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Title: London and the Kingdom - Volume I
Author: Sharpe, Reginald R. (Reginald Robinson), 1848-
Language: English
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London and the Kingdom










Of the numerous works that have been written on London, by which I mean
more especially the City of London, few have been devoted to an adequate,
if indeed any, consideration of its political importance in the history of
the Kingdom. The history of the City is so many-sided that writers have to
be content with the study of some particular phase or some special epoch.
Thus we have those who have concentrated their efforts to evolving out of
the remote past the municipal organization of the City. Their task has
been to unfold the origin and institution of the Mayoralty and Shrievalty
of London, the division of the City into wards with Aldermen at their
head, the development of the various trade and craft guilds, and the
respective powers and duties of the Courts of Aldermen and Common Council,
and of the Livery of London assembled in their Common Hall. Others have
devoted themselves to the study of the ecclesiastical and monastic side of
the City’s history—its Cathedral, its religious houses, and hundred and
more parish churches, which occupied so large an extent of the City’s
area. The ecclesiastical importance of the City, however, is too often
ignored. "We are prone," writes Bishop Stubbs, "in examining into the
municipal and mercantile history of London, to forget that it was a very
great ecclesiastical centre." Others, again, have confined themselves to
depicting the every-day life of the City burgess, his social condition,
his commercial pursuits, his amusements; whilst others have been content
to perpetuate the memory of streets and houses long since lost to the eye,
and thus to keep alive an interest in scenes and places which otherwise
would be forgotten.

The political aspect of the City’s history has rarely been touched by
writers, and yet its geographical position combined with the innate
courage and enterprise of its citizens served to give it no small
political power and no insignificant place in the history of the Kingdom.
This being the case, the Corporation resolved to fill the void, and in
view of the year 1889 being the 700th Anniversary of the Mayoralty of
London—according to popular tradition—instructed the Library Committee to
prepare a work showing "the pre-eminent position occupied by the City of
London and the important function it exercised in the shaping and making
of England."

It is in accordance with these instructions that this and succeeding
volumes have been compiled. As the title of the work has been taken from a
chapter in Mr. Loftie’s book on London ("Historic Towns" series, chap.
ix), so its main features are delineated in that chapter. "It would be
interesting"—writes Mr. Loftie—"to go over all the recorded instances in
which the City of London interfered directly in the affairs of the
Kingdom. Such a survey would be the history of England as seen from the
windows of the Guildhall." No words could better describe the character of
the work now submitted to the public. It has been compiled mainly from the
City’s own archives. The City has been allowed to tell its own story. If,
therefore, its pages should appear to be too much taken up with accounts
of loans advanced by the City to impecunious monarchs or with wearisome
repetition of calls for troops to be raised in the City for foreign
service, it is because the City’s records of the day are chiefly if not
wholly concerned with these matters. If, on the other hand, an event which
may be rightly deemed of national importance be here omitted, it is
because the citizens were little affected thereby, and the City’s records
are almost, if not altogether, silent on the subject.

The work does not affect to be a critical history so much as a _chronique
pour servir_, to which the historical student may have recourse in order
to learn what was the attitude taken up by the citizens of London at
important crises in the nation’s history. He will there see how, in the
contest between Stephen and the Empress Matilda, the City of London held
as it were the balance; how it helped to overthrow the tyranny of
Longchamp, and to wrest from the reluctant John the Great Charter of our
liberties; how it was with men and money supplied by the City that Edward
III and Henry V were enabled to conquer France, and how in after years the
London trained bands raised the siege of Gloucester and turned the tide of
the Civil War in favour of Parliament. He will not fail to note the
significant fact that before Monk put into execution his plan for
restoring Charles II to the Crown, the taciturn general—little given to
opening his mind to anyone—deemed it advisable to take up his abode in the
City in order to first test the feelings of the inhabitants as to whether
the Restoration would be acceptable to them or not. He will see that the
citizens of London have at times been bold of speech even in the presence
of their sovereign when the cause of justice and the liberty of the
subject were at stake, and that they did not hesitate to suffer for their
opinions; that, "at many of the most critical periods of our history, the
influence of London and its Lord Mayors has turned the scale in favour of
those liberties of which we are so justly proud"; and that had the
entreaties of the City been listened to by the King and his ministers, the
American Colonies would never have been lost to England.

There are two Appendices to the work; one comprising copies from the
City’s Records of letters, early proclamations and documents of special
interest to which reference is made in the text; the other consisting of a
more complete list of the City’s representatives in Parliament from the
earliest times than has yet been printed, supplemented as it has been by
returns to writs recorded in the City’s archives and (apparently) no where
else. The returns for the City in the Blue Books published in 1878 and
1879 are very imperfect.

                                                                  R. R. S.

_April, 1894._


   A CITY LOAN OF £5,000.



The wealth and importance of the City of London are due to a variety of
causes, of which its geographical position must certainly be esteemed not
the least. The value of such a noble river as the Thames was scarcely
over-estimated by the citizens when, as the story goes, they expressed to
King James their comparative indifference to his threatened removal of
himself, his court and parliament, from London, if only their river
remained to them. The mouth of the Thames is the most convenient port on
the westernmost boundary of the European seaboard, and ships would often
run in to replenish their tanks with the sweet water for which it was once

After the fall of the Western Empire (A.D. 476), commercial enterprise
sprang up among the free towns of Italy. The carrying trade of the world’s
merchandise became centred for a time in Venice, and that town led the way
in spreading the principles of commerce along the shores of the
Mediterranean, being closely followed by Genoa, Florence, and Pisa. The
tide, which then set westward, and continued its course beyond the Pillars
of Hercules, was met in later years by another stream of commerce from the
shores of the Baltic.(2) Small wonder, then, if the City of London was
quick to profit by the continuous stream of traffic passing and repassing
its very door, and vindicated its title to be called—as the Venerable Bede
had in very early days called it the Emporium of the World.(3)

But if London’s prosperity were solely due to its geographical position,
we should look for the same unrivalled pre-eminence in commerce in towns
like Liverpool or Bristol, which possess similar local advantages; whilst,
if royal favour or court gaieties could make cities great, we should have
surely expected Winchester, Warwick, York, or Stafford to have outstripped
London in political and commercial greatness, for these were the
residences of the rulers of Mercia, Northumbria, and Wessex, and the
scenes of witena-gemóts long before London could boast of similar favours.
Yet none of these equals London in extent, population, wealth, or
political importance.


We must therefore look for other causes of London’s pre-eminence, and
among these, we may reckon the fact that the City has never been subject
to any over-lord except the king. It never formed a portion of the king’s
demesne (_dominium_), but has ever been held by its burgesses as tenants
_in capite_ by burgage (free socage) tenure. Other towns like Bristol,
Plymouth, Beverley, or Durham, were subject to over-lords, ecclesiastical
or lay, in the person of archbishop, bishop, abbot, baron or peer of the
realm, who kept in their own hands many of the privileges which in the
more favoured City of London were enjoyed by the municipal authorities.

In the early part of the twelfth century, the town of Leicester, for
instance, was divided into four parts, one of which was in the king’s
demesne, whilst the rest were held by three distinct over-lords. In course
of time, the whole of the shares fell into the hands of Count Robert of
Meulan, who left the town in demesne to the Earls of Leicester and his
descendants; and to this day the borough bears on its shield the arms of
the Bellomonts.(4) The town of Birmingham is said, in like manner, to bear
the arms of the barons of that name; the town of Cardiff, those of the De
Clares; and Manchester, those of the Byrons. Instances might be
multiplied. But the arms of the City of London and of free boroughs, like
Winchester, Oxford, and Exeter, are referable to no over-lord, although
the borough of Southwark still bears traces in its heraldic shield of its
former ecclesiastical connection.


The influence of an over-lord for good or evil, over those subject to his
authority, was immense. Take for instance, Sheffield, which was subject,
in the reign of Elizabeth, to the Earl of Shrewsbury. The cutlery trade,
even in those days, was the main-stay of the town, and yet the earl could
make and unmake the rules and ordinances which governed the Cutlers’
Company, and could claim one half of the fines imposed on its members.(5)

When, during the reign of Charles II, nearly every municipal borough in
the kingdom was forced to surrender its charter to the king, the citizens
of Durham surrendered theirs to the Bishop, who, to the intense horror of
a contemporary writer, reserved to himself and his successors in the See
the power of approving and confirming the mayor, aldermen, recorder, and
common council of that city.(6)


The commercial greatness of London can be traced back to the time of the
Roman occupation of Britain. From being little more than a stockaded fort,
situate at a point on the river’s bank which admitted of an easy passage
by ferry across to Southwark, London prospered under the protection
afforded to its traders by the presence of the Roman legions, but it never
in those days became the capital of the province. Although a flourishing
centre of commerce in the middle of the first century of the Christian
era, it was not deemed of sufficient importance by Suetonius, the Roman
general, to run the risk of defending against Boadicea,(7) and although
thought worthy of the title of Augusta—a name bestowed only on towns of
exceptional standing—the Romans did not hesitate to leave both town and
province to their fate as soon as danger threatened them nearer home.


For military no less than for commercial purposes—and the Roman occupation
of Britain was mainly a military one—good roads were essential, and these
the Romans excelled in making. It is remarkable that in the Itinerary of
Antoninus Pius, London figures either as the starting point or as the
terminus to nearly one-half of the routes described in the portion
relating to Britain.(8) The name of one and only one of these Roman
highways survives in the city at the present day, and then only in its
Teutonic and not Roman form—the Watling or "Wathelinga" Street, the street
which led from Kent through the city of London to Chester and York, and
thence by two branches to Carlisle and the neighbourhood of Newcastle. The
Ermin Street, another Roman road with a Teutonic name, led from London to
Lincoln, with branches to Doncaster and York, but its name no longer
survives in the city.


The same reasons that led the Romans to establish good roads throughout
the country led them also to erect a bridge across the river from London
to Southwark, and in later years to enclose the city with a wall. To the
building of the bridge, which probably took place in the early years of
the Roman occupation, London owed much of its youthful prosperity;
whenever any accident happened to the bridge the damage was always
promptly repaired. Not so with the walls of the city. They were allowed to
fall into decay until the prudence and military genius of the great Alfred
caused them to be repaired as a bulwark against the onslaughts of the


"Britain had been occupied by the Romans, but had not become Roman,"(9)
and the scanty and superficial civilization which the Britons had received
from the Roman occupation was obliterated by the calamities which followed
the northern invasions of the fifth and following centuries. A Christian
city, as Augusta had probably been, not a vestige of a Christian church of
the Roman period has come down to us.(10) It quickly lapsed into paganism.
Its very name disappears, and with it the names of its streets, its
traditions and its customs. Its inhabitants forgot the Latin tongue, and
the memories of 400 years were clean wiped out. There remains to us of the
present day nothing to remind us of London under the Roman empire, save a
fragment of a wall, a milestone, a few coins and statuettes, and some
articles of personal ornament or domestic use—little more in fact, than
what may be seen in the Museum attached to the Guildhall Library. The long
subjection to Roman rule had one disastrous effect. It enervated the
people and left them powerless to cope with those enemies who, as soon as
the iron hand of the Roman legions was removed, came forth from their
hiding places to harry the land.


Thus it was that when the Picts and Scots again broke loose from their
northern fastnesses and threatened London as they had done before (A.D.
368), they once more appealed for aid to the Roman emperor, by whose
assistance the marauders had formerly been driven back. But times were
different in 446 to what they had been in 368. The Roman empire was itself
threatened with an invasion of the Goths, and the emperor had his hands
too full to allow him to lend a favourable ear to the "groans of the


Compelled to seek assistance elsewhere, the Britons invited a tribe of
warriors, ever ready to let their services for hire, from the North Sea,
to lend them their aid. The foreigners came in answer to the invitation,
they saw, they conquered; and then they refused to leave an island the
fertility of which they appreciated no less than they despised the
slothfulness of its inhabitants.(12) They turned their weapons against
their employers, and utterly routed them at Crayford, driving them to take
refuge within the walls of London.


"A.D. 457 (456). This year Hengist and Æsc [Eric or Ash] his son fought
against the Britons at a place called Creegan-Ford [Crayford] and there
slew four thousand men, and the Britons then forsook Kent, and in great
terror fled to London."(13) So runs the Anglo-Saxon chronicle, and this is
the sole piece of information concerning London it vouchsafes us for one
hundred and fifty years following the departure of the Romans. The
information, scant as it is, serves to show that London had not quite
become a deserted city, nor had yet been devastated as others had been by
the enemy. Its walls still served to afford shelter to the terrified


When next we read of her, she is in the possession of the East Saxons. How
they came there is a matter for conjecture. It is possible that with the
whole of the surrounding counties in the hands of the enemy, the Londoners
were driven from their city to seek means of subsistence elsewhere, and
that when the East Saxons took possession of it, they found houses and
streets deserted. Little relishing a life within a town, they probably did
not make a long stay, and, on their departure, the former inhabitants
returned and the city slowly recovered its wonted appearance, as the
country around became more settled.


Christianity in the country had revived, and London was now to receive its
first bishop. It is the year 604. "This year," writes the chronicler,
"Augustine hallowed two bishops, Mellitus and Justus; Mellitus he sent to
preach baptism to the East Saxons, whose king was called Seberht, son of
Ricula, the sister of Ethelbert whom Ethelbert had there set as king. And
Ethelbert gave to Mellitus a bishop’s see at London." This passage is
remarkable for two reasons:—(1) as shewing us that London was at this time
situate in Essex, the kingdom of the East Saxons, and (2) that Seberht was
but a _roi fainéant_, enjoying no real independence in spite of his
dignity as ruler of the East Saxons and nominal master of London, his
uncle Ethelbert, king of the Cantii, exercising a hegemony over "all the
nations of the English as far as the Humber." (14)

Hence it is that London is spoken of by some as being the _metropolis_ of
the East Saxons,(15) and by others as being the principal city of the
Cantii;(16) the fact being that, though locally situate in Essex, it was
deemed the political capital of that kingdom which for the time being
happened to be paramount.


After the death of Seberht, the Londoners became dissatisfied with their
bishop and drove him out. Mellitus became in course of time Archbishop of
Canterbury, whilst the Londoners again relapsed into paganism.(17) Not
only was the erection of a cathedral in the city due to Ethelbert, but it
was also at his instigation, if not with his treasure, that Seberht, the
"wealthy sub-king of London," was, as is believed, induced to found the
Abbey of Westminster.(18)


When the Saxon kingdoms became united under Egbert and he became _rex
totius Britanniæ_ (A.D. 827), London began to take a more prominent place
among the cities of the kingdom, notwithstanding its having been three
times destroyed by fire between 674 and 801.(19) It became more often the
seat of the royal residence, and the scene of witena-gemóts; nevertheless
it was not the seat of government, much less the capital. Then and for a
long time to come it had a formidable rival in Winchester, the chief town
of Egbert’s own kingdom of Wessex. To Winchester that king proceeded in
triumph after completing the union of the Saxon kingdoms, and thither he
summoned his vassals to hear himself proclaimed their overlord. From
Winchester, Alfred, too, promulgated his new code of Wessex law—a part of
the famous _Domboc_, a copy of which is said to have been at one time
preserved among the archives of the City of London(20)—and the Easter
gemót, no matter where the other gemóts of the year were held, was nearly
always held at Winchester. When it came to a question of trade regulation,
then London took precedence of Winchester. "Let one measure and one weight
pass, such as is observed at London and at Winchester,"(21) enacted King
Edgar, whose system of legislation was marked with so much success that
"Edgar’s Law" was referred to by posterity as to the old constitution of
the realm.


In the meantime, the country had been invaded by a fresh enemy, and the
same atrocities which the Briton had suffered at the hands of the Saxon,
the Saxon was made to suffer at the hands of the Dane. London suffered
with the rest of the kingdom. In 839 we read of a "great slaughter"
there;(22) in 851 the city was in the hands of the enemy, and continued to
remain at the mercy of the Danes, so much so, in fact, that in 872 we find
the Danish army taking up winter quarters within its walls, as in a city
that was their own.(23)


It was now, when the clouds were darkest, that Alfred, brother of King
Ethelred, appeared on the scene, and after more than one signal success by
land and sea, concluded the treaty of Wedmore (A.D. 878)(24) by which a
vast tract of land bounded by an imaginary line drawn from the Thames
along the river Lea to Bedford, and thence along the Roman Watling Street
to the Welsh border, was ceded to the enemy under the name of _Danelagh_.
The treaty, although it curtailed the Kingdom of Wessex, and left London
itself at the mercy of the Danes, was followed by a period of comparative
tranquillity, which allowed Alfred time to make preparations for a fresh
struggle that was to wrest from the enemy the land they had won.


The Danes, like the Angles and the Jutes before them, set little store by
fortifications and walled towns, preferring always to defend themselves by
combat in open field, and the Roman wall of the City was allowed to fall
still further into decay. In the eyes of Alfred on the other hand, London,
with its surrounding wall, was a place of the first importance, and one to
be acquired and kept at all hazards. At length he achieved the object of
his ambition and succeeded in driving out the Danes, (A.D. 883 or


Whilst the enemy directed their attention to further conquests in France
and Belgium, Alfred bent his energies towards repairing the City walls and
building a citadel for his defence—"the germ of that tower which was to be
first the dwelling place of Kings, and then the scene of the martyrdom of
their victims."(26) To his foresight in this respect was it due that the
city of London was never again taken by open assault, but successfully
repelled all attacks whilst the surrounding country was often devastated.

Nor did Alfred confine his attention solely to strengthening the city
against attacks of enemies without or to making it more habitable. He also
laid the foundation of an internal Government analagous to that
established in the Shires. Under the year A.D. 886, the Anglo-Saxon
Chronicle(27) records that "King Ælfred restored London; and all the Anglo
race turned to him that were not in bondage of the Danish men; and he then
committed the burgh to "the keeping of the aldorman Æthelred." In course
of time the analogy between shire and city organization became more close.
Where the former had its Shiremote, the latter had its Folkmote, meeting
in St. Paul’s Churchyard by summons of the great bell. The County Court
found its co-relative in the Husting Court of the City; the Hundred Court
in the City Wardmote.(28)


For the next ten years Alfred busied himself founding a navy and
establishing order in different parts of the country, but in 896 he was
compelled to hasten to London from the west of England to assist in the
repulse of another attack of the Danes. Two years before (894) the Danes
had threatened London, having established a fortification at Beamfleate or
South Benfleet, in Essex, whence they harried the surrounding country. The
Londoners on that occasion joined that part of the army which Alfred had
left behind in an attack upon the fort, which they not only succeeded in
taking, but they "took all that there was within, as well money as women
and children, and brought all to London; and all the ships they either
broke in pieces or burned, or brought to London or to Rochester."(29) Nor
was this all: Hasting’s wife and his two sons had been made prisoners, but
were chivalrously restored by Alfred.


The Danes, however, were not to be daunted by defeat nor moved from their
purpose by the generous conduct of Alfred. In 896 they again appeared.
This time they erected a work on the sea, twenty miles above London.
Alfred made a reconnaissance and closed up the river so that they found it
impossible to bring out their ships.(30) They therefore abandoned their
vessels and escaped across country, and "the men of London" writes the
chronicler, "brought away the ships, and all those which they could not
bring off they broke up, and those that were _stalworth_ they brought into


The principle of each man becoming responsible to the Government for the
good behaviour of the neighbour, involved in the system of frankpledge
which Alfred established throughout the whole of his kingdom, subject to
his rule, was carried a step further by the citizens of London at a later
date. Under Athelstan (A.D. 925-940) we find them banding together and
forming an association for mutual defence of life and property, and thus
assisting the executive in the maintenance of law and order. A complete
code of ordinances, regulating this "frith" or peace gild, as it was
called, drawn up by the bishops and reeves of the burgh, and confirmed by
the members on oath, is still preserved to us.(32)


The enactments are chiefly directed against thieves, the measures to be
taken to bring them to justice, and the penalties to be imposed on them,
the formation of a common fund for the pursuit of thieves, and for making
good to members any loss they may have sustained. So far, the gild
undertook duties of a public character, such as are found incorporated
among other laws of the kingdom, but it had, incidentally, also its social
and religious side. When the ruling members met in their gild-hall,(33)
which they did once a month, "if they could and had leisure," they enjoyed
a refection with ale-drinking or "byt-filling."


Some writers see in the "frith-gild" of Athelstan’s day, nothing more than
a mere "friendly society," meeting together once a month, to drink their
beer and consult about matters of mutual insurance and other topics of
more or less social and religious character.(34) But there is evidence to
show that the tie which united members of a "frith-gild" was stronger and
more solemn than any which binds the members of a friendly society or
voluntary association. The punishment of one who was guilty of breaking
his "frith" was practically banishment or death. Such a one, in
Athelstan’s time, was ordered to abjure the country, which probably meant
no more than that he was to leave his burgh or perhaps the shire in which
he dwelt, but if ever he returned, he might be treated as a thief taken
"hand-habbende" or one taken with stolen goods upon him, in other words,
"with the mainour."(35) A thief so taken might lawfully be killed by the
first man who met him, and the slayer was, according to the code of the
"frith-gild," "to be twelve pence the better for the deed."(36) Under
these circumstances, it is more reasonable to suppose, that the
"frith-gild" was not so much a voluntary association as one imposed upon
members of the community by some public authority.(37)


The commercial supremacy of London, not only over Winchester but over
every other town in the kingdom, now becomes more distinct, for when
Athelstan appointed moneyers or minters throughout the country, he
assigned eight (the largest number of all) to London, whilst for
Winchester he appointed only six, other towns being provided with but one
or at most two.(38) The king, moreover, showed his predilection for London
by erecting a mansion house for himself within the city’s walls.

The encouragement which Athelstan gave to commercial enterprise by
enacting, that any merchant who undertook successfully three voyages
across the high seas at his own cost (if not in his own vessel) should
rank as a thane,(39) must have affected the London burgess more than those
of any other town.


Under Ethelred II, surnamed the "Unready" or "redeless" from his
indifference to the "rede" or council of his advisers, the city would
again have fallen into the hands of the Danes, but for the personal
courage displayed by its inhabitants and the protection which, by Alfred’s
foresight, the walls were able to afford them. In 994, Olaf and Sweyn
sailed up the Thames with a large fleet and threatened to burn London.
Obstinate fighting took place, but the enemy, we are told, "sustained more
harm and evil than they ever deemed that any townsman could do to them,
for the Holy Mother of God, on that day, manifested her mercy to the
townsmen and delivered them from their foes."(40)


Matters might not have been so bad had not the king already committed the
fatal error of attempting to secure peace by buying off the enemy. In 991,
he had, with the consent of his witan, raised the sum of £10,000 with
which he had bribed the Danish host. This was the origin of the tax known
as Danegelt, which in after years became one of the chief financial
resources of the Crown and continued almost uninterruptedly down to the
reign of Henry II. The effect of the bribe was naturally enough to induce
the enemy to make further depredations whenever in want of money; and
accordingly, a Danish fleet threatened London the very next year (992) and
again in 994. On this last occasion, the same wretched expedient was
resorted to, and the Danes were again bought off.


Nor was cowardice the only charge of which Ethelred was guilty. To this
must be added treachery and murder. In the year 1002, when he married the
daughter of the Duke of Normandy, hoping thereby to win the Duke’s
friendship and to close the harbours on the French coast against Sweyn,
Ethelred issued secret orders for a massacre of all Danes found in
England. In this massacre, which took place on the Festival of St. Brice
(13th Nov.), perished Gunhild, sister of Sweyn. Under these circumstances,
it can scarcely be wondered at, that thenceforth the Danish invasions
became more frequent, more systematic, and more extensive than ever.

For four years they continued their depredations "cruelly marking every
shire in Wessex with burning and with harrying." Then they were again
bought off with a sum of £36,000, and two years’ respite (1007-8) was
gained.(41) It was a respite and no more. As soon as they had spent their
money, they came again, and in 1009 made several assaults on London—"They
often fought against the town of London, but to God be praise that it yet
stands sound, and they have ever fared ill."(42) Every year they struck
deeper into the heart of the country, and carried their plundering
expeditions from Wessex into Mercia and East Anglia.


In 1011 Canterbury was taken and sacked, Alphage, the Archbishop, being
made prisoner, and carried away by the Danish fleet to Greenwich. Finding
it impossible to extort a ransom, they brutally murdered him (19th May,
1012), in one of their drunken moods, pelting him in their open court or
"husting" with bones and skulls of oxen.(43) The worthy prelate’s corpse
was allowed to be removed to London where it was reverently interred in
St. Paul’s. A few years later, Cnut caused it to be transferred with due
solemnity to the Archbishop’s own metropolitan church of Canterbury.


In the following year, Sweyn was so successful in reducing the
Northumbrians and the inhabitants of the five boroughs,(44) as well as the
towns of Winchester and Oxford, taking hostages from each as he went, that
he thought he might venture once more to attack London itself; hoping for
better success than had attended him on previous occasions. He was the
more anxious to capture London, because Ethelred himself was there, but he
again met with such determined resistance, and so many of his followers
were drowned in the Thames that for the fourth time he had to beat a


Leaving London for a while, Sweyn proceeded to conquer that part of
England which still held out against him, and having accomplished his
purpose, was again preparing to attack the one city which had baffled all
his attempts to capture, when the Londoners themselves, finding further
opposition hopeless, offered their submission and left Ethelred to take
care of himself.(46) This he did by betaking himself to Normandy, where he
remained until Sweyn’s death in the following year (3rd Feb., 1014).


Upon this event taking place, the crews of the Danish fleet assumed the
right of disposing of the English crown, and elected Sweyn’s son, Cnut, to
be king. The English, however, compelled as they had been by superior
strength to submit to the father, were in no mood to accept without a
struggle the sovereignty of his son. The whole of the Witan at once
declared in favour of sending for Ethelred, with the assurance "that no
lord was dearer than their natural lord," if only he would promise to
govern them more justly than before.(47) Ethelred sent word by Edmund his
son that "he would be to them a kind lord, and amend all the things which
they eschewed, and all the things should be forgiven which had been done
or said to him, on condition that they all, unanimously and without
treachery, would turn to him." Pledges were given and taken on either
side, and thenceforth a Danish king was to be looked upon as an


When Ethelred arrived in England, he was accompanied according to an
Icelandic Saga,(49) by King Olaf, of Norway, who assisted him in expelling
the Danes from Southwark, and gaining an entrance into the city. The
manner in which this was carried out, is thus described. A small knot of
Danes occupied a stronghold in the City, whilst others were in possession
of Southwark. Between the two lay London Bridge—a wooden bridge, "so broad
that two waggons could pass each other upon it"—fortified by barricades,
towers, and parapets, and manned by Danes. Ethelred was naturally very
anxious to get possession of the bridge, and a meeting of chiefs was
summoned to consult how it could be done. Olaf promised to lay his fleet
alongside the bridge if the English would do the same. This was agreed
upon. Having covered in the decks of the vessels with a wooden roof to
protect the crew and fighting men, Olaf succeeded in rowing light up to
the bridge and laying cables round its piers. This done, he caused his
ships to head down stream and the crews to row their hardest. The result
was that the piles were loosened and the bridge, heavily weighted by the
Danes who were fighting upon it, gave way. Many were thrown into the
river, whilst others made good their retreat to Southwark, which was soon
afterwards stormed and taken. This incident in connection with Ethelred’s
return formed the subject of more than one Scandinavian poem, of which the
following may serve as a specimen:—

  "London Bridge is broken down—
  Gold is won and bright renown.
    Shields resounding,
    War-horns sounding,
  Hildur shouting in the din!
    Arrows singing,
    Mail-coats ringing—
  Odin makes our Olaf win!"


For a short while after his return Ethelred displayed a spirit of
patriotism and courage beyond any he had hitherto shown. He succeeded in
surprising and defeating the Danes in that district of Lincolnshire known
as Lindsey, and drove Cnut to take refuge in his ships, and eventually to
sail away to Denmark.(50)


It was not long before he again appeared; he was then, however, to meet in
the field Ethelred’s son, Edmund, whose valour had gained for him the name
of Ironside. This spirited youth, forming a striking contrast to the weak
and pusillanimous character of his father, had collected a force to
withstand the enemy, but the men refused to fight unless Ethelred came
with them, and unless they had "the support of the citizens of
London."(51) A message was therefore sent to him at London to take the
field with such a force as he could gather. Father and son thereupon
joined forces; but the king was in ill-health, and it wanted but a whisper
of treachery to send him back to the security of London’s walls. Thither,
too, marched Cnut, but before he arrived Ethelred had died (23rd April,
1016).(52) The late king was buried in St. Paul’s.(53)


The city of London had by this time attained a position higher than it had
ever reached before. "We cannot as yet call it the capital of the kingdom,
but its geographical position made one of the chief bulwarks of the land,
and in no part of the realm do we find the inhabitants outdoing the
patriotism and courage of its valiant citizens."(54) Under Edgar the
foreign trade with the city had increased to such an extent that Ethelred,
his son, deemed it time to draw up a code of laws to regulate the customs
to be paid by the merchants of France and Flanders as well as by the
"emperor’s men," the fore-runners of those "easterling" merchants, who,
from their headquarters in the Steel-yard at Dowgate, subsequently became
known as merchants of the Steel-yard.(55)

Among the multitude of foreigners that in after-years thronged the streets
of the city bartering pepper and spices from the far east, gloves and
cloth, vinegar and wine, in exchange for the rural products of the
country, might be seen the now much hated but afterwards much favoured
Dane.(56) The Dane was again master of all England, except London, and
Ethelred’s kingdom, before the close of his reign, was confined within the
narrow limits of the city’s walls; "that true-hearted city was once more
the bulwark of England, the centre of every patriotic hope, the special
object of every hostile attack."(57)


At Ethelred’s death the Witan who were in London united with the
inhabitants of the city in choosing Edmund as his successor. This is the
first recorded instance of the Londoners having taken a direct part in the
election of a king. Cnut disputed Edmund’s right to the crown, and
proceeded to attack the city. He sailed up the Thames with his fleet, but
being unable to pass the bridge, he dug a canal on the south side of the
river, whereby he was enabled to carry his ships above bridge, and so
invest the city along the whole length of the riverside. To complete the
investment, and so prevent any of the inhabitants escaping either by land
or water, he ditched the city round, so that none could pass in or


This, as well as two other attempts made by Cnut within a few weeks of
each other to capture London by siege, were frustrated by the determined
opposition of the citizens.(59) "Almighty God saved it," as the chronicler
piously remarks.(60)


Nor was Cnut more successful in the field, being worsted in no less than
five pitched battles against Edmund, until by the treachery of Edmund’s
brother-in-law, Eadric, alderman of Mercia, he succeeded at last in
vanquishing the English army on the memorable field of Assandun.(61)


After this Edmund reluctantly consented to a conference and a division of
the kingdom. The meeting took place at Olney, and there it was agreed that
Edmund should retain his crown, and rule over all England south of the
Thames, together with East Anglia, Essex and London, whilst Cnut should
enjoy the rest of the kingdom. "The citizens, beneath whose walls the
power of Cnut and his father had been so often shattered, now made peace
with the Danish host. As usual, money was paid to them, and they were
allowed to winter as friends within the unconquered city."(62)


The partition of the kingdom between Edmund and Cnut had scarcely been
agreed upon before the former unexpectedly died (30th Nov., 1016) and Cnut
became master of London and king of all England. His rule was mild,
beneficent and just, recognising no distinction between Dane and
Englishman, and throughout his long reign of nearly twenty years the
citizens of London enjoyed that perfect peace so necessary for the
successful exercise of their commercial pursuits.


At the election of Cnut’s successor which took place at Oxford in 1035,
the Londoners again played an important part. This time, however, it was
not the "burhwaru or burgesses" of the City who attended the gemót which
had been summoned for the purpose of election, but "lithsmen" of London.


As to who these "lithsmen" were, and how they came to represent the City
(if indeed they represented the City at all) on this important occasion
much controversy has arisen. To some they appear as nothing more than the
"nautic multitude" or "sea-faring men" of London.(63) On the other hand,
there are those who hold that they were merchants who had achieved thane
right under the provisions of Athelstan’s day already mentioned;(64)
whilst there are still others who are inclined to look upon them as so
many commercial travellers who had made their way to Oxford by river in
the ordinary course of business, and who happened by good fortune to have
been in that city at the time of a great political crisis.(65) The truth
probably lies somewhere between these extremes. The "lithsmen" may not
themselves have been thanes, although they are recorded as having been at
Oxford with almost all the thanes north of the Thames;(66) but that they
were something more than mere watermen, such as we shall see joining with
the apprentices of London at important political crises, and that they
were acting more or less as representatives of the Londoners who had
already acquired a predominant voice in such matters, seems beyond doubt.


During the next thirty years London took no prominent part in the affairs
of the country, content if only allowed to have leisure to mind its own
business. The desire for peace is the key-note to the action of the
citizens of London at every important crisis. Without peace, commerce
became paralyzed. Peace could be best secured by a strong government, and
such a government, whether in the person of a king or protector could
count upon their support. "For it they were ready to devote their money
and their lives, for commerce, the child of opportunity, brought wealth;
wealth power; and power led independence in its train." The quarrels of
the half-brothers, Harold and Harthacnut, the attempt by one or both of
the sons of Ethelred and Emma to recover their father’s kingdom, and the
question of the innocence or guilt of Earl Godwine in connection with the
murder of one of them, affected the citizens of London only so far as such
disturbances were likely to impede the traffic of the Thames or to make it
dangerous for them to convey their merchandise along the highways of the


The payment of Danegelt at the accession of Harthacnut (A.D. 1040),(67)
probably touched the feelings, as it certainly did the pockets, of the
Londoners, more than any other event which happened during this period.


Upon the sudden death of Harthacnut (A.D. 1042), who died in a fit "as he
stood at his drink,"(68) the choice of the whole nation fell on Edward,
his half-brother—"before the king buried were, all folk chose Edward to
king at London."(69) The share that the Londoners took in this particular
election is not so clear as in other cases. Nevertheless, the importance
of the citizens was daily growing, and by the time of the accession of
Edward the Confessor, the City was recognised as the capital of the
kingdom, the chief seat for the administration of the law, and the place
where the king usually resided.(70)


In early Saxon times the witan had met in any town where the king happened
at the time to be; and although theoretically every freeman had a right to
attend its meetings, practically the citizens of the town wherein the
gemót happened at the time to be held, enjoyed an advantage over freemen
coming from a distance. Alfred ordained that the witan should meet in
London for purposes of legislation twice a year.(71) Athelstan, Edmund and
Edgar had held gemóts in London, the last mentioned king holding a great
gemót (_mycel gemót_) in St. Paul’s Church in 973.


During the reign of Edward the Confessor, at least six meetings of the
witan took place in London; the more important of these being held in 1051
and the following year. By the gemót of 1051, which partook of the nature
of a court-martial, Earl Godwine was condemned to banishment; but before a
twelve-month had elapsed, he was welcomed back at a great assembly or
_mycel gemót_ held in the open air without the walls of London.(72) The
nation had become disatisfied owing to the king’s increasing favour to
Norman strangers, but the earl desired to learn how stood the City of
London towards him, and for this purpose made a stay at Southwark. He was
soon satisfied on this point. "The townsfolk of the great city were not a
whit behind their brethren of Kent and Sussex in their zeal for the
national cause. The spirit which had beaten back Swend and Cnut, the
spirit which was in after times to make London ever the stronghold of
English freedom, the spirit which made its citizens foremost in the
patriot armies alike of the thirteenth and of the seventeenth centuries,
was now as warm in the hearts of those gallant burghers as in any earlier
or later age. With a voice all but unanimous, the citizens declared in
favour of the deliverer; a few votes only, the votes, it may be, of
strangers or of courtiers, were given against the emphatic resolution,
that what the earl would the city would."(73) Having secured the favour of
London his cause was secure. That the citizens heartily welcomed the earl,
going forth in a body to meet him on his arrival, we learn also from
another source;(74) although, one at least of the ancient chroniclers
strongly hints that the favour of the citizens had been obtained by bribes
and promises.(75) The earl’s return was marked by decrees of outlawry
against the king’s foreign favourites, whose malign influence he had
endeavoured formerly to counteract, and who had proved themselves strong
enough to procure the banishment of himself and family.


The last gemót held under Edward was one specially summoned to meet at
Westminster at the close of the year 1065, for the purpose of witnessing
the dedication of the new abbey church which the king loved so well and to
which his remains were so shortly afterwards to be carried.


He died at the opening of the year, and the same witan who had attended
his obsequies elected Harold, the late Earl Godwine’s son, as his
successor. This election, however, was doomed to be overthrown by the
powerful sword of William the Norman.



As soon as the news of Harold’s coronation reached William of Normandy, he
claimed the crown which Edward the Confessor had promised him. According
to every principle of succession recognised in England, at the time, he
had no right to the crown whatever. When the Norman invader landed at
Pevensey, Harold was at York, having recently succeeded in defeating his
brother Tostig, the deposed Earl of Northumbria, who, with the assistance
of Harold Hardrada, had attacked the northern earls, Edwine and Morkere.
On hearing of the Duke’s landing, Harold hastened to London. A general
muster of forces was there ordered, and Edwine and Morkere, who were bound
to Harold by family tie—the King having married their sister—were bidden
to march southward with the whole force of their earldoms. But neither
gratitude for their late deliverance at the hands of their brother-in-law,
nor family affection, could hurry the steps of these earls, and they
arrived too late. The battle of Senlac, better known as the battle of
Hastings, had been won and lost (14th Oct., 1066), the Norman was
conqueror, and Harold had perished. For a second time within twelve months
the English throne was vacant.(76)

The times were too critical to hold a formal gemót for the election of a
successor to the throne; but the citizens of London and the sailors or
"butsecarls" (whom it is difficult not to associate with the "lithsmen" of
former days) showed a marked predilection in favour of Edgar the Atheling,
grandson of Edmund Ironside, and the sole survivor of the old royal line.
The Archbishop, too, as well as the northern earls, were in his favour,
but the latter soon withdrew to their respective earldoms and left London
and the Atheling to their fate.(77) Thus, "the patriotic zeal of the men
of London was thwarted by the base secession of the northern traitors."


After waiting awhile at Hastings for the country to make voluntary
submission, and finding that homagers did not come in, William proceeded
to make a further display of force. In this he betrayed no haste, but made
his way through Kent in leisurely fashion, receiving on his way the
submission of Winchester and Canterbury, using no more force than was
absolutely necessary, and endeavouring to allay all fears, until at length
he reached the suburbs of London.(78)

He had been astute enough to give out that he came not to claim a crown,
but only a right to be put in nomination for it. To the mind of the
Londoner, such quibbling failed to commend itself, and the citizens lost
no time in putting their city into a posture of defence, determined not to
surrender it without a blow.


Upon William’s arrival in Southwark, the citizens sallied forth. They
were, however, beaten back after a sharp skirmish, and compelled to seek
shelter again within their city’s walls. William hesitated to make a
direct attack upon the city, but hoped by setting fire to Southwark to
strike terror into the inhabitants and bring them to a voluntary
surrender. He failed in his object; the city still held out, and William
next resorted to diplomacy.


The ruling spirit within the city at that time was Ansgar or Esegar the
"Staller" under whom, as Sheriff of Middlesex, the citizens had marched
out to fight around the royal standard at Hastings. He had been carried
wounded from the field, and was now borne hither and thither on a litter,
encouraging the citizens to make a stout defence of their city. To him, it
is said, William sent a private message from Berkhampstead, asking only
that the Conqueror’s right to the crown of England might be acknowledged
and nothing more, the real power of the kingdom might remain with Ansgar
if he so willed. Determined not to be outwitted by the Norman, Ansgar (so
the story goes) summoned a meeting of the eldermen (_natu majores_) of the
City—the forerunners of the later aldermen—and proposed a feigned
submission which might stave off immediate danger. The proposal was
accepted and a messenger despatched. William pretended to accept the terms
offered, and at the same time so worked upon the messenger with fair
promises and gifts that on his return he converted his fellow citizens and
induced them by representations of the Conqueror’s friendly intentions and
of the hopelessness of resistance, to make their submission to him, and to
throw over the young Atheling.


Whatever poetic tinge there may be about the story as told by Guy of
Amiens, it is certain that the citizens came to the same resolution, in
effect, as that described by the poet, nor could they well have done
otherwise. The whole of the country for miles around London, had already
tendered submission or been forced into it. The city had become completely
isolated, and sooner or later its inhabitants must have been starved out.
There was, moreover, a strong foreign element within its walls.(79) Norman
followers of Edward the Confessor were ever at hand to counsel submission.
London submitted, the citizens accepting the rule of the Norman Conqueror
as they had formerly accepted that of Cnut the Dane, "from necessity." An
embassy was despatched to Berkhampstead, comprising the Archbishop of
York, the young Atheling, the earls Edwine and Morkere, and "all the best
men of London," to render homage and give hostages,(80) and thus it was,
that within three months of his landing, William was acknowledged as the
lawfully elected King of England, and, as such, he crowned himself at
Westminster, promising to govern the nation as well as any king before him
if they would be faithful to him.


The conciliatory spirit of William towards the Londoners is seen in the
favourable terms he was ready to concede them. Soon after his coronation—
the precise date cannot be determined—he granted them a charter,(81) by
which he clearly declared his purpose not to reduce the citizens to a
state of dependent vassalage, but to establish them in all the rights and
privileges they had hitherto enjoyed.

The charter, rendered into modern English, runs as follows:—

"William, King, greets William, Bishop, and Gosfregdh, Portreeve, and all
the burgesses within London, French and English, friendly. And I give you
to know that I will that ye be all those laws worthy that ye were in King
Eadward’s day.(82) And I will that every child be his father’s heir after
his father’s day and I will not suffer that any man offer you any wrong.
God keep you."

The terms of the charter are worthy of study. They are primarily
remarkable as indicating that the City of London was, at the time, subject
to a government which combined the secular authority of the port-reeve
with the ecclesiastical authority of the bishop. It was said, indeed, to
have been greatly due to the latter’s intercession that the charter was
granted at all, and, in this belief, the mayor and aldermen were long
accustomed to pay a solemn visit to the bishop’s tomb in St. Paul’s
church, there to hear a _De profundis_ on the day when the new mayor took
his oath of office before the Barons of the Exchequer.(83)


As regards the port-reeve—the _port-gerefa_, _i.e._, reeve of the port or
town of London(84)—the nature and extent of his duties and authority, much
uncertainty exists. Whilst, in many respects, his position in a borough
was analogous no doubt to the shire-reeve or sheriff of a county, there
were, on the other hand, duties belonging to and exercised by the one
which were not exercised by the other. Thus, for instance, the port-reeve,
unlike the sheriff, exercised no judicial functions in a criminal court,
nor presided over court-leets in the city as the sheriff did in his county
by _turn_, the latter being held independently by the alderman of each

(M57) (M58) (M59)

In the next place the charter brings prominently to our notice the fact
that there was already existing within the City’s walls a strong Norman
element, existing side by side with the older English burgesses, which the
Conqueror did well not to ignore. The descendants of the foreign merchants
from France and Normandy, for whose protection Ethelred had legislated
more than half a century before, had continued to carry on their
commercial intercourse with the Londoners, and were looking forward to a
freer interchange of merchandise now that the two countries were under one
sovereign. Their expectation was justified. No sooner had London submitted
to the Norman Conqueror than, we are told, "many of the citizens of Rouen
and Caen passed over thither, preferring to be dwellers in that city,
inasmuch as it was fitter for their trading, and better stored with the
merchandise in which they were wont to traffic."(86) But by far the most
important clause in the charter is that which places the citizens of
London in the same position respecting the law of the land as they enjoyed
in the days of their late king, Edward the Confessor. Here there is
distinct evidence that the Conqueror had come "neither to destroy, nor to
found, but to continue."(87) The charter granted nothing new; it only
ratified and set the royal seal(88) to the rights and privileges of the
citizens already in existence.


It is recorded that William granted another charter to the citizens of
London, vesting in them the City and Sheriffwick of London, and this
charter the citizens proffered as evidence of their rights over the
cloister and church of St. Martin le Grand, when those rights were
challenged in the reign of Henry VI.(89) This charter has since been lost.


The compact thus made between London and the Conqueror was faithfully kept
by both parties. Having ascended the English throne by the aid of the
citizens of London, William, unlike many of his successors, was careful
not to infringe the terms of their charter, whilst the citizens on the
other hand continued loyal to their accepted king, and lent him assistance
to put down insurgents in other parts of the kingdom. The fortress which
William erected within their city’s walls did not disturb their
equanimity. It was sufficient for them that, under the Conqueror’s rule,
the country was once more peaceful, so peaceful that, according to the
chronicler, a young maiden could travel the length of England without
being injured or robbed.(90)


The close of the reign of William the First witnessed the completion of
"Doomsday," or survey of the kingdom, which he had ordered to be made for
fiscal purposes. For some reason not explained, neither London nor
Winchester—the two capitals, so to speak, of the kingdom—were included in
this survey. It may be that the importance of these boroughs, their wealth
and population, necessitated some special method of procedure; but this
does not account for the omission of Northumberland, Cumberland,
Westmorland, and Durham, from the survey. We know that Winchester was
afterwards surveyed, but no steps in the same direction were ever taken
with respect to London. The survey was not effected without disturbances,
owing to the inquisitorial power vested in the commissioners appointed to
carry it out.


William died whilst on a visit to his duchy of Normandy, and "he who was
before a powerful king, and lord of many a land, had then of all his land,
only a portion of seven feet."(91) the same which, to this day, holds his
mortal remains in the Abbey at Caen. He was succeeded by William his son.
The death of the father and accession of his son was marked by fire,
pestilence, and famine.(92)


A fire destroyed St. Paul’s and the greater part of the City. Maurice,
Bishop of London, at once set to work to rebuild the Cathedral on a larger
and more magnificent scale, erecting the edifice upon arches in a manner
little known in England at that time, but long practised in France. The
Norman Conquest was already working for good. Not only the style of
architecture, but the very stone used in re-building St. Paul’s came from
France, the famous quarries of Caen being utilised for the purpose.(93)

There was already in the city, one church built after the same manner, and
on that account called St. Mary of Arches or "le Bow."  The object of
setting churches and other buildings upon vaults was to guard against
fire. Whatever defence against fire this method of building may have
afforded, it was certainly no defence against wind. In 1091, the roof of
St. Mary-le-Bow was clean blown off, huge baulks of timber, 26 feet long,
being driven into the ground with such force that scarce 4 feet of them
could be seen.(94)


The reign of the new king was one of oppression. Nevertheless, he
continued to secure that protection for life and property which his father
had so successfully achieved, so that a man "who had confidence in
himself" and was "aught," could travel the length and breadth of the land
unhurt, "with his bosom full of gold."(95) He also had an eye for the
protection of the city, and the advancement of its commerce, surrounding
the Tower of London by a wall, and repairing the bridge which had been
nearly washed away by a flood.(96)


On the 2nd August, 1100, the Red King met his death suddenly in the New
Forest, and the next day was buried at Winchester. According to a previous
agreement, the crown should have immediately devolved upon his brother
Robert. Crowns, however, were not to be thus disposed of; they fell only
to those ready and strong enough to seize them. Robert was far away on a
crusade. His younger brother Henry was on the spot, and upon him fell the
choice of such of the witan as happened to be in or near Winchester at the
time of the late king’s death.(97)


The two days that elapsed before his coronation at Westminster (5th
August), the king-elect spent in London, where by his easy and eloquent
manner, as well as by fair promises, he succeeded in winning the
inhabitants over to his cause, to the rejection of the claims of Robert.
The election, or perhaps we should rather say, the selection of Henry by
the witan at Winchester, was thus approved and confirmed by the whole
realm (_regni universitas_), in the city of London.

The choice was made however on one condition, viz.:—that Henry should
restore to his subjects their ancient liberties and customs enjoyed in the
days of Edward the Confessor.(98) The charter thus obtained served as an
exemplar for the great charter of liberties which was to be subsequently
wrung from King John.


Another charter was granted by the new king—a charter to the citizens of
London—granted, as some have thought, soon after his accession, and by way
of recognition of the services they had rendered him towards obtaining the
crown. This however appears to be a mistake. There is reason for supposing
that this charter was not granted until at least thirty years after he was
seated on the throne.(99)


The chief features of the grant(100) were that the citizens were
thenceforth to be allowed to hold Middlesex to farm at a rent of £300 a
year, and to appoint from among themselves whom they would to be sheriff
over it; they were further to be allowed to appoint their own justiciar to
hold pleas of the crown, and no other justiciar should exercise authority
over them; they were not to be forced to plead without the city’s walls;
they were to be exempt from scot and lot and of all payments in respect of
Danegelt and murder; they were to be allowed to purge themselves after the
English fashion of making oath and not after the Norman fashion by wager
of battle; their goods were to be free of all manner of customs, toll,
passage and lestage; their husting court might sit once a week; and
lastly, they might resort to "withernam" or reprisal in cases where their
goods had been unlawfully seized.


Touching the true import of this grant of Middlesex to the citizens at a
yearly rent, with the right of appointing their own sheriff over it, no
less than the identity of the justiciar whom they were to be allowed to
choose for themselves for the purpose of hearing pleas of the crown within
the city, much divergence of opinion exists. Some believe that the
government of the city was hereby separated from that of the shire wherein
it was situate, and that the right of appointing their own justiciar which
the citizens obtained by this charter was the right of electing a sheriff
for the city of London in the place of the non-elective ancient
port-reeve. Others deny that the charter introduced the shire organization
into the government of the city, and believe the justiciar and sheriff to
have been distinct officials.(101) The latter appear to hold the more
plausible view. Putting aside the so-called charter of William the First,
granting to the citizens in express terms _civitatem et vice-comitatum
Londoniæ_, as wanting in corroboration, a solution of the difficulty may
be found if we consider (1) that the city received a shire organization
and became in itself to all intents and purposes a county as soon as it
came to be governed by a port-reeve, if not as soon as an alderman had
been set over it by Alfred; (2) that the duties of the shrievalty in
respect of the county of the city of London were at this time performed
either by a port-reeve or by one or more officers, known subsequently as
sheriffs, and (3) that for the right of executing these duties no rent or
ferm was ever demanded or paid.(102)

If this be a correct view of the matter, it would appear that the effect
of Henry’s grant of Middlesex to the citizens to farm, and of the
appointment of a sheriff over it of their own choice, was not so much to
render the city independent of the shire, as to make the shire subject to
the city. It must be borne in mind that no sheriff (or sheriffs) has ever
been elected by the citizens for Middlesex alone, the duties appertaining
to the sheriff-wick of Middlesex having always been performed by the
sheriffs of the city for the time being.(103) Hence it is that the
shrievalty of London and Middlesex is often spoken of as the shrievalty of
"London" alone, and the shrievalty of "Middlesex" alone (the same officers
executing the duties of both shrievalties) and the _firma_ of £300 paid
for the shrievalty of Middlesex alone is sometimes described as the
_firma_ of "London," sometimes of "Middlesex," and sometimes of "London
and Middlesex."(104)


The right of electing their own justiciar granted to the citizens by Henry
resolves itself into little more than a confirmation of the right to elect
their own sheriffs.(105) Just as sheriffs are known to have held pleas of
the crown in the counties up to the time of the Great Charter (although
their duties were modified by Henry I, and again by Henry II, when he
appointed Justices in eyre) so in the city of London, no one, except the
sheriffs of London could hold pleas of the crown, and an attempt made by
the Barons in 1258 to introduce a justiciar into the Guildhall was
persistently challenged by the citizens.(106)

Even those who stedfastly maintain that in the country the sheriff and
justiciar grew up to be two distinct officers, the one representing local
interest and the other imperial, are willing to allow that in the city of
London such distinction was evanescent. The office of justiciar in the
city was twice granted _eo nomine_ to Geoffrey de Mandeville, Earl of
Essex, and it is twice mentioned as having been held by one named Gervase,
who (there is reason to believe) is identical with Gervase de Cornhill, a
Sheriff of London in 1155 and 1156; but the office became extinct at the
accession of Henry II.(107)


The events which followed Henry’s decease afford us another instance of
the futility of all attempts at this early period to settle the succession
to the crown before the throne was actually vacant. The King’s nephew,
Stephen of Blois, and the nobility of England had sworn to accept the
King’s daughter Matilda, wife of Geoffery of Anjou, as their sovereign on
the death of her father; yet when that event took place in 1135, Stephen,
in spite of his oath, claimed the crown as nearest male heir of the
Conqueror’s blood.(108)

There was no doubt of his popularity, whilst Matilda on the other hand
injured her cause by marrying an Angevin. On the continent a bitter feud
existed between Norman and Angevin; in England the Norman had steadily
increased in favour, and England’s crown was Stephen’s if he had courage
enough to seize it.

Landing on the Kentish coast, his first reception was far from
encouraging. Canterbury and Dover, held by the Earl of Gloucester, refused
to acknowledge him and closed their gates on his approach. Undismayed by
these rebuffs, Stephen pushed on to London, where he was welcomed by every
token of good will. The Londoners had been no party to the agreement to
recognise Matilda as Henry’s successor; they had become accustomed to
exercising a right of sharing in the choice of a king who should reign
over them, and they now chose Stephen. "It was their right, their special
privilege," said they, "on the occasion of the king’s decease, to provide
another in his place."(109) There was no time to be lost, the country was
in danger, Stephen was at hand, sent to them, as they believed, by the
goodness of Providence. They could not do better than elect him: and
elected he was by the assembled aldermen or eldermen (_majores natu_) of
the City.

Such is the story of Stephen’s election as given by the author of the
"Gesta Stephani," one who wrote as an eye-witness of what took place, but
whose statements cannot always be taken as those of an independent
chronicler of events. Informal as this election may have been, it marks an
important epoch in the annals of London. Thenceforth the city assumes a
pre-eminent position and exercises a predominant influence in the public
affairs of the kingdom.(110)


From London Stephen went down to Winchester, where he was heartily
welcomed by his brother Henry, recently appointed papal legate. Next to
London, it was important that Stephen should secure Winchester, and now
that London had spoken, the citizens of Winchester no longer hesitated to
throw in their lot with the king. Winchester secured, and Stephen put in
possession of the royal castle and treasury, he returned to London, where
all doubts as to the validity or invalidity of his election were set at
rest by the ceremony of coronation (Dec. 1135).


In the spring of the following year (April 1136), a brilliant council of
the clergy and magnates of the realm was held in London,(111) reminding
one of the Easter courts of the days of the Conqueror which latterly had
been shorn of much of their splendour. The occasion was one for
introducing the new king to his subjects as well as for confirming the
liberties of the church, and Stephen may have taken special care to
surround it with exceptional splendour as a set off against the meagreness
which had characterised the recent ceremony of his coronation.(112)


In the meanwhile the injured Matilda appealed to Rome, but only with the
result that her rival received formal recognition from the Pope. Three
years later (1139) she landed in England accompanied by her brother, the
Earl of Gloucester. She soon obtained a following, more especially in the
west; and Winchester—the seat of the royal residence of the queens of
England since the time when Ethelred presented the city as a "morning
gift" to his consort at their marriage—became her headquarters and
rallying point for her supporters, whilst London served in the same way
for Stephen.


After nine months of sieges and counter sieges, marches and counter
marches, in which neither party could claim any decided success, Stephen,
as was his wont, withdrew to London and shut himself up in the Tower, with
only a single bishop, and he a foreigner, in his train. Whilst safe behind
the walls of that stronghold, negotiations were opened between him and the
empress for a peaceful settlement of their respective claims (May, 1140),
Henry of Winchester acting as intermediary between the rival parties.(113)
The negotiations ended without effecting the desired result.


Matters assumed an entirely different aspect when Stephen was made
prisoner at Lincoln in the following year (2nd Feb., 1141). Henry of
Winchester forsook his rôle of arbitrator, and entered into a formal
compact with the empress who arrived before Winchester with the laurels of
her recent success yet fresh, agreeing to receive her as "Lady of
England," (_Domina Angliæ_) and promising her the allegiance of himself
and his followers so long as she would keep her oath and allow him a free
hand in ecclesiastical matters.(114)


This compact was entered into on the 2nd March, and on the following day
the empress was received with solemn pomp into Winchester Cathedral. It
remained for the compact to be ratified. For this purpose an
ecclesiastical synod was summoned to sit at Winchester on the 7th April.
The day was spent by the legate holding informal communications with the
bishops, abbots, and archdeacons who were in attendance, and who then for
the first time in England’s history claimed the right not only of
consecration, but of election of the sovereign.(115)

On the 8th April, Henry in a long speech announced to the assembled clergy
the result of the conclave of the previous day. He extolled the good
government of the late king who before his death had caused fealty to be
sworn to his daughter, the empress. The delay of the empress in coming to
England (he said) had been the cause of Stephen’s election. The latter had
forfeited all claim to the crown by his bad government, and God’s judgment
had been pronounced against him. Lest therefore, the nation should suffer
for want of a sovereign, he, as legate, had summoned them together, and by
them the empress had been elected Lady of England. The speech was received
with unanimous applause, those to whom the election did not commend itself
being wise enough to hold their tongue.


But there was another element to be considered before Matilda’s new title
could be assured. What would the Londoners who had taken the initiative in
setting Stephen on the throne, and still owed to them their allegiance,
say to it? The legate had foreseen the difficulty that might arise if the
citizens, whom he described as very princes of the realm, by reason of the
greatness of their city (_qui sunt quasi optimates pro magnitudine
civitatis in Anglia_), could not be won over. He had, therefore, sent a
special safe conduct for their attendance, so he informed the meeting
after the applause which followed his speech had died away, and he
expected them to arrive on the following day. If they pleased they would
adjourn till then.


The next day (9th April) the Londoners arrived, as the legate had
foretold, and were ushered before the council. They had been sent, they
said, by the so called "commune" of London; and their purpose was not to
enter into debate, but only to beg for the release of their lord, the
king.(116) The statement was supported by all the barons then present who
had entered the commune of the city(117) and met with the approval of the
archbishop and all the clergy in attendance. Their solicitations, however,
proved of no avail. The legate replied with the same arguments he had used
the day before, adding that it ill became the Londoners who were regarded
as nobles (_quasi proceres_) in the land to foster those who had basely
deserted their king on the field of battle, and who only curried favour
with the citizens in order to fleece them of their money.


Here an interruption took place. A messenger presented to the legate a
paper from Stephen’s queen to read to the council. Henry took the paper,
and after scanning its contents, refused to communicate them to the
meeting. The messenger, however, not to be thus foiled, himself made known
the contents of the paper. These were, in effect, an exhortation by the
queen to the clergy, and more especially to the legate himself, to restore
Stephen to liberty. The legate, however, returned the same answer as
before, and the meeting broke up, the Londoners promising to communicate
the decision of the council to their brethren at home, and to do their
best to obtain their support.


The next two months were occupied by the empress and her supporters in
preparing the way for her admission into the city, the inhabitants of
which, had as yet shown but little disposition towards her. But however
great their inclination may have been to Stephen, they at length found
themselves forced to transfer their allegiance and to offer, for a time at
least, a politic submission to the empress. Accordingly, a deputation went
out to meet her at St. Albans (May 1141), and arrange terms on which the
city should surrender.(118)

More delay took place; and it was not until shortly before midsummer
(1141), that she entered the city. Her stay was brief. She treated the
inhabitants as vanquished foes,(119) extorted large sums of money,(120)
and haughtily refused to observe the laws of Edward the Confessor they
valued so much, preferring those of the late king, her father.(121)


The consequence was that, within a few days of her arrival in London, the
inhabitants rose in revolt, drove her out of the city(122) and attacked
the Tower, of which Geoffrey de Mandeville was constable, as his father
William had been before him.(123)


This Geoffrey de Mandeville had been recently created Earl of Essex by
Stephen, in the hope and expectation that the fortress over which Geoffrey
was governor, would be held secure for the royal cause. The newly fledged
earl, however, was one who ever fought for his own hand, and was ready to
sell his fortress and sword to the highest bidder. The few days that the
empress was in the city, afforded her an opportunity of risking a trial to
win over the earl from his allegiance. To this end she offered to confirm
him in his earldom and to continue him in his office of Constable of the
Tower, conferred upon him by Stephen; in addition to which, she was ready
to allow him to enjoy lands of the rent of £100 a year, a license to
fortify his castles, and the posts of sheriff and justiciar throughout his
earldom. The bait was too tempting for the earl not to accept; and a
charter to the above effect was drawn up and executed.(124)


Scarcely had the fickle earl consented to throw in his lot with the
empress before she had to flee the city. The departure of the empress was
quickly followed by the arrival of her namesake, Matilda, the valiant
queen of the captured Stephen; and again the earl proved false to his
allegiance and actively supported the queen in concert with the


With his aid(126) and the aid of the Londoners,(127) the queen was enabled
to reduce Winchester and to effect the liberation of her husband by
exchanging the Earl of Gloucester, brother of the empress, for the
captured king.


After being solemnly crowned, for the second time,(128) at Canterbury,
Stephen issued a second charter (about Christmas time, 1141),(129) to
Geoffrey de Mandeville, confirming and augmenting the previous grant by
the empress. Instead of sheriff and justiciar of his own county of Essex
merely, he is now made sheriff and justiciar of London and Middlesex, as
well as of Hertfordshire.


But even these great concessions failed to secure the earl’s fidelity to
the king. Again he broke away from his allegiance and planned a revolt in
favour of the empress who recompensed him with still greater dignities and
possessions than any yet bestowed. This second charter of the
empress,(130) is remarkable for a clause in which she promises never to
make terms with the Londoners without the earl’s consent, "because they
are his mortal foes."(131) But the plans of the earl were doomed to be
frustrated. The empress, tired of the struggle, soon ceased to be
dangerous, and eventually withdrew to the continent, and Stephen was left
free to deal with the rebel earl alone. With the assistance of the
Londoners, who throughout the long period of civil dissension, were
generally to be found on the winning side, and held as it were the balance
between the rival powers, Stephen managed after considerable bloodshed to
capture the fortifications erected by the Earl at Farringdon.(132)


The earl was subsequently treacherously arrested and made to give up his
castles. Thenceforth his life was that of a marauding freebooter, until,
fatally wounded at the siege of Burwell, he expired in September, 1143.


Notwithstanding the absence of the empress and the death of the faithless
earl, a desultory kind of war continued to be carried on for the next ten
years on behalf of Henry of Anjou, son of the empress. In 1153 that prince
arrived in England to fight his own battles and maintain his right to the
crown, which the king had already attempted to transfer to the head of his
own son Eustace. This attempt had been foiled by the refusal of the
bishops, at the instigation of the pope, to perform the ceremony. The
sudden death of Eustace made the king more ready to enter into
negotiations for effecting a peaceful settlement.

(M91) (M92)

A compromise was accordingly effected at Winchester,(133) whereby Stephen
was to remain in undisputed possession of the throne for life, and after
his death was to be succeeded by Henry. The news that at last an end had
come to the troubles which for nineteen years had disturbed the country,
was received with universal joy, and Henry, conducted to London by the
king himself, was welcomed in a manner befitting one who was now the
recognised heir to the crown.(134)



Both London and Winchester had been laid in ashes during Stephen’s reign,
the former by a conflagration—which took place in 1136, again destroying
St. Paul’s and extending from London Bridge to the church of St. Clement
Danes—the latter by the burning missiles used in the conflict between
Stephen and the empress in 1141. Winchester never recovered her position,
and London was left without a rival. Fitz-Stephen, who wrote an account of
the city as it stood in the reign of Henry II, describes it as holding its
head higher than all others; its fame was wider known; its wealth and
merchandise extended further than any other; it was the capital of the
kingdom (_regni Anglorum sedes_).(135)


It was through the mediation of an intimate friend and fellow citizen of
Fitz-Stephen that Archbishop Theobald had invited Henry of Anjou over from
France in 1153. Thomas of London, better known as Thomas Becket, although
of foreign descent, was born in the heart of the city, having first seen
the light in the house of Gilbert, his father, some time Portreeve of
London, situate in Cheapside on a site now occupied by the hall and chapel
of the Mercers’ Chapel. Having been ordained a deacon of the Church, he
became in course of time clerk or chaplain to the archbishop. Vigorous and
active as he was, Thomas soon made his influence felt, and it was owing to
his suggestion (so it is said(136)) that the bishops had declined to be a
party to the coronation of Eustace during Stephen’s lifetime.

On the accession of Henry, Thomas passed from the service of the
archbishop, then advanced in years, to the service of the young king. He
was raised to the dignity of chancellor, and became one of the king’s most
trusted advisers. By their united efforts order was once again restored
throughout the kingdom. The great barons, who had established themselves
in castles erected without royal licence, were brought into subjection to
the crown and compelled to pull down their walls. Upon the death of the
archbishop, Thomas was appointed to the vacant See (1162). From that day
forward the friendship between king and archbishop began to wane. Henry
found that all his attempts to establish order in his kingdom were
thwarted by exemptions claimed by the archbishop on behalf of the clergy.
He found that allegiance to the Crown was divided with allegiance to the
Pope, and this state of things was likely to continue so long as the
archbishop lived. Becket’s end is familiar to us all. His memory was long
cherished by the citizens of London, who made many a pilgrimage to the
scene of his martyrdom and left many an offering on his tomb in the
cathedral of Canterbury. It is hard to say for which of the two, the
father or the son, the citizens entertained the greater reverence. For
many years after his death it was the custom for the Mayor of the City for
the time being, upon entering into office, to meet the aldermen at the
church of St. Thomas of Acon—a church which had been erected and endowed
in honour of the murdered archbishop by his sister Agnes, wife of Thomas
Fitz-Theobald of Helles(137)—and thence to proceed to the tomb of Gilbert
Becket, the father, in St. Paul’s churchyard, there to say a _De
profundis_; after which both mayor and aldermen returned to the church of
St. Thomas, and, each having made an offering of two pence, returned to
his own home.(138) St. Thomas’s Hospital, in Southwark, was originally
dedicated to the murdered archbishop, but after its dissolution and
subsequent restoration as one of the Royal Hospitals, its patron saint was
no longer Thomas the Martyr, but Thomas the Apostle.


Whilst the king and his chancellor were busy settling the kingdom,
establishing a uniform administration of justice and system of revenue,
and not only renewing but extending the form of government which had been
instituted by Henry I, the citizens of London, availing themselves of the
security afforded by a strong government, redoubled their energy in
following commercial pursuits and succeeded in raising the city, as
Fitz-Stephen has told us, to a pitch of prosperity far exceeding that of
any other city in the world.

They obtained a charter from Henry,(139) although of a more limited
character than that granted to them by his grandfather. The later charter,
for instance, although in the main lines following the older charter,
makes no mention of Middlesex being let to ferm nor of any appointment of
sheriff or justiciar being vested in the citizens. It appears as if Henry
was determined to bring the citizens no less than the barons of the realm
within more direct and immediate subservience to the crown. The concession
made by the king’s grandfather had been ignored by Stephen and the empress
Matilda, each of whom in turn had granted the shrievalty of London and
Middlesex to the Earl of Essex. For a time the appointment of sheriffs was
lost to the citizens. Throughout the reigns of Henry II and his successor
they were appointed by the crown. Richard’s charter to the citizens makes
no mention of the sheriffwick, nor is it mentioned in the first charter
granted by John. When it was restored to the citizens (A.D. 1199), by
John’s second charter, the office of sheriff of London had lost much of
its importance owing to the introduction of the communal system of
municipal government under a mayor.


In the meantime the sheriffs of the counties, who had by reason of Henry’s
administrative reforms, risen to be officers of greater importance and
wider jurisdiction, and who had taken advantage of their positions to
oppress the people during the king’s prolonged absence abroad, were also
made to feel the power of the crown. A blow struck at the sheriffs was
calculated to weaken the nobility and the larger landowners—the class from
which it had been the custom hitherto to select these officers. Henry saw
the advantage to be gained, and on his return to England in 1170 deposed
most of the sheriffs and ordered a strict enquiry to be made, as to the
extortions they had committed in his absence. Their places were filled for
the most part by men of lower rank, and therefore likely to be more
submissive. Some, however, were reinstated and became more cruel and
extortionate than ever.(140)


The last fifteen years of Henry’s life were full of domestic trouble. He
had always found it an easier matter to rule his kingdom than his
household. His sons were for ever thwarting his will and quarrelling with
each other. It was his desire to secure the succession to the crown for
his eldest son Henry, and to this end he had caused him to be crowned by
the Archbishop of York (14th June, 1170), who was thereupon declared
excommunicated by his brother of Canterbury. The son began to clamour for
his inheritance whilst his father still lived, and appealed in 1173 to the
French king, whose daughter he had married, to assist him in his unholy
enterprise. Whilst Henry was engaged in defending his crown against his
own son on the continent, the great barons of England rose in
insurrection, and the king was obliged to hasten home, where he arrived in
July, 1174. The rebellion was quickly put down, and the strife between
king and nobles for a time ceased.


In the city there were occasional disturbances caused by the younger
nobility—the young bloods of the city(141)—who infested the streets at
night, broke into the houses of the rich and committed every kind of
excess. In 1177 the brother of the Earl of Ferrers was waylaid and killed,
and for some time the streets were unsafe at night. The chronicler records
a singular outrage perpetrated three years before, by these sprigs of
nobility. They forcibly entered the house of a wealthy citizen whose name
has not come down to us, he is simply styled the _pater-familias_. Of his
courage we are left in no doubt, for we are told that he slipt on a coat
of mail, armed his house-hold, and awaited the attack. He had not long to
wait. The leader of the band—one Andrew Bucquinte soon made his
appearance, and was met by a pan of hot coals. Swords were drawn on both
sides and _pater-familias_, whose coat of mail served him well, succeeded
in cutting off the right hand of his assailant. Upon the cry of thieves
being raised, the delinquents took to their heels, leaving their leader a
prisoner.  The next day, being brought before the king’s justiciar, he
informed against his companions. This cowardly action on the part of
Bucquinte led to many of them being taken, and among them one who is
described by the chronicler as the noblest and wealthiest of London
citizens, but to whom the chronicler gives no other name than "John, the
old man" (_Johannes Senex_). An offer was made to John to prove his
innocence by what was known as the ordeal by water,(142) but the offer was
declined, and he was eventually hanged. The whole story looks suspicious.


Having settled the succession of the crown of England upon his eldest son,
the king put his second son, Richard, into possession of the Duchy of
Aquitaine, and provided for his third son, Geoffrey, by marriage with the
heiress of Brittany. There was yet another son, John, who was too young to
be provided for just now, and who being without any territory, assigned to
him, acquired the name of Lackland. Both Richard and Geoffrey had taken
the part of their brother Henry in 1173, and in 1177 the three brothers
were again quarrelling with their father and with each other. After the
deaths of Henry and Geoffrey, the quarrel was taken up by the surviving
brothers, Richard and John.

In all these—more or less—petty wars with his sons, the king had always to
deal with the ruler of France. At last, in 1189, the loss of Le Mans—his
own birth-place—and the unexpected discovery that his youngest and best
beloved son, John, had turned traitor towards him, left the king nothing
to live for, and after a few days suffering he died, ill and worn out, at


Richard had scarcely succeeded to the throne, before he set out on a
crusade, leaving the government of his country in the hands of William
Longchamp, Bishop of Ely, as chancellor.(143) With him was associated in
the government, Hugh de Puiset, or Pudsey, Bishop of Durham, but Longchamp
soon got the supreme control of affairs into his own hands, and commenced
to act in the most tyrannical fashion. He increased the security of the
Tower of London, which had been committed to his charge, by surrounding it
with a moat,(144) and having got himself nominated papal legate, made a
progress through the country committing the greatest extortion.(145)

(M101) (M102)

Report of the Chancellor’s conduct having reached the ears of Richard, he
despatched the Archbishop of Rouen to England with a new commission, but
the worthy prelate on arrival (April, 1191), was afraid to present the
commission, preferring to let matters take their course.(146) Already a
fierce rivalry had sprung up between the chancellor and John, the king’s
brother, who, for purposes of his own, had espoused the cause of the
oppressed. Popular feeling at length became so strong, that Longchamp
feared to meet John and the bishops, and, instead of going to Reading,
where his attendance was required, he hastened to London. Arriving there
(7 Oct.), he called the citizens together in the Guildhall, and prayed
them to uphold the King against John, whom he denounced as aiming plainly
at the Crown. The leading men in the city at the time were Richard
Fitz-Reiner and Henry de Cornhill. These took opposite sides, the former
favouring John, whilst the latter took the side of the chancellor.(147)
John’s party proving the stronger of the two, Longchamp thought it safest
to seek refuge in the Tower.(148)


As soon as John found that the chancellor had gone to London instead of
Reading, he too hastened thither. On his arrival he was welcomed and
hospitably entertained by Richard Fitz-Reiner who gave him to understand
on what terms he might expect the support of the city.(149) As to terms,
John was ready to accede to any that might be proposed.

(M104) (M105)

The next day (8 Oct.), a meeting of the barons of the realm, as well as of
the citizens of London, was convened in St. Paul’s Church, to consider the
conduct of the chancellor, and it was thereupon decided that Longchamp
should be deposed from office. The story, as told by different
chroniclers,(150) varies in some particulars, but the main features are
the same in all. The king’s minister was set aside, John was recognised as
the head of the kingdom, and new appointments made to judicial, fiscal,
and military offices. The Archbishop of Rouen, who attended the council,
seeing the turn affairs had taken, no longer hesitated to produce the
letters under the king’s sign manual appointing a new commission for the
government of the kingdom.


The same day that witnessed the fall of Longchamp was also a memorable one
in the annals of the City of London; for immediately after judgment had
been passed on the chancellor, John and the assembled barons granted to
the citizens "their commune," swearing to preserve untouched the dignities
of the city during the king’s pleasure.  The citizens on their part swore
fealty to King Richard, and declared their readiness to accept John as
successor to the throne in the event of his brother dying childless.(151)


This is the first public recognition of the citizens of London as a body
corporate; but so far from granting to them something new, the very words
_their_ commune (_communam suam_) imply a commune of which they were _de
facto_, if not _de jure_ already in enjoyment. How long the commune may
have been in existence, unauthorised by the crown, cannot be determined;
but that the term _communio_ in connection with the city’s organization
was known half a century before, we have already seen;(152) and, according
to the opinion of Giraldus Cambrensis, there is no valid distinction
between the words _communio_, _communa_ and _communia_.(153) Bishop
Stubbs, however, hesitates to translate _communio_ as "commune," the
latter being essentially a French term for a particular form of municipal
government. He prefers to render it "commonalty," "fraternity," or
"franchise," although he goes so far as to allow that the term "suggests
that the communal idea was already in existence as a basis of civic
organization" in Stephen’s reign, an idea which became fully developed in
the succeeding reign.(154) He is also in favour of dating the foundation
of the _communa_ in London from this grant by John and the barons,(155)
and in this view he is supported by Richard of Devizes, who distinctly
states that the _communia_ of London was instituted on that occasion, and
that it was of such a character that neither King Richard nor Henry his
father would have conceded it for a million marks of silver, and that a
_communia_ was in fact everything that was bad. It puffed up the people,
it threatened the kingdom, and it emasculated the priesthood.(156)


With the change from a shire organization to that of a French _commune_,
whenever that happened to take place, there took place also a change in
the chief governor of the city. The head of the city was no longer a Saxon
"port-reeve" but a French "mayor," the former officer continuing in all
probability to perform the duties of a port-reeve or sheriff of a town in
a modified form. From the time when this "civic revolution"(157) occurred,
down to the present day, the sheriff’s position has always been one of
secondary importance, being himself subordinate to the mayor.


The earliest mention of a mayor of London in a formal document is said to
occur in a writ of the reign of Henry II.(158) The popular opinion,
however, is that a change in the name of the chief magistrate of the City
of London took place at the accession of Richard I. What gave rise to this
belief is hard to say, but it is not improbable that it arose from a
statement to be found in an early manuscript record still preserved among
the archives of the Corporation, and known as the _Liber de Antiquis
Legibus_.(159) The original portion of this manuscript purports to be a
chronicle of mayors and sheriffs from 1188 down to 1273, noticing briefly
the chief events in each year, and referring to a few particulars relative
to the year 1274.

After naming the sheriffs who were appointed at Michaelmas, A.D. 1188,
"the first year of the reign of King Richard,"(160) it goes on to say that
"in the same year Henry Fitz-Eylwin of Londenestane was made mayor of
London, who was the first mayor of the city, and continued to be such
mayor to the end of his life, that is to say, for nearly five and twenty
years." That Henry Fitz-Eylwin was mayor in the first year of Richard’s
reign is stated no less than three times in the chronicle.(161)


The compiler of the chronicle is supposed to have been Arnald or Arnulf
Fitz-Thedmar,(162) an Alderman of London, although it is not known over
which ward he presided. Particulars of his life are given in the volume
itself, from which we gather that he was a grandson on the mother’s side
of Arnald de Grevingge(163) a citizen of Cologne; that his father’s name
was Thedmar, a native of Bremen; that he was born on the vigil of St.
Lawrence [10 August] A.D. 1201, his mother being forewarned of the
circumstances that would attend his birth in a manner familiar to biblical
readers; that he was deprived of his aldermanry by the king, but was
afterwards restored; that he became supporter of the king against Simon de
Montfort and the barons, and that he was among those whom Thomas
Fitz-Thomas, the leader of the democratic party and his followers, had
"intended to slay" on the very day that news reached London of the battle
of Evesham, which crushed the hopes of Montfort and his supporters. The
date of his death cannot be precisely determined, but there can be but
little doubt that it took place early in the third year of the reign of
Edward the First, inasmuch as his will was proved and enrolled in the
Court of Husting, London, held on Monday, the morrow of the Feast of St.
Scolastica [10 Feb.] of that year (A.D. 1274-5).(164)

Setting aside the statement—namely that mention is made of a mayor of
London, in a document of the reign of Henry II—as wanting corroboration,
the first instance known at the present day of any such official being
named in a formal document occurs in 1193 when the Mayor of London appears
among those who were appointed treasurers of Richard’s ransom.(165)


Richard’s first charter to the City (23 April, 1194)(166) granted a few
weeks after his return from abroad makes no mention of a mayor, nor does
the title occur in any royal charter affecting the City until the year
1202, when John attempted to suppress the guild of weavers "at the request
of our mayor and citizens of London." A few years later when John was
ready to do anything and everything to avoid signing the Great Charter
which the barons were forcing on him, he made a bid for the favour of the
citizens by granting them the right to elect annually a mayor, and thus
their autonomy was rendered complete.


When Richard recovered his liberty and returned to England he was heartily
welcomed by all except his brother John. One of his first acts was to
visit the City and return thanks for his safety at St. Paul’s.(167) The
City was on this occasion made to look its brightest, and the display of
wealth astonished the foreigners in the King’s suite, who had been led to
believe that England had been brought to the lowest stage of poverty by
payment of the King’s ransom.(168)

(M113) (M114)

In order to wipe out the stain of his imprisonment, he thought fit to go
through the ceremony of coronation for the second time. His first
coronation had taken place at Westminster (3 Sept., 1189,) soon after his
accession, and the citizens of London had duly performed a service at the
coronation banquet—a service which even in those days was recognised as an
"ancient service"—namely, that of assisting the chief butler, for which
the mayor was customarily presented with a gold cup and ewer. The citizens
of the rival city of Winchester performed on this occasion the lesser
service of attending to the viands.(169)

The second coronation taking place at Winchester and not at Westminster,
the burgesses of the former city put in a claim to the more honourable
service over the heads of the citizens of London, and the latter only
succeeded in establishing their superior claim by a judicious bribe of 200


Richard was ever in want of money, and cared little by what means it was
raised. He declared himself ready to sell London itself if a purchaser
could be found.(171) The tax of Danegelt, from which the citizens of
London had been specially exempted by charter of Henry I, and which had
ceased to be exacted under Henry II, mainly through the interposition of
Thomas of London, was practically revived under a new name. The charter
already mentioned as having been granted to the citizens by Richard after
his return from captivity was probably purchased, for one of the king’s
regular methods of raising money was a lavish distribution of charters to
boroughs, not from any love he had for municipal government, but in order
to put money in his purse. As soon as Richard had collected all the money
he could raise in England, he again left the country, never to return.


The pressure of taxation weighed heavily on the poor, and occasioned a
rising in the city under the leadership of William Fitz-Osbert. The cry
was that the rich were spared whilst the poor were called upon to pay
everything.(172) Accounts of the commotion differ according as the writer
favoured the autocratic or democratic side. One chronicler, for instance,
finds fault with Fitz-Osbert’s personal appearance, imputing his
inordinate length of beard—he was known as "Longbeard"—to his desire for
conspicuousness, and declares him to have been actuated by base

Others describe him as a wealthy citizen of the best family, and yet as
one who ever upheld the cause of the poor against the king’s
extortions.(174) Whatever may have been the true character of the man and
the real motive of his action, it is certain that he had a large
following. When Hubert Walter, the justiciar, sent to arrest him,
"Longbeard" took refuge in the church of St. Mary-le-Bow. Thither he was
followed by the king’s officers—described by a not impartial chronicler as
men devoid of truth and piety and enemies of the poor.(175)—who with the
aid of fire and faggot soon compelled him to surrender. On his way to the
Tower, he was struck at and wounded by one whose father (it was said) he
had formerly killed;(176) but this again may or may not be the whole
truth. A few days later he and a number of his associates were


Two years before his death at Chaluz, Richard, with the view of aiding
commerce, caused the wears in the Thames to be removed, and forbade his
wardens of the Tower to demand any more the toll that had been accustomed.
The writ to this effect was dated from the Island of Andely or Les Andelys
on the Seine, the 14th July, 1197, in the neighbourhood of that fortress
which Richard had erected, and of which he was so proud—the Château
Gaillard or "Saucy Castle," as he jestingly called it. The reputation
which the castle enjoyed for impregnability under Richard, was lost under
his successor on the throne.


Soon after John’s accession we find what appears to be the first mention
of a court of aldermen as a deliberative body. In the year 1200, writes
Thedmar (himself an alderman), "were chosen five and twenty of the more
discreet men of the city, and sworn to take counsel on behalf of the city,
together with the mayor."(178) Just as in the constitution of the realm,
the House of Lords can claim a greater antiquity than the House of
Commons, so in the city—described by Lord Coke as _epitome totius
regni_—the establishment of a court of aldermen preceded that of the
common council.


When, after thirteen years of misgovernment, during which John had enraged
the barons and excited general discontent by endless impositions, matters
were brought to a climax by his submission to the pope, it was in the city
of London that the first steps were taken by his subjects to recover their
lost liberty. On the 25th August, 1213, a meeting of the clergy and barons
was held in the church of St. Paul; a memorable meeting, and one that has
been described as "a true parliament of the realm, though no king presided
in it."(179) Stephen Langton, whose appointment as Archbishop of
Canterbury had so raised John’s ire, took the lead and produced to the
assembly a copy of the Charter of Liberties, granted by Henry I, when that
king undertook to put an end to the tyranny of William Rufus. If the
barons so pleased, it might (he said) serve as a precedent. The charter
having been then and there deliberately read, the barons unanimously
declared that for such liberties they were ready to fight, and, if
necessary, to die.(180)

The clergy and people who had hitherto supported the king against the
barons, having now engaged themselves to assist the barons against the
tyranny of the king, John found himself with but one friend in the world,
and that was the Pope. "Innocent’s view of the situation was very simple,"
writes Dr. Gardiner, "John was to obey the Pope, and all John’s subjects
were to obey John." Within a few weeks of the council being held at St.
Paul’s, the same sacred edifice witnessed the formality of affixing a
golden _bulla_ to the deed—the detestable deed (_carta
detestabilis_)—whereby John had in May last resigned the crown of England
to the papal legate, and received it again as the Pope’s feudatory.(181)


In the following year (1214), whilst the king was abroad, the barons met
again at Bury St. Edmunds, and solemnly swore that if John any longer
delayed restoring the laws and liberties of Henry the First, they would
make war upon him. It was arranged that after Christmas they should go in
a body and demand their rights, and that in the meantime they should
provide themselves with horses and arms, with the view of bringing force
to bear, in case of refusal.(182) The citizens at the same time took the
opportunity of strengthening their defences by digging a foss on the
further side of the city wall.(183)


Christmas came and a meeting between John and the barons took place in
London at what was then known as the "New" Temple. The result, however,
was unsatisfactory, and both parties prepared for an appeal to force, the
barons choosing as their leader Robert Fitz-Walter, whom they dubbed
"Marshal of the army of God and of Holy Church."(184)


This Fitz-Walter was Baron of Dunmow in Essex, the owner of Baynard’s
Castle in the City of London, and lord of a soke, which embraced the whole
of the parish known as St. Andrew Castle Baynard. He moreover enjoyed the
dignity of castellain and chief bannerer or banneret of London. The rights
and privileges attaching to his soke and to his official position in time
of peace were considerable, to judge from a claim to them put forward by
his grandson in the year 1303. Upon making his appearance in the Court of
Husting at the Guildhall, it was the duty of the Mayor, or other official
holding the court, to rise and meet him and place him by his side. Again,
if any traitor were taken within his soke or jurisdiction, it was his
right to sentence him to death, the manner of death being that the
convicted person should be tied to a post in the Thames at the Wood Wharf,
and remain there during two tides and two ebbs.(185)

In later years, however, upon an enquiry being held by the Justiciars of
the Iter (a° 14 Edward II, A.D. 1321), the claimant was obliged to
acknowledge that he had disposed of Baynard’s Castle in the time of Edward
I, but had especially reserved to himself all rights attaching to the
castle and barony, although he very considerately declared his willingness
to forego the right and title enjoyed by his ancestor of drowning traitors
at Wood Wharf.(186)


But it was in time of war that Fitz-Walter achieved for himself the
greatest power and dignity. It then became the duty of the castellain to
proceed to the great gate of St. Paul’s attended by nineteen other
knights, mounted and caparisoned, and having his banner, emblazoned with
his arms, displayed before him. Immediately upon his arrival, the mayor,
aldermen, and sheriffs, who awaited him, issued solemnly forth from the
church, all arrayed in arms, the mayor bearing in his hand the city
banner, the ground of which was bright vermilion or gules, with a figure
of St. Paul, in gold, thereon, the head, feet, and hands of the saint
being silver or argent, and in his right hand a sword.(187) The
castellain, advancing to meet the mayor, informed him that he had come to
do the service which the city had a right to demand at his hands, and
thereupon the mayor placed the city’s banner in his hands, and then,
attending him back to the gate, presented him with a charger of the value
of £20, its saddle emblazoned with the arms of Fitz-Walter, and its
housing of cendal or silk, similarly enriched.

A sum of £20 was at the same time handed to Fitz-Walter’s chamberlain to
defray the day’s expenses. Having mounted his charger, he bids the Mayor
to choose a Marshal of the host of the City of London; and this being
done, the communal or "mote-bell" is set ringing, and the whole party
proceed to the Priory of Holy Trinity at Aldgate. There they dismount, and
entering the Priory, concert measures together for the defence of the
city. There is one other point worthy of remark, touching the office of
chief banneret, and that is that on the occasion of any siege undertaken
by the London forces, the castellain was to receive as his fee the
niggardly sum of one hundred shillings for his trouble, and no more.


It is not improbable that Fitz-Walter’s election as leader of the
remonstrant barons was in some measure due to his official position in the
city. It is also probable, as Mr. Riley has pointed out, that the
unopposed admission of the barons into the city, on the 24th May, 1215,
may have been facilitated by Fitz-Walter’s connexion, as castellain, with
the Priory of Holy Trinity, situate in the vicinity.

But there were other reasons for selecting Fitz-Walter as their leader at
this juncture. If the story be true, Fitz-Walter had good reason to be
bitterly hostile to King John, for having caused his fair daughter Maude
or Matilda to be poisoned, after having unsuccessfully made an attempt
upon her chastity.(188) This is not the only crime of the kind laid to the
charge of this monarch,(189) and there appears to be too much reason for
believing most of the charges against him to be true. It is certain that
Fitz-Walter was one of the first to entertain designs against John, and
that he and Eustace de Vesci, on whose family the king is said to have put
a similar affront, were forced to escape to France. The story how
Fitz-Walter attracted John’s notice by his prowess at a tournament in
which he was engaged on the side of the French, and was restored to the
King’s favour and his own estates, is familiar to all.


After a feeble attempt to capture Northampton, the barons, with
Fitz-Walter at their head, accepted an invitation from the citizens of
London to enter the city. They made their entry through Aldgate.(190)

The concession which John had recently made to the citizens, viz.:—the
right of annually electing their own mayor(191)—had failed to secure their
allegiance. The city became thenceforth the headquarters of the
barons,(192) and the adhesion of the Londoners was followed by so great a
defection from the King’s party (including among others that of Henry de
Cornhill), that he was left without any power of resistance.(193)


The citizens met their reward for fidelity to the barons when John was
brought to bay at Runnymede. In drafting the articles of the Great Charter
the barons, mindful of their trusty allies, made provision for the
preservation of the city’s liberties, and the names of Fitz-Walter and of
the mayor of the city appear among those who were specially appointed to
see that the terms of the charter were strictly carried out.(194)

By way of further security for the fulfilment of the articles of the
charter the barons demanded and obtained the custody of the City of
London, including the Tower, and they reserved to themselves the right of
making war upon the king if he failed to keep his word. For a year or more
the barons remained in the city, having entered into a mutual compact with
the inhabitants to make no terms with the king without the consent of both


The right of resistance thus established was soon to be carried into
execution. Before the year was out, John had broken faith, and was
besieging Rochester with the aid of mercenaries. An attempt to raise the
siege failed, owing to the timidity (not to say cowardice) of Fitz-Walter,
who, like the rest of the barons, was inclined to be indolent so soon as
the struggle with the king was thought to have ended.(196)


The Pope supported his vassal king. For a second time during John’s reign
London was placed under an interdict. The first occasion was in 1208, when
the whole of England was put under an interdict, and for six years the
nation was deprived of all religious rites saving the sacraments of
baptism and extreme unction.(197) It was then the object of Innocent to
stir up resistance against John by inflicting sufferings on the people,
now his purpose was to punish the people for having risen against John.

(M129) (M130)

The barons saw no other course open to them but to invite Louis the
Dauphin to come and undertake the government of the kingdom in the place
of John. On the 21st May, 1216, Louis landed at Sandwich and came to
London, where he was welcomed by the barons. Both barons and citizens paid
him homage, whilst he, on his part, swore to restore to them their rights,
to maintain such laws of the realm as were good, and to abolish those (if
any) that were bad.(198) Suspicion, however, had been aroused against
Louis by the confession of a French nobleman who had come over in his
train, and who had solemnly declared on his deathbed that his master had
sworn when once on the throne of England to banish all John’s
enemies.(199) Just when matters seemed to be approaching a crisis and the
barons were wavering in their allegiance, John died (19th October, 1216).



Although London remained faithful to Louis after John’s death, the barons
began to desert him, one by one (_quasi stillatim_),(200) and to transfer
their allegiance to John’s eldest son, a boy of nine years of age, who had
been crowned at Gloucester soon after his father’s death, the disturbed
state of the country not allowing of his coming to London for the


After his defeat at Lincoln (20th May, 1217), by William the Marshal, Earl
of Pembroke, one of Henry’s guardians, Louis beat a hasty retreat to
London and wrote to his father, the French king, to send him military
assistance, for without it he could neither fight nor get out of the


Among the prisoners taken at Lincoln were Robert Fitz-Walter, and a
neighbour of his in the ward of Castle Baynard, Richard de Muntfichet,
who, like Fitz-Walter, had also suffered banishment in 1213. The tower or
castle of Muntfichet lay a little to the west of Baynard’s Castle, and was
made over in 1276 by Gregory de Rokesle, the mayor, and citizens of London
to the Archbishop of Canterbury, for the purpose of erecting a new house
for the Dominican or Black Friars, in place of their old house in
Holborn.(202) We hear little of Fitz-Walter after this, beyond the facts
that he soon afterwards obtained his freedom, that he went on a crusade,
and continued a loyal subject to Henry until his death in 1235. He is said
to have been in the habit of wearing a precious stone suspended from his
neck by way of a charm, which at his last moments he asked his wife to
remove in order that he might die the easier.(203)


A French fleet which had been despatched in answer to Louis was defeated
off Dover by Hubert de Burgh, who had gallantly held that town for John,
and continued to hold it now for Henry. London itself was invested by the
Marshal, and threatened with starvation; but before matters came to
extremes, Louis intimated his willingness to come to terms.(204)


A meeting was held on the 11th of September (some say at Kingston,(205)
others at Staines(206)), and a peace concluded.(207) Louis swore fealty to
the Pope and the Roman Church, for which he was absolved from the ban of
excommunication that had been passed on him, and surrendered all the
castles and towns he had taken during the war. He, further, promised to
use his influence to obtain the restoration to England of the possessions
that had been lost beyond the sea.


Henry, on his part, swore to preserve to the barons and the rest of the
kingdom, all those liberties which they had succeeded in obtaining from
John. Everything being thus amicably settled, Louis went to London, and,
after borrowing a large sum of money from his former trusty supporters,
betook himself back to his native country.(208) The general pardon which
was granted by the young king extended to the Londoners, who became
reconciled and received back their lands,(209) but did not extend to the
clergy, who were left to the tender mercy of the papal legate.


For some years to come there remained a party in the city who cherished
the memory of Louis, and the cry of "Mountjoy!" the war-cry of the French
king—was sufficient to cause a riot as late as 1222, when Constantine
Fitz-Athulf or Olaf, an ex-sheriff of London, raised the cry at a
tournament, in order to test the feeling of the populace towards Louis.
Any serious results that might have arisen were promptly prevented by
Hubert de Burgh, the justiciar, who very quickly sought out the
ringleader, and incontinently caused him and two of his followers to be
hanged at the Elms in Smithfield. Whilst the halter was round his neck,
Fitz-Athulf offered 15,000 marks of silver for his life. The offer was
declined. He was not to be allowed another chance of stirring up sedition
in the city.(210)

A more circumstantial account of this event is given us by another
chronicler,(211) who relates that the wrestling match which took place on
the festival of Saint James (25th July),—the same as that mentioned by
Matthew Paris—was held at Queen Matilda’s hospital in the suburbs,(212)
and was a match between the citizens of London and those outside; that
victory declared itself in favour of the Londoners, and that their
opponents, and among them the steward of the Abbot of Westminster,
thereupon left in high dudgeon. With thoughts of revenge in their hearts,
the latter caused invitations to be issued for another match to be held at
Westminster, on the following feast of Saint Peter ad Vincula (1st

It was at this second and later match that the trouble began. The steward
was not content with collecting the most powerful athletes he could find,
but caused them to seize weapons and to attack the defenceless citizens
who had come to take part in the games. The Londoners hurried home,
bleeding with wounds, and immediately took counsel as to what was best to
be done. Serlo, the mercer, who had held the office of mayor of the city
for the past five years, and was of a peaceable disposition, suggested
referring the matter to the abbot; and it was then that Constantine, who
had a large following, advocated an attack upon the houses of the abbot
and of his steward. No sooner said than done, and many houses had already
suffered before the justiciar appeared upon the scene with a large force.
As to the seizure of Constantine and his subsequent execution, the
chroniclers agree.

Constantine’s fellow citizens were very indignant at the indecent haste
with which the justiciar had caused his execution to be carried out, and
did not fail to bring the matter up in judgment against him, when, some
ten years later, Hubert de Burgh himself fell into disgrace.(213) The
result was, that the justiciar took refuge in the Priory of Merton. When
the citizens received the king’s orders to follow him there, and to take
him dead or alive, they obeyed with unconcealed joy. They allowed little
time to elapse, but set out at once, 20,000 strong, ready to tear him limb
from limb; but luckily they were stopped in time by another message from
the king, and Hubert obtained a respite.(214)


At the time of Constantine’s execution, there was real danger to be
anticipated from raising the cry in favour of any foreigner. The land was
already swarming with foreigners, and in that very year (viz. 1222), the
archbishop had been under the necessity of summoning a council of bishops
and nobles to be held in London, owing to dissensions that had arisen
between the Earl of Chester, William of Salisbury, the king’s uncle, and
Hubert de Burgh, and to a rumour that had got abroad, that foreigners were
inciting the Earl of Chester to raise an insurrection.(215)

A few years later, the country was over-run by a brood of Italian usurers
who battened on the inhabitants, reducing many to beggary. When attempts
were made to rid the city of these pests, they sheltered themselves under
the protection of the Pope.(216)

Throughout the reign of Henry III, there was one continuous struggle
against foreign dominion, either secular or ecclesiastical. In this
struggle, none took a more active part than the citizens of London, and
"when [in 1247], the nobles, clergy, and people of England put forth their
famous letter denouncing the wrongs which England suffered at the hands of
the Roman bishop, it was with the seal of the city of London, as the
centre of national life that the national protest was made."(217)


Side by side with this struggle another was being carried on, a struggle
for the liberty of the subject against the tyranny and rapacity of the
king. More especially was this the case with the city. Henry was for ever
invading the rights and liberties of the citizens. Thus in 1239, he
insisted upon their admitting to the shrievalty one who had already been
dismissed from that office for irregular conduct, and because they refused
to forego their chartered right of election and to appoint the king’s
nominee, the city was deprived of a mayor for three months and more.(218)


The substitution of a _custos_ or warden appointed by the king for a mayor
elected by the citizens, and of bailiffs for sheriffs,—a procedure known
as "taking the city into the king’s hands,"—was frequently resorted to
both by Henry and his successors, and notably by Edward I, in whose reign
the city was deprived of its mayor, and remained under government of a
_custos_ for thirteen consecutive years (1285-1298).(219)

Any pretext was sufficient for Henry’s purpose. If the citizens harboured
a foreigner without warrant, not only was the city taken into the king’s
hand, but the citizens were fined £1,000,(220) a sum equal to at least
£20,000 at the present day. A widow brings an action for a third part of
her late husband’s goods in addition to her dower. The case goes against
her in the Court of Husting, and is heard on appeal before the king’s
justiciar sitting at St. Martin’s-le-Grand. The verdict is not set aside,
but some flaw is discovered in the mode of procedure; the explanation of
the citizens is deemed insufficient, and the mayor and sheriffs are
forthwith deposed, to be reinstated only on the understanding that they
will so far forego their chartered right—viz.: of not impleading nor being
impleaded without the walls of their city—as to consent to attend the
king’s court at Westminster, where finally, and after considerable delay,
they are acquitted.(221)

Take another instance. The king had shown an interest in the Abbey Church
of Westminster, and had caused a new chapel to be built in 1220, he
himself laying the first stone. Thirty years later, or thereabouts, he
made certain concessions to the Abbot of Westminster—what they were we are
not told—but it is certain that they, in some way or other, infringed the
rights of the citizens of London in the County of Middlesex. The king
promised to compensate them for the loss they would sustain; but failing
to get their consent by fair promises, he resorted to his favourite
measure of taking the city into his own hands. For fifteen years the
dispute between the citizens and the Abbot as to their respective rights
in the County of Middlesex was kept alive, and was at last determined by a
verdict given by the barons of the exchequer, which completely
justified(222) the attitude taken up by the citizens of London.


In 1230 he extorted a large sum of money from the citizens at a time when
he was meditating an expedition to the continent for the purpose of
recovering lost possessions. The citizens, however, were not the only
sufferers. The religious houses were heavily mulcted, as were also the
Jews, who, whether they would or not, were made to give up one third of
their chattels.(223) Again in 1244, the citizens of London and the Jews
were made to open their purse-strings that the king might the better be
able to pay his wine merchant, his wax chandler, and his tailor; but even
then his creditors were not paid in full.(224)

Only once does it appear that the king’s conscience pricked him for the
extortions he was continually practising on the citizens. This was in
1250, when he called the citizens together at Westminster, and begged
their forgiveness for all trespasses, extortions of goods and victuals
under the name of "prises," and for forced loans or talliages. Seeing no
other way out of it, the citizens acceded to his request.(225) As recently
as the previous year (1249) he had exacted from them a sum of £2,000.(226)


Henry had been crowned at Gloucester soon after his accession.(227)
Nevertheless he was again crowned—this time in London in 1236, after his
marriage with Eleanor of Provence. The city excelled itself in doing
honour to the king and queen as they passed on their way to Westminster:
but the joy of the citizens was damped by the king refusing to allow
Andrew Bukerel the mayor to perform the customary service of assisting the
chief butler at the coronation banquet. It was not a time for raising
questions of etiquette, so the mayor pocketed the affront, preferring to
settle the question of the city’s rights at some more convenient time,
rather than damp the general joy of the company by pressing his


Yet, notwithstanding his manifestly unjust treatment of the citizens of
London, and the cynical contempt with which he looked upon their ancient
claim to the title of "barons," he usually went through the formality of
taking leave of them at Paul’s Cross or at Westminster, before crossing
the sea to Gascony(229) and was not above making use of them when
compelled to sell his plate and jewels to satisfy his debts. In 1252, he
even went so far as to grant them a charter of liberties, but for this
concession the citizens had to pay 500 marks.(230)


It is scarcely to be wondered at if, when the crisis arrived, and king and
barons found themselves in avowed hostility, the citizens of London joined
the popular cause. By the month of June, 1258, the barons had gained their
first victory over Henry. He was forced to accept the Provisions of
Oxford, passed by the Mad Parliament,(231) as it came to be called in
derision. The Tower of London was transferred to the custody of the
barons, and they were for the future to appoint the justiciar. Towards the
end of July, a deputation from the barons waited upon the mayor and
citizens to learn if they approved of the agreement that had been made
with the king.(232)


The mayor, aldermen, and citizens, after a hasty consultation, gave their
assent, but with the reservation "saving unto them all their liberties and
customs," and the city’s common seal was set to the so-called "charter"
which the deputation had brought.


It was not long before the city discovered that the barons were as little
likely to respect its liberties as the king himself. Hugh Bigod, whom they
had appointed justiciar gave offence by the way he exercised his office.
In spite of all remonstrance he insisted upon sitting at the Guildhall to
hear pleas, a jurisdiction which belonged exclusively to the sheriffs. He
summoned the bakers of the city to appear before him, and those who were
convicted of selling bread under weight he punished, in a way that was not
in conformity with city usage.(233)


In November of the following year (1259), Henry took occasion of his
departure for the continent to make some popular concessions to the
citizens. He appeared at a Folkmote, which was being held at Paul’s Cross,
and, before taking leave, he announced that in future the citizens should
be allowed to plead their own cases (without employing legal aid) in all
the courts of the city, excepting in pleas of the crown, pleas of land,
and of wrongful distress. On the same day John Mansel who had been one of
the king’s justiciars in 1257, when the city was "taken into the king’s
hand," and Fitz-Thedmar had been indicted and deprived of his aldermanry
for upholding the privileges of the citizens(234)—publicly acknowledged on
the king’s behalf the injustice of Fitz-Thedmar’s indictment, and
announced that Henry not only recalled him to favour, but commanded that
he should be restored to his former position.(235)


During the king’s absence abroad, the barons’ cause was materially
strengthened by the support afforded Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester,
by the king’s son. Upon hearing of the defection of his son, Henry hurried
back to England. A consultation took place in the city as to the attitude
which the citizens ought to take up, with the result that when Henry
appeared (April, 1260), both he and the Earl of Gloucester were admitted
into the city, whilst the Earl of Leicester and "Sir Edward," as the
chronicler styles the king’s son, had to find accommodation in the

Henry was now master of the situation. The city was his, and he determined
that it should remain so. Strict watch was kept over the gates, which for
the most part, were kept shut night and day in order to prevent surprise.
Every inhabitant of the age of twelve years and upwards was called upon to
take an oath of allegiance before the alderman of his ward, and those of
maturer age were bound to provide themselves with arms. The king, who now
ruled again in his own way, stirred the anger of the barons, by presuming
to appoint Philip Basset, his chief justiciar, without first asking their
assent; and the barons retaliated by removing the king’s sheriffs, and
appointing "wardens of the counties" in their stead.(237) In June 1261,
Henry produced a Bull of Alexander IV, annulling the Provisions of Oxford,
and freeing him from his oath.(238)


For eighteen months the king reigned supreme. The barons could do nothing,
and the Earl of Leicester, finding their cause hopeless, withdrew in
August (1261) to France, and remained there until the spring of 1263, when
he returned as the unquestioned head of the baronial party, to take up
arms against the king. The citizens professed loyalty to Henry, who was
residing in the Tower, and bound themselves by oath to acknowledge his son
Edward as heir to the crown.(239) At Whitsuntide, the barons sent a letter
to the king requiring him to observe the Provisions of Oxford, and shortly
afterwards, addressed another letter to the citizens "desiring to be
certified by them whether they would observe the said ordinances and
statutes made to the honour of God in fealty to his lordship the king, and
to his advantage of all the realm, or would, in preference, adhere to
those who wished to infringe the same."(240)


Before sending a reply, the citizens had an interview with the king in the
Tower, to whom they showed the barons’ letter. The result was, that Henry
availed himself of their services to mediate between him and the barons. A
deputation of citizens accordingly travelled to Dover, where an
understanding was arrived at between the hostile parties. The citizens
were prepared to support the barons, subject to their fealty to the king
and saving their own liberties; whilst the king promised to dismiss his
foreign supporters—the real cause of all the mischief. Hugh le Despenser,
whom Henry had deposed, was again installed justiciar of all England in
the Tower; and the king and his family left the city for Westminster, the
day after the barons entered it. "Thus was a league made between the
barons and the citizens with this reservation—’saving fealty to his
lordship the king.’"(241)


Whilst the commons of England were thus winning their way to liberty, the
commons of the city were engaged in a similar struggle with the
aristocratic element of the municipal government.  The craft guilds cried
out against the exclusiveness of the more wealthy and aristocratic trade
guilds, the members of which monopolized the city’s rule. They found an
able champion of their cause in the person of Thomas Fitz-Thomas, the
mayor for the time being (1261-1265). The mayor’s action in the matter
disgusted Fitz-Thedmar, the city alderman and chronicler, who complains
that he "so pampered the city populace," that they styled themselves the
"commons of the city," and had obtained the first voice in the city. The
mayor would ask them their will as to whether this or that thing should be
done; and if they answered "ya" "ya," it was done, without consulting the
aldermen or chief citizens, whose very existence was ignored.(242) It is
not surprising that, under a mayor so thoroughly in sympathy with the
people, opportunity was taken by the citizens to rectify abuses from which
they had so long suffered. Their trade had been prejudiced by the number
of foreigners which the king had introduced into the city, and accordingly
we read of an attack made on the houses of some French merchants. Rights
of way which had been stopped up, were again opened, and where land had
been illegally built upon, the buildings were abated.

The chronicler complains of the populace acting "like so many justices
itinerant." It was in vain that the king addressed a letter to the mayor
and citizens, setting forth that the dissensions between himself and the
barons had been settled, and commanding his peace to be kept as well
within the city as without.(243)


The popular movement received every encouragement from the barons. Let
those who were disaffected put their complaints into writing, and the
barons would see that the matter was duly laid before the king, and that
the city’s liberties were not diminished. Fortified with such promises,
the mayor set to work at once to organize the craft guilds. Ordinances
were drawn up "abominations" Fitz-Thedmar calls them(244) for the
amelioration of the members, and everything was done that could be done to
better their condition.


