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Papers Relating to the Scots in Poland (1576 - 1798)
Accounts of the Brotherhood


[Here the Accounts of the Brotherhood cease. Pages 155-218 are blank. On page 219 is a copy of the Charter granted to Lublin by King John III., and confirmed by Augustus II.]

JOHN the Third, by the Grace of God King of Poland, Grand Duke of Lithuania, Russia, Prussia, Mazovia, Zmudzia, Kieff, Wolynia, Podolia, Podlachia, Inflantia, Smolensk, Siewersk and Czernihoff, etc: We hereby notify all whom it may concern by this Our present letter: that We have an especial respect for Our town of Lublin, more than for other towns dependent on Us and within the boundaries of Our Jurisdiction, because it is a First Class Town which has become empty and is going to ruin not only in consequence of the Swedish and Muscovite Wars, but by reason of the present times. And being desirous that its ancient prosperity return, that good government and order may not be destroyed, but be preserved, and that the Republic and the Treasury of Our Kingdom may not lose thereby—For these reasons and at the Humble Petition of the Honest Flavius Marchetti, Stanislas Swibiez, town-councillors, of Peter Gern, Our Court Purveyor, and of Christofer Faber, Citizens of Lublin, Catholics and Dissenters, brought to us by certain Gentlemen of Our Council that We may, as Supreme Legislator, accord and sign the same Privileges, Rights and Freedom of Conscience as are enjoyed by other towns, such as Cracow, Posen and Lemberg, We hereby give the following Clauses and Articles of Freedom, which the citizens of Lublin shall be able to enjoy in perpetuity, and which they must observe and act by: And in so doing We have had recourse to the Agreement between the Magistrates and inhabitants of Lublin on the one side and the Merchants of Lublin on the other, dated in Lublin on the sixth feria before the Feast of Saint Priscilla, Virgin and Martyr, in the year of Our Lord One thousand six hundred seventy-seven, to adopt that Merchants’ Charter which was drawn up at the Diet held in Warsaw on the third day of April in the year one thousand six hundred and seventy and confirmed by Us; and also to the ameleriorations and clauses granted to Honest merchants of various nations by the Burgomaster, Councillors, Mayor, Justices, Commissioners and Electors of Lublin, in the name of the Community of Lublin, signed on the fourteenth day of March in the year one thousand six hundred and eighty-one, and incorporated into the Books of the Mayor of Lublin on the fourth Feria after the Solemn Feast of the Most Glorious Ressurection in the same year, one thousand six hundred and eighty-one.

1. First. Should any inhabitant of the town of Lublin wish to enter the Merchants’ Brotherhood he must first of all take steps to be entered in the Books of the Sworn Citizens of Lublin; and this in order that Strangers and travellers who do not come under the Jurisdiction or bear the burdens of Lublin shall not be able to interfere by their trade with the sworn citizens and ratepayers of the town and those who bear the expenses of the Republic.

2. Second. He who wishes to enter this Merchants’ Brotherhood must prove conclusively that he is a sworn citizen. A stranger must pay for his entrance into the Brotherhood a certain sum of money according to the opinion and discretion of the Elders, having consideration for the wealth and substance of the candidate, so that the richer ones may pay a larger and the poorer a smaller sum of money into the Common Treasury, which must be kept for the needs of the Brotherhood and not for any private uses.

3. Third. He who is admitted into the Merchants’ Brotherhood must not engage in any craft. On the contrary, if he have any craft whatever, he must leave it and declare that he will not return thereto under pain of losing his membership. And this Declaration must be written in the books of the Brotherhood.

4. Fourth; The members must show all honour to two elder ones and two younger ones, of whom one shall be elected from amongst the Catholic and the other from the Dissident Members: and must, when summoned by the servant employed by the Brotherhood, attend the Ordinary Meetings, which should take place at least once a quarter, or, if great need arise, oftener than that. Both the elder and younger members of the Brotherhood must respect other Brotherhoods and treat them humanely, as neighbours and co-citizens.

5. Fifth. The Brethren must attend the meetings announced and organised without making any excuses or hesitating; and this under pain of paying one Polish zloty into the Common Treasury. (Unless indeed they have some grave cause or impediment, or are absent from the town at the time.)

