Whereas by severall good statutes heretofore made and yet in force diverse Penalties and Forfeitures are provided sett & ordayned for & upon Offenders & offences against the said Statutes: The maine Drift & End thereof being to prevent the great Damadge dayly ariseing to us by bringing in & conveying away out of this our Kingdom of England, Dominion of Wales & Towne of Berwicke upon Tweed, Divers great quantities of severall forreigne Goods & Native Commodities, as of Tanned & Curried Leather & Wooll &c. And whereas in the first & fourth yeares of the Reigne of our Royall Grandfather King James and in the fowerteenth year of our Reigne severall good lawes & Statutes have bin made for Redresse of the said Griefs & the better preventing such frauds & violences for the time to come. And likewise for the true & just Tanning, Currying & workeing of Leather & for the redressing of such Deceipts and abuses which have bin & are commonly practiced by Butchers, Tanners, Curriers & workers of leather. It is amongst other things enacted that no Butcher by himslfe or any other person shall gash, slaughter or cutt any hide of Oxe, Bull, Steer or Cow in slaying thereof, or otherwayes whereby the same shall be impaired or hurt; Nor shall offer or put to sale any Hide being putrified or rotten: Nor shall kill any Calfe to sell being under five weeks old. And that no person or persons professing the Art & Mistery of Tanning of Leather shall overhasten the Tanning of Leather by indirect meanes, crafty & subtle practices by which they make their Leather to seeme both faire well & sufficiently tanned within a very shorte space: nor offer or put to Sale any Leather that shall not be well & sufficiently tanned and thoroughly dried. Nor shall cutt or make their upper leather hides, backs, butts or calveskins. And that no tanned Leather be bought or sold any place but in the open & publick faire or markett: And against unlawfull Buyers & Sellers against forestalling of Marketts & that no leather be sold before the same be searched & sealed: And against Sealers & searchers who doe not faithfully perform their dutys. And that no currier shall carry any kind of Leather except it be well & perfectly tanned & well & thoroughly dried, not shall burn or scald any hide nor leather in the currying, nor shall gash or hurt any Leather in the shaving, nor shall seale any leather except it be well & sufficiently tanned: and diverse other branches & clauses forfeitures & penalties mentioned in the said Statutes. Nowithstanding the strictness of the said lawes those & divers other great abuses & fraudulent practices mentioned therein are now more committed then ever to the great prejudice of all our good Subjects of this our Realme of England &c. And whereas it manifestly appeareth to us that by the neglect of the due Execution of those & other good lawes many great inconveniences & mischiefs are dayly received & growing up (equalling if not exceeding those mentioned in the preambles of the said Statutes, being the ground & Ocassion thereof) which tend much to the damadge of us and the empoverishment of our good subjects of this our kingdome: For prevention whereof in the future our Will & pleasure is that the said Lawes be duly & strictly put in Execution. And we having in our princely care the Prosperity & Welfare of all our good people of this our Kingdome of England & Dominion of Wales: And holding ourselves bound in a matter of so great an Abuse to make it our Worke to put the same in such Execution as the Law requires. Wee doe therefore for us & in our behalfe nominate, appoint, impower, authorize our Trusty & Welbeloved John Croke Esq, Gent in ordinary of our most honourable privy Chamber and his sufficient Deputy & Deputyes so far as in us lyes for that service: for & in the name and to & for the use of Us our heires & Successors by all just & lawfull wayes & meanes to enquire into search for & discover all offenders & offences acted, committed, done or suffered, or that at any time hereafter shall be acted, committed, done or suffered within this our Kingdom of England & Dominion of Wales or either of them, or in our said Towne of Berwick or any parts thereunto belonging, contrary to the Tenure Forme & Effect of the said Statutes. And also in the Name and to & for the use of Us our heirs & Successors as well by land as by water to search for, seize, detaine & carry away any forfeited leather or hides wrought or unwrought, cutt or uncutt, packt or unpackt, intended or purposed to be transported by any person & persons into any of the parts beyond the Seas, and likewise all unlawfull wares made of leather & any other prohibited & uncustomed Commodities that now are or hereafter at any time shall be forfeited, seizable, comeing or accrueing to us our heires & Successors by force & tenure of the same Statutes or any of them. And also to endeavour & see that due prosecution be had & made against all such offenders for all & every such offence according to Law. And also that not withstanding the known way & course of Officers purposely constituted to attend & act therein, yet dayly experience shewes that through neglect of their duty or some secret practizes or combinations betweene owners of goods & persons intrusted in this behalfe; or other indirect dealings great quantities of leather & Calveskins Wool & other native commodities are commonly exported contrary to the said lawes & Statutes, without any seizures made or punishment inflicted for the same. And we being carefull & desirous to prevent the said Mischiefs for the future & to that end to make tryall of such probable wayes & meanes as hath bin manifested unto us. Our further Will & Pleasure is that all the said lawes be duely observed & strictly executed for the time to come, And therefore do nominate, appoint, impower, give Licence unto & authorize our said Trustee & Welbeloved John Croke Esq & his sufficient Deputy or Deputies to be deputed by writeing under his hand & Seale & for whom he shall & will answer: to have, hold, use, exercise & enjoy all & every the said Liberties Licences, Powers & Authorities to the end & in the manner aforesaid. And our Will & pleasure is that he the said John Croke Esq his Deputy or Deputyes within tenn dayes or other convenient time after any seizure or discovery made shall give notice thereof in writing to the remembrances of our Exchequer, or to such other publick officer there as to them shall seem fitting in this behalfe to the end that such due course and proceedings may be had & taken therein as the case shall require. And the said John Croke Esq his deputy or deputyes are not for any cause to favour connive at nor conceale or mitigate any offender or offences whatsoever happening within their search commission or knowledg.
And this our Licence power & Authority granted as aforesaid is not to restraine or barre any others in what they justly may or ought to doe in or relateing to any [of] the premises. And our further will & pleasure is that it shall & maybe lawfull to & for the said John Croke Esq or his sufficient Deputy or Deputyes their under officers & servants or any of them, Authorized by writt of Assistance under the seale of our Court of Exchequer (which said Writt the Barons of our said Court are hereby willed & required to grant & issue forth unto them to take a Constable, Headborough or any other publique Officer inhabiting near unto the place, whivh said Officer or Officers shall not refuse to aid countenance & assist him the said John Croke Esq his deputy or deputees at his or their perills: To enter into at Will & Pleasure & goe into any vessel, boat, house, shop, sellar, Warehouse, Tanners house or yard, roome or other place whatsoever where they shall suspect or receive information that such unlawfull & prohibited goods are, And in case of resistance break open doores, chests, truncks & other packadge, there to seize & from thence to bring & carry away all forfeited leather & Wooll & all other prohibited & uncustomed goods whatsoever: And put & secure the same in some safe place or Warehouse near unto the place where such seizures shall be made, hereby requiring the no deputy or deputyes, under officers or servants of ours belonging to the said John Croke Esq shall in any wise or at any time be molested troubled arrested imprisoned or detained in the Execution of their office aforesaid. And further our Will & pleasure is that all Majors, Sheriffs, Viceadmiralls, Governours of Garrisons & forts, Justices of the peace, bailiffs, constables & all other officers & persons whatsoever shall be aiding & assisting unto him the said John Croke Esq his deputy or deputyes under Officers & servants in all things wherein they or any of them shall require their aid & assistance in the due execution of their duty & place of this our service & in secureing the persons of all such offenders untill by order & Courte of Law such further course may be taken with them & every of them as the Law in that case doth require. Given at our court at Whitehall --- day of --- in the fifteenth yeare of our Raigne Anno Doni 1663