Зображення сторінки

who engraved and strnck a series of all the has towns added, only the names of the kings of England, then thirty-six in number, moneyers were introdaced; from the time which were executed with great spirit, and of Athelstan, anno 925, the conjunction beare of copper. Dassier was a native of came general. Neglect or policy prevented Geneva, and made this addition to English William of Normandy from making any medals about 1740.

alteration in the English penny, and in some The reader will perceive that we have instances he adopted the same reverses been principally indebted to Mr. Pinker- used by his predecessor, Harold the usurper. ton's excellent essay on medals for the pre- This penny possessed many intrinsic qualiceding facts, nor do we hesitate to acknow. ties, which rendered it more acceptable to ledge that we shall be equally so for the the inhabitants of the northern kingdoms, following sketch of the history of British Italy and France, than their own; hence it coins, except some few particulars towards may be concluded that the commerce of the close of the article. That gentleman ob- England was extensive even at that remote serves the heptarchic coins were of two de. period, particularly as the first mentioned scriptions, one the silver skeatta, or penny, nations had scarcely any other medium. It and the copper, or billon styca; the latter is a singular circumstance, and much to the was confined to Northumbria, and in the credit of our native land, that it furnishes a later period of that kingdom the size was complete series of pennies from the reign diminutive, and the value not more than of Egbert to the present moment, with the half a farthing of our money; it is the sil- exception of those of John and Richard I. ver penny therefore which is to be consi- whose coins were in the first case Irisli, and dered as the general coin of the heptarchy, in the last French ; if these monarchs had for neither gold or any other kind of silver any struck in England they have not yet was issued for a long time after. The ad been discovered: in this particular we exmirers of this study are indebted to Dr. ceed every nation on the globe. The earCombe for their present knowledge of the liest pennies weigh 22 grains, troy; at the skeata, who caused several of them to be close of the reign of Edward III. they engraved; the most ancient have figures of weigh 18 grains, they then fell to 15; and serpents impressed on them, sometimes in that of Edward IV. they are 12; Edwith the addition of one or two letters, but ward VI. reduced the penny to 8 grains ; legends were subsequently introduced: it is and Elizabeth to 7}. The next coins of obvious, from the symbols, they all belong antiquity are the haltpennies and farthings, to the period when the Pagan mythology of silver, which were first made permanentprevailed. The heptarchic pennies do not ly by order of Edward I. and continued till occur till after the year 700, though there the revolution in the time of Charles I.; but are skeatas of Ethelbert I. King of Kent, the farthings were discontinued after the between 560 and 616; and of Egbert, mo- death of Edward VI. Those were succeeded narch of the same district, anno 664. It is by the groal piece, introduced by Edward by no means necessary to trace all the III. and the testoon, or shilling, by Henry coins of the beptarchy, it will be sufficient VII.; the former term is said to be derived to say that those of the principal sovereigns from teste, or tete, the head of the king exist, almost in a complete series, from impressed upon it; the latter evidently Egbert in 832 to Edgar 959; the generality comes from the German word schelling: of them have badly executed portraits on The crown piece, of silver, was first issued the obverse, but the reverses are far more by Henry VIII.; and Elizabeth coined interesting, presenting elevations of cathe three-halfpenny and three farthing pieces, drals and other structures, particularly which were not continued by her sucYork Minster, on one of Edward, senior, cessors. A. D. 900.

Henry VIII. was the first of our monarchs The coins of Anlaf, King of Northum- who ventured to debase the money of his bria, bear a raven; Egbert's have the realm ; and Mr. Pinkerton justly exclaims legend Saxonum instead of Anglorum ; and “it was a debasement indeed! for it ex. the pennies of Athelstan have Rex tot. Brit. tended to 66; per cent:" that issued by Exclusive of these royal coins, there were him, bearing his profile, is of the ancient others purely ecclesiastic, which are extant standard; but that with his portrait in between 804 and 889, and were struck by front, is of the description alluded to. Ed. several archbishops of Canterbury. Except ward VI, who was the last monarch that on the money of Alfred and Edward I. that had his bust thus represented, exactly re

gave the

versed his father's example, as his coin, length, but the young king introduced himwith the side face, is bad, and the fall face self in a bust: in his reign silver, which had good. The base coin of this king is the first been as 1 to 4, was reduced to the ancient which is dated; the silver coin was restored proportion of 1 to 11. James to the original standard in 1552 ; and since sovereign the name of unite, in honour of 1601, 18 pennyweights of alloy has been the union of England and Scotland in his used in the pound weight.

