Rawlinson MS. D51
Ordinances of Company, 1618/19

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London Record Society

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Author

Francis W. Steer (editor)

Year published

1968

Supporting documents

Pages

92-107

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'Rawlinson MS. D51: Ordinances of Company, 1618/19', Scriveners' company common paper 1357-1628: With a continuation to 1678 (1968), pp. 92-107. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=35925 Date accessed: 16 September 2014.


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Contents

Ordinances of Company, 1618/19
1. Election of Master & Wardens yearly
2. Election of the Assistants within three moneths after the death or amoveing of any
[Rawl. D51, p. 36] 3. That there shall be a convenient number of the livery who shall pay upon their admittance to the Clarke 2s. 6d. & to the Bedell 12d. & £5 to the good of the Company
4. Election of the Master & Wardens within 14 days after the death or amoveing of any within the yeare
5. That there shall be a dinner on the election day and another on the Lord Maiors day and two Stewards to be chosen for each dinner & every steward that refuseth to hold shall forfeit £10
6. That there shall be a chest with four locks and four keys
7. That every person refuseing to be Master or Warden shall pay £20 & refuseing to be an Assistant shall pay £5
8. The Accomptant Warden to make his account before Michaelmas next after his departure out of office upon pain of 40s. & so 40s. every moneth untill the account be made
9. To nominate a Clarke and a Bedell & to amove them
10. [Rawl. D51, p. 39] That if the Master or Wardens or any of the Assistants or livery shall be knowne to be a vitious liver or convict of a notorious crime he shall be displaced
11. That there shall be four meetings called Quarter dayes to which all that use the art shall be summoned and whosoever doth not appear or after appeareance doth depart without leave shall forfeit 3s. 4d.
12. That there shall be monethly Courts upon occasion for hearing & decideing of all controversies & punishing of all offences against the ordinances
13. That all persons useing the art of a scrivener not being free of any other Company shall be contributory in all payments with the scrivenors to the King and otherwise
14. That all useing the art shall pay 2s. 8d. per annum for quartridg
[Rawl. D51, p. 41] 15. Power to tax & cesse all persons using the art not being free of any other Companyes for the supportation and maintenance of the Society
16. Power to set fines upon all men useing the art for not appearing or for infringeing any orders and to levy them by distresse
[Rawl. D51, p. 42] 17. Power to amove any Master, Warden or Assistant
18. Power to search & survey all persons useing the art in London & 3 miles compasse & to punish them by fines and to levy the fines by distresse
19. That noe person shall be made free of the Society till he be examined for his sufficiency & takeing the oath prescribed
20. That noe person shall use the art but such as shall be free of the Society and have taken his oath
21. That every person free of the Society shall take the oath prescribed
22. That none keepeing shopp shall keep in his service or employment in the science any but such as are free of the Society
23. That none take an apprentice for lesse than 7 years nor agree to releas any part of his tyme
24. That every apprentice shall be enrolled & presented within six moneths, upon paine of 6s. 8d. for each offence
25. That none shall set over his apprentice to any useing any other trade or occupation upon pain of five pounds
26. That none being once free of the Company shall be translated upon peine of £20
27. That noe person shall give any reproach full speeches to another or sweare in the Hall upon paine to forfeite 3s. 4d.
28. That if any useing the art shall have summons left to appeare at any Court or to attend the Lord Maior & Aldermen at any other meeting appointed & shall not appear every such per son shall forfeit 3s. 4d.
29. That every person shewing himselfe disobedient to these ordinances shall forfeit 40s.
30. The forme of every freemans oath
31. The Master and Wardens oath
32. The oath of the Assistants
33. The Clarkes oath
34. The Beadles oath
Footnotes

Ordinances of Company, 1618/19

[Rawl. D51, p. 34 edited transcript] (fn. 1) To all to whome these presents shall come Francis Lord Verulam, Lord Chancellor of England, Sir Henry Mountagu, Knight, cheife justice assigned to hold pleas before our Soveraigne Lord the King, and Sir Henry Hobart, Knight and Baronett, cheife justice of the court of com[m]on pleas send greeting.

Whereas in and by a certaine Act of Parliament holden at Westminster the sixteenth day of January in the nineteenth yeare of the reigne of the late most noble prince King Henry the Seaventh, it was amongst other things ordeyned established and enacted, That no Master Wardens and Fellowships of crafts or misteries nor any of them nor any rulers of guilds or fraternities after the feast of Pentecoste in the same Act mentioned should take upon them to make any acts or ordinances nor to execute any acts or ordinances by them before the said Act made in disinheritance or diminution of the prerogative of the King nor of other nor against the common proffitt of the people, but if the same acts or ordinances be examined and approved by the Chancellor, Treasurer of England or cheife justices of either benches or three of them or before both the justices of assize in their circuit or progresse in the sheire where such acts or ordinances be made upon paine of forfeiture of forty pounds for every tyme that they should doe contrary, as by the said Act amongst other things more plainely may appeare.

