The Spanish Company. Originally published by London Record Society, London, 1973.
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412. Sir Robert Lee, alderman, Mr. Greene, treasurer, Mr. Bannyng, Mr. Newman, Mr. Lyng, Mr. Bate, Mr. Furner, Mr. Owen, Mr. Wych, Mr. Cobb, Mr. Howe, Mr. Bond, assistants of London; Thomas Symms, 'being one of the Assistaunts for Charde', and divers of the generality.
414. Three persons claimed their freedom by ancient trade: Christopher Goodlack by service with Mrs. Parnell Towerson widow of William Towerson, skinner of London, John Humffrey by service with Andrew Bannyng, grocer, and John Moxey now of Plymouth by service with John Newton the elder, mercer and deputy of this company. They were all admitted, paying 6s. 8d. and taking their oaths.
415. Also at this court Allen Thompson, merchant tailor, named in the last charter, requested admission to the freedom by ancient trade. 'But for asmuch as he was neither the sonne or apprentice of any freeman by ancient trade, therefore it was [p. 120] resolved that he was to be admitted and sworne and to pay as a freeman received by Redemption'. He therefore paid £10 to the treasurer and took the oath appointed for a redemptioner.
416. The company was informed that the king's letters to the ambassador in Spain on their behalf had already been procured. They required him 'to move the king of Spaine for allowance of our auncient priviledges and liberties, and enlardgment thereof as neede shall requier, for the better establishing of our Consulls in Spaine'. It was nevertheless agreed that the members of the committee set up previously should become humble sutors to procure his Majesty's letters to the Duke of Medina for allowance and confirmation of such liberties as his Auncestors graunted the Company in St. Lucar de Barameda, the same letter to be Carried over by our Consull, for his better Creditt. And that such money as the Comittees shall thinck fitt to be Disbursed for procuring the same shalbe paid by Mr. Treasurer and allowed him in his Accompt.
418. And because many of the Assistaunts make default of Apparance, so as for want of a Competent nomber the Courts are often deferred, it is ordered that the fynes agreed upon by the ordynaunces shalbe levied of all such as shall absent themselves, having no iust cause of excuse, without remission or pardon.
421. At the last court it had been agreed that 'the faire Duplicat of the charter being Lymmed and bewtified with Armes' was to be sent to Spain, but now it was thought that a copy would be sufficient. This together with copies of all the privileges 'which in auncient tyme were graunted to the company in Spaine and Portugall, and are remayning with Mr. President' was to be delivered to Mr. Boureman before his departure for Spain.
422. The copy of a petition sent to the earl of Salisbury the principal secretary and a letter from the king to the ambassador in Spain on behalf of the company, were both read out. They were as follows.
423. [p. 122] The humble petition of the English marchaunts trading Spaine and
424. Whereas in Anno 1517 certen landes, and diverse privileges and liberties were
graunted to the English marchaunts in the Towne of St. Lucar de Barameda by
Don Alonso Peres de Gusman Duke of Medina:
425. And Anno 1530 the same liberties allowed and proclaymed there, and sithence the same ratefied and confirmed by the succeeding Dukes:
426. And whereas King Henry VIII by his letters patents Dated primo Septembris 22 of his raigne (being Anno Domini 1530) Did aucthorise the English marchaunts to elect a Consull or Consulls in Spaine, and 12 Assistaunts to governe there, and to gather ympositions, and aucthority to make lawes for the publique government of the generallity.
427. And afterwards Charles the Emperour by his charter dated 2 Septembris 1538 (reciting the former letters patents of Henry VIII) did confirme and approve the said letters patents of Henry VIII, and thereby gave lycence and faculty to the English nation to use the same amongst themselves, and comaunded his Justices to suffer them soe to doe: and to pleasure the English nation not being prejudiciall to his owne subiects.
428. A charter graunted by Queene Elizabeth dated 8 Junii 19 Elizabeth whereby her Majestie doth graunt to the said Marchaunts liberty to appointe one or more to be their President in Spayne and Portugall who with six other discreete Marchaunts associat with him, shall have full power to governe there all the English marchaunts.
429. King James by his letters patents dated 30 Martii 2 Jacobi doth ratefy the foresaid charters of King Henry and Queene Elizabeth.
