Statutes of the Realm: Volume 5, 1628-80. Originally published by Great Britain Record Commission, s.l, 1819.
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Recital that divers Abuses have been used in making of Norwich Stuffs, &c
and that the Power given by 7E. IV. c. 1. is not sufficient, &c.; Regulations as to Choice of Wardens and Assistants.; Wardens to take an Oath.; What Persons may administer the same; Form.; Assistants to take the like Oath.; Wardens refusing to take the Oath, or dying before the End of the Year, Proceedings.
Whereas divers abuses and deceipts have of late yeares beene had [or (fn. 1)] used in the making of Worsteds and other Stuffs comonly called Norwich Stuffs and in the reeling of Yarns whereof the said Stuffs are either wholly or in parte made which tends to the debasing of the said Manufacture unto the prejudice of the Publique which said Trade of weaveing of Stuffs hath of late times beene very much encreased and great variety of new sorts of Stuffs have beene invented so that the Power given by the Statute of the Seaventh of Edward the Fourth Chapter the First is not sufficient for the regulateing of the same And that the number of the Wardens by the same Act appointed being but Eight are [to (fn. 2)] few for the governeing and ordering the same Trade by which meanes the same Manufacture will soone be lost (if not prevented) and carried into forreigne Nations to the great [diminutions (fn. 3)] of his Majesties Customes and turning out of worke many thousands of poore people. For prevention of which abuses deceipts and evils It is enacted by the Kings most Excellent Majesty with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporall and Commons assembled in Parliament and by [the (fn. 4)] Authority of the same That there shall be Twelve Wardens and thirty Assistants all which are to be Master Weavers within the County of the Citty of Norwich and County of Norfolk six of which said Wardens and fifteen of the said Assistants shall be chosen the first Monday after Pentecost in the Yeare of our Lord God One thousand six hundred sixty and two and from thence forth yearely and every yeare on the next Monday after Pentecost at some publique place by the Master Weavers or the greater part of them present of the said City and County of Norwich and the other six Wardens and fifteene Assistants shall be chosen upon the same day yearely within the City of Norwich or County of Norfolke in some [publique (fn. 5)] place by the Master Weavers or the greater part of them present of the County of Norfolke And the said Wardens respectively shall within fourteen Dayes after they shall be so chosen or elected and notice thereof given take the Oath ensueing to bee administred by the Maior of the said City for the time being or his Deputy and the Steward of the Dutchy of Lancaster within the said County for the time being if it shall happen the said Steward shall be there present or else before the said Maior or his Deputy onely which Oath they and every of them are hereby authorized and required from time to time to administer accordingly viz. I. A. B. doe sweare that I will well faithfully and honestly performe and discharge the Office of a Warden of the said Trade of Worsted Weavers according to the best of my skill power and knowledge. And that the said Assistants and every of them within the time aforesaid shall take the like Oath before such person or persons before whom the Wardens shall be sworne for the execution of that Office of an Assistant and that if it shall happen that any of the said Wardens who shall be so chosen shall refuse to take the said Oath or after he be sworne shall dye before the end of the yeare that then from time to time so often as need shall be it shall and may be lawfull to and for the Master Weavers of the said City and County of the City of Norwich and County of Norfolke respectively as the cause shall require to chuse other Warden or Wardens in the place of him or them so dying or refusing who shall be sworne in such manner as aforesaid
II. Wardens and Assistants to meet at Weavers Hall in Norwich, &c.
And for the Regulation and good Government of the said Trade and Manufacture the said Wardens and Assistants or any thirteen of them whereof seaven to be Wardens shall and may from time to time meet and consult togeather for the good and benefit of the said Trade and Manufacture and for the due execution of the Powers and Authorities given by this Act so often as to them shall seeme expedient or when it shall be desired by eight or more of the said Assistants att the place called Weavers Hall in the said City or att such other place as they shall thinke fitt And that any thirteen or more of the said Wardens and Assistants whereof seaven att the least to be Wardens shall have and hereby have Power and Authority from time to time so often as need shall require to make and ordaine By-lawes Rules and Ordinances for and concerning the regulation of the said WorstedStuffs and other Stuffs nowe made and which hereafter shall be made within the said City and County of the City of Norwich and County of Norfolk and in either of them both in length breadth and goodnesse and of such other particulars as shall by the said Wardens and Assistants soe met or the greater number of them from time to time be judged requisite for the better regulateing the said Trade and Manufacture and the Artificers of the same in the due execution of this Act (and to make Seales from time to time for the sealing of the same Stuffs) which By-Lawes Rules and Ordinances being ratified and confirmed by the Maior and two Justices of Peace of the said City and County of Norwich for the time being and three other Justices of [the (fn. 6)] Peace of the said County of Norfolke (whereof one to be of the Quo[rum]) shall be published foure times in the yeare at the least att foure Publique Assemblies for the said Trade and Manufacture and shall be obeyed and kept by the severall persons within and under the said Regulation
