Newton’s Mint Papers
Mint texts sorted by date
Holograph accounts of three successful trials of counterfeiters, adduced as precedents to show that such crimes could be prosecuted long after they were committed, and could be accounted high treason.
Certificate exempting Christopher Priddeth, by virtue of his position as Mint clerk, from civic duties and taxation.
An account of the vicissitudes of pursuing coinage offenders.
'The State of the Mint'.
Holograph draft warrants to the keepers of the relevant prisons.
'An Account of the Mint in the Tower of London'.
'Observations concerning the Mint'.
Order of the Commons Committee on the Miscarriages of the Mint (forwarded to Newton by the Committee's chairman, Arnold) for [William] Chaloner [Challoner]to demonstrate before them his method of making guineas.
Petition of Francis Moore to the Treasury for a share of the estate of the convicted counterfeiter William Hawkins (executed on 26 July), as a reward for ascertaining the extent of this estate.
Detailed list of grievances against Lord Lucas (Lieutenant of the Tower) and his staff.
Documents relating to the Chaloner case.
Slightly shorter holograph draft of MINT00847 (I.503).
Holograph summary of the submissions put to a committee examining Chaloner's case.
Rougher holograph draft of MINT00845(b) (I.497v-498).
Covering letter for a formulaic statement of accounts for each mint to complete prior to its being closed down [April - September 1698].
'Chaloner's Case'. A history of Chaloner's crimes since 1690, largely summarising the confessions of other coiners.
Holograph draft lists of editorial amendments to be made to a report on Chaloner.
Response to the above petitions.
Laudatory account of the services of the late comptroller James Hoare during the recoinage.
Assessment of moneyers' bills for equipping country mints and other expenses, recommending several reductions in the total submitted.
Detailed holograph note of money received by Newton from the Treasury towards the prosecution of coinage offenders 5 September 1696 - 12 June 1699, and of related expenses from 3 August 1696.
On a request from the East India Company to be supplied with two mills and two presses for Fort St. George [in Madras].
Holograph notes on the denominations, fineness and weight of various foreign coins, with a letter to Catherine Barton dated 5 August 1700 on the reverse.
Fragmentary holograph notes on whether the coins should be received in London or Port Mahon [in Minorca].
Holograph memorandum on engraver [Henry] Harris's complete incompetence: 'Mr Harris cannot emboss nor punch, nor draw'. He has employed John Croker to do all this for him, and moreover has failed to remunerate Croker as promised.
Untitled holograph draft memorandum on John Pollexfen's A Discourse of Trade, Coyn and Paper Credit [1697, reprinted 1700].
£2,000 had been the customary security for the mastership until the previous incumbent, Thomas Neale, gave £15,000 to allay doubts raised by his somewhat dubious financial history.
Recommendations regarding currency control.
Discussion of standards by which to gauge the value of gold coin (specifically pistoles).
Response to a further proposal by the Irish Chancellor for a Dublin Mint.
Covering letter for MINT00159 (I.228-9).
'Directions about the Triall of the monies of Gold & Silver in the Pix'.
Recommends Hopton Haynes for the post of weigher and teller, giving an account of his previous employment at the Mint (as a clerk) and elsewhere.
Further to a petition from probationer engraver [Samuel] Bull, recommend raising his salary from £50 to £60 p.a. plus piece work.
The £60 p.a. allowed for a master's assay master (as distinct from the royal assay master) has for a long time been paid to the deputy master, who has authority to examine the work of the royal assay master.
Royal warrant authorising Newton to continue to act under the indenture of 23 December 1700 after William III's death, pending formulation of a new indenture.
Requests orders to coin Coronation medals and offers suggestions about the quality of metals to be used.
Expenses on Queen Anne Coronation medals [the last batch of which was ordered on 2 June 1702] amount to £2,485.18s.3 1/2 d.
Response to a petition from Anthony Redhead [former master of the Norwich Mint] against unjust and over-long imprisonment.
Response to Leonard Blofield's petition for £2,497.16s.3d. allegedly owed him by Anthony Redhead on behalf of the Norwich Mint.
Draft of royal warrant to coin Vigo booty, with the inscription 'VIGO' on all coins.
Response to a petition from Abel Slaney and partners to coin a further 700 tons of halfpence and farthings.
The Mint has room to store over 2,000 tons of tin without interfering with coinage work
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.
