REGISTER BOOK, 1604–1606
(B.M., Add. MS. 9365)
1. [p. 1] An assembly held at the dwelling house of Mr. Thomas Wilford the
last president on Friday 16 March 1604 in the presence of Thomas Wilford and
2. Sir Robert Lee, alderman, Sir John Watts, alderman, George Hanger,
George Collymere, Robert Cobb, Arthur Jaxon, Andrew Banning, John
3. The persons named above and other English merchants of the society,
being free of Spain and Portugal entreated Richard Langley, 'the Solicitour
of the Citties lawe causes', to ascertain how the company might procure
from the king a confirmation of the charters and liberties previously granted
by the king's ancestors to the English merchants trading to Spain and
Portugal. They also asked Langley to become the secretary of the company,
which he dowbted he should not be hable to dischardg by reason of other
ymployments unlesse he gave over some other place or office which he enioyed.
Yett neverthelesse he thought himself so much bound to the said woorshipfull
parsons for their love and good opynyon conceyved of him that he would dischardg himself of some other [p. 2] ymployments and accept of their loving and
He then informed the company that the old charter was shortly to be presented to the lord chancellor, who would give orders for the drawing up of
a new charter of confirmation which would soon receive the great seal. It
was therefore agreed that a committee consisting of Sir John Watts, Paul
Banning, Thomas Wilford, John Harby, George Hanger, Richard Weech,
John Dorrington, Roger Howe and Laurence Greene, or any six of them,
accompanied by Richard Langley, should attend the chancellor on the
matter of the charter. In addition it was agreed to levy 20s. apiece on the
following persons, to cover the charges thereby incurred:
4. Sir Robert Lee, Sir John Watts, Paul Banning, Richard Staper, John
Harby, George Hanger, George Collymere, Richard Weech, Robert Cobb,
William Gore, John Dorrington, William Towreson, Francis Barnes, John
Bate, Arthur Jaxon, Roger Howe, Joseph Jaxon, Thomas Bostock, Edward
James, William Cokayne, Laurence Greene, William Stone, Andrew Banning, Jeffrey Kerby, Robert Bowyer, Thomas Allabaster, Leonard Parker,
Robert Jenny, William Jennings.
5. [p. 3] A court held at the house of Thomas Wilford, president, on Thursday
29 March 1604, in the presence of Mr. Wilford and the following:
6. Sir Robert Lee, Sir William Romeney, Robert Chamberlen, Richard
Staper, John Newman, George Hanger, John Hawes, Richard Weech,
William Cokayne, John Dorrington, John Bate, John Highlord, Nevill
Davies, Robert Bowyer, Andrew Banning, Robert Cobb, George Collymere,
7. At this court, 'the charter of our Soveraigne Lord King James purporting
a confirmation of the Companies former charters and liberties was openly
shewed to the company under the greate seale of England'. The charge for
renewing it came to £26 7s. 4d., 'as by a particuler bill thereof under the
hand of one of the Clarcks of the Chauncery appeared'. The sum was disbursed by Richard Langley, employed by the company to procure the same
8. Thomas Burgh, former servant and apprentice to George Hanger, 'did
humbly desire that he may be admitted into the freedome of this company'.
It was agreed that he should 'produce and shewe furth his Indenture whereby he claymeth the same'.
9. [p. 4] Those present at the last assembly explained that they had employed
Richard Langley to pursue the confirmation of the charter, and had moved
him to take on the office of company secretary.
It hath nowe pleased all the woorshipfull parsons here assembled to signifie their
generall likinge and consente and approbation of the said Richard Langley. But
they cannott determyne of any perfect or absolute graunt, nor agree upon any
certen fee untill a generall court and a greater assembly to allowe of the same.
10. It was also thought very fit to send letters to the privileged ports, namely
Bristol, Exeter, Hull, Barnstaple, Southampton, King's Lynn ('Lyne'),
Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Plymouth, Ipswich and Chester ('Westchester'),
informing them that the king had ratified the charter of the company.
Thomas Wilford and Richard Langley were asked to see that letters were
sent out from the company as a whole but signed by Mr. Wilford as president. He was also asked to take some of the assistants and Langley with
him, if he thought it convenient, 'and to take sound advise of some lerned
Counsailour of good experience and Judgment upon the said letters patents
of confirmation so passed and graunted by the king's moast Excellent
Majestie as aforesaid'.
