SEVERALL ORDERS OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS and COMMITTEE of the NAVIE; With the proceedings thereup­on, touching the Discove­ry and Prevention of TRANSPORTATION of GOLD and SILVER: With other abuses practised up­on the COYN and BULLION of the Kingdom.

LONDON, ¶ Printed by WILLIAM BENTLEY: Anno Domini 1648.

ORdered by the Commons in Parliament assembled, That it be referred to the Comittee of the Navie, to consider of, and take some effectuall course to pre­vent the Transportation of Bullion out of the King­dom: and speedily to report what they have done herein to the House.

H. ELSYNGE, Cler. Parl. Domm. Comm.

Committee of the Navie 2. September, 1647.

THe Commissioners and Officers of the Customes with Master Watkins the head Searcher, are desired to consider of some course to be taken to prevent the Transportation of Bullion out of the Kingdom, according to an Order of the House of Com­mons hereunto annexed; and to certifie the same to this Com­mittee.

Giles Green.

THe Commissioners and Officers for the Customes, having to­gether with the head Searcher, in the Port of London, in pur­suance of the directions of this Honourable Committee above mentioned, perused sundry Statutes yet in force, relating, as well to the restraint of the Exportation of Bullion, as the Regulation of Merchants Strangers in their way of Trade, do humbly con­ceive,

1 That if the Satute of 2. Hen. 6. cap. 6. enjoyning Merchants Strangers, to give securitie in Chancery, not to Transport the Money or Plate of the Realm. And the Statute of 3. Hen. 7. cap. 8. enjoyning them to imploy the money they receive, in the Merchandize of this Kingdom.

2 And that to the Statute of 5. Rich. 2. cap. 2. and 2. Hen. 4. cap. 5. The Parliament would be pleased, First to declare who shall be reputed Aliens: for that since the sitting of this Parlia­ment, the Children of Aliens born in this Kingdom, are reputed [Page 2] Free-born Subjects, and do enjoy their Priviledges accordingly: which in former times was not allowed till the third descent. Secondly, To declare by Ordinance that the Estates of him or them that shall Export Money or Plate, shall be immediatly Se­questered.

3 To impose a severe Penalty upon the Master of such Ship or Vessel, upon which any Money or Plate shall be found above his ordinary charges, he being privy thereunto.

4 To allow to such as shall discover or find out, any Bullion or Plate, endeavoured to be transported, a greater share and pro­portion, then by the Statutes in that case is yet provided.

5 And to settle some way of punishment for such as shall resist, or abuse Officers sufficiently authorized in their endeavours this way on the States behalf,

The said Commissioners and Officers, do humbly con­ceive, That it would be a good means to deter such, who by all secret means do dayly endeavour the Exportation of the Coyn and Bullion of this Kingdom; and much prevent the Exportation thereof. All which, neverthelesse they humbly submit to the wisdom of this Honourable Committee.

  • Tho. Dawes Coll.
  • Iohn Hoolloway Comptr.
  • R. Carmarden Super. Vis.
  • Edw. Watkins Searcher.
  • W. Toomes Super. Vis. Gen.
  • Walter Boothby.
  • Rich. Bateman.
  • Sam. Avery.
  • Christoph. Packe.
  • Charles Lloyd.

AFter the return of the abovesaid Report of the Commission­ers and Officers of the Customes, Master Watkins was again required by the Committee of the Navie, to use his best endeavours in the discovery of the abuses aforesaid: who in order thereunto, did deliver his answer to the same Committe, as followeth.

[Page 3]

The humble Answer of Edward Watkins Esquire, head Searcher of the Port of London, to the demands of the Honourable Committee of the Navie; for the finding out of such persons, who do and have, against the Known Laws of the Land Transported Gold and Silver into divers parts beyond the Seas, and have melted down the Currant Coyns of the Kingdom: and bought Gold and Silver above the rate of the Mint.

1 THat by his place he hath the Moyetie of all Gold and Silver which shall be seized in manner as afore mentioned.

2 That to give a stop to these abuses, and to make a perfect dis­coverie of those who have offended, there must be Commissions, one or more, (as occasion shall require) issue out of the Exchequer, granted to such persons who he shall trust, to examine all such per­sons who may be suspected to be guilty of such Misdemeanours, or give any Evidence therein.

3 That in case he may be allowed the Moyetie, and have full power to prosecute with effect; That then he will be at the charge in carrying on this businesse (which will cost thousands of pounds) having power to use his own instruments; which he is confident will prove so active, as shall satisfie the expectation of this Honou­rable Committee, for the hindering of the Transportation of Gold and Silver: and will bring considerable sums of money to the State.

