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that they shall not be obliged to furnish beds, saddle-horses or mules, or waggons. And besides this, that they may, when at such mines, wear arms, offensive or defensive, at all times, by day or night, provided they be not such as are prohibited, and be not worn in prohibited places: which our justices shall observe and shall not oppose, during all such time as they shall be employed about the said mines, or the working thereof.
VJ* The Commentary of Gamboa in relation to the ordinances in this and the three sue. ceeding Chapters, is omitted, as adding nothing at present useful in the way of legal analysis or illustration to the ordinances themselves.
OF THE REDUCTION OF THE ORE, BOTH BY SMELTING AND AMALGAMATION WITH A MINUTE DESCRIPTION OF THE PROCESS IN EACH INSTANCE.—Of ALL THE OTHER METHODS, WHETHER ANCIENT OR MODERN, USED, FOR THE SAME PURPOSE.-OF THE ASSAYERS AND ASSAYS, AND OF THE PROHIBITION AGAINST DEALING IN SILVER, UNSTAMPED.—TWO PLANS SUGGESTED FOR PREVENTING THE FREQUENT EVASION OF THIS ORDER—IN CONCLUSION, A HISTORY OF THE ERECTION AND REGULATIONS OF THE GREAT MINT OF MEXICO.
ORDINANCES XLVIII. LIII. LIV. LV. LVI. LV1I. LVIII. LIX. LX. LXI. LXII. LXXII. LXXlil. LXXV.
XLVHI. Also, we ordain and command, that no person shall presume to search for, carry away or work ore, from the refuse heap, washing place or slag heap of any other person (the owner thereof being known), under the penalty of ten ducats for the first offence, and twenty for the second, to bo applied as is aforesaid ; and for the third offence (over and above the payment of the aforesaid twenty ducats, to be applied as aforesaid), that he be banished for the term of three full years from the mines of that department, and that he do not shorten that term, under pain of completing twice the period. And moreover, all that he may have taken or may take, shall bo for the owner of such refuse heap, washing place or slag heap: but we grant that the old slag heaps, which have resulted from ores of silver, copper, iron and other metals, and which, from having been made long since, have no owner, whereof there are many in these our kingdoms, may be made use of by such persons as shall work mines, because we are advised that they are good and necessary for the smelting of the ores; and we ordain, that any miners whatsoever shall be at liberty to carry them away from any place whatsoever where they may be, and to make use of the same, without any person having the power to hinder them, under pretence that they are in his pastures or grounds, or that he has registered them, or upon any other ground whatsoever, if the owner who shall have accumulated such heaps do not appear.
LIII. Also, we ordain and command, that no person shall presume to smelt any ore, except in furnaces of his own, unless he shall have erected them in partnership; and if any person, not having a furnace of his own, shall wish to smelt in that of some other person, he shall signify the same to our administrator of the department, with whose licence he shall be at liberty to smelt there, but not otherwise, under the penalty of forfeiting such silver-lead, one half to our exchequer, and one half to the denouncer and judge; and also of forfeiting 'such mine, which shall be for the denouncer aforesaid.
LTV. Also, w£ ordain and command, that when, in smelting the ore from any mine, it shall happen to be expedient, in order to facilitate the smelting, to mix with it a proportion of ore from some other mine, this may be done, with the licence of the administrator of the department, provided that the quality of the ore into which such mixture may be introduced, do not surpass that of the ore, which may be so mixed and combined with it ; but if the former shall surpass the latter in quality, it shall not be lawful to do so, and it shall not be done, under the penalty of forfeiting the ore which may be so mixed, and the produce thereof, with as much more; one half to our exchequer, and the other half to the denouncer, and the judge who shall pass sentence. And in order that what is contained in this our edict may not be contravened, we command our administrators, in each district respectively, to take particular care to inspect and assay the ores from such mines, which it may be so wished to mix together, that what may belong to us may be liquidated accordingly. And having done so, and made inspection, as in a matter of such importance is meet, and having ascertained what proportion we are entitled to, according to the quality of such ores, they may give such licence as aforesaid, such mixture being very advantageous for facilitating the smelting.
