BOOK OF OATHS, ACTS AND ORDINANCES
(Bodleian Library, MS. Rawlinson C. 178)
510. [p. 1] The oath of a freeman by ancient trade.
You sweare to be true and faithfull to our soveraigne Lord the king, and to his
heires and successors. You shalbe obedient unto the President, his deputy or
deputies, and Assistaunts of the Marchaunts of England trading into Spayne and
Portugall, as well on this side the Seas as beyond, in all matters touching or
appertayning to the said society or fellowshipp. And you shall come to all Courts
and assemblies, uppon due warning, having no reasonable excuse to the contrary,
or els pay such fyne as shalbe appointed for your default when it shalbe demaunded.
You shall not willingly doe consent or knowe to be done, any thing that may tend
to the breach, violation, or ympeachment of any of the Privileges or graunts geven,
or to be geven to this Company, on this side the Seas or beyond, without the
comon consent of the same. And yf you shall knowe of any thing to be attempted,
or done to the contrary; you shall with all convenient speede discover and shewe
the same to the said President, or his deputy, for the tyme being. The goodes or
Marchaundizes of any straunger borne, you shall not in any wise avowe, cooller
or conceale, whereby the kings Majestie, his heires or successors may be defrauded
of his or their Customes or duties, nor shall avow, culler, or conceale the goods
or Marchaundizes of any other parson, not being free of this society. And yf you
shall knowe any parson that so doth, you shall with all convenient speede, thereof
informe the said President or his deputy for the tyme being. All Acts Ordinaunces
and constitutions made, and hereafter to be made, and standing in force, concerning the good governement and order of this fellowshipp, or their goods wares
or Marchaundices, you shall on your parte maynetayne, supporte and fullfill to
your power and knowledge. Or els shall pay such fynes, paynes, penalties and
mulkts, being accused condempned and orderly demaunded, As for the offendors
and violaters of the same, shalbe ordayned provided and established to be paide.
So help you God et cetera.
511. [p. 2] 'The Oath of a freeman receaved by Redemption (being free of
some other company of Marchants). The same Oath also to be mynistred
to such as are named in the patent, that neither are nor were discended of,
or from the auntient freedome, and therefore nowe to be admytted and
receaved as Redemptioners'.
512. You sweare to be true and faithfull to our soveraigne Lord the king his heires
and successors; you shalbe obedient unto the President, his Deputy or Deputies
and Assistaunts of the Marchaunts of England trading into Spayne or Portugall,
(whereunto you are nowe admytted by Redemption), aswell on this side the Seas,
as beyond, in all matters touching or appertayning to the said society or fellowshipp. [Thereafter as 510.]
513. [p. 3] The oath of a freeman received by redemption, not being free
of any other company of merchants and not being named in the patent.
514. You sweare to be true and faithfull to our soveraigne Lord the king his heires
and successors, you shalbe obedient unto the President his deputie or deputies, and
Assistaunts of the Marchaunts of England trading into Spayne and Portugall,
(whereunto you are now admitted by Redemption) as well on this side the Seas,
as beyond, in all matters touching or appertayning to the said societie or fellowshipp: you likewise sweare that you neither are free, nor will clayme by Patrymony or service the freedome of any other society of marchaunts, which was
incorporated at the tyme and date of his Maiesties letters patents of Incorporation
to this Company graunted, nor that you are any Retayler, Artificer, Inholder,
Farmor, common Marriner, or handicrafts-man. You shall come to all Courts
and Assemblies. [Thereafter as 510.]
515. [p. 4] The oath of the president.
You sweare to be true and faithfull to our soveraigne lord the king his Heires and
successors, you shall support and maynetayne to your power all the Marchaunts
of England trading into Spayne and Portugall, so long as you shall remayne in
the Office of President. Right and iustice you shall doe to all parsons, in all
matters and questions that shall depend before you as President, without favour
or affeccion malice or displeasure. All acts ordynaunces and constitutions by you,
or your deputy and the Assistaunts and fellowshipp made, or to be made, you
shall truly and indifferently observe mayntayne and execute, so long as they shall
stand in force, having no singular respect unto yourself in derogation of the
Comon wealth of the Company. And also to your power shall assist and help all
the Officers of this Corporation and Company in all their lawfull and iust doings
touching or concerning the mayntenaunce of the privileges graunts and ordynaunces, made or to be made, by force of the said letters patents or otherwise. So
help you god et cetera.
516. [p. 5] The oath to be administered to the deputy for London and also
to the deputies for the country.
You sweare to be true and faithfull to our soveraigne Lord the king, his heires
and successors; you shall supporte and mayntayne to your power, all the Marchaunts of England trading into Spayne and Portugall, so long as you shall
remayne in the office of Deputy. Right and Justice you shall doe to all parsons,
in all matters and questions that shall depend before you as Deputy, without
favour or affection, malice or displeasure. All Acts, Ordynaunces and constitutions
by the President and Assistaunts, or by the President Assistaunts and fellowshipp
made, or to be made, you shall truly and indifferently observe maynetayne and
execute, (within your charge), so long as they shall stand in force. (fn. 1) [Thereafter as
517. [p. 6] The oath of the sixty-one assistants.
You sweare to be true and faithfull to our soveraigne Lord the king his heires and
successors, you shall in all your power, knowledg and best advise assist the
President his Deputy or deputies, and fellowshipp of Marchaunts of England
trading into Spayne and Portugall, in making good and quiett order and governement, aswell of the Marchaunts of this society, as of their goods and Marchaundizes without any singuler regarde to your self, and also in the iust and indifferent
execution of all such Acts, and ordynaunces, as by comon consent according to
the letters patents are or shalbe made, so long as they shall stand in force, without
shewing any favour, or doing any oppression to any parson. The privileges and
graunts contayned in the letters patents of Corporation lately graunted, or hereafter to be graunted, to this society, either on this side the Seas, or beyond the
Seas, you shall to your uttermost power maynetayne supporte and observe, without consenting to the violation or breach of them, or any of them, without the
common consent of the said Company. Right and iustice you shall doe to your
power to all parsons in all matters and questions depending afore you, without
favour affection malice or displeasure. So help you God et cetera.
518. The oath for the assistants in the country [is identical to 517, 'saving
they are onely to be Assistaunt to the Deputy and the Marchaunts within
their lymits and Jurisdiction'].
519. [p. 7] The oath of the treasurer general.
You sweare to be true and faithfull to our soveraigne lord the king his heires and
successors, and the whole society of the Marchaunts of England trading into
Spayne and Portugall. And for the tyme you shalbe Treasorer, you shall duly and
truly receave and pay, all manner of duties, fforfects, Arrerages, (fn. 2) or other charges
to the said Societie growing, or in any wise belonging, so as it may lawfully come
to your possession and knowledge; and also shall truly Accompt for your tyme
to the President Assistaunts and Society, for the tyme being, or to such parsons
as shalbe by them assigned. So help you God et cetera.
520. The oath of the treasurer in the country [is as 519 except for the insertion of the words 'within your Jurisdiction' after 'Arrerages or other
charges', and the addition of 'or appointed' after the final word 'assigned'].
521. [p. 8] The oath of the secretary.
