In 2014 we took part in a broad heritage project in Grantham called Lincolnshire's Age of Scientific Discovery. The strand in which we were involved was about Isaac Newton's time as the Warden, and later the Master, of the Royal Mint. We worked with a professional writer to research and write a play depicting this period of Newton's history.
It's a little known part of Newton's career, his scientific achievements - perhaps understandably - taking much of the limelight. He spent 30 years running the mint, creating new coins and moving in elevated circles.
One of Newton's first duties was to tackle a crisis in the country's coinage: it was being undermined by counterfeiters with as much as 20% of the circulating coins being forged. Drawn into a dark underworld, Newton would obsessively and doggedly hunt down the coiners. At that time, forging currency was treason and carried the death penalty and Newton was responsible for many criminals being hanged.
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