The Spanish Company. Originally published by London Record Society, London, 1973.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by London Record Society. All rights reserved.
REGISTER BOOK, 1604–1606
(B.M., Add. MS. 9365)
1. [p. 1] An assembly held at the dwelling house of Mr. Thomas Wilford the last president on Friday 16 March 1604 in the presence of Thomas Wilford and the following:
2. Sir Robert Lee, alderman, Sir John Watts, alderman, George Hanger, George Collymere, Robert Cobb, Arthur Jaxon, Andrew Banning, John Dorrington.
3. The persons named above and other English merchants of the society, being free of Spain and Portugal entreated Richard Langley, 'the Solicitour of the Citties lawe causes', to ascertain how the company might procure from the king a confirmation of the charters and liberties previously granted by the king's ancestors to the English merchants trading to Spain and Portugal. They also asked Langley to become the secretary of the company,
which he dowbted he should not be hable to dischardg by reason of other ymployments unlesse he gave over some other place or office which he enioyed. Yett neverthelesse he thought himself so much bound to the said woorshipfull parsons for their love and good opynyon conceyved of him that he would dischardg himself of some other [p. 2] ymployments and accept of their loving and kinde offer.
He then informed the company that the old charter was shortly to be presented to the lord chancellor, who would give orders for the drawing up of a new charter of confirmation which would soon receive the great seal. It was therefore agreed that a committee consisting of Sir John Watts, Paul Banning, Thomas Wilford, John Harby, George Hanger, Richard Weech, John Dorrington, Roger Howe and Laurence Greene, or any six of them, accompanied by Richard Langley, should attend the chancellor on the matter of the charter. In addition it was agreed to levy 20s. apiece on the following persons, to cover the charges thereby incurred:
4. Sir Robert Lee, Sir John Watts, Paul Banning, Richard Staper, John Harby, George Hanger, George Collymere, Richard Weech, Robert Cobb, William Gore, John Dorrington, William Towreson, Francis Barnes, John Bate, Arthur Jaxon, Roger Howe, Joseph Jaxon, Thomas Bostock, Edward James, William Cokayne, Laurence Greene, William Stone, Andrew Banning, Jeffrey Kerby, Robert Bowyer, Thomas Allabaster, Leonard Parker, Robert Jenny, William Jennings.
5. [p. 3] A court held at the house of Thomas Wilford, president, on Thursday 29 March 1604, in the presence of Mr. Wilford and the following:
6. Sir Robert Lee, Sir William Romeney, Robert Chamberlen, Richard Staper, John Newman, George Hanger, John Hawes, Richard Weech, William Cokayne, John Dorrington, John Bate, John Highlord, Nevill Davies, Robert Bowyer, Andrew Banning, Robert Cobb, George Collymere, Roger Howe.
7. At this court, 'the charter of our Soveraigne Lord King James purporting a confirmation of the Companies former charters and liberties was openly shewed to the company under the greate seale of England'. The charge for renewing it came to £26 7s. 4d., 'as by a particuler bill thereof under the hand of one of the Clarcks of the Chauncery appeared'. The sum was disbursed by Richard Langley, employed by the company to procure the same confirmation.
8. Thomas Burgh, former servant and apprentice to George Hanger, 'did humbly desire that he may be admitted into the freedome of this company'. It was agreed that he should 'produce and shewe furth his Indenture whereby he claymeth the same'.
9. [p. 4] Those present at the last assembly explained that they had employed Richard Langley to pursue the confirmation of the charter, and had moved him to take on the office of company secretary.
It hath nowe pleased all the woorshipfull parsons here assembled to signifie their generall likinge and consente and approbation of the said Richard Langley. But they cannott determyne of any perfect or absolute graunt, nor agree upon any certen fee untill a generall court and a greater assembly to allowe of the same.
10. It was also thought very fit to send letters to the privileged ports, namely Bristol, Exeter, Hull, Barnstaple, Southampton, King's Lynn ('Lyne'), Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Plymouth, Ipswich and Chester ('Westchester'), informing them that the king had ratified the charter of the company. Thomas Wilford and Richard Langley were asked to see that letters were sent out from the company as a whole but signed by Mr. Wilford as president. He was also asked to take some of the assistants and Langley with him, if he thought it convenient, 'and to take sound advise of some lerned Counsailour of good experience and Judgment upon the said letters patents of confirmation so passed and graunted by the king's moast Excellent Majestie as aforesaid'.
