The Spanish Company London Record Society 9. Originally published by London Record Society, London, 1973.
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BOOK OF OATHS, ACTS AND ORDINANCES
(Bodleian Library, MS. Rawlinson C. 178)
You sweare to be true and faithfull to our soveraigne Lord the king, and to his heires and successors. You shalbe obedient unto the President, his deputy or deputies, and Assistaunts of the Marchaunts of England trading into Spayne and Portugall, as well on this side the Seas as beyond, in all matters touching or appertayning to the said society or fellowshipp. And you shall come to all Courts and assemblies, uppon due warning, having no reasonable excuse to the contrary, or els pay such fyne as shalbe appointed for your default when it shalbe demaunded. You shall not willingly doe consent or knowe to be done, any thing that may tend to the breach, violation, or ympeachment of any of the Privileges or graunts geven, or to be geven to this Company, on this side the Seas or beyond, without the comon consent of the same. And yf you shall knowe of any thing to be attempted, or done to the contrary; you shall with all convenient speede discover and shewe the same to the said President, or his deputy, for the tyme being. The goodes or Marchaundizes of any straunger borne, you shall not in any wise avowe, cooller or conceale, whereby the kings Majestie, his heires or successors may be defrauded of his or their Customes or duties, nor shall avow, culler, or conceale the goods or Marchaundizes of any other parson, not being free of this society. And yf you shall knowe any parson that so doth, you shall with all convenient speede, thereof informe the said President or his deputy for the tyme being. All Acts Ordinaunces and constitutions made, and hereafter to be made, and standing in force, concerning the good governement and order of this fellowshipp, or their goods wares or Marchaundices, you shall on your parte maynetayne, supporte and fullfill to your power and knowledge. Or els shall pay such fynes, paynes, penalties and mulkts, being accused condempned and orderly demaunded, As for the offendors and violaters of the same, shalbe ordayned provided and established to be paide. So help you God et cetera.
511. [p. 2] 'The Oath of a freeman receaved by Redemption (being free of some other company of Marchants). The same Oath also to be mynistred to such as are named in the patent, that neither are nor were discended of, or from the auntient freedome, and therefore nowe to be admytted and receaved as Redemptioners'.
512. You sweare to be true and faithfull to our soveraigne Lord the king his heires and successors; you shalbe obedient unto the President, his Deputy or Deputies and Assistaunts of the Marchaunts of England trading into Spayne or Portugall, (whereunto you are nowe admytted by Redemption), aswell on this side the Seas, as beyond, in all matters touching or appertayning to the said society or fellowshipp. [Thereafter as 510.]
514. You sweare to be true and faithfull to our soveraigne Lord the king his heires and successors, you shalbe obedient unto the President his deputie or deputies, and Assistaunts of the Marchaunts of England trading into Spayne and Portugall, (whereunto you are now admitted by Redemption) as well on this side the Seas, as beyond, in all matters touching or appertayning to the said societie or fellowshipp: you likewise sweare that you neither are free, nor will clayme by Patrymony or service the freedome of any other society of marchaunts, which was incorporated at the tyme and date of his Maiesties letters patents of Incorporation to this Company graunted, nor that you are any Retayler, Artificer, Inholder, Farmor, common Marriner, or handicrafts-man. You shall come to all Courts and Assemblies. [Thereafter as 510.]
515. [p. 4] The oath of the president.
You sweare to be true and faithfull to our soveraigne lord the king his Heires and successors, you shall support and maynetayne to your power all the Marchaunts of England trading into Spayne and Portugall, so long as you shall remayne in the Office of President. Right and iustice you shall doe to all parsons, in all matters and questions that shall depend before you as President, without favour or affeccion malice or displeasure. All acts ordynaunces and constitutions by you, or your deputy and the Assistaunts and fellowshipp made, or to be made, you shall truly and indifferently observe mayntayne and execute, so long as they shall stand in force, having no singular respect unto yourself in derogation of the Comon wealth of the Company. And also to your power shall assist and help all the Officers of this Corporation and Company in all their lawfull and iust doings touching or concerning the mayntenaunce of the privileges graunts and ordynaunces, made or to be made, by force of the said letters patents or otherwise. So help you god et cetera.
You sweare to be true and faithfull to our soveraigne Lord the king, his heires and successors; you shall supporte and mayntayne to your power, all the Marchaunts of England trading into Spayne and Portugall, so long as you shall remayne in the office of Deputy. Right and Justice you shall doe to all parsons, in all matters and questions that shall depend before you as Deputy, without favour or affection, malice or displeasure. All Acts, Ordynaunces and constitutions by the President and Assistaunts, or by the President Assistaunts and fellowshipp made, or to be made, you shall truly and indifferently observe maynetayne and execute, (within your charge), so long as they shall stand in force. (fn. 1) [Thereafter as 515.]
You sweare to be true and faithfull to our soveraigne Lord the king his heires and successors, you shall in all your power, knowledg and best advise assist the President his Deputy or deputies, and fellowshipp of Marchaunts of England trading into Spayne and Portugall, in making good and quiett order and governement, aswell of the Marchaunts of this society, as of their goods and Marchaundizes without any singuler regarde to your self, and also in the iust and indifferent execution of all such Acts, and ordynaunces, as by comon consent according to the letters patents are or shalbe made, so long as they shall stand in force, without shewing any favour, or doing any oppression to any parson. The privileges and graunts contayned in the letters patents of Corporation lately graunted, or hereafter to be graunted, to this society, either on this side the Seas, or beyond the Seas, you shall to your uttermost power maynetayne supporte and observe, without consenting to the violation or breach of them, or any of them, without the common consent of the said Company. Right and iustice you shall doe to your power to all parsons in all matters and questions depending afore you, without favour affection malice or displeasure. So help you God et cetera.
You sweare to be true and faithfull to our soveraigne lord the king his heires and successors, and the whole society of the Marchaunts of England trading into Spayne and Portugall. And for the tyme you shalbe Treasorer, you shall duly and truly receave and pay, all manner of duties, fforfects, Arrerages, (fn. 2) or other charges to the said Societie growing, or in any wise belonging, so as it may lawfully come to your possession and knowledge; and also shall truly Accompt for your tyme to the President Assistaunts and Society, for the tyme being, or to such parsons as shalbe by them assigned. So help you God et cetera.
520. The oath of the treasurer in the country [is as 519 except for the insertion of the words 'within your Jurisdiction' after 'Arrerages or other charges', and the addition of 'or appointed' after the final word 'assigned'].