4 That an Ordinance may be prepared for the enabling of him and his Assignes: And Henry Cogan Esquire, Comptroler of the Mint, to proceed in this service: and that provision be made for the allowing them a Moyetie, or half part of all such sum, or sums of money that shall be received, or recovered by the Fines or Com­positions of the Offenders aforesaid; for the defraying of their charges and pains.

Edw. Watkins.

Committee of the Navie, 3. December, 1647.

THe Committee having taken this Proposition of Master Wat­kins into consideration, together with the annexed Report of the Commissioners and Officers of the Customes, do think fit to refer the same to the Chief Officers of the Mint: Who are desired to certifie their opinions thereupon to this Committee.

Giles Green.

The Officers of his Majesties Mint in the Tower of London, whose names are here under written, in pursuance of the directions of the HonourableCommittee of the Navie, in relation to their Order dated the 3 of December present, do humbly conceive, and certifie as followeth.

THat to prevent great abuses practised upon the Coyn and Bul­lion of the Kingdom, which is Transported out of the King­dom; as also to prevent the Culling and Melting down the Cur­rant Money of the Kingdom: and for the discovering of such as have offended to be brought to justice, to deter others from acting the like abuses for the future, do humbly conceive,

That according to the President of the 14. Rich. 2. cap. 12. a Commission be granted to make enquirie through the Realm, of such as had conveied the moneys of England out of the Kingdom, and to make enquirie after all such as Melt and Cull out the hea­vie Currant Money, contrary to the Statute of the 4. Hen. 4. cap. 10. none to melt the Currant Silver Coyns of the Kingdom, upon pain of forfeiture four times the value.

That 2. Hen. 6. cap. 12. It is ordained, that neither the Ma­ster Worker of the Mint, nor the Changer for the time being, nei­ther sell or cause to be sold, nor alien to no other use; but apply the same wholly to Coyn, according to the tenure of the Indenture of the Mint, made between the Kings Majestie and the Master of the Mint: to declare by Ordinance, That what Gold-smith, or Changer shall buy Gold or Silver, and convert it to any use to Transport, shall forfeit the value.

To declare by Ordinance, that according to the 5. & 6. Edw. 6. cap. 19. and Act touching the Exchange of Gold and Silver. That whosoever gives more for Gold and Silver then it is or shall be de­clared, shall suffer imprisonment by the space of a year, and make Fine at the pleasure of the King. The Mint cannot be imployed, nor the Transporting of Treasure stopped, if some course be not speedily taken to discover these great abuses. And already, almost all the Gold is Transported out of the Kingdom; and the Silver followeth it apace, as is prudently insisted upon in the late Petition of the Citizens of London, to both Houses of Parliament.

We humbly conceive, that the making of this discovery throughout the kingdom, of such as have, or shall Transport Gold and Silver into parts beyond the Seas, and of such as have, [Page 5] or shall melt down the Currant Gold and Silver Coyns of the Kingdom, or have, or shall buy Gold and Silver at above the price of the Mint: the practice of which abuses, if not timely prevented, is likely to bring speedie destruction to the Trade of this Kingdom: which is Presidented Anno 4. Rich. 2. cap. 2. when the Kingdom found the same mischief as we now suffer under, by Transporting of Treasure. And Anno 5. & 6. Edw. 6. cap. 19. by giving for Gold and Silver above the price of the Mint. As it will be a service of great importance to the Publick affairs, and bring great advantage to the Trade of this Kingdom; so it will draw with it a very great charge. Which if Master Watkins will undertake, he will deserve well to be encouraged. Neverthelesse, we humbly submit the pre­mises, to the wisdoms of this Honourable Committee.

  • Iohn St Iohn Warden.
  • Robert Harley Master.
  • Henry Cogan Comptr.

Committee of the Navie. 8. Febr. 1647.

WHereas the House of Commons, did by their Order of the 1. of September 1647. refer unto this Committee, to take some effectuall course to prevent the Exportation of Bullion, and report their proceedings unto the House. Whereupon, Edward Watkins Esquire, Searcher of the Port of London, presented cer­tain Propositions unto this Committee, which this Committee have referred, both unto the Commissioners of the Customes as al­so unto the Officers of the Mint; whose respective reports are here­unto annexed. The which the Committee having taken into con­sideration, do think sit, and Order, That the said Edward Watkins do attend Master Solicitour with the said Propositions and other Papers, who is desired to draw up such an Ordinance as in his judgement he shall see sitting to be presented unto the House, for the intents and purposes aforesaid.

