Rawlinson MS. D51
Amendments to ordinances, 1635

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London Record Society

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Author

Francis W. Steer (editor)

Year published

1968

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Pages

107-113

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'Rawlinson MS. D51: Amendments to ordinances, 1635', Scriveners' company common paper 1357-1628: With a continuation to 1678 (1968), pp. 107-113. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=35926 Date accessed: 22 November 2014.


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Amendments to ordinances, 1635

[Rawl. D51, p. 48] To all people to whome this present writeing shall come, Thomas Lord Coventry, lord keeper of the great seale of England, Sir John Bramston, knight, cheife justice assigned to hold pleas before our soveraigne lord the King, and Sir John Finch, knight, cheife justice of his Majesties court of common pleas at Westminster, send greeting in our Lord God everlasting.

Whereas in and by one Act of Parliament holden at Westminster the sixteenth day of January in the nineteenth yeare of the reigne of the late most noble prince of famous memory King Henry the Seaventh, it was amongst other things ordeyned, established and enacted that no Master, Wardens and Fellowships of Crafts or Misteries nor any of them nor any rulers of guilds or fraternities after the feast of Pentecost in the same Act mentioned should take upon them to make any acts or ordinances nor to execute any acts or ordinances by them before the said Act made in disinheritance or diminution of the prerogative of the King nor of other nor against the comon proffitt of the people. But if the same Acts and ordinances be examined and approved by the Chancellor, Treasurer of England or cheife Justices of either benches or three of them, or before both the justices of assizes in their circuite or progresse in the sheir where such acts or ordinances be made upon peine of forfeiture of forty pounds for every tyme that they should doe contrary, as by the same Act of Parliament amongst other things therein conteyned more at large appeareth

And whereas the freemen of the Citty of London useing the art or mistery of scrivenors within the said Citty of London and suburbs of the same comonly heretofore called Writers of the Court Letter of the Citty of London time out of minde have been an auncient society and brotherhood of the said Citty, and are lately upon due considerations incorporated by the name of the Master, Wardens and Assistants of the Society of Writers of the Citty of London by letters patents of our late soveraigne lord King James under the great seale of England bearing date at Westminster the eight and twentieth day of January in the foureteenth yeare of his said late Majesties reigne of England, France and Ireland, and of Scotland the fiftieth, by which [Rawl. D51, p. 49] said letters pattents our said late soveraigne lord King James did give and graunt for him his heires and successors unto the Master, Wardens and Assistants of the said Society and their successors, That they the said Master and Wardens of the said Society and the rest of the Assistants of the same Society for the time being or the greater part of them from tyme to tyme forever after that should and might lawfully and freely ordeine establish and make statutes, rules, orders, constitutions and ordinances reasonable and agreeable to the lawes and statutes of this realme of England according to their sound discretions for for the proffitt of the Society aforesaid as often as they should please, and the same statutes, constitutions and ordinances from time to tyme to put in execution and cause to be executed without molestation, hindrance or impediment of the said late King his heires or successors or of any his or their justices, maiors, sherriffs or other officers or ministers whatsoever, any statute, act, ordinance, custome or usage to the contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding, And the same statutes, constitutions & ordinances so had and made or any of them from tyme to tyme to change alter or revoake and annihilate as to them or the major part of them shall seeme to be convenient and expedient as in and by the said letters pattents (amongst other things) may appeare

