[Companies.] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [Lands concealed.]253

[Companies.] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [Lands concealed.]

From the Year 1582, and some Years after, the Companies were again put to great trouble, a great part of their Lands and Tenements being in danger to be forfeited and taken from them, by reason of Sir Edward Stafford and others, who had obtained Patents from the Queen for finding out Obit and Chauntry, and Collegiate Lands concealed. Many of these Lands given by Act of Parliament to the King and his Heirs, 1 Edw. VI. the Companies were fain to purchase again of King Edw. VI. according to the Rent-Charges upon them, as was shewn before. But some other Chauntry Lands there were, which they held concealed hitherto; till certain prying Fellows (hoping thereby to make some Gains to themselves) had made Discoveries of them to these Patentees, commonly called Concelers. Who examined narrowly into all these Concealments. And what was discovered became the Patentees, the Queen having some small Part in Feefarm.

Concealed Chauntry-Lands taken away from the Companies.


Thus Anno 1582, two of these Concelers, named Adams and Woodshaw, discovered, that whereas divers of the Companies had upon the Act for Chauntries bought of King Edward VI. the Lands belonging to the Chauntries, and given to the respective Companies, and so enjoyed the said Lands as they had done before, they had concealed some of the said Chauntry Lands, and retained them in their hands, paying nothing for them. As for Example, the Grocers bought of King Edward VI. 67l. 1s. 8d. per Annum; for which they gave 1341l. 13s. 4d. and built the Weigh-house, which cost them 1100l. But these Men found, that the Lands belonging to Chauntries, in their Possession, amounted to 147l. 4s. 8d. What therefore remained of the Sum besides 67l. 1s. 8d. was by right the Queen's. Which she gave to the Patentees: out of which the Queen had 4l 10s. per Annum as a Fee Farm.

Lands concealed by the Grocers.

And so the Skinners bought of the said King, Rents of their Chauntries to the Value of 30l. 16s. 6d. per Annum. For which they paid 615l. 10s. Whereas there was now discovered to be Lands of that nature in their Possession of 101l. 8s. 8d. per Annum.

Lands concealed by the Skinners.

The Salters bought of the King Rents out of these Lands, per An.331803
For which they paid to the King,6880500
Their Lands now discovered to be per Annum,820108

By the Salters.

The Vintners bought Rents of the King, as before, per Ann.9 1500
For which they paid1950608
Their Lands now discovered to be per Ann.300000
Besides their Hall and 14 Almshouses passed to the Patentees as concealed.

By the Vintners.

The Drapers bought Rents of the King as before, per Ann.370510
For which they paid7461304
Their Lands now discovered to be per Annum1100700

By the Drapers.

And so of divers other of the Twelve Companies. All these Lands and Tenements of the Companies of London so concealed, the Queen passed by her Letters Patents to the abovesaid Adams and Woodshaw.

So that the total Sum of the Lands so passed was per Annum,8380406
Rents out of the same bought of the King by the Companies, per Annum3121603
Monies therefore paid to the King by them,56400008
To the Queen for all the same Lands by the Patentees in Fee Farm, per Annum, 22l.12s.04d.

Note, That the Value of the said Lands were here set as they were charitably let by the Companies, (which was one great portion of their good Deeds) but would be much more by Improvement. Also the whole yearly Value aforesaid, and the whole yearly Value of all the rest of their Lands, the Companies shewed that they did bestow upon the Poor, and upon Scholars, and other publick good uses; without employing any one Penny thereof in their Dinners, or other like Charges. But the same were wholly born of their Quarteridge, and the Wardens Charge out of their own Purses. As appeareth by this one Example of the Grocers here following.

The Companies bestow the whole Value of their Lands charitably.

The whole Rents of the Grocers per Annum,216 1404
To the Poor weekly, by divers Wills and otherwise in Alms. }
To the Schoolmaster, Usher, and Almsmen at Owndel. }
To poor Scholars in the Universities. }
For Fees and Pensions of poor Servants of the Company, whereof they live,460000
Reparations of the School, Almshouses, and other the Premises,400000

Beside setting forth, entertaining and training of Soldiers, Provision of Armour always in store, and 400 Quarters of Wheat ever aforehand; wherein the poorer sort bear no Burden.

And so in like sort and proportion is to be said of all the rest of the said Companies.

Note also, That the said Companies are set by their Lands in Subsidy, 638l. And so do pay at every whole Subsidy, 128l. 10s. Which, accounting every fourth Year to pay a Subsidy, amounteth yearly, communibus annis, to 31l. 7s. And so if the Companies lose their Lands, the Queen shall lose more in Subsidy than the whole that the Patentees do give her for the Lands.

Item, If the Land be taken away, and so the Purchase of the Rents void, if her Majesty in equity repay the Sums that the King received for the Rents, it amounteth to 5640l. 8d.

In fine, there was no way for these Companies to enjoy these concealed, not now discovered, Lands, unless they would lay down Money and buy them of the Patentees. Nor would the Patentees be contented to have them valued according to the old Rents they went at formerly, and as let by the Companies, but according to what they might be rented for at that present; and so set the Value upon them at 20 Years Purchase. But several Companies contended with these Concealers. For many of these Lands were dubious whether they came under the Statute for Chauntries. At length some Matters of Law in this Cause were put to the Lords Chief Justices, Sir Christopher Wray and Sir Edmund Anderson.

The Companies buy their Lands concealed.

Wherein they gave their Judgments under their hands, That albeit Messuages were demised to Corporations of Mysteries in London, yet being appoint to Chauntries, Obits, &c. they were given to the King by the Statute Anno 1 Edw. VI. And then they gave their Judgments, that the Queen was entitled to certain Messuages in Controversy; and others they left doubtful, and cleared some others.

The Lords Chief Justices Judgments about these Lands.

Four Concealments were discovered in the Drapers Company: viz.

I. William