92. [p. 27] An assembly held at Pewterers' Hall on Wednesday afternoon,
30 January 1605 in the presence of the right worshipful Mr. Thomas Wilford,
president, Mr. Roger Howe, treasurer, and the following assistants:
93. John Newman, Nicholas Ling, Robert Bowyer, Arthur Jaxon, John
Dorrington, John Bate, and Mr. Bostock one of the generality.
94. A letter was openly read out from the lords of the privy council.
95. It was addressed to the lord chief baron of the exchequer, Sir Daniel
Dun master of the requests to his majesty, Sir Edward Coke the attorney
general, and Sir Thomas Edmonds, secretary to his majesty for the French
tongue, or to any three of them. Its contents were as follows.
96. After our very hartie commendations to your Lordship and the rest. Wheras
upon his Majesty's Cominge to this Crowne and the ceasing of the trobles
formerlie dependinge betwene this kingdome and the State of Spaine, the
marchants of this Realme which use the trade of Spaine, and which have bine
auncientlie made and Constituted a Corporation by the favor of former Princes,
with the graunt of all priviledges therunto belonginge, did adresse themselves
unto me the Lord Chancelor, and made suyte for [p. 28] the ratyfyinge of their
Corporation by his Majestie, upon the knowledge which was taken that Aucthoritie was given by his majestie to me for the better ease of his Majestie, and for the
expedition of the subiect, to renewe all Corporations of this Realme, according
to their present forme. And accordinglie the said merchants obteyned the
renewinge of their said Corporation, by aucthoritie whereof they pretend to have
carefullie endevored the setlinge of their said trade, by establishinge such necessarie orders for goverment as are meete to be observed in the same, and to
appoynte Consulls to reside for that purpose in the principall Portes of Spayne.
But the said merchants doe complayne that they are ympeached and disturbed in
their said proceedings by Certaine Retaylers and Shoppkeepers, which are
prohibited by their charter to use the trade of merchandize and also by others
not free of the said Company, which doe (as yt is informed) disable and discredit
the power of the said Charter, pretending that the same is not sufficiently
authorized and warranted by lawe, for that their Charter graunted by the late
Queene became voyde by Non User, during the longe tyme of the Contynuance
of the warr, which doth therfore dissolve the said Corporation, unles the same be
restored againe by a new Creation. By reason of the which scruple (which is
alleaged to be the opynion of some lawyers) the saide Company beinge doubtful
how to proceede, and to governe themselves for the ordringe of their trade, have
forborne to make any assemblies, and to putt their Charter in execution till our
pleasures weare knowne, concerninge the validitie of the said Charter. And
although wee holde the foresaide allegation of the non-user in this case to be a
strict interpretation, Considering that ther was noe default in the merchant, but
that the warres weare the occasion thereof: nevertheles we have thought good
both for our owne better satisfaction, and likewise at the humble suyte of the said
merchants, to recommend to your Lordship and the rest, to Consider of the
validitie of their present graunt, prayinge you not only to certyfie us your opynions
what you Conceave of the sufficiency therof in poynt of Lawe, but in case there
be defect in the said graunt, and that it be needefull to obteyne a newe Charter
from his Majestie, to advyse also how far forth yt is Convenient to yeelde to the
enlargement of the said charter, in such farther matters as shalbe propounded
unto you by the said merchants for the Comon good (as it is affirmed) of the said
trade, and [p. 29] thereof lykewise to Certifie us your opynions as speedilie as
you maie because it importeth that expedition be used therein. And so wee bid
yow hartelie farewell from the Courte at Whitehall the 28 of January 1605.
97. Your lordships very loving friendes Thomas Ellesmere Cancellarius, Thomas
Dorsett, Nottingham, Suffolke, Northumberland, E. Worcester, Devonshire,
H. Northampton, Cranborne, (fn. 10) E. Zouche, Thomas Burghley, E. Wotton.
98. After the letters had been read out, 'and a good tyme spent in debating
and considering of the same, with an expectation that a greater nomber of
the Company wold have mett at this tyme and upon this occasion', it was
finally agreed that 'all diligence should be used and care taken in prosecution
of the honorable entent of the Lords'. For this purpose a committee was set
up to confer together and to attend the lords' committee in order to expedite the business. It was composed of the president, Sir William Romeney,
Mr. How the treasurer, Mr. Jaxon, Mr. Dorrington, Mr. Bostock and the
secretary, or any five of them. The company agreed to authorise the expenditure of any money that the committee should 'disburse or bestowe in
gratuities touching or concerning the same'.
