An Answer to Mr Chaloners Petition.

Mr Chaloner before a Committee of the last sessions of Parliament 1laboured to accuse & vilify the Mint &2 approve himself a more skilfull coyner then they3 that he might be made their Supervisor & then supply Tho. Holloway with Tools out of the Tower to counterfeit his own milled money by a way which he then concealed from that Honourable Committee, boast {or } get his confidents that he would fun the Parliament as he had formerly done that king And while he was upon this designe I gave the Chairman of that Honourable Committee minutes for a new Act of Parliament against coyners, & the Act was afterwards drawn up by some of the Iudges & Officers of the Mint & brought into the House of Lords without Mr Chaloners assistance.

4About the end of that Sessions Mr Neale (as I have heard) moved the House to give leave that Mr Chaloner might be prosecuted for taxing the Mint with coyning great quantities of false money but I do not know that there was any designe or menace to prosecute him for any thing else then that calumny, & much less to take away his life. 4Nor did I ever heare any pretend that the Honourable House of Commons had no power to meddle with the Affairs of the Mint or that their Committee which then sat had not all the power which the House thought fit to grant them: but when the Committee sent an order to me about preparing an Edger for Mr Chaloner to grave new mony, I told Mr Chaloner that in regard of an oath that I had taken I could not safely carry him to the workmen of the Mint about it, but if he would give me directions I would take care of the matter But Mr Chaloner refusing to give me directions, as he ought to have done by that Order I directed the workmen (without him) to grave some half crowns shillings & sixpences & carried them to the Committee.

That his Majesty was moved in behalf of Mr Chaloner by order of this Honourable House I did not heare till after I had committed him: which I was moved to do not for any thing he had done before the said Committee but because he stood charged with new designes of counterfeiting Bills & money forreign & domestick, since the rising of that sessions & with coyning very greate summs of {gold} before. And particularly upon the rising of the last Sessions of Parliament he advised Tho. Holloway to take a house in the Country convenient for coyning & agreed with him that he should find materials & teach Holloway to coyn & Holloway & his brother Iohn should coyn together at that house & they three should share the money so made. And accordingly Tho. Holloway did take a house at Egham in Surrey & Chaloner did make some progress in teaching him & his brother & in preparing coyning tools. And for doing this & coyning But the principal witness withdrew & fled into Scotland & the Indictment being drawn wrong two others of the Witnesses were afterwards drawn off to swaer against it & not for abusing the Mint he was committed & prosecuted & against the Mint; although by swearing on both sides their credit fell <499v> & to draw off the Kings Witnesses & swear them against the King gravells prosecutions & renders it dangerous for any man to prosecute{.} & is therefore accounted a misdemeanour

There are divers witnesses that Mr Chaloner last summer was forward to coyn & I do not know or believe that any privilege or direction was given by any of the Mint to draw him in or to do any thing for that purpose or that any conspiracy was made against him or any money given to buy coyning tools. Neither can I find that he did ever make it his business to find out any treasons & conspiracies against the King & Kingdom but what were of his own contriving as in the case of the Printers. And as for his intended book about the defects of the Mint, I heard nothing of it till I saw it mentioned in his printed case & therefore did not committ him for that book When I had committed him he told me he had written a book about preventing the counterfeiting of Exchequer Bills & offered to let me see it, but said nothing of an book intended about the Mint.

If therefore he be ruined tis by his endeavouring not to serve the King & Government as he pretends but to coyn false money. And if he would but let the money & Government alone & return to his trade of Iapanning, he is not so far ruined but that he might still live as well as he did seven years ago when he left off that trade & raised himself by coyning.

© 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

Privacy Statement

  • University of Oxford
  • Arts and Humanities Research Council
  • JISC