person, which were then 20s.; and he made Henry III. introduced the coinage of rose ryals of 308.; and spur ryals 1l. 158.; gold : his attempt appears, however, to have angels of 108.; angelets of 58.: and in the been unsuccessful, as only two specimens ninth year of his reign gold was raised in have reached our time, and are called the the proportion of one shilling. gold penny; they are larger than that of We shall now turn our attention to some silver, and tolerably executed : it is to other unquestionable authorities for the fur. Edward III, therefore we are indebted for ther illustration of this interesting subject. the establishment of the system still pre- James, aware of the variety of causes which vailing, wbich the last named prince com- operated to injure and annihilate the circumenced in 1344 with the forens, then lating medium, as such, issued a proclamaworth six shillings, but now greatly increas- tion in 1619, prohibiting the exchange of ed in value, and thus called from Florence, monies for profit, the making of plate of where the best gold was coined at that any of his majesty's coins, and the excessive period. Half and quarter florens were use of gold and silver foliate. Charles I. made at the same time, though none of the devoted much of his attention, in the early former have descended to us. The foren part of his reign, to the state of the coinbeing found inconvenient, from the value 'age, and published several commissions for not according with a distinct division of regulating of it, amongst which was one for larger ideal denominations of money, the stamping all bullion of gold and silver noble of 68. 8d. was adopted, which con- brought into the kingdom, and another for sisted of half the mark: this term was reforming abuses and frauds committed in founded on the superiority of the metal the silver coin. This explains the previous used in making it, and was attended by manner of proceeding, and asserts that the other coins of half and quarter nobles; both exchange of all kinds of gold and silver fit sides of this money had a circle within it for the mint, one of the kings prerogatives, resembling the outline of an open rose, and had been entrusted to the goldsmiths, whó was thence called the rose noble by medal- had abused this indulgence, and by presum. lists. The angels issned by Edward IV. ing to sort and weigh every description of impressed with the figure of the archangel money, daily selecting the heaviest for meltMichael, were of the same value of the ing, or for sale to persons who exported it noble, and divided in the same way, as they immediately, thus materially diminishing were intended to supersede the former : the quantity of current coin, and rendering the increase in the value of gold caused those who brought silver to the mint certain several changes in the weight of the noble; losers. The proclamation alluded to apin 1465 the angel, worth 68. 8d. weighed pointed Henry, Earl of Holland, superin80 grains, to which it had fallen from 120 tendant of the changes, exchanges, and outgrains, the weight of the original noble of changes, in the British dominions ; and pro68. 8d. The ryal, of the value of 10s, and hibited the exportation of gold or silver, the angel, with its divisions, were the only either coined or otherwise, and the melting English gold coins till 1485; but Henry VII. of the coin, besides providing for the reforordered the coinage of a double ryal, value mation of the abuses committed by gold208. and the double sovereign of 40s. smiths, who upon the sale of their wares Henry VIII. added the gold crown and were to demand for value or rate separately, balf crown, of 58. and 28. 6d.; and issued and the fashion and workmanship separatesovereigns of 228. 6d.; ryals of 118. 3d.; ly; and were commanded at the same time angels of 78. 6d.; and nobles of 6s. 8d.: to give a memorandum to the purchaser, this monarch, after raising the value of silver describing the day of sale, the weight, the to the proportion of 1 to 5 of gold, issued value of the metal, and the charge for sovereigns of 20s.

fashion, &c. by which means the buyer, on Previous to the reign of Edward VI. the selling the same again, might know what to figures of our kings were represented on demand for it at the king's exchange or their gold coin at full and three quarters mint.