III. Wardens and Assistants may impose Fines.
And the said Wardens and Assistants shall have and hereby have power to impose a Fine or Penalty upon any person or persons under such Regulation as shall not conforme to such Rules Orders and Ordinances so made and to be made and confirmed as aforesaid
IV. Not exceeding 10s.
V. Wardens and Assistants of the City to give Notice to Wardens of the County of making Bye Laws, &c.
And it is further enacted That the Wardens and Assistants of the said City and County of the City of Norwich shall from time to time give personall notice unto the Wardens of the said County of Norfolke or two of them at the least of the time when they intend to consider of the making of By Lawes Rules and Ordinances as aforesaid and shall sett it up in writing upon the Doore of theire Sealing Hall fourteen dayes att the least before they shall proceed to the making the same to the end that such of the said Countrey Weavers as are therein concerned may be there p[re]sent
VI. Yarns to be made without Fraud.
And for the better Regulation and carrying on the worke aforesaid and for avoiding ( (fn. 7)) all Frauds and Deceipts therein Be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That all Yarnes called Worsted Yarnes and such other Yarns as are comonly used by the Worsted Weavers shall be made without Fraud and shall be reeled on a Reel of a full Yard about and every Reel staff shall containe fourteen Leas and every Lea fourty threads twelve of which Reel-staffs shall make a dozen and twelve of those dozens shall make a grosse And in case any Person or Persons shall sell or expose to sale any of the said Yarns made and reeled in any other manner then as is aforesaid that then every such Person or Persons shall forfeit the Moyety of the value of the said Yarns to the use of the said Trade and Manufactures after charges of Suit and of Prosecution first deducted out of the same which forfeiture shall be recovered by Action of Debt Bill Plaint Indictment or Information in any of the Kings Majesties Courts of Record wherein no wager of Law Essoyn or Protection shall be allowed for the Defendant
VII. Wardens and Assistants may search and view in Fairs and Markets, &c.; and may seize Yarns unduly made, and try the same.
And that it shall and may be lawfull to and for the Wardens and Assistants of the said Trade and Manufactures or any two of them from time to time to view and search in all Faires and Marketts and other publique places of Sale of Yarnes within the said City of Norwich and County of the same and County of Norfolke and either of them all Yarnes which shall be there exposed to sale and such of the said Yarns as they shall find defective contrary to the rules herein before sett that then it shall and may be lawfull to and for the same Wardens & Assistants or any two of them to seize the same Yarne and bring the same within twenty dayes next after the Seisure thereof to Tryal by a Jury and to bee proceeded in and fined in such manner and form as in this present Act is limited and appointed for defective Stuffs which said Jury shall have and hereby have power to set such Fine or Fines upon the said Yarnes as they shall in theire discretions see cause the same Fines not to exceed the Moyety of the Yarn so found defective and the same Fines to goe to the Poore of the same Trade and Manufacture as aforesaid
VIII. No Double Punishment.
IX. Stuffs and Makers of Stuffs to be under the Government of Wardens and Assistants.
Stuffs before offered for Sale to be brought to Weavers Hall; and if well made, to be sealed and allowed; if defective, seized and tried.; Regulations as to Jury, and impannelling.; Power of Jury to try the Stuffs and impose Fine.; Defective Stuffs to be detained until Fine paid; how to be disposed of if Fine not paid.
