The Case of Mixed Money in Ireland (a.d. 1605)

Sorgente: The Case of Mixed Money in Ireland (a.d. 1605)

The Case of Mixed Money in Ireland (a.d. 1605)

78. The Case of Mixed Money in Ireland, Trin. 2 James I.
a. d. 1605. [Davies’s Reports.],+Trin.+2+James+I&source=bl&ots=rM6LvjCxzE&sig=QKYk9L6lIhQVY5LhTIJRK6F-lGc&hl=it&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjgwaPU4tHNAhVCMhoKHXl6DTEQ6AEILDAC#v=onepage&q=The%20Case%20of%20Mixed%20Money%20in%20Ireland%2C%20Trin.%202%20James%20I&f=false

[ “ As the following Case relates to the King’s
Prerogative of regulating the Coinage * and
Value of Money, in which the whole State is
so immediately and essentially interested, it
* The royal prerogatives of regulating the
Coinage and Value of Money, and the history
of the exercise of those prerogatives are well
exhibited in the earl of Liverpool’s Treatise on
the Coins of this realm.


properly falls within the scope of this Collec-
tion. It is taken from the English edition of
sir John Davies’s Reports.” Hargrave.]

QUEEN Elizabeth in order to pay the royal
army which was maintained in this kingdom for
several years, to suppress the rebellion of
Tyrone, caused a great quantity of Mixed Mo-
ney, with the usual stamp of the arms of the
crown, and inscription of her royal stile, to be

115] STATE TRIALS, 2 James I. 1605.— The Case of Mixed Money [116

coined in the Tower ‘of London, and transmit-
ted this money into this kingdom, with a Pro-
clamation, bearing date 24 May, in the 43d
year of her reign, by which her majesty declar-
ed and established this Mixed Money, immedi-
ately after the said proclamation, to be the
lawful and current money of this kingdom of
Ireland, and expressly commanded that this
money should be so used, accepted and reputed
by all her subjects and others, using any traffic
or commerce within this kingdom ; and that if
any person or persons should refuse to receive
this Mixed Money according to the denomina-
tion or valuation thereof, viz. shillings for shil-
lings, sixpenny pieces for sixpenny pieces, &c.
being tendered tor payment of any wages, fees,
stipends, debts, &c. they should be punished as
contemners of her royal prerogative and com-
mandment. And to the intent that this Mixed
Money should have the better course and circu-
lation, it was further declared by the same pro-
clamation, that after the 10th day of June im-
mediately following, all other money which had
been current within this kingdom, before the said
proclamation, should be cried down and annul-
led and esteemed as bullion, and not as lawful
and current money of this kingdom.

In April, before this Proclamation was pub-
lished, when the pure coin of England was cur-
rent within this kingdom, one Brett of Droghe-
da, merchant, having bought certain wares of
one Gilbert in London, became bound to the
said Gilbert in an obligation of 200/. on condi-
tion that he should pay to the said Gilbert, his
executors or assigns, 100/. sterling, current and
lawful money of England, at the tomb of earl
Strongbow in Christ-church, Dublin, at a cer-
tain day to come ; at which day and place,
Brett made a tender of the 100/. in the Mixed
Money of the new standard, in performance of
the condition of the obligation ; and whether
this tender was sufficient to save the forfeiture
of the obligation, or whether the said Brett
should now, upon the change or alteration of
money within this kingdom, be compelled to
pay the said 100/. in other or better coin than
in the Mixed Money, according to the rate and
valuation of it, at the time of the tender, was
the question at the council table, where the said
Gilbert, who was a merchant of London, exhi-
bited his Petition against the said Brett, for
the speedy recovery of his debt aforesaid.

And, inasmuch as this case related to the
kingdom in general, and was also of great im-
portance in consideration and reason of state,
sir George Carew, then Lord Deputy and also
Treasurer, required the Chief Judges, (being of
the privy council) to confer on and consider this
Case, and to return to him their Resolution
touching it ; who upon conference and consi-
deration on all the points of the said Proclama-
tion, resolved, That the tender of the 100/. in
the Mixed Money, at the day and place afore-
said, was good and sufficient in the law, to save
the forfeiture of the said obligation, and that
Brett should not be obliged at any time after,
to pay other money in discharge of the debt,
than this Mixed Money, according to the rate
and valuation that it had, at the time of the
tender; and this Resolution was certified by
them to the Lord-Deputy, and the certificate
entered in the Council-Book. And in this
case divers Points were considered and resolved.

First, it was considered, that in every com-
monwealth, it is necessary to have a certain
standard of money. [Cotton 4.] For no Com-
mon wealth can subsist without contracts, and
no contracts without equality, and no equality
in contracts without money. For although
in the first societies of the world, permutation
of one thing for another was used, yet that
was soon found cumbersome, and the transpor-
tation and division of things was found difficult
and impossible ; and therefore money was in-
vented, as well for the facility of commerce, as
to reduce contracts to an equality. ‘ Cum non
‘ facile concurrehat, ut cum tu haberes quod
‘ ego desiderarem, ego invicem haberem quod tu
‘ accipere velles, electa materia est, cuius pub-
‘ lica et perpetua inestiatio difficultatibus per-
‘ mutationem subveniret.’ Paul. lib. 1. con-
‘ trahendis empt.’ and therefore money is said
by Bodin to be mensura publica ; and Budelius
lib. 1. De re nummaria, ca. 3. saith ‘ moneta
‘ est justum medium et mensura rerum com-
‘ mutabilium, nam per medium monetae fit om-
‘ nium rerum, quae in mundo sunt, conveniens et
‘ justa aestimatio.’ And to this purpose Keble
saith, 12 H. 7. 23. b. that every thing ought to
be valued per argent ; by which word argent,
he meaneth money coined. And the great utility
of a certain standard of money and of measures
is well expressed by Budelius in this verse,

Una fides, pondus, mensura, moneta sit una,
Et status illaesus totius orbis erit.

