Survey of London Monograph 10, Morden College, Blackheath. Originally published by Guild & School of Handicraft, London, 1916.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by English Heritage. All rights reserved.
I. Imprimis, It is Ordered, That no Person or Persons be elected, or admitted into this College, but such Poor Merchants as are fallen into Decay by Accidents of the Seas, or otherwise, in their way of Merchandizing; being honest, sober and discreet Members of the Church of England, as now by Law established; and being single persons, of the Age of Fifty Years at the time of their Admission into the said College. And if by Misinformation, Mistake or otherwise, any Person or Persons whatsoever, or any common Swearers, Drunkards, quarrelsome, loose, lewd, unruly, debauched or disorderly Persons, or any Person or Persons infected with any infectious Disease, shall be placed or put into the said College; that then all, and every such Person, shall be immediately expelled, and put out of the said College for ever.
II. Ordered, That no Friends, Relations or Acquaintance, of any of the said Merchants or Servants, (unless in Case of Sickness, or the like, to take care of them) shall reside, live or lodge in the said College. And every Person or Persons offending against this Order, shall forfeit for his first Offence all his and their Commons, during the Time any such Person shall reside, live or lodge with them in the said College, and for one Month longer. And for the Second Offence, Six Months longer. And for the Third Offence, such Merchants and Servants shall be expelled, and turned out of the said College for ever.
III. Ordered, That every Member of the said College shall be constantly residing and dwelling within the said College; and shall not be wandring, and mispending their Time in publick and disorderly Houses; but shall employ themselves in Acts of Piety and Devotion. Nor shall absent themselves, without Leave, for Twenty four Hours, from the said College; unless by unavoidable Accident, or Necessity; under Pain of being expelled the College.
IV. Ordered, That all the Gentlemen of the said College be daily in Commons, in the Hall of the said College; unless prevented by Sickness, or other such like Indisposition. And that their daily Allowance be, to each of them, a Pound of Meat, two Quarts of Beer, a Three-halfpeny Loaf, besides Cheese and Butter. That the Time of dining be Twelve of the Clock; and of Supper, be Six of the Clock. And in Case of Sickness, (instead of such their Allowance) there shall be provided for them, and sent to their Chambers, such other Provisions and Necessaries, as shall be convenient and necessary for them in their Condition. And that no Gentleman of the said College shall send, or carry away any Bread, Beer, or Victuals from Table at Dinner time; nor shall sit down to, or rise from Table, before Grace be said.
V. Ordered, upon the several and respective Deaths, Departure, or Expulsions of every one of the Merchants of the said College, that their and every of their Places shall remain, and continue vacant, and undisposed of for Twelve Months, next after the Quarter Day then next ensuing. And their and every of their Yearly Allowances during such Vacancies, shall be applied and disposed of, for and toward the Repair and Support of the said College.
VI. Ordered, that the College Gates be kept locked at Dinner and Supper times; and that all the Gates of the said College be locked at Nine of the Clock every Night in the Summer, and at Eight in the Winter. And that the key be carried and delivered to the Chaplain to be kept by him in his Lodging. And if any Member of the said College be out after the Gates are locked up, he shall forfeit his next three Days Commons, for every such his Offence.
VII. Ordered, that the Chaplain of the said College be a Devout, Pious, Sober, Modest, Good Man, in Holy Orders; and that he do read Divine Service according to the now Usage of the Church of England, twice every Week Day in the Year, in the Chapel of the said College, at the Hours of Eleven in the Morning, and at Three in the Afternoon; and do read Prayers, and Preach twice every Sunday in the Summer time, and so likewise in the Winter, unless he shall be dispensed with by the Founder, or Foundress, or Visitors for the time being, or the major Part of them, to preach but once a Day, during any Part of the two Winter Quarters. And during such Dispensation, the said Chaplain shall expound the Scriptures, and instruct the Congregation in Matters of Faith, and the Doctrine of the Church.
And it is further ordered, that the Chaplain shall be always resident and abiding in the said College, and not absent himself above one single Day at one time, and that but very seldom, without leave of the Founder or Foundress, or Visitors, or major part of them, for the time being. And then the Chaplain to find one to do his Duty in every Thing there, according to his Place and Function in the said College, during his Absence; and also, that the Chaplain do administer the Holy Sacrament of the Lord's Supper at least Four times in the Year; that is to say, at Christmas, Easter, Whitsuntide, or some Sunday or Lord's Day after Trinity, at the Discretion of the Chaplain; and that he do Visit and Pray with the Sick within the said College; and likewise exhort and prepare all the Members of the said College to be worthy Partakers of the Holy Communion.
