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Records of the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England

Source: Nathaniel B. Shurtleff, editor, Records of the Governor and Company of the Massachusetts Bay in New England, Volume 2, 1642-1649 (Boston: William White, 1853).

[page 250]

18 October. …
[210.] …

Coopers incorporate.
Upon the petition of the cowpers, inhabiting in Boston & Charlstowne, & upon consideration of many complaintes made of the great damage the country hath sustained by occasion of defective & insufficient caske, for redresse hereof,–It is ordered, & the Corte doth hereby graunt liberty & power to Thomas VENNER, John MILEHAM, Samuell BIDFEILD, James MATTUCK, Willi: CUTTER, Bartholo: BARLOW, & the rest of the cowpers of Boston & Charlestowne, or the greater number of them, (upon due notice given to the rest,) to meete together, & to appoint a certeine time & place, to wch they shall call together all the cowpers, being housekeepers, & inhabiting wthin this iurisdiction, who being so assembled, they, or the greater number of them, shall have power to choose a mr & two wardens, foure or six ass   ^    , a clarke, a gager, a sealer, a packer, a searcher, & a beadle, wth such other officers as they shall find necessary, & these officers & ministers shalbe chosen, as aforesaid, every yeare, or oftner, in case of death, or departure out of the iurisdiction, or removeall for default, &c; wch officers & ministers shall, each of them, take an oath,
[page 251]
suitable to his place, before the Governor, or some of the magistrats, the same being pscribed, or alowed, by this Corte; & the said cowpers, so assembled, as before, or at any other meeting or assembly, to be appointed from time to time, by the mr and wardens, or the mr or wardens, wth two of the associats, shall have power to make orders for the well ordering of their company, in the managing of their trade, & all the affaires thereunto belonging, & to change & reforme the same, as occasion shall require, & to annex reasonable poenantyes for breach of the same:Provided, that none of their said orders, nor any alteration therein, shalbe in force before they shall have bene used & alowed by the Corte of that county where they shall be made, or by the Corte of Assistants.
[*211.] *And for the better executing of such orders, the said mr, wardens, or any two of them, wth four or six associats, or any three of them, shall have power to heare & determine all offences against any of their said orders, & may inflict the poenalties pscribed as aforesaid, & assease fines to the value of forty shillings or under for one offence; & the clarke shall give warrant in writing to the beadle to levy the same by distresse, as is used in other cases; and all the said fines & forfeitures shall be implied to the benefit of the said company of cowpers, & to no other use; and upon complaint of the said mr & wardens, or their atturny or advocate, in the County Corte, of any pson or psons who shall use the arte or trade of cowper, or any pt thereof, not being appved by the officers of the said cowpers to be a sufficient workman, the said Corte shall have power to send for such psons, & suppresse them.  Provided, alwayes, that no unlawfull combination be made at any time by the said company of cowpers for inhancing the prices of caske or wages, whereby either our owne people or strangers may suffer.  Pvided, also, that in cases of difficulty the said officers and associats do not pceed to determine the cause but wth the advice of the iudges of that county, where the said cause doth first arise.Provided, that the priority of their grant shall not give them precedency of other companies that may hereafter be granted, but that point to be determined by this Corte when the[re] shalbe occasion thereof.

Provided, lastly, that if any pson shall find himselfe greived [by] excessive fines or other illegall pceedings of the said officers, he may complaine thereof at the next Corte of the county, who may heare & determine the cause.

This comission to continue & be of force for the space of three yeares, & no longer, except this Courte shall see cause to continue the same.

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