6. Sixth. Every year, before noon on the twenty-first day of the month of January, in the house of one of the elder members, the Brethren, having met together for that purpose; shall elect two Elders—one a Catholic and the other a Dissident—and a Scrivener by means of writing their names on pieces of paper, or so-called votes, in order to avoid any disputes or favouritism. (The number of votes to be counted.) And if any one of those thus elected should refuse to accept the Eldership and withdraw he rnust at once pay a fine of thirty Polish zloty into the Common Treasury, without any demur whatsoever. As soon as these Elders are elected all the Brethren must go with him to the Lublin Town Hall and obtain the confirmation of their election from the Magistrate. And these same Elders, having honestly taken the oath at the Town Hall by holding up two fingers of their right hands to Heaven—according to the prescribed formula—must be conducted to their homes by some of their fellow-members.

7. Seventh. The Elders, elected in the manner described above, having been confirmed by the magistrate and having taken the oath, must take counsel together and fix a day in the near future for a meeting of the Brethren, summoning them by means of the Brethren’s servant. At this meeting they shall take away the Chest, the Rights, Articles and Privileges given by Us, the money, banners, ornaments, arms, muskets, and other things belonging to the Brotherhood from the ex-elders and their two younger co-members. They shall likewise go through the accounts of receipts and expenses and give receipts for those things which they have taken away. We, however, make one condition; and that is, that two younger members shall serve together with the Elders, one to be chosen from among the Catholics and the other from among the Dissidents: and each alternately shall have the Chest and the key thereto; one year the Chest and the other the key of the Chest, so that neither can the Dissidents make any claims upon the Catholics nor the Catholics upon the Dissidents, or put forward any pretext about the receipts and expenses. And the Brotherhood’s Priviledges, Charters and Registers of Receipts and Expenses, besides all other necessaries, shall be put into this Chest and locked up. And if, which God forbid, any loss occur through the Elder’s carelessness, then the Brotherhood may make good their loss from that Elder’s fortune.

9. Ninth. If it should happen that one of the Elders or one of their younger helpers should be obliged to leave the town and go some miles distant and stay away some time, then he has the right to cede his office during that time, to another Brother who shall be disposed to take it, and shall give him the key of the Chest and shall authorise him to fulfil all the duties that may arise—to the common good and the profit of the Brotherhood. If, on the contrary, he fail to do so, he must pay the Brotherhood a fine of five Polish marks. As soon as ever he returns he must take the accounts of expenses—if any there be—from the Aforesaid Delegate.

10. Tenth. The Merchants’ tax, voted by the Free Diet and levied on the town of Lublin by the Mandate of the Crown’s Under-Treasurer, has been assigned to the Merchants of Lublin in accordance with the Charter issued on the occasion of Our Happy Coronation in Cracow on the twelfth day of April in the year of Our Lord one thousand six hundred and seventy six and must be fairly divided amongst the Brethren by the Elders and their two younger helpers in the presence of the Magistrate in a proportionate tax, so that neither the rich merchants should be wronged nor the poor ones, who deal in small goods, be oppressed. And this also applies to all other taxes levied by the Republic and to private contributions voted for the town’s immediate needs.

11. Eleventh. And whereas the merchants and citizens of Lublin suffer great losses by reason of the strangers who come and profit by the town without having the freedom therefore or paying any taxes, therefore the inhabitants of Lublin shall not dare to let or rent during the sitting of the High Court of Justice any shops, cellars, stalls or other places for exhibiting and selling goods by the ell or by weight to Strange People who are not citizens or have not been received into the Lublin Brotherhood of Merchants. (Except to any Wholesale Merchant, who has come to sell his goods to the Lublin Merchants and does not retail them by the ell or by weight.)