You sweare to be true and faithfull to our soveraigne Lord the king his Heires and successors; you shalbe dilligent and attendaunt in the affaires of the President Assistaunts and fellowshipp of Marchaunts of England trading into Spaine and Portugall, at all tymes lawfull and requisite, (not infringing or violating your Oath or duty to other services formerly made). You shall make due reporte to the President or his Deputy, and to the said Assistaunts and fellowshipp (when you shalbe required) of all manner of things apperteyning to your office and charge (to your knowledge). You shall Justly and truly Register and write, or cause to be registred and written, All Ordinaunces, Decrees and Statutes made, or to be made, by the said President or his Deputy, and the Assistaunts for the tyme being, or by them, and the generalitie, during the tyme that you shall execute the office of Secretariship, in reasonable and convenient tyme after they or any of them shalbe concluded and made, and come to your knowledge and understanding. The Secrets of the Company you shall keepe, and nothing thereof disclose to others to th'entent to hurt the Company, or any Brother of the same. Copies of Acts and ordynaunces passed at any Court of Assistaunts or generallitie, you shall not deliver, without the consent of the President, or his Deputie, and of the Assist aunts, or the more parte of them present at some Courte. And you shall honestly and faithfully execute the said Office of Secretariship during such tyme as you shall use and enjoy the same, in all points, as a faithfull Assistaunt and Secretary of the said Fellowshipp ought to doe. Soe help you God et cetera.
You sweare to be true and faithfull to our soveraigne Lord the king his heires and successors. You shalbe attendant and dilligent to the President, or his Deputy or Deputies, concerning the Common wealth or behoof of this society of Marchaunts of England, trading into Spayne and Portugal during the tyme you shall contynue in the Office of Beadle or Officer. And you shall honestly and curteously behave yourself to the said President or his Deputy or Deputies, and to all and every other of the same society: you shall duly truly and faithfully make reporte of all manner of thinges appertayning to your Office and charge. And you shall truly from tyme to tyme Accoumpt and discharge yourself, aswell to the said President, or his Deputy, as to the Treasorer, for the tyme being of all such somes of Money as may in any manner of way come to your hands, for and to the use of the said society. So help you God et cetera.
You sweare to be true and faithfull to our soveraigne Lord the king his heires and successors, you shall not cullour convey nor take in charge, any the Goods wares or Marchaundizes of any parson or parsons, borne within the kings maiesties Dominions not free of this fellowshipp, to be transported or brought to or from any the parts of Spayne and Portugall, or either of them, or to, or from any the Islands comprehended within our priviledge, contrary to the Ordynaunces of this Society. So help you God et cetera.
You sweare to be true and faithfull to our soveraigne lord the king, his heires and successors. You shalbe dilligent and attendant to the Deputy for the tyme being of that place, and for that Jurisdiction whereof you are elected Clarck, and to the society of marchaunts of England trading into Spain and Portugal, at all tymes requisite. You shall duly and truly observe and obey all such commaundements as you shalbe commaunded to doe by the said Deputy for the tyme being, touching the Companies affaires and busines. And you shall honestly and curteously behave your self, to the said Deputy and all other of the said society. You shall also make due reporte to the said Deputy, of all manner of thinges appertayning to your office and charge. You shall iustly and truly register and write, or cause to be registred and written, All Ordynaunces, Decrees and Statutes made, or to be made, by the said Deputy, and the Assistaunts for the tyme being, or by them and the society, during the tyme that you shall execute the office of Clarcke, Incontynently after they or any of them shalbe concluded and made. The Secrets of the Company you shall keepe, and nothing thereof disclose to others, to the hurt of the Company, or any brother of the same. Coppies of any Acts, privileges, ordynaunces or other things passed at any Courte of Assistauntz or generallity, you shall not deliver, without the consent of the Deputy and Assistaunts. So help you God et cetera.
525. The oath of the beadle in the country [is similar to 522, substituting the words 'to the deputy for the tyme being of that place, and for that Jurisdiction whereof you are elected Beadle', for 'to the President, or his Deputy or Deputies', and 'deputy' for 'president' in the following sentences].
There shalbe then Three or more worshipfull and discreete parsons named, free of the Company, which shalbe thought fitt by the greater nomber assembled, to supply the roome and office of the President, whereof the old President shalbe named to be one. Which nomynation being made and agreed, the Deputy (or in his absence two of the auntientest of the Assistaunts then present) shall sitt in the place of the President, and by question mynistred to the whole company, they shall proceede to the Election by holding up of hands, and he of the three which shalbe chosen by the greater nomber of the hands, shalbe and remayne President for one whole year, and from thence untill an other shalbe chosen and sworne, according to the tenor of the letters patents, and shall take the Oath appointed for the President.
527. [p. 12] An act for choosing the deputy. Three or more freemen of the company, including the previous deputy, shall be nominated, 'being named by question mynistred to the whole Company'. The person then elected
shalbe and remayne deputy during the pleasure of the President, Assistaunts and fellowship, and to be removed, when they or a greater nomber of them present at any generall Courte shall thincke fitt, according to the tenor of the letters patents; and shall take the Oath appointed for the deputy, like as the President, mutatis mutandis.
After the choosing of the President and his Deputy, the Assistaunts that were the yere before, shalbe discharged of their office and roome of Assistaunts, and then the generalitie shall nomynate such and so many others, as they shall thinck meete to supply the roome and office of Assistaunts for the Cittie of London, out of which parsons, there shalbe chosen by Election of the greatest nomber of hands Thirtie parsons: which thirty parsons so elected shall remaine for Assistaunts one whole yere following, and untill a new election be made of the Assistaunts of the same fellowshipp, and shall take the Oath appointed for the Assistaunts [p. 13] Provided allwaies, that yf any of the Assistauntz so chosen, fortune to dye, or will wilfully absent himself from the Courte when he shalbe lawfullie warned thereunto, or be in the parts beyond the Seas: in the roome of such there shalbe others chosen in a generall Courte, from tyme to tyme, to supply the roome of hym or them so dying, or absenting himself, to contynue the residue of the yere and untill a new election as aforesaid, and shall take the like Oath appointed for the Assistaunts. Provided also that he or they that hath served as an Assistaunt one whole yere, shalbe one whole yere after, free from election, to be an Assistaunt againe.
There shalbe Thirtie parsons named to be Assistaunts, out of such Citties, townes, and places out of the Cittie of London, as shall seeme good to the Company, from tyme to tyme. Of which Assistaunts, every Deputy in every Devision of the Country shalbe one, which said Thirty Assistaunts together with the other Thirty Assistaunts to be chosen for London as aforesaid, and the Secretary of the Com pany for the tyme being, make up the full nomber of 61 Assistaunts, according to the trewe intent and meaning of the Chartre lately graunted to this Societie.