You sweare to be true and faithfull to our soveraigne Lord the king his Heires and
successors; you shalbe dilligent and attendaunt in the affaires of the President
Assistaunts and fellowshipp of Marchaunts of England trading into Spaine and
Portugall, at all tymes lawfull and requisite, (not infringing or violating your
Oath or duty to other services formerly made). You shall make due reporte to
the President or his Deputy, and to the said Assistaunts and fellowshipp (when
you shalbe required) of all manner of things apperteyning to your office and charge
(to your knowledge). You shall Justly and truly Register and write, or cause to be
registred and written, All Ordinaunces, Decrees and Statutes made, or to be
made, by the said President or his Deputy, and the Assistaunts for the tyme being,
or by them, and the generalitie, during the tyme that you shall execute the office
of Secretariship, in reasonable and convenient tyme after they or any of them
shalbe concluded and made, and come to your knowledge and understanding.
The Secrets of the Company you shall keepe, and nothing thereof disclose to
others to th'entent to hurt the Company, or any Brother of the same. Copies of
Acts and ordynaunces passed at any Court of Assistaunts or generallitie, you shall
not deliver, without the consent of the President, or his Deputie, and of the Assist
aunts, or the more parte of them present at some Courte. And you shall honestly
and faithfully execute the said Office of Secretariship during such tyme as you shall
use and enjoy the same, in all points, as a faithfull Assistaunt and Secretary of the
said Fellowshipp ought to doe. Soe help you God et cetera.
522. [p. 9] The oath of the beadle.
You sweare to be true and faithfull to our soveraigne Lord the king his heires and
successors. You shalbe attendant and dilligent to the President, or his Deputy or
Deputies, concerning the Common wealth or behoof of this society of Marchaunts
of England, trading into Spayne and Portugal during the tyme you shall contynue
in the Office of Beadle or Officer. And you shall honestly and curteously behave
yourself to the said President or his Deputy or Deputies, and to all and every
other of the same society: you shall duly truly and faithfully make reporte of all
manner of thinges appertayning to your Office and charge. And you shall truly
from tyme to tyme Accoumpt and discharge yourself, aswell to the said President,
or his Deputy, as to the Treasorer, for the tyme being of all such somes of Money
as may in any manner of way come to your hands, for and to the use of the said
society. So help you God et cetera.
523. The oath of the servant sent into Spain and Portugal.
You sweare to be true and faithfull to our soveraigne Lord the king his heires and
successors, you shall not cullour convey nor take in charge, any the Goods wares
or Marchaundizes of any parson or parsons, borne within the kings maiesties
Dominions not free of this fellowshipp, to be transported or brought to or from
any the parts of Spayne and Portugall, or either of them, or to, or from any the
Islands comprehended within our priviledge, contrary to the Ordynaunces of this
Society. So help you God et cetera.
524. [p. 10] The oath of the clerk in the country.
You sweare to be true and faithfull to our soveraigne lord the king, his heires and
successors. You shalbe dilligent and attendant to the Deputy for the tyme being
of that place, and for that Jurisdiction whereof you are elected Clarck, and to
the society of marchaunts of England trading into Spain and Portugal, at all
tymes requisite. You shall duly and truly observe and obey all such commaundements as you shalbe commaunded to doe by the said Deputy for the tyme being,
touching the Companies affaires and busines. And you shall honestly and curteously behave your self, to the said Deputy and all other of the said society. You
shall also make due reporte to the said Deputy, of all manner of thinges appertayning to your office and charge. You shall iustly and truly register and write, or
cause to be registred and written, All Ordynaunces, Decrees and Statutes made,
or to be made, by the said Deputy, and the Assistaunts for the tyme being, or by
them and the society, during the tyme that you shall execute the office of Clarcke,
Incontynently after they or any of them shalbe concluded and made. The Secrets
of the Company you shall keepe, and nothing thereof disclose to others, to the
hurt of the Company, or any brother of the same. Coppies of any Acts, privileges,
ordynaunces or other things passed at any Courte of Assistauntz or generallity,
you shall not deliver, without the consent of the Deputy and Assistaunts. So help
you God et cetera.
525. The oath of the beadle in the country [is similar to 522, substituting the
words 'to the deputy for the tyme being of that place, and for that Jurisdiction
whereof you are elected Beadle', for 'to the President, or his Deputy or
Deputies', and 'deputy' for 'president' in the following sentences].
526. [p. 11] Acts and ordinances. An act for choosing the president.
There shalbe then Three or more worshipfull and discreete parsons named, free
of the Company, which shalbe thought fitt by the greater nomber assembled, to
supply the roome and office of the President, whereof the old President shalbe
named to be one. Which nomynation being made and agreed, the Deputy (or in
his absence two of the auntientest of the Assistaunts then present) shall sitt in the
place of the President, and by question mynistred to the whole company, they
shall proceede to the Election by holding up of hands, and he of the three which
shalbe chosen by the greater nomber of the hands, shalbe and remayne President
for one whole year, and from thence untill an other shalbe chosen and sworne,
according to the tenor of the letters patents, and shall take the Oath appointed for
527. [p. 12] An act for choosing the deputy. Three or more freemen of the
company, including the previous deputy, shall be nominated, 'being named
by question mynistred to the whole Company'. The person then elected
shalbe and remayne deputy during the pleasure of the President, Assistaunts and
fellowship, and to be removed, when they or a greater nomber of them present at
any generall Courte shall thincke fitt, according to the tenor of the letters patents;
and shall take the Oath appointed for the deputy, like as the President, mutatis
528. An act for choosing the assistants in London.
After the choosing of the President and his Deputy, the Assistaunts that were the
yere before, shalbe discharged of their office and roome of Assistaunts, and then
the generalitie shall nomynate such and so many others, as they shall thinck meete
to supply the roome and office of Assistaunts for the Cittie of London, out of
which parsons, there shalbe chosen by Election of the greatest nomber of hands
Thirtie parsons: which thirty parsons so elected shall remaine for Assistaunts one
whole yere following, and untill a new election be made of the Assistaunts of the
same fellowshipp, and shall take the Oath appointed for the Assistaunts [p. 13]
Provided allwaies, that yf any of the Assistauntz so chosen, fortune to dye, or will
wilfully absent himself from the Courte when he shalbe lawfullie warned thereunto,
or be in the parts beyond the Seas: in the roome of such there shalbe others chosen
in a generall Courte, from tyme to tyme, to supply the roome of hym or them so
dying, or absenting himself, to contynue the residue of the yere and untill a new
election as aforesaid, and shall take the like Oath appointed for the Assistaunts.
Provided also that he or they that hath served as an Assistaunt one whole yere,
shalbe one whole yere after, free from election, to be an Assistaunt againe.
529. An act for choosing the thirty assistants in the country, according to
There shalbe Thirtie parsons named to be Assistaunts, out of such Citties, townes,
and places out of the Cittie of London, as shall seeme good to the Company,
from tyme to tyme. Of which Assistaunts, every Deputy in every Devision of the
Country shalbe one, which said Thirty Assistaunts together with the other Thirty
Assistaunts to be chosen for London as aforesaid, and the Secretary of the Com
pany for the tyme being, make up the full nomber of 61 Assistaunts, according to
the trewe intent and meaning of the Chartre lately graunted to this Societie.
530. [p. 14] An act for choosing the treasurer. Three or more nominations
shall be made for the office of treasurer, by questions asked of the whole
company. The elected treasurer shall hold office for one full year, taking the
oath appointed. 'And having once executed the Office of Treasorer, shall
never after be charged againe with that Office.'