And whereas the Master, Wardens and Assistants of the said Society have divers ancient rules, orders, priviledges, ordinances, constitutions and oathes heretofore time out of minde by their predecessors the Master or Wardens and Governors of the said fraternity made and established, and likewise have some other by the Master, Wardens and Assistants of the said Society after the said letters patents of incorporation devised and made, all for the conservation, rule, good order and better government and maintenance of the people useing the said art or mistery within the Citty of London and the suburbs of the same and within the circuit and precinct of three miles of the same Citty according to the graunt to them in that behalfe made by the letters patents aforesaid, all and singular which said ordinances and constitutions were by the late right honourable Francis, Lord Verulam, Lord Chancellor of England, Sir Henry Mountague, knight, cheife justice assigned to hold pleas before the said late King James, now Earle of Manchester and lord privy seale, and Sir Henry Hobart, knight and baronett, cheife justice of the court of comon pleas under their hands and seales the nine and twentieth day of January in the sixteenth yeare of the reigne of our said late soveraigne lord King James approved and allowed according to the foresaid Act of Parliament as by the said ordinances & constitutions under their hands and seales more at large may appear, some of which said ordinances and constitutions by the Master, Wardens and Assistants of the said Society devised & made the now present Master, Wardens and Assistants of the said Society upon speciall reasons and considerations, and for the conservation, rule, good order and better government of the people of the same Society have in part altered and changed and in leiw and stead thereof have made certaine other ordinances and constitutions which they pray by us to be examined and approved according to the said Act of Parliament, and which said orders, ordinances and constitutions soe altered and new made doe hereafter followe.

[Rawl. D51, p. 50] Whereas our late soveraigne lord King Charles (fn. 1) by his letters patents of incorporation bearing date at Westminster the eight and twentieth day of January in the fourteenth yeare of his reigne amongst other things assigned, ordeined, created and constituted seaven and twenty persons of the Society of Writers of the Citty of London in the same letters pattents perticularly named to be the then present Assistants of the same Society for the good government of the said Society And that as often and whensoever it should happen one or more of the Assistants of the said Society for the tyme being to dye or for a reasonable cause to be removed from his or their office or place, That then and so often it should and might be lawfull to and for the Master and Wardens of the said Society and other the Assistants of the same Society then in full life and in their offices being or the greater part of them within three moneths after the death or removeing of such persons from time to time to nominate and elect of new one or more other fitt person or persons of the freemen of the cominalty of the Society aforesaid in the place and stead of such person or persons so dead or removed And that every such person so nominated and elected takeing the oath by the said letters patents in that behalfe prescribed and appointed should be one of the Assistants of the said Society for the terme of his life untill by the Master, Wardens and Assistants of the same Society or the greater part of them for reasonable cause he should be removed as by the said letters patents (amongst other things) may appeare

And whereas sithence the said letters patents of incorporation amongst divers other ordinances, orders and constitutions by the Master, Wardens and Assistants of the said Society made by force and vertue of the said let[t]ers patents for the good rule and government of the said Society, and by the late right honourable Francis, Lord Verulam, Lord Chancellor of England, Sir Henry Mountague, knight, cheife justice assigned to hold pleas before the said King, now Earle of Manchester and the lord privy seale, Sir Henry Hobart, knight and baronett, cheife justice of the court of common pleas under their hands and seales the nine and twentieth day of January in the sixteenth yeare of the reigne of our late late [sic] soveraigne lord King James approved and allowed according to an Act of Parliament holden at Westminster the sixteenth day of January in the nineteenth yeare of the reigne of the late King Henry the Seaventh in that behalfe made, it was ordeined and constituted that the Master, Wardens and Assistants of the said Society or the major part of them for the tyme being as they should thinke fitt and see cause should and might from time to time call, nominate, chose and admitt into the livery or clothing of the said Society such and so many of the freemen of the said Society being willing to accept the same as they should thinke good, honest, meet, skillfull and able thereunto And alsoe that there should be yearly kept at the Common Hall of the said Society two dinners (that is to say) one dinner for the Master, Wardens and Assistants of the said Society and other the freemen of the same Company to be kept yearly upon the day of the election of the new Master and Wardens, and the other for the Master, Wardens, Assistants and livery of the said Company yearly to be kept on the day when the Lord Maior taketh his oath at Westminster [Rawl. D51, p. 51] and that the Master, Wardens and Assistants of the said Society or the major part of them in convenient tyme before the said election day shall choose every yeare from time to time out of the livery or out of the Assistants of the said Company two of the elder and better sort of the said Company which have not been Master or Wardens to be Stewards for the provision of both the dinners aforesaid, and the said Stewards so to be chosen to have towards the said severall dinners to be yearly kept as aforesaid of the Master, Wardens and Assistants and of the livery and generally of the said Company, the severall summes of money in the same ordinances respectively specified, and the residue of the said charge to be borne by the Stewards, and that if any person so chosen to be Stewards as aforesaid doe or should refuse to accept the same or denye to performe the same, then every person so chosen and refuseing should forfeit and pay to the Master and Wardens for the tyme being to be by them employed in necessary expences of the said Society as occasion should serve tenn pounds for every such offence And also that if any person or persons being a freeman of the said Society should at any tyme be chosen to be of the number of the Assistants of the said Society according to the said letters patents and the constitutions aforesaid in that behalfe also made, and after such election and nomination should refuse and denye to take upon him or them the office and place of an Assistant of the said Society, or should refuse to take the oath by the said constitutions appointed for the due execution of the said place in such sort as is prescribed haveing no lawfull or reasonable cause for such his refuseall and denyall to be allowed of by the Master, Warden and Assistants of the said Society or the major part of them, That then every such person so offending should forfeit and pay to the Master and Wardens of the said Society for the tyme being five pounds to be employed to the generall use and supportation of the same Society

