Rawlinson MS. D51
Letters Patent of incorporation, 1616/17

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London Record Society

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Author

Francis W. Steer (editor)

Year published

1968

Supporting documents

Pages

80-91

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'Rawlinson MS. D51: Letters Patent of incorporation, 1616/17', Scriveners' company common paper 1357-1628: With a continuation to 1678 (1968), pp. 80-91. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=35922 Date accessed: 29 July 2014.


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Letters Patent of incorporation, 1616/17

[Rawl. D51, p. 10c] (fn. 1) James by the grace of God King of England Scotland France and Ireland defender of the faith &c To all to whome these present letters shall come, greeting Whereas the freemen of our Cittie of London and the suburbs of the same commonly called Writers of the Court Letter of the Cittie of London in times past and from the time whereof the memory of man is not to the contrary were and as yett are an ancient Society and fraternity of the Cittie aforesaid, and the men useing the art within the same Cittie are increased into a greater number then heretofore and very many of them are very often used and exercised in very hard matters and businesses of great moment and much trust within the same Cittie

Know yee that we for the embettering [In the margin: The constitution of the Corporation] and amendment of the estate of our people of the Society or fraternity aforesaid, and for the good rule and better government of all men useing the science, art or mistery of scrivenors within our Cittie of London and the libertyes and suburbs of the same and also within the circuit of three miles of the same Cittie of our especiall grace, and of our certaine knowledg and meer motion Have granted and given full power and authority and by these presents doe grant and give full power and authority for us our heires and successors to our beloved and faithfull liege people and subjects all the freemen of the science art or mistery of scrivenors of our Cittie of London and the suburbs of the same and by these presents will and ordaine, and for us our heires and successors grant appoynt and declare that they from henceforth for ever may and shalbe [Rawl. D51, p. 13] one body corporate and politique of themselves in matter deed and name and one perpetuall Society and commonalty incorporate by the name of The Master Wardens and Assistants of the Company of Scriveners of the Cittie of London. And them by the name of the Master Wardens and Assistants of the Company of Scriveners of the Cittie of London a body corporate and politique forever really and to the full in and by all things for us our heires and successors doe erect ordaine make create appoynt and establish by these presents. And that they by the same name of [In the margin: Perpetual Succession) Master Wardens and Assistants of the Company of Scrivenors of the Cittie of London may have perpetuall succession. And that they and their successors (from henceforth forever) [In the margin: The name of the Corporation) shalbe named and called by the name of Master Wardens and Assistants of the Company of Scrivenors of the Cittie of London. And that they by the name of Master Wardens and Assistants of the Company of Scrivenors of the Cittie of London may and shalbe in times perpetuall and to come persons able and capable in law to have purchase receive possesse and enjoy to them and their successors in fee as well manners messuages lands tenements libertyes, priviledges [In the margin: Power to purchase) jurisdictions franchizes rents rectorys tythes revenues and other hereditaments whatsoever and also to give grant sell demise assigne and dispose the said mannors messuages lands tenements hereditaments goods and chattells or any parcell or parcells thereof from time to time. And all and singular deeds writings and things necessary about the same to performe doe seale and execute at their will and pleasure. And that they by the name of the Master Wardens and Assistants of the Company of Scriveners of the Cittie of London [In the margin: Power to plead and be impleaded) may plead and be impleaded and may be able and have power to answer and be answered defend and be defended before whatsoever judges and justices and other officers and ministers of us our heires and successors and other persons whatsoever in whatsoever courts and places in all and singular matters suites pleas complaints actions demaunds and causes whatsoever of whatsoever kinde nature condition or sort they be and in as ample manner and forme as any other or subjects of this our realme of England being persons able or capable in law may and can plead and be impleaded answer and be answered, defend and be defended and have receive possesse give grant and demise. [In the margin: That they may have a common seal) And that they the said Master Wardens and Assistants of the Company of Scriveners of the Cittie of London may have forever a common seal for themselves and their successors to serve for the doing and sealing their causes things and businesses whatsoever. And that it may and shalbe lawfull to the said Master Wardens and Assistants of the Company aforesaid and their successors the same seale at their will and pleasure from time to time to break spoyle change and new make as to them shall be thought fitt and expedient

