The Fraternity of Jesus
Statutes and Ordinances of the Fraternity

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Centre for Metropolitan History

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W. Sparrow Simpson (editor)

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1873

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'The Fraternity of Jesus: Statutes and Ordinances of the Fraternity', Registrum Statutorum et Consuetudinum Ecclesiae Cathedralis Sancti Pauli Londiniensis (1873), pp. 441-446. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=49193 Date accessed: 21 September 2014.


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IV. THE ACTS AND ORDENAUNCES EXAMENED, APPROUED, AND ACCEPT BY THE MOST REUEREND FFADER IN GOD, WILLIAM, (fn. 1) ARCHEBISSHOPP OF CAUNTERBURY AND CHAUNCELLER OF ENGLONDE, THOMAS SURREY, TRESOURER OF ENGLOND, JOHN FFYNEUX, CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE KING'S BENCHE, AND ROBERT REDE, CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE COMON PLACE. 1507.

To all true Cristen people to whome this present writing shall come, William, Archebisshopp of Caunterbury and Chancellor of Englonde, Thomas, Erle of Surrey, Tresourer of Englonde, John ffyneux, knyght, chief Justice of the Kyngs Benche, and Robert Rede, chief Justice of the Comon Place of oure seid souereigne lorde the Kyng, send greting in oure Lorde euerlastyng. Where in a certein Act in a parliament of oure most dradde souereigne lorde Henry the Seventh, by the grace of God Kyng of England and of ffraunce and lord of Irelande, holden at Westmynstre, the xxv. daie of January in the xix. yere of his most noble reigne, ordeigned and made for the weall and profitte of his subjetts, it was among othir things ordeigned, establisshed, and enacted that no Maisters, Wardeins, and ffeliships of Crafts or Misteries, nor enny of them, nor eny rulers of Guildes or ffraternites, shuld take vpon them to make enny actis or ordenaunces ne to execute eny actis or ordenaunces by them heretofore made in disheritaunce or dumnicion (fn. 2) of the Kingis prerogatif, nor of othir, nor against the comon profitte of his people, but yf the same actis and ordenaunces be examened and approued by the Chaunceler, Tresourer of Englonde, chief Justices of either benche, or thre of them, or before bothe the Justices of Assise in their circute or progresse in that shire where suche actis or ordenaunces be made, vppon payne of forfaiture of xl.£ for every tyme that they do the contrary, as in the seid Acte more plainely it dothe appere: And where as the Rector, Wardeins, and Brethern of the ffraternite or Gilde in the honoure of the most glorius Name of our Savyour Jesus, founded and establisshed by the Prynce of Reuerende memory King Harry the Sixt within the Crowdes vnder the Cathedrall Chirche of Seint Poule of London, willing and desiring the seid Acte in all thinges to be observed, haue exhibit and presented afore vs in the Starre Chambre at Westmynster, the tenth day of ffebruary, in the xxij yere of the reigne of oure seid souereign lorde, a certeine Booke of Ordenaunces and Statutes by the seid now Wardeins for good ordre and rule of the Bretherne of the same fromhensforth to be hadde and contenued; and theruppon, by their peticion, haue instantly desired vs that we the seid ordenaunces and statutes in the seid booke conteyned wolde ouerse and examyn, and the same ordenaunces and statuts and every of them correct and amende aftir due fourme and convenient maner, and as the foreseid Act in the seid parliament made requireth: We, well perceiving their seid peticion and desire to be good and resonable, accordyng to their desires, and by auctorite of the seid Act of parliament vnto vs commytted, the actes and ordenaunces in the seid booke specified and every thyng in them conteigned, have seen, redde, and well vndrestonde, and every of the same actis and ordenaunces examyned, refourmed, and amended: The tenours of whiche peticion, actes, and ordenaunces so by vs seen, redde, examyned, refourmed, and amended, folowe and be thise:

To the most Reuerende ffadre in God, William, Archebisshop of Caunterbury, Chaunceller of Englond, and the right honorable lorde the Erle of Surrey, Tresourer of Englond, and the two chief Justices of the Kings Bench and Comon Place, Mekely besecheth your good lordships the Rector, Wardeins, and Brethern of the ffraternite or Guilde founded in the Name of JJh[es]uu within the Crowdes vndre the Cathedrall Chirche of Seint Poule of London; That where by an Acte of parliament, holden at Westmynster the xxv day of January the xixth yere of the reigne of oure souereigne lorde Kyng Harry the Seventh, it was enacted by auctorite of the same parliament that no Maisters, Wardeins, and ffelishipp of Craftes or Misteries, or enny of them, nor enny rulers of Guildes or ffraternitees, shuld take vppon them to make enny actis or ordenaunces, ne to execute any act or ordenaunce by them hereafore made in disheritaunce or dumnicōn of the prerogatif of the Kyng, nor of othir, nor against the comon profitte of the people, but yf the same actes or ordenaunces be examened and approued by the Chaunceller, Tresourer of Englonde, and two chief Justices of either Benche, or thre of them, or before bothe the Justices of Assise in their circute or progresse in that shire where suche actis or ordenaunces be made, vppon peyne of forfeture of xl.£ for every tyme that they do the contrary: And ovir that yt is enacted that none of the same bodies corporatt take vppon them to make enny actes or ordenaunces to restreyne eny persone or persones to sue to the Kingis highnes, or to enny of his Courtis, for due remedie to be had in their causes, ne putt ne execute enny penaltie or punysshement vppon enny of theym for enny suche suyte to be made, vppon peyne of forfaiture of xl.£ for enery tyme that they do the contrarie; And this acte to begynne and take effect at the ffest of Pentecost thanne next comyng, and from thenssforthe, as by the same acte more plainely yt may appere; That it may like your good Lordeships, or thre of you, accordyng to the same acte of parliament to ovirse, examyn, and approue a certein booke conteynyng divers actis, statutes, and ordenaunces, devised and made for the good govirnaunce and poletique guidyng and mayntenyng of the same ffraternite: and the same actis, statutis, and ordenaunces, in the seid booke conteyned, to be by you correctid and amended, and al suche as be good and resonable to be by you allowed and approued, and suche as be not resonable to be by you cassed and adnulled; and all suche actes and ordenaunces by you so approued resonable and good to be putt yn writing, and vndre your Sealles or signes to be deliuered to Maister John Colett, doctour of diuinite, Deane of the Cathedrall Chirche of Seint Paule, Rector, William Bromwell and John Monke, Citizens of London, Wardeins, of the seid ffraternite or Guilde, for to vse and exercise the effecte of the same ordenaunces so by you approued, accordyng to the seid acte: And they shall pray to Almyghty God for the preseruacōn of your good lordeships.

The statuts and ordenaunces of the ffraternite founded in the honour of the Name of Jhu in the Crowdes vndre the Cathedrall Churche of Seint Paule of London, made by the Rector, Wardeins, and Bretherne of the seid feraternite for the weale, poletique guidyng, and maintenaunce of the same.

§ 1. The Election of the Wardeins and xij Assistents to them.

ffyrst it is agreed and ordeigned by the seid Rector, Wardeins, and Bretherne of the seid ffraternite of JJh[es]uu, that every yere fromhenssfforthe perpetually a generall assemble and congregacōn of a conuenient numbre of the Brothern of the seid ffraternite of JJh[es]uu be kept and holden the xxvj daie of Marche yerely, in a place competent and honest, where as by the seid Rector and Wardeins shall thinke most conuenient; and their beyng assembled, the seid Rector and Wardeins, with the concent of the same Brethern, shall name and chose two temporall men, able and honest and of good name, for to be Wardeins of the seid ffraternite for the yere folowyng: and ovir that shall chose xij honest and discrete parsones of the seid brethern for to be Assistens to the seide Wardeins for the yere folowing; and in cas that enny of the seid Wardeyns or Assistens happen to deceace or avoide within the yere after they be chosen, thanne it is agreed and ordeigned that the seid Rector, Wardeins, and Assistents, or the more part of them, shall assemble and procede to eleccion of othir parsone or parsones in place of him or them so deceaced or avoided.

§ 2. ffor the providyng and speding almaner of besines for the worship of the same ffraternite.

Item, it is agreed and ordeigned by the seid Rectour and Wardeins that they, with their seid Assistens for the tyme being, shall prouide, passe, and spede almaner besynes for the weale and worship of the seid ffraternite or Guilde, with as full power and auctorite as yf the hole numbre of the seid Brethern were therto called or present.

§ 3. Ther shall no acte passe withoute thassent of the Rectour and Wardeins and the most part of the Assistents.

