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CITY OF EXETER, .,„,,,„ 




WILLIAM COTTON, F . S . A . , 1^ \ ' 


exf:ter : 


1873- • 







Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2007 with funding from 

Microsoft Corporation 


The published histories of Exeter contain but one short para- 
graph relating to the most important of the Old City Guilds : it 
runs thus: — "1556 the Merchant Adventurers of this City- 
trading to France and beyond the seas were incorporated by the 
Queen's Charter." The Queen here referred to is, of course, 
Mary, but it is doubtful if this Charter conveyed any substantial 
privilege or had any effect in stimulating commercial adventure. 

The real foundation of the Guild dates undoubtedly from the 
original Charter granted by Queen Elizabeth, in which there is no 
reference whatever to a previous Charter. Certain services ren- 
dered to the Royal cause, in troublous times, is the only 
consideration expressed in the deed, for the privileges granted. 

The absence of any allusion to this Guild by local historians is 
easily accounted for. John Hoker, the historian of the time, was 
a member of the Society, and was bound by his oath not to reveal 
its affairs, and when Isacke, his successor, wrote, the Society had 
been dissolved and left no trace, beyond a few scattered references 
to be found amongst the Municipal Archives. It is not until our 
own day that the proceedings of these Merchant Adventurers 
have been disclosed, and perhaps a better time could not have 
been selected than the present, with its gigantic commerce and 
daring speculation, to look back upon the time when the English 


trader first ventured to freight his own ships, and, under State 
encouragement, developed into the Merchant. 

By the courtesy of the Master and Wardens of the Ancient 
Society of Weavers, Fullers and Shearmen, I have had placed at 
my disposal the minutes of the proceedings of the " Society of 
Merchant Adventurers trading beyond the Seas." These minutes 
are a record of transactions extending from the foundation of the 
Society to the end of the reign of Elizabeth ; the papers were 
discovered amongst the archives of the Weavers' Society. 

The commercial history of this period, generally speaking, yet 
remains to be written, and the interesting time whtn good Queen 
Bess was on the throne is treated of, by local historians, in a very 
scanty and summary manner. I have therefore thought it well to 
transcribe from these records, * verbatim et literatim,' what ap- 
peared to mc worthy of preservation, and the result is now 
presented to the reader with a commentary, (originally in the 
form of a Lecture delivered to the Members of the Exeter 
Literary Society) the shortcomings and defects in which will, I 
trust, be excused and lost sight of in the interest which should 
surround these episodes of a byegone age. 

It will be seen that three hundred years ago Exeter occupied 
no mean position in the commercial world, and that her Mer- 
chants were men of mark. Their enterprize and intelligence is 
conspicuous, and not the least in the great work, for those days 
of the Canal, which, commenced in 1563, eventually opened a 
way for the shipping from the sea to Exeter Quay. 

Apart from the convenience and saving of expense effected by 
thus being able to bring goods by water up to the walls of the 
City, there was the advantage of a snug and safe refuge, far from 


the estuary and under cover of the guns of the battery ; no 
mean consideration when the free rover would cut out a ship 
from Dartmouth Harbour, and carry off his prize. 

The term " Adventurer " apphed perhaps more to the prospect 
of the perils of the sea, and the contingency of loss by rovers 
and pirates, than to hazardous speculation in merchandize. We 
may fairly conclude that the judgment and caution of our Mer- 
chants prevented their being carried away with the adventurous 
enthusiasm of the times, and that their desire was to establish 
the " trade of merchandize " on a solid foundation. This is 
apparent in the anxiety to render those, who would at some time 
claim the right of admission to the Guild, worthy of membership, 
A long term of servitude was considered necessary for the 
apprentice, ere he could be trusted to set up for himself, and his 
interests and proper instruction had careful attention ; indeed it 
was not an unusual thing to send an apprentice to France, for a 
time, in order to acquire the language ; and this at the expense 
of the master to whom he was bound. 

Apait from the commercial phase, we have revealed to us, in 
these minutes, glimpses of the social life of the period, and 
there is frequent reference to names which are still associated 
with the City : Above all, we make some acquaintance with 
such historic characters as Raleigh, Drake, Davis, and the Gilberts. 
The Guild, probably, attained its greatest eminence in the 
next reign, and collapsed during the Parliamentary Wars. On 
the stone tablet in Bartholomew Yard, recording the consecra- 
tion of the burial-ground in 1637, the Arms of the Merchant 
Adventurers and of Bishop Hall, who performed the ceremony, 
are placed one on either side of the Arms of the City. 

viii. PREFACE. 

Three hundred years after his death is somewhat late in the 
day to pay a tribute to the memory of the Clerk to the Guild 
John Ffelde ; but I cannot help expressing admiration at the 
exquisite care with which the first half of this Minute Book was 
kept. The specimens of caligraphy are simply perfect, and 
render the work of transcription comparatively an easy task. 

With respect to the Illustrations, I have endeavoured, as far 
as possible, to give examples of the houses, v/hich, it may 
reasonably be assumed, existed at the time. Nos. 78 and 79 
Fore Street, Nos. 19 and 20 North Street, No. 46 High Street, 
and the corner of North Street with the figure of St. Peter, are 
still remaining, in good preservation ; the engravings are from 
original drawings by Mr. Geo. Townsend, as are also the old 
houses in Frog -Street, Westgate Street, and Red Lion Court, 
(since demolished), and the chimney-piece in Mallock's house. 
The representations of the Butchers' Row and the ancient 
Gates are from existing works. Northgate was removed in 
1769, Eastgate in 1784, Westgate in 181 5, Southgate in 1819, 
Watergate in 1615, and Broadgate in 1823. The last resident in 
the letter was the scavenger of the Close. 

The Portraits were prepared expressly for this work. The 
first process — photographing from the faded oil-paintings — was 
one of considerable difficulty, but it was successfully accomplished, 
and the lithographs therefrom present a close resemblance to the 
originals. I am indebted to the courtesy of the Mayor (to whom 
this volume is dedicated) for permission to reproduce all of these 
with the exception of Hugh Crossing, and for that to the kind- 
ness of the Rev. H. Newport, Head Master of the Grammar 



The representation of Exeter Quay in the i6th century is not 
entirely an ideal picture. The old maps in the City Muniment 
Room enable us to draw the general features with accuracy, and 
the details are easily filled in from descriptive and other sources. 
With a desire to be strictly accurate I must express a doubt if 
there was an archway, like that depicted, in the Battery Tower; 
notwithstanding, I have allowed the statement to remain in the 
text until too late for revision. In the earliest known map of 
the City no opening is apparent, but in Speed's later map there 
are indications either of traffic through the tower to the mill- 
leat, or, what is more probable, they represent the waste water 
running from the Conduit which is wanting in the old map. It 
is not unlikely that the name " Battery-steps " is derived from 
some passage leading from the higher to the lower level, through 
the tower. 

I am indebted to Moore's History of Devonshire for much 
information of a biographical character ; and have to express my 
acknowledgments to many kind friends for their aid and en- 

Statue of Hknry VII. See Page 52. 


Amye, E., 66, 67 
At^\ill, Lawrence, 36 
Archer, Jno., 149 
Aplj-n, airs., 152 
Aplj-n, Jno., 49, 82 
Alford, S., 55 

Babb, GefiFery, 64 
BaU, Nichs., 64, 67 
Barstable, Jno., 64 
Bath, Earl of, 44, 45 
Bath, Countess, 45 
Bedford, Duke of, 45 
Bedford, Earl of, 44, 50, 69 

118, 119 
Bedforde, Countess, 45 
Bevis, K., 43, 75, 160 
Bickersteth, A., 131 
Blackalle, 38, 55, 55, 141, 

162, 163 
BlackaUer, J., 42, 67, 159 
Blackaller, 66 
Bodley, Canon, 94 
Bodly, Sir T., 38 
Bodlie, Jno., 23 
Borough, AValter, 35, 141, 

Bowchier, Lady F., 45 
Boyer, Jas., 133 
Bridgeman, T., 75 
Broderidge, C, 83 
Browne, Thos., 31 
Bruarton, T., 42, 49, 156, 

Buckenham,\V.,27, 37, 173 
Buggins, W., 149 
Buggins, Jno., 119 
Buller, 38 
Buller, Jno., 25 

Galley, Illurey, 161 
Carey, Bishop, 52 
Carwj-then, Kd., 32 
Chaffe, 38,42, 93, 159, 165 
Chapell, 64, 150 
ChapeU, T., 49, 75, 119, 

Chapell, Wm., 42, 49, 159 
ChappcU, Jno., 43, 49, 75, 

Cockerham, P., 66 
Collishett, E., 125 
Cotton, 169 
Cotton, Robt., 26 
Crossing, Hugh, 37, 79, 

146, 15.3, 166, 
Croston, Jno., 40 

Dare, 64, 146 
Davis, John. 80, 81 
Davye, John, 40, 43, 44, 

49, 50, 55, 119 
Dennys, Sir E., 80, 149 
Denys, Lady, 45 
Dorchester, "E., 43, 49, 55, 

75,84, 143,146, 166, 167 
Drake, Sir F., 87 
Drake, Sir B., 90, 154 
Ducke, W., 67 
Ducke, Ed., 83 

Edwardes, Tho., 55 
Ellacott, 38, 42,43, 55, 75, 

126, 152, 160 
Eron, 173 

Essex, Lord, 45, 01, 128 
Evcrie, 130, 
Everj-ie, H., 67 

Ffelde, Jno., 125 
Fisher, T., 66 
Fitzwarren Lord, 45 
FoUett, 38, 75 

Gandie, Henry, 151 
Geare, 38, 68, 175 
Germ-yne, M., 42, 54, 141, 

162', 166 
Gilbert, Adrian, 81 
GUbert, Sir H., 85 
Glanfeilde, 131 
Grenewood, W., 148 
Grej-nfelde, Sir E., 45 
Gudridge, K, 73 

Hackwill, Geo., S8 ' 
Hackewill, Jno., 26, 38, 

49. 54, 75, 84, 143, 155, 
Hackwill, Eichd., 160 
Hackwill, Wm., 38 
Hawkes, J., 137 
Hayman, N., 67 
Hele, Jno., 37 
Henley, E., 66 
Hoker, Jno., 25, 35, 37, 47 
Horsey, Jasper, 55, 148 
Howell, Jno., 43 
Hull, Henry, 43, 161 
Hurste, Wm., 25, 31, 36, 

Hutchyns, 42, 49, 50 

Jopson, 77 
Jurden, A., 154 
Jurden, J., 38, 56 

Knight, Simon, 31, 37, 42, 



King James, 38, 39 

Lake, P., 158 
Lambell, !{., 170 
Lant, Jno., 36 
Leach, Canon, 94, 169 
liCach, Symon, 161 
Ix"ightc.n, Sir T., 67 
I^cvemiore, Mon-is, 26, 42 
Level-more, P., 42, 49, 50, 

67, 75 
Locke, Eilwd., 120 

Mainwaring, 79, 85, 86, 

Mullott, Jno., 50 
Martin, Jno., 40, 117 
Martin, Nich., 38, 39, 42, 

43, 49, 50, 54, 55, 76, 

141, 150, 160, 162, 163 
Martin, Kichd., 39 
Martyn, Thos., 31, 37, 38, 

39, 40, 42, 49, 50, 75, 
. 158 
Martin, Wni., 37, 38, 39, 

42,43, 49, 50, 54, 56,58, 

84, 147, 148, 150, 156, 

158, 163, 166 
Mauncell, Sir R., 168 
flavor of Pljinouth, 94, 

Medlandc, 76 
Mown, Sir \V., 45 
Mydwynter, Jno., 42 
Mydwyntcr, Robt., 42 

Newman, N., 67 
Newman, R., 92, 158 
Newlande of Totnes, 136 
Newcombc, 94, 148 
Newcombc, Wm., 169 
Napcrs, J., 51 

Owlcborrowe, C, 124 
Olvver, Eustace, 26, 31, 42, 

Paramorc, "NV., 64 

Parker, Wm., 1)8 
Parsons, Wm., 170 
Pockham. Sir G., 85, 86 
Pervman, 38, 42 
Peri ye, K.. 141 
Poriani, Sir AV'm., 35, 61, 

Pci-iam, Jno, 23, 26, 35, 

4;{, 49, 149 
Periam, Geo., 49 
Peter, Jno., 25, 26, 42. 
Petter, Robt., 161, 162 
Poulet, Sir A., 67, 
Pope, Thos., bb, 67, 68 
Pope, Jno., 42, 158 
Portugal, King of, 40 
Prestwood, Thos., 23, 26, 

128, 1C7 
Prowse, Kichd., 159 
Prouse, Jno., 37, 55, 61, 
Prouse, W. 61, 128 

37, 42, 55 
Pyll Jno., 20 

Raleigh, Sir. W., 80, 148 
Richardson, T., 42 
Russell, Lord, 23 

Samwayes, IL, 66, 67 
Sampforde, Jno., 4?, 49, 

50, 120, 146, 150, 155, 

166, 167 
Saunderson, Wm., 83, 149 
Sanaye, M'ni., 146, 166 
Saunders, ilr., 45 
Saunders, S., 83 
Sarerve, C, 67, 130 
Seldon, L., 129 
Selwood, Pliillibcrt, 66, 67 
Shapley, R., 137 
Shcre, Jno., 61 
Sherwoode, R., 76 
Skvnncr, J., 06 
Smith, Gilbert, 141 
Smith, Geo., 37, bb, 43, 

149, 102 

Snape, Revd. E., 91, 92, 

Snowe, Thos., 108 
Sonds, Capt., 94, 168 
Southcott, T., 83 
Spicer, T., 37, 43, 49, 

76, 155, 100, 102 
Spicer, Nicholas, 37, 43, 49, 

60, 51, 75, 81 
Spicer, C, 37, 43, 54 
Spicer, W., 37, 43,54, 166, 

Spurway, 38 
StafForde, Six- E. 
Stubbes, W., 49, 50, 51 
Swete, Rd., 04, 158 
Swete, R., 49, 76, 119 
Swete, Mrs., 152 

Tailor, Jno., 54, 155 
Toker, F., 1 1 9 
Toker, N., 119, 171 
Toker, Jno., 28, 29 
Trewyth, Wm., 26 
Trewe, Jno., 48, 50 
Trigge, Pawlc, 143 
Tryvett, L., 67 
Tryvett, W., 42, 49 
Tucker, Wm., 163, 164 
Tuckfield, Joan, 37, 55 
Turner, Capt., 107 

Vylvayne, Davyc, 119 
Vynton, Robt., 31 

Walker, T., 57, 43, 100, 

Walsingham, Sir T., 85, 

Watkins, John, 163 
Weekes, Jno., 140 
Welch, Wm., 154 
Wilforde, 143, 144 
Wyot, P., 45 
Wyso, Jno., 04 

Yarde, 38, 42, 49, 50, 64 
Yonge, Jno., 83 


Abbots of Buckfastleigh, 

Accounts, 176 

Act against stubbomess, 
&c., 28 

Action at Guildhall, 163 

Algarbe, 31 

Alman Ryvets, 120 

Almshouses, 36, 41 

Alneger's Fees, 79, 148 

America, Gilbert's expedi- 
tion to, 85 

Apprentices, 60, 92, 158, 
169, 172 

Arbitrators, 158 

Arms of the Guild, 11 

Armada, Spanish, 78 

Arrow Slits, 53 

Auditors, 55 

Average Money, 28, 57, 

Award, 170 

Axminster, 83 

Balance Sheet, 95 
Bampfylde House, 45 
Bar of Exmouth, 151 
Barnstaple, Town Clerk of, 

Bastions, 52 
Battery Steps, 53 
Bear Inn, 47 
Bedford Circus, 44 
Bedford House, 44, 118 
Behaviour of Citizens, 26 
Bell Hill, 47 
Bellman by night, 61 
Bishop's Palace, 52 
Black Assize, 89, 154 

Black booke, 56 
Bondsmen pay, 57 
Brawling and Fighting, 

Broker, 93, 161 
Buck, 120 
Buckets, 133 
Burial of Spaniard, 77, 143 

Calverley, 83 

Calyver, 44, 119, 120 

Canal, 48 

Canon Leach intercedes, 94 

CaiTving trade, 29 

Catherine St., 44 

Chamber vote sugar loaves, 

China, ti-ade with, 83 

Chapel Chamber, 32 

Chapel Chamber of Guild- 
hall, 25 

Charter granted, 23, 24, 25 

Charter, 1 

Chard, 66, 67, 83, 142, 161 

Charities, 35, 37 

Christopher of Dartmouth, 

Civic Guard, 44 

Clerk, 125, 136 

Clerk appointed, 60 

Cloth Merchants, 32 

Cocketcs, 148 

College Kitchen, 47 

College, Exeter, 38 

College, Pembroke, 39 

Commission to fit out ships 
76, 138, 139 

Company Establish* I, 25, 

Ccmmittoos to assess dam- 

agos, 143 
Contentions, 59 
Conveyance, 51 
Coombe, St., 46 
Corsletts, 44, 120 
Corn, 88, 89, 150 to 153 
Countess Wear, 48 
Councellor, 147 
Cranage, 49, 50, 51 
Crediton, 35 
Crecdy I'ark, 40 
Crokcs, 133 
Cullompton, 83, 148 
Customs abuses, 79, 145 
Customs duties, 79, 145 

Dartmouth, 32, 82, 83, 142 
Davis's adventure, 82, 83, 

Davye's Almshouses, 41 
Davye's House, 41 
Davye's Garden, &c., 41 
Dean and Chapter, 165 
Decorative fittings, 46 
Defence against Raleigh, 

148, 149 
Difiicultie3 with Brittany, 

136, 137 
Difficulties with Spain, 77, 

Dinner, 57, 58, 121, 122 
Discipline, 27 
Disturbed state of Channel, 

93, 94, 166, 168 
Douceur, 77, 94, 168 
Drake's letter, 87 
Drum bought, 61 
Dunkirks,'94, 166, 167 



Eaatorlinps, 30 
Election day, 64 
Embni.sures, 53 
Examples of IMinutos, 167 
Kxccssivo Duties, 97 
Exclusive trading, 177 
Excuse for taking oath, 

Exeter Sound, 84 ' 
Exe, 48 
Exmouth, 49 
Expedition to China, 82 

Famine, 58, 88, 89, 150 

Felts, 124 


Jno. Pyll, 26, 108 
H. Maunder's 27 
W. Buckcnam's, 27 
Non-attendance, 27 
Slackness, 27 
Absence, 28, 57 
Absence of Governor, 29 
Absence of Consulls, 29 
Not wearing gowns, 66, 

Quan-elling, 59 
Foul words, 58, 59 
Assault, 59 
Smuggling, 162, 164, 

173, 174 
Arbitrators, 158 
Leaving table, 174 
Adventuring, 174 
For admission, 174 

First election day, 25 

First venture as Ship- 
owners, 31 

Fish, 154 

Fleming, 154 

French Suit, 66 

Fustian, 124 

Gtables, 46, 47 

Gandv St., 46 

Gaol Fever, 89, 90, 154 

Gamett, 152 

Gascon Wines, 79, 147 

Gilbert Sound, 84 

Goblet, 27 

Goddes penv, 31 

Goldsmith St., 46 

Golden Hind, 89 
Governor of Brittany, 133 
Grammar School, 37 
Grey Friars, 43 
Guardships, 94 
Guernsey, 134 
Guildhall Portraits, 35, 36, 

Guildhall rebuilt, 90 155 
Guildhall, 32, 35 155, 163 
Gunpowder, 77, 120, 140, 

141, 142, 168 

Hall Merchants, 32 
Haven, 48 
Havre do Grace, 29 
Herring-bone work, 63 

Fleming Shipowners, 30 • 
High St., 46 
Hoker's Oration, 99 
Holy Howst, 144 
Honiton. 23 
House Money, 175 
Hurst's sen'ant, 116 

Imposition on "Wine, 147 
India trade, with, 83 
Infringement of liberties, 

93, 160 
Injuries by Spain, 143, 144 
Inns of Court, 39 
Inner Temple, 39 
Inquisition, 77 
In\entory, 34 
Italian Shipowners, 30 

Jan's Cross, 46 
Jersey, 133 
Juberaltarc, 32 

Kersaies, 124, 130 
Key of Topsham, 51 
King's Arms Sluice, 48 

Lack of Ships for Service 

of Mary, 30 
Larkbcarc House, 43 
Lease of Hall, 33 
Leads of Guildhall, 90 
Letters Patent to Gilbert 

and others, 8 1 
Letter to Totnes, 129 

Letters of Mark, 94 
Letter from Commissioners 
in London and Keply, 
64, 65 
Little Quay-lane, 47 
Londoa Guildhall, 142 
Lord Mayor's Proclama- 
tion, 26 
Lottery, 29, 109 
Lyme,'72, 142,161 
Lyncoln's Inn, 131 

Malloes, 134 
Mantlepiece, 46 
Maniagc of Lady E. 

Russell, 44, 119 
Martin, Jno., special ad- 
mission, 117 
Mariners' Wynduge, 120 
Martin, W., disbursments, 

Mary Arches, 38, 40, 41, 

Mayor, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39 
Merchants' Hall, 32, 33 
Merchants in Villages, 92, 

130, 150 
IMembcrs of Parliament, 37, 

Members, accession of, 94 
Mermaid, 83 
Midsummer Eve, 44, 118 
Miscellanea, 169 
Monopoly, 26, 29 
Monument Daly's, 40 
Moonshine, 82, 83 
Morlais, 134 
Morlais, Barkes in, 133 
Murder, 6.1 
Music, 90, 91 
Muster at Earl Bedford's 

44, 118, 1'19 

New Cut, 48 

Night Caps, 61 

North Star, 83 

North West Passage, 81, 


Oaths of the Officers, 19 
Old room, 46 
Oliver s History, 48 
Oration by Hokcr, 25, 99, 



Ostcnd, Siege of, 94 

Pampoole, 162 
Paneras Lane, 46 
Petition of P. Cane, 89, 153 
Pirates, 138, 140 
Plague, 29, 38, 110 
Policv of Elizabeth, 24, 30 
PoHcy of Guild, 27 
Poltimoro, 46 
Poole, 75 
Port, 51 
Port dues, conveyance of, 

Preacher, 91, 156, 157 
Preston St., 46 
Protest, 97 
Public Preacher, 91, 156, 


Quadrangle, 46, 47 
Quatre A''oix, 47, 
Queen's Ships, 76, 138, 

139, 140 
Queen's Watch, 44, 118 

Eaden Lane, 45 
Kaleigh's proposal, i49 
Recorder, 39 
Refusal to take oath, 93, 

Refusal to he Governor, 35, 

Relief for poor, 88, 152 
Rent of Hall, 33 
Reprisals, 77 
Restitution by Spain, 142 
Review, 44, 118 
Rougemont Castle, 52 
Rovers, 94 

Russell, LadyE., 44,119 
Rye, 88, 89, 150, 151, 152 

St. David's, 43 

St. George's Bell, 32 

St. George's Church, 47 

St. George's Chapel, 32 

St. Leonard's Wear, 48 

St. SidweU's, 43, 47 

Sandridge, 81 

Seal, 175 

Sergeant at Mace, 154 

Sergeant, 56 

Sherys, 32 

Shipping, 31, 47, 108, 111 

Siege of Exeter, 23 

Sumptuary Laws, 92, 159 

SmuggUng, 93, 124, 162, 

Snayle Tower, 53 
Southemhav, 43, 44 
South St., 47 
Spaniards, 78 
Southgate, 43, 47 
Spanish Company, 33, 78, 

80, 144, 145 
Special fellowship, 117 
Squii-rell, 87 
Stagnation of trade, 29 
Standing Counsel, 39 
Star Chamber, 164 
Statutes and ordinances, 14 
Stresse, 28 
Stubborne, 28 
Subscription for Corn, 89, 

Suit to France, C6 
Sunshine, 82, 83 

Tailors, quarrel with,' 25 
Taunton, 66, 67, 83, 142, 

Tawstock Court, 45 
Tiverton, 66, 67, 83, 142, 


Topsham, 48, 49, 50, 143 
Totnes, 66, 67, 83, 129, 142 

Totnes, Merchants' letter 

from, 62, 63 
Trade with France, 62 
Treasurer's Balance Sheet, 

Trer chard's Sluice, 48 
Trewe, Jno., 48 
Trew's Wear, 48 
Tucker's HaU, 46 
Turf, 4R, 

Unpaid debts, 175 

Yaliant Soldier, 43 
Vintners' Licenses, 80 
Vitterie Canvas, 124 
Waits. 90, 91 

Walk under Guildhall, 155 
WaU, City, 52, 53 
Watch, Midsummer, 44, 

Watercourse, 51 
Watergate, 47, 53 120 
Wharffage, 49 
Whitware, 162 
Whysselers, 119 
Widows, 152 
Will of EUacott, 126 
Winchester, Lord, 30 
Woodhouse, 47, 120 
Wood for Poor, 120 
Woollen Clothes, duties 

on, 146, 
Wj-ndage, 120 
Wynard's Hospital, 44 
Wyott's Diary, 88 
Yam Market, 47 


Exeter Quay . . - 

St. Pctoi-, comer of North Street 

Arms of the Guild 

Hoker, John 

The Guildhall 

Periam, John . . - 

Houses in Frog Street, West Quarter 

Old Houses at West Gato 

Borough, Walter 

Hurst, William - - ' - 

Crossing. Hugh 

Atwill, I^awrcnce . . - 

Old Butcher Kow 

No. 46, High Street - 

Chimney Piece in Mallock's House Gandy Street 

Comer of North Street 

The Watergate (Exterior) 

The South Gato (Exterior) - . 

The West Gate (Exterior) 

Entrance Gateway to the Castlo 

Statue of Henry VII., No. 266, High Street 

No. 78 & 79, Fore Street ' - 

Red Lion Court, Magdalen Street - 

The North Gate (Exterior) - - . 

The East Gato (Exterior) 

No. 19 & 20, North Street 

Staircase in " King John Tavern," formerly in South Street 

The Broadgate (Interior) 

Map of Exeter, at the end of the Book. 



Page ix. 

„ 13 



































Street , 





Albrccht, C. S., Exetor 
Andrews, Biggs, Q.C., Heavitree 

Barnes, Eev. Prob., E. H., Heavitree 

Bastard, B. J. P., Kitlcy, Plympton 

BattisMU, W. J., Exeter 

Bayley, W. Butter, Cotford, Sidmouth . . 

Bedford, His Grace the Duke of, 82, Eaton Square, London 

Biikmyer, J. B., Exeter 

Bocket, tlic Rev. J., Exeter . . 

Boger, Deeblc, Wolsdon Antony, Dcvonport 

Bodlcy, A., Exeter 

Brcmridge, T. J., Exeter 

Buckingham, Wm., Exeter . . 

Cann, Wm., Exeter 

Chanter, J. R., Bamstaplo 

Chichester, Robt., Hall, Barnstaple 

Clarke, Henrj-, Exeter 

Cole Cole, W., Exmouth 

Coleridge, Sir J. Duke, q.c., m.p. 

Cooper, George, I'xeter 

Cotton, J. K., Barnstaple 

Cotton, R. W., Barnstaple . . 

Cotton, F. J., 7, Bedford Row, London . . 

Dacie, G. L., Exeter 

Davy, Eras., Topsham , . , 

Dangar, Rev. J. G., Exeter Diocesan Training College 

Devon, Rt. Honble. the Earl of, Powdcrham Castle 

Drayton and Sous, Messra., Exeter 

Durant, R., Sharphara 

D'Urban, W. S. M., Albuera, Mount Radford 

Doidge, J. G., Lifton, Launceston 

Dymond, Robert, f.s.a., Exeter 



Ellis, Henry S., Exotcr 
Ellis, W. Horton, Exeter 
Eland, H., Exeter 

Floud, T., Exeter 

Foweraker, Rev. E. T., Exeter 

Galton, Rev. J. L., Exeter . . 
Gkare, John, Exeter 
Gill, H. S., Tiverton 
Gray, T. W., Hca\-itree 

Hamilton, A. H. A., Fairfield Lodge, Exeter 

Harding, Lieut.-Col., Barnstaple 

Harding, Joseph, Exeter 

Hay ward, P. B., Exeter 

Head, R. T., The Briars, Alphington . . 

Head, R. W., Exeter 

Hedgeland, Rev. Prebendary, Penzance . . 

Hippisley, J. II., Shobrooke . . 

Hooper, H. W., Exeter 

Huyshe, the Rev. John, Clisthydon 

Jackson, J., Southemhay, Exeter 
J&mes, H. M., Exeter 

Kendall, William 
Eingdon, Kent, Exeter 
Kingdon, G. C, Exeter 

Laidman, C. J., Newcastle-rn-TjTie 
Lewis, Charles, Exeter 
Lloyd, Horace C, Exeter 
Luke, A. F., Exeter 
Luxmoore, W., Jnn., Exeter. . 

Matthews, Heniy, Bradninch , . . 

Miles, W., Exeter 

Milford, Frederick, Exeter . . 

lUilne, A. D., Exeter 

Moore, W. D., Town Clerk, Lxeter 

Mortimer, W., Exeter 



Pennell, Dr., Vonbridge, Cheriton Bishop 
Periam, John, Bampton . , ... 

Pollard, F., Exeter . . . , 

Richards, "W. J., Exeter 

Snow, T. M., Exeter 

Snow, William, Exeter 

Snow, E. N., Exeter 

Shapter, Dr., Exeter 

Smith, W. T., Bai-ing Crescent, Heavitree 

St. Aubyn, W. J., Sheffield Barracks . . 

Strothcr, Rev. J. B., Alphington 

Teesdale, C. L. M., 18, Randolph Crescent, Maida Vale, London 

Thomas, J. L., Newhayes, St.. Thomas . . 

Thomas, H. D., Exeter .. .. 

Townsend, George, Exeter 

Tucker, Chas., Marlands 

Turner, C. H., DawKsh .. ., 

Varwell, Peter, St. Thomas . . 
Vieary, Wm., Exeter 

Wainwright, T., Literary Institution, Barnstaple 
Wilcocks, Henry, Spurbam, Mount Radford 
"Woods, Major, Devon and Exeter Club . . 


Page 42 line 2 for '■'John Hurst," read " William Hurst." 

, 61 „ 3 for " yohn Ellacott," read " Henry Ellacott.' 
" 76 „ 9 for " //4^ nations," read " otkemaXxons." 

„ 83 „ 6 for "Z?«<r/4<f," read "Z?7/f>f^." 

The Charter granted to the Merchant Adventurers 
OF the City of Exeter by Queen Elizabeth. 

Elizabeth by the grace of God Queene of Englande, ffrance, 
and Irlande, defender of the faith, etc. To all to whome this 
present wrytinge shall come greetinge, Knowe ye that wee, in 
consideracion of the good trewe and faithfull obedyence and 
servise, done by the maio' and citizens of our Citie of Excester, 
aswell in the tyme of o"" moste welbeloved grandfather Kinge 
Henry the Seventh : as nowe of late, in the tyme of oure wel- 
beloved brother Kinge Edwarde the Syxt, ageinst dyverse 
treasones and rebellions being moved and sturred in that dayes. 
And also for the speciall favoure and love which wee have and 
doo beere to oure welbeloved and faithfull subjectes, nowe 
citizens of oure saide Citie of Excester : Desiring the good 
contynuance and happie succession and increase of the same. 
And also for taking awaie, abolisshinge, and amovinge, of many 
and sundrie obsurdities and inconveniences which of late within 
the saide Citie hath cropen in and growen by reason of the 
excessive nomber of artificers and other inexpert ignorante and 
unworthie men which doo take upon them to use the arte scyence 
and mysterie of merchandise : and trafique of merchant wares 
to the greate detriment of the commonwealth of this oure realme 
of Englande. And also for dyverse other good considcracions 
especiallie moving us thereunto. Of oure especiall grace, 
and of oure certain knowledge and meere mocion : wee 
will graunte and ordeyne for us oure heires and successors ; 
and by thes presentes we geve especiall lycence, unto our 


welbeloved Robert Mydwynter, John Bullcr, William 
Hurste, John Blackall the elder, John Mydwynter, William 
Bucknam, Morrys Levermore, Walter Staplehill, John Peter 
thelder, John Wolcote, John Blackall, Richard Prestwood, Harry 
Maunder, Peter Lake, Thomas Lambert, Thomas Richardson, 
Thomas Prestwood, Symon Knyght, Eustace Olyver, William 
Chapell, Gilbert Saywell, Nicholas Martyn, John Vowels als 
Hoker, William Tryvet, Mychacl Germyn, Edmonde Whctcombe, 
Thomas Marshall, Edwarde Lymet, William Waye, John Bar- 
stable, Hubert Colwyll, Phillipp Yarde, Richard Zelwod, Richard 
Haselwodd, William Seldon, Thomas Spycer, Andrewe Gere, 
Robert Hunte, John Lawgher, Richard Mawdyt, Richarde 
Hockley, Harry Ellacote, Richarde Gybbe, Harry Robertes, 
William Hunte, John Hyll, John Budley, John Hychens, and 
John Hewet : Nowe beinge marchauntes adventurers of o"" saide 
Citie of Excester, and unto their successors marchauntes ad- 
venturers of o"" saide Citie for ever, and to others which are or 
shalbe of their Societie, one Governor and fower Consulls, which 
may the better governe and rule the state of all things belonging 
to the said marchantes. The which Governo' Consulls and 
whole Societie of Marchantes Adventurers of the saide Citie by 
the name of a Governo' Consulls and Societie of Marchantes 
Adventurers of the Citie of Excester, trafiquing the realme of 
fifraunce and dominions of the ffrenche kinge : That they be 
and shalbe one bodye corporate and politique and one whole 
companye in deede, worde, and name, and them and their suc- 
cessors wee ordeyne, establyshe, create, erect, incorporate, and 
unite together, by the same name, one bodye corporate and 
politique in deede, worde, and name, by thes presentes for ever 
to endure, and to have perpetual 1 succession. And further that 
oure entencion may take moore worthie effect towardes the 


benefyt of the saide marchantes, wee will and by thes presentes 
graunte that the forenamed and our welbeloved John Peter 
thelder, be and shalbe the fyrst newe Governo', and the foresaid 
and oure welbeloved William Hurste, John Mydwynter, Gilbert 
Saywell, and Symon Knyght, be and shall be the firste newe 
Consulls of the companye of the foresaid marchants. And 
furthermore we will, and by thes presentes graunte for us, o"" 
heires, and successors, to the saide Governo' Consulls and 
Societie, and to their successors for ever. That they and their 
successors, by the foresaide name of a Governo' Consuls and 
Societie of Merchants Adventurers of the Citie of Exon traffi- 
quinge the realme of Ffraunce and dominions of the Ffrenche 
Kinges, be hable and expert in the lawe, to searche out, to per- 
ceave, to receave, to have and to holde to theim and to their 
successors in fifee and perpetuitie, or by any other waies, to the 
better supportinge of the burdens of the forsaide marchantes 
daylie growing and happening ; as well of oure heires or suc- 
cessors, as of any other parson or parsons whatsoever (all kynde 
of goodes, cattalles, lordshippes, manors, mesuages, landes, 
tenements, advowsions, and other proffyetes and hereditaments), 
that will sell, geve, graunte, yealde, alienate, enfeoffe, or confirme 
the same, so that it do not excede, in the whole, above the 
yerely valewe of one hundred marks besides all charges and 
reprises, by the lycence of the highe lordes of the same. The 
statute of settynge of landes and tenementes to mortmayne or 
any other Statute Act, ordynance, proviso, proclamacion, or 
restraynt to the contrary before this tyme set forth, ordeyned, 
or provided, in any wise notvvithstandinge. 

And that the saide Goevrnor, Consulls, and Societie, by the 
saide name, may sue and be sued, defende and be defended 
answer and be answered, in all and singler actions, quarrells, 


sutes, and demandes whatsoever, as well reall and parsonall and 
myxt, or of what kyndc or nature so ever they be, and before 
whatsoever o"" Justice or Judge, or before every ou re Justices or 
Judges, or any other oure Officers or Mynisters of us, o"" heires 
and successors, or any other whatsoever within this oure Realme 
of Englande, or Marcheses of the same: or in whatsoever Courte 
and other place, and in whatsoever Courtes and other places of 
us ovre heires and successors, or of any other within oure 
Realme of Englande or Marcheses of the same. And that they 
have one common scale to serve in their busyns for ever in tyme 
to come. 

And farther we will and by thes presentes, for us, our heires, 
and successors, Doo geve and grannte lycencc to the Governo', 
ConsuUs, and Socictie, and to their saide successors, that they or 
the greater parte of the same marchantes maye yerelie and 
successivelie chuse and mak in every the syxt daye of August, 
one Governo' and fower Consulls, which shall remayne in their 
saide offices the space of one whole yeare: The which Governo' 
and Consulls (a Corporall othe beinge first ministred) the 
common affaires of the saide societie may and shall support, 
and have care of and of the same societie and misterie. As also 
of all and singular parsons whatsoever of the saide Citie of 
Excester, usinge the misterey of marchandise and merseres, and 
those that .shall serve theim their servantes, apprentises, and 
factors, and also the marchandise, marchant, wares, merceries, and 
every kynde of the same to cause to be oversene, rewled, 
governed, and corrected, from tyme to tyme as it shall seeme to 
theim expedient, accordinge to the lawes and statutes 
among theim made in this behalfe. And that they (as often 
tymes as to theim shall seeme expedient, for suche entent and 
purpose) may of theim selves, make lawfuU and honest assembles 


in all suche kynde of places and haules, as by theim shalbe 
erected or appointed. And that among themselves, they may 
make, setfurth, and ordeyne, as many and singler reasonable and 
holsome statutes, lawes, and ordynaunces, for the good rewle and 
governaunce of all their goodes, cattails, landes, tenementes, and 
hereditamentes, as of the Governo', Consulls, and Societie, and of 
all and singular parsons of the same societie, not only of 
occupiers but also of sarvauntes, and suche as doo serve in the 
same mystery ; as also for the correction and ponyshement of 
the faulctes in the same \\'hatsoever, as it shall seeme from tyme 
to tyme to theim best expedient. And also that the saide 
statutes, lawes, and ordynaunces, when and as often as they byst 
shall abolyshe, make voyde, frustrate, alter, and channge, and 
other newe statutes at their pleasure maye ordeyne, set, observe, 
and commaunde from tyme to tyme accordinge to their good 
discrecions as it shall best please theim. Soo that the saide 
statutes lawes and ordynaunces, or any parte or partes thereof 
'be* not repugnant or contrary to the customable lawes statutes 
and ordynaunces of oure Realme of England, or oure saide Citie 
of Excester, the which wee commande, and will to be observed 

And also we have graunted to the Governo' and his saide 
Consulls and Companye, and to their saide successors, that 
when and as often as it doeth happen, any or one of theim, the 
saide Governo' and Consulls, after being chosen into any of the 
offices aforesaide to dye before the determinacion of one whole 
yeare next and imediatelie folowing the daye of suche election, 
or before the prefixt ende of his continuacion in the saide office, 
or wyllinglie doo goo awaye from his office by any cause or 
meanes whatsoever, soo that he is not able nor cannot observe, 
fulfill, and execute his office and place accordinglie, Or ells yf hee 


or they doo refuse or iieclect to execute suche an office : That 
then the saide Governo'^% Consulls, and Societie, or the i^rcater 
parte of theim may lawfulHe and freelie be hable, and shall 
chewse and appoynte some other honest man or men of the 
foresaide companye, in the place of hym or theim so dyeing, de- 
partinge, refusinge, or neclectinge, for the residue of the yeare 
folowinge and contynewing : and that from tyme to tyme as 
often as it shall soo happen. And FARTHER of our ample 
grace, and for the consideracions aforesaide, as also for the 
greater quietnes and welth of the saide Merchantes wee will 
and by thes prescntes doo ordeyne and establishe and 
also forbyd, that none of the citizens or inhabitance of oure saide 
cytie of Excester, nether of the Countie of the saide Citie, of 
what estate, degree, or condition soever hee bee, doo from 
hensforth presume or dare to transporte delyver, shipp, or convey 
any kynde of marchandies, marchantwares, or mcrceres to the 
saide Realme of ffraunce or any other the Kinge of ffraunce, his 
dominions out of this oure realme, nor to bringe in or convey, or 
cause to be brought in or conveyed, by any mcanes, any kinde 
of marchant wares, mercercs, or marchandise, from the saide 
realme of ffraunce, or the frenche kynges dominions into this 
our realme (the marchanntes aforesaide onlie excepted) upon 
payne of a grevous fync,' or other kinde of punyshement 
upon theim reasonable to be set or done, except he be first free 
of the saide company accordinge to the determinacion in that 
behalf to be ordeyned. 

And farther, of oure more abundant grace, wee ordeyne, will, 
graunte, and by thes presentes doo firmelie adioyne and com- 
maunde That all and singler artificers of our said Citie, which 
will exercise, doo, and frequent the mysterie and arte of mer- 

» [Oure great displeasure] erased. 


ceries and marchandize, and doo request to be of the Companye 
of the saide Merchantes within three yeares next foUowinge be 
freehe adinytted and receaved into the saide societie and free- 
dome of the same marchantes, to use, have, and enioye the 
hberties and privileges unto theim graunted, without fine or sonie 
of money or any other kynde of thinge for the same to be paied 
and that in as ample maner and forme as here in thes o"" letters 
is speciallie noiated. So that after the receavinge or admyssion 
of any craftes man the same doo desiste and leave the exercise, 
occupacion and use of his handye crafte and mysterie. 

And in lyke manner we ordeyne, will, and commande, under 
the payne of a grevouse ffyne (for the greater benefit of the 
saide Marchauntes) that every parsone, by thes letters patente, 
incorporate or to be incorporated, and now erected or made a 
marchant and exersysinge, occupying, and frequentinge or using 
any arte or handyes mysterie doo dessiste and utterlie geave 
hymself from the exercyse and occupacion of suche his handye 
crafte, orells that hee utterlie leave the arte of merceries and 
marchandise and the exercise, use, and trafiquing of the same. 

