Fawcett Sir C. (1936). The English Factories in India Vol. 1 (The Western Presidency). Clarendon Press, Oxford, pp. 30. 1671

…The Company in their dispatch of 22nd February gave directions for the establishment of a mint at Bombay for the coinage of gold or silver (4 L.B. 428, 429); but this was a matter for deliberation, and action in it was naturally deferred by Aungier (Sur. Let. 7 Nov., O.C. 3594, f.17)

Fawcett Sir C. (1936). The English Factories in India Vol. 1 (The Western Presidency). Clarendon Press, Oxford, pp. 52-53. 1672

The Company had given orders in February 1671 for the coinage of money of their own at Bombay (4 L.B. 428, 429), but no steps to carry them out were taken before Aungier’s arrival [7th June 1672]. The Company’s ships had brought out no gold, but some silver and copper, and with this Aungier and his Council decided to make a start (Bom. Let. 28 Sept., 106 Sur. 133, 136). In November John Child was appointed overseer of ‘the Mint which is to be erected in the East India House for coining pice and buserooks until a convenient room in the fort can be fitted for the coining silver’ (Bom. Con. 13 Nov, 2 Misc. 145. A buzerook was the Portuguese bazarucco (Yule, 121). It was of low value; thus in 1671 sixteen went to one pice (E.F., 1668-9, 52n.), and in 1710, according to Burnell (112, 113), fourteen went to a pice). The Surat factory’s extreme need of money made Aungier send it the silver except ‘just soe much as should begin the mint’ (O.C. 3722, ff. 35, 36). A consultation of 29th November fixed the names of the coins as follows:

         The gold coin                Carolina

         The silver coin               Anglina

         The copper coin            Coperoon

         The tin coin                   Tinny (2 Misc. 146, also Num Chron, 4th series, vol vi (could be 1906))

Silver copper and tin coins were struck accordingly by the end of December, and specimens were sent to the Company in the ships leaving Swally in January 1673 (O.C. 3722, f. 38; Bom. Let. 1 Jan 1673, 106 Sur. 54)

Fawcett Sir C. (1936). The English Factories in India Vol. 1 (The Western Presidency). Clarendon Press, Oxford, pp. 75-76. 1673

…Of this amount Rs. 20,000 were remitted in December [1673?], but there was a difficulty about sending the balance in tin for minting, as desired by Aungier. The amount required was not available and the price of tin had risen.

The mint, in fact, was a source of profit from its copper and tin coinage, which supplied a distinct want and gave satisfaction to the inhabitants and their neighbours (Bom. Let. To Co. 23 Oct., 6 Bom. 224, 225; O.C. 3799, f. 3; O.C. 3910, f. 18 (JBBRAS., Aug. 1931, 39). As in previous years there was often a scarcity of pice on the island, and in March the Council imposed a 5 per cent duty on all pice exported (Sur. Con. 8 Feb., 3 Sur. 8; Bom. Con. 7 March, 1 Bom. 26.). But ‘tinnys’ were also in demand and were indeed more profitable (Bom. Let. To Co. 23 Oct., 6 Bom. 225). By the end of November all the tin on the island had been minted, but fortunately in December the Company’s ships brought out a good supply (Bom. Con. 26 Nov. & 6 Dec., 1 Bom 114 & (next sec.) 1). The mint thus continued to operate for the coining of copper and tin under the superintendence of Richard Adams, but the silver ingots formerly reserved for the mint were disposed of, as there was ‘no conveniency’ yet for this expansion of its work (Bom. Con. 22 Jan & 4 Feb., 1 Bom. 16, 21). Steps were also taken against the coin-clipping that was prevalent (Bom. Con. 1 & 10 Dec., 1 Bom. 116 & (next sec) 3.

Fawcett Sir C. (1936). The English Factories in India Vol. 1 (The Western Presidency). Clarendon Press, Oxford, p. 108-109. 1674

…and as false rupees had been discovered, a proclamation was issued, strictly forbidding the importation of any false coin or the counterfeiting of the Company’s coin on pain of death (Bom. Con. 24 July, 1 Bom. 65, 66).

