The Smugglers' City
Department of History, University of Bristol


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Act to Establish a 'Fellowship of Merchants', 1467

Source: Transcribed and annotated by: J. Latimer, The History of the Society of Merchant Venturers of the City of Bristol (Bristol, 1903), pp. 16-18

p. 16

Heere followen the Actys and Ordinaunce made by William Canninge Mayor of Bristowe, John Gaywood, Shereff of the same, John Shipward the elder, William Coder, Phillipp Mede, John Wickham, William Spenser, and all the Common Counsail of Bristowe, for good, sadde, and profittable Rewle, of and uppon fower certeigne marchandize used in Bristowe, that is to saie, meat oyle, woll oyle, yren and waxe.

Anno Domini 1467 And in the seaventh yeere of the Raigne of Kinge Edward the fourth.

Firste, that everie yere within xx daies after Michelmasse, the Mayor and Shereffe for the tyme beinge shall do sompne the grete Counsaille, and by theire advyce and assente cheese a worschupfull man of the saide Counsaille that hath ben Maior or Shereffe of this Towne to bee maister of the felaweschipp of merchaunts within the

p. 17

saide Towne for the yere folowynge And to cheese alsoe other twoe merchants at large for wardeynes of the said yeere And alsoe ii Byddles which shall occupie as Byddilles and Brookers for the said yere, and to be attendaunt upon the said maister and wardeines atte such tyme as they ben called by theym or anie of theym And the saide Maister Wardeynes and Byddles to take thaire charge of the Maior for the time beinge.

Item the saide maister and ffelawshipp shall have and occupie atte thaire wille the Chappell and the Draughte Chameber apper- teyninge thereto in the Hows callyd Spyceris Halle uppon the Back of Bristowe There they to have theire Commynicacion of such matters necessarie and apperteynynge to the premisses The saide maister and wardeyns paienge yeerely for the saide Halle twentie shillings.

Item that all merchaunts of Bristowe schall be redie to come and appeare before the saide maister and felaweschipp att suche tymes reasonable as they ben warned to the common plaace to theym assigned and ordeyned for the good expedicion of the saide Rewle and Ordenaunce of and uppon the saide fower marchandices or eny of theym uppon paieng of leezinge of i lib. wax to the Master and felaweschipp atte every defaulte that they ben callyd if that they bee in towne.

Item such Rewle and Ordenaunce as schalbe ordeigned and establyshed by the saide Maister and felaweschipp in the price of syllinge by the Burgeys to any Estraunger of eny of the seid iiii marchaundizes That hit bee kept and observed by everie merchaunte Burgeis And in noe wise to bee brooke uppon the payne of xxs. for everie defaulte without mytigacion, halfe to the use of the felawschipp and halfe to the use of the Chameber.

Item that noe merchaunte Burgeys of this Towne sille none of the saide marchaundizes to enny Estraunger withynne the price sette by the maister and wardeynes and by the advyce of the felawe- schipp for the tyme beinge uppon the paine aforesaide for everie defaulte.

Item yf enny merchaunte Burgeys be in eany distresse whereby hee must sylle for his necessitie eany of the saide iiii merchaundizes That then the saide marchaunt Burgeys come to the saide Wardeyns or Byddills or to oone of thayme declareing his distresse And thaune if the saide Wardeynes or Byddills or oone of thayme kan not provide a remedie for his necessitie withynne iii daies next

p. 18

after his warninge That then yt shalbe leefull to the saide merchaunt Burgeis to sylle eny of his suche merchaundizes atte that tyme atte his pleasure without lett or disturbaunce of the saide Wardeins Bydills or eany other.

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