#OnThisDay 30 September 1813 the 'holey dollar' and 'dump' coins became legal tender in NSW by a proclamation issued by Governor Macquarie (which also made it an offence to melt them down or export them). To address the acute shortage of coinage in the colony, the British authorities had arranged with the Directors of the East India Company that £10,000 worth of dollars be purchased in India and shipped to NSW ‘on the Government account’, and 40,000 Spanish dollars were received in late 1812.
Page 1 of proclamation re coinage and currency INX-99-33514. See full document in Collection Search
To double available coins and ensure they remained in the colony Macquarie commissioned convicted forger William Henshall to cut the centre (the dump) out of each coin and stamp them with NSW. The smaller 'dump' was worth fifteen pence and the larger 'holey dollar' (with a hole in the centre) was worth five shillings. Although these coins became legal tender on 30 September they were not available for general issue until January 1814.
Colonial Secretary's Correspondence
In pursuance of an Order to us direct-
-ed from His Excellency Lachlan Mac-
-quarie Esqr Captain General and Govern-
-or in Chief in and over His Majesty’s
Territory of New South Wales and its
Dependencies &c &c &c
We whose names are hereunto Subscribed did
assemble at Government House Sydney, New South wales
at ten O Clock in the forenoon of Saturday the 5th Day of De-
-cember 1812, and did then and there form ourselves into a
Committee and Opened and examined and Counted
Fourteen Boxes of Treasure received lately from India
by His Majesty’s Ship Tamarang for the use of this Gov-
-ernment in which we found as follows -?-
Fourteen Boxes Numbered from 1 to 5 – containing each Three Thous-
from 7 to 14 -and Dollars
One Box No. 6 Containing nine hundred and eight and ¾ Dollars
making in the whole Thirty nine Thousand Nine Hundred
and eight Dollars and three quarters.
And We further declare that we examined the said Box-
-es with such Care and attention and after having so done returned
the Treasure into the Respective Boxes which we Sealed down
in the presence of each other and for all which we are ready to
make Oath if required.
Given under our hands at Sydney
in New South Wales this 5th Day
of December 1812
Major of Brigades
Actg Dy Comm.