11. As Thomas Wilford was the last president to be elected, 'and never yett displaced, they all agree that he shall contynue in the said place'. The following persons were thought 'very fitt and sufficient men [p. 5] out of which the Assistentz should be elected on th'election day being yerely the Munday before the Assentionday'. They were Sir John Spencer, Sir Robert Lee, Sir Richard Goddard, Sir John Watts, Sir Thomas Smyth, Sir Thomas Cambell, Sir William Romney, Richard Staper, John Highlord, Paul Banning, Robert Dow, Thomas Bramley, William Cokayne, Robert Hawes, John Hall, Francis Barnes, Roger How, Robert Chamberlen, Thomas Forman, John Newman, George Collymere, Nicholas Stile, Oliver Stile, Nicholas Ling, Richard Gore, Robert Bowyer, Thomas Allabaster, Richard Weech, Arthur Jaxon, George Hanger, Robert Cobb, John Dorrington, John Bate, and John Harby.
12. 'A Generall Courte holden at Pewterers hall on Munday in the afternoon before the Ascentian day, the 14th day of May, Anno Domini 1604 . . . being also th'election day appointed by the letters patents.'
13. The following worshipful members of the company were present: Thomas Wilford the last president, Sir Thomas Pullyson, Sir Robert Lee and Sir John Watts, William Cokayne, John Hawes, George Collymere, George Hanger, Robert Cobb, Robert Bowyer, John Bate, Robert Savage, Nicholas Peele, William [p. 6] Stone, John Brooke, Nevill Davis, William Jennyngs, Allen Thompson, George Samuell, 'and dyvers others who were sonnes and servaunts to freemen, and may laufully be admytted into the freedome by patrymony or service'.
14. Since the king by his letters patent had confirmed the charters and liberties previously granted to this society of merchants trading to Spain and Portugal, the letters patent were read out in English to the whole assembly.
15. Then three letters were read out, from the merchants of Bristol, Chester and Exeter respectively. They were in reply to the letters recently sent out advising them of the confirmation of the charters and liberties of the company, in accordance with the orders of the last court.
16. Thomas Wilford the last president, Sir Robert Lee and Sir John Watts were nominated as candidates for the office of president in the coming year. 'And by full election by hands the said Mr. Thomas Wilford was freelie chosen againe with such fees and commodities as he did formerlie enioy, and in open Court this day tooke his oath accordinglie for the due execution of the said place.'
17. The company decided not to elect a deputy president 'untill further occasion should require'.
18. [p. 7] William Cockayne, Roger Howe and Richard Weech were then nominated as candidates in the election of the treasurer for the coming year. Roger Howe was elected, 'but by reason of his absence, his oath is deferred, and allowance of his suerties untill an other Court'.
19. Divers members of the company were nominated as assistants (fn. 1) for the coming year, and the following were elected from among them:
20. Sir Thomas Pullison, Sir Robert Lee, alderman, Sir John Watts, alderman, Sir Thomas Cambell, alderman, Sir William Romeny, alderman, Richard Staper, Robert Chamberlen, William Cockayne, John Newman, John Highlord, John Hawes, George Collymere, Richard Weech, George Hanger, Robert Cobb, John Harby, Andrew Bannyng, Thomas Allabaster, Nicholas Lyng, Robert Bowyer, Francis Barnes, Arthur Jaxon, John Dorrington, John Bate, Robert Savage, Edward James, William Toureson, Lawrence Greene, Nicholas Peele, William Jennyngs.
21. Of these thirty persons only thirteen were present, namely Sir Thomas Pullison, Sir Robert Lee, Sir John Watts, Mr. Cokaynes, Mr. Hawes, Mr. Collymere, Mr. Bowyer, Mr. Hanger, Mr. Cobb, Mr. Bate, Mr. Savage, Mr. Peele and Mr. Jennyngs. The above 'tooke their oathes accordinglie and the residue are to take their othes at some other tyme'.
