174. [p. 51] An assembly held at Pewterers' Hall on Monday 1 July 1605 in
the presence of the president, Mr. Newman, Mr. Harby, Mr. Lyng, Mr.
Dorrington, Mr. Savage, Mr. Bowyer, Mr. Newton, Mr. Owen, Mr. Cobb; the secretary.
175. The president urged those present to consider that, by the words of the
charter, the company was enjoined to receive 'meere marchaunts to be so
quallified as by the charter appeareth'. He therefore asked them to decide
'what person (in their opynions) should be accompted a meere merchant'.
After due consideration and debate,
they delivered their opynions that they accoumpt him a meere marchaunt that
hath only delt and traded as a marchant, without any retayling or shopp keeping,
the full space and terme of Eight yeres, (in which tyme an apprentize by his
service may attayne to the freedome) shalbe accoumpted a meere marchant, and
(if he be otherwise qualified) may be receaved into the freedome by Redemption.
176. The draft of a letter to be sent to John Barker of Bristol, recently elected
deputy for that port and the other places within the division, was read out
to the assembly. It was approved 'and appointed to be sent away with all speed'.
177. An assembly held at Pewterers' Hall on Saturday 6 July 1605 in the
presence of the following:
178. The president, the treasurer, Mr. Staper, Mr. Chamberlen, Mr. Newman, Mr. Ling, Mr. Dorrington, Mr. Bowyer, Mr. Furner, Mr. Newton,
Mr. Towreson, Mr. Cobb, Mr. Hanger, the secretary.
179. [p. 52] First, the form of the letters to be sent out to the recently-elected
deputies was agreed and orders were given that they should be despatched
with all speed.
180. It was agreed that the president should not
deliver any warrants under his hand to the Customers for transportation of
merchaundizes into Spayne or Portugall but only for such as shalbe certified by
the Secretary under his hand to Mr. President that they were either sworne upon
the first or last charter wherein the Secretary shall sett downe certenly upon what
day every such person was sworne.
181. It was also ordered that former precedents for impositions should be
sought out, 'to th'entent that ymposicions may be rated and levied in such
manner as by a generall court or court of assistaunts shalbe thought fitt and
aunswerable to the tyme'.
182. It was also agreed that 'the like allowance shalbe made for the use of
the Pewterers hall as in former tymes hath ben accustomed, the same to be
paied by Mr. Treasurer and to be allowed him in his accoumpt'.
183. It was further agreed 'that Mr. President shall make provision of a
Carpett and a dozen of Cushions for the use of the company, and Mr.
Treasurer to disburse the money for the same'.
184. Lastly, two letters sent to the company from Spain were read out, one
from the resident ambassador Sir Charles Cornewalleys and the other from
Nicholas Oseley a brother of the company. 'But it was thought fitt to referre
the consideration thereof unto a generall court'.
185. [p. 53] 'A generall court warned and entended to have been kept upon
Wednesday the 10 of July Anno Domini 1605 at Pewterors hall. But for want of
apparance of a competent nomber of assistants which cannott be held without
13 Assistaunts at least, therefore it amounted only to an assembly of these viz.'
186. the president, Sir Robert Lee, Mr. Chamberlen, Mr. Jackson, Mr.
Bowyer, Mr. Newton, Mr. Towreson, Mr. Owen, Mr. Wyche, Mr. Cobb,
Mr. Greene; the secretary, and divers of the generality.
187. Albeit it hath not ben thought fitt to admitt any into the freedome but at a
generall court yett forasmuch as a generall court was appointed to have kept this
day and summaunce gyven accordingly, and because 11 of the Assistaunts are
here present and only 2 assistants wanting to make a full court and forasmuch as
diverse grave and woorshipfull persons of the generallity are nowe present and
certen persons make clayme to the freedome against whom there can be no
opposition or obiection, therefore it is held fitt that they be admitted and sworne
at this assembly whereupon Robert Lewes also Anwell a meere merchaunt bound
apprentize to a merchaunt and free of no other Company of marchaunts was for
the fine of ten pownds, admitted into the freedome of this society by redemption,
and tooke the oath of a freeman by redemption accordingly.
188. [p. 54] Four other persons made claim to their freedom by ancient
trade. Their claims were examined and allowed, whereupon each of them
paid 6s. 8d. to the use of the society and was admitted, taking the oath of a
freeman by ancient trade. The claimants were Richard Wych the younger
son of Richard Wych, skinner, by patrimony; Nathaniel Cobb son of
Robert Cobb, girdler, also by patrimony; John Couchman by service with
Paul Banning, and John Caplyn by service with George Collymere, all the
latter being ancient traders.
189. At the last general court Henry Ball was elected deputy for Lynn, but
forasmuch as the company are enformed that one Mr. Thomas Sendall is a more
auntient sufficient and fitter man for the said place, it is therefore ordered that
the name of the said Thomas Sendall shalbe entred in the place of the said Henry
Ball, and that the said Thomas Sendall shalbe Deputy for Lynne and the membres
thereof for this yere ensuing.
190. A general court held at Pewterers' Hall on Friday 12 July 1605 in the
presence of Thomas Wilford, president, and the following assistants:
191. Sir John Swynnerton, alderman, Sir William Romeney, alderman, Mr.
Staper, Mr. Chamberlen, Mr. Cokayne, Mr. Newman, Mr. Andrew Banning, Mr. Ling, Mr. Dorrington, Mr. Bate, Mr. Savage, Mr. James, Mr.
Bowyer, Mr. Towreson, Mr. Owen, Mr. Wych, Mr. Cobb, Mr. Hanger; the
secretary and also divers of the generality.
192. [p. 55] The acts and agreements of the last assembly were 'liked allowed
193. Andrew Banning and Richard Wych, two of the assistants, then took
their oaths for the due execution of their office.
194. The two letters previously read out, from Sir Charles Cornewalleys the
ambassador in Spain and from Mr. Oseley, were read again, together with
a letter from Alderman Sir Stephen Soame of London 'but the court held
it fitt to take further tyme to consider of all the said letters'.
195. William Anys son of Dunstan Anys who had been made free by ancient
trade on 26 July 1577, claimed his own freedom by patrimony. The claim
was examined and allowed, 'but by reason he departed before th'end of the
court he was referred to take his oath at some other tyme'.
196. Hewyt Stapers also claimed his freedom by patrimony in the right of
his father Richard Staper one of the assistants. His claim was allowed,
whereupon he paid 6s. 8d. to the use of the society and took the oath of a
freeman by ancient trade.
197. At a court of assistants on 8 June 1605, 'divers committees were appointed to consider the Auntient oathes and ordinaunces for the government
of this society'. They were asked to revise them as they should think[fit and
[p. 56] bring them up to date, before finally presenting them to a general
court for its confirmation.
Whereupon diverse of the said committees having mett at three severall tymes in
performance of the trust in them reposed, finding moast of the ordinances fitt
to be contynued without alteration, and having altered some and leaving some
others with blancks, referring all their proceedings to be altered and reformed by a
generall court, doe nowe at this court offer and present the same to the whole
assembly here present; who caused as many of them to be redd and debated upon
as tyme would permitt, and in some points did alter reforme make perfect, and
fully conclude and agree of so many of the oathes and ordinances as are entered
in the booke of ordinances beginning page 1 and ending page 29. And being
prevented by tyme were dryven to breake of and to referre the consideration of
the residue of the said ordinances untill the next generall court.
198. The court granted Richard Langley the secretary an annuity of £20
over and above the ancient yearly standing fee of £20 and the other fees and
profits due to him for the execution of his office. The annuity was granted
to him only for the duration of his service [p. 57] as secretary, and the total
sum of £40 was to be paid quarterly by the treasurer and allowed him in his
199. The court also granted Richard Colman the beadle an annuity of
£6 13s. 4d. in addition to his ancient yearly standing fee of 20 marks and
the usual profits of his office. He was to receive these fees only during the
pleasure of the company, the total sum of £20 being paid quarterly by the
treasurer and allowed him in his account.
200. A general court held at Pewterers' Hall on Wednesday afternoon 24 July
1605, in the presence of Thomas Wilford, president, and the following
201. Nicholas Ling, John Dorrington, John Bate, Robert Savage, Edward
James, Robert Bowyer, John Newton, Thomas Owen, Richard Wych,
George Collymere, George Hanger, Laurence Greene; the secretary and
divers of the generality.
202. [p. 58] The business of the last general court was read out and confirmed, then the company proceeded as follows.
203. First, three persons claimed their freedom by ancient trade. Their
claims were allowed, whereupon they were sworn in as freemen by ancient
trade, paying the fine of 6s. 8d. to the use of the society. The claimants
were John Howard by service with Mrs. Margaret Bond the widow of
Alderman William Bond, Gregory Bland by service with Peter Collett,
merchant tailor, and Edward Lynch by service with John Ramridge, mercer,
all these merchants being freemen by ancient trade.
204. William Castle and Richard Syms, both mere merchants and free of no
other company, sued to be admitted as freemen by redemption. They were
accepted 'with free and generall consent', and paid their fines of £10 each to
the treasurer before taking their oathes as freemen by redemption.
205. Whereas the names of a great nomber of parsons are inserted into his majesty's Chartre lately graunted to this society whereof divers are of the auncient
freedom or discended from the same, and some others paid and disbursed money
to Mr. President to have their names put in the charter, and yet neverthelesse did
voluntarely consent to accept of their freedom by way of Redemption; and some
others procured their names inserted by the Recommendation of honorable
parsons or men in aucthority, and some by one meanes, and some by another.
And whereas greate debate and dispute hath byn had in what manner the severall
parsons named in the said Chartre are to be admytted, whether as freemen by
auncient [p. 59] trade or else by way of Redemption, for the deciding of which
doubt and for the more orderly proceeding therein; yt is at this Court agreed
that Mr. Cokayne, Mr. Wych, Mr. Howe, Mr. Dorrington, Mr. Hanger, Mr.
Newton and Mr. James, or any fyve of them, shall peruse over the names of all
such as are inserted into the said Chartre, and inquire and learne out, by what
right or how and in what manner and by whose procurement they obtayned their
names to be soe inserted and to consider and lay downe aswell howe many and
which are to be admytted by auncient trade as also how many and which are to be
admitted by redemption, and thereof to make relation at a generall Court for
further therein to be done as shalbe then thought fytt and convenient.