530. [p. 14] An act for choosing the treasurer. Three or more nominations shall be made for the office of treasurer, by questions asked of the whole company. The elected treasurer shall hold office for one full year, taking the oath appointed. 'And having once executed the Office of Treasorer, shall never after be charged againe with that Office.'
Every parson chosen Treasorer, and refusing it without lawfull cause shewed to the contrary shall forfeit Tenn pounds. The Treasorer shall yerely at the tyme of his Election or the next Court after, become bounden by one obligation to the said Society by such name or names as they are by Chartre incorporated in the some of ffyve hundreth pounds with condition to make a just and trew Accompt (fn. 3) of all such somes of money as he shall receave to the use of the Company, and truly to pay the remaynder due uppon the foote of the Accompt within ten daies after the publishing thereof.
532. [p. 15] He shall during his Office use all dilligence, to levy and receave all manner of Debts, fforfeits and brocks belonging to the Company, and attend at every Courte generall or of Assistaunts, without speciall lycence to the contrary, uppon payne of ffive shillings forfeiture, of and for every his default.
533. Yf any parson being indebted to the Company for any cause, doe refuse to pay to the Treasorer the some due, he requiring the same; he shall informe the President or his Deputy thereof, who by the advise of the Assistaunts, shall take order for the levying of it.
534. Yf any presentment be made to the Treasorer of any offence commytted against ordynaunce, he shall cause the same to be registred in a Booke, therefore to be appointed. But he shall not bewray the name of the Presentor to any parson, but to the President or his Deputy. But if the parson presented requier to knowe his accuser, he shall iustifie his presentment in Courte.
536. He shall at the next generall Court after he shalbe dismissed from the office of Treasorer, exhibite his Accompt of all the money that he hath receaved and paid during his office to the Companies use.
537. He shall deliver to his Successor all such Bonds money and other things, as shalbe found to remayne in his hands, by the Auditors assigned for the taking of his Accompt, within Tenn daies after the Auditing and determynation thereof.
The Munday yerely before the Assention day or at the next generall Court, Eight expert parsons of the Companyes affaires, whereof three at the least to be of the Assistaunts shalbe appointed Auditors for the Treasorer's Accompte.
539. The Auditors warned at any tyme for the taking of that Accompt, shall appeere at the hower and place appointed by the President or his Deputy, upon payne of Three shillinges fowre-pence of every of them that maketh Default.
545. There shalbe two or more discreete and meete parsons named, to supply the roome and Office of the Secretary, whereof the Secretary for the year before shalbe one, and by question mynistred to the whole Company, they shall proceede to Election by houlding up of hands.
553. [p. 19] He may in the Pamphelet mend the phrase or Inditing by taking adding or altering any wordes, so as the meaning be not altered, and that the amendement be read at the next Courte, and be confirmed yf it be liked.
554. When any parson now being Apprentice, or which hereafter shalbe apprentice, shall clayme his freedome by Apprenticehood, the Secretarie shall enter into the Pamphelet the date of the Indenture, and nomber of yeres therein contayned, and shall thereof keepe a severall Booke, and shall have therefore twelve pence. Also he shall enter the Claymes of all such as requier the freedome either by Patrimony or by Redemption, and shall likewise have therefore twelve pence.
556. At every Courte generall, or of Assistaunts, he shall reade at the end of the Courte that which passed that day, and at the next Courte he shall reade againe, that passed at the last Courte, ymediatly before the entring into the matters of the Courte, to th'intent it may be ratefied or disanulled as the Company shall finde occasion.
The Officer called the Beadle shall geve his dilligent attendaunce uppon Maister President or his Deputy and their Commaundement, touching the businesses or affaires of the Company, shall observe and obey to his power.
559. He shall every Courte aswell of Assistaunts as generall keepe a note to the best of his power, who shalbe absent being lawfully warned, or who cometh late after three strokes of the hammer, and at the next Courte Deliver their names to the Treasorer.
560. [p. 21] He shall demaunde of every parson that maketh default at any Court generall, or of Assistaunts, or cometh late to either of them, such some of money as by the ordynance is due for his Default or absence.
561. And yf any parson (being Demaunded by the Beadle) doe refuse or doe not pay to hym such some of money as is due for his default or absence, he shall enforme the President or his Deputy or the Treasorer thereof.
563. And yf he shall conceale any offence which he knoweth to be done, against any of the ordynaunces, and doth not within fowerteene dayes after knowledg or Information thereof had, disclose and utter the same to the President or his Deputy or Treasorer, shall forfeit his office.
565. He shall monethly deliver to the Treasorer, all such somes of money, as he shall receave for absence or late coming to the Courte, and shalbe allowed for his collection three shillings and fowrepence in the pound, and so after the rate.
And yf such Secretary or Beadle which shalbe so elected as aforesaid fortune to Dye, or to be found insufficient to performe that which is expected, or of themselves will leave their Office or otherwise will absent themselves, whereby the business of the Company shalbe omytted, in such a Case it shalbe lawfull for the Company to make choise of some other to supply the Roome or Office of hym in whome the Default shalbe found, when and as often as neede shall require.
570. It shalbe lawfull for the President or his Deputy for the Common weale and benifitt of the Company, or for any urgent cause, to call the Company together and keepe either a generall Court or a Court of Assistaunts, on any Day whatsoever (not being Sunday or any principall of solempne feast of any Evangelist or Appostle) to the which Court and Courts, every parson free of the Company being warned by the Beadle shall and is bound to come.
571. And yf any of the generallity being warned, doe not come to the generall Courte, having noe reasonable excuse to the contrary and so to be aiudged by the President or his Deputy, and the greatest number of the Assistaunts then present, shall forfeit for every tyme that he shall make default as aforesaid twelve pence.
575. And every Assistaunt being warned, and not coming to the Court, but absenteth himself from the Court, and having no leave of the President or his Deputy nor reasonable excuse to the contrary, to be adiudged as beforesaid shall forfeit two shillings.
577. And every of the Assistaunts that shall absent himself three Court daies one after an other being lawfully warned by the Beadle, having no reasonable excuse to the contrary, and so adiudged as aforesaid, shall forfeit tenn shillings.
578. And every parson that shalbe warned to appeere upon a payne certen that shall make default of Apparaunce having no reasonable excuse to the contrary, and so adiudged, shall without favour pardon or myttigation pay the some and penaltie whereuppon he was warned, so the same exceede not Twenty shillings.
