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Title: London and the Kingdom - Volume II
Author: Sharpe, Reginald R. (Reginald Robinson), 1848-
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "London and the Kingdom - Volume II" ***

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                          LONDON AND THE KINGDOM


                      Reginald R. Sharpe, D.C.L.,


                            IN THREE VOLUMES.

                                 Vol II


                          LONGMANS, GREEN & Co.
                   and New York: 15 East 16th Street.


   Reception of James I by the City.
   Catholic Plots.
   The City and Free Trade.
   Prince Henry a Merchant Taylor.
   The Gunpowder Plot.
   The King of Denmark in the City.
   The City’s Water Supply.
   Hugh Middleton and the New River.
   The Plantation of Ulster.
   Deception practised on the City.
   Allotment of the Irish Estate.
   The Irish Society.
   The Livery Companies and their title to Irish Estate.
   The City and the Plantation of Virginia.
   Public Lotteries in aid of the Plantation.
   Copland’s Sermon at Bow Church.
   The King’s pecuniary difficulties.
   The Marriage of the Princess Elizabeth.
   The King entertained by the City.
   The Addled Parliament.
   Peter Proby, Sheriff and Ex-Barber.
   A general muster of City trained bands.
   A Commission of Lieutenancy granted to the City.
   The Company of Merchant Adventurers suppressed.
   Knights of the Bath at Drapers’ Hall.
   Request for a loan of £100,000.
   Sebastian Hervey and his daughter.
   The Thirty Years’ War.
   Loan of £100,000 to the Elector Palatine.
   The Spanish Ambassador ill-treated.
   The City and the Spanish Match.
   Concealed Lands.
   The City and Mansfield’s Expedition.
   A loan of £60,000 to Charles I.
   Failure of Cadiz Expedition.
   A loan refused.
   The City called upon to furnish ships and men.
   The Forced Loan.
   Expedition to Rochelle.
   Royal Contract.
   Doctor Lamb.
   Assassination of Duke of Buckingham.
   Tonnage and Poundage.
   Birth of Prince Charles.
   Demand for Ship money.
   Richard Chambers.
   Forfeiture of City’s Irish Estate.
   Inspeximus Charter of Charles I.
   The Short Parliament.
   Attempt to force a City loan.
   Four Aldermen committed to prison.
   Impeachment of the Recorder.
   Riot at Lambeth.
   The Aldermen released.
   More City Loans.
   The Treaty of Ripon.
   Meeting of the Long Parliament.
   The City and the Earl of Strafford.
   The Scottish Commissioners in the City.
   Letters to the City from Speaker Lenthall.
   Trial and Execution of Strafford.
   The "Protestation" accepted by the city.
   The "Friendly Assistance."
   The Scottish army paid off.
   Reversal of judgment of forfeiture of Irish Estate.
   The City and the Bishops.
   Charles in the City.
   Riots at Westminster.
   The trained bands called out.
   The attempted arrest of the five members.
   The King at the Guildhall.
   Panic in the City.
   Skippon in command of the City Forces.
   Charles quits London.
   The Rebellion in Ireland.
   The Militia Ordinance.
   The City and Parliament.
   A loan of £100,000 raised in the City.
   Gurney, the Lord Mayor, deposed.
   Charles sets up his Standard at Nottingham.
   Commencement of the Civil War.
   Military activity in the City.
   Pennington, Mayor
   Battle of Edge-Hill.
   Another loan to Parliament.
   A cry for Peace.
   A City Deputation to the King at Oxford.
   The City’s "Weekly Assessment"
   Erection of Fortifications.
   Volunteer horse and foot.
   Waller’s Plot.
   Disputes over the City’s Militia.
   Waller appointed Command-in-Chief.
   Essex and the Common Council
   The City and the Siege of Gloucester.
   Courageous conduct of Londoners at Newbury.
   Disaffection of the trained bands.
   Brooke’s Plot.
   The Committee of Both Kingdoms.
   The City’s Weekly Meal Money.
   A rendezvous at Aylesbury.
   The City’s Auxiliaries called out.
   A large City loan.
   Insubordination of trained bands.
   Ordinance for a Standing Army.
   Propositions for Peace.
   Royalist Successes.
   The Treaty of Uxbridge.
   The New Model Army.
   The self-denying Ordinance.
   Proposals to Parliament by the City.
   Cromwell, Lieutenant-General.
   The Battle of Naseby.
   Cavalry raised by the City.
   Plymouth appeals to London.
   Presbyterianism in the City.
   The King proposes to come to Westminster.
   Scottish Commissioners attend Common Council.
   The City’s claim to command Militia of Suburbs.
   Ordinance for Presbyterianism.
   Defeat of Royalists.
   Charles communicates with the City.
   A City Loan desired to pay off Scottish Army.
   City grievances.
   A new City Militia Committee.
   The City and the Parliamentary Forces.
   The Declaration of the Army.
   The trained bands refuse to muster.
   Protracted correspondence between the City and Fairfax.
   City Commissioners sent to the Army.
   The Solemn Engagement.
   The City’s Militia placed under a Parliamentary Committee.
   Great Commotion.
   Ordinance repealed.
   More correspondence with Fairfax.
   The Army enters London.
   The City submits.
   Glyn the Recorder sent to the Tower.
   More loans.
   Aldermen sent to the Tower.
   Threat to quarter the Army on the City.
   A rising of Apprentices.
   Release of imprisoned Aldermen.
   John Everard.
   "The City to pay for all."
   The protection of Parliament entrusted to the City.
   A Royalist rising in Kent.
   The City’s proposal that Charles should be invited to London.
   Negotiations for a Personal Treaty with the King.
   Secret enlistments in the City.
   Overtures from the Prince of Wales.
   The Army loses patience both with King and Parliament.
   Fairfax seizes the Treasure in the City.
   Royalists in the City.
   Abraham Reynardson, Mayor and the Common Council.
   The King’s trial and execution.
   A Commonwealth declared.
   Analogy between the City and the Kingdom.
   The Aldermanic Veto.
   Reynardson and other Aldermen deprived.
   Mutinous troops in the City.
   The Commonwealth proclaimed in the City.
   Aldermen punished for not attending Proclamation.
   The Council of State entertained at Grocer’s Hall.
   Richmond Park vested in the City.
   Resignation of Glyn, Recorder.
   Trial of John Lilburne at the Guildhall.
   Retrenchment of City’s expenditure.
   A City Post started.
   The Borough of Southwark desires Incorporation.
   The City asserts its title to Irish Estate.
   The victory at Dunbar.
   Act touching Elections in Common Hall.
   Removal of Royal Emblems.
   Matters in dispute between Court of Aldermen and Common Council.
   Charges against John Fowke, Mayor.
   The Scottish Army in England.
   The Battle of Worcester.
   The War with Holland.
   Barebone’s Parliament.
   The Lord Protector entertained at Grocer’s Hall.
   Alderman Sir Christopher Pack and his Remonstrance.
   Cromwell’s City Peers.
   The Restoration of the Rump.
   Re-election of John Ireton, Mayor.
   Parliament closed by Lambert.
   Monk prepares to Act.
   A demand for a Free Parliament.
   Negotiations between Fleetwood and the City.
   Revival of the City’s Militia.
   The Rump again restored.
   The Common Council dissolved by order of Parliament.
   Monk enters London.
   Takes up his quarters in the City.
   Mediates between the City and Parliament.
   Declines to leave the City for Whitehall.
   The Common Council restored.
   The Long Parliament dissolved.
   The Restoration discussed.
   The City publishes a Vindication of its doings.
   Letter from Charles II to the City.
   The Declaration of Breda.
   City Commissioners sent to the Hague.
   The King restored.
   Richmond Park restored to the King.
   Restoration of Royalist Aldermen.
   The King and Parliament entertained at Guildhall.
   Fanatics in the City.
   More City loans.
   Coronation of Charles II.
   The Cavalier Parliament.
   The City an example to the Country.
   The Corporation Act.
   Proposals for renewal of City’s Charter.
   The Hearth Tax.
   The Act of Uniformity.
   Sir John Robinson, Mayor.
   The Russian Ambassador in the City.
   The French Ambassador insulted at Lord Mayor’s Banquet.
   War with the Dutch.
   The "Loyal London."
   The Plague.
   The City decimated.
   The Great Fire.
   Sir Thomas Bludworth, Mayor.
   The Monument.
   Sympathy displayed towards the City.
   Preparations for re-building the City.
   The City and Fire Insurances.
   The re-building of the City.
   Fire Decrees.
   Statute 19 Chas. II, c. 3.
   Four City Surveyors appointed.
   Allotment of Market Sites.
   The Dutch War.
   The Treaty of Breda.
   The City’s Financial condition.
   Alderman Backwell.
   The Lord Mayor assaulted in the Temple.
   The Prince of Orange in the City.
   The Exchequer closed.
   Renewal of Dutch War.
   Philip de Cardonel and his Financial Scheme.
   The Aldermanic Veto again.
   Jeffreys, Common Sergeant, suspended from office.
   The Popish Plot.
   Three Short Parliaments.
   The Habeas Corpus Act.
   Petitioners and Abhorrers.
   City Addresses.
   A Parliament at Oxford.
   More City Addresses.
   The City to mind its own business.
   A Tory re-action.
   The "Protestant joiner"
   Proceedings against the Earl of Shaftesbury.
   Packed juries.
   The Mayor’s prerogative in election of Sheriffs.
   Election of Bethell and Cornish.
   Pilkington and Shute.
   Another Address to the King.
   Sir John Moore, Mayor.
   Issue of a Quo Warranto against the City.
   The City and the Duke of York.
   Election of Sheriffs.
   Papillon and Du Bois.
   Dudley North and Box.
   Rich elected loco Box discharged.
   Cornish assaulted at the Guildhall.
   Sir William Pritchard, Mayor.
   Action for slander against Pilkington.
   Sir Patience Ward convicted of perjury.
   Proceedings on the Quo Warranto.
   Judgment pronounced.
   Terms offered the City.
   Pritchard arrested at suit of Papillon.
   The Rye House Plot.
   Surrender or No Surrender?
   The City taken into the King’s hands.
   Accession of James II.
   The question of Supply.
   A Tory Parliament.
   Oates and Dangerfield.
   Richard Baxter.
   The Monmouth Rebellion.
   Trial and execution of Cornish.
   The Revocation of the Edict of Nantes.
   Popery in the City.
   The first Declaration of Indulgence.
   The "regulation" of Corporations.
   William Kiffin, Alderman.
   Sir John Shorter, Mayor.
   The second Declaration of Indulgence.
   The trial of the Seven Bishops.
   Invitation to William of Orange.
   Restoration of the City’s Liberties.
   The landing of the Prince of Orange.
   Attack on Catholics.
   The King’s flight.
   The Prince of Orange enters London.
   The unique position of, and deference shown to, the City of London.
   A Convention Parliament summoned.
   A City loan.
   William and Mary crowned.
   Proceedings for reversal of judgment on the Quo Warranto.
   Pecuniary difficulties in connexion with City Orphans.
   Pilkington, Mayor, loco Chapman, deceased.
   The attainder of Cornish reversed.
   The Siege of Londonderry.
   William and Mary at the Guildhall.
   Parliamentary Elections.
   The judgment on the Quo Warranto reversed.
   Disputed Municipal Elections.
   The War with France.
   Men and money furnished by the City.
   The question of the Mayor’s prerogative revived.
   Act of Common Council regulating Wardmote Elections.
   Naval victory at La Hogue.
   More City loans.
   Disaster of Lagos Bay.
   Sir William Ashurst, Mayor.
   The Queen invited to the Lord Mayor’s Banquet.
   The Rise of the East India Company.
   Sir Josiah Child and Sir Thomas Cook.
   The City Orphans.
   The City’s financial difficulties.
   The Foundation of the Bank of England.
   Death of Queen Mary.
   Discovery of corrupt practices.
   The Speaker dismissed for Bribery.
   Proceedings against Cook and Firebrace.
   Committed to the Tower.
   The union of the East India Companies.
   The first Triennial Parliament.
   The Barclay Conspiracy.
   The City and the Election Bill.
   The restoration of the Currency.
   The last of City loans.
   The Peace of Ryswick.
   The King welcomed home.
   Death of James II.
   Sir William Gore, Mayor.
   Death of William.
   Accession of Queen Anne.
   The Tories in power.
   The Queen entertained on Lord Mayor’s Day.
   A thanksgiving service at St. Paul’s.
   The Battle of Blenheim.
   Marlborough in the City.
   The City’s continued financial difficulties.
   The Queen again at St. Paul’s.
   The Tories give place to Whigs.
   The victory at Ramillies.
   The City and Prince Eugene.
   The Union with Scotland.
   The City and the Pretender.
   The victory at Oudenarde.
   Death of Prince George of Denmark.
   Scarcity in the City.
   Dr. Sacheverell and his Sermon.
   The fall of the Whigs.
   Act for building fifty new Churches.
   The Occasional Conformity Act.
   Disputed Municipal Elections.
   Proposed entertainment to Prince Eugene.
   The Treaty of Utrecht.
   The Queen’s illness and death.



The proclamation announcing James VI of Scotland to be "by law, by lineal
succession and undoubted right," heir to the throne of England, now that
Elizabeth was dead, illustrates again the ancient right of the citizens of
London to a voice in electing a successor to the crown. The document not
only acknowledges the assistance received by the lords of the realm from
the lord mayor, aldermen and citizens of London in determining the
succession, but at the very head of the signatories to the proclamation
stands the name of "Robert Lee, Maior," precedence being allowed him over
the primate and other lords spiritual and temporal.(1)


Whatever failings the new king may have had, he possessed sufficient
shrewdness to know the value of the favour of the City, which he hastened
to acknowledge with "thankfull mynde" within a few days of his
accession.(2) A reply was sent to the king’s letter the following day,
signed by the mayor and aldermen, in which, after expressing their twofold
feelings of sorrow and joy—sorrow at losing a mother in the late queen and
joy at gaining a father in the person of the new king—they declared they
had used all their powers to advance his just claim to the crown, and
would preserve the city of London, the king’s Chamber, against every enemy
at home or abroad. He was invited to notify his wishes to them through
their secretary or remembrancer, "Mr. Doctor Fletcher," whom they sent as
their special messenger.(3) The king returned for answer, that although he
had been already aware of the City’s forwardness in joining with the
nobility in proclaiming him rightful successor to the crown, he was
pleased to learn from their trusty messenger that the citizens had
advocated his cause not only from the consciousness of its being a just
one, but also because they were assured of his zeal for the preservation
of religion.(4) This was one of James’s mystifying remarks which he was
accustomed to throw out in order to raise the hopes of the Catholics, who
questioned his title to the crown, whilst affording no cause for alarm or
discontent among the Protestants.


On the 5th April James left Edinburgh for London, where every precaution
was taken to prevent disturbance by ridding the streets of rogues,
vagabonds and "masterless" men.(5) He proceeded southward by easy stages,
accompanied by a long retinue of Scotsmen, until he reached Theobald’s, at
that time the mansion house of Sir Robert Cecil, but soon to become a
royal hunting-lodge. On the 19th the mayor issued his precept to the
livery companies to prepare a certain number of members to accompany the
mayor in his attendance upon the king, who was shortly expected in the
city. It was intended that not only the mayor and aldermen but also the
full number of 500 of the "best and gravest" citizens should wait upon his
majesty on horseback, clothed in coats of velvet with velvet sleeves and
adorned with chains of gold, and each accompanied by "one comlie person,
well apparelled in his doublet and hose," on foot. In a word, the
cavalcade was to be furnished on a more sumptuous scale than had yet been
seen within the memory of man.(6) The Court of Aldermen in the meantime
appointed a committee to consider what suits were "fitt to be made to the
Kinges most excellent Maiestye for ye good of this Cittie and the
enlarging of the libertyes and priviledge of the same."(7)


After resting a few days at Theobald’s, James set out (7 May) for the last
stage of his journey. At Stamford Hill he was met by the mayor and
aldermen and a deputation from the livery companies. At every
stopping-place on his journey from Scotland he had lavishly bestowed
knighthoods.(8) On the 11th May he entered the Tower of London, having
come from Whitehall by water for fear of the plague which was ravaging the


The coronation ceremony was hurried over owing to the presence of the
plague. Only the mayor, the aldermen and twelve of the principal citizens
were permitted to attend, and much labour bestowed on preparations for the
event was consequently lost.(9) The civic authorities did their utmost to
stay the sickness and alleviate distress. The streets were ordered to be
kept better cleansed. Infected houses were marked with papers bearing the
words "Lord have mercy upon us," and when these were torn down a red
painted cross, fourteen inches in length and breadth, and not so easily
effaced, was added.(10) Persons stricken with the plague were forbidden to
leave their houses. A master who had been inhuman enough to turn out into
the street a domestic servant who had fallen a victim to the prevailing
disorder was ordered by the Court of Aldermen to take her back again into
his house,(11) a circumstance which seems to point to the pest-house or
hospital being already overcrowded. Instructions were given for seeing
that the graves of those who died of the plague were sufficiently covered
with earth, and that the number of mourners attending funerals should be
as far as possible limited. Women whose duty it was to search the bodies
of the dead, as well as all those who were brought into contact with the
sick, were forbidden to go abroad unless they carried before them a red
rod three feet in length in order to give notice to passers by. It was a
common belief that infection was carried about by stray dogs. To those,
therefore, who killed dogs found in the streets without an owner a reward
was given.(12) The sufferings of the afflicted were alleviated, as far as
circumstances permitted, by money subscribed by the livery companies,
which were further called upon to forego their customary banquets in order
to relieve the poor.(13) The plague was accompanied, as was usually the
case, with a scarcity of corn, and again the assistance of the companies
was invoked.(14)


By the end of the year (1603) the city was almost free of the plague, and
in the following March (1604) James determined to make his first public
entry into London. A sum of £400 was raised by the livery companies(15)
for furnishing pageants and stands for the occasion, and steps were taken
to remove from the streets everything that might be offensive to the
king’s eye or ear. Thursday, the 15th March, was the day fixed for his
entry, and from the preceding Wednesday until the following Friday no
refuse of any kind was to be thrown into the street.(16) It was further
ordered that no church bells should be rung before seven o’clock in the
evening of the eventful day, lest the noise should prove offensive and
hinder his majesty from hearing the speeches that were to be made.(17)
When all was over and the pageants were about to be taken down, the Court
of Aldermen, with the frugal mind of men of business, ordered the master
and wardens of the Company of Painter Stainers to examine the painters’
work bestowed on them, and report whether, in their opinion, such work had
been well and honestly executed, and what amount of remuneration the
workmen deserved.(18) It is said that the Recorder, Sir Henry Montagu,
welcomed the king on this occasion with a speech, wishing him on behalf of
the city "a golden reigne," and that a cup of gold was presented to the
king, the queen and the young prince who accompanied them
respectively;(19) but no record of the speech or gifts appears in the
City’s archives.


One of the first questions James had to decide on his accession to the
throne was that of religious toleration; and his settlement of the
question was anxiously looked for as well by the Puritans as the
Catholics. The fear lest the policy which the king should advocate might
prove adverse to their interests determined the Catholics to resort to
strong measures, and the life of James was threatened by a series of
plots, as that of Elizabeth had been before him. Among these was a plan
for seizing the king at Greenwich on Midsummer-day, 1603. The plan was
laid by a secular priest named William Watson, who had previously sounded
James as to his probable attitude to the Catholics if he came to the
throne, Sir Griffin Markham, a Catholic gentleman, who for private reasons
was discontented with the government, and one Antony Copley. News of the
plot having reached the government, the conspirators fled for their lives.
Proclamations were issued for their capture,(20) in which details were
given of their personal appearance. Thus Watson was described as a man of
the lowest sort about thirty-six years of age, "he lookethe a squinte and
is verie purblynde," and had formerly worn a long beard which he was
believed to have cut off; whilst Sir Griffin Markham is credited with
having a large broad face of a "bleake" complexion, a big nose, and a hand
maimed by a bullet. His brethren "have all verie greate noses." Copley’s
description is not given, but we have that of another conspirator, William
Clarke, a priest, whose hair is represented as having been "betwixte redd
and yeallowe." The whole party was subsequently taken, one after another,
and their examination disclosed traces of another conspiracy, the object
of which was to place Arabella Stuart on the throne.

The discovery of Watson’s conspiracy—generally known as the "Bye" or
"Surprise" Plot—so alarmed the king that he lost no time in making known
his intention to exact no longer the recusancy fines. The result was such
as might be expected. The Puritans were disgusted, whilst the number of
recusants increased to such an alarming extent that in February, 1604, the
king took the extreme measure of ordering the expulsion of all Jesuits and
Seminary priests from the country before the 19th March,(21) the day fixed
for the meeting of parliament.


As soon as parliament met a crisis was felt to be at hand; the new king
and the Commons were for the first time to measure their strength. The
city’s representatives are duly recorded.(22) At the head of them was Sir
Henry Billingsley,(23) a former mayor, Sir Henry Montague,(24) recently
appointed Recorder of the city upon the king’s own recommendation,
Nicholas Fuller, of whom little is known beyond the fact that he came from
Berkshire and married the daughter of Nicholas Backhouse,(25) alderman and
grocer, and Richard Gore, a merchant tailor.


With his customary self-complacency and patronising air James told the
assembled Commons that he had brought them two gifts, the one peace
abroad,(26) and the other the union of England with Scotland under the
title of Great Britain,(27) and he expressed no little surprise and
indignation when he found that neither one nor the other was acceptable.
The question of the union of the two kingdoms, seeing that it involved
some political difficulties necessary of solution, was referred to a
commission.(28) James showed his displeasure at the want of compliance
displayed by the Commons by refusing to accept a scheme of commutation of
his rights of purveyance and wardship, which had now grown so burdensome.


The abuse of purveyance, more especially, had become a standing grievance
to the burgesses of London as well as of other cities and towns, in spite
of attempted remedies by statute or charter.(29) An offer of £50,000 a
year was made to the king by way of commuting any shred of right he might
still have to purveyance after thirty-six statutes had pronounced it
altogether illegal. This, however, he refused, and the matter was allowed
to drop. Two years later, almost to the day (23 April, 1606), the king
endeavoured so far to remedy the evil as to issue a proclamation against
exactions and illegal acts of his purveyors,(30) and yet scarcely a month
elapsed before the lord mayor had occasion to call the attention of the
lords of the council to the great inconvenience caused in the city by
their recent demand for 200 carts with two horses to each, together with
the lord mayor’s own barge, for the purpose of conveying his majesty’s
effects to Greenwich. As for the barge, the mayor wrote that the lord
chamberlain sometimes borrowed it for conveying the king’s guard, and it
might haply be required again for the same purpose, "but for carringe anie
stuffe or lugedge whereby it maie receave hurt it was never yet required,"
and he hoped their lordships would see the matter in that light.(31)


Another important matter which occupied the attention of the House at this
session—although no reference to it appears in the City’s records of the
day—was the introduction of Free Trade, to the prejudice of the chartered
rights of various trading companies. The citizens of London were deeply
interested in the bill which was introduced for this purpose, for although
it little affected the livery companies, it touched very closely the
interests of those companies which were incorporated for the purpose of
trading with foreign countries, such as that of the Merchant Adventurers,
the Levant Company, the Russia Company, and others. These companies had
been formed at a time when few individuals were sufficiently wealthy to
bear the risk of distant enterprises. Not every citizen was a Whitington
or a Gresham. The risk incurred by these associations in undertaking
voyages to distant countries was compensated by the advantage gained by
the enjoyment of a monopoly of the trade with those countries by charter
from the Crown. At the outset there had been no cry raised against
monopolies of this kind, but as time wore on and the merchant navy
increased, as it did in the last reign with extraordinary rapidity, a
feeling of jealousy grew up on the part of shipowners who were not members
of one or other of these chartered companies. By the beginning of the
seventeenth century dissatisfaction with the privileges of these trading
companies had become so general that appeals were made to the Privy
Council. These being without effect, the whole matter was referred to a
parliamentary committee. No pains were spared to get at the root of the
grievance. The committee were attended by "a great concourse of clothiers
and merchants of all parts of the realm and especially of London."(32)
Counsel was heard in favour of the bill which had been drafted for the
purpose of throwing open foreign trade to all merchants alike, and the
bill was supported by all the merchants attending the committee with the
exception of the merchants of London, who were represented on the occasion
by the principal aldermen of the city. The free traders urged the natural
right of every one to the free exercise of his own industry and the
example set by other nations. They declared that the passing of the bill
would lead to the more even distribution of wealth,(33) the greater
increase of shipping, and the augmentation of the revenues of the Crown.
The upholders of the companies, on the other hand, could find no better
arguments in their favour than that no company could be a monopoly
inasmuch as a monopoly was something granted exclusively to a single
individual, and that if the existence of the companies was determined,
apprenticeship would cease and difficulties arise in collecting the king’s
customs! After three days’ debate on the third reading the bill passed the
Commons by a large majority.(34)  It met, however, with so much opposition
in the House of Lords that it was eventually dropt.


A quarrel afterwards arose between the king and the Commons on financial
and ecclesiastical questions, and matters being brought to a deadlock, the
House was adjourned (7 July). A few days before the adjournment the
Speaker and over a hundred members held "a friendly and loving meeting" at
Merchant Taylors’ Hall, before departing to their country homes. The king
contributed a buck and a hogshead of wine towards the entertainment, which
proved so popular that thirty more guests appeared on the scene than was
originally intended. The "Solemn Feast" was further graced by a
"marchpane"—(a confection of bitter almonds and sugar)—representing the
House of Commons sitting.(35)


Three years later (17 July, 1607) the king himself honoured the company
with his presence at dinner in their hall. The Merchant Taylors would
gladly have welcomed him as one of their number and admitted him to the
honorary freedom of their company, but James had already been made free of
the company of Clothworkers. His son, Prince Henry, who was present at the
entertainment, declared himself willing to accept the freedom, and made
those of his suite who were not already members of some other company
follow his example.(36)


In August (1604) the king sent to borrow £20,000 from the City, a sum
which was afterwards, at the City’s earnest request, reduced to £15,000.
The money was to be levied by order of the court of Common Council (23
Aug.) on the companies, according to rates agreed upon at the time of the
loan of £20,000 to the late queen in 1598,(37) and it was to be delivered
to Sir Thomas Lowe, the treasurer of the fund, by the 5th September. Some
of the companies, however, proved remiss in paying their quota.(38)


The action of James in expelling the Jesuits and Seminary priests had in
the meantime so incensed the Catholics that a plot was set on foot for
blowing up the king, the lords and commons, with gunpowder, as soon as
parliament should re-assemble. In May (1604) a house had been hired by a
Catholic named Robert Catesby, through which access might be gained to the
basement of the parliament-house. The party-wall, however, proved
exceptionally thick, and more than a year elapsed before the necessary
mining operations were complete. Catesby was assisted in his work by a
Spaniard named Guy Fawkes, who assumed the name of John Johnson. In the
spring of 1605 the exasperation of the Catholics was increased by James
again imposing the recusancy fines, and the little band of plotters
increased in numbers, although never allowed to become large. The design
of the conspirators was rendered more easy of execution by the discovery
that a cellar reaching under the parliament-house was to be let. This was
hired by one of the plotters, and a large quantity of gunpowder was safely
deposited there and carefully concealed. After several adjournments
parliament was summoned to assemble on the 5th November. On the eve of its
meeting Fawkes entered the cellar with a lantern, ready to fire the train
in the morning. One of the conspirators, however, Tresham by name, had
given his friends some hint of the impending danger. Fawkes was seized and
committed to the Tower, where he was subjected to the most horrible
torture by the king’s orders.(39) The rest of the conspirators, with the
exception of Winter, took immediate flight. Hue and cry was raised,(40)
and a personal description of the leaders for their better identification
was scattered throughout the country. Winter was described as "a man of
meane stature, rather lowe than otherwise, square made, somewhat stouping,
neere fortie yeares of age, his haire and beard browne, his beard not much
and his haire short"; Stephen Littleton, another conspirator, as "a verye
tall man, swarthy of complexion, of browne coloured haire, no beard or
litle, about thirty yeares of age"; and Thomas Percy, another, as "a tall
man, with a great broad beard, a good face, the colour of his beard and
head mingled with white heares, but stoupeth somewhat in the shoulders,
well coloured in the face, long-footed, small legged."(41)

On the 8th November the mayor issued his precept for bonfires to be
lighted that evening in the principal streets of the city in token of joy
and thanksgiving for the deliverance of the king and parliament from this
"most horrible treason."(42) A week later (16 Nov.) another precept was
addressed to the alderman of each ward to furnish an extra watch, as those
who had been engaged in safe-guarding the city had found the work too much
for them "since the troubles begonne."(43) A diligent search was
subsequently ordered to be made in every cellar and vault for any illegal
store of gunpowder.(44) Fawkes and such of his fellow-conspirators as were
taken alive were brought to trial at Westminster, in January (1606), and
executed, some in St. Paul’s Churchyard and others before the
parliament-house, their quarters being afterwards placed on the city’s
gates, whilst their heads were stuck up on London bridge.(45) Pending
their trial a double watch was kept in the city and fresh halberds

Three Jesuits were implicated in the plot, their names being John Gerrard,
Oswald Greenway, and Henry Garnet. Gerrard and Greenway effected their
escape, but Garnet was captured after having suffered much deprivation
whilst in hiding, and was brought to trial at the Guildhall. Gerrard is
described as tall and well set up, but his complexion "swart or blackish,
his face large, his cheeks sticking out and somewhat hollow underneath,"
his hair long unless recently cut, his beard cut close, "saving littell
mustachoes and a littell tuft under his lower lippe," his age about forty.
Equally precise descriptions are given of Greenway and Garnet; the former
being represented as of "meane stature, somewhat grosse," his hair black,
his beard bushy and brown, his forehead broad, and his age about the same
as that of Gerrard; whilst Garnet is described as an older man, between
fifty and sixty years of age, of fair complexion, full face and grisly
hair, with a high forehead, and corpulent.(47) At his trial, which took
place on the 28th March, Garnet denied all knowledge of the plot save what
he had heard under the seal of confession. He was nevertheless convicted
and executed (3 May) in St. Paul’s Churchyard.(48)


Notwithstanding the capture and execution of the chief actors in the late
conspiracy, some time elapsed before the nation recovered from the shock,
and every idle rumour of mishap to the king soon became exaggerated as it
flew from one end of the kingdom to the other. Thus it was that the
citizens of London awoke on the morning of Saturday, the 22nd March, to
learn that the king was reported to have been killed with a poisoned
dagger whilst engaged in his favourite pursuit of hunting. The alarm thus
raised was with difficulty laid to rest by the following precept(49):—

    _By y_e_ Mayo_r_._

    _"Where rumo_r_ hath this morninge bine dispersed abroad within
    this cittie and ells where neere about the same that his ma_ties_
    person was in very greate dainger for asmuch I have even now
    receaved intelligence from the lords of his ma_ties_ most
    honorable__ pryvye counsell that his ma_tie_ god be thancked is in
    saftie, and that I should presently make knowne the same to all
    his lovinge subiects which by theis presents I doe._

    _God save y_e_ kinge."_

On the 10th June James signed a proclamation ordering all Priests,
Jesuits, Seminaries and such like to depart the kingdom before the first
day of August. Any priest presenting himself to the officer of a sea-port,
and acknowledging his profession, would be forwarded on his way across the
sea, with the exception of Gerrard and Greenway, or Greenwell.(50)


In July of this year (1606) the king of Denmark arrived in England on a
visit to his brother-in-law, king James. The mayor, being informed by the
lords of the council that the Danish fleet was already in the Thames,
summoned a Common Council (17 July) to consider what steps should be taken
to give the royal visitor a befitting reception in the city. A committee
was thereupon appointed to make the necessary preparations.(51) They had
but a fortnight before them for contriving a pageant, cleansing the
streets, setting up rails and executing the thousand little things which
always require to be done on such occasions. The sum of £1,000 was raised
by the livery companies,(52) and each alderman was directed to see that
the inhabitants of his ward hung out suitable tapestry from houses on the
line of procession. The distinguished visitor was presented with a gold
cup taken from the king’s jewel-house in the Tower. It weighed 62-3/4
ozs., and the City paid for it at the rate of £3 10_s._ per ounce.(53)
There was but one thing to mar the general rejoicing in the city, and that
was the presence of the plague. This necessitated special precautions
being taken to prevent the spread of infection, and an additional number
of wardens were appointed to take their stand, halberd in hand, at the
doors of infected houses on the day of the king’s visit to prevent anyone
going in or coming out.(54)


That the chief cause of the city being so often visited by epidemics in
former days was the lack of a plentiful supply of wholesome water will
scarcely be denied. When we consider with what rapidity the population of
the city increased, more especially under the Tudors, the short-sighted
policy of a government which forbade the erection of new buildings within
three miles of the city’s gates,(55) and drove so many families to find
shelter under one roof within the limited area of the city proper, in
spite of proclamations to the contrary,(56) the want of any organised
system of drainage, and the scanty supply of water—we can only marvel that
the city was ever free from epidemics.

In 1543 the municipal authorities obtained statutory powers to amend
decayed conduits and erect new ones, as well as to bring water to the city
from Hampstead,(57) and from that time they appear to have taken a more
active interest in the water supply. They made periodical visits to the
various conduits, and more especially the conduit-head at Marylebone,
where a banqueting-house was erected for their convenience. Nevertheless
they preferred encouraging private individuals (and these not infrequently
foreigners) in attempts to improve the city’s water supply, as necessity
arose, to undertaking the work themselves in their corporate capacity. In
1570 the City acquired parliamentary powers to break soil for the purpose
of conveying water from the river Lea, "otherwise called Ware River," at
any time _within the next ten years_,(58) but these powers were allowed to
lapse by default. In 1581 Peter Morice, a Dutchman, obtained permission to
set up a water-mill in the Thames at London Bridge, and by some mechanical
contrivance—a "most artificial forcier"—succeeded in conveying water as
far as Leadenhall and Gracechurch. The civic authorities were so pleased
with the result of his first efforts that they assisted him with a loan of
£1,000 to perfect his work.(59) Ten years later (1591) the famous Italian
engineer—of "fire-ship" fame—Frederico Gianibelli obtained the consent of
the Court of Aldermen to erect new water-works at Tyburn for the purpose
of providing the city with a better supply.(60) In 1593 Beavis Bulmer,
another foreigner (to judge from his name), obtained a lease for 500 years
permitting him to set up an engine at Broken Wharf for the purpose of
supplying water to the inhabitants of the city. The Court of Aldermen
granted him the use of the green-yard at Leadenhall for putting together
his engine, whilst the court of Common Council advanced him the sum of
£1,000 on easy terms.(61) Soon after the granting of Bulmer’s lease the
Common Council conceded to Henry Shaw a right to convey water from Fogwell
pond, Smithfield, and to supply it to anyone willing to pay him for it,
for a similar term of 500 years.(62)


At length a scheme was started at the opening of the seventeenth century
which not only proved itself equal to the task of supplying the
ever-increasing population of London with an adequate supply of water, but
was destined in after years to render its undertakers rich "beyond the
dreams of avarice." The New River Company, the original shares of which
are of almost fabulous value at the present day, had its commencement in
an Act of Parliament (3 James I, c. 18) which empowered the mayor,
commonalty and citizens of London and their successors at any time to make
an open trench(63) for the purpose of bringing a fresh stream of running
water to the north parts of the city from springs at Chadwell and Amwell,
co. Herts. Whilst showing themselves ready and anxious to render the city
more healthy and less subject to epidemics by cleansing the city’s ditches
of all filth and draining Finsbury and the Moorfields,(64) the civic
authorities were appalled at the enormity of their own proposals, and
hesitated to carry out what at that time appeared to be an engineering
task of stupendous difficulty. Three years elapsed and nothing was done.
Offers were made by various individuals to execute the work for them, but
these were declined.(65) At length, on the 28th March, 1609, Hugh
Middleton, a goldsmith of London, but of Welsh extraction, declared
himself ready to undertake the work and to complete it within four years.
His offer was accepted, and an agreement was drawn up and executed on the
21st April.(66)


Notwithstanding the lords of the council having been desired by the lord
mayor to instruct the Justices of the Peace of Hertfordshire and Middlesex
to assist Middleton and his men in carrying out their work,(67) the
undertaking met with great opposition. Among the various objections raised
to the New River scheme was one to the effect that the municipal
authorities had done nothing in the business themselves, but had by Act of
Common Council irrevocably conveyed their whole interest in fee simple to
Middleton, who was carrying out the work "for his own private benefit." To
this objection answer was made that if the mayor and citizens would not
adventure upon so uncertain a work Middleton deserved the greater
commendation in adventuring his money and labour for the good of the city,
and if the city was benefited and the country not prejudiced Middleton
deserved all that he gained.(68) A bill was introduced into parliament to
repeal the Acts authorising the construction of the New River, and a
committee appointed (20 June, 1610) to survey the damages caused or likely
to be caused by the work,(69) and report thereon to the House. "Much ado
there is also in the House," wrote a contemporary to his friend,(70)
"about the work undertaken and far advanced already by Middleton, of the
cutting of a river and bringing it to London from ten or twelve miles off,
through the grounds of many men who, for their particular interest, do
strongly oppose themselves to it, and are like (as ’tis said) to overthrow
it all." The bill was opposed by the City. A deputation consisting of two
aldermen, the Town Clerk and the City Remembrancer was appointed (25 May,
1610) to wait upon Sir John Herbert, one of the principal Secretaries of
State, Sir Julius Cæsar, Chancellor of the Exchequer, and other
influential members of parliament, for the purpose of entreating them to
use their efforts to prevent the repeal of the statutes on the ground that
the stream of fresh water which would thereby be brought to the north
parts of the city would tend to the preservation of health; that the work
had already been carried ten miles, and that Middleton had already
expended more than £3,000 in carrying it out.(71)


Middleton was eventually allowed to proceed with his work, but the delay
that had taken place made it necessary for him to apply to the Common
Council for an extension of time within which to complete it. The City
readily consented to grant him an extension of five years (27 Feb.,
1611).(72) No application for pecuniary assistance however appears to have
been made to the City at this or any other time whilst the work was in
progress by Middleton, although he lacked funds and was compelled in the
following year to seek the assistance of James himself. The king was
familiar with Middleton and his undertaking, for the New River was carried
past his own hunting-lodge of Theobalds. In May (1612) he agreed to pay
half the cost of the whole work on condition that Middleton would convey
to him one-half of the property. Middleton could not do otherwise than
accept the king’s offer, and in the following August executed a deed
conveying thirty-six shares to James.(73)


With royalty at his back Middleton was enabled to complete his
undertaking, and the New River was opened with befitting ceremony on the
very day (29 Sept., 1613) that Thomas,(74) his elder brother, was elected
to the mayoralty chair for the ensuing year.