531. The office of the treasurer.
Every parson chosen Treasorer, and refusing it without lawfull cause shewed to
the contrary shall forfeit Tenn pounds. The Treasorer shall yerely at the tyme of
his Election or the next Court after, become bounden by one obligation to the
said Society by such name or names as they are by Chartre incorporated in the
some of ffyve hundreth pounds with condition to make a just and trew Accompt (fn. 3)
of all such somes of money as he shall receave to the use of the Company, and
truly to pay the remaynder due uppon the foote of the Accompt within ten daies
after the publishing thereof.
532. [p. 15] He shall during his Office use all dilligence, to levy and receave all
manner of Debts, fforfeits and brocks belonging to the Company, and attend at
every Courte generall or of Assistaunts, without speciall lycence to the contrary,
uppon payne of ffive shillings forfeiture, of and for every his default.
533. Yf any parson being indebted to the Company for any cause, doe refuse to
pay to the Treasorer the some due, he requiring the same; he shall informe the
President or his Deputy thereof, who by the advise of the Assistaunts, shall take
order for the levying of it.
534. Yf any presentment be made to the Treasorer of any offence commytted
against ordynaunce, he shall cause the same to be registred in a Booke, therefore
to be appointed. But he shall not bewray the name of the Presentor to any parson,
but to the President or his Deputy. But if the parson presented requier to knowe
his accuser, he shall iustifie his presentment in Courte.
535. He shall likewise receave of the Beadle the absence money, and charge his
Accompt with it.
536. He shall at the next generall Court after he shalbe dismissed from the office
of Treasorer, exhibite his Accompt of all the money that he hath receaved and
paid during his office to the Companies use.
537. He shall deliver to his Successor all such Bonds money and other things, as
shalbe found to remayne in his hands, by the Auditors assigned for the taking of
his Accompt, within Tenn daies after the Auditing and determynation thereof.
538. [p. 16] For auditing the treasurer's account.
The Munday yerely before the Assention day or at the next generall Court, Eight
expert parsons of the Companyes affaires, whereof three at the least to be of the
Assistaunts shalbe appointed Auditors for the Treasorer's Accompte.
539. The Auditors warned at any tyme for the taking of that Accompt, shall
appeere at the hower and place appointed by the President or his Deputy, upon
payne of Three shillinges fowre-pence of every of them that maketh Default.
540. They shall examyne the ould Ballaunce and make a newe, subscribed with
their hands, or ffyve of them at the least.
541. They shall not passe the Accompt, without the hands of ffyve of them at the
542. They shall allowe no some of Money without Act of Courte, nor any fee or
Annuity without a Quittaunce.
543. They shall at the next Court of Assistaunts after the Accompt is fully audited,
bring in the iust rest of the Treasorer's Accompt in writing.
544. [p. 17] An act for choosing the secretary after the death or resignation
of Richard Langley, the present secretary, who holds the office granted to
him by the charter for his lifetime.
545. There shalbe two or more discreete and meete parsons named, to supply the
roome and Office of the Secretary, whereof the Secretary for the year before shalbe
one, and by question mynistred to the whole Company, they shall proceede to
Election by houlding up of hands.
The elected person shall hold office for a year and take the oath appointed.
546. [p. 18] The office of the secretary who is to be chosen as aforesaid.
The said Secretary of this Company shalbe dilligent and attendaunt, at all tymes
requisite, for matters towching the Company.
547. He shall obey the Commaundement of Maister President or his Deputy and
the Assistaunts and fellowship, concerning the behalf or availes of the Company.
548. He shalbe of a curteous and honest behaviour to Maister President or his
Deputy, and to the fellowship aforesaid.
549. He shall make due and true reporte of any thing belonging to his charge and
office, when he shalbe required.
550. He shall write and register all Acts made in convenyent tyme after they be
551. He shall have Twenty pounds stipend a yere to be paide Quarterly by the
552. He shall register every Treasorers Accompt, being audited and underwritten
by the Auditors, and shall have therefore Twenty shillings.
553. [p. 19] He may in the Pamphelet mend the phrase or Inditing by taking
adding or altering any wordes, so as the meaning be not altered, and that the
amendement be read at the next Courte, and be confirmed yf it be liked.
554. When any parson now being Apprentice, or which hereafter shalbe apprentice, shall clayme his freedome by Apprenticehood, the Secretarie shall enter into
the Pamphelet the date of the Indenture, and nomber of yeres therein contayned,
and shall thereof keepe a severall Booke, and shall have therefore twelve pence.
Also he shall enter the Claymes of all such as requier the freedome either by
Patrimony or by Redemption, and shall likewise have therefore twelve pence.
555. He shall keepe a booke of Inrolements of Indentures of Apprenticehood,
either taken heere or certefied from any Cittie or Towne, and shall have for
th'inrolement of any Indenture twelve pence.
556. At every Courte generall, or of Assistaunts, he shall reade at the end of the
Courte that which passed that day, and at the next Courte he shall reade againe,
that passed at the last Courte, ymediatly before the entring into the matters of
the Courte, to th'intent it may be ratefied or disanulled as the Company shall
557. [p. 20] An act for choosing the beadle [is the same as 545].
558. The office of the beadle.
The Officer called the Beadle shall geve his dilligent attendaunce uppon Maister
President or his Deputy and their Commaundement, touching the businesses or
affaires of the Company, shall observe and obey to his power.
559. He shall every Courte aswell of Assistaunts as generall keepe a note to the
best of his power, who shalbe absent being lawfully warned, or who cometh late
after three strokes of the hammer, and at the next Courte Deliver their names to
560. [p. 21] He shall demaunde of every parson that maketh default at any Court
generall, or of Assistaunts, or cometh late to either of them, such some of money
as by the ordynance is due for his Default or absence.
561. And yf any parson (being Demaunded by the Beadle) doe refuse or doe not
pay to hym such some of money as is due for his default or absence, he shall
enforme the President or his Deputy or the Treasorer thereof.
562. He shall informe the President or his Deputy or the Treasorer, of all offences
done, against any of the ordynaunces, whereof he shall have any knowledge.
563. And yf he shall conceale any offence which he knoweth to be done, against
any of the ordynaunces, and doth not within fowerteene dayes after knowledg or
Information thereof had, disclose and utter the same to the President or his
Deputy or Treasorer, shall forfeit his office.
564. He shall have for his yerely fee or Sallary Twenty Marcks.
565. He shall monethly deliver to the Treasorer, all such somes of money, as he
shall receave for absence or late coming to the Courte, and shalbe allowed for his
collection three shillings and fowrepence in the pound, and so after the rate.
566. He shall have a fowrth part of all such bracks as he shall present, whereof
the parson accused shalbe Condempned, and shall remayne with the Company.
567. [p. 22] For persons 'put in election' for any office. 'All parsons nomynated to supply any Roome or Office shall depart the Court, untill the
Election be past.'
568. For removing the secretary and the beadle who were elected as aforesaid.
And yf such Secretary or Beadle which shalbe so elected as aforesaid fortune to
Dye, or to be found insufficient to performe that which is expected, or of themselves
will leave their Office or otherwise will absent themselves, whereby the business
of the Company shalbe omytted, in such a Case it shalbe lawfull for the Company
to make choise of some other to supply the Roome or Office of hym in whome the
Default shalbe found, when and as often as neede shall require.
569. [p. 23] The ordinance for keeping courts, for fines, and for lack of
appearance after due warning, for both the assistants and the generality.