And whereas many and severall persons of the said Society since the said letters patents of incorporation graunted and since the makeing of the ordinances and constitutions aforesaid have been duely chosen to be of the number of the Assistants of the said Society according to the said letters patents and the constitutions aforesaid in that behalfe also made, and after such election and nomination have refused and denyed to take upon them the office and place of an Assistant of the said Society and have refused to take the oath by the said letters patents and constitutions prescribed and appointed for the due execution of the said place, albeit they had noe lawfull or reasonable cause for such their refuseall and denyall, but finding the said fine of five pounds for such their refuseall to be so easie a fine, and well knowing, that by such their refuseall to be of the Assistants they (as the ordinances of the said Company now stand in force) doe escape and free themselves from bearing the offices of Stewards, Wardens and Masters of the said Company for five pounds, whereby great inconveniencies doe arise to the said Company which places of an Assistant, Steward, twice Warden and Master of the said Society would in a few yeares come to forty pounds a man in charge at the least besides much labour, travell and expences in attending about the necessary affaires and at the Courts of [Rawl. D51, p. 52] Assistants of the Company and other matters and businesse for the good government of the said Society

And whereas by the said former ordinances two Stewards for the provision of the said dinners were appointed to be elected yearly out of the livery or out of the Assistants of the said Company And forasmuch as upon many speciall reasons and weighty considerations and for the good of the said Company, the Master, Wardens and Assistants of the said Society have hitherto forborne and omitted to establish and settle a livery or cloathing for the said Company or to call, nominate, choose and admitt into the livery or clothing of the said Society any of the freemen of the said Society so as by that means the two Stewards have yearly been chosen out of the Assistants of the said Society onely (there being no livery) and so is to be continued if redresse in that behalfe is not made And for that at this present tyme all the Assistants of the said Company which are capable by the said former ordinances to be chosen Stewards have served the said place of Steward [(]saveing onely one man which was lately taken into the Assistants) so that the two Stewards for this next yeare, upon the election of the Master and Wardens which will be about halfe a yeare hence being to be elected out of the number of Assistants onely, it will fall out that one of the same two Stewards so to be chosen for this next yeare must needs be one of the Assistants that hath already served the same place of Steward, and so likewise it is unavoidably likely (except provision be made to the contrary) that hereafter also many of the Assistants must be chosen and be enforced to hold the place of Stewards of the said Company which have already to their great charge served the same place, which will be a heavy charge and burthen to those of the Assistants for the tyme being and will deterr others to accept the place of Assistants hereafter but the rather for that cause to pay the said small fyne of five pounds, for remedie, redresse and avoiding of all which mischeifes and inconveniencies that may hereafter ensue for the time to come in like cases

That the Stewards shall be chosen yearly aswell out of the generality as out of those the Assistants & every person refuseing to pay £10 fine