And it is hereby further enacted That all sorts of Stuffs whether woven of Woollen only or of Wool and other Materials within the City and County of Norwich and the County of Norfolke and the Makers and Weavers of the same Stuffs shall be under the power goverment and regulation of the said Wardens & Assistants in such manner as by this and other Acts of Parliament and the By Lawes made and to be made by vertue thereof are or shall be established (except such Stuffs as are under the regulation of the Wardens and Fellowshipp of the mystery of Russell Sattens, Sattens, Reverses and Fustians of Norwich making within the City of Norwich) And that all Stuffs made or to be made under the Regulation aforesaid before the same shall be offered or put to sale shall be brought to Weavers Hall for the time being within the County of the City of Norwich to be veiwed and searched by the said Wardens or any two of them And if the same shall be found to be well and sufficiently made and wrought according to the Rules and Ordinances of the said Trade then all such Stuffs shall bee by the Wardens or any two of them sealed and allowed accordingly without any sum of money paid or to be paid for the same And if upon search and veiw thereof any such Stuffs shall be found and appeare to be defective contrary to the Rules and Ordinances of the said Wardens and Assistants then all such defective Stuffs shall be seized by the said Wardens or any two of them and tried by a Jury of twelve Artificers of the said Regulation of Worsted Weavers Six whereof to be of the City of Norwich and Six to be of the County of Norfolke who shall be from time to time impannelled by a Precept under the Hand and Seale of the Maior of the Citty of Norwich for the time being or his Deputie And if any who shall be so impannelled shall fail in appearance the number to be made up either of the Master Weavers of the City of Norwich or of the County of Norfolke by a Precept from the said Maior which Jury so impannelled or taken & sworn before the Maior of the said City for the time being shall try the said Stuffs and find whether they bee made according to this Act and the By Lawes and Ordinances made by vertue thereof or of any other Act of Parliament and shall have power to impose a moderate Fine according to the nature of the offence not exceeding the moyety of the value of the defective Stuffs so seized and tried the same Fines to goe to the use of the Trade and Manufacture And those Stuffs which shall be found defective to bee detained untill the Fine or Fines set upon them by the Jury be paid which if the Owner of the same Stuffs shall not pay to the said Wardens or some of them within forty dayes after the Tryall then the same Stuffs to be sold by any two of the said Wardens and the overplus of the moneyes thereof coming after the Fines deducted to be restored to the Owner upon demaund
X. Wardens sealing Stuffs found defective by a Jury.
And it is further enacted That if any Warden or Wardens shall at any time seale or cause to be sealed any Stuffs made under the said regulation which shall afterwards be discovered by any person to be defective contrary to this present Act and the By lawes Rules and Ordinances thereupon made or hereafter to bee made or any of them and found soe to bee by a Jury of twelve Artificers of the said Trade from time to time to be impannelled and sworn before the said Maior or his Deputie and the said Steward of the Dutchy of Lancaster for the time being if he be there present And if the said Steward be absent then before the said Maior or his Deputy only [of (fn. 8)] which Jury six shall bee of the said City Weavers and the other Six of the said Countrey Weavers who shall have and hereby have power to sett and impose a Fine upon the Warden or Wardens of the said Trade offending for every peice of defective Stuff so sealed as the same Jury in theire discretion shall thinke fitt the same Fine not exceeding the su[m]m of fourty shillings which shall be to the use of the Kings Majestie And that the same Jury or any other such like Jury from time to time to be impannelled by and sworn before the persons aforesaid or any of them shall likewise enquire into all and every other the frauds abuses and Miscarriages of the Wardens and Assistents and every of them in the Execution of theire Offices and correct and punish them and every of them for theire severall offences in such manner as is herein before mentioned to bee done against any other offenders who are under the said Regulation
XI. If such Stuffs on Trial prove good, the Persons molesting Wardens to pay Double Damages.
Provided that if the said Wardens or any of them shall be unjustly molested and that if such Stuffs upon tryall shall be found by the Jury to bee good and duly made or that they or the Assistents or any of them are not guilty of any such frauds miscarriages or abuses as they are complained of for the person or persons so causelesly molesting shall pay to the Wardens or Assistents or any of them so unjustly molested double the damages they or any of them shall or may sustain by any such molestation