570. It shalbe lawfull for the President or his Deputy for the Common weale and
benifitt of the Company, or for any urgent cause, to call the Company together
and keepe either a generall Court or a Court of Assistaunts, on any Day whatsoever (not being Sunday or any principall of solempne feast of any Evangelist or
Appostle) to the which Court and Courts, every parson free of the Company
being warned by the Beadle shall and is bound to come.
571. And yf any of the generallity being warned, doe not come to the generall
Courte, having noe reasonable excuse to the contrary and so to be aiudged by the
President or his Deputy, and the greatest number of the Assistaunts then present,
shall forfeit for every tyme that he shall make default as aforesaid twelve pence.
572. And every one coming after the President be set, or his Deputy after three
strokes given with the hammer, having no reasonable excuse, and adiudged as
aforesaid, shall forfeyt sixpence.
573. And yf any shall departe the Courte, and have no leave of the President or
his Deputy, shall forfeit sixpence.
574. And he that absenteth himself three Court dayes one after another without
lycence or lawfull excuse, shall forfeit five shillings.
575. And every Assistaunt being warned, and not coming to the Court, but
absenteth himself from the Court, and having no leave of the President or his
Deputy nor reasonable excuse to the contrary, to be adiudged as beforesaid shall
forfeit two shillings.
576. [p. 24] And coming late to the Court, having no reasonable excuse to be
adiudged as aforesaid, shall forfeit twelve pence.
577. And every of the Assistaunts that shall absent himself three Court daies one
after an other being lawfully warned by the Beadle, having no reasonable excuse
to the contrary, and so adiudged as aforesaid, shall forfeit tenn shillings.
578. And every parson that shalbe warned to appeere upon a payne certen that
shall make default of Apparaunce having no reasonable excuse to the contrary,
and so adiudged, shall without favour pardon or myttigation pay the some and
penaltie whereuppon he was warned, so the same exceede not Twenty shillings.
579. And that there shalbe present at every Court aswell of the Assistaunts as of
the generality Thirteene Assistaunts at the least, or els nothing to be concluded at
the Court, where such number shall lack.
580. And all things passed at any Court of Assistaunts, shalbe read at the end of
the Court, and begyning of the next Court of Assistaunts, and likewise all things
passed at a generall Court shalbe read at th'end of the Court, and begyning of the
next generall Court.
581. All parsons commaunded by the President or his Deputy to depart the Court
for any reasonable cause shall depart uppon payne to receave such Judgment and
pay such fyne, as shalbe appointed and assessed by the greater parte of the Assistaunts then present at every such Court when any such contempt shalbe commytted.
582. [p. 25] For placing and setting of the assistants.
The Assistaunts shall sitt neere the President and his Deputie, as by the President
and his Deputy they shalbe appointed. And yf any of the Society shall take uppon
him to sitt in the Roome and place of the Assistaunts, He shall forfeit Twelve
pence. Provided that every parson that is an Alderman, Justice of Peace in his
Country, or hath borne Office of Maior in any Cittie or Towne Corporate, shall
and may take place amongst the Assistaunts.
583. For setting and placing of the generality.
The Generallitie shall sitt next beneath the Assistaunts every one according to his
calling and auncientry in the company namely such as have passed the Roome of
Assistaunts, shall sitt highest and nearest the Assistaunts for the tyme being. And
yf any question or curiosety do arise, or be offred, by any parsonn, for sitting or
placing, Every such parson shalbe directed by the President or his Deputy, and
shall sitt where he shalbe appointed, uppon payne every tyme to forfeit Twelvepence, for refusing to sitt where hee shalbe appointed.
584. [p. 26] For direction and order of speech in court.
ffor avoyding of all confusion and superfluous speeches and talke in Courte, either
Generall or of Assistaunts, it is ordred and enacted that such parson as first
standeth up, shalbe first heard. And that no parson shall speake, while an other
is speaking, nor yet one to an other, after silence is commaunded by the President
or his Deputy, but shall give attentive eare to hym that is speaking: who (standing
and uncovered) shall direct his speach to the President or his Deputy onely,
without namyng any other person, and shall frame his speach but to the matter
propounded or in question, neither shall any man speake but thrice to one
matter, without Lycence of the President or his Deputy, uppon payne to forfeit
every tyme that he shall offend contrary to this Act Twelve pence.
585. [p. 27] For decent speech in court.
It is ordred and enacted that no parson of this society shall in open Court use any
unseemely or reprochfull speach, but shall in comely and quiet manner speake to
the matter propounded. And yf any evill language be given that may breede
offence, contrary to the meaning of this Act, and so adiudged by the Court, the
party offending shall forfeit six shillings and eight pence, for every tyme that he
586. For silence to be kept in court. 'If the President or his Deputy shall
with the stroke of the Hammer, or otherwise commaund silence to be kept,
the parson not obeying or speaking so, shall forfeit Twelve pence.'
587. [p. 28] That a party to a matter named in court shall absent himself and
his father, son, brother and partner. 'Yf any matter be moved in Courte
which may concerne any parson present in court, that party whome the
matter concerneth, his father Sonne Brother and partiner shall depart the
Courte so long as the matter is treated uppon'.
588. Against disclosing of matters passed in court.
Yf any Brother of this Society shall reveale or disclose any matters treated of or
passed in any Courte, either Generall or of Assistaunts, to any parson, not being
free of this Company, to the hurt or displeasure of any of this Company; the
party so offending shall forfeit, for the first tyme six shillings eight pence, for the
second tyme thirteene shillings fower pence, for the third tyme twentie shillings.
And yf the disclosing of the secrets or speeches turne the whole Company to any
hurt or displeasure, then he or they so disclosing shall pay such fyne as shalbe
ceassed by the President his Deputy, Assistaunts, and generality. Or els shalbe
Crost the Howse and loose the benifitt of his freedome of this Society forever.
589. [p. 29] The sums of money to be paid on admission by those named in
the letters patent.
Every parson named in the letters patents (not being already sworne) clayming
his ffreedome before the feast of Christmas next, and who hath right thereunto as
a Marchaunt by auntient trade, shall pay at his admyssion to the Treasorer for
the tyme being, to the use of the Company, six shillings and eight pence, and to the
Secretary for entring his name twelve pence, and to the Beadle six pence, and shall
take the Oath of a freeman by auntient trade. And all such as are named in the
letters patents (not being already sworne) who have already paid to the use of the
society Ten pownds a peece, shall severally pay to the Secretary (for entring his
and their names) two shillings and to the Beadle twelve pence apeece, and shall
take the Oath of freemen by Redemption. And all others whose names are inserted
into the charter, who weare not either the sonnes or servaunts of freemen heretofore admytted by auntient trade, and have not paied their ffynes of tenn pownds
a peece, to the use of the society, shall at their admyssions pay to the Treasorer
the said some of Tenn powndes a peece, and to the Secretary for entring their
names, two shillings and to the Beadle twelve pence, and shall likewise take the
Oath of a freeman by Redemption.
590. [p. 30] For the admission of ancient merchants not named in the letters
Every auncient marchaunt not named in the charter, who by the trewe intent and
maning of the Chartre may lawfully clayme the freedome, either by birth or
service, shalbe admytted, paying like fyne, as is taken of auncient Marchaunts,
whose names are remembred in the letters patents, and taking the Oath appointed
for a freeman by ancient trade.
