Ordinances of the associated corvisers of Hereford, 1569

(This version is extracted from Devlin, James Dacres. Helps to Hereford History, Civil and Legendary, in an Account of the Ancient Cordwainers' Company of the City. The Mordiford Dragon; and Other Subjects. London: J.R. Smith, 1848)


l.—Imprimis—That ther shal be chosen twoe wardens and fower ‘socyatts yerely, on the Tuysdaie next after Sayntte Martenes daie in the morninge.

2.—Item—That the wardenes for the tyme beinge shall yeld vppe their accompts on that daye vppon payne of x li, and that the said wardenes shall redo or cause to be redde to the said companye, the saide boke of ordynances vppon payne of iijs. iiijd.; and the youngest Mr. to be bedell; and he in defaulte of his dutie to lose iijs. iiijd.

3.—Item—That yf any of the masters of the company refuse to be wardens, then to lose xxs.

4.—Item—That the saide wardens shall yerely kepe iiij halls in the yere ; and they that come natt to the same, vppon Iawfull somons gcven, to lose xmjd.

5.—Item—That every prentice shall paye for his admyttance iijs. iiijd., and every foryne to pay iij li. vjs. viijd.

6.—Item—That no Mr. or other shall kepe butt one shoppe, nor shall natt kepe any staundyne in the streate vppon payne of xxs.

7.—That none shall cut or make any wares in the country, nor out of the shoppe of one of the companye, vppan payne of forfeyture xxs.

8.—Item — That the wardenes muste make searche whether ther be any insuffycyent wares made amonge the company, and the offenders thereof to lose xxs.

9.—Item—That the wardens may enter into the house of the curryores in the daye tyme as ofte as they lyste, and yf any defaulte be founde, the said curryor natto lose above iijs. iiijd.

10.—Item—That none of the felowshippe shall currye any lethur within any of their houses uppon payne of xxs.

11.—Item—That none of the felowshippe shall suffer their servants to work on the Sondayes, in Auguste only excepted, vppon payne of iijs. iiijd.

12.—Item—That none of the felowshippe shall sell any wares but suche as shall be made within the cytteye, vppon payne of iijs. iiijd.

13.—Item—That yf any of the felowshippe refuse to be corrected, or despyce the wardens, than the mayor to cease his fyne accordinglye.

14.—Item—The manner of the othe geven to any that shall be admytted to the felowshippe or companye.
[The oath is not here written down, but was as follows, as I now copy it from the ordinances at large:—

YE SHAL BE GOOD AND TRUE to the Quene our Souraigne Lady; and her heires and successors Kinges and Queues of Englonde, and to be obediente to the wardenes of this felowshippe for the tyme being, in lawfull manner, and ahall keepe secrete all the lawful councill of the saide fellowshippe, and shall observe all manner of rules and ordinances by the same felowshippe made, or hereafter to be made, concernyng the ordering of the same felowshippe, beinge aproved accordinge to the statutes in that behalfe provided: soe helpe me God.]

15.—Item—That iff any of the felowshippe be approved forsworne, that the same to be putt onto of the company for ever.

16.—Item—That none shall occupie tyll he be first admytted by the wardenes, uppon payne of v ii.

I7~—Item —That every widowe may occupye, she beinge her selfe a lone and sole.

18.—Item—--That none of the felowshippe shall take any prentice for lease tyme than for vij years. And that he be natt known for a theffe, nor borne oute of the Queenes domynyons, vppon payne of xxs.; nor shall kepe the saide prentice above one moneth vntyl he be bounde, and recorded in the courte, payinge ijs. iiijd. And if he happen natto shewe his indentures, havinge commaundemente born the wardens, then he to lose vis. viijd.

19.—Item—-That yf any prentyce complayne vppon his Mr., vppon any misdomenor, then he to abyde the correction of the mayor; and that none of the saide Mrs. shall putt anye of the servaunts of any others of the same fellowshippe to work without his Mrs. lawfull lycens, upon payne of vis. viijd.

20.—Item—That yf any of the fellowshippe refuse to paye suche forfete, or he shall happen to offend in, then ytt shalbe lawfull for the wardenes, with the eldest sergyaunte, to strayne vppon his bodye and goodes.

21.—Item—That everye one of the folowshippe shall come to the weddinge and buryinge of any of the saide felowshippe, havinge sommons geven vnto him by the bedell, vppon payne of xijd.

22.—Item—That the wardens shall natt hire the pawle to any straunger vnder xijd, and to every of the fellowship vjd.

23.—Item—That yf the wardens do natt their dutyes, beinge approved by iij or iiij honest persons, then they to lose vjs. viijd. And yf any person do complayne without occasyon, then he to lose vjs. viijd.

And the sayde felowshippe doth graunte yerely to the pavinge of the streates vjs. viljd.

And to the eldest seriaunte yerelye xijd.

And yf also any person be molested either in bodye or in goodes, be to complayne to the Justices of Assyse for the tyme being, within the conntey of Hereff.