And whereas the freemen of the Citty of London useing the art or mistery of Scrivenors within the said Citty and suburbs of the same commonly heretofore called writers of the court letter of the Citty of London tyme out of mind have been an ancient society and brotherhood of the said Citty and are now lately upon due considerations incorporated by the name of Master, Wardens and Assistants of the Society of Writers of the Citty of London by letters patents of our now Soveraigne Lord King James under the great seale of England bearing date at Westminster the eight and twentieth day of January in the fourteenth yeare of his Majesties reigne of England France and Ireland and of Scotland the fiftieth and have divers auncient rules orders priviledges ordinances constitutions and oaths heretofore tyme out of minde by their predecessors the Master or Wardens and Governors of the said fraternity made and established and likewise have some other by the Master, Wardens and Assistants of the said Society now incorporated lately devised and made, all for the conservation rule and good order and better government and maintenance of the people useing the said art or mistery within the Citty of London, and the suburbs of the same, and [Rawl. D51, p. 35] within the circuite and precinct of three miles of the same Citty according to his Majesties graunt to them in that behalfe made which said rules orders acts ordinances constitutions and oaths they pray to be by us examined and approved according to the said Act of Parliament, And which said rules orders ordinances constitutions and oathes doe hereafter followe.

1. Election of Master & Wardens yearly

Imprimis It is ordered constituted and ordeined by the Master, Wardens and Assistants of the Society of Scrivenors of the Citty of London as followeth (That is to say) That the Master, Wardens and Assistants of the said Society for the tyme being or the major part of them yearely from tyme to tyme for ever hereafter on Tuesday next after the feast of St. James the Apostle in every yeare or some other tyme when to them it shall seem most necessary and fitt shall and may nominate and elect one fitt and discreet person of the Assistants of the Society aforesaid to be the Master of the said Society, and two other fitt and discreet persons of the Assistants of the same Society to be the Wardens of the same Society to rule governe and oversee the said Society and all the men of the art of mistery aforesaid their servants and apprentices every of them takeing his oath before the Master and Wardens next precedent or any two of them or before the greater number of the Assistants of the same Society their severall offices respectively well and faithfully in all things to exercise and execute, And that the same Master and Wardens so newly nominated elected and sworne their severall offices aforesaid shall and may exercise for one whole year then next ensuing, and from thence untill some others into the severall offices aforesaid respectively shall be newly nominated elected and sworne.

2. Election of the Assistants within three moneths after the death or amoveing of any

Item That whereas the Kings Majestie by his said letters patents hath appointed and nominated twenty and foure persons of the said Society to be the present Assistants to joyne with the Master and Wardens in the good government of the same Society which in the whole number is seaven and twenty of the Assistants, It is ordered that as often and whensoever it shall happen one or more of the Assistants of the said Society for the tyme being to dye or from his or their office or place to be amoved that then and so often it shall and may be lawfull to the Master and Wardens of the said Society and the rest of the Assistants of the same Society then in full life and in their offices being, or the major part of them within three moneths next after the death of amoveing of such person from tyme to tyme to nominate and elect de novo one or more other fitt person or persons of the freemen of the commonalty or Society aforesaid in the place and stead of the same person or persons so dead or amoved And that every person so nominated and elected takeing his oath before the Master and Wardens of the Society aforesaid for the tyme being or any two of them honestly and faithfully to exercise that place or office shall be one of the Assistants of the said Society for the terme of the life of every such person untill from that office for cause reasonable by the Master, Wardens and Assistants of the Society aforesaid for the tyme being or the major part of them he shall be amoved.

[Rawl. D51, p. 36] 3. That there shall be a convenient number of the livery who shall pay upon their admittance to the Clarke 2s. 6d. & to the Bedell 12d. & £5 to the good of the Company

Item It is ordeyned and constituted that the Master, Wardens and Assistants of the said Society or the major part of them for the tyme being as they shall thinke fitt and see cause shall and may from tyme to tyme call nominate choose and admitt into the livery or clothing of the said Society such and so many of the freemen of the said Society being willing to accept the same as they shall thinke good honest meet skillfull and able thereunto, and that every such person so called and chosen as aforesaid other than such as heretofore were of the Assistants of the said auncient brotherhood before the said corporation graunted shall pay unto the Master and Wardens of the said Society five pounds to be employed to the generall use of the said Society, and that every person whatsoever called chosen and admitted to be of the livery shall pay unto the Clerke of the said Society for entring his name into the roll or booke of the names of the livery two shillings and six pence, And shall likewise pay unto the Bailiffe or Beadle of the same Society twelve pence, And when such person shall be chosen into the Assistants of the said Society he shall pay to the said Clarke for entring his admittance two shillings and six pence, and to the Baileife or Bedell of the same Society twelve pence.

4. Election of the Master & Wardens within 14 days after the death or amoveing of any within the yeare

Item That so often and whensoever it shall happen the Master or Wardens of the said Society for the tyme being or any of them to dye or depart this life or otherwise from their offices for any cause reasonable to be amoved before the end of the same yeare in which as aforesaid they shall be nominated and elected, That then and so often it shall and may be lawfull to the Master, Warden or Wardens or other the Assistants of the same Society then for the tyme in full life and in their office or offices being or the major part of them within fourteene dayes next after the death or amoveing of such Master, Warden or Wardens to name and of new elect any other fitt and discreet person or persons of the number of the Assistants in the place and stead of the same person or persons so dead or amoved, And that he or they so newly nominated and elected and takeing his oath in forme aforesaid shall and may exercise and execute that office or those offices respectively for the residue of the same yeare and from thence untill some others to the same offices shall be nominated and elected.

