[Vinteners.] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT.197


might not be revoked;) for which probably they would have given the Queen a good Sum. This the retailing Vintners were against. Because it would be the occasion of heightning the Price of Wines. Which would bring on a decay of the Trade, and so the Subversion of the Company: Because in time, none would care to buy them at such dear Prices. As it was in other Professions through the excessive enhauncing of the Prices of Commodities, whereby none were well able to purchase them. And in the issue, the Queen would loose here Customs, and other Duties, the Navy would be weakened, and those that might have lived reasonably well, be driven a begging; viz. All that multitude of Callings that had dependance upon this Trade.

On the other side the Company said for themselves, that the Vintners in former times were continual Suiters, till the latter end of King Henry VII. his time, to the Lord Maior of London, for reformation of Abuses in selling Wine, in regard of the goodness of it, and the restitution of the Gauge and Measure. Who neither could nor would remedy the same. Whereupon were made Acts of the 28th and 33 of Henry VIII. and the 7th of Edward VI. touching Prices of Wines by Retail and Engross, without any Cause given therefore by the said mere Vintners. But what good ever since by them had ensued, the heightning the Prices of Wines and the said Companies utter undoing taught. As of old time since before King Edward I. until the foresaid 28 Henry VIII. his Reign, like things upon like Occasions came to pass; and never were, ne could be redrest, but onely through the Policie practised by the said Vintners good Ordinance; as by the sundry Grants made in that behalf unto them by King Edward III. and also by King Henry VI. might appear.

Disorderly Houses occasioned by Licenses not taken from the Company.

In these times, about the middle of Queen Elizabeth's Reign, some Persons had Licences to sell and retail Wine, independently upon the Company. And they were commonly seen to have kept the most disorderly Houses. A Remonstrance was laid before the Lord Treasurer by one Lane of the Company, that these Licensed Persons should be brought to order, being no Innovation or new Invention, as was urged by some; which appeared, in that they themselves had sought by their own Bonds to stand bound to the Company to observe a certain Order of less importance: Which otherwise they knew they had no way to reform. The reducing these Licensed Men would be great cause, as he urged, of avoiding Whoredom, Dancing, Dicing, and Banqueting of Apprentices, Serving Men, and such like, daily used in Taverns, with the better Observation of Days prescribed to be fasted on. And touching the said Company, it would avoid excessive Incomes and Rents, whereby many had been under, and all unjust quarrelling at the Law, and all forestalling and regrating: And that the Order for decent Apparel might be observed and used; and the overheightening the Prices of any Commodities, whereby Men became Bankrupts, should be remedied.

Ordinances for the Vintners.

There were certain ancient Ordinances for the Government both of the Merchant Vinteners, and Vinteners Retailers; viz.

For the Merchants.


That six persons, being Vintners, sholn be Governors and Counsillors to al Vintners, and to al Vintners Attorneys that shullun pass the Seas to Bourdeaux. That after they have landyd and ben there two days, and partely understoode of the Likelehode of the Pryces, that or [i.e. ere] eny buy, they al meet and take ordre what every man sholn gyve, and none to excede, upon payne to forfeit to the King xxl. and xxl. to the Felowship: and who that can espie eny doing the contrarie, be it Master or Servant, shal have to tell [i.e. pay] twenty Nobels for his travell. That none make no Servant, no Broker, no Man, Woman, or Child, to buy Wine above that Pryce, upon the payne aforesaid. And in case any happen to come upon other, when they byn tasting, that lest they shuld therby highen the Market, they do avoid. And if after the first Seer be gon, and culde not agree, the second happen afterward to buy; yet if it were the Wines of the first Seer's Customer, he shal have half the Wyne notwithstonding of the Buyer, &c.


For the Reteylours.


Th' Othe of the four Wardens of the Vintners Reteylours is, Wel and truly to rule the Company, and to keep th' Ordinaunces that fro the Commonwele are or shullen be made, and duely to put them in execution; doing alweye Evynhode, as well to the Poore as to the Riche.


Th' Othe of the Freemen is, To be true to the King and his Laws, obedient to the Wardeins and Ordenaunces, to keep good Rule, to obey al Summons, and to pay al Duties after their Power.

Th' Ordinaunce to be rede every Yere twice; viz. at the going to Burdeaux, and at the beginning of Lent.

The Companie, when new Wyne is, shal from the Ryding of the Maior unto Easter-day, assemble every Fortnight, to let al Disorder, in gredy running and buying of Wines. Which if any shullen do contrary ther Orders therin, he shal pay for every Fault ten Mark.

None shal colour Straungers Goods to t'hurt of the Kings Customes, or highening of the Pryce of Wynes.

None shal sel Wynes tyl the Wardeins have given them the Pryce, upon payne to forfeit 6s. 8d. for every Gallon so sold, &c.

None shal utter one Wyne insted of another, upon payne for every Offence to pay xxs.

None of any other Companie shal use Wynes, except he first be sworn t'obey al the Vintners Ordenaunces, whilest he shal occupie.

None shal discover any Talk, that, concerning the highening of Wynes to be abatyd, shal by eny Person be gyven or counsilled, upon payne of xxl.

Item, That eight Persons onely of the said Company, being of best Experience, were alweys of old tyme appointed to tast and buy al maner of Wynes, after they were brought over, and had byn cellared three Days. So that none after did excede the Pryces by them made, upon grete Penalties to be payd: Which caused good cheap.

Lastly, For the Honour of this Company, I shall give a Catalogue (taken from an authentick Manuscript) of such Vintners as have been Lord Maiors, Sheriffs, Knights, and Men of great Wealth.

Maiors, Sheriffs, &c. of this Company.

Richard Pycarde, Sheriff, the first time,} 37} Hen' III.1253.
John Adrian, Sheriffs, the first time,} 431259.
Richard Pycarde, Sheriff, the second time,} 45 1261.
John Adrian, Sheriff, the second time,} 511267.
John Adrian, Maior,} 551270.
Richard de Parys, Sheriff,} 581273.
Johannes de Ware, Sheriff,} 14} Edw' I.1286.
Richard Reffam, Sheriff,} 271298.
Joh. de St. Edmond's, Sheriff,} 3} Edw' II.1309.
Richard Reffam, Maior,} 41310.
Adam Burgon, Sheriff, } 71313.
William de Reygate, Sheriff,} 91316.
Reignold at Conduyte, Sheriff,} 141320.
John de Oxenford, Sheriff,} 171324.
Richard Beteigne, Sheriff,} 181325.