William III, 1696-7
An Act for the better p[re]venting the counterfeiting the current Coine of this Kingdome. [Chapter XXVI. Rot. Parl. 8&9 Gul.III.p. 9. nu. 2.]

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History of Parliament Trust

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John Raithby (editor)

Year published

1820

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269-271

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'William III, 1696-7: An Act for the better p[re]venting the counterfeiting the current Coine of this Kingdome. [Chapter XXVI. Rot. Parl. 8&9 Gul.III.p. 9. nu. 2.]', Statutes of the Realm: volume 7: 1695-1701 (1820), pp. 269-271. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=46874 Date accessed: 01 August 2014.


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Smith, &c. except employed in the Mint, &c. making or mending any Puncheon, Dye, &c. to stamp Current Coin of Gold or Silver, or making any Edging. Tool, Coining Press, Cutting Engine, &c. or having in their Custody any such Puncheon,; Dye, &c.

High Treason.

Whereas notwithstanding the good Laws still in force against the counterfeiting of the Moneys and Coins of this Realme yett the said Offence doth and is like daily to increase to the manifest Wrong and Injury both of his Majesty and all his loving Subjects being very much occasioned for want of a due and condigne Punishment to be inflicted upon such Artificers and others who without any lawfull Authority do make or use Puncheons Stamps Dyes & other Engines and Instruments which are co[m]monly used or may be made use of in or about the coining of Money for Redresse of which so great and growing, a Mischief be it enacted by the Kings most Excellent Majesty by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Co[m]mons in this present Parliament assembled and by the Authority of the same That from and after the Fifteenth Day of May One thousand six hundred ninety seven no Smith Engraver Founder or other Person or Persons whatsoever other than and except the Persons imployed or to be imployed in or for his Majesties Mint or Mints in the Tower of London or elsewhere and for the Use and Service of the said Mints onely or Persons lawfully authorized by the Lords Co[m]missioners of the Treasury or Lord High Treasurer of England for the time being) shall knowingly make or mend or begin or proceed to make or mend or assist in the making or mending of any Puncheon Counter Puncheon Matrix Stamp Dye Pattern or Mould of Steel Iron Silver or other Metal or Metals or of Spaud or fine Founders Earth or Sand or of any other Materials whatsoever in or upon which there shall be or be made or impressed or which will make or impresse the Figure Stamp Resemblance or Similitude of both or either of the Sides or Flats of any Gold or Silver Coine current within this Kingdome nor shall knowingly make or mend or begin or proceed to make or mend or assist in the making or mending of any Edger or Edging Tool Instrument or Engine not of co[m]mon Use in any Trade but contrived for [making (fn. 1) ] of Money round the Edges with Letters Grainings or other Marks or Figures resembling those on the Edges of Money coined in his Majesties Mint nor any Presse for Coinage nor any cutting Engine for cutting round Blanks by force of a Screw out of flatted Barrs of Gold Silver or other Mettal nor shall knowingly buy or sell hide or conceal or without lawfull Authority or sufficient Excuse for that Purpose knowingly have in his her or their Houses Custody or Possession any such Puncheon Counter Puncheon Matrix Stamp Dye Edger cutting Engine or other Tool or Instrument before mentioned and if any Smith Engraver Founder or other Person or Persons whatsoever (other than and except as aforesaid) shall offend in any the Matters or Things aforesaid then all and every such Offender & Offenders their Councellors Procureres Aiders & Abetters shall be and is and are hereby adjudged to be guilty of High Treason and being of the said Offences or any of them convicted or attainted according to the Order and Course of the Laws of this Realme shall suffer Death as in case of High Treason.

II. Conveying out of the Mint any Puncheon, &c. or receiving and concealing the same, High Treason.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That if any Person or Persons whatsoever from and after the said Fifteenth Day of May shall without lawfull Authority for that Purpose wittingly or knowingly convey or assist in the conveying out of his Majesties Mints in the Tower of London or out of any other of his Majesties Mints any Puncheon Counter Puncheon Matrix Dye Stamp Edger cutting Engine Presse or other Tool Engine or Instrument used for or about the coining of Moneys there or any useful part of such Tools or Instruments that then as well the said Person & persons so offending their Councellers Procurers Aiders or Abetters as also all and every Person and Persons knowingly receiving hiding or concealing the same shall be and is and are hereby adjudged to be guilty of High Treason and being of the said Offences or any of them convicted or attainted according to the Order and Course of the Laws of this Realme shall suffer Death as in case of High Treason.

III. Persons, excepting they are authorized, marking the Edges of Coin, or Persons marking Edges of any Counterfeit Coin;

High Treason.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That if any Person or Persons (other than the Persons imployed in his Majesties Mint or Mints or such as shall have Authority from the Lords Co[m]missioners of the Treasury or Lord High Treasurer of England for the time being) shall after the said Fifteenth Day of May mark on the Edges any the current Coine of this Kingdome or if any Person or Persons whatsoever shall mark on the Edges any of the diminisht Coine of this Kingdome or any counterfeit Coine resembling the Coine of this Kingdome with Letters or Grainings or other Marks or Figures like unto those on the Edges of Money coined in his Majesties Mint every such Offence shall be and is hereby adjudged to be High Treason and the Offender and Offenders therein his & their Cou[m]cellors Procurers Aiders & Abettors being thereof convicted or attainted according to the Order and Course of the Laws of this Realme shall suffer Death as in case of High Treason.

