I. 52. Letter from the Lord Mayor (Sir Thomas Ramsey (fn. 1) ) to the
Lord Treasurer, acknowledging the receipt of his letter in favour of
Harny, a bookbinder, free of the Fishmongers' Company, who had
been sued in the King's Bench for using the general liberties of the
City, and also that Stationers might put their work to persons skilful
without offence of the Act of Common Council. The Court of
Aldermen had given direction for restraining all suits against
the Stationers in matters touching that Act of Common Council, but
the case of Harny was still being pursued by an informer (one
Lille, free of the Merchant Taylors' Company) under the Statute of
Labourers, (fn. 2) Anno Quinto of Her Majesty, wherein it was ordained
that none should use any art in which he had not been apprenticed,
which, however, was not intended to touch the City's liberties. The
Lord Mayor requests instructions maybe given to the Attorney-General
to examine into this case, and into the one brought by Langrake against
Bolton, a freeman of the Merchant Taylors' Company, for selling
chandler's ware, and if it should, appear that all the penalties are to
be given to the City, that the proceedings may be stayed.
Sans date (circa 1577–8).
I. 68. Letter from the Lord Mayor to . . . . . . . .,
thanking him for the relief afforded to a great number of poor citizens
troubled for using the lawful trades of this City according to their
ancient freedom, and for having stayed proceedings in the suits
20th November, 1579.
I. 270. Letter from the Lord Mayor and Aldermen to the Lords
of the Council, informing them that, by ancient orders of the City, the
White Bakers and Brown Bakers had been kept separate Companies
by special ordinances, to prevent inconveniences which would arise if the
white baker were permitted to bake brown bread, and vice versâ; and
charge had been given in Hallimote inquest to prevent the same.
The Common Council had also considered the matter, and thought it
necessary and profitable to the commonweal, and for the good assize
of bread, that the Companies should remain separate. The White
Bakers alleged that they had obtained Letters Patent to incorporate
the two Companies into one, although the Brown Bakers wholly disagreed
thereto, and by reason of this new Corporation the orders of the Common Council touching baking could not be carried into effect. Although
the City had power to regulate matters relating to the victual of the
Queen's subjects, they thought it due to the Council to inform them
of these facts, and to beseech them to permit the City to deal with
matters of bread as they had previously done, notwithstanding the
said new Letters Patent.
28th September, 1581.
I. 287. Letter from Sir Francis Walsingham to Mr. Thomas
Norton, informing him that the Lords of the Council had determined
to recommend Her Majesty to revoke the Letters Patent of the White
Bakers. In the mean time the Court of Aldermen should continue the
use of the ancient ordinances of the City for the severing of these
Companies, notwithstanding the new Letters Patent.
16th October, 1581.
II. 16. Letter from Sir John Puckering, (fn. 3) Lord Keeper, to the
Lord Mayor, requesting him to see that William Warren, lately chosen
Master of the Musicians' Company, but prevented from the peaceful
exercise of his office by some of the members of that Company, be
not further interfered with.
29th September, 1594.
II. 100. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Treasurer,
giving an account of the proceedings taken by direction of his Lordship against the Company of Merchant Adventurers (fn. 4) for the disbursement of the sum of 50l., required "in prest" by Captain Swan for the
charges of the shipping of certain poor men to the Low Countries,
which they refused to disburse, and stating that in the meanwhile the
poor men continued in Bridewell and Southwark.
27th June, 1595.
II. 251. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council,
reporting the steps taken at their request by the Court of Aldermen
to restore Thomas Elliott to his office of Master of the Pewterers'
Company, from which he had been formerly removed.
6th February, 1604.
II. 252. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council,
informing them that the Pewterers' Company had agreed to receive
Thomas Elliott again into his office of Master, upon his giving bond
to the Company for such plate and other matters of charge as by
his office were to be committed unto him, which custom was
observed in many Companies; that at first he refused to do as
they required; some fresh objections being, however, taken against
him, a Petition, signed by two hundred of the Company, had been
presented, praying that he might not be put upon them, but that
they might have free choice of such as were to hold the place of
government amongst them.
17th March, 1604.
II. 273. Letter from the Lord Mayor to Sir Edward Cooke, (fn. 5)
Knight, Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, touching the Charter
lately granted to the Cutlers' Company, and complaining that this new
Charter was contrary to the usage and custom of this ancient City,
and requesting him to examine and report upon the differences
between the Old and New Charter.
12th October, 1606.
II. 282. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council,
enclosing a Report from the Court of Aldermen touching the differences
between the Company of Skinners and the Artisan Skinners referred
to them by their Lordships.
