I. 1. Letter from Sir Roger Manwood and Thomas Meade (fn. 1) to the
Lord Mayor, (fn. 2) , respecting a controversy between the Free and Foreign
Cordwainers of London, which had been referred to them by the
Star Chamber. The Free Cordwainers had declared that the
Foreign Cordwainers (paying their quarterage money to them) should
be free to buy leather in the Leadenhall Markets (fn. 3) as they were; the
Foreign Cordwainers declared that they were only permitted to buy
leather on the Monday, and not upon Wednesday and Friday, as the
Free Cordwainers did. They requested the Lord Mayor to inform them
of the reason why the Foreign Cordwainers were so restrained.
Serjeants' Inn, Fleet Street, 25th April, 1580.
I. 2. Letter from the Lord Mayor in reply, stating that he had
called before him and his brethren (the Aldermen), the Wardens, and
some of the Ancients (Assistants) of the Free Cordwainers, who
denied that they had either yielded or promised the Foreign Cordwainers that they should be free to buy leather in the Leadenhall
Market, and reminding their Lordships that, even if they had done so,
they had no authority to prejudice the interests of the City. He also
directs their attention to the Act of Parliament of the fifth year of
Her Majesty's reign, (fn. 4) which specially enacted that foreigners might
not only buy in Leadenhall on Monday, but during the rest of the
week in the Markets of Southwark.
26th April, 1580.
I. 101. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor, informing him that the Counsel for the Foreign Cordwainers
had laid certain information before the Court of Star Chamber;
that they had also received letters from the Lord Chief Baron and
Mr. Justice Meade, who had been appointed by that Court to settle
the matters in controversy between them and the Free Cordwainers.
The Council direct that the Foreign Cordwainers be permitted
to buy leather at all accustomed markets within the City, the same
as the Free Cordwainers, until the next Court of Parliament, unless
in the mean time good cause be shown to the contrary.
23rd June, 1580.
I. 628. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Treasurer,
stating that Her Majesty had granted her Letters Patent to Mr.
Edward Darcie, of the Court, for the view, search, and sealing of all
such Leather as had not been provided for by Statute, assigning
to him for the same after the rate of 10d. upon a dozen of lesser
skins, and for some Buffes 10d. a skin. This being very prejudicial to
former patents granted to the Companies, and no less hurtful to the
Commonwealth of the realm, the City had set down certain reasons
and inconveniences which would arise, and forwarded them to the
Council, requesting their consideration and recommendation to Her
Majesty for revoking the said Patent. They besought his good offices
to obtain the revocation of the grant.
3rd February, 1592.
I. 632. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Treasurer,
stating that he had a laid a copy of the Patent lately granted to Mr.
Darcie before the Court of Common Council, who were of opinion
that the search and allowance of leather had already been granted to
the City by Charter from Her Majesty's progenitors, and confirmed
by Her Majesty, besides the Patent and Privileges granted to the
Fellowship of Leatherseller, for the same object. In order to peruse
the Charters and privileges accorded to the City, as well as to seek
the advice of their learned counsel, they had requested Mr. Darcie to
refrain from publishing his Patent for seven nights, which he had
refused, requiring the same to be published immediately. The Lord
Mayor requested his Lordship's good favour in excusing him from
complying therewith, and in the mean time besought him to bring the
matter to the notice of Her Majesty, and obtain a final stay of the
grant to Mr. Darcie.
30th January, 1592.
I. 641. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Treasurer, to
the same effect as No. 632.
27th January, 1592.
I. 643. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Treasurer,
stating that he had forwarded the City's reply to Mr. Darcie's answer.
As to the inconveniences that would ensue by his Patent to the Commonwealth, he was unable to see how the same could be answered by
Mr. Darcie, and therefore he had only set down in brief the points the
City purposed to insist upon. With regard to the complaint made to
the Council by Mr. Dewell, (fn. 5) the Common Hunt, of the wrong done
to him in disappointing him of the office of Waterbailiff, of which he
alleged he had a reversion through the intercession of the late Lord
Chancellor, the grant had been made to him upon conditions which
he had failed to comply with.
2nd March, 1592.
I. 647. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Treasurer,
informing him that, in obedience to his suggestion, he had directed the
Counsel of the City to attend upon Mr. Attorney-General and Mr.
Solicitor, touching Mr. Darcie's Patent. Finding that Mr. Recorder
had gone into the country, he had sent to him, requiring him to return
with all speed to attend the meeting.
20th March, 1592.
I. 649. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Treasurer, relative
to the consultation to be had touching Mr. Darcie's Patent. Their only
desire for delay was the absence of Mr. Recorder, but having every
confidence in the Counsel of the Crown, the City had directed such of
their Counsel as were at hand to attend the conference, either this
afternoon or upon Monday next as might be appointed.