And farther, consideringe that artificers and users of handye 
crafte and mysteries be necessarie members of a common welth, 
and wee desiringe therefore utterlie to take awaye and extingu- 
ishe many evells which in time to come may creepe in to the 
comon welth. Yf every artificer of the saide Citie of Exseter 
shoulde be suffered at his owne will and choyse and whensoever 
hee lyste to be receaved and admytted into the felowshipp and 
libertie of the saide Marchantes Adventurers ; wee ordeyne, will, . 
and commande, that after the terme of three years, next folow- 
ingt'^^e date of this our letteres patentes no parson of what 
estate^r condicion soever he be, be receved or admytted in to 
the societie and libertie of the saide Marchantes Adventurers 


except his admission and receaving be hadd and done b}- the 
common consent and assent of the Company of the saide 
Marchantes or the greater parte of theim to be done by pay- 
ment of some reasonable fyne upon the saide parson to be levied 
by the same companye and their officers for the better support- 
inge of the charges and expences of the same Governo', Consulls, 
and Societie day lie grovvinge and happeninge, except any such 
myght demaunde to be admytted and receved in to the saide 
libertie and societie by reason of his patrimonye or of his 
service done after the maner of apprentise even as the custome 
and order is of marchantes adventurers which doo frequente the 
lowe countries and province of fflaunders. And Moreover 
that the premisses and all statutes, lawes, ordynaunces 
and commaundementes of the saide Governo', Consulls, and 
Societie, may in tyme to come, be the better observed, done 
and obeyed : wee have graunted for us oure heires, and suc- 
cessors, unto the saide Governo' and Consulls, and to there 
successors full and authoritie (by the teano*" of the 
presentes) to make serche and serches, among all the trafiquors 
and users of the mysterie, or arte of marchandize, and of all 
merceries, marchant wares, and marchandises, of wayghtes, 
measures, and other thinges incident or respecting the said 
mysterie: And to make inquisicion, vewe, .and examinacion ; 
and of takinge and haveinge, correcting, and rtformynge of the 
defaulcte in the same, and of ponysshinge avid aSolysshinge the 
defaulcte by due and lawfull manes. And tha't pon the same 
offenders, ageinst the teano"" of thes o"" letters patentes or any 
other premisses, or ageynst the reasonable ordynaunce and 
honest lawes and statutes of the same Governo', Consv' ^^ and 
Societie to be ordeyned, as in forme aforesaide: to put, appoynte, 
sett, execute, levye, and commaunde, fynes, amerciamentes, 


paynes, penalties, imprisonmentes by bodye or goodes accordinge 
to the order and discrecion of the Governo' and Consulls, with 
thadvise and assistance of the Maior of oure saide Citie of 
Excester and fower Aldernrien of the same Citie for the time 
being, accordinge to the lawes of this our Realme of England : 
And the same fynes, amerciamentes, paynes, penalties, im- 
prisonmentes, and ponysshmentes, shalbe liable to remytt, release, 
moderate, chaunge, and alter, according to the discrecion and by 
thadvise of the saide assistance, when and as often "as neade 
shall requier from hensforth and as it shall best seeme to the 
same Governo' and Consulls with th advise of the saide assistance. 
Of the which fixes amerciamentes, and payments of money 
to be set and put upon suche offenders and transgressors 
for their contemptes offences or defaulctes as in forme aforesaide, 
wee will and graunte for us o heires and successors fifrom tyme 
to tyme, in every the feaste of Saint Mychaell tharchaungell 
thone moytie or halfendeale, to be levied and geven to the 
proper use and behofe of the Chamber of the Comynaltie of o'' 
saide Citie of Excester, in consideracion that the saide Maio'' and 
Aldermen of the same Citie doo assist and healpe the said 
Governo' and Consulls ffrom tyme to tyme in executing and 
doing the premisses. And the other halfendeale or moytie of 
the same wee will and graunt by thes presentes to be levyed, 
converted, and given (as in forme aforesaid) to the onelye and 
proper use and healpe of the Societie of the saide Marchantes : 
to be hadd and holden unto theiniof our gyfte, without accompte 
or anye other thinge to be rendered, paid, or done in that 
behalfife, to us, our heires or successors, anye statute, acte, 
ordynaunce, provisyon, or restrainte, hade, made, sett fourthe, 
ordeyned, or provided to the contrarye, or any other kind of thinge, 
cause, or matter whatsoever in any wise not withstandinge. In 


CONSIDERATION of all whiche and singular premisses as afore- 
sidc by us graunted, establyshed and ordeyned the same 
Governo', Consulls, and Societie, have graunted and faithfullie 
promised for them and their said successors that they and their 
saide successors will ycrely enlarge and distribute in tyme to 
come, unto twelve poore and impotent people of the saide Citie, 
twelve garments of clothe, that is to saye to everye of them one 
garment of clothe ; and that also from tyme to tyme (asmuch 
as in theim lyeth) will relyve and hea'lpc all suche of their saide 
Companye, as by infortunacie and force of the sea, or by other 
meanes doo faule into povertie or necessitie. Ffor that expresse 
mencion of the certentie or trewe yerelie valewe, or any other 
vale we, of the premisses, or any of theim, or of other gyftes or 
grauntes, by us or by any of our progenitors or predecessors to 
the foresaide Governo', Consulls, and Societie, or to any of 
them or others, before this tyme made, or in thes presentes done, 
doeth litle appere. Or any other statute, acte, ordynaunce, 
provisione, proclamation, or restraynte to the contrarye in this 
behalfe, before this set furthe done, ordayned, or provided, or any 
other thinge, cause, or matter whatsoever in any wyse notwith- 
standing. Is Witness whereof wee have caused thes oure 
letters to be made patentes. My self being witness given at 
Westminster the seventeenth day of June in the seconde yeare 
of oure reigne. 

Done by the Queen herself and of the date as 
aforesaid by authoritie of Parliament. 


The Arms of the Guild. 

The trewe copie of the graunte of the Armes geven unto this 
Societie by Clarencieulx, principal heralde and Kynge of Armes, 
etc., in the seconde yeare of the reigne of our Sovereigne Lady 
Queene Elizabeth, which is as foloweth : 

To ALL AND SIXGULER as well kinges, herauldes, and officers 
of armes, as nobles, gentlemen, and others which thes presentes 
shall se or heare, WiLLlAM Harvye, Esquier, otherwise called 
Clarenciaulx principall heralde and Kinge of Armes of the 
Sowthe Easte and West partes, of the Realme of Englande, 
Sendeth due comendacions and greetinge. Fforasmoche as 
auncientlie from the begynninge, the valiant and vertuous actes 
of excellent parsons hath byn commended to the worlde, with 
sundrie monumentes and rememberances of their good desertes 
amongest the which the chiefest and most usual hath byn the 
bearinge of signes and tokens in Shyldes called Armes, being no 
other thinges then evidences and demonstracions of prowes and 
valoure dyverslie distributed, accordinge to the qualites and 
desertes of the parsons : To thyntent that suche as have done 
commendable servise to their prince or contrey, ether in warre 
or peace, or by the laudable and couragiouse procedinges in the 
augmentacion of the estate or comen welth of their natyve- 
realme, or countrye, myght both receave due hono"" in their lyves : 
But also deryve the same successively to their posterities and 
successors after them. And whereas the Queenes moste royal 1 
majestic, consideringe the forwardnes and industrie of the right 
worshipfyll companye and felowshipp of the marchantes ad- 
venturers of her highnes Citie of Excester, who sekethe 
all the good meanes and waies possible for the mayn, 


tenauncc of the estate and common wclth of her Mat'" 
saide Citie of Excester, In consideracion whereof and for 
the further cncoragement of the saide marchantes hath 
erected, established, and made theim a Bodeyc pollytyke, 
And incorporated theim by the names of Governors Consulls 
Assistauntes and Marchants Adventurers and their successors 
in the saide corporacion for evermore by her highnes letters 
patentes under the Great Scale of England wherefore the 
premisses consydered. The saide Clarencieulx king of armes for 
a further manyfestacions of the same and also that it maye 
appere unto the worlde their laudable and coragious enterprises, 
so that they have well meryted and deserved to have assigned 
unto them tokens and ensigncs of honour for the further increase 
of their worshippcs ; whereupon the said Clarencieulx Kinge 
of Armes by power and authoritie annexed attributed geven 
and granted to me and to my office of Clarencieulx Kinge of 
Armes By letters patentes under the greate scale of Englande 
have devised, ordeyned, geven, and granted to the whole Bodye 
of the saide Corporacion whereof at this present tyme is Governor 
John Peter, Esquirr, William Hurst, John Mydwynter, Gilbert 
Saywell, and Symon Knight, Consulls : Robert Mydwinter, John 
BuUer, John Blackaller, William Bucknam, Maurice Levermore, 
Walter Staplehill, John Blackhall, Richarde Prestwoode, John 
Wolcot, Thomas Richardson, Thomas Lambert, Robert Chafife, 
Harrye Maunder, Peter Lake, John Vowell al's Hoker, Eustas 
Olyver, Thomas Marshall, William Chapcll, William Tryvett, 
Edwarde Lymett, Thomas Prestwoode, Nicholas Martyn, 
Thomas Spicer, Hubert Collwill, Michaell German, Richarde 
Hasellwoode, William Waye, Assistantes, and to all others 
Marchantes Adventurers named and recited in the letters 
patentes of their saide Corporacion, as by the same maye appere 
and to their successors in the saide Corporacion hereafter. The 
Armes and Crest with the supporters in maner as hereafter 



foloweth, That is to saye, azure A Castell standinge in the poinet 
wave ij Crownes in chieff gold, upon the helme on a torse golde 
and azure, A lyons paw guiz holding a grappell golde, the cordes 
gulz, mantelyd gules dobled argent, supported by a dolphyn 
argent fynned, tosked and wateled golde, and a porkepygge 
golde pened sable as more playnly apperyth depicted in this 
margent. To have and to holde the saide Armes helme and 
crest with the supporters, to them and to all those of the saide 
Corporacion and to their successors in the same forevermore. 
And they it to beare use and shewe in shyldes, banners, standers 
and otherwyse, to their worshippes at their lybarties and 
pleasures without impediment lett or interruption of any parson 
or parsons. In witness wherof the saide Clarencieulx Kinge of 
Armes have signed these pesentes with my hande and sett there- 
unto as well the scale of myne office as the scale of myne armes. 
Geven at London the fyrst daye of Julye in the yeare of oure 
Lorde God 1560 In the scconde yeare of the reigne of our 
sovereigne ladye Elizabeth by the grace of God Queene of 
Englande Ffraunce and Irlandc &c. 




The Statutes and Ordinances of the saide Societie 
devised by the governor consultes and companye. 

The Governor to 
cause his companye 
to be sommoned 

Every of the So- 
cietie warned to 
geve his due at- 

Every one of the 
Companye to geve 
his due reverence 
to the Govemo''- 

Inprimis That the Governo' and Consultes 
when so ever they shall see or have any occasion 
to call their Brethren or Companye shall appointe 
the Bedell or vvarners of this Societie to geve to 
every e suche parson or parsons a sufficient 
.warning or sommons. 

Item That every one of the said Societie so 
somoned shall geve his trewe attendance and 
dyligence at the tyme prefyxed unlesse he have 
a reasonable excuse and a lawfull cause to the 
contrarye, or at the furthest within one halfe 
howcr after that the Governo' and Consultes be 
com to syt in place, upon the forfect of fifower 
pence, and yf he so somoned come not at all 
then to paye for his absence syx pence, except a 
treasonable and lawfull excuse to the contrary. 

Item That every one of the saide companye 
when he cometh to the place or halle of assemble 
shall fyrst geve his dewe reverence to the Gover- 
no' and Consultes for the tyme being, and then 
to take his seate or place accordinglye and lyke- 
wyse shall reverentlie salute theim where and 
when soever he shall mete the saide Governo'. 

Item That none of the saide companye shall 
propone any matter to be commoned in the 
haule or place of assemble, but he fyrste do 
re/erentlie stande upp and so to saye his mynde. 


^ Item : That none of the said societie shall 

None to interrupt j interruptc any other of the Copanye as longe as 

an other telling his <^ he is telling of his tale, Nether yet to be talka- 

^^^^- tyve or yangeling upon payne to paye for everye 

.such offence two pence. 

The Governor to 
have a hammer. 

Item : that the Governo' having a small ham- 
mer in his hande, made for the purpose, when he 
Mall have scilence to be hadd, shall knocke the 
same upon the Borde, and who so ever do talke 
after the seconde stroke, to paye without re- 
dempcion : two pence. 

f Item : that the Governo' and Consultes shall 

No acte to be I make no acte nor ordynaunce for this Societie 

ma e wi ou e ^^^jggg there be twentie or the more parte of the 

more part of the | . . ... 

Assistaunce. Assistante Counsell ioyned with theim besides 

l^ other of the Companye. 

Every one to 
bringe his Brother 
to Church at Bury- 

Item : whensoever any of the saide Company 
shall happen to be maried or buryed, that then 
every one of his Brethren being lawfullie somoned 
shall geve his attendance to the Governo' and 
Consultes, and bring the partie in decent order 
to the Churche upon payne of every suche 
defaulcte to paye vi^: unless he have a lawful 
[excuse to the contrarie or lycence. 

Item : that no parson be taken or admytted 
to be a freeman of this Societie unless he be 
shortlie made free of the liberties of the Citie of 
Exon, well is to saye within one moneth. 



The eldest sone 

Item that the eldest sone of every fFreeman or 
ffreewoman of this Societie after his deathe shall 

have the pryvelejje of the freedome of this 
to have the pry- , i i • r 

veledge of this j Companye accordinge to the auncient liberties of 
freedome. the Citie, paying only the fifees of the house 

and Companye So that he do frequent and 
l^exercyse the trade of marchaundise. 

Every one free 
in this Companye 
to be resident with- 
in the Citie 

Item that no person admytted to the fifree- 

donie of this Companye shall enioye the same 

unless he be residunt, abyding and dwelling 

within the liberties of the citie or countie of 


Item that the Apprentice of every fifreeman 
or ffreewoman of this Companye shall be ad- 
mytted to the ffreedome of this Societie paying 
Every Appren- onelye the ordynarie ffees : Yf he bringe in his 

\. ^ e ree o .^ indentures and prove that he hathe well and 
this Companye , ^ 

trewlie served his maistere or maisteres being 

free of this Companye, by the space of seven 

'^ yea res. 

Item who so ever be admytted to the ffree- 
dome of this Companye shall at the taking of 
his othe paye or cause to be paied the some of 
fyve shillinges of lawfuU money for the ffees : 
The ffees of eve; y ^^'^ich shalbe distributed and devided in maner 
fireeman sworn. ^ ^^^ forme folowinge That ys to the Governo' 
I of the saide Companye for the tyme beinge 
j v\\]d, to the ffowcr Consultes to every of them 
vjV, to the Clerke viijV, to the Beddle v\\]d, 
and the residue being \\]d to the common cofer 
tor to the Treasurer to the use of the Societie 



The ffees of eveiy 
ffreeman swome 

Touchinge Ap- 

r Item yf any parson or parsons being free of 
this Companye do dye having any apprentises 
whose yeares and termes ys not then expired 
nor determyned Yf thexecutors or assignes of 
suche parson then dedd cannot iustiye clayme 
the service of suche apprentice or apprentices 
J by lawe during the residue of the terme to come, 
That then the Gaverno' and Consultes of this 
Companye for the tyme being shall by their 
dyscrecions put and set suche apprentise or 
apprentises to any other ffree parson of this 
Company whome he shall serve during suche 
tyme and terme as is yet to come of his ap- 


Item Yf any being free of this companye 
whose apprentise or apprentises have or shall 
have by indentures or otherwyse by co\enaunt, 
any libertie of occupie under their M""^ any 
goodes or stocke by the trade of merchaundise 
before the tyme of their prentishode expired. 
That every suche apprentice before he doo soo 
occupie the saide trade shalbe fyrst presented by 
his M"" before the Governo' and Consultes of this 
Companye, and to make ffyne for suche his 
occupyeing as they shall thinke good with thad- 
vyse of the Assistant Counsell, And thus shall 
he doo by hymselfe or some other everye yeare 
at the election of the newe Governo' and Con- 
sultes or very shortlie after : And every appren- 
tise wch doeth contrary to thfs order for every 
tyme shall lose and forfectxb to be levied upon all 
his goodes wheresoever it may be founde orelles 
to be commytted to pryson : by the discrceion of 

(_the Governo' and Consultes for the tyme being. 



Every one free of 
this Conipanye to 
aske leave of the 
Governor before he ^ 
commence any lawe 
ageinst any freeman 
of this Company. 

Item That every apprentise who shall during 
his apprcntischode occupye any stocke to his 
owne use shall from tyme to tyme paye the 
Towne custome as other foryners do. 

r Item Yf a;ny debate or controversie about 
any accompte or otherwyse doo happen betwene 
any of this Companye, That then the same 
variance to be revealed to the Governo' and 
Consultes of the Companye, who according to 
their discrecions may take ffurther order therein 
for the endying and appeasing of the same, which 
yf they cannot redresse : That then it shalbe 
lawfuU for the saide parties to procede in wager 

Land tryall of lawe : O relies not. 



The Othe to be mynistred to the . Governor and 


Adventurers of the Citie of Exon for the 
Yeare beinge. By the Maior of the said Citie. 

Ye shall sware That ye shalbe good and trewe to oure moste 
Sovereigne Ladye the Quene's Highness by the Grace of God 
Ouene of Englande Fraunce and Ireland defender of the faithe 
etc and to her heirs and successors Kings and Quenes of Eng- 
lande and ye shall upholde and maynteine all articles and 
grauntes comprysed in your Charter of Marchantes Adventurers 
and all other ordynaunces and statutes of y'^ same societie to 
the uttermost of your power for this present yeare following. 
Youe shall as often as is made require cause to be called to- 
gether y^ Companye or as many as shall be required to sit and 
consulte for the reformation of all complayntes or wrongs com- 
mitted or done by any of your Companye or others. Ye shall 
see to the uttermost of your powres that none of your Companye 
do sell deceitful wares or use any faulse weightes or measures. 
Ye shall geve in charge at your Assembles to all and every of 
your Companye that they be of an honeste and discrete be- 
haviour to the good ensamble of all the Quene's subjects. Ye 
shall dyscretlye and circumspectlie make and order such statutes 
and ordynances amonge yourselves as shall not be hurtful re- 
pugnante nor prejudiciall to the Lawes of this realme nor the 
common welthe of this Citie of Exon. Ye shall with favor and 
gentleness use offenders putting aparte all cruelness and dys- 
pleasure. All and singles these statutes ye shall well and truelie 
kepe. So helpe ye God. 


The Othe to hk mynystred to the Threasurer. 

Yc shalbc trcvve and faithfull to ourc Sovereigne Ladye 
Elizabeth by the grace of God Quene of Englande &c and to 
her hcires and successors Kingcs and Quenes of Englande, 
and to the Governo' Consultcs and Companyc of this Mer- 
chantes Adventurers of the Citie of Exon as the Threasurer of 
the saide Societic : Youe shall upon all reasonable somons be 
attendante upon the saide Governo' and Consultes unles youe 
have a lawfuU excuse : You shall safifely and trewelie kepe and 
governe all suche goodes money or somes of money and all 
other receites which shall or maye come to youre hands to the 
use of the Companie of the forsaide Marchauntes Adventurers : 
Youe shall aske trewe allowance of all suche charges and ex- 
penccs as youe have or shalbe at, during the tyme being 
Threasurer of this Companyc. Youe shall at thende of the 
yearc within one moneth after the syx day of August next 
commyng make youre accompte before the Governo' Consultes 
and Companye : And all suche goodes as shall then remayne 
in youre handes at the determynacion of your accompte youe 
shall then and there deliver into the handes of the Threasurer 
then being : All whiche articles and all others hereafter to be 
devysed touching your office you shall well and trewlie kepe and 
observe : 

OATHS. 21 

The Othe to be mvnstered to every one which is 


Marchantes Adventures of the Citie of Exester. 

YOUE shall swere youe shalbe good and trewe to our Sovereigne 
Ladye the Quenes Highnes Ladye Elizabeth by the Grace of 
God Quene of England Ffrance and Irlande defender of the 
faithe &c and to her heires and successors Kinges and Quenes 
ol Englande : You shalbe obedient to the Maior of this Citie 
of Exon and to the Governor and Consultes of this Companye 
of the Marchauntes Adventurers : You shall mainteine as muche 
as in youe shall lye all the liberties of the same being not 
preiudiciall nor hurtfull to the liberties of the Citie Youe shall 
come to the election of every new Governo' and Consulte Youe 
shalbe contributorie to all maner of charges, after your liabilitie, as 
youe shalbe taxed with all by the Governo' Consultes and 
Assistaunte Councele of this Companye : Youe shall not 
coulo' any foreyne goodes wherebye the Quenes highnes may at 
any tyme lose any parte of her custome or which maye be 
preiudiciall to the custome of the Citie : Yf youe shall knowe 
any maner of parson or parsones being not free of this Com- 
panye to transporte any marchandize growen or made oute of 
this realme of England or domynions of the same, contrarye to 
the graunte made by the Quenes highnes to the Marchantes 
Adventurers of this Citie of Exon, you shall furthwithe gevc 
knowledge and warnying thereof to the Governo' and Consultes 
of this Companye for the tyme being, or to one of theim at the 
leaste : Yf you shall knowe any unlawfuU assembles conventi- 
cles or conspiracies made ageyne the Quene's peace youe shall 
geve knowledge of the same to Mr. Maio"" of this Citie or the 
Governo' and- Consultes of this Companye for the tyme being : 
Yf any variance or controversie shall at any tyme happen to 


rysc bctwcne any yourc brethren of this Companye, youc shall 
put your helping hand for the pacificngc and assvvaging of the 
same : Youe shall sharplie rebuke and reprove bothe within 
this realnie and also in the parties beyondc the seas, all mens 
sarvantes or factors of this Companye yf at any tyme it shalbe 
your chaunce to see or knowe theim negligentlie ryottosHe or 
dysceytfullie to handle their maistersbusyncs and goodcs That 
with all spede convenyent youe open and reveale suche their 
mysbehavio"" and evel lyving and dealing to their masters, and 
not to conceale the same in any wyse Youe shall not dysclose 
the secret talke communed by the Governo' and Consultes or 
any of theim to be kept secret, which may be hurtfuU to the 
said Companye. You shall observe kepe and obeye all suche 
goode actes and ordynances as be, or hereafter shalbe, made 
and devised by the Governo'' Consultes and Assistante Counsell 
of this Companye for the gopd goverment and pre.servacion of 
the same Companye in all poinctes and articles as moche as in 
youe shall or may lye : All and singuler these articles, youe 
shall well and trulie observe and kepe as a freeman of this Com- 
panye, as longe as you shall contynuc a freeman of the same : 
So helpe youe God : etc. 


tJohn. HokeT, 

"Post t/iort:eirt' vilcu' 


an eit^abetljan ^uilD of tlje Citp of €^etrr. 

Ill the year 1549 this fair City of Exeter endured for a whole 
summer month the horrors of a siege. Beset by rebel fanatics, 
whose minds were affected, Hoker says, owing " to the sun being" 
in Cancer and the midsummer moon at full," and who numbered 
partisans and sympathizers within the gates superior to the loyal 
and 'well affected, the Mayor and principal citizens had enough 
to do to hold their own, and prevent the enemy from taking 
possession of the City. 

Lord Russell who had been sent down by the king to suppress 
the rebellion was at this time at Honiton, " in an agony and of 
a heavy cheer," prevented from moving for want of men and 
money. It chanced then that three Merchants of Exeter — John 
Bodlie, Thomas Prestwood, and John Periam — " understanding 
of his Lordship's heaviness and grief, did procure such a mass 
of money " as provided all that was necessary to enable him to 
march forward, disperse the enemy, and raise the siege: which 
was accomplished on the 6th August in the same year. 

This act on the part of the three Merchants, together with the 
steadfast loyalty of their brethren within the walls of the City, 
was not forgotten (direct reference to it being made in the 
Charter) ten years later, when Elizabeth, who had ascended the 
throne amid the hopes and joys of the whole nation, granted the 
Merchants of Exeter that Charter of privileges on which was 
founded the important Guild of the Merchant Adventurers of 
the City of Exeter. 

The mention of Elizabethan days naturally conjures up names 
which can never be separated from the history of our country 


With tlicsc we shall have but little to do, although West country- 
men may well be proud of them and should never be weary of 
the oft-told tale of glory and adventure in which they occupy so 
conspicuous a position. But there are other names, lost sight of 
and eclipsed by the brilliance of those surrounded by the strong 
light of romantic adventure and glorious achievement, which 
deserve a place in history, at all events, in local history, for they 
are inseparably connected with the dawn of that industry, that 
maritime commerce, and that legitimate enterprize which consti- 
tute the real greatness of this country. 

The policy of Elizabeth early showed itself in an earnest 
desire to encourage and develop mercantile interests, and 
although it has been somewhat generally accepted as historical 
fact that she stimulated the Merchants, by concessions and 
favors, to amass wealth in order that she might fleece them for the 
benefit of her favorites, yet, notwithstanding that there may be 
some foundation for the charge, it may perhaps also be assumed 
that, considering the great advantages they enjoyed, the Mer- 
chants were willing victims and complained very much less than 
their sympathizers of the present day. 

The Charter for the incorporation of the Merchant Adventur- 
ers of the City of Exeter trading to France and beyond the 
seas was granted by Queen Elizabeth within a few months of 
her accession to the Throne. It is a lengthy document and will 
be found in cxtaiso at the commencement of the volume. 

It may be easily imagined, considering the powers and privi- 
leges granted, that as the Company grew in strength and 
influence, a kind of " Imperium in Imperio " would be established, 
and that the laws of the Guild would become the laws of the 
City. Indications of this kind show themselves, and in more than 
one instance the Mayor of the City, although the greatest man 
in it, found that the Governor of the Company was a greater. 

The Merchants were not allowed to take up their privileges 


A endix without a struggle. No sooner was the character of the Charter 
known than the other City Companies, headed by the Tailors, 
combined to prosecute suits in order to upset it.' 

Nearly two years of confusion and disturbance ensued which 
well nigh drove the Citizens to distraction, until the cause of the 
Merchants, as might have been expected, with the royal determi- 
nation to uphold it, triumphed. John Hoker, the historian, one 
of the earliest members of the Guild, acted on the part of the 
Merchants, and when the settlement was completed unburdened 
^' his mind in a lengthy oration to the populace explaining the 
whole question, which is preserved in his own handwriting in 
the City Muniment room. 

The difficulties which delayed the signing of the Charter 
having been removed, it was on the 17th June, 1560, as recorded 
at the foot of the document, " Done by the Queene herself and 
of the date as aforesaide by authoritie of Parliament." 

In the beginning of the same year, seeing an end to their 
troubles and virtually assured of their privileges, the Merchants 
assembled and proceeded to establish their Company on a 
formal basis. John Peter found himself in the Governor's 
chair, and the names of other officials are duly recorded, in- 
cluding that of Mr. John Buller, Mayor, who was present 
ex officio. The only business before them is the application of 
three persons for admission to the freedom of the Company — 
one of them being an " apoticarie " — but they are put back for 
examination. On a subsequent day they are declared to be 
" hable ffyt and mete " and are accepted. 

The first election day under the Charter was the 6th of 
August, 1560, and the ceremony took place in the Chapel 
Chamber of the Guildhall, when Mr. William Hurste was sworn 
in as the new Governor, and there were forty-three members 

I Hoker's MSS. in the City Muniment room contain a full account of the quarrel 
and the suits resulting from it. 


Appendix present. The Courts for some years were chiefly occupied in 
settling controversies and disputes between the members, and in 
inflicting fines for breaches of the Charter. A permanent ordin- 
ance was adopted at the Courte kept xxvi January, 1561, when 
it was agreed that the proclamation and order made by the 
" Loide Maior of London conscrnyng the good and honest be- 
haviour of Citizens and Apprentises shalbe put in use by this 
Companye for the due observation of the same, and have chosen 
and elected 

Mr. Morris Levermore 1 
Mr. John Peter 

To make serche amonge all this 

Thomas Prestwodde ^ Companye, and to geve reporte of 

Eustace Olyver 
William Trevryth 
Robert Cotton J 

their doinges at this side Shroveltide 
next ensuying." 

Some of the old merchants did not at once perceive the 
advantage of joining the Guild, nor did they think the monopoly 
would be insisted upon. Mr. John Periam (of whom we shall 
hear again) was fined twenty marks for trading to France in 1562, 
not being free of the Company, and neither he nor John Hacke- 
will joined as brethren until ten years afterwards. 
II. John Pyll, who also infringed the rules, was astonished to 
find a " fiardell of dowlas " seized as a security for any 
fine that might be inflicted. He ridiculed the idea of pay- 
ing a fine, and " with scoffinge and tawntinge" demanded 
that his " ffardell " should be re-delVered together with 
13s. 46. for his charges. An order of committal to the 
ward-room of the Guildhall however brought him to his 
senses, and he tliought it best to submit and become free of 
the Company. 

Some delinquents not being provided with the necessary means 
for meeting the fines put in what was called a " paune." 

tJohrv Pertawb, 


Appendix "XXI Oct. 1 561.— At which daye Harry Maunder, being called 
to pay the iij/ xviijr ^d which he oweth to this Companye, 
brought a goblet sylver parcell gylte the foote whereof is 
broken awaye from it. And the same remayneth in the coffer 
with the bookes, and lyeth for a gage for the same, untill he 
bringe the saide money which must be on thisside the nexte 
Courte : which cupp wayeth xij oz." 

"XXVP^Maye 1562. — At which daye a goblett of Harry 
Maunders waying xij ounces and a halfe praysed at iiij\y \]d the 
ounce : amountcth in the whole to Ivjj- \\]d and Avas solde for the 
payment of his debt which was iijV xviiji" x^ So he oweth yet 
cleare the some of xxijj- vj^." 

"XXV"^ Oct. 1561. — Mr. William Bucknam brought in to this 
howse a pawne : A goblet sylver parcell gylte for the payment 
of iiijV xiiij.? \\\]d which he oweth to this Companye : And he 
upon his payment to stande to the grace and favo"^ of the howse." 

"XXVP'^ Maye 1562.— At which daye also a goblet of Mr. 
Bucknams which remayned in pawne for iiijV xiijj \\\]d was de- 
livered upon hys promyse made That he at his deathe shall and 
will geve to this Companye the saide goblet waying aboute 
xiiij oz or some other thinge worthe the same or better." 

This William Bucknam or, as Izacke spells it, Buckenam was 
an Alderman of the City at this time, and was probably the 
person of the same name who was Mayor in 1541. 

The policy of the Guild showed a determination to maintain 
the strictest discipline ; fines were inflicted for non-attendance 
(xijV). and for being late at Court or " his slackness " (vie/). 
Considering that the meetings were called at eight, and some- 
times as early as seven o'clock in the morning, it is not to be 
wondered at that the fines were rather numerous. Some of the 
members seemed disinclined to submit to being mulcted in this 
manner, and only yielded on being committed to ward. Severer 
measures were however necessary, and we find that at the Court 


Appendix held 27th March, 1561, confirming , fine of xij^ for those ab- 
senting themselves. The resolution continues : — 

" And forasmoche as some of this Companye standing stub- 
borne contemptious and flowtc ar to be restrayned with a more 
severitie : Yt is ordered enacted and decreed That yf any 
parson or parsons of this Companye being lawfuUie somoned and 
warned to apperc before the Governo' Consultes and Companye 
at any Courte before theim or the more parte of theim to be 
holden do firowardlie or contemptiouslye departe out of the 
towne without lycence obteyned or being within the Citie do of 
a lyke frowardnes contcmpte or dysdeyne absent hym selfe from 
the saide Courte : That then cvry parson so offendynge to paye 
for this his ffirst contcmpte and mysbehaviour the some of xs 
And for the seconde contcmpte to paye xxj And for the thirde 
contcmpte x\s And if he thenceforthe contynewe ffrowarde 
contemptuose or dysdeynefull to be theane dysmyssed from the 
saide Companye." 

" John Toker, the Bedell, presenteth the names of those who 
do absent themselves," " in consederation of hys paynes " he is 
paid 26j 8:2f per annum. At the General Court of 1562 four 
persons were committed to ward for not paying their fines, 
and subsequently a " stresse was taken and brought into 
Courte of Richard Modetts for his absence at Courte " 
which was a " tapnett of fifygges." In addition to any punish- 
ment, persons not paying their debts at the appointed time 
are to pay " over and besides " 2d for every shilling ovving. 
jjj^ There was an imposition called "Average Money," id being 
charged for every tun of wine and for every fardell of cloth 
shipped inwards or outwards of the port. The proceeds 
went towards the expenses of the house, but the accounts 
appear to have been loosely kept and cannot be depended 
upon. It was only when money was wanted that the Trea- 
surer became extremely active and resorted to stern measures. 

Frog Street, (West Quarter). 


Appendix After some years this " average money " was farmed out and 
brought in at i^ iJ'io or ;^I2 per annum. The rate was doubled 
and quadrupled before the end of the century. 

So little business was doing in 1566 that the Governor and 
four Consulls elect were not present. The first was ordered to be 
fined jC^, and the others 40^" each if they came not to the next 
Court. They did, 
IV. In August, 1568, the first Lottery instituted in England was 

supported by the members — sixty-four of whom took up ninety- 
six shares of los. each. Even "John Toker the Bedell" 
risked his hardly earned los. There is no record that any 
prize was drawn, but it would be a sufficient inducement for 
the Merchants to subscribe, in the fact that the proceeds or 
profits of the Lottery were to be devoted to the protection of 
the coast. A period of stagnation prevailed during the earlier 
years of the Guild, and it can be accounted for. The close 
of the war with France brought about a calamity worse than 
defeat. Our plague-stricken troops returning from Havre de 
Grace brought with them that terrible scourge. The soldiers 
dispersing to their own homes, in different parts of the country, 
spread the infection ; and, although the fatal disease does not 
appear to have reached Exeter until 1569, yet all communica- 
tion with London and the infected towns was cut off, and the 
citizens lived in an atmosphere of distrust and suspicion and 
Y fear. One may be sure that our merchants did their duty 
during those terrible times ; and if the account of our Treasurer, 
John Pope, " by reason of the sycknes in Exon " is omitted 
from the record, it was not from any sense of its falling short 
in liberality. 

There was one undertaking by the Company about this 

time which deserves notice on account of its historical interest. 

The carrying trade previous to, and in the early part of 

Elizabeth's reign, was almost entirely monopolised by the 



Appendix Italian and Flemish shipowners. It was the Queen's poh'cy 
to encourage and develop British maritime interests ; directly 
by concessions and proclamations, and indirectly by granting 
such charters as the Merchants possessed. Purchas, in his 
panegyric on the "Mother of England's sea greatnesse," says 
amongst other things in allusion to this subject, " thou freedst 
" England from Easterlings and Lombards borrowed legs, and 
taught her not only to stand and goe without helpe but to 
become helpe to our friends &c." 

The state of affairs in Exeter, the year before Elizabeth's 
accession, is disclosed in a draft answer to a requisition from 
the Crown, for ships doubly manned and doubly found to go to 

13 Jail. 1557. Draft ansiucr of Merchants of Exeter to 
Lord Winchester. 

"They cannot execute his orders because no man of the 
County and City of Exeter hath any ship of his own, nor have 
any commission to take up ships mariners victuals or any other 
thing appertaining to ships for the wars out of their own County 
and City," nor can they borrow money to do it, " bycause of very 
late and nowe it is yn hand that a great number of men as well 
within the Cetie of Exeter as yn the Countie of Devon do dis- 
burse to the Quene's mat'^ by way of lone a great masse of 
tresure." — (City Archives). 

Less than ten years later, fortified with the encouraging 
influence of an enlightened and patriotic government, our Mer- 
chants ventured on an experiment, which, whilst it freed them 
from dependence upon foreign aid, initiated that maritime enter- 
prize in Devonshire which, not long after, made her pre-eminent 
in this respect among all counties in the empire. 


Appendix Yhe following extracts will explain themselves : — 

16 July, 1566. "At this Courte the Governo' Consulls and 
Companye have taken two shippes to ffreight : one called the 
Michael of Excester owners of the same Eustace Oliver and 
Thomas Browne and thother called the Bartlemew of Exmouth 
owner of the same Roberte Vynton for xl tone apece : to go for 
velys malaga and ther to take in their ladinge, or a thisside (in 
resons). And the owner or owners of the shipp to have for 
every tone of ffreight the some of xlviijj to be paid at the 
retorne of the same shipp according to the charterpartes thereof 
to be made. And the said owners have covenanted to make 
readye the same shipps a thisside the xvth dale of August next : 
And the Marchauntes laders of the said shipps shalbe also readie 
by the same daie with their wares, and shipp the same upon 
payne on hym and every of theim that shall make defaulte to 
paye dedd freight according to his or their porcions." 

" And further upon conclusion and agreement of the premisses 
the saide Marchants gave to the owners to every of theim iiij^ in 
ernest, as a goddes peny : which the said owners gave backe 
ageyne to the Box to the behoffe of the Poore : And farther 
more the owner and owners of every shipp and barke before 
named have upon the saide agreement covenaunted and promised 
to geve to the house at their retorne this voyage the some of xs." 
" Also at the said Courte the Governo' Consulls and Company 
have taken a barke to ffreight called the Mary Martyn of 
Excester, owners thereof Mr. William Hurste, Symon Knight 
and Thomas Martyn for fortie tonne To goo for Algarbe in 
Portugal and ther to take in her ladinge in ffygges : And the 
owners to have for every tonne the some of (yve and fortie 
shillinges, to be paide at the Barkes retorne accordinge to the 
charterpartie thereof to be made : And the saide Owners have 
covenanted to make readie the saide Barke, a thisside the saide 
xvth daye of August next. And the Marchantes laders of the 


Appendix same Barke shall also be readye by the same daye with their 
wares and shipp the same, upon payne aforesaide," 

Court held 6 August, 1566. "Those which are appointed to 
take shipping for this yearc have certified at this Courte that 
they have taken to freight one shipp called the Margaret Car- 
wythen for Ix tone : oner thereof Richarde Carwythen : to lade 
wynes at Juberaltare or Shcrys, and the saide owner to have 
xliijj iiij^ for a tone." 
Yj "Also they have taken to freight the Christopher of Dartmouth 

for Ix tone, owner thereof John Prouse, to ladewynes at Juberal- 
tare or Sherys : And the saide owner to have xliiijj for a tone 
and a butt of hollocke for the whole freight." 

The Merchants' Company had a Hall of their own in which 
they elected the Governor and other officers, transacted their 
business, and dined on election days. This Hall must not be 
confounded with the Merchants' Hall, the property of the 
Chamber, which formed a part of the New Inn in High Street, on 
the site now occupied by Mr. Green's premises, which Hall had 
more the character of an open market or a place of general resort 
for the cloth merchants. " Oure haule,' the Company's Hall, 
is frequently alluded to in the minutes, and was well known, 
although diligent research has failed to trace its precise situation. 

The first meetings of the Company were held in the Chapel 
Chamber of the Guildhall, and it may be inferred that their own 
Hall, taken on a lease and furnished by them, was not far dis- 
tant, as the members were summoned by the bell (which still 
surmounts the Guildhall) of the Chapel of St. George, which 
formed a portion of the Guildhall premises. 

The following extracts from the minutes relate to this part of 
the subject : — 

Bellringing. — 18 May, 1587. "At this Courte it is ordered by 
the whole general itie that there shalbe yearly paid towardeS the 
ringinge of St. George's Bell the some of tenne shillings, which 



Appendix shalbe paid by o' Treasorer so longe as the same bell shalbe 
orderly runge (and no longer)." 

Rent of Hall. — 31^' March, 1579. "Also at this Courte it is 
agreed that John Samforde shall have the yerelie rent of iiijV 
for the Marchauntes Haule and the litle howse adjoininge to the 
same : whereof the Spanish Companye shall paye \s by the yeare 
and Marchauntes Adventurers of Exeter xxxj. And also it is 
agreed that the saide John Samforde shall have v markes for 
and towardes his charges bestowed in the saide haule." 

Courte held 21^' Nov. 1587. "Also at the same Court it is 
agreed that Mr. John Sampforde shall have xb in full and clere 
discharge of certaine rente dewe by the Spanishe Companie for the 
Merchauntes Haule, and thereuppon the said Mr. Sampforde hath 
delivered to this Companie one chest with twoo lockes and keis 
together with the seelinge bordes, formes, and all other impel- 
mentes remayninge and beinge within o' liaule {the glasse only 

Lease of Hall. — 6 July 1602. " At this Courte Mr. Sampforde 
for the consideracion of a vi/ xiijj \\\]d to be paid at the ffeast of 
S. Michael next doth graunt and lett to this Companie the hall 
for this Companie which they now use for thirttie yeares from 
the xxiiij'^ dale of June last past yf the said John Samforde 
his wief and John his sonne so long live for a yearlie rent of a 
iij/ vii- v\\]d quarterly to be paid. And if the said John 
Sampforde cannot graunte the said lease without a ffine to be 
levied, then the said John Sampforde is to paie the moitie of 
the said ffine." 

Inientory. — '■21st daie of November 1587. At this Courte an 
inventory is exhibited and brought in by Mr. Sampforde, Mr, 
Bevis and Mr. Applyn of divers goodes and impelmentes apper- 
teyning and belonginge to this Companie which is by order of 
the house delivered to o' Tresorcr Howell as doth hereafter par- 
ticulerly appere : 


Appendix Imprimis One Ansine of taffita sarcenet of yellowe and blcwe 
contg. tenne yardes franged with yellowe and blewe frangc. 

Item One scarf belongingc to the same for the Ansine bearer 
of yellowe and blewe franged at the ende with silke frange. 

Item One old Ansine of grene silke franged and painted with 
the Merchauntes Armcs. 

Item One other Ansine of carnacion and grene silke. 

Item A scarf of redd and grene silk for an ansine bearer contg. 
ij yardes. 

Item a scarff of blewe r\;?,'!';7,'] taffita contg, neere twoo yardes 
and half. 

Item a drome, a case of buckram, and two dromestickes. 

Item two staves for ansines. 

Item a tabell of the Merchauntes armes. 

Item XX lether buckets. 

Item a ladder and a iron crowke which is to be repaired. 

Item a faire tabell borde with a frame twoo ffair table bords 
of ferr iiij tressels to beare them eight longe formes and two 
shorter formes Avith drilled leggs. 

Item two bynches fixed to the whiles. 

Item the seelinge aboute the table and bynches to the same. 

Item halfe a dossen of grene kersey quishions. 

Item a olde carpet of greene contg. twoo yards quarter. 

Item a mallet for the Governo' to knocke. 

Item one mape. 

Item one chest with twoo locks and keys. 

23 August 1593. Quishions increased to a dozen also a tabell 
of actes made and devised by the Companie. 

Item one other newe carpet cont. 

Item a shorte forme. 

Item ffower joyned stooles and two foote stooles. 

Item a blacke boxe and exemplification of the previe scale for 
mittigatinge of custome upon kersaies." 