5. That there shall be a dinner on the election day and another on the Lord Maiors day and two Stewards to be chosen for each dinner & every steward that refuseth to hold shall forfeit £10

Item It is ordeined and constituted that there shall be yearly kept at the Common Hall of the said Society or the place of meeting for the tyme being two dinners (that is to say) one dinner for the Master, Wardens and Assistants of the said Society and other the freemen of the same Company to be kept yearly upon the day of the election of the new Master and Wardens, And thother for the Master, Wardens, Assistants and livery of the said Company yearly to be kept on the day when the Lord Maior taketh his oath at Westminster, And that the Master, Wardens and Assistants of the said Society or the more part of them in convenient tyme before the said election day shall choose every year from tyme to tyme out of the livery or out of the Assistants of the said Company two of the elder and better sort of the said Company which have not been Master or Wardens to be Stewards for the provision of both the dinners aforesaid, And the said Stewards so to be chosen to have towards the said [Rawl. D51, p. 37] dinner to be yearly kept on the said election day of the Master and Wardens for the tyme being three pounds six shillings and eight pence a peece and of every other person of the said Company three shillings and four pence, and whatsoever shall be more disbursed or laid out about the said dinner shall be borne and discharged at the charge of the Stewards for the tyme being respectively, And for the said other dinner the Master and Wardens to pay forty shillings a peece, and every one of the livery onely to pay three shillings and four pence a peece and the residue of the said charge to be borne by the Stewards, And if any person so chosen to be Steward as aforesaid doe or shall refuse or [recte to] accept the same or deny to performe the same then every person so chosen and refuseing shall forfeit and pay to the Master and Wardens for the tyme being to be by them employed in necessary expences of the said Society as occasion shall serve tenn pounds for every such offence.

6. That there shall be a chest with four locks and four keys

Item It is ordeined and constituted that the said Society or Company shall have one substantiall chest with four locks and four severall keyes to the same which shall stand and be placed conveniently in or neer the Common Hall which shall be used by the said Company wherein shall be put and kept all the money plate jewells and other treasure belonging to the said Society, three of which keys shall be and remaine in the keeping and custody of the Master and Wardens for the tyme being, and the fourth key shall be alwaies remaining in the custody of some one of the auncients of the said Assistants which hath bin Master or Warden of the said Society (That is to say) every of the said four persons to have a key that all four may goe and repaire together to the said chest when and as often as need shall be to put any thing into the said chest or to take any thing out of the same. And if it happen the Master and Wardens for the tyme being or the said other person to whome the keeping of one of the said keyes shall be assigned to be sicke or out of the Citty or to have any other lawfull businesse that they or any of them cannot be present at the opening the chest, That then every such of the said four person[s] haveing the charge or custody of any of the keys aforesaid shall nominate and appoint one other of the Assistants of the said Society which hath been Warden of the same Society to take his key in his absence for that tyme to goe repaire help and condiscend to the opening takeing out and putting in of any thing out of or into the same chest as aforesaid so alwaies as the said chest be not opened but in the presence of all four persons which for the tyme being shall have the custody of the said four severall keys.

7. That every person refuseing to be Master or Warden shall pay £20 & refuseing to be an Assistant shall pay £5

Item It is ordeyned and constituted that if any person or persons being a freeman of the said Society shall at any tyme hereafter be elected and nominated to be Master or Warden of the said Society according to the forme of his Majesties letters pattents aforesaid, and to the order and constitution herein before in that behalfe appointed, and after such election and nomination shall denye and refuse to take upon him or them any such place or office or shall denye and refuse to take his or their oath before the last precedent Master and Wardens of the said Society or any two of them for the due execution of such office, whereunto he or they shall be so elected as aforesaid (so alwaies that noe one person of the said Society dureing his life tyme shall be inforced to serve more than two yeares as Warden and two yeares as Master accompting the tymes and [Rawl. D51, p. 38] turnes which any of the said Society have already served in either of the said places before the said corporation graunted D]. That then all and every such person and persons so denying and refuseing haveing noe just and reasonable cause and impediment to be allowed of by the Master, Wardens and Assistants of the said Society for the tyme being or the major part of them shall forfeit and pay to the Master and Wardens of the same Society for the tyme being at every tyme he or they doe or shall soe refuse the summe of twenty pounds to the generall use and supportation of the said Society, And if any person or persons being a freeman as aforesaid shall at any tyme hereafter be chosen to be of the number of Assistants of the said Society according to the said letters pattents and the constitution herein in that behalfe also made and after such election and nomination shall refuse and denye to take upon him or them the office & place of an Assistant of the said Society or shall refuse to take the oath hereafter appointed for the due execution of the said place in such sort as is prescribed haveing noe lawfull or reasonable cause for such his refuseall and deny all to be allowed of by the Master, Wardens and Assistants of the said Society or the major part of them That then every such person so offending shall forfeit and pay to the Master and Wardens of the said Society for the tyme being five pounds to be employed to the generall use and supportation of the same Society.

