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were voted. In addition to these military expenses,
;£200,ooo was granted towards manning the navy in 1795.'

The sums spent on the army increased at a much more
alarming rate than the army itself, as the following figures
show : —



> Financial Relations Committee, 1895, App. I., p. 323.
2 33 Geo. HI., c. 16. « 36 Geo. III., c. 2.
M7Geo. III..C. 3. » 35 Geo. IIL.c. e.



IN THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY.



341



Year ending


Amount of Army


March 25


Expenditure




£


1793


614,546


1794


745,827


1795


1,553,562


1796


1,855,368


1797


2,032,130


1798


3,401,759


1799


3,865,533


1800


4,596,760


9 months ending




Januarys




1801


2,757,1931



Of course, the revenue did not increase with this
increase of expenditure, and large deficits accumulated
every year. An attempt was made in 1797 to stem this
dangerous tendency by the imposition of high duties on
sugar, tea, wines, salt, skins, hides, auctions, some glass
ware, paper hangings and malt houses.'' It will be noticed
that on this occasion the Irish Parliament was driven into
imposing taxes which pressed heavily on the articles con-
sumed by the poor, contrary to the principles of taxation
on which it had always acted previously. The following
table' shows the annual revenue and expenditure during
the period 1793- 1800: —



Revenue and Expenditure, 1793—1801.



Year ending March 25


Total net Income.


Total Expenditure




£


£


1794


1,178,872


1,580,869


1795


1,475,216


2,508,866


1796


1,551,592


2,802,933


1797


1,703,109


3,101,553


1798


2,084,069


4,678,122


1799


2,145,749


5,373,322


1800


3,017,758


6,615,959


9 months to






January 5






1801


2,204,163


4,625,699



1 Official Tables of Income and Expenditure, Pari. Pap., 1868-9, vol. 35.

2 37 Geo. III., chaps. 8 and 28.

S Official Tables of Income and Expenditure, Pari. Pap., 1868-9, vol. 35.



342 THE ECONOMIC HISTORY OF IRELAND



These annual deficits were made good by means of
loans, and the National Debt consequently increased at
an unprecedented rate, as will be seen from the following
figures' : —



Year ending


Funded in


Funded in




Total


March 25


Ireland


England








£


£


£


£


1794


1,969,975




904,292


2,874,267


1795


2,940,914




1,061,538


4,002,452


1796


4,469,406




1,107,692


5,577,098


1797


5,376,975




1,160,492


6,537,467


1798


6,366,294


2,909,596


858,785


10,134,675


1799


8,107,181


6,813,066


886,477


15,806,824


1800


9,824,504


11,932,881


1,343,400


23,100,785


9 months to










January 5










1801


12,001,698


14,839,521


1,699,938


28,541,157



Naturally, the larger the debt became, the more
reluctant the public were to lend their money to the
Government. The £ioo five per cent, debentures could
not be sold at a higher price than 63 ; and the Bank of
Ireland called for a repayment of part of the money it
had advanced." Some idea may be gathered of the
onerous terms on which the money was raised by the fact
that, although the total deficits only amounted to
;£i6, 000,000, it was necessary to issue loans of the nominal
value of ;£26,ooo,ooo to meet them.'

" The figures we have given of the finances of
Grattan's Parliament clearly establish two facts. They
show that during the first eleven years of legislative
independence the expenditure of Ireland kept fairly level ;
and that thenceforward until the Union the expenditure
increased year by year mainly under the head of military
services at a formidable rate. It may be fairly assumed
that this great increase was due to two causes — the war
commenced in 1793 and the internal disturbances which
culminated in Rebellion."" These words, which have



1 Financial Relations Committee, 1895, vol. i., App., p. 323.
^Murray, Commercial Relations, p. 304.
s Financial ReUitions Committee. 1895, vol. i., App., p. 323.
* Financial Relations Commission, App. I.



IX THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY. 343

been embodied in the report of one of the ablest and most
representative commissions of recent years, form a
striking verdict in favour of the wisdom of the financial
administration of Grattan's Parliament. During the first
eleven years of its existence, while it was permitted to
manage its own affairs, it succeeded in stemming the tide
of increasing expenditure ; in raising the revenue without
inflicting any hardships in the way of taxation ; in re-
establishing the soundness of national credit ; in reducing
the interest payable on the debt ; and in reforming most
if not all of the abuses which had characterised the
financial administrations of earlier years. The events
which happened in 1793 were quite beyond the control of
Parliament; war was declared by the King, guided by
advisers, who included no Irish representative of any
kind ; and the House of Commons found itself bound to
vote huge sums for the furtherance of military campaigns
which it had in no way authorised.

