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opinion, as well amongst the officers of the Mynt as the Merchants, that the ftate need be the leffe apprehensive of this effect, because it is like to be but temporary, and neither the great flush of gold that is come into the Mynt fince the proclamation, nor on the other fide the great scarcity of filver, can continue in proportion as it now doeth.

Another point of the fact, which we thought fit to examine, was, whether the fcarcity of filver appeared generally in the realme, or onely at the Mynt; wherein it was confeffed by the Merchants, that filver is conti nually imported into the Realme, and is found stirring amongst the Goldfmiths, and otherwife much like as in former times, although in refpect of the greater price which it hath with the Goldfmith, it cannot find the way to the Mynt: And thus much for the fact.

For the caufes with the remedies, we have heard many propofitions made, as well by the Lord Knevet, who affifted us in this conference, as by the Merchants; of which propofitions few were new unto us, and much leffe can be new to your Lordships; but yet although upon former confultations, we are not unacquainted what is more or leffe likely to ftand with your Lord hips grounds and opinions, we thought it nevertheleffe the beft fruite of our diligence to fet them downe in articles, that your Lordships with more ease may discard or entertaine the particulars, beginning with thofe which your Lordships do point at in your letters, and fo defcending to the rcft.

The first propofition is, touching the difproportion of the price between gold and filver, which is now brought to bed, upon the pointe of fourteen to one, being before Ccc 2

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but twelve to one. This we take to be an evident cause of scarcity of filver at the Mynt, but such a cause as will hardly receive a remedy; for either your Lordships must draw down againe the price of gold, or advance the price of filver; whereof the one is going back from that which is fo lately done, and whereof you have found good effect, and the other is a thing of dangerous confequence in respect of the loffe to all monyed men in their debts, gentlemen in their rents, the King in his customs, and the common fubject in raising the price of things vendible. And upon this point it is fit we give your Lordships understanding what the Merchants intimated unto us, that the very voycing or suspect of the rayfing of the price of filver, if it be not cleared, would make fuch a deadness and retention of money this vacation, as (to use their own wordes) will be a misery to the Merchants, so that we were forced to use proteftation, that there was no fuch intent.

The fecond propofition is, touching the charge of coynage; wherein it was confidently avouched by the Merchants, that if the coynage were brought from two fhillings unto eighteen pence, as it was in Queen Elizabeth's time, the King should gaine more in the quantity than he should lose in the prise; and they ayded themfelves with that argument, that the King had been pleafed to abate his coynage in the other metal, and found good of it; which argument, though it doth admit a difference, because that abatement was coupled with the raising of the price, whereas this is to go alone, yet nevertheless it seemed the Officers of the Mynt were not unwilling to give way to fome abatement, although they

prefumed

prefumed it would be of small effect, because that abatement would not be equivalent to that price which Spanish filver bears with the Goldfmith; but yet it may be ufed as an experiment of ftate, being recoverable at his Majesty's pleasure.

The third propofition is, concerning the exportation of filver more than in former times, wherein we fell first upon the trade into the East Indies, concerning which it was materially in our opinions anfwered by the Merchants of that Company, that the filver which fupplies that trade being generally Spanish moneys, would not be brought in but for that trade, so that it fucks in as well as it drawes forth. And it was added likewise, that as long as the Low Countries manteined that trade in the Indies, it would help little though our trade were dif folved, because that filver which is exported immediately by us to the Indies, would be drawn out of this Kingdom for the Indies immediately by the Dutch; and for the filver exported to the Levant, it was thought to be no great matter. As for other exportation, we saw no remedye but the execution of the lawes, fpecially thofe of employment being by fome mitigation made agreeable to the times. And these three remedies are of that nature, as they serve to remove the causes of this fcarcity. There were other propofitions of policies and meanes, directly to drawe filver to the Mynt.

The fourth point thereof was this; It is agreed that the filver which hath heretofore fed the Mynt, principally hath been Spanish money. This now comes into the realme plentifully, but not into the Mynt. It was propounded in imitation of fome prefident in France, that

his Majefty would by proclamation reftraine the coming in of this money fub modo, that is, that either it be brought to the Mynt, or otherwife to be cut and defaced, because that now it paffeth in payments in a kind of currancy. To which it was colourably objected, that this would be the way to have none brought in at all, because the gaine ceafing, the importation would ceafe; but this objection was well anfwered, that it is not gaine altogether, but a neceffity of speedy payment, that caufeth the Merchant to bring in filver to keep his credit, and to drive his trade; fo that if the King keep his fourteen days payment at the Mynt, as he always hath done, and have likewife his exchangers for those moneys in fome principal parts, it is fuppofed that all Spanish moneys, which is the bulk of filver brought into this realme would by means of fuch a proclamation come into the Mynt; which may be a thing confiderable.

The fifth propofition was this; It was warranted by the lawes of Spaine to bring in filver for corne or victuals; it was propounded that his Majesty would reftraine exportation of corne, fub modo, except they bring the filver which refulted thereof unto his Mynt, that trade being commonly fo beneficial, as the Merchant may well endure the bringing of the filver to the Mynt, although it were at the charge of coynage, which it now beareth further, as incident to this matter. There was revived by the Merchants, with fome inftance, the ancient proportion concerning the erection of granaries for foreign corne, forafmuch as by that encrease of trade in corne, the importation of filver would likewife be multiplied.

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The fixth propofition was, That upon all lycence of forbidden commodities, there fhall be a rate fet of filver to be brought into the Mynt, which nevertheless may seem somewhat hard, becaufe it impofeth upon the fubject, that which caufeth him to incurre perill of confifcation in forreign parts. To trouble your Lordships further with difcourfes which we had of making forreign coynes currant, and of varying the King's ftandard to weighte, upon the variations in other ftates, and repreffing furfeit of forreign commodities, that our native commodities, furmounting the forreign, may draw in treasure by way of overplus, they be common places fo well knowne to your Lordships, as it is enough to mention them onely.

There is onely one thing more, which is, to put your Lordships in mind of the extream exceffe in the wafting of both metals both of gold and filver foliate, which turns the nature of these metals, which ought to be perdurable, and makes them perishable, and by confumption must be a principal cause of scarcity in them both, which we conceive may receive a speedy remedy by his Majefty's proclamation.

Lastly, we are humble fuitors to your Lordships, that for any of these propofitions, that your Lordships fhould think fit to entertaine in confultations, your Lordships would be pleased to heare them debated before your felves, as being matters of greater waight than we are able to judge of. And fo craving your Lordships pardon for troubling you fo long, we commend your Lordships to God's goodness.

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