A few days before Henry and the barons had concluded a temporary peace,
the citizens had been greatly excited by an action of the king’s son.
Henry was, as usual, in want of money, and had failed to raise a loan in
the city. His son came to his assistance and seized the money and jewels
lying at the Temple (29th June). The citizens were so exasperated at this
high-handed proceeding on the part of the prince that they vented their
spleen on the queen, and pelted her with mud and stones, calling her all
kinds of opprobrious names, as she attempted to pass in her barge under
London Bridge on her way from the Tower to Windsor. (13th July).(245)

Such conduct very naturally incensed the king and his son against the
citizens. Henry was angry with them, moreover, for having admitted the
barons contrary to his express orders.(246) It is not surprising,
therefore, that when Fitz-Thomas presented himself before the Barons of
the Exchequer to be admitted to the mayoralty for the third year in
succession, they refused to admit him by the king’s orders, Henry "being
for many reasons greatly moved to anger against the city."(247)


Before the end of the year (1263), both king and barons agreed to submit
to the arbitration of the King of France. The award known as the Mise of
Amien—from the place whence it was issue—which Louis made on the 23rd
Jan., 1264, proved of so one-sided a character that the barons had no
alternative but to reject it. However unjustifiable such repudiation on
the part of the barons may have been from a moral point of view, it was a
matter of necessity. Many of them, moreover, including those of the Cinque
Ports, as well as the Londoners, and nearly all the middle class of
England, had not been parties to the arbitration, and therefore, were not
pledged to accept the award.(248)


The citizens and the barons now entered into solemn covenant to stand by
each other "saving however their fealty to the king." A constable and a
marshal were appointed to command the city force, which was to stand
prepared night and day to muster at the sound of the great bell of St.
Paul’s. The manor of Isleworth, belonging to Richard, King of the Romans,
the king’s brother, was laid waste, and Rochester besieged, but,
disturbances again breaking out at home, Leicester had to hurry back to
restore order and prevent the city being betrayed to the king’s son.(249)


In May the earl set out again with a force of Londoners(250) to meet the
king, who was threatening the Cinque Ports. In the early morning of the
14th he came upon the royal army at Lewes. Prince Edward himself led the
charge against the Londoners—he had not forgotten the insult they had
recently offered to his mother—and succeeded in driving them off the
field. They scarcely indeed awaited his onslaught, so unpractised in
warfare had they become of recent years, but turned their backs and sped
away towards London, followed in hot pursuit by Edward. When he returned
he found that, owing to his absence, the day was lost, and that his father
and brother had been made prisoners.(251) In spite of his own success, he
also had to surrender.


The barons returned to the city in triumph, bringing the king and Richard,
king of the Romans, in their train. Edward had been placed in custody in
Dover Castle, pending negotiations. Henry was lodged in the Bishop’s
Palace, whilst Richard was committed to the Tower. An agreement was drawn
up which secured the safety of the king, and left all matters of dispute
to be again referred to arbitration.(252) This treaty formed the basis of
a new system of government, and led to the institution of Simon de
Montfort’s famous Parliament.

The short respite—for it proved to be no more—from civil war was welcomed
by the Londoners. The city had been drained of a large part of its
population in order to increase the Earl of Leicester’s army, and business
had been seriously disturbed. For the past year no Court of Husting had
been held, and therefore no wills or testaments had received probate;
whilst all pleas of land, except trespass, had to stand over until the
country became more settled.(253)


The parliament which Leicester summoned to meet on the 20th January, 1265,
marked a new era in parliamentary representation. It was the first
parliament in which the merchant and the trader were invited to take their
seats beside the baron and bishop. Not only were the shires to send up two
representatives, but each borough and town were to be similarly

Terms of reconciliation between king and barons were arranged, and once
more the mayor and aldermen did fealty to Henry in person in St. Paul’s
church. Fitz-Thomas, who for the fourth time was mayor, was determined to
lose nothing of his character for independence; "My lord," said he, when
taking the oath, so long as you are willing to be to us a good king and
lord, we will be to you faithful and true."(255)


Peace was not destined to last long. Dissensions quickly broke out between
Gilbert, Earl of Gloucester, and Simon de Montfort, owing in a great
measure to jealousy. Gloucester insisted that the Mise of Lewes and the
Provisions of Oxford had not been properly observed, hinting unmistakably
at the foreign birth and extraction of his rival. Endeavours were made to
arrange matters by arbitration, but in vain; and by Whitsuntide the two
earls were in open hostility. Gloucester was joined by Edward, who had
succeeded by a ruse in escaping from Hereford, where he was detained in
honourable captivity.(256)


With their combined forces they fell on Earl Simon at Evesham and utterly
defeated him (4 Aug.). Simon himself was killed, and his body barbarously
mutilated.(257) The king, who was in the earl’s camp, only saved himself
by crying out in time "I am Henry of Winchester, your king." Whilst the
battle was raging the city was visited with a terrible thunderstorm—an
evil omen of the future.

If credit be given to every statement made by the city alderman and
chronicler, Fitz-Thedmar, we must believe that the battle of Evesham took
place just in time to prevent a wholesale massacre of the best and
foremost men of the city, including the chronicler himself, which was
being contrived by the mayor, the popular Thomas Fitz-Thomas, the no less
popular Thomas de Piwelesdon or Puleston, and others.(258)


The citizens of London were soon to experience the change that had taken
place in the state of affairs. The day after Michaelmas, the mayor and
citizens proceeded to Westminster to present the new sheriffs to the
Barons of the Exchequer; but finding no one there, they returned home. The
truth was that the king had resorted to his favourite measure of taking
the city into his own hands for its adherence to the late Earl of
Leicester; and for five years it so remained, being governed by a _custos_
or warden appointed by the king, in the place of a mayor elected by the


There had been some talk of the king meditating an attack upon the city,
and treating its inhabitants as avowed enemies.(260) The very threat of
such a proceeding was sufficient to throw the city into the utmost state
of confusion. Some there were "fools and evil-minded persons," as our
chronicler describes them—who favoured resisting force by force; but the
"most discreet men" of the city, and those who had joined the Earl under
compulsion, would have none of it, preferring to solicit the king’s favour
through the mediation of men of the religious orders. Henry still remained
unmoved, and the fear of the citizens increased to such an extent that it
was finally resolved that the citizens as a body should make humble
submission to the king; and that the same should be forwarded to him at
Windsor under the common seal of the city. Whilst the deputation bearing
this document was on its way it was met by Sir Roger de Leiburn, who
turned it back on the ground that he himself was on his way to the city
for the express purpose of arranging terms of submission.(261)


That night Sir Roger lodged at the Tower, and the next morning he went to
Barking Church, on the confines of the city,(262) where he was met by the
mayor and a "countless multitude" of the citizens. The advice he had to
give the citizens was that if they wished to be reconciled to the king,
they would have to submit their lives and property unreservedly to his
will. Letters patent were drawn up to that effect under the common seal,
and taken by Sir Roger himself to Windsor. The citizens had not long to
wait for an answer. The king’s first demand was the removal of the posts
and chains which had been set up in the streets as a means of defence. His
next was that the mayor—his old antagonist Fitz-Thomas—and the principal
men of the city should come in person to him at Windsor, under letters of
safe conduct. Trusting to the royal word, the mayor and about forty of the
more substantial men of the city proceeded to Windsor, there to await a
conference with the king. To their great surprise, the whole of the party
were made to pass the night in the Castle keep. They were practically
treated as prisoners.


Some regained their liberty, but of Fitz-Thomas nothing more is heard.
From the time that he entered Windsor Castle, he disappears from public
view. That he was alive in May, 1266, at least in the belief of his
fellow-citizens, is shown by their cry for the release of him and his
companions "who are at Windleshores." They would again have made him
Mayor, if they could have had their own way. "We will have no one for
mayor" (they cried) "save only Thomas Fitz-Thomas."(263)


In the meantime the king had himself gone to London and confiscated the
property of more than sixty of the citizens, driving them out of their
house and home. Hugh Fitz-Otes, the Constable of the Tower, had been
appointed warden of the city in the place of the imprisoned mayor;
bailiffs had been substituted for sheriffs, and the citizens made to pay a
fine of 20,000 marks. Then, and only then, did the king consent to grant
their pardon.(264)


Queen Eleanor, who had interceded for the Londoners,(265) was presented by
the king with the custody of London Bridge, the issues and profits of
which she was allowed to enjoy. She allowed the bridge, however, to fall
into such decay, that she thought she could not do better than restore it
to its rightful owners. This she accordingly did in 1271, but soon
afterwards changed her mind, and again took the bridge into her


At Easter, 1267, the Earl of Gloucester, who had constituted himself the
avowed champion of those who had suffered forfeiture, and become
"disinherited" for the part they had taken with the Earl of Leicester,
sought admission to the city. The citizens hesitated to receive him within
their gates, although according to some, he was armed with letters patent
of the king addressed to the citizens on his behalf.(267) Under pretence
of holding a conference with the papal legate at the Church of Holy
Trinity, Aldgate, he gained admission for himself and followers: and there
he remained, having made himself master of the city’s gates.(268)
Thereupon many citizens left the city, fearing the wrath of the king, and
once more the city was in the hands of the populace. The leading citizens
were placed under a guard; the aldermen and bailiffs were deposed to make
way for the earl’s own supporters, and, for better security, a covered way
of timber was made from the city to the Tower.(269)

Whatever may have been the actual part played by the legate in admitting
the disinherited into the city, he soon showed his dissatisfaction at the
state of things within its walls, by leaving the Tower, to join the king
at Ham, and placing the disinherited—"the enemies of the king"—under an


At length the king and the Earl of Gloucester came to terms (16 June). The
earl was to have his property restored to him, and the city was to be
forgiven all trespasses committed against the king since the time that the
earl made his sojourn within its walls. The earl gave surety in 10,000
marks for keeping the peace, and the citizens paid the king of the Romans
1,000 marks for damages they had committed three years before in his manor
of Isleworth.(271) Not a word about the imprisoned mayor, Fitz-Thomas!


The king’s letters patent granting forgiveness to the citizens for
harbouring the Earl of Gloucester(272) were followed in the spring of the
following year by another charter to the city.(273) But inasmuch as this
charter did not restore the mayoralty, the citizens had little cause to be
thankful and looked upon it as only an instalment of favours to come.


Towards the end of this year or early in the next (1269), the city was
committed by the king to his son Edward, who ruled it by deputy, Sir Hugh
Fitz-Otes being again appointed Constable of the Tower, and warden of the
city.(274) It was through the good offices of the prince, that the
citizens eventually recovered the right to elect their mayor, so long
withheld. "About the same time, that is to say, Pentecost, 1270," writes
Fitz-Thedmar, "at the instance of Sir Edward, his lordship the king
granted unto the citizens that they might have a mayor from among
themselves in such form as they were wont to elect him."(275)


He further allowed them to choose two sheriffs who should discharge the
duties of sheriff, (_qui tenerent vicecomitatem_) of the City and
Middlesex, as formerly; but instead of the yearly ferm of £300 in pure
silver (_sterlingorum blancorum_), formerly paid for Middlesex, they were
thenceforth to pay an annual rent of £400 in money counted (_sterlingorum


The citizens lost no time in exercising their recovered rights. Their
choice fell upon John Adrian for the mayoralty, whilst Philip le Taillour
and Walter le Poter were elected sheriffs. After they had been severally
admitted into office—the mayor before the king himself on Wednesday, the
16th July, and the sheriffs at the Exchequer two days later—the king
restored the city’s charters, and the citizens acknowledged the royal
favour by a gift of 100 marks to the king, and 500 marks to Prince Edward,
who had proved so good a friend to them, and who was about to set out for
the Holy Land.(277)


Adrian was succeeded in the mayoralty by Walter Hervy, who had already
served as sheriff or bailiff on two occasions, once by royal appointment.
He made himself so popular with the "commons" of the city during his year
of office, that when October, 1272, came round and the aldermen and more
"discreet" citizens were in favour of electing Philip le Taillour as his
successor, the commons or "mob of the city"—as the chronicler prefers to
style them—cried out, "Nay, nay, we will have no one for mayor but Walter


The aldermen finding themselves in a minority, appealed to the king and
council at Westminster. Hervy did the same, being accompanied to
Westminster by a large number of supporters, who took the opportunity of
the aldermen laying their case before the council to insist loudly, as
they waited in the adjacent hall, upon their own right of election and
their choice of Hervy. It was feared that the noise might disturb the king
who was confined to his bed with what proved to be his last illness. All
parties was therefore dismissed, injunction being laid upon Hervy not to
appear again with such a following, but to come with only ten or a dozen
supporters at the most.


Hervy paid no heed to this warning, but continued to present himself at
Westminster every day for a fortnight, accompanied by his supporters in
full force, expecting an answer to be given by the council. At length the
council resolved to submit the whole question to arbitration, the city in
the meanwhile being placed in the custody of a warden. Before the
arbitrators got to work, the king died (16 Nov.), and rather than the city
should continue to be disturbed at such a crisis, the aldermen agreed to a
compromise, and Hervy was allowed to be mayor for one year more.(279)



Although the aldermen had been prevailed upon to give their assent to
Hervy’s election to the mayoralty, his democratic tendencies made him an
object of dislike, more especially to Fitz-Thomas. When, therefore, that
chronicler records that throughout Hervy’s year of office he did not allow
any pleading in the Husting for Pleas of Land except very rarely, for the
reason that the mayor himself was defendant in a suit brought against him
by Isabella Bukerel,(280) we hesitate to place implicit belief in his
statement.(281) We are inclined, moreover, to give less credit to anything
that Fitz-Thedmar may say against the mayor when we bear in mind that the
former had a personal grievance against the latter.(282)


Hervy was a worthy successor to Fitz-Thomas, and, under his government,
the craft guilds improved their position. Fresh ordinances for the
regulation of various crafts were drawn up, and to these the mayor, on his
own responsibility, attached the city seal.(283) When Hervy’s year of
office expired—these so-called "charters" were called in question as
having been unauthorised by the aldermen of the city and as tending to
favour the richer members of the guilds to the prejudice of the poorer.
After a "wordy and most abusive dispute" carried on in the Guildhall
between the ex-mayor and Gregory de Rokesley who acted as spokesman for
the body of aldermen, Hervy left the hall and summoned the craft-guilds to
meet him in Cheapside. There he told them that it was the wish of Henry le
Galeys (or Waleys) the mayor and others to infringe their charters, but
that if they could stand by him he would maintain those charters in all
their integrity.

Fearing lest a riot might follow, the chancellor—Walter de Merton, through
whose mediation Hervy had been at last accepted as mayor by the
aldermen—ordered his arrest. This was on the 20th December, 1273. Hervy
was, accordingly, attached but released on bail, and early in the
following January (1274), his charters were duly examined in the Husting
before all the people, and declared void. Thenceforth, every man was to
enjoy the utmost freedom in following his calling, always provided that
his work was good and lawful.(284)


When the mayor removed certain butchers’ and fishmongers’ stalls from
Cheapside, in order that the main thoroughfare of the city might present a
creditable appearance to the king on his return from abroad, the owners of
the stalls, who complained of being disturbed in their freeholds—"having
given to the sheriff a great sum of money for the same"—found a champion
in Hervy. Their cause was pleaded at the Guildhall, and such "a wordy
strife" arose between Hervy and the mayor, that the session had to be
broken up, and Hervy’s conduct was reported to the king’s council. The
next day, upon the resumption of the session, a certain roll was produced
and publicly read, in which "the presumptuous acts and injuries, of most
notorious character" which Hervy was alleged to have committed during his
mayoralty were set forth at length.

(M179) (M180)

The charges against him were eight in number, of which some at least
appear to be in the last degree frivolous. He had on a certain occasion
borne false witness; he had failed on another occasion to attend at
Westminster upon a summons; he had failed to observe all the assizes made
by the aldermen and had allowed ale to be sold in his ward for three
halfpence a gallon; he had taken bribes for allowing corn and wine to be
taken out of the city for sale, and he had misappropriated a sum of money
which had been raised for a special purpose. Such was the general run of
the charges brought against him, in addition to which were the charges of
having permitted the guilds to make new statutes to their own advantage
and to the loss of the city and all the realm, as already narrated, and of
having procured "certain persons of the city, of Stebney, of Stratford,
and of Hakeneye" to make an unjust complaint against the mayor, "who had
warranty sufficient for what he had done, namely, the council of his
lordship the king." This last charge had reference to the recent removal
of tradesmen’s stalls from Chepe. No defence appears to have been allowed
Hervy. The charges were read, and he was then and there declared to be
"judicially degraded from his aldermanry and for ever excluded from the
council of the city"; a precept being at the same time issued for the
immediate election of a successor, to be presented at the next court.(285)


From this time forward nothing more is heard of Hervy. The same cloud
envelopes his later history, that gathered round the last years of his
predecessor and political tutor Thomas Fitz-Thomas. The misfortune of both
of these men was that they lived before their age. Their works bore fruit
long after they had departed. The trade or craft guilds, as distinguished
from the more wealthy and influential mercantile guilds, eventually played
an important part in the city. Under Edward II, no stranger could obtain
the freedom of the city (without which, he could do little or nothing),
unless he became a member of one of these guilds, or sought the suffrages
of the commonalty of the city, before admission to the freedom in the
Court of Husting.(286)

The normal and more expeditious way of obtaining the freedom was thus
through a guild. If Hervy or Fitz-Thomas lived till the year 1319, when
the Ordinances just cited received the king’s sanction, he must have felt
that the struggle he had made to raise the lesser guilds had not been in
vain. The mercantile element in the city, which had formerly overcome the
aristocratic element,(287) in its turn gave way to the numerical
superiority and influence of the craft and manufacturing element. Hence it
was that in 1376—when the number of trade or craft guilds in the city
compared with the larger mercantile guilds was as forty to eight—the
guilds succeeded in wresting for a while from the wards the right of
electing members of the city’s council.(288)


In the meantime, King Edward I, arrived in London (18th August, 1274),
where he was heartily welcomed by the citizens,(289) and was crowned the
following day. He had expected to have returned much earlier, and had
addressed a letter to the mayor, sheriffs, and commonalty of the City of
London, eighteen months before, informing them of his purposed speedy
return, and of his wishes that they should endeavour to preserve the peace
of the realm.(290) He was, however, detained in France.


Edward’s right to succeed his father was never disputed. For the first
time in the annals of England, a new king commences to reign immediately
after the death of his predecessor. _Le Roi est mort, vive le_ _Roi_!
Within a week of his father’s decease, a writ was issued, in which the
hereditary right of succession was distinctly asserted as forming Edward’s
title to the crown.(291)


Before setting sail for England, Edward despatched a letter (3rd April),
"to his well-beloved, the mayor, barons, and reputable men of London,"
thanking them for the preparations he understood they were making for the
ceremony of his coronation, and bidding them send a deputation of four of
the more discreet of the citizens, to him at Paris, for the purpose of a
special conference.(292)


The difficulty which gave rise to this conference and to the signal mark
of distinction bestowed upon the citizens of London, proved to be of a
commercial character, and, as such, one upon which the opinions of the
leading merchants of London would be of especial value. Ever since the
year 1270, the commercial relationship between England and Flanders had
been strained. The Countess of Flanders had thought fit to lay hands upon
the wool and other merchandise belonging to English merchants found within
her dominions, and to appropriate the same to her own use. Edward’s
predecessor on the throne had thereupon issued a writ to the mayor and
sheriffs of London, forbidding in future the export of wool to any parts
beyond sea whatsoever,(293) but this measure not having the desired
effect, he shortly afterwards had recourse to reprisals.

On the 28th June, 1270, a writ had been issued to the same parties
ordering them to seize the goods of all Flemings, Hainaulters, and other
subjects of the Countess, for the purpose of satisfying the claims of
English merchants; and all subjects of the Countess, except those workmen
who had received express permission to come to England for the purpose of
making cloth, and those who had taken to themselves English wives, and had
obtained a domicile in this country, were to quit the realm by a certain
date.(294) Those Flemings who neglected this injunction were to be seized
and kept in custody until further orders, and the same measures were to be
taken with those who harboured them. In the meantime, an inquisition was
ordered to be made as to the amount and value of the goods seized by the
Countess, and the English merchants were to lodge their respective claims
for compensation.


The interruption of trade between England—at that time the chief
wool-exporting country in the world—and Flanders where the cloth-working
industry especially flourished, caused much tribulation; and the King of
France, the Duke of Brabant, and other foreign potentates, whose subjects
began to feel the effect of this commercial disturbance, addressed letters
to the King of England, requesting that their merchants might enter his
realm and stay, and traffic there as formerly. They had never offended the
King or his people; the Countess of Flanders was the sole offender, and
she alone ought to be punished. The matter having received due
consideration, the embargo on the export of wool was taken off with
respect to all countries, except Flanders, with the proviso that no wool
should be exported out of the kingdom without special license from the

By the month of October, 1271, the inquisitors, who had been appointed to
appraise the goods and chattels of Flemings in England, were able to
report to parliament that their value amounted to £8,000 "together with
the king’s debt," whilst the value of merchandise belonging to English
merchants and seized by the countess amounted to £7,000, besides chattels
of other merchants. Parliament again sat in January of the new year to
consider the claims of English merchants, when those whose goods had been
taken in Flanders, "and the Londoners more especially," appeared in
person. Each stated the amount of his loss and the amount of goods
belonging to Flemings which he had in hand, and a balance was struck. An
inquisition was, at the same time, taken in each of the city wards, as to
the number of merchants who bought, sold, exchanged, or harboured the
goods of persons belonging to the dominion of the Countess; and also as to
who had taken wools out of England to the parts beyond the sea, contrary
to the king’s prohibition.(296) Many Flemings, still lurking in the city,
were arrested, and only liberated on condition they abjured the realm so
long as the dispute between England and Flanders should continue. Nearly
six months elapsed before any further steps were taken by either party in
the strife. The Countess then showed signs of giving way. Envoys from her
arrived in England. She was willing to make satisfaction to all English
merchants for the losses they had sustained, but this was to be subject to
the condition that the king should bind himself to discharge certain
alleged debts, which had been the cause of all the mischief from the
outset, within a fixed time. In the event of the king failing to discharge
these claims, the justice of which he never recognised, the Countess was
to be allowed to distrain all persons coming into her country from England
by their bodies and their goods, until satisfaction should be made for
arrears. This haughty message only made matters worse. The king and his
council became indignant, and contemptuously dismissed the envoys,
commanding them to leave England within three days on peril of life and


Time went on; Henry died, and before his son Edward arrived in England
from the Holy Land to take up the reins of government, his chancellor,
Walter de Merton, had caused a proclamation to be made throughout the
city, forbidding any Fleming to enter the kingdom, under penalty of
forfeiture of person and goods. The proclamation was more than ordinarily
stringent, for it went on to say that if perchance any individual had
received special permission from the late king to sojourn and to trade
within the realm, such permission was no longer to hold good, but the
foreigner was to pack up his merchandise, collect his debts, and leave the
country by Christmas, 1273, at the latest.(298)


The Countess had probably hoped that a change of monarch on the English
throne would have favoured her cause. This proclamation was sufficient to
show her the character of the king with whom she had in future to deal,
and destroyed any hope she may have entertained in this direction. She
therefore took the opportunity of Edward’s passing through Paris to
London, to open negotiations for the purpose of restoring peace between
England and Flanders; and it was to assist the king in conducting these
negotiations, that he had summoned a deputation of citizens of London to
meet him at Paris.


The choice of the citizens fell upon Henry le Waleys, their mayor for the
time being, one who was known almost as well in France as in the city of
London, if we may judge from the fact of his filling the office of Mayor
of Bordeaux in the following year. With him were chosen Gregory de
Rokesley who, besides being a large dealer in wool, was also a goldsmith
and financier, and as such was shortly to be appointed master of the
exchange throughout England;(299) John Horn, whose name bespeaks his
Flemish origin,(300) and who may on that account have been appointed, as
one who was intimate with both sides of the question under discussion; and
Luke de Batencurt, also of foreign extraction, who was one of the Sheriffs
of London this same year.


These four accordingly set out to confer with the king at Paris, having
previously seen to the appointment of wardens over the city, and of
magistrates to determine complaints which might arise at the fair to be
held at St. Botolph’s, or Boston, in Lincolnshire, during their
absence.(301) The deputation were absent a month. On the 19th July,
Gregory de Rokesle and certain others whose names are not mentioned again
set out in compliance with orders received from the king; the object of
their journey being, as we are expressly told, to treat of peace between
the king and the Countess of Flanders at Montreuil.(302) A month later
Edward himself was in England.


The king ruled the city, as indeed he ruled the rest of the kingdom, with
a strong hand. Londoners had already experienced the force of his arm and
his ability in the field, when he scattered them at Lewes; they were now
to experience the benefit of his powers of organization in time of peace.
Fitz-Thedmar’s chronicle now fails us, but we have a new source of
information in the letter books(303) of the Corporation.


The first and the most pressing difficulty which presented itself to
Edward, was the re-organization of finance. Without money the barons could
not be kept within legitimate bounds. Having won their cause against the
usurpations of the crown, they began to turn their arms upon each other,
and it required Edward’s strong hand not only to impose order upon his
unruly nobles, but also, to bring Scotland and Wales into submission. The
country was flooded with clipt coin. This was called in, and new money
minted at the Tower, under the supervision of Gregory de Rokesley as
Master of the Exchange.(304) Parliament made large grants to the king; and
he further increased his resources by imposing knighthood upon all
freeholders of estates worth £20 a year.(305) When the Welsh war was
renewed in 1282, the city sent him 6,000 marks by the hands of Waleys and


In 1283 an extraordinary assembly—styled a parliament by some
chroniclers—was summoned to meet at Shrewsbury to attend the trial of
David, brother of Llewelyn, Prince of Wales. To this so-called parliament
the city sent no less than six representatives, viz.: Henry le Waleys, the
mayor, Gregory de Rokesley, Philip Cissor, or the tailor, Ralph Crepyn,
Joce le Acatour, or merchant, and John de Gisors.(307) Their names are
worthy of record, inasmuch as they are the first known representatives of
the city in any assembly deserving the name of a parliament, the names of
those attending Simon de Montfort’s parliament not having been transmitted
to us. David was convicted and barbarously executed, his head being
afterwards carried to London, and set up on the Tower, where his brother’s
head, with a mock crown of ivy, had recently been placed.(308)


Of Ralph Crepyn, one of the city’s representatives at Shrewsbury, a tragic
story is told. Meeting, one day, Laurence Duket, his rival in the
affections of a woman known as "Alice atte Bowe," the two came to blows,
and Crepyn was wounded. The affray took place in Cheapside, and Duket,
fearing he had killed his man, sought sanctuary in Bow Church. Crepyn’s
friends, hearing of the matter, followed and having killed Duket, disposed
of their victim’s body in such a way as to suggest suicide. It so
happened, however, that the sacrilegious murder had been witnessed by a
boy who informed against the culprits and no less than sixteen persons
were hanged for the part they had taken in it. Alice, herself, was
condemned to be burnt alive as being the chief instigator of the murder;
others, including Ralph Crepyn, were sent to the Tower, and only released
on payment of heavy fines.(309) The church was placed under interdict, the
doors and windows being filled with thorns until purification had been
duly made. Duket’s remains, which had been interred as those of a suicide,
were afterwards taken up and received the rights of Christian burial in
Bow Churchyard.


The year 1285 was a memorable one both for London and the kingdom. It
witnessed the passing of two important statutes. In the first place the
statute _De Donis_ legalised the principle of tying up real estate, so as
to descend, in an exclusive perpetual line; in other words, it sanctioned
entails, and its effect is still experienced at the present day in every
ordinary settlement of land. In the next place the Assise of Arms of Henry
II was improved so as to secure for the king a national support in the
time of danger. In every hundred and franchise each man’s armour was to be
viewed twice a year; and defaults reported to the king "who would find a
remedy." The gates of walled towns were to be closed from sun-set to
sun-rise, and watch and ward were to be kept as strictly as in times past,
"that is to wit, from the day of the Ascension until the day of S.
Michael, in every city by six men at every gate; in every borough, twelve
men; every town, six or four, according to the number of the inhabitants
of the town, and they shall watch the town continually all night from the
sun-setting unto the sun-rising."(310) Three years previous to the passing
of this statute the mayor, alderman and chamberlain had made very similar
provisions for the keeping of the City of London, the city’s gates, and
the river Thames.(311)


For the city, the year was a memorable one, owing to the suspension of its
franchise. The circumstances which caused the loss of its liberties for a
period of thirteen years (1285-1298) were these. The king’s justiciars
were sitting at the Tower, where the mayor, sheriffs, and aldermen of the
city had been summoned to attend. Owing to some informality in the
summons, Gregory de Rokesley, the Mayor, declined to attend in his
official capacity, but formally "deposed himself" at the Church of All
Hallows Barking—the limit of the city jurisdiction— by handing the city’s
seal to Stephen Aswy or Eswy, a brother alderman. On entering the chamber
where sat the justiciars, the mayor excused his unofficial appearance on
the ground of insufficient notice. This was not what the justiciars had
been accustomed to. On the contrary, the citizens had usually shown
studied respect towards the justiciars whenever they came to the Tower for
the purpose of holding pleas of the crown.


The rules of procedure on such occasions are fully set out in the city’s
"Liber Albus,"(312) and they contain, curiously enough, a provision
expressly made for cases where the full notice of forty days had not been
given. In such an event the prescribed rule was to send some of their more
discreet citizens to the king and his council to ask for the appointment
of another day. Whether Rokesley had taken this step before resorting to
the measures he did we are not told. It was also the custom on such
occasions for the citizens to gather at Barking Church, clothed in their
best apparel, and thence proceed in a body to the Tower. A deputation was
appointed—selected members of the common council—who should also proceed
to the Tower for the purpose of giving an official welcome to the
justiciars on behalf of the citizens. It was not thought to be in any way
derogatory to secure the goodwill of the king’s justiciars by making ample
presents. It had been done time out of mind. The sheriffs and aldermen
were to attend with their respective sergeants and beadles, the benches at
the Tower were to be examined beforehand and necessary repairs carried
out, all shops were to be closed and no business transacted during the
session. In a word, everything was to be done that could add to the
dignity of the justiciars and the solemnity of the occasion. In contrast
with all this, Rokesley’s conduct was indeed strange, and leads us to
suppose that his action was caused by some other and stronger reason than
the mere omission to give the usual notice of the coming of the king’s


Be this as it may, the king’s treasurer, who may possibly have been
forewarned of what was about to take place, at once decided what course to
take. He declared the city to be there and then taken into the king’s
hands, on the pretext that it was found to be without a mayor, and he
summoned the citizens to appear on the morrow before the king at
Westminster. When the morrow came, the citizens duly appeared, and about
eighty of them were detained. Those who accompanied Rokesley to Barking
Church on the previous day were confined in the Tower, but after a few
days they were all set at liberty, with the exception of Stephen Aswy, who
was removed in custody to Windsor.(313)


The king appointed Ralph de Sandwich _custos_ or warden of the city,
enjoining him at the same time to observe the liberties and customs of the
citizens, and for the next thirteen years (1285-1298) the city continued
to be governed by a warden in the person of Sandwich or of John le Breton,
whilst the sheriffs were sometimes appointed by the Exchequer and
sometimes chosen by the citizens.(314)


In May, 1286, the king went to Gascony, leaving the country in charge of
his nephew, Edmund, Earl of Cornwall, and did not return until August,
1289. He was then in sore straits for money, as was so often the case with
him, and was glad of a present of £1,000 which the citizens offered by way
of courtesy (_curialitas_). The money was ordered (14th October) to be
levied by poll,(315) but many of the inhabitants were so poor that they
could only find pledges for future payment, and these pledges were
afterwards sold for what they would fetch.(316) A twelve-month later
(October, 1290) when Edward visited London, he was fain to be content with
the smaller sum of 1,000 marks.(317)


The expulsion of the Jews in 1290 increased Edward’s difficulties, for on
them he chiefly depended for replenishing his empty exchequer. Their
expulsion was not so much his own wish as the wish of his subjects, who,
being largely in debt to the Jews, regarded them as cruel tyrants. The
nation soon discovered that it had made a mistake in thus getting rid of
its creditors, for in the absence of the Jews, Edward was compelled to
resort to the Lombard merchants. It may possibly have been owing to some
monetary transactions between them that the king was solicitous of getting
a life interest in the city’s Small Beam made over to a lady known as
Jacobina la Lumbard. No particulars are known of this lady, but to judge
from her name she probably came of a family of money-lenders, and if so,
the king’s action in writing from Berwick (28th June, 1291) to the warden
and aldermen of the city—at a time when he was completely in the hands of
the Italian goldsmiths and money-lenders—soliciting for her a more or less
lucrative post is easily intelligible.(318) The king’s request was
refused, notwithstanding the city being at the time in charge of a
_custos_ of his own choice instead of a mayor elected by the citizens
themselves. Such requests produced friction between the king and the city,
and the former’s financial relations with the foreign merchants were
fraught with danger to himself and to his son.(319)


Edward’s anxiety was in the meanwhile increased by domestic troubles. In
1290 he suffered a bitter disappointment by the death of a Scottish
princess who was affianced to his son, the Prince of Wales, and thus a
much-cherished plan for establishing friendly relations between the two
countries was frustrated.  But this disappointment was quickly cast in the
shade by the more severe affliction he suffered in the loss of his wife.
In November Queen Eleanor died. Her corpse was brought from Lincoln to
Westminster, and the bereaved husband ordered a memorial cross to be set
up at each place where her body rested. One of these crosses was erected
at the west end of Cheapside. After the Reformation the images with which
the cross was ornamented, like the image of Becket set over the gate of
the Mercers’ Chapel, roused the anger of the iconoclast, who took delight
in defacing them.


Time only increased the king’s pecuniary difficulties. In February, 1292,
all freeholders of land of the annual value of £40 were ordered to receive
knighthood, and in the following January the estates of defaulters were
seized by the king’s orders.(320) In June, 1294, war was declared against
France. Money must be had. Every monastery and every church throughout
England was ransacked for treasure, and the sum of £2,000, found in St.
Paul’s Church, was appropriated for the public service.(321) The dean was
seized with a fit (_subita percussus passione_) and died in the king’s


Instead of invading France, Edward found his own shores devastated by a
French fleet, whilst at the same time his hands were full with fresh
difficulties from Scotland and Wales. In the summer of 1295, the city
furnished the king with three ships, the cost being defrayed by a tax of
twopence in the pound charged on chattels and merchandise. John le Breton,
then warden, advanced the sum of £40, which the aldermen and six men of
each ward undertook to repay.(323) In the following year (1296) the city
agreed, after some little hesitation, to furnish forty men with
caparisoned horses, and fifty arbalesters for the defence of the south
coast, under the king’s son, Edward of Carnarvon.(324)


Edward again turned his attention to Scotland, and, having succeeded in
reducing Balliol to submission, he carried off from Scone the stone which
legend identifies with Jacob’s pillow, and on which the Scottish kings had
from time immemorial been crowned,(325) By Edward’s order the stone was
enclosed in a stately seat, and placed in Westminster Abbey, where it has
since served as the coronation chair of English sovereigns.


From Berwick Edward issued (26 Aug., 1296,) writs for a Parliament to meet
at Bury St. Edmund’s, in the following November. The constitution of this
Parliament was the same as that which had met at Westminster in November
of the previous year (1295) and which was intended to serve as a model
parliament, a pattern for all future national assemblies. The city was
represented by two aldermen, namely, Sir Stephen Aswy, or Eswy, who had
been confined in Windsor Castle ten years before for his conduct towards
the king’s justiciars at the Tower, and Sir William de Hereford.(326) From
this time forward down to the present day we have little difficulty in
discovering from one source or another the names of the city’s
representatives in successive parliaments. Edward, of course, wanted
money. The barons and knights increased their former grants; so also did
the burgesses. The clergy, on the other hand, declared themselves unable
to make any grant at all in the face of a papal prohibition,(327) and the
king was at last driven to seize the lay fees of the clergy of the
province of Canterbury. In the spring of the following year he proceeded
to seize all the wool of the country, paying for it by tallies, and to
levy a supply of provisions on the counties. The act was only justifiable
on the plea of necessity, and led to measures being taken to prevent its


It was an easier matter for Edward to raise money than to get the barons
to accompany him abroad. To leave them behind was to risk the peace of the
country. He therefore spared no efforts to persuade them to join in a
projected expedition, and when persuasion failed tried threats. It was his
desire that the barons should go to Gascony, whilst he took the command in
Flanders. This was not at all to the taste of the barons, who declined to
go abroad, except in the personal retinue of the king himself. "With you,
O king," said Roger Bigod, "I will gladly go; as belongs to me by
hereditary right, I will go in front of the host, before your face;" but
without the king he positively declined to move. "By God, earl," cried the
king, fairly roused by the obstinacy of his vassal, "you shall either go
or hang;" to which the earl replied, with equal determination, "By the
same token, O king, I will neither go nor hang."(329)

Nothing daunted, the king issued writs (15 May) for a military levy of the
whole kingdom for service abroad, to meet at London on the 7th July, a
measure as unconstitutional as the seizure of wool and the levying of
taxes without the assent of Parliament. On the day appointed, the barons,
who had received a large accession of strength from the great vassals,
appeared with their forces at St. Paul’s; but instead of complying with
the king’s demands—or rather requests, for the king had altered his
tone—they prepared a list of their grievances.


With difficulty civil war was avoided, and in August Edward set sail for
Flanders. No sooner was his back turned, than the barons and the Londoners
made common cause in insisting upon a confirmation and amplification of
their charters.(330) Prince Edward, the king’s son, who had been appointed
regent in his father’s absence, granted all that was asked, and on the
10th October (1297), the _Confirmatio Cartarum_, as it was called, was
issued in the king’s name.(331) Thenceforth, no customs duties were to be
exacted without the consent of parliament.


In view of the king’s return to England in March (1298), the warden of the
city, Sir John Breton, the aldermen, and a deputation from the wards met
together and resolved that every inhabitant of the city, citizen and
stranger, should pay to the king’s collectors the sum of sixpence in the
pound of all their goods up to £100.(332) In the following month Edward
issued letters patent (11th April), restoring to the citizens their
franchises and the right of again electing their mayor.(333) The choice of
the citizens fell upon Henry le Waleys, who was duly admitted by the
Barons of the Exchequer after presentation to the king.(334)


In the summer Edward marched to Scotland for the purpose of putting down
the rising under Wallace. An account of the battle of Falkirk, fought on
the 22nd July, was conveyed to the mayor, aldermen, and "barons" of
London, by letter from Walter Langton, Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry,
or, as he was then styled, Bishop of Chester, who wrote as an eye-witness,
if not indeed as a partaker in that day’s work.(335) It was the first
battle of any consequence in which the English long-bow was brought into
prominence. Edward’s victory was complete. The enemy’s loss was great, the
number that perished, according to the bishop’s information, being two
hundred men-at-arms and twenty thousand foot soldiers. Edward was unable,
however, to follow up his success for want of supplies, and so retreated.
In 1304, he again marched northward, notwithstanding the defection of many
nobles. He had previously resorted once more to the questionable practice
of talliaging the city of London,(336) levying from the citizens the
fifteenth penny of their moveable goods and the tenth penny of their
rents.(337) The campaign was eminently successful. Sterling surrendered
after a siege of two months, and Wallace himself shortly afterwards fell
into his hands, having refused the terms of an amnesty which Edward had
generously offered.


He was carried to London, where a crowd of men and women flocked out to
meet one, of whose gigantic stature and feats of strength they had heard
so much. He was lodged in the house of William de Leyre, an alderman of
the city, situate in the parish of All Hallows at the Hay or All Hallows
the Great. Having been tried at Westminster and condemned to death on
charges of treason, sacrilege and robbery, he was hanged, drawn, and
quartered, and his head set up on London Bridge.(338)


No sooner was Wallace disposed of than another claimant to the Scottish
crown appeared in the person of Bruce. Before Edward took the field
against the new foe, he conferred knighthood upon his son and nearly three
hundred others, including John le Blound the mayor. The number of knights
within the small compass of the city was reckoned at that time to be not
less than a thousand.(339) Knighthood, as we have seen, was one of the
means Edward resorted to for raising money, and on this occasion the
citizens of London are said to have made him a free gift of £2,000, in
recognition of the honour bestowed on their mayor.(340)


In the summer of 1307, Edward set out to execute the vow of vengeance
against Bruce that he had made on the occasion of the knighthood of his
son, but the hand of death was upon him, and before lie reached the
Scottish border he died (7th July).



The new king’s character, differing as it did so much from that of his
father, was not one to commend itself to the citizens of London. With them
he never became a favourite. The bold and determined character of Queen
Isabel, the very antipodes of her husband, was more to their liking, and
throughout the contests that ensued between them, the citizens steadily
supported her cause. At her first appearance, as a bride, in the city, the
streets were compared with the New Jerusalem, so rich were they in
appearance;(341) whilst at the coronation ceremony, which took place a
month later (25th February, 1308), she and her husband were escorted by
the mayor and aldermen in their most gorgeous robes, quartered with the
arms of England and France, and were served at the banquet as custom


But even thus early in Edward of Carnarvon’s reign the presence of
foreigners—to whom the king was even more addicted than his father—was
likely to prove a source of trouble; and it was necessary to make special
proclamations forbidding the carrying of arms on the day of the coronation
and enjoining respect for foreigners attending the ceremony.(343) The
king’s foreign favourites proved his ruin, and contributed in no small
degree to the eventual defection of the city. They were for ever desiring
some favour of the citizens. At one time it was Piers de Gavestone who
wanted a post for his "valet";(344) at another it was Hugh le Despenser
who desired (and obtained) a lease of the Small Beam for a friend.(345)
The friend only held the Beam for little more than six months, and then,
at the urgent request of the queen herself, it was given to another.(346)


The barons were especially irritated at being supplanted by the king’s
favourites, and in 1308 succeeded in getting Edward to send Gaveston out
of England. In the following year, however, he was recalled, and the
barons became so exasperated that in 1310, when the king summoned an
assembly of bishops and barons, the latter appeared, contrary to orders,
in full military array. The king could not do otherwise than submit to
their dictation. Ordainers were appointed from among the barons for the
purpose of drawing up ordinances for the government of the kingdom. These
ordinances were promulgated in their complete form in 1311, when they
received the sanction of a parliament assembled at the House of the Black
Friars, in the month of August, and were afterwards publicly proclaimed in
St. Paul’s Churchyard,(347) special precautions being taken at the time to
safeguard the gates of the city by night and day.(348) Gaveston was
condemned to banishment for life.


In the meantime, whilst the Ordainers were engaged on their work, Edward
had put himself at the head of his army and marched against the Scots, who
were rapidly gaining ground under Bruce. He remained on the border until
July, 1311, trying every means to raise money. In March of that year the
city sent him one thousand marks, by the hands of Roger le Palmere and
William de Flete, the mayor, Richer de Refham, contributing no less than
one hundred pounds of the whole sum. The money was despatched on
horseback, tied up in baskets covered with matting and bound with cords,
and the cost of every particular is set out in the city’s records.(349)


Refham was a mayor of the popular type. He had already suffered
deprivation of his aldermanry for some reason or another, but was
reinstated in 13O2.(350) No sooner was he chosen mayor than he caused a
collection to be made of the ancient liberties and customs of the city,
from the books and rolls preserved in the city’s Chamber, and having
assembled the aldermen and best men of the city, he caused them to be
publicly read. This having been done, he next proceeded to ask the
assembly if it was their will that these ancient customs and liberties,
which had so often been infringed by the removal of mayors and sheriffs,
should be for the future maintained. Their answer being given unanimously
in the affirmative, he at once took steps to obtain the king’s writ of
confirmation, and caused them to be proclaimed throughout the city. He
made a perambulation of the city and abated all nuisances and
encroachments. He went further than this. For some time past the streets
had been rendered unsafe to pass after dark by bands of rioters who at
that day were known by the _sobriquet_ of "roreres." A few years later,
the same class went under the name of "riffleres." They were the
precursors of the "Muns," the "Tityre Tus," the "Hectors," and the
"Scourers,"—dynasties of tyrants, as Macaulay styles them, which
domineered over the streets of London, soon after the Restoration, and at
a later period were superseded by the "Nickers," the "Hawcubites," and the
still more dreaded "Mohawks," of Queen Anne’s reign. By whatever name they
happened at the time to be known, their practice was the same,
viz.:—assault and robbery of peaceful citizens whose business or pleasure
carried them abroad after sundown.

During Refham’s mayoralty, a raid was made on all common nightwalkers,
"bruisers" (_pugnatores_), common "roreres," _wagabunds_ and others, and
many were committed to prison, to the great relief of the more peaceably

His strictness and impartiality were such as to raise up enemies, and an
excuse was found for removing him not only from the office of mayor, but
once again from his aldermanry.(352) On this point, however, the city
archives are altogether silent, they only record the appointment of his
successor to the mayoralty chair at the usual time and in the usual


In January, 1312, the king returned to the north, and as soon as he had
arrived at York ignored the ordinance touching Gaveston, and instead of
sending his favourite into exile, received him into favour and restored
his forfeited estates. Foreseeing the storm that he would have to meet
from the barons, the king wrote from Knaresborough (9th Jan.) to Refham’s
successor, John de Gisors, enjoining him to put the city into a state of
defence, and not allow armed men to enter on any pretext whatever.(353) On
the 21st he wrote again, not only to the mayor, but to nineteen leading
men of the city, exhorting them to hold the city for him.(354) Other
letters followed in quick succession—on the 24th and 31st January and the
8th February—all couched in similar terms.(355) When, however, he saw how
hopeless his case was, Edward sent word to the mayor and sheriffs that the
barons might be admitted provided the city was still held for the king.
Accordingly the barons were admitted without bloodshed, and held
consultation at St. Paul’s as to what was best to be done.(356) Gaveston’s
days were numbered. On the 12th June he was forced to surrender
unconditionally to the Earl of Warwick, and that day week was beheaded
without the semblance of a trial.(357)

The influence he had exercised over the king had been remarkable from
their youth. The son of a Gascon knight, he had been brought up with
Edward as his foster brother and playfellow, and in course of time the
strong will of the favourite gained a complete mastery over the weaker
will of the prince. But his arrogant behaviour soon raised such a storm
among the nobles at Court that he was forced to leave England. When Edward
succeeded to the throne, one of his first acts was to recall Gaveston, to
whom he gave his own niece in marriage, after having bestowed upon him the
Earldom of Cornwall. The king seemed never tired of heaping wealth upon
his friend. Among other things, he bestowed upon his favourite (28th Aug.,
1309) the sum of 100 shillings payable out of the rent of £50 due from the
citizens of London for Oueenhithe, to be held by him, his wife, and the
heirs of their bodies.(358)

Both of them had friends and enemies in common. As Prince of Wales, Edward
had made an attempt to encroach upon some woods belonging to Walter
Langton, Bishop of Chester. This caused a breach between father and son,
and the prince was banished from Court for a whole half-year. Gaveston
also bore the same bishop a grudge, for it was owing in a great measure to
Langton’s influence as treasurer to Edward I that he was in the first
instance forced into exile. When the prince succeeded his father, there
came a day of retribution for the bishop; his property was handed over to
Gaveston, and he himself carried prisoner from castle to castle by the now
all powerful favourite. A proclamation was also issued at the instance of
Gaveston, inviting complaints against the bishop.(359)


Edward had purposed holding a parliament at Lincoln towards the end of
July, 1312, but the turn that affairs had taken induced him to change his
mind, and he summoned it to meet at Westminster.(360) It was important
that he should secure the city, if possible, in his favour. In this he was
successful; so that when the barons appeared to threaten London, having
arrived with a large force at Ware, they found the city’s gates strongly


In November (1312), the queen gave birth to a son, who afterwards ascended
the throne as Edward III. Isabel herself informed the citizens of the
auspicious event by letter sent by the hands of John de Falaise, her
"taillur."(362) The news had already reached the city, however, before the
queen’s own messenger arrived, and he signified his disappointment at
being forestalled by declining to accept a sum of £10 and a silver cup of
32 ozs., which the city offered him by way of gratuity, as being
inadequate to his deserts. As nothing further is recorded of the matter,
it is probable that the offended tailor had reason to repent of his folly.
For more than a week the city was given up to merry-making, in honour of
the birth of an heir to the crown. The conduits ran with wine; a solemn
mass was sung at St. Paul’s, and the mayor and aldermen rode in state to
Westminster, accompanied by members of the fraternities of drapers,
mercers, and vintners of London, in their respective liveries, to make
offering, returning to dine at the Guildhall, which was hung with tapestry
as befitted the occasion.


After the death of Gaveston, his old enemy Walter Langton again found
favour and resumed his office as treasurer. The city had little reason to
be gratified at his return to power; for it was by his advice that the
king in December of this year (1312), issued orders for a talliage, which
the great towns, and especially London, objected to pay. Early in the
following January (1313), the mayor and aldermen were summoned to attend
the royal council, sitting at the house of the White Friars. The question
was there put to them—would they make fine for the talliage, or be
assessed by poll on their rents and chattels? Before making answer, the
mayor and aldermen desired to consult the commons of the city. An
adjournment accordingly took place for that purpose. When next the mayor
and aldermen appeared before the council, they resisted the talliage on
the following grounds:(363)—In the first place, because, although the king
might talliage cities and boroughs that were of his demesne, he could not,
as they understood, talliage the City of London, which enjoyed exemption
from such an imposition by charter. In the next place, there were prelates
and barons, besides citizens, who enjoyed rents and tenements in the city,
and their consent would first have to be obtained before the municipal
authorities could levy such a tax. Thirdly, the citizens held the city by
grant of former kings, at a fee ferm for all services payable into the
exchequer, and on that account ought not to be talliaged. Under these
circumstances the council was asked to delay the talliage until Parliament
should meet.

This request the king and council expressed themselves as ready to comply
with on condition that the city made an immediate advance of 2,000 marks.
The city refused, and the king’s assessors appeared at the Guildhall, and
read their commission. They were on the point of commencing work, when the
city obtained a respite until the meeting of Parliament by a loan of
£1,000. More than eighteen months elapsed, and at last a Parliament was
summoned to meet at York (Sept. 1314); but the country was in such a
disturbed state, owing to the renewal of the war with Scotland, that the
talliage question was not discussed. Nevertheless the king’s officers
appeared again in the city to make an assessment, and again they were
bought off by another loan of £400. The king took the money and broke his
word, and the record of pledges taken from citizens for "arrears of divers
talliages and not redeemed," is significant of the hardship inflicted by
this illegal exaction on a large number of inhabitants of the city.(364)


Out of this sum of £400, nearly one-half (£178 3_s._ 4_d._), was allowed
the city for the purpose of furnishing the king with a contingent of 120
arbalesters, fully equipped for the defence of Berwick. Edward had been
defeated by the Scots at Bannockburn (24 June, 1314), and Berwick was
threatened. On the 21st November, Edward wrote from Northampton, asking
for 300 arbalesters if the city could provide so many; but the city could
do no more than furnish him with 120.(365) The fall of Berwick was only
postponed. In 1318 the great border fortress against Scotland was captured
by Bruce. Edward was forced soon afterwards to come to terms with the Earl
of Lancaster and the barons with whom he had so long been in avowed
antagonism, and a general pacification ensued, which received the sanction
of Parliament sitting at York in November.(366) On the 4th December, the
king sent home the foot soldiers which the city had furnished, with a
letter of thanks for the aid they had afforded him. They were immediately
paid off and disbanded.(367)


It was not long before the king and Lancaster were preparing to join
forces for the recovery of Berwick. In the meantime, the Barons of the
Exchequer appeared at the Guildhall (25th February, 1319), and summoned
the mayor, sheriffs and aldermen to answer for certain trespasses. Several
holders of office, and among them Edmund le Lorimer, Gaoler of Newgate,
for whom Hugh le Despenser had solicited the Small Beam, were deposed: a
proceeding which gave rise to much bickering between mayor, aldermen and
commons. Disputes, moreover, had arisen in the city touching the election
and removal of the mayor, sheriffs and aldermen of the city, which
required some pressure from the Earl Marshal and other of the king’s
ministers, sitting in the Chapter-house of St. Paul’s, before peace could
be restored.(368)


According to the writer of the French Chronicle, to which reference has
frequently been made,(369) the dissension in the city was mainly
attributable to John de Wengrave, the mayor. The citizens had lately been
busy drawing up certain "points" for a new charter. Wengrave, who was at
the time, or until quite recently, the city’s Recorder, had contrived, in
1318, to force himself into the mayoralty having served as mayor the two
years preceding—"against the will of the commons." He had shown no little
opposition to the "points" of the proposed charter, possibly because one
of the points precluded the mayor, for the time being, from drawing or
hearing pleas, saving only "those pleas which, as mayor, he ought to hear,
according to the custom of the city."(370) If this received the king’s
approval, Wengrave’s occupation as Recorder, at least so long as he was
mayor, was gone. However this may be, the mayor’s opposition was rendered
futile, and the articles were confirmed by the king’s letters patent.(371)
Their main feature has already been alluded to; thenceforth the direct way
to the civic franchise was to be through membership of one of the civic
guilds. A foreigner or stranger, not a member of a guild, could only
obtain it by appealing to the full body of citizens before admission
through the Court of Husting. Conscious of their newly acquired
importance, the guilds began to array themselves in liveries, and "a good
time was about to begin."(372) Edward did not give his assent to these
articles without receiving a _quid pro quo_. The citizens were mulcted in
a sum of £1,000 before the king’s seal was set to the letters patent.(373)
They did not mind this so much as they did the annoyance caused by the
king’s justiciars eighteen months later.


Early in 1321 commenced a memorable Iter at the Tower which lasted
twenty-four weeks and three days. No such Iter had been held before,
although the last Iter held in 1275 had been a remarkable one for the
courageous conduct of Gregory de Rokesle, the mayor. This was to surpass
every other session of Pleas of the Crown in its powers of inquisition,
and was destined to draw off many a would-be loyal citizen from the king’s
side. Its professed object was to examine into unlawful "colligations,
confederations, and conventions by oaths," which were known (or supposed)
to have been formed in the city.(374) The following particulars of its
proceedings are gathered from an account preserved in the city’s records
and supervised, if not compiled, by Andrew Horn, the city’s Chamberlain,
an able lawyer who was employed as Counsel for the city during at least a
portion of the Iter.(375) The annoyance caused by this Iter, the general
stoppage of trade and commerce, the hindrance of municipal business, is
realised when we consider that for six months not only the mayor, sheriffs
and aldermen for the time being, but everyone who had filled any office in
the city since the holding of the last Iter—a period of nearly half a
century—as well as twelve representatives from each ward, were called upon
to be in constant attendance. All charters were to be produced, and
persons who had grievances of any kind were invited to appear. Great
commotion prevailed among the citizens upon receiving the king’s writ, and
they at once addressed themselves to examining the procedure followed at
former Iters. It is probable, as Mr. Riley suggests, that for this purpose
they had resort to the "Ordinances of the Iter" already mentioned as set
out in the city’s Liber Albus.(376) When the dreaded day arrived and the
justiciars had taken their seat at the Tower, the mayor and aldermen, who,
according to custom, as already seen in Rokesley’s day, were assembled at
the church of All Hallows Barking, sent a deputation to welcome them, and
to make a formal request for a safe conduct to the citizens on entering
the Tower. This favour being granted, the king’s commission was read.


The opening of the Iter did not augur well for the city. Fault was found,
at the outset, by Geoffrey le Scrop, the king’s sergeant-pleader, because
the sheriffs had not attended so promptly as they should have done. The
excuse that they had only acted according to custom in waiting for the
grant of a safe conduct was held unsatisfactory, and nothing would please
him but that the city should be at once taken into the king’s hand.(377)


Again, when the citizens claimed to record their liberties and customs by
word of mouth without being compelled to reduce them into writing, as the
justices had ordered, the only reply they got was that they did so at
their own peril.(378) Three days were consumed in preliminary discussion
of points of etiquette and questions of minor importance.


On the fourth day the mayor and citizens put in their claim of liberties,
which they supported by various charters.(379) The justiciars desired
answers on three points, which were duly made,(380) and matters seemed to
be getting forward when there arrived orders from the king that the
justiciars should enquire as to the ancient right of the aldermen to
record their liberties orally in the king’s courts. Having heard what the
citizens had to say on this point, the justiciars were instructed to
withhold their judgment; and this and other questions touching the
liberties of the city were to be postponed for future determination.(381)


On the ninth day of the Iter, a long schedule, containing over 100
articles upon which the Crown desired information, was delivered to each
ward of the city.(382) Days and weeks were consumed in considering various
presentments, besides private suits and pleas of the Crown. Suits were
determined in the Great Hall of the Tower facing the Thames, whilst pleas
of the Crown were heard in the Lesser Hall, beneath the eastern tower. The
justiciars occasionally protracted their sittings till dusk, much to the
disgust of the citizens, whose business was necessarily at a stand-still,
and as yet no indictments had been made.(383) These were to come.


On the thirty-fourth day of the Iter, John de Gisors was indicted for
having during his mayoralty (1311-1313), admitted a felon to the freedom
of the city, and fraudulently altered the date of his admission. The
question of criminality turned upon this date. Had the felony been
committed before or after admission? The accused declared in his defence
that admission to the freedom had taken place before the felony; a jury,
however, came to the opposite conclusion, and not only found that
admission had taken place after an indictment for the felony, but that the
mayor at the time was aware of the indictment. The judges therefore
ordered Gisors into custody. He was soon afterwards released on bail, but
not without paying a fine of 100 marks.(384)


A similar indictment against his son Anketin, as having participated in
his father’s offence, failed. Within a week of Gisors’s indictment, the
mayor for the time being, Nicholas de Farndon, was deposed, and the city
placed in the hands of Sir Robert de Kendale, the king’s


For nine weeks in succession the citizens had suffered from the
inconveniences of the Iter, when a brief adjournment over Easter took
place. In the meantime, an assay was held at the Guildhall of the new
weights and measures which Walter Stapleton, Bishop of Exeter, had, in his
capacity as the king’s treasurer, caused to be issued throughout the
country. One result of the trial was that whilst the city’s weight of
eight marks was discovered to be slightly deficient, the city’s bushel was
found to be more true than the king’s.


After Easter the sittings of the justiciars were resumed. A great change,
however, had come over them during the recess. They no longer behaved
"like lions eager for their prey; on the contrary, they had become very
lambs."(386) The reason for this sudden change, we are told, was the
insurrection in Wales, under the Earl of Hereford, the king’s


The chief questions discussed before the justices were the right of the
weavers of London to hold their guild, and the right of the fishmongers of
Fish-wharf to sell their fish at their wharf by retail instead of on their
vessels or at the city markets. The claim of the fishmongers was opposed
by Andrew Horn, himself a fishmonger by trade, as well as an eminent
lawyer, who acted on this occasion as leading counsel for the City.


When Whitsuntide was approaching, an indictment was brought by the city
wards against their old enemy John de Crombwelle, the Constable of the
Tower. He had already made himself obnoxious to the citizens by attempting
to enclose a portion of the city’s lands;(387) and now he was accused of
seizing a small vessel laden with tiles, and converting the same to his
own use, and further, with taking bribes for allowing unauthorised
"kidels" to remain in the Thames. The judges, having heard what he had to
say in defence, postponed the further hearing until after Trinity Sunday
(14th June). In the meantime, the citizens had the gratification of seeing
the constable removed from office, for allowing the Tower to fall into
such a dilapidated state, that the rain came in upon the queen’s bed,
while giving birth to a daughter, afterwards known as Joanna of the
Tower,(388) and destined to become the wife of David the Second, King of


On the judges resuming their sittings after Trinity Sunday, they sat no
longer in the Great Hall or the Lesser Hall, "as well by reason of the
queen being in childbed there, as already mentioned, as of the fortifying
of the Tower, through fear of the Earl of Hereford and his accomplices,
who were in insurrection on every side." Temporary buildings had to be
found for them. A fortnight later there were signs of the Iter being
brought to an abrupt termination, the citizens having represented that
they could not possibly keep proper watch and ward owing to disturbances
consequent to the holding of the Iter;(389) and within a week, viz., on
4th July, it was actually closed.


It was the bursting of the storm which had long been gathering against the
king’s new favourites, the Despensers, father and son, that caused the
sudden termination of the Iter, and it was the fear lest he should lose
the support of the city against Lancaster and his allies that caused the
king quickly to restore to the citizens their Mayor. Hamo de Chigwell took
the place of the deposed Farndon.(390)


Within a few hours of the closing of the Iter Chigwell and the aldermen
were summoned to Westminster to say whether they would be willing to
support the king and to preserve the city of London to his use in his
contest with the barons. Edward and his council received for answer that
the mayor and his brethren "were unwilling to refuse the safe keeping of
the city," but would keep it for the king and his heirs. They were
thereupon enjoined to prepare a scheme for its defence for submission to
the king’s council, and this was accordingly done.(391)


The city was, however, wavering in its support; Chigwell did his best to
hold the balance between king and baron, and to hold a middle course,
avoiding offence as far as was possible to one side and the other. After
the lapse of a few days, a letter came from the Earl of Hereford,
addressed to the mayor, sheriffs, aldermen and commonalty of the city,
asking for an interview. It was then decided, after due deliberation in
the Court of Husting, to ask Edward’s advice on the matter before
returning an answer. At first the king was disinclined to allow the
interview, but when the lords approached nearer London, and resistance
would have been hopeless, he gave way, and a deputation was appointed to
meet the lords at the Earl of Lancaster’s house in Holborn. To them the
earl explained the aim and object of himself and his confederates. They
were desirous of nothing so much as the good of the realm and the
overthrow of the Despensers, father and son, who led the king astray and
had caused the Iter to be held at the Tower in order to injure the city.
Having listened to the earl’s statement, the recorder, on behalf of the
deputation, asked for a few days’ delay in order to consult with the mayor
and commonalty. The matter was laid before an assembly which comprised
representatives from each ward (30th July), and again it was resolved to
ask the king’s advice. At length a reply was sent to the lords to the
effect that the citizens would neither aid the Despensers nor oppose the
lords, but the city would in the meantime be strongly guarded for the
preservation of order. With this the lords were satisfied.(392)


A fortnight later (14th August) the king, moved by the intercession of the
Earl of Pembroke, the bishops, and his queen, yielded to the lords, and an
agreement between them was reduced to writing and publicly read in
Westminster Hall.(393)


Chigwell’s conduct throughout met with so much favour from the citizens as
well as from the king that when the latter issued letters patent(394)
granting a free election of a mayor in October of this year, it was
decided to continue Chigwell in office without a fresh election.(395)


Such popularity as the king had for a time achieved by his concession to
the demands of the lords, however unwillingly made, was enhanced by
another circumstance. An insult had been offered to the queen by Lady
Badlesmere, who had refused to admit her into her castle at Ledes, co.
Kent, when on her way to Canterbury. The queen was naturally indignant,
and the unexpected energy displayed by Edward in avenging the insult gave
fresh strength to his cause. With the assistance of a contingent sent by
the citizens of London, the king beseiged the castle, and, having taken
it, hanged the governor.(396) Sir Bartholomew de Badlesmere, the owner of
the castle, was afterwards taken and put to death at Canterbury.


Elated with his success, the king forthwith proceeded to issue "a charter
of service"—_i.e._, a charter binding the citizens to serve him in future
wars—which he wished the good people of London to have sealed, "but the
people of the city would not accede to it for all that the king could
do."(397) In the place of this charter, however, he was induced to grant
the citizens one of a diametrically opposite nature, whereby it was
provided that the aids granted by the citizens upon this occasion should
not be prejudicial to the mayor and citizens, nor be looked upon as
establishing a precedent.(398)


Having thus secured an acknowledgment of their rights, the citizens were
ready enough to waive them when occasion required. The battle of
Boroughbridge (16 March, 1322) was won for the king by the aid of
Londoners. We know, at least, that when he started from London at the
close of 1321 he was accompanied by five hundred men at arms from the
city, and one hundred and twenty more were sent after him on the 3rd


The Londoners were by no means to be despised in the field. Froissart
describes them as being very dangerous when once their blood was up, and
slaughter on the battle field only gave them fresh courage.(400) A late
writer(401) who was pleased to describe the city’s military force as "an
army of drapers’ apprentices and journeymen tailors, with common
councilmen for captains and aldermen for colonels," gave it credit,
nevertheless, for natural courage, which, combined with befitting
equipment and martial discipline, rendered the force a valuable ally and a
formidable enemy.


The Earl of Lancaster, who was made prisoner at Boroughbridge, and
afterwards executed before his own castle at Pomfret, had come to be a
great favourite with the Londoners, in whose eyes he appeared as the
champion of the oppressed against the strong. His memory was long
cherished in the city, and miracles were believed to have taken place—the
crooked made straight, the blind receiving sight and the deaf
hearing—before the tablet he had set up in St. Paul’s commemorative of the
king’s submission to the Ordinances. Edward ordered the removal of the
tablet, but it was again set up as soon as all power had passed from his


Edward, again a free ruler, lost no time in revoking these Ordinances. The
elder Despenser he raised to the earldom of Winchester.(403) This was in
May, 1322; a year later (April, 1323), he deposed Chigwell, who had again
been re-elected to the mayoralty in the previous October, and put in his
place Nicholas de Farndon,(404) thus reversing the order of things in
1321, when Farndon had been deposed and his place taken by Chigwell.

The deposed mayor, however, was ordered to keep close attendance on the
Court, as were also three other London citizens, viz.: Hamo Godchep,
Edmund Lambyn, and Roger le Palmere; and in the following November he
recovered his position,(405) and held it for the rest of Edward’s reign.


The king’s triumph was destined to be short-lived. In August, 1323, Roger
Mortimer, a favourite of the queen, effected his escape from the Tower,
where he had lain prisoner since January, 1322. The divided feeling of the
citizens which had been more or less apparent since the year of the great
Iter, now began to assert itself. Mortimer’s escape had taken place with
the connivance, if not active assistance, of a leading citizen, Richard de
Betoyne, and he took sanctuary on the property of another leading citizen,
John Gisors.(406) In November the citizens thought fit to close their
gates, to prevent surprise.(407)


In the following year (1324), a quarrel broke out between two of the city
guilds, the weavers and the goldsmiths. Fights took place in the streets
and lives were lost.(408) How far, if at all, such a quarrel had any
political significance it is difficult to say, but it is not unlikely, at
a time when the guilds were winning their way to chartered rights, that
occasionally their members took sides in the political struggle that was
then being carried on.


Edward, in the meanwhile, was threatened with war by France, unless he
consented to cross the sea and do homage to the French king for the
possessions he held in that country. This the Despensers dared not allow
him to do. A compromise was therefore effected. Queen Isabel, who was not
sorry for an opportunity of quitting the side of a husband who had seized
all her property, removed her household, and put her on board wages at
twenty shillings a day,(409) undertook, with the king’s assent, to revisit
her home and to bring about a settlement. Accordingly, on the 9th
March,(410) 1324, she crossed over to France, where she was afterwards
joined by Mortimer and her son.


Once on the continent, the queen threw off the mask, and immediately began
to concert measures against the king and the Despensers. By negotiating a
marriage for her son with the daughter of the Count of Hainault, she
contrived to raise supporters in England, whilst by her affected humility
and sorrow, displayed by wearing simple apparel as one that mourned for
her husband, she won the sympathy of all who beheld her.(411) The king, on
the other hand, publicly forbade any one holding correspondence with her,
caused provisions to be laid up in the Tower in case of emergency, and
prepared a fleet to prevent her landing.


It was all in vain. The majority of the citizens had made up their mind to
give him no more support. On the 24th September, 1326, Isabel, in spite of
all precautions, effected a landing near Harwich; and Edward, as soon as
he was made aware of her arrival in England, took fright and left London
for the west. The queen, who was accompanied by her son and her "gentle
Mortimer," gave out that she came as an avenger of Earl Thomas, whose
memory was yet green in the minds of the citizens, and as the enemy of the
Despensers.(412) Adherents quickly came in from all sides, and with these
she leisurely (_quasi peregrinando_) followed up the king.(413)

In the meantime a letter had been despatched to the city in her name and
that of her son, desiring its assistance in destroying "the enemies of the
land." To this letter, we are told, no answer was sent "through fear of
the king." Another letter was therefore sent to the same effect, in which
Hugh Despenser was especially named as one to be destroyed, and an
immediate answer was requested.(414) This letter was affixed to the cross
in Cheapside and copies circulated through the city.

On the 15th October, the city broke out into open rebellion. The mayor and
other leading men had gone to the house of the Blackfriars to meet the
Bishops of London and Exeter. The mob, now fairly roused by the queen’s
second letter, hurried thither and forced them to return to the Guildhall,
the timid Chigwell "crying mercy with clasped hands," and promising to
grant all they required. A proclamation was made shortly afterwards to the
effect that "the enemies to the king and the queen and their son" should
depart the city.(415)


One unfortunate man, John le Marchall, suspected of being employed by Hugh
Despenser as a spy, was seized and incontinently beheaded in Cheapside.
The mob, having tasted blood, hastened to sack the house of Walter
Stapleton, Bishop of Exeter, who as Edward’s treasurer, had confiscated
the queen’s property. It so happened, that the bishop himself, attended by
two esquires, was riding towards the city intending to have his midday
meal at his house in Old Dean’s Lane (now Warwick Lane), before proceeding
to the Tower. Hearing cries of "Traitor!" he guessed that something was
wrong, and made for sanctuary in St. Paul’s. He was caught, however, just
as he was about to enter the north door, dragged from his horse, carried
to Chepe, and there put to death in the same way as John le Marchall had
been executed a short hour before.(416)

The bishop’s two attendant esquires also perished at the hands of the mob.
Their bodies were allowed to lie stark naked all that day in the middle of
Chepe. The head of the bishop was sent to the queen at Gloucester,(417)
but his corpse was reverently carried into St. Paul’s after vespers by the
canons and vicars of the cathedral. It was not allowed, however, to remain
there long; for hearing that the bishop had died under sentence of
excommunication, the authorities caused it to be removed to the church of
St. Clement Danes, near which stood the bishop’s new manor house of which
we are reminded at the present day by Exeter Hall. The parish church was
in the gift of the Bishop of Exeter for the time being, and John Mugg,
then rector, owed his preferment to Stapleton. He was, therefore, guilty
of gross ingratitude when he refused to take in the corpse of his patron,
or to allow it the rites of burial. Certain poor women had more
compassion; they at least cast a piece of old cloth over the corpse for
decency’s sake and buried it out of sight, although without any attempt to
make a grave and "without any office of priest or clerk." Thus, it
remained till the following month of February, when it was disinterred and
taken to Exeter. The treatment of Bishop Stapleton caused other prelates
to look to themselves, and many of them, including the primate himself,
began to make overtures of submission to Queen Isabel.

After the Bishop’s murder there was no pretence of government in the city.
The mob did exactly as they liked. They sacked the houses of Baldock, the
Chancellor, and carried off the treasure he had laid up in St. Paul’s. The
property of the Earl of Arundel, recently executed at Hereford, which lay
in the Priory of Holy Trinity, Aldgate, shared the same fate. The banking
house of the Bardi, containing the wealth accumulated by the younger
Despenser, was sacked under cover of night. The Tower was entered, the
prisoners set free, and new officers appointed.(418) All this was done in
the face of a proclamation, calling upon the citizens to sink their
differences and to settle their disputes by lawful means.(419)

(M255) (M256)

When the Feast of St. Simon and Jude again came round, and Chigwell’s term
of office expired by efflux of time, no election of a successor took
place, but on the 15th November, the Bishop of Winchester paid a visit to
the Guildhall, where, after receiving the freedom of the city, and
swearing "to live and die with them in the cause, and to maintain the
franchise," he presented a letter from the queen, permitting the citizens
freely to elect their mayor as in the days before the Iter of 1321, for
since that time no mayor had been elected, save only by the king’s
favour.(420) They at once elected Richard de Betoyne, whom the queen had
that day appointed Warden of the Tower, conjointly with John de
Gisors.(421) Thus were these two aldermen recompensed for the assistance
they had rendered Mortimer in his escape from the Tower.


On the 13th January, 1327—exactly one week before the king met his
wretched end in Berkeley Castle—Mortimer came to the Guildhall with a
large company including the Archbishop of Canterbury and several bishops,
and one and all made oath to maintain the cause of the queen and of her
son, and to preserve the liberties of the City of London. This was
solemnly done in the presence of the mayor, the chamberlain, Andrew Horn,
and a vast concourse of citizens. The Archbishop, who had offended many of
the citizens by annulling the decree of exile passed against the
Despensers in 1321, now sought their favour by the public offer of a gift
to the commonalty of 50 tuns of wine.(422)



Edward III was only fourteen years of age when he succeeded to the throne.
For the first three years of his reign the government of the country was
practically in the hands of Mortimer, his mother’s paramour; and it was no
doubt by his advice and that of the queen-mother that the young king
rewarded the citizens of London, who had shown him so much favour, by
granting them not only a general pardon(423) for offences committed since
he set foot in England in September, 1326, but also a charter confirming
and enlarging their ancient liberties.(424)

This latter charter, which has been held to be of the force of an Act of
Parliament,(425) established (among other things) the ferm of the
Sheriffwick of London and Middlesex at the original sum of £300 per annum,
instead of the increased rental of £400 which had been paid since
1270;(426) it appointed the mayor one of the justices at the gaol delivery
of Newgate, as well as the king’s escheator of felon’s goods within the
city; it gave the citizens the right of devising real estate within the
city; it restored to them all the privileges they had enjoyed before the
memorable Iter of the last reign; and granted to them a monopoly of
markets within a circuit of seven miles of the city.(427) These two
charters—the charter of pardon and the charter of liberties—together with
another charter(428) releasing the citizens from all debts due to the late
king, were publicly read and explained in English to the citizens
assembled at the Guildhall by Andrew Horn, the Chamberlain, on the 9th


Scarcely was he knighted and crowned king before necessity compelled him
to take the field against the Scots. The Londoners were, as usual, called
upon to supply a contingent towards the forces which had been ordered to
assemble at Newcastle-upon-Tyne.(430) They responded to the king’s appeal
by sending 100 horsemen fully equipped, each one supplied with the sum of
100 shillings at least for expenses, and a further contingent of 100
foot-men. They made their rendezvous at West Smithfield, whence they
proceeded to "la Barnette."(431)


Whilst furnishing this aid to the king the citizens were anxious that
their liberality should not be misconstrued, or tend to establish a
precedent in derogation of their chartered privileges. Their fears on this
score were set at rest by the receipt of letters patent from the king
declaring that their proceedings on this occasion should not be to their


A parliament held in September, at Lincoln, in which the citizens were
represented by Benedict de Fulsham and Robert de Kelseye,(433) granted the
king an aid of a twentieth to defray expenses; and Hamo de Chigwell, among
others, was appointed by the king to collect the tax from the


The City’s representatives were accompanied to Lincoln by the mayor,
Richard de Betoyne, who was the bearer of letters under the seal of the
commonalty addressed to the king, the queen, and members of the king’s
council praying that the courts of King’s Bench and Exchequer might not be
removed from Westminster to York.(435) The removal was inconvenient to the
city merchants, whatever advantage might accrue to those dwelling in the
north of England. Negotiations between the City and the king on this
subject were protracted for some weeks; the king at length promising that
the courts should return to Westminster as soon as the country was in a
more settled state.(436)


The campaign against the Scots brought little credit to either side, and
terminated in a treaty, the terms of which were for the most part arranged
by Mortimer and the queen-mother. One of the articles of peace stipulated
for the surrender of all proofs of the subjection of Scotland; and
accordingly the abbot of Westminster received orders to deliver up the
stone of Scone to the Sheriffs of London for transmission to Isabel, who
was in the north.(437) This the abbot refused to do—"for reasons touching
God and the church,"—without further instructions from the king and his

When negotiations were opened in 1363 for the union of the kingdoms of
England and Scotland, it was proposed that Edward should be crowned king
at Scone on the royal seat (_siége roial_) which he should cause to be
returned from England. These negotiations, however, fell through, and the
stone remains in Westminster Abbey to this day.(439)

The treaty which had been arranged at Edinburgh (17 March, 1328), was
afterwards confirmed by a Parliament held at Northampton, in which the
city was represented by Richard de Betoyne and Robert de Kelseye.(440)


When the terms of this treaty of Northampton (as it was called) came to be
fully understood, the nation began to realise the measure of disgrace
which they involved, and Mortimer and the queen became the objects of
bitter hatred. Henry, Earl of Lancaster, the king’s nominal guardian, had
grown weary of his false position, and of serving only as Mortimer’s tool.
Determined to throw off the yoke, he refused to attend a parliament which
met at Salisbury in October (1328),(441) unless certain changes in the
government and in the king’s household were first made. In the meantime,
Bishop Stratford of Winchester and Thomas, Lord Wake, two of his
supporters, had paid a visit to the city and had endeavoured to rouse the
citizens to action. The king, hearing of this, wrote to the municipal
authorities for an explanation. They frankly acknowledged, in reply, that
the bishop had been in the city for the purpose of discussing the ill
state of affairs, and themselves expressed a hope, amid vows of the utmost
loyalty, that the king would redress the grievances under which the nation


Instead of attending the parliament at Salisbury, the earl marched in full
force to Winchester. On the 5th November he wrote to the citizens from
Hungerford, to the effect that he had made known to parliament his
honourable intentions, but had received no reply; that the parliament had
been adjourned to London; that he had been informed of certain matters
about which he could not write, but which the bearer would communicate to
them; and he concluded with assuring them that he desired nothing so much
as the king’s honour and the welfare of the kingdom, and declaring his
implicit confidence in their loyalty.(443)


The mayor of the city at this time was John de Grantham. His election had
taken place but recently, and was the result of a compromise. Chigwell,
who had again been chosen mayor at the expiration of Betoyne’s year of
office in 1327, was a decided favourite with the citizens, notwithstanding
a certain want of firmness of character, and he was again put up as a
candidate for the mayoralty in October, 1328. He had enemies, of course.
Towards the close of his last mayoralty he was ill-advised enough to sit
in judgment upon a brother alderman on a charge of having abused him two
years previously. During the troublous times of 1326, John de Cotun,
alderman of Walbrook ward, was alleged to have described Chigwell, who was
then mayor, as "the vilest worm that had been in the city for twenty
years," adding that the city would know no peace so long as Chigwell was
alive, and that it would be a blessing if he lost his head.(444) After
some hard swearing on both sides, leading to the discovery of bad blood
existing between the informer and the alderman, the charge was dismissed.

At the outset it appeared that Chigwell’s reelection was assured; but the
city as well as the country was in a disturbed state, and political
reasons may have led to an endeavour to force another candidate in the
person of Benedict de Fulsham over his head. Be that as it may, it is
certain that when Chigwell’s name was proposed to the assembled citizens
at the Guildhall, the cry was raised of "Fulsham! Fulsham!" So high did
party spirit run, that the election had to be postponed, and eventually it
was thought best that both candidates should be withdrawn. This having
been done, the choice of the electors fell on John de Grantham, a


On the 8th November the new mayor despatched a letter to the king,
expressing the joy of the city at the news of a proposed visit, and the
prospect of the next parliament being held in London. His majesty might be
assured of the city’s loyalty.(446) Four days later (12 November), Edward
despatched a messenger from Reading with a letter to John de Grantham,
bidding him cause a deputation to be nominated for the purpose of
proceeding to Windsor. The messenger arrived late on Sunday evening, and
the deputation was to be at Windsor on the following Tuesday. A meeting
was therefore summoned on Monday, when six aldermen and six commoners were
nominated to meet the king. On Thursday the deputation returned and
reported the result of the interview. It appears that Edward had
complained to the deputation of armed men having left the city to join the
earl at Winchester. He was also desirous to know if the city was in a
proper state of defence and the king’s peace preserved therein. On these
points the mayor endeavoured to satisfy him by letter of the 18th
November. As to armed men having left the city for Winchester, his majesty
was informed that none had so left with the knowledge of the municipal
authorities, and if any should be found to have done so, they would most
assuredly be punished.(447)


Early in December the king and queen came to London, accompanied by the
queen-mother and Mortimer, and took up their quarters at Westminster. The
whole of the city went forth to welcome them, and they were made the
recipients of valuable gifts. Their stay, however, lasted but one short


By the 16th the king was at Gloucester, where he wrote to the Mayor of
London, enclosing a copy of particulars of all that had passed between
himself and the Earl of Lancaster—the charges made by the earl and his own
replies—in order, as he said, that the citizens might judge for themselves
of the rights of the quarrel between them. These particulars, the mayor
was desired to have publicly read at the Guildhall.(449) This was
accordingly done (20 Dec.), in the presence of some of the earl’s
supporters, who took the opportunity of explaining the earl’s


Whilst notifying the king that his wishes had been complied with, the
mayor and commonalty besought him that all measures of hostility between
himself and the barons might be suspended until parliament should meet.
The city became the headquarters of the dissatisfied bishops and nobles.
The Sunday before Christmas, the pulpit in St. Paul’s was occupied by the
primate, who was equally anxious with the civic authorities that matters
should be left to be adjusted by parliament.(451)


The barons in the city, in the meanwhile, awaited the arrival of the Earl
of Lancaster. On New Year’s day he came, and on the 2nd January (1329) a
conference of bishops and barons took place at St. Paul’s.(452) The
futility of an attempt to form a confederation soon became apparent. The
city stood fast to the king; some of the barons wavered, and nothing was
left to Lancaster but to make the best terms he could. Edward had already
offered pardon to all who should submit before the 7th January, with
certain exceptions.(453)


Now that the king, or rather, we should say, Mortimer, was once more
master of the situation, the citizens who had favoured the constitutional
party became the objects of retribution. On Sunday, the 22nd January
(1329), the mayor and twenty-four citizens were ordered to meet the king
at St. Albans. They returned on the following Thursday with instructions
to see if the city was prepared to punish those who had favoured
Lancaster. No sooner were the king’s wishes made known, than an enquiry
was at once set on foot. On Wednesday (1st February), the deputation
returned to the king, who was then at Windsor, to report the sense of the
city; and on the following Sunday (4th February), the king’s justices
commenced to sit at the Guildhall for the trial of those implicated in the
late abortive attempt to overthrow Mortimer. Three days were consumed in
preliminary proceedings; and it was not until Wednesday (8th February)
that the real business of the session commenced.  By that time the king
himself had come to London, and had taken up his headquarters at the
Tower, having passed through the city accompanied by his consort, the
queen-mother, and many of the nobility.(454) It does not appear that
Mortimer came with them.


Among those who were brought to trial at the Guildhall was Chigwell. He
was accused of being implicated in the abduction of the Abbot of Bury St.
Edmunds, and of feloniously receiving two silver basins as his share of
the plunder. Being convicted, he claimed the benefit of clergy, and the
Bishop of London, after some delay, was allowed to take possession of him
on the ground that he was a clerk. His life was thus saved and he was
conveyed to the episcopal prison amid general regret, although, as we have
already seen, he was not a universal favourite. "Many said, he is a good
man; others, nay, but he deceiveth the people."(455) He was kept for some
months in honourable confinement at the bishop’s manor of Orset, co.
Essex, and early in 1330 was admitted to purgation. Thus encouraged, he
hastened once more to return to the city. He was still popular with a
large body of the citizens, who, on hearing of his approach, flocked to
meet him, his re-entry into the city being made to resemble a triumphal
progress. Both Isabel and her son were seized with alarm; and a writ was
forthwith issued for his arrest.(456) He was, however, forewarned, and
able to make his escape. Little is known of his subsequent career; Stow
places his death in or about 1328, but this must be a mistake. By his will
dated 1332, he left some real estate in the city to the dean and chapter
of St. Paul’s Cathedral for the maintenance of a chantry.(457)


Mortimer’s vengeance was not confined to a few leading citizens.
Lancaster’s life was spared, but he was mulcted in a heavy fine. Many of
his associates took refuge in flight. The Earl of Kent, the king’s uncle,
was shortly afterwards charged with treason, into which he had been drawn
by the subtlety of Mortimer, and made to pay the penalty with his head.
This, more than anything else, opened the king’s eyes to Mortimer’s true
character, and at length (Oct., 1339,) he caused him to be privily seized
in the castle of Nottingham.(458) Thence he was carried to London, and
hanged at the Elms in Smithfield.


Queen Isabel, who witnessed the seizure of her favourite and whose prayers
to spare the "gentle Mortimer" were of no avail, was made to disgorge much
of the wealth she had acquired during her supremacy, and was put on an
allowance. The rest of her life, a period of nearly thirty years, she
spent in retirement. Before her death(459) she gave the sum of forty
shillings to the Abbess and Minoresses of Aldgate of the Order of St.
Clare, for the purpose of purchasing for themselves two pittances or doles
on the anniversaries of the decease of her husband the late king and of
Sir John de Eltham his son.(460) The removal of Mortimer corresponded very
closely with the king’s coming of age. He was now eighteen years old, and
thenceforth he "ruled as well as reigned."


The king’s marriage with Philippa of Hainault, which had taken place at
York on the 30th January, 1328, had been popular with the city(461) as
tending to open up trade with Flanders. Hitherto nearly all the wool
produced by this country had been sent to Flanders for manufacture, the
export trade being so large that the king is said to have received more
than £30,000 in a single year from duties levied on this commodity
alone.(462) We have already seen how, in order to punish the Countess of
Flanders for injuries inflicted upon English merchants, the king’s
grandfather resorted, in 1270, to the expedient of forbidding all export
of wool to her country.(463) The misery which her half-starved people were
then compelled to suffer soon induced the Countess to come to terms. It
was also in no small measure owing to the fear of a similar stoppage by
the intervention of the French fleet, that the Flemings laid aside their
neutrality in 1339, and openly assisted Edward in his war with France.


Towards the close of the last reign the "staples" or market towns for the
sale of certain commodities, but more especially of wool, had been removed
from the continent and established at various places in England, Ireland
and Wales.(464) London was one of those places. No wool was to be exported
abroad until it had remained at one or another of the staples for a period
of forty days. This rule appears however to have been relaxed by Edward
II, in favour of all staple towns but London; merchants being allowed to
remove their goods from other staples after a stay of only fifteen days.
The London merchants, therefore, were under the disadvantage of finding
the market always forestalled. Edward III had not long been on the throne
before they took the opportunity of submitting this hardship not only to
the king, but also to the queen-mother, and prayed that the relaxation of
the rule touching the forty days with respect to other staples might be
withdrawn.(465) Their prayer, however, would seem to have had but little
effect, for within a week of the petition to the king we find that monarch
issuing an order to the collector of customs on wool, leather and
wool-fells in the port of London, to enforce the delay of forty days
before goods could be removed.(466)


Nor was this the only grievance that the London merchants had. In order to
raise money to put down the rebellion of the Scots which had broken out
soon after his accession, he had recourse to an extra tax upon wool,
leather, and wool-fells. The money thus raised was to be considered a
loan, receipts being given to the merchants under the king’s seal, known
as "Coket," and the merchants in return were to be allowed absolute free
trade from the 2nd July, 1327, the date of the writ, up to the following
Christmas.(467) The Londoners objected altogether to this impost, on the
grounds that they had never been consulted on the matter, and had never
given their assent.(468)

A compromise was subsequently effected. In consideration of the good
service which the citizens of London had already done to the king in times
past, and for the good service which they were prepared to render again in
the future, they were released of arrears of the tax due from 2nd July to
the 23rd September, provided they were willing to pay it for the remainder
of the term.(469) After Christmas the restrictions upon free trade were
again enforced.(470)


On the 11th December (1327), Edward issued a writ(471) to the Sheriffs of
London to choose two representatives to attend on behalf of the citizens
at a parliament to be held at York, on Sunday next after the Feast of the
Purification (2 Feb., 1328). Instead, however, of sending only two members
as directed, the citizens appear on this occasion to have sent no less
than four, viz.: Richard de Betoyne, Robert de Kelseye, John de Grantham,
and John Priour the Younger.(472)

One of the questions to be determined was the advisability of again
removing the Staple from England to the continent. On this question, there
appears to have arisen some difference of opinion among the city
representatives. Betoyne, who had formerly enjoyed the office of Mayor of
the Staple beyond the seas, favoured a return to the old order of things,
whilst his colleagues were opposed to any such proceeding. Notification of
Betoyne’s disagreement with his colleagues was made to the mayor and
commonalty of the City by letter from the mayor and commonalty of York, to
which reply was made that Betoyne’s action was entirely unauthorised.(473)
A letter was sent the same day to Betoyne himself, enjoining him to do
nothing in the matter opposed to the wish of the commonalty of
London(474); and another to Betoyne’s colleagues informing them of the
City’s action, and bidding them to exert themselves to the utmost to keep
the Staple in England.(475)

The account of Betoyne’s difference with his colleagues, as related in the
letter from the City of York, was subsequently found to require
considerable modification, when a letter was received by the Mayor of
London from two of his colleagues, Grantham and Priour.(476) Their account
of what had actually taken place was to the effect that Betoyne had been
publicly requested by a number of representatives from various towns,
assembled in the Chapter House at York, to resign his mayoralty (of the
Staple) and to deliver up the charters which had been acquired at no
little expense. Betoyne replied that the charters were in the possession
of John de Charleton,(477) who refused to give them up, but that he had
himself, four years since, caused a transcript of the charters to be made,
which he was prepared to give up to them if they so wished. Thereupon,
there suddenly appeared upon the scene the Mayor of York, hand in hand
with John de Charleton himself, and followed by a number of burgesses of
York. The appearance of John de Charleton was eminently distasteful to
Betoyne, and he got up and left the room, declining to take any further
part in the discussion so long as Charleton was present. That was
practically all that had occurred, and the writers expressed themselves as
much hurt if anything more than this had been reported from the mayor and
commonalty of York, for in their opinion Betoyne had never shown himself
otherwise than diligent in his duty. The letter concluded with a report of
general news, the chief item being the announcement of the death of the
King of France, and the writers expressed a wish that the same publicity
might be given to their letter as was given to the letter received from
the Mayor of York.


Betoyne on the same day sent home his own account of what had taken place
at York.(478) It agrees in the main with the account sent by his
colleagues, but contains some particulars of interest not mentioned in the
latter. He relates how he had been asked to retire from the Mayoralty of
the Staple beyond the seas, and to give up the charters and other
muniments which the several towns had obtained at considerable cost. To
this he had replied that many charters he had left behind on the
continent, but he had brought over with him the charters of the franchises
of the staples which had been purchased of the late king. These were in
the hands of John de Charleton, who refused to give them up. He had
himself, however, gone to Dover in the eighteenth year of Edward II, when
the king himself was there, and had caused a duplicate of the charters to
be made, which he had expressed his readiness to show them. He encloses a
copy. As a proof of the bad feeling (_la malencolye_) which the burgesses
of York entertained towards him, he proceeds to relate how the Mayor of
York, maliciously and without any warning, had appeared at the assembly
with four or five of his suite, accompanied by John de Charleton, clothed
in the mayor’s livery, and by a crowd of citizens, to the terror of the
assembled merchants. Thereupon, Bretoyne had declared that he would not
sit nor remain where Charleton was, and had left the meeting; for, said
he, he would never make peace with Charleton except with the assent of the
Mayor and Commonalty of London. He concluded by asking that his character
might not be allowed to suffer by anything which the Mayor of York may
have written. By a postscript he informs the Mayor of London, that on the
eve of the Purification (the day fixed for the re-assembly of parliament)
the Mayor of York had come to his hostel, accompanied by many others, and
had accused him of having come to the city for the express purpose of
annoying their fellow-burgess John de Charleton, which he had denied. This
insult, he is advised, touches not only himself, but the Corporation of
London whose representative he was.


Both these letters were laid before the commonalty of London assembled at
the Guildhall on the 19th February, when Betoyne’s action was approved,
and on the following day a letter was addressed to him to that effect. The
Mayor and Commonalty of York received also a missive in which their late
conduct to Betoyne was severely criticised.(479) Betoyne’s recent services
were recognized by the grant, at his own request, of a handsome coverlet
furred with minever, in part payment of his expenses incurred in attending
the parliament at York.(480)


The king, finding that the opposition to the removal of the staple
displayed not only by London but by York, Winchester, Bristol and Lincoln
was too great to be overcome, abolished staples altogether (August, 1328),
and re-established free-trade.(481) He even invited Flemish weavers to
settle in England so as to give a stimulus to the manufacture of woollen
fabrics. These he took under his special protection,(482) for the native
looked askance upon all foreigners, traders or craftsmen.


One of the last political acts of Mortimer had been to send Edward over to
France to do homage to Philip of Valois, the new king, for his possessions
in that country. This homage Edward paid in 1329, but subject to certain
reservations.(483) In 1330 he was making preparations for war, and took
the opportunity of the presence of Stephen de Abyndone and John de
Caustone, the City’s representatives in the parliament held that year at
Westminster, to ask them what assistance the City would be likely to
afford him. The City members asked leave to consult the commonalty on the
matter. Eventually the sum of 1,000 marks was offered, a sum so trifling
that Edward consented to accept it only as a free gift, and plainly
intimated that he looked for more substantial aid in the future.(484)

In July, he summoned the mayor and twenty-four of the leading citizens to
attend him at Woodstock. The mayor (Simon de Swanlonde) would have had
them excused on the ground of the disturbed state of the city, but the
king was not to be denied. Substitutes were appointed for the mayor during
his absence, and he and seven aldermen and sixteen commoners went to
Woodstock, where they gave assurances of the City’s loyalty.(485) In 1331,
after Mortimer’s fall, when Edward was his own master, lie again visited
France, and a peace was concluded between the two kings.(486)


From 1332 to 1335 the king was chiefly occupied with Scotland. It was part
of the policy of Philip of Valois to encourage disturbance in the north of
England, as a means of recovering his lost possessions in France.(487) The
period of four years during which peace had been assured by Edward with
Scotland by the treaty of Northampton had now elapsed,(488) and active
operations on both sides re-commenced. In 1334 the city voted 1,000 marks,
afterwards raised to 1,200, for raising 100 horsemen and as many
men-at-arms to assist the king for a period of forty days.(489)

A spy was also despatched to Normandy and Brabant to see how matters were
going there, and gifts were made to the courts of Juliers and Namur to
secure their favour. The parliament which sat at York in May, 1335,(490)
having decided in favour of a fresh expedition to Scotland,(491) the king
sent orders to the City to hold its forces in readiness to march under the
leadership of two of its aldermen, John de Pulteney and Reginald de
Conduit.(492) A commission to seize ships in the port of London to the
king’s use, resulted in the detention of six ships.(493)


At length, the friendly attitude which Philip of Valois had taken up
towards Scotland, much to Edward’s prejudice, determined the latter to go
in person to France for the purpose, not only of defending his possessions
there, but also of enforcing his claim to the French crown. The year 1337
was devoted to active preparations for the struggle. The City of London,
in spite of its franchise, was called upon to furnish 500 men at arms, and
to send them to Portsmouth by Whitsuntide.(494) The date was subsequently
altered to Trinity Sunday.(495) The king took occasion to find fault with
the city’s dilatoriness in executing his demands, as well as with the
physique of the men that were being supplied. At the request of the mayor,
Sir John de Pulteney (he had recently received the honour of
knighthood(496)), the number of men to be furnished was reduced to 200,
the rest to be supplied on further notice.(497)


When Parliament met in London in February, the City made presents of money
to the king, the queen, the chancellor, the treasurer, and others,(498)
for no other purpose apparently, but to win their favour. In the following
month the City obtained a charter declaring its liberties and customs to
be unaffected by the recent statute establishing free trade,(499) when
presents in money or kind were again made to the officers of state.(500)


The services which the mayor had done the city in the work of obtaining
this charter were acknowledged by a gift of two silver basins and the sum
of £20 from his fellow citizens.(501) It was by Pulteney’s influence that
the king consented to allow a sum of 1,000 marks to be taken into account
at a future assessment for a fifteenth, instead of insisting upon its
being a free gift from the citizens.(502)


In March, 1337, a statute forbade the importation of wool, as a
preliminary to the imposition of an additional custom, and in the
following year parliament granted the king half the wool of the
kingdom.(503) The Londoners having no wool of their own, paid a
composition,(504) and were often reduced to sore straits. Thus in April,
1339, an assessment had to be made in the several wards of the City to
discharge a debt to the king of 1,000 marks. The men of Aldersgate ward
refused to pay their quota of £9. A precept was thereupon issued to the
sheriffs to levy the larger sum of £16 10s., on the lands, tenements,
goods, and chattels of the ward, and pay the same into the Chamber of the
Guildhall by a certain day.(505) The citizens of London, and the nation
generally, would the more willingly have borne these exactions if any
adequate good had resulted from them. But Edward’s first campaign resulted
in nothing more than the assumption by him of the name and arms of the
King of France, at a cost of £300,000.(506)


Among the ships which had been prepared for the king’s expedition to
France, three were known as "La Jonette," of London; "La Cogge," of All
Hallows; and "La Sainte Marie Cogge." The last mentioned belonged to
William Haunsard,(507) an ex-sheriff of London, who subsequently did
signal service in the great naval battle of Sluys. Prior to the king’s
departure, measures were taken for the safe custody of the city during his
absence.(508) The City had difficulties in raising a contingent of
soldiers, for many of the best men had joined the retinue of nobles, and
all that could be mustered amounted to no more than 100 men, viz: 40
men-at-arms, and 60 archers.(509)


After the king’s departure (12 July, 1338) the City laid in provisions for
transmission abroad, 500 quarters of corn and 100 carcases of oxen to be
salted down. In addition to which it purchased 1,000 horseshoes and 30,000
nails.(510) In October steps were taken to protect London from attack by
sea and land. Piles were driven into the bed of the river to prevent the
approach of a hostile fleet; the wharves were "bretasched" with boards,
and springalds set at different gates and posterns.(511)


In February, 1339, the citizens received the king’s orders to furnish four
ships with 300 men, and four scummars(512) with 160 men, victualled for
three months, to proceed to Winchester. Upon some demur being made to this
demand, the number of ships was reduced to two, well equipped with men and
arms. Pursuant to these orders each ward was assessed for the purpose of
levying 110 men armed with haketon, plates, bacinet with aventail, and
gloves of plate; and sixty men armed with only haketon and bacinet. The
pay of the men was to be threepence a day each for two months. The vessels
were to be joined by ships from various other ports, and proceed to sea in
charge of Sir William Trussel by the middle of March to intercept, if
possible, the enemy’s fleet.(513)


By Easter time the danger appeared more imminent, and the mayor and
aldermen met hurriedly in the Guildhall, on Easter Sunday afternoon after
dinner. An immediate attack up the Thames was expected. The mayor and
aldermen agreed to take it in turns to watch the river night and day. On
the following Wednesday, each alderman was ordered to enquire as to the
number of arbalesters, archers, and men capable of bearing arms in his
ward. A number of carpenters were sworn on the same day to safe-guard the
engines of war laid up in the new house near Petywales.(514) This new
house appears to have been known as "La Bretaske," and was used for
storing springalds, quarels, and other war material.(515)


At this period there were kept in the chamber of the Guildhall six
instruments called "gonnes," which were made of latten, a metal closely
resembling brass, five "teleres" or stocks for supporting the guns, four
cwt. and a half of pellets of lead, and thirty-two pounds of gunpowder by
way of ammunition.(516) The mention of "teleres" and the small amount of
ammunition favours the assumption that the instruments were rather
hand-guns than heavy pieces, as has been supposed.(517) A "telere" or
tiller was a common name for the stock of a cross-bow,(518) and the
earliest hand-guns or fire-arms known consisted of a simple tube of metal
with touch-hole, fixed on a straight stick or shaft, which when used was
passed under the arm so as to afford a better grip of the weapon.


The danger blew over, and before the close of the year the king was
expected to return to England.(519) He did not return however before
February, 1340, having intimated his intention to the mayor of London, by
letter from Sluys, dated Sunday the 20th.(520) Notwithstanding his long
absence, he had accomplished little or nothing.


He had come to the end of his resources and was in want of money to carry
on the war. The City was asked to lend him £20,000. It offered 5,000
marks. This was contemptuously refused, and the municipal authorities were
bidden to re-consider the matter, or in the alternative to furnish the
king with the names of the wealthier inhabitants of the City. At length
the City agreed to advance the sum of £5,000 for a fixed period, and this
offer the king was fain to accept.(521) At the close of 1339, the chief
towns of Flanders had entered into an offensive and defensive alliance
with Edward, and an arrangement was made for paying the sum of £1,500 out
of the £5,000 to Jacques van Arteveldt, the king’s agent at Bruges.(522)
Three aldermen and nine commoners were appointed to make the necessary
assessment for the loan, for the repayment of which John de Pulteney was
one of the king’s sureties.(523)


Provided with this and other money supplied by parliament, Edward again
set out for the continent (June, 1340). With him went a contingent of 283
men-at-arms, furnished by the City, 140 of them being drawn from that part
of the city which lay on the east side of Walbrook, and 143 from the
western side. It had been intended to raise 300 men, and the better class
of citizens had been called upon to supply each a quota, or in default to
serve in person; but eleven had failed in their duty and, on that account,
had been fined 50 shillings each, whilst six others, making up the
deficit, had set out in the retinue of Henry Darcy, the late mayor.(524)


The names of the transport ships and the number of men-at-arms supplied by
each city, the number of mariners and serving-men (_garzouns_), which were
about to take part in the great battle fought off Sluys (24 June), are on
record.(525) Although the French fleet was superior to his own in numbers
and equipment, Edward did not hesitate to attack. The struggle was long
and severe, lasting from noon on one day until six o’clock the next
morning. If any one person was more conspicuous for valour on that
occasion than another, it was William Haunsard, an ex-sheriff of London,
who came with "a ship of London" and "did much good."(526)

An account of the battle was despatched by the king to his son the Prince
Regent, dated from his ship, the "Cogg Thomas," the 28th June.(527)



It was one of the conditions of the Flemish alliance, mentioned at the
close of the last chapter, that the campaign of 1340 should open with the
siege of Tournay, and it was with this object specially in view that
Edward had set out from England. After his brilliant victory over the
French fleet which opposed his passage Edward marched upon Tournay. Its
siege, however, proved fruitless, and, disappointed and money-less, he
slipt back again to England and made his appearance unexpectedly one
morning at the Tower(528) (30 Nov.).

(M299) (M300)

The king attributed the failure of the war to the remissness of his
ministers in sending money and supplies. Scarcely had he landed before he
sent for the chancellor, the treasurer, and other ministers who were in
London, and not only dismissed them from office, but ordered them each
into separate confinement. John de Pulteney was one of those made to feel
the king’s anger, and he was relegated to the castle of Somerton, but as
soon as Edward’s irritability had passed off he and others obtained their
freedom.(529) A searching enquiry was instituted in the spring of the
following year (1341) as to the way in which the king’s revenues had been
collected in the city. Objection was raised to the judges holding their
session within the city and they sat at the Tower. Great tumult prevailed,
and the citizens refused to answer any questions until the judges had
formally acknowledged the City’s liberties. A special fund was raised for
the purpose of defending the City’s rights.(530) From the 5th March to the
17th March the justices sat, and then an adjournment was made until the
16th April. On resumption of the session another adjournment immediately
took place owing to parliament sitting at Westminster, and when the judges
should have again sat, the Iter was suddenly determined by order of the
king.(531) The king showed much annoyance at the attitude taken up by the
citizens, or at least by a certain portion of them, with respect to this
enquiry, and endeavoured to procure the names of the ringleaders.(532)
Failing in this, and not wishing to make an enemy of the city on which he
largely depended for resources to carry out his military measures, he
bestowed a general pardon on the citizens, and promised that no Iter
should be held at the Tower for a period of seven years.(533)


As a further mark of favour he granted to the City, soon after the abrupt
termination of the Iter, a charter confirming previous charters; allowing
the citizens in express terms to vary customs that might in course of time
have become incapable of being put into practice, and declaring the city’s
liberties not subject to forfeiture through non-user.(534)


In August (1341) the citizens met to consider the question of levying a
sum of £2,000, of which 2,000 marks was due to certain citizens in part
payment of the £5,000 lent to the king, and 1,000 marks was required for
the discharge of the city’s own debts. A certain number of aldermen and
commoners were at the same time appointed to confer with the king’s
council touching the sending of ships of war beyond the seas. The result
of the interview was made known to the citizens at a meeting held later on
in the same month. A further grievous burden (_vehemens onus_) was to be
laid upon them; they were called upon to provide no less than twenty-six
ships, fully equipped and victualled at their own cost.(535)


The ships were probably wanted for conveying forces over to Brittany under
the command of Sir Walter de Maunay, in the following year. The king
himself made an expedition to that country in October, 1342, having
previously succeeded in borrowing the sum of £1,000 from the citizens. He
had asked for £2,000, but was fain to be content with the lesser sum,
security for repayment of which was demanded and granted.(536)


In March, 1343, Edward returned to England, having made a truce with
France for three years.(537) He was beginning to learn the value of the
English longbow and the cloth-yard shaft in the field of battle. Hitherto
he, like others before him, had placed too much reliance on charges by
knights on horseback. What the longbow could effect, under proper
management, had been experienced at Falkirk in 1298. It had proved a
failure at Bannockburn in 1314 through bad strategy, but at Halidon Hill
twenty years later (1333) it was again effective. It was destined soon to
work a complete reform in English warfare; and the yeoman and archer were
to supersede the noble and knight. The London burgess and apprentice were
especially apt with the weapon from constant practice in Finsbury fields.
Edward realised the necessity of fostering the martial spirit of the
Londoners, and on one occasion (January, 1344) invited the wives of the
burgesses to witness a tournament at Windsor, where they were entertained
right royally.(538)


Before the expiration of the truce Edward was busy with preparations for a
renewal of the war. Four hundred London archers were to be got ready by
Midsummer of 1344, as the king was soon to cross the sea; and 100
men-at-arms and 200 horsemen were to be despatched to Portsmouth.(539) In
1345, a royal commission was issued for the seizure for the king’s use of
all vessels lying in the river.(540) A further contingent of 160 archers
was ordered to Sandwich by Whitsuntide, and in August the city received
another order for yet more archers.(541) In September, the king informed
the mayor by letter that, owing to the defective state of his fleet and
the prevalence of contrary winds, he had postponed setting sail for a
short time; the civic authorities were to keep their men-at-arms and
archers ready to set out the morrow after the receipt of orders to
march.(542) Six months elapsed, during which the citizens were kept under
arms waiting for orders, when, on the 18th March, 1346, another letter was
sent by the king to the effect that he had now fully made up his mind to
set sail from Portsmouth a fortnight after Easter. The men-at-arms, the
horsemen, and the archers, were to be ready by a certain day on pain of
losing life, limb, and property. On the 28th March, the archers mustered
in "Totehull" or Tothill Fields, near Westminster.(543)


The expedition did not actually sail from Portsmouth until the 10th July,
the fleet numbering 1,000 vessels more or less.(544) Previous to his
departure, Edward caused proclamation to be made in the city and
elsewhere, to the effect that the assessments that had been made
throughout the country for the purpose of equipping the expedition, should
not be drawn into precedent.(545)


On the 3rd August the regent forwarded to the city a copy of a letter he
had received from the king, giving an account of his passage to Normandy
and of the capture of various towns, and among them of Caen. There he had
discovered a document of no little importance.  This was none other than
an agreement made in 1338, whereby Normandy had bound itself to assist the
king of France in his proposed invasion and conquest of England.(546) This
document the king transmitted to England by the hands of the Earl of
Huntingdon, who was returning invalided, and it was publicly read in St.
Paul’s Churchyard, with the view of stirring the citizens to fresh
exertions in prosecuting the war. The king’s own letter was also publicly
read in the Husting by the regent’s order.(547) The City was exhorted to
have in readiness a force to succour the king, if need be. Every effort
was made to raise money, and the regent did not hesitate to resort to
depreciation of the coinage of the realm in order to help his father. The
City made a free gift to the king of 1,000 marks and lent him 2,000


On the 26th August the battle of Creçy was won against a force far
outnumbering the English army. The victory was due in large measure to the
superiority of the English longbow over the crossbow used by the Genoese
mercenaries; but it was also a victory of foot soldiers over horsemen. The
field of Bannockburn had shown how easy a thing it was for a body of
horsemen to crush a body of archers, if allowed to take them in the flank,
whilst that of Halidon Hill had more recently taught the king, from
personal experience, that archers could turn the tide of battle against
any direct attack, however violent. Edward profited by the experience of
that day. He not only protected the flank of his archers, but interspersed
among them dismounted horsemen with levelled spears, the result being that
the French were driven off the field with terrible slaughter.