The increased expenditure of the last years of the
century, therefore, in so far as it was due to the war, must
in no sense be attributed to the extravagance or reckless-
ness of the Irish Parliament. It has been suggested,
however, that it must be blamed for great costs incurred
in the suppression of the Rebellion, which, it is said,
would never have broken out if the country had been
properly governed. To this allegation there is, of course,
a complete constitutional answer, namely, that the Govern-
ment of the day was in no sense a Parliamentary one, and
that the House of Commons had no share in the executive.
But even if this answer could be refuted ; if it could be
successfully urged that a vigilant Parliament could, by
obstructing the Government or withholding supplies, have
checked the negligence, if not provocation, that was
operating at the time, there is still a satisfactory answer
to be made — namely, that the expense of putting down
the rebellion was only a very small fraction of the expense
of fighting the French War, and could not, if it stood
alone, have possibly embarrassed the financial resources



M44



THE ECONOMIC HISTORY OF IRELAND.



of the country. Tliis matter was carefully considered by
the Financial Relations Commission of 1896, by whom the
following interesting figures were compiled : —



Year ending
March 25th


Estimated military

expenditure in

peace


Estimated additional

expenditure owing

to French War


Estimated additional

expenditure owing to

disturbed state of

Ireland


1794
1795
1796
1797
1798
1799
1800
9 months to )
5th Jan., 1801 j


£

585,000
585,000
585,000
585,000
585,000
585,000
585,000

478,000


£

161,000
969,000
1,270,000
1,447,000
2,085,000
1,447,000
1,447,000

1,085,000


£

732,000
1,834,000
2,565,000

1,234,000



The financial administration of Grattan's Parliament
may be summarised as follows : —

(i) During the period 1 780-1 793 a successful attempt
was made to re-establish the balance between income and
expenditure ; the National Debt was kept stationary, and
the rate of interest on that Debt was reduced ; and the
many abuses which had characterised the expenditure of
public money were reformed.

(2) During the period 1793-1800 the national expen-
diture increased at an unprecedented rate, while the
revenue increased at a much slower rate; the National
Debt increased to an alarming extent ; and it became
increasingly difficult for the Government to raise money
on loans.

(3) The dangerous financial situation of the latter
period was caused (a) to a very large degree by a cause
outside the control of the Irish Parliament, namely, the
European War, and (b) to a small degree by a cause
within the control of the Irish Parliament, namely, the
Rebellion of 1798.



CHAPTER XXVII.
Coinage.

THE essential feature of the Irish coinage in the
eighteenth century was the absence of an Irish mint.
The Irish had again and again petitioned, without effect,
for a mint. In 1634 both Houses of ParHament
addressed King Charles I., beseeching him that such an
establishment should be erected, and that the coin of Ire-
land should be of the same standard and value as that of
England, but the petition was refused.' In 1700 the
Lords Justices strenuously urged that a mint should be
erected, but again the request was not complied with.

The result of the absence of a mint w'as that there was,
properly speaking, no Irish coinage; the gold and silver
coins of all foreign countries, as well as the English guinea
and crown, had circulated in Ireland from an early period,
the value of the same being ascertained by weight,"
and proclamations were issued from time to time regulating
the rates at which foreign coins should pass. The
Proclamation in force at the beginning of the eighteenth
century was dated 29th May, 1695 ; this Proclamation, after
reciting that, owing to the great rise in the value of gold
and silver abroad, the foreign coins circulating in Ireland
were being carried out of the Kingdom in great quantities,
and that it was necessary to stop this drain, fixed as
follows the rates at which foreign money should pass in
Ireland : —

' Carte, Life of Ortnondc, vol. i., p. 79.
2 Proc. R.I.A., vol. xxxiii.. Sec. C, p. 44.



346 THE ECONOMIC HISTORY OF IRELAND



Gold




Dwt.


grs.


£


s.


d.


The Spanish or French Pistole




4


8


1


1





The Spanish or French half-Pistole




2


4





10


6


Silver














The Ducatoon




20


16





6


8


The half-Ducatoon




10


8





3


4


The quarter-Ducatoon

The Mexico, Sevil, or Pillar Piece of




S


4





1


8


Eight, the


1










Rix Dollar, Cross Dollar, and all other Dollars,


^^








5


4


and the French Lewis




I










The halves do. do.


"do.


8


12





2


8


The quarters do. do.


do.