22. [p. 8] 'And Concerning the ten assistants, to be chosen out of the Cuntry, (fn. 2) to make upp the nomber of fortie for the Citty of London, according to the letters patents, there were only chosen at this Court these fyve following viz.'
23. John Hopkyns and John Barker for Bristol, Thomas Walker for Exeter, James Bagg for Plymouth, Fulck Aldersey for Chester. The nomination of the other five was deferred until the company should receive letters from the port towns.
24. Also present at this court were John Howell and Henry Sweete of Exeter, 'which said Mr. Howell is one of the present Burgesses of the parliament for Exetour, but not free of this Company. (fn. 3) But the said Mr. Sweet is a free Marchaunt of Spayne and Portingale'.
25. As the last secretary and beadle were both dead, two names were put forward 'for order sake and according to Custome', for each post. (fn. 4) Richard Langley and George Samnell stood for secretary; Richard Colman and Thomas Wilford the younger stood for the post of beadle. By general consent and show of hands, Richard Langley was freely chosen as secretary, and Richard Coleman was elected beadle. Each was to hold his office with the fees, allowances and duties [p. 9] belonging to it, as were formerly paid to Richard Maye, secretary, and George Turner, beadle. Thereupon in open court each took the oath proper to his office.
26. 'John ApJohn the comon Cryer of this Cittie attending upon my Lord Maior', was elected as the officer of the company 'to commytt disobedient brothers that shall offend, Contrary to the orders of the company, with such fee as formerlie hath byn allowed'.
27.A court of assistants held at Pewterers' Hall on Thursday 24 May 1604 in the presence of Thomas Wilford, president, Roger Howe, treasurer, and the following assistants:
28. Sir Robert Lee, alderman, Sir John Watts, alderman, John Highlord, John Hawes, George Collymere, George Hanger, Robert Cobb, Andrew Bannyng, Nicholas Lyng, John Dorrington, John Bate, Robert Savage, William Jennyngs.
29. Mr. Bannyng, Mr. Lyng and Mr. Dorrington, who were absent from the last general court at which they were chosen as assistants, 'did receive and take the oath in that Case made and provyded'.
30. [p. 10] Roger Howe, elected treasurer at the same court, took the usual oath 'for the due and lawfull Execution of the said office. But the allowance of Suerties is deferred untill an other Court'.
31. The president then submitted to the court for its consideration 'certen articles by him drawne to be offered to the Lords of the Counsaill on the behalf of the Company, to be required at the hands of the king of Spayne, yf a peace shalbe Concluded upon betweene our most Gratious soveraigne Lord the king, and the said king of Spaine'. The articles were read several times, 'and the Conceipts and opynions of every man heard', but eventually their detailed consideration was left to the president, the treasurer, Sir John Watts, Sir William Romeny, Mr. Cockayne, Mr. Weech, Mr. Hanger, Mr. Harby, Mr. Jaxon and Mr. Dorrington. They were also asked to present the articles to the lords of the privy council.
32. It was also ordered 'that all such persons as challendge the freedome of this Company shall sett down their Clayme in wryting, and delyver it to the Secretary, whoe shall present the said Claymes at the next court after he hath received the same.'
33. Andrew Bannyng and John Bate took their oaths as freemen by ancient trade, each paying 6s. 8d. to the treasurer to the use of the company.
34. [p. 11] 'A Generall Court entended at Pewterers' 'Hall the 8th of June 1604. Unto which Court there only resorted Mr. Presedent, Mr. Treasurer, Sir Thomas Pullison, Sir Robert Lee, Mr. Cockayne, Mr. Hawes, Mr. Hanger, Mr. Cobb, Mr. Ling, Mr. Jaxon, Mr. Dorrington, Mr. Bate, Mr. Savage and Mr. Peele, (being of the assistents), and only Mr. John Hall, Mr. Nevill Davis, and Mr. Jeffrey Davis of the generallytie. So as for want of sufficyent apparance the said generall Court could not be held.' Nevertheless as Mr. Hanger the last treasurer was present he was asked to prepare his accounts and present them at the next general court. He was also asked to make an immediate payment from the money still in his hands towards the charges of renewing the company charter, and for a gratuity for Sir Daniel Dunne and Sir Thomas Edmonds, 'who are ymployed by the lords about the articles of peace'. Mr. Hanger promised to pay to Roger Howe, his successor as treasurer, the sum of £20 provided he received a receipt for the payment, 'that he be not afterwards required the same by others, and soe dryven to make double payment thereof'. It was agreed that such a receipt should be provided for him.