Even then the whole enterprise might have failed had not pressure been
brought to bear to make the inhabitants of the city use the New River
water to the exclusion of other supplies. In 1616, three years after the
New River had been opened, the lords of the council wrote (23 Dec.) to the
mayor and aldermen informing them that it was the king’s wish that,
inasmuch as few persons used the new supply, the city authorities should
see that all such houses as could conveniently use it should be made to
use it, for it was not to be supposed, said they, that two Acts of
Parliament and an Act of Common Council affecting the health and safety of
the city should be passed to no other purpose than to injure those who
undertook so useful a work on the part of the city.(75) So again, in the
following year (1617), when the brewers of London wished to erect
waterworks on their own account at Dowgate, they were stopped by order of
the Privy Council, and told to take their water from the New River, which
had been made at great expense, "was of great consequence to his majesty’s
service, and deserved all due encouragement."(76) Even the civic
authorities themselves were forbidden (11 April, 1634) to improve the
supply from Tyburn, on which they had already expended much money, for
fear of injuring the interests of the shareholders of the New River
Company,(77) who had but recently received their first dividend.(78)


Soon after the completion of the New River, Middleton applied to the City
for a loan. The whole of his own capital had been sunk in his vast
undertaking, and he required an advance of £3,000. The loan was granted (8
Sept., 1614) for three years at six per cent., security being given by his
brother Thomas, the lord mayor, Robert, another brother, and Robert


In 1622 (19 Oct.) James conferred on Middleton a baronetcy—a new
hereditary title recently established for supplying the king with money to
put down the Irish rebellion.(80) Middleton, however, appears to have been
too poor to pay the sum of £1,000 or so for which the new title was
purchasable; at any rate the money was not exacted.(81) A baronet in the
city of London (by the way) enjoyed the special privilege of exemption
from serving as sheriff. "It was unfit," wrote James to the lord mayor (11
Nov., 1613), "that a gentleman called to the quality of a baronet should
be afterwards called to be sheriff," and he declared that he would have
"no such precedent."(82)


A year after Middleton had been created a baronet the Court of Aldermen
voted him (13 Nov., 1623) a gold chain of the value of 200 marks in
recognition of his services in supplying the city with water, and thereby
preventing the spread of disastrous fires.  Only the night before (12
Nov.) "a very terrible and fearful fire" had broken out, destroying many
houses, and among them that of Sir William Cockaine, in Broad Street, and
causing damage to the extent of £40,000 and more;(83) and the Court of
Aldermen, in recording their vote, testified to the great danger which
would have threatened the city had not a plentiful supply of water, thanks
to Middleton, been at hand.(84) The chain was set with diamonds and had
the City’s arms by way of pendant. Middleton himself being a goldsmith of
repute was allowed to supervise the making of it.(85)


All this time the City’s loan to Middleton remained outstanding, and
indeed it remained unrepaid at the time of his death in December, 1631, a
circumstance which shows that the greatest engineer of the age died worse
off than many believe. After considerable hesitation the Court of Aldermen
instructed the City Solicitor to recover the money by suing on Middleton’s


If other evidence were wanting to show that Middleton died in reduced
circumstances there is the fact that his widow was compelled, soon after
her husband’s death, to seek satisfaction from the City for losses
sustained by his estate by means of "many breaches made in the pipes of
water and otherwise upon occasion of divers great fires." After
considering the matter for close upon two years the Common Council at
length agreed (2 Oct., 1634) to raise a sum of £1,000 for her by
assessment on the wards, but hesitated whether to pay the money to Lady
Middleton for her own use or as executrix only of the will of her late
husband, "to be distributed according to the custome of this Citty whereof
he dyed a Freeman." The court added this condition to the gift, viz.: that
the City should be allowed to set up cocks in connection with the New
River pipes in each ward, to be used in cases of fire, in place of cutting
the pipes, as had been the custom on such occasions.(87) In 1635
Middleton’s loan remained still owing to the City, and the £1,000 promised
to his widow was not yet collected. On the 12th May Lady Middleton
petitioned the Court of Aldermen to allow the £1,000 to be accepted in
part payment of her late husband’s debt and she would endeavour forthwith
to discharge the remainder. To this the court acceded.(88)


In 1726 the New River Company petitioned the Common Council for a direct
conveyance to be made to the company of all the statutory rights and
privileges the City had originally made over to Middleton. The reason
given for this request was that the company found themselves obliged at
the time to prosecute a number of trespassers, and that it had been
advised by counsel that in order to get a verdict in the company’s favour
it would have to prove its title, "through all times and through all the
mean conveyances," from the passing of the original Act of Parliament to
the present time. The company represented that such a proceeding would
involve enormous difficulty, but this difficulty could be got over if the
City would consent to give an immediate grant to the company of all that
they had formerly conveyed to Middleton, and upon the same terms. The
matter, urged the company, was one that affected the interests of the
City, for unless the offenders were punished the water of the New River
would continue to be intercepted before it reached the city. The petition
was referred to the City Lands Committee for consideration.(89)


Just at the time when the City was meditating a transfer of their powers
under the New River Acts to Middleton, a scheme was being set on foot for
colonising a vast tract of land in the north of Ireland, which, after the
flight of the earls of Tyrone and Tyrconnel in 1607, was declared to be
confiscated to the Crown. In October, 1608, commissioners had been
appointed to draw up a plan for the proposed colonisation, or, as it was
called, the "Plantation of Ulster," and by the following January (1609)
their reports were sent in.(90) The next step was the formulating of
orders and conditions to be observed by the undertakers of the plantation,
and by the end of January these were ready, although they do not appear to
have been published before the following March.(91) The object of
promulgating these orders and conditions was to attract persons to take a
share in the work of the plantation, not so much with the view of
benefiting themselves as of doing service to the Crown and commonwealth.
Whatever attraction the scheme as put forth in this Collection of Orders
and Conditions—often referred to in subsequent proceedings as the "printed
book"—may have had for others, it had none for the Londoner.(92) The city
merchant and trader required to be assured of some substantial benefit to
be gained by himself before he would embark in any such undertaking, and
in order to give him this assurance he was asked to consider a long list
of "motives and reasons to induce the City of London to undertake
plantation in the north of Ireland."(93)


In this document, bearing date the 28th May, 1609, the king offered to
make over to the city of London the city of Derry and another place near
the castle of Coleraine with adjacent territory, and with exceptional
advantages as to custom dues and admiralty jurisdiction. As an inducement
to accept the king’s offer the citizens were assured that the country was
well watered and suitable for breeding cattle; it grew hemp and flax
better than elsewhere; it was well stocked with game and had excellent sea
and river fisheries, and it contained such abundance of provisions as not
only to supply the plantation, but also assist towards the relief of the
London poor. Besides these advantages the city, which was so overcrowded
"that one tradesman was scarcely able to live by another," would have an
opportunity of getting rid of some of its surplus population, and at the
same time render itself less liable to infectious diseases. If the
citizens wanted a precedent for what they were now called upon to
undertake, they were invited to look at what Bristol had done for Dublin
in the reign of Henry II. The plantation of Dublin by Bristol, which
reflected "eternal commendation" on the latter city, had done much towards
civilising and securing that part of Ireland, and it was greatly to be
hoped that the precedent so set would now be followed by London, more
especially as the advantages to be gained were far greater.


A goodly prospect indeed; but still the enterprise failed to commend
itself to the Londoner. A month went by and nothing was done. At length,
on Saturday, the 1st July, the matter was brought direct to the attention
of a special Court of Aldermen and "divers selected comoners" of the city
by the lords of the council. Again the citizens were assured that by
taking a part in the work of the plantation they would not only be doing a
work acceptable unto God but one which would be at once honourable and
profitable to themselves.


The project was received with favour to the extent that it was resolved to
invite the livery companies to consider the matter, and to appoint
committees to make suggestions to the court in writing by the following
Wednesday (5 July),(94) and precepts to the companies were issued
accordingly. The reply sent by the companies appears to have been
considered unsatisfactory, for on the following Saturday (8 July) the
mayor issued another precept rebuking them for the attitude taken up by
their representatives, who had not, in his opinion, paid sufficient
attention to the matter nor fully realised the motives and reasons which
had been propounded. He bade them reconsider the matter and send their
representatives to the Guildhall on Friday, 14th July, with "such reasons
and demands as are fit to be remembered, required or considered of in the
undertaking of so great and honourable an action" set down in writing.(95)
Accordingly, on the 14th, the committees of the various companies appeared
before the Court of Aldermen with their answer in writing, and a
deputation was nominated to carry their answer to the lords and to hear
anything more that they might have to say on the matter.(96)

The lords of the council being angry with the companies for sending in
their answer before a conference had been held with them, the Recorder was
instructed to inform them that the companies had acted under a mistake,
and intended nothing undutiful in what they had done, and a deputation was
again nominated to confer with their lordships.(97) This was on Tuesday,
the 18th July.


Before the end of the week "a full and large conference" took place, and
the lords of the council so satisfied the representatives of the companies
of the profitable nature of the undertaking that they were encouraged to
become adventurers. It was an understood thing between the parties that
the citizens should send their own representatives over to Ireland to view
the property, and if the undertaking proved to be otherwise than had been
represented, and unprofitable, they were to be at liberty to withdraw from
it altogether. The result of the conference was signified to the masters
and wardens of the several companies on Monday, the 24th July, by precept
of the mayor, who enjoined them to call together their companies on the
following Wednesday, and after explaining the whole matter to them, to
learn from each individual member what amount he was prepared to
contribute towards the furtherance of so "famous a project," and to cause
the same to be entered in a book "to the intent his majesty may be
informed of the readiness of this city in a matter of such great
consequence." A note was to be made of any who refused to contribute, and
those who failed to attend the summons were to be fined. No time was to be
lost, for the lords of the council expected a return of the amount to be
contributed by the companies by Friday (28 July).(98)


On Sunday, the 30th July, a deputation of aldermen and commoners again
waited on the lords of the council, and received permission to elect four
wise, grave and discreet citizens to cross over to Ireland and view the
proposed plantation. On Tuesday (1 Aug.) the Common Council nominated John
Broad, goldsmith, Hugh Hamersley, haberdasher, Robert Treswell,
painter-stainer, and John Rowley, draper, to be the City’s commissioners
for the purpose.(99)


The lords of the council anticipated the arrival of the City’s agents in
Ireland by directing Sir Thomas Philips to accompany them in their
travels, and by sending instructions to Sir Arthur Chichester, the deputy,
to see that they were well supplied with necessaries and were assisted in
every way. The latter was more particularly instructed to use great care
in the selection of discreet persons to conduct and accompany them, men
who from their experience and understanding might be able, "both by
discourse and reason, to controule whatsoever any man shall reporte either
out of ignorance or malice, and to give the undertakors satisfaccon when
they shalbe mistaken or not well informed of any particular."(100) The
conductors were to take care to lead the Londoners by the best roads, and
to lodge them on their journeys where they might, if possible, receive
English entertainment in Englishmen’s houses. The lords of the council at
the same time forwarded to Sir Arthur Chichester a copy of the "Project,"
and desired him to see that those who conducted the City’s agents were
"well prepared before-hand to confirme and strengthen every part thereof
by demonstracon as they may plainly apprehend and conceive the commodities
to be of good use and profit." On the other hand, matters of distaste,
such as fear of the Irish, of the soldiers, of cess and such like must not
be so much as named. These could be set right afterwards and were only
matters of discipline and order. Lastly, if the Londoners should happen to
express a wish respecting anything, "whether it be the fishing, the
admirallty, or any other particuler wch may serve for a motyve to enduce
them," the same was to be conceded at once, and no private interests,
whether of Sir Arthur Chichester himself or any other individual, were to
be allowed to stand in the way.

These instructions were carried out to the letter, and the City’s
representatives, as soon as they set foot in Ireland, were treated right
royally. Sir John Davys, one of the king’s commissioners engaged in
surveying the country, wrote home on the 28th August(101): "The Londoners
are now come, and exceeding welcome to us. Wee all use our best rhetorick
to persuade them to go on wth their plantation, wch will assure the whole
island to the crowne of England forever. They like and praise the cuntrey
very much, specially the Banne and the river of Loghfoyle." He goes on to
say that one of the City’s agents had fallen sick, and would have
returned, but the lord-deputy and the rest had used every means to comfort
and retain him, "lest this accident shold discourage his fellow
cittizens." In other respects, too, they saw the country at its best, for
they arrived at a time when the Irish were flocking in and making their
submission in far better fashion than they had done for years. So pleased
were they with what they saw that they assured Sir Arthur Chichester that
the City would certainly undertake the plantation upon the report they
were about to make. The deputy on his part assured them that if the
Londoners did not undertake the work they would be enemies to themselves.
He suggested that they should send home to the lord mayor some samples of
the commodities of the country. The suggestion was adopted, and he
obtained for them some raw hides, tallow, salmon, herrings, eels,
pipe-staves, beef and the like at a cheap rate. He also procured them some
iron ore and promised to furnish them with samples of lead and


By November the City’s agents had returned to London. On the 28th they
appeared before the Court of Aldermen and presented their report, together
with an answer made by Sir Arthur Chichester to certain questions they had
put to him on doubtful points, and also a map or "plott" of the country
they had viewed. The court in the first place authorised the Chamberlain
to re-imburse them the sum of £100 which they had found it necessary to
borrow to supplement the allowance of £300 originally allowed for their
expenses by the court;(103) and in the next gave orders for all the
documents to be enrolled by the Remembrancer "in a faier booke, wherein
the letters and other things comytted to his charge and care are recorded
and entred," and also in the Journal by the Clerk of the Orphans.(104) The
viewers’ report came before the court of Common Council on the 2nd
December, when it was openly read and referred to a committee specially


On Friday, the 15th, the committee were ready with their report. They had
met five times, and had held long debate and consultation on the various
matters incident to "so great a business," and on each and all of these
they had something to say. As to the financial part of the undertaking
they were of opinion that the Common Council should pass an Act for
raising a sum of £15,000, and no more, upon the members of the wealthier
livery companies, by poll, the inferior companies being spared. The report
having been approved by the court a deputation was appointed to wait upon
the Privy Council with the City’s answer on the following Sunday (17


When the lords of the council came to consider the City’s proposals they
found much to their liking, but the clause which restricted the amount of
money to be furnished by the City to £15,000, and no more, was "much
distasted" by them, seeing that that sum would scarcely suffice to buy up
private interests, let alone the work of plantation. The City’s offer in
this respect was therefore rejected, and the Common Council had therefore
to increase its offer to £20,000.(107)


Early in the following year (8 Jan., 1610) a committee was appointed,
including the four commissioners who had viewed the plantation, to confer
with commissioners appointed by the Privy Council as to the best means of
carrying out the work. In the meantime the sum of £5,000, or one-fourth
part of the £20,000 required, was to be immediately levied on the
principal companies according to their corn assessment.(108) Some of the
companies complained of the unfairness of assessing them according to the
existing corn rate, inasmuch as a great change had taken place since that
rate had been made: "Divers companies are decayed and others growne to bee
of greater liability, so as particuler men of some companies are now
exceedinglie overcharged and others greatelye favoured." It was too late
to make any alteration in the payment of the first two instalments, as the
plantation was to commence in the summer,(109) but a new assessment for
corn was made in July with the view of making the rate more


On the 28th January (1610) the committee appointed by the court of Common
Council came to terms with the Privy Council, and a special agreement was
signed by both parties embodying all the essential conditions of the
plantation in twenty-seven articles. A period of seven years was allowed
the City to make such other reasonable demands as time might show to be


The articles were read at the Common Council held two days later (30
Jan.), when it was decided to form a company in the city of London for the
purpose of carrying out the plantation, the company to consist of a
governor, a deputy-governor and twenty-four assistants, of whom the
Recorder of the city was to be one. The governor and five of the
assistants were to be aldermen of the city, the rest commoners.(112) On
the 4th February the lords of the council informed Sir Arthur Chichester
that the "noble and worthy work of the plantation in Ulster undertaken by
the city" was concluded, and the articles signed. The city had chosen a
governor and a council of assistants for the more orderly disposition of
their affairs. They had also elected John Rowley to be their agent, and he
and others would shortly set out for Ireland. The lords commended him to
the deputy’s care, and he was instructed to see that they were furnished
with a sufficient number of labourers for felling timber, digging stone
and burning lime. Sir Arthur’s services in forwarding a work which the
king had so much at heart would not go, they assured him, unrewarded.(113)


The articles of the plantation had not long been signed before the
government broke faith with the City, and the latter were asked to forego
no less than 2,000 acres of land agreed to be assigned to them. This
iniquitous proposal on the part of the king’s commissioners was laid
before a special court of Common Council (7 June, 1610) by Alderman
Cockaine, the governor of the Irish Society. After long deliberation the
court decided to stand upon their rights, and rejected the proposal. Six
weeks later (22 July) they saw fit to change their minds, and they agreed
to surrender the 2,000 acres whilst refusing to accede to other


It was no easy task the City had undertaken. Great difficulty was
experienced in getting the companies to pay up their quota of the £20,000
to be raised for the purpose of the plantation. The wardens of the
Mercers, the Clothworkers and other companies were committed to prison by
order of the Court of Aldermen for refusing or failing to pay the sums at
which their respective companies had been assessed.(115) The masters or
wardens of the companies were not so much to blame as the individual
members of the companies who refused to pay. Thus, a sum of £200 due from
Sir John Spencer, the rich Clothworker, remained unpaid at his death. It
was eventually paid by his son-in-law, Lord Compton, after much
solicitation.(116) Even when the money was got in there was a difficulty
in forwarding it to its destination, so infested was the Irish coast with
pirates who lay in wait for the money sent by the City for the works at


Early in the following year (31 Jan., 1611) the livery companies were
called upon to certify to the Irish Society, within one week, whether or
no they were willing to accept an allotment of the Irish estate
proportionate to the money by them advanced, and to cultivate and plant
the same at their own cost and charges, according to the "printed book" of
the plantation, or leave the letting and disposing thereof to the governor
and committees. They were warned that, in any case, they would still have
to contribute towards the charge of building houses and fortifications and
freeing of tithes.(118) In response to the mayor’s precept eight of the
principal companies of the city, viz., the Mercers, Grocers, Drapers,
Fishmongers, Goldsmiths, Salters, Ironmongers and Vintners, and ten of the
inferior companies, viz., the Dyers, Pewterers, Founders, Whitebakers,
Broderers, Armourers, Tilers and Bricklayers, Blacksmiths, Weavers and
Woodmongers, signified their willingness to accept a proportionate part of
the land (27 Feb.). The remainder of the companies preferred to leave the
lands alone, but they were allowed to come in afterwards if they saw
reason to change their mind.(119)


By July (1611) nearly the whole of the £20,000 had been expended. The
Common Council thereupon resolved that a further sum of £10,000 should be
levied on the companies at the same rate as the last two payments. A day
was appointed for the companies to send in a written notice whether they
agreed to contribute to this fresh sum or were ready to forfeit the money
they had already subscribed and lose all their right in the
plantation.(120). £5,000 was to be ready by the 10th August. The remainder
was not demanded until July, 1612.(121)


Hitherto the agreement between the lords of the council and the citizens
of London had been carried out by one side only. The City had found the
money wherewith to carry out the work of the plantation, but as yet not an
acre of land had been assigned. It is not surprising, therefore, that when
the Grocers’ Company were called upon to contribute their _quota_ to the
£5,000 demanded in July, 1612, they desired the lord mayor not to press
the matter until the assurance of the lands and other hereditaments for
which money had been formerly disbursed should have been obtained from his
majesty.(122) At length, on the 29th March, 1613, the Irish Society
received its charter of incorporation.


Notwithstanding the great difficulty experienced in getting in the last
£5,000—as much as £3,667 10_s._ being still outstanding in October,
1612(123)—the Common Council found itself under the unpleasant necessity
of asking the companies for another £10,000 within a few weeks of the
incorporation of the Irish Society. Not only had the whole of the £30,000
formerly subscribed been expended, but the Irish Society had borrowed
£3,000 from the Chamber of London.(124) The money was to be raised by the
end of May.


James had already begun to show impatience—even before the granting of the
charter of incorporation to the Irish Society—at the little progress made
in the work of the plantation. At the close of the last year (21 Dec.,
1612) he had himself written to Sir Arthur Chichester directing him to
send home an account of what the Londoners had done; for, notwithstanding
their pretence of great expenditure, there was, so he was informed, little
outward show for it.(125) Fault was found with them, not only for failing
to build houses according to the articles of agreement, but for their
humane treatment of the "mere Irish," instead of driving them forth to
perish in the narrow districts set apart for them.(126)


On Midsummer-day (1613) Sir Henry Montague, the Recorder, and Sir William
Cockaine, the governor of the Irish Society, signified to the Common
Council that it was the king’s wish that the walls and fortifications of
Derry should be at once taken in hand. The court agreed to lose no time in
carrying out the king’s wishes, and further resolved to despatch "some
great and worthy magistrate," as well as "some commoner of special
countenance and credit," to take an exact notice, view and account of the
whole work of the plantation, and of all works done and to be done, and,
in a word, to do all that they deemed necessary for the good of the
plantation. The choice of the court fell upon Alderman George Smithes and
Matthias Springham, a Merchant Taylor.(127)


These two proceeded to Ireland, and, having viewed the plantation, sent
home from Dublin a detailed report of all they had seen and done.(128) The
report was submitted to the Common Council on the 8th November (1613).
Among other things they had taken great pains to make an equal division of
the land as far as was possible into twelve parts, with the view of
distributing it among the livery companies as proposed, and a "plott" of
the division was laid before the court. But they were of opinion that the
city of Londonderry and its land of 4,000 acres, and the town of Coleraine
with its 3,000 acres, its ferries and fisheries, could not be conveniently
divided, but the rents and profits of them might be divided among the
several companies. As to the fortification of Derry, the commissioners had
consulted ten military experts on the matter and plans had been drafted;
but it was necessary to gather material before the wall could be
commenced, and this the commissioners recommended should be taken in hand
at once.


On the 17th December lots were publicly drawn to decide the particular
lands which each of the twelve principal companies, combined with several
of the inferior companies in such a way as to make their total
contributions to amount, as far as might be, to one-twelth of the whole
sum (£40,000) contributed, should hold.(129) The companies at once took
possession of their property so far as they could do so; but livery of
seisin was not and could not be made to them until James had granted (30
Sep., 1615), both to the Irish Society and to the companies, a licence in
mortmain. This licence was expressly granted "to the end that they might
be the better encouraged and enabled to proceed and finish the same
plantation, and in future times reap some gains and benefits of their
great travails and expenses bestowed therein."(130) It may be inferred
from this that James had little expectation that the undertakers would
reap much gain or profit from their enterprise notwithstanding former
professions. For some years to come there was no gain, little or great. No
sooner had the allotment of land to the companies taken place than they
were called upon to raise a further sum of £5,000,(131) and at the end of
another twelve months a further sum of £7,500, making in all a sum total
of £52,500 which they had subscribed towards the plantation.(132) It was
not until 1623 that the profits of the plantation began to exceed the
costs and the Irish Society was in a position to pay a dividend.(133)

(M53) (M54)

In years gone by, when some of the companies sold their Irish estate,
there was no question as to their power of alienation or their absolute
right to the proceeds of the sale, but of late years a cry has been raised
that the companies held their estates in a fiduciary capacity, and that
they could not legally alienate their Irish property without accounting
for the proceeds of the sale as public trustees. It had got abroad that
those companies who had not already parted with their Irish estates—as the
Haberdashers had done as far back as the year 1675, and the Merchant
Taylors, the Goldsmiths and the Vintners, between the years 1728 and
1737—were meditating a sale. In response to the cry thus raised a select
Parliamentary Committee was appointed to enquire "as to the Terms of the
Charters or other Instruments by which their Estates in Ireland were
granted to the Irish Society and to the London companies, and as to the
Trusts and Obligations (if any) attaching to the Ownership of such
Estates." Any trust or obligation in connection with the tenure of these
estates would naturally be comprised within the four corners of the
charters and instruments mentioned in the order of reference just cited,
but these the committee practically ignored, on the ground that the task
of pronouncing with decisive authority upon their legal construction could
only be performed by a judicial tribunal.(134) We have it, however, on the
authority of so sound a lawyer as the late Sir George Jessel, that the
companies are ordinary owners of their Irish estates in fee simple,
subject only to the reservations expressly contained in the conveyance to



Contemporaneously with the plantation of Ulster, another and more distant
enterprise of somewhat similar character was being carried out in America;
and to this, as to every great public undertaking, the citizens of London
must need be called to lend their assistance. A company formed in 1606,
and composed, in part at least, of London merchants, the object of which
was the colonisation of Virginia, had proved a failure after a hopeless
struggle for three years. It was therefore determined to reconstruct the
company on a different basis and to make an entirely fresh start.


In the spring of 1609 the company wrote to Sir Humphrey Weld,(136) then
mayor of London, for assistance in financing the undertaking, urging him
at the same time to diminish the risk of pestilence and famine in the city
by removing the surplus population to Virginia. For the sake of
convenience they purposed to issue no bills of adventure for less than £12
10_s._, but if his lordship were to make any "ceasement" (assessment) or
raise subscriptions from the best disposed and most able of the companies,
the council and company of the plantation would be willing to give bills
of adventure to the masters and wardens for the general use and behoof of
each company, or in the case of subscription by the wards to the alderman
and deputy of each ward for the benefit of the ward. Should the emigrants
"demaund what may be theire present mayntenaunce, what maye be theire
future hopes?" they might be told that the company was for the present
prepared to offer them "meate, drinke and clothing, with an howse, orchard
and garden for the meanest family, and a possession of lands to them and
their posterity." Any alderman of the city subscribing £50 would be
reckoned as an original member of the council of the company, and take
equal share of the profits with the rest; their deputies, too, would be
admitted to the same privileges on payment of half that sum.


In response to a precept no less than fifty-six companies agreed to take
ventures in the plantation. The Grocers subscribed the sum of £487 10_s._,
or more than double the amount subscribed by any other company. The
Mercers, the Goldsmiths and the Merchant Taylors contributed respectively
the next highest amount, viz., £200; whilst the Drapers and Fishmongers
subscribed severally £150, the Stationers £125, the Clothworkers £100, and
the Salters £50. In addition to these contributions made by the companies
in their corporate capacity other sums were ventured by individual
members.(137) Bills of adventure were thereupon given to the several
companies for the money subscribed, entitling them to have rateably
"theire full parte of all such lands, tenements and hereditaments" as
should from time to time be recovered, planted and inhabited, as also "of
all such mines and minerals of gould, silver and other metals or treasure,
pearles, precious stones, or any kind of wares or marchaundizes,
comodities or profitts whatsoever," as should be obtained or gotten in the


With the assistance thus afforded by the citizens of London the Virginia
Company had no difficulty in obtaining another charter from the Crown (23
May, 1609). Among the adventurers to whom the charter was granted, and who
embraced representatives of every rank, profession and occupation, we find
Humphrey Weld, the mayor, whose name immediately follows those of the
peers of the realm who shared in the undertaking, and Nicholas Ferrar,
skinner, who died in 1620, and gave by will "£300 to the college in
Virginia, to be paid when there shall be ten of the infidels’ children
placed in it, and in the meantime twenty-four pounds by the yeare to be
disbursed unto three discreete and godly men in the colonie, which shall
honestly bring up three of the infidels’ children in Christian religion
and some good course to live by."(139)


In the meantime (15 May) seven vessels with emigrants on board had set
sail from Woolwich. After frequent delays on the south coast of England
they crossed the Atlantic and reached their destination on the 11th
August. Yellow fever had unfortunately broken out on board ship during the
long voyage, and this, together with the plague, which is generally
believed to have been conveyed to Virginia by the fleet, committed great
havoc among the early emigrants.(140)


It was not long before more money was wanted, and again application was
made to the livery companies. The Mercers declined to make any further
advance;(141) but with the assistance of the other companies the sum of
£5,000 was raised, which was afterwards increased to £18,000.(142)
Nevertheless, in spite of every exertion, the company was in the autumn of
1611 on the very verge of ruin, and something had to be done to prevent
its utter collapse. It was accordingly again re-constructed, its domains
were made to comprise the Bermudas, or Somers Islands, and a third charter
granted (12 March, 1612), in which a number of citizens are named as
having become adventurers since the last letters patent.(143)


A special feature of the charter was the authorisation of one or more
lottery or lotteries to be held for the benefit of the company,(144) by
virtue of which a lottery was soon afterwards opened in London. The chief
prize fell to one Thomas Sharplys, or Sharplisse, a tailor of London, who
won "four thousand crowns in fair plate."(145) The lucky winner used the
same motto on this occasion as was used by the Merchant Taylors’ Company
in their venture in the lottery of 1569.(146) The City’s records are
unaccountably silent on the matter of this lottery, but we learn from
other sources that the Grocers’ Company adventured the sum of £62 10_s._
of their common goods and drew a prize of £13 10_s._ An offer being made
to them to accept the prize subject to a rebate of £10, or in lieu thereof
"a faire rounde salt with a cover of silver all gilt," weighing over 44
ozs. at 6_s._ 7_d._ per oz., amounting to the sum of £14 19_s._ 1_d._, the
company resolved to accept the salt, "both in respect it would not be so
much losse to the company ... and alsoe in regard this company wants
salts." The balance of £1 9_s._ was ordered to be paid out of the common
goods of the company.(147) Not only the companies but several of the city
parishes had ventures in a small way in the lottery. Thus the vestry of
St. Mary Colechurch agreed (7 June) to adventure the sum of £6 of the
church stock, whereby the church was the gainer of "twoe spones, price
twenty shillinge."(148) The parish of St. Mary Woolchurch adventured a
less sum, taking only fifty lots at a shilling apiece, in return for which
it got a prize of ten shillings.(149) That the lottery was not taken up in
the way it was hoped it would be is shown by the fact that just before the
drawing—which took place in a house at the west end of St. Paul’s, and
lasted from the 29th June till the 20th July—no less than 60,000 blanks
were taken out, in order to increase the number of chances in favour of
the adventurers.(150)


Two years later (1614) another lottery for the same purpose was set on
foot. On the 1st April the lords of the council addressed a circular
letter to the city companies,(151) enclosing a copy of a pamphlet by Sir
Thomas Smith, entitled "A declaration of the present estate of the English
in Virginia, with the final resolucon of the Great Lotterye intended for
their supply," and exhorting them to do their best to make the lottery a
success. The object is there described as a "worthy and Christian
enterprise, full of honour and profitt to His Majestie and the whole
realme." A copy of this letter was forwarded to the several companies
through Sir Thomas Middleton, the mayor,(152) who, as we have already
said, was himself a member of the Council of the Virginia Company in 1609.
The lotteries, however, found but little favour with the companies, who
were actively engaged at the time in managing their recently acquired
Irish estates, and had but little money to spare. The Merchant Taylors’
Company contented themselves with voting only £50 out of their common
stock for the lottery, leaving it to individual members to venture further
sums on their own account as each might think fit.(153) The Grocers’
Company, of which Middleton was a member, voted nothing out of their
common stock, but each member was exhorted "for the general advancement of
Christianity and good of the commonwealth," to write with his own hands
how much he was willing to venture. This was accordingly done (15 April),
the lord mayor himself setting the example; but as to the result the
company’s records fail to give any information.(154)


The prospects of the Virginia Company were seriously imperilled by an
ill-advised speech made in the House of Commons by the lord mayor
inveighing against the importation of tobacco. The Company was already in
disgrace with the House, through the indiscretion of Counsel employed to
prosecute a petition on its behalf, and all the members of the Company who
held seats in the House were desired to withdraw until it should be
decided what action should be taken in the matter. Eventually peace was
restored by the offending Counsel coming to the Bar of the House and
making a humble submission.(155)


In 1618 a scheme was set on foot for taking up vagrant boys and girls that
lay begging in the streets of the city, having neither home nor friends,
and transporting them to Virginia to be there industriously employed. The
scheme came before the Court of Common Council on the 31st July in the
form of a petition from a number of citizens. A committee was at once
appointed to consider the matter, and on the 24th September they brought
in their report.(156) The Virginia Company had agreed to take 100 boys and
girls between the ages of eight and sixteen, and to educate and bring them
up at the company’s charge. The company were prepared, moreover, to give
each boy and girl fifty acres of land, to each boy as soon as he was
twenty-four years of age, and to each girl at the age of twenty-one or her
marriage, whichever should first happen. The charge of fitting out and
transporting that number was estimated at £500, which sum the court agreed
should be levied on the inhabitants of the city rateably according as each
was assessed towards the last poor rate. The young emigrants were soon
afterwards shipped to their new home,(157) and so successfully did the
undertaking turn out that in little over a year another application was
made to the Common Council (18 Dec., 1619) for another batch of 100
children for shipment to the colony in the following spring.(158) It was
desired that the new emigrants should be twelve years old and upwards,
with an allowance of £3 apiece for their transportation and 40_s._ apiece
for their apparel, "as was formerly graunted." The boys would be put out
as apprentices until the age of twenty-one, and the girls likewise until
the same age or marriage, after which they would be placed as tenants on
the public lands, and be furnished with houses, stock of corn and cattle
to begin with, and afterwards enjoy the moiety of all increase and profit.
The Common Council being desirous of forwarding "soe worthy and pious a
worke" as the plantation, accepted the company’s proposal, and directed
that a sum of £500 necessary for the purpose should be levied as on the
previous occasion.


Some hitch, however, appears to have occurred in connection with the
shipment of this second consignment of children. The City and the Virginia
Company had fallen out for some reason or other. In a letter written about
this time to the lord mayor(159) the company express regret that
differences should have arisen between the city and themselves. They
assure his lordship that there was no real foundation for these
differences, seeing that they had now ratified all, and more than all than
had been previously offered and accepted. Everything had been done that
was necessary for the shipment of the children. The City had collected the
requisite funds and the children had been provided, whilst the company on
its part had provided a fair ship, and the Privy Council had "at the
city’s desire" granted its warrant.(160) The company therefore trusted
that the lord mayor and aldermen would proceed to the speedy ending of


The number of emigrants to Virginia was swelled by the transportation of a
number of idle fellows who made it their business to follow the king and
his court wherever they might happen to be. Early in 1619, when the king
was at Newmarket, he took occasion to write to Sir Thomas Smith
complaining of the annoyance and desired that they might be sent to
Virginia at the next opportunity.(161) Immediately on the receipt of this
letter Sir Thomas Smith wrote to Sir Sebastian Hervey, the mayor,
forwarding at the same time the king’s letter, and asking that the batch
of idle court loafers which had already been despatched from Newmarket to
London, as well as those to follow, might be lodged for a time in
Bridewell, and there set to work until such time as there should be a
vessel starting for the colony.(162)


The Virginia colony—the first of the free colonies of England—soon became
firmly established, and the City of London can claim to have had no small
share in the work of its establishment. To the enterprising spirit shown
by the citizens in their efforts to forward the interests of the colony no
better testimony is wanted than a thanksgiving sermon(163) preached (18
April, 1622) in the church of St. Mary-le-Bow by Patrick Copland, chaplain
to the Virginia Company, in commemoration of the safe arrival of a fleet
of nine ships at the close of the previous year. The City of London, the
preacher said, had on two occasions sent over 100 persons to Virginia, and
the present lord mayor and his brethren the aldermen intended to pursue
the same course as previous mayors. "Your cittie," he continued,
"aboundeth in people (and long may it doe so); the plantation in Virginia
is capable enough to receive them. O, take course to ease your cittie, and
to provide well for your people, by sending them over thither, that both
they of that colony there and they of your owne cittie here may live to
bless your prudent and provident government over them.... Right
Worshipfull, I beseech you ponder (as I know you doe) the forlorne estate
of many of the best members of your citty, and helpe them, O helpe them
out of their misery; what you bestow uppon them in their transportation to
Virginia they will repay it at present with their prayers, and when they
are able with their purses."(164)

A few months after this sermon had been delivered tidings reached England
of a calamity more disastrous than any that had yet befallen the colony. A
treacherous attack had been made upon the white men by the Indians, which
was only just saved by timely notice from becoming a general massacre. As
it was, nearly 350 of the settlers were killed. The Common Council lost no
time in testifying its sympathy with the colony in the great loss it had
sustained, and voted (19 July) a third sum of £500 towards the
transportation of 100 fresh colonists.(165)


Ever since his accession to the throne of England the financial condition
of James had been going from bad to worse. Besides resorting to antiquated
feudal exactions,(166) he took to levying impositions on articles of
commerce. But even these failed to make up the deficiency created in his
exchequer by his wanton extravagance, and in 1610 he was obliged to apply
to parliament. An attempt to make a composition with the king for feudal
dues and to restrict his claim to levy impositions failed, and parliament
was hastily dissolved.(167)


In the meanwhile James had applied to the City (April, 1610) for a loan of
£100,000. He professed to prefer borrowing the money from the citizens to
raising it by privy seals from his subjects generally, and he promised
interest at the rate of ten per cent. and security on the customs. The
aldermen consented to raise the money "out of aboundance of love ... but
not of aboundance of riches or meanes." They and the Recorder divided
themselves into nine several companies or divisions, each bound to furnish
one-ninth of the whole loan. The king gave his own bond in £150,000
besides bonds of the farmer of the customs as security, and the aldermen
set to work to raise the money in as "secret and discreet manner" as they
could.(168) The loan did not go far towards discharging the king’s
liabilities, or those of the late queen, whose debts James had undertaken
to repay. Before the end of the year (1610) certain wealthy merchants of
the city were summoned to Whitehall to discuss the state of affairs. The
king again wanted money, but inasmuch as he confessed himself unable to do
more than pay the interest on former loans, leaving the principal to be
discharged at some future time, they refused to make any further advances,
consenting only not to press for the repayment of outstanding debts.(169)
Pursuant to this agreement the citizens, in April, 1611, when the
repayment of the loan of £100,000 became due, granted the king another
year’s respite.(170) A similar concession was made in 1612;(171) and in
1613 the loan was paid off.(172)


The king had a right to look for consideration from the city, for in 1608
he had not only confirmed the liberties and franchises of the citizens by
charter, but he had extended the civic jurisdiction, and had created all
aldermen who had "passed the chair" Justices of Oyer and Terminer within
the city and its liberties. He had, moreover, allowed them to tax
non-freemen and strangers and to cause them to contribute in like manner
as themselves to all talliages, aids and grants to the king.(173) Two
years later—soon after his son Henry had been created Prince of Wales and
the city had done him honour by an aquatic display on the river between
Richmond and London(174) he confirmed (16 June, 1610) the privileges
granted to them in 1383 by Richard II with the sanction of


Before the close of 1611 his pecuniary difficulties increased to such an
extent that he was driven to scatter broadcast "privy seals" or promissory
notes for the purpose of raising money. These were not unfrequently placed
in the hands of persons as they came out of church on Sunday evenings, a
proceeding that caused no little scandal.(176)


The marriage of his daughter, the Princess Elizabeth, with Frederick, the
Elector Palatine, which was soon to follow, not only involved James in
further pecuniary difficulties, but eventually plunged him into a
continental war. Although the marriage articles were signed in May, 1612,
the Elector did not arrive in England until October, just at the time when
Sir John Swinnerton was about to enter on his duties as mayor for the
ensuing year. Special precautions were taken to keep order and guard
against accident on lord mayor’s day(177) as soon as it was known that the
Elector would attend, and a pageant, entitled _Troja nova triumphans_, was
written expressly for the occasion by Thomas Dekker.(178) The Elector
afterwards attended the banquet, and paid a special compliment to the lady
mayoress and her suite.(179) The number of nobles invited was so great
that there was scarcely room for the customary representatives from the
principal livery companies, and none at all for members of the lesser
companies. The latter were asked to take their exclusion in no ill part,
as it was a sheer matter of necessity.(180) Before leaving the Elector was
presented on behalf of the city with a bason and ewer weighing 234-3/4
ozs., and a "dansk pott chast and cheseld" weighing 513-5/8 ozs., and
engraved with the city’s arms and the words _civitas London_, the whole
costing £262 15_s._ 10_d._(181) There was but one thing to mar the general
gaiety, and that was the illness of the Prince of Wales, whose death a
week later shed a gloom over the whole of England,(182) and caused the
marriage of his sister, by whom he was especially beloved, to be postponed
for a time.(183) The ceremony eventually took place on the 14th February,
1613, amid great pomp and splendour, and in the following April the
youthful bride and bridegroom left England for Holland.


