Memorials of the Guild of Merchant Taylors of the Fraternity of St. John the Baptist in the City of London. Originally published by Harrison, London, 1875.
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APPENDIX B (1).
EXTRACTS FROM COURT MINUTES AS TO YEOMEN TAYLORS.
"Ordered by the Mr, Wardens and Assistants, at the humble sewt of the Warden Substitutes and Sixteen men, that every servante or journeyman free of this Cittie, and a brother of this Mistery, shall from henceforth paye unto the saide Wardens Substitute and their successors quarteridge after 8d. the yeare by 2d. the quarter."— [28th August 1578.]
"Report of Committee against foreigners and strangers.—Application made to Parliament rejected.—The Charters searched for authority, considered to be ample —no direct punishment appointed—considered to be at the discretion of the Mr and Wardens and the Lord Mayor—application to the Lord Mayor recommended for authority to commit offenders.—Master and Wardens to meet weekly, or to revive an ancient custom, some of the Batchelors' Company to meet every Monday fortnight.—This Committee to consist of 4 Wardens Substitutes and 2 of the Sixteen men.—To make search throughout the City (according to authority of their ancient Charter) for foreigners and strangers making garments, to seize and carry such garments to the Chamberlain.—To summon all offenders before them, and freemen in default of appearance at the hall on quarter-days and at burials, and that pay not their quarterage in due time, and all other lawfull demands.—To report all offenders to the Master and Wardens, to be dealt with at their discretion according to their offence.—Those that are ancient dwellers and married, and have children born within this City, or otherwise thought fit, shall, upon consideration had, be admitted into this Company (but not made free of the City), and so suffered to work. Foreign Bachelors now come into the City, or otherwise thought fit to be removed, after warning given, by four at a time be committed to the counter, upon the Lord Mayor's commandment, no further fine to be taken of them than the Chamberlain takes for garments found in their hands on Serch days. The care and zeal of this Committee commended, and their suggestions approved, with request that they may be done with gravity, judgment, and consideration, and the Master and Wardens to be informed from time to time of their proceedings."—[7th December 1601.]
"The Four late Warden Substitutes taken into the Livery.—Whereas the Company had determyned at the time of the calling of the last Lyvery to have nomynated and Elected Thos Mills, John Collett, Geo. Gibson and Richd Osmotherly, the then Warden Substitutes of the Bachelors' Company into the Clothing and Livery of this Societie, but by reason of the Lord Maior of this honble Cittie was a member of this Societie, the Warden Substitutes were by Order and auncient custome in person to p'forme diverse service during the same yere, And forasmuch as they have very lovingly and carefully performed all the said service to the good liking and contentment of the Company, yt is therefore with a generall consent ordered and agreed that they shalbe received and taken into the Lyverie, and be placed in the same place and rank as they should have been yf they had then been received into the Lyvery (viz.) before all such of the last call, as have not supplied the place of Wardens Substitutes, except only my Lord Maior's son and Mr. Merrick, to whom the Company for good consideracons gave precedency at the said Call."—[20th April 1603.]
"A lengthend record of a dispute between the Warden Substitutes and Sixteenmen, in which the latter are charged by the former with the wasteful expenditure of the howse money, of needless meetings, of assumed superiority of some over others, of negligence in keeping their accounts, and passing them without the controul of the Warden Substitutes, &c. &c."—[13th January 1608.]
"Orders reviewed, examined, corrected, and fully concluded and agreed upon by the Master, Wardens and Assistants, houlden the nyne and twentieth day of May 1609, for the better direction and orderly government of the Wardens Substitute and Sixteen men in peace and tranquility.
"1. The Treasory examined, and note taken of money, plate, and other things in their possession as substitute to the Master and Wardens.
"2. Ordered that there shalbe four locks to the chest remayning in the Throry, and four locks to the two doors of the said Throry, and that the eight keys shalbe for ever kept by the eight persons hereafter following, vizt:—The fower keys of the doors by the two Warden Substitute and two ayncientest Sixteene men of the Watling Street and Candlewecke Street quarters; and the fower keys of the chest by the two Warden Substitute and two auncientest Sixteene men of Fleete st and Merchantailors Hall quarters, and that the Throry dores shall never be opened except in the presence of six at the least of the said eight persons, and alsoe fower others of the Sixteene men, and a record to be made in a faire booke of whatsoever money, plate, or other thing they put in or take out of the said Treasory.
"3. The Wardens Substitute shall at thend of their yere's service, and within 14 dayes after Trinity Tuesday, deliver an accompt unto the Mr, Wardens and Assistants, of all their receipts and payments not in grosse but in pticulers with the ballance, and foote of that accompt.
"4. The accompt to be audited by the two Upper Wardens of the Livery and such two of the Sixteene men as shalbe from tyme to tyme nominated by the Wardens Substitute and Sixteene men, within 14 daies after Trinity Tuesday yerely, and to thintent that noe damage growe to the house, or losse to the Warden Substitute, through the sudden accompt. It is ordered that fyve monthes before the said auditt day there shalbe a certen day of meeting, which shalbe called a Charge Day, to be held and contynued without any allowance for dynner or other charge out of the Stock of the House, on wch charge day the Sixteene men shall examine the books of the fower several quarters comytted to the charge and collection of the Wardens Substitute, and charge the said Wardens Substitute with the names of all such brothers as they shall thinke in their consciences able to pay quartridg, &c. &c.