IV. Colouring, gilding, &c. any Coin resembling the Current Coin, &c.;

High Treason.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That if any Person or Persons whatsoever after the said Fifteenth Day of May shall colour guild or case over with Gold or Silver or with any Wash or Materials producing the Colour of Gold or Silver any Coine resembling any the current Coine of this Kingdom or any round Blanks of base Mettal or of course Gold or course Silver of a fitt Size and Figure to be coined into counterfeit milled Money resembling any the Gold or Silver Coine of this Kingdome or if any Person or Persons shall guild over any Silver Blanks of a fitt Size and Figure to be coined into Pieces resembling the current Gold Coine of this Kingdome all and every such Person and Persons so offending their Councellors Procurers Aiders and Abettors shall be and is and are hereby adjudged to be guilty of High Treason and being convicted or attainted thereof according to the Order and Course of the Laws of this Realme shall suffer Death as in case of High Treason.

V. Puncheon, Dye, &c. found in the Possession of any Person not employed in the Mints, may be seized and produced in Evidence, and together with those not produced destroyed.

Counterfeit Money, &c. produced in Evidence or otherwise, to be afterwards cut in Pieces.

And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That if any Puncheon Dye Stamp Edger cutting Engine Presse Flask or other Tool Instrument or Engine used or designed for coining or counterfeiting Gold or Silver Moneys or any part of such Tool or Engine shall att any time after the said Fifteenth Day of May be hid or concealed in any Place or found in the House Custody or Possession of any Person or Persons whatsoever not then imployed in the coining of Money in some of his Majesties Mints nor having the same by some lawfull Authority that then it shall and may be lawfull to and for any Person or Persons whatsoever discovering the same to seize and hee and they are hereby required to seize the same and to carry them forthwith to some Justice of Peace of the County City or Place where the same shall be so seized and by him secured to be produced in Evidence against any Person or Persons who shall or may be prosecuted for any such Offence in some Court of Justice proper for the Determination thereof and after such Time as they or any of them shall have been produced in Evidence as well the same so produced as the other so seized and not made use of in Evidence and every of them shall forthwith by Order of that Court where such Offender or Offenders shall be tryed or by Order and in the Presence of such or some other Justice of the Peace in case there be no such Tryal be totally defaced and destroyed and if after the said Fifteenth Day of May any counterfeit or unlawfully diminished Money shall be produced in any Court of Justice either in Evidence against any Person or Persons for any Offence relating to the counterfeiting or unlawfully diminishing of Money or otherwise that then or im[m]ediately after Evidence given the Judge or Judges of such Court shall cause such Moneys to be cutt in Pieces in open Court or in the Presence of some Justice of the Peace and then to be delivered to or for such Person or Persons to whom the same of Right shall appertaine.

VI. Blanching Copper for Sale, or mixing blanched Copper with Silver, &c. or taking or paying Counterfeit milled Money, &c.

Death.

And whereas several Mixtures of Mettals have been invented in imitation of Gold and Silver and blancht Copper is principally made use of in imitation of Silver and seldome if ever for any honest or good Purpose Be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That if any Person or Persons whatsoever after the said Fifteenth Day of May shall blanch Copper for Sale or mix blancht Copper with Silver or knowingly buy or sell or offer to Sale blancht Copper alone or mixt with Silver or shall knowingly and fraudulently buy or sell or offer to Sale any malleable Composition or Mixture of Mettals or Minerals which shall be heavier than Silver and look and touch and wear like Standard Gold but be manifestly worse than Standard or shall take receive pay or putt off any counterfeit milled Money or any milled Money whatsoever unlawfully diminished and not cutt in Pieces att or for a lower Rate or Value than the same by its Denomination doth or shall import or was coined or counterfeited for that then all and every such Person and Persons shall be deemed and adjudged guilty of Felony and being thereof convicted or attainted according to the Order and Course of the Laws of this Realme shall suffer Death as in case of Felony.

VII. Attainder by this Act not to make Corruption of Blood, &c.

By what Evidence Offenders may be convicted.

Provided always and be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid That this Act or any Thing therein contained or any Attainder or Attainders of any Person or Persons for any Offence or Offences made Treason or Felony by this Act shall not in any wise extend or be judged interpreted or expounded to make any corruption of Blood to any the Heire or Heires of any such Offender or Offenders or to make the Wife of any such Offender to lose or forfeit her Dower of or in any Lands Tenements or Hereditaments or her Title Action or Interest to the same and that all and every Person or Persons that shall att any time after the said Fifteenth Day of May be accused or impeached of any the Offences made Treason or Felony by this Act shall or may be indicted arraigned tryed convicted or attainted by such like Evidence and in such Manner and Forme as now are or may by the Laws of this Realme be had or used against any Offender or Offenders for counterfeiting the Kings Money Any thing in this Act contained or any other Law or Statute to the contrary notwithstanding.

VIII. Offences in 6 & 7 W. III.c.17. may be heard in the King's Bench, or at a Gaol Delivery.

And for the rendring more effectual an Act made in the Sixth and Seventh Yeares of his Majesties Reigne intituled An Act to prevent counterfeiting and clipping the Coine of this Kingdome be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid That all and every the Crimes and Offences specified & mentioned in the said Act may be heard and determined upon Indictment or Presentment either in his Majesties Court of Kings Bench or before the Justices of Oyer and Terminer or Justices of Assize or general Goal Delivery.

IX. Continuance of Act.; Limitation of Prosecution.

Provided always and be it enacted That this Act shall continue and be in force until the end of the next Session of Parliament and no longer and that no Prosecution shall be made for any Offence against this Act unlesse such Prosecution be co[m]menced within Three Months after such Offence co[m]mitted.

Footnotes

1 marking O.