579. And that there shalbe present at every Court aswell of the Assistaunts as of the generality Thirteene Assistaunts at the least, or els nothing to be concluded at the Court, where such number shall lack.
580. And all things passed at any Court of Assistaunts, shalbe read at the end of the Court, and begyning of the next Court of Assistaunts, and likewise all things passed at a generall Court shalbe read at th'end of the Court, and begyning of the next generall Court.
581. All parsons commaunded by the President or his Deputy to depart the Court for any reasonable cause shall depart uppon payne to receave such Judgment and pay such fyne, as shalbe appointed and assessed by the greater parte of the Assistaunts then present at every such Court when any such contempt shalbe commytted.
The Assistaunts shall sitt neere the President and his Deputie, as by the President and his Deputy they shalbe appointed. And yf any of the Society shall take uppon him to sitt in the Roome and place of the Assistaunts, He shall forfeit Twelve pence. Provided that every parson that is an Alderman, Justice of Peace in his Country, or hath borne Office of Maior in any Cittie or Towne Corporate, shall and may take place amongst the Assistaunts.
The Generallitie shall sitt next beneath the Assistaunts every one according to his calling and auncientry in the company namely such as have passed the Roome of Assistaunts, shall sitt highest and nearest the Assistaunts for the tyme being. And yf any question or curiosety do arise, or be offred, by any parsonn, for sitting or placing, Every such parson shalbe directed by the President or his Deputy, and shall sitt where he shalbe appointed, uppon payne every tyme to forfeit Twelvepence, for refusing to sitt where hee shalbe appointed.
ffor avoyding of all confusion and superfluous speeches and talke in Courte, either Generall or of Assistaunts, it is ordred and enacted that such parson as first standeth up, shalbe first heard. And that no parson shall speake, while an other is speaking, nor yet one to an other, after silence is commaunded by the President or his Deputy, but shall give attentive eare to hym that is speaking: who (standing and uncovered) shall direct his speach to the President or his Deputy onely, without namyng any other person, and shall frame his speach but to the matter propounded or in question, neither shall any man speake but thrice to one matter, without Lycence of the President or his Deputy, uppon payne to forfeit every tyme that he shall offend contrary to this Act Twelve pence.
It is ordred and enacted that no parson of this society shall in open Court use any unseemely or reprochfull speach, but shall in comely and quiet manner speake to the matter propounded. And yf any evill language be given that may breede offence, contrary to the meaning of this Act, and so adiudged by the Court, the party offending shall forfeit six shillings and eight pence, for every tyme that he shall offend.
586. For silence to be kept in court. 'If the President or his Deputy shall with the stroke of the Hammer, or otherwise commaund silence to be kept, the parson not obeying or speaking so, shall forfeit Twelve pence.'
587. [p. 28] That a party to a matter named in court shall absent himself and his father, son, brother and partner. 'Yf any matter be moved in Courte which may concerne any parson present in court, that party whome the matter concerneth, his father Sonne Brother and partiner shall depart the Courte so long as the matter is treated uppon'.
Yf any Brother of this Society shall reveale or disclose any matters treated of or passed in any Courte, either Generall or of Assistaunts, to any parson, not being free of this Company, to the hurt or displeasure of any of this Company; the party so offending shall forfeit, for the first tyme six shillings eight pence, for the second tyme thirteene shillings fower pence, for the third tyme twentie shillings. And yf the disclosing of the secrets or speeches turne the whole Company to any hurt or displeasure, then he or they so disclosing shall pay such fyne as shalbe ceassed by the President his Deputy, Assistaunts, and generality. Or els shalbe Crost the Howse and loose the benifitt of his freedome of this Society forever.
Every parson named in the letters patents (not being already sworne) clayming his ffreedome before the feast of Christmas next, and who hath right thereunto as a Marchaunt by auntient trade, shall pay at his admyssion to the Treasorer for the tyme being, to the use of the Company, six shillings and eight pence, and to the Secretary for entring his name twelve pence, and to the Beadle six pence, and shall take the Oath of a freeman by auntient trade. And all such as are named in the letters patents (not being already sworne) who have already paid to the use of the society Ten pownds a peece, shall severally pay to the Secretary (for entring his and their names) two shillings and to the Beadle twelve pence apeece, and shall take the Oath of freemen by Redemption. And all others whose names are inserted into the charter, who weare not either the sonnes or servaunts of freemen heretofore admytted by auntient trade, and have not paied their ffynes of tenn pownds a peece, to the use of the society, shall at their admyssions pay to the Treasorer the said some of Tenn powndes a peece, and to the Secretary for entring their names, two shillings and to the Beadle twelve pence, and shall likewise take the Oath of a freeman by Redemption.
Every auncient marchaunt not named in the charter, who by the trewe intent and maning of the Chartre may lawfully clayme the freedome, either by birth or service, shalbe admytted, paying like fyne, as is taken of auncient Marchaunts, whose names are remembred in the letters patents, and taking the Oath appointed for a freeman by ancient trade.
To th'entent that every ffreeman may be the more carefull to observe and performe his Oath, it is ordered and agreed, that the Secretary shall Deliver to every freeman, the trew Copy of the Oath mynistred unto him at his admyssion into this society, for which Copy it shalbe lawfull to the Secretary to Demaund and to take the some of six pence of every such freeman.
Every parson and parsons being the king's subiects as now be or hereafter shalbe meere marchaunts and which by the lawes and statutes of this realme, may use the trade of marchaundize, from or into this realme of England, (except all Retailers, Artificers, Inholders farmours Comon marriners and handycrafts men. And also except all such as now be, or hereafter shalbe free of any speciall incorporation or Company of Marchaunts, trading by force of any act of Parliament, Chartre or letters Patents into any the parts beyond the Seas) shalbe receaved and admytted into this society by Redemption. So as they require it within one yere after the date of the Letters pattents, and pay Tenn powndes, or within the second yeere and pay Fyfteene pownds, or at any tyme after th'end of the said Two years and pay Twenty pownds to the use of the said society, and to the Secretary (for entring every of their names) two shillings, and to the Beadle twelve pence. And shall take the Oath appointed for a Redemptioner, to be receaved as aforesaid.'