Proposes himself as the receiver to administer the Queen's tin.
Report on a proposal by one White for gluing duty marks onto paper rather than impressing it [to certify that the recently-imposed tax on paper for parchments and deeds had been paid].
Brief letter concerning the 'perusal' and possible purchase, apparently on Newton's behalf, of some Italian coins from an unspecified 'gentleman'.
Response to the applications at MINT00062 (I.140-45) and others.
'A Proposal for regulating the Gravers Office'.
Oppose [Gabriel] le Clerk's petition to succeed Harris as engraver: would like to take him on as third engraver under Croker and Bull, but not until summer 1705, due to the cost of repairs occasioned by last year's storms [see MINT00063 (I.170-71)].
Reply to a query about the engravers' patent.
Submits his design for a medal [to commemorate the proclamation of Queen Anne's Bounty, a series of measures to relieve impoverished clergy]. Suggests that in future he be given authority to approve medal designs himself, to save the Treasury time.
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.
On arrangements for transporting tin to Portsmouth prior to export.
Holograph memorandum on Newton's design for a Union medal, with a detailed explanation of its symbolism.
The articles ordered for the Edinburgh Mint have been embarked, all except the weights and seals, as authorisation to mark the weights has not yet been given: request for such authorisation.
If pyx trials are to continue to be conducted in Scotland as the Lord Chancellor of Scotland wishes, new gold and silver trial pieces should be made and allotted to the English and Scottish Mints and Treasuries and to the Goldsmith's Company.
Requests a warrant for check weights to be made in London and sent to Edinburgh.
Order to convene a jury for the forthcoming pyx trial [28 July 1707].
The house of the surveyor of meltings is beyond repair.
On equipment still needed by the Edinburgh Mint, especially crown and half-crown puncheons, which are to be sent overland as this is the quickest way.
As the English recoinage was 'troublesome expensive and liable to abuse & gross abuses were actually committed in it', recommends various procedures to avoid a recurrence in Scotland. Possibly in reply to MINT00374 (III.110).
Encloses a list [MINT00375 (III.111)] of items needed to begin work at the Edinburgh Mint, especially puncheons for crowns and half-crowns, which are to be coined first.
Petition for recovery of income lost and expenses incurred through the reorganisation of the Edinburgh Mint.
An increase in fineness of silver in the course of melting has been detected: sends samples to demonstrate and requests advice on what to do about it. Some puncheons and other equipment ordered from London have still not arrived.
Model letter for Allardes to send to Treasurer Godolphin.
In response to Allardes' proposal, recommends that for the duration of the recoinage the Scots be allowed to revert to their old practice [adding copper during melting] as this seems to be the only practicable method of producing standard coin there.
Detailed instructions on melting and description of London practice.
Request for advice on various aspects of Mint practice.
In response to queries from Allardes [MINT00391 (III.119), in fact drafted by Newton himself], the Mint approve the proposed allowances.
Report on the Edinburgh Mint's financial difficulties.
Report on a new design of furnace in Cornwall for melting tin.
Proposed measures to be taken in the wake of Daniel Stewart's recent death. Presumably a variant of MINT00402 (III.131).
The Earl of Derby [Governor of the Isle of Man] has asked for Manx currency to be coined in the Mint: Mint disapprove of coining foreign money, but see no objection to allowing the moneyers and engravers to make medals for him.
Proposals for sorting out the Edinburgh Mint's finances.
The continued refusal of Stewart's executors to hand over money owed to the Edinburgh Mint has left them unable to carry on their business. Begs Newton to sort the mess out: 'All the officers of the Mint depend very much upon you in this matter'.
Clarification of Millar's duties as assistant to the commissioners: encloses a copy of his petition [MINT00411 (III.194)]. Recoinage is proceeding satisfactorily.
Recommend the commissioners for coinage in Scotland be paid a total of £700 between them.
Correspondence relating to Edinburgh Mint funding.
Covering letter for a 'Memoriall' relating to various difficulties [MINT00419 (III.177)].
'Memoriall from George Allardes Master of Her Majties Mint att Edinburgh to the honorable Sir Isaac Newton'.
Asks permission for the London moneyers to go home as the recoinage is finished.
Recommendations for sorting out the Edinburgh Mint's expenses.
