Scriveners' Company Common Paper 1357-1628 With A Continuation To 1678. Originally published by London Record Society, London, 1968.
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Documents relating to charter of incorporation, 1616
BODLEIAN LIBRARY, MS. RAWLINSON D51
The humble petition of William Dodd, Master, and Francis Kemp & Robert Griffith, Wardens of the Company of Writers of the Court Letter of the Citty of London
Shewing That where the petitioners this yeare and the late Wardens the last yeare by severall precepts by (fn. 3) your Lordship and the Court of Aldermen for the levying of £150, £75 and £50 imposed upon their Company by act of Common Councill for the generall Plantation in Ireland, and of £73 required of them by the Iremongers (with whom they are joyned in divident) (fn. 4) for their private Plantation there, have made severall cessments upon their Company for raiseing thereof (haveing noe lands nor stocke wherewith to beare out any charge)
And the petitioners in performance of their obedience to this Court have in their owne persons upon every cessment travelled three or foure times from house to house through the Citty to collect the said summes to their great paines and neglect of their private affaires which they have been enforced to doe for that most of the Company (except some of the Assistants and ancients[)] have not onely refused to send in their moneys charged upon them but have also omitted to appeare at the Quarter dayes being summoned
That notwithstanding the petitioners' care and travell therein there is yet uncollected of the severall cessments £87 8s. 8d. due by the severall persons named in the noate within this petition which they refuse to pay, a great part of which money uncollected is already disbursed by the petitioners and the late Wardens in payment of the £150 and £75: and if this Court shall enjoyne us to make payment of the £50 and £73 to the Iremongers the rest of this £87 8s. 8d. must be by the petitioners also disbursed, and they remedilesse for recovery of what they have and shall disburse (except by the favour and assistance of this honourable Court releived) And if any other payments hereafter should be required either for the Irish businesse or any other occasions, the petitioners are out of hope ever to collect any more cessments, such is the disorder of the Company by reason they are not incorporate and thereby want both orders and power to governe
For redresse whereof and of divers other abuses and enormities the petitioners with full consent of the ancients and Assistants of their Company have resolved to become suitors to the King's Majesty for the obteyning of a Corporation if the same may stand with the likeing of this honourable Court not doubting but thereby to reduce their Company to a more civill government amongst themselves and to a more conformable obedience to this honourable Court
And therefore humbly pray that they may have the assistance of this honourable Court for the collecting of the moneyes unpaid, And likewise that with the favour and good likeing of your Lordshipp and the Court they may proceed in their intended purpose for procureing a Corporation
And according to their duty they shall ever pray for your Lordship and Worships
[Rawl. D51, p. 8] Jolles Maior Jovis xj° die Julii 1616 Annoq' xiiij° Jacobi Regis
This day upon the humble petition of the Master and Wardens of the Company of Writers of the Court Letter of London and for the especiall causes and motives therein conteyned, And forasmuch as the petitioners have this day paid into the Chamber of London all arrearages that were unpaid by the said Company for severall taxations for the Plantation in Ireland, this Court is well pleased that the petitioners shall become suitors to the King's Majesty for the o[b]teyning of a Corporation And a draught of their intended pattent and other proceedings to be first perused and considered of by Mr Common Serjeant and Mr Stone and then the same being by them perused to be presented to this Court that the same may receive the approbation and allowance of this Court And John Savage to warne and attend them
The report of the committees
We have perused and considered the draught of the intended pattent according to the order of this honourable Court, whereunto our names are subscribed, and are of opinion that the passing of it will not be prejudiciall to the Citty or the liberties thereof, But it is very requisite to be passed for the good government of the scriveners in and about this Citty.
Jolles Maior Martis x° Septembris 1616 Annoq' Jacobi Regis xiiij°
For asmuch as upon the reading of the Company of Scriveners for a Corporation which hath been perused and considered of by Mr Common Serjeant and Mr Stone this Court doth thinke fitt that the same be corrected and amended in some points And therefore doe order that Mr Coventry shall joyne with the said Mr Common Serjeant and Mr Stone and they to amend and carefully pen the same as they shall thinke fitt to passe, and the same pattent being by them so perused and amended and subscribed under their hands as fitting and allowable to be passed, It is thought fitt and soe ordered that the same shall remaine in the office of Mr Towne Clarke of this Citty, and that a copy thereof shall be by him delivered unto the said Company of Scriveners who thereupon may proceed with their suite to his Majestie to graunt the same unto them under seale. For effecting whereof this Court will give their best furtherance approveing of what the said Committees shall do therein
The report of all the committees
We have perused this patent and corrected the same in those points which this honourable Court did thinke fitt to be reformed And [are] of opinion that this intended patent subscribed by us may passe without prejudice to the Citty
Tho: Jones Tho:Coventrye Jo:Stone
[Rawl. D51, p. 9] To the King's most Excellent Majesty
The humble petition of William Dod, Master, Francis Kemp and Robert Griffith, Wardens of the Company of Scriveners of the Citty of London
Shewing That whereas the Scriveners of London tyme out of minde have been an ancient Company by reputation and in that respect are charged with all manner of taxes and payments as other Companies of the Citty which are incorporated, And of late have disbursed by order and comaundement for their parts towards the generall Plantation of Coleran & London Derry in Ireland £445 and in the private plantation of that part which is allotted unto them and others £73 in toto £523:
For raiseing whereof (haveing noe land nor stocke to beare out any charge [)] they have been forced to make severall cessments throughout the Company and many perticular persons have refused to pay the cessments alleadging that for want of a Corporation the Company is not capable to receive or hold such part in the Plantation as is or shall be allotted unto them So that there is yet uncollected of those severall cessments about £100 which the Master and Wardens that now are and their p[r]edecessors the late Wardens have disbursed out of their private estates and are likely to loose being out of hope to collect the same or any other cessment hereafter to be made for that or any other service to be comaunded them either by your Majesty or the Citty unlesse they were incorporate.