430. [p. 123] Also king James by his other letters patents, dated 31 Maii 3 Jacobi, hath graunted them power to Elect Consulls, who with six or more discreete marchaunts may governe there.
431. Item that the graunts and privileges given by the Princes to marchaunts of either of the kingdoms, coming to their said kingdoms, and which privileges through the warrs have ceased, shall from hensforth wholy be revived, and have their full force and strength. (fn. 1)
432. And whereas the English marchaunts have lately elected these fyve Consulls for these fyve severall places viz
434. They most humbly pray his Majesty's gratious letters to the king of Spaine,
to th'entent that all such Consulls, as the company have or shall elect, may enjoy
all the said privileges and aucthorities graunted as aforesaid, and that the King of
Spaine would write to the Duke of Medina in that behalf.
435. [p. 124] And also that yf they shall neede (for the better goverment of the English nation) any enlargement of the same, that the king of Spaine and the Duke of Medina would be pleased to graunt and allowe such reasonable suits and requests as the English nation shall make in that behalf.
436. And also they humbly pray your Lordshipps letters to the lord Ambassadour resident in Spaine, to be ayding and Assisting to the Consulls for the quiet establishing of them in their places, and also to Assist the English marchaunts in all their iust suits and requests, and if any grevaunces shalbe offered them or uniust ympositions or taxes laid upon them to endeavour and help to ease, and free them of the same.
438. Trusty and welbeloved, wee greete you well. Wee have perceaved by sondry your letters directed to our Cousin the Earle of Salisbury our principall Secretary, your care and iudgment in the handling of such our affaires as since your being in that ymployment, have byn directed unto you. And though that neither all those directions have come to you under our owne hand, nor any signification of our acceptance of your service, yet by this occasion wee thought good to lett you knowe, that both the directions given you, have byn with our privity, and your answeres Communicated to us, with good information of your diligence in the managing of them, wherewith wee doe rest well satisfied, ffor the present that which we have to say unto you is grounded upon a petition [p. 125] made unto us by our marchaunts trading in Spaine and Portugale, whoe having heretofore enioyed diverse priviledges graunted unto them some by the Dukes of Medina within whose iurisdictions they have traffique, and some by the Princes of Spaine, some also by our Progenitours of this Realme confirmed by the kings of Spaine. All which were interrupted during the late breach of Amity in the Queene our Sisters daies, but are by the last Treaty betweene that King and us revived by generality of woords. The Marchaunts entending now the setling thereof, and having made choice of servaunts and officers to reside in severall parts of Spaine for preservation of their liberties according to the auncient usage have humblie besought us to direct our letters both to the king and the Duke of Medina in furthering of their purposes. But because wee knowe that one letter written to either of them cannot worke so much to their good, as a continuall solicitation of you our Ambassador, aucthorized both by your place, and by this speciall commaundment to be a Solicitor for them upon all accidents that may happen to them, wherein to have neede of our mediation and Countenance wee have iudged it best for them to give direction to you to take information from them, of all such things concerning the setling of their trade as they desire to be obtayned of that king, or of the duke being grounded upon any former Treaty, accord of Princes or usage of our subiects in those parts whereof some particulars are contayned in this note enclosed by them exhibited to us, and more at lardg wilbe enformed to you by their Deputies and Agents appointed to followe this busines. In all which and in all other things concerning their good, and within your discretion, you shall thinck meete to be moved there, wee are pleased that in our name you shall from tyme to tyme, Deale either with the king or his Councell, or any private persons whome it may concerne, to obtayne what may be had for the benefitt of them in their traffiques, and for redresse of any wrongs that may chance to be offred unto them. And when wee shall perceive by advertysment from you, that any extraordynary letters shalbe requisite above your solicitation wee shall doe as upon advertisement from you in our iudgment, wee shall fynde to be needefull. Given under our Signett at our Palace of Westminster the 8 day of October in the Third yere of our raigne of greate Britayne, ffraunce and Ireland 1605.
439. [p. 126] Since the king in his letters had required the ambassador to petition the king of Spain and the duke of Medina Sidonia for the reestablishment of the ancient privileges and their enlargement if necessary, the company thought it 'needeles, and unnessessary to use Nicholas Oseley any longer about the same'. They decided instead 'to depend and relye upon the lord Ambassador's Assistance therein, and of such as his Lordshipp shall ymploy in the said service'.