Flushed with victory Edward proceeded to lay siege to Calais. His forces,
which had been already greatly reduced on the field of Creçy, suffered a
further diminution by desertion. The mayor and sheriffs of London were
ordered to seize all deserters, whether knights, esquires, or men of lower
order, found in the city, and to take steps for furnishing the king with
fresh recruits and store of victuals.(549) By Easter of the following
year, the City was called upon to furnish two vessels towards a fleet of
120 large ships, which the council had decided to fit out. All ships found
in the port of London were pressed into the king’s service.(550)

In July (1347) the king was in need of more recruits and provisions.(551)
Calais still held out, although both besiegers and besieged were reduced
to sore straits. At last it surrendered (4 Aug.). Edward spared the lives
of its principal burgesses at the intercession of his queen, but he
cleared the town of French inhabitants, and invited Londoners and others
to take up their abode there, offering them houses at low rents and other
inducements.(552) A truce with Philip was agreed on, and Edward returned
home. For a time England was resplendent with the spoils of the French
war—"A new sun seemed to shine," wrote Walsingham.(553) Every woman of
position went gaily decked with some portion of the plunder of the town of
Caen or Calais; cupboards shone with silver plate, and wardrobes were
filled with foreign furs and rich drapery of continental workmanship. The
golden era was of short duration.


In August, 1348, the pestilential scourge, known as the Black Death,(554)
appeared in England, and reached London in the following November. The
number of victims it carried off in the city has been variously
computed,(555) but all conjectures of the kind must be received with
caution. All that is known for certain is that the mortality caused a
marked increase in the number of beggars, and, at the same time, raised
the price of labour and provisions within the city’s walls to such a
degree that measures had to be taken to remedy both evils.(556) Besides
the losses by death, the population of the city and the country generally
was sensibly diminished by the flight of numbers of inhabitants to the
continent, with the hope of escaping the ravages of the plague. The king’s
treasury threatened soon to become empty, and the country left
defenceless, if this were allowed to go on unchecked; he therefore ordered
the sheriffs of London to see that no men-at-arms, strangers or otherwise,
left the kingdom, with the exception of well-known merchants or
ambassadors, without the king’s special order.(557) Pilgrimages to Rome or
elsewhere were made an excuse for leaving England, at a time when the
king’s subjects could ill be spared. The king endeavoured to limit this
drain upon the population of the kingdom by allowing none to cross the sea
without his special licence. The city authorities having negligently
executed his orders in this respect, received a rebuke in October, 1350,
and were told to be more strict in their observance for the future.(558)


On the night which ushered in New Year’s day, 1350, an abortive attempt
had been made by the French to recapture Calais. This ill success rendered
Philip the more willing to agree to a further prolongation of the truce
with England. Notification of this cessation of hostilities was duly sent
to the sheriffs of London.(559) Before the truce had come to an end Philip
of Valois had ceased to live, and had been succeeded on the throne of
France by John II.


The city had scarcely recovered from the ravages of the late pestilence,
before it was called upon (24 July, 1350) to furnish two ships to assist
the king in putting down piracy. These were accordingly fitted out; the
ship of Andrew Turk being furnished with 40 men-at-arms and 60 archers,
whilst that of Goscelin de Cleve had on board 30 men-at-arms and 40
archers.(560) With their aid, Edward succeeded in utterly defeating a
Spanish fleet which had recently inflicted much damage on the Bordeaux
wine fleet, and capturing 24 large ships laden with rich merchandise.(561)
The citizens had further to submit to a tax on wool and wine, in order to
maintain the king’s vessels engaged in putting down piracy.(562)


In 1354 an exception was made by special charter of the king in favour of
the City of London, and its sergeants were permitted to carry maces of
gold or silver, or plated with silver, and bearing the royal arms. Ten
years before the commons of England had petitioned the king (_inter alia_)
not to allow any one to carry maces tipped with silver in city or borough,
except the king’s own officers. All others were to carry maces tipped with
copper only (_virolez de cuevere_), with staves of wood as formerly. The
petition was granted saving that the sergeants of the City of London might
carry their mace within the liberties of the city and before the mayor in
the king’s presence.(563) This same year (1354), moreover, the king with
the assent of parliament had again forbidden the carrying of gold or
silver maces. Thenceforth, maces were to be of iron, brass or tin, or
staves tipped with latten, and not to bear representations of the royal
arms, but the arms or signs of the city using them. Again exception was
made in the case of London; two sergeants of the City as well as of the
City of York being permitted to carry gold or silver maces, but they were
not to be surmounted with the royal arms. This led to a humble
remonstrance from the whole body of the citizens of London, presented to
the chancellor and the council by their mayor, Adam Fraunceys, and within
a month the charter above mentioned was granted. That the charter
originated or authorized the title of "Lord" Mayor, as some have supposed,
is extremely improbable.


In 1355, all efforts to convert the truce into a final peace having
failed, war with France was renewed. Edward was soon called home by fresh
troubles in Scotland. Having recovered Berwick, which had been taken by
surprise, and formally received the crown of Scotland from Edward Baliol,
he prepared to rejoin his son, the Black Prince, in France, and in March,
1356, ordered the city to furnish him with two vessels of war.(564)


News of the battle of Poitiers (19 September, 1356), and of the defeat and
capture of the French king, was received in the city by letter from the
Prince of Wales, dated 22nd October.(565) Again the English longbow,
combined with superior tactics, gained the day. The prince, on his return,
made a triumphal entry into the city, passing over London Bridge on his
way to Westminster, with the captive king and the king’s son in his
train.(566) The streets were almost impassable for the multitude that
thronged them; and for the moment the citizens forgot at what cost to
themselves the victory had been gained. A truce—a welcome truce—for two
years followed.(567)


Only a few weeks before the prince’s return the citizens had laid before
the king a list of their grievances and prayed for redress.(568) They had
complained of being charged taxes and talliages in excess of any other of
the commons. They had lent the king at Dordrecht no less a sum than
£60,000, and had incurred further loss by the discrepancy between the
weight for weighing wool at Dordrecht and that of England. They had lent
the king further sums of £5,000 and £2,000 on two separate occasions,
which had not been repaid. The sum of £40,000 had been advanced to the
king’s merchants at Calais and elsewhere, and this, together with other
sums lent (amounting to over £30,000), was still outstanding to the
grievous hurt of many citizens. They had, moreover, been called upon to
undergo more charges than others with respect to the king’s expeditions to
Scotland, Flanders and France, and in providing men-at-arms, archers and
ships, in aid of his wars. Nor did their complaints stop here. The king’s
purveyors had been accustomed to seize the carriages, victuals and
merchandise of citizens without offering payment for the same, in direct
contravention of the king’s first charter to the city. Owing, moreover, to
deaths by the plague, so much property had come into mortmain that the
city had become impoverished, and one-third part of it rendered void of
inhabitants. These points they had desired the king to consider, inasmuch
as the city had always been loyal and peaceful, setting an example to the
whole country. The petition wound up with the usual complaint against the
privileges allowed foreign merchants, and a request that the king would
grant them letters patent under the great seal, such as they might show to
the purveyors whenever they attempted to take anything without


After the expiration of the truce Edward again set out for France. That
country, however, had suffered so much during the last two years at the
hands of freebooters, that Edward experienced the greatest difficulty in
finding sufficient provisions for his army. Whilst he was traversing
France in search of a force with which to try conclusions in the field, a
Norman fleet swept down upon the south coast and sacked Winchelsea. The
news of this disaster so incensed the king that he determined to march
direct on Paris. The Londoners, in the meantime, assisted in fitting out a
fleet of eighty vessels, manned with 14,000 men, including archers, in
order to wipe out this disgrace, but the enemy contrived to make good
their escape.(570)


At length Edward was induced to accede to the terms offered by France, and
the peace of Bretigny was concluded (8th May, 1360). The terms were very
favourable to England, although Edward consented to abandon all claim to
the French crown. King John was to be ransomed, but the price set on his
release was so high that some years elapsed before the money could be
raised, and then only with the assistance of a few of the livery companies
of the city, which showed their sympathy with the captured king by
contributing to the fund being raised for the purpose of restoring him to
liberty.(571) It was John’s high sense of honour that kept him in
captivity in England until his death in 1364. He had in fact been
liberated and allowed to return to France soon after the conclusion of
peace, on payment of part of his ransom, hostages being accepted for
payment of the remainder. In 1363 one of the hostages broke his pledge and
fled, and John, shocked at such perfidy, returned Regulus-like to England.
Hence it was that he appears as one of the four kings whom Picard, the
mayor, entertained that same year at a banquet, followed by play at dice
and hazard.(572)


The citizens now enjoyed a period of leisure which they were not slow to
turn to account. The years which followed the peace of Bretigny, until war
broke out afresh in 1369, witnessed the re-organisation of many of the
trade and craft guilds. Some of these, like the Goldsmiths, the Tailors or
Linen-Armourers, and the Skinners, had already obtained charters from
Edward soon after his accession, so had also the Fishmongers, although the
earliest extant charter of the company is dated 1363. The Vintners date
their chartered rights from the same year; the Drapers from 1364; whilst
the more ancient company of Weavers obtained a confirmation of their
privileges in 1365. Minor guilds, like the Founders, the Plumbers, the
Fullers and others, had to content themselves with the recognition of
their ordinances by the civic authorities alone between 1364 and 1369.

The king’s favour was purchased in 1363 by a gift of nearly £500, to which
the livery companies largely contributed.(573) The amount of each
subscription varied from half-a-mark to £40, the latter sum being
contributed by the Mercers, the Fishmongers, the Drapers, and the Skinners
respectively. The Tailors subscribed half that amount, being outdone by
the Vintners, who contributed £33 6_s._ 8_d._


With the renewal of the war, a change comes over the pages of the City’s
annals. The London bachelor and apprentice is drawn off from his football
and hockey, with which he had beguiled his leisure hours, and bidden to
devote himself to the more useful pursuits of shooting with arrow or bolt
on high days and holidays.(574) Once more we meet with schedules of
men-at-arms and archers provided by the City for service abroad, and of
assessments made on the City’s wards to pay for them.(575) Every
inducement in the shape of plunder was held out to volunteers for
enlistment, and public proclamation was made to the effect that the spoils
of France should belong to the captors themselves.(576)


It was an easier matter for the City to provide the king with money than
men. In 1370 it advanced a sum of £5,000,(577) and in the following year a
further sum of £4,000, and more was subscribed by the wealthier citizens,
among whom were William Walworth, who contributed over £200, Adam
Fraunceys, Simon de Mordon, and others.(578)


Still the expenses of the war exceeded the supply of money, and resort was
had to a new form of taxation, by which it was hoped that a sum of £50,000
might be realised. By order of parliament, made in March, 1371, the sum of
22_s._ 3_d._ was to be levied on every parish in the kingdom, the number
of parishes being reckoned as amounting to 40,000. It soon became apparent
that the number of existing parishes throughout the country had been
grossly miscalculated. There were not more than 9,000, and the amount of
assessment had to be proportionately raised. It was necessary to summon a
council at Westminster in June, to remedy the miscalculation that had been
made in March. Half of the representatives of the late parliament were
summoned to meet the king, and among them two of the city’s members,
Bartholomew Frestlyng and John Philipot—"the first Englishman who has left
behind him the reputation of a financier."(579) The mistake was rectified,
the charge of 22_s._ 3_d._ was raised to 116_s._ and the city was called
upon to raise over £600.(580)

In the meantime the civic authorities had, in answer to the king’s
writ,(581) prepared a return of the number of parish churches, chapels and
prebends within the city.(582) It was found that within the city and
suburbs there were 106 parish churches(583) and thirty prebends, but only
two of the latter were within the liberties. There was also the free
chapel of St. Martin’s-le-Grand, which embraced eleven prebends, all
within the liberty of the city, and there were, moreover, two other
chapels within the liberty. Besides these (the return stated) there were
none other.


The bare fact that there existed over 100 parishes, each with its parish
church, within so small an area as that covered by the city and its
suburbs, is of itself sufficient to remind us that, besides having a
municipal and commercial history, the city also possesses an
ecclesiastical. The church of St. Paul, the largest foundation in the
city, with its resident canons exercising magnificent hospitality, was a
centre to which London looked as a mother, although it was not strictly
speaking the metropolitan cathedral. That title properly applies to the
Minster at Canterbury; but the church of Canterbury being in the hands of
a monastic chapter left St. Paul’s at the head of the secular clergy of
southern England.(584) Besides the hundred and more churches there were
monastic establishments and colleges which covered a good fourth part of
the whole city. The collegiate church of St. Martin’s-le-Grand almost
rivalled its neighbour the cathedral church itself in the area of its
precinct. The houses of the Black Friars and Grey Friars in the west were
only equalled by those belonging to the Augustine and Crossed Friars
towards the east; while the Priory of St. Bartholomew found a counterpart
in the Priory of Holy Trinity. The church was everywhere and ruled
everything, and its influence manifests itself nowhere more strongly than
in the number of ecclesiastical topics which fill the pages of early
chronicles in connection with London.(585)


The war brought little credit or advantage in return for outlay. In
January, 1371, the Black Prince had returned to England with the glory of
former achievements sullied by his massacre at Limoges, and the City of
London had made him a present of valuable plate.(586) The conduct of the
war was transferred to his eldest surviving brother, John of Gaunt, Duke
of Lancaster. In 1372 the king himself set out with the flower of the
English nobility, and accompanied by a band of London archers and crossbow
men.(587) The expedition, which had for its object the relief of Rochelle,
and which is said to have cost no less than £900,000, proved disastrous,
and Edward returned after a brief absence.(588) In 1373 the city furnished
him with a transport barge called "The Paul of London." The barge when it
left London for Southampton was fully supplied with rigging and tackle;
nevertheless, on its arrival at the latter port, it was found to be so
deficient in equipment that it could not proceed to sea. The only
explanation that the master of the barge could give of the matter was that
a certain number of anchors and cables had been lost on the voyage. The
City paid twenty marks to make up the defects.(589) The year was marked by
a campaign under Lancaster which ended in the utmost disaster. The French
avoided a general action; the English soldiers deserted, and as the winter
came on the troops perished from cold, hunger and disease. By 1374 the
French had recovered nearly all of their former possessions. England was
tired of the war and of the ceaseless expenditure it involved. It was with
no little joy that the Londoners heard, in July, 1375,(590) that peace had
been concluded.


In April, 1376, a parliament met, known as the Good Parliament,(591) and
before granting supply it demanded an account of former receipts and
expenditure. No less than three city aldermen were charged with
malversation. Richard Lyons, of Broad Street ward, was convicted with Lord
Latimer of embezzling the king’s revenue, and sentenced to imprisonment
and forfeiture of goods.(592) Adam de Bury, of Langbourn ward, who had
twice served the office of mayor, was charged with appropriating money
subscribed for the ransom of the French king and fled to Flanders to avoid
trial;(593) whilst John Pecche of Walbrook ward was convicted of an
extortionate exercise of a monopoly of sweet wines and his patent
annulled. All three aldermen were deposed from their aldermanries by order
of an assembly of citizens composed of representatives from the various
guilds and not from the wards.(594)


The guilds, indeed, were now claiming a more direct participation in the
government of the city than they had hitherto enjoyed, and their claim had
given rise to so much commotion that the king himself threatened to
interpose.(595) The threat was not liked, and the citizens hastened to
assure him that no disturbance had occurred in the city beyond what
proceeded from reasonable debate on an open question, and that to prevent
the noise and tumult arising from large assemblies, they had unanimously
decided that in future the Common Council should be chosen from the guilds
and not otherwise.(596) This reply was sent to the king by the hands of
two aldermen—William Walworth and Nicholas Brembre—and six commoners, and
the following day (2 August) the king sent another letter accepting the
explanation that had been offered, and expressing a hope that the city
would be so governed as not to require his personal intervention.(597)

Not only was the common council to be selected in future by the guilds,
but the guilds were also to elect the mayor and the sheriffs.  The
aldermen and the commons were to meet together at least once a
quarter,(598) and no member of the common council was to serve on
inquests, nor be appointed collector or assessor of a talliage. This last
provision may have been due to the recent discoveries of malversation,
but, however that may be, it was found to work so well that it was more
than once re-enacted.(599) These changes in the internal administration of
the city were avowedly made by virtue of Edward’s charter, which
specifically gave the citizens a right to remedy hard or defective


The power of the guilds in the matter of elections to the common council
was not of long duration. Before ten years had elapsed representation was
made that the new system had been forced on the citizens, and in 1384 it
was resolved to revert to the old system of election by and from the


Encouraged by the success which had so far attended their efforts of
reform, the good parliament next attacked Alice Perers, the king’s
mistress. Of humble origin, and not even possessing the quality of good
looks, this lady, for whom the mediæval chroniclers have scarcely a good
word to say,(602) nevertheless gained so complete a mastery over the king
as to favour the popular belief that she indulged in magic. At length her
barefaced interference in public affairs led to an award against her of
banishment and forfeiture. Upon the dissolution of the good parliament (6
July, 1376), and the meeting of a new parliament, elected under the direct
influence of the Earl of Lancaster, who once more gained the upper hand
now that the Black Prince was dead, Alice Perers was allowed to
return.(603) She was again in disgrace soon after Richard’s accession,
when her property, much of which consisted of real estate in the
City,(604) became escheated, and the citizens of London were promised
redress for any harm she might have done them.(605) She was afterwards
married to Sir William de Windsor, who, in 1376, had got himself into
trouble over a disturbance in Whitefriars(606)—a quarter of the city
which, under the name of Alsatia, became afterwards notorious for riots,
and as the resort of bad characters. Towards the close of 1379 her
sentence of banishment, never strictly enforced, was revoked and pardon
extended to her and her husband.(607)


In December, 1376, the citizens obtained a charter from the king, with the
assent of parliament, granting that no strangers (_i.e._ non-freemen)
should thenceforth be allowed to sell by retail within the city and
suburbs. This had always been considered a grievance, ever since free
trade had been granted to merchant strangers by the parliament held at
York in 1335.


The last year of Edward’s reign was one of serious opposition between the
City and the selfish and unprincipled Lancaster. In so far as the duke,
with the assistance of Wycliffe, meditated a reform among the higher
clergy, he might, if he would, have had the city with him. The citizens,
like the great reformer himself, were opposed to the practice of the
clergy heaping up riches and intermeddling with political matters. The
duke, however, went out of his way to hurt the feelings of the citizens,
by proposing to abolish the mayoralty and otherwise encroach upon their
liberties.(608) Not content with this he took the occasion when Wycliffe
was summoned to appear at St. Paul’s (19 Feb., 1377), to offer violence to
Courtenay, their bishop. This so incensed the citizens that the meeting
broke up in confusion. The next day the mob, now thoroughly roused,
hastened to the Savoy where the duke resided. He happened, however, to be
dining in the city at the time, with a certain John de Ypre. The company
had scarcely sat down to their oysters before a soldier knocked at the
door and warned them of the danger. They forthwith jumped up from the
table, the duke barking his shins (we are told) in so doing, and, making
their way to the riverside, took boat for Kennington, where the duke
sought protection in the house of the Princess of Wales. Thanks to the
intervention of the bishop, who appeared on the scene, the mob did but
little serious harm, beyond ill-using a priest and some of the duke’s
retainers whom they happened to come across.(609)


The civic authorities were naturally anxious as to what the king might say
and do in consequence of the outbreak, and desired an interview in order
to explain matters. Lancaster was opposed to any such interview taking
place. The London mob had seized upon an escutcheon of the duke, displayed
in some public thoroughfare, and had reversed it by way of signifying that
it was the escutcheon of a traitor.(610) This had particularly raised his
anger. Nevertheless, in spite of his efforts to prevent it, an interview
was accorded to a deputation from the city, of which John Philipot acted
as spokesman. After drawing the king’s attention to the threatened attack
on the privileges of the city, and the proposed substitution of a
"captain" for a mayor, Philipot offered an apology for the late riot. It
had taken place, he said, without the cognisance of the civic authorities.
Among a large population there were sure to be some bad characters whom it
was difficult to restrain, even by the authority of the mayor, when once
excited. A mob acted after the manner of a tornado, flying hither and
thither, bent on committing havoc at anybody’s expense, even its own, but,
thank God! the duke had suffered no harm nor had any of his retinue been
hurt. The king having listened to the deputation, assured them in reply,
that so far from wishing to lessen the privileges of the city, he had a
mind to enlarge them. They were not to alarm themselves, but to go home
and endeavour to preserve peace. On leaving the presence the deputation
met the duke, with whom they interchanged courtesies.(611) In the
meanwhile lampoons on the duke were posted in the city. The duke became
furious and demanded the excommunication of the authors. The bishops
hesitated through fear of the mob, but at last the Bishop of Bangor was
induced by representations made to him by leading citizens, who wished it
to be known that they did not approve of such libels, to execute the
duke’s wishes.(612)


The duke was determined to have his revenge, and again the citizens were
summoned to appear before the king, who was lying at Shene. This time they
did not get off so easily. The mayor, Adam Stable, was removed, and
Nicholas Brembre appointed in his place. A fresh election of aldermen took
place,(613) and the City did penance for the recent insult to the duke’s
escutcheon by offering, at the king’s confidential suggestion, a wax taper
bearing the duke’s arms in St. Paul’s. Even that did not satisfy him; nay,
it was adding insult to injury (he said), for such an act was an honour
usually paid to one who was dead! The citizens were in despair, and
doubted if anything would satisfy him, short of proclaiming him king.(614)


One of the last acts of Edward was to restore the Bishop of Winchester to
the temporalities of which he had been deprived by the duke, and this
restitution was made at the instance and by the influence of Alice
Perers,(615) who within a few weeks robbed her dying paramour of his
finger rings and fled.(616)



Shortly after Edward had breathed his last, a deputation from the City
waited upon the Prince of Wales at Kennington. John Philipot again acted
as spokesman, and after alluding to the loss which the country had
recently sustained, and recommending the City of London—the "king’s
chamber"—to the prince’s favour, begged him to assist in effecting a
reconciliation with Lancaster. This Richard promised to do, and a few days
later the deputation again waited on the young king—this time at Shene,
where preparations were being made for the late king’s obsequies—and a
reconciliation took place, the king kissing each member of the deputation,
and promising to be their friend, and to look after the City’s interests
as if they were his own.(617) Formal announcement of the reconciliation
was afterwards made at Westminster, and Peter de la Mare, long a prisoner
in Nottingham Castle, was set free, to the great joy of the citizens.(618)


At the express wish of the citizens, Richard—the "Londoners’ king," as the
nobles were in the habit of cynically styling the new sovereign, for the
reason that he had ascended the throne more by the assistance of the
_bourgeois_ Londoner than of the nobility(619)—took up his quarters at the
Tower, whence he proceeded in state to Westminster for his coronation.
Great preparations were made in the city to tender his progress through
the streets one of exceptional splendour. The claim of the mayor and
citizens to assist the chief butler at the banquet was discourteously
refused by Robert Belknap, Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, who bluntly
told them that they might be of service in washing up the pots and pans.
The citizens had their revenge, however. They set up an effigy of the man
at a conspicuous arch or tower in Cheapside, in which he appeared to the
whole of the procession as it passed on its way to Westminster, in the
ignominious attitude of vomiting wine.(620) This was enough; the Londoners
gained the day, and were allowed to perform their customary services at
the banquet, and the mayor got his gold cup.(621)


Richard was only eleven years of age when raised to the throne. A council
was therefore appointed to govern in his name. Neither the Duke of
Lancaster nor any other of the king’s uncles were elected councillors,
and, for a time, John of Gaunt retired into comparative privacy. The task
of the council was not easy. The French plundered the coast,(622) and the
Scots plundered the borders. Money was sorely needed. The City consented
to advance the sum of £5,000 upon the security of the customs of the Port
of London and of certain plate and jewels,(623) and when parliament met
(13 Oct., 1377) it made a liberal grant of two tenths and two fifteenths,
which was to be collected without delay, on the understanding that two
treasurers should be appointed to superintend the due application of the
money.(624) The two treasurers appointed for this purpose were two
citizens of note, namely, William Walworth and John Philipot, of whose
financial capability mention has already been made.


Before parliament broke up it gave its assent to a new charter to the
City.(625) Foreigners (_i.e._ non-freemen) were again forbidden to traffic
in the city among themselves by retail, and the City’s franchises were
confirmed and enlarged. So much importance was attached to this charter
that Brembre, the mayor, caused its main provisions to be published
throughout the city.(626)


Lancaster soon became tired of playing a subordinate part in the
government of the kingdom. As a preliminary step to higher aims, he
contrived, after some little opposition, to obtain the removal of the
subsidy granted by the last parliament, out of the hands of Walworth and
Philipot into his own, although these men had given no cause for suspicion
of dishonourable conduct in the execution of their public trust.(627)


The energetic John Philipot soon found other work to do. The English coast
had recently become infested with a band of pirates, who, having already
made a successful descent upon Scarborough, were now seeking fresh
adventures. Philipot fitted out a fleet at his own expense, and putting to
sea succeeded in capturing the ringleader,(628) a feat which rendered him
so popular as to excite the jealousy of the Duke of Lancaster and other
nobles. His fellow citizens showed their appreciation of his character by
electing him to succeed Brembre in the mayoralty in October (1378).(629)


The citizens were, however, split up into factions, one party, with
Philipot and Brembre at his head, maintaining a stubborn opposition to
Lancaster, whilst another, under the leadership of Walworth and John de
Northampton, favoured the duke. These factions were continually plotting
and counter-plotting one against the other. At Gloucester, to which the
duke had brought the parliament in 1378, in the hope of escaping from the
interference of the "ribald" Londoners,(630) Brembre was arraigned on a
charge of having connived during his recent mayoralty at an attack made on
the house of the duke’s younger brother, Thomas of Woodstock, Earl of
Buckingham, and although he succeeded in proving his innocence, the earl
and his party continued to use threats, and Brembre, in order to smooth
matters over, consented to be mulcted in 100 marks. When the matter was
reported to the Common Council at home (25 Nov.), that body not only
signified its approval of his conduct—"knowing for certain that it was for
no demerits of his own, but for the preservation of the liberties of the
city, and for the extreme love which he bore it, that he had undergone
such labours and expenses,"—but recouped him what he had disbursed.(631)


In course of time the earl and his followers succeeded in persecuting
Brembre to a disgraceful death. At present they contented themselves with
damaging the trade of the city, so far as they could, by leaving the city
_en masse_ and withdrawing their custom. The result was so disastrous to
the citizens, more especially to the hostel keepers and victuallers, that
the civic authorities resolved to win the nobles back to the city by
wholesale bribery, and, as the city’s "chamber" was empty, a subscription
list was set on foot to raise a fund for the purpose. Philipot, the mayor,
headed the list with £10, a sum just double that of any other subscriber.
Six others, among them being Brembre (the earl’s particular enemy) and
Walworth, subscribed respectively £5; whilst the rest contributed sums
varying from £4 down to five marks, the last mentioned sum being
subscribed by Richard "Whytyngdon" of famous memory.(632)


The grants made to the king by the parliament at Gloucester were soon
exhausted by the war, and recourse was had, as usual, to the City. In
February, 1379, the mayor and aldermen were sent for to Westminster. They
were told that the king’s necessities demanded an immediate supply of
money, and that the Duke of Lancaster and the rest of the nobility had
consented to contribute. What would the City do? After a brief
consultation apart, the mayor and aldermen suggested that the usual course
should be followed and that they should be allowed to consult the general
body of the citizens in the Guildhall. Eventually the City consented to
advance another sum of £5,000 on the same security as before, but any tax
imposed by parliament at its next session was to be taken as a set


At the session of parliament held in April and May (1379), the demand for
further supply became so urgent that a poll-tax was imposed on a graduated
scale according to a man’s dignity, ranging from ten marks or £6 1_s._
4_d._ imposed on a duke, to a groat or four pence which the poorest
peasant was called upon to pay. The mayor of London, assessed as an earl,
was to pay £4; and the aldermen, assessed as barons, £2. The sum thus
furnished by the city amounted to less than £700,(634) and the whole
amount levied on the country did not exceed £22,000, a sum far short of
what had been anticipated.


In the following year (1380) there was a recurrence to the old method of
raising money, but this proving still insufficient a poll-tax was again
resorted to. This time, the smallest sum exacted was not less than three
groats, and was payable on everyman, woman and unmarried child, above the
age of fifteen, throughout the country. The amount thus raised in the city
and liberties was just over £1000.(635) The tax was especially irritating
from its inquisitorial character, and led to serious consequences.


The country was already suffering under a general discontent, when a
certain Wat Tyler in Kent struck down a collector of the poll-tax, who
attempted in an indecent manner to discover his daughter’s age. This was
the signal for a revolt of the peasants from one end of England to the
other, not only against payment of this particular tax, but against taxes
and landlords generally. The men of Essex joined forces with those of Kent
on Blackheath, and thence marched on London. With the aid of sympathisers
within the City’s gates, the effected an entrance on the night of the 12th
of June, and made free with the wine cellars of the wealthier class. The
next day, the rebels, more mad than drunk (_non tam ebrii quam dementes_),
stirred up the populace to make a raid upon the Duke of Lancaster’s palace
of the Savoy. This they sacked and burnt to the ground. They next vented
their wrath upon the Temple, and afterwards upon the house of the Knight’s
Hospitallers at Clerkenwell. In the meantime reinforcements were gathering
in Essex under the leadership of one known as "Jack Straw," and were
hurrying to London. At Mile End they were met (14 June) by the young king
himself, who set out from the Tower for that purpose, accompanied by a
retinue of knights and esquires on horseback, as well as by his mother in
a drawn vehicle. The rebels demanded the surrender of all traitors to the
king. To this Richard gave his assent, and having done so returned to the
city to take up his quarters at the Wardrobe, near Castle Baynard, whilst
the rebels, availing themselves of the king’s word, hurried off to the
Tower. There they found Simon of Sudbury, Archbishop of Canterbury, and he
and others were beheaded on Tower Hill. The rest of the day and the whole
of the next were given up to plunder and massacre, so that the narrow
streets were choked with corpses. Among those who perished at the hands of
the rebels was Richard Lyons, the deposed alderman. At length, on the
evening of Saturday, the 15th, when the king had ridden to Smithfield
accompanied by Walworth, the mayor, and a large retinue in order to
discuss matters with Wat Tyler (the Essex men had for the most part
returned home), an altercation happened to arise between Tyler and one of
the royal suite. Words were about to lead to blows when the mayor himself
interposed, and summarily executed the king’s order to arrest Tyler by
bringing him to the ground by a fatal blow of his dagger. Deprived of
their leader the mob became furious, and demanded Walworth’s head; the
mayor, however, contrived to slip back into the City, whence he quickly
returned with such a force that the rioters were surrounded and compelled
to submit. The king intervened to prevent further bloodshed, and knighted
on the field not only Walworth, but also Nicholas Brembre, John Philipot
and Robert Launde.(636) The same day a royal commission was issued to
enquire into the late riot and to bring the offenders to account.(637)


Orders were given on the 20th June to each alderman to provide men-at-arms
and archers to guard in turns the city’s gates, and to see that no armed
person entered the city, except those who declared on oath that they were
about to join the king’s expedition against the rebels. In the meantime,
the aldermen were to make returns of all who kept hostels in their several
wards.(638) In a list, containing nearly 200 names of divers persons of
bad character, who had left the city by reason of the insurrection,(639)
there appear the names of two servants of Henry "Grenecobbe." The name is
far from common, and we shall not perhaps be far wrong in conjecturing
that the owner of it was a relation of William "Gryndecobbe," who led the
insurgents against the abbey of St. Albans and compelled the abbot to
surrender its charter.(640)


"Jack Straw," on being brought before the mayor, was induced by promises
of masses for the good of his soul, to confess the nature of the
intentions of the rioters, which were to use the king’s person as a
stalking horse for drawing people to their side, and eventually to kill
him and all in authority throughout the kingdom. The mendicant friars, who
were believed to be at the bottom of the insurrection,(641) were alone to
be spared. Wat Tyler was to be made king of Kent, whilst others were to be
placed in similar positions over the rest of the counties. The mayor
sentenced him to be beheaded. This done, his head was set up on London
Bridge, where Wat Tyler’s already figured.(642)


The discontent which had given rise to the peasants’ revolt, had been
fanned by the attacks made by Wycliffe’s "simple priests" upon the rich
and idle clergy. The revolt occasioned a bitter feeling among the landlord
class against Wycliffe and his followers, and after its suppression the
Lollards were made the object of much animadversion. Their preaching was
forbidden,(643) and Wycliffe was obliged to retire to his country
parsonage, where he continued to labour with his pen for the cause he had
so much at heart, until his death in 1384.


The majority of the citizens favoured the doctrines of Wycliffe and his
followers and endeavoured to carry them out. The Duke of Lancaster had no
real sympathy with the Lollards; he only wished to make use of them for a
political purpose. It was otherwise with the Londoners, and with John de
Northampton, a supporter of the duke, who succeeded to the mayoralty soon
after the suppression of the revolt. Under Northampton—a man whom even his
enemies allowed to be of stern purpose, not truckling to those above him,
nor bending to his inferiors,(644)—many reforms were carried out,
ecclesiastical as well as civil.

The ecclesiastical courts having grossly failed in their duty, the
citizens themselves, fearful of God’s vengeance if matters were allowed to
continue as they were, undertook the work of reform within the city’s
walls. The fees of the city parsons were cut down. The fee for baptism was
not to exceed forty pence, whilst that for marriage was not as a general
rule to be more than half a mark. One farthing was all that could be
demanded for a mass for the dead, and the priest was bound to give change
for a half-penny when requested or forego his fee.(645) Steps were taken
at the same time to improve the morality of the city by ridding the
streets of lewd women and licentious men. On the occasion of a first
offence, culprits of either sex were subjected to the ignominy of having
their hair cropt for future identification, and then conducted with rough
music through the public thoroughfares, the men to the pillory and the
women to the "thewe." After a third conviction, they were made to abjure
the City altogether.(646) It was during Northampton’s first year of the
mayoralty that the citizens succeeded in breaking down the monopoly of the
free fish-mongers. A number of "dossers" or baskets for carrying fish were
also seized because they were deficient in holding capacity, and on that
account were calculated to defraud the purchaser.(647)  But, although a
mayor in those days exercised, no doubt, greater power in the municipal
government than now, we must be careful to avoid the common mistake of
attributing to the individuality of the mayor for the time being what was
really the action of the citizens as a body corporate.


In October, 1382, Northampton was elected mayor for the second time, and
Philipot, his rival, either resigned or was deprived of his
aldermancy.(648) His re-election was at the king’s express wish. On the
6th he wrote to the sheriffs, aldermen and commons of the city intimating
that, whilst anxious to leave the citizens free choice in the matter of
election of their mayor, he would be personally gratified if their choice
fell upon the outgoing mayor. At first Northampton declined re-election,
but he afterwards consented to serve another year on receiving a written
request from the king.(649) His hesitation was probably due to the
factious state of the city. Brembre and Philipot were not his only
enemies. Another alderman, Nicholas Exton, of Queenhithe Ward, had
recently been removed from his aldermancy for opprobrious words used to
Northampton during his first mayoralty. A petition had been laid before
the Court of Common Council in August, 1382, when Exton himself being
present, and seeing the turn affairs were taking, endeavoured to
anticipate the judgment of the court, by himself asking to be exonerated
from his office, declaring at the same time that he had offered a large
sum of money to be released at his election in the first instance. The
court wishing for further time to consider the matter adjourned. At its
next meeting a similar petition was again presented, but the court
hesitated to pronounce judgment in the absence of Exton, who was summoned
to appear at the next Common Council. When the court met again, it was
found that Exton had ignored the summons. Judgment was, therefore,
pronounced in his absence and he was deprived of his aldermancy.(650)


At the close of Northampton’s second mayoralty (Oct., 1383), his place was
taken by his rival, Nicholas Brembre,(651) and a general reversal of the
order of things took place. The free-fishmongers recovered their ancient
privileges,(652) and the judgment passed upon Exton as well as a similar
judgment passed upon another alderman, Adam Carlile, were reversed.(653)


Soon after Brembre’s election the king confirmed the City’s liberties by
charter,(654) which had the assent of parliament. Two years previously the
citizens had besought the newly-married queen to use her interest with
Richard to that end.(655) Her good offices, as well as the fact that the
City had recently advanced to the king the sum of 4,000 marks, on the
security of the royal crown and other things,(656) may have been
instrumental in obtaining for the citizens this fresh confirmation of
their rights.


In January (1384) Northampton was bound over to keep the peace in the sum
of £5,000;(657) but in the following month he was put under arrest
(together with his brother, known as Robert "Cumberton," and another), for
raising a disturbance in the City, and sent to Corfe Castle.(658) For
Northampton’s arrest, as well as for the summary execution of a certain
John Constantyn, a cordwainer, who had been convicted of taking a leading
part in the disturbance, Brembre received a letter of indemnity from the
king.(659) The riot had one good effect. It roused public opinion against
monopolies and restriction of trade to such an extent, that Richard very
soon afterwards caused the city to be opened freely to all foreigners
_(i.e._, non-freemen) wishing to sell fish or other victuals.(660)


In August (1384) the opinion of each individual member of the Common
Council was taken on oath, as to whether it would be to the advantage or
disadvantage of the city if Northampton were allowed to return; and it was
unanimously found that his return would breed dissension rather than peace
and unity.(661) Armed with this _plébiscite_ the mayor and a number of
citizens, whom the king had summoned by name, attended a council at
Reading for the purpose of determining the fate of Northampton. The
accused contented himself with objecting to sentence being passed against
him in the absence of his patron the Duke of Lancaster. This, however,
availed him nothing, and he was sentenced to perpetual imprisonment in
Tintagel Castle.(662) Another authority(663) states that the mayor brought
with him to the council a man named Thomas Husk or Usk (whose name, by the
way, does not appear in the list which the king forwarded to the mayor),
who made a number of charges against Northampton. The prisoner so far
forgot himself in the royal presence as to call Usk a liar, and to
challenge him to a duel. Matters were not improved by Northampton’s appeal
for delay in passing sentence upon him in the absence of the Duke of
Lancaster. Richard flushed crimson with anger at the proposal, declaring
that he was ready to sit in judgment upon the duke no less than on
Northampton, and forthwith ordered the latter’s execution, and the
confiscation of his goods. The sentence would have been earned out but for
the timely intercession of the queen, who flung herself at her husband’s
feet and begged for the prisoner’s life. The queen’s prayer was granted,
and Northampton was condemned to perpetual imprisonment and remitted to
Corfe Castle. Thence, at the beginning of September, he was removed to the
Tower of London, where two of his partisans, John More, one of the
sheriffs, and Richard Northbury, recently arrested, were lodged.


The Chief Justice, Tressilian, hesitated to take any steps against the
prisoners, one of whom had already been tried and sentenced, asserting
that the matter lay within the jurisdiction of the mayor. His scruples,
however, on this score were easily set aside, and on the 10th September,
each of the prisoners was sentenced to be drawn and hanged. No sooner was
sentence passed than the chancellor, Michael de la Pole, entered on the
scene, and proclaimed that the king’s grace had been extended to the
prisoners, that there lives would be spared, but that they would be
imprisoned until further favour should be shown them. They were
accordingly sent off to various fortresses; Northampton to Tintagel Castle
in Cornwall, Northbury to Corfe Castle, and More to Nottingham; and all
this arose, says the Chronicler, from the rivalry of fishmongers.(664)


When Brembre sought re-election to the mayoralty in October, 1384, he
found a formidable competitor in Nicholas Twyford, with whom he had not
always been on the best of terms. It was in 1378, when Twyford was sheriff
and Brembre was occupying the mayoralty chair for the first time, that
they fell out, the occasion being one of those trade disputes so frequent
in the City’s annals. A number of goldsmiths and pepperers had come to
loggerheads in St. Paul’s Churchyard during sermon time, and the mayor had
committed one of the ringleaders to the compter. The culprit, however,
happened to be, like Twyford, a goldsmith, and was one of his suite.
Twyford resented his man being sent to prison, and for his pains got
arrested himself.(665) It was felt that the election would be hotly
contested and might lead to disturbance. Besides the customary precept
issued by the mayor forbidding any to appear who were not specially
summoned,(666) the king took the precaution of sending John de Nevill, of
Roby, to the Guildhall to see that the election was properly conducted. In
spite of all precautions, however, a disturbance took place, and some of
the rioters were afterwards bound over to keep the peace.(667) It is said
that Brembre himself secreted a body of men in the neighbourhood of the
Guildhall, and that when he found the election going against him, he
signalled for them, and Twyford’s supporters were compelled to flee for
safety, and that thus the election was won.(668) Nothing of this appears
in the City’s Records, where Brembre’s re-election is entered in the
manner of the day.(669)


In 1385 Brembre was again elected mayor, and continued in office until
October, 1386, when he was succeeded by his friend and ally, Nicholas
Exton. This was the fourth and last time Brembre was mayor. In the
meantime, the Duke of Lancaster and his party had renewed their efforts to
effect the release of Northampton and of his fellow prisoners, More and
Northbury, on the understanding that they were not to come near the City,
and Brembre again took the opinion of the aldermen and commons severally
as to the probable effect of the release of the prisoners. This occurred
in March, 1386, when it was unanimously resolved that danger would result
to the city if Northampton was allowed to come within 100 miles of
it.(670) The resolution caused much annoyance to the duke, who
characterised it as unreasonable and outrageous, and led to some heated
correspondence.(671) It had, however, the desired effect of at least
postponing the release of the prisoners.(672)


A few months after Exton had taken Brembre’s place as mayor (Oct., 1386),
the new mayor raised a commotion by ordering a book called "Jubilee,"
which Northampton is supposed to have compiled—or caused to be compiled
for the better government of the City, to be publicly burnt in Guildhall
yard.(673) The cordwainers of London, staunch supporters of Northampton
(the leader of the riot which led to Northampton’s arrest in 1384 was a
cordwainer), complained to parliament of Exton. The book, said they, "
comprised all the good articles pertaining to the good government of the
City," which Exton and all the aldermen had sworn to maintain for ever,
and now he and his accomplices had burnt it without consent of the
commons, to the annihilation of many good liberties, franchises, and
customs of the City.(674) The book had already been subjected to revision
in June, 1384, when Brembre was mayor;(675) it was now utterly destroyed.


In 1387 efforts were again made to secure Northampton’s release, and this
time with success. On the 17th April Exton reported to the Common Council
that Lord Zouche was actually engaged in canvassing the king for the
release of Northampton and his allies. The Council thereupon unanimously
resolved to send a letter to Lord Zouche, on behalf of the entire
commonalty of the City, praying him to desist from his suit, and assuring
him of their loyalty to the king even unto death.(676) It also resolved to
send a deputation on horseback to the king, who was at "Esthamstede," to
ask his favour for the City, and to beg of him not to annul the charters
which he had already given to the citizens, more especially as touching
the release of the prisoners in question.


On the 4th May the Recorder, William Cheyne, reported to the Common
Council assembled in the upper chamber of the Guildhall the result of the
interview with the king. The deputation had been received most graciously,
and the mayor had been particularly successful in his speech, setting
forth the dangers that would inevitably ensue, both to the king and to the
city, if pardon were granted to Northampton and his friends. The king had
replied that he would take good precautions for himself before he granted
them their liberty;(677) and with this answer the citizens had to be
content. The answer was an evasive one, if it be true, as one authority
states, that on the 27th April—the day on which the mayor had informed the
citizens of the intervention of Lord Zouche—Northampton had received his
pardon and been restored to his property.(678) His friends remained still
unsatisfied, and plagued the king for more favourable terms to such a
degree that Richard ordered (7 Oct.) proclamation to be made in the city
against any further entreaties being made to him on the subject.(679)


Two days before the order for this proclamation, the king was informed by
letter of the nature of a fresh oath of allegiance(680) that had been
taken by the mayor, aldermen, and commonalty of the city. He was
furthermore exhorted to give credence to what Nicholas Brembre might
inform him as to the state and government of the city, since there was no
one better informed than Brembre on the subject.


To this the king sent a gracious reply.(681) He had learnt with much
pleasure from Nicholas Brembre of the allegiance of the citizens, which he
trusted would continue, as he would soon have good reason for paying a
visit to the city in person. He had heard that the new sheriffs were good
and trusty men, and he expressed a hope that at the approaching election
of a mayor they would choose one of whom he could approve, otherwise he
would decline to receive the mayor-elect at his presentation. He not only
forbade any further entreaties to be made to him touching Northampton,
More and Northbury, but commissioned enquiry to be made as to their
property in the city. He was especially gratified to learn that, in
accordance with his request, they had appointed Thomas Usk (the chief
witness against Northampton) to the office of under-sheriff, and promised
that such appointment should not be drawn into precedent. The citizens
were not slow to take the hint about the election of a new mayor, and
Exton was continued in office.(682)


Great discontent had arisen meanwhile in the country at the lavish
expenditure of the king, without any apparent result in victories abroad,
such as had been gained in the glorious days of his predecessor. A cry for
reform and retrenchment was raised, and found a champion in the person of
the Duke of Gloucester, the youngest of the king’s uncles. At his
instigation, the parliament which assembled on the 1st October, 1386,
demanded the dismissal of the king’s ministers, and read him a lesson on
constitutional government which ended in a threat of deposition unless the
king should mend his ways. Richard was at the time only twenty-one years
of age. In the impetuosity of his youth he is recorded as having
contemplated a dastardly attempt upon the life of his uncle, whom he had
grown to hate as the cause of all his difficulties. A plan was laid, which
is said to have received Brembre’s approbation, for beguiling the duke
into the city by an invitation to supper, and then and there making away
with him, but the duke was forewarned. The chronicler who records
Brembre’s complicity in this nefarious design against Gloucester’s life
also relates that Exton, who was mayor, refused to have anything to do
with it.(683)

(M364) (M365) (M366)

Before the end of the session, parliament had appointed a commission, with
Gloucester at its head, to regulate the government of the country and the
king’s household. This very naturally excited the wrath of the hot-headed
king, who immediately set to work to form a party in opposition to the
duke. In August of the next year (1387) he obtained a declaration from
five of the justices to the effect that the commission was illegal. On the
28th October he sent the Archbishop of York and the Earl of Suffolk into
the city to learn whether he could depend upon the support of the
citizens. The answer could not have been regarded as unfavourable, for, on
the 10th November, the king paid a personal visit to the city and was
received with great ceremony.(684) On the following day (11 Nov.) orders
were given to the aldermen of the City to assemble the men of their
several wards, to see that they were suitably armed according to their
rank and estate, and to make a return of the same in due course.(685)


On the 14th Gloucester formally charged the king’s five counsellors—the
Archbishop of York, the Duke of Ireland, the Earl of Suffolk, Chief
Justice Tressilian and Nicholas Brembre, "the false London knight," with
treason.(686) The king retaliated by causing proclamation to be made to
the effect that he had taken these same individuals under his own
protection, and that no one should harm them save at his own peril. This
protection was extended also to the king’s uncle, the Duke of Gloucester,
and the Earls of Arundel and Warwick, the impeaching parties.


On the 28th the mayor and aldermen were summoned to proceed to Windsor
forthwith, to consult upon certain matters very weighty (_certeines
treschargeauntes matirs_).(687) The City’s archives contain no record of
what took place at the interview, but it appears that the object of the
conference was to ascertain how many men-at-arms the city would be likely
to furnish the king at a crisis. The answer given by the mayor was not
encouraging; the citizens were merchants and craftsmen, and not soldiers,
save for the defence of the city itself; and the mayor straightway asked
the king’s permission to resign his office.(688)

(M369) (M370)

Finding that he could not rely on any assistance from the Londoners—whom
Walsingham describes as fickle as a reed, siding at one time with the
lords and at another time with the king(689)—Richard was driven to
temporise. He had already promised that in the next parliament his
unfortunate advisers should be called to account, but long before
parliament met (3 Feb., 1388), four out of the five culprits had made good
their escape—at least for a time. Brembre alone was taken.(690) He had
anticipated the blow by making over all his property at home and abroad to
certain parties by deed, dated the 15th October, 1387, no doubt, upon a
secret trust.(691)


Notwithstanding the evident coolness of the citizens towards him, Richard
determined to leave Windsor and spend Christmas at the Tower. He would be
safer there, and less subject to the dominating influence of the Duke of
Gloucester and the Earls of Arundel, Nottingham, Warwick and Derby, who
objected to his shaking off the fetters of the commission. As soon as his
intention was known, these five lords—who, from having been associated in
appealing against Richard’s counsellors, were styled "appellant"—hastened
to London, and drawing up their forces outside the city’s walls, demanded
admittance. After some little hesitation, the mayor determined to admit
them, defending his action to the king by declaring that they were his
true liege men and friends of the realm.(692)


On the 18th January, 1388, the lords appeared at the Guildhall,
accompanied by the Archbishop, the Bishops of Ely, Hereford, Exeter, and
others. The Archbishop absolved the citizens of their oaths of allegiance,
whilst the Bishop of Ely, the lord treasurer, deprecated any remarks made
to the disparagement of the lords. The lords and the bishops had been
indicted on an iniquitous charge, and there were some among the citizens
who had been similarly indicted, but whether justly or unjustly he (the
bishop) could not say. That would be decided by parliament. In the
meantime they were ready to assist in settling the trade disputes in the
city, for it was absurd for one body of the citizens to attempt to
exterminate another. The citizens, however, showed no desire to accept the
proffered mediation.(693)


When parliament met (3 Feb.), a formidable indictment of thirty-nine
charges was laid against the king’s late advisers, of whom Brembre alone
appeared. On the 17th February, he was brought up by the constable of the
Tower, and was called on to answer off-hand the several charges of treason
alleged against him. He prayed for time to take counsel’s advice. This
being refused, he claimed to support his cause by wager of battle, and
immediately the whole company of lords, knights, esquires, and commons,
flung down their gages so thick, we are told, that they "seemed like snow
on a winter’s day."(694) But the lords declared that wager by battle did
not lie in such a case. When the trial was resumed on the following day,
so much opposition arose between the king, who spoke strongly in Brembre’s
favour, and the lords, that it was decided to leave the question of the
prisoner’s guilt or innocence to a commission of lords, who, to the
surprise and annoyance of the majority of the nobles, brought in a verdict
of not guilty. Brembre was not to be allowed thus to escape. The lords
sent for two representatives of the various crafts of the city to depose
as to Brembre’s guilt; but even so, the lords failed to get any definite
verdict. At last they sent for the mayor, recorder, and some of the
aldermen (_seniores_) to learn what they had to say about the accused.


One would have thought that with Nicholas Exton, his old friend and ally,
to speak up for him, Brembre’s life would now at least be saved, even if
he were not altogether acquitted. It was not so, however. The mayor and
aldermen were asked as to their _opinion_ (not as to their knowledge),
whether Brembre was cognisant of certain matters, and they gave it as
their _opinion_ that Brembre was more likely to have been cognisant of
them than not. Turning then to the Recorder, the lords asked him how stood
the law in such a case? To which he replied, that a man who knew such
things as were laid to Brembre’s charge, and knowing them failed to reveal
them, deserved death. On such evidence as this, Brembre was convicted on
the 20th February, and condemned to be executed.(695) He was drawn on a
hurdle through the city to Tyburn, showing himself very penitent and
earnestly desiring all persons to pray for him. At the last moment he
confessed that his conduct towards Northampton had been vile and wicked.
Whilst craving pardon of Northampton’s son "he was suddenly turned off,
and the executioner cutting his throat, he died."(696)


If we are to believe all that Walsingham records of Brembre, the character
and conduct of the city alderman and ex-mayor was bad indeed. Besides
conniving at the plot laid against Gloucester’s life, which involved the
grossest breach of hospitality, he is recorded as having lain in wait with
an armed force at the Mews near Charing Cross, to intercept and massacre
the lords on their way to Westminster, to effect an arrangement with the
king, as well as having entertained the idea of cutting the throats of a
number of his fellow-citizens, and placing himself at the head of the
government of the city, the name of which he proposed changing to that of
"Little Troy."(697)


Of Brembre’s associates, Tressilian was captured during the trial, torn
from the Sanctuary at Westminster, and hanged on the 19th. Another to
share the same fate was Thomas Uske, who had been one of the chief
witnesses against Northampton. He was sentenced to death by parliament on
the 4th March, and died asseverating to the last that he had done
Northampton no injury, but that every word he had deposed against him the
year before was absolutely true.(698)


The lords appellant, who were now complete masters of the situation,
insisted upon the proceedings of this "merciless" parliament, as its
opponents called it, being ratified by oath administered to prelates,
knights, and nobles of the realm, as well as to the mayor, aldermen, and
chief burgesses of every town. On the 4th June—the day parliament rose—a
writ was issued in Richard’s name, enjoining the administration of this
oath to those aldermen and citizens of London who had not been present in
parliament when the oath was administered there.(699)


In the meantime the continued jealousy existing among the city guilds—the
Mercers, Goldsmiths, Drapers, and others, objecting to Fishmongers and
Vintners taking any part in the government of the city on the ground that
they were victuallers, and as such forbidden by an ordinance passed when
Northampton was mayor to hold any municipal office(700)—had led parliament
(14 May) to proclaim free trade throughout the kingdom.(701) A party in
the city tried to get parliament to remove Exton from the mayoralty on the
ground of his having connived at the curtailment of the City’s liberties
and franchises. The attempt, however, failed, and he remained in office
until succeeded by Nicholas Twyford (Oct., 1388).(702) Although Twyford
belonged to the party of Northampton as distinguished from that of Brembre
and Exton, his election raised little or no opposition, such as had been
anticipated. When he went out of office in October, 1389, however, party
strife in the city again showed itself. The majority of the citizens voted
William Venour, a grocer, into the mayoralty, but the choice was strongly
opposed by the Goldsmiths, the Mercers, and the Drapers, who ran another
candidate, one of their own body, Adam Bamme, a goldsmith.(703)


Some months before the close of Twyford’s mayoralty, Richard had succeeded
in gaining his independence (May, 1389), which he was induced by
Lancaster, on his return after a prolonged absence abroad, to exercise at
length in favour of Northampton, by permitting him once more to return to
London, although only as a stranger.(704) This was in July. In December,
letters patent granting him a free pardon were issued, containing no such
restriction.(705) His re-appearance in the streets of the city revived the
old party spirit, and Adam Bamme, who had succeeded Venour in the
mayoralty, found it expedient to forbid all discussion of the rights and
the wrongs of the several parties of Northampton and Brembre on pain of
imprisonment.(706) Four more years elapsed before Northampton was
re-instated in the freedom of the city.(707)


For some years Richard governed not unwisely. In 1392, however, he
quarrelled with the city. Early in that year he called upon every
inhabitant, whose property for the last three years was worth £40 in land
or rent, to take upon himself the honour of knighthood. The sheriffs,
Henry Vanner and John Shadworth, made a return that all tenements and
rents in the city were held of the king _in capite_ as fee burgage at a
fee farm (_ad feodi firmam_); that by reason of the value of tenements
varying from time to time, and many of them requiring repair from damage
by fire and tempest, their true annual value could not be ascertained, and
that, therefore, it was impossible to make a return of those who possessed
£40 of land or rent as desired.(708)


This answer was anything but agreeable to the king. But he had other cause
just now for being offended with the city. Being in want of money, he had
offered a valuable jewel to the citizens as security for a loan, and the
citizens had excused themselves on the plea that they were not so well off
as they used to be, since foreigners had been allowed to enjoy the same
privileges in the city as themselves. Having failed in this quarter, the
king had resorted to a Lombard, who soon was able to accommodate him; but
when the king learnt on enquiry that the money so obtained had been
advanced to the Lombard merchant by the very citizens who had refused to
lend it to the king himself, his anger knew no bounds,(709) and he
summoned John Hende, the mayor, the sheriffs, the aldermen, and
twenty-four of the chief citizens(710) of the City to attend him in June,
at Nottingham. They accordingly set out on their journey on the 19th June,
and arrived in Nottingham on the 23rd; the government of the city being
left in the meanwhile in the hands of William Staundon. On the 25th they
appeared before the lords of the council, when the chancellor rated them
roundly for paying so little attention to the king’s writ—the writ
touching knighthood—and complained of the defective manner in which the
city was governed.(711)


He thereupon dismissed the mayor from office, committing him to Windsor
Castle. The sheriffs were likewise dismissed, one being sent to Odyham
Castle, and the other to the Castle of Wallingford. The rest of the
citizens were ordered to return home.(712)


At nine o’clock in the morning of the 1st July, Sir Edward Dalyngrigge
appeared in the Guildhall, and there, before an immense assembly of the
commons, read the king’s commissions appointing him warden of the city and
the king’s escheator. The deposed sheriffs were succeeded by Gilbert
Maghfeld, or Maunfeld, and Thomas Newton, who remained in office, by the
king’s appointment,(713) until the end of the year, when they were
re-elected, the one by the warden and the other by the citizens.(714)
Dalyngrigge was soon afterwards succeeded in the office of warden by Sir
Baldwin de Radyngton.(715)


By way of inflicting further punishment upon the citizens, Richard had
already removed the King’s Bench and Exchequer from London to York;(716)
but the removal proved so much more prejudicial to the nation at large
than to the City of London that the courts were soon brought back.(717) He
would even have waged open war on them had he dared.(718) Instead of
proceeding to this extremity, he summoned the aldermen and 400 commoners
to Windsor(719) and fined the City £100,000. This was in July (1392). In
August the king notified his intention of passing through the city on his
way from Shene to Westminster. The citizens embraced the opportunity of
giving him a magnificent reception, which the king acknowledged in the
following month by restoring to them their liberties and setting free
their late mayor and sheriffs.(720) The fine of £100,000 recently imposed,
as well as other moneys which the king considered to be due to him from
the city, were also remitted.(721)


Once more restored to their liberties, the citizens in the following year
(1393), with the assent of parliament, effected a reform in the internal
government of the city which the increasing population had rendered
necessary. The Ward of Farringdon Within and Without had increased so much
in wealth and population that it was deemed advisable to divide it into
two parts, each part having its own alderman. Accordingly, in the
following March (1394), Drew Barantyn was elected Alderman of Farringdon
Within, whilst John Fraunceys was elected for Farringdon Without. A more
important reform effected at the same time was the appointment of aldermen
for life instead of for a year only.(722)


In the following year (1394) the queen—Anne of Bohemia—died. She had
always shown a friendly disposition towards the city, and it was mainly
owing to her intercession that Richard had restored its liberties.(723)
Her death removed one good influence about Richard, and marks a change of
policy or of character.(724) His second marriage in 1396 did not improve
matters. In that year the mayor, Adam Bamme, died in office, and instead
of allowing the citizens freely to elect a successor, he thrust upon them
Richard Whitington.(725) He arrested the Duke of Gloucester and the Earls
of Warwick and Arundel, and otherwise behaved so outrageously as to raise
doubts as to his sanity. He gave out that he was afraid to appear in
public for fear of the Londoners; but this was only a ruse for the purpose
of raising money.(726) Like Edward II, he borrowed money from anybody and
everybody, and often resorted to unconstitutional measures to fill his
purse. He made the nobles and his wealthier subjects sign blank cheques
for him to fill up at his pleasure.(727) These cheques, or "charters" as
they were called, were afterwards burnt by order of his successor on the


A crisis was fast approaching. The Duke of Hereford, whom the king had
banished, and who, on the death of his father "time honoured Lancaster,"
succeeded to the title early in 1399, was prevailed upon to return to
England and strike a blow for the recovery of his inheritance which
Richard had seized. Richard, as if infatuated, took this inopportune
moment to sail to Ireland. Before setting out he made a last bid for the
favour of the citizens by again granting them permission to rule the fish
trade according to ancient custom.(728) It was too late; they had already
resolved to throw in their lot with Henry of Lancaster.

As soon as Henry had landed at Ravenspur (4th July) a special messenger
was despatched to the city with the news. The mayor was in bed, but he
hurriedly rose and took steps to proclaim Henry’s arrival in England. "Let
us apparel ourselves and go and receive the Duke of Lancaster, since we
agreed to send for him," was the resolution of those to whom the mayor
conveyed the first tidings; and accordingly Drew Barentyn, who had
succeeded Whitington in October, 1398, and 500 other citizens, took horse
to meet the duke, whom they escorted to the city. The day that Henry
entered the city was kept as a holiday, "as though it had been the day for
the celebration of Easter."


When Richard heard of Henry’s landing he hurried back from Ireland. He was
met by the duke with a large force, which comprised 1,200 Londoners, fully
armed and horsed.(729) Finding resistance hopeless, the king made
submission, craving only that he might be protected from the Londoners,
who, he was convinced, bore him no good will. He was, in consequence,
secretly conveyed to the Tower under cover of night. Articles were drawn
up accusing him of misgovernment, and publicly read in the Guildhall. Four
of his advisers and supporters, whose names he gave up, hoping to gain
favour for himself thereby, were executed at a fishmonger’s stall in
Cheapside. Sentence of deposition was passed against him, and Lancaster
proclaimed king in his stead under the title of King Henry IV.



The sentence passed on the late king proved his death warrant; his haughty
spirit broke down, and he died at Pontefract the following year. According
to Henry’s account he died of wilful starvation. There were many, however,
who believed him to have been put to death by Henry’s orders; whilst
others, on the contrary, refused to believe his death had actually taken
place at all, notwithstanding the fact of the corpse having been purposely
exposed to public view throughout its journey from Pontefract to
London.(730) This belief that Richard was still alive was fostered by
many, and, among others, by William Serle. He had been at one time the
late king’s chamberlain, and he kept up the delusion of Richard being
still in the land of the living, by exhibiting the late king’s signet,
which had come into his possession. Serle was eventually arrested in the
north of England and brought to London, to be executed at Tyburn.(731)


Sixteen years later (1416), a certain Thomas Warde, called "Trumpyngtone,"
personated the late king, and a scheme was laid for placing him on the
throne with the aid of Sigismund, king of the Romans Sigismund, however,
refused to have anything to do with the plot, which was hatched within the
city’s liberties by Benedict Wolman and Thomas Bekering. The conspiracy
having been discovered, its authors were thrown into prison. One died
before trial, the other paid the penalty for his rashness with his
head.(732) In August, 1420, long after Trumpington was dead, two others,
Thomas Cobold and William Bryan, endeavoured still to keep up the delusion
in the city. The mayor, Whitington, himself ordered their arrest. Bryan
had time to escape from the house of William Norton, a barber given to
Lollardry, where he and his fellow conspirator were lodged. Cobold tried
to hide himself, but was discovered cunningly concealed in the house, and
taken before the mayor and aldermen. Being questioned as to the identity
of Trumpington and the late king, he gave an evasive reply, adding, that
the question of identity had become immaterial since Trumpington had been
dead some time. Cobold was thought to be too dangerous a man to be allowed
at large, so he was committed to prison.(733)


In the meantime Wycliffe had died (1384), and Lollardry had become only
another name for general discontentment. The clergy made strenuous efforts
to suppress the Lollards. Pope Boniface had invoked the assistance of the
late king (1395) to destroy these "tares" (_lolium aridum_) that had
sprung up amidst the wheat which remained constant to church and king, and
called upon the mayor and commonalty of the city to use their interest
with Richard to the same end.(734) Besides seeking the support of the
commonalty against the powerful nobles, the new king sought the support of
the church, and he had not been long on the throne before he issued
commissions for search to be made in the city for Lollards, and for the
arrest of all preachers found sowing the pestilential seed of Lollardry
(_semen pestiferum lollardrie_).(735) Early in 1401 a price was put upon
the head of the captain and leader of the sect, Sir John Oldcastle,
otherwise known as Lord Cobham. Public proclamation was made in the city,
that any one giving information which should lead to his arrest should be
rewarded with 500 marks; any one actually arresting or causing him to be
arrested should receive double that amount, whilst the citizens and
burgesses of any city or borough who should take and produce him before
the king, should be for ever quit of all taxes, talliages, tenths,
fifteenths and other assessments.(736) Not only were conventicles
forbidden, but no one was allowed to visit the ordinary churches after
nine o’clock at night or before five o’clock in the morning.(737)


Still the clergy were not satisfied. The ecclesiastical courts could
condemn men as heretics, but they had no power to burn them. Accordingly,
a statute was passed this year (1401), known as the statute of heresy (_de
hæretico comburendo_), authorising the ecclesiastical courts to hand over
to the civil powers any heretic refusing to recant, or relapsing after
recantation, so that he might pay the penalty of being publicly burnt
before the people.(738) It was the first English law passed for the
suppression of religious opinion, and its first victim is said to have
been one William Sautre, formerly a parish priest of Norfolk.(739)


Henry had other difficulties to face besides opposition from the nobles.
France had refused to acknowledge his title to the crown, and demanded the
restoration of Richard’s widow, a mere child of eleven. The Scots(740) and
the Welsh were on the point of engaging in open insurrection. Invasion was
imminent; the exchequer was empty, and the Londoners appealed to could
offer no more than a paltry loan of 4,000 marks.(741)


As time went on, Henry had to try new methods for raising money. The
parliament which met at the opening of 1404, granted the king a 1_s._ in
the pound on all lands, tenements and rents, besides 20_s._ for every
knight’s fee. The money so raised was not, however, to be at the disposal
of the king’s own ministers, but was to be placed in the hands of four
officials to be known as treasurers of war (_Guerrarum Thesaurarii_). The
names of the treasurers elected for the purpose are given as John Owdeby,
clerk, John Hadley, Thomas Knolles, and Richard Merlawe, citizens of
London.(742) Three of these were citizens of note. Hadley had already
served as mayor in 1393, Knolles had filled the same office in 1399, and
was re-elected in 1410, whilst Merlawe was destined to attain that honour
both in 1409 and 1417.


It was during Merlawe’s first mayoralty that the citizens advanced to the
king the sum of 7,000 marks,(743) to enable him to complete the reduction
of Wales, which his son, the Prince of Wales, had already nearly
accomplished. In 1412 they advanced a further sum of 10,000 marks.(744) At
the beginning of that year a commission was addressed by Henry to Robert
Chichele, the mayor, brother of the archbishop of the same name, to the
sheriffs of the city, to Richard Whitington and Thomas Knolles, the late
mayor, instructing them to make a return of the amount of land and
tenements held in the city and suburbs, with the view of levying 6_s._
8_d._ on every £20 annual rent by virtue of an act passed by the late
parliament.(745) A return was made to the effect that it was very
difficult to discover the true value of lands and tenements in the city
and suburbs, owing to absence of tenants and dilapidations by fire and
water, but that they had caused enquiry to be made, and the names of men,
women and other persons (_hominum, feminarum et aliarum personarum_)
mentioned in the commission were forwarded by them in the following a, b,
c (_in sequenti a, b, c_). What lands and tenements the "men, women and
other persons" had elsewhere they had no means of discovering.(746) The
schedule, or "a, b, c," is not entered in the City Letter Book, but is to
be found among the Exchequer Rolls, preserved at Her Majesty’s Public
Record(747) Office. The gross rental was returned at £4,220, and the sum
paid into the exchequer at 6_s._ 8_d._ for every £20, under the provisions
of the act amounted to £70 6_s._ 8_d._ The mayor and commonalty of the
city are credited as possessing lands, tenements and rents of an annual
value of no more than £150 9_s._ 11_d._, whilst the Bridge House Estate
was returned at £148 15_s._ 3_d._ Of the livery companies, the Goldsmiths
appear as the owners of the largest property, their rental of city
property amounting to £46 10_s._ 1/2_d._, the Merchant Tailors following
them closely with £44 3_s._ 7_d._ The Mercers had but a rental of £13
18_s._ 4_d._ whilst the Skinners had £18 12_s._ 8_d._ Robert Chichele, the
mayor, was already a rich man, with an annual rental of £42 19_s._ 2_d._,
derived from city property, or nearly double the amount (£25) with which
Richard Whitington was credited.


Whitington had already three times occupied the mayoralty chair; once (in
1396) at the word of a king, and twice (in 1397 and 1406) at the will of
his fellow citizens. On the occasion of his third election a solemn mass
was for the first time introduced into the proceedings, the mayor,
aldermen and a large body of commoners attending the service at the
Guildhall Chapel, before proceeding to the election.(748) The custom which
then sprang up continues in a modified form to this day, the election of a
mayor being always preceded by divine service. Its origin may perhaps be
ascribed in some measure to the spirit of Lollardry which, in its best
sense, found much favour with the citizens.

The enormous wealth which he succeeded in amassing was bestowed in
promoting the cause of education, and in relieving the sufferings of the
poor and afflicted. He built a handsome library in the house of the Grey
Friars and also the Church of Saint Michael in the "Riole." He is credited
by some writers with having purchased and presented to the corporation the
advowson of the Church of St. Peter upon Cornhill. But this is probably a
mistake arising from the fact of a license in mortmain having been granted
by Henry IV to Richard Whitington, John Hende, and others, to convey the
manor of Leadenhall, together with the advowsons of the several churches
of Saint Peter upon Cornhill and Saint Margaret Patyns, held of the king
in free burgage, to the mayor and commonalty of the City of London and
their successors.(749)


On the accession of Henry V, Archbishop Arundel, whom Walsingham describes
as the most eminent bulwark and indomitable supporter of the church,(750)
renewed his attack on the Lollards, and endeavoured to serve Oldcastle
with a citation. Failing to accomplish this he caused him to be arrested.
The bold defence made by the so-called heretic, when before his judges,
gained additional weight from the reputation he enjoyed for high moral
character. Nevertheless he was adjudged guilty of the charges brought
against him. A formal sentence of excommunication was passed, and he was
remitted to the Tower for forty days in the hope that at the expiration of
that time he might be found willing to retract. This, however, was not to


He contrived to make his escape from prison,(751) and shortly afterwards
appeared at the head of a number of followers in St. Giles’s Fields. Great
disappointment was felt at not receiving the assistance that had been
expected from city servants and apprentices. According to Walsingham, no
less than 5,000 men, comprising masters as well as servants, from the
city, were prepared to join the insurgents, had not the king taken
precautions to secure the gates. As soon as it was discovered that the
young king had made ample preparations to meet attack, the Lollards took
to flight. Many, however, failed to make good their escape, and nearly
forty paid the penalty of their rashness with their lives.(752) Walsingham
was probably misinformed as to the number of the persons who were prepared
to assist the Lollards. The fact is that, to the respectable City burgess,
Lollardism was a matter of less moment than was the scandalous life led by
the chantry priest and other ministers of religion, and this the civic
authorities were determined to rectify as far as in them lay. Between the
years 1400 and 1440, some sixty clerks in holy orders were taken in
adultery and clapt into prison by ward beadles.(753) Nevertheless the
clergy, and more especially the chantry priest, continued to live a life
of luxury and sloth, oftentimes spending the day in dicing, card playing,
cock fighting and frequenting taverns.


The recent abortive attempt of Oldcastle gave rise to another Statute
against the Lollards,(754) by which the secular power, no longer content
with merely carrying into execution the sentences pronounced by
ecclesiastical courts, undertook, where necessary, the initiative against
heretics. Archbishop Arundel, the determined enemy of the Lollards, had
had no hand in framing this Statute—the last that was enacted against
them.(755) He had died a few months before parliament met, and had been
succeeded by Henry Chichele.


Early in the following year (1415) the king made an offer of pardon to
Oldcastle, who was still at large, if he would come in and make submission
before Easter.(756) Instead of accepting so generous an offer, Oldcastle
busied himself in preparing for another rising to take place as soon as
the king should have set sail on his meditated expedition to France.
Lollard manifestoes again appeared on the doors of the London churches;
whilst Oldcastle himself scoured the country for recruits, to serve under
a banner on which the most sacred emblems of the church were


In August (1415) another Lollard, John Cleydone by name, a currier by
trade, was tried in St. Paul’s Church before the new Archbishop and
others, the civic authorities having taken the initiative according to the
provisions of the recent Statute, and arrested him on suspicion of being a
heretic. The mayor himself was a witness at the trial, and testified as to
the nature of certain books found in Cleydon’s possession; they were "the
worst and the most perverse that ever he did read or see." Walsingham, who
styles Cleydon "an inveterate Lollard" (_quidam inveteratus Lollardus_),
adds, with his usual acerbity against the entire sect, that the accused
had gone so far as to make his own son a priest, and have Mass celebrated
by him in his own house on the occasion when his wife should have gone to
church, after rising from childbed.(758) Having been convicted of heresy
by the ecclesiastical court, the prisoner was again delivered over to the
secular authorities for punishment.(759) Both he and his books were


Two years later Oldcastle himself was captured in Wales and brought to
London. At his trial he publicly declared his belief that Richard II was
still alive; he was even fanatic enough to believe that he himself would
soon rise again from the dead.(761) He was sentenced to be hanged and
burnt on the gallows, a sentence which was carried out in St. Giles’s
Fields.(762) Lollardry continued to exist, especially in London and the
towns, for some years, but it ceased to have any historical or political


Henry V was resolved to maintain not only the old religion of the days of
Edward III, but also the old foreign policy, and in 1414 he commenced
making preparations for renewing the claim of his great-grandfather to the
crown of France. In 1415 this claim was formally made, and Henry gathered
his forces together at Southampton. On the 10th March he informed the
civic authorities of his intention of crossing over to France to enforce
his claim and of his need of money. On the 14th a brilliant assembly,
comprising the king’s two brothers, John, Duke of Bedford, and Humphrey,
Duke of Gloucester, Edward, Duke of York, the Archbishop of Canterbury,
the Bishop of Winchester, and others, met at the Guildhall to consider the


A question arose as to order of precedence, and it was arranged that the
mayor, as the king’s representative in the City, should occupy the centre
seat, having the Primate and the Bishop of Winchester on his right, and
the Duke of York and the king’s brothers on his left.(764) This question
having been settled, the meeting, we presume, got to business; but what
took place is not recorded in the City’s archives. We know, however, that
in June the king pledged his jewels to the City for a loan of 10,000
marks,(765) and that on the 1st August—just as he was preparing to set
sail—he raised a further loan of 10,000 marks on the security of the


On the 15th June the king, who was then on his way to the coast, took
solemn leave of the civic authorities, who had accompanied him to
Blackheath. He bade them go home and keep well his "chamber" during his
absence abroad, giving them his blessing and saying "Cryste save
London."(767) Arriving at Southampton, he there discovered a conspiracy to
place the young Earl of March, the legitimate heir of Edward III, on the
throne, as soon as he himself should have set sail. The traitors were
seized and executed, and the City lost no time in sending the king a
letter congratulating him upon his discovery of the plot.(768)


A few days later (12th August) he sailed for France and landed near
Harfleur, to which town he laid siege. It offered, however, a stubborn
defence, and it was not until the 18th September that the town
surrendered. On the 22nd Henry sent a long account of the siege and
capture to the mayor and citizens of London, bidding them render humble
thanks to Almighty God for this mercy, and expressing a hope of further
success in the near future.(769)

(M407) (M408)

Early in October the king caused proclamation to be made in the City, that
all and singular knights, esquires and valets who were willing to go with
him to Normandy, should present themselves to his uncle Henry, Bishop of
Winchester and Treasurer of England, who would pay them their wages. By
the same proclamation merchants, victuallers and handicraft-men were
invited to take up their residence in the recently captured town of
Harfleur, where houses would be assigned to them, and where they should
enjoy the same privileges and franchises to which they had always been

(M409) (M410)

The battle of Agincourt was fought on the 25th October, and news of the
joyous victory arrived in England on or before the 28th, on which day—the
Feast of St. Simon and St. Jude—Nicholas Wotton, the recently elected
mayor, was sworn into office at the Guildhall according to custom. On the
following day, therefore, the mayor, aldermen and a large number of the
commonalty made a solemn pilgrimage on foot to Westminster, where they
first made devout thanksgiving for the victory that had been won, and then
proceeded to present the new mayor before the Barons of the Exchequer.
Care is taken in the City records to explain that the procession went on
this occasion on foot, simply and solely for the purpose of marking their
humble thanks to the Almighty and his Saints, and more especially to
Edward the Confessor, who lay interred at Westminster, for the joyful news
which so unexpectedly had arrived. The journey on foot was not to be drawn
into precedent when others succeeded to the mayoralty, nor supplant the
riding in state which had been customary on such occasions.(771) The
reception given to the king by the Londoners on his return from France,
was of so brilliant and varied a character, that one chronicler declares
that a description of it would require a special treatise.(772) On the
16th November he landed at Dover and proceeded towards London. On
Saturday, the 23rd, the mayor and aldermen and all the companies rode
forth in their liveries to meet the king and conduct him and his train of
French prisoners through the City to Westminster. On Sunday morning a
deputation from the City waited upon Henry and presented him with the sum
of £1,000 and two basons of gold worth half that sum.(773)


During the next eighteen months succeeding the battle of Agincourt, Henry
devoted himself to making preparations at home for renewing active
military operations. He had intended at midsummer, 1416, to lead an
expedition in person to the relief of Harfleur, but the command was
subsequently delegated to his brother, the Duke of Bedford. Proclamation
was publicly made in the city by order of the king, dated the 28th May,
that all and singular knights, esquires and valets holding any fief or
annuity from the king should proceed to Southampton by the 20th June,
armed each according to his estate, for the purpose of joining the
expedition.(774) In 1417 France was rendered weak by factions, and Henry
seized the opportunity for another attack. On the 1st February he issued
his writ to the sheriffs of London for a return to be made of the number
of men-at-arms and archers the City knights could furnish.(775) In March
the mayor, Henry Barton, was made a commissioner for victualling the navy
which was to rendezvous at Southampton.(776)


In the same month the City advanced the king the sum of 5,000 marks,(777)
and in the following June a further sum was advanced by private
subscription among the wealthier citizens on the security of a Spanish
sword, set in gold and precious stones, of the estimated value of £2,000.
The sword was pledged with the subscribers on the understanding that they
would not dispose of it before Michaelmas twelve-month.(778)

(M413) (M414)

On the 9th August the king addressed a letter to the mayor, sheriffs,
aldermen and good folk of the City of London, informing them of his safe
arrival in Normandy and of his success in making himself master of the
castle of "Touque" without bloodshed.(779) To this the citizens sent a
dutiful reply on the 28th day of the same month, assuring the king of the
peaceful condition of the city. On the 2nd September an order went forth
from the Common Council of the City that each alderman should immediately
instruct the constables of his ward to go their rounds and warn all
soldiers they might come across, to vacate the City and set out on the
king’s service before the end of the week on pain of imprisonment.(780)
Success continued to attend Henry’s arms. On the 5th September he was able
to inform the citizens, by letter,(781) of the capture of Caen, excepting
only the citadel, and this was to be rendered to him by the 19th day of
the same month at the latest, unless relief should have previously arrived
for the besieged from the King of France, his son the Dauphin, or the
Count of Armagnac, Constable of France. The Duke of Clarence wrote a few
days later to the citizens, notifying the extraordinary success which had
followed the king. So many towns and fortresses had been taken that the
only fear was that there were not sufficient men to keep guard over

(M415) (M416)

In order to keep the English force in Normandy better provided with
victuals, the Duke of Bedford, who had been left behind as the king’s
lieutenant, caused the Sheriffs of London to proclaim that all persons
willing and able to ship victuals to France for Henry’s use, might do so
without paying custom dues on their giving security that the victuals
should be sent to Caen and not elsewhere.(783) Bedford, who was learning
how to rule a free people—a lesson which, had he been allowed to practice
in after years, might have saved the house of Lancaster from utter
destruction(784)—presided in the parliament, which met in November, 1417.
On the 17th December this parliament granted the king two fifteenths and
two tenths. No time was lost in taking measures for collecting these
supplies, the king’s writ appointing commissioners for the City of London
being issued the day following.(785)


In Paris matters were going on from bad to worse. Whilst the capital of
France was at the mercy of a mob, Henry proceeded to lay close siege to
Rouen. Frequent proclamation was made in London for reinforcements to join
the king, either at Rouen or elsewhere in Normandy.(786) This was in
April, 1418, or thereabouts. On the 5th July, the Duke of Clarence
informed Richard Merlawe, the mayor, by letter, of the fall of Louviers,
and of the expected surrender of Pont de l’Arche,(787) from which latter
place the duke wrote. On the 10th August Henry himself wrote to the
citizens informing them of his having sat down before Rouen and of the
straits his forces were in for lack of victuals and more especially of
"drink." He begged them to send as many small vessels as they could, laden
with provisions, to Harfleur, whence they could make their way up the
Seine to Rouen.(788) In less than a month a reply was sent (8 Sept.) from
Gravesend under the seal of the mayoralty, informing Henry that the
citizens had been busy brewing ale and beer and purveying wine and other
"vitaille," and that they had despatched thirty butts of sweet
wine—comprising ten of "Tyre," ten of "Romesey," and ten of "Malvesy"—and
1,000 pipes of ale and beer. With these they had also sent 25,000 cups for
the king’s "host" to drink out of.(789) In the meantime, the besieged
received no such relief from the pains of hunger and thirst, and on the
19th January, 1419, they were compelled to surrender their ancient
town.(790) The war continued throughout the year (1419), all attempts at a
reconciliation proving abortive. Pointoise fell into Henry’s hands; and
both Henry and the Duke of Clarence sent word of its capture to London.
The duke took the opportunity of asking that the freedom of the City might
be conferred on his servant, Roger Tillyngton, a skinner; but the citizens
in acknowledging the duke’s letter make no reference to his request.(791)


On the 17th August the king wrote again to the mayor, aldermen and commons
of the City, thanking them for their "kynde and notable prone of an ayde,"
which they had granted of their own free will, therein setting a good
example to others, and prayed them to follow such directions as the Duke
of Bedford should give them respecting their proffered assistance. The
bearer of this letter having been taken prisoner at Crotoye, a duplicate
copy of it was afterwards forwarded from Trie le Chastel on the 12th


The murder of John, Duke of Burgundy, by a partisan of the Dauphin, which
took place about this time, induced Duke Philip to come to terms with
England in the hope of avenging his father’s death;(793) and the French
king, finding further resistance hopeless, was content to make peace. By
the treaty of Troyes (20 May, 1420), the Dauphin was disinherited in
favour of Henry, who was formally recognised as the heir to the French
crown, and who agreed to marry Catherine, daughter of Charles VI.(794) The
marriage took place on the 3rd June, and on the 14th a solemn procession
was made in London and a sermon preached at Paul’s Cross in honour of the

(M420) (M421)

On the 12th July Henry addressed a letter from Mant to the corporation of
London informing them of his welfare. He had left Paris for Mant in order
to relieve the town of Chartres, which was being threatened by the
Dauphin. The Duke of Burgundy had joined him and had proved himself "a
trusty, lovvng and faithful brother." The king’s expedition proved
unnecessary, for the Dauphin had raised the siege before his arrival and
had gone into Touraine. To this letter a reply was sent under the
mayoralty seal on the 2nd August, congratulating Henry upon his success,
and assuring him that there was no city on earth more peaceful or better
governed than his City of London.(796)


On the 26th January, 1421, the Duke of Gloucester, the Guardian of England
in the king’s absence, ordered the Sheriffs of London to announce that the
queen’s coronation would take place at Westminster on the third Sunday in
Lent.(797) The king and queen landed at Dover with a small retinue on the
1st February, and after a few days’ rest at Canterbury, entered the city
of London amid tokens of welcome and respect from the laity and clergy.
They took up their abode at the Tower, whence they were conducted on the
day appointed for the coronation to Westminster by the citizens on foot
and on horseback.(798)


Henry had not been at home six months before he again left England, never
to return.(799) The hopes that he entertained of reforming and governing
his possessions in France, and his ambition to have headed, sooner or
later, a crusade which should have stayed the progress of the Ottoman and
have recovered the sepulchre of Christ, were not destined to be realised.
He died at the Bois de Vincennes, near Paris, on the last day of August,
1422, leaving a child nine months old—the unhappy Henry of Windsor who
succeeded to the throne as Henry VI. When the body of the late king was
brought over from France to be buried at Westminster, the citizens showed
it every token of respect in its passage through London. The streets of
the city, as well as of the borough of Southwark, were cleaned for the
occasion. The mayor, sheriffs, recorder and aldermen, accompanied by the
chief burgesses, and clad in white gowns and hoods, went forth to meet the
remains of the king they loved so well, as far as St. George’s bar in
Southwark, and reverently conducted them to St. Paul’s Church, where the
funeral obsequies were performed. The next day they accompanied the corpse
to Westminster, where further ceremonies took place. Representatives of
the various wards were told off to line the streets, the solemnity of the
occasion being marked by the burning of torches, whilst chaplains stood in
the porches of the various churches, clad in their richest copes, with
thuribles in their hands, and chanted the _venite_ and incensed the royal
remains as they passed. The livery companies provided amongst them 211
torches, and to each torch-bearer the city chamberlain gave a gown and
hood of white material or "blanket" (_de blanqueto_), at the "cost of the
commonalty." (800)



At the death of Henry V the administration of affairs fell into the hands
of his two brothers, John, Duke of Bedford, and Humfrey, Duke of
Gloucester. On the 29th September a writ was issued from Windsor, in the
name of the infant on whom the crown of England had devolved, summoning
four citizens of London to attend a parliament to be held at Westminster
at Martinmas,(801) and two days afterwards another was addressed to the
sheriffs of London, enjoining them to make proclamation for the keeping
the king’s peace, and authorising them to arrest and imprison rioters
until the king and his council should determine upon their
punishment.(802) The precise wishes of the late king as to the respective
parts which Bedford and Gloucester were to undertake in the government of
the realm are not clearly known, but it is generally thought that he
intended the former to govern France, whilst the latter was to act as his
vicegerent in England. An attempt to carry out the arrangement was doomed
to failure.

As soon as parliament met (9 Nov.) it took into consideration the
respective claims of the two dukes. Bedford had already (26 Oct.)
despatched a letter from Rouen, addressed to the civic authorities,
setting forth his right to the government of the realm, as elder brother
of the deceased sovereign and as the party most interested in the
succession to the crown. Without mentioning Gloucester by name, he warned
the citizens against executing orders derogatory to himself. He professed
to do this, not from any ambitious designs of his own, but from a wish to
preserve intact the laws, usage and customs of the realm.(803) After some
hesitation, parliament resolved to appoint Bedford protector as soon as he
should return from France, but that during his absence Gloucester should
act for him.(804)


On the 8th February of the new year (1423), the sheriffs of London
received orders to make proclamation for all soldiers who were in the
king’s pay to assemble at Winchelsea by the 1st day of March, as an
expedition was to set sail from that port for the purpose of defending the
town and castle of Crotoye. The business was pressing and necessitated a
repetition of the order to the sheriffs a fortnight later (22 Feb.).(805)


On the 23rd February William Crowmere, the mayor, William Sevenoke,
William Waldene, and John Fray were appointed commissioners to enquire
into cases of treason and felony within the city; and two days later they
found Sir John Mortimer, who was charged with a treasonable design in
favour of the Earl of March, guilty of having broken prison.(806) He was
subsequently convicted of treason both by lords and commons, and sentenced
to death.


On the 5th June (1423) the hearts of the citizens were gladdened with the
news that they were likely to be repaid some of the money they had
advanced to the king’s grandfather. Orders were given for all persons to
whom Henry IV was indebted at the time of his decease, and who had not yet
received from his executors a moiety of the sums due, to send in their
bills and tallies to Sir John Pelham and John Leventhorp, two of the
king’s executors, sitting at the Priory of Saint Mary, Southwark, by the
Monday next after Midsummer-day.(807) We can believe that few orders ever
met with readier response from the inhabitants of the city.


At home as well as abroad Gloucester soon made enemies; among them was his
own uncle, the Chancellor, Henry Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester, a wealthy
and ambitious prelate. During Gloucester’s absence on the continent,
whither he had gone to recover the estates of his newly-married wife, the
ill-fated Jacqueline of Hainault, Beaufort garrisoned the Tower with
creatures of his own. When Gloucester returned mutual recriminations took
place, and the mayor was ordered (29 Oct., 1425) to prevent Beaufort
entering the city. A riot ensued in which the citizens took the part of
the duke, and the bishop had to take refuge in Southwark. The quarrel was
patched up for awhile until Bedford, who was sent for, should arrive to
act as arbitrator.(808) He arrived in London on the 10th January, 1426.
The citizens, who had more than once been in communication with the
duke(809) during his absence abroad, presented him with a pair of basins,
silver-gilt, containing 1,000 marks. The gift, however, does not appear to
have been so graciously received as it might have been, for a London
alderman records that the donors, for all their liberality, "hadde but
lytylle thanke."(810)


The two brothers had not met since the death of Henry V. After prolonged
negotiations, a _modus vivendi_ between the parties was arrived at, and
Gloucester and the bishop were induced to shake hands. Beaufort left
England soon afterwards with the Duke of Bedford, on the plea of making a
pilgrimage, and did not return until September, 1428, by which time he had
been made a cardinal and appointed papal legate in England.
Notwithstanding his legatine authority being unacknowledged by Gloucester
and others, the citizens received him on his return "worthily and
loyally," riding out to meet him and escorting him into London.(811)


Gloucester had always been a favourite with the Londoners, until his
conduct to his Flemish wife, whom he left behind on the continent to fight
her own battles as best as she could, and the undisguised attention he
paid to Eleanor Cobham, a lady in his wife’s suite, whom he eventually
married, estranged their favour. In August, 1424, the Common Council had
voted the duke a gift of 500 marks; and two years later—viz., in April,
1426—the citizens raised a sum, variously stated to have been £1,000 and
1,000 marks, for the benefit of his duchess.(812) The female portion of
the community were specially incensed against the duke, and a number of
women went the length of presenting themselves before parliament in 1427,
with a letter complaining of his behaviour towards his wife. In March of
the next year (1428) the citizens themselves followed suit, and drew the
attention of parliament, through the mouth of John Symond, their Recorder,
to the wretched straits to which the duchess had been reduced, as
witnessed her own letters. They begged parliament to consider the best
means for recovering for her the lands of Hainault, Holland and Zeeland,
which had always been places of sure refuge for the English merchant, and
the rulers of which had ever been friendly to the king of England. The
citizens finally avowed themselves ready to take upon themselves their
share in any undertaking the lords and commons of the realm might decide


In the meantime matters had not gone well with the English in France. In
July, 1427, the Earl of Salisbury came over to London for
reinforcements.(814) In September of the following year he was able to
inform the City of the success that had attended his recruited army.(815)
He was then within a short distance of Orleans, before which town he
shortly afterwards met his death. Bedford continued the siege, but the
town held out until May, 1429, when it was relieved by the Maid from the
little village of Domremi, and the English army was compelled to retreat.


Whilst Bedford was conducting the siege of Orleans, and Jeanne Darc was
meditating how best to relieve the town, the citizens of London were
suffering from a severe dearth. At length the Common Council resolved (22
July, 1429) to send agents abroad for the purpose of transmitting all the
corn they could lay their hands on to England. The assistance of Bedford,
who had by this time been compelled to raise the siege of Orleans, was


Bedford had recently been joined by Beaufort, who had become more than
ever an object of hatred to Gloucester, and had lost to a certain extent
the goodwill of the nation by the acceptance of a cardinal’s hat. He had
set out on the 22nd June (1429), carrying with him a small force which he
was allowed to raise for the avowed object of prosecuting a Hussite
crusade in Bohemia, but which was eventually sent to France.(817) The
question of his position in parliament and the council, now that he was a
cardinal, was decided by the parliament which met on the 22nd September.


Members of parliament representing the City of London had hitherto been
allowed a certain amount of cloth and fur trimming at the City’s expense,
wherewith to dress themselves and their personal attendants in a manner
suitable to the position they held. Those who had from time to time been
elected members appear to have abused this privilege—where a yard had been
given, they had literally taken an ell—and it was now thought to be high
time to take steps to check the abuse in future. Accordingly it was
ordained by the mayor and aldermen, on the 12th August of this year (and
the ordinance met with the approval of the commoners on the 29th day of
the same month), that for the future no alderman elected to attend
parliament should take out of the chamber or of the commonalty more than
ten yards for gown and cloak, at 15_s._ the yard, and 100_s._ for fur if
the alderman had already served as mayor, otherwise he was to have no more
than five marks. Commoners were to be content with five yards of cloth and
33_s._ 4_d._ for fur. Each alderman, moreover, was to be allowed eight
yards of cloth at 28 pence a yard for two personal attendants, and each
commoner four yards of the same for one attendant, if the parliament was
sitting in London or the neighbourhood, and eight yards for two attendants
if parliament was sitting in some more remote place, "as was formerly
ordained during the mayoralty of John Michell" (1424-5).(818)


The condition of France necessitated the early coronation of the young
king, whose right to the French crown had been established by the Treaty
of Troyes. At his accession to the throne of England Henry VI was but a
child of nine months. He was now eight years old. Before he could be
crowned King of France, it was necessary that he should first be crowned
King of England. Proclamation was accordingly made that he would be
crowned on the 6th November following, and that all claims to services
should be forthwith laid before the lord steward.(819) Gregory, to whose
chronicle we have had frequent occasion to refer, writing as an
eye-witness, gives a full account(820) of what took place at the ceremony
of coronation in Westminster Abbey, and of the banquet that followed; but
omits to mention that the citizens put in their usual claim, in accordance
with the above proclamation, to serve the king at the banquet as butler.
That the claim was actually made we learn from other sources.(821) We also
know that William Estfeld, the recently-elected mayor, received the
customary gold cup and ewer used on the occasion, which he afterwards
bequeathed to his grandson.(822)

(M436) (M437)

In April, 1430, the young king left England for France, and remained
abroad for nearly two years. On the 10th November he wrote to the mayor
and citizens, urging them to advance him the sum of 10,000 marks, as that
sum might do him more ease and service at that particular time than double
the amount at another. The letter was dated from Rouen, where the court
afterwards established itself for a considerable time.(823) On Sunday, the
12th December, 1431, he made his entry into Paris with great ceremony, and
was duly crowned.(824)


On his return to England early in the following year, he was met by John
Welles, the mayor, the aldermen, the sheriffs, and more than 12,000
citizens of London, who rode out on Thursday, the 20th February, as far as
Blackheath, and was there presented with the following address:—

    _"Sovereign lord as welcome be ye to your noble Roialme of
    Englond, and in especial to your notable Cite London oþerwise
    called your Chambre, as ever was cristen prince to place or
    people, and of the good and gracioux achevyng of your Coronne of
    Fraunce, we thank hertlich our lord almyghty which of his endles
    mercy sende you grace in yoye and prosperite on us and all your
    other people long for to regne."_


After hearing the address the king rode to Deptford, where he was met by a
procession of 120 rectors and curates of the city, in the richest copes,
and 500 secular chaplains in the whitest of surplices, with whom were a
like number of monks bearing crosses, tapers and incense, and chanting
psalms and antiphons in grateful thanks for his safe return. Thence the
royal cavalcade passed through Southwark to the city, where pageants
appeared at every turn. The fulsome adulation bestowed upon a lad scarcely
ten years of age was enough to turn his young brain. Passing through
Cornhill and Chepe, the procession eventually reached St. Paul’s. There
the king dismounted, and being met by the Archbishop of Canterbury and ten
other bishops in their pontifical robes, was led by them to the high
altar. Prayers were said and the sacred relics kissed. The king then
remounted his horse and made his way to his palace of Westminster, the
streets being hung with tapestry and the houses thronged to their roofs
with crowds of onlookers, and was there allowed a brief day’s rest. On the
following Saturday a deputation from the city, headed by the mayor and
aldermen, went to the palace and presented Henry with £1,000 of the purest
gold, in a gold casket, with these words:—

"_Most cristen prince the good folk of youre notable Cite of London,
otherwise cleped your Chambre, besechen in her most lowely wise that they
mowe be recomanded un to yo__r__ hynesse, ant þ__t__ can like youre noble
grace to resceyve this litell yefte yoven with as good will and lovyng
hertes as any yefte was yoven to eny erthly prince._"

The king having graciously acknowledged the gift, the deputation returned
to the city.(825)


Beaufort, who had returned home in time for the coronation, had again set
out for France with the king, and Gloucester took advantage of their
absence to renew his attack on his rival. Letters of _prœmunire_ were
drawn up in anticipation of the cardinal’s return, and additional offence
was given by the seizure of the cardinal’s plate and jewels at Dover. On
learning of Gloucester’s schemes, Beaufort determined to give up a
projected visit to Rome, and to return home in time for the opening of
parliament (12th May, 1432).(826) He desired to learn why he had been thus
"strangely demeened" contrary to his deserts. When parliament met and the
cardinal asked who were his accusers, Gloucester held his tongue, and the
king expressed his confidence in the cardinal’s loyalty. In the following
year (1433) Bedford appeared before parliament and announced that he had
come home to defend himself against false accusations. He understood that
the recent losses that had occurred in France were attributed to his
neglect. He desired his accusers, of whom he shrewdly suspected Gloucester
to be one, to stand forth and prove their charges. Again there was
silence, and the duke, like the cardinal, had to rest satisfied with the
king’s assurance of loyalty.(827)


The finances of the country were at this time (1433) in the most
deplorable condition. It was necessary to exercise the strictest economy.
Bedford was the first to set an example of self-denial by offering to
discharge the duties of counsellor at a reduced salary. Gloucester
followed his brother’s example. The archbishops, the cardinal, and the
bishops of Lincoln and Ely agreed to render their services without
payment. Parliament showed its good will by voting a fifteenth and tenth,
but out of the sum thus realised £4,000 was to be applied to the relief of
poor towns. The amount of relief which fell to the share of the poorer
wards of the City of London was £76 15_s._ 6-1/4_d._, which was
apportioned among eighteen wards. The largest sum allotted was £20, which
went to Cordwainer Street Ward, whilst Lime Street Ward received the
magnificent relief afforded by the odd farthing.(828) The mayor, sheriffs
and aldermen were called upon to attend in person before the chancellor,
in April, 1434, to make oath that they would duly observe a certain
article (_quendam articulum_) which the late parliament had agreed to, but
what this article was does not appear in the City’s archives.(829)


Bedford was prevailed upon to remain in England and undertake the office
of chief counsellor, but differences again arising between him and
Gloucester, which the personal interference of the young king could with
difficulty calm, he again set sail for France (June, 1434). His career was
fast drawing to an end. Burgundy was intending to desert him as he knew
full well, and the knowledge accelerated his end. His death took place at
Rouen on the 14th September of the following year (1435).(830)


With his death England’s supremacy in France began to decline, and Henry
VI was to lose in that country all or nearly all that had been gained by
his doughty predecessor. The defection of Burgundy was followed by the
loss of Paris. The chief event of 1436 was the raising of the siege of
Calais, which had been invested by the Duke of Burgundy. On the 27th June
the mayor and aldermen of Calais, being anxious to get help from the
government at home, and finding that according to precedent they could
only do so through the mediation of the City of London, addressed a letter
to the mayor and aldermen of London imploring them, as the head of "the
principal of all the cities of the realm of England," to move the king to
send the requisite aid.(831)

In answer to this appeal Henry Frowyk, the mayor, consulted the livery
companies, and by their advice sent a contingent to the relief of the
town.(832) The king, too, had been very urgent that the City should raise
a force to oppose "the man who stiled himself Duke of Burgundy and Count
of Flanders," whilst he took pains to conciliate such Flemings as were
living in the city and were ready to take an oath of allegiance.(833)
Gloucester had been appointed captain of Calais for a term of nine years,
but before he set sail for its relief the siege had been raised by Edmund
Beaufort, Count of Mortain.(834)


An attempt was made in 1439 to bring about a peace, but it failed, and a
new tax—a tax upon aliens—had to be imposed for the purpose of raising
money in addition to the usual supplies. Every alien householder was
called upon to pay sixteen pence, and every alien who was not a
householder sixpence, towards the expenses of the country.(835)


The streets of the city have witnessed few sadder sights than the penance
inflicted on Eleanor Cobham, at one time the mistress, and afterwards—on
the dissolution of his marriage with Jacqueline—the wife of Gloucester.
The new duchess was aware that in the event of the king’s death her
husband was next in succession to the throne, and was inclined to
anticipate matters. It was a superstitious age, and the duchess invoked
the aid of witchcraft to accomplish her wishes. In 1441 her operations,
innocent as they were in themselves, however bad their intent, were
discovered, and she was condemned to do public penance followed by
imprisonment for life. For three days the wretched lady was made to walk
the streets, taper in hand and bare-foot (it was November), in the sight
of all the citizens, who were forbidden to show her any respect, but, at
the same time, were ordered not to molest her.(836) The latter they were
little likely to do. Nay! on each day as she landed at the Temple, at the
Swan or at Oueenhithe, the mayor and sheriffs went forth to attend her,
accompanied by members of the livery companies.(837) Yet, not a finger did
her husband raise in her defence! He either could not or would not save


By charter, dated the 26th day of October, 1444, the king confirmed the
mayor, recorder and certain aldermen as justices of the peace, and, among
other things, granted to the corporation the soil of the Thames within the
City’s liberties.(838) This grant was not made without some little
opposition from the inhabitants of the neighbouring county of Surrey.(839)


The king was now under the influence of William de la Pole, Earl of
Suffolk, by whose intervention a truce with France had been concluded on
the 28th May of this year (1444), to last until the 1st April, 1446. In
order to strengthen the truce, a marriage was arranged between Henry and
Margaret of Anjou. The princess came over to England early in the
following year, and was married on the 22nd April (1445). The match was
not altogether a popular one; nevertheless, when Margaret passed through
the city on her way to be crowned at Westminster, she was received "in the
most goodly wise, with alle the citezines on horseback ridyng ayenst hir
to the Blackheth in blew gownes and rede hodes."(840)


The truce was renewed, and Suffolk increased in popularity. After the
deaths of Gloucester and Cardinal Beaufort, within a few weeks of each
other, in 1447, he became the king’s chief adviser, and continued to be so
until the loss of the French provinces three years later (1450) raised so
much opposition against him that the king was compelled to order his
banishment. This was not thought a sufficient punishment by his enemies,
and he was taken on the high seas and brutally murdered (2 May). After his
death an attack was made on his supporters. Again the men of Kent rose in
revolt; this time under the leadership of an Irish adventurer—Jack
Cade—who called himself Mortimer, and gave out that he was an illegitimate
son of the late Earl of March. They mustered on Blackheath 30,000 strong
(1 June), and then awaited the king’s return from Leicester, where
parliament had been sitting. Henry on his arrival sent to learn the reason
of the gathering, and in reply received a long list of grievances which
the rebels intended to amend.(841)  Notwithstanding the boldness of this
answer, the king had only to make proclamation that all his true and liege
subjects should "a-voyde the fylde," for the whole force to disperse in
the course of one night. The danger, indeed, seemed to be over. A week
later, however, the royal force met a number of the rebels near Sevenoaks,
by whom it was put to rout. Encouraged by this success, the rebels
returned and took up their quarters in Southwark. The unhappy king had by
this time retired to Kenilworth, notwithstanding the offer made by the
citizens of London to stand by him.(842)


The city authorities had, in the meantime, taken steps to put the city
into a state of defence. A Common Council met on the 8th June, when it
decided that an efficient guard should be placed night and day upon all
gates, wharves and lanes leading to the Thames. An enclosure recently
erected at "le Crane" on the riverside belonging to John Trevillian, was
ordered to be abated. Balistic machines (_fundibula_) of all kinds were to
be collected on the wharves, whilst the sale of weapons or armour or their
removal out of the city was restricted. Lastly, it was agreed to represent
to the king the advisability of limiting the number of his nobles coming
into the city, owing to the scarcity of provisions.(843) On the 26th June
the Common Council again met, and it was then decided to send two mounted
men to reconnoitre Cade’s position, and to learn, if possible, his
movements.(844) Three days later (29 June) orders were given for four men
to be selected from each ward to assist the aldermen in preserving the
peace. Anyone refusing to do his duty in keeping watch was to be sent to
prison. In spite of all precautions, Cade and his followers succeeded in
gaining a footing in the city (3 July), their first action being to sack
the house of Philip Malpas.(845) Cade himself encouraged rather than
restrained the excesses of his men. "Now is Mortimer lord of the City," he
cried as he struck with his sword the old Roman mile-stone known as London
stone.(846) It is clear that the rebels had friends in the city, otherwise
they would never have effected an entrance so easily—"They had othyr men
with hem as welle of London as of there owne party."(847) The matter was
made the subject of investigation by the Common Council. Evidence was
given by Thomas Geffrey, a barber, to the effect that on Friday, the 3rd
July, the keys of the bridge had been given up, but by whom he knew not.
William Reynold also deposed that Richard Philip, a grocer, had told him
that unless the wardens of the bridge opened the gates, the Kentish
captain threatened to set fire to the bridge and the city, and that
thereupon Thomas Godfrey, a "sporyour," clad in russet, brought the keys
and opened the gates.(848)


On Saturday, the 4th of July, the rebels, who had retired for the night,
returned to the city. Robert Horne, alderman of Bridge Ward, who had
rendered himself especially obnoxious to the rebels, was made prisoner and
sent to Newgate. Sir James Fiennes, the Lord Say, was brought from the
Tower to the Guildhall, where the rebels were holding mock trials on those
who were unfortunate enough to fall into their hands, and, after a hasty
examination, was conveyed to the Standard in Chepe and there executed. His
head, together with those of two others who had that day suffered a
similar fate, was set up on London Bridge.


By the next evening (Sunday) the citizens had managed to recover their
presence of mind, and sallied out at ten o’clock at night, under the
leadership of Lord Scales and another, across the bridge. Before they had
arrived on the Southwark side of the river they were met by the rebels,
and a severe fight took place between the parties on the bridge itself,
lasting until eight o’clock the next morning. At last the rebels were
defeated, and the city freed from their presence. Offers of pardon were
made and accepted, and the rebels dispersed. Cade, however, continued to
plunder and ravage the country, until a price having been put upon his
head, he was apprehended by the Sheriff of Kent,(849) and died the same
night from injuries received at his capture. His head was subsequently set
up on London Bridge.


The king had now been married some years, and no heir had appeared. Great
uncertainty prevailed as to the right of succession to the throne, and
gave rise to much rivalry and mutual mistrust between Richard, Duke of
York, who now for the first time becomes a conspicuous figure on the
stage, and Edmund Beaufort, recently created Duke of Somerset. Both of
them could claim to be the king’s nearest kinsmen, both of them being
descendants of Edward III, the one tracing his descent, on his father’s
side, through Edmund Langley, and on his mother’s side, through Lionel,
Duke of Clarence, whilst the other was the surviving representative of
John of Gaunt.


The king’s incapacity to govern without a strong minister at his back, as
evinced by his conduct during the recent outbreak, induced both of these
nobles to throw up their appointments, the one in Ireland and the other in
France, and to hasten home. The Duke of York was the first to reach
England, and, in spite of measures which had been taken to intercept him,
made his way to London. He was anxious in the first place to clear himself
of suspicion of having been implicated in Cade’s rebellion,(850) and to
this end sought and obtained an interview with the king. Having satisfied
Henry on this point, he next proceeded to demand the reform of certain
abuses in the government. A short session of parliament, which met on the
6th November, opened with an altercation between the rival dukes. On the
1st December Somerset was placed under arrest; and on the following day
his lodgings at the Black Friars were broken into and pillaged. An example
was made of one of the men convicted of being concerned in the breaking
into the Black Friars, and he was beheaded at the Standard in Chepe. The
Duke of York made a personal visit to the city, and caused proclamation to
be made of the heavy pains and penalties which should follow any attempt
at robbery. As a further demonstration against lawlessness, the king
himself rode through the city a few days later, accompanied by his lords
in full panoply, the route being kept by a line of armed citizens on
either side of the way. Alderman Gregory, whose chronicle affords us a
vivid picture of contemporary events, and who was called upon to serve the
office of mayor of the city the following year, confesses that the
procession on this occasion would have been a gay and glorious sight, "if
hit hadde ben in Fraunce, but not in Ingelonde," for it boded little

The Duke of Somerset did not long remain in prison, for immediately after
Christmas he was appointed captain of Calais. In 1451 the disasters which
followed the English arms in France, when Calais was again threatened,
were made an occasion for another attempt by York to crush his rival. He
openly avowed his determination to proceed against Somerset, and, joined
by the Earl of Devonshire and Lord Cobham, marched to London (Jan., 1452).
Henry at once prepared to march against his cousin. The duke had hoped
that through the influence of his party within the city, the gates would
have been flung open on his approach. In this he was disappointed. The
majority of the citizens were still loyal to Henry, and by his orders
entrance was denied the duke, who thereupon withdrew to Dartford, whilst
the king’s forces encamped at Blackheath.