And further of our more abundant grace [In the margin: That there be a Master and two Wardens) we will and ordaine for us our heires and successors by these presents that from henceforth forever in times to come there may and shalbe one Master and two Wardens of the aforesaid Company of Scriveners of the Cittie of London to rule and governe that Company and the men of the same Company and all things matters causes and businesses touching or concerning that Company, to be chosen and appoynted in manner and forme in these our letters patents specified and limitted

And furthermore [In the margin: That there be 27 assistants] for the better assistance and councell of the Master and Wardens of the Company aforesaid for the time being in and about the execution of their severall offices aforesaid of our more abundant grace we will and ordaine for us our heires and successors [Rawl. D51, p. 14] by these presents that from henceforth forever there may and shalbe twenty seaven men discreet and very honest persons of the same Company (vizt) the Master and Wardens of the aforesaid Company for the time being and twenty four other persons of the Company aforesaid who shall be and shall be called Assistants of that Company for all matters causes and businesses touching or concerning that Company and the good rule state and government of the same Company to be chosen and appoynted in manner and forme in these our letters pattents specified and limitted. And that the said twenty and four men from time to time shallbe assisting aiding and councelling to the said Master and Wardens of the Company aforesaid for the time being in all things and businesses touching or concerning the Company aforesaid (as is aforesaid [)]

And besides for the better execution of the premisses and of our commands and grant in that behalfe, [In the margin: The nomination of the first Master), and for the good government and rule of the Company aforesaid of our more abundant grace aforesaid we have assigned named created ordained and appoynted, and by these presents for us our heires and successors doe assigne name create ordaine and appoynt our beloved subject William Dod gentleman one of the aforesaid Company to be the first and moderne Master of the aforesaid Company of Scrivenors of the Cittie of London, making oath before the Maior of our Cittie of London to exercise that office faithfully and honestly. Willing that the aforesaid William Dodd shalbe and remayne Master of the Company aforesaid from the day of the date of these presents untill Tuesday next after the feast of St. James the Apostle next following, and from the same Tuesday untill another fitt and discreet person of the same Company shalbe chosen into the office of Master of that Company, and shall make his oath to exercise that office according to the ordinances and provisions in these our letters patents specified and limitted, if the aforesaid William shall soe long live

And for the considerations aforesaid [In the margin: The nomination of the first Wardens] we have assigned nominated created ordained and appoynted and by these presents for us our heires and successors doe assigne nominate create ordaine and appoynt our beloved and faithfull subjects Francis Kempe gent: and Robert Griffith gent: being of the Company aforesaid to be the first and moderne Wardens of the aforesaid Company of Scrivenors of the Cittie of London, either of them likewise making oath before the Maior of the Cittie of London respectively to exercise their office faithfully and honestly, willing also that they the said Francis Kempe and Robert Griffith shalbe and remayne Wardens of the Company aforesaid from the day of the date of these presents untill the aforesaid Tuesday next after the aforesaid feast of St. James the Apostle next following, and from the same Tuesday untill two other fitt and discreet persons of the same Company shalbe chosen into the offices of Wardens of that Company, and shall make their oathes to exercise those offices according to the ordinances and provisions in these our letters patents expressed and limitted, if they the said Francis and Robert soe long shall live