4


6





1


4


The old Peru Piece of Eight ...




17








4


10


The half old Peru Piece of Eight




8


12





2


5


The quarter old Peru piece of Eight




4


6





1


2i


The Crusado of Portugal




10


20





3


ti


The half-Crusado of Portugal ...




5


10





1


9



Twopence was to be allowed for any grain deficient in the
weight on any piece of gold, and three half-pence for any
half pennyweight wanting in any piece of silver. It has
been said that the English coins circulating in Ireland
were raised in value at the same time — the guinea to 26s.,
the half-guinea to 13s., the crown to 5s. lod., the half-
crown to 2S. I id., the IS. to is. 2d., and the 6d. to yd.'
These rates were changed in 1701. A Proclamation
dated June 2nd in that year fixed the rates as follows : —



Gold
The French or Spanish Pistole
The French or Spanish half-Pistole

Silver
The Ducatoon
The half-Ducatoon
The quarter-Ducatoon
The Mexico, Sevil, or Pillar Piece of Eight,
Dollar and other Dollars, and the French
The halves do. do. do.

The quarters do. do. do.

The old Peru Piece of Eight ...
The half old Peru Piece of Eight
The quarter old Peru Piece of Eight
The Crusado of Portugal
The half-Crusado of Portugal ...





Dwt.


grs.


£


s.


d.




4


8





18


6




2


4





9


3




20


16





6







10


8





3







5


4





1


6


Cross
Lewis


}>'








4


9




8


12





2


4*




4


6





1


2i




17








4


6




8


12





2


3




4


6





1


14




10


20





3


3




5


10





1


7



' Simon, Irish Coins, p. 65.



IN THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY



347



Simon surmised that the value of the English coins
was again changed at this time, the guinea being
reduced to 23s., the half-guinea to lis. 6d., the crown to
5s. 5d., the half-crown to 2s. 8^d., the is. to is. id., and
the 6d. to 6^d.'

An Irish Act of Parliament* was passed in 1709 to
prevent the counterfeiting of foreign coin ; and the value
of foreign coins was slightly altered by a Proclamation of
July 30, 1712.'

In a Proclamation dated 17 14 several new coins were
recited as being current, and their values proclaimed as
follows : —



Gold
The French Lewis d'or of the new species
The half-French Lewis d'or of the new species
The quarter- French Lewis d'or of the new
species

Silver
The French silver Lewis of the new species
The half-French silver Lewis of the new species
The quarter-French silver Lewis of the new
species




The next Proclamation on the subject is dated 1725, when
the new gold coin of Portugal was made current at the
following rates* : —





Dwt.


grs.


& s.


d.


New Gold Coin of Portugal ...


18


9


4





Half do. do.


9


5


2





Qunrter do.


4


15


1





Half Quarter do.


2


8


10





Sixteenth do.


1


3


5






The values fixed by these Proclamations do not seem
to have been in exact accord with the real value of silver
and gold at the time, the silver being undervalued in pro-
portion to the gold ; and some of the gold coins valued at
a lower rate than others. The result was that most of the



1 Simon, p. 67. * 8 Anne, c. 6. » Simon, p. 68. < Simon, p. 71.



:J48



I"}



KCONOMIC HISTORY OF IRELAND



silver coin and a great deal of die gold was carried out
of the Kingdom, and this left the country very short of
money, to the great detriment of trade. The reform of
the currency was the subject of much ill-informed and
acrimonious discussion in 1729, but nothing was done by
the Government until eight years later.'

In 1737 a Proclamation, dated August 29th, re-fixed
the values of the coins in circulation as follows^ : —



The Guinea at

and all other pieces of the same species in
proportion.

The Moidore ...

The half-Moidore

The quartcr-Moidore ...

The quadruple Pistole or double Doubloon

The Spanish or French double Pistole or Doub-
loon, or double Louis d'or...

The Spanish or French Pistole

The half Spanish or French Pistole

The quarter Spanish or French Pistole...

The French Louis d'or of the new species

The half French Louis d'or of the new species ...

The quarter French Louis d'or of the new species

The piece of new gold of Portugal

The half piece of new gold of Portugal...

The quarter piece of new gold of Portugal

The half-quarter piece of n-jw gold of Portugal...

The sixteenth piece of new gold of Portugal



Dwt


grs.


£ s.


d.