For a time civil war was avoided, the king promising that Somerset should
be again committed to custody until he should answer such charges as York
should bring against him. The king, however, failed to keep his word.
Somerset was allowed to remain in power, and York was only allowed his
liberty after he had consented to swear public allegiance to the king in
St. Paul’s Church. Any stronger measures taken against him would probably
have provoked disturbance in the city.(852)


Henry’s mind had never been strong, and in the following year (1453) it
entirely gave way. In October the queen bore him a son, after eight years
of married life, but though the infant was brought to his father, Henry
gave no signs of recognising his presence. The illness of the king, and
the birth of an heir to the crown, were events which materially affected
the fortunes of the Duke of York. In November the civic authorities
prepared for emergencies; every citizen was to provide himself with
armour, but he was strictly enjoined to be guarded in his conversation,
and not to provoke tumult by showing favour to this or that lord. Even a
proposal that the mayor and aldermen should pay a visit of respect to the
Duke of York was rejected as impolitic at the present juncture.(853)


Notwithstanding liberal grants made by parliament for the defence of
Calais, that town was still in danger. On the 29th November, 1453, a
letter was read before the Common Council of the City, emanating from the
Lord Welles and the Lord Ryvers, asking for assistance towards putting
Calais into a state of defence. Further consideration of the matter was
adjourned until the following 4th December. By the 7th day of the same
month the Council had consulted the commons, who had declared that owing
to their numerous burdens and expenses they could contribute nothing to
that end.(854) This did not prevent a further application being made early
in 1454, for contributions towards the defence of Calais if that town were
besieged.(855) Again the commons were consulted, and again they pleaded
the excessive burdens they were already called upon to bear, and the
losses they had sustained by seizure of their ships and merchandise by the
Duke of Burgundy, rendering them unable for the present to undertake any
further charges unless steps were taken for the recovery of their
goods.(856) An answer to this effect was accordingly delivered by the
Common Sergeant on behalf of the citizens, who declared themselves willing
at the same time to bear their share with the rest of the realm.(857) An
appeal made in August of the same year (1454), for the sum of £1,200 for
the same purpose, met with similar failure.(858)

The plea of poverty was no idle one, if we may judge from the fact that
when, in November of this year, an assessment of half a fifteenth was made
on the city wards, eleven out of twenty-five wards were in default.(859)
Between the years 1431 and 1451 the citizens had advanced large sums of
money to the king, of which more than £3,000 remained in the latter year
due to the city.(860)


A crisis, in the meanwhile, was fast approaching. The birth of an heir to
the throne urged the Duke of York to take prompt action. Although the
majority of the nobles were opposed to him, he had on his side the
powerful family of the Nevills, having married Cicely Nevill, sister of
Richard Nevill, Earl of Salisbury, the head of the family, and father of
the still more powerful Earl of Warwick. Towards the end of January (1454)
the Duke of York, the Earls of Salisbury and Warwick, and others of the
duke’s supporters, entered the city, each followed by a large force of
retainers fully armed. With them came also York’s eldest son, the Earl of
March, afterwards King Edward IV.(861)

The Common Council were anxious lest the presence of these nobles in the
city should lead to a disturbance. A strict neutrality was ordered to be
observed both by the mayor and aldermen, as well as by the inhabitants of
the city at large. The _waytes_, or watchmen, were ordered to perambulate
the streets every night with their minstrels to keep the citizens in good
humour (_pro recreacione hominum_), and prevent robbery. Nevertheless,
there is evidence to show that disturbances did occasionally arise between
the inhabitants and those in the suite of the nobles.(862)


The king’s continued illness necessitated sooner or later the appointment
of a regent. For a brief space there seemed a possibility of the regency
being claimed by the queen. The City, in the meanwhile, paid court to both
parties, the mayor and aldermen one day paying a solemn visit to the
queen, attired in their gowns of scarlet, and a few days later paying a
similar compliment to the Duke of York.(863) At length the duke was
nominated protector (3 April). Some correspondence ensued between the
City, the Duke of York, the queen, and the Earl of Salisbury, on what
subject we know not,(864) but on the 13th May the mayor and aldermen
waited upon the duke to thank him for his favour and goodwill.(865)


So long as the king remained an imbecile York was supreme, his rival,
Somerset, having been committed to prison at his instigation in December,
1453. Henry, however, soon recovered from his illness, although his
convalescence proved of equally short duration, and York’s protectorate
came to an end. With Henry’s restoration came the release of Somerset, and
York determined to try conclusions with his rival in the field. At the
first battle of St. Albans, fought on the 22nd May, 1455, victory declared
for York and Somerset was killed. After the battle York accompanied the
king to London and lodged him in the bishop’s palace in St. Paul’s
churchyard. The excitement caused Henry a relapse, and York was for the
second time named protector; but in the spring of 1456 he had again to
retire upon the king’s recovery.


Just when the country was settling down to enjoy a period of comparative
quiet, there occurred (May, 1456) in the city one of those sudden
outbreaks against the "merchant stranger" residing within the city’s walls
which too often appear in the annals of London. On this occasion the young
mercers of the city rose against the Lombards; why or wherefore we are not
told. We only know that these foreigners received such bad treatment that
they meditated leaving the city in a body and setting up business
elsewhere. The fault was not altogether with the citizens, it appears; for
two Lombards were ordered to be hanged.(866)

The king, who was at the time at Coventry—whither the queen had caused him
to be removed, owing to her suspicion that the Londoners were in favour of
the Yorkist party—sent for alderman Cantelowe,(867) a mercer, and promptly
committed him to Dudley Castle for safe keeping, as having been implicated
in the attack on the houses of the Italian merchants.

This outbreak was followed by another "hurlynge" between the mercers of
the city and those Lombards who had consented to remain in the city on the
understanding that they should be allowed to ply their business without
molestation until the council or parliament should determine otherwise. In
consequence of this second outbreak no less than 28 mercers were arrested
and committed to Windsor Castle.(868)


On the 3rd September, 1456, the king wrote from Lichfield to the Mayor,
reminding him of the dangers which had recently threatened the city—"the
king’s chamber"—the government whereof ought to serve as an example to the
rest of the kingdom, and enjoining him that thenceforth he should allow no
one to enter the city but such as came peaceably, and with moderate
retinue, according to his estate and degree, and should take precautions
against gatherings of evil disposed persons which might lead to a breach
of the peace.(869)


Notwithstanding the precautions taken to protect the coast, the French
made a descent in 1457, and plundered Sandwich and Fowey, capturing over
30 ships, great and small, and doing much damage. The citizens of London,
to whom the protection of their commerce in the "narrow sea," as the
channel was then frequently called, was everything, thereupon took counsel
among themselves, and made a proposal to the king and to Bishop Waynflete,
the chancellor, to find 2,000 men and provisions for certain ships then
lying in the Thames, at their own expense, to join an expedition to punish
the enemy for their boldness. The king thanked them for their patriotic
spirit and gave orders for a naval force to join the city contingent from


In 1458 Henry tried his hand at effecting a reconciliation between the two
rival sections of the nobility, and to this end ordered a great council to
meet in St. Paul’s on the 27th January. Warwick left his post at Calais,
and came over to London to attend the meeting; but he did not arrive until
more than a month after the appointed day, and when he came it was with a
body of 600 men at his back, "all apparyled in reed jakkettes, with whyte
ragged stavis."(871) He took up his quarters within the city, where he
found the Duke of York and the Earl of Salisbury. The young Duke of
Somerset and other lords, who, like him, had lost their fathers at the
battle of St. Albans, were refused an entrance to the city for fear of a
breach of the peace, and had to find accommodation outside the city’s
walls.(872) During the conference the mayor patrolled the streets by day,
whilst at night a force of 3,000 men was kept in readiness to assist the
aldermen in preserving the king’s peace.(873) The times were critical, but
at length all ended well. A grand pacification took place in March, and
was solemnized by an imposing procession to St. Paul’s, in which York led
the queen by the hand. The reconciliation thus effected was more apparent
than real, and neither party relaxed their efforts to prepare for renewed

(M464) (M465) (M466)

In August the civic companies were warned against furnishing the
confederate lords with any war material, but were to keep their arms and
harness at the disposal of the king alone.(874) It wanted very little to
kindle the smouldering embers of dissatisfaction into a flame, and this
little was soon forthcoming. In November(875) a riot occurred at
Westminster, in which the Earl of Warwick was implicated. A yeoman in his
suite picked a quarrel with one of the king’s servants and wounded him.
Thereupon others of the king’s household, finding their fellow-servant
wounded and his enemy escaped, way-laid the earl and his attendants as
they left the council to take barge on the river. By dint of hard hitting,
the earl managed to embark and to make his way to the city. But the affray
was not without bloodshed, and Warwick found it convenient to withdraw
soon afterwards to his post at Calais, which thenceforth became the
head-quarters of the disaffected lords.


In the following April (1459) another affray broke out. This time it was
between inhabitants of the city and certain members of the Inns of Court,
and the riot was so dangerous as to result in loss of life. The king
hearing of this sent for William Tayllour, the alderman of the ward, and
kept him in confinement at Windsor until the election of the new mayor,
William Hewlyn, in October, by whose intercession he regained his


By this time the country was again divided into two hostile camps. A
crisis came in September, when the Earl of Salisbury, the king’s most
inveterate enemy, marched upon Ludlow with a large force. Lord Audley,
sent by the queen to arrest him, was defeated by the earl at Blore Heath
(23 Sept., 1459). Later on, however, the earl and the Yorkist army were
themselves compelled to seek security. The Duke of York took refuge in
Ireland, and the Earl of Warwick, who had crossed from France to join his
father, returned to Calais, taking the Earl of Salisbury with him.


On the 9th October the king issued his writ for a parliament to be held at
Coventry on the 20th November. The usual writ was sent to the City of
London, but the names of the aldermen and commoners elected to represent
the citizens do not appear in the City’s records.(877) The business of the
session was the attainder of the Duke of York and his followers, and
judgment was passed upon the duke, the Nevills, father and son, the young
Earls of March and Rutland, and others. Two days after the date of this
writ, the Common Council decided to send a deputation to wait upon the
king and assure him of the City’s allegiance and of the steps taken for
its safe custody.(878)


The citizens had previously (Oct., 1459) displayed their willingness to
assist the king by a gift of 1,000 marks.(879) This gift must have been
the more welcome, inasmuch as Henry’s debts had been rapidly on the
increase, whilst his creditors remained unpaid. The queen, on the other
hand, into whose hands the government of the kingdom had been drawn, was
"gaderyng riches innumerable." The imposition of taxes, talliages and
fifteenths, whilst harassing the king’s subjects, seemed to make him not a
whit the richer, the issues and profits being frittered away. They would
have forgiven him had he maintained a household in regal style or spent
their money on maintaining the country’s honour in the field. As matters
were, Henry, by misgovernment, was rapidly losing the hearts of his
people, and "theyre blessyng was turned in to cursyng."(880)

(M471) (M472) (M473)

On the 14th January, 1460, the king issued a commission to the mayor,
aldermen and sheriffs for collecting men-at-arms and archers to resist the
_late_ Duke of York and the _late_ Earls of March, Warwick, Salisbury and
Rutland.(881) Similar commissions were addressed to every township,(882)
and did much harm to the royal cause, now tottering to its fall, as being
unconstitutional. They formed the subject of one of the set of articles of
complaint drawn up by the Earls of March, Warwick and Salisbury, and
addressed by them, on behalf of themselves and the Duke of York, to the
archbishop and the commons of England.(883) Such commissions the lords
declared to be an imposition which, if continued, would be "the heaviest
charge and worst example that ever grew in England." The city authorities
appear to have rested their opposition to the king’s commission, not so
much on the grounds that they were unwilling to raise a force for his
assistance, as that a demand for military aid in such a form might
derogate from the city’s franchise and liberties. A deputation, consisting
of two aldermen, Thomas Urswyk, the Recorder, and one of the
under-sheriffs, was sent to Northampton to wait upon the king and council
and to explain the views of the citizens in that respect. The interview
was of a satisfactory character; and the deputation returned bearing a
gracious letter from the king declaring that the City’s franchise and
liberties should in no way be prejudiced by the commission.(884)


The citizens deemed it time to look to their own safety, and place their
city into a better posture of defence. The master and wardens of the
livery companies were exhorted (14 Feb., 1460), on account of the
disturbed state of the kingdom, to raise contributions towards the
purchase of accoutrements for the safeguard of the city.(885) The king
himself was shortly coming into the city, and measures were taken (28
Feb.) for placing a proper guard over the several gates.(886) On the 11th
May the masters and wardens were summoned, on behalf of the king, to
appear before the mayor and aldermen at the Guildhall, to hear a royal
proclamation read touching the preservation of the king’s peace.(887)


The Yorkist Earls of Salisbury, Warwick and March, encouraged by the
reports of the state of affairs in England, at length made up their minds
to return and strike a blow for the recovery of their estates, which had
become forfeited to the king. They set sail from Calais (26 June), and
landing at Sandwich made their way without opposition through Kent to


On the 27th June, by which time news of their arrival must have reached
the city, a Common Council was held, when the commoners who were present
solemnly promised to stand by the mayor and aldermen in safe-guarding the
city, and resist with all their might the rebels against the lord the king
who were about to enter the city contrary to the king’s orders. The civic
companies somewhat tardily gave their adhesion to the royal cause, and
agreed to defend the city. The gates were ordered to be manned, and no one
was to be allowed to enter without first saying who and what he was.
Strict enquiry was to be made as to the character of strangers residing
within each of their wards.(888) On the following day the Common Council
met again and gave orders that the drawbridge of London Bridge should be
always kept down, so that victuallers and others might have ready access
to the City, but the gateway on the drawbridge was to be kept closed,
whilst _le wikett_ was to be constantly open. A strict watch was to be
kept on the new tower(889) above the bridge by men-at-arms stationed
there, who should also be ready to let down _le port Colyce_ when occasion


A deputation, moreover, was appointed to set out to meet the Earls of
March and Warwick on their way to Northampton, for the purpose of inducing
them, if possible, to turn aside and not approach the city. The members
were instructed to inform the lords of the king’s commands to the citizens
to hold the city for him, and to oppose the lords’ entry under heavy
penalty. This instruction to the deputation was given, we are told, with
the approval of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Bishops of Norwich, Ely
and Exeter, and of the Prior of St. John’s, Clerkenwell. The mayor,
aldermen and commonalty agreed to stand by any terms which the deputation
might be compelled to make. They had not taken this step without first
consulting the Lords Scales and Hungerford, and Sir Edmund Hampden, who
held the Tower of London for King Henry. The bridge gate was ordered to be
closed between nine and ten o’clock on the night of the 28th, and to
remain closed till the morning. Even the portcullis was to be kept down if
necessary, whilst the mayor and sheriffs, with a certain number of armed
men, patrolled the city, and the aldermen kept watch in their several
wards.(891) Notwithstanding the next day being Sunday, the critical state
of affairs necessitated a meeting of the Common Council. It was then
agreed that if any messenger should arrive from Warwick, no communication
should be held with him. Special watches were appointed for the bridge and
for Billingsgate by night and day, and so anxious were the authorities to
avail themselves of the service of every abled citizen on that Sunday,
that no one was allowed to attend Divine Service at St. Paul’s.(892)


Up to this point the citizens had shown themselves loyal to Henry. They
now began to waver. Early in the morning of the 30th June the mayor and
aldermen appear to have changed their minds. The earls had sent them a
letter and they resolved to receive it. The contents of this letter are
not recorded. On the following day (1 July) another communication from the
earls was received. Here again we are left in the dark as to its
purport—the City’s journals at this period being very imperfect,—we only
know that they declined to accede to the request to keep at a distance
from London, for the very next day (2 July) they were admitted into the


The city was thus lost to the king; but the Tower still held out, and no
amount of eloquence on the part of certain doctors of divinity, whom the
Common Council had appointed to try and arrange matters so as to avoid
bloodshed, would induce Lord Scales and his companions to surrender it,
although the garrison was hard pressed for victuals.(894) Nothing was left
but to starve them out, and this the Earl of Salisbury proceeded to do,
with the aid of the citizens and the boatmen on the river, by whom the
Tower was strictly invested by land and water. The Common Council appear
to have felt some qualms of conscience in joining in this proceeding, for
they caused it to be recorded—as if by way of excuse for their action—that
"there seemed to be no other way of preserving the city."(895) A
resolution, moreover, that each alderman should subscribe the sum of £5
towards raising a force to intercept victuals on their way to the Tower
was rescinded.(896)

(M480) (M481)

By the 10th July matters had become so serious with the beleaguered
garrison, that a letter was sent to the Common Council, signed by the Earl
of Kendal, Lord Scales, Lord Hungerford, Lord Lovell and Sir Edmund
Hampden, asking why war was thus being made upon them. To this the Council
replied that the lords had brought it upon themselves by firing on the
citizens in the first instance, and taking provisions from them without
payment.(897) At last the garrison could hold out no longer, and the Tower
was surrendered (19th July). Lord Scales endeavoured to take sanctuary at
Westminster, but was seized by river boatmen and barbarously


Meanwhile the Duke of York had managed to raise a sum of money in the
city;(899) the battle of Northampton had been won and lost (10th July),
and Henry had been brought a prisoner to London (16th July). On the same
day that the king arrived in London, the mayor, aldermen and commonalty of
the City entered into an agreement, under the Common Seal, to abide by any
arrangement made between the Earl of Salisbury and the beleaguered lords
in the Tower for the surrender of that stronghold.(900)


On the 21st July the king, or the Earl of Warwick, in his name, attempted
to restore quiet in the city by promising that those who had offended
against the king’s highness and the common weal of the realm, and had been
committed to the Tower, should forthwith receive ample justice. In the
meantime all conventicles, assemblies or congregations in breach of the
peace were strictly forbidden, and every man was exhorted to repair to his
own house, and wait upon his lord or master in whose service he might
happen to be.(901)

(M484) (M485) (M486)

In October the Duke of York attended parliament and boldly asserted his
right to the throne. After hearing arguments for and against his claim,
parliament arrived at a compromise by which the reversion of the crown was
settled on the duke, and to this the king himself was forced to give his
assent.(902) It was otherwise with the proud and defiant Queen Margaret.
She was determined to acquiesce in no such arrangement. Whilst she was
collecting a force in the north, wherewith to strike one blow for the
crown of which her son appeared likely to be robbed, the mayor and
aldermen held an extraordinary meeting of the wardens of the livery
companies. The king wished to be assured of the temper of the citizens.
Would they as a body support him and his council, protect his royal
person, and defend the city against those who were raising disturbances in
divers parts of the realm? To each and all of these questions the wardens
are recorded as having given satisfactory replies, and it was then and
there agreed that each alderman should make enquiry as to the number of
strangers residing in his ward, and the reasons for their being in the
city. Watch was to be kept by night in every ward, a lantern hung outside
every dwelling-house, and the city’s gates were to be closed every night
and guarded by men-at-arms.(903) Although these measures were avowedly
taken on behalf of King Henry, they were, in reality, so many precautions
for securing the government in the hands of his rival the Duke of York.


The struggle which hitherto had been between two unequal sections of the
nobility, each avowing its loyalty to the king, now became a struggle
between the two rival Houses of Lancaster and York. Richard, Duke of York,
did not live to enjoy the crown, his right to the reversion of which had
recently been acknowledged by parliament. Just as the year was drawing to
a close he met his death at Wakefield in the first clash with the House of
Lancaster, and his head in mockery was set up on one of the city’s gates
from which he derived his ducal title.

  "Off with his head, and set it on York’s gates;
    So York may overlook the town of York."


When Henry was once restored to liberty and to his queen, after the second
battle of St. Albans (17 Feb., 1461), York’s son, Edward, Earl of March,
who became by his father’s death heir to the crown, was immediately
proclaimed traitor in the city.(904) The queen wished for victuals to be
sent from the city to her forces at St. Albans, but the carts were seized
before they left the city by a mob which refused to let them go in spite
of the mayor’s entreaties and threats. Margaret’s army consisted for the
most part of rude northern followers who threatened to sack the city if
once allowed within its walls, and the majority of the inhabitants were
unwilling to supply the queen with provisions until she had removed her
half-disciplined force to a distance from London. With a civilized army at
her back it might have been possible for Margaret to have gained a footing
in the city.(905) As matters stood, she deemed it best to accede to the
request thus made to her, and to draw off her army.


It was a fatal mistake, for it gave time for Edward and Warwick to join
forces and march on London. The civic authorities, finding how hopeless it
was to place further dependence upon Henry, and desiring above all things
a stronger government than they could look for under the king, now
surrendered the city to his opponents. They had not forsaken the king—he
had forsaken them. They would no more of him.

  "He that had Londyn for sake,
    Wolde no more to hem take."(906)


On the 1st March the chancellor called a general assembly of the citizens
at Clerkenwell, and explained to them the title by which Edward, Duke of
York, laid claim to the crown.(907) His title was thereupon acknowledged
with universal applause, and on the 4th he proceeded to Westminster
Palace, accompanied by many of the nobility and commons of the realm,(908)
and was there proclaimed king by the name of Edward IV.



The new king made himself very popular with the citizens. He was not less
a favourite with them because he joined their ranks and became a trader
like themselves, or because he took a wife from among his own subjects and
made her a sharer of his crown. At the coronations, both of Edward and his
queen, which took place after an interval of three years, the City was
fully represented, and its claim to services at the king’s coronation
banquet duly acknowledged.(909) At the latter ceremony no less than four
citizens, among them being Ralph Josselyn, the mayor, were created Knights
of the Bath.(910) The citizens had previously shown their respect to
Elizabeth Woodville by riding forth to meet her and escorting her to the
Tower on her first arrival to London, and by presenting her with a gift of
1,000 marks or £750.(911)


If the young and handsome prince who now ascended the throne occasionally
carried his familiarity with the wives of city burgesses beyond the limits
of strict propriety, much could be forgotten and forgiven for the
readiness he showed to confirm and enlarge the City’s privileges and to
foster the trade of the country. Before he had been on the throne many
months he granted the citizens, by charter, the right of package and
scavage, as well as the office of gauger of wines.(912)


In the following March (1462) he confirmed the charter granted to the City
by Henry IV, whereby the citizens obtained the right of taking toll and
custom at Billingsgate, Smithfield and elsewhere, as well as the right of
_tronage_ or weighing wool at the Tron.(913)


In August, 1462 Calais was again in danger, and the king wanted money. The
Earl of Worcester and others of the council were sent into the city to ask
for a loan of £3,400. After considering the matter, the civic authorities
agreed to lend him £1,000. The money was to be raised by assessment on the
wards, but Dowgate ward being at the time very poor, was not to be
pressed.(914) In the following October the City again came to the king’s
assistance with a further loan of 2,000 marks,(915) and on the 9th
November the City obtained (in return, shall we say?) a charter confirming
its jurisdiction over the Borough of Southwark,(916) originally granted by
Edward III. Again, the coincidence of a charter granted by the king to the
City, with a loan or gift from the City to the king, is remarkable.


When Edward returned in February, 1463, from the North, where he had
succeeded with the assistance afforded him by the Londoners in
re-capturing most of the castles which the restless Margaret had taken,
the City resolved to give him a befitting reception. Preparations were
made for the mayor, aldermen and commons to ride forth to meet him in
their finest liveries, but the king having expressed his intention of
coming from Shene to the city by water, the citizens went to meet him in
their barges, with all the pomp and ceremony of a Lord Mayor’s day.(917)


Edward now gave himself up to a life of luxury and pleasure. In 1464 he
married the young widow of Sir John Grey, better known by her maiden name
of Elizabeth Woodville. His marriage to her gave offence to the nobility,
more especially to the Earl of Warwick, who was planning at the time a
match with France or Burgundy, and to whom the news of the marriage with
one so beneath the king in point of dignity came as an unpleasant
surprise. The earl was still more offended when he learnt that the young
king had secretly effected a marriage treaty between his sister Margaret
(whom Warwick had destined for one of the French princes) and the Duke of
Burgundy. These matrimonial alliances, combined with the inordinate favour
Edward displayed towards his wife’s family, led to an estrangement between
the king and his powerful subject.


The proposed alliance with Burgundy was far from being distasteful to the
merchants of the city, inasmuch as it was likely to open up trade with
those states of the Low Countries which the Burgundian dukes had
consolidated as a barrier against France. When the Princess Margaret was
about to start (June, 1468) for her future husband’s dominions, the mayor
and aldermen of London testified their appreciation of the alliance by
presenting her with a pair of silver gilt dishes, weighing 19 lbs. 8 oz.,
besides the sum of £100 in gold, by way of a wedding gift.(918)


Disgusted with the king’s unhandsome conduct towards him, Warwick found an
ally in Clarence, the king’s brother, gave him one of his daughters in
marriage, and even encouraged him to hope for the succession to the crown.
Edward’s extravagant and luxurious life had lost him much of his
popularity. He had ceased, moreover, to possess the goodwill of the
citizens for having allowed the arrest of Sir Thomas Cooke or Coke,(919)
an alderman of the city, on a false charge of treason. Notwithstanding his
acquittal, Cooke had been committed to prison and only regained his
liberty on payment of an extortionate fine to the king and queen.(920)
Warwick and Clarence made use of the general discontent that prevailed to
further their own designs, and the civil war was renewed. The City
endeavoured to steer a middle course. In June (1469) it lent the king the
sum of £200, but in the following month it lent Warwick and Clarence just
five times that amount on the sole security of some jewels of little
value.(921) In May, 1470, when there seemed little hope of the jewels
being redeemed, as Warwick and Clarence had been obliged to flee to
France, the Common Council entertained the thought of selling them for
what they were worth. The sale did not take place, however, but they were
kept some in the "Treasury," and some in the custody of William Taillour,
late mayor, on the express understanding that he was not to be held
responsible in the event of their being stolen or taken by force.(922) In
February, 1471, when the wheel of fortune had once more placed Henry VI on
the throne from which he had been driven by Edward, and Warwick and
Clarence were again in power, the mayor and aldermen caused it to be
placed on record that the loan on the jewels had been made by agreement of
the whole court, with the assistance of certain commoners who had been
called in to contribute. What their object was in so doing is not clear.
Perhaps they felt some qualms as to what Edward might say or do in respect
of the loan, should he again return to power. They, at the same time,
extended the time for the repayment of the loan, at the desire of the
dukes of Clarence and Warwick. If the jewels were not redeemed by
Whitsuntide at the latest, they were to be sold.(923)


Whilst Warwick and Clarence were in France in 1470, they concerted
measures with Queen Margaret for effecting another revolution. By
September matters were ready for execution. On the 13th Warwick landed in
England; and before the end of the month the Kentish men so threatened the
City and Westminster, that the newly-elected sheriffs had to be escorted
by an armed force in order to be sworn in at the Exchequer, whilst a
constant patrol was kept in the streets.(924) On the 1st October it was
made known in the city that the king had taken flight. His queen took
sanctuary at Westminster, leaving the Tower in the hands of the mayor and
aldermen and members of the council of Warwick and Clarence. The
unfortunate Henry was quickly removed from the wretched cell in which he
had so long been confined to a commodious and handsomely furnished
apartment which the queen herself, being _enceinte_ at the time, purposed
occupying when she should be brought to bed. A garrison was placed in the
Tower by order of the Common Council, sitting, for safety’s sake, in the
church of St. Stephen, Walbrook. On the 5th October Archbishop Nevill,
Warwick’s brother, entered the city with a strong force and relieved the
civic authorities of the custody of the Tower, and on the following day
Warwick himself appeared, accompanied by Clarence and a large following,
and removed Henry from the Tower to the Bishop of London’s palace.(925)
Two days later (9 Oct.) he obtained from the Common Council the sum of
£1,000 for the defence of his stronghold, Calais, besides a loan of £100
from the aldermen of the city for his own private use.(926) On the 18th
the Earl of Worcester, Edward’s constable and minister of his
cruelties,(927) was beheaded on Tower Hill, the ground being kept by the
Sheriffs of London and a contingent from the several wards.(928)


In November Henry was made to hold a parliament, and Sir Thomas Cooke, the
deposed alderman, lost no time in presenting a bill for the restoration of
his lands, which had been seized by the queen’s father, Lord Rivers. He
would probably have been successful had fortune continued to favour King
Henry, for, besides being a member of parliament, he was, writes Fabyan (a
brother alderman), "a man of great boldnesse in speche, and well spoken
and syngulerly wytted and well reasoned."(929) John Stokton had recently
been elected mayor, but there is reason for believing that he, like other
aldermen, preferred Edward on the throne, licentious and extravagant as he
was, to an imbecile like Henry. He fell ill, or, as Fabyan puts it,
feigned sickness and took to his bed, and Cooke assumed the duties of the
mayoralty. At Edward’s restoration Cooke had to seek refuge in France, but
he was taken at sea before he could reach the continent. The same fate
might have awaited Stokton had he shown himself less cautious at that
critical time.


That the aldermen and the better class of citizens favoured Edward, is
shown by the ease with which he effected an entry into the city when he
returned to England in the spring of the following year (1471). The gates,
we are told, were opened to him by Urswyk, the Recorder, and certain
aldermen (their names are not mentioned), who took advantage of the
inhabitants being at dinner to let in Edward.(930) Two days later, having
recruited his forces, Edward marched out of the city, with Henry in his
train, to meet Warwick. He encountered him on Easter Day (14 April) at
Barnet, and totally defeated him, both the earl and his brother being left
dead on the field. By this time Margaret had landed with a fresh army; but
a crushing defeat inflicted upon her at Tewkesbury (4 May) left Edward
once more master of the kingdom.

(M502) (M503)

For a short time the city lay in some peril whilst Edward was engaged with
Warwick and Margaret. The men of Kent again became troublesome. They
affected not to believe that Warwick had actually fallen at Barnet. Under
the leadership of Thomas Fauconberg or Falconbridge, generally spoken of
as the "bastard," being a natural son of William Nevill, first Lord
Fauconberg, Earl of Kent, they marched to London, with the intention of
releasing Henry from confinement and placing him again on the throne.
Fauconberg, who had been made a freeman of the City in 1454,(931) assumed
the title of captain of King Henry’s people in Kent, and on the 8th May
wrote from Sittingbourne to inform the inhabitants of the city that he had
undertaken the cause of Henry against the "usurper" Edward, and to ask to
be allowed to pass through the city with his followers, whom he promised
to hold in restraint and prevent doing any mischief. He had written to the
mayor and aldermen to the same effect, and had desired to have a reply
sent to him at Blackheath by a certain day and hour. To this letter the
mayor and aldermen sent an answer on the following day, to the effect that
when Edward left the city, after the battle of Barnet, to follow the
movements of Margaret and endeavour to bring about an action before she
could completely rally her forces, he had charged them on their allegiance
to hold the city of London for him, and for none other. For that reason
they dared not, neither would they, suffer him to pass through the city.
They hesitated to accept his assurance as to the peaceable behaviour of
his followers, judging from past experience. As for the statement he had
caused to be published, that he held a commission as captain of the Navy
of England and men of war by sea and land under the Earl of Warwick, whom
he still supposed to be alive, they assured him that the earl was dead,
and that his corpse, as well as the corpse of Montague, the earl’s
brother, had been exposed to view for two days in St. Paul’s. They gave
him the names of some of the chief men who had fallen at Tewkesbury,
obtained, they assured him, not from hearsay but from
eye-witnesses—special war correspondents, whom the City had despatched for
the express purpose of reporting on the state of the field, and they
concluded by exhorting him to do as they themselves had done, and to
acknowledge Edward IV as the rightful king. They would even plead for
royal favour on his behalf, but as to letting him and his host pass
through the city, that was out of the question.(932) Having despatched
this answer to Fauconberg, the civic fathers at once set to work to
fortify the river’s bank from Castle Baynard to the Tower, where lay the
rebels’ fleet. On Sunday, the 12th May, the Kentish men tried to force
London Bridge and set fire to some beer-houses near Saint Katherine’s
Hospital. The attack was renewed on the following Tuesday, whilst portions
of the rebel force, amounting it was said to 5,000 persons, were told off
to try and force the gates of Aldgate and Bishopsgate. There, however,
they were repulsed, and nearly 300 of them met their death, either in
actual fight or in their endeavours to get on board their boats at
Blackwall. Urswyk, the city’s Recorder, as well as Robert Basset, alderman
of Aldgate Ward, showed conspicuous valour in the fight which took place
in that quarter.(933) The city was never again troubled by Fauconberg.
After much wandering he was taken prisoner at Southampton, and thence
conveyed to Middleham, in Yorkshire, where he was beheaded. His head was
afterwards sent to London and set up on London Bridge, "looking into


On the night after Edward’s return(935) in triumph to London, Henry VI
ended his life in the Tower, murdered, in all probability, at the instance
of the Duke of Gloucester, the king’s brother, afterwards King Richard
III. His remains lay in state at St. Paul’s and at the Blackfriars a short
while, and were then carried to Chertsey to be buried.(936) Edward
distributed honours among his supporters in the city with a lavish hand.
Not only did the Lord Mayor—the cautious Stokton—receive the honour of
knighthood, but the aldermen(937) besides, whilst the city’s doughty
Recorder was soon afterwards raised to be Baron of the Exchequer. The City
was so pleased with its Recorder that it voted him a pipe of wine
annually, but the gift was not to be drawn into precedent.(938)


The rest of Edward’s reign was undisturbed by any attempt to unseat the
new dynasty, and his position was rendered the more secure by the birth of
a son (afterwards Edward V) in the sanctuary of Westminster, whither his
wife Elizabeth had fled for refuge. Before the young Prince of Wales was
five years old he received the honour of knighthood at Westminster. The
mayor and aldermen went to meet him on his way from the city to
Westminster on that occasion, clad in scarlet robes, whilst the streets
from Bishopsgate to Saint Paul’s were thronged with the commons in their


Edward was now free to carry out his foreign policy. Parliament voted
supplies to enable him to make war with France, but these were not
sufficient, and he had recourse to a system of "benevolences" or free
gifts, which few, however, dared to refuse. On the 30th May, 1475, he left
the Bishop of London’s palace in St. Paul’s Church-yard, and, passing
through Cheapside to London Bridge, took boat to Greenwich for the purpose
of crossing over to France. The livery companies turned out to do him
honour.(940) The expedition ended without a blow, Edward allowing himself
to be bought off with a sum of 75,000 crowns paid down and a pension of
50,000 more. On his return he was met at Blackheath by the mayor and
aldermen in scarlet gowns, with their servants in gowns of
"musterdevilers," accompanied by more than 600 members of the companies in
gowns of bright murrey.(941)


By resorting again to benevolences and exacting money from the City in
return for charters, Edward avoided the necessity of summoning parliament
between the years 1478 and 1483. On the 25th May, 1481, the king granted
the City a general pardon,(942) and in the following month the City
returned the compliment by a loan of 5,000 marks.(943) This loan was not
only repaid, but the king in the next year extended his hospitality to the
City by giving a large number of citizens a day’s hunting in Waltham
forest, and afterwards regaling them and their wives with venison and


The close of the year 1482 witnessed such a dearth of cereals that the
exportation of wheat or other grain was absolutely forbidden. It was
feared that a famine might arise in the City of London, so vast had its
population become, both from the influx of nobles who had taken up their
quarters within its walls as well as of strangers from foreign lands.
Merchants were therefore encouraged to send their grain to London by a
promise that it should not be intercepted by the king’s purveyors.(945)


The names of the City’s representatives who attended the parliament which
met in January, 1483, are not recorded, but we have the names of four
aldermen and five commoners, who were appointed in the previous month of
December to confer with the City members on matters affecting the
City.(946) In addition to parliamentary grants of a fifteenth and tenth,
and a renewal of the tax on aliens, the citizens agreed to lend the king
the sum of £2,000, each alderman to lay down 50 marks and 80 commoners to
subscribe £15 a piece.(947) Some difficulty was experienced in raising the
money, and the names of eleven persons who had refused to contribute were
forwarded to the king.(948) A little more than a month elapsed and Edward
was dead.


The coronation of the young prince who now succeeded to his father’s
throne, only to occupy it however for a few weeks, was fixed to take place
on the first Sunday in May; and on the 19th April the City was busy making
arrangements for the prince’s reception. It was decided that the mayor and
aldermen should ride forth to meet the king, clad in gowns of scarlet,
their attendants being provided with gowns of the colour of lion’s-foot
(_pied de lyon_), at the public cost. Five sergeants-at-mace belonging to
the mayor, and nineteen sergeants-at-mace in the service of the sheriffs,
were also to ride out to meet the king, clad in gowns of the
last-mentioned colour. The sword-bearer was to be provided with a gown of
murrey, and a deputation from the civic guilds, to the number of 410
persons, clad in gowns of the same colour, was to join the cavalcade.(949)
On the 14th May they rode out to Hornsey, where they met the prince and
his uncle, the Duke of Gloucester, and escorted them to the city. The duke
was the same day appointed Protector, to the great disappointment of the
queen, who again took sanctuary at Westminster. She was induced shortly
afterwards to give up possession of her younger son, the Duke of York, and
he and Prince Edward were lodged in the Tower by order of Gloucester, who
took up his quarters at Crosby Palace, the mansion house of Sir John
Crosby, in Bishopsgate Street.

Although preparations had been made for the coronation, and the City had
appointed representatives from the livery companies to assist the chief
butler at the banquet(950) according to custom, that ceremony never took
place. Gloucester feared that if once the young king was crowned, the
project which he had already begun to entertain of transferring the crown
to his own head would be less capable of realization. Although he took an
oath of allegiance to the new king,(951) it was not long before he
determined to feel the pulse of the citizens as to their feelings towards
himself as a claimant of the crown.


In order to do this he called to his assistance Dr. Shaw, an eminent
preacher, whose brother, Sir Edmund Shaa, or Shaw, happened to be mayor at
the time. Acting upon instructions from Gloucester, Shaw preached a sermon
at Paul’s Cross on Sunday, the 22nd June (1483), in which he charged the
late king with bigamy, Edward IV having, as he declared, made a contract
of marriage with one of his mistresses before he married Elizabeth
Woodville, and this being the case the late king’s children by her were
illegitimate, and Gloucester was the rightful heir to the throne. It was
arranged that at this point in his discourse Gloucester himself should
appear on the scene, coming up, as if by chance, from his lodgings at
Castle Baynard. By some mischance the duke failed to appear at the proper
moment, and the effect was lost. The citizens sat stolidly silent, not a
single cry being raised in favour of Gloucester.


Nothing daunted by this dismal failure, Gloucester made another and more
successful attempt to win over the citizens. On the following Tuesday (24
June) he sent the Duke of Buckingham to harangue the citizens at the
Guildhall. The duke began by reminding his hearers of the danger to which
their wives and daughters had been exposed under the late king; of the
undue influence exercised at court by Jane Shore,(952) one only of a
number of respectable women whom Edward, he said, had seduced; of the
excessive taxes and illegal extortions by way of "benevolences" they had
recently suffered, and of the cruel treatment of their own alderman,
Cooke. He then went on to repeat the remarks of Dr. Shaw touching the
illegitimacy of the princes, and spoke of the dangers of having a boy king
on the throne, concluding by saying that although it were doubtful if
Gloucester would accept the crown if asked, he would certainly be greatly
influenced by any request proceeding from the "worshipful citizens of the
metropolis of the kingdom."(953) Buckingham’s eloquence was lost on the
citizens, who were as little influenced by what their new Recorder, Thomas
Fitz-William, had to say on the matter. At length the duke lost patience
and plainly told them that the matter lay entirely with the lords and
commons, and that the assent of the citizens, however desirable in itself,
was not a necessity. By this time the back of the hall was packed with
Gloucester’s partisans, so that when Buckingham put the question pointedly
to the assembly—would they have the Protector assume the crown?—a cry of
assent arose from this quarter and was taken up by a few lads and
apprentices. This was enough; the voice of the few was accepted as the
voice of the many, and the citizens were bidden to attend on the morrow to
petition Gloucester to accept the crown.


Accordingly, on the morrow, a deputation from the city waited on the Duke
of Gloucester at Baynard’s Castle and invited him to accept the crown.
After a considerable show of affected reluctance, Richard assented, and,
having assented, lost no time in carrying out his pre-conceived purpose.
The very next day he hastened to Westminster and, seating himself on the
throne, declared himself king by inheritance and election.


On the 6th July the last Angevin king that reigned over England was
crowned—crowned with his wife Anne, widow of Prince Edward, killed at
Tewkesbury, but after the battle not in it, and of whose blood Richard
himself is thought to have been guilty. The City accepted the position and
made the new king and queen a present of £1,000; two-thirds for the king
and the remainder for the queen. The money was raised in the city by way
of a fifteenth; the poor were not to be called upon to contribute, and the
gift was not to form a precedent.(954) The claim of the mayor and citizens
to assist the chief butler at the coronation banquet was made and
allowed,(955) the king, sitting crowned in _le Whitehawle_, presented to
the mayor and aldermen who were present on that occasion a gold cup set
with pearls and precious stones, to be used by the commonalty at public
entertainments in the Guildhall.(956) Concerning this cup there is the
following curious entry made in the City’s Records, under date 13th July,
1486, when Hugh Brice was mayor:—(957)

    "Item it is aggreed this day by the Court that where Hugh Brice
    Mair of this Citie, hathe in his Kepyng a Cuppe of gold, garneised
    with perle and precious stone of the gifte of Richard, late in
    dede and not of right, Kyng of Englond, which gifte was to thuse
    of the Cominaltie of the said Citee, that if the saide Cuppe be
    stolen or taken away by thevys oute of his possession, or elles by
    the casualtie of Fire hereafter it shall hapne the same Cuppe to
    be brent or lost, that the same Hugh Brice hereafter shall not be
    hurt or impeched therfore."

This extract is interesting as showing that the coronation cup presented
to the mayor of the City by way of _honorarium_ was, at this period at
least, looked upon as a gift made to the City’s use, and that the mayor
could not claim it as his own perquisite, as mayors had been in the habit
of doing in days gone by, and as they continued to do afterwards. William
Estfeld, who, as mayor, attended the coronation of Henry VI (6 Nov.,
1429), and received the customary gold cup and ewer, appropriated the gift
to his own use, and, as we have already mentioned, bequeathed them to his

(M515) (M516)

Richard had scarcely been seated three months on the throne before the
Duke of Buckingham, who had been rewarded for his late services by being
appointed lord high constable, was in open rebellion, and Henry, Earl of
Richmond, long an exile in France, was meditating an invasion.
Buckingham’s conspiracy proved a failure, and he paid for his rashness
with his head. The Earl of Richmond was detained in France by stress of
weather, and danger from that quarter was averted at least for a time.

(M517) (M518)

On Richard’s return to London after putting down his enemies, he was
welcomed by over 400 members of the various civic companies, who rode out
to meet him in gowns of murrey.(958) His policy was one of conciliation,
and he lent a ready ear to a Petition which the citizens presented to him
setting forth the wrongs which they had suffered: "We be determined" said
the citizens in forcible language, "rather to adventure and to commit us
to the peril of our lives and jeopardy of death, than to live in such
thraldom and bondage as we have lived some time heretofore, oppressed and
injured by extortions and new impositions against the laws of God and man,
and the liberty and laws of this realm wherein every Englishman is


Richard met this appeal by summoning parliament to meet in January (1484),
when various acts were passed affecting the trade and commerce of the city
and the country, and among them one which forbade aliens keeping any
foreign apprentices or workpeople to assist them in their occupation, and
otherwise imposed great restrictions upon the merchant stranger.(960) This
statute was scarcely less welcome to the citizens of London than that
which declared the practice of exacting money under the guise of
benevolences to be unconstitutional.(961)


In the summer he was welcomed wherever he went, yet he knew that danger
threatened. Richmond was preparing for an invasion and the nobles were not
to be trusted. The citizens, too, were aware of the danger, and had in the
early part of the year appointed a joint committee of aldermen and
commoners to survey the city’s ordnance, and to supply guns and gunpowder
in place of that which had recently been destroyed by a fire.(962) In
August they had promised Richard a loan of £2,400, each alderman
contributing £100;(963) and in the following November the mayor and
aldermen rode out to Kennington to meet him and escort him to the
Wardrobe, near Blackfriars.(964)


Matters became more serious as time went on. In June, 1485, the City
advanced another sum of £2,000 to assist Richard against the "rebels," who
were daily expected to land in England.(965) Extraordinary precautions
were taken to guard the city.(966) At last the blow fell. On the 7th
August Henry landed at Milford Haven, and on the 22nd the battle of
Bosworth was fought and Richard killed.


From Bosworth field Henry set out for London. He was met at Shoreditch by
a deputation from the City, accompanied by the Recorder, and was presented
with a gift of 1,000 marks.(967) The standards taken on the field of
battle were deposited with much pomp and ceremony in St. Paul’s Church,
where a _Te Deum_ was sung, and for a few days Henry took up his residence
in the bishop’s palace in St. Paul’s Churchyard.(968)


A cloud soon overshadowed the rejoicings which followed Henry’s accession.
An epidemic hitherto unknown in England, although visitations of it
followed at intervals during this and the succeeding reign, made its
appearance in the city towards the close of September. The "sweating
sickness," as this deadly pestilence was called, carried off two mayors
and six aldermen within the space of a week(969)—so sudden and fatal was
its attack. Sir Thomas Hille, who was mayor at the time of its first
appearance, fell a victim to it on the 23rd September, and was succeeded
by William Stocker, appointed on the following day.(970) Within four days
Stocker himself was dead. There remained little more than a month before
the regular day of election of a mayor (28 Oct.)(971) for the year
ensuing, and John Warde was called upon to take office during the
interval.(972) He appears to have entertained but little affection for the
city, and the civic authorities had some difficulty in getting him to
reside in London,(973) where his duties required his presence. When the
mayoralty year expired he was not put in nomination for re-election. He
probably went back into the country, glad to get away from the
pestilential city, and Hugh Brice was elected in his stead.(974)
Fortunately for the city, the epidemic departed as suddenly and
unexpectedly as it came. By the end of October it had entirely
disappeared, and allowed of Henry’s coronation taking place on the 30th of
that month.


Within a fortnight of his arrival in London Henry issued a writ of summons
for his first parliament. It was not so much for the purpose of obtaining
supplies that he was anxious that parliament should meet at the earliest
opportunity; he was desirous of obtaining as soon as possible a
parliamentary title to the crown. As for his immediate necessities, he
preferred to apply to the City. He asked for a loan of 6,000 marks, or
£4,000; but the citizens would not advance more than half that sum. The
loan was repaid the following year—"every penie to the good contentation
and satisfying of them that disbursed it."(975)


In January, 1486, Henry married the Princess Elizabeth, daughter of Edward
IV, and heiress of the Yorkist family. He had previously taken the
precaution of committing to the Tower the Earl of Warwick, son of
Clarence, for fear lest he might set up a title to the crown.(976) After
his marriage he set out on a progress through the country, and on his
return to London, in June, was met by the mayor and citizens at Putney,
and escorted by them down the river to Westminster.(977)

(M526) (M527)

A rumour that the Earl of Warwick had escaped from the Tower gave an
opportunity for an imposter, Lambert Simnel, to personate the earl. In
order to satisfy the Londoners that the rumour of Warwick’s escape was a
fabrication, Henry caused his prisoner to be paraded through the streets
of the city, and exposed to public view at St. Paul’s. After Simnel’s
defeat (16 June, 1487), the Common Council agreed (28 June) to send a
deputation, consisting of two aldermen, the recorder, and four commoners,
with a suite of 24 men, to meet the king at Kenilworth, and at the same
time voted the king a present of £1000.(978) This gift was quickly
followed (11 July) by the grant of another loan of £2,000 to be levied on
the civic companies as before.(979)

(M528) (M529)

In October Henry was expected in London,(980) and the Common Council again
showed their loyalty by agreeing that the mayor and aldermen should ride
forth to meet his highness, clad in cloaks of scarlet, and accompanied by
a suite of servants clothed in medley, at the cost of the "Chamber." With
them also rode a contingent from the various civic guilds, clothed in
violet, and numbering over 400 horsemen. The Mercers, the Grocers, the
Drapers, the Fishmongers, and the "Taillours," each sent 30 mounted
representatives of their guild; the Goldsmiths sent 24, whilst the rest
sent contingents varying from one to twenty.(981) On the occasion of the
queen’s coronation, which took place the following month (25 Nov.), she
was made the recipient of a gift of 1,000 marks by the City.(982)


The king would willingly have remained at peace if he were allowed, from
motives of economy if for no other reason. England, however, could not sit
still and see Brittany overwhelmed by the French king. Before assistance
could be sent to the Duchess Anne, it was imperative that money should be
raised. At the close of 1488 the Common Council voted the king a loan of
£4,000. The money was ordered to be raised by assessment on the companies,
but the practice was not to be drawn into precedent. The king, like a good
paymaster as he always was, whatever other defects he may have had, repaid
the money in the following year.(983)


Early in the following year parliament(984) granted large supplies which
enabled Henry to despatch 6,000 Englishmen to Anne’s assistance, but which
caused much discontent among the "rude and beastlie" people of Yorkshire
and Durham.(985) In June, 1491, another loan of £3,000 was raised, this
time by assessment on the wards;(986) and in October Henry declared to
parliament his intention of invading France in person. A grant of two
fifteenths and two tenths was immediately made to assist him in his
expedition by parliament; whilst the City contributed a "great
benevolence," the fellowship of Drapers contributing more than any other
fellowship, and every alderman subscribing, whether he wished it or no,
the sum of £200. The amount contributed by the commonalty exceeded
£9,000.(987) Thus furnished with supplies, the king crossed over to Calais
on the 6th October, 1492. The campaign, however, had scarcely opened
before Henry gladly accepted the liberal terms offered him by the French
king, and peace was signed at Etaples (3 Nov.).


The success which, brief as it was, had attended Simnel’s enterprise was
sufficient to encourage a hope that a better planned project might end in
overturning the throne. A report was accordingly blazed abroad that
Richard, Duke of York, brother of King Edward V, was yet alive, not having
been murdered in the Tower, as had been supposed; and a man called Perkin
Warbeck or Warboys, a native of Tournay, assumed the name of Richard
Plantagenet and succeeded in getting a large number of people in Ireland
and Scotland to believe that in his person they in fact saw Richard, Duke
of York, the rightful heir to the crown. James IV of Scotland not only
gave him in marriage the lady Catherine Gordon, daughter of the Earl of
Huntley, but led an army into England in hopes that the appearance of the
pretended prince might raise an insurrection in the northern counties.
Instead, however, of joining the invaders the English prepared to repel
them, and James retreated into his own country. This took place in 1496.
Parliament granted large supplies to enable the king to meet the danger,
but the inhabitants of Cornwall, sick of the constant demands made of them
for money, and aware of the large treasure which Henry had already
amassed, openly resisted any attempt at further taxation and determined to
march on London.


The Londoners, who not only abstained from opposing the new demand for
money, but volunteered a loan to the king (15 Nov.) of £4,000,(988) lost
no time in putting their city into a state of defence. Six aldermen and a
number of representatives from the livery companies were deputed to attend
to the city’s ordnance.(989) The mayor was to be allowed twelve armed men
in addition to his usual suite, and the sheriffs forty sergeants and forty
valets in order to assist them in keeping the peace within the city.
Communication was to be kept up at least once in the day between the mayor
and the Lord Chancellor. Houses which had been set up on the city’s walls,
or within sixteen feet of them, were to be abated. John Stokker, who
filled the not unworthy office of Common Hunt,(990) was ordered daily to
ride out to learn the king’s pleasure and report thereon to the mayor and
aldermen. Among those appointed to guard the city’s gates and Temple Bar
was Alderman Fabyan, the chronicler.(991) The state of anxiety which
prevailed in the city at this crisis is illustrated by "Jesus Mercy" at
the head of one side of the page of the City’s record, on which the above
orders are entered, whilst on the other side are the words _vigilie
temporis turbacionis_.(992)

(M534) (M535) (M536) (M537)

By the 22nd June, 1497, all immediate danger had passed, the rebels being
on that day utterly defeated at Blackheath. Their leaders were taken and
executed; the rest were for the most part made prisoners, but were soon
afterwards dismissed without further punishment. The leniency displayed
towards them by Henry was ill-repaid by their afterwards flocking to the
standard of the _soi-disant_ Richard IV, King of England, who availed
himself of their mutinous disposition and appeared in their midst at
Bodmin. The news of Perkin Warbeck having arrived in Cornwall from Ireland
was brought to the mayor and aldermen of the City of London by letter from
the king, which was read to the Common Council on Saturday, the 16th
September.(993) The rebels made an unsuccesful attempt to get possession
of Exeter, but hearing of the approach of the king’s forces, Perkin
Warbeck withdrew to Taunton, leaving his followers to take care of
themselves. From Taunton he went to "Mynet" (Minehead) accompanied by less
than sixty adherents,(994) and by the 12th October the king was able to
inform the Mayor that Peter "Warboys" had voluntarily submitted himself
and had confessed to his being a native of Tournay.(995) The king had him
conveyed to London and paraded through the streets on horseback, in a
species of mock triumph, and caused his confession to be printed and
scattered over the country that people might see the real character of the
man. For a time he appears to have been detained in lax custody about the
court, but after he had made an attempt to escape and reach the sea-coast,
and been re-captured, he was sent to the Tower. There he got into
communication with the unfortunate Earl of Warwick, and entered into a
plot for effecting his own and the earl’s liberty. A charge was formulated
against the earl on the most trivial grounds, of a conspiracy to seize the
Tower, and Warbeck was indicted as an accomplice. The former, being found
guilty by his peers, was beheaded on Tower Hill, while Perkin and three of
his accomplices were hanged at Tyburn.(996)


In the meantime Prince Henry, who afterwards succeeded his father on the
throne as King Henry VIII, but was at the time a child of seven years,
paid a visit to the city (30 Oct., 1498), where he received a hearty
welcome and was presented by the Recorder, on behalf of the citizens, with
a pair of gilt goblets. In reply to the Recorder, who in presenting this
"litell and powre" gift, promised to remember his grace with a better at
some future time, the prince made the following short speech:—(997)


    _"Fader Maire, I thank you and your Brethern here present of this
    greate and kynd remembraunce which I trist in tyme comyng to
    deserve. And for asmoche as I can not give unto you according
    thankes, I shall pray the Kynges Grace to thank you, and for my
    partye I shall not forget yo__r__ kyndnesse."_

In anticipation of the prince’s visit, a proclamation had been made by the
civic authorities with the view of purging the city of infectious disease,
to the effect that all vagabonds and others affected with the "greate
pockes" should vacate the city on pain of imprisonment.(998)

(M540) (M541)

The removal of Warwick—"the one judicial murder of Henry’s reign"—if not
suggested by Spain, was an act which could not be otherwise than grateful
to the Spanish king. For five years past negotiations had been proceeding
for a marriage between Prince Arthur and Catherine of Aragon. Warwick’s
death cleared away the last of Henry’s serious competitors, and "not a
doubtful drop of royal blood" remained in the kingdom to oppose Arthur’s
claim to the succession. The princess was expected shortly to arrive in
England, and a committee composed of aldermen and commoners was appointed
(Nov. 1499) to consult with the king’s commissioners as to the
preparations to be made for her reception.(999) Nearly two years, however,
elapsed before she set foot in England. In May, 1500, there were again
rumours of her approach, and the Common Council voted a sum of money to be
levied on the wards to defray the expenses of her reception.(1000)


The "garnysshyng of the pagents" for the festive occasion(1001) was
interrupted by the death of Edmund, the king’s infant son. On the 19th
June the members of the various craft guilds were ordered to line the
streets of Old Bailey and Fleet Street, through which the funeral
procession was to pass on its way to Westminster. The mayor and aldermen
were to stand, clad in their violet gowns, near Saint Dunstan’s Church,
and the next morning to go to Westminster by barge to attend the solemn


There was no necessity for hurry in regard to the pageants. More than a
twelvemonth was yet to elapse before they were wanted. At length—on the
2nd October,(1003) 1501—the princess landed at Plymouth, and five days
later the City received notice from the king of her approach to London.
The marriage was solemnized at St. Paul’s on the 14th November, the
princess being presented with silver flagons by the City in honour of the
occasion.(1004) Five months later (2 April, 1502) the bride was a widow,
Prince Arthur having died at the early age of fifteen.


In 1503 the streets of the city were again put into mourning, for in
February of that year Henry lost his queen. A long account of the manner
of "receyvyng of the corps of the most noble princes Quene Elizabeth" is
given in the City’s Archives.(1005) In the following month the streets
presented a very different appearance, the occasion being the
solemnization of the league made between Henry and the King of the Romans.
Bonfires were ordered to be lighted at nine different places, and at each
of them was to be placed a hogshead of wine, with two sergeants and two
sheriffs’ yeomen to prevent disturbance; but seeing that it was the Lenten
season and that the queen had so recently died, there was to be no
minstrelsy. The City Chamberlain was instructed to provide a certain
quantity of "Ipocras," claret, Rhenish wine and Muscatel, besides comfits
and wafers, and two pots of "Succade" and green ginger, to be presented on
the City’s behalf to the ambassadors of the King of the Romans, lying at
"Pasmer Howse"; a similar gift being presented the following day on behalf
of the sheriffs.(1006)


Henry’s chief merit was that he established order, and for this the
citizens were grateful. This improvement on the weak government of his
immediate predecessors had only been carried out, however, at the cost of
extension of royal power, and the City was made to suffer with the rest of
the kingdom. In 1503 the civic authorities were deprived by statute of
their control over the livery companies,(1007) and in the same year the
Tailors of London obtained a charter which gave umbrage to the mayor and
aldermen of the City, as ousting them of their jurisdiction. The Tailors
maintained their independence, and their wardens are expressly mentioned
as refusing to join the Mercers, Grocers, Drapers, Fishmongers, Goldsmiths
and other fraternities in a petition to parliament (1512) for placing them
formally under the rule of the mayor and aldermen, from which they were
frequently breaking away.(1008)


It was not until 1505 that the City succeeded in getting its charter(1009)
from Henry, and then only on payment of the sum of 5,000 marks. The terms
of the charter, moreover, were far from satisfactory, and an attempt was
made to get them altered and obtain an abatement of the fine,(1010) but to
no purpose.


Henry continued his high-handed policy towards the City up to the day of
his death, and thereby greatly increased his treasure. His chief
instruments were Empson and Dudley, who took up their residence in the
city, occupying two houses in Walbrook, whence each had a door into a
garden of the Earl of Oxford’s house in St. Swithin’s Lane.(1011) There
they used to meet and concert measures for filling the king’s purse and
their own. In 1506 Henry removed Robert Johnson, a goldsmith, from the
shrievalty within three days of his election, and put William Fitz-William
in his place. Johnson took the matter so much to heart that he died.(1012)
In the same year Thomas Kneseworth, the late mayor, was committed to the
Marshalsea, together with the sheriffs who had served under him, and only
regained his liberty on payment of a large sum of money.(1013) In 1507 Sir
William Capel, Alderman of Walbrook Ward, who had already fallen a victim
to Empson and been heavily fined under an obsolete statute, was again
attacked and fined £2,000 for supposed negligence during his mayoralty.
Rather than submit to such extortion he went to prison, and remained there
until the king’s death, when he obtained his freedom and was soon
afterwards re-elected mayor.(1014) Lawrence Aylmer, another mayor, was
also a victim of Henry’s tyranny, and was committed to the compter, where
he remained for the rest of the reign.(1015)


In the meantime the Archduke Philip happened to fall into Henry’s hands
(Jan., 1506). Whilst crossing the sea to claim the kingdom of Castile in
right of his wife, he was driven by stress of weather into Weymouth. Henry
was too shrewd a politician not to make the most of so lucky an event, and
detained him in a species of honourable captivity, until Philip had
promised him the hand of his sister Margaret with a large dower. This
marriage alliance was destined never to be realised. Another scheme,
however, was subsequently proposed and met with more success. This was a
marriage of Henry’s own daughter with Philip’s son Charles, Prince of
Castile. News of their engagement was conveyed to the mayor and aldermen
of the City by a letter from the king himself (25 Dec., 1507), in which he
expatiated on the benefits, political and commercial, likely to arise from
the match.(1016)

This letter was followed by another from the king, dated from Greenwich,
the 23rd June following, in which the Corporation was informed that for
the assurance of execution of the marriage treaty both parties had given
pledges, and that the City of London was, among other cities and towns,
included in letters obligatory to that effect, which letters he begged
should be sealed without delay with the Common Seal of the City.(1017) And
so, after the manner of the times, the boy of eight was married (by proxy)
to the girl of twelve, amid great rejoicings in London (17 Dec.,


If Henry amassed wealth, it was not from any miserly motive. He well knew
the value of the money, and that peace at home was never better secured
than by a full treasury. He made, moreover, a princely use of his money,
encouraging scholarship, music, and architecture, and dazzled the eyes of
foreign ambassadors with the splendour of his receptions. That he had a
fine taste in building no one can deny who has once seen the chapel of
King’s College, Cambridge, or the chapel that bears his name at


Originally intended by Henry as a resting place for the remains of his
uncle, Henry VI, the last mentioned edifice was diverted from its purposes
and became the chantry as well as the tomb of Henry VII himself. Anxiety
for his soul caused him to bind the Abbot of Westminster by heavy
penalties to the due observance of his obit. These penalties were set out
in six books or deeds, sealed with the Common Seal of the City of London,
and formally delivered to the king by a deputation of the mayor and
aldermen, who received in return a seventh book to remain in their
custody. In 1504—the year that Pope Julius sanctioned the removal of the
remains of Henry VI from Windsor to Westminster—the mayor and citizens
formally sealed the "books" before the Master of the Rolls at the
Guildhall. Two years later certain livery companies undertook to keep the
king’s obit on the day that the mayor for the time being went to take his
oath at the Exchequer.(1019)


The king died at his palace of Shene, recently renamed in his honour
"Richmond," on the 22nd April,(1020) 1509. Just before his death he
granted a general pardon and paid the debts of prisoners committed to the
compters of London and to Ludgate for debts amounting to forty shillings
or less.(1021) His corpse was conveyed from Richmond to St. Paul’s on the
9th May, being met on its way at St. George’s Bar, in Southwark, by the
mayor, aldermen and a suite of 104 commoners, all in black clothing and
all on horseback. The streets were lined with other members of the
companies bearing torches, the lowest craft occupying the first place.
Next after the freemen of the city came the "strangers"—Easterlings,
Frenchmen, Spaniards, Venetians, Genoese, Florentines and "Lukeners"—on
horseback and on foot, also bearing torches.(1022) These took up their
position in Gracechurch Street. Cornhill was occupied by the lower crafts,
ordered in such a way that "the most worshipful crafts" stood next unto
"Paules." A similar order was preserved the next day, when the corpse was
removed from Saint Paul’s to Westminster. The lowest crafts were placed
nearest to the Cathedral, and the most worshipful next to Temple Bar,
where the civic escort terminated. The mayor and aldermen proceeded to
Westminster by water, to attend the "masse and offering." The mayor, with
his mace in his hand, made his offering next after the Lord Chamberlain;
those aldermen who had passed the chair(1023) offered next after the
Knights of the Garter, and before all "knights for the body"; whilst the
aldermen who had not yet served as mayor made their offering after the

When King Henry VIII was about to make an expedition to France in 1544,
the Court of Aldermen gave notice to the Bishop of London that the obit of
Henry VII would be kept on Friday, the 16th May, on which day there would
be a general procession, and that the observance would be continued until
the king departed out of the realm, and then on every Friday and Wednesday
until his return.(1025)



One of the first acts of the new king was to grant Letters Patent
absolving the City of all trespasses committed before the date of his
accession,(1026) and to offer restitution to all who had suffered at the
hands of Empson and Dudley or their agents. Empson and Dudley were
themselves committed to the Tower and afterwards executed. In the meantime
an enquiry was opened in the city as to recent proceedings against Capel
and others.

It was found that six men, whose names were John Derby, _alias_ Wright, a
bowyer, Richard Smyth, a carpenter, William Sympson, a fuller, Henry
Stokton, a fishmonger, Thomas Yong, a saddler, and Robert Jakes, a
shearman—all of whom had more than once been convicted of perjury, and on
that account been struck off inquests—had contrived to get themselves
replaced on the panel, and had been the chief movers in the recent actions
against the late mayor and other officers of the city. They had, moreover,
taken bribes for concealment of offences of forestalling and regrating.
Being found guilty, on their own confession, of having brought false
charges against many of the aldermen, the Court of Common Council adjudged
the whole of the accused to be disfranchised. Three of them, who were
found more guilty than the rest, were sentenced to be taken from prison on
the next market day, on horseback, without saddles, and with their faces
turned towards the horses’ tails, to the pillory on Cornhill. There they
were to be set "their heddes in the holys" until proclamation of their
crime and sentence was read. The lesser offenders were spared the pillory,
but were condemned to attend on horseback at Cornhill, whence all the
offenders were conducted to the Standard in Fleet Street "by the most high
ways," where the proclamation was again read. The culprits were then taken
back to prison and made to abjure the city on pain of imprisonment at the
pleasure of the mayor and aldermen.(1027) Among the charges brought
against Derby was one to the effect that being on a jury he had received
the sum of ten shillings and "a quarter of ffisshe for his howsehold," a
bribe which a suitor had tendered by the advice and counsel of Thomas
Yong, saddler, who was apparently acting as Derby’s accomplice.(1028)


On the occasion of the king’s coronation, which took place on
Midsummer-day soon after his marriage with Catherine of Aragon, his
brother’s widow, the citizens presented the king and queen with the sum of
£1,000 or 1,500 marks. Two-thirds of the gift was given expressly to the
king, the remaining one-third being a tribute of respect to the queen. The
money was to be raised in the city by way of a fifteenth, but the poor
were not to be assessed.(1029) The procession from the Tower to
Westminster was equal to, if it did not surpass, any spectacle that had
yet been witnessed in the city for its gorgeousness and pomp. The streets
were railed and barred from Gracechurch Street to Cheapside at the expense
of the livery companies who lined the way,(1030)  "beginning with base and
meane occupations and so ascending to the worshipful crafts." The
Goldsmiths of London were especially conspicuous for their marks of
loyalty on that day. Their stalls, which were situate by the Old Change at
the west end of Chepe, were occupied by fair maidens dressed in white and
holding tapers of white wax, whilst priests in their robes stood by with
censers of silver and incensed the king and queen as they passed.(1031)


After three years of indolent and luxurious ease Henry became embroiled in
continental troubles. In 1511 a holy league had been formed for the
purpose of driving the French out of the Milanese, and Henry’s
co-operation was desired. A parliament was summoned to meet early in the
following year.(1032) After granting supplies(1033) it unanimously agreed
that war should be proclaimed against France. The campaign of 1512 ended
ingloriously, and the French king threatened to turn the tables on Henry
and to invade England. Henry rose to the occasion and at once set about
strengthening his navy. On the 30th January, 1513, he addressed a letter
to the Corporation of London desiring them to furnish him with 300 men,
the same to be at Greenwich by the 15th February at the latest.(1034)
Proclamation was thereupon made in the city for all persons who were
prepared to join the war to appear at the Guildhall any time before the
10th February, where, if approved, they would be furnished with sufficient
harness and weapons, without any charge, and also with sufficient wages at
the king’s cost.(1035)

The city was suffering at the time from great scarcity of wheat, and each
alderman was called upon to contribute the sum of £5 towards alleviating
the distress which prevailed. A contract was made with certain Hanse
merchants to furnish the city with 2,000 quarters of wheat and rye
respectively by Midsummer-day, whilst the royal purveyors were forbidden
to lay hands on wheat, malt or grain entering the port of London.(1036)
Under the circumstances it could have been no great hardship, but rather
an advantage to rid the city of 300 mouths. On the 1st February, 1513, the
aldermen were instructed to enquire in their respective wards as to the
number of men each ward could furnish, and two days later the livery
companies were ordered to find the sum of £300 to defray the expense
connected with fitting out the men. If more than £300 were needed they
were to draw on the Chamber, but any money not expended out of that sum
was to be paid into the Chamber.(1037) The companies raised the sum of
£405, the Mercers contributing £35, the Grocers, Drapers, Fishmongers and
Goldsmiths respectively £30, and the rest sums of smaller amount.(1038)
There was some difference of opinion as to the nature of the uniform to be
worn by the city’s contingent. At length it was settled that the soldiers’
coats should be white, with a St. George’s cross and sword, together with
a rose, at the back and the same before. Their shoes were to be left to
the discretion of the muster-masters.(1039)


Henry himself now crossed over to France. The campaign proved more
successful than the last, for the French being attacked at Guinegate, were
seized with so great a panic that Henry achieved a bloodless victory. From
the hasty flight of the French cavalry, the engagement came to be known as
the Battle of Spurs. This victory secured the fall of Terouenne and was
followed shortly afterwards by the capture of Tournay.


Notwithstanding these successes, however, Henry found it necessary to make
peace in the following year. His allies had got what they wanted, and the
conquest of France was as far off as ever. It remained only to make as
good a bargain as he could. The French king consented to the payment of a
large sum of money, in return for which he was given Henry’s sister Mary
in marriage, although she was already affianced, if not married, to Prince
Charles of Castile. This was the work of the king’s new minister, Wolsey.


To the apostles of the New Learning—as the revival of letters which
commenced in the last reign came to be called—to Erasmus, to Archbishop
Warham, to More and to Colet, the war at its outset had been eminently
distasteful. With the accession of Henry VIII to the throne they had hoped
for better things. War was to be for ever banished and a "new order" was
to prevail.


Of its connection with More and Colet the City is justly proud. At the
opening of Henry’s reign the future lord chancellor was executing the
duties of the comparatively unimportant post of under-sheriff or judge of
the Poultry Compter, a post which he continued to hold until 1517.(1040)
He had received his education in the city at St. Antony’s School in
Threadneedle Street, a school which had already achieved a great
reputation and afterwards reckoned among its pupils the famous Whitgift.
Later in life he shut himself up for four years in the Charterhouse of
London, living a life of devotion and prayer, but without taking any


The father of John Colet, Dean of St. Paul’s, had taken an active part in
municipal life. Henry Colet had been alderman first of Farringdon Ward
Without and afterwards of the Wards of Castle Baynard and Cornhill,(1042)
and as alderman of the last mentioned ward he had died towards the close
of 1505. He had served as sheriff in 1477 and as mayor in 1486.


Up to the time of Henry VI education had been carried on in the city
chiefly by means of schools attached to the various city churches and
religious houses. By order of Henry VI, and at the instigation of four
city ministers,(1043) grammar schools were established in several
parishes. The school of St. Antony attached to the hospital of the same
name, of which Dr. John Carpenter was at the time master, received an
endowment from Henry VI for the maintenance of scholars at Oxford. The
school continued to flourish some time after the dissolution of the
hospital. There was also a school attached to the hospital of St. Thomas
of Acon, as famous in its day as that of St. Antony, but of which little
is known until after the suppression of the religious houses by Henry
VIII, when it passed into the hands of the Mercers’ Company and became
known, as it is to this day, as the Mercers’ School.


The Dr. John Carpenter just mentioned must not be confounded with the Town
Clerk of that name, the compiler of the famous _Liber Albus_ and the
founder of the City of London School. There is little known of the
foundation of this latter school beyond the statement made by Stow a
century and a-half later, that he "gave tenements to the city for the
finding and bringing up of four poor men’s children with meat, drink,
apparel, learning at the schools in the universities, etc., until they be
preferred, and then others in their places for ever."(1044) Within the
last few years the City Chamberlain’s accounts—touching "the lands of Mr.
John Carpenter, sometyme commen clarke of this cittie"—have been brought
to light, and serve to supplement in a small way Stow’s meagre but
valuable statement. The rental or amount with which the Chamberlain
charged himself for the year 1565 or 1566 is there set down as £41 0_s._
4_d._, and the discharge—embracing a quit rent due to the Dean and Chapter
of Westminster, and expenses incurred in overseeing, clothing and feeding
four poor children "being founde at scoole and lerning by the bequeste of
the sayde Master Carpenter"—amounted to £19 12_s._ 8_d._, leaving a
balance to the City of £21 7_s._ 8_d._(1045) From so modest a beginning
arose the school which, situate on the Thames Embankment, now numbers over
700 scholars.


There was a school attached to St. Paul’s long before Colet’s day, just as
there is one now, independent of the school of Colet’s foundation, and
devoted mainly to the instruction of the Cathedral choristers. Soon after
Colet’s appointment to the Deanery in 1505 he experienced no little
dissatisfaction with the Cathedral School, where great laxity prevailed,
more especially in the religious education of the "children of Paul’s,"
and so, about the year 1509—the year of Henry’s accession—having recently
come into a considerable estate by the death of his father, he set about
acquiring a small property situate at the east end of St. Paul’s Church
for the purpose of establishing another school which would better realise
his own ideal of what a school should be than the existing Cathedral
School. Colet’s School grew apace. In 1511 he was in negotiation with the
Court of Aldermen for the purchase "of a certen grounde of the citie for
an entre to be hadde into his new gramer scole."(1046) By January of the
next year (1512) he had succeeded in obtaining the assent both of the
Court of Aldermen and Common Council to the purchase by him of a "certen
grounde in the Olde Chaunge for the inlargyng of his gramer scole in
Powly’s Churcheyerd" for the sum of £30.(1047) The property was conveyed
to him by deed, dated the 27th September, which deed was sealed with the
common seal on the 7th October following.(1048) The question as to whom he
should entrust the management of his school caused Colet no little
anxiety. He eventually decided to confide its revenues and management
entirely to the Mercers’ Company, and when asked the reason for his so
doing replied that "though there was nothing certain in human affairs he
yet found the least corruption in them."(1049)

Considerable rivalry existed among the various grammar schools of the
city, more especially between the boys of Colet’s School and the boys of
the more ancient foundation of St. Antony, which, for a long time, had the
reputation for turning out the best scholars. Public disputations were
held in the open air. The St. Paul’s boys meeting St. Antony’s boys would
derisively call them St. Antony’s pigs, that saint being generally
represented with a pig following him, and challenge them to a disputation;
the latter would retaliate by styling their rivals "pigeons of St.
Paul’s," from the bird which then, as now, frequented St. Paul’s
Churchyard. From questions of grammar, writes Stow,(1050) they usually
fell to blows "with their satchels full of books, many times in great
heaps, that they troubled the streets and passengers." After the decay of
St. Antony’s School the rivalry was taken up, but in a more friendly way,
by the later foundation of the Merchant Taylors’ School.


But the citizens of London did not limit their efforts in the cause of
education to their own city. Throughout the country there are to be found
grammar schools which owe their establishment to the liberal-mindedness
and open-handed generosity of the city merchant.(1051) Their existence
bears testimony to the kindly feeling which men who had grown rich in
London still bore to the provincial town or village which gave them birth
and which they had left in early life to seek their fortune in the great

To take but a few instances: Sir John Percival, a merchant-tailor, who in
1487 filled the subordinate office of Lord Mayor’s carver, performing his
duties so well that the mayor, Sir Henry Colet, nominated him one of the
sheriffs for the year ensuing by the time honoured custom of drinking to
him at a public dinner, founded a school at Macclesfield. Stephen Jenyns,
another merchant-tailor, did the same thing at Wolverhampton. Sir Thomas
White, another member of the same company, founded two schools in the
provinces, one at Reading and another at Bristol, besides the College of
St. John at Oxford. Sir William Harper, yet another merchant-tailor,
established a school at Bedford.

The Mercers’ Company rivalled the Merchant-Taylors’ in the number of
schools established in the country through the liberality of its members.
Sir John Gresham founded one at Holt, in Norfolk; Sir Rowland Hill, an
ancestor of the originator of the Penny Postal scheme, another at Drayton,
in Shropshire; whilst schools at Horsham, in Sussex, and West Lavington,
in Wiltshire, were erected by two other mercers, Richard Collier and
William Dauntsey. There exist at the present day at least four schools
which owe their foundation to wealthy members of the Grocers’ Company, the
well known school at Oundle, co. Northampton, upon which the Company have
expended on capital account the sum of £35,000, having been founded by Sir
William Laxton; another at Sevenoaks, in Kent, by William Sevenoke, a
native of the place, who rose from very humble circumstances to the chief
magistracy of the city; another at Witney, in Oxfordshire, by Henry Box,
and another at Colwall, co. Hereford, by Humphry Walwyn. Sir Andrew Judd,
a member of the Skinners’ Company, established a school at Tonbridge,
whilst Sir Wolstan Dixie, another skinner, performed the same charitable
act at Market Bosworth. Lastly, Sir George Monoux and Thomas Russell, both
of them members of the Drapers’ Company, founded schools at Walthamstow
and at Barton-under-Needwood, co. Stafford, respectively.


On the Feast of St. Matthew (21 Sept.), 1515, a messenger arrived in the
city from Wolsey desiring the mayor and aldermen to attend that evening at
St. Paul’s to return thanks to Almighty God for the queen, who was quick
with child. The summons was obeyed,(1052) and in the following February
(1516) the Princess Mary was born.


By this time Wolsey had risen to be a great power in the State. In 1514 he
had been made Archbishop of York, and in the following year a cardinal.
His high position as a prince of the Church, as well as his authority with
the king, rendered it desirable for the citizens to keep well with him. On
the 6th March, 1516, it was resolved to send a deputation to the cardinal
for the purpose of securing his favour. No expense was to be spared in the
matter, and all costs and charges were to be paid by the Chamber.(1053) In
the following June the cardinal handed to the mayor a list of abuses in
the city which required reform. Sedition was rife there; the commons were
disobedient, the statute of apparel was ignored, vagabonds and masterless
folk resorted there and unlawful games were allowed in houses. The king’s
council required an answer on these points within a few days, and an
answer was accordingly given, but the purport of it is not recorded,
although it was read to the Court of Aldermen before being

In November of the same year (1516) the City was in difficulties with the
recently erected Court of Star Chamber, and Wolsey, who practically kept
the whole business of government in his own hands, came to the City’s
assistance with advice. It appears that a subsidy was due on the 21st of
this month and the City had not paid its quota. The mayor and aldermen
were cited to appear before the cardinal and other lords of the council in
the Star Chamber at Westminster. Being asked if they had "sworne for their
assayng," to the king’s subsidy, the Recorder answered on their behalf
that such procedure was contrary to Act of Parliament. The cardinal
thereupon advised them to agree to give the king £2,000 in order to be
discharged of their oaths "or ells every of theym to be sworn of and uppon
the true value of their substance within the sum of 100 marks." This took
place on Saturday, the 22nd, and the mayor and aldermen were to give an
answer to the Star Chamber by the following Wednesday. On Tuesday, the
25th, the Court of Aldermen met to consider what was best to be done under
the circumstances. The decision they arrived at was that as the present
assessment was less than the last, they would, in consideration of the
king’s letters, make up the sum then payable so that it should equal the
last assessment.(1055)


The seditious "brutes" or riots of which Wolsey had complained as daily
occurring in the city were soon to assume a serious form. They were
occasioned for the most part by the jealousy with which everybody who was
not a freeman of the city was looked upon by the free citizen. The influx
of strangers and foreigners has been daily increasing, notwithstanding the
limitations and restrictions placed upon their residence and mode of
trading,(1056) whilst the tendency of freemen had been to leave the city
for the country.(1057)

Whilst the civic authorities were doing all they could to prevent the
possibility of a disturbance arising on the coming May-day(1058)—a day
kept as a general holiday in the city—occasion was taken by a minister of
the church, whose duty it was to preach the usual Spital sermon on Easter
Tuesday (14 April), to incite the freemen to rise up against the foreigner
and stranger.(1059) When the 1st May arrived all might have been well, had
not a city alderman allowed his zeal to outrun his discretion. It happened
that John Mundy,(1060) Alderman of Queenhithe Ward, came across some
youngsters playing "at the bucklers" at a time when by a recent order they
should have been within doors, and he commanded them to desist. This they
showed no disposition to do, and when force was threatened raised the cry
for ’prentices and clubs. A large crowd quickly assembled and the alderman
had to beat a hasty retreat. The mob, now thoroughly roused, proceeded to
set free the prisoners in Newgate and the compters, and to attack the
strangers and foreigners quartered at Blanchappleton(1061) and elsewhere.
Rioting continued throughout the night, but early the following morning
they were met by a large force which the mayor in the meantime had
collected, and 300 of them were made prisoners, so that by the time that
assistance arrived from the court quiet had been restored. A commission of
Oyer and Terminer was opened at the Guildhall to try the offenders. John
Lincoln, who had not so long ago been appointed surveyor of goods bought
and sold by foreigners,(1062) was charged with being the instigator of the
riot, and being found guilty was hanged in Cheapside, whilst twelve others
were hanged on gallows in different parts of the city. Others received the
king’s pardon with halters round their necks in token of the fate they


The civic authorities were not unnaturally anxious to make their peace
with the king, and to disclaim any complicity in the late outbreak. The
Court of Aldermen met on the 11th May to consider how best to approach his
majesty on so delicate a subject. It was decided to send a deputation to
the lord cardinal to "feel his mind" as to the number of persons that
should appear before the king. The next day eight aldermen and the
Recorder were nominated by the court "to go the Kinges grace and to knowe
his plesure when the Mayr and Aldremen and diverse of the substancyall
commoners of this citie shall sue to beseche his grace to be good and
gracious lord un to theym and to accept theym nowe beyng most sorrowful
and hevye for thees late attemptates doon ayeynst their wylles."(1064)

(M568) (M569) (M570)

The deputation forthwith proceeded, clothed in gowns of black, to
Greenwich, whither the king had gone on the 11th May. The Recorder as
usual acted as spokesman, and humbly prayed the royal forgiveness for the
negligence displayed by the mayor in not keeping the king’s peace within
the city. The king in reply told them plainly his opinion that the civic
authorities had winked at the whole business, and referred them to
Cardinal Wolsey, his chancellor, who would declare to them his
pleasure.(1065) With this answer the deputation withdrew and reported what
had taken place to the mayor, who had wisely kept away. It was clear that
above all things the favour of the cardinal had to be obtained. For this
purpose a committee was appointed, whose duty it was to "devise what
thinges of plesur shalbe geven to my lord Cardynall and to other of the
lordes as they shall thynk convenient for their benevolences doon
concernyng this last Insurreccioun."(1066) By the 22nd May matters had
evidently been accommodated. On that date the king sat at Westminster Hall
in great state, surrounded by the lords of his council and attended by the
cardinal. The mayor and aldermen and chief commoners of the city, chosen
from the leading civic companies,(1067) had arrived by nine o’clock in the
morning clad in their best liveries, "according as the cardinal had
commanded them."(1068) Wolsey knew the king’s weakness for theatrical
display. At Henry’s command all the prisoners were brought into his
presence. They appeared, to the number of 400 men and eleven women, all
with ropes round their necks. After the cardinal had administered a rebuke
to the civic authorities for their negligence, and had declared that the
prisoners had deserved death, a formal pardon was proclaimed by the king,
the cardinal exhorting all present to loyalty and obedience. It was some
time before the effects of the late outbreak disappeared. Compensation for
losses had to be made;(1069) some were bound over to keep the peace;(1070)
and counsel were employed to draw up a statement of the points of
grievance between the citizens and merchant strangers for submission to
the king.(1071) In September there were rumours of another outbreak, but
the civic authorities were better prepared than formerly, and effectually
stopt any such attempt by putting suspected persons into prison.

Lest any unfavourable report should reach the cardinal, the Recorder and
another were ordered to ride in all haste to Sion, where Wolsey was
thought to be, and if they failed to find him there, to follow him to
Windsor and to report to him the active measures that had been taken to
prevent any further insurrection in the city.(1072) "Evil May-day" was
long remembered by the citizens, who raised objection to Thomas Semer or
Seymer, who had been sheriff at the time, being elected mayor ten years
later.(1073) In May, 1547, all householders were straitly charged not to
permit their servants any more to go maying, but to keep them within


With gibbets all over the city, each bearing a ghastly freight, and the
summer approaching, it is scarcely surprising that the city should soon
again be visited with an epidemic. "At the city gates," wrote an
eye-witness, "one sees nothing but gibbets and the quarters of these
wretches"—the wretches who had been hanged for complicity in the late
disturbance—"so that it is horrible to pass near them."(1075) The
"sweating sickness," which had again made its appearance in 1516, and had
never really quitted the city (except for a few weeks in winter), now
raged more violently than ever, accompanied by measles and small-pox. The
king ordered all inhabitants of infected houses to keep indoors and hang
out wisps of straw, and when compelled to walk abroad to carry white
rods.(1076) This order, however, was badly received in the city and gave
rise to much murmuring and dissatisfaction.(1077) The civic authorities
did what they could to mitigate the evil by driving out beggars and
vagabonds, and removing slaughter-houses outside the city walls,(1078) as
well as by administering relief to the poorer classes by the distribution
of tokens or licences to solicit alms. These tokens consisted of round
"beedes" of white tin, bearing the City’s arms in the centre, to be worn
on the right shoulder.(1079) In the midst of so much real suffering, there
were not wanting those who took advantage of the charitable feeling which
the crisis called forth and were not ashamed to gain a livelihood by
simulating illness. Such a one was Miles Rose, who on the 11th March,
1518, openly confessed before the Court of Aldermen that he had frequently
dissembled the sickness of the "fallyng evyle" (or epilepsy) in divers
parish churches in the city, on which occasions "jemewes" of silver,
called cramp rings, would as often as not be placed on his fingers by
charitable passers-by, with which he would quickly make off, pocketing at
the same time many a twopence which had been bestowed upon him.(1080)


The city could scarcely have recovered its wonted appearance after the
ravages of the pestilence before its streets were enlivened with one of
those magnificent displays for which London became justly famous, the
occasion being an embassy from the French king sent to negotiate a
marriage treaty between Henry’s daughter Mary, a child but two years of
age, and the still younger Dauphin of France. The City Records, strange to
say, appear to be altogether silent on this subject, and yet the embassy,
for magnificent display, was such as had never been seen within its walls
before. We can understand that the embassy was not acceptable to the
thrifty middle-class trading burgess, when we read that it was accompanied
by a swarm of pedlars and petty hucksters who showed an unbecoming anxiety
to do business in hats, caps and other merchandise, which under colour of
the embassy had been smuggled into the country duty free.(1081) The
foreign retail trader was at the best of times an abomination to the free
burgess, and this sharp practice on the part of the Frenchmen, coming so
soon after the recent outburst against strangers on Evil May-day, only
served to accentuate his animosity—"At this dooing mannie an Englishman
grudged, but it availed not."(1082) The ambassadors were lodged at the
Merchant Taylors’ Hall, which, owing to the ill-timed action of the French
pedlars, had the look of a mart. On Sunday, the 3rd October, the king,
with a train of 1,000 mounted gentlemen richly dressed, attended by the
legates and foreign ambassadors, went in procession to St. Paul’s to hear
mass; after which the king took his oath—a ceremonial which the French
admiral declared to be "too magnificent for description." On the following
Tuesday (5 Oct.) the marriage ceremony—so far as it could be carried out
between such infants—was celebrated at Greenwich, and a tiny gold ring, in
which was a valuable diamond, placed upon Mary’s finger.(1083)


In the following year (July, 1519) the streets witnessed another scene of
gaiety. This time it was a visit of the legate, Cardinal Campeggio, for
which the civic authorities made great preparations.(1084) In the first
place the mayor and aldermen, in their gowns and cloaks of scarlet, were
ordered to take up their position at 9 o’clock on the morning of Relic
Sunday (_i.e._, the third Sunday after Midsummer Day) at St. Paul’s stairs
(_the stayers w__t__in poulys_). Next to them were to stand the Skinners,
then the Mercers and other worshipful crafts in their order, clothed in
their last and best livery. In this manner the street was to be lined on
either side from the west door of St. Paul’s down to Baynard’s Castle.
Upon the arrival of the lord cardinal and other lords at the Cathedral the
mayor and aldermen were to head the procession and seat themselves in the
choir to hear _Te Deum_ sung. Bonfires or "pryncypall fyres" were to be
lighted at St. Magnus corner, Gracechurch, Leadenhall, the conduit on
Cornhill, St. Thomas "of Acres," the Standard and little conduit in Cheap,
the Standard in Fleet Street, and in Bishopsgate Street; whilst cresset
lights and small fires "made after the manner of Midsummer-night" were to
add to the gaiety of the scene. Men-at-arms, well harnessed and
apparelled, were to keep certain streets, whilst the aldermen and their
constables were to keep watch and ward in their best array of harness. The
ambassadors, who were to be lodged in Cornhill, were to be escorted home
at night by the aldermen with torches, and to await their commands. There
was one other, perhaps not unnecessary, direction to be followed, which
was to the effect that if by any chance the strangers should be overcome
by the hospitality of the city, or, in the words of the record—"yf eny
oversyght be wt moche drynke of the strangers"—the citizens were to "lett
theym alone and no Englishemen to medyle wt theym."

(M574) (M575)

The legate landed at Deal on the 23rd July, and by slow stages was
conducted with every mark of respect to London. His passage through the
city was associated with an episode of a decidedly comic character if we
are to believe the chronicler. A story is told(1085) that the night before
Campeggio entered London, Wolsey sent him twelve mules with (empty)
coffers, in order to give a semblance of wealth to the legate and his
retinue. In Cheapside one of the mules turned restive and upset the
chests, out of which tumbled old hose, shoes, bread, meat, and eggs, with
"muche vile baggage," at which the street boys cried "See, see my lord
legate’s treasure!" The story, however, is on good authority deemed more
malicious than probable.


In January, 1519, the Emperor Maximilian died and left the imperial crown
to be contested for by the kings of France and Spain. It eventually fell
to the latter, and Charles V of Spain was elected Emperor Charles I, the
event being celebrated by a solemn mass and _Te Deum_ at St. Paul’s,
followed by a banquet at Castle Baynard.(1086)


Both France and Germany were eager to secure the co-operation of Henry.
Charles anticipated the meeting which was to take place between Henry and
Francis on the famous Field of the Cloth of Gold by coming over in person
to England (May, 1519) and having a private conference with his uncle. The
young emperor did not visit the city on this occasion; but in 1522, when
war had broken out between him and Francis and he was again in England, he
was escorted to the city with great honour and handsomely lodged in the
palace of Bridewell. Nearly £1,000 was raised to meet the expenses of his
reception and of furnishing a body of 100 bowmen for the king’s

The king and his guest and ally were met at St. George’s Bar in Southwark
by John Melborne,(1088) the mayor, accompanied by the high officers of the
city, clothed in gowns of "pewke," each with a chain of gold about his
neck.(1089) A "proposicioun" or address was made by Sir Thomas More, now
under-treasurer of England, who was afterwards presented by the City with
the sum of £10 towards a velvet gown,(1090) whilst other speeches made in
the course of the procession were composed by Master Lilly,(1091) of
Euphues fame, the first high master of Colet’s School.


Between the first and second visits of the emperor the citizens had
witnessed some strange sights and had gone through much suffering and
privation. The city had scarcely ever been free from sickness, and famine
and pestilence had followed one another in quick succession. In September,
1520, the fellowships or civic companies subscribed over £1,000 for the
purchase of wheat(1092) to be stored at the Bridgehouse, where ovens were
fitted up.(1093) Mills for grinding corn already existed in the Thames
hard by.(1094) The following year the plague raged to such an extent that
every house attacked was ordered to be marked with St. Antony’s cross,
"otherwise called the syne of Tav,"(1095) and citizens were forbidden to
attend the fair at Windsor for fear of carrying infection to the

Again a scarcity of corn was feared, and the Bridge-masters were
authorised by the Court of Common Council to purchase provisions, the
corporation undertaking to give security for the repayment of all monies
advanced by the charitably disposed for the purpose of staving off
famine.(1097) Early in 1522 (15 Jan.) died Fitz-James, Bishop of London,
carried off with many others by "a great death in London and other places
of the realm."(1098)


The citizens had also in the meanwhile witnessed the arrest and execution
of the Duke of Buckingham, son of the duke who figured so prominently
before the citizens when the crown was offered to Richard III at Baynard
Castle. He was seized one day whilst landing from his barge at the Hay
Wharf, on a number of charges all more or less frivolous. His attendants
were dismissed to the duke’s "Manor of the Rose," in the parish of St.
Laurence Pountney(1099)—on the site of which recently stood Merchant
Taylors’ School—whilst he himself was conducted to the Tower (16 April,
1521).  An indictment was laid against him at the Guildhall before Sir
John Brugge, lord mayor, and others (8 May). After a trial at Westminster
which lasted some days, he was found guilty of high treason, and condemned
to be hanged, drawn and quartered, and to suffer such other atrocities as
usually accompanied the death of a traitor in those days. The king,
however, satisfied with his condemnation, spared him these indignities,
and the duke was allowed to meet his death at the block. His corpse was
reverently carried from the Tower to the Church of the Austin Friars by
six poor members of that Order.(1100)

The duke had other friends in the city besides these poor religious men,
who thus requited in the only way they could many acts of kindness done to
their Order by Buckingham in his life time, and his death gave rise to
much disaffection and seditious language for some time afterwards.(1101)


Before the emperor left England he succeeded in committing Henry to an
invasion of France. In order to carry out his object the king needed
money, and the City was asked to furnish him with the sum of
£100,000.(1102) Ten days later (26 May) the City agreed to advance
£20,000. The livery companies were to be called upon to surrender their
plate, and foreigners as well as citizens were to be made to


The question arose whether the aldermen should be jointly assessed with
the commoners or by themselves. The mayor and aldermen were willing to
contribute the sum of £3,000,(1104) but this offer the Common Council
"nothyng regarded," but sent the common sergeant to talk the matter over
with them. After long consultation the mayor and aldermen sent back word
that it was more "convenient" that they should be assessed with the
commoners and not to be severed.(1105)

In the meantime a hasty valuation had been made by the command of Wolsey
of the plate of the livery companies, and of the ready money lying in
their halls, the whole value of which was estimated to be £4,000. This,
together with the sum of £10,000 which the Court of Aldermen purposed
raising among the wealthier class of citizens, was all that the cardinal
was given to expect from the City.(1106) On the 24th May the deputation,
which had ridden with all speed after the cardinal in order to make this
report, returned to the city and reported to the Court of Aldermen that
his grace was in no wise satisfied with the City’s offer, and that he
expected the City to furnish the king with at least £30,000, of which
£10,000 was to be ready within three days.(1107) The matter was
compromised by the City consenting to advance £20,000.

In June the Recorder had an interview with Wolsey respecting the security
to be given for repayment of the loan. The cardinal refused to allow that
certain abbots, abbesses and priors, who had been named, should enter into
bond, and the citizens were obliged to be content with the personal
securities of the king and Wolsey himself. Touching the plate of the
halls, the cardinal wished only to take it in case of absolute necessity,
and then only at a fair price. He desired the owners to bring it to the
Tower, "there to be coyned and they [_i.e._, the government] to pay the
seyd money that so shalbe coyned." The result of the Recorder’s interview
was reported to the Court of Aldermen the 17th June.(1108) A committee had
already (2 June) to take an account of the plate brought in and to enter
its true weight in a book.(1109)

(M582) (M583)

The recent loan of £20,000 had scarcely been raised(1110) before the
citizens found it necessary to make a further advance of 4,000 marks.
Their liberality was repaid by a gracious letter from Wolsey himself, in
which he promised to see the money repaid in a fortnight,(1111) and to
extend to them his favour. What vexed the citizens more than anything was
being compelled to make oath before the cardinal’s deputy sitting in the
Chapter House of St. Paul’s as to the amount each was worth in money,
plate, jewels, household goods and merchandise,—a system of inquisition
recently introduced.(1112)

(M584) (M585)

As if all this were not enough Wolsey demanded another loan before the end
of the year. This was too much even for the patient and open-handed London
burgess. The Common Council determined (4 Nov.) to put a stop to these
extortionate demands, and resolved that, "As touchyng the Requeste made by
my lorde cardynalles grace for appreste or aloone of more money to the
kynges grace, they can in no wise agre thereto, but they ar and wilbe well
contendid to be examyned uppon their othes yf it shall please his grace so
to do."(1113) The stand thus made by the citizens against illegal
exactions gave courage to others. The king’s commissioners were forcibly
driven out of Kent, and open rebellion was threatened in other


There was only one course left open to Henry, and that was to summon a
parliament. For nearly eight years no parliament had sat. It was now
summoned to meet on the 15th April, 1523, not at Westminster, but at the
house of the Blackfriars.(1115) The names of the city’s representatives
are on record. The aldermen elected one of their body, George Monoux, and
with him was associated "according to ancient customs," the city’s
Recorder, William Shelley; whilst the commons elected John Hewster, a
mercer, and William Roche, a draper(1116)

A few days after the election a committee of fourteen members was
nominated to consider what matters should be laid before parliament as
being for the welfare of the city.(1117) Sir Thomas More was chosen
Speaker. The enormous sum of £800,000 was demanded. Expecting some
hesitation on the part of the Commons, Wolsey himself determined to argue
with them, and suddenly made his appearance in state. Finding that his
speech was received in grim silence, he turned to More for a reply. The
Speaker, falling on his knees, declared his inability to make any answer
until he had received the instructions of the House, and intimated that
perhaps the silence of the Commons was due to the cardinal’s presence.
Wolsey accordingly departed discomforted.(1118) His attempt to overawe
parliament marks the beginning of his downfall. He still kept well with
the city, however, and rendered it several small services.


Emboldened by their recent success the citizens determined to make a stand
against other exactions, and when in May, 1523, another demand was made
for one hundred bowmen, as in the previous year, they sent their charter
to the cardinal and begged that the article touching citizens not being
liable to foreign service might remain in force. A similar demand was made
in the following November, and again the assistance of Wolsey was called
in.(1119) The City on the other hand had recently conferred a favour on
the cardinal by discharging Robert Amadas, his own goldsmith, from serving
as alderman when elected in March of this year.(1120)


In June the king and queen of Denmark paid a visit to the city and
attended mass at St. Paul’s,(1121) when the Court of Aldermen made them a
present of two hogsheads of wine, one of white and another of claret, and
two "awmes" of Rhenish wine, two fresh salmon, a dozen great pike, four
dozen of "torchettes," and eight dozen of "syses."(1122)


The joint attack of Henry and the emperor against France in 1523 proved as
great a failure as that of 1522. In the midst of the campaign Henry was
threatened with danger nearer home. The Scots marched southward, and
created such a panic in the city that a solemn procession, in which
figured Cuthbert Tunstal, Bishop of London (successor to the unfortunate
Fitz-James), the mayor and aldermen, all the king’s justices, and all the
sergeants-at-law, took place every day for a week.(1123) After a futile
attack upon Wark Castle the invaders withdrew and all danger was


When the Feast of St. Edward (13 Oct.) came round, George Monoux, alderman
and draper, who had already (1514-15) once filled the office of mayor of
the city, was re-elected; but refusing to accept the call of his
fellow-citizens he was fined £1,000. It was thereupon declared by the
Court of Aldermen that anyone who in future should be elected mayor, and
refused to take up office, should be mulcted in a like sum.(1125) Monoux’s
fine was remitted the following year, and he was discharged from
attendance, although keeping his aldermanry, on account of ill health. In
return for this favour he made over to the Corporation his brewhouse
situate near the Bridgehouse in Southwark.(1126)


Before the close of the year (3 Dec., 1523) the king pledged himself by
letters patent to repay the loan of £20,000 which the City had advanced
for his defence of the realm and maintenance of the wars against France
and Scotland.(1127)


The disappointment experienced by Wolsey in not being selected to fill the
Papal chair on the death of Adrian VI induced him to take measures for
transferring his master’s power from the imperial court to the court of
France. In the meantime a league was formed between Henry, the emperor,
and Charles, Duke of Bourbon, for the conquest and partition of France.
During the formation of this league some correspondence between England
and the Continent appears to have been lost in a remarkable manner, to
judge from the following proclamation,(1128) made the 10th July, 1524:—


    _"My lorde the maire streitly chargith and commaundith on the king
    or soveraigne lordis behalf that if any maner of person or persons
    that have founde a hat with certeyn lettres and other billes and
    writinges therin enclosed which lettres been directed to o__r__
    said soveraigne lorde from the parties of beyond the see let hym
    or theym bryng the said hat lettres and writinges unto my said
    lorde the maire in all the hast possible and they shalbe well
    rewarded for their labour and that no maner of person kepe the
    said hat lettres and writinges nor noon of them after this
    proclamacioun made uppon payn of deth and God save the king."_

(M594) (M595)

The news of the defeat and capture of the French king at Pavia (24 Feb.,
1525) was hailed by Henry with great delight. The crown of France was now,
he thought, within his grasp. On Saturday, the 11th March, a triumph was
made in the city to celebrate "the takynge of the Frenche kyng in Bataill
by Themporer and his alies."(1129) Bonfires were lighted at different
places, one being in Saint Paul’s Churchyard near the house where lay the
foreign ambassadors. The Chamberlain was ordered to provide a hogshead of
wine at every fire. The city minstrels filled the air with music, and the
parish clerks attended with their singing children, who sat about the
bonfires and sang ballads and "other delectable and joyfull songs." On the
Sunday following the king and queen and officers of state attended a _Te
Deum_ at St. Paul’s, the legate himself pronouncing the benediction.(1130)


Henry’s first impulse was to take advantage of the French king’s
misfortune; the cardinal, on the other hand, saw danger in the
predominating influence of Charles in Europe, and would gladly have seen
his master join hands with Francis against the emperor. He was
nevertheless bound to carry out the king’s wishes as if they were his own,
and money was necessary for the purpose. Instead of resorting to a
benevolence—a mode of raising money already declared by parliament to be
illegal—he suggested that the people should be asked for what was called
an Amicable Loan, on the old feudal ground that the king was about to lead
an expedition in person. The citizens were among the first to whom Wolsey
made application. Were they of opinion, he asked, that the king should
undertake the expedition to France in person? If so, he could not go
otherwise than beseemed a prince, and this he could not do without the
city’s aid. The sum they were asked to subscribe did not, he said, amount
to half their substance, which the king might very well have demanded.
When it was objected that trade had been bad, Wolsey lost his temper and
declared that it was better that some citizens should suffer rather than
that the king should be in want, and that if they refused to pay it might
"fortune to cost some their heddes."(1131) At length the citizens agreed
to grant the king a sixth part of their substance, which Henry graciously
acknowledged by letter (25 April),(1132) saying that it was not his wish
to overburden them, for he valued their prosperity more than ten such
realms as France. The letter was read, by Wolsey’s express wish, to the
Common Council on the 28th, when it was agreed to ask for a fortnight’s
grace before sending an answer to so important a missive.(1133) A
deputation was forthwith despatched to Hampton Court to solicit the
cardinal’s mediation, but not being able to obtain an interview they
returned, and steps were taken to raise the money required.

When the cardinal was informed later on that the alderman of each ward was
holding an enquiry as to the means of the inhabitants he affected to be
very angry. "They had no right to examine anyone," he said; "I am your
commissioner, I will examine you one by one myself." The mayor (Sir
William Bailey) thereupon threw himself at the cardinal’s feet beseeching
him that since it was by Act of Common Council that the aldermen had sat
in their respective wards for the purpose of taking the benevolence—a
procedure which he now perceived to be against the law—the Act should by
the Common Council be revoked. "Well," said Wolsey "I am content," and he
then proceeded to ask how much the mayor and aldermen then present were
prepared to give. When the mayor incautiously remarked that if he made any
promise there and then it might perhaps cost him his life, Wolsey again
became furious. What! the mayor’s life threatened for obeying the king’s
orders! He would see to that.

In the country the loan met with so much opposition that a rebellion was
feared. At length, finding it was impossible to collect the money, Wolsey
sent (19 May) for the mayor and aldermen and informed them that the king
had given up all thoughts of his expedition to France, and that they were
pardoned of all that had been demanded of them.(1134)

(M597) (M598)

Before many weeks elapsed Wolsey saw with satisfaction a truce made
between Henry and the queen regent of France.(1135) Early in 1526 the
French king regained his liberty by virtue of a treaty which he at once
repudiated, and war between him and the emperor was renewed, but England
remained virtually at peace. In the following year (1527) the cardinal
himself paid a visit to the French king and superintended the drawing up
of articles for a permanent peace. By September all was settled, and
Wolsey returned to England. Ambassadors from France shortly afterwards
arrived, and were lodged in the Bishop of London’s palace in St. Paul’s
Churchyard. The City made them valuable presents at the instance of the
lord cardinal.(1136)

(M599) (M600) (M601) (M602)

The election of Paul Wythypol,(1137) a merchant-tailor, as alderman of the
Ward of Farringdon Within, in 1527, again brought Henry and the citizens
into variance. The king desired Wythypol’s discharge, at least for a time.
The Court of Aldermen hesitated to accede to the request and consulted
Wolsey.(1138) He recommended them an interview with the king at Greenwich.
To Greenwich they accordingly went (24 Feb.) by water, where they arrived
in time to give a formal reception to the cardinal, who landed soon
afterwards from his barge. After a few words had passed between the
cardinal and the municipal officers, the former entered the palace, whilst
the latter waited in the king’s great chamber till dinner time. When that
hour arrived they were bidden to go down to the hall, where the mayor was
entertained at the lord steward’s mess, and the aldermen received like
attention from the comptroller and other officers of state. The city’s
Counsel who had accompanied the mayor and aldermen were entertained at the
table of "master coferer." Dinner over, the company returned to the great
chamber, where they were kept waiting till the evening. At length the
mayor and aldermen were bidden to the king’s presence in his secret
chamber. What took place there the writer of the record declares himself
unable to say,(1139) and, although the mayor afterwards made a report of
the matter to the court, no particulars are recorded in the City’s
archives. The practical outcome of the interview appears to have been that
Wythypol was left unmolested for a whole twelve-month. When that time had
elapsed he was again summoned before the Court of Aldermen either to
accept office or take the oath prescribed.(1140) Refusing both these
propositions he was committed to Newgate.(1141) This took place on the 6th
February, 1528. On the 3rd March he appeared in person before the Court of
Aldermen and desired a respite from office, or to be allowed to pay a
fine. Being asked the amount of fine he was prepared to pay, he offered
£40, and at the same time asked to be discharged from office for a period
of three years. This offer was declined, and Wythypol was again ordered to
take the oath prescribed for his discharge.(1142) Nearly three months were
allowed to elapse before any further steps were taken, when, on the 22nd
May, the court again ordered Wythypol to appear at its next meeting, and
to take up office, or else take the oath, or pay such fine as should be
assessed by the mayor, aldermen and common council.(1143) It is certain
that he did not take office, so the conclusion must be that he availed
himself of one or other of the alternatives open to him. John Brown was
elected alderman of Farringdon Within shortly afterwards, but he was
discharged by the Common Council, and the aldermanry was subsequently
filled by John Hardy being translated to it from Aldersgate Ward.(1144)


In addition to an epidemic of sickness,(1145) the city was threatened the
following year with a famine, notwithstanding the fact that large
quantities of grain had been stored up in various parts of the city by
order of the municipal authorities. The country had suffered recently by
heavy rains, and large tracts of land had been inundated. In anticipation
of trouble, a large stock of wheat had been laid in, but when it came to
the point of disposing of it, the bakers of the city and the bakers of
Stratford-at-Bow declined to take it except at their own price, until
compelled by threats and, in some cases, imprisonment.(1146)


For some years past Henry had been meditating a divorce from Catherine of
Aragon, his brother’s widow, but it was not until 1529 that the assent of
the Pope was at last obtained to try the validity of the marriage. The
legatine court sat in the city at the house of the Blackfriars, where
every arrangement was made to add dignity to the proceedings. At its head
sat the two cardinals, Campeggio and Wolsey, on chairs covered with cloth
of gold, and on their right sat Henry himself.(1147) The sudden suspension
of all proceedings after the court had sat for some weeks, and the
revocation of the cause to the Court of Rome, led to Wolsey’s downfall. In
October the seals were taken from him and given to Sir Thomas More, his
furniture and plate were seized, and he himself ordered to remove from


A few days after Wolsey’s disgrace a banquet was held at the Guildhall on
the occasion of the swearing in of Ralph Dodmer, the newly-elected mayor.
It is the first lord mayor’s banquet of which any particulars have come
down to us, and they are interesting as recording the names of the chief
guests. The mayor’s court, the scene of the feast, was boarded and hung
with cloth of Arras for the occasion. One table was set apart for peers of
the realm, at the head of which sat the new lord chancellor and at the
bottom the lords Berkeley and Powis. At either side of the table sat nine
peers, among whom were the dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk, the one being the
treasurer and the other the marshal of England, Sir Thomas Grey, Marquis
of Dorset, the Earl of Oxford, high chamberlain, and the Earl of
Shrewsbury, lord steward of England, Tunstal, Bishop of London, Sir Thomas
Boleyn, Lord Rochford, whose daughter Anne was shortly to experience the
peril of sharing Henry’s throne, Lord Audley, and others.  At two other
tables, placed between the court of orphans and the mayor’s court, were
entertained a number of knights and other gentlemen, whose names are not


It was not long before further proceedings were taken against the king’s
late minister. On the 3rd November (1529), after the lapse of six years,
parliament met in the city at the palace of Bridewell. The City was
represented by Thomas Seymer, an alderman and ex-mayor, John Baker, the
City’s Recorder, John Petyte, grocer, and Paul Wythypol,(1149) the
merchant-tailor whose election as alderman had recently created no little
trouble. Among other members was Thomas Cromwell,(1150) a friend of
Wolsey, and destined soon to take his place as the king’s chief adviser. A
bill for disabling the cardinal from being restored to his former
dignities was carried by the Lords and sent down to the Commons (1 Dec.).
There it is said to have met with the strenuous opposition of Cromwell. Of
this, however, there is some doubt, as it is uncertain whether the bill
provoked any discussion, parliament being shortly afterward prorogued (17
Dec.) and the unhappy cardinal left in suspense as to what fate was in
store for him.(1151) At Christmas he fell ill, and the king’s heart became
so far softened towards his old favourite that early in the following year
(Feb., 1530) he was restored to the archbishopric of York with all its
possessions except York-place (Whitehall) in Westminster, which Henry
could not bring himself to surrender. His colleges were seized; the
college he had founded at Ipswich was sold; but his college at Oxford,
known as Cardinal College, was afterwards re-established under the name of
Christ Church. He himself was not allowed to rest long in peace. He was
summoned to London on a charge of treason, for which there was little or
no foundation, but the troubles of the last two years had rendered him so
infirm that he died on the way.



