Non-Freemen

Sponsor

Centre for Metropolitan History

Publication

Author

W. H. and H. C. Overall (editors)

Year published

1878

Supporting documents

Pages

256-263

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'Non-Freemen', Analytical index to the series of records known as the Remembrancia: 1579-1664 (1878), pp. 256-263. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=59956 Date accessed: 23 November 2014.


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Non-Freemen.

I. 53. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, acknowledging a letter received from Mr. Secretary Wilson, requesting the City's favour on behalf of Lewis Mesnille, a Frenchman, to be a denizen, which they had complied with. Great complaint was made by Her Majesty's subjects, that they were eaten out by stranger artificers, to the suffering of this country, whereas none of Her Majesty's subjects were suffered in their country to live by their work.
17th June, 1580.

I. 507. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor and Aldermen, stating that they had lately received a copy of a libel which had been cast abroad in sundry parts of the City against strangers, especially handicraftsmen, and were of no church, and requesting to be informed both of the numbers of the strangers residing at present within the City and Liberties, and their trades and kind of living. It had been suggested in the pamphlet that the Masters of the Companies' Halls had, for a money consideration, suffered sundry Flemings to set up what trade they liked; and it had been thought meet that their principal officers should certify in writing what licences had been granted to such strangers to work or occupy their halls for the last six years, and for what considerations, and that they should be prohibited from granting any more licences until they should hear further from the Council.
28th March, 1583.

II. 258. Letter from the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen to the Lords of the Council, acknowledging the receipt of their communication on behalf of Nicholas Loe(Lowe), a free denizen Crossbow-maker, who alleged that he and his father had inhabited a house in the parish of St. Andrew's, Holborn, for thirty years, and had exercised there the trade of crossbow-making without being molested, and prayed that he might quietly continue the said trade. Upon frequent complaints being made, that (contrary to the charters and liberties of the City) the said Loe used his trade by keeping an open shop within the freedom with as much privileges as any freeman, order was taken, according to custom, that the Chamberlain should shut up his shop windows, for doing whereof he received very ill treatment from the servants of Loe, who, continuing still to carry on his trade, contrary to the warning, was committed to prison. He shortly afterwards procured a writ of Habeas Corpus to be brought before the Lord Chancellor, and, his cause being heard, he was remanded back to prison, where he continued, refusing to conform to the usage and customs of the City. He had lately procured a writ to be brought before the King's Bench, which cause was yet pending. (Circa 1606.)

II. 303. Letter from the Lord Mayor to Lord Chief Justice Fleming, concerning a trial to be brought before him by Nicholas Lowe against Thomas Beckford, master of the Blacksmiths' Company, for proceeding against the said Lowe, who was carrying on the trade of a smith, not being free of the City.
23rd January, 1607.

III. 19. Letter from (the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen) to the Lords of the Council, stating that their Lordships were often petitioned by strangers of the Dutch and French congregations, as to their being troubled and molested by the City's Officers for using their trades and occupations in the City as heretofore they pretended to have done. They had thought it their duty to inform them what a general grievance was conceived by the Freemen of London in the matter. The manual artificers found their work taken from them by the sufferance of so many stranger artisans, and the merchant and retailer complained of the stranger's manner of trading. Sundry other reasons for the dissatisfaction of the Freemen, who pressed that the laws and charters of the City against foreigners might be put in execution, are detailed. Having thus certified their Lordships, they were desired to resort to them for remedy; at least that it might not offend that the remedies ordained were put in execution.
25th July, 1611.

III. 22. The Petition of Abraham de Pint, John Salley, and other strangers, to the Earl of Salisbury, Lord Treasurer, referred to in No. 19, stating that they had been lately arrested and sued in the Lord Mayor's Court, by the Chamberlain of London, for using their trades and occupations, and praying that, as the late Queen, and also His Majesty, at the instance of the Lord Ambassador Caron, (fn. 1) were pleased to direct the late Lord Treasurer to write letters for the stay of similar proceedings against members of the Dutch and French congregations, he would write a similar letter for stay of the present proceedings.
(Circa 1611.)

