1688: 1 William & Mary s.1, c.30: For the multiplication of Gold and Silver

1688: 1 William & Mary s.1, c.30: An act to repeal the statute made in the fifth year of King Henry the Fourth, against the multiplying gold and silver.

I. WHEREAS by a statute made and enacted in the parliament held in the fifth year of the reign of King Henry the Fourth, late King of England, it was amongst other things enacted in these words, or to this effect, namely, That none from thenceforth should use to multiply gold or silver, or use the craft of multiplication; and if any the same do, they should incur the pain of felony: And whereas since the making of the said statute, divers persons have by their study, industry, and learning, arrived to great skill and perfection in the art of melting and refining of metals, and otherwise improving them and their ores (which very much abound within this realm) and extracting gold and silver out of the same; but dare not exercise their said skill within this realm, for fear of falling under the penalty of the said statute, but exercise the said art in foreign parts, to the great loss and detriment of this realm:

II. Be it therefore enacted by the King’s and Queen’s most excellent majesties, by and with the advice and content of the lords spiritual and temporal, and commons, in this present parliament assembled, That from henceforth the aforesaid branch, article or sentence contained in the said act, and every word, matter, and thing contained in the said branch or sentence, shall be repealed, annulled, revoked, and for ever made void; any thing in the said act to the contrary in any wise whatsoever notwithstanding.

III. Provided always, and be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, That all the gold and silver that shall be extracted by the aforesaid art of melting and refining of metals, and otherwise improving of them and their ores as before set forth, be from henceforth employed for no other use or uses whatsoever, but for the increase of monies; and that the place hereby appointed for the disposal thereof, shall be their Majesties mint within the tower of London; at which place they are to receive the full and true value for their gold and silver so extracted from time to time, according to the assay and fineness thereof; and so for any greater or lesser weight: And that none of that metal of gold and silver, so refined and extracted, be permitted to be used or disposed of in any other place or places within their Majesties kingdoms and dominions.

IV. Provided also, and be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That no mine of copper, tin, iron, or lead, shall hereafter be adjudged, reputed, or taken to be a royal mine, although gold or silver may be extracted out of the same.

Source: Pickering, Statutes at Large, vol. 9.