8. The Accomptant Warden to make his account before Michaelmas next after his departure out of office upon pain of 40s. & so 40s. every moneth untill the account be made

Item That if the Accomptant Warden going out of his said office shall not from tyme to tyme every year after the election and admission of the new Master and Wardens and before the feast of St. Michaell tharchangell following upon such day and before such auditors as by the new succeeding Master and Wardens and Assistants or the greater part of them shall be appointed make and give up a true and perfect accompt in writeing of all such money, plate & other goods & chattells whatsoever as dureing the tyme of his continuance in the said office have come unto his hands, or shall not then and there likewise satisfie pay and deliver over unto the Master and Wardens of the said Society next after him elected and sworne to the use of the said Society all such money, plate, goods and chattells whatsoever as upon the foot of every such accompt shall appeare to be remaining in his hands, That then every such Accomptant Warden by whom such default shall be made shall forfeit and pay unto the Master and Wardens for the tyme being forty shillings for such default and so forty shillings every moneth untill the accompt be taken and payment and delivery made as aforesaid to the use and generall supportation of the said Society.

9. To nominate a Clarke and a Bedell & to amove them

Item That the Master and Wardens of the said Society and other the Assistants of the same Society for the tyme being or the greater part of them shall and may elect and name one Clerke and one Bedell or Baileiffe from tyme to tyme as often and whensoever it shall pleas them to serve the Master, Wardens and Assistants of the Society aforesaid for the tyme being in all their commandements and lawfull businesse whatsoever, And that they may from tyme to tyme amove and deprive the said Clerke and Bedell or Baileiffe or either of them from their offices or places for reasonable cause, the Master, Wardens and Assistants of the said Society or the greater part of them moveing.

10. [Rawl. D51, p. 39] That if the Master or Wardens or any of the Assistants or livery shall be knowne to be a vitious liver or convict of a notorious crime he shall be displaced

Item It is ordeined and constituted that if the Master or Wardens or any of the Assistants for the tyme being or any of the livery of the same Company at any tyme hereafter shall be apparently and sufficiently knowne and proved to be a dishonest and vitious liver or shall be detected or convicted of or for any speciall odious and notorious crime or offence and being called before their assemblies shall not purge or cleare himselfe of the same That then and so often it shall and may be lawfull to and for the residue of the Master, Wardens and Assistants of the said Society or the more part of them to expell and put out of the Assistants and livery of the said Company, and out of and from any office and offices in the said Company every such person and persons and him and them utterly to exclude from the same be he Master or Warden or of the Assistants or of the livery or other person whatsoever.

11. That there shall be four meetings called Quarter dayes to which all that use the art shall be summoned and whosoever doth not appear or after appeareance doth depart without leave shall forfeit 3s. 4d.

Item It is ordeyned and constituted that there shall be kept and holden at the Common Hall or comon place of meeting of the said Society four tymes in every year hereafter four severall assemblies or meetings commonly called four Quarter dayes by the Master, Wardens and Assistants for the tyme being or the more part of them (that is to say) At the feasts of the nativity of St. John Baptist, St. Michaell tharchangell, the birth of our Lord God and thannunciation of St. Mary the Virgin or within fourteen dayes next after every of the said feasts, unto every of which said assemblies and meetings shall be summoned and warned by the Baileiffe or Bedell of the said Company or by some other thereunto to be appointed by the Master and Wardens the whole number of the freemen of the said Society and all and every other person & persons useing or exerciseing the same art, mistery or science as well Englishmen as strangers dwelling or resideing in the Citty of London the liberties and suburbs thereof or within the compasse of three miles of the said Citty to appear and attend at the Comon Hall aforesaid there to pay his and their quartridge hereafter mentioned & all other duties, fines and forfeitures to be required or levied. And to the intent these present ordinances may be then and there once or twice at the summoning of them in every year read and published by the Clarke or Bedell in the said Common Hall for the better knowledge and government of themselves to avoid and eschew the danger and penalties of and for the not performing the same ordinances, And that every person so assembled shall there continue and not depart any such Court or meeting untill the end thereof without licence of the said Master and Wardens upon peine that every person so offending either for not appearing (haveing noe reasonable excuse) or after appearance for departing without licence as aforesaid shall forfeit and pay to the Master and Wardens of the said Society three shillings and four pence to the use aforesaid.

12. That there shall be monethly Courts upon occasion for hearing & decideing of all controversies & punishing of all offences against the ordinances

And It is also ordeyned and constituted that there shall and may be holden monethly every year and oftener if need be one Court at the Comon Hall or place of meeting aforesaid by the Master, Wardens and Assistants of the said Society or the greater part of them for the hearing, debateing, examineing and determineing of all and all manner of controversies, debates, fines, forfeitures, demaunds and questions that shall happen [Rawl. D51, p. 40] to arise or growe by any of the said Society or by any other useing the said science, denizen or not denizen, free or forreigne, English or stranger, as also for the correction, punishment, reformation or restraint of any willfull, disordered or stubborne apprentices or other persons touching or concerning any thing done or to be done contrary to these present ordinances or any part of them at the discretion of the Master, Wardens and Assistants and their successors for the tyme being.

13. That all persons useing the art of a scrivener not being free of any other Company shall be contributory in all payments with the scrivenors to the King and otherwise

Item It is ordered, constituted and ordeined that all straungers and forreigners and all other persons inhabiting or residing within the Citty of London the liberties and suburbs of the same and within the circuite and precinct of three miles of the same Citty, and which doe occupy use or exercise the mistery or art aforesaid which are not freemen of any other mistery or Society of the Citty of London forever hereafter shall be contributory with the freemen of the Society aforesaid in all payments aswell to the Kings Majestie his heirs and successors as in maintenance and sustentation of the Company and Society of Writers aforesaid and shall pay and bear all such and the like charges and payments as the Freemen of the Society aforesaid doe pay or have used or ought to pay, And that every person that shall refuse to pay and bear all such summes of money, charges and duties aforementioned as the same shall happen to be assessed and demaunded shall forfeit and pay for every tyme so offending and denying the summe of forty shillings to the Master and Wardens for the tyme being to be employed to the use of the said Society.