And also we have assigned nominated created ordained and appoynted [In the margin: The nomination of the first Assistants] and by these presents for us our heires and successors doe assigne nominate create ordaine and appoynt the aforesaid William Dodd, Francis Kempe and Robert Griffith, and our well beloved subjects John Mayle, esq., Thomas Chapman, George Samdwell, Thomas Fitch, Andrew Turner, Edward Ledsham, John Partridg, Robert Banckeworth, Jeoffry Place, Henry Best, Robert Hill, Robert Morgan, Peter Bower, Edward White, William Hickes, Godfrey Reyner, George Hill, James Colebrand, Charles Bostock, Francis Strange, John Halliwell, Richard Wotton, William Child and John Woodward [Rawl. D51, p. 17] being of the Company aforesaid to be the first and moderne Assistants of the Company aforesaid, every one of the aforesaid William Dodd, Francis Kempe and Robert Griffith making oath before the Maior of our Cittie of London aforesaid and every one of the aforesaid other Assistants making oath before the aforesaid Master and Wardens of that Company or any two of them to exercise their severall offices and places aforesaid faithfully and honestly. Willing that the aforesaid William Dodd, Francis Kempe, Robert Griffith, John Mayle, Thomas Chapman, George Samwell, Thomas Fitch, Andrew Turner, Edward Ledsham, John Partridg, Robert Banckworth, Jeoffrey Place, Henry Best, Robert Hill, Robert Morgan, Peter Blower, Edward White, William Hickes, Godfrey Reyner, George Hill, James Colebrond, Charles Bostock, Francis Strange, John Holliwell, Richard Wotton, William Childe and John Woodward shalbe & remayne Assistants of the Company aforesaid for and dureing their naturall lives respectively unless any one or any more of them for any reasonable causes by the Master and Wardens and the greater part of the Assistants of the Company aforesaid for the time being, shalbe amoved and dismissed from his or their office or offices aforesaid

And further we have given and granted [In the margin: Power to choose a Clerk and Beadle and to amove them] and by these presents for us our heires and successors doe give and grant to the aforesaid Master, Wardens and Assistants of the Company of Scrivenors of the Cittie of London and their successors full power and authority that the Master and Wardens of the Company aforesaid and the rest of the Assistants of the same Company for the time being or the greatest part of them shall and may choose and nominate one Clerk and one Beadle or Bayliff from time to time as often and whensoever it shall please them, to serve the Master, Wardens and Assistants of the Company aforesaid for the time being in their commands and lawfull businesses whatsoever and that they shall and may from time to time for reasonable cause moveing the Master and Wardens of the Company aforesaid or the greater part of them amove and deprive them the said Clerk and Beadle or Bayliff or either of them from their offices or places.

We will also and for us our heires and successors [In the margin: That all useing the art of scrivenors who are not freemen of some other mistery shalbe contributory with the freemen of the mistery of scrivenors in all payments) doe grant by these presents to the aforesaid Master, Wardens and Assistants of the Company of Scrivenors of the Cittie of London and their successors that all strangers and forreigners as well outlandish as home borne and all other persons inhabiting within our Cittie of London, libertyes and suburbs of the same and within the circuit or precinct of three miles of the same Cittie, and occupying useing or exercising the mistery or art aforesaid which are not freemen of some other mistery or Company of the Cittie of London aforesaid, shall and may be from henceforth contributory with the freemen of the Company aforesaid in all payments as well to us our heires and successors, as also in the maintenance and sustentation of the art or mistery aforesaid, and shall pay and beare all such and the like charges and payments as our subjects the free men of the Company aforesaid doe pay or have accustomed or ought to pay.

We also ordaine and of our [In the margin: That all useing the art of scrivenors shall pay 2s. 8d. by the yeare for quarterage) like grace for the amendment and better support of the state of our people of the Company aforesaid for us our heires and successors by these presents doe give [Rawl. D51, p. 18] and grant to the aforesaid Master, Wardens and Assistants of the Company of Scrivenors of the Cittie of London and their successors that all men of the Company aforesaid and all other persons inhabiting or abodeing within our Cittie of London the libertyes and suburbs of the same, and within the aforesaid circuit or precinct of three miles of the same Cittie and occupying useing or exercising the mistery or art aforesaid shall from henceforth forever yearly pay to the Master, Wardens and Assistants of the Company of Scrivenors of the Cittie of London and their successors a yearly payment of two shillings and eight pence by the yeare at the four most usuall feasts in the Cittie of London (vizt) at the feast of the Annuntiac'on of the Blessed Virgine Mary, the Nativity of St. John Baptist, St. Michaell the Archangell, and the Birth of our Lord by equall portions to be paid (to witt) at every feast of the feasts aforesaid eight pence being an ancient payment and duty called quarterage of the freemen of the Company of the fraternity of Writers of the Court Letter of the Cittie of London to the Master or Wardens from the same fraternity from times past due and paid