Although Wolsey was no more, his works followed him. He it was, and not
Henry, who first conceived the idea of church reform, towards which some
steps had been taken in Wolsey’s lifetime. It was left for Henry to carry
out the design of his great minister. When the king laid his hand on the
monasteries, he only followed the example set by the cardinal in 1525,
when some of the smaller religious houses in Kent, Sussex and Essex were
suppressed for his great foundation of Oxford. To assist him in carrying
out his design he turned to parliament. Relieved as they now were of the
oppression of the great nobles, the Commons were ready to use their
newly-acquired independence against the clergy, who exacted extravagant
fees and misused the powers of the ecclesiastical courts. Acts were passed
regulating the payment of mortuary fees and the fees for probate, whilst
another Act restricted the holding of pluralities and the taking of ferms
by church-men.(1152) The clergy threatened to appeal to Rome, but were
warned that such action would be met with pains and penalties as opposed
to the royal prerogative.(1153)


In the city the question of tithes payable to the clergy had been always
more or less a vexed question. Before the commencement of the thirteenth
century the city clergy had been supported by casual dues in addition to
their glebe land. These casual payments were originally personal, but
subsequently became regulated by the amount of rent paid by parishioners
for their houses. A question arose as to whether the citizens were also
liable to pay personal tithes on their gains, and it was eventually
decided that they were so liable.(1154)

On the 31st August, 1527, a committee, which had been specially appointed
to enquire into matters concerning the city’s welfare, reported, among
other things, upon the tithe question as it then stood in the city.(1155)
The "curates," they said, had purchased a Bull of Pope Nicholas, on the
6th August, 1453, and this Bull had been confirmed by Act of Common
Council on the 3rd March, 1475. Not only was the amount of the tithe
payable fixed by the Bull, but the Bull itself was to be publicly read by
the curates four times a year, so that no doubt should exist in the minds
of the parishioners. This the curates had failed to do, and had caused
their parishioners heavy legal expenses in disputing demands for tithes.
One man was known to have spent as much as £100 in his own defence. The
committee suggested that the whole question should be referred to the
Bishop of London, and that a translation of the Bull should be exhibited
in every church. The citizens were the more aggrieved because many
parsonages and vicarages were let to ferm.(1156)


The curates made their defence in a book of eighteen articles touching
tithes and other oblations, the chief point being that every householder,
time out of mind, had been bound to pay to God and the Church one farthing
out of every 10_s._ of rent, a half-penny out of 20_s._ and so forth, on
100 days of the year; amounting in all to 2_s._ 1_d._ for every 10_s._
rent _per annum_. This manner of payment proving tedious, the curates and
their parishioners came to an agreement that 1_s._ 2_d._ should be paid on
every 6_s._ 8_d._ or noble, and this sum the curates had been receiving
time out of mind, none reclaiming or denying. But, inasmuch as this
payment by occupiers of houses was only ordained for a "dowry" to the
parish churches of London which had no glebe lands, the curates demanded
that all merchants and artificers, with other occupiers of the city,
should pay personal tithes of their "lucre or encrece" according to the
common law, and as "well conscyoned" men had been in the habit of paying
in times past.(1157) The book of articles was laid before the Court of
Common Council on the 16th February, 1528, by Robert Carter and six other
priests, on behalf of their entire body. On the following 16th March the
Court of Aldermen for themselves agreed to pay tithe at the forthcoming
Easter according to the Bull of Pope Nicholas, and not after the rate of
1_s._ 2_d._ on the noble,(1158) whilst four days later the Common Council
decided that, for the sake of convenience, bills should be posted in every
parish church within the city showing the number of offering days (viz.,
eighty-two) and the amount to be offered by inhabitants of the city.(1159)

So matters continued until, early in 1534, it was agreed to submit the
whole question to the lord chancellor and other members of the council,
who made their award a few days before Easter.(1160) It decreed that at
the forthcoming festival every subject should pay to the parson or curate
of his parish after the rate of 2_s._ 9_d._ in the pound, and 16 pence
half-penny in the half-pound, and that every man’s wife, servant, child
and apprentice receiving the Holy Sacrament should pay two pence. These
payments were to continue to be paid "without grudge or murmur" until such
time as the council should arrive at a final settlement.(1161)


In the meanwhile the city had been made to feel the heavy hand of the king
and of his new minister, Thomas Cromwell. In May, 1530, Elsing Spital, a
house established by William Elsing, a charitable mercer, for the relief
of the blind, but which had subsequently grown into a priory of
Augustinian canons of wealth and position, was confiscated by the Crown.
What became of the blind inmates is not known. In the following year
(1531) the Priory of Holy Trinity, Aldgate, shared the same fate. The
priory had existed since the time of Henry I and the "good queen"
Matilda,(1162) and its prior enjoyed the singular distinction of being
_ex__ officio_ an alderman of the city. The canons were now removed to
another place and the building and site bestowed by Henry upon his
chancellor, Sir Thomas Audley.(1163)


Between 1531 and 1534 the City enjoyed some respite from attack. It even
recovered some of its lost privileges. In 1521 Henry had deprived the City
of its right to the Great Beam, and of the issues and profits derived from
it, and had caused a conveyance of it to be made to Sir William Sidney. In
1531 the beam was re-conveyed to the City.(1164) The Grocers’ Company were
scarcely less interested in the beam than the City, for to them was
deputed the choice of weighers, who were afterwards admitted and sworn
before the Court of Aldermen. Both the City and the company used their
best endeavours to recover their lost rights, the former going so far as
to sanction the distribution of the sum of £23 6_s._ 8_d._ between the
king’s sergeant, the king’s attorney, and one "Lumnore,"(1165) a servant
of "my lady Anne,"(1166) with the view of gaining their object the
easier.(1167) A compromise was subsequently effected by which Sir William
Sidney continued to hold the beam at an annual rent payable to the
City,(1168) until, in 1531, he consented to a surrender, and it became
again vested in the Corporation.


Finding it hopeless to obtain the Pope’s sanction to his divorce from
Catherine, Henry at last lost all patience, and on the 25th January, 1533,
was privately married to Anne Boleyn. The match was unpopular with the
citizens, who took occasion of a sermon preached on Easter-day to show
their dissatisfaction. According to Chapuys, the Spanish ambassador, who
sent an account of the affair to the emperor, the greater part of the
congregation got up and left the church when prayers were desired for the
queen. When Henry heard of the insult thus offered to his new bride he was
furious, and forthwith sent word to the mayor to see that no such
manifestation should occur again. Thereupon, continues Chapuys, the mayor
summoned the guilds to assemble in their various halls and commanded them
to cease murmuring against the king’s marriage on pain of incurring the
royal displeasure, and to order their own journeymen and servants, "and, a
still more difficult task, their own wives," to refrain from speaking
disparagingly about the queen.(1169)


It was perhaps on this account that the civic authorities excelled
themselves in giving the queen a suitable reception as she passed from the
Tower to Westminster on the 31st May. The Court of Aldermen directed (14
May) the wardens of the Haberdashers to prepare their barge as well as the
"bachelers" barge for the occasion. Three pageants were to be set up, one
in Leadenhall and the others at the Standard and the little Conduit in
Cheapside. The Standard was to run with wine. A deputation was appointed
to wait upon the king’s council to learn its wishes, and enquiry was to be
made of the Duke of Norfolk whether the clergy should take part in the
day’s proceedings, and whether the merchants of the Steelyard or other
strangers should be allowed to erect pageants.(1170)


The Court of Common Council had on the previous day (13 May) voted a gift
of 1,000 marks to be presented to the queen at her coronation, and a
further sum to be expended in the city "for the honor of the same."(1171)
Catherine of Aragon and Anne Boleyn were the only queens of king Henry
VIII who were crowned, and on both occasions the citizens of London
performed the customary services.(1172)


In September (1533) Anne gave birth to a daughter, who afterwards ascended
the throne as Queen Elizabeth. In the following spring (1534) parliament
passed an Act of Succession, which not only declared Elizabeth (and not
Mary, the king’s daughter by Catherine of Aragon) heir to the crown, but
required all subjects to take an oath acknowledging the succession.
Commissioners were appointed to tender the oath to the citizens,(1173) and
by the 20th April the "most part of the city was sworn to the "king and
his legitimate issue by the queen’s grace now had and hereafter to
come."(1174) A fortnight later deeds under the common seals of the livery
companies "concernyng the suretye state and succession" of the king were
delivered to Henry in person at Greenwich by a deputation of


The oath, nevertheless, met with much opposition, more especially among
the clergy and the religious orders. Elizabeth Barton, known as the "holy
maid of Kent," and some of her followers, among them being Henry Gold,
rector of the church of St. Mary Aldermary, were executed at Tyburn for
daring to speak against the king’s marriage.(1176) The friars proved
extremely obstinate, and Henry sent commissioners to seek out and suppress
all those friaries that refused to submit.


The inmates of the London Charterhouse, who might well have been left to
enjoy their quiet seclusion from the world, were startled by a visit from
the king’s commissioners calling upon them to take the oath. The manner of
their reception by John Houghton, the prior, and his brethren and
subsequent proceedings are graphically described by Maurice Chauncy,(1177)
one of the inmates, who was more compliant than his brethren to the king’s
wishes, and thereby saved his life. The prior and Humphrey Middlemore, the
procurator of the convent, were committed to the Tower for counselling
opposition to the commissioners. There they were visited by the Archbishop
of York and the Bishop of London, who persuaded them at last that the
question of the succession was not a cause in which to sacrifice their
lives for conscience sake. The result was that after a while Houghton and
his companion declared their willingness to submit. On the 29th May the
commissioners received oaths of fealty from Prior Houghton and five other
monks, and on the 6th June Bishop Lee and Sir Thomas Kitson, one of the
sheriffs, received similar oaths from a number of priests, professed monks
and lay brethren or _conversi_ belonging to the house.(1178) The oaths of
obedience to the Act were given under reservation "so far as the law of
God permitted," and for a time the monks were left in comparative quiet,
some few of them, of whom Cromwell entertained the most hope of
submission, being sent, by his direction, to the convent of Sion.(1179)

(M618) (M619)

The exhortations of the "father confessor" were not without some measure
of success, several of the Carthusians being induced to alter their
opinions as to the king’s demands. The seal of doom, however, was fixed on
the order by the passing of the Act which called upon its members to
renounce the Pope and acknowledge the royal supremacy.(1180) Fisher and
More denied the king’s title of Supreme Head of the Church, and were
committed to the Tower. At this crisis there came to London two priors of
Carthusian houses established, one in Nottinghamshire and the other in
Lincolnshire. They came to talk over the state of affairs with Houghton.
An interview with Cromwell, recently appointed vicar-general or king’s
vicegerent in matters ecclesiastical, was resolved on. The king might
possibly be prevailed upon to make some abatement in his demands.
Cromwell, however, no sooner discovered the object of their visit than he
committed them to the Tower as rebels and would-be traitors. As they still
refused to acknowledge the king’s supremacy in the Church, in spite of all
efforts of persuasion, they were brought to trial, together with Father
Reynolds of Sion, on a charge of treason. A verdict of guilty was, after
some hesitation on the part of the jury, found against them, and they were
executed at Tyburn (4 May, 1535), glorying in the cause for which they
were held worthy to suffer death. Houghton’s arm was suspended over the
gateway of the London Charterhouse, in the fond hope that the rest of the
brethren might be awed into submission. This atrocious act of barbarism
had, however, precisely the opposite effect to that desired. The monks
were more resolute than ever not to submit, and not even a personal visit
of Henry himself could turn them from their purpose.(1181) Three of them
were thereupon committed to prison, where they were compelled to stand in
an upright position for thirteen days, chained from their necks to their
arms and with their legs fettered.(1182) They were afterwards brought to
trial on a charge of treason, convicted and executed (19 June).

The fate of the remaining monks is soon told. In May, 1537, the royal
commissioners once more attended at the Charterhouse, when they found the
majority of its inmates prepared to take the oath prescribed. Ten of them,
however, still refused, and were committed to Newgate and there left to be
"dispatched by the hand of God," in other words to meet a painful and
lingering death from fever and starvation. The following month the remnant
of the community made their submission, and the London Charterhouse, as a
monastic institution, ceased to exist.


Fisher and More were now brought from the Tower, where they had lain six
months and more, and convicted on a similar charge of treason. Their
sentence was commuted to death by beheading. Fisher was the first to
suffer (19 June, 1535). His head was set up on London Bridge and his body
buried in the churchyard of All Hallows, Barking. More suffered a few
weeks later (6 July). His head, too, was placed on London Bridge, but his
body was buried in the Tower, whither the remains of Fisher were
afterwards carried. On the 15th December the Court of Aldermen publicly
condemned a sermon preached by Fisher "in derogation and diminution of the
royal estate of the king’s majesty."(1183)


When, in the following year (1536), the smaller monasteries—those of less
than £200 a year—were dissolved by Act of Parliament, and the inhabitants
of Lincolnshire and Yorkshire, taking fright lest the king and Cromwell
should proceed to despoil the parish churches, set out on the Pilgrimage
of Grace, Henry sought the City’s aid. On the 10th October a letter from
the king was read before the Court of Aldermen, desiring them to dispatch
forthwith to his manor of Ampthill, where the nobles were about to wait
upon his majesty, a contingent of at least 250 armed men, 200 of which
were to be well horsed, and 100 to be archers.(1184) The mayor, Sir John
Allen,(1185) lost no time in issuing his precept to the livery companies
for each of them to furnish a certain number of bowmen and billmen, well
horsed and arrayed in jackets of white bearing the City’s arms. They were
to muster in Moorfields within twenty-four hours. The Mercers were called
upon to furnish the largest quota, viz., twenty men; the Grocers, Drapers,
Tailors and Cloth-workers respectively, sixteen men, and the rest of the
companies contingents varying from twelve to two.(1186) The Court of
Aldermen at the same time took the precaution of depriving all priests and
curates, as well as all friars dwelling within the city, of every
offensive weapon, so that they should be left with nothing but their
"meate knyves."(1187) The king sent a letter of thanks for the city’s

Later on, when Allen had been succeeded in the mayoralty by Sir Ralph
Warren,(1189) it was resolved that each member of the court should provide
at his own cost and charges twenty able men fully equipped in case of any
emergency that might arise, whilst the companies were again called upon to
hold men in readiness.(1190)


Henry in the meantime had got rid of his second wife on the specious
ground of her having misconducted herself with more than one member of the
court, the real cause being her miscarriage(1191) of a male child, to the
king’s bitter disappointment. Henry had made up his mind to change his
wives until he could find one who would give him a male heir and thus
place the succession to the crown beyond all possibility of doubt. The
very next day following Anne Boleyn’s execution he married Jane Seymour.
The marriage necessitated the calling together of a new parliament, when a
fresh Act was passed settling the succession on Jane’s children and
declaring both Mary and Elizabeth illegitimate. Nevertheless, as soon as
Mary made formal submission to her father, the king’s attitude towards
her, from being cold and cruel, changed at once to one of courtesy if not
of affection. He was thought to entertain the idea of declaring her
heir-apparent. Indeed, on Sunday, the 20th August, she was actually
proclaimed as such in one of the London churches—no doubt by some


Whilst parliament was sitting at Westminster convocation was gathered at
St. Paul’s in the city, and continued to sit there until the 20th July,
presided over by Cromwell as the king’s vicar-general. The meeting was
remarkable for its formal decree that Henry, as supreme head of the
Church, might and ought to disregard all citations by the Pope, as well as
for the promulgation of the ten articles intended to promote uniformity of
belief and worship.(1193)

(M624) (M625)

In September, 1536, the Court of Common Council agreed to vote the same
sum of money for the coronation of the "right excellent pryncesse lady
Jane, quene of Englonde," as had been granted at the coronation of "dame
Anne, late queene of Englonde."(1194) The money, however, was not
required, for the new queen was never crowned. Just one week after the
birth of a prince (12 Oct., 1537), afterwards King Edward VI, there was a
solemn procession of priests from every city church, with the Bishop of
London, the choir of St. Paul’s, the mayor, aldermen and crafts in their
liveries, for the preservation of the infant prince and for the health of
the queen, who lay in a precarious state.(1195) A few days later (24 Oct.)
she was dead. The citizens caused her obit to be celebrated in St. Paul’s
with truly regal pomp.(1196)

(M626) (M627)

Two years later the citizens were preparing to set out to Greenwich in
their barge (the mayor, aldermen, and those who had served the office of
sheriff, in liveries of black velvet with chains of gold on their necks,
accompanied by their servants in coats of russet) to welcome Anne of
Cleves, who landed at Dover the 27th December, 1539.(1197) On the 3rd
February, 1540, the Court of Aldermen was informed that the king and queen
would be leaving Greenwich on the morrow for Westminster, and that it was
the king’s wish that the commons of London should be in their best
apparel, in their barges, to wait upon his highness, meeting at St.
Dunstan’s in the East at 7 o’clock in the morning and arriving at
Greenwich by 8 o’clock.(1198)


The insurrection which had taken place in the country under the name of
the Pilgrimage of Grace was seized by the king as an excuse for
suppressing many of the larger monasteries and confiscating their
property. He had no such excuse for carrying out his destructive policy in
the city. Nevertheless, under the immediate supervision of Cromwell, the
work of suppression went on, and before the end of 1538 was well nigh
complete. The surrender of the houses of the Black Friars, the Grey Friars
and the White Friars followed in quick succession, "and so all the other
immediatlie."(1199) Cromwell by this time had removed from his house near
Fenchurch to another near the Austin Friars in Throgmorton Street. He had
recently asked for a pipe of water to be laid on to his new house, and
this the Common Council had "lovingly" granted.(1200) In his private
concerns he showed as little regard for the rights of others as in the
affairs of State. He did not scruple to remove bodily a small house, the
property of Stow’s father, in order to enlarge his own garden, giving
neither warning beforehand nor explanation afterwards, and "no man durst
go to argue the matter."(1201)

The hospital of St. Thomas of Acon, which had ministered to the wants of
the poorer citizens for nearly 400 years, disappeared,(1202) and was soon
followed by the priory and hospital of St. Bartholomew, an institution of
even greater antiquity, the hospital of St. Thomas, in Southwark, the
priory and hospital of St. Mary without Bishopsgate, known as St. Mary of
Bethlem, or "Bedlam," and the Abbey of Graces or New Abbey (sometimes
called the Eastminster to distinguish it from the other minster in the
west of London) which had been founded by Edward III, near Tower Hill.


A portion of the spoil was, as we have already seen, distributed among
court favourites. The site of the house and gardens of the Augustinian
Friars in Broad Street Ward was occupied, soon after their suppression (12
Nov., 1538), by the mansion-house of that politic courtier the celebrated
Marquis of Winchester, who managed to maintain himself in high station in
spite of the changes which took place under the several reigns of Henry
VIII, Edward VI, Mary, and Elizabeth, "by being a willow and not an oak."
The building known at the present day as Winchester House, in Broad
Street, stands near the site of the old mansion-house and garden of
William Paulet, first Marquis of Winchester. The Friars’ church he allowed
to stand; and in June, 1550, the nave was granted, by virtue of a charter
permitting alien non-conforming churches to exist in this country, to the
Dutch and Walloon churches.(1203) The first marquis dying in 1571, he was
succeeded by his son, who sold the monuments and lead from the roof of the
remaining portion of the church and turned the place into a stable.(1204)
The fourth marquis was reduced to parting with his house, built on the
site of the old priory, in order to pay his debts, and appears to have
found a purchaser in a wealthy London merchant and alderman of the city,
John Swinnerton or Swynarton.(1205)


The steeple of the church, which was of so great beauty that the citizens
desired its preservation,(1206) was sold by the marquis to Henry Robinson,
who forthwith set to work to pull it down on the ground that it was in
such a state of decay as to be a danger to the passer-by. Swinnerton, who
happened to be mayor at the time, ordered him to stay the work of
demolition; he, however, not only hurried on the more, but obstructed the
officers sent to put a stop to the work, for which he was committed to
Newgate to stay there until he gave security for restoring what he had
already pulled down. The thought suggests itself that the fact of
Swinnerton having purchased adjacent property may have made him the more
zealous in preventing the demolition of the steeple than perhaps he might
otherwise have been. However that may be, he lost no time in informing the
lords of the council of the state of affairs and asking their advice (16
Feb., 1612). The reply came three days later, and was to the effect that
as the City had had the option of purchasing the steeple at even a less
price than Robinson had paid for it, and might have come to some
arrangement with the marquis to keep it in repair, it could not prevent
Robinson, who purchased it as a speculation, making the best he could of
his bargain; so that, unless the City consented to accept Robinson’s offer
to part with his property on payment of his purchase-money and
disbursements within a fortnight, down the steeple must come.(1207)


The priory of St. Helen without Bishopsgate was one of the last to be
surrendered. In 1542 the nuns’ chapel, which at one time was partitioned
off from the rest of the church, was made over to Sir Richard Williams, a
nephew of Thomas Cromwell, and ancestor of the Protector. The nuns’
refectory or hall passed into the hands of the Leathersellers’ Company and
formed the company’s hall until the close of the last century. The conduct
of the inmates of the priory had not always been what it should be.(1208)
The last prioress, in anticipation of the coming storm, leased a large
portion of the conventual property to members of her own family, and at
the time of the suppression was herself allowed a gratuity of £30 and a


The relations existing between the civic authorities and the religious
houses in the city were often of a most friendly and cordial character.
When, in 1520, the Friars of the Holy Cross wanted assistance for the
maintenance and building of their church, they applied to the Corporation
as being their "secund founders."(1209) For assistance thus given the
friars bound themselves to pray for their benefactors. When, in 1512, the
master of St. Bartholomew’s hospital obtained a lease for ninety-nine
years from the City of a parcel of land on which his gatehouse or porch
stood, it was on condition of payment of a certain rent and of his keeping
a yearly obit in his church for the souls of the mayor, aldermen and
commons of the city; and when the master of the hospital, two years later,
attempted to back out of the terms of his lease and asked to be discharged
from keeping the obit on the ground that he thought that the payment of
the specified rent was sufficient for the premises, the Court of Aldermen
unanimously decided that no part of the agreement should be minished or
remitted.(1210) When the house of the Sisters Minoresses or Poor Clares,
situate in Aldgate, suffered from fire, the Corporation rendered them
pecuniary aid to the extent of 300 marks.(1211)

It was, however, to the Franciscans or Grey Friars that the citizens of
London, individually as well as in their corporate capacity, were more
especially attached. Soon after their arrival in England in 1223, they
became indebted to the benevolence and generosity of citizens, their first
benefactor having been John Ewen, citizen and mercer, who made them a gift
of some land and houses in the parish of St. Nicholas by the Shambles.
Upon this they erected their original building. Their first chapel, which
became the chapel of their church, was built at the cost of William
Joyner, who was mayor in 1239; the nave was added by Henry Waleys, who was
frequently mayor during the reign of Edward I; the chapterhouse by Walter
le Poter, elected sheriff in 1272; the dormitory by Gregory de Rokesley,
who was mayor from 1274 to 1281, and again in 1284-5, and whose bones
eventually found a resting place in their church; the refectory by another
citizen, Bartholomew de Castro; and lastly—coming to later times—a library
was added to their house by the bounty of Richard Whitington, as already
narrated. It became the custom for the mayor and aldermen, as patron and
founders, to pay a yearly visit to their house and church on St. Francis’s
day (4 Oct.). The custom dates from 1508. In 1522 the visit was for the
first time followed by a dinner.(1212)


In one respect at least, if in no other, Cromwell’s action in suppressing
religious houses resulted in a benefit to the city of London as well as to
the country at large, and this was in the institution of parish registers,
not only for baptisms, but also for marriages. It had been his intention
to establish them in 1536 to remedy the inconvenience to the public
arising from the suppression of the smaller monasteries, and it is evident
that some instructions were given at this time, inasmuch as the registers
of two city parishes—viz., St. James Garlickhithe and St. Mary
Bothaw—commence in November of this year,(1213) although the royal
injunction commanding that registers should systematically be kept up,
under penalty of fines, was not published by Cromwell, as vicar-general,
until the 29th September, 1538. The delay is to be accounted for by the
great discontent which the rumour of his project excited in the country.
It was reported that some new tax on the services of the Church was
contemplated, and the first in the list of popular grievances circulated
by the rebels in the Pilgrimage of Grace was the payment of tribute to the
king for the sacrament of baptism. In course of time, as matters became
quieter and the government began to feel its own strength, Cromwell
resumed a project never altogether abandoned, and caused the injunction to
be issued, an action for which posterity must ever be deeply grateful.


On the other hand, the sudden closing of these institutions caused the
streets to be thronged with the sick and poor, and the small parish
churches to be so crowded with those who had been accustomed to frequent
the larger and more commodious churches of the friars that there was
scarce room left for the parishioners themselves. The city authorities saw
at once that something would have to be done if they wished to keep their
streets clear of beggars and of invalids, and not invite the spread of
sickness by allowing infected persons to wander at large. As a means of
affording temporary relief, collections for the poor were made every
Sunday at Paul’s Cross, after the sermon, and the proceeds were
distributed weekly among the most necessitous,(1214) but more
comprehensive steps were required to be taken.


Sir Richard Gresham,(1215) who was mayor at the time (1537-8), took upon
himself to address a letter(1216) to the king setting forth that there
were three hospitals in the city, viz., St. Mary’s Spital, St.
Bartholomew’s and St. Thomas’s, besides the New Abbey on Tower
Hill—institutions primarily founded "onely for the releffe, comforte and
helpyng of pore and impotent people not beyng able to helpe theymselffes;
and not to the mayntenannce of Chanons, Preests, and Monks to lyve in
pleasure, nothyng regardyng the miserable people liyng in every strete,
offendyng every clene person passyng by the way with theyre fylthy and
nasty savours"—and asking that the mayor and aldermen of the city for the
time being might have the order and disposition of the hospitals
mentioned, and of all the lands, tenements and revenues appertaining to
the same. If his grace would but grant this request the mayor promised
that a great number of the indigent sick would be relieved, whilst "sturdy
beggars" not willing to work would be punished.

(M636) (M637)

In March, 1539, the City presented two petitions to the king, one desiring
that the late dissolved houses might be made over to them, together with
their rents and revenues, in order that relief might be provided for the
sick and needy, and the other asking that Henry would be pleased to convey
to them the churches of the late four orders of friars, together with
their lands and tenements, so that the mayor and citizens might take order
for the due performance of divine service therein to the glory of God and
the honour of the king.(1217) These petitions having been either refused
or ignored, the Court of Common Council, on the 1st August, 1540,
authorised the mayor and aldermen to make diligent suit to the king for
the purchase of the houses, churches, and cloisters of the dissolved
friars, and to make an offer of 1,000 marks for them "yf thei can be
gotten no better chepe."(1218) Henry upbraided the City for being "pynche
pence" or stingy in their offer,(1219) but as no better offer was made the
matter was allowed to stand over, and nothing was done for four years.


Henry meanwhile took the opportunity afforded him by a full treasury,
which rendered him independent of the favour of the citizens, of robbing
them of their right of measuring linen-cloth and other commodities, and
conferring the same by letters patent on John Godsalve, one of the clerks
of the signet. The City’s right was incontestable, and had been admitted
by the king’s chancellor, as well as by the Chancellor of the Court of
Fruits and Tenths (a court recently established), and the mayor and
aldermen represented the facts of the case to the king himself by letter,
dated the 21st July, 1541.(1220) Another "variance" occurred about this
time between the City and the Crown touching the office and duties of the
City’s waterbailiff.(1221)

Again, in the spring of 1542, an incident occurred which caused the
relations between parliament and the City to be somewhat strained. The
sheriffs of that year—Rowland Hill,(1222) an ancestor of the founder of
the Penny Post, and Henry Suckley—had thought fit to obstruct the
sergeant-at-mace in the execution of his duty, whilst attempting to remove
a prisoner, who was a member of parliament, from one of the compters. The
arrest of a member of parliament has always been a hazardous operation,
and the sheriffs after a time thought better of it and gave up their
prisoner. The Speaker, nevertheless, summoned them to appear at the Bar of
the House and finally committed them to the Tower. They were released
after two or three days, however, at the humble suit of the mayor.(1223)


In the following year (1543) the plague returned, and extra-precautions
had to be taken against the spread of the disease, now that the houses of
the friars were no longer open to receive patients and to alleviate
distress. Besides the usual order that infected houses should be marked
with a cross, the mayor caused proclamation to be made that persons of
independent means should undergo quarantine for one month after recovery
from sickness, whilst others whom necessity compelled to walk abroad for
their livelihood were to carry in their hands white rods, two feet in
length, for the space of forty days after convalescence. Straw and rushes
in an infected house were to be removed to the fields before they were
burnt, and infected clothing was to be carried away to be aired and not to
be hung out of window. The hard-heartedness engendered by these
visitations is evidenced by the necessity of the mayor having to enjoin
that thenceforth no householder within the city or liberties should put
any person stricken with the plague out of his house into the street,
without making provision for his being kept in some other house. All dogs
other than hounds, spaniels or mastiffs kept for the purpose of guarding
the house were forthwith to be removed out of the city or killed, whilst
watch-dogs were to be confined to the house.(1224) In October the mayor
was ordered to resume the weekly bills of mortality, which of late had
been neglected, in order that the king might be kept informed as to the
increase or decrease of the sickness.(1225) The Michaelmas Law Sittings
had to be postponed until the 15th November, and were removed to St.


Whilst the city was being wasted by disease the king was preparing for war
with France.(1227) A joint expedition by Henry and Charles was to be
undertaken in the following year (1544). A commission was issued early in
the year for raising money in the city, and the lord chancellor himself,
accompanied by officers of State, came into the city to read it. Finding
that the lord mayor’s name appeared third on the commission instead of
being placed at its head, the chancellor ordered the mistake to be at once
rectified by the town clerk and a new commission to be drawn up, whilst
the rest of the lords agreed that at their several sessions on the
business of this subsidy the lord mayor should occupy the seat of
honour.(1228) By the end of April the chancellor (Audley) had died. His
successor, Lord Wriothesley, had not long been appointed before the Court
of Aldermen sent a deputation to desire his lordship’s favour and
friendship in the city’s affairs, and agreed to make him a present of a
couple of silver-gilt pots to the value of £20 or thereabouts.(1229) On
the 24th May the Common Council agreed to provide a contingent of 500 or
600 men at the discretion of the mayor and aldermen, the men being raised
from the livery companies.(1230)


Just as the king was about to set sail for the continent, he issued
letters patent (23 June, 1544) re-establishing the hospital of St.
Bartholomew on a new foundation, with the avowed object of providing
"comfort to prisoners, shelter to the poor, visitation to the sick, food
to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, clothes to the naked, and sepulture
to the dead."(1231)


Henry crossed over to France, leaving the new queen, Catherine Parr, widow
of Lord Latimer, whom he had recently married, regent of the realm. After
a long siege, lasting from July until September, he succeeded in taking
Boulogne. On Thursday, the 25th September, an order was received by the
Court of Aldermen from the lord chancellor, on behalf of the queen regent,
to get in readiness another contingent of 500 men well harnessed and
weaponed, 100 of whom were to be archers and the rest billmen. The last
mentioned were to be provided with "blak bylles or morys pykes." The whole
force was to be ready for shipment to Boulogne by the following Saturday.
No time was to be lost. The wardens of the city companies were immediately
summoned, and each company was ordered to provide the same number of men
as on the last occasion. Each soldier was to be provided with a coat of
grey frieze, with half sleeves, and a pair of new boots or else "sterte
upps." The Corporation for its part appointed five captains, to each of
whom was given the sum of £10 towards his apparel and charges, whilst £5
was allowed to each petty captain. These sums were paid out of the "goods"
of the mayor and commonalty.(1232)

Scarcely had the city recovered from this drain upon its population before
it was again called upon to fill up the ranks of the army in France. On
Saturday, the 25th October, the Court of Aldermen was ordered to raise
another force of 500 men by the following Monday. It was no easy matter to
comply with so sudden a demand. The city companies were called upon to
contribute as before, any deficiency in the number of men raised by them
being made up by men raised by the mayor and aldermen themselves in a
somewhat novel fashion. The Court of Aldermen had agreed that each of
their number should on the Saturday night make the round of his ward and
select "fifty, forty, twenty, or ten" tall and comely men, who should be
warned in the king’s name to appear the next morning before seven o’clock
at the Guildhall. On Sunday morning the mayor and aldermen came to the
Guildhall, and took the names of those whom they had selected over night.
Two hundred men were eventually set apart to make up the deficiency of
those to be provided by the companies. By six o’clock in the evening the
whole contingent of 500 men was thus raised, and at nine o’clock on Monday
morning they mustered at Leadenhall, whence they were conducted by the
sheriffs and city chamberlain to the Tower Hill and handed over to Sir
Thomas Arundel, who complimented the civic authorities on the appearance
of the men, and promised to commend their diligence to the king.(1233)
This same Monday morning (27 Oct.) the mayor received instructions to see
that such carpenters and other artificers as had been "prested" for the
king’s service at Boulogne by the king’s master-carpenter kept their day
and presented themselves at the time and place appointed on pain of
death.(1234) Search was ordered to be made in the following month for
mariners lurking in the city, and if any were discovered they were to be
forthwith despatched to the ships awaiting them.(1235)


By this time the king had ceased to take a personal part in the campaign
and had returned home, the mayor and aldermen giving him a hearty welcome,
and making him a suitable present in token of their joy for his return and
his success in effecting the surrender of Boulogne.(1236)


At the opening of the next year (1545) Henry demanded another benevolence
after the rate of two shillings in the pound. The lord chancellor and
others of the king’s council sat at Baynard’s Castle to collect the
benevolence of the city, "callinge all the citizens of the same before
them, begininge first with the mayor and aldermen."(1237) Richard Rede,
alderman of the ward of Farringdon Without, resisted this demand as
unconstitutional, and was promptly despatched to the king in Scotland,
where he was shortly afterwards made a prisoner of war. Another alderman,
Sir William Roche, of Bassishaw ward, was unfortunate enough to offend the
council and was committed to the Fleet.(1238)


On the 8th February William Laxton, the mayor, was presented to the king
at Westminster, when Henry took occasion to thank him and his brother
aldermen for the benevolence they had given him. He informed them of the
success that had recently attended the English forces under the Earl of
Hertford and the lord admiral, Sir John Dudley, whom he had left as deputy
of Boulogne, and dismissed them to their homes after conferring upon the
mayor the honour of knighthood.(1239)


In the following April volunteers were called for, and those in the city
willing to follow the fortunes of war as "adventurers" were asked to
repair to the sign of the "Gunne," at Billingsgate, where they would
receive directions from John of Caleys, captain of all such adventurers,
for their passage to France.(1240) The sessions of the law courts were
adjourned in order to give lawyers and suitors an opportunity of showing
their patriotism by taking up arms.(1241) The city companies furnished 100
men appareled "with whyte cotes of penystone whytes(1242) or karsies,"
with a red cross of St. George before and behind, each being provided with
a white cap to wear under his "sallett or scull."(1243)


There yet remained a portion of the last subsidy to be collected, for
which purpose the lord chancellor once more paid a visit to the city (12
June) and sat in the Guildhall. Every alderman was straitly charged to
call before him every person in his ward who was worth £40 and upwards.
The king’s affairs were pressing, and this last payment must be
immediately forthcoming.(1244)


A week later (19 June) letters from the king were read to the Court of
Aldermen touching the levying of more forces and firing of beacons—a
French squadron had appeared off the south coast. It was resolved to
adjourn consideration of the message until the following Monday, when the
lord chancellor and other lords of the council would again be coming into
the city for the subsidy, and their advice could be asked. The outcome of
these letters was that the City had to raise a force of 2,000 able men. To
do this an assessment of a fifteenth was ordered to be levied on the
wards, but in the meantime the money so to be raised was to be advanced by
the aldermen.(1245) Not only were the aldermen on this, as on other
occasions, mulcted in their pocket, but they were also called upon to
personally share with the lord mayor himself and the sheriffs in the extra
watch which in the "besye tyme of the warres" was ordered to be kept in
the city.(1246) In the meantime a man was despatched by the Court of
Aldermen to St. James’ Fair to buy five wey of cheese for the city’s
soldiers who were already at Guildford. The cheese was to be sent by water
as far as Kingston, whence it would be conveyed by "the good industrye and
help of Master Judde, alderman," to its destination. The bakers of
Stratford contracted to send two cart-loads of bread. It was further
agreed on the same day that Christopher Fowlke should forthwith go to
Guildford, and further if need be, "to guyde the seyd vytayle and to utter
the same to the souldyers by thassistence of the sworde berer and the
under chamberleyn. And to recyve money for the same."(1247) A flag and a
drum were likewise to be despatched forthwith. The citizen soldiers were
required to assist in driving out the French, who had effected a landing
in the Isle of Wight; but before they arrived the enemy had


The French king now prepared to lay siege to Boulogne, and the citizens
were again called upon to furnish soldiers. One thousand men were
required, and this number was only raised by enlisting men who had failed
to pass previous musters. However, there was no time to pick and


By this time Henry’s resources were fast giving out. A parliament was
summoned to meet in November, and again resort was had to confiscation for
the purpose of supplying the king with money. An Act was passed which
placed 2,000 chantries and chapels and over 100 hospitals at Henry’s


All parties were, however, tired of the war, and in the following June
(1546) a peace was concluded. Henry was allowed to retain Boulogne as
security for a debt, and the French admiral soon afterwards paid a visit
to the city, where he was heartily welcomed and hospitably

(M652) (M653)

Freed from the embarrassment of foreign wars, Henry now had leisure to
turn his attention to home affairs, and more particularly to the
establishment of that uniformity which he so much desired, and which he
endeavoured to bring about by getting rid of all those who differed in
opinion from himself. Those who openly declared their disbelief in any one
of the "Six Articles," and more particularly in the first article, which
established the doctrine of the real presence, ran the risk of death by
the gallows, the block or the stake. A city rector, Dr. Crome, of the
church of St. Mary Aldermary, got into disgrace for speaking lightly of
the benefits to be derived from private masses, and, although his argument
tended to minimise the effect of the recent confiscation of so many
chantries, he was called upon to make a public recantation at Paul’s


Others were not so compliant. Among these was Anne Ascue or Ascough, a
daughter of Sir William Ascough, of Kelsey, in Lincolnshire, and sometimes
known as Anne Kyme, from the name of her husband, with whom she had ceased
to live. In June, 1545, she and some others, among whom was another woman,
Joan, wife of John Sauterie, of London, had been arraigned at the
Guildhall "for speaking against the sacrament of the altar"; but, no
evidence being adduced against her, she was on that occasion acquitted and
discharged.(1253) Scarcely a year elapsed before she was again in custody.
On the 18th June, 1546, she was tried at the Guildhall and condemned to be
burned alive as a heretic at Smithfield, where the city chamberlain had
orders to erect a "substantial stage," whence the king’s council and the
civic authorities might witness the scene.(1254)


The insanitary condition of the city, occasioned for the most part by an
insufficient supply of water, was not improved by the influx of disbanded
and invalided soldiers, followed by a swarm of vagabonds and idlers, which
took place at the conclusion of peace with France. To the soldiers
licences were granted to solicit alms for longer or shorter periods,
whilst the vagabonds were ordered to quit the city.(1255) The water
question had been taken in hand by the Common Council towards the close of
the preceding year (1545), when Sir Martin Bowes entered upon his
mayoralty, and a tax of two fifteenths was imposed upon the inhabitants of
the city for the purpose of conveying fresh water from certain "lively
sprynges" recently discovered at Hackney.(1256) Bowes himself was very
energetic in the matter, and before he went out of office he had the
satisfaction of seeing a plentiful supply of water brought into the heart
of the city from the suburban manor of Finsbury.(1257)


Henry’s reign was now fast drawing to a close. In April, 1546, he had
bestowed an endowment of 500 marks a year on the city poor-houses on
condition the citizens themselves found a similar sum.(1258) In January,
1547—a few days only before he died—he showed still further care for the
city poor by vesting in the Corporation, not only St. Bartholomew’s
Hospital, thenceforth to be known as the House of the Poor in West
Smithfield, but also the house and church of the dissolved monastery of
the Grey Friars and the house and hospital of Bethlehem.(1259)


The Corporation lost no time in getting their newly acquired property into
working order. On the 6th May the late king’s conveyance was read before
the Court of Aldermen, and thereupon a committee, of which Sir Martin
Bowes was a prominent member, was deputed to make an abstract of the
yearly revenues and charges of the house of the Grey Friars and hospital
of little Saint Bartholomew, and to report thereon to the court with as
much speed as possible.(1260) From a purely monetary point of view the
City had made a bad bargain, and had saddled itself with an annual
expenditure out of the Corporation revenues to an extent little thought of
at the time.(1261)


On the 28th January, 1547, Henry died "at hys most pryncely howse at
Westminster, comenly called Yorkeplace or Whytehall"—the palace which
Cardinal Wolsey built for himself, and which Henry appropriated, extending
its grounds and preserves in cynical contempt of public convenience and
utter disregard of the chartered rights of the citizens of London.(1262)
There his corpse remained until the 14th February, when it was removed at
8 o’clock in the morning to Sion House, near Richmond, and thence conveyed
to Windsor on the following day.


In the meantime the mayor, Henry Huberthorne, or Hoberthorne,(1263) had
been sent for (31 Jan.) to attend the king’s council at Westminster, where
he received orders to return to the city and cause himself and his brother
aldermen to be arrayed in their scarlet robes, in order to accompany the
heralds whilst they proclaimed the new king in various parts of the city.
This being done, the mayor took steps for securing the peace of the city,
and the citizens voted Edward a benevolence of a fifteenth and a


Edward on his part presented the mayor and aldermen with 104 gowns of
black livery, according to the precedent followed at the decease of Henry
VII. These gowns were distributed among the mayor and aldermen, the high
officers and certain clerks in the service of the Corporation. Ten
aldermen accompanied the remains of the late king on their way to Windsor,
riding forth in black coats with the rest of the mourners, the harness and
bridles of their horses being covered with black cloth. Two of the
aldermen, Sir William Laxton and Sir Martin Bowes, had each four servants
in their suite, whilst the rest of the aldermen had three, all in black



Provision had been made for the succession to the crown on Henry’s death
by an Act of Parliament passed in 1544, and the princesses Mary and
Elizabeth were thereby re-instated in their rights of inheritance as if no
question of their legitimacy had ever been raised. As Edward, who was next
in succession to the crown, was but a boy, Henry had taken pains to select
a council of regency in which no one party should predominate. This
council was soon set aside, and Hertford, the king’s uncle, got himself
appointed Protector of the realm and took the title of Duke of Somerset.
At the time of his father’s death Edward was residing at Hertford Castle.
He was soon afterwards carried thence by his uncle to London and lodged in
the Tower, where the mayor, Henry Hoberthorne, went to pay his respects
and received the honour of knighthood.(1266)

On the 19th the young king passed through the city to Westminster, the
mayor riding before him bareheaded with the mace of crystal(1267) in his
hand. The streets were lined with members of the livery companies. The
conduits, the standard and cross in Chepe, the Ludgate and the Temple Bar
had been freshly painted and trimmed with goodly hangings of Arras and
cloth of gold for the occasion. At three of the conduits, namely, the
conduit in Cornhill, the great conduit in Chepe, and the conduit in Fleet
Street, wine was made by artificial means to flow as if from the
"festrons" of the conduits themselves. At the little conduit in Chepe were
stationed the aldermen of the city, in their scarlet gowns, and the
Recorder, who, in the name of the whole city, presented his majesty with
1,000 marks in "hole new sufferaynes" of gold in a purse of purple cloth
of gold, which his majesty deigned to accept with his own hand. The next
day Edward was crowned. The lord mayor, according to custom, attended with
his crystal mace as the king passed from his palace to church, and thence,
after mass, to Westminster Hall, and received for his services the
customary gold cup, which on this occasion weighed twenty ounces, with its
cover and a "leyer" (or laver) silver-gilt weighing six ounces.(1268)


The work of reformation was now about to be taken seriously in hand.
Something, it is true, had been done in this direction under Henry, but in
_dilettante_ fashion. The ceremony connected with the boy-bishop, which
even Colet had thought worthy to be perpetuated in his school,(1269) had
been abolished by order of the mayor in 1538.(1270) The ruthless
destruction of the shrine of St. Thomas at Canterbury, and the erasure of
his name from service-books, had been followed in the city by an order
(1539) for a new common seal on which the arms of the city were
substituted for the original effigy of the saint.(1271) Henry himself only
coquetted with Protestantism; his chief object, if not the only one, was
to get rid of the papal supremacy; but among the bourgeois class of the
city there was an earnest desire to see an improvement made in the
doctrine and discipline of the Church.(1272)

Whilst the statute of the Six Articles was still unrepealed, the sacrament
of the mass frequently provoked open hostility in the city. Thus, in
August, 1538, Robert Reynold, a stationer, was declared upon the oath of
five independent witnesses to have been heard to say "that the masse was
nawght, and the memento was Bawdrye, and after the consecracioun of the
masse yt was idolatrye." He was further charged with having said that it
were better for him to confess and be houseled by a temporal rather than a
spiritual man.(1273) Again, in February, 1543, Hugh Eton, a hosier of
London, was convicted of disguising himself "in fonde fassyon," and of
irreverently walking up and down in St. Bride’s Church before the
sacrament, disturbing the priests at mass and creating a tumult. By way of
punishment for his offence he was set in the cage in Fleet Street,
"disguised" as he was, with a paper on his head setting forth his offence.
He there remained until four o’clock in the afternoon, when he was removed
to the compter and condemned to stay there a prisoner until he found
sureties for good behaviour.(1274)

After the repeal of the statute by Edward’s first parliament, the
opposition to the "sacrament of the altar," as the mass was called, became
greater than ever.(1275) A boy was ordered to be whipt naked in the church
of St. Mary Woolnoth for throwing his cap at the host at the time of
elevation.(1276) In February, 1548, information was given to the Court of
Aldermen of preachers having used "certain words" touching the mass in the
churches of St. Dunstan in the east and St. Martin Orgar.(1277) On the 5th
May, 1548, the mayor and aldermen resolved to appear the next day before
the Lord Protector Somerset and the council, and explain the nature of the
misdemeanours of certain preachers, concerning which the mayor had already
had some communication with the Archbishop of Canterbury.(1278)

In the following month (5 June) the Court of Aldermen investigated a
charge made against a city curate that, about a month before, after
reciting the common prayers at the choir door at high mass, he had prayed
among other things that Almighty God might send the king’s council grace
and bring them out of the erroneous opinions that they were then in. The
informer went on to say that Sir Clement Smith and the Recorder, who were
present, laughed at the prayer. But inasmuch as the informer had not been
present himself, and that what he had laid before the court was mere
hearsay evidence, little attention was paid to it.(1279)


The abolition of chantries initiated by Henry VIII was carried out to a
fuller extent by his successor. The statute (1 Edward VI, cap 14) by which
this was effected not only deprived a large number of priests of a means
of livelihood, but laid them open to insult from those they met in the
street. They complained that they could not walk abroad nor attend the
court at Westminster without being reviled and having their tippets and
caps violently pulled.(1280)


The same statute—by declaring all chantries, obits, lights and lamps to be
objects of superstitious use, and all goods, chattels, jewels, plate,
ornaments and other moveables hitherto devoted to their maintenance to be
thenceforth escheated to the Crown—dealt a heavy blow to the Corporation
of the City of London, as well as to the civic companies and other bodies
who owned property subject to certain payments under one or other of these
heads. Three years after the passing of the Act the Corporation and the
companies redeemed certain charges of this character on their respective
properties to the amount of £939 2_s._ 5-1/2_d._ by payment to the Crown
of no less a sum than £18,744 11_s._ 2_d._(1281)

The redemption of these and other charges of a similar character, whilst
very convenient to the Crown, saving the trouble and expense of collecting
small sums of money, worked a hardship upon the Corporation and the
companies. In order to raise funds for redeeming the charges they were
obliged to sell property. This property was often held under conditions of
reverter and remainders over, unless what was now declared to be illegal
was religiously carried out. It was manifestly unfair that they should be
made to forfeit property because the conditions under which it was held
could no longer be legally complied with. A petition therefore was
presented to the king in order to obviate this difficulty, and to enable
them to part with the necessary property and at the same time to give a
clear title.(1282)


In the meantime (Aug., 1547) an order had gone forth for the demolition of
all images and removal of pictures and stained glass from churches. The
instructions sent to the lord mayor were very precise. "Stories made in
glasse wyndows" relative to Thomas Becket were to be altered at as little
expense as possible. Images and pictures to which no offerings and no
prayers were made might remain for "garnisshement" of the churches; and if
any such had been taken down the mayor was at liberty to set them up
again, unless they had been taken down by order of the king’s
commissioners or the parson of the church. If there existed in any church
a "storye in glasse" of the Bishop of Rome, otherwise the Pope, the mayor
might paint out the papal tiara and alter the "storye."(1283) These
instructions, contained in a letter from the king’s council, were duly
considered at a Court of Aldermen held on the 22nd September, with the
result that every alderman was ordered, in the most secret, discreet and
quiet manner he could devise, to visit each parish church in his ward, and
to take with him the parson or curate and two or three honest
parishioners, churchwardens or others who had had anything to do with the
removal of the images that had already been taken down, and, having shut
the church door for the sake of privacy, to take a note in writing of what
images had formerly been in the several churches, what images had
offerings and were prayed to, and what not; who had removed those taken
down, and what had been done with them. A report was to be made on these
points by every alderman at the next court, so that the lords of the
council might be informed thereon and their will ascertained before any
further steps were taken.(1284)

The havoc worked by the king’s commissioners in the city and throughout
the country by the reckless destruction of works of art was terrible. The
churches were stripped of every ornament, their walls whitewashed, and
only relieved by the tables of the commandments. Early in September the
commissioners visited St. Paul’s and pulled down all the images. In
November the rood was taken down with its images of the Virgin and St.
John. The great cross of the rood fell down accidentally and killed one of
the workmen, a circumstance which many ascribed to the special
intervention of the Almighty. From St. Paul’s the commissioners proceeded
to the church of St. Bride, and so from parish church to parish

In the following year (1548) the chapel of St. Paul’s charnel house was
pulled down and the bones removed into the country and reburied. From a
sanitary point of view their removal is to be commended. There is no such
excuse, however, for the destruction of the cloister in Pardon churchyard
(April, 1549), with its famous picture of the Dance of Death, painted at
the expense of John Carpenter, the town clerk of the city, of whom mention
has already been made. The fact was that the Protector Somerset required
material for building his new palace in the Strand,(1286) to enlarge which
he had already pulled down Strand Church, dedicated to Saint Mary and the
Holy Innocents.(1287) The destruction of the cloister necessitated a new
order of procession on the next Lord Mayor’s Day (24 Oct.), when Sir
Rowland Hill paid the customary visit to St. Paul’s, made a circuit of the
interior of the cathedral, and said a _De profundis_ at the bishop’s


Nor can the civic authorities themselves be altogether acquitted of
vandalism. They destroyed the churches of St. Nicholas Shambles and St.
Ewin, and sold the plate and windows, but the proceeds were distributed
among the poor.(1289) They went further than this. They removed the fine
tombs and altars, as well as the choir stalls, from the church of the Grey
Friars, where mingled the ashes of some of the noblest and best in the
land. There was some excuse, however, for these acts. The house and church
of the Grey Friars had been granted to the City at the close of the last
reign on the express condition that the churches of St. Nicholas and St.
Ewin should be abolished, and that the church of the Grey Friars should be
established as a parish church in their place under the name of Christ
Church. It was probably in order to render the old monastic church more
convenient as a parish church that they removed much of what to the
antiquary of to-day would have seemed of priceless value, and at the same
time reduced the dimensions of the choir.(1290)


At Easter, 1548, a new communion service in English took the place of the
mass.(1291) At the election of the mayor on the following Michaelmas-day,
on which occasion a mass had always been celebrated at the Guildhall
Chapel since the time of Whitington, an endeavour appears to have been
made by the Court of Aldermen to effect a compromise between mass and
communion, for whilst it ordered that a mass of the Holy Ghost should be
solemnly sung in English in the Guildhall Chapel (which had been
confiscated by Henry VIII)(1292) as theretofore, it further ordered that
the holy communion should be administered to two or three of the priests
there at the same mass.(1293) Orders were issued by the king’s council
that candles should no longer be carried about on Candlemas-day, ashes on
Ash Wednesday, palms on Palm Sunday. These practices were now considered
superstitious, as also was the "sensyng" which hitherto had taken place in
St. Paul’s at Whitsuntide, but which the Court of Aldermen now decreed to
be abolished, and the preaching of sermons substituted in its place.(1294)


The people were at this time extremely distracted by the various and
contradictory opinions of their preachers; and as they were totally
incapable of judging of the force of arguments adduced on one side or the
other, but conceived that everything spoken from the pulpit was of equal
authority, great confusion and perplexity of mind ensued. In order to
"tune the pulpits" and to effect uniformity of doctrine and service, the
Lord Protector resorted to proclamations, which, although no longer having
the authority of statutes as in the reign of Henry VIII, practically
answered the same purpose. Preaching was thus restricted to those who had
previously obtained a licence from the king, his visitors, the archbishop
of Canterbury, or the bishop of the diocese.(1295) The same want of
uniformity which appeared in the preachers appeared also in their
congregations; some "kepte holy day and manny kepte none, but dyd worke
opynly, and in some churches servys and some none, soche was the


In the meantime great discontent had been caused by the Protector’s
measures. The rich nobleman and country gentleman said nothing, for their
assent had been purchased by gifts of church property, but the tenants and
bourgeois class suffered from increased rents, from enclosures and
evictions. Church lands had always been underlet; the monks were easy
landlords. Not so the new proprietors of the confiscated abbey lands, they
were determined to make the most out of their newly-acquired
property.(1297) Insurrection broke out in various parts of the country.
Not only were enclosures thrown open and fences removed, but a cry was
raised for the restoration of the old religion. Information of what was
taking place was sent to Sir Henry Amcotes, the mayor, and steps were at
once taken (2 July, 1549) for putting the city into a state of defence and
for the preservation of the king’s peace. A "false draw-brydge" was
ordered (_inter alia_) to be made for London Bridge "in case nede should
requyer by reason "of the sterrynge of the people (which God defende!) to
caste downe thother."(1298) The city gates were constantly watched and the
walls mounted with artillery.(1299)


In the midst of these preparations there was a lull. On the 21st day of
July, being the 6th Sunday after Trinity, came Archbishop Cranmer to St.
Paul’s. He wore no vestment save a cope over an alb, and bore neither
mitre nor cross, but only a staff. He conducted the whole of the service
as set out in the "king’s book" recently published, which differed but
slightly from the church service in use at the present day, and he
administered the "Communion" to himself, the dean and others, according to
Act of Parliament. The mayor and most of the aldermen occupied seats in
the choir. Cranmer’s object in coming to the city on that day was to
exhort the citizens to obey the king as the supreme head of the realm, and
to pray the Almighty to avert the trouble with which, for their sins, they
were threatened.(1300)


Two days later (23 July) the king himself left Greenwich and rode through
the city to Westminster, accompanied by the Lord Protector and other
nobles. The mayor and aldermen rode out to Southwark, the former in a gown
of crimson velvet, the latter in gowns of scarlet, to meet the royal
party, and conducted it as far as Charing Cross, where the aldermen took
their leave, the king saluting them and "putting of his capp to everie of
them." The mayor rode on to Westminster, where the king and the Protector
graciously bade him farewell.(1301)


The aspect of affairs began to look black indeed. By the end of the month
Exeter was being besieged by the rebels, and on the 8th August the French
ambassador, taking advantage of the general distraction, bade the Lord
Protector open defiance at Whitehall.(1302) At midnight instructions were
sent to the mayor to seize all Frenchmen in the city who were not
denizens, together with their property. By this time, however, Exeter had
been relieved and the insurrection in the west had been put down. The
western insurgents had demanded the restoration of the mass and the
abolition of the English liturgy. Contemporaneously with this religious
movement another agitation was being made in the eastern counties, and
more especially in Norfolk, which had for its object the destruction of
enclosures. With the eastern rebels, who placed themselves under the
leadership of Robert Ket, a tanner of Wymondham, the Protector himself
sympathized at heart, and the council had to exercise no little pressure
before he could be induced to send an efficient force to put them down. At
length the rebels were met and defeated by a force under the command of
the Earl of Warwick, the son of the extortionate Dudley who was associated
with Empson in oppressing the city towards the close of the reign of Henry
VII. Ket galloped off the field, leaving his followers to be ridden down
and killed by the earl’s horsemen. He was shortly afterwards captured in a
barn, and eventually brought up to London, together with his brother
William, and committed to the Tower. Being arraigned and convicted of
treason, they were handed over to the high sheriff of Norfolk and Suffolk.
Robert was hanged in chains on the top of Norwich Castle, whilst his
brother William suffered a similar fate on the top of Wymondham


Somerset’s fall was now imminent. The citizens hated him, not for his
favouring the reformers, but for the injury he had caused to trade and for
his having bebased the coinage still further than it had been debased by
Henry VIII. His colleagues in the council, who had been pampered with
gifts of church lands, were angry with him for the favour he had shown
towards those who raised the outcry against enclosures, and they began to
show their independence.


On the afternoon of Sunday, the 6th October, 1549, a letter was sent to
the mayor subscribed by Lord St. John, the president of the council, the
earls of Warwick, Southampton and Arundel, and other members of the
council, containing a long indictment of the Protector’s policy and
conduct. He was proud, covetous and ambitious. He had embezzled the pay of
the soldiers, with which he was building sumptuous houses in four or five
different places. Whilst sowing discord among the nobles, he flattered the
commons to the intent that, having got rid of the former, he might with
the aid of the latter achieve his scarcely veiled design of supplanting
the king himself. They had hoped, the letter continues, to have persuaded
the duke by fair means to take order for the security of the king’s person
and the commonwealth; but no sooner was the matter broached to the duke
than he showed himself determined to appeal to the arbitrament of the
sword. Such being the case, they on their part were no less resolved, with
God’s help, to deliver the king and the realm from impending ruin, or
perish in the attempt. They concluded by asking the civic authorities to
see that good watch and ward were kept in the city and that no _matériel_
of war was supplied to the duke or his followers. Any letters or
proclamations coming from the Protector were to be disregarded.(1304)


Determined not to be forestalled by his enemies; the duke himself wrote
the same day (6 Oct.) to the mayor desiring the City to furnish him
forthwith with 1,000 trusty men fully armed for the protection of the
king’s person. The men were to be forwarded to him at Hampton by the
following Monday mid-day at the latest, and in the meantime the citizens
were to take steps to protect the king and his uncle, the duke, against


Before these letters had been despatched the mayor and aldermen had been
summoned by the Earl of Warwick, who now took the lead against Somerset,
to meet him and other lords of the council at his house in Ely Place,
Holborn. A meeting had accordingly taken place that Sunday morning, when
the state of affairs was discussed. After the meeting separated Warwick
came to the city and took up his residence in the house of Sir John York,
one of the sheriffs, situate in Walbrook. Sir John Markham, lieutenant of
the Tower, was removed, and Sir Leonard Chamberlain appointed in his
place, whilst the Court of Aldermen took extraordinary precautions for
safe-guarding the city.(1306)


As soon as Somerset was made aware of the Tower being in the possession of
his rivals he removed from Hampton Court to Windsor, carrying the young
king with him, and despatched a letter to Lord Russell to hurry thither
with such force as he could muster.(1307)


On Monday (7 Oct.) the lords of the council sat at Mercers’ Hall—they felt
safer in London—and thence despatched a dutiful letter to the king, and
another (explaining their conduct) to Cranmer.(1308) The Common Council
met at seven o’clock that morning, having been warned on Sunday
night.(1309) The object of their meeting so early in the day was that no
time might be lost before taking into consideration the letters that had
been received from Somerset and from the lords. After due deliberation the
citizens agreed to throw in their lot with the lords and to assist them
"to the uttermost of their wills and powers" in the maintenance and
defence of the king’s person.(1310)


On Tuesday (8 Oct.) the Common Council again assembled in the Guildhall to
meet the lords by appointment. Rumour had been spread to the effect that
it was the intention of the lords to cause a reestablishment of the old
religion.(1311) This the lords assured the meeting was far from their
minds. They intended no alteration of matters as established by the laws
and statutes. All they wanted was to cause them to be maintained as
formerly, before they had been "disformed" by the Lord Protector, and for
this they prayed the assistance of the citizens. Thereupon the mayor,
aldermen and common council, thanking God for the good intentions of their
lordships, "promised their ayde and helpe to the uttermost of their lieves
and goodes."(1312)

(M680) (M681)

On Wednesday (9 Oct.) the lords met at the house of Sheriff York, where
they had dined the previous day.(1313) They had heard that Somerset had
seized all the armour, weapons and munitions of war he could lay his hands
upon, both at Hampton Court and Windsor, and with them had armed his
adherents. They again sent letters to the king, the archbishop and others,
and declared Somerset to be unworthy to continue any longer in the
position of Protector.(1314) The Common Council, which met the same
day—"for divers urgent causes moved and declared by the mouth of the
recorder and of the lord mayor and aldermen on the king’s behalf"—agreed
to furnish with all speed 500 men, or if necessary 1,000 men, well
harnessed and weaponed, to proceed to Windsor Castle for the delivery and
preservation of his majesty. It was subsequently arranged that 100 of the
contingent should be horsemen.(1315) By the afternoon of Friday (11 Oct.)
the men and horsemen were ready. They mustered in Moorfields, whence they
marched through Moorgate, Coleman Street, Cheapside, and out by Newgate to
Smithfield, with the Sword-bearer riding before them as captain. At
Smithfield they broke off, and were discharged from further service for
the time.(1316) There is no evidence to show that the force was ever
called upon to proceed to Windsor.

(M682) (M683)

The adhesion of the City to the lords had in the meanwhile added strength
to their cause, many who had at first held back now declaring themselves
against Somerset. In this manner they were joined by Lord Chancellor Rich,
the Earl of Shrewsbury, Chief Justice Montague and others, whose
signatures appear to a proclamation issued on the 8th October setting
forth "the verye trowth of the Duke of Somersettes evell government and
false and detestable procedynges."(1317) By the end of the week (12 Oct.)
the lords felt themselves strong enough to proceed in person to Windsor,
where on their knees they explained their conduct to the king, who
received them graciously and gave them hearty thanks. The following day
(Sunday) was spent in removing some of Somerset’s followers; and on Monday
(14th) Somerset himself was brought prisoner to London, "riding through
Oldborne in at Newgate and so to the Tower of London, accompanied with
diuers lordes and gentlemen with 300 horse, the lord maior, Sir Ralph
Warren, Sir John Gresham, Mr. Recorder, Sir William Locke and both the
shiriffes and other knights, sitting on their horses agaynst Soper-lane,
with all the officers with halbards, and from Oldborne bridge to the Tower
certaine aldermen or their deputies on horsebacke in every streete, with a
number of housholders standing with bils as hee passed."(1318)

At the sudden fall of one who for a short time had been all powerful—a
little more than a week had served to deprive him of the protectorate and
render him a prisoner in the Tower—did it cross the mind of any of the
onlookers that he it was who carried away from the Guildhall Library some
cartloads of books which were never returned?


There were some who looked upon Somerset’s fall as an act of God’s
vengeance for his having caused Bonner to be deprived of his bishopric of
London. On the 1st September last Bonner had preached at Paul’s Cross
against the king’s supremacy. Information of the matter was given to the
council, and Bonner was called upon to answer for his conduct before
Cranmer and the rest of the commissioners. The informers on this occasion
were William Latymer, the parson of the church of St. Laurence Pountney,
and John Hooper, a zealous Protestant, who afterwards became Bishop of
Gloucester. Whilst under examination before the commissioners Bonner was
confined in the Marshalsea. Hooper in the meantime was put up by Cranmer
to preach at Paul’s Cross, and he took the opportunity thus afforded him
of inveighing strongly against Bonner’s conduct. Bonner failed to satisfy
the commissioners, and on the 1st October was deprived of office and
committed to prison during the king’s pleasure. "But marke what
followeth," writes the chronicler of the Grey Friars, within a week "was
proclaymyd the protector a traytor."(1319)


On the 17th October Edward came from Hampton Court to Southwark Place, a
mansion formerly belonging to Charles Brandon, Duke of Suffolk, when it
was known as Suffolk House. It was now used in part as a mint, and was
occupied by Sheriff York in his capacity as master of the king’s mint.
After dinner the king knighted York in recognition of his hospitality and
his past services, an honour personal to York and not extended to his
colleague in the shrievalty, Richard Turke. From Southwark Edward set
forth to ride through the city to Westminster, accompanied by a long
cavalcade of nobles and gentlemen, "the lord mayor bearinge the scepter
before his maiestie and rydinge with garter kinge of armes."(1320)


Somerset’s confinement in the Tower was not of long duration. On the 6th
February, 1550, the lieutenant of the Tower received orders to bring his
prisoner "with out greate garde or busyness" to Sheriff York’s house in
Walbrook, where the council was sitting; and on the duke entering into a
recognisance to remain privately either at Shene or Sion, and not to
travel more than four miles from either place, nor attempt to gain an
interview with the young king, he was allowed to depart.(1321)


With Warwick, who became the ruling spirit of the council after the fall
of Somerset and the abolition of the protectorate, religion was a matter
of supreme indifference, and for a time it was uncertain whether he would
favour the followers of the old religion or the advanced reformers. He
chose to extend his patronage to the latter. The day after Somerset’s
release from the Tower, Bonner was again brought from the Marshalsea,
where he had been roughly used,(1322) and the cause of his deprivation
reconsidered by the lords of the council sitting in the Star Chamber, the
result being that the previous sentence by Cranmer was confirmed and
Bonner again relegated to prison. Bishops were now appointed directly by
the king, who in the following April caused Nicholas Ridley, bishop of
Rochester, to be transferred to London in Bonner’s place; and the see of
Westminster,(1323) which had been created in 1540, was united to London.
In July Hooper was nominated to the see of Gloucester; but some time
elapsed before this rigid reformer could be induced to overcome his
prejudice to episcopal vestments (which he denounced as the livery of
Anti-Christ) and consent to be consecrated in them.(1324) As soon as the
ceremony was over he cast them off.


For some time past the City had experienced difficulty in exercising its
franchise in the borough of Southwark. That borough consisted of three
manors, known respectively as the Guildable Manor, the King’s Manor and
the Great Liberty Manor.(1325) The first of these—and only the first—had
been granted to the City by Edward III soon after his accession. The civic
authorities had complained of felons making good their escape from the
city to Southwark, where they could not be attacked by the officers of the
city; and the king, in answer to the City’s request, had made over to them
the town or vill of Southwark.(1326) This grant was afterwards confirmed
and amplified by a charter granted by Edward IV in 1462, whereby the
citizens were allowed to hold a yearly fair in the borough on three
successive days in the month of September, together with a court of
pie-powder, and with all liberties and customs to such fair
appertaining.(1327) In course of time the City claimed the right of
holding a market, as well as the yearly fair, twice a week in Southwark.
This claim now led to difficulties with the king’s bailiff, Sir John Gate.
A draft agreement had been drawn up during Somerset’s protectorate in the
hopes of arranging matters,(1328) but apparently without success.


At length the city agreed (29 March, 1550) to make an offer of 500 marks
for the purchase of the rights of the Crown in Southwark,(1329) and
eventually a compromise was effected. For the sum of £647 2_s._ 1_d._ the
king conveyed by charter(1330) to the City of London divers messuages in
Southwark, with the exception of "Southwark Place" and the gardens
belonging to it, formerly the Duke of Suffolk’s mansion, and for a further
sum of 500 marks he surrendered all the royal liberties and franchises
which he or his heirs might have in the borough or town of Southwark. It
was expressly provided that this charter was not to be prejudicial to Sir
John Gate or to his property and interests. The ancient rent of £10 per
annum was still to be paid, and the citizens were to be allowed to hold
four markets every week in addition to a fair and court of pie-powder
enjoyed since the time of Edward IV. On the 9th May the lord mayor took
formal possession of the borough of Southwark by riding through the
precinct, after which the Common Cryer made proclamation with sound of
trumpet for all vagabonds to leave the city and borough and the suburbs
and liberties of the same.(1331)


It was originally intended, no doubt, that the borough should be
incorporated for all municipal purposes with the city, and that the
inhabitants of the borough should be placed on the same footing as the
citizens. This, however, was never carried out. Notwithstanding the fact
that among the ordinances drawn up (31 July) for the government of the
borough,(1332) there was one which prescribed the same customary procedure
in the election of an alderman for the new ward of Bridge Without as
prevailed in the city;(1333) the inhabitants of the borough have never
taken any part in the election of an alderman. The first alderman, Sir
John Aylyff, a barber-surgeon, was "nominated, elected and chosen" by the
Court of Aldermen,(1334) and was admitted and sworn before the same body
on the 28th May, 1850—that is to say, some weeks before the ordinances
just mentioned were drawn up.

The alderman of the ward continued to be nominated and elected by the
Court of Aldermen until 1711, when, by virtue of an Act of Common Council,
the ward was to be offered to the several aldermen who had served as
mayor, in order of seniority. If no alderman could be found willing to be
translated from his own ward to that of Bridge Without, the Court of
Common Council was empowered by another Act passed in 1725 to proceed to
the election of an alderman.

The ward of Bridge Without has never sent representatives to the Common
Council, inasmuch as its inhabitants refused to "take up their freedom"
and bear the burdens of citizenship, and there existed no means for
forcing the freedom upon them. In 1835, however, a petition was presented
to the Common Council by certain inhabitants of Southwark asking that they
might for the future exercise the right of electing not only an alderman,
but common council-men for the ward, and that the ordinances of 1550 might
be carried out according to their original intention. The petition was
referred to the Committee for General Purposes, who reported to the Common
Council(1335) to the effect that, considering that the borough of
Southwark had never formed part of the City of London, the charter of
Edward VI notwithstanding, and that the holding of wardmotes in the
borough would materially interfere with the duties of an ancient officer
known as a seneschal or steward of Southwark, the petition could not be
complied with, except by application to the legislature, and that such a
course would neither be expedient or advisable. Another petition to the
same effect has quite recently been presented to the Court of Aldermen;
but it was equally unsuccessful.(1336)


Warwick had not long taken the place of Somerset before he found himself
compelled to make peace with France (29 March, 1550). This he accomplished
only by consenting to surrender Boulogne. The declaration of peace was
celebrated with bonfires in the city, although the conditions under which
the peace was effected were generally unacceptable to the nation and
brought discredit upon the earl.(1337) One result of the conclusion of the
war was again to flood the streets of the city with men who openly
declared that they neither could nor would work, and that unless the king
provided them with a livelihood they would combine to plunder the city,
and once clear with their booty they cared not if 10,000 men were after
them. It was in vain that proclamation was made for all disbanded soldiers
to leave the city. They refused to go, and oftentimes came into conflict
with the city constables. At length the mayor and aldermen addressed a
letter on the subject to the lords of the council (25 Sept.).(1338)


In the following year the state of the city was rendered worse by a
proposal of Warwick to debase the currency yet more. As soon as the
proposal got wind up went the price of provisions, in spite of every
effort made by the lords of the council to keep it down. They sent for the
mayor (Sir Andrew Judd) to attend them at Greenwich on Sunday, the 10th
May, and soundly rated him—or, as the chronicler puts it, "gave him some
sore words"—for allowing such things to take place. On Thursday, the 28th,
the mayor summoned a Common Council, when the Recorder repeated to them
the king’s orders that the price of wares was not to be raised. The livery
companies were to see to it, and there were to be no more

Warwick himself excited the anger of the city burgesses by riding through
the streets to see if the king’s orders against the enhancement of the
price of victuals were being carried out. Coming one day to a butcher’s in
Eastcheap, he asked the price of a sheep. Being told that it was 13
shillings, he replied that it was too much and passed on. When another
butcher asked 16 shillings he was told to go and be hanged. The earl’s
conduct so roused the indignation of the butchers of the city—a class of
men scarcely less powerful than their brethren the fishmongers—that they
made no secret that the price of meat would be raised still more if the
debasement of the currency was carried out as proposed.(1340) Yet, in
spite of all remonstrances and threats, a proclamation went forth that
after the 17th August the shilling should be current for six pence
sterling and no more, the groat for two pence, the penny for a halfpenny,
and the halfpenny for a farthing.(1341) The price of every commodity rose
50 per cent. as a matter of course, and nothing that Warwick could do
could prevent it. Seeing at last the hopelessness of attempting to
overcome economic laws by a mere _ipse dixit_, he caused a "contrary
proclamasyon" to be issued, and "sette alle at lyberty agayne, and every
viteler to selle as they wolde and had done before."(1342)


Warwick’s increasing unpopularity raised a hope in the breast of Somerset
of recovering his lost power. Some rash words he had allowed to escape
were carried to the young king, who took the part of Warwick against his
own uncle, and showed his appreciation of the earl’s services by creating
him Duke of Northumberland (11 Oct.). A few days later Somerset was seized
and again committed to the Tower.(1343) The new duke vaunted himself more
than ever, and as a fresh coinage was on the eve of being issued, he
caused it to be struck with a ragged staff, the badge of his house, on its
face.(1344) Some of the duke’s servants thought to ruffle it as well as
their master, and offered an insult to one of the sheriffs, attempting to
snatch at his chain of office as he accompanied the mayor to service at
St. Paul’s on All Saints’ Day, and otherwise creating no little
disturbance in St. Paul’s Churchyard. The mayor waited until service was
over, and then took them into custody.(1345)


At the time of Somerset’s second arrest the Common Council and the wardens
of the several livery companies were summoned to meet at the Guildhall to
hear why the duke had been sent for the second time to the Tower, and to
receive instructions for safe-guarding the city. They were informed by the
Recorder that it had been the duke’s intention to seize the Tower and the
Isle of Wight, and to "have destroyed the city of London and the
substantiall men of the same."(1346) This was, of course, an exaggeration,
although there is little doubt that the duke was preparing to get himself
named again Protector by the next parliament. On the 1st December he was
brought from the Tower by water to Westminster, the mayor and aldermen
having received strict orders to keep the city well guarded.(1347) He was
arraigned of treason and felony, but his judges, among whom sat his enemy
Northumberland himself, acquitted him of the former charge, and those in
the hall, thinking he had been altogether acquitted, raised a shout of joy
that could be heard as far as Charing Cross and Long Acre. When they
discovered that he had been found guilty of felony and condemned to be
executed they were grievously disappointed. As he landed at the Crane in
the Vintry on his way back to the Tower that evening, and passed through
Candlewick (Cannon) Street, the people, we are told, cried "’God save him’
all the way as he went, thinkinge that he had clerely bene quitt, but they
were deceyved, but hoopinge he should have the kinge’s pardon."(1348)
According to another chronicler there were mingled cries of joy and sorrow
as he passed through London, some crying for joy that he was acquitted,
whilst others (who were better informed of the actual state of the case)
lamented his conviction.(1349) His execution took place on Tower Hill in
January of the next year (1552).


In the meanwhile the civic authorities had been energetically engaged in
making regulations for the hospital of the poor in West Smithfield, better
known as St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, which they had recently acquired, and
in grappling with the poverty and sickness with which they were
surrounded. Instead of trusting to the charity of those attending the
parish churches on Sunday for raising money for the poor, the Common
Council, in September, 1547, resorted to the less precarious method of
levying on every inhabitant of the city one half of a fifteenth for the
maintenance of the poor of the hospital.(1350) The voluntary system,
however, was not wholly abolished. In the following April (1548) a
brotherhood for the relief of the poor had been established, to which the
mayor (Sir John Gresham) and most of the aldermen belonged, each agreeing
to subscribe a yearly sum varying from half a mark to a mark.(1351) In
September governors were appointed of St. Bartholomew’s Hospital—four
aldermen and eight commoners(1352)—and in the following December the
Common Council passed an Act for the payment of 500 marks a year to the
hospital, the sum being levied on the livery companies.(1353)


In 1551 the City succeeded in obtaining another hospital. This was the
hospital in Southwark originally dedicated to Thomas Becket, but whose
patron saint was, after the Reformation, changed to St. Thomas the
Apostle. Negotiations were opened in February with the lord chancellor for
the purchase of this hospital.(1354) They proceeded so favourably that by
the 12th August the hospital and church and part of their endowment were
conveyed to the City by deed, whilst the rest of the endowment was
transferred by another deed on the following day.(1355) The purchase-money
amounted to nearly £2,500.


Having thus cared for the sick and the poor, the civic authorities next
turned their attention to the conversion of a portion of the ground and
buildings of the dissolved monastery of the Grey Friars into a hospital
for the reception and education of fatherless and helpless children. In
1552 Sir Richard Dobbs(1356) was mayor. He took an active part in the
charitable work that was then being carried on in the city, and his
conduct so won the heart of Ridley that the bishop wrote from prison
shortly before his death commending him in the highest possible terms:—"O
Dobbs, Dobbs, alderman and knight, thou in thy year did’st win my heart
for evermore, for that honourable act, that most blessed work of God, of
the erection and setting up of Christ’s Holy Hospitals, and truly
religious houses which by thee and through thee were begun." In July the
work of adapting the old buildings, rather than erecting new, was
commenced, and in a few months the premises were sufficiently forward to
admit of the reception of nearly 400 children. The charity was aided by
the king’s bestowal of the linen vestures used in the city prior to the
Reformation, and at that time seized by the commissioners.(1357) Just as
the close of the reign of Henry VIII had witnessed the reopening of the
church of the Grey Friars under the name of Christchurch, and the
celebration of the mass once more within its walls, so now the close of
his son’s short reign witnessed the restoration of their house and
buildings, and their conversion, in the cause of education and charity,
into Christ’s Hospital.


There was yet another class of inhabitant to be provided for, namely,
those who either could not or would not work. On behalf of these a
deputation(1358) was appointed by the City to present a petition to the
king that he would be pleased to grant the disused palace of Bridewell to
the municipality for the purpose of turning it into a workhouse. The
deputation was introduced by Ridley, who himself wrote in May of this year
(1552) to secretary Cecil on the same subject.(1359) The efforts of the
bishop and the deputation were rewarded with success. In the following
spring (1553) the king not only consented to convey the palace to the
municipal body, but further gave 700 marks and all the beds and bedding of
his palace of the Savoy for the maintenance of the workhouse.(1360) The
City having thus become possessed of the several hospitals of St.
Bartholomew, St. Thomas, Christ’s and Bridewell, the king, a few days
before his death, granted the mayor, aldermen and commonalty a charter of
incorporation as governors of these Royal Hospitals in the city.(1361)



The death of Edward VI took place on the 6th July, 1553, although it was
not generally known until two days afterwards. By his father’s will the
Princess Mary became heiress to the throne. Northumberland was aware of
this. He was equally aware that if Mary succeeded to her brother’s crown
matters might go hard with him. He therefore persuaded Edward to follow
the precedent set by his father and re-settle the succession to the crown
by will. He succeeded moreover in getting the late king to name as his
successor the Lady Jane Grey, grand-daughter of Mary Duchess of Suffolk,
the younger sister of Henry VIII, and he took the further precaution of
marrying her to his own son, Lord Guildford Dudley. It was in vain that
the judges and law officers of the Crown pointed out that the Act of
Parliament which authorised Henry to dispose of the crown by will, in the
case of his children dying without heirs, did not apply to Edward.
Councillors and judges, and even Cranmer himself, were forced to signify
their assent by subscribing to the will, which was dated (21 June) a
fortnight only before Edward’s death.

Northumberland well knew the advantage to be got by securing the
co-operation of the city in prosecuting his scheme, so he persuaded the
mayor (Sir George Barnes), a number of aldermen (including Sir John
Gresham, Sir Andrew Judd, Thomas Offley and Sir Richard Dobbs), and
several of the leading merchants of the city to append their signatures to
the will.(1362) The king had been already dead two days before
Northumberland sent for them to Greenwich and acquainted them of the fact,
exhorting them at the same time to sign the document.(1363)


On the 10th July the Lady Jane was brought from Richmond and lodged in the
Tower, and that same evening was proclaimed queen at the Cross in Chepe.
The mayor took no part in the ceremony, and only one of the sheriffs
(William Gerard or Garrard) attended the heralds. If Northumberland
thought that the citizens would favour Lady Jane merely because she was a
Protestant he was mistaken. The proclamation was received with undisguised
coldness, and "few or none said God save her."(1364) Nor was it better
received by the country at large. The eastern counties rose and in a few
days Mary was at the head of 30,000 men. No time was to be lost, and
Northumberland at once set out from London to meet her. As he passed
through the city he noticed that none wished him "God speed."


No sooner was his back turned than the lords of the council, seeing how
matters were going, and eager to throw off the yoke which the duke had
placed on their necks, determined upon proclaiming Mary queen. It was
necessary, however, that the City should first be informed of their
intention, and that, too, without creating too much attention. One of
their number therefore took the opportunity of the mayor riding abroad on
Wednesday, the 19th July, to accost him privately and bid him and the
sheriffs, and such of the aldermen as he could get together at short
notice, to meet the lords of the council within an hour at the Earl of
Pembroke’s place at Castle Baynard. The mayor hurried back, sent for the
Recorder and some of the aldermen, and with them proceeded to the place
appointed, where they found the council assembled. They were informed of
the intention of the lords, and the mayor was bidden to accompany them to
Cheapside for the purpose of proclaiming Queen Mary. Their object soon got
wind; a crowd followed them to Cheapside, and when the proclamation was
made there was such a throwing up of caps and such cries of "God save
Queen Mary" that nothing else could be heard. The civic authorities, as
well as the lords of the council, thereupon proceeded to St. Paul’s to
hear a _Te Deum_; after which the lords withdrew from the city, leaving
orders, however, for Queen Mary to be proclaimed in other parts of the
city according to custom. The next day (20 July) they returned and dined
with the mayor, sitting in council, after dinner, until four o’clock in
the afternoon, whilst the church bells rang all day long.(1365)


As soon as Northumberland heard of the turn affairs had taken, he caused
Mary to be proclaimed at Cambridge, where he happened to be quartered,
"castinge up his capp after as if he had bene joyfull of it." His
simulated enthusiasm, however, availed him nothing, and orders were issued
for his arrest. Special precautions were taken to avoid disturbance on the
day (25 July) that he passed through the city on his way to the Tower,
every householder in the several wards through which he and his fellow
prisoners were to pass being instructed to hold himself in readiness
within doors with a clean halberd, and a bill or "pollox" for such service
as the alderman might appoint.(1366) No disturbance took place, the
populace contenting itself with cursing the duke and calling him traitor,
and making him take off his hat as he passed through Bishopsgate and
continue his journey bareheaded.(1367)


On the evening of the 3rd August Queen Mary made her first entry into the
city, accompanied by her sister Elizabeth. She had come from Newhall, in
Essex, where a few days before she had been presented with the sum of £500
in gold by a deputation of the Court of Aldermen accompanied by the
Recorder.(1368) On the 2nd August it was decided that the lord mayor and
his brethren should ride out the next afternoon to meet her majesty at the
Bars without Aldgate, and taking their places appointed by the
herald-of-arms, should accompany the royal procession.(1369) The reception
which the new queen met with in the city must have been gratifying. The
mayor, on approaching her, handed to her the civic sword, which was given
to the Earl of Arundel to carry before her. The mayor himself bore the
mace. By express permission of the Court of Aldermen a number of
Florentine and other merchant strangers were allowed to attend on
horseback, and to erect a pageant at Leadenhall.(1370) The whole length of
the streets through which the queen had to pass on her way to the Tower
had been lavishly decorated, and was lined with members of the various
civic companies in their livery gowns. Nothing was omitted that could
please the eye or ear.(1371)

A touching scene took place as Mary was about to enter the Tower. The
widow of the Duke of Somerset, to whose policy as protector Mary had
offered a steady opposition, met the queen at the Tower gate, and in
company with the Duke of Norfolk, Stephen Gardiner and others, who had
been confined in the Tower in the late reign, knelt down and saluted her.
Mary, in a charitable mood, kissed each of them, claimed them as her own
prisoners, and shortly afterwards granted them their liberty.(1372)


A week later (10 Aug.) the remains of the late king were carried from
Whitehall to Westminster and laid in Henry the Seventh’s Chapel, the
service being conducted wholly in English, the communion taking the place
of the mass, and the priests being vested in a surplice only, in
accordance with the provisions of the Book of Common Prayer. For a short
time after Mary’s accession it was thought that she would be content if
the Church were restored to the position it was in at the time when Henry
VIII died. It was not long before the new queen shewed this opinion to be
erroneous. The Prayer Book of King Edward VI was set aside, the high
altars that had been removed were restored, and mass was restored. Ridley
was sent to the Tower and Bonner brought out from the Marshalsea and
reinstated in the bishophric of London. Gardiner, who had been deprived of
his see of Winchester and kept prisoner in the Tower, not only recovered
his freedom and his see, but was made the queen’s chancellor. On the other
hand, Cranmer and "Mr. Latimer" were sent to the Tower.


The change that was being wrought caused some little disturbance in the
city. When Doctor Bourne, who had been put up by the queen to preach at
Paul’s Cross one Sunday in August, began to pray for the dead, and to
refer to Bonner’s late imprisonment, one of his hearers threw a knife at
him whilst others called the preacher a liar. The queen was so angry at
this that she sent for the mayor and aldermen and told them plainly that
she would deprive the city of its liberties if they could not better
preserve peace and good order within its walls.(1373)

A few days later she issued a proclamation in which, whilst making no
secret of her wish that everyone would conform to the religion "which all
men knew she had of long tyme observed, and ment, God willing, to contynue
the same," she deprecated men calling each other heretic or papist, but
willed that everyone should follow the religion he thought best until
further orders were taken.(1374) The mayor in the meantime had also issued
his precept against any sermon or lecture being read other than the Divine
Service appointed until the queen’s further pleasure should be made

Lest any disturbance should arise on the following Sunday (20 Aug.), when
Bishop Gardiner’s chaplain was to preach at Paul’s Cross, the queen sent
the captain of the guard with 200 men, who surrounded the pulpit, halberd
in hand. The mayor, too, had ordered the livery companies to be present
"to herken yf any leude or sedicious persons made any rumors"—a precaution
which much pleased the queen.(1376)


When Michaelmas-day (the day on which the election of the new mayor for
the ensuing year was to take place) came round, the choice of the citizens
fell upon Sir Thomas White.(1377) In accordance with the new order of
things, the election was preceded by the celebration of mass in the
Guildhall Chapel as of old.


The day after the election of the new mayor the queen passed through the
city from the Tower to Whitehall for her coronation. The streets presented
their usual gay appearance on this occasion, and the queen was made the
recipient of the "accustomed" gift of 1,000 marks on behalf of the
city.(1378) On the day of the coronation (1 Oct.) the daily service at St.
Paul’s had to be suspended because all the priests not under censure for
Protestantism or for having married were summoned to assist at


When Mary appeared before her first parliament(1380) she found her
subjects in many points opposed to her. They were willing to restore the
worship and practice of the Church as they existed before the death of
Henry VIII, but they showed a determination neither to submit to Rome nor
to restore to the Church the property of which it had been deprived. They
knew, moreover, of her anxious wish to marry Philip, son of the emperor
Charles V, and yet did not hesitate to present to her a petition against a
foreign marriage. It was a bold step for parliament to take in those days,
and showed that it was determined to win back its ancient rights and no
longer to be the tool of the crown. Mary was not one likely to yield in a
matter on which she had once set her heart. Rather than take its advice
she dissolved parliament. The result was an insurrection.


In the meanwhile the aged Cranmer and the youthful Lady Jane Grey—she
"that wolde a been qwene"—her husband and two of her husband’s brothers
had been brought to trial at the Guildhall (13 Nov). The axe was borne
before them on their way from the Tower, as if in anticipation of the
verdict. The Lady Jane is described as clad in a black gown, with velvet
cap and black hood, having a black velvet book hanging at her girdle,
whilst she carried another in her hand.(1381) Each of the accused pleaded
guilty, and sentence of death was passed; its execution was, however,
delayed owing to the outbreak known as Wyatt’s Rebellion.


The ostensible cause of the rebellion was the queen’s determination at all
hazards to marry Philip, whose ambassadors arrived at the opening of the
new year (1554). The civic authorities had been warned to treat them
handsomely, a warning which was scarcely necessary, for the citizens have
never allowed political differences to interfere with their hospitality;
and accordingly one of the ambassadors was lodged at Durham Place, near
Charing Cross, another at the Duke of Suffolk’s house hard by, whilst a
third shared apartments with the chancellor "Nigro" (Philip Negri) in Sir
Richard Sackville’s house at the conduit in Fleet Street. To each and all
of the guests the City sent presents of wax, torches, flour and every kind
of meat, game and poultry.(1382) Formal announcement of the intended match
was made by the chancellor on the 14th January, but it was received with
every sign of discontent and misgiving, "yea and therat allmost eche man
was abashed, loking daylie for worse mattiers to growe shortly
after."(1383) The following day (15 Jan.)—the day on which the rebellion
under Wyatt broke out in Kent, to be followed by risings in Devonshire and
Norfolk—the mayor and aldermen were summoned to court and ordered to bring
with them forty of the chief commoners of the city, when the lord
chancellor informed them of the queen’s intention, and exhorted them as
obedient subjects to accept her grace’s pleasure and to remain content and
quiet. He warned them, at the same time, to see that the queen’s wishes
respecting religious services in the city were strictly carried out, on
pain of incurring her high indignation.(1384)


Steps were taken for putting the city into a proper state of defence. The
civic companies were ordered to set watches as on similar critical
occasions, and no gunpowder, weapons or other munitions of war were
allowed to be sent out of the city. Chains were set up at the bridge-foot
and at the corner of New Fish Street. The borough of Southwark was called
upon to provide eighty tall and able men, well harnessed and weaponed, for
the safeguard of the queen’s person and of the city,(1385) whilst the
livery companies at a few hours’ notice furnished a force of 500 men to be
speedily despatched by water to Gravesend.(1386)


Whatever faults Queen Mary had, she was by no means deficient in courage.
On the same day (1 Feb.) that Wyatt appeared with his forces at Southwark,
she came to the Guildhall(1387) and there addressed a spirited harangue to
the assembled citizens.(1388) She plainly told them that her proposed
marriage was but a Spanish cloak to cover the real purpose of the
rebellion, which was aimed against her religion. She was their queen, and
they had sworn allegiance to her; they surely would not allow her to fall
into the hands of so vile a traitor as Wyatt was. As for her marriage, it
had been arranged with the full knowledge of the lords of the council, as
one of expediency for the realm. Passion had no part in the matter. She
had hitherto, she thanked God, lived a virgin, and doubted not she could,
if necessary, live so still. At the close of her speech, which, we are
told, was delivered in a loud voice so that all might hear, she bade the
citizens to pluck up heart and not to fear the rebels any more than she
did. She then quitted the hall and went up into the aldermen’s council
chamber and there refreshed herself, after which she rode through
Bucklersbury to the Vintry, where she took barge to Westminster.

In the meantime the Spanish ambassadors had taken fright at Wyatt’s
approach and had "sped themselves awaie by water, and that with all
hast."(1389) Many inhabitants of the city had also deserted their fellow
burgesses at this critical time, and their names were submitted to the
Court of Aldermen for subsequent enquiry.(1390) They were, according to
Foxe, afraid of being entrapped by the queen and perhaps put to death.


In response to the queen’s speech the citizens at once set to work to
raise a force of 1,000 men for the defence of the city, the mayor and
aldermen each in his own ward taking a muster. So busy was everyone on
Candlemas-day (2 Feb.) that the civic authorities omitted to attend the
afternoon service at St. Paul’s, and the mayor’s serving-men waited upon
him at dinner ready harnessed.(1391) Even the lawyers at Westminster
"pleaded in harness."(1392)

(M714) (M715)

The defensive precautions taken by the mayor and aldermen were sufficient
to prevent Wyatt making good his entry into the city by Southwark and
London Bridge. Foiled in this direction he sought to approach the city
from another side, but had to march as far as Kingston before he could
cross the Thames. Many of his followers in the meantime deserted
him.(1393) Nevertheless he continued to make his way, with but little
opposition, to Ludgate, which, contrary to his expectation, he found shut
in his face. He had been recognised by a tailor of Watling Street, who
seeing the force approaching cried, "I know that theys be Wyettes
ancienttes," and forthwith closed the gate.(1394) That Wyatt had
supporters in the city may be gathered from the half-hearted opposition
that he met with in Southwark, as well as from the fact that many of the
soldiers raised in the city and neighbourhood deserted to Wyatt at the
outset of the rebellion.(1395) Wyatt himself exhibited no little
disappointment at finding Ludgate closed against him instead of the aid
which he evidently had expected. "I have kept touch" said he, as he turned
his back on the city.(1396) He had scarcely reached Temple Bar before he
was overcome by a superior force and yielded himself a prisoner. After a
short stay at Whitehall he was removed to the Tower.


The failure of the revolt was fatal to Lady Jane Grey, and she was
beheaded within the Tower (12 Feb.) almost at the same time that her
husband was being executed outside on Tower Hill. By the strange irony of
fortune, it fell to the lot of Thomas Offley to perform the duties of
sheriff at Dudley’s execution, although he had himself been one of the
supporters of the Lady Jane in her claim to the crown. For the next few
days the city presented a sad spectacle; whichever way one turned there
was to be seen a gibbet with its wretched burden, whilst the city’s gates
bristled with human heads.(1397) Wyatt himself was one of the last to
suffer, being brought to the block on Tower Hill on the 11th April. His
head and a portion of his body, after being exposed on gallows, were taken
away by his friends for decent burial.(1398)


On the 17th February proclamation was made for all strangers to leave the
realm, on the ground that they sowed the seeds of their "malycyouse
doctryne and lewde conversacioun" among the queen’s good subjects;(1399)
and this had been followed in the city by precepts to each alderman to
call before him all the householders of his ward, both rich and poor, on
Wednesday the 7th March, at six o’clock in the morning, and strictly
charge them that they, their wives, their children and servants behave
themselves in all things and more especially in matters of religion,
following the example of the queen herself. All offenders were to be
reported forthwith.(1400)


A report having got abroad in the city that the lords of the council had
endeavoured to extract a confession from Wyatt implicating the Princess
Elizabeth in the late rebellion, the mayor was ordered by Bishop Gardiner
to bring up the originator of the rumour before the Star Chamber. When Sir
Thomas White appeared with the culprit, one Richard Cut by name, a servant
to a grocer in the city, he was soundly rated by Gardiner for not having
himself punished the offender, and when he replied that the party was
there present for the Star Chamber to deal with according to its pleasure,
was again rebuked:—"My lord, take heed to your charge, the Citie of London
is a whirlepoole and a sinke of evill rumors, there they be bred, and from
thence spred into all parts of the realme."(1401) Cut paid the penalty for
his love of gossip by being made to stand two days in the pillory and by
the loss of his ears.(1402)


The suppression of the revolt left Mary at liberty to carry out her
matrimonial design. But before accomplishing this she was determined to
place such a garrison in or near London as should prevent similar
outbreaks in future. For this purpose she applied to the citizens for a
sum of 6,000 marks. Thus called upon to supply a rod for their own backs,
the citizens demurred. They at first proposed to offer the sum of 1,000
marks, or at the most £1,000; they afterwards agreed to contribute double
the first mentioned sum,(1403) and this was accepted. The money was raised
by contributions from the different livery companies, the Merchant
Taylors, the Mercers, the Grocers, the Drapers, the Fishmongers, the
Goldsmiths, and the Haberdashers being called upon to subscribe the sum of
£100 respectively, whilst the rest of the companies paid sums varying from
£80 to forty shillings.(1404) No sooner had the citizens satisfied the
queen in this respect than they were called upon to send 200 soldiers to
Gillingham, in Kent, there to be embarked for foreign service under the
Lord Admiral. The City again demurred, and asked to be excused the
necessity of forwarding the men beyond Billingsgate or the Tower Wharf and
also of providing them with accoutrements. It was to no purpose, both men
and accoutrements had to be found.(1405) On the 10th April the chamberlain
received orders to see that the city’s artillery was in readiness and to
increase the store of gunpowder.(1406) Wyatt was to be executed the next
day, and these orders were probably given in anticipation of a


That Wyatt still had friends in the city is shown by the bold attitude
taken up by the jury in the trial (17 April) of one of his accomplices,
Nicholas Throckmorton, against whom they brought in a verdict of not
guilty.(1407) For this they were bound over to appear before the Star
Chamber. Four of the twelve made submission; the rest, among whom were
Thomas Whetstone, a haberdasher, and Emanuel Lucar, a merchant tailor,
were committed some to the Tower and the rest to the Fleet, where they
remained for six months. In the meantime the Court of Aldermen wrote (19
July) to the council in their favour, but with little success.(1408) A
month later (19 August) a deputation waited on the Court of Aldermen for
advice as to what future steps had best be taken for obtaining the release
of their brethren in the Fleet, when they were told that the wives of the
prisoners or the prisoners’ friends should first make suit to the council
for their release, after which the court would see what they could
do.(1409) At length the prisoners were summoned once more (26 Oct.) before
the Star Chamber, when they one and all declared that they had only acted
in accordance with their conscience, whilst Lucar, more outspoken than the
rest, asserted that "they had done in the matter like honest men and true
and faithful subjects." Such plain speaking ill suited the judges, who
thereupon condemned the offenders to a fine of 1,000 marks apiece and
imprisonment until further order. Eventually five out of the eight were
discharged (12 December) on payment of a fine of £220, and ten days later
the rest regained their liberty on payment of £60 apiece.(1410)


A parliament which met in April (1554)(1411) gave its consent to Mary’s
marriage with Philip, but refused to re-enact the old statutes for the
persecution of heretics. On the 19th July Philip landed at Southampton,
and on the 21st Mary herself notified the event to the citizens of
London,(1412) who for some time past had been making preparations for
giving both queen and king a fitting reception, and who immediately on
receipt of the news of Philip’s landing caused bonfires to be lighted in
the streets.(1413)


Mary rode down to Winchester to meet Philip,(1414) and on the 25th became
his wife. It was not until the 17th August that the royal pair approached
the city. On that day they came by water from Richmond to Southwark, the
king in one barge, the queen in another. After taking refreshment at the
Bishop of Winchester’s palace, and killing a buck or two in the bishop’s
park, they retired to rest.(1415) Special orders were given to the
aldermen to keep a good and substantial double watch in the city from nine
o’clock in the evening (17 Aug.) until five o’clock the next morning, such
watch to continue until further notice.(1416) The authorities differ
widely as to the precise day on which the royal party passed through the
city. The city’s own records point to the afternoon of Sunday the 19th
August as the day. On the morning of that day the Court of Aldermen sat,
and a letter from the queen commending them for their forwardness in
"making shewes of honour and gladnes" for the occasion was read to the
wardens of all the companies for them to communicate to the members. The
wardens were further enjoined to give strict orders to the members of
their several companies to honestly use and entreat the Spaniards in all
things, both at their coming in with the king and queen and ever
afterwards. The same morning a speech which the Recorder had prepared for
the occasion in English was handed over to the master of St. Paul’s School
to be turned into Latin. None too much time was allowed the worthy
pedagogue for the purpose, for he was to give it back that same afternoon
so that the Recorder might "make and pronounce yt to the kinges majesty at
his comynge in."(1417)

A curious incident is related in connection with the royal procession
through the city. The conduit in Gracious Church Street, which had been
newly painted and gilded, bore representations of the "nine worthies," and
among them Henry the Eighth and Edward the Sixth. Instead of carrying a
sword or mace like the rest, Henry had been portrayed with a sceptre in
one hand and a book bearing the inscription _Verbum Dei_ in the other.
This catching the eye of Bishop Gardiner as he passed in the royal train,
he was very wroth and sent for the painter, asked him by whose orders he
had so depicted the king, called him "traitor" and threatened him with the
Fleet prison. The poor painter, who for the first time had been made to
realise the change that was taking place, pleaded that what he had done
had been done in all innocence, and hastened to rectify his mistake by
removing the bible from the picture and substituting in its place a pair
of gloves.(1418)


In November (1554) a new parliament(1419) was called, which proved more
ready than the last to comply with the queen’s wishes. It re-enacted the
statutes for burning heretics and agreed to a reconciliation of the Church
of England with the See of Rome, but it refused to sanction the surrender
of Church lands. Bonner had already taken steps to purge his diocese of
heresy by issuing a series of articles (14 Sept.) to which every
inhabitant, clerical and lay, was expected to conform.(1420) That there
was room for improvement in matters touching religion and public decorum
there is no doubt, otherwise there would have been no need of
proclamations such as those against the arrest of persons whilst
conducting service in church,(1421) against wrangling over passages of
scripture in common taverns and victualling houses,(1422) or against
carrying of baskets of provisions and leading mules, horses or other
beasts through St. Paul’s.(1423)

The mayor and aldermen endeavoured to set a good example by constant
attendance at the services and by joining in processions at St. Paul’s as
in former days.(1424) The law forbidding the eating of meat in Lent,
except by special licence, was vigorously enforced.(1425) Ale-houses and
taverns were closed on Sundays and holy days, and interludes were


Nevertheless the attempt to restore the old worship within the city was
often met with scornful mockery, sometimes attended with violence. A dead
cat, for instance, was one day found hanging in Cheapside, its head shorn
in imitation of a priest’s tonsure, and its body clothed in a mock
ecclesiastical vestment, with cross before and behind, whilst a piece of
white paper to represent a singing-cake was placed between its forefeet,
which had been tied together. Bonner was very angry at this travesty of
religion, and caused the effigy to be publicly displayed at Paul’s Cross
during sermon time. A reward of twenty marks was offered for the discovery
of this atrocious act, but with what success we do not know.(1427)

On another occasion, when the Holy Sacrament was being carried in solemn
procession through Smithfield on Corpus Christi-day (24 May), an attempt
was made to knock the holy elements out of the hands of the priest. The
offender was taken to Newgate, where he feigned to be mad.(1428) Again, on
the following Easter-day a priest was fiercely attacked by a man with a
wood-knife whilst administering the sacrament in the church of St.
Margaret, Westminster. The culprit was seized, and after trial and
conviction paid the penalty of his crime by being burned at the
stake.(1429) A pudding was once offered to a priest whilst walking in a
religious procession,(1430) the offender being afterwards whipt at the
"Post of Reformation," which had been set up in Cheapside in 1553.(1431)
But all this defiance shown to Mary’s attempt to restore the old worship
only led her to exercise more drastic methods for accomplishing her


By the opening of 1555 her own strong personal will had overcome the
conciliatory policy of her husband, who was content to restrain his
fanaticism within the limits of expediency, and the Marian persecution
commenced. On the 25th January a proclamation was issued in the name of
the king and queen, and bearing the signature of William Blackwell, the
town clerk of the city, enjoining the lighting of bonfires that afternoon
in various places in token of great joy and gladness for the abolition of
sundry great sins, errors and heresies which lately had arisen within the
realm of England, and for the quiet renovation and restitution of the true
Catholic faith of Christ and his holy religion.(1432) This proclamation
was but a prelude to other fires lighted for a very different purpose,
which the mind even at this day cannot contemplate without a shudder. The
first victim of the flames for conscience sake was John Rogers, once vicar
of St. Sepulchre’s church and prebendary of St. Paul’s. He was burnt in
Smithfield "for gret herysy" in February of this year, in which month
Hooper, who had been deprived of his bishopric of Gloucester, suffered the
same fate in his own cathedral city.(1433) In the following May another
city vicar, John Cardmaker, otherwise known as John Taylor of St. Bride’s,
who had been a reader at St. Paul’s and had publicly lectured against the
real presence, was burnt in Smithfield with John Warne, an "upholder" of

Few weeks passed without the fire claiming some human victim either in
London or the provinces. On the 9th February Thomas Tomkins, a godly and
charitable weaver of Shoreditch, and William Hunter, a young London
apprentice, were with four others condemned to the stake. The two named
met their fate in Smithfield, one on the 16th March and the other on the
26th. The rest were removed into Essex and there consigned to the flames,
three of them in March and one in the following June.(1435)

In October Bishops Latimer and Ridley were burnt at Oxford. "Be of good
comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man"—cried Latimer encouragingly to
his fellow sufferer—"we shall this day light such a candle, by God’s
grace, in England as I trust shall never be put out." In March of the
following year (1556) Cranmer, after some display of weakness, suffered
the same fate, on the same spot, and with no less fortitude. And thus for
two years more the fires were kept alive in London and in the country; the
Lollard’s tower at St. Paul’s serving as a prison for heretics,(1436) and
proving more often than not but a step to Smithfield.


