Draught of a Memoriall by the Officers

of the Mint relateing to the Mint privileges.

May it please

By ye Wisdom & minificence of diverse of his present Majtys royall progenitors, there has been granted & confirm'd to ye use and service of ye Mint in ye Tower; that parcell of ground situate on ye left, at ye entrance into ye Tower: beginning about 30 Foott from ye Warders Lodge & reaching to a gate sett up in ye East part of ye Tower at ye end of ye Irish Mint, near a building call'd Divell's Tower; conteining ye ground lying & situate between ye outward Well of ye Tower, & ye Wall of ye Inner Tower: All which tract of ground was designd & intended for Work houses. Dwelling-houses, & other convenient Lodgings & Buildings for the OFficers, Clerks, Monyrs. Artificers & Labourers belonging to ye Mint.

But since ye Restauration of Kg. Ch. ye 2d, a building has been erected, call'd Leg's-Mount, at ye North-west corner of ye Tower, faceing Tower-hill, within ye Libertys of ye Mint before describ'd, & barraques made therein for lodging souldiers.

And another building adjoyning thereunto, erected in or about the year 169  for a dwelling-house for one of ye Clerks of ye Ordnance, within ye Limitts aforesaid.

And on ye North-side of ye Tower within ye Limitts aforesaid, diverse shedds were erected at or about the time of ye 2d. Dutch\q/ War, in ye Reign of King Ch. ye 2d. being ever since used by ye Smiths of ye Ordnance for making double-headed short iron-work for Carriages, & other materialls for his Majtys. office of Ordnance



And on ye East side of ye Tower within ye limitts aforesaid, houses have been built; 'tis ye late great Coynage, were in the |q.|occupation of ye officers\q/ of his Majtys works: And were claim'd by Sr. Christopher Wren & others ye 10th of Iune 1699, by virtue of a contract made, as is said, between ye Master & Workr. & them, made at ye beginning of ye grand coynage.

And a house lately standing on ye Northside of ye Tower within ye limitts of ye Mint aforesaid, & in ye occupation of Thomas Sylvester Smith to ye Mint, is now demolished, but order of ye Officers of the Ordnance, as is said, to rebuild it for ye use & service of ye Ordnance

And the Mint-streett is now become, & made a great thorough-face, by ye Soldiers in Garrison, by strangers living in it, And by people, whome ye Warders being to see ye Mint, & shew them ye tower: which ill practice very much exposes ye gold & silver monys, that must be carryed from one Workhouse to another, to perfect ye Coynage

And besides all ye aforesaid encroachments upon our bounds & invasion of ye rights & limitts of ye Mint: since Kg. Ch. ye 2d plac'd a garrison in ye Tower (which was never practic'd, or remember'd to {illeg}|be| done before his reign) the Lieutenants or Chief Goverours of ye Tower have caus'd diverse Centinells to be posted within ye Mint at diverse places, who together with ye Labourers, Smiths, & other Artificers belonging to ye Ordnance, in great numbers, at some times, resort to ye Mint, to ye great & apparent hazard of divulging ye mystery of ye Coynage; by insinuating themselves into ye acquaintance of our monyrs. Labourers & Artificers; by taking patterns of ye tools, utensills, & Engines used in ye Coynage, by corrupting the persons employd in ye workmanship of ye Gold & silver coynes, & hereby exposing ye reputation of them, which would be a matter of very dangerous consequence to ye trade & credit of ye Nation And this intrenchment upon Vs, has allready, as Wee have very good reason to suspect, given an Opportunity <417r> [1] To a Burglary & robbery committed, as is supposd, by a Centinell, who being posted on ye line, on ye back part of our assaymasters Office|q| did about 6 years since take-out thence an Ingott of silver of |q|value; and there being a quantity of Gold lying in ye same room a day or two before, it might have provd a far greater Loss to ye King. And Another robbery was attempted about two years since, but was prevented, as is thought, by an Alarme

And during ye great coynage, Wee have good cause to belive {sic}, that great quantitys of silver wrought & unwrought into monys were imbezilld: some having been since found in ye Tower ditch, and good numbers of blanks in ye Thames at Low water; to ye great detriment both of Melter & Monyers.

And Wee humbly presume further to represent, that the Mint is not only very unsafe by being expos'd to Soldiers & foreign Labourers: but ye discouragements to both Officers & Clerks, Artificers & all other persons concernd in ye Mint are become equally grievous, & in a manner insupportable. These Evills every day grow upon us, and ye consequence will be, if not timely prevented, yt no Officer or any other person concernd in ye Mint, shall have any dwelling-house left him, tho' as expressly granted him in ye King's Patents, & by diverse Antient Charges, as Words can make it.

|q|All the Clerks\q/ in ye Mint had heretofore dwelling-houses assign'd them, yt they might attend ye service thereof: And by ye Charters, or antient practice, no person was to be admitted as a Lodger must less and Inhabitant within ye Mint without a Written License |q|signd by ye Warden & Principall\q/ officer of ye Mint: but as matters are like to be, if ye aforementioned encroachments be not forthwith remedyed, ye Officers & others belonging to ye Mint will be obligd to become Tenants in their own houses, and to take out a License for dwelling in ye Mint from ye Chief Governour of ye Tower, of officer of ye Ordnance

Now ye properest expedient to remedy these very great inconveniences, in all humility Wee presume to be as follows.

<417v> [2]

|q.|That, by his Majtys direction, a new\q./ Charter be granted to ye Mint, the bounds & Limitts between ye Mint & ye Ordnance be exactly adjusted, that All Labourers, Artificers & others that are foreigners, & are not in ye service of ye Mint, & all Lodgers and inhabitants, yt are now in ye Mint, but do not belong thereunto, be Oblig'd to withdraw forthwith; That strong gates be erected at each end of ye Mint, & one upon ye Wall near divells tower \& another by ye Sallyport/, which may be shutt-up every night, & open'd by day, at such times as ye Warden of the Mint shall direct. That ye Officers, Clerks, Monyrs. & Artifrs. have such houses assign'd them, as their predecessors have enjoyd for many ages; or o|i|f now demolished, others in their stead. That those Clerks be oblig'd to live in those houses, for ye better security of the Mint, & dispatch of business; And such Artificers also, whome it may be neither expedient nor safe to suffer to live abroad. That the Officers of the Ordnance & Chief Governour of ye Tower for the time being, be strictly oblig'd by a clause in their patents nicely to observe such Regulations, & others that may be thought necessary, in all time to come. Which as Wee belive {sic} to be highly requisite to be made with all convenient expedition so Wee most Humbly submitt ye matters here suggested to Your Lordshpps great wisdom & Experience

Tower Mint Office
  17. Iune 1699.


[1] Memoriall

[2] Memoriall

[3] H. H.

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