Cecil Papers: 1560

Pages 42-57

Calendar of the Cecil Papers in Hatfield House: Volume 13, Addenda. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1915.

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The Duke of Norfolk to Sir William Cecil.
[1560,] June 12. He had prevented Cecil's request for staying the French at Alnwick. There is no cause why they should go into Scotland, and hurt may come thereof. "As ever the Divell is busye to cast bones," so Cecil may perceive by Lord Grey's letter enclosed that he has not been unoccupied among the Lords of the Congregation. They are over-hasty to strive for the government before the French were expelled. If Alnwick guests might enter, they would be well contented to become partakers either of the one side or the other, whereby they might make a division among themselves, and then they would soon hope to bring their conquest to pass. Has written wishing Lord Grey to stand upright, qualifying all parts; also to the Laird of Lydington what hurt might come by such a strife.
[D. of Norfolk's Entry Book, f. 27.] (138. 39.)
The Hanse Towns.
[1560, June 27.] Grant of traffic to the Hanse towns.— Undated.
Latin. 3 pp. (247. 31.)
English translation of above, endorsed by Cecil, 27 June, 1560.
pp. (247. 37.)
The Hanse Commissioners.
[1560, June 27.] Means of agreement propounded by the Hanse Commissioners.—Undated.
Latin. Endorsed by Cecil: 27 June, 1560. 3½ pp. (247. 33.)
Another copy.
(247. 117.)
Adolph, Duke of Holstein, to the Queen.
1560, June 29. When on his travels heard from Lord Hunsdon that his robes as a Knight of the Garter had been made by her Highness's order. Is sending one of his servants with Lord Hunsdon to fetch them.—"Datum in Cautelberg in die Petri et Pauli. Anno MDLX."
Holograph. 1 p. Latin. (147. 15.)
The Hanseatic Orators to the English Commissioners.
1560, July 27. We have received on different dates two writings from your Highnesses, one purporting to be a reply to the Articles previously set forth by us, and the other entitled "Moderatio in Commercio inclitae Societatis Hanse." We have read these more than once, and can only state that some of the proposals contained in them are impossible (intolerabilia) and calculated to destroy all commercial intercourse between the subjects of the respective States. We think a consideration of our history will cause you to relax somewhat on these points. The utility of the long friendship between the English Kings and our Confederation was expressly acknowledged by Edward IV. Differences had been settled satisfactorily by the grants of new privileges or the clearer definition of old ones. Relations of the Hanseatic merchants with England from the time of Edward III and privileges obtained by them in the country.
But our conflict with Edward IV was bitterer than all, and at one time appeared impossible of settlement save by the sword. Its occasion was two fold. In the course of the contest between Henry VI and Edward IV for the crown of England, seventy merchant vessels with cargoes of great value were forcibly taken from our government, though not at war with either King. Forty-four were seized by one Robert Chain, an Englishman, nineteen others by the Earl of Warwick, and seven from Norway by a captain called Ross. These seizures were admitted in Parliament and the value estimated at two hundred thousand pounds.
The second occasion arose in 1468. Some men of Lynn, contrary to a recent treaty between Denmark and England, had sailed to Iceland, where, after murdering their commander, they had plundered the accumulated royal tribute and wasted a good part of the Island with fire and sword. The matter was reported to Christiern, King of Denmark, and shortly afterwards some ships from Lynn laden with goods were stayed by his order at the entrance to the Sound. Diplomatic correspondence between the two Kings remained without effect. The people of Lynn accused the Hanse merchants, in London, of having got the ships detained and the King decided to grant reprisals against all the Hanse confederation except Cologne. Fighting went on by land and sea for three years, with considerable display of courage and an equal amount of pecuniary loss. At last the Duke of Burgundy and other Princes intervened, and the restoration of peace was begun to be attempted at Treves (in civitate Trajectensi).
