Front Page Titles (by Subject) The First Part. The Preamble. - A Select Collection of Scarce and Valuable Tracts on Money
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The First Part. The Preamble. - John Ramsay McCulloch, A Select Collection of Scarce and Valuable Tracts on Money 
A Select Collection of Scarce and Valuable Tracts on Money from the Originals of Vaughan, Cotton, Petty, Lowndes, Newton, Prior, Harris, and Others, with a Preface, Notes, and Index (London: Printed for the Political Economy Club, 1856).
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The First Part.
WE conceive that the Officers of the Mint are bound by Oath to discharge their several Duties in their several places respectively. But we cannot conceive how they should stand tyed by Oath to account to his Majesty and your Honours of the intrinsick value of all Forein Coins, and how they agree with the Standard of the State (before they come to the Mint) for it is impossible and needless: In the one, for that all Forein States do, for the most part, differ from us and our Mony infinitely amongst themselves: In the other, it being the proper care of the Merchants, who are presumed not to purchase that at a dearer rate than they may be allowed for the same in fine Gold and Silver in the Coin of England, within the charge of Coinage. And therefore needless.
To induce the necessity of the Proposition, they produce two instances or examples: The one from the Rix Dollar, and the other from the Royal of Eight; wherein they have untruly informed your Honours of the price and value in our Monies, and our Trade of both of them. For whereas they say that the Rix Dollar weigheth 18. pen. weight and 12 Grains, and to be of the finest at the pound weight, 10 Ounces, 10d. weight doth produce in exchange 5s. 2d. farthing of Sterling Monies. We do affirm that the same Dollar is 18d. weight, 18 Grains, and in fineness 10 Ounces 12d. weight, equal to 4s. 5d. ob. of Sterling Monies, and is at this time in London at no higher price, which is short thereof by 13 Grains and a half fine Silver upon every Dollar, being 2d. Sterling, or thereabout, being the charge of Coinage, with a small recompence to the Goldsmith or Exchanger, to the Profit of England 3s. 6d. per cent.
Whereas they do in their proposition aver unto your Honours, that this Dollar runs in account of Trade amongst the Merchants, as 5s. 2d. ob. English Mony: It is most false. For the Merchants and best experienced men protest the contrary, and that it passeth in Exchange according to the intrinsick value only 4s. 5d. ob. of the Sterling Mony or near thereabouts, and not otherwise.
The second instance is in the Royal of Eight, affirming that it weigheth 17 penny weight, 12 Grains; and being but of the fineness of 11 Ounces at the pound weight, doth pass in Exchange at 5s. of our Sterling Monies, whereby we lose 6s. 7d. in every pound weight. But having examined it by the best Artists, we find it to be 11 Ounces 2d. weight fine, and in weight 17 pennyweight, 12 Grains, which doth equal 4s. 4d. ob. of our Sterling Monies, and passeth in London at that rate, and not otherwise, though holding more fine Silver by 12 Grains and a half in every Royal of Eight which is the charge of Coinage, and a small overplus for the Goldsmiths gain. And whereas they say, that that the said Royal of Eight runs in account of Trade at 5s. of his Majesties now English Mony, the Merchants do all affirm the contrary, and that it passeth only at 4s. 4 ob. of the Sterling Monies, and no higher ordinarily.
And it must be strange (my Honourable Lords) to believe that our Neighbours the Netherlanders, would give for a pound tale of our Sterling Silver, by what name soever it passeth, a greater quantity of their Monies in the like intrinsick value by Exchange; or that our Merchants would, knowing, give a greater for a less to them, except by way of usance. But the Deceipt is herein only, that they continually varying their Coin, and crying it up at pleasure, may deceive us for a time, in too high a Reputation of pure Silver in it, upon trust, than there is unto a Tryal; and this, by no Alteration of our Coin, unless we should daily, as they, make his Majesties Standard uncertain, can be prevented, which being the measure of Lands, Rents, and Commerce amongst our selves at home, would render all uncertain, and so of necessity destroy the use of Mony, and turn all to permutation of such things as were not subject to will or change.
