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Articles, Orders and Ordinances - 1st November 1670

Summary

Date Approved by Charles II 1st November 1670
Statute of Henry VII Ordinances enacted by a guild are to be examined by the Chancellor Treasurer of England and Chief Justices of either Bench, or three of them, or both of the Justices of Assize on Circuit. Fine of £40 for non-compliance. (19 Hen VII cap 7)
Recital of the Charter The document contains a summary of the Charter of James I dated 25th May 1621 as re-granted by Charles II on 17th November 1666.
Master Isaac Corner
Wardens John Cox and John Cobb
Preamble The master and wardens submit a petition for the Articles and Ordinances for the good rule and government of the Company of Bowyers to be examined and approved.
Jurisdiction To govern the Bowyers Company and anyone making bows within the City, the Liberties or three miles compass of the City.
Day of elections Thursday next after the Feast of St James the Apostle (25th July) in every second year, or 20 days before or after, Master and two wardens to be chosen from the Assistants. If any should die in office, replacements to be elected to serve the remainder of the term of two years.
Penalty for refusing office of Master or Warden Anyone refusing to take up the office of Master or Warden to pay a fine of £20 plus 6s 3d to the Clerk and 3s 4d to the Beadle.
Appointment of Assistants and penalty for refusing office Upon the death or removal of an Assistant, the Master and Wardens may choose a replacement. Anyone refusing to take up the office of Assistant to pay a fine of £5 plus 5s to the Clerk and 1s 6d to the Beadle.
Fine for skipping offices Anyone elected to the position of Master or Warden before they have served the place of the inferior Warden shall pay a fine not to exceed £10 plus 6s 8d to the Clerk.
Election to the Livery The Court may elect new members to the Livery from the freemen. The fine for refusal is £10. The fine payable on election is £5 to the Company, 5s to the Clerk and 1s to the Beadle.
Fines for not appearing when summoned The fines for not appearing when lawfully summoned are: Master and Wardens 6s 8d; Assistants 3s 4d, Livery 2s; Yeomen 1s.
Renter Warden's bond Before taking up office, the Renter Warden is to provide a bond with sureties of £500.
Charges for apprentices' indentures The indentures of apprentices shall be drawn up by the Clerk at a charge of 5s to the Clerk and 1s to the Beadle.
Presentation fees payable by apprentices Every apprentice to be presented to the Master, Wardens and Assistants within one year of being bound at which time 2s 6d is payable. If not so presented, the Apprentice Master must pay 13s 4d before the apprentice can be admitted as a freeman of the Company.
Duty on admission to Freedom of the Company Every new freeman to pay 6s 8d, 3s 4d in lieu of opening his shop and one silver spoon worth 10s (or 10s in cash), 5s to the Clerk and 1s to the Beadle.
Election of the Clerk The Master, Wardens and Assistants may choose one honest, discreet and fit person to be Clerk. The Clerk must take an oath, he can serve for life unless there is good cause for his removal, and he can receive and enjoy all the fees and profits of office.
Election of the Beadle The Master, Wardens and Assistants may choose one honest, discreet and fit person to be Beadle. The Beadle must take an oath, he can serve for life unless there is good cause for his removal, and he can receive and enjoy all the fees and profits of office.
Audit of accounts On 24th August in every second year the outgoing Master and Wardens shall present accounts to be entered in the Common Ledger which is to be kept in the Hall. They shall also deliver all jewels, plate, goods, utensils and household implements and keys in their care. The fine for wilful refusal to submit accounts is £500. The fine for late submission is 20s per day.
Custody of keys All jewels, plate, ready money and other things to be kept under lock and key at the Hall. The keys are to be held by the Master and Wardens. If they are sick or away on business, they are to be entrusted to others who have themselves served as Master or as Warden. The fine for breach is 13s 4d or a lesser sum as thought fit.
Quarter Days The Court is to hold four meeting a year on the Thursday come three weeks after each of the usual quarter days. The freeman shall be summoned by the Beadle and shall pay their quarterage. If any freemen fails to attend or behaves in a disorderly manner or departs without leave he shall pay 3s 4d or a lesser sum as thought fit.
Payment of quarterage Yearly, every liveryman to pay 2s 8d pa and every yeoman 2s. To be paid in equal portions on the four quarter days. Any person who refuses to pay shall be fined 12d or a lesser sum as thought fit.
Casuall Courts The Master and one or both of the Wardens and the greater part of the Assistants may hold additional Court meetings between the quarterly Court meetings to debate the articles and ordinances and to deal with disciplinary matters concerning the trade. Anyone summoned who fails to attend shall pay 3s 4d or a lesser sum as thought fit.
Appearance of livery on quarter days Liverymen shall attend the quarterly Court meetings wearing gown and flat cap. Any liveryman failing to attend shall pay 3s 4d or a lesser sum as thought fit.
Casual Assessments Every freeman shall contribute towards any taxes, impositions or assessments levied on the Company. The fine for refusal is £5 or a lesser sum as thought fit.
Against swearing Any freeman found guilty of swearing, blasphemy or verbal abuse shall pay a fine of 40s or a lesser sum as thought fit.
Making of freemen Every freeman shall take the oath before the Master and Wardens. Anyone refusing, procrastinating or refusing shall pay a fine of £5 or a lesser sum as thought fit.
Leasing of company lands The Master, Wardens and the greater part of the Assistants must be present to approve any leasing of Company land. Anyone failing to attend without good cause to pay a fine of 5s or a lesser sum as thought fit.
Fines The Company can levy distress to recover any unpaid fines.
Oath of the Master and Wardens To be true to the sovereign; to execute the office for the common weal and to the credit of the company; to execute the ordinances of the Company without favouritism or personal gain; to keep an account of all goods, plate, jewels, monies and fines which come into ones hands, or pay a fine for not so doing; to assess all persons fairly according to the seriousness of the offence. (This oath is still used during the installation ceremony on Master's Day).
Oath of the assistants To be true to the sovereign; to advise and assist the Master and Wardens; not to act out of malice or for personal gain.
Oath of Freemen To be true to the sovereign; to observe the ordinances; to attend when summoned; not to disclose any business of the Company.
Oath of the Clerk To be true to the sovereign; to be obedient to the Master, Wardens and Assistants; keep records; not to act out of malice or for personal gain; not to disclose any records without the consent of the Master and Wardens.
Oath of the Beadle To be true to the sovereign; to be obedient to the Master, Wardens and Assistants; to attend the Master and Wardens; to be diligent in carrying out duties and in particular in summoning members of the Company to attend Common Hall.

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