Monetary Crisis in Ireland, as Henry VI struggles with money supply and fiscal control


During the reign of Henry VI many parliamentary regulations were made in Ireland, relating to money; but most of these acts, as well as those of the three former reigns, are either lost or destroyed.


By an English statute of his second year, it was enacted, that the ounce of silver should be cut into thirty-two pennies.


In the year 1425, John Cobham was appointed master of the mint of Ireland”. And, in a parliament held at Trim, in the twenty fifth year of this prince, It was enacted, that all clipped money, the O’Reilly’s money, and all other unlawful money, should not be received in payment from the first of May then enſuing, provided a coiner was ready to make money at the said day.


Appendix, No. 3. An. 1426.

  • The Duke of Bedford got a patent of all the gold and silver mines in Ireland, paying
    • a tenth to the church
    • one fifteenth to the king
    • and a twentieth to the owner of the soil


And at another parliament, held at Naas, in his thirty-fifth year, it was enacted, that any person, except lords, and messengers, going to England, who carries broken silver, bullion or wedges of silver out of this land, shall pay twelve pence for every ounce.


In February 1459, says Sir James Ware”, mints were settled in the castles of Dublin and Trim, and about the same time, not only silver, but brass-money was coined by the king’s command.

  • For their value, our learned knight refers us to the Par. Roll, 39 Henry VI. which his worthy editor “ thinks it is a vain task to look “ for, for that he thought it was not to be found in the chancery-office, or “ in Birmingham tower” “; though, through his indefatigable labour, he has obliged us with it.
  • By this statute, enacted at a parliament held at Drogheda, it was ordained, that two coins should be struck of two forms in the castles of Dublin and Trim;
    • the one of the weight of half a quarter of an ounce troy, (sixty grains) on which was to be imprinted, on one side, a Lion, and on the other side, a crown, called an Irlandes d’argent, (a silver Hibernia) to pass for the value of one penny;
    • the other of the weight of about seven grains and a half Troy to have on one side the impression of a crown, and on the other a cross, called, a Patrick, eight of which to pass for one penny.
  • That a gross (a groat) should be made of the weight of three pence sterling, (forty-five grains) and to pass for four pence sterling, on which shall be imprinted on one side a crown, on the other side a cross, and about the cross, in writing, the name of the place, where the coin is struck.

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