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of which is the law which fixes bullion when coined to a certain value, but which has no power over uncoined bullion, and, therefore, leaves it, like other commodities, to find its price according to the supply and demand.
As gold coins are fixed at £3. 178. 10.. the ounce, it is singular that the Committee should be surprised that the ounce in coin was not equal in value to the ounce in bullion, which latter was worth £4 and upwards; and that they should conceive such inequality in value to have been occasioned by a superabundance of paper money, when they might have seen that, if the coins were free from restriction, they would become of the same value as standard bullion.
The Committee assumed that the gold coin is the measure of value, and on this assumption founded the most essential points of their Report. But a measure implies something fixed and unchangeable, which the material of coins cannot be, so long as it is a subject of traffic. The truth is, the pound sterling is our actual measure in this kingdom, and the coin is only the instrument by which that measure is applied. So long as it remains, or is supposed to remain, precisely equal to its prototype, so long only is it an accurate substitute for it. Whenever it exceeds, or falls below the value of the pound sterling, it equally becomes an incorrect resemblance of it.
The debate in the House turned on the question, whether the bank notes were depreciated or the guineas enhanced in value. If the dividends payable for the interest of the National Debt were made the test, the bank note was not depreciated, but the guinea was raised. If coin or any other mercantile commodity be the test, it will appear that the guinea was not enhanced, but that the bank note was depreciated. This dilemma was not considered, but after a debate which lasted seven nights, the majority of the House. voted that the bank note was not depreciated, but that it was highly important that the restrictions on cash payments at the Bank of England should be removed whenever it was compatible with the public interest.
It is curious to remark, that the Bank of England issued a notice on 18 March, 1811, that the price of silver had risen so much since
From 1797, the circulating medium has been chiefly carried on by a credit currency of exchequer bills, bank notes, and promissory notes. The manufacturer having employed his capital in the production of goods, sold them to the merchant, and received promissory note payable at a fixed date. The country banker discounted this note with his own local notes payable on demand. With these notes the manufacturer could pay his workmen and produce other goods, and his workmen could with them procure necessaries. When the promissory note became due, it was discharged by the produce of the sale of the goods. This method of local currency dispensing with the precious metals, and depending on credit, became the means of very largely increasing the industry of the people. The system, however, is subject to serious drawbacks and dangers, which have not failed to cause both embarassment and even ruin, both to manufacturers, merchants, and bankers, and great distress to the workmen.
* Lord King, in a letter to his tenants, declared that “In consequence of the late great depreciation of paper money, I can no longer consent to receive any bank notes at their nominal value in payment or satisfaction of an old contract." He required payments in guineas, or Portugal gold equal in weight to the number of guineas due, or in bank notes with an addition of £14. 128. 6d. per cent., such being the difference in the market price of gold, when the agreements were made in 1807 and the market price in 1811. The government was reduced to the dilemma, either to strike at once sufficient gold coins, or to protect from arrest those who were unable to procure guineas to meet the demands on them. The latter was determined on, and an opportunity was lost of establishing a gold coinage of such a weight as would have secured it from disappearing.
the issue of bank dollar tokens at 58. each, as to make them worth more as bullion than as coins. It was deemed expedient, in order to prevent them from being withdrawn from circulation, that they should in future be current at the increased value of 58. éd. each. In the year 1812, an Act was passed to amend that of 51 Geo. III., c. 127, respecting the gold coins and the notes of the Bank of England.
On July 1, 1817, a new gold coin, called a sovereign of 20s. value, was made current by proclamation. It was 5 dwts. 3.274 grs. Troy weight of standard gold. On the obverse was the head of the king, with the circumscription GEORGIUS III. D. G. BRITANNIAR. Rex F. D., and the date, and on the reverse, the image of St. George, armed on horseback, encountering the dragon with a spear, placed within the garter bearing the motto, Honi sort QUI MAL Y PENSE, with a graining on the edge (Štat. 57, Geo. III., c. 46). A new coinage of silver also was ordered. According to an account delivered to the House of Commons on 1 June, 1818, the coinage of sovereigns was 5,406,517, and of half-sovereigns 3,103,474, of shillings 50,490,000, and of sixpences 30,436,560.