Our Government demanded the restitution of the seventy ships, or their price, with compensation for injuries inflicted, merchants imprisoned, contracts delayed and privileges infringed. The English King approved of peace, but could not pay the amount of the damages, although that amount was not in dispute, having been admitted in public Parliament. After some delay peace was concluded on the following conditions. The King was to confirm our previous privileges, adding new ones agreed to at Treves (Trajecta). He was to make over to our Society the Court of the Steelyard at London and two other Courts at Boston and Lynn respectively. To make good losses from privateers, our merchants were to be exempt from custom up to the amount of ten thousand pounds. After this treaty trade sprang up afresh.
Tranquility lasted till the time of Edward VI, if we do not reckon the slight disputes which arose in the fifth year of Henry VII, resulting in a pronouncement by a convention at Antwerp against strained interpretations of documents. Under the last named King's successor, in the twenty-first and twenty-second years of his reign, conferences at Bruges had their wonted happy result. The King, on the matter then in question being faithfully referred to him by Thomas More and his colleagues, expressed his will that our rights should not be disturbed, and seldom afterwards did the traducer of a Hanse merchant gain aught save the dismissal of his case and a sound rating. The slight difference which arose shortly before the death of that Prince of great hopes, Edward VI, was settled at the beginning of the reign of the Lady Mary, and there was no hint of our being hampered in our liberties till it was falsely suggested to the Lords of the Council that our merchants had not observed that moderation in regard to the market at Antwerp which our delegates had verbally promised. Such was the origin of the present controversy, a worthy occasion forsooth for destroying a friendship cemented by the mutual services of three centuries.
In fact until now every difference has been settled either by the favour of royalty, the mediation of justice or the decision of a Convention.
Your Highnesses will observe, moreover, the venerable antiquity of our privileges, especially that of express exemption from the greater customs. In the concord of Treves we forgave great injuries in return for the perpetuation of our privileges. Reason, equity and justice alike demand that England should keep the promises made to our League by three centuries of her Kings.
Detailed Replies to the English Commissioners' Amendments.
Reply to Chapter I.
The privileges apply only to members of the Teutonic Hanse residing in the House at London which is commonly called the "Guildehalla Teutonicorum." The expression used in all the documents is "habentes," not "inhabitantes," "Guildehallam." The ownership of the Guildhall is vested in the Society as a whole, not in the particular agents or representatives who have been sent from time to time to do business in England. The Guildhall, though an excellent promenade, would make a very poor residence. The Court of the Steelyard was first acquired by us at the Convention of Treves.
Your Highnesses also press for a list of our membership. Although we have privileges in France, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, the Belgian provinces and elsewhere, no other government has ever made such a request. Our powers do not enable us to comply with it, but we will forward it home if the Queen so wishes.
The Statutes of our Society are specially aimed against fraudulent pretence of membership. No one is admitted to any market in this emporium unless he is furnished with a certificate from the authorities of a chief city (primariae civitatis) near his native place that he is a Hanseatic, and that his merchandise has no part or lot with strangers.
We think this method preferable to the testimonial under the seal of Lubeck, on which your Highnesses would insist.
Your Highnesses have been misinformed as regards the Alderman of London appointed to see that these and other regulations were kept. From the 8th Article of Edward I's grant of privileges, it appears that a faithful and discreet citizen of London is to be assigned to us as a Justice, before whom we may be able to have our cases tried and to exact our debts, if the Sheriffs and Mayors afford us not speedy justice. So far from objecting to such Alderman, we hope that a happy settlement of this strife will afford us an early opportunity of electing one afresh.
Reply to Chapter II.
It is stated to be proved from your archives that the governors of the Society of the Hanse appeared to a citation and proved their privileges regarding such merchandize only as came from the realm of Germany. These circumstances are unknown to us. We find no word of them in the Regesta of our Government. Probably the person who appeared was the Alderman of our Court of the Steelyard. If he successfully defended a portion of our privileges we ought not to suffer thereby.
The remainder of this chapter comprises the answers to these four articles.
(i.) On the strength of their privileges the merchants of the Hanse can only import their native products.
(ii.) Vice-versa, they can take away lawful exports from England, but only to their own country.
(iii.) Goods exported may not be retailed at Antwerp or in lower Germany.
(iiii.) We may import and export whence and whither we will, but on paying the same impost as other foreign merchants.
Reply to Chapter III.