Item, it is ordeigned and agreed that none Acte or ordenaunce shalbe made or cause to be made concernyng the seid ffraternite, except the seid Rectour, Wardeins, and Assistents, or the more part of them, therto be assenting and therto agree, and give their advice and concent.

§ 4. ffor a Comon Chest, to putt in their Comon Seall and Juells, with thre lokks and thre keys; one key to remayne with the Rectour, and the othir ij keys with the Wardeins.

Item, it is agreed and ordeigned that a Comon Chest be had, wherin shalbe kept the comon Seall and all the Juells and comon tresoure belonging to the seid ffraternyte, vppon whiche shall stonde thre seuerall lokkis, one key thereof to remayne in the custodie of the Deane of Poules for the tyme beyng, perpetuall Rectour of the seid ffraternite, and the othir two keys to remayne in the kepyng of either of the seid Wardeins for the tyme being.

§ 5. That the olde Wardeins shall at a certeyn day render their accompts.

Item, forasmuche as divers somes of money belonging to the seid ffraternite haue ben and be witholden and kept in thandes of suche persones as haue ben Wardeins of the seid ffraternite, and of suche mony woll make none Accompts, nor thereof make restitucion, by reason whereof the seid ffraternite is so impouerisshed and decaied that it is not able to bere the ordinary charges of Prestis, Clerkis, Children, and othir: Wherfor it is ordeigned and agreed that the Wardeyns of the said ffraternite fromhenssforth forevirmore shall give vp their Accompt and reknyng for the tyme of their office, afore the Assistentis or afore suche Auditours as by the seid Rector and Assistens shalbe named and approued, and newe Wardeins chosen vppon the seid xxvi daie of Marche or within two monethes next and inmediatly folowing the same daie, and also vppon the same daie or within two monethes folowing, the seid olde Wardeins shall deliuer vnto the newe Wardeins fully and holy all the money and Juells remaynyng in their keping, belonging to the seid ffraternite, by indentures made betwene them, whereof the one partie of the same indentures shall remayne with the Rector, and the othir partie with the seid Wardeins; and also shall delyuer vnto the newe Wardeins, within the tyme afore lymytted, the keys of the seid comon chest. And if the seide olde Wardeins make defaute, and obserue not this ordenaunce in every poynt, than they shall lose and forfeite their salarie whiche they shuld haue for their labour. And yf yt fortune the Wardeins whiche haue ben for the yere past to be chosen Wardeins for the yere folowing, it is ordeigned and agreed that they shall yelde their Accompt afore the seid Rector and Assistens, or the more part of them, or afore the seid Auditours, at the day or within two monethes afore specified, provided alwey that every Wardeyn that shalbe fromhenssforthe shall stonde charged for his ffelowe: And the seid Rector and Wardeyns shalbe bounde to kepe the seid ffraternite withoute enny losse or damage for almaner goodes and money remaynyng vnder their charge and keping, as ferre as right and good consciens shall require.

§ 6. ffor recouery of Arreragis due vnto the seid ffraternite in the Kings Courts.

Item, it is ordeigned and agreed that the seid Wardeins shall aske, demaunde, levie, and resceive almaner sum[m]es of money and goodis belonging to the seid ffraternite, and all arreragis restyng in thandes of enny Brothir whiche hathe ben Wardein of the same ffraternite, or in enny othir persones handes whatsoeuir they be, and all such parsones for defaute of restitucon and payment of eny suche money to arrest and pursue, in all and everiche of the Kings Courtes, so farre as till plenar restitucion be made in that parte.

§ 7. ffor Gownes to be given to the Wardeins for their labours in their yere.

Item, it is ordeigned and agreed forasmuche as the Wardeins for the tyme being shall do their voluntary labour and besines for the vppholding and maintenaunce of the seid ffraternite, and for to encorage them to be thereunto the more diligent and ententif, either of the same Wardeins shall haue for that yere that he shall stonde Wardein a Goune of clothe of such coloure and price as the seid Rectour and Assistents shall assigne, with two signes or conisaunces sownyng (fn. 3) to the Name of JJh[es]uu to be deuised by the same Rectour and Assistents; And moreovir either of the seid Wardeins shall haue in the name of Rewarde such a som[m]e of money as the seid Rectour and Assistens shall taxe and lymytte.

§ 8. ffor a Potacion to the Bretherne at the charge of their boxe.