Secondly, it was resolved, That it appertain-
eth only to the king of England, to make or coin
Money within his dominions; [2 Ro. ab. 166. 1
Co. 146. 5 Co. 114. 1 H.H. P.C.188.] so that
no other person can do it without special license
or commandment of the king ; and if any per-
son presume to do it of his own head, it is trea-
son against the person of the king by the com-
mon law ; and this appears by the stat. of 95
Edw. 3, c. 2, (which is only a declaration of
the common law,) and by Glanvil, Britton and
Bracton, before that statute, Stamford fol. 2
and 3. And in the case of Mines, Plowd. 316,
a. this point is expressed more clearly, where it
is said, That the king shall have mines of gold
and silver ; for if a subject had them, he by
law could not coin such metals, nor stamp a
print or value upon them, for it appertaineth to
the king only to put a value upon coin, and
make the price of the quantity, and to put a
print to it ; which being done the coin is cur-
rent ; and if a subject doth this it is high trea-
son at common law, as appears, 23 Ass. p. 9.
and it is high treason to the king, because be
hath the sole power of making Money, &c.

And in this book three things are expressed,
which are requisite to the making of lawful
money, viz. The authority of the Prince, the
Stamp, and the Value. But upon the consi-

117] STATE TRIALS, 2 James I. 1603.— in Ireland. [118

deration of the case in question, it was observ-
ed, that six things or circumstances ought to
concur, to make lawful and current money, viz.
1. Weight. 2. Fineness. 3. Impression. 4.
Denomination. 6. Authority of the Prince.
6. Proclamation. [See 1 H. H. P. C. 196,
that Proclamation is not always necessary ]
Far every piece of money ought to have a cer-
tain proportion of weight or poise, and a cer-
tain proportion of purity or fineness, which is
called alloy. Also every piece ought to have
a certain form of impression, which may be
knowable and distinguishable ; for as wax is
not a seal without a stamp, so metal is not
money without an impression : ‘ Et moneta
‘ dicitur a monendo, quia impressione nos mo-
‘ neat, cujus sit moneta. Cujus imago est
‘ haec ? Caesaris : Date Caesari quae sunt Cae-
‘ saris. ‘ Also every piece of money ought to
have a denomination or valuation for how
such it shall be accepted or paid, as for a
penny, a groat or a shilling. And all this
ought to be by authority and commandment of
the prince, for otherwise the money is not law-
ful; and it ought to be published by the pro-
clamation of the prince, for before that, the
money is not current, — These circumstances
appear in the antient ordinances made by the
king for the coinage of money, as well in this
kingdom as in England, which are to be found
in the Tower of London there, and in the Cas-
tle of Dublin here. Also the indentures be-
tween the king and the masters of the mint
prescribe the proportion of weight, fineness,
and alloy, the impression or inscription, the
name and the value.” See the stat. 2 Hen. 6,
o. 12, where mention is made of these inden-
tures; see also Wade’s case, 5 Co. 114. b. that
the king by his proclamation may make any
coin lawful money of England ; a fortiori, he
may, by his proclamation only, establish the
standard of money coined by his authority
within his own dominions.

And that the king by his Prerogative may
also put a price or valuation on all coins, ap-
pears by a remarkable case, 21 Edw. 3, 60, b.
In the time of Will, the Conqueror, the abbot
of St. Edmundsbury complained to the king in
parliament, that whereas he was exempted
from the jurisdiction of the ordinary by divers
antient charters, the bishop of Norwich had
visited his house, contrary to those charters of
exemption ; upon which it was granted and or-
dained in parliament, that if from thencefor-
ward the bishop of Norwich or any of his suc-
cessors should go against the aforesaid exemp-
tion, they should pay to the king or his heirs
thirty talents or besaunts. Afterwards in the
time of Edw. 3, the bishop of Norwich visited
the house again, against the ordinance afore-
said; and this contempt being found in the
King’s-bench, a scire facias issued against the
bishop to shew why he should not pay to the
king the thirty talents or besaunts ; and upon
an insufficient plea pleaded by the bishop, the
court awarded that they should recover the ta-
lents or besaunts, and that it should be inter-
preted hy the king himself of what value they
should be, more or less ; by which it is mani-
fest that where talents or besaunts, or such
other pieces or quantities of gold or silver are
of uncertain value, fur Budelius saith that ‘ ta-
‘ lenta sunt varia, et pondera sunt, potius
‘ quam numismata’, the king hath a power to
put a certain value upon them, according to
the rule well known to the civilians, ‘ monetae
‘ aestimationem dat, qui cudendi potestatem
‘ habet.’ And in this point the common law
of England agrees well with the rules of the civil
law, ‘ jus cudendae monetae ad solum princi-
‘ pem, hoc est, imperatorem, de jure pertinet.
‘ Monetandi jus principum ossibus inhaeret.
‘ Jus monetae comprehenditur in regalibus,
‘ quae nunquam a regio sceptro abdicantur.’—
Yet by antient charters, this privilege or prero-
gative hath been communicated to some sub-
jects in England ; as, to the archbishop of
Canterbury by charter of king Athelstan,
Lamb. Peramb. Kant. fol. 291. The archbi-
shop of York and bishop of Durham had mines
and power of coining money, as appears by
the statute of 14 Hen. 8, c. 12. ; and the dean
of St. Martin’s-le-grand had the same privilege,
as is manifest from the stat. of 19 Edw. 4, c. 1.
And this right of coining money hath been
granted to several great personages in France
heretofore, as Choppinus relates, lib. de Doma-
nio Franc, fol. 217, s. And this prerogative
at this day is imparted too generally to all the
inferior princes and states of Germany by
grant or permission of the emperor ; for it is a
law of the empire,. ‘ Jus cudendae monetae, nisi
‘ cui ab imperatore concessum fuerit, nemo
‘ usurpato.’