WcclieT Borough, 


Appendix It may be interesting to know what manner of men these were 
who composed this Guild. Hoker says they were the " chiefest 
and wealthiest men in the city." Fortunately we can go further 
than this and obtain a nearer acquaintance with them. The 
names of some of them are historical, the names of many are 
engraven on our memories by the charities they founded, and the 
features of a few are still preserved to us in their portraits which 
hang on the walls of the Council Chamber of the Guildhall. Let 
us take these latter first. There is — 

John Peryam, son of John Periam, twice Mayor, and one of 
the three Merchants of Exeter who in 1549, on the memorable 
occasion alluded to at the commencement, supplied Lord 
Russell with the means which enabled him to raise the siege of 
Exeter. You can read his character in his countenance — re- 
solute, energetic, imperious, a man who would have his way, and 
whom one would not care to thwart. He refused to accept the. 

^11- Governorship of the Company in 1585, because "he did not 
minde to remayne in this Cittie as an inhabitant, but to dwell 
at London where his howshold doth now remayne, and shew- 
ing other causes that he must nedes be absent from this 
Cittie for this yere or more." One of the " other causes " 
doubtless being that a residence near his brother. Sir William, 
the Lord Chief Baron of the Exchequer, was advantageous in 
more ways than one. He was, however, subsequently twice 
elected Governor — on certain conditions and protestations, 
which he insisted upon — and twice Mayor of the City. He 
was knighted, and died at his seat near Crediton. He left 
by will — amongst numerous other benefactions— ;!^ 1000 to be 
lent to five persons, being freemen of the Company, " especially 
to them of the meaner sort," ;iC200 to each for three years. 

Walter Borough, Mayor in 16 10. A fine, grave, handsome 
man, with Jewish features, closely cut hair and well trimmed 


Appendix beard. One is almost prompted to say, with Salarino, in looking 
at that countenance. 

'* Your mind is tossing on the ocean ; 
There, where your argosies with portly sail, 
Like signiors and rich burghers on the flood, 
Or, as it were, the jiageants of the sea, 
Do overpeer the petty traffickers." 

He was Mayor of the City on two occasions in the years j6io 
and 1 62 1, and his name is still "recorded on the list of our 
charitable benefactors. 

Loyal William Hurst, the first elected Governor of the Com- 
pany, and five times Mayor of Exeter — sufficient evidence of his 
amiable, courteous, and generous character if it were not written 
in his every feature. His son, who inherited his wealth, was 
too great a man to join the Guild, and is alluded to in a 
somewhat sarcastic minute, as Mr. William Hurst, Esquire, 
W^illiam Hurst's name is still remembered by us in connexion 
with the almshouses now situate in Spiller's Street. The 
original houses, which he built and endowed, occupied the 
site, just without the walls, where Northernhay Place now 
stands. (John Lant, another member of the Guild, further 
endowed these almshouses). 

Two Latin lines on William Hurst's portrait demonstrate that 
he was of humble origin and was not ashamed of it — 

"Non niihi lingua datur ; qua possim dicere nomen: 
Qualis eram : paucis : versa tabella tiotat." 

One naturally refers to the back of the picture and finds — 
Nothing ! 

Laurence Atwill, founder of the Almshouses which bear his 
name, and grandson of that Atwill who was five times Mayor of 
Exeter vnder four successive Sovereigns — 

" He saw five princes which the sceptre bore. 

Of these he was a magistrate to four."— Vilvayne. 

™ I ''I'm 

WiUtam Htcrst, 


Appendix Joan Tuckfield, in the uncomfortable dress of the period, but 
with jewelled head-dress and golden girdle to show her quality. 
Her husband was a member of the Guild, and she was a bene- 
factor to it, as well as to the City in other ways. 

John Hoker — who does not know John Hoker ? without whom 
Exeter would scarcely have had a published history. City 
Chamberlain, Burgess in Parliament, industrious, observant 
historian, his name should be a household word with us. The 
bright, intelligent face shows advanced life, but there is 
fire still in the eyes, and energy in the general expression. He 
is taken in the official robes, and wears a hat which is not 
only hideous, but enviously covers the best part of what must 
have been a good head. 

The portrait of Hugh Crossing, the founder of St. John's 
Hospital, is fitly placed in the Grammar School, to the Trustees 
of which it was presented by the Corporation. Hugh Crossing 
w^as a member of the Guild, and probably became governor 
early in the seventeenth century after the time to which the 
records extend. He was Mayor of the city in 1609, and again 
in 1620, and died in 1621 at the early age of 55. 

The portrait of Nicholas Spicer, which was formerly in 
in the Council Chamber, has been removed elsewhere. The 
name of the founder of Spicer's Charity is not, however, likely 
to be soon lost sight of He was a member of the Guild, as 
were his brothers Thomas, William, and Christopher, each 
Governor in his turn. Then we find the names of Thomas 
Prestwood, who died during his Mayoralty, and Thomas 
Walker once Governor and twice Mayor, who left by Avill 
towards endowing a free Grammar Shool i!^400. Also Simon 
Knight, John Hele, William Martin, George Smyth (who 
was afterwards knighted), John Prouse and Thomas Martin ; 
these all served as Members of Parliament for the City ; 
and we meet with such familiar names as Buckenam 


Appendix FoUett, Geare, Ellacott, Yardc, Buller, Blackallc, Chaffc, 
Pcryman, and Spurway. Of forty Governors in the reign of 
Queen Elizabeth, twenty-five were Mayors of the City — five 
thrice and three twice — sometimes holding both offices at the 
same time. 

Ignatius Jurden, who in King James' time, had become a 
great merchant of Exeter. He petitioned the King through the 
Bishop for the better observance of the Lord's Day, being dis- 
satisfied with the " Royal Book of Sports," which enjoined that 
the people might indulge in lawful recreation after Divine Ser- 
vice. His interference, however, so angered the King that he 
declared he would hang the fellow. He was one of the burgesses 
for the City in Parliament in 1624. It is recorded to his credit 
that when the plague visited Exeter with severity in the year 
1625, creating such consternation that the Mayor and all the 
principal inhabitants fled from the City, he alone, acting as 
deputy Mayor, remained firmly at his post. 

John Hackwill or Hakewell, merchant of Exeter. His eldest 
son, William, took his degree of M.A. at Oxford, was bred to 
the law, became a Master in Chancery and one of the Governors 
of Lincoln's Inn. He served in several Parliaments, wrote many 
learned works, and was executor of his kinsman, Sir Thomas 
Bodley. Another son, George, born in the parish of St. Mary 
Arches in 1598, was elected a Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford, 
and became Archdeacon of Surrey and Rector of Worcester 
College. He acquired great reputation by his writings, which 
were distinguished by their breadth and liberality of sentiment. 

The family of Martyn or Martin — spelt in both ways indis- 
criminately — was a notable one in connexion with the Guild. 
There appear to have been three brothers, Nicholas, William 
and Thomas. Nicholas, the eldest, was twice Mayor of Exeter, 
and twice Governor, but he survived his last election as Governor 
only six months — his brother William filling the vacant chair for 

Hufjfk Crosstna. 
Taken tn,J0'2J, cAt/ed SS. 


Appendix the remainder of the term of office. Nicholas was evidently a 
wealthy man and a bold successful merchant. He was the first 
to join in any proposed venture and usually held the largest stake 
in it. He was a large contributor to the relief of the poor and 
to other local objects. Seldom any important business went 
forward without his having something to do with it either as 
adviser or suitor. He left two sons, his exors, William and 
Nicholas — the latter was admitted a freeman of the Company in 
1599. William, born in 1562, entered Pembroke College, Ox- 
ford, 1579, and afterwards studied the law at the Inns of Court. 
He was made Recorder of Exeter in 1605, and was in good 
favor with the Court, until he wrote his " History of twenty 
Kings of England," which mightily offended King James. He 
was the author of several other learned works, and was a man of 
considerable literary attainments. The Company appointed him 
their standing Counsel, and from the liberality displayed towards 
him and from other evidence, " our Councellor," as he is called, 
must have been a great favourite. 

William Martyn the elder, twice Mayor, was twice elected 
Governor. He appears to have been the equal of his brother 
Nicholas in wealth and enterprise. During his second mayoralty 
he disbursed from his own resources ;^305 in obtaining a miti- 
IX. gation of customs' duties on woollen cloths. This was a large 
sum of money in those days. He had two sons, Thomas, a 
member of the Guild, and Mayor in 16 12. Richard, the eldest, 
born in 1570, went to Pembroke College (whither his cousin had 
preceded him) as Gentleman Commoner in 1585. He signally 
distinguished himself at College, and removed to the Inner 
Temple in 1588 ; became eminent in his profession, and was 
returned to Parliament in 1601. He was reckoned one of the 
most accomplished and witty men of his age, and so charmed 
the King; that he made him Recorder of London in 161 8. 


Appendix fhe third brother, Thomas, joined the Guild in 1566, and was 
Governor in 1577. 

Another of the name, and probably of the same family — 
X. John — was admitted by a special Act on the election day, 1597, 
in consideration of important services rendered in a law suit 
which the Company were parties to. 

John Davie or Davye, once Governor and thrice Mayor. His 
first mayoralty (and he was Governor of the Company the same 
year) was distinguished by a feast so magnificent, given in 
honor of the exiled King of Portugal, as to be thought worthy 
of historical record. He made a considerable fortune in 
merchandise, lived in Mary Arches parish, where he built and 
endowed Almshouses, and in the Church is still to be seen his 
monument with the following inscription : — 

" This marble monument and fading brass 
Might have been spared, for neither needed was, 
To stand a register to Davies name ; 
Who, living, did erect a fairer fame, 
And far moie lasting : Whose foundation 
Was firmly grounded on the corner stone : 
Whose bar was faith ; whose pillars piety ; . 
And whose engravings, works of charity. 
Then let the dead trust to a dying tomb ; 
But how can death in Davie find a room ? 
Whose soul in heaven alive doth aye remain 
Whose works on earth so many lives maintain." 

His grandson John was created a baronet in 1641, the title 
being continued to the present day, and now borne by the re- 
spected family at Creedy park, Crediton. 

In Mary Arches street and parish were some of the best 
private residences in the city, as we may infer from the records 
on the old monuments in the Church. Isacke (page 119) also 
informs us that a commission appointed to try one Jordan for 
high treason sat in trial at the house of John Croston, Register, 
in St. Mary Arches lane. The reader may, on inspection of 

^i) ^Jsa at. J J. 


Appendix the map, form his own conclusion as to the exact spot where 
John Davye's house was situate. The following extract from 
the City Records may in some measure help him : 

"The Chamber to John Davye, 23rd September, 1591, grant 
of two stables and gardens in Saint Mary Arches lane, between 
the said lane on the west, the highway next the city walls from 
Northgate to Friernhay on the north, the stables and garden of 
one Yorke on the east, and the gardens and stables of the 
Chamber on the south, which stables are now in the tenure of 
the said John Davye ; rent reserved, 12s. With a proviso that 
the said John Davye, after the death of himself and Margaret 
his wife, shall bestow the premises to the good of the "poor of 

Davye's almshouses, erected in pursuance of the proviso, are 
still remaining, on the exact spot where the stables referred to 
were situated, viz., in Bartholomew street, at the corner of Mary 
Arches street. The door at the entrance to the courtlage of the 
almshouses bears the initials "J. D." and the year 1592. 







1559. John Peter 

. 1557 1562 1575 

1560. John Hurst 

. 1561 1524 1535 1545 


1561. John Mydwynter 

1562. Morris Levermore 

. 1564 

1563. Robert Mydwynter 

1564. Eustace Olyver 

1565. Symon Knight 

• 1570 

1566. Wilh'am Chapell 

. 1569 1579 

1567. George Peryman 

• 1577 

1568. Thomas Richardson .. 

. 1566 

1569. Nicholas Martyn 

■ 1574 1585 

1570. WiUiam Tryvett 

. 1573 

1 571. Robert Chafife 

. 1688 1576 

1572. Thomas Prcstwood ., 

,. 1576 died 

1573. Thomas Bruarton 

. 1571 1580 

1574. John Biackaller 

1575. John Peter 

1576. John Pope (d.) 

Eustace Olyver 

1577. Thomas Martyn 

. 1581(1618?) 

1578. William Martyn 

. 1590 1600 1602 

1579. Philipp Yarde 

1580. John Hutchyns 

1 581. Harry Ellacott 

1582. John Levermore 

1583. Michael! Germyne 

. 1582 1591 




Appendix A.D, 

1584. John Davye 

1585. John Peryam, refused 

1586. George Smyth 

1587. John Peryam 

1588. Nicholas Spicer 

1589. Thomas Spicer 

1590. John Chappell 

1 591. John Howell 

1592. John Sandforde 

1593. Henry Hull 

1594. Richard Bevis 

1595. Thomas Walker 

1596. Richard Dorchester the elder ... 

1597. Christopher Spicer 

1598. Nicholas Martyn (d.) 

1599- (27th March) John Peryam, Mayor 

1599. William Martyn 

1600. William Spicer 

1 60 1. John Ellacott 





Thomas Chapell, appo 




1607 Q^^ 













These are the men we should meet with could we transport 
ourselves backwards to the Exeter of three hundred years ago. 
But should we recognize the city itself ? The city scarcely 
extended beyond the walls ; Southernhay, a ditch and a 
dreary waste ; St. Sidwell's parish comprising a few scattered 
houses, and St.. David's even less. An inn stood where still 
swings the sign of the " Valiant Soldier," and between that and 
Larkbeare House were scarce half-a-dozen small houses ; whilst 
on the other side, the monastery of the Grey Friars was the 
only building between the Southern gate and the open country 
and river. 

Two or three cottages, beyond the walls, marked the way 


Appendix to the Wynard's hospital, the last of the buildine^s on the 
Magdalen road, with the exception of the isolated Lazar house 
in the ditch just beyond. 

Within the city, on the spot occupied by Bedford Circus, stood 
Bedford House, the princely residence of the Earl of Bedford. 
The main entrance was from High street, through what is now 
known as Bedford street, across Catherine street, and under the 
massive gateway into the spacious quadrangle. The grounds, as 
nearly as possible, comprised the space included between Egypt 
and old Post Office lanes, Catherine street and the city wall. 
This is classic ground. Here, on Midsummer eve, at three o'clock 
of the afternoon, each member of the Guild was required to bring 
■ so many men with harness, arms and furniture, to set forth the 
XI. Queen's Watch — the annual review, as we should call it, of the 
Civic Guard. John Davie and five others were at one time 
officers in command, and twelve members were " Whysselers to 
goo with the watche and kepe them in araye," aided no doubt by 
the big " drome." 

Here, the Lady Elizabeth Russell daughter of the Earl was 
given in marriage to the Earl of Bath,' on which occasion the 
Xn. whole City yielded itself up to festivity, and high jinks were played 
on Southernhay. On this occasion as on all others our Guild was 
ever ready. It was resolved that one hundred and five calyvers, 
thirty-four corsletts, and five almon ryvets — these latter for the 
Captains — with the requisite number of men in armour " shall 
be provided for a muster or shewe to be syne before the Right 
Honorable Lorde therlc of Bedforde," and " that this Companye 
shall provide for everie calyver one pounde of the best corne 
pouther that may be gotten." 

'* Such as fear the report of a caliver worse than a stnick fowl 

or a hurt wild duck."— i Henry IV., Act /\, Sc. 2. 
" Put me a caliver into Wart's hand".— 2 Henry IV., Act 3, Sc. 2. 

I 7th August, 1582. 

No. 46, High Street. 


Appendix This Earl of Bath resided at Tawstock Court near Barnstaple; 
and in the diary of Philip Wyot, Town Clerk of Barnstaple 
(1586 to 1608), edited by Mr. J. R. Chanter, we find constant 
reference to the family, as his lordship took a prominent part in 
public affairs. The following extracts from the diary may not 
be without interest : 

" xi March, 1587. Lorde Fitzwarren, son and heire of Lorde 
Bath, died at Tawstock suddenly but xvi months old." 

"15 August, 1587. This day Ld. Bath's son was xtened 
called Robert Godfar, Sr Richd Greynfylde for Ld Chancellor, 
Sir Williem Mown for the E. of Essex, Lady Denys for the old 
Countes of Bedforde." 

" 1605. Oil Palm Sunday, 24 daye of March, dyed at Taw- 
stock, the Countes of Bath, and that night following she was 
buryed, but the solemnization of her funeral was deferred until 
some tyme afterwards." 

" The Monday beyinge the vith day of May, 1605, was the 
funeral of the late Elizabeth Countes of Bath solempnized at 
Tawstock, there came down from London three deputie harolds 
of armes, the principal mourner was the young lady Frances 
Bowchier, and there were viii other murners of the poorer sort of 
the same psh. ; Mr. Saunders, the Earl of Bath's Chaplayne did 
preach that day ; much meate and drinke eate and drank at 
Tawstock Court, all the poor had njd a piece and loaf of bread." 

Between Egypt lane and the Cathedral was the town house of 
the Abbots of Buckfastleigh (now occupied by Mr. Dawson) 
and the Archdeaconry residence, both structures remaining to 
the present day. 

Bampfylde House, north of Bedford circus, still exists, and its 
general plan can be easily traced. The small quadrangle in 
Bampfylde street, formerly Raden lane, into which the windows 
looked remains almost unaltered. Tn the year 1769, the Duke 
of Bedford, escaping from the fury of the populace — incensed at 


Appendix his supposed consent to a secret article in a treaty with France 
— found a refuge in this quadrangle. The garden belonging to 
the house was on the opposite side the way, where Ped rick's 
stables now stand. There are fine specimens of carved work 
existing, and the ceilings are in the elaborate style of the time. 
A grand old mantelpiece belonginrr to the dining hall was 
removed some years since to Poltimorc House, but it dates 
from nearly half a century subsequent to the time wc are 
writing of. 

Perhaps one of the oldest rooms in l'2xeter is that used as an 
office by Messrs Harris and Wreford, in Gandy street. The 
royal arms over the chimney-piece are those of Elizabeth ; on 
the left side are the arms of Roger Mallock, Mayor of P^xeter, 
1636, and on the other the arms of the Merchant Adventurers, 
of which Guild he was presumably Governor during his 
Mayoralty. The carved wainscot and cornice were probably 
added about the time of his mayoralty. The sumptuous deco- 
ration and expensive workmanship seen in these, as well as in 
the Tucker's Hall in Fore street hill, are excellent specimens of 
the period, and are evidences of the wealth and prosperity which 
abounded during the latter years of P21izabeth's reign, and 
throughout that of her successor. 

The best parts of the city in those days were Preston street, 
Coombe street, St. Mary Arches parish, the east end of High 
street, Gandy street, and Paul street. There was a fine house 
also by Jan's Cross in Gandy street, occupied, no doubt, by one 
of our city merchants, and subsequently by Gandy, who gave 
his name to the street. In St. Mary Arches street, Pancras 
lane. Goldsmith street, we have specimens of the main streets of 
the period, probably little altered as to width, but having no 
longer the heavy, projecting gables thrust out, so that opposite 
neighbours could shake hands from their windows. 

Chimney-piece in Mai.i.ock's House, Candy Street. 


Corner of North Street. 


Appendix " By this, where houses, whelving houses meet, 

And vault with beetle-brows a shelving street. 
Where stout St. Peter, on the corner stall 
Props the impending edifice from fall." — Mobiad, Canto 4, /. 72. 

The private houses had no windows in the lower story facing 
the street. The approach was through a gateway which led to a 
quadrangle whereon opened the windows. Sometimes a square 
of houses was built facing inwards towards an open space, 
the only entrance being through a gateway, which was carefully 
secured at night. These precautions were necessary in days 
when street lamps and watchmen were unknown. 

High street, with its picturesque gables, quaint buildings, and 
windowless shops, extended nearly, without a break, from the 
East to the West gate. 

At the " Quatre Voix " stood the conduit which distributed 
the water brought from the springs of St. Sidvvell's. Northgate 
street, on the one hand, and what is now known as South street 
on the other, were scarcely passable except for foot passengers 
and packhorses. The first part of South street, on the left, 
entering from the main street, was knoivn as Cook's row : 
proceeding through it we should have seen St. George's Church 
on the right, intruding far upon the roadway ; a little further 
down, on the opposite side, was the College kitchen, with the 
Yarn market in front of it, and, beyond, the extensive premises 
of the Bear Inn, surmounting Bell hill. Continuing our way 
to the South gate and passing through, if we turned sharply 
to the right, down the narrow path between the inner and 
XIII. outer defences — now indicated by Little Quay lane — we should 
have found ourselves outside the Water gate, 'Vith the store 
house adjoining, rented by the company from John Sampforde, 
at 6s 8d a year, for the purpose of storing the wood, which 
every winter was given away to the poor. 

Hoker says that, long before his time, vessels came to this 
Water gate on the top of the spring tide, but that St. James's 


Appendix wear and St. Leonard's (Trew's) wear then stopped the tidal 
waters. Goods were transported in barges from the craft which 
lay at arlchor in Countess wear pool, through the canal or " New 
Cut" as it was called, to King's Arms sluice and the landing 
place near the Custom house. A century later the canal was 
continued to about a mile above Topsham, opening on the river 
by Trenchard's' sluice, which was (done away with when the ex- 
tension to Turf was carried out in 1830. 

It may not be out of place here to record the indirect con- 
nexion of the company with a work, which would naturally be 
of vital importance to the merchants, viz., the shipway from the 
navigable Exe to the Quay. In Oliver's " History of Exeter" 
there is an account of the haven or canal, derived from a most 
carefully prepared memoir by the late Mr. P. C. De la Garde, 
From this we find that in the autumn of 1566 the first canal or 
water-course, constructed by John Trewe, was open for the navi- 
gation of vessels. It extended from a little below Countess wear 
bridge to Exeter quay, but being only three feet in depth, the 
largest vessels (if they may be called so) which could pass 
through did not exceed sixteen tons burthen. 

On 6 September, 1574, we find in the city records that 
John Trewe, in consideration of ^^229 and a yearly rent of £2)0, 
releases ' all that the new haven or watercourse with the appur- 
tenances uppon or neere the ryver of Exe ' and all his interest 
therein, to the Mayor, Bayliffs, and Commonalty of Exeter ; a 
reciprocal indemnity against liability in respect thereof being 
granted by the chamber. 

The absence of any allusion to the canal in the minutes of 
the company suggests the inference, that Ihey were content to 
leave the matter in the hands of the chamber, or that they had 

I Mr. Francis Davy, of Topsham, remembers entering tiie canal in a vessel through 
Trenchard's sluice. The gates were sometimes openel at ebb tide, and the water as 
far as Double locks allowed to flow out in order to scour the channel of the river. 


Appendix not acquired such a position as would warrant interference. It 
is not until 1577 that there is any reference to the subject, and 
XIV. then only with respect to the charges exacted at Topsham, which 
probably were retained as vested rights, and became extremely 
onerous when the Exeter quay and canal dues were superadded, 
'' 10 Julie, 1577. At this Courte the Governor, Consulls, and 
Companye, whose names are hereunder wryten. Did take order 
and agree that John Samforde a freeman of this Companye 
shoulde ride to London and there to be their Deputie to dcale 
for them and in their behalf accord inge to his discrecion with 
Mr. Stubbes, as touchinge the cranage, wharffage, selerage, and 
portage of all thinges belonginge and apperteyninge to the 
Bayliffweke of Topsham and to the ryver of Exmouth. And 
that hee shall have paied hym in hande at his goinge upp by 
John Davye, Treasurer of this Companye, v" towards his charges. 
And whatsoever some or somes of money that hee shall disburse 
laye oute over and besides whether it be to the said Stubbes or 
in consideration of the graunte of the premisses or otherwise it 
shalbe allowed and paid hym or his assignes at his retorne home 
or upon his bill at any time when the same shalbe demanded. 
And unto this all and everie the said parties hereunder named 
have geven their wordes to stande thereunto and to fulfill the 
the same. That is to say — 

Mr. William Chapell John Periam 

Simon Knight John Davye 

Thomas Bruarton John Samforde 

William Tryvet Thomas Chapell 

Nicholas Martyn Nicholas Spicer 

George Periam Thomas Spicer 

Thomas Martyn Richard Swete 

William Martyn John Chapell 

John Hutchyns John Hackewell 

Philipp Yarde John Aplyn 

John Levermore Richard Dorchester." 


App^nc IX Although Mr. Stubbes appears to have been vested with the 
privileges of the port of Topsham, the Earl of Bedford must 
have had some share in them, as the following minute shows, 
and it also indicates that the annuity of ;^30 to Trewe and the 
other responsibilities attending the new watercourse were trans- 
ferred from the chamber to the company, 

" II Nov, 1580. Memorandum that certen commytties here- 
after are appointed to have conference together and to bring in 
a note to the Maior on Monday next, how the some of xx''"= 
markes shalbe collected and paied yerelie to the Right Honorable 
the Earle of Bedforde for the cranedge at Topsham : and also 
for xxx" yerelie to be paied to one Trewe : and other rentes 
yerelie to be paid for the watercourse — 

Mr, John Hutchyns, Governor 

Mr. Nicholas Martyn 

Mr. Thomas Martyn 

Mr. John Davye 

Mr. Philipp Yarde 

Mr. William Martyn 

Mr, John Levermore 

Mr. Nicholas Spicer 

Mr. John Samforde." 

" Mem. That the xix'*' daye of November, 1580, the Companye 
being assembled ther was a bill reade : noted and drawen ouet 
by the commytties before named as rates upon certen mer- 
chandizes : for the saide some of xx''^ markes to be collected 
and paid yerelie to the saide Earle of Bedforde for the cranj'dge 
at Topsham, and other rente before resited, the coppie of which 
bill doo hereafter followe, viz." — (Not recorded). 

" II Jan. 1582, Whereas at this Courte John Watkyns hath 
brought in a bill of complaynt against the right Wor. Mr. 
Thomas Martyn, Maio', John Peryam, William Martyn, Jol 

Thk Wkst Gate (Extkrior). 

The South Gate (Exterior). 


Appendix Samforde, Nicholas Spicer, and John Napers alias Sandye, for 
certen money due to hym by the saide parties, ffor hys travell 
and charges defrayed aboute the nevve worke or watercourse of 
the Citie of Exeter, which he cannot receave of them. Where- 
fore hee prayeth to have lycence of this courte to recover the 
same by order of lawe. Therefore the Governo', with the con- 
sent and agreement of the generalHtie, hath geven hym leave to 
commence lawe and procede therein against the saide parties 
and everie of theim for recoverie thereof." 

The following extract from the Municipal Records shows in 
what manner the port was relieved of vexatious exactions, and 
completes the subject : — 

"6 Nov. 1583. William Stubbes of Ratclyffe, Middlesex, to 
the Mayor, Bayliffs, and Commonalty of Exeter, Bond in ;^400, 
to cecure a conveyance to the Mayor, Bayliffs, and Commonalty 
of ' all that the crane or key and cranage and sellers of the 
porte of Topsham with the appurtenances in the Countye of 
Devon, and the fyshinge in the water of Clyste in the sayd 
countye, together with all storehouses, sellers, soUers, roydet 
ground, and lande, and also all fees, offices, tolls, customes, 
pryvyledges, prehemynences, lyberties, profytts, and emoluments 
whatsoever to the said crane, key, and cranage, sellers, and 
fyshynge, or to anye of them in any wise belonginge, apper- 
taynynge or incident,' for the term of thirty years, granted to him 
by letters patent, i6th May, 25 Elizabeth. 

"Signed, W.. STUBBES." 
The conveyance in similar terms follows. 

As a walled and fortified city Exeter was probably better able 
to protect itself against external enemies during the earlier years 
of Elizabeth's reign than at any other period prior or past. If 
we may judge from the successful resistance to the protracted 


Appendix siege of 1549, the walls, towers, bastions, and gates must have 
been in excellent order. 

There was the Castle of Rougemont, almost impregnable in 
the strength of its position and defences : the approach from 
the city was by the great tower at the end of Castle 
street, which still remains a magnificent specimen of Norman 
architecture ; the imposing arch, now within the grounds 
of the residence of Mrs. Gard, must have gained still greater 
impressiveness from the deep fosse at its base winding 
away on either side. The steeply scarped ground up to 
the wall is now laid out in tasteful walks which lead to a look-out 
tower, A modern structure has almost entirely displaced the 
original, but sufficient remains to indicate its position and utility. 
Commanding an extensive view of the surrounding country, it 
was a convenient spot from which to direct sorties of the gar- 
rison by the subterranean way and sallyport close adjacent. 

Two bastions still remain in tolerable preservation, one in the 
grounds of the Club house commanding the approach from the 
north, and the other in the grounds of " The Vineyard," com- 
manding the south and e;ist. The city wall from Northernhay 
to the east end of Southernhay is no longer traceable except by 
a fragment which appears behind the premises of No. 266, High 
street. These premises were built of the materials taken from 
the eastgate which was removed in 1784, and the statue of 
Henry the Seventh which surmounted the exterior of the gate, 
now finds a place in a niche in the front of the modern building. 
At the back of the houses in Southernhay' the wall is still in 
tolerable preservation, and at the lower end, in the grounds of 
the Bishop's Palace, are the remains of the Barbican through 
which Bishop Carey, by an order of the Privy Council, obtained, 

I The level of the gardens behind these houses is about 12ft. below that of the 
in front. The fosse must have been of great depth, if we may judge from the made 
ground disclosed when the main drain was laid down. 

Entran'ce Gateway to the Castle. 

Thk Guild Ham,. 

Statue of Henry vrr. 

No 266, High Street, formerly on the Exterior Front 
of the East Gate. 

St. PetSr. 

Corner of North Street. 


Appendix Jn spite of tlic opposition of the Mayor and Corporation, an 
access to the open country in order to get the benefit of the air. 
The passage and wickets are still available, but are not now 
made use of.' A few yards further down are the remains of 
another tower, and adjoining are four embrasures the only ones 
to be found in the broken circuit of the walls. From this spot, 
' down to the Water gate, the wall may be plainly traced. The 
gate is gone, and the battery tower, protecting it and the ap- 
proaches from the river, is gone ; but the arch in the wall 
behind the Custom house, still known as " Battery steps," in- 
dicates either a sallyport, or what is more probable, a means of 
access to the leat for the purpose of obtaining supplies of water. 
Proceeding further, we follow the course of the wall to West 
gate, the site of which is easily recognizable, but beyond this it 
extends but a few yards, when a considerable breach intervenes 
till we reach Bartholomew yard. At the corner, now occupied 
by Paradise place, stood Snayle Tower one of the principal 
western look-outs. The wall affords a terrace walk, between the 
two cemeteries, from this to Bartholomew-street, where we see 
that the houses on the left have their foundation on the wall 
itself, which is plainly discernible at the rear as seen from the 
yard of the "Crown and Sceptre" Inn. Crossing the road, over 
the site of the old North gate, and proceeding up Northernhay 
street, we have the wall on our right, and in one spot, just below 
the stonemason's yard, we trace faint indications of loopholes for 
the discharge of arrows. When the building of the Albert 
Memorial Museum necessitated the taking down of a portion of 
the city wall, a section of it revealed a beautiful specimen 
of herring-bone work,^ a drawing of which was taken by Mr. 

1 The Bishop was required to build the bridge across the ditch on posts so that 
there should be no impediment to the flow of the water. 

2 The existence of this work, which was pointed out by Col. Harding to a party of 
the Archaeological Society visiting Exeter i86l, is evidence of the antiquity of the 
wall as it how stands. 



Appendix Q Townscnd, and is now in his possession. With the continua- 
tion of the wall to the castle we have completed the circuit. ^ 

The order of proceedings on election days will be best pre- 
sented to the reader by extracting, verbatim, a copy of the 
minutes of one of those occasions. The day selected has no 
extraordinary features, but is a fair example of the business 
transacted at these annual meetings. 

Sexto die Augusti 1597. 
" Thegenerall courte of thellecion of a newe Governor, Consulls, 
and other officers kepte and holden thevjth day of August 1597, 
and in the nyne and thirthieth yeare of the raigne of our 
Soveraigne ladie Elizabeth and accordinge to her Maties letters 

Mn Richard Dorchester, Governor. 

Mr. Michaell Germyn, "^1 
~ Mr. William Martin, i- Consulls. 
John Tailor, J 

Mr. John Hackwill, Treasorer. 

'* I n thellecion to be Governo' ^ All which have chosen to be 
for this yeare followinge, viz. : Governo' for this yeare follow- 

Mr. Nicholas Martyn y inge, viz. : 

Mr. Christopher Spicer 
Mr. William Spicer 

Mr. Christopher Spicer, 

Governo', Jur. 

3 Not many years since it was the custom for the M ayor and Corporation once in 
every year to perambulate the City walls — •" beating the bounds " as it was termed. 
Due notice was given for all obstmctions to be removed, and parly-gates to be 
opened, so that the worshipful body might have free passage. What, with encroach- 
ment in some places, and destniction in others, but little of the wall is left to walk 
upon, and thanks to the energy of so-called modemimprovers, at no distant period ajl 
trace of our historic monuments of the past will have been swept aA\ay. 

Nos. 78 and 79 Fore Street. 



Appendix "Iiitliellecion to beCoiisulls ^ 
for this yeare followinge, viz. 
Mr. John Blackall 
Mr. George Smith 
Mr. Nicholas Martin 
Mr, John Davy 

Thomas Blackall 
Thomas Pope 
Mr. John Prouse 
Samuell Alford 

" In the thellecion to be. 1 
Tresorer for this yeare follow- 
inge, viz. : 

Mr. John Ellacott 
Mr. Thomas Edwardes 
Jasper Horsey J 

And they have chosen to be 
Consulls for this yeare follow- 
inge, these fower persons here- 
under named : 
Mr. Nicholas Martin, 1 
Mr. John Davye, 

Thomas Blackall, r Consulls. 
Thomas Pope, 

And they have chosen for there 
Tresorer, viz. : 

Mr. John Ellacott, 

Tresorer, Jur. 

" Auditors assigned to take ^ At this Courte it is ordered that 
the olde Tresorers accompte. j Mr. John Ellacott, Tresorer 

this yeare, Jasper Horsey and Walter Burrowe shalbe 
Auditors to take and peruse the accompte of Mr. John 
Hackwill; Treasorer, the last yeare to be ended at or on 
thisside the next Courte, and to certifie the same at the 
saide Courte, and that they shall sett downe what the clarke 
shall have for writtinge extraordinarie this yeare. 

" Goodes delivered by the \ Also at this Courte Mr. Richarde 
olde Governo' to the new | L)orchester oure late Gover- 

Governo' ^ no' delivered in open Courte 

to Mr. Christopher Spicer our newe Governo' the Charter of 
the Companie, the letters of armes belonginge to the same, 
an Anuytie of Mr. Prestwoodes, the scale belonginge to this 
Companie and Mrs. Tuckfeildes kaie. 


Appendix "John Mallott took the othe \ Also at this Courte John Mallott 
of a ffreeman as an apprentice > the apprentice of Ignacius 

within his terme. / Jurdcn took the othe of a 

ffreeman as an apprentice Avithin his terme, and was sworn 
Jur., and paide the ffees of the Courte, viz. : vs — Md. That 
Kud was delivered Mr. Tresorer for the box and vjd for 
absence of Mr. William Martin, Jun', Consull. 

" Likewise at this present Courte there was a draught for an 
Acte reade, that everie ffreeman of this Companie that doth owe 
anie ffine or amcrcyament to this Companie the same being de- 
manded and not paide within three dales and written into the 
Blacke booke, to paie dubble, wch acte is referred over untill some 
other conveynient time. 

" xxij given to the S'iants ) Also at this Courte there was a 
of Lyme. ) colleccon made for this 

Companie for William Welch one of the Seriants at Mace in 
Lyme, which did amounte to xixj, and for as much as the 
saide poore man's daughter did marrie with Arthur Jurden 
a ffreeman of this Companie deceasscd, who hath left three 
children behind him, the saide Welch takinge uppon him to 
discharge the Cittie of the keping and bringinge uppe of 
the saide children, it was therefore thought good by the 
whole Companie that the saide some of xix.f shalbe made 
full xIj, and that Mr. Tresorer shall disburse towards the 
payment thereof xxjs. 

xij^ paid Mr. Tresorer. ... Md. That William Horsham 
and Peter Sampson paid ech of them xii</ for not wearinge 
there gowndes at thelleecon dale, accordinge to a certeine 
act hertofore made, uppon whose submission they had given 
them backe againe vjd a peece and so paide the Tresorer 


Appendix " iiijj' paid by Mr. William \ Also at this Courte Mr. William 
Spicer for John Chappell to ) Spicer paide for John Chap- 

oure Tresorer. pell, Jun'. to Mr. Tresorer 

for his quarterledge dewe the last yeare i'njs. 

" Twentie markes to be pd ^ At this Courte it is agreed by 
by John Morrys for the aver- | the Governor, Consulls, and 

idge this yeare. whole Companie that John 

Morrys shall have the averidge for this yeare followinge, 
that is to sale, from the vjth of August 1597, untill the vjth 
of August 1598, for twentie markes, and hath putt in sureties 
for answeringe thereof, Mr. William Spicer and David 
Bagwill, who took uppon them to seale to this Companie at 
the next Courte v/ith the said John Morrys cch of them a 
bill for payment of vj7 x'njs iiijW at the end of the said yeare. 

*' v/ paid by Alexander Ger- \ Also at this Courte Alexander 
myn and Robert Parr for > Germyn and Robert Parr 

William Tucker. / paid Mr. John Hackwill, 

Tresorer, v/, viz. : either of them Is, wch they gave there 
wordes and promis to this Companie for the broake of 
William Tucker, and praied that the same might be entered 
uppon the boocke to thende they might have recovery 
against the said Tucker. 

" Fforasmuch as these persons hereunder named did absent 
themselves at thelleccon daie, therefore they and evry of them 
shall paie accordinge to a certeine Act : 

George Drake, 

Phillippe Yeard, 

Oliver Tapper." 

The concluding — to some the most important — business of the 

XV. day is the Governor's dinner, towards the expense of which he is 

allowed the sum of five marks, and if he " doo provide a bucke 


Appendix to the said dynncr he shall have allowed him also xiijr iiij^for 
the same over and above his other allowance." He is also paid 
" five shillings to be bestowed towardes the pot to be boyled for 
the poore prisoners in the Queene's gayell." 

There are some amusing perplexities in respect of these 
Governors' dinners. It was no doubt a sacred point with the 
members that they should, first, take place ; and, secondly, if 
possible, on the 6th day of August, the memorable anniversary 
XVII. °^ ^^^^ raising of the siege of Exeter. Now Friday was a fish 
day, and Saturday was not a flesh day, and Sunday was not to 
be thought of; and at certain recurring periods it naturally 
happened that the 6th of August would fall on one of those 
days. To fix a day to suit everybody's convenience and be 
agreeable to the Governor was a problem not easily solved. 

In 1599 Mr. Martin the Governor was singularly afflicted. He 
happened to be Mayor at the same time, and it was the custom 
of the Mayor (as confirmed by the minute I consult) to entertain 
on Mondays. The election day happened to fall on a Monday, 
and the Merchant's Hall not being large enough to contain so 
many guests, or it being contrary to etiquette to entertam those 
not free of the Company therein, it was decided that the double 
banquet should be served in his own house. 

During the famine in 1596, the Court began to discuss the 
dinner question a month before the day the feast became due, 
and charitably decided that there should be " no dynner kept 
and that the money allowed for that purpose shoulde be imployed 
in corne and geven to poore householders ;" but, alas, for the 
weakness of all human resolves ! Not a week had elapsed ere 
the Court resolved that they could not give up the dinner, but 
XIX. the poor should be fed all the same, and 8/ Ss 6^ was voted for 
that purpose. 

But the real business of the Courte is transacted at the or- 
dinary meetings. 

<A ^'' -^ -^ i 

Red LiOiN Court, Magdalene Street. 


Appendix We are introduced to a somewhat disagreeable phase of the 
social life of the period by frequent references to contentions and 
quarrels. Religious differences would, of course, be a fertile 
source of acrimonious argumentation ; but the growing freedom 
of thought and action, and a commerce expanding under the 
genial influence of State encouragement (engendering keen com- 
petition and rivalry), would naturally lead to opinions too plainly 
outspoken, and disputes too warmly contested. A very strong 
XX regulation was established in 1572 against " brawlinge and 
ffyghtinge," which it seems had previously prevailed, and any 
witness of such unseemly conduct was required to present the 
same to the Court under a penalty of fine. Notwithstanding, 
we find that at the Court held 24th February, 1575, it was 
certified, " That not onlie John Levermore spake unseemelie and 
opprobrous wordes to Richarde Swete, but also that Richarde 
Swete spake the like wordes unto the saide John Levermore : 
Therefore it is agreed that ether of them shall paye his broke to 
the howse, accordinge to an acte heretofore made in that behalf, 
which is iiji injd a pece : And for that also there was unseemelie 
and uncourtuose wordes spoken at this Courte betwene George 
Periman and Thomas Martyn in the presence of the Governo' 
Consultes and whole Companye, therefore it is also agreed 
upon by the saide Governo', &c., that ether of theim shall paye 
to this Companye for their defaulcte therein iijs iiijV." 

At the same Court " Richarde Denys was presented for nastie 
and opprobrous wordes wch hee gave of late to Richarde Purye, 
being a freeman of Companye, at the Busshops Palace." 

In the following year John Davye the Treasurer was pre- 
sented " for unseemelie wordes, wh hee gave of late to Davy 
Vilvaine in Northinghay : wherefore it is adiudged by the whole 
Companye the said John Davye shall pay to this societie njs injd, 
so upon his submission and payment thereof the Governo' gave 
hym backe ageyne xvjW." 


Appendix In June 1576, it was "enacted, ordeyncd, and throughclic 
agreed upon, That whatsoever hee be, beinge free of this Com- 
panye, that doeth hereafter speake any slaunderous, unsemelie, 
or unhonest wordes, by any other his bretheren free of this 
Companye whether they be in presence, or beinge absent, that 
everie suche pson shall paye to this societie, for suche his ill 
behaviour, suche greate fifyne as shalbe thought good by the 
Governo', &c." 

In June 1593, "it is presented that Willm. Chappell did 
assaulte and stricke John Dipfordc " and was fined xvjj vVijd. 
In September following " Jasper Horsey doth present Pawle 
Trigge for spcakinge of unsemely wordes by hime," for which he 
had to pay iijs iiijdf, reduced to is on his submission. 