35. [p. 12] A general court held at Pewterers' Hall on the morning of Friday 20 August 1604, in the presence of Thomas Wilford, president, Roger Howe, treasurer, and the following assistants:
36. Sir Thomas Pullison, Sir Robert Lee, Sir John Watts, Mr. Stapers, Mr. Chamberlen, Mr. Highelord, Mr. Collymere, Mr. Weech, Mr. Harby, Mr. Cobb, Mr. Bannyng, Mr. Lyng, Mr. Dorrington, Mr. Savage, Mr. James, Mr. Peele, Mr. Jennyngs, and divers of the generality.
37. The minutes of the last general court and also of the last court of assistants were read and confirmed.
38. The following were then admitted into the freedom of the society by service; Nicholas Farrar, skinner, formerly servant to John Harby, skinner, Edward James, merchant tailor, formerly servant to John James, and Thomas Altham son of Thomas Altham, clockworker, free of this company and also servant to William Jennyngs. They took the oath of freemen by ancient trade, each paying 6s. 8d. to the treasurer.
39. Richard Staper, Robert Chamberlen, John Highlord, Richard Weech, John Harbie and Edward James, 'who were lately elected to be of the assistents, did also receive the oath in that Case ordayned'.
40. [p. 13] It was ordered that the president, the treasurer, Sir John Watts, Sir William Romeny, Mr. Staper, Mr. Cockayne, Mr. Weech, Mr. Allabaster, Mr. Jaxon, and Mr. Dorrington, 'shall attend the Lords, against the Cunstable of Casteele shall come over'. (fn. 5) They or any six of them were authorised
to treat and conclude of matters for the benefitt of the Companie, and to disburse money for the necessary affaires, and good of the Company. And that which they or any sixe of them shall doe the Company will allowe.
41. The draft of a charter drawn up by the president was read out in court, 'to be procured from the king of Spayne unto this Company'. The matter was referred for the consideration of the members of the committee named above.
42. It was agreed that the treasurer should borrow £100 at interest for six months, as payment for the charges involved in the renewal of the company charter, for officers' fees, and other items of company business. All those present at the court faithfully promised,
that if Mr. Treasurer before th'expiration of the said 6 monethes, shall not receive to th'use of the said Companie, by fynes for freemen, and other laufull meanes, soe much money as shall paie the said one hundreth pownds, and interest and all other chardges that he shall disburse for the good of the Company, that then they and everie of them share, and share lyke would satisfy and [p. 14] pay so much laufull englishe money a peece as in the whole should amount to the said £100 and interest.
To ensure this it was agreed that a copy of the order or a document to the same effect should be drawn up and kept by the treasurer, to which all the above should put their names.
43. It was ordered that James Weech, formerly apprenticed to Sir Richard Saltingstall, and John Aspshawe formerly apprenticed to Simon Bourman, both of whom were now beyond the seas but lawfully able to claim their freedoms, 'shall not be ympeached for trading untill they returne into England'.
44. Sir Roger James, alderman of London, resorted to the court asking to be made free of the company by redemption.
And this assembly supposing that he had given over, either being a Retailour or Artificer were Content to accept of his Woorship into the said freedome. But first they advysed hym to heare redd the oath of a freeman by Redemption. After the reading whereof, he refused to be sworne thereunto, and soe departed, and surceased his suyte.
45. [p. 15] A court of assistants held at Pewterers' Hall, 23 August 1604, in the presence of Thomas Wilford, president, Roger Howe, treasurer, and the following assistants:
46. Sir Thomas Pullison, Mr. Stapers, Mr. Chamberlen, Mr. Cokayne, Mr. Cullymore, Mr. Weech, Mr. Cobb, Mr. Andrew Bannyng, Mr. Lyng, Mr. Jaxon, Mr. Dorrington, Mr. Savage, Mr. James, Mr. Greene, Mr. Peele, Mr. Jennyngs.