And as they have mistaken the Ground of their Proposition; so have they upon a specious shew of some momentary and small Benefit to his Majesty, reared up a vast and constant Loss unto his Highness by this design, if once effected. For, as his Majesty hath the largest proportion of any both in the entrances and issues; so should he by so enfeebling of his Coin, become the greatest loser.
There needs no other instance than those degrees of diminution from the 18 of Edward III. to this day; at which time the Revenue of the Crown was paid after five Groats the Ounce (which is now five Shillings) which hath lost his Majesty two Thirds of all his Revenue; and no less hath all the Nobility, Gentry, and other his Majesties Landed Subjects in proportion suffered. But since, to our great Comfort, we heard your Honours the last day to lay a worthy blame upon the Mint-Masters, for that intended diminution of the Gold Coin done by them without full Warrant, by which we rest discharged of that Fear: We will (according to our Duties and your Honours command) deliver humbly our Opinion concerning the reduction of the Silver Mony now current to be proportionably equivalent to the Gold.
The English sterling Standard, which was no little Honour to Edward the first, that setled it from an inconstant motion, and laid it a ground, that all the States of Europe after complyed to bring in their account, which was of Silver as eleven to one of Gold, the Kings of England for the most part since have constantly continued the same proportion: and Spain, since Ferdinand, who took from hence his Pattern, have held and hold unchangeably the same unto this day: but since with us, a late improvement of Gold hath broke that Rule, and cast a difference in our Silver of six Shillings in the pound weight; we cannot but with all humility present our Fear, that the framing, at this time, of an equality, except it were by reducing the Gold to the Silver, is not so safe and profitable as is proposed by those of the Mint.
For whereas they pretend this, Our richness of our Silver will carry out what now remaineth: We conceive (under favour) it will have no such effect, but clean contrary. For all the current Silver now abroad hath been so culled by some Goldsmiths and others, the same either turned into Bullion, and so transported, that that which now remaineth will hardly produce 3l. 5s. in the pound weight one with another; and so not likely for so little profit as now it giveth, to be transported. But if the Pound sterling should be as they desire, cut into 70s. 6d. it must of necessity follow, that the new Mony will convert the old Mony (now current) into Bullion; and so afford a Trade afresh for some ill Patriot Goldsmiths, and others, who formerly have more endamaged the State by Culling, than any others by Clipping; the one but trading in Pounds, the other in Thousands; and therefore worthy of a greater Punishment. And we cannot but have just cause (my Lords) to fear that these bad Members have been no idle Instruments, for their private Benefit, to the publick Detriment of this new Project, so much tending to enfeebling the Sterling Standard.
We further (under your Lordships favours) conceive that the raising the Silver to the Gold, will upon some sudden occasion beyond Sea transport our Gold, and leave the State in scarcity of that, as now of Silver.
And to that Objection of the Proposers, That there is no Silver brought of late into the Mint: The Causes we conceive to be (besides the unusual quantities of late brought into the Mint in Gold) one the overballansing of late Trade, the other the charge of Coinage. For the first, it cannot be but the late Infection of this City was a lett of Exportation of our best Commodity, Cloth, made by that suspected in every place. To this may be added the vast Sums of Mony which the necessary Occasions of War called from his Majesty to the parts beyond the Seas, when we had least of Commodities to make even the ballance there. And lastly, Dearth and scarcity of Corn, which in time of Plenty we ever found the best Exchange to bring in Silver. And therefore, since by God’s great favour the Plague is ended, and general Trade thereby restored, and more of Plenty this year than hath been formerly these many years of Corn, we doubt not but if the Ports of Spain were now as free as they were of late, there would not prove hereafter any Cause to complain of the want of Bullion in the State.
The second Cause, that the Mint remains unfurnished, will be the charge of Coinage, raised in price so far above all other places, constraining each man to carry his Bullion where he may receive by Coinage the less of loss. And therefore if it may please his Majesty to reduce the prices here to the Rates of other of our Neighbour Countries, there will be no doubt but the Mint will beat as heretofore.