440. It was therefore ordered that the president, the deputy, the treasurer, Mr. Wych, Mr. Jaxon, Mr. Hanger and the secretary should meet to prepare suitable letters to be sent to the ambassador, Nicholas Oseley and others, 'as also such Commissions and instructions as shalbe thought fitt for Mr. Boureman to carry over with him'. Their decisions, or those of any five of them, would be confirmed by the company as a whole.
441. At the request of Sir Thomas Flemyng, lord chief baron of the court of the exchequer, it was agreed that John Long of Southampton should be received into the freedom. It was ordered that a letter should be sent to William Nevey, deputy of Southampton, enclosing a copy of the oath of a freeman admitted by redemption, willing and requiring him to admitt the said John Long into the freedome of our society, and to administer unto him the said oath, and to receive of him his fyne of £10 for his admission, and after the receipt thereof, to restore and deliver the same back, as the free gift of the Company. (fn. 2)
442. [p. 127] It was also agreed
that the Companies last charter shalbe enrowled in his majesty's high Cort of Exchequer, whereby the Barons of the Exchequer may be sufficiently aucthorized to send out writts to the Customers, to stay the entries of all such as are not free of the Company. And that the money disbursed for the same, shalbe paid by Mr. Treasurer and allowed him in his Accompt.
444. Mr. Greene, treasurer, Mr. Chamberlen, Mr. Newman, Mr. Lyng, Mr. Jackson, Mr. James, Mr. Owen, Mr. Cullymere, Mr. Hanger, Mr. How, Mr. Bond, assistants of London; Thomas Syms one of the assistants for Chard; the secretary and divers of the generality.
446. Baldwyn Durham, mercer, son of Baldwyn Durham 'an auntient freeman well knowne to the Company' claimed his freedom by patrimony. He was admitted, taking the oath of a freeman by ancient trade and paying 6s. 8d. to the use of the society.
447. Four other persons claimed their freedom by apprenticeship to ancient traders: John Tedcastle, merchant tailor, by service with [p. 128] Jerrard Gore the elder, Richard Buckfould, draper, by service with George Collymere, Roger Rogell, haberdasher, by service with Sir Thomas Bramley, and Thomas Watson by service with Arthur Needham. They were all admitted, paying 6s. 8d. each to the use of the company and taking the oath of freemen by ancient trade.
448. John Mockett of Waymouth and Melcom regis producing severall Certyfycates under the hand of the Maior and under the Comon seale of the said towne, testyfying that he was an auntient trader before 1568, and upon the reporte of diverse of the Assistaunts here present affirming that the said Certyfycates were trew, and that the said John Mockett was for many yeeres beyond seas, so as hee could not come to make his Clayme, when the company kept their Corts, was at this Corte found Capable of the freedome by auncient trade.
449. Phillip Dawkyns, grocer, and William Groce of [blank] mere mer chants for many years and free of no other company, were admitted into the freedom by redemption. They paid £10 each 'and tooke the auntient oath for Redemptioners in that case ordayned and provided'.
450. [p. 129] Two other persons, William Atkyn of Lynn and George Garrard, grocer, affirmed that they had been mere merchants for more than seven years and were free of no other company. They requested admission into the freedom by redemption, each paying £10 to the treasurer and taking the oath of a freeman by redemption. They were admitted upon this condition
that yf within sixe monethes next ensewing they shall not severally and respectively produce to this Courte a sufficient certificate to the full satisfaction of the Company testyfying and proving their said affirmation, that then hee or they that shall make default shall not only be disfranchised and loose his freedome, but also forfeyt the money so paid as aforesaid.
451. Lastly, 'the petition of Nicholas Diggins now a marchaunt, but lately a marryner desiring the freedome of this society by Redemption for his fyne of £10 was openly redd'. Nothing was concluded on the matter which was referred to the next general court for further consideration.
453. Mr. Chamberlen, Mr. Newman, Mr. Dorrington, Mr. Savage, Mr. Furner, Mr. Towerson, Mr. Style, Mr. Owen, Mr. Wyche, Mr. Cobb, Mr. Collymere, Mr. Hanger, Mr. How, Mr. Bond; the secretary and divers of the generality.
