August 1491

No comburgess or inhabitant of the town shall initiate or bring any suit, action or cause against any other burgess or inhabitant [of this town] in the Court of the Admiralty nor in any other foreign court, spiritual or temporal, concerning any matter of covenant, contract, debt, or [other] matter capable of being judged in the king's court within this town; unless the matter has [already] once been tried in the court before the bailiffs. If any man acts contrary to this ordinance, he shall pay for each fault 40s. fine, to be levied half to the profit of the town and the other half to the profit of the bailiffs; if he is frequently found to be committing this fault, he is to lose his burgess status forever.