"5. The newe Wardens Substitute, immediately after they be sworne, shall have full power to rule and governe (under the Master and Wardens) iointly with the last Wardens Substitute, and shall be placed next after the ould Wardens Substitute until Mathias Day, and then the newe Wardens Substitute to be preferred to have the chiefe place, and that the Sixteene men shall not conceale any matter of government from them, nor heare or determyne any cause without theire allowance, &c.
"6. Whereas some question hath been moved who were to be accompted to be the fower ancientest of the Sixteene men . . . . . It is nowe upon mature and deliberate consideration ordered that such fower of the Sixteene men as have byn of longest contynuance in the same place of Sixteene men, in what quarter soever they dwell, shalbe accompted to be the fower auncientes. And yet for special considerations it is thought fitted that one in every quarter who hath byn of longest contynuance a Sixteen man in that quarter, shall be alwaies trusted to keepe the fower keys belonging to the said Throry,—and it is intended and meant that such antients of the Sixteene men as shall keep the keyes of the Throry shall be men of wisdom and discretion, able to advise the Wardens Substitute from tyme to tyme of the good orders of the Company. It is therefore provided that upon any special occasion, as absence, sickness, decay of estate, &c., it shall be lawfull for the Mr and Wardens and Assistants to remove any one or more of the said auncientes of either kynde.
"7. Whereas it was heretofore agreed that fower Wardens Substitute, whereof two of them to be ould Wardens and two of the new Wardens, and the ould to contynue until the newe be sworne. Also two of the Sixteene men, with theire own Clark and Beadle, and two persons employed against fforeyners (fn. 1) should meet every Munday fortnight for performance of special services for the good of the Company, at which meetings they have spent for theire dynners 6s. 8d. of the Stock of the House, and yet the present Wardens Substitute have of late forborne the same. But forasmuch as the Company are perswaded that the said meetings doe greatly tend to the peace and orderly government of the Company, It is therefore ordered that the same shall be contynued, and it is agreede that the house shall allow tenn shillings for theire dynner at every such fortnight meeting.
"8. Forasmuch as complainte hath byn long made that the fower quarters out of which the Warden Substitutes are yerely elected have not been divided in just proportion, but that Watling Street quarter, in multitude of able and rich men, doth far excell the residue, It is therefore ordered that Fleet Street quarter shalbe reconed to extend unto Paul's Gate, also St. Austyne's Gate, and that all Pauls' Churchyard and the Pulpit Yard, Creed Lane, Pater Noster Rowe, Ave Mary Lane, and Warwick Lane shall be taken out of Watling Street qr and added to Fleet Street quarter, and also that the south side of Newgate Market, extending from the Little Conduit in Cheape unto Newgate, shalbe taken out of Watling Street quarter and united to Merchauntailors' quarter, the said vuyting to begynn at the feast of Easter last past.
"9. Ordered that noe bills of charges shall passe or be allowed at the Audit, unlesse signed by two of the Wardens Substitute and two of the fower Auncients at the least, and if any of the fower Auncients happen to be absent, then his next Auncient to supply his place in that business, and they are to be admonished and entreated to be frugall and sparing in theire expences, considering the greate want and necessity of the poore, and to keepe as few Dynners at the charges of the House as conveniently they may.
"10. Forasmuch as the Dynner yerely kept for the entertaining of strangers groweth to a great charge, and no reason that the strangers should be better entertained then the King's naturall subject. It is therefore ordered that the same Dynner shalbe no longer kept. Nevertheless it is agreed that the House shall allow 3l. 6s. 8d. for a Dynner for the Wardens Substitute and Sixteene men upon the day that the strangers be yerely somond to appear before them to hear the Decree in the Star Chamber, and the orders lately agreed upon to be read before them.
"11. Foreasmuch as the Shooting Dynner hath been of ancient contynuance, and the only Dynner for recreation that is allowed to the Wardens Substitute and Sixteene men, It is therefore agreed that there shall be yerely allowed out of the Stock of the Howse towards the said Dynner 8l. over and beside Mr. Dow his yerely guift of 13s. 4d. p. ann., called Mr. Dow his mite, and the usuall collection made of all such as shalbe invited or shall come to that Dynner; and it is expressly ordered that if any more shall be expended at the same Dynner, then the allowance before mentioned, it shall be disbursed and bourne by the Stewards out of their own purses, at which Dynner the Wardens Substitute and the old Wardens continuing in charge and the Sixteene men and theire wyves onley and none other are to be freed from charge.
"12. It is agreed that the 4 Wardens Substitute of the year past shalbe elected yerely forever to be the fower overseers of the present Wardens in place.