In July in the following year John Hackwill discovered that 

Clement Owleborrowe and his son had been guilty of adventuring 

XXI "*^^ being free of the Company, and was subject to " unsemelie 

wordes " from the delinquent, who was presented for both 


From the minutes we find the Clerk, John Felde, was ap- 
pointed at a salary of 13J 4^ a year — payable quarterly — with 
XXII. perquisites for preparing charter parties and indentures of 
apprentices. That " a new ansine of redd and grene sylke 
sarcenet" was purchased for £4 los ^d. That Mr. Doctor Tre- 
mayne interceded for Robert Prowse, and got his fine for a 
" broke " mitigated. That Morice Downe is to have the stock 
of the house, ;^20 (on loan), in consideration of great loss at sea 
by rovers. That apprentices trading on their own account 
shall pay 6s 8d to the house, 6d to the Clerk, and 4a to the 
" Bedell." That woman's rights were admitted when Widow 
Webber was lent the ^20 house money. 

Tliat an apprentice of a freeman was bound to claim the 
freedom of the Company within a year, under the penalty of 
;^io, and was also required to be free of the City. That every 

The North Gate (Exterior). 


Appendix son instead of the eldest only) of every freeman may be 

That i^s A,d annually was left by the will of John Ellacott 
■ for a " belman that goeth by night." 

That William Prouse was admitted a freeman at the request 

XXIV ^^ ^^^ William Periam, Lord Chief Baron of the P2xchequer, and 

John Prouse at the solicitation of the lOarl of Essex, and that 

the said John was subsequently fined for using " unseemlie " 

words on Northernhay. 

That there is much discussion on the reformation of kersaies 
XXV. and woollen goods, and we are suddenly startled by an order 
that James Boyer for " comittinge of a murder uppon one hay- 
^^VI. rnan ys by the handes of the whole Companie dismissed." 

We acquire also some information as to the value of musical 
instruments in the memo, that " Mr. Yarde hath bought a new 
drome at London which cost xlvijj- \\\]d and hath soldo o' olde 
drome for xxj." 

One minute discloses a curious mode of settling a difficulty : — 

" 1st July 1589. At this Courte ther was certaine con- 
troversie betwene the howse and Mr. John Blackall, concerninge 
certaine money by him demanded of the saide howse, which 
said controversie was before this tyme referred to the order and 
determinacon of Mr. Thomas Chappell, Maio', and Mr. John 
Peryam, which said controversie ys nowe by them determined. 
And they do awardc that the said John Blackall .shalbe paicd by 
the Treasorer of this Companie of tenne shillings in money and 
syxe shillingcs towardes the buying of a velvett niglit cappe. 
And so the said John Bhickall doth acquitt the whole Companie 
of all manner of matters from the beginninge of the wourldc 
untill this presente daie." 

Let us not be irreverent on the subject of night caps. Dr. 
Doran tells us that in the days of Elizabeth and James no 
Puritan divine ever went to bed but with his head in a night cap 


Appendix' of black silk tipped with white, and doctors of medicine and 
privy councillors sank to rest in night caps wrought with gold 
silk. It might have been with these worthies, as it was with the 
lady of story, that they wished to present a creditable ap- 
pearance in case of hre ; and really the contingency of a sudden 
exposure to the gaze of the profane was a very probable one. 
In the inventory of the goods and chattels of the Guild will be 
found, amongst other things, twenty-four leather bucket.'^ and an 
iron crook. This latter instrument was for the purpose of pulling 
down the gables and woodwork of the houses adjoining one that 
XXVII li^PPCiied to be on fire, in order to prevent its spreading. 

The principal trade being with France a lively interest would 
.of course be taken by the merchants in the French import 

In 1572 there appears to have been a commercial treaty en- 
tered into with the French King, which is alluded to in the 
following correspondence : — 

"21st August 1572. Also at this Courte there was a Ire 
delivered to the Governor, Consulls, and Companye, directed to 
them and others the Marchauntes of Tottnesse, by certen Com- 
missioners at London, the copie whereof foloweth — 

" in dorso. To o' very lovinge ffriendes John Peter, William 
Chapell, George Peryman, Thomas Martyn, Richard Swete, John 
Davye of K.xeter, Richarde P2ner}', Walter Dowse, John Wise, 
Luke Serrel, Gefiferey Babb, Nicholas Balle of Totnesse and 
other of theim, and to all other the westren marchauntes 
occupyinge Ffrauncc or thereabouts. After o' hartie com- 
mendacions, whereas wee and others have to consider of the 
trade nowe in ffraunce to be stablyshed by the late league made 
between the Q. matie and the fifrenche Kyngc : And that yee 
have understandinr^e and good knowledge of the newe exactions 
and other thinges oneros to o' Marchauntes that are taken upon 
theim o' late, sethens the begynningc of her highnes reigne, in 


Appendix. Morles, S. Mallowes, Vitrie, and other places in Britayne or 
ellswhere thereaboute, where your western Marchauntes doo 
trade, and what dewe customes ought to be paid both for oure 
ownc and forryn commodities there : Wee require and will 
youe on her Maties. behalf, that youe and other the skylfullest 
in this trade repaier and consider together thereupon, and that 
two of the sufficientest of youe in skyll and knowledge thereof 
repayer unto us furthwith hether to London, to set downe the 
same in wrytinge, that wee maye consider upon the same, and 
howe it maye be ordered best for youre proffit and the whole 
subjectes of the realme. Wherefore we praye youe not to fayle,^ 
as you will answere upon youre perryll. ffar you well, from 
London the ixth of August 1572. 

Yo' loving friends 

Thomas Mylton, 

Valentine Dalye, 

Pet. Erborne." 

" in dorso To the worshipfull Mr. Richarde Everey, Maior 

of Totnesse, Mr. Walter Dowse and other the 
Marchauntes of the saidc towne of Totnesse geave 
thes : — 
Whereas this present xxvth of August wee have receaved a 
Ire from certen Commissioners at London, directed as well to 
youe as unto us, touchinge matters, to be answered theim furth- 
with as yee shall perceave by the said Ire, which wee sende unto- 
youe by this bearer, which letter wee desire youe to send us 
ageyne, and to call the Marchauntes of youre towne together,. 
and to take some order to answere the same, and to appoint one 
most meete-st to ryde to London for that purpose and wee will 
appointe an other. And yf it please any of youe to come to- 
l^xon, to confer with us as touchinge the effect of the saide Ire, 
wee wilbc glad to commen with youe therein : So as \oue and 


Appendix ^vce may agree together and make ourc answcrc accordinglic : 
Wee doo determyne that he whome wee will sendc shalbe readie 
by the ende of this wcekc at the ffiirthest. And thus fare yce 
hartelie well, ffrom Kxon the xxv of August, 1572. 

By youres to conimande T. Prestwood, Governo' of 
the Companyc of Marchauntes Adventurers 
of Kxon." 

" 25 August 1572. At which Courte the Governo', Consulls, and 
Companye have appointeil those parsons of the Companye 
whose names are hereinunder wrytcn, to conferr and geve theim 
to understande as touchinge the newe customcs in fifraunce, 
according to a Ire directed to theim from ccrten Commissioners at 
London, That is to sayc : — 

John Dare 

Philipp Yardc 

Richard Swete 

John Barstable 

Thomas Chapcll 

John Chape! 1 

William Paramore 

John Shcre 
"Also at this Courte there came in and dyd appere from 
Totnesse (upon a Ire scnte unto theim) three of the Marchauntes 
of their Towne to conferr with o' companye, as touchinge the 
effect of the saide Ire, namelie : — 

Mr. John Wyse 
Gefferey Babb 
Nicholas liall 
Which letter was as well directed to the saide Marchauntes of 
Totnesse and other the Marchauntes there as unto us." 

" Wheareas at a Courte holden the xxvth of this pscnt moneth 
of August 1572, the Governor, Consulls, and Company, did 

Thk East Gate (Exterior). 


Appendix receave a Ire from certen Commissioners at London, for matters 
to be aunswered unto theim furthwith. Therefore the saide 
Governo', Consulls, and Companye, accordinge to the teano' of 
the saide Ire have appointed one of this Companye to ride to 
London to aunswere the same." 

"And farther the saide Governo', Consulls, and Companye have 

agreed at the saide Courte that those of the saide Companye 

whose names are hereunder wryten shall here and pay towards 

the charges thereof as they are hereafter rated, that is to saye :" — 

[Sixty-two members were rated in sums of from half-a-crown 

to sixpence towardes these charges, and £t, 8s 6d was the 

sum total.] 

" The coppie of a Ire sent ^ " Right Worshipfulls o' humble 

by this Companye to commendacions yee shall under- 

the Commissioners at y stande that wee have receaved yor 

London as answere unto | Ire bearinge date the ixth daye of 

their letter. J this present moneth of August 

which came not unto o' handes, untill the xxvth of the saide 

moneth : But assone as we receaved the same and had perused 

it, dyd sende the saide Ire to Totnesse to the Marchauntes there 

being as well directed unto theim as unto us : And furthwith 

caused the Marchauntes of Exon to come together, who did 

conferr as touchinge the effect of your saide Ire : And there- 

uppon dyd appointe one of the Marchauntes of or towne of 

Exon, namelie Richard Swete, and the Marchauntes of Totnesse 

have appointed an other, the skylfullest amonge us in knowledge, 

as touchinge the newe customes in ffraunce, who will repaier 

unto yor worshippes, and geve youe to understande thereof, de- 

siringe you to accept theim in oure behalf And thus wee 

commyt youre worshippes to the tuicion of Almightie God who 

alwaies preserve you : from Exon the xxxth of August 1572." 

This difficulty appears to have been satisfactorily surmounted, 

for no further complaint is recorded for nearly ten years. In 


Ai)peiulix 1582, however, new troubles arc heralded by an order from the 
Lord Treasurer of Enj^land, " to restrain all shipping that meanes 
to goo for Burdeaux, Xante, and other places of Frauncc," 

In the following year the storm bursts. The Merchants de- 
termined to leave no means untried to relieve themselves from 
the oppressive exactions of the French customs, entered upon a 
suit, which, extending over two years and entailing much trouble 
and expense, was, it may be inferred, carried to a successful 
issue. Indicative of the times is the " douceur " to the French 
Ambassador on the conclusion of the dispute. The minutes 
relating to this suit arc all here entered in their proper order, 

"4 Sept. 1582. At this Courte ther was the copie of a Ire 
reade from the Right Honorable the L. Threasorer of Englande, 
directed to the customer and other officers of her Maties porte 
of E.xon, restrayning all shipping that meanes to goo for Bur- 
deaux, Nante, and other places of iifraunce to lade wynes, not to 
departe before the daye of next 

ensuing: which Ire beres date the of 1582." 

" 15 April 1583. The names of the strangers of the Townes 
adjoining that were prcsente at this Courte. (They were 
summoned to confer with the Company respecting a new 
customs duty). 

Mr. Voyscy ^ 

William Blackaller Vof Totnes 

Richard Blackaller j 

Edwarde Amye ...of Tyverton 

Mr. Robert Henley 1 r t- 4. 
Tu T-c 1. r of Taunton 

Ihomas rnsher 3 

Mr. Phillibert Sclwood 1 r r^i j 
TT c- > of Charde 

Harry hamwayes J 

Philipp Cockeram ) ^f Collomton 
James Skynncr j 

" At this Courte it is agreed that everie Marchaunte free of this 
Companye which doo trade into the parties of Britayne shall 
certifie their factors that lyeth in the saide parties that they doo 
not paye any money for this newe custome latelie raysed in 


Appendix Britayne, but that they paye it by protest untill they knowe 
whether it be a dutie to be paied or not : until farder order be 
taken therein. And if any charges as well heretofore past as 
also hereafter to be laied oute touching the suyte thereof, those 
parsons that doeth appere at this Courte of the Townes ad- 
joining doo promise to procure the Marchauntes of their townes 
•that be traders thether that they shalbe contributory to the same 
accordinge to their porcions of adventuring as Exeter doeth : and 
bring their handes to a bill for the same by the xxvth daie of 
this instante moneth of Aprill : In witness whereof they have 
subscribed their names." 

The Courte kept and holden the nth June, 1583, and con- 
tinued open until the 14th following inclusive. 
Merchants of other towns summoned :— 

Mr. John Levermore, Governo' 
Mr. John Blackaller \ ^^^^^^^^^ 
1 wosse ) 

Mr. Thomas Pope thelder 1 ^^ , 
J -u T, 4.\ r Taunton 

John rope, the youner j 

Mr. Christopher Saverve ^ 

Mr. Nicholas Ball ' I 

Mr. Luke Tryvet 

Mr. Harry Ever>'e > of Totnes 

Mr. Nicholas Newman j 

Nicholas Hayman 

William Ducke J 

Mr. Phillibert Selwood 

Harry Samwayes 

Edward Amye ...of Tiverton 

" At this Courte ther was a Ire reade from the right wo' Sir 
Ames Poulet and Sir Thomas Leighton Knt, her Maties 
Governors of the Isles of Jersey and Garnesey, as touchinge 
ther frendeshippes and furtheraunce for an incorporacion to be 
had for the trade of Brytayne, to be reduced into the saide 
islandes (which Ire was also published and reade at the last 
Courte) for which cause the Companye beinge assembled with 
dyverse Marchauntes of other townes adioyning, and had moche 
debatinge touchinge the same, and at last for dyverse causes 


of Charde 

68 AN i;i,I/AHETI[AX c;uiLi). 

Appendix beinge alleged dyd finde it verie inconvenient for the estate of 
the commonwealth that in the tyme of peace the saide trade 
shoulde be brought into the saide llandes : Whereupon it was 
ordered that Ires shoulde be wreten to the saide S. Ames Poulet 
and Sir Thomas Leighton to this effecte : viz., to gave them 
thanckes for their goode will in that behalf: And also to praye 
theim to stande oure good frendes in oure suyte, which wee pre- 
tende to presente for the suppressijige the newe customes and 
exactions lately raysed upon us in the parties of ffraunce and 

" And for the presentinge of the saide suyte the companye dyd 
then consider that it was requisite to have some fit and skylfull 
man that woulde take the paynes to preferr and folowe the saide 
suyte as well to the Queenes hignes and her moste honorable 
Counsell : as also unto the Ffrenche kinge, Whereupon there 
was nominated two parsons which the Companye thought most 
fitteste for that purpose : viz., Andrewc Geare of Exeter, and 
Thomas Pope the younger of Taunton. So it was put to be 
judged by handes, so the Companye dyd chuse and appointe the 
.saide Thomas Pope to be their Attorney and Deputie in this 

" Also the Companye had then to consider howe the saide 
Thomas Pope shoulde be answered and paied for his paynes and 
charges that he shoulde be at about the presentinge of the saide 
suyte, and at last dyd conclude and agree : That if the saide 
Thomas Pope doo obteyne the saide suyte and get us free of the 
saide newe customes then he is to have for his paynes over and 
besides his reasonable charges and expences two hundred 
crownes : And if he cannot obteyne the same then he is to 
have over and besides his saide charges and expences but one 
hundred crownes towards his paynes. Provided alwayes that if 
the saide Thomas Pope goo no farther then London and cannot 
obteyne his suyte ther, then hee is to be ordered for his travell 
and paynes besides his reasonable charges and expences as the 
Marchauntes of Exon and other the townes and places afore- 
saide shall thinke good. 

" And also it is ordered at this Courte that a suplication shalbe 
wreten from us unto the right honorable Lord therle of Bedforde 
to let hym to understande of our suyte before wee proceede 


Appendix, therein, and to request his hono' with the rest of the LI. and 
others of her Maties most honorable Privie Counsell, to direct 
ther favorable Ires unto her Maties Imbassadors in Ffraunce for 
the redresse thereof. And farther it is thought good that the 
saide Thomas Pope shall have a Ire of Attorney from us to 
authorize hym to deale for us in oure saide suyte." 

" 13 June. Ther was a suplication which was appointed at oure 
laste Courte to be sente from us unto the right honorable Lorde 
therle of Bedforde for his furtheraunce of oure suyte which wee 
pretende for the suppressinge of the newe customes latelie raysed 
upon Marchauntes in the parties of Ffraunce and Eiytayne. 

" Also ther was made a Lre of Attorney made by the Com- 
panye and the Marchauntes of other townes adjoyning : To 
Thomas Pope of Taunton, Marchaunte, authorizing hym to 
presente pure saide suyte. 

" Also ther was reade a bill in what order the charges and 
paynes of the saide Thomas Pope shalbe paied and answered 
unto hym : which hee shalbe at and layed oute aboute the saide 
suyte. All which Ires and writinges beinge reade were sub- 
scribed aswell by the handes of dyverse Marchauntes of Exeter, 
as also by sundry other Marchauntes of Totnes, Tyverton, and 
Collompton : And forasmoche as ther wanted the handes of 
those of Taunton, Charde, and Lyme, the Companye dyd 
order that the saide Ires and writinges should be sente to the 
saide Thomas Pope at Taunton that hee may repayer unto theim 
to get ther handes thereunto as hee had promised. 

" Also it was ordered at this Courte : That a bill of instructions 
shouldbe made and sente also from us unto the saide Thomas 
Pope with the saide Ires and writinges for his better instruction 
therein : the coppie of which bill of instructions doo hereafter 
ensue, viz. : — 

" 14 June 1583. Lres and instructions to be delivered and 
geven to our trustie frende Thomas Pope the younger of Taunton 
Marchaunte, as touchinge oure suyte which wee commyte unto 
hym for the supprcssinge of the newe customes and exactions 
latelye raysed upon Inglishe Marchauntes in the parties of 
Ffraunce and Brytayne. 

" P^first youc shall receave tw^ Ires to the right Wo' Sir Ames 
Poulet and S' Thomas Leighton Knights, her Maties Governo' 


Appem^'x-of the Isles of Jersey and Garnsey, as answere unto their Wo' 

" Also a supplication from us to the right honorable Lorde 
therle of Bcdfordc. 

" Also oure Lre of Attorney whereby wee authorize youe to 
presente oure suyte. 

" Also oure bill for the aunswereinge of youe for youre paynes 
and charges to be taken therein. 

" All which Ires and writings wee praye youe accordinge to 
youre promise to get some of the anciente Marchauntcs of the 
townes of Taunton, Charde, and Lyme, to subscribe thereunto as 
wee of Exeter, Totnes, Tyvcrton, and Collompton have done. 

" Ite oure mynde is : That youe sende us the bills from 
Taunton, Charde, and Lyme subscribed with the handes of suche 
as wilbe contributory to the charges of this oure saide suyte 
accordinge to their promisses as well of Exeter and other places 
have done, before you proceede or goo any farther in our saide 

" Also oure mynde is : That if you have no good lykinge that 
oure saide suyte will take place when youe be at London, that 
youe staye the presentinge thereof and proceede no farther 

"And wee praye youe, that if you goo thro with this oure 
suyte : That with as moche convcniente speede as youe maye, 
youe sende us worde from tyme to tyme aswell when youe are at 
London as bej'onde the seas howe all thinges doo passe, that 
you may have answere from us with the best ayde wee can for 
your furtheraunce therein. 

" And it is ordered at this Courte : That where' Mr. Lever- 
more oure Governo' on the behalf of the Companye and at 
their request hath put his hande to the bill for the answereinge 
of Thomas Pope for his charges and paynes to be taken aboute 
oure saide suyte, the whole Companye doo promise and agree 
to see hym acquitted and discharged thereof, as the averedges 
shall arise. 

" And further it is agreed and ordered that Mr. Thomas Spicer 
and Richarde Swete shall collecte and gather upp all suche 
averedges of this porte of Exeter, as is latelie appointed for to 
be collected, towardes the defraying of the charges for the sup- 


A]:pcnc!ix. pressing of the newe customes lately raysed in the parties of 
Ffraunce and Brytayne : And they to be alloived reasonablie 
for their paynes." 

"Memorandum that the xiiijth daye of June 1583, oure 
Governo' did receavc from the Marchauntes of Totnes a Ire 
being directed from Mr. Thomas Wylson, Valentine Dalye, and 
Peter Edborough, Commyssioners, dated ixth of August in 
anno 1572, directed as well to the Marchauntes of Exeter as 
those of Totnes, touchinge certene newe customes then raysed 
in dyverse places in the parties of Brytayne, onnerous to oure 
Inglishe Marchauntes, And therewithal! dyd receave from those 
of Totnes a bill of Customes at Morles, before the Queene's 
Maties reigne in anno 1588. 

" And also dyd receave an other bill of customes at Saint 
Malowes, in her Maties reigne in anno 1572. And also an other 
bill conteyning the custome due at Roan upon cloth in anno 

" Which Ire and bills of customes oure saide Governo' dyd 
sende furthwith unto the saide Thomas Pope that hee maye 
shewe theini unto his Counsell whereby it might be a further- 
aunce of his suyte." 

"16 Oct. 1583. At this Courte Robert Pope of Taunton 
brought in a bill of exchaunge of xviij/ iij.y ix^ made by Thomas 
Pope the younger of Taunton, oure Attorney for the presenting 
oure suyte for the suppressing of the newe customes latelie 
raysed upon Inglishe Marchauntes in the parties of Ffraunce 
and Brytayne. But bycause the saide bill was directed to one 
Richard Skynner of London and not unto this Companye, nor 
had any certificate from the saide Thomas Pope touching the 
some : Yt was referred untill this Companye have further 
understanding thereof" 

" 3 Dec. 1583. At this Courte Thomas Pope tlje younger of 
Taunton, oure Attcrney for the obteyning of oure suyte at the 
Courte of Ffraunce is latelie retorned from thence, came in and 
declared of his procecdinges therein, and gave us to understande 
that hee had not as yet gone through with the saide suyte but 
had good hope the same maye be obteyned very shortly if it be 
folowed. And brought in an order or decree from the saide 
Courte of Ffraunce touching the same under the right honorable 


Appendix. S' Henry Cobham, Knight, Lordc Imbassadour there. And also 
brought in his accompt of expences and charges which hee hath 
byn at in the prosecuting of the saide suyt : Whereupon it is 
ordered at this Courte that the saide Thomas Pope shall have 
paied hyni upon a reckning Ix/, and that the Marchauntes of 
Totnes, Lyme, and Exeter, shall disburse and payc furthwith 
xx/ oute of everie place, untill suche tyme as the Marchauntes 
of those places and of thother townes adioyning maye come 
together and bring in the accompte of everie place and the 
money collected towardcs the defraying of the saide charge that 
everie place maye bere his parte indifferentlie." 

"6 August 1584. It is ordered that Mr. John Davie o' newe 
Govemo' this yeare, Mr. John Sampforde and Richard Bevis 
shalbe audito' to peruse and take the accompte of Thomas Pope 
for his travaile into Ffraunce about o' late suyte at the Courte 
ther, and for Mr. Sweetes accompte for money collected by him 
towardes the defrainge of the charge thereof, and also for o' 
clarkes accompte and what money he shall have for wrettinge 
of Ires and makinge of other wrettinges and paines takinge 
theraboute, and bringe in there proceadinges at the next Courte." 

" 28 August X584. It is ordered that Mr. Sweete shall ride to 
Totnes aboute the collection for the ffrench suite, and he to be 
reasonably considered for his paines and to have the Govemo' 

" (same day). The Auditors appointed at the laste Courte for 
the auditinge and perusinge of Thomas Popes accompte as 
touchinge his travell and charges aboute the ffrench suite do 
finde dewe uppon his saide accompte and all charge aboute the 
same iiijV^: vijV which is for everye division a xxix/, viz. : 

ffor Exeter xxix/ 
ffor Tottenes xxix/ 
ffor Lyme xxix/ 

"Also the said Auditors do finde that Mr. Sweete hath reccaved 
clere of all charge a xxiiijV iijs ]d, of which some is paid to the 
saide Thomas Pope a xx/, so there resteth unto hime by Exeter 
a vj7 xijj Kd, which xij j- xd the Auditors do appointe that John 
ffeiHe o' clarke shall have it, because they thinke is to littell 
considered for his paines which is but a xlvijj 11^, which hee is 


Appendix, to be paied oute of the saide reste. Of which v]l xl]s x^ther 
remaynes in Mr. Sweetes handes gathered the xviij August 1584, 
xxxvjj", besides John Ffeildes money which is xlviji" i}d. So 
there remaynes to Thomas Pope to be gathered by Exeter men 
a iiij/ xvjj xd. 

Towardes payment of which 

Tottenes owes for fardells and packe cxxj vj7 xij'j 
Thomas Broderidge of Stanton owes for 

xxiij fardells and packes ... ... xxiiji- 

Taunton owes for Ixij fardells and packes iijV ijs 

Collompton owes for Ixv fardells and packes iij/ vs 

Tiverton owes for xxxij packes and fardells xxxijj 

Exeter owes for xxix packes and fardells xxixj- 

Which accompte was audited the xviijth daie of August 
1584, and brought in at this Courte." 

"12 Nov. 1584. Thomas Popes' acquittance in respect of 
Exeter and Tottenes brought in." 

" 16 April 1585. At this Courte there was Ire reade from the 
LI. of her IMaties moste honorable privie Counsell directed to 
Sir Robte. Dennys, S' John Gibble, Knights, Peter Edgecombe, 
and John ffits, Esquiers, dated the xvith daie of January 1584 
(o.s.) touchinge sixe hundred ffienche crownes to be paid to 
one Bickner of London (for a suite by hime followed in Roian 
for the suppressinge of newe customes lately raised there uppon 
Inglishe comodities) whereof iiij^ crownes is to be levied of 
the Merchauntes of London tradinge to Roian, and the rest being 
ijV crownes is to be levied by the Merchauntes of the west parte 
tradinge thither : And the matter being moved by o' generalite 
they coulde not agree thereuppon. But for that Mr. Walter 
Buggins and Mr. Nicholas Gudridge of Totnes were appointed 
by the CouncelLs Ires to see the levienge of the said ijV crownes 
of the Merchauntes of the west parte, the matter was referred 
untill they did conferr with the Merchauntes of their towne of 
Tottenes to understande what order they will take therein, and 
then if it please the said Mr. Buggins and Mr. Goodridge to 
repaire hether on the Sessions week next to let the Companie 
to understande thereof, they will do therein that shalbe for theim 


Appendix. " And it IS ordered that a Ire shalbe written to the said Mr. 
Buggins and Mr. Goodridgc to let them understandc the Com- 
panies minde herein." 

" 15 April 1585. Also it is ordered at this Courte that o' 
Treasorcr Mr. Sampforde shall paic unto Mr. Richard Prouse 
one of the Burgesses of this Parliament for the Cittie of P^xeter 
the some of iijV nijs -.vhich he hath laied oute at the said par- 
liament tyme about the suytc of the Companie. 

" And further it is ordered that o' Treasorer Mr. Sampforde 
shall procure those pcrsones hereafter named to be arrested and 
sued the lawe for certaine money which is not paied to warde 
the answeringc of Thomas Pope for his charge aboute the 
ffrenche suite, viz. : — 

William Blackaller r /• t i. 

ot Totnes 

Richard Blackaller j 

PIdward Amye ...of Tiverton 

Phillipp Cocram ...of Cullompton 

"And also the saide Mr. Sampforde is to gather uppe what be 
came of the Merchauntes of Tiveiton and the Merchauntes of 
Exeter which are behinde towardcs the said payment. 

" And it is further ordered and agreed that thoise that do dis- 
burse and Icnde anyc money to the use aforesaid shalbc allowed 
after the rate of xij^/the packc uppon suche wares as they sende 
to Roane, and all those that do not lende anie money to the 
said use shall paie ijs uppon every packe of suche wares as they 
send thither. And likewise all strangers that do lade within o' 
porte to paie ijs of every packe also that they .sende thither 
(except those of Totnes and Lyme). And it is ordered that the 
said money be levied upon everie packe after the rate and order 
aforesaid untill the said some of xijVbe collected. And then all 
thoise that have lent anie money to that aforesaid it shalbe re- 
paied them againe by suche several! porcions as they have laied 
oute. And the saide John ffollett and Walter Borrough to 
collecte the same and geve accompte thereof."' 

" 16 Dec. 1585. At this Courte there was a Ire rcadc from 
Nicholas Samuell Alforde and Walter Harrison in Roane, 

as touchinge one thousand crownes to be lente unto the Right 
Honorable S' Edwarde Stafforde, Knight, Lorde Imbasador in 


Appendix, ffraunce, by the Merchauntes of London and the west, parte 

whereof is to be collected and lente by the Merchauntes of the 

west parte 200 crownes and the rest by those of London, of 

which 200 crownes the Merchauntes of Totnes are to lent 145 

crownes, and 25 by those of Exeter, which Ire was directed to o* 

Governor Mr. Thomas Chappell and the Consulls as a bill of 

, exchange. But forasmuche as ther was litle apparences at this 

Courte the matter was referred untill the next Courte to be 

considered of." 

" Memorandu that the first daie of June 1585, the Merchauntes 

of Exeter and Totnes being assembled in the Merchauntes haule 

in Exeter, do think this to be a reasonable porcion to be levied 

of everye towne hereafter mencioned as touchinge the two 

hundred ffrenche crownes to be answered to one Bickner of 

London by the Merchauntes of the west parte tradinge to 

Roane, viz., : — 

of Southampton ... XX Crownes 

of Poole ... X Crownes 

of Way mouth ... XXX Crownes 

of Lyme Rege ... XX Crownes 

of Exeter and ) ■, . .1 ^r-xxr- >» 

T^ , y between them Vr -^Crownes 

1 otnes j 

" 10 July 1585. Note that where order is taken that there 
shalbe levied of the Merchauntes of the Cittie of Exeter the 
some of xij/ towardes the payment of Bickners money : There- 
fore at this Courte it is ordered and enacted by the Governor, 
Consulls, and Companie, that those persons whose names are 
hereunder subscribed shall disburse and lende towardes the 
payment thereof suche some of money as to everye of them is 
appointed, viz. : — 

Mr. John Davie Maio' 
Mr. Nicholas Martyn 
Mr. Thomas Martyn 
Mr. Willm. Martyn 
Mr. John Levermore 
Mr. Harry EUacott 
Mr. Thomas Chappell 
Mr. Nicholas Spicer 


John Backwill 



Thomas Walker 



Richard Bevis 



Richard Dorchester 



John ffollett 



Thomas Bridgeman 



Richard Jurden 



W^alter Borroue;h 




Appendix. Mr. Thomas Spiccr xs 

Mr. John Chappell xs 

Mr. Richard Sweete \s 

Mr. John Howell xs 

Walter Horssey vs 

Jasper Horssey vs 

Robert Sherwoode Xs 

" And it is also ordered that John Ffollett and Walter 
Borrough shall collecte the saide money of the saide parties." 

Disputes and complaints with France were of constant 
occurrence, arising from the insecure state of the Channel, owing 
to pirates and rovers of the nations infesting the coasts. In 
XXVIII. 15S6 Duke Mercurye's fine ship laden with wines was taken 
by the Bark "Burr" of London, and in retaliation he seized all 
the ships and their cargoes belonging to Exeter, which were then 
in the port of Morlaix. Our merchants offered to make ample 
restitution, and with the assistance of Lord Burghley, the dispute 
it is presumed was settled. We have the grievance however of 
exactions and oppressive duties occasionally cropping up until 
1598, when one 'Medlande of Totnes proposes to smooth all 
difficulties for ;^300. 

During all this time it was frequently under discussion to 
bring the trade to the isles of Jersey and Guernsey, so as to 
avoid the French coasts altogether, and lessen the risks from 
pirates on that side the channel. 

Touching these pirates, they appear to have been particularly 
troublesome about the year 1578, for we find that a Queen's ship 
was specially requested by the Merchants to be stationed off our 
coast for the protection of the shipping, and ^lOO was ordered 
to be collected towards defraying the expense. In answer to the 
request, however. Her Majesty most graciously showed her 
confidence in Exeter men, and voluntarily granted them a 
commission to fit out their own war ship with the same powers 
and privileges as the Queen's ships possessed. " Most humblie 
dutifullie and thankfullie " did the Merchants receive this royal 




Staircask in "King John Tavern.' 
Formerly in South Street. 


Appendix mark of favour ; and right well did they reciprocate it ten years 

later, when the Company alone provided one thousand pounds 

weight of gunpowder for Her Majesty's service. Again in 1601, 

XXXT 'T ^^'"^'^S t^^^ "^^^'' with Spain, the Company presented four hundred 

weight of gunpowder for Her Majesty's service. 

It might be said that the Merchants were only contributing 
to the protection of their own interests, and some grounds for 
the assertion may be found in a minute of 1602, to the effect 
that a change of captains is desirable in the "shippe and 
pynnace " which "garde our coaste," and a messenger is sent 
to Mr. Jopson, the Secretary to the Admiral at Plymouth to 
that end, with a gift of twenty pounds, or more if necessary, for 
his friendship. 

The endless difficulties with Spain up to the time of the dis- 
persion of the Armada would, in themselves, occupy a volume. 
Accounts were continually being made up between the two 
countries, without ever coming to a settlement. In 1572 the 
western Merchants were ordered to give the Queen's Com- 
missioners, sitting in Guildhall, London, knowledge of all the 
V . injuries, personal and material, they had suffered from the King 
of Spain and his subjects, that restitution might be made. 
During the few months prior to the Spanish invasion the 
business was very active in this particular. 

The Inquisition seized British sailors in Spanish ports, and 
endeavoured to convert them by force or by torture, the Queen 
vainly protesting that the deck of an English ship was English 
soil. Reprisals were natural enough and perhaps encouraged, 
and anything Spanish was considered legitimate prey. It is 
rather to the credit of our Merchants, that, at a time when a 
XXXV. Spaniard was looked upon as the child of the devil, they should 
vote the sum of five shillings towards the burial of a poor 
Spaniard killed in a fray at Dartmouth. 

"vijth June 1580. At this Courte it is ordered that o' 


Appendix Threasorer this yeare shall paye unto oure Governor Mr. Phillipp 
Yarde xxj for somoche laid owte by him for charges to and 
amongst ccrten Spanyardcs which were latclie taken by rovers 
out of the harbo' of Dartmouth : and their shipp and goodes 
taken from them, and they put a land, having nothing left," 

Strange to say not a word is to be found in reference to the 
chief event of the time — the expedition of the great Armada 
against this country. In making up an account of the wrongs 
sustained at the hands of the Spaniards, there is mention of the 
injuries inflicted " by the Holy Howst as they term it," but this 
XXXVI '^ ^^^' ^^ know that the Merchants of Exeter did, at that time, 
contribute their fair share towards the defence of the country, 
but there is no mention of it in the minutes of the Guild. 

It will be remembered that early in the history of the Guild, 
the Adventurers opened a trade with Spain, and trafficked 
in raisins and wine. In 1577 overtures were made by the 
London Company " trading Spain and Portingall," to establish a 
similar Guild in Exeter. This appears to have been done, and a 
charter granted, the members being taken chiefly from the old 
XXXVII. Company. Probably they kept their own books and records, 
so we find no account of their proceedings further than that 
they paid fifty shillings a year for the use of the Merchants' Hall.' 

The record is interesting in this respect, that there is no 
mention of such a Company in the published histories of 
Exeter ; and it may fairly be inferred that the extensive and im- 
portant trade between the west country and Spain, which exists 
to the present day, owes its permanence and success, if not its 
origin, to this Spanish Guild. 

Those sympathizers with the Merchants in their supposed 
afflictions and oppressions, would naturally look to the customs 
duties as the means employed for easing them of their hard 
earned gains. 

' See page 33. 


Appendix There is not in our record a single complaint or remonstrance 

until ths year 1591, when combined action is taken on the part 

of the western Merchants to prosecute a suit for the " mittigating " 

of customs duties on woollen cloths. Mr. William Martin, the 

Mayor, appears to have entered upon the business at first single 

handed, and to have expended ;^305 out of his own pocket.^ The 

bold attitude assumed by the Merchants probably led to a 

satisfactory compromise. In i6oo, too, the heavy expenses of 

the war with Spain necessitated the imposition of a new custom 

to be continued for four years on the export of cloth, but again 

the Merchants protested against the tax in itself, and the time 

for which it was to be continued. The last we find of this suit 

is contained in a minute dated 19 February 1601. 

"19 Feb. 1 60 1. At this Courte it is agreed that Mr. Governor 
and Mr. Hughe Crossinge shall ride to Dorchester Assizes of 
purpose to conferr with Mr. Recorder of Exeter and the Officers 
of Weymouth concerninge a new custome of late raised uppon 
wollen clothes, transported for ffraunce outwarde and for all 
other marchaundizes homewardes. And further the whole Com- 
panie doe agree to paie two thirdes towardes their charges not 
onelie for a iorney by them of late made to Weymouth as also 
for this iorney to Weymouth and Dorchester." 

There is also an imposition of los a tun upon Gascon wines 
towards the provision of Her Majesty's house (1595) which Mr. 
Mainwaring offers to discharge for ;^ii5 paid down, which sum 
XXXIX. was readily subscribed and the duty got rid of. Customs abuses 
occupying a few lines, and a complaint against excessive 
Alnegers' fees in two short minutes, make up the sum total of 
the grievous exactions during a period of forty years ! It is 
only fair, however, to read an entry which might, to prejudiced 
minds, throw some light on the subject, and account in some 
measure for the rarity of complaints. 

1 See Appendix IX. 


Appendix «« And where o' saide Governo' Mr. Yarde by the appointment 
of the Companye hath delivered unto the customer certen loves 
of suger to the value of iijV v'ljs xd, yt is ordered that our 
threasorer this yeare shall paye hym xxxijj xd? thereof : and the 
threasorer of the Spanishe Companie shall payc hym xb. 
vij June 1580." 

History tells us that Sir Walter Raleigh had certain mer- 
cantile privileges conceded to him by the Queen, i.e., he was 
granted permission to export cloth from P^xeter ; he had the 
Vintner's licences, and certain Customs' perquisites. These con- 
cessions of themselves would cause him to be held in no great 
regard by the Merchants, but I think we may infer, from what 
little is recorded of him in our minutes, that he was anything but 
a favorite with them. 

At the Court held 15th April 1586, a defence is instituted 

XLI. against Sir Walter Raleigh and his officers for the taking away 

of the excessive fees upon cockets and certificates. In the 

following month. Sir Robert Dennys, Recorder of the City, is 

XLI I. entreated to sit on behalf of the Company on the commission 

touching Sir Walter Raleigh. 

Two years later, returning heart-sick and weary from an un- 
successful expedition to the west, he offered the benefit of all 
his discoveries in America, retaining one-fifth of the profits, to 
our Merchant Adventurers, and was met with this rebuff" " that 
they nor anie of them woulde consent thereunto nor put their 
handes and scales to the said instrument for divers and sundrie 
speciall causes then alleged." 

This is all that is recorded of the great Sir Walter, but it is 
significant, and indicates that there was but little sympathy for 
the great discoverer, and no confidence in his adventures. Not 
so with his half brothers — the Gilberts — aswill presently be shown. 

Who does not know the name of John Davis, and what school- 
boy has not the name of Davis's straits geographically impressed 



Appendix on his memory ? This bold navigator and persevering adventurer 
was the first to endeavour practica^lly to solve the theory, of the 
North-west passage through North America to the Pacific Ocean, 
which has since cost so many valuable lives, and which, at this 
present time, occupies the attention of more than one nation. 

It may not be generally known how closely John Davis' and 
his expeditions were connected with our citizens. Our minutes 
reveal much information on the subject, and as an introduction 
an extract from Hackluyt (vol. iii, p. 129) is quoted. 

" The letters patents of the Queene's Majestic granted to 
Master Adrian Gylbert and others, for the search and 
discovery of the North-west Passage to China. 

" Elizabeth, &c. Forasmuch as our trustie and well beloved 
subject Adrian Gilbert of Sandridge, in the Countie of Deuon, 
Gentleman, to his great costes and charges, hath greatly and 
earnestly trauelled and sought, and yet doth trauell and seeke, 
and by divers meanes indevoureth and laboureth, that the 
passage unto China and the lies of the Moluccas, by the north- 
westward, northeastward, or northward, unto which part or 
partes of the world none of our loyall subjects have hitherto had 
any traffique or trade, maybe discovered, knowen, and frequented 
by the subjects of this our Realme. 6 Feb. 1583-4." 

Adrian Gilbert we see lived at Sandridge, where also dwelt 
John Davis. These two must often have discussed, with chart 
and plan, the question of the north-west passage, and Gilbert 
seems to have not only brought his friend to his own way of 
thinking, but to have made him an enthusiast in the cause. The 
first expedition was fitted out by Mr, Secretary Walsingham and 
by divers worshipful Merchants, amongst whom our Exeter mer: 
found a place, as will be seen by the following minute : — 

" 16 Jan., 1585. At this Courte there were certaine Articles 

I John Davis married Faith, daughter of Sir John Fulford of Fulford, Knt., by 
Dorothy, daughter of Lord Bourchier Earl of Bath. 


Appendix, brought ill by o' deputie which were deliverd hime by Mr. 
Carcvve Rawlcigh touchinge a pretended voyage to Wyngan- 
dacoia and a noate of the marchantable and other comodities 
there founde, which beinge published and reade, o' deputie did 
move the Companie to be venturers that waie. Whereunto the 
Companie did answere that forasmoche as they were adventurers 
already with Mr. Adrian Gilbte in a voiage unto China they 
will not adventure anie more in anie suche voiages untill they 
see that voiage ended or some successe thereof."* 

In the following June, the " Barke Sunneshine of London, 
50 tunnes, and the Mopnshine of Darcmouth, 35 tunnes," set 
sail under the command of John Davis, and after various ad- 
ventures, returned home on the 30th September. 

The second expedition is the one most interesting to us, as 
we are shown the actual stake which each adventurer had in it. 
The entry in the Minute Book is dated 19th April, 1586, and is 
as follows : 

" 19 April, 1586. Here fifolloweth the names of those persons 
that did adventure there money with Mr. Adrian Gilbte and 
Mr. John Davies in a voiage for the discovery of China, the 
siveth daie of Aprill in the xxviij yeare of the rayne of o' 
soverayne Ladie Elizabeth : 

The merchants of Exeter contributed ... ... ^475 

' Mr. John Peryam. 
„ John Applyn. 
Owners ... < „ Richard Dorchester. 
„ Richard Jurden. 
L „ William Easton. 

» The pretended voyage here referred to was realized in an expedition fitted out 
by Sir Walter Raleigh, which set forth from Plymouth shortly afterwards, and was 
a genuine attempt to colonize Virginia, the native name of which was WjTigandacoia. 
An account of the expedition and the cause of the failure of its chief object fomis 
the subject of a Paper read by Mr. R. W. Cotton at the Meeting of the Devonshire 
Association at Barnstaple in 1867. 





'"• 375 

... 162 


... 25 

••• 37 


... 25 



... 12 


... 25 

... 12 


... 12 




The merchants of Totnes contributed 

„ , „ London „ 

„ „ Cullompton „ 

„ „ Charde „ 

„ „ Tiverton „ 

Richard Duche of Hevitree „ 

Symon Saunders of Taunton „ 

John Yonge of Axminster „ 

Thomas Southcott of Calverley „ 

Christopher Broderidge of Totnes „ 

It will be seen that our merchants not only contributed the 
largest share in money, but they were also the owners of the 

Mr, William Sanderson, the nautical instrument maker of 
London, a man of great importance in his day on account of his 
scientific knowledge, the uncle of John Davis, had an interest 
also in the expedition, and no doubt fitted the ships with the 
expensive instruments which were necessary for the voyage. 

