Thomas Stanley (died 15 December 1571) was a goldsmith and officer of the Royal Mint in Tudor England. Stanley rose to the rank of Under-Treasurer of the Mint at the Tower of London in the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.
A goldsmith is a metalworker who specializes in working with gold and other precious metals. Historically, goldsmiths also have made silverware, platters, goblets, decorative and serviceable utensils, ceremonial or religious items, and rarely using Kintsugi, but the rising prices of precious metals have curtailed the making of such items to a large degree.
The Royal Mint is a government-owned mint that produces coins for the United Kingdom. Operating under the name Royal Mint Ltd, the mint is a limited company that is wholly owned by Her Majesty's Treasury and is under an exclusive contract to supply all the nation's coinage. As well as minting circulating coins for use domestically and internationally, the mint also produces planchets, commemorative coins, various types of medals and precious metal bullion. The mint exports to an average of 60 countries a year, making up 70% of its total sales. Formed over 1,100 years ago, the mint was historically part of a series of mints that became centralised to produce coins for the Kingdom of England, all of Great Britain and eventually most of the British Empire. The original London mint from which the Royal Mint is the successor, was established in 886 AD and operated within the Tower of London for approximately 800 years before moving to what is now called Royal Mint Court where it remained until the 1960s. As Britain followed the rest of the world in decimalising its currency, the Mint moved from London to a new 38 acres (15 ha) plant in Llantrisant, Wales where it has remained since.
The Tudor period is the period between 1485 and 1603 in England and Wales and includes the Elizabethan period during the reign of Elizabeth I until 1603. The Tudor period coincides with the dynasty of the House of Tudor in England whose first monarch was Henry VII. In terms of the entire span, the historian John Guy (1988) argues that "England was economically healthier, more expansive, and more optimistic under the Tudors" than at any time in a thousand years.
Thomas Stanley was the third son of Thomas Stanley, of Dalgarth, Cumberland, and his wife Margaret, daughter of John Fleming. He married Joyce, daughter of John Barrett, of Aveley, Essex, and widow of Sir James Wilford, soldier and politician. Their only daughter, Mary, married Sir Edward Herbert (c. 1542–1595), second son of the Earl of Pembroke.Her son William Herbert, 1st Baron Powis (1572–1655) was Lord High Steward to Elizabeth I and is a candidate for "Mr WH", the dedicatee of Shakespeare's sonnets.
Aveley is a small town within the Thurrock unitary authority in Essex, England, and forms one of its traditional Church of England parishes. It is a suburb of London located 16.3 miles (26.2 km) east of Charing Cross in London and within the eastern bounds of the M25 motorway.
Edward Herbert was an English politician, who was the second son of the Earl of Pembroke. In 1587, he purchased the lands of the abeyant barony of Powis from his distant relative, Edward, bastard son of the 3rd Baron Grey of Powis - the direct descendant of the last prince of Powys Wenwynwyn.
William Herbert, 1st Baron Powis was a Welsh politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1597 and 1629.
Stanley was appointed as one of the Assay Masters of the Mint in March 1545, following a restructuring and expansion of the Royal Mint under Henry VIII associated with a major effort to prop up the economy by debasing the currency.The policy of debasement was continued by Lord Protector Somerset early in the reign of Henry's son, Edward VI, but after Somerset's fall the Earl of Warwick implemented a plan to reform the currency in an attempt to control rampant inflation. Stanley was one of a consortium of Mint officials appointed in 1551 to advise the government on new standards for the coinage. Another general restructuring of the Mint in the spring of 1552 resulted in the appointment of Thomas Egerton as Under-Treasurer and Stanley's promotion to Comptroller.
Henry VIII was King of England from 1509 until his death in 1547. Henry was the second Tudor monarch, succeeding his father, Henry VII. Henry is best known for his six marriages, in particular his efforts to have his first marriage, to Catherine of Aragon, annulled. His disagreement with the Pope on the question of such an annulment led Henry to initiate the English Reformation, separating the Church of England from papal authority. He appointed himself the Supreme Head of the Church of England and dissolved convents and monasteries, for which he was excommunicated. Henry is also known as "the father of the Royal Navy"; he invested heavily in the Navy, increasing its size greatly from a few to more than 50 ships.
Debasement is the practice of lowering the value of currency. It is particularly used in connection with commodity money such as gold or silver coins. A coin is said to be debased if the quantity of gold, silver, copper or nickel is reduced.
Edward Seymour, 1st Duke of Somerset, was Lord Protector of England during part of the Tudor period from 1547 until 1549 during the minority of his nephew, King Edward VI (1547–1553). Despite his popularity with the common people, his policies often angered the gentry and he was overthrown. He was the eldest brother of Queen Jane Seymour (d. 1537), the third wife of King Henry VIII.
Egerton was dismissed from office by Mary I's government in 1555, and from that time until 1571 control of the Tower Mint was essentially in the hands of Thomas Stanley. On the accession of Elizabeth he was confirmed as Comptroller of the Mint (August 1559) and he was formally appointed Under-Treasurer of the Mint on 14 July 1561, an office he held until his death.As head officer of the Tower Mint, Stanley supervised the great Elizabethan recoinage which was planned from the beginning of the reign and was carried out between December 1560 and October 1561.
