An Account of the Scotch money.

The Scots ever since a treaty between them and the English in order to a union in the reign of King Iames the 1st have coyned their silver monies of the same standard with the English, vizt 11 ounces 2 penny weight fine & eighteen penny weight allay. For which end they have indented trial pieces sent from hence of the same plate with those made for the English Mint. The standard Troy weights by which they coyne are also made at our Mint at the same time with ours by common consent of both Mints and our pound Troy is greater then theirs by four penny weight and nine grains of ours. And as we divide our ounce Troy into 62 pence so they divide their ounce Troy into 62 shillings (for their shillings in this recconing answer to our pence) excepting that in consideration of the charge of coynage and to prevent the melting down of their money, they make their money lighter by four shillings in sixty (as I am informed:) so that 60 shillings of their money are to their ounce Troy as 56 to 62 or 28 to 31 and by consequence ought to weigh 4252031 grains (or 17dwt 172031gr) of our pound Troy (as I find by triall they do) & to be worth 55 English pence wanting the 48th part of a penny. The experiments we have made of the weight & fineness of their money are as follows.

Pieces coyned Date Kings reign Fineness Weight Value
sgr sd
A two-Mark piece 1673 Cha: II Worse vijdwt 175 1.978
A Mark piece Cha: II Worse vij 86 0.1034
Another Roettiers 1675 Cha: II Worse ij 102 1.
A half Mark piece 1665 Cha: II Worse iij ob 42   0.514
A three pound piece 1681 Cha II Worse iiij 416 4.434
Another pound piece 1682 Cha II Worse iij 425 4.616
Another pound piece 1691 Wm & Ma. standard 425 4.6910
A forty shillings piece 1687 Iac. II not assayed 284
Another forty shillings piece 1688 Iac II standard 283 3.012
Another forty shillings piece 1689 Wm & Ma standard 284 3.023
Another forty shillings piece 1694 Wm & Ma standard 284 3.023
Another forty shillings piece 1695 Wm standard scant 284 3.023
Another forty shillings piece 1695 Wm Worse iij 283 3.0
Another forty shillings piece Gul 1669 standard 284 3.023
Another forty shillings piece Gul 1696 worse ij 283 3.016
A twenty shillings piece Gul 1695 standard 142 1.613
Another twenty shillings piece Gul 1695 standard 142 1.613
Another twenty shillings piece Gul 1696 standard scant 142 1.613
A ten shillings piece Iac. II 1687 standard 71 0.916
Another ten shillings piece Iac. II standard 71 0.916
Another ten shillings piece Gul 1695 not assayd 71 ✱.
Another ten shillings piece Gul 1695 standard 71 0.916
Another ten shillings piece Gul 1695 standard 68 0.834
A five shillings piece Gul worse 1dwt 35 0.412

The two Mark the Mark and the half Mark pieces coyned before the year 1675 are bad work & considerably coarser then standard: for which reason they were called in neare the end of that reign and are no longer current.

The sixty, forty twenty ten & five shillings-pieces coyned since are better money & make up the bulk of the money which now (viz anno 1697) comes out of Scotland. Those coyned in the reigns of King Iames & King William are well sized. Most of their money here examined is standard none too fine some too coarse so that one piece with another it may be recconed above an half penny weight worse then standard.

The Scots now pay their shillings for our pence in the borders of Scotland & putt off our crown pieces for 65 & sometimes 66 of their shillings in Scotland (as I am credibly informed:) which being an advantage of 8 or 10 per cent has filled the borders of England with their money and Scotland with ours. And the carrying on of this trade hath or might have in time prompted them to melt down our money & carry it to their Mint had not our enquiry into this matter now put an end to it by the Lords of the Treasury ordering the Receivers to refuse their money.

If the Scotch money were all coyned of a just weight & Allay 11s 9d of such money would be worth 10d34 of ours. But considering that some pieces of their money are too light & others too course & that their money is more easily counterfeiters then ours, we may receive their 10s pieces for nine pences & their 5s pieces for four pence halfpennies & their Mark & half mark pieces (when ever they shall coyne any more) for shillings & six pences, and <3r> so proportionally of their other pieces of money. For these are round recconings fit for use and approach the true value of their money most nearly.

© 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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