455. Henry Waade of Topsham in Devon, came 'making clayme to the freedome by auncient trade, by vertue of a clause included in the charter of Decimo nono Elizabeth because his father was a trader into Spaine before 1568'. On further examination it appeared that his father had died before the charter itself was granted,
whereupon the company perused over an order taken at a generall courte holden the 8 day of November 1577, at which tyme question was moved and intreated upon, for the admitting of such auncient merchaunts Children and servaunts whose fathers or masters were usuall traders into Spaine or Portugall before anno 1568 and nevertheless dead before the graunt of the said letters patents. And then it was agreed Concluded and adiudged by the whole courte that it was not necessary, that any such should be received or admitted, for that they be without the Compasse of the expresse words of the said graunt, as by the said order may appeare which order is also lately confirmed the 30th day of August last. Neverthelesse forasmuch as it is affirmed, that the company cannott make and order to barr any man of his right graunted by charter, it is agreed that the opynion of Mr. Dodderidg his majesty's Solicitor generall shalbe used upon that point of the charter, and that Mr. Dorrington, Mr. Harrison and the Secretary togeather with the said Henry Waade, shall all resort unto him to understand his resolution therein, and the fee to be paid indifferently by the company and Mr. Waade. And upon relation made of his opinion the company will doe that which to right and equity shall appertayne.
456. [p. 131] The petition of Nicholas Diggins which was read out at the last court was again considered but it was generally resolved 'that he is neither capable nor fitt to be received into the freedome of this society'.
457. Four persons claimed their freedom by service with ancient traders: Humphrey Hamford, grocer, by service with Henry Colthurst, Humphrey Walweyne, grocer, by service with Nicholas Style, Gregory Guybon, mercer, by service with Nicholas Heath, and Zachery Parke by service with William Parkyn of King's Lynn. They were all found capable by ancient trade, paid their fines of 6s. 8d. and were admitted and sworn accordingly.
458. William Fisher son of John Fisher of Ipswich, whose claim to the freedom by patrimony was allowed at a general court on 13 August 1605, paid his fine of 6s. 8d. at this court, took the oath of a freeman by ancient trade and was admitted accordingly.
459. Whereas information was given to this courte that diverse exactions and greate somes of money are required of the freemen of this company, for Composition for wynes, Spices, and diverse other purveyance which would tend to the greate losse of the Company, if the same be not carefully looked unto; and forasmuch as it appeareth that [p. 132] by 2 severall charters graunted to the Citty of London the one of 1 Edward 3 and the other of 7 Richard 2 that the citizens of London are freed, and discharged from all such purveyance, exactions and chardges. Therefore at this court the company have earnestly entreated Mr. President, and Mr. Deputy or one of them, Mr. Treasurer, Mr. Wych, Mr. Howe, Mr. Dorrington, Mr. Bate, and Mr. Harrison, or any 4 of them, from tyme to tyme to take speciall care to prevent all such compositions, and exactions, and if neede be to take advise how the Company may be freed and dischardged of the same, and all chardges to be borne by the company concerning the same. (fn. 3)
460. Various letters written by factors and agents in Spain were read out. It was ordered that the president should answer them 'and therein to give them thancks for their advertisements, and to lett them knowe of the companies care here to their good'.
461. The court considered a letter recently received from Totnes 'showing how farr distant and inconvenient Totnes, and the other Townes following lye from Excetour'. It was therefore ordered that Totnes and these towns should be 'clerely exempted from the government of Excetour, and that a deputy shalbe elected for Totnes, and the same severall townes to be under the Jurisdiction of Totnes viz., Dartmouth, Tynemouth, Newton boshell, Kingsware, Kingsbridg, Salcome, Asperton, Staffarton, Broadhenson, and Toore, and no allowance to be made either to Deputy or Assistauntz'. (fn. 4)
462. [p. 133] William Greenewell a mere merchant free of the Eastland Company came and requested the freedom of the society and, in accordance with the charter, offered to procure the freedom of the Eastland Company for any one member of this society. He was told
that he should have shortly delivered unto him, by Mr. President and 4 of the Assistaunts the name of one of this company, and upon procuring of the freedome of the Eastland Company for such person so to be named, the said William Greenewell should be received and admitted into the freedome of this society accordingly.