594. Whereas in and by the last Chartre graunted to this society the Company are required to receave into their freedom all and every parson and parsons being his Maiesties subiects, which then were or shalbe meere Marchaunts, and which by the lawes and statutes of this Realme may lawfully use the trade of Marchaundize from or into the Realme of England (excepting Retailers and such other parsons as in and by the said Chartre are mencioned). And whereas doubt and question hath ben made, whether a man that hath ben a shopp keeper, and for the space of divers yeres hath given over his trade, who was not brought up in the trade of Marchaundize seaven yeres at the least as an apprentice, may be refused to be admytted into the freedome of this society, by the wordes of the said Chartre, the company being desyrous to carry an even and indifferent hand, and observing that by the lawes and Statutes of this realme, no man may use or exercise any manuell trade, or occupation (being farr inferior to the profession of a marchaunt) but such as have ben brought up therein seaven years at the least as an apprentice, Doe therefore at this Court upon full and deliberate consideration, order and agree, that every parson and parsons, which during the full space and terme of seaven yeres together, hath onely used or hereafter shall use, the trade of marchaundize, without keeping any shopp or using any other trade withall, [p. 33] but onely lyved as a meere marchaunt (Except all such as now be, or hereafter shalbe free of any speciall incorporation or Company of Marchaunts, trading by force of any act of Parliament, Chartre or letters patents, into any the parts beyond the Seas) shall and may from and after such tyme as he or they have or hath, or hereafter shall have onely used the trade of a meere marchaunt, during such full term of seaven yeres in forme aforesaid be admytted and receaved into the freedome of this society by Redemption for such fyne and fynes (according to the tyme they shall require the said freedome) as in and by the said Charter is lymited.
Every parson and parsons being the kings subiects as nowe be, or hereafter shalbe free of any speciall incorporation or Company of marchaunts trading by force of any act of Parliament, charter or letters patents into any the parts beyond the Seas, (except all Retailers, Artificers, Inholders, farmors, Comon marriners and handicrafts men, who are specially excluded out of this incorporation) shalbe receaved and admytted into this society by Redemption, when they shall require the same. So as they offer and [p. 34] pay to Mr. President or his Deputy for the tyme being to the use of this society, at the tyme of his or their admyttaunce, such some and somes of money as is usually paid by others requiring to be admytted by redemption, into such other fellowshipp or Company, whereof such parsons so requiring to be admytted into this incorporation shalbe then free, or otherwise shall procure such and so many freedoms without fyne, for such and so many and the like nomber of this society (to be from tyme to tyme nomynated by the President of this society, and any fower or more of the Assistants for the tyme being) into such other fellowshipp or Company, whereof such parson or parsons so requiring to be admytted into this society shalbe then free. And paying to the Secretary (for entring every of their names) Two shillings, and to the Beadle twelvepence and shall take the Oath appointed for a Redemptioner, to be so receaved as aforesaid.
596. That no retailer or artificer etc. shall be received into the freedom. 'No Retailer, Artificer, Inholder, farmor, Comon marriner, or handycrafts man shalbe receaved or admytted into the freedom of this society for any fyne.'
597. [p. 35] The admission of sons and apprentices of redemptioners. 'The Sonne or Apprentice of a Redempcioner shall pay successively such fyne as his father or master paid, or ought to have paid, at the tyme of his admyssion.'
No man free of this Company shall after Michaelmas next Anno 1605 take any Apprentice to be bownde for any lesse terme then Eight yeres, nor the yeres of any apprentice shall end before he be of the age of fower and twenty years upon payne of Twenty pownde. Neverthelesse it shalbe lawfull to the Master of every such apprentice, at th'end of seaven years, to make his apprentice free of this society (yf the Apprentice shall faithfully serve, during the said seaven yeres), So as every such Apprentice shalbe then of the full age of fowre and twenty yeres.
Also yf any Apprentice by the Death of his Master with whome he was first bownd, or upon any other occasion be sett over, to any brother of the Company for the residue of his terme, He shall at his Admyssion into the freedome, pay such fyne as he should have done, by being made free by his first maister. And shalbe translated over by the consent of the Company, and his translation endorsed upon the back of the Indentur by the Secretary of this Company.
All parsons clayming the freedome of this Company by Patrymony, shalbe borne meere English (that is to say) within the king's Domynions, or made a Denizen by acte of Parliament, and shalbe of the Age of Twenty and one yeres at the least.
Apprentice taken after this day (being the 30 day of August Anno domino 1605) marying before the expiration of his terme, or doing feate of Marchaundize to his owne use, without lycence of his master, or absenting himself willingly, contrary to the will of his master, by the space of two monethes, shall never enioy the freedome of the Company by Apprentizehood.
An Apprentice clayming his freedome by Apprentizehood, shall shewe forth his Indenture in due forme made in Cittie, Borough or Towne Corporate, with a letter from his maister, (yf he be not present in Court) testefying that he hath well and truly served him as an Apprentize, according to the Ordynaunce.
If any parson shall at any tyme hereafter write Declare avowe or testefy, by his letter or otherwise, for the iust and true Service of his Apprentice, whereby such Apprentice shall attaine and enioye the freedome of this Company, and the testymony or declaration shall afterward be disproved, such a maister so offending shall forfeit to the use of the society Tenn poundes, and the Apprentize so fraudulently made free shalbe Disfranchised and Dismyssed out of the Company.
Every parson clayming or desyring his freedome by Patrymony, Apprentizehood, or otherwise, shall present himself two or three Daies before the Courte to the Secretary, to the intent he may informe the Courte of such matters, as shalbe requisite in his admyssion, or els shall not be admytted at this Courte.
And to the intent it may appeere at the taking of every Apprentice, whether it were ment he should be bownde for the trade of Spayne and Portugall or no, it is therefore ordayned and enacted, that in all Indentures of Apprentizehood, by which any apprentice shall clayme to be made free of this society, which shalbe made after Michaelmas next coming which shalbe anno Domino 1605 these wordes shalbe inserted, 'et mercatori Anglie mercantes in Hispaniam et Portugaliam' or in English, 'And Marchaunt of England trading into Spayne and Portugall' or to the like effect. Or els that Indenture of Apprentizehood and touching the freedome of this Company shalbe voide and of none effect.
All Letters requests or writings directed to the President and Assistaunts shalbe openly published, at the next Court of Assistaunts to be holden after the delivery of them. And all letters, requests, or writings, directed to the President, Assistaunts and generallity, shalbe openly published at the next generall courte to be holden after the delivery of them, upon payne that every parson that shall neglect or hinder the performance thereof shall forfeit Twenty shillings, and such other fyne as such Courte, to whom the same respectively shalbe directed, shall order and appointe.