47. John Mokett of Weymouth came to the court to request the freedom of the company, 'alleadging that he hath ben an auncient merchant trading Spayne. But he was aunswered that he must be referred to Southampton where his clayme should be examined'.
48. It was ordered and agreed that a committee should be constituted, to 'meete togeather and appoynt all such persons to be warned before them as either clayme their freedome by Patrymony or service, or desyre to be admitted by redemption, and to conferr with them and examyne their claymes and understand their suite and to make report att the next court'. (fn. 6)
49. Lawrence Greene, grocer, former servant to the late alderman Robert Brooke, was admitted to the freedom of the company by service, taking the oath of a freeman by ancient trade and paying 6s. 8d. to the treasurer. Afterwards he was also sworn in as an assistant.
50. [p. 16] Nicholas Oseley, clothworker, former servant to Sir James Hawes, was admitted to the freedom by service, taking the oath of a freeman by ancient trade. (fn. 7)
51. A general court held at Pewterers' Hall on the morning of Friday 31 August 1604, in the presence of Thomas Wilford, president, Roger Howe, treasurer, and the following assistants:
52. Mr.Stapers, Mr.Chamberlen, Mr.Newman, Mr.Collymer, Mr.Cobb, Mr.Harby, Mr.Bowyer, Mr.Jackson, Mr.Dorrington, Mr.Bate, Mr. James, Mr.Greene, Mr.Peele, Mr.Jennyngs.
53. William Towerson son of William Towerson, skinner, and John Hall and Humphrey Hall sons of John Hall, draper, were admitted into the freedom by patrimony.
54. The following ten persons were admitted into the freedom by service: Ralph Edmunds by service with Sir Thomas Pullyson, draper, 'being also recommended by letter from Don John de Taxis one of the Ambassadors of the king of Spayne', Thomas Seracold by service with John Newton, mercer, John Worsupp and Francis Taylor by service with Robert Cobb, girdler, William Evans by service with the late alderman John Moore, skinner, Leonard Harwood by service with William Mascall, mercer, Gawen Walcott by service with John Hall, draper, Robert Angell by service with Augustine Fowlks, grocer, Thomas Southake by service with Alderman William Massam, grocer, and John Ramridge by service with William Barker, mercer. The three previously made free by patrimony together with the ten made free by service [p. 17] paid 6s. 8d. each to the treasurer and took the oath appointed for freemen by ancient trade.
55. Two more persons were admitted into the freedom by service. The first was William Speight, former servant of Alderman Sir Robert Lee, merchant tailor, who paid £10 to the treasurer as his master Sir Robert Lee had done on his admission. The second was William Cater, servant to John Dent, salter, who paid £5 to the treasurer as his master had done on his admission. Then, George Benson, merchant tailor, a mere merchant and not free of any other company of merchants, was admitted into the freedom by redemption and paid £10 to the treasurer for the same. The three new members took the oath appointed for freemen received by redemption.
56. John Newman, Arthur Jaxon and William Towerson, 'lately elected to be of the Assistents, did receave the oath in that case ordeyned'.
57. The assistants and generality present at this court were pleased
of their free good will and bownty (without any suite made for the same) to graunt unto Richard Langley their Secretary the freedome of this company, to have and enioy for him selff his Children and servants in as large and beneficiall manner as any auncyent merchant or other freeman whatsoever for which extraordinary favor the said Richard Langley did acknowledge himselff much bownd to the company.
He then took the oath appointed for freemen by ancient trade, which was administered to him in open court by the president, and paid 6s. 8d. to the treasurer.
58. [p. 18] Richard Colman the beadle was also granted his freedom without his making any prior suit for it, 'to have and enioy onely during so long tyme as he shall contynewe officer unto the company'. He was admitted and sworn in accordingly.