206. Complaints had been made to the members of the privy council that
persons capable of the freedom of the company 'know not when or whether
to resort to challeng the same'. It was therefore ordered
that there shalbe a generall Court held heere every Wensday morning begyning
at seaven of the Clock in the sommer, and at eight of the Clock in the winter, and
to end at eleaven of the Clock upon every of the same daies, and so to contynue
untill order shalbe taken to the contrary.
207. [p. 60] It was also ordered that 'for the more certen observing of the
said Court daies, the ease of Mr. President and the better goverment of
the Company, a fytt and discreete person should be elected and chosen
deputy'. Three candidates, John Newton, Roger Howe, and Arthur Jackson
stood for election, 'but by lyfting up of hands th'election did fall uppon the
said Mr. John Newton, who was thereupon admitted and sworne for the due
execution of the said office'.
208. It was also ordered that Alderman Sir Stephen Soame,
by reason that he is free of the Company of the marchaunts of the Staple and also
of the East marchaunts cannot by the true meaning of the charter be admitted
into the freedom of this society, unlesse he procure the like freedom for one of
this Company or pay according to the words and trew meaning of the charter.
209. By the last charter granted to the society they are required to receive
into the freedom any of his majesty's subjects
which then were or shalbe meere marchaunts, and which by the lawes and statutes
of this Realme may lawfully use the trade of Marchaundize from or into the
Realme of England (excepting Retaylers and such other persons as in and [p. 61]
by the said charter are mentioned).
The question has arisen
whether a man that hath byn a shopp keeper, and for the space of divers yeres
hath given over his trade who was not brought up in the trade of marchandize
seaven yeres at the least as an apprentize may be refused to be admitted into the
freedome of this society by the words of the said charter.
The company, 'being desirous to carry an even and indifferent hand',
observed that by the laws of the realm no man might use any trade or
occupation, 'being farre inferior to the profession of a merchant', without
serving at least seven years as an apprentice. After due consideration it was therefore agreed
that every parson and parsons, which during the full space and terme of seaven
yeres together, hath only used, or hereafter shall use, the trade of marchandize,
without keeping any shopp, or using any other trade withall, but only lyved as a
meere marchaunt, (Except all such as now be or hereafter shalbe free of any
spetiall incorporation or Company of merchants trading by force of any Act of
parliament, charter or letters patents, into any the partes beyond the seas) shall
and may from and after such tyme, as hee or they have or hath or hereafter shall
have only used the trade of a mere marchaunt, during such full terme of seaven
yeres in form abovesaid, be admytted and receaved into the freedome of this
society by Redemption, for such fyne and fynes, (according to the tyme they
shall require the said freedome) as in and by the said charter is lymitted.
210. [p. 62] It was also agreed that an act passed at the last general court,
entitled 'In what tyme the freedome of this company shalbe claymed', should
be reviewed and considered more carefully at 'a more full and ample generall Court'.
211. A general court held at Pewterers' Hall on Wednesday 31 July 1605 in
the presence of Thomas Wilford, president, John Newton, deputy, and the
212. Laurence Greene, treasurer, Robert Chamberlen, Nicholas Ling,
Arthur Jaxon, John Dorrington, John Bate, Edward James, Robert Bowyer,
Symion Furner, William Towreson, Nicholas Style, Thomas Owen, Richard
Wych, George Hanger, Richard Langley, secretary, and divers of the generality.
213. The business of the last general court was read and confirmed.
214. First, an election was held to fill the vacancy left among the assistants
by the election of John Newton to the post of deputy. Two candidates were
nominated, Roger Howe and William Harrison, 'and the triall being made
by lyfting up of hands the Election did fall upon the said Mr. Roger Howe'.
215. [p. 63] Roger Howe and two other assistants, John Bate and Nicholas
Stile, then took the oath appointed for the execution of their office.
216. John Jolles, named in the charter and subsequently elected an alderman of London, 'being generally knowne to have ben an auncient trader
into Spayne and Portugall' was admitted as a freeman by ancient trade. He
took the appointed oath and paid the treasurer 6s. 8d. to the use of the
217. It was agreed that Thomas Boothby should be given a certificate by
the president for the officers of the customs, 'testifying only that he is free
of this society, And upon his humble suit he is only tollerated to keape open
his shopp untill Michaelmas next and no longer, upon the paynes conteyned
in the companies orders, or as they shall thinck fitt to ympose upon him'.
218. Humphrey Wyms, named in the charter, was refused admittance to the
company unless he paid the sum of £10 and took the oath of a redemptioner,
'which he denyed to performe, and therefore departed the court for this tyme'.
219. James Boyle, mercer, claimed his freedom by service with Michael
Boile, a freeman by ancient trade. His claim was allowed and he was
admitted, paying his fine of 6s. 8d.
220. [p. 64] Rowland Backhouse son of the late alderman Nicholas Backhouse of London, claimed his freedom by patrimony. His claim was allowed
and he was admitted, paying a fine of £10, 'being the lyke some that his
father paied at his admission'. Since he was also free of the Merchant
Adventurers, Backhouse 'tooke that oath which is appointed for freemen
by redemption being also alreadyfree of some other company of marchaunts'.
221. Furthermore six other persons claimed their freedom by redemption,
'being all brought up as meere marchaunts or ells for the space of Seaven
yeres last past and above only used the trade of a marchaunt without any
manner of retailing whatsoever and being free of no other society of marchaunts'. They were John Buffeild, armourer, William Greene, cutler, Ralph
Belfeild, skinner, John Davies, haberdasher, John Greenewood, draper, and
Edward Skeggs, haberdasher. They each paid the treasurer £10 to the use
of the society and took the oath appointed for freemen received by redemption who were not free of any other company of merchants.
222. Laurence Horton requested his freedom by redemption, but 'forasmuch as he may challenge by patrymony the freedome of the society of the
marchaunt Adventurors and did refuse to renownce the same or to take the
oath auntiently administred to freemen by redemption', he was thought unfit to be admitted under the terms of the charter.
223. [p. 65] The court designated a group of new committee members: the
president or the deputy, Mr. Jolles, alderman, Mr. Staper, Mr. Allabaster,
Mr. Dorrington, Mr. Jaxon, Mr. Ling, Mr. Bate, Mr. Towreson, Mr. Harrison and Mr. Boothby. They or any four of them were asked to join with
the seven members designated at the last general court, or any five of them,
to consider of aunsweres to be presently written to Sir Charles Cornewalleys now
Lord Ambassador resident in Spayne, and to Mr. Nicholas Oseley, and to advise
and Consider whether it were that any of the company and which of them should
resort unto the right honorable John Baptista de Taxus the Spanish Ambassador
nowe resident here and shortly to returne into Spayne (as is reported) to desire
his favour for the confirmation and enlardging of our Auntient liberties in Spayne.
They were also asked to think of suitable persons to be consuls in Spain and
Portugal, 'and of any other matter that shall concerne the good estate of the
company, and to make relation of their proceedings at the next generall
224. [p. 66] A general court held at Pewterers' Hall on Wednesday 7 August
1605 in the presence of John Newton, deputy, and the following assistants:
225. Sir William Romney, Lawrence Greene, treasurer, Richard Staper,
Robert Chamberlen, William Cockayne, John Newman, Nicholas Lyng,
John Dorrington, John Bate, Robert Savage, Edward James, Robert Bowyer, Symion Furner, William Towerson, Richard Wych, George Hanger,
Roger How, assistants of London; William Harebrowne of Yarmouth,
William Nevey of Southampton, Richard Langley, secretary, and divers of
226. Robert Towerson, skinner, son of Mr. William Towerson claimed his
freedom by patrimony 'in the right of his father who was an ancient freeman'. His claim was allowed, whereupon he took the oath of a freeman by
ancient trade and paid 6s. 8d. to the use of the society.
227. [p. 67] The following seven persons claimed their freedom by ancient
trade: Robert Bromley by service with Sir Thomas Pullison, Leonard
Holmes of Yarmouth by service with the above-named William Harebrowne
of Yarmouth, William Nevey of Southampton, named in the charter, by
service with Paul Stavely of Southampton, John Feild by service with
William Towerson, Richard Dalby of Southampton by service with William
Nevey, William Payne by service with Alderman Thomas Starky, and John
Colmer by service with Henry Colthurst. Their cases were examined, and as
all their masters were ancient traders they were all admitted, each paying
6s. 8d. to the use of the society and taking the oath of a freeman by ancient trade.
228. Eight other persons claimed their freedom. They had all been brought
up as mere merchants, or else had traded exclusively as a merchant for the
last seven years without any retailing, and were free of no other society.
The claimants were Henry Kynnersley, merchant tailor, Emanuell Francklyn, clothworker, Thomas Wakeman of Yarmouth, Bartholomew Wormell
of Lynn, Francis Rumbald, fishmonger, William Thurston, salter, Thomas
Ball, haberdasher, and Nicholas Lockwood, leatherseller. The claimants
were admitted into the freedom by redemption, paying £10 each to the
treasurer and taking the oath appointed for freemen by redemption who are
not free of any other company of merchants.
229. [p. 68] In addition Simon Smyth claimed his freedom by patrimony. He
was the son of Simon Smyth who was admitted into the freedom by redemption on 27 February 1577 for the sum of £5. His claim was allowed, whereupon he paid the fine of £5 to the use of the fellowship as his father had
done before him, and took the oath appointed for a freeman by redemption
who is also free of another company.
230. Thomas Waltham, named in the charter, was refused the freedom of
the society 'unlesse he shall satisfie the some of £10, and also receive and
take the oath appointed for a Redemptioner which he Denyed to performe,
and therefore departed the court for this tyme'.