99. [p. 30] An assembly held at Pewterers' Hall on the afternoon of Friday
8 February 1605 in the presence of the following assistants:
100. Thomas Wilford, president, Roger How, treasurer, Sir William Romney, John Newman, George Collymere, George Hanger, Robert Cobb,
Nicholas Lyng, Arthur Jaxon, John Bate, Robert Savage, Lawrence Greene,
John Castlyn, Gyles Parslowe, Simon Furner, and William Jennings one of
101. A copy of a letter was read out from the lord chief baron, Sir Daniel
Dun, Sir Edward Coke and Sir Thomas Edmunds, to the lords of the privy
council in answer to their letter entered up in the proceedings of the last
102. It was endorsed as sent to the lords of the privy council, and its contents were as follows.
103. Our humble duties to your lordships remembred. Wee have according to
your honorable letters considered of the Chartre made to the merchaunts trading
into Spaine, and the confirmation thereof by his Majesty, and Doe fynde two
imperfections or defects in their charter, first in the forme of the incorporation
being incorporated, per nomen Presidentis assistentium et societatis mercatorum
Hispanie et Portugalie, where they should have byn named of England or some
parte thereof, trading into Spaine and Portingall, secondly by the charter they
ought to have elected yerely a President for one yere to endure, which they have
neglected [blank in ms.] yeres. Also the confirmation is insufficient for it is made,
nunc Presidenti Assistenti et societati et cetera and there was no Presedent att
the tyme of the [p. 31] Confirmation, wee thincke it fitt that a newe charter be
made (with reformation of these errors and defects) for as without a charter good
order (the only meanes to avoid confusion) cannot be observed, so is it necessary
that the charter be so tempered and framed as nothing may be omitted necessary
for the advauncement of trade and traffique, nor any thing inserted into it that
may be repugnant to lawe, or preiudiciall to the comon wealth which being as
much as was required of us, wee humbly take our leaves, and ever remayne,
moast humbly att your Lordships Commandment.
104. Thomas ffleming, Daniele Dun, Edward Coke, Thomas Edmonds.
105. The above letter was read out in court in addition to the letter written
by the lords and entered under the last assembly. It was then resolved that
a new charter should be procured with all convenient speed, and a committee was appointed 'to conferr and consider of all things needefull to be
incerted or added to the same charter for the good of the Company'. Its
members were the president, the treasurer, Sir William Romney, Mr.
Cockayne, Mr. Weech, Mr. Jaxon, and Mr. Dorrington.
106. It was also agreed that the sum of £100 in the hands of the treasurer,
borrowed at interest some time earlier, should be disbursed by the treasurer
in furtherance of the same business, at the direction of the members of the
above committee or any four of them. If the original £100 had already been
repaid then another £100 was to be borrowed. The members of the committee, or any four of them, should make out a warrant under their hands
which would be 'a sufficient dischardg to the said Mr. Treasurer for payment thereof or any parte or parcell thereof'.
107. The copy of a letter from Viscount Cranborne, the principal secretary
of his majesty, to the attorney-general.
108. Mr. Atturney. Whereas there was a graunt made att his Majesty's first
commyng to the Crowne unto the company of merchaunts trading into Spaine
upon my Lord Chancellour's [p. 32] generall graunt, which synce being viewed
and perused by my Lord Chief Baron and others appointed Commissioners for
that purpose, is found defective in some particulers, these are now to lett you
knowe that it is his Majesty's pleasure you should draw a new graunt in due
forme of lawe, whereunto hereafter no iust exceptions neede be taken for the
satisfaction of the said merchaunts, towards whom his Majesty is graciously
disposed to use all the favor that may be. And so I committ you to god. From the
Court at Whitehall the [blank in ms.] day of ffebruary 1605. (fn. 1)
109.An assembly held at Pewterers' Hall on18 March 1605 in the presence of
the following worshipful assistants:
110. Thomas Wilford, president, Richard Staper, Nicholas Ling, Richard
Weech, John Bate, Robert Chamberlen, George Collymore, Andrew Banning, John Castlyn.