59. It was ordered and agreed that every person admitted into the freedom by patrimony or service should pay 12d. to the secretary and 6d. to the beadle. Those admitted by redemption should pay 2s. to the secretary and 12d. to the beadle. In addition, the secretary was empowered to collect 12d. for the enrolment of each indenture, any former orders to the contrary notwithstanding.
60. Forasmuch as during the tyme of the breach betweene our late Soveraigne Lady Queene Elizabeth and the king of Spain dyvers persons of this company being withowt hope of any peace or reconsiliation did omytt owt of their apprentices Indentures the words 'Marchant of Spayne and Portyngale', so as by the stricknes of an auncyent order noe such persons can clayme the benefitt of their freedome of Spayne and Portyngale by any such servyce, yt is neverthelesse (upon full and deliberate consideration) att this court concluded and agreed that all such persons as were bound to any freeman of this company att any tyme sithence the yere of our Lord God one thowsand fyve hundreth eightie fyve untill this present daye shall and may be dispensed withall and be admitted into the freedome notwithstanding the omitting of the said words, soe as they make just prooff of their service, and also make their clayme before the feast of Christmas next ensewing, and so as the Indenture of every apprentice already bound be inrolled with the Secretary before the said feast of Christmas next.
61. [p. 19] It was also agreed that all indentures made after the date of this court should observe the ancient order for the inserting of the words 'merchant of Spain and Portugal'. Every indenture which omitted the words should be regarded as void concerning the freedom of the company.
62. A letter was read out from the duke of Lennox 'for the preferring of a Consull in Spayne', but the company took further time to consider the matter. (fn. 8)
63. It was agreed that letters should at once be written 'unto the Cuntry to the severall dyvisions and ports', each containing a copy of the articles of the peace together with a translation of them into English.
64. It was agreed to set up a committee of the following members or any six of them, namely the president, the treasurer, Sir John Watts, Sir William Romeney, Mr. Staper, Mr. Cokayne, Mr. Weech, Mr. Allabaster, Mr. Jaxon and Mr. Dorrington. They were to consider
the paynes and travell of such as have ben ymployed for the good of the Company, towching the Articles concluded upon in the treaty of peace betweene England and Spayne. And what they or any sixe of them shall thinck fitt to bestowe upon them, this court will allowe.
65. A further committee consisting of the following members or any five of them was also set up, namely the president, the treasurer, Mr. Dorrington, Mr. Jaxon, Mr. Bates, Mr. James, Mr. Nevill Davys and Mr. Bostock. They were
entreated to consider what seale or certificate is required by the Article to be for our goods to passe into Spayne withowt danger or trowble. And to procure letters from my Lord Treasurer that none but freemen of this company maye be admitted to enter their goods to be sent into Spayne or Portingale.
66. It was agreed that if Mr. Hanger the last treasurer did not bring in his account within fourteen days of [p. 20] due warning, 'that then he shalbe comytted by Mr. President for his contempt'.
67. It was also agreed that every indenture of apprenticeship already made to any freeman of the company must be enrolled with the secretary within the following year. Every indenture made thereafter must be enrolled with the secretary within a year of its being made, 'upon payne that the master of every such apprentice shall forfeit to the use of the company for every such Indenture which shall not be enrowled as aforesaid the some of Tenn shillings'.
68. A general court held at Pewterers' Hall on the morning of Friday 7 September 1604 in the presence of the president, the treasurer, and the following assistants:
69. Sir Thomas Pullison, Sir William Romeney, Robert Chamberlen, John Newman, George Collymere, Richard Weech, George Hanger, Robert Cobb, Andrew Bannyng, Nicholas Lyng, Robert Bowyer, John Dorrington, John Bate, Robert Savage, Edward James, William Towerson.
70. After the reading and confirmation of the acts of the last general court the proceedings were as follows:
71. Sir William Romeney, alderman of London, 'who was elected one of the assistants did att this court receave the oath in that case provyded'.
72. [p. 21] George Hanger the former treasurer brought in his account, whereupon eight auditors were appointed to examine it. They were Richard Weech, Robert Cobb, Andrew Bannyng, John Bate, Edward James and William Towerson from among the assistants, and Mr. Castlyn and Mr. Cletherowe of the generality. At least five of them were to 'subscribe their names thereunto according to the auncyent orders of this company'.