591. An act that every freeman shall have a copy of his oath.
To th'entent that every ffreeman may be the more carefull to observe and performe
his Oath, it is ordered and agreed, that the Secretary shall Deliver to every freeman, the trew Copy of the Oath mynistred unto him at his admyssion into this
society, for which Copy it shalbe lawfull to the Secretary to Demaund and to take
the some of six pence of every such freeman.
592. [p. 31] For the admission of mere merchants to be received by redemption.
Every parson and parsons being the king's subiects as now be or hereafter shalbe
meere marchaunts and which by the lawes and statutes of this realme, may use
the trade of marchaundize, from or into this realme of England, (except all
Retailers, Artificers, Inholders farmours Comon marriners and handycrafts men.
And also except all such as now be, or hereafter shalbe free of any speciall
incorporation or Company of Marchaunts, trading by force of any act of Parliament, Chartre or letters Patents into any the parts beyond the Seas) shalbe receaved and admytted into this society by Redemption. So as they require it
within one yere after the date of the Letters pattents, and pay Tenn powndes, or
within the second yeere and pay Fyfteene pownds, or at any tyme after th'end of
the said Two years and pay Twenty pownds to the use of the said society, and to
the Secretary (for entring every of their names) two shillings, and to the Beadle
twelve pence. And shall take the Oath appointed for a Redemptioner, to be
receaved as aforesaid.'
593. [p. 32] An act of grace and favour for the admission into the freedom
of those who have been mere merchants for the full term of seven years.
594. Whereas in and by the last Chartre graunted to this society the Company
are required to receave into their freedom all and every parson and parsons being
his Maiesties subiects, 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 Retailers and such other
parsons as in and by the said Chartre are mencioned). And whereas doubt and
question hath ben made, whether a man that hath ben a shopp keeper, and for
the space of divers yeres hath given over his trade, who was not brought up in the
trade of Marchaundize seaven yeres at the least as an apprentice, may be refused
to be admytted into the freedome of this society, by the wordes of the said Chartre,
the company being desyrous to carry an even and indifferent hand, and observing
that by the lawes and Statutes of this realme, no man may use or exercise any
manuell trade, or occupation (being farr inferior to the profession of a marchaunt)
but such as have ben brought up therein seaven years at the least as an apprentice,
Doe therefore at this Court upon full and deliberate consideration, order and
agree, that every parson and parsons, which during the full space and terme of
seaven yeres together, hath onely used or hereafter shall use, the trade of marchaundize, without keeping any shopp or using any other trade withall, [p. 33]
but onely lyved as a meere marchaunt (Except all such as now be, or hereafter
shalbe free of any speciall incorporation or Company of Marchaunts, trading by
force of any act of Parliament, Chartre or letters patents, into any the parts
beyond the Seas) shall and may from and after such tyme as he or they have or
hath, or hereafter shall have onely used the trade of a meere marchaunt, during
such full term of seaven yeres in forme aforesaid 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
595. For the admission by redemption of those free of any other society of
Every parson and parsons being the kings subiects as nowe be, or hereafter shalbe
free of any speciall incorporation or Company of marchaunts trading by force of
any act of Parliament, charter or letters patents into any the parts beyond the
Seas, (except all Retailers, Artificers, Inholders, farmors, Comon marriners and
handicrafts men, who are specially excluded out of this incorporation) shalbe
receaved and admytted into this society by Redemption, when they shall require
the same. So as they offer and [p. 34] pay to Mr. President or his Deputy for the
tyme being to the use of this society, at the tyme of his or their admyttaunce, such
some and somes of money as is usually paid by others requiring to be admytted
by redemption, into such other fellowshipp or Company, whereof such parsons
so requiring to be admytted into this incorporation shalbe then free, or otherwise
shall procure such and so many freedoms without fyne, for such and so many and
the like nomber of this society (to be from tyme to tyme nomynated by the President of this society, and any fower or more of the Assistants for the tyme being)
into such other fellowshipp or Company, whereof such parson or parsons so
requiring to be admytted into this society shalbe then free. And paying to the
Secretary (for entring every of their names) Two shillings, and to the Beadle
twelvepence and shall take the Oath appointed for a Redemptioner, to be so
receaved as aforesaid.
596. That no retailer or artificer etc. shall be received into the freedom. 'No
Retailer, Artificer, Inholder, farmor, Comon marriner, or handycrafts man
shalbe receaved or admytted into the freedom of this society for any fyne.'
597. [p. 35] The admission of sons and apprentices of redemptioners. 'The
Sonne or Apprentice of a Redempcioner shall pay successively such fyne as
his father or master paid, or ought to have paid, at the tyme of his admyssion.'
598. The term for which an apprentice shall be bound.
No man free of this Company shall after Michaelmas next Anno 1605 take any
Apprentice to be bownde for any lesse terme then Eight yeres, nor the yeres of
any apprentice shall end before he be of the age of fower and twenty years upon
payne of Twenty pownde. Neverthelesse it shalbe lawfull to the Master of every
such apprentice, at th'end of seaven years, to make his apprentice free of this
society (yf the Apprentice shall faithfully serve, during the said seaven yeres), So
as every such Apprentice shalbe then of the full age of fowre and twenty yeres.
599. [p. 36] The fine payable on the admission of an apprentice who has
been set over.
Also yf any Apprentice by the Death of his Master with whome he was first
bownd, or upon any other occasion be sett over, to any brother of the Company
for the residue of his terme, He shall at his Admyssion into the freedome, pay
such fyne as he should have done, by being made free by his first maister. And
shalbe translated over by the consent of the Company, and his translation endorsed upon the back of the Indentur by the Secretary of this Company.
600.Those persons who may claim the freedom by patrimony.
All parsons clayming the freedome of this Company by Patrymony, shalbe borne
meere English (that is to say) within the king's Domynions, or made a Denizen
by acte of Parliament, and shalbe of the Age of Twenty and one yeres at the least.
601. [p. 37] Against the marriage of an apprentice during his term, or his
using merchandise to his own use, etc.
Apprentice taken after this day (being the 30 day of August Anno domino 1605)
marying before the expiration of his terme, or doing feate of Marchaundize to
his owne use, without lycence of his master, or absenting himself willingly, contrary
to the will of his master, by the space of two monethes, shall never enioy the
freedome of the Company by Apprentizehood.
602. The apprentice to show his indenture and to bring his certificate.
An Apprentice clayming his freedome by Apprentizehood, shall shewe forth his
Indenture in due forme made in Cittie, Borough or Towne Corporate, with a
letter from his maister, (yf he be not present in Court) testefying that he hath well
and truly served him as an Apprentize, according to the Ordynaunce.
603. [p. 38] Against an untrue certificate of the service of the apprentice.
If any parson shall at any tyme hereafter write Declare avowe or testefy, by his
letter or otherwise, for the iust and true Service of his Apprentice, whereby such
Apprentice shall attaine and enioye the freedome of this Company, and the
testymony or declaration shall afterward be disproved, such a maister so offending shall forfeit to the use of the society Tenn poundes, and the Apprentize so
fraudulently made free shalbe Disfranchised and Dismyssed out of the Company.
604. That every person shall confer with the secretary before he demand his
Every parson clayming or desyring his freedome by Patrymony, Apprentizehood,
or otherwise, shall present himself two or three Daies before the Courte to the
Secretary, to the intent he may informe the Courte of such matters, as shalbe
requisite in his admyssion, or els shall not be admytted at this Courte.
605. [p. 39] The form of indentures of apprenticehood.