George IV., 1820-1830. Various coinages were issued both for the united Kingdom and the Colonies during this reign.
In 1821, there was a silver coinage of crowns, shillings, and sixpences, and a gold coinage of sovereigns and half-sovereigns. The sovereign had on the reverse the figure of St. George and the Dragon, the half-sovereign, the ensigns armorial of the United Kingdom on a shield, surrounded by the rose, thistle, and shamrock, with the date.
Farthings were also struck, having on the obverse the king's head, with his titles; on the reverse, the figure of Britannia seated on a rock in the sea, holding a trident in her left hand and an olive branch in her right, with the inscription BRITANNIAR. Rex. FID. DEF., and the date. In this year and the next, above 51 tons of copper were coined into farthings, 96 to the pound weight Avoirdupois.
In 1825, an Act was passed “to provide for the assimilation of the money and moneys of account throughout the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.”
William IV., 1830—1837. William IV. ascended the throne on the death of his brother. A new coinage was ordered in 1830, of gold, silver, and copper, without any alteration of standard or weight, for the United Kingdom, and in the following years coinages were effected for several of the Colonies. By an order in Council, 3 Feb. 1836, a fourpenny piece in silver was struck for common circulation. The coin of this denomination was discontinued after the reign of Charles I., and was not struck for common currency until this year.
1 The following epigram appeared while the Bill for this Act was passing through Parliament :
Bank Notes and Guineas.
To swim to a point in trade's foaming tide;
On the reverse is the figure of Britannia, and on the obverse, FOURPENCE, with the date.
Victoria, 1837. Her Majesty Queen Victoria succeeded to the throne on the death of her uncle.
1838. An order in council directed the coinage of a sovereign and half sovereign of the same type, containing the ensigns armorial of the United Kingdom on a plain shield, surmounted by the royal crown, and encircled by a laurel wreath, with the inscription VICTORIA REGINA FID. Def., with the rose, thistle, and shamrock placed beneath the shield. The type of the half-sovereign bears the arms without the wreath. The various coins struck during her Majesty's reign are in circulation, and require no description.
The following is a list of the names, weights, and current values of the coins in general circulation :
The Sovereign ; weight, 5 dwts. 3. grs. Troy; value, 20 shillings sterling The half-sovereign;
2 dwts. 13. grs. The standard of the English gold coinage consists of 22 parts pure gold and 2 parts alloy. The word carat used as a weight is equal to 3} grains Troy, but when employed to express the fineness of gold, bears only a relative sense, as for instance, the English standard gold is said to hc 22 carats fine, meaning, that it is composed of 22 parts pure gold and 2 parts alloy.
Gold coins being the standard of value, are the legal tender in payments to any amount whatever.
The Crown. • weight, 18 dwts. 4 t grs. Troy, value, 5 shillings
9 dwts. 2 i grs.
2 shillings & 6 pence The Florin....
7 dwts. 61 grs.
2 shillings The Shilling
3 dwts. 15 i grs. The Sixpenny piece....
1 dwt. 191 grs.
6 pence The Fourpenny piece..
1 dwt. 5, grs.
4 pence The Threepenny piece
3 pence The standard silver consists of 11 oz. 2 dwts. of pure silver and 18 dwts. of alloy, or of 37 parts pure silver and 3 parts alloy; and was in the time of Edward I. called the old standard of England, which expression clearly proves that such must have been considered the standard for a long time before. Silver coins did not cease to be a legal tender before 1816, and are now only a legal tender for any sum not exceeding 40 shillings in one payment.
The Penny piece, weight }oz. Avoirdupois, value 4 farthings
2 farthings The farthing piece
1 farthing The bronze-metal of the current coinage consists of 95 parts pure copper, 4 parts tin, and 1 part zinc, and coins were first issued for circulation in 1860.