Another remarkable event occurred in guineas; the latter seven shilling pieces, this reign relating to the subject under which are convenient. notice, which was a proclamation com- It now only remains to notice the copper manding the currency of the French silver coins of the realm. The first on record are coin called cardecue, at its original value: the Saxon stycas, of which Mr. Pinkerton to render this measure acceptable, Charles remarks they are rather billon than copper; accounts for it by saying he had received a the idea and form of this money was evilarge sum in the coin mentioned, as the dently derived from the Roman denarius, queen's portion, which he had intended to and the cutting of them into four parts, have recoined, but the plagne intervening through the division of a cross stamped he conceived the measure necessary : this on them, produced farthings. order was soon after revoked for obvions Previous to the time of Queen Elizabeth reasons. The year 1631 produced “A spe- the public was rednced to the necessity of cial commission for making trial of the ex- issuing tokens in order to obtain the means perience, skill, and industry, of Nicholas of carrying on the necessary trading interBryatt

, (a native of Lorrain) in the coinage course; and, however strange it may apof money at the mint," who proposed, by pear, that so enlightened a princess should means of his instruments, mills, and presses, commit so great an error of judgment, she to make far better impressions from well never could be prevailed upon to issue a engraved figures, and with less expense copper coinage ; an attempt, indeed, octhan had been the case by the usual way of curred, and a pattern piece appeared with hammering; and in the next year a patent the queen’s monogram on one side and a passed the privy seal, granting to Sir rose on the other, with a running legend Thomas Aylesbury the making of all the adapted to each of the pledge of a halfweights, and licensing all the balances for penny,” but the scheme died away. The the gold coin of England ; at which period, royal farthings of James I. were afterwards according to Ruslworth, there was so great issued, though with little success, as he did a glut of gold, and so great a scarcity of not make them legal tender. silver in the kingdom, that the drovers and

Charles I. published a proclamation in farmers who attended the market in Smith- 1625, for the continuance of farthing tokens field were under the necessity of stipulating of copper, prohibiting all persons from that their payments for sales should be connterfeiting them, or the use of any made in the latter metal ; two pence, and others; and the patent for this coinage was often much more, was at the same time granted to Sir Francis Crane, and Frances, allowed in procuring change for twenty shil. Duchess Dowager of Lenox, who by a subé lings. In consequence of the patent just sequent instrument were to have the exclumentioned, the public were generally pro- sive power and profit for seventeen years, vided, individually, with the gold scales on paying 100 marks per annum. into the issued by Sir Thomas Aylesbury.

royal treasury; they further promised to One of the last acts of the unfortunate return 21s, in farthings for every 20s. sterCharles was a prohibition of converting ling, and to deliver 20s. sterling for every coin, plate, or ballion, into gold and silver 21s. worth of farthings, to those who were thread.