The ship " Mermayd of 120 tunnes and a pinnesse of 
tenne tunnes named the North Starre, together with the 
Sunneshine and Mooneshine " made up the little fleet which 
sailed from Dartmouth on the 7th May 1586. John Davis 
announced his return from this voyage in a letter to his uncle 
Sanderson, dated Exon, 14th October 1586, but the little 
" pinnesse " never came home. 

A few words in the last minute on this subject shows that the 
object of our Merchants was to open a legitimate trade with 
China and India in the cloth, for which Devonshire was 


Appendix A third and last expedition was fitted out and sailed 
in May 1587, in which, if our Exeter Merchants adventured, 
there is no record of the fact : that it was proposed to and con- 
sidered by them appears from the following minutes : — 

" i6th Dec. 1587. Also at the same Courte there was reade 
a coppic of certainc articles under divers of the Companies 
handes concerninge a newc adventure with Mr. Adrian G'ilberte 
and Mr. John Davyes to China and Cathay, whereuppon Mr. 
Governo' did move the whole Companic what they intended to 
do therein, and praied there resolute answere, who agreed that 
Mr. Nicholas Martyn, Mr. Nicholas Spicer, Mr. Sampforde, Mr. 
Hackwell and Mr. Jasper Horssey, shall consider of all the 
accomptes of the voiage heretofore made by the said Adrian 
Gilbte and John Davies, and shall also set downe what they think 
fit to be answered to the said articles with as much speade as 
conveyniently they maie, which said articles and Ires were by 
Mr. Governo' delivered to Mr. Sampforde in open Courte." 

"15 Feb. 1588. It is ordered by the companie then presente, 
that Mr. Nicholas Spicer, John Hackwill, Richard Dorchester, 
and Jasper Horssey should dealc with Mr. William Martyn for 
the examination of the accomptes of the last voiage in the 
Marmaide to China, and that the same be brought in orderly 
made at the next courte ; and also to enquire of a ballet of 
cloth reported to be missinge, that restitucion maie be made 
unto every adventurer accordinge to the p'porcon of the same." 

The traces of Davis are still to be found in the map of 
North America by the local names which he gave to the various 
places he discovered. On sighting first the land, he named the 
bay which he entered after his friend, Gilbert Sound ; we find, 
also, Exeter Sound, Totnes Roads, Mount Raleigh, and other 
familiar titles. A few years later, John Davis found the right 
course to India and China, and introduced the trade from this 
county which exists to the present time. 


Appendix. There is another name, a household word with Devonians, 
concerning which we have some little information. Scant though 
it be, every scrap relating to Sir Humphrey Gilbert is of 
interest and ought to be preserved. 

" 4th Jan. 1583. At this Courte ther is aire reade from the 
right wor Sr Fraunces Walsingham, Knight, chief Secretary to 
her Matie, dated the viijth daye of December 1582, directed 
to the Maior of Exeter, touching the \'oyage pretended to the 
westren parte of America by Sr Humfrye Gilbert, Knight, and 

" Also ther is an other ire reade from the right wor' Sir George 
Peckham, Knight, dated the xiiijth December 1582, directed also 
to the saide Maio' of Exeter, touching the saide matter. 

" And this Courte being especiallie called to understande what 
money everie one of this Companye will disburse and adv^enture 
in and aboute the settinge forth of certen shippinge to the 
saide parties of America ; and the Governo' moving the Com- 
panye thereunto and declared the greate benefite and commoditie 
thereof ensuying : The whole generallitie doo lyke well of the 
saide voyage and wysh good successe therunto, and woulde be 
glade to adventure and set forth shipping thether : But con- 
sidering the tyme of the yeare to be fifarr spente for preparation 
of shippinge and provision for suche a voyage, they mynde to 
respecte thereupon this yeare ; and the next yeare as they shall 
see success therein, they will be glade to adventure thether 
and doo anything for the furtherance thereof." 

" Memorandu : that the xith daye of January 1583, one 
Olyver Manwayringe, servant to the right wo' Sr George Peck- 
ham, Knight, being authorized for that purpose, came in and 
declared the pretence and order of a voyage pretended to the 
westren parte of America, and thfe greate benefite and com- 
moditie that may ensue thereof, as well to the whole realme as 
to the Adventurers that waye : And shewed forth certen Ires 


Appendix; patente for the assurance of the benefitte of the said Adventurers, 
and a booke touching the description and order of the saide 
pretended voyage : Whercuppon the Governor moved the 
Companye to set forth certen shipping, and to be Adventurers 
that waye : But forasmoche as ther is two Ires directed to the 
Maio' of Exon : one from the right wo' Sr Fraunces Walsingham, 
Knight, chief Secretary to her Matie, and thother from the saide 
Sr George Peckham touching the saide matter, the Governo* 
Consulls, and Companye thought it good that the Maio' and 
Aldermen his bretheren should conferr as well for the answering 
of their saide wo' Ires, as also to take order for shipping and 
adventuring in the saide voyage." 

" 30 Jany, 1583. This courte being especiallie called to un- 
derstande what everie one of this companye would adventure 
to the foresaide parties of America : and the Governo' moving 
them thereunto (Olyvcr Manwayring being present) the parties 
whose names are hereunder writen dyd agree and promise to 
adventure everie of them to the setting forth of a shipp that 
waye as hereafter followeth, viz., 

Mr. Nicholas Martyn ... ... xii/ Xs 

Mr. Thomas Martyn . . ... xii/ \s 

Mr. George Smyth ... ... xii/ Xs 

Mr. Thomas Spicer ... ... xii/ Xs 

John Hoyle ... ... ... xii/ Xs 

Richard Jordcyne ... ... xii/ xs 

Myles Lambert ... ... xii/ xs" 

These records reveal to us information of a melancholy interest; 
they show the confidence our merchants had in the great Sir 
Humfrye Gilbert ; they contain a warning which he would have 
done well to have heeded, and though rightly mistrusting the 
prudence of the adventure, they would not withhold assistance. 
History tells us what important results arose from this expedi- 
tion, and history tells us the pathetic story of the disasters 


Appendix which overtook it ; hov/ in 'the little craft, ' The Squirrel,' of only 
ten tons, the great general resolved to make his way home ; 
how his officers did all in their power to persuade him to enter 
the larger vessel, the 'Golden Hind,' and his reply "that he 
would never desert the bark nor the crew with whom he had 
encountered so many dangers ;" and how on the ninth of Sep- 
tember in the evening, in the midst of a great tempest, Sir 
Humphrey was seen sitting in the stern of his ship with his 
book, and was often heard by the crew of the ' Hind ' to say 
with a loud voice, " Courage, my lads ! we are as near heaven 
at sea as by land." How about midnight the little ship went 
down and was no more seen ; and so perished as noble, gallant, 
and beloved a gentleman as any who lived in those times, pro- 
lific in great characters. 

There are two letters read to the court from Sir Francis 
Drake — it is a pity they are not copied verbatim — touching the 
Quixotic expedition to take Portugal from the Spaniards, and 
set the exiled king on the throne. The minutes of October 
1588, and February 1589 merely record the reading of the 
letters, and the absence of any comment upon them is signifi- 
cant of what our merchants thought of the adventure. 

" 30 Oct. 1588. At this Courte ther was reade a Ire dyrected 
from Sr Fraunces Drake, knyght, to the gentilmen Merchauntes 
and inhabitauntes of this cittie to adventure with hime and one 
Sr John Norris in a voiage supportinge some speciall service for 
her Matie for the defence of o' religion, Queue and countrye, 
dated the 17th October, 1588; together with the order and 
manner of a warrant for suche as will adventure howe they 
shalbe assured of suche monyes as they shall adventure, dated 
the 1 8th of October 1588." 

"31st Feb. 1589. At this Courte ther was one other Ire 
directed from S' Ffraunces Drake, Knight, to the Maior and 
Aldermen of the Cittie of Exon, touchinge an adventure with 


Appendix. hime and others in, a voiagc for her Maties service, dated the 
— of January 1588 (o.s.) 1589." 

In these days of unrestricted intercourse with other nations 
we can scarcely realize a state of affairs, which would render it 
almost impossible to obtain corn, wherewith to make bread, at 
any price. That this was the case may be learned from contem- 
porary documents. In Philip Wyott's diary, before alluded to, 
we find that in 1586 Justices sat and gave direction thai no corn 
should go abroad but be kept for the maintenance of the poor 
in every parish, and that persons should be appointed " to view 
barnes and mows and to take a note what store of corn there 
was, and what people were in such houses as had conic to spare, 
and allowing evy pson a peck a weke to certify the overplus to 
the said Justices." Wheat at this time was eight shillings, rye 
six shillings, and barley five shillings and eight pence a bushel. 

From a minute in March 1586, it appears that the Company 
had sent for a cargo of corn from some foreign port for the relief 
of the city ; but a month later, so great had the scarcity become, 
it was necessary to see to themselves as well as the poor, 
and they resolved that every subscriber of one pound should 
have a bushel of wheat and a bushel of rye towards the re- 
demption of his contribution. 
XLIV. Another decade brought with it a recurrence of famine. In 
1596, still indebted to Philip Wyott's diary for the information, 
we find that " all this May hath not been a dry day or night." 
Again in June and in August there is the chronicle of " con- 
tinual rains," and -later on, " not a dry day in November." It 
says something for the foresight of our Merchants that, in 
August of this year, considering that " conic was like to growe 
dearer rather than better cheape by nieanes of the ffowie 
weather," they should seek to import from foreign countries 
the precious grain which their own land would, to C^o-nDearances, 
fail to yield them. 

Nos. 19 and 20, North Strfkt. 


Appendix. The mode of administering relief to the citizens and the poor 
was ingenious, and is worthy of note. Rye at that time was 
selling, as a favor, at nine shillings the bushel. The cargo was 
purchased at the rate of four shillings and sixpence a bushel. 
One third of the amount disbursed by a Member of the Com- 
pany was delivered to him in kind, for his own use or to make 
what he could of it, the remaining two-thirds in value was sold 
to poor householders and the poor at the cost price. 

In the early spring of the following year, the prospects became 
worse, continued rains prevented both the sowing and the 
XLV, gathering of the wheat. So soon as February 1597, energetic 
action was taken by the Company to prevent a great calamity. 
The noble sum of ;^550 was, without hesitation, subscribed in 
order to provide the city with the first necessary of life ; and the 
advantage of thus taking early steps to insure a supply of corn 
is evidenced in the fact that they were enabled to sell it at 5^ 8d 
a bushel, when the market price was more than double. 

That the Company were regarded, not merely as a trading 
body, but as representatives of the social life of the city, is 
shown by the circumstance that three widows subscribed hand- 
somely towards this fund. 

There are other instances of the charitable disposition of the 
Company which may fitly be introduced here. The petition of 
Philipp Cane is a well written and manly appeal for help under 
adverse circumstances, and the response indicates that the case 
was deserving of consideration. 

In our local history there is an account given of the " Black 
Assize " which w^as held in the spring of 1586. It was so called 
from the fearful mortality which followed the trial of certain 
prisoners who brought the gaol fever into Court, and of those 
who were present, ten magistrates, eleven jurymen, and a great 
number of constables and others fell victims to this terribly con- 
tagious disease. The fever was generated by certain prisoners 


Appendix ^ho were taken from a Portuguese ship, homeward bound from 
Newfoundland with fish, by Barnard Drake, Esquire, and who 
were maintained in a most miserable condition in the gaol. 
This gentleman is described in the historical record of his death 
as Sir Barnard Drake, Knt., and as he was a magistrate present at 
the trial, and one of the first to succumb to the fever, it almost 
appears like a retribution, which would have been intensified if 
he obtained his knighthood, as is not improbable, for this very 

The attention of the Company was directed to the case of 
^LYjj these unfortunate prisoners some time previously, and their 
necessities relieved. 

In the year 1593 the front of the Guildhall was rebuilt, and 

behind the portico — on the site occupied by the present police 

offices — an open room or corridor was constructed. Towards 

XLVIII. the expense of this work our Company contributed forty 

pounds for " paving, seelinge, stoves and winscott," 

This corridor, we learn from a side note, was used as a 
" walke ;" and we can imagine the stately old Merchants in 
starched rufif, doublet and hose, refreshing themselves at the close 
of day with promenade and social gossip ; whilst the strains of 
music proceeding from the cool and airy situation of the " leddes 
of the Guildhalde " would show that they were not indifferent to 
the softer arts. 

" 13 Dec. 1593. At this Courte Mr. Governo' did move the 
whole Companie concerninge a yearly fee to be geven fromc 
hensforthe to the waites of this Cittie, whereunto the whole 
Companie agreed. And thereuppon Mr. Governo' did put it to 
triall of handes whether they shoulde have yearly a xxvjj viiijV 
or a x\s, whereuppon the whole Companie agreed, that they 

I Sir Bernard Drake was knighted by Queen Elizabeth at Greemvich in 1585, He 
died April loth 1586, and was buried in the parish Churcli of Musbury, Devon. 


Appendix shoulde have yearly ffortie shillings at the pleasure of this 
Companie, the firste payment to begynne at the ffeaste 
of the Birthe of o' Lorde God next ensewinge, and to be paied 
yearly by the Treasorer of this Companie for the tyme beinge- 
And in consideracon thereof the said waites do promis to plaie 
evrye sundaie and holy daie betvvene the ffeaste of Saincte 
Michaell tharchangell and the ffeaste of thannunciacon of o' 
Ladie beinge in the wynter one quarter of an hower before 
supper tyme uppon the leddes of the Guilhalde, and bctwene the 
said ffeaste of thannunciacon and the ffeaste of St. Michaell 
beinge in the somer tyme halfe of an hower." 

"6 Sept. 1597. At this Courte it is agreed that from hens- 
fourthe there shalbe paid yearlie by our Tresorer to Medlandes 
boy beinge one of the waits, tenne shillinges to thende that he 
and the reste shall amend there musicke and continewe the time 
in playenge uppon the leddes of the Guilhald as in a former Act 
is mencioned." 

So early as the year 1580, the attention of the Company was 
directed to the desirability of appointing a public preacher and 
XLIX. religious instructor, and they were invited to support the Mayor 
by contributing something towards a stipend for a functionary to 
be instituted for those purposes, but nothing seems to have been 
done on that occasion. In 1599, the subject was again brought 
up by the Governor of the Company, and a motion was carried 
L- that ten pounds a year should be paid as a contribution for and 
"towardes the restablishinge of the Catachisme and procuringe 
of a learned preacher within this Citie the better to instruct the 
people in the knowledge of God." Some disagreement as to the 
mode of raising the money delayed the appointment for more 
than twelve months, when the Corporation and the Company 
agreed to the appointment of the Rev. Kdmond Snape, D.D., to 
the office, at a salary of £^0 a year. 

Among the municipal records is the following document ; — 


Appendix. " 2 1 August 1600. Thc Chamber to Edmond Snape counter 
part of appointment as a preacher in Exeter, to preach twice a 
week, viz., on the Sabbath day at 6 a.m., and in the afternoon, 
with a salary of £s^' 

" Signed Edmond Snape. " 
Seal : a death's head, hour glass and book, with initials E.S. 
In Fuller's "Worthies " on the subject 'Cotton,* temp. 1599, 
the following curious note occurs : — 

" Mr. Snape a second Cartwrir^ht (not for abilities but activity) 
came out of Jersey, and plentifully sowed the seeds of Non-con- 
formity in his Diocesse, which thc vigilancy of this stout and 
prudent Prelate plucked up by the roots, before they could come 
to perfection." 

Can it be possible that the public preacher and this Non- 
conformist were one and the same person ? 

The remaining few extracts are arranged in chronological 

order. The resolution respecting the apprentice, Richard New- 

LII. man, is illustrative of the interest taken by the Guild in those 

who would, in good time, become members^ and whose education 

consequently was a matter of some importance. 

The order that dilatory arbitrators should be fined, arose out 
of a reluctance on the part of certain gentlemen to decide in a 
case where John Davy (who was a man of no small consequence) 
had been presented for calling John Twose " drunken beast, 
LI 1 1, ^vhich are onseemlie wordes." The gentle pressure of a fine 
probably had the effect of compelling the appointed to carry out 
a disagreeable duty. The next extract is a proclamation against 
the wearing of sumptuous apparel, aimed not so much at the ex- 
travagance and immoral tendency of the practice, as against 
T TV purchasing the fine goods of the hateful foreigner, to the neglect 
* of our own more homely, if more useful fabrics. 

" Merchauntes who do dwell in villages or uplandish townes " 
would have this advantage over their brethren in cities, in that 

The Broad Gate (Interior). 


Appendix they could do pretty nuich as they liked, without fear of the in- 
tervention of the Guild, in those days of restricted intercourse. 
Hence the desire to prevent young adventurers from starting in 
■ life, on their own account, free from the wholesome restrictions 
which they would be subject to under the eye of the Guild. 

An attempt to infringe upon the liberties of the Company by 
some Merchants of Taunton appears to have resulted in failure, 
LYj and entailed a liability, in respect of the expenses consequent 
upon resenting the offence. 

Probably one of the first exercising the calling of a broker 

was appointed by the Company in 1593, but it could not have 

been a very profitable office, as his commission was but two 

LVII. pence in the pound, and that he was to divide, if another broker 

came upon the scene on the opposite side. 

During the same year one Robert Fetter, feltmaker, was dis- 
covered to be doing a little contraband business in " Whitware " 
from Pampoole, having contrived to bring home five or six yards 
LVIII. in the "Pleasure" of Topsham. The next year getting bold 
by success, he brought home fourteen yards and a half in the 
" Mary of Jarsey." This was too much for the feelings of the 
Guild, so he was speedily called to account, and suffered for his 

A case of shuffling, as to the ownership of certain goods upon 
LIX. which a distress appears to have been levied, was thoroughly 
sifted in the matter of William Tucker, who occasioned some 
trouble and expense, but ultimately got the worst of it. 

The refusal of Thomas Chaffe to submit to the formalities 

usual in the admission to the Guild, for conscience sake, is 

curious, but the excuse alleged is so " ffryvolous " that there was 

LX. probably some other motive lurking beneath, which might have 

been suspected by the Court, and acted upon accordingly. 

The disturbed state of the Channel during the continuous 
struggles for supremacy, between English, French, Dutch, and 


Appendix Spanish, at the close of the century, is shown in the minutes re- 
lating to the Dunkirk's. From the port of Dunkirk a band of 
LXl. f*"^^ rovers hailed, who, taking advantage of the troublous times, 
infested the coasts, and under cover of letters of mark (not 
infrequently forged) committed sad depredations upon peaceful 

In 1602, when the siege of Ostend full}- occupied the attention 
of the Spaniards, whose ships would be constantly passing up 
and down channel, there is some complaint of negligence on the 
part of the guardships. Probably the Captains were more in- 
tent on the larger prey offered in the Spanish vessels, and 
allowed the little rovers opportunities \\hich they would not be 

slow to seize. After fitting out the " Katherine " on their own 


account with gunpowder and " furniture," the Merchants sent a 

deputation to the Secretary to the Admiralty at Plymouth, with 
authority to secure his good will and " frcndshippe " by an ex- 
penditure of twenty pounds, or more if necessary, the object 
being to get more competent captains to command the warships. 
Two names are suggested for appointment, the Mayor of 
Plymouth and the famous Captain Sonds. 

Towards the latter part of the century there was a great ac- 
cession of members, as many as ten being admitted at one 
Court ; the advantages derivable from the connexion during this 
prosperous period, no doubt inducing many to abandon their 
own professions and join the more lucrative one of " Merchaun- 
dize," The regulations for admission in all cases were stringently 
enforced, both with those who claimed entrance by right, . and 
those who like Mr. Newcombe found difficulties and a heavy fee 
in the way. It was a good stroke of policy on his part to obtain 
L>^III. a letter of recommendation from Mr. Canon Leach, who (as he 
doubtless knew) was a favorite with the Merchants. Mr. Roberts 
tells us that "about 16x0 the Chamber of Exeter used to vote 
sugar-loaves to Mr. Canon Bodley and Mr. Canon Leach, in 

treasurer's account. 95 

Appendix token of their approbation of their pains taken in the morning 
lecture at St. Peter's." 

These notes will be appropriately brought to a conclusion 
with the Treasurer's balance-sheet. It is dated early in the 
history of the Guild, and singularly enough is the only one to be 
met with throughout the minutes. The cash accounts, howeve r, 
of so important a corporation, as it grew in strength, would be 
kept in a separate book. 

" The accopte of William Waye, Threasurer for the laste yeare, 
made before Nicholas Martyn, Harry EUacote and John Ffelde, 
the xiijth daye of this present August 1566. 

" The saide William Waye hath receved in money for his 
yeare as appereth in viij Courtes before the some of x/ viijj id 
" Whereof he hath layed oute and payed as foloweth : — 
" Ffyrst to John Ffelde for this yeares wages 

and for three quarters behind the last yeare xxiijj iiijW 
Item payed to John Tooker ... xlij.y 

Item for a newe keye for the box ... iiij^ 

Item payed for ij peces of gree fryse con- 

teyning Ixxij yardes ... ... iii/ xv'js 

Item paied also for a yarde of fryse . . . xxjW 

Item payed for viij yardes of white cotten 

at ix^ the yarde .. ... vji" 

Item to Ralfe Sadyforth for the making of 

xij gonnes ... ... ... ixj 

Item payed to x watchmen on Mydsomer 

■ nyght with dryncke ... ... iijj viij^ 

Item paied to John ffelde for Avrytinge this 
booke ... ... ... xxj 

Sum. ix/ ijs yi 

" Soo remayneth due to the Howse xxvji-, which xxvjj was de- 
livered to Nicholas Martyn at the levelinge of this accompte." 



The Mr. Doctor 1 "remayiv; referred to at page 60 was a D.D., Canon Residentiary, 
and Treasurer of the Cathedral. lie was an excellent preacher, and died in 1584. 
His elder brother Edward, one of the Clerks of the Council, had an honorary salary 
settled on him by the City of Exon, for the good offices which they had received and 
c^pecicd. -A/onrf's History of Drcoushite. 



Protest against Excessive Duties. 


" 1 1 Feb. 1602. Also at this Courte Mr. Governo' did move 

the whole Companic whether they woulde yeilde to paie the rate 

demaunded by Andrewe Cholwill, gent., deputie unto Mr. 

Symon Harvey, upon spices, sugars, &c., the particulers beinge 

sett downe as ffolloweth, viz., uppon 

Pepper, mace, cloves 1 , , , , , • , , 
t-f ' I. t-jic hundred weight 

Nutmeggs, synymonn 3 

Sugar the hundred . . . 

Prunes the puncheon... 

Reasons the pece 

Reasons of the the hundred 

ffiges the barrell or tapett 

Currantes the tonne ... .. 

Dates the hundred 

Almondes the hundred 

Annys Seade the hundred 

Lecoras the hundred... 

Rise the hundred 

Sope the hundred ... 

Oyle the tonne 

Olives the tonne 

honye the tonne 

Sugar the chest 

Sugar in loves the chest 

Sugar in loves refined that use 

ffates the hundred ... 
Molasses the tonne ... 













. vjs vUjd 





to come in 





" Whcrcuppon the whole Companic doe agree that frome 
hcnsfiforth the said rate shall not be paid by anic of this Com- 
panie to the said Symon Harvey or anie of his deputie or 
deputies, and that Mr. John Ellacott Governo', Mr. Willm. 
Martyn, Mr. John Howell, Mr. Dorchester, Mr. Willm. Spicer, 
Mr. John Prouse, Mr. Willm. Martyn, Councellor, Mr. Hugh 
Crossinge, John Sandey, Robert Parr, aiKl Henry Swecte, or 
sixe of them, shall betwene this and the next Courte drawc and 
penne an acte concerninge the foresaid premisses, and certifie the 
same at the next Courte foUowinge." 

APPf:Ni)ix. , 99 



The Oration or Declaration which I, John Vowell al's Hoker, 
made by the appoyntment of Mr. Robert Mydwynter Maior 
unto the Comons of the Citie of Exon at the Guildhall the 
xxvth of Januarie 1559. 

" My Masters,' the cause why yo are called hether at these 
presents is to notific unto yo the tenner of certeyne Ires and a 
decree which the Oucenes Maties most honorable Council hath 
sent unto o Masters Mr. Maior and his brethren, as touching 
an order b)' their honors taken for thapeasinge of the late con- 
troversie among us : most hartely pyenge us all quietly and 
paciently to geve eare thereunto : The effecte of them con- 
s}-steth in too poyntes — thone concerninge obedience and thother 
touching Concorde and unitye, which too are of suche force and 
effycacie, that therby all comonwelthes and all estates are pre- 
served and kept, and without them all are turned to utter ruyn 
and desolacion, whereof to declare pticularly it may apeer by 
many and sundrie examples how that thobedience of the people 
hath not onelie bene moste acceptable before God, but hath 
also bene the most assured staye and preservacion of them in 
all ages and tymes. Whereas controverslye disobedience moste 
displeaseth God and procureth his heavie hande againe us : yea 
and so haynest and displeasinge is the same in his sight that 
even from the fyrst begyning he opened it when he showed his 
hevie displeasure in revenging thereof Ffor when Adam was 
fyrst made and created and apoynted the Lorde and Governo' 
of all the workes of God, which were all made to serve his use, 
God wylled him that in no wyse he sholde touche or eate of the 
aple of the tree of lyffe and dethc which then dyd growe in the 
middle of the garden of Paradise : but Adam forgeting his 


deutyc wolde needs taste and eatc therof : the smartc whereof 
he forthwh fclte and not he alone but all his posteritie all bcinj^e 
exiled out of that garden : and man wolde thinkc it but a smale 
mater to taste or eate of an aple speciallie the same beinge 
made for manne and whereof was such abundance and plentic 
as a mannes seeing the lacke of one coulde not be so greato a 
mater : Yet God who requireth not so moche of us obedience 
as doth abhorr disobedience doth not onely exile Adam and 
Eva his wyfie but all his posteritie out from the garden of in- 
nocencie wh wee all do yet at these presente feele — lykewyse 
the children of Israeli when they forgetinge there obedience dyd 
murmur agayn Moyses and Aaron because they had not fleshe to 
eate in the wilderness as they were wonte to have in Egipt all- 
though God gave them there own desyres and rayned downe 
from heaven bothe quayles and manna, yet let he not unre- 
venged ne yet unplayned there former disobedience but even 
whyles the meate was yet in there mouthes his countenance was 
moved agayn them and slew them wh an exceding great plague. 
Also Corathe Dathan and Abyron were miche offended wh 
Moyses and Aaron and repyned against them, but what folowed 
even they when they thought to offer incense to God he nothing 
accepting the same the earthe opened and swalowed up bothe 
theyme there houses and all the people that were with them : yea 
and as the historic saiethe they all went downe alyve in to hell. 

Absolon also Kinge Davids .sone who was right deere unto 
his father and who coulde wante nothinge yeat wheyn he gave 
to mislyke the Government of his and wolde nccdes be Kinge 
him selfe and rule after his owne mynde it do so move and dis- 
please God that he rooted him out from of the face of the 
earthe, for Absolon riding upon his horse under an oke was 
hanged by the heare of his hedde and there dyd so hange untill 
one Joab came and slew him. Many other examples there 
be both in the sacred as also in the prophane histories, as 
especiallie in the chronicles of this realme, wch may Avell shew 
unto us the frute of contempte and disobedience of the higher 
powers, whereof some have been scene even by many now yet 
alive and here present beinge the same done as well in the 
tymes of Kinge Henry the vijth, Henry the viijth, Edward the 
vjth, as also in the tyme of Queene Marie. Ffor when certeyn 


men, mislyking the Government of Kinge Henry the vijth dyd 
cluster themselves together, and under the guydinge of one 
called the blackesmithe, came from the mounte to this Citie and 
from thence to London, and then to Blackhethe felde redy wh 
force to prevayle wh the Kinge : What followed bysydes the shed- 
inge of bloodd ? The plague was upon them and there posteritie. 

Lykewise when in the tyme of King Henry the viijth certeyn 
of the northe countrie myslyked the affayres and doinges of the 
Kynge and dyd congregate themselves to repyne his attemptes, 
even, as it was thought, of a verie zeale and love to God, yet it 
is well known what a plague and what an evell successe folowed 
the same. 

In the tyme of Kinge Edward the vjth the vulgare people 
and comones of these west countries having, as they saide, a 
zeale in goode cause, could not abyde the reformacon of the 
prince in causes of religion : Wherefor they clustered them- 
selves together, chose to themselves certeyn captaynes and lay 
here about this Citie as yo know a long tyme. But alas in 
thende thereof how was there bloode spylt, there goodes wasted, 
and both they and there posteritie brought to utter reproche, 
confusion and shame. And fynallye, now of late in the tyme of 
Oueene Marye it is not unknown how Sr Thomas Wyat, even of 
a verie zeale to defend the nacion and to preserve it the libertie 
thereof from the overuning of the strange nacions, dyd aryse in 
defense thereof : but alas yo know what an evell successe God 
gave thereunto, and how the plague lighted upon him to the 
confusion of him selfe and reproche of his prosteritie. Ffor 
assuredlie such is the displeasure of God agayn suche as shall 
repyne the prime magistrate and higher powers, that be the 
cause never so good in our sighte, yet before God it is so 
displeasant that he will not leave it unpunished : the cause he 
taketh to be his owne, and therefore upon him selfe taketh he 
the revenge thereof : the state of higher powers is as deere unto 
him as the aple of his eye which nowise will he to be touched. 

Wherefore let us all well remember, as well for the dewtie we 
owe unto God, the obedience unto the prince and love to this 
our Comon welthe and Citie that wh all humbleness and 
obedience wee do quiet! ie submitt our selfs to the Government 
of the higher powers and magistrates. 



And as I have- thus spoken of obedience, so thinkc ye the 
same of concord, love and unitie ; for without it be the blcssinge 
of God othenvise never so great and manyfolde unto us yet 
shall not the same availe us but rather rebownde to o' confusion, 
for suche is the nature of love and concordc that by it smale and 
weake thinges become to be greate, mightic and stronge, and of 
the contraric by discorde and division most puissant and strong 
matters have become feble and weke and of no force nor effecte. 

Ffor wheresoever love, concorde and unitie are not there 
is all disorder and confusion. Esop therefore hathe a fable that 
one a tyme there was a contention between the bodie and the 
membres of the same, — the membres forgeating in what a 
unitie they were knitt unto the bodie begane to murmure 
and grudge, the hande refusing to do his function, the foote 
being werie to do his vocation : and finally everie membre for- 
geting in what an unitie he was compacte and ioyned in 
the bodie, swerved from doinge his dewtie and part. 
Thus the bodie beinge divided everie one membre having 
smale regarde of thother were at length brought to suche a 
feeble and extreme state that they awayted for nothinge but 
even the utter decaye and confusion of them selves wh indeed 
folowed, even so shall it be by us : for when everie singuler 
membre envieng the state of the bodie will of any singuler 
fantasie swerve from that unitie we are all conjoined in lett him 
awayte most assuredlie for destruction. Ffor as he beinge knytt 
and joyned to the bodye shall seele his owne preservacion and 
contynuancc so beinge severed shall as a member without sus- 
tenance be brought to confusion and decaye. 

Ffor concord and unitie preserveth and kepeth whereas dis- 
cord and division destroiethe and subvertethe. Wherefore 
one Scyturus a Scythian borne beinge one stryken in yeres 
and having xxx sones alyve to pswade them to a con- 
corde love and unitie amonge them selfes used this familier 
. example : he caused a lytle before his dethe a fagott to be made 
of so many styckes as he had children and the same being sett 
before him he called all his sones before him and commanded 
theldest to take the fagott and to break it, wh when he coulde 
not do, then he willed the seconde to do it and then the iij and 
so finallie averie one one after another : and when none of them 


couldc breake the fagott he willed the eldest sone to take out a 
stycke and breake it wch when he had done he willed the 
seconde to do so and so from one to another the lyke he com- 
manded. Wch when everie one of them had done and broken 
hys stycke then thus he saide unto them : even thus shall it be 
wh yo' for as long as ye shall contynew together within the 
compasse and bonde of love and unitie ye shall be strong and 
invincible : but if any one of yo fleete and swerve from a nother 
and be ones out of the fagott and be at variance discorde and 
contention then shall yo' be weake feble and easie to be broken 
and overthrowen which his sayeinge is not so wise as most trew : 
for it is a rule among the philosophers " omnis virtus unita 
magis in se valet quam dispersa." Everie thinge wch hathe any 
vertewe is of muche more force and effecte when it is ioyned 
together in one, than when it is dispersed and devyded : wch to 
be most trew hathe apered by many examples in the comon 
welthe of this o' Citie : who when we have ioyned together in 
one hert, one mynde and one bodye have ben of suche force as 
agayne whom our adversaries and enemies have but smallie pre- 
vayled ffor in the xlvjth yere after the incarnacion of Christ wch 
were about xxiiij yeres before the. destruction of Jerusalem 
Claudius the empero' sent Vespasian then Duke of his armye in to 
this realme and here beinge with a mightie hoast beseged this Citie 
whose puyssance and might thoughe coulde not be withstanded 
by so smale a company as in respecte of his were within the 
Citie yet dyd the inhabitants so ioyne themselves together in 
one herte and one mynde with such a fyrme concordc and 
unitie that thempero' being not hable to prevayle was enforced 
to rayse his sege yea and as some saye fayne to take the seas 
for his succo'. in the tyme of King Edwarde the iiijth thoughe it 
be storie to all men not knowen yet treu it is that sundry of the 
nobilitie of this realme taking parte wh King Edwarde lay and 
harbored within this Citie : others of the nobilitie then bearing 
and taking parte wh Kinge Henry the vjth nothing pleased 
therewith assembled themselfes together and with an army 
beseged this Citie : at wh tyme the Citizens were in greate 
perplexities the nobilitie who were within requiring to have the 
keyes of the Citie in their custodie and to have the governrrtent 


of the Citie, and the nobylitie lykewise wch were without by 
force seekinge to prevaile, but in this extrcmitie the Citizens 
ioined them selfcs so fyrmly in unitie and Concorde together that 
as they gave no place nether graunted to ether pt so dyd they 
preserve the Citie from daunger and invasion. And finally 
last of all wee wch are here now present do well know in what 
a miserable state this Citie and we o' selfcs were in at the last 
comocion beinge one everie syde environed with our enemies : 
and yet being fyrmcly ioyned together in unitie and concorde 
dyd prevaile agayne them, ffor certeinglie such is the force and 
nature of love and unitie as whereby all things are preserved 
and contynewed even as by division contencion and discorde 
cometh utter confusion and desolacion. Tliere hath of late 
benne a controversie and variaunce amonge us wch hath bredd 
miche unquietness : the same hath bene opened and referred to 
the honorable o' good Lordes of the Queene's Maties Councell : 
who tendering the state of us and of o' comon welthe have wh 
no smale paynes travelled to reduce the same to a quiett and 
finall determinacion, and lykewise they have of ther honores 
sent the same to o' master the maior and his brethren here pre- 
sent wh there Ires, requiring us all wh quietness to obey and 
observe the same. They shalbe thearfore openlie playnelie and 
distynctlie redde unto yo' praienge yo' to geve attente eare 
thereunto and to beare it well awaie. - 

And then I toke the Ires and fyrst I dyd reede them playnlie 
and distynctlie, that done I dyd reede everie sentence by sen- 
tence repeting everie one once or twice : that done I tooke 
thorder and when I had redden it once over I saide this — 

My masters ye knowe the controversie amonge us was cheeflye 
for ij causes thone touching buyinge and sellinge of marchandyse 
by retayle, and thother for adventuring beyonde the seas. 
For the fyrst the wisedome of the honorable Councell waye- 
inge and consydcringe o' estate, have not thought good the 
lybertie of buyeinge and sellinge by retayle sholde be restrayned 
from any maner of citezen or inhabitant within this citie of what 
condicion or degree he be of : but to have his free lybertie and 
choyse to use the same at his owne will and pleasure without 
lett or deneall : And for the seconde arle marke there honorable 
wisedomes who lyke fathers of this oure comon welthe have a 


speciall regarde unto us — ffor forasmiche to be an adventurer is 
not onlie to be subjecte to the perilles of the seas, but do the 
also require a more exacte knowledge in it selfe then other 
trades dothe without whch the trade is lyke to be more daun- 
gerose then profytable, therefore there honores thinkinge not 
good that everie unskillfuU pson "sholde attempte this trade wch 
is more lyke to turne to his decaye then comoditie will not that 
any sholde attempte the trade of suche adventuringe oneles he 
were first skillfull therein for if any one having not skill sholde 
by adventuringe receve the loss the same shall not onelie be the 
decay of him, his wyffe his familie and his freendes but a losse 
to the comon welthe, he being not able to be so frutfuU a 
member therein as he before was. There wisedomes therefore 
having so fatherlye a care of us wolde not wee sholde attempte 
the thinge wch might turne us to decaye or ruyn. And yet not- 
withstanding there honores exclude not everie pson from ad- 
venturing but onelie suche as are unfytt or unapte but if any 
wilbe an adventurer lett him sewe to be of this companye who 
if he be discerned and judged to be fytt for the same he shall 
not onelie be admitted thereunto but shall also be receved into 
the same Companie gratis freelie without any chardge or coste 
at all. And because a reasonable meane sholde be hadd in 
chosing and electinge of suche as be fytt, this order is taken 
that the Maior the Aldermen and Comon Councell of this Citie 
ioyning to them ten of the hedd and chefife comoners who knowe 
the state of everie inhabytant within this Citie shall examyn and 
judge whether everieps on so seweng to be a Marchant Adventurer 
be fytt and meete for the same or not according to which order 
the saide tenne comoners be elected and chosen whose names be 
these (which I then rehersed and said thus) : This is the order 
and therefore I py ye to marcke it well, I will reede it agayne 
once more unto yo' (and then I dyd so and thus I sayd) fforas- 
much as the Oueene's Maties most honorable Councell hath wh 
greate paynes and travelle sett and made this order it is not 
onelie o' bownden dewtie to receve and accepte it but also with 
all humbleness of hert in quiet Concorde and unitie we oughte to 
obey the same conforming o' selves in all quiet order to th' 
accomplisshing thereof. And our Master the Maior and all his 
brethren do here before yo' all not onelie for there partes promise 


to obey the same but also do desyre yo' to do the lyke : And 
that all matters of displeasure variaunce and contencion sett 
apart now frecndly to agree all together in all love Concorde and 
unite wh for there partes do both crave and desire of yo' offering 
to ioyne wh yo' wh all love and unitie. And according to 
thorder taken as requisitt it is they offer here that no inhabitante 
at all within this Citie shalbe interrupted from retaylingc of any 
kinde of wares and mchanndizc, nether yet will refuse any man 
to be of the Societie of the M'chauntes but being ones iudged 
meete shalbe receved wh hert and mynde gratis freelie wthout 
any cost or charge at all : but yet undcrstande yo' too thinges 
as and shalbe required of everie one admitted in to this com- 
panye wthout wh he cannot be receved : that is to saic obedience 
to the Masters and Governors of this Company, and love and 
unitie one wth another for without these too he cannot be re- 
ceved : Wherefore Masters as I do nothing doubte so do I 
trust yo' will conforme yorselves quietlie to this order : wh I do 
require of yo' both for the dewtie yo' ow^e unto God the 
obedience to the higher .powers and regarde of this our comon 
welthe : I mistrust not but that yo' will conforme yorselves wh 
all quietness and obedyence to observe the same : ffor God com- 
maundeth it, the prynce and higher powers require it and the 
state of o' comon welthe loketh for it (wh ar and sholde be 
sufficient arguments for everie man to quiet and content himselfe) 
yea and if there were ells nothing to move us unto it yet o' verie 
Citie and situacion of the same might sufficiently teache us what 
to do : fifor as ye know it is placed and situated upon an hill 
beinge above the whoale countrie adioyning : wh teachethe o' 
conversacion o' love our concorde and unitie amonge o' selves 
sholde be suche as that it sholde be a spectacle to the whole 
countrie adioyning to beholde : it is walled roundeabout wh 
lyme and stone, even sholde we fast ioyned one to another wh 
the hoate lyme of love and unitie and wh the sande of obedience 
wh shall better defend us then any wall of stone be it never so 
stronge. And therefore as it now cometh to my remembraunce 
when certyn ambassadores were sent from Athenes to Lace- 
demonia they vew^inge the Citie asked where the walles were of 
the Citie : wherewh certyn of the citezens stepping forthe and 
ioyning themselves together awnsered we ar the w alls of Sparta, 

APPENDIX. ' 107 

meaning that they so agreed together in obcyinge the higher 
powers and suche love and unitie one wh another that no enemy 
was able to prevayle agayne them and that no walle could be 
stronger then were they beinge thus ioyned in love quietnes and 
obedience. The sone assone as he ariseth casteth his hcate and 
beames of light upon us, even so sholde we evry the morninge 
spredd the heate and beames of unfayned love and unitie upon 
all o' neighbores : lykwise one showre of rayne wassheth awaye 
the fylthe of all o' streetes even so sholde the dewe and love of 
unitie washe awaye from us all contemptes all hatredes and all 
displeasures that nothinge be so plentyfullie remayninge amonge 
us as love peace and unitie. Whereby be we assured wc shall m.ost 
saefflic kepe and defende this our comon welthe and best pvide 
for our selfes and our posteritie. And therefore yet once more I 
do most hartelie pray yea and require yo' all in the name of 
God in the name of the Prince and higher powers and in the 
name of the comon welth the pservacion whereof we all must 
tender that everie one of us do quietly conforme and aplie our- 
selves to thobeying and keping of thorder now taken : And if 
it be so that any psons not contented to do his dewtie shall 
travell by any maner of waies to pswade yo' to the contrarie or 
whisper in corners any vayne thinge whch might withdrawe yo' 
from this trew unitie love and obedience beleve him not nether 
yet geve eare unto him : For he is therein a most unprofytable 
member in the comon wethe : but rather if yo' will do well dis- 
close and reveale him to the magistral that according to his 
descries he may receve a condigne punishment. And let us all 
as our deuties are castawaye from us all discorde division and 
discension, and lett us as brothers agree all together in love Con- 
corde and unitie. And as God shalbe so prayed the prince 
reioysed and o' Citie preserved so double I not but the pros- 
peritie thereof shalbe bothe upon this Citie and upon us and o' 
posteritie whch the Lordc grauntc unto us all. 