Letter concerning the Edinburgh Mint
Deplores the Edinburgh Mint's non-payment of fees and salaries and asks Newton's advice as to how this can be remedied.
Correspondence relating to the tin trade
Reports the East India Company's offer to take a hundred tons of tin in lieu of money owed it by the Treasury for saltpetre.
Edinburgh Mint officers summoned by Council order to the pyx trial in London cannot be excused except by the Council itself, which Newton thinks unlikely.
Personal recommendation of deputy Edinburgh master Patrick Scott.
Memorandum by Newton: 'Of the assaying of Gold and Silver, the making of indented Triall-pieces and trying the moneys in the Pix'.
Complaint about trial plates.
Report on two coinage offenders.
Response to a proposal by one Mr Palmer to coin 700 tons of copper.
Copy of royal warrant to the Mint to receive plate at premium rates as specified in the Parliamentary ruling of 1 May 1711, issue receipts for it, and melt it at once into shillings and sixpences to be paid into the Exchequer.
'About' £39,281 worth of plate was received on 11, 12 and 14 May combined, besides some £6,000 worth yet to be assessed.
On the value of Mexican, Peruvian and Seville coins.
More detailed account of the value of Mexican and Seville coins taking wear into account.
In view of the non-acceptability of Mint receipts post-14 May for the public loan [see MINT00548 (II.543)], what provision is to be made for the vendors?
Holograph draft memorandum on disputes between Newton and the warden [Craven Peyton], particularly the warden's opposition to Newton's proposal to pay vendors of plate 5s. per ounce on account [see MINT00558 (II.539-40)].
Holograph draft of a royal warrant authorising payment of the balance.
Correspondence relating to Spanish coinage.
Application to appoint a new smith.
Covering letter for a Mint report on a further petition from Cornwall for a renewal of the tin contract, and for 'a further Report upon the present state of the Tin', probably meaning the following entry.
Valuation of another three two-real pieces and new estimate of the total amount to be produced by the reminting as 4,189,000 two-real pieces.
Holograph draft memorandum giving a detailed list of measures to be taken to supervise the reminting in Spain, assess the quality of the resulting coin and organise finances.
Report on foreign coin in Ireland, with Newton's comments on it.
Two reports on foreign coin in Ireland.
Refers MINT00501 (II.232-3) to the Mint and orders a report on it.
Identical proposal to take on Beresford as apprentice.
Corrected account of the total bullion brought into the Scottish Mint during the recoinage, with a covering letter containing apologies for errors in the previous account and a repeated enquiry about the allowance for waste.
Variant holograph draft of MINT00314 (II.172).
'Considerations about the Coynage of Copper Moneys'.
Reply to his query about the permissible level of wastage in melting.
Response to John Pery's [Perry's] application to coin copper.
Reply to MINT00452 (I.181-2).
Report on Robert Weddell's expense claim of £467.15s.2d. for prosecuting coinage offenders from May 1711 to Christmas 1712, which the Mint consider reasonable given his success rate.
Promises his vote for the presidency at next week's Royal Society election to Newton, whom he would make 'Perpetual Dictator' of the Society, and asking Newton how he should vote for the councillors and officers.
Three partial holograph drafts similar to MINT00457 (III.56) but suggesting a compromise Newton has proposed to the Treasury, raising the Edinburgh Mint's allowance to £1,450 p.a.
Response to MINT00454 (III.23-8).
Submits designs for reverses of half-guineas and sixpences.
Further to an oral enquiry, explains the hammer test of copper and gives a detailed account of the costs involved in coining.
Report on copper coinage.
Estimates the lowest possible cost of coining farthings as 1s.9 1/2 d. per pound weight. He and another mill owner, Essington, are considering putting in a joint tender.
An account of experimental coinage of halfpence from bars: the coins have proved substandard. Suspects tin has been added by the melter contrary to instructions. Repeats request for money to repair and equip the Irish Mint [see MINT00611 (II.305)].
Referral of the above.
Requests orders to draft new designs for coins as soon as the King's coat of arms has been decided on.
As requested, presents his six proposed mottoes, and descriptions of six proposed emblems, for the reverse of the Coronation Medal.
Report on copper coinage techniques.
Reply to a Treasury enquiry about copper coinage techniques.
Response to the petition of the former Edinburgh bullion clerk William Hamilton, referred by the Treasury to the London Mint.
Complaint about encroachments on Mint jurisdiction.
