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Author Topic:   knight silversmith
tmockait

Posts: 963
Registered: Jul 2004

iconnumber posted 04-07-2005 06:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for tmockait     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Every source I have seen dates English hallmarking to the 14th century, but I just found an interesting reference in a document I assign my British history students. Richard Nigel's, "The Course of the Exchequer (ca 1177)" refers to an official whom he calls "the knight silversmith, since his duty is to preside over the assay." Apparently he certified the coinage brought to the court of the Exchequer by Sheriffs who collected royal taxes and fines. I am not sure what relation this process had to later hallmarking laws, but I thought it worth sharing.

Tom

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Silver Lyon

Posts: 363
Registered: Oct 2004

iconnumber posted 04-08-2005 08:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Silver Lyon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What fun! I have never met this reference before.
From early times it was essential to be able to assay coinage paid for taxation as the coins would have come from far and wide and therefore be of widely differing standards of purity.

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