"XV May 1562. Whereas John Pyll an inhabitant of this 
Citic hath traffiqucd oute of this reahne into the domynions of 
Ffraunce as also hath traffiqued from the parties of ffraunce into 
the Citic being not free of this Companye : And therfore ther 
is now stayed a fardell of dowlas to answere such fyne as shalbe 
assessed upon hym which remayneth in the custodye of the 
provostie courte : Therefore he shall paye the fyne of X/: which 
if he quyetlie paye or submyt hymself then to have the grace 
of the howse. To which assesment condiscended Mr John 
Blackall Maio' Wm Hurste John Blackaller Walter Staplegyll 
Robert Mydwynter and William Bucknam Aldermen of the 
saide Citie." 

"XXVII March 1563. John Pyll was sent for before this 
Companye and being offered to be reasonablic used for the fyne 
assessed upon hym for the fardell of lynnen clothe which was 
staid and attached for the fyne of tenne pounds refused to con- 
forme hym self to any order But with scoffingc and taunting 
required this fardell of Clothe to be redelivered with a recom- 
pence of Xiijf iujd for his ciiarges." 

XIII Maye 1563. Fine confirmed by the Mayor and 
Aldermen and if not paid he is to be apprehended and com- 
mitted to the * Warde of the Guldhalle ' — 


"6 August 1563. At which daye Nicholas Martyn brought 
in for certen averege : viz., for the * Angel ' of Dartmouth xijj, 
for the ' Julyan ' of Saint Malos xjV, for the ' Bartlemewe ' vd, for 
the ' Dragon ' ijs, for the same * Dragon ' ijs, for a boote of 
Cornwall from Saint Malowes xxd, for the ' Mychaell ' nijs iijV, 



for the ' Charitie ' vjs, for the 'Nicholas' of Plymouth iij^y iiijV, 
for the ' Bartholomewe ' vs, for the ' Marj^ Grace ' of London 
iijj iiijW which amounteth in the whole to 
" The ' Trynitie ' of Dartmouth also paid 
and * The Jesus ' of Exmouth 

Average money reported as received : — 



1573 John Crosse to collect " averedge 

have for his pains xij^.of everie pounde. 

In 1587 It was £1'/ los (farmed out for this) the amount of 
levy being double — 2d instead of id. 





xij^ " 

£ s. d. 

3 7 3 

5 19 8 

6 10 II 

4 13 II 

I 15 2 

I 8 3 


2 13 3 


I 8 4 


mone}-, and to 


" The spirit of adventure does not appear to be confined to 
legitimate trading ; for at the Court held on 9th September^ 
1 568, it was agreed to take shares or lottes in the " Allottarie," and 
64 members subscribed for 96 shares, " to be divided into three 
several posies," to be written in the name of the Company, and 
any advantage gained to be divided proportionately amongst the 

Nicholas Martyn, John Livermore, and Richarde Swete, are 
appointed to carry out the arrangements, and they bind them- 
selves, their heirs and assigns, to faithfully perform their duties. 


They chose respectively 32 numbers, running consecutively from 
176916 to 177011. 

The " posie " or motto of Nicholas Martyn savours of a spirit 
of pious faith : 

" Cast the Grapell over the Ijoale 
If God will for the gieate lotto." 

That of John Livermore betokens somewhat of a hopeful 
turn of mind, and the absence of any pious aspiration, coupled 
with the fact that he was twice fined " for that he did spake 
onsccmlic and unhonest wordes," may justify the inference that 
he was rather a loose fish. His motto is — 

"The Castell standing upon the whaves of the see 
We Iruste shall carrye some lottes awaye." 

Richard Swete is evidently not a lucky man, but he knows 
how to take care of what he gets. His motto is — 

" If God doo sende any goode fortune at laste 
The lyons pa we will holde it faste." 

In all three posies there is allusion to the arms of the Com- 
pany, Avhich were " A castell standinge in the poinet wave ij 
crownes in cheifif gold upon the helme on a torse gold and 
azure, A lyons paw gulz holding a grappell golde the cordes 
gulz mantelyd pfulz Dobled argent."' 

V. ' 

" 30 August 1 571. And for that the accompte of John Pope 
threasorer in Anno 1569 by occasion of the sycknes in Exon, 
and the accompt of Thomas Martyn threasorer the laste yere, 
are not throughlie agreed upon and made perfect : Therefore it 
is determined that they shall bringe in their saide accomptes at 
the next Courte, which Courte is appointed (by Mr. Governo') 

' From " City Guilds," a Paper read at the Devonshire Association Meeting of 1872. 



to be one twysdaye the xjth of September next commynge, at 
nyne of the clocke in the forenone of the same daye." 

[Minutes missing if any Court was held, the date of the next 
meeting recorded being January 1572.] 


" 20 August 1 566. At which Courte the parties whose names 
do followe have ffreighted the ' mychaell ' of Excester for Ix ton 
accordinge to their complement as hereafter foloweth : To which 
they and every of theim standes bounden their executors and 
admynistrators to the Governo', Consulls, and Societie for the 
payment of their freight. 
" The ' Michael!' of^ Mr. William Hurste 
Excester to lade >- Thomas Martyn 
reesons J 

Mr. Morris Levermo' 
John Hutchyns 
John Levermore 

Mr. John Peter 
John Pope 

vi tone 
ij tone 

viij tone 

ij tone"] 

ij tone > vj tone 

ij tonej 

iij tone ^ 
iij tone ( 

George Peryman ij tone C ^ 
Richard Mawdyt iij tone ' 

Mr. John Mydwynter 

nij tone 

Robert Mywynter ij tone ^ 
William Chapell ij tone (^ 
Eustas Olyver 
John Crosse 

Symon Knyght 
Robert Cotton 
Andrewe Geare 

, > xnj tone 
VI tone C •' 

iij tone j 

vi tone^ 
i tone /-viij tone 
i toneJ 

Robert Lambell 
Richarde Swete 
Harry Ellacote 

} iij tone) 
ij tone J 




William Perry ij toncO 

riiillipp Vardc ij tone > v tone 
Edward Lymct i tone J 

"] Mr- William Hurste xi tone") 
"Thc'Bartlemewe' Thomas Martyn iiij tone | 

of Exmouth to V Andrew Geare i tone } xx tone 

lade rcesons | Mr. Robert Mydwynter iitone | 

J Robert Cotton ii tone J 

Mr. John Peter iij tone '\ 

John Pope iij tone (^jj ^^^^^ 

RichardeMawdytiiij tone ( 
George Perman ij tone ) 

Simon Knyght vj tone 

John Barstable ij tone (^^j ^^^^^ 

William Chapell j tone 

John Levermore ij tone 

Robert Lambell ) jj. ^^^q] 
Richard Swete J ■' ! j^^ ^^^^^ 

Richard Bevys ij tone j 
Harry Ellacote iiij tonej 

William Perry ij tone"] 

fe""^''T .j J°"^ i^vi tone 
Philhpp Yarde ij tone j 

Edwarde Lymett j toneJ 

"'The 'Mary Mar- ^ Mr. Morris Levermore ij tone "J 

tyn' of Excester y John Hutchyns j tone |-vj tone 
to lade fifygges J John Levermore iij tone J 

Mr. John Peter ...ij tone 

Eustas Olyver ij tone^ 
John Crosse ij tone >-vj tone 

Mr. Robt. Mydwynter ij toi.e J 

Robert Lambell ij tone J 
Harry Ellacot ij tone Vvj tone 
Robert Cotton ij tone » 



*' Owners of tlie ) ^ 
saide Barke | 

" 7th October 1566 " ■ 

The 'Christopher' j , , 

of KyngesWeefe : j 

to lade seckc 




The ' Margaret 
Carwythen ' of 
Kyngesweere to 
lade secke 

Richard Mawdyt 
John Barstable 
William Perry 

William Hurste 
Symon Knyght 
Thomas Martyn 

William Hurste viij 
Richarde Mawdet ij 
John Peter iiij 

John Pope iiij 

Harry Parramore ij 

Symon Knyght viij 
John Barstable iiij 

Plustas Olyver xij 
William Chapell iiij 

Phillipp Yarde iiij 

John Hutchyns ij 

William Perry iij 

Edwardo Lymet iij 

tone \ 

tone >v tone 

tone j 

tone 1 

tone ^xv tone 

tone 3 



tone ^ 

tone >-x tone 

tone j 

tone "I ... 

} xn tone 
tone j 



X tone 

xn tone 



. William Hurste xij tone\ 
George Peryman iij tone/ ' 

John Peter ij tone \ 

John Pope viij tone > xij tone 

the owner and Mr. ij tone j 

Symon Knight x tone"] 
Richarde Bevys ij tone /^xiiij tone 
Harry Parramore ij tonej 

Phillipp Yarde viij tone"] 

ij tone I , 

.A ^ y XV tone 
nj tone j 

ij tone J 

John Hutchyns 
Kdwarde Lymet 
William Perry 

Robert Cotton 

.iiij tone 



" Memorandu 25 August 1585. The Companie being 
assembled in the Mcrchauntcs haulc Mr. John Peryam o' newe 
Governo' elected did appcrc : And being moved to take his othc 
of Governor acccrdinge to oure ordinaunces in that behalfe, an- 
swered that he woulde not take uppon hime to be Governo', nor 
takeanie othe to prosecute the said office : for that as he alledged 
he did not minde to remayne in this Cittie as an inhabitant, but to 
dwell at London where his howsholde doth nowe remayne, and 
shewinge other cause that he must nedes be absent from this 
Cittie for the space of this yere or more, praied the Companie to 
ellecte some other in his stede : Whereuppon the generallitie 
acceptinge and allowingc of his excuse did dispense with him 
for this time, And thereuppon did order that ther shalbe chosen 
an other Governo' &c." 

[Next day a rule was passed fining an)' member declining to 
be Governor, 20 marks.] 

[In 1587. John Periam was again elected Governor, and he 
being absent, two of the Company were ordered to repair to him 
and require his direct answer, whether he will take the office or 
pay the fine.] 

[17th August. At the next Court he took the oath upon 
" certaine condicons and protestations which were by hime then 
published and declared.' ] 


" 1st June 1 58 1. At this Courte Leonarde Thordon servant 
to Mr. William Hurst of P^xeter Esquier : came in and requested 
to be made ffree of this Companye by redempcion, and the 
generallitie knowing that his saide master is no ffreeman of the 


Companye, thouglit it not convenient that any his sarvantes 
shoulde be admitted. Yet not withstanding the Company 
weyinge the estate of the young man : at the last dyd agree by 
handes that he shoulde be admytted upon some reasonable fyne 
so they did put downe two prises, viz. iijV and v/ which was put 
to be judged by handes. So the Companye dyd agree that hee 
shall paye for his saidefifreedome: v/ to which thesaide Leonarde 
woulde not agree. Yet neverthelesse hee had choisse and tyme 
geven hym untill Michaelmas next to respit upon the matter." 

[Sworn a freeman on i6th October following, and fine reduced 
to £3-] 


" 12 May 1 591. It is ordered and agreed by the Governo', 
Consulls, and whole Companie that w^hereas Mr. William 
Martyn Maio' of the said Cittie hath disbursed for this Companie 
the some of three score poundes for and towards the charge be- 
stowed in and about a certaine suyte for mittigatinge of certaine 
customes uppon wollen clothes, the said Companie doe agree 
that the said some of three score poundes shalbe repaeid him by 
xijVthe clothe Accordingeto a certain agreement heretofore made 
by divers of the said Companie. And also shalbe allowed for the 
forbearinge of the said some after the rate of tenne poundes of 
the hundred. And that the said Mr. William Martin shall yearly 
at evrye yeares ende yeilde accompt to this Companie what 
hath been receaved, and that this whole Companie or the moste 
part of them shall passe sufficient assurance to the said William 
Martyn for answering of the said three score poundes, and the 
interest under the scale of this Companie to be paid in mann' 
and fourme aforesaid." 

"5 August 1 591. At this it is ordered and enacted by the 
Governo', Consulls and whole Companie that whereas Mr. 
William Martyn Maio' of this Cittie hath disbursed the some of 
cccv/for and towardes the mittigatinge of customes uppon woollen 


clothes And whereas also the said Governo' and sundrye of this 
Companic assembled together agreed that a rate shoulde be set 
downe by Mr. Nicholas Martyn, Mr. John Davye, Walter 
Burroughs and Jasper Horssey for lendinge of a cv/ xiijj iujd 
only for this Companie by sundrys of this Companie for and 
towardes the payment of the said some cv/ xiiji- iiijW which rate 
being exhibited and brought in : it is therefore agreed that 
evrye persone and persons being rated as aforesaide shall paie 
suchc some and somes of money as is uppon them rated and set 
downe within sixe dales next ensewinge, and that Mr. John 
Hackwill shall collecte the same within eight dales then next 
followinge. And eviye persone rated as aforesaid shalbe allowed 
of the said severall somes disbursed after the rate of xijV/ the 
clothe that shalbe transported oute of the porte of Exon. And 
further the said Mr. William Martyn doth promis to satisfie 
eviye persone that hath disbursed the monyes ther severall somes 
within three yeares next ensewinge if the same be not- allowed or 
paied in the meane seison And further it is agreed that the 
collectors of Exeter, Dartmouth, Tottenes, Lyme, and Barnstaple 
shalbe accomptable to the said Mr. William Martyn Maio' for 
suche monies as they shall receave, And that the Tresorer and 
Consulls of this Companie for the tyme beinge shall evrye halfe 
yeare receave accompt of the said Mr. William Martyn Maio' 
for suche monies as he shall receave of the Porte aforesaid, And 
to certifie the howse at the Courte followinge." 

[Sixty-five members rated in various sums from £^ to 5s.] 

"14 Feb. 1 593. Whereof an acte for a rate to be made amongst 
this Companie of a vi/ xiijj iiijW for and towards the payment of 
certaine monies disbursed by Mr. Willm Martyn in a certaine 
suite for mittigatinge of custome upon wollen clothes which saide 
suite was followed by o' Governo' Mr. Sampforde the saide 
Willm Martyn accordinge to the said acte did at this presente 
court exhibit his accompt to this Companie and in full discharge 
thereof paid to the Tresorer of this Companie a xvjV iji' vjd with 
a iiij/ Ks v]d which the Tresorer had receaved of the said accompt 
wh is as muche as is restinge into certaine of the Companie 
which lente their monies. The rest was allowed unto them by 
xijV the cloth at the Custome House. And by a taxacion which 


was made amongst this Companie for the full discharge of the 
said accompt. And so the said Willm Martyn by the consent 
of the whole Companie ys discharged of his promis made and 
agreed uppon in the saide Acte." 


"6 August 1597. Fforasmuch as John Martin inhabitante of 
the Citie of Exon and one of the Attornies of Her Maties 
Common Pleas hath well deserved of the Companie of Mar- 
chauntes within the saide Cittie tradinge ffraunce, in followinge 
there suite in lawe : And hath also made request to be admitted 
into their Societie and fifellowshippe, yt is therefore at this Courte 
enacted by the Governor Consulls and whole Companie of the 
Marchauntes aforesaide, that he the saide John Martin for and 
in consideracion of his peynes taken as aforesaide, as also for 
the good assistaunces that he will hereafter pforme unto the 
saide Companie in these like accons, shalbe admitted into the 
saide Society and ffelowshippe of the saide Marchauntes Ad- 
venturers without payment of anie ffine for the same, anie acte 
or actes heretofore to the contrarie notwithstandinge, Provided 
alwaies that the saide John Martyn neither shall nor will by 
virtue of his saide admissions use exercise or deale by himself 
or anie other in the trade of marchaundize, cither dircctlie or 
indirectlie nor that anie sonne or servant of his shall nor will by 
vertue thereof claime anie freedom or priviledge in the said 
Companie. And therefore it is farther inacted by the said 
Governo' Consulls and Companie of Marchauntes aforesaide 
that he the sayd John Martin shall take an oath at the time 
of his admission in manner and forme followinge viz : — I do 
swere that I shalbe good and trewe to our Soveraigne ladie the 
Oueenes highnes Elizabeth by the Grace of God Queene of 
Englande Ffraunce and Irlande defender of the ffaieth and to 
her heires and successors Kinges and Queenes of Englande. 
You shalbe obedient to the Governor and Consulls of this Com- 
panie of Marchauntes Adventurers tradinge Ffraunce. You shall 


maintcinc as much as in you shall lie all the libties of the same. 
Yf anie variaunce or controvcrcy shall at anic time happen to 
arrise bctwene anie your brethren of this Companie you shall 
putt your helpiufje hande for the pacifienge and aswaginge of the 
same. You shall not disclose the secreate talke commanded by 
the Governo' and Consulls or anie of them to be kepte secreate 
which maie be hurttful to the saide Companie. You shall enioy 
the libties and freedome of this Companie onelie accordinge to 
this presente Acte and not otherwise. You shall come to 
thellection of everie newe Governor and Consulls having no 
reasonable excuse to the contrarie. All and singuler the pre- 
misses you shall well and trulie observe and kepe so helpe you 


"7th June 1571. Whereas the Governo', Consulls, and Societie 
have receaved commaundement from Mr. Maio' that the 
Company shall ppare as many men armor and furniture as they 
can, for the shewe of the watche on Mydsomer eve next : There- 
fore it is agreed at this Courte (holden the vijth of June) by 
the saide Governo', Consulls, and Societie. That all and eveiy 
parson atid parsons of this Company of Marchantes adventurers 
shall set forthe and provide as manie men armo' and furniture for 
the settinge forthe of the same watche as they can. And that 
they send the same men and furniture to my Lorde of Bedfordes 
place, by three of the clocke in the afternone of the same eve. 

" At this Courte it is agreed by the Governo' and Consulls 
that the parties hereafter named shalbe attendant on Mydsomer 
eve next to take the vewe and be readye for the preparacion of 
the watche the same tyme : That is to saye — 

Harry Ellacote \^ ,, To take a note howe many 

William Martyn j " men, every one sendes in 

and to present theim to the 




Richarde Swete 
Thomas Chapell 
John Davye 
Richarde Bevys 
Valentyn Toker 
John Crosse 

Gylbert Cotton 
John Maunder 
Richarde Perye 
Richarde Jordyn 
Alexander Germyn 
Davy Vylvayne 
John Bugyns 
John Ffelde 

Servant to Mr. Bruton 
Ffraunces Toker 
Richarde Dorchester 
Thomas Chafife 

to set theim forthc in 
y order at my lorde 
of Bedfordes Place 

To be Whysselers to 
goo with the watche 
and kepe theim in 
araye " 


" 1 8th July 1583. Ffor that this Companye have veric latelie 
receaved from Mr. Maio' a precepte that they shall set foirth 
certein calyvers armor and men for a muster or shewe to be syne 
before the Right honorable Lorde therle of Bedford at a manage 
of the Ladye Elizabeth his daughter and the right honorable 
Lord therle of Bathe : for which cause this Courte being 
especiallie called : The Governo' Consulls and Companye have 
ordered and enacted that all suche parson and parsons ffree of 
this companye and others whose names are herafter mencioned : 
Shall provide so many calivcrs men and armoure as are to theim 
appointed and that the same be provided and made readie by the 
first daye of August next ensuynge upon payne that whosoever 
doo make defaulte therein, shall forfeict and paye to this 
Companye the some of xs., viz. 


Mr. Michaell Gerwyn, Miio' i Calyvcr and i Corslctt 
Mr. Nicholas Martyn iiij Calyvcrs, ij Corsletts 

ij almon ryvets." 
74 members to supply 105 Calyvers 

34 Corsletts 
5 Almon ryvets 
"And it is ordered that this Companye shall provide for everie 
Calyver i pounde of the best corne pouther that maye be gotten 
and hee that is the setter of hym fourth shall paye v]d. towards 
the same. 

" And further it is ordered that Richard Dorchester and 
Edwarde Locke shall goo to the howses of all those which are 
set to their calyvers and armor to geve thcim warning thereof 
and that they prepare and make readic the saide armor and men 
by the first daye of August next upon payment of xj." 


" nth August 1579. Item. It is ordered and agreed That John 
Sampforde shall receave in the wodd to be provided for the poore 
this yeare. And hee to have allowed hym \]d. for everie dozen. 
And hee to discharge one Gyll for his paynes or some other to 
helpc hym." 

" 15th April, 1585. Also it is agreed that Mr. Sampforde and 
Mr. Sweete shall have the woodhowse by the Watergate for one 
yere viz. from the seconde of Maye next cnscwinge in anno 1585 
untill the seconde daie of Maye wch shalbe in anno 1856. And 
they do pmis to paie therefore unto this Company at thende of 
the said yeare for the rente thereof a vjj. viijV." 


" 6th June 1574. Also it is agreed and enacted that there 
shalbe paid to the mariners at Topsham for wyndage, as it hath 
byn heretofore accustomed which is n\]d to everie mariner. And 
also it is agreed that there shall not be hereafter allowed, nor 
paid, for any averedge dynner, above the some of xj." 



" 15 August 1580. At this Courte it is ordeyned enacted and 
agreed by the Governor Consulls and whole Companye : that 
Mr. PhiUp Yarde, Governo' the last yeare, shall have xiijj- iiij^ 
for a Bucke which hee dyd provide for the dynner on the syxt 
daye of August last : And that ev^erie Governo' hereafter that 
doo provide a Bucke to the saide dynner to be kept on the saide 
syxt daye of August shall have allowed hym also xiijj- iu']d for 
same : over and besides his other allowance of fifyve markeg." 


" 14 August 1578. Item it is further ordered and enacted by 
the Governor Consulls and Companye That everie yeare (one 
weeke before the syxt daye of August being the election daye) 
That the Treasorer for the yeare beinge shall paye and deliver 
unto tlie Governor for that yeare ffyve markes of lawfull money 
of Englande, to be bestowed by hym towardes a dynner on the 
election daye as before is mencioned. 

" And it is also agreed that the saide Treasorer shall also then 
paye unto the Governo' vs to be bestowed towardes the Poi to 
be boyled for the poore prisoners in the Oueenes Gayell, on the 
saide syxt daye of August everie yeare." 


" 1585, 10 July, ffor that the vjth daie of August being o' 
eleccon daie falleth this yeare on a ffridaie the Governo' moved 
the Companie to have there opinions whether it were best to 
kepe the dynner on the saide ffridaie or some other daie being a 
ffleshe daie. So the whole companie did agree to have the said 
dynner kept on the Mundaie then next following which shalbe 
the ixth daie of the said moneth of August.'' 

122 AN ei,izaih:than c.uild 

" 3 August 1588. At this Courte Mr. Govcrno' did move the 
whole Companie concerninge certaine sermons and a generall 
fast that is appointed to be observed and kept at St. Peters o' 
Tuesday next being o' ellection daie : It is therefore agreed by 
the whole Companie that no dynner shalbc kx-pt in o' hauie that 
daie. And that the money collected shalbe employed for and 
towardes the releiflf of the poore." 


"31 July 1599. -^t this Courte Mr. Governo' did move the 
whole Company that whereas heretofore the dynner and 
thelleecon day hath been usually kept in the Merchauntes haule 
and for that our eleccon daie doth fall one a mundaie by reason 
whereof (Mr. Governo' beinge Maio') and havinge occasion to 
invite others as well as the Companie, It is therefore agreed by 
the consent of the whole Companie that the said dynner shalbe 
kepte in his owne liowse." 


" 8 July 1596. At this Courte Mr. Governo' moved the Com- 
panie concerninge the dynner to be kept the vjth daie of August 
next being Ffridaie and a ffishe daie whereuppon the whole 
Companie agreed that there should be no dynner kept, and that 
the money allowed for that purpose shoulde be imployed in 
corne and geven to poore householders by the discreacon of Mr. 
Governo' and the Stewardes," 

" 1 2th July 1596. Whereas at the laste Courte it was agreed 
by the Governo', Consulls and whole Companie that the money 
which heretofore hath on the elleccon daie ben bestowed on a 
dynner shoulde be bestowed in corne and geven to poore house- 
holders of this Cittie : It is at this present Courte by the 

APPENDIX, ' 123 

Govcrno' and Consulls referred to the whole Companie whether 
they shouldc pale there ordinarye quarterledgc towardes the said 
dynner or dubbell towardes the releiffe of the poore : Where- 
uppoii the whole Companie agreed that evrie man shall dubble 
his quarterledgc towardes the said dynner and releiffe of the 
poore and that the saide dynner shalbe kept the thursdaie before 
the elleceon daic at Mr. Governo' ho\Yse and shall have towardes 
his dynner the like porcon the last Governor had. And that 
viij/ viiji- vj(^ shalbe bestowed in corne and geven to poore house- 
holders of the Cittie by the discreacon of Mr. Governo' Jeffrey 
Waltham and John Chappell Junr., Consulls." 


"14 J any 1572. — (14th Eliz.) And for that there hath byn 
of late contencion in brawlinge and fifyghtinge betwene some of 
this Companie which was presented at the Courtc unto the 
Governo' and Consulls of this Societie : The saide Governo' 
and Consulls myndinge the quietnesse and brotherlie amytie of 
this saide whole Companie, and to avoyde and repell the like 
inconveynience : as farre as in theim lyes : The said Governo' 
Consulls and whole Companyc doo fullie and throughlic agree 
condiscende and inacte (at this present Courte) That whatsoever 
hee be, being free of this Company, that doeth hereafter brawle 
with or geve any mysname, or other unsimlie or unhonest wordes 
to any other of his brethren, free of this Companye, that everie 
such parson shall pay to this Societie for suche his nastie wordes 
and ill behavio' njs nijd. And if any parson free of this Societie, 
doo fyght with or geve any stroke or blowe, or doo otherwise 
bodclie hurte any one of his brethern free of this Companye, 
that every suche parson shall paye to this Societie for suche his 
ill behavio' the some of vii- v'njd or more accordinge to the facte, 
as it shalbe considered of by the saide Governor Consulls and 
Companie. And furthermore they doo enacte, cstablishe and 
ordeyne that whatsoever he be being free of this Societie that 


shalbe present or in companyc at the tymc of such ill dcmcanure 
and misusingc of any parson or parsons as aforcsaidc and doo 
not present and rcv'eilc the same to the said Governo' and Con- 
sults at the next Courte folowinge, That everie suche parson or 
parsons shall pa}' to this Companyc for hys or their defaulte xijW.' 


" 19th Dec. 1594. At this Courte it is presented that Nicola 
Owleborrowe, sonne of Clement Owleborrowe the 28th March 
1594 did enter in the Custome house of Exon in the name of 
John Dorchester of London in the Pleas ure of Topsham for St 
Malloes one ballett of kersaies conteyning xv yards twoo 
hampers conteyninge three dozen trymed ffeltes and three dozen 
untrymmed and one hamper conteyning seaven yards of fustain. 
Also the said Nicholas did enter in the name of the said John 
Dorchester in the said Barke called the Picasurc the xxxth of 
April 1594 from St. Malloes five ffardells of Vitterie canvas. 

"Likewise the said Nicholas the 17th of Maie 1594 did enter 
in the said Custome book fifower endes and one small packett of 
kersaies conteyning xlij peces for St. Malloes in Brittaine in the 
said Bark called the Pleasure. 

"Also the xvth of Julie 1594 the said Nicholas did 
entei in the said Custome howse in the name of the 
said John Dorchester from St. Malloes in the said Bark 

^^VjIiJ ffardells of Vitterie canvas marked as in the 
^ X aL^iai'gent." 

" Also at this Courte Mr. Richard Dorchester thelder did 
confes that he did examyne the foresaid Nicholas Owleborrowe 
concerninge the foresaid eighteen ffardells of Vitterie canvas 
which he entered in his brother John Dorchester's name who 
answered that his said Brother was onlie owner of one ffardell 
and halfe of the said eighteen ffardells." 



" i8th October 1564. And lykewyse the same da)^e John 
Ffelde was admitted to the ffreedom of this Companye gratis 
and freehe : As also was admitted to be Gierke of this Com- 
panye. And he to have yerlie for his ffee xiijj-. iiijd. to be payed 
quarterlie : And lykewise he to have the makinge writinge and 
engrossing of all charterparties indentures of apprentisshode and 
obligacions of all the Companye. So that no privat nor parti- 
culer parson of this Companye do the same hymself : And he 
to receave for every charterpartie and every indenture of 
apprentishode ijs. vjd. and for obligacion vjd. 

"26th August 1583. And it is ordered at this Courte that 
cure Threasorer Mr. Smyth shall paye unto John Ffelde oure 
clerke \is. viijV. for nev/ writinge and enregestring of xxiiijtie 
leaves of this our common Courte booke into the greate lyger 
booke : which xxiiijtie leaves are last before writen and are not 
recorded in oure saide lyger booke." 

" 22nd August 1588. Likewise at the same Courte it is ordered 
and agreed by the Governo' Consulls and Companie that o' Clark 
shall have for enregistering of fiftie and odd leaves of the comon 
Courte booke into the ledger book a vjs. vnjd. which is to be paid 
by o' Treasorer." 

(He was present on election day 6th August 1585). 

" loth Sept. 1586. At this Courte Julian Ffeilde's widdow 
did exhibit a supplication to the Governo' and Compaine 
for xijj-. xd. which her husbande was unpaid of his ffee 
before his death. And thereuppon order was taken by the 
Governo' and Companie that Mr. John Chappell o' Treasorer 
shoulde paie the same." 

"3rd Aug. 1588. It is ordered that Julian, ffeildes widdowe 
shall have xxs. in full and cleare discharge of all accons and 
demandes dewe to John Ffeilde her late husbande decessed. As 
well by this Companie and the Spanishe Companie as by anie 
other waies or meanes whatsoever. And that Morrice Downe 
shall paie the said xxs. for the use of xx/. which the Companie 
hath lent hime for a yeare. And that uppon the payment of the 


saide some of xxj. the saide Julian rifeilde shall seale a generall 
release to this Companie of all accons and demandes whatso- 

"5th August 1588. And also it is agreed that o' Treasorer 
Mr. Howell shall paie unto Richard Collishctt o' Clark xxvij- viijd 
in considcracon of the paincs that he hath taken in wrcttinge as 
well conccrninge the trcatie of peace betwene her Matie and the 
Kinge of Spaine as also concerninge Mr. Andrian Gilbtes voiage 
to China." 

" II September 1602. Also at this Courte it is agreed that 
Richard Collishett our Clarke shall have yearlie from hensforthe 
for his fifce fortie shillinges a sndhall in consideracon thereof 
inregister into the lidger booke all that is don the yeare before, 
and if anie shalbe lefte not registered the vjth dale of Auguste 
which is thende of the yeare he shall forfeite and loose his 
quarters wages, and shall write letters and copies of letters that 
shall concerne this Companie freelie without demaundingc any 
allowaunce or consideracon heretofore taken." 


In the name of God Amen. I Henry Ellacott of the Cittie of 

Exon M'chaunt. 

I geve . and bequeath unto the Governo' Consulls and Com- 
panie of Marchauntes Adventurers in this Cittie tradinge fifraunce 
the some of fif^rtie poundes of good and lawfull money of 
Englande to be unto them paid in the Merchauntes Hall in Exon 
aforesaid for that tyme being at and uppon the sixth daie of 
August wch shall next ensewe my decease and death by my 
executors or administratours, the same to be imployed dysbursed 
and laide oute to thonlie uses and in suche manner and fourme 
onlie as hereafter foloweth. That is to wite : Ffirste I will 
devise and desire that there the said Governo' Consulls and 
Companie of M'chauntes Adventurers tradinge ffraunce till the 
same sixth daie of August in the M'chauntes hall in Exon for 
the tyme beinge deliver unto John Parr, John Ghere, Lawrence 


Collibeare and Nicholas Stravve my servaunte the said some of 
fifortie poundes to eche of them tenne poundes, condicionally 
that evrye of them will then paie unto the said Governo' the 
sev'all somes of five shillinges for thust of evrie of the sev'all 
somes of tenne poundes for the first yeare. And likewise become 
bounden in sev'all obligacons eche of them comprisinge the some 
of twentie poundes with twoo sufficient suerties in evrie of the 
said obligacons to paie unto the Governo' Consulls and Com- 
panie of M'chauntes Adventurers in the Citie of Exon tradinge 
ffraunce, and to theire successors yearlie and in suche places as 
aforesaid and at and uppon the sixt daie of Auguste in everie 
yeare, the sev'all somes of five shillings for thust of everie of those 
tenne poundes for everie yeare during the space of ffower yeares 
then next ensewinge. And also at thende of ffower years next 
ensewinge suche tyme as they shall so receive the said sev'all 
somes of tenne poundes to repaie the said sev'all somes of tenne 
poundes to the Governo' Consulls and Companie of M'chauntes 
Adventurers for that tyme beinge and in suche places as is afore- 
said. And in and uppon the sixth daie of August wch shalbe in 
the full ende of the saide ffower yeares. And farther my will 
and devise and heartie desire is, that the same sixth daie of 
August where on the said repayment shallbe so made, that the 
said some of ffortie poundes shalbe againe by equall porcons 
delivered unto fower other suche poore M'chaunte men of the 
saide Companie and Corporacon as to the said Governo' Consulls 
and Treasorer for that tyme beinge or to the greater number of 
them shalbe thought metest and best, then the said Governo' 
Consulls and Treasorer or the greater number of them then and 
there takinge of the said sev'all parsons, the like sev'all somes 
and like obligacons wth like condicons. And this order of pay- 
ment and repayment to be so inviolately and truly kept and 
observed frome ffower yeares to ffower yeares forev^er accordinge 
to my intent and meaninge and not otherwise. And to thintent 
and purpose that this my will may be the better observed and 
kept I will and devise that the said sev'all somes of ffve shillinges 
wch yearlie doth amounte to the some of twentie shillinges 
shalbe by the Governo' of the said Companie or Corporacon 
for the tyme beinge be devided and distributed yearlie in and 
uppon the same daie in maner and fourme as hereafter followeth, 


Two shillings thereof uppoii the said Governo' three shillinges 
ffower pence thereof uppon the fifower Consulls and Treasorer of 
said Companic or Corporacon betwext them equally to be devided 
sixeteiie pence uppon the Clarke and Bcadell of the said Com- 
panie betwixt them equally to be devided and thother thirttene 
shillinges ffower pence, residewe of the said some of twentie 
shillinges to be by the said Governo' yearlie paid unto the Mayo' 
of the Cittie for the lyme beinge and he to disburse the same 
againe uppon suche a pson or psons as by his appoinctment shall 
in the night scison give publique admonicon and warninge in 
the streates of this Cittie by voise and bell unto the howse- 
holders and servauntes inhabitinge in the same, to be carcfull of 
theire fiers and candelleight, According to a most prudent and 
carefull order of late begune and put in operacon and peaure (?) 
within this Citie of Exon for and towarde his and theire main- 
teunces and wages. Provided that if the Maio' do not bcstowe 
this a xiijj. m]d. for warninge of ffire and candelleight as is 
aforesaid : That then my will and intent is the poore howse of 
St. Anne Chappell in the Pshe of St. Sidwills without Eastgate 
shall have this a xiij.f. nijd. towardes theire maintennces for ever- 


" 1 6 Jan. 1594. There was Ire reade from Sir William 
Peryam Knyght Lo-Cheiff Baron concernninge the admission of 
William Prouze to the ffreedom of this Societie grate." 

" 22 Jany. Accordinge to my Lorde Cheiffe Barons request 
Willm Prouze is admitted to the liberties of this Companie for 
terme of his lief grate : and that his sonne servaunte nor ap- 
prentices shall not by reason of his said admission deryve anie 
priviledge or benefitt therby. But .shall come in by some 
rea.sonable ffine as shalbe adiuged by this Companie hereafter." 

"4 Jan. 1597. Also at this Courte there was a Ire receaved 
from the Right Honorable the Erie of Essex directed to this 
Companie for the admission of John Prouse to the libties of this 
Societie uppon receipt whereof the Governo' moved the whole 


Companie whether he sholdbe allowed a ffrec brother of the 
same who Avere willing thereunto, and thercuppon the said John 
Prouse was sent for and in open Gourte submitted himself for 
his ffine to the whole howse and for answeringe thereof hath putt 
in sureties viz Mr. Howell and Mr. Walker whereuppon con- 
sideracion was had what shouldbe abated him of the ffine of re- 
dempcion and in regard of the said Erie's letter it was agreed by 
handes that he should have abated of thesaide ffine vjVxiijj iiijW 
or in lew therof to provide duringe his lief a fifatt bucke for the 
Companies feast at thellecion of a new Governo' which bucke 
was ofifred by himself to this Companie, the choise thereof was 
left to himself to be answered at the next Court." 

"31 May 1597. At this Courte it is presented that Mr. John 
Prouse and Lauraunce Seldon did of late deliver verie un- 
seemelie wordes one of thother in Northinghay, Therefore they 
and evrye of them shall paie accordinge to a certeine Act here- 
tofore made iijs iiij^/." 

" 22 July 1597. It is presented that Philhppe Prouse did of 
late deliver of this Companie at Topsham Kay these unseemelie 
wordes followinge viz that our Companie meaninge the Com- 
panie of Marchaunte Adventurers in the Cittie of Exon tradinge 
Ffraunce are a Companie of coseninge mates." 


" Xlth daye of February 1 580- 1. At this Courte ther was a Ire 
reade sente to this Companye from the Marchauntes of Totnes 
bearing date the vjth daye of Ffebruarye : the copie whereof doo 
hereafter ensue, viz. — 

" To o' verie loving frenndes Mr. John Hutchyns : and 
the rest of the Marchaunte adventurers of the Cittie 
of Exeter. 

" After oure verie hartie commendacions etc. Whereas 
ther growethe greate discommodities to Cities and townes 
corporate for that their are dyverse which use the trade of 


Marchaundisc and yet dwclc not nether in Citic nor corporate 
towne dooth greatc hynderaunce of the Corporacions through 
the whole rcalmc whereuppon we have thought it convenient to 
write unto youe that if youe thinke it goode wee wilbe contente 
to deale by your advise in joyning with other Cities for the ex- 
hibiting of a bill at this presente parliament for the redress 
thereof if it maye be hade : That none shall use the trade of 
marchaundize but onelic suche as dwell in cities or townes cor- 
porate and if it please you to send any one man of speciall trust 
wee wilbe contente to sende a nother upon oure owne charges 
to solycet the same unto youre and oure burgyscs by 
whose diligence possiblie redresse thereof maye be obteyncd and 
further for that the greatest parte of the yarne of this Countie 
of Devon is imployed into fine kersaies some of them by mcanes 
of fleas falslye made and bad wever are verie falslye wrought to 
the discredite and hynderaunce of the sale of kersaies which is the 
principulest commoditie of o' countrie and because the greatest 
parte of the saide kyrsais aresolde in youre Citie and thereaboute 
where wee knowe youe fcling the discommoditie of suche unlaw- 
fuU ware doo thinke youe of oure myndes very willinge to have the 
same and any other suche disorder if possyblye maye b.e reformed. 
Lykewise wee doo most hartelie desire youe to showe us the 
ffrendshipp to let us have ;t coppie of your charter which is 
graunted unto youe for the trade of fifraunce wherein youe shall 
not onelie pleasure us but shall bynde us to doo the lyke if it 
lye in us. And thus referringe all thinges herein to youre con- 
sideracions and desiring your answcre by this berer : Wee 
commyt youe to the tuicion of the holie ghost : ftrom Totnes the 
vjth of fifebuear}-, Youre lovinge frendes, 

John Wise John Martyn Christopher Savery 
Nicholas Ball Walter Bogyns 

Richarde Everie thelder 
Richarde Everie the younge 
Henrye Everie" 

"Whereupon it was ordered that a Ire shouldc be wretcn to 
the said Marchauntes of Totnes certifieng theim oure Companyes 
mynde herein. And that they shall have the coppie of the saide 
charter : paying o' Clerke for hys paynes for writinge it oute 


and also paying oure Companye xxxi- which they are indebted 
unto theim tovvardes suche money and charges as they have 
layed oute and paied to Lytchefelde as tauchinge his late com- 

" 10 Sept. 1585. At this Courte the matter was moved to the 
Companie by the Governo' to have ther opynyons touchinge a 
graunte from her Matie unto Sir Edward Stafforde Knight newe 
Lorde Imbassado' in fifraunce for the reformacion of karsaies. 
And the generalitie uppon the debatinge the matter did thinke 
it not conveynient to fall to anie agreement with the deputies of 
the said Sir Edward Stafforde touchinge the same, but to take 
respecte thereuppon and to take into the coppie of the comis- 
sion to be vewed by some skilfull lawiers at the next sessions to 
have their advise and opinions therein, And then to geve answere 
to the said deputies what the Companie will do therein. And 
it is ordered that the said lawiers shalbe paied for theire paines 
by the Tresorer of this Companie. 

" And further this Courte being contynewed in the afternoone 
there did appere John Cadye of Cliffordes Inne and Anthony 
Bickensteth gent : deputies and factors unto the said Sr Edward 
Stafforde Knight : And the matter being moved againe as 
touchinge the said graunte the said deputies demaunded answere 
what o' Companie would do therein. And forasmoche as owre 
Companie had not perused the said graunte nor had taken anie 
councell uppon the same requested some tyme to answere the 
matter, whereuppon the said deputies did geve libertie unto the 
said Maio' and the said Companye to take advise and respect 
thereuppon untill the seconde daie of November next ensewinge 
to give an answere unto the deputies at Mr. Glanfeildes chamber 
in Lyncolns Inne in London : What ende order or composicon 
the Companie will come unto concerninge the saide graunte : 
And in the meane tyme the said deputys did agree and gave 
ther wordes that they nor non other shoulde deale with anye 
Exeter men touchinge the said karsayes by vertue of the said 

" And in consideracon of which libertie and respect geven : It 
is ordered that the said deputies .shall have geven them by this 
Companie the some of a iij/ vjs. viijd. which is to be paied them 
by the Tresorer of this Companie." 


" Courtc held xixth October 1585. 

" Forasmuche as this Companie did promys Mr. John Cadyc and 
Mr. Anthony Bickersteth gent deputies and facto' to the Right 
wo' Mr. Edward Stafforde knight to geve them answcrc on the 
seconde daie of November next (at Mr. Glanfeilde's chamber in 
Lyncohis Inne in London) what the Companye will do as 
touchinge the said Mr. Staffbrdes graunte for the reformacon of 
kersaies : which cause the Companye hath considered of and 
hath ordered that a Ire shalbe written unto the said deputies to 
geve them to understande the Companys answere and mynde 
therein and that also Mr. Willm. Martyn nowe at his goinge to 
London whome the Companye have appointed for that purpose 
shall certifie the said deputies thereof on the seconde daie of 
November next which answere is this. That if by the said 
deputyes means there maye be a reformacon of karsaies had 
accordinge to the statute the Companie will be verie gladd 
thereof and do wish the said deputies to execute their office as 
touchinge the same." 