19th March, 1606.
II. 303. Letter from the Lord Mayor to Lord Chief Justice
Fleming, (fn. 6) touching the Suit to be brought before him in the King's
Bench, by Nicholas Lowe against Thomas Beckford, Master of the
Blacksmiths' Company, for proceedings against the said Lowe, who
was carrying on the trade of a smith, not being free of the City, and
requesting his Lordship to refer the suit to the Court of Aldermen for
23rd January, 1607.
II. 305. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council,
enclosing a Petition from the Grocers' Company, complaining that His
Majesty, for the redress of a great annoyance occasioned by the making
of starch, had granted Letters Patent for the incorporation of certain
persons, allowed and using the trade of starch-making (fn. 7) into one Company, whereby the price of that article would be much increased, and
great annoyance and inconvenience caused to the citizens.
5th February, 1607.
II. 241. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council,
enclosing a Petition from the Poulterers of London, complaining of
the wrongs done to them by His Majesty's purveyors.
9th March, 1603.
III. 17. Letter from the Commissioners for Suits to the Lord
Mayor and Court of Aldermen, enclosing Copy of a Petition referred
to them by the King for consideration, from the Silkmen of the City
of London, to be incorporated into a Company, and requesting them
to consider it, and if they could show any reasons why the request
should not be complied with, to send two or three of the Aldermen,
sufficiently instructed, to the Exchequer Chamber on the following
Thursday, or, in the event of their approval, to certify the same in
writing before the time appointed.
Dated from the Exchequer Chamber, 27th June, 1611.
III. 18. The Answer of the Lord Mayor and Aldermen to the
foregoing Letter, stating that the Company sought to be established
was neither profitable nor necessary, but a novelty full of inconvenicences. With respect to necessity, the grounds alleged were the
redress of three abuses—1st, falsity in working; 2nd, falsity in dying;
3rd, falsity in weighing, of silk, gold, and silver thread, all of which
were otherwise remedied, and in a better manner than they could be
by this Company. For falsity in working, the Weavers had by
Charter, (fn. 8) the search, view and correction. For falsity in dying, and
Act of Common Council (fn. 9) was already ordained; and for falsity in
weight, the Statutes of the Realm were excellent, and the Mayor of
London was sworn to oversee the Weights and Measures in the City.
The inconveniences which would arise are stated to be many, and are
given at length.
III. 23. Letter from the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen to
the Lord Chief Justice, stating that the Company of Brown Bakers
had made complaint to them against one John Littlepage, who, being
a white baker, exercised the trade of a brown baker, in baking brown
bread, called housewife's bread, in breach and contempt of an Order
made by the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen in the time of the
late Queen Elizabeth, with the consent of both Companies, and that,
finding Littlepage refused to obey the said Order, they had committed
him to prison, upon which he had procured a writ of Habeas Corpus,
to remove the matter before the Lord Chief Justice. Since they
found by daily experience the example of an obstinate person, if he
obtained never so little countenance, was enough to disturb a whole
multitude, they prayed that, for example sake, the prisoner might
be remainded back again, to be detained until he should conform himself
17th September, 1611.
Note in Margin.—Upon this Letter, the prisoner was remanded,
and enforced to obey the Order of the Court.
III. 77. Letter from the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen to
the Lords Commissioners for Suits, against the Petition exhibited to
His Majesty by the Company of Feltmakers, (fn. 10) to be admitted to the
freedom of the City, as of the Company of Feltmakers, and stating
that their Suit had been considered and rejected by the general and
free opinion of the Court of Common Council, (fn. 11) a copy of whose
Order they enclosed for their Lordships' information.
18th February, 1612.
III. 137. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Chancellor, (fn. 12) stating that he had been informed that a Book of Ordinances
had been exhibited to him by the Company of Joiners, for power of
search and survey over the several Trades of Coachmakers, Trunkmakers, Gunstock, Flask, and Touch-box Makers, Cupboard Makers,
and Boxmakers; and that they alleged the practice and workmanship of those trades, and the timber, stuff and materials used by them
were within the compass of their skill and judgment. Having
conferred with the Master and Wardens of the Joiners, the Lord
Mayor thought it not amiss that they should have the power afforded
them, so far as their skill and judgment extended.
16th March, 1613.
III. 145. Letter from the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen
to the Lords of the Council, stating (inter alia) that the Cooks had
lately very secretly and surreptitiously, upon wrong suggestions,
obtained a new Charter from the King with a non obstants to dispense with all Statutes, Proclamations, Orders, &c., and praying the
Council to mediate with the King that the said Letters Patent might
be referred to the consideration of the Judges to certify whether they
were agreeable to law and stood with the Charter and good government of the City.