IV. 66. Letter from Sir Noel do Caron to the Lord Mayor, on behalf of certain distressed persons, members of the Dutch Congregation, who had resided and carried on their trade in London for many years, by the toleration of the late Queen, the King, and the allowance of the Lord Mayor's predecessors, but who had lately been proceeded against by informers, and requesting that the proceedings against them might be stayed.
10th March, 1616.

IV. 67. Petition of the Handicraftsmen of the Outlandish Churches in London, and especially of Tobias Barde, Jarrett Van Hoobrooke, and Henrick Scofater, members of the Dutch Congregation in London, to the same effect.
(Circa 1616.)

IV. 69. Letter from Sir Noel Caron to Sir Ralph Winwood, (fn. 2) stating that, notwithstanding the King's Warrant for the peace of the Strangers' Congregations, divers Thread Dyers and Twisters were being very hardly prosecuted in the Lord Mayor's Court for using their trade, and were to be tried by jury the next morning, and requesting him to write to the Lord Mayor, and signify His Majesty's pleasure that the proceedings should be stayed.
30th March, 1617.

IV. 114. Letter from Sir Noel de Caron to the Lord Mayor, directing his attention to the former orders of Queen Elizabeth, King James, and the Privy Council, for allowing the members of the Dutch and French Congregations to use their trades as formerly, without molestation, and acquainting him that one Thomas Browne, an informer, had commenced a suit in the Mayor's Court against Garrett Van Hoobrouck and Henrick Schoessetters, Thread Twisters, for using their trades, and had, yesterday, as he was informed, obtained judgment against them, and intended to have an execution to-morrow. He requested the Lord Mayor to stay the execution until the pleasure of His Majesty or the Privy Council was further signified.
South Lambeth, 22nd April, 1618.

IV. 115. Memorial of John Van Hoobrouck and Henrick Schoesetters to the Lord Mayor, to the like effect.

IV. 119. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor, stating that they had received a complaint from the Spanish Ambassador, (fn. 3) that Spanish subjects dwelling in the City, or trading there, were not so friendly and courteously used as was requisite, considering the perfect amity and correspondency existing between His Majesty and the King of Spain, and informing him that it was His Majesty's pleasure, and the Lord Mayor's duty, whenever it should appear that any Spanish subjects within the City received injury or hard usage from any officer or other person, to redress the same.
6th May, 1618.

VI. 9. Order of the Privy Council, reciting that a Report had been made to the Council by Heneage Finch, Esq., Recorder, assisted by divers Aldermen and Commoners of the City, touching the late Commission, by virtue of which an imposition had been laid upon strangers, which he declared rather augmented than remedied the inconveniences occasioned by the said strangers, both merchants, retailers, and artisans. After considering the report, and hearing the Attorney and Solicitor General thereon, the Council had thought good to direct that the City should depute some able and fit persons to take a particular and exact note of the number, condition, and trades of all strangers and children of strangers dwelling in the City of London, and in all other cities, towns, and places within the realm, and of such English as served them as apprentices or journeymen, and what strangers or sons of strangers served in like qualities. Further, the Council had directed the magistrates of all places to which the said deputed persons should repair, to aid and assist them, that upon perfect knowledge such order might be taken as the importance of the cause required.
Whitehall, 1st April, 1623.

VI. 24. Petition of the Ironmongers' and Cutlers' Companies to the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen, reciting that, by an Act of Common Council of the 9th July, 1622, it was enacted that all foreigners bringing nails, knives, or other wares made of iron or steel, or iron and steel and cutlery wares, to the City should bring them to Leadenhall, there to be shown, searched, housed, and sold, and not elsewhere within the City or suburbs, on pain of forfeiture of one fourth of the value of the wares; and that in contempt of such Act, divers foreigners had sold, and still continued to sell, such wares in inns, chambers, and other by-places in or near the City; some of them had taken houses or chambers in the Minories (a privileged place), where they sold them, to the deceit of His Majesty's subjects and the great hindrance of the Petitioners, who pray the Court to take steps for remedy thereof.
(Circa 1623.)