73. It was agreed that Sir John Watts, who preceded Mr. Hanger as treasurer, 'and never yett accoumpted', should be warned to present his account to a general court with all convenient speed.
74. The following six persons were admitted into the freedom of the company by patrimony: John Newman the younger son of John Newman, grocer, Phillip Smyth son of Phillip Smyth, haberdasher, Nathaniel Martyn son of Sir Richard Martyn, goldsmith, Christopher Cletherowe son of Henry Cletherowe, ironmonger, Simon Lawrence son of Simon Lawrence, grocer, and Richard Shorter, merchant tailor, son of William Shorter, draper. Each paid 6s. 8d. to the treasurer for the use of the company, and took the oath of a freeman by the ancient trade.
75. The following eleven persons were made free by service: Nicholas Buckeridg by service with John Newman, grocer, William Woder by service with Thomas Bramley, haberdasher, Nicholas Smyth, by service with Jerrard Gore the elder, merchant tailor, William Wastell, grocer, by service with Andrew Bannyng, Jeffrey Kerby, grocer, by service with Paul Bannyng, Gyles Parslowe, grocer, by service with Francis [p. 22] Bowyer, Alderman Leonard Parker, haberdasher, by service with William Welden, William Stone, skinner, by service with William Towreson, John Sherrington by service with Robert Cobb, girdler, William Adderley, merchant tailor, by service with Richard Maye, and William Aldington by service with Roger Howe, mercer. They each paid 6s. 8d. to the treasurer to the use of the company and took the oath of freemen by ancient trade.
76. 'And John Suracold alias Seracold who hath ben an auncyent merchant and was long remayning in Spayne is admitted into the freedome by reason he is named in the charter or patent graunted by the late Queene Elizabeth'. He paid the treasurer 6s. 8d. to the use of the company and received the oath of a freeman by ancient trade.
77. Edmond Burton, draper, 'a meere merchant and a trader into Spayne' was admitted into the freedom by redemption, paying £10 to the treasurer to the use of the company and taking the oath of a freeman by redemption.
78. Thomas Dalby, mercer, and Edward Davenant, merchant tailor,
whoe desyred the freedome by Redemption were not allowed at this court by reason they are supposed to be retaylors, and keapers of warehowses. And neither are they sonnes nor were they apprentizes of any marchants, and therefore thought not capable of the said freedome. Neverthelesse they are appoynted to attend the Committees hereafter named, whoe are entreated to advise and consider fully of th'estate of their requests and to report their opynions att the next generall courte.
79. [p. 23] It was ordered and agreed that two new members, Mr. Bates and Mr. Castlyn, should be added to the committee of seven appointed at a court of assistants on 23 August 1604, making nine in all. The seven original members were the president, the treasurer, Mr. Bannyng, Mr. Ling, Mr. Jaxon, Mr. Forman and Mr. Bostock. They or any five of them were
to meete togeather, and to cause all such persons to be warned before them that either clayme their freedome by patrymony or service, or make suite to be admitted by Redemption, and to examyne their claymes and understand the nature of their suite and what trade or profession they have heretofore used and what they nowe doe use, and whether by the trewe meaning of the Patent they hold them capable and fitt to be receaved into this socyety, and from tyme to tyme to make relation att the next generall court after such examination by them or any fyve of them made as aforesaid.
80. The president exhibited a seal which he had had made, 'with the Scutchion of the companyes armes, to be used for the sealing of such letters as shalbe written in the name of the company, which seale was liked and allowed and order gyven to Mr. Treasurer to make payement for the same'.
81. A petition to the lord high treasurer, drawn up on the advice of certain committee members, was read out in court. It desired his lordship's resolution on the article in the peace-treaty concerning the sealing and registering of English goods which bore any resemblance to those of Holland and Zeeland. It also humbly requested his lordship's honourable letters to the officers of the custom-house, 'that none may enter goods for Spayne or Portyngale unlesse they should be certified by Mr. President or his deputy or Mr. Treasurer to be free of this [p. 24] company.' The lord treasurer had given the petition a very honourable and favourable answer, 'yett referring the consideration of the first parte of the Petition to Sir Danyell Dun and Sir Thomas Edmonds, whoe were ymployed in pennyng the said articles'. (fn. 9) With regard to the latter part of the petition his lordship gave order to one of his secretaries to draw up the letter.
