The Publick have sustained great Loss from the illegal practice of Counterfeiting Halfpence which has been lately carried to a greater height than was ever before known of & seems still to encrease, in so much, that it is now too common a Custom among many of the lower class of Manufacturers & Traders to purchase these Counterfeit Halfpence at little more than half their nominal Value & to pay with this Money, their Workmen & Laborers, greatly to the Injury of the honest part of the community & to the Detriment of Trade.
Some Individuals whose Business leads them to receive much in Halfpence, have suffered to the Amount of some hundred Pounds.
The Scarcity of legal Copper Coin & the facility of counterfeiting the present halfpence have hitherto rendered all means of suppressing this illegal & injurious Practice ineffectual.
Some Persons have been induced by the Scarcity of good legal Coin, to make & issue for the Convenience of themselves & Neighbourhood, large Quantities of Copper Pieces of the Value of Pence & Halfpence not counterfeiting, the Coin of the Kingdom, but stamped with their own Devices. These Pieces also have been counterfeited, without any Penalty being incurred; & by these means the Country is filled with a large Quantity of base Coins.
The counterfeiting of Copper Coin now so frequently practised, cannot fail of tending to similar attempts on the Gold & Silver Coin of the Kingdom: & when it is considered what numbers are executed for this Crime, & also how much those Secret Associations entered into for the purpose of committing