231. At this courte Mr. William Hareborne lately elected Deputy for yarmouth,
did deliver some speciall reasons declaring that he cannot conveniently execute
the said office, and therefore according to the purport of the companies letter,
he hath caused to come up the aforenamed Leonard Holmes being sometymes
his servaunt and the only man in those parts that can clayme his freedome
by auncient trade, as a man fitt to supply the said office of Deputy, upon whose
recommendation so made by the said Mr. Hareborne, and his loving promise to
be ayding counselling, and assisting of him, the said Leonard Holmes was elected
and chosen Deputy for the said towne of yarmouth and the lymitts thereof.
232. [p. 69] After the above election William Hareborne and William Nevey
of Southampton, both assistants named in the charter, then took their oaths of office.
233. Mr. Nevey, earlier elected deputy for Southampton, and Leonard
Holmes who had been elected deputy for Yarmouth at this court, both took
their oaths as deputies for their respective divisions.
234. The following persons were delegated to form a committee: Mr.
Cockayne, Mr. How, Mr. Wych, Mr. Hanger, Mr. Dorrington, Mr. Bate,
Mr. Towerson and Mr. Harrison. They, or any four of them, were asked
to consider and lay downe what power and aucthority is fitt to be given to the
Deputies for government in their several divisions and that the Secretary shall
deliver them such copies of oathes ordinances and other things as they or any 4 of
them shall thinck fitt.
235. A petition was read out from Richard Candler 'humbly desiring the
freedome of this company for his owne person gratis', but consideration of
it was deferred to the next court.
236. Also Hugh Hamersley named in the charter, clayming the freedome by
patrymony, for as much as his father died before the graunting of the charter of
Decimo Nono of Queene Elizabeth, the company have taken further tyme to consider of his clayme.
237. [p. 70] A general court held at Pewterers' Hall on Tuesday 13 August
1605 in the presence of Thomas Wilford, president, John Newton, deputy, and
the following assistants:
238. Richard Staper, John Harby, Andrew Bannyng, Nicholas Lyng, Arthur
Jackson, John Dorrington, Robert Savage, Nicholas Style, George Hanger,
Roger How, Martyn Bond, Thomas Bostock, assistants of London; John
Clynch of Ipswich; Richard Langley secretary and divers of the generality.
239. After due examination the court allowed William Fisher son of John
Fisher of Ipswich to receive the freedom of the society by patrimony in the
right of his father, who had received his freedom by ancient trade on 21
August 1577. As the claimant was absent from the court,
Mr. President or his deputy and fowre of the assistaunts (according to aucthority
graunted by the charter) may administer unto the said William ffisher the oath of
a freeman by auncient trade, he first paying to Mr. Treasurer to the use of this
society the some of 6s. 8d.
240. [p. 71] Two other persons claimed their freedom by patrimony in the
right of their fathers who were ancient freemen. They were Samuel Garrett,
mercer, son of Anthony Garrett, and Richard Barne son of Alderman Sir
George Barne, haberdasher. Their claims were allowed, whereupon they
took the oaths of freemen by ancient trade and each paid 6s. 8d. to the use of the society.
241. At former courts the question had been debated
in what manner Edward Davenant, merchauntailor, should be admitted into the
freedome of this society, whether by auncient trade, or as a Redemptioner by
reason that the said Edward Davenant not knowing of his right by patrymony
delivered Mr. Roger Howe the last Treasurer the some of Tenn poundes, making
then suit to be admitted by Redemption, which the cort at that tyme refused to
graunt, by reason it was supposed he was not then capable of the freedome. And
sithence his name being inserted into the charter he challenged thereby the freedome as amply as any Auncient trader, which the company did not allowe. After
all which upon serch made in the old books it appeareth that John Davenant,
merchauntailor, deceased late father of the said Edward Davenant was an
auncient free brother of this society, admitted by auncient trade and sworne the
26 of June Anno Domino 1578 whereby the said Edward Davenant claymed by
his patrymony, to be admitted by auncient trade. Whose case being examyned he
was found enhabled, and thereupon paid for his admittance 6s. 8d. and tooke the
oath of a freeman by auncient trade, and was admitted into the freedome accordingly.
242. Four other persons claimed their freedom by ancient trade: Joseph
Jackson by service with Alderman Sir John Spencer, clothworker, Thomas
Witherall by service with Thomas Boothby, [p. 72] merchant tailor,
Humphrey Wotton by service with William Shawcrost, girdler, and John
Clynch of Ipswich by service with John Barker the elder of Ipswich. Each
claimant's case was on examination found valid, for all the masters were
ancient traders. Each paid 6s. 8d. to the use of the society and took the oath
of a freeman by ancient trade.
243. Moreover Edward Grent, mercer, and John Dade, merchant tailor,
'being both brought up as mere merchaunts, or ells by the space of seaven
yeres last past and above only used the trade of a merchaunt without any
manner of retayling whatsoever, and being free of no other society of
merchaunts' were admitted into the freedom by redemption. Each paid £10
to the treasurer and took the oath appointed for freemen by redemption
who were unfree of any other company.
244. Peter Muffett, skinner, claimed his freedom by service with Lawrence
Carlill, who became free by redemption on 20 November 1582 for the sum
of £10. His case was examined and found valid, whereupon he paid £10
being the same fine paid by his master and took the oath of a freeman by
redemption who was also free of another company.
245. [p. 73] According to a note made by Richard May the former secretary
of the company, Richard Reynolds the apprentice of Simon Lawrence an
ancient freeman claimed his own freedom on 1 February 1589 'when the
keeping of Corts was discontynued'. Since he may rightfully claim the freedom,
forasmuch as he is not in estate to come abroad, therefore upon humble request
made in his behalf, it is ordered that he shalbe admitted by vertue of his said
service, and that Mr. President or his Deputy and fowre of the assistants (according to the aucthority graunted by charter) may administer unto him the oath of a
freeman by auncient trade, he first paying to the use of the society 6s. 8d.
246. John Clynch, named in the charter as one of the assistants for Ipswich
and recently elected deputy for that port and its division, 'did in open corte
receave and take the two severall othes for the due execution of the said two
247. Whereas it is found by experience, that (when corts of Assistaunts are called)
much tyme is spent, and no business can be performed, for want of a competent
nomber of Assistaunts to make up a full courte, and forasmuch as Mr. Thomas
Cordell and Mr. John Castlyn, two of the Assistaunts named in the charter, by
reason of other occasions cannot attend the service, nor appeare at courts, (as
Assistaunts ought to doe) and therefore desier to be dischardged thereof, and some
others elected in their places; therefore at this corte the company dischardged the
said Mr. Thomas Cordell, and Mr. John Castlyn, and proceeded to election of
two other Assistaunts in their roomes ffor which purpose these woorshipfull
persons following were put in election (viz) Mr. Martyn Bond, Mr. William
Harrison, Mr. Thomas [p. 74] Bostock, Mr. Thomas Boothby, Mr. John Ramridge and Mr. Gyles Snoade whoe being all entreated to walk forth, the company
(according to their usuall manner) proceeded to election, by lyfftyng up of handes,
and by the greatest nomber of hands the election did fall upon the said Mr.
Martyn Bond, and Mr. Thomas Bostock, whoe were thereunto admitted, and in
open courte did receave the oath for the due execution of the said office.
248. A letter was read out from Thomas Sandyll, recently elected deputy for
whereby he desireth to be dischardged of the said office of Deputy. But forasmuch
as he is knowne to be a fitt and worthy man, the company resolve not to alter
their election, and therefore doe agree that a letter shalbe written unto him for the
249. Two other letters were read out, one from John Bagg, recently elected
deputy for Plymouth, the other from John Lister, deputy for Hull.
After the reading of which letters and consideration thereunto had, and forasmuch also as diverse other Deputies have not retorned any answeres to the
companies letters, yt is ordered and thought fitt, that for the swearing of the
severall Deputies, and to setle government, and give direction in every of the said
places, that Mr. Deputy Newton and Mr. Arthur Jackson shall with all convenient
speede ryde to all the severall places, where the said deputies are elected, and that
a Commission shalbe drawne and sealed with the seale of this society, to give
them sufficient aucthority for the performance of the said service, and that Mr.
Treasurer shall deliver them money to defray their chardges in the said Jorney.
And upon the earnest motion and entreaty of the company Mr. Deputy hath
gyven his absolute consent, and Mr. Jaxon hath promised (his owne private
affaires being setled which will hold him almost a moneth) to prepare himself
ready to undertake the service.
250. [p. 75] The court also appointed a committee of auditors for the
accounts of George Hanger and Roger How, the last two treasurers of the
company. The auditors were Mr. Lyng, Mr. Dorrington and Mr. Harby
from among the assistants, and Mr. Harrison, Mr. Boothby, Mr. Stone,
Mr. Snoade and Mr. Stokeley, five of the generality, together with either
the president or the deputy.
251. The drafts of two letters were then read out, one to Sir Charles Cornewallis the ambassador in Spain 'in answere of a letter written by his Lordshipp to this company in favour of Mr. Nicholas Osely', and the other to
Nicholas Osely himself. The latter was in answer to his letter
touching the procuring of a newe graunt and confirmation of the Companies
charter and liberties, wherein the company doe signifie they have agreed to give
his wief here in England ffyfty pounds, and to make over unto him ffowre hundred
Ducketts and when the charter and priviledges are confirmed (in respect of the
chardg he shalbe at) to gratifie him with Eight hundred Duckatts more.
Both drafts were approved; orders were given to provide the money and
send off the letters with all convenient speed.
252. fforasmuch as many of the Assistaunts made default of apparance at this
courte, therefore the names of all the Assistaunts were openly redd, and the Beadle
examyned (by vertue of his oath taken to this societie) what particuler summons,
and warning, he gave to every of them, and as many as were in the Country, at
the tyme of the summons, or otherwise specially ymployed, were excused, but
these sixe following viz. Mr. Robert Chamberlen, Mr. John Newman, Mr. John
Bate, Mr. Edward James, Mr. Symion Furner and Mr. Robert Cobb, being duly
sommoned, and making default of apparance, are to pay such fynes, as in such
case, by the orders of this society, are lymitted and appointed.
253. [p. 76] Certain committee members were authorised at the last general
court, to fix the powers and authority to be given to the outport deputies in
their divisions. The secretary was also to deliver to the deputies such copies
of oaths and ordinances as the committee, or any four of its members,
should think fit.
