[Pewterers.] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT.207


Thus stout and hardy were these Leathersellers, in asserting their Privileges and Rights as Citizens and Free-born Subjects.

To all this I add, that this Business having Difficulty as to the matter of Law, so much insisted on by the Leathersellers, the said Lord Treasurer, a just and wary Man, sent to Popham and Egerton, the one the Queen's Attorney General, and the other her Sollicitor, to examine the State of the Case. Who found it to stand thus, as they signified to him in Writing, That King Henry VII. did confirm certain Ordinances formerly made by the Maior of London, touching the Leathersellers of London, in the time of King Richard II. concerning how the Defects in the said Mystery in that time should be surveyed and reformed in some Points. Which Ordinances concerned only Sheeps, Calves, and Lambs Leather. And King Henry VII. by that Charter did farther grant, That the Wardens of the Leathersellers of London should by themselves, or their sufficient Deputies, have the Search of all counterfeited Calves, Sheeps, and Lambs Leather, and all Workmanship concerning the same Mystery, as well in the City, as in all Places of the Realm, and of all misusing of the same Faculty or Mystery. Which by the Wardens own Confession before them was neglected, and not exercised according to the said Grant. Therefore the said Attorney and Sollicitor thought, in Law the Grant was voidable by Non usans. Yet so long as that Grant stood unrepealed, Darcy could not well have the Effect of his Grant from her Majesty (being, as they took it, the more reasonable for Reformation of Abuses then practised) unless he sued a Scire facias, for to repeal that Patent of King Henry VII. for Non user thereof: Wherein being negligent in the City of London, it was to be thought they had been much more negligent in all other Places.]

The Attorney General's Judgment of the Leathersellers Case.

On the North side of Hartstreet (between Monkwell-street and Cripplegate) stand six Almshouses, erected by Mr. Robert Rogers of this Company, and good Maintenance allowed the Inhabiters for ever. The oversight whereof is committed to the Leathersellers.


[ Click here to view Image of coat of arms, Pewterers' Company   ]

THE PEWTERERS were a Company, or Meeting of friendly and neighbourly Men, in the Time of King Edward IV. And in the 13th Year of this King became incorporated, Jan. 20. And from this King they have been still confirmed by all Princes since. The Roses on the Chevron are born with Stalks, Leaves, and Buds, omitted here. The Supporters are two Sea-Horses; the Crest two Arms holding up a Pewter Dish, or such like Plate. These granted by Robert Cooke, Clarencieux, and approved at a Visitation of London, Anno 1634.

J. S.

This Company used to cast into Bars such Tin as was to be transported out of the Realm. Whereby the Poor of the Company were wont to have part of their Living. But after, those Bars were made by Strangers beyond the Seas; whereby the Poor were greatly hindred. Which occasioned the Company, in the Year 1594, to petition the Queen, that they might have some lawful Interest in the Trade thereof towards their Living and Maintenance, being two Thousand People at the least. This Petition the Queen committed to the Lord Treasurer and the Lord Buckhurst. Who moving so many Doubts and Difficulties, and inforcing them to give the said Lords Satisfaction therein, three Years and more were spent in hearing and determining the same. As first, they examined, I. How the same might stand with the Good and Benefit of the Tinners of Cornwal and Devonshire. For which purpose they called before them the Lord Warden of the Stannaries; requiring him to confer with some principal Tinners of those Countries, and to certifie their Lordships of their Assent or Dissent thereto. Which was done accordingly with good Allowance of their said Petition, as a thing very beneficial to them: provided only, that it might be taken at their hands at a Price certain. Which was accordingly inserted in the Grant of the Queen to them.

The Petition of the Company about casting Bars of Tin.

II. Afterwards, the Lords were desirous to be further advertised, what Benefit or Prejudice might hereby accrue to the Merchant Transporters of the Commodity, or to any other using the Trade thereof. And so they wrote to the Lord Maior of London, to confer with such Merchants, or other Traders therein, as he should think fit. The Maior gave answer to these Lords, certifying that the Pewterers Petition was no ways prejudicial to any one of the said Transporters or Traders for Tin.

III. Then the abovesaid Lords were desirous to know, whether the same might be hurtful to the the Queen's Coinage or Custom, and conferred with some Officers of the Custom-house: And were by them fully resolved, that it would cause not only a Certainty, but an Encrease of her Customs, as well for Coinage as for Transportation.

IV. Then their Lordships objected, that this Grant to them, the Corporation of the Pewterers, might be injurious to the Generality of the Pewterers throughout the whole Realm. Of this they were fully satisfied by good Proof and Testimony made before them, that the casting of Bars had not heretofore been used or practised by any Pewterers of England, but only by the Corporation of London.

V. Then their Lordships required farther Satisfaction, whether the Wages or Allowance of one Halfpenny in the Pound, demanded for the melting and the casting of the same Bars, were not too great a Sum. And they heard divers Proofs and Testimonies made touching the same; that the Charge of the melting and casting of the same into Bars deducted, the Remain thereof was not found so great, but that their Lordships thought it a fit Relief towards the help of the said Company. And that in former times more than an Halfpenny was used to be allowed by the Merchants.

Then their Lordships finding a general Exclamation and Discontentment against Patents of Privilege, thought fit to be advised by the Attorney General, whether this Patent might stand with the Laws and Statutes of the Realm, or not. Of which being resolved, they committed to the said Attorney the drawing of the Patent. And yet fearing lest some Inconvenience might escape them, which Time and Experience might bring forth, they would not let it pass without a special Proviso for her Majesty to revoke, or annihilate it at her Will and Pleasure.

And so the Patent was engrossed by the Attorney General by order from the Queen: And being reviewed by their Lordships, and signed by them; and by them thought fit to pass the Queen's Signature at her good Pleasure. But she, when it was offered her, thought fit to defer the