463. Two letters were read out, one from William Nevey, deputy of Southampton, and the other from Richard Dorchester, deputy of Exeter. The letter from Richard Dorchester was referred to a court of assistants but the former was dealt with here. It merely concerned a request on behalf of Henry Plomer of Southampton for the repayment of £10
which he paid for his freedome at Southampton, when Mr. Deputy Newton and Mr. Jackson were lately there, and which they promised to repay, if the consent of the Assistaunts here, might be obtayned in regard the said Henry Plomer is sonne in law to Mr. Apsten the Customer.
However when this request was voted on in court, 'the greater nomber would not give their consents to repay the same, nor thought it fitt to make any such president because all other Customers would expect the like favour'.
467. The draft of a grant or commission was read out, 'whereby Mr. Hugh Bourman is elected Consull of St. Lucar and Sivill, and the whole territories of Andaluzia extending by the sea coast and begynning at Aymonty in the Candado (fn. 5) and ending at Gibraltar, within the straights mouth'. The points of the commission were agreed, and it was ordered to be engrossed and sealed with the common seal of the company at the next general court.
To all true Christian people to whome this present wryting shall come, the
President Assistaunts and fellowshipp of marchaunts of England, trading into
Spaine and Portugall, send greeting in our lord [p. 135] god everlasting. Whereas
our late soveraigne Lord of moast famous memory king Henry the Eight by his
letters patents under the greate seale of England bearing date at Westminster the
first day of September in the 22nd yere of his raigne, for the better governement of
the marchaunts trading into Spaine, did aucthorize the English marchaunts to
elect Consulls and Assistaunts to governe there, and to gather ympositions and
to make lawes for the publique government of the generality. And whereas the
most excellent Prynce, and Emperour Charles the ffyft, king of the Romans, and
of Spaine et cetera by his charter Dated the second day of September 1538 (recyting the former letters patents of King Henry the eight) Did confirme and approve
the said letters patents, as by the same charter more at large may appeare; and
whereas the moast excellent Prince, Don Alonso Perez de gusman, Duke of
Medyna Cydonia, Marques of Cacaca in Africa, Erle of Niebla, Lord of the noble
Citty of Gebraltor, in the yere of our Lord god 1517, Did graunt certen Lands
and diverse priveledges and liberties to the English marchaunts in the towne of
St. Lucar de Barameda, which said liberties were allowed and proclaymed there
in the moneth of October in the yere 1530, and sithence ratified, and confirmed
by the succeeding Dukes; and whereas in the late Articles of peace, entercourse,
and Commerce, concluded upon in the names of the moast high and mighty Kings
and Princes our most soveraigne Lord James by the grace of god King of greate
Brytaine ffraunce and Ireland defendor of the faith et cetera, And Phillipp the
third King of Spaine et cetera, and Albertus and Isabella Clara Eugenia, Archdukes of Austria, Dukes of Burgundie et cetera: it is concluded and agreed, that
the graunts and priviledges, given by [p. 136] the Princes to merchaunts of either
of the kingdomes commying to their said kingdomes and which priviledges
through the warrs have ceased shall from thensforth wholy be revived, and have
their full force and streingth. Whereas also our moast gratious soveraigne lord
James the kings most excellent Majesty that now is, by his highnes letters patents
under his greate seale of England bearing Date at Westminster the 31st day of
May last past, being in the Third yere of his highnes raigne of England, ffraunce
and Ireland and of Scotland the 38th Did of his especiall grace certen knowledg
and meere motion, will and for him his heires and successors graunt to us the
said President Assistaunts and fellowshipp of Marchaunts of England trading
into Spaine and Portugall and to our successors, that the said President and his
successors or his Deputy or Deputies with the assent and consent of the said
Assistaunts, or the greatest parte of them then present, for the tyme being, may
and shall have power to name choose and appoint, at their will and pleasure from
tyme to tyme one or more of the said fellowshipp to be our Consull or Consulls
or governor or governors, in the parts of Spaine and Portugall and the Islands
thereto belonging, and that the Consull or Consulls, governour or Governours so
named and chosen, and every of them, togeather with six others or more of the
discreetest Marchaunts of the said fellowshipp for the tyme being, to be elected
by the said Consull or Consulls, governour or governours for his or their Assistaunts in that place where the said Consull or Consulls governor or governours in
the said parts of Spaine and Portugall shall then be [p. 137] resident, shall have
