[Refiners of Sugar.] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [Players.]244

[Refiners of Sugar.] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [Players.]

hath not thought fit to take notice of, to redress their evil and unconscionable Practices.


REFINERS of SUGARS.

 

ABOUT the Year 1544, Refining of Sugar was first used in England. And the first Dealers therein were Cornelius Bussine, Ferdinando Points, Mounsie or Mounstow, John Gardiner, and Sir William Chester. Then there were but two Sugar-Houses. And their Profit was but very little, by reason there were so many Sugar-Bakers in Antwerp: and Sugar came thence better cheap than it could be afforded at London. And for the Space of twenty Years together, those two Sugar-Houses served the whole Realm, both to the Commendation and Profit of them that undertook the same. Whose Benefit was occasioned by stopping of the Intercourse between England and Antwerp.

The first Refiners of Sugar.

J. S.

But two Sugar-houses in England.

Afterwards many entered into that Trade, namely, John Alden, Henry Topsfield, Nic. Barnesly, Tho. Cordal, Richard Oldfield, Francis Fleming, Richard Pacton, Will. Holman, Ric. Bateman, and others. Who made small Profit by it: and some proved Bankrupts. In the Year 1596, Sir Tho. Mildmay, a Courtier, (and before him one Henry Nowel, who died in the Suit) petitioned the Queen that he might have a License granted to him for Years, to refine Sugars: for which he would pay a Rent to the Queen. And to prevail in his Petition, he endeavoured to shew, that it was no Hindrance to her Majesty's Customs, no prejudice to any Merchant Adventurer, no Damage to the Grocers of London, no Inconvenience to the Commonwealth, altho' it might be called a Monopoly. But the Lord Treasurer (who would never consent to any such things without hearing what could be said by others against it) received Reasons why the Refining of Sugars should not be granted to one, two or three private Persons only, but be used generally, as had been accustomed: viz. That the Refining of Sugars was an ancient Faculty; and had been used in divers Countries for a general Commodity of the Commonweals, by all such as had Skill by true Workmanship to exercise the same, without rejection. And whereas these Petitioners objected, that the former Refiners of Sugar added thereunto corrupt Mixtures, to their own private Gain, and to the deceiving of the Subject; a great number of honest Men would depose the same to be false and untrue. And this being privately in a few Hands, would be a principal Cause of the Decay of true Workmanship, and would also be the advancing of the Prices of all sorts of Sugar, to the enriching of a few covetous and ill minded Persons, and to the great Hindrance of the Commonwealth in general. That if the refining of Sugars should be forbidden, then her Majesty would lose her Customs; which were no small Sums: And that whereas England had been accustomed to be served with fine Sugars from Antwerp, now England was sufficient to serve itself, and did daily transport great Quantities into other Countries.

Sugar Refiners unsuccessful.

Sir T. Mildmay petitions for a License to refine Sugars.

Reasons against it.


PLAYERS.

 

ACTING of Plays for the Diversion and Entertainment of the Court, the Gentry, or any others, is become a Calling, whereby many get their Livings: How lawfully, is another Question: Players in former times were Retainers to some Noblemen; and none had the Privilege to Act Plays, but such. So in Queen Elizabeth's Time, many of the great Nobility had Servants and Retainers, who were Players, and went about getting their Livelihood that way. The Lord Admiral had Players, and so had the Lord Strange, that played within the City of London. It was not unusual then, upon any Gentleman's Complaint of them, for Abuses or undecent Reflections practised in their Plays, to have them put down. Thus once the Lord Treasurer signified to the Lord Maior Hart, to have these Players of the Lord Admiral and Lord Strange, prohibited, at least for some time; because one Mr. Tilney had utterly for some Reasons disliked them. Whereupon the Maior sent for both Companies, and gave them a strict Charge, and required them in the Queen's Name, to forbear Playing for some time, till further Order might be given for their Allowance. The Lord Admiral's Players obeyed; but the Lord Strange's in a contentious manner went away to the Cross Keys, and played that Afternoon, to the great Offence of the better sort, that knew they were prohibited by Order from the Lord Treasurer. So the Maior committed two of them to the Compter; and prohibited all Playing for the future, till the Treasurer's Pleasure was further known. This was in the Year 1589. More will be said of these Players when we come to Plays and Pastimes used in the City.

Players, Retainers to great Nobleblemen.

J. S.

There were two Acts of Common Council made about the middle of Queen Elizabeth's Reign, concerning these Actors of Plays. The first was in the Maioralty of Sir James Hawes, Anno 1574. Great Complaints were made by sober Citizens against them: As, for their corrupting of Youth, Frays and Quarrels, increasing the Infection by great Companies meeting together; (this being also a Time of Sickness;) Acting on Sundays and Holidays in the Afternoons, hindring the People's resorting to the Prayers. And divers other Inconveniences and Sins, which the Citizens would not bear; and therefore made a very good Act for the Regulation of these Players. Which I transcribe from the authentick Act in Writing: Made the 6th of December, 17 Regin. Hawes Maior, Present the said Maior, Fleetwood Recorder; Offley, Ducket, Alleyn, Knights; Nicolas Bond, Barneham, Box, Pipe, Woodroff, Osborn, Aldermen; Barnes, Gamage, Sheriffs; & immens. multitudin. Commun.

WHereas heretofore sundry great Disorders and Inconveniences have béen found to ensue in this City, by the inordinate haunting of great numbers of People, especially Youth, to Plays, Enterludes and Shews; namely, occasion of Frays and Quarrels, evil Practices of Incontinency, in great Inns, having Chambers and secret Places adjoining to their open Stages and Galleries; enveagling and alluring the Maids, especially Orphans, and good Citizens Children under Age, to privy and unméet Contracts; the publishing of unchaste, uncomely, and unshamefaced Spéeches and Doings; withdrawing the Quéen's Majesty's Subjects from Divine Service on Sundays and Holidays; (at which time such Plays were chiefly used;) unthrifty Wast of the Money of the Poor and fond Persons; sundry Robberies by picking and cutting of Purses; uttering of popular, busy and seditious matters; and many other Corruptions of Youth, and other Enormities: Besides, that also sundry Slaughters and Maynehemings of the Quéen's Subjects have happened by Ruines of Scaffolds, Frames and Stages; and by Engines, Weapons and Powder, used in Plays:

And