'An Account of the Tin remaining unsold in the Tower, in Holland, & at Hamburgh, Octob. 25. 1715', with an appended note, presumably to the Treasury, dated 26 October.
Variant draft of MINT00140 (I.325), with a table of income and expenditure over five years (1711-15).
Request for an increase in Mint funding.
Report on samples of ore sent to the Mint by Townshend for testing: it is rich in silver, but Newton does not know where it comes from.
Detailed technical instructions to be given to Brandshagen and Hamilton for inspecting the mine at Alva: they should be assisted by an Edinburgh Mint officer.
Passes on a report he has received about the vein of silver ore in Alva and gives advice on conducting the inspection.
Suggests various means by which Brandshagen and his party could save time and money in their investigation.
Complaint about encroachments on Mint property.
Table of gold and silver coined 1696-1717.
In response to a verbal order, a detailed account of Newton's proposed method of coining copper from rolled bars, the requisite staff and their respective duties.
Two holograph drafts of a report on Brandshagen's and the Hamiltons' expense claims, specifying which of the expenses Newton considers justified.
Partial holograph draft of MINT00643 (II.319).
Recommend accepting Henry Hines' tender to supply copper.
Protest against preferential treatment for the Edinburgh Mint.
Warrant to lend Hines a cutter for use on copper bars.
Royal warrant to Newton to buy and coin copper in quantities fixed by the Treasury.
Table of coinage 1702-17, obviously connected and probably sent with MINT00575 (II.245).
Reply to an order for an account of gold and silver coined since Christmas 1702.
Conveys an order from the King to calculate the value of other English gold coins in proportion to the 21s. guinea, preparatory to the devaluation of the guinea from 21s.6d.
High praise of MINT00322 (II.111-16) following its publication in the previous day's Daily Courant, though with certain reservations about the risk of a drain on gold reserves following the devaluation.
Having heard that his sample has been approved, he submits his proposals for consideration by the Treasury and hopes in a few months to supply two tons of copper per week or something approaching it.
Response to the criticisms made by Jones and Essington of the new copper issue.
Defence of the present coinage and of the tender accepted against the printed complaint of the disappointed tenderers and three letters of Richard Jones. Newton has accepted not the cheapest tender but the most reliable one.
Response to Lauderdale's request for an advance of £2,400 to the Edinburgh Mint.
'Observations upon the state of the Coins of Gold and Silver'.
Response to a petition from copper suppliers Hines and Appleby [see MINT00643 (II.319)] referred to Newton by the Treasury.
Covering letter from Treasury referring MINT00665 (II.367) to Newton.
History of the smith's house since 1577 and of disputes between the Mint and the Ordnance Office as to which of them owns it.
Reply to MINT00874 (I.462-3).
Response to MINT00872 (I.495): Rotherham appears to be 'a trifler more fit to embroyle the coinage then to mend it'.
Referral of MINT00871 (I.486-7), with another copy of it.
Approves James Girard's bill for engraving seals.
Recommends the appointment of Robert Lowe as porter at £20 p.a. by a constitution instead of by a patent, which would cost the appointee too much.
'To Sr. Isaac Newton Master and Worker of his Maj. Mint in ye Tower/ The Humble Memorial of Sam: Bull 2d. Engraver &c'.
In support of a protest by the Corporation of Moneyers against Wood's licence to coin [MINT00508 (II.460-61)].
Excuses delays in presenting his accounts by his agent's failure to send him relevant documentation.
Following a protest by the Irish Parliament against Wood's licence to coin, asks Newton to send an expert to Bristol to examine his coins.
Detailed report on the trial at London of Wood's copper coinage for Ireland, which was found satisfactory, with an account of the amount of Wood's coinage up to 28 March 1724.
Report on a comparison of Mint avoirdupois with Mint and Exchequer troy weights.
Detailed account of how all Brandshagen's legitimate claims were settled and refutation of the others. If he left any debts, his executors must pay them.
Report on the assay and weighing of five new denominations of Portuguese gold coin and recommendation of the values they should pass at in Ireland.
Report on gold from the West Indies brought to the Mint by the South Sea Company.
Proposes John Rollos, recently appointed royal engraver, to replace the late Samuel Bull as second engraver in the Mint.
Holograph notes on the output and costs of various individual operations (e.g. pressing, stamping, milling) at the Mint.