Throughout Mary’s reign the strife between the citizens and merchant
strangers was renewed. She had herself added to the evil by her marriage
with Philip, causing the city to be flooded with Spaniards, who took up
their abode in the halls of the civic companies.(1437) A rumour got abroad
early in September, 1554, that 12,000 Spaniards were coming over "to fethe
the crown,"(1438) and this accounts for precepts being sent to the several
aldermen of the city on the 27th September enjoining them to make a return
of the number of foreigners that had come to reside in their ward during
the past nine or ten days, and whence they came.(1439) The favour shown by
the Crown to the merchants of the Steelyard was especially annoying to the
freemen of the city.(1440) It was to little purpose that the mayor and
aldermen issued orders from time to time against giving work to foreigners
and prohibiting all such from opening shops within the city.(1441) The
struggle between citizen and stranger still went on. In 1557 the
corporation made an effort to induce the king and queen to revoke the
favours shown to the merchants of the Steelyard in prejudice of the
liberties of the city,(1442) and eventually the privileges were revoked on
the ground that the merchants of the Hanse had not kept faith with the
Crown.(1443) In the same year the exclusiveness entertained by the
citizens towards foreigners made itself felt more particularly against
that class of foreigner which kept open school in the city for teaching
writing. Certain scriveners, freemen of the city, made a complaint before
the Court of Aldermen against foreigners keeping writing-school within the
city and its liberties.(1444) The chamberlain’s conduct of shutting in the
shop windows of foreigners teaching children to write was approved by the
mayor and aldermen,(1445) whilst freemen were allowed to keep open school
provided they entered into a bond not to engross deeds.(1446) Occasionally
foreigners were successful in obtaining licences from the civic
authorities for teaching writing, but it was only on condition they kept
their lower windows closed.(1447)

(M727) (M728) (M729)

In the meantime the disposition of the queen towards heretics became more
relentless in proportion as her temper became more soured from ill-health,
by disappointment in not having off-spring, and by the increasing neglect
of her by her husband. Tired of her importunate love and jealousy, Philip
took the first opportunity of quitting her side and crossed over to the
continent (4 Sept., 1555) on a visit to the Emperor Charles. The
abdication of the latter towards the close of 1556 made Philip master of
the richest and most extensive dominions in Europe, and his greatest wish
at the time was to engage England in the war which was kindled between
Spain and France. In this he received the support of Mary, who had in
August (1556) succeeded in obtaining a loan from the city of £6,000.(1448)
The seizure of the castle of Scarborough by Thomas Stafford,(1449) second
son of Lord Stafford, in which he was reported to have received
encouragement from the King of France, was made a _casus belli_, and Henry
was proclaimed an open enemy (7 June, 1557).(1450) French subjects were
allowed forty days to quit the country, and letters of marque were issued
by proclamation on the 9th June.(1451) On the 5th July Philip once more
left England for Flanders,(1452) having succeeded in the object for which
he had come, viz., the declaration of war against France.


The citizens of London at once began to take stock of their munitions of
war. On the 22nd June the Chamberlain was instructed to prepare with all
convenient speed four dozen good _splentes_ and as many good _sallettes_
or _sculles_ for the city’s use, and to cause a bowyer to "peruse" the
city’s bows and to put them in such good order that they might be
serviceable when required.(1453) In the following month a large force
crossed over to France under the leadership of Lords Pembroke, Montagu and
Clinton. To this force the City of London contributed a contingent of 500
men, the best (according to Machyn(1454)) that had ever been sent. They
mustered at the Leadenhall on the 16th July in the presence of Sir Thomas
Offley,(1455) the mayor, the sheriffs and Sir Richard Lee, and were
conveyed thence by water to Gravesend and Rochester under the charge of
ten officers, whose names are duly recorded.(1456)


On the last day of July the queen informed the civic authorities by letter
of the departure of her "deerest lord and husband" to pursue the enemy in
France, and desired them to get in readiness 1,000 men, a portion of whom
were to be horsemen, well horsed and armed, and the rest to be archers,
pikes and billmen. The force was to be ready by the 16th August at the
latest, after which date it was to be prepared to set out at a day’s
notice. The letter contained a schedule of names of individuals to whom
the queen had made special application, and these were not to be called
upon by the municipal officers to make any contribution, neither were the
tenants of those noblemen and gentlemen already on active service in


The Court of Aldermen was taken aback at such a demand coming so soon
after the setting out of the previous force, and on the 4th August it
instructed the Recorder and one of the sheriffs to repair to the queen’s
council "for the good and suer understandyng of her majesty’s pleasure" in
the matter. The deputation was further instructed to remind the lords of
the council not only of the ancient liberties and franchises of the city
on the point, but also of the city’s lack of power to furnish a number of
men exceeding any it had ever been called upon to furnish before.(1458) It
was all to no purpose; the men had to be provided; and the matter having
been fully explained to the wardens of the several livery companies, they
succeeded in raising the force required.(1459)


The defeat of the French king at St. Quentin was celebrated in the city by
a solemn procession to St. Paul’s, in which figured the mayor and aldermen
in their scarlet gowns.(1460) The joy of the citizens was shortlived.
Philip’s caution did not allow him to avail himself of the opportunity
thus offered him of marching on the French capital, and before the end of
the year matters had taken a different turn.

(M734) (M735)

In December a Spaniard named Ferdinando Lygons was commissioned to raise
300 mounted archers in the city of London and county of Middlesex.(1461)
At the opening of the new year (2 Jan., 1558) the queen wrote to the
corporation desiring to be at once furnished with 500 men out of the 1,000
men the city had been ordered to keep in readiness since July. As the
matter was urgent they were not to wait to supply the men with
coats.(1462) The force was required for the defence of Calais, which was
now in a critical position. On the 9th January another letter was sent by
Mary marked, _Hast, Hast Post, Hast, For lief, For lief, For lief, For
lief!_ demanding the full contingent of 1,000 men.(1463) Calais had fallen
two days before,(1464) and Mary was determined not to rest until the town
had been recovered. Diligent search was at once instituted throughout the
city for all persons, strangers as well as freemen, capable of wearing
harness;(1465) and the livery companies and fellowships were called upon
to provide double the number of men they had furnished in July last.(1466)
On the 13th the queen wrote to say that a violent storm, which had
occurred on the night of the 10th January, had so crippled the fleet that
her forces could not be conveyed across the channel; the civic authorities
were therefore to withhold sending their force to the sea-coast until
further orders, but to keep the same in readiness to start at an hour’s
notice.(1467) On the 19th January the citizens were informed by letter
that Philip’s forces were on their way to Flanders, under the Duke of
Savoy, and that the channel was being kept open by a fleet under Don Luis
Carvaial. One half of the force of 1,000 men, furnished with armour and
weapons and coats of white welted with green and red crosses, was to be
despatched to Dover by the end of the month, thence to sail for Dunkirk
for service under the Earl of Rutland. The City was to take especial care
that the contingent should be chosen from the handsomest and best picked
men, and superior to those last sent.(1468) The force mustered at the
Leadenhall, the 24th January, for inspection by the mayor, and at five
o’clock in the evening were delivered over to the captains for
shipment.(1469) Three days later the lords of the council instructed the
mayor to make a return of the number of foreigners residing still within
the city, and to make proclamation on the next market day that it should
be lawful thenceforth for anyone to seize the persons of Frenchmen who had
not avoided the city pursuant to a previous order, and to confiscate their
goods and chattels to his own proper use.(1470)


Mary succeeded in March in raising a loan in the city of £20,000 (she had
asked for 100,000 marks or £75,000(1471)) on the security of the crown
lands. The loan bore interest at the rate of twelve per cent., and a
special dispensation was granted to avoid the penalties of the Usury
Act.(1472) The money was raised by assessment on the livery companies. On
the 16th March the Court of Aldermen summoned the wardens of the twelve
principal companies to attend at the Guildhall at eight o’clock the next
morning, in order that they might learn how much the lords of the council
had "*tottyd*" against each of them towards the loan. The smaller
companies were to attend in the afternoon of the same day in order to be
informed of the sums the Court of Aldermen deemed fit that each should
contribute to assist their wealthier brethren. The total amount subscribed
by the greater companies was £16,983 _6s._ 8_d._, of which the Mercers
contributed £3,275. The lesser companies subscribed £1,310, in sums
varying from £30 to £500.(1473)


It is probable that Mary wanted this loan to enable her to prosecute the
war. The country was not disposed, however, to assist her in this
direction. The people were afraid of rendering Philip too powerful.
Disappointed both in her public and domestic life, she fell a victim to
dropsy and died on the 17th November—"wondering why all that she had done,
as she believed on God’s behalf, had been followed by failure on every
side—by the desertion of her husband, and the hatred of her subjects." The
loss of Calais so much affected her that she declared that the name of the
town would be found impressed upon her heart after death. On the occasion
of her funeral the City put in its customary claim for black livery cloth,
but more than one application had to be made before the cloth was



The accession of Elizabeth, after the gloomy reign of her sister, was
welcomed by none more joyfully than by the citizens of London, who
continued to commemorate the day with bonfires and general rejoicing long
after the queen had been laid in her grave.(1475) When news was brought of
her sister’s death Elizabeth was at Hatfield. Within a week she removed to
London and took up her abode at the Charterhouse. The sheriffs went out to
meet her as far as the boundary of the county of Middlesex, the limit of
their jurisdiction, dressed in coats of velvet, with their chains about
their necks and white rods in their hands. Having first kissed their rods,
they handed them to the queen, who immediately returned them, and the
sheriffs thereupon joined the gentlemen of the cavalcade and rode before
her majesty until they met Sir Thomas Leigh,(1476) the mayor, and his
brethren the aldermen. The sheriffs then fell back and took their places
among the aldermen.(1477) From the Charterhouse she removed after a stay
of a few days to the Tower, amid the blare of trumpets, the singing of
children and the firing of ordnance.


The Court of Common Council (21 Nov.) agreed to levy two fifteenths on the
inhabitants of the city for the customary present to be given the new
queen on her passing through the city to her coronation, which was to take
place on the 15th January following, as well as for defraying the costs of
pageants on the occasion.(1478) Committees were appointed to see that the
several conduits, the Standard and Cross in Cheap, and other parts of the
city were seemly trimmed and decked with pageants, fine paintings and rich
cloth of Arras, silver and gold, as at the coronation of Queen Mary, and
better still if it conveniently could be done.(1479) Among those appointed
to devise pageants for the occasion and to act as masters of the ceremony
was Richard Grafton, the printer.(1480) Eight commoners were appointed by
the Court of Aldermen (17 Dec.) to attend upon the chief butler of England
at the cupboard at the coronation banquet.(1481)


A curious instance of a strike among painters is recorded at this time.
The painters of the city, we are told, utterly refused to fresh paint and
trim the great conduit in Cheap for the coronation for the sum of twenty
marks. This being the case, the surveyors of the city were instructed to
cause the same to be covered with cloth of Arras having escutcheons of the
queen’s Arms finely made and set therein, and the wardens of the Painters’
Company were called upon to render assistance with advice and men for
reasonable remuneration.(1482)


The main object which Elizabeth kept before her eyes, from first to last,
was the preservation of peace—peace within the Church and without. Her
natural inclination was towards the more ornate ritual of the Roman
Church, but the necessity she was under of gaining the support of the
Protestants, whom even the fires of Smithfield had failed to suppress,
inspired restraint. All her actions were marked with caution and
deliberation. From the day of her accession religious persecution in its
worst form ceased. Non-conformity was no longer punished by death.
Preachers who took advantage of the lull which followed the Marian
persecution and resumed disputatious sermons, as they did more especially
in the city, were silenced by royal proclamation,(1483) which ordered them
to confine themselves to reading the gospel and epistle for the day, and
the Ten Commandments, in the vulgar tongue, without adding any comment.
They were further ordered to make use of no public prayer, rite or
ceremony other than that already accepted until parliament should ordain


Parliament met in January, 1559, and at once acknowledged the queen’s
legitimacy and her title to the crown, an acknowledgment which she had
failed to obtain from the Pope. An Act of Uniformity was passed forbidding
the use of any form of public prayer other than that set out in the last
Prayer Book of Edward VI, amended in those particulars which savoured of
ultra-Protestantism. The same parliament also passed an Act of Supremacy,
which dropt the title of supreme head of the Church with reference to the
queen, but still upheld the ancient jurisdiction of the Crown over all
ecclesiastics. Having accomplished this much, parliament was dissolved (8


On the following Whitsunday (14 May) Divine Service was conducted in the
city in English according to the Book of Common Prayer.(1484)
Commissioners were appointed in July "to ride about the realm for the
establishing of true religion," four being nominated for the city, whose
duty it was to call before them divers persons of every parish and make
them swear to observe "certain injunctions newly set out in print."(1485)
The election of a new mayor at Michaelmas was followed by the celebration
of a "communion" in the Guildhall Chapel."(1486)


The success of Elizabeth’s policy was unfortunately marred by the excess
of zeal displayed by the reformers. More especially was this the case in
the city of London. Had the inhabitants bent their energy towards putting
down the disgraceful trafficking that went on within the very walls of
their cathedral church, shutting up gambling houses, and stopping
interludes and plays which made a jest of religion, instead of leaving
such abuses to be corrected by royal proclamation,(1487) their conduct
would have met with universal approbation. Instead of this they again set
to work pulling down roods, smashing up ancient tombs and committing to
the flames vestments and service books—the work of years of artistic
labour(1488)—until the wanton destruction was restricted, if not
altogether stopped, by the queen’s orders.(1489)


In the meantime the state of affairs with France and Scotland demanded
Elizabeth’s attention. The marriage of Mary Stuart with the Dauphin of
France had taken place in April, 1558, and the sudden death of Henry II of
France by an accident at a tournament had soon afterwards raised her and
her husband to the throne. Mary now assumed the arms and style of Queen of
England, and the life-long quarrel between her and Elizabeth was about to
commence. By the end of the year (1559) Mary had collected a sufficient
force at her back to render her mistress of Scotland. In the following
January a French fleet was ready to set sail. Nevertheless Elizabeth
refused to take any active measures to meet the enemy and to prevent them
effecting a landing. On the 6th she caused proclamation to be made for
French subjects to be allowed perfect freedom as in time of peace, but
English vessels were to be held in readiness "untill yt maye appeare to
what ende the greate preparaciouns of Fraunce do entende."(1490) Long
after the appearance of a French fleet off the coast of Scotland, and when
it had been driven to take refuge in Leith harbour, Elizabeth still
declared her intention of keeping, if possible, on friendly terms with
France if only the "insolent titles and claims" of Francis and Mary might
cease and Scotland left in peace.(1491) With the aid of soldiers and
seamen provided by the City(1492) the French were forced to surrender,
and, by a treaty signed at Edinburgh, agreed to leave Scotland and to
acknowledge Elizabeth’s right to the English crown.


In 1561 Mary, who had declined to recognise the treaty of Edinburgh from
the first, returned to Scotland, in spite of Elizabeth’s prohibition, and
soon succeeded in drawing over many Protestants to her side. In the
following year an opportunity offered itself to Elizabeth for striking a
blow at her rival—not in Scotland, but in France. A civil war had broken
out between the French Protestants—or Huguenots, as they were called—and
their Catholic fellow-subjects, and Elizabeth promised (Sept., 1562) to
assist the leaders of the Huguenots on condition that Havre—or Newhaven,
as the place was then known—was surrendered to her as security for the
fulfilment of a promise to surrender Calais. The queen (23 July, 1562)
applied by letter to the City of London for a force of 600 men to be held
in readiness to march at a moment’s notice. She had determined, the letter
said, to put the sea coast into a "fencible arraye of warre."(1493) The
men were ordered to muster at the Leadenhall on the 18th September.(1494)
The aim and object of the expedition was set out in a "boke" or


In 1563 a peace was patched up, and the Catholics and Huguenots united in
demanding from Elizabeth the restoration of Havre. The queen refused to
surrender the town, and again called upon the City of London to furnish
her with 1,000 men for the purpose of enabling her to secure Havre, and to
compel the French to surrender Calais as promised.(1496) The Court of
Aldermen hesitated to raise so large a force, and sent a deputation of
three of their court to wait upon the lords of the Privy Council the same
afternoon, with a view to having the number reduced to 500 on the ground
that the City had supplied so many soldiers during the past year.(1497)
The deputation having reported to the court the next day (3 July) that the
Privy Council would make no abatement in the number of soldiers to be
furnished, it was agreed to renew the application.(1498) Again the City’s
request was refused, and the full number of 1,000 men was apportioned
among the livery companies.(1499) The citizens, jealous as they always
were of the stranger within their gates, availed themselves of a too
literal interpretation of a royal proclamation and seized all the
Frenchmen they could find in the city with all their belongings. They even
went so far as to attack the house of the French ambassador, and would
probably have gone yet further lengths had they not been stopt by
peremptory orders from the queen.(1500)

On the 8th July the City was informed by letter from the queen that the
French had already commenced the siege of Havre, and was asked to have 400
out of the 1,000 men ready to set sail with Lord Clinton by the
16th.(1501) This letter was immediately followed by another from Lord
Clinton summoning every inhabitant of the city "usinge the exercise of eny
kynde of water crafte" before the lord high admiral or his deputy at
Deptford on a certain day.(1502) The Common Hunt, the city’s
water-bailiffs, two sergeants-at-mace and two sheriff’s officers were
appointed by the Court of Aldermen to "conduct" the city’s contingent to
the fleet lying in the Thames.(1503)


Before the end of July Havre was lost.(1504) The garrison had been
attacked by a plague, which for more than a twelvemonth had been rampant
in London,(1505) and the Earl of Warwick, the commander of the town, found
himself compelled to accept such terms as he could obtain. The garrison
was allowed to leave with all munitions of war. Whilst proclaiming to her
subjects the surrender of the town—not through any cowardice on the part
of the garrison, but owing to a "plage of infectuous mortall sickness"
inflicted by the Almighty—Elizabeth pleaded for tender care and charity to
be shown to the soldiers on their return, due precaution being taken by
the principal officers of every city, town and parish against the spread
of infection.(1506)


The approaching end of the war with France is foreshadowed by an order of
the Court of Aldermen (25 Nov., 1563) touching the re-delivery to the
various civic companies of the "harness" which they severally provided for
the war, and which had been forwarded from Portsmouth and was lying in the
Guildhall Chapel.(1507) Peace was signed on the 13th April, 1564, and on
the 31st July a proclamation was issued for disbanding the navy.(1508)
Throughout the war Elizabeth had been careful to keep on good terms with
Spain, and English vessels found molesting Spanish ships under pretext of
searching for French goods were ordered to be arrested.(1509) An
interruption of commerce with Flanders had been threatened, owing to the
Duchess of Parma having forbidden the importation of English woollen cloth
into the Low Countries for fear of infection from the plague, but
Elizabeth retaliated by closing English ports to all Flemish vessels, and
matters were accommodated.(1510)


The period of peace and tranquillity which ensued enabled the citizens to
bestow more attention on their own affairs. Their cathedral stood in
urgent need of repairs. Its steeple had been struck by lightning in 1561,
and 3,000 marks had already been expended on its restoration.(1511) An
application to the City from the lord treasurer in 1565 for a sum of £300
towards roofing one of the aisles of the cathedral came as a surprise to
the Court of Aldermen, who caused enquiries to be made as to the receipt
and delivery of contributions already made, and returned for answer that
the City of London had long ago delivered "all such mony as the sayd cyty
dyd at eny tyme grant or agree to geve or paye towards the sayd work." His
lordship was desired "no further to charge or burden the sayd cytye wth
the payment of any more mony towards the sayd work."(1512) Nevertheless
the City was called upon for a further contribution two years later (June,
1567), when negotiations were entered into between the City, the Bishop of
London and the Dean and Chapter of Saint Paul’s, which ended in the
Corporation agreeing to find forty foders of lead for roofing the south
aisle of the cathedral, and lending a sum of £150 to the bishop and the
dean and chapter, on condition the latter granted a further lease to the
City of the manor of Finsbury for a term of 200 years beyond the term yet
unexpired.(1513) Whilst repairs were being carried out in the cathedral
itself, something was also being done outside the building to render the
accommodation for hearing the sermons preached at Paul’s Cross more
convenient for the mayor and aldermen and municipal officers. A gutter
which conducted rainwater upon the heads of the lord mayor’s suite at
sermon time was removed; the bench on which the civic officials sat was
enlarged for their better convenience, and places erected for the
accommodation of aldermen’s wives.(1514)


The rapid increase of commerce under the fostering care of Elizabeth
rendered the erection of a Burse or Exchange for the accommodation of
merchants "to treate of their feate of merchandyzes" a pressing necessity.
The matter had been mooted thirty years before, but little had been done
beyond ascertaining the opinion of merchants as to the most convenient
site.(1515) The project, however, took root in the mind of Sir Richard
Gresham, an alderman of the city, whose business had occasionally carried
him to Antwerp, where he became familiar with the Burse that had been
recently set up there, and in 1537 (the year that he was elected mayor) he
forwarded to Thomas Cromwell, then lord privy seal, a design for a similar
Burse to be erected in London. Finding little or no attention paid to his
communication he again (25 July, 1538) wrote to Cromwell suggesting the
erection of a Burse in Lombard Street—the site favoured by city
merchants—at a cost of £2,000. If the lord privy seal would but bring
pressure to bear upon Sir George Monoux, a brother alderman but a man of
"noe gentyll nature," to part with certain property at cost price, he
(Gresham) would undertake to raise £1,000 towards the building before he
went out of office, and he would himself carry Cromwell’s letter to Monoux
and "handle him" as best he could.(1516) This application had the desired
effect. On the 13th August Henry VIII addressed a letter to Monoux
desiring him to dispose of certain tenements about Lombard Street which
were required for the commonweal of merchants of the city, and to come to
terms with Gresham as to the amount to be paid for them. Both parties
having referred the matter to Sir Richard Rich, Chancellor of the Court of
Augmentations of the Crown, as arbitrator, the City agreed to pay a yearly
sum of twenty marks for the houses that were required. Monoux refusing to
accept this sum, another letter was despatched to him from the king urging
him not to stand in the way of a project so useful to merchants and
tending so much to the "beautifitye" of the city. To this second appeal
Monoux gave way, and received the cordial thanks of Henry by letter dated
the 25th November.(1517) Nothing more was done in the matter until it was
taken up many years later by Sir Thomas Gresham, son of Sir Richard.(1518)
Acting, as he did for a long succession of years, as Queen Elizabeth’s
agent in Flanders, Sir Thomas spent much of his time in Antwerp.(1519)
When he was not there himself he employed a factor in the person of
Richard Clough to conduct his affairs. In 1561 this Richard Clough, in a
letter addressed to his principal from Antwerp (31 Dec.),(1520) expressed
much astonishment at the City of London being so far behind continental
towns:—"Consideryng what a sittey London ys, and that in so many yeres
they have nott founde the menes to make a bourse! but must walke in the
raine, when ytt raineth, more lyker pedlers then marchants; and in thys
countrie, and all other, there is no kynde of pepell that have occasion to
meete, butt they have a plase meete for that pourpose." Indeed, Clough got
quite excited over the thought that London, of all cities in the world,
possessed no decent accommodation for merchants transacting their everyday
business, and declared his readiness to build "so fere a bourse in London
as the grett bourse is in Andwarpe" and that "withhoutt molestyng of any
man more than he shulld be well dysposyd to geve."

It was not long before Gresham made up his mind that London should have a
Burse, and in May, 1563, the Court of Aldermen deputed Lionel Duckett, who
was also a mercer, to sound Gresham as to "his benevolence towards the
makyng of a burse."(1521) But however desirous Gresham might be to
prosecute the work, he was prevented from doing so by stress of business.
Commercial difficulties arose between England and the Low Countries owing
to the proclamation of the Duchess of Parma. Up to the year 1564 Gresham
was forced to make Antwerp his place of abode, and could only occasionally
visit London; since that time, however, his business allowed him to look
upon London as his permanent residence, and he only crossed over to
Antwerp when special circumstances rendered it necessary. An additional
reason for the delay in carrying out Gresham’s project may perhaps be
found in the fact that, during his absence on the queen’s business in
1563, Elizabeth had, with her usual parsimony, cut down Gresham’s
allowance of twenty shillings a day for "his diets." Gresham complained
bitterly of this abridgment of his income in a letter to Secretary Cecil,
and also in another letter couched in more guarded terms to the queen
herself.(1522) In both letters he set out the sum total of the money
(£830,000) which he had negotiated for the queen, and referred to his
having broken a leg in her majesty’s service and to his declining years.
Whatever may have been the cause of the delay, it was not until the 4th
January, 1565, that a definite offer was made by Gresham to erect a
"comely burse" at his own cost and charge, provided the City would furnish
a suitable site. This offer was accepted.(1523)


Difficulties at once presented themselves in finding a site. It was
originally proposed to obtain from the Merchant Taylors’ Company a plot of
land between Lombard Street and Cornhill, but the company refused to part
with the property and a new site had to be chosen.(1524) No sooner was
this done, and a place selected to the north of Cornhill, than a
difficulty arose between the City and the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury
as to the terms of purchase.(1525) This having been successfully overcome
and the site purchased, the next step was to invite subscriptions, not
only from members of the livery companies, but from merchant adventurers
beyond the sea.(1526) Such a liberal response was made to this
invitation(1527) that on the 7th June, 1566, Sir Thomas Gresham was able
to lay the first stone of the new building, a deed of trust between the
City and Gresham having previously (14 May) been executed.(1528)


It is curious to note the strong foreign element in connection with the
building of Gresham’s Burse. The architect as well as the design of the
building came from abroad. The clerk of the works (Henryk)(1529) and most
of the workmen were foreigners, Gresham having obtained special permission
from the Court of Aldermen for their employment.(1530) Most of the
material for structural as well as ornamental purposes (saving 100,000
bricks provided by the City)(1531) came from abroad, and to this day the
Royal Exchange is paved with small blocks of Turkish hone-stones believed
to have been imported in Gresham’s day, and to have been relaid after the
several fires of 1666 and 1838. It was the employment of these strangers
which probably gave rise to an order of the Court of Aldermen (19 June,
1567) that an officer should be appointed to attend at the Burse daily
"for a competent season," to see that no "misorder" be done to any of the
artificers or other workmen there employed, and to commit to ward any that
he should find so-doing.(1532)


By the 22nd December, 1568, the Burse was so far complete as to allow of
merchants holding their meetings within its walls, but it was not until
the 23rd January, 1571, that the queen herself visited it in state and
caused it thenceforth to be called the Royal Exchange. Her statue which
graced the building bore testimony to the care and interest she always
displayed in fostering commercial enterprise.


On the door of a staircase leading up to a "pawne" or covered walk on the
south side of the building there had been set up the arms and crest of
Gresham himself, which some evilly disposed person took it into his head
to deface. A proclamation made by the mayor (16 Feb., 1569) for the
apprehension of the culprit does not appear from the city’s records to
have proved successful.(1533) Some years later (21 March, 1577) the mayor
had occasion to issue another proclamation for the discovery of persons
who had defaced and pulled away "certen peces of timber fixed to thendes
and comers of the seates"(1534) in the Royal Exchange, with what result we
know not.


In 1574 the Court of Aldermen appointed a committee to confer with Gresham
touching the "assurance" of the Royal Exchange.(1535) The connection
between the new Burse and insurance is remarkable. The principle of
insurance policies had been introduced into the city by the Lombards as
early as the thirteenth century,(1536) and a Lombard Street policy became
a familiar term.(1537) When the Lombard Street merchants quitted their old
premises for the more commodious Exchange they carried thither their
insurance business with them, and a part of the new building was devoted
exclusively to this branch of commerce. A grant of letters patent which
Elizabeth made to Richard Candler for the making of policies and
registering of assurances within the city was objected to by the Court of
Aldermen, as being contrary to the liberties of the City, and a deputation
was appointed to wait upon the lords of the Privy Council to have it
revoked.(1538) This was early in 1575. A year later we find Candler making
answer to a bill of fees drawn up by certain aldermen and citizens of
London, respecting his office.(1539)

In order to put an end to the frequent disputes which arose in the Royal
Exchange among merchants on matters of insurance, the Court of Aldermen
appointed two of their number to consider the difficulty and to report
thereon. They made their report to the court on the 29th January,
1577.(1540) They had, in accordance with the oft-repeated desire expressed
to previous lord mayors by the lords of the Privy Council, consulted with
their brethren the aldermen, as well as with merchants of the city, both
Englishmen and foreigners, and had drawn up orders agreeable to those that
had hitherto been used in Lombard Street, to which all countries had been
accustomed to submit. The orders, however, not yet being completed, the
Court of Aldermen decided upon appointing arbitrators from year to year to
deal with all matters of insurance, and so relieve the lords of the Privy
Council of the trouble which they had hitherto experienced on that score
at a time when they had weightier matters to attend to. The arbitrators
were to receive one penny in the pound amongst them in all cases, whether
the claim were for whole losses, part,(1541) or averages. Their decision
was to bind both assurer and assured, and they were to sit twice a week
(Monday and Thursday) "in the offyce howse of assurances" in the Royal
Exchange. They were to be attended by the "register of assurances," whose
business it was to summon witnesses. A poor-box was to be provided, to
which the party assured, on judgment, should contribute twelve pence.


On Sundays and holy days the Exchange was enlivened during a portion of
the year with the music of the city waits, who were ordered by the Court
of Aldermen (April, 1572) to play on their instruments as they had
hitherto been accustomed at the Royal Exchange, from seven o’clock till
eight o’clock in the evening up to the Feast of Pentecost, after which
they were to commence playing at eight p.m., and "to hold on" till nine
p.m. up to Michaelmas.(1542) There is another circumstance connected with
the same building that deserves a passing notice, which is that football
used to be played within its walls, a game forbidden in 1576 to be played
any longer either there or in any of the city’s wards.(1543)


The citizens of London are indebted to Sir Thomas Gresham for something
more than their Royal Exchange. By will dated 5th July, 1575, proved and
enrolled in the Court of Husting,(1544) Gresham disposed of the reversion
of the Royal Exchange and of his mansion-house in the parish of St. Helen,
Bishopsgate, after the decease of his wife, to the mayor and corporation
of the city and to the wardens and commonalty of the Mercers’ Company in
equal moieties in trust (_inter alia_) for the maintenance of seven
lectures on the several subjects of Divinity, Astronomy, Music, Geometry,
Law, Physic and Rhetoric. In 1596 these two corporate bodies came into
possession of the property, and in the following year drew up ordinances
for the regulation of the various lectures. According to the terms of
Gresham’s will the lectures were delivered at Gresham House. When Gresham
House, which escaped the Fire of London, became dilapidated, the City and
the Company on more than one occasion petitioned Parliament for leave to
pull it down and to erect another building on its site. The proposal,
however, was not entertained, but in the year 1767 an Act was passed
vesting Gresham House in the Crown for the purpose of an Excise Office,
and providing for the payment by the Crown to the City and Company of a
perpetual annuity of £500 per annum. For some time the lectures ceased to
be delivered for lack of accommodation. When they were next delivered it
was at the City of London School, where they continued until Gresham
College was erected in Basinghall Street.(1545)


In the meantime Protestantism had been gaining ground in England as well
as on the continent. Many who in the evil days of the Marian persecution
had sought refuge in Switzerland and Germany had returned to England as
soon as they were assured of safety under Elizabeth, and had introduced
into the country the religious tenets of Calvin they had learnt abroad.
Elizabeth found herself confronted not only by Catholics but by Puritans.
As she felt herself seated more strongly on the throne she determined to
enforce more strictly than hitherto the Act of Uniformity. In 1565 the
London clergy were ordered to wear the surplice and to conform in other
particulars. Between thirty and forty of them—and those the most
intelligent and active of them—refused and resigned their cures. Their
congregations supported them, and thus a large body of good Protestants
were driven into opposition. But there all action against them ceased. It
was otherwise with the Protestants on the continent, where a determination
arrived at in the same year that Elizabeth enforced the Act of Uniformity,
to suppress heresy, led to the most horrible persecution, and drove many
of the inhabitants to seek refuge in England.


Of the hundreds of foreigners who sought this country, driven from France
or Spain by religious persecution,(1546) none was more hospitably received
than the brother of the great Coligny, the Cardinal Chastillon. The Bishop
of London having excused himself entertaining the cardinal at Fulham, his
eminence was lodged and hospitably treated for a whole week by Gresham.
During his visit he paid a visit, Huguenot as he was, to the French Church
established in the city, where his co-religionists were allowed to worship
without fear of molestation. He further paid his host the compliment of
visiting the Exchange, then approaching completion. At the end of the week
he removed to Sion House, where accommodation had been found for


The influx of refugees from the continent was far from being an unmixed
blessing. Whilst some settled peacefully down and taught the London
artizan the art of silk-weaving, others betook themselves to the river’s
side, where they defied the civic authorities.(1548) A fresh return was
ordered to be made of their number.(1549) It became necessary to forbid
aliens remaining in the city more than a day and a night; they might
reside in other places if they liked, but not in the city of London.(1550)
Mortality increased so much that a committee hud to be appointed (March,
1569) "to peruse about the cytie where apte and convenient places maye be
had and founde for the buryall of the deade in tyme of plage and other
tymes of gret deathe," and to report thereon to the Court of
Aldermen.(1551) An acre of ground, more or less, near Bethlem Hospital was
subsequently prepared as a cemetery by the civic authorities,(1552) whilst
a friend of the mayor agreed under certain conditions to enclose it with a
wall, erect a pulpit and make other improvements at his own cost.(1553)


In the course of time the persecuted Netherlanders took heart of grace,
encouraged by the gallant conduct of the Prince of Orange, their leader,
no less than by the active assistance and sympathy of their brethren in
England, who were continually passing to and fro with munitions of war, in
spite of proclamations to the contrary.(1554) "Whilst Elizabeth dribbled
out her secret aid to the Prince of Orange the London traders sent him
half-a-million from their own purses, a sum equal to a year’s revenue of
the Crown."(1555)

(M763) (M764)

The decline of Antwerp which followed Alva’s administration marks the
foundation of London’s supremacy in the world of commerce. Hitherto the
queen had been accustomed through Gresham, her factor, to raise what money
she required by loans from merchants abroad. Merchant strangers were well
content to lend her money at ten or twelve per cent., seeing that the City
of London was as often as not called upon to give bonds for repayment by
way of collateral security.(1556) When that door was closed to her she
turned to her own subjects, the Company of Merchant Adventurers, to whom
she had shown considerable favour. Her first application to this company
for a loan was, to her great surprise, refused. The matter was afterwards
accommodated through the intervention of Sir Thomas Gresham; and as the
confidence of the city merchants increased, loans were afterwards
frequently negotiated between them and the Crown, much to the convenience
of one party and to the advantage of the other.(1557)


As another means of raising money Elizabeth had resort to a lottery—the
first public lottery ever held in London, although the game called "The
Lott" was not unknown in the city in the reign of Henry VIII.(1558) The
lottery was advertised in 1567 as being a very rich lottery general,
without any blanks, containing a number of good prizes of ready-money,
plate and divers sorts of merchandise, the same having been valued by
expert and skilful men. The lottery was, as we should say at the present
day, "under the immediate patronage" of the queen herself, and the
proceeds, after deducting expenses, were to be devoted to the repair of
harbours and other public works conducive to strengthening the realm.
Besides the prizes, of which a long list is set out in the city’s records,
there were to be three "welcomes" or bonuses given to the first three
winners of lots. The first person to whom a lot should happen to fall was
to have for "welcome" a piece of silver-gilt plate of the value of £50,
and the second and third fortunate drawers were to have respectively, in
addition to their prizes, a piece of gilt plate of the value of £20. The
prizes, the chief of which amounted to £5,000 sterling, although the
winner was to receive only £3,000 in cash, the rest being taken out in
plate and tapestry,(1559) were exhibited in Cheapside at the sign of the
Queen’s Arms, the house of Antony Derick, goldsmith to Elizabeth and
engraver to the Mint in this and the preceding reign.(1560) The mayor and
aldermen agreed to put into the lottery thirty "billes or lottes" at the
least under one posy, viz.:—_God preserve the Cytye of London quod M and
A._ Any profit that might arise from the lots was to be equally divided
between them.(1561)

The livery companies of the city were also invited to subscribe to the
lottery as well as the Company of Merchant Adventurers.(1562) On the 4th
August the livery of the Merchant Taylors’ Company were summoned to their
hall to declare the amount each individual was ready to venture—"all under
our posy in the name of this Common Hall," the posy subsequently
determined upon being the following:—

  "One byrde in hande is worthe two in the woode,
  Yff wee have the greate lott it will do us good."(1563)

The "reading" of the lottery was postponed till the 10th January,
1569.(1564) It took place at the west door of St. Paul’s, commencing on
the 11th day of that month, and continued day and night until the 6th May
following.(1565) It was reported at the time that Elizabeth withdrew a
large sum of the prize-money for her own use previous to the drawing of
the lots, and this report, whether well founded or not, created no little
disgust among the subscribers.(1566)

(M766) (M767)

Before the close of 1568 Alva had severed the last links connecting
England with the Low Countries by suddenly seizing and imprisoning all
English merchants found at Antwerp on the ground that certain Spanish
treasure-ships had been detained in England. Such conduct on his part was
characterized by Elizabeth as "verie straunge and hertofore in no tyme
used betwixt the Crowne of England and the House of Burgondye wt owt some
manner of former conferrence proceedyng and intelligence had of the myndes
and intentions of the prynces themselves on both sides," and she forthwith
issued a proclamation for the seizure of Spanish vessels and merchants
found in English ports by way of reprisal.(1567) She was careful to show
that any former detention of Spanish vessels served as a mere pretence for
Alva’s conduct. Certain Spanish vessels of small tonnage, called "zabras,"
had, it was true, entered English harbours in the west country, and the
bullion and merchandise had been discharged on English soil; but all this
had been done in order to prevent the ships and cargo falling into the
hands of the French ships which threatened them. Some of the treasure had
been even "borrowed"; but this was not contrary to the honorable usage of
princes in their own dominions. The Spanish ambassador had called upon her
majesty to ask that the vessels and cargo might be given up, "pretending
the monye to appertaine to the king his maister," which her majesty had
declared her willingness to assent to as soon as she should have had
communication from the west country. The ambassador, who was asked to
return in four or five days to receive the ships and treasure, had failed
to appear, and her surprise was great to find that orders had been given
for the arrest of her subjects at Antwerp on the very day (29 Oct.) that
the Spanish ambassador was with her majesty. Such was the account of the
matter as given in the queen’s proclamation to the citizens of London. But
there are other and contradictory accounts. Whoever may have been the
rightful owner of the treasure, which in all probability was on its way to
Flanders for payment of Alva’s soldiers,(1568) the opportunity of dealing
a blow to Spain and at the same time of replenishing the Exchequer at home
afforded by the presence of the ships in English waters was thought too
good to be lost.


On the 5th January the mayor received orders from Sir Nicholas Bacon to
seize all Flemings’ goods to the queen’s use, inasmuch as it was quite
possible that what had taken place in Flanders had been done without the
King of Spain’s commission. The following day the mayor informed the
council that he had arrested the bodies and goods of certain merchant
strangers in the city.(1569) Throughout the greater part of the month
frequent letters passed between the city, the merchant adventurers, the
merchants of the staple and the lords of the council concerning Alva’s
proceedings and measures to be taken by way of reprisal. The citizens
showed themselves very anxious to devise measures of retaliation and to
avail themselves to the utmost of the opportunity afforded them of
avenging themselves of their foreign rivals, as the following memorial
signed by the mayor and nine of the principal merchants of the city

"First, we doe thinck it very needfull and necessary that wth all possible
speed the bodies, shipps and goodes of all the subiects of the said king
be had under arrest, and their bodies to be sequestred from their houses,
comptinghouses, books, warehouses and goods; and they themselves to be
committed unto severall and sure custodie and keeping. And that alsoe
comission may be granted to sage persons to enquire and trie out all
coulorable transports and contracts don since the XXth of December last by
any of the subiects of the said king or by any other nation. And that a
proclamation be made by the queene’s mates aucthorite forthwth for the
avoiding of collorable bargaines, transports and contracts hereafter to be

Thomas Rowe(1571) (he had not yet received the honour of knighthood), who
was mayor at the time, happened to be a connection by marriage of Sir
Thomas Gresham, having married Mary, the eldest daughter of Sir John
Gresham, of Titsey, Sir Thomas’s uncle. It was owing to this connection
that the mayor received information of Alva’s arbitrary proceedings before
the news reached the ears of Secretary Cecil; for Gresham’s factor at
Antwerp, Richard Clough, had lost no time in despatching a special
messenger to his master, who, immediately after hearing the news, broke in
upon the mayor’s slumbers at twelve o’clock on the night of the 3rd
January in order to communicate the same to him. The next morning the
mayor wrote to Sir William Cecil informing him of what had occurred and
how under the circumstances he (the mayor) had taken upon himself to stay
the despatch of letters abroad for a while.(1572)


Towards the end of January, 1569, the Duke of Alva sent over an agent,
Monsieur D’Assoleville, to demand the restitution of the treasure. The
mayor deputed John Gresham and another to escort the envoy from Gravesend
to London, where he was lodged at Crosby Place, at that time the mansion
house of William Bond, alderman of Candlewick Street Ward.(1573) At first
he demanded an audience with the queen herself, but was fain to be content
with a reference to her council.(1574) The treasure in the meantime had
been removed to London for greater security.(1575) Negotiations proving
fruitless the agent returned to Antwerp, "having succeeded in obtaining
from Elizabeth nothing beyond the assurance that she was ready to
surrender the treasure when his master promised indemnity to all her
subjects in the Low Countries, and agreed solemnly to ratify the ancient
treaty of alliance between the Crown of England and the House of


That such a large amount of treasure should be lying idle did not commend
itself to the mind of so astute a financier as Sir Thomas Gresham. He
accordingly suggested to Sir William Cecil by letter (14 Aug., 1569) that
the queen should cause it to be minted into her own coin, and thereby make
a profit of £3,000 or £4,000. As for repayment, her majesty could effect
it by way of exchange, to her great profit, or give bonds for a year or
more to the merchants who owned the money, and who, in Gresham’s opinion,
would willingly accede to such proposal.(1577) Bold as this suggestion
was, it appears, nevertheless, to have been carried into execution.(1578)


The hardships already experienced by Spanish merchants from stoppage of
commercial intercourse with England must have been materially increased
the following year by an order of the Court of Aldermen (11 July, 1570) to
the effect that all matters and suits brought by merchant strangers,
subjects of the King of Spain, in any of the Queen’s Majesty’s Courts
within the city of London for the recovery of a debt should be stayed, and
no manner of arrest or attachment allowed until further notice, unless the
stranger suing were a denizen or a member of the Church.(1579)

(M772) (M773) (M774)

By proclamation made the last day of June, 1570, English merchants who had
suffered loss by Alva’s proceedings were desired to make a return of such
loss to the officers of one or other of the cities or towns of London,
Southampton, Bristol, Chester, Newcastle, Hull or Ipswich, as they should
find it most convenient,(1580) and on the 20th July following every
Englishman into whose hands any goods belonging to Spanish subjects might
have come was ordered to make a certificate under his hand and seal into
the Court of the Admiralty, in the city of London, for her majesty to take
further order thereon as should be thought meet.(1581) Negotiations, which
had been renewed for mutual restitution, again broke down, for when the
terms on which restitution was to be effected were to be reduced to
writing, or, in the language of the record, "_put into mundum_,"(1582) the
Spanish commissioners were found to have no authority to arrange matters,
whilst at the same time they wished to introduce clauses and conditions
which Elizabeth could in no wise accept. Seeing that she was being played
with, and knowing that much of the goods of English merchants seized in
Spain and the Netherlands had already been sold, the queen determined to
put up for sale the Spanish merchandise which for three years had been in
English hands. Proclamation to this effect was made the 14th January,
1572.(1583) The queen showed every desire to treat the Spanish merchants
with consideration. The sale was entrusted to Spanish subjects, who, upon
their oath, were to make sale of all the ships, goods, wares and
merchandise arrested, to the utmost advantage they could; and Spanish
owners were allowed, either by themselves, their factor or attorney,
freely to enter the realm within thirty days after the date of the
proclamation to attend the sale, provided they made no attempt against her
majesty or the peace of the country and departed immediately the sale was
over. This proclamation, coupled with the hopelessness of Alva’s case and
the manifestation of discontent displayed by his own ruined merchants, led
to articles being drawn up (25 Mar.) between Elizabeth and the King of
Spain for an adjustment of their respective claims. Sir Thomas Gresham had
previously (4 Feb.) been directed by letter from Lord Burghley and Sir
Walter Mildmay to deliver up certain bonds of the Governor and Company of
Merchant Adventurers to be cancelled now that the whole matter was to be
referred to arbitration.(1584)


To add to the queen’s difficulties, Mary, who had been deposed from the
throne of Scotland and had sought shelter in England, was importuning her
for assistance for the recovery of her lost crown. Whilst Elizabeth
hesitated either to replace her rival in power or to set her at liberty,
the Earls of Northumberland and Westmoreland endeavoured to carry out a
scheme for marrying Mary to the Duke of Norfolk and forcing Elizabeth to
acknowledge her as successor to the crown of England. The Duke of Norfolk
obeyed the queen’s summons to attend the court, and was committed to the
Tower (Oct., 1569).(1585) The earls refused to obey the summons, and rose
in insurrection. On the 24th November they were proclaimed traitors.(1586)
Troops were sent against them, but they cowardly left their supporters to
their own fate and fled to Scotland. The rebellion, fruitless as it proved
to be, caused no little excitement in the city.


The same day that the earls were proclaimed traitors the Mayor of London
issued his precept to the several aldermen, enjoining them to take steps
for safe-guarding the city and taking into custody all rogues, masterless
men and vagabonds.(1587) On the following day another precept was issued
to the several livery companies for providing a certain number of
soldiers, "well and sufficientlie furnyshed wth a jerkyn and a paire of
gally sloppes of broad clothe, collor watchet, one calyver wth flaske and
tuchebox, a moryan, a sworde and a dagger."(1588) The soldiers were to be
ready to serve her majesty at an hour’s warning. The Chamberlain received
orders to amend the several gates of the city and the portcullises
belonging to them, as well as to repair the city’s guns and put them in
readiness, and lay in a stock of powder and shot to serve as occasion
should require.(1589) By the 12th December all fear of immediate danger
had passed away, and the livery companies were ordered to receive back the
armour and weapons supplied to the soldiers and to keep them in their
hall. The men were to be dismissed to their several industries, but still
to hold themselves in readiness for service at an hour’s warning if
occasion should require them. A week later the soldiers were dismissed to
their houses, those who had no house being allowed sixpence a day until
called upon for active service.(1590)


Although the rising in the north had failed, the Catholics were not
without hope. They were encouraged by the issue of a Papal Bull
excommunicating Elizabeth and absolving her subjects from their
allegiance. This Bull was affixed to the door of the Bishop of London’s
palace by a man named John Felton. The queen was alarmed. She believed
that the long-threatened union against her of the Catholic powers had at
length been effected. Felton was seized and tried at the Guildhall. He was
found guilty, and paid the penalty of his rashness by being hanged, drawn
and quartered.(1591) His exemplary punishment failed, however, to put a
stop to Catholic intrigues against Elizabeth.


The defeat of the Turkish fleet at Lepanto by Don John of Austria (7 Oct.,
1571) was commemorated two days later in London by a thanksgiving service
at St. Paul’s,(1592) which was attended by the mayor, Sir William
Allen,(1593) the aldermen and members of the companies in their liveries.
In the evening of the same day bonfires were lighted in the streets of the
city by precept of the mayor.(1594) The immediate effect of the victory
was the release of a large number of captives (variously estimated at
12,000 and 14,000)(1595) from Turkish slavery, for whose redemption the
citizens were constantly being called upon to subscribe.(1596)


Whilst the Low Countries were winning their way to freedom from the
Spanish yoke, and France was suffering the horrors of Saint Bartholomew’s
day (24 Aug., 1572), England remained tranquil, and the city merchant had
little cause to complain, except, it might be, on account of the number of
strangers who rivalled him in his business.(1597) For the better
preservation of peace members of the French and the Dutch churches were
ordered (28 Sept.) not to leave their houses after 9 o’clock at


So long as the Spanish king turned a deaf ear to the exhortations of the
Pope, and refused to make a descent upon England, Elizabeth was able to
cope with Catholicism at home by peaceful measures. But the time was
approaching when she could no longer refuse to give practical assistance
to her struggling co-religionists on the continent. The Netherlands had
for some time past been preparing for open revolt against the barbarous
government of Alva. In 1572 a party seized Brill, and thus laid the
foundation of the Dutch Republic. It wanted but the active adhesion of
Elizabeth to enable the French to drive the Spaniards out of the country,
but this the queen was as yet unwilling to give. Two years later (1574)
she offered her services to effect an understanding between Spain and the
Netherlands, but her mediation proved futile. Both in 1572 and 1574 there
are signs of military preparations having taken place in the city. In the
first mentioned year Elizabeth held a review of the city troops in
Greenwich Park.(1599) In 1574 the city was called upon to furnish 400
soldiers for the queen’s service, and steps were taken to allot to the
livery companies their quota of men or money in view of future
calls.(1600) A store of gunpowder was also laid up.(1601)


If one thing more than another was calculated to precipitate a rupture
between England and Spain it was the action of English seamen, who roved
the seas and indirectly rendered assistance to the Netherlanders by
plundering Spanish vessels, in spite of all proclamations to the
contrary.(1602) The Londoner was not behind-hand in this predatory

(M782) (M783)

In June, 1575, the queen borrowed a sum of £30,000 from the citizens on
security.(1603) The money was subscribed by the wealthier class of
citizens, and a moiety of the loan was repaid in little more than a
twelvemonth.(1604) Whatever may have been her faults, Elizabeth honestly
paid her debts, and when she discovered in 1577 that money which she had
repaid to certain officials had not reached the hands of the original
creditor, she forthwith issued a proclamation commanding all such
creditors to send in their claims in writing to the chief officer of her
majesty’s household.(1605) It is difficult to dissociate altogether this
proclamation from the removal of George Heton from the office of
Chamberlain of the City three months afterwards.(1606)


In February, 1578, the City was called upon to provide 2,000 arquebusiers.
Refusal was useless, although an attempt was made to get the number
reduced to 500. The mayor had scarcely issued his precept to the aldermen
to raise the men before he received another order for 2,000 to be trained
as directed in handling and using their weapons and kept in readiness for
future service.(1607) One hundred and fifty men were ordered (12 June) to
be ready at an hour’s notice for foreign service.(1608) Strangers and
foreigners were not exempt.(1609) Some of the city companies were slow in
paying their quota of expenses of fitting out the men, and pressure had to
be brought to bear on them by the Court of Aldermen.(1610)

(M785) (M786) (M787)

In the following year Casimir, Count Palatine of the Rhine, paid a visit
to England to answer a charge brought against him by the English envoy in
Holland, of having used forces against the Netherlanders which had been
despatched from these shores for their support. On the evening of
Thursday, the 22nd January, 1579, the Count landed at the Tower, where he
was received by a party of noblemen and others, among whom we may
conjecture was the Mayor of London and representatives of the city.(1611)
Thence he was conducted by the light of cressets to Gresham’s house, in
Bishopsgate Street, where he was received with music and lodged and
feasted by the worthy owner for three days. The honour thus shown to
Gresham is only one more proof of the esteem and respect in which he was
universally held by all parties, and, "in truth," as his biographer justly
remarks,(1612) "his great experience, his long and familiar intercourse
with men of all grades and professions, from princes and nobles—with whom
... he was on as intimate a footing as the impassable barrier of rank will
permit—to the lowliest of his own dependants, the knowledge of men and
manners which he must have derived from foreign travel, and his
acquaintance with all the languages of civilised Europe, must have
rendered him, towards the close of his life especially, as favourable a
specimen as could have been selected of the English gentleman of that
day." Casimir’s reception was one of the last acts of public service
performed by Gresham, for before the close of the year he had died (21
Nov.). On Sunday (25 Jan.) the Count was conducted to Westminster for an
interview with the queen, after which lodgings were assigned to him in
Somerset House. The court of Common Council had already (23 Jan.) voted
"Duke Cassimerus" a gratification "in moneye or anye other thinge" to the
value of 500 marks.(1613) His visit was one round of feasting, hunting and
sight-seeing; one day dining with the lord mayor, another with the
merchants of the Steelyard; one day hunting at Hampton Court, and another
day witnessing athletic sports at Westminster. That the Count succeeded in
clearing his character may be surmised from the fact of his receiving the
Order of the Garter before his departure.(1614)


In the following year the plague, which had been very virulent towards the
end of 1577, and from which the city was seldom entirely free, appeared at
Rye (June, 1580). A twelvemonth later it was raging in London, but as the
weather grew colder its virulence abated, allowing of the resumption of
the lord mayor’s feast. The respite was short. In the spring of 1582 it
was again rife in the city, increasing in fatality during the hot season
and continuing until the winter of 1583.(1615) Business was often at a
standstill, the law courts had to be removed to the country, and the
sittings of the London Husting suspended.(1616)

St. Paul’s Churchyard, which served as the burial ground to no less than
twenty-three city parishes, became overcrowded and greatly added to the
insanitary condition of the city by its shallow graves. The mayor informed
the lords of the council of this state of affairs by letter (15 May,
1582), in which he says that scarcely any grave was then made without
exposing corpses, and that the heat of the crowds standing over the
shallow graves caused noxious exhalations. It was currently reported at
the time that the gravediggers were the cause of the shallow graves "as
being desirous to have the infection spred that they might gaine by



The time was fast approaching when the queen would find herself unable any
longer to maintain her frequent cry to the council board, "No war, my
lords, no war!" and she began to concert measures to frustrate any attempt
that might be made to attack her crown and realm by the subtle device of
the Pope’s emissaries or the more open hostility of Philip.


There were two ways in which the Pope and Spain could attack England, the
one by making a descent upon the coast, the other by undermining the
loyalty of the queen’s subjects by the aid of missionaries. A descent upon
the English coast was, for the present at least, out of the question, but
it was possible to wound England by fostering insurrection in Ireland.
Accordingly, in 1579, a large force landed at Limerick under the authority
of the Pope. It was, however, overpowered and destroyed by Lord Grey, the
lord deputy.(1618)

Then followed the rebellion under the Earl of Desmond, who six years
before had regained his liberty on a promise to use his influence to
destroy the Catholic religion in Ireland.(1619) Throughout the Desmond
rebellion the Londoners were constantly being called upon to furnish men
and munition of war. The trouble was protracted by the landing of a force
of 800 men from Spain, with the connivance, if not with the authority, of
Philip. When the rebellion was suppressed distress drove many Irish to
England, and the city became their chief refuge.(1620) A special day was
appointed for apprehending "all suche rogishe and begging Ireishe people
as well men weomen as children" as should be found wandering abroad in the
city,(1621) and steps were taken subsequently to convey all Irish beggars
to Bristol with the view of sending them back to their native land.(1622)


Whilst appealing to force to accomplish their object in Ireland, the
Catholics resorted to intrigue to gain the same object in England and
Scotland. For some years past there had been a steady flow from the
continent of seminary priests, who worked silently and secretly making
converts to the old religion. Every precaution was taken to prevent their
inculcating their dangerous opinions into the minds of the inhabitants of
the city and drawing them off from their allegiance to the queen and to
the established Church. The aldermen were instructed to make return of
those in their ward who refused to attend church. This was in 1568.(1623)
In 1574 all strangers who had crept into the city under colour of religion
and were found to be of no church were ordered to leave.(1624) In the
following year (9 June, 1575) every stranger was called upon to subscribe
the Articles of religion before he was allowed to take up his residence
within the city, and those who refused to subscribe or to attend church
were to give bond for their appearance before her Majesty’s Commissioners
for Ecclesiastical Causes to answer such matters as should be objected
against them.(1625) The aldermen were instructed to make diligent search
in their several wards for such as held conventicles under colour of
religion and inter-meddled with matters of State and civil
governance.(1626) In 1580 a regular Jesuit mission, under two priests,
Campion and Parsons, was despatched to England as part of an organised
Catholic scheme. Campion had at one time been a fellow of St. John’s
College, Oxford. Their first step was to remove a difficulty under which
devout Catholics had laboured ever since the issue of the Bull of
excommunication against Elizabeth in 1571. That Bull had reduced them to
the necessity of choosing between disobedience to the Church and treason
to the queen. The new missionaries helped them out of the dilemma by
explaining that the censures of the Church only applied to heretics;
Catholics might feign allegiance and the Church would say nothing.


Under these circumstances it can scarcely be wondered at that the
government proceeded to strong measures—A proclamation was issued
requiring English parents to remove their children from foreign
seminaries, and declaring that to harbour Jesuit priests was to harbour
rebels;(1627) whilst parliament imposed fines upon all who refused to
attend the service of the established Church, in addition to the penalties
imposed in 1571 upon those who claimed to absolve subjects from their
allegiance and to receive them into the Church of Rome. In the city a
strict watch was again ordered to be kept on all those who failed to
attend regularly their parish church.(1628) It was further proposed to
appoint special preachers to counteract the baneful influence of the
Jesuit priest, and the Bishop of London was ordered to make a list of the
best preachers and to appoint them districts.(1629)


These instructions Bishop Aylmer forwarded to the lord mayor with a
request for a contribution to enable him and his associates, the dean of
St. Paul’s and the dean of Windsor, to carry them into effect. The mayor
replied (6 Sept., 1581) that, as for himself, his office was already so
burdensome, both in work and expense, that it would go hard with him if he
was called upon to pay more than any other parishioner in a Church matter.
Both he and his brethren the aldermen were no less desirous than others to
promote the knowledge of true religion and to inculcate obedience to the
queen by lectures in the city, but the commons would have to be consulted
first. He enclosed a list of lectures already established in the several
parishes, and drew attention to the great yearly charge incurred by the
companies and private persons in the city in maintaining students at the
universities to serve the Church in the office of preaching and
reading.(1630) This expense, the mayor said, warranted the City and the
Companies asking to be no further burdened. The writer concluded by
intimating that, however willing the corporation might be to assist in the
good work, its ability to do so had been much diminished by the indiscreet
demeanour of the bishop’s own chaplain, Mr. Dyos, who had recently defamed
the citizens in a public sermon at Paul’s Cross, "as favorers of userers,
of the familye of love and puritanes," saying "that if the appointing of
preachers were committed to us we wold appointe preachers such as should
defend usirie, the familie of love and puritanisme as they call it." The
City was liable to make mistakes, just as the bishop himself had made a
mistake in appointing so indiscreet a person for his chaplain, but in
other respects they had no cause to reproach themselves in the matter of
appointments. In conclusion they desired his lordship to take order for
the reparation of their good fame.

Hitherto the City had received no direct communications from the Privy
Council on the subject, but three days after the date of the lord mayor’s
letter to the Bishop of London the lords of the council made a direct
appeal to the mayor and aldermen suggesting that a collection should be
made among the clergy and other inhabitants of the city in order to
"oppose the supersticion of popery wch by the coming over of divers
Jesuits and seminarie preistes hath ben of late much increased."(1631)
Little appears to have been done in the matter by the civic authorities
until the beginning of the next year, when the first step was taken by the
appointment of a committee (25 Jan., 1582).(1632)


Campion meanwhile had been arrested and subjected to cruel torture. He was
eventually executed. Parsons, his companion, escaped to the continent,
where he continued to carry on an intrigue against the life of Elizabeth
in conjunction with Allen, who some years before had established the
famous seminary at Donay for the purpose of keeping up a supply of Jesuit
priests for England.


In 1583—soon after Edward Osborne(1633) had been elected to the
mayoralty—a conspiracy, which had long been on foot, for the assassination
of Elizabeth and the invasion of England by a French army was discovered.
Matters began to look serious, and it behoved the queen to dismiss the
Spanish ambassador from England (Jan., 1584) and to see to her forces.
Lord Burghley drew up "a memoryall of dyvers thynges nesessary to be
thought of and to be put in execution for this sommer for ye strength of
ye realme to serve for martiall defence ageynst ether rebellion or
invasion,"(1634) containing suggestions for holding musters and training
soldiers. The navy was got ready for sea.


In April (1584) the City received orders to muster 4,000 men and to revive
the military shows on the eve of the Feasts of St. John the Baptist and
St. Peter the Apostle as accustomed to be held in the days of Henry VIII.
These displays had gradually fallen into desuetude; it was now the queen’s
policy to renew them.(1635) The citizens showed themselves equal to the
emergency, and "mustered and skirmished" daily at Mile End and St.
George’s Field, so that in little more than a month they were in a fit
state of discipline and training to appear in Greenwich Park before the
queen herself, who thanked them graciously for their energy and pains, and
declared that she had no subjects more ready to suppress disloyalty and to
defend her person.(1636)


In July news arrived of the assassination of the Prince of Orange (10
July). Englishmen well knew that those who plotted against his life were
plotting also against the life of their queen, and with wonderful
unanimity—Catholics and Protestants alike—they joined in a "Bond of
Association" for the defence of her majesty’s person. The terms of the
association were afterwards embodied in a bill and submitted to
parliament, specially summoned for the purpose.(1637)


Staggered by the sudden loss of their beloved leader, the Netherlanders
despatched envoys the following year (1585) to England offering to
acknowledge Elizabeth as their sovereign. Upon their arrival in London the
envoys were lodged and hospitably entertained—although not at the City’s
expense—in Clothworkers’ Hall,(1638) and on the 29th June were received in
audience by the queen at Greenwich. After much hesitation, as was her
wont, she at last consented to take the Netherlands under her protection
and to despatch troops to their assistance, but only on condition that the
States gave security for expenses to be incurred.(1639)


On the 9th July the mayor, Sir Thomas Pullison,(1640) issued his precept
to the aldermen for each to make a survey in his ward of all such persons
as were suitable and willing for service in the Low Countries, where it
was intended they should have good allowance.(1641)


Every effort was made to save Antwerp, but it was too late. By chaffering
and bargaining with the envoys Elizabeth had lost her opportunity and
Antwerp fell (19 Aug.). She could be resolute at times, but it wanted much
to rouse her into activity. The news of Antwerp’s fall administered to her
the necessary incitement to deal "roundly and resolutely" with her new
allies. Fresh forces were despatched to Flanders under the Earl of
Leicester, making in all some 10,000 men that had already been sent
thither, nearly one-fourth of which had been furnished by the city of
London.(1642) The queen grumbled at having to send so many—"I have sent a
fine heap of folk thither, in all ... not under 10,000 soldiers of the
English nation," said she to the envoys in October(1643)—and she kept the
earl so short of money that he had to mortgage his estate.(1644) The City
did what it could and made him a present of £500 in "newe angells," but
the City itself was in pecuniary difficulties and was compelled to borrow
or "take up" money to defend its title to its own lands,(1645) which had
been in constant jeopardy ever since the appointment of the royal
commission to search for "concealed lands" in 1567.(1646)


The direct effect of the fall of Antwerp upon the city of London was to
flood its streets more than ever with strangers, and on the 30th October,
1585, the mayor was once more called upon by the lords of the Privy
Council to make a return of the number of strangers within the city, and
more especially of the number of French and Flemish strangers that had
arrived "sithens the beginninge of the presente trobles moved by the house
of Guise in Fraunce and the rendringe of the towne of Andwerpe."(1647) In
April and May of the following year (1586) the year of the disastrous
battle at Zutphen and of the death of the _Chevalier sans peur et sans
reproche_, Sir Philip Sidney—another call was made in the city for
volunteers for service in the Low Countries,(1648) and the civic companies
were ordered to lay in a stock of gunpowder to be ready "uppon eny
ymminent occacioun."(1649)


Whilst operations, more or less active, were being carried on in the
Netherlands against Spain, a new Catholic conspiracy against the life of
Elizabeth, with Anthony Babington at its head, was discovered by
Walsingham. The delight of the citizens at the queen’s escape drew forth
from her a letter which she desired to be read before the Common Council,
and in which she testified her appreciation of their loyalty. The letter
was introduced to the council by some prefatory remarks made by James
Dalton, a member of the court, in which he expatiated upon the beauties of
the reformed Church as contrasted with the Roman religion.(1650) The
discovery of the plot led to stringent measures being taken against
suspected persons in the city, and returns were ordered to be made setting
forth for each ward: (1) the names of the ablest men for service, (2) the
names of those past service, (3) the names of all who were suspected as to
religion, and (4) the names of all strangers born.(1651)


The discovery had also another effect: it brought the head of Mary Stuart
to the block. A commission of peers sitting at Fotheringhay found that the
conspiracy had been "with the privitie of the said Marie pretending tytle
to the crowne of the realme of England," and it only remained for
Elizabeth to sign the warrant for her execution to remove for ever a
dangerous rival. This, however, the queen long hesitated to do, and when
at length prevailed upon she caused public proclamation to be made of the
reasons which induced her to take the extreme course.(1652)


To add to the general gloom, England was threatened before the close of
the year (1586) with a famine, caused partly by the inclemency of the
seasons and partly by a "corner" in wheat, which some enterprising
engrossers had managed to bring about.(1653) In November the mayor caused
the city companies to lay in 6,000 or 7,000 quarters of wheat and rye for
the relief of those who had already suffered from the extreme dearth, and
to raise a sum of £2,500 over and above such sums as they had hitherto
disbursed for the provision of corn and grain,(1654) and the Court of
Aldermen (3 Jan., 1587) agreed to erect a new garner at the


After the execution of Mary Stuart, Philip of Spain laid claim to the
crown of England. For years past he was known to have been preparing a
fleet for an invasion of the country. Preparations were now almost
complete, and in 1587 expectation was that the fleet might be seen any day
bearing down upon the English coast. The inhabitants of villages and towns
on the south coast forsook their homes in terror of the invasion and
sought shelter inland.(1656) The evil hour was put off by the prompt
action of Drake, who, with four ships of the royal navy and twenty-four
others supplied by the City and private individuals,(1657) appeared
suddenly off the Spanish coast, and running into Cadiz and Lisbon,
destroyed tons of shipping under the very nose of the Spanish lord high
admiral, and threw into the sea the vast military stores that had been
accumulated there. Having thus accomplished the object for which he set
sail—that of "singeing the king of Spain’s beard"—he returned, and the
sailing of the Armada was put off for a year.


Preparations were in the meanwhile pushed on in the city to meet the
attack whenever it should be made. Ten thousand men were levied and
equipped in a short space of time.(1658) Any inhabitant of the city
assessed in the subsidy-book at £50 in goods, and who, being under fifty
years of age, was called upon to serve, and refused, was forthwith
committed to Newgate.(1659) If any fault was to be found with the city’s
force it was the inefficiency of its officers, whom the municipal
authorities always claimed to appoint. The Earl of Leicester, who was in
command of the camp which had been formed at Tilbury, held but a poor
opinion of Londoners as a fighting force.(1660) "For your Londoners,"
wrote the earl to Walsingham,(1661) I see their service will be little,
except they have their own captains, and having them, I look for none at
all by them when we shall meet the enemy." He declares that he knows what
burghers be well enough, even though they be "as brave and well trained"
as the Londoners; they would be useless without good leaders,(1662) and on
this he had always insisted. He warns Walsingham against yielding to the
wishes of "townsmen" at such a critical juncture, for they would look for
the like concession at other times. The Londoners were not peculiar in
their desire to have their own officers, according to the earl’s own
showing, for the letter continues:—"You and my lords all know the
imperfection at this time, how few leaders you have, and the gentlemen of
the counties here are likewise very loth to have any placed with them to
command under them, but well pleased to have some expert man with them to
give them advice." Two years later a code of regulations for the
"trayninge of capytaynes" was forwarded by the government to the city, and
there put into execution.(1663)


In addition to the land force the City agreed (3 April, 1588) to furnish
and fully equip for war sixteen of the largest and best merchant ships
that could be found in the Thames, and four pinnaces to attend on
them.(1664) A committee was nominated to sit at Clothworkers’ Hall and
take the necessary steps for fitting out the vessels, the cost of which
was to be met by an assessment on citizen and stranger alike.(1665)
Nothing was said at the time about victualling the fleet, but we learn
from a later entry in the City’s Journal that they were victualled for
three months. On the 16th July the City agreed to supply victuals for
"those twentie shipps lately sett forth" for one month longer, and on the
10th August the Common Council again passed a similar resolution.(1666)


At last the blow fell. On Friday, the 19th (o.s.) July, the Armada was
sighted off the Lizard. A strong wind from the south-west was blowing at
the time, and it was thought advisable to let the fleet pass and to follow
it up with the English vessels then lying in Plymouth harbour. On the
following day the two fleets hove in sight of each other. According to the
report made to Walsingham by Richard Tomson—a Londoner serving on board
the _Margaret and John_, one of the ships furnished by the City—the
Spanish fleet numbered at that time 136 sail, ninety of which were large
vessels, whilst the English fleet numbered no more than sixty-seven.(1667)

Notwithstanding the great superiority of the enemy’s fleet in numbers and
tonnage, the English admiral, Lord Howard, opened fire the next morning,
but took care not to come to close quarters. "We had some small fight with
them that Sunday afternoon," reported Hawkins to Walsingham.(1668) The
admiral had other reasons for preserving caution. His ships were but
ill-furnished with provisions and with ammunition, and even thus early he
had to beg the Secretary of State to send him "for God’s sake some powder
and shot."(1669) The same deficiency of ammunition was experienced the
whole time that the two fleets were opposed to each other, and but for
this the enemy would not have got off so cheaply as it did. Scarcely a day
passed without some cannonading taking place, but never a general
engagement. The English trusted to their superior seamanship and to the
greater activity of their own light vessels compared with the heavier and
more unwieldly Spanish galleons. Again and again they poured broadside
after broadside into the enemy, but always making good their retreat
before the Spanish vessels could turn in pursuit. On Tuesday (23 July),
wrote Hawkins, they had "a sharp and long fight" off Portland, on Thursday
"a hot fraye." And thus the Armada made its way up channel, pestered with
the swarm of English vessels that would never leave it at peace. On the
Saturday following (27 July) it finally dropped anchor in Calais roads,
with the intention of awaiting there the arrival of Alexander Farnese with
his promised aid before making a direct descent upon the English coast.
Farnese did not arrive for the reason that he was blockaded by the Dutch
fleet; but the English received an accession of strength by the arrival of
Lord Henry Seymour with a squadron of sixteen ships, which hitherto had
been lying off Folkestone.(1670)

At this juncture the lord mayor (Sir George Bond), having received
information of the critical state of affairs and that a general engagement
was imminent, issued his precept to the aldermen to summon the pastors and
ministers of each ward, and bid them call their parishioners to church by
toll of bell or otherwise, both in the morning and afternoon of this
eventful Saturday, in order that humble and hearty prayers might be
offered to Almighty God "by preaching and otherwise," as the necessity of
the times required.(1671) Three days before (24 July) he had given orders
for a strict watch and ward to be kept in the city, and for a goodly
supply of leather buckets in case of fire.(1672)


After more than one consultation together, the English commanders
determined to resort to stratagem. They sent for a number of useless hulks
from Dover, and having filled them with every kind of combustible, sent
them all aflame on Sunday night into the thick of the enemy. The result
was a panic; cables were cut and frantic attempts made to escape what
seemed imminent and wholesale destruction. The ships fell foul of each
other; some were wrecked and others burnt. When Monday morning dawned only
eighty-six vessels out of 124 that had anchored off Calais thirty-six
hours before could be found, and these for the most part were seen driving
towards the coast of Flanders. The English fleet at once prepared to
follow in pursuit, but attention was for a time drawn off to the action of
the flagship of the squadron of galeasses, a huge vessel which had become
disabled by loss of rudder, and the crew of which were endeavouring by the
aid of oars to bring into Calais harbour. The Lord Admiral Howard at once
bore down upon her in the _Ark_, but the water proved too shallow. The
London ship _Margaret and John_ followed suit and, although of less
tonnage than the _Ark_, got aground. Richard Tomson sent home a graphic
account of the exploit that followed.(1673) Both ships sent out long boats
to capture the rich prize as she lay stuck fast upon the harbour bar.
Tomson himself formed one of the little band of volunteers. The boats were
soon alongside the galeass, its huge sides towering high above them. There
then ensued "a pretty skirmish for half-an-hour," wrote Tomson, "but they
seemed safely ensconced in their ships, while we in our open pinnaces and
far under them had nothing to shroud and cover us." Fortune at last
favoured the attackers. The Spanish commander fell dead on his deck with a
bullet through his head. A panic seized the sailors, most of whom jumped
overboard and tried by swimming and wading to reach the shore. Some
succeeded, but many were drowned; whilst those who remained on board
signified their readiness to capitulate by hoisting a couple of
"handkerchers" on rapiers. The English lost no time in clambering up the
sides of the monster, and at once commenced plundering the vessel and
releasing the galley slaves. They were only waiting for the tide to take
their prize in tow and carry her off when they were warned by the governor
of Calais against making any such attempt. They were free to plunder the
vessel if they liked, but make prize of the vessel itself they must not,
and this order the governor showed himself ready and able to enforce by
opening fire from the fort. Tomson and his fellow volunteers were heartily
disgusted at having after all to surrender their prize, "the verye glory
and staye of the Spanish armye, a thing of very great value and strength."


This exploit being ended and the long boats having returned to their
respective ships, the lord admiral started in pursuit of the Spaniards.
Seeing them coming up the Spanish commander immediately prepared for
action. An engagement—described by Hawkins as "a long and great
fight"—took place off Gravelines and lasted six hours. The English pursued
the same tactics as before, and with like success. Without losing a single
ship of their own they succeeded in riddling the best Spanish ships
through and through, and at last the Armada was forced to bear away
towards the open sea. The English followed and made a pretence of keeping
up the attack, but by this time nearly all their ammunition as well as
food had given out.


From Tuesday (30 July) until the following Friday (2 Aug.) the pursuit
was, nevertheless, maintained by Howard, Drake and Frobisher. On Sunday (4
Aug.) the strong south-wester which had prevailed rose to a gale, and the
English fleet made its way home with difficulty. It was otherwise with the
Armada. Crippled and forlorn, without pilots and without competent
commander, the great fleet was driven northward past the Hebrides and
eventually returned home in a decimated condition by the west coast of


In the meantime the civic authorities took order for receiving the sick
and wounded and administering to their comfort. Two aldermen—Sir Thomas
Pullison and Sir Wolstan Dixie—were deputed (29 July) by their brethren to
ride abroad among the innholders, brewers, bakers and butchers of the city
to see that they did not enhance the price of provisions and that they
well entertained all soldiers who arrived in the city.(1674) The City
agreed, moreover, to re-victual the ships it had furnished and to provide
them with munition and other requisites. A fresh tax was imposed for the
purpose of "marine and land affairs."(1675)


It was a long time before any certain news arrived in the city of the
ultimate fate of the Armada. There had been rumours abroad that the
English fleet had been victorious—with so many Londoners serving in the
fleet, it would have been strange indeed if their friends at home had been
kept in absolute ignorance of what was taking place in the channel—and
bonfires had been lighted, but these rumours were often incorrect and
sometimes lead to mischief. The mayor therefore issued his precept to the
aldermen on the 30th July—the day after the engagement off
Gravelines—bidding them see that the inhabitants of their several wards
refrained from crediting any news that might be reported of the vessels at
sea but what they received from the mayor himself. The precaution was
necessary "for the avoyding of some dislike that may come thereof."(1676)
On the 1st August, so critical were the times, the mayor issued a precept
by the queen’s orders forbidding householders to quit the city, that they
might the better be ready for the queen’s service if required.(1677) On
the 4th the citizens were informed that if they had any friend or servant
detained as prisoner in the Spanish dominion, or bound to the galleys,
whom they wished to set free, they might have Spanish prisoners allotted
to them to assist towards ransom.(1678)


The first public notification of the complete destruction of the Armada
was made in a thanksgiving sermon preached by the Dean of St. Paul’s on
Tuesday, the 20th August, at Paul’s Cross, in the presence of the mayor
and aldermen and the livery companies in their best gowns.(1679) In
November the queen resolved to attend a public thanksgiving service at St.
Paul’s in person, Monday, the 18th, being the day that was originally
fixed. Great preparations were made for the occasion. The livery companies
were ordered to take up their appointed stations at eight o’clock in the
morning and to follow in the train of the royal procession until the
"preaching place" was reached. Places were to be kept by a detachment of
the "yeomanry" of each company sent on at six o’clock for that purpose.
The "governors of the hospital" of each company were also to attend, staff
in hand, and repair to the "skaffold" for them appointed. After dinner the
companies were to return immediately to their stations and to wait there
until her majesty returned to Somerset House.(1680) The day was afterwards
changed from Monday, the 18th, to Sunday, the 24th, when the queen came in
great state to St. Paul’s. After prayers she took her seat in a closet
built out of the north wall of the church and facing Paul’s Cross, where
she heard a sermon preached by the Bishop of Salisbury. That being over
she was entertained at dinner in the bishop’s palace, and afterwards
returned to Somerset House.(1681)


Whilst the City is justly proud of its own share in the defence of the
kingdom at this great crisis in the nation’s history, it has not neglected
to give honour where honour was most due. Of the great naval commanders
the "sea dogs" of that age—the faces of at least two of them were familiar
to the citizens. Both Frobisher and Hawkins owned property in the city,
and in all probability resided there, like their fellow seaman and
explorer, Sir Humphrey Gilbert, who was living in Red Cross Street, in the
parish of St. Giles, Cripplegate, in 1583, the year that he met his death
at sea.(1682) The same parish claims Frobisher, whose remains (excepting
his entrails, which were interred at Plymouth, where he died) lie buried
in St. Giles’s Church, and to whom a mural monument was erected by the
vestry in 1888, just three centuries after the defeat of the Armada, to
which he had contributed so much. If Hawkins himself did not reside in the
city, his widow had a mansion house in Mincing Lane.(1683) He, too, had
probably lived there, for although he died and was buried at sea, a
monument was erected to his memory and that of Katherine, his first wife,
in the church of St. Dunstan-in-the-East.(1684) There is one other—a
citizen of London and son of an alderman—whose name has been handed down
as having taken an active part in the defence of the kingdom at this time,
not at sea, but on land. A monument in the recently restored church of St.
Helen, Bishopsgate, tells us that Martin Bond, son of Alderman William
Bond, "was captaine in ye yeare 1588 at ye campe at Tilbury, and after
remained chief captaine of ye trained bands of this citty until his
death." The monument represents him as sitting in a tent guarded by two
sentinels, with a page holding a horse.


It was well that the Spaniards suffered defeat at sea, for had they been
able to effect a landing they would have made short work with the
half-trained and dissatisfied soldiers in the camp at Tilbury, and London
would have been at their mercy. Even the presence of Elizabeth herself,
riding on horseback through the camp, as she did on the 8th August, was
but poor compensation to the soldiers for the want of victuals and wages.
Many sold their armour and weapons to pay themselves as soon as the camp
broke up. Citizens of London were warned by royal proclamation (20
Aug.)(1685) against purchasing armour and weapons offered by soldiers, who
were declared to "have most falsly and slanderously given out that they
weare compelled to make sale of them for that they receaved noe pay, which
is most untruely reported." Any armour or weapons bought before
publication of the proclamation was to be delivered up to the mayor with
particulars as to the way the purchase had been effected and compensation
would be allowed.


Notwithstanding the extreme parsimony with which Elizabeth had fitted out
both army and navy, the cost of preparations to meet the attack of Spain
had been great, and she was obliged to borrow money. In September (1588)
the City advanced her the sum of £30,000, receiving her bond for repayment
in the following March; and in the following December she borrowed a
further sum of £20,000 to be repaid by the following April. Both sums were
raised among the livery companies.(1686)


In March of the following year (1589) parliament granted a liberal supply,
but the grant was accompanied by a request that Elizabeth would no longer
await the assaults of Spain, but carry the war into the enemy’s country.
This the queen declared her inability to undertake on the score of
poverty. She promised, however, to give what assistance she could to any
of her subjects who relished such enterprise. Norris and Drake were at
hand, ready and willing to undertake the work on these terms. Already (in
January) the City had been called upon to furnish them with 400 strong and
able men.(1687) At the end of March 1,000 more were required, and each
alderman was instructed to search in his ward for all able and masterless
men and all other persons fit for service that were householders and not
charged with families, and to bring them to the Leadenhall.(1688) With
these and other forces the expedition set sail, but beyond storming Vigo
and committing some damage at Corunna, it accomplished nothing and
returned in July.


Again the city was threatened with danger and disease from the presence of
disbanded soldiers and sailors, who were apt to carry their freebooting
habits wherever they went, more especially when starvation stared them in
the face. Sir Martin Calthorp did what he could to relieve them, paying
out of his own pocket no less a sum than £100. His conduct was applauded
by the lords of the council, who authorised him to raise a further sum
towards assisting the soldiers to their homes in the country by allowing
them a half-penny a mile.(1689)


A royal proclamation was subsequently (20 Aug.) issued promising payment
of any money due to mariners who would make a written application to the
Admiralty. Soldiers were to return to the country where they had been
pressed and apply to the justices or other officers who pressed them, and
who would make a certificate to the lieutenant of the county, when the
soldiers would receive "reasonable contentment."(1690) This, however,
failed entirely to remedy the evil.(1691) Four days before this
proclamation precept had been issued to the aldermen for a good and
substantial double watch to be kept throughout the night of the 16th
August until noon of the next day. There had been a report abroad of a
large meeting of soldiers and sailors to take place as early as five
o’clock on the morning of the 17th in the neighbourhood of Tower


The revolution which followed the assassination of the French king by
Jaques Clements about this time (Aug., 1589) brought fresh anxiety to
Elizabeth, who felt bound to support the Protestant Henry of Navarre with
all the means at her command, as an indirect way of carrying on the war
against Spain. Four thousand men were to be despatched for his assistance,
1,000 of whom the City was called upon to supply. As they were to be
picked men the lords of the council ordered double the number, or 2,000
men, to be got ready, in order that expert officers might review them and
select the number required.(1693) The demand was enforced by a letter from
the queen herself, in which she drew attention to the necessity of
assisting one whose preservation was of so much importance to
England.(1694) The city’s gates were at once closed by the mayor’s orders
to prevent the exodus of "lusty, strong, able and young men" to avoid
service.(1695) Although Henry IV was materially assisted by the arrival of
English troops, their operations were chiefly confined to Normandy.


A further contingent of 400 men was shortly afterwards (22 June) demanded
by the queen, 300 of which were to be got ready at once. More care than
usual was to be bestowed on their selection, as they were to be employed
under the Earl of Essex,(1696) with whom the City happened at this time to
be out of favour. What was the precise cause of the City’s disgrace does
not appear; we only know that the civic authorities were anxious to
recover the good will of one so near the person of the sovereign, and to
this end made him a "small present," thanking him for his past services,
for the general defence of the realm, and of all Christian estates
professing the Gospel and true religion of Almighty God, and assuring him
that they were not so much presenting him with money, in sending him a
gratuity, as with "the hart of the citie." They begged that if some
private offence had been given to his lordship he would "wrappe it up" in
this public testimony of their hearty good wills.(1697)


In the meantime the Common Council had, at the queen’s request, agreed (16
June) to fit out six ships of war and one pinnace at a cost of £7,400, to
be levied on the companies. This sum was afterwards raised to
£8,000.(1698) Towards the close of the year (9 Nov.) the lord mayor and
sheriffs were called upon to levy 200 able men to be "pioners." They were
to be chosen out of the city of London and the county of Middlesex, and to
be despatched to Dieppe for service under the Earl of Essex "a service
vearie necessarie and we hope not of any long continuaunce,"(1699) wrote
the queen. In addition to men, the queen wanted money; and the Common
Council agreed (18 Sept.) to lend her £20,000 for three months, afterwards
renewed for six months.(1700)


In the meantime Spanish emissaries, disguised as soldiers, mariners,
merchants, gentlemen with comely apparel, and even as "gallantes," decked
out in colours and feathers, had been doing the work of Philip silently
but surely. Some had resorted to the Universities; some to the Inns of
Court; whilst others had insinuated themselves into private families; but
wherever they took up their abode, and in whatsoever capacity, their one
aim and object had been to seduce the queen’s subjects from their
allegiance. So successful had been their efforts that Philip meditated
another attack on England in 1592. At length commissioners were appointed
in all parts of the country to search for these "venemous vipers."
Householders were at the same time directed to enquire into the
antecedents of those who lodged with them, and to mark if they attended
Divine Service or not. A register or calendar of particulars respecting
them was to be kept, to be shown on demand.(1701) Here is a description of
one whose arrest was desired in 1596:—"A yonge man of meane and slender
stature aged about xxvjtie wth a high collored face, red nose, a warte
over his left eye, havinge two greate teeth before standinge out very
apparant, he nameth himselffe Edward Harrison borne in Westmerland,
apparelled in a crane collored fustian dublet, rounde hose, after the
frenche facion, an olde paire of yollowe knit neather stockes, he escaped
wthout either cloake, girdle, garters or shoes."(1702)


Whilst all exportation of munitions of war, corn and other victual into
Spain or Portugal was strictly forbidden,(1703) the merchants of London,
as well as noblemen and wealthy country gentlemen, were encouraged to deal
blows at the enemy by fitting out privateers for scouring the Spanish
Main.(1704) Many a rich prize was thus brought home, the spoil being
divided by specially appointed commissioners,(1705) whose duty it was,
among other things, to see that the Crown was not defrauded of the custom
due upon the goods thus captured."(1706) The "fleet of the city of London"
was very successful in this kind of work, and a sum of £6,000 fell to its
lot as prize-money in 1591. This sum was ventured again in an expedition
undertaken by Raleigh in the following year,(1707) with the result that
the City netted no less a sum than £12,000, its share of the spoil of a
rich "carraque" that Raleigh had captured.(1708)


This lucky windfall befell the citizens at a time when money was sorely
needed for building a pest-house or hospital for sufferers from the
plague, which again visited the city at the close of 1592.(1709) The cost
of such a building was estimated at £6,000. Various schemes were proposed
for raising the money. At one time (July, 1593) it was resolved that the
several livery companies which had taken shares in Raleigh’s venture
should contribute twelvepence in the pound of their clear gain towards the
object.(1710) Later on (May, 1594) the companies were called upon to
contribute one-third of their clear gain. Even this proved insufficient,
and had to be supplemented by a "benevolence" in each ward.(1711) Another
year went by, and the hospital was still unfinished.(1712)


The strain which the continuation of the war and the threatened renewal of
a Spanish invasion imposed upon the inhabitants of London at large was a
great one, and appears to have affected the mind of a weak and hysterical
woman, Anne Burnell. She gave out that she was a daughter of the king of
Spain, and that the arms of England and Spain were to be seen, like
_stigmata_, upon her back, as was vouched for by her servant Alice Digges.
After medical examination, which proved her statement to be "false and
proceedinge of some lewde and imposterouse pretence," she and her maid
were ordered to be whipt,—"ther backes only beeinge layd bare,"—at the
cart’s tail through the city on a market day, "with a note in writinge
uppon the hinder part of there heades shewinge the cawse of there saide


On the 16th July, 1594, the queen informed the citizens by letter of the
king of Spain having made preparations to get possession of the harbour of
Brest, and her determination to oppose him. She had given orders for
certain companies of soldiers to be levied in divers counties, and she
called upon the citizens to furnish her with a contingent of 450 men. They
were to be well trained and supplied with armour and weapons; their "coate
and conduct monye" would be found for them.(1714) The Court of Common
Council met on the following day and agreed to provide the number of
soldiers required.(1715) It had already (15 July) agreed to furnish six
ships and two pinnaces for her majesty’s service,(1716) which William
Garraway and other owners of ships contracted to find for the sum of


On Michaelmas-day (1594) John Spencer—"Rich Spencer" as he was called,
from his extraordinary wealth—was elected mayor for the ensuing
year.(1718) His daughter, much against her father’s will, married Lord
Compton. To thwart the matrimonial designs of a nobleman was in those days
a perilous task, and Alderman Spencer was committed to the Fleet "for a
contempt" in endeavouring to conceal his daughter. "Our Sir John Spencer,
of London"—writes John Chamberlain(1719) to Dudley Carleton (15 March,
1599)—"was the last weeke committed to the Fleet for a contempt and hiding
away his daughter, who, they say, is contracted to the Lord Compton; but
now he is out again, and by all meanes seekes to hinder the match,
alledging a precontract to Sir Arthur Henningham’s sonne. But upon his
beating and misusing her she was sequestred to one Barkers, a proctor, and
from thence to Sir Henry Billingsleyes,(1720) where she yet remaines till
the matter be tried. If the obstinate and self-willed fellow shold persist
in his doggednes (as he protests he will) and geve her nothing, the poore
lord shold have a warme catch."

A few weeks after Spencer’s confinement in the Fleet we find him at
variance with his brother aldermen for digging a pit on his estate near
"Canbury," or Canonbury, and thereby drawing off water which should have
gone to supply the poor of St. Bartholomew’s Hospital to his own mansion.
A request was sent to him by the mayor and Court of Aldermen to cease the
conveyance of water until further order had been taken therein.(1721) Two
years later his "doggednes" once more got him into trouble, and he was
committed to Wood Street Compter for refusing to pay certain small sums of
money due from him towards furnishing soldiers and armour.(1722) He died
the 30th March, 1609, leaving behind him £80,000.

His daughter, who inherited her father’s money, was possessed also of some
of her father’s spirit, and Lord Compton appears to have got "a warme
catch" indeed to judge from a letter she addressed to him soon after her
father’s death. After reminding her "sweete life" of the care she had ever
taken of his estate and of her excellent behaviour, she begs him to allow
her £1,600 per annum, to be paid quarterly, besides £600 a year for
charitable works. She will have three horses for her own saddle "that none
shall dare to lend or borrow; none lend but I, none borrow but you." She
will have so many gentlemen and so many gentlewomen to wait upon her at
home, whilst riding, hunting, hawking or travelling. When on the road she
will have laundresses "sent away with the carriages to see all safe," and
chambermaids sent before with the grooms that the chambers may be ready,
sweet and clean. Seeing that her requests are so reasonable she expects
her husband to find her children in apparel and schooling, and all her
servants in wages. She concludes by declaring her will to have her houses
handsomely furnished, not omitting "silver warming pans," warns her
husband against lending money to the lord chamberlain, and prays him to
increase her allowance and double her attendance on his becoming an


Spencer was succeeded in the mayoralty by Sir Stephen Slaney, and the
latter’s year of office proved a busy one. Spain was meditating another
descent on England "with a greate navy of shippes by sea and huge powers
of men by lande," and the City was expected to furnish sixteen ships and
10,000 men for land service. The naval demand was extravagant, and after
some remonstrance was reduced to one for twelve ships and two pinnaces,
with a complement of 1,200 men.(1724) The City made an attempt to get a
reduction made also in the land force, but with what success is not clear.
This was in December, 1595. The money was found by imposing a tax of 2_s._
8_d._ in the pound for goods and 4_s._ in the pound for lands on every
inhabitant of the city,(1725) and by advances made by the livery
companies.(1726) On the 8th January (1596) the queen addressed a very
gracious letter of thanks to the City for the promptitude displayed in
furnishing the ships.(1727) Instead of waiting for Spain to attack,
Elizabeth carried the war into the enemy’s country, and Cadiz was captured
six months later by Essex and Howard. This exploit, in which the city of
London took its share, has been described(1728) as the most brilliant that
had ever been achieved by English arms between Agincourt and Blenheim, and
it was celebrated in London with bonfires and general rejoicing.(1729) As
soon as the Common Council heard of the arrival of the fleet from its
successful voyage it despatched commissioners to see after the City’s
share of prize money.(1730)


In the meantime (April, 1596) the queen’s tortuous and parsimonious policy
had led to Calais falling into the hands of Spain. She had called upon the
Londoners to furnish 1,000 soldiers to assist in raising the siege, but it
is a question whether they ever got beyond Dover.(1731) Roused for the
time to a more energetic line of action, she determined to prevent, if
possible, the sister town of Boulogne falling into the hands of Spain, and
she called upon the city of London to supply 405 men towards the force to
be despatched in the autumn for its defence.(1732)


The necessity of recruiting the garrison of the cautionary town of
Flushing, from which troops had recently been withdrawn for service on the
high seas, compelled the queen to apply again to the City (July, 1596) for
a contingent of 200 men.(1733)


This constant drain on the resources of the city at length called forth a
remonstrance. The city was being threatened with famine at the close of
the year (1596), when another demand arrived for ten ships to be fitted
out for the public service. The matter was referred to a committee, and a
reply was drawn up, which was practically a refusal to obey the commands
of the council.(1734)


It set forth the utter inability of the citizens, however willing they
might be, to supply more ships. They had already expended on sea service
alone, and irrespective of their disbursements in 1588, no less a sum than
100,000 marks within the last few years; so that the lords of the council
would see that the citizens had not been wanting in good will and
affection towards] that service. The same good will still remained, but
there was lacking the like ability, owing partly to former charges by sea
and land, but more especially to the great scarcity of victual which had
continued in the city for the past three years, and had compelled many who
had formerly been well off to reduce their expenditure, whilst others had
been obliged to relinquish their trades and break up their households. As
a proof of the poverty existing in the city their lordships were reminded
that when wheat was offered at a very moderate rate many were too poor to
purchase any. The wealthier sort would therefore have to be called upon to
subscribe towards the maintenance of the poorer class, and so be rendered
less able to contribute to other demands. The letter proceeded to draw
their lordships’ attention to what after all was the reason which weighed
most with the citizens for refusing to contribute any more to the naval
service. "Besides theis defectes" wrote the mayor and corporation "we may
not conceale the great discontentment and utter discouragement of the
common people wthin this citie touchinge their adventure in the late viage
to the towne at _Cales_ [Cadiz] wch albeit it was perfourmed wth soe great
honor and happy successe as that the enemye was greatly weakned, the army
enritched and such store of treasure and other comodities (besides that
wch was thear embeazelled) brought safe home as was sufficient to defraye
the charges of the whole voyage, yet forasmuch as neither their principall
nor any parte thereof was restored unto them contrarie to the meaninge of
the contract set downe in writinge under the signatures of two noble
persons in her highnes name, they are made hereby utterly unfitt and
indisposed for the like service to be done hereafter."(1735) The Cadiz
adventure—they went on to say—had cost the City £1,900, a great part of
which sum was still not collected, whilst the City’s Chamber was already
in debt to the extent of £14,000 and utterly unable to afford relief. The
writers, in conclusion, expressed themselves ready to contribute towards
the defence of the whole realm in like proportion as others of her
majesty’s subjects, and with this arrangement they felt sure her majesty
would be well content.

What was the effect of this reply does not appear; but in one respect the
queen was more than a match for the citizens. They had pleaded scarcity of
provisions and poverty as an excuse for not carrying out her recent
orders. Very good; let the livery companies, whose duty it was to find men
and money when required, practise a little self-restraint in the coming
summer (1597). Let them, she said, forbear giving feasts in their halls
and elsewhere, and bestow half the money thus saved on the poor; and the
order of the Court of Aldermen went forth accordingly.(1736)


For some years past it had always been feared lest Spain should again
endeavour to strike at England through Ireland. A rising in Ulster under
Hugh O’Neill, known in England as the Earl of Tyrone, in 1594 was followed
by an appeal to Spain for help in 1595. Philip acceded to the request and
another Armada was got ready; but the fleet had scarcely put to sea before
it suffered a similar fate to the Armada of 1588 and was shattered by a
storm (Dec., 1596). The Tyrone rebellion necessitated further calls on the
City for men and money. In May, 1597, it was asked to furnish 500 men,
such as Sir Samuel Bagnall might approve of.(1737) In the following
year—when Bagnall met with a crushing defeat on the Blackwater—it was
called upon to supply a further contingent of 300 men and to lend the
queen a sum of £20,000.(1738) In 1599 Elizabeth sent her favourite Essex
to conquer Ireland in good earnest, to prevent the country falling into
the hands of Spain. She at the same time called upon the City for more
soldiers, and borrowed another sum of £60,000 on mortgage.(1739)


In the meantime a report again got abroad that a Spanish fleet was
assembling at Brest for a descent on England. On the 25th July, 1598, the
lords of the council wrote to the mayor calling upon him to see that some
twelve or sixteen vessels were provided with ordnance and powder for the
defence of the Thames, and the court of Common Council at once took the
necessary steps for fitting out the ships as well as for mustering a force
of 3,000 men, afterwards raised to 6,000.(1740) The city’s forces and the
charge of the river were confided to the Earl of Cumberland. Sir Thomas
Gerrard had at first been appointed colonel of the Londoners, "but for an
old grudge since the last parliament they wold none of him."(1741) It was
proposed to throw a bridge of boats across the Thames near Gravesend,
after the fashion of Parma’s famous bridge erected across the Scheldt in
1585, and the court of Common Council (4 Aug.) gave orders for collecting
"hoyes, barges, lighters, boardes, cordes" and other material necessary
for the purpose.(1742) This project was, however, abandoned in favour of
sinking hulks in the channel of the river if occasion should arise. Watch
was ordered to be strictly kept in the city night and day, lanterns to be
hung out at night and the streets blocked with chains.(1743) It had been
rumoured that the Spanish fleet had been descried off the Isle of Wight,
and although the rumour proved false it caused no little alarm in the city
and gave rise to these precautions.(1744) After a few days the supposed
danger passed away. The fleet, which had been rapidly got together, and
included twelve ships and thirty hoys furnished by the city for the
defence of the river, put to sea nevertheless, whilst the land forces were
gradually disbanded.(1745)


The administration of Essex in Ireland was a signal failure, and he made
matters worse by quitting his post without leave and forcing his presence
upon the queen. He had hoped to recover her good grace by his unexpected
appearance. Elizabeth was not to be thus cajoled. She ordered him into
custody, deprived him of his offices, and, what was of more importance to
him, refused to renew his patent of a monopoly of sweet wines. Although
the earl soon regained his liberty he could not forget his disgrace, and
his overweening vanity drove him to concert measures against the
government. In 1601 he rode at the head of a few followers into the city,
expecting the citizens to rise in his favour. The mayor had, however, been
forewarned, and 1,000 men were held in readiness in each ward fully armed
for the safeguard of the city.(1746) The earl and his band proceeded to
the house of Thomas Smith, in Fenchurch Street, one of the sheriffs, who
had represented himself, or been represented by others, as able and
willing to further the earl’s cause. That the sheriff was thought by his
fellow citizens to have been implicated in Essex’s mad attempt is seen
from the fact that within a week he was deprived, not only of his
sheriffwick, but also of his aldermanry,(1747) but to what extent he had
compromised himself it is difficult to determine. Finding the citizens
averse to a rising and his passage stopped by pikemen under the command of
Sir John Gilbert and Sir Robert Cross, who respectively had charge of
Ludgate and Newgate,(1748) and who refused to surrender them except to the
sheriff in person as the queen’s representative, the earl and his company
hastened to the riverside and returned to Essex House by water. He was
subsequently arrested and committed to the Tower, together with two of his
accomplices, the Earls of Rutland and Southampton. Another of his
followers, the Earl of Bedford, was committed for a while to the custody
of Leonard Holiday, a city alderman.(1749) The queen, who had shown no
more agitation at the news of the attempt to raise the city than "of a
fray in Fleet Street,"(1750) took an early opportunity of thanking the
citizens and her subjects generally for the loyalty they had

A sum of £200 was distributed by the civic authorities among the officers
engaged in the city’s defence, but the two knights at Ludgate and Newgate
refused to accept any gratuity.(1752) For a week or more strict guard was
kept at the city’s gates, whilst bodies of troops fully armed were kept in
readiness at the Royal Exchange and Saint Paul’s Churchyard in case of
disturbance.(1753) Essex was brought to trial on a charge of treason,
convicted and executed (25 Feb.). Sheriff Smith was made to undergo a
severe cross-examination, but appears to have got off with his life.(1754)


Lord Mountjoy, who had succeeded Essex in Ireland, set to work
systematically to bring the country into complete submission. The conquest
was not effected without considerable aid from the city of London. From
1600 to 1602 the citizens were being constantly called upon to supply
fresh forces for Ireland.(1755) A Spanish force which at length came to
Tyrone’s assistance in 1601, and established itself at Kinsale, was
compelled to surrender. The work of the sword was supplemented by famine;
until at last Tyrone himself was carried in triumph to Dublin, and the
conquest of Ireland was complete.


Mountjoy’s work could not be carried on without money, and Elizabeth had
been compelled in 1601 to summon a parliament to obtain supplies. Hitherto
the Puritans, who began in the early part of the reign to gain a hold in
the House of Commons, and had gradually increased in strength, had been
content, in the presence of a common danger, to refrain from offering any
systematic opposition to Elizabeth’s government. But now that the defeat
of the Armada, the death of Philip II and the firm establishment of Henry
IV on the throne of France had removed all danger from abroad, they began
to change front. As soon as the House met the Commons chose Croke (or
Crooke), the City’s Recorder, their Speaker, an honour which the City
acknowledged by ordering (3 Nov.) a gift of forty marks to be made to
him.(1756) When the question of supplies came before the House they were
readily granted, but a bill was introduced to abolish patents of
monopolies, which the queen had been in the habit of lavishly bestowing
upon her favourites by virtue of her prerogative, and by which the price
of nearly every commodity had been grievously enhanced. It was in vain
that the minority in the House found fault with the Speaker for allowing
the queen’s prerogative to be called in question. The majority had the
nation at its back; and finding this to be the case Elizabeth, who knew
when to give way, yielded with grace. When a deputation of the Commons
waited upon her and expressed the gratitude of the House at her
concession, she replied in words full of kindness and dignity, thanking
the Commons for having pointed out her error, and calling God to witness
that she had never cherished anything but what tended to her people’s
good, "Though you have had," she assured them, "and may have, many princes
more mighty and wise sitting in this seat, yet you never had, or ever
shall have, any that will be more careful and loving."


These were the last words addressed by the queen to her people, and their
truth was borne out by her conduct throughout her long reign. Under her
the country had become united and prosperous. By the citizens of London
she was especially beloved, for they always found in her a supporter of
trade and commerce. If the Hanseatic towns behaved unfairly to the
merchant adventurers Elizabeth promptly retaliated upon the merchants of
the Steelyard. She had threatened to close the Steelyard altogether in
1578, when English merchants were ordered to quit Hamburg, and twenty
years later (1598), when fresh difficulties had arisen, the threat was
carried out.(1757)

The queen rarely left London to make one of her many gorgeous progresses
from country house to country house or returned home without some notice
being sent to the city to allow of its inhabitants taking "the comfort of
behoulding her royall persone."(1758) Her love of personal admiration and
of handsome men continued to the last. As late as November, 1602, she
commanded the mayor and aldermen and a number of the "best and most grave"
citizens to attend her from Chelsea to Westminster, and the mayor, knowing
her weakness, ordered the livery companies to choose the "most grave and
comlie" members to join the procession.(1759) In the early morning of the
24th March, 1603, she died at Richmond, to the sincere regret of the
citizens no less than of the nation at large.



   M1 The greatness of London. How far due to its geographical position.

    1 Strype remarks of Thames water that it "did sooner become fine and
      clear than the New River water, and was ever a clearer
      water."—Strype, Stow’s Survey, ed. 1720, bk. i, p. 25. Another
      writer speaks of "that most delicate and serviceable ryver of
      Thames."—Howes’s Chron., p. 938.

    2 During Edgar’s reign (958-975), the foreign trade of the City had
      increased to such a degree, and notably with a body of German
      merchants from the Eastern shores of the Baltic, called
      "Easterlings" (subsequently known as the Hanse Merchants of the
      Steel-yard), that his son and successor Ethelred drew up a code of
      laws for the purpose of regulating it.

    3 "Et ipsa (_i.e._ Lundonia) multorum emporium populorum terrâ marique
      venientium."—Hist. Eccl., lib. ii, cap. iii.

   M2 The tenure of the City of London compared with other boroughs.

    4 Stubbs, Const. Hist., i, 409.

   M3 The powers of an over-lord.

    5 See ordinances made by the Earl (32 Eliz.).—Hunter’s Hallamshire
      (1819), p. 119.

    6 Luttrell, Diary, i, p. 314.

   M4 London under the Roman Empire.

    7 "At Suetonius mira constantia medios inter hostes Londinium
      perrexit, cognomento quidem coloniæ non insigne, sed copia
      negotiatorum et commeatuum maxime celebre."—Tacitus, Ann., xiv, 33.

   M5 Roman highways.

    8 For the direction of the various routes, see Elton’s Origins of
      Engl. Hist., p. 344 note.

   M6 London bridge and the city wall.
   M7 The departure of the Roman legions, and its consequences.

    9 Stubbs, Const. Hist., i., 60.

   10 The church of St. Peter-upon-Cornhill claims a Roman origin, but its
      claim is unsubstantiated by any proof.

   M8 Appeal to Rome for aid against the Picts and Scots. A. D. 446.

   11 This appeal took the following form:—"The groans of the Britons to
      Aetius, for the third time Consul [_i.e._ A.D. 446]. The savages
      drive us to the sea, and the sea casts us back upon the savages; so
      arise two kinds of death, and we are either drowned or
      slaughtered."—Elton, Origins of Engl. Hist., p. 360.

   M9 Meeting with refusal, the Britons call in the Saxons.

   12 "Postea vero explorata insulæ fertilitate et indigenarum inertia,
      rupto fœdere, in ipsos, a quibus fuerant invitati arma
      verterunt."—Newburgh, Hist. Rerum Anglic. (Rolls Series No. 82).
      Proœmium. p. 13.

  M10 The battle of the "Creegan Ford." A.D. 457.

   13 Anglo-Sax. Chron., ii, 12.

  M11 London, the metropolis of the East Saxons.
  M12 Mellitus, the first Bishop of London, A.D. 604.

   14 "In qua videlicet gente tune temporis Sabertus, nepos Ethelberti ex
      sorore Ricula, regnabat quamvis sub potestate positus ejusdem
      Ethelberti, qui omnibus, ut supra dictum est, usque ad terminum
      Humbræ fluminis, Anglorum gentibus imperabat."—Bede, Lib. ii, c.

   15 "Quorum [_i.e._, Orientalium Saxonum] metropolis Lundonia civitas
      est."—Bede, Lib. ii, c. iii. So, again, another writer describes
      London at the time it was devastated by the Danes in 851 as "Sita in
      aquilonari ripa Tamesis fluminis in confinio East-Sæxum et
      Middel-Sæxum, sed tamen ad East-Sæxum illa civitas cum veritate
      pertinet."—Flor. Wigorn., (ed. by Thorpe, for Engl. Hist. Soc.), i,

   16 Kemble. Saxons in England, ii, 556.

  M13 St. Paul’s Cathedral founded by Ethelbert.

   17 "Mellitum vero Lundonienses episcopum recipere noluerunt, idolatris
      magis pontificibus servire gaudentes. Bede, Lib. ii, cap. vi.—_Cf._
      Flor. Wigorn., i, 13.

   18 "Ecclesiam ... beati Petri quæ sita est in loco terribili qui ab
      incolis Thorneye nunenpatur ... quæ olim ... beati Æthelberti
      hortatu ... a Sabertho prædivite quodam sub-regulo Lundoniæ, nepote
      videlicet ipsius regis, constructa est."—Kemble, Cod. Dipl., 555.

  M14 The rival Cities of London and Winchester.

   19 Roger de Hoveden (Rolls Series No. 51), i, 8, 16, 18.

   20 Norton, Commentaries on the City of London, 3rd ed., p. 53, &c.

   21 Thorpe, 114. The Troy weight was kept in the Husting of London and
      known as the Husting-weight.—Strype, Stow’s Survey (1720), Bk. v.,

  M15 London in the hands of the Danes.

   22 Anglo-Sax. Chron., ii, 55.

   23 "And in the same year [_i.e._ 851] came three hundred and fifty
      ships to the mouth of the Thames, and landed, and took Canterbury
      and London by storm."—_Id._ ii, 56.

  M16 The Treaty of Wedmore, A.D. 878.

   24 Anglo-Sax. Chron., ii, 64, 65.

  M17 The Danes expelled from London.

   25 The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle—the existence of which in its present form
      has been attributed to Alfred’s encouragement of literature—seems to
      convey this meaning, although it is not quite clear on the point.
      Henry of Huntingdon (Rolls Series No. 44, pp. 148-149) ascribes the
      recovery of London by Alfred to the year 886. The late Professor
      Freeman (Norman Conquest, i., 56) does the same, and compares the
      status of London at the time with that of a German free city, which
      it more nearly resembled, than an integral portion of a kingdom.

  M18 Alfred "restores" London, 886-887.

   26 Freeman, Norman Conquest, i, 279.

   27 Anglo-Sax. Chron., ii., 67. _Cf._ "Lundoniam civitatem honorifice
      restauravit et habitabilem fecit quam etiam. Ætheredo Merciorum
      comitti servandam commendavit."—Flor. Wigorn., i, 101.

   28 Stubbs, Const. Hist., i, 405.

  M19 An attack of the Danes in the absence of Alfred gallantly repelled
      by the Citizens, A.D. 894.

   29 Anglo-Sax. Chron., ii, 71.

  M20 Successful strategy of Alfred against the Danes, A.D. 896.

   30 According to Henry of Huntingdon (Rolls Series No. 74. p. 150)
      Alfred diverted the waters of the Lea that his enemy’s ships were

   31 -_Id._, ii. 71. _Cf._ "Quarum navium Lundonienses quasdam Lundoniam
      vehunt, quasdam vero penitus confringunt."—Flor. Wigorn., i, 115.