The mint continued to coin copper pice and thus supply the island with small change, but tin was not available during the year for the coinage of tinnys (Bom. Let. To Co. 16 Dec., 7 Bom. 11, 12). The pice passed not only in Sivaji’s territory, but also in the Portuguese country ( Bom. Let. 23 Dec., 7 Bom. 27). The minting of gold and silver remained in suspense, and Aungier expressed disappointment at the Company’s sending ‘no positive directions’ to start it ( Bom let. 16 Dec., 7 Bom. 11). He wished to alter the inscription on the coinage, as the Prtuguese disliked their containg no reference to the King or Queen of England and had hindered their circulation for trade and the purchase of provisions. He proposed that one side of the coin should bear the Company’s arms and title, and the other should have two ‘C’s, representing the two first letters of their Majesties’ names, with a crown and cross over them. He also suggested that the Angelinas should be renamed Ingresses [English], as the latter was ‘more common with all sorts of people’ (Bom. Con. 12 June, 1 Bom. 49, 50)). He further suggested a new coin of the same fineness and weight as a Surat rupee, with Persian inscriptions on it, which he considered would increase its currency in other parts. He felt doubts. However, whether the Moghul Emperor would not object to this and consulted the Surat Council on the point. It expressed the opinion that the Company has just as much right to borrow Persian for this purpose as the Emperor, and that, as his coinage would not be counterfeited, he would have no good cause for taking offence (Bom. Con. 17 July, 1 Bom. 64, 65; Sw. con. 6 Aug., 3 Sur. 28). It suggested however that the proposed inscription of ‘Charles II, King of England’ might subject the Company to a writ of praemunire, as being too close a resemblance to King’s coin. Aungier shared this doubt and, in accordance with the Surat Council’s advice, referred his proposal to the Company for orders (Sur. Let. 12 Aug., 87 Sur. 190; Bom. Let. 22 Aug., 6 Bom. 173; Bom. Con. 28 Sept., 1 Bom 97;Bom. Let. To Co. 16 Dec., 7 Bom. 11)

Fawcett Sir C. (1936). The English Factories in India Vol. 1 (The Western Presidency). Clarendon Press, Oxford, p. 129. 1675

…A mint house had been built and the coinage of copper and tin continued (Sur. Let. to Co. 17 Jan., O.C.4163, f. 3); Bom. Cons. 24th May,2 Bom. 75; Bom. Let. 18 Jan, 7 Bom. 54). Aungier estimated the profits from the mint at Xs. 10,000 a year, but this probably depended largely on getting a good supply of Japanese copper from the Company (Aungier’s instrns., O.C. 4115, f. 3; Bom. Let. 18 Jan. & 20 March, 7 Bom. 54, 105)…

Fawcett Sir C. (1936). The English Factories in India Vol. 1 (The Western Presidency). Clarendon Press, Oxford, p. 139. 1675

…On the arrival of the Unicorn, four chests of silver, worth Rs 40,000, were taken off her, but the bullion could not at once be converted into money and further bills for Rs 6,000 had to be drawn on Surat. Gifferd explained that they were so indebted to the Modi [House-Steward] that, without his help, he could not supply provisions for the island, and they were in great straights for money to pay the soldiers (Bom. Let. 16& 17 Nov., 7 Bom. 162, 163; Sw. let. 25 Nov., 88 Sur. 120).Aungier asked him to avaoid drawing any more bills, in view of the need for husbanding resources at Surat and of the arrival of a stock of silver (Sw. let. 26 Nov., 88 Sur. 127). Financial exigencies thus forced the Council, with the approval of Aungier, to coin the bullion into rupees. A stamp made by the Modi in the previous year was first of all used for this (Bom. Let. 14 Oct & 4 Nov., 7 Bom. 152, 158; Sw. let. 25 Oct., 88 Sur. 120); but at the end of the year Giffard submitted two other patterns, saying he proposed to use one with PAX A DEO on it, pending the orders of the Surat Council, for the purpose of coining Rs 2,000 for the next garrison pay-day (Bom. Let. 31 Dec., 7 Bom. 4.)…

Fawcett Sir C. (1936). The English Factories in India Vol. 1 (The Western Presidency). Clarendon Press, Oxford, pp. 160-161. 1676