VIII. Ordered, That the Clerk of the Chapel do every Day ring the Bell, to call the Members to Prayer, some convenient time before the Chaplain do begin; and do attend in the Chapel in his Gown, and duly make his Responses; and do his Duty there, and keep the Pews and Chapel clean and neat, upon pain of the Forfeiture of 9s. 4d. for every such his Omission or Offence, to be deducted out of his Yearly Salary and Wages.
IX. Ordered, that all the Merchants belonging to the said College do attend and come to Prayers, Morning and Afternoon, in the Chapel of the said College in their Gowns, with their Common Prayer Books; and do behave themselves there reverently, with great Piety and Devotion, and duly make their Responses, upon pain of forfeiting their next and three Days Commons for every Breach of this Order. And do likewise receive the Holy Sacrament in the said Chapel at least Four Times every Year, upon pain of forseiting Ten Days Commons, for every such their Default and Neglect, without reasonable Cause to the contrary, to be allowed by the Founder or Foundress, or Visitors for the Time being, or the major Part of them; and also that they be constant, attending upon such Evening Lectures or Expositions, as the Chaplain shall use in the publick Hall for their Benefit and Instruction.
X. Ordered, that all Disputes and Differences arising between the Members of the said College, or any of them, shall be referred to the Determination of the Chaplain of the said College, if he can compose and end the same ; if not, to the absolute Determination of the Founder or Foundress, or the Visitors for the Time being, or the major part of them, or of such other Person or Persons, as they shall appoint to determine the same.
XI. Ordered, That every Monday Noon, immediately after Dinner, one of the Merchants belonging to the said College shall be chosen by the Majority of Voices then present, to be Caterer that Week. Who being so chosen shall go to Market, and see the Meat weighed and brought into the College; and that their due Proportion of Meat be delivered by the Butcher to the Cook; and that all other Provisions and Necessaries be provided, and sent in for the Use of the said College. And if any one so chosen shall refuse or neglect to do his Duty therein, without reasonable cause shown to the contrary, during that Week he shall be so chosen, he shall forfeit his Commons that Week for such his Default or Neglect.
XII. Ordered, That no Servant shall cut, take, or carry away, or have any Commons from Table, before the Merchants have Dined, or Supped; or cut off any Meat before it be brought to Table, upon Forfeiture of a Week's Commons for every such Offence.
XIII. Ordered, That all the Members of the said College do demean and behave themselves civilly and orderly in the said College; and do not give any ill Language, or cause any Strife or Disturbance between any of their Fellows; nor intermeddle with any Business of the College; contrary to the Intent of these Orders. And if any of them shall swear accidentally an Oath, or be Drunk, or commit any other immoral Act; for which he or they shall not be expelled; then they, and every of them so offending shall forfeit his, and their next Days Commons for such their Offence.
XIV. Ordered, That if any of the Members of the said College shall lye out of the said College without leave from the Founder, Foundress, or Visitors of the said College, for the time being, or the Major Part of them; that every such Member of the said College shall forfeit one Weeks Commons for every Night he shall so lye out, without Leave or reasonable Cause shewn for his so doing, to be allowed of by the Founder, or Foundress, or Visitors, or the Major Part of them, for the time being.
XV. Ordered, That an Account in Writing every first Monday in every Month, be delivered by the Butler to the Steward, or Receiver of the said College, of the Commons of all absent Members, with or without Leave; and also of all the forfeited Commons, within that Month then last past. And that the Steward, or Receiver, do keep a distinct Account thereof, entred into his Book; and take care that the same be employed and disposed of, for and towards the Maintenance and Improvement of the Garden of the said College.
XVI. Ordered, That the Chaplain do take notice of, and endeavour to regulate and prevent all Misunderstandings and Disorders, within the said College, by visiting the Hall and Chambers of the Gentlemen, and others of the said College, as oft as Occasion shall require.
XVII. Ordered, That all the Members of the said College do observe, and strictly keep and obey all these Orders, and all such other Orders as from time to time shall be made by the Founder, Foundress or Visitors, or the major Part of them, for the time being, for the well governing, ordering, and Management of the said College.