¶ To the Right Honourable Assembly of the Commons House of Parliament.
The Reasons mouing the Hot-pressers to draw themselues into an orderly forme of gouernement vnder his Maiesties gracious protection.

FIrst, the extreame multitude of Suites by ordinarie Informers: For that euerie Tearme some of vs were serued with Writs of Informati­on, both out of the Cheecker, Common-pleas and Crowne Office, so that some times it cost vs three or foure pounds a Tearme; and of­tentimes more.

Againe, for that some Informers of the Citie, or Officers of the Citie, oftentimes meete with some of our Merchants Goods, as they carri­ed them home, seized them to his Maiesties vse, and take them from our Seruants: oftentimes eight or ten pounds worth at one instant and more, besides many other troubles that we by them were put to.

Then the Citie being exstreamely bent against vs, vpon their Acts of Common Councell, which were against the vse of the Hot-presses in London, and the Liberties thereof, in respect of the danger of Fire by them. The first Act to pay fiue pounds for euerie Moneth it was vsed. The second Act, to pay fiue pounds for euery time it was vsed within London or the Liberties thereof.

Vpon these Acts we were exstreamely troubled and vexed, not onely by the Lord Maior of the Citie, but also by the Informers belonging to the Chamber of London: And being therein ouerthrowne in triall of Law in the Citie, were inforced some of vs to pay the vttermost penny we were condemned in. And not onely so, but were much more vexed and troubled, by binding vs ouer to answere the same at the Sessions of Peace at the Guild Hall, to our great charge and exspences.

These were some part of the causes that mooued vs to seeke for reliefe, vnder his Maiesties gracious protection for our setled Gouernement, and redresse in our Trade, with many other grieuances as followeth.

FOr that diuers men of seuerall Trades, haue vnconscionably entred into the Trade of Pressing, within these foure yeeres or there about, and some within lesse then two yeeres, by some sinister meanes haue intised our Seruants and Iourneymen: whereby they haue gotten some skill and exsperience, by which sinister meanes, they haue robbed vs of our Profession, to the vtter vndoing of vs our Wiues and Families for euer, being at the least in number (in and about the Citie) three hundred Persons: And not only so, but when they had gotten some experience from our Seruants: They vnconscionably turned them out of doores, to let them shift for them selues, which tends not onely to their vndoing, but al­so to ours. For they vsing many Trades, and ingrossing diuers Commodities to themselues, haue gotten also the chiefest part of the Worke within the Citie of London and Liberties thereof into their hands, to the vtter ruine and vndoing of a number of poore people, their Wiues and Families.

The principall of these Enterlopers, be Packers, Rich-men and of good estates, which takes vpon them the benefit of many Trades. First, in the dressing of Clothes, taking vpon them to Dresse and Sheare them Marchant like, as they ought to doe: But they carrie them Rooffe in the Woole to the Dyers without Dressing, and after Dying, drie them, and so Presse them: All which defects, the Hot-presse couers in their pri­uate Houses, to the great disgrace of Clothing and Pressing, and hath beene a great hinderance to his Maiestie in his Customes.

They also make benefit by Dying as will appeare. They keepe and make benefit by Hot-presses. They be Factors, and so reape benefit,

And some of these Packers be Marchants also.

Others there be, that haue vnconscionably intruded themselues into the Art of Pressing, as followeth.
  • Some Mercers.
  • Some Goldsmiths.
  • Some Stocking-sellers.
  • Some Grossers.
  • Some Vintners.
  • Some Brokers.
  • Some Shoomakers.
  • Some Ioyners.

All these hauing other Trades, haue Enterloped into the Art and mysterie of Hot-pressing: hauing gotten as abouesaid by sinister meanes, an in-sight and knowledge of the Art of Prossing, within these foure yeares, or there abouts, the most part of them lesse then within these two or three yeeres.

More humbly sheweth, that a Stranger in London (by name Burgman) within these three yeeres or there about, hauing gotten exsperience by these Enterloping Pressors, is of late departed to Amsterdam in Holland, and there haue gotten to himselfe a Preuiledge by Pattent: That no man shall vse the Art of Pressing there, but he and his Assignes for seuen yeeres, and hath to that end put in vse twentie Hot-presses, prohi­biting thereby all such Perpetuanies, or any other commodities, Prest in the Hot-presse here in England, transported thither by way of Mer­chandise: Seising and Forfeiting them, the one halfe thereof to the States of the Countrie, and one other part to the poore, and the third part to the Seisure and himselfe.

Thus our Trade or Mysterie of Hot-pressing, whereon our liuing wholly dependeth, hauing no other Trade or meanes: is by these Enter­lopers vtterly taken from vs, so that a great number of vs, our Wiues and Children are like to perish. Wherefore we humbly craue this Hono­rable Assembly of high Court of Parliament, to commisserate our lamentable estates, by taking such good Order therein, as by your good Honours shall be thought fittest, both for redresse in the former abuses, and for your Petitioners reliefe.

The Reasons which caused vs to haue a setled Gouernment, according to his Maiesties directions, be these as followeth.

FIrst, that there were grosse abuses daily vsed and practised, by some Enterlopers and others: tending not onely to the hurt of the Merchant, but the discredit and ouerthrow of Clothing in forraine parts; the ruine and vndoing of a Common-wealth. Oftentimes abusing the Mer­chants goods, by cutting of Remnants of Perpetuanies, some times two yards, sometimes more, somtime lesse: Others by Burning, Scorching, taking away the Colour cleane. And being thus vnconscionably done and abused, they make them vp in Tillets and Packe them away: which tends to the great abuse and scandall of this our Kingdome.

These things being well wayed and considered of vs, caused vs to seeke the meanes, to redresse these soule abuses, which we presently put in vse, setling our selues in one place, by a speciall direction from his Maiestie, to the Lord Maior of London, and being there setled, we forthwith made choyse of foure men weekely to view, and looke ouer euery mans worke, to be well and workman-like done, and warrantable according to an article of his Maiesties priuie Seale. And in this good course we went cheerfully on, with much good comfort to our selues and to the Mer­chant, vntill these troublesome Enterlopers, repining at his Maiesties good and orderly Gouernement: Vexing and troubling vs contrarie to his Maiesties Grant. Wherefore for redresse, we humbly submit our selues, to this Honorable Assembly of this high Court of Parliament: And your Petitioners, with their Wiues and Families will euer pray, &c.

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