14. That all useing the art shall pay 2s. 8d. per annum for quartridg

Item That all men of the Society aforesaid and all other persons inhabiting and dweling within the Citty of London the liberties and suburbs of the same within the aforesaid circuit or precinct of three miles of the same Citty, and occupying useing or exerciseing the mistery or art aforesaid for ever hereafter shall yearly pay to the Master and Wardens and Assistants of the Society aforesaid and their successors at their Common Hall an annuall payment of two shillings and eight pence per annum at four feasts of the yeare in the Citty of London most usuall (videlicet) at the feasts of the annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the nativity of St. John Baptist, St. Michaell tharchangell and the birth of our Lord God by even portions to be paid (scilicet) at every of the said feasts eight pence being an ancient payment and duty called quarteridge by the freemen of the Ancient Brotherhood of Writers of the Court Letter of the Citty of London to the Master or Wardens of the same brotherhood heretofore due and paid, And that the Master, Wardens & Assistants of the Society of Scrivenors of the Citty of London and their successors may have and shall have full power and authority from tyme to tyme forever to have, receive, require, demaund, collect, and by distresse and distresses to their own uses to levy of and from all persons of the Society aforesaid, and of and from all other persons whatsoever inhabiting or being within the Citty of London the liberties and suburbs of the same and within the aforesaid circuite and precinct of three myles of the same Citty, and occupying useing or exerciseing the mistery or art aforesaid the aforesaid annuall payment of two shillings and eight pence per annum.

[Rawl. D51, p. 41] 15. Power to tax & cesse all persons using the art not being free of any other Companyes for the supportation and maintenance of the Society

Item That the Master, Wardens and Assistants of the said Society for the tyme being or the major part of them from tyme to tyme may impose and tax such reasonable payments, taxations, impositions and summes of money whatsoever aswell to the Kings Majestie his heires and successors as upon warrants and precepts to the said Society awarded by the Lord Maior of the Citty of London and other necessary burdens of the said Society upon severall persons of the said Society and all other persons useing the science art or mistery aforesaid within the Citty of London the suburbs and liberties of the same and within three miles of the saide Citty which are not freemen of any other mistery of the said Citty, as to the said Master, Wardens and Assistants or the more part of them shall seeme necessary and convenient.

16. Power to set fines upon all men useing the art for not appearing or for infringeing any orders and to levy them by distresse

Item That if any person of the said Society or any other person useing or occupying the art science or mistery aforesaid within the Citty of London or the suburbs and liberties thereof or within three miles of the same Citty shall be summoned by the officer or minister of the said Society to appear at any Court or meeting by the Master or Wardens of the said Society for the tyme being in any certaine place within the Citty of London or the liberties thereof hereafter to be holden or appointed, and such person so summoned shall not appear at the day hour and place so appointed not haveing lawfull or reasonable cause or excuse by the Master and Wardens and other the Assistants or the major part of them to be allowed, Or if any person of the said Society or any other person useing the said art science or mistery within the Citty of London the suburbs and liberties thereof or within three myles of the same Citty shall refuse to pay or shall not pay all impositions, payments, taxations and summes of money upon him or them as aforesaid reasonably taxed and imposed or hereafter to be taxed or imposed or shall not fulfill all the statutes, acts, ordinances and constitutions herein set downe, but the same shall infringe or breake, That then and so often it shall and may be lawfull to and for the Master, Wardens and Assistants of the said Society for the tyme being or the major part of them from tyme to tyme to impose, assesse and tax upon every such person so offending all such fines amerciaments and summes of money whatsoever for his or their offence and contempt in that behalfe as to the Master, Wardens and Assistants for the tyme being or the major part of them shall seeme necessary and convenient. And that it shall and may be lawfull to and for the Master, Wardens and Assistants of the said Society for the tyme being or the major part of them from tyme to tyme as often as it shall please them aswell all the freemen of the Society aforesaid as all straungers and forreyners and other persons whatsoever inhabiting within the Citty of London and the liberties thereof or within the aforesaid precinct or curcuite of three miles of the same Citty and occupying, useing or exerciseing the mistery or art aforesaid to distreyne and the fines and amerciaments aforesaid and all other payments, taxations, impositions and summes of money whatsoever upon them or any of them from time to tyme imposed and taxed or to be imposed or taxed by those distresses to levy and collect and to the proper use of the said Society to convert.

[Rawl. D51, p. 42] 17. Power to amove any Master, Warden or Assistant

Item That the Master, Wardens and Assistants of the said Society for the tyme being or the major part of them whereof the Master and Wardens or some of them to be two for just and reasonable causes to them appeareing and by them to be allowed of, shall & may from tyme to tyme displace and amove or cause to be displaced and amoved any Master, Warden or Assistant of the said Society from his or their said office or place of Master, Warden or Assistant.