Even as no comon weale, Company or fellowshipp can prosper or contynue without good acts ordynaunces constitutions and lawes, whereby we restrayne malefactors, and to punish offenders, Even so such Acts ordynaunces constitutions and lawes wilbe of smale force and effect, yf they be not (when occasion may serve) put in Due execution. It is, therefore for the better government of this company ordayned and enacted, that yf any parson free of the same, shall transgress and breake any Act or ordynaunce made by comon consent of the Company, it shalbe lawfull for any parson to informe the President or his Deputy or Treasorer within every Devizion of the offence commytted, specially mencioning the tyme and place, and all other circumstaunces, which may manifest and playnely sett forth the matter. Which information or presentment the Secretary shall register in a Booke therefore to be kept, which booke he shall keepe secrett, and not shew to any parson, but to the President, his Deputy or Treasorer, nor shall by any meanes discover the name of the Presentor or informer.
609. [p. 42] The Treasorer shall by the officer commaund every parson presented to put in suerties for the some supposed to be forfeited, to aunswer to the matter presented, and to pay that he shalbe condempned in which sureties shall sett their hands to a booke therefore provided. And the parson so warned refusing, or not doing of yt, shall by vertue and force of our letters patents be commytted to ward by the President, or his Deputy and Assistaunts, untill he shall have accomplished this order, And refusing to go to ward being commaunded by the said President or his Deputy and Assistaunts or the more parte of them assembled shall forfeit to the use of the Company Twenty pownds.
610. Any parson presented and sent for and spoken with by the officer, to appeare at a Courte of Assistaunts, to aunswer to any offence presented against hym making default, and having no reasonable excuse to be allowed by the said Court shall forfeit Tenn shillings.
611. No parson condempned in a Courte of Assistants for any offence, shall sue for grace before the whole some condempned be paid to the Treasorer, nor then neither, except it be in Court of Assistants within three Courte dayes after the payment of the money, (absent money, or for late coming onely excepted).
612. [p. 43] No restitution shalbe made of any Brocke or somes of Money condempned (except it be tried by ballating whether any restitution shalbe or no). And it shall likewise be tryed by ballating what shalbe retorned.
614. The party complayned on may purge himself by his Oath. But yf it shall after be fownde or tried, that he hath taken a wrong oath, He shalbe disfranchised out of the Freedome and liberties of this Company, as a parson periured.
617. And for asmuch as the marchaunts of England trading Spayne and Portugall, lately incorporated, dispersed in so many Citties, Townes and places of the realme, as it would be very chargeable and troblesome to compell them to make their contynuall apparaunce heere, to aunswer to any matter obiected against them, for breach of any of the Privileges Acts or ordynaunces made, or to be made by the President Assistaunts and fellowshipp heere in London: And where for the more ease, and better governement of them out of the Citty, there are divers Deputies appointed in divers citties and townes within the Realme, it is therefore at this Courte concluded agreed and ordayned, that it shalbe lawfull for every Deputy and Assistaunt, appointed or to be appointed out of the Cittie of London, or the more parte of them, within their severall Lymitts and Jurisdictions, to put in execution all such Acts and Ordynaunces as are or shalbe made by the President Assistaunts and fellowship of marchaunts of England trading into Spayne and Portugall resident heere in London, and to punish all transgressors and offendors of them, or any of them, by fyne mulkte ymprisonment or otherwise, in such and as large manner and forme, as the President or Deputy and Assistaunts heerein London, may or ought to doe, by force of his Majesty's letters patents, or of any act or ordynaunce made or to be made by them. Provided alwaies that every such Deputy shall yerely the [p. 45] Munday before the Assention Day, make certificate to the President or Deputy here, under hys hand of all the proceedings within his Circuit the yere precedent, in such manner as the same shalbe registred in the Courte Book.
Every Indenture of Apprentizehood already made or taken within the Cittie of London, whereby the freedome of this society may be challenged, shalbe delivered to the Secretary to be by him enrowled before the feast of Christmas next ensuing (which wilbe Anno Domino according to the computation of the Church of England 1605). And also every other Indenture of Apprenticehood, which after this Day (being the 30 Day of August 1605) shalbe made or taken within the said Cittie of London, whereby the freedome of this society may be challenged, shalbe delivered to the Secretary, to be by him enrowled, within one yere next after the Date and making of every such Indenture upon the payne that the Master of every Apprentize shall forfeit for every Indenture already made, or hereafter to be made, that shall not be so enrowled, according to the true meaning of this Act the some of 10s. And that the Secretary shalbe allowed for every such enrowlement the [p. 46] some of 12d. And moreover that every Indenture of Apprentizehood, already made or taken, within any other Citty Borough or towne Corporate, whereby the freedome of this society may be challenged, shalbe delivered to the Clark of that Devision respectively where yt was made, to be by him enrowled before the said feast of Christmas next ensuing. And also every other Indenture of Apprentizehood which after the said 30 Day of August, shalbe made or taken, within every Cittie Borough or towne Corporate whereby the freedome of this society may be challenged, shalbe likewise delivered to the Clarck of that Devision respectively where it was made, to be likewise by him enrowled within one yere next after the date and making of every such Indenture. Upon the like payne that the master of every Apprentice shall forfeit for every Indenture already made or hereafter to be made, that shall not be so enrowled according to the true meaning of this Act the some of 10s. And the severall Clarcks of every such severall devision, shall certefy to the Secretary of the society (resident in London) every yere the Munday after the Assension day, or oftener, all such enrowlements as they and every of them shall so severally take, to th'end, the same may also be so enrowled by the said Secretary. And that every such Clarck of every severall devision, shall receave for every such enrowlement the some of 2s., where of he shall retayne for his owne use 12d and the other 12d he shall send up hether to the said Secretary for his paynes, for enrowling the said Indenture here.