full power, and aucthority to governe in the said Domynions within the Lymitts
to them by us the said President, and Assistaunts of the said fellowshipp resident
in England prescribed and assigned or the greater parte of them then present, all
and singuler merchaunts his Majesty's subiects and of his highnes heires and
successors, as well of the said fellowshipp, as others which be not of the said
fellowshipp, and their factors, Agents and servants trading merchaundize in
Spaine, and Portugall, and to administer unto them and every of them, full speedy
and expeditt Justice in all and every their causes plaints and contentions amongest
them begun or to be begun in the said Domynions of Spaine or Portugall, and to
pacifie decide and determyne, all and almanner of questions discords and striffes
amongest them in any of the said Realmes of Spaine and Portugall, moved or to
be moved for the better goverment of the said merchaunts in Spaine or Portugall
for the tyme being, and to doe and execute all things which by the President or
his Deputy and Assistaunts of the said fellowshipp for the tyme being or by the
more parte of them then present, shalbe to the said Consull for the tyme being
prescribed and commaunded, according to the statutes, acts and ordynaunces of
the said fellowshipp, so as any of the orders ordynaunces directions or constitutions so to be prescribed be not to the hindraunce of the trade and traffique of any
of the said fellowshipp, behaving him or themselves duly and orderly as becommeth good marchaunts of the said fellowshipp, without any fraudulent or disorderly attempt or practize, as by the said letters patents more fully and at lardg
469. fforasmuch as wee the said President, Assistaunts and fellowshipp have byn sufficiently informed by diverse men of good reputation, Judgment and accoumpt [p. 138] in our Company of the aptness, experience, integrity and sufficiencie of Hugh Bourman one of our society, for the dischardg and supply of the roome office and place of a Consull, Knowe ye therefore that wee the President with the assent, not only of the greatest parte of the Assistaunts but also of the generallity of our said society being assembled and mett for that purpose at an ample and generall courte, Have named, chosen and appointed, and by these presents doe name choose and appoint the said Hughe Bourman to be our Consull or governour for St. Lucar and Sivill, and the whole territories of Andaluzia extending by the seacost and begynnyng at Aymonty in the Condado and ending at Gibraltar within the straights mouth, to have and to hold the said office during the pleasure of us the said President, Assistaunts and fellowshipp, giving and by these presents graunting unto the said Hugh Bourman full power, and aucthority to elect such discreete merchaunts of our said fellowshipp for his Assistaunts in that place, where he shalbe resident, or in any other place or places within the lymitts to him prescribed and to governe within the said lymitts, according to the purport true intent and meaning of the said graunts charters and priviledges before mentyoned, willing and requiring all the merchaunts there resident to be ayding, assisting, and obedient unto the said Hugh Bourman, in the due execution of the said office and aucthority so graunted as aforesaid, assuring ourselves that he will rule and governe with that diligence integrity and indifferency, that wee shall have no iust complaint against him, for any thing that he shall doe by vertue of the power and trust which wee comitted unto him. In witnes whereof wee the said President, Assistaunts and fellowshipp, have hereunto caused our common seale to be putt the Thirteenth day of November Anno Domini 1605, and in the years of the raigne of our soveraigne Lord James by the grace of god King of England, Scotland ffraunce and Ireland Defender of the faith et cetera, that is to say of England ffraunce and Ireland the Third, and of Scotland the Nyne and Thirtieth.
470. [p. 139] It was also agreed that similar commissions should be drawn up for the other four elected consuls, omitting the privileges granted by the dukes of Medina Sidonia, which related only to San Lucar and Seville, and laying down the limits allotted to them as follows:
471. Hugh Lee, consul for Lisbon, 'and the whole territories of Portugall, extending by the sea coast, and begynnyng at Caminha, and ending at Castromarin'. (fn. 6)
474. Humphrey Wootton, consul for Malaga 'extending by the sea coast and begynnyng at Stepona and ending at Barsolona'. (fn. 7)
hath ben long visited with sicknes so as he cannott Conveniently attend the service, therefore (at his request) the company have freed and dischardged him of the said place, and in his roome have elected Mr. John Castlyn one of the Assistaunts named in the charter who was by a former corte dischardged, by reason that he was for the moast parte remayning in the Countrey, but being now abiding in the Citty, is restored to the said place and admitted accordingly.