  • Samuel Vassall.
  • George Scutt.
  • George Thomson.
  • Iohn Waddon.
  • Giles Green.
  • Edward Ash.
[Page 6]

IN pursuance of this Order, I have been attended by Master Watkins, and have considered of the Order of the House of Commons of the 1. September last; and of the Certificates and Papers annexed. And I do conceive Transporters of Coyn and Bullion, and Buyers of Coyn at greater rates then for which the same is allowed to be Currant, may be punished by the Statute-Laws now in force, if an effectuall course were taken for their dis­coverie. For which end, if a Commission be issued out of the Ex­chequer, directed to fit persons to be imployed in this service; and Examinations and Proofs returned, Informations may be Exhibit­ed in the said Court for punishing the offenders.

Oliver St Iohn.

Committee of the Navie and Customes. 28. Martii 1648.

WHereas the House of Commons did by their Order of the 1. September last, refer it to this Committee to consider of, and to take some effectuall course to prevent the Transportation of Bullion out of the Kingdom. Whereupon this Committee did refer the same unto the Commissioners and Officers of the Cu­stomes: as also to the Officers of the Mint, who returned their se­verall Certificates thereupon unto this Committee; which the Committee having taken into consideration, Did desire the opini­on of Master Sollicitour thereupon. Who hath returned his Cer­tificate: That Transportation of Coyn and Bullion, and buying of Coyn at greater rates then for which the same is allowed to be Currant, may be punished by the Statute-Laws now in force, if an effectuall course were taken for their discovery. For which end, if a Commission be issued out of the Exchequer, directed to fit per­sons to be imployed in this service, and Examinations and Proofs returned; Informations may be Exhibited in the said Court, for the punishing the offenders. The Committee having taken the whole premises into debate and consideration, do think fit, and Order, That it be especially recommended unto the said Master Sollicitour to procure a Commission to be issued out of the Court of Exchequer, directed unto Iohn St Iohns, Henry Cogan, Edward Watkins, Vincent Delabarre Esquires, Thomas Lever, Iohn Bird, Iohn Bennet, Iames Hoar, Anthonie Keilock, and Francis Smartfoot Gent. [Page 7] and such others as he shall think sitting, or two or more of them returnable quam Citius & tandem ad tres. Michls. to take Examina­tion in the Citie of London, Counties of Kent and Sussex, concern­ing the unlawfull Exportation of Gold and Silver in Masse, or Moneys, or Plate out of this Realm to forrein parts; and concern­ing the buying of Gold and Silver at higher rates then are allowed at the Mint, and Melting the Coyns of the Kingdom, and other abuses practised upon Coins and Bullion within this Kingdom. And he is desired to move the Barons of the Exchequer, to grant the said Commissions, and to proceed thereon according to the Laws.

  • Samuel Vassall.
  • Squire Bence.
  • Giles Green.
  • Walt. Earle
  • Iohn Roll.

AFter all these serious Debates, Orders, and Certificates in the pursuance of the Order of Parliament, The Barons of the Exchequer granted out a Commission, dated 12. February 1647. to the persons afore recited, to find out the offences afore named, in London, Kent, and Sussex.

That which will give dispatch in this businesse, is,

1 That the said Barons may be desired effectually to proceed against such persons as either refuse to Appear before the Com­missioners upon Subpenas served on them for such Appearances, (or as when they do appear, refuse to be examined upon oath) where­in themselves are not concerned, as against persons in contempt in other cases.

2 That whereas divers Masters of Ships, Factours, Gold­smiths, and other persons, are to be Witnesses in the discoverie of the Offenders; That such persons as shall be examined as Witnes­ses and certified by any two of the aforesaid Commissioners, whereof Edward Watkins Esquire, to be alwayes one (shall be dis­charged onely for themselves, and as much as they confesse) of all Fines, Penalties, and Punishments that they are liable unto by the Law, for any the aforesaid misdemeanours.

3 That the Parliament-men and Committee of the Navie, are dayly scandalized in Pamphlets, for the Transporting of great sums of Money, both Gold and Silver out of the Realm. (The [Page 8] chief Offenders will be found to be the Merchant Strangers.) Therefore for the Vindicating of their own Honours, a strict ex­amination of the offences aforesaid, ought to be enquired after. Without which, this scandall will stick on this Parliament and their Members, That they will not suffer Inquirie of these great abuses, against the Common-wealth to be made, because themselves are faulty. And how damageable Transporting Treasure is to the Common-wealth, the Petition of the Citie of London (the 1. of December last) to the Parliament, the Certificates of the Offi­cers of the Mint, and Commissiioners of the Customes afore recited, and severall Statutes and Laws in all Ages abundantly declare.


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