As to the mint, Aungier approved one of the patterns proposed for the new silver, tin, and copper coinage (Sur, let. 8 Feb., 89 Sur. 17, 18 (For. 84)), but its out-turn suffered from want of good coiners. In January the treasury was ‘bare of money, being not able to coin as fast as we have occasion for it’ (Bom. Let. 22 Sept. & 1 Nov., 7 Bom. 60, 65; Sw. let. 12 Oct., 89 Sur. 66 (For.104). In September the chief coiner had run away, ‘having stolen another man’s wife’, and those left were inefficient and ‘most tedious’, while the Surat Council was unable to send another coiner at once (Bom. Let. 22 Sept. &1 Nov., 7 Bom. 60, 65; Sw. let. 12 Oct., 89 Sur. 66 (For. 104). The supply of metal for coinage was supplemented when the Company’s five ships arrived in August, by ingots of silver worth Rs. 30,000 and 329 plates of Barbary copper (Bom. Let. 21 Aug., 7 Bom. 55; Sur let. 21 Aug. &8 Sep., 89 Sur. 57 (For. 100), 62, 63); but there was a loss of one-third in melting the latter down for coining pice, and their use was discontinued pending the expected arrival of Japan copper bars that were more suitable for the purpose (Bom. Let. 21 Aug., 7 Bom. 55;O.C.4258, f21, &4263, f. 8 (For. 122).

Fawcett Sir C. (1936). The English Factories in India Vol. 1 (The Western Presidency). Clarendon Press, Oxford, pp. 180-181. 1677

…The fall in the value of buzerooks affected the revenues, as the tobacco and cooly rents were payable in that specie (Bom let 11 Nov, 8 Bom 66). Another disadvantage was that ther lightness hampered their currency outside Bombay, and new ones, 10 per cent heavier, had to be coined to replace them; whereupon the Portuguese prohibited their passing in their country, though the coins were twice as good as theirs in weight and fineness (Bom con 11 Jul, 2 Bom 8; Sw let 21 Jan 1678, 89 Sur 28). The copperoons, however, went off the island as fast as they were coined, being current also in Sivaji’s dominions; and the Japanese copper sent by the Company proved useful and profitable (Sur let to Co 10 March, O.C. 4270, f 2; Bom let to Co 19 March, O.C. 4272, f.2.). As much tin as possible was coined, but probably not in great quantities. Thus the mint in September had enough of it left over from its previous supplies to serve till the end of March 1678, so none was taken from the ships, though this had been authorized by the Surat Council (Sw let 11 Sept, 89 Sur 58; Bom let 21 Sep, 8 Bom 53; Sw let 21 Jan 1678, 89 Sur 28). The coinage of silver rupees was also restricted and none were minted after the 25th March (Sw let 21 Jan 1678, 89 Sur 28, where the Council sats’this year we coined no silver’. Under the old style calender the new year began on 25 March). The main reason for this was that the value of silver had risen so much that it did not pay to turn it into rupees, and the bullion sent out could be more advantageously sold in the Surat bazaar and thus used towards defraying the Company’s debt. Consequently James and Chamberlain disapproved of a proposal by the Bombay Council to mint all the silver that the ships brought out (Bom let 17 July & 21 sep, 8 Bom 44, 45 (For. 134), 53; Sur con 30 July, 4 Sur 74; Sur let 31 July, 89 Sur 51; Sw let 21 Jan 1678, 89 Sur 28). There was also a controversy as to the purity of the Bombay rupees that had been minted earlier in the year. Aungier said they were coarser and lighter than the former ones, and on this account the Surat shroffs depreciated them. Petit disputed this, saying the coins were at any rate better than the Surat rupees and suggesting ‘roguery’ on the part of the shroffs to debase the value of Bombay money; but the Surat Council stuck to their view and thought there was ‘some abuse put on [the Bombay Council] by the coiners’, which should be checked. As a matter of fact, Petit did discover a fraud in the coining of silver, though of a different kind. This was that the coiners misapprpriated the dross left in refining the metal to the alloy of Surat rupees, by which he calculated they made 6 to 7 Rs a thousand (Sw. let. 21 Jan. 1678, 89 Sur. 28).The difficulty of getting a good chief coiner remained till August, when one, Govidji Madhavji, was obtained from Surat. He promised to coin rupees and buzerooks cheaper than had been done before, but desired protection from the malice of the old coiners on the island (Bom. Let.17 July, 8 Bom. 49 (For. 134); Sur. Let. 31 July &7 Aug., 89 Sur. 51, 54). In October, John Jessop, who had been promoted to a factors post, was put in charge of the mint (Bom. Con. 19 Oct., 2 Bom. 12, 13; desp. 7 March, 5 L.B. 406).