It was currently reported that many Papists and Recusants had taken the
opportunity afforded by the recent court festivities to secrete themselves
in London, and Swinnerton, who had already displayed considerable activity
in searching for them as soon as he became lord mayor,(184) was urged to
redouble his efforts in that direction by a letter from the Archbishop of
Canterbury a few days before the marriage of the princess took place.(185)


The close of the year witnessed a marriage of a very different character,
viz., the union of the king’s favourite, Carr, Earl of Somerset, with
Frances Howard, the divorced wife of the Earl of Essex. Murderess and
adulteress as she was, she was received at court with every honour; but
when the king proposed to sup one night in the city, and to bring his
whole court with him (including, of course, the newly-married couple), the
lord mayor, Sir Thomas Middleton, demurred, excusing himself on the ground
that his house was too small.(186) This excuse was of no avail, and the
supper took place in Merchant Taylors’ Hall, the earl and countess being
specially invited as well as the entire court. The supper was followed by
a masque devised for the occasion by a namesake of the mayor, Thomas
Middleton, the dramatic poet.(187) The entertainment cost the City nearly
£700,(188) besides the sum of £50 which the Court of Aldermen directed to
be laid out in a present of plate to Somerset.(189) In acknowledgment of
the gift the earl presented the mayor and sheriffs with pairs of handsome


Financial difficulties, which a fresh issue of "privy seals" to the
aldermen for loans of £200 apiece had done little to alleviate,(191) and
which had been aggravated by recent court festivities, at length drove
James to run the risk of summoning another parliament. He had learnt from
the wire-pullers of the day—or "undertakers" as they were then called—that
he could depend upon a majority being returned which would be willing to
grant supplies in return for certain concessions.  In this he was
deceived. No sooner did constituents discover that pressure was being
brought to bear in favour of court candidates than they used their best
efforts to frustrate such a manifest design to pack parliament. The
session was opened on the 5th of April by a speech from the king, in which
he set forth his financial difficulties, which the extraordinary charge in
connection with his daughter’s marriage had helped to increase. He would
not bargain for their money, he said, but would leave it entirely to their
love what supplies should be granted. In token of his own affection
towards his subjects he was ready to make certain concessions, and he
entirely disavowed any complicity with the "strange kind of beasts called
undertakers." The new parliament, however, stood out like the last and
refused to grant supplies until public grievances had been considered. The
result was that on the 7th June James dissolved what he had fondly hoped
would have proved to be a "parliament of love," but which from its
inability to pass a single measure came to be nick-named, "the addled


At his wit’s end for money, James had recourse to benevolences. The
bishops offered him the value of the best piece of plate in their
possession to help him out of his difficulties, and their example induced
many of the nobles to open their purses. Application was again made to the
City for a loan of £100,000.(193) This they declined, but made the king a
free gift of £10,000, one moiety being paid by the City’s Chamber and the
other being furnished by the livery companies.(194)


It was now that the City began to resort to the practice of recruiting
their Chamber by nominating and electing as sheriffs those who were likely
to prefer paying a fine to serving—a practice which more especially
prevailed during the troublous times of the Stuarts. Nearly a dozen
individuals were elected one after another to the office at Midsummer of
this year, and one and all declined. Some, like Sir Arthur Ingram, had
sufficient influence at court to obtain their discharge without fine,
others paid fines varying in amount, which served to fill the City’s


Another reason, however, is given for so many refusals to serve as sheriff
just at this time, and that was that men declined to serve sheriff with
Peter Proby, who had once been a barber.(196)

The shrewd ex-barber soon overcame any feeling of antipathy that may have
been entertained towards him on entering upon municipal life. In 1616 he
was sent with Mathias Springham to manage the city’s Irish estate.(197) In
1622 he was elected mayor and in the following year was knighted.


Hitherto it had not been the custom when orders were given for a general
muster and survey of the armed forces of the realm to include the city’s
forces. The city had been for the most part exempt from such orders,
except when the necessities of the times demanded that it should be
otherwise. In 1614 the lords of the council thought fit to include the
city in their order for a general muster, and they wrote (16 Sept.) to the
mayor requiring him to cause "a generall view" to be taken of the city’s
forces, and an enrolment made "of such trayned members as in her late
majesty’s time were put into companies by the name of the trayned bands."
Vacancies among the officers and soldiers were to be filled up, armour and
weapons repaired, and the force to be completely equipped and regularly
exercised.(198) The letter having been submitted to the Common Council (21
Sept.), it was agreed to raise at once a force of 6,000 men. A tax of a
fifteenth was voted to meet the necessary expenses, and a committee was
appointed to carry out the resolution of the court.(199) On the following
day (22 Sept.) the mayor issued his precept to the alderman of every ward
stating the number of men required from his ward, and particulars of the
kind and quantity of armour his ward was to provide. Appended to the
precept was a schedule of the prices at which certain manufacturers in the
city were prepared to sell the necessary weapons.(200) Jerome Heydon,
described as an "iremonger at the lower end of Cheapeside," was ready to
sell corslets, comprising "brest, backe, gorgett, taces and headpeece," at
15_s._; pikes with steel heads at 2_s._ 6_d._; swords, being Turkey
blades, at 7_s._; "bastard" muskets at 14_s._; great muskets, with rests,
at 16_s._; a headpiece, lined and stringed, at 2_s._ 6_d._, and a
bandaleer for 1_s._ 6_d._ Henry White and Don Sany Southwell were prepared
to do corslets 6_d._ cheaper, and the same with swords, but their swords
are described as only "Irish hilts and belts to them." Their bastard
muskets, "with mouldes," could be had for 13_s._, or 1_s._ cheaper than
those of Jerome Heydon. The Armourers’ Company were ready to supply
corslets at 15_s._, but for the same "with pouldrons" they asked 4_s._
more. The Cutlers’ Company would furnish "a very good turky blade and good
open hilts" for 6_s._, thus under-selling the private firms.


On the 5th May, 1615, the Common Council ordered another fifteenth to be
levied on the inhabitants of the city "towards the defrayinge of all maner
of charges to be disbursed in and about the trayninge and musteringe of
men";(201) and in the following year the trained bands were divided into
four regiments, under the command of Sir Thomas Lowe, Sir Thomas
Middleton, Sir John Watts, and Sir John Swinnerton, and quartered in
different parts of the city for the purpose of putting down riots. For
these measures the mayor, Sir John Jolles, and the aldermen received the
thanks of the lords of the council.(202)


Yet, notwithstanding the manifest pains taken by civic authorities to
carry out the wishes of the lords of the council, the latter within a few
weeks again wrote to the mayor,(203) rating him soundly for not having
made a return of men and arms with which the city was provided, as
previously directed. Their lordships had been informed that the city was
altogether unprovided with arms and could not furnish the full number of
trained men with weapons at one and the same time, and that there was
scarce sufficient match and powder in the whole city to serve for one
day’s training. They expressed astonishment that the civic authorities, in
whom was vested the government of the king’s Chamber, should have proved
so negligent in a matter so important, and directed them to set up
forthwith a magazine of arms for supplying not only the inhabitants of the
city, but also those of adjacent counties, with military weapons, and to
supply themselves with a store of gunpowder of not less than 100 lasts, by
the aid of the city companies, as had been usual in like cases. A
certificate was also to be returned without delay to their lordships
according to previous orders. The matter was referred by the Common
Council to the "committees for martial causes" in the city, with
instructions to report thereon to the Court of Aldermen.


After the receipt of this letter considerable activity was shown in the
military preparations of the city. A muster and review were ordered to be
held on the 6th August in Finsbury Fields, and steps were taken to fill up
the muster-roll of every captain to its full strength of 300 men.(204)


By the spring of the next year (1617) the city authorities had succeeded
so far in recovering the confidence and goodwill of the government as to
have a royal commission of lieutenancy for the city of London granted to
the mayor, Sir John Leman, eight of the aldermen and Antony Benn, the
Recorder.(205) The commission was to continue during the king’s pleasure,
or until notice of its determination should have been given by the Privy
Council under their hands and seals.


Matters remained on this footing for a year, when the lords of the council
gave notice (17 May, 1618) of the commission having been withdrawn, and at
the same time directed the Court of Aldermen to furnish them with a
certificate of the number of men enrolled in the trained bands (such as
had long since been ordered but had never yet been sent), and to see that
all previous orders relative to the magazine of arms and the storage of
powder were duly executed. Special directions were given to replace the
"calliver" (now become unserviceable) by the musket, and to provide
bullets in addition to powder and match.(206) The letter of the lords was
read at a Common Council held on the 31st July, when committees were
appointed to see to the muster and training of 6,000 men, and to examine
what sums of money remained over from the two last fifteenths levied for
similar purposes.(207)


That James, like his predecessor on the throne, had the increase of the
material prosperity of his subjects very much at heart there is little
doubt. The measures, however, which he took for increasing that prosperity
were not always sound. Among these must be reckoned the withdrawal of all
licences for the exportation of undyed and undressed cloth,(208) the
suppression of the old company of Merchant Adventurers and the formation
of a new company. For these measures the king was not so much to blame as
William Cockaine, the city alderman who gave him advice on the matter.
That the advice was bad became soon manifest. The Dutch, who had been the
principal buyers of English undyed cloth, retaliated by setting up looms
for themselves, and threatened to destroy the English cloth trade
altogether. The new company, with Cockaine at its head, proved a complete
failure, and the old company was restored.(209)


The aldermen of the city continued to be pressed for a loan of £100,000,
and after many refusals they at length consented to advance £30,000; but
"what is that"—wrote Chamberlain to Carleton—"among so many who gape and
starve after it?"(210)


During the brief career of the new company Cockaine had enjoyed the honour
of entertaining the king at his own house in Broad Street. The cost of the
entertainment, which took place on the 8th June, 1616—including a bason of
gold and £1,000 presented to James and another gift of £500 to Prince
Charles—amounted to more than £3,000, and this (we are told) was
discharged by the company, whilst his majesty reserved his thanks for
Cockaine alone, and at parting conferred upon him the honour of knighthood
with the civic sword.(211)


A few months later (Nov., 1616) the city was the scene of another festive
gathering, the occasion being a supper given at Drapers’ Hall to the
recently created Knights of the Bath. That the wives of city burgesses
were looked upon as fair game for the courtier to fly at may be seen in
the works of the dramatists of the day; nor was the merchant’s or
tradesman’s daughter averse to the attention of the court gallant when
kept within reasonable bounds, but on this occasion the exuberant spirits
of the knights, after the long ordeal they had recently gone through,
appear to have overcome them, for, we are told, they were so rude and
unmannerly and carried themselves so insolently divers ways, but specially
in "putting citizens’ wives to the squeak," that the sheriff interfered,
whereupon they left the hall in high dudgeon without waiting for the
supper prepared for them.(212)


Previous to his departure on a progress to Scotland in the spring of 1617,
the king addressed a letter to the mayor and Common Council of the City
asking for a loan of £100,000.(213) The necessary occasions of his
affairs, he said, required just then "the present use of good somes of
money," by way of a loan, and he could think of no better way of supplying
himself than by resorting, as his forefathers had done, "to the love" of
his city, and borrowing the money upon the credit of its common bonds. He
reminded them that whenever he had borrowed money the lenders had always
received "royall paiement," and he doubted not that they would now act as
their own registers and records would show that their predecessors had
acted on similar occasions. On the 22nd January this application was read
to the Common Council, when, after mature deliberation, it was unanimously
agreed—"without either word or hand to the contrary"—that one or more
bonds should be made in the name of the Mayor and Commonalty and Citizens
of London, under their common seal, for the repayment of principal,
together with interest, to those who were willing to contribute towards
the loan, upon such counter security as was mentioned in the king’s
letter. The security there mentioned was to be under the great seal and of
such a character as the city had been accustomed formerly to receive from
the king’s predecessors. It appears that James had a few days before
endeavoured to get the citizens to advance the sum of £100,000 on the
security of the crown jewels, but this proposal had met with little


In March the mayor, John Leman, received the honour of knighthood and was
publicly thanked by the king for the forwardness displayed by the citizens
in the loan, although the money had not at the time been raised.(215)
Great difficulty was experienced in raising the money. One London
merchant, John Eldred, whose name frequently occurs in the State Papers in
connection with advances to the king, endeavoured to get the amount of his
assessment reduced by £400,(216) whilst another, William Cater, kept out
of the way to avoid contributing to the loan.(217) In May there was still
a deficiency of £20,000, which called forth a reprimand from the lords of
the council. The city authorities had been observed to omit or else to
sparingly handle many of the best citizens who were "nicetest" to be dealt
with, and especially intended for the purpose, and to lay the burden of
contribution upon persons of weak and mean estate, or such as otherwise by
their quality and place were not so fit to be called upon for any such


On his return from Scotland in September the king was met by the mayor and
aldermen and a deputation from the livery companies at Knightsbridge and
escorted to Whitehall with the same pomp and solemnity as had been
accustomed to be displayed in attending Queen Elizabeth on her return from
a progress.(219) The mayor presented James with a purse of 500 gold
pieces,(220) and the king conferred the honour of knighthood upon Antony
Benn, the Recorder, and Ralph Freeman.(221)


In the following March (17th) the mayor and aldermen were informed by
letter from the lords of the council of the king’s inability to repay the
last loan according to promise, and were asked to allow a twelvemonth’s


The king’s financial position had become by this time reduced to so low a
state that when his consort died in March of the following year (1619)
there was some probability that her funeral would have to be delayed for
want of money to buy "the blacks."(223) As it was the funeral did not take
place until the 13th May, but this may have been owing to the king himself
having been ill.(224) The mayor, Sebastian Hervey, and the aldermen
received (after some delay) the customary allowance of mourning
cloth,(225) but for some reason or other they were not invited to attend
the funeral.


James had recently been worrying the mayor into consenting to a match
between his daughter, a girl barely fourteen years of age, and Christopher
Villiers, son of the Countess of Buckingham. The match was "so much
against the old man’s stomach," wrote a contemporary,(226) "as the conceit
thereof hath brought him very near his grave already." He had publicly
declared that he would rather that he and his daughter were both dead than
that he should give his consent. The king pressed matters so far as one
day to send for the mayor, his wife and daughter, from dinner at Merchant
Taylors’ Hall, in order to urge upon them the marriage.(227) It was
perhaps owing to the strained relations existing at the time between the
king and the mayor that the civic authorities were not invited to the
funeral of the queen. If that be the case James soon saw that he had made
a mistake, and in order "to please them" caused a memorial service to be
held on Trinity Sunday at Paul’s Cross, which was attended by the aldermen
and other officers of the city, but not by Hervey, the mayor, who—"wilful
and dogged" as he may have been—had become seriously ill from the king’s
importunity and was unable to be present.(228)


In the meantime a revolution had taken place on the continent, the effects
of which were felt in London and the kingdom. In 1618 the Protestant
nobility of Bohemia deposed their king, the Emperor Matthias, and in the
following year they deposed his successor, Ferdinand, after
unceremoniously flinging his deputies out of the window, and offered the
crown to Frederick, the Elector Palatine, who had married James’s
daughter, the Princess Elizabeth. The Elector asked his father-in-law’s
advice before accepting the proffered crown, but James shilly-shallied so
long that Frederick could wait no longer, and he signified his acceptance
(26 Aug., 1619). James was urged to lend assistance to his son-in-law
against the deposed Ferdinand, who had become by election the Emperor
Ferdinand II, but to every appeal he turned a deaf ear.


Failing in this quarter the Elector turned to the city of London. On the
26th November, 1619, he wrote from Nuremburg to the lord mayor, saying he
was about to send the Baron Dohna to explain how matters stood in Bohemia,
and desiring his lordship to lend a favourable ear to what the baron would
tell him.(229) This letter the mayor forwarded to James, intimating that
either himself or the Recorder would wait upon him when convenient.(230)
Time went on, and the king made no sign until in February of the next year
(1620) secretary Calvert wrote to the mayor(231) on the king’s behalf to
the effect that, his majesty having understood that a request had been
made to the City for a loan, he could take no steps in the matter until he
was fully satisfied of the justice of the cause; that at present he knew
nothing and was "a mere straunger to the business."(232) In the meantime,
if the mayor desired to say anything more to his majesty, he might meet
the king at Theobalds, or later on in London.

(M97) (M98)

A fortnight passed, and then Baron Dohna wrote (28 Feb.) to the mayor
making a formal application for a loan of £100,000 for the defence of the
Palatinate, and expressing a hope for a speedy and favourable reply.(233)
The king was asked to back up the baron’s request, but declined.(234) A
month later the city authorities again consulted the king as to his
wishes. The reply given was characteristic of the caution displayed by
James throughout: "I will neither command you nor entreat you," was the
answer they got, "but if you do anything for my son-in-law I shall take it
kindly."(235) The citizens were not in the least averse to advancing money
for the cause of Bohemia, if only they could get some assurance from the
king or council that they would not afterwards be blamed for it.(236)
Having got as much as ever they were likely to get by way of this
assurance, they signified their assent to Dohna’s request, and received in
return a letter of thanks (25 Mar.) from Frederick himself.(237)

Precept was issued (29 March) by the mayor, not, as was usually the custom
in similar cases, to the livery companies, but to the aldermen of each
ward.(238) Moreover, subscriptions to the loan were to be purely
voluntary. Each alderman was especially directed not to "compell any wch
are unwilling, nor refuse to accept the smaller summes of such as out of
their loves doe offer the same."(239)


On Sunday, the 26th March (1620), the king paid a State visit to St.
Paul’s, attended by the mayor and aldermen and the members of the civic
companies in their best liveries.(240) The object of the visit, which had
given rise to much surmise—the Catholics believing that it was to hear a
sermon in favour of the proposed Spanish match, whilst the Protestants
hoped it was for the purpose of exhorting the people to contribute to the
fund that was being raised for the king of Bohemia—was to hasten the
subscriptions for rebuilding the cathedral church,(241) which for sixty
years had been in a more or less ruinous state, in spite of all efforts to
restore it. On this occasion the king was presented with a sum of 1,000
marks and Prince Charles with half that amount.(242)


Towards the close of the year (1620) news reached England that a Spanish
army had entered Bohemia and driven Frederick out of the country after a
crushing defeat, and at last James was roused to action. A parliament was
summoned to meet in January (1621)(243) in order to vote supplies for war.
In the meantime he endeavoured to raise what he could by way of a
voluntary gift from the nobility and wealthier class of his subjects, to
whom circulars from the council were sent urging them to assist.(244)


The council also applied (31 Oct.) to the city of London,(245) but more
than a month elapsed before a reply was sent,(246) and it was not until
the 14th December that the mayor issued his precept to the livery
companies to raise among themselves the several sums of money they had
been accustomed to pay on former occasions,(247) such sums being in
accordance with a corn assessment made in the mayoralty of Sir Thomas
Middleton (1613-14). Several of the companies, and notably the Merchant
Taylors (the largest contributors), objected to this mode of imposing
assessment upon them according to the corn rate as working an injustice.
The Court of Aldermen therefore agreed to again revise the corn rate.(248)
A dispute also arose as to the amounts to be paid by the Apothecaries and
the Grocers respectively, the former having recently severed themselves
from the latter and become incorporated as a separate company.(249) After
all said and done the companies could not be prevailed upon to contribute
more than £5,000, which sum was raised to 10,000 marks, or £6,666 13_s._
4_d._, by contribution from the City’s Chamber.(250) We have it on record
that the lords of the council never intended that any call should be made
on the companies at this juncture, but that only the mayor and aldermen
and those who had fined either for sheriff or alderman should contribute
towards the defence of the Palatinate as they themselves had done.(251)
Nor would the companies have been called upon on this occasion (any more
than they appear to have been called upon on the last) had the collection
of money from the various parishes risen to the proportion required. It
was only when a deficiency was discovered that the mayor and aldermen had
resort to the expedient of raising £5,000 from the companies, each company
paying rateably according to their usual rates for other assessments.(252)


When parliament at length met (after several prorogations) on the 30th
January (1621) James opened the session with a long speech, in which a
request for supplies held a prominent place. The Commons, however, without
showing any disposition to be captious, were in no hurry to grant war
supplies until they were assured that there was to be a war. The king had
therefore to be content with a grant of no more than two subsidies, or
about £160,000. He had recently issued a proclamation (24 Dec., 1620)
forbidding his subjects to speak on affairs of State.(253) If the nation
in general was to be thus bridled the Commons showed their determination,
whilst criticising the king’s administration, to vindicate at least their
own right to liberty of speech.


There was also a class of Londoner not easily silenced. A royal
proclamation had no terrors for the London apprentice; and when they
recognised an old enemy in the person of the Spanish ambassador(254) in
the street, they were accustomed to give tongue and, if thwarted, to
resort to blows. It happened one day that as Gondomar was being carried
down Fenchurch Street, an apprentice standing idly with one or two of his
fellows at his master’s door cried out, "There goeth the devil in a
dung-cart." This remark raised a laugh which so stung one of the
ambassador’s servants that he turned sharply on the offender. "Sir," said
he, "you shall see Bridewell ere long for your mirth." "What," cried one
of his fellows, "shall we go to Bridewell for such a dog as thou?" and
forthwith brought him to the ground with a box on the ear. The ambassador
laid a complaint before the mayor, who somewhat reluctantly sentenced the
offending apprentices to be whipt at the cart’s tail. That any of their
number should be flogged for insulting a Spaniard, even though he were the
Spanish king’s ambassador, was intolerable to the minds of the apprentices
of London, who were known for their staunchness to one another. The report
spread like wildfire, and soon a body of nearly 300 apprentices had
assembled at Temple Bar, where they rescued their comrades and beat the
city marshals. Again Gondomar complained to the mayor, who, sympathising
at heart with the delinquents, testily replied that it was not to the
Spanish ambassador that he had to give an account of the government of the
city. The matter having reached the king’s ears at Theobalds, he suddenly
appeared at the Guildhall and threatened to place a garrison in the city
and to deprive the citizens of their charter if matters were not mended.
His anger was with difficulty appeased by the Recorder, and he at last
contented himself with privately admonishing the aldermen to see the young
fellows punished. The end of the affair was tragical enough. The original
sentence was carried out, with the result that one of the apprentices
unhappily died.(255)

Such is the account of the disturbance as found in contemporary letters.
From the City’s records(256) we learn a few additional particulars. On
Wednesday, the 4th April, a special Court of Aldermen sat, at which a
letter from the lords of the council was read signifying the king’s
pleasure that David Sampson, an apprentice to a tailor, should be very
sharply whipt through the city from Aldgate to Fleet Street by the common
executioner for an insult offered the Spanish ambassador on the preceding
Monday (2 April). A good guard was also to be appointed for the purpose,
and instructions were given to the Recorder and some of the aldermen to
discover if possible the rest of the offenders. The result of their
efforts in this direction was the apprehension of Robert Michell, an
apprentice to a haberdasher, and Richard Taylor, an apprentice to a
bricklayer, the former of whom was accused of threatening to throw a loaf
at the "choppes" of the ambassador’s servant, and the latter with having
actually discharged a brickbat with effect at one of his suite. Sampson’s
whipping, which ought to have taken place in the forenoon of Wednesday,
was thereupon postponed until the afternoon, when all three offenders were
punished together, in the presence of a good guard. On the following
morning (5 April) another special Court of Aldermen sat at the mayor’s own
house, when it was ordered that Daniel Ray, a drayman, who had been
convicted of holding up his hand at the Spanish ambassador as he passed
through Gracechurch Street, grinning at him and calling him "Spanish
dogge" just before Michell and Taylor committed their excesses, should
also be whipt between eight and nine o’clock the next morning. In order to
prevent a repetition of the disturbance which had occurred the previous
day, the mayor issued his precept(257)(5 April) for a substantial double
watch to be kept for twenty-four hours from nine o’clock in the evening of
the 5th April. The inhabitants were further ordered to stand at their
doors, halberd in hand, and ready for any emergency, whilst they were to
see that their apprentices, children and servants behaved well towards all
ambassadors and strangers as well as his majesty’s subjects.

By this time news of the confusion and rescue attending the earlier
punishment had reached the king’s ears. Ray’s whipping was put off. The
Recorder informed the Court of Aldermen, specially summoned to the mayor’s
house on Friday afternoon (6 April), that the king purposed coming that
day to the Guildhall in person between two and three o’clock, when the
mayor and aldermen were commanded to attend, and until then the execution
of Ray’s punishment was not to be carried out. At the appointed hour James
arrived with divers lords of the council. He is recorded(258) as having
made an excellent oration to the mayor and aldermen, "much reprovinge
their misgovernment, and the ill carriage of the rude sorte of people, and
the affront lately offered to justice in that rescue." He commanded them
at their peril to see that no manner of affront occurred in the punishment
of Daniel Ray, but that he should after his whipping be quietly conveyed
to prison until his majesty’s pleasure should be further known. Three days
later (9 April) Ray, Sampson and Taylor (Michell appears to have been the
one who succumbed to ill treatment) appeared before a special Court of
Aldermen and, acknowledging their offences, asked pardon of God and the
king. Thereupon the Recorder signified to them the king’s remission of
further punishment, and they were discharged out of prison.(259)


Whilst the Commons were chafing under the restriction which forbade them
mentioning even the name of the Palatinate, an elderly individual named
Floyd was imprisoned in the Fleet for displaying joy at the news of the
battle of Prague. "Goodman Palsgrave and Goodwife Palsgrave," he had been
heard to say, "were now turned out of doors." All sorts of punishment was
suggested by members of the House, which after all had no jurisdiction in
the matter whatever; and after a kind of three-cornered duel between the
king, the Lords and Commons, Floyd was made to expiate his crime by riding
from Fleet Bridge to the Standard in Cheapside, his face towards the
horse’s tail, and having a paper in his hat with the words, "For using
ignominious and malicious words against the Prince and Princess Palatine,
the king’s only daughter and children." After standing there for two hours
he was branded on his forehead with the letter K and conveyed to the


The Commons having voted supplies, albeit small and inadequate for the
king’s wants, James lost no time in asking the citizens for an advance on
the amount of subsidy due from them. On the 27th March (1621) the lord
treasurer wrote very urgently on the matter. "I pray you," he added by way
of postscript, "make noe stickinge hereatt; you shall bee sure to bee paid
att the tyme named."(261) If the citizens could not advance the whole sum
at short notice, they were asked to give credit for the rest to the
merchant whom Baron Dohna should appoint for transferring the money to the
Palatinate by bills of exchange. It was all to no purpose. The mayor and
aldermen were tired of the repeated calls upon their purse, and returned
answer by word of mouth of the Common Sergeant and the Remembrancer that
the City hoped rather to receive part of the money already lent than to
"runne in further."(262)


The failure of negotiations for a Spanish match, and the return of Prince
Charles after his romantic expedition in 1623 without bringing the Infanta
with him, was a source of great satisfaction both to the City and the
nation. The following story of the day serves to illustrate the feeling
prevalent at the time relative to the Spanish match. The bishop of London
had given orders to the clergy, pursuant to instructions he had himself
received from James, not to "prejudicate the prince’s journey by their
prayers," but only to pray to God to bring him safely home again and no
more. A clergyman, who must have been a bit of a wag (for it is difficult
to explain his conduct otherwise), is said to have literally carried out
his bishop’s orders, and to have prayed publicly "That God would return
our noble prince home again to us and no more."(263) When it became known
that the prince had arrived safely at Madrid, bonfires were lighted and
bells rung; but the Londoners were but half-hearted in expressing their
joy, and would probably have made no display had they not received orders
from the lords of the council.(264) It was otherwise when the prince
returned—and without the Infanta. As soon as news reached the mayor that
Charles had arrived at Guildford he issued his precept (6 Oct.) for bells
to be rung and bonfires to be lighted,(265) and right gladly were his
orders carried out. "I have not heard of more demonstrations of public joy
than were here and everywhere, from the highest to the lowest," wrote
Chamberlain from London;(266) "such spreading of tables in the streets
with all manner of provisions, setting out whole hogsheads of wine and
butts of sack, but specially such numbers of bonfires, both here and all
along as he [the prince] went, the marks whereof we found by the way two
days afterwards, is almost incredible."


The king’s foreign policy having proved a total failure, there was no
other course open for him but to summon a parliament. A parliament was
accordingly summoned to meet in February of the next year (1624). The king
and Commons soon found themselves in opposition, the former advocating a
war in Germany for the defence of the Palatinate, the latter a war against
Spain. At length a compromise was effected, the Commons agreeing to vote
supplies on the understanding that James broke off all negotiations with


Negotiations with Spain were thereupon broken off, but not before James
had found another ally in France. Before parliament was prorogued (29 May)
James had sounded Louis XIII as to a marriage between Charles and
Henrietta Maria, the French king’s sister. In April Count Mansfeld, a
German adventurer who had offered his services to France, arrived in
England and was hospitably entertained. The object of his visit was to see
the extent of the preparations that were being made for war.


Strenuous efforts to raise money in the city were made. Chamberlain,
writing to Carleton from London (1 July), tells his friend, "Here is great
expedition used to raise money, and make ready payment; insomuch that
since Monday sevennight, the council have sat thrice at Guildhall about
the subsidies." The lord keeper, in his endeavours to persuade the
citizens to loosen their purse-strings, went so far as to declare that
anyone disguising his wealth was committing the sin against the Holy
Ghost, and was as Ananias and Saphira! So great was the general decay,
both in the city and the country, that there was some talk of putting in
force the penal laws against recusants, notwithstanding the negotiations
that were going on for a French marriage, in order to make up the expected
deficit.(267) The civic authorities were again pressing the king for the
repayment of the loan (£100,000) made in 1617. Time had wrought
alterations in the condition of the lenders; some were dead and their
widows and orphans were crying out for repayment; some were decayed and
imprisoned, and others likely to undergo the same calamity if steps were
not taken for their speedy relief. They complained that the city’s seal,
which had by his majesty’s command been given as security to the tenders,
suffered as never it had done before, and several suits had been commenced
against the Chamber of London in the courts at Westminster, to which they
knew not how to give satisfactory answer. They therefore prayed him to
give order for such payment to be made to them as might give relief to the
distressed and comfort to them all. The result was that the king directed
(July, 1624) his two principal secretaries and the chancellor of the
exchequer to devise means for satisfying the debt.(268)


In September Mansfield was again in England asking for men and money for
the recovery of the Palatinate, in which he had been assured of the
co-operation of France. This assurance, however, was only a verbal one,
and nothing would induce Louis to reduce it to writing. James on his part
was willing to make every concession, provided that the matrimonial
alliance on which he had set his heart could be brought to a happy
conclusion. But as these concessions involved broken pledges, he feared to
face the Commons, and thus the parliament, which should have re-assembled
this autumn, was further prorogued and never met again until James was no


It was to James’s last parliament that the City was indebted for a
statute,(269) which at length insured it quiet enjoyment of its lands free
from that inquisitorial system which had prevailed since 1547, under
pretext that it had concealed lands charged with superstitious uses which
had not been redeemed. In 1618 a commission had been appointed to enquire
as to the waste grounds of the city, on pretence of concealment; but upon
representation being made by the mayor and aldermen that the City had long
enjoyed the lands in question by ancient grant, proceedings had been
stayed.(270) Early in the following year (1619), however, the livery
companies were called upon to make a composition to the attorney-general
of £6,000 for arrears of superstitious charges claimed by the king.(271)
On learning that this money was to be paid to John Murray, of the king’s
bed-chamber (whether to his own use or that of the king is not quite
clear),(272) the mayor and aldermen petitioned the king for a grant of
letters patent, securing both for the City and the companies quiet
enjoyment of their possessions, lest in that "searching age" other defects
might haply be found in their title, to be followed by further
inconveniences. To this the king readily assented, and instructed the
attorney-general to draw up letters patent embracing such matters as the
City desired.(273) The letters patent were no sooner drawn up by Sir Henry
Yelverton, the attorney-general, than he was charged with having
introduced certain clauses(274) "corruptly and without warrant." The new
charter was ordered to be brought up. The whole matter formed a subject of
investigation for three days in the Star Chamber; Yelverton was dismissed
from office, and the City compelled to draw up a formal document
disclaiming and cancelling the letters patent.(275) At length, on the 23rd
February, 1624, a bill was brought in for the "general quiet of the
subjects against all pretences of concealment whatsoever," and read the
first time; and on the 7th April the bill was passed.(276)


The question how to supply Mansfield with men as well as money necessary
for his undertaking in the absence of parliament was answered by making
application to the Council of War. On the 29th October orders were issued
for pressing 12,000 men for the service, and on the same day James himself
wrote to the mayor for 2,000 men to be pressed in the city to assist in
the recovery of the Palatinate.(277) Two days afterwards (31 Oct.)
followed a letter from the lords of the council(278) directing the mayor
to see that the men were of able bodies and years, but not taken out of
the trained bands, which were to be left entire. They were to be ready by
the end of November to march to Dover under such officers as the Privy
Council might select. As the amount of conduct money, which was usually a
half-penny per mile, would vary owing to the difference of localities
where the men lived, it was thought best to allow them their ordinary pay
of eightpence per day from the time they were handed over to the officers.
The mayor was further directed to demand of the collectors of the subsidy
sufficient money for the charge of coats, conduct, armour, etc. On the
last day of November the lords of the council wrote again informing the
lord mayor of the names of the officers appointed to conduct the men to
Dover by the 24th December. He was to see that the men were delivered to
the officers by roll indented, to be subscribed by himself or his
deputy-lieutenants on the one part and the captains or officers on the
other part.(279) The service was very unpopular; many deserted, and it was
with difficulty that the rest could be got to the sea-coast. The city
contingent was ordered to assemble at Leadenhall on the night of the 18th
December or by the next morning at the latest, in order to set out on
their march by Monday, the 20th. The full complement of men was to be made
up and the bail of deserters estreated.(280)


There was little to hope for from raw levies such as these were,
transported into a hostile country under the leadership of a foreigner.
"God speed them well whatsoever they do or wheresoever they go," wrote an
eye-witness;(281) "but it is beyond my experience or reading to have such
a body of English committed and commanded by a stranger, to say no more."
On their way to Dover the men carried out a system of pillage as if
already in an enemy’s country; and as soon as they found their pay was not
forthcoming they mutinied.(282) The promises of the French king proved
fallacious and Mansfeld was forbidden to land his forces in France. This
prohibition, however, was little to him, for he had already determined to
act in direct opposition to the wishes of James and to carry his army to
Flushing. Before he set sail from Dover, which he did on the 31st January
(1625), it became necessary to recruit his rapidly diminishing forces by
the issue of new press warrants. The City was called upon to furnish 1,000
men in addition to those already supplied.(283) The mayor’s precept on
this occasion directed the alderman of each ward to seize in their beds or
otherwise all able-bodied men, and especially "all tapsters, ostlers,
chamberlains, vagrants, idle and suspected persons," and to convey them to
Leadenhall or Bridewell. Those who had previously been pressed and had
absconded were to be particularly sought for, whilst those who had in
their charge two small children were to be spared.(284) At Flushing, where
Mansfeld landed his forces (1 Feb.), the men were soon decimated by want
of food, the inclemency of the season, and sickness, so that, at the time
of James’s death (27 March), out of a force of 12,000 men there were
barely left 3,000 capable of carrying arms.



The commencement of the reign of Charles I, like his father’s, was marked
by a recurrence of the plague, which greatly affected the trade of the
city. Matters were made worse by an application from the Lord High
Treasurer for a loan of £60,000 to the king within a few weeks of Charles
ascending the throne. He promised that the money, which was wanted for
fitting out the fleet which the late king was busy preparing at the time
of his death, should be repaid in six months. Interest would be allowed at
the rate of eight per cent., and Charles would give mortgage security for
repayment of this as well as of the sum of £100,000 borrowed by
James.(285) After mature deliberation the Common Council agreed (16 April)
to accede to the Lord Treasurer’s request, and appointed two
representatives of each ward to consult with the mayor and aldermen as to
the mode of raising the amount, as well as to consider the nature of the
security offered. On the 20th May the Common Council received the
committee’s report on the matter.(286) It recommended that the money
should be borrowed and taken up by twenty aldermen and one hundred
commoners nominated for the purpose; that five commoners should be
allotted to each alderman, and that they should stand bound for the sum of
£3,000. Any alderman or commoner refusing to be so joined was to be forced
to lend £1,000 on his own account. The assurance of the king’s lands was
to be made in the names of such aldermen and commoners as the Court of
Aldermen should appoint. A week later (27 May) the Court of Aldermen, in
anticipation of the money being raised, ordered an advance to be made to
the king out of the City’s Chamber of the sum of £14,000.(287) On the 2nd
June the king’s mortgage was executed;(288) and there being no longer any
necessity for keeping the bonds entered into by various aldermen for the
payment of interest due to contributors to the loan of £100,000, they were
ordered to be cancelled.(289) In November the lords of the council wrote
to the City for an extension of time for the repayment of the


On the 1st May Charles was married by proxy at Paris to Henrietta Maria.
When the news of the marriage treaty between England and France reached
London in the previous November the citizens showed their joy by bonfires
and fireworks.(291) They forgot for a while the danger likely to arise
from the heir to the throne allying himself in marriage with a Catholic
princess. On her arrival in the Thames in June the citizens gave her a
hearty welcome, whilst the fleet, which was about to set sail—few knew
whither—fired such a salute as the queen had never heard before.(292)


In the meantime (1 May) Charles had issued his warrant to the lord mayor
for levying 1,000 men—"part of 10,000 to be raised by our dear father’s
gracious purpose, according to the advice of both his Houses of
Parliament, in contemplation of the distress and necessity of our dear
brother and sister."(293) He thought that if he could only gain a victory
it would serve to draw a veil over his delinquencies. The City was to be
assisted by the county of Middlesex in raising the men,(294) and an
allowance was made for "coat and conduct money" for the soldiers at the
rate of eightpence apiece per day for their journey to Plymouth, the place
where they were to embark (£400), and four shillings a coat (£200), the
pay of a captain being four shillings a day.(295) The mayor’s precept to
the aldermen to raise the men enjoined them to search all inns, taverns,
alehouses, "tabling-houses" and tobacco-houses, and to press, especially,
all "tapsters, ostlers, chamberlains, vagrants, idle and suspected
persons."(296) By August the condition of the troops at Plymouth was
pitiable. No money was forthcoming for wages, and the soldiers were forced
to forage for themselves in the neighbouring country. At last the fleet
set sail (8 Oct., 1625). Its destination proved to be Cadiz, whither it
was despatched in the hope of securing West Indian treasure on its way
home. The expedition, however, turned out to be as complete a failure as
that under Mansfeld in the previous year.