Thirdly it was resolved that as the king by
his prerogative [1 H. H. P. C. 192] may
make money of what matter and form he
pleaseth, and establish the standard of it, so
may he change his money in substance and im-
pression, and enhance or debase the value of
it, or entirely decry and annul it, so that it shall
be but bullion at his pleasure. And note, that
bullion, which in Latin is culled billio, ‘est
‘ moneta defensa et prohibita, quae videlicet
‘ usu caret.’ And that the king hath used this
Prerogative in England, appears, by several
notorious changes of money, made in the time
of several kings since the Norman conquest.
26 Hen. 2. ‘ Moneta veteri reprobata, nova
‘ successit.’ Matt. Paris Hist. mag. fol. 35. a.
— Anno 7 Joh. a new money was coined, at
which time the first sterling money was coined,
according to the opinion of Cambden, where he
speaketh of Sterling-Castle in Scotland, fol. 700
h. — 32 Hen. 3, the king was obliged to make
new money, ‘ cum moneta Angliae circumcide-
‘ batur à circumcisis Judaeis,’ as Matt. Paris
saith, fol. 703. a.— 7 Ed. 1, the standard of
money was renewed, when the sterling penny
was established to contain ‘ vicesimam partem
‘ unciae,’ as appears by the old Magna Charta,
in the ordinance called Compositio Mensurarum,
where it is ordained, ‘ quod viginti denarii
‘ faciant unciam.’— Anno 29 Ed. 1. when the

119] STATE TRIALS. 2 James I. 1605.— The Case of Mixed Money [120

money called Pollards was cried down, a new
sterling money was also coined ; see 6 Ed. 6.
Dyer 82. b. et lib. rubr. Scacc. Dubl. part 2.
fol. l. b. After this new monies were made,
9 Ed. 3, and 13 Hen. 4, and 5 Ed. 4, and 19
Hen. 7, and 36 Hen. 8 ; and lastly 2 Eliz.,
when all mixed and base money was cried
down, and the standard of pure silver establish-
ed, which continues to this day, of which Bodin
maketh honourable mention, Libro 6 de Re-
publica, cap. 3.

And it seems these changes of money in
England were made by the authority of the
king without Parliament: although several acts
of parliament have been made for the ordering
of exchange, and to prohibit the exportation of
money made and ordained by the king, and the
importation and utterance of foreign and false
money, under certain pains and penalties, of
which some were capital and some pecuniary.
And several ordinances of the king made with-
out the parliament are called statutes; as
Statutum de Monetà magnum, et Statutum de
Moneta parvum : which are called statutes,
because the ordinance of the king with pro-
clamation in such case hath the force of an act
of parliament.

And as the king hath used to change the
standard of his money, to wit, the form and
the substance, so hath be used by his preroga-
tive to enhance or debase the value of it, not-
withstanding that the form and substance con-
tinueth as it was before, [l H. H. P. C. 192.]
And this was done, 5 Ed. 4, as appears by the
book, of 9 Ed. 4. 49, where Danby saith, that
a Noble was better then, than it was anno 20
of that king, by 20d. in each Noble. And
king Hen. 8, by special commission dated 24
July, anno 18 of bis reign, authorised cardinal
Wolsey, with the advice of other of the privy
council, to put a value on all the moneys of
England, from time to time, according to the
rates and values of the monies of foreign
nations, which were then too much enhanced,
especially by the emperor and the king of
France, as is expressed in the said commission.
See also 6 and 7 Ed. 6. Dyer 82 and 83. several
cases on the debasement of money. — And it is
to be Observed, that between the 36 of Hen. 8,
when several sorts of debased money were
coined in England, and 2 Eliz., when the pure
standard of silver money was established, there
were three notorious falls or cry-downs, of base
monies, published by proclamation : the first,
9 July, 5 Ed. 6. ; the second, 17 August, the
same year, as is mentioned, Dyer 83, a. ; the
third, 28 Sep. 2 Eliz.

And as the king hath always used to make
and change the money of England, he hath
also used the same prerogative in Ireland ever
since the )2th year of king John, when the
first standard of English money was established
in this kingdom, as is recorded by Matt. Paris,
Magn. Hist. 220. b. where it is said, that this
king being in Ireland, ‘ constituit ibidem leges
‘ et consuetudines Anglicanas, ponens ibidem
‘ vicecomites, abosque ministros, qui populum
‘ regni illius juxta leges Anglicanas judicarent..
‘ Praefecit autem ibidem Johannem de Gray
‘ episcopum Norwicensem, justiciarium, qui
‘ denarium terrae illius ad pondus numismatis
‘ Angliae fecerat publicari, et tam obolum quam
‘ quadrantem rotundum fieri precepit : jussit
‘ quoque rex, et illius monetae usus tam in An-
‘ glia quam in Hibernia communis ab omnibus
‘ haberetur, et utriusque regni denarius in the-
‘ sauris suis indifterenter poneretur.’ — By which
it appeareth that the standard of money in
England and in Ireland was equal at first, and
that the English money was not a fourth part
better in value than the Irish, as it hath been
since the time of Ed. 4., for before that, as
there was one and the same standard of money
in both kingdoms, so always when the money
was changed in England, it was also changed
in Ireland. As in the year 1279, viz. 7 Ed. 1.
when that king established new money in Eng-
land, as is shewn before, there was likewise a
change of money in Ireland, as is observed in
the annals of this kingdom, published by Camb-
den in his Britannia, where it is said, that in
the year 1279, ‘ Dominus Robertus de Ufford
‘ justiciarius Hiberniae intravit Angliam, et con-
‘ stituit loco fratrem Robertum de Fulborne
‘ episcopum Waterford, cujus tempore mutata
‘ est moneta.’ So 29 Ed. 1. when by special
ordinance of the king the Pollards and Crockards
were decried and annulled, the same ordinance
was transmitted into this kingdom and enrolled
in the Exchequer here, as is found in Lib. Rubr.
Scacc. part 2, fol. 2. b. Also in the annals
aforesaid it is observed in the same year,
‘ numisma pollardarum prohibetur in Anglià et
‘ Hibernia.’ And as the standard of the mo-
nies was equal, so the mints and coinage in
this kingdom were ordered and governed in the
same manner as in England, as appears by the
account of Donat and Andrew de Sperdshols,
assay masters in Dublin, 9 and 10 Ed. 1. in
Archivis Castri Dublin, and in Libr. Rubr.
Scacc. hic part 2. fol. 1. and in Rot. Parl, in
Castri Dublin, 12 Ed. 4. c. 60. See also
several ordinances there touching the mint and
monies, 7 Ed. 4. c. 9. 10 Ed. 4. c. 4. 16 Ed.
4. c. 2. 19 Ed. 4. c. 1. 1 R. 3. c. 7.