  M21 The London "frith-gild" under Athelstan, 925-940.

   32 Judicia Civitatis Lundoniæ, Thorpe, 97, 103.

  M22 First mention of a Guildhall in London.

   33 This is the earliest mention of a guildhall in London; and the
      ale-making which took place at the meeting of the officers of the
      frith-guild, accounts in all probability for Giraldus Cambrensis
      (Vita Galfridi, Rolls Series No. 21 iii., c. 8.) having described
      the Guildhall of London as "Aula publica quæ a potorum conventu
      nomen accepit."

  M23 The "frith-guild," something more than a mere friendly society.

   34 "Notwithstanding the butt-filling and feasting, this appears to have
      been a purely religious and social guild, and, although it may have
      subsequently become a power in the city, so far, it is only of
      importance as the first evidence of combination among the
      inhabitants of London for anything like corporate action."—Loftie,
      Hist. of London, i, 68.

   35 Laws of Athelstan.—Thorpe, 93.

   36 Judicia Civitatis Lundoniæ.—Thorpe, 100.

   37 Gross, The Gild Merchant, i, 178-179.

  M24 Encouragement given to London merchants.

   38 Wilkins, Leges Anglo-Sax., p. 59.

   39 "And if a merchant thrived so that he fared thrice over the wide sea
      by his own means [cɲæƥte, craft] then was he thenceforth of
      thane-right worthy." (Thorpe, 81.) The word cɲæƥte is similarly
      translated in Wilkins’s Leges Anglo-Saxonicæ; (ed. 1721, p. 71.)
      _per facultates suas_; but there seems no reason why it should not
      be taken to mean literally a craft or vessel. The passage occurs in
      a list of "People’s Rank" which "formerly" prevailed, and is
      probably of Athelstan’s time, even if it did not form part of the
      Judicia Civitatis Lundoniæ.—Wilkins, _op. cit._ p. 70 note.

  M25 Return of the Danes _temp._ Ethelred the Unready, 991-994.

   40 Anglo-Sax. Chron., ii, 105.

  M26 The first payment of Danegelt, 991.
  M27 The massacre of Danes 13th Nov., 1002.

   41 Anglo-Sax. Chron., ii, p. 114.

   42 -_Id._ ii, p. 115.

  M28 The murder of Abp. Alphage, 1012.

   43 -_Id._ ii. pp. 117, 118. Annal. Monast., Waverley (Rolls Series No.
      36), ii, p. 173.

  M29 Sweyn again attacks London, A.D. 1013.

   44 The towns of Leicester, Lincoln, Nottingham, Stamford, and Derby,
      which for many years were occupied by the Danes, were so called.

   45 Anglo-Sax. Chron., ii, pp. 118, 119.

  M30 London submits.

   46 -_Id._ ii, p. 119. Henry of Huntingdon (Rolls Series No 74), p. 180.

  M31 Election of Cnut, 1014.

   47 Anglo-Sax. Chron., ii, p. 120.

   48 -_Id._ ii, p. 120. _Cf._ "Ad hæc principes se non amplius Danicum
      regem admissuros in Angliam unanimiter spoponderunt."—Flor. Wigorn.,
      i, p. 169.

  M32 Ethelred returns to London.

   49 The Heimskringla or Chronicle of the kings of Norway, translated
      from the Icelandic of Snorro Sturleson, ii. pp. 8-11.

  M33 Drives Cnut out of England.

   50 Anglo-Sax. Chron., ii, 120.

  M34 Return of Cnut, A.D. 1015.

   51 Anglo-Sax. Chron., ii, 121.

   52 -_Id._ ii., 122.

   53 Malmesbury, Gesta Regum (Rolls Series, No. 90), i, 215.

  M35 The laws of Ethelred regulating foreign trade.

   54 Freeman, Norman Conquest, i, 308.

   55 Thorpe, Ancient Laws and Institutes, 127, 128.

   56 In course of time the natives of Denmark acquired the privilege of
      sojourning all the year round in London—a privilege accorded to few,
      if any other, foreigners. They enjoyed moreover the benefits of the
      ’the law of the city of London’ (_la lei de la citie de Loundres_)
      in other words, the right of resorting to fair or market in any
      place throughout England.—Liber Cust. pt. i, p. 63.

   57 Freeman, Norman Conquest, i, 418.

  M36 Election of Edmund Ironside by the Londoners, 1016.

   58 Anglo-Sax. Chron., ii, 122.

  M37 Cnut’s attempts on London frustrated.

   59 "At oppidanis magnanimiter pugnantibus repulsa."—Malmesbury, i, 216.

   60 Anglo-Sax. Chron., ii, 123.

  M38 Victory of the Danes at Assandun, 1016.

   61 -_Id._ ii, 121, 123. Henry of Huntingdon relates that Eadric caused
      a panic on the field of battle by crying out that Edmund had been
      killed. "Flet Engle, flet Engle, ded is Edmund."

  M39 Agreement between Edmund and Cnut for partition of the kingdom.

   62 Freeman, Norman Conquest, i, 437.

  M40 Cnut king of all England, 1016-1035.
  M41 Election of Cnut’s Successors. 1183.
  M42 The lithsmen of London attend gemót at Oxford.

   63 Freeman, Norman Conquest, i, 538.

   64 "The ’lithsmen’ (ship-owners) of London, who with others raised
      Harold to the throne, were doubtless such ’burg-thegns.’"—Gross, The
      Gild Merchant, i, 186. _Cf._ Lingard, i, 318. Norton Commentaries,
      pp. 23-24.

   65 Green, Conquest of England, p. 462. Loftie, Hist. of London, i, 73.
      "The Londoners who attended must have gone by way of the river in
      their ’liths.’"—Historic Towns, London (Loftie), p. 197.

   66 Anglo-Sax. Chron., ii, 129.

  M43 Londoners desire for peace above all things.
  M44 Revival of Danegelt, A.D., 1040.

   67 At the death of Harold, Harthacnut was invited to accept the crown
      by an embassy from England, of which the Bishop of London was a
      member. He accepted the offer and crossed over from the continent
      with a fleet of sixty ships, manned by Danish soldiers, and his
      first act was to demand eight marks for each rower; an imposition
      that was borne with difficulty.  Anglo-Sax. Chron. ii, 132.

  M45 London the recognised capital, _temp._ Edward, Confessor.

   68 Anglo-Sax Chron., ii, 132.

   69 Freeman, Norman Conquest, 2nd ed., ii. 5. But according to Kemble
      (Saxons in England, ii, 259 note), Edward’s election took place at a
      hastily convened meeting at Gillingham.

   70 "London, que caput est regni et legum. semper curia domini
      regis."—Laws of Edward Confessor, Thorpe, p. 197 note.

  M46 Gemóts held in London.

   71 For a list of gemóts held in London from A.D. 790, see Kemble’s
      Saxons in England, ii, 241-261.

  M47 London declares for Godwine, 1052.

   72 Malmesbury, i, 242-244. Freeman, ii, 148-332.

   73 Freeman, ii, 324.

   74 Sed omnis civitas duci obviam et auxilio processit et præsidio
      acclamantque illi omnes una voce prospere in adventu suo. "Life of
      Edward Conf." (Rolls Series No. 3.), p. 406.

   75 "Interim quosdam per internuntios, quosdam per se cives
      Lundonienses, quos variis pollicitationibus prius illexerat,
      convenit, et ut omnes fere quæ volebat omnino vellent,
      effecit."—Flor. Wigorn., i., 209.

  M48 The dedication of Westminster Abbey, A.D. 1065.
  M49 Death of Edward the Confessor.
  M50 The landing of William, and Battle of Senlac, 1066.

   76 Anglo-Sax. Chron., ii, 165-167.

   77 "Aldredus autem Eboracensis archiepiscopus et iidem Comites cum
      civibus Lundoniensibus et butsecarlis, clitonem Eadgarum, Eadmundi
      Ferrei Lateris nepotem, in regem levare volueren, et cum eo se
      pugnam inituros promisere; sed dum ad pugnam descendere multi se
      paravere, comites suum auxilium ab eis retraxere, et cum suo
      exercitu domum redierunt."—Flor. Wigorn., i, 228.

  M51 William’s March to London.

   78 Such is the description of William’s march, as given by Malmesbury
      (ii, 307). Another chronicler describes his march as one of
      slaughter and devastation.—Flor. Wigorn., i, 228.

  M52 Sets fire to Southwark in hopes of terrifying the citizens.
  M53 Negotiations between William and the City.
  M54 London submits to the Conqueror.

   79 The bishop was certainly Norman, and so probably was the port-reeve.

   80 Anglo-Sax. Chron. ii, 168-169.

  M55 His charter to the citizens of London.

   81 This charter is preserved in the Town Clerk’s Office at the
      Guildhall. A fac-simile of it and of another charter of William,
      granting lands to Deorman, forms a frontispiece to this volume. The
      late Professor Freeman (Norman Conquest, second edition, revised
      1876, iv, 29) wrote of this venerable parchment as bearing William’s
      mark—"the cross traced by the Conqueror’s own hand"—but this appears
      to be a mistake. The same authority, writing of the transcript of
      the charter made by the late Mr. Riley and printed by him in his
      edition of the _Liber Custumarum_ (Rolls Series, pt. ii, p. 504),
      remarks that, "one or two words here look a little suspicious"; and
      justly so, for the transcript is far from being literally accurate.

   82 -_Cf._ "_Ego volo quod vos sitis omni lege illa digni qua fuistis
      Edwardi diebus Regis._" These words appear in the xivth century
      Latin version of William’s Charter, preserved at the Guildhall.

   83 Liber Albus (Rolls Series i, 26).

  M56 The office of port-reeve.

   84 Opinions differ as to the derivation of the term port. Some, like
      Kemble, refer it to the Lat. _portus_, in the sense of an enclosed
      place for sale or purchase, a market. ("Portus est conclusus locus,
      quo importantur merces et inde exportantur. Est et statio conclusa
      et munita."—Thorpe, i, 158). Others, like Dr. Stubbs (Const. Hist.,
      i, 404 n.), connect it with Lat. _porta_, not in its restricted
      signification of a gate, but as implying a market place, markets
      being often held at a city’s gates. The Latin terms _porta_ and
      _portus_ were in fact so closely allied, that they both alike
      signified a market place or a gate. Thus, in the will of Edmund
      Harengeye, enrolled in the Court of Husting, London, we find the
      following: "Ac eciam lego et volo quod illa tenementa cum magno
      portu vocato le Brodegate ... vendantur per executores meos."—Hust.
      Roll, 114 (76).

   85 Norton, Commentaries on the City of London, 3rd ed., pp. 258-259.

  M57 The foreign element already existing in the City.
  M58 Its increase after the Conquest.
  M59 The charter makes no new grant.

   86 "London and her election of Stephen," a paper read before the
      Archæol. Inst. in 1866, by the late Mr. Green (p. 267).

   87 Freeman, Norman Conquest, v, p. 55.

   88 There appears to be no doubt that the charter preserved at the
      Guildhall had a seal, but not a fragment remains.

  M60 William’s other charter granting the sheriffwick of London.

   89 "Et dicunt quod prefatus dominus conquestor ante fundacionem
      ecclesie predicte et confeccionem carte sue de qua superius fit
      mencio auctoritate parliament sui et per duas cartes suas quas dicti
      maior et Cives hic proferunt scilicet per unam earam dimissit tunc
      civibus London’ totam dictam civitatem et vice-comitatum London’ cum
      omnibus appendiciis rebus et consuetudinibus eis qualitercumque
      pertinentibus.... Et per alteram concessit et auctoritate supradicta
      confirmavit eisdem civibus et successoribus suis quod haberent
      predicta ac omnes alias libertates et liberas consuetudines suas
      illesas quas habuerunt tempore dicti Sancti Regis Edwardi
      progenitoris sui."—Letter Book K, fo. 120 b.

  M61 The strong government of William.

   90 "Tantaque pax suis regnavit temporibus, quod puella virguncula auro
      onusta, indempnis et intacta Angliam potuit peragrare."—Mat. Paris,
      Hist. Angl. (Rolls Series No. 44), i, 29.

  M62 "Doomsday" Book completed.
  M63 Death of William the Conqueror, and accession of his son, 1087.

   91 Anglo-Sax. Chron., ii, p. 187. Flor. Wigorn., ii, p. 19.

   92 Anglo-Sax. Chron., ii, p. 187. Flor. Wigorn., ii, p. 19.

  M64 St. Paul’s destroyed by fire, 1087.

   93 Stow’s Survey (Thoms’s ed.), p. 121.

   94 Malmesbury. ii, 375.

  M65 The Tower strengthened and the bridge repaired, 1097.

   95 Anglo-Sax. Chron., ii, 189.

   96 -_Id._, ii, 202.

  M66 Election of Henry I by the Witan at Winchester, 1100.

   97 "Those of the council who were nigh at hand."—Anglo-Sax. Chron., ii,

  M67 Their choice confirmed by the City of London.

   98 Mat. Paris, Hist. Angl. (Rolls Series No. 44) i, 176.

  M68 Henry’s charter to the City of London.

   99 See Round’s Geoffrey de Mandeville (p. 366), where the writer
      conjectures the date of the charter to have been between 1130 and
      1135, and brings evidence in favour of it having been purchased by
      the payment of a large sum of money.

  M69 The main features of the charter.

  100 Set out under fifteen heads in the City’s _Liber Albus_. (Rolls
      Series) i, 128-129.

  M70 The grant of Middlesex to ferm, and choice of sheriff.

  101 Stubbs, Const. Hist., i, 404, 405. Round, Geoffrey de Mandeville. p.

  102 The sum of 100 marks of silver recorded (Pipe Roll, 31 Hen. I) as
      having been paid for the shrievalty in 1130, appears to have been
      more of the nature of a fine than a _firma_.

  103 "Whereas from time immemorial there have been and of right ought to
      be two sheriffs of this city, which said two sheriffs during all the
      time aforesaid have constituted and of right ought to constitute one
      sheriff of the county of Middlesex...."—Preamble to Act of Common
      Council, 7th April, 1748, _re_ Nomination and election of Sheriffs.
      Journal 59, fo. 130b.

  104 Round, Geoffrey de Mandeville, p. 357. Mr. Round’s statements (_op.
      cit._, Appendix P), that "this one _firma_ ... represents one
      _corpus comitatus_, namely Middlesex, inclusive of London," and that
      "from this conclusion there is no escape," are more capable of
      refutation than he is willing to allow.

  M71 The citizens’ right to elect their own Justiciar.

  105 "It is probable that whilst the Sheriff in his character of Sheriff
      was competent to direct the customary business of the Court, it was
      in that of _justitia_ that he transacted business under the King’s
      writ."—Stubbs, Const. History, i, 389, note.

  106 "Post hoc prædictus Justitiarius ... accessit ad Gildhalle
      Londoniarum, et ibi tenuit placita de die in diem ... et
      incontinenti ... ilia terminavit nullo juris ordine observato contra
      leges civitatis et etiam contra leges et consuetudines cujuslibet
      liberi hominis de regno Anglie. Quod vero cives semper
      calumpniaverunt, dicentes quod nullus debet placitare in civitate de
      transgressionibus ibidem factis nisi vicecomites Londoniarium."—Lib.
      de Ant. (Camd. Soc.), p. 40.

  107 Round. Geoffrey de Mandeville. pp. 107-113, 373, and Appendix K.

  M72 London and the election of Stephen, 1135

  108 Mat. Paris (Hist. Angl. i, 251), ascribes the incessant turmoil of
      the latter part of the reign to the vengeance of the deity for this
      breach of faith.

  109 "Id quoque sui esse juris, suique specialiter privilegii, ut si rex
      ipsorum quoquo moclo obiret, alius suo provisu in regno
      substituendus e vestigio succederet."—Gesta Stephani (Rolls Series
      No. 82), iii, 5-6.

  110 "With the solemn independent election of a king, the great part
      which London was to play in England’s history had definitely
      begun."—Green, London and her Election of Stephen.

  M73 Coronation of Stephen, December, 1135.
  M74 A great Council held in London, April, 1136.

  111 Gesta Stephani (Rolls Series No. 82). iii. 17.

  112 Round, Geoffrey de Mandeville, p. 18.

  M75 Arrival of the Empress Matilda in England. 1139.
  M76 Attempted negotiations between Stephen and Matilda, May, 1140.

  113 "Eodem anno in Pentecoste resedit rex Londoniæ in Turri, episcopo
      tantum modo Sagiensi præsente: ceteri vel fastidierunt vel timuerunt
      venire. Aliquanto post, mediante legato, colloquium indictum est
      inter imperatricem et regem. si forte Deo inspirante pax reformari
      posset."—Malmesbury, Hist. Nov. (Rolls Series No. 90.), ii, 564.

  M77 Matilda formally acknowledged "Lady of England," 1141.

  114 "Juravit et affidavit imperatrix episcopo quod omnia majora negotia
      in Anglia præcipueque donationes episcopatuum et abbatiarum ejus
      nutum spectarent, si eam ipse cum sancta ecclesia in dominam
      reciperet et perpetuam ei fidelitatem teneret.... Nec dubitavit
      episcopus imperatricem in dominam Angliæ recipere, et ei cum
      quibusdam suis affidare, quod, quamdiu ipsa pactem non infringeret
      ipse quoque fidem ei custodiret."—_Id.,_ ii, 573.

  M78 A synod at Winchester, 7th April, 1141.

  115 "Ventilata est hesterno die causa secreto coram majori parte cleri
      Angliæ ad cujus jus potissimum spectat principem eligere, simulque
      ordinare."—_Id._, ii, 576.

  M79 The Londoners summoned to attend the synod.
  M80 They arrive and request the king’s release, 9th April, 1141.

  116 "Missos se a communione quam vocant Londoniarum."—Malmesbury, (Hist.
      Nov.), ii, 576. Exception may be taken to translating _communio_ as
      ’commune’; but even if the municipal organization represented by the
      French term _commune_ did not at this period exist in the City of
      London in all its fulness, the "communal idea" appears to have been
      there.—Stubbs, Const. Hist., i. 407.

  117 "Omnes barones qui in eorum coramunionem jamdudum recepti
      fuerant."—Malmesbury, _Ibid._

  M81 Their request backed up by a letter from the Queen.
  M82 The Londoners after much hesitation receive the Empress into their
      city, June, 1141.

  118 "Proficiscitur inde cum exultatione magna et gaudio, et in
      monasterio Sancti Albani cum processionali suscipitur honore et
      jubilo. Adeunt eam ibi cives multi ex Lundonia, tractatur ibi sermo
      multimodus de reddenda civitate."—Contin. Flor. Wigorn. (Thorpe),
      ii, 131.

  119 "Erecta est autem in superbiam intolerabilem, quia suis incerta
      belli prosperavissent."—Hen. of Huntingdon (Rolls Series No. 74), p.

  120 "Infinitæ copiæ pecuniam, non simplici cum mansuetudine sed cum ore
      imperioso ab eis exegit."—Gesta Stephani (Rolls Series No. 82), iii,

  121 "Interpellata est a civibus, ut leges eis regis Edwardi observari
      liceret, quia optimæ erant, non patris sui Henrici quia graves
      erant. Verum illa non bono usa consilio, præ nimia austeritate non
      acquievit eis, unde et motus magnus factus in urbe; et facta
      conjuratione adversus eam quam cum honore susceperunt. cum dedecore
      apprehendere statuerunt."—Contin. Flor. Wigorn. (Thorpe), ii, 132.

  M83 The Empress forced to leave the city.

  122 Malmesbury (Hist. Nov.), ii, 577-578.  "Sed tandem a Londoniensibus
      expulsa est in die Sancti Johannis Baptiste proximo sequenti"—Lib.
      de Ant. (Camd. Soc), p. 197.

  123 "Anno prædicto [_i.e._ 7 Stephen, A.D. 1141], statim in illa estate,
      obsessa est Turris Lundoniarum a Londoniensibus, quam Willielmus
      [_sic_] de Magnaville tenebat et firmaverat."—Lib. de Ant. (Camd.
      Soc.), p. 197. From this it would appear that the father still held
      the office of constable. A charter of the empress, however, which
      Mr. Horace Round prints in his book on Geoffrey de Mandeville (pp.
      88, _seq._) points to the son as being constable at the time.

  M84 Geoffrey de Mandeville, Earl of Essex, and Constable of the Tower,
      won over by the Empress.

  124 Round, Geoffrey de Mandeville, pp. 88-95.

  M85 Forsakes the Empress for the Queen.

  125 It is not to be supposed that the earl consented to assist the queen
      without meeting with some return for his services, more especially
      as the queen was prepared to go all lengths to obtain her husband’s
      liberty. See Round’s Geoffrey de Mandeville, p. 119.

  M86 Capture of Winchester, and release of Stephen, Sept., 1141.

  126 "Gaufrido de Mandevilla, qui jam iterum auxilio eorum cesserat,
      antea enim post captionem regis imperatrici fidelitatem juraverat,
      et Londoniensibus maxime annitentibus, nihilque omnino quod possent
      prætermittentibus quo imperatricem contristarent."—Malmesbury (Hist.
      Nov.), ii, 580.

  127 "Magnæ ex Lundoniis copiæ."—Newburgh, Hist. Rerum. Angl. (Rolls
      Series No. 82.), i, 42. "Cumque invictâ Londoniensium
      catervâ."—Gesta Stephani (Rolls Series No. 82), iii, 80. The
      Londoners sacked Winchester mercilessly. "Londonienses, cum maxima
      militum regalium parte, modis horrendis Wintoniensem civitatem
      expilavere."—Gesta Stephani, iii, 84.

  M87 His second charter to Mandeville.

  128 The precedent thus set by Stephen, of submitting to the ceremony of
      a second coronation after a period of captivity, was afterwards
      followed by Richard I, on his return from captivity abroad.

  129 This is the date assigned to the charter by Mr. Horace Round,
      (Geoffrey de Mandeville, pp. 138-144). _Cf._ Appendix to 31st Report
      of Deputy Keeper of the Public Records, p. 3.

  M88 London holds the balance between the rival powers.

  130 The date assigned by Mr. Round to this charter is between Christmas,
      1141, and the end of June, 1142.

  131 "Et convenciono eidem Gaufredo Comiti Essex quod dominus meus Comes
      Andegavie vel ego vel filii nostri nullam pacem aut concordiam cum
      Burgensibus Lund[oniæ] faciemus, nisi concessu et assensu præ-dicti
      Comitis Gaufredi quia inimici eius sunt mortales."—Round’s Geoffrey
      de Mandeville, p. 168.

  132 Newburgh, Hist. Rerum Angl. (Rolls Series No. 82), i. 48. Henry of
      Huntingdon (Rolls Series No. 74), p. 278.

  M89 Arrest of the earl, his freebooting life and death, September, 1143.
  M90 Arrival of Henry of Anjou in England, 1153
  M91 Peace concluded between Stephen and Henry at Winchester, November,
  M92 Henry conducted to London.

  133 Sometimes called the Treaty of Wallingford.

  134 The general joy is depicted in glowing colours by Henry of
      Huntingdon, (p. 289.) _Cf._ Anglo-Sax. Chron., ii., 235.

  M93 Fitz-Stephen’s description of London.

  135 Fitz-Stephen’s Stephanides, Stow’s Survey (Thoms’s ed.), p. 208.

  M94 Thomas of London.

  136 Freeman, Norman Conquest, v., 325.

  137 A cartulary of the Mercers’ Company contains a copy of a grant from
      Thomas Fitz-Theobald to the hospital of St. Thomas of Acon of "all
      that land, with the appurtenances, which was formerly of Gilbert
      Becket, father of the Blessed Thomas the Martyr, Archbishop of
      Canterbury, where the said Blessed Thomas the Martyr was born
      (_duxit originem_), to build a church (_basilicam_) in honour of
      Almighty God and the Blessed Virgin Mary, and of the same most
      glorious martyr."—Watney, Account of the Hospital of St. Thomas of
      Acon (privately printed 1892), pp. 9, 237.

  138 Liber Albus (Rolls Series), i, pp. 26, 27.

  M95 Charter of Henry II to the City of London.

  139 This charter (with fragment of seal) is preserved at the Guildhall.
      It bears no date, but appears to have been granted between 1154 and

  M96 The Inquest of sheriffs, 1170.

  140 Contin. Flor. Wigorn., ii, 138.

  M97 The revolt of the barons, 1174.
  M98 Disturbances in the city, 1174-1177.

  141 "De filiis et parentibus nobilium civitatis" and again "filii et
      nepotes quorundam nobilium civium Londoniarum."—Benedict of
      Peterborough (Rolls Series No. 49), ii, 155.

  142 By a strange anomaly, a man who underwent ordeal by water was only
      adjudged innocent if he sank to the bottom and was drowned. Hence
      the old man’s caution!

  M99 The last days of Henry II. 1177-1189.
 M100 Accession of Richard I, and administration of Longchamp, 1189-1190.

  143 Roger de Hoveden (Rolls Series No. 51), iii, 28. According to
      Richard of Devizes (Rolls Series No. 82, iii, 387), Longchamp
      obtained the chancellorship by bribery.

  144 Benedict (Rolls Series No. 49). ii, 106.

  145 -_Id._ ii, 143.

 M101 Longchamp opposed by Prince John, 1191.
 M102 Arrival of Longchamp in London; the citizens divided, 7th October,

  146 -_Id._ ii, 158.

  147 Preface to Roger de Hoveden, iii, p. lxxvii.  Girald. Cambr. Vita
      Galfridi (Rolls Series No. 21). iv, 397.

  148 Richard of Devizes, iii, 414. Benedict, ii, 213.

 M103 John admitted into the city.

  149 Ralph de Diceto (Rolls Series No. 68), ii, 99. Girald. Cambr. (Vita
      Galfridi). iv, 397-398. Roger de Hoveden, iii. 140.

 M104 A meeting of barons and citizens in St. Paul’s, 8 Oct., 1191.
 M105 Longchamp deposed and John recognised as head of the kingdom.

  150 Richard of Devizes. (Rolls Series No. 82), iii. 415. Benedict, 213.
      Girald. Cambr. (Vita Galfridi), iv, 405.

 M106 John grants or confirms to the citizens their commune.

  151 "Johannes comes frater regis et archiepiscopus Rothomagensis, et
      omnes episcopi, comites et barones regni qui aderant, concesserunt
      civibus Lundoniarum communam suam, et juraverunt quod ipsi eam et
      dignitates civitatis Lundoniarum custodirent illibatas, quandiu regi
      placuerit. Et cives Lundoniarum et epispcopi et comites et barones
      juraverunt fidelitates regi Ricardo, et Johanni comiti de Meretone
      fratri ejus salva fidelitate, et quod illum in dominum suum et regem
      reciperent, si rex sine prole decesserit."—Benedict of Peterborough
      (Rolls Series No. 49), ii, 214. _Cf._ Roger de Hovedene (Rolls
      Series No. 51), iii, 141; Walter de Coventry (Rolls Series No. 58),
      ii, 5-6.

 M107 Change of name from port-reeve to mayor.

  152 -_Supra_ p. 49.

  153 "In crastino vero convocatis in unum civibus, communione, vel ut
      Latine minus vulgariter magis loquamur, communa seu communia eis
      concessa et communiter jurata."—Vita Galfridi, iv, 405.

  154 Const. Hist., i, 407.

  155 Referring to the year 1191, he writes, "we have the date of the
      foundation of the commune."—_Id._, i, 629.

  156 "Concessa est ipsa die et instituta communia Londoniensium, in quam
      universi regni magnates et ipsi etiam ipsius provinciæ episcopi
      jurare coguntur. Nunc primum in indulta sibi conjuratione regno
      regem deesse cognovit Londonia quam nec rex ipse Ricardus, nec
      prædecessor et pater ejus Henricus, pro mille millibus marcarum
      argenti fieri permisisset. Quanta quippe mala ex conjuratione
      proveniant ex ipsa poterit diffinitione perpendi, quæ talis
      est—communia tumor plebis, timor regni, tepor sacerdotii."—Chron.
      Stephen, Hen. II, Ric. I (Rolls Series No. 82), iii, 416.

 M108 Change of name from port-reeve to mayor.

  157 "It is impossible to avoid a suspicion," writes Bishop Stubbs, "that
      the disappearance of the port-reeve and other changes in the
      municipal government, signify a civic revolution, the history of
      which is lost."—Const. Hist., i, 406n.

 M109 When did the change take place?

  158 Merewether and Stephens, Hist. of Boroughs (1835), i, 384. No
      authority, however, is given for this statement.

  159 The entire MS. was published in Latin by the Camden Society in 1846;
      and a translation of the original portion of the work was afterwards
      made by the late Mr. H. T. Riley, under the title "Chronicles of the
      Mayors and Sheriffs of London, A.D. 1188 to A.D. 1274."

  160 "The correct date of the accession of Richard has never been
      ascertained. No records appear to be extant to fix the commencement
      of the reign of any king before the accession of John."—Nicholas,
      Chronology of Hist., p. 285.

  161 Fos. 45, 63 and 63b.

 M110 Arnald Fitz-Thedmar, the compiler of the _Liber de Antiquis_.

  162 Or simply Thedmar.

  163 It is thus that Riley reads the word which to me appears to be
      capable of being read "Grennigge."

  164 Calendar of Wills. Court of Husting, London, part. I., p. 22. From
      another Will, that of Margery, relict of Walter de Wynton, and one
      of Fitz-Thedmar’s sisters—she is described as daughter of "Thedmar,
      the Teutonic"—it appears that other sisters of Fitz-Thedmar married
      into the well-known city families of Eswy and Gisors.—_Id._, part i,
      p. 31.

  165 "Ibi etiam dispositium est, penes quem pecunia collata debeat
      residere: scilicet sub custodia Huberti Walteri Cantuariensis
      electi, et domini Ricardi Lundoniensis episcopi, et Willelmi comitis
      de Arundel et Hamelini comitis de Warenna et majoris
      Lundoniarum."—Roger de Hoveden (Rolls Series No. 51), iii, 212.

 M111 The title of Mayor, first mentioned in a Royal Charter of 1202.

  166 Preserved at the Guildhall.

 M112 Richard’s return from captivity, March, 1194.

  167 Ralph de Diceto (Rolls Series No. 68), ii, p. 114.

  168 "Denique ad ingressum principis ita ornata est facies amplissimæ
      civitatis ut Alemanni nobiles qui cum ipso venerant et redemptione
      regia exinanitam bonis Angliam credebant opum magnitudine
      obstupescerent."—William of Newburgh (Rolls Series No. 82), i, p.

 M113 Is crowned for the second time.
 M114 The custom of the Mayor assisting the Chief Butler at coronation

  169 "Cives vero Lundonienses servierunt de pincernaria, et cives
      Wintonienses de coquina."—Roger de Hoveden (Rolls Series No. 51),
      iii, 12.

  170 Brit. Mus., Harl. MS. 3,504, fo. 248.

 M115 Heavy taxation.

  171 "Si invenissem emptorem Londoniam vendidissem."—Richard of Devizes
      (Rolls Series No. 82), iii, 388.

 M116 The rising in the city under Longbeard. 1196.

  172 "Frequentius enim solito . . imponebantur eis auxilia non modica et
      divites, propriis parcentes marsupiis volebant ut pauperes solverent
      universa."—Roger de Hoveden (Rolls Series No. 51), iv. 5. "Ad omne
      edictum regium divites, propriis fortunis parcentes, pauperibus per
      potentiam omne onus imponerent."—Newburgh, (Rolls Series No. 82),
      ii. 466.

  173 Newburgh, ii., 466.

  174 Mat. Paris, ii, 57.  A similar character is given him by Roger de
      Hoveden.  Dr. S. R. Gardiner describes him as an alderman of the
      city, and as advocating the cause of the poor artisan against the
      exactions of the wealthier traders.—Students’ History of England, i,

  175 "Pauperum et veritatis ac pietatis adversarii."—Mat. Paris, ii. 57.

  176 Newburgh, ii, 470.

  177 "And for the time," adds Dr. Gardiner, "the rich tradesmen had their
      way against the poorer artisans."—Students’ History of England, i,

 M117 Richard’s so-called second charter ordering the removal of wears in
      the Thames, 14 July, 1197.
 M118 First mention of a deliberative municipal body in the city, 1200.

  178 Chronicles of Mayors and Sheriffs, p. 2.

 M119 The council held at St. Paul’s, 25th Aug., 1213.

  179 Freeman, Norman Conquest, v, 709.

  180 Mat. Paris, ii, 143. Roger of Wendover (Rolls Series No. 84), ii,

  181 -_Id._ ii, 146.

 M120 Meeting of the barons at Bury St. Edmunds, 1214.

  182 -_Id._ ii, 153.

  183 Ann. of Bermondsey (Rolls Series No. 36), in, 453.

 M121 Open hostility between John and the barons, 1215.

  184 Mat. Paris, ii, 154-156.

 M122 Robert Fitz-Walter, castellain of London.

  185 As to the services and franchises of Fitz-Walter, both in time of
      peace and war, see Lib. Cust., (Rolls Series), part i, pp. 147-151.

  186 Introd. to Lib. Cust, p. lxxvii.

 M123 Duties of the castellain of the City in time of war.

  187 The sword of St. Paul, emblematic possibly of his martyrdom, still
      remains in the City’s coat of arms. It has often been mistaken for
      the dagger with which Sir William Walworth is said to have killed
      Wat Tyler.

 M124 Feud between Fitz-Walter and King John.

  188 The story is told in Mr. Riley’s Introduction to the Liber
      Custamarum (p. lxxix), on the authority of the Chronicle of Dunmow.

  189 He is said to have made a similar attempt upon the wife of Eustace
      de Vesci, a leading baron.—(Blackstone, Introd. to Magna Carta, pp.
      289, 290).

 M125 The Barons admitted into the City, May, 1215.

  190 Mat. Paris, ii, 156. A different complexion, however, is put on this
      event by another chronicler. According to Walter de Coventry (Rolls
      Series, No. 58, ii, 220) the barons made their way into the City by
      stealth, scaling the walls at a time when most of the inhabitants
      were engaged in divine service, and having once gained a footing
      opened all the City gates one after another.

  191 By charter, date 8th May, 1215, preserved at the Guildhall.

  192 Mat. Paris, ii, 159, 161, 164, 186.

  193 Roger of Wendover (Rolls Series No. 84), ii, 117.

 M126 The city and Magna Carta, 15th June, 1215.

  194 Stubbs, Select Charters, p. 298.

  195 "Moram autem faciebant barones in civitate Londoniæ per annum et
      amplius cum civibus confœderati, permittentes se nullam pacem
      facturos cum rege nisi assensu utriusque partis."—Annals of Waverley
      (Rolls Series No. 36), ii, 283.

 M127 Open war between John and the barons.

  196 Mat. Paris, ii, 161, 165.

 M128 London under an interdict.

  197 Contin. Flor. Wigorn. ii, 167, 171. Chron. of Mayors and Sheriffs,
      p. 3.

 M129 The arrival of the Dauphin, May, 1216.
 M130 Death of John, 19th October, 1216.

  198 Mat. Paris, ii, p. 179.

  199 Confession of the Vicomte de Melun.—Mat. Paris, ii, 187.

 M131 The barons desert Louis.

  200 Mat. Paris, ii, 200.

  201 Chron. of Mayors and Sheriffs, p. 4.

 M132 Defeat of Louis at Lincoln, 20th May, 1217.
 M133 Fitz-Walter and Muntfichet made prisoners.

  202 Strype, Stow’s Survey, 1720, Bk. i, p. 62. They had settled in
      Holborn soon after their arrival in 1220.

  203 Mat. Paris, ii, 385.

 M134 London invested by the Earl Marshal.

  204 -_Id._, ii, 218, 220.

 M135 Treaty of Lambeth, 11th Sept., 1217.

  205 Liber de Ant. fol. 38. According to this authority (fol. 38b), the
      peace was ratified 23rd September, at Merton.

  206 Mat. Paris, ii, 222.

  207 Often spoken of as the Treaty of Lambeth (Rymer’s Fœdera, i, 148.)

 M136 Departure of Louis after borrowing a sum of money from the citizens.

  208 The sum mentioned by Matthew Paris (ii. 224) is £5,000 sterling, but
      according to a marginal note in the Liber de Ant. (fol. 39) it would
      appear to have been only £1,000, which, according to the compiler of
      that record, Louis repaid the Londoners as soon as he arrived home,
      out of pure generosity (_mera liberalitate sua_). On the other hand,
      Matthew Paris (ii, 292) under the year 1227, narrates that Henry
      extorted from the citizens of London 5,000 marks of silver, on the
      ground that that was the sum paid by the Londoners to Louis on his
      departure, to the king’s prejudice.

  209 Walter of Coventry. (Rolls Series No. 58), ii, 239.

 M137 Attempt by Constantine Fitz-Athulf or Olaf, to raise a cry in favour
      of Louis, 1222.

  210 Mat. Paris, ii, 251, 252.

  211 Roger of Wendover, (Rolls Series No. 84), ii, 265, 267.

  212 Probably Saint Giles in the Fields, a hospital founded by Matilda,
      wife of Henry I.

  213 "Cives autem Londonienses, qui eundem H[ubertum] propter suspendium
      Constantini oderant, lætati sunt de tribulalionibus suis, et ilico
      conquesti sunt de eo, quod concivem suum injuste suspendit, et
      absque judicio."—Mat. Paris, ii, 345.

  214 -_Id._, ii, 346, 347. Chron. of Mayors and Sheriffs, pp. 6, 7.

 M138 The foreign element in the country.

  215 "Dicebabur enim ... quod alienigenæ qui plus regni perturbationem
      desiderabant quam pacem, præfatum comitem Cestriæ ad domini sui
      regis infestationem et regni inquietationem inducere
      conarentur."—Walter of Coventry, ii, 251.

  216 Mat. Paris, ii, 382, 384, iii, 90.

  217 Freeman, Norman Conquest, v, 469, 470. "Et quia communitas nostra
      sigillum non habet, præsentes literas signo communitatis civitatis
      Londoniarum vestræ sanctitati mittimus consignatas."—Mat. Paris,
      iii, 17.

 M139 The city’s struggle against encroachment by the king.

  218 Chron. of Mayors and Sheriffs, pp. 7, 8.

 M140 The city "taken into the king’s hand" on the most frivolous

  219 French Chronicle (Camden Soc., No. 28), ed. by Aungier (Riley’s
      translation), pp. 241-244.

  220 Chron. of Mayors and Sheriffs, p. 11.

  221 -_Id._, pp. 13, 14, 16.

  222 Chron. of Mayors and Sheriffs, pp. 16, 17, 61. Mat. Paris, iii., 62,

 M141 Money extorted from the Jews as well as the citizens for payment of
      the king’s tradesmen.

  223 Mat. Paris, ii, 323.

  224 "Quia dominus rex obligabatur de debitis non minimis erga mercatores
      de vino, de cera, de pannis ultramarinis, a civibus pecuniam multam
      extorsit et Judæis, nec tamen inde mercatores plenam pacationem
      receperunt."—Mat. Paris, ii, 496.

  225 "Cives tanien videntes aliud sibi non expedire, omnia benigne
      remiserunt."—Mat. Paris, iii, 72.

  226 -_Id._, iii, 43.

 M142 The coronation of king and queen, 1236.

  227 Ann. of Worcester (Rolls Series No. 36), iv., 407.

  228 "Unde, ne exorta contentione lætitia nuptialis nubilaretur, salvo
      cujuslibet jure, multa ad horam perpessa sunt, quæ in tempore
      opportuno fuerant determinanda."—Mat. Paris, Hist. Angl., ed. 1684,
      P. 355. _Cf._ City Records, Liber Ordinationum, fo. 193 b. Brit.
      Mus. Cotton MS. Vespasian, C. xiv. fos. 113-114.

 M143 The king’s custom of formally taking leave of his citizens before
      going abroad.

  229 Chron. of Mayors and Sheriffs, pp. 9, 20, 45, 53.

  230 -_Id._, p. 21.

 M144 The Mad Parliament, 11th June, 1258.

  231 An early instance of this parliament being so designated is found in
      the _Liber de Antiquis_ of the City’s Records (fol. 75b.) where the
      words _insane parliamentum_ occur.

  232 This agreement between the king and barons is termed a "Charter" by
      Fitz-Thedmar, who says it bore the seals of the king and of many
      barons.—Chron. of Mayors and Sheriffs, p. 41.

 M145 The Citizens throw in their lot with the Barons.
 M146 Hugh Bigod the baron’s justiciar in the city, 1258.

  233 Chron. of Mayors and Sheriffs, p. 43.

 M147 The king takes leave of the citizens. November, 1259.

  234 -_Id._, pp. 33-39.

  235 -_Id._, pp. 45, 46.

 M148 The king’s return from abroad, April, 1260.

  236 Chron. of Mayors and Sheriffs, p. 47.

  237 -_Id._, p. 52.

  238 The Bull was confirmed by Alexander’s successor Pope Urban IV. and
      the later Bull was read at Paul’s Cross, by the king’s orders in the
      following year (1262), _Id._, p. 53.

 M149 The king summoned to observe the Provisions of Oxford. 1263.

  239 Chron. of Mayors and Sheriffs, p. 56.

  240 -_Id._, p. 57.

 M150 Arrangements made between the king, the barons, and the city, July,

  241 -_Id._, p. 58.

 M151 Organization of the Craft Guilds under Fitz-Thomas the Mayor. 1262.

  242 Chron. of Mayors and Sheriffs, p. 59. "A similar uprising of the
      middle class of citizens was taking place about this period in other
      towns. They are spoken of by chroniclers of the same stamp as
      Fitz-Thedmar as ribald men who proclaimed themselves ’bachelors,’
      and banded themselves together to the prejudice of the chief men of
      the towns (_majores urbium et burgorum_)"—Chron. of Thomas Wykes
      (Rolls Series No. 36), iv, 138.

  243 Chron. of Mayors and Sheriffs, pp. 59-60.

 M152 The movement favoured by the barons.

  244 -_Id._, p. 60.

 M153 The queen insulted by the citizens, 13th July, 1263.

  245 Ann. of Dunstaple (Rolls Series No. 36). iii. 222-223. Chron. of
      Thos. Wykes (_Ibid_) iv, 136. Rishanger (Rolls Series No. 28, ii,
      18), places this event after the Mise of Amiens (23rd Jan., 1264).

  246 Annales Londonienses.—Chron. Edward I and II (Rolls Series No. 76)
      i, 60.

  247 Chron. of Mayors and Sheriffs, p. 62.

 M154 The Mise of Amiens. 23rd Jan., 1264

  248 -_Id._, pp. 64, 65.

 M155 League between the citizens of London and the barons.

  249 Ann. of Dunstaple. iii, 230, 231.

 M156 The Battle of Lewes, 14th May, 1264.

  250 The number of Londoners who accompanied Leicester to Lewes is not
      given. Thomas Wykes mentions it to have been very large, for the
      reason that the number of fools is said to be infinite! "Quo
      comperto comes Leycestriæ glorians in virtute sua, congregata
      baronum multitudine copiosa, Londoniensium innumerabili agmine
      circumcinctus, quia legitur stultorum infinitus est numerus."—(Rolls
      Series No. 36), iv, 148.

  251 Chron. of Mayors and Sheriffs, p. 66; Ann. of Dunstaple, iii, 232;
      Thos. Wykes, iv, 149, 150; Rishanger (Rolls Series No. 28), 27.

 M157 The Mise of Lewes.

  252 Chron. of Mayors and Sheriffs, p. 67.

  253 -_Id._, p. 74.

 M158 Meeting of Simon de Montfort’s Parliament, 20th Jan., 1265.

  254 Fitz-Thedmar gives the number of representatives of each city and
      borough as four: "De qualitet civitate et burgo iiii
      homines."—Chron. of Mayors and Sheriffs, p. 75.

  255 Chron. of Mayors and Sheriffs, p. 77. This anecdote is inserted in
      the margin of Fitz-Thedmar’s chronicle, the writer expressing his
      horror at the "wondrous and unheard of" conduct of "this most
      wretched mayor."

 M159 Jealousy between the Earls of Leicester and Gloucester.

  256 The story is told by Thos. Wykes. (Rolls Series No. 36), iv, 163.

 M160 The Battle of Evesham, 4th August, 1265.

  257 Lib. de. Ant. fo. 94b.

  258 Chron. of Mayors and Sheriffs, p. 119. Circumstantially as the
      chronicler relates the story, he appears only to have inserted it as
      an after-thought. Mr. Loftie (Hist, of London, i, 151), suggests
      that possibly the news of Fitz-Thomas’ death might have been the
      occasion of its insertion.

 M161 The city taken into the king’s hands from 1265 to 1270.

  259 Aungier, Fr. Chron. (Riley’s Transl.), p. 235.

 M162 Threat of the king to subdue the city by force.

  260 "His lordship the king had summoned to Wyndleshores all the earls,
      barons, [and] knights, as many as he could, with horses and arms,
      intending to lay siege to the City of London [and] calling the
      citizens his foes."—Chron. of Mayors and Sheriffs, p. 81.

  261 Chron. of Mayors and Sheriffs, p. 82.

 M163 Fitz-Thomas and others summoned to Windsor.

  262 At one time the parish of All Hallows Barking is spoken of as being
      in the County of Middlesex, at another as being within the
      City—Hust. Roll. 274, (10), (12).

 M164 The fate of Fitz-Thomas unknown.

  263 In narrating this, Fitz-Thedmar again discloses his aristocratic
      proclivities by remarking, "Such base exclamations did the fools of
      the vulgar classes give utterance to" on this occasion, viz., the
      election of William Fitz-Richard as Sheriff of Middlesex and Warden
      of London.—Chron. of Mayors and Sheriffs, pp. 90, 91.

 M165 The city taken into the king’s hand, 1265.

  264 Chron. of Mayors and Sheriffs, pp. 83, 85.

 M166 London Bridge bestowed on the queen.

  265 "Regina etiam rogavit pro Londoniensibus de quibus rex plures
      recepit ad pacem suam."—Ann. of Winchester (Rolls Series, No. 36),
      ii, 103.

  266 Chron. of Mayors and Sheriffs, pp. 146, 147.

 M167 The Earl of Gloucester master of the city, April, 1267.

  267 Ann. of Dunstaple. (Rolls Series, No. 36), iii, 245.

  268 Chron. of Mayors and Sheriffs, p. 95.  The citizens appear to have
      been divided, as indeed they often were, on the question of
      admitting the Earl.

  269 Chron. of Mayors and Sheriffs, pp. 95, 97.

  270 Chron. of Mayors and Sheriffs, p. 96.

 M168 Terms arranged between Gloucester and the king, 16th June, 1267.

  271 -_Id._, pp. 97, 100.

 M169 Charter of Henry III, 26th March, 1268.

  272 Dated "Est Ratford," 16th June, 1267. Chron. of Mayors and Sheriffs,
      pp. 98-100.

  273 Dated 26th March, 1268.  The original is preserved at the Guildhall
      (Box No. 3). A copy of it, inserted in the Lib. de Ant. (fo. 108b),
      has the following heading:—"Carta domini regis quam fecit civibus
      Lond’, _sub spe inveniendi ab eo meliorem gratiam_," the words in
      italics being added by a later hand.

 M170 The city recovers its rights to elect mayor and sheriffs, 1270.

  274 Chron. of Mayors and Sheriffs, p. 113. Ann. of Waverley (Rolls
      Series No. 36), ii, 375.

  275 Chron. of Mayors and Sheriffs, p. 129.

 M171 The sheriff’s ferm increased to £400.

  276 Lib. de Ant., fo. 120.

 M172 Election of John Adrian, Mayor, 1270.

  277 Chron. of Mayors and Sheriffs, pp. 129-130.

 M173 Election of Hervy, 1272, disputed.

  278 Chron. of Mayors and Sheriffs, p. 153.

 M174 Appeal made by both parties to the king’s council.
 M175 The king’s illness and death, 16th November, 1272.

  279 Chron. of Mayors and Sheriffs, pp. 154, 159.

 M176 Fitz-Thedmar’s prejudice against Hervy.

  280 Chron. of Mayors and Sheriffs, p. 164.

  281 The series of Husting Rolls for Pleas of Land, preserved at the
      Guildhall, commence in the mayoralty of Hervy’s successor.

  282 Chron. of Mayors and Sheriffs, pp. 205-208.

 M177 Hervy’s so-called "charter" to the guilds.

  283 What Fitz-Thedmar means when he says (Chron. of Mayors and Sheriffs,
      p. 171), that "only one part of the seal of the Commonalty of
      London" was appended to Hervy’s so-called "charter" is hard to
      determine. The common seal of the city was at this period in the
      custody of the mayor for the time being. Under Edward II, it was for
      the first time entrusted to two aldermen and two commoners for safe
      keeping.—City Records, Letter Book D, fo. 145b.  _Cf._ Ordinances of
      Edward II, A.D. 1319.

  284 Chron. of Mayors and Sheriffs, pp. 169-171.

 M178 Dispute between Hervy and the Mayor, 1274.
 M179 Charges against Hervy for acts done during his mayoralty.
 M180 Is discharged from his aldermanry.

  285 Chron. of Mayors and Sheriffs, pp. 173-5.

 M181 The after-results of the policy of Hervy and Fitz-Thomas.

  286 "Et quod nullus alienigena in libertatem civitatis prædictæ
      admittatur nisi in Hustengo ... et si non sint de certo mestero,
      tune in libertatem civitatis ejusdem non admittentur sine assensu
      communitatis civitatis illius."—Lib. Custumarum (Rolls Series), pt.
      1, pp. 269-270.

  287 "The establishment of the corporate character of the city under a
      mayor marks the victory of the communal principle over the more
      ancient shire organisation, which seems to have displaced early in
      the century the complicated system of guild and franchise. It also
      marks the triumph of the mercantile over the aristocratic
      element."—Stubbs, Const. Hist., i, 630, 631.

  288 "The guilds continued to elect until 1384, when the right of
      election was again transferred to the wards." City Records, Letter
      Book H, fos. 46b, 173.

 M182 Arrival of Edward I, in London, 18th August, 1274.

  289 Chron. Edward I and II. (Rolls Series No. 76), i, 84. Chron. of T.
      Wykes (Rolls Series No. 36) iv, p. 259.

  290 Dated from "Caples in the land of Labour" (_Caples in terra
      laboris_) or Capua, 19th January, 1273. This letter was publicly
      read in the Guildhall on the 25th March following.—Chron. of Mayors
      and Sheriffs, p. 163.

 M183 Edward’s hereditary right to the crown clearly acknowledged.

  291 Chron. of Mayors and Sheriffs, p. 161.

 M184 Four citizens to be sent to confer with Edward at Paris, 3rd April,

  292 -_Id._, p. 172.

 M185 The object of the conference.

  293 -_.Id_, pp. 132, 140-2.

  294 Chron. of Mayors and Sheriffs, pp. 143-4.

 M186 Interruption of trade between England and Flanders.

  295 -_Id._, pp. 145, 146.

  296 Chron. of Mayors and Sheriffs, pp. 147, 148.

  297 Chron. of Mayors and Sheriffs, pp. 149, 150.

 M187 Writ for the expulsion of all Flemings, 8th Sept., 1273.

  298 -_Id._, p. 165.

 M188 Negotiations opened with Edward at Paris for peace with Flanders.
 M189 Particulars of the four citizens sent to confer with the king at

  299 -A.D. 1279. "Eodem anno escambia et novæ monetæ extiterunt levata
      apud turrim Londoniensem; et Gregorius de Roqesle major monetæ per
      totam Angliam."—Chron. Edw. I and II. (Rolls Series No. 76. i.
      88).—Aungier Fr. Chron. (Transl.) p. 239.

  300 The name of John Horn with the addition. "Flemyng" occurs in the
      14th cent.—Hust. Roll. 64 (67), 81 (74).

 M190 Peace concluded between England and Flanders, July, 1274.

  301 For one month after the Feast of St. Botolph the Abbot [17 June],
      the Court of Husting in London was closed, owing to the absence of
      citizens attending the fair. The right of appointing their own
      officers to settle disputes arising at the fair was granted to the
      citizens of London at the close of the Barons’ War.—Chron. of Mayors
      and Sheriffs, p. 176.

  302 Peace was signed before the end of July.—Rymer’s Fœdera, (ed. 1816),
      vol. i. pt. 2, p. 513.

 M191 Strong Government of the city under Edward I.

  303 A series of MS. books extending from A.D. 1275 to 1688, deriving
      their title from the letters of the alphabet with which they are
      distinguished, A, B, C, &c, AA, BB, CC, &c. We are further aided by
      chronicles of the reigns of Edward I and II, edited by Bishop Stubbs
      for the Master of the Rolls. A portion of these chronicles the
      editor has fitly called "Annales Londonienses." There is even reason
      for believing them to have been written by Andrew Horn, citizen and
      fishmonger, as well as eminent jurist of his day. He died soon after
      the accession of Edward III. and by his will, dated 9th Oct., 1328,
      (Cal. of Wills, Court of Husting, i, 344) bequeathed to the city
      many valuable legal and other treatises, only one of which (known to
      this day as "Liber Horn,") is preserved among the archives of the

 M192 The necessity for an immediate supply of money.

  304 Chron. of Mayors and Sheriffs, p. 239.

  305 Stubbs, Select Charters, p. 447.

  306 Chron. Edward I and II, (Rolls Series). Introd. vol. i, p. xxxiii.

 M193 The so-called Parliament at Shrewsbury. 1283.

  307 -_Id._, i, 92.

  308 Contin. Flor. Wigorn., ii, 229. 230. Tho. Wykes (Ann. Monast. Rolls
      Series No. 36), iv, 294. Ann. of Worcester (_Ibid_), iv, 486. Walter
      de Heminburgh (Eng. Hist. Soc.), ii, 13.

 M194 Ralph Crepyn and Laurence Duket.

  309 They were, in the language of Stow, "hanged by the purse." (Survey,
      Thoms’ ed., p. 96). _Cf._ "He was hanged by the nek and nought by
      the purs." (Chaucer, Cook’s Tale. l. 885). The story is recorded in
      Aungier’s French Chron. (Riley’s translation), p. 240; and in Chron.
      Edward I and II (Rolls Series i, 92-93).

 M195 Legislative enactments of 1285.

  310 Stubbs, Select Charters, pp. 472-474.

  311 Letter Book C, fo. 52. Riley’s Memorials, p. 21.

 M196 The justiciars at the Tower, 1285
 M197 The customary procedure when the citizens waited on the justices at
      the Tower.

  312 Rolls Series, i, 51-60. _Cf._ Lib. Ordinationum, fos. 154b, _seq._

 M198 The city declared to be taken into the king’s hand.

  313 The circumstances of Rokesley’s visit to the justices at the Tower
      are set out in the city’s "Liber Albus" (i, 16), from a MS. of
      Andrew Horn, no longer preserved at the Guildhall. The story also
      appears in Chron. Edward I and II (Rolls Series No. 76), i, 94.

 M199 For thirteen years the city governed by a _custos_ instead of a

  314 In 1293 the king appointed Elias Russell and Henry le Bole his
      "improvers" (_appropriatores_) in the city:—Chron. Edward I and II,
      (Rolls Series No. 76, i, 102). Their duties were practically
      identical with those of sheriffs, and Bishop Stubbs places a
      marginal note over against the appointment,—"Sheriffs appointed by
      the king." Walter Hervy is recorded as having removed certain stones
      near Bucklersbury when he was "improver" of the city (Letter Book A,
      fo. 84. Riley’s Memorials, p. 25). This was probably done in 1268,
      when the city was in the king’s hand, and Hervy and William de
      Durham were appointed bailiffs "without election by the
      citizens."—Chron. Mayors and Sheriffs, pp. 112, 113.

 M200 Both the king and the city in straits for money, 1289-1290.

  315 Letter Book A, fo. 132b.

  316 -_Id._, fo. 110.

  317 Chron. Edward I and II, i, 98.

 M201 The king’s difficulties increased by the expulsion of the Jews,

  318 Letter Book A, fo. 95. Riley’s Memorials, p. 26.

  319 "From the very day of his accession, Edward was financially in the
      hands of the Lombard bankers; hence arose, no doubt, the difficulty
      which he had in managing the City of London; hence came also the
      financial mischief which followed the banishment of the Jews; and
      hence an accumulation of popular discontent, which showed itself in
      the king’s lifetime by opposition to his mercantile policy, and,
      after his death, supplied one of the most efficient means for the
      overthrow of his son."—Chron. Edward I and II. Introd. vol. i, pp.
      c, ci.

 M202 Edward’s domestic troubles of 1290.
 M203 Seizure of treasure in monastries and churches, 1294.

  320 Writ to the Sheriff of Middlesex, dated 2nd Jan., 1293. Letter Book
      B, fo. 25. Contin. Flor. Wigorn., ii, 266.

  321 Ann. of Dunstaple (Rolls Series No. 36), iii, 390. The chronicler
      acquits the king of complicity in this sacrilege.

  322 Contin. Flor. Wigorn., ii, 274.

 M204 The city furnishes ships and men for the defence of the coast 1295,

  323 Letter Book C. fo. 20.

  324 -_Id._, fos. 21b, 22. (Riley’s Memorials, pp. 31-33). Liber Custum.,
      i, 72-76.

 M205 The subjection of Scotland, 1296.

  325 Chron. of Walter de Hemingburgh (Eng. Hist. Soc.), ii. 108, 109.

 M206 The parliament of Bury St. Edmund’s, 3rd Nov., 1296.

  326 Letter Book C, fo. 22b.

  327 By the bull _Clericis Laicos_, Boniface VIII had recently forbidden
      the clergy to pay taxes to any layman.—Chron. of Walter de
      Hemingburgh (Eng. Hist. Soc.), ii, 113-116.

  328 Stubbs, Const. Hist., ii, 130, 131, 134.

 M207 Edward’s altercation with Roger Bigod, Feb., 1297.

  329 Chron. of Walter de Hemingburgh, ii, 121.

 M208 The "Confirmatio Cartarum," Oct. 1297.

  330 -_Id._, ii, 126, 127.

  331 -_Id._, ii, 149, 151.

 M209 The mayoralty restored to the city, 11th April, 1298.

  332 Letter Book B, fo. xxxvii (101b).

  333 Preserved among the City Archives (Box 26). _Cf._ Letter Book C, fo.
      xxiv, b.

  334 Letter Book B, fo. 93.

 M210 Suppression of the Scottish rising under Wallace, 1298, 1304.

  335 Letter Book C, fo. 24. (Riley’s Memorials, 37).

  336 Strictly speaking, a talliage could only be charged on the king’s
      demesnes, and these did not include the City of London.

  337 Chron. Edward I and II (Rolls Series), i, 132.

 M211 Wallace brought to London, 22 Aug., 1305.

  338 Aungier, Fr. Chron. (Riley’s Transl.), 247. Chron. Edward I and II
      (Rolls Series), i, 139.

 M212 Knighthood conferred on John le Blound, the mayor, and others, May

  339 Chron. Edward I and II (Rolls Series), i, 146. Hemingburgh ii, 248.

  340 Aungier, Fr. Chron. (Riley’s Transl.), 247 n.

 M213 Death of the king, 7th July, 1307.
 M214 The accession of Edward II.

  341 "Tunc visa est Londonia quasi nova Jerusalem monilibus
      ornata."—Chron. Edward I and II (Rolls Series No. 76), i, 152.

  342 "Ad quam coronationem major, aldermanni et cives Londoniarum induti
      samiteis et sericeis vestimentis et ex armis Angliæ et Franciæ
      depictis, coram rege et regina Karolantes, et servi civium ad illud
      festum, ut moris est, de cupa servientes, omnibus intuentibus
      inauditum proviserunt gaudium."—_Id. ibid._

 M215 The king’s foreign favourites.

  343 Letter Book C, fo. 93 (Riley’s Memorials, p. 64).

  344 Letter Book D, fo. 96 (Memorials, pp. 69-71).

  345 Letter Book C, fo. 97 b (Memorials, p. 69).

  346 Letter Book D, fo. 104 (Memorials, pp. 72-74).

 M216 The Ordainers and their work, 1308-1311.

  347 Chron. of Mayors and Sheriffs, pp. 224-225.

  348 Letter Book D, fo. 147b.

 M217 The City’s gift of 1,000 marks to assist the king against Scotland,
      March, 1311.

  349 -_Id._, fo. 125b.

 M218 Richer de Refham, Mayor, 1310-1311.

  350 "Eodem anno (_i.e._ 1302), die Lunæ ivto Kalendas Februarii,
      restitutus est Richerus de Refham in honore aldermanniæ Londoniarum,
      et factus est aldermannus de Warda de Basseishawe."—Chron. Edward I
      and II, i, 104.

  351 Among those who were called to account was a woman remarkable for
      her name—"Sarra la Bredmongesterre." A selection of the cases
      enquired into is printed in Riley’s Memorials, pp. 86-89.

  352 "Sed quia idem Richerus fuerat austerus et celer ad justitiam
      faciendam nulli parcendo, et quia fecit imprisonare Willelmum de
      Hakford, mercer, ideo dictus W, et sui complices insurrexerunt in
      ipsum et ideo depositus fuit ab officio majoris et postea
      aldermanniæ suæ."—Chron. Edw. I and II, i, 175-176.

 M219 The fall of Gaveston.

  353 Letter Book D, fo. 142.

  354 -_Id._, fos. 142b-143b (Memorials pp. 93-98.)

  355 -_Id._, fos. 142b, 143b, 145b.

  356 Chron. Edward I and II. i, 203.

  357 Lib. de Antiq., fo. 43b. Aungier’s Fr. Chron. (Riley’s Transl.), p.

  358 Letter Book C, fo. 45.

  359 Letter Book C, fo. 92b (Memorials p. 63).

 M220 Parliament at London. August, 1312.

  360 The city chose as its representatives, Nicholas de Farendone, John
      de Wengrave, and Robert de Kelleseye. Letter Book D. fos. 149b, 151,

  361 -_Id._, fos. 151b, 152 (Memorials pp. 102-104.)

 M221 The birth of a prince, 13 Nov., 1312.

  362 -_Id._, fo. 168 (Memorials, pp. 105-106).

 M222 The question of the king’s rights to talliage the city, 1312-1314.

  363 Letter Book D, fos. 164, 164b.

  364 Letter Book E, fo. 18. (Memorials, pp. 108-110).

 M223 The renewal of the war with Scotland, 1314.

  365 Letter Book D, fo. 165.

  366 Chron. Edward I and II, ii, 55, 56.

  367 Letter Book E, fo. 84. (Memorials, pp. 128-129).

 M224 Dissension in the city, 1318-1319.

  368 Chron. Edward I and II, i, 285.

 M225 Articles for the better government of the city confirmed by the
      king, 8th June, 1319.

  369 Aungier’s French Chron. (Riley’s translation), p. 252.

  370 Lib. Cust. (Rolls Series) i, 269.

  371 Dated York, 8th June, 1319. These letters patent are preserved at
      the Guildhall (Box No. 4). Ten days later [18th June] Edward granted
      an ample inspeximus charter to the city, the original of which does
      not appear among the archives. _See_ Lib. Cust. i, pp. 255-273.

  372 Aungier, Fr. Chron. (Riley’s translation), p. 253.

  373 In this year [1318-19] the new charter was confirmed by the king,
      and cost £1,000. _Id._, p. 252.

 M226 The Iter at the Tower of 1321.

  374 Chron. Edward I and II, Introd., vol. ii, p. lxxxiv.

  375 Lib. Cust. (Rolls Series) i, 285-432.

  376 Rolls Series i, 51-60. Copies of the Ordinances are also to be found
      in the Liber Horn (fos. 209, _seq._) and Liber Ordinationum (fos.
      154b _seq._) of the city’s archives.

 M227 Complaint of negligence of duty by the sheriffs.

  377 Lib. Cust. i, 289, 308.

 M228 The city claims to record its custom by mouth of the Recorder.

  378 Lib. Cust., i, 296.

 M229 the 4th day of the Iter.

  379 -_Id._, i, 308-322.

  380 -_Id._, i, 322-324.

  381 -_Id._, i, 324-325.

 M230 The 9th day of the Iter.

  382 -_Id._, i, 347-362.

  383 "Et fuit illo die post horam vesperarum antequam Justiciarii et
      duodenæ perfiniebant; sed neminem eodem die indictaverunt."—Lib.
      Cust., i, 366.

 M231 Indictment against a late mayor.

  384 Lib. Cust., i, 371-374.

 M232 The city taken into the king’s hand.

  385 -_Id._, i, 378. Chron. Edward I and II, i, 291. Aungier, Fr. Chron.,
      p. 253.

 M233 Adjournment of the Iter over  Easter.
 M234 Sudden change in the attitude of the judges after Easter.

  386 "Qui cum quasi leones parati ad prædam ante Pascham extitissent,
      nunc, versa vice, quasi agni vicissim facti sunt."—Lib. Cust., i,

 M235 Andrew Horn appears as counsel for the City.
 M236 The indictment brought against the Constable of the Tower.

  387 Chron. Edward I and II. i, 216, 272.

  388 Lib. Cust., i, 408, 409.

 M237 The Iter brought to a sudden termination. 4 July, 1321.

  389 -_Id._, i, 425.

 M238 The mayoralty restored to the city.

  390 Chron. Edward I and II, i, 291. The precise date of his election is
      not known. Bishop Stubbs, in his introduction to the Chronicle cited
      (i, p. lxxxii), states it to have taken place in January. This can
      hardly have been the case, inasmuch as the city had not been taken
      into the king’s hands before the middle of February—forty-one days
      after the commencement of the Iter. See Lib. Cust. i, p. 378.

 M239 The City promises to support the king, July, 1321.

  391 Letter Book E, fos. 119b-120 (Memorials, pp. 142-144).

 M240 Letter from the Earl of Hereford and the City’s reply.

  392 Chron. Edward I and II, i, 293, 296.

 M241 Terms arranged between the king and the lords, 14 August.

  393 -_Id._, i, 297.

 M242 Chigwell continued in the mayoralty.

  394 Dated, Boxle, 25 October. Patent Roll 15, Edward II, Part 1, m. ii.

  395 Chron. Edward I and II, i, p. 298. Re-elected "by the commons at the
      king’s wish."—Aungier Fr. Chron. (Riley’s transl.), p. 254.

 M243 The queen insulted by Lady Badlesmere.

  396 Chron. Edward I and II, i, pp. 298-299.

 M244 Attempt to issue a "charter of service."

  397 Aungier, Fr. Chron., pp. 254, 255.

  398 The charter, dated Aldermaston, 12th December, 15 Edward II [A.D.
      1321], with seal (imperfect) attached, is preserved at the Guildhall
      (Box No. 4.)

 M245 The Londoners at Boroughbridge, 16 March, 1322.

  399 Chron. Edward I and II, i, 301.—Aungier. Fr. Chron. (Riley’s
      transl.). p. 255.

 M246 The character of the citizen soldier in the field.

  400 "Car c’est le plus perilleux peuple [sc. the English] qui soit au
      monde et plus outrageux et orgueilleux et de tous ceux d’ Angleterre
      les Londriens sont chefs ... ils sont fors durs et hardis et haux en
      courage; tant plus voyent de sang respandu et plus sont cruels et
      moins ebahis."—Froissart’s Hist. (ed. Lyon, 1559), pp. 333-334.

  401 Macaulay, Hist., cap. iii.

 M247 Defeat and execution of the Earl of Lancaster, March, 1322.

  402 Aungier. Fr. Chron. (Riley’s transl.), pp. 257, 264.

 M248 Edward again despotic, 1322-1323.

  403 Chron. Edward I and II. i, 303.

  404 -_Id._, i. 305.  Aungier. Fr. Chron. (Riley’s transl.), p. 257.

  405 By the king’s writ, dated Ravensdale, 29 Nov., Letter Book E. fo.
      148. According to the French Chronicle (Aungier, p. 258) Chigwell
      recovered the mayoralty on the feast of St. Nicholas [6 Dec.]. On
      the 7th Dec. he was admitted and sworn into office.

 M249 Escape of Roger Mortimer from the Tower. Aug. 1323.

  406 Chron. Edward I and II, i, 301, 305, 318 n.

  407 "Propter insidiantes domini regis et aliorum malorum
      hominum."—_Id._, i, 306.

 M250 A feud between the Weavers and the Goldsmiths, 1324.

  408 -_Id._, i, 307.

 M251 Departure of the queen for France, 9 March, 1324.

  409 Aungier, Fr. Chron., p. 259.

  410 Chron. Edward I and II, i, 308. Easter is given as the date of her
      departure by the Fr. Chron. (p. 259), Easter Day falling on the 15th
      April in that year.

 M252 Her return to England, 24 September, 1326.

  411 Aungier, Fr. Chron. (Riley’s transl.), p. 260.

 M253 The City lost to Edward.

  412 See her proclamation issued at Wallingford, 15th Oct. Rymer’s
      Fœdera, vol. ii, part 1, pp. 645, 646.

  413 Chron. Edward I and II, i, 314, 315.

  414 Dated Baldock, 6 Oct., 1326.  City’s Records, Pleas and Memoranda,
      Roll A I, membr. x (12).

  415 Aungier. Fr. Chron. (Riley’s translation), pp. 262, 263.

 M254 The murder of Bishop Stapleton, 15 October, 1326.

  416 Chron. Edward I and II, i, 315, 316. Aungier, Fr. Chron., p. 263.

  417 Chron. Edward I and II, ii, 310. Murimuth, Chron. (Eng. Hist. Soc.),
      p. 48.

  418 Chron. Edward I and II, i, 321, ii, 310. Aungier, Fr. Chron.
      (Riley’s translation), p. 264. Murimuth (Eng. Hist. Soc.), pp. 48,

  419 The proclamation is headed, _Proclamacio prima post decessum
      episcopi Exoniensis et ipsius decollacionem._—City’s Records, Pleas
      and Memoranda, Roll A 1, membr. 2 dors.

 M255 The queen confirms to the citizens their right to elect their mayor,
      Nov., 1326.
 M256 Betoyne elected mayor.

  420 Aungier, Fr. Chron., p. 265.

  421 Chron. Edward I and II, i, 318.

 M257 Public declaration in favour of the queen and the City’s rights. 13
      Jan., 1327.

  422 Chron. Edward I and II, i, 323. Pleas and Memoranda, Roll A 1, memb.

 M258 Edward’s charter to the city, 6 March, 1327.

  423 Dated 28 February, 1326-7. Chron. Edward I and II, i, 325-326.

  424 Dated 6 March, 1326-7. Preserved at the Guildhall (Box No. 5).

  425 In _re_ Islington Market Bill, 3 Clk, 513. See also Stat. 5 and 6,
      William IV, cap. cxi, ss. 46 _et seq._

  426 -_Vide sup._, p. 104.

  427 According to the common law of the land, no market could be erected
      so as to be a "nuisance" to another market within a less distance
      than six miles and a half and a third of another half.—Bracton "De
      Legibus Angliæ" (Rolls Series No. 70), iii, 584.

  428 Dated 4 March, 1326-7.

  429 Chron. Edward I and II, i, 325.

 M259 The City sends a contingent to assist the king against the Scots.

  430 The king’s letters asking for assistance were dated from Nottingham,
      29 April and 2 May.—City’s Records, Pleas and Mem., Roll A 1, membr.
      iv dors, and ix.

  431 The names of the troopers are set out in full, under the several
      wards, in Pleas and Memoranda, Roll A I, memb. ix. The compiler of
      the "Annales Paulini" (Chron. Edward I and II, i. 333), gives the
      number of the City contingent as 100 men, adding feelingly "sed proh
      pudor! nil boni ibi facientes sine honore revertuntur."

 M260 This act not to be made a precedent.

  432 Dated Topclyf, 10 July.—Pleas and Mem., Roll A 1, membr. ii (4).

 M261 The City’s representatives at the Parliament at Lincoln, Sept.,

  433 -_Id._, Roll A 1, membr. iii.

  434 Writ dated Lincoln, 23 September.—_Id._, Roll A 1, membr. v (7)

 M262 Petition against removing the courts and the exchequer to York.

  435 -_Id._, Roll A 1. memb. iii.—In July, 1323, the Exchequer had been
      transferred from York to Westminster, "and great treasure
      therewith."—Aungier’s Fr. Chron. (Riley’s transl.), p. 258.

  436 Pleas and Mem., Roll A 1. membr. iii, and v (7).

 M263 Peace with Scotland, 1328.

  437 Pleas and Memoranda, Roll A 1. membr. xxii.

  438 -_Id._, Roll A 1. membr. xxii, dors.—According to the Chronicle of
      Lanercost (Bannatyne Club, p. 261), it was the _Londoners_ who
      refused to give up the stone.

  439 Rymer’s Fœdera (1830), Vol. iii, pt. ii, p. 716. Stanley’s Memorials
      of Westminster Abbey (2nd ed.), pp. 60-64.

  440 Rymer’s Fœdera (1821) Vol. ii, pt. ii, pp. 734, 740. Pleas and Mem.,
      Roll A 1, membr. xx dors. Chron. Edward I and II, i. 339-340.

 M264 The revolt of the Earl of Lancaster, Oct., 1328.

  441 The city was represented by Stephen de Abyndon and Robert de
      Kelseye. The writ was dated Clipston, 28 August, and the return made
      the 10th October.—Pleas and Mem., Roll A 1. membr. xxiii-xxiv.

  442 Letter dated 27 September.—Pleas and Mem., Roll A 1, membr. xxiii
      (27) dors.

 M265 The earl’s letter to the City, 5 Nov., 1328.

  443 -_Id._, Roll A 1, membr. xxiv (28) dors.

 M266 The election of John de Grantham, mayor, in place of Chigwell.

  444 "Quod dictus Hamo fuit pessimus vermis qui venit in civitate jam xx
      annis elapsis et amplius, et quod nunquam foret bona pax in civitate
      dum viveret et quod bonum esset valde si capud ejus a corpore
      truncatur."—Pleas and Mem., Roll A 1, membr. xxiii dors.

  445 Pleas and Mem., Roll A 1, membr. 29.

 M267 The king desires a deputation from the city to meet him at Windsor,
      Nov., 1328.

  446 -_Id._, Roll A 1, membr. 29 dors.

  447 -_Id._, _ibid._—Notwithstanding this disavowal, it is said that no
      less than 600 Londoners assisted the Lancastrian cause.—Chron.
      Edward I and II. Introd. Vol. i, p. cxx.

 M268 The king pays a short visit to London, Dec., 1328.

  448 Chron. Edward I and II, i, 343.—Letter Book E, fo. 179b. (Memorials,
      pp. 170-171).

 M269 The king’s letter from Gloucester to the Mayor, &c., of London. 16
      Dec., 1328.

  449 Pleas and Mem., Roll A 1, membr. 31.

  450 See letter from the mayor, &c., to the king informing him that his
      wishes had been carried out.—_Id._, Roll A 1. membr. xxviii (32).

 M270 The bishops and barons in the city.

  451 At Christmas, both the primate and the city despatched letters to
      Edward, who was then at Worcester, to that effect.—_Id._, Roll A 1.
      memb. xxviii (32).

 M271 Failure of Lancaster to raise a confederation against the king. 2
      Jan., 1329.

  452 Chron. Edward I and II. i, 343-344.

  453 Pleas and Mem., Roll A 1. membr. xxviii (32).

 M272 Trial at the Guildhall of those implicated with Lancaster. Feb.,

  454 Chron. Edward I and II. i, 242-243.

 M273 Trial of Hamo de Chigwell, 13 Feb., 1329.

  455 -_Id._, i, 245, 346.

  456 -_Id._, i. 246-247.

  457 The will is enrolled in the records of the Court of Husting, Roll 61
      (17). His devise to St. Paul’s was challenged by John de Pulteney,
      and execution stayed.

 M274 Execution of Mortimer, 29 Nov., 1330.

  458 According to the compiler of the "Annales Paulini" (Chron. Edward I
      and II, i, 352), Mortimer was taken "in camera Isabelle reginæ."

 M275 The queen retires into privacy.

  459 She died in 1357. and was buried in the church of the Grey Friars,
      in the city.

  460 "The last days of Queen Isabella."—Archæol., vol. xxxv, p. 464.

 M276 Increase of trade with Flanders.

  461 On her first arrival in London she was conducted by a cavalcade of
      citizens to the Bishop of Ely’s house in Holborn, and after her
      marriage, was made the recipient of a present of gold and silver and
      a great store of all kinds of provisions. Her coronation, which took
      place two years later (Feb., 1330), was also made the occasion for a
      further display of their loyalty and affection.—Chron. Edward I and
      II, i, 338, 339, 349.

  462 Green, Hist. of the English People, i, 410. Imposts on wool, writes
      Bishop Stubbs, became of such importance at this period that "the
      merchants again seemed likely to furnish the realm with a new
      estate."—Const. Hist., ii. 379.

  463 -_Supra_, pp. 112-115.

 M277 The establishment of staples in England.

  464 "Eodem anno (_i.e._, 1326) post Pascha dominus rex habuit consilium
      apud Westmonasterium; et ordinatum fuit ibi quod mercatores emerent
      lanas. corias et plumbum, in certis locis Angliæ, Walliæ et
      Hyberniæ, et illa loca vocantur Stapel."—Chron. Edward I and II, i,
      312. _Cf._ Pleas and Mem., Roll A 1, membr. 15.

  465 Dated 23 April, 1327. Pleas and Mem., Roll A 1, membr. i (3) dors.

  466 Dated Nottingham, 30 April (1327). Rymer’s Fœdera. Vol. ii, pt. ii.
      p. 705.

 M278 A new tax on wool, leather, and wool-fells.

  467 Writ to the collector of dues in the port of London and other places
      on both sides of the Thames as far as Gravesend. Dated Overton, 2
      July, 1 Edward III (A.D. 1327). Pleas and Mem., Roll A 1, membr. 7
      dors (cedula).

  468 -_Id._, Roll A 1, membr. 7 dors.

  469 Letters patent, dated Lincoln, 23 Sept., 1 Edward III (A.D. 1327).
      _Id._, Roll A 1, membr. 7 dors.

  470 Writ to sheriffs to see the restrictions carried out, dated York, 1
      March, 2 Edward III (A.D. 1327-8). _Id._, Roll A 1, membr. 24 dors.

 M279 Proposal to remove the Staple to the continent, Feb., 1328.

  471 Dated from Coventry. _Id._, Roll A 1, membr. 18 dors.

  472 Return to writ, dated 12 January, 1 Edward III (A.D. 1327-8).—Pleas
      and Mem., Roll A 1, membr. 20.

  473 Letter from the Mayor, &c., of York, to the City of London, dated 29
      January, and reply.—Pleas and Mem., Roll A 1, membr. xix (23).

  474 -_Id. ibid._

  475 -_Id._, Roll A 1, membr. xvii (20) dors. The letter was sent in
      reply to one from the City’s representatives, Grantham and Priour,
      asking for instructions.

  476 Pleas and Mem., Roll A 1, membr. xix (23) dors.

  477 He had been an intimate favourite of Edward II. and had been
      removed, with others, from that king’s service in 1311.
      Notwithstanding this, he appears as the king’s Chamberlain in 1316.
      Ten years later, when the city was in the hands of an infuriated
      mob, and the king confined at Kenilworth, John de Charleton took the
      Earl of Arundel prisoner and caused him to be beheaded. In 1329 the
      citizens received peremptory orders from Edward III, not to harbour
      him in the city.—Chron. Edward I & II. i, 247.

 M280 Betoyne’s own account of his disagreement with his colleagues.

  478 Pleas and Mem., Roll A 1, membr. 24.

 M281 Betoyne’s action approved by the citizens, 19 Feb., 1328.

  479 Pleas and Mem., Roll A 1, membr. 24.

  480 Letter Book E, fo. 183. (Memorials, p. 169.)

 M282 Temporary abolition of Staples. Aug., 1328.

  481 "In 1333 they were again established in England, but merchants
      ignored them, and in the following year they were abolished.  From
      1344 onwards they are frequently discussed in parliament and
      assemblies of the merchants; and by the statute of 1353 the system
      was consolidated."—Stubbs, Const. Hist., ii, 412.

  482 Letter Book G. fos. 35b, 76.

 M283 England and France, 1329-1331

  483 Rymer’s Fœdera (1821), vol. ii, pt. ii. p. 765.

  484 Chron. Edward I and II, i, 247, 249.

  485 Chron. Edward I and II. i, 249, 251.

  486 Rymer’s Fœdera (1821), vol. ii, pt. ii, p. 815.

 M284 The war with Scotland, 1332-1335.

  487 Rex Franciæ subtiliavit viis et modis quibus potuit qualiter
      deturbaret regem Angliæ et repatriare faceret ne tantum destrueret
      et debellaret regnum Scotiæ.—Knighton (Rolls Series No. 76), i, 476.

  488 -_Id._, i, 461.

  489 Letter Book E, fos. 1-4—(Memorials, pp. 187-190).

  490 John de Grantham was allowed 60 shillings for a horse which he lost
      whilst going to this parliament on the city’s business. (Letter Book
      F, fo. 9b.) It is, however, not clear that Grantham attended the
      parliament as a city member.

  491 Chron. Edward I and II, ii. 122.

  492 Letter patent, dated 12 August.—Pleas and Mem., Roll A 1, membr. 35.

  493 -_Id. ibid._

 M285 Preparations for war with France, 1337.

  494 Letter patent, dated Westm., 24 March.—Letter Book F., fo. 6.

  495 -_Id._, fo. 6b.

  496 Chron. Edward I and II, i, 366.

  497 The king’s letter, dated Stamford, 1 June, 1337.—Letter Book F, fo.

 M286 Charter, 26 March, 1337.

  498 Letter Book F, fos. 4-5.

  499 Charter dated Westminster, 26 March, 1337, preserved at the
      Guildhall (Box No. 5). The king made frequent attempts to annul this
      charter.—Letter Book F, fo. 197; Letter Book G, fos. 11b, 41b.

  500 -_Id._, fo. 9.

 M287 The services of John de Pulteney, Mayor.

  501 -_Id._, fo. 9b.  (Memorials, p. 197).

  502 -_Id._, fo. 10b.

 M288 The king monopolises the wool of the country.

  503 Stubbs, Const. Hist., ii, 380.

  504 Letter Book F, fo. 42.

  505 Pleas and Mem., Roll A 3, membr. 3 and 3 dors.

  506 Stubbs, Const. Hist., ii, 380-381.

 M289 Naval and military preparations in the City.

  507 Letter Book F, fos. 3, 3b.

  508 -_Id._, fo. 14b. _Id._, fo. 18b.

  509 Pleas and Mem., Roll A 5, membr. 3 dors.

 M290 The city put into a posture of defence after the king’s departure,
      July, 1338.

  510 -_Id._, membr. 5 dors.

  511 -_Id._, membr. 6. On the 23 October, the Duke of Cornwall, whom the
      king had nominated regent during his absence abroad, wrote to the
      Mayor, &c., of London, bidding him put the city into a posture of
      defence.—Letter Book F, fo. 19.

 M291 Orders for city to provide more ships and men, Feb., 1339.

  512 -_Skumarii_: a scummar, a rover. Skeats’ Glossary to the Bruce
      (Early Eng. Text Soc. _s. v._)

  513 Letter Book F, fos. 22b-23.

 M292 A threatened invasion up the Thames, Easter, 1339.

  514 Pleas and Mem., Roll A 3, membr. 1.

  515 Letter Book F, fly leaf. (Memorials, p. 204.)

 M293 Implements of war stored at the Guildhall.

  516 Letter Book F, fly-leaf. The passage was printed by the late Mr.
      Riley, although somewhat inaccurately, in his Memorials (p. 205).
      The original MS. runs thus: "Item in Camera Gildaule sunt sex
      Instrumenta de Laton vocata Gonnes cum quinque teleres ad eadem.
      Item pelete de plumbo pro eidem Instrumentis que ponderant iiijc li
      et dj. Item xxxij li de pulvere pro dictis instrumentis."

  517 The late Mr. Riley misread "roleres" for "teleres" (the writing is
      not very legible), and therefore thought the passage referred to
      heavy ordnance.

  518 Richard Hastinges bequeaths by will in 1558 his bows and arrows,
      with "tyllers" &c.—Calendar of Wills, Court of Hust., London, ii,

 M294 The king’s return, Feb., 1340.

  519 Congregacio Maioris Aldermannorum et unius hominis cujuslibet warde
      civitatis pro negociis communitatem tangentibus die veneris proxima
      post festum Sancte Katerine Virginis (25 Nov.) anno xiijc contra
      adventum domini regis et regine de partibus transmarinis.—Pleas and
      Mem., Roll A 3, membr. 10.

  520 Letter Book F, fo. 30b.

 M295 A City loan of £5,000.

  521 Letter Book F, fo. 32b. (Memorials, pp. 208-210.)

  522 Pleas and Mem., Roll A 3, membr. 12 dors.

  523 Letter Book F, fo. 34b.

 M296 The king again sets sail, June, 1340.

  524 Letter Book F, fo. 39.

 M297 The battle of Sluys, 24 June, 1340.

  525 Pleas and Mem., Roll A 3, membr. 20-21. Letter Book F, fo. 37b.

  526 A cedula inserted between membranes 19 and 20 of Pleas and Mem.,
      Roll A 3.

  527 Aungier, Fr. Chron. (Riley’s transl.), 277.

 M298 The king’s unexpected return, 30 Nov., 1340.

  528 Murimuth, Contin. Chron. (Rolls Series No. 93), p. 116. Avesbury
      (_Ibid_), p. 323.

 M299 Dismisses ministers and orders an enquiry as to collection of
 M300 The justices at the Tower, March-April. 1341.

  529 Aungier’s Fr. Chron. (Riley’s transl.), pp. 283-285. Murimuth, p.

  530 Pleas and Mem., Roll A 3, membr. 22.

  531 Letter Book F, fos. 45b-49. Murimuth, pp. 118, 119.

  532 Murimuth, p. 119.

  533 Letter Book F, fo. 49.

 M301 Charter to the city, dated 26 March, 1341.

  534 Dated 26 May, 1341.  This charter, which was granted with the assent
      of parliament, is preserved at the Guildhall (Box No. 5.)

 M302 The city called upon to furnish the king with 26 ships.

  535 Pleas and Mem., Roll A 3, membr. 25 dors.

 M303 The king’s expedition to Brittany, Oct., 1342.

  536 -_Id._, Roll A 5. membr. 17.

 M304 A truce with France for three years.

  537 Stubbs, Const. Hist., ii, 392 note. Aungier’s Fr. Chron. (Riley’s
      transl.), 290.

  538 Murimuth, 155.

 M305 Renewal of the war in 1345.

  539 Letter Book F, fos. 81-84b.

  540 Commission, dated Windsor, 20th March, 1345. _Id._ fo. 98b.

  541 -_Id._ fos. 99, 109, 110.

  542 Letter Book F, fo. 111.

  543 -_Id._, fo. 116b.

 M306 Expedition to France sets sail, 10 July, 1346.

  544 Murimuth (Rolls Series, No. 93, p. 198) states that the number of
      vessels great and small amounted to 750; whilst in another Chronicle
      the same writer says that they numbered more than 1,500 (Chron. ed.
      for Eng. Hist. Soc., p. 164.)

  545 Letter Book F. fo. 119. Murimuth (Rolls Series), p. 198.

 M307 News of the king’s arrival and success in Normandy, 3 Aug.

  546 Murimuth (Rolls Series), pp. 205-211.

  547 Letter Book F, fo. 120b.

  548 -_Id._, fos. 121-125b.

 M308 The battle of Creçy, 26 Aug., 1346.
 M309 Siege and surrender of Calais, 1346-1347.

  549 Letter Book F, fos. 127, 127b, 130.

  550 -_Id._, fos. 132b-133b.

  551 -_Id._, fos. 139, 140.

  552 -_Id._, fo. 140 b.

  553 Hist. Angl. (Rolls Series No. 28), i, 272.  _Cf._ Chron. Angliæ
      (Rolls Series No. 64). p. 26.

 M310 The Black Death, 1348-1349.

  554 It was the first of the three pestilences (the others occurring in
      1361 and 1369) which served occasionally as land marks in history
      for dating conveyances and other records.—See Bond’s Handy-book for
      verifying dates, p. 311.

  555 Stow extravagantly conjectures that no less than 50,000 perished
      within a year, all of whom were buried in Walter Manny’s cemetery,
      near the Charterhouse. Another chronicler states that 200 were
      buried there alone between February and April, 1349.—Avesbury (Rolls
      Series No. 93), p. 407.

  556 Whilst the king forbade the encouragement of beggars by gifts of
      charity, the municipal authorities fixed the price of labour.—Letter
      Book F. fos. 163, 168, 169, 181. At the close of the year (1349) a
      statute—known as the Statute of Labourers—was passed, fixing the
      scale of wages at the rate prevalent before the Black Death, and
      ordering punishment to be inflicted on those who demanded more.

  557 Letter Book F, fo. 168.

  558 -_Id._, fo. 191b.

 M311 A fresh truce with France, commencing 13 June, 1350.

  559 By writ, dated 1 July. Letter Book F, fo. 185b.

 M312 Measures taken for the suppression of piracy, July, 1350.

  560 Letter Book F, fos. 187b, 188b.

  561 Avesbury (Rolls Series No. 93), p. 412.

  562 Letter Book F, fos. 174, 176.

 M313 Charter relative to the City’s gold mace, 10 June, 1354.

  563 Rot. Parl., ii, 155.

 M314 Renewal of war with France, 1355.

  564 Letter Book G, fo. 47.—Their cost, amounting to nearly £500, was
      assessed on the wards.

 M315 Battle of Poitiers, 19 Sept., 1356

  565 Letter Book G, fo. 53b. (Memorials, pp. 285-289).

  566 Walshingham (Rolls Series No. 28), i, 283. Chron. Angliæ (Rolls
      Series No. 64), p. 37.

  567 Letter Book G, fos. 65-67.

 M316 Grievances of the city laid before the king.

  568 Letter Book G, fo. 60.

  569 Relief on this point was afforded by the king in February, 1359, by
      the issue of a writ to the effect that the names of his purveyors
      should be handed to the Mayor and Sheriffs of London, and that the
      purveyors shall not seize any victuals until they had shown and read
      their commission.—Letter Book G, fo. 74.

 M317 Edward’s last invasion of France, 1359-1360.

  570 Walsingham, i, 288.

 M318 The peace of Bretigny, 1360.

  571 Letter Book G, fo. 133.

  572 Stow’s Survey (Thom’s ed. 1876), pp. 41, 90.—If we include David,
      King of Denmark (as some do), the number of kings entertained on
      this occasion was five, and to this day the toast of "Prosperity to
      the Vintners’ Company" is drunk at their banquets with five cheers
      in memory of the visit of the five crowned heads.—See a pamphlet
      entitled _The Vintners’ Company with Five_, by B. Standring, Master
      of the Company in 1887.

 M319 England at peace, 1360-1369.

  573 Letter Book G, fo. 133.—The list of subscribers, as printed in
      Herbert’s Introduction to his History of the Twelve Great Livery
      Companies (p. 32), is very inaccurately transcribed.

 M320 The renewal of the war, 1369.

  574 -_Id._, fo. 158.

  575 -_Id._, fos. 225b, 226b, 235b, 236b.

  576 -_Id._, fo. 228b.

 M321 City loans, 1370-1371.

  577 Letter Book G, fo. 247b.—The money was advanced on the security of
      Exchequer bills. The names of the contributors and the several sums
      contributed, covering three folios of the Letter Book, have been for
      some reason erased.

  578 -_Id._, fos. 263, 270.

 M322 New form of taxation, 1371.

  579 Fasciculi Zizaniorum (Rolls Series No. 5), introd., p. xxviii.

  580 Letter Book G, fos. 274b-275.

  581 -_Id._, fo. 268.

  582 Letter Book G, fos. 268b, 270.

  583 The number of parishes is elsewhere given as 110.—_Id._, fo. 275. A
      list of London benefices, under date 31 Edward I [1302-3], is given
      in the City’s Liber Custumarum (i, 228-230), the number being 116.

 M323 The city as an ecclesiastical centre.

  584 Ralph de Diceto (Rolls Series No. 68), pref. vol. i, p. lvi.

  585 Chron. Edward I and II, introd., vol. i., p. xli.

 M324 The prosecution of the war, 1371-1375.

  586 Letter Book G, fo. 271. (Memorials, pp. 350-352).

  587 -_Id._, fo. 289b.

  588 Walsingham, i, 315.

  589 Letter Book G, fos. 297, 298, 304b, 306b, 307.

  590 Letter Book G, fo. 312b. Letter Book H, fos. 17-19b.

 M325 Charges against city aldermen, 1376.

  591 The parliament was originally summoned for the 12th February, but
      did not meet before the 28 April. The city members were John Pyel
      and William Walworth, Aldermen, William Essex and Adam Carlile,
      commoners.—Letter Book H. fos. 28. 29.

  592 Chron. Angliæ (Rolls Series No. 64), 78, 79.

  593 Walsingham i, 321. Higden’s Polychron (Rolls Series No. 41), viii,
      385. Chron. Angliæ (Rolls Series No. 64), pp. 94, 392.

  594 Letter Book H, fo. 45b.

 M326 A new system of election by the guilds, instead of the wards,
      introduced, 1376.

  595 See the king’s letter, dated "Haddele" Castle, 29 July, 1376.—Letter
      Book H, fo. 44.

  596 The names of the representatives of the guilds forming the first
      Common Council of the kind are placed on record.—Letter Book H, fos.
      46b, 47.

  597 -_Id._, fo. 44b.

  598 Letter Book H, fo. 46.

  599 -_Id._, fos. 47, 161; Journal 11, fo. 89.

  600 Charter, dated 26 May, 15 Edward III, _Supra_ p. 188.

 M327 The old system of election by wards reverted to in 1384.

  601 Letter Book H, fo. 173.—The names of those elected by the wards to
      the Common Council two years later (9 Ric. II), are inserted on a
      cedula between membranes, 15 and 16, of Pleas and Memoranda, Roll A

 M328 Proceedings against Alice Perers, the king’s mistress, 1376.

  602 Walsingham, i, 327. Chron. Angliæ, pp. 142, 143. Modern writers,
      however, have discovered some good qualities in this lady.—See Notes
      and Queries, 7th Series, vol. vii, pp. 449, _et seq._

  603 Chron. Angliæ, p. 130.

  604 See Hust., Rolls, 95, (130) (13O); 97, (9); 98, (73) (74) (82); 109,
      (6) (7) (8); also Will of William Burton—Calendar of Wills, Court of
      Hust., London, ii, 301.

  605 Letter Book H, fo. 77b.

  606 -_Id._, fo. 47b.

  607 Pat. Roll, 3 Ric. II, part 1.

 M329 Charter forbidding free trade to merchant strangers, 4 Dec., 1376.
 M330 Hostility between the City and Lancaster.

  608 "Ut de cetero non major, antiquo more, sed capitaneus Londoniis
      haberetur, et quod Marescallus Angliæ in illa civitate, sicut alibi,
      reos arestare valeret; cum multis petitionibus quæ; manifeste
      obviabant urbis libertatibus et imminebant civium
      detrimento."—Chron. Angliæ, p. 120.

  609 Chron. Angliæ, pp. 123-125, 397; Walsingham, i, 325.

 M331 Interview between the king and the citizens to explain matters.

  610 Chron. Angliæ, pp. 125, 398.

  611 -_Id._, pp. 127, 128.

  612 Chron. Angliæ, p. 129.

 M332 Another interview with the king at Shene.

  613 Letter Book H, fos. 58, 59.

  614 Chron. Angliæ, p. 134.

 M333 The king’s death, 21 June, 1377.

  615 Chron. Angliæ, p. 129.

  616 -_Id._, pp. 136-137, 142-143.

 M334 Reconciliation between Lancaster and the City, 1377.

  617 Chron. Angliæ, pp. 146-149. The chronicler expresses the utmost joy
      and astonishment at the sudden change in the duke’s manner. It was
      (he says) nothing less than a miracle that one who had so recently
      demanded a present of precious stones and 100 tuns of wine, as the
      price of his favour, should now appear so complacent.

  618 -_Id._, pp. 150, 151.

 M335 The coronation of Richard II, 16 July, 1377.

  619 "Londonienses præcipue obloquebantur, dicentes jam perpaucorum
      proceruin corda fore cum Rege, eos solos sibi fideles esse; quorum
      Rex licet ironice, vocabatur a nonnullis proceribus, eo quod ipsi
      multum juvissent eum in coronatione sua."—Walsingham i, 370; _Cf._
      Chron. Angliæ, p. 200.

  620 Chron. Angliæ, p. 153.

  621 Lib. Cust. ii, 467, 468. It appears from the City Records, that the
      king’s butler in ordinary could claim the office of Coroner of the
      city.—See Letter Book H, fos. 68, 77b.

 M336 A city loan and parliamentary supplies, 1377.

  622 The Isle of Wight had been surprised and taken, Rye had been
      captured, Hastings had been destroyed by fire, and Winchelsea would
      have fallen into the hands of the enemy but for the bold defence
      made by the Abbot of Battle.—Walsingham i, 340-342; Chron. Angliæ,
      pp. 151, 166, 167.

  623 Letter Book H, fos. 76-77, 83.

  624 Et deputati sunt ad hujus pecuniæ custodiam duo cives Londonienses,
      scilicet Willelmus Walworthe et Johannes Philipot.—Chron. Angliæ, p.
      171. Eight other citizens, viz., Adam Lovekyn, William Tonge, Thomas
      Welford, Robert Lucas, John Hadley, John Northampton, John Organ,
      and John Sely, were appointed collectors of the two
      fifteenths.—Letter Book H, fo. 90.

 M337 Charter granted to the city with the assent of parliament, 4 Dec.,

  625 Dated 4 Dec, 1377. Preserved at the Guildhall (Box No. 9).

  626 Letter Book H, fo. 82.

 M338 The subsidy taken out of the hands of Walworth and Philipot, 1378.

  627 Chron. Angliæ, p. 194: Walsingham i, 367. It was stated before
      parliament, in 1378, that Walworth and Philipot had laid out every
      penny of the subsidy.—Stubbs, Const. Hist., ii, 445 note.

 M339 Patriotic conduct of John Philipot.

  628 Chron. Angliæ, pp. 199, 200. Philipot again showed his patriotism in
      1380, by providing money and arms for an expedition sent to assist
      the Duke of Brittany.—_Id._, p. 266. He died in the summer of
      1384.—Walsingham, ii, 115.

  629 Letter Book H, fo. 95.

 M340 Factions in the City for and against the Duke of Lancaster, 1378.

  630 "Et idcirco locum illum elegerant præmeditato facinori; ne
      Londonienses, si Londoniis fuisset Parliamentum prædictum, sua
      auctoritate vel potentia eorum conatus ullatenus
      impedirent."—Walsingham, i, 380.

  631 Letter Book H, fo. 101b. (Memorials, p. 427).

 M341 The Earl of Buckingham and his partizans withdraw themselves and
      their custom from the City, 1378.

  632 Letter Book H, fos. 109b, 110.

 M342 Another City loan of £5,000, Feb., 1379.

  633 -_Id._, fos. 107, 108, 109.

 M343 The poll-tax of 1379.

  634 -_Id._, fos. 111b, 113.

 M344 Renewal of the poll-tax, 1380.

  635 Letter Book H, fos. 128, 132.

 M345 The peasants’ revolt under Wat Tyler, 1381.

  636 The story of the insurrection under Wat Tyler, and of his death at
      the hands of Walworth, as told in Letter Book H, fo. 133b
      (Memorials, pp. 449-451), varies in some particulars from that given
      by Walsingham (i, 454-465), and in the Chronicon Angliæ (pp.

  637 Letter Book H, fo. 134.

 M346 Orders given for safeguarding the city, 20 June.

  638 -_Id._, fo. 134b.

  639 Pleas and Mem., Roll A 24, membr. 9.

  640 Walsingham, i, 467-484; ii, 23.

 M347 Confession made by "Jack Straw."

  641 Walsingham, ii, 13.

  642 -_Id._, ii, 9, 10.

 M348 Revulsion of feeling against the Lollards after the suppression of
      the peasants’ revolt, 1382.

  643 Letter Book H, fos. 149b, 150.

 M349 Reforms in the city during Northampton’s first mayoralty, 1381-1382.

  644 "Homo duri cordis et astutus, elatus propter divitias et superbus,
      qui nec inferioribus adquiescere, nec superiorum allegationibus sive
      monitis flecti valeret quin quod inceperat proprio ingenio torvo
      proposito ad quemcunque finem perducere niteretur."—Walsingham, ii,

  645 Letter Book H, fo. 144. (Memorials, p. 463).

  646 Letter Book H, fo. 146b.

  647 -_Id._, fos. 153-154.

 M350 Northampton re-elected mayor at the king’s request, Oct., 1382.

  648 Walsingham, ii, 71. From the City’s Records it appears that early in
      1383, William Baret was alderman of Philipot’s ward (Cornhill); but
      in the following year, when Brembre succeeded to his mayoralty, and
      the so-called "king’s party" was again in the ascendant, Philipot
      again appears as alderman of his old ward, continuing in office
      until his death (12 Sept., 1384), when he was succeeded by John
      Rote.—Letter Book H, fos. 163, 174.

  649 Letter Book H, fo. 155b.

  650 Letter Book H, fo. 154.

 M351 Brembre succeeds Northampton in the mayoralty, Oct., 1383.

  651 Letter Book H, fo. 168. Three years later, "the folk of the Mercerye
      of London" complained to parliament that Brembre and his "upberers"
      had on this occasion obtained his election by force—"through debate
      and strenger partye."—(Rot., Parl. iii, 225). There is no evidence
      of this in the City’s Records, although there appears to have been a
      disturbance at his re-election in 1384. It may be to this that the
      Mercers’ petition refers. It is noteworthy that at the time of his
      election in 1383, Brembre was not an alderman, although in the
      previous year, and again in the year following his election, he is
      recorded as Alderman of Bread Street Ward.—Letter Book H, fos. 140,
      163, 174.

  652 Breve quod piscenarii libertatis civitatis Londoniæ exerceant artem
      suam ut consueverunt. Dated 27 Nov., 1383.—Letter Book H, fo. 172.

  653 -_Id._, fos. 154-154b, 176-177.

 M352 Richard’s second charter to the City, 26 Nov., 1383.

  654 Dated 26 Nov., 7 Ric. II. Preserved at the Guildhall (Box No. 9).

  655 Pleas and Mem., Roll A 27, membr. 3 dors.

  656 Letter Book H, fos. 166, 167.

 M353 Proceedings against Northampton.

  657 Pleas and Mem., Roll A 27, membr. 3.

  658 Writ dated 9 February; Letter Box H, fo. 173b.

  659 -_Id._, fos. 173b, 174b.

  660 -_Id._, fo. 174.

 M354 Trial of Northampton at Reading.

  661 Letter Book H, fo. 179.

  662 Letter Book H, fo. 179b; Walsingham, ii, 116.

  663 Hidgen, Polychron. (Rolls Series No. 41), ix, 45 _seq._

 M355 Is committed to Tintagel Castle.

  664 "Hæc autem omnia sibi fieri procurarunt æmuli piscarii, ut
      dicebabur, quia per illos stetit quod ars et curia eorum erant
      destructæ."—Higden, ix, 49.

 M356 Brembre’s re-election to the mayoralty, Oct., 1384.

  665 Letter Book H, fo. 92. (Memorials, pp. 415-417).

  666 Letter Book H, fo. 182. The names of those specially summoned are
      set out in Pleas and Mem., Roll A 27, membr. 15.

  667 Pleas and Mem., Roll A 27, membr. 4, 5 and 6.

  668 Higden, ix, 50, 51.

  669 Letter Book H, fo. 182.

 M357 Renewed efforts to obtain Northampton’s release, March, 1386.

  670 Letter Book H, fo. 198b.

  671 Pleas and Mem., Roll A 27, membr. 26.

  672 Letters patent of pardon received the king’s sign manual on the 3
      June, 1386 (Letter Book H, fo. 216), but the prisoners were not
      released before April in the following year.—See Higden, Polychron.
      ix, 93.

 M358 A book of ordinances, known as "Jubilee," burnt by order of mayor,
      Exton, March, 1387.

  673 Letter Book H, fo. 214. (Memorials, p. 494).

  674 Rot. Parl. iii, 227, cited by Riley in his "Memorials," p. 494,

  675 Letter Book H, fo. 176b.

 M359 Further efforts to secure Northampton’s release, 1387.

  676 This letter, which was dated the 27 April, was delivered to Lord
      Zouche at his house by John Reche, Common Pleader, and Ralph Strode
      and John Harwell, Sergeants-at-Arms.—Letter Book H, fo. 215b.

 M360 Northampton set free, 27 April, 1387.

  677 "Super quo dominus Rex respondit quod licet in sua potestate fuerat
      cum ipsis, Johanne, Johanne et Ricardo agere graciose bene tamen
      sibi provideret priusquam foret eis graciam concessurus."—Letter
      Book H, fo. 215b.

  678 Higden, Polychron. ix, 93.

  679 Letter Book H, fo. 222.

 M361 Letter from the mayor to the king, 5 Oct.

  680 The oath as set out in the letter to the king differs from another
      copy of the oath, which immediately precedes the letter in Letter
      Book H, fos. 220b, 221; a clause having been subsequently added to
      the latter to the effect that the swearer abjured the opinions of
      Northampton and his followers, and would oppose their return within
      the bounds and limits set out in the king’s letters patent.

 M362 The king’s reply, 7 Oct.

  681 Letter Book H, fo. 222.

  682 Letter Book H, fo. 223b.

 M363 The Parliament of 1386.

  683 Walsingham, ii, 150.

 M364 Appointment of a Commission of Regency.
 M365 The Commission declared illegal.
 M366 Richard applies to the City for assistance.

  684 Higden, Polychron. ix, 104.

  685 Letter Book H, fo. 223b.

 M367 The king’s advisers charged with treason, 14 Nov.

  686 Higden, Polychron. ix, 106; Walsingham, ii, 166.

 M368 The mayor and aldermen summoned to Windsor, 28 Nov.

  687 Letter Book H, fo. 223b. (Memorials, p. 449.)

  688 Higden, Polychron. ix, 108-109.

 M369 Richard obliged to submit.
 M370 Flight of the accused.

  689 "Londonienses ... mobiles erant ut arundo, et nunc cum Dominis, nunc
      cum Rege, sentiebant, nusquam stabiles sed fallaces."—Hist. Angliæ,
      ii, 161.

  690 Higden, Polychron. ix, 108; Walsingham, ii, 169.

  691 Pleas and Mem., Roll A, membr. 7.

 M371 The lords appellant admitted into the city, Dec., 1387.

  692 Higden, ix, 111-114; Walsingham, ii, 170, 171; Engl. Chron. (Camd.
      Soc. No. 64), p. 5.

 M372 The lords at the Guildhall, 18 Jan., 1388.

  693 Higden, ix, 117, 118.

 M373 Trial of Brembre before parliament, Feb., 1388.

  694 Howell’s State Trials, i, 115.

 M374 Conviction and sentence of death.

  695 Higden, Polychron. ix, 168.

  696 State Trials, i, 118, 119.

 M375 Character of Brembre as depicted by Walsingham.

  697 Walsingham, ii, 165-174.

 M376 Deaths of Tressilian and Uske.

  698 Higden, ix, 167-169.

 M377 The proceedings of the "merciless" parliament confirmed by oath.

  699 Letter Book H, fo. 228.

 M378 Party spirit in the city, 1388-1389.

  700 Letter Book H, fo, 161.

  701 -_Id.,_ fo. 126; Higden ix, 179.

  702 Letter Book H, fos. 234, 234b.

  703 Higden ix, 217.

 M379 The return of Northampton to the city, 1390.

  704 Higden ix, 238, 239.

  705 Letters patent, date, 2 Dec, 1390.—Letter Book H, fo. 255; Higden
      ix, 243.

  706 Letter Book H, fo. 259. (Memorials, p. 526.).

  707 -_Id._, fo. 300.