And that the aforesaid Master, Wardens and Assistants of the Company of Scrivenors of the Cittie of London and their successors [In the margin: That the Master, Wardens and Assistants may levy the same by distress) may and shall have full power and authority from time to time forever to have receive require demand collect and by distresse and distresses to levy to their proper uses of and from all persons of the Company aforesaid and of and from all other persons whatsoever inhabiting or abideing within our Cittie of London the libertyes and suburbs of the same and within the aforesaid circuit or precinct of three miles of the same Cittie and occupying useing or exerciseing the mistery or art aforesaid, the aforesaid yearly payment of two shillings and eight pence by the yeare.

And further [In the margin: That they may have a Common Hall) of our more ample grace we will and by these presents for us our heires and successors doe give and grant to the aforesaid Master, Wardens and Assistants of the Company of Scrivenors of the Cittie of London and their successors that they the said Master, Wardens and Assistants of the Company of Scrivenors of the Cittie of London and their successors from henceforth forever may have a Common Hall or Councell House in some convenient place within our said Cittie of London and the libertyes of the same Cittie, and that it shall and may be lawfull to them the said Master, Wardens and Assistants of the Company of Scrivenors of the Cittie of London and to all the freemen of the Company and to all other persons inhabiting or abiding within our Cittie of London the libertyes and suburbs of the same and within the aforesaid circuit or precinct of three miles of the same Cittie and occupying useing or exerciseing the mistery or art aforesaid from time to time to meet appeare & gather themselves together in the Hall or Councell House aforesaid, or within any other convenient house in the said Cittie the libertyes of the same soe often & when as & whensoever & wheresoever it shall seeme to be expedient & necessary to the Master, Wardens & Assistants of the Company aforesaid & their successors

And that [In the margin: And have power to keep their antient customes and lawfull ordinances] the aforesaid Master, Wardens & Assistants of the Company of Scrivenors of the Cittie of London & their successors from henceforth forever shall & may not only have hold & enjoy to them & their successors all their ancient customes and lawfull ordinances heretofore in any wise granted to them or their successors or by them or their predecessors or by the Writers of the Court Letter of our Cittie of London or by whatsoever other name they are called or named, heretofore used or enjoyed for the good rule and government of the freemen of the mistery art or science of Scrivenors of the Cittie of London but also that the Master and [Rawl. D51, p. 21. In the margin: Andmay make other constitutions &c.] Wardens of the Company aforesaid, and the rest of the Assistants of the same Company for the time being or the greater part of them from time to time from henceforth forever for the wholsome rule and better government of the Company aforesaid as often as shall please them, shall and may lawfully and unpunishably ordaine establish and make other lawes rules orders constitutions and reasonable ordinances and agreeable to the lawes and statutes of our realme of England according to their sound discretions for the profitt of the Company aforesaid and for other lawfull causes. And [In the margin: And put the same in execution] the same statutes constitution and ordinances from time to time may put or cause to be put in execution without molestation disturbance impeachment or impediment of us our heires or successors or of any our justices maiors sherriffs or other offices or ministers whatsoever (any statute act ordinance custome or use to the contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding [)] And the same statutes constitutions and [In the margin: And revoak the same) ordinances soe had and made or any of them from time to time change revoak and adnihilate as to them or the greater part of them shall seem to be convenient and expedient