overstocked with them. The obverse of The Commonwealth made ten and five this coin was to have an impression of two shilling pieces of gold, and Oliver Cromwell sceptres crossed under a diadem, and the issued a few forty and twenty shilling reverse a harp crowned, and the legend pieces. Charles II. ordered the coinage of Carolus Dei Gratia Magnæ Britannia, the guinea, which was so named from the Francia, & Hibernia, Rex. gold of which they were made being im In the year 1656, the crown granted to ported from Guinea ; these were published Henry, Lord Maltravers, and Sir Francis originally for twenty shillings, but they Crane, a patent for the coinage of farthings, were ever received at twenty-one, and are but this coin was not made a legal tender 22 carats fine and 2 alloy, the present stand- to the poor. The civil war, which occurred ard. Besides the guinea, Charles issued five soon after, reduced the generality of tradesguinea pieces, double guineas, and half men to the necessity of again baving recourse guineas, an example followed by the suc. to tokens, and those were issued to a degree ceeding monarchs, of whom George I. and beyond precedent; the existing governthe present monarch, published quarter ment appears, however, to have been sensi ble of the difficulties attending the want of part of the sixpences ; indeed, the latter copper money, and made some abortive are beneath notice as a coin. attempts to supply the deficiency. Charles MEDALLION, or MEDALION, a medal II. caused the making of halfpence and of an extraordinary size, supposed to be farthings at the Tower, in 1670, but their anciently struck by the emperors for their circulation, by proclamation, did not take friends, and for foreign princes and amplace till two years after; these were of bassadors; but that the smallness of their pure Swedish copper, from dies engraved number might endanger the loss of the by Roethier. Their progress through the devices they bore, the Romans generally hands of the public was uninterrupted till took care to stamp the subject of them 1684, when they were dropped on account upon their ordinary coins. of some disputes arising concerning the Medallions, in respect of the other coins, rise of British copper : after this period were the same as modern medals in respect there was a coinage of tio farthings, which of modern money: they were exempted contained a centre of copper, and the in- from all commerce, and had no other value scription Nummorum Fumulus, 1685–1686 ; but what was set upon them by the fancy halfpence of the same description were

of the owner. issued in the next year, and copper was

MEDEOLA, in botany, a genus of the pot adopted again till 1693, at which time all the tin money was called in. Mr. Pin- tural order of Sarmentaceæ. Asparagi,

Hexandria Trigynia class and order. Na. kerton closes his accurate observations on Jussieu. Essential character: calyx none; this subject, by saying, “All the farthings of the following reign of Anne are trial corolla, six parted revolute ; berry three pieces, save that of 1714, her last year. of the Cape of Good Hope.

seeded. There are three species, natives They are of the most exquisite workmanship, exceeding most copper coins of an

MEDICAGO, in botany, medick or tre· cient or of modern time, and will do honour foil, a genus of the Diadelphia Decandria class to the engraver, Mr. Croker, to the end of and order. Natural order of Papilionaceæ or time. The one whose reverse is Peace in a Leguminosa. Essential character: legume car, Pax missa per Orbem, is the most compressed, bent in ; keel bent down from esteemed; and next to it the Britannia the banner. There are eleven species. These imder a portal; the other farthings are not are chiefly herbs; the leaves commonly terso valuable.

nate; stipules small, fastened to the bottom The copper coins of the succeeding of the petiole ; peduncles axillary and terreigns, up to the present, are tolerably ex. minating, one or many-flowered in spikes ecuted, and those really from the royal or glomerate. M. sativa, cultivated medick mint are of excellent copper ; but the ex. or luceru, is a valuable plant ; it has a petreme smallness of them offered such in- rennial root, with annual stalks, smooth and ducements to forgery that the country was striated, about two feet in height; leaves inundated by thonsands of base imitations, ternate; leaflets elliptic, entire at the base. which would be disgraceful to the most The common colour of the flower is a fine barbarons nations. Aware of the stigma violet purple. For a full and clear descripattending this shameful state of the public tion of this genus the reader is referred to money, government recently issued two- Martyn's edition of Millar's Botany. penny, penny, halfpenny, and farthing MEDICINE, the healing art, or science pieces of the best copper, which were badly of therapeutics. In this extensive and geexecuted, and so extremely clumsy and in- neral sense, it includes the Materia Medica, convenient that they excited general dis- or substances employed in medicine; Phareontent; this disapprobation did not, how. macy, or the mode of componnding them; ever, long continue, for the price of copper and Praxis, or the phænomena of discases rising considerably the coins were univer- and practice of medicine. In a more limit. sally melted by speculators, and they were ed, and perhaps a more correct sense, howreplaced by the present reduced pieces of ever, the term is confined to the last divipence, halfpence, and farthings, which are sion; and in this sense alone we shall unneat and tolerably convenient. The silver derstand it in the present instance, referring is in a shocking state of decay from wear; the reader to the article Materia MEDICA even that from the mint; but of the shil. for the substances employed in the art of lings in constant circulation not a fiftieth healing, and to the article PHARMACY for part are genuino, and not a thousandth the mode of compounding them, and their


respective results in a state of combina- bable from what we read of Ahaziah king tion.