477. [p. 140] On the first day of parliament, some objections were made in the lower chamber to the charter recently granted to the company. A committee was appointed to consider it, and to draw up a bill to be presented to the house against the charter. The company took note of this, and the president, the deputy and the secretary
resorted to the midle temple hall where the Committee satt, desiring to understand
of them, in what points they did except against our charter, whereupon they delivered two propositions to this or the like effect, viz., ffirst whether the merchaunts
incorporated to trade Spaine and Portugall, will permitt, and suffer that all manner
of persons, that shall adventure to the sea to take fysh, may carry their fysh freely
for those Countries, and there sell it at their will and pleasure and returne from
thence all sorts of merchandizes att their will and pleasure.
478. The second, whether the company will permitt and suffer all gentlemen, yeomen, ffarmers and all others of what quality soever to carry corne into Spaine and Portugall, and to make their retorne in marchandize from thence at their will and pleasure.
which was the chief and speciall matter that moved him to call this courte, upon full and deliberate consideration, whereunto had it is resolved and agreed that the company shall depend and stand upon the vallidity of their charter, and not to give any consent or agreement to the propositions required.
481. Mr. Greene, treasurer, Mr. Chamberlen, Mr. Cokayne, Mr. Newman, Mr. Jackson, Mr. Dorrington, Mr. Bate, Mr. Savage, Mr. Bowyer, Mr. Owen, Mr. Wyche, Mr. Cobb, Mr. Hanger, Mr. Bond, Mr. Bostock, Mr. Castlyn; the secretary and divers of the generality.
484. Whereas by the complaint of Mr. Jacobb Compounder for sweete wynes, for
the expence of his Majesty's howse, as also by the answere of the said Complaint
delivered in, by you the marchaunts of the Spanish Company that you not only
contrary to your former course in the late queenes tyme, but also contrary to that
which you have willingly paid and yeelded unto since the begynning of his Majesty's
moast happy raigne, untill this present tyme, doe refuse both to pay the composition of sweete wynes, and also deny to obay his Majesty's Comision, except the
full valewe [p. 142] and present payment be made for such goods as shalbe taken
from you, alleadging both the stricte words of the lawe, and also the words of the
charter of the Citty of London, for your defence therein, which may not (without
the preiudice of his Majesty's Honor, and Royall prerogative) be suffered. These
are therefore in his Majesty's name to chardg and Commaund every of you,
fforthwith upon the receipt hereof, either to deliver unto the said Mr. Jacobb such
wynes as he or his Deputy hath or shall marke for his Majesty's provision,
according to the effect of the Commission, or to pay him such composition, as
you have formerly done, and for any greviance that you shall fynde by reason of
this service, hereafter upon your iust Complaint you shall fynd us ready to doe you
such Justice, as in these cases with the maynetaunce of his Majesty's Prerogative is
fitt and requisitt. So nothing doubting but that in your wisdomes you will forthwith satisfie this our demaund, which if you shall deny you will enforce us to a
course which in our owne dispositions, and for your good wee desier to avoide
considering that you in your duties ought not to deny that unto the king's majesty,
which you have performed to the late Queene, wee bid you ffarwell, ffrom the
courte the 12 of November 1605.
485. We requier the like at your hands for the king's Grocer in all such provisions as he hath to deale in for his Majesty's service.
W. Knowllys E. Wootton
486. After full consideration of the matter it was agreed that the president, the deputy and the treasurer should 'take advise of some learned Counsell in the lawe, how the company may be freed from the said Composition for Wynes, Spices and diverse other purveyance'. (fn. 8) The fees would be disbursed by the treasurer and allowed him in his account.
487. Edward Man of Poole in Dorset son of John Man claimed the freedom by virtue of a clause in the charter of 1577, 'because his father was an auncient trader into Spaine before Anno 1568 and was lyving when the said charter was graunted, the same being testified in open court'. Also [p. 143] Thomas Baker of Lynn son of George Baker claimed the freedom by patrimony since his father had been made free by ancient trade in 1579. They were both admitted, paying 6s. 8d. each and taking their oaths as freemen by ancient trade.