21st May, 1614.
Note in Margin.—Upon this letter the Cooks' new Charter was
referred to the consideration of the Lord Chief Justice Coke.
III. 146. Copy of Letter from the Lords of the Council to Lord
Chief Justice Coke, referring to him the consideration of the Cooks'
new Charter, and requesting him to suspend the execution thereof, if
he thought meet, until he should receive further orders from the
22nd May, 1614.
III. 147. Letter from the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen
to the Lords of the Council, forwarding a Petition from the Company of Silkweavers, for whose relief the Council had in April last
passed an Order that they should have free liberty to pursue the law
against all merchant strangers, and others, importing wrought silk
wares from abroad, contrary to the Act 29th Henry VII., (fn. 13) and who
prayed that the remedies ordained by law might be afforded them.
Sans date (circa May, 1614).
III. 148. Copy of a Letter from the Lords of the Council to the
Lord Chief Justice and Sir Thomas Lake, forwarding a communication from the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen, setting forth the
inconveniences likely to arise by occasion of the Apothecaries, who
had for a long time been members of the Grocers' Company,
endeavouring to divide themselves therefrom and obtain a separate
Charter, and requiring them to call before them some such of the
College of Physicians as they might think meet, and also such
Apothecaries as should be named by the Grocers or the Physicians,
and after hearing the parties to certify their opinion to the Council.
29th May, 1614.
III. 161. Letter from Sir Thomas Bartlett (fn. 14) to the Lord Mayor,
forwarding him a Petition from the Company of Pinners (fn. 15) to be
admitted to the Freedom of the City in that Company, and commending their case to the consideration of the Court of Aldermen.
11th July, 1614.
III. 178. Order in Council, reciting the complaint of the Lord
Mayor and Court of Aldermen against the Cooks' new Charter,
and that they Charter had been referred to the Lord Chief Justice
of England for consideration, who having heard the parties,
certified:—1stly, That the Charter was against the Common Law,
there being a clause of confirmation therein to continue for ever
an Act of Common Council made on behalf of the Company, which,
for some known inconveniences, the same authority intended to
repeal; 2ndly, That it was against the Charters of the City of
London, who had power to make Orders and Constitutions, and change
the same at their will and pleasure; 3rdly, It gave the Company an unlimited power to search and seize unwholesome victuals,
and dispose thereof at their pleasure, whereby they might take it
from others and make benefit of it themselves. Further, it was
contrary to many Statutes against forestalling, engrossing, and ingrating victuals.
It was against an Order in Council of the 26th March, 1614,
directing that no person should have more barrels in his house
than should be appointed by the Lord Mayor, and the Orders
of the Lord Mayor and Justices, approved by the Lord Chief
Justice, for suppressing drunkards, whereby Cooks were prohibited
from having more than twenty barrels at one time in their houses; or
from keeping beer or ale in other vessels than barrels, or from selling
beer or ale in or out of their houses without meat.
For these reasons, and on account of the strange and insuffereable
clauses of non obstante dispending with all Acts, Laws, Statutes,
Orders, or Ordinances of the King or the Privy Council, Proclamations, &c., then made or thereafter to be made, the Council,
concurring with the Lord Chief Justice, declare the Patent unfit to
be put in execution, and order it to be suspended and remain in the
Council chest, and also direct the Attorney-General to proceed
legally to repeal it, unless the Company voluntarily surrender it.
The Lord Chief Justice had certified the Cooks were justly grieved
that though the Lord Mayor had suppressed many ale-houses, so
many still remained. The Council therefore direct an Order to be
immediately issued to the Lord Mayor for suppressing the excessive number of ale-houses within the City, and similar Orders to
those to whom it appertained for suppressing many of those near, but
without the jurisdiction of, the City, so that the Cooks' Company
might not have just cause to complain.
16th October, 1614.
III. 180. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor, stating that, having suppressed the unreasonable Charter,
surreptitiously obtained by the Cooks' Company, they felt that, on
the other side, they must take care that the Company was not
wronged by the sufferance of another mischief more intolerable—viz., the excessive number of ale and tipling houses, which had
so increased in the City. For which reason they desired to put him
in mind how much it concerned the government of the City that such
houses should not exceed in number, and required him to make
speedy inquiry of the number thereof in the City and Liberties, and
whether they had licenses, and of the condition and fame of the
owners, and then to reduce them to some reasonable proportion.
22nd October, 1614.