11. As Thomas Wilford was the last president to be elected, 'and never yett
displaced, they all agree that he shall contynue in the said place'. The following persons were thought 'very fitt and sufficient men [p. 5] out of which the
Assistentz should be elected on th'election day being yerely the Munday
before the Assentionday'. They were Sir John Spencer, Sir Robert Lee, Sir
Richard Goddard, Sir John Watts, Sir Thomas Smyth, Sir Thomas Cambell,
Sir William Romney, Richard Staper, John Highlord, Paul Banning, Robert
Dow, Thomas Bramley, William Cokayne, Robert Hawes, John Hall,
Francis Barnes, Roger How, Robert Chamberlen, Thomas Forman, John
Newman, George Collymere, Nicholas Stile, Oliver Stile, Nicholas Ling,
Richard Gore, Robert Bowyer, Thomas Allabaster, Richard Weech, Arthur
Jaxon, George Hanger, Robert Cobb, John Dorrington, John Bate, and
12. 'A Generall Courte holden at Pewterers hall on Munday in the afternoon
before the Ascentian day, the 14th day of May, Anno Domini 1604 . . .
being also th'election day appointed by the letters patents.'
13. The following worshipful members of the company were present:
Thomas Wilford the last president, Sir Thomas Pullyson, Sir Robert Lee
and Sir John Watts, William Cokayne, John Hawes, George Collymere,
George Hanger, Robert Cobb, Robert Bowyer, John Bate, Robert Savage,
Nicholas Peele, William [p. 6] Stone, John Brooke, Nevill Davis, William
Jennyngs, Allen Thompson, George Samuell, 'and dyvers others who were
sonnes and servaunts to freemen, and may laufully be admytted into the
freedome by patrymony or service'.
14. Since the king by his letters patent had confirmed the charters and
liberties previously granted to this society of merchants trading to Spain and
Portugal, the letters patent were read out in English to the whole assembly.
15. Then three letters were read out, from the merchants of Bristol, Chester
and Exeter respectively. They were in reply to the letters recently sent out
advising them of the confirmation of the charters and liberties of the company, in accordance with the orders of the last court.
16. Thomas Wilford the last president, Sir Robert Lee and Sir John Watts
were nominated as candidates for the office of president in the coming year.
'And by full election by hands the said Mr. Thomas Wilford was freelie
chosen againe with such fees and commodities as he did formerlie enioy,
and in open Court this day tooke his oath accordinglie for the due execution
of the said place.'
17. The company decided not to elect a deputy president 'untill further
occasion should require'.
18. [p. 7] William Cockayne, Roger Howe and Richard Weech were then
nominated as candidates in the election of the treasurer for the coming year.
Roger Howe was elected, 'but by reason of his absence, his oath is deferred,
and allowance of his suerties untill an other Court'.
19. Divers members of the company were nominated as assistants (fn. 1) for the
coming year, and the following were elected from among them:
20. Sir Thomas Pullison, Sir Robert Lee, alderman, Sir John Watts, alderman, Sir Thomas Cambell, alderman, Sir William Romeny, alderman,
Richard Staper, Robert Chamberlen, William Cockayne, John Newman,
John Highlord, John Hawes, George Collymere, Richard Weech, George
Hanger, Robert Cobb, John Harby, Andrew Bannyng, Thomas Allabaster,
Nicholas Lyng, Robert Bowyer, Francis Barnes, Arthur Jaxon, John Dorrington, John Bate, Robert Savage, Edward James, William Toureson,
Lawrence Greene, Nicholas Peele, William Jennyngs.
21. Of these thirty persons only thirteen were present, namely Sir Thomas
Pullison, Sir Robert Lee, Sir John Watts, Mr. Cokaynes, Mr. Hawes, Mr.
Collymere, Mr. Bowyer, Mr. Hanger, Mr. Cobb, Mr. Bate, Mr. Savage,
Mr. Peele and Mr. Jennyngs. The above 'tooke their oathes accordinglie
and the residue are to take their othes at some other tyme'.