It is now ordered, constituted, ordeined and appointed by the Master, Wardens and Assistants of the said Society of Writers of the Citty of London as followeth (That is to say) That the Master, Wardens and Assistants of the said Society or the major part of them in convenient tyme at or before the election day of the new Master and Wardens of the said Society shall choose every yeare yearly from tyme to tyme aswell out of the Assistants of the Company as out of the generality and cominalty and residue of the freemen of the said Society two of the elder and better sort of freemen of the said Company which have not been Master or Wardens of the said Society to be Stewards for the provision of the dinner by the former constitutions appointed to be yearly kept for the Master, Wardens and Assistants of the said Society and other the freemen of the same Company upon the day of election of the new Master and Wardens, albeit the said Stewards or any of them for the tyme being to be chosen as aforesaid be not or shall not be of the Assistants of the said Society or of the livery or clothing of the said Company. And that the said Stewards so to be chosen shall have towards the [Rawl. D51, p. 53] said dinner to be yearly kept on the said election day, of the Master, Wardens and Assistants of the said Society and of every other person of the said Company such severall summe and summes of money respectively as by the said former ordinances in that behalfe are severally and respectively allowed and appointed to be paid unto the said Stewards and that whatsoever shall be more disbursed or laid out or fitt to be disbursed or laid out for or about the said election dinner shall be yearly and from tyme to tyme borne and discharged at the proper costs and charges of the Stewards for the tyme being, And that if any person so chosen to be Steward as aforesaid doe or shall refuse to accept or execute the said place or office of Steward or doe or shall deny or omitt to disburse the monyes or to performe the other services incident or belonging to the said office or place of Steward, that then every such person so chosen and refuseing, denying or omitting as aforesaid shall forfeit and pay for every such offence unto the Master, Wardens and Assistants of the said Society for the tyme being to be by them employed in the necessary expences of the said Society as occasion shall serve the foresaid summe or fine of tenn pounds by the said former constitutions and ordinances in that behalfe appointed to be paid.

That every person of the Company chosen to be an Assistant & refuseing shall pay £20 fine & yet be lyable to be chosen Steward

Item It is also ordered, constituted, ordeined and appointed by the Master, Wardens and Assistants of the said Society that if any person or persons being a freeman of the said Society shall at any tyme hereafter be chosen to be of the number of Assistants of the said Society according to the said letters pattents, and the said former constitutions in that behaffe [sic] also made, and after such his election and nomination shall refuse or denye to take upon him or them the office and place of an Assistant of the said Society or shall refuse to take the oath by the said letters patents and former constitutions appointed to be taken for the due execution of the said place in such sort as by the former constitutions or ordinances is prescribed haveing no lawfull or reasonable cause for such his refuseall and denyall to be allowed of by the Master, Wardens and Assistants of the said Society or the major part of them, That then every such person so offending shall forfeit and pay for every such offence to the Master, Wardens and Assistants of the said Society for the tyme being twenty pounds to be by them employed to the generall use and supportation of the said Society. And that yet neverthelesse every such person so offending shall be subject to be elected Steward for the election dinner of the new Master and Wardens as if he had not [been] fined for an Assistant and shall hold and serve the office and place of a Steward when he shall be thereunto elected or shall pay such further fyne for the not holding of the Stewards place as by the last precedent ordinance is appointed in that behalfe.

Which said orders, ordinances and constitutions by the new Master, Wardens and Assistants of the said Society lately made and herein before specified, we the said Thomas, Lord Coventry, Sir John Bramston and Sir John Finch have perused and examined, and do by these presents approve them and allowe of them, and in testimony thereof we have signed the same with our signes manuell the eight and twentith [Rawl. D51, p. 54] day of May 1635 and in the eleaventh yeare of the reigne of our soveraigne lord King Charles by the grace of God King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, defender of the faith &c.

Tho: Coventry Cs. John Bramston. Jo: Finch.

Footnotes

1 A scribal error for James.