"13. Forasmuch as all victualls are growne to a very high rate, it is ordered that the Warden Substitutes should keepe onley Four Quarter dynners (and not five as hath been accustomed), vizt:—one at St. James' tide, a second about the feast of All Saints, otherwise called Hollentide, a third about 14 daies after Xpmas, and ye fowrth on or about St. Mathias day, and yt then they shall keepe moderate cheere without excesse or drawing any greater company to ye Hall then hath ben aunciently accustomed, and that ye audit dynner shall forevr hereafter be kept on Trynety Tuesday or thereabouts."—[29th May 1609.]
"The Warden Substitute and one of the Sixteene men did offer to the consideration of the Mr and Wardens and Assistants whether it were not fitt that the greate Dynner for the generality should be kept this year, being the seaventh yere sithence the same was held, which had usually been held once in three years), intimating that the deferring thereof so long hath made the generallity unwilling to pay their quarterage. Upon due consideration it is agreed that the said great Dynner shall be kept this yere upon St. John's Decollation day, being the 24th day of August, and the Wardens Substitute and their Officers are required to take special care that none be warned or suffred to come to this Dynner or to the Hall whose howse is infected with the plague."—[14th August 1609.]
"To this Court came the Warden Substitutes and Sixteen men to psent a Beadle to take his oath latelie chosen by them in the place of Wm Griffin deed which they had done contrary to our Master's command, and without any authoritie in themselves for ye choise of such an officer, and being tould by this Courte of their error seemed awhile to maintaine the same; but upon better consideration, well understanding that all their authoritie and power in gowerment is derived and directed from this Court, as by the oathe they take for the office of Warden Substitute (which was read unto them at this Court) doth plainlie appear, did disclaim the choice they had made of their Beadle, and left the same whollie to the Court, &c. &c."—[24th May 1622.]
"Ordered, that the Widdowe of Roger Silverwood (late Clerk of the Batchlors' Company) shall have 5l. given her of the Stock of this House, whereof ffortie shillings to be payed presentlie, and tother three pounds to be paid to her when she shall remove out of the lodging in the Companies Almshouses neere the Hall."—[28th June 1622.]
"A letter from ye right honble the Lord Chambelaine, directed to the Lord Mayor of London, in behalfe of Mounseur de Marteene, a stranger, who desired to use the trade of a Tailor wthin the Citty of London, was at this Court openly red. Whereupon consideracon being had, It is ordered yt" (certain persons named) "shall at ye next Court of Aldren informe my Lord Mayor and the Court how piuditiall it will prove to this Citty if way should be given to his request."—[1624.]
"Ordered, that the Wardens Substitutes and Sixteene men shall have the use of the Chamber adjoyning to ye Batchelors' Gallory, being lately in the use and occupacon of Mr. Duncombe, and also yt ye Mr and Wardens shall use the said Chamber when occasion shalbe offered at their pleasure, And that the Clarke of the Batchelors' Company for the tyme being shall keepe the key thereof."—[28th August 1624.]
"It is ordered that our Mr shall pay unto Mr. Norris the sume of 22l. 16s. being soe much money wch he affirmed he hath disbursed about the prosecution of the suits in the Court of Comon Pleas against Straungers useing the trade of Taylory wth in the Cittie libties and suberbs thereof, and other charges about the same."— [17th November 1635.]
"A Committee appointed to hear the allegations of the Warden Substitutes, Overseers and Sixteen men, touching certain differences which have lately risen between the said pties concerning the manner of their noiacon, and p'paring their bill of Warden Substitutes. The question being whether the Sixteen men are to have any voice in the noinacon or reducing of foure persons for every quarter unto the number of two, who are to be put in election for Warden Substitutes . . . . . We find that every Warden Substitute, at his first admission into that office, doth take an oath (amongst other things) not to permit or suffer the Sixteen men, called the Assistants to the Warden Substitutes, to make any election for Warden Substitutes in tyme to come, which oath was prescribed the 11th year of the late King James, which clause of the oath we find to be agreeable to an ancient entrance of a book of this Society, made in the 25 year of Henry 6th, . . . which oath soe concurring wth the ancient usage, we are of opinion and think fit should be observed. But in regard the Sixteen men are antient and experienced in the affairs of the Company . . . . we conceive it very fitt that the Warden Substitutes doe for tyme to come tak advice of the Sixteen men touching the said reducing and making their bill therof, before the same be pnted to this Court for election, &c. &c."—[24th January 1639.]
"A report shewing that there had been allowed for divers years past to the Warden Substitutes and Sixteen men 37l. 10s. per Quarter for the relief of the poor of this Society:—To the Warden of Watling St. Quarter 6l. 5s. to the Warden of Candlewick St. Qr 6l. 15s. ; to the Warden of Fleet St. Quarter 10l.; to the Warden of Merchaunttailors' Hall Quarter 14l. 10s, which had been distributed promiscuously by 2s. 6d., 2s., 1s. 6d., and 1s., 'which we conceive is not the best or most convenient waie,' and suggest that the number of such poor be reduced to three hundred of the fittest persons to receive the Charity during their lives by 2s. 6d. quarterly payments."—[29th August 1645.]
"Ordered, that a clause be inserted in all leases granted by the Company, that their workmen should be employed in building and repairing their houses as need should require,"—[31st October 1645.]