Mary I, also known as Mary Tudor, was the Queen of England and Ireland from July 1553 until her death. She is best known for her aggressive attempt to reverse the English Reformation, which had begun during the reign of her father, Henry VIII. The executions that marked her pursuit of the restoration of Roman Catholicism in England and Ireland led to her denunciation as "Bloody Mary" by her Protestant opponents.
Disputes between Stanley and his fellow officers, Comptroller John Bull and assay-master William Humfrey, broke out in a series of accusations and cross-accusations over the next few years that escalated to a 1565 attempt by the two men to discredit Stanley by stealing money under his control. The plot was discovered and Bull confessed, but questions about Stanley's management of the Mint continued. His inability to properly account for his funds during the reign of Queen Mary lead to confiscation of his properties on 2 October 1571, and he died two months later, on 15 December 1571.
William Humfrey (c.1515–1579) was an English goldsmith, mining promoter, and Assay Master at the Royal Mint during the reign of Elizabeth I.
The groat is the traditional name of a long-defunct English and Irish silver coin worth four pence, and also a Scottish coin which was originally worth fourpence, with later issues being valued at eightpence and one shilling.
Master of the Mint was an important office in the governments of Scotland and England, and later Great Britain, between the 16th and 19th centuries. The Master was the highest officer in the Royal Mint. Until 1699, appointment was usually for life. Its holder occasionally sat in the cabinet. The office was abolished as an independent position in 1870, thereafter being held as a subsidiary office of the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Gerard de Malynes was an independent merchant in foreign trade, an English commissioner in the Spanish Netherlands, a government advisor on trade matters, assay master of the mint, and commissioner of mint affairs. His dates of birth and death are unknown.
The Coinage Act or the Mint Act, passed by the United States Congress on April 2, 1792, created the United States dollar as the country's standard unit of money, established the United States Mint, and regulated the coinage of the United States. The long title of the legislation is An act establishing a mint, and regulating the Coins of the United States. This act established the silver dollar as the unit of money in the United States, declared it to be lawful tender, and created a decimal system for U.S. currency.
The sixpence, sometimes known as a tanner or sixpenny bit, is a coin that was worth one-fortieth of a pound sterling, or six pence. It was first minted in the reign of Edward VI and circulated until 1980. Following decimalisation in 1971 it had a value of 2 1⁄2 new pence. The coin was made from silver from its introduction in 1551 to 1947, and thereafter in cupronickel.
Edward Backwell was an English goldsmith-banker, and politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1673 and 1683. He has been called "the principal founder of the banking system in England", and "far and away the best documented banker of his time".
Warden of the Mint was a high-ranking position at the Royal Mint in England from 1216–1829. The warden was responsible for a variety of minting procedures and acted as the immediate representative of the current monarch inside the mint. The role of warden changed greatly through history with the original task being the receiving, assay and payment for bullion, while later evolving into more of an administerial role.
Sir Richard Martin was an English goldsmith and Master of the Mint who served as Sheriff and twice as Lord Mayor of the City of London during the reign of Elizabeth I.
Steven Cornelisz. van Herwijck, was a Netherlandish sculptor and gem engraver famous for his portrait medallions and medals. He spent two periods of his career in England, where he died. It has recently been suggested that he is the "famous paynter Steven" mentioned in an inventory of 1590, who has traditionally been identified as Steven van der Meulen.
Thomas Egerton was a London merchant and member of the Worshipful Company of Mercers.
Sir Martin Bowes was an English politician.
The Great Debasement (1544–1551) was a currency debasement policy introduced by in 1544 England under the order of Henry VIII which saw the amount of precious metal in gold and silver coins reduced and in some cases replaced entirely with cheaper base metals such as copper. Overspending by Henry VIII to pay for his lavish lifestyle and to fund foreign wars with France and Scotland are cited as reasons for the policy's introduction. The main aim of the policy was to increase revenue for the Crown at the cost of taxpayers through savings in currency production with less bullion being required to mint new coins. During debasement gold standards dropped from the previous standard of 23 carat to as low as 20 carat while silver was reduced from 92.5% sterling silver to just 25%. Revoked in 1551 by Edward VI, the policy's economic effects continued for many years until 1560 when all debased currency was removed from circulation.
The United States Assay Commission was an agency of the United States government from 1792 to 1980. Its function was to supervise the annual testing of the gold, silver, and base metal coins produced by the United States Mint to ensure that they met specifications. Although some members were designated by statute, for the most part the commission, which was freshly appointed each year, consisted of prominent Americans, including numismatists. Appointment to the Assay Commission was eagerly sought after, in part because commissioners received a commemorative medal. These medals, different each year, are extremely rare, with the exception of the 1977 issue, which was sold to the general public.
John Lonyson or Lonison (1525–1582) was an English goldsmith and Master of the Mint in the reign of Elizabeth I.
Thomas Fleetwood, of London, The Vache, Chalfont St. Giles, Buckinghamshire and Rossall, Lancashire, was an English politician. He was a Member of Parliament, a judge, and Master of the Royal Mint under King Henry VIII.
Eloy Mestrelle, first name sometimes spelled Eloye, was a French moneyer who was responsible for introducing milled coinage to England.
Peter Blondeau was a French moneyer and engineer who was appointed Engineer to the Mint and was responsible for reintroducing milled coinage to England. He pioneered the process of stamping lettering onto the edge of coins.
Chief Engraver of the Royal Mint is a senior position at the British Royal Mint who is responsible for overseeing the preparation of coin dies.
The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.