The citizen soldiers returned to find their city almost deserted owing to
the ravages of the plague. In July the sickness had been so great as to
necessitate the adjournment of parliament to Oxford.(297) The colder
weather, as winter approached, appears to have made but little difference.
Dr. Donne, the Dean of St. Paul’s, estimated that in November there died a
thousand a day in the city of London and within the circuit of a mile.
"The citizens fled away as out of a house on fire," he writes,(298) they
"stuffed their pockets with their best ware and threw themselves into the
highways, and were not received so much as into barns, and perished so,
some of them with more money about them than would have bought the village
where they died." Donne himself removed to Chelsea, but the infection even
there became so great that "it was no good manners to go to any other
place," and Donne therefore did not go to court. As early as September the
want and misery in the city was described as being the greatest that ever
any man living knew: "No trading at all, the rich all gone, house-keepers
and apprentices of manual trades begging in the streets, and that in such
a lamentable manner as will make the strongest heart to yearn."(299)


The new year brought relief, and Sunday, the 29th Jan. (1626) was
appointed a solemn day of thanksgiving to Almighty God for his mercy in
"stayinge his hand."(300) The civic authorities, however, were scarcely
rid of one trouble before they found others springing up. Towards the
close of the last year a committee had been appointed by the Court of
Aldermen to devise measures for relieving the City from the burden of
supplying military arms and "other like services" such as they had
recently been called upon to perform.(301) The committee had not been long
appointed before the City was called upon to look to its stock of
gunpowder, prepare the trained bands,(302) and furnish the king with five
ships towards protecting the river. This last demand was made on the
ground that they had furnished vessels for the same purpose in the reign
of Elizabeth.(303) The Court of Aldermen objected. Times were changed
since Elizabeth’s day, the lords of the council were informed in reply;
the galleys then furnished by the City were only wanted for a short time
and when the country was threatened with an invasion; but even then
considerable difficulty was experienced before the Common Council passed
an Act for supplying the vessels. At the present time, when the City was
in a far worse condition than then, there was little or no hope of a
similar Act being passed.(304)


The disastrous expedition to Cadiz increased the necessity of summoning a
new parliament, and on the 16th December the lord keeper was directed to
issue the necessary writs. The enforcement of the recusancy laws, wrung
from Charles by the last parliament, had in the meantime been carried out,
and fresh proclamations were issued as the day for the meeting of
parliament (6 Feb.) approached.(305) As soon as the Commons assembled they
chose Sir Heneage Finch, the city’s Recorder, for their Speaker.(306) The
new parliament was not a whit more inclined to subject its ancient
privileges to the control of the Crown than its predecessor had been.
Buckingham himself, the king’s bosom friend and most trusted adviser, was
impeached; and the Commons declined to vote supplies until they had
presented their grievances to the king and received his majesty’s answer.
This was more than Charles could stand. He summoned them to Whitehall and
commanded them to cancel the condition. He would give them "liberty of
counsel, not of control." To the urgent entreaty of the Peers that he
would grant a short respite he replied, "Not a minute," and on the 15th
June the parliament of 1626 was dissolved.(307)


If the war was to go on it was necessary that money should be found with
or without parliament. Application was made to the City by the lords of
the council, at first verbally, afterwards by letter, for a loan of
£100,000, and a deputation was ordered to wait upon the king at Greenwich
on Sunday, the 25th June, with the City’s answer.(308) The answer given
was to the effect that the City was unable to advance the sum required,
and it occasioned no little disappointment to the king, who referred the
matter back to the mayor and aldermen once more. It was not that Charles
had not offered sufficient security for the loan. The money could not be
raised. At length it was agreed (30 June) at another special court that
the aldermen themselves should advance the sum of £20,000 for one year on
the security of the petty customs.(309) In such haste was this trifling
sum required, in order to guard the coast against a rumoured attack from
Spain, that the mayor and aldermen were requested by the lords of the
council to part with the money before the exchequer tallies could be made


Not only was money wanted, but men and ships. A demand made on the 15th
July by the lords of the council for the City to furnish 4,000 men for the
defence of the Isle of Sheppey(311) was quickly followed (4 Aug.) by
another for twenty of the best ships in the river, to be fitted out and
victualled in order that the war might be carried into the enemy’s
country.(312) To the first demand "there was made a double demur, one
because the letters came from some of the lords and not from the king;
secondly, for that by charter they are for the defence of the city, and
not to go further than the lord mayor goes, unless it be for guard of the
king’s person."(313) To the second the mayor was instructed to reply to
the following effect, viz.—that (1) the City was ready to share with the
rest of his majesty’s subjects in a matter which touched the state and
defence of the whole kingdom; (2) that inasmuch as the City had been
called upon in 1588, when the enemy was upon the coast, to furnish only
ten ships, and that each of the twenty ships now demanded would, from its
larger burden, cost treble the amount of the former ships, the citizens
humbly desired to be relieved of so great a charge, in respect of the
city’s decay in trade and commerce, and its impoverishment by the late
visitation and otherwise; (3) that the ships could not be furnished and
victualled in the time named; (4) that the city merchants would be the
more willing to adventure their lives and means against the enemy if they
were allowed letters of mark.(314)

The Lords expressed the greatest dissatisfaction at this answer, and
insisted upon the ships being forthcoming. It was in vain that the City
offered to provide ten ships and two pinnaces; nothing less than the full
number of vessels would suffice, and the City had eventually to give


In order to fit out the vessels the sum of £18,000 had to be raised.(316)
Much indignation was caused by this further tax on the purses of the
citizens. Many stoutly refused to pay; and the constables whose duty it
was to distrain in such cases manifested great reluctance to proceed to
extremities. When they did make an effort to carry out their instructions
the people rescued one another. The result was that the Chamber of the
city had to make up a large deficiency.(317)


The Duke of Buckingham, the king’s favourite, whose extravagant projects
had ended in nothing but disaster, had rendered himself most unpopular,
and one day in August his coach was stopped by a band of sailors, men who
had served in the ill-fated expedition to Cadiz or in the ships which
Buckingham had sent to assist the French king in suppressing the Huguenots
of Rochelle—who clamoured for arrears of pay. The duke put them off with
fair words, and so escaped with a whole skin; but for long afterwards the
streets of the city, and even the confines of the royal palace, were
infested with disaffected seamen, and special precautions had to be taken
to prevent riot.(318)


Having failed to raise the necessary supplies by a free gift or
benevolence of the nation, Charles betook himself to a forced loan. The
sum to be raised was fixed at five subsidies. Commissioners were appointed
in September, 1626, to summon before them all men rated in the subsidy
books. At first the scheme was confined to the five counties nearest
London. Opposition was met by imprisonment. The City for awhile was left
untouched. It was unwise to try the temper of the citizens too much. It
was found that the nearer the City the greater was the opposition shown to
the commissioners; and the inhabitants of the Strand and the Savoy offered
a more determined resistance than those of the parish of St. Margaret,
Westminster, or St. Martin-in-the-Fields.(319) On the 7th October a
proclamation(320) appeared setting forth his majesty’s "clear intention"
in requiring the aid of his loving subjects by the loan. It was not to be
made a precedent, and a parliament should be called as soon as convenient
and as often as it should be necessary.


Just at a time when privy councillors were about to set out for the more
distant counties to collect the subsidies the judges suddenly pronounced
an unanimous opinion against the legality of the new loan. The report of
their decision quickly spread, and increased the opposition of the country
gentry, many of whom were content to suffer imprisonment rather than yield
to the demands of the commissioners.


On the 10th November the committee appointed to take in hand the
preparation of the citizens’ fleet reported to the Common Council that the
lords of the council had made a request that the City would provision ten
out of the twenty ships for a further period of two or three months, in
order that they might join two of his majesty’s ships and fifteen
Hollanders in a descent on the Spanish coast. The court, after due
consideration, directed the committee to wait upon the lords and inform
them that the City was prepared to spend £1,200 on further victualling,
provided the ships were commanded by officers of the City’s choosing, and
were sent to sea alone "to be at their own liberties and directions
without joining or being consorted with any others whatsoever." The City
was, moreover, to be provided with letters of mark, and to be allowed to
enjoy the benefit of all prizes.(321) The result of the interview was
reported to the Common Council on the 14th November, when it was clearly
pointed out what the lords of the council were ready to concede and what
not.(322) After more haggling,(323) the ships were at length got ready and
placed under the command of Captain John Pennington, a cousin of Alderman
Isaac Pennington, of whom we shall hear more later on. Pennington had but
a poor opinion of the fleet; the ships were badly manned and unfit for
men-of-war; "with two of the king’s ships he would undertake to beat the
whole fleet about which so much noise had been raised."(324)


In 1627 war broke out between England and France, and payment of the
forced loan was more strictly exacted. On the 14th June the lords of the
council wrote to the mayor reminding him of the king’s urgent need of
money. The greatest part of the kingdom had well expressed their affection
and had sent in their moneys to the Exchequer. Because London had been
found so slack their lordships had been commanded to call upon the lord
mayor to send in forthwith the moneys already collected towards the loan,
and to call for all moneys promised.(325) Many of the citizens declined
altogether to contribute, and fourteen were committed to prison.(326)
Writs of _habeas corpus_ were obtained on their behalf—but not before
November—and Counsel, of whom the Recorder was one, were appointed for
their defence. They were eventually set at liberty without trial.(327)


Whilst a small force, to which the City contributed a contingent of 300
men,(328) was sent to assist the King of Denmark, a fleet was despatched
(27 June, 1627) to the Isle of Rhé, under the Duke of Buckingham, with the
object of relieving Rochelle. The expedition failed in its purpose and
Buckingham had soon to ask for reinforcements. In August the City was
called upon by the king to furnish 100 men towards making up the losses
sustained, for which the Chamberlain was authorised to disburse £50 in
impress money.(329) In October Charles asked for 250 soldiers in addition
to those already raised, and these were found without drawing upon the
trained bands.(330) In spite of all efforts there was great delay in
forwarding to Buckingham the reinforcements in which he stood in sore
need, and in November he was forced to return home, baffled in his
enterprise, and with a loss from war and disease of little less than 4,000


The time had now arrived for some arrangements to be made for discharging
the king’s debt to the City.(332) After protracted negotiations an
agreement, known at the present day as the "royal contract," was drawn up
and executed (3 Jan., 1628) whereby the citizens covenanted to advance the
king a further sum of £120,000 by instalments of £60,000 at an interval of
six months, whilst Charles, on the other hand, covenanted to convey to the
City certain lands, tenements and hereditaments.(333) The City at once set
to work to raise the money required among the livery companies. The
Merchant Taylors were called upon to contribute £6,300, the highest sum.
The Grocers came next with £6,000, after which follow the Haberdashers
(£4,800), the Drapers (£4,608), the Goldsmiths (£4,380), the Mercers
(£3,720), the Fishmongers and Clothworkers (each £3,390) and the Vintners
(£3,120).(334) Certain members of the Vintners’ Company having proved
refractory, the master and wardens complained to the Court of Aldermen,
who promptly committed the offenders to prison, thereby earning the
approval of his majesty.(335) In cases where the master and wardens of a
company had shown neglect in gathering the company’s quota they were
themselves committed to Newgate.(336)

The Court of Aldermen even committed one of their own body for refusing to
contribute his quota.(337) With difficulty the first instalment of £60,000
was raised, several of the companies being forced to part with their


In such a hurry was Charles for the money that the aldermen had to advance
him £20,000 out of the £60,000 on their own personal security. This was in
February. Discharged seamen were again clamouring for pay, and the
Exchequer was empty. The aldermen came to his assistance, but, inasmuch as
the lands and tenements had not yet been conveyed to the City according to
the terms of the late agreement, the Court of Aldermen passed a formal
resolution that no further advances should be made until "one or more
books of the lands to be assured by the contract be passed under the great
seale of England."(339)


Notwithstanding the growing unpopularity of Buckingham, the king
absolutely refused to abandon his favourite, against whom all kinds of
rumours were astir. Nothing was too bad to be believed of him, and popular
fury spared neither him nor his friends. Dr. Lamb, an astrologer and quack
doctor, was set upon in the city as being one of the latter, and was
nearly done to death one night whilst returning home from supper. None
would receive into his house the almost lifeless body of the
necromancer—the duke’s devil, as he was called—who supplied him with love
potions wherewith to corrupt women. He was at last removed to one of the
compters, where he died the following day.(340) Charles was highly
incensed on hearing of the occurrence, more especially as some of the
murderers had been heard to say that if Lamb’s "master"—the duke
himself—had been there they would have handled him worse and so minced his
flesh that every one should have had a bit of him. He forthwith summoned
the mayor and sheriffs to court and threatened to take away their charter
if the murderers were not quickly discovered.(341) The lords of the
council also wrote to the mayor (15 June) reprimanding him for not taking
steps to repress the riot and ordering him to seize the principal actors
and abettors and commit them to prison.(342) These were not so easily to
be discovered, but the Court of Aldermen (17 June) committed to Newgate
two of the City Marshal’s men for neglecting to give notice of the
disturbance to the mayor or sheriffs, or even to the alderman or deputy of
the ward, as in duty bound.(343) Others were taken on suspicion but were
shortly afterwards set at liberty by order of the lords of the council (23
June).(344) The matter eventually ended by the City being fined
£1,000.(345) In the meantime libellous placards(346) appeared stuck up in
Coleman Street, and the Court of Aldermen committed a man to prison for no
other reason than because he took one down to read and after reading it
put it up again. That at least was the man’s own story.(347)

(M132) (M133)

Early in July the balance of the second instalment of £60,000 (part of the
late loan of £120,000) was due from the City, but Charles could not wait
so long. An expedition to Rochelle under the Earl of Denbigh had recently
proved a failure. Determined not to give way, Charles sent orders to the
earl to refit his squadron and remain in England until the whole available
maritime force of the country could be got ready to accompany him. Money
must be raised at once. Charles himself wrote to the mayor and aldermen
(30 June) stating that a sudden and important occasion of the relief of
Rochelle required present succours, and directing them to find immediately
the sum of £20,000 out of the moneys due on the last purchase of the Crown
lands. If they had not such a sum in hand they were to raise it on
credit.(348) This sum exactly represented the balance due from the City to
the king, and precepts had already been issued to the livery companies for
raising the amount. Another precept was sent out immediately on receipt of
the king’s letter, whilst other precepts were directed to levying the
subsidies granted by parliament.(349) The fate of Rochelle was, in spite
of every effort, soon to be sealed. The Duke of Buckingham fell by the
hand of an assassin (23 Aug.) whilst engaged at Portsmouth in
superintending preparations for its relief, and two months later (18 Oct.)
the fortress was compelled to capitulate.

(M134) (M135)

In the meantime the question of the king’s right to claim Tonnage and
Poundage for life had given rise to so much opposition that Charles had
occasion more than once to prorogue parliament. Merchants had refused to
pay the dues, and their goods had been seized. Recourse was thereupon had
to the Sheriffs’ Court of the City, where the owners sued out a replevin
as for property illegally distrained. Popular feeling was so much on the
side of the merchants that when parliament met Charles publicly renounced
all claim to tonnage and poundage as a right. Nevertheless the contest
continued, and the feeling of both parties was embittered by mutual
provocation and by proceedings taken in the Star Chamber against merchants
for protecting their property from these exactions. At length matters
reached such a crisis that Charles determined upon an adjournment; but no
sooner was the king’s intention divined than the Commons determined to put
their grievances into writing and to cause them to be read by the Speaker,
whom they forcibly detained in the chair. Sir John Finch having refused to
accede to their request, resolutions condemning religious innovation, as
well as the levying of tonnage and poundage, were hastily put and carried
by acclamation, whilst Black Rod was vainly endeavouring to gain admission
to the House with a message from the king. Before admittance was granted
the House had voted its own adjournment. On the 10th March it was
dissolved,(350) not to be summoned again until eleven years had passed


The years immediately succeeding the dissolution of Charles’s third
parliament, during which he was preparing a system of personal government
destined eventually to work his own destruction, were years of sorrow and
trouble to the citizens of London. A "pestilent sickness" again visited
the city in the autumn of 1629—brought over from Holland or Rochelle—and
remained until 1631. It was followed as usual by a great scarcity of
provisions. The civic authorities did what they could to prevent the
spread of infection and to alleviate the distress, but it was to little
purpose. Riots were of frequent occurrence, necessitating the keeping a
_posse_ of constables quartered in the Mercers’ chapel.(351) Doggrel
rhymes appeared in 1630(352) threatening the wealthier class with mischief
if food were not forthcoming—

The corne is so dear
I dout mani will starve this yeare.
If you see not to this
Sum of you will speed amiss.
Our souls they are dear,
For our bodyes have sume ceare.
Before we arise
Less will safise.


In the midst of the general gloom one bright spot appeared, namely, the
birth of an heir to the crown (29 May, 1630), an event which the king lost
no time in communicating to the mayor and Common Council of the city—his
"principal city and chamber."(353) On the occasion of the christening of
the infant prince the bells of the city churches were set ringing,(354)
and he was presented with a fair large standing cup of gold with cover,
weighing nearly 300 ounces, and enclosed in a case of crimson velvet, the
cost of the whole exceeding £1,000.(355) Two years later, when the prince
was carried into the city to witness the pageants on lord mayor’s day, the
Court of Aldermen were so gratified with this unexpected mark of royal
favour that they forthwith voted the babe a gift of £500.(356)


The year following the birth of Prince Charles the queen was robbed of a
great part of her plate and jewels. As the thieves were likely to dispose
of their booty among the goldsmiths of the city, a precept was issued to
the master and wardens of the Goldsmiths’ Company to try and recover
it.(357) The goldsmiths had long ago begun to leave Goldsmiths’ Row in
Cheapside, and to set up shops in different parts of the city, and in 1623
they had been ordered to resume their old quarters, which in the meantime
had been given up to poor petty trades.(358) It was easier to trace lost
property when all the goldsmiths were congregated together in one spot.
This order, however, was so ineffectually carried out that another order
was issued by the lords of the council ten years later directing all
goldsmiths to find shops for themselves either in Cheapside or Lombard
Street within the next six months, inasmuch as the practice of setting up
their shops in obscure places in different parts of the city offered
facilities for abuses, and more especially "in passing away of stolen


On the occasion of the king’s departure for Scotland in May, 1633, the
Court of Aldermen voted him a present of £2,000 "in two severall purses of
velvett or sattin," as a pledge of the City’s true loyalty, love and
obedience to his majesty.(360) After he had gone the mayor and aldermen
proceeded in State to Richmond to pay their respects to the queen and to
offer her a bason and ewer of gold of the value of £800, with her arms
engraved thereon.(361)


In the following November the Duke of York was christened, the ceremony
being attended by the mayor, aldermen and sheriffs, as well as the chief
officers of the City. The infant prince was presented with a gilt cup and
cover weighing sixty ounces, and containing the sum of £500 in gold.
Similar fees were paid to the midwife, nurse and "rockers" to those paid
on the occasion of the baptism of his elder brother.(362) During the
absence of the mayor and aldermen at St. James’, where the ceremony took
place, a double watch was ordered to be kept in the city.(363)


Five years had now elapsed since the dissolution of the last parliament,
during which time the country had submitted to the personal government of
Charles. Matters might have continued on the same footing for some time
longer had not Charles conceived the idea of claiming the sovereignty of
the seas as a pretext for raising a fleet. The difficulty then arose as to
how to equip a fleet without summoning a parliament. It had been the
custom ever since the time of the Plantagenets to call upon maritime towns
to furnish ships ready manned for the defence of the realm at a time of
threatened invasion. This custom had been rendered sufficiently elastic to
comprise the port of London, and the City had frequently been called upon
to furnish a contingent of vessels in time of war. Occasionally a protest
may have been made against such demands, but they were seldom, if ever,
altogether refused. On the 20th October, 1634, writs were issued calling
upon the city of London and various port towns and places along the coast
to furnish a certain number of ships of war, and to have them ready at
Portsmouth by the 1st March, 1635. In many cases it was impossible to
supply ships of the size required, and in these the king offered to supply
ships of his own on condition that the port towns should equip and man
them. London was called upon to supply seven ships varying in size from
300 to 900 tons, with an equipment of from 150 to 350 men.


The Court of Aldermen appointed (13 Nov.) a committee to consider this
writ to the City as well as another sent to the borough of Southwark, and
to learn what had formerly been done in like case. The City’s records were
to be consulted with the view of ascertaining how far it was exempt from
such charges, and the City’s Solicitor was to attend them on that
behalf.(364) The law officers had previously been directed (6 Nov.) to
consult together on the matter, and the Town Clerk had received orders to
translate the writs into English and make copies of the same.(365)


When the matter came before the Common Council that body, after serious
consideration, decided (2 Dec.) to present a petition to his majesty
setting forth that, by ancient privileges, grants and Acts of Parliament,
which were ready to be produced, the City was exempt from any such
obligation as that contained in the writ, and praying that the City’s
privileges might be upheld.(366)


The only effect of this petition was to cause another writ to be issued a
week later (9 Dec.) enjoining specific performance of the former
writ.(367) Finding that there was no way of escape the mayor, Sir Robert
Parkhurst, began to take the necessary steps for raising £30,000, the sum
required from the different wards.(368) On Sunday, the 14th December,
Robert Mason, who had recently been appointed Recorder in succession to
Littleton, on the king’s own recommendation (although the election is
recorded as having been according to "antient custom and freedom of
election"!),(369) appeared before the lords of the council with an account
of the progress made in the city in the matter of the ships, with which
Charles was well pleased, and the Recorder was ordered to attend the
council every Sunday afternoon with a similar account "untill the worke be
perfected."(370) On the 19th the Court of Aldermen appointed a committee
to fit out the ships as required, but they were limited in expenditure to
the sum of £30,000.(371) On the 17th February, 1635, the committee
reported to the court that his majesty had resolved that two of the City’s
ships should be assigned to the admiral and vice-admiral of the fleet, and
that they should be fitted out by the care and oversight of officers of
the navy. For this purpose the sum of £11,475, out of the £30,000 already
voted, was ordered to be paid to the treasurer of the navy, whilst the
committee proceeded with the business of the other five ships.(372)


Hitherto all had promised well, but on the 4th August Charles thought fit
to issue another writ calling upon the nation at large, and not only port
and maritime towns, to furnish ship money, on the ground that as all were
concerned in the mutual defence of one another, so all might contribute
towards the defence of the realm.(373) The City found itself called upon
to provide two more vessels of 800 tons apiece.(374) The authorities,
however, were so slow in executing this further order that the Sheriffs
were made to appear every Sunday before the lords of the council to report
what progress was being made.(375)


In June, 1636, Richard Chambers, a merchant, who had previously displayed
a bold front against the king’s demand of tonnage and poundage, for which
the Star Chamber had condemned him to a term of imprisonment (1628-1629),
again came to the fore, and carried the question of the king’s right to
levy ship money to the Court of King’s Bench.  The judges, however,
refused to allow the question to be argued. "There was a rule of law and a
rule of government"—said Justice Berkeley, scarce realising the true
import of his words—"and many things which might not be done by the rule
of law might be done by the rule of government." Chambers was again
committed for contempt, but was afterwards liberated from prison upon
payment of the £10 at which he had been assessed. He contented himself
with bringing an action in the King’s Bench against the mayor, who had
made the assessment on the ground of some technical informality.(376)


Other matters had arisen lately—"great and important businesses"—all
tending towards an estrangement of the City from the king. Early in 1635
the City had been condemned by the Court of Star Chamber to a fine of
£70,000 and the loss of its Irish estate for having, as was alleged,
broken the terms of the charter under which their Irish estate was held.
One of the charges against the city and the companies was that they
continued to employ the "mere Irish" on their estates instead of
relegating them to the narrow limits reserved for them, there to perish of
disease or starvation.(377) There were differences too touching the Royal
Contract, differences as to the City’s rights to estreated recognisances,
as to pretended encroachments and other matters. It was felt that there
would be no peace until some arrangement could be made with Charles on all
the matters in question, and for this purpose a committee was appointed in
May, 1636, to see what could be done. A schedule of "thinges desired by
the cittie of London" was drawn up, and an offer was made to the king of
the sum of £100,000, to be paid by annual instalments of £20,000, if he
would make the concessions desired.(378) The king’s commissioners, who had
the business in hand, refused the offer. They informed the committee that
not only would the City have to surrender certain valuable fisheries and
other privileges in Ireland, as well as the castle of Culmore, but it
would have to provide an allowance of £5,000 to Sir Thomas Philips.
Instead of £100,000 it would have moreover to pay £120,000.(379)
Negotiations continued for two years. Eventually a compromise was effected
in June, 1638, and the city was fain to accept a pardon on surrendering
its Irish estates and payment of the comparatively small sum of
£12,000,(380) of which the queen happened at that time to stand in need.
The patents of the Irish Society and of the companies were not however
actually surrendered until 1639.(381)


In the meantime Charles had given umbrage to the City in other matters,
more especially in the measures he had taken for regulating trade and the
institution of corporate monopolies. An order restricting the use of
coaches and carts, and forbidding anyone to keep a carriage unless he was
also prepared to keep four sufficient horses or geldings for the king’s
service, weighed heavily upon the mayor and aldermen of the city, who were
for the most part men advanced in years and whose duties carried them a
good deal abroad. They therefore petitioned the king for an exception to
be made in their favour. The petition was granted, but only after long


The civic authorities were not better pleased with the king for his having
(1636), in spite of all protest, created a new corporation which embraced
all tradesmen and artificers in the city and suburbs, and thus threatened
to be a formidable rival to the ancient corporation.(383)


In the midst of a growing feeling of dissatisfaction at the existing state
of things, a third writ for ship money appeared (9 Oct., 1636). It raised
such a storm of opposition in every quarter, however, that Charles once
more appealed to the judges for a formal acknowledgment of his right.
Their opinion proving favourable,(384) the work went on and the City was
called upon (Sept., 1637) to furnish two ships each of 700 tons.(385)

In the following year, after Hampden’s case had been decided, Charles
continued to levy ship money, and the City was told to furnish a ship of
500 tons (5 Nov., 1638). The cost was estimated at £1,000. The usual
precept was issued (26 Nov.) to the alderman of each ward for the purpose
of ascertaining how best that sum could be raised.(386) The returns must
have been unfavourable, for on the 29th January (1639) the Court of
Aldermen appointed a committee to wait upon the lord high admiral and
explain to him that the City was not in a position to fit out another
ship.(387) The money was eventually raised by the twelve principal livery
companies, seven of which contributed £100 apiece and the other five


In the meantime troubles had arisen in Scotland through Charles’s
ill-advised and bigoted attempt to impose upon his northern subjects a
Book of Common Prayer. By midsummer (1638) he was preparing for war and
would shortly be under the necessity of applying to the city for money and
men. It was probably with this end in view that he granted (18 Oct., 1638)
to the citizens an ample inspeximus charter, confirming to them their
ancient privileges and franchises. Negotiations for a new charter had been
going on since the preceding March(389) (if not earlier), and it was only
now conceded on payment of a sum of £12,000.(390)


At the opening of the new year (4 Jan., 1639) Charles applied by letter
under his hand to the City for a liberal contribution and assistance
towards putting down the disorders in Scotland, notifying at the same time
the fact that he had called upon the peers of the realm to attend in
person at York by the 1st April. The letter was read to the court of
Common Council on the 12th February, but the matter seemed of so great
importance that further consideration of it was adjourned to the 16th,
when it was agreed to issue a precept to the alderman of each ward to take
steps for raising a free and liberal contribution.(391) A month elapsed,
and notwithstanding every effort of the aldermen, less than £5,000 was got
together. The aldermen were directed to renew their efforts, but this only
resulted in increasing the amount by £200 or £220.(392) The whole amount
was so small that it was contemptuously refused. At the beginning of April
Charles found himself at York with an indifferent army, and with little
prospect of being in a position to maintain even that army beyond a very
limited period.


In June he caused another application to be made to the City.(393) On the
7th the lord mayor, who had been summoned to appear before the lords of
the council, appeared with so few of his brother aldermen that he was
ordered to go back and to return on the 10th with the whole court. When
they at last made their appearance they were told that the king expected
from them no less a sum than £100,000. The war was, if possible, more
unpopular in the city than in the country. The memory of the recent
confiscation of their Irish estates had not been obliterated from the
minds of the citizens by the subsequent grant of a charter. The mayor and
aldermen replied that it was impossible to find the money. The council
told them that it must be done, one of the lords declaring that they ought
to have sold their chains and gowns before making such a reply. They were
ordered to appear once more on the 12th June with a final answer.(394)


A warrant had in the meantime been issued for raising 3000 men from the
trained bands of the city for service in Scotland.(395) Although it does
not appear that this demand was acceded to,(396) seeing that the trained
bands were a force especially intended for the defence of the city,
greater activity was shown in making the city’s troops as perfect in their
drill as circumstances permitted.(397) Boys from Christ’s Hospital and
Bridewell were taught to play the drum and fife, weapons were marked, and
musters held in Goodman’s Fields and elsewhere under the eye of Captain
John Fisher, recently appointed muster-master.(398)


That the citizens were not indisposed to assist the king, if left to
themselves and not subjected to threats and intimidation, is shown by the
fact that, in anticipation of the return of Charles from the North, the
Common Council voted him (31 July, 1639) the sum of £10,000 as a free gift
in consideration that the City had not contributed anything to his majesty
on his setting out, as had been required, "albeit the counties and private
personnes both nobles and others had done the same."(399) Even this small
sum could not be raised without resorting to sheriffs’ fines, no less than
sixteen individuals being mulcted for refusing to serve as sheriff in less
than two months.(400) It was no difficult task to find men unwilling to
serve such a thankless office at so critical a time.


Before the close of the year (1639) the country was agreeably surprised at
the news that it was the king’s intention to summon a parliament.
Parliament opened on the 13th April (1640). Few of its members could have
served in the last parliament of eleven years before, but although so long
a time had elapsed since the Commons had met, they had not forgotten their
old constitutional claims to have the country’s grievances redressed
before proceeding to grant supplies. An offer to relinquish ship money
proved insufficient, and after three weeks the "short parliament" was
dissolved (5 May, 1640).


For some days before parliament was dissolved every effort had been made
by the king to get the mayor and aldermen to lend him £100,000. This being
found impossible, the mayor, Henry Garway, or Garraway, was directed to
make out a list of the wealthiest commoners. After several attempts to
negotiate with the aldermen individually, they were summoned to appear in
a body on Sunday, the 11th April. Charles himself then told them that his
necessity at the time was so great that he must borrow £100,000 of the
City; that he must not be denied; the money he must have at once, as it
would benefit him more then than twenty subsidies granted by parliament
afterwards. After the king had finished speaking the Lord Privy Seal(401)
addressed them, setting forth that a similar sum had been advanced by the
City to King James; that he himself, being Recorder at the time, had lent
£3,000 towards it, and that the money had been repaid with interest. The
City, he continued, was rather beholden to his majesty for taking the
money and repaying it with interest, than the king beholden to the City
for lending it. He further instanced the case of the City having lent King
Henry III a sum of £100,000 rather than allow that monarch to pledge his
crown and jewels to the merchants of the Steelyard, and it was truly
repaid. To this the aldermen were not permitted to make any reply, but
were sent away to advise together how the sum should be raised.(402)

On Thursday, the 7th May, the mayor and aldermen were again summoned
before the council, when they were told that, having failed to provide the
sum previously asked for, they would now have to find £200,000. If the
latter sum was not forthcoming the king threatened to "have £300,000 of
the city." They were to come again on the following Sunday (10 May) and
bring with them a list of the rich men of the wards.


On the day appointed they came, but brought with them a petition to be
excused making such a list as that required. The excuse was not allowed.
Strafford is recorded as having lost his temper at the obstinacy of the
aldermen. "Sir," said he, addressing the king, "you will never do good to
these citizens of London till you have made examples of some of the
aldermen," and recommended Charles, in his own "thorough" way, to hang a
few of them.(403) Charles did not take the advice offered. He would have
made, however, the mayor resign his sword and collar then and there but
for the intercession of the bystanders, and actually committed four of the
aldermen to prison, viz., Nicholas Rainton, John Gayre, Thomas Soame and
Thomas Atkins, for refusing to make a list of those inhabitants of their
respective wards who were able to lend from £50 upwards.(404) One of them,
Alderman Soame, gave particular offence. "I was an honest man whilst I was
a commoner," he told the king to his face, "and I would continue to be so
now I am an alderman." The other aldermen professed their readiness to
give in the names of the richer citizens, but objected to rate them
according to their means.


Both Garway and Sir Thomas Gardiner, the Recorder, favoured the king. The
latter was particularly anxious that the City should lend the £100,000
originally requested, and did his best to get the money advanced. For his
zeal on this occasion, and for "other high crimes and misdemeanours," he
was afterwards (1642) impeached.(405)


The aldermen were not long kept in confinement. Even before their
committal the city was in a ferment, and a placard had appeared posted up
in the Exchange inviting all who were lovers of liberty to assemble in St.
George’s Fields in Southwark early on Monday morning (11 May). Archbishop
Laud was a special object of hatred to the citizens, and against him the
mob directed their attack. As soon as the trained bands, which kept order
during the day, had retired for the evening, the rabble marched to
Lambeth. Laud, however, had been warned in time, and had made good his
escape across the river to Whitehall. The rioters finding themselves
baulked of their prey retired with threats of returning to burn down the
palace. For the next few days the city was under martial law. A double
watch was kept in its streets. The companies looked to their store of
powder and match. A strict guard was kept over servants and apprentices,
and a warrant issued for raising 1,000 men of the trained bands, or as
many more as the lord mayor should think necessary "to suppress, slay,
kill, destroy and apprehend all such as should be tumultuously assembled
in or about Southwark, Lambeth, Blackheath or elsewhere in parts


If the royal warrant was to be effectually and loyally carried out some
concession to the citizens was necessary, and accordingly, on the same day
(15 May) that the warrant appeared, the four aldermen were released.


Pending the negotiations for a loan, payment of ship money had not been
strictly enforced; but now that threats and entreaties had failed to open
the purse-strings of the citizens Charles made a desperate effort to exact
ship money. On the 9th June, 1640, the lord mayor and both the sheriffs
were summoned to attend the council to give an account of the ship money
due from the city. Why had it not been paid in? The mayor replied that he
had sent his officers to collect, but few or none would pay.(407) Upon the
king telling him that he should have distrained, the mayor remarked that
one of his predecessors in office, Sir Edward Bromfield, was still a
defendant in a suit in the King’s Bench brought against him by Richard
Chambers for acting in that manner, and was likely to be cast. "No man,"
said Charles peremptorily, "shall suffer for obeying my commands." Thus
encouraged the mayor himself made a house-to-house visit the next day,
accompanied by the sheriffs, for the purpose of collecting the money.
Throughout the whole city, however, only one man was found ready and
willing to pay. When the mayor ordered the sheriffs to distrain they
refused on the plea that it was the mayor’s business, not theirs. Entering
a draper’s shop the mayor attempted to seize a piece of linen cloth; the
owner set about measuring it, and naming the price told the mayor that if
he persisted in taking it he should esteem it a purchase and put it to his
lordship’s account.(408)


On the 11th June the Common Council took into consideration two
letters—one from Charles, dated the 17th March, and another from the lords
of the council, of the 31st May—asking for a city force of 4,000 men (but
none to be taken out of the trained bands) for service in the north of
England, and directing the mayor to see that coat and conduct money was at
once raised for the purpose.(409) The court declined to come to an
immediate decision; but on the 15th the lord mayor issued his precept for
the necessary funds to be levied on the wards.(410)


On the 19th July news arrived from the North that the Scots were about to
seize Newcastle—a very serious matter to the Londoners, as they would
thereby be cut off from their supply of coal. Charles took advantage of
this, writes Dr. Gardiner,(411) and sent Lord Cottington and Sir Henry
Vane to the Common Council—specially summoned to meet on the 23rd by the
king’s order(412)—to assure them that if the long-desired loan of £200,000
were granted the citizens would hear nothing more of the project recently
promulgated of debasing the coinage, a project which, if carried out,
would have worked great mischief to the London merchant and tradesman.
"Leaving the Common Council to discuss the demand, the privy councillors
amused themselves by strolling through the Cloth Exchange at Blackwell
Hall. The owners of cloth gathered quickly round them. They hoped, they
said, that they were not to be compelled to sell for copper goods for
which sterling silver had been paid. After a debate of an hour and a half
Cottington and Vane were re-admitted, to be informed that the Common
Council had no power to dispose of the money of the citizens."