ROBERT POTTS, M.A., TRINITY COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE,
HON. LL.D., WILLIAM AND MARY COLLEGE, VA., 0.8.
EUCLID'S ELEMENTS OF GEOMETRY. 1. Euclid's Elements of Geometry, the University Edition, with Notes, Questions, and Geometrical Exercises, selected from the Cambridge Senate House and College Examination Papers, with Hints for Solution of the Exercises. Demy 8vo., pp 520, 108.
2. The School Edition, with Notes, Geometrical Exercises, &c. 12mo., pp. 418, 48. 6d.
The School Edition has also been published in the following portions, with the Notes, &c., to each book :
3. Euclid, Books I.-IV. 12mo., 38.
The University Edition of Euclid's Elements was first published in 1845, and the first School Edition in 1846. Both Editions have been enlarged and improved from time to time, and the total sales of copies of the work up to the present year amount to a number very considerably above half-a-million.
In the year 1853, the Council of Education at Calcutta were pleased to order the introduction of these Editions of Euclid's Elements into the Schools and Colleges under their control in Bengal.
In the year 1860, a Translation of the Geometrical Exercises was made into the German Language, by Hans H. Von Aller, with a Preface by Dr. Wittstein, and published at Hanover.
At the International Exhibition of 1862, in London, a Medal was awarded to R. Potts, “For the Excellence of his Works on Geometry." Jury Awards, Class XXIX., p. 313.
Critical Remarks on the Editions of Euclid. “In my opinion Mr. Potts has made a valuable addition to Geometrical literature by his Editions of Euclid's Elements."—W. Whewell, D.D., Master of Trinity College, Cambridge. (1848.)
“ Mr. Potts has done great service by his published works in promoting the study of Geometrical Science."--H. Philpott, DD., Master of St. Catharine's College. (1848.)
."Mr. Potts' Editions of Euclid's Geometry are characterized by a due appreciation of the spirit and exactness of the Greek Geometry, and an acquaintance with its history, as well as by a knowledge of the modern extensions of the Science. The Elements are given in such a form as to preserve entirely the spirit of the ancient reasoning, and having been extensively used in Colleges and Public Sehools, cannot fail to have the effect of keeping up the study of Geometry in its original purity.”- Jy, Challis, M.A., Plumian Professor of Astronomy and Experimental Philosophy in the University of Cambridge. (1818.),
“Mr Potts' Edition of Euclid is very generally used in both our Universities and in our Public Schools; the notes which are appended to it shew great research, and are admirably calculated to introduce a student to a thorough knowledge of Geometrical principles and methods.”—George Peacock, D.D., Lowndean Professor of Mathematics in the University of Cambridge, and Dean of Ely. (1848 ).
" By the publication of these works, År. Potts has done very great service to the cause of Geometrical Science. I have adopted Mr. Potts' work as the text-book for my own Lectures in Geometry, and I believe that it is recommended by all the Mathematical Tutors and Professors in this University:"-R. Walker, M.A., F.R.S., Reader in Experimental Philosophy in the University, and Tutor of Wadham College, Oxford. (1848.)
“When the greater Portion of this Part of the Course was printed, and had for some time been in use in the Academy, a new Edition of Euclid's Elements, by Mr. Robert Potts, M.A, of Trinity College, Cambridge, which is likely to supersede most others, to the extent, at least, of the Six Books, was published. From the manner of arranging the Demonstrations, this edition has the advantages of the symbolical form, and it is at the same time free from the manifold objections to which that form is open. The duodecimo edition of this Work, comprising only the first Six Books of Euclid, with Deductions from them, having been introduced at this Institution as a text book, now renders any other Treatise on Plane Geometry unnecessary in our course of Mathematics."— Preface to Descriptive Geometry, &c. for the Use of the Royal Military Academy, by S. Hunter Christie, M.A., of Irinity College, Cambridge, late Secretary of the Royal Society, fc., Professor of Mathematics in the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. (1847.).