12. Twelfth. We make this Condition—in accordance with the Laws and Customs of other towns in our Kingdom—that those Strangers who have not the Freedom of Lublin and are not members of the Merchants’ Brotherhood shall not dare to bring any merchandise whatsoever into Lublin either secretly or openly or to sell it either by the ell or weight, secretly or openly. Nor shall they open shops and carry on trade in the Nobles’ or the Clergy’s houses during the Fairs or the Sittings of the Courts of Justice, because the town of Lublin and its merchants are getting ruined by this practice. And if none of the inhabitants nor Merchants of Lublin will want to buy the merchandise brought into the town, in that case these strangers will be allowed to take away this merchandise and sell it elsewhere. And this clause is in accordance with the Constitution of the year one thousand six hundred and seventy three, under the name of ‘the Town of Lublin,’ by which it is stipulated that those Merchants who have not received the Freedom of the City and have no real estate therein and yet continue to carry on their trade shall enjoy no Protection nor Priveledges from the Well-born Senators and Very-Powerful Dignitaries. And Our Protection and Priveledges which were granted on insufficient information from the Crown Office we do abolish with the fullness of Our Royal Power, and do declare all such as are already and shall be granted to the detriment of the Merchants’ Brotherhood to be null and void. And We desire that the Very-Powerful Marshall of the Tribunal who is now and will be in the future and the Well-born Deputies should keep this clause in which Our will is so clearly expressed to the aforesaid Lublin merchants, whole and intact. And We do desire that this should observe the Special Priveledges granted by Us to the Worthy Peter Gern, Our servant.

13. Thirteenth. Let none of those inhabitants who are not entered on the Registers of the Brotherhood dare to carry on trade by any means, secret or open, or under any Pretext, with Strangers to the Prejudice of the Lublin Brotherhood or in order to cheat the Revenues of the Republic; And in this We include the Laws and Regulations as to Warehouses. And he who is found guilty of transgressing against the above-mentioned clause shall be punished by the confiscation of his wares, of which one half shall go to Our Treasury and the other to the Lublin Brotherhood of Merchants. And no Court nor Tribunal is to annul this, but rather, to enforce it.

14. Fourteenth. We order that the keepers of the Municipal Wine-Cellars, who usually take one Polish zloty per cask, should audit the accounts thereof once a quarter in the presence of two Lublin Merchants, one a Catholic and the other a Dissident, and in the presence of persons nominated by both parties in the Magistracy.

15. Fifteenth. All merchants shall participate in the costs and expenses in connection with Commercial Priviledges and, having made up their accounts amongst themselves, shall pay what they owe without demur and without appealling to the Courts.

16. We do ordain, that the taxes and burdens of the state, both public and private, shall, in the future, be collected by sworn tax-gatherers, as is the custom in Cracow; that the Merchants shall contribute towards no supplies levied by private subscription (except to met some pressing municipal need) unless the Collectors make up an efficient account in the presence of representatives from both sides in the Magistracy and the merchants have received a signed receipt in the Register: And the Register shall be put away in the Archives.

17. It is Our wish that, as the Lublin Merchants bear the burden of taxation in common with their fellow citizens, the Election of their Elders should be confirmed by Public Deed by the Magistrate, in the manner described above, in order that, their Elections over, they may enjoy the good-will and respect of the Town of Lublin.

18. Eighteenth. Likewise, in order that the Merchants of Lublin may not be exploited when private taxes are levied and rated too highly, We consider that two Elders approved of the Magistrate of Lublin, one a Catholic and the other a Dissident, having sworn to assess the tax faithfully, shall do so for the other merchants, in the presence of the Magistrate.

19 Nineteenth. And since both Parties in the Lublin Magistracy have promised and bound themselves to entrust the Brotherhood of Merchants with the Laws touching the Charters Concerning Lublin Markets and Warehouses, granted by Our Most Illustrious Predecessors and approved of by Us on the occasion of Our Happy Coronation; according to which Charter the Merchant Guilds have the right to summon all who encroach upon their Priviledges in any court or tribunal whatsoever; therefore We command the Magistrate of Lublin to issue them a copy of their Submission, which is in the Registers of the Magistracy dated the fourth feria following the solomn feast of the Most Glorious Ressurection of Christ Our Lord in this same year one thousand six hundred and eighty one.

20. Twentieth. The Elder merchants who are elected for the year must collect and assess the Tax that is levied on the town of Lublin by the Constitutional Vote from those Lublin Merchants whose names are entered in the Registers, showing their account of sums collected to the Assessors in the presence of the Magistrate and putting the receipt for the same in the Municipal Archives.

21. Twenty-first. No Merchant shall be distrained or have a seal put upon his shops, stalls and cellars for non-payment of taxes, private or public, until judgement has been obtained against him in the Tribunal.