LV. Also, we ordain and command, that in each of the aforesaid mining districts or works, there shall be erected at our expense, a refining house, with furnaces of different kinds, (homos, buitrones y fuslines,) as may be most convenient, which shall have bellows, tools and such other things as are required for the refining of the silver-lead, which may be smelted in each mining district. To which refining house all persons shall be obliged to bring all the silver-lead which may be raised and smelted from such mine or mines, to be refined, and the same shall be there refined. And no person shall presume to refine such silver-lead, whether in large or small quantities, in any place except in such our refining house, nor to sell, give away or deal in such silver-lead, until it shall have been refined, under the penalty of forfeiting what he may so refine, sell, give away, or deal with in any other manner, with four times the amount, one half to be applied to our exchequer, and the other half to the person who shall inform against him, and the judge who shall give sentence; which penalty aforesaid shall also bo incurred by any person who shall take any part in the above. And where, from there not being any works established, and from there not being mines sufficient to render it necessary, it may not be convenient to set up such refining house, the said admimistrator of the department shall provide and make such arrangements as may be expedient and necessary, for collecting such lead as may be there, for the purpose of refining. And the silver-lead, which shall be so collected, shall be carried to the nearest refining house; and when arrived there, such order shall be observed in regard to the refining thereof, and in all other respects, as is provided with respect to the ingots of silver-lead refined in such house in the ordinary way. But it is our gracious will, that such mine owners shall be spared as much expense as possible in the conveyance of the silver-lead, which, for the reason aforesaid, may not be refined at the mines aforesaid.
LVI. Also, we ordain and command, that there shall he, in each of such refining houses at the several mines or districts, such refiners as may be requisite, to be appointed by our administrator of tho department, to the satisfaction of the mine owners, who shall refine the silver-lead which may be produced from such district or mine, at the expense of the parties, being supplied by them with such charcoal as may be necessary; and that no other person shall intermeddle in such refining, under the penalty of receiving 100 lashes, and of serving three years at the oar in our galleys, without wages; and the administrator aforesaid, shall fix the rate at which such refiners are to be paid, for every quintal which they may refine.
LVII. Also, we ordain and command, that in each mining district, where there may be such a refining house and in any other place where such may be set up, under the orders of our administrator aforesaid, there shall be a sworn clerk, who shall weigh the silver-lead which may be brought to be refined, and who shall take an oath, upon being admitted into his office, that he will discharge his duty truly and faithfully ; and likewise a notary, who shall give certificates of the parcels of silver-lead which may be delivered to the refiner, and all the parcels of silver-lead which shall be brought to be refined shall be delivered to the refiner aforesaid, who shall have been selected by the aforesaid administrator of the department to refine the same. And the administrator aforesaid shall keep a book, wherein all such parcels shall bo entered, and the notary aforesaid shall keep another book, for the same purpose; which books, shall have an alphabetical index, with a separate account for each of the persons who may bring silver-lead to be refined; and the sworn clerk aforesaid shall note, on a separate leaf, what is the weight of such ingots, and they shall be delivered to the refiner; and in such book shall be entered, the day, month and year, the weight and number of the ingots, the names of the persons who may have brought them to be refined, what is the mark upon them, the name or names of the mine or mines from which they may have proceeded, and the name of the refiner to whom they may be deliverod, in such manner that a particular reckoning and account of the whole shall be kept. And the aforesaid administrator of the department or some person appointed by him, and the notary aforesaid, and the party, if he be able to write, and if not, then some other person for him, shall sign both the said books; and after all that is above-mentioned is done, the refiner aforesaid shall refine such parcel; but the silverlead from one mine shall not be mixed with that from another mine, under the penalty, against the party so mixing them, of forfeiting such lead and silver, with four times the value, to be applied as is aforesaid; and if the refiner aforesaid shall mix them, he shall receive 100 lashes, and shall serve three years at the oar in our galleys. And we charge our administrator aforesaid, to observe particular care and diligence in seeing that such refining is fauhfuly performed, so that no fraud be practiced against our rights and no injustice be done to the parties.
