Warden of the Mint

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The Warden of the Mint was in principle the highest-ranking officer[citation needed] of the Royal Mint of the Kingdom of England and later of Great Britain, having oversight over its operations and physical plant by virtue of a royal warrant. Tenure was for life until 1685 and during pleasure thereafter. The office received a yearly emolument of £500. Technically subordinate to the Warden[citation needed] was the Master of the Mint. The Master was, in fact, the general contractor for the minting process, delegating the actual production to his subcontractors. The Master's yearly salary of £400 might be augmented to a figure of three to five times that amount, benefitting by the markup he imposed on the coinage actually produced by his subcontractors.

The most illustrious holder of the office of Warden of the Mint was Isaac Newton, who was warranted to this position on the recommendation of his friend, Montagu, Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1698. In 1697 however, Newton undertook the office of Master, which was far more lucrative, as well as potentially more technically challenging. Later the office of Master was subsumed by that of the Chancellor of the Exchequer; the office of warden was abolished in the reign of George III after the death of the current office holder, Sir Walter James, Bt, in 1829.

During the interregnum (1645-1660) the Warden (John St John) was appointed by Parliament.

Wardens of the Mint[edit]

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References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Ruding, Rogers. Annals of the coinage of Great Britain and its dependencies. pp. 26–29.  p.26
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r craig, John. The Mint: A History of the London Mint from A.D. 287 to 1948.  Google Books

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