488. The two persons following were admitted by service with ancient freemen: William Cockayne, skinner, with Henry Sherratt deceased, and George Berrisford with William Cockayne the elder. They each paid 6s. 8d. to the use of the society and took the oath of a freeman by ancient trade.
489. Robert Hardy of 'Culleton' in Devon, an ancient trader into Spain before 1577 'as is well knowne to diverse present att this courte', cannot however request his freedom either by patrimony or service. (fn. 9)
Nevertheless because he hath ben so auncient a trader, it hath pleased the Company upon his humble suite to bestowe upon him the freedome of this society for his owne person gratis, and thereupon in open courte he was admitted and sworne accordingly.
490. John Andrewes, haberdasher, requested the freedom by service with William Sherrington, an ancient trader to Spain well known to divers of those present in court. However, 'there can be no record fownd to prove that the said William Sherrington was ever admitted, sworne, or made free of this society, so as the said John Androwes cannott directly proove himself capable thereof'. The company therefore agreed to bestow his freedom on him gratis for his own person, and he was admitted and sworn accordingly.
that the said Mr. Deputy Holmes had received of the said Thomas Tessemond to the use of this society to be sent up to Mr. Treasurer here the some of £10, for the admission of the said Thomas Tessemond into the freedome of this society by Redemption, and thereby testyfying that the said Thomas Tessemond was a meere merchaunt Capable by the true meaning of the charter.
493. Mr. Greene, treasurer, Mr. Newman, Mr. Harby, Mr. Lyng, Mr. Jackson, Mr. Dorrington, Mr. Bate, Mr. Savage, Mr. James, Mr. Furner, Mr. Owen, Mr. Wyche, Mr. Hanger, Mr. How, Mr. Bond, Mr. Bostock; Mr. Harborne 'one of the Assistaunts of Yarmouth'; the secretary and divers of the generality.
495. The two persons following were admitted to the freedom by service with ancient traders: Henry Johnson, clothworker, by service with William Hancock, and John Spence [blank] by service with [blank]. Each paid 6s. 8d. to the use of the society and took the oath of a freeman by ancient trade.
496. On the humble petition of John Sozar, 'who hath byn for many yeres resident in Spaine, and thereby growne very perfect in the Spanish tongue, and upon his promise to be ready to doe the company service, either in translating of their Spanish letters or otherwise', the court decided to grant him his freedom gratis for his own person. He was admitted, taking the oath of a freeman by ancient trade.
did produce the opynions of diverse lawyers, upon that point in the charter which is mentyoned in the said order. But foreasmuchas he did not intreate the Committees aucthorized for that purpose, to be present at the conference with the said lawyers, therefore the company take further tyme to advise and consider thereof.
498. [p. 146] A petition from the merchants of Weymouth and Melcombe Regis was offered to the consideration of the court, 'to be freed and exempted from the government of Southampton, and to have a Deputy, and to governe of themselves'. The company deferred it for further consideration until the general election day, 'when the severall Deputies out of the Contry come up, that their opynions may be used therein'.
501. A letter was read out from Sir Charles Cornewallis the ambassador in Spain to Mr. Wilford, (fn. 10) intymating that he expected better allowance to be made to Mr. Nicholas Oseley, alleadging he detayned him only for the companies service, and also taxing the Company with negligence and unkyndnes in not making him sooner accquainted that the King's Majesty had confirmed our Company, and that he hath not byn saluted by any of our Company sithence his going over.
502. [p. 147] The draft of the company's reply to the ambassador was read out, together with a draft of reminders and directions for Mr. Boureman to take with him to Spain, and also the draft of a letter to James Wyche the consul for Biscay. It was ordered that all these, as well as the draft of a letter to the other consuls and one to Nicholas Oseley, should be prepared and sent away with all convenient speed.
these ympositions following, viz of the goodes and marchaundize, of all and every person and persons being free of this society, and which have taken their Corporall oath to this Company, and of all such as are beyond the seas, and may lawfully Clayme the freedome, at their retorne, a quarter of the hundreth Inward, and a like quarter of a hundreth outward, and of the goodes and merchaundizes of all and every other person and persons, one in the hundreth inwards, and one in the hundreth outwards.