111. A letter, recently received from Viscount Cranborne the king's principal
secretary, was read out. It was endorsed as sent to Thomas Wilford and the
rest of the merchants trading to Spain, and was as follows:
112. After my hartie Comendations, fforasmuch as his Majesty hath appointed
Sir Charles Cornwalleis knight, to be his Ambassadour resident with the king of
Spaine, and that it is Convenient both for the good of his majesty's service, and
for the Advancement of your trade into those parts, that he be fully enstructed
and informed of the present state of your trade, which he cannot be better then
from your owne relation, I have thought good to require yow, that yow will
depute some persons amongste yow of sufficiency and understandinge in those
busines, to resorte to the said Sir Charles Cornewalleis, and to Conferr with him
about the same, as also to informe him what ancient rights and priviledges you
doe Claime in those parts, what taxes or Impositions are exacted upon yow,
[p. 33] Contrary to former treaties, and all other incidencies of Complaints or
grievances, which yow shall thinke fitt for his knowledge, and his interposition,
wherein I hope yow wilbe the more carefull and diligent to waite on him, seing it
Concerneth wholy your owne good and benifitt. And so I Comend yow to god,
ffrom Grenwich this 18 of March 1605.
Your Loving frende
113. It was therefore ordered that the president, the treasurer, Sir William
Romeney, Mr. Cockayne, Mr. Robert Bowyer, Mr. Jaxon, Mr. Dorrington,
Mr. Bate and Mr. Lawrence Greene should attend the ambassador, to
inform him of the matters mentioned in the letter.
114. A draft for the new charter was also read out, 'which the Company
praie may be procured and dispatched with all Convenient speede'.
115.An assembly held at the house of Thomas Wilford the president, on
Wednesday afternoon 20 March 1605 by the following worshipful persons,
Mr. Wilford, president, Mr. Cokayne, Mr. Jaxon, Mr. Dorrington.
116. Although the meeting was called to consider some information to be
given to the ambassador, and the speedy effecting of the charter, several of
those who had been notified failed to attend.
Yet nevertheles it is thought fitt and so agreed that Mr. Presedent Sir William
Romeney and the Secretary (who have promised to undertake the Jorney) and
Mr. Bowyer and Mr. Greene yf there leyzure will permitt, shall tomorrow morning
procure a Coach and undertake a present Jorney to Mr. Attorney, to his house
in the Country, for the speedy dispatch of the charter, before my Lord Admirall
the great Ambassador, and Sir William Cornewalleis the lidgeor Ambassador
goe over, which is expected shalbe within few daies. And the said fyve persons
present have sent a noate under their hands to Mr. Treasurer to deliver £4
towards the Charges of the Jorney.
117. [p. 34] It was also thought fit that a collection of documents should be
drawn up and sent to the ambassador, including the ancient privileges
granted to the English merchants by the kings of Spain and Portugal. The
documents were to be procured by Mr. Dorrington from Portugal, 'where
he saieth the same may be obteyned'.
118. [p. 35] A court of assistants held at Pewterers' Hall, 8 June 1605, in the
presence of Thomas Wilford, president and the following assistants:
119. Sir Robert Lee, Sir John Watts, Sir John Swynnerton, Sir William
Romeney, Robert Chamberlen, William Cokeyne, Nicholas Ling, Arthur
Jackson, John Dorrington, Robert Savage, Edward James, Symion Furner,
John Newton, William Towreson, Nicholas Stile, Thomas Owen, Richard
Wych, Robert Cobb, George Hanger, Thomas Forman, John Whitson of
Bristol, Richard Langley, secretary, Roger Howe, late treasurer, Percival
Brooke of York.