It has been fully shown that the Hanseatic merchants have never paid any custom as aliens or otherwise than according to their privileges. With regard to her Majesty's declaration that we should pay the same customs as subjects, we are ready to come to a fair agreement with your Highnesses. The restriction at the end of the chapter in its present wording is, however, too narrow.
Reply to Chapter IV.
The facts are plain. Every goodman who has traded in London at Blackwall hall knows that our merchants have always without question freely traded with anybody within the liberty of London, until about four or five years ago, when the point was raised and decided in our favour by the Lords of the Council without waiting to hear the witnesses whom I, Henry Suderman, being in charge of the matter, had brought to Greenwich. Any contrary privileges of the citizens of London are barred, if of earlier date than our privileges by the terms of the Concord of Treves, if of later date, by the 9th Article of Edward I's grant. As much was admitted by the Londoners in 15 Edward IV.
Reply to Chapter V.
True it is that the merchants of our society must satisfy the claims of justice in a lawful court, but such lawful court may be special by privilege. Our men apply to the Chancery, but not to the Exchequer, and are exempt altogether from the Admiralty jurisdiction.
Considerations Regarding a few Articles of the Former Despatch.
The Lord Mayor in his reply to our fifth article denies that he has contravened any heads of our agreements. Why, then, has not the money annually tendered under agreement to him and to the Sheriffs been accepted? Why, also, are our merchants prevented from trading freely within the liberty of London?
Our merchants have never refused to repair the gate called Bishopsgate.
The men of Cologne are entitled to the advantages of the Concord of Treves, having been re-admitted to their full share of privileges two years after it was made.
Our sailors are frequently mentioned in the grants of privileges. If, therefore, they are capable of sharing in our privileges, and our privilege exempts us from the percentage of salt (quota salis), our sailors ought to be exempt from the same. As a fact it cannot be shown that our sailors have ever paid the percentage hitherto.
We welcome royal officers whose function it is to prevent frauds on the royal revenue. But we do object to the Packer, who is seldom at hand when wanted owing to being overwhelmed with business. We pray your Highnesses that we may be free of him in accordance with our ancient privileges, but we should not object to the appointment of a sworn officer peculiar to our house, to be paid so much per cloth for superintending the binding up of bales and preventing the possibility of fraud. His duties would thus resemble the Packer's.
Of course the Queen may make new Statutes. But her royal predecessors for their heirs as well as for themselves, with the consent of Parliament, have renounced that prerogative as against the merchants and men of the federated society of the Hanse. It is only fair then that her present Majesty should admit the same exception in their favour as her predecessors have done into statutes otherwise general for her people and realm.
Lastly, as regards the point mentioned at the end in both despatches, that English claims to privilege have been disallowed at Dantzic (Gedanum) and at other places in Prussia. We reply that the men not only of Dantzic but of all our other cities will be ready to pay all honour and goodwill as between friends to English subjects, and to allow them all privileges which they have been wont to enjoy. If her Majesty's subjects believe that they really have the right of trading at Dantzic with all and sundry, let them put the matter to the touch trial, and show that they have ever had even the vestige of such a privilege, which the men of Dantzic think the English cannot do. We have never had such a privilege, though in the same league as the people of Dantzic. The latter, however, confidently assert that they have always shewn courtesy to Englishmen and that no just cause of complaint against them shall ever arise in the future.
We apologise for being so lengthy.
27½ pp. Latin. (207. 10.)
The Hanse Commissioners.
[1560, July 31.] Agreement of the Hanse Commissioners to sundry of her Majesty's demands.—Undated.
Latin. Endorsed by Cecil: 31 July, 2 Elizabeth. 1½ pp. (247. 43.)
The Hanse Towns.
[1560, July 31.] The orators of the Hanse protest with the consent of the Queen's orators that in drawing up at the Queen's request the following list of Hanse cities and places, they do not renounce a wider designation of their dominions or prejudice their rights in any way.
Lubeca, Hamburga, Rostochium, Wismaria, Straelsundt, Lunenburga.
Stettin, Ancklem, Golnaw, Gripswolda, Colberg, Stargard, Stolp, Rugewolda.
