Orders devised by the especiall commandement of the Queenes Majestie

Orders devised by
the especiall commandement of
the Queenes Majestie, for the
reliefe and stay of the present
dearth of graine within
the realme:
sent from the Court at Greene
wich abroad into the realme, the
second day of Januarie, 1586.
in the 29. yeere of her Majesties
reigue, by her Majesties
Privie Counsell.
Imprinted at London by Christopher
Barker, Printer to the Queenes most
excellent Majestie.

PUBLISHED BY Christopher Baker


[Page 1]

1.1. Orders devised by the especiall commandement of the Queenes Majestie, for the reliefe and stay of the present dearth of graine within the realme:
Sent from the Court as Greenewich abroad into
the Realme, the second day of Januarie,
1586. in the 29. yere of her Majesties
Reigne, by her Majesties
Privie Councell

That the sheriffe and Justices of the peace that immediately upon the receipt of these orders, assemble themselves together [...]as much speede as they possible may: And having conferred amongst themselves upon the contents hereof, shall first for the better execution of the same, devide themselves into sundry companies, and take amongest them into their charge by severall divisions all the hundreds, [...], or [...]of the said Countie.

Item, every companie so allotted out, shall forthwith direct their Preceptes unto the Shiriffe to warne he high Constables, under Constables, and other the most honest and substanciall inhabitantes within the same Hundred, [...], to the nomber of [...] persons, moe or fewer, as the quantitie of the hundred, [Page 2] hundred, [...]shall require, to appeare before them at a certaine place, and within as short time after the receipt hereof as they conveniently may, upon the apparance of the sayde persons, they shall devide them into so many Juries, as they shall thinke meete, giving instruction to the saide sheriffe to returne as fewe of such as be knowen great farmours for Corne, or that have store of graine to sell as he can. And such of the persons so warned as shall not appeare, but make default being sommoned, and not having any just or reasonable excuse allowable by the Justiices, to bee punished therefore at the good discretions of the Justices, both by Imprisonment and Fine, before whom they are to appeare.

Item, they shall first declare to the parties appearing, the cause why they are sent for, and there with earnestly charge them in the feare of God, to applie themselves to the service whereunto they shalbe nowe called, with all buetifulnesse and diligence, and without any parcialitie to any person, and then they shall give them the [...]following.

1.2. The Juries Othe.

You shall weare [...]that ou shall enquire, and make truw and due search and triall, what nomber of persons every householder that hath Corne in their Barnes, Stackes or other where, as well Justices of the peace as others whatsoever, within the parish of [...]have in their houses feeding, lying and uprising, or otherwise to be fed: [Page 3] fedt number of Acres hey have certainely to be sowen this peere with any maner of Graine: what Bargaines they have made with any person for any kinde of Graine to bee solde, by, or to them: to whom and by whom, and upon what prices they have made fame, and what quantitie of any maner of graine, they, or any other have in their Barnes, Grainers, Loftes, Sellers, or Floores, or otherwise to be delivered unto them upon ny Bargaine.

Item, what nomber of Bagers, [...] Broggers or cariers of Corne inhabite within the said parish, and whither they doe se to carie their Corne which they doe buy, and where they doe usually but the same, and what their names be, and howe long they have used that trade, and by whose license, and to see the same Licences of what tenor they are of.

Item, what nomber of [...], Bakers, common Brewers or iplers dwell within the sayde parish, and who they are by name, how long they have used that trade, and how much they bake or brwe in the weeke, and what other trade they have where by otherwise to live.

Item, who within the sayde parish be te great buyers of Corne, or do use to buy, or have bought or solde any Graine upon the grounde, of whome, and to whome hath the same beene bought or solde, and at what price, and to certifie unto us of the premisses, and of every [Page 4] part thereof, on the day of now next comming: And to every part of these Articles you shall bring and were from point to poynt.

[Page 6]

1.3. The orders to be observed, [...]are these, viz.

You shall bring, or cause to bee brought weekely so many Quarters or bushels of Corne, as Wheat, Rhye, Barley, Mault, Pearson, Beanes, or other graine, or so much thereof as shall not be directly solde to the poore Artificers or day Laborers of the Parish within which you dwell, by order of the Justices of Peace of Division within which you dwell, or two of them to the Market of there to be by you, or at your assignement solde unto the Queenes Subjects in open Market by halfe Quarters, two Bushels, one Bushell or lesse, as the buyer that require of you, and not in greater quantitie, except it be to a badger or Carrier of Corne admitted accordinge to Statetute, or to a common knowen Brewer or Baker having testimonie under the hand and seale of such two justices of the peace at the least of the division, or of a Major or other head Officer of the Citie, Towne or Borough corporate where he dwelleth, that he is common Brewer or Baker within the same [...] [Page 7] Neither shall you from the beginning of the market, to the full end thereof, keepe or cause to be kept any of your saide Corne out of the open sight of the Market: neither shall you carry away from the Market Towne any kinde of Graine that was brought thither which you have not there solde, but shall leave the same there in the Market towne in some place knowen, so as it may be brought into the open Market the next Market day at the first opening of the Market, there to be solde as asore was limited.

Also you shall not buy any maner of such Graine as we shal appoint you to sel, from this day for wardes, but upon very especiall and necessarie cause to be allowed by us, untill such time as all and every such maner Graines as we at this time shall appoint you to sell, be according to our appointment and order by you solde.

[Page 8]

Ye shall buy no Corne to sell it againe, neither shall you by any colour directly or indirectly, appoint any your servants, or any other person to be a Badger of your Corne, other then to carie your corne to the Market there to be solde as your owne, without changing of any propertie.

