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The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [Silk-Throwsters.]234

The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [Silk-Throwsters.]

Throwers, petitioning to be made a Corporation. Which was as follows, "Anno 1621, April 17, Anno Regis Jacobi 19. Johnes Maior, Benet, Low, Leman, Cockain, Barkham, Prescot, Proby, Gore, Cotton, Hacket, Johnson, Hearne, Hamersley, Dean, Cambel, &c. Aldermen, Allen and Ducy, Sheriffs."

An Order of the Court of Aldermen for the Silk-Throwers.

E lib. suor. Statuor.

"This Day Mr. Alderman Barkham, Mr. Alderman John Gore, Mr. Alderman Haliday, Mr. Alderman Hearne, and Mr. Alderman Cambel, Committees, among others formerly appointed to take Hearing and Consideration of the Petition of the Silk-Throwers, did deliver to this Court a Report in Writing under their Hands, of their Doings and Opinions therein. The Tenor whereof is as followeth: Viz."

To the Right Honourable Sir Francis Johnes, Kt. Lord Maior of the City of London; and to the Right Worshipful his Brethren, the Aldermen of the said City.

"MAY it please your Lordship and Worships to be advertised, that according to an Order of this Honourable Court, We whose Names are hereunder subscribed, Committees, among others in the same Order named, have met about the Petition of the Silk Throwsters, recommended by the same Order to our Consideration: And upon the full Hearing and Debate of the Cause, and Conference had sundry times with the Petitioners themselves, and with sundry Strangers that use the Trade of Silk-throwing, it appeared unto us, that it is very necessary, that this Company should be made a Fellowship, as well for the governing themselves and their Servants in the matter of their Trade, as for the reforming of many Abuses, now used among them. And it will be a means, as we conceive, that Silk may be throwed, as heretofore Silk was that came from Bridges, and other Places beyond the Seas. The doing whereof doth and will tend unto the Benefit of the Commonwealth. Those that now use the Trade of Silk-throwing in and about this City, are increased within forty Years past * from three or four to above fifty in number. Of which number above three parts are Englishmen; and of them the most Freemen, and the rest Strangers. By which Silk-Throwsters, about 7000 or 8000 poor People in and about this City are employed and set a work, in winding and throwing of Silk (as we are informed.) For the bettering therefore of this Workmanship, and reforming Abuses, and to have a settled Government among themselves touching their Trade, by Order of this Court; and, as much as may be, to prevent the setting up of Intruders, such as have not duly and orderly served at the Trade, as Apprentices, according to the Laws of this Land, and Customs of this Honourable City, the Silk-Throwsters humbly desire to be made a Fellowship, and to have Orders and Ordinances made and confirmed to them by this Court, for the free Use and Exercise of their Trade, and for the better Government of them and their Servants. Which Fellowship they desire may be termed and called, The Fellowship of Silk-Throwsters of the City of London: and that out of the same, there may be yearly chosen two Rulers and six Assistants, for the more orderly and better Government, as well of those that now do, or hereafter shall, use the same Trade. Whereby good Work may be made, for the general Benefit of his Majesty's People."

*An. 1580.

7 or 8000 poor People employed.

Their Petition.

"This being the Sum and Substance of the Silk-Throwsters Petition, we have taken the same into our Consideration, and have also advised with Mr. Stone and Mr. Phesant about the Premisses: and both we and they do conceive, that their Requests are moderate and reasonable, and no wise in Prejudice of the City Government: and we hold, that the Petitioners are fit to be aided and relieved in this Court in this which they desire, being in point of Government of their Trade; considering that this Manufacture is grown of very great Use: by which many Thousands of poor People are employed and set on work."

"Howbeit we hold it meet, that such as are already Freemen, shall continue of the Companies whereof they are now free; and that they bind their Apprentices at their Halls, as they have accustomed: And that the Ordinances by which they are to rule and govern be first read, ratified and confirmed by this honourable Court: And the same Fellowship to have Continuance during the pleasure of this Court only, and no longer. To the Intent the same may be again dissolved by this Court, if any Inconvenience shall hereafter be found to arise thereby: Which yet appears not. All which we nevertheless submit and leave to the Judgment and Consideration of your Lordship and Worships, this 23d Day of March, 1620." And then the Aldermens Names are subscribed, Edward Barkham, &c.

The which Report being openly read, was allowed of, and ordered to be entered into the Reportory, and to be performed accordingly.

The Orders of the Company were also entered in the Book and Register of the Court at Guild-Hall, dated May the 15th, 1621. Jones, Maior, in these Words, "This Day certain Orders made and devised to be observed by the Fellowship of Silk-Throwsters, within the City of London and Liberties thereof, were here openly read, and ordered to be entered into the Reportory, and to be performed." The Tenour whereof is as followeth. And then follow the Orders at length.

The Orders.

This Fellowship the Court of Aldermen granted and confirmed under their Seal, the 4th Day of June, Anno Regis Angliæ Jac' I. 19. & Scotiæ 54.

After this, they obtained King Charles the First his Patent under his Broad Seal, in the Fifth of his Reign, to establish them a Fellowship. It set forth, "That whereas sundry Persons, his well beloved Subjects, using the Trade, Art or Mystery of Silk-Throwing within the City of London, had by their Petition shewed unto him, that above 50 Years past, the Trade began in the same City by some few Persons skilful therein. Who having entertained divers Persons, trained them up in the Use and Exercise thereof; insomuch, as they being for the most part Freemen of the City of London, and Natives born, were now become a great Company: And that about ten Years past they were Suitors to the Lord Maior and Court of Aldermen, that in regard the Trade was grown into great Use and Consequence, they might be made a Brotherhood as other Companies in like Cases had been: Which upon mature Deliberation was accordingly granted ---- And that now the said Silk-Throwers finding themselves too weak by the Power they yet have, to rectifie such Enormities, as daily happen among them, or to establish such Ordinances for the true working in the Trade as were requisite, without which they could not well subsist: And that the Number of 6 or 7000 Poor were daily relieved and set on Work in the said Trade: For redress of these Enormities, they humbly besought his Majesty, that he would be graciously pleased to make them a Corporation or Body Politic; for that the same might tend not only to the particular Benefit of the Company, but also to the general Good of the Commonwealth ---- KNOW yee, that of Our special Grace ---- We have Granted,"

K. Charles I. his Patent to the Silk-Throwsters.


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