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Old and New Edinburgh Vol. II


High Street.] SCOTTISH COINAGE. 269 ~~ ~ ~ ~~~ ~ ~~~ crown for Mary of Guise, and inclosed with arches the present crown of Scotland. The early .gold coins of Mary?s reign were of native ore, and, during the minority of James VI., Cornelius de Vos, a Dutchman, who had licence to seek for gold and silver, obtained considerable quantities, according to the records relating to mines and mining in Scotland, published by Mr. Cochran-Patrick. The oldest gold coin found in Scotland bears - ~~ under pain of death. The coins current in Scotland in the reign of James 111. were named the demi, the lion, the groat of the crown, the groat of the fleur-de-lis, the penny, farthing, and plack. English coins were also current, but their value was regulated by the estates. From ?Miscelleanea Scotica? we learn that in 1512 Sir Alexander Napier of Merchiston found gold in the Pentland Hills, and from the Balcarres MSS. (in the Advocates? Library) he and his son figure conspicuously 3 2 RELICS OF THE OLD SCOTTISH MINT. I, Delicate Set of Balances, 2, Dies ; 3, hnch : 4. Implements for Knarling the Coins : 5, Large Tiding-pin of the Great Door : 6, Roller for Flattening the Silver; 7, Key of the Mint Door. (From Origiwlr am ia fhr ScottW Antiyuarzizn Musrum.) the nameof Robert, but which of the three monarchs so called is uncertain. Gold was not coined in England till 1257. The first gold coins struck in Scotland were of a broad surface and very thin. There is some doubt about when copper coinage was introduced, but in 1466, during the reign of James III., an Act was passed to the effect that, for the benefit 6f the poor, ?there be cuinyied copper money, four to the (silver) penny, having on the one part the cross of St. Andrew and the crown, and on the other part the subscription of Edinburgh,? together with JAMES R. The same monarch issued a silver coin containing an alloy of copper, which went under the name of black money, and to ensure the circulation of this depreciated coin the parliament ordained that no counterfeits of it be taken in payment, or used, in connection With the Mint, of which the latter was general for some years after 1592. In 1572 the Regent Morton coined base money in his castle at Dalkeith, and by proclamation made it pass current for thrice its real value ; and having got rid of it all in 1575, by paying workmen in the repair of Edinburgh Castle and other public places, he issued a council order reducing it to its intrinsic value, an act of oppression which won him the hatred of the people. In the reign of James VI., all the silver coin, extending to two hundred and eleven stone ten pounds in weight, was called in, and a coin was issued from the Mint in Gray?s Close, ?in ten shilling pieces of eleven pennies fine,? having on one side his effigywith the inscription, JZZU~US YI., Da? Gratia Rex Scofomm, on the other the royal arms, crowned. In hisreign
Volume 2 Page 269
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