“Mr. Potts, by the publication of his Edition of Euclid, with its most valuable notes and problems, and the solutions and commentaries, has recalled the attention of Englishmen to the subject :-first in his own and the Sister Universities, then in the public schools, and, finally, in most Scholastic Establishments in the Country. His Euclid is one of our own text-books in the Royal Military Academy, and we find its arrangements and additions exceedingly conducive to the acquisition of a thorough understanding of the subject by the Gentlemen Cadets."-T. S. Davies, Professor of Mathemarics in the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. (1848.).
“The Edition of the Elements of Euclid which Mr. Potts has published, is confessedly the best which has yet appeared.”—John Phillips Higman, M.A., F.R.S., late Fellow and Tutor of Trinity College, Cambridge. (1848.)
"Mr. Potts has lately published an Edition of Euclid's Elements of Geometry, which he has illustrated with a collection of Examples. I consider that he has performed his task with great care and judgment, and that the work seems to bid fair to possess a larger share of popular favour than any edition of Euclid yet published.”—R. Buston, B.D., Fellow and Tutor of Emmanuel College. (1848.)
“I consider Mr. Potts' Edition of Euclid to be a most valuable addition to our Cambridge Mathematical literature, and especially to the department of Geometry; and look to it as a great help towards keeping up, and indeed reviving, the true spirit and feeling for Geometry, which of late years had been too much neglected among us."—W. Williamson, B.D., Fellow and Tutor of Clare College. (1848.)
"Í believe there is a general opinion in this University that the Principles of Euclid and Elementary Geometry cannot possibly be presented to the mind of a commencing student in a better form, nor be accompanied by a more judicious selection of problems, with hints for their solution, than occurs in the pages of Mr. Potts' publications. By combining symmetry of arrangement with simplicity of language, and by restoring the syllogism to its plain and simple form, so as to make an introduction to Geometry serve at the same time as an exercise in logic (an advantage which has been quite lost sight of in many of the abbreviated editions with which this University had previously been deluged), I consider that Mr. Potts has done good service to the cause of education.”—J. Power, M.A., Fellow of Clare College, and University Librarian. (1848.)
“Mr. Potts has maintained the text of Simson, and secured the very spirit of Euclid's Geometry, by means which are simply mechanical. It consists in printing the syllogism in a separate paragraph, and the members of it in separate subdivisions, each, for the most part, occupying a single line. The divisions of a proposition are therefore seen at once without requiring an instant's thought Were this the only advantage of Mr. Potts' Edition, the great convenience which it affords in tuition would give it a claim to become the Geometrical text-book of England. This, however, is not its only merit.”—Philosophical Magazine, January, 1848.
“If we may judge from the solutions we have sketched of a few of them (the Geometrical Exercises), we should be led to consider them admirably adapted to improve the taste as well as the skill of the Student. As a series of judicious exercises, indeed, we do not think there exists one at all comparable to it in our language-viewed either in reference to the student or teacher. – Mechanics' Magazine, No. 1175.
"The 'Hints' are not to be understood as propositions worked out at length, in the manner of Bland's Problems, or like those worthless things called 'Keys,' as generally .forged and filed,'
-mere books for the dull and the lazy. In some cases references only are made to the Propositions on which a solution depends; in others, we have a step of two of the process indicated ; in one case the analysis is briefly given to find the construo tion or demonstration; in another case the reverse of this. Occasionally, though seldom the entire process is given as a model; but most commonly, just so much is suggested as will enable a student of average ability to complete the whole solution -in short, just so much (and no more) assistance is afforded as would, and must be, afforded by a tutor to his pupil. Mr. Potts appears to us to have hit the golden mean' of Geometrical tutorship.” - Mechanics' Magazine, No. 1270.
* We can most conscientiously recommend it [The School Edition] to our own younger readers, as the best edition of the best book on Geometry with which we are acquainted.”Mechaics' Magazine, No. 1227.
LONDON : LONGMANS & CO., PATERNOSTER ROW.