22. [p. 8] 'And Concerning the ten assistants, to be chosen out of the
Cuntry, (fn. 2) to make upp the nomber of fortie for the Citty of London, according to the letters patents, there were only chosen at this Court these fyve
23. John Hopkyns and John Barker for Bristol, Thomas Walker for Exeter,
James Bagg for Plymouth, Fulck Aldersey for Chester. The nomination of
the other five was deferred until the company should receive letters from
the port towns.
24. Also present at this court were John Howell and Henry Sweete of
Exeter, 'which said Mr. Howell is one of the present Burgesses of the
parliament for Exetour, but not free of this Company. (fn. 3) But the said Mr.
Sweet is a free Marchaunt of Spayne and Portingale'.
25. As the last secretary and beadle were both dead, two names were put
forward 'for order sake and according to Custome', for each post. (fn. 4) Richard
Langley and George Samnell stood for secretary; Richard Colman and
Thomas Wilford the younger stood for the post of beadle. By general
consent and show of hands, Richard Langley was freely chosen as secretary,
and Richard Coleman was elected beadle. Each was to hold his office with
the fees, allowances and duties [p. 9] belonging to it, as were formerly paid
to Richard Maye, secretary, and George Turner, beadle. Thereupon in open
court each took the oath proper to his office.
26. 'John ApJohn the comon Cryer of this Cittie attending upon my Lord
Maior', was elected as the officer of the company 'to commytt disobedient
brothers that shall offend, Contrary to the orders of the company, with such
fee as formerlie hath byn allowed'.
27.A court of assistants held at Pewterers' Hall on Thursday 24 May 1604 in
the presence of Thomas Wilford, president, Roger Howe, treasurer, and the
28. Sir Robert Lee, alderman, Sir John Watts, alderman, John Highlord,
John Hawes, George Collymere, George Hanger, Robert Cobb, Andrew
Bannyng, Nicholas Lyng, John Dorrington, John Bate, Robert Savage,
29. Mr. Bannyng, Mr. Lyng and Mr. Dorrington, who were absent from
the last general court at which they were chosen as assistants, 'did receive
and take the oath in that Case made and provyded'.
30. [p. 10] Roger Howe, elected treasurer at the same court, took the usual
oath 'for the due and lawfull Execution of the said office. But the allowance
of Suerties is deferred untill an other Court'.
31. The president then submitted to the court for its consideration 'certen
articles by him drawne to be offered to the Lords of the Counsaill on the
behalf of the Company, to be required at the hands of the king of Spayne,
yf a peace shalbe Concluded upon betweene our most Gratious soveraigne
Lord the king, and the said king of Spaine'. The articles were read several
times, 'and the Conceipts and opynions of every man heard', but eventually
their detailed consideration was left to the president, the treasurer, Sir John
Watts, Sir William Romeny, Mr. Cockayne, Mr. Weech, Mr. Hanger, Mr.
Harby, Mr. Jaxon and Mr. Dorrington. They were also asked to present the
articles to the lords of the privy council.
32. It was also ordered 'that all such persons as challendge the freedome of
this Company shall sett down their Clayme in wryting, and delyver it to the
Secretary, whoe shall present the said Claymes at the next court after he
hath received the same.'
33. Andrew Bannyng and John Bate took their oaths as freemen by ancient
trade, each paying 6s. 8d. to the treasurer to the use of the company.
34. [p. 11] 'A Generall Court entended at Pewterers' 'Hall the 8th of June 1604.
Unto which Court there only resorted Mr. Presedent, Mr. Treasurer, Sir
Thomas Pullison, Sir Robert Lee, Mr. Cockayne, Mr. Hawes, Mr. Hanger,
Mr. Cobb, Mr. Ling, Mr. Jaxon, Mr. Dorrington, Mr. Bate, Mr. Savage
and Mr. Peele, (being of the assistents), and only Mr. John Hall, Mr. Nevill
Davis, and Mr. Jeffrey Davis of the generallytie. So as for want of sufficyent
apparance the said generall Court could not be held.' Nevertheless as Mr.
