Coinage Crimes and Society in England During the Period of the British Republic, 1649-1660
University of Cambridge
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
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Whittell, C. (2021). Coinage Crimes and Society in England During the Period of the British Republic, 1649-1660 (Doctoral thesis). https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.85069
This thesis is a study of coinage crimes, which includes acts such as the counterfeiting and clipping of official coins, and the uttering of these, and the authorities’ reaction to them, within England during the British Republic (1649-1660). In the first chapter, it will also analyse the background to the Commonwealth’s government policy against it. This was caused by the political, economic, and social problems created by conflict, and adverse climatic changes, during the English Civil Wars of the 1640s. A key area of the study will show that coinage, and the protection of it, became an important part of the Republic’s state formation process. That is through the redefinition of it as a crime against the people of England, rather than traditionally against the monarchy, after its abolition in 1649. It will then study the various methods used by the government against coinage criminals to implement it, which will be shown to be innovative for the time, due also to the failed introduction of a much-desired innovative milled coinage, with anti-counterfeiting and anti-clipping devices. The thesis will also look at how society viewed the crime, predominantly in the ways the local courts treated it during this period. This will be shown to be contrary to government policy, caused by widespread scepticism over the legitimacy of the Republic, making it an even more difficult crime to prosecute during the period. It will thus also look at the role and influence of Royalism, in the undertaking of the crime, and the prosecution of it. Finally, it will look at who the coinage criminals were, how they undertook the crime, and the reasons for doing it, despite the risks involved, in the face of an active and determine government during the period. This will be through the study of the denominations that they had most commonly counterfeited, clipped and uttered, as well as the metals and production methods used by them. It will be shown that not only did they undertake coinage crimes to meet the needs of the economy during the Republic, but due also to the potential financial rewards this in turn created for them.
Coinage, Coinage crimes, Coin, Forgery, Counterfeiting, Clipping, British Republic, English Civil War, Commonwealth, Protectorate, English Republic, State building, Crime, Money, Republic
The Ellen McArthur Fund, Faculty of History, University of Cambridge. Prince Consort and Thirlwall Fund, Faculty of History, University of Cambridge. Queens' College, University of Cambridge. University of Cambridge. Casey Research Fund, The Royal Numismatic Society. The Economic History Society.
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This record's DOI: https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.85069
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