According to which aucthority Mr. William Cokayne, Mr. Richard Wych, Mr.
Georg Hanger and Mr. John Dorrington, four of the said committees, (being
accompanied with Mr. Newton the Deputy) did assemble and meete togeather
the 7 day of August 1605, and did cause their opynions and conceipts to be laid
downe in wryting to be presented to the next generall corte to be confirmed or
disallowed as the court should thinck fitt. The tenor whereof followeth in these words viz.
254. Imprimis every Deputy to have an abstract of the charter, or a copy at lardg,
if they will pay for it.
255. Also coppies of the oath of a freeman by auncient trade.
The Oath of the Deputy
The Oath of the Assistaunts
The Oath of the Treasorer
The Oath of the Clark in the Country
256. The copy of the Act for Apprentizes that the words Marchaunt of Spayne and
Portugall should be inserted in their Indentures.
257. Also the Copy of the order of Dispensation, notwithstanding the omission
of the words, Spayne and Portugall, sithence 1585 which order was taken at a
generall court holden ultimo Augusti 1604.
258. The copy of the Act against Marchaunts using retayling.
259. And it is agreed that the Deputies severally and respectively in their severall
Divisions may admitt and sweare into the freedome, the sonnes and servaunts of
such as may clayme the freedome by auncient trade, and being discended from
such fathers or masters as have byn sworne to this company, and none other
whatsoever, unlesse they have byn sworne, notwithstanding they be named in the
Charters or either of them, and that this power and aucthority shall only have
contynuance untill the feast of All Saincts next ensuing, and no longer, and then
all to come up hether.
260. [p. 77] It was also agreed that the deputy should summon to him four
or five freemen, 'if so many may be had, or ells as many as the place will
aford' to give their consent to the acceptance of those admitted as freemen
by patrimony or service.
261. Furthermore, they should with all convenient speed certify the names
of all those admitted, 'and under whome, and by what right they made their clayme'.
262. Notwithstanding this authority for admitting sons and servants claiming their freedom by patrimony or ancient trade, it was also agreed that if
any of the claimants by patrimony or ancient trade could not make clear
proof of their rights, or if any doubts should arise in any way, 'that then
every such person shalbe remitted and sent up to London, to receave their
263. It was also absolutely agreed that any claimants by redemption should
be sent up to London, with a certificate from the deputy and six assistants
or speciall Marchaunts of the Company (yf so many may be had) or ells so many
as the place will afford, testefying that they are meere Marchaunts fitt to be
admitted, and have only traded in marchaundizing, seaven yeres at the least, and
not free of any other company of marchaunts, and that they are neither retailours,
Artificers, Inholders, farmors, comon Marryners or handycrafts men, but esteemed and knowne to be sole Marchaunts, trading beyond the Seas.
It was also agreed that all sons and servants of redemptioners should be
sent up to London with similar certificates from the deputy and such merchants or assistants 'testefying whose sonnes they are, and their Masters
report for their service, and no Redemptioner, nor the sonne or servaunt
of any Redemptioner to be admitted without such certificate as aforesaid'.
264. [p. 78] The deputy was also to keep a full account of all the fees he
received 'for admissions or for fynes, brokes or any other thing for the
company, and to Accoumpt to the Treasorer when he shalbe required, and
if he be not required, yet once a yere at the least'.
265. The deputy was to inform the company if any merchant also retailed
goods, so that a penalty could be fixed.
266. He must also advise the company 'from tyme to tyme upon all occurrences, what is fitt for governement in those severall places to th'end it may
be considered of heere, and order taken accordingly'.
267. Lastly he must give 'certificates to the Customers for freemen that have
taken their Oathes, that they may Shipp, and none other, and to have a
care to restraine all others'.
268. 'And concerning ympositions the company will presently consider,
and advertize the severall Deputies.'
269. This report from the committee was read out in court, receiving general
approval. It was agreed that it should be entered as an act of the court and
that all the deputies should have a copy of it and of everything mentioned
in it, 'and this order to be a sufficient warrant to the Secretary in that behalf.'
270. [p. 79] A general court held at Pewterers' Hall on Wednesday 21 August
1605 in the presence of Thomas Wilford, president, John Newton, deputy,
and the following assistants:
271. Richard Staper, Robert Chamberlen, John Newman, Nicholas Ling,
Arthur Jaxon, John Bate, Robert Savage, Edward James, Robert Bowyer,
Symion Furner, Thomas Owen, Robert Cobb, George Collymore, George
Hanger, Roger Howe, Martyn Bond, Thomas Bostock, being assistants of
London; John Clynch of Ipswich, Richard Langley, secretary, and divers
of the generality.
272. First, the business of the last general court was read out and confirmed.
273. Then three persons claimed their freedom by patrimony in the right
of their fathers who were all freemen by ancient trade: Roger Collymore,
draper, son of George Collymore, Richard Hollworthy of London, mercer,
son of John Hollworthy of Bridgwater and also formerly apprenticed to
James Boyle a freeman by ancient trade, and Salaman Shorter, merchant
tailor, son of William Shorter. They were all admitted, paying 6s. 8d. each
to the use of the society and taking the oath of freemen by ancient trade.
274. [p. 80] The following four claimants were made free by virtue of their
service with freemen by ancient trade: James Bagg of Plymouth by service
with Nicholas Ball of Plymouth, Thomas Style, skinner, by service with
William Cokayne, William Boornford by service with William Coles, grocer,
and John Hale by service with Richard Hale, grocer. They paid 6s. 8d. to
the use of the society and took the oath of freemen by ancient trade.
275. Richard Candler, mercer, the clerk for policies of assurance, petitioned
shewing that he was bound apprentize to a merchaunt whose master was Sir
Thomas Gresham being a freeman of this company. Also that he having a dwelling house in the Royall exchange will have a roome necessary for the Assistaunts
to meete together at any convenyent tymes upon any sudden buisness for the
company which shalbe at their commaund, and that he is not free of any forren
Company. And therefore he humbly prayed the Company to graunt him the
freedome gratis. (fn. 1)
The company after considering his petition granted him his freedom without charge, for his person only, 'but not to make either sonne or servaunt
free'. He was admitted and took the oath of a freeman by ancient trade.
276. The seven persons following, all mere merchants and free of no other
company, were admitted into the freedom by redemption: William Yonge,
Benjamyn Cooper and Augustine Yonge of Yarmouth, 'upon the Certificate
of Mr. William Harburne and of the Deputy of Yarmouth, and Isack
Cooper of Yarmouth upon the report of Mr. Staper and others, [p. 81]
and Thomas Carrowe of Lynn upon sufficient report and certificat'. In
addition there were Humphrey Phipps of London, joiner, and Richard
Newman, fishmonger, mere merchants for fourteen and twenty years respectively. All seven claimants paid £10 each to the use of the society and took
the oath ordained for freemen by redemption who are not free of any other
277. Thomas Girling of Lynn son of William Girling was admitted into the
freedom by patrimony, paying £10 to the use of the society as his father
had paid on his admission by redemption on 18 August 1584. Thomas
Girling took the oath of those freemen by redemption who were also free of some other company.
278. John Langham, leatherseller, who had traded as a mere merchant for
sixteen years, 'saving only he maried a Dutchwoman who keapeth a shopp
in ffanchurchstreete selling Lawnes and cambricke' requested his freedom
by redemption for £10. He was denied it 'during so long tyme as his wief
doth contynue the keaping of her shopp or retailing as aforesaid. And it is
agreed that when shee shall gyve over the same he shalbe accepted and
allowed according to his desire'.
279. Richard Hobby also claimed his freedom by service with William
Sherrington 'whom he alledgeth to have ben free'. Richard Washer, John
Amherst and Silvanus Payne also requested their freedom by redemption
for £10 each.
fforasmuch as question is made whether by the trewe entent and meaning of the
charter and the orders of the Company they be capable and fitt to be admytted, it
is therefore ordered that certen Committees shalbe appointed to consider of the
claymes and requests of them, and of such others as shalbe doubtfull and questionable.
280. [p. 82] There was 'eftsoones commended to the consideration of the
Company the request of Sir Stephen Soame knight and Alderman of London
to be admitted into the freedome of this society'. Sir Stephen Soame was
already free of the Merchant Staplers and the Eastland Company;
he therefore doth desire that some one of this company (not being free of the
marchaunt adventurors) may be nomynated by this court and made knowne unto
him, whom he will procure to be admitted either into the freedome of the Staple or
ells into the freedome of the Eastland company.
When the company was considering the matter, Thomas Boothby one of
the freemen of the society but not free of the Merchant Adventurers
did offer to gyve unto this Company the some of Twenty Pownds to procure him
the freedome of the Marchaunts of the Staple. Whereupon it is ordered and agreed
that yf the said Sir Stephen Soame will procure the said Thomas Boothby to be
made free of the company of merchaunts of the Staple, that then the said Sir
Stephen Soame shalbe admitted and receaved into the freedome of this society of
marchaunts of England trading into Spayne and Portugall without any other fine
to be paied for the same.
281. Among those present at this court were Richard Dochester, recently
elected deputy for Exeter and an ancient freeman, 'and as appeareth by a
faire Register booke of Excetor sworne at Excetor 16 Januarii 1578', together with James Bagg, deputy for Plymouth, who was made free at this
same court, and Nicholas Downe of Barnstaple, 'an auntient freeman
admitted and sworne 21 Junii 1583 as by the records here remayning may
appeare'. [p. 83] All three,
making their apparaunce hether according to letters unto them in that behaulf
directed, did in open court receave and take the oath for the due execution of the
office of Deputy for the severall places whereof they are elected and the Auntient
lymitts within their severall Jurisdictions.
282. The above deputies
did present and deliver in open Court certen Demaunds in writing. But forasmuch
as the tyme being spent they could not resolve or Determyne of them at this cort,
and because the said Deputies desire expedition having speciall occasion to
hasten homeward, it is therefore ordered that Mr. President and Mr. Deputy and
the Committees named at a court of Assistents holden here the 7 of this instant
August, viz Mr. Cokayne, Mr. How, Mr. Wych, Mr. Hanger, Mr. Dorrington,
Mr. Bate, Mr. Towreson and Mr. Harrison, or any fowre of them shall meete and
conferre together with the said Deputies upon and touching their said Demaunds,
or any other thing for the good of the company. And what they shall determyne
or conclude upon this Court doth and will approve and allowe. And it is ordered
that the Secretary shall deliver unto the severall Deputies such copies as the said
persons and Committees before named or any fowre of them shall appoint, and
this order shalbe his sufficient warrant and dischardge in that behalf.