120. First, the president announced that the king had been graciously
pleased to grant the company a new charter which had been sealed with the
great seal of England on the preceding Saturday and bore the date 31 May
1605. The charter was then read out in its entirety by Richard Langley the
121. After the reading it was resolved
that letters should be presently written by Mr. President to the severall port
townes to intimate and make knowne unto them his Majesty's gratious favour in
that behaulf, to th'end they may ioyne and advise with the company for the
laying Downe of good orders and constitutions for the government of the
122. [p. 36] It was agreed in the meantime to set up a committee composed
of the president, Sir John Swynnerton, Sir William Romeney, Mr. Cokayne,
Mr. Wyche, Mr. Howe, Mr. Dorrington, Mr. Jaxon, Mr. Whitson of
Bristol, Mr. Newton, Mr. Brooke of York, Mr. Owen, Mr. Towreson and
Mr. James or any seven of them. They were entreated to meet at Merchant
Tailors' Hall the following morning,
to consider of the oathes and ordinances for the government of the company,
and to prepare the same in all readines against the next court of Assistaunts, to
th'end Mr. President, Assistents and other officers and freemen may then be
sworne, and so to proceed for the establishing of goverment in the company
with speed, and to take order with the Customers that no entries be made of the
goods of any but only of such as be free of the company.
123.An assembly held at Merchant Tailors' Hall on Saturday 8 June 1605 by
the following worshipful persons:
124. The president, Sir John Swynnerton, Mr. Cokayne, Mr. Wyche, Mr.
Dorrington, Mr. Jackson, Mr. Newton, Mr. Howe, Mr. Owen, Mr. James,
Mr. Whitson of Bristol, Mr. Brooke of York, Mr. Chaple of Exeter.
125. In accordance with the order made at the last court of assistants the
spent the forenoone in perusing the awncient oathes and divers of the old
ordynaunces awnciently made for the goverment of this Company and according
as tyme and occasion did require did alter some few thinges therein, and did
defer the consideration of the residue of the said ordynaunces untill some other
126. [p. 37] A general court held at Pewterers' Hall on the morning of
Wednesday 12 June 1605 in the presence of Thomas Wilford, president and the
127. Sir Robert Lee, Sir William Romeney, Mr. Staper, Mr. Chamberlen,
Mr. Cokayne, Mr. Newman, Mr. Ling, Mr. Jackson, Mr. Dorrington, Mr.
Savage, Mr. James, Mr. Bowyer, Mr. Newton, Mr. Towreson, Mr. Cobb,
Mr. Hanger, Mr. Sweene, Mr. Forman, Richard Langley, secretary.
128. Also present were Sir Thomas Pullison, Mr. Howe the former treasurer,
Mr. Brooke of York and divers of the generality.
129. ffirst at this generall court the King's Majesties moast gracious charter
under his highnes greate seale of England conteyning fyve skyns of vellam and
bearing date the 31 day of May last being in the Third yeere of his Majesty's
Raigne of his Realmes of England ffrance and Ireland, and of Scotland the
eight and thirteth was openly redd in the presence of the Assistants and generality
130. After reading, Thomas Wilford the president named in the charter took
his oath of office.
131. Richard Langley as the secretary named in the charter also took the
oath appointed for his office.
132. [p. 38] The eighteen assistants who were present at the court, as before
named, 'did also receive and take the oath for th'execution of the said
133. Sir William Romeney, named in the charter, took the oath of a freeman
by ancient trade, 'and paied the fine due upon such admission, viz. to the
use of the said society 6s. 8d., and to the Secretary 12d. and to the Beadle
134.A general court held at Pewterers' Hall on Thursday 13 June 1605 in the
presence of Thomas Wilford, president, and the following assistants:
135. Sir William Romeney, Robert Chamberlen, John Harby, Nicholas
Ling, Robert Savage, Symion Furner, William Towreson, Thomas Owen,
Robert Cobb, George Hanger, Laurence Greene, Thomas Forman; the
secretary of the company and divers of the generality.