 M380 Proclamation enforcing knighthood, Feb., 1392.

  708 -_Id._, fo. 270.

 M381 The mayor summoned to Nottingham, June, 1392.

  709 Higden, ix, 270. According to Walsingham (Hist. Angl. ii, 208), the
      Lombard failed to get the money from the citizens, who nearly killed
      him when they learnt his purpose.

  710 The names of the citizens chosen for the occasion are given by
      Higden (Polychron. ix, 269, 270), and in Letter Book H, fo. 270.

  711 The reason given in the City Records for the dismissals which
      followed is stated to be "certain defects in a commission under the
      common seal and other causes."—Letter Book H, fo. 270b.

 M382 The mayor and sheriffs committed to prison, June, 1392.

  712 Higden, Polychron. ix, 272; Walsingham, ii, 208-209.

 M383 Sir Edward Dalyngrigge appointed warden of the city, July, 1392.

  713 Higden, ix, 273; Letter Book H, fo. 270b.

  714 Letter Book H, fo. 275b.

  715 -_Id._, fo. 273.

 M384 The City fined £100,000, July, 1392.

  716 Letter Book H, fo. 269b; Higden, ix, 267. Walsingham (ii, 213)
      suggests that this was done at the instance of the Archbishop of
      York, the Chancellor.

  717 "Putabant isti officiarii per hoc non modicum damnificare civitatem
      Lundoniæ, sed potius hoc multo majora damna intulerunt regi et
      hominibus regni quam jam dictæ civitati."—Higden, ix, 267-268.

  718 Walsingham, ii, 210.

  719 Higden, ix, 273.

  720 Letters Patent of pardon, dated Woodstock, 19 September, 1392.
      Preserved at the Guildhall (Box No. 6).

  721 Higden. ix, 274, 276, 278; Letter Book H, fos. 271b, 272, 274.
      Notwithstanding these remissions, the city was mulcted, according to
      Waisingham (ii, 211), in no less a sum than £10,000 before it
      received its liberties.—_Cf._ Chron. of London, 1089-1483 (ed. by
      Sir H. Nicolas, sometimes called "Tyrrell’s Chronicle," from a City
      Remembrancer of that name), p. 80.

 M385 Municipal reforms, 1393.

  722 Stat. 17, Ric. II, c. 13; Letter Book H, fos. 290b, 291.; Bohun,
      "Privilegia Londini" (ed. 1723), p. 57.

 M386 Change of conduct on the part of Richard, 1394-1398.

  723 Higden, ix, 274.

  724 Stubbs, Const. Hist., ii, 489-490.

  725 Letter Book H, fo. 314.

  726 Engl. Chron. (Camd. Soc. No. 64), p. 12.

  727 "Also this yere (1397-8), by selying of blank chartres, the Citie of
      London paied to the kyng a ml li."—Chron. of London (ed. by Sir H.
      Nicolas); p. 83.

 M387 The landing of Henry of Lancaster, July, 1399.

  728 Letters Patent, dat. 9 May, 1399.—Letter Book H, fo. 326. Richard
      set sail on the 29th.

 M388 Richard’s surrender and deposition from the crown.

  729 "Douze cent hommes de Londres, tous armés et montés à
      cheval."—Froissart (ed. Lyon, 1559), vol. iv, c. 108, p. 328. In
      Lord Berner’s translation of Froissart (iv, 566), the number is
      wrongly given as 12,000.

 M389 Doubtful reports as to the late king’s death.

  730 Walsingham, ii, 245, 246.

  731 Walsingham, ii, 262-264. Serle’s Christian name is given elsewhere
      as John.—Eng. Chron. (Camd. Soc., No. 64), p. 30. The writ for his
      execution is dated 5 August, 1404.—Letter Book I, fo. 31b.

 M390 The "Trumpington" Conspiracy, 1416-1420.

  732 Letter Book I, fo. 180b. (Memorials, pp. 638-641). Walsingham, ii,

  733 City Records Journal, I, fo. 83b. We have now a series of MS.
      Volumes among the City’s archives known as "Journals" to assist us.
      They contain minutes of proceedings of the Court of Common Council,
      just as the "Repertories" (which we shall have occasion to consult
      later on), contain a record of the proceedings of the Court of
      Aldermen. The Letter Books may now be regarded as "fair copies" of
      the more important of the proceedings of both Courts.

 M391 Proceedings against the Lollards.

  734 Letter Book H, fo. 307b. The Lollards are said to have derived their
      name from a low German word _lollen_, to sing or chant, from their
      habit of chanting, but their clerical opponents affected to derive
      it from the Latin _lolium_, as if this sect were as tares among the
      true wheat of the church.

  735 Letter Book I, fo. 125b-132.

  736 -_Id._, fo. 130b.

  737 -_Ibid._

 M392 The statute of heresy, 1401.

  738 Letter Book I, fo. 11b.

  739 He appears, however, to have burnt by a special order of the king,
      before the passing of the statute.—See Fasc. Zizan. (Rolls Series
      No. 5), Introd. p. lxix.

 M393 Henry’s other troubles.

  740 A curious story is told of boys in the streets playing at England
      and Scotland at this time, with the result that what began in play
      ended in fighting and loss of life.—See Chron. Mon. S. Albani (Rolls
      Series No. 28, 3), p. 332.

  741 Letter Book I, fo. 16.

 M394 Supplies granted by parliament in 1404.

  742 Letter Book I, fo. 27; Chron. Mon. S. Albani (Rolls Series No. 28,
      3), p. 379.

 M395 More city loans in 1409 & 1412.

  743 Letter Book I, fo. 89b.

  744 -_Id._, fo. 113.

  745 -_Id._, fo. 108b.

  746 Letter Book I, fo. 112b.

  747 Exchequer Roll, Lay Subsidy, 144-20.—See Archæological Journal, vol.
      xliv, 56-82.

 M396 Whitington mayor for the third time, 1406.

  748 Letter Book I, fo. 54. (Memorials pp. 563-564.)

  749 License, dated Westminster, 29 May, 12 Henry IV (A.D. 1411).—Letter
      Book I, fo. 103b. In 1417 the mayor and aldermen ordained that the
      rector of St. Peter’s for the time being should in future take
      precedence of the rectors of all other city churches, on the ground
      that Saint Peter’s was the first church founded in the city of
      London, having been built in 199 by King Lucius, and for 400 years
      or more held the metropolitan chair.—Letter Book I, fo. 203.
      (Memorials, pp. 651-653.) _Cf._ Journal 1, fo. 21b.

 M397 Further proceedings against Oldcastle and the Lollards, 1413.

  750 "Eminentissima turris Ecclesiæ Anglicanæ et pugil invictus Dominus
      Thomas de Arundelia."—Hist. Angl. ii, 300.

 M398 Meeting of Lollards in St. Giles’ Fields, 12 Jan., 1414.

  751 A certain William Fyssher, a _parchemyner_ or parchment-maker of
      London, was afterwards (1416) convicted of assisting in Oldcastle’s
      escape, and was executed at Tyburn.—Letter Book I, fo. 181b.
      (Memorials, p. 641.)

  752 Walsingham, ii, 292-299; Fasc. Zizan. (Rolls Series No. 5), 433-449;
      Chron. of London (ed. by Sir H. Nicolas), p. 97.

  753 Letter Book I, fos. 286-290.

 M399 The last Statute against the Lollards, 1414.

  754 2 Hen. V. Stat. i, c. 7.

  755 It was not, however, the last occasion upon which parliamentary
      action was attempted. In 1422, and again in 1425, the Lollards were
      formidable in London, and parliament on both occasions ordered that
      those who were in prison should be delivered at once to the
      Ordinary, in accordance with the provisions of this Statute.—Stubbs,
      Const. Hist., iii, 81, 363.

 M400 The king’s offer of pardon refused by Oldcastle, 1415.

  756 Letter Book I, fo. 147.

  757 Walsingham, ii, 306, 307.

 M401 Trial and execution of Cleydon, a Lollard, 1415.

  758 Hist. Angl., ii, 307.

  759 Letter Book I, fol. 154.

  760 See letter from the mayor to the king, giving an account of
      Cleydon’s trial, 22nd August, 1415.—Letter Book I, fo. 155.
      (Memorials, p. 617). Foxe, "Acts and Monuments," iii, 531-534.

 M402 Oldcastle taken and executed, 1417.

  761 Walsingham, ii, 327, 328.

  762 Engl. Chron. (Camd. Soc., No. 64), p. 46; Chron. of London
      (Nicolas), p. 106.

  763 Stubbs, Const. Hist., iii., 363, 364.

 M403 Preparations for the invasion of France, 1414-1415.
 M404 A question of precedence in the city.

  764 Letter Book I, fo. 150. This "very antient memorandum" of the Lord
      Mayor’s precedence in the City was submitted to Charles II in 1670,
      when that monarch insisted upon Sir Richard Ford, the Lord Mayor of
      the day, giving "the hand and the place" to the Prince of Orange
      (afterwards William III of England), on the occasion of the prince
      being entertained by the City.—Repertory, 76, fos. 28b, 29.

  765 Letter Book I, fo. 158b. (Memorials, p. 613).

  766 -_Id._, fo. 157.

 M405 The king takes leave of the citizens on Blackheath, June, 1415.

  767 Gregory’s Chron. (Camd. Soc, N.S., No. 17), pp. 108-109. Gregory was
      an alderman of the City, and an eye-witness of much that he relates.

  768 Letter dated 2nd August—the day on which Sir Thomas Grey, one of the
      chief conspiritors was executed.—Letter Book I, fo. 180.

 M406 The capture of Harfleur, 18 Sept., 1415.

  769 Letter Book I, fo. 143. (Memorials, p. 619).

 M407 Volunteers for service in France required, Oct., 1415.
 M408 Citizens invited to reside in Harfleur.

  770 Letter Book I, fo. 177.

 M409 Joy in the city at the news of the battle of Agincourt, Oct., 1415.
 M410 The citizens welcome the king on his return from France.

  771 Letter Book I, fo. 159. (Memorials, pp. 620, 622).

  772 "Quali gaudio, quali tripudio, quali denique triumpho, sit acceptus
      a Londoniensibus, dicere prætermitto. Quia revera curiositas
      apparatumn, nimietas expensarum, varietates spectaculorum, tractatus
      exigerent merito speciales."—Walsingham, ii, 314.

  773 Chron. of London (Nicolas), p. 103.

 M411 Preparations for another expedition, 1416-1417.

  774 Letter Book I, fo. 178b. Other proclamations on the same subject are
      recorded in the same place, most of which will be found in
      "Memorials" (pp. 627-629).

  775 Letter Book I, fo. 190b.

  776 -_Id._, fos. 188, 188b.

 M412 City loans, 1417.

  777 Letter Book I, fo. 191b.

  778 Letter Book I, fo. 218b. In May, 1419, the sword was surrendered,
      and the security changed to one on wool, woolfells, &c.—_Id._, fo.

 M413 Letter from the king to the City announcing his success, 9 Aug.,
 M414 Another letter informing them of the capture of Caen, 5 Sept.

  779 Letter Book I, fo. 229. (Memorials, p. 654.)

  780 Journal 1, fo. 30b.

  781 Letter Book I, fo. 200b. (Memorials, p. 657.)

  782 Letter, dated Caen, 11 September.—Letter Book I, fo. 200b.

 M415 Proclamation by the Duke of Bedford, 18 Oct.
 M416 Supplies granted by parliament, Dec, 1417.

  783 Writ, dated 18th Oct.—Letter Book I, fo. 203.

  784 Stubbs, Const. Hist., iii, 89.

  785 Letter Book I, fo. 222.

 M417 Henry’s conquest of Normandy, 1417-1419.

  786 Letter Book I, fos. 211b, 212b, 217. Proclamations made by the civic
      authorities at this time were subscribed "Carpenter"—the name of the
      Common Clerk or Town Clerk of the City. The custom of the Town Clerk
      of London for the time being, signing official documents of this
      kind with his surname alone, continues at the present day.

  787 Letter Book I, fo. 215b.

  788 Letter Book I, fo. 216. (Memorials, p. 664).

  789 Letter Book I, fo. 216. On the 15th September the question of
      payment to the brewers, wine drawers and turners of the cups was
      considered.—Journal I, fo. 48. (Memorials, pp. 665, 666).

  790 Gregory’s Chron. (Camd. Soc, N.S., No. 17), 1222.

  791 Letter Book I, fos. 236, 236b.

 M418 The king’s letter to the City, 17 Aug., 1419.

  792 Letter Book I, fo. 237. (Memorials, p. 674).

 M419 The treaty of Troyes, 20 May. 1420.

  793 -_Id._, fo. 241b.

  794 Letter Book I, fo. 252.

  795 Walsingham, ii, 335.

 M420 The king’s letter to the City, 12 July, 1420.
 M421 The mayor’s reply, 2 Aug.

  796 Letter Book I, fo. 263.

 M422 The queen’s coronation.

  797 Letter Book I, fo. 259.  According to Walsingham (ii, 336), the
      ceremony took place on the _first_ Sunday in Lent.

  798 Walsingham, ii, 336, 337.

 M423 Henry’s last expedition, and death, Aug., 1422.

  799 Parliament voted a fifteenth and a tenth to assist the king in his
      necessities; John Gedney, alderman, John Perneys, John Bacon,
      grocer, and John Patesley, goldsmith, being appointed commissioners
      to levy the same within the City.—Letter Book I, fo. 277b.

  800 Letter Book K, fo. 1b.

 M424 Rivalry between Bedford and Gloucester, 1422.

  801 Letter Book I, fo. 282b.

  802 Letter Book I, fo. 282b; Letter Book K, fo. 12.

  803 Letter Book K, fo. 2.

  804 Stubbs, Const. Hist., iii, 97.

 M425 An expedition to start for France, 1 March, 1423.

  805 Letter Book K, fos. 10, 10b.

 M426 Sir John Mortimer.

  806 -_Id._, fo. 15b.

 M427 The debts of Henry IV.

  807 Letter Book K, fos. 10-18.

 M428 Gloucester and Beaufort, 1425-1428.

  808 Chron. London (Nicolas), p. 114; Gregory’s Chron. (Camd. Soc., N.S.,
      No. 17), p. 159; Engl. Chron. (Camd. Soc., No. 64), pp. 53, 54.

  809 See two letters from the mayor.—Letter Book K, fos. 18b, 21.

  810 Gregory’s Chron., p. 160.

 M429 End of the quarrel between Gloucester and Beaufort.

  811 -_Id._, p. 162.

 M430 Gloucester loses the favour of the citizens.

  812 Journal 2, fos. 22b, 64b (new pagination).

  813 Letter Book K, fo. 50b.

 M431 The siege of Orleans, 1428-1429.

  814 Gregory’s Chron., p. 161.

  815 Letter Book K, fo. 55b.

 M432 Famine in London, 1429.

  816 Letter Book K, fos. 62, 63b; Gregory’s Chron., p. 164.

 M433 Beaufort joins Bedford in France.

  817 Letter Book K, fo. 66b; Gregory’s Chron., p. 164.

 M434 Allowances made to those representing the City in parliament, 1429.

  818 Letter Book K, fo. 68b. In 1443 the Common Council agreed to allow
      the City members their reasonable expenses out of the chamber
      (Journal 5, fo. 129b), but when parliament met at Coventry in 1459,
      the City members were allowed 40_s._ a day, besides any
      disbursements they might make in the City’s honour (Journal 6, fo.
      166b), and the same allowance was made in 1464, when parliament sat
      at York (Journal 7, fos. 52, 54).

 M435 The coronation of Henry VI, 6 Nov., 1429.

  819 -_Id._, fo. 69b.

  820 Gregory’s Chron., pp. 164-168.

  821 City Records, Liber Dunthorn, fo. 61b; Letter Book K, fo. 70.

  822 Cal. of Wills, Court of Husting, London, ii, 509.

 M436 Sets out for France, April, 1430.
 M437 And is crowned in Paris, Dec., 1431.

  823 Letter Book K, fo. 84.

  824 A long account of his entry into the French capital, and of the
      pageantry in honour of the occasion, is set out in full in the
      City’s Records.—Letter Book K, fos. 101b-103.

 M438 The citizens welcome him on his return, 1432.
 M439 The mayor and aldermen present him with a gift of £1,000.

  825 A full descriptive account of Henry’s reception on his return from
      France is set out in the City Records (Letter Book K, fos.
      103b-104b). It purports to be an account sent by John Carpenter, the
      Town Clerk, to a friend, and has been printed at the end of the
      _Liber Albus_ (Rolls Series); _Cf._ Gregory’s Chron., pp. 173-175.

 M440 Gloucester’s attacks on Beaufort and Bedford, 1432-1433.

  826 He informed the City of his intention by letter, dated from Ghent
      the 13th April.—Letter Book K, fo. 105.

  827 Stubbs, Const. Hist., iii, 114-117.

 M441 Financial reform, 1433.

  828 Letter Book K, fo. 137b.

  829 Letter Book K, fo. 138.

 M442 The death of Bedford, 14 Sept., 1435.

  830 Gregory’s Chron., p. 177.

 M443 Calais appeals to London for assistance, 27 June, 1436.

  831 Letter Book K, fo. 148.

  832 "And that same yere (1437), the Mayre of London sende, by the good
      a-vyse and consent of craftys, sent sowdyers to Calys, for hyt was
      sayde that the Duke of Burgone lay sege unto Calis."—Gregory’s
      Chron. p. 178.

  833 Letter Book K, fos. 160-162.

  834 Gregory’s Chron. p. 179.

 M444 A tax imposed on aliens, 1439.

  835 Letter Book K. fo. 183b. The tax was found to be so successful that
      it was subsequently renewed. In 1453 it was renewed for the king’s
      life.—_Id._, fo. 280b.

 M445 The penance of Eleanor Cobham, Gloucester’s wife, 1441.

  836 Journal 3, fo. 103b.

  837 Chron. of London (Nicolas), p. 129.

 M446 The king’s charter to the City, 26 Oct., 1444.

  838 The validity as well as the effect of this charter (which is
      preserved in the Town Clerk’s office) has been made the subject of
      much controversy, some contending that it is in effect a grant of
      the soil of the river from Staines to Yantlet, that being the extent
      of the City’s liberties on the Thames, whilst others restrict the
      grant to the City’s territorial limits, _i.e._, from Temple Bar to
      the Tower.

  839 Letter Book K, fo. 220b.

 M447 Henry’s marriage with Margaret of Anjou, 22 April, 1445.

  840 Chron. of London (Nicholas), p. 134.

 M448 Jack Cade’s rebellion, 1450.

  841 See "Historical Memoranda," by Stow, printed in "Three Fifteenth
      Cent. Chron." (Camd. Soc., N.S., No. 28), pp. 94-99.

  842 "And the Meire of London with the comynes of the city came to the
      kynge besekynge him that he wolde tarye in the cite, and they wolde
      lyve and dye with him, and pay for his costes of householde an halff
      yere; but he wold nott, but toke his journey to
      Kyllyngworthe."—"Three Fifteenth Cent. Chronicles" (Camd. Soc.), p.

 M449 The city prepares to defend itself.

  843 Journal 5, fo. 36b.

  844 Journal 5, fo. 39.

  845 He had been admitted alderman of Lime Street ward in 1448, at the
      king’s special request, and had only recently been
      discharged.—Journal 4, fo. 213b; Journal 5, fo. 38b. In 1461 he left
      England, but was captured at sea by the French and put to ransom for
      4,000 marks.—Fabyan, p. 638.

  846 Holinshed, iii, 224.

  847 Gregory’s Chron., p. 192.

  848 Journal 5, fo. 40b.

 M450 Mock trials held by the rebels at the Guildhall.
 M451 Cade apprehended.

  849 Alexander Iden, who appears to have pursued Cade beyond the limits
      of his own jurisdiction, as Sheriff of Kent, into the neighbouring
      county of Sussex, where the rebel was apprehended in a garden at
      Heathfield.—"Three Fifteenth Cent. Chron.," preface, p. vii.

 M452 The question of the succession to the throne.
 M453 Rivalry between the Dukes of York and Somerset, 1450.

  850 The exclusion of the Duke and other nobles from the king’s council
      had been made an express ground of complaint by the Kentish

  851 Chron., p. 196.

 M454 Civil war averted.

  852 "And so thei brought (the duke) ungirt thurgh London bitwene ij
      bisshoppes ridyng unto his place; and after that made hym swere at
      Paulis after theire entent, and put him frome his good peticions
      which were for the comoen wele of the realme."—Chron. of London
      (Nicolas), p. 138.

 M455 The king’s illness, 1453.

  853 Journal 5, fos. 131, 132b, 133b.

 M456 The City again called upon to assist in the defence of Calais,

  854 Journal 5, fos. 134b, 135b, 136.

  855 -_Id._, fo. 148.

  856 -_Id._, fo. 152.

  857 -_Id._, fo. 152b.

  858 -_Id._, fos. 183, 184.

  859 Journal 5, fo. 206.

  860 Report of City Chamberlain to the Court of Common Council.—Journal
      5, fos. 227-228b.

 M457 The Duke of York and his supporters take up their quarters in the
      city, 1454.

  861 News-letter of John Stodeley, 19 Jan., 1454; Paston Letters
      (Gairdner), i, 265, 266.

  862 Journal 5, fos 143, 145b, 152, 152b-160b.

 M458 The Duke of York nominated protector, 1454.

  863 Journal 5, fo. 150.

  864 -_Id._, fos. 162, 162b.

  865 -_Id._, fo. 164b.

 M459 The first battle of St. Albans, 22 May, 1455.
 M460 A rising against the Lombards in the city, May, 1456.

  866 Booking to Paston, 15 May; Paston Letters (Gairdner), i, 387; _Cf._
      Chron. of London (Nicolas), p. 139; Gregory’s Chron., p. 199.

  867 William Cantelowe, alderman of Cripplegate and Billingsgate wards,
      from the latter of which he was discharged in October, 1461, on the
      score of old age and infirmity (Journal 6, fo. 81b). He appears in
      his time to have had financial dealings with the crown, on one
      occasion conveying money over sea for bringing Queen Margaret to
      England, and on another supplying gunpowder to the castle of
      Cherbourg, when it was in the hands of the English. He is thought by
      some to be identical with the William Cantelowe who afterwards (in
      1464) captured Henry VI in a wood in the North of England.—"Three
      Fifteenth Cent. Chron." (Camd. Soc, N.S., No. 28), Preface, p. viii.

  868 Short English Chron. (Camd. Soc., N.S., No. 28), p. 70.

 M461 Letter from the king for safe-guarding the city, 3 Sept., 1456.

  869 Letter Book K, fo. 287.

 M462 The citizens offer to man and victual ships to punish France, 1457.

  870 -_Id._, fo. 288b.

 M463 A general reconciliation at St. Paul’s, 25 March, 1458.

  871 Cotton MS., Vitell. A, xvi, fo. 114.

  872 Engl. Chron., 1377-1461 (Camd. Soc., No. 64), p. 77.

  873 Fabyan, Chron. (ed. 1811), p. 633; _Cf._ Chron. of London (Nicolas),
      p. 139.

 M464 Warwick implicated in a riot, Nov., 1458.
 M465 Seeks refuge in the city.
 M466 Leaves for Calais.

  874 Journal 6, fos. 138, 138b, 139.

  875 Engl. Chron., 1377-1461 (Camd. Soc., No. 64), p. 78; _Cf._ Fabyan,
      p. 633; Holinshed, iii, 249.

 M467 Riot between citizens and Templars, April, 1459.

  876 Short Engl. Chron. (Camd. Soc., N.S., No. 28), p. 71; Chron. of
      London (Nicolas), p. 140.

 M468 The battle of Blore Heath, 23 Sept., 1459.
 M469 Parliament at Coventry, 20 Nov., 1459.

  877 Journal 6, fo. 166.

  878 -_Id._, fo. 145.

 M470 The king loses favour.

  879 -_Id._, fo. 163.

  880 English Chron., 1377-1461 (Camd. Soc., No. 64), p. 179.

 M471 Unconstitutional conduct of the king in issuing commissions to raise
      an army, Jan., 1460.
 M472 A deputation from the City waits upon the king at Northampton.
 M473 The City’s liberties not to be prejudiced.

  881 Journal 6, fo. 224b.

  882 William Paston, writing to his brother John, under date 28th
      January, 1460, remarks, "Item, the kyng cometh to London ward, and,
      as it is seyd, rereth the pepyll as he come; but it is certayn ther
      be comyssyons made in to dyvers schyres that every man be redy in
      his best aray to com when the kyng send for hem."—Paston Letters
      (Gairdner), i, 506.

  883 Paston Letters (Gairdner), Introd., p. cxl.

  884 The king’s letter, dated 2 Feb., was read before the Common Council
      on the 5 Feb.—Letter Book K, fo. 313b; Journal 6, fo. 196b.

 M474 Military precautions taken by the City, Feb., 1460.

  885 Journal 6, fo. 197b.

  886 -_Id._, fo. 203b.

  887 -_Id._, fo. 158.

 M475 Landing of the confederate earls.
 M476 The Common Council determine to oppose their entrance to the city,
      27 June, 1460.

  888 Journal 6, fo. 237.

  889 It had been destroyed by fire during the Kentish outbreak.—Gregory’s
      Chron., p. 193.

  890 Journal 6, fo. 237b.

 M477 Meeting of Common Council on Sunday, 29 June.

  891 Journal 6, fo. 238.

  892 -_Id._, fo. 238b.

 M478 The Yorkist earls admitted into the city, 2 July, 1460.

  893 Journal 6, fos. 239, 239b; Eng. Chron., 1377-1461 (Camd. Soc. No.
      64), p. 94.

 M479 The Tower holds out.

  894 Journal 6, fo. 252b.

  895 Eo quod nullus alius modus videtur esse tutus pro civitate.—_Id._,
      fo. 251.

  896 Journal 6, fo. 251b.

 M480 The Tower surrendered, 19 July.
 M481 Murder of Lord Scales.

  897 -_Id._, fo. 250b.

  898 Eng. Chron. (Camd. Soc., No. 64), p. 98. The Thames boatmen and
      sailors were almost as powerful and troublesome a body of men as the
      London apprentices. The Common Council had recently (11th July)
      endeavoured to subdue their turbulent spirit by the distribution
      among them of a large sum of money (£100).—Journal 6, fo. 254.

 M482 Battle of Northampton, 10 July, 1460.

  899 On the 4th July the Common Council voted the earls the sum of £1,000
      by way of loan.—Journal 6, fo. 253.

  900 Journal 6, fo. 256. By some inadvertence two copies of the agreement
      were sealed, one of which was returned to the mayor to be cancelled.

 M483 Measures for restoring confidence in the city.

  901 Journal 6, fo. 257.

 M484 Parliament of 7 Oct., 1460.
 M485 The Duke of York’s claim to the throne allowed.
 M486 The Livery Companies declare their allegiance to the king.

  902 Gregory’s Chron., p. 208; Engl. Chron., pp, 99-100; Short Engl.
      Chron., p. 75.

  903 The interview with the wardens of the companies took place at a
      Common Council held on the 13th December, 1460.—Journal 6, fo. 282b.

 M487 The battle of Wakefield, 29 Dec., 1460.
 M488 The second battle of St. Albans, 17 Feb., 1461.

  904 Journal 6, fo. 13.

  905 The governing body in the city was still Lancastrian at heart. On
      the 13th Feb. the Common Council had voted Henry, at that time in
      the hands of Warwick, a loan of 1,000 marks, and a further sum of
      500 marks (making in all £1,000) for the purpose of _garnysshyng_
      and safeguarding the city. On the 24th a certain number of aldermen
      and commoners were deputed to answer for the safe custody of the
      Tower, and on the following day (25 Feb.) the mayor forbade, by
      public proclamation, any insult being offered to Sir Edmund Hampden
      and others, who had been despatched by the king and queen to London
      for the purpose of ascertaining "the true and faithful disposition"
      of the city.—Journal 6, fos. 35, 35b, 40.

 M489 The Earls of March and Warwick admitted into the city, Feb., 1461.

  906 Gregory’s Chron., p. 215.

 M490 Edward’s claim to the crown recognised, 1 March, 1461.

  907 Stubbs, Const. Hist., iii, 189.

  908 Journal 6, fo. 37b.

 M491 The accession of King Edward IV, March, 1461.

  909 Letter Book L, fo. 4; Lib. Dunthorn, fo. 62; Journal 7, fo. 98.

  910 Short English Chron. (Camd. Soc., N.S., No. 28), p. 80.

  911 Journal 7, fos. 97b, 98.

 M492 Edward’s first charter to the city, 26 Aug., 1461.

  912 Charter, dat. Winchecombe, 26 Aug., 1461. Preserved at the Guildhall
      (Box No. 28).

 M493 Second charter of Edward IV, 25 March, 1462.

  913 Inspeximus charter, dated Westminster, 25 March, 1462.  Preserved at
      the Guildhall (Box No. 13).

 M494 City Loans, 1462.

  914 Journal 7, fo. 8.

  915 -_Id._, fo. 15.

  916 See Inspeximus charter 15 Charles II.

 M495 The king’s reception in the city on his return from the North, Feb.,

  917 Journal 7, fo. 21b.

 M496 Estrangement of Warwick, 1464-1468.
 M497 Alliance between England and Burgundy, 1468.

  918 Journal 7, fo. 175.

 M498 Renewal of the civil war, 1469.

  919 Ancestor of Lord Bacon and others of the nobility.—See Orridge
      "Citizens and their Rulers," p. 222.

  920 Fabyan, p. 656. He was deprived of his aldermanry (Broad Street
      Ward) by the king’s orders.—Journal 7, fo. 128.

  921 Journal 7, fos. 196, 198, 199.

  922 Journal 7, fos. 215b, 222b.

  923 -_Id._, fos. 229b, 230b.

 M499 Flight of Edward and restoration of Henry VI, Oct., 1470.

  924 -_Id._, fo. 222b.

  925 A record of what took place in the city between the 1st and 6th
      October is set out in Journal 7, fo. 223b.

  926 -_Id._, fo. 225.

  927 He had, after Warwick’s flight to France in March of this year, put
      to death and impaled twenty of the earl’s followers.—Warkworth’s
      Chron. (Camd. Soc., No. 10), p. 9.

  928 Journal 7, fo. 225.

 M500 Sir Thomas Cooke or Coke, late alderman.

  929 Fabyan Chron., p. 660.

 M501 Edward recovers the throne, April, 1471.

  930 Warkworth’s Chron. (Camd. Soc., No. 10), p. 15.—According to the
      chronicler, the _Commons_ of the city were still loyal to Henry,
      whom Archbishop Nevill had carried through the streets, weak and
      sickly as he was, in the hope of exciting the sympathy of the
      burgesses. Had the archbishop been a true man, "as the Commons of
      London were," Edward would not have gained an entry into the city
      until after the victory of Barnet-field.

 M502 The Kentish rising under "bastard" Fauconberg, May, 1471.
 M503 Attack made on the City.

  931 Journal 5, fos. 152, 175.

  932 The "bastard’s" letter and the reply of the mayor and aldermen are
      set out in Journal 8, fos. 4b-6b, and Letter Book L, fo. 78.

  933 Holinshed, iii, 323; Fabyan, p. 662.—According to Warkworth (p. 19),
      the _Commons_ would willingly have admitted the rebels had the
      latter not attempted to fire Aldgate and London Bridge.

  934 Paston Letters, iii, 17.

 M504 Edward’s return to London, and death of Henry VI, May, 1471.

  935 The 21st May is the day usually given as that on which Edward
      returned. The City’s Journal, however, gives the day as the Eve of
      the Ascension, that festival falling on May the 23rd.—Journal 8, fo.

  936 Warkworth’s Chron., p. 21.

  937 Namely, Richard Lee, Matthew Philip, Ralph Verney, John Young,
      William Tailour, George Irlond, William Hampton, Bartholomew James,
      Thomas Stalbrok, and William Stokker.—Journal 8, fo. 7.

  938 Journal 7, fo. 246.

 M505 Birth of Edward V.

  939 -_Id._, 8, fo. 98.

 M506 The invasion of France, 1475.

  940 -_Id._, fo. 101.

  941 Journal 8, fo. 110b.

 M507 Edward and the citizens.

  942 Preserved at the Guildhall (Box No. 28).

  943 Journal 8, fo. 244.

  944 Fabyan, p. 667.

 M508 A famine threatened, 1482.

  945 Proclamation, dated 21 Nov., 22 Edw. IV.—Letter Book L, fo. 281b;
      Journal 9, fo. 2.

 M509 Edward’s last parliament, 1483.

  946 Journal 9, fo. 12.

  947 -_Id._, fo. 14.

  948 -_Id._, fo. 14b.

 M510 Preparations for the coronation of Edward V.

  949 -_Id._, fos. 18, 18b.

  950 Journal 9, fo. 21b.

  951 The oath taken by Gloucester to King Edward V, as well as the oath
      which he was willing to take to the queen, if she consented to quit
      Westminster, were read before the Common Council on the 23rd
      March.—Journal 9, fo. 23b.

 M511 Shaw’s sermon at Paul’s Cross, Sunday, 22 June, 1483.
 M512 The Duke of Buckingham at the Guildhall, 24 June, 1483.

  952 Wife of Matthew Shore, a respectable goldsmith of Lombard Street:—

        "In Lombard-street, I once did dwelle,
        As London yet can witness welle;
        Where many gallants did beholde
        My beautye in a shop of golde."

                                                       (_Percy Reliques_).

      She had recently been made to do penance by Gloucester in a white
      sheet for practising witchcraft upon him; but her unhappy position,
      as well as her well-known charity in better days, gained for her
      much sympathy and respect.

  953 The duke’s speech, interesting as it is, as showing the importance
      attached to gaining the favour of the City, cannot be regarded as
      historical.—Stubbs, Const. Hist., iii, 224 note.

 M513 The deposition of Edward V, 26 June, 1483.
 M514 The coronation of Richard III, 6 July, 1433.

  954 Journal 9, fo. 27.

  955 Journal 9, fo. 33b. The names of the citizens selected for that
      honour are recorded.—_Id._, fo. 21b. The names also of those who
      attended coronations in the same capacity down to the time of George
      IV are, with one exception (the coronation of Charles I), entered in
      the City’s archives.—(See Report on Coronations, presented to Co.
      Co., 18 Aug., 1831. _Printed_.)

  956 -_Id._, fo. 43.

  957 -_Id._, fo. 114b.

 M515 Rebellion of the Duke of Buckingham, 1483.
 M516 His execution, 2 Nov.
 M517 The king’s reception in the city, Nov., 1483.
 M518 Bold speech of the Londoners.

  958 Journal 9, fo. 39.

  959 Green, Hist. of the English People, ii, 63.

 M519 Richard’s Parliament, Jan., 1484.

  960 Stat. 1 Richard III, c. 9.

  961 -_Id._, c. 2.

 M520 Expected invasion of Henry of Richmond, 1484.

  962 Journal 9, fo. 43b.

  963 Journal 9, fo. 56.

  964 Cotton MS. Vitellius A, xvi, fo. 140.

 M521 Richard defeated and slain at Bosworth, 22 Aug., 1485.

  965 Journal 9, fos. 78b, 81. Richard issued a proclamation against Henry
      "Tydder" on the 23 June, calling upon his subjects to defend
      themselves against his proposed attack.—Paston Letters (Gairdner),
      iii, 316-320.

  966 Journal 9, fos. 81b-83b.

 M522 Henry VII escorted to the city.

  967 Journal 9, fos. 84, 85b, 86b; _Cf._ "Materials illustrative of the
      reign of Henry VII" (Rolls Series, No. 60), i, 4-6.

  968 Holinshed, iii, 479.

 M523 The sweating sickness, Sept.-Oct., 1485.

  969 Hecker’s "Epidemics of the Middle Ages," p. 168.

  970 Journal 9, fo. 87b.

  971 The day for election of mayor varied; at one time it was the Feast
      of the Translation of S. Edward (13 Oct.), at another the Feast of
      SS. Simon and Jude (28 Oct.).

  972 Journal 9, fo. 88.

  973 -_Id._, fo. 78b.

  974 -_Id._, fo. 89b.

 M524 A City loan of £2,000.

  975 Holinshed, iii, 482, 483; Cotton MS. Vitellius A, xvi, fo. 141b.
      According to Fabyan (p. 683), the Mercers, Grocers and Drapers
      subscribed nearly one half of the loan.

 M525 Henry’s marriage with Elizabeth of York, Jan., 1486.

  976 Pol. Verg., 717; "Materials illustrative of the reign of Henry VII"
      (Rolls Series, No. 60), i, 3.

  977 Gairdner’s "Henry the Seventh" (Twelve English Statesmen Series), p.
      47. No record of this appears in the City’s archives.

 M526 The insurrection of Lambert Simnel, 1487.
 M527 City gifts to the king, June and July, 1487.

  978 Journal 9, fos. 150b, 151.

  979 -_Id._, fo. 151.

 M528 The king escorted to London, Oct., 1487.
 M529 The City’s gift to the queen at her coronation, 25 Nov., 1487.

  980 He arrived on the 3rd Nov.—Gairdner, p. 57.

  981 Journal 9, fos. 157b, 158.

  982 -_Id._, fo. 161.

 M530 Henry VII and Brittany, 1488-1492.

  983 Journal 9, fo. 223b; Cotton MS. Vitellius A, xvi, fo. 142b; Fabyan,
      p. 683; Holinshed, iii, 492.

 M531 Parliamentary supplies and City loans.

  984 Henry’s second parliament was summoned to meet the 9th Nov., 1487.
      The names of the City’s representatives have not come down to us,
      but we know that William White, an alderman, was elected one or the
      members in the place of Thomas Fitz-William, who was chosen member
      for Lincolnshire, and we have the names of six men chosen to
      superintend the City’s affairs in this parliament (_ad prosequendum
      in parliamento pro negociis civitatis_), viz:—William Capell,
      alderman, Thomas Bullesdon, Nicholas Alwyn, Simon Harrys, William
      Brogreve, and Thomas Grafton.—Journal 9, fo. 224.

  985 Holinshed, iii, 492.

  986 Journal 9, fo. 273b.

  987 Fabyan, p. 684.

 M532 Perkin Warbeck conspiracy, 1496-1497.
 M533 The city put into a state of defence.

  988 Journal 10, fos. 80b, 83; Repertory 1, fos. 10b, 13. The
      "Repertories"—containing minutes of the proceedings of the Court of
      Aldermen, distinct from those of the Common Council—commence in

  989 Repertory 1, fo. 19b.

  990 Two years later, when the post was held by Arnold Babyngton,
      complaint being made of the noisome smell arising from the burning
      of bones, horns, shavings of leather, &c., in preparing food for the
      City’s hounds, near Moorgate, the Common Hunt was allowed a sum of
      26_s._ 8_d._ in addition to his customary fees for the purpose of
      supplying wood for the purpose.—Repertory 1, fo. 70. The office was
      maintained as late as the year 1807, when it was abolished by order
      of the Common Council.—Journal 84, fo. 135b.

  991 Repertory 1, fo. 20b.

  992 -_Id._, fos. 20, 20b.

 M534 The rebels defeated at Blackheath, 22 June, 1497.
 M535 Perkin Warbeck in Cornwall.
 M536 Surrenders to the king’s forces and is brought prisoner to London,
      Oct., 1498.
 M537 Is executed at Tyburn, 1499.

  993 Journal 10, fo. 104b.

  994 -_Id._, fo. 105.

  995 -_Id._, fo. 108.

  996 Fabyan, p. 687.

 M538 Visit of Henry VIII as a boy to the city, 30 Oct., 1498.

  997 Cotton MS. Vitellius A, xvi, fo. 176.

 M539 His speech.

  998 Repertory 1, fo. 41b.

 M540 Negotiations for a marriage between Prince Arthur and Catherine of
 M541 Preparations for reception of the princess, Nov., 1499.

  999 Repertory 1, fo. 62.

 1000 Journal 10, fo. 187b.

 M542 Death of an infant prince, June, 1500.

 1001 Journal 10, fo. 190b.

 1002 -_Id._, fo. 191.

 M543 The marriage of Prince Arthur with Catherine of Aragon, 14 Nov.,

 1003 This is the date given by Gairdner (p. 198).  According to Fabyan
      (p. 687) she arrived on the 4th Oct.

 1004 Journal 10, fos. 238, 238b.

 M544 More rejoicings in the city, March, 1503

 1005 Repertory 1, fos. 122b-126. The account will be found in Archæol.,
      vol. xxxii, p. 126.

 1006 Repertory 1, fos. 130, 130b.

 M545 Charter of Henry VII to the Tailors of London, 6 June 1503.

 1007 By Stat. 19 Henry VII, c. 7, annulling Stat. 15 Henry VI, c. 6.

 1008 Repertory 2, fo. 146.

 M546 Henry’s charter to the City, 23 July, 1505.

 1009 Charter dated 23 July, 1505, preserved at the Guildhall (Box No.

 1010 Repertory 1, fo. 175.

 M547 Henry’s high-handed policy towards the City, 1506-1509.

 1011 Strype, Stow’s "Survey" (1720), bk. ii, p. 193.

 1012 Repertory 2, fos. 12, 14; Grey Friars Chron. (Camd. Soc., No. 53),
      p. 29.

 1013 The sum mentioned by Holinshed (iii. 539), is £1,400; _Cf._ Fabyan,
      p. 689.

 1014 Baker, in his Chronicle (ed. 1674), p. 248, puts Capel’s fine at
      £1,400; _Cf._ Fabyan, p. 689; Holinshed, iii, 530; Journal 11, fo.

 1015 Fabyan, p. 690.

 M548 Marriage of the Princess Mary, Dec., 1508.

 1016 Letter Book M, fo. 138; Journal 11, fo. 28.

 1017 Journal 11, fos. 37-39.

 1018 Gairdner’s "Henry the Seventh," p. 206.

 M549 Henry’s taste for the fine arts.
 M550 The King’s Chapel and Chantry at Westminster.

 1019 Journal 10, fos. 318, 318b; Repertory 2, fos. 10b-11b. A list of
      "such places as have charged themself and promysed to kepe the
      yerely obit" of Henry VII, as well as a copy of indentures made for
      the assurance of the same obit, with schedule of sums paid to
      various religious houses for the observance of the same, are entered
      in the City’s Records.—Repertory 1. fo. 167b; Letter Book P, fo.

 M551 The king’s death, 22 April, 1509.

 1020 The generally accepted day of his death, although the City’s
      Archives in one place record it as having taken place on the
      21st.—Journal 2, fo. 67b; _Cf._ Fabyan, 690.

 1021 Holinshed, iii, 541.

 1022 Journal 11, fos. 67b-69.

 1023 "Aldermen barons and presenting barons astate whiche hath been

 1024 Journal 2, fo. 69.

 1025 Repertory 11, fo. 68b.

 M552 Proceeding against Empson and Dudley and their agents.

 1026 Letters Patent, dated 9 June, 1509, preserved at the Guildhall (Box
      No. 29).

 1027 Letter Book M, fo. 159; Journal 11, fo. 74b.

 1028 Repertory 2, fo. 68.

 M553 City gift on occasion of the king’s coronation, 24 June, 1509.

 1029 Journal 11, fos. 80, 81b, 82; Letter Book M, fo. 160.

 1030 Journal 11, fo. 80.

 1031 Holinshed, iii, 547.

 M554 The war with France, 1512-1513.

 1032 According to Holinshed (iii, 567), Parliament opened on the 25th
      Jan., 1512. The Parliamentary Returns give the date as the 4th Feb.
      with "no returns found." The names of the City’s members, however,
      are recorded in the City’s Archives. They were Alderman Sir William
      Capell, who had suffered so much at the close of the last reign,
      Richard Broke, the City’s new Recorder, William Cawle or Calley,
      draper, and John Kyme, mercer, commoners.—Journal 11, fo. 147b;
      Repertory 2, fo. 125b.

 1033 The Act for levying the necessary subsidy ordained that every alien
      made a denizen should be rated like a native, but that aliens who
      had not become denizens should be assessed at double the amount at
      which natives were assessed.—See "Historical Introd. to Cal. of
      Denizations and Naturalizations of Aliens in England, 1509-1603."
      (Huguenot Soc.), viii, 7.

 1034 Journal 11, fo. 1.

 1035 -_Id._, fo. 1b.

 1036 Journal 11, fo. 171; Repertory 2, fos. 150b, 172.

 1037 Repertory 2, fos. 151b-152.

 1038 Journal 11, fo. 2.

 1039 Repertory 2, fo. 153.

 M555 The Battle of Spurs, 16 Aug., 1513.
 M556 Peace with France, 1514.
 M557 The New Learning.
 M558 Thomas More.

 1040 Letter Book M., fo. 257; Repertory 3, fo. 221. In July, 1517, the
      Fellowship of Saddlers of London consented, on the recommendation of
      Archbishop Warham, to refer a matter of dispute between it and the
      parishioners of St. Vedast to the Recorder and Thomas More,
      gentleman, for settlement (Repertory 3, fo. 149); and in Aug., 1521,
      "Thomas More, late of London, gentleman," was bound over, in the sum
      of £20, to appear before the mayor for the time being, to answer
      such charges as might be made against him.—Journal 12, fo. 123.

 1041 Roper’s Life of Sir Thomas More, pp. 3, 5, 6.

 M559 Dean Colet.

 1042 Journal 8, fo. 144; Journal 9, fos. 13, 142b.

 M560 Education in the city.

 1043 William Lichfield, rector of All Hallows the Great, Gilbert
      Worthington, rector of St. Andrew’s, Holborn, John Cote, rector of
      St. Peter’s, Cornhill, and John Nigel or Neel, master of the
      hospital of St. Thomas de Acon and parson of St. Mary
      Colechurch.—Rot. Parl. v, 137.

 M561 The City of London School.

 1044 Stow’s Survey (Thoms’s ed., 1876), p. 42.

 1045 Chamber Accounts (Town Clerk’s office), i, fos. 202b, 203.

 M562 St. Paul’s School.

 1046 Repertory 2, fos. 121b, 123.

 1047 -_Id._, fo. 126b; Journal 11, fo. 147b.

 1048 Journal 11, fo. 163; Repertory 2, fos. 133b, 142.

 1049 Letter of Erasmus to Justus Jonas quoted in Lupton’s Life of Colet,
      pp. 166, 167.

 1050 Survey (Thoms’s ed., 1876), p. 28.

 M563 Provincial grammar schools founded by citizens of London.

 1051 "The number of grammar schools, in various parts of the country,
      which owe their foundation and endowment to the piety and liberality
      of citizens of London ... far exceeds what might be supposed,
      approaching as it does nearly to a hundred."—Preface to Brewer’s
      Life of Carpenter, p. xi.

 M564 Birth of the Princess Mary, Feb., 1516.

 1052 Repertory 3, fo. 46.

 M565 The city and Cardinal Wolsey, 1516.

 1053 -_Id._, fos. 70b, 71.

 1054 -_Id._, fos. 86, 86b, 88.

 1055 Repertory 3, fos. 116, 116b.

 M566 Evil Mayday, 1517.

 1056 Wares bought and sold between strangers—"foreign bought and
      sold"—were declared forfeited to the City by Letters Patent of Henry
      VII, 23 July. 1505, confirmed by Henry VIII, 12 July, 1523.

 1057 In 1500, and again in 1516, orders were issued for all freemen to
      return with their families to the city on pain of losing their
      freedom.—Journal 10. fos. 181b, 259.

 1058 Repertory 3, fos. 141b, 142.

 1059 Holinshed, iii, 618.

 1060 Or Munday; the name is said to appear in twenty-seven different
      forms. He was a goldsmith by trade, and was appointed (among others)
      by Cardinal Wolsey to report upon the assay of gold and silver
      coinage in 1526.—Journal 13, fo. 45b; Letter Book O, fo. 71b.  He
      served sheriff, 1514; and was mayor in 1522.

 1061 In 1462 the Common Council ordered basket-makers, gold wire-drawers,
      and other foreigners plying a craft within the city, to reside at
      Blanchappleton—a manor in the vicinity of Mark Lane—and not

 1062 Repertory 3, fo. 55b.

 1063 For an account of the riot and subsequent proceedings, see
      Holinshed, iii, 621-623, and the Grey Friars Chron. (Camd. Soc., No.
      53). p. 30.

 M567 The City anxious to regain the king’s lost favour.

 1064 Repertory 3, fos. 143, 143b.

 M568 A deputation attends the king at Greenwich, 11 May, 1517.
 M569 Wolsey and other lords to be bought over with gifts.
 M570 The king’s pardon obtained, 22 May.

 1065 Holinshed, iii, 624.

 1066 Repertory 3, fo. 144b.

 1067 -_Id._, fo. 143b.

 1068 Holinshed, 624.

 1069 Repertory 3, fo. 145b.

 1070 -_Id._, fo. 145.

 1071 Repertory 3, fo. 165.

 1072 -_Id._, fo. 166.

 1073 "Thys yere was much a doo in the yelde-halle for the mayer for the
      comyns wold not have had Semer, for be cause of yell May-day."—Grey
      Friars Chron. (Camd. Soc., No. 53), p. 33.

 1074 Repertory 11, fo. 351b.

 M571 The epidemic of 1518.

 1075 Cal. Letters and Papers, For. and Dom. (Henry VIII), vol. ii, pt. i,
      Pref., p. ccxxi.

 1076 -_Id._, vol. ii, pt. ii, p. 1276.

 1077 Repertory 3, fos. 184b, 189b, 191, 192.

 1078 Letter Book N, fo. 95b.

 1079 Repertory 3, fos. 192, 194; Letter Book N, fos. 63b, 74.

 1080 Repertory 3, fo. 197.

 M572 Marriage of the infant Princess Mary with the Dauphin, 5 Oct., 1518.

 1081 Hall’s Chron., pp. 593, 594.

 1082 Holinshed, iii, 632.

 1083 Cal. Letters and Papers, For. and Dom. (Henry VIII), vol. ii. pt. i,
      Pref., pp. clx, clxi.

 M573 Preparations for the reception of the legate in the city, July,

 1084 "An order devysed by the Mayer and hys brethrern the aldremen by the
      Kynges commandment for a Tryumphe to be done in the Citie of London
      at the Request of the Right honorable ambassadors of the Kynge of
      Romayns."—10 July, Journal 12, fo. 9.

 M574 The legate lands at Deal, 23 July, 1519.
 M575 A story told of his passage through the city.

 1085 Hall, pp. 592, 593.

 M576 The contest for the empire, 1519.

 1086 Holinshed, iii, 639.

 M577 The emperor’s visit to the city, 1522.

 1087 Journal 12, fos. 125, 172b, 173b; Letter Book N, fo. 194b.

 1088 Knighted the next day at Greenwich.—Repertory 5, fo. 295.

 1089 Repertory 5, fo. 294.

 1090 -_Id._ 4, fo. 134b.

 1091 -_Id._ 5, fo. 293.

 M578 Pestilence and famine, 1519-1522.

 1092 Journal 12, fos. 75b-76; Letter Book N, fos. 142-143.

 1093 Grey Friars Chron., p. 30; Repertory 4, fo. 71b.

 1094 Repertory 4, fos. 1b, 12, 13.

 1095 Journal 12, fo. 136.

 1096 -_Id._, fo. 144.

 1097 Journal 12, fos. 158, 161, 163b; Letter Book N, fos. 187b, 190b.

 1098 Holinshed, iii, 675.

 M579 Execution of the Duke of Buckingham, 1521.

 1099 Shakespere mentions the Duke’s manor thus:—

        "Not long before your highness sped to France,
        The duke being at the Rose, within the parish
        St. Laurence Poultney, did of me demand
        What was the speech among the Londoners
        Concerning the French journey."

                                                —Henry VIII, act 1, sc. 2.

 1100 Cal. Letters and Papers, For. and Dom. (Henry VIII), vol. iii, pt.
      i, Pref., pp. cxxv, cxxvi, cxxxv, cxxxvi.

 1101 On the 5th July steps were taken by the Court of Aldermen for
      putting a stop to the mutinous and seditious words that were current
      in the city "concerning the lamenting and sorrowing of the death of
      the duke"—men saying that he was guiltless—and special precautions
      were taken for the safe custody of weapons and harness for fear of
      an outbreak. The scribe evinced his loyalty by heading the page of
      the record with _Lex domini immaculata: Vivat Rex Currat
      L_.—Repertory 5, fo. 204.

 M580 City loan of £20,000 to assist the king against France, 1522.

 1102 Repertory 5, fo. 288.

 1103 Journal 12, fos. 187b, 188b, 195; Letter Book N, fos. 203b, 204,

 M581 The aldermen to be assessed with the commoners and not to be

 1104 Repertory 5, fo. 292.

 1105 Journal 12, fo. 187b.

 1106 Repertory 5, fos. 289, 290.

 1107 -_Id._, fo. 291.

 1108 Repertory 5, fos. 296b, 297.

 1109 -_Id._, fo. 294.

 M582 A further loan of 4,000 marks.
 M583 Letter of thanks from Wolsey, 3 Sept., 1522.

 1110 A portion remained unpaid on 16 August.—Journal 12, fo. 195.

 1111 Letter dated 3 Sept.—Journal 12, fo. 196b. On 28 Sept. Wolsey asked
      for more time to repay the loan.—Repertory 5, fo. 326.

 1112 Journal 12, fo. 200.

 M584 The City makes a stand against further loans. Nov., 1522.
 M585 Others follow its example.

 1113 Journal 12, fo. 210.

 1114 See Green’s "Hist. of the English People," ii, 121. 122.

 M586 Appeal to parliament, April, 1523.

 1115 Grey Friars Chron., p. 31.

 1116 Repertory 4, fo. 144; _Cf._ Repertory 6, fo. 20b; Letter Book N, fo.

 1117 Repertory 4, fo. 145b.

 1118 Roper’s "Life of More," pp. 17-20.

 M587 The City and Wolsey, 1523.

 1119 Repertory 4, fos. 152, 168; _Cf._ Repertory 6, fo. 38.

 1120 Repertory 4, fos. 144b, 145, 146, 150; _Cf._ Repertory 6, fos. 22b,
      29, 32b.

 M588 The king and queen of Denmark in the city.

 1121 Grey Friars Chron. pp. 30, 31.

 1122 Repertory 4, fos. 153b-154; _Cf._ Repertory 6, fo. 42.

 M589 England invaded by the Scots. 1523.

 1123 Repertory 6, fo. 61b.

 1124 Holinshed, iii, 692, 693.

 M590 Monoux refuses to accept the mayoralty a second time, Oct., 1523.

 1125 Journal 12, fos. 249-250.

 1126 Journal 12, fos. 287-288.

 M591 The king pledges himself to repay the City loan of £20,000.

 1127 -_Id._, fo. 276.

 M592 Formation of a league against France.

 1128 -_Id._, fo. 284.

 M593 Proclamation for the recovery of lost letters, 10 July, 1524.
 M594 The king of France made prisoner at Pavia, 24 Feb., 1525.
 M595 Rejoicing in the city.

 1129 Letter Book N, fo. 280; Journal 12, fo. 329.

 1130 Grey Friars Chron., p. 32.

 M596 The Amicable Loan, 1525.

 1131 Hall’s Chron., p. 695.

 1132 Journal 12, fo. 331; Letter Book N. fo. 278.

 1133 Journal 12, fo. 331b.

 1134 Hall’s Chron., p. 701.

 M597 A truce between England and France.
 M598 French ambassadors lodged in the city, 1527.

 1135 The truce was to last from 14 August to 1 December.—Letter Book N,
      fos. 291, 293; Journal 12, fos. 300, 305.

 1136 "Item in lyke wyse the Chamberleyn shall have allowance of and for
      suche gyftes and presentes as were geven presentyd on Sonday laste
      passyd at the Bysshoppes palace at Paules to the Ambassadours of
      Fraunce devysed and appoynted by my lorde Cardynalles Grace and most
      specyally at his contemplacioun geven for asmoch as lyke precedent
      in so ample maner hath not afore tyme be seen; the presents ensue
      etc."—Repertory 7, fo. 225.

 M599 Troubles over Wythypol’s election as alderman, 1527-1528.
 M600 Wythypol again summoned to take office.
 M601 Committed to Newgate, 6 Feb., 1528.
 M602 Again summoned to take office, 22 May.

 1137 He had been one of the commoners sent to confer with Wolsey touching
      the amicable loan (Journal 12, fo. 331b). He attended the coronation
      banquet of Anne Boleyn in 1533 (Repertory 9, fo. 2), and was M.P.
      for the city from 1529-1536 (Letter Book O, fo. 157). His daughter
      Elizabeth married Emanuel Lucar, also a merchant-tailor.—Repertory
      9, fos. 139. 140.

 1138 Repertory 7, fos. 171b, 172, 174b, 179.

 1139 Repertory 7, fos. 179b, 180.

 1140 To the effect that he was not worth £1,000.—Journal 7, fo. 198.

 1141 Repertory 7, fos. 238b, 240, 240b.

 1142 -_Id._, fo. 243b.

 1143 Repertory 7, fo. 206. The Common Council assessed the fine at
      £100.—Journal 13, fo. 61b; Letter Book O, fo. 80b.

 1144 Repertory 7, fo. 264.

 M603 A great dearth in the city, 1529.

 1145 Journal 13, fo. 184b.

 1146 Letter Book O, fos. 88b, 89b.

 M604 The legatine court at the Blackfriars, 1529.

 1147 Cal. Letters and Papers For. and Dom. (Henry VIII), vol. iv,
      Introd., p. cccclxv.

 M605 The lord mayor’s banquet, 28 Oct., 1529.

 1148 Letter Book O, fos. 174b-175; Journal 13, fo. 180b.

 M606 The fall of Wolsey, 1529-1530.

 1149 Letter Book O, fo. 157.

 1150 About the year 1522 Cromwell was living in the city, near Fenchurch,
      combining the business of a merchant with that of a money-lender. He
      sat in the parliament of 1523, and towards the close of that year
      served on a wardmote inquest for Bread Street Ward. In 1524 he
      entered Wolsey’s service.—Cal. Letters and Papers For. and Dom.
      (Henry VIII.), vol. iii, pt. i, Introd., pp. cclvi, cclvii.

 1151 Cal. Letters and Papers For. and Dom. (Henry VIII), vol. iv,
      Introd., pp. dliii-dlvi.

 M607 The House of Commons and the Clergy, 1529.

 1152 Stat. 21, Henry VIII, caps. 5, 6 and 13.

 1153 Proclamation, 12 Sept., 1530.—Letter Book O, fo. 199b.

 M608 Disputes touching tithes payable to city clergy, 1527-1534.

 1154 Burnell, "London (City) Tithes Act, 1879," Introd., pp. 1, 2.

 1155 Letter Book O, fos. 47, _seq._

 1156 A list of these, comprising seven churches, was submitted to the
      Court of Aldermen, 23 Feb., 1528.—Repertory 8, fo. 21.

 M609 The curates’ book of articles.

 1157 Letter Book O, fos. 140b, 141b.

 1158 Repertory 8, fo. 27b.

 1159 Letter Book O, fos. 145, 145b; Journal 13, fo. 125b.

 1160 Letter book P, fos. 31, 34, 41b; Journal 13, fo. 417b.

 1161 This order was confirmed by stat. 27, Henry VIII, cap. 21. Ten years
      later a decree was made pursuant to stat. 37, Henry VIII, cap. 12,
      regulating the whole subject of tithes, but owing to the decree not
      having been enrolled in accordance with the terms of the statute,
      much litigation has in recent times arisen.—Burnell, "London (City)
      Tithes Act, 1879," Introd., p. 3.

 M610 Elsing Spital and Holy Trinity Priory surrendered to the king,

 1162 The well-known and somewhat romantic account of the origin of the
      priory and of its connection with the city cnihten-guild is given in
      Letter Book C, fos. 134b, _seq._; _Cf._ Liber Dunthorn, fo. 79.

 1163 Grey Friars Chron. (Camd. Soc., No. 53), p. 35. Three years later
      (30 March, 1534) the Court of Aldermen resolved to wait upon the
      chancellor "to know his mind for the office concerning the lands"
      belonging to the late priory.—Repertory 9, fo. 53b.

 M611 The Great Beam reconveyed to the City after the lapse of ten years,

 1164 By letters patent dated 13 April, 1531 (preserved at the Guildhall,
      Box No. 16).

 1165 Henry Lumnore, Lumnar or Lomner, a grocer by guild as well as
      calling (see Cal. Letters and Papers For. and Dom. (Henry VIII),
      vol. iii, pt. ii, p. 879), was associated with Sidney in holding the
      beam. The City offered to buy him out either by bestowing on him an
      annuity of £10 during the joint lives of himself and Sidney, or else
      by paying him a lump sum of £100.—Repertory 8, fo. 218b.

 1166 Anne Boleyn.

 1167 Repertory 8, fo. 131.

 1168 -_Id._, fos. 142b. 202b.

 M612 Feeling in the city at Henry’s marriage with Anne Boleyn, 1533.

 1169 Chapuys to the emperor.—Cal. State Papers (Spanish), vol. iv., pt.
      ii, p. 646.

 M613 The queen’s passage from the Tower to Westminster, 31 May, 1533.

 1170 Repertory 9, fo. 1b. There is a fine drawing at Berlin by Holbein
      which is thought to be the original design for the triumphal arch
      erected by the merchants of the Steelyard on this occasion.

 M614 The City’s gift of 1,000 marks.

 1171 Journal 13, fo. 371b. According to Wriothesley (Camd. Soc., N.S.,
      No. 11, p. 19) the present to the queen was made to her in a purse
      of cloth of gold on the occasion of her passing through the city on
      the 31st May, the day before her coronation.

 1172 Repertory 2, fo. 70b; Repertory 9, fo. 2.

 M615 The Act of Succession, 1534.

 1173 Letter Book P, fos. 37-37b; Journal 13, fo. 408b.

 1174 Letter to Lord Lisle.—Cal. Letters and Papers For. and Dom. (Henry
      VIII), vol. vii, p. 208.

 1175 Repertory 9, fo. 57b. "Allso the same day [20 April] all the craftes
      in London were called to their halls, and there were sworne on a
      booke to be true to Queene Anne and to believe and take her for
      lawfull wife of the Kinge and rightfull Queene of Englande, and
      utterlie to thincke the Lady Marie, daughter to the Kinge by Queene
      Katherin, but as a bastarde, and thus to doe without any
      scrupulositie of conscience."—Wriothesley’s Chron., i, 24.

 M616 Proceedings against those objecting to subscribe to the Act of

 1176 Grey Friars Chron., p. 37. In November of the last year they had
      been made to do penance at Paul’s Cross and afterwards at

 M617 The monks of the Charterhouse, 1534-1535.

 1177 "Historia aliquot nostri sæculi martyrum," 1583.  Much of it is
      quoted by Father Gasquet in his work on "Henry VIII and the English
      Monasteries" (cap. vi), and also by Mr. Froude ("Hist. of England,"
      vol. ii, cap. ix).

 1178 Cal. Letters and Papers For. and Dom. (Henry VIII), vol. vii, p.

 1179 This convent—the most virtuous house of religion in England—was of
      the Order of St. Bridget, and received an annual visit from the
      mayor and aldermen of the City of London at what was known as "the
      pardon time of Sion," in the month of August. In return for the
      hospitality bestowed by the lady abbess on these occasions the Court
      of Aldermen occasionally made her presents of wine (Repertories 3,
      fo. 94b; 7, fo. 275). In 1517 the court instructed the chamberlain
      to avoid excess of diet on the customary visit. There was to be no
      breakfast on the barge and no swans at dinner (Repertory 3, fo.
      154b). In 1825 the Court of Common Council decreed (_inter alia_)
      that "as tonchyng the goyng of my lord mayre and my masters his
      brethern the aldermen [to] Syon, yt is sett at large and to be in
      case as it was before the Restreynt" (Journal 12, fo. 302). It was
      suppressed 25 Nov., 1539.—Wriothesley’s Chron., i, 109.

 M618 The Act of Supremacy, 1534.
 M619 Execution of Houghton and others, 1535.

 1180 The Act of Supremacy was passed in 1534, but the king’s new title as
      Supreme Head of the Church was not incorporated in his style before
      the 15 Jan., 1535.

 1181 Cal. Letters and Papers For. and Dom. (Henry VIII), vol. viii, p.

 1182 -_Id._, p. 354.

 M620 Execution of Fisher and More, 1535.

 1183 Repertory 9, fo. 145.

 M621 The Pilgrimage of Grace, 1536.

 1184 -_Id._, fo. 199.

 1185 He had been elected mayor for the second time in October last
      (1535), much against his own wish, at the king’s express
      desire.—Journal 13, fo. 452b; Wriothesley, i, 31. He presented the
      City with a collar of SS. to be worn by the mayor for the time
      being.—Repertory 11, fo. 238.

 1186 Repertory 9, fos. 199, 199b.

 1187 Repertory 9, fo. 200.

 1188 -_Id._, fo. 200b.

 1189 Son of Thomas Warren, fuller; grandson of William Warren, of Fering,
      co. Sussex. He was knighted on the day that his election was
      confirmed by the king (Wriothesley. i, 59). His daughter Joan (by
      his second wife Joan, daughter of John Lake, of London) married Sir
      Henry Williams, _alias_ Cromwell (Repertory 14, fo. 180; Journal 17.
      fo. 137b), by whom she had issue Robert Cromwell, father of the
      Protector. Warren died 11 July, 1533, and his widow married Alderman
      Sir Thomas White.—See notes to Machyn’s Diary, p. 330.

 1190 Repertory 9, fo. 209b.

 M622 Henry’s marriage with Jane Seymour, May, 1536.

 1191 Henry attributed her miscarriage to licentiousness; others to her
      having received a shock at seeing her royal husband thrown from his
      horse whilst tilting at the ring.—Wriothesley, i, 33.

 1192 Chapuys to [Granvelle] 25 Aug., 1536.—Cal. Letters and Papers For.
      and Dom. (Henry VIII), vol. xi., p. 145.

 M623 Convocation at St. Paul’s, 9 June-20 July, 1536.

 1193 Wriothesley, i, 52-53.

 M624 Preparation for the new queen’s coronation.
 M625 She dies in childbed, 24 Oct., 1537.

 1194 Letter Book P, fo. 103b.

 1195 Wriothesley, i, 69.

 1196 Letter Book P, fo. 135b; Wriothesley, i, 71, 72.

 M626 Anne of Cleves arrives at Dover, 27 Dec., 1539.
 M627 Her passage through the city, 4 Feb,. 1540.

 1197 Repertory 10, fos. 152b, 153; Wriothesley, i, 109, 111.

 1198 Repertory 10, fo. 161. The circumstance that Henry carried his new
      bride to Westminster by water instead of conducting her thither
      through the streets of the city has been considered a proof of his
      want of regard for her.

 M628 Cromwell’s work of demolition in the city, 1537-1538.

 1199 Holinshed, iii. 807.

 1200 Letter Book P, fo. 113; Journal 14, fo. 30b.

 1201 Stow’s "Survey" (Thoms’s ed., 1876), p. 68.

 1202 The Mercers’ Company applied for a grant of the chapel and other
      property of the hospital; and this was conceded by letters patent,
      21 April, 1542, upon payment of the sum of £969 17_s._ 6_d._,
      subject to a reserved rent of £7 8_s._ 10_d._, which was redeemed by
      the company in 1560.—Livery Comp. Com. (1880), Append. to Report,
      1884, vol. ii, p. 9.

 M629 The division of the spoil.

 1203 On the re-establishment of the Dutch or Mother Strangers’ Church, at
      Elizabeth’s accession, it was declared by the Privy Council to be
      under the superintendence of the Bishop of London (Cal. State Papers
      Dom., Feb., 1560). Hence it was that Dr. Temple, Bishop of London,
      was memorialised in March, 1888, as superintendent of the French
      Church in London.—See "Eng. Hist. Review," April, 1891, pp. 388-389.

 1204 Stow’s "Survey" (Thoms’s ed., 1876), p. 67.

 1205 Nichols’ "Progresses of Queen Eliz.," iii. 598. For particulars of
      Swinnerton see Clode’s "Early Hist. of the Merchant Taylors’
      Company," i, 262, etc.

 M630 The mayor’s effort to save the destruction of the steeple of the
      Austin Friars Church.

 1206 Strype’s Stow, bk. ii, pp. 114, 115.

 1207 Remembrancia (Analytical Index), pp. 133, 134.

 M631 The priory of St. Helen without Bishopsgate.

 1208 In 1439 Reginald Kentwode, Dean of St. Paul’s, having in a recent
      visitation discovered "many defaults and excesses," drew up a
      schedule of injunctions for their better regulation.—Printed in
      London and Middlesex Archæol. Soc. Transactions, ii, 200-203.

 M632 Friendly relations between the Corporation and religious houses in
      the city.

 1209 Journal 12, fo. 75.

 1210 Repertory 2, fo. 185b.

 1211 Repertory 5, fos. 15, 15b, 82b.

 1212 Repertory 2, fo. 185; Grey Friars Chron., pp. 29, 31.

 M633 Royal injunction for keeping Parish Registers, 29 Sept., 1538.

 1213 Sixteen other registers for city parishes commence in 1538, and four
      in 1539.—See Paper on St. James Garlickhithe, by W. D. Cooper,
      F.S.A. (London and Middlesex Arch. Soc. Trans., vol. iii, p. 392,

 M634 Great increase of London poor, consequent on the suppression of
      religious houses.

 1214 Wriothesley’s Chron. (Camd. Soc, N.S., No. 11), i, 77, 78.

 M635 Sir Richard Gresham’s letter to the king for conveyance to the City
      of certain hospitals.

 1215 Descended from a Norfolk family. Apprenticed to John Middleton,
      mercer, of London, and admitted to the freedom of the Mercers’
      Company in 1507. Alderman of Walbrook and Cheap Wards successively.
      Sheriff 1531-2. Married (1) Audrey, daughter of William Lynne, of
      Southwick, co. Northampton, (2) Isabella Taverson, _née_ Worpfall.
      Was the father of Sir Thomas Gresham, the founder of the Royal
      Exchange and of the college which bears his name.—_Ob._, 21 Feb.,
      1549. Buried in the church of St. Laurence Jewry.

 1216 Cott. MS., Cleop. E., iv, fo. 222.—Printed in Burgon’s "Life of
      Gresham," i, 26-29.

 M636 Two petitions from the City, Mar., 1539.
 M637 The City offers to purchase certain dissolved houses, 1 Aug., 1540.

 1217 Journal 14, fo. 129; Letter Book P, fo. 178.

 1218 Journal 14, fo. 216b; Letter Book P, fo. 220b.

 1219 Repertory 10, fo. 200.

 M638 The City in difficulties with king and parliament, 1541-1542.

 1220 Journal 14, fo. 269.

 1221 Wriothesley, i, 129.

 1222 Son of Thomas Hill, of Hodnet, co. Salop. He devoted large sums of
      money to building causeways and bridges, and erected a grammar
      school at Drayton-in-Hales, otherwise Market Drayton, in his native
      county, which he endowed by will, dated 6 April, 1551 (Cal. of
      Wills, Court of Hust., London, part ii, p. 651). See also Holinshed,
      iii, 1021.

 1223 Holinshed, iii, 824; Wriothesley, i, 135. According to the Grey
      Friars Chron. (p. 45), it was the sergeant-at-arms himself whom the
      sheriffs detained.

 M639 Precautions against the spread of pestilence, 1543.

 1224 Proclamation dated 13 Aug., 1543.—Journal 15, fo. 48b.

 1225 Journal 15, fo. 55; Letter Book Q, fo. 93.

 1226 Letter Book Q, fo. 92b; Grey Friars Chron., p. 45.

 M640 Preparation for renewal of war with France, 1544.

 1227 Writ to mayor and sheriffs for proclamation of war, dat. 2 Aug.,
      1543.—Journal 15, fo. 46b.

 1228 Repertory 11, fo. 32b.

 1229 Repertory 11, fo. 65b.

 1230 Journal 15, fo. 95; Repertory 11, fo. 74; Letter Book Q, fo. 109.

 M641 The re-establishment of St. Bartholomew’s hospital, 23 June, 1544.

 1231 "Memoranda ... relating to the Royal Hospitals," 1863, pp. 4-7.

 M642 The campaign in France of 1544.

 1232 Repertory 11, fo. 106; Letter Book Q, fo. 116b.

 1233 Repertory, 11, fo. 118b; Letter Book Q, fo. 120b.

 1234 Journal 15, fo. 123; Letter Book Q, fo. 119.

 1235 Journal 15, fo. 124; Letter Book Q, fo. 122.

 M643 City gift to the king on his return from France.

 1236 Letter Book Q, fo. 120b.

 M644 Opposition to a benevolence in the city, 1545.

 1237 Wriothesley, i, 151, 153; Grey Friars Chron., p. 48.

 1238 Holinshed, iii, 346.

 M645 William Laxton, mayor, knighted, 8 Feb., 1545.

 1239 Wriothesley, i, 151, 152.

 M646 A call for volunteers for the French war. April, 1545.

 1240 Journal 15, fo. 239b; Letter Book Q, fo. 167b.

 1241 Journal 15, fo. 240.; Letter Book Q, fo. 168; Wriothesley, i, 154.

 1242 "A coarse frieze was so called from a small town in the West Riding
      of Yorkshire. An Act of 5 and 6 Edward VI (1551-2) provided that all
      "clothes commonly called Pennystones or Forest Whites ... shall
      conteyne in length beinge wett betwixt twelve and thirtene yardes."

 1243 Repertory 11, fo. 193b; Letter Book Q, fo. 133; Wriothesley, i, 154.

 M647 The last subsidy to be forthwith paid up.

 1244 Wriothesley, i, 155.

 M648 A force of 2,000 soldiers demanded of the City, June, 1545.

 1245 Repertory 11, fos. 203, 212b.

 1246 30 July.—Repertory 11, fo. 215b. The Midsummer watch had not been
      kept this year.—Wriothesley, i, 156.

 1247 Repertory 11, fo. 213.

 1248 Wriothesley, i, 58.

 M649 Boulogne threatened.

 1249 Repertory 11, fo. 216b.

 M650 Act for confiscating chantries, &c., 1545.

 1250 Stat. 37, Henry VIII, c. 4.

 M651 Peace with France proclaimed, 13 June, 1546.

 1251 Repertory 11, fo. 299b; Letter Book Q, fo. 181; Journal 15, fo. 270;
      Wriothesley, i, 165.

 M652 Uniformity of religion enforced, 1546.
 M653 Recantation of the rector of St. Mary Aldermary.

 1252 Holinshed, iii, 856; Grey Friars Chron., p. 50.

 M654 Trial and execution of Anne Ascue.

 1253 Holinshed, iii, 847.

 1254 Letter Book Q, fo. 181.

 M655 Improved water supply of the city, 1545-1546.

 1255 Repertory 11, fo. 247.

 1256 Journal 15, fo. 213b.

 1257 Wriothesley, i, 162, 175.

 M656 St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, &c., vested in the City, 13 Jan., 1547.

 1258 Journal 15, fos. 245, 399b, _seq._

 1259 "Memoranda ... Royal Hospitals," pp. 20-45.

 M657 A committee appointed to investigate the recently acquired property,
      6 May, 1547.

 1260 Repertory 11, fo. 349b.

 1261 In Sept., 1547, the citizens were called upon to contribute half a
      fifteenth for the maintenance of the poor of St.
      Bartholomew’s.—Journal 15, fo. 325b. In Dec, 1548, an annual sum of
      500 marks out of the profits of Blackwell, and in 1557 the whole of
      the same profits were set aside for the poor.—Journal 15, fos. 398,
      _seq._; Repertory 13, pt. ii, fo. 512.

 M658 The king’s death, 28 Jan., 1547.

 1262 Royal proclamation, 7 July, 1545, forbidding all pursuit of game in
      Westminster, Islington, Highgate, Hornsey and elsewhere in the
      suburbs of London.—Journal 15, fo. 240b.

 M659 Edward VI proclaimed king in the city, 31 Jan., 1547.

 1263 Son of Christopher Huberthorne, of Waddington, co. Lane, Alderman of
      Farringdon Within. His mansion adjoined the Leadenhall. _Ob._, Oct.,
      1556. Buried in the church of St. Peter, Cornhill.—Machyn. 115, 352.
      It was in Huberthorne’s mayoralty that the customary banquet to the
      aldermen, the "officers lerned" and the commoners of the city, on
      Monday next after the Feast of Epiphany, known as "Plow Monday," was
      discontinued.—Letter Book Q, fo. 191b. It was afterwards renewed and
      continues to this day in the form of a dinner given by the new mayor
      to the officers of his household and clerks engaged in various
      departments of the service of the Corporation. An attempt was at the
      same time made to put down the lord mayor’s banquet
      also.—Wriothesley, i, 176.

 1264 Journal 15. fos. 303b, 305b; Letter Book Q, os. 192b, 194;
      Wriothesley. i, 178.

 M660 Distribution of gowns of black livery.

 1265 Journal 15, fo. 304; Letter Book Q, fo. 195; Repertory 11, fo. 335b.

 M661 Accession and coronation of Edward VI, 1547.

 1266 "The lord mayor of London, Henry Hobulthorne, was called fourth, who
      kneeling before the king, his majestie tooke the sworde of the Lord
      Protector and made him knight, which was the first that eaver he
      made."—Wriothesley’s Chron. (Camd. Soc, N.S., No. 11.), i, 181.

 1267 This mace is still in possession of the Corporation. It is only
      brought out for use on such occasions as a coronation, when it is
      carried by the lord mayor as on the occasion narrated above, and at
      the annual election of the chief magistrate of the city, when it is
      formally handed by the Chamberlain to the lord mayor elect. The mace
      consists of a tapering shaft of rock crystal mounted in gold, with a
      coroneted head also of gold, adorned with pearls and large jewels.
      Its age is uncertain. Whilst some hazard the conjecture that it may
      be of Saxon origin, there are others who are of opinion that the
      head of it at least cannot be earlier than the 15th century.

 1268 Journal 15, fo. 305; Letter Book Q, fos. 195b-196; Repertory 11, fo.

 M662 Opposition in the city to the sacrament of the mass, 1547-1548.

 1269 "All these chyldren shall every Chyldermasse day come to Paulis
      Church and here the chylde bisshoppis sermon, and after be at the
      hye masse, and eche of them offer a 1d. to the childe bisshop and
      with theme the maisters and surveyors of the scole."—Statutes of St.
      Paul’s School, printed in Lupton’s "Life of Dean Colet," p. 278b.

 1270 Letter Book P, fo. 172b.

 1271 Journal 14, fo. 158b; Letter Book P, fo. 197.

 1272 See Brewer’s Introd. to Cal. Letters and Papers For. and Dom., vol.
      iv, pp. dcli-dcliii.

 1273 Letter Book P, fo. 153.

 1274 Letter Book Q, fo. 102.

 1275 "Also this same tyme [Nov., 1547] was moche spekying agayne the
      sacrament of the auter, that some callyd it Jacke of the boxe, with
      divers other shamefulle names... And at this tyme [Easter, 1548] was
      more prechyng agayne the masse."—Grey Friars Chron., p. 55.

 1276 Letter Book Q, fo. 250b.

 1277 Repertory 11, fo. 423.

 1278 "After the redyng of the preposycioun made yesterday in the Sterre
      Chamber by the lorde chaunceler and ye declaracioun made by my lorde
      mayer of suche comunicacioun as his lordshyp had wt the Bysshop of
      Caunterburye concernyng the demeanor of certein prechers and other
      dysobedyent persones yt was ordered and agreyd that my lorde mayer
      and all my maisters thaldermen shall this afternone att ij of ye
      clok repayre to my lorde protectors grace and the hole counseill and
      declare unto theim the seid mysdemeanor and that thei shall mete att
      Saint Martyns in the Vyntrey att one of the clok."—Repertory 11, fo.

 1279 Repertory 11, fo. 465.

 M663 Act for abolition of chantries, 1547.

 1280 A proclamation against the evil behaviour of citizens and others
      against priests, 12 Nov., 1547.—Letter Book Q. fo. 218; Journal 15,
      fo. 335b.

 M664 Redemption of charges for superstitious uses by the city and
      companies, 1550.

 1281 By letters patent dated 14 July, 1550 (preserved at the Guildhall,
      Box 17).

 1282 Letter Book R, fo. 166b; Wriothesley’s Chron. (Camden Soc., N.S.,
      No. 20), ii, 35. See also exemplification of Act of Parl. passed a°
      5 Edward VI, in accordance with the terms of this petition (Box 29).

 M665 Order for demolition of images, pictures, &c., Aug., 1547.

 1283 Journal 15, fo. 322; Letter Book Q, fo. 210b.

 1284 Repertory 11. fo. 373; Letter Book Q, fo. 214.

 1285 Grey Friars Chron., 54, 55; Wriothesley. ii, 1.

 1286 Grey Friars Chron., p. 58. In May (1548) the duke applied to the
      City for water to be laid on to Stronde House, afterwards known as
      Somerset House.—Repertory 11, fos. 462b, 484; Journal 15. fo. 383b;
      Letter Book Q, fo. 253b.

 1287 Grey Friars Chron., p. 55.

 1288 Wriothesley, ii, 29. Touching the ceremony of visiting the tomb of
      the Bishop of London, to whom the citizens were indebted for the
      charter of William the Conqueror, see chap. i, p. 35.

 M666 The citizens and the Grey Friars Church, 1547.

 1289 Letter Book Q, fos. 232, 234b; Repertory 11, fos. 356, 415, 431,
      444b, 511b.

 1290 "Item, at this same tyme [_circ._ Sept., 1547] was pullyd up alle
      the tomes, grett stones, alle the auteres, with stalles and walles
      of the qweer and auters in the church that was some tyme the Gray
      freeres, and solde and the qweer made smaller."—Grey Friars Chron.,
      p. 54.

 M667 The "communion" substituted for the mass, 1548.

 1291 "At Ester followyng there began the commonion, and confession but of
      thoys that wolde, as the boke dothe specifythe."—Grey Friars Chron.,
      p. 55; _Cf._ Wriothesley (Camd. Soc, N.S., No. 20), ii, 2.

 1292 The Guildhall college, chapel and library were restored to the City
      in 1550, by Edward VI, on payment of £456 13_s._ 4_d._,—Pat. Roll 4
      Edward VI, p. 9m. (32) 20; Letter Book R, fo. 64b.

 1293 Repertory 11, fo. 493b.

 1294 -_Id._, fo. 455. (431 pencil mark); Letter Book Q, fo. 237. "This
      yeare in the Whitson holidaies my lord maior [Sir John Gresham]
      caused three notable sermons to be made at Sainct Marie Spittell,
      according as they are kept at Easter.... And the sensing in Poules
      cleene put downe."—Wriothesley, ii, 2, 3. The processions were kept
      up in 1554, "but there was no sensynge."—Grey Friars Chron., p. 89.

 M668 The "tuning of the pulpits."

 1295 -_Cf._ Journal 15, fo. 352b; Letter Book Q, fos. 230-252b. "This
      yeare [1548] the xxviiith daie of September, proclamation was made
      to inhibite all preachers generallie till the kinges further
      pleasure. After which daie all sermons seasede at Poules Crosse and
      in all other places."—Wriothesley, ii, 6.

 1296 Grey Friars Chron., pp. 59, 62. Occasionally the chronicler is
      overcome by his feelings, and cries out, "Almyghty God helpe it whan
      hys wylle ys!" _Id._, p. 67.

 M669 The insurrections of 1549.

 1297 In some cases the new owners may have experienced some difficulty in
      fixing a fair rent, as appears to have been the case with the City
      of London and its recently acquired property of Bethlehem. When the
      Chamberlain reported that the rents demanded for houses in the
      precincts of the hospital were far too high, he was at once
      authorised to reduce them at discretion.—Letter Book R, fo. 10b.

 1298 Letter Book R, fo. 11b.

 1299 Grey Friars Chron., p. 60; Wriothesley, ii, 15, 16.

 M670 Cranmer at St. Paul’s, 21 July, 1549.

 1300 Wriothesley, ii, 16, 17; Grey Friars Chron., p. 60.

 M671 The king passes through the city, 23 July.

 1301 Wriothesley, ii, 19.

 M672 Ket’s rebellion in Norfolk. 1549.

 1302 Wriothesley, ii, 20; Grey Friars Chron., p. 61.

 1303 Holinshed, iii, 982-984.

 M673 The fall of Somerset, 1549.
 M674 Letter from lords of the council to the City accusing the Protector,
      6 Oct.

 1304 Letter Book R, fo. 40; Journal 16, fo. 36.

 M675 Letter from Somerset to the mayor, 6 Oct., 1549.

 1305 Letter Book R, fo. 39b.

 M676 Conference between the lords and the City at Ely Place, 6 Oct.,

 1306 Acts of the Privy Council, ii, 331-332; Wriothesley, ii, 24-25;
      Holinshed, iii, 1014; Repertory 12, pt. i, fos. 149-150.

 M677 Removal of the king to Windsor.

 1307 Holinshed, iii, 1014-1015; Acts of Privy Council, ii, 333.

 M678 The City joins the lords against Somerset, 7 Oct., 1549.

 1308 Acts of Privy Council, ii, fos. 333-336.

 1309 Repertory 12, pt. i, fo. 150b.

 1310 Letter Book R, fo. 40b.

 M679 The lords attend a Common Council, 8 Oct., 1549.

 1311 -_Id._, fos. 43-43b.

 1312 Acts of Privy Council, ii, 336, 337.

 M680 A meeting at Sheriff York’s house, 9 Oct.
 M681 The City agrees to furnish a contingent of soldiers to aid the

 1313 Wriothesley, ii, 26.

 1314 Acts of Privy Council, ii, 337-342.

 1315 Letter Book R, fos. 41-42; Journal 16, fos. 37, 37b. According to
      Holinshed (iii, 1017, 1018), considerable opposition was made by a
      member of the Common Council named George Stadlow to any force at
      all being sent by the city. He reminded the court of the evils that
      had arisen in former times from the city rendering support to the
      barons against Henry III, and how the city lost its liberties in
      consequence. The course he recommended was that the city should join
      the lords in making a humble representation to the king as to the
      Protector’s conduct.

 1316 Wriothesley, ii, 26, 27.

 M682 The effect of the City’s adhesion to the lords.
 M683 Somerset brought to the Tower, 14 Oct.

 1317 Letter Book R, fo. 37; Journal 16, fo. 34; Wriothesley, ii, 26.

 1318 Stow’s "Summarie of the Chronicles of England" (ed. 1590), p. 545;
      Wriothesley, ii, 27, 28. The names are given differently in the Acts
      of the Privy Council, ii, 344.

 M684 Bonner deprived of bishopric of London, 1 Oct., 1549.

 1319 Grey Friars Chron., pp. 63, 64; _Cf._ Wriothesley, ii, 24.

 M685 The king entertained by Sheriff York, Oct., 1549.

 1320 Wriothesley, ii, 28.

 M686 Somerset released on parole, 6 Feb., 1550.

 1321 Acts of Privy Council, ii, 384; Wriothesley, ii, 33.

 M687 Warwick and the reformers, 1550.

 1322 For more than a week he had been compelled to lie on nothing but
      straw, his bed having been taken away by order of the knight marshal
      for refusing to pay an extortionate fee.—Grey Friars Chron., p. 65.

 1323 Thomas Thurlby, the last abbot of Westminster, became the first and
      only bishop of the see. Upon the union of the see with that of
      London Thurlby became bishop of Norwich. Among the archives of the
      city there is a release by him, in his capacity as bishop of
      Westminster, and the dean and chapter of the same, to the City of
      London of the parish church of St. Nicholas, Shambles. The document
      is dated 14 March, 1549, and has the seals of the bishopric and of
      the dean and chapter, in excellent preservation, appended.

 1324 For objecting to the prescribed vestments, he was committed to the
      Fleet by order of the Privy Council, 27 Jan., 1551, and was not
      consecrated until the following 8th March.—Hooper to Bullinger, 1
      Aug., 1551 ("Original Letters relative to the English Reformation."
      ed. for Parker Society, 1846, p. 91).

 M688 The City and the borough of Southwark, 1550.

 1325 Their respective boundaries are set out in the Report of
      Commissioners on Municipal Corporations (1837), p. 3.

 1326 Charter dated 6 March, 1 Edward III.

 1327 Charter dated 9 Nov., 2 Edward IV.

 1328 Letter Book Q, fos. 239b-241b.

 M689 Charter to the City, 23 April, 1550.

 1329 Letter Book R, fo. 58b.

 1330 Dated 23 April, 1550. A fee of £6 "and odde money" was paid for the
      enrolment of this charter in the Exchequer.—Repertory 12, pt. ii,
      fo. 458. This fee appears to have been paid, notwithstanding the
      express terms of the charter that no fee great or small should be
      paid or made or by any means given to the hanaper to the king’s use.
      According to Wriothesley (ii, 36), the "purchase" of Southwark cost
      the city 1,000 marks, "so that nowe they shall have all the whole
      towne of Southwarke by letters patent as free as they have the City
      of London, the Kinges Place [_i.e._ Southwark Place or Suffolk
      House] and the two prison houses of the Kinges Bench and the
      Marshalsea excepted."

 1331 Wriothesley, ii, 38.

 M690 The ward of Bridge Without.

 1332 Letter Book R, fo. 80; Journal 16, fo. 82b.

 1333 The custom in the city was for the inhabitants of a vacant ward to
      nominate four persons for the Court of Aldermen to select one.  As
      there were no means of enforcing the above ordinance it was repealed
      by Act of Co. Co., 16 June, 1558.—Letter Book S., fo. 167b.

 1334 Letter Book R, fo. 71b. The following particulars of Aylyff and his
      family are drawn from the city’s archives.  From Bridge Ward Without
      he removed to Dowgate Ward. At the time of his death, in 1556, he
      was keeper of the clothmarket at Blackwell Hall.  His widow was
      allowed to take the issues and profits of her late husband’s place
      for one week, and was forgiven a quarter’s rent.  Aylyff’s son
      Erkenwald succeeded him at Blackwell Hall. The son died in 1561.
      After his decease he was convicted of having forged a deed.  His
      widow, Dorothy, married Henry Butler, "gentleman."—Repertory 13, pt.
      ii, fos. 442b, 443, 461; Repertory 14, fos. 446b, 477b, 478;
      Repertory 16, fo. 6b.

 1335 Printed Report. Co. Co., 20 May, 1836.

 1336 See Report Committee of the whole Court for General Purposes, with
      Appendix, 31 May, 1892 (_Printed_).

 M691 Growing unpopularity of Warwick, 1550-1551.

 1337 Grey Friars Chron., p. 66. The surrender of Boulogne was "sore
      lamented of all Englishmen."—Wriothesley, ii, 37.

 1338 Repertory 12, pt. ii, fo. 271b; Letter Book R, fos. 74, 85b; Journal
      16, fos. 66b, 91b.

 M692 The debasement of the currency, 1551.

 1339 Letter Book R, fo. 115; Journal 16, fo. 118.

 1340 Wriothesley, ii, 48. The price of living became so dear that the
      town clerk and the under-sheriffs asked for and obtained from the
      Common Council an increase of emoluments.—Letter Book R, fo. 117b.

 1341 Wriothesley, ii, 54.

 1342 Grey Friars Chron., p. 72.

 M693 The Duke of Somerset again arrested, 16 Oct., 1551.

 1343 Wriothesley, ii, 56; Grey Friars Chron., p. 71.

 1344 Grey Friars Chron., pp. 72, 73.

 1345 -_Id._, pp. 71, 72.

 M694 Trial and execution of Somerset, 22 Jan., 1552.

 1346 Wriothesley, ii, 57.

 1347 Repertory 12, pt. ii, fo. 426; Letter Book R, fo. 157b.

 1348 Wriothesley, ii, 63.

 1349 Holinshed, iii, 1032.

 M695 The City and the Royal Hospitals, 1547-1553.

 1350 Journal 15, fo. 325b; Letter Book Q, fo. 214b.

 1351 Letter Book Q, fo. 237; Repertory 11, fo. 445b.

 1352 Journal 15, fo. 384.

 1353 Letter Book Q, fo. 261b; Journal 15, fos. 398, 401; Appendix vii to
      "Memoranda of the Royal Hospitals," pp. 46-51.

 M696 St. Thomas’s Hospital.

 1354 Repertory 12, pt. ii., fos. 311, 312b.

 1355 Both deeds are printed in Supplement to Memoranda relating to Royal
      Hospitals, pp. 15-32.

 M697 Christ’s Hospital.

 1356 Son of Robert Dobbs, of Batley, Yorks. Alderman of Tower Ward.
      Knighted 8 May, 1552. _Ob._ 1556. Buried in Church of St. Margaret
      Moses.—Machyn, pp. 105, 269, 349; Wriothesley, ii, 69.

 1357 Report, Charity Commissioners, No. 32, pt. vi, p. 75; Strype, Stow’s
      "Survey," bk. i, p. 176.

 M698 Bridewell Hospital.

 1358 Among the names of those forming the deputation appears that of
      Richard Grafton, whose printing house, from which issued "The
      Prymer"—one of the earliest books of private devotion printed in
      English as well as Latin—was situate within the precinct of the Old
      Grey Friars.—Repertory 12, p. ii., fos. 271b, 272b.

 1359 Strype, Stow’s "Survey," bk. i, p. 176.

 1360 Wriothesley, 83; Repertory 13, fo. 60.

 1361 Charter dated 26 June, 1553.

 M699 Northumberland’s conspiracy, 1553.

 1362 "Letters Patent for the limitation of the Crown," sometimes called
      the "counterfeit will" of King Edward VI.—Chron. of Q. Jane and Q.
      Mary (Camd. Soc., No. 48), pp. 91-100.

 1363 Richard Hilles to Henry Bullinger, 9 July, 1553.—"Original letters
      relative to the English Reformation" (Parker Soc.), pp. 272-274.

 M700 Lady Jane Grey proclaimed queen, 10 July, 1553.

 1364 Grey Friars Chron., pp. 78, 79.

 M701 Queen Mary proclaimed, 19 July.

 1365 Wriothesley, ii, 88-90.

 M702 Northumberland sent to the Tower, 25 July.

 1366 Letter Book R, fo. 262b; Repertory 13, pt. i, fo. 68.

 1367 Wriothesley, ii, 90, 91; Grey Friars Chron., p. 81.

 M703 Queen Mary enters the city. 3 Aug.

 1368 Repertory 13, pt. i, fo. 69.

 1369 -_Id._, fo. 70b.

 1370 Repertory 13, pt. i, fo. 69b.

 1371 Wriothesley, 93-95.

 1372 Chron. of Q. Jane and Q. Mary, p. 14; Wriothesley, ii, 95.

 M704 Mary releases the bishops and restores the mass.
 M705 Disturbances in the city.

 1373 Grey Friars Chron., p. 83; Wriothesley, ii, 96-98.

 1374 Chron. of Q. Jane and Q. Mary, p. 24.

 1375 Letter Book R, fo. 270; Journal 16, fo. 261b.

 1376 Wriothesley, ii, 99, 100; Holinshed, iv, 3.

 M706 Election of Thomas White mayor, 29 Sept., 1553.

 1377 Citizen and Merchant Taylor. Son of William White, of Reading, and
      formerly of Rickmansworth. Founder of St. John’s College, Oxford,
      and principal benefactor of Merchant Taylors’ School. Alderman of
      Cornhill Ward; when first elected alderman he declined to accept
      office and was committed to Newgate for contumacy (Letter Book Q,
      fo. 109b; Repertory 11, fo. 80b). Sheriff 1547. Knighted at
      Whitehall 10 Dec., 1553 (Wriothesley, ii, 105). His first wife,
      Avice (surname unknown), died 26 Feb., 1588, and was buried in the
      church of St. Mary Aldermary. He afterwards married Joan, daughter
      of John Lake and widow of Sir Ralph Warren, twice Mayor of London.
      _Ob._ 11 Feb., 1566, at Oxford, aged 72.—Clode, "Early Hist. Guild
      of Merchant Taylors," pt. ii, chaps. x-xii; Machyn’s Diary, pp. 167,
      330, 363.

 M707 The queen’s coronation, 1 Oct.

 1378 Journal 16, fo. 261; Repertory 13, pt. i, fo. 74b.

 1379 Grey Friars Chron., p. 84.

 M708 Mary’s first parliament, Oct.-Nov., 1553.

 1380 Met in October, 1553. The names of the city’s representatives are
      not recorded. The Court of Aldermen, according to a custom then
      prevalent, authorized the city chamberlain to make a gift of £6
      13_s._ 4_d._ to Sir John Pollard, the Speaker, "for his lawfull
      favor to be borne and shewed in the parlyment howse towardes this
      cytie and theyre affayres theire."—Repertory 13, pt. i, fo. 92.

 M709 Trial at the Guildhall of Lady Jane Grey, Cranmer and others, Nov.,

 1381 Grey Friars Chron., p. 85; Wriothesley, ii, 104; Chron. Q. Jane and
      Q. Mary, p. 32. There is preserved in the British Museum a small
      manual of prayers believed to have been used by Lady Jane Grey on
      the scaffold. The tiny volume (Harl. MS., 2342) measures only 3-1/2
      inches by 2-3/4 inches, and contains on the margin lines addressed
      to Sir John Gage, lieutenant of the Tower, and to her father, the
      Duke of Suffolk.

 M710 Outbreak of Wyatt’s Rebellion. Jan., 1554.

 1382 Journal 16, fo. 283.

 1383 Chron. of Q. Jane and Q. Mary, 35.

 1384 Wriothesley, ii, 106.

 M711 The city put into a state of defence.

 1385 Repertory 13, pt. i, fos. 116, 116b, 117, 117b, 119-122b.

 1386 Wriothesley, ii, 107.

 M712 The queen’s speech at the Guildhall, 1 Feb., 1554.

 1387 Repertory 13, pt. i, fo. 121.

 1388 Foxe’s "Acts and Monuments," vi, 414-415; Holinshed, iv, 16.

 1389 Holinshed, iv, 15.

 1390 Repertory 13, pt. i, fo. 124.

 M713 A force of 1,000 men raised in the city.

 1391 Wriothesley, iii, 109.

 1392 Stow.

 M714 Wyatt and his followers before Ludgate.
 M715 Wyatt made prisoner and lodged in the Tower.

 1393 Foxe’s "Acts and Monuments," vi, 415.

 1394 Grey Friars Chron., p. 87.

 1395 Chron. of Q. Jane and Q. Mary, p. 43; Wriothesley, iii, 107, 108.

 1396 Grey Friars Chron., p. 87.

 M716 Execution of Lady Jane Grey, Wyatt and others.

 1397 Machyn, 45. The gibbets remained standing till the following June,
      when they were taken down in anticipation of Philip’s public entry
      into London.—Chron. of Q. Jane and Q. Mary, 76.

 1398 Grey Friars Chron., p. 89.

 M717 Measures for preserving the peace.

 1399 Journal 16, fo. 283; Letter Book R, fo. 288.

 1400 Repertory 13, pt. i, fo. 131.

 M718 The lord mayor before the Star Chamber.

 1401 Holinshed, iv, 26.

 1402 Repertory 13, pt. i, fo. 153; Letter Book R, fo. 293.

 M719 Demand of money from the city, 1554.

 1403 Repertory 13, pt. i, fo. 130; Journal 16, fo. 284b.

 1404 Repertory 13, pt. i, fo. 138b.

 1405 -_Id._, fos. 142b, 146b.

 1406 -_Id._, fo. 147.

 M720 Trial at the Guildhall of Nicholas Throckmorton, 17 April.

 1407 Wriothesley, ii, 115.

 1408 Repertory 13, pt. i, fo. 186b.

 1409 -_Id._, fo. 190b.

 1410 Howell’s "State Trials," i, 901, 902; Chron. of Q. Jane and Q. Mary,
      p. 75.

 M721 The queen’s marriage, July, 1554.

 1411 It sat from 2 April until 5 May.—Wriothesley, ii, 114, 115. The city
      returned the same members that had served in the last parliament of
      Edward VI, namely, Martin Bowes, Broke the Recorder, John Marsh and
      John Blundell.

 1412 Journal 16, fo. 295b.

 1413 Repertory 13, pt. i, fos. 165, 166, 166b, 170.

 M722 The passage of the king and queen through the city, 19 Aug.

 1414 Chron. of Q. Jane and Q. Mary, p. 77.

 1415 -_Id._, p. 78.

 1416 Journal 16, fo. 263.

 1417 Repertory 13, pt. i, fo. 191. A full account of the pageants, etc.,
      will be found in John Elder’s letter.—Chron. of Q. Jane and Q. Mary,
      Appendix X.

 1418 Chron. of Q. Jane and Q. Mary, pp. 78-79.

 M723 The reconciliation with Rome, 1554.

 1419 Martin Bowes, of the old members, alone continued to sit for the
      city, the places of the other members being taken by Ralph
      Cholmeley, who had succeeded Broke as Recorder; Richard Grafton, the
      printer; and Richard Burnell.

 1420 Chron. of Q. Jane and Q. Mary, 82; Wriothesley, 122.

 1421 Repertory 13, part i, fo. 111b.

 1422 -_Id._, fo. 193.

 1423 Journal 16, fo. 300. Bishop Braybroke, nearly two centuries before,
      had done all he could to put down marketing within the sacred
      precincts, and to render "Paul’s Walk"—as the great nave of the
      cathedral was called—less a scene of barter and frivolity.

 1424 Repertory 13, pt. i, fo. 251b.

 1425 In 1558, a man convicted of breaking this law was ordered to ride
      through the public market places of the city, his face towards the
      horse’s tail, with a piece of beef hanging before and behind him,
      and a paper on his head setting forth his offence.—Repertory 13, fo.

 1426 Repertory 13, pt. i, fo. 193; Letter Book S, fo. 119b.

 M724 Opposition to the reestablishment of the old religion.

 1427 Journal 16, fo. 285b; Letter Book R, fo. 290b; Repertory 13, pt. i,
      fo. 147; Wriothesley, ii, 114.

 1428 Grey Friars Chron., p. 89.

 1429 -_Id._, p. 95.

 1430 -_Id._, _ibid._

 1431 -_Id._, p. 78n.

 M725 The Marian persecution, 1555.

 1432 Journal 16, fo. 321b.

 1433 Wriothesley, ii, 126; Grey Friars Chron., p. 94.

 1434 Wriothesley, ii, 126n; Grey Friars Chron., pp. 56, 57, 95.

 1435 Foxe’s "Acts and Monuments," vi, 717, 737, 740, vii, 114, 115.

 1436 "Item the vth day of September [1556], was browte thorrow Cheppesyde
      teyd in ropes xxiijti tayd together as herreytkes, and soo unto the
      Lowlers tower."—Grey Friars Chron., p. 98.

 M726 Renewed opposition to strangers in the city.

 1437 "At this time [Aug., 1554] there was so many Spanyerdes in London
      that a man shoulde have mett in the stretes for one Inglisheman
      above iiij Spanyerdes, to the great discomfort of the Inglishe
      nation. The halles taken up for Spanyerdes."—Chron. Q. Jane and Q.
      Mary, p. 81.

 1438 -_Id._, _ibid_.

 1439 Repertory 13, pt. i, fo. 205b.

 1440 By an order in council, dated Greenwich, 13 March, 1555, the
      merchants of the Steelyard were thenceforth to be allowed to buy
      cloth in warehouses adjoining the Steelyard, without hindrance from
      the mayor. The mayor was ordered to give up cloth that had been
      seized as foreign bought and sold at Blackwell Hall. He was,
      moreover, not to demand _quotam salis_ of the merchants, who were to
      be allowed to import into the city fish, corn and other provisions
      free of import.—Repertory 13, pt. ii, fo. 384b; Letter Book S, fo.

 1441 Repertory 13, pt. ii, fos. 399b, 404, 406; Letter Book S, fos. 70,

 1442 Repertory 13, pt. ii, fo. 508b.

 1443 Wheeler’s "Treatise of Commerce" (ed. 1601), p. 100.

 1444 Repertory 13, pt. ii, fos. 507b, 520b, 540.

 1445 Repertory 13, pt. ii, fo. 529.

 1446 -_Id._, fo. 526b.

 1447 -_Id._, fo. 534b.

 M727 Philip leaves England, 4 Sept., 1555.
 M728 The queen obtains a City loan of £6,000, Aug., 1556.
 M729 War declared against France, 7 June, 1557.

 1448 Repertory 13, pt. ii, fo. 420.

 1449 Stafford had issued a proclamation from Scarborough Castle
      declaiming against Philip for introducing 12,000 foreigners into the
      country, and announcing himself as protector and governor of the
      realm. He was captured by the Earl of Westmoreland and executed on
      Tower Hill 28 May.—Journal 17, fo. 34b; Letter Book S, fo. 127b;
      Holinshed. iv, 87; Machyn’s Diary, p. 137.

 1450 Journal 17, fo. 37b; Letter Book S, fo. 131.

 1451 Journal 17, fos. 37b, 38; Letter Book S, fo. 131b.

 1452 Machyn, p. 142.

 M730 A City contingent joins the expedition to France.

 1453 Repertory 13, pt. ii, fo. 517.

 1454 "London fond v.c. men all in bluw cassokes, sum by shyppes and sum
      to Dover by land, the goodlyst men that ever whent, and best be-sene
      in change (of) apprelle."—Diary, p. 143.

 1455 Merchant Taylor, son of William Offley, of Chester; alderman of
      Portsoken and Aldgate Wards. Was one of the signatories to the
      document nominating Lady Jane Grey successor to Edward VI, and was
      within a few weeks (1 Aug.) elected sheriff. Knighted with alderman
      William Chester, 7 Feb., 1557.  His mansion-house was in Lime
      Street, near the Church of St. Andrew Undershaft. _Ob._ 29 Aug,
      1582.—Machyn, pp. 125, 353; Index to Remembrancia, p. 37, note.
      Fuller, who erroneously places his death in 1580, describes him as
      the "Zaccheus of London" not "on account of his low stature, but his
      great charity in bestowing half of his estate on the poor."—Fuller’s
      "Worthies," p. 191.

 1456 Repertory 13, pt. ii, fos. 521b, 522; Letter Book S, fo. 134.

 M731 The City called upon to furnish another contingent of 1,000 men, 31

 1457 Journal 17, fo. 54b.

 M732 The citizens make demur, but in vain.

 1458 Repertory 13, pt. ii, fo. 530.

 1459 Repertory 13, pt. ii, fos. 530, 532, 522b, 535; Journal 17, fo. 54.

 M733 The French king defeated at St. Quentin, 27 Aug., 1557.

 1460 Machyn, p. 147.

 M734 The loss of Calais, 7 Jan., 1558.
 M735 A city force despatched, 24 Jan., 1558.

 1461 Repertory 13, pt. ii, fo. 571.

 1462 Journal 17, fo. 55. See Appendix. They were ordered in the first
      instance to be forwarded to Dover by the 19th Jan. at the latest,
      but on the 6th Jan. the Privy Council sent a letter to the mayor to
      the effect that "albeit he was willed to send the vc men levied in
      London to Dover, forasmuch as it is sithence considered here that
      they may with best speede be brought to the place of service by
      seas, he is willen to sende them with all speede by hoyes to
      Queenburgh, where order is given for the receavinge and placing of
      them in the shippes, to be transported with all speede
      possible."—Harl. MS. 643, fo. 198; Notes to Machyn’s Diary, p. 362.

 1463 Journal 17, fo. 56.

 1464 Wriothesley, ii, 140.

 1465 Order of the Court of Aldermen, 10 Jan.—Repertory 13, pt. ii, fo.

 1466 Repertory 13, pt. ii, fo. 582b; Precept to the Companies.—Journal
      17, fo. 56b.

 1467 Journal 17, fo. 57. So furious was this storm, lasting four or five
      days, that "some said that the same came to passe through
      necromancie, and that the diuell was raised vp and become French,
      the truth whereof is known (saith Master Grafton) to
      God."—Holinshed, iv, 93.

 1468 Journal 17, fo. 7.

 1469 Repertory 14, fo. 1b; Journal 17, fo. 58; Machyn, 164.

 1470 Journal