Having failed once more in this direction, and driven to his wits’ end for
money, Charles applied to the livery companies for a loan of £120,000.
They were told that the money was not required for the purpose of making
war, but only to enable his majesty to make the more honourable peace,
sword in hand. It would be used to pay off the soldiers and so prevent
them pillaging the country after disbandment. Each company was assessed
according to its wealth; but most of the principal companies pleaded
inability to subscribe on the ground that the Londonderry plantation had
"consumed their stocks." It was believed at the time that not a tenth part
of the money would be raised.(413)


Six weeks or more elapsed. The king and nobles were at York holding a
council. The City had been brought into a better humour by a confirmation
of its rights (5 Sept.) to tolls known as "package" and "scavage," and a
pardon for all past offences in daring to exact such tolls.(414) The
citizens were still better pleased with a promise of another parliament
which Charles made in answer to a petition (24 Sept.),(415) and with the
prospect of a speedy conclusion of peace with Scotland. Under these
circumstances one last effort was made to get them to advance the
long-wished-for loan of £200,000. Not only did the king and the lords ride
to the city, but the Earl of Manchester, the Lord Chamberlain, Viscount
Campden, and other lords paid a personal visit to the Guildhall and used
their utmost powers to persuade the citizens to advance the money. The
money might be paid by two instalments of £50,000 and one instalment of
£100,000 between October and December, and the Peers themselves would give
security for repayment.(416) This time the application was more
successful, thanks to a little high-handedness practised by the lords on
the Common Council. "With all diligence becoming us we have gone upon the
business wherewith your majesty and the Peers entrusted us," they wrote to
the king (3 Oct.), giving him a long account of their visit to the
city.(417) "On Friday morning (2 Oct.) we desired the lord mayor to call a
Court of Aldermen at Guildhall, whither we all went, sat with them in
council, and opened to them all our business, and read our letters, which
satisfied them very much, yet they reserved themselves till they saw how
it would take with the Commons. Then we all went to dinner with the lord
mayor and there appointed to have a Common Council that afternoon, amongst
which we mingled divers commoners that were not of the Common Council,
such as we knew well affected and powerful in the city." We are not
surprised to learn that this action on the part of the lords was strongly
objected to as not being altogether regular. The lords insisted, however,
and they were allowed to have their own way. "At three o’clock that
afternoon," the letter goes on to say, "we met at Guildhall, sat with them
in the Court of Common Council, and according to our instructions
acquainted them with the proceedings of the Assembly of Peers, and used
the best rhetoric, which was plain remonstrance of all the passages at
York, not concealing the admirable grace and freeness shown by your
majesty in this great council, to the infinite content of all the Peers,
nor the true affection shown to you by the Peers." They first read the
letter from the lords and then that from his majesty. They feared lest
some words which his majesty had (falsely) been reported to have uttered
on the occasion of the late petition from the City for a parliament might
have an injurious effect, so they had explained this and other matters,
and the Common Council appeared well satisfied. "We then withdrew, that
they before they rose might more freely debate upon the way of raising the
sum desired, for we persuaded ourselves it would not be denied." They were
not disappointed. Before the council rose it resolved to make application
to the livery companies, and a draft of a letter was prepared. A copy of
this letter the lords forwarded to his majesty. In conclusion they assured
the king of the great services done in the matter, more particularly by
Garway, the out-going mayor, the Recorder, and the whole bench of
aldermen, and suggested the advisability of sending them a letter of
thanks. If the letter were addressed to the whole commonalty so much the
better. This suggestion was carried out.(418) There was a difficulty about
the security for repayment of the loan. It was at one time proposed that
the queen’s jewels to the value of £100,000 should be taken in pledge, but
this suggestion was afterwards disavowed by the city.(419)


On Michaelmas-day an election of a new mayor took place in succession to
Garway. William Acton was the senior alderman below the chair, but he was
set aside and Edmund Wright and Thomas Soame were returned by the Common
Hall. The former was selected by the Court of Aldermen. This much and no
more we learn from the City’s own record of the election.(420) From other
sources, however, it appears that the election was a very tumultuous one;
that the wishes of Charles were consulted, and that Acton was elected and
was afterwards discharged by parliament.(421)


The loss of an adherent in the mayor of London did not affect Charles so
much as the immediate cutting down of the promised loan to the modest sum
of £50,000, an event which followed, if it were not occasioned by, the
election of Wright. The delay, moreover, in forwarding to the city the
writs for the parliament had created a general impression that the promise
of a parliament was a mere device to get money.(422) The king determined
to take no notice of the City’s withdrawal from its original undertaking,
but sent another letter "to quicken the business by reason of the
straitness of time."(423)


It only remained for Charles to make the best terms with the Scots that he
could. Negotiations were accordingly opened at Ripon by commissioners
appointed by both parties (2 Oct.), with the result that a cessation of
arms, under certain conditions, was agreed to until a permanent treaty
could be arranged in London (21 Oct.).


(M170) (M171)

Parliament—the Long Parliament—met as promised on the 3rd November, 1640.
Charles had intended to nominate Sir Thomas Gardiner, the Recorder, a
devoted adherent of the Crown, as Speaker of the Commons; but since the
days of Heneage Finch the City had failed to return its Recorder to
parliament.(424) Charles was therefore obliged to look elsewhere. His
choice fell upon William Lenthall, who was the first to realise the
position of a Speaker in times of political controversy, and who
throughout his career acted up to his famous dictum, that "he had neither
eyes to see nor tongue to speak, save as the House was pleased to direct


As soon as parliament met, Strafford, who was only too conscious of his
impending fate, determined to take the bull by the horns, and to use every
means to induce the king to anticipate the blow by boldly accusing the
parliamentary leaders of treasonable designs. His efforts were futile.
Rightly or wrongly, it was generally believed that he intended to
establish a military despotism in England, and that London was to be
brought into subjection. The way in which it was all to be effected was
even described by Cradock, one of the city members, in a speech he made to
the House. It is certain that the citizens regarded him as a deadly foe.
They had not forgotten the advice he gave to Charles respecting the
aldermen, nor his attempt to ruin their trade by depreciation of the
coinage. For weeks past the city had been in a disordered state. On the
22nd October, the mob having forced its way into the Court of High
Commission, some of the offenders were brought before the mayor and
aldermen sitting on a commission of Oyer and Terminer; but the grand jury
refused to find a true bill. These abortive proceedings were followed by a
riot at St. Paul’s.(425) Before the House had been in session a fortnight
Strafford was ordered into custody.


The £50,000 which the City had advanced went but a little way towards
meeting the king’s necessities. The two armies in the north had to be
paid, and there was not the wherewithal to pay them. The City was ready to
lend a further sum of £25,000, on condition that the Londonderry estate
was restored, the garrison in the Tower removed and the ordnance
dismounted from its walls. Unless this were done, said Cradock, "such
jealousies would possess the city, it would hinder supply."(426)
Parliament agreed to the loan being repaid, as a first charge, out of the
£100,000 ordered to be raised for the relief of the army and northern
counties;(427) and the Common Council lost no time in preparing a petition
to parliament for the restoration of the Irish lands.(428) Nor was it only
in their corporate capacity that the citizens came forward to render
pecuniary assistance to the government. On the 21st November Isaac
Pennington, alderman of the ward of Bridge Without, and one of the city’s
representatives in parliament, announced to the House that his
constituents had subscribed £21,000 to the loan.


The general feeling of distrust that prevailed was heightened by an attack
made upon a member of the House who, in his capacity of a justice of
peace, had prepared a list of recusants, in pursuance of a recent
proclamation.(429) So great was the alarm among the Commons that
Pennington offered the House a guard of three hundred citizens, and at
first there was a disposition to accept the alderman’s offer, but in
course of time better counsel prevailed and the idea was abandoned.


The tendency of the city towards Puritanism at this time was very marked.
On the 28th November Prynne and Burton entered London, and their entry was
made one long triumphal procession. This circumstance was specially noted
by the royalist writer Clarendon as a remarkable "instance of the unruly
and mutinous spirit of the City of London," which he is pleased to term
"the sink of all the ill humour of the Kingdom."(430) A fortnight later
(11 Dec.) a petition for church reform and the abolition of episcopacy
"root and branch" was presented to parliament, signed by 15,000
Londoners.(431) The blow was aimed at Laud, who was looked upon as the
cause of all the country’s trouble. That day week (18 Dec.) the archbishop
was impeached.


When the meetings held at Ripon between English and Scottish commissioners
for the purpose of negotiating a treaty ceased (Oct. 1640), it was on the
understanding that they were to be resumed in London. The Scottish
commissioners accordingly came south, and were lodged in the city in a
house adjacent to the church of St. Antholin, where they were visited by a
large concourse of citizens and magnificently entertained.(432) It was
with no little satisfaction that the success of the Scots had been watched
by the majority of the inhabitants of the city, and now that the northern
commissioners were in their midst the citizens took the opportunity of
showing them substantial marks of favour.

(M177) (M178) (M179)

On the 12th January, 1641, the Scottish demands were formally submitted to
parliament, but they were not taken into consideration until the 22nd.
After much debate it was agreed in general terms that a "friendly
assistance" should be given, leaving the amount and the manner of
collection for future consideration.(433) In the meantime the Speaker,
Lenthall, had written (15 Jan.) to the mayor directing him to summon a
Common Hall for the purpose of raising a loan of £60,000 required for the
army, and the Common Council had agreed (18 Jan.) that the amount should
be collected from the wards.(434) But before this could be accomplished an
incident occurred which threatened to jeopardise the loan. This was the
reprieve of John Goodman, a Roman Catholic priest, who had been condemned
to death. The morning after parliament had agreed to raise money for the
Scottish commissioners alderman Pennington rose in the House and declared
that, in consequence of Goodman’s reprieve and other suspicious
circumstances, the City had resolved to lend nothing.(435) The Lords as
well as the Commons followed the initiative of the alderman and made a
joint demand for the execution of the condemned priest. As he had often
done before, Charles again threw over the Catholics. He announced his
intention not to allow the increase of Popery or superstition in the
country; he would forthwith issue a proclamation commanding Jesuits and
priests to leave the kingdom within a month, and he was willing to submit
the case of Goodman to the decision of both Houses.(436) Fortunately for
Goodman, the City and the Commons had higher game to fly at in Strafford,
and the humbler priest was allowed to remain unmolested in prison.


On the 6th February the Speaker addressed a second letter to the mayor to
the effect that the money was required sooner than it could be collected
by way of subsidies, as formerly suggested to his lordship, and that
consequently the House had directed him to take steps for having £60,000
raised by subscription and paid into the Chamber of London, to be at the
disposal of parliament.(437) The money not coming in so speedily as was
desired, the Speaker wrote a third time (19 Feb.) to the mayor, directing
him to summon a Common Hall and to lay before it the extreme urgency of
affairs.(438) The chief cause of the delay in getting in the money was the
dissatisfaction felt in the city at Strafford’s trial being put off so
long. The 17th February being at last fixed for his trial, there was some
hope that the money would speedily now be forthcoming,(439) and the same
day the Commons commissioned Sir William Uvedale to go to the lord mayor
and get an order for receiving the money that had been collected up to
£50,000.(440) Three days later the Court of Aldermen made out the
necessary order for the Chamberlain to pay over the money.(441)


Again there was delay in bringing Strafford to trial, and it was not until
the 22nd March that he was arraigned in Westminster Hall, where alone room
could be found for the crowds that were anxious to witness the
proceedings. The mayor took steps to prevent a rush of people to
Westminster and to suppress any riot that might arise. From five o’clock
in the morning until nine at night a double watch was kept at the city’s
gates and landing stages on the river. The trained bands were held in
readiness, whilst servants and apprentices were ordered to keep
indoors.(442) At the end of three weeks a Bill of Attainder was brought in
and read a first time (10 April), and on the 21st April it was read a
third time and passed.(443) The Lords would willingly have let matters
rest here, but the discovery of a design entertained by the queen of
bringing the defeated English army from the north to Westminster to
overawe the parliament, and likewise of an attempt made by Charles to get
possession of the Tower that he might liberate Strafford by force, hurried
the unfortunate earl’s end. The citizens were determined not to rest until
his head was off his shoulders, and 20,000 Londoners signed a petition
addressed to both Houses (24 April) demanding his execution on the ground
that he had advised the plundering of the city and putting it to fine and
ransom.(444) The Peers deemed it advisable to give way. They passed the
Bill of Attainder and on the 12th May Strafford was beheaded.


The Lords had another pressing reason for giving way, for until the
citizens were assured that the full penalty of the law would be executed
on Strafford they determined to stop payment of the loan. Writing to
Matthew Bradley on the 3rd May, the treasurer of the army tells him "a
strange story." "There is," he says, "money ready in the city, but none
will be delivered until justice be done upon my lord of Strafford."(445)
On that very day, the letter continues, there had been a crowd of 10,000
well-to-do persons at Westminster—"citizens of very good account, some
worth £30,000, some £40,000" demanding justice against Strafford and
threatening to send their servants the next day unless justice were
speedily executed. "Truly these unsettled times do much trouble me."


The discovery of the so-called "army plot" had in the meanwhile led to a
preamble being drawn up to a document known as the "Protestation," or
declaration in favour of the reformed religion, in which the danger from
the army was for the first time clearly mentioned. The Protestation passed
the Commons on the 3rd May,(446) and on the following day received the
assent of the House of Lords. On the 11th May a printed copy of this
document was introduced into the Court of Aldermen, when it received the
willing assent not only of the aldermen present, but also of the Town
Clerk and the City Remembrancer.(447) On the 29th it was accepted by the
Common Council, and two days later the mayor issued his precept for a
house-to-house visitation to be made in every ward for the purpose of
getting all the inhabitants of the city to give in their adherence to


Although the execution of Strafford somewhat allayed the nation’s fears of
having "two armies brought into the bowels of the kingdom," they were soon
revived by a second army plot. The armies thus became a constant source of
danger as well as expense, and it was determined to disband them. Charles
could not withhold his assent, and a poll tax was established for the
purpose of raising the necessary funds. This was in July (1641).(449) The
masters and wardens of the livery companies were forthwith called upon to
make a return in writing of the names of every person who had been and
then was master and warden of each company; the names of all the livery,
yeomanry and freemen of each company, noting in the margin of the return
those who had ever been fined for alderman or sheriff, and the parish and
ward in which each individual member of the company resided. Every
alderman was likewise instructed to make a return of the names of his
deputy and common councilmen of his ward; the names of every
merchant-stranger that kept house there, every English merchant and
factor, and every popish recusant; and finally the names of everyone in
the ward above the age of sixteen years not otherwise rated.(450)


On the 3rd February the House had come to a resolution that the sum of
£300,000 might justly be appointed as a "friendly assistance and relief"
for the Scots. The manner in which it was to be raised was left for
further consideration.(451) It was now arranged that £80,000 of that sum
should be at once paid over to them, and that on August the 25th they
should cross the Tweed. The City was called upon to find £40,000—or
one-half of the amount immediately required—by Wednesday, the 28th
July.(452) By order of the House of Commons (29 July) it was to be repaid
with interest out of the poll money when levied.(453) So eager were the
citizens to contribute towards the work of ridding the country of the
Scottish forces before Charles should have an opportunity of using his
powers of persuasion upon them that there was a difficulty in getting a
sufficient number of tellers to receive it.(454)


In addition to this heavy drain upon their resources, the citizens were
called upon by the House of Commons (31 July) to forthwith pay the sum of
£3,000 which they had undertaken to advance, upon the public faith of the
House, towards "the furnishing of the queen-mother of France in her
journey out of the kingdom."(455) Ever since October, 1638, Mary de
Medicis had resided at St. James’s Palace, and had caused no little
discontent by her intermeddling in the affairs of the country and the
favour she displayed towards Catholics. On her first arrival in London the
citizens had accorded her a hearty welcome.(456) The acknowledgment that
Charles subsequently made of his gratification at the City’s action on
this occasion was rendered somewhat ungracious by his requesting that a
gift of the value of £1,000, "or thereabouts," should be made to the
queen-mother in further demonstration of the City’s love. After
communicating with the Common Council the Court of Aldermen agreed to
present her with a cup of the value of £800, "or thereabouts."(457)


Charles had determined to set out for Scotland on Monday, the 9th August,
in spite of every effort to get him to postpone his journey. So great
indeed was the fear of danger likely to be incurred if he carried out his
intention at this juncture that the House of Commons determined to sit on
Sunday to contrive measures for avoiding the threatened risk—a proceeding
which they publicly declared they would never have adopted, "but upon
inevitable necessity, the peace and safety both of Church and State being
so deeply concerned."(458) In answer to a fresh appeal Charles consented
to put off his journey for one day, and on Tuesday (10 Aug.)—the day on
which the treaty with the Scots was finished and the queen-mother left
England—he set out for Scotland.

(M188) (M189)

On the 28th August, when all danger in the north appeared to have passed
away and Charles had visited both armies without appealing to them for
assistance, parliament decided to adjourn from the 8th September until the
20th October. The Commons were in need of rest after the excitement of the
session, and the necessity for an adjournment was increased by another
visitation of the plague,(459) which had already driven many members home
without leave. The day preceding the adjournment was appointed to be kept
as a day of thanksgiving for the peace; and, pursuant to an order of both
Houses, the mayor issued his precept for shops to be closed and for the
inhabitants of the city to attend divine service, after which bells were
to be rung and bonfires lighted.(460)


Before the Commons separated they delivered (26 Aug.) their judgment upon
a petition(461) which the City had prepared for them in January touching
its estate in Londonderry, of which it had been deprived in 1635 by
sentence of the Court of Star Chamber. That petition set forth the
unwillingness of the City to undertake the work of the Ulster plantation.
It had only been undertaken at the late king’s earnest desire, and subject
to special articles, the City absolutely refusing to be bound by the
general articles drawn up by his majesty for ordinary undertakers. The
Irish Society and the companies had expended more than £130,000 (exclusive
of money laid out by tenants) on their estate "in hope to have in the
future enjoyed some benefitt of their great cost and charge." The city of
Londonderry and the town of Coleraine had been rebuilt, and the castle of
Culmore repaired and entrenched. Fifteen churches had been either built or
repaired, besides a "very fair" church and free school which had been
erected in Derry at a cost of more than £4,000. Roads had been made which
had converted one of the most barbarous places in the kingdom into one of
the most civilised. The society and the companies, the petition went on to
say, had enjoyed this estate without interruption until Hilary Term a° 6
Charles I (1631), when the Attorney-General, Sir Robert Heath, exhibited
an information against the mayor, commonalty and citizens of London and
divers individuals, suggesting that they had possessed themselves of the
said lands and taken the profits before any grant was made to them, and
that they had a greater quantity of lands than was intended to be passed
by the grant, and had by indirect means procured divers privileges to be
inserted in the grant for which the Attorney General who passed the grant
had no warrant. Evidence of witnesses had been taken on the matter, but
before the cause came to a hearing this information was dropt and another
exhibited in Hilary Term a° 8 Charles I (1633) against the petitioners and
the Irish Society, in which new charges touching infringement of
conditions of Letters Patent were inserted, and upon these pretences the
Irish Society was adjudged by sentence of the Court of Star Chamber in
Hilary Term a° 10 Charles I (1635) to pay a fine of £70,000 and to lose
their estate on the ground that the said Letters Patent had been "unduly
and surreptitiously obteyned to the prejudice and deceipt of his
majestie." The companies refused to surrender their estates, and divers
lands belonging to the City and to the Bridgehouse were seized to satisfy
the fine, to the great prejudice of the City. Being otherwise unable to
redeem themselves from the penalty of the Star Chamber sentence, the
companies were forced to consent to relinquish their Irish estate and all
arrears of rent, amounting to £20,000. A _scire facias_ was brought in and
judgment allowed by default, whereupon the companies lost their estates,
whilst the mayor and commonalty and citizens of London, although not
parties to any patent or plantation—having done no more than lend their
name for the better transaction of the business and for the purpose of
raising money for the plantation, which otherwise could never have been
effected—were fined £70,000. Seeing that the matter reflected so badly
upon the justice of the late as well as the present king, the petitioners
humbly prayed that a full investigation of the whole proceedings might be
made and justice done.

Such was the nature of the petition which the Common Council ordered in
January (1641) to be submitted to parliament. The House had its hands too
full to pay much attention to the City’s grievance until recently; but
now, within a fortnight of their adjournment for a well-earned rest, the
Commons declared(462) the sentence in the Star Chamber to have been
unlawful and unjust. They declared that, in the opinion of the House, the
citizens of London had been solicited and pressed to undertake the
plantation of Londonderry, that the king had not been deceived in the
grant to the new corporation of the Irish Society, that no breach of
covenant (if any there were) had been committed sufficient to cause a
forfeiture of the lands, that the Star Chamber proceedings were _ultra
vires_, and that the citizens of London and all those against whom
judgment had been given in the _scire facias_ should be discharged of that
judgment and reinstated as they were before the sentence in the Star


Before the Houses again met, Richard Gurney, a man of the same royalist
proclivity as Garway, and on that account, perhaps, described by Clarendon
as "a man of wisdom and courage," had been elected mayor in succession to
Edmund Wright.(463) The last days of Wright’s mayoralty were days of
sickness and tumult in the city. Numbers of disbanded soldiers from the
north had made their way to London, where they carried on a system of
rapine and outrage. The mayor issued precepts for search to be made in
every ward for suspected persons and disbanded soldiers, as well as for
keeping the streets well lighted at night by candle and lanthorn, whilst
public proclamation was made by the king for soldiers to repair to their
own homes.(464)


Shortly after the House of Commons had resumed its session attention was
again drawn towards Ireland, where a rebellion had broken out. Seeing how
successful Scotland had been in its resistance to England, the Irish had
determined to strike a blow for the recovery of lands handed over to
Protestant colonists, as well as for religious liberty. Charles himself
had held out hopes of greater freedom to the Irish Catholics, who saw no
reason why they should be worse treated than the rebellious Puritans of
Scotland. The scene of massacre and cruelty which followed has been
described by others, and remains to this day (in the words of Carlyle) "a
huge blot, an indiscriminate blackness, one which the human memory cannot
willingly charge itself with."


As soon as news of the outbreak reached parliament, application was
forthwith made to the City for assistance. On the 3rd November lord mayor
Gurney issued his precept(465) to the aldermen informing them that on the
previous day divers lords and others of both Houses of Parliament had come
to the Common Council and asked for a loan of £50,000 at eight per cent.
Seeing that the matter was of so great importance, each alderman was
desired to take steps in conjunction with his deputy and common councilmen
of his ward to get liberal contributions made towards the loan.(466)


The attitude of the City now became more marked. Whilst consenting to find
the money required, it asked parliament that the persons of the Catholic
lords might be secured, and that the bishops, who were the cause of every
good measure being defeated in the Upper House, might be deprived of their
votes. It had a minor grievance in the custom that had arisen of members
of both Houses granting their servants "protections" against creditors, a
procedure extremely prejudicial to the city merchant and tradesman, and
one which they would willingly see remedied.(467)


The City’s declaration against the bishops, which Dr. Gardiner(468)
characterises as being "the turning point in the struggle," augured badly
for Charles. Nevertheless, he had friends in the city. The new mayor was a
strong royalist, as also were the majority of the aldermen, and they took
the opportunity of Charles paying his first visit to the city (25 Nov.)
since he ascended the throne to demonstrate their loyalty. On the 17th the
Court of Aldermen appointed a committee to make the necessary
arrangements,(469) whilst the mayor issued his precept the same day to the
civic companies to prepare a certain number of their livery, well horsed
and apparelled, to assist him in escorting the king and queen from the
church of St. Leonard, Shoreditch, to the Guildhall on the morning of the
eventful day, and thence, after the banquet, to Whitehall.(470) The Common
Council agreed that the cost of the entertainment at the Guildhall should
be defrayed by the Chamber.(471)


On the king’s approaching the northern suburbs of the city, whither the
mayor and citizens had gone to meet him,(472) he was welcomed by the
Recorder. There was some talk of presenting the king with a gift either of
money or plate,(473) but the proposal fell through. "We tender to you,"
said Sir Thomas Gardiner, "no formal present; it would but lessen us; I am
sure whatever it were it would be far short of our meaning."


It was of the utmost importance to Charles to win over the city to his
side if he could—"The loans of the London citizens alone had made it
possible for the House of Commons to disband the armies; and without the
loans of the London citizens the House would find it impossible to provide
for a campaign in Ireland," and thus place itself in a position of
military supremacy.(474) Accordingly, in a speech carefully prepared
beforehand,(475) he expressed his gratification at finding that the better
class of citizens were still loyal. "I see," said he, "that all those
former tumults and disorders have only risen from the meaner sort of
people, and that the affections of the better and main part of the city
have ever been loyal and affectionate to my person and government." He
proceeded to assure his hearers of his determination to maintain the true
Protestant religion as established by Elizabeth and James, and he hoped
with the assistance of parliament to re-establish the trade of the
country. But what pleased the citizens perhaps more than anything was a
promise he made to restore to them their Londonderry estate—at that moment
in the hands of the rebels, but soon, he hoped, to be recovered. The
Recorder was expressly commanded to wait upon his majesty and see that
this promise was punctually performed.(476)


By way of further showing his favour Charles knighted both the Mayor and
Recorder on the spot. He afterwards expressed his gratification at the
reception that the City had accorded him,(477) and conferred knighthoods
upon both of the sheriffs and five of the aldermen.(478)


The Common Council took Charles at his word and lost no time in appointing
a committee for the purpose of introducing a Bill in parliament for the
recovery of the city’s Irish estate. The Recorder had pointed out (20
Nov.) to the court that the "corporation" (_i.e._ the Irish society) had
been dissolved, and it behoved them to consider in whose names the Irish
estate should be vested, whether in the name of the mayor and commonalty
of London or a "select company."


The disaffected element in the city, which had voluntarily kept itself in
the background, or had been suppressed by force on the day of the king’s
visit, again came to the surface as soon as the duties of hospitality had
been executed. Once more a crowd gathered (29 Nov.) at Westminster,
shouting "No bishops!" encouraged (it was said) by John Venn, a merchant
taylor, who had succeeded Cradock, on the latter’s decease, as one of the
city’s representatives in parliament. On the 10th December the mayor,
acting under orders from the king, issued his precept to the aldermen to
see that apprentices and servants were kept within doors and not allowed
to go abroad to make tumult and hold unlawful meetings.(479)


A difference of opinion existed as to the representative character of
those who had thus threatened parliament. "You much mistake," wrote Thomas
Wiseman to Sir John Pennington ten days after the riot had taken place,
"if you think those seditious meetings of sectaries and others ill
affected, who have lately been at the parliament-house to cry for justice
against the delinquent bishops, are the representative body of the
city—they are not, but the representative body is the lord mayor, aldermen
and Common Council, who gave the entertainment to the king and will stick
to him and live and die in his service."(480)


In order to dispel all doubts as to the respectability of the agitators
they determined to present a formal petition to parliament for the removal
of the bishops, and to do the thing in style. "Accoutred in the best
manner they could," they rode to Westminster in coaches, "to prevent the
aspersion that they were of the basest sort of people only which were that
way affected."(481) They declared that the petition was signed by over
20,000 well-to-do citizens, including aldermen and members of the Common
Council, and that many more signatures might have been obtained but for
the obstruction of divers "ill-affected persons."(482) When the Commons
came to inquire (20 Dec.) who these ill-affected persons were, it was
found that the Mayor and the Recorder were the chief. The former was
declared to have said that the petition had found favour only with
ignorant or idle people, who did not realise the danger they were in, and
that the petition "tended to mutiny." On hearing that part of the petition
which stated that it was the wish of the "representative body" of the city
to have the bishops removed, the Recorder lost all control over himself,
and swore it was a lie. The petition, he said, tended to sedition, and to
set men together by the ears. So far from tending to peace it was, he
declared, "for blood and cutting of throats; and if it came to cutting of
throats, thank yourselves; and your blood be upon your own heads."(483)


The following day was the Feast of St. Thomas (21 Dec.), the day on which
the members of the Common Council go out of office and present themselves
to their constituents for re-election. The result of the elections turned
out to be largely in favour of the Puritan opposition. The new Common
Council, like the House of Commons, would support "King Pym" and his
policy; whilst the more aristocratic Court of Aldermen would side with
Charles and the House of Lords.(484) It cannot be doubted that the new
council was more truly representative of the inhabitants of the city, and
better able to give expression to their wishes than the last. There was
only wanting a popular lord mayor. He was to come.

(M204) (M205)

The tardy and unsatisfactory reply Charles gave to the remonstrance—the
"Grand Remonstrance of the state of the Church and Kingdom" presented to
him at Hampton Court on the 1st December—and his appointment of Colonel
Lunsford, a debauched ruffian, as lieutenant of the Tower, in place of
Balfour, who was a favourite with the city, increased the exasperation
against him, and the mayor was obliged to inform him (26 Dec.) that unless
Lunsford was removed he could not answer for the peace of the city. This
representation by Gurney had the desired effect, and Lunsford was removed
that night.(485) Before his removal became generally known another riot
broke out at Westminster (27 Dec.) between London apprentices and some
officers of the late army, among whom was Lunsford himself. The officers
drew their swords and drove the close-cropt apprentices, or "roundheads"
as they were jeeringly called, out of Westminster, chasing them up King
Street as far as Whitehall. Several of the rioters were hurt, but none
killed. For some days the excitement was so great that everyone attending
the court at Whitehall wore a sword; and 500 gentlemen of the Inns of
Court offered their services to the king.(486) On the 28th December
Charles directed the mayor to call out the trained bands, and to command
their officers, "by shooting with bullets or otherwise," to slay and kill
such as should persist in tumultuary and seditious ways and
disorders.(487) The Peers were inclined to throw the blame of the
disturbance upon the civic authorities, but Pym and the House of Commons
refused "to discontent the citizens of London, our surest friends," at
such a critical time.(488) Charles himself took the same view, and sent a
letter to the City by the hand of Lord Newburgh, in which he expressed his
continued confidence in the loyalty of the city, and ascribed the recent
tumults and distempers to "the meane and unruly people of the suburbs."
The Common Council in reply caused it to be signified to his majesty that
neither that court nor any individual member of it was implicated in the
late disorder, which they altogether disavowed and disclaimed.(489) Having
committed this message to Lord Newburgh to carry to the king, the court
proceeded to take measures for the better preserving the peace in the
several wards of the city.


The same day that these measures were being taken for public safety in the
city the Commons directed halberds to be brought into the House for their
own use in case of a sudden attack, and desired the king to appoint the
Earl of Essex captain of the guard. After this they adjourned until the
3rd January, a committee being ordered to sit in the meanwhile at the
Guildhall. Upon the re-assembling of the House Charles refused its request
for a guard.(490) The Commons thereupon sent a message to the mayor for
the trained bands to be put in readiness "for the safety of the king’s
person, the city and the commonwealth," and for good and strong watches to
be set at all places convenient about the city. The following day Sir
Thomas Soame, Alderman Pennington and Captain Venn were despatched to the
city to inform the citizens of a new danger which was threatening the


During the short recess Charles had at last made up his mind to a course
long premeditated. He determined to seize the parliamentary leaders on a
charge of treason, and articles of impeachment were drawn up against Lord
Kimbolton, of the House of Peers, and Pym, Hampden, Holles, Hazlerigg and
Strode, of the Commons. No sooner had the Commons met than the
Sergeant-at-Arms appeared with orders to arrest the five members.(492) As
such action affected the privileges of the House, a committee was
appointed to send a reply to the king in due course. Baffled in this
direction, the king despatched a message to the lord mayor forbidding him
to call out the trained bands at the order of the Commons, but only to
raise such a force as might be necessary to put down tumult and
disorder.(493) Gurney was in bed at the time, but he promised to see to it
in the morning.(494)


When the Commons met the next morning (4 Jan.) they sent up the articles
of impeachment to the House of Lords as a scandalous paper. The king in
the meantime was taking steps to secure the Tower and the city. He had
heard that six pieces of ordnance had been removed from the artillery yard
and placed near the Leadenhall, and he wrote to the mayor bidding him see
that they were used only for the guard and preservation of the city if
need be.(495) It was these measures that caused the Commons to send Soame,
Pennington and Venn to the city to inform the citizens of the impending
danger. On the afternoon of the same day Charles himself appeared in the
House, to the door of which he had been accompanied by an armed retinue.
Taking his stand before the Speaker’s chair he professed sorrow for the
necessity that had brought him there. Yesterday he had sent, he said, a
Sergeant-at-Arms to apprehend certain persons accused of high treason. He
had expected obedience and not an answer. Careful as he was and always
would be of the privileges of the Commons, they were to know that there
was no privilege in matters of treason. Failing himself to discover those
whom he sought, he turned to Lenthall and asked him if they were in the
House. "Do you see any of them?" The Speaker’s reply was singularly apt.
"May it please your majesty," said he, falling on his knee before Charles,
"I have neither eyes to see nor tongue to speak in this place but as this
House is pleased to direct me, whose servant I am here." Casting one more
glance round the House, and finding that the "birds had flown," the king
withdrew amid cries of "Privilege! Privilege!" and the House immediately


The king could not allow matters to rest here. The next morning, being
Wednesday, the 5th January, he set out for the city with a small retinue,
and presented himself at the Guildhall when a Court of Common Council was
sitting. The city’s archives are searched in vain for any record of what
took place on that memorable occasion, but we have a vivid account of the
scene handed down to us by an eye-witness, Captain Slingsby, who,
happening to meet the royal party on its way to the city, turned back and
followed it into the precincts of the Council Chamber.(496) Charles lost
no time in coming to the point. He had come, he said, to demand those
persons who had been already accused of high treason, and who were
believed at that moment to be lurking within the city. He desired to bring
them to a trial at law, and depended upon those present for their
assistance. He was resolved to redress grievances and to preserve the
privileges of parliament, but he must "question these traitors." After
justifying the existence of a guard at Whitehall and saying a few friendly
words to the aldermen, he invited himself to dinner with one of the
sheriffs, choosing the sheriff who was less favourably disposed towards
him, viz., sheriff Garrett. The king’s speech was followed by an ominous
pause. Then a cry, writes Slingsby, was raised in the council,
"Parliament! Privileges of parliament!" and presently another, "God bless
the king!" These continued for some time, but he professes to be unable to
say which of the two was loudest. When silence was restored the king asked
that a spokesman should make known to him their wishes. Thereupon a member
of the council arose and said, "It is the vote of this court that your
majesty hear the advice of your parliament." This statement was at once
challenged by another, who cried out, "It is not the vote of this court:
it is your own vote." The king replied by asking who it was that charged
him with not taking the advice of his parliament, adding that he did take
its advice and would continue to do so, but, said he, "I must distinguish
between the parliament and some traitors in it," and these, he repeated,
"he would bring to trial—to trial." "No privileges could protect a traitor
from a trial." With this he turned to leave the Council Chamber. On
reaching the outer hall he was again assailed with the cry that had been
made to ring in his ears all the way from Whitehall to the city, "The
privileges of parliament!" Undaunted he made his way through the mob to
dine at Garrett’s house, and later in the day, amid the same cries, he
returned to Whitehall.


Relieved of his presence, the Common Council, with great deliberation,
agreed on the terms of a petition to be presented to his majesty.(497)
After expressing their regret for the continuation of the rebellion in
Ireland, the removal of the lieutenant of the Tower, in whom all had
confidence, the steps taken to fortify Whitehall, and the recent
disturbances at Westminster, they represented to the king the great
increase of the fears of the citizens owing to his attempt to seize the
five members, the effect of which was to prejudice the whole trade of the
city and the kingdom. They therefore humbly desired him to take steps for
the speedy relief of the Protestants in Ireland, to place the Tower in the
hands of persons of trust, to remove discredited persons from Whitehall
and Westminster, and not to proceed against Lord Kimbolton and the five
members of the Commons otherwise than in accordance with the privileges of


Having ordered this petition to be engrossed and afterwards to be
presented to his majesty, the Common Council proceeded to vote a sum of
£2,000 for the purpose of providing a stock of arms and ammunition for the
defence of the city in "theis tymes of daungers and feares."


Each alderman had already been directed to see that the trained bands,
6,000 strong, were fully equipt without the necessity of borrowing arms
from the city halls or elsewhere; a double watch with halberds and muskets
was ordered to be kept in each ward by night and day, chains and posts
which were in any way defective were to be forthwith made good, and hooks,
ladders, buckets, spades, shovels, pickaxes, augers and chisels were to be
kept in readiness in case of fire.(498) Members of the Common Council were
forbidden on the 6th January to leave their wards without express
permission.(499) The same night an alarm was raised, and the mayor was
asked to call out the trained bands. On his refusal the trained bands
dispensed with his authority and turned out on their own account. The
panic quickly spread, and every inhabitant, arming himself as best he
could, hastened to join them. In course of time the alarm subsided, but
the mayor was commanded by an Order in Council (8 Jan.) to investigate the
cause of the alarm, and to secure the persons who had taken upon
themselves to call out the trained bands.(500) This Order in Council was
immediately met by a resolution of the Grand Committee of the Commons
sitting at Grocers’ Hall to the effect that the action of the citizens for
the defence of parliament had been in accordance with their duty, and that
anyone attempting to arrest them for so doing was a public enemy. More
than this, the Committee declared that at a time when the king, kingdom
and parliament were "in very eminent and apparent danger," it was the duty
of the lord mayor, aldermen and Common Council, or the greater number of
them, to make use of the trained bands or any other forces of the city for
the preservation of the peace.(501)


On the same day (8 Jan.) the king’s reply to the City’s late petition was
read before the Common Council.(502) He had hoped, he said, to have
already satisfied most of the objections raised in the petition by his
speech to the citizens on the previous Wednesday; nevertheless, he was
willing to give a further answer to the several matters objected to, being
persuaded that his so doing would be considered the greatest proof that he
could offer of his good intention. His answer, however, in whatever terms
it was couched, was considered far from satisfactory to the council, and
preparations for resisting force by force began to be pushed on.


On Monday, the 10th January, a joint agreement for the future defence of
parliament and the city was arrived at by the committee of parliament and
a committee appointed by the Common Council.(503) The trained bands were
ordered to their colours and placed under the command of Captain Philip
Skippon, as sergeant-major-general of the forces of the city. Eight pieces
of ordnance were to accompany the troops, and as many citizens as could
supply themselves with horses were to serve on horseback. All this was
done for the safety of the "king, parliament and kingdom." With the object
of increasing the number of trained bands, the mayor was authorised by the
Common Council (19 Jan.) to issue his precept for a return to be made by
the alderman of each ward (1) of the number of men in his ward fit to find
and bear arms, and (2) the number of men fit to bear arms but unable to
find them.(504) The Common Council agreed to pay Skippon £300 a year for
life, if he should so long continue in the city’s service.(505) Guns and
ammunition were stored up at the Leadenhall,(506) and a supply of corn
laid in by the livery companies.(507)


In the meanwhile Charles committed the fatal mistake of quitting London
(10 Jan.), and parliament had thereupon returned to Westminster (11 Jan.).
The appearance of the five members as they made their way by water from
the city to Westminster was greeted with shouts of joy and firing of
volleys. On entering the House they publicly acknowledged the kindness
extended to them by the City, for which the sheriffs and the citizens
received the thanks of the Commons, and a promise of indemnity for their
action throughout the recent crisis.(508)


Everything now promised well for parliament except the refusal of Sir John
Byron, lieutenant of the Tower, to submit to its orders. Once more the
seamen or mariners of London, who play no unimportant part in the history
of the city at political crises, came forward. They offered to take the
Tower by assault. There was some talk of reducing the fortress by
starvation, and Byron confessed to secretary Nicholas (22 Jan.)(509) that
if the measures had been carried out he could not long have held the
place, determined as he was to sell both the Tower and his life at as dear
a rate as he could. No such strict investment, however, took place.
Skippon attempted to win over a portion of the garrison in the absence of
the lieutenant, but failed. The Tower, however, became less an object of
fear to the citizens as its stock of munition of war became less every day
by reason of shipments to Ireland.


