Monday, February 8, 2010

An interesting insight into old England in general and the word "Comoditye" in particular

In a "Transcript of the contents of a Bound Volume of Documents Dated 1 Jac. 1603", "Compiled and Edited by J. C. Dewhurst, F.R.I.B.A., (Ret.) 1943" now in the Cheshire Archives, I found this entertaining and enlightening discourse, to wit:

... "And being accompanyed with the L. Strange, the L. Mountegle and Sir John Savage, attended with Sir Richard Sherborne and some fewe others, men of speciall choyce and place in his secret counsailes, hee came again to the Cittye. And sitting in person in the Exchequer hee sent for the Maior and Sherifes to come unto him, who hereupon appeared in Courte; unto whome the Earle then spake as followeth:--


"FORASMUCH as yt hath pleased the Queene's most excellent majestie to appointe mee Officer in this Charge and form w'ch hath gouvernmente not only of the county palatine of Chester, But also of the countie of the Citye of Chester, being parcell and w'thin the same countye palatine, as a Chancelor or Head Officer in Equitye, to mainteyne the Just and to reforme the wronge. Wherein, nevertheless, bee divers and sundrie officers and ministers to execute the Lawes committed to their Charge and authoritye as you Mr. Maior, the Sherifes, Coroners, Constables and others, verie necessarie in every yor offices and Degrees. The well doinge whereof tendeth to your Comoditye [advantage] and mainteineth the estate of the Citye, by the Queene's Majestye's noble progenitors, Earles of Chester, founded and made. And contrariwyse the abuse and evill doinge of any yor officers procureth yor owne Discomoditye and Hindrance and provoketh the overthrowe and Distruction of yor Estate and authoritye, which I rather wishe to bee mainteyned then otherwise decayed. And hearing of some disobedience or disorder practized by you the Officers of the Citye now in my tyme of being Officer, otherwise then before hath bene used or donne and otherwise then Duetye requireth to dooe. ..."

Note that "[advantage]" appears in the text of the publication I have in my hand. I presume that Mr. Dewhurst was the inserter, but prior publications are listed inside the back cover so I cannot be certain.

One Peter Middleton is listed later in the document as an "Attorneye" in the "offices of the Exchequer of the Countie Palatyne of Chester".

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