The summarie of certaine reasons
marie of certaine rea
sons, which have moved
the Quenes Majestie to
procede in reformations
of her base and course
monies, and to reduce
them to their values,
in sorte as they
maye be tur
ned to fine
appointed to be declared by her
Majestie, by order of her
Proclamacion, in her
Citie of Lon
PUBLISHED BY Rycharde Jugge
PUBLISHED BY John Cawood
FIrst of all it is knowen that the honour and reputacion of the singuler wealth that this Realme was wont to have above at other Realmes, was partely in that it had no currant monies but golde and sylver, whereas contrary all other countreys, as Almayn, Fraunce, Spaine, Flaunders, Scotland, and the rest of Christendom have hadde, and styll have certayne base monies, nowe of late dayes, by turnyng of fine monies into base, muche decayed and dayly growen into infamie and reproche, and therfore is thought necessary to be recovered. Wherin lyke as her Majestie for her part meaneth to be at great charges, so every good Englishe subjecte ought to be content, though it seme some smal losse at the fyrst.
Also by continuing of the base monies, divers persons both in forreine partes, and within the Realme, have counterfayted from tyme to tyme no smal quantitie, and brought to porte townes, and uttered the same at the fyrste after the rate of xii. pence a Teston, and after that, for .vi. pence: where the same was not in dede worth much above two pence: And caried out of the Realme for those base monies, the riche commodities of the same, as Wolle, Cloth, Lead, Tinne, Leather, Tallowe, yea and all kynde of victual, as Corne, Malt, Beere, Butter, Cheese, and suche lyke, so as counterfaicters and suche lyke have for small summe of monies counterfaicted, caried out sixe times the value in commodities of the Realme.
By the meanes also that these base monies were currant, divers subtyll people have chaunged [Page] the same for the golde and fine sylver monies of this Realne, and have transported and caryed out the same golde & sylver, so as although there hath ben coyned both in the later end of the raign of kyng Edward, & in the tyme of Quene Mary, & nowe also sence the Quenes Majesties raigne, great quantities of golde and sylver, yet to part therof is sene commonly currant: but as it may be thought, some part therof is caryed hence, & some percase by the wyser sort of people, kepte in store, as it were to be wyshed that the whole were.
Also by continuaunce of this sorte of base monies, although almyghtie God hath geven nowe of late yeares plentyfull increase by the earth, for the which he is to be thanked, without any uche plages of scarcitie as in our forefathers tyme hath ben read, when many hundrethes and thousandes of people have dyed for famine, yet the prices of all thynges growyng or commyng from the earth, hath inmeasurably and dayly rysen, as all maner of grayne, fruite, cattell, bestiall, victtuell, wolle, leather, and such lyke, and no remedy could be devysed to amende the same, but to cause that the same base monies shuld be currant for no more then they were in just value. For every man of the least understandyng, by one meanes or other knew that a Teston was not worth six pence, nor the peece of two pence was woorth so much, & therfore no man woulde geve gladly that thing which was and ever had ben worth sixe pence, for a Teston, but would rather require two Testons: & so a thyng being worth sixe pence, was bought and solde eyther for two Testons, or one and a [Page] halfe, which was in reckenyng .xii. pence, or .ix. pence, and nowe every Teston being brought to the just value, it must nedes folowe that one shal bye of another hereafter that for .iiii. pence halfpeny, whiche was wont to coste .vi. pence. And when the Teston shalbe brought into fine sylver. then shall all men be as desyrous to sell any ware for suche fine monies, as they have of late ben loth and unwyllynge to sell anye thynge for the base monies, except they myght have had twyce as much of the base monies, as they were wonte to have of the fine, or els that for necessitie they were dryen to sell the same.
By this meanes also now that the base monies are brought to the just value, and that every man shall have fine monies for them, all poore people that lyved of theyr hand labour, as well artificers in cities or townes, as labourers in husbandrye, or men that toke dayetall wages, eyther by land, by sea, or by freshe waters, and all meane gentlemen that lived but upon pensions and stipendes, and all souldiours and servyng men, that lyved upon solde and wages, shall have theyr pencions, stipendes, soldes, and wages, now payde in good and fine monies, & therwith shal bye more necessaries for theyr sustentacion, then coulde afore be bought: who surely hauung heretofore after the rate of .xx.s. xxvi.s. viii.d. .v. nobles .xl.s. iiii. markes .v. markes .iiii. poundes .v. poundes .xx. nobles, & so upward by the yere payde to them in these base monies, could not have so much victual, apparel, weapon, armure, horses, or such lyke, with the said stipend, by more then a fourth part, as they shall now have, because indede the saide [Page]base monies were of themselves no more worth.
By this reformacion also of base monies, shall necessarely folowe a more profitable accoumpte betwixt the monies of this Realme, and of other countries, and thereby the accoumpte which by marchauntes is called the eschaunge, shall also aryse in estimation of the monies of Englande in suche sorte as in former tymes hath ben, and the forreine commodities thereby also be bought for easyer pryses, to the benefite of all suche as shall use the same.
So as the matter well considered, the greatest numbre, and specially the poorest shall have most commoditie hereby, yea and such others as have moste gayned by excessive prices, shall have also, (yf they wyll consider them selves) no small profyte and helpe. And fynally, no maner of person in the whole Realme shall have after one to two monethes hurt hereby, except onely the traytour which hath lyved by counterfaictyng. And therfore it is to be allowed and imbraced of al people, and everye man to thinke, that although at the first he maye suppose that he hath lesse monie in his purse, yet shall he have for the same metal, as much as that was worth, eyther in ware, or at her Majesties mint in fine monies. And when soever he shal utter that base monies, whiche at the tyme of the Proclamation he hadde, the next that he shall gette, eyther be his hande labour, or for his wages, shalbe eyther fine monies, or such as he may have as much fine monies in the mint for it. And consequently every man ought to thanke almyghtye God, that he may live to se the honour of his countrey thus partely recovered:
Syiver to come in place of copper, pryces of thynges amende, all people to be more hable to lyve of theyr wages, every mans purse of coffer made free from the privie thefe, whiche was the counterfaytour. And fynally, the treasure of this Realme to be of sylver and golde, as was wonte in our forefathers time, and not of brasse and copper, besydes manye other greate commodities that hereof muste needes ensue, whiche but for length myght be declared, and for all the same, no losse to any, otherwise but in opinion at the begynnyng, not much unlyke to them, that beyng sicke receive a medicine, and in the takyng feele some bytternes, but yet thereby recover health and strength, and save theyr lyves.
And because it is sene by experience, that many tymes when good thynges be devysed and attempted, the Devyll sleapeth not, to hynder the same, but causeth them either to be defeated, or to be defamyd and mistaken: Therefore it is meete that no maner of person gyve any credite to such as shall caste abrode any mistrust of amendment of the money, or shall pretende thys decree to bee greater or more burdenous then it is. For truely this amendement is so fully purposed by her Majestie, as beside that, experience shal trie it within one moneth or .vi. weekes, within which times necessarie thinges for the mint must be provyded. It is sene, that her Majestie may refourme these monyes, according to her proclamation, without anye suche great losse as myght move her to forbeare it: and on the other syde, the monyes bee so justly valued, as in dede the base Testons beynge [Page] set at .ii.d. farthyng, and her Majestie gevyng at her minte, for every pounde of them .xx.s. & .iii.d. in rewarde, shall thereby gyve rather more than they shalbe worth beynge melted, than lesse.