IV. 5. Mr. Recorder's Draft of a Letter to be sent by the Court
of Aldermen to Lord Chief Justice Coke, informing him that the
Joiners' Company had complained of divers contentious brethren of
their Company, who refused to be governed by the Ordinances made
by the Lord Chancellor, the Lord Chief Justice, and Lord Hobart;
that having heard the parties, they found the cause of contention
arose upon the refusal of the persons complained of to perform an
ordinance for making their masterpiece, a thing which had been hitherto
put in practice without controversy or refusal by all manner of craftsmen within the City, the objects being to see that all men who took
upon them to be master workmen in any trade, were able workmen;
in the event of their being found unskilful, they were shown how
to perform the work, and when they were able to do it, they were
suffered to work as masters. Of late many journeymen in
London, refusing this course of trial, had brought informations in the
Exchequer, under the Statute 24th Henry VIII., cap. 5, (fn. 16) supposing
it to be a restraint contrary thereto. The Court of Aldermen, considering the disturbance likely to increase if workmen should not be
held to the Orders long observed for the good of their traders, desired
the direction and assistance of the Council in the matter.
10th November, 1615.
IV. 72. Letter from Sir Robert Naunton to the Lord Mayor,
stating that the King having incorporated the Company of Gardeners, (fn. 17)
and being solicited by them to give them his Royal recommendation
to the City, had directed him to state that as their admission to the
Freedom could be no way more prejudicial to the City than that of
other Companies which had been voluntarily accorded by the City,
but would rather tend to the reformation of any disorders amongst
them, and an increase of regular obedience, he requested that the entire
Company might be admitted, or at least as many as carried on their
trade and dwelt within the City, or within two miles thereof. Should
any inconvenience of importunity induce the Lord Mayor to the
contrary, His Majesty desired to be forthwith informed fully thereof.
Dated Holyrood House, 20th May, 1617.
IV. 73. Petition of the Master, Wardens, and Assistants of the
Company of Gardeners, to the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Common
Council, praying that such members of the Company as dwelt in
London, or within one or two miles thereof, might be admitted to the
Freedom of the City. They give thirteen reasons in support of their
Petition, and among them they allege that it appeared by the records
of the City there were free Gardeners of London many years
previously; that their Letters Patent of Incorporation, dated in the
third year of the King's reign, (fn. 18) were then enrolled in the Chamber of.
London, and that some Members of the Company were sworn Freemen
of the City when they were incorporated.
V. 48. Letter from the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen to
the Archbishop of Canterbury, (fn. 19) enclosing Copy of a Petition presented to them by the Company of Stationers, and recommending
their complaint to him and the Commissioners as a matter not only
falling very hardly upon the Petitioners, but trenching upon the
public and invading the ancient Charter and privileges of the City;
they did so more earnestly seeing that divers like attempts had
latterly been made upon the Companies of London by projectors,
who, under fair pretences, coveted their private ends of gain.
Sans date, but signed William Cockayne, (fn. 20) Mayor.
V. 49. The enclosed Petition of the Company of Stationers to
the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen, recites that divers of the
Petitioners had been accustomed to print all apprentices' indentures,
tables, briefs, proclamations, oaths for freemen, constables, and
seavengers, and other things belonging to the Stationers' trade in
which they had been brought up and had served as apprentices. That
one Roger Woodde, for the benefit of Marine Bayslored, a stranger,
had obtained a grant from the King for the sole printing of the foregoing, and all other things to be contained on one side of a sheet of
paper or parchment. The Patentees, who were not freemen, were
empowered to set up presses, and take apprentices, whereby they
would not only undo the Petitioners, but also infringe the custom and
liberty of the City. Having complained to the King of the inconvenience of the suit, he had referred the matter to the Archbishop of
Canterbury, Mr. Secretary Naunton, and Sir Edward Cooke, Knight,
who were directed to take such course for the Petitioners' relief as
they should think fit. The Petitioners therefore prayed the Court of
Aldermen to signify to the Archbishop and the rest how prejudicial
the suit would be to the freedom of the City, and how grievous to the
Petitioners. (fn. 21)
V. 59. Petition from the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen to
the King, reciting that upon their former Petition on behalf of the
Leathersellers of London, in a cause between the Earl of March (fn. 22) and
them, His Majesty had referred the consideration of the matter to the
Lord Chancellor, the Master of the Rolls, Sir Edward Cooke, and the
Lord Chief Justice of the King's Bench, some of whom had reported
thereon, and others had not, and they understood that His Majesty,
not being satisfied, had determined to hear the matter in person, with
counsel on both sides. They therefore prayed that as Sir Edward
Cooke and the Lord Chief Justice had borne public place in the City,
and were thereby better able to inform His Majesty of the inconveniences incident to the grant desired by the Earl of March, they
might be warned to attend His Majesty at the hearing of the cause,
and further, that it might be respited until the return of the Recorder
from Circuit. Without his Royal assistance, the Leatherseliers' Company were likely to fall to the ground.