LVIII. Also, we ordain and command, that, what is above-mentioned being done, and the silver being refined and taken out in the presence of our aforesaid administrator of the department, or some person appointed by him, and of the notary aforesaid, the sworn clerk shall weigh the silver, and take from it such part as wo may be entitled to, agreeably to these our ordinances, and the same shall be delivered to the person whom we shall direct to be appointed for that purpose, who shall be charged with what may be so delivered to him, noting it in the books aforesaid, and in the book which our administrator aforesaid is to keep, with a record of tho day, month and year, the mine or mines from which such silver proceeds, tho name of the owner of the parcel, and of the person who has brought it to be refined, the weight of the silver in such parcel, and the proportion thereof which may belong to us, and may have been delivered to the aforesaid administrator; and all the persons aforesaid, and the party himself, shall sign the aforesaid three books, that the administrator may render an account accordingly, when required of him: and the remainder of the silver (after taking out our proportion, as aforesaid), shall be delivered to the owner, after impressing upon one, two or more places in each ingot (as it may require), the stamp of our royal arms, without which stamp aforesaid, no one shall presume to sell, purchase or deal in the silver raised from the aforesaid mines, under the penalty of forfeiting such silver, and what may be purchased therewith, and the half of all his property, to be applied as aforesaid. And over and above this, he shall be banished from the mines aforesaid, and the space of ten leagues around, for the term of six full years; and he shall not shorten such term, under pain of serving during the same period in the galleys, or wherever he may be ordered; which penalty aforesaid shall be incurred by the purchaser, or the person with whom dealings may be had in respect of such silver.
LIX. Also, forasmuch as many ores of silver are worked and reduced by quicksilver, at a less expense, and with more profit, and it might happen that sorne persons might propose to work with quicksilver, certain ores adapted for that method, in consequence of which, what is provided and commanded with respect to the ores worked and reduced by smelting and refining could not bo observed, so as to mako such silver, so reduced by quicksilver, pay to us the duty to which we are entitled,- agreeable to these our ordinances, without any diminution therein :—We ordain and command, that any person who shall be desirous to work and reduce such ores by quicksilver, shall be obliged to give notice thereof to our administrator aforesaid, and to mention to him the mine or mines, the ores of which he shall wish to work and reduce by quicksilver, as aforesaid, that the same may be entered, and that it may be known, that the ores of such mine or mines are worked and reduced by quicksilver; and during all such time as they shall choose to work and reduce such ores by that method, they shall not be at liberty to work, and shall not work or reduce the same in any other manner, unless upon giving notice thereof to the administrator, when they shall propose to do so, that the same may be noted, and that it may be known that they do not any longer work or reduce the ores of such mine with quicksilver, as aforesaid. And if they shall work and reduce the ores of such mines in any other manner, they shall forfeit the silver and ore, one half to our exchequer, and the other half to the informer and the judge who shall pass sentence, and they shall forfeit luch mine or mines, which shall be for the informer. And the share or duty which we may be entitled to have, agreeably to these our ordinances, shall be ascertained by weighing the quintals of ore which may be mixed with quicksilver, in the presence of the sworn clerk, and notary, and of our administrator; and when the quicksilver shall have been driven off from the amalgam obtained, so that the silver shall remain fine, it shall also be weighed, that it may bo known and ascertained how much silver shall have been produced from the quintals of ore mixed with quicksilver; and our duties shall be levied according to the produce, agreeably to these our ordinances as aforesaid: the same books, reckoning and account being kept, and the same order, form and manner being observed in this matter, as with respect to the silver to which the refining process is applied, as is above set forth, and under the same penalties, to be applied as is aforesaid.
LX. Also, we ordain and command, that it shall not be lawful to remove the silver from the place where it may have been put for the purpose of having the quicksilver driven off, except in the presence of our administrator of the department, or of the person whom he may appoint, but that it shall be weighed, and the duty which we may be entitled to, and which may belong to us, shall be taken from it, and be delivered to the person whom we shall command to be appointed for that purpose, in the presence of the said administrator and of the sworn clerk and notary, and the same reckoning and account thereof shall be kept as of the silver refined by fire; and the