136. It was agreed by general consent
that the names of Mr. Thomas ffarington, Thomas Bostock and William ffreeman
(being meere marchaunts by auntient trade) are omitted out of the newe charter
lately graunted by the king's Majestie, yett by the generall words they are made as
capable of the freedome as any other that is named in the charter. Neverthelesse
for the better manifestation of their right to posterity for the benefite of their
servaunts and children it is thought fitt that some mention be thereof made in
the [p. 39] books and records of this company, and some indorsement thereof to
be made upon the back of the charter, and that all others that be in the like case
shall receave the like favour and have the like entry and endorsement as aforesaid.
137. John Harby, Symion Furner, and Thomas Owen, three of the assistants
who have been absent from the previous court, took their appointed oaths
138. William Harrison, named in the charter,
was recommended to the Company by certen Lords of his Majesty's privie
counsaill and for other causes the company moving, he had therefore administred
unto him the oath of a freeman by auncient trade, and only paied the fine and
sommes due upon such admissions viz. to the use of the Society 6s. 8d. and to the
Secretary 12d. and the Beadle 6d.
139. James Flesher, who was named in the charter, had previously paid Mr.
Howe the former treasurer £10 to the use of the society in return for his
inclusion in it. Similarly Robert Brooke, Henry Peyton, Humphrey Slany,
Francis Olyver, Thomas Eaton 'also Heaton', and Daniel Hills had each
paid £10 to the president for the inclusion of their names, which were
accordingly inserted into the charter on his instructions. 'Nowe at this
court after some debate and discourse whether they should take the oath of
freemen by auncient trade or by redemption in th'end it was concluded and
resolved, and they had all administred unto them the oath of a Redemptioner'. Each paid 6d. to the secretary and 12d. to the beadle. (fn. 2)
140. [p. 40] A court of assistants held at Pewterers' Hall on Friday morning
14 June 1605, the following being present:
141. Mr. Thomas Wilford, president, Sir William Romeney, William
Cokayne, John Newman, Nicholas Lyng, Arthur Jackson, John Dorrington, Edward James, Symion Furner, John Newton, William Towreson,
Thomas Owen, Richard Wyche, Robert Cobb, George Hanger, Laurence
Greene, Thomas Forman; the secretary of the fellowship.
142. First, the claims of several persons 'who pretended right and interest
to the freedome of this society' were heard and examined, but 'it was
resolved and held fitt to deferre their freedome untill a generall court which
is appointed this afternoon for the same purpose'.
143. Nicholas Dickins, a ship's master,
praying his freedome by Redemption was Denyed the same, by reason that it was
neither thought fitt nor allowable by the charter to admitt of any master of a
Shipp or common Marryner because they are speciallie excepted out of the
144. A letter from the lord chief baron was read out requesting the freedom
of the company for certain merchants of Southampton.
But forasmuch as some of them are shopp keapers, and some officers of the
custome house, and that his Lordship desireth to have them all to be admitted
free without paying any money for the same, therefore Mr. President is entreated
to take some of the Assistents with him and to attend my Lord chief Baron and to
informe his Lordship howe Dangerous a president it were and how inconvenyent
for the company to yeld to his lordship's request. (fn. 3)
145. [p. 41] It was agreed that a committee should be appointed to attend
with all convenient speed upon the honourable lords who had furthered the
granting of the charter, to convey the humble thanks of the whole company.
Moreover the committee was 'to desire their honourable patronage and ayd
in the using maynteyning and enioying of the liberties which the king's
moast Excellent Majestie by the advice of their Lordships hath graunted
unto the company'. The members designated were the president, Sir John
Swynnerton, Sir William Romeney, alderman, Mr. John Jowles, Mr.
Cokayne, Mr. Wyche, Mr. Dorrington, Mr. Jaxon and Mr. Towreson, or
any four of them.
146. It was also ordered and agreed that Roger Howe the former treasurer
should hand over to the president the sum of £50 to be used presently in the
affairs of the company. The money was to be allowed him when he presented
his account. Mr. Howe was also asked to bring in his account with all
convenient speed, and a copy of this order would be delivered to him by the
secretary for his discharge.
147.A general court held at Pewterers' Hall on Friday afternoon 13 June 1605
in the presence of
148. Mr. Thomas Wilford, president, Mr. Newman, Mr. Harby, Mr. Ling,
Mr. Jaxon, Mr. Dorrington, Mr. Savage, Mr. James, Mr. Furner, Mr.