V. 68. Letter from Sir Henry Yelverton, (fn. 23) Attorney-General, to
the Lord Mayor, stating that, upon information given to the King by
some of his servants, that the Brown Bakers had acted as a bodycorporate, whereby the informants aimed at some forfeitures accruing
to His Majesty, the matter had been referred to him for examination, and he had heard both parties. The Brown Bakers had
thereupon, for their own quiet and peace, prayed the King to incorporate them, which he had granted. The White Bakers, having notice
thereof, desired to be satisfied as to the intended Corporation;
whereupon, after calling both parties before him, he found the White
Bakers were contented with the separation and the incorporation of
the Brown Bakers; but they desired that whereas some who used the
trade of white baking were free of the Brown Bakers, and vice versâ
they should (contrary to the custom of the City, as the Brown Bakers
alleged) be returned to the proper Companies whose trades they respectively used. He therefore, by consent of both parties, desired the
Lord Mayor's advice on the point, which seemed to concern the
customs of the City, that he might proceed upon his certificate
28th March, 1620.
V. 69. Petition of the Master and Wardens of the Company of
White Bakers to the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen, praying
them to answer the Attorney-General's letter touching the Brown
Bakers' Patent, and certifying that both Companies were already
incorporated together by the name of Bakers, and that the Petitioners
were advised by counsel they could not without great prejudice
surrender their Charter, or alter their title, though they would willingly
for their peace assent to their severation from the Brown Bakers both
in name and trade.
Dated in margin, 6th April, 1620.
V. 70. Answer of the Lord Mayor to the letter of the AttorneyGeneral, stating that the Court of Aldermen had referred the question
between the White and Brown Bakers to Mr. Recorder and certain of
the ancientest Aldermen, who had reported that the difference, being
between brothers anciently united in one body, could not be so great
but that the Court of Aldermen, the common fathers of all Companies
of London (to whom in such cases all Freemen were by oath bound
to resort), might compound the matter, and so settle the present Corporation that a separation need not further be thought of. Neither
party seemed altogether adverse to this course; but the Brown Bakers,
who were few, desired a short time to acquaint the rest of their number
with the proposal, and return their answer accordingly, which had been
thought reasonable. As nothing further could be done in the matter
until their answer was delivered in, the Court of Aldermen requested
the Attorney-General to take no further steps with respect to the new
7th April, 1620.
V. 137. Certificate of the Lord Mayor and Aldermen to the
Lords of the Council, reciting that they had seen an Order of the
Council (fn. 24) ratifying two orders made by the Court of Aldermen in the
years 1617 and 1619, requiring all Freemen of London using the art
of Weaving, not free of the Company of Weavers, to be forthwith
translated to that Company; and informing the Council that the
Weavers had not acquainted them with all the proceedings in the
matter. Certain Weavers, free of other Companies, perceiving that
these orders might be pressed against them, had appealed to the
Court of Aldermen for relief; whereupon both they and the Company had been heard by counsel, when it appeared the main question
was whether Weavers free of other Companies, and using Silkweaving,
were, or ought to be, within the ancient Charter of the Weavers'
Company. It was decided by the Court, and assented to by counsel
on both sides, that the question should be determined by a friendly
legal trial, and the Weavers free of other Companies submitted (however the law should decide the question) to such orders for search,
government, and apprentices as the Court should think fit. The
Weavers' Company, however, had not pursued the matter, nor (so far
as the Court knew) had they acquainted the Council with it before
the passing of their Lordships' Order above referred to. The Court
had, therefore, thought it their duty to represent to the Council that
the enforcing of the translation of Weavers free of other Companies
to the Company of Weavers would cause much trouble and suits at
law, and be a bad example for other Companies, which might be
avoided by a friendly trial. If the trial should be against the Company, the Court did not doubt that they would be able to settle such
orders as to search, government, and apprentices as would neither
prejudice the subject nor give the Weavers' Company just cause of
[28th October, 1622.]
