Strype, Survey of London(1720), [online] (hriOnline, Sheffield). Available from:
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The Stuart London Project, Humanities Research Institute, The University of Sheffield,
34 Gell Street, Sheffield, S3 7QY


[Cordwainers.] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT.213


der, but for a Maker and Seller of that Commodity. Secondly, That there were in those Times three sorts of Shoes worn, Shoes, Galoshes, and Huseaus, of whatsoever fashion they were, 'tis uncertain; but that one of these three sorts covered the Legs, or at least some part of the Leg, as others were for the Feet. And those perhaps for the Legs were the Huseaus, somewhat like it may be to the Buskin, or perhaps rather to the High Shoes, which Countrymen wear in some dirty, miry Countries. Thirdly, That the Shoes, Galoshes, &c. were with Toes of an extraordinary length, and sharp, called therefore Pykes, or Poleyns. And that the People, especially the better Sort so affected the wearing of them, that an Act was fain to be made to restrain the Length of these Pykes to a certain Measure; that is to say, not to above two Inches. Fourthly, That these Cordwainers had a Privilege, or at least a Custom, beyond other Tradesmen, to fit and sell their Shoes on Sundays and the greatest Holidays. Which was therefore now prohibited upon a Penalty.

This ancient Corporation in the Year 1577, built a fair and new Hall for themselves. And on Tuesday, July 23. the same Year, they made a magnificent Feast for their Friends; which they called, their House-warming. Here was present, among the rest of the honorary Guests, the Recorder Fleetwood.

This Company build a new Hall.

Of the Foreigners born, that flocked over into England, not far off from the beginning of Queen Elizabeth's Reign, many were of this Occupration of Shoemakers. Whereupon Anno 1576, this Company procured a Commission to enquire of certain Aliens born, being of the said Trade; First, Whether they were Denizens, or not. And if they were, then to enquire by whom they were so made. Secondly, Whether those Denizens being Strangers, had refused to pay to the said Shoemakers of London every Quarter, in the name of Quarteridge, 6d. according to a certain Decree thereof, made in the Star-Chamber, and confirmed, as they said, by Act of Parliament. Thirdly, Whether there were any Proviso in the said Denizens Letters Patents, binding them thereby to do and pay, as the Citizens ought for to do: And also, what Penalty and Loss the said Strangers ought to sustain thereby, not doing and paying as is aforesaid.

The Strangers Shoemakers: A Commission for them.

For the better understanding of the abovesaid, it must be known, that in the fifth Year of the Queen there was an Act made concerning Tanners, Curriers, and other Artificers occupying the cutting of Leather, that every Person, Stranger born, or other, using to convert Tanned Leather into made Wares, might thenceforth buy all kind of Tanned Leather to the intent aforesaid, upon every Monday in the Market at Leadenhall in London. Sithence the making whereof, the Shoemakers and Curriers, being free of the City of London, exacted 2s. yearly, as well of every English, as Stranger foreign Housholder, and 12d. upon every like foreign Journeyman, within three Miles compass of London, in name of a Quarteridge; contrary to the meaning of the said Statute, or any other Graunt. And for the better confirming of this Exaction, they practised with certain Foreigners, to condescend in the name of all the rest, although in truth without their Consent, to set down the same by an Order in the Exchequer. And thereupon, as was supposed, they made the said Foreigners free of the City. And other Foreigners they persuaded in their Hall to become bound in Obligation of 5l. for the true Payment thereof.

Quarteridge exacted by the Company.

Their Dealings with Foreigners.

And in a Parliament Anno 1575, they exhibited an odious Bill against the said Foreigners, as well English as Strangers; requiring thereby, that the Foreigners might be secluded and avoided from buying of Tanned Leather on the said Monday at Leadenhall Market, or in any other open Market in the City: To the intent that all such Leather should be bought at their hands, and not elsewhere: And the Foreigners should be restrained from bringing or selling any their made Wares unto any Honourable, Worshipful, or Common Person within the City of London, upon pain of Forfeiture of the said Wares; contrary to former Statutes, and against all ancient Usage and Custom.

Their Bill.

Whereupon the whole Company of Shoemakers inhabiting within the Liberty of the City of Westminster, as well English as Strangers, petitioned the Lord Treasurer Burghley, (who was High Steward of Westminster) Shewing, how they, all her Majesty's loving Subjects, charged with many Children, Housholds and Families, should utterly be impoverished, if the said Bill should take effect; and many Honourable, Worshipful and other People might be disappointed of such Wares, to their great Discommodities, and Enhancement of Prices for the same against the Common Weal. And for that they could not any wise obtain a Sight or Copy of the Bill, whereby to propose any Allegations or probable Matter, to subvert or reject the same. And for that they were poor, and a number of unskilful Persons, having no other Refuge under her Majesty, but only his Lordship, or to defend them; Therefore they prayed him to give his Furtherance and Aid in that High Court of Parliament, that they might continue and enjoy the Benefit of the said Market, and buying of Leather, as in the late Statute was exprest, without any Repeal of the same; and to occupy and retail their said Wares without Restraint, Exactions, Forfeitures, or Servility.

The Shoemakers of Westminster's Complaint against them.

This Controversy between the Shoemakers of Westminster and the Company of Shoemakers of London, continued the next Year. For the Company set forth Articles against those of Westminster. And they on the other hand gave in their Answers to those Articles.

The Contest between 'em continues.

Another particular Contest between them was, that the Shoemakers of Westminster made great endeavour, that the Company of Cordwainers of London should not have the Searching of their Wares, though the Queen by Letters Patents had granted to the Master and Wardens of the same Mystery, the Search and Correction of all Men occupying the same Art within the City of London, and three Miles compass. And this confirmed by an Act. To evade this Patent and Act, divers Strangers that made Boots and Shoes, did sue to Edward Dyer, Esquire, to have a Licence to be dispensed with, from all Contempts, Penalties and Forfeitures whatsoever, committed or incurred by reason of Force of any Article contained in that Statute. Which made the Company of Cordwainers in September, 1577, petition the Lord Treasurer, that no such Licence might be granted: That they might not be at liberty to make and work their Wares, contrary to good Laws and Statutes, and hurtful to the Profit of the Common People, and dangerous to the Wardens of the Company, by reason of a Penalty of 5l. to be laid upon them for every Default made by any Shoemakers in their Wares.

Shoemakers of Westminster would hinder the Company in their Search.

The Heats still grew between them. For the next thing you hear of them was, that the Free Shoemakers sued the Shoemakers in Westminster in the Exchequer. And these Shoemakers on the other hand exhibited a Bill against the Free Shoemakers in the High Court of Star-Chamber, upon divers Extortions by them supposed to be committed. For which to be quit with them again, the Free Shoemakers indicted them at a Sessions of the Peace held in the County of Middlesex, alledging, that the Repair that the Shoemakers of Westminster had made unto their Solicitor, one Francis Sparry, was an unlawful Rout and Assembly, unlawfully to

They sue one another in several Courts.


© hriOnline, 2007
The Stuart London Project, Humanities Research Institute, The University of Sheffield,
34 Gell Street, Sheffield, S3 7QY