1732: 6 George 2 c.26: An act to prevent the Coining or Counterfeiting any of the Gold Coins commonly called Broad Pieces.
‘WHEREAS upon an humble Address of the Commons of Great Britain in Parliament assembled, his Majesty was pleased, with the Advice of his Privy Council, to issue his Royal Proclamation bearing Date the twenty first Day of February one thousand seven hundred and thirty-two, prohibiting all Persons to receive or utter in Payment, by Tale, any of the Gold Coins of twenty-five Shillings or twenty-three Shillings, commonly called Broad Pieces, or any Halves or Quarters thereof; and was also graciously pleased, in order to give Ease to his People, and to prevent any considerable Loss on account of the Prohibition of the Currency of the said Gold Coins, by his said Proclamation to charge and command all the Collectors and Receivers of the Revenues and Taxes, for and during the Space of one Year from the said twenty first of February, to receive such Gold Coins at the Rate of four Pounds and one Shilling per Ounce Troy in all Payments on account of such Revenues and Taxes, and also to authorise, command and require the Officers of the Mint within the said Time to receive all such Gold Coins as aforesaid as should be brought into the Mint, and to coin the same into other current Gold Coins of this Kingdom, and to allow for such Gold Coins so to be brought in after the said Rate of four Pounds and one Shilling per Ounce Troy:’ Now to the Intent that evil minded Persons may not, for the Sake of the Advantages allowed for bringing in such Gold Coins, be induced to forge, counterfeit or coin the same, Be it enacted by the King’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the Authority of the same,
[Before 21 Feb. 1733, Persons guilty of counterfeiting or coining Broad Pieces shall suffer as in High Treason.]
That if any Person or Persons whatsoever, on or before the twenty first of February which shall be in the Year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and thirty-three, shall forge, counterfeit or coin any of the said Gold Coins of twenty-five Shillings or twenty-three Shillings, commonly called Broad Pieces, or any Halves or Quarters thereof, or any other Gold Coins commonly called Broad Pieces, or any Halves or Quarters thereof, or shall utter or vend any of the said Gold Coins, knowing them to be so forged, counterfeited or coined as aforesaid, then all and every such Offender and Offenders, their Counsellors, Procurers, Aiders and Abettors in that Behalf 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 Realm, shall suffer Death as in Cases of High Treason.
[40l. Reward on convicting such Offender,]
II. And for the better Discovery of Offenders in the Premisses, Be it enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That all and every Person, who shall apprehend and take any Person or Persons who have been or shall be guilty of forging, counterfeiting or coining any of the said Gold Coins, or of uttering or vending the same, knowing them to be so forged, counterfeited or coined as aforesaid, and shall prosecute such Person or Persons, until he, she or they be convicted of such Offences, or any of them, shall have and receive, from the Sheriff or Sheriffs of the County where such Conviction shall be made, for every such Offender so convicted, the Sum of forty Pounds, to be paid, distributed and defrayed in the same to be paid as the Manner,
[to be paid as the Reward by the Act 6 & 7 W. 3. c. 3. against Clipping.]
as the Sum of forty Pounds by an Act made in the sixth and seventh Year of the Reign of King William the Third, intituled, An Act to prevent counterfeiting and clipping the Coin of this Kingdom, is to be defrayed, distributed and paid to any Person who shall discover, prosecute and convict any Person or Persons of counterfeiting or any ways diminishing the current Coin of this Realm, and shall also be entitled to all such Gold Coins called Broad Pieces so forged, counterfeited or coined, or knowingly uttered or vended as aforesaid, which shall be found in the Custody or Possession of or shall belong to such Forgers, Counterfeiters, Coiners, Utterers or Venders of the same.
[Offenders on convicting others entitled to his Majesty’s Pardon,]
III. And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That if any Person or Persons, being out of Prison, who shall have been guilty of forging, counterfeiting or coining any of the said Gold Coins called Broad Pieces, or any Halves or Quarters thereof, or of uttering or vending any of the same, knowing them to be so forged, counterfeited or coined as aforesaid, shall discover one or more Persons, who have been or shall be guilty of the same Crimes, or of any of them, so as one or more of the Persons so discovered shall be convicted of the same, any such Discoverer or Discoverers shall have, and is and are hereby entitled to, the gracious Pardon, of his Majesty, his Heirs and Successors, for all such Crimes against this Act, which he, she or they have committed at any Time or Times before such Discovery made;
[and if Apprentices, declared Freemen.]
and if the Person making such Discovery be an Apprentice, he shall be deemed and and taken and is hereby declared a Freeman, and shall and may exercise any lawful Trade, Profession or Mystery with all Liberties and Privileges, and in as full and ample Manner, as if the said Person had served the full Time of his Apprenticeship; any Law, Custom, Statute or Ordinance to the contrary, notwithstanding.
[But not to extend to Corruption of Blood, &c.]
IV. And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid, That this Act or any Thing herein contained, or any Attainder or Attainders of any Person or Persons for any Offence or Offences made Treason by this Act, shall not in any wise extend or be judged, interpreted or expounded to make any Corruption of Blood to any the Heir or Heirs of 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.
[Offences how to be tried.]
V. And that all and every Person or Persons that shall or may be accused or impeached of any of the Offences made Treason by this Act, shall and may be indicted, arraigned, tried, convicted and attainted by suchlike Evidence and in such Manner and Form, as now are or may, by the Laws of this Realm, be had or used against any Offender or Offenders for counterfeiting the current Coin of this Kingdom.
[Prosecutions to be commenced in 6 Months after the Fact.]
VI. Provided always, That no Person shall be prosecuted for any Offence against this Act, unless the Prosecution against him or her shall be commenced within six Months after such Offence committed.
Source: Ruffhead, Statutes at Large, vol. 6.
Further reading: Wikipedia.