VI. 11. Order in Council reciting that, upon a complaint made
to them against David Parry, Waterman, for refusing to conform him
self to the orders and government of the Watermen's Company, (fn. 25) the
Council, by an Order of the 20th November last, had referred the determination to the Court of Aldermen, who, having heard Parry, found that
he had behaved obstinately against all government of the Company, and
still intended to persist therein; and thereupon, and also for his contemptuous behaviour before the Court, had committed him to Newgate. The Council were informed by the Lord Mayor that Parry had
procured his liberty by habeas corpus, and had thereby taken new
encouragement to persevere in his disobedience; they therefore
ordered that he should be committed to Newgate until he submitted
himself to the orders of his Company and of the Court of Aldermen,
or until the Board should otherwise order.
30th May, 1623.
VI. 13. Petition of the Lord Mayor and Aldermen of the City
of London to the Lords of the Council, referred to in the foregoing
30th May, 1623.
VI. 28. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor
and Court of Aldermen, forwarding a Petition from the Needlemakers (fn. 26)
of London, complaining of the making of needles of bad metal, and
also of an engine, which, besides being first devised for the working
of such deceitful ware, was dangerous to the lives and bodies of the
workmen using it; and requesting them to certify the nature and
truth of the abuse complained of, and their opinions as to the
remedies to be applied, either by suppressing the engine altogether
29th November, 1629.
VI. 29. Certificate from the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen
to the Lords of the Council thereon, that having called before them
the Haberdashers and Tailors, they found that the engine was
dangerous; that its use deprived many of their means of living; and
that it was worked with bad stuff, to the defrauding of the buyer.
They had sent for the workmen using the engine; but they being
aliens, not freemen, and living without the City, had refused to come.
The Court were of opinion the Council should wholly suppress the
engine in all parts of the kingdom, and provide that the price of
needles should not be greater than it had been for the last twenty years;
and that the goodness of the work, both as to art and stuff, should
be submitted to the search and allowance of the Needlemakers of
VI. 31. Extract from the Repertory of the Court of Aldermen,
containing the Report of Sir Thomas Middleton, Knight and Alderman, and John Gore, (fn. 27) Esq. and Alderman, upon the petition of the
Needlemakers, with the order of the Court thereon, and directing
Mr. Bacon, the Remembrancer, to prepare a letter, to be sent to the
Privy Council, in accordance therewith.
30th December, 1623.
VI. 32. Letter to the Lords of the Council. (A copy of
VI. 42. Petition of divers young men (free of the Goldsmiths'
Company), inhabitants of the Strand, to Sir Martin Lumley, (fn. 28) Knight,
Lord Mayor, stating that, being established in an open and eminent
place of ancient custom for Goldsmiths, and in the high street between
the Court and the City, yet tendering their willing obedience to
perform His Majesty's desire for the replenishing of the Goldsmiths'
Rows (fn. 29) in Cheapside, and to express their love to the City and the
Company of which they were members, they had informed the
Wardens of their Company (who had neglected it), and they now
intimated to his Lordship their willingness to undergo the losses, which
were likely to be great, and remove to Cheapside, if some steps were
taken that they might have the shops and houses of the Goldsmiths'
Rents, now shut up or inhabited by others of meaner trades, at
the rates they were given to the Company for the advancement of
young men of the same. They therefore prayed his Lordship to
consider their case, because, if forced to remove without commiseration of their estate, their wives, children, and families would be
Sans date (1623–4).
VII. 3. Petition of the Master, Wardens, and Commonalty
of the Mystery of Pewterers (fn. 30) to William, Earl of Pem
broke. (fn. 31) Lord Steward of the Household, praying him to peruse
their Petition to the Privy Council annexed, and if he found it
fit to be granted, to intercede on their behalf.
VII. 4. Order from the Earl of Pembroke to the Officers of the
Green Cloth, to consider the Petition and certify their opinions
Court at Hampton, 17th September, 1629.
VII. 5. Certificate from the Officers of the Green Cloth thereon,
that they found the King had usually sustained at all his extraordinary feasts a great loss of pewter, which they conceived would be
much lessened if the course recommended in the Petition were
29th September, 1629.