283. 'Lett the demaundes and resolutions entred page 87 come in here.' (fn. 2)
284. Memorandum: that on 27 August 1605 in the presence of John Newton,
deputy, John Bate, Robert Bowyer and Thomas Owen, three of the assistants, and Richard Langley, secretary, according to an order taken at a
general court on 13 August 1605, Richard Reynoldes took the oath of a
freeman by ancient trade, paying 6s. 8d. to the use of the society.
285. [p. 84] A general court held at Pewterers' Hall on Wednesday 28 August
1605 in the presence of Thomas Wilford, president, John Newton, deputy,
and the following assistants:
286. William Cokayne, John Newman, Andrew Bannyng, Nicholas Lyng,
Arthur Jackson, Robert Savage, Edward James, George Hanger, Roger
How, Martyn Bond, Thomas Bostock, being assistants of London; John
Whitson of Bristol, James Bagg of Plymouth and divers of the generality.
287. The business of the last court was read out and confirmed.
288. Two persons claimed their freedom by patrimony in the right of their
fathers, 'auncient freemen, well knowne to the company': John Pytt of
Weymouth son of Mr. Richard Pytt of Weymouth and Robert Peacock,
grocer, son of Mr. Robert Peacock. They were admitted, taking the oath
of freemen by ancient trade and paying 6s. 8d. to the use of the society.
289. [p. 85] Five other persons claimed their freedom by apprenticeship to
ancient traders: William Waltham of Weymouth by service with John Peter
of Exeter, John Stradling of Bridgwater by service with Robert Bucking of
Bridgwater, Henry Jennyngs, draper, by service with Robert Cox, William
Morse, skinner, by service with William Cokayne the elder, and Charles
Colfox, haberdasher, by service with Edmund Eyton. Their claims were
examined and found valid, whereupon the claimants paid 6s. 8d. each to
the use of the company and were admitted, taking the oath of freemen by ancient trade.
290. John Erick of London, a mere merchant and free of no other company,
'making suite to be admitted by Redemption, was with free and generall
consent accepted'. He paid his fine of £10 and took the oath of a freeman
291. Thomas Stoner of Southampton came to this court to claim his freedom
by patrimony through his father Peter Stoner of Southampton an ancient
merchant named in the charter of 1577. 'But his clayme was referred to be
further considered of, and determyned, by Mr. Deputy Newton, att his
commyng downe into those parts.'
292. At a general court on 28 June 1605, the company elected Alexander
Jones as deputy of Bridgwater, 'and by letter written unto him did require
him to make his repaire hether, to take his oath for the due execution of
the said place'. At this court a letter was read out from Alexander Jones [p. 86]
wherein he alleadgeth that by reason of dishabillity of body, he is not hable to
undertake the travell and chardg of the said place, and therefore having procured
a counsell or meeting of the said society within the said towne, they made choice
of Mr. John Stradling a freeman by auncient trade, to supply the said place of
Deputy, whom they sent up of purpose to receave the said oath. But forasmuch
as sithence the wryting of the said letter, the company doe fynde that the towne
of Bridgwater hath byn heretofore a member, and under the Jurisdiction of the
citty of Bristoll, therefore they have forborne the swearing of any Deputy there,
unlesse the Deputy and merchaunts of Bristoll give their consents thereunto. And
therefore it is agreed that the said Mr. John Stradling shalbe allowed to beare his
charges in commyng up hether the some of Three poundes, the same to be paid
by Mr. Treasuror, and to be allowed him in his accompt.
293. A letter to the company from Sir Charles Cornwallys the lord ambassador in Spain was openly read out.
294. It was endorsed as sent to the right worshipful the Spanish company of
merchants in London, and its contents were as follows.
295. After my harty commendations, et cetera, understanding that the office of
Consulshipp for Portugall was by the king's majesty of Spaine long before my
hether commyng, given to one Rowland Maylard, Englishman and Inhabitant of
the said citty, conceiving him thereby to be of good sufficiency every way for the
executing and dischardg of that place, I thought good at his very ernest suite, so
far as in me lay to confirm and Ratifie unto him the said graunt of the King yet
with condition on his parte, under his hand wryting to be performed, that if
hereafter it [p. 87] shall appeare to me, that any iust complaint of his bad and
evill dealing in the said place, be by the company made against him, he will at my
direction forthwith resigne the same to whome the election of an other shall be
found to appertayne. And so hoping that you will rest well contented with what
herein I have done, I bid you hartely farewell from Vallodolid of July the 26.
Your loving friend
296. After reading the letter the company decided that
by vertue of the charter graunted by our soveraigne lord the king's majesty, the
election of Consulls doth belong to this company. Therefore they held it not fitt
to give any allowance or assent to the election made either by the king of Spaine,
or by the said Lord Ambassadour, but to appoint and elect a fitt man of their
owne knowledg and nomynation.
A letter to that effect was to be sent to the ambassador.
297. Lett these Demandes of the Westerne Deputies, and the resolutions thereupon be entred in th' end of page 83. (fn. 3)
298. Demaunds by the Deputies of the westerne Devisions 21 Augusti 1605.
299. Item that our courts may contynue of so many assistaunts as in tyme past,
that is 16 of Exceter, 12 of Plymouth, and that Barnestable which before had ben
6 Assistaunts may (for better government) be allowed 8.
300. Item that wee may have the Charter Exemplefied under the seale, to be in
Exeter, as in tyme past.
301. [p. 88] Item that our courts may have power, to make and establish lawes,
and ordynances for the beter government of the company, and ordering of their
goods and marchaundizes.
302. Item that our Deputies, and other officers, may take their oath for the executing of their offices at our generall corts holden for that purpose, and not to be
compelled to come to London, being so greate a Jorney, and needlesse chardg.
303. Item, that sonnes, Apprentices, and Redemptioners, may be made free there,
and not compelled to come to London for the causes aforesaid.
304. Item that the moyety of our fynes, Impositions, Amerciaments and all other
penalties, and brokes, may remayne and be amongest us, towardes the Defraying
of any needfull chardg, and relief of decayed bretheren.
305. Item that whereas the President, and Assistaunts, have power to make lawes,
that wee may no further be bound by oath to the observations of them then as
they may stand with the good of our Countrey, and the consent of our severall
306. A committee held at Pewterers' Hall on Wednesday afternoon, 21 August
1605, in the presence of
307. Mr. Wilford, president, Mr. Newton, deputy, Mr. Ling, Mr. Howe,
Mr. Hanger, Mr. Harrison; deputies Mr. Dochester of Exeter, Mr. Bagg of
Plymouth, Mr. Downe of Barnstaple, Mr. Clynch of Ipswich.
308. The committee assembled according to the order taken at the general
court held on the morning of 21 August 1605, 'to advise and consider of
the Demaundes before mentyoned, being delivered in open corte by the
severall Deputies, before named'. Their answers to the demands were as follows:
309. [p. 89] The first Demaund is assented unto, and allowed by the said Committees.
310. To the second wee thinck that a copy of the Charter wilbe sufficient, which
our Secretary (for reasonable consideration) shall deliver. And it shalbe allowed
them againe out of their ympositions, whereupon the said Deputies were well
satisfied and content with the same.
311. To the third wee thinck that by our letters patents all Acts and ordynaunces
for the good goverment of the whole society, are to be made, and agreed upon
here, at a generall corte. Otherwise greate confusion might growe in making of
Acts and therefore it is requisite the Deputies, and Assistaunts, should conforme
themselves, and be bound to governe by such Acts and ordynaunces, as shalbe
made and agreed here by the generall courte. Nevertheless for there owne better
goverment wee thinck it lawfull and fitt, that the Deputies, Assistaunts and
generality in their severall Divisions from tyme to tyme may devise, and lay
downe acts and ordinaunces amongest themselves, which acts and ordynaunces
before the putting of the contents thereof in execution, they shall send unto us in
wryting, and being allowed, and ratified by our generall courte, they shall stand
in force, or ells not.
312. Item, to the 4th that the like order and course be observed, as in auncient
tyme was accustomed, aswell for electing as for swearing of Deputies, Assistaunts
313. Item to the ffyft, that the Indenture of every apprentice bound in the
Countrey, shalbe sent up hether to be enrowled with our Secretary here, within
the ffirst yere after his bynding, and that the Secretary shalbe allowed for every
such enrowlment 12d., and that every such Apprentice whose Indenture shalbe so
enrowled within the first yere and shalbe bound to a freeman by auncient trade,
shall at the expiration of his terme (yf he shall faithfully serve his Master according to such Indenture) be sworne before the Deputy, Assistaunts and generality
[p. 90] in the Countrey. But every such Apprentice, whoe shall not be enrowled
within the first yere, shalbe sent up hether to receave his freedome here. And all
Redemptioners whatsoever, and the sonnes and servaunts of all Redemptioners
shalbe sent up hether to receave their freedome with such certificate from the
Deputy and Assistaunts there, as by an order taken at a former Committee
entred at Corte holden the 13 of August 1605 is mentioned.
314. Item to the 6th the severall Deputies and their Treasurers to rendour accoumpt of all receipts, as in former tymes hath byn accustomed.
315. Item to the 7th they are to be bound (as wee and all brothers in the company
are) according as in the oathes and ordynaunces is mentioned, and according to
the true entent and meaning of the same.