619. [p. 47] An act for dispensation notwithstanding the omission of the words 'merchants of Spain and Portugal' from apprentices' indentures, from 1585 until the feast of St. Michael the Archangel 1605. (fn. 4)
620. Forasmuch as during the tyme of the breach betweene our late soveraigne Lady Queene Elizabeth and the king of Spayne, divers parsons of this company being without hope of peace or reconciliation, did omytt out of their apprentizes Indentures the wordes 'Marchaunt of Spayne and Portugall' so that by the stricktnes of an auncient order no such parsons can clayme the benifitt of their freedome of Spayne and Portugall by any such service. It is Neverthelesse (upon full and deliberate Consideration) enacted concluded and agreed, that all such parsons as were or shalbe bownde to any freeman of this Company, at any tyme since the yere of our lord, One thowsand fyve hundreth Eighty fyve, untill the feast of Sainct Michaell th'archangell next ensuing, which shalbe Anno Domini 1605 shall and may be dispensed withall and be admytted into the freedome, Notwithstanding the omytting of the said wordes, so as they make iust proof of their service, and also make their clayme before the feast of Christmas next ensuing and so as the Indenture of every such Apprentize already bownde or to be bownd be [p. 48] enrowled with the Secretary before the said feast of Christmas next. And it is absolutely agreed that for all Indentures which shalbe made after the said feast of St. Michaell Th'archangell next ensuing, these words shalbe inserted 'Et Mercatori Anglie mercantes Hispaniam et Portugaliam' or in English 'and Marchaunt of England trading into Spayne and Portugall' or to the like effect. Or els that Indenture of Apprentizehood touching the freedome of this Company shalbe void and of none effect, as in an act before mencioned is laid downe and declared.
Item in avoyding of all questions that may hereafter growe, what value in Marchaundizes may be allowed to the owners of Shipps, or other vessells fraighted for Spayne or Portugall, or any the Islands or Places comprehended within our privileges, for the necessary provision of the said Shipps or vessells. It is ordered and enacted that it shall not be lawfull to or for any owner of any Shipp or vessell, to be fraughted into any the places aforesaid being not free of our Company, to have transporte [p. 49] or carry in goodes wares or marchaundizes upon payne to forfeit 5s. for every pownd value that shalbe brought or transported contrary to this act. Provided allwaies that yf any owner shall hereafter send any Shipp or vessell into the places aforesaid, empty or unladen to seeke fraight onely and fynde none, that then in such case it shalbe lawfull for every such owner, his factor or Atturney to make retorne in Salt, paying the ordynary ympositions for the same, without incurring any penalty or payne. Provided also that yt shalbe lawfull for every master and marriner, to carry and returne such Portage, as they have ben accustomed to doe, viz. to the master, to the value of his wages, not exceeding Twenty Powndes, and for the marriner so much of his owne proper Goods as he may carry in his ordynary Chest, or in his Cabbyn, not disfurnishing himself of his Lodging, So as it exceede not the value of fyve pownds. (fn. 5)
623. Item it is also ordayned and enacted, that no parson free of this society shall after the publication of this Act, send his sonne Servaunt or Apprentice (being not free of the Company) into Spayne or Portugall, or any the Islands comprehended within our priviledge, to doe any feate of Marchaundizes, or willingly suffer him so sent to doe any feate of Marchaundize there, before he have taken an Oath before the President or his Deputy in London, or before the Deputy under whose charge he is resiaunt, that he shall not Cullour Convey, nor take in charge, any the Goods wares and Marchaundizes of any parson, borne within the king's maiesties Domynions, to be transported or brought to or from any the Places aforesaid, contrary to the ordynaunces of this society, upon payne to forfeit to the use of this society, fyve powndes of lawfull money of England for every tyme that any such parson shall so be sent, contrary to the tenour of this Act.
625. And it is agreed concluded and enacted, that every parson and parsons, that is or shalbe free of this society, which hath already ioyned with any Partner or partners not being free of the Company shall presently make relation thereof in writing to the Secretary of the Company, signifying with whome, and in what manner he hath so ioyned, upon payne, that every one that shall not performe the same (besides the infringing of his Oath) shall pay such fyne, as by a generall Courte shalbe agreed.
626. Moreover, it is enacted and agreed that every parson and parsons not free of this company, which hath adventured any marchaundizes into Spayne or Portugall, or any places comprehended within our privilege, and also all such as have ioyned with any freeman shall have the favour and liberty of Six monethes viz. betweene this and the feast of Christmas next coming, for returning of their wares and marchaundizes from the said places. Provided allwaies that no such parson or parsons not being free, nor any whoe have ioyned with freemen, shall at any tyme or [p. 52] tymes from hensforth adventure any wares or marchaundizes outward, unto any the said places before mencioned. And moreover that after this Day noe parson or parsons, free of this fellowshipp shall ioyne, or deale as partener in occupying with any parson or parsons not free of the Company, nor with any Retailer, Artificer, Inhoulder, farmor, common marriner, or handycrafts man, of or for any goods wares or marchaundize to be transported or brought to or from Spayne or Portugall, or any place or places, comprehended within our privilege, upon payne to forfeit Twenty in the hundreth, to the use of the said fellowship. Provided allwaies that this Act shall not extend to any parson that doth occupy with any other being beyond the Sea, that may at his retorne enioy the freedome.
Forasmuch as in the letters patents lately graunted to us, whereby we are Incorporated and established a Society or fellowshipp of marchaunts of England, trading into Spayne and Portugall, There is a speciall exception that no Retailers, Artificers, Inholders, farmors Common Marriners or Handycrafts men, should be admytted into the sayd society. And forasmuch as not onely the meere marchaunts of the principall Citties and Townes of the Realme where marchaunts are, doe finde it inconvenient that a marchaunte should also be a Retayler, But also the Retailers in most places, which are not marchaunts but lyve onely by retaile, doe very much Complayne that the marchaunts which are also Retailers doe much hinder them in their trade and occupying, so as they are scant able to lyve.
628. The Company therefore aswell for the relief of the meere Retailer, As also for the reducing of a marchaunt into the right vocation and use of a marchaunt, After good deliberation doe by these presents decree ordayne and enact that from and after the feast of Sainct Michaell the archangell next coming, which shalbe Anno Domini 1605, no parson free of this Company which shall shipp or transport, or cause any goods wares [p. 54] or Marchaundizes to be shipped or transported, to or from Spayne or Portugall, or any the Islands Countries or Territories, comprehended within the said letters patents shall in any wise, during by all or any parte of such tyme, as he shall use or cause to be used any trade or traffique, to or from the said parts or any of them, use or exercise or cause to be used or exercised to his use Comodety or gayne, any handicraft or manuell occupation, or shall keepe any retailing, shopp, or use any retaile, or take any proffitt or comodety of any wares or marchaundizes, sould by retaile uppon payne of forfeiture of fyve shillings of the value of every pownde of such goods, wares, or Marchandizes so to be shipped or transported contrary to the true meanying of this Act. And in avoiding of all ambiguities and questions which may arise or growe upon the Definition of a Retailor and who is to be accoumted an Artificer or Retailor, it is by these presents declared ordayned and enacted that whatsoever parson or parsons doth or heereafter shall use or exercise any handicraft or manuall occupation, or doth or shall take any benifitt profit or comodety in use or exercise of any handicraft or manuall occupation or doth or shall by any manuell exercise, alter or cause to be altered to his gayne or proffitt any goods wares or marchaundizes from the same Kynde nature or forme they were or shalbe brought in, shalbe [p. 55] Accoumpted and adiudged an Artificer. And it is further declared, ordayned and enacted that whatsoever parson or parsons shall use or exercise or directly or indirectly cause or procure any person to use or exercise any trade in buying and selling any goods wares or marchaundizes to his or their privat or partable accoumpt gayne or Comodety in manner and forme as is hereafter declared and defined to be a retailor shalbe accoumpted and adiudged a retailor. First he that keepeth an open shopp or warehowse in the streate, having a servaunt or servaunts attendaunt upon his wares, and usually selleth any wares to Chapmen by Retaile, shalbe accoumpted a Retailor.