It was to Ireland that Charles looked for assistance in his struggle with
parliament. It behoved the latter, therefore, to use its utmost endeavours
to reduce that country to subjection. A deputation from the House waited
on the Common Council (22 Jan.) with a request for a loan of £100,000.
Whilst this request was under consideration the mayor was directed by the
council to write to all the livery companies interested in the Londonderry
estate, and exhort them to contribute bread and corn for the relief of the


Two days later (24 Jan.) the City resolved not to accede to the request.
Answer was sent that they were unable to raise money for a foreign war by
way of a tax, and it was hopeless to raise the money by voluntary
contributions. The House was reminded that the City had already advanced a
sum of £50,000 on the express understanding that troops should forthwith
be despatched to Ireland, but none had gone. The citizens would refuse to
lend more until assured that relief had been actually sent to Londonderry.
The House was further reminded that the City was dissatisfied with the
remissness shown in disarming Papists and pressing of soldiers, as well as
in displacing the lieutenant of the Tower, and appointing one well
approved by parliament. A similar representation was made to the House of


On the 11th February a petition was presented to the House of Commons by
"divers of his majesty’s loyal subjects," offering to assist at their own
charge in putting down the Irish rebellion, provided that they might have
such satisfaction out of the rebels’ estates as should be thought
reasonable.(512) The suggestion was readily accepted, and a scheme for
opening a public subscription passed through both Houses in a week. The
mayor lost no time in setting a subscription on foot in the city.(513) The
companies, to whom application had been made a month before for
contributions of bread and corn, were now desirous to know if they could
limit their relief to those sufferers on what was or had been their own
estates in Ireland, and not have it distributed among all his majesty’s
distressed subjects in that country. The Common Council declined to
undertake to answer this question, but recommended each company to appear
before the parliamentary committee appointed for the purpose and make its
own conditions.(514)

The following day (3 March) the City was informed that an Act of
Parliament was already in preparation for settling 2,500,000 acres of land
according to the votes of both Houses, unto which his majesty had given
his royal assent.(515) The companies were subsequently (19th March)
invited to provide ordnance for the protection of Londonderry.(516)


Meanwhile the struggle that had been going on between the king and
parliament as to who should have control over the fortresses and the
trained bands or militia of the kingdom, resulted in the Commons drawing
up an ordinance conferring power in each county upon persons, to be
afterwards named, to raise an armed force for the suppression of
rebellions and invasions (31 Jan.).(517) This "militia ordinance"—as it
was called—caused no little dissatisfaction in the city as trespassing
upon the authority of the lord mayor, and a petition against it was drawn
up by a certain section of the inhabitants and presented to both Houses of
Parliament. The same was printed and circulated together with the king’s
message to the Houses against the ordinance.(518)


The Common Council were determined, however, to stand by parliament. They
passed a resolution disclaiming the petition against the militia
ordinance, and ordered other petitions to be drawn up and presented to
both Houses,(519) congratulating them on the steps they had taken "for the
safety of his majesty, the parliament and the kingdom," which would meet
with ready submission on the part of the petitioners, and thanking them
for the honour they had done the City in allowing it to nominate those
persons to whom its militia should be committed.(520) Gurney, the royalist
mayor, did not preside at the court which sanctioned these petitions,
being absent from illness, so it was said.


On the 4th April a militia commission appointed by parliament for the city
was read before the Common Council, the commissioners being authorised to
raise and train forces, appoint and remove officers, and do other things
necessary for the suppressing of rebellions and resisting invasions.(521)
It was suggested that six colonels and thirty-four captains should be set
over the trained bands, which had been recently increased to forty
companies, each 200 strong.(522) The pay of the officers was guaranteed by
the Common Council.(523) A stock of gunpowder was laid up in the city
ready for any emergency, and the livery companies were called upon to make
a return of the arms stored in their several halls.(524)


On the 10th May a grand review of all the trained bands of the city, with
their new officer Skippon at their head, was held in Finsbury Fields in
the presence of both Houses of Parliament, the members of which were
hospitably entertained on the ground at the City’s expense.(525)


So pleased was parliament—both Lords and Commons—at the zeal of the City
in raising and training so large a force as 8,000 men, to serve as an
example (it was hoped) to the rest of the kingdom, as also in contributing
upwards of £40,000 (more than one-tenth part of the whole sum recently
voted by parliament) for the defence of the kingdom, that a deputation
from both houses waited on the Common Council (16 May) and returned their
hearty thanks.(526)


On the following day (17 May) the Houses resolved that Skippon should
ignore an order from the king to attend his majesty at York, and directed
the sheriffs to suppress any levy of men made without the major-general’s


It was no long time before application was again made to the city for more
pecuniary assistance. The breach between king and parliament was rapidly
widening. Charles was known to be collecting forces around him in spite of
a formal prohibition by the Commons, who now more distinctly asserted
their claim to sovereignty. On Thursday, the 2nd June, a deputation of
Lords and Commons presented themselves before the livery of the several
companies assembled in Common Hall, and desired a loan of £100,000 towards
"the relief and preservation of the kingdom of Ireland" and "speedy supply
of the great and urgent necessities of this kingdom." The money was voted
"most freely and with great alacrity," and was to be raised by the
companies according to their corn assessment, as on previous occasions. On
the 4th June the Commons passed an ordinance for security of the loan, and
the thanks of both Houses and of the whole kingdom were returned to the
city for its ready compliance.(528) Two days later (6 June) Gurney, much
against his own inclination we may be sure, was forced to issue his
precept to the companies to raise their several contributions.(529) The
Grocers’ Company raised their quota of £9,000 by voluntary subscription
without demur. The Merchant Taylors, on the other hand, who were assessed
at £10,000, whilst expressing themselves ready to do their part in
furnishing the loan, took occasion to formally place on record their
resolution "that the Common Hall (consisting of the liveries of this city)
assembled in the Guildhall, London, hath no power, right or authority to
bind or impose upon this company any loan of money whatsoever."(530)

(M227) (M228)

On the 10th the Commons issued "propositions" for the bringing in of
money, plate, arms and horses for "the defence of the king and both houses
of parliament." Those living in and around London within a radius of
eighty miles were allowed a fortnight; and so great was the enthusiasm
displayed for the parliamentary cause that (in the words of
Clarendon)(531) "it is hardly credible what a vast proportion of plate was
brought in to their treasurers within ten days, there being hardly men
enough to receive it or room to lay it in." It was in vain that Charles
protested and threatened the citizens with the loss of their charter if
they carried out the behests of the Commons.(532) His protest was only met
with a further levy of £50,000 on all strangers and aliens residing within
the city.(533)

(M229) (M230)

Gurney’s position as mayor had become more and more an anomalous one every
day. In July he was impeached by the Commons for having published the
king’s commission of array in the city. On the 12th August the Lords
sentenced him to be imprisoned during the pleasure of the House, and to be
deprived of his mayoralty,(534) and at the same time ordered Sir Nicholas
Raynton to summon a Common Hall for the election of a new mayor. A Common
Hall was accordingly summoned for the 16th, when Isaac Pennington and John
Wollaston being nominated by the livery, the former was selected by the
Court of Aldermen as Gurney’s successor.(535) Upon application being made
to Gurney for the _insignia_—the sword, cap, mace and collar of esses—"he
pretended they were at his house in London, locked up, and he could not
come at them"; and he stoutly refused to deliver up the city’s sword to
any one but the king.(536) With a rigid Puritan like Pennington in the
mayoralty chair, and Gurney and Sir Thomas Gardiner already impeached, the
city was made secure for parliament before Charles set up his standard at
Nottingham (22 Aug.) in token that the Civil War had commenced.



It was the general opinion of both parties that the war would be a short
one. A deputation from both Houses attended a court of Common Council held
on the 25th August. It had been decided that an army should at once set
out so as not to "prolong or draw out a war," and in order to keep the
field of action at a distance from London. But arms were wanted. The City
was therefore asked to supply the parliamentary forces with 6,000 muskets
and 4,000 pikes.(537) It was difficult to raise this quantity of arms in
the city without depriving the trained bands of their weapons, a course
which was entirely out of the question. At first the halls of the various
companies were ransacked for arms; this having been done and a deficiency
still remaining, a house-to-house visitation was resolved on.(538)


It behoved the citizens to look to themselves at this crisis; and
accordingly the Common Council resolved early in September to raise two
additional regiments of foot, each 1,200 strong, and four troops of sixty
horse for the defence of the city. In order to defray the necessary charge
parliament was asked to sanction the setting apart of £25,000 out of the
money and plate subscribed by the inhabitants for the general defence of
the kingdom; and the House, not wishing to run the risk of losing the
goose that laid the golden egg, readily gave its assent.(539)


The Committee of Militia, to whom the defence of the city was entrusted,
took care—"with most loyal intentions to his majesty," as they were
careful to make known—that the city’s force, consisting of forty companies
in six regiments, was properly exercised both together and by separate
regiments, one regiment "going abroad" weekly for exercise. The action of
the committee gave rise to much adverse comment by royalists, and led to
two members of the committee, viz., Sir John Gayer and Sir Jacob Garrard,
withdrawing from it. At the request of the committee the Common Council
agreed that the lord mayor and sheriffs should take the place of the
retired members, and at the same time signified their approval of all that
the Committee of Militia had done for the defence of the city.(540)


Skippon and other officers were directed (6 Sept.) to take a view of the
city and liberties and inspect the gates and posterns, and especially a
passage through the Bell Inn into the fields at Temple Bar. They were to
consider the advisability of stopping up the less used passages as adding
to the city’s peril, and of erecting more watch-houses in addition to
those about to be made at Moorgate and Bishopsgate. They were further to
report anything that might the better conduce to the safety of the city
and liberties "in these times of great and eminent danger."(541)
Pennington, the new mayor, had previously given orders for the gates and
portcullises to be seen to, the city’s chains and posts repaired, and the
usual precautions to be taken against fire.(542)


On the 9th September Essex set out from London to put himself at the head
of the parliamentary army which (it was fondly hoped) was to make short
work of the royalists. He carried with him, we are told, his coffin and
his winding-sheet, together with his funeral escutcheon, in token of his
readiness to die in the cause.(543) On the 14th he reviewed his forces,
and was soon convinced that they would quickly desert unless promptly
paid. Disaffection had appeared in the ranks a week before, the soldiers
demanding five shillings a man, which sum had been promised them monthly,
and threatening to throw down their arms unless paid.(544)


In this strait the earl despatched a letter to the City desiring a loan of
£100,000 for the maintenance of the army.(545) This letter having been
read to the Common Council (15 Sept.) and well received, the mayor issued
his precept to the aldermen of each ward to incite the inhabitants to
underwrite the loan.(546)


A month later the Common Council was informed (18 Oct.) that Prince Rupert
was expected soon to be on his way towards London. What force would the
City be prepared to put in the field in order to stay the advance of the
"adverse party"? After due deliberation answer was made to the "Close
Committee" of parliament that twelve companies of the trained bands would
be prepared to join the forces of the adjacent counties at any place the
committee might appoint "for the defence of religion, the king, kingdom,
parliament and the city."(547) The aspect of the city at this time was
that of a huge military depôt. Everywhere was heard the sound of
musket-shot and rattle of drum, besides the noise of the squib or other
firework of the frolicsome apprentice. So great and continuous was the din
that it had to be restricted by precept of the mayor.(548)


The whole city, as described by a Puritan soldier in a letter to a
merchant of London,(549) was now "either real or constrained Roundheads."
There were exceptions, however, but these were to be found chiefly among
the wealthier and more aristocratic class of citizens. They were
stigmatised as "Delinquents" or "Malignants," and as such were committed
to prison, and their estates seized to provide means for protecting the
city and carrying on the war. Out of thirty-seven "delinquents" imprisoned
in Crosby House a month later, three at least were aldermen of the city,
viz., Sir William Acton, Sir George Whitmore and Sir John Cordell.(550)


At Michaelmas Pennington was re-elected mayor,(551) and, as the lord
keeper was with the king, Pennington presented himself before the House of
Lords for approval of his re-election.  He took the opportunity of
mentioning a few city matters concerning which he desired their
lordships’s advice. In the first place he had received the king’s writ for
proclamation of the adjournment of the next law term, and he wished to
know if he was to act upon it. Secondly, there had been recently a riot at
St. Paul’s, and the rioters had been committed to prison, and he desired
to know what proceedings should be taken against them. Lastly, he had to
complain of the seditious character of the sermons preached at St. Paul’s,
the preacher being appointed by the Bishop of London. Indeed, they had
been so bad that he and his brother aldermen had ceased to attend. He
asked that the appointment of preachers might be vested in the lord mayor,
according to a former order of their lordships. On the first two questions
an immediate answer was given. As to the proclamation for the adjournment
of the term, it had received the sanction of the Lords, and therefore the
mayor was at liberty to publish it. Touching the rioters at St. Paul’s,
they might be proceeded with according to law. The question as to the
appointment of preachers at St. Paul’s, that was a matter which required
further consideration.(552)


The first serious conflict between the forces of king and parliament took
place at Edge-hill (23 Oct.), when both parties claimed the victory. With
Charles, however, rested the more immediate fruits of success, for he had
overcome the first obstacle that stood in his way to London. That Charles
did not enter London as a conqueror was owing to the determined front
shown to his forces by the trained bands of the City, and the energy
displayed by the inhabitants at large. If anything were needed to
stimulate exertion on the part of the Londoners, they found it in the
reports which daily arrived of country houses being despoiled by the
royalist soldiery. Few doubted that if allowed to enter the city the
wealth of London would be at their mercy. "You see what is threatened
you," said the Earl of Holland to the citizens at the Guildhall, soon
after the battle, "you must know what to expect and what to trust to; they
intend you no lesse (and that is to be believed) than the destroying of
the city, your persons and the preying upon your fortunes."(553)


By the 12th November Charles had made himself master of Brentford. The
next day (13th Nov.) was Sunday; nevertheless, the House sat and received
a deputation of Londoners, who, "in the name of the Godly and active part
of the city," placed their persons, purses and estates at the command of
the House to do with them at its pleasure, and declared that they would
"man out every man his man and make their own captains and officers, and
live and die with the House of Commons, and in defence thereof."(554) An
offer made by the citizens of London to raise one thousand light-horse and
three thousand dragoons was gladly accepted by both Houses of
Parliament.(555) These were placed under the command of Skippon, now
promoted to the rank of Serjeant-Major-General in the army under Essex.
The citizens were sorry to lose one who had done so much to raise the
discipline of the city forces, but there was no withstanding the appeal
made to them by the leader of the parliamentary forces.(556)


The city was ransacked for soldiers, who, by the way, were allowed certain
privileges, being charged no more than a penny a night for lodging and
three half-pence for a quart of beer, and every available man was ordered
to be despatched (18 Nov.) to join Essex at Turnham Green.(557) Charles
deemed discretion to be the better part of valour and withdrew from
Brentwood, which was immediately occupied by Essex, and made his way to
Reading. The golden opportunity thus lost was never regained.


Hitherto the parliamentary cause had been supported by loans which were in
name, if not in actual fact, voluntary. The spasmodic nature of this
method of obtaining a supply of money for the army proved a source of
weakness. The Houses therefore resolved to change it for the more
effective system of raising money by taxation. The rest of the kingdom
would thus bear its share of the burden, which until now had been chiefly
borne by the city of London. Inhabitants of the city who had never before
contributed to so-called voluntary loans would now be compelled to pay
their quota. Those who had not already contributed to the support of the
army were now compelled to do so, in money, plate, horse, horsemen or
arms. Every man was to be assessed according to his ability, but no one
was to be assessed above a twentieth part of his estate. Payment was to be
enforced by distress of goods in cases of refusal, and the aid of the
trained bands might be invoked if necessary.(558)


In the meantime a deputation of members of both Houses attended a meeting
of the Common Hall and asked for a loan of £30,000. The mayor forthwith
issued his precept for a return to be made of the names of every
inhabitant of each ward for the purpose of an assessment.(559)


The city was becoming more and more agitated by party faction every day.
Royalist and parliamentarian openly acknowledged the side he favoured by
wearing a distinctive badge,(560) and disturbances were of frequent
occurrence. To many the state of affairs had become little less than
disastrous, owing to the shutting up of shops and the stoppage of trade.
The new parliamentary taxation increased the general dissatisfaction and
made the citizens sigh for peace. On the 12th December two petitions were
laid before the Common Council. Both petitions advocated peace. One of
them was objected to by the court as too dictatorial in tone and as
casting an aspersion on parliament. They nevertheless ordered it to be
entered on record, "to the end their dislike might the better
appear."(561) Whilst these petitions were under consideration in the
Council Chamber, which stood almost on the same spot as that on which the
present new and handsome structure stands, cries were heard proceeding
from an angry crowd in the adjacent hall. On all sides there arose a
clamour for peace. The lives of the lord mayor and the unpopular aldermen
were even threatened. The few soldiers who happened to be present received
some rough handling, and were told to go and spend the money they had
received from the State at the tavern, for they should have no more. At
last a body of the city trained bands arrived and order was restored. The
Common Council continuing its deliberations set aside both petitions, but
appointed a committee to draw up on its behalf two other petitions
advocating a cessation of hostilities, one to be presented to the king and
the other to parliament.(562)


On the 19th December these petitions, which had previously been submitted
to the Common Council for approval,(563) were laid before both Houses of
Parliament, the sheriffs and certain members of the Court of Aldermen and
of the Common Council attending at the bar of the House of Commons and
publicly disavowing any other petition. Having notified its approval of
both petitions the House gave orders that those who had been suspected of
taking part in the late tumult at the Guildhall should be committed as
prisoners to Lambeth House.(564) A week later (26 Dec.) both Houses were
prepared to open negotiations with the king.(565)

(M247) (M248)

Having obtained the sanction of parliament to present their petition to
Charles, the Common Council left it to the mayor to send whom he would to
"Mr. Secretary Falkland to learn his majesties pleasure whether certeine
citizens might with safety repaire unto his highness" with the City’s
petition, and in the meanwhile nominated the members of the deputation who
should wait upon the king if Falkland’s reply to the mayor’s messenger
proved satisfactory.(566) The reply was favourable, and the deputation set
out for Oxford, where Charles had taken up his quarters. On their return
they reported the result of their journey to the Common Council.(567) They
arrived in Oxford, said they, between one and two o’clock on the afternoon
of Monday, the 2nd January (1643), and an hour later waited upon Lord
Falkland at his lodgings in New College. At five o’clock the same evening
they were admitted into the king’s presence and the City’s petition was
then publicly read. The king professed satisfaction at seeing them, for he
could now be sure that certain printed declarations of his would reach
those for whom they were intended. He questioned very much the ability of
the City to protect his person, seeing that it was unable to preserve
peace among themselves. On Wednesday (4 Jan.) the deputation was dismissed
with a promise that Charles would send an answer by Mr. Herne (or Heron),
one of his own servants, who would accompany them on their return. He
asked which was the larger assembly, the Common Council or the Common
Hall. On being told that the latter were more numerous he directed that
his answer should be read there, as he wished as many as possible to be
disabused and to know the truth. Just when the deputation was about to set
out from Oxford on its return a printed paper purporting to be the king’s
answer was handed to Sir George Garrett and Sir George Clark as they sat
in their coach. The Common Council having heard the whole story of the
mission to Oxford deemed it expedient to inform the House of Commons of
the result, and to lay the printed paper in their hands.(568) This was
accordingly done on the 11th January, with the result that the House
directed the mayor to summon a Common Hall for Friday, the 13th, to hear
the king’s reply.(569) When the Common Hall met at the appointed time it
was only to hear a long diatribe against the heinousness of those who had
taken up arms against their king. All good subjects were called upon to
throw off their yoke, and to begin by arresting the lord mayor and certain
leading citizens who had been guilty of treason. When this had been done,
and not before, he would be prepared to return to London without the
protection of his army, or, to use the expression of the petitioners
themselves, with his "royal," and not his "martial attendance."(570)


After this Pym, who attended the Common Hall and heard the king’s
reply,(571) had no difficulty in convincing the assembly of the king’s
real mind, and that he had no intention to accept terms of peace. The
meeting was all but unanimous for continuing the war rather than submit to
the degradation of their mayor. A subsequent attempt by Charles to have
his reply circulated among the livery companies was frustrated by an order
of the House of Commons (24 Jan.) which granted the sheriffs an indemnity
for refusing to execute the king’s order.(572)


If the war was to be carried on it was necessary for parliament to face
the difficulty of getting a steady supply of money. Up to this moment the
new parliamentary taxes had brought in nothing. Many of the wealthier
class of citizens absolutely refused to pay. At a Common Hall held on the
17th January Alderman Garway pointed out, in a very strong speech, the
danger which would beset merchants trading with foreign parts if the king
withdrew his protection from them in consequence of the city contributing
to the maintenance of the parliamentary army. His speech was followed by a
great tumult, and the meeting broke up amid cries of "No money, no money!
peace, peace!"(573)


The payment of the assessment made in November last had been widely
refused. The war had already ruined many, and if some refused to pay on
principle others refused from sheer inability. Among the former must be
reckoned Sir George Whitmore,(574) a royalist alderman of considerable
means, who, with Thomas Knyvett, a goldsmith, Paul Pindar, and others
preferred imprisonment to pay what was by them considered an illegal


Nevertheless application was made to the City at this juncture for a loan
of £60,000 to keep the army from disbanding. A deputation from both Houses
of Parliament attended a court of Common Council held on the 18th
February, and assured the citizens that the money would be repaid out of
the weekly payments which parliament had resolved to impose upon every
county in England.(576) This would be the last time, as they hoped, that a
call of this kind would be made upon the city. The council declared its
willingness to promote the loan, the members present promising an
immediate payment of £6,000. Ministers were recommended to lay the matter
before their respective congregations on the following Sunday and exhort
them to contribute.(577)


A weekly assessment of £10,000 had been imposed on the City, whilst a
monthly rebate was allowed of £3,000. The Common Council complained to
parliament that the City was over-assessed in comparison with other
counties, and suggested that the monthly allowance should be raised to
£4,000. They also desired some security for the repayment of the loan of
£60,000. These and other proposals were laid before the House as being
"encouragements" for the City to make the loan; and the House, in
returning thanks to the City for its readiness in the matter of the loan,
promised that the "encouragements" should receive favourable


In the midst of their financial difficulties the Commons had been busy
elaborating the propositions for peace sent down to them from the Lords.
At length these were complete, and on the 1st February were presented to
the king. They were, however, received by Charles with little favour, and
the rest of the month was consumed by both Houses in an endeavour to
arrive at a compromise at once satisfactory to themselves and likely to be
acceptable to the king.


Before fresh terms of compromise were formulated the House was asked (23
Feb.) to consider certain other propositions drawn up by the Common
Council of the city. These were three in number. The first desired the
reformation of the army. The second demanded an indemnity to the citizens
for their adhesion to parliament. The third was a proposal for a religious
covenant and association for the defence of religion and liberty in case
the negotiations with the king should fall through. To only one of these
propositions did the House give an immediate reply, and that was the
second. To this the Commons returned answer that in the intended treaty
with the king such care would be taken for the indemnity of the City and
citizens of London and of the privileges thereof as should secure them and
"be a witness to the present and future generations of their fidelity to
the king and parliament."(579)


That the citizens entertained but little hopes of a peaceful issue to the
negotiations with Charles is evinced by their resolving (23 Feb.) to carry
out a comprehensive scheme of defence of the city and suburbs.(580) The
scheme received the sanction of parliament, which further allowed the
civic authorities to call upon the inhabitants of the suburbs as well as
of the city proper to contribute to the undertaking.(581) The City had a
hard task to get subscriptions in from the outlying districts, and was
consequently obliged to advance out of its own Chamber no less than six
sums of £2,000 each between the months of March and July lest the work of
erecting the necessary fortifications should be brought to a


In the face of this extraordinary expenditure the City was the more
anxious to get its weekly assessment reduced. On the 1st March Colonel
Venn, one of the city’s members, informed the Common Council that the
application to have the assessment reduced had been made too late, but the
House would allow the City an additional monthly sum of £3,000 in aid of
its defences so long as the ordinance for a weekly assessment should
continue in force.(583)


On the 10th March a deputation from both Houses, including Pym, informed
the Common Council of a message that had recently arrived from the Earl of
Essex to the effect that Prince "Robert" (Rupert) had arrived with a large
force within four miles of Bristol, and the earl intended forthwith to
make an advance. His army, however, was sadly in arrears of payment; he
wanted both men and money, and this fact he had desired to be represented
to the citizens of London. Pym, therefore, in the name of both Houses
desired the Common Council to hasten as far as possible the payment of the
residue of the £60,000 already promised, and to furnish such forces as the
city could spare.


As far as the first part of the request went the council promised its
ready assistance.(584) It frankly acknowledged that little more than
one-third of the whole amount promised had come in, but there were
difficulties in the way of getting it in. A large sum of money—as much as
£30,000—which ought to have been repaid to the lenders out of the estates
of malignants was still owing, and lenders were thereby discouraged. Men
of ability refused to lend, and there were no means of forcing them;
whilst divers rich men had left the city, carrying with them what property
they could, and leaving their houses empty. Nevertheless, the council
assured the deputation that it was well affected to parliament, all but a
very few of its members having already contributed, and it would forthwith
take steps to get the money in. Touching the furnishing of soldiers, the
council remarked that there were but three regiments in the city besides
the trained bands, two of which were on active service and the one
remaining was on outpost duty.(585)


Soon after the outbreak of the war it was seen that the weak point of the
parliamentary army lay in its cavalry. Already something had been done
towards remedying this defect. Volunteers had offered themselves for the
formation of a troop of horse at their own expense, and a "seminary" for
cavalry had been established.(586) The news about Rupert urged the
citizens to a greater effort. On the 15th March an offer was made to the
Common Council to raise no less than ten volunteer regiments, three of
which were to consist of cavalry. The men were to receive no pay except
when engaged on active service, and only a small sum was asked for, in
order to provide colours, drums and other necessaries. The offer was
gladly accepted.(587)


The last loan of £60,000 could scarcely have been subscribed before an
order came from the Commons for the city to make a further advance of
£40,000 for the support of the army.(588)


The East India Company was at the same time called upon to lend its
ordnance and military store for the defence of the city. In case of
refusal both ordnance and provisions were to be seized, on the
understanding that the City would restore them in as good condition as it
received them or give satisfaction for them. Should any great emergency
arise the Commons would supply the company with what was necessary.(589)
The livery companies too were exhorted to lend their arms. These were to
be stored at Salters’ Hall, in Bread Street.(590)


A few days later the negotiations between parliament and the king for a
cessation of hostilities collapsed, and the parliamentary commissioners at
Oxford were ordered to return home (14 April).(591) Irritated at the
king’s obstinacy, the Puritan party vented its spleen by ordering the
wholesale destruction of superstitious or idolatrous monuments in
Westminster Abbey and elsewhere. The City followed suit by asking
parliament to sanction the removal of Cheapside cross, "in regard of the
idolatrous and superstitious figures there about sett and fixed."(592) In
1581 these figures had given cause for offence and were secretly
removed,(593) but others had apparently been set up in their place. The
demolition of the cross, which took place on the 2nd May amid signs of
public rejoicing, was followed (10 May) by the public burning of the "Book
of Sports" by the hands of the common hangman in Cheapside.(594) Another
measure in the same direction was the placing of the appointment of
preachers in St. Paul’s Churchyard in the hands of the mayor and aldermen,
a proposal which the mayor had formerly suggested to the House of


Now that all hopes of a peaceful settlement had gone, Charles took
measures to gain over as many Londoners as he could to his side. He had
previously (16 March) caused a commission of array to be drawn, addressed
to Gardiner, who was still Recorder, and others, authorising them to raise
a force on his behalf in the city.(596) This commission he had retained at
Oxford until he could find an opportunity for conveying it safely to
London. It was now entrusted to Lady Daubeny to carry to London. She
succeeded in her mission and handed the document over to a city
linendraper named Chaloner, who, in his turn, transferred it to Tompkins,
a brother-in-law of Waller the poet, who was also implicated in the design
which on that account came to be known as "Waller’s Plot." Tompkins
endeavoured to conceal it in a cellar, but it did not escape the prying
eyes of parliamentary searchers. Early in the morning of the 31st May
Tompkins was arrested, and in the course of time both he and Chaloner paid
the penalty of their rashness by being hanged in front of their own
houses, the one in Cornhill and the other in Holborn. Waller was also
taken and flung into prison.(597)


Thursday, the 15th June, was appointed to be kept as a day of thanksgiving
for deliverance from the plot,(598) and on that day the new parliamentary
vow or covenant, binding those who took it to support the forces raised in
defence of parliament against those raised by the king, was generally
accepted in the city.


In the meantime Essex had besieged and taken Reading (26 April), but his
troops became affected with disease, and he made no attempt to advance on
Oxford until June.  Before his arrival Hampden had received a mortal wound
at Chalgrove Field (18 June). On the 5th July the royalist forces under
Hopton worsted the parliamentary army under Waller in the west, whilst a
similar success was achieved against Fairfax in the north (30 June). The
king had reason to be elated as he rode into Oxford (14 July) accompanied
by the queen, from whom he had been separated for fifteen months, amid the
shouts of men and the ringing of bells.

(M267) (M268)

Parliament and the City, on the other hand, had reason to be dejected. On
the 17th July Charles issued a proclamation for seizing all merchandise on
its way to London. The trade of the city became paralysed.(599) Nor was
this all. For some months past the citizens had been suffering from a
scarcity of coal. Ever since the appointment of the Earl of Newcastle as
governor of the town of Newcastle in June, 1642,(600) that town had been
held for Charles, and a refusal to allow its coal to be supplied to the
supporters of parliament had brought the city of London and the eastern
counties into great straits.(601) It thus became a matter of prime
importance that Newcastle should be captured. How this was to be
accomplished was set out in a series of propositions drawn up (25 May,
1643) by the Common Council of the city to be laid before parliament.(602)
A monopoly of the trade in coal, salt and glass with the north of England
was to be held out as an incentive for persons to adventure their money in
the reduction of the town. A committee, of which one-half of its members
was to be nominated by the Commons and the rest by the City, was to have
charge of all the money subscribed and to direct the undertaking. The
propositions were well received (26 May),(603) and on the 10th June the
Common Council nominated three aldermen and seven common councilmen to
join with a like number to be appointed by parliament in raising a force
by sea and land for the reduction of the town.(604)


To make matters worse news arrived on the 18th July that royalist cavalry
were in the vicinity of London, and that great disaffection to the cause
of parliament had manifested itself in the neighbouring counties of Kent
and Surrey. The Common Council, recognising the danger, forthwith resolved
to raise what money it could at the rate of eight per cent., and to place
it at the disposal of the Committee of the Militia of the city.(605)

(M270) (M271)

The danger which threatened London was increased the more by reason of
dissensions which sprang up among those whose particular care were the
defences of the city. A sub-committee which usually met at Salters’ Hall
fell out with the Committee of the Militia of London for presuming to get
into its hands the sole power over the auxiliary forces which had lately
been raised. Another committee was appointed to investigate the cause of
dissension, and if possible to suggest a _modus vivendi_.(606) This was no
easy matter to accomplish. It was eventually agreed to lay before
parliament a petition that all the forces raised within the city and
liberties, as also within the parishes adjacent mentioned in the weekly
bill of mortality, might be under the sole command of the Committee of the
Militia of the city, under the direction of both Houses of
Parliament.(607) On the 18th July a petition to this effect was
accordingly laid before the Commons by a deputation of aldermen and common
councilmen, and received the approval of the House. The outcome of all
this was that the House eventually passed a resolution (29 July) that "Sir
William Waller do command in chief all the forces raised within the city
of London, and all other forces that are or shall be under the command of
the militia of London, subordinate to the lord mayor and militia," and at
the same time transferred the custody of the Tower into the hands of the
lord mayor and sheriffs.(608)


Waller’s appointment was a distinct slur upon Essex, about whom some
rumours had been spread in order to prejudice him in the eyes of the City.
The Common Council took an early opportunity of deprecating strongly these
false rumours, and appointed (1 Aug.) a deputation to wait upon "his
excellency" to assure him of the good opinion which the court—as the
representative body of the city—had of his great care and fidelity in the
preservation of the king, parliament, city and kingdom, and to promise him
every assistance in recruiting his army. The citizens would stand by his
excellency with their lives and fortunes.(609)

(M273) (M274)

Taking advantage of a split in the parliamentary camp, the Lords renewed
their proposals for peace. As soon as the City became aware of this there
was great consternation. A Common Council hurriedly met on Sunday
afternoon (6 Aug.) and drew up a petition to the Commons praying them to
continue the same course they had hitherto pursued and to reject all
propositions for peace.(610) This petition was presented to the House on
Monday (7 Aug.), when the proposals of the Lords came on again for
consideration. The House thanked the City for its care, recommended the
lord mayor to take measures to prevent all disorders, and afterwards
formally rejected the peace propositions.(611)


Whilst the proposals of the Lords were under consideration the approaches
of the Houses had been filled by an angry mob which threatened to return
the next day unless matters went as they pleased. On the morning of the
8th August parliament was again besieged. This time it was by a crowd of
women with white ribbons in their hats, shouting loudly for peace. The
next day they appeared in greater numbers, and having presented a petition
for the cessation of the war and received a courteous answer from the
Commons, they refused to go home, but pressed on to the door of the House
and demanded that the traitors who were against peace might be handed over
to them. From words they resorted to stones and brickbats. At length a
small body of Waller’s horse from the city appeared on the scene, and
order was with difficulty restored.(612)


On the 7th a commission had arrived from Essex, in answer to the
recommendation of the House, appointing Waller to the command of all the
forces to be raised by the city.(613) Four days later (11 Aug.) the
Committee of the Militia for the city desired the cooperation of the
Common Council in raising 1,000 horse, pursuant to an order of parliament
of the 25th July, and on the following day (12 Aug.) Pennington issued a
warrant for pressing the number of horses required for delivery to


Instead of marching with his main army direct upon London from Bristol, as
Charles had originally intended, he resolved to lay siege to Gloucester.
On the 10th August he appeared before its gates and formally summoned the
town to surrender.(615) The citizens of London were quick to realise the
fact that the fall of Gloucester would endanger their own safety, and at
once took measures for defending themselves and sending relief to the
besieged town.


On the day after Gloucester had been summoned to surrender the Common
Council, in view of "the neare approach of the king’s forces," resolved to
call upon the livery companies to raise the sum of £50,000, for which the
City would give bonds at the rate of eight per cent. interest. The
companies were to contribute according to their corn assessment. In
addition to this every inhabitant of the city, citizen or stranger, was to
contribute to the Chamber a sum equal to fifty times the amount of subsidy
he had been in the habit of paying, and for this also the City would allow
him interest at the rate of eight per cent. after the first six months.
This mode of raising the money required subsequently (18 Aug.) received
the sanction of both Houses of Parliament, who guaranteed its repayment
(24 Aug.).(616) The Merchant Taylors’ Company again hesitated before they
consented to pay the sum (£5,000) at which they were assessed, whilst the
Grocers, on the other hand, displayed the same alacrity as before in
contributing their quota (£4,500), resolving to dispose of the remainder
of their plate (with the exception of such as was absolutely necessary)
for the purpose.(617)


Ten days later (21 Aug.) the Committee of the Militia of the city declared
its intention of sending a force under the command of Essex to assist in
raising the siege of Gloucester, and at once ordered every shop to be
closed and all business suspended until Gloucester should be relieved. The
regiments to be sent were to be chosen by lot. These consisted of two
regiments of the trained bands, two of the auxiliaries, and a regiment of
horse; and with them were despatched eleven pieces of cannon and three


After reviewing his forces on Hounslow Heath in the presence of a large
number of members of both Houses, Essex set out on his march (26 Aug.).
The troops suffered great privation from lack of food and water by the
way. "Such straits and hardships," wrote a sergeant in one of the London
regiments, "our citizens formerly knew not; yet the Lord that called us to
do the work enabled us to undergo such hardships as He brought us
to."(619) By the 5th September every obstacle had been overcome and Essex
appeared before Gloucester, only to see, however, the blazing huts of the
royalist army already in full retreat. Three days later he entered the
city amid the enthusiastic rejoicings of the inhabitants, who, but for his
timely arrival, would have been at the mercy of the enemy. The relief of
Gloucester, to which the Londoners contributed so much, "proved to be the
turning point of the war."(620)


If the Londoners fairly claimed some credit for the part they had taken
towards the relief of Gloucester, still more credit was due to them for
the bold stand they made a fortnight later (20 Sept.), at Newbury, against
repeated charges of Rupert’s far-famed cavalry. Again and again did
Rupert’s horse dash down upon the serried pikes of the London trained
bands, but never once did it succeed in breaking their ranks, whilst many
a royalist saddle was emptied by the city’s musketeers, whose training in
the Artillery Garden and Finsbury Fields now served them in good stead.
Whilst the enemy’s cannon was committing fearful havoc in the ranks of the
Londoners they still stood their ground "like so many stakes," and drew
admiration even from their enemies for their display of courage. "They
behaved themselves to wonder," writes the royalist historian of the civil
war, and "were, in truth, the preservation of that army that day."(621)
Notwithstanding, however, all their efforts, the day was undecided.
Neither party could claim a victory. Essex was glad enough to make his way
to Reading, whilst Charles retired to Oxford. On their return to London
(28 Sept.) the trained bands received an enthusiastic welcome, the mayor
and aldermen going out to meet them at Temple Bar.


Ten days later the services of the trained bands were again required to
assist in regaining the town of Reading, which had been occupied by the
royalists as soon as Essex had quitted it. Six regiments were to be
despatched for the purpose. Two regiments of the city’s trained bands were
chosen by lot, as before, and the remainder of the force was made up out
of the auxiliaries and the trained bands of Southwark and
Westminster.(622) Orders were issued that if any member of the appointed
regiments failed to appear on parade, his shop should be closed, and he
himself expelled beyond the line of fortifications.(623)


In no long time a mutinous spirit broke out among the trained bands, who,
in the midst of an attack on Basing House, the mansion of the Marquis of
Winchester, in the following month insisted upon returning home, and the
siege had to be abandoned. On the 28th November the sheriffs of London,
accompanied by a deputation of aldermen, appeared at the bar of the
Commons and boldly desired that the city regiments with Essex might be
called home. Alderman Fowke or Foulke, a leading spirit in the city and
staunch parliamentarian, was one of the sheriffs at the time, and acted as
spokesman. He laid before the House a plain statement as to how matters
stood. The fact was that the troops were unpaid, and that no money was
forthcoming. If money was found for the trained bands the civic
authorities, in consideration of the critical times, promised to do their
best to persuade them to remain longer in the field. The House resolved to
raise £5,000 for the city’s forces on this understanding.(624) A month
later (30 Dec.) the Common Council formally approved of a request made by
both Houses of Parliament that two or three regiments of the trained bands
should be sent to reinforce Waller, who was endeavouring to recapture


The recent signs of disaffection encouraged Charles to make another effort
to win over the City, and in this he was promised the support of Sir Basil
Brooke. Whilst accepting the services of one who was a warm Catholic,
Charles addressed a letter to the mayor and aldermen, in which he assured
them of his "constancy in religion." He foolishly imagined that such an
assurance would induce the City to break at once with parliament and
declare for peace. The letter, as luck would have it, fell into the hands
of the Committee of Safety. The plot was discovered, and full particulars
of it laid before the Commons (6 Jan., 1644).(626)

The discovery led to stricter precautions being taken to prevent
inhabitants of the city leaving the city to join the king at Oxford, as
many ill-affected persons had already done. The number of passes was
reduced, and the keys of the portcullises of the city’s gates were ordered
for the future to remain in the custody of the sheriffs.(627)


In token of the City’s constancy to parliament the Common Council resolved
(12 Jan.) to invite both Houses to dinner.(628) The entertainment, which
took place at Merchant Taylors’ Hall (18 Jan.), was preceded by a sermon
preached at Christ Church, Newgate, in favour of union. The preacher,
Stephen Marshall, received the formal thanks of the City, besides a
"gratification," and was desired to print his sermon. On their way from
church to the banquet the Lords and Commons passed through Cheapside,
where a pile of crucifixes, pictures and popish relics were in the act of
being burnt on the site of the recently destroyed cross.(629) The City
afterwards received the thanks of the Commons for the entertainment.