King Charles II’s charter of 5th October 1676, authorizing the Company to coin rupees, pices, and buzerooks at Bombay, was referred to in the dispatches of 7th March, but the sending of detailed directions and of stamps for the coinage was deferred till 1678. Meanwhile the Bombay Council was told to go on coining as before (5 L.B. 410). No coins were therefore issued under the new charter during 1677 and ( as already stated) rupees of the old pattern were coined, if at all, during the first three months of the year.

Fawcett Sir C. (1954). The English Factories in India Vol. III (Bombay, Surat and Malabar Coast). Clarendon Press, Oxford, pp. 17-19. 1678

The mint seems to have made a poor contribution to these revenues and to have coined only tin and copper during the year. In January, old buzerroks that had been called in after the issue of a new set were ordered to be melted into blocks of tin for disposal to merchants (Bom. Con. 10 Jan., 2 Bom. 21). The records contain no other references to these coins, and most of the mintage was probably in copper. In January the mint got 625 chests of bar copper from the Advice (Bom. Let. 5, 8 & 22 Jan., 8 Bom. 1, 2, 4), but Rolt ordered all the plate copper in hand to be sent to Surat and allowed none of the copper in the Company’s frigate Tywan, which arrived early in February, to be landed (Sw. let. 26 Jan., 89 Sur. 41, 42; Bom. Let. 4 Feb., 8 Bom. 10). The Bombay Council said they were certain the mint would soon be in want of more copper, to the detriment of the Company, which made considerable gain by coining it; but they had to wait till the arrival of the Company’s ships in August for a fresh supply. They were then limited to taking only as much as would just suffice to meet the requirements of the mint till the arrival of the China ships (Bom. Let. 4 Feb., 8 Bom. 10; Bom. Con. 17 Aug., 2 Bom. 27; Sur. Let. 6 July, 89 Sur. 111). The Surat council also objected, as already mentioned (p. 11), to their having landed other copper for sale. In November, Oxinden reported that they had only a small quantity left and asked for orders as to the amount to be taken from the China ships (Bom. Let. 17 Nov., 8 Bom. 54). The coinage of silver was still more restricted and did not become possible till the end of October (p. 11). The Company had sent out by the ships ‘several stamps for coining’, including some dies for making milled rupees of a ‘handsome’ appearance. It also sent John Morris, an employee in the London mint, and two newly appointed factors, George Cook and Samuel Annesley, who had been instructed how to use them (Desp. 15 March, 5 L.B. 549, 551). The two latter went with four writers from Surat to Bombay on the Sampson in October, but Cooke arrived so desperately ill that he was not expected to survive (Sur. Let. 18 Oct., 89 Sur. 143; Bom. Let. 19 Nov., 8 Bom. 51. Cooke recovered and became Deputy Governor of Bombay in 1690). In spite, however, of all these precautions, no milled rupees seem to have been properly struck during the year for reasons given in the following report of Oxinden to the Company:

We have received the coining engine and stamps etc., thereunto belonging and have made tryall thereof, but to our admiration [surprise] and sorrow cannot with all our skill and experiments make a clear impression therewith – the words proving blurred and imperfect, as well as the royal arms All possible industry hath been used to find the reason for its deficiency without the desired effect. John Morrice to our great griefe deceased within a week after his landing, being a person addicted to drink strong drink… had it pleased God to have spared him, he would have sett all things in their right postures but Annesley or Cooke know little thereof, so that we almost despair of bringing the coine to its due perfection. We suppose the fault to lie in the stamps, which in our opinion are to shallow cutt, of which you may [be] pleased to send us some more deeply engraved and then we will try what is to be done. (Bom. Let. To Co., 8 Bom. 69. He made a similar report to the Surat Council Bom. Let. 4 Dec., 8 Bom 59).

He accordingly asked for some that were more deeply engraved.

The mint therefore had a bad year and it can scarcely have been as profitable as in Aungier’s time. In November the Surat Council called for a report as to the benefit, if any, derived by the Company from it, but Oxinden merely referred them to the accounts (Sur. Let. 11 Nov., 89 Sur. 162; Bom. Let. 4 Dec., 8 Bom. 60). This annoyed Rolt but the sequel belongs to the next year.

