The Constitution, Orders & Precedents Of The Gloucestershire Society

As transcribed from the oldest surviving Minute Book
1st December 1657

1st It is Voted by General Consent that there shall be for time to come One Steward and Two Assistants for this Society

2d That there be one to be Treasurer who shall be Cashkeeper and take Care that all of the County be invited at the time appointed and he to make Choice of one person in every Ward to gather the Monies from the persons in his Ward and give them Summons to Appear.

3d That it be referred to the Steward to appoint a day in the Month of July or August Yearly whereon the Feast shall be kept

4th That the Ordinary exceed not Two shillings and six pence each person

5th That in the Morning before the Feast there be a Sermon preached to the Company by a Gloucestershire Minister to be chosen by the Steward and the Sermon to be preached where the Steward shall appoint and the Minister to Dine with the Company and that before Sermon the Company meet at Church and after Sermon that every person according to his Quality walk two and two to wait on the Steward to dinner

6th That new Officers be Chosen every Feast day after dinner and at that time the Steward deliver up his Accounts to the new Steward

7th If any Man shall Misbehave himself in word or Deed at the time of the Meeting that the Steward Admonish him for his first offence and that for the second Offence to be expelled the Company

8th That it be referred to the Steward, Assistant and Treasurer for the time being for the better government of the Company to make any Addition of by Law whereby the Company shall be governed which shall be in force till further order to the Contrary at some general Meeting of the Company

9th That no member of the Company except the Steward shall have liberty without the Consent of the Steward to invite and bring to the Feast any Gloucestershire Gentlemen and that only such Gentlemen so admitted shall pay two shillings and six pence to the Treasurer.

“That there be Collection before the Company depart for such charitable uses as shall present being Gloucestershire Men and Freemen of Bristol and no other and such money as shall be freely given to be dispos’d off at the discretion of the Steward & Assistants”

August 1659

“For the better regulation of this Society, for time to come, at their public Feasts it is though fit and Order’d that no person whatsoever do presume to send away any Venisons except it be to any of the Wives of the Officers of this Society, for the time being upon pain of five shillings to be forfeited by every person breaking this Order.”

“This Article above Written I do not own and we think it convenient to make void lest it intrench upon the Reputation of the Officers – Henry Bough”

8th September 1664

“It is this day order’d by the Society as followeth vizt.

1st That every Gloucestershire Man in this City who is willing to be of this Society upon notice to him given by the Steward, Treasurer, Assistants or others by them appointed for that purpose of the day and place of the Meeting of the said Society at their general Feast in every Year shall pay his part for his ordinary immediately upon such Notice or ten days at least before such general Meeting and that any person refusing so to do shall not be admitted to such Meeting of the said Society

2d That the Steward every Year shall nominate and appoint one or more Gloucestershire men in each Parish with the account of the number of Tickets by them deliver’d ten days at least before the said Meeting

3d. That at the general Feast of the said Society every Year no health be drank at the Table but only to the King and that every man be allowed, one pint of Wine.”

7th September 1669

“It is this day Ordered that no Money received by Collection for charitable use be dispersed for the placeing of any poor child Apprentice without the Consent of the Steward and Assistants for the time being and the proceding Stewards or the Major part of them”

“It is also Order’d that none of the said Money be allowed to any Steward for tickets or other expences.”

26th August 1675
“It is this day order’d that all the Apprentices who are the Sons of Gloucestershire Men and Freemen of this City that have been bound to their several Masters according to the Custom of this City & the Charity of this Company do appear at every general Meeting of this Society Yearly to give thanks to them for their favour towards them and wait upon them at their Yearly Feasts coming first to the Stewards House for the time being to attend him to Church & that the Treasurer or Assistants do take care to give notice to the said Apprentices and their Masters respectively"
10th August 1682
“…it is this day Order’d that all such persons as shall succeed him [Charles Wintour, Esq.] shall not be elected by the name of Steward but of President of the said Company"
24th August 1686
“It is this day ordered by the Society that all young men who are bound out Apprentice by the Charity of the Society do Appear Yearly at the Meeting of the Gloucestershire Men and walk with white rods in their hands before the President and Company & attend at the Presidents Table and that there shall not be given for the binding of any apprentice by the Charity of this Society above the Sum of Four pounds without the Consent of the President and three of the Seniors (Former Presidents or Stewards) of the same Society"
30th August 1694
“…for the future no Petitions for Money shall be for ever reced or Granted but that all the Money now in Stock & to be Collected at any Meeting to this Society shall be imployed in the binding out of Apprentices according to the former Orders and to no other Use Whatever.”
31st August 1699
“…then Order’d and Agreed that no Child shall at any time hereafter be bound by this Society to his own parents.”
27th August 1713

“Memm. That it is now Order’d for time Comeing that when the Treasurer for the time being shall have money in his hands to bind out Apprentices by Petition to the President for the time being and upon his summoning so many as have been Presidents of this Society there Resident within this City it shall be Lawful for the President by the Consent of those who shall thereupon meet being not less then five consenting to bind out Apprentices out of the Money in the Treasurers hands and that he do pay the same out accordingly, but such Apprentices are also to be of Gloucr.Shire men born and Freemen of this City & Inhabiting therein [th]e sure Offer else to be left to the Direction of such as shall so meet having regard as near as may be to the former Rules of this Society.”

30th November 1716
“Memorandum there were no Boys offered to be Bound an Apprentice that were Sons of Freemen of Bristol and Inhabiting there for hereupon it was thought fit to Bind Children Apprentices that live in the County of Gloucester”
19th September 1717
“… Mr Benjamin Fox and Mr Giles Price [chosen] Assistants and Also Mr John Burgess and Mr John Cole Assistants.”