But the first difference and inequality be-
tween the standard of English and Irish monies,
is found in 5 Ed. 4. for then it was declared in
parliament here, that the Noble made in the
time of Ed. 3, Rich. 2, Hen. 4, Hen. 5, and
Hen. 6, should be from that time forth current
in this kingdom for 10s. and so of the demy-
noble, and all other coins according to the
same rate. See Rot. Pari. 5 Ed. 4. c. 40. and
11 Ed. 4. c. 6. and 15 Ed. 4. c. 5. in the
Roll’s-office in the Castle of Dublin. After
which time the money made in Ireland or for
Ireland was always less in value than the
money of England, and the usual proportion of
the difference was the fourth part only, viz. the
Irish shilling was only 9d. English. See the
proclamation aforesaid, dated the 44 of May,
43 Eliz. enrolled in the Chancery here, where
the queen makes mention of this difference

121] STATE TRIALS, 2 James I. 1605.— in Ireland. [122

made by her progenitors between the standard
of money made for this kingdom, and the
money of England. And note, that that which
it called the standard of money in this case,
is the same which is called by the French pied
de money 7 by Bodin pes monetarum ; as if the
prince there pedem figat, having established the
weight and purity of money in a certain pro-
portion, which should not be transgressed by
the moneyers.

And so it is manifest, that the kings of
England have always had and exercised this
prerogative of coining and changing the form,
and when they found it expedient of enhancing
and abasing the value of money within their
dominions : and this prerogative is allowed and
approved not only by the common law, but
also by the rules of the imperial law. Bude-
lius de re nummarià, libr. 1. c. 5. ‘ Princeps
‘ ad arbitrium suum, irrequisito assensu subdi-
‘ torum, valorem monetae constituere potest ;
‘ quia populus, quantum ad hoc, omnem potes-
‘ tatem et jurisdictionem in principem seu im-
‘ peratorem transtulisse dicitur.’ And a little
after in the same chapter, although some doc-
tors are of opinion, ‘ principem sine assensu
‘ populi monetam mutare non posse,’ yet he
concludes, ‘ si princeps consuevisset mutare
‘ monetam auctoritate propria, sine consensu
‘ populi, a tempore cujus initii memoria non
‘ existit, tunc libere imposterum eum hoc fa-
‘ cere posse. L. hoc jure Paragr. ductus aquae.
‘ ff. de aquia quotid. &c.’ And Covarruvias,
libro de collatione veterum numismatum, cap.
De mutatione monetae, saith, ‘ princeps potest
‘ mutare monetam ratione publicae utilitatis,’
viz. ‘ tempore belli, vel si alias utile populo sit
‘ futurum, ita etiam, ut ex corio fieri possit.’
and it is observed by Molineus, libro de mu-
taione monetae, cap. 100, ‘ that the state of
Rome in the first Punick war, when Hannibal
had possession of a great part of Italy, and all
their treasure was exhausted, enhanced base
money to a great value, for the payment of
their armies ; and yet the justice of that state
was then famous throughout the world. But
‘ nihil est magis justum, quam quod necessa-
‘ rium.’ by which it appears, that the mixed
money was made by queen Eliz. on a just and
honourable cause.

Fourthly, it was resolved, that the said
mixed money having the impression and in-
scription of the queen of England, and being
proclaimed for lawful and current money within
this kingdom of Ireland, ought to be taken
and accepted for sterling money ; and on con-
sideration of this point, the name and the nature
of Sterling Money were enquired and disco-
vered. As to the name of Sterling some doc-
tors of the civil law, being deceived by the
erroneous report of Polydore Virgil, have con-
ceived, that this English money was called
Sterling, because the form of a stare, the dimi-
nutive of which is sterling, was imprinted or
stamped upon it, and therefore Covarruvias,
lib. de collatione veterum numismatum, c. 2.
‘sterling’ (saith he) ‘ est argenteus nummus
‘ Anglicus ex vicesima sexta parte unciae, nam
‘ viginti sex nummi argentei sterlingi pendebant
‘ unciam, autore Polydore Virgilio, in Hist.
‘ Anglicà, lib. 16. Dictus autem est hic num~
‘ mus, ut idem author tradit, sterling, quod
‘ sturnus avis, Anglice a sterling, in altera
‘ parte nummi esset impressa.’ To the same
purpose Choppinus de Domanio Franc, lib.
2. tit. 7. hath this note, caeterum Enrico 3.
‘ Britannia rege, primum percussa est nunc
‘ usitatissima sterlingorum moneta, ab effigie
‘ sturni sic dicta, anno 1249.’; These doctors
being strangers, were, it seems, misinformed by
Polydore Virgil, who was also an alien and a
stranger. But our Linwood also (who made
his Gloss on the provincial constitutions of Eng-
land, in the time of Hen. 6.) tit. de testam.
C. Item, quia, verbo, Centum solidos, saith,
‘ sterling nomen erat argenteae moneta;, et ha-
‘ bebat similitudinem denarii usualis, hoc salvo,
‘ quod in una quarta habebat effigiem avis, quae
‘ vocatur sturnus, Anglice, sterling.’

Others have been of opinion, that this Eng-
lish money had the name of Sterling, because
the first money of this standard was coined in
the Castle of Sterling in Scotland by king Ed.
1. But this is also an erroneous opinion, as is
noted by Cambden in Scotia, pag. 700. where
speaking of Sterling-Castle, he saith, that ‘ qui-
‘ dam monetam probam Angliae quae sterling
‘ money dicitur, hinc denominatam volunt,
‘ frustra sunt ; a Germanis enim, quos An-
‘ gli Esterlingos ab orientali situ vocarunt,
‘ facta est appellatio ; quos Johannes rex, ad
‘ argentum in suam puritatem redigendum,
‘ primus evocavit; et ejusmodi nummi, Ester-
‘ lingi, in antiquis scripturis semper reperi-
‘ untur.’