22. Twenty-second. If at any time, in spite of the Charter freeing them therefrom, the Hiberna should be levied upon Lublin Merchants then it shall be levied upon their real estate and not on their Merchandise (since the Hiberna must be paid according to the amount of ground owned); and this in accordance with the Custom observed in towns of the First Class, as We have ordained in Our charter granted in Cracow on the occasion of Our Happy Coronation on the twelfth day of April in the year of Our Lord one thousand six hundred and seventy-six and sealed with the Royal Seal.

23. Twenty-third. And whereas those perfidious people the Jews, screening themselves behind various Protectors, do, for their profit, enter Our walled town of Lublin during the Assizes with various sorts of merchandise and ruin the Lublin merchants by plying their trade on Sundays and Catholic feast days (for which reason the municipality of Lublin have already issued decrees): therefore, having recourse to the Mandates and Charters issued to Our Lublin merchants by Our Chancery against the Jews at the Grodno Diet, on the second day of February 1679, We do add these clauses against the Jews for the benefit of Lublin Merchants.

24. Twenty-fourth. That no Jew should dare to rent or open any shops above-ground or in cellars, in the Market Place of streets of Lublin (the Jews having their own separate and the space under the Castle), or to sell therein any goods or wares whatsoever, either by the pound, ell, or quart under pain of confiscation of his merchandise one half of which he must give towards town repairs and the other to the Lublin Merchants. And We forbid the inhabitants of Lublin to prejudice the Merchants even under pretext of leases, or to let their houses to Jews, under pain of a severe penalty.

25. Twenty-fifth. That no Jew should dare to carry goods for sale, either in baskets or by any other means, in the Market-Place or Streets of Lublin, or to go to houses with these goods or to sell them at the town gates to people of the Equestrian Order or to the Townsfolk (Except in their own town and Jewish streets). And if any infringe this Clause and carry their goods to the town to sell them to the inhabitants in their houses, then they must suffer the penalty of confiscation. And We Command the Magistrate of Lublin to resume his authority and expel the Jews from that part of the town which lies within his jurisdiction.

26. Twenty-sixth. So called Barysz Jews wander about the streets observing those who walk therein and look into the shops of Lublin merchants—travellers for the most part and People of the Equestrian Order—persuading them not to buy in the Christian shops and taking them to their own Jewish shops. For this reasons, no Barysnik shall stand about in the town of Lublin within the area of the Municipal Jurisdiction. We impose a penalty of three months’ imprisonment and thirty marks’ fine on every Barysnik who is convicted of so doing. And of this fine We assign one half to the Court wherein he is tried and the other for the Treasury of the Lublin Merchants’ Brotherhood.

27. Twenty-seventh. Let not the Jews dare to spread their trade all over the town or undersell any of the Lublin merchants in any branch of trade, because in every transaction it is easier for the Jew whereas it should be easier for the Christian who shall have the right to state his price, put down his money, and take the merchandise away.

28. Twenty-eighth. No member of the Brotherhood shall, either personally, or through some one else, bring his brother merchants to ruin or spoil their trade, no matter what it may be. Should such an one be found in the Brotherhood, the Elders and their Colleagues must try him and, if they find him guilty punish him according to his offence, with a pecuniary fine.

29. Twenty-ninth. No craftsman, skilled or unskilled, shall ply his craft to the loss of his trade and the detriment of the wares he has for sale.

30. Thirtieth. Let the Brethren keep to and act according to their decisions under pain of fines and should any one of them be injurious to the Brethren then he must be punished with expulsion.

31. Thirty-first. They must pay for a Holy Mass and Requiem to be held every quarter of the year in the Cathedral Church of St Michael for the souls of their departed Brethren at the expense of the whole Brotherhood For which Mass the Elders must give three hundred Polish zloty per year from the Common Treasury.

32. Thirty-second. Neither the Elders nor their colleagues shall be able to fix any subscriptions for smaller needs nor impose fines nor settle expenses without the consent of the Brethren present (The Brethren must be in the majority). But such decisions must only be passed for the benefit of the Brotherhood and in the presence of many Brethren at Public Meetings and gatherings, and then the advice of the Elders should be listened to.


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