" I Feb. 1592 : At the same Courte Mr. Governo' did move 
the whole Companie concerning an acte to be made at the next 
Parliament for redres in making of kersaisfor length and w-eight : 
Whereuppon the whole Companie agreed that Mr. Recorder and 
Mr. Peryam Burgesses for this Cittie shall prosecute the same. 
And that the charge of this Companie shalbe rated and set 
downe by the said Burgesses whereunto the whole Companie 
consented and agreed. 

" And fifurther it is agree that Ires shalbe sent to the Mer- 
chauntes of Tottenes Dartmouth and all other places adioyning 
to thende that one man be sent of purpose to the LL of her 
maties previe Counsell to thende that licence maie be had to 
trade to Morlais and Malloes in Brittanie." 

" 15 April 1595. Also it is agreed that Mr. Henry Hull shalbe a 
suter lor mittigatinge of excessive ffees of late taken for sealinge 
of kersies. And that uppon obtayning thereof this Companie 
agree that he shall have towardes his paines the some of tenne 
poundes to be levied by tenne pence the packe, and that he in 
obtayning thereof shall joyne with the Merchauntes and Clothiers 
of Tiverton." 



"6 August 1589. At this Courte it is ordered that James 
Boyer for comitteinge of a murder uppon one hayman ys by the 
handes of the whole Companie dismissed and shall have no 
longer anie gowne," 


"6th August 1582. At this Courte it is ordered and enacted 
by the Governor, Consulls, and generallitie, that the Threasorer 
of this Societie for the yeare folowing shall provide for this Com- 
panye three dozen of lether bucketts, two ladders and two crokes 
of iron for the helpe of myssfortune of ffier : which charges 
shalbe laied oute by our saide Threasorer and allowed upon his 


" 14 July 1586. Forasmuche as o' Companye do understande 
th' all such wares as was founde laden aborde o' Barkes in Morlis 
are arrested and carried awaie by the comaundement of the 
Governo' of Brittanie and o' men and marrinners are come home 
wee doe thinke it good that some good order be taken amongst 
us as well for the recovrye thereof, as also for bringinge of the 
trade to the Isles of Garnsey and Jarsey, and wee doe farther 
order that a Courte shalbe kept on Tuesdaie next beinge the 
xixth of this present and that Ires shalbe wTetcn to the rest of 
the townes adioyninge that they sende two of there populace 
hither to ioyne with us for the furtherauncc thereof for that it 
conserneth them as w^ell as o' selves. 



" 14 Feb. 1593. At this Courte it is agreed by the whole 
Companie that o' Govcrno' Mr. Sampforde shall ride to London 
and be a suter to the LL of Her Maties Previe Gouncell either 
for opening of the trade at Morlais and S. Malloes in Brittanie 
orels for bringing of the trade to the Isles of Garnsey and 
Jarsey. And that o' Tresorer Mr. Dorchester shall disburse 
fiftene poundes to Mr. Governo' oute of the boxe for and 
towardes the charges that shalbe disbursed in and aboute the 
saide suite. And av/he is to redeme of Mr. Savery of Tottenes 
in London." 

" And farther it is ordered and enacted by the Governo' Con- 
sulls and whole Companie that no person free of this Companie 
shall from the daie of the keepinge of this presente Courte untill 
the retorne of Mr. Governo' frome London with answere of the 
foresaid suit goo or sende anie wares or merchandizes to Morlais 
in Brittanie uppon paine that everye persone offendinge or 
doinge the contrarye shall forfeite and paie to this Companie 
ffortie poundes." 

"3 July 1593- It is further agreed that o' Governo' Mr. 
Sampforde and Willm Martyn the yonger Merchaunte shall ride 
to London to procure (if it maie be) a ffree trade for St. Malloes 
in Brittanie and towardes the charges thereof Mr. Willm Spicer 
hath promised to disburse five poundes in money which money 
o' Tresorer hath promised to repaie the vith of August next. 
And likewise that Allyn Hackwills x/ shalbe delivered to Willm 
Martyn towardes his charges." 

" 19 Sept. 1593. At this Courte ther was an answere of a Ire 
reade which came from the Merchauntes of Tottenes concerninge 
a trade to be brought to Morlais in Brittanie And that two 
sufficient persones should be sente to Morlais of purpose before 
anie trade be brought thither to conferr with the officers there 
As well for mittigatinge of excessive customes of late raised there 
As also to have assuraunce from them for restoringe of suche 
goodes and merchaundizes as shalbe brought thither : It is 
therefore concluded and agreed by the Governo', Consulls and 
whole Companie that no person nor persons free of this 


Companie shall frome and after the kepinge of this pre- 
sentc Courte untill the laste daie of this instant moneth of 
September goe or sende anie wares or merchaundizes to Morlais 
aforesaid uppon paine that evrye person ofifendinge or doinge the 
contrary shall forfeite and paie to this Companie the some of one 
hundred poundes. And that Jasper Horssey shall fowrthwith 
ride to Tiverton, Taunton, Charde, and Lyme, and carry certaine 
Ires and copies of Ires with hime and take ther answeres con- 
cerninge the premises." 

28th Sept. Time extended to 15th Nov. 

" 24th Nov. 1 597. At this Courte there was a Ire receaved 
from William Edney of Taunton touchinge the removinge 
the trade from Morlaies in Brittanie to Breste by reasone 
of some harde dealinge used to our merchauntes by the townes- 
men of Morlais. Whereuppon it is at this present Courte 
agreede that the said William Edney shall with all speede 
possible followe a sute for removinge the said trade from Morlais 
aforesaide to Breste to continewe for the space of two, three, or 
ffower yeares at the pleasure and good likinge of oure mer- 
chauntes and that John Marshall shall become debtor to the said 
William Edney for payment of ffive poundes to this Company 
towardes the charge thereof which some this Companie doe 
promis to repaie to the said Marshall imediately uppon effectinge 
thereof and that Mr. Jasper Horssey, Samuell Alford, Illarey 
Calley and John Lambell shalbe comitties for settinge downe in 
articles such iniuries and wronges as our marchauntes have re- 
ceaved from the townsmen of Morlais which fforesaid some of 
ffive poundes is to be collected amongst this Companie by vid 
the ffardell homewardes from Breste." 

"15 April 1595. At this Courie ther was a copie of a Ire 
reade under the handes of seaven of the Lordes of Her Maties 
Previe Councell dated the last of Marche 1595 directed from 
them to one Thomas Edmonds Esquire now Agent for Her 
Matie with the ffrenche Kinge concerninge the mittigatingc of 
newe customes of late raised in Morlais in Brittanie upon wollcn 
clothes : It is therefore thought good by the Governo' Consulls and 
whole Companie that a Ire shalbe written forthwith to John Lever- 
more the younger wlio beinge in London to ffoUowc the said suite 
to the ffrenche Kinge for mittigatingc of the foresaid customes." 


"8 May X595. At this Courtc there was a Ire rcccavcd fromc 
six of the Lo : of her Maties Previc Counccll (sealed) directed to 
Thomas Edmonds ICsquire A<^cnt for the Ouens Matie with the 
fifrenche Kinge concernin<^e the mittigatinge of newe customes 
of late raised in Morlais in Brittanie : And whereas Phillippe 
Prouze is shortlie bounde for Roane in fifraunce, It is thought 
good by the Governo' Consulls and whole Companie that the 
said Philipp Prouze shall deliver the said Ire unto the said 
Thomas Edmonds, and shall solicite and followe the contents 
of the said Ire with effccte, and for his charges and paines he 
referreth himself unto the whole Companie who have promised 
at his retorne to geve hime that shalbe thought reasonable for 
his charges and paines." 

"30 Nov. 1598. At this Courte Mr. Governo' did move the 
whole Companie touchinge a som<: of money to be collected 
amongest us towardes the procuringe of a clere discharge from 
the King of F'fraunce as well that noe letters of marke shoulde 
be from hensfourthe graunted by the said Kinge againste our 
Englishe merchauntes as also that if anie marchauntes shall 
hereafter happen to die within the domynion of the said PTrenche 
Kinge that the goodes of him deceassed shoulde be restored 
againe to the executors or administrators of the partie deceassed 
without the contradixcon of the said Kinge, and that one pposer 
Newlande of Tottnes Marchaunte will take uppon him that the 
said discharge shalbe obteyned for ccc/ whereof this westerne 
parte shalbe charged onelie with a thirde parte and the rest to 
be paide by London whereuppon the whole Companie agreed 
that John Marshall shall write to the said Newlande touchinge 
the saide discharge and that uppon his answerC further order 
shalbe taken for a reasonable porcon to be paide by this 


"xixOct. 1585. At this Courte the Companye do consider 
of the daungerous tyme that nowe is and howe it is like to be 


worse and worse dailie for the trade of us marchauntes. There- 
fore the Govcrno' did move the Companye to understande there 
mynd as what waies is left to take for the safegarde of o' shipp- 
inge and goodes : And at the last uppon muche debatinge of 
the matter the Companie did thinke it most conveynient that 
wee should be suters for an Jncorporacon to be had that the 
trade might be brought to the Isles of Garnsey and Jersey which 
the Companie do not doubte but to obtayne with small charge 
with the helpe and fartherance of the Right Wo Sir Ames 
Poulett and S' Thomas Leighton Knights Captaines of the saide 
Islandes : And forasmuche as the said matter is a generall cause 
and doo touche the merchauntes of other townes and places as 
well as the Companie do order that Ires shalbe wreten to the 
merchauntes of Totnes, Taunton, Charde, and Lyme, to geve 
them to understande the Companies mynde and pretence herein. 
And that they call the merchauntes of their townes together to 
have conference about the same and sende us answere of their 
myndes herein with as muche speade as they male and that if it 
please some of the merchauntes of anye towne to repaier hither 
on Fridaie the xxixth dale of this instant moneth of October 
next ensewinge A generall Courte then to be appointed for 
that purpose wee will be gladd to have their Councell and 
opynyons therein." 

" 29 Oct. 1585. There was a Ire reade from the merchauntes 
of Charde ?s answere of o' Ire of their opynyons touchinge an 
incorporacon to be sued for that the trade might be brought to 
Isles of Garnsey and Jarsey bearinge date the xxviijth dale of 
of October 1585." 

"At this Courte (uppon a Ire to the merchauntes of Totnes) 
Mr. John Hawkes and Richard Shapley did appere in their be- 
half who declared that the merchauntes of their towne woulde 
not agree that the trade should be reduced to the said Isles of 
Garnsey and Jarsej^ for divers causes which they do alledge yet 
not withstanding o' whole Companye did thinke it conveynient 
And did order that Ires shoulde be written to Mr. John Periam 
and Mr. Willm Martyn nowe being at London that they be suters 
for the obtayningc of the same and for the orderly pennynge and 
perusinge of the said Ires they have appointed Comitties whose 
names are hereunder subscribed, viz. — 


Mr. Nicholas Martyn Maior assistantc 
Mr. Thomas Bruarton assistante 

Mr. John Davyc 
Mr. Nicholas Spiccr 

Thomas Spicer 

Richard Sweete 

Richard Dorchester. 


" Memorandum that the laste daye of June 1578 thcr was ap- 
pointed to be raters for the levieng of (;^ioo) upon the mer- 
chauntes of the Citie of Exeter and owners of Shippinge on the 
ryver ther : those fower persons whose names are hereafter 
writen that is to saye — 

" Mr Thomas Martvn 1 ^^^^^^^ ^^ ^^ ^° ^^ P^'^"^ towardes the 

Mr PhilliDD Yarde ^^^^""^^ ^^ °"^ °^ ^^^^ Queenes Shippes 

■ T u e r J ^set forth for the apprehending of cer- 

John bamforde f , ,. . r :■ .^ A^ ^ e 

TD- u J T-i u t ten Rovers niiestmg the Lostes 01 

Richard Dorchester ,., , ,-, .? 

J Devon and Lormvall. 

" Me : That the one moytie of the said c/ was remytted by 
order sent from the Counsell to the right ho. the erle of Bedfordc." 

" Whereat this Courte ther was a commission reade as touch- 
ing shipping to be set forth at all tymes when neade shall 
require for the apprehension of pirattcs that shall hereafter 
haunte upon these coastes. For answere whereof the Governor 
ConsuUs and Companye have appointed committies to debate 
and conferr about the same : those parsons whose names are 
hereunder writen : and they to bringe in their answer and pro- 
cedings in writinge on Saturdaye next which shalbc the ixth 
day of this present that is to saye — 

Mr. William Martyn Governo' 
Mr. John Peter 
Mr. John Hutchins 
Mr. John Peryam 


Mr. John Hoker 
John Daw 
Richard Swete 
Thomas Spicer 
John Toker 
Richard Dorchester 
Richard Bevys 
Harr>' Hull 

"Memorandum that the ixth daye of August 1578, The 
Committies last before named brought in their answere as 
touchinge the commission for pirates : which answer is hereafter 

" The answer to the Commission for Pirattes by 
the Marchauntes of the Citie of Exeter. 

"In primis wee do moste humblie dutifullie and thankfullie 
receave and accept her Majesties most gracious commission in 
this behalf." 

" Item for that to nominate and appointe any certen shippe 
by name for the apprehension of such Pirattes mentioned in her 
grace's commission may seeme inconvenient by reason of the 
saide shippe so nominated may be to farr of from the saide 
Pirattes or ells may be from home at such tymes or otherwise 
shall not be in good readines for that purpose ; wee praye to be 
at libertie from tyme to tyme by vertue of the said commission, 
suche shippe may be appointed, and taken up in such yeares as 
shalbe neadefuU and fyt for the same, as often as neade shall 

" Item that suche as shall make complaynt of any losse by 
them susteyned or robberies done, shall deliver ther Maties 
Commissioners suretie or bande for the levienge, and defrayinge 
of the chardge of the settinge forth of any shippinge, for the 
apprehension of the said Pirattes, without charging any other 
inhabitant or other : to whom the same doth not apperteyne. 

" Item if any such shippe set forth upon complaynte as 
aforesaide shall apprehende and bringe in any suche Piratte or 
Pirattes That then the charge of the settinge furth of the saide 
shipp may be borne upon the goodes of the said Pirattes onelie 
and not by the partie complaynaunte. 


" Item that when any suchc Pirate shalbe apprehended and 
brought in, and the partie complayningc shall there fynde any 
of his owne knowen goodes whereof hee is able to make suffi- 
cient profife : we most humblie praye and request that the same 
Commissioners which shall have sett forth the said shipp for the 
takinge of the said Pirat may have authoritie to deliver to the 
complaynaunte his saide goodes presentlie without any further 
suyte to be made other to my Lo. Treasorer, the Chancello' or 
Barons of her Maties Courte of Excheker." 

"Last day of March 1579. 

"At this Courte all thes parsons whose names are above 
writen, dyd condissone and agree that the money collected 
towards the charge of the Oueenes shipp of late sent downe 
for the apprehension of Pirattes shall remayne to the house to 
be imployed in wodd towards the relief of the poore, untie 
farther order be taken." 

" 14 June 1580. At this Courte John Weekes came in and 
demanded of this Companye certen money for his charges and 
travel which hee had byn at in ryding to London aboute the re- 
lease of one of the Queene's shippes of late sente downe to this 
west coaste for the apprehencion of Pirattes : towardes which 
charges hee hath alreadie receaved Vnjs iiij<a? : and for that the 
Companye doo consider it is verie lytle yt is agreed by the 
Companye that the saide John Weekes shall have iiij markes 
more towardes his saide charges : which iiij markes it is ordered 
that Mr. John Peter shall paye hym owte of suche money as is 
in his handcs of those that were rated towards the defraying of 
the saide charge." 


" 20 January 1590. At this Courte order is taken that there 
shalbe leuied of the Marchauntcs of this Companie the some of 
fiftie poundes in money for and towardes the buying of one 
thousande weight of gonnepowder for her Maties better service 


and defence of this real me : Therefore it is ordered and enacted 
by the Governo', Consulls and v/hole Companie That thois 
persons whose names are hereunder written shall rate the whole 
Companie and certifie their severall names and contribucons 
before xxiij daie of Januarye next." 

(24 Jan. 1590. — 75 names put down for about ;^44, in various 
amounts trom 50s. to 5s.) 

"And furder it is ordered and agreed by the Governo' Consulls 
and whole Companie that on Tuesdaie next betwene the howers 
of eight and eleven in the foarenone of the same daie Mr. 
Michael Gerwyn, Mr. Blackall, Gilbert Smith and Walter 
Borrough shall sit in the hall for the receipt of the foresaide 
severall somes. And that everye person before rated shall 
bringe or sende unto them their severall somes and whosoever 
doth refuse so to do shall forfeite the double valewe of their 
severall taxacons And that the whole some collected shalbe 
left in the handes of Walter Borroughs untill further order be 
taken for the buyinge of the same powder And further it is 
ordered and enacted that evrye persone before named before the 
feast of S' Michaell tharcangell next shall have there whole 
money repaied againe. And whatsoever losse shalbe taken by 
the same powder shalbe borne by the Tresorer to be disbursed 
out of the Companies stocke. Provided that if it be spent in 
her Maties service then evrye man to stande to the losse thereof 
or to so muche thereof as shalbe spent."" 

" 9th Oct. 1 590. At this Courte order ys taken by the Governo' 
Consulls and whole Companie that whereas there ys disbursed 
by certaine of this Companie towards the buyinge of certaine 
powder and matches severall somes of money. It is therefore 
ordered that Richard Perrye shall have twoo barrclls of the same 
powder at xij^ the pounde to be paid the xxvth daie of Marche 
next to o' Tresorer And that Mr. Nicholas Martyn shall have 
the matches for xxi- the hundred to be paid likewise to o' 
Tresorer, and also that o' Tresorer betwene this and St. Nicholas 
tide next shall sell the rest of the powder beinge barrells 

for the best benefitt and profitt of this Companie." 



"6 August 1601. At this Courte the Govcrno' did move the 
whole Companic touchingc c.c.c. weight of gonne powder to be 
provided for her Maties service. Whercunto the whole Com- 
panie did wilHnglie agree that there should be cccc weight pro- 
vided, And that there shalbc a rate sett downe amongst this 
Companie what everye man shall disburse towardes the same in 
readie money." 


" 16 March 1572. At this Courte at the commandment and 
request of Mr. Thomas Bruarton Maio* of this Citie the Governo' 
hath geven to understande and charged that all and everie 
parson and parsons free of this, that have any gooddes dcbtes 
shippinge money or other thinges arrested in any of the Kynge 
of Spayne his dominions. That they and everie of theim make 
their repaier to the Queenes Highnes Commissioners at the 
Guylhalde in London with convenient spede to geve them know- 
ledge thereof (that restitution may be made of the same) Where 
the said Commissioners do mynde to set everye Saturdaye and 
Mondaye for that purpose." 

"22 Dec. 1587. At this Courte there were divers Iresretorned 
frome Totnes Dartmouth Lyme Charde Taunton and Tiverton 
together with sundrie noates from other places within this 
division of their severall losses and iniuries susteyned by the 
Kinge of Spaine and his subjectes, Whereuppon the whole Com- 
panie do agree that Mr. Thomas Spicer, Mr, Sampforde, Mr. 
Dorchester and Mr. Jasper Horssey shall forthwith drawe upp a 
a breifife noate of all suche losses and iniuries as evrye the 
Merchauntes within this division have susteyned by the Kinge 
of Spaine and his subjectes and certifie the same accordingly, 
Together with a Ire to Mr Wilforde President accordinge to the 
premisses which Ires and noates were delivered to Mr. Sampforde 
by Mr. Governo' in open Courte," 


" 19 Jany. 1588. Ther was reade a Ire dated the xxx daie of 
December last past directed to our Governo' from Mr. Wilforde 
President together with certaine articles concerninge the treatie 
of peace betwene her Matie and the Kinge of Spain. And 
thereuppon the whole Companie do agree that Mr Sampforde 
Mr Dorchester Mr Hackwell Mr Jasper Horssey Mr Bevis 
Pawle Trigge and Richard Wheaton shall with all speade con- 
veynient sende into everye severall division a coppic of the 
foresaide Ires and articles together with a Ire directed to them 
accordinge to the said Ires to thende that a perfecte note mought 
be certified upp for the answeringe thereof, And that messengers 
shalbe sent of purpose with the same And that they shall set 
downe some reasonable some for o' clarks paines taken therein." 

" I Feb. 158S. At this Courte it is ordered by the Governo' 
Consulls and Companie that the foresaid Comitties shall this 
present daie at one of the clocke in the afternone and likewise to 
morrow at the hower of one in the afternone set at o' hauU and 
then and there shall take a perfecte noate of all suche losses in- 
iuries and wronges as the Merchauntes of this Companie have 
susteyned by the Kinge of Spaine and his subjectes And 
farther that a Ire shalbe directed to Mr. Wilforde, President, 
together with all suche noates as are already receaved from 
everye place within this division on Satterdaie next And that 
messengers shalbe sente to Topsham and Exmouth of purpose 
to geve notice to suche as have susteyned anie losses iniuries or 
wronges by the Kinge of Spaine and his subjectes to thende that 
certificates thereof might be made." 


" 19 Jan. 1588. At this Courte it is ordered that the Tresorer 
shall paie oute towardes the buriall of a poore Spaniarde the 
some of vs (if nede be) and the disposinge to be comitted to Mr. 



" i6 Dec. 1587. At this Courte a Ire was reade directed frome 
the President and fifcllowshippe of the Merchauntes Adventurers 
tradinge Spaine and Portingale dated the second daie of De- 
cember 1587, concerning a certificate to be made by the 
Merchauntes of this division as well what losses they have sus- 
teyned by the Spaniards and Portingalcs as also what iniuries and 
wrongs they have receaved by the holy howst (as they term it) 
or otherwise Together with a coppie of a Ire inclosed dated the 
xxvij daie of November 1587 under eight of the handes of her 
Maties Previe Councell to that effecte Whcreuppon Mr. Governo' 
did move the whole Companie who shoulde deale therein which 
Companie did agree that Mr. Thomas Spicer, Mr. Sampforde, 
Mr. Dorchester, and Jasper Horsey shall send into everye 
division coppics of the foresaid Ires and shall take a note of all 
suche losses and wrongesas anie of the Companie have susteyned 
and to make certificates thereof at or on thisside the xxij daie of 
this instant moneth of Decemb and that in the meane tyme 
there shalbe a Ire privately directed to Mr. Wilforde, President, 
conteyninge as well the receipt of his Ires as also that wee have 
p'ceaded with as muche expedicon as wee maie And that the 
messengers shalbe sent expresly of purpose into evrye several! 
division and they to beare the charge thereof (if it maie be)." 


"3 August 1577. Whereas of late this Companye have re- 
ceaved a Ire from the President and assistaunce of Marchauntes 
tradinge Spayne and Portugal! with a brief abstract of the Ires 
patente graunted unto theim of late by the Queenes Highenes 
as touchinge the same trade. All which were reade openlie at 
this Courte : And for that the contentes thereof are not to be 
answered but with good advise and deliberacion the whole 


matter is deferred untill the generall Courte to be kept the vjth 
daye next ensuinge of this present moneth of August." 
"6 August 1577. General Courte. 

" At which Courte the Governor Consulls and whole Company- 
have chosen to ryde to London for theim to conferr with the 
President and Assistauntes of the Companye of Marchauntes 
tradinge Spayne and Portingale Mr. Simon Knight Mr. John 

(Simon Knight had " suche earnest busines " that he could not 
go and Nicholas Spicer was appointed in his stead. 

A collection was made to defray expenses — each to contribute 
as directed by the Governor and Consulls. 

Amount collected 10/ S-^ 4^-) 

" 12 August 1571. And it is further agreed that all those that 
•doo disburse and lay out any money towardes the saide charges, 
and doo not enioye the benefiet and freedome of the Charter 
graunted to the saide President an ffellowshipp aforesaide That 
everie suche parson and parsons shall have repaied hym and 
theim backe ageyne by the Governo', Consulls, and Threasorer 
of this Companye all suche money, as they or any of theim, 
shall laye oute touchinge this matter." 


" 10 April 1600. At this Courte Mr. Governo' did cause to be 
reade in open Courte a copie of a letter and certeine orders 
under the handes of the right ho. the Lord Treasorer directed to 
the customers, and all others her Maties Officers within the 
severall counties of Devon, Dorset, and Cornewall for reformacon 
of divers abuses touchinge the entries in the custome howse." 

" nth Sept. 1600. Likewise at this Courte there was a copie 
of a letter receaved from the Custome Howse directed to them 
from my lord Tresorer touchinge a newe custome to be raised 
uppon certeine kindes of cloths for fower yeares As by a rate 
uppon the saide letter male appeare for revocacon of a certeine 


edict for English clothes in Ffrauncc whereuppon the whole 
Companie did agree that there shalbe fourthvvith letters sent to 
Tottenes, Barnestaple, and Plimouth and other Townes ad- 
ioyninge to knowe whether the}- will joyne with us and become 
humble suters to the LL of her Maties most honorable privie 
councell not onelie for the easinge of the said rate but also to 
draw them to a shorter time or to take such farther order therein 
as shalbe thought conveynient And that Mr. Governo', Mr. 
Dorchester, Mr. Sampford, and Mr. Crossinge shall penne and 
peruse the said letters and to cause them to be sent awaie 

" 18 Sept. 1600. At this Courte it is agreed with the consent 
and agreement of divers Marchauntes of severall Townes 
adioyninge, viz., of Barnestaple, Tottenes, Plimouth, Tiverton, 
and Taunton that Mr. John Sampfordc of Exeter and Mr. 
William Dare of Taunton shall fourthwith take instructon and 
become humble suters to my lorde Tresorer and the rest of the 
LLs of her Maties most honorable privie councell not onelie for 
the revocacon of a certeine edict for English Wollen clothes in 
Ffraunce but also to drawe them to a shorter time for the 
finishing thereof if it maic be obtayned whereuppon the whole 
Companie doe agree that Mr. Sampford and Mr. Dare shall have 
cch of them vl for and towardes there charges and expenses in 
solicitinge the said sute and likewise ech of them vl for there 
paines takinge in and about the suite which some of xx/ shalbe 
levied as foloweth : — viz., of Exeter v/ xiij.y \n]d, of Tottenes 
iijV \]s \'n]d, of Barnestaple and the townes adioyninge xb, of 
Plymouth and Tavistocke xIj, of Tiverton xIj, of Taunton xk, 
of Chard xxj, and of Lyme Regis xxj." 

" 27 Sept. 1600. It is agreed that Mr. John Howell Maior 
Mr. William Spicer Governor Mr. Nicholas Spicer Mr. Richarde 
Dorchester and John Sandy shall fourthwith drawe and penne 
certeine articles for the better instructinge Mr. John Sampforde 
and Mr. William Dare in solicitinge the foresaid suite to my lo 
Treasorer and the rest of the LLs of her Maties most henorable 
privie Councell as well for the revocacon of the foresaid edict 
for English wollen clothes in ffraunce and letters of marke and 

" And also it is farther agreed that if Mr. Sampforde shall 


disburse in and aboute the said suite more than the foresaid 
some of ffive poundes that then this Companie doe take uppon 
them to paie what he shall laie out over and above soe as yt doe 
not exceede the some of three poundes." 

"21 Oct. 1600. At this Courte Mr. Sampford brought in his 
accompt touchinge his charges and paines in ridinge to London 
concerninge the edict which did amountc to ix/ vij^ x^ that is to 
saie for his charges and expenses iiij/ viij- x^ and for his paines 
v/ which was allowed him by the consente of the whole 


" 15 April 1595. Also at this Courte it is agreed that whereas 
there hath been for twoo yeares past an imposicon of a xs per 
tonne of Gascon wines towards the provision of her Maties howse 
and a iijs for wastage Mr. Mainwaring at his awne charge for the 
some of one hundred and fiftie poundes : doth offer to discharge 
the said imposicon : In consideracon thereof this Companie do 
agree that there shalbe disbursed amongst this Companie the 
some of a Ixxv/ shalbe levied and collected by a [afterwards in- 
creased to los] vjs viiid for everie tonne of wine that shalbe 
brought into this porte for this yeare followirige (if the said dis- 
charge be obteyned otherwise nothinge to be paid.") 

" 6 August 1595. Also at this Courte there was a Ire reade 
directed frome my Lo. Treasurer for the clere discharge of tenne 
shillings of late imposed uppon evrie tonne of Gascon Avines 
towardes the provision of her Maties howse which Ire is to take 
effectc frome the xxixth daie of September next." 


"8 Jany. 1596. Also whereas Mr. vVillm Martyn Councello' 
before this Courte hath written and taken gr^ate paines for this 
Companie touchinge the bcatinge downe of excessive fifees here- 


toforc paid to the Alne^or. And whereas also o' Tresorer hath 
disbursed and paid to the said Willm Marty n a xs and to Mr 
Tickell a vs which is a slender recompencc for hime consideringc 
his greate paincs : It is therefore thought good by the whole 
Companic, that Mr. Governo' and the Treasorer shall content 
the said Mr. Martyn for his paines that shalbe by them thought 

"23 Sept. 1596. At this Courte it is agreed that Mr, 
Governo' Mr Willm Martyn sen Mr Walker Jasper Horsscy and 
John Gandy shall conferr and agree with Mr. Newcombe Alneger 
what ffees shalbe paid from hensfourthe for sealinge of karsies 
and other clothes within this Cittie soe as they exceede not the 
price of xiiiJ5 the packc and doe ccrtifie thcire procecdinges at 
the next Courte." 


"26 April 1586. At this Courte it is enacted and ordered that 
Thomas Spicer and Richard SAveete, John Weste of Tiverton 
and Richard Morgan of Collumpton shall accordinge to their 
discreacon for the ease and benefit of the Companie for the 
defence of Sir Walter Rawleigh and his officers And so for 
the takinfre awaie of the excessive ffees uppon cocketes and 
certificates shall taxe and rate the whole Companie of Mer- 
chauntes as well of this Cittie as of Collompton and Tiverton : 
And the collectors of suche taxes shalbe John Applyn and 
Jasper Horsey which collectors shall not be taxed. And it is 
further agreed that the loanc of all suche money which shalbe 
paid shalbe repaid to everie man out of the monyes which shalbe 
receaved by Mr. Willm. Martyn and Willm. Grenewoode which 
is xij^ uppon everye pack of cloth which shalbe adventured by 
the Merchaunts of Exeter, Collompton, and Tiverton, And 
whosever shall refuse to paie the said xij*^ uppon everye pack 
shall for his refusal paie dubble, And the collectors to be allowed 
for theire paines xxj." 



" Mem. That the 28th daie of Maye 1 586 the Companie beinge 
assembled in the haule it was ordered that Mr. Nicholas Spicer 
and Richard Bevis (either this daye or to-morrow) shall rcpaier 
to Sr Robte Dennys and request his wo' in the Companies 
behalfe to take the paines to sit upon the comission touchinge 
Sir Walter Rawleigh." 


"Court held 13 June 1588. Mr. John Periam Mayor and 
Governor of this Company of Merchants assembled the said 
Companie and proposed unto them a letter articles and in- 
strument receaved from Mr. Sanderson concerning a further pro- 
ceeding to the North West Discovery. The Articles now dated 
at Mr. Customer Smythe's house the i8th day of March last and 
the said instrument was dated the 2nd daie of Aprill in the 
xxxth year of Her Majestie's raigne and tended to this purpose. 
That all the Companie of the said North West Discovery should 
put their handes and scales to the said Instrument constitutinge 
and ordynninge thereby eight persons viz Sir Francis Walsingham 
Sir Walter Rawleigh Mr Thomas Smith William Sanderson 
John Archer John Walter of London John Peryam of Exeter 
and Walter Buggins of Tottenes and any sixt five or foAver of 
them whereof the saide Sir Francis to be and to enacte make 
lawes orders and constitutions for the orderinge and further pro- 
ceedings of the said voyage as also to call to accompt anie of 
the Companie for anie matters concerninge the same and further 
to do and performe in all. things as much as the said Companye 
mought or now maie do. Uppon the readings of the Articles 
and Instrument the most parte of the said Companie resiaunt 
here in Exeter there and then answered that they nor anie of 
them woulde consent thereunto nor put their handes and scales 
to the said instrument for divers and sundrie speciall causes then 



"6 March 1586. At this Courtc it is agreed that all such 
psons as have disbursed and paid money towardes the bringingc 
in of the come wch is by Mr. Willm. Martyn sent for and the 
money appointed to be paid unto hime that at the saefe arrivall 
of the corne the money shalbe by Mr. Nicholas Martyn Maior 
and Mr. Thomas Chappell paid unto evrye man ;:o muche as he 
paid oute within twoo monthes after the arrivall of the said 
come and John Sampforde and Walter Borough are appointed to 
receive the money and to paic it to Mr. Willm. Martyn." 

" 19th April 1586. At this Courte it is agreed and enacted 
that God sendinge the corne that evrye man wch have disbursed 
and paid oute there money shall have delivred unto them one 
boushell of wheate and one boushell of rye for evyre pounde by 
them paid out wch is to be disductcd oute of theire some paid 
after the prise that the corne standcth." 

'* 19 August 1596. Also at this Courte Mr. Governo' moved 
the whole Companie concerninge the excessive price of late 
raised upon corne and that corne was like to growe dearer rather 
than better cheape by mennes of the ffowle weather which hath 
ben of late and that he thought it fitt and conveynient that 
order might be taken for the providinge of some quantitie of rie 
from Danske or some other place for layenge the price whereunto 
the whole Companie assented and agreed that there shoulde be 
presentlie order taken for the providinge of one hundred tonnes 
of rie and that evrye person of this Companie shoulde sett 
downe under his owne hande what he woulde disburse towardes 
the buyenge of the same which rate was by them sett downe 
accordinglie and that everie man shoulde have the thirde part 
of that he shoulde disburse in rie and thother two partes to re- 
maine in corne for the relieff of the poore and poore householders 
in this Cittie which two partes is to be repaied to everye person 
that disburse theire moneyes imediatlie uppon the sale of the 
-saide corne And further at the same Courte Mr. John Samp- 
forde was intreated to undertake the charge." 

" 20 August 1596. At this Courte it is agreed by the Governo' 
Consulls and whole Companie that whereas at the last Courte 


theire was a mocyon made concerningc the providingc of rie 
and the matter comitted to the direction of certaine comitties 
thereunto appointed sithens which time the Governo' and cer- 
teyne others of this companic have had conference with one 
Symon Leach of the said Cittie for the providinge of the said 
come who came to this Courte and at the same theiie was a 
conclusion made with him for providinge thereof who did take 
uppon him at his owne coste and charge to provide three 
thousand and six hundred bushells of rie good and marchant- 
able to be dehvered within the Barr of Exmouth accordinge to 
the accustomed measure in the said Citie of Exon at or on 
thisside the xvth daie of Maie next ensewinge at iujs y]d for 
everie bushell and that uppon sight of anie bill or bills of ex- 
chaunge from the said Symon Leach this Companie is to 
disburse the some of two hundredd poundes uppon securitie 
from the said Symon Leach and one Henrie Gandie his brother- 
in-law, and the rest of the moneyes for the said rie to be paid 
in forme foUowinge viz thone moitie thereof within tenne daies 
after the arrivall of the said rie within the Barr of Exmouth 
and thother moitie wathin twentie daies then next followinge thad- 
venture of the said rie to be borne by the said Symon Leach untill 
it come within the Barr of Exmouth and for performaunce thereof 
the said Companie have appointed and authorized our Governo' 
Mr Dorchester to passe the assurance thereof under the scale of 
this Company and to take securitie from the said Symon Leach." 


" 3 Feb. 1 597. At this Courte Mr. Governor particulerHe 
moved the whole howse touchinge the payment of a certeine 
some of money which is to be disbursed for rie alreddy bought 
for the Citizens of this Cittie (which is daielie expected) where- 
uppon the whole Companie did condiscent and agree unto a 
certeine rate then in open Courte by them severally sett downe 
and that the said several! somes of money soe by them sett 


downc shall be disbursed and paid to our saide Governo' 
imcdiatlic uppon the arrivall of the said come within the harbor 
of I'-xniouth allowinge to them such somes of money as they 
have alreddie disbursed towardes the buienge of the first corne 
and likewise that the same moneyes soe rated shall continewe 
lyable towardes the payment of the rie which is expected in 
Maie next and that evry man is to have thone moitic of that 
well he shall disburse in corne and th'other moitie to remaine for 
the poore and poore housholders of this Cittie in the Garnett 
and that evry one that disbursed his moneyes shalbe repaied 
imediately uppon the sale of the said corne expected in Maie." 

"3 Feb. 1597. The monies of such of this Companie as 
doe voluntarylie londe theire monies towardes the providinge 
of Corne for the provision of this Cittie with the sevrall somes 
by them graunted." 

(^550 — subscribed by 71 members — no amount against 
6 names) — 

3 " Widdowes " subscribed, viz : 
Mrs Elizabeth Ellacott ... ... xl 

Mrs Applyn ... ... ... iij/ 

Mrs Swete ... ... .. iij/ 

" 10 Feb. 1697. It is agreed that Mr. Governo' shall nominate 
such persons ot this Companie as shall attende at the Kay for 
the receipt and delivry of the rie theire and likewise for the 
delivry of the same rie into the Garnett in such manner as it was 
don at the cominge in of the last rie." 

"17 Feb. 1597. It is agreed that if the poore and poore 
householders of this Cittie doe refuse to take the corne expected 
in Maie at the price of \s n\]d either at the Kaie or after it is 
putt in the Garnett that then evrye parson of this Companie are 
contented and agree to take th'one moitie of the said corne at 
the foresaid price accordinge to a former act and rate heretofore 

" 19 May 1597. It is agreed that Mr. Governor shall nominate 
such persons of this Companie as shall attend at the kaie for the 
receipte and delivry of the rie theire and likewise for the receipte 
of the same rie into Garnett in such manner as it was don at the 
cominge of the last rie Also at this Courte it is likewise agreed 


that whereas of the last rie that came heither there was thirttene 
hundred bushells putt into the Garnett now it is concluded that 
there shalbe onelie eight hundred bushells putt in and that the 
overplus shalbe sold to poore artificers and howsholders of this 
Cittie that shall want cornc." 

"20 October 1597. At this Courte it was menconed by Mr. 
Governo' to this Companic that there might be a letter fourth- 
with written to Mr. John Periam and Mr. William Martin who 
nowe are at London to deal and goe through for a shippes 
ladingc of corne of a hundred tonnes or thereaboutes for as 
either of them doe not exceede in price vs v]d the bushell at the 
moste to be delivered here But to get it if they male better 
cheape and that the same corne shalbe delivered here betwene 
that and Candemas next." 

" 19 Nov. 1597. At this Courte there was a letter receaved 
from London from Mr. William {'> Martin) as well touchinge the 
providinge of corne as also touchinge the confirminge of our 
charter whereuppon it is agreed by the Governo' Consulls and 
whole Companie that there .shalbe fourthwith a Ire written unto 
the said Mr. Martin to provide (if he male) some quantitie of rie 
at the price of vs vjd the bushell or less if possible he male and 
also to certifie him that oure Companie are willinge that our 
charter shalbe confirmed at that, att Mr. Martin Councellors 
comminge downe there shalbe not onlie order taken for dis- 
bursinge of the charges but order for proceedinge therein And 
that the charter shalbe fourthwith sent to the said Mr. Martin 
which accordinglie was don." 


" Moste humblie sheweth unto yo' Worshippes, youre daylie 
orator Phillipp Cane of the Citie of Exon That where yo' saide 
Orator is at this present in greate povertie, havinge a wyffe and 
syx children on his handes, and hath nothinge left for the mayn- 
teninge of the same considers with hymself^ that hee is not the 


firstc that by misfortune hath fallen in decaye, and considers 
also that by labor, and paynes many have risen ageyne from 
pov'crtic to a better state. Ys very willinge to take paynes to 
get his lyvinge and to bringe upp his children in the feare of 
God yf hee were able or had anythinge left wherevvithall : And 
for that hee is one (as unworthie) of this Worshipfull Companye, 
moves hym the rather to shewe his grief unto yo' Worshippes, 
dcsiringe youe in the waye of Charitie to consider of his poore 
estate and to departe with hym some porcion towardes liis releif, 
by some collection or othenvise as it shall please yo' worshippes, 
doubting not, but havinge yo' farthcraunce in the premises, hee, 
hys wyfife and poor children shall lyve the better ever hereafter : 
And shall daylie praye unto Almightie God, duringc their lyves 
for yo' worshippes in health and prosperitie longe to endure." 

[32J collected.] 

"6 August 1597. At this Courte there was a collecon made 
for this Companie for William Welch one of the Sergiantcs at 
mace in Lyme which did amounte to xixs and for as much as 
the saide poore man's daughter did marrie with Arthur Jurden a 
ffreeman of this companie deceased who hath left three children 
behinde him the said Welch taking uppon him to discharge the 
Cittie of the keping and bringinge uppe of the said children It 
was therefore thought good by the whole Companie that the 
saide some of xixj- shalbe made full x\s and that Mr, Tresorer 
shall disburse towardes the payment thereof a xxis." 

" 10 April 1600. At this Courte iijjiiij^was given by order 
of Mr. Governo' and the Companie to a poore ffleymmynge 
taken in the White Lion of Amsterdame by Englishmen." 


"16 Deer. 1585. 

" Memorandu — that this Courte was especially called for that 
there were verie lately certain Portingale Shippes taken by 
Barnard Drake Esquire and his companie sailing homewards 
from the Newfounde lande laden with ffishe which shippes being 
brought into the porta of Exon and Dartmouth the said shippes 


and goodes were taken from them and xxxviij of the Portingales 
sent to the Quens Goale of Exon by the Justices of the oute 
sheire where they do remayne in moste miserable case havinge 
nothinge lefte to helpe themselves withall. Therefore the 
Governo' did move the Companie to knowe their good wills 
what everye man will geve towardes their releiff. Whereuppon 
the Companie consideringe that it was a greete deede of charitie 
to helpe the saide poor men beinge in suche distres and not able 
to helpe themselves the said Governo' and Companie did geve 
towardes theire releiffe the some of And also did order 

that o' Tresorer shoulde paie oute of o' boxe xxxviij^ vnjd viz., 
unto John Sampforde and Willm Brayley for that they paid oute 
so muche money in charge to shippe and convey some divers of 
the said Portingales." 


