Grocers’ Company Patent

The King to all whom, &c. greeting, — know ye that we, considering how much it will be for the general good and advantage of all the subjects of our kingdom of England, that all sort of spices and merchandizes as well annis, cummin, wormseed, wax, alum, kermes, — as pepper, ginger, cloves, mace, cinnamon, rhubarb, scammony, spikenard, turpentine, senna, almonds, dates, rosin, treacle, electuaries, syrups, waters, oils, ointments, plasters, powders, and all conserves and confections, — as gum, ginger, succades, cardamums, and all sorts of merchandizes, spices, and drugs, in any wise belonging to medicines, and whatsoever shall by sufficient officers skilled in the premises of this kind whom we are pleased to depute and appoint, duly and justly to supervise, garble, search, examine, and prove, to the purpose and intent, that none of our subjects aforesaid may in future be deprived of benefit in buying any of the aforesaid merchandizes, spices, and drugs, —nor by the buying of these kind to be in anywise hurt in their bodily health; whereas it so appears as is alledged that merchandizes, spices, and drugs of the sort above mentioned, for defect of officers of this kind, are not duly supervised, garbelled, searched, examined, and duly proved, but are daily sold to our said subjects not at all cleansed, garbelled, and searched, to the manifest deceipt and hurt of our subjects in this behalf; therefore, for a due and just remedy to be thereupon had, We, of our special favour, have ordained, constituted, and appointed our beloved William Wetnale, Richard Hakedy, and Thomas Gibbes, Wardens of the Mystery of Grocers of our City of London, to garbel all these kind of spices and merchandizes above specified and mentioned, in whosesoever hands they can find them, as well in the towns of Southampton and Sandwich as in all other places within our said kingdom, as well within liberties as without (our City aforesaid only excepted) to have and occupy the aforesaid business for ever by themselves and their successors, Wardens of the Mistery aforesaid, or by their sufficient deputies by them with the general consent of their Mistery, from time to time, to be appointed for that purpose ; and to receive and take in the said business such fees, profits, and advantages, as in our said City, heretofore, were used to be had and taken for such garbelling : and further, of our abundant favour, we have made, or dained, constituted, and appointed the aforesaid William, Richard, and Thomas, to supervise, search, examine, and prove all the spices, drugs, and merchandizes above specified and mentioned, whatsoever belongs to medicines in whosesoever hands they can find them within the City, towns, and places aforesaid, as well within liberties as without, to have and exercise the above business for ever by themselves and their suc cessors, Wardens of the Mistery aforesaid, or by their deputies, who thereto by the fame Wardens, with the general consent of the said Mistery, from time to time, shall be chosen ; giving and granting to the said Wardens and their successors for ever, full license, power, and authority to garbel, supervise, search, examine, and prove, all sorts of merchandizes, spices, and drugs, in manner and form aforesaid above recited : and furthermore, of our more abundant grace, we have granted that if any merchant or other person, native or foreigner, within our kingdom aforesaid, shall in suture expose to sale any of the merchandizes, spices, and drugs, aforesaid, by the aforesaid Wardens or their successors, or their deputies, in manner aforesaid, not supervised, garbelled, searched, examined, and proved, that then the said merchandizes, spices, and drugs, so by the said Wardens and their successors, or their deputies, not supervised, garbelled, searched, examined, or proved, shall imme diately become forfeited to us, our successors, and that the aforesaid Wardens and their successors, or their deputies, and each of them, have full power and authority to seize the said forfeitures to the use of us, our heirs, and successors, and to make due execution in that behalr ; and that the said Wardens and their successors lhall answer to us, our heirs, and successors, annually, in our Exchequer at Westminster, con cerning all these kind of forfeitures to us, for the causes aforesaid be longing, which shall become due ; and that the said Wardens and their successors, for their care and diligence in this behalf, shall have and receive, to the use of the Mistery aforesaid, one half of all the for feitures belonging to us, our heirs, and successors, for the causes afore said, as often as they shall happen ; and that for the said half part they shall have an allowance in their annual account at our said Exchequer, provided always that none of our subjects, by this our present grant, be in any wise damaged, because that express mention of the true yearly value of the premises in these presents made, does not appear any statute, ordinance, or act thereof, made, ordained, or provided to the contrary thereof, in anywise notwithstanding. Witness the King at Westminster, 8th of March. By writ of Privy Seal, and of the date aforesaid, by authority of Parliament.

Translation from the Latin of the Patent Roll of the 26th Year of the Reign of King Henry VI. , Granting to the Grocers’ Company the Privilege of Garbling and Examining Drugs, Spices, &c. a.d. 1447.

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