And this latter opinion, without doubt, is the
better and more probable, by the judgment of
all the most learned antiquarians of England.
For in all the antient statutes which make
mention of this money, it is called esterling.
As 9 Ed. 3. c. 2. &c. ‘ no false money coun-
terfeit esterling shall be imported into our
realm;’ and the same year c. 3. ‘ no esterling
halfpenny or farthing shall be molten to make
vessel,’ &c. and 25 Ed. 3. c. 13. ‘ the money of
gold and silver, which is now current, shall not
be impaired in weight or allay, but shall be put
in the antient state as in the esterling.’ And
Matt. Paris, Magn. Hist. fol. 403. where he
expresses the form of the obligation made by
the clergy of England to the pope’s bankers
resident in London, makes mention of this
money by the name of esterling; ‘ Noveritis
‘ nos recipisse ab (A. and B. &c.) centum unci-
‘ as bonorum et legulium esterlingorum, tresde-
‘ cim solidis et quatuor sterlingis pro qualibet
‘ uncià computatis.’ And the same author, fol.
710, saith, * eodem tempore moneta Ester-
‘ lingorum, propter sui materiam desiderabilem,
‘ detestabili circiuncisione caepit deteriorari et
‘ corrumpi.* And fol. 575. ‘ Comitissa de
‘ Biarde venit ad regem cum 60 militibus,
‘ ducta cupidine Esterlingorum, quibus noverat
‘ regem Angliae abundare, et accepit a rege

123] STATE TRIALS, 2 Jambs I. 1 GOo.—The Cast qf Mixed Money [J 24

‘ qualibet die pro stipendio tresdecim libras
‘ Esterlingorum, &c.’ And Hovedeo in Rich.
1. fol. 377. b. makes mention of this money in
these words, ‘ videns igitur Galfridus Ebora-
‘ censis electus, quod nisi mediante pecunià
‘ amorem regis fratris nullatenus habere possit,
‘ promisit ei tria millia librarum Sterlingorum
‘ pro amore ejus habendo ;’ and this was
before the time of king John ; from whence
it seems, that the time when this money was
first coined is uncertain ; for some say that it
was made by Osbright a king of the Saxon race
160 years before the Norman Conquest. And
so as Nummus is called from Numa, who was
the first king who made money in Rome, so
Sterling is called from the Esterlings who first
made the money of this standard in England,
by a metonymia, substituting the name of the
inventor for the thing invented, as Ceres pro
frumento, Bacchus pro vino, &c.

And it is to be observed, that the Esterlings
were the first founders of the four principal
cities of Ireland, viz. Dublin, Waterford, Cork
and Limerick, and of the other maritime towns
in this kingdom, and were the sole maintainers
of traffic and commerce, which was utterly
neglected by the Irish. These cities and towns
were under the protection of king Edgar and
Edward the Confessor before the Norman Con-
quest: and these Esterlings in the antient
records of this kingdom are called Ostmanni.
And therefore, when Hen. 2. upon the first
conquest, thought it better to people these
cities and towns with English colonies taken
from Bristol, Chester, &c. he assigned to these
Ostmen certain proportion of land next adjoin-
ing to each of these cities, which portion is
culled in the records of antient times, Cantreda
Ostmannorum. And all this was observed on
the name of Sterling.

For the nature or substance of this money,
first it was observed, that the coin which was
properly called the Sterling was the denier or sil-
ver penny, as appears in the ordinance called
compositio mensurarum made in the time of E. 1.
where it is said, ‘ denarius Anglie, qui nomi-
‘ natur sterlingus rotundus, sine tonsura, pon-
‘ derabit triginta et duo grana in medio spicae,’
&c. and every other coin or piece of silver
was measured by the sterling penny, as the
groat contained the value of four sterlings,
and the half groat the value of two sterlings,
25 Edw. 3. c. 6. and the shilling consisted of
twelve sterlings, Linwood de Testamentis, C.
item quia, verb. Centum solidos; and the Mark
consisted of 13s. and four sterlings, as before
is shewn from Matt. Paris; and the maile
(half-penny) was the half of a sterling; and the
farthing the fourth part of a sterling. See an
ordinance without date in the Magna Charta
printed by Tottel, anno 1556, fol. 167, and in
Rastall’s old Abridgment, money 52,’ quia
‘ multorum regum temporibus provisum fuit,
‘ quod propter pauperes denarius argenti, viz.
‘ sterlingus, divideretur in obolum et quadran-
‘ tem, ex parte domini regis precipitur, quod
‘ quicunque recusaverit obolum vel quadrantem
‘ debitam habentem formam, capiatur.’ See 6
and 7 Ed. 6. Dyer 82, in the case of Pollards,
where it appears that a sterling and a denier
were the same ; for there it is said that two
pollards passed for one sterling, and accord-
ingly two sterlings* were paid for one denier.
And indeed in antient time, every sort of
money, made of the several metals of which
money was usually coined, was properly called
a denarius ; and therefore the French and Ita-
lians speak properly, when they call all money
deniers and denarii, for coins (nummi) were
either copper, silver or gold : each silver one
was worth ten of copper, and so was called a
denier; and each gold one was worth ten of
silver, and in this respect these were likewise
deniers. And the antient proportion of gold
to silver was as ten to one ; and this propor-
tion, as it seems, David observed in the treasure
of gold and silver which he prepared for the
building of the temple; for the text says, Chron.
chap. xxii. ver. 14, ‘ that he provided for that
purpose 100,000 talents of gold, and 1,000,000
talents of silver.’ So the first and proper sterl-
ing coin was a denier.

