From the Fourteenth to the early Nineteenth Centuries, Scriveners, especially Notaries were confidential writers of legal documents. The Scriveners Company formal establishment as a corporate body governed by ordinances granted by the Mayor and Aldermen of London dates from 26 September 1373. These mediaeval regulations and ordinances for the governance of the Company (as for all other Livery Companies) were to ensure the integrity in business, and the competence in practice, of those engaged in the craft thus strengthening their position and enhancing the confidence of members of the public using their services. Notaries appear as members of the Company from 1392 onwards, when it issued new ordinances to coincide with the appointment by the Archbishop of Canterbury as Papal Legate of laymen as papal and imperial notaries.
The early history of the Company was mainly concerned with its efforts to establish control over the practice of all those writing legal documents in London, especially conveyances of real property. On 12 January 1498 there was a further major revision of the ordinances, to regulate the Company's corporate and social life and, equally importantly, to require every apprentice to be tested before the Wardens to ensure satisfactory knowledge of grammar - an essential professional attribute. From 1558 onwards members of the Company, still small in numbers but increasing in wealth, were (again like all other Livery Companies) compelled by the Crown to contribute to loans to recoup the costs of the war which had resulted in England's loss of Calais. An account book of 1565 (the only document to survive the burning of Scriveners' Hall in 1666 apart from the Company's Common Paper 1357 – 1628, a compendium of its corporate annual activities and enrolments now preserved in the Guildhall Library Department of Manuscripts), shows that at this time the Company was paid annual Quarterage not only by its own Freemen and Liverymen but also by members of other Livery Companies. and by Freemen of the City of London, practising as scriveners. Such persons acknowledged the authority of the Master, Wardens and Court of the Scriveners Company over "the Art or Mysterie of Scriveners", even though not themselves members of the Company.
By 12 March 1590 members of the Company were refusing to meet its quota to pay for armour, weapons, gunpowder and wheat for Her Majesty (Elizabeth I)'s service, and the Master and Wardens attended the Court of the Lord Mayor and Aldermen and were authorised to commit any Scrivener refusing to contribute, to a debtors' prison.
A new era opened with the securing by the "Master, Wardens and Assistants of the Society of Scriveners of London" of a Royal Charter of Incorporation from King James I on 28 January 1617. This, and the new ordinances made under its authority in 1635, greatly increased the Company's status (but probably - firm evidence is lacking - greatly depleted its finances). On 11 November 1634 the Company received a grant of arms, confirming the arms in use since circa 1530.