Part of the profit came from a charge of a lari per maund on all coinage minted for private persons, which had been instituted by Petit, when he was Deputy Governor. The Surat Council, however, in December, disapproved of the mint being employed by anyone but the Company and forbade private coinage till further orders (Sur. Let. 17 Dec., 19 Bom. 2, 3; Bom. Let. 13 Dec. 1678 &6 Jan. 1679, 8 Bom. 60 & (next section) 4. A lari was worth about 6d.). Rolt also talked about putting the mint ‘under better regulation‘ after the homeward ships had left, a project in which Oxinden and his Council said they would gladly assist so as to increase its profit (Sur, let. 17 Dec., 19 Bom. 2; Bom. Let. 6 Jan. 1679, 8 Bom. 2). Meanwhile Oxinden was considering a proposal to reduce the cost of the mint by paying less for the minters’ workmanship, ‘at which they seem much dissatisfied’ (Bom. Let. 4 & 30 Dec., 8 Bom. 59, 60 & (next section) 1).

Some abuses were also detected and suppressed. It was found impossible to punish ‘the chief imposter’ in the fraud that Petit had discovered in 1677, as the latter’s failure to make a prompt investigation and ‘the noise that was raised of it abroad’ enabled him to ‘run off the island’; but Oxinden expressed his intention to call the rest to account (PS. To Sur. Let. 5 Feb., 89 Sur. 45; Bom. Let. 21 Feb., 8 Bom. 15, 16). Rolt also received information that Jessop, the mint Superintendent was making a surreptitious profit out of the 6 laris a maund allowed the workmen for their labour, and called for a thorough scrutiny into the matter. Oxinden replied that the half a lari he received was not an exaction, but given voluntarily (Sur. Let. 11 Nov., 89 Sur. 162; Bom. Let. 4 Dec., 8 Bom. 59). Rolt, very properly, was not satisfied with this answer, and called for a further and thorough investigation. As a result of this, Jessop and Makan Kisanji, who had got a similar commission from the chief minter, Govindset, were rodered to pay up what they had received in this way as well as in respect of another abuse, by which they made a profit of 8 laris a maund on broken copper supplied to the mint (sur. Let. 17 Dec., 19 Bom. 3; Bom. Let. 30 Dec. 1678 & 6 Jan. 1679, 8 Bom. 1,4. The amount of 275 laris was subsequently recovered from each of them ( Bom. Let. 7 & 19 Feb., 8 Bom. 9, 11). Makan was a resident of Surat who was said to have ‘wound himself in [to the mint] like a snake’, and whose commission was apparently a bribe in return for his supposed influence with the Surat Council (Sur. Let. 10 March, 8 Bom. 14, 15).

Fawcett Sir C. (1954). The English Factories in India Vol. III (Bombay, Surat and Malabar Coast). Clarendon Press, Oxford, pp. 26-27. 1679

The question of improving the mint had been raised in the previous year (p. 19) and in February the Surat Council settled revised regulations for its administration. These laid down that there should be only one mint and that its employees should’ work jointly in one place without distinction or division’. The proposed reduction of the rate at which the minters were paid (p. 19) was approved. Minting for private persons, which the Council had suspended (p. 19), was allowed, but the charge for it was raised from one lari to one rupee a maund. Cooke was appointed to take charge of the mint in place of Jessop, who had taken an illicit commission from the coiners as a bribe for overlooking their misappropriation of 92 pounds of broken pieces of copper, worth Xs 300, which they sold to their profit. Such fragments were to be remelted and minted in future (Bom. Let. 6 Jan., 8 Bom. 4; Sur. Con. 1 Feb., 4 Sur. 11; Sur. Let. 4 Feb., 19 Bom. 8, 9). Oxinden and his Council said the orders would be observed, but expressed the view that the charge of one rupee a maund for private minting was too high and would result in stopping this source of revenue. The Surat Council, however, disagreed and confirmed their order on the point (Bom. Let. 19 Feb., 8 Bom. 11; Sur. Let. 27 Feb., 19 Bom. 14). A protest by the minters that coining fragments of copper into pice would entail double the ordinary labour was ineffectual. The mint had plenty of copper available, as the Council took 367 chests of it from the Advice, which arrived from Amoy on 20th January. The coining of tin into buzerooks was specially recommended by the Company on account of tin being a home-production, but it is doubtful whether much was done during the year, as in August the Council reported that they had a quantity of it on hand, which they proposed to send to Surat for sale (Desp.28 Feb., 6 L.B. 56; Bom. Let. 11 Aug., 8 Bom. 26). No coinage of silver is mentioned; and the mint stopped working during the troubles that ensued towards the end of the year (Bom let. 7 Dec., 8 Bom. 80)