<416r>

Draught of a Memoriall by the Officers

of the Mint relateing to the Mint privileges.

May it please

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

But since the Restauration of King Ch. the 2d, a building has been erected, call'd Leg's-Mount, at the North-west corner of the Tower, faceing Tower-hill, within the Libertys of the 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 the Clerks of the Ordnance, within the Limitts aforesaid.

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

<416v>

Memoriall

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

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

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

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

And during the great coynage, Wee have good cause to believe, that great quantitys of silver wrought & unwrought into monys were imbezilld: some having been since found in the Tower ditch, and good numbers of blanks in the Thames at Low water; to the 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 the discouragements to both Officers & Clerks, Artificers & all other persons concernd in the Mint are become equally grievous, & in a manner insupportable. These Evills every day grow upon us, and the consequence will be, if not timely prevented, that no Officer or any other person concernd in the Mint, shall have any dwelling-house left him, tho' as expressly granted him in the King's Patents, & by diverse Antient Charges, as Words can make it.

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

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

<417v> [2]

That, by his Majestys direction, a new Charter be granted to the Mint, the bounds & Limitts between the Mint & the Ordnance be exactly adjusted, that All Labourers, Artificers & others that are foreigners, & are not in the service of the Mint, & all Lodgers and inhabitants, that are now in the Mint, but do not belong thereunto, be Oblig'd to withdraw forthwith; That strong gates be erected at each end of the Mint, & one upon the Wall near divells tower & another by the Sallyport, which may be shutt-up every night, & open'd by day, at such times as the Warden of the Mint shall direct. That the Officers, Clerks, Monyers & Artificers have such houses assign'd them, as their predecessors have enjoyd for many ages; or if now demolished, others in their stead. That those Clerks be oblig'd to live in those houses, for the 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 the 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 believe to be highly requisite to be made with all convenient expedition so Wee most Humbly submitt the matters here suggested to Your Lordshipps great wisdom & Experience

Tower Mint Office
  17. Iune 1699.

[3]

[1] Memoriall

[2] Memoriall

[3] H. H.

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