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Whitehall Treasury Chambers 8th May 1713

Present

Lord Treasurer. Mr Chancellor

Officers of the Mint, & severall persons concerned, for themselves or others in proposalls for Coyning of Copper Farthings + half pence are called in, An abstract of the severall proposals are read with Opinion of the Officers of the Mint thereupon, also a particular Report of the said Officers upon a Petition of Cha: Hore is read –Then severall Votes of the House of Commons concerning Farthings + halfe pence in the years 1694, 1695, 1698, 1699, 1700 & 1708. Lord Treasury asks the Officers of the Mint Whether {there is} any occasion for a further Coynage of them for Great Britain. Sir Isaac Newton says about 2 years ago he made it his Businesse to inform himself from most parts + he did not find there was any want of them then, nor doth he yet thinke there is. Lord Treasurer If there should be a want of them, would it be best to Coyn them according to the Value of the old ones or to make them as near as may be to the Intrinsick Value. Officers of the Mint say they are of Opinion they should be Coyned as near the instrinsick Value as may be to prevent Counterfeiting. Objected by one of the proposers, that they would then be too heavy + burthensome. Lord Treasurer That need not be for the Value may be made up in workmanship

Another objects That then the old ones would not go. Lord Treasurer are none of the Farthings now in use of greater Value than others. Officers of the Mint answer Yes. Lord Treasurer cannot there be a Standard for Copper. Mr Hore says that will be very difficult. Sir Is: N. We account Copper at a proper standard that will bear hammering when it is red hot. Lord Treasurer asks what that Copper may be Worth Sir Is: N. about 11d12 per pound or 12d at most. Lord Treasurer may not Farthings be made in Finess + Workmanships so as not to allow of Counterfeiting Officers { of the} Mint Yes. They persist That they ought to be Coyned in the Mint + no where else because of the danger of Trusting proper Tools in any other hands, + that they should be made as near as may be of intrinsick value. Lord Treasurer cannot copper money be made in Value in proportion to the Silver Money, and any body be allowd to import Copper into the Mint to be Coyned as they do silver. Sir Is: N. <82> saies, If Rules are set for the Importers he sees no Objection at present, but will consider of it. Lord Treasurer: there must be a Regulation as to the Quantity to be receivd in to avoid the Coyning of too great a Quantity. One of the proposers saies, though he never heard any thing of this kind offerd before, he thinks it would be a very great Encouragement to the Copper Manufacture + great Quantitys would be sent to the plantations. Lord Treasurer directs the Officers of the Mint to Consult with the proposers + prepare such a Representation as they shall thinke most proper to be laid before the Queen in Councill for setling the standard + Value of the Copper –The Charge of the Workmanship and such Rules as they shall thinke proper to be setled for the Importers of Copper into the Mint and for the Coyning + delivering out of the Same, and to attend his Lordship therewith as soon as may be.

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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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