Item, it is agreed and ordeigned that at their assemble and daie of elecc[i]on afore especified a Potac[i]on be made to suche of the Bretherne of the said fraternite as by the seid Rectour and Assistens shalbe thought conuenient, and the cost thereof to be borne vppon the charge of the comon tresoure of the seid ffraternite, so that they passe not xl s.

§ 9. That every Proctour be sworne to answere his charge according to his covenaunts.

Item, it is ordeigned and agreed that no Proctour or Commissioner be admytted to resceiue and gadre money for the seid ffraternite except he be sworne to bring into the seid Wardeins at the yeres ende, withoute enny lenger delaie, all that som[m]e of money that is specified in the covenauntes made thereuppon betwene the seid Wardeyns and him, withoute fraude or male ingigne; (fn. 4) and moreovir that he shall truely present to the seide Wardeins, at the seid yeres ende, all the names of the Brethern and Sustren within the procinct of his collecc[i]on.

§ 10. That noo Proxy be graunted aboue one yere, and so signed by the handes of the Rectour and Wardeins.

Item, it is agreed and ordeigned that the Wardeins shall deliuer no proxi or comyssion to enny parson or parsones aboue one yere; and at the yeres ende enery Proctour or Comyssioner shall bring into the seid Wardeins his proxy or comyssion, and that no newe lettres passe or be deliuered afore that the olde lettres be broughte inne, and than to be cancelled: prouided alwey that the seid lettres be signed with thandes of the seid Rectour or Wardeins for the tyme beyng.

§ 11. That all proxies graunted afore Michelmas last past be of none effect, except suche as be in this booke amytted, and those that by the lordes Chaunceller, Tresourer, two chief Justices, or thre of them, hereafter shalbe admytted.

And fforasmuche as the comon Seall of the seid ffraternite hathe ben in keping of divers persones many yeres past, whereby gret harme myght growe to the said Brothirhede by sealyng of writings with the seid Seall: wherfor it is agreed and ordeigned that almaner proxies or lesses or enny othir grauntes made, wherunto standes the comon seall of the seid ffraternite, that it stande as voide and adnulled, reuoked and to none effecte, bering date before the ffest of Seint Michell tharchangell in the xxij yere of the reigne of king Harry the Seventh: Excepte proxies made and graunted to William Vowell, Gentilman, and Roger Hyggyns, Taillour, and al suche as shalbe approued and admytted by the Chaunceler, Tresourer, and the two Justices of ither benche, or thre of them: provyded alwey that they that haue enny suche seall as is abouespecified shall shewe their writing before the ffest of Cristemas next comyng after the date hereof, orells vttirly to be voide and of none effecte.

The Othe of the Procuratour or Comyssioner.

Ye shall swere that well and truely ye shall demeane your self to the Rectour and Wardeins of the ffraternite of JJh[es]uu for the tyme being, and in your office of Procuratour to you comytted for as long as you shall occupie the same wele and truely shall answer and delyuer to the said Rectour and Wardeins, within the tyme of the yere of your occupieng or gaderyng, all such somes of money, at suche place or places as shalbe specified in your couenauntes betwene them and you made or to be made, to their vse withoute delay, ffraude, or male engine: and within the same yere ye shall also truely present, shewe, and deliuer to the seid Rector and Wardeyns, at thende of the seid yere, all the names of the Brotherne and Sustren within the procincte of your collecion, so God be your helpe and all Seints.

All whiche Statutis, actes, and ordenaunces, in maner and fourme afore specified, at the request of the seid Rectour, Wardeins, and Brethirhede of JJh[es]uu aforeseid, by auctorite of the seid Act of parliament to vs cōmytted, We, the seid Chaunceller, Tresourer, and Justices, for good and laudable doo accept and admytte, and by thise presentis, asmuche as in vs is, ratefie and approue. In witnesse whereof to thise presents We, the seid Chaunceler, Tresourer, and Justices, haue sette oure Signes manuell the xxviij daie of Aprile, and the xxijth yere of the reigne of king Harry the Seventh.

Footnotes

1 William Warham, translated from London to Canterbury 29 November 1503, died 23 August 1532.
2 Dumnicion, i. e. diminution.
3 Sowning, or sounding, i. e. the well-known device or monogram [Jh's], answering to the Sacred Name.
4 Male ingigne, or mal-engine, i. e. wicked artifice. Halliwell's Dictionary.