Newton, Mr. Towreson, Mr. Owen, Mr. Hanger, Mr. Greene; the secretary
and divers of the generality.
149. [p. 42] Eleven persons claimed their freedom by apprenticeship to
merchants who were ancient traders. Their cases were examined and found
valid, whereupon each of them paid 6s. 8d. to the use of the company and
was admitted, taking the oath of a freeman by ancient trade. The claimants
were Richard Stephens by service with Richard Hale, Thomas and Phillip
Honnyman by service with William Dawks, William Walton by service with
Sir John Spencer, Edmond Traves by service with Sir Thomas Blanck, John
Wormell by service with Nicholas Bond, Edmond Peshall by service with
William Villars, Robert Jenny by service with Robert Brooke, Thomas
Hukeley by service with William Bond, John Strachey by service with Sir
John Spencer and Henry Ball by service with Sir George Bond.
150. Three other persons claimed their freedom by apprenticeship to
merchants who had been redemptioners. Their cases were examined and
found valid, each paying a fee of £5 to the company, 'being asmuch as their
severall Maisters paied at the tyme of their severall admittances', and taking
the oath of a freeman by redemption. The claimants were Christopher
Cardinall of Ipswich, named in the previous charter and formerly apprenticed to Robert Lymer of Ipswich, who was admitted by redemption within
a year after the granting of the charter of 1577; Thomas Burge, formerly
apprenticed to George Hanger who paid £5 to be admitted into the freedom on 14 August 1577; and lastly Francis Dent, salter, formerly apprenticed to John Dent who was similarly admitted for £5 by redemption on
14 August 1577.
151. [p. 43] Two further persons claimed the freedom by patrimony 'in the
right of their fathers who were auntient freemen well knowne to the company'. They were William Wilford son of Thomas Wilford the president,
and Hugh Bourman son of Simon Bourman. (fn. 4) Their claims were allowed,
whereupon they took the oath of freemen by ancient trade and paid 6s. 8d.
each to the use of the company.
152. Also William Palmer and Richard Waltham were admitted as redemptioners, taking their oaths accordingly, since each had formerly paid
£10 to the president to have his name included in the charter, 'which Mr.
President caused to be performed accordingly'.
153. It was agreed and enacted
that every person and persons, that is or shalbe free of this society which hath
already ioyned with any partener or parteners not being free of the Company
shall presently make relacion thereof in wryting to the Secretary of the Company,
signifying with whom, and in what manner he hath so ioyned, upon payne that
every one that shall not performe the same (besides the infringing of his oath)
shall pay such fyne, as by a generall Court shalbe agreed. Moreover yt is enacted
and agreed that every person and persons not free of this Company, which hath
adventured any marchandizes into Spayne or Portugale, or any places Comprehended within our priviledges, and also all such as have ioyned with [p. 44] any
freeman, shall have the favour and liberty of sixe moneths (viz) between this and
the feast of Christmas next ensuing for retorning of their wares and merchandizes
from the said places. Provided alwaies, that no such person or persons, not being
free, nor any who have ioyned with freemen shall at any tyme or tymes from hensforth, adventure any wares or merchandize outward unto any the said places
before mentioned. And moreover that after this day no person or persons free of
this fellowshipp shall ioyne or deale as parteners in occupying with any person
or persons not free of the Company, nor with any retailor artificer Inholder
farmor Common Marryner or handycrafts man of or for any goods wares or
merchandize, to be transported or brought to or from Spayne or Portugall or
any place or places comprehended within our priviledg upon payne to forfeyt
twenty in the hundred, to the use of the said fellowshipp. Provided alwaies, that
this acte, shall not extend to any person, that doth occupy with any other being
beyond the sea, that may at his retorne enjoy the freedome.
154.A general court held at Pewterers' Hall on Friday 28 June 1605, there
being present Thomas Wilford, president, and the following:
155. Sir Robert Lee, Sir John Watts, Sir John Swynnerton, Mr. Staper, Mr.
Chamberleyn, Mr. Newman, Mr. Lyng, Mr. Jackson, Mr. Dorrington, Mr.