XII. Persons not to buy Stuffs unsealed.; Saving King's Right of Aulnage.
And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That it shall not bee lawfull for any person or persons to buy any peice or peices of Stuffs before the same be sealed by the Wardens of the said Trade saving to the Kings Majesty his Heires and Successors all such right of Customes Subsidies and Aulnage of Norfolke and Norwich Stuffs or Worsteds or any of them as he or they might lawfully have claimed before the making of this Act. And that if any peice or peices of Stuffs shall be found in the possession of any person or persons unsealed except in the possession of the first Owner or Maker thereof the person or persons in whose custody the same shall be found shall be adjudged guilty of deceit and shall forfeit for every such peice of Stuffe which be so found in his or theire possession unsealed as aforesaid the su[m]m of four shillings And the Maker and Seller of the same who shall deliver the same out of his or theire possession before the same be sealed shall likewise forfeit for every such peice other four shillings to the use of the poore of the said Trade and Manufacture
XIII. Counterfeiting Seal of Trade, or sealing with Counterfeit Seal, or removing Seal.
And that if any person shall counterfeit any seale of the said Trade or shall seale any peice of Stuffe under the Regulation with any counterfeit Seale or shall remove a Seale of one peice and sett it unto another peice which hath not beene sealed by the Wardens every person so offending and being thereof convicted by his owne Confession or by the Oath of two or more Witnesses to be taken before the Maior of the said City or his Deputy or any one Justice of Peace of the City of Norwich or County of Norfolke who respectively have hereby power to administer an Oath for that purpose shall forfeit for every such offence the sum of twenty pounds of lawfull English money to the use of the Kings Majestie
XIV. Unduly using Trade of a Weaver. Penalty.
And be it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That no Person or Persons shall use or exercise the same Trade as a Weaver unles he hath served to the same Trade as an Apprentice by the space of Seaven Yeares upon pain of forfeiting Forty Shillings for every Moneth he shall use or exercise the same Trade not haveing served thereunto as aforesaid the one halfe thereof to the Kings Majestie and the other halfe thereof to the Person or Persons who will sue or prosecute for the same by Action of Debt Bill Plaint Indictment or Information in any of His Majesties Courts of Record.
XV. Mark of Weaver to be wove into Stuff. Penalty.
And that every Person under the said Regulation shall weave his proper Stuff Mark into every peice of Stuff which he shall weave or cause to bee woven at the head end of the same peice upon paine of forfeiting three Shillings for every peice that shall be woven without such Marke to the use of the poore of the said Trade and Manufacture
XVI. Powers to Wardens and Assistants to enter and search in Houses, &c. of Artificers, Merchants, Dyers, &c.
And the said Wardens and Assistents or any two or more of them shall have and hereby have power to enter into and search the Houses and Worke houses of any Artificers within the City of Norwich and County of Norfolke under the Regulation of the said Wardens and Assistents and the Shops Houses and Ware houses of any Merchant Common buyer Dealer in and Retayler of any the said Stuffs and into the House and Worke house of any Dyer Sheerman Callender or other Workmans house and places of sale and dressing of the said Stuffs att all times of the day and usual times of working and may there search and view the Stuffs there found whether they be ordered and made according to this present. Act and the Lawes Orders and Ordinances of the said Trade And that if any such Stuff as aforesaid shall be found faultie or defective That then they or any two of them shall seize take and carry away the same to be ordered and brought to Tryall and proceeded against in manner and forme as is before in this present Act menc[i]oned and appointed for defective Stuffs
XVII. Persons employing Two Apprentices to employ Two Journeymen.
And for the better providing that poor Journey men who have served in the said Trade and are not able to set up for themselves may be imployed in worke It is hereby enacted That whatsoever Person under the Regulation of the said Trade who shall imploy two Apprentices in the said Trade shall likewise imploy and sett on worke two Journey men in the said Trade during the time he imployes two Apprentices and that no Master Weaver under the Regulation of the said Trade shall att any time have imploy or sett on worke above two Apprentices or any weeke-Boy to weave in a Lombe in the said Trade in worsted weaving upon pain that every person shall forfeit for every Moneth so offending as aforesaid the Sum of five pounds to the use of the Kings Majestie
XVIII. Persons concerned in this Act to obey the same.
And be it further enacted That all Persons who are or may be concerned in any thing contained in this present Act are hereby strictly enjoyned and required to yeeld due Obedience thereunto according to the true intent and meaning of this present Act. And that if any Person or Persons shall refuse hinder or will not permit the said Wardens or Assistants or any twoe or more of them to execute theire Office according to the tenour of this Act that then every person so offending being thereof convicted by the Oath of one or more credible Wittnesses before the Maior of the said City or his Deputy or any one Justice of Peace of the said City of Norwich or County of Norfolke respectively who are hereby authorized to administer such Oath shall forfeit the Su[m]m of Fourtie Shillings to the use of the Kings Majestie.