VI. 25. Order of the Court of Aldermen, reciting that Mr. Nicholas Leat, (fn. 4) Citizen and Ironmonger, had informed them that divers foreign Cutlers and others refused to obey the Act of Common Council directing them to bring their wares for sale to Leadenhall, and directing Mr. Bacon (the Remembrancer) to acquaint the Privy Council with the matter, and desire their order to restrain the foreign Cutlers from housing or uttering their wares elsewhere within the City and Liberties than at Leadenhall.
18th November, 1624.

VI. 39. Order of the Privy Council, directing a search to be made of all strangers, &c., in England. (A copy of No. 9.)
1st April, 1623.

VI. 41. Petition of the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Commons of the City of London to the Lords, &c., of the Council, reciting that by several grants and charters there had been granted to them the search and allowance of all foreign Loriners', Nailers', and Cutlers' wares, in order that all false and unmerchantable wares might be forbidden, until viewed and allowed by the Wardens of the Companies having the government thereof. Of late, to avoid such search, divers persons had secretly conveyed their wares to inns and secret corners of the City, where they were privately sold to strangers and others, who, for want of skill, were daily deceived thereby. Hitherto they had been, and ought to be, brought to the public market at Leadenhall. A competent number of shops and warehouses had been built there, of freestone, with all conveniences for the purpose, at the cost of the City, and two days a week had been appointed as market days for the accommodation of those trades, and an easier rent was required for the shops than the parties now paid in their lurking-corners. The Nailers and Loriners had been lately content to resort for sale of their wares to the place so appointed, but the foreign Cutlers refused to conform, and had taken shops in the Friars' Minorites (Minories), a privileged place, where they uttered their false wares at their pleasure. The Petitioners therefore prayed that the foreign Cutlers might be enjoined by the Order of the Council not to sell their wares in any other than the appointed place.
(Circa 1623.)

IX. 22. Order of the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Common Council, stating that, according to a former Order of the Council, the Governor and Company of Merchants of England trading into the Levant seas had presented to the Council their answer concerning the inserting of a proviso in their Charter, about to be renewed, obliging every person inhabiting in or within twenty miles of London to take up the Freedom of the City before they should enjoy the benefit of the Charter. The Non-Freemen of the Company who opposed the proviso had attended the Council, and been heard. After due consideration the Council finally ordered that all such noblemen and others as had never been apprenticed nor bred up or applied themselves to a course of trade should enjoy the benefit of the Charter without being Free of the City, and that all those who were Free of the Company and not Free of the City before the horrid murder of His late Majesty should not be compelled to take up the Freedom of the City, but might use and continue their trade as formerly; and that other Non-Freemen admitted to the Company since the 30th of January, 1648, should enjoy for three years next ensuing their liberty to trade without being compelled to take up their Freedom, at the end of which time such as should be unwilling to do so must remove beyond the twenty miles distance.
6th March, 1660.

IX. 23. Copy of the Petition of the major part of the Company of Levant Merchants to the King, requesting to be heard before the Council against being compelled to take up the Freedom of London.
(Circa 1660.)

IX. 44. Petition of the Lord Mayor and Aldermen to the King, complaining of the great increase of the Jews in the City, their interference with the trade of the Citizens, and their correspondence with their countrymen in other states upon the affairs of this kingdom, to the prejudice of His Majesty and the commonweal, and praying His Majesty to take steps to preserve those societies already erected, and to reduce those trades that were not yet associated into a government by Charters, in such a way as would exclude any but native subjects from the Freedom of regulated trades; to put in execution the former laws against the Jews, and to recommend Parliament to enact new ones for the expulsion of all professed Jews out of the Kingdom.
(Circa 1660.)