316. And for the present the said Committees doe thinck fitt, that the severall
Deputies shall have such copies delivered them and be only aucthorised to proceede so farr, as was formerly thought fitt by the Committees, to whome the same
was referred, according as it is agreed and entred at a generall courte holden the
said 13 day of August 1605, and hereafter to have such further addition or detraction, as circumstaunces and tyme may Minister iust occasion. Vide page 83. (fn. 4)
317. [p. 91] A general court held at Pewterers' Hall on Friday 30 August 1605
in the presence of Thomas Wilford, president, John Newton, deputy, and the
318. Lawrence Greene, treasurer, William Cokayne, John Newman,
Andrew Bannyng, Arthur Jackson, Edward James, Robert Bowyer, Thomas
Owen, Robert Cobb, George Hanger, Roger Howe, Martyn Bond, assistants of London; John Whitson of Bristol, James Bagg of Plymouth, Richard
Langley, secretary, and divers of the generality.
319. The business of the last general court was read out and confirmed.
320. And this corte being specially appointed only to conclude of the Acts and
ordynaunces for the goverment of this society, and of a commission or aucthority
to be graunted to Mr. John Newton (the Deputy generall) and Arthur Jackson
(one of the Assistaunts) whoe at a former courte were entreated and appointed to
ryde to Bristoll, and the other severall porte townes, to keepe Courte and performe
services, and ymployments for the good of the company. They caused a draught
of a comission prepared for the same purpose to be openly redd, the tenour
whereof followeth in these words, viz.
321. [p. 92] To all true Christian people to whom this present wryting shall come,
the President, Assistaunts and fellowshipp of Marchaunts of England trading into
Spaine and Portugall send greeting. Whereas our moast gratious soveraigne Lord
the King's moast excellent Majesty that now is, by his highnes letters patents
under the greate seale of England, bearing date at Westminster the 31 day of May
last, did incorporate us into a society or fellowshipp, with aucthority to keepe
courts, Elect officers, and to admitt freemen into our society, and to make and
ordayne lawes and statutes for the goverment of our Society, and with diverse
other privileges and ymmunities as in and by the said letters patents at large
appeareth. Now knowe yee that aswell for the present ease of all the Deputies,
and other freemen (whoe ought to come up to London to receave their oathes)
and for the setling of goverment in every severall place where Deputie [sic] are
or heretofore have byn appointed, and for keeping of courts, electing and swearing of officers, and Ministers in the said severall places (which have not byn lately
sworne here at London) admitting and swearing of freemen, aswell as by Patrymony and service, as also by Redemption and doing and performing all other
things which wee the President Assistaunts and fellowship can or may doe, by
vertue of the said charter, wee have nomynated constituted and appointed, And
by these presents Doe nomynate, constitute and appoint our trusty and welbeloved, John Newton (the Deputy generall of our said society) and Arthur
Jackson (one of the Assistaunts of the same) whome wee have aucthorised and
entred to performe, execute and undertake this greate trust and ymployment
before mentyoned, of whose approved wisdomes and [p. 93] fidelity wee have
sufficient experience. And forasmuch as they have byn present with us at moast
of our courts and thereby are fully acquainted with our orders and manner of
government here, wee are confidently perswaded they will keepe their courts, and
so dispose of busines by vertue of this commission, with that integrity and
indifferency as they have observed, and knowne us to governe here, wherein we
desier one and the self same order to be observed without respecting of persons,
or any favour or parcially to be shewed to any whatsoever. Especially requiring
them that if (upon examynation) they shall fynd the name of any person to be
inserted into the said charter, whoe cannot lawfully clayme the freedome thereof,
as sonne or servaunt to some freeman heretofore admitted and allowed by auncient
trade, that then (according to the Ordynaunce and our proceedings here) they
shall not admitt or swere him or them into the freedome of this society, unlesse
he or they first satisfie to the use of the society the some of Tenn pounds apeece,
and take the oath appointed for a Redemptioner, and that if any of them shall
refuse soe to doe, that then they admonish and warne him and them to desist and
forbeare trading under the paines contayned in the companies ordynaunces. And
for the better directions of the said John Newton and Arthur Jackson in their
proceedings wee have delivered unto them a perfect and true copy of our Charter
and of certen Ordynaunces and statutes already made, devised, and allowed, for
the goverment of the Company. And whatsoever they shall doe in the premisses
wee doe by these presents, promisse to [p. 94] ratifie and allowe. In witness whereof wee have hereunto caused our comon seale to be putt, the fowrth day of September Anno domino 1605.
322. After the commission had been modified in some points and finally
embodied in the form given above, it was ordered
that the same shalbe ingrossed against the next generall courte to be then sealed
with the auncient Common seale of this society, being in open courte produced
and shewed furth by Mr. President, in whose custody the same hath remayned
sithence the dissolving of our auncient Courts.
It was also ordered that the treasurer should deliver £20 to Mr. Newton
and Mr. Jackson towards the costs of their journey, and the sum be allowed
him in his account. 'And what chardges they shall disburse in their said
Jorney upon an Accompt by them made and delivered up, shalbe allowed
and paid by this company.'
323. The company then went on to the reading of various acts and ordinances for the government of the society,
whereof parte of them were taken out of the auncient ordynaunces of this Company, with some alterations and aditions, as to certen Committees, appointed to
consider of them, were thought fitt and convenient. And so many as were thought
unnecessary, and which tyme had worne out of use, were frustrated, made void,
and omitted, and the residue which were held fitt, and proffitable for the goverment of the company, were ratified and allowed, and all such as are appointed now
to stand in force, are entred in a faire register booke, (called the booke of ordynaunces) made and appointed for that purpose.
324. [p. 95] A general court held at Pewterers' Hall on Wednesday 4 September
1605 in the presence of Thomas Wilford, president, John Newton, deputy,
and the following assistants:
325. Lawrence Greene, treasurer, John Newman, John Harby, Andrew
Banning, Nicholas Lyng, John Dorrington, Robert Savage, Edward James,
Robert Bowyer, Symion Furner, Thomas Owen, Richard Wyche, George
Hanger, Roger How, Martyn Bond, Thomas Bostock, assistants of London;
Richard Langley, secretary, and divers of the generality.
326. The business of the last general court was allowed and confirmed.
327. The commission to John Newton the deputy general and Arthur
Jackson one of the assistants, agreed on at the previous general court, 'and
now ingrosed in parchment, was sealed with the common seale of this society'.
328. Three persons claimed their freedom by patrimony in the right of
their fathers who were all freemen by ancient trade: Henry Newton
mercer, son of John Newman the deputy, Nathaniel Isam, mercer, son of
Henry Isam, and Leonard Shawe, clothworker, son of Francis Shawe.
They were all [p. 96] admitted, paying 6s. 8d. each to the use of the society
and taking the oath of a freeman by ancient trade.
329. Also the following five persons were made free by service with merchants who were free by ancient trade: Richard Cox, grocer, by service with
Robert Peacock, John Skybow, grocer, by service with Richard Reynolds,
John Morris, haberdasher, by service with Robert Dawborne, Robert
Criste 'now of London' with William Godbeare of Taunton, and Robert
Greene, grocer, by service with Robert Brooke the younger. Each paid
6s. 8d. to the use of the society and took the oath of a freeman by ancient trade.
330. The following four persons 'being all mere merchaunts, and free of no
other society of merchaunts, and having used merchaundising above the
space of seaven yeres' were admitted into the freedom by redemption:
William Whitwey of Dorchester, (fn. 5) John Roye of Weymouth, Richard Archdale of London, draper, and Richard Washer of London, fishmonger. Each
paid £10 to the use of the society and took the oath appointed for redemptioners free of no other company.
331. John Hawes, salter, claimed the freedom by service with John Cage.
He was admitted, paying a fine of £5 'being the like some that his Master
paid', and took the oath of a freeman by redemption.
332. [p. 97] At the motion and request of the right worshipfull Mr. John Doderidge Esquiour, the king's Majesty's Solicitour generall, it is concluded and agreed
that William Gamyng of [blank] in the County of Devon, shalbe admytted and
receaved into the freedome of this society for his owne person gratis. And it is
agreed that Mr. Deputy Newton and Mr. Jaxon when they come into the Country
may mynister unto him the oath of a freeman, according to his admyttaunce.
333. Also Richard Hobby, haberdasher, apprenticed formerly to William
Sherrington, requested his freedom by ancient trade 'by vertue of his
office'. However, no record could be found that William Sherrington had
ever been made free,
so as the said Richard Hobby cannot directly prove himself capeable thereof.
Neverthelesse it hath pleased the Company, to bestowe upon him the freedome
of this society for his Owne parson gratis and thereupon in open courte he was
admytted and sworne accordingly.
334. Upon the humble petition of Josias Brand, a poore brother of this Company,
it is agreed, that Mr. Treasurer shall deliver him the some of fyve pownds, upon
his Bond to the Company in £10, to repay the same at our Lady Day next.
335. It was also agreed that the sum of £10, which Edward Davenatt
deposited with Mr. Howe the former treasurer, should be repaid to him
'because it appeareth that he had right to the freedome by Patrymony,
whereupon he was lately admytted'.
336. [p. 98] It was agreed that the president
shalbe allowed, (for and in respecte of the Execution of his said office, and his
care and dilligence in the affaires of the Company) a yerely some of one hundreth
pownds, whereof £50 to be accoumpted for his standing fee, and £50 by way of
gratuity. And the same allowaunce to comence and begyn at our Lady Day was
Twelve moneth, which was Anno Domino 1604.
He would thus receive £150 next Michaelmas to cover one and a half years'
service. Thereafter the fee was to be paid quarterly by successive treasurers
and allowed them in their accounts.
337. It was also agreed that Mr. Newton the deputy 'for and in respect of
his greate care and dilligence in the service of the Company' should receive
an annuity of £50, of which £30 was his standing fee and £20 a gratuity.
It was to be paid quarterly by the treasurer, beginning at Michaelmas next.
338. [p. 99] A general court held at Pewterers' Hall on Friday 6 September
1605 in the presence of Thomas Wilford, president, and the following assistants:
339. Sir Robert Lee, alderman, Sir William Romeney, alderman, Lawrence
Greene, treasurer, Richard Staper, Robert Chamberlen, Andrew Bannyng,
John Newman, John Harby, Nicholas Lyng, John Dorrington, Robert
Savage, Edward James, Robert Bowyer, Richard Wych, George Hanger,
Roger How, Martyn Bond, Thomas Bostock, Richard Langley, secretary.
