A Decree of the Priuye Coun­sell at vvestminster. Anno. 1.5.5.9.xx. October
Articles agreed vppon by the Lordes and other of the Quenes Maiesties pryuy Counsayle, for a reformation of their seruauntes in certayne abuses of apparell, thereby to geue exam­ple to al other Lordes, noble men and Gentlemen.

EUery Lord and Mayster hauing seruauntes, shall furth with cause a viewe to be taken of al his seruan­tes, attending about the Citie, and considre their degres and habilities of lyuyng, how many may dis­pende and be assessed to the Subsedye at .xx. pound of yerely lyuelyhode, or at two hundrede pound in goodes, and therevpon cause them to vnderstand what is lawefull for them to weare in their apparel, and take ordre to reforme it, in thys maner or such lyke.

FYrst as many as haue any apparell vnlawefull for them to weare, and can withoute their losse leaue the same, to leaue it furthwith, and to be strayghtly charged that they procure no newe.

NExt that summe mete persons be assigned by the Maister to take a certaine viewe of all the seruauntes presente apparrell, beyng vnlawefull, and make a certaine boke thereof, and therevpon gyue commaundemente that noo newe be bought or worne after the sayd viewe taken.

THyrdlye these bookes shalbe delyuered eyther into the counting house, or to the gentlemen huyshers, there to re­mayne, to thend that yf any shalbe empeched for wearyng of any unlawefull apparrell, that then the same myght be tryed whether it were newely prouyded sithens the viewe taken or no.

ITem, order shalbe taken and charge gyuen by the Lordes and Maysters, that vpon this reformation the mallycy­ous inuencion and frowarde nature of any seruauntes, shall not deuyse any newe fashion or sorte of apparrell, that should be as sumptuous as the former, though not contrary to the wordes of the statute, thereby sekyng by fraud to auoyde the payne of the lawe, with which peruerse condition the wisedome of the Maysters muste mete, both to cha­styse such lewde seruauntes, and to confort such as wyll lyue in ordre and honest and cumly maner.

ANd because many Gentlemen and seruauntes, haue at this present, summe by giftes, some otherwise, furres, em­brodiries, and other garmentes, or ornamentes, contrary to the lawes of the Realme. It is conuenient that eue­ry person hauing such beyng not well hable to chaunge the same. But meanyng hereafter to obserue the lawe & not be empeached for hys default herein, shall delyuer a true certificate signed with his hand, of al such his apparell as is not laweful for his degree to the Lord Chamberlayne of the Quenes Maiesties household, if he meane to weare the same apparrell in any the Quenes Maiesties Chambers, or to the comptynge house, if he meane to weare thee same, wythin the gates of the Courte. So as for the time such persone as were their former vnlawefull apparrell maye bee forborne and spared.

ANd it semeth not vnmete to refrayne[?] the couetuouse lewde condition of the Taylers, and hosyers, that euerye Lord and Mayster, eyther by hym selfe, or some his principall officers prescrybe to al maner of hys seruauntes, that none of them excede [...] conuenyent[?] and reasonable price for their garmentes, and specially for their hose, wherein a diuersitie would be had betwene them which be hable, and so assessed in Subsedy, either at .xx. pound yere­ly lyuelyhode, or two hundred pound in goodes, and all others that be not. And yet notwythstandynge that all thys trauayle is to be taken for reformation of the shamefull excesse of Apparrell, as thoccasyon of dyuerse of pouertye, in others, of robberies and such lyke. Yet it is mete and conuenient that all Lordes seruauntes (specially in the Courte) shoulde go semely and cumly for the honor of their Maister, which may be well done, wearyng the commodities of this Realme, and vsynge measure in all shape and forme of apparrell.

God saue the Quene.

Imprinted at London in Povvles Churchyarde bi Richard Iugge, and Iohn Cavvood, printers to the Quenes Maiestie.

Cum priuilegio Regiae Maiestatis.

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Early English Books Online Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.