Hanger the last treasurer was present he was asked to prepare his accounts
and present them at the next general court. He was also asked to make an
immediate payment from the money still in his hands towards the charges
of renewing the company charter, and for a gratuity for Sir Daniel Dunne
and Sir Thomas Edmonds, 'who are ymployed by the lords about the
articles of peace'. Mr. Hanger promised to pay to Roger Howe, his successor as treasurer, the sum of £20 provided he received a receipt for the
payment, 'that he be not afterwards required the same by others, and soe
dryven to make double payment thereof'. It was agreed that such a receipt
should be provided for him.
35. [p. 12] A general court held at Pewterers' Hall on the morning of Friday
20 August 1604, in the presence of Thomas Wilford, president, Roger Howe,
treasurer, and the following assistants:
36. Sir Thomas Pullison, Sir Robert Lee, Sir John Watts, Mr. Stapers,
Mr. Chamberlen, Mr. Highelord, Mr. Collymere, Mr. Weech, Mr. Harby,
Mr. Cobb, Mr. Bannyng, Mr. Lyng, Mr. Dorrington, Mr. Savage, Mr.
James, Mr. Peele, Mr. Jennyngs, and divers of the generality.
37. The minutes of the last general court and also of the last court of
assistants were read and confirmed.
38. The following were then admitted into the freedom of the society by
service; Nicholas Farrar, skinner, formerly servant to John Harby, skinner,
Edward James, merchant tailor, formerly servant to John James, and
Thomas Altham son of Thomas Altham, clockworker, free of this company
and also servant to William Jennyngs. They took the oath of freemen by
ancient trade, each paying 6s. 8d. to the treasurer.
39. Richard Staper, Robert Chamberlen, John Highlord, Richard Weech,
John Harbie and Edward James, 'who were lately elected to be of the
assistents, did also receive the oath in that Case ordayned'.
40. [p. 13] It was ordered that the president, the treasurer, Sir John Watts,
Sir William Romeny, Mr. Staper, Mr. Cockayne, Mr. Weech, Mr. Allabaster, Mr. Jaxon, and Mr. Dorrington, 'shall attend the Lords, against the
Cunstable of Casteele shall come over'. (fn. 5) They or any six of them were
to treat and conclude of matters for the benefitt of the Companie, and to disburse
money for the necessary affaires, and good of the Company. And that which they
or any sixe of them shall doe the Company will allowe.
41. The draft of a charter drawn up by the president was read out in court,
'to be procured from the king of Spayne unto this Company'. The matter
was referred for the consideration of the members of the committee named
42. It was agreed that the treasurer should borrow £100 at interest for six
months, as payment for the charges involved in the renewal of the company
charter, for officers' fees, and other items of company business. All those
present at the court faithfully promised,
that if Mr. Treasurer before th'expiration of the said 6 monethes, shall not
receive to th'use of the said Companie, by fynes for freemen, and other laufull
meanes, soe much money as shall paie the said one hundreth pownds, and interest
and all other chardges that he shall disburse for the good of the Company, that
then they and everie of them share, and share lyke would satisfy and [p. 14] pay
so much laufull englishe money a peece as in the whole should amount to the
said £100 and interest.
To ensure this it was agreed that a copy of the order or a document to the
same effect should be drawn up and kept by the treasurer, to which all the
above should put their names.
43. It was ordered that James Weech, formerly apprenticed to Sir Richard
Saltingstall, and John Aspshawe formerly apprenticed to Simon Bourman,
both of whom were now beyond the seas but lawfully able to claim their
freedoms, 'shall not be ympeached for trading untill they returne into
44. Sir Roger James, alderman of London, resorted to the court asking to
be made free of the company by redemption.
And this assembly supposing that he had given over, either being a Retailour or
Artificer were Content to accept of his Woorship into the said freedome. But
first they advysed hym to heare redd the oath of a freeman by Redemption. After
the reading whereof, he refused to be sworne thereunto, and soe departed, and
surceased his suyte.
45. [p. 15] A court of assistants held at Pewterers' Hall, 23 August 1604, in
the presence of Thomas Wilford, president, Roger Howe, treasurer, and the
46. Sir Thomas Pullison, Mr. Stapers, Mr. Chamberlen, Mr. Cokayne, Mr.
Cullymore, Mr. Weech, Mr. Cobb, Mr. Andrew Bannyng, Mr. Lyng, Mr.
