Elizabeth by the Grace of God Queen of England France and Ireland Defender of the Faith etc To all to whom these present letters shall come Greeting.
Know we that we of our special grace and of our certain knowledge and mere motion have granted and given our licence for us our heirs and successors as much as in us lies, to our beloved lieges Thomas Spencer, John Cawver, Thomas Bradley, Walter Cowper, Williams Swainson, Senior, Henry Mallorye, James Lysbye, John Tull, Roger Gathorne, Henry Davison and all the other free men of the mistery or art of the Tilers and Bricklayers of our City of London and the suburbs of the same, that they from henceforth and shall be in thing fact and name one body and one perpetual corporate society of one master and two keepers or wardens and the Society of free men of the same mistery or art of Tilers and Bricklayers of London: And by these presents we ordain and appoint Thomas Spencer as first and new Master and John Cawver and Thomas Bradley as first and new keepers or Wardens of the same mistery or art And that they, the Master, Keepers or Wardens and Society and their successors, shall have perpetual succession and that they and their successors for ever shall be known, named and called by the name of the Master and Keepers or Wardens and Society of the freemen of the mistery of art of the Tilers and Bricklayers of London; And by that name may be able to be impleaded and to implead and answer and be answered before whatsoever justices or judges spiritual or temporal, in whatsoever courts of places for, and in all and singular matters, suits, plaints and actions pleas and demands of whatsoever kind, condition, nature or species they may be; And that they may have a common seal for the affairs and business of the said mistery or art, to be used for ever for the sealing thereof.; And that the such Master Keeper of Wardens and the Society of the free men of the mistery or art aforesaid and their successors every year on the day of St Laurence the martyr may chose and make from themselves one master and two keepers or wardens to oversee, rule and govern the mistery or art and society aforesaid; And that such Master and two Keepers or Wardens so chosen after such election may be the Master Keepers or Wardens of the mistery or art aforesaid and may have power and authority to oversee, rule and govern the mistery or art and society aforesaid from the same day of St Laurence until a new election of one Master and two Keepers or Wardens may be made by the Master or Keepers or Wardens and the Society of the mistery or art aforesaid or the greater part of the same for the time being; And that such Masters and Keepers or Wardens and the society of the mistery or art aforesaid shall be persons able and capable in law, by the name and under the name of the Master, Keepers or Wardens of the Society of free men of the mistery or art of the Tilers and Bricklayers of London to acquire, possess and receive in fee and perpetuity lands, tenements, rents, reversions and other possessions whatsoever, which are or may not be held from us, our heirs or successors immediately in chief or otherwise by military service, to the value of fifty pounds per annum beyond reprises from any person or persons whatsoever willing to give, devise, sell or assign the same to them To have and to hold the same master, keepers or wardens and the society of the mistery or art aforesaid and their successors forever in aid of the support of poor men and women, brothers and sisters of the society and mistery or art aforesaid for ever without molestation, vexation, hindrance , impediment or hardship of us or of our said heirs or successors, justices, escheators, sheriffs, bailiffs, or others whatsoever, the statute concerning not putting lands or tenements to mortmain or any other statute, act, ordinance, provision or restriction thing or matter thereof to the contrary made or provided or to be made notwithstanding And further of our more abundant grace we have granted for us, our heirs and successors to the aforesaid master and keepers or wardens and the society of the mistery or art aforesaid and their successors that the same master and keepers of wardens and the society and their successors from time to time may and shall be able lawfully and with impunity to make, ordain and establish for the sound and healthy rule of government of the freemen of the mistery of art aforesaid and the society aforesaid, ordinances, provisions, laws and statutes according to the exigence of necessity as often as when need shall or it shall seem to them fitting, so long as those laws, statutes and ordinances shall not be in any wise against the laws and customs of our realm of England and to set reasonable penalties upon any such person or persons whatsoever who shall infringe or not keep such ordinances or provisions laws or statutes; and that such master and keepers or wardens for the time being may lawfully levy such penalties of forfeitures to the profit and advantage of the same master and keepers or wardens and society; And that the same master and keepers or wardens and the society of the mistery or art aforesaid and their successors at their pleasure from time to time may receive and admit to the same society any able honest and discreet workman, being expert of and in the same mistery or art of Tilers and Bricklayers, and also to expel and amove any other from and out of the same society at their pleasure; Moreover we will and grant for us, our heirs and successors to the aforesaid master, keepers or wardens and the society aforesaid that the aforesaid master, keepers or wardens of the said Society, mistery or art aforesaid for the time being and their successors for ever may and shall have the scrutiny, correction and government of all and singular the free men of the said society using the said mistery or art of the Tilers and Bricklayers in the same City and the suburbs of the same and of other men whatsoever, free or foreign of the same mistery or art of the Tilers and bricklayers in any way frequenting or using, as well within the same City and liberties and the suburbs of the same as within any other place or any other places within fifteen miles of the same City of London, and of all Tilers called playne Tilers Rouffe Tilers Corner Tilers and Paving Tilers and of all other things or materials whatsoever touching, concerning or pertaining to the said mistery or art of Tilers in any way, as well within the same City and liberties and suburbs of the same as within any other place or any other places within fifteen miles of the City of London, And the punishment of all the same as well free men as foreigners whatsoever specified as is aforesaid for their offences as well in the premisses as in not perfectly executing making and using the mistery or art aforesaid by survey of the master aforesaid, who for the time being shall be or of any other of the more honest and more sufficient men of the mistery or art aforesaid whom the same master shall depute to this in his place from time to time, And that they may be able to correct and amend defaults in the same mistery or art, if any be found, according to their sane discretions as for the greater utility of the commonalty of our people may seem more apt and convenient to do so; Commanding and by these presents firmly and enjoining upon all and singular sheriffs, mayors, bailiffs, constables and other our officers, ministers and subjects whatsoever (of us) our heirs and successors that to the same master keepers or wardens and society of the mistery or art aforesaid and their successors from time to time in the execution of the premises they shall be aiding, assisting and comforting in all things, as is fitting not inflicting upon them or any of them loss or injury; Albeit express mention of the true annual value or of any other value or of the certainty of the premises or of any of them or of other gifts or concessions by us or by any of our progenitors to the aforesaid master keeper or wardens and the society aforesaid before these times made be not made in these presents, or any statute, act, ordinance proclamation provision or restriction thereof to the contrary, had, made, ordained or provided or any other thing, cause or matter whatsoever in anything notwithstanding In Witness whereof we have caused these letters patent to be made Witness myself at Goramburie the Third day of August in the Tenth Year or our reign
By writ of the privy seal and of the date aforesaid by authority of Parliament
I certify that the above is a true translation of the Latin text of the above Charter as contained in Letter Book Z of the City of London, Folio 265.
A. H. Thomas, M.A. LL.D.
Deputy Keeper of the City Records