Neverthelesse information is gyven att this court that some newe course is entended whereupon Mr. President, Mr. Treasurer, Sir William Romeney, Mr. Dorrington and Mr. Weech are entreated by this court to attend my Lord Treasurer to understand what resolution is taken concerning the same wherein they are entreated to advise and consider and to move his Lordshipp for the best and easiest course that maye be for the good and safety of the company.
82. A general court 'entended to be houlden' at Pewterers' Hall on Wednesday 19 September 1604.
83. 'Unto which Court there onlie resorted Sir Thomas Pullison, Sir Robert Lee, Mr. Chamberlen, Mr. Newman, Mr. Collymere, Mr. Hanger, Mr. Bannyng, Mr. Jaxon, Mr. Dorrington, Mr. Savage, Mr. Toureson and Mr. Peele, and a smale nomber of the generallitie. Soe as for want of sufficyent apparance the said generall Court could not be held'.
84. A general court held at Pewterers' Hall on Thursday 20 September 1604, in the presence of the president, the treasurer, and the following assistants:
85. Sir Thomas Pullison, Sir William Romeny, Mr. Staper, Mr. Chamberlen, Mr. Cockayne, Mr. Collymere, Mr. Newman, Mr. Hanger, Mr. Bannyng, Mr. Lyng, Mr. Bowyer, Mr. Jaxon, Mr. Dorrington, Mr. Savage, Mr. Castelyne, Mr. Parslowe, Mr. Furner, and also divers of the generality.
86. [p. 25] After the reading and confirmation of the minutes of the last general court, the following business was transacted.
87. At this court the Companie falling into consideration how many courts have byn warned and nothing done for want of a competent nomber of Assistants to have byn presente at the same, and fynding that dyverse of the assistants latelie elected make default of apparance, some by reason of other ymployments, and some being beyond the Seas, and for other spetiall occasions, as namely Sir Thomas Cambell knight and Alderman, Mr. John Hawes, Mr. ffraunces Barnes, and Mr. William Jennyngs. Therefore for the better service of the Companie it is agreed that the said foure shalbe dischardged and noe longer be assistants, and foure others such as may attend the service to be elected in their places, ffor which purpose dyverse woorshipfull persons were named and put to election. But by moast voyces th'ellection did fall upon, Mr. Nicholas Style, Mr. John Castelyn, Mr. Gyles Parslowe, and Mr. Symion Furner.
The latter three being present were all sworn in as assistants, but as Mr. Style was absent he was to receive his oath at some other court.
88. The court also discussed whether Edward Davenant and Thomas Dalbie, who had lately sued for their freedom and paid £10 each to the treasurer, 'were by the true entent and meanyng of the Companies charter capable, and fitt to be received into the freedome'. It was agreed by majority vote that they were not capable and that their money should be returned, 'yett in the end the Companie thought fitt to take a further tyme to consider thereof'.
89. [p. 26] The following five persons were admitted into the freedom by service: John Stokeley by service with Thomas Owen, merchant tailor, John Stronginarme by service with Thomas Wilford, president, Clemens Fryer by service with Thomas Fryer, draper, Bryan Janson by service with Sir Thomas Pullison, and Roger Gomeldon by service with Mrs. Parnell Toureson. They all paid 6s. 8d. to the treasurer for the use of the company, taking their oaths as freemen by ancient trade.
90. George May, son of Richard May, merchant tailor, was admitted into the freedom by patrimony. He paid 6s. 8d. to the treasurer to the use of the company, and took the oath of a freeman by ancient trade.
91. The following four persons were admitted into the freedom by redemption: William Hungate, ironmonger, Phillip Jones, ironmonger, Thomas Church, draper, and Ralph Wight, grocer, 'being all mere merchants and free of noe other Companyes'. They each paid the treasurer £10 to the use of the company 'amounting in the whole to fortie powndes'.