And also we will and for us our heires and successors doe grant by [In the margin: Power to tax all useing the art aforesaid who are not freemen of some other mistery for the support & maintenance of the Company aforesaid] these presents to the aforesaid Master, Wardens and Assistants of the Company of Scrivenors of the Cittie of London and their successors that the Master and Wardens of the Company aforesaid and the rest of the Assistants of the same Company for the time being or the greater part of them from time to time may and shall have full power and authority to impose and tax such reasonable payments taxations impositions and summes of money whatsoever upon the severall persons of the Company aforesaid, all other persons useing the science art or mistery aforesaid within our Cittie of London the suburbs and libertyes of the same Cittie & within three miles of the same Cittie who are not freemen of some other Company or Mistery of the Cittie aforesaid, as to them the said Master and Wardens and the rest of the Assistants of the Company aforesaid for the time being or the greater part of them shall seeme to be necessary and convenient for the supportation maintenance good rule and sound government of that Company

And further of [In the margin: Power to tax fines upon all useing the art aforesaid for not appearing or for not fulfilling the orders & to levy them by distresse] our more abundant grace certaine knowledg and meer motion we have ordained and for us our heires and successors doe by these presents grant to the aforesaid Master, Wardens and Assistants of the Company of Scriveners of the Cittie of London and their successors That if any person of the same Company or any other person useing or occupying the art science or mistery aforesaid within the said Cittie of London or the libertyes of the same or within three miles of the same Cittie shalbe summoned by the officer or minister of that Company to appeare at any court or assembly by the Master or Wardens of the Company aforesaid for the time being in any certaine place within the same Cittie of London or the libertyes of the same hereafter (as is aforesaid) to be holden or appoynted, and such person soe summoned shall not appeare at the day hour and place soe appoynted not having lawfull or reasonable cause or excuse by the Master and Wardens of the Company aforesaid and the rest of the Assistants of that Company for the time being or the greater part of them to be allowed Or if any person of the same Company or any other person useing the art science or mistery aforesaid within the said Cittie of London the suburbs and libertyes of the same Cittie or within three miles of the same Cittie shall refuse to pay or shall not pay [Rawl. D51, p. 22] all impositions payments taxations or summes of money upon him or them (as is aforesaid) reasonably taxed and imposed or hereafter to be taxed or imposed or shall not fulfill all just and lawfull statutes acts ordinances and constitutions by the Master and Wardens of the Company aforesaid and the rest of the Assistants of that Company for the time being or the greater part of them made or hereafter to be made, but shall infringe the same just and lawfull statutes acts ordinances or constitutions or any of them that then and soe often it shall and may be lawfull to the Master and Wardens of the Company aforesaid and the rest of the Assistants of that Company for the time being or the greater part of them from time to time to impose assesse and tax upon every such person and persons so delinquent, all such fines amerciaments and summes of money whatsoever for his or their offence or contempt in that behalfe, as to the Master and Wardens of the Company aforesaid and the rest of the Assistants of that Company for the time being or the greater part of them shall seeme to be necessary and convenient. And that it shall and may be lawfull to the Master and Wardens of the Company aforesaid and the rest of the Assistants of that Company for the time being or the greater part of them from time to time soe often and when as it shall please them to assess & distreyne as well all the freemen of that Company as all strangers and forreigners and other persons whatsoever dwelling within the said Cittie of London and the libertyes of the same or within the aforesaid circuit or precinct of three miles of the same Cittie and occupying useing or exerciseing the mistery or art aforesaid and not being free men of some other Company or mistery of the Cittie aforesaid, and the fines & amerciaments aforesaid and also all other payments taxations impositions and summes of money whatsoever upon them or any of them from time to time imposed and taxed, or to be imposed or taxed may and shall levy and collect the same by distresse and convert unto the proper use of the Company aforesaid lawfully and unpunishably without the molestation disturbance or burthen of us our heires or successors or of whatsoever justices escheators sherriffs bailiffs or other our officers ministers or subjects whatsoever