Ye shall neither buy or sell any maner of corne, but in the open Market, unlesse the same be to some poore handicraftesman, or day labourers within the parish wherein you doe dwell, that cannot conviently come to the markey Townes, by reason of distance of place [...]

[Page 9]

That the Justices of the peace within their several Divisions have special regard that Ingrossers of Corbe be carefully seene unto, and inquisitions to be made for knowledge of them, so as they may be severely punished according to Law: And where such are found, to make Certificates, theirnames and dwellings, and of the proofes to the Queenes Majesties Atorney generall for time being, who is directed speedily to enforme against them for the same, and to see that none be permitted to buy any Corne to sell againe, but by speciall Licence [...]

[Page 10]

That no Badgers of Corne, Bakers or Brewers, buy any Graine, or commune or bargaine for the same, but in the time of open Markets, and that but by Licence under the hands of the Justicces of the Division where they doe dwell, or three of them, and that they weekely bring their Licence with them to the Market where they doe either buy or sell, or els not to be suffred to buy any: And that the licence containe how much graine, of what kinde, for what place they are licenced to buy and carry, that there be set downe upon the Licence in writing, the day, place, quantitie, and price at which the Corne is bought [...]

[Page 11]

That the said Justices, or two or one of them at the least in every Division, shal be personally present at every market within their several Divisions, during the whole time of the market, to see the orders to bee taken by the authoritie hereofto be well observed, and the poore people provided of neccessarie Corne, and that with as much favour in the prices, as by their earnest persuation of the Justices, can bee obteined.


[Page 12]

That there be no buying or bargaining of any kinde of Corne but in open Market, and that [Page 13] that the Justices in their severall Divisions, restraine comon [...]of making Barlie Mault, in those Countreys and places where there be Dates sufficient to make mault of for the use of the people and to restrain as well the brewing of Barlie mault.

[Page 14]

That the Justices be straightly comanded to see by all good meanes, that the able people be set on worke in houses of Correction provided and fournished, and there idle vagabounds to be punished.

That the Justices doe their best to have convinient stockes of money or wares, to be provided in every Division, or other places according to the statute, for setting the poore on worke, and the Justices to use all other good and politique meanes within their several Divisions, to continue and mainteine the poore people in worke within the Parish, or at the furthest within the hundred, or Division, and namely in clothing Countreys to charge the Clothiers, have in former times gained by that trade, not nowe in this time of dearth to leave off his trade, whereby the poore may bee set on worke.


[Page 18]

That in all Counties maritimme where ports or Creckes are, by which any Corne may be caried out of the Realme, though also there are Commissioners appointed under the great Seale of Englande, to take care that no Corne be shipped or laden in any [...]to passe out of the Realme : Yet neverthelesse, the Justices of the peace that are not placed in that Commission, if they be no owners of Corne to sell, shall also use their diligence to stay such lading of Corne, either in portes or Creekes, or upon any Rivers leading to same. And if foresayd Comissioners shall not do their dueties therein by authoritie of their Commission, then any other Justice by authoritie of these orders shall make stay of al such Transportation, and in his so doing, shalbe allowed and maintained. And this is thought meete to be in tis fort directed, for that it may bee doubted, that amongst so many as are appointed in the foresaid Commission against transportation, some may be mistaken [Page 19], being themselves either transporters, or friendes or favourers to transporters, or negligent in the execution of the charge committed to them.


And if any shall offend against the true meaning of these instructions, or of any part thereof, or shall use any sinister meane to the defrauding. [Page 20] thereof, that such be severely punished according to the Lawes, and for such obstinate persons as shall not conforme themselves, the Justices shall at their pleasure binde them to appeare before the Queenes Majesties privie Councell by a day certaine, there to bee further dealt with by severe punishment, for the better example of al others.

Appendix A

Imprinted at London, by Christopher Barker,
Printer to the Queenes most excellent Majestie.

This is a selection from the original text


corn, enquiry, order, pain, punishment, trade

Source text

Title: Orders devised by the especiall commandement of the Queenes Majestie, for the reliefe and stay of the present dearth of graine within the realme: sent from the Court at Greene wich abroad into the realme, the second day of Januarie, 1586. in the 29. yeere of her Majesties reigue, by her Majesties Privie Counsell. Imprinted at London by Christopher Barker, Printer to the Queenes most excellent Majestie. 1586.

Author: England and Wales

Publisher: Christopher Baker

Publication date: 1587

Edition: 2nd Edition

Place of publication: London

Provenance/location: This text was transcribed from images available at Early English Books Online: http://eebo.chadwyck.com/home Bib name / number: STC (2nd ed.) / 9194 Physical description: [2], 20, [2] p. Copy from: Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery

Digital edition

Original author(s): England and Wales. Privy Council

Language: English

Selection used:

  • 1 ) Selections from pages 1 to 4, 6 to 14, 18 to 20


Texts collected by: Ayesha Mukherjee, Amlan Das Gupta, Azarmi Dukht Safavi

Texts transcribed by: Muhammad Irshad Alam, Bonisha Bhattacharya, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Muhammad Ehteshamuddin, Kahkashan Khalil, Sarbajit Mitra

Texts encoded by: Bonisha Bhattacharya, Shreya Bose, Lucy Corley, Kinshuk Das, Bedbyas Datta, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Sarbajit Mitra, Josh Monk, Reesoom Pal

Encoding checking by: Hannah Petrie, Gary Stringer, Charlotte Tupman

Genre: Britain > official legislation

For more information about the project, contact Dr Ayesha Mukherjee at the University of Exeter.