And to the intent it may appeere at the taking of every Apprentice, whether it
were ment he should be bownde for the trade of Spayne and Portugall or no, it is
therefore ordayned and enacted, that in all Indentures of Apprentizehood, by
which any apprentice shall clayme to be made free of this society, which shalbe
made after Michaelmas next coming which shalbe anno Domino 1605 these
wordes shalbe inserted, 'et mercatori Anglie mercantes in Hispaniam et Portugaliam' or in English, 'And Marchaunt of England trading into Spayne and Portugall'
or to the like effect. Or els that Indenture of Apprentizehood and touching the
freedome of this Company shalbe voide and of none effect.
606. For the freedom gratis. 'All parsons admytted into the freedome of this
Company gratis, upon petition, and not named in the Charter shall enioy
their freedom but for their owne parson onely.'
607. [p. 40] For the reading of letters and requests.
All Letters requests or writings directed to the President and Assistaunts shalbe
openly published, at the next Court of Assistaunts to be holden after the delivery
of them. And all letters, requests, or writings, directed to the President, Assistaunts and generallity, shalbe openly published at the next generall courte to be
holden after the delivery of them, upon payne that every parson that shall neglect
or hinder the performance thereof shall forfeit Twenty shillings, and such other
fyne as such Courte, to whom the same respectively shalbe directed, shall order
608. [p. 41] An act for the execution of ordinances.
Even as no comon weale, Company or fellowshipp can prosper or contynue
without good acts ordynaunces constitutions and lawes, whereby we restrayne
malefactors, and to punish offenders, Even so such Acts ordynaunces constitutions
and lawes wilbe of smale force and effect, yf they be not (when occasion may
serve) put in Due execution. It is, therefore for the better government of this
company ordayned and enacted, that yf any parson free of the same, shall transgress and breake any Act or ordynaunce made by comon consent of the Company,
it shalbe lawfull for any parson to informe the President or his Deputy or Treasorer
within every Devizion of the offence commytted, specially mencioning the tyme
and place, and all other circumstaunces, which may manifest and playnely sett
forth the matter. Which information or presentment the Secretary shall register
in a Booke therefore to be kept, which booke he shall keepe secrett, and not shew
to any parson, but to the President, his Deputy or Treasorer, nor shall by any
meanes discover the name of the Presentor or informer.
609. [p. 42] The Treasorer shall by the officer commaund every parson presented
to put in suerties for the some supposed to be forfeited, to aunswer to the matter
presented, and to pay that he shalbe condempned in which sureties shall sett their
hands to a booke therefore provided. And the parson so warned refusing, or not
doing of yt, shall by vertue and force of our letters patents be commytted to ward
by the President, or his Deputy and Assistaunts, untill he shall have accomplished
this order, And refusing to go to ward being commaunded by the said President
or his Deputy and Assistaunts or the more parte of them assembled shall forfeit
to the use of the Company Twenty pownds.
610. Any parson presented and sent for and spoken with by the officer, to appeare
at a Courte of Assistaunts, to aunswer to any offence presented against hym
making default, and having no reasonable excuse to be allowed by the said Court
shall forfeit Tenn shillings.
611. No parson condempned in a Courte of Assistants for any offence, shall sue
for grace before the whole some condempned be paid to the Treasorer, nor then
neither, except it be in Court of Assistants within three Courte dayes after the
payment of the money, (absent money, or for late coming onely excepted).
612. [p. 43] No restitution shalbe made of any Brocke or somes of Money condempned (except it be tried by ballating whether any restitution shalbe or no).
And it shall likewise be tryed by ballating what shalbe retorned.
613. No parson having sued for grace, and received his aunswer, shall solicite, for
any further grace.
614. The party complayned on may purge himself by his Oath. But yf it shall after
be fownde or tried, that he hath taken a wrong oath, He shalbe disfranchised out
of the Freedome and liberties of this Company, as a parson periured.
615. The Presentor shall have the fowrth parte of that shall remayne to the Company.
616. [p. 44] An act to put in execution in the country all acts and ordinances
made and to be made.
617. And for asmuch as the marchaunts of England trading Spayne and Portugall,
lately incorporated, dispersed in so many Citties, Townes and places of the realme,
as it would be very chargeable and troblesome to compell them to make their
contynuall apparaunce heere, to aunswer to any matter obiected against them, for
breach of any of the Privileges Acts or ordynaunces made, or to be made by the
President Assistaunts and fellowshipp heere in London: And where for the more
ease, and better governement of them out of the Citty, there are divers Deputies
appointed in divers citties and townes within the Realme, it is therefore at this
Courte concluded agreed and ordayned, that it shalbe lawfull for every Deputy
and Assistaunt, appointed or to be appointed out of the Cittie of London, or the
more parte of them, within their severall Lymitts and Jurisdictions, to put in
execution all such Acts and Ordynaunces as are or shalbe made by the President
Assistaunts and fellowship of marchaunts of England trading into Spayne and
Portugall resident heere in London, and to punish all transgressors and offendors
of them, or any of them, by fyne mulkte ymprisonment or otherwise, in such and
as large manner and forme, as the President or Deputy and Assistaunts heerein
London, may or ought to doe, by force of his Majesty's letters patents, or of any
act or ordynaunce made or to be made by them. Provided alwaies that every such
Deputy shall yerely the [p. 45] Munday before the Assention Day, make certificate
to the President or Deputy here, under hys hand of all the proceedings within his
Circuit the yere precedent, in such manner as the same shalbe registred in the
618. For enrolling of indentures of apprenticehood.
Every Indenture of Apprentizehood already made or taken within the Cittie of
London, whereby the freedome of this society may be challenged, shalbe delivered
to the Secretary to be by him enrowled before the feast of Christmas next ensuing
(which wilbe Anno Domino according to the computation of the Church of
England 1605). And also every other Indenture of Apprenticehood, which after
this Day (being the 30 Day of August 1605) shalbe made or taken within the said
Cittie of London, whereby the freedome of this society may be challenged, shalbe
delivered to the Secretary, to be by him enrowled, within one yere next after the
Date and making of every such Indenture upon the payne that the Master of every
Apprentize shall forfeit for every Indenture already made, or hereafter to be made,
that shall not be so enrowled, according to the true meaning of this Act the some
of 10s. And that the Secretary shalbe allowed for every such enrowlement the
[p. 46] some of 12d. And moreover that every Indenture of Apprentizehood, already
made or taken, within any other Citty Borough or towne Corporate, whereby the
freedome of this society may be challenged, shalbe delivered to the Clark of that
Devision respectively where yt was made, to be by him enrowled before the said
feast of Christmas next ensuing. And also every other Indenture of Apprentizehood which after the said 30 Day of August, shalbe made or taken, within every
Cittie Borough or towne Corporate whereby the freedome of this society may be
challenged, shalbe likewise delivered to the Clarck of that Devision respectively
where it was made, to be likewise by him enrowled within one yere next after the
date and making of every such Indenture. Upon the like payne that the master of
every Apprentice shall forfeit for every Indenture already made or hereafter to
be made, that shall not be so enrowled according to the true meaning of this
Act the some of 10s. And the severall Clarcks of every such severall devision, shall
certefy to the Secretary of the society (resident in London) every yere the Munday
after the Assension day, or oftener, all such enrowlements as they and every of
them shall so severally take, to th'end, the same may also be so enrowled by the
said Secretary. And that every such Clarck of every severall devision, shall receave
for every such enrowlement the some of 2s., where of he shall retayne for his
owne use 12d and the other 12d he shall send up hether to the said Secretary for
his paynes, for enrowling the said Indenture here.
