Memorials of London and London Life in the 13th, 14th and 15th Centuries. Originally published by Longmans, Green, London, 1868.
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Ordinance of the Fletchers.
4 Henry IV. A.D. 1403. Letter-Book I. fol. xxiv. (Latin and Norman French.)
(fn. 1) Ordinance of the trade of Fletchers, made by John Walcote, Mayor of the City of London, and the Aldermen, on the 16th day of June, in the 4th year etc.; and which was proclaimed on the 20th day of June, in the year aforesaid.—
(fn. 2) "In the first place,—that the folks of the said trade in the said city shall have power every year, at the Feast of St. Edward the King [5 January], to elect two persons to be Wardens of the trade, to survey and make search during the year then next ensuing as to all manner of arrows and heads of arrows and quarels, as well of citizens as of foreigners, within the said city; and that they shall have power to seize such artillery (fn. 3) as shall be found to be false and deceitful, as well in houses and the king's highway, as in every other place within the franchise of the said city; and to present the same to the Mayor and Aldermen, for the time being, there to be forfeited and destroyed; the persons who shall have made such false work, to be punished and amerced, at the discretion of the said Mayor and Aldermen, for the time being; one half of such amercement to go to the use of the Chamber, and the other half to the use of the said trade.
Also,—that no one of the said trade, citizen or foreigner, shall sell in any place within the franchise of the said city any work of such trade pertaining to warfare, before that it has been assayed by the said Wardens, as being good and able, for the advantage of the King and of the realm; on pain of forfeiture and amercement, in form aforesaid. So always, that the Wardens of the said trade shall be ready at all fitting times to assay such artillery, on pain of making fine, at the discretion of the Mayor and Aldermen.
Also,—that the said Wardens shall have power, so often as they shall please, to cause search to be made in every place within the franchise of the said city, to see that all arrows and quarels in the said trade are made of good and dry wood, and that the heads of the arrows and quarels are hard: that so, no arrows or quarels be made by night, nor yet by day in deceit or prejudice of the King and of the realm. And that those who are rebellious against the said Wardens, if any such shall be found, shall be punished by advice of the Mayor and Aldermen, the same as rebels in other trades of the City. Provided always, that all manner of folks, freemen and foreigners, having, and bringing to the City, brodearwes (fn. 4) and boltes to sell, shall not be restricted by this Ordinance; but may freely sell the same, without survey or search by the Wardens aforesaid.
"Also,—that no one of the said trade shall sell in any way to an alien any manner of work belonging to such trade, before that he has had especial leave from the King, and it is known that the same is not to the prejudice of the King or of the realm; on pain of forfeiture of the work, and of being punished and amerced, at the discretion of the Mayor and Aldermen, according to the extent of the offence.
(fn. 5) Ordinance of the Writers of Text-letter, Limners, and others who bind and sell books.
4 Henry IV. A.D. 1403. Letter-Book I. fol. xxv. (Latin and Norman French.)
(fn. 6) Be it remembered, that on the 12th day of July, in the 4th year etc., the reputable men of the craft of Writers of text-letter, those commonly called "Limners," (fn. 7) and other good folks, citizens of London, who were wont to bind and to sell books, presented here unto John Walcote, Mayor, and the Aldermen of London, a certain petition, in these words.—
(fn. 8) "Unto the honourable Lords, and wise, the Mayor and Aldermen of the City of London, pray very humbly all the good folks, freemen of the said city, of the trades of writers of text-letter, lymenours, and other folks of London, who are wont to bind and to sell books; that it may please your great sagenesses (fn. 9) to grant unto them, that they may elect yearly two reputable men, the one a lymenour, the other a text-writer, to be Wardens of the said trades; and that the names of the Wardens so elected may be presented each year before the Mayor, for the time being, and they be there sworn well and diligently to oversee, that good rule and governance is had and exercised by all folks of the same trades in all works unto the said trades pertaining, to the praise and good fame of the loyal good men of the said trades, and to the shame and blame of the bad and disloyal men of the same. And that the same Wardens may call together all the men of the said trades honourably and peaceably, when need shall be, as well for the good rule and governance of the said city, as of the trades aforesaid. And that the same Wardens, in performing their due office, may present from time to time all the defaults of the said bad and disloyal men to the Chamberlain at the Guildhall, for the time being; to the end that the same may there, according to the wise and prudent discretion of the governors of the said city, be corrected, punished, and duly redressed. And that all who are rebellious against the said Wardens, as to the survey and good rule of the same trades, may be punished, according to the general Ordinance made as to rebellious persons in trades of the said city, as set forth in Book G fol. cxxxv. And that it may please you to command that this petition, by your sagenesses granted, may be entered of record for time to come; for the love of God, and as a work of charity."
(fn. 10) Which petition having been read before the said Mayor and Aldermen, and fully understood, for the reason especially that it concerned the common weal and profit, that transgressors of the Ordinance aforesaid should be severely punished, as before stated; it was unanimously granted by them that the Ordinance should thereafter be faithfully observed, and that transgressors should be punished in manner as above stated.