Gedanum, Colmar, Thorn, Elbingen, Koningsberg, Braunsperg with the whole of Prussia.
Riga, Dorpt, Revel.
Magdeburga, Braunschwiga, Goslaria, Embeck, Gotting, Hildesbaim, Hannoveren, Ulsen, Buxtebuden, Staden, Bremen, Hamelen, Minden.
Monasterium, Osnabruga, Tremonia, Susatum, Herfordia, Padelbornum, Lembgáw, Bilefeld, Lippa, Cosfeldia.
Rhenanæ, Clivenses and Marchenses:
Colonia, Wesalia, Duisbergum, Embrica, Warburg, Vuna, Ham.
Noviomaghum, Zutphania, Ruremunda, Arnemia, Venlo, Elburgum, Harderwich.
Daventria, Swollis, Campen.
Groninga, Stavern, Bolswerde.
The following are the names of the dismembered States:—
Stendel, Soldwedel, Berlin, Brandenburga, Franckofordia ad Oderam, Vratislauia, Hall, Aschersleben, Quedelenburg, Halberstadt, Helmstedt, Kÿll and Northeim.
Endorsed by Cecil: 31 July. Latin. 2½ pp. (247. 44.)
The Hanse Merchants.
[1560, Aug. 3.] Articles concerning the new privileges of the Hanses, sent by Mr. Wotton to the Court. Signed: N. Bacon, Winchester, William Petre, and N. Wotton.—Undated.
Contemporary copy. Endorsed: 3 August, 1560. 1 sheet. (247. 47.)
The Hanse Merchants.
[1560, Aug. 5.] Articles of agreement propounded from her Majesty to the Hanses.—Undated.
Latin. Endorsed by Cecil: 5 August, 1560. 2½ pp. (247. 48.)
Another copy.
pp. (247. 100.)
The Hanse Commissioners.
1560, Aug. 6. Articles of agreement propounded by the Hanse Commissioners to the Council.—Undated.
Latin. Endorsed by Cecil: 6 August, 1560. 5 pp. (247. 52.)
Another copy.
(247. 102.)
Sir Nicholas Bacon to [Sir William Cecil].
1560, Aug. 6. Details proceedings with the Hanse Commissioners.—Endorsed by Cecil: 6 August, 1560.
Holograph. 1 p. (247. 105.)
Sir Nicholas Bacon, the Marquis of Winchester, Sir William Petre and N. Wotton (Commissioners) to the Queen.
1560, Aug. 6. Detailing their negociations with the Hanse Commissioners.—London, 6 August, 1560.
Signatures. 2 pp. (247. 106.)
Contemporary copies.
(247. 51.) and (247. 98.)
The Same to Sir William Cecil.
1560, Aug. 6. On the same subject.—London, 6 August, 1560.
Signatures. 1 p. (247. 107.)
The Hanse Commissioners.
[1560, Aug. 7.] A censure made upon the articles delivered by the Hanse Commissioners, by conference with the former articles delivered by the Queen's Commissioners.—Undated.
Endorsed by Cecil: 7 August. 1½ pp. (247. 57.)
The Privy Council to the Commissioners appointed to treat with the Hanse Ambassadors.
1560, Aug. 7. Her Majesty grants the Ambassadors two months delay in which to consider the articles last propounded by her. If not accepted, she will then be at liberty in like manner as before this treaty. Signed by W. North, Arrundell, W. Howard, T. Parrye, E. Clynton and W. Cecyll.—Farnham, 7 August, 1560.
Contemporary copy. 1 p. (247. 58.)
The Hanse Commissioners.
1560, Aug. 8. Answer of the Queen's Commissioners to the Hanse Commissioners.—8 August, 1560.
Draft. Latin. Note at foot by W. Petre. 2 pp. (247. 60.)
Another copy.
(247. 121.)
The Hanse Commissioners.
[1560, Aug. 8.] Answer of the Hanse Commissioners to the Queen's Commissioners.—Undated.
Contemporary copy. Latin. Noted by Cecil: 8 August, 1560. 1½ pp. (247. 62.)
Another copy.
(247. 115.)