VII. 6. Petition of the Master, Wardens, and Commonalty of
the Mystery of Pewterers to the Lords of the Council, reciting the
late Petition of the Goldsmiths for a Proclamation against abuses and
for punishment of offenders, and alleging that His Majesty, his nobility,
gentry, and commonalty, were wronged by the yearly pilfering of
pewter, and that by the defacing, melting, and altering of arms,
marks, and ensigns it was utterly lost to the owners. The charge as
well of pewter as of plate, jewels, and other things of like consequence was committed to His Majesty's officers and others in each
particular place, which was a thing impossible for them to undergo or
discover without some mediate means in that behalf. Many burglaries
were committed, and great store of pewter was taken from men's
houses by ill-disposed persons, and pawned or sold to brokers,
tinkers, braziers, and such like, who, collecting a large quantity,
secretly conveyed it in barrels beyond sea, to the hindrance of His
Majesty's Customs and his agents, the farmers of tin, and undersold
them beyond sea. Anciently the custom was that if any man lost any
pewter he should come to the Hall and give notice to the Company's
officer, with the marks, whereupon the goods were stayed and restored
to the owners, and the parties punished; but this custom, by reason of
covert and underhand dealing, was not now known. It was always
intended that the Pewterers should be included in the Goldsmiths'
Petition for a Proclamation, and they prayed that they might be
VII. 7. Order in Council referring the foregoing Petition to the
Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen, or such of them as the Lord
Mayor should think meet, and requiring them to settle such course
concerning pewter as they should find best for preventing the abuses,
&c., complained of, or to certify their opinions to the Council that
such steps for the relief of the Pewterers and the public good might
be taken as should be found requisite.
Hampton Court, 30th September, 1629.
VII. 11. Order in Council reciting that the King was informed
that persons of mean trades had shops in Cheapside among the
Goldsmiths, which it was his express pleasure should be reformed.
Sir Heneage Finch and some Aldermen had that day attended on
other business, when the matter had been mentioned. It was thereupon ordered that the two Lord Chief Justices, and such other Judges
as they should think fit, should consider what statutes or laws there
were to enforce the Goldsmiths to plant themselves for the use of their
trade in Cheapside, Lombard Street, and the parts adjacent; and to
certify the same to the Board.
Whitehall, 18th November, 1629.
VII. 61. Letter from the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen to
the Lords of the Council, in answer to their letters concerning the
translation to the Company of Brewers of all persons free of other
Companies using the trade of Brewers, and stating that having called
before them the Masters and Wardens of the several Companies, of
which divers persons trading as Brewers were members, they found not
only the Companies, but almost all the members so to be divided from
their Companies, utterly unwilling to submit to such a translation, but
that all were willing to submit to the Company of Brewers, as to
taking the oath, obeying their orders, and search, &c. As to a
general translation from one Company to another, on the simple consent of the party to be translated, without the liking of the Company
of which he was free, the Court were of opinion it would be a great
breach of the whole frame of the City's government, as would be
seen by a Petition enclosed, (fn. 32) which had that day been received
from several of the Companies.
Dated in margin, February, 1630.
VII. 137. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor and Court of Aldermen, forwarding them a Petition from the
Poulters' Company, (fn. 33) and requiring them to call not only the Poulters,
but those of whom they complained, before them, and to give such
order that those who used the trade of Poultery and were free of other
Companies, might be translated and brought under their rules and
ordinances, that so the prices of poultry might be kept down. If any
were obstinate, and refused to yield to the directions of the Court,
their names and the cause of refusal should be returned to the Board.
Whitehall, 24th January, 1634.
VII. 145. Report from . . . . . . . . . . . . . to
the Lords of the Council on the Petition of the Poulters' Company,
assigning their reasons why the Petition should not be complied with.
Dated in margin, 16th, June, 1635.
VII. 160. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor and Court of Aldermen, requiring them to take security of
those persons who had not removed from, and of those Goldsmiths
who had promised to remove to, the Goldsmiths' Rows in Cheapside
and Lombard Street, to do so by Bartholomew's Day next, or, in
default of security, to commit them to prison; and further, to arrange
that such Goldsmiths as could not be accommodated in the above
places, should be located together in some other principal and open
places within the jurisdiction of the City.
15th July, 1635.
VII. 161. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor and Court of Aldermen, forwarding copy of a Petition to the
Board from Goldsmiths inhabiting Fleet Street, the Strand, and other
public places in and near the City, and requiring them to examine the
allegations thereof, and, if found true, to take effectual order with the
Master and Wardens of the Goldsmiths' Company and their lessees
that the shops in Cheapside and Lombard Street might be disposed
of, according to the former Orders of the Board, at moderate and
indifferent rents; and directing that, whereas the Petitioners alleged
there were but thirty-four such shops to be disposed of, and that the
Goldsmiths comprehended in the former Orders were one hundred families and upwards, the Court of Aldermen should take means that those
who could not be accommodated as above should be fitted in some
commodious place in an open street—as Fleet Street or the Strand—and that they should not be permitted to settle in any bye-lanes or
alleys, and that they should dwell as near together as might be.
31st May, 1635.
