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From the moment money was coined from metal, it became the custom for depraved persons to imitate it; the more rude and shapeless the form, the easier the operation ; the more debased the metal, the less the difficulty in deceiving during its circulation. There is nothing very pleasing to be derived from the history of Clippers, or those who reduced the real coin by cutting, for the value of the gold or silver, or false coiners; I shall therefore let the reader suppose the constant hostilities between the government, the police, and the coiners of antiquity, and confine myself to a presentment made by the Grand Jury of London, and inserted in the London Gazette of Feb. 27; 1687.

“It having been humbly represented to his Majesty, that the Grand Juries for the city of London and county of Middlesex have of late made several presentments, and orders, tending to suppress

the offences of clipping and false-coining; and that the presentment lately made at Justice Hall, in the Old Bailey, is as followeth, viz.

“ We, the Grand Jury for the city of London, do present unto this Court the great mischief and prejudice which the trading body of this city, as well as the rest of the nation, do suffer, by the counterfeiting, diminishing, and embasing of the current coin of this kingdom, by clippers and false-coiners, whoboth mprove daily in that their wicked art, and increase also in their numbers ;


notwithstanding that several of them are monthly brought to their tryal before this Court, and that many of them have of late suffered the sentence of the law, yet we find, by the sessions of gaol delivery for this city and county, that the said offenders continue still to be more numerous than those of any other kind: and that, as we conceive, in great measure, though the incouragement and connivance which they receive from petty tradesmen, pawn-brokers, and others, in and about this city, who wink at, aid, and assist such offenders, and their agents, by exchanging (for a little more than ordinary gain) of gold for silver, and of broad money for that which is clipped and diminished; therefore we present it as highly necessary, that all goldsmiths and others within the respective wards and liberties of this city, do make it their particular care, not only to refuse all counterfeit, newly-clipped, and diminished coin, in receiving and exchanging of money (especially in small sums, and from unknown or suspicious persons), but that they also cause such person or persons, uttering, or offering to be uttered, any such counterfeit, clipped, or diminished coin, to be forthwith brought before the next Justice of the Peace, to be duly and strictly examined touching the same. And we do hereby recommend it to our successors, the Grand Jury of this city, to make the said offence a constant part of their care and enquiry, since it tends so much to the damage of trade, and the disparagement of his Majesties coin.


“ His Majesty, out of his princely care for the welfare of his people, that they be not wronged in the current coin of this kingdom, is graciously pleased to approve thereof; and hereby order and require, as well the Lord Mayor and Aldermen of the city of London, within their respective wards and liberties, as the Justices of Peace, and other magistrates and officers of the said county of Middlesex, to contribute all they can to answer the end of the said presentments, in suppressing of clippers and counterfeiters of the coin of this realm.”

The London Gazette of March 23, 1685, furnishes two advertisements which have a strange and most reprehensible resemblance to each other. The deduction to be drawn from the perusal will be found highly honourable to the present times. “ A tannymore (tawny-moor) with short bushy hair, very well shaped, in a grey livery lined with yellow, about seventeen or eighteen years of

age, with a silver collar about his neck, with these directions, Captain George Hasting's boy, Brigadier in the King's Horse Guards. Whoever brings him to the Sugar-loaf in the Pall-Mall, shall have 40s, reward."

Lost, the 12th instant, from the Earl of Burlington, on the road between his house and Hydepark, a liver-coloured spaniel, a brass collar, with the Earl of Burlington's name engraved on it,



&c. &c. Whoever gives notice, &c. shall have a guinea reward.”

Little need be said in reprobation of the above (I hope) solitary instance of the turpitude of fashionable customs, and the following extract will speak for itself of one peculiar to a less exalted class of the community.

• Whereas it has been represented to his Majesty, that by reason of the frequent abuses of a lewd sort of people, called Spirits, in seducing many of his Majesty's subjects to go on shipboard, where they have been seized and carried by force to his Majesties plantations in America, and that many idle persons who have listed themselves voluntarily to be transported thither, and have received money upon their entring into service for that purpose, have afterwards pretended they were betrayed, and carried away against their wills, and procured their friends to prosecute the merchants who transported them, or in whose service they are, by indictments, or informations in the Crown Office in his Majesties name, which is a great discouragement to them, and an hindrance to the management of the trade of the said plantations, and navigation of this kingdom ; and several merchants and planters having made humble applications to his Majesty, that he would be

graciously pleased to direct such methods for their retaining of servants to serve in his Majesties plantations as in his royal wisdom he should think meet, whereby his Majesty may be so satisfied of their fair dealing as to take off all prosecutions against them at his Majesties suit; and also that the scandal that now lies upon them in gene.. ral, by reason of such evil-disposed persons, may not remain upon such as shall for the future follow such methods as his Majesty shall think fit to be pursued;


“ His Majesty, taking into his royal consideration the said request, is graciously pleased to declare, that such merchants, factors, masters of ships, or other persons, that shall use the method hereafter following, in the hiring of servants for his Majesties plantations, shall not be disquieted by any suit on his Majesties behalf; but upon certificate thereof, that he will cause all such suits to be stopped, to the end they may receive no further molestation thereby.

I. Such servants as are to be taken by indenture, to be executed by the servant, in the presence of the magistrate or magistrates hereafter appointed; one part thereof signed by such servant, and also under-written or endorsed with the name and hand-writing of such magistrate, which is to remain with the Clerk of the Peace, to be returned to the next sessions, there to be filed upon a distinct file, and numbered, and kept with the records.

6 II. The Clerk of the Peace is to keep a fair book, wherein the name of the person so bound,


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