Sir Nicholas Bacon, C.S., the Marquis of Winchester, Sir William Petre and N. Wotton (Commissioners) to [the Privy Council].
[1560,] Aug. 8. Detailing their proceedings with the Hanse Ambassadors and enclosing further articles from them.— London, 8 August.
Signed as above. 1½ pp. (247. 111.)
Contemporary copy.
2 pp. (247. 59.)
Sir William Petre to Sir William Cecil.
1560, Aug. 8. As to negociations with the Hanse Commissioners.—London, 8 August, 1560.
Holograph. 1 p. (247. 112.)
The Steelyard.
1560, Aug. 17. A declaration of the order taken with the aldermen and merchants of the Stillyard for their shipping and customs from the time of the agreement made with their Ambassadors.—17 August, 1560.
2 pp. (247. 63.)
Adolphus, Duke of Holstein, to the Queen.
1560, Aug. 21. Has been prevented before from writing that he has been with his brother, the King of Denmark, for some days. Has spoken to him, as of his own motion of an alliance between the two kingdoms, and is to have his reply in a few days. Cannot conceal that he heard from his brother that the King designate of Sweden had applied to him for a safe conduct through the Sound in order to sail to England to carry out the contract of marriage he had entered into with her Majesty. Cannot believe that this is true or that anyone can be more bound to the Queen by duty or promise than her Majesty's most devoted brother. If the Queen will deign to write him again a few words, it will relieve the state of sadness in which he has been since he left England.—"Datum in arce nostra Suavestede xxj Augusti Annorum l.x. Vestræ S. deditissimus frater, Adolphus Holsatiæ Dux."
Holograph. 2 pp. Latin. (147. 16.)
Sir Nicholas Bacon and Sir William Cecil.
[c. 1560.] "Slanders, lies and scoldings, maliciously, grossly and impudently vomited and jangled out in certain traitorous books and pamphlets, concerning two Councillors, Sir Nicholas Bacon, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal, and Sir William Cecil, principal Secretary to her Majesty."
Endorsed: "Extract from a curious MS., thought to be composed by that able statesman, Sir William Cecil": about 1560. 2½ pp. Modern copy. (141. 26.)
Kings of Portugal.
1560. Genealogy of the Kings of Portugal, to Sebastian.
Endorsed by Cecil: 1560. In Cecil's hand. 1 p. (141. 36.)
Sir William Pickering.
1560. Letters patent, appointing days of payment of the sum of 1,290l. 11s. 10d., due by Sir William Pickering to the Queen, in connection with his mission to King Philip of Spain to receive 3,000 Almaynes for Queen Mary's service in England.
Draft, corrected by Cecil. 7½ pp. (141. 243.)
Officers of Army and Navy.
[1560.] Rates of pay for various troops. The Duke of Norfolk, Lieutenant-General in the North; Lord Gray, Lieutenant of the Army; Lord Scrope, Marshal of the Field; Lord Wharton, Counsellor Assistant; and other officers named.—Undated.
Endorsed: 1560. 1½ pp. (239. 13a.)
Bound up with the above is a list of "Captains for the land": Sir Arthur Grey, Sir James Crofts, Sir Nicholas Arnold and 60 others. Partly in Burghley's hand. Also "the names of such as have served on the seas":—Sir William Woodhous, Sir Peter Carewe, Sir John Parrotte, Sir Gawaine Carewe and 35 others.—Undated.
2 pp. (239. 13b.)
The Merchants of the Steelyard.
1560. Cloths shipped by the merchants of the Stillyard since they were first respited by a letter from the Council for the payment of their custom.—1560.
1 sheet. (247. 64.)
The Merchant Adventurers' Grievances.
[1560.] Doleances of the Merchants Adventurers exhibited against those of the Hanse.—Undated.
pp. (247. 71.)
The Hanse.
[? 1560.] Note of petitions presented to Sir William Petre by the Aldermen of the Stillyard, in the name of the Society of the Dutch Hanse, remaining presently in London.— Undated.
1 p. (247. 119.)
Export of Wool.