Jaxon, Mr. Dorrington, Mr. Savage, Mr. James, Mr. Greene, Mr. Peele,
47. John Mokett of Weymouth came to the court to request the freedom of
the company, 'alleadging that he hath ben an auncient merchant trading
Spayne. But he was aunswered that he must be referred to Southampton
where his clayme should be examined'.
48. It was ordered and agreed that a committee should be constituted, to
'meete togeather and appoynt all such persons to be warned before them
as either clayme their freedome by Patrymony or service, or desyre to be
admitted by redemption, and to conferr with them and examyne their
claymes and understand their suite and to make report att the next court'. (fn. 6)
49. Lawrence Greene, grocer, former servant to the late alderman Robert
Brooke, was admitted to the freedom of the company by service, taking the
oath of a freeman by ancient trade and paying 6s. 8d. to the treasurer.
Afterwards he was also sworn in as an assistant.
50. [p. 16] Nicholas Oseley, clothworker, former servant to Sir James
Hawes, was admitted to the freedom by service, taking the oath of a freeman by ancient trade. (fn. 7)
51. A general court held at Pewterers' Hall on the morning of Friday 31 August
1604, in the presence of Thomas Wilford, president, Roger Howe, treasurer,
and the following assistants:
52. Mr.Stapers, Mr.Chamberlen, Mr.Newman, Mr.Collymer, Mr.Cobb,
Mr.Harby, Mr.Bowyer, Mr.Jackson, Mr.Dorrington, Mr.Bate, Mr.
James, Mr.Greene, Mr.Peele, Mr.Jennyngs.
53. William Towerson son of William Towerson, skinner, and John Hall
and Humphrey Hall sons of John Hall, draper, were admitted into the
freedom by patrimony.
54. The following ten persons were admitted into the freedom by service:
Ralph Edmunds by service with Sir Thomas Pullyson, draper, 'being also
recommended by letter from Don John de Taxis one of the Ambassadors
of the king of Spayne', Thomas Seracold by service with John Newton,
mercer, John Worsupp and Francis Taylor by service with Robert Cobb,
girdler, William Evans by service with the late alderman John Moore,
skinner, Leonard Harwood by service with William Mascall, mercer, Gawen
Walcott by service with John Hall, draper, Robert Angell by service with
Augustine Fowlks, grocer, Thomas Southake by service with Alderman
William Massam, grocer, and John Ramridge by service with William
Barker, mercer. The three previously made free by patrimony together with
the ten made free by service [p. 17] paid 6s. 8d. each to the treasurer and
took the oath appointed for freemen by ancient trade.
55. Two more persons were admitted into the freedom by service. The
first was William Speight, former servant of Alderman Sir Robert Lee,
merchant tailor, who paid £10 to the treasurer as his master Sir Robert Lee
had done on his admission. The second was William Cater, servant to John
Dent, salter, who paid £5 to the treasurer as his master had done on his
admission. Then, George Benson, merchant tailor, a mere merchant and
not free of any other company of merchants, was admitted into the freedom
by redemption and paid £10 to the treasurer for the same. The three new
members took the oath appointed for freemen received by redemption.
56. John Newman, Arthur Jaxon and William Towerson, 'lately elected to
be of the Assistents, did receave the oath in that case ordeyned'.
57. The assistants and generality present at this court were pleased
of their free good will and bownty (without any suite made for the same) to
graunt unto Richard Langley their Secretary the freedome of this company, to
have and enioy for him selff his Children and servants in as large and beneficiall
manner as any auncyent merchant or other freeman whatsoever for which
extraordinary favor the said Richard Langley did acknowledge himselff much
bownd to the company.
He then took the oath appointed for freemen by ancient trade, which was
administered to him in open court by the president, and paid 6s. 8d. to the
58. [p. 18] Richard Colman the beadle was also granted his freedom without
his making any prior suit for it, 'to have and enioy onely during so long
tyme as he shall contynewe officer unto the company'. He was admitted and
sworn in accordingly.