IX. 71. Letter from Sir William Morrice to the Lord Mayor, forwarding, for the consideration of the Common Council, a Petition from the Ministers and Elders of the Dutch and French Churches within the City of London, for permission for the Protestant strangers, members of those churches, to use their trades, and requesting them to report whether such privileges had been before granted, and, if so, whether it would be convenient to comply with the prayer of the Petitioners.
24th October, 1663.

IX. 72. Copy of the Petition above referred to.

IX. 90. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Governor of the Turkey Merchants trading to the Levant, stating that the time fixed by the Charter granted by His late Majesty to the Company for making the members Free of the City had expired, and calling their attention to the fact that several of their members had not availed themselves of the provisions of the Charter, and were disabled from trading in the City.
(Circa 1663–4.)

Footnotes

1 Agent or Ambassador from the State of Holland during the reigns of Elizabeth and James the First, for upwards of thirty years. The Manor of Kennington was leased to him by Prince Charles, July 5th, 1617. His residence at South Lambeth occupied the site whereon Beaufoy's distillery was subsequently built. Queen Elizabeth dined with him at Lambeth, on her way to Lord Burleigh's at Wimbledon, July 27th, 1599. Among the list of New Year's gifts presented by the Queen in the year 1599 the following appears:—"Mounser Caron. Item, Gyven by her sayde Highnes, and delyvered the 15th of Octobre, anno pred' to Mounser Caron, Agent for Flaunders, at his departure out of England, parte of one cheyne of golde, bought of Hughe Kaylle, per oz. 35 oz. qr., of the goodnes of 21 Karretts di. graine, and parte of one other cheyne, bought of Richard Martyn, goldsmythe, per oz. 33 oz. qr. 3 dwt. 6 graynes, of the goodnes of 22 Karretts di. graine: In toto 68 oz. di. 3 dwt. 6 granes." He founded Almshouses, which still exist, at Nine Elms, for seven poor windows. He died December 1st, 1624, and was buried with much ceremony in Lambeth Church, January 25th, 1625, his funeral sermon being preached by Archbishop Abbott. For an account of his charity, see Charity Commissioners' Reports, 1826, Vol. 16. Manning and Bray's 'Surrey,' Ducarel's and Allen's Histories of Lambeth, Nichols's 'Progresses of Queen Elizabeth,' &c.
2 Born at Aynho, in Northamptonshire, about 1565; educated at Oxford to the degree of Bachelor of Civil Law, 1590; appointed by King James as Resident Counsellor to the States General, June 24th, 1603; Knighted at Richmond, June 28th, 1607; Ambassador to the Hague, 1608–1611; made Secretary of State, March 29th, 1614; died, October 27th, 1617, and was buried in the Church of St. Bartholomew the Less. In 1725 were published his 'Memorials of State Affairs,' edited by Edmund Sawyer, 3 vols. folio.
3 Count Gondemar.
4 He was a merchant of considerable repute, and was Captain of one of the City Trained Bands. On the 10th May, 1610, he wrote a letter to the Court of Aldermen, suggesting a plan for finishing the statutes of kings and queens to be set up in the Royal Exchange, which had been left unfinished at the death of Sir Thomas Gresham. On the 24th March, 1616, a commission was granted to him and John Dike, who are described as merchants of London, to fit out a ship to take pirates and sea-rovers, and to reserve for themselves three-fourths of the value of the ships and goods seized. Vide 'Calendar of State Papers (Domestic),' 1611–18, p. 356. Numerous references to his services in connexion with the redemption of captives from the Turks, the Dey of Algiers, &c., are to be found in the 'Calendars.' He was Master of the Ironmongers' Company in 1616, 1626, and part of the year 1627, on the death of then Master. He was much devoted to horticultural pursuits, his garden being spoken of as one of the most celebrated in his time. Gerard, in his 'Herbal,' makes frequent acknowledgment of his indebtedness to him. His portrait, finely executed, was presented by his sons, Richard and Hewett Leat, to the Ironmongers' Company in 1631, and is still preserved in their Court Room. More detailed information concerning him may be found in Nicholl's 'History of the Ironmongers' Company.'


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