Observations concerning the Mint

Of the Assays

The Assaymasters weights are 1, 2, 3, 6, 11, 12 & represent so many ounces. The weight 12 is about 16 or 20 grains more or less as he pleases to have his weights made. With this he weighs the silver into the fire & recconning a wast answering to two penny weight he weighs it out of the fire by the weight 11 to see if it be standard, & if it be heavier or lighter he adds in the lighter scale penny weights & if need be an half penny weight & grains to see how much it is better or wors. His scales turn wthwith yethe 128th part of a grain, that is wthwith yethe 2560th part of yethe weight 12 wchwhich answers to less then yethe 10th part of a penny weight. They are fenced about wthwith glass windows to keep them from yethe motion of yethe air & have in them little thin brass platters to take away the weights by wthwithout handling the scales.

He cuts off from every Ingot a piece of about a drachm for two assays beats it out into a thin plate, scrapes it clean & cutts it into the ballance &c. In assaying the money he clips a little off from severall pieces of money & assays them together. The Assaydrops of the money & of the pott-assays (but not of the Ingots) are his fee. He makes two assays of every ingot, puts 13 Coppels at once into the furnace uses the poorest lead ~~separated from the ☾~~~~allay~~ assayd ~~or~~ ~~of this & silver orare ~~aqua quantity

& run into bullets. A bullet istwice the weight of yethe silver. He foliates a bullet wthwith yethe hammer; tears it in two, wraps up the silver in one half, & adds a whole bullet to it, so that the lead is 3 to one
He lets the fire cool gradually till yethe silver set least by cooling too quickly the silver spring & the assay thereby make the silver seem wors then it is. When yethe lead is blown off the silver looks very bright. The Assay Furnace is of copper plates luted half an inch thick within. It is about 18 inches square 10 inches high to yethe grate (wchwhich is of iron barrs) & about 15 inches above yethe grate. The muffle stands upon yethe grate & yethe coppels are set in wthwith a pair of tongues upon the floor of yethe grate through a round hole in yethe side of yethe Furnace wchwhich is afterwards filled wthwith live charcoal. In a quarter of an hour the lead fumes away & the operation is done. The King pays for the muffles coppells & furnaces. Pottern ore is the poorest of silver & steel ore & otherthe poorest sortssorts of ores are yethe richest in silvers. commends yethe Lead of Villach as best for Assays because poorest in silver.

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Of the Melting
The Melter runns from 600 or 700 to 800℔ & of late 1000℔ weight of silver in a pot & melts 3 potts a day in each furnace within the space of about 12 or 14 hours. The first pot is about 5 hours on yethe fire yethe two next about 4 hours a piece. When yethe silver is molten he puts in the allay. For each melting ~~he is allo~~ (including fire, pots, Hoops tongues shovels ladles ingot molds sand & wages of melters & mould makers) he is allowed three farthings per pound weight & for wast five farthings & as much for melting the scissel & for its wast, that is in all 4d per lbwtpoundweight(vizt 2d for ~~bullion~~ Ingots & 2d for yethe scissel Formerly he had only 3$\frac{1}{2}$ per lwtpoundweight for ☾ & 1s 1d per lwtpoundweight for ☉. The sweep he has into yethe bargain & makes it up for himself at his own charges. A pot for 800 weighs about 500℔wt & cost 20d per ℔pound, and lasts about a month or six weeks or seven times two months above, that is if they be very good more or less that is about 120 meltings so that pots cost about $\frac{1}{8}$d per lbwtpoundweight of silver melted in them & if hoops ingots molds & other utensils & a saved be added they cost less then $\frac{1}{6}$d per ℔wtpoundweight. A pot in three meltings each day spends spends about 25 stacksbushalls of coales per diem, & imploys about 10 men at 20d. per diem each in making molds. feedinglooking to the fire & filling & ladling out the potts. The mens wages & coals at 6d per Bushel to $\frac{1}{6}$ per ℔wt or something less. The sweep amounts to & & the charge of making it up to per lwtpoundweight. And the coales at 6d per Bushel to about $\frac{1}{16}$ of a penny per lwtpoundweight. The Pots shrink in the fire by long use so that a Pott wchwhich when new holds 800lwt, when it has been used a month or six weeks will hold but 700 or 650lwt, or perhaps less.

