warden, comptroller and assay master consider that the royal tin trade should in future be overseen by the Mint Board: Newton refers the decision to the Treasury.

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/495, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00680

6.

Proposes himself as the receiver to administer the Queen's tin.

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/475, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00681

7.

Estimated charges for handling tin.

Author: Tobias Dixon

Source: MINT 19/3/481, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00682

8.

Holograph draft memorandum on the Queen's trade in tin, predicting a loss to the Crown of over quarter of a million pounds by the end of a seven-year contract with the Cornish tin mines.

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/520, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00683

9.

On arrangements for transporting tin to Portsmouth prior to export.

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/514, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00684

10.

Proposal to raise the price of tin to £6 a hundredweight, with calculations of the profit this would generate. The Dutch cannot have much tin in the East Indies or they would be exporting it in quantity already.

Author: John Williams

Source: MINT 19/3/532, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00685

11.

Memorandum on the royal tin trade.

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/561, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00686

12.

'To proue that a quantity of Tin cannot be had in ye East Indies'.

Author: John Williams

Source: MINT 19/3/519, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00687

13.

Proposal to raise credit using Crown stocks of tin, cloth, wool, copper etc. as security.

Author: William Tyndal

Source: MINT 19/3/525, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00689

14.

Argument for an increase in the price of tin.

Author: John Williams

Source: MINT 19/3/597-9, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00690

15.

Holograph draft reports, one on the proposals of Tyndal to raise credit on tin, and one on those of Williams to raise the price, following discussions with them.

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/534, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00692

16.

Holograph fragment of a report on discussions with Williams about his proposal, in part identical with the above.

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/535, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00693

17.

John Williams: 'Considerations Relating to the Advancing the Price of Tinne'.

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/578-82, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00694

18.

Another copy of MINT00694 (Mint 19/3/578-82), missing the first page.

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/584-7, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00695

19.

Holograph notes concerning the selling of tin.

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/538, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00696

20.

Holograph draft notes relating to the tin trade, probably preparatory to MINT00696 (Mint 19/3/538) or a closely related document, with lists of expenses and several series of calculations, some relating to the tin trade and others to astronomical movements.

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/539-40, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00697

21.

Variant holograph calculations for MINT00696 (Mint 19/3/538).

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/522, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00698

22.

Incomplete report on foreign tin trade.

Author: John Drummond Commission agent in Amsterdam

Source: MINT 19/3/577, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00699

23.

Holograph notes on the price of tin from Siam.

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/533, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00700

24.

'A Report made Sept. 23. 1706 upon the proposals of Mr Holt & Mr Williams dated May 31th & Iuly 17th 1706'.

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/545, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00701

25.

Adverse report on the tender of [John] Drummond to handle tin in Amsterdam.

Author: Isaac Newton

Source: MINT 19/3/566, National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, UK

Newton Catalogue ID: MINT00702

[1] Treasurer

[2]

Printed in NC, 4: 411 (no. 668); see CTB, 18 (1703): 79 for a Treasury minute, dated 22 October, of a report from Newton to much the same effect.

[3] Treasurer

[4]

Printed in NC, 4: 409-10.

[5]

Mint 19/3/492 and Mint 19/3/506 are dated 28 October 1703.

[6] Treasurer

[7]

Draft of T. 1/89.6, MINT00947 (dated 6 January 1703/4 and printed in NC, 4: 411 (no. 669)).

[8]

On reverse: notes on the staff needed and practical arrangements for undertaking this.

[9] Treasurer

[10]

Printed in NC, 7: 432-3.

[11] Treasury

[12]

Printed in NC, 4: 466-7.

[13] Treasurer

[14]

Printed in NC, 7: 439.

[15] Treasury

[16] Treasury

[17]

[Note on dating: MINT00701 (Mint 19/3/545) mentions that about two years into the Queen's tin contract, which was signed in December 1703, the Mint Board seriously considered the potential advantages of a price increase, but soon changed their minds after obtaining more reliable information. 'Two years' must be an overestimate, however, as MINT00690 (Mint 19/3/597-9) makes it plain that they were already having doubts about the wisdom of such a measure by 1 August 1705.]

[18]

Emphatically approves an increase in the price of tin to £6 a hundredweight or a little less, as the Queen is losing £30,000 a year. Proposals for an agreement to be reached with the Dutch East India Company to prevent them undercutting this.

On reverse: calculations and a draft table of annual tin exports to various countries.

[19] Treasury

[20]

Argues that if the Dutch had a sufficient surplus of tin in the East Indies to undercut British trade, they would already be doing so.

[21] Treasury

[22]

Tyndal's proposal will, he claims, 'encrease ye Trade of this Nation a Million Sterling yearly' and 'employ many thousands of poor people who are now chargeable to their Parishes for want of work'. Embellished with a small drawing of a house labelled 'Mons Charitatis'.

[23] Treasury

[24]

Further to discussions with the Mint and the Lord Chamberlain's office on 1 and 18 August respectively (both of whom he admits were less than fully convinced by his arguments), Williams insists again that an increase in the price of tin will not lead to reduced consumption or undercutting by competitors.

[25] Treasury

[26]

Tin is already fully pledged and no credit can be raised on it. Increasing the price is likely to encourage Dutch importation from the East Indies.

[27]

Another refutation of the view that increasing the price of tin will bring other countries into the trade to England's disadvantage. This is like saying the Dutch should sell spice cheap 'for feare that wee should plant spice bedds in Englande and spoyle their Trade'. Good tin is extremely difficult to find and exploit so the English mines represent a virtual world monopoly. The demand for tin has always outstripped supply. It is essential to many trades so people will pay whatever they have to for it. The English will not suffer from the price increase as 80% of tin is exported, and the increased revenue will save them from a tax that would otherwise have to be levied to refill the royal coffers. Williams considers tin would have to rise to over £20 a hundredweight to be overpriced.

[28]

Written in the same hand as MINT00694

[29]

Detailed financial summary of the Crown's losses to date on the contract with the tin-mine owners of Cornwall and Devon.

[30] Mint

[31]

[Writer and approximate date deduced from an obvious reference to this report in Newton's letter to Treasurer Godolphin of 23 September 1706 in T. 1/99.97, MINT00949 (NC, 4: 478-80).]

[32]

The production of German tin has been much reduced by the conscription of miners for the war. Imports from Asia have also dropped considerably. Strongly advises against raising the price, however, as this will only be an incentive to the Germans and Dutch to revive production. Cites the example of artificially high sugar prices maintained by the English 1695-1703, which moved the Dutch to a massive increase in sugar importation from Surinam at a lower price, and to plant Java with sugar, with such success that they now look set to ruin the English plantations. The [Dutch-controlled] tin mines of Siam and Malacca are larger than the Cornish ones and yield better tin, so it would be unwise to risk a repetition.

[33]

Presumably a draft of the Mint's letter to the Treasurer of the same date dismissing the same proposals (T. 1/99.97, MINT00948, printed in NC, 4: 478-80), though the Treasury copy is untitled and very differently worded, and specifies the source of the Mint's information on East Indies tin as John Drummond [see note to MINT00699 (Mint 19/3/577)].

[34]

Dismisses their proposals to increase the price of tin as this would destroy trade. Their confidence that East Indies tin is 'of a bad sort and little in quantity' [so Dutch competition need not be feared] is misplaced: more recent information suggests almost limitless stocks of high quality tin there.

At top of page: possibly related calculations.

[35] Treasury

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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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