The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [Vinteners.]194


ly to the King at the Feast of the Nativity of St. John Baptist, for all Services, Customs, Demands Secular, and all other things. This Wharf was stiled in the same Grant, Our Common Key in the Parish of St. Botulph next Billingsgate.

Sir John Stody, Kt. some time Maior, in the Reign of Edward III. gave his Manour in the Vintrie to this Company: on part whereof the Hall now standeth. This was confirmed to the Company by King Richard III. Who in his Grant mentions, that there was an Inquisition taken at the Guild Hall of the City of London, August 26. 17 Edw. IV. before Rauf Josselyn, Maior, Escheator in the same City, and Suburbs of the same, by vertue of his Office. Where it appeared, that John Stody, late of London, Knight, among other, was seized of a Manour in the Ward of Vintrie, London, in his Demean as of Fee, and held that Manour of King Edward III. in free Burgage.

Manour in the Vintrie.

This Company anciently consisted of two sorts of Traders, Viz. The Vinetarij, and the Tabernarij: that is, The Vinteners, who were the Merchants that imported Wine from France and other Places, and the Taverners, who kept Taverns for them, and sold it out by Retayl to such as came thither to drink, or fetched it to their own Houses. Of both these Sellers of Wine it was a Complaint as long ago as the Reign of King Edward III. that they mixed and corrupted their Wine; and selling that so mixed at the same price with the good. Which caused that King in the second of his Reign to send his Letters to the Maior and Sheriffs, to see this Abuse corrected: which was, as the Expression in the said Letter is, to the scandal of the City, and the danger of the Lives of the Citizens; and that they should cause it to be proclaimed, that no Wine should be sold but pure and good. The Patents ran to this Tenor.

King Edward to the Maiors, concerning the Vintners corrupting their Wines.

" Rex, &c. i.e. The King to the Maior and Sheriffs of London, Greeting. WHEREAS it is given to Us to understand, that the Vinteners of the same City and their Taverne keepers selling Wine at Retayl in the same City and Suburbs, do mingle and corrupt Wines with other Wines; and are not afraid to sell the Wines so mixt and corrupted at the same price as they sell the good and pure; Not permitting Men, drinking in their Taverns, or otherwise buying Wine of them, to look whether the Wines are drawn out of the Hogsheads into the Measures, or taken elsewhere; to the scandal of you and of the Commonalty of the City aforesaid, and to the corrupting of the bodily Health of those that buy Wine by retail in the same City, and drink in the Taverns, and the danger of their Lives: Whereat We are not without just cause offended. We willing to prevent these Dangers, command you, that in the said City and Suburbs, in places where ye shall see it expedient, ye do on Our behalf cause it to be publickly proclaimed and prohibited, that none presume in any manner to mingle such Wines, nor to sell any mixt, but good and pure: And that all and singular, drinking Wine in Taverns, or otherwise buying Wine thence, may look, as they will, whether the Wines so sold, as aforesaid, in Taverns, be drawn out of the Hogsheads, or taken elsewhere. And if after the foresaid Proclamation and Prohibition, ye shall find any doing the contrary, ye so punish them, by levying a Forfeit upon them for Our Use, that that Punishment may terrify others from offending in the like Case; and that We for your default may have no need to lay on heavier hands for the regulating of this matter."

Pat. 2. Ed. 3. 2. m. 11.

Witness the KING at VVestminster the 28th day of November.These Vintners were anciently Wine-merchants, that traded chiefly in importing Wine, brought from Gascoine: and selling it here to the Court and Nobility, or to the Retailers that kept Taverns in London and elsewhere.

The Vintners anciently Wine-Merchants.

Great Numbers of Persons then, and still depending upon these Vintners; as Shipwrights and Mariners, and others that live by the Navy; Retailers, Lightermen, Porters, Coopers) for great numbers of Casks are, used in this Calling) Wharfingers, Carmen, together with those that were concerned in letting of Ware-houses, Cellars and Vaults: All which with their Wives, Families and Servants amounted to a vast number of Souls.

Dependents on these Merchants.

This Company had an ancient Charter from King Edward III. dated June 15. in the 38th of his Reign, to prevent and forbid any Merchants to trade for Wine to Gascoine; but only such as were free of this Craft of Vintners: Whereas before many others did, carrying over their Wares and Commodities, as Cloth and other things of the growth of England, into that Country, and bringing home their Wines. Whereby Injury redounded to this Company; and also the Gascoiners held up their Wines at dearer Rates, since there came such Numbers to buy. And whereas before the Gascoiners were at the Charge of bringing in their Wines hither, now the Merchants of England brought them in at their own Expences. Which was lookt upon as harm to the King and Realm. The King therefore henceforth allowed only those that were enfranchised in the Craft of the Vintners to buy Wine beyond Sea, and trade in it. And commanded that the Gascoiners, when they brought in their Wines, should not sell them in small Parcels, but in great by the Tun or Pipe: Moreover, this Company was to appoint four able skilful persons of their own Mystery to be sworn before the Maior, to oversee all manner of Wines sold by Retail at Taverns, and that their Prices were reasonable. This Charter of King Edward III. Anno 1363. was inspected and confirmed by King Henry VI. in the 6th of his Reign, that is, Anno 1427. being intended that the Merchants Vintners should trade to Bourdeaux, to restrain the Multitude, that was thought to be the Occasion why the Prices of Wines were then enhanced. And this being a piece of Antiquity, and tending to the ancient Privileges of this Company, it will be worthy to be here exemplified.

None to be Merchants of Wine, but Vintners.

Wine Craft of Vintry.


The Vintners CHARTER from King Edward III. that none Trade to Gascoine for Wines but the Merchants of the Vintrie Confirmed by King Henry.


HEnry by the grace of god King of England and of Fraunce, and Lorde of Irlond To all hem yt theis presentz Lettres shall come, greting. We have byholdin thes Lettres patentz of Sir Edwarde sumtyme kyng of Englond our progenitor, made in this wordis; EDWARD by the grace of God king of Englond Lord of Irlohd and of Guyen, to all that shall séen theis Lettres, gréeting. Wit ye ymonge othir thinges ordeignid at the last Parlement, ther in the same Parlement by certeins causes was ordeignid yt no merchant engleis ne use mercery nether merchandises by him nor by non othir by no manere of compaignie bot oone alloon, the which he wil chose by fore the Fest of Candelmas last passed. And thos yt have in bondes other mercery and merchandises than this yt they have chosen ther, thei shall mowe put to sale by fore the Fest of Natiuite of Seint Jonn of Baptist next to come, as in the saied ordinances it is conteignid more plainly. And ther was shewid to vs and to oure Counseill, howe ther was noght in Gascoigne noon othir mer-