59. It was ordered and agreed that every person admitted into the freedom
by patrimony or service should pay 12d. to the secretary and 6d. to the
beadle. Those admitted by redemption should pay 2s. to the secretary and
12d. to the beadle. In addition, the secretary was empowered to collect 12d.
for the enrolment of each indenture, any former orders to the contrary
60. Forasmuch as during the tyme of the breach betweene our late Soveraigne
Lady Queene Elizabeth and the king of Spain dyvers persons of this company
being withowt hope of any peace or reconsiliation did omytt owt of their
apprentices Indentures the words 'Marchant of Spayne and Portyngale', so as
by the stricknes of an auncyent order noe such persons can clayme the benefitt of
their freedome of Spayne and Portyngale by any such servyce, yt is neverthelesse
(upon full and deliberate consideration) att this court concluded and agreed that
all such persons as were bound to any freeman of this company att any tyme
sithence the yere of our Lord God one thowsand fyve hundreth eightie fyve
untill this present daye shall and may be dispensed withall and be admitted into
the freedome notwithstanding the omitting of the said words, soe as they make
just prooff of their service, and also make their clayme before the feast of
Christmas next ensewing, and so as the Indenture of every apprentice already
bound be inrolled with the Secretary before the said feast of Christmas next.
61. [p. 19] It was also agreed that all indentures made after the date of this
court should observe the ancient order for the inserting of the words
'merchant of Spain and Portugal'. Every indenture which omitted the words
should be regarded as void concerning the freedom of the company.
62. A letter was read out from the duke of Lennox 'for the preferring of a
Consull in Spayne', but the company took further time to consider the
matter. (fn. 8)
63. It was agreed that letters should at once be written 'unto the Cuntry
to the severall dyvisions and ports', each containing a copy of the articles
of the peace together with a translation of them into English.
64. It was agreed to set up a committee of the following members or any
six of them, namely the president, the treasurer, Sir John Watts, Sir William
Romeney, Mr. Staper, Mr. Cokayne, Mr. Weech, Mr. Allabaster, Mr.
Jaxon and Mr. Dorrington. They were to consider
the paynes and travell of such as have ben ymployed for the good of the Company,
towching the Articles concluded upon in the treaty of peace betweene England
and Spayne. And what they or any sixe of them shall thinck fitt to bestowe upon
them, this court will allowe.
65. A further committee consisting of the following members or any five of
them was also set up, namely the president, the treasurer, Mr. Dorrington,
Mr. Jaxon, Mr. Bates, Mr. James, Mr. Nevill Davys and Mr. Bostock.
entreated to consider what seale or certificate is required by the Article to be for
our goods to passe into Spayne withowt danger or trowble. And to procure
letters from my Lord Treasurer that none but freemen of this company maye be
admitted to enter their goods to be sent into Spayne or Portingale.
66. It was agreed that if Mr. Hanger the last treasurer did not bring in his
account within fourteen days of [p. 20] due warning, 'that then he shalbe
comytted by Mr. President for his contempt'.
67. It was also agreed that every indenture of apprenticeship already made
to any freeman of the company must be enrolled with the secretary within
the following year. Every indenture made thereafter must be enrolled with
the secretary within a year of its being made, 'upon payne that the master
of every such apprentice shall forfeit to the use of the company for every
such Indenture which shall not be enrowled as aforesaid the some of Tenn
68. A general court held at Pewterers' Hall on the morning of Friday 7
September 1604 in the presence of the president, the treasurer, and the following assistants:
69. Sir Thomas Pullison, Sir William Romeney, Robert Chamberlen, John
Newman, George Collymere, Richard Weech, George Hanger, Robert
Cobb, Andrew Bannyng, Nicholas Lyng, Robert Bowyer, John Dorrington,
John Bate, Robert Savage, Edward James, William Towerson.
70. After the reading and confirmation of the acts of the last general court
the proceedings were as follows:
71. Sir William Romeney, alderman of London, 'who was elected one of the
assistants did att this court receave the oath in that case provyded'.
72. [p. 21] George Hanger the former treasurer brought in his account,
whereupon eight auditors were appointed to examine it. They were Richard
Weech, Robert Cobb, Andrew Bannyng, John Bate, Edward James and
William Towerson from among the assistants, and Mr. Castlyn and Mr.
Cletherowe of the generality. At least five of them were to 'subscribe their
names thereunto according to the auncyent orders of this company'.
