Edinburgh 21 March 1713

Much Honored


I am Honored with yours of the 28th Ianuary for which do return my hearty thanks, I have considered the Severall points you touch at in relation to the Wast in melting from which I observe you Conclude the waste by the practice used in the Mint here may be reckoned about equall to what the Melter in the Towr does undergo; and that in the late Coynage here the waste may be only 125 pounds, I notice also that your Melters loss is reckoned= from 6 to 10 grains p pound, and that it falls out Sometymes to be more. But when I consider the different wayes of Melting here and with you I still think that in all Events the Melter here must suffer a greater loss, and therefor beg leave to lay before you the Circumstances upon which my Iugeing in this matter is founded. The allowance of putting copper into the Pot whilst the standart Silver is melting is not given by conni{illeg}|v|ance as a favour to the Melter, but out= of necessity, because of the violent heat of our Coall, and that without such a practice it would be next to impossible to bring out the Silver at due Standart, And see=ing the Melter in the Towr who has not that difficulty suffers also a loss from 6 to 10 gr p pd and sometymes higher it seems rationall to me that the melting here will occasion a greater loss, for the Melter here undergoes the common loss with those that Melt with a moderat equall heat, and likewise the loss in the pots refyneing and as the loss in refyneing, even by the practice in the Towr, is reckoned double what Occurs in comon melting, So I conclude that in the melting here, the waste may be reckoned double what is in the Towr for in Effect the melting with our comon coall is almost Equivalent to refyneing. I shall suppose 300 weight Stan=dart Silver put into a po{illeg}|tt|, immediately upon melting 13 thereof is taken out and cast into the Moulds, but before that can be done, the remaining Silver is Overfined and needs an addition of Copper to reduce it to standart, and before the 2d part can be cast into the Moulds the remaining 3d part is again Overfyned and must be reduced by addition of allow, so in every pott the Silver is twice refyned which in my Opinion will Occasion in a Supervenient waste above that of Ordi=nary melting: The practice of proportioning alloy to a pot of standart Silver whilst it is melting and casting into the Moulds has been adjusted by long Experience and is understood but by very few and is so nice that if the workpeople do not dispatch the pott in due tyme, the Moulds prove above Standart and must be remelted which often happened, and frequently the fire and heat proved <188v> unexpectedly violent that the alloy could not be proportioned, and were necessitat to take of the pot and clean it and begin anew, and seing the allowance of 125 pd weight for wast mentioned in your letter is upon supposition of Ordinary Equall melting for the whole Coynage, there must necessarly be an additional Wast for the forsd reasons, there being also a large quantity necessarly refined upwards of 12000 weight for which Mr Allardes got a Considerable Sume allowed him by the public. As to what the London Goldsmiths have suggested about the Waste being so incon=siderable as not to deserve an allowance from the Government I'm perswaded has been malicioūs for our Goldsmiths of Knowledge and reputation are of another Opinion. Mr Allardes and my brother did treat with the best of them and frankly offered 4d ꝑ pd weight for bearing the waste which was more then allowed to the Melter in the Towr but none of them would undertake it but at a greater allowance, so that I still think the Account I made up from the Mint books agreeing to the abbreviat thereof given in by my Brother ought not to be quarelled by Mr Allardes friends by which although the work was so much hasted the Waste appears to be considerably less then of any Coynage ever we had formerly, I would therefor humbly beg you againe to consider the Account and the reason presently Suggested and give me your advice in the matter. I told you in my former that it appears from my Brothers paper that he bought in Bullion which he did not carry into the Books and its known he designed to have provided as much as would pay of the Bank how soon the Mint should be opened, And if Mr Allardes friends shall disallow so great a part of the waste as he now contraverts my brothers Children will suffer a loss far greater beyond any benefit he had by serving Mr Allardes in that matter For his Sallary was Sixteen pound 13//4d pꝑ ann when there was Coynage and the late Recoynage continued only about two years besides this he had no other benefite except a complement at Mr Allardes death for the Service in the first Melting from the Bank for which Mr Allardes had a full allowance given him out of the Equivalent that melting being no part of his duty as Master. Sir I am doing in this for a widow and four infants which emboldens me so far to trouble you, had Mr Allardes himself been alive I should have had no difficulty for he knew very well what Service my brother did him in that matter and would never have done any thing wherby probably there might arise any loss to my brothers family. I am with all duty=full respect

Much Honored Sir

Yor most humble & most obedi=ent servant Hercules Scott

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