Savage, Mr. Bowyer, Mr. Furner, Mr. Newton, Mr. Towerson, Mr. Owen,
Mr. Wyche, Mr. Cobb, Mr. Hanger, Mr. Greene; the secretary, and also
divers of the generality.
156. [p. 45] After the confirmation of the business concluded at the last
general court, a letter was read out which had been procured from the lord
high treasurer to send to the customers, ordering them not to take entries
for any cargoes to be sent to Spain or Portugal unless their owners were free
of the company. The letter was as follows.
157. After my harty comendations. Although yt hath pleased his majesty by his
letters patents under his greate seale of England, to graunt a large Charter unto
his highnes subjects, the mere marchaunts of England trading into Spaine and
Portugal, and thereby inhibiting all others to use any trade, to those two Realmes
or either of them, other then such as may lawfully Clayme by vertue of the said
Charter, or be admitted by the true meaning thereof, and by the same letters
patents hath graunted that they and such only as shalbe of the said Incorporation
shall have the whole entier and sole trade to and from thence, straightly prohibiting
all others from trading to those parts, and also thereby requiring all Customers
Comptrollers and other officers, that neither they their Clarcks or substitutes
shall take any entry of any merchaundizes to be transported into Spaine or
Portugall, or make any agreement for Custome, but only with such as are or
shalbe free of that Company, and thereby excluding all retaylours Artificers
Inholders ffarmors, Comon Marryners, and handycrafts men, out of the said
society, as by the said charter may fully and at lardg appeare. Yet neverthelesse
I am informed that diverse persons not being free of the said society, doe presume
and adventure to trade thether, contrary to the tenour and effect of the said
charter, and to the manifest Contempt thereof. Wherefore these are to will and
requier you to have due and speciall care for the true observance of his Majesty's
gratious pleasure in that behalf. And for the better performance hereof, I require
you [p. 46] not to take entry for any merchaundizes to be transported as aforesaid
nor make any agreement for custome with any person other then of and with
such as shall produce, and have sufficient testymony under the hand of the
President or his deputy that they are of that fellowshipp, and are neither Retailours
or Artificers, and by their orders allowed to use trade thether as meere merchaunts,
inhibiting and refrayning all others that shall attempt any thing to the contrary.
And thereof fayle yow not; ffrom Dorset howse this 27 of June 1605.
Your loving freind
158. Since the form of the letter was well liked, it was agreed that twenty
copies of it should be procured and sent out to the following places: London, Bristol, Bridgwater, Chichester, Ipswich, Chester, Gloucester, Sandwich, Lynn, Yarmouth, Poole, Boston, Hull, Plymouth, Exeter, Newcastle,
Southampton, Barnstaple, Cardiff, Milford Haven.
159. The company then proceeded to the election of deputies for the following port towns,
and putting two in election for every severall place the election (being made by
lifting up of hands according to usuall manner) did fall upon these worshippfull
parsons following, who were elected to supply the said place or office of Deputie
to the president of this Company for the severall places whereof they are severally
and respectively chosen as hereafter followeth and also for all those places which
in former tymes were allotted to be under their severall Jurisdictions.
160. John Barker for Bristol 'cum membris ut supra'; Richard Dochester for
Exeter etc.; Nicholas Downe for Barnstaple etc.; John Hassard the elder
for Lyme etc.; (fn. 5) James Bagg for Plymouth etc.; Fulk Aldersey for Chester
etc.; [p. 47] Alexander Jones for Bridgwater etc.; (fn. 6) John Clynch for Ipswich
etc.; William Harebrowne for Yarmouth etc.; (fn. 7) John Lister for Kingston
upon Hull etc.; William Nevey for Southampton etc.; Thomas Higgins for
Rye etc.; Thomas Sendall for Lynn etc. (fn. 8)
161. The election of deputies for Sandwich and Newcastle was deferred for
the time being 'for want of names and understanding who are fytt men for
such a service'.
162. It was not thought proper to appoint deputies for Totnes, Taunton and
Chard, 'because they are members, and under the devision of the Cytties and
townes before mencioned'.
