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  • MA 1701 Monetary Report
  • Pence Coinage of ca. 1700: Introduction

    Massachusetts Act of 1701 Againt Making or Passing Base or Counterfeit Money

    Notes on the transcription.   Abbreviations have been expanded, spelling (as Concurrance), punctuation and capitalization of the original has been retained. Brackets [ ] indicate added comments to clarify the text. Dates in the original texts were given in the old style, 1700/1 or sometimes simply as 1700, since the new year did not begin until March at that time. I have converted all dates into the current style so there will be no confusion over the year.

    An Act against the makeing or passing of base or Counterfeit money.

    Whereas some persons, for private gain, have of late presumed to Stamp and Emit peices of brass and Tin at the rate of a penny each, not regarding what loss they thereby bring on others, which, if not timely remedyed, may prove greatly detrimental to his Majesties Subjects, and embolden others to be so hardy as to attempt the doing of the like,

    For Prevention whereof.

    Be it Declared and Enacted by the Lieutenant Governor, Council, and Representatives in General Court Assembled, and by the Authority of the same, That any person or persons who after the publication of this Act shall presume to make or Stamp any such peices as aforesaid, or others of like or different mettal, matter, forme, and to Emit, utter, or put off the same for pence, or at a greater or lesser value, and be therefor convicted, Every person so Offending shall be punished by Fine and Imprisonment, at the discretion of the Court where the prosecution shall be, not exceeding the Sum of Fifty pounds Fine, nor Six months Imprisonment for one offence. And shall further Forfeit and pay in current lawful money of this Province Treble the value of all such peices as he shall have Emitted or uttered after the highest rate they have passed at; One halfe of said Fine and Forfeiture to be unto his Majesty for & towards the Support of the Government within this Province, and the other halfe to him or them that shall Informe and Sue for the same in any of this Majesty's Courts within the Province.

    And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid. That every person or persons that have or shall Offend as aforesaid, shall Exchange and pay in current lawful money of this Province the full value of all such peices haveing his Stamp or marke thereon, unto any person or persons that shall bring the same to him, according to the rate they have passed at.

    So as such peices be brought and offered to him to be exchanged at any time or times within the space of three months next after the publication of this Act, And in case of refusal so to do, he shall be compelled thereto by Order of the General Sessions of the Peace within the same County, or of one of Justice of the Peace, where the value exceeds not Forty Shillings.

    And no person or persons whatsoever shall hereafter offer to put off, utter, or take any such base or Counterfeit money.

    In Council.   February 21st 1701. Read a first and second time and Voted to be Engrossed, and sent down for Concurrance.

    Isa. Addington, Secretary.

    In the House of Representatives.   February 21, 1701. Read a first time.       28th, Read a second time.       march 12: third time, and Resolved a Concurrence.

    John Leverett, Speaker.


    Crosby, pp. 114-115.

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    Section Contents Base Metal Tokens and the Massachusetts Pence of 1701: Introduction

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