340. 'There was also then and there present not being of the Assistaunts
the right worshipfull Sir John Spencer and Sir Thomas Pullison knights
and divers of the generallity.'
341. Nicholas Leate, ironmonger, claimed his freedom by service with Sir
Thomas Cambell an ancient freeman. He was admitted after paying a fine
of 6s. 8d. and taking the oath of a freeman by ancient trade.
342. [p. 100] Robert Sandy, grocer, a mere merchant for twenty years 'and
free of no other society of marchaunts (saving onely of East India)', requested his freedom by redemption. He paid a fine of £10, took the oath
of a redemptioner, and was admitted accordingly.
343. And notwithstanding the company have heretofore held the freedome of East
India not to be any barr or ympedyment to restraine any from being admytted
into the freedome of this society, yet upon the motion of some of the Company
it was held fytt, that some order might be laid downe and Recorded concerning
the resolution of the Company in that case, whereupon being put to question to
the howse, it was resolved and fully agreed, that the said Company of East India
is dissolved, and not to be any longer accoumpted for a Company, and that any
such freedom of itself, is not thought sufficient to barr or hinder any marchaunt
(being otherwise lawfully quallified, according to the charter and the Companies
ordynaunces) to be admytted and receaved into this society. (fn. 6)
344. The company then proceeded to the election of consuls
to rule and governe in Spayne and Portugall, according to the true intents and
meaning [p. 101] of the charter (ffor which purpose this Courte was specially
called). And first they entred into consideration how many, and for what places
Consulls were to be elected. And in the end they agreed to make election of
severall Consulls, for these severall places following (viz)
345. '(1) Biskey (2) Baion in Galitia (fn. 7) (3) Lisboine (4) St. Lucar and Sivill
(5) Malaga (6) Valentia (7) Canaries (8) Matheres (fn. 8) (9) St. Michael's, and
the 7 other Islands'. (fn. 9)
346. They then proceeded to elect consuls for the above places, with nominations as follows:
347. 'Bisky: James Wych, Thomas Chace and William Palmer. An then by
lifting up of hands the Election did fall upon the said James Wych'.
348. The following elections then took place. Bayona in Galicia: Francis
Lambert, Hugh Lea and John Audley, of whom Francis Lambert was elected.
349. [p. 102] Lisbon: Hugh Lea, John Audley and Phillip Gregory, of whom
Hugh Lea was elected.
350. San Lucar and Seville: Hugh Bourman, John Audley and John Ramridge, of whom Hugh Bourman was elected.
351. Malaga: Simon Bourman, Humphrey Wootton and Jeffrey Davies, of
whom Humphrey Wootton was elected.
352. 'But for Valentia and other the places before named, they take longer
and further tyme to make inquiry, and to informe themselves of fytt and
worthy men to be Consulls in the said severall places.'
353. After the above elections were concluded, a committee was set up
with the following members: the president, Sir William Romeney, Mr.
Staper, Mr. Andrew Banning, Mr. Harby, Mr. Wych, Mr. How, Mr.
Hangar, Mr. Dorrington, Mr. Lyng, Mr. Bond, Mr. Bostock, Mr. James,
all of them assistants; Mr. Parslow, Mr. Harrison, Mr. Davies, of the generality.
354. [p. 103] They or any seven of them were asked to meet on Monday next,
9 September 1605,
and to send for so many of the said Elected Consulls as are nowe remayning about
London, and to conferr with them touching their allowaunce and entertaynement
for th'execution of the said places, and to consider and lay downe what allowaunce is fytt to be given to the other elected Consulls that are absent.
355. The committee was also asked to consider the levying of impositions
and, if any were to be levied, at what rates.
356. Furthermore they were
to consider of an act drawne by Mr. President prohibiting that no stranger shall
lade with or amongst the freemen of this society, and to make relation of all their
proceedings at the next generall Courte, for further therein to be donne, as shalbe
then thought fytt and Convenient.
357. An assembly held at Pewterers' Hall on Wednesday 11 September 1605
in the presence of the following assistants:
358. Mr. Wilford, president, Andrew Banning, Nicholas Ling, John
Dorrington, Robert Savage, Roger Howe, Martyn Bond, Thomas Bostock,
Richard Langley, secretary, and certain of the generality.
359. [p. 104] A general court was to be held this day, but
for want of a Competent nomber of assistaunts they could not proceede, nor
determyne the businesse, for which the Court was specially summoned. And therefore it was earnestly desired that such as were absent should pay the penalties, due
by the ordynaunces to be inflicted upon such as make default of apparaunce at such Courts.
360. The draft of a letter to the deputy of Southampton was read out and
passed. It concerned
an information that was given, that one Mr. Janveryne not being free, was in hand
to lade a French Barck for Spayne, requiring the Deputy (if it were trew) to make
stay thereof. And Mr. Davies one of this society being in Courte hath undertaken
for 10s. to send a foote post with the letter and to retorne an aunswer, which some
is agreed shalbe delivered and payd.
361. A general court held at Pewterers' Hall on Friday 13 September 1605
in the presence of Thomas Wilford, president, and the following assistants:
362. Sir Robert Lee, Lawrence Greene, treasurer, Richard Staper, Robert
Chamberlen, Andrew Banning, William Cokayne, John Newman, Nicholas
Ling, John Dorrington, Robert Savage, Nicholas Stile, Roger Howe,
Martyn Bond, Thomas Bostock, Richard Langley, secretary.
363. [p. 105] Also present was Alderman John Jowles, 'not being of the
Assistaunts' and divers of the generality.
364. The business of the previous general court was read out and confirmed.
365. First, John Garrett, merchant tailor, claimed his freedom by service
with Peter Collett an ancient freeman. He was admitted after paying a fine
of 6s. 8d. and taking the oath of a freeman by ancient trade.
366. Richard Aldworth, grocer, and John Cooper, fishmonger, both mere
merchants for many years and members of no other society, were admitted
into the freedom by redemption. They paid £10 each 'and tooke the auntient
Oath for Redemptioners in that case ordayned and provided'.
367. Then the report of the committee authorised at the last general court
was read out. The committee was to consider the question of allowances
for the consuls in their different posts, the levying of impositions, and the
president's draft of an act forbidding strangers to load with or amongst
those free of the society. Their report was as follows:
368. According to the aucthority graunted at the last generall Court, we Andrewe
Banning, Roger Howe, Richard Wych, George Hanger, John Dorrington,
Nicholas Lynge, Martyn Bond, Thomas Bostock, and Edward James, being
[p. 106] of the Assistaunts and Gyles Parslowe, William Harrison and John
Davies of the generallity (being accompanied with Mr. Wilford President) did
assemble and meete together at Pewterers hall upon Munday and Tuesday being
the 9th and 10th daies of this instant moneth of September 1605 and did cause
our opinions and conceipts to be laid downe in writing to be presented to the next
generall Courte to be confirmed or disallowed as the Court shall thincke fytt, the
tenour whereof followeth in these words viz.:
369. We the said Commyttees upon long conference amongest ourselves, and
regarding the severall expences and charge that will growe upon the severall
Consulls, within their severall divisions and cercuits, in executing the office of
Consulshipp, are of opinion, that yf they faithfully parforme the office and charge
incident to such a place, that they may deserve those stipends and allowaunces
370. Inprimis the Consull for St. Lucar and Civill the yerely allowaunce of two
hundreth pounds of lawfull English money.
371. And to the Consull resident in Lisborne the yeerely allowaunce of one
hundreth and fifty pownds of like money.
372. And the severall Consulls resident in Baion in Galitia, Biskey, and Maliga,
the severall yerely allowaunces of forty pownds apeece, of like lawefull English
373. And we are further of opynion that it were fytt that every Shipp whatsoever
fraighted into, or from Spayne or Portugall, of the burden of one hundreth Tonnes
or under shall pay one ducket, and every shipp above one hundreth tonnes shall
pay two ducketts, the same to be paid by the master or owner of every such shipp or
shipps at such places where any such shipp or shipps shall first discharge or unloade
any goods or Marchaundizes, and the same to be [p. 107] Levied and receaved by
the severall Consulls (in the parts of Spayne and Portugall) within their severall
devisions, to the use of this society, for which they shall make iust and true
accoumpts and be aunswerable to the Company for all they shall receave. (fn. 10)
374. And concerning the levying of Impositions upon all and every the goods or
Marchaundizes transported or retorned into or from the parts of Spayne and
Portugall, the said Commyttees the first day did thinck fytt that the some of 2s. 6d.
outward, and 2s. 6d. homeward, shalbe levied uppon the value of every hundreth
pounde so to be transported or returned as aforesaid. But at the second daies meeting, uppon further consideration they thought fytt to increase the same 2s. 6d., unto
the some of 3s. 4d. owtward, and asmuch homeward. And that the same Impositions
should generally be receaved and entred in a faire booke heere in England by such
parson as heereafter upon further consideration (by the Company at a generall
Courte) shalbe aucthorized and allowed, to receave the same. (fn. 11)
375. And towching the order drawne by Mr. President they referr the same to a
376. After the report of the committee had been read out,
greate dispute and reasoning grewe concerning the same, some holding the
allowaunce greater then th'estate of the Company as yett fytt or hable to defray.
Others wishing their allowaunce as greate in substaunce, but utterly disliking that
the same should be made by such certen yerely fee from the body of the Company.
In the end, 'after along tyme spent in debating and discoursing thereof'
it was noted that there was a sum given to the cape-merchant or his factor,
to be distributed for [p. 108] Romaging, wynding, hasar, Primage, Pilatage, petit
lodagie money, (fn. 12) and in rewarding of the master and others of the Company as
they shewe themselves dilligent about the Marchaunt's goods. And in some parts
of Spayne and Portugall they pay after one rate, and in some after an other, but
in noe place above two royalls and a half plate money of Spayne (fn. 13) upon a tonn.
It was therefore suggested that in addition to this allowance, half a royal
per ton might be paid to the consuls together with the fine of a ducat on
each ship, which would be 'as greate and a more fytt and proper allowaunce
to be made unto them, then the said certen yerely fees before mentioned'.
Although the suggestion was 'well allowed and apprehended by some, yet
by others for speciall causes was not approved, and therefore referred to
be considered better of, at the next generall Courte'.