The day following the banquet the first regiments of the Scottish army
crossed the Tweed, driving the royalists of the extreme north of England
to take shelter in Newcastle. The mutual understanding between England and
Scotland—the result of Pym’s policy—necessitated the appointment of some
definite authority at Westminster which should control both armies in
common. Hence it was that on the 16th February a Committee of Both
Kingdoms, composed of members of parliament and commissioners sent from
Scotland, was established to take the place of the Committee of Safety.


Meanwhile the City was busy increasing its defences and raising a force to
join in the next campaign. It was found necessary to cut down the pay of
both officers and men,(630) and to such straits were the authorities
driven for money to pay the troops that they could devise no better method
than that the inhabitants of the city should be called upon to set apart
the price of one meal every week for the purpose. The idea was at first
distasteful to the Common Council, but seeing no other alternative open
they eventually applied for and obtained the sanction of parliament to
carry it out.(631)


The council at the same time signified to parliament its regret that those
reforms in the army which it had expressed a wish to have carried out, had
not been effected, and humbly prayed that Essex might be furnished with a
force such as the necessity of the times demanded, that command might be
given to officers whose fidelity was beyond suspicion, and that such
discipline might be maintained in his excellency’s army as might make it a
pattern of reformation to all the rest of the armies of the kingdom.(632)


The spring campaign opened successfully for parliament. When news of
Waller’s success at Cheriton (29 March) reached London it was received
with enthusiastic joy, and, for a time at least, all thoughts of peace
were set aside. The City assisted parliament to raise a sum of £20,000 (3
April) and authorised the purchase of 3,000 muskets and 1,000 pikes on the
credit of the weekly meal money (3 April).(633) The Commons ordered a
public thanksgiving for the victory which had crowned their arms to be
kept in London on the 9th April,(634) and the mayor was instructed to
summon a Common Hall to meet in the evening of that day for the purpose of
hearing proposals from both Houses. All the advantages gained at Cheriton
were unfortunately lost by the city’s trained bands again insisting upon
returning home.


The Common Hall which was accordingly summoned was addressed by Warwick,
Vane, Essex, Pembroke, Hollis and Glyn, the new Recorder.(635) All the
speeches were pitched in the same strain. The City was thanked for its
past services and exhorted to embrace the opportunity that now offered
itself of putting an end to the existing distractions. It was purposed to
draw all available forces together to a general rendezvous at Aylesbury by
the 19th of the month, and the citizens were desired to offer themselves
"as one man," for it was to no purpose "to go by little and little."


Three days later (12 April) the Committee of Militia, which had recently
received (8 April) a fresh commission, was instructed to call out six
regiments of the auxiliaries. Three of them were to set out immediately to
join the parliamentary army, whilst the other three were to be held in
reserve.(636) It was to little purpose, however, that the City kept
sending out fresh forces, if these were to be continually insisting upon
returning home, as those under Waller had recently done for the second


Great delay took place in getting the parliamentary forces into the field.
The 19th April, the day appointed for the rendezvous at Aylesbury, arrived
and found Essex still unprepared. It was not until the 2nd May that the
Committee of the Militia of the city informed the Common Council that
three regiments out of the six to be called out were then in readiness to
march. The committee asked the sanction of the council before giving
orders for the regiments to start because, they said, their powers had
been much limited by their last commission (8 April). The council was in
favour of the regiments setting out at once towards Uxbridge, according to
instructions left behind by Essex, and the committee was directed to draft
an ordinance for parliament to the effect that none of the forces might be
kept longer abroad or sent further from London than the committee should
from time to time think fit, and that the forces should be conducted and
commanded by such major-general and other officers of the brigade as the
committee should appoint.(637) It was a repetition of the old story. The
City always insisted on appointing its own officers over its own men.

(M293) (M294)

In the meantime the Committee of Both Kingdoms had been busy drawing up
proposals for peace such as would at once satisfy both Houses as well as
be acceptable to Charles. At length the proposals were laid before the
Commons and read the first time (29 April). The second reading was
appointed for the 1st May. Before any further steps were taken in the
matter it was but right that the citizens of London, without whose aid the
issue of the struggle between king and parliament might have been very
different to what it was, should be consulted. A deputation was therefore
appointed (3 May) by the House to wait on the mayor, aldermen and common
council of the city and to express to them the willingness of parliament
to consider any proposals that they might think fit to make on behalf of
the city, and to lay them before the king.(638) The City thanked
parliament and referred the matter to a committee.(639)


For some time past there had been a flow of dissatisfied royalists from
Oxford to London, induced to embrace the parliamentary cause by an offer
of pardon made by Essex (30 Jan.) to all who would return to their duty
and take the covenant.(640) During 1643 the flow had been in the opposite
direction. It now became necessary to see that only genuine converts found
their way into the city, and to this end parliament ordered (15 May) the
mayor to take steps for the expulsion from the city and lines of
communication of all suspicious persons such as had lately come from
Oxford, or any other of the king’s quarters, all recusants, the wives of
recusants and the wives of those who were in arms against the

(M296) (M297)

Meanwhile the term of three months for which the Committee of Both
Kingdoms had been originally appointed was fast drawing to a close, and
considerable difference of opinion had manifested itself between the Lords
and Commons as to its re-appointment. The former were in favour of
increasing the numbers of the committee, with the view no doubt of giving
a larger representation to the peace party, whilst the latter advocated a
simple renewal of the powers of the committee as it then stood. At this
juncture, when the country seemed likely to be left without any central
authority to direct the movements of the parliamentary forces, the City
presented a petition (16 May) to the Commons(642) setting forth the danger
that was likely to arise from the discontinuance of the committee, and
praying that it might speedily be re-established as the present urgency of
affairs required. The citizens took the opportunity of praying the Commons
to see that the Tower of London, Windsor Castle and Tilbury Fort remained
in good hands and were properly supplied with necessaries, and further
that none of the members of the House who had returned from Oxford might
be readmitted to their seats until they had given satisfactory pledges for
their fidelity in the future. The re-admission of these members had been a
cause of a long wrangle between the two Houses.


Two days later (18 May) a deputation from the Commons attended at the
Guildhall with their answer.(643) They gratefully acknowledged the
assistance they had received from the city, without which they would have
been unable to achieve what they had done. An ordinance, they said, was
being proceeded with for the continuance of the Committee of Both
Kingdoms; measures would be taken respecting the Tower, Windsor Castle and
Tilbury Fort such as would be for the security and satisfaction of the
City; and the House had already passed an ordinance touching the
re-admission of members which it would see carried into execution. The
answer concluded by again acknowledging the obligation that parliament was
under to the City for spending its blood and treasure for the public good,
which the House would ever have in remembrance and would endeavour to


Just as matters were coming to a dead-lock the crisis was averted by the
happy thought of reviving an old ordinance which had already received the
sanction of the Lords, but had hitherto been ignored and laid aside by the
Commons. This ordinance, which proposed to confer unlimited powers on the
committee, was now taken up and passed by the Commons, and thus the old
committee was enabled to meet on the 24th May and continue its work.(644)


Parliament was still sadly in need of money, and on the 27th May appointed
a committee, of which the Recorder and one or two of the city aldermen
were members, to consider how best to raise it, "either by particular
securities or companies, or other particular persons beyond seas, or by
mortgaging of any lands, or by putting to sale sequestered lands."(645)
The civil war appeared to be approaching a crisis. The town of Abingdon
had recently been abandoned by the royalists and occupied by Essex, whilst
Waller was advancing in the direction of Wantage, to gain, if possible, a
passage over the Thames above Oxford, and thus cut off Charles from the
west of England. Both generals sent notice of their movements to
parliament, and on the 28th their letters (or an abstract of them) were
read before the Common Council by a deputation of the recently appointed
committee, and a request was made that the City would furnish the House
with a sum of £200,000 or £300,000 upon the security of the estates of
delinquents. Notwithstanding the difficulty the City was then experiencing
in getting in the arrears of the monthly assessment and the weekly meal
account, it at once took steps to carry out the wishes of parliament.(646)


For some time past a royalist garrison in Greenland House, near Henley,
had caused considerable annoyance to the country round about it, and had
cut off all communication by way of the Thames between London and the
west. On the 5th June the Common Council was asked to furnish one or more
regiments to assist in reducing the garrison.(647) The council was the
more willing to accede to this request for the reason that the force was
to be placed under the command of a city alderman, Major-General


On the 7th June information was brought to the City that Charles had been
forced to flee from Oxford, and the Common Council was asked to render
assistance in the reduction of the king’s stronghold.(649) As long as
Charles was at large, not only was the prospect of an end of the war more
than ever remote, but the safety of London itself was threatened. It was a
time for Essex and Waller to forget all past differences and to strengthen
each other in a joint attack upon the royalist army wherever it may be
found. Instead of this the two generals went different ways; Essex marched
westward, leaving Waller to pursue Charles as best he could. To make
matters worse, disaffection again appeared in the ranks of Waller’s


That the city trained bands had done good service in their day no one will
deny, but the time was fast approaching when it would be necessary to
raise an army of men willing to devote themselves to the military life as
a profession. For permanent service in the field the London trained bands
were not to be relied on. "In these two days’ march," wrote Waller (2
July) to the Committee of Both Kingdoms, "I was extremely plagued with the
mutinies of the City Brigade, who are grown to that height of disorder
that I have no hope to retain them, being come to their old song of Home!
Home!" There was, he said, only one remedy for this, and that was a
standing army, however small;—"My lords, I write these particulars to let
you know that an army compounded of these men will never go through with
your service, and till you have an army merely your own, that you may
command, it is in a manner impossible to do anything of importance."(651)
The junction of his forces with those under Browne, who had been
despatched (23 June) to protect the country between London and the
royalist army, served only to increase the general discontent. "My London
regiments," he wrote (8 July), "immediately looked on his [_i.e._
Browne’s] forces as sent to relieve them, and without expectation of
further orders, are most of them gone away; yesterday no less than 400 out
of one regiment quitted their colours. On the other side, Major-General
Browne’s men, being most of them trained band men of Essex and
Hertfordshire, are so mutinous and uncommandable that there is no hope of
their stay. They are likewise upon their march home again. Yesterday they
were like to have killed their Major-General, and they have hurt him in
the face.... I am confident that above 2,000 Londoners ran away from their
colours."(652) The same spirit of insubordination manifested itself again
when Waller threw himself (20 July) into Abingdon. Most of his troops were
only too anxious to leave him, whilst the Londoners especially refused to
stir "one foot further, except it be home."(653)


All this was not unnatural if unpatriotic. The absence of these men from
their counters and shops portended bankruptcy to many. Even those who
stayed at home found difficulty in carrying on their commercial pursuits,
owing to the war. Credit had been given to persons who at the outbreak of
the war threw in their lot with the king. Their estates had thereupon been
sequestrated by parliament, and the city merchant, tradesman or craftsman
was left to recover his debt as best he could. At length (2 Aug., 1644)
the Common Council took the matter up, and agreed to petition parliament
that delinquents might be brought to judgment, and that in all cases of
sequestration provision might be made for payment of all just debts out of
delinquents’ estates.(654) Another grievance which the London tradesman
had was the large circulation of farthing tokens, which they were unable
to get re-changed.(655)


The representations made by Waller as to the untrustworthiness of the
trained bands were such as parliament could not disregard. It resolved
therefore (12 July) to establish a permanent force amounting in all to
10,000 foot and 3,050 horse, to be levied in the eastern and southern
counties, to take their place and form a small standing army.(656) The
city of London and the county of Middlesex were called upon to find 200
horse. The city’s contingent of 100 horse was reported as being ready
early in August, but money was wanted for their pay. The Common Council
thereupon authorised the payment of £2,000 out of the weekly meal

(M306) (M307)

More than three months had now elapsed since parliament offered to
consider any propositions that the municipal authorities might suggest for
the good of the city. At length these were ready, and were laid before the
House on the 21st August. They were twenty-eight in number.(658) The first
six had reference to the appointment of justices of the peace in the city
and Southwark, whilst others dealt with the City’s right to the
conservancy of the Thames, the restitution of the City’s Irish estate and
the extension of its jurisdiction over the Tower. Parliament was further
urged to empower the Common Council to correct, amend or repeal any by-law
made or procured by any company or mistery of London, notwithstanding any
statute or law to the contrary, and generally to extend the powers of the
City. Lastly, it was proposed that, as the city had grown very populous,
the citizens should be allowed to send two additional burgesses to
parliament. The consideration of these propositions by the Commons was put
off until October, when (25th) the House resolved that the City should be
desired to reduce the number of propositions and to state specifically a
few of the most important and to bring forward the rest in general terms,
so that the propositions of the two kingdoms, which had been ready for
some time past, might be forwarded to the king without more delay.(659)


The Common Council met accordingly on the following day (26 Oct.) and
reduced the number of propositions to six, viz., (1) that an Act be passed
confirming to the City its charters, customs and liberties; (2) that the
militia of the city, as well as of the parishes beyond the city, and its
liberties, but within the bills of mortality, should be regulated by the
Common Council; (3) that the Tower should be under the government of the
City; (4) that the City’s forces should not be forced to serve outside the
city; (5) that an Act might be passed confirming all by-laws and
ordinances made or to be made for calling and regulating the Common
Council of the city; and (6) that such other propositions as should be
made for the safety and good government of the city, with the approval of
both Houses, might be confirmed by Act of parliament. These six
propositions were ordered to be forthwith presented to parliament by the
Recorder and by alderman Pennington (as lieutenant of the Tower), with an
humble desire that they might be sent to his majesty with the propositions
of the two kingdoms. It was hoped that the rest of the propositions
formerly presented by the City to the House of Commons might soon pass
both Houses of Parliament.(660)


Whilst the propositions which were supposed to make for peace were under
consideration, the whole of the parliamentary forces under Essex in the
west of England, with the exception of the cavalry, had been compelled to
surrender to the royalist army. Deserted by their leader, and left by
their cavalry to shift for themselves, the foot soldiers were driven to
accept such terms as Skippon, who still stuck to his post, was able to
obtain, and on the morning of the 2nd September they laid down their arms.
News of the disaster created great consternation in the city, and the
Common Council resolved (9 Sept.) to petition parliament to take steps to
prevent the royalists occupying Reading as they had done before, and to
hasten the passing of a measure for raising money for the maintenance of
the fortifications and guards of the city.(661)


Every effort was made to prevent Charles, who was coming up from the west,
reaching the garrisons around Oxford, where he would be able to fight to
advantage, and the City was asked (13 Sept.) to send a contingent to
assist Waller in that design. The Common Council thereupon gave its assent
(20 Sept.) to the red and blue regiments of the trained bands being drawn
out in conjunction with three other regiments, viz., one of the trained
bands of Westminster, one of the trained bands of Southwark, and the
auxiliaries of the Hamlets, and a week later (27 Sept.) voted the sum of
£20,000 "or thereabouts" for defraying their cost.(662) This sum was
afterwards raised to £22,000, of which £17,250 was to be raised in the
city and liberties, and the balance within the Tower Hamlets, the city of
Westminster and borough of Southwark.(663)


These preparations were of little avail. As the royalist army came on
Waller fell back, until at Newbury the opposing armies again tried
conclusions (27 Oct.). Notwithstanding some success which attended the
parliamentary forces, they failed to attain the main object in view, and
Charles was able at the close of the day to continue his march to Oxford,
which he entered on the 1st November.


In the meantime better news arrived from the north. Newcastle had at last
surrendered to the Scots (19 Oct.), and this intelligence gladdened the
hearts of the parliamentary soldiers as well as of the citizens of London.
The city might now look for a plentiful supply of coal, a commodity which
had become so scarce that in July the civic authorities had received
permission from parliament to dig for turf and peat, by way of a
substitute for coal, wherever they thought fit.(664) Seeing that it was by
the aid of the city that a fleet had been maintained off the north coast,
that Berwick had been secured for parliament, and that a free passage had
thus been kept open for the Scottish army, the civic authorities thought
themselves justified in appealing to parliament for repayment of the money
formerly advanced by the adventurers.(665) Notwithstanding the surrender
of Newcastle the citizens had to pay a high price for coal owing to a
heavy impost set upon it by parliament, until, at the earnest request of
the municipal authorities, parliament consented to reduce it.(666)


The close of the year (1644) found the trade and commerce of the city in a
deplorable condition. Commercial intercourse with the woollen and linen
manufacturers of the west of England had been almost entirely cut off,
whilst the blockade of the east coast by the royalist navy deprived the
city of a great amount of corn, fish, butter, cheese and other provisions.
The citizens were greatly opposed to free trade being allowed with those
ports and towns which were in the hands of the royalists,(667) but they
were still more anxious to have their trade kept open with the west of
England, and they petitioned parliament to that end.(668)


Early in the following year (31 Jan., 1645) a conference was opened at
Uxbridge to discuss three propositions for peace which parliament had
offered to Charles at Oxford in November last. These propositions involved
the abolition of Episcopacy, and the placing the entire command of the
army and navy, as well as the future conduct of the war with Ireland, in
the hands of parliament. From the outset it appeared very unlikely that
Charles would bring himself to accept the terms thus offered. After three
weeks’ discussion negotiations were broken off and the so-called "Treaty
of Uxbridge" fell to the ground.


(M315) (M316)

The failure of the negotiations at Uxbridge hastened the passing of an
ordinance for re-modelling the army and placing it on such a footing that
the men should be in receipt of constant pay and the officers selected for
military efficiency alone. Ever since November the "New Model"
ordinance—as it was called—had been under consideration. In January it
passed the Commons, but the Lords hesitated until the difference of
opinion that had manifested itself at Uxbridge induced them to give their
assent (15 Feb.). On the 4th March a deputation from both Houses came into
the city and informed the Common Council that, the Treaty of Uxbridge
having fallen through, the Houses had resolved "to put their forces into
the best posture they can for the vigorous prosecution of the war, as the
best means now left (under God) for the obtaining of peace." Parliament
had passed an ordinance—they proceeded to say—for raising £50,000 a month
for nine months for payment of an army under Sir Thomas Fairfax, and they
now asked the City to advance a sum of £80,000 on the security of the
money so to be raised in the last five months out of the nine. The matter
was referred to a committee to carry out.(669)


The passing of the New Model ordinance was followed by the passing of a
self-denying ordinance,(670) the original purport of which was to exclude
all members of either House from commands in the army, but was afterwards
so far modified as to compel existing officers to resign their
appointments, leaving it to parliament to re-appoint them if it would.
Essex, Waller and Manchester resigned, but when the time came for
Cromwell, the prime mover in the re-organisation of the army, to follow
suit, he and two or three others were re-appointed to commands in the new
army. The immediate effect of the passing of this ordinance upon the city
of London was that Pennington, who had been appointed by parliament
lieutenant of the Tower, had to resign his post. The nomination of his
successor was, however, left with the Common Council, who sent up the name
of Colonel Francis West for the approval of the Commons (24 April).(671)


Whilst the army was undergoing a process of reformation outside London,
considerable activity prevailed within the city with the object of
strengthening its position. The Committee of Militia was instructed to
raise a sufficient number of men to guard the city forts so that the
trained bands might be free for more active duties. Large sums of money
were voted to pay arrears due to gunners, "mattrosses" and workmen who had
been engaged in erecting the fortifications. The sum of £500 was ordered
to be laid out in the purchase of gunpowder. The scout-master for the city
was encouraged in his duty of bringing information of movements of the
royalist army by the payment of arrears due to him, and steps were taken
to bring up the regiments of the city auxiliaries to their full complement
by enlistments from the several wards.(672)


The first serious undertaking confided to Fairfax and the New Model army
was the siege of Oxford. The utter uselessness of such an enterprise,
whilst Charles was free to roam the country and deal blows wherever
opportunity offered, failed to make itself apparent to the Committee of
Both Kingdoms, which still governed the movements of the parliamentary
army. The siege being resolved upon, a deputation from both Houses waited
on the Common Council (16 May) to ask for assistance in furnishing a force
to set out under Major-General Browne to join Fairfax and Cromwell in the
undertaking.(673) Four days later (20 May), when another deputation
attended, the court instructed the committee of arrears sitting at
Weavers’ Hall to raise £10,000 for the purpose.(674)


Whilst the main force of the parliamentary army was wasting time in
besieging Oxford, care was taken to keep the country open round Taunton,
recently set free by a detachment sent by Fairfax. For this purpose
Massey, the governor of Gloucester, was ordered to quit his post and march
towards Bristol.(675) The prospect of losing their governor, who had
achieved so many military successes in the neighbourhood, threw the
inhabitants of Gloucester into terrible consternation, and they went so
far as to petition parliament against his removal; but somehow or other
their petition failed to be read before the Commons. In their distress
they caused their mayor to address a letter to the city of London (29 May)
stating the facts of the case, and praying that the Londoners, who had
already done so much to save them from the hand of the enemy, would
interpose with the Commons on their behalf, so that Colonel Massey might
be allowed to remain. The civic authorities agreed (7 June) to lay the
matter before parliament;(676) but in spite of all representations Massey
had to go. The Londoners themselves were asked (9 June) to furnish 500
mounted musketeers for Massey’s expedition, and were encouraged to do so
by "motives" setting forth the gallant behaviour of the brigade in and
about Taunton, and the critical condition it was in by being cut off from
provisions. The Common Council ordered the motives to be printed and
circulated, with the result that sufficient money was raised to fit out
500 dragoons.(677)


In the meantime considerable dissatisfaction manifested itself in the city
at the state of affairs in general, and more particularly with the manner
in which the movements of Fairfax and the New Model army were hampered by
orders from home. A petition from divers inhabitants of the city with
certain suggestions was laid before the Common Council for presentation to
parliament. It was not customary, however, for the Common Council to
present petitions to parliament unless drawn up by themselves, but as the
feelings of the court were in sympathy with the petitioners it ordered two
petitions to be drawn up embracing the substance of the original petition,
and these were presented, one to each of the Houses. After setting forth
what they esteemed to be the reasons for the ill success of the
parliamentary cause, the petitioners made known their own wishes. In the
first place, they desired that the army of Fairfax should be recruited,
and that the general might be allowed greater freedom of action. Secondly,
that steps should be taken, before it was too late, to recover Leicester,
which had recently (31 May) fallen into the king’s hands. Thirdly, that
the Scots should be urged to march southward. Fourthly, that Cromwell
should be placed in command of the Eastern Association. Fifthly, that
adequate convoys should be provided for merchants; and lastly, that
parliament should publish its own account of the recent negotiations, as
well as its resolutions against free trade by sea to such ports as were in
the king’s hands.(678) The petition, which was presented by Alderman Fowke
to the Commons (4 June),(679) was favourably received by both Houses, and
the City thanked for its care.


One of the wishes expressed in the City’s petition was soon realised, for
within a week Cromwell was appointed, not to the command of the Eastern
Association as suggested, but to a still greater command, viz., the
lieutenant-generalship of the army, an office which, by long prescription,
carried also the command of the cavalry, an arm of the service in which
Cromwell had especially shown himself a master.(680)


Fairfax, being now allowed a free hand, abandoned the siege of Oxford and
set off in pursuit of the royal army. He came up with them at Naseby,
where on the 14th June he succeeded, with the help of Cromwell and his
cavalry, in obtaining a signal victory and utterly crushing the power of
Charles in the field. Among the wounded on the parliamentary side was the
City’s old friend Skippon, "shot under the arme six inches into his
flesh." The pain of having his wound dressed caused him to groan. "Though
I groane, I grumble not," said he to the by-standers, and asked for a
chaplain to come and pray for him.(681)


The victory at Naseby was celebrated in the city by a thanksgiving service
at Christ Church, Newgate (19 June), which was attended by the members of
both Houses, followed by an entertainment at Grocers’ Hall. The hall not
being large enough to contain the whole of the company, the members of the
Common Council dined by themselves at the hall of the Mercers Company.
Nothing was omitted that could serve to enhance the reputation of the


The wishes of the citizens were to be further gratified. The Scottish army
was about to move southward, and parliament had voted a month’s pay, or
£31,000. The City was asked to assist in raising the money (14 June). To
this the Common Council readily agreed, but at the same time directed the
Recorder to represent to parliament that the citizens were anxious for the
Scots to recover Leicester as speedily as possible.(683) Before the army
had time to make any great advance in this direction Leicester had
surrendered to Fairfax (18 June).


In July the City was called upon to assist in raising 1,000 horse and 500
dragoons for the relief of the counties of Oxford, Buckingham, Berkshire
and others, and the better security of the Association.(684) Three months
later (2 Sept.) another contingent of 500 light horse and a like number of
"dragoneers" were required "to pursue the forces of the king." Each member
of the Common Council was directed to provide a light horse and arms or to
pay the sum of £12 in lieu thereof. A dragoon horse and arms might be
compounded for by payment of half that sum. Parliament agreed to charge
the excise with the sum of £16,000 to provide compensation for any loss
the contributors might sustain, whilst the City contributed out of its
Chamber the sum of £400 towards the pay of officers, the buying of
trophies and other necessaries.(685)


The aid of the City was now invoked by Plymouth as formerly it had been by
Gloucester. On the 5th September the mayor and aldermen of Plymouth
addressed a letter to the mayor and common council of London enclosing a
petition they were about to lay before parliament. The petition set forth
how, in the absence of Fairfax, who was laying siege to Bristol, the whole
country round Plymouth was in the hands of the enemy; and an attack would,
it was feared, be soon made by Lord Goring on the town garrison. Unless
the siege was raised before winter, or considerable supplies brought in,
the town would be unable to hold out longer. This petition the municipal
authorities of London were asked to second, with the hope of prevailing
upon parliament to send at least that relief which had been so often
desired and so often promised. A whole fortnight elapsed before the letter
and petition were brought to the notice of the Common Council (20
Sept.)—the letter from Gloucester had taken a week in transit, such was
the state of the country—and then it was resolved to send a deputation
from the city, including the two sheriffs, to express to the Committee of
Both Kingdoms the desire of the City that they would be pleased to take
the petition into speedy and serious consideration, and to provide for the
safety and defence of Plymouth.(686)


The Londoners themselves were suffering from an inconvenience from which
they had hitherto in vain sought relief from parliament, and that was the
large number of royalist soldiers—amounting to no less than 3,000—which
after the battle of Naseby had been quartered on the city.(687) Now that
the war was practically over, so far as the king was concerned, the Common
Council again took the matter in hand, and it was suggested that the
Convocation House and its cloisters situate on the south side of St.
Paul’s Churchyard should be fitted up at a cost of £40 for their
reception. By this means Bethlehem hospital, where many of the prisoners
had been housed, would be free to minister again to the wants of the


The troubles with Charles had scarcely terminated before a new struggle
commenced. A monster had been raised, after much hesitation and with no
little difficulty, in the shape of a well-organised and regularly paid
army, the command of which was virtually in the hands of a small political
party known as Independents. The great fear was lest this party, with the
army at its back, should over-ride the wishes of the Presbyterians, a
party which was numerically stronger than the Independents, both in the
House and in the country; and to avoid such a catastrophe the
Presbyterians of England were ready to join hands with their brethren in


The House, however, was unfortunate enough at this critical juncture to
offend the Scots as well as the citizens of London. The Scottish army had
been invited to march southward to attack Newark, whither Charles had
betaken himself after witnessing from the walls of Chester the defeat of
his troops on Rowton Heath (24 Sept.), and the Commons had promised to
raise a sum of £30,000 for its pay provided it arrived before Newark by
the 1st day of November.(689) This sum the City promised to find (10
Oct.), but only on the condition named.(690) On the 13th the House
offended the dignity of the Scots by a series of resolutions protesting
against the conduct of the Scottish army in not attacking the enemy as
well as in levying money on the inhabitants of the northern counties, and
demanded the removal of the garrisons which had been placed in Newcastle,
Carlisle and other towns without the consent of parliament.(691)


The quarrel between parliament and the City was scarcely less serious, and
arose out of an attempt to foist a system of Presbyterianism upon the
citizens which should serve as a model for the rest of the kingdom. It was
not that the Londoner objected to the principle of Presbyterianism; the
natural bent of his mind was in that direction, and the City had already
petitioned parliament for the election of elders to join with the parish
ministers.(692) What he found fault with was the mode of electing the
elders prescribed by parliament (23 Sept.).(693) The scheme was so far
from satisfying the general body of citizens that a number of them
presented a petition to the Common Council to address both Houses of
Parliament, with a view to having the powers of the elders sufficiently
enlarged to effect a genuine reform in the Church.(694) They wanted, in
fact, to see parliamentary control over the Church in matters purely
ecclesiastical withdrawn. Herein they were supported by the ministers of
their own parish churches, who drew up a list of reforms they desired to
see executed and the reasons why they so desired.(695) It was a difficult
matter on which to approach parliament. Nevertheless, in accordance with a
resolution of the Common Council (18 Nov.), a deputation of aldermen and
common councillors, of whom Alderman Gibbs acted as spokesman, presented
themselves (19 Nov.) before the House of Commons with the petition of the
citizens, as well as with the "desires and reasons" of the city clergy.
The reply they got was far from encouraging. They were given to understand
that parliament was well aware of its trust and duty, and was quite able
to discharge both, if only it was let alone, and its purpose not
misconceived and prejudged as it appeared to have been in the city; and
they were dismissed with the caution not to form premature opinions about
matters which were still under discussion.(696) Notwithstanding this
rebuff, the deputation the following day attended before the Lords (20
Nov.), who returned them a far more gracious and sympathetic answer. After
thanking the deputation for their expressions of submission to the
resolutions of parliament, their lordships assured them that none should
excel them in their endeavours for the maintenance of the covenant, the
advancement and settling of God’s true religion, and the discharge of the
trust reposed in them.(697)


In the meantime a deputation from parliament had waited on the Common
Council (12 Nov.) with a request for a loan of £6,000 for the troops
engaged in blockading Chester. The court agreed to the request, but
thought it high time to learn precisely how the city stood with respect to
loans already made to parliament, and appointed (17 Nov.) a committee to
report on the whole matter, with a view of addressing parliament for
re-payment of monies in arrear.(698)


It was feared that the Scottish army might change sides. It wanted
supplies. The City, we have seen, had agreed with parliament to advance a
sum of £30,000 for payment of the Scots, provided their army appeared
before Newark by the 1st November. This condition had not been fulfilled.
The army, nevertheless, appeared later on, and a committee of the House of
Commons came down to the city and asked the citizens (6 Dec.) to stand by
their former promise and advance the sum mentioned, which they readily
consented to do.(699)

(M334) (M335)

The question with Charles was, from whom was he likely to obtain the
better terms, the English or the Scots? On the 26th December he addressed
a letter to the Speaker of the House of Lords, asking whether the two
Houses of Parliament, the Scottish commissioners, the municipal
authorities, as well as the militia of the city and the officers of both
armies, would guarantee his personal security if he came to reside in
London or Westminster, with a retinue not exceeding three hundred in
number, for a period of forty days.(700) The risk of allowing such a step
was too great. Already the Earl of Holland had been heard to threaten a
royalist rising in the city if only Charles could be brought in safety to
Westminster. Not getting a reply so quickly as he wished, Charles wrote
again three days later (29 Dec.) urging his former proposal.(701) More
delay took place, during which the Commons instructed the mayor to see
well to the city’s guards and scrutinise the passes of those coming and
going,(702) and at last, on the 13th January, the Speakers wrote to
Charles declining the proposal.(703)


The day following the despatch of this reply was kept in the city as a day
of solemn humiliation. Sermons were preached before the mayor, aldermen
and members of the common council, who afterwards individually took the
oath and covenant. An enquiry was subsequently ordered (9 Feb.) for the
purpose of discovering what members of the common council had failed to
take the covenant on this occasion, and the reasons why they had not done
so. A few members stood out and refused to renew the covenant, whereupon
the court resolved to ask parliament for instructions as to what should be
done with them.(704)


On the 15th January Charles made overtures to parliament for the first
time on the question of religion. He was prepared to allow religion to be
settled as it was in the reign of Elizabeth and James, "with full liberty
for the ease of their consciences who will not communicate in that service
established by law, and likewise for the free and public use of the
directory prescribed and, by command of the two Houses, now practised in
some parts of the city of London."(705)


This important concession on the part of Charles—a concession which only
the necessities of the time induced him, after much exercise of mind, to
make—was announced to parliament on the same day that the City presented a
petition(706) against toleration of any other form of religion than the
Presbyterianism already adopted by parliament and the citizens. The
petitioners declared that since they last addressed the Houses on the
subject of religion a fresh election of the Common Council had taken
place, and the inhabitants of many of the wards had taken the opportunity
of asking their alderman that parliament might be again desired to settle
Church government and forbid toleration. Private meetings for religious
worship, they went on to say, were constantly held. In one parish there
were at least eleven. Orthodox ministers were evil spoken of, as if the
city were still under the "tyranny of prelatical government." Women had
taken to preaching, and such blasphemies were uttered as made the
petitioners tremble to think of. Having heard that it was the intention of
divers persons to petition the House for a toleration of such doctrines as
were against the covenant under pretext of liberty of conscience, the
petitioners humbly prayed that parliament would take steps to remedy
abuses and to settle the Church government according to the solemn
covenant made with the most high God. The Commons lent a ready ear to the
petition and thanked the City for their display of piety and religion. It
was gratifying to them to know that they had the sympathy of the City in
their anxiety to settle the peace of the Church.(707) The Lords, to whom a
similar petition had been presented, returned an equally gracious message,
and expressed a hope that the municipal authorities would take steps to
remedy the existing abuses.(708)


Whilst endeavouring to come to terms with parliament Charles was also in
communication both with the Scots and the Independents. His purpose was to
play one party off against the other. A complete understanding existed
between the citizens and the Scots on the subject of religion. On the 11th
February the Scottish commissioners themselves appeared at a Common
Council bearing a letter from the president of the Scottish parliament
addressed to the lord mayor, aldermen and common council of the city,
thanking them for their zeal for the reformation of religion and
uniformity of Church government, as well as for the large sums of money
advanced to the armies in defence of religion and the liberty of the
subject.(709) The Common Council thanked the commissioners for the favour
thus shown, and begged them to assure their countrymen that the City would
continue its zeal and affection for the reformation of religion and
uniformity of Church government, and would persevere in its resolution to
preserve the same according to the covenant.