18. Power to search & survey all persons useing the art in London & 3 miles compasse & to punish them by fines and to levy the fines by distresse

Item That the Master, Wardens and Assistants of the said Society and their successors or six of them at the least whereof the Master or Wardens of the said Society for the tyme being or any of them alwaies to be one forever shall and may have use & exercise within the Citty of London the liberties and suburbs thereof and within the Citty of Westminster and the liberties thereof, the Burrough of Southwarke, the precinct of St. Katherine neer the Tower of London and within all other places within three miles every way round about the said Citty of London, the full and whole view and oversight, search, examination, correction, punishment and government aswell of all freemen of the said Citty of London as of all strangers and forreigners and other persons whatsoever within the said Citty of London and Westminster, the libertyes and suburbs of the same Cittyes, the Burrough of Southwarke, the precinct of St. Katherine aswell within liberties as without that doe or shall comonly and publiquely use and frequent the said art or science within the said Citties the liberties and suburbs of the same Citties and places aforesaid or any of them or elsewhere in any other place not distant from the said Citty of London above three miles, And that the Master and Wardens and Assistants of the said Society for the tyme being or the major part of them from time to time forever may have and shall have full power and authority to punish and correct all men aswell freemen of the said Citty of London as strangers and forreigners as aforesaid frequenting or useing the art or mistery aforesaid aswell within the said Citties of London and Westminster the liberties and suburbs of the same and the places aforesaid as within the said limitts or distance of three miles every way round about the said Citty of London for their offences for insufficiently executeing, doing or useing the science art or mistery aforesaid, and the defects and defaults in the same science or mistery (if any shall be found) to correct and amend according to their sound discretions, And fines and amerciaments reasonable upon whatsoever offendors, according to their offences to tax, and to the use of the said Society for supportation of the generall burthens thereof by distresses to levy, gather and take, and every offendor against this present ordinance at every tyme denyeing or refuseing to be searched, surveyed or examined to forfeit and pay to the Master and Wardens for the tyme being forty shillings to be employed to the use of the said Society.

19. That noe person shall be made free of the Society till he be examined for his sufficiency & takeing the oath prescribed

Item That noe person hereafter shall be infranchised or admitted into the freedome or liberties of the said Society to make open profession of the aforesaid science or art untill such tyme as he shall have first been duely examined touching his sufficiency and hability to use and exercise the same art or mistery before the Master, Wardens and Assistants [Rawl. D51, p.43] of the said Society or any six of them, And shall be by the said Master, Wardens and Assistants or such six of them as aforesaid upon such examination declared and aproved to be of sufficiency and hability and shall have taken an oath as is hereafter appointed.

20. That noe person shall use the art but such as shall be free of the Society and have taken his oath

Item That no person hereafter shall publiquely use or exercise the art mistery or scyence aforesaid and make it his profession or meanes of liveing within the Citty of London the suburbs and liberties thereof or within three miles compasse of the said Citty unlesse he shall be first admitted into the freedome of the said Society and enfranchised with the liberties of the said Citty, and shall have taken such an oath before the Master and Wardens of the said Society or any two of them as the freemen of the same Company shall usually take at the tyme of their admissions according to the auncient usage and according to the forme in these presents on that behalfe prescribed.

21. That every person free of the Society shall take the oath prescribed

Item That every person which hereafter shall be duely infranchised into the said Society shall upon his admission take an oath before the Master and Wardens of the said Society or any two of them according to the forme in these presents in that behalfe prescribed, And that every one which shall take the said oath shall witnes the same oath to be by him taken by writeing under his proper hand to be by him entred into the Comon Booke of the said Society.

22. That none keepeing shopp shall keep in his service or employment in the science any but such as are free of the Society

Item That no person of the said Society keeping shopp and useing the said art or mistery and makeing it his profession and meanes of liveing within the Citty of London the suburbs and liberties thereof and the foresaid circuite of three myles about the same Citty shall reteyne or keep in his service and employ about his affaires in the said art either as servant or partner or otherwise any other person whatsoever (except such as shall be his or their apprentice or apprentices) which shall not be free of the said Society upon paine to forfeit and pay unto the Master and Wardens of the said Society for the tyme being to the use of the said Society forty shillings for every moneth that he keepeth or employeth any such person as aforesaid.

23. That none take an apprentice for lesse than 7 years nor agree to releas any part of his tyme

Item That none of the said Society keeping shopp and useing the said art or mistery and makeing it his profession and meanes of liveing shall take any apprentice to be bound to serve him in the art or mistery aforesaid for any lesse terme than for seaven yeares at the least, nor shall take any apprentice to the intent or upon any agreement to release him any part of the terme for which he shall be bound as aforesaid upon peine that every one so offending shall forfeit and pay to the Master and Wardens of the said Society five pounds for either of the said offences.

24. That every apprentice shall be enrolled & presented within six moneths, upon paine of 6s. 8d. for each offence

Item That every apprentice so taken shall be enrolled in the Chamber of London and presented to the Master and Wardens of the said science, and his indenture of apprenticehood there entred in a booke for that purpose to be kept and that such enrollment and presentment shall be made and done alwaies within six moneths next after the sealing of such indentures of apprenticehood upon paine that every one offending in either of the cases aforesaid shall pay unto the Master and Wardens of the said Society for the tyme being [Rawl. D 51, p. 44] for each of those offences so often as they happen six shillings and eight pence.