And for the substance of this denier or sterl-
ing penny in Weight and Purity: as to the
Weight, it was at first the 20th part of an
ounce, viz. an ounce was cut into 20 sterling
deniers and no more. See the compositio men-
surarum made in the time of Ed. 1. ‘ in veteri
‘ libro de magna charta,’ fol. 113. b. and in
Rastall’s old abridgment, tit. weights and mea-
sures, 4. where it is said, that * viginti denarii
‘ faciunt unciam, et duodecim unci* faciunt
‘ libram;’ and so it was until 9 Ed. 3. at which
time the ounce of silver was cut into 26 pence.
Annal. de Rob. de Avesbury MS. See several
ordinances touching the new sterling money,
made 9 Ed. 3. Rastall, money 345. And such
proportion was continued until 2 Hen. 6. when
the ounce of silver made 32 pence; and this
appears by the statute of 2 Hen. 6. c. 13,
and also by Linwood, ‘ de testamentis, cap.
item quia, verb. cent, solid. ‘ Hic solidus,’
saith he, ‘ sumitur pro duodecim denarus An-
‘ glicanis; horum 26 ponderabant unciam, cum
‘ tamen jam 32 denarii vix faciant unciam.’
And this gloss was wrote in the beginning of
the reign of Hen. 6. as it is mentioned in the
preface to his hook. This standard was con-
tinued until the 5 Ed. 4. and then the ounce
of silver made 40 pence; 9 Ed. 4. 49. a. and
12 Ed. 4. c. 60. in Rot. Parl. Dublin. And
this continued until 36 Hen. 8. when the king
prepared for his journey to Ballogne; and then
an ounce of silver was cut into 60 pence, and
that standard remains to this day. And so the
sterling penny, which was at first the 20th part
of an ounce, is now the 60th part of an ounce;
and by consequence, the antient sterling penny
contained as much silver as is contained in the
three-penny piece that is now current.

And as to the purity of this sterling [l H.H.
• So in the original; but qu. whether it
should not be pollards ?

125] STATE TRIALS, 2 James I. 1605.— in Ireland. [126

P.C. 190.] money, 18s.5½d. of the purest silver
was contained in each pound, and each pound
of sterliog money had 1s. 6d½ allay of copper,
and no more; and of this allay of sterling
money, the ordinances or statutes of 25 Ed. 3.
c. 13. and £ Hen. 6. c. 13. make mention. But
this is well known to all moneyers, and is con-
tained in all the indentures made between the
king and the masters of the mint.

Then the Sterling Money being of such
weight and fineness, the doubt prima facie, was,
how this Mixed Money should be said to be
sterling. And for the clearing of this doubt, it
was said, that in each common piece of Money,
there is ‘ bonitas intrinsica, et bonitas extrin-
‘ seca: intrinseca consistit in praetiositate mate-
‘ rie et pondere,’ viz. fineness and weight;
‘ extrinseca bonitas consistit in valuatione seu
‘ denominatione, et in forma seu charactere.’
Budel. de re nummaria, lib. 11. cap.7. And
this bonitas extrinseca, which is called ‘ estima-
‘ tio sive valor imposititius, est formalis et es-
‘ sentialis monetae,’ and this form giveth name
and being to money ; for without such form,
the most precious and pure metal that can be
is not money ; and therefore, Molinaeus, lib. de
mutat. Monetae, saith, ‘ non materia naturalis
‘ corporis monetae, sed valor imposititius est for-
‘ ma et substantia monetae, quae non est corpus
‘ physicum sed artificiale,’ as Aristotle saith,
Ethic, lib. 5. And so Polit. lib. 1. he saith
to this effect, that money was first signed and
imprinted with a certain character, to the in-
tent, that the people might accept it on the cre-
dit of the prince or state who publishes it, with-
out examination or trial of the weight or pu-
rity. And to this purpose Molineus hath this
rule, Q. 99. ‘ de jure non refert sive plus sive
‘ minus argenti insit, modo publica, proba, et
‘ legitima moneta sit.’ Et Balaus l. singulari,
saith, ‘ in pecunia potius attenditur usus et cur-
‘ sus quam materia.’ And Seneca, lib. 5. de
beneficiis, ‘ Aes alienum habere dicitur, et qui
‘ aureos debet, et qui corium forma publica
‘ percussum.’ And it was said that the king
hath the same prerogative to give value to base
metal by his impression or character, as he
hath to give estimation to a mean person by
imparting the character of honour to him;
‘ sic fiet viro quem rex honorare desiderat.’

And so it was concluded, that after the Es-
terlings, by command of the king of England,
had made this pure English money, which from
the name of the makers was called esterling or
sterling money, the standard of which hath
been always the most fixed and unchanged in
all the world, (which hath been a great honour
to our nation, for in all other kingdoms and
states, the standards of their money are more
unsteady and variable,) all money coined by
the authority of the king of England, and hav-
ing his character and impression, not only in
England, but also in Scotland and Ireland,
hath been sterling money, and so called, re-
puted and taken by all people, whether the
matter of it were mixed or pure. And this
appears by the ordinance which is called ‘ sta-
‘ tutum de moneta magnum,’ by which all mo-
ney is prohibited, only the money of England,
of Ireland and of Scotland, which was properly
the sterling money. And therefore Freherus,
lib. de re nummaria, where he enumerates the
different money of different nations; ‘ sterlingi,’
saith he, ‘ habentur in Anglia, Scotia et Hiber-
‘ nia.’ And Bodin, lib. 6. de republ. c. 3.
speaking of the money pf Scotland ; in Scot-
land, saith he, are two pounds, (livers) very dif-
ferent; one of esterlings, the other customary.
And certainly the usual Scottish pound (livre)
is like the French livre, and the pound (livre)
esterling current there is that of England. And
that base or Mixed Money may be current for
sterling, appears by the said case of Pollards,
Dyer 82. b. where it is said, ‘ quod currebat
‘ quaedam moneta in Anglia loco sterlingi quae
‘ vocabatur pollards, viz. duo pollardi pro uno
‘ sterlingo.’