And further [In the margin: Power to choose Master & Wardens yearly] of our more ample grace and of our certaine knowledg and meer motion we will and ordaine and for us our heires & successors doe grant by these presents to the Master, Wardens and Assistants of the Company of Scriveners of the Cittie of London and their successors full power and authority that the Master and Wardens of the Company aforesaid and the rest of the Assistants of the same Company for the time being or the greater part of them yearly from time to time hereafter upon Tuesday next after the feast of St. James the Apostle in every yeare or at any other time when it shall seeme to them more necessary and fitt shall and may come and choose one fitt & discreet person of the Assistants of the Company aforesaid to be Master of the Company And also two other fitt and discreet persons of the Assistants of the Company aforesaid to be Wardens of that Company to rule governe and oversee the Company aforesaid and all the aforesaid men of the art or mistery aforesaid their servants and apprentices. Every one of them makeing oath before the Master and Wardens next precedent or any two of them or before the greater number of the Assistants of the same Company to exercise and execute their severall offices respectively well and faithfully in all things, and that they the said Master and Wardens soe newly nominated elected and sworne shall and may exercise their severall offices aforesaid for one whole yeare then next following and from thenceforth untill some others in the severall offices aforesaid respectively [Rawl. D51, p. 25] shall be of new nominated elected and sworne according to the tenor and effect of these presents

We will also and by these presents for us our heires and successors [In the margin: Power to choose Master or Wardens after the amovall or death of any one within the yeare] doe ordaine and grant that soe and as often whensoever it shall happen the Master or Wardens of the Company aforesaid for the time being or any of them to dye and depart out of this life or otherwise to be amoved from their offices for some reasonable cause before the end of the same yeare in which (as is aforesaid) he or they shalbe nominated and elected (whome we will shall be amoveable by the Master and Wardens of the Company aforesaid) who be in their offices aforesaid and by the rest of the Assistants of the Company aforesaid for the time being or the greater part of them for reasonable cause That then and soe often it shall and may be lawfull to the Master, Warden or Wardens of the Company aforesaid and the Assistants of the same Company then for the time being in full life, and in his or their office or offices or the greater part of them, within fourteene dayes next after the death or amoveall of such Master, Warden or Wardens to nominate and new elect some other fitt and discreet person or persons of the aforesaid number of Assistants in the place and stead of the same person or persons soe dead or amoved, and that he or they soe newly nominated and elected makeing oath in forme aforesaid shall and may exercise and execute that or those office or offices respectively for the residue of the same yeare and from thenceforth untill some other or others shalbe nominated and elected to the same offices according to the tenor and effect of these presents

We will also and of our like grace doe ordaine [In the margin: To choose Assistants within three months after the death or amoveall of another] that soe and as often and whensoever it shall happen one or more of the Assistants of the Company aforesaid for the time being to dye or be amoved from his office or place for some reasonable cause (as is aforesaid) whome we will shalbe amoveable by the Master and Wardens of the Company aforesaid and the rest of the Assistants of that Company for the time being or the greater part of them for reasonable cause, That then and soe often it shall and may be lawfull to the Master and Wardens of the Company aforesaid and the rest of the Assistants of the same Company then being in full life and in his or their office or offices, or the greater part of them within three monthes after the death or amoveall of such person from time to time to nominate and choose a new one or more other fitt person or persons of the freemen of the commonalty or Company aforesaid in the place or stead of the same person or persons soe dead or amoved, And that every such person soe nominated and elected makeing his oath before the Master and Wardens of the Company aforesaid for the time being or any two of them to exercise that office or place honestly and faithfully, shalbe one of the Assistants of the Company aforesaid for terme of the life of every such person untill he be amoved from that office for reasonable cause by the Master and Wardens and the rest of the Assistants of the Company aforesaid for the time being or the greater part of them (as is aforesaid)