73. It was agreed that Sir John Watts, who preceded Mr. Hanger as treasurer, 'and never yett accoumpted', should be warned to present his account
to a general court with all convenient speed.
74. The following six persons were admitted into the freedom of the company by patrimony: John Newman the younger son of John Newman,
grocer, Phillip Smyth son of Phillip Smyth, haberdasher, Nathaniel Martyn
son of Sir Richard Martyn, goldsmith, Christopher Cletherowe son of Henry
Cletherowe, ironmonger, Simon Lawrence son of Simon Lawrence, grocer,
and Richard Shorter, merchant tailor, son of William Shorter, draper. Each
paid 6s. 8d. to the treasurer for the use of the company, and took the oath
of a freeman by the ancient trade.
75. The following eleven persons were made free by service: Nicholas
Buckeridg by service with John Newman, grocer, William Woder by service with Thomas Bramley, haberdasher, Nicholas Smyth, by service
with Jerrard Gore the elder, merchant tailor, William Wastell, grocer,
by service with Andrew Bannyng, Jeffrey Kerby, grocer, by service with
Paul Bannyng, Gyles Parslowe, grocer, by service with Francis [p. 22]
Bowyer, Alderman Leonard Parker, haberdasher, by service with William
Welden, William Stone, skinner, by service with William Towreson, John
Sherrington by service with Robert Cobb, girdler, William Adderley,
merchant tailor, by service with Richard Maye, and William Aldington by
service with Roger Howe, mercer. They each paid 6s. 8d. to the treasurer to
the use of the company and took the oath of freemen by ancient trade.
76. 'And John Suracold alias Seracold who hath ben an auncyent merchant
and was long remayning in Spayne is admitted into the freedome by reason
he is named in the charter or patent graunted by the late Queene Elizabeth'.
He paid the treasurer 6s. 8d. to the use of the company and received the
oath of a freeman by ancient trade.
77. Edmond Burton, draper, 'a meere merchant and a trader into Spayne'
was admitted into the freedom by redemption, paying £10 to the treasurer
to the use of the company and taking the oath of a freeman by redemption.
78. Thomas Dalby, mercer, and Edward Davenant, merchant tailor,
whoe desyred the freedome by Redemption were not allowed at this court by
reason they are supposed to be retaylors, and keapers of warehowses. And
neither are they sonnes nor were they apprentizes of any marchants, and therefore thought not capable of the said freedome. Neverthelesse they are appoynted
to attend the Committees hereafter named, whoe are entreated to advise and
consider fully of th'estate of their requests and to report their opynions att the
next generall courte.
79. [p. 23] It was ordered and agreed that two new members, Mr. Bates and
Mr. Castlyn, should be added to the committee of seven appointed at a
court of assistants on 23 August 1604, making nine in all. The seven
original members were the president, the treasurer, Mr. Bannyng, Mr. Ling,
Mr. Jaxon, Mr. Forman and Mr. Bostock. They or any five of them were
to meete togeather, and to cause all such persons to be warned before them that
either clayme their freedome by patrymony or service, or make suite to be
admitted by Redemption, and to examyne their claymes and understand the
nature of their suite and what trade or profession they have heretofore used and
what they nowe doe use, and whether by the trewe meaning of the Patent they
hold them capable and fitt to be receaved into this socyety, and from tyme to
tyme to make relation att the next generall court after such examination by them
or any fyve of them made as aforesaid.
80. The president exhibited a seal which he had had made, 'with the Scutchion of the companyes armes, to be used for the sealing of such letters
as shalbe written in the name of the company, which seale was liked and
allowed and order gyven to Mr. Treasurer to make payement for the same'.
81. A petition to the lord high treasurer, drawn up on the advice of certain
committee members, was read out in court. It desired his lordship's resolution on the article in the peace-treaty concerning the sealing and registering
of English goods which bore any resemblance to those of Holland and
Zeeland. It also humbly requested his lordship's honourable letters to the
officers of the custom-house, 'that none may enter goods for Spayne or
Portyngale unlesse they should be certified by Mr. President or his deputy
or Mr. Treasurer to be free of this [p. 24] company.' The lord treasurer had
given the petition a very honourable and favourable answer, 'yett referring
the consideration of the first parte of the Petition to Sir Danyell Dun and
Sir Thomas Edmonds, whoe were ymployed in pennyng the said articles'. (fn. 9)
With regard to the latter part of the petition his lordship gave order to one
of his secretaries to draw up the letter.