Fifthly, it was resolved, that although this
Mixed Money was made to be current with-
in this kingdom of Ireland only, yet it may
well be said, current and lawful money of
England, for two causes. — 1. Because this
kingdom is only a member of the imperial
crown of England ; and this appears 3 Hen.
7. 10. a. where a question was propounded
to the justices by Hobart, Attorney gene-
ral, ‘ si quis sciens monetam ad similitudinem
‘ monetae regis Angliae contrafactam, talem
‘ monetam in Angliam extra Hiberniam defe-
‘ rat, si sit proditio necne : et dixerunt quod
‘ Hibernia est quasi membrum Angliae, et ibi-
‘ dem legibus Angliae utuntur, et authoritate
‘ regia faciunt monetam.’ And to this purpose
it is recited in the statute of faculties, enacted
in this kingdom, 28 Hen. 8. c. 19. ‘ that this
the king’s land of Ireland is a member appen-
dant, and rightfully belongeth to the imperial
crown of the realm of England, and united unto
the same.’ And in the act of 33 Hen. 8. c. 1.
by which the stile and title of king of Ireland
was given to Hen. 8. his heirs and successors,
it is moreover enacted, that the king shall en-
joy that stile and title, and all other royal pre-
eminences, prerogatives and dignities, ‘ as united
and annexed to the imperial crown of the
realm of England.’ — 2. It is called lawful mo-
ney of England, in respect to the place of coin-
age which was in England, viz. in the Tower of
London. For although in antient times the
king had several mints in this kingdom, as he
had in England, yet since the commencement
of the reign of queen Elizabeth, all the mints
have been reduced to one place, viz. The Tower
of London; and this was done upon good rea-
son of state, to prevent the falsification of mo-
ney. And therefore, before the Norman con-
quest, all money was coined in monasteries;
for it was presumed, that in such places no fal-
sity or corruption would be found. And this
agrees with the prudence of the Roman state,
which had but one mint for all Italy, and that
was in the temple of Juno at Rome, who for
this cause was called ‘ Juno moneta.’ And for
this purpose, the emperor Charlemain made a

127] STATE TRIALS, 2 James I. 1605.— The Cote of Mixed Money [128

law, in these words, viz. ‘ de falsis monetis,
* quia in diversis locis contra justitiam fiunt, vo-
* lumus, ut in nullo alio loco moneta, nisi in pa-
* latio nostro, fiat.’ Choppinus de Domanio
Franciae, 217. a. Yet in 28 Ed. 1. this prudent
king, for the facility of exchange, caused several
mints to be established in several towns in
England; one in the Tower of London with
thirty furnaces, another at Canterbury with eight
furnaces, another at Kingston upon Hull with
four furnaces, another at Newcastle upon Tyne
with two furnaces, another at Bristol with four
furnaces, and another at Exeter with four fur-
naces. Tractat. de moneta Angliae, made in
the time of Ed. 1. which I found in the library
of sir Robert Cotton, which was the book of
lord Burleigh, late lord high treasurer of Eng-
land. See also the close rolls of 29 Ed. 1. in
the Tower of London. And this appears also
by the inscription of divers antient coins, on
which are expressed the names of the cities
where they were coined, according to a verse
made in the time of Ed. 1. and taken by Stow
out of Robert le Brun, an antient manuscript :
‘ Edward did smite round penny, half-penny,

And then followed,
‘ On the king’s side, was his head and his name
‘ On the cross side, the city where it was smit-

And this same king having established a
mint at Dublin with four furnaces, and having
constituted Alexander Norman of Lusk master
of the mint there, as appears in several records
in the archives of the Castle of Dublin; after-
wards, viz. 32 Ed. 1, when he had altered the
form of the coin, he caused divers stamps con-
sisting of two parts, of which the one contained
the pile, and the other the cross, to be trans-
mitted to the treasurer of this kingdom, as is
recorded in the red book of the Exchequer here
in this manner. ‘ Magister Gulielmus de Wi-
‘ mundham, custos cambiorum domini regis in
‘ Anglia, de precepto venerabilis patris Bathon.
‘ et Wellensis episcopi, thesaurarij ejusdem do-
‘ mini regis, misit domino Gulielmo de Esen-
‘ den, thesaurario in Hibernia, viginti quatuor
‘ pecias cuneorum, pro moneta ibidem facienda,
‘ viz. tres pilas cum sex crucellis pro denarijs,
‘ tres pilas cum sex crucellis pro obolis, et duas
‘ pilas cum quatuor crucellis pro ferlingis, per
‘ Johannem le Minor, Thomas Dowle, et Jo-
‘ hannem de Shorduch, clericos, de societate
‘ operariorum et monetariorum London, per
‘ eosdem ad monetam praedictam operandam et
* monetandam.’ And there it is likewise men-
tioned. before what witnesses the said stamps
where delivered; for ‘ cuneus monetae tanquam
‘ sigillum regni custodiri debet,’ as it is said in
the treatise ‘ de moneta Angliae ‘ before men-
tioned; and the reason is, because to coun-
terfeit the one or the other is high treason.

And at this time there was but one mint in
Ireland, to wit, at Dublin. But long after-
wards, viz.3 Ed. 4. a mint was established at
Waterford, another at Trim, and another at
Galway; Rot. Pari. 3 Ed. 4. in Castro Dublin.
And 12 Ed. 4. Rot. Parl. ibid, it is ordained, that
the masters of the mint in Ireland should make,
in the castles of Dublin and Trim, and in the town
of Drogheda, five sorts of coin, the groat, the
half-groat, the penny, half-penny and farthing;
by which it is manifest that in former times,
there were five several mints in Ireland, in the
several towns aforesaid. But all these were
discontinued in the time of Ed. 6, so that since
the reign of that king, all die money made in
Ireland hath been coined in England ; and
therefore this mixed money, coined in the
Tower of London, may be properly called
current and lawful money of England.

Sixthly and lastly, it was resolved, that al-
though at the time of the contract and obliga-
tion made in the present case, pure money of
gold and silver was current within this king-
dom, where the place of payment was assign-
ed ; yet the mixed money, being established in
this Kingdom before the day of payment, may
well be tendered in discharge of the said obli-
gation, and the obligee is bound to accept it ;
and if he refuses it, and waits until the money
be changed again, the obligor is not bound to
pay other money of better substance, but it is
sufficient if he be always ready to pay the
mixed money according to the rate for which
thev were current at the time of the tender.
And this point was resolved on consideration
of two circumstances, viz. the time and the
place of the payment ; for the time is future,
viz. that if the said Brett shall pay or cause to
be paid 100/. sterling, current money, &c. and
therefore such money shall be paid as shall be
current at such future time; so that the time
of payment, and not the time of the contract,
shall be regarded.