And further we will and for us our heires and successors doe grant [In the margin: A grant to hold lands and tenements, goods and chattells formerly purchased] to the aforesaid Master, Wardens and Assistants of the Company of Scrivenors of the Cittie of London and their successors that they the said Master, Wardens and Assistants of the Company aforesaid and their successors from henceforth forever shall and may have and enjoy to them and [Rawl. D51, p. 26] their successors all goods and chattells, lands, tenements, possessions and hereditaments whatsoever which they now have hold enjoy and possesse, and which their predecessors the Master, Keepers or Wardens and Comminalty of freemen of the science art or mistery of Writers of the Court Letter of the Cittie of London and the suburbs of the same or by whatsoever other name they are called or named heretofore have had held enjoyed or possessed or ought to have hold enjoy or possesse or of which any person or persons is or was, are or were seized to the use of the Master, Keepers or Wardens or Commonalty of freemen of the science art or mistery of Writers of the Court Letter of the Cittie of London and suburbs of the same

And further know ye that we [In the margin: Licence to purchase lands, tenements, goods & chattells] in consideration that the said Master, Wardens and Assistants of the Company of Scrivenors of the Cittie of London and their successors shall and may the better beare and support the charges of that Company from time to time of our more ample especiall grace certaine knowledg and meer motion have granted and given licence, and for us our heires and successors doe by these presents grant and give licence and lawfull faculty power and authority to the Master, Wardens and Assistants of the Company of Scrivenors of the Cittie of London and their successors that they and their successors from time to time lawfully and unpunishably shall and may purchase receive and obtaine to them and their successors forever, as well of us our heires and successors, as of whatsoever person or persons, any messuages burgages lands tenements libertyes priviledges jurisdictions franchizes rents rectoryes tythes revenues and other possessions and hereditaments whatsoever which are not imediately holden of us our heires or successors in cheife by knights service nor are holden of us our heires or successors or any other or others by knights service without our lycence or of our heires or successors soe as such lands tenements and hereditaments soe (as is aforesaid) hereafter to be purchased and obteyned doe not exceed the cleer yearly value of two hundred marks by the yeare besides all charges and reprizes. And [In the margin: The value of land in mortmaine] that they the said Master, Wardens and Assistants of the Company aforesaid and their successors all and singular the same lands tenements & hereditaments heretofore (as is aforesaid) obtained or hereafter (as is aforesaid) to be purchased and obtained shall and may from time to time demise lett grant sell charge and at their pleasure dispose [In the margin: Licence to demise & dispose of lands and tenements] as to them shall seeme to be most expedient (The statute of lands and tenements not to be put to mortmaine or any other statute act ordinance provision or restraint to the contrary thereof made published ordained and provided or any other thing cause or matter whatsoever in any wise notwithstanding)

And further wee will and for us our heires and successors doe by these presents grant [In the margin: A grant to enjoy all grants, priviledges, customes antiently used & granted] to the aforesaid Master, Wardens and Assistants of the Company of Scrivenors of the Cittie of London and their successors that they the said Master, Wardens and Assistants of the Company of Scrivenors of the Cittie of London and their successors from time to time hereafter shall and may from henceforth forever use have hold and enjoy to them and their successors all and singular the same and such like lands tenements possessions hereditaments franchizes priviledges exemptions admittance jurisdictions ordinances and reasonable customes which the Master and Wardens or Keepers and Commonalty of freemen of the science art or mistery [Rawl. D51, p. 29] of Writers of the Court Letter of the Cittie of London and the subjects of the same within the Cittie aforesaid or within the suburbs of the same Cittie at the time of the makeing of these presents had, or they or their predecessors or the freemen of the aforesaid science art or mistery or the Master, Wardens & Assistants of the science art or mistery of Writers of the Court Letter of the Cittie of London aforesaid and the suburbs of the same within the same Cittie of London by whatsoever names or whatsoever name, by whatsoever corporation, or by colour of whatsoever corporation, before these times have or hath had possessed held or enjoyed or ought to have enjoy use or hold by reason or colour of any charters or letters patents in any wise heretofore made granted or confirmed by us or any of our progenitors kings or queenes of this our realme of England or by whatsoever other lawfull meanes right custome use prescription or title heretofore used had or accustomed (Any thing cause or matter whatsoever to the contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding[)]