[? 1560 and 1561.] A series of papers relating to the export trade in wool and the customs duty derived therefrom, apparently arising in connexion with a proposal that the "Queen's Majesty take into her hands the utterance of all the wool that shall pass out of the realm," viz.:—
(1) A paper endorsed in Cecil's handwriting "Staple Matters," being notes of the various statutes relating to the Staple in England.
pp. (139. 253.)
(2) The reckoning of two thousand "serplers" of wools and three hundred thousand "felles" as it was commonly bought and sold in King Henry VIII's reign, during the time of the intercourse, when the "angle" was at 7s. 6d. the piece, and the exchange at 26s. 8d. Flemish for the pound sterling.
Estimated gain on the sale of 267 sacks of Leinster wools bought in England at 20s. the tod or 13l. the sack and packed in 300 pockets (which is 100 serplers), 1,604l.
Similar calculations are made for "Marche" wools, "Cotsold" wools, Berkshire wools, Clyfte wools and fells, the total gain being estimated at 17,881l.
This value is esteemed after the rate as most commonly the buying and selling was in those days. But most men made a great deal better reckonings. It may well be reckoned their gain in 2,000 serplers wool and 300,000 fells was not under 25,000l. In the beginning of King Edward's reign there was one time that generally all men sold at the full price of the Staple according to the intercourse, for the merchants strangers claiming the intercourse desired to have all the wool in the Staple at the price. And a few of them would have bought all. Wherefore the Company of the Staple they took order and divided all the wool amongst them. But to make any certain reckoning according to the full price of the intercourse is not possible for me, for this 32 years that I have known the Staple was the full price of the intercourse never generally observed by all men but only at that time above mentioned.
Since that time as since the alteration of the moneys in King Henry's time, in King Edward's time and so forth in Queen Mary's time, their gains hath been much more: for while the exchange was under 20s. Flemish the pound there was great profit in the Staple. But the times were so uncertain by reason of the often altering of the exchange that it is not possible to make any reckoning thereof with any certainty or truth.
Unsigned. Undated. Endorsed in Burghley's handwriting: "Accompt of ijm. serplars accord. to ye. sale ao. H. 8." 2 pp. (139. 254.)
(3) Henry VIII, for seven years, granted to all strangers exemption from paying more custom than Englishmen, wherefore I think that if the Queen would grant such a freedom to the Venetians for ever they would give at least 100,000 lire and the following advantages would ensue:—Wealthy merchants would come from Venice, whereas now there are only factors; if other nations followed the example of the Venetians and wished to acquire the same freedom, the Queen would draw therefrom at least 250,000 lire and the country would be enriched as Venice, Lyons and Antwerp have been by the like freedom; thirdly, the English, to have their customs as before and not pay more than others, would disburse a good sum of money.
Italian. 1 p. (139. 256.)
(4) The merchants of the Staple of late time have brought yearly to Calais 1,300 serplers of divers country wools or thereabouts, weighing 3,600 sacks English weight more or less, or 364lbs., the prince levying 40s. a sack for his custom. There also go to the same Staple 400,000 fells on which the custom is 2d. a fell.
[Particulars follow of other charges of the merchants for packing and repacking, freight, etc.]
There went out of England 120 sacks of Leinster wool at 13l. 10s. the sack; 650 sacks of March wool at 9l. the sack; 1,000 sacks of Cotswold wool at 8l.; 800 sacks of Berkshire at 7l.; 150 sacks of young Cotswold at 6l. 6s. 8d.; 880 sacks of Clifte wool at 5l. 4s. and 400,000 fells at 3l. 6s. 8d. the hundred.
The weight in England is so much more than the weight of Calais. A sack of wool in England containeth 52 nails: at Calais 90 nailes, every nail 4lb. and every pound 14 oz.: and a naile in England is 7lb. and every lb. 16oz., so that 45 nailes in England made just a sack in Calais—whereupon there is 7 nailes advantage in every sack. Item, there is allowed to every buyer by the seller in every serpler 4 nailes and 1 naile at the draught which maketh 5 nailes of the weight of England. Item, there was allowed by the Prince's weigher when the wool was customed 7 nailes of English weight in every serpler and 1 naile in the draught, 8 nailes in all. Item, every serpler was weighed at the King's beam in Calais after good weight and the canvas that is about every serpler is sold for wool, and weigheth 2 nailes after the weight of England and is worth 10s. 8d., after 12l. a sack, the canvas costing 4s., and so is there gotten in every serpler 6s. 8d. Item, the merchants did buy fells here in England by 6 score to the hundred and at Calais sold 5 score to the hundred and the price of every hundred one with another at Calais was 5l. and here in England but 3l. 6s. 8d.
pp. (139. 257.)