619. [p. 47] An act for dispensation notwithstanding the omission of the
words 'merchants of Spain and Portugal' from apprentices' indentures,
from 1585 until the feast of St. Michael the Archangel 1605. (fn. 4)
620. Forasmuch as during the tyme of the breach betweene our late soveraigne
Lady Queene Elizabeth and the king of Spayne, divers parsons of this company
being without hope of peace or reconciliation, did omytt out of their apprentizes
Indentures the wordes 'Marchaunt of Spayne and Portugall' so that by the
stricktnes of an auncient order no such parsons can clayme the benifitt of their
freedome of Spayne and Portugall by any such service. It is Neverthelesse (upon
full and deliberate Consideration) enacted concluded and agreed, that all such
parsons as were or shalbe bownde to any freeman of this Company, at any tyme
since the yere of our lord, One thowsand fyve hundreth Eighty fyve, untill the
feast of Sainct Michaell th'archangell next ensuing, which shalbe Anno Domini
1605 shall and may be dispensed withall and be admytted into the freedome,
Notwithstanding the omytting of the said wordes, so as they make iust proof of
their service, and also make their clayme before the feast of Christmas next
ensuing and so as the Indenture of every such Apprentize already bownde or to
be bownd be [p. 48] enrowled with the Secretary before the said feast of Christmas
next. And it is absolutely agreed that for all Indentures which shalbe made after
the said feast of St. Michaell Th'archangell next ensuing, these words shalbe
inserted 'Et Mercatori Anglie mercantes Hispaniam et Portugaliam' or in English
'and Marchaunt of England trading into Spayne and Portugall' or to the like
effect. Or els that Indenture of Apprentizehood touching the freedome of this
Company shalbe void and of none effect, as in an act before mencioned is laid
downe and declared.
621. An act for the allowance of provision for masters of ships.
Item in avoyding of all questions that may hereafter growe, what value in
Marchaundizes may be allowed to the owners of Shipps, or other vessells fraighted
for Spayne or Portugall, or any the Islands or Places comprehended within our
privileges, for the necessary provision of the said Shipps or vessells. It is ordered
and enacted that it shall not be lawfull to or for any owner of any Shipp or vessell,
to be fraughted into any the places aforesaid being not free of our Company, to
have transporte [p. 49] or carry in goodes wares or marchaundizes upon payne
to forfeit 5s. for every pownd value that shalbe brought or transported contrary
to this act. Provided allwaies that yf any owner shall hereafter send any Shipp or
vessell into the places aforesaid, empty or unladen to seeke fraight onely and
fynde none, that then in such case it shalbe lawfull for every such owner, his
factor or Atturney to make retorne in Salt, paying the ordynary ympositions for
the same, without incurring any penalty or payne. Provided also that yt shalbe
lawfull for every master and marriner, to carry and returne such Portage, as they
have ben accustomed to doe, viz. to the master, to the value of his wages, not
exceeding Twenty Powndes, and for the marriner so much of his owne proper
Goods as he may carry in his ordynary Chest, or in his Cabbyn, not disfurnishing
himself of his Lodging, So as it exceede not the value of fyve pownds. (fn. 5)
622. [p. 50] No unfree son, servant or apprentice shall be sent into Spain etc.
until he has taken his oath.
623. Item it is also ordayned and enacted, that no parson free of this society shall
after the publication of this Act, send his sonne Servaunt or Apprentice (being not
free of the Company) into Spayne or Portugall, or any the Islands comprehended
within our priviledge, to doe any feate of Marchaundizes, or willingly suffer him
so sent to doe any feate of Marchaundize there, before he have taken an Oath
before the President or his Deputy in London, or before the Deputy under whose
charge he is resiaunt, that he shall not Cullour Convey, nor take in charge, any
the Goods wares and Marchaundizes of any parson, borne within the king's
maiesties Domynions, to be transported or brought to or from any the Places
aforesaid, contrary to the ordynaunces of this society, upon payne to forfeit to
the use of this society, fyve powndes of lawfull money of England for every tyme
that any such parson shall so be sent, contrary to the tenour of this Act.
624. [p. 51] An act against trading in partnership with foreigners, and
setting a time to such as are not free to return their merchandise from Spain.
625. And it is agreed concluded and enacted, that every parson and parsons, that
is or shalbe free of this society, which hath already ioyned with any Partner or
partners not being free of the Company shall presently make relation thereof in
writing to the Secretary of the Company, signifying with whome, and in what
manner he hath so ioyned, upon payne, that every one that shall not performe
the same (besides the infringing of his Oath) shall pay such fyne, as by a generall
Courte shalbe agreed.
626. Moreover, it is enacted and agreed that every parson and parsons not free
of this company, which hath adventured any marchaundizes into Spayne or
Portugall, or any places comprehended within our privilege, and also all such as
have ioyned with any freeman shall have the favour and liberty of Six monethes
viz. betweene this and the feast of Christmas next coming, for returning of their
wares and marchaundizes from the said places. Provided allwaies that no such
parson or parsons not being free, nor any whoe have ioyned with freemen, shall
at any tyme or [p. 52] tymes from hensforth adventure any wares or marchaundizes
outward, unto any the said places before mencioned. And moreover that after
this Day noe parson or parsons, free of this fellowshipp shall ioyne, or deale as
partener in occupying with any parson or parsons not free of the Company, nor
with any Retailer, Artificer, Inhoulder, farmor, common marriner, or handycrafts
man, of or for any goods wares or marchaundize to be transported or brought
to or from Spayne or Portugall, or any place or places, comprehended within our
privilege, upon payne to forfeit Twenty in the hundreth, to the use of the said
fellowship. Provided allwaies that this Act shall not extend to any parson that
doth occupy with any other being beyond the Sea, that may at his retorne enioy
627. [p. 53] That no person free of the company shall be both a merchant
and a retailer.
Forasmuch as in the letters patents lately graunted to us, whereby we are Incorporated and established a Society or fellowshipp of marchaunts of England, trading
into Spayne and Portugall, There is a speciall exception that no Retailers, Artificers,
Inholders, farmors Common Marriners or Handycrafts men, should be admytted
into the sayd society. And forasmuch as not onely the meere marchaunts of the
principall Citties and Townes of the Realme where marchaunts are, doe finde it
inconvenient that a marchaunte should also be a Retayler, But also the Retailers
in most places, which are not marchaunts but lyve onely by retaile, doe very much
Complayne that the marchaunts which are also Retailers doe much hinder them
in their trade and occupying, so as they are scant able to lyve.