25. That none shall set over his apprentice to any useing any other trade or occupation upon pain of five pounds

Item It is ordeyned and constituted that noe person or persons whatsoever useing the said art or mistery within the said Citty and suburbs and the compasse before declared shall from henceforth set over his or their apprentice or apprentices being once bound to him or them to any other person or persons useing any other trade, handicraft or occupation or useing the same art science or mistery which shall not be free of the said Society without the licence consent and agreement of the Master and Wardens of the Society aforesaid and the greater part of the Assistants of the same Society upon peine to forfeit and pay for every such offence five pounds to the aforesaid Master and Wardens for the tyme being to be employed to the generall use of the said Society.

26. That none being once free of the Company shall be translated upon peine of £20

Item It is ordeined and constituted that noe manner of person or persons whatsoever being once made free and accepted into the freedome and Society aforesaid whatsoever his or their trade or occupation is or shall be, shall at any tyme hereafter change or alter his copy or become free of any other Company or fellowshipp within the Citty of London without the knowledge consent and agreement of the Master, Wardens and Assistants of this Society or the major part of them upon paine that every person so offending or doing any thing contrary to this ordinance shall forfeit and pay to the Master and Wardens for the tyme being twenty pounds to be employed to the generall use of the said Society, Except such person or persons doe or shall necessarily change his said copy by reason of his or their election into and service of any capitall office or cheife place of magistracy within the said Citty of London.

27. That noe person shall give any reproach full speeches to another or sweare in the Hall upon paine to forfeite 3s. 4d.

Item That noe person or persons whatsoever of the said Society or any other useing the said art openly or privily shall revile or any waies misuse with evill speeches or words of reproach or disgrace any other person of the same Society or shall swear any oath vainely or wilfully blaspheme the name of God in their said Common Hall or in any assembly or meeting upon paine to forfeit and pay to the Master and Wardens for the tyme being for every tyme soe offending three shillings and four pence.

28. That if any useing the art shall have summons left to appeare at any Court or to attend the Lord Maior & Aldermen at any other meeting appointed & shall not appear every such per son shall forfeit 3s. 4d.

Item It is ordeined and constituted that all persons of the said Society and all other persons aforesaid useing the aforesaid art or mistery which shall have any summons or warning given to himself or left at his dwelling house or place of abode by the Bailiffe or Beadle of the said Company for his attendance or appeareance before the Master and Wardens of the said Society for the tyme being at any certaine houre tyme or place upon the said quarter dayes or any of them or at any other Court or Comon Assembly for or about any of the affaires of the Kings Majestie his heires or successors or to attend upon Lord Maior, Aldermen and Sheriffs to Westminster or at the buriall or funeralls of any brother of the said Society or about any other necessary affaires of the said Society, and such person so summoned or warned doe or shall make any default in his or their appeareance or attendance at any such tyme or place aforesaid, That then every such person so offending haveing noe reasonably excuse or just occasion to be allowed of by the said Master, Wardens and Assistants or the major part of them shall pay unto the Master and Wardens for every [Rawl. D51, p. 45] such offence three shillings and four pence. And if any person doe or shall become [In the margin: And being obstinate or disdaining to appear to forfeit 10s.] obstinate or wilfull or doe disdaine to appear or attend then he or they soe offending to forfeit and pay for every such offence tenn shillings in manner and forme aforesaid.

29. That every person shewing himselfe disobedient to these ordinances shall forfeit 40s.

Item It is ordeyned and constituted that if any person of the said Society aforesaid or any other person whatsoever useing the art mistery or science aforesaid within the Citty of London the liberties and suburbs thereof or within the circuite and precinct of three myles distant from the same Citty shall at any tyme hereafter be found obstinate, willfull, perverse or disobedient in any thing or matter conteyned in these ordinances or any part of them herein mentioned against the said Master, Wardens and Assistants and their successors or any of them for the tyme being, whereby they are, shall or may be hindred, letten, denyed or any waies interrupted from the executeing of the said ordinances or any part of the same according to their offices and charge and the tenor and true meaning of the same ordinances, Than [sic, recte that] then every such person and persons whatsoever, English or straunger, freeman or forreine, denizen or not denizen so offending (the same offence appearing to the said Master, Wardens and Assistants or to the major part of them for the tyme being) shall forfeit and pay for every such offence and tyme of offending forty shillings of lawfull money of England to the said said [sic] Master and Wardens to be employed to the use of the Society aforesaid.

30. The forme of every freemans oath

I, N: D: doe sweare upon the holy evangelist to be true and faithfull unto our soveraigne lord the King his heires and successors Kings and Queenes of England and to be true and just in mine office and science, and to doe my dilligence that all the deeds which I shall make a deed [sic] to be sealed shall be well and truly done after my learning skill and scyence and shall be duely and advisedly read read [sic] over and examined before thensealing of the same, And especially I shall not write nor suffer to be written by any of mine to my power or knowledge any deed or writeing to be sealed wherein any deceipt or falsehood shall be conceived or in my conscience suspected to lye nor any deed bearing date of long tyme past before thensealing thereof nor bearing any date of any tyme to come neither shall I testifie nor suffer any of mine to testifie to my power or knowledge any blanck charter or deed sealed before the full writeing thereof, And neither for haste nor for covetousnesse I shall take upon me to make any deed touching inheritance of lands or estate for life or yeares nor any deed of great charge whereof I have not cunning without good advice and information of councell, And all the good rules and ordinances of the Society of Scriveners of the Citty of London I shall well and truly keep and observe to my power so farr as God shall give me grace, so help me God and the holy contents of this booke.

