[Distillers.] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [Clock-Makers.]237

[Distillers.] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [Clock-Makers.]

till at last he found it indeed, that even the Distillers of Aqua Vitæ, and Vinegar-makers, did engross it up; and with it work secretly in their Houses, or so uttered it, or happily mixed it with weaker Beer, where the best and strongest was fittest to be used for the Queen's Subjects. That he found, that in making of Vinegar, the Brewer ought to brew good Malt, as they did brew the best sort for the Subject. The Prices of which sort of Beer was from five to eight Shillings the Barrel. And that the Beeregre of eight Shillings the Barrel would continue and hold out, when the smaller would putrify and decay. That touching Aqua Vitæ and Aqua Composita, it was wont to be made only of Wine and Wine Lees, and of Ale made on purpose; but of later Years since Wines grew dearer, certain Strangers practised to still the Dregs and Washings of Coolbacks of Beer: And now usually bought by the greatest Numbers of Distillers: from whence to his Understanding were very corrupt Stuff. That the aforesaid Vinegar did not hold his strength as it ought to do in the Service of long Voyages in Navigation. That in the beginning of the Wars in the Low Countries, the Flemings bought great Quantities of this kind of Beeregre for the cooling of their Ordinance, and was sold at good Prices to the Spaniards, and to the contrary Part: but afterward it was not in that Request. That he himself coming by chance into the Yard of one of the Vinegar-makers, found a Brewer's Drayman bringing unto him a Barrel of Dreggs, gathered out of divers Men's Houses; and confest that he sold the same to the Vinegar-makers sometime for 20d. and 2s. the Barrel. And lastly, the same Alderman Radclyff advised, that if the Parties that now should have the brewing of this Beeregre and Alegre should not be put in good Bonds, to amend the Fault, and be tyed to sell their Beer at such reasonable Prices as now or heretofore the best hath been sold, the Abuse would remain all one, or rather worse.

However, soon after, Richard Drake obtained a Patent from the Queen for the brewing and providing of all wholsome Liquor or Stuff for the making of Beeregre, Alegre, Aqua Vitæ and Aqua Composita.

A Patent granted to rectify the Distillers.

But in the Event it proved, that this Patent remedied not this Evil. So that in the Year 1596, those that were concerned in the Trade, petitioned against this Drake to the Lord Treasurer; That he, under a Colour and subtil Suggestion, that the Liquors whereof Aqua Vitæ, Vinegar, &c. were made before his Grant, were of Draggs, Laggs, and such like unmeet and unwholsome Stuff, which the Patentee pretended to reform, had notwithstanding, since the obtaining of the said Patent, wrought no Reformation; but every Liquor before occupyed was still used: only the Benefit of the poor Artist was wholly turned to the peculiar profit of the said Drake, and of his Assigns: who bound every one of these Makers in great Bonds to buy the Stuff of themselves only; and they of the Brewers: Exacting to themselves great Commodities from the Hands and Labours of others in such grievous manner and extream sort, as appeared by certain Articles which they annexed to their Petition. They prayed therefore that these Extremities might be redrest, and the Grant recalled, which tended only to the private Gain of the said Drake, and the subversion of the Suppliants and their Wives and Families.

The Sum of which Articles were, That the same pretended unmeet and unwholsome Stuff, as Draggs, Laggs, &c. were made use of after this Grant, and allowed by the Patentee or his Assigns, as were before; nay, far worse than heretofore. That the poor Traders that bought and sold Vinegar, and those other Commodities, were compelled by Threats and Imprisonment, to enter into Bonds, to buy of none, but of the Patentee only, or his Assigns, and to pay for making of their own Bonds, 3s. apiece. That they forced the Brewers to sell unto them their Grounds, which themselves before, in their Suggestions to her Majesty, had in very foul and odious terms named Draggs, &c. That they compelled the Tradesmen to compound with them for 2d. the Barrel; and would not permit them to buy where they would for their best Ease and Profit; as where they had best Credit, and might be assured of good and wholsome Stuff; except they would pay 3d. the Barrel: Which would amount to a great Sum by the Year. Which Payments being made, the said Tradesmen might do what they listed. That the Patentees, under pretence of their Letters Patents, had stayed divers Hogsheads of Vinegar, after they were customed and shipped: Whereby the Shipmasters lost their Voyage, and the Merchants greatly hindered for the Sale of their Lading. And that they had entred into divers Merchants Houses, and took away Hogsheads of Aqua Vitæ, ready to be sent over Sea, and Custom paid; until one had paid 3l. and another 30s. according to the Quantity they had.

The Distillers Articles against the Patentee.

Twenty Years before this, one Dr. Baily sought to have the Survey of corrupt Vinegar, Beeregre, and Alegre, among other corrupt things; as Oil, Sope, and Butter. But it was answered, that this was granted by the Queen's Letters Patents about the 7th or 8th Year of her Reign, to the Company of Tallow Chandlers in London: and therefore could not be then granted to him. And the making of Aqua vitæ, Aqua Composita, and Askebaugh, and the Survey of the corrupt sorts thereof, was granted to one Mr. Candishe of the Court, by Letters Patents under the Great Seal; and so ungrantable by her Majesty during Candishe's Life. Besides, it was thought, and much objected by divers Laws, that the Queen by her License under her Great Seal, could not grant the sole Trade of any one Occupation or Mystery to any one Man alone, that had been in use in the Commonweal before her Majesty's Grant; nor yet impose a Fine or Imprisonment upon them that should withstand her said License. Finally, That the Trade concerned so many poor Mens Livings, that it was impossible to bring it into one Man's hand by License. These things were argued in point of Law against Drake, who by his Patent assumed a Power over the whole Distillers Trade.

Arguments of the Illegality of the Patent.


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THE Company of CLOCKMAKERS were incorporated by Charter the 22d of August, in the seventh Year of King Charles I. by the name of Master, Wardens, and Fellowship of the Art of Clockmakers of the City of London.