might command, that no Pepper might be brought in for three Years into any of her Dominions, the Time of the Pepper-Vend requiring no less. And they would be ready to satisfy her Majesty the Custom of so much Pepper as by Computation might be brought in, during the Time of the Restraint, after such rate as had been brought in, since the Time of the buying of this Pepper. And thereby they should be able to perform their Payment at the Day appointed: Promising not to advance the price of Pepper above 3 Shillings in the Pound, during the Restraint

I have met also with a Passage, (somewhat before) concerning the Merchandize of Corinths, or Currants: (as we commonly pronounce it) A parcel whereof about the Year 1575. was brought in by divers Strangers; Which the Company of Grocers meant to have bought at such a reasonable price, as the Retailers might well have sold the same at 3d. or 3d 1/2 penny the Pound. But others unskilful, and not traded in the Mystery hearing thereof, gave 600l more for the same than they had bid. And so brought up the Prices, to the enriching of the Stranger, and impoverishing of our own People. This was made matter of Complaint to the Lord Treasurer.

Currants brought in by Strangers.

Starch was first sold by the Grocers; which (as it seems) came in about the latter end of Queen Elizabeth's Reign. For about the Year 1594 or 1595, Sir John Packington procured the Queen's Letters Patents for him only to make and sell Starch. It grew now a Commodity in great request, and vended for the most part by the Grocers, serving the greatest part of the Chapmen through England. But the Grocers by this Patent were cut off, and so molested that they were fain to make Complaint to the Lord Treasurer, with the Subscription of their Names, to the Number of Thirty nine; viz. William Layer, Richard Denman, Will Brockbank, Peter Heylyn, Henry Parkhurst, John Cason, &c. For the Assigns of the Patentee, minding to enrich themselves very extraordinarily by the execution of the said Patent, took courses to compel the Grocers to sell the Patentee's Assigns all such Starch, as the Grocers had, before, or sithence the granting of the Patent bought, remaining in their Shops and Warehouses; and that at such Prizes as the said Assigns pleased to set down, being much less than the Commodity cost, or was worth: Or else the Assigns violently seized and took the same away unpaid for. In case they were withstood by the poor Men, the Owners thereof, they were forthwith sent for by Pursevants before Commissioners thereunto appointed. Where they were required to enter Bonds in great Sums of Money, with condition to buy all the Starch they should sell of the said Assigns, and of none other; and with Condition further, not to sell Starch to any but to such as were Licensed to buy by the said Patentee's Assigns. To the first Part of which Condition, Viz. to buy all the Starch they should vend of the Patentee's Assigns, most of the Company, in regard of their Loyalty to her Majesty, considering it her good pleasure to grant the said Patent, had purposed to yield unto: But touching the other part, that they should sell or vend no Starch but to those that were by the Assigns Licensed to buy, the most part of the Company were persuaded they could not yield unto without their Overthrow and utter Undoing. For hereby they might not sell what they bought to their Chapmen.

Starch first sold by the Grocers.

About the Year 1580 and odd, the Grocers, as well as many other Companies, suffered severely in their Gifts and Charities formerly granted them. Which because the Donors had given them, or some part of them, for the maintenance of Chauntries to pray for the Souls of them and their Ancestors, or for other Superstitious uses, were all swallowed up by the Crown by Vertue of an Act of Parliament in the beginning of the Reign of King Edward VI. But many of these Gifts, being hitherto concealed, and retained in the hands of the Companies, Queen Elizabeth granted a Patent of these concealed Lands and Tenements to certain Persons, with a Power to search and recover these Gifts. Now those that were found came to the Crown, or were purchased again by the Possessors. Now there were these Gifts of this Nature found in the hands of this Company of Grocers, as I transcribed from a List brought into the Treasury.

Lands and Estates taken from the Grocers.



Given the Company by John Billesdon, being of old yearly Rent 331608
Now worth to be let yearly1330608
And worth to be sold at 20 years purchase, after the rate26661304
Given by John Maldon, being of old yearly Rent 60608
Now worth to let yearly150000
And worth to be sold at 20 years purchase3000000

TENEMENTS belonging thereto.

The Sum of the Old Rents yearly390304
Yearly Rent which they will now let for1480608
Annual Rents formerly purchased by the Company out of the
said Tenements, amounted to
The Sum these Tenements will be sold for after 20 years
Purchase, according to the new Valuation (the said Annual
Rents of 28l. 10s. 2d. deducted) amounteth to

Other LANDS adjudged doubtful.


Given by John Drayton, being of the old yearly Rent of 27 1304
Now worth to be let yearly 6000 00
Worth to be sold at 20 years Purchase 12000000
Given by Henry Kebul, of the old yearly Rent of 280000
Now worth to let yearly800000
Worth to be sold at 20 years Purchase 16000000
Given by Elizabeth Burels, of old yearly Rent280000
Now worth to be let yearly600000
Worth to be sold at 20 years Purchase 12000000



Sum of the old yearly Rents of all the said Tenements 720000
Sum of the yearly Rents they will be now let for 2000000
Sum of the annual Rents purchased out of the said Tenements
by the said Company of Grocers
Sum of that the said Tenements will be sold for after 20 years
Purchase, according to the new Valuation (the said annual
Rents of 30l. 18s. 4d. being deducted) amounteth to
338113 04

This Company of Grocers hath the misfortune to be more in Debt than any of the other Twelve; being almost ruined by the Fire of London. For being in Debt before by several great Sums that

The present Condition of this Company.