Memorial XXXIX
Ordinances of the Company, 1661

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Centre for Metropolitan History

Publication

Author

C. M. Clode (editor)

Year published

1875

Pages

239-242

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'Memorial XXXIX: Ordinances of the Company, 1661', Memorials of the Guild of Merchant Taylors: Of the Fraternity of St. John the Baptist in the City of London (1875), pp. 239-242. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=64138 Date accessed: 20 September 2014.


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XXXIX. THE ORDINANCES OF 1661. (fn. 1)

Pecuniary necessity, as stated in the preface, obliged the Company to make these Ordinances, of which the substance is here given.

[After a preface similar to that which is found in those of 1613, these Ordinances proceed]

The Master Wardens and Assistants of the Company of Merchant Taylors in the City of London willing & desirous the said Act in every behalf to be observed & kept the Three and Twentieth day of December Anno Dom[m]. 1661 and in the 13th year of the reign of our most gracious Sovereign Lord King Charles ye Second have exhibited & presented their humble petition unto us with this present writing containing the good & charitable Orders Rules & Ordinances by them ordained devised & made for the said fraternitie & their Successors & for the com[m]on weale & conservation of the good estate of the Mistery of the said Merchant Taylors And thereupon have instantly desired us that we would peruse & examine the said Orders Rules and Ordinances as the aforesaid Act made in the said parliament requireth & approve the same.

Whereupon in pursuance of the sd Act of Parliament We have perused the said Ordinances the tenor whereof hereafter ensue & follow viz. Whereas by reason of the late unhappy troubles in this kingdom the poor people which are maintained by the Company of Merchant Taylors are much increased & become very numerous by the relieving of whose necessities the said Company is of late become indebted in great sum[m]s of money which Debts are likely to increase unless some future provision be made for preventing the same for the discharging of wch sum[m]es of money due by the sd Company & avoiding the inconveniencies of their incurring further debts & for the future & better reliefe of the poor of the said Company It is ordained & established by the said Master, Wardens & Assistants of the said Company of Merchant Taylors

That every person free of the said Company of Merchant Taylors who shall from henceforth have any Apprentice bound unto him and every Apprentice that from henceforth shall be bound an Apprentice to any of the said Company when he shall be admitted a freeman of the said Company or fraternity of Merchant Taylors & all such others as in respect of his or their fathers being or having been a freeman of the said Company of Merchant Taylors shall be admitted into the freedom (fn. 2) of the said fraternity shall for & at the respective times of such his and their having his or their sd apprentice bound unto him or them And the Apprentice or other person at the time of his being made free or admitted into the freedom of the said Company of Merchant Taylors respectively pay the severall & respective sum[m]s for binding & making free and admittance into the said freedom respectively as are hereinafter imposed upon them respectively—viz., that every person free of the fraternity of Merchant Taylors & using the Trade of a Merchant Adventurer of England a Turkey Merchant Spanish Merchant a French Merchant or any other kind of Merchant whatsoever trading beyond the seas that shall have any apprentice become bound unto him—shall at or upon the binding of every apprentice unto him & for presenting & three times Entring & Recording of his said apprentice & Trade in the hall book or books of the said Company pay unto the Clerk of the said fraternity for the time being for the use of the said fraternity the sum Thirty Shillings.

[Then, in the same terms, trades are classified and fees of 20s., 13s. 4d., 10s., and 6s. 8d. imposed on the apprentice, according to his class. The Ordinances then proceed.]

And that if any person or persons hereafter shall by reason of their fathers being or having been a freeeman of the said Company be admitted into the freedom of the said fraternity that the party that shall be so admitted shall upon his admittance thereunto & for Entring & Recording of his name & Trade as aforesd pay unto the said Clerk for the use of the said fraternity such Sum of money as an apprentice of the said fraternity according to the rates aforesd in relation to the Art, Trade or Imployment of the said father ought to have paid upon his admittance into the freedom of the said fraternity.

And it is also further Ordained by the said Master, Wardens & Assistants that as often as the Master, Wardens & Assistants of the said fraternity shall think fitt to fill up or augment the Livery (fn. 3) or clothing of the said fraternity if any of those persons free of the said Company that shall hereafter be named & elected by the said Master Wardens & Assistants to be admitted into the Livery or Clothing of the said fraternity shall renounce refuse or deny to accept of the same, that then every such person so elected & renouncing refuseing or denying to be admitted into the Livery or Clothing of the said fraternity shall forfeit and pay to the said Clerk for the use of the said Society the Sum of ffifty pounds.

And that every person of the said fraternity that is or shall be admitted into the Livery & Clothing of the said fraternity & that shall not keep his Stewards Dinner or that shall refuse to supply or bear such usual rates of contributõn as are usually born by such as are elected and admitted into the said Livery shall for every such refusal forfeit and pay to the said Clerk for the use of the said fraternity the sum of Thirty pounds.

Which Ordinances in maner and form afore specifyed at the request of the said Master, Wardens & Assistants of the aforesaid Mistery of Merchant Taylors By the authority of the same Act of Parliament we the said Lord High Chancellor, Lord High Treasurer & Chief Justices of either Bench aforesaid have examined and the same Ordinance or Ordinances do by these presents (as much as in us is and as far as we lawfully may) Ratify, allow & approve. In Witness whereof we hereunto subscribed our names and put our Seals this ffour & Twentieth day of January Anno Dom. 1661 and in the Thirteenth year of the Reign of our most gracious Sovereign Lord Charles the Second of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &c.
Clarendon, C. R. Foster. Orl. Bridgeman.

Footnotes

1 Confirmed on 24th January 1661, by Edward Earl of Clarendon, Lord High Chancellor of England; Thomas Earl of Southampton, Lord High Treasurer of England; Sir Robert Foster, Knight, Chief Justice of the Court of King's Bench; and Sir Orlando Bridgeman, Knight and Baronet, Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas.
2 Freedom (unlike the livery in this respect) is the right of those qualified for it, and may be enforced by mandamus.
3 The Ordinances of 1613 are silent on this, but the calling or election is at the option of the Court, and not the right of the freeman. His election imposes dues or duties recognized by Law. See Pullen's Laws and Customs of London, p. 82, and the cases there quoted.