(5) Information as to wool in England.
Weight.—7lb.: 1 naile; 2 nailes: 1 stone; "14lbs. or 2 stone" (sic): 1 todde; 13 todde: 1 sack.
Sorts.—"Leinster" wool growing in Hertfordshire; "Marche" in Shropshire and Staffordshire; "Cotswold" in Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire; "Berks" in Berkshire, Warwickshire and Buckinghamshire and in the west part of Northamptonshire; "Keisten" and "Linsaye" in Lincoln, Leicester, Rutland, Bedford and Huntingdonshires and in the east part of Northamptonshire.
Packing.—In "clothes" called "serplers" made of 13 ells of ell-broad canvas called "barras" canvas, in which are put 40 toddes of wool commonly and 2 of those serplers is carried for a todde.
Charges.—For carriage, packing, freight, custom, etc., commonly about 5l. on the serpler or 33s. 4d. upon a pocket.
Weight of wools at Calais:—4 pound is a nail, and 90 nail maketh a sack, Calais weight.
Prices according to the intercourse with the Emperor.—Good Leinster 33 marks the sack, middle Leinster 25 marks; good Marche 26 marks, middle Marche 17½ marks; good Cots[wold] 20 marks, middle Cotswold 14½ marks; good Berks 18 marks, middle Berks 13½ marks; good young Cootes 16 marks, middle young Cootes 12½ marks; good Linsay 14½ marks, middle Linsay 11½ marks; good Kesten 13½ marks, middle Kestein 10½ marks.
These prices they do not always sell for, but they do always hope to receive our money after the table or 28s. Flemish for our pound sterling table.
1 p. (139. 259.)
(6) Calculations as to Cotswold wools.
(139. 260.)
(7) "What advantage and profit it will be more to the Queen's Majesty and the Common Weale of this realm by the taking of the utterance of all the wools and fells into her own hands that shall pass out of England, than it will be if the same be letten out unto merchants."
1 p. (139. 261.)
(8) "Causes moving me to deliver unto my Lord certain articles and a reckoning touching wools and fells."
When I heard that the charter of the Staple was taken to be void by the loss of Calais, that the custom was raised upon the merchants of the Staple and that a greater custom was offered by others being no merchants of the Staple, it seemed to me that neither the one nor the other could prosper being so charged so long as no provision is to abate the price of wools; for on the one side the dearth of wools and fells within this 30 years have brought the Staple to such a case that a great many towns in Holland and Flanders be fallen to clothing of Spanish wools and return not to clothing of English wool again, so that if it had not been for two towns in Holland which have a trade in making of fresadoes of coarse wools and of fells, the Staple could not thus long have been upohlden. And if other that trade of fresadoes decay, or else the dearth of English wools cause them to fall to the clothing of Spanish wool, the Staple cannot continue to pay any great custom. And on the other side, though those other merchants (as men wanting experience of these things) offer a great custom to get the whole trade into their hands, thinking to be great gainers, yet in the end it will fall out otherwise, and then the commodity of wools and fells is like to be of no reputation. These articles not to be taken to be done purposedly against the merchants of the Staple, for I have all my life been brought up in that trade, and therefore intend not to be against them but rather wish to do them good.
Unsigned. 1 p. (139. 262.)
(9) The difference between the custom of 2,000 serplers of wool and 300,000 fells as the merchants pay for it and as otherwise there is to be made of it—amounting to an increase of 26,893l.
1 p. (139. 263.)
(10) The sum of money that the Staplers have saved or detained in their custom in wools shipped in London only in the years specified, viz. from 1550–1555—altogether amounting to 15,365l. 13s. 8d.