1 2


9


6


22


1 9


3


3


11


14


8


1


17i


7


•4


17


8


3 13





8


16


1 16


6


4


'8


18


3


2


4


9


2


1


2


4


7


5


5


1 2





2


\U


11





1


n


5


6


18


10


3 17


8


9


51


1 18


10


4


14;^


19


6


2


7i


9


10


1


H


4


11



In the Dublin Gazette of October 20, 1750, a list of foreign
coins current in Ireland is given. According to this list,
the values of the Spanish quadruple Pistole and its
divisions had fallen since the last Proclamation, as they
are given as follows : —





Dwt.


grs.


£ s. d-


The Spanish quadruple Pistole


17


8


3 11 4


The Spanish double Pistole


8


16


1 15 8


The Spanish Pistole ...


4


8


17 10


The half-Pistole


2


4


8 llj
4 5


The quarter-Pistole ...


1


2



Obscryaftoiis on Cmn in General, with some Prot>osals for Regulating the Value
ntU.Z" ','* ^;^^u|!''' ,'^Vi''":'"2^= Acconnt of the Reasons of the Intended Alter-
l/J^r'^.l n Kr ,",o^"^^.- l*.'."'^?."' ^^S"y O" "'e Gold and Silver Coin Current in
V 4- ;...'/ iT" V.^- '^ J '"'location of the Intended Alterations. Dublin, 1729:
/\ i>L lume of the Money Matters of Ireland, Dublin. 1729. 2 Simon p. 74.



IX THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY. 349

In the following year a Proclamation was issued stopping
the currency of the Spanish quadruple Pistole, and its
divisions, and declaring that they should be no longer
legal tender for any amount.

A radical change in the coinage system of the Kingdom
was effected by a Proclamation dated March i8, 1775,
which abolished the currency of all foreign coins, and
declared that no persons should, after that date, be
obliged to take any payment in any coin save only His
Majesty's coin current in Great Britain. From this time
on, the gold coinage of Ireland consisted of the guinea
and its divisions. In the year 1797, Spanish dollars were
once more made current by a Proclamation dated Septem-
ber 7, but were again withdrawn from currency by a Pro-
clamation dated October 19, 1798. They seem, however,
to have circulated in the country until a much later
date.' In 1780 the prohibition which had existed from
the time of Henry VIII. against the exportation from
England to Ireland of English gold or silver coin was
repealed.* This relief would have been given thirty years
sooner, had it not been strongly opposed at the time by
the Governor of the Bank of England.'

The weighing of coin must have been a matter of great
importance, and the licence to make weights which might
be used for this purpose was granted to successive
licencees during the century. The last grant seems to have
been made about 1785, and from that time onwards anyone
who wished could make money-weights, provided that,
after being tested and found true, they were struck with
the official stamp.*

So far, we have spoken of gold and silver coins. It
is clear, of course, that no system similar to that prevailing
in relation to gold and silver coins could exist with regard
to the copper coinage. The copper coinage of Ireland
also suffered from the lack of a mint. The practice in

1 Proc. R.I. A., vol. xxxiii.. Sec. C. p. 68. 2 20 Geo. III., c. 20 (Brit.)
8 Lord George Sackville to Thomas Waite. 24th May, 1751, Sackxille MSS.. I., 171.
* An interesting! article on this subject by Mr. M. S. Dudley Westropp is published in
vol. xxxiii.. Sec. C. of the Proceedings of the R.I. A.



350 THE ECONOMIC HISTORY OF IRELAND

this case was that the King should give grants or patents
to private individuals to mint coins. In 1660, Charles II.
granted such a patent to Sir Thomas Armstrong, per-
mitting him to coin farthings for twenty years, and in
1680 Sir William Armstrong and Col. Geo. Legge
obtained a patent for twenty-one years granting them the
right to issue copper halfpence. This patent was sold to
John Knox in the year of its issue, and he, in turn, sold it
to Col. Roger Moore. When King James came to Ireland
he took the coinage into his own hands, and struck vast
quantities of brass money which he made current by a
Proclamation dated i8th June, 1689. The metal was the
worst kind of brass, and the coinage was of the basest
possible quality. William III., however, abolished this
coinage, which had caused so much trouble in the country,
and Col. Roger Moore proceeded to act under his patent,
and coined such a quantity of money that the currency
became undervalued.

