<409r>

To the Right Honourable the Lords Commissioners of his Majesties Treasury.

May it please your Lordships

We the Warden Master Worker & Controller of his Majesties Mints do most humbly represent that by our Charter confirmed by many Kings for above five hundred years past all the Officers Workers Moneyers & other Ministers of the Mints are incorporated throughout all England into one body under the Government of a Warden with freedome from Arrests & other great Privileges {&} without subjection of our Corporation to the particular Government or Iurisdiction of the Tower of London or its liberties. And that the Kings of England have given us the ground & houses between the Lines in the said Tower out of their royal favour & for our greater security & not to deprive us of those their other royal grants above mentioned & bring us into subjection trouble {&} danger . And also that his Majesty by the Indenture of the Mint doth will & streightly charge all officers of the Tower that all the Officers of the Mint & their servants & all importers of gold & silver shall have free ingress & regress & issue by the Gates & through the same Tower & Franchises thereof inward & outward at all times without any arresting disturbance letting or gainsaying of the chief Governour Co{ns}table Lieuetenant or the Porter or any other Officer or Person whatsoever he be for any manner of debt matter or cause whatsoever it be & without any thing given to any of them or to any other to have such entry or issue.

And we further represent to your Lordships that we have at all times in every thing shewed due respect to my Lord Lucas as chief Governour of the Tower And therefore we are concerned that we should be now forced to represent to your Lordships that on Satturday the third Instant, Philip Atherton one of our Labourers was apprehended in our Melting house without the licence or knowledge of our Warden by Roger Bayly a Constable by virtue of a Warrant of Robert Bateman Esqr one of his Majesties Iustices of the Peace for the Liberties of the Tower backt with another Warrant of my Lord Lucas & is now detained in New Prison from the Kings service. And that on the same day one of the Warders, to let out of the Mint some people which he had brought in, seized the Gate of the Mint & took the Porters son by the throat; whence arose a fray between them which caused such a tumultuous concourse of people as rendred the money unsafe which was then coming down the street of the Mint in Trays & that the said Warder threatens revenge upon the Porters son wherever he meets him & my Lord Lucas himself threatens further (notwithstanding his Majesties will & command to the contrary exprest in the Charter & Indenture of the Mint) to <409v> sue our Porter for the same,

And we further represent to your Lordships that {t}he Centinals lately appointed to guard the door of the Engravers working room where the Dies & Puncheons were seized & kept by the Warden had orders to permit entrance as well to my Lord Lucas as to the Warden And that our Engraver Mr Harris having sollicited my Lord to turn Mr Roettiers family out of the Mint & my Lord having divers times prest the Warden to do it & threatned to apprehend Mr Iames Roettiers & at length an Information being made that King Iames was the{re}{n} seen in Mr Roettiers House, My Lord did thereupon seize the Gates of the Mint & search Mr Roettiers house two several days without giving notice to any Officer of the Mint of his intended search, & now demands a list of the names of all persons belonging to the Mint, in order to search their houses at pleasure, under pretence that they entertein such lodgers as belong not to the Mint & are dangerous to the Tower. Where as his Majesty by the Indenture of the Mint places in us the care of enquiring after such as live or inhabit in the Mint without our licence or other right & impowers us to turn them out, & military searches without us have not hitherto been used so far as we know, nor are necessary to the safety of the Tower the Mint being shut up on all sides by the Lines & we being ready to search either alone or with his Lordship upon notice of any danger, & if military searches without us should be now allowed & Constables let in upon us at pleasure we cannot undertake any longer the charge of the Dyes & Puncheons & Marking Engins & other coyning Tools & of the Gold & Silver which lyes scattered about in all the rooms apperteining to the coynage, nor will Merchants & other Importers think their estates secure in the Mint. We were placed in a Garrison not that the Exchange {&} Treasury of the Nation might not be invaded by {our} Guards but guarded in our custody from all manner of invasion.

And we further represent that the Centi{nals} begin to be rather a grievance then security to us. The Press-room about a fortnight ago was in danger of being robbed one of the Locks of the door being broken, which makes a suspicion that the Centinal was at {leas}tprivy to it, so that the Moneyers are now fain to lodge two Labourers in the Press room for their security which they never thought necessary to do before. And about the same time two of our houses being greatly disturbed at Midnight by a drunken Officer upon the Guards who drew his sword brake the window & would have forced himself into one of the houses & running after one of our servants made a pass at him & ran him through the cloaths & a Centinal being called either to come to their assistance or to call his Corporall with a File of Musketeers, the Centinal would not stirnor call. And when a Corporal & File of Musketeers were called by another person, the endeavoured to perswade a by-stander to beare false witness for turning the blame upon our men. And my Lord Lucas instead of being told the truth of such matters is only informed by the soldiers that our men get drunk & affront the Centinals, & has upon such informations ordered the Centinals to fire at us. Whereas heretofore the Centinals used not to be set singly as now, but to walk the Mint-street all night in a body strong enough to apprehend any drunken or <410r> disorderly person without firing at him. For why should we lose a good Artificer upon pretence of his being drunk, when the best are most addicted to that crime & it was never yet made death? Or why should every Centinal be impowered under any feigned pretence to shoot his enemy or any other man that complains, if such bloody discipline may safely be avoyded? Or why should the people who live in the Mint be so terrified as to leave their habitations in it to the neglect of the Kings service & insecurity of the treasure.

And we are further constrained to represent that the Warden on thursday last telling my Lord Lucas the misdemeanours committed in the Mint by this drunken Officer, his Lordship & the Deputy Governour together did the next day being Friday give strict charge to his Warders not to suffer either meat or drink to be brought into the Tower to workmen in the Melting-house or Press-room, & that if any were sent for, they should take it away from the messengers & give it to the soldiers, his Lordship pretending that the workmen abuse the same to excess & sell it to others, (which we never heard of) & that his Warders have an unreasonable trouble in examining persons that go in & out.. And this order being strictly put in execution gave so great discontent to the workmen, that but for the perswasion of the Officers of the Mint they would have left off their work that day & the two next days instead of nine potts were not able to melt above six & say they can work no more unless they may have speedy redress.

And we are further to acquaint your Lordships that my Lord Lucas represents that he doth not invade the Privileges of the Mint but that the power which he useth over us is asserted by ancient Records & Court Rolls preserved in the Tower,

All which we most humbly desire your Lordships according to your great wisdomes to take into serious consideration in order to our releife & pray that the Records & Court Rolls alledged by his Lordship may be produced & compared with our Charter & Indenture & the rights between the Tower & the Mint thence adjusted stated & limited so that both parties may know their Duties Privileges & Powers in respect of each other for conserving a good correspondence & friendship between them for the future & that what has hitherto by mistake been done against us may not be drawn into precedent hereafter.

© 2017 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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