Also, the future time is intended by the words
current money ; for a thing which is passed is
not in cursu; and therefore all the doctors, who
write ‘ de re nummaria,’ agree in this rule,
‘ verba currentis monetae tempus solutionis de-
‘ signant.’ And to this purpose are several
cases ruled in our books, 6 and 7 Ed. G. Dyer
81. b. After the fall and embasement of
money, 5 Ed. 6. debt was brought against the
executors of lessee for years, for rent in arrear
for two years, ending Mich. 2 Ed. 6. at which
time the shilling (which at the time of the
action brought, was cried down to 6d.) was
current for 12d. the defendants pleaded a
tender of the rent on the days when it became
due, ‘ in peciis monetae Angliae vocat. shil-
‘ lings, qualibet pecia vocat, shilling, adtunc so-
‘ lubili pro 12d.’ and that neither the plaintiff
nor any other for him was ready to receive it,
&c. and concluded that they are still ready to
pay the arrears ‘ in dictis peciis vocat. shillings,
‘ secundum ratam,’ &c. On this plea, al-
though the plaintiff demurred, ye*t he was con-
tent to take the money at the rate aforesaid,
without cosrs or damages. To the same pur-
pose is the case of Pollards adjudged, 29 Ed.
1. and reported by Dyer 82. b. where in debt
on an obligation for payment of 24l. at two

129] STATE TRIALS, 2 James I. 1605.— in Ireland. [130

several days, the defendant pleads, that, at the
days limited for payment of the debt in demand
‘ currebat quaedam moneta quae vocabatur Pol-
ards, loco sterlingi,’ &c. and that the defendant
at the first day of payment tendered the moiety
of the debt in the money called Pollards, which
the plaintiff refused, and tiitit he is still ready,
&c. and offered it in court, which is not denied
by the plaintiff; ideo concessum est, that he re-
covered one moiety in Pollards, and the other
in pure sterling money. See 9 Ed. 4. 49. a
remarkable case on the change of money,
where it is said, that if a man in an action of
debt demands 40l. it shall be intended money
which is current at the time of the writ pur-
chased. And there a case in the time of Ed. 1.
is put, which is directly to this purpose. In
debt brought upon a deed for 30 quarters of bar-
ley, price 20l. it was found for the plaintiff, and
the jury was charged to enquire of the price at
the time of the payment, and it was said that
at the time of the payment a quarter was at
12s. but at the time of the making of the
deed, it was only at 3s. and the plaintiff re-
covered 18l. fur the corn according to the
price of it at the time of the payment. To
this purpose also, Linwood hath a notable
gloss on the constitution of Simon Mepham,
Lb. 3. de Testamentis cap. item quia. For
where the constitution is such, ‘ pro publica-
‘ tione testamenti pauperis, cujus inventarium
‘ bonorum non excedit centum solidos sterlin-
‘ gorum, nihil penitus exigatur.’ he maketh
this gloss, ‘ hic solidus sumitur pro duodecim
‘ denarijs Anglicanis, &c. Sed quero,’ saith
he, ‘ numquid circa hos centum solidos debeat
‘ considerari valor in moneta jam currente,
‘ vel valor sterlingorum qui currebant tempore
‘ statuti;’ and there he resolveth, ‘ quod ubi
‘ dispositio surgit ex statuto, ut hic, licet mo-
‘ neta sit diminuta in valore, tamen debet con-
‘ derari respectu monetae novae currentis, et
‘ non respectu antique. Nam mutata moneta,
‘ mutari videtur statutum, ut scilicet intelliga-
‘ tur de nova, et non de veteri.’ See Reg st.
50. a. and 54. b. where the king issues his writ,
to be certified of the value of a church. The
words of the writ are secundum taxationem de-
cimae jam currentis. And 31 Ed. 3. Fitz. H.
Annuity 28. an annuity was granted to I.S.
until he was promoted by the grantor to a suf-
ficient benefice; I.S. brings a writ of annuity
against the grantor, who pleads that he had
tendered to the plaintiff a sufficient benefice;
and there issue was taken on the value of the
benefice at the time of the tender.

But it was said that, although in contracts
these words ‘ currentis monetae’ shall relate to
the time of the payment ; yet in wills, they
shall relate to the time of making the will ; for
the bequest is in the present tense, ‘ I give
‘ and bequeath,’ &c. and therefore legacies
shall be paid in such money as is current at
the time of the making the testament, or ac-
cording to the rate thereof. It was also said, that
if a man hath 1000l. of pure silver in marriage
with his wife, and afterwards they are divorced
causa pracontractus, by which the wife is to
receive her portion : or if a man recovers by
an erroneous judgment 100l. in debt, and hath
execution in pure silver money, and afterwards
the judgment is reversed, so that lie is to be
restored to all that he hath lost, although base
money be established in the mean time, resti-
tution shall he in such money as was current
at the time of the marriage, and at the time of
the recovery. But these latter cases were not

And as to the circumstance of place, it was
resolved, that although the contract was made
in London, yet, the place of payment being
appointed in Dublin, of necessity the obligor
must make his tender in the mixed money at
the time of the payment ; for all other money
was cried down and made bullion by the pro-
clamation aforesaid, and this money only esta-
blished; so that if the obligee had refused this
mixed mouey, he had committed a contempt,
for which he might be punished. Also the
judges are not bound to take notice of any mo-
ney, that is not current by proclamation. And
therefore Prisot saith, 34 Hen. 6. 12. a. ‘ we
‘ are not apprised of 6l. Flemish, as we are of
‘ 100 nobles;’ and therefore in all contracts of
merchants, ‘ consuetudo et statuta loci, in
‘ quem est destinata solutio, respicienda sunt.’
Budelius de re nummaria, lib. 2. c. 21. And
it was said, that if at this day the law should
be taken, as it was taken in the time of Ed. 1.
that upon judgment in debt given in England,
on a testatum that the defendant hath nothing
in England, but that he hath goods and lands
in Ireland ; a writ of execution shall be award-
ed to the chief justice or deputy of Ireland, to
levy the debt there, (which writ is found in
Registro Brev. Jud. 43. b.) the sum in such
case shall be levied according to the rate of
Irish money, and not of English money, and in
such coin as shall be current in this kingdom,
at the time of the execution.

And according to this Resolution, several
other Cases on the same point were afterwards
ruled and adjudged in the several Courts of
Record in Dublin.




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