163. It was agreed that the president and the secretary, assisted by Mr.
Howe, Mr. Wyche, Mr. Dorrington, Mr. Jackson and Mr. Towrson, or any
four of them, 'shall presently consider of fytt and convenient letters to be
written to the severall deputies before mentioned and to cause the letters to
be procured from my Lord Treasurer to be sent and conveyed awaie with
164. Another letter was read out from the king's principal secretary the earl
of Salisbury, urging the appointment of one Bertrand Crosmer as consul in
165. It was endorsed as sent to the president, assistants and other members
of the company trading to Spain, and its contents were as follows:
166. [p. 48] After my harty comendations. This bearer Bertrand Crosmer, being
well knowne, as I am informed, to diverse of you, hath entreated my recomendation, in a suite of his, which he makes unto you, for the Consullshipp of the
Province of Valencia. How fitt he may be for it, and of what use he may prove to
our nation in that place, being a stranger, I leave to your owne considerations,
onely my intent being to afforde him this favorable recomendation that he is
reported unto me to be both an honest man and of good discretion and experience in those places. And so I leave you to god's protection, from the Courte
at Greenwich this 11 of June 1605.
Your loving freind
167. After the letter had been read out, the company resolved
to take further tyme to advise and consider what is fitt to be doen concerning the
same. And yf any sufficient Englishman may be fownd out, to undertake the
service, they rather hold it fitt to preferre one of our owne nation then any stranger
168. The assembly was then notified of 'the greate chardge disbursed and to
be paied about the procuring of the Companies charter'. A committee consisting of the president, Mr. How, Mr. Newman, Mr. Wych, Mr. Lyng,
Mr. Dorrington, Mr. Jackson or any five of them was formed, 'to consider
of the charge alreddy disbursed and what payments or gratifications are fyt
to be made or bestowed uppon all such as have taken paines in and about
the same'. The company agreed to approve whatever decisions the committee should reach.
169. [p. 49] John Newman, Nicholas Ling and Lawrence Greene all stood
as candidates for the post of treasurer in the coming year,
and by full election by hands Mr. Lawrence Greene was chosen Treasurer, who
being here present in open Court did receave and take the Oath for the due
execution of the said Office and hath promised against the next Court to nomynate
his suertie according to the auncient order.
170. It was ordered that Roger How the former treasurer should prepare his
accounts for the next court, so that auditors for them might be appointed.
In the meantime Mr. How
hath promised to satisfie the said newe Treasorer the some of Forty pownds to
be ymployed in the Companies affaires, uppon the Companies promise that he
shalbe allowed the said some in his Accompt and that the Companie will have
hym harmlesse concerning the same.
171. Four persons claimed their freedom by patrimony in the right of their
fathers who were all ancient freemen: John Newton, mercer, son of John
Newton, William Hill, grocer and Edmond Hill, draper, sons of Edmond
Hill, grocer, and George Whitmore son of William Whitmore. They were
all admitted, taking the oath of a freeman by ancient trade, and each paid
6s. 8d. to the use of the society.
172. [p. 50] Eight other persons also claimed their freedom by apprenticeship to merchants who were ancient traders: Edward Collyns, clothworker,
by service with Jon Symcotts, (fn. 9) John Cage, grocer, by service with Augustine
Fulke, John Barnaby, draper, by service with John Combes, Richard
Howse, mercer, by service with Robert Wincoll, Thomas Stokeley, merchant
tailor, by service with John Stokeley, Thomas Hanson, ironmonger, by
service with Sir Thomas Cambell, Bartholomew Holland, clothworker, by
service with Richard Stapers, and Edward Cox, mercer, by service with
Leonard Harward. The claims were examined and found valid, whereupon
each claimant paid his fine of 6s. 8d. to the use of the fellowship and was
admitted, taking the oath of a freeman by ancient trade.
173. After the above oaths were administered and received,
and the contents thereof being fully weyed, and considered and to th'end every
one of this society may be the more carefull to performe and fulfill the same, it is
agreed and ordered that the Secretary of this Company shall deliver to every
freeman of this society the true copy of the oath mynistred unto every such freeman, at his admission into this society, for which copy it shalbe lawfull for the
Secretary to demaund and take the some of six pence of every such freeman of