31. The Master and Wardens oath

You shall sweare that you shall be true and faithfull to our soveraigne lord the King and to his heires and successors Kings or Queenes of this realme and that after the best manner you can you shall justly and indifferently execute or cause to be [Rawl. D51, p. 46] executed your office of Master or Warden of this Society in every respect, And all the good and lawfull ordinances in this booke of ordinances expressed without spareing any person or persons for affection, reward, meed, dread, malice or promise of reward dureing the tyme you shall execute and continue in the same office of Master or Warden. You shall to the uttermost of your power and hability truely and faithfully observe and keepe and of all and every such goods, jewells, plate, summes of money, deeds, guifts, graunts, commodities or of any other thing or things whatsoever that by reason of your said office shall come to any of your hands you and every of you shall respectively according to all the ordinances in this booke specified make a good true and plaine accompt and shall deliver all the said goods, deeds, guifts and other things whatsoever aforesaid to the safe custody of the Master, Wardens and Assistants for the tyme being at the Common Hall aforesaid at the tyme thereunto appointed or else to pay such fines as you shall be ordered to pay by them for your not soe doing. You shall not for malice, love or affection assesse any person or persons in any greater or lesser summe than after the quallity & quantity of his or their offence or offences after your discretion and according to the said ordinances therein mentioned, so help you God and the holy contents of this booke.

32. The oath of the Assistants

You and every of you shall be true to our soveraigne lord the King and to his heires and successors Kings or Queenes of this realm and every of you shall after the best manner you can by your selfes justly and indifferently execute or cause to be executed your office and place of an Assistant to the Master and Wardens of this Society in every respect, And all the good and lawfull ordinances in this booke of ordinances expressed without spareing any person or persons for affection, reward, meed, dread, malice or promise of reward dureing the tyme you shall execute and continue in the same office or place of an Assistant you shall to the utmost of your power and hability truly and faithfully observe and keep. You shall not for malice, love or affection assesse any person or persons in any greater or lesse summe than after the quantity and quallity of his or their offence or offences after your discretion and according to the ordinances herein mentioned, so help you God and the contents of this booke.

33. The Clarkes oath

You shall be true to our soveraigne lord the Kings Majestie of England now being and to his heires and successors Kings or Queenes of England, you shall be obedient to your Master, Wardens and Assistants of the said Society for the tyme being in all lawfull and honest comaundements and attendant upon them at all their meetings, you shall from tyme to time read all the ordinances and make due and true entries of all things which the Master & Wardens aforesaid shall commaund you without spareing any person for affection, lucre or malice, you shall not deliver any copies of the bookes or orders concerning the Company nor any part of them nor of any of the articles or ordinances whereby the said Society may or shall take [Rawl. D51, p. 47] any hurt neither shall shew the same bookes or ordinances to any person or persons without the consent, comaundement or agreement of the said Master and Wardens for the tyme being. You shall from tyme [recte, from time to time] upon the comaundement and according to the direction of the Master and Wardens for the tyme being warne and summon all the Assistants and livery of the said Society to appeare at the Common Hall or generall meeting place of the said Society at all quarter dayes and other Court dayes, and in all other things incident or belonging to your said office or place you shall faithfully and honestly demeane and behave your selfe, so help you God and the contents of this booke.

34. The Beadles oath

You shall be true to our soveraigne lord the Kings Majestie of England now being and to his heires and successors Kings or Queenes of England, you shall be obedient to the Master, Wardens and Assistants of the said Society for the tyme being in all their lawfull and honest comaundements and attendant upon them at all their meetings. You shall from tyme to tyme upon the comaundement and according to the direction of the Master and Wardens or any of them warne and summon all the freemen of the said Society and all others useing the art science or mistery aforesaid within the Citty of London the suburbs and liberties thereof or within three miles of the same Citty to appear at the Common Hall or generall meeting place for the said Society at all quarter dayes and other Court dayes. You shall alsoe truly execute your office in carrying of any person or persons to ward and in releaseing him or them againe at the comaundement of the said Master and Wardens, and in all other points incident or belonging to your office you shall faithfully and honestly demeane and behave your selfe, soe help you God and by the contents of this booke.

All and singular which said ordinances and constitutions we the said Lord Chancellor, Sir Henry Mountagu and Sir Henry Hobart have perused and examined, and doe by these presents approve them and allow of them, And in testimony thereof we have signed the same with our signes manuall the nine and twentieth day of January, and in the yeares of the reigne of our soveraigne lord James by the grace of God of England, Scotland, France and Ireland King defender of the faith &c. of England, France and Ireland the sixteenth and of Scotland the two and fiftieth.

Fr. Verulam Canc.

H. Mountague.

H. Hobart.

Footnotes

1 Extracts from the ordinances are printed in City of London Livery Companies' Commission, Report and Appendix, vol. 3 (1884), pp. 757–8. A translation of the charter and a transcript of the ordinances by Jeremiah Bentham, Clerk of the Company, has also been printed; a copy is handed to each liveryman on taking his oath.