377. [p. 109] A general court held at Pewterers' Hall on Wednesday 18
September 1605 in the presence of Thomas Wilford, president, and the following:
378. Lawrence Greene, treasurer, Andrew Banning, John Newman, John
Harby, Symion Furner, Thomas Owen, Richard Wyche, Robert Cobb,
George Collymore, George Hanger, Roger How, Martyn Bond, Thomas
Bostock, Richard Langley, secretary, and divers of the generality.
379. Three persons claimed their freedom by ancient trade: Hugh Hamersley, haberdasher, 'being named in the last charter and the sonne of Hugh
Hamersley decessed who was well knowne to have ben an auntient trader
before Anno 1568'; William Anys, grocer, son of Dunstan Anys who was
made free in 1577; and Robert Barker of London, mercer, [p. 110] son of
William Barker of Ipswich, 'who is named in the charter of 19 Elizabeth,
knowne to diverse of the company present to have ben an auntient trader
and to have ben present at many courts, albeit it cannott be fownd when he
was sworne'. They were all made free by ancient trade, paying 6s. 8d. each
and taking the oath provided for that case.
380. Ninus Lane, merchant tailor,
being made free of that company by patrimony, but bound by Indenture (orderly
made with the words Spayne and Portugale in the same) unto John Challenger,
haberdasher, and having faithfully served his whole terme as Mr. Challenger being
present in Court doth make report, is by vertue of his service admitted into the
freedome of this society.
He paid £5, 'being the like somme that Mr. Challener paid at his admission', and took the oath appointed for such a redemptioner.
381. The three persons following, all mere merchants free of no other
company, were granted the freedom by redemption. They were Robert
Cox, grocer, George Dunscombe, merchant tailor, and Abraham Beavoir
of Guernsey ('Garnsey'). Each paid £10 and took the oath appointed for
them, being admitted accordingly.
382. [p. 111] The report of the committee on consuls, entered up under the
last general court, was read out and considered. It was resolved that every
ship of the burden of 100 tons or less, freighted to or from Spain and
Portugal, should pay one ducat, and every ship above 100 tons should
pay two ducats. The sum was to be paid by the master or owner at the first
port at which any goods were unloaded. The money would be collected
by each consul in his division, 'to the use of the society ffor which they
shall make Just and trewe accoumpts, and be aunswerable to the Company
for all they shall or may receave'.
383. As regards the impositions to be levied on any goods transported to or
from Spain and Portugal, 'it was demaunded what sommes were fitt to be
levied upon the value of every hundreth pownd, both outward and inward'.
The sums of 2s. 6d., 3s. 4d. and 5s. were each suggested in turn, 'and first
by triall by lyfting up of hands to every of the said sommes the greatest
nomber of hands were for the two first somes viz. 2s. 6d. and 3s. 4d., and
the fewest nomber for 5s.'.
The two smaller sums were voted on once more, 'and then by moast hands
and voices it was agreed that 3s. 4d. outward and 3s. 4d. inward shalbe
levied for ymposition upon all merchaundize of the value of £100, and so
after the same rate for merchandizes of greater or lesser value'.
384. [p. 112] The goods would be valued according to the custom-house
rate, but for wines, which are not rated there, it was agreed 'that for all
sorts of wynes whatsoever a butt or pipe shalbe rated and valued at £5.
But it is not as yett concluded when the said ympositions shalbe collected'. (fn. 14)
385. With regard to the additional half royal per ton mentioned previously,
'the same is disalowed and by the greatest nomber disliked and not thought
fitt to be graunted'.
386. And forasmuch as greate varyety of opinyons was shewed when the allowaunces to Consulls should begin and much tyme spent and little concluded upon
concerning the same, it was in th'end thought that a Court of Assistaunts might
better resolve and determyne of such and the like business.
The general court therefore thought fit to refer the whole matter to a court
of assistants, asking them not only to settle it but also to consider 'what
directions and aucthority is fitt to be gyven to the Consulls, and what
letters are to be procured either from his Majestie or the lords of the Counsaill (for their better Creditt) to be carried over with them'. The general
court will confirm whatever sums the assistants think fit to grant the consuls
'for their better furnishing before they goe over', and also ratify the orders
and directions they decide on for them.
387. As for the consuls' yearly standing fees, the general court approved
the sums as set out in the report of the committee.
388. [p. 113] A letter was read out in court from the earls of Dorset and
of Salisbury, 'in favour of William Masham to be admitted into the freedome of this society'.
389. A letter was also read out from Bristol, sent by the deputy Mr. Newton
and Arthur Jaxon, 'shewing that the merchaunts of Bristoll pretende to
stand and governe of themselves, and refuse to submitt themselves to the
orders and government of this society'.
390. Lastly a letter was read from Hugh Lee the newly-elected consul for
Lisbon. However, it was decided to take further time to consider all these
letters before drafting any replies.
391. A general court held at Pewterers' Hall on Wednesday 25 September
1605 in the presence of Thomas Wilford, president, and the following assistants:
392. Mr. Greene, treasurer, Mr. Banning, Mr. Newman, Mr. Ling, Mr.
Dorrington, Mr. James, Mr. Bowyer, Mr. Furner, Mr. Cobb, Mr. Collymere, Mr. Hanger, Mr. Bond, Mr. Boston; the secretary and also divers of
393. [p. 114] The business of the last general court was read and confirmed.
394. Thomas Higgins 'the late elect deputy for Rye, was admytted into the
freedome of this Company for his owne parson gratis'. He took two oaths,
that of a freeman and that of a deputy, and the president and treasurer
were authorised 'to satisfy him such allowaunce for his charge in coming
up as in their wisdomes shalbe thought fytt'.
395. The letter from the earls of Dorset and Salisbury to the company on
behalf of William Masham was read out as follows.
396. To our loving frends the President Assistaunts and fellowship of Marchaunts
of England trading Spayne and Portugall, be these et cetera.
397. After our harty commendations. Whereas before the sealing of your Patent,
William Masham of London made suite unto us to be the meanes for his admytaunce into your society, who uppon his earnest suite and greate reasons alleadged
of his discontynuance of his other trade to Stoade, and long frequenting and using
his whole trade, into the Countries of the King of Spain the greatest parte of his
estate being there [p. 115] ymployed, and his servaunts there resident, obtayned
our favourable promise therein, which was by us omytted and forgotten to be
spoken at the sealing of your graunt. Wherefore although (having of late byn sued
by many) we have ben, and are very loathe to presse you with any inconvenience,
yet have wee thought good in regard of our former promise to pray and entreate
you, onely to entertayne into your Company the said William Masham assuring
you that by yelding to this our request, you shall drawe us from henceforth not to
importune you in the behalf of any other. And so we bidd you hartely farewell,
from Dorsett Howse the ffyfth of September 1605.
Your very loving friends
Thomas Dorset Salisbury
398. After considering the letter
the Company were very desiorous to graunt asmuch as by their charter they lawfully might, yet finding that the said William Masham is free of an other Company
of Marchaunts, they have admitted and sworne him into the freedom of this
Companie for his owne person gratis, whereunto he rested well satisfied.
399. Two persons claimed their freedom by apprenticeship: Thomas
Symonds, skinner, by service with Percivall Hassall and Nicholas Heath,
mercer, by service with Richard [p. 116] Culverwell, both masters being
ancient traders. They were both admitted and Nicholas Heath who was
present in court paid his fine of 6s. 8d., taking the oath of a freeman by
ancient trade. Thomas Symonds who was absent was to pay his fine and
take his oath at some other time.
400. Also, two persons requested their freedom by redemption, both of
them mere merchants for above seven years and free of no other company:
John Greene of Wells in Norfolk and Thomas Fayrefaix of Walsingham
in the same county. They were admitted 'with free and generall consent',
paying £10 each and taking the oath of a freeman by redemption. 'And it
is agreed that they shalbe assistaunts to the deputy of Lynn, who by letters
is to be advertized thereof accordingly'.
401. Robert Myldmay, grocer, requested the freedom by redemption for
£10 but was denied admittance since various members of the company
'did [p. 117] affyrme, that he is noe meere marchaunt, but keepeth an open
warehowse, and servaunts contynually attending the same'.
402. A court of assistants held at Pewterers' Hall on Friday 27 September
1605 in the presence of Thomas Wilford, president, and the following:
403. Andrew Banning, Mr. Dorrington, Mr. James, Mr. Bowyer, Mr. Stile,
Mr. Owen, Mr. Wych, Mr. Cobb, Mr. Cullimore, Mr. Hanger, Mr. Bond,
Mr. Bostock; the secretary.
404. The business of the last court of assistants was read out and confirmed.
405. 'First, that the Duplicate of the Chartre, under the greate Seale of
England, and florished with Armes, shalbe sent over into Spaine to the
Ambassadour or Mr. Ousley, to procure the Confirmation.' (fn. 15)
406. [p. 118] It was resolved that
letters of two natures shalbe sent to Nicholas Oseley, the one verbatim, as the
former, to be delivered unto him yf it shall appeare to Mr. Bowreman that he
hath effected the busines to any purpose, and yf he have not, then other letters
signifying the Companies dislike. And then letters to be delivered to the lord
Ambassadour to entreate his honorable favour to procure the same effected. And
the gratuity promised to Nicholas Oseley to be conferred where his Lordship shall
appoint. (fn. 16)
407. It was agreed that the president, the treasurer, the secretary and Mr.
Boureman should 'take a iourney to the Court one sunday next to procure
letters from his Majestie to the king of Spayne and the Ambassadour to
be carried over by Mr. Bowreman'.
408. For the expenses of his journey with the letters Mr. Bowreman was to
receive 200 ducats 'which Mr. Treasurer will deliver at Bilbo or St.
Sebastians, at 5s. 8d. the Duckett'.
409. The sum of £50 to be delivered to Mr. Bowrman at his going over to
Spain was 'to be accepted as parcell of his fee of £200 a yere, which fee is
to take comencement from the tyme that he shall returne from the king
of Spain's Court to St. Lucar'.
410. It was also agreed that he should have a letter of credit for a further
200 ducats, in case he had need of the money in Spain.