VII. 167. Further Letter from the Council to the Lord Mayor and
Court of Aldermen upon the same subject, complaining that nothing
had been done, and requiring them to proceed effectually therein, and
to cause the former orders of the Board to be speedily performed.
31st January, 1635.
VII. 197. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor and Court of Aldermen, reciting their letters of the 15th July
and 31st January, 1635. The King had been informed there were yet
a great number of houses of other trades both in Cheapside and
Lombard Street. The neglect being inexcusable, if not speedily
remedied His Majesty would call them to account for it. In the
meanwhile the Council, by the King's command, required that all such
shops as were not Goldsmiths' in either of those places should be shut
up till further order of the Board.
Whitehall, 24th May, 1637.
VII. 199. Order in Council reciting their former orders and
letters as to the shutting up of shops other than Goldsmiths' in
Cheapside and Lombard Street, and directing that if the Aldermen
of the Wards, or their deputies, did not forthwith cause them to be
shut, they should be committed to prison by warrant from the Board.
Star Chamber, 7th July, 1637.
VIII. 26. Warrant from the King (James the First) to the Lord
Mayor and Court of Aldermen with respect to the Charter granted
by him to the Apothecaries' Company (fn. 34) to separate from the Grocers,
and commanding that the same be enrolled, and their apprentices
admitted as Apothecaries to the Freedom, which had been refused
by the Court.
11th April, 1618.
VIII. 56. Order in Council directing the Lord Mayor and Court
of Aldermen to hear and determine certain matters in dispute
relating to the Watermen's Company.
20th November, 1622.
VIII. 61. Order in Council directing the Lord Mayor and Court
of Aldermen to take such effectual course with the Goldsmiths' Company that, in case certain Goldsmiths in the Strand should be
compelled by the Court of Aldermen to remove into the Goldsmiths'
Rents, in Cheapside, they should be provided with such shops and
houses of the Goldsmiths' Rents as were empty, and at such moderate
rents as should be thought reasonable, and to accommodate the
Petitioners as best they could, without further trouble to the Council;
and, in case the Goldsmiths' Company were refractory, to report what
was best to be done.
7th August, 1624.
VIII. 155. Same as No. 160, Vol. VII.
15th July, 1635.
VIII. 156. Same as No. 167, Vol. VII.
31st January, 1635.
VIII. 157. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor and Court of Aldermen upon a complaint made to them by
the Goldsmiths of the fraudulent marking of a pewter plate with the
silver plate mark of the Goldsmiths' Company, and requiring the Court
to call before them the maker of the plate, the engraver of the stamp,
and any other the Goldsmiths should discover to have practised the
like fraud, also the Wardens of the Pewterers' Company, and to take
steps to punish the offenders, and to restrain such practices.
31st January, 1635.
VIII. 163. Same as No. 161, Vol. VII.
31st May, 1635.
VIII. 208. Letter from the King to the Lord Mayor and Court
of Aldermen, informing them that he had granted a Charter (fn. 35) of
Incorporation to the Distillers' Company, and requiring them to
enrol them as a Free Company of the City.
13th August, 1638.
VIII. 217. Letter from the King to the Lord Mayor and Court
of Aldermen, intimating that he had been informed they had
impugned the Charter granted by him to the Distillers' Company, and
had refused to enrol the same, and to admit them and their apprentices as Distillers to the Freedom of the City, and requiring their
conformity and obedience therein.
7th December, 1638.
VIII. 219. Letter from Mr. Secretary Windebanke to the Lord
Mayor and Court of Aldermen, with respect to their continued refusal to
enrol the Charter of the Distillers' Company, requiring their conformity without further delay, and stating that His Majesty was
resolved, if his commands were still neglected, to use some coercive
way for despatch of the business, and by that means vindicate his
10th September, 1639.
VIII. 223. Letter from Mr. Secretary Windebanke, &c. (Copy of
the preceding letter, No. 219.)
10th September, 1639.
VIII. 224. Further Letter from the King to the Lord Mayor and
Court of Aldermen, with respect to their long delay and refusal to
enrol the Charter of the Distillers' Company upon pretence of
weakening other Companies, of which these Distillers were members,
in bearing the public charges of the City. His Majesty was not
satisfied with their allegations, for the most of the Companies had been
derived from those that were in times past, without prejudice to the
City or the Companies whence they were taken. He therefore again
commanded them without further dispute to enrol the Charter, (fn. 36) &c.,
and intimated that he would not permit further delay, but expected
present conformity, as they would answer for their neglect, if not
contempt, of his Royal commands.
30th October, 1639.