630. He that selleth any marchaundize commonly sould by the hundreth, by any lesse waight then the hundreth, or any marchaundizes commonly sould by the pownde, by any lesse waight, then the Dozen pownde (Cloves, Mace, Synamon, and Nutmegge except) which may be sould by the half Dozen (and Powder of grane, granatha silke and other Silke, Cochenelia, Anele, Druggs Colours and perfumes also excepted, which may be sould by the Pownde or other wise, shalbe accoumpted a retailor. He that selleth Oyle by any lesse vessell then Pipe or hoggeshead or [p. 56] els in such Caske or vessell, as it shalbe brought over in, shalbe Accoumpted a Retailer. Raisons ffiggs marmalade and suckets may be sould by the peece box or barrell, and not be accoumpted a Retailor. (fn. 6)
631. He that selleth any kinde of wyne by any lesse measure, then the Butt, Pype, Hoggeshead or Terce, (fn. 7) or els in such Caske as it shalbe brought over in shalbe Counted a Retailor.
632. He that selleth any Ropes, Tarred or untarred, by lesse waight then the hundreth or the Coile, or lesse length then the peece, shalbe accoumpted a Retailor, Provided that upon the Coast, it shalbe lawfull to sell by the half hundreth.
633. Steele or Nailes may be sould by the Tonne or half Tonne, Barrell, or half barrell, or some of Nailes. And in the Countrey, Steele may be sould by the ffaggott wispe or barr, and not to be accoumpted a Retailor. (fn. 8)
634. He that selleth wainescotts by lesse nomber then the Dozen, Clough boord by lesse nomber then the hundreth, Deale boorde by lesse nomber then the Dozen, Sope ashes by lesse quantety then the last, Pitch or Tarr by lesse quantety then the Barrell, shalbe accoumpted a Retailor. (fn. 9)
635. He that selleth any kinde of Cloth, or other stuffe made of silke woole fflax or Hemp, by lesse measure then the peece or half peece, as it was made, or brought from beyond the Seas, not being Cut in England, shalbe accoumpted a Retailor.
Every parson named in the last charter graunted to this society (being in England) shall clayme his and their freedome and pay such fynes and receave such oath, as according to the nature of their severall claymes and the true intent and meaning of the orders of this Company are lymited and appointed, within one yere next after the Date of the same charter viz. before the last day of May next ensuing, which shalbe anno Domino 1606. And yf any such parson be beyond the seas, then he shall make his clayme and demaund his freedome, and pay his fyne, and receave his Oath, within six monethes after his coming over into England. And also all and every other parson and parsons being in England not named in the Charter, and which are nowe Capeable of the said freedome, either by Patrymony or service, shall make his and their Claymes, and pay his and their fynes, within one yere next ensuing viz. before the last day of August, Anno Domino 1606. And if they be beyond the sea, they shall have six monethes liberty as aforesaid. And also every other parson and parsons which at any tyme hereafter, either by Patrymony or service may challeng the freedome of this society, shall make his and their claymes and pay his and their fynes within one yere next after the same respectively [p. 58] shalbe due unto them. And yf such parson be beyond the seas, then he shall have six monethes libertie after his returne into England as aforesaid. And if any such parson or parsons shall neglect, and shall not make his clayme, pay his fyne and receave his oath, within the tyme before severally and respectively lymytted, that then every such parson shall forfeit, and pay to the use of this society a fyne of Twenty shillings. And yf he or they shall neglect, and shall not make his and their clayme, paye his fyne, and receave his oath before the end of one other yere longer, then he shall pay a fyne of forty shillings. And yf he deferr it a third yere, then he shall pay a fyne of three powndes, being the greatest fyne that shalbe taken, notwithstanding he deferr his clayme never so long.
637. And yf the same fyne and fynes shall not be paide by hym or them who ought to have payd the same, that yet neverthelesse it shalbe aunswered and paid, by his and their Children, or Servaunts, before any of them shalbe admytted or receaved into the freedome of this society. Provided allwaies that this Act shall not extent to any Redemptioner nor to the sonnes or servaunts of any Redempcioner, but that they shall have libertie to clayme their freedome at their pleasures paying the fynes in that case lymitted and appointed. Neither shall it extend to the fyve honorable Earles named in the patent, Nor to the Lord Chief Baron, Mr. Attorney generall, Sir Danyell Dun, the three Clarcks of his Majesty's privy Counsaill, and the two Clarcks of his Majesty's signett and privy seale being likewise named in the charter, Nor to any that shall or may clayme the freedome by or under their rights.
638. [p. 59] An act that no child or apprentice of any usual trader before 1569, whose father or master was dead before the granting of the charter of 8 June 1577 by Queen Elizabeth, can or lawfully may challenge the freedom by virtue of the said charter.
Whereas at a generall Courte holden the 8 day of November 1577 it was concluded and ordered in these wordes viz.; Where question was moved at this Courte and intreated upon, for the admytting of such auncient Marchaunts, children and servaunts, whose fathers or maisters were usuall traders into Spayne or Portugall, before anno 1569 and neverthelesse Deade before the graunte of the letters patents. It was agreed concluded and adiudged by the whole Courte that it was not necessary that any such should be receaved or admytted, for that they be without the compasse of the expresse words of the said graunt, as by the sayd order may appeere. Which said opynion and resolution which was then concluded and agreed upon by the generall courte at that time, who were best acquainted with the true intent and meaning of the said charter, is now this Day (being the 30 of August 1605) confirmed and allowed, And ordered and enacted that the same shalbe observed accordingly. Provided alwaies that this act shall not extent or be prediudiciall to any parson whose name is inserted in the last Charter graunted by his majestie to this Society, Dated 31 Maii Anno regno Jacobi et cetera Tertio.