of Judah, who having sent messengers to inquire of Baálzebub, god of Ekron, con

cerning his disease, did not desire any re. The commencement of the medical pro- medy from him or his priests, but simply fession, whether regarded as an art or a ' to know whether he should recover or not; science, or both, is lost in the darkness of what seems most probable on this subject the earliest ages ; the fabulous history of therefore is, that religion and medicine the ancients derives it immediately from intermixed themselves only in consequence their gods; and, even among the moderns, of that degeneracy into ignorance and some writers of established reputation are superstition, which took place among all of opinion that it may justly be considered nations. as of divine origin ; but, without adopting The Egyptians, we know, came at last any supposition of which no probable evi- to be sunk in the most ridiculous and abdence can be given, we may conclude that surd superstition; and then, indeed, it is mankind were naturally led to it from not wonderful to find their priests comcasual observations on the diseases to which mencing physicians, and mingling charms, they found themselves subjected, and that incantations, &c. with their remedies. That therefore, in one sense at least, it is as this was the case, though long after the ancient as the human race; but at what days of Joseph, we are very certain, and period it began to be practised as an art, by indeed it seems as natural for ignorance particular individuals following it profession and barbarism to combine religion with ally, is not known. The most ancient phy- physic, as it is for a civilized and enlightensicians we read of were those who embalmed ed people to keep them separate; hence, the body of the patriarch Jacob by order of we see that among all modern barbarians his son Joseph ; the sacred writer styles their priests or conjurors are their only these physicians servants to Joseph, whence physicians. We are so little acquainted with we may be assured that they were not the state of physic among the Egyptians, priests, as the first physicians are generally that it is needless to say much concerning supposed to have been; for in that age we them. They attributed the invention of know the Egyptian priests were in such medicine, as they did also that of many high favour, that they retained their liberty, other arts, to Thoth, the Hermes or Mer. when through a public calamity all the cury of the Greeks; he is said to have rest of the people were made slaves to the written many things in hieroglyphic characprince; it is not probable, therefore, that, ters upon certain pillars, in order to per. among the Egyptians, religion and medi- petuate his knowledge, and render it useful cine were originally conjoined; and if we to others. These were transcribed by suppose the Jews not to have invented the Agathodemon, or the second Mercury, the art, but to have received it from some other father of Teut, who is said to have comnation, it is as little probable that the priests posed books of them, that were kept in the of that nation were their physicians, as those most sacred places of the Egyptian temples. of Egypt. That the Jewish physicians The existence of such a person, however, were absolutely distinct from their priests, is very dubious, and many of the books asis very certain. Yet as the Jews resided cribed to him were accounted 'forgeries as for such a long time in Egypt, it is probable long ago as the days of Galen; there is also they would retain many of the Egyptian great reason to suspect, that those books customs, from which it would be very dif- were written many ages after Hermes, and ficult to free them: we read, however, that when plıysic had made considerable adwhen king Asa was diseased in his feet, bevances. Many of the books attributed to sought not to the Lord, but to the phy. him are trifling and ridiculous; and though sicians; hence we may conclude, that sometimes he is allowed to have all the among the Jews the medicinal art was honour of inventing the art, he is, on other looked upon as a mere human invention; occasions, obliged to share it with Osiris, and it was thought that the deity never Isis, and Apis, or Serapis. After all, the cnred diseases by making people acquaint Egyptian physic appears to have been little ed with the virtues of herbs, but only else than a collection of absurd supersitions. by his miraculous power. That the same Origen informs us, that they believed there opinion prevailed among the heathens who were thirty-six demons or gods of the air, were neighbours to the Jews, is also pro- who divided the human body among them;

« НазадПродовжити »