XIX. Refusing to appear on Jury or Trial.
And if any Person lawfully summoned to appeare upon any Jury or Tryall according to the tenor of this Act shall refuse or neglect to appeare and proceed upon the same every person soe refusing or neglecting shall forfeit for every such neglect or refusall the su[m]me of Five Shillings to the use of the poore of the said Trade and Manufacture which said penalties and forfeitures together with all other fines and penalties which are appointed to goe to the poore of the Trade and Manufacture or for the use thereof menc[i]oned in this Act the meanes of recoverie of which is not alreadie otherwise herein provided and sett forth shall be levied by distresse and sale of the Offenders goods and chattels by warrant to be granted by the said Maior or his Deputy for the time being or any one Justice of Peace of the City of Norwich or County of Norfolke rendring the Overplus of such distresse to the Owner thereof if any shall be and the same shall be by him demaunded or otherwise to be recovered by Action of Debt Bill Plaint Indictment or Information in any his Majesties Courts of Record wherein no wager of Law Essoyn or Protection shall be allowed to the Defendant as aforesaid.
XX. Recital of Custom that Weaving should cease during Harvest.
And whereas the Custome hath beene retained time out of mind and found expedient that there should be a cessation of weaving every yeare in the time of Harvest in regard the Spinners of Yarn which the said Weavers doe use are at that time cheifly imployed in Harvest worke Be it enacted That no Weaver under the Regulac[i]on of the said Trade and Manufacture shall sett any Loome on worke for the weaveing of any Stuffs under the said Regulation in the time of Harvest yearely from the Fifteenth day of August in every Yeare untill the Fifteenth day of September then next following upon pain of forfeiting to the Kings Majestie the Summe of Fortie shillings for every Loom which shall be used in worke within the said time
XXI. Account of Fines to be made at the Four Assemblies, and of necessary Charges touching the Manufacture.
And bee it further enacted by the Authority aforesaid That a true accompt shall be made at the foure Assemblies (to be held quarterly as aforesaid) by the Wardens before the Maior of the City of Norwich for the time being and one of the Justices of the Peace of the said City and County of Norwich and two Justices of the Peace of the County of Norfolke of all such Fines and Forfeitures as shall be received and had belonging to the said Trade & Manufacture and of the necessarie Charges and Disbursements touching the same Trade and Manufacture and that the Overplus which shall remaine after the said necessary Charges and Disbursements are deducted shall be devided into two equall parts the one Moyetie thereof to be disposed ( (fn. 9)) by the Wardens and Assistants of the said City of Norwich or the greater parte of them and the other Moyety thereof by the Wardens and Assistants of the said County of Norfolke or the greater parte of them for the use of the poore of the said Trade and Manufacture in such manner as the said Maior and Justices aforesaid respectively shall order and direct and no other any thing in this Act to the contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding
XXII. Mayors, &c. to be aiding Wardens and Assistants.
And that all Mayors Justices Sheriffes Bayliffes Constables and all other Officers shall be aiding and assisting to the said Wardens and Assistants or any of them as often as they shall be thereunto required and in all Actions and Suits that shall be brought against any Person or Persons for acting in any thing according to the true intent and meaning of this Act the Person or Persons soe sued or molested shall or may plead the generall Issue of not guilty and give the speciall matter in evidence and shall recover double costs in every such case if the Verdict passe for such Person or Persons or that the Plaintiffe or Plaintiffs be Non Suit therein
XXIII. Proviso for Yarmouth and Lynn as to bringing their Wares to Norwich to be sealed, &c.
Provided alwaies That this Act nor any thing therein contained shall extend to compell the Weavers of the Towns of Great Yarmouth and Lyn in the said County of Norfolke to bring theire Wares to Norwich to bee sealed or be prejudicial to the Weavers of the said towns or either of them to deprive them or either of them of such Liberties or Priviledges as are granted unto them by an Act of Parliament made in the Fourteenth Yeare of King Henry the Eighth or by any other Act of Parliament or Grant or Charter whatsoever This Act to begin and take effect from the Fifteenth Day of May One thousand six hundred sixty and two