[Brewers.] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT.203

[Brewers.] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT.

such Beer pleased London best, to drink new small Beer about 14 Days old.

Item, that they brewed foisted Beer and corrupt Beer again, sent home by their Customers, and never would lose any.

Item, that the Beer-brewers were very unclean in their Brewing, and about all their Vessels. But if it were so, their Masters had the Loss by it, when their Beer was returned home, and fain to be brewed twice at their Charges.

Item, that they set in the Heads of their Barrels to make them less. But that wanted Proof.

Item, there was this Deceit in Vessels of Beer that were transported: that under the Name of these, pass'd many Barrels stufft with prohibited Goods, as Pike-heads, Halbard-heads, Pistols, and Match, Candles, and Soles of Shoes of new Leather cut out in Pairs of all Sizes, and the like; the Bungs of the said Barrels being besmeared with a little Yest; to the hindrance of the Commonwealth, and to the Profit of Enemies. Another Deceit that the Strangers, Foreigners, and others practised with the Brewers and their Servants was, packing up Cases and Pieces of Silk, and delivering them as empty Barrels on the Brewers Wharf. The Brewers strait besmeared them with Yest, and so sent them to the Merchants Houses, as Barrels of Beer for the Provision of the Houshold, to the hindrance of the Queen's Customs.

The Brewers themselves appointed their Surveyor. And there being now in these Days of Queen Elizabeth, many Strangers and Denizen Brewers, as well as English, the Company set a Penny upon every Barrel of Beer brewed by a Stranger, and an Halfpenny upon every Barrel brewed by an Englishman, for the said Surveyor's Salary. Tho' some said, this was done indeed to drive away the Strangers.

The Brewers Surveyor.

But when the Suit was so strongly urged for a General Surveyor to be made by the Queen, some about the Year 1586, made these considerable Objections to it; That if the Queen granted this Survey of the Vessels, then according to Statute the Brewers would withstand the same, and pray they might be surveyed according to Law. That the Maior and Bench of London could never bring it to pass, that the Vessels should be of the right Sizes, and served out full from their Brew-houses; nor durst they ever force the Brewers to it, for fear of leaving the City unvictualled. That the Ale-Brewers by their Charter had Authority to search and survey themselves: and all Beer-Brewers likewise, both for Vessels, for filling them, and for Wholsomness of Drink. And if the new Survey were granted, it would intrude upon their Charter and Authority, to the Offence of the City. And that if the Queen of her Prerogative should command (which was doubted whether she might) never so little a Fee upon a Barrel to be paid to the Chief Surveyor, the People would say strait, their Drink were excised, as it was in Flanders, and would be more hereafter. And so the People and Brewers both, would repine at it. And that if the People had their Measure, the Brewers would exact it again. And lastly, that as for the clayed and besmeared Barrels with Yest, the Searchers and Officers of the Custom-house would provide well enough against that.

Objections against a new Surveyor of the Brewers.

The Lord Maior and Bench of Aldermen did often attempt to make a Reformation among the Brewers, especially in two or three respects. First, the Beer being brought in while it was purging, many Gallons were lost. Which they endeavoured to reform by requiring Beer and Ale Carts to carry filling Beer, to make good that which was spilt or purged by the way; or to give Allowance for the same. Secondly, for the mending of Beer, it being so small, the Maior and Common Council would have had two sorts of Beer, of 4s. and 6s. the Barrel: and to disallow the brewing of strong Beer, of 8s. the Barrel, March Beer only excepted. There was a notable Act of Common Council made the 6th of the Queen, Octob. 25. concerning these matters. But neither the Maior nor Bench could ever bring this Reformation to pass, the Brewers being so headstrong, and ready to leave the City without Provision, by leaving off brewing suddenly.

The Maior's Care of the Beer.

In the Year 1591, Sir John Allot, Maior, published by Proclamation, that the Brewers should not make any more sorts or kinds of Beer or Ale than two, viz. the strong and the double. And that the same should be sold after the Rate of 6s. and 8d. the Barrel of the best, and 3s. and 4d. the Barrel of the double Beer or Ale, and not above. But all Commodities belonging to Brewers being now advanced considerably in their Prices, the Brewers made great Complaints against this Order. For Malt was sold at 13s. the Quarter, Hops at 4l. 6s. 8d. and 4l. 10s. the Hundred; which heretofore was sold at 6s. and 8d. the Hundred: and yet one Hundred of Hops then was worth three Hundred of Hops at that present sold. The Price of Barrels being 20s. or 22s. the Last, heretofore sold for 9s. the Last. The Price of Coals, then sold at 24s. or 26s. the Chaldron; not long before sold at 12s. or 13s. the Chaldron. To which they added, the great and excessive Price of all manner of Victuals, and charge of Housekeeping, and other Necessaries belonging to the Brewers Trade; the large Rent of their Houses, far exceeding the Rents given for the same in any former Age. These Things considered, the Brewers were not able, at the Prices set, to sell such good and wholsome Beer as was fit the City should be served with. Whereupon they were Suitors to the next Lord Maior, Sir William Webbe, and the Aldermen, to have good Consideration of this Cause; and to set such reasonable Prices and Rates on Beer and Ale, as they might make and sell good and wholsome Liquor, and live by their said Trades. As they had at sundry times desired the Lord Maior and Aldermen to consider the two Statutes, viz. 51 H. III. and 31 Ed. I. and the Prices of Malt, Hops, Coals, Barrels, Kilderkins, Vessels, and other Necessaries, belonging to their Trade; and to make an indifferent Proof and Trial, what and how much good and wholsome Beer and Ale of the best, and how much of the Double, might be made of a Quarter of Malt: and to consider of all Charges belonging to the said Trade. Also, they offered to shew unto them their Books, whereby they might plainly see, what and how much Ale and Beer they had or did make of a Quarter of Malt, and the just Charge expended in and about the same. Notwithstanding, the Lord Maior and Aldermen refused, and denied. Which as they urged, tended to the great Hindrance of the City; since they were not able to sell and utter such good and wholsome Ale and Beer as was fit: and to the utter undoing of the Brewers, if they continued their said Trades. For many of them should be forced to leave and give over the Trades in which they had been brought up, to the Hindrance, if not undoing, of the Company of Brewers.

A Proclamation of the Maior about the Price of Beer.

This made them appeal to the Lord Treasurer of England. By whose means only they acknowledged they had obtained their Incorporation from the Queen, with divers Liberties and Privileges to and for the said Company. Praying him to procure such speedy Trial and Examination of the said Cause, and thereupon such reasonable Prices to be assessed for Beer and Ale, as thereby the Commonwealth of the City and Suburbs might be well served, and his Orators have a convenient

The Brewers Appeal from the City to the Lord Treasurer.

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