The Scissel if the Pot is crouded full & well charged a 2d & 3d time wasts as little (or wthwithout a sensible difference) as if it be filled wthwith Ingots, & the three meltings (if the pot be not quite so full) are done in yethe same time or within a little.
The hammered money was melted last year at yethe Exchequer with a blast in small in potts of 50℔ weight a piece, 75℔w weight of money in a pott, about 162 pot fulls each day. The potts cost 8 pence a pound & last about 30 or 35 meltings a pieceor potfulls a piece. So that yethe potts cost $\frac{1}{6}$ of a penny per lwt of silver melted in them. But yethe blast makes quicker dispatch this way with perhaps less then half yethe expence of fire then in yethe other way wthwith great pots. The little pots are best for coarse silver to be refined, the great ones for standard silver because they alter the fineness least & make least wast for the melter. Mr Floyer & Mr Shales were payd $\frac{3}{4}$d per lwtpoundweight for melting at yethe ExcheqrExchequer this Winter besides potts (wchwhich came to weighed about 50℔ per pott, cost 8d per ℔pound of iron &or $\frac{1}{7}$d per lbwtpoundweight of money melted in them) & Refitting of Ingots Mittens for workmen, earthen potts, sandover, baskets cartage of potts &c (wchwhich cost about wchwhich cost about $\frac{1}{70}$ of a penny per lwtpoundweight or $\frac{1}{10}$th of yethe potts) but the potts &c should be included in yethe $\frac{3}{4}$d for melting. Every pot each
dayday takes up a bushel of coals or above in the first melting at each morning & half a bushel or less in yethe rest, that is about $\frac{7}{12}$ ofa bushel eaat each melting at a mean rate, that is if coale be 6d a bushel, about $\frac{1}{20}$th of a penny per lwtpoundweight. The wast atthe first melting of hammered money wthwith the blast in these little potts is recconned at 2d (or $\frac{2}{3}$ dwt) per lwtpoundweight, the sweep being allowed for in this recconning & estimated at a farthing per lwtpoundweight. The Plate taken in at Chester last May proved generally about 5dwt or 6dwt (per lwtpoundweight) worse then standard (by reason of the soader) with a wast of about 5 ounces per wt or 1dwt per lwtpoundweight
Of the making the Moneys
Sixteen ounces Troy of sixpenny Blanks were blancht in 6 minutes & lost of their weight in blanching the first experimtexperiment 8gr the next 10gr yethe next 7gr the next 9gr & at a second blanching for 7 minutes of time one grain more at a middle recconning they lost at one blanching 8$\frac{1}{2}$ grgrains. Whence a pound Troy loses about 6$\frac{1}{3}$ gr.grains & a pound Troy of crown blancks 3gr of $\frac{1}{2}$ crown blancks 4gr & of shilling blancks 5gr. By experimtexperiment I found that a pound Troy of $\frac{1}{2}$ crown blancks lost 3$\frac{1}{2}$ grgrains.
A sixpenny barr weighing 16 ounces Troy lost in Nealing three times, got 3 grains in weight yethe first time, lost $\frac{1}{2}$ a grain yethe second time & got 1$\frac{1}{2}$ grain the third time, that is in all the three nealings it grew heavier by 4 grains. A shilling barr of 15 ounces Troy in one nealing grew heavier by 1$\frac{1}{2}$ grain. So that Nealing increases yethe weight of a shilling barr of a pound weight Troy by about 1gr or 1$\frac{1}{4}$gr & of a sixpenny barr by about 1$\frac{1}{2}$ or 2gr. And Nealing & blanching together decrease the weight of a pound weight of sixpenny blancks by about 5gr, of shilling blancks by 4gr, of $\frac{1}{2}$ crown blancks 3gr of crown blancks 2$\frac{1}{3}$ grgrains. And if the sixpenny, twelvepenny, half crown & crown blancks be taken in common in yethe proportion of 1, 4, 3, 2 the nealing & blanching together decrease the weight of a lwtpoundweight by
$\frac{\mathrm{5\; +\; 16\; +\; 9\; +\; 4}\frac{2}{3}}{10}$
$\frac{34\frac{2}{3}}{10}$ or 3$\frac{1}{2}$gr. If the blancks be not well nealed they will not blanch well.
The Moneyers melt their limel per se without any mixture to make it run & in melting it grows better 2dwt 3dwt or 4dwt & loses 1, 2 or 3 lwtpoundweight of its weight The limel is not above the $\frac{1}{100}$th part of yethe money. And if the loss in the limel be $\frac{1}{80}$th part thereof by scattering & $\frac{1}{80}$th by melting, the wast by the limel will be $\frac{1}{4000}$th of the money that is $\frac{3}{16}$ of a penny per lwtpoundweight
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There is also a wast in the milling by the dripping off of sand with some particles which of silver & in the nealing by some blanks falling out of the pan upon the hearth & lying there till they be half consumed by the fire and in shreds of silver scattered up & down the rooms & lost in yethe dust or by sticking to the workmens shoes: all wchwhich cannot amount to $\frac{1}{4}$ of a penny per lwtpoundweight. So that the whole wast in the making of the moneys by the Moneyers comes not to 1d per lwtpoundweight.
Two Mills with 4 Millers, 12 horses two Horskeepers, 3 cCutters, 2 Flatters, 8 sizers One Nealer, on threthree Blanchers, two Markers, two Presses with two feeders & fourteen labourers the to pull at them & some Moneyers to weigh the silver & inspect the several parts of the work can coyn after the rate of 3000℔ a thousand weight or 3000℔ of money per diem And if for the horses & menlabourers one with another be allowed after yethe rates of 22d per diem it comes to about 6℔ per diem & to Moneyers after the rate of 10s per diem it comes to about 10℔ per diem it comes to about 3℔ per diem, that is three farthings per diem lwtpoundweight.
So that the whole charge of coynage besides the allowance to the moneyers for their hazzard & pains comes only to about 1d$\frac{1}{2}$$\frac{1}{8}$.