628. The Company therefore aswell for the relief of the meere Retailer, As also
for the reducing of a marchaunt into the right vocation and use of a marchaunt,
After good deliberation doe by these presents decree ordayne and enact that from
and after the feast of Sainct Michaell the archangell next coming, which shalbe
Anno Domini 1605, no parson free of this Company which shall shipp or
transport, or cause any goods wares [p. 54] or Marchaundizes to be shipped
or transported, to or from Spayne or Portugall, or any the Islands Countries or
Territories, comprehended within the said letters patents shall in any wise, during
by all or any parte of such tyme, as he shall use or cause to be used any trade or
traffique, to or from the said parts or any of them, use or exercise or cause to be
used or exercised to his use Comodety or gayne, any handicraft or manuell
occupation, or shall keepe any retailing, shopp, or use any retaile, or take any
proffitt or comodety of any wares or marchaundizes, sould by retaile uppon payne
of forfeiture of fyve shillings of the value of every pownde of such goods, wares,
or Marchandizes so to be shipped or transported contrary to the true meanying of
this Act. And in avoiding of all ambiguities and questions which may arise or
growe upon the Definition of a Retailor and who is to be accoumted an Artificer or
Retailor, it is by these presents declared ordayned and enacted that whatsoever
parson or parsons doth or heereafter shall use or exercise any handicraft or manuall
occupation, or doth or shall take any benifitt profit or comodety in use or exercise
of any handicraft or manuall occupation or doth or shall by any manuell exercise,
alter or cause to be altered to his gayne or proffitt any goods wares or marchaundizes from the same Kynde nature or forme they were or shalbe brought in, shalbe
[p. 55] Accoumpted and adiudged an Artificer. And it is further declared, ordayned
and enacted that whatsoever parson or parsons shall use or exercise or directly
or indirectly cause or procure any person to use or exercise any trade in buying
and selling any goods wares or marchaundizes to his or their privat or partable
accoumpt gayne or Comodety in manner and forme as is hereafter declared and
defined to be a retailor shalbe accoumpted and adiudged a retailor. First he that
keepeth an open shopp or warehowse in the streate, having a servaunt or servaunts
attendaunt upon his wares, and usually selleth any wares to Chapmen by Retaile,
shalbe accoumpted a Retailor.
629. He that Keepeth any Taverne or victualling howse whatsoever, shalbe
accoumpted a Retailor.
630. He that selleth any marchaundize commonly sould by the hundreth, by any
lesse waight then the hundreth, or any marchaundizes commonly sould by the
pownde, by any lesse waight, then the Dozen pownde (Cloves, Mace, Synamon,
and Nutmegge except) which may be sould by the half Dozen (and Powder of
grane, granatha silke and other Silke, Cochenelia, Anele, Druggs Colours and
perfumes also excepted, which may be sould by the Pownde or other wise, shalbe
accoumpted a retailor. He that selleth Oyle by any lesse vessell then Pipe or
hoggeshead or [p. 56] els in such Caske or vessell, as it shalbe brought over in,
shalbe Accoumpted a Retailer. Raisons ffiggs marmalade and suckets may be
sould by the peece box or barrell, and not be accoumpted a Retailor. (fn. 6)
631. He that selleth any kinde of wyne by any lesse measure, then the Butt, Pype,
Hoggeshead or Terce, (fn. 7) or els in such Caske as it shalbe brought over in shalbe
Counted a Retailor.
632. He that selleth any Ropes, Tarred or untarred, by lesse waight then the
hundreth or the Coile, or lesse length then the peece, shalbe accoumpted a
Retailor, Provided that upon the Coast, it shalbe lawfull to sell by the half
633. Steele or Nailes may be sould by the Tonne or half Tonne, Barrell, or half
barrell, or some of Nailes. And in the Countrey, Steele may be sould by the
ffaggott wispe or barr, and not to be accoumpted a Retailor. (fn. 8)
634. He that selleth wainescotts by lesse nomber then the Dozen, Clough boord
by lesse nomber then the hundreth, Deale boorde by lesse nomber then the Dozen,
Sope ashes by lesse quantety then the last, Pitch or Tarr by lesse quantety then
the Barrell, shalbe accoumpted a Retailor. (fn. 9)
635. He that selleth any kinde of Cloth, or other stuffe made of silke woole
fflax or Hemp, by lesse measure then the peece or half peece, as it was made, or
brought from beyond the Seas, not being Cut in England, shalbe accoumpted
636. [p. 57] The time in which the freedom of the company shall be claimed.
Every parson named in the last charter graunted to this society (being in England)
shall clayme his and their freedome and pay such fynes and receave such oath, as
according to the nature of their severall claymes and the true intent and meaning
of the orders of this Company are lymited and appointed, within one yere next
after the Date of the same charter viz. before the last day of May next ensuing,
which shalbe anno Domino 1606. And yf any such parson be beyond the seas,
then he shall make his clayme and demaund his freedome, and pay his fyne, and
receave his Oath, within six monethes after his coming over into England. And
also all and every other parson and parsons being in England not named in the
Charter, and which are nowe Capeable of the said freedome, either by Patrymony
or service, shall make his and their Claymes, and pay his and their fynes, within
one yere next ensuing viz. before the last day of August, Anno Domino 1606.
And if they be beyond the sea, they shall have six monethes liberty as aforesaid.
And also every other parson and parsons which at any tyme hereafter, either by
Patrymony or service may challeng the freedome of this society, shall make his
and their claymes and pay his and their fynes within one yere next after the same
respectively [p. 58] shalbe due unto them. And yf such parson be beyond the seas,
then he shall have six monethes libertie after his returne into England as aforesaid. And if any such parson or parsons shall neglect, and shall not make his
clayme, pay his fyne and receave his oath, within the tyme before severally and
respectively lymytted, that then every such parson shall forfeit, and pay to the
use of this society a fyne of Twenty shillings. And yf he or they shall neglect, and
shall not make his and their clayme, paye his fyne, and receave his oath before
the end of one other yere longer, then he shall pay a fyne of forty shillings. And
yf he deferr it a third yere, then he shall pay a fyne of three powndes, being the
greatest fyne that shalbe taken, notwithstanding he deferr his clayme never so
637. And yf the same fyne and fynes shall not be paide by hym or them who ought
to have payd the same, that yet neverthelesse it shalbe aunswered and paid, by
his and their Children, or Servaunts, before any of them shalbe admytted or
receaved into the freedome of this society. Provided allwaies that this Act shall
not extent to any Redemptioner nor to the sonnes or servaunts of any Redempcioner, but that they shall have libertie to clayme their freedome at their pleasures
paying the fynes in that case lymitted and appointed. Neither shall it extend to
the fyve honorable Earles named in the patent, Nor to the Lord Chief Baron,
Mr. Attorney generall, Sir Danyell Dun, the three Clarcks of his Majesty's privy
Counsaill, and the two Clarcks of his Majesty's signett and privy seale being
likewise named in the charter, Nor to any that shall or may clayme the freedome
by or under their rights.
638. [p. 59] An act that no child or apprentice of any usual trader before
1569, whose father or master was dead before the granting of the charter of
8 June 1577 by Queen Elizabeth, can or lawfully may challenge the freedom
by virtue of the said charter.
Whereas at a generall Courte holden the 8 day of November 1577 it was concluded
and ordered in these wordes viz.; Where question was moved at this Courte and
intreated upon, for the admytting of such auncient Marchaunts, children and
servaunts, whose fathers or maisters were usuall traders into Spayne or Portugall,
before anno 1569 and neverthelesse Deade before the graunte of the letters patents.
It was agreed concluded and adiudged by the whole Courte that it was not necessary that any such should be receaved or admytted, for that they be without the
compasse of the expresse words of the said graunt, as by the sayd order may
appeere. Which said opynion and resolution which was then concluded and agreed
upon by the generall courte at that time, who were best acquainted with the true
intent and meaning of the said charter, is now this Day (being the 30 of August
1605) confirmed and allowed, And ordered and enacted that the same shalbe
observed accordingly. Provided alwaies that this act shall not extent or be prediudiciall to any parson whose name is inserted in the last Charter graunted by
his majestie to this Society, Dated 31 Maii Anno regno Jacobi et cetera Tertio.