Neverthelesse information is gyven att this court that some newe course is
entended whereupon Mr. President, Mr. Treasurer, Sir William Romeney, Mr.
Dorrington and Mr. Weech are entreated by this court to attend my Lord
Treasurer to understand what resolution is taken concerning the same wherein
they are entreated to advise and consider and to move his Lordshipp for the best
and easiest course that maye be for the good and safety of the company.
82. A general court 'entended to be houlden' at Pewterers' Hall on Wednesday
19 September 1604.
83. 'Unto which Court there onlie resorted Sir Thomas Pullison, Sir Robert Lee,
Mr. Chamberlen, Mr. Newman, Mr. Collymere, Mr. Hanger, Mr. Bannyng,
Mr. Jaxon, Mr. Dorrington, Mr. Savage, Mr. Toureson and Mr. Peele, and a
smale nomber of the generallitie. Soe as for want of sufficyent apparance the said
generall Court could not be held'.
84. A general court held at Pewterers' Hall on Thursday 20 September 1604,
in the presence of the president, the treasurer, and the following assistants:
85. Sir Thomas Pullison, Sir William Romeny, Mr. Staper, Mr. Chamberlen, Mr. Cockayne, Mr. Collymere, Mr. Newman, Mr. Hanger, Mr.
Bannyng, Mr. Lyng, Mr. Bowyer, Mr. Jaxon, Mr. Dorrington, Mr. Savage,
Mr. Castelyne, Mr. Parslowe, Mr. Furner, and also divers of the generality.
86. [p. 25] After the reading and confirmation of the minutes of the last
general court, the following business was transacted.
87. At this court the Companie falling into consideration how many courts have
byn warned and nothing done for want of a competent nomber of Assistants to
have byn presente at the same, and fynding that dyverse of the assistants latelie
elected make default of apparance, some by reason of other ymployments, and
some being beyond the Seas, and for other spetiall occasions, as namely Sir
Thomas Cambell knight and Alderman, Mr. John Hawes, Mr. ffraunces Barnes,
and Mr. William Jennyngs. Therefore for the better service of the Companie
it is agreed that the said foure shalbe dischardged and noe longer be assistants,
and foure others such as may attend the service to be elected in their places, ffor
which purpose dyverse woorshipfull persons were named and put to election.
But by moast voyces th'ellection did fall upon, Mr. Nicholas Style, Mr. John
Castelyn, Mr. Gyles Parslowe, and Mr. Symion Furner.
The latter three being present were all sworn in as assistants, but as Mr.
Style was absent he was to receive his oath at some other court.
88. The court also discussed whether Edward Davenant and Thomas Dalbie,
who had lately sued for their freedom and paid £10 each to the treasurer,
'were by the true entent and meanyng of the Companies charter capable,
and fitt to be received into the freedome'. It was agreed by majority vote
that they were not capable and that their money should be returned, 'yett
in the end the Companie thought fitt to take a further tyme to consider
89. [p. 26] The following five persons were admitted into the freedom by
service: John Stokeley by service with Thomas Owen, merchant tailor, John
Stronginarme by service with Thomas Wilford, president, Clemens Fryer
by service with Thomas Fryer, draper, Bryan Janson by service with Sir
Thomas Pullison, and Roger Gomeldon by service with Mrs. Parnell
Toureson. They all paid 6s. 8d. to the treasurer for the use of the company,
taking their oaths as freemen by ancient trade.
90. George May, son of Richard May, merchant tailor, was admitted into
the freedom by patrimony. He paid 6s. 8d. to the treasurer to the use of the
company, and took the oath of a freeman by ancient trade.
91. The following four persons were admitted into the freedom by redemption: William Hungate, ironmonger, Phillip Jones, ironmonger, Thomas
Church, draper, and Ralph Wight, grocer, 'being all mere merchants and
free of noe other Companyes'. They each paid the treasurer £10 to the use
of the company 'amounting in the whole to fortie powndes'.