Owing to the importation of a great quantity of
debased coin, the state of the coinage about 1720
became very degraded. It was said that there was a
serious shortage of copper coins, but this was contradicted
by other writers.* In consequence, however, either of the
debased state of the coinage, or of the shortage thereof,
it was decided that a new copper coinage should be issued
for Ireland, and in 1722 George I. granted a patent for
that purpose to William Wood, an English iron mer-
chant, giving him the right during fourteen years from
that date to coin halfpence and farthings with copper, to
be uttered and disposed of in Ireland and not elsewhere.
It was provided that the whole quantity coined should not
exceed 360 tons of copper, whereof 100 tons only were to
be coined in the first year, and that one avoirdupois pound
weio-ht of copper could not be converted into more
farthings or halfpence than would make 30 pence. Wood
agreed to pay the King £800 a vear for the privilege, and
;£2oo a year to the King's Clerk or Controller of the



IN THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY. 351

coinage. The storm of opposition which greeted this pro-
posal is well known. The patent was petitioned against
by the Lords Justices and Council, both Houses of
Parliament, and the Grand Juries of the City and County
of Dublin. The principal objections to the new patent
were based first on the fact that the amount of metal
from which 30 pence were to be struck in Ireland was only
deemed sufficient to provide 23 pence in England, and that
the Irish penny would thereby become of debased value,
and secondly, on the excessive proportion which the copper
coinage would bear to the whole currency in Ireland. In
England the copper coinage only constituted one hundredth
part of the whole coinage of the Kingdom ; whereas in
Ireland it would thenceforth constitute one-fourth. Gold
and silver, it was feared, would consequently be displaced
by copper, the former being exported to England.' It is
not any part of our subject to relate the history of the
controversy which this question provoked; the Drapier's
Letters form an epoch-making event in Irish history;
suffice it to say that the opposition was so great that Wood
felt himself obliged to relinquish his patent in 1724.*
From that time onwards no more private patents to indivi-
duals were granted. The shortage of copper coin became
more acute than usual about 1735, and merchants, in
order to provide themselves with change, made copper and
silver tokens in great quantities. In 1736 the King ordered
an issue of copper coin in the London mint for circulation
in Ireland, and in 1737 a certain quantity of this coin was
sent across. Further issues of the same coinage took place
at various intervals throughout the century — in 1766-69-
75-81 and 82.'

Until the very end of the century there was never a
sufficiency of copper coinage in the country, to the great
disadvantage of trade and commerce. For many years,
change of a guinea could not be obtained at a fair or

1 Boulter's Letters. I., 10.

2 See The Patieutee's Comf>utaiioH of Ireland. Dublin, 1723 ; Nelson. The Coinafie of
Wm. Wood. Brighton. 1905; Monck Mason. History of St. Patrick's Cathedral,
pp. 326-7. * Lindsay on Irish Coinage, 1839, p. 62.



352 THE ECONOMIC HISTORY OF IRELAND.

market without payment of an exorbitant commission. The
result was that merciiants and traders sought to provide
themselves and their customers with substitutes, and they,
therefore, issued a large number of tokens which circulated
freely, some locally and some generally throughout the
country, during the last years of the century. The
Cronebane halfpenny, struck in 1789 by the Irish Mining
Co., circulated very widely, and, according to Lindsay,
formed the bulk of the Irish copper currency during die last
decade of the century.' Indeed, in the more remote parts
of the country, away from towns, the use of money was
by no means general during the eighteenth century. As
late as 1814 Wakefield observed that all transactions
amongst the country people were effected by tally, and the
circulation of either coins or tokens was almost unknown.''



> Lindsay on Irish Coittage. 1839, p. 63. where a full list of the tokens issued will be

lUnH 3 WolrofSol.^ II IT



found. a Wakefield, U.. 17



CHAPTER XXVIII.
Banking.

THE discouragement which trade and commerce
experienced on account of the wretched condition of
the currency was exaggerated by the banking system
which prevailed throughout the greater part of the century.
Whereas the Bank of England was founded in 1695, ^"d
the Bank of Scotland in 1696, Ireland was without a
National Bank until 1783. " For a long period, therefore,"
writes the most competent historian of Irish banking, " the
credit organisation of the country was in the hands of a
number of so-called bankers, individuals with little or no
capital, but issuing notes without restriction, who were
enabled to trade on the credulity of the people.'" In the
seventeenth century, business corresponding to that now
done by bankers was conducted bv brokers, who brought
borrowers and lenders together in consideration of a com-
mission on the loan. This business was regulated by the
statute 10 Ch. I., c. 22, which fixed the maximum
rate of commission at 5s. per cent, for the original loan,
and 12 pence per cent, for every renewal. Other banking
functions were performed by goldsmiths and general
traders., who issued promissory notes against deposits.
In 1709 notes thus issued were rendered transferable by



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