(M340) (M341)

As soon as Parliament heard that the City had received a communication
from Scotland the Commons sent a deputation to learn all the particulars
and to ask that the letter might be forwarded to them. The deputation was
to assure the mayor and the Common Council that there was "no jealousie at
all or dislike of their proceedings" in the business. In the meanwhile the
House called upon Francis Allen, a member of the House as well as a member
of the Common Council, to give an account of what had taken place in the
city on the 11th. This he did to the best of his ability, giving from
memory the substance of the letter from Scotland. He then proceeded to say
that one of the Scottish commissioners, Lord Lauderdale, had made the
following remark before the Common Council, viz., "That many aspersions
had been caste upon their armie and their proceedings by malignants; and
desired that the authors of them might be looked upon as those that
endeavour to disturb the unitie of both kingdomes."(710)


That at least was the story as recorded in the Journal of the House.
Allen, however, declared that he had been inaccurately recorded, and the
Common Council, in giving parliament their own version of the matter,
denied that Lauderdale had made any such remark. He had said nothing that
could give offence. They forwarded the letter as desired, but begged that
it might be returned in order that it might be entered on the city’s
Journal. They further expressed a wish to print and publish it so that the
real facts might be known. Allen, they said, was not to be credited, and
had been guilty of a breach of privilege in what he had done.(711)


The House, however, took a different view of Allen’s conduct, and declared
that he had only done his duty. It at the same time came to a resolution
that the relation entered on the Journal of the House varied from Allen’s
and ordered it to be expunged.(712)


Three years later, when Allen was elected alderman of the ward of
Farringdon Without, the House declared (5 Dec, 1649) that it deemed it "an
acceptable service to the commonwealth" if Allen would accept the post,
and the Common Council resolved (19 Dec.) to revoke all votes of the court
that had been passed in the month of February, 1646, reflecting on Allen’s


Hitherto the City and Parliament had, in the presence of a common danger,
mutually supported one another; but as soon as the royalists ceased to
give further cause for alarm differences immediately sprang up. The
question of the City’s jurisdiction over the militia raised within the
weekly bills of mortality, as well as over that raised within the city and
liberties, was no new question. It had been raised at least as far back as
August, 1644,(714) but during the crisis of the civil war the matter had
been allowed to drop until December, 1645, when the City again brought it
forward and urged parliament to acknowledge its jurisdiction.(715) Before
parliament would give its assent it wished to be informed whether the
jurisdiction claimed by the City was already vested in the City by Charles
or by custom, and if not, what extension of jurisdiction was it that the
City now desired?(716) The chief opposition came from the inhabitants of
Middlesex, Surrey, Southwark and Westminster, who objected to their
militia being placed under the command of the mayor, aldermen and common
council of the city. All parties were cited to appear before the Star
Chamber on the 31st June, 1646, to support their own contention.(717)
Parliament had already (27 Jan.) expressed itself as willing to sanction
the government of the militia of the city and liberties being vested in
the municipal authorities and to allow that the city forces should not be
called upon to serve away from the city without their own consent,(718)
but this was not enough. What the City desired was nothing more and
nothing less than what had already been proposed to the king at Oxford
with the sanction of both Houses, namely, "the government of the militia
of the parishes without London and the liberties within the weekly bills
of mortality." Parliament had made no scruple about the matter at a time
when it stood in sore need of assistance from the City; and the City did
not intend to let it go back lightly on its word.(719)


A petition was accordingly presented to the House of Commons by alderman
Fowke on the 6th February.(720) The petition set out at considerable
length all the proceedings that had taken place since the question of the
militia was first submitted to Charles. It compared the attitude of the
city towards parliament in the late civil war with the part played by the
citizens in a previous civil war, viz., the war of the Barons, when
(according to the petitioners) the Barons were eventually beaten out of
the field owing to the citizens of London staying at home! The petitioners
proceeded to show the necessity of the City being empowered to raise
militia in the adjacent counties for the purpose of keeping open a passage
for victualling the city in times of danger; that since the militia of the
suburbs had been under the command of the City good service had been
rendered to the parliamentary cause, and notably in the relief of
Gloucester; that if it were now removed from the jurisdiction of the City
the suburban forts might be seized and both the city and parliament might
be threatened; and that it was for the better preservation of parliament,
and not for the purpose of rendering the city militia independent of
parliament, that the petitioners appeared before the House. Finally,
Alderman Fowke, who acted as spokesman, declared himself authorised to
state that if the militia of the city and kingdom were not settled by the
king and parliament there would be no course left open to the city
authorities but to act according to their conscience and to abide by their
covenant. A similar petition was presented to the House of Lords (7 Feb.).
A week later (14 Feb.) a counter-petition was addressed to the Commons by
the inhabitants of the Tower Hamlets, Westminster and Southwark,(721) and
on the 13th March a committee was appointed to arrange, if possible, a


Before this question was settled another had arisen to widen the breach
between parliament and the city in the shape of an ordinance for
establishing a system of Presbyterianism throughout England.(723) One
clause of this ordinance—clause 14—was particularly objectionable as
introducing the authority of the State into matters of Church government.
Commissioners were to be appointed, of whom nothing was known, to regulate
the Church in each province. The Common Council, being urged by
inhabitants of the city to oppose a measure so opposed to the Word of
God,(724) presented petitions to both Houses (to the Lords first, they
having not yet assented to clause 14) praying that no officers might be
appointed to exercise any Church censures contrary to the Scriptures, and
that their appointment might be in accordance with the Word of God.(725)
The petitions were so badly received by both Houses that the municipal
authorities took fright, and asked that they might be withdrawn and
expunged from the Journals of Parliament. Their request was acceded to,
but only on condition that the petitions were likewise expunged from the
City’s Records.(726)

(M348) (M349)

The reconciliation between parliament and the city was followed by an
interchange of courtesies. The royalist army under Hopton had recently
surrendered to Fairfax in the west of England (14 March), and had been
disbanded; and the last hope of Charles had vanished in the defeat of
Astley’s troops after a sharp engagement at Stow-on-the-Wold (22 March).
"You have now done your work" were the parting words of the veteran
commander to his soldiers, "and may go play, unless you will fall out
among yourselves."(727) On the 26th March a deputation from both Houses
waited on the Common Council, and invited the mayor, aldermen and council,
as "the representative body of the city," to attend a public thanksgiving
service to be held that day week (2 April) at Christ Church, Newgate
Street. The invitation was graciously accepted, and the City returned the
compliment by asking both Houses to dine the same day at Grocers’

(M350) (M351)

On the 19th May, whilst virtually a prisoner in the hands of the Scots,
Charles wrote to the City(729) declaring his readiness to concur in
settling truth and peace, his desire to have all things speedily concluded
to that end, and his hope that his return to his ancient city might be to
the satisfaction of parliament and his people. The Commons were angry with
the civic authorities for opening the king’s letter without their leave,
and returned a curt answer to a remonstrance presented to them by the City
calling upon them to suppress heresy, to unite with the Scots and to come
to a speedy arrangement with the king.(730) The Lords, to whom a similar
remonstrance had been presented, expressed themselves more graciously.
They acknowledged the fidelity and constant services of the City to
parliament. They were satisfied with the resolutions of the citizens to
settle the Protestant religion and to preserve the rights and privileges
of parliament, the liberties of the kingdoms and the person and authority
of his majesty. As for their lord mayor (Thomas Adams), whose character
the petitioners had declared to have been aspersed by certain members of
the Commons (for opening the king’s letter without leave?), they (the
Lords) held him in high esteem, and declared that nothing had been said or
done in their House to his prejudice. As soon as they should be informed
of the nature of his grievance they would be found ready in a
parliamentary way to do him right.(731) The Common Council received a
formal address of thanks for presenting this remonstrance from a large
body of "citizens of the best rank and qualitie," as well as from the
General Assembly of Scotland.(732)


On the other hand an attempt was made to minimise the effect of the
remonstrance by getting up a counter-petition on the pretext that the
remonstrance had not fairly represented the wishes of the majority of the
citizens. This counter-petition, which is said to have been backed up with
5,000 or 6,000 signatures, was duly presented to the Commons, who by a
small majority passed a vote of thanks to the petitioners (2 June).(733)


In the meanwhile the king’s letter of the 19th May remained unanswered. At
last, on the 3rd July, an answer—or "petition"—was drafted and submitted
to the Common Council for approval. After acknowledging the special favour
of receiving a letter direct from the king, the citizens expressed their
desire to assure his majesty and the whole world of the continuance of
their loyalty in accordance with the terms of their protestation and
covenant. They prayed him to comply with the propositions for the
settlement of religion and peace and the maintenance of the union of the
two nations which parliament was about to send him, and they expressed an
earnest hope to see him return to his ancient city with honour and


The city fathers were too wary to despatch their petition without first
obtaining leave from parliament. On the following day (4 July), therefore,
a deputation of aldermen and members of the council, with Alderman Sir
Thomas Foote at its head, presented itself before the House of Lords to
ask their leave to despatch the City’s answer to the king. After perusing
the petition the Lords declared their approval of its being sent to the
king, and courteously acknowledged the action of the citizens in first
submitting it to the judgment of their lordships.(735) It was otherwise
with the Commons, who again returned a churlish reply. The deputation was
given to understand that the House had been put to some inconvenience in
giving them an audience, being busily engaged at the time in pressing
business. The petition, however, was of importance, and would receive
their consideration at a convenient time.(736)


On Friday the 10th the Commons were pressed for an answer, but they again
put the matter off on the plea of pressure of business. The next day the
deputation again waited on the House, attended by the city members of
parliament, and about four o’clock in the afternoon received a message
from the Commons that the City’s petition was not to be forwarded to the
king, and that "in convenient time" they would send and inform the Common
Council of their further pleasure. Accordingly two of the city’s members,
Sir Thomas Soame and Samuel Vassall, appeared before the council on the
15th, when Vassall declared that he had been commanded by the House to
make an explanation. In order to avoid mistakes he would read the message
he was to deliver. The message was to the effect that inasmuch as the
propositions which had been despatched to the king by parliament on the
13th June embraced the city of London as well as the whole kingdom, the
House could not approve of the city’s petition being forwarded to his
majesty. Being desired by the council to leave the paper with them,
Vassall declared that he had no authority to do so.(737) In the meantime,
the House had appointed a committee to enquire "concerning the first
principal contrivers and framers of the city remonstrance, and concerning
such as have or do labour to disaffect the people and the city from the
parliament";(738) but before the committee could take steps to carry out
its instructions, circumstances had arisen which made it advisable to let
the matter drop and not to widen the breach between the city and


On the 30th July the parliamentary commissioners arrived in Newcastle for
the purpose of laying before Charles propositions for peace. Charles had
already become possessed of a copy, and had long since made up his mind to
reject them. The commissioners had received positive orders to allow the
king ten days to give his assent, and if he failed to give his assent
within that time after their arrival they were at once to return.(739) The
only reply which Charles condescended to give was contained in a letter
which he handed to the commissioners on the 1st August. The letter was
read before the House on the 12th. It contained little more than vague
promises and a request that he might be allowed to come to London to
discuss the propositions at length.(740)


The same day that the king’s answer was read before the Lords a letter
from the Scottish commissioners was produced, in which they offered to
withdraw their forces from England upon payment of expenses already
incurred.(741) After a considerable amount of haggling the Scots consented
to take the sum of £400,000 in full discharge of all claims, a moiety to
be paid to them before leaving England and the remainder by instalments at
specified dates.(742) It only remained for parliament to raise the sum of
£200,000 needed for the first payment, and to whom was it more natural
that application should first be made than to the City? A large deputation
from the Commons, including Cromwell himself, accordingly waited on the
Common Council (7 Sept.) to ask it to consider ways and means for raising
the money. The committee to whom the matter was referred lost no time. On
the 9th it reported to the court a scheme for raising the money on the
security of the excise and sale of the Bishops’ lands, the security to
extend to previous loans. Parliament accepted these terms, on the
understanding that "Bishops’ lands" were not to comprise impropriations
and advowsons.(743)


On the 10th December there was presented to the Common Council "an humble
representacon of the pressinge grievances and important desires of the
well affected freemen and covenant engaged cittizens of the cittie of
London," with a request that it might be laid before parliament.(744) This
document, after being revised by a committee appointed for the purpose,
was laid before the Commons on the 19th December, together with a petition
from the civic authorities themselves, who similarly addressed themselves
to the House of Lords. The chief points on which stress was laid were the
disbandment of the army, the suppression of heresy, the union of the two
kingdoms, the free election of members of parliament, and the City’s
government of its own militia. As for the "bringing home of his majesty,"
that was left to the wisdom of both Houses, with the confidence that they
would preserve his majesty’s royal person and authority in defence of the
true religion and liberties of the kingdom according to the covenant.(745)
Both Houses thanked the City and promised to take the matter into their


In the spring of the following year (1647) a new terror presented itself
to the Presbyterians at home in the absolute supremacy of the army under
Fairfax, although that general had given his word that the army should not
come within twenty-five miles of London.(747) The City petitioned both
Houses that it might be disbanded, and that the Common Council might have
authority to make annual election of the members of the city’s militia. To
those petitions gracious answers were returned, the Lords declaring that
they had considered already a measure touching the city’s militia and had
transmitted it to the Commons.(748)


The army would in all probability have been disbanded in due course, and
all might have gone well but for the high-handed treatment it received
from the Commons. It was proposed to ask the soldiers after disbandment to
volunteer for service in Ireland. There were, however, considerable
arrears of pay due to them, and neither officers nor men would volunteer
until they had received some assurance from parliament that they would be
paid all that was due to them. Instead of doing this parliament contented
itself with voting a sum of £200,000, not for satisfying arrears of pay,
but "for the service of England and Ireland."(749) The soldiers were about
to petition parliament with the sanction of their officers, but such a
course was declared by both Houses to be highly improper.(750)


It was easier for parliament to vote a sum of £200,000 than to raise that
amount. Application was as usual made to the City (6 April).(751) The zeal
of the citizens was excited by the Commons at length passing the ordinance
sent down to them by the Lords for a new militia committee (16
April).(752) On the following day (17 April) the Common Council was
prepared with a scheme to be submitted to parliament for raising the
money. Like other schemes that had gone before, it proposed that
subscribers to certain former loans should add arrears of interest, and by
making a further advance equivalent to the sum total should have the whole
secured on the sale of lands of bishops and delinquents.(753) Parliament
hesitated at first to allow the lands of delinquents and compositions paid
by them to the committee sitting at Goldsmiths’ Hall to form part of the
security for the loan, but afterwards consented to a moiety of all such
compositions being added to the security.(754)


The appointment of the new militia committee was made a solemn business by
the citizens. Tuesday, the 27th April, was fixed for the nomination, which
was preceded by prayer and a sermon in the church of St. Laurence Jewry,
and a formal renewal of the covenant by all present. Thirty-one persons,
the number prescribed by the ordinance, were nominated, all of them
Presbyterians. Of these seven were aldermen. On the 4th May both Houses
signified their approval of the city’s nominees, and ordained that any
nine of them, whereof three were to be aldermen and six to be commoners,
should thenceforth constitute a committee for the militia to order and
direct the same according to the true meaning and intent of the ordinance
recently passed.(755)

One of the first acts of the new committee was to ask leave of parliament
to raise an additional sum of £20,000 to satisfy the arrears due to the
city’s forces that had been engaged in guarding the Houses of Parliament,
the Tower and forts within the lines of communication around the city.
Parliament only consented, however, to the sum of £12,000 being raised for
this purpose.(756)


The re-modelling of the city force to the exclusion of everyone tainted
with independency only served to increase the discontent of the army. It
was bad enough to find the Presbyterians in parliament joining hands with
the Presbyterians in the city against the army; it was worse if the city
trained bands were to receive their arrears of pay whilst the army was
left out in the cold. An attempt was made to bring pressure to bear on
parliament by a mob of reformadoes or disbanded soldiers besetting the
House of Commons on the 7th June. These men clamoured for their arrears of
pay and refused to go away unless the sum of £10,000 should be voted for


On the following day (8 June) the City presented another petition to
parliament praying that the army might be paid off as speedily as
possible; that the king, who had recently been carried off from Holmby
House by a troop of cavalry under Joyce, might be disposed of in such a
way as to allow the parliaments of England and Scotland free access to
him; and thirdly that, seeing the danger of the times, an ordinance of the
17th January, 1645, authorising the City to raise cavalry in their own
defence and to apprehend disaffected persons, might be revived. The House,
which was guarded at the time by a city regiment, could scarcely do
otherwise than comply with the prayer of the petitioners.(757)


Three days later (11 June) a letter was brought to the city by "two
messengers that looked like soldiers," signed by Fairfax and twelve
others, informing the civic authorities of the army’s approach to
London.(758) The City was asked to believe that such action on the part of
the army was only directed against those who were endeavouring to engage
the kingdom in a new war. As Englishmen, if not as soldiers, the writers
desired only "the peace of the kingdom and liberty of the subject,
according to the votes and declarations of parliament." They desired no
alteration of the civil government, nor to hinder Presbyterianism. When
once the State had settled a matter there was nothing for it but to submit
or suffer; they only wished that every good citizen and every peaceful man
might be allowed to enjoy liberty. "These, in brief," continued the
writers, "are our desires, and the things for which we stand, beyond which
we shall not go; and for obtaining these things we are drawing near your
city, professing sincerely from our hearts we intend not evil toward you;
declaring with all confidence and assurance that if you appear not against
us in these our just desires to assist that wicked party that would
embroil us and the kingdom, nor we nor our soldiers shall give you the
least offence." It was true, they went on to say, that a rich city like
London offered a tempting bait for poor hungry soldiers, but the officers
would protect it with their last drop of blood from the soldiery provided
no provocation were offered by the citizens themselves. Their men valued
their own high character above any wealth, and the citizens would act like
fellow subjects and brethren by using their influence with parliament on
their behalf. On the other hand, "if after all this you, or a considerable
part of you, be seduced to take up arms in opposition to or hindrance of
these our just undertakings, we hope by this brotherly premonition, to the
sincerity thereof we call God to witness, we have freed ourselves from all
that ruin which may befall that great and populous city, having thereby
washed our hands thereof."


This letter was laid before the House with a request that it would
endeavour to prevent Fairfax quartering his army on the city, thereby
enhancing the price of provisions, and this request was acceded to. At the
same time a new committee of safety, composed of members of both Houses,
was appointed to join the reformed Committee of Militia of the city in
taking all necessary steps to secure "the safety of the parliament and the
city."(759) The committee established itself at the Guildhall and
commenced preparing lists of disbanded officers willing to serve the


The City in the meantime drafted a reply(760) of its own, and this was
despatched to the army on the 12th, after receiving the approval of the
House. In it the City disavowed any animosity towards the army. The
citizens had only put themselves into a state of defence against unlawful
violence. So far were they from opposing the just demands of the army,
they had themselves presented a humble address to parliament that these
might be granted. If the officers would only keep the army at a distance
of thirty miles from London, and so give no occasion for disorder or rise
in the price of victuals in the city, it would go far to prove the
sincerity of the intentions expressed in their letter.


This letter found the army at St. Albans. The deputation that carried it
thither returned with two missives, one addressed to the commissioners of
the city of London and the other to the mayor, aldermen and Common
Council.(761) In the first Fairfax and the "council of war" declared the
utter impossibility of removing the army to a distance of thirty miles
from London so long as enlistments were being made in the city and suburbs
in addition to the usual trained bands and auxiliaries. A stop must be put
to this, otherwise the army would have to take the matter in hand. In the
second the officers informed the civic authorities that the movements of
the army would greatly depend upon the action parliament took with respect
to certain "papers" now to be submitted to it.


By "papers" the writers were referring to a document styled _The
Declaration of the Army_, which had that morning been placed in the hands
of the parliamentary commissioners to be forwarded to the Lords.(762) This
declaration sought to establish the right of the army to speak in the name
of the English people, and demanded the banishment from office of all who
spoke ill of it. To this was added a further demand, viz., the expulsion
from the House of those who had proved themselves unworthy of their seats.
This last demand was followed by a formal charge laid in the name of the
army against eleven members of the House of Commons (of whom Glyn, the
city’s Recorder, was one) of having prejudiced the liberties of the
subject, misrepresented the army and raised forces for a new war.


As matters turned out the army had little cause to fear the enlistments
that had taken place in the city. An attempt had, it is true, been made to
increase the number of the militia, but it had met with poor success. When
it became known in the city that the army was moving southward from
Royston something like a panic prevailed. The trained bands were called
out on pain of death and shops ordered to be shut, Sir John Gayer, the
lord mayor, being especially active. But when the companies appeared on
parade they were found to be lamentably deficient in numbers, "not ten men
of some companies appeared, and many companies none at all but
officers."(763) The whole affair was treated as a farce by the on-lookers,
who jeered at the troops as they passed; and those who had shut up their
shops at the mayor’s command soon opened them again. It was clear that the
citizens had no intention of being engaged in a "new war." Parliament,
finding this to be the case, annulled the order for enlistments and
resolved that "the city might upon occasion send letters to the army, so
as they did first present them to the House for their approbation."(764)


By the 18th June the City was ready with its reply to the last letters of
Fairfax and the council of war. This reply had after some hesitation
received the sanction of the Commons, and the City was to be thenceforth
permitted to correspond with the army on its own responsibility, and
without submitting its letters first to parliament.(765) It entirely
disavowed any privity or consent of the Common Council in connection with
the recent enlistments other than those of the trained bands and
auxiliaries. All such enlistments Fairfax was assured had now been
stopped, the civic authorities having intervened as requested. The City’s
readiness to conform to the wishes of the army would, it was hoped, draw
forth a fuller assurance that the army intended no prejudice either to
parliament or to the city, which had expended so much blood and treasure
in its defence, and that it would remove its quarters farther from


This reply did not give unqualified satisfaction. It was impossible, wrote
Fairfax and the council of war (21 June),(767) to remove the army farther
from London until parliament should have given a satisfactory reply to the
_Humble Representation of the dissatisfaction of the Army_, the
_Declaration of the Army_, and the _Charge_ made against eleven members of
the House of Commons. That the City had done its part in stopping
enlistments they readily acknowledged, but information had reached them of
underhand workings still going on to enlist men, as a "foundation for a
new armie and a new warre." The letter concluded with a reiteration of the
writers’ intention to do nothing prejudicial to the parliament or the
city, for which they professed "a most tender regard." To this letter a
postscript was added the following day (22 June) to the effect that since
writing the above they had heard that parliament had been again threatened
by a mob of reformadoes. It was therefore more necessary than ever to
preserve the remnant of liberty that attached to the House.


On the 23rd another letter(768) was despatched desiring that some
representatives of the city might take up permanent quarters with the army
until matters became more settled. Accordingly, on the following day (24
June) the Common Council appointed Alderman Warner, Deputy Pack and
Colonel Player to go to Fairfax and the army and remain with them until
further orders. They were to give his excellency and the council of war an
account of the true state of affairs respecting enlistments, and assure
them that the City would take good care that both Houses should be allowed
to conduct their affairs in peace and quiet.(769)


As soon as the commissioners arrived in camp they were informed that the
army was about to change its quarters to Uxbridge. On the 25th Fairfax
again took occasion in a letter to the City, dated from
Berkhampstead,(770) to enlarge upon the danger that was likely to arise
from continued attempts to raise forces in Wales, "besides underhand
workings in your city," and from parliament being threatened by the
presence of reformadoes. It could not be expected that the kingdom would
be safe, or justice done, so long as the accused members sat as judges.
"We have written this to you," the letter concluded, "for your
satisfaction that so nothing may be done without giving you a perfect
account of our intentions and ends, and still to continue our assurance to
you that should necessity bring us nearer to the city our former faith
given you shall be observed inviolably, there being nothing more (next the
good of the kingdom) in our thoughts and desires than the prosperity of
your city." It was six o’clock in the evening when this letter was brought
to the Common Council, so that there was only time to acknowledge its
receipt in a letter, which was on the point of being despatched to the


As far as the removal of the objectionable members of the House went
Fairfax soon had his way. For, notwithstanding the Commons having declared
on the 25th that they saw no valid reason for suspending the members, the
members themselves solved the difficulty on the following day by asking
leave of absence, which the House was willing enough to grant.(772)


The bands of reformadoes which infested the city presented a greater
difficulty. On the 2nd July the City once more addressed itself to
parliament in the form of a petition suggesting a remedy for this
grievance, and although the petition reflected strongly upon the
mismanagement of affairs by the government, and ventured to prescribe
rules for its better regulation, it was more favourably received than
others of a far less bold character had formerly been.(773) The temper of
the House must indeed have changed when it could listen calmly to charges
of malversation of money collected for the disbandment of the army, and to
such advice as that parliament should "improve its time" and busy itself
only with such laws as might settle the government of the Church, secure
the people from unlawful and arbitrary power, and restore his majesty to
his just rights and authority, according to the covenant. A few months ago
any deputation that dared to address the House in these terms would have
been sharply dismissed. Times had changed; and now, instead of a rebuke,
the City received thanks for its "constant very good affections," and a
day was appointed for taking the petition into consideration.


A week later (8 July) Fairfax wrote to the City from Reading—whither he
had removed the headquarters of the army (3 July) upon certain concessions
being made by parliament—enclosing a copy of a paper which he had
forwarded to parliament setting forth the obstacles which still stood in
the way of a peaceful settlement, viz., the continued presence of
reformadoes in and about London, as well of the army raised for Ireland
but not despatched there, and the non-expulsion from the House of those
members who had aided the king against parliament.(774) At length
parliament gave way. On the 9th the Commons passed an ordinance expelling
all members who had favoured the king’s cause since the beginning of the
war,(775) and the Lords passed another ordinance for all disbanded
soldiers to quit London.(776)


Matters were not improved by the action of the apprentices of London, who,
like the rest of the inhabitants, took sides with king or parliament.
Parliament had recently sanctioned a monthly holiday to all apprentices.
The first of these holidays fell on Tuesday, the 13th July. Grateful for
this concession, a number of lads employed the day in presenting a
petition to the Commons calling upon them to uphold their own authority,
recall those who had been so unreasonably expelled, protect the clergy,
and bring prisoners to a speedy trial.(777) This was more than the
royalist apprentices could stand, so the next day they had their turn, and
presented a petition to both Houses praying for the suppression of
conventicles, the restoration of the king, the maintenance of the
covenant, and the disbandment of the army.(778) This last petition roused
the indignation of the army, and was one of the motives which led the
"agitators"(779) to demand of the council of war an immediate march on
London, a step which would most certainly have been undertaken but for the
strenuous opposition of Cromwell and Ireton.(780)


A week later (21 July) a mob of apprentices, reformadoes, watermen and
other disaffected persons met at Skinners’ Hall, and one and all signed a
Solemn Engagement pledging themselves to maintain the Covenant and to
procure the king’s restoration to power on the terms offered by him on the
12th May last, viz., the abandonment of the episcopacy for three years and
the militia for ten. An endeavour was made to enlist the support of the
municipal authorities to this engagement, but a letter from Fairfax (23
July) soon gave them to understand that the army looked on the matter as
one "set on foot by the malice of some desperate-minded men, this being
their last engine for the putting all into confusion when they could not
accomplish their wicked ends by other means."(781) On the 24th both Houses
joined in denouncing the Solemn Engagement of the City, their declaration
against it being ordered to be published by beat of drum and sound of
trumpet through London and Westminster, and within the lines of
communication.(782) Anyone found subscribing his name to the engagement
after such publication would be adjudged guilty of high treason.


In the meanwhile the army council had forwarded (19 July) certain
recommendations to the city which they proposed to submit to parliament,
among them being one for removing the command of the city’s militia out of
the hands of the municipal authorities and vesting it in parliament.(783)
This proposal was accepted in due course by both Houses.(784)

(M381) (M382) (M383)

On Saturday, the 24th July, the day after the Lords had given their assent
to the proposal touching the militia, two petitions were presented to the
Common Council praying it to take steps for retaining the militia in the
hands of the city committee.(785) Both petitions were well received by the
court, and a draft of another petition from the court itself was at once
made for presentation to both Houses on the following Monday, together
with the petitions presented to the court. The sheriffs and the whole
court, or as many of them as could go, with the exception of those
actually serving on the militia committee, were ordered to carry the
petitions to Westminster. When Monday came an excited crowd of apprentices
and others followed the sheriffs and members of the Common Council up to
the very doors of the Houses. The few Peers who were in attendance on that
day were soon brought to pass a resolution abrogating the recent
ordinance.(786) When the turn of the Commons came they made a bolder
stand. The consideration of the petitions was frequently interrupted by
cries of "Vote! vote!" from the apprentices, who stood at the open doorway
with their hats on.(787) Hostile as the city was, the House had no means
of restoring order without its aid. The civic authorities showed no
particular haste in complying with a request for assistance. The Common
Council assembled in the afternoon, but all it did was to agree that the
members present should adjourn in a body to Westminster "and use their
best endeavour by all gentle ways and means possible they can to appease
the said multitude and to free the said House from danger."(788) At
length, towards eight o’clock in the evening, the Commons, worn-out and
exhausted, yielded to the pressure put upon them and repealed the
obnoxious ordinance, after which the mob was content to obey the city
councillors and quietly disperse.

(M384) (M385)

The civic authorities having recovered its control over the militia
immediately began to put the city in a posture of defence. In this it was
assisted by the apprentices offering their services, their lives and
fortunes against any power whatsoever that should attack the city. The
Common Council thanked them for their good will, and desired them to carry
themselves in an orderly and regular way, and endeavour to prevent
disorder and tumult.(789) There were already rumours that the army had
broken up and was marching towards London. No time was to be lost if the
city was to be saved from falling into its hands. The militia committee
was ordered to draw up a declaration in justification of all that the
civic authorities had done, whilst a letter was sent (28 July) to Fairfax
deprecating any attempt by the army to "intermeddle" with the liberties or
privileges of the city or to interpose in the matter of the militia, which
should be used only in defence of parliament and the city without giving
occasion for offence to anyone. He was assured that now the government of
the militia had become revested in the city there would be no more
disorder.(790) The day on which this letter was despatched had been set
apart by the civic authorities as a day of fasting and humiliation. Three
ministers were appointed to pray and preach before the mayor, aldermen and
common council at the church of St. Michael Bassishaw that God might turn
away his wrathful indignation against the city and the nation.(791)

(M386) (M387)

In the meantime Fairfax had been informed of the terrorism brought to bear
upon parliament, and wrote (29 July) from Bedford to the Common
Council(792) saying that, for his part, he looked upon them, being in
authority, as responsible to the kingdom for the recent disturbances. The
letter reached the council at eleven o’clock at night. In spite of the
lateness of the hour an answer was drawn up(793) disclaiming any
responsibility for the riot at Westminster on the ground that at the time
the city was without a settled militia and held no commission on which to
act. So far from having encouraged the tumult, as many of the council had
been reported to have done, they had used their best endeavours to allay
it. In conclusion the council declared themselves unconscious of having
contributed to the interruption of the "hopeful way of peace and
settlement" mentioned in the general’s letter, and would accordingly rely
upon God for His protection over the city.


The time for negotiations had clearly passed away, and there was no other
recourse but to repel force by force. The Common Council immediately voted
(29 July) a sum of £20,000 on the security of the city seal for the
purposes of defence.(794) The trained bands were sent to man the works,
and orders were given for a general muster to be held on the following
morning of all the inhabitants who were not members of the trained bands
but were capable of bearing arms.(795)


When parliament re-assembled on the 30th the Speakers of the two Houses
and a number of members failed to appear. New Speakers were immediately
appointed and the expelled members ordered to take their seats. One of the
first acts of the House was to authorise the militia committee to seize
all horses within the lines of communication for the defence of parliament
and the City, and in accordance with the City’s request sent word to
Fairfax not to approach within thirty miles of London.(796)


On the following day (31 July) the House signified its assent to the
appointment of Massey as commander-in-chief of the city forces, in
accordance with the desire of the militia committee and the Common
Council, and informed a city deputation that it had taken the precaution
to secure the Block-houses at Tilbury and Gravesend. On hearing this some
of the deputation expressed a hope that the House would also see to
Windsor Castle.(797)

(M391) (M392)

The Common Council was getting more and more anxious every day. Fairfax
had disdained giving any reply to their last letters, and the army was
known to have already advanced as near as Colnbrook. On the afternoon of
the 2nd August the council resolved to send another letter to the general,
disclaiming any intention on the part of the city to raise a new war. The
delivery of this despatch was entrusted to six aldermen and twelve
commoners, who were to remain with the army, in addition to the
commissioners previously appointed, and use every means in their power to
prevent any further bloodshed. If Fairfax complained that the city was
engaged in raising a body of horse, they were instructed to throw the
responsibility on parliament. If he objected to the drilling of
reformadoes, it was again the work of parliament and not of the militia
committee. If the commissioners were asked for some assurance that the
city would protect parliament in future from all attacks, they were to say
that the city would do its best to protect not only the sitting members,
but all who should return to the House. If objection was raised to the
appointment of Massey, it was to be laid to the sudden approach of the
army. Should any question arise as to the recent riot at Westminster, the
whole affair was to be ascribed to the absence of any settled authority of
the city militia; and lastly, if the matter of the petition and engagement
was raked up, the commissioners were to say that the city had not been the
promoters.(798) Furnished with these instructions, the commissioners set
out for the army, which they found the next day (3 Aug.) drawn up on
Hounslow Heath.


In the meantime another declaration(799) had been prepared by Fairfax and
the council of war recapitulating the course affairs had taken, the
changes that had taken place in the government of the city militia, the
pressure that had been put upon parliament resulting in the Speakers and
many members being driven away, and the continued presence of the eleven
members in the House after charges had been brought against them, and
signifying the intention of the army to give a welcome to all members of
parliament who found themselves unable to take their seats at Westminster
with freedom and safety, and to regard them as persons in whom the public
trust of the kingdom still remained. It was moreover the purpose of the
army to march on London, when it was expected the eleven members would be
either delivered up or else kept in custody until they could be brought to


As soon as the city commissioners arrived at headquarters this declaration
was put into their hands, and with it they hurried back to London in time
to lay it before the Common Council the same afternoon. The council was
quick to discern that no other course lay open to them but submission. A
letter(800) was accordingly despatched to Fairfax the same night, to the
effect that, as it appeared from the declaration that the main object of
the army drawing so near London was to bring back to a free parliament at
Westminster those members who had withdrawn owing to the tumult on the
26th July, the Common Council heartily concurred therein, and no
opposition whatever would be shown to the troops appointed to escort the
members to Westminster. The City declared itself ready to submit to
parliament in everything, and offered its entire force for its protection.
In order to remove all cause of offence or misunderstanding, the City’s
own declaration(801) recently published (30 July) was withdrawn. Under
these circumstances the council expressed a hope that the army would be
prevented from doing any offence or prejudice to the city or the lines of


The City was now all submission. On the 4th August it agreed to a demand
to surrender the forts from "Giles Forte" down to the river-side, and the
Common Council wrote to Fairfax to that effect, saying that "now, next
unto Almighty God, we do rely upon your excellencye’s honourable word for
our safety, and to be protected from all violence of the soldiery."(802)
By that time Fairfax had arrived with the army at Hammersmith, whence he
wrote to the City acknowledging their ready compliance in the surrender of
the forts, which he would shortly garrison, and assuring them that the
army would behave itself in such a manner "as to witness to the world the
integrity of their hearts in having no other design but the quiet and
happy settlement of a firm and lasting peace."(803)


On the 6th August the army entered the lines of fortification and made its
way to Westminster, accompanied by the Speakers of both Houses and those
members who had betaken themselves to the army after withdrawing from
parliament. The civic authorities, taking advantage of the hint offered
them, welcomed the army on its approach, the mayor and aldermen going out
as far as Hyde Park in coaches, whilst the Common Council betook
themselves to Charing Cross by water, and there ranged themselves in view
of the soldiers as they passed.(804) Glyn, the Recorder, on whose behalf
the City had already addressed Fairfax, was instructed to make a speech
with the view of absolving the City from any implication in the tumult of
the 26th July.

(M397) (M398)

On the following day (7 Aug.) the citizens made a closer acquaintance with
the army as it marched through the heart of the city on its way to
Croydon. The words of Fairfax proved true. The troops marched through the
streets "with all civility, not doing the least hurt or prejudice." The
civic authorities felt so much relief at seeing this unexpected
maintenance of discipline that they gave vent to their feelings by asking
Fairfax and all the officers to meet them at dinner at Grocers’ Hall on
Thursday, the 13th, but that day proving inconvenient to the general, who
was busy settling the affairs of the army, the dinner was ordered to be
put off until the city should again hear from him.(805) The termination of
hostilities gave rise to the following poetical ebullition on the part of
_Mercurius Pragmaticus_:—

"A Peace, a Peace, the countrey cries,
  Or else we shall be undone;
For this brave warre we thank the wise
  Confiding men of London."

"Sure now they may as well as we
  Know how to value Quiet,
When th’ army comes their Guests to be
  For a twelve-month’s Cash and Diet."



The City was now powerless. The day of reckoning had come, and the City
had to pay for the opposition it had displayed towards the army. The Tower
was no longer entrusted to the citizens, but was committed by parliament
to Fairfax as constable.(806) Diligent search was made for reformadoes
with the intention of making an example of some of them,(807) and a
committee consisting of members of both Houses was appointed to enquire
into the violence recently offered to parliament.(808) The Town Clerk
received orders to produce to the committee all such books of the city as
contained the Acts and Orders of the Common Council passed and made from
the 20th July until the 6th August, as well as the original petitions of
which copies had been presented to the Commons on the memorable 26th July,
and other documents.(809)


The cry raised by the agitators of the army for the expulsion of the
eleven members from parliament became so great that six of the number
thought it advisable to make their escape to the continent.(810) Of those
that remained to face the worst in England, Glyn, the city’s Recorder, was
one. It was in vain that the Common Council, who upheld the conduct of
their officer, interceded with Fairfax and invoked the aid of friends in
both Houses on his behalf.(811) He was expelled the House and committed to
the Tower, one week only being allowed him to put his papers and affairs
in order.(812)

(M401) (M402)

On the 24th August a deputation of the committee of the army waited on the
Common Council and demanded an advance of a month’s pay (£50,000). The
City was to re-imburse itself out of the arrears which the citizens had
failed to contribute to the army, and which amounted to over £60,000. The
matter was referred to a committee.(813) Ten days elapsed and parliament
became impatient for an answer.(814) The City was told (4 Sept.) that its
"engagement" of the 21st July had been the occasion of the army
approaching London, and its failing to pay the money as it became due was
the occasion of keeping the army near London. If the citizens failed to
take the necessary steps for the removal of the army, "they must expect to
suffer the inconveniences that will come hereby."(815) To this the City
replied (6 Sept.) that whatever arrears of assessments were due they were
not due from the Common Council as a body, for that had never been
assessed, but were due from particular individuals. The council feared
that it would be impossible to raise the money on the security offered,
but it promised to use its best endeavours to raise it if some better
security were found, and to get in arrears of assessments at the same
time. As to the "engagement," they called God to witness that the Common
Council as a body had had no hand in it; but as soon as a copy of it was
received from the army, the council returned answer that "according to
their duty they did rest in that which both Houses of Parliament had
resolved hereupon." In that resolution the council expressed itself as
still remaining and altogether disavowed the "engagement." It even
ventured to hope that the House would not permit such a mark of its
displeasure to remain on record, reflecting so badly as it did upon the
whole City.(816)

(M403) (M404)

This reply being deemed unsatisfactory the Commons sent a more peremptory
demand (9 Sept.) to the effect that not only the sum of £50,000 should be
advanced by the City before the 18th September, but that also the whole of
the arrears, amounting to £64,000, should be levied,(817) and they got
Fairfax himself to write and back up their demand for £50,000. The letter
of Fairfax was dated from Putney on the 6th September, but it was not
communicated to the Common Council until Saturday the 11th, a court which
had been specially summoned for the previous day (Friday) having been
adjourned for want of a _quorum_.(818) To this letter was appended the
following postscript:—"We understand itts neare a fortnight since the
committee applied themselves to you in this busines, and that yet nothing
is done, we desire there may be a present performance, the condicon of the
armie not admitting any longer delay."


To the Commons the City made answer (13 Sept.) that arrears were already
being got in as speedily as possible, and asked that the hands of the
collectors might be strengthened by additional parliamentary powers.(819)
To Fairfax a long letter was sent the same day explaining the reason of
the delay that had occurred in satisfying the demand of parliament, and
informing him of the steps that were being taken to get in the arrears due
to the army.(820)


The excuses put forward were considered to be of so unsatisfactory and
temporising a character that Fairfax and the General Council of the Army
proposed to parliament, that unless the arrears came in by a certain day
the general himself should be authorised to levy them and to inflict fines
upon delinquents. This withholding the money by the City, said they, was
but a scheme for bringing the army into disrepute, and for the purpose of
causing disturbance; the Common Council had been ready enough to advance
far larger sums to encourage designs against parliament and the army; it
might again be induced to show a similar readiness in providing money,
without which the army could not disperse, if parliament would but impose
a fine upon them as a body, "which money being chargeable so properly upon
themselves, we presume they will not have the like excuse not to

(M407) (M408) (M409)

Before any further steps were taken to enforce the loan the committee
appointed to investigate the outrage upon parliament in July reported (24
Sept.) to the House that they had discovered sufficient evidence for the
impeachment of Sir John Gayer, the mayor, Thomas Cullum, one of the
sheriffs, and three aldermen of the city, viz., James Bunce, John Langham
and Thomas Adams, on the charge of threatening the Commons with force and
raising a fresh war.(822) The House at once accepted the committee’s
report and ordered the accused parties to the Tower. On the following day
it took into consideration the question as to how the city government was
to be carried on in the absence of the mayor, and resolved to refer the
matter to the rest of the aldermen who happened to be in London at the
time, so that the civil government might continue "according to the
charters, custom or usage of the city in like cases."(823) But on the 27th
it was left to Alderman Pennington, in whom both Houses had confidence, to
summon a Court of Aldermen and to direct that a Common Hall should be
forthwith called for the purpose of electing someone to serve as mayor
"until the 29th October next, or until Sir John Gayer should be either
sentenced or acquitted."(824) The customary day for election (29 Sept.)
having been appointed a solemn fast, the election took place by order of
the Common Council on the 28th September,(825) when Alderman Warner, a
strong Independent, was chosen mayor, the approaches to the Guildhall
being guarded at the time of the election by a strong body of
soldiers.(826) In the absence of the king, and there being no chancellor
or lord keeper, the new mayor was presented to the House of Lords (30
Sept.), which approved of the city’s choice and gave orders that the
customary oaths should be administered to him in the exchequer as well as
in the city.(827) On the 6th October an ordinance excluding delinquents
from all municipal offices or from voting at municipal elections finally
received the approval of both Houses.(828)


A letter from Fairfax, dated at Kingston the 19th November,(829)
threatening to quarter 1,000 men on the city to assist the municipal
authorities in getting in arrears of assessments due to the army, created
no little alarm in the city. Whilst the Common Council was deliberating on
the matter news was brought that the Earl of Northumberland and a
deputation from both Houses were waiting without the Council Chamber
desiring to speak with some members of the court. A similar intimation to
that contained in the letter of Fairfax had been made to parliament, and
both Houses were anxious to urge upon the city the extreme importance of
anticipating such a step as that which Fairfax threatened by getting in
the arrears of assessments as speedily as possible. This the council
expressed itself as very willing to do if parliament would relieve the
collectors of certain pains and penalties recently imposed on them, which
had only served to render them the more unwilling to execute their


A little respite was granted(831) whilst the municipal authorities drew up
a reply to Fairfax.(832) They expressed great regret if the arrears due
from the City to the army, or anything else connected with the City,
should be the cause of the army continuing so long in the vicinity of
London, to the great prejudice if not to the ruin of many. They were doing
all they could to get in the arrears, and they called the general’s
attention to certain proposals which they were about to submit to
parliament. They concluded by assuring Fairfax that the City was
determined to remain faithful to parliament and the kingdom, and at the
same time to cultivate good relations with the army.


The City’s proposals, which were submitted to