Downgate Ward. Stylyard. 204

Downgate Ward. Stylyard.

Quarter of Wheat exceeded not the price of 6s. 8d. Rye 4s. the Quarter, and Barley 3s. the Quarter, upon forfeiture the one half to the King, the other half to the Seizer thereof. These Merchants of the Haunce had their Guildhall in Thames Street, in place aforesaid, by the said Cosin lane. Their Hall is large, builded of Stone, with three arched Gates towards the Street, the the middlemost whereof is far bigger than the other, and is seldom opened, and the other two be mured up: The same is now called the Old Hall.

Old Hall.

Of later time, to wit, in the sixth of Richard the Second, they hired one House next adjoining to their old Hall, which sometime belonged to Richard Lions, a famous Lapidary, one of the Sheriffs of Lond. in the 49. of Edward III. and in the fourth of Richard II. by the Rebels of Kent drawn out of that House, and beheaded in West Cheap. This also was a great House, with a large Wharf on the Thames: And the way thereunto was called Windgoose, or Wildgoose Lane, which is now called Windgoose Alley, for that the same Alley is (for the most part) builded on by the Stilyard Merchants.

Richard Lions House.

Windgoose Lane.

About the time of King Henry IV. the English began to trade themselves into the East Parts. At which the Easterlings, or Merchants of the Dutch Hauns, were so offended that they took several of their Ships and Goods, and offered them several other Injuries. Which occasioned great Complaints and Differences between the said King Henry IV. and Conradus de Junigen, then Master General of the Dutch Order in Prussia with the Hans Towns. And divers Embassies passed betwixt them on that Account. The result of which in short was this, that the said King Henry IV. finding by the said Privileges granted to Foreigners, his own Subjects (to the great Prejudice of the Realm) very much crippled in their Trade, did revoke such Parts of the Privileges of the aforesaid Dutch Company, as were inconsistent with the carrying on of a Trade by the Natives of this Realm: And for the better Encouragement of his own Subjects, did in the 5th Year of his Reign, grant his first Charter to the Merchants trading into East Land: Containing many great Privileges and Immunities, as by the said Charter may appear. Which having a good Effect to the bringing of the Trade much more into the Hands of the Natives of this Realm, than was before, King Edward IV. for their more ample Encouragement, did in the second Year of his Reign, grant another large Charter to the Merchants of England; especially to those residing in the Netherlands, with several additional Immunities and Privileges, as by the Charter at large may appear.

The English begin to trade to the East Parts.

The Dutch Hans offended thereat.

Alderman Tench's Reasons offer'd by the Eastland Merchants.

Print. 1689.

J. S.

Charter to the Eastland Merchants.

In the first and second of Philip and Mary, was granted the Charter to the Russia Company. Afterwards confirmed by Act of Parliament in the eighth Year of Queen Elizabeth.

Russia Merchants.

Until whose time, though the Trade of this Nation was driven much more by the Natives thereof, than had been formerly, yet had the Society of the Dutch Hans at the Steel Yard much the advantage of them by means of their well regulated Societies, and the Privileges they enjoyed. Insomuch that almost the whole Trade was driven by them, to that degree that Queen Elizabeth her self, when she came to have a War was forced to buy Hemp, Pitch, Tar, Powder, and other naval Provisions, which she wanted, of Foreigners: And that too, at their Rates. Nor was there any Stores of either in the Land, to supply her Occasions on a sudden, but what at great Rates she prevailed with them to fetch for her even in time of War: Her own Subjects being then but little Traders.

To remedy which she fell upon the Consideration, how she might at home have a well grounded Dependence, to have those necessary Commodities by her, that so she might not want them, when she most needed them. And after great Deliberation, no better Expedient could be found by the said Queen and her Council, than by encouraging her own Subjects to be Merchants. Which she did by erecting out of them several Societies of Merchants: As that of the East Land Company, and other Companies. By which means, and by cancelling many of the Privileges of the forementioned Dutch Hans Society, the Trade in general, by degrees came to be managed by the Natives of this Realm. And consequently, the Profit of all those Trades accrued to the English Nation. Trade in general and English Shipping was encreased; her own Customs vastly augmented, and what was at first the great End of all, obtained, viz. That she had constantly lying at home, in the Hands of her own Subects, all sorts of naval Provisions and Stores; which she could make use of, as her Occasions required them without any dependence on her Neighbours for the same.

And thus by means of the erecting the forementioned Societies, and preserving and encouraging that of the Merchants Adventurers, was the Trade at first gained from Foreigners to the Natives of the Realm, to its inestimable Advantage.]

The Abbot of S. Albans has a Messuage here, with a Key given to him, in the 34th of Henry the Sixth.

Abbot of St. Albans House.

Then is one other great House, which sometime pertained to John Raynwell, Stockfishmonger, Maior, and it was by him given to the Maior and Communalty, to the end, that the Profits thereof should be disposed in Deeds of Piety: Which House in the 15th of Edward the Fourth, was confirmed unto the said Merchants in manner following, viz.

Rainwell's House.

It is ordained by our Soveraigne Lord and his Parliament, that the said Merchants of Almaine, being of the Company called Guildhall Theutonicorum, [or the Flemish Gold] that now be, or hereafter shall be, shall have, hold, and enjoy to them and their Successors for ever, the said place, called the Steele-house, yielding to the Maior and Commonalty an annual Rent of threescore and ten Pounds, three Shillings, four Pence, &c. [and other Rents to others.]


There were also Merchants of Colen trafficking here; who seem to be the Beginners of this Haunce Trade. These formerly paid divers Duties and Customs to the Kings of this Land, and particularly 2s. from their Guildhall. Which King Henry III. in the year 1235. took off by his Charter: which was to this Tenor:

Merchants of Colen, their Charter.

Lib. Horn.

J. S.

"KNOW ye, that we have quite claimed for us and our Heirs our beloved Citizens of Colen, and their Merchandizes, of those two Shillings which they were wont to give from their Guildhall, London, and of all Customs and Demands which belong to us in London and throughout our whole Land in England. And we have granted them to go safe and come safe through all our Land, and to buy and sell both in the Town of London and elsewhere; saving the Liberty of our City London. Wherefore we will and firmly command, &c. Witness the venerable Father Wil-"