11th March, 1592.
I. 651. Letter from the Court of Aldermen to the Lords of the
Council, informing them of an assault committed by Mr. Darcie, one
of the gentlemen of Her Majesty's Privy Chamber, upon Sir George
Barnes, (fn. 6) Knight, Alderman, at the house of the Lord Mayor, in his
presence and that of Dr. Fletcher, at a conference concerning his
Patent for the search of leather. A true report, testified by those
present, had been forwarded for the information of the Council. The
assault was the more unlawful, being done in the house and in the
presence of the Lord Mayor, His Majesty's Lieutenant within the
City. The matter becoming known to the apprentices and others
thereabouts, the Lord Mayor with difficulty defended Mr. Darcie
(whose life was in danger), and had him conveyed away. They
requested the Council to take the case into their consideration.
22nd March, 1592.
I. 652. Letter from the Court of Aldermen to the Lord Treasurer,
excusing the delay which had taken place with reference to the
conference to be held touching Mr. Darcie's Patent, and requesting
him to fix some day in the following week for the hearing of the
22nd March, 1591 (2).
II. 14. Letter from Lord Burghley to the Lord Mayor, touching
Her Majesty's Patent to Mr. Darcie, of her Privy Chamber, for the
search and sealing of leather.
1st September, 1594.
II. 70. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord High Treasurer,
concerning the Patent granted to Mr. Darcie.
4th September, 1594.
II. 82. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council,
enclosing a Petition from certain prisoners of the Company of Leathersellers. complaining of the great injustice inflicted upon them and the
rest of the Citizens, by the Patent granted to Mr. Darcie, and begging
that a trial at law might be held to determine the question.
23rd January, 1594.
II. 83. Copy of the Petition to the Queen.
II. 84. Articles containing the enormities of Mr. Darcie's Patent,
and why the same could work no such effect as was pretended, for
reforming the abuses committed in making and selling of leather.
II. 119. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council,
enclosing a Petition from the wives of certain Leathersellers, who had
been imprisoned, complaining of the great extremity offered unto
them by Mr. Edward Darcie, in the pursuit of his Patent—a thing
very grievous to this whole City—and beseeching that the said Leathersellers might be freed from prison and molestation, and permitted to
follow their vocation.
6th November, 1595.
II. 126. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council,
begging permission to take law proceedings to test the validity of the
Patents granted to this City and to Mr. Darcie, for the search and
sealing of leather.
27th November, 1595.
II. 142. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council,
acknowledging the receipt of their message signifying Her Majesty's
intention to revoke her Patent granted to Mr. Edmund Darcie, upon
conformity of a competent fine of 4,000l., to be paid to Her Highness
by the City of London and the Company of Leathersellers; and
beseeching the Queen's clemency towards the citizens, on account of
the dearth existing, and the subsidies lately levied upon them, and
that Her Majesty would not insist upon such a fine for the redemption
of a right granted to them by charter, which they had never yet forfeited.
24th January, 1595.
III. 171. Letter from the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen to
the Lords of the Council, stating that about two years previously one
Philip Onslowe had obtained a Patent for the sole gilding and
painting of leather, pretending to be the first inventor thereof, and
informing them that one Paul Dickinson, a Freeman, had practised
it for two years, and one Buckett for ten years, before the granting of
the Patent; and that Dickinson was by order of the Patent restrained
from using the mystery, in which they had satisfied themselves he
was skilful. The Patentee had assigned his Patent to two citizens,
named Higgins and Downes, who had sent for foreign workmen
from beyond seas. The Court, conceiving it not to have been the
King's intention to take the labour from his subjects and give it to
strangers fetched hither on purpose, and believing the suggestions
upon which the Patent was obtained to be untrue, prayed the Council
to intercede with His Majesty either to revoke the Patent or to allow
Dickinson and any other English subject, having skill therein, to
practise the art, notwithstanding the Patent.
10th August, 1614.
VII. 112. Letter of the King for reformation of abuses occasioned
by the inefficiency of the officers appointed to search and seal tanned
leather, directing the Lord Mayor, on St. Bartholomew's Day next,
to admit and swear into the said offices for the year ensuing,
the eight persons of whom the four Companies using the cutting of
leather made certificate to the Attorney-General to be honest and
expert, and to see that in future none were admitted but the best
experienced and honest men upon the certificate of the said
Companies; that the said Companies were careful and diligent in
their quarterly search; and that the tanners reported where they
found hides gashed, in order that the offenders might be punished.
17th April, 1634.
VIII. 132. Same as No. 112, Vol. VII.
17th April, 1634.