Friday, July 27, 2012


"Oh gravity, thou art a heartless bitch." ~ Sir Isaac Newton

It is no big secret that I, Catherine Enos, have a ginormous crush on Isaac Newton. I could pontificate for days on the reasons why he's simply fabulous. Some of you have been subjected to these ramblings but for those whom haven't...grab yourselves a (2 maybe 3) gin and tonic and sit back.

   (Isaac Newton was METAL)

Reason #6: Newton was a caped crusader. 
The year was 1696, currency in England was in disarray. The Brittish government knew there was a problem, all these handstruck coins where chipped, worn, easily forged... and worse some where melted down and sent abroad! "Oh," thought William Lowndes of the Treasury, "who could help?" Newton saw the apple signal in the night sky and swooped in. He estimated that at least 20% of the coins taken in during the Great Recoinage were counterfeit. So he became a warden of the Royal Mint and disguised as a habituĂ© of bars and taverns, gathered evidence.
Now English law still had ancient and ghastly customs of authority and was a bit slow on the prosecution. Newton punched right through that little barrier and became a justice of the peace in all the home counties. In his spare time Newton conducted more than 100 cross-examinations of witnesses, informers, and suspects. Newton successfully prosecuted 28 coiners, William Chaloner being the most noted. 

William Chaloner was part of one of the many coining gangs that existed and was a real class act. Between the schemes to entrap others as Jaobite conspirators and becoming a master forger he earned enough money to prance about as a "gentlemen".  Being the most accomplished counterfeiter in England went straight to his head. He started to issue pamphlets describing a "solution"' to currency problems such as restrict/licence access to tools needed for coining; the coinage should be struck with an impression far deeper than coiners' tools or presses would allow; use a deep groove along the edge; extend the treason law; and adjust the silver value. Newton saw straight through this masquerade and put Chaloner on trial for counterfeiting. He was sent to Newgate Prison. Chaloner, like any good villian, had powerful friends and implored them to secure his release. Much to the dismay of Parliament he was acquitted and released. Newton was having none of that so he put him on trial a second time with conclusive evidence. Chaloner was convicted of high treason and hung, drawn and quartered. Newton seeing his job was finished retreated to his bat cave to create his tomb guarding homunculi.

So if that wasn't reason enough to love the man then I insist you stay tuned for more riveting tales of Sir Isaac Newton. Until then show your love and buy some awesome Newton inspired wares.

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