2 pp. (139. 264.)
(11) Representation from the Wool-Staplers in view of the advance of the custom on wool. They allege that they are already very much decayed, but offer an advance of 10s. on every sack of wool over and above the accustomed custom if they may pass with such wools as they have presently dearly bought, paying the old custom. They accompany the offer with petitions with regard to the custom to be paid by strangers permitted to ship upon licence, the renewal of their own privileges, the prevention of smuggling, etc., and ask that certain specified regulations may apply to all licences which may be granted. With respect to information of great fines taken by the Company for admission into the freedom of the same, they declare that though they have received divers into the freedom they gave it freely to the most, and have not levied these 20 years past to their remembrance 1,000 marks, although they have borne charges during that time above 20,000 marks for their great losses and the payment of their great debts, besides the great losses sustained by the surprise of Calais. Besides, there are already more merchants than there is wool to furnish them with. The chiefest and greatest cause of the disorders among the merchant adventurers hath grown by the number of redemptioners.
Endorsed: "Staplers' offer. 1559." 2½ pp. (139. 266.)
(12) "Whether it be better for the Commonweal to have wool and other commodities of the realm dear or cheap."
Better to have wool cheap than dear, for there are many more wearers of woollen commodity than growers of wool.
Endorsed by Cecil: "13 Martii, 1559." 2½ pp (139. 268.)
(13) Paper endorsed by Cecil, "22 Februar: a replication to maintain the former discourse"—apparently a reply to objections raised against the writer's calculations by the wool-staplers. At the bottom is the request, "I beseech your honour let not my handwriting be seen. I am suspected already but I force not for it so your honour be my buckler."
See S.P. Dom. Vol. XV, No. 65. 2½ pp. (139. 270.)
(14) A note of such wool and wool-fells as hath been shipped and transported out of the realm by merchants of the Staple, together with the custom and subsidy paid for the same in the years ensuing—that is from 2 and 3 Philip and Mary to 2 Elizabeth. Endorsed by Cecil.
2 pp. (139. 272.)
(15) The reckoning of wools bought in England in a°. 1559 and sold at Bruges in anno 1560. Endorsed by Cecil.
2 pp. (139. 273.)
(16) The prices of wools in the Staple as it was rated by the intercourse, as it was sold in the time of King Henry VIII, as it was sold at Bruges in A°. Dni. 1560, and as it is like to be sold and uttered if the Queen's Majesty take the same into her own hands. Endorsed by Cecil.
2 pp. (139. 275.)
(17) The reckoning of 2,000 serplers of wool and 300,000 fells as they be like to the bought and sold if the Queen's Majesty take into her hands the utterance of all the wools that shall be carried out of the realm, whereby appeareth what profit yearly will come thereof unto her Majesty.
The profit is estimated at 44,928l.
Endorsed by Cecil: "June, 1560. An account against the Staple." 2 pp. (139. 277.)
(18) Certain articles and reasons to declare how the Queen's Majesty may make the best commodity and advantage of the custom of wools and fells both for her Majesty and the Common weale of this realm.
5 pp. (139. 280.)
(19) May it please your Honour to be advertised that according to your commandment I have drawn forth a note of all such clothes, both short and long, whites and colours, dressed and undressed, as also of carsaies and western dosses which the merchants of the Still-yard have packed since the 4th of July, 1560, until the 27th February, 1560[–1], viz.:
Short cloths, whites, undressed 5,138.
Long cloths, whites, undressed 99.
Short cloths, coloured and dressed 2,679.
Long cloths, coloured and dressed 51.
Carsaies, 91, whereof 3 for a short cloth.
West dosses, narrow, 171, whereof 4 for a short cloth. 1 p. (139. 283.)
(20) A paper in Sir William Cecil's hand beginning "To be considered, how the commodities of cloth and wool might be stapled here in the realm and vented forth of the same."
Sets out reasons for and against.
1 p. (139. 284.)
(21) A declaration shewing what loss the Queen's Majesty hath sustained by lack of diligent circumspection of the weight of wools transported out of this realm.
Endorsed: Mr. Lowe. Unsigned. Undated. (139. 292.)