Such and so great is the disorders of the Company by reason they are not incorporated and thereby want both orders and power to governe, that the greatest part of them doe refuse to[ge]ther to appeare at their Quarter dayes or to pay quarterage or any other duties whatsoever as formerly they have done, and as all other Companyes use to do so that the Company is likely to be dissolved for want of meanes to the ancients and better sort to governe the ruder and irregular part of the same.
For redresse of which disorders and of divers other abuses and enormities And that the Company may be reduced to a settled and civill government amongst themselves and to a conformable obedience to authority over them and may be made capable to hold and enjoy such part in the Plantation in Ireland as is or shall be allotted unto them
The petitioners most humbly beseech your Royall Majesty of your accustomed clemency to vouchsafe to graunt unto them a Corporation, And that your Highnesse will be pleased to give warrant to your learned councell to draw up your Majesty's letters pattents in that behalfe, the rather for that the Lord Maior and Aldermen of your Citty of London have given their good likeing and consent to the petitioners to become suitors to your Majesty herein; So shall the petitioners and the whole Company [(] as in duty they are already bounden) daily pray unto the Almighty God for the long life and prosperous reigne of your Majesty over these your kingdomes
[Rawl. D51, p. 10a] At the Court at Theobalds the Second of October 1616
His Majesty referreth the consideration of this petition to the Lords of this most honourable Privy Councill
The reference of the Lords to the Lord Maior & Recorder of London
My Lords of the Councell thinke fitt the Lord Maior and Recorder of London consider of this petition and certifie their opinions of the conveniency of the suite.
The certificate of the Lord Maior & Recorder to the Lords
To the Right Honourable the Lords and others of his Majesty's most honourable Privy Counsell
It may please your goods [sic] Lordships we have considered of this petition and finde the informations therein to be true, and in respect the petitioners are and have been an ancient brotherhood of this City, and of later time growne to a greater number and many of them able men that use the said art and much employed in the services of the Citty, that they may the better governe and rule the persons useing their arte and observe orders amongst themselves We hold their suite very convenient and desire to have them incorporated if it may stand with his Majesty's good pleasure
Your Lordships most humble
Jn°: Jolles. Maior. H: Mountague. Recorder.
The King's warrant to . . . draw up a bill
The King's Majesty is pleased upon sight of this certificate that the said Scriveners may be incorporated as other Companyes of London are And upon such orders and paines for their government as his Majesty's attorney or sollicitor shall thinke reasonable, And thereupon either of them to make a booke for his Majesty's signature
The docquett to the bill signed under the King's sollicitor's hand
It may please your excellent Majesty—
Whereas the Scriveners of London being by reputation onely an ancient fraternity did humb[l]y petition your Majesty to be graciously pleased to incorporate them whereby they might be invested as well with power to redresse the abuses now practiced in that Company, As with capacity to take such lands as should be allotted them in the late Plantation in Ireland wherein they had bin equally charged with other Companies of the said Citty.
The consideration of which petition was by your Majesty referred to the Lords of your most honourable Privy Councell and by them to the Lord Maior and the now Lord Cheife Justice then being Recorder of London to certefie their opinions of the [Rawl. D51, p. 11] conveniency of that suite who accordingly did certefie they held the same convenient and desired also they might be incorporated.
Your Majestie thereupon is graciously pleased hereby to incorporate the said Scrivenors and to enable them with government over all persons useing that art within London and the liberties and three miles thereof, and with power to take lands to them and their successors not holden in capite or knight service to the value of two hundred markes per annum, And with such other clauses as are used in graunts of this nature
Signified to be your Majesty's pleasure by the Right Honourable Sir Thomas Lake, knight, one of your Majesty's principall secretaries Henry Yelverton