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By the Master, Wardens and Assistants of the Companie of Ship-wrights.
VVHereas the remisnesse of former Gouernors in executing the ordinances established for the well gouernment of the Corporation, and their forbearance to leauy the fines imposed for breach of orders, according to his Maiesties1 charge, and the ordinances thereupon made, makes many persons, especially of the better sort, insolent in their cariage and remisse in their duties: and notwithstanding that we who are now Gouernors, with a ioynt consent are in hand to redresse those grieuances which themselues complained of, and that many of them are eyewitnesses what good entrance we haue already made, in reforming of many disorders, and particularly for reliefe of the poore, and restraining the abuse of keeping exorbitant numbers of seruants, yet many do still persist in their obstinacie, supposing and reporting that our paines and present industrie is but a blaze which will soone vanish.
But we thinke it fit to let all men know, that forsomuch as a course is now setled by order of law for discharge and paiment of the Companies debts, which did heretofore hinder and distract all good proceedings, we do intend by Gods assistance (according to our dutie and oath) to go on in the effectuall setling of his Maiesties charge and ordinances within the riuer of Thames and Medway, and in reforming of all abuses and disorders contrary thereunto. And because the common workmen are wholy freed from paiment of the Companies debts, and are neuer henceforth to be charged or burthened with any more taxes or other impositions besides the ordinary duties of quarterage, admittance, presentments, and fines for breach of orders (according as is vsuall among all other Companies:2) we are to let them know, that from henceforth a more stricter account shall be taken of their irregular courses then hath been heretofore, and that we will proceed in managing the trust committed to vs without partialitie or sparing of any person whatsoeuer; and therefore we do hereby signifie vnto them and all others whom it concernes, that whosoeuer from the first day of May next comming, shall offend in the wilfull breach of any ordinance of the Companie, shall be sure to be censured and his fine leuied, without any fauour or conniuence; and hereof it is that we would haue euery one to take notice, for which purpose this order is printed and appointed to be set vp in euery mans Yard, that no man may pretend ignorance, especially in these six points following.
1. That whosoeuer hath formerly bound or enrolled his Apprentice at London or elsewhere, and brings not his Indenture to the Clerke of the Companie to be registred according to his Maiesties charge betwixt this and the first day of May next comming, shal be sure to pay his fine.
2. That whosoeuer from the sixt of Ianuary last (at which time it was ordered and publike notice giuen) hath retained or shall hereafter keep or retain aboue the number of two Apprentices, limited in the ordinance for that purpose, shall pay his fine of 5 l. without any further fauour.
3. That whosoeuer comes not to the Hall or place of meeting, vpon the first or second warning or summons by the Beadle or Officer of the Company, shall be sent for by a messenger, and pay his fine and the messengers fees before he be discharged of his arrest.
4. That whosoeuer bindes his Apprentise any where else then at the Hall, shall pay his fine of 40š without fauour.
5. That whosoeuer goes to Sea, and comes not first to the Hall to haue his sufficiencie approued and to register his name according to the ordinance in that behalfe, shall be fined accordingly.
6. That whatsoeuer Yard keeper or other shall set any stranger to worke, contrary to the ordinance in that behalfe, or shall imploy or continue in worke any person whatsoeuer or his seruant that is refractory to the Company, after warning giuen, shall pay the fine limited for that offence.
For the better keeping of good order, it is thought fit, that whosoeuer shall be from henceforth made free of the Companie, shall take out a copie of his freedome vnder seale, without shewing whereof no man to set him aworke.
Also, that whosoeuer from henceforth shall take any seruant, shall haue a warrant vnder seale, limiting how many apprentises he shall keepe, and his apprentises names to be endorsed vpon the warrant, to the end we may be sure to keepe all men within compasse.
We desire the second Assistants, and euery man else that heares of any stranger set to worke, or any one that keepes aboue the number he ought to keepe, or of any man that works for himselfe and hath not serued his time, or marries before his time be expired, or of any other abuse or disorder fit to be redressed, to giue notice to the Beadle or Officer of the Companie, who for that purpose is appointed once euery fortnight to go through all the Yards in the Riuer.3
Lastly, if any persons of the Company do find themselues agrieued in any thing, let them come in an orderly fashion and present their grieuances in writing, and they shall expect we will be ready to do them all the right and iustice that can be reasonably required.
God saue the King.4


  1. I.e., James VI and I. (KL)
  2. For a full list of livery companies, see the Orgography. (JT)
  3. I.e., River Thames. (KL)
  4. I.e., James VI and I. (KL)

Cite this page

MLA citation

Worshipful Company of ShipwrightsShipwrights’ Company. Shipwright Ordinances. The Map of Early Modern London, Edition 7.0, edited by Janelle Jenstad, U of Victoria, 05 May 2022,

Chicago citation

Worshipful Company of ShipwrightsShipwrights’ Company. Shipwright Ordinances. The Map of Early Modern London, Edition 7.0. Ed. Janelle Jenstad. Victoria: University of Victoria. Accessed May 05, 2022.

APA citation

Worshipful Company of ShipwrightsShipwrights’ Company. 2022. Shipwright Ordinances. In J. Jenstad (Ed), The Map of Early Modern London (Edition 7.0). Victoria: University of Victoria. Retrieved from

RIS file (for RefMan, RefWorks, EndNote etc.)

Provider: University of Victoria
Database: The Map of Early Modern London
Content: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

A1  - Worshipful Company of ShipwrightsShipwrights’ Company
ED  - Jenstad, Janelle
T1  - Shipwright Ordinances
T2  - The Map of Early Modern London
ET  - 7.0
PY  - 2022
DA  - 2022/05/05
CY  - Victoria
PB  - University of Victoria
LA  - English
UR  -
UR  -
ER  - 

TEI citation

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