And further of our more ample grace [In the margin: Power to search & oversee within three miles aswell freemen as forreignors useing the art aforesaid] and of our certaine knowledg and meer motion we will and doe grant by these presents for us our heires and successors to the aforesaid Master, Wardens and Assistants of the Company of Scrivenors of the Cittie of London and their successors full and whole power and authority that the said Master, Wardens & Assistants of the Company aforesaid and their successors or six of them at the most whereof we will the Master or Wardens of the Company aforesaid for the time being or some of them to be alwayes one, shall and may forever enjoy and exercise within our aforesaid Cittie of London the libertyes and suburbs of the same, and within our Cittie of Westminster and the libertyes of the same, the burrough of Southwark, the precinct of St. Katherines near the Tower of London, and in all other places within three miles every way about the said Cittie of London the full and whole survey search examination correction punishment and government as well of all and singular the freemen of the said Cittie of London, as also of all and singular other men forreigners within the said Citties of London and Westminster and the libertyes and suburbs of the same, the burrough of Southwarke and precinct of St. Katherines aswell within libertyes as without in any wise useing and frequenting the said science art or mistery of Scrivenors or publiquely or openly makeing and writing any evidences charters deeds or writeings to be sealed within the same Citties the libertyes and suburbs of the same and places aforesaid or any of them, or elsewhere in any other place not distant above three miles from the said Cittie of London.

And that the Master and Wardens of the Company aforesaid and the rest of the Assistants of the same Company [In the margin: Power to punish all off ending in the art & to levy fines and amerciaments on such persons by distress] for the time being or the greater part of them from time to time forever shall and may have full power and authority to punish and correct all men, as well freemen of the said Cittie of London as also strangers and forreigners (as is premised) frequenting or useing the science art or mistery of Scrivenors as well within the said Cittie of London and suburbs of the same and places aforesaid as within the aforesaid limitts or distance of three miles every way about the said Cittie of London for their defaults in insufficiently doeing executing and useing the science art or mistery aforesaid and to correct and amend the defaults in the same science art or mistery (if any shalbe found) [Rawl. D51, p. 30] according to their sound discretions, and to tax reasonable fines and amerciaments upon whatsoever delinquents according to the exigency of the same faults, and the same to levy collect and take to the proper uses of them and their successors by distresses And further to doe as they shall think fitt for the most proffitt of the Company aforesaid and of our people Although expresse mention is not made in these presents of the true yearly value or of the certainty of the premisses or any of them, or of other gifts or grants before these times made by us or any of our progenitors or predicessors to the aforesaid Master, Wardens and Assistants of the Company of Scrivenors of the Cittie of London or any statute act ordinance provision proclamation or restraint to the contrary thereof heretofore had made published ordained or provided or any other thing cause or matter whatsoever in any wise notwithstanding

In witnes whereof we have caused these our letters to be made patents Witnes our selfe at Westminster the eight and twentyth day of January in the fourteenth yeare of our raigne of England France and Ireland, and of Scotland the fiftyth.

By writt of privy seale &c.

Footnotes

1 P. 10b is blank. This is the first page of the translation of the charter of incorporation of the Company of Scriveners of the City of London, 28 January 1616/17, as given in Rawl. D51. The Latin version commences on p. 11 of Rawl. D51 and is continued on pp. 12, 15, 16, 19, 20, 23, 24, 27, 28 and 31. A translation of the charter as the same was read in the Court of Common Council, 6 May 1752, upon passing the Act for regulating the Company of Scriveners, has been printed by the Company, and a copy is given to each member on his admission; an epitome of the charter is in City of London Livery Companies' Commission, Report and Appendix, vol. 3 (1884), pp. 756, 757.