■"Anacte for xb to be " 8th Nov. 1593. Also at this Courte 

collected towardes Mr. Governo' did move the whole Com- 

the furnishinge of a panic concerninge a texacon of xl/ to 

walke under the be levied amongest this Companie for 

Guildhalde." and towarde the pavinge seelinge and 

buildinge of a certaine roome being 

under the Guilhalde of this Cittie whereunto the whole Companie 

agreed And that Mr. Thomas Spicer Maior, John Hackwill, 

Willm Martyn Jun., Hugh Crossinge and John Tailo' shalbe 

raters and collectors of the said Companie for levieing of the 

said xl/ And that the same shalbe rated and collected within 

twelve dales next ensewinge." 

" i6th Jan. 1594 It is agreed that Mr Thomas Spicer, Maior, 
and Mr Hull, Governo' shall take and receive into theire handes 
all the money already collected and that hereafter shalbe re- 
ceaved and collected of the foresaid some of fifortie pounds which 
was geven by this Companie for and towardes the pavinge and 
seelinge of the foreparte of the Guilhalde And that stones and 
winscott shalbe by them provided Avith conveynient speade to 
thende the same worke maie be the soner finished- 



"2nd Nov. 1580 At this Courtc there was a matter moved 
by Mr. Thomas Ikuarton Maior of this Citie as touchinge a 
stipende to be paied yerelie to a prccher : for to enstruct the 
youth of this Citie as well their Catechesme as also their dutie 
and obedience towardes God and their parentes : Whereupon it 
was ordered that a bill shoulde be made of all the ffreemens 
names of this Companye : to knowc what everie man would 
geve of his owne good will towards the same. To which bill 
diverse hath subscribed with their owne handes what some they 
would geve yerelie to that use." 


"26 June 1599 And also at this Courte a mocion was made 
by the Governor to the Companie concerning a contribucion by 
them to be yielded for and towardes the restablishinge of the 
Catachisme and procuringe of a learned preacher within this 
Cittie the better to instruct the people in the knowledge of God 
which Ijeinge thought a godlie and necessarie mocion the whole 
Companie most willinglie and freclicAvith a full consent did then 
and there agree ordeine and enact that there shoulde yearelie be 
contributed by the said Companie the some of tenne poundes 
to be quarterlie paid by the Treasorer of the same to such 
parson or parsons as shouldbe appointed by the Maior and 
Masters of the said Cittie wch are to nomynate the said preacher. 
And it is farther agreed and ordeyned at the said Courte for and 
towardes the payment of tenne poundes that from and after the 
sixth daie of Auguste there shalbe an incresse of averidge by a 
penny upon everie tonne packe and fardell, &c. &c." 



•' 15 July 1600 It is agreed that the Companie will give there 
scale unto the Cittie for payment of tenne poundes by the yeare 
towardes Mr. Snape's yearelie payment being appointed for a 
preacher duringe such time as the Chamber of our Cittie shall 
paie ffiftie poundes unto the said Mr. Snape and forasmuch as the 
said Companie could not agree how the said tenne poundes 
should be collected it is referred over untill the eleccon daie." 

"6 August 1600 It is agreed that whereas at the last Courte 
there was an act made that Mr Snape shoulde have yearelie 
tenne poundes for and towardes his paynes to preach at certeine 
times in the week duringe suche time as the Chamber of the 
Cittie shall paie yearelie ffiftie pounds it is therefore fully agreed 
by the Governo' and Companie that there shalbe tenne poundes 
yearelie paid by the Treasurer of this Companie for the time 
beinge to the preacher of this Cittie to the use of such a 
preacher as shall be nominated by the Maio' and fower and 
twentie of the Common Councell of this Cittie or the most parte 
of them for ffive yeares or for so much of the said terme as the 
Chamber of the Cittie shall paie the said preacher." 

"12 Sept. 1600. It is agreed that the yearlie pencin of tenne 
poundes which is to be paid to the precher shalbe for this yeare 
followinge paide oute of the common stocke of this Companie 
by the Treasorer the first payment to begin att Michaellmas 


"13 Oct. 1562. Peter Lake refusing to * instructe and set 
forth in suche sorte as he is bounde to doo ' his apprentice 
Richard Newman it is ordered that the said Richard shall be 
dismissed of his service, but in further consideration it was 
agreed that ' the said Peter shall enter in obligation of one 


hundrcth markos to the Governor &c. to set furthe the said 
Richardc in a voyage to the parties beyond the seas on this 
side luister next comniing and that Eustace Olyver shall 
lykewise on the behalf of the said Richard Newman be bounde 
to answere the saide Peter Lake all such some and somes of 
money stocke or gcodes as shalbe by the saide Peter 
commytted to the handes and truste of the said Richarde 
that therefore the said Richarde shall retorne to the saide his 
master's service and so to remayne with him in his service untill 
the ende of suche years as are yet remayning to come of his ap- 
penticehode, provided that the saide Eustace shall not stand to 
answere for any losse of the seas But onlie that the said 
Richarde shall trewlie answere his master in accounts.' " 


" 13th March 1573. And for that order was taken at the last 
Courte by the Governo' Consulls and Company that Thomas 
Martyn, John Pope, William Martyn, and Richard Swete shoulde 
end certen controversies reveiled at the saide Courte, And 
forasmoche as the saide wardesmen have not ended the saide 
controversies accordinglie, therefore the saide Governo' hath 
taken a newe order at this Courte that the saide wardesmen, or 
three of them, shall ende the saide awarde atthisside the last 
day of this present moneth of Marche, orells everie of the 
saide wardes men to paye to this Company for his defaulcte 
therein \xs." 


" To the Governor, Treasurer, and Consulls of the worshippfull 
Companyc and ffellowshipp of Marchant Adventurers in the 
Citie of Exon and to everie of theim. 


"These are to will and praye youe and in the Queen's Maties 
name, to require youe that youe call before youe all and everie 
the persons of yo' saide Companye and to straytlie charge and 
commande them and everie of them that they and all such as of 
whome the have the chardge or government, furthwith doo 
reform themselves in their and everie of their apparell of their 
bodies accordinge to her highneses lawes and proclamations in 
that case late made and provided. And if you find any 
amongst youe not conformable thereunto to certifie us thereof 
that redresse therein accordingelie may be had thereof. Ffayle 
you not, ffrom the Guilhall this xth of Julie 1577. 

Robert Chaffe, Maio' of Exeter 
John Blackhaller 
William Chapell." 

'•'At this Courte the Governor according to the Maior's 
precept called before him his whole Companye and gave them 
strayte chardge and commandment furthwithe to reform them 
selves in their apparell accordinge to the Queen's lawes and 
proclamations in that case late made and provided and to cause 
all such as they have the charge and government of to doo the like 
And further willed and required them to kepe them selves out 
of daunger of the said statute and to use them selves in such 
decent order in their said apparell as they be not founde here- 
after contemptious or obstinate in that behalf But that they 
doo their obedient service to the good example of others." 


"12 Nov. 1584 At this Courte do think it conveynient that 
Mr. Thomas Bruarton and Mr Richard Prowse, Burgesses of this 
Parliament for the Cittie of Exeter, shalbe suters that all Mer- 
chauntes and suche as be traders in merchandize beyond the 
seas which do dwell or inhabite in villages or uplandish townes 
shalbe brought to inhabite and dwell in Cities, Townes Cor- 


poratc, market or Korrough townes, otherwise to desist from 
their tradinge and none to deal in merchandizes bcyonde the 
seas unless they have bennc usual traders thither for the space of 
xviii yeares past or have bene apprentice to some auncient 
merchaunt by the space x)f vij yeares at the least." 

"And it is ordered that the reasonable charge of which suche 
laidc out by the said Burgesses ys to be repaid unto them by 
this Companie within xv daies next after there retorne fronie 
the said Parliament and that everye freeman of this Companie 
shalbe rated what he shall paie towardes the charge thereof by 
fower freemen of this Companie appointed by the generalitie 
for the indifferent ratinge of them whose names do follow, viz : — 

Mr. Nicholas Martyn 
Mr. Harry EUacott 

Thomas Walker 

Richard Bevis." 


" 27 Dec. 1 591. At this Courte it is ordered and agreed that 
whereas it is supposed that sundrye Merchaunts of Taunton and 
and other places within this division have been suters to the LL 
of her maties previe councell for a licence to trade for Morlas : 
within the domynyon of the Kinge of Ffraunce, for staie and 
reformacon thereof the said Companie do agree that Mr. Hull 
shall ride to London and be a suter to the Councell for staie of 
the said licence and that there shalbe disbursed by o' Tresorer 
towardes the said charge the some of vjV. xiiis. i'ujd. which shalbe 
collected amongst this Companie every man according to his 
liabilitie and the said Companie doo further agree that Mr. 
Thomas Spicer Mr. Richard Bevis and Mr. Thomas Walker 
shalbe raters and collectors of the said some of vi/. xiijj-. iiij</. 
And to bringe in the same at or before the xiiij daie of January 
next ensewinge. 

" Also at the same Courte Mr. Richard Hackwill of Tottenes 


beinge sent hither of purpose for staie of the said Hcence doth 
on the behalf of the Merchauntes of Tottenes take uppon him 
to paie the thirde parte of the charges that the said suit shall 
amounte unto and hath fourthwith disbursed towardes Mr. Hull's 
charges the some of iij/ vis. viiid. and doth prom is to satisfie 
more if nedc requier." 

" 16 Febt-uary 1592. Mr. Hull did exhibit an accompt of xx/. 
spente in and aboute the sute for staie of licences for Morlais 
whereof x/. is already paid us viz. vi/. xiijj-. iiijV. by this Com- 
panie and iijV. vji". viijV. by the Merchauntes of Tottenes. It is 
therefore agreed that Tiverton Cullompton Taunton Charde and 
Lyme shall paie of the said some of xx/. a vi/. xiijs. \n]d. this 
Companie other vi/. xiijj. iiij<^. and a vi/. xiijj. iiijW. by the Mer- 
chauntes of Tottenes. And that Ires .shalbe sent of purpose to 
the places aforesaid for spedy payment thereof" 


" 8th Feb. 1593. At this Courte it was agreed that Augustine 
White of the Cittie of Exeter shall henceforth so longe as he 
shalbe of good behavio' remaine and be a common Brooker for 
dealinges in the trade of merchandize bctwene this companie 
and anie other aliene stranger or anie persone or persones of 
the Isles of Garnsey or Jarsey and shall have and take for a 
prosecutinge thereof of the seller of anie goodes or mer- 
chandizes two pence of evrye pounde. And if anie other brother 
of this Companie have occacon to use hinie in the like to paie 
penie for evrye pounde." 


"8 Nov. 1593. Also at this Courte Illarey Calley doth 
presente that one Robte Fetter of this cittie feltmaker had 
brought home in the " Pleasure " of Topsham fromc Pampoole in 

l62 AN i;i,lZAl!l:.THAN GUILD. 

Brittanic five or syxe y«ird.s of whitwarc not being free of this 

(26th July 1594. Same man presented for bringing home in 
the Mary of Jarsey 14^ }-ards of "Tregar" which he bought at 

"25 July 1594. At this Courtc it is presented and dulie 
approved that Robte Fetter who nowe is and bj' the space of two 
yeres last past hath dwelt and inhabited within the citie of Exon 
hath divers and sundrie tymes heretofore adventured into the 
domynyon of the fifrenche kinge (not being free of this Companie 
and societie) contrary to the Ouenes matie graunte made to this 
Companie in that behalf. And that he had brought home from 
Pampoole in Brittanie in a certaine Bark called the Pleasure of 
Topsham five yards of whitware and in one other Barke called 
the" Marie of Jarsey fouretene yards and a half of whitware 
within one yeare last past the which nynetene yards and half of 
whitware were at this present Courte apprised and valewed by 
the oathes of Illarey Calley John Watkins and David Bagwill 
to the valewe of a Ixxx/. whereuppon the Governo' and Consulls 
of this Companie with the advice and assistaunce of the roight 
Wo' Mr. Thomas Spicer Maio' of the said Cittie ot Exon John 
Blackall Nicholas Marty n Michaell Germyn and George Smith 
now Aldermen of the said Cittie do seize taxe and impose uppon 
the said Robte Better for his contempte and ofience in adven- 
turinge and transportinge the said nyntene and half yards of 
whitware the some of a xiii/. vjs. viii^. to be levied of the goodes 
and chattels of the said Robte Petter if there be so muche to be 
founde to satisfie the same within this Cittie of P2xon or in 
default thereof his bodie to be imprisoned until he have satysfied 
the same the said some of a xiij/. vjs. viij^. to be disposed 
accordinge to the teno' efifecte and trewe meaninge of her maties 
said graunte to this Companie." 

(28, — reported that he submitted, and being a " verie 
poore " man the fine was reduced to 26s. 8d.) 



" 6 August 1596. Also at this Courte Mr. Govcrno' moved 
the Companie concerninge a ballott of canvas which was taken 
as the goodes of one John Tucker and that a dehvrance was 
served fourth of Mr. Maio' Courte by the said Tucker against 
John Watkins, whereuppon the whole Companye did agree that 
Mr. Governo' and the Consulls for the yeare followinge shall at 
Mr. Recorders commyne repaire unto him and take his opinion 
for answeringe the said playnte of delivrance." 

"15 Sept. 1596. Whereas at a Courte holden the 9th daie 
of August last past it was ordeyned that the sute presented by 
one John Tucker against John Watkins concerninge a ballott 
of canvas stayed by this Company supposed to be the goodes 
of William Tucker and that it shouldbe defended by this Com- 
panie in presentinge the said accon in the Guilhalde of Exon. 
It was confessed and deposed by the saide Willyam Tucker and 
one James Bartram and his wief (the Jurie beingc sworne for 
triall of the same accon) that the said ballott of canvas with two 
others were bought at St. Malloesin Brittanie and brought home 
in a Barke called the Unitie of Topsham as his owne proper 
goodes and to his owne adventure, and that he solde the said 
three ballettes of canvas to his brother John Tucker for xxx/ 
before it was unladen out of the said Barke whereuppon at this 
present Courte the said three ballettes of canvas were apprised 
and valewed by the othes of Mr. Willyam Martin, sen., and 
Illary Calley to the valewe of thirtie poundes. Whereupon the 
Governo' and Consulls of this Companie with the advise and 
assistaunce of the Right Wo' Mr. John Chappell, Maio' of the 
saide Cittie, Mr. John Blackall, Mr. Nicholas Martin, and Mr. 
William Martin, nowe Alderman of the saide Cittie do sease tax 
and ympose upon the said W illyam Tucker for his contempte 
and offence in adventuringe and transportinge the said three 
ballettes of canvas the some of v/ to be levied upon the goodes 
and chattels of the saide Willyam Tucker if there be soe much 
to be founde to satisfifie the same within this Cittie of Exon, 
or in default thereof his bodie to be ymprisoned untill he have 
.satisfied the same. The said some of v/ to be disposed accord- 


inge to the teno', effect, and trewe meaninge of her Maties said 
graunte made to this Companie." 

" 3 Feb. 1597. At this Courte it is agreed by the Governo' 
Consulls and whole Companie tiiat Mr. Governo' shall with all 
speede conveynient write to London to Mr. Martin Councellorto 
procure proces against William Tucker for adventuringe into 
Ffraunce (not beinge free) contrarie to the Charter and that the 
lawe shalbe followed against him withall expidicon, and that the 
coste and charges in lawe shalbe borne by this Companie." 

"12 April 1597. It was directed that Mr. William Martin 
Councello' shoulde followe the lawe against William Tucker for 
and uppon certaine broakes and contemptes oifered to this Com- 
panie contrary to the tenor and effect of her maties Ires patente 
unto them graunted and that the charges thereof should be dis- 
bursed by our Treasorer and whereas uppon the resolucon of her 
maties Attorney Generall this Companie is advised that the 
matter is to be followed in the Starr Chamber against the said 
William Tucker for a contempte in resistin^e her maties graunte. 
In this present Courte it is now fullie concluded that proces shall 
this terme be served forthe of the said Courte of Starr Chamber 
and a bill there exhibited for the said contempte against the said 
William Tucker, and that the same shalbe by the said Mr. 
Martin prosecuted and that the coste thereof from time to time 
shalbe disbursed by the said Tresorer for the tyme beinge." 

[31st Male — W. Tucker came in and submitted, and prayed 
the Company to be good to him. He was fined ^10.] 

"3 August, 1599. The saide Governo' and assistantes did call 
before them Alexander Germyn, one of the sureties for William 
Tucker for payment of v/ pcell of x/ dewe to this Companie the 
first of August last past, for a broake and other abuses offred to 
this Companie by the said Tucker as by ane act maie appeare 
and being demaunded whether he woulde paie the v/ or not 
utterlie denied that he made any absolute promis for payment 
thereof, but that the promis he made was condicionallie that if 
the saide Tucker woulde scale him a bande for his discharge 
and not otherwise contrarie to his promis mencyoned in the said 
act, and so departed utterlie denienge the payment thereof wch 
matter is referred untill the next Courte." 

"4 August 1 599. The Governo' Consulls and assistauntes at this 


psent Courte did call before them Alexander Germyn and 
Robarte Parr sureties for William Tucker for payment of x/ 
whereof v/ was dewe the first of August last past and other 
v/ wilbe due the xxvth of March next for a broake and other 
abuses offred to this Companie by the said Tucker as by an acta 
maie appeare, wch after divers and sundrie obiections by them 
alleaged yielded to paie the same according to the saide Actes." 


" 12 April 1597. At this Courte accordinge to an order sett 
downe in the last Courte Mr. Governo' moved this Societie 
whether they woulde admit Thomas Chafife to the liberties of 
this Companie with the exception in his oath which he required 
which was not to be enjoyned to be a fifreeman of this Citie of 
Exon whereuppon the Societie did agree for sundrie good causes 
and reasons then alleaged that the generall acte in that behalfe 
before made not beinge contrarie or repugnant to the lawes of 
this Realme nor to the customes of this Cittie of Exon as they 
are perswaded shoulde not be broken, But that he shoulde 
willinglie be admitted to be free of this Companie takinge such 
oath as all other ffreemen of the same before him have don, 
whereuppon the Governo' of this Societie declared unto him the 
said Thomas Chaffe being present in the same Courte the 
resolucon of this Companie in that behalfe and offred him the 
said ffreedom in such sorte as all other ffreemen have receaved 
the same, which he utterlie refused and so departed displeased 
out of the same Courte having first showed the reason of his 
refusall to be this viz. that he had the collection of some (ewe 
rentes dewe to the Deane and Chappter of the Cathedrall Church 
of St. Peters in Exeter by pattente for which he receaved an 
annual ffee of xxs. and therefore he saide he could not serve two 
masters, which allegacon this Companie thought to be ffryvolous 
and not to be applied for any causs of refusall of the said oath." 



" lO April 1600. Also at this same Courte it is agreed by the 
Governo' Consulls and whole Company that Mr. Sampforde 
shall fourthwith ride to Plymouth, Tottenes, and Dartmouth, to 
confer with the cheiffe marchantes there to thende that a suite 
might be followed to the LL of her Maties most honorable Privy 
Councell for reformacon of divers wronges offred by the Dun- 
carkes to the marchantes of these westerne partes and that Mr. 
John Howell, Maio', Mr, William Martin, Governo', Mr. Walker, 
Mr. Dorchester, Mr. William Spicer, Mr. Burrow, Mr. Sampforde, 
Hugh Crossinge, and William Martin the younger, or six or 
fiive of them shalbe solicitors and followers of the said suite." 

" 30 May 1600 It is agreed that our Tresorer shall paie unto 
William Martyn the younger iiij/ xixs i]d for and towardes his 
charges in solicitinge a suite to the LL of her Maties most hon- 
ourable Privy Councell for beatinge the Duncarkes and men of 
warrs from our coaste and xxj xd for his travell and paines 
therein taken and to the Clarke for writinge about the same xj-." 


" 24 F^eb. 1602. At this Courte it is agreed that Ires shalbe 
sent fourthwith by a fiboteman to Tottenes Barnestaple Dart- 
mouth Tiverton Taunton Lyme and Charde to this efifecte to 
havj theire opinions and consent that Ires might be directed to 
the Lts of her mities most honorable Previe Councell for reform- 
acon of divers wronges offered by the Dunkarkes to the Mer- 
chauntes of this westerne partes and also to have theire best 
opinions what course is fittest to be taken for the spedie reform- 
acon thereof and to have there answeres here on Thursdaie the 
iiijth of Mche next by eight of the clock in the foarenone and 
that Mr. Dorchester Mr. Germyn Mr. Sampforde Mr. Hugh 
Crossinge John Sandye and Henry Sweete or fifower of them 
shall perne and peruse the said Ires. 


" And also it is agreed that John Sandye shall fourth with ride 
to Plimouth to be a meanes to Captaine Turner Captaine of her 
maties shippe called the Antilloppe for clearinge of the coaste of 
certaine Dunkerkes now lieinge near aboute o' coaste. The 
charges of his jorney at this instante to be borne by this Corn- 
pan ie and after by averidge. And that the said Mr. Sandye 
shall offer twentie or thirttie poundes to the said Captaine if he 
will undertake the wharfinge to be levied by pack and ffardell 
outewardes of the goodes laden aborde the " Pleasure " of 
Topsham or anie other Barke that .shalbe wharfied by the said 

"4 March 1602. At this Courte it is agreed by the whole 
Companie as well with the consente and agreement of the Mer- 
chauntes of severall townes before named that one Merchaunte 
of Exeter one of Tottenes and one other of Taunton and 
another of Lyme shall fourthwith ride to London and exhibite a 
supplicon to the Ouenes most excellent matie and to the LL of 
her maties most honorable Previe Councell for reformacon of 
divers losses iniuries and wronges of late receaved by the Dun- 
carkes and Spaniardes uppon the Merchauntes of these westerne 
partes. And that everye man shall disburse the charges for this 
jorney to London and after repaied by averidge uppon pack 
tonne and ffardell. And that Mr. Governo' Mr. John Peryam 
Mr. John Howell Mr. Richard Dorchester Mr. Willm Spicer Mr 
John Prouse Mr. Alexander Germyn John Sampforde John 
Sandye and Henry Sweete and the said Merchauntes here 
present of the neighbor' townes adioyninge shall fourthwith drawe 
and penne certaine articles for the better instructinge of the 
parties before named." 

" 7 April 1602. At this Courte it is agreed that Mr. Dorchester 
shall have for his paines charges and expense in ridinge to 
London aboute the solicitinge of the peticon made to the LLs of 
her maties most honorable Previe Councell for reformacon of the 
iniuries and wronges of late done by the Dunkerkes and 
Spaniardes the some of twentie poundes which is to be levied 
uppon a vi^. packe tonne ffardell from hensfourthe outewardes 
and homewardes frome anie parte of the domynyon of the Kinge 
of Ffraunce and a \\d. uppon evrye tonne of salte and London 
wares and that the said averidge shall contynewe untill the some 


of one hundred poundes be levied and paid uppon the goodes 
and merchandizes which shalbe brought into the haven porte or 
creek of JCxeter Barnestaple Dartmouth and Lyme." 

" 1st June 1602 At this Courte it is agreed by the Governo' 
Consulls and Companie that Peter Weaver shall have towards 
the furnishinge and setting fourth of the Katherine the some of 
thirtie pounds whereof he hath receaved in hand tenne poundes 
an thothcr twentie poundes is to be paid by o' Tresorer and 
whereas he hath receaved from o' Companie one barrell of gonne 
powder and some other furniture, the said Peter Weaver is to 
gevc allowance backe again for the same And if he receave 
anie more powder or other furniture from this Companie he is 
to yeilde satisfacon for the same. And fifarther the whole Com- 
panie do agree that the gyfte already geven to Sr Robte Maun- 
cell, knight, or anie gifte that shalbe hereafter given to anie of 
the captaines of her Maties shippes shalbe paid by o' Tresorer." 

"6th July 1602 At this Courte it is agreed that whereas 
heretofore the lis of her Maties most honorable Previe Councell 
have ordered that two shippes of her Matie or a shippe and a 
pynnace shoulde be here to garde o' coaste ffom tyme to tyme 
during theist troubles and the same hath ben necligentlie per- 
formed by the Captaines of the same shippes. It is now ordered 
and agreed that Mr. Maio' Mr. John Howell Mr. Dorchester Mr. 
Germyn Mr. Hugh Crossinge Thomas Snowe Samuel Alforde 
and Henry Sweete .shall conferr and take order withone Mr. 
Jopson Secretary to my lo Admirall that Mr. William Parker 
nowe Maio' of Plimouth and Captaine Sonds or some others fitt 
for that service maie be appointed Captaines of some one or 
more of her maties shippes that shall from hensfourthe garde o' 
Coast. And that they shall in regarde of the good will and 
frendshippe of the .said Mr. Jopson geve him twentie poundes or 
a greater some if the said Comitties shall thinke fitt. And 
that the .said Comitties shall drawe and penne Ires to be directed 
to the neighbor' townes adioyninge as well to the owners of 
shippinge as to the Merchauntes there not onelie to be contribu- 
torie towardes the said charge, but also to joyne in [mutilated]. '* 



"26 June 1599. At tliis Courte William Newcombe of this 
Cittie Draper made request to this Companie to be admitted a 
ffreeman of the same and for his ffine he referred himself to the , 
whole howse thereuppon it was agreed by the said Companie that 
he shoulde be admitted a ffreeman for the ffine of twentie markes 
accordinge to a certaine former act in that behalf provided and 
soe did putt in sureties for answeringe thereof to the Tresorer 
the first of August next viz. Alexander Germyn and John 
Sandye. Nevertheless the said William Newcombe made humble 
suite to have mittigacon of parte of the said ffine. In consider- 
acon whereof and speciallie in regarde of a verie favorable letter 
written by Mr. Leach, preacher, and one of the Cannons of 
Exeter written to the Governor in that behalf in favor of the said 
William Newcombe it was condiscended and agreed there shoulde 
be ffive markes abated of the saide ffine ' abovemenconed and for 
the said William Newcombe should paie onlie x/. for his said 
fifreedom to the said Tresorer at the dayc aforesaid." 


Examples of Minutes. 

" 15 May 1562. At which daye also John Cotton brought his 
indentures into this Courte and thereby it appered he was 
bounde for seven yeares as an apprentise to Robert Cotton his 
ffather, which he hath faithfullie served, as appereth by proffe : 
wherefore he is admytted to the freedome of this Companye 
grates : payinge onlie the ffi^es of the Courte." 

"23 August, 1569. Item at this Courte yt was agreed and 
ihought good by the Governo' Consulls and Companye that the 


awardc next hereafter writen shoulde regestred and recorded in 
this booke fibr that the contcntcs and payircntes in the saide 
awarde mencioned are not performed nor kepte of the partie of 
William Parsons : who dyd rcccve and accept, at the handes of 
the umpiers hereunder named the lyke counterpane of the saide 
awarde : Sealed with the scverall scales of the said umpiers 
and signed witli their handes : And further order is taken that 
the Clarke of this Companye shill have for his paines for the 
recording of this awardc and for every one that shalbe hereafter 
recorded in this booke : 

The Awarde. 

." Thes presentes made the seconde daye of Aprill in the tenth 
yere of the reigne of oure sovcreigne Ladye Elizabeth by the 
grace of God Oueene of Englande Ffraunce and Irelande 
Defendo' of the faith &c. &c. Witnesseth that where there is 
certen matters in controversie and now hanrjing and depending at 
the lawe between Mychaell German and William Parsons of the 
Citie of Excester Marchauntes : And where at a Courte of the 
Companye of Marchant Adventurers of the saide Citie of 
Excester holden and kept the xxvi of fifebruary last past : the 
saide matters in controversie were revealed at the saide Courte, 
and then and there at that present it was ordered condiscended 
and agreed by the said Mychaell German and William Parsons 
that Eustas Olyver, Nicholas Martyn, Robert Lambell and John 
Hutchyns of the said Citie Marchantes should have the hyriage 
of all such matters in controversie bctwene theim : And that 
they should be their Arbitrators in that behalf : And it was then 
further condiscended concluded and agreed by the saide Mychaell 
German and William Parsons. 

" That yf the saide W^ardesmen dyd not fynish their awarde by 
a daye then lymited (indifferently accordinge to the judgement 
of both parties) That then the said Michael German and 
William shoulde abide the fynal ende determinacon and judge- 


ment in that behalf, of two umpires then also indifferently- 
chosen by and betwene the saide parties That is to saye 
Thomas Prestwood and John Pope of the saide Citie Marchauntes 
And for that the saide Wardesmen have fynished their awarde 
and not to the full contentacon of bothe the saide parties 
Therefore wee the saide umpires doo make ordeyne determyne 
and yealde upp this oure fynall ende, as touching the premisses 
in maner and form following : ffyrst we the said umpires doo 
throughlie conclude and ffynish Tnat William Parsons his 
executor or assigries in discharge of all debtes and demaundes 
shall paye or cause lo be paide to the above named Mychaell 
German his executors or assignes the some of ffyftie poundes and 
three shillinges of lawful money of Englande in maner and 
forme folowinge Tnat is to wete in the seconde daye of 
August next ensuying xvj/ xiijj- iiij^ and in the seconde daye of 
November then next ensuing other xvj/ x'njs iujd and in the 
seconde daye of Ffebruary then next followinge xvj/ x'njs in)d 
in full contentacon and payment of the saide some of ffyftie 
poundes and three shillinges : and for the performance thereof 
wee the said umpires doo conclude and agree that the saide 
William Parsons at the yealding upp of this oure fynall ende 
shall put into the handes of the saide Mychaell German and 
his assignes a sufficient paune and assurance for the trewe 
payment and answeringe of the saide some of ffyftie poundes 
and three shillings to the saide Mychaell German or his assignes 
in maner and forme aforesaid And further wee doo conclude 
and determyne that the abovesaide Mychaell German or his 
assignes shall paye to Valentine Toker for Alexander German 
apprentice unto the saide W^illiam Parsons for his being in 
Roane the money which the said Valentyne Toker dyd dysburse 
and laye oute in Roane to the charges and tabels of the saide 
Alexander in learning his language To be paide to the same 
Valentyne or his assignes in the xvith daye next comminge of 
this present moneth of April And further also we doo conclude, 
agree and determyne, That William Parsons shall yealde and re- 
lease the apprentishipp of his apprentise Alexander German with 
his indenture and all other right claymes which he nowe hath or 
ought to have of hym by or for his servyse or otherwyse. Shall 
clerelie deliver him to his saide ffather with all his apparell that 


was made for hym which unto hym apperteyneth (whereof wee 
have had consideracions) wc saye to dehver him to his saide 
ffather Mychael German in the xvith daye next ensuying of 
this present moneth of Aprill without any delaye or let what- 
soever : In witness whereof wee the said Umpiers have to thes 
presentes severallie put o' handes and scales : the daye and ycare 
above written." 


" No man free of this Companye shall after the daye of 
the kepinge of this prescntc Courte : that is to say after this 
presente thyrde day of Ffebruary 1578 take any apprentice to 
be bounde for any lesse term then eight yeares, nor the yeares 
of any such apprentise shall ende before he be of age of ffower 
and twentie yeares upon paine of ten poundes. Provided alwaies 
that if any apprentise have served any part of his yeares (being 
bounde as above specified) with any brother of this Companye : 
That thqp such yeares shalbe allowed yf he serve oute the 
residue of his terme with any other ffreeman of this Companye." 

"21 Nov. 1587. Mr. Governo" did move the Companie con- 
ceminge a fyne to be paid by evrye apprentice that hereafter 
shalbe licensed to deale by himselfe in the pties beyonde the 
seas who agreed that a fine shoulde be paid. Whereupon Mr. 
Governo' did set downe two prises vizt. xs and vi.y viij^. And 
thereupon the whole Companie did agree uppon vi.y viij</. And 
that the Clarke shall have for entering thereof a vjd and the 
Beadell for his ffee a iiij</over and besides the said some of a 
a v]s viijV And beinge so admitted shalbe sufficiently licenced 
to trade for himselfe anie former acte notvvithstandinge." 

" 14 Feb. 1593. At this Courte John Cuppwill Apprentice to 
Walter Horssey is licenced to trade for himselfe in the ptes 
beyonde the seas anie acte heretofore made to the contrarye not- 
withstandinge: and paid the ft"ee to Mr. Tresorer videlt a yjs viij^il" 

"26 June 1595. Alexander Maurice Apprentice to Mr. Bevis 
came in and took the oathe of a freeman as an apprentice within 
his terme and paid the ffees of the Courte viz., vs." 


" 26 June 1595. Also at this Courtc Henry Austine late ap- 
prentice to Mi. John Davie Maior, came in and praied this Com- 
panie to be allowed a Ffreeman And for as muche as the said 
Henry did not come into this Courte and praie this Companie to 
be allowed a ffreeman within a yeare after thende of his terme 
accordinge to a certaine Acte heretofore made, Therefore he 
shall paie to this Companie the some of a x/. accordinge to the 
saide Acte : Whereuppon the saide Henry Austine did referr 
himself for the said ffine to the whole house and hath put in 
for sureties for answeringe thereof viz. Mr. Dorchester th'elder 
and Walter Burrows whereuppon the whole Companie agreed 
that he shoulde have abated of the saide some of a x/ eight 
poundes and so he is to paie to o' Treasorer ffortie shillinges And 
thereuppon allowed a ffreeman." 

"1st Sept. 1580. At this Courte William Yarde the eldest sone 
of Mr. Phillipp Yarde came in and claymed the freedome of this 
Companye by patrimonye and according to o' actes and 
ordynaunces hee was allowed." 

Fines for Offences. 

" 15 May 1562. Whereas Nicholas Eron Baker hathe con- 
fessed in open Courte that he hathe traffiqued from Saint 
Mallowes in the parties of Brytayne unto this Citie certen 
lynnen clothe contrarye to the Charter. That therefore he shall 
paye for the saide offence the some of vii". viii^." 

"23 Sept. 1562. At which daye it was ordeyned and 
determyned that forasmuche as John Peryam Marchant hath 
from tyme to tyme traffiqued out of this realme into the 
parties of Ffraunce and other the dominions of the Ffrenche 
Kinge and lykewise hath traffiqued his wares and m'chandise 
from out of the domynions of the Ffrench Kinge into this realme 
of England as namelie xxx peces of cresse laden in the Marye 
Page in the moneth of last : Yt is therefore ordered by 

the Governo' Consulls and Co'panye with the assistance and 
advyse of Mr. William Hurste Maio' Mr. John Mydwynter, Mr. 
William Bucknam, Mr. John Peter and Mr. Robert Mydwynter 
Aldermen That the said John Peryam shall paye for his fync for 
his foresaide traffiques contrarye to thorder and tenure of the 
Charter of this Companye the some of xxtie markes. 



" 6 Aug. 1 57 1. General Court " At which Courte it is ordeyned 
enacted and agreed by the Governo' Consulls and Avhole 
Companye, that if any parson of this Societic doo prcsurrie, 
and do come into the Courte without his gowne at the election 
of a newe Governo' being the syxth daye of Auguste : that 
every suche parson shall paye for his defaulte xijd. every younge 
man that is not mar)'ed and hath no gowne onlie excepted/' 

26 Feb. 1582. An Act passed assessing fines for adventuring 
(not being free of the Company) at 3J 4// in the pound on the 
value of the goods. 

6 Sept. 1592. Edward Chicke fined 16/ I3J-. 4d. afterwards 
reduced on submission to 10/ and William Angevyn 20/ "or in 
defaulte thereof his bodie to be imprisoned." 

" 14 Feb. 1593. Willm. Gill for bringing home two peces and 
a quarter of Dowlis in the ' Diana ' of Lyme 40^." 

26 June 1595. Thomas Pope fined 3^. 4^. for leaving the 
dinner table without leave. 

31 May 1597. William F'fice for adventuring with " Devon- 
sheere karseyes " and John Ffice with " three buttes of sacke 
from St. Malloes. 

For Admission to the Guild. 

26 May 1562. Thomas Chappell 

13 May 1573. George Smith ... 

„ Gilbert Staplegill 
John Dallet 

,' Thomas Bogyns 

16 June 1576. Thomas Richardson 

2 Nov. 1580. Richard Colthurst 
4 May 1581. Nicholas Shevilier a Jerseyman 

„ John Younge (considering 

his poor estate) 

3 July 1593. Allyn Hackwill 

„ John Lante 

" 8 May 1595. John Wilmouth a mere Merchant on delivering 
to the Trcasore one Ilande spruse cloth of the valewe of three 
poundes — in length eight spannes and in breadeth ffower 






.. 6 








.. I 

.. 2 

an 5 



.. 8 


Unpaid Debts. 

"6 August 1562. Which have wholie agreed that Harrie 
Maunder who is debitor to the Companye for xxiji" vi]d and 
Richarde Hockleighe debitor for iijV and Hubert Coh.vell for 
xxiijj- iiijW and Mr. Richarde Prestwodde for liiiji- viij^ And 
every of them shall furthwith paye their severall debtes dewe : 
Orelles put in Sureties, or remayne in warde untill payment be 
be made." 

" 6 August 1565. Yt is agreed that what soever he be being 
indetted to the Companye having warning to bringe in and paye 
the same debte at the Courte at a certen daye and tyme 
appointed : Yf he do not bringe in and paye suche some and 
somes of money in manner aforesaide, That then everye suche 
parson so offending to pay the saide debte and to paie two 
pence over and besides upon every shilling of the same some." 

" I Sept. 1580. That all suche parsons free of this Companye 
which doo refuse or doo not paye their dutie due to the howse 
and by meanes thereof, the same as set downe and whiten in the 
Blacke Booke that everie such parson shall paye to this 
Companie for his defaulct therein : Doble the value thereof : 
without any remission or pardon." 

House Money. 

"15 April 1585. To have the stock of the house for the 
year — 20/ — Morrice Downe, in consequence of his great loss at 
sea by Rovers." 

" 24 Augst. 1 592. Lent to Elizbth. Webber, widdowe." 

" 28 Augst. 1593. Lent to Mr. Sampforde in consequence of 
his great losses by sea." 

" 20 Augst. 1601. To Andrew Geare." 

Charge for Seal. 

"16 Dec. 1568. It is concluded and agreed by tlie Governo' 
&c., That whosoever he bee that shall have the scale of this 
Companye to any writinge shall paye therfore to the use of this 
Societie ijs." 



"7 Oct, 1561. Nicholas Marten answered for iiij avereges 
whereof three were for Flaunders and one for Biskaye. ' 

"26 October 1563. Ordei was taken. That Richarde Prest- 
wodde Eustace Olyver Edwarde Lymet and Synion Knyght 
shall have the perusall of all the accomptes as well of the 
credytt as of the debtes of this Companye and to geve the 
trcwe reporte thereof that the debtes of the Companye may be 
dischargedd. Every of theim making defaulct to paye xj-." 

" 18 Dec. 1599. It is agreed by the Governor Consulls and 
whole Companie that there shalbe a rate sett downe by this 
Companie for the payment of tenne pounds towardes the charge 
of ISIr. Coombe solicitinge a suite to the LL of her maties 
honorable Previe Councell for avoidinge of certainc orders and 
decrees of late raised and sett downe in Rochell whereuppon the 
whole Companie did agree that the some of tenne poundes 
shalbe levied as followeth viz. of Exeter iijV vis viijd of Totnes 
iij/ vj<l viijj of Barnestaple xxxiijj iiij<^ and of Tiverton 
xxxiijy iiijc/ and that the some of tenne poundes shalbe levied 
in Rochell by two sufficient English Marchauntes there after the 
rate of xii</ the packe and soe after that rate uppon all other 
marchaundizes that shoulde be brought thither." 


Exclusive Trading. 

" 26 June 1600. At this Courte there was a coppie of a letter 
reade directed to Sir Thomas Ridgvvaie Knight from Richard 
Carmarden Esquier touchinge a trade to the Levaunt seas 
together with a copie of an answere from the Marchauntes of 
Bristoll to the saide Richard Carmarden concerninge the said 
trade. Whereuppon Mr. Governor did move the whole 
Companie howe many of them would yielde and agree to be 
free and trade thether. And thereuppon those parsons whose 
names are subscribed doe like verie well of the said mocyon and 
are willinge to be admitted to the said trade and for better 
testimony thereof they have hereunto subscribed there names. 
And it is further agreed that Mr. John Howell Maio' Mr. John 
Prowse Mr. Richard Dorchester Mr. John Ellacott and Mr. 
William Martin the younger shall fourthwith answere Mr. 
Carmarden's letter directed to Sir Thomas Ridgwaie Knight." 

"2nd July 1566. At which Courte it is enacted ordeyned 
established and agreed by the Governo' Consulls and Company 
before particularie named That none nor any parson or parsons 
being free of this Societie and Company whatsoever he or they 
be shall from hensforthe by theymselves or by any their factors, 
sarvauntes or apprentices lade or fifright any shipp or barke to 
the parties of Andelosia Byskey Galisia or Portugalle But by 
hymself onlie or with suche as be free of this Company : Nor 
that any forryner or stranger nor any other parson or parsons 
not free of this Company shall lade any parte or porcion of any 
shipp or barke or be in coplement with any of this Societie and 
Company to or froo any the parties before mentioned upon 
payne of every such parson of this Companye so doinge the 
contrarie to paye and forfeite to this Company for every tyme 
the somme of Twentie pounds. The one third parte thereof to 
be to hime that shall present the same and thother two partes to 
the Company. And if any such faulte before mentioned be 
founde in any factor sarvaunte or apprentise the forfeite and 
payne thereof to be levied upon their Maister." 


Owners and Masters of Ships not to load with ' wares mar- 
chandizes or moneys ' belonging to those not free of the Com- 
pany — To state so in writing on the Charterparties. 

" 14 March 1576. At this Courte there is certen complayntes 
made to the Governo' Consulls and Companie by certen Mar- 
chauntes of the town of Morlcs in the parties of Brytaine that 
diverse inglishe menne, covetinge their owne private ga}ne, doo 
bye beyonde the seas narrowe lynncn clothe contrarie to the 
orders in the saide Countrie of Biytainc. Therefore it is nowe 
at this present Courte enacted and fulHe agreed upon by the 
saide Governo' Consulls and Companye That whatsoever hee 
bee, free of this Companye (or any others) that after the daye of 
the kepinge of this present Courte Do bye or bringe over from 
the parties beyond the Sees unto this realme of Englande, any 
of the saide narrowe lynnen cloth, That is to say any dowles, 
grese cloth, or Treger : Shallc paye unto this Companie for 
everie pece so bought and brought into this realme the some of 
Xs if the same be not of the breadeth of iij quarters of a yarde 
and a half at the leaste, suche Marchauntes free of this Com- 
panye which have heretofore freighted the ' Jonas ' and the 
' Primerose ' of Topsham onelie excepted. And further it is 
agreed that no person or persons free of this Companye, nor 
any other whatsoever hee bee shall bye any of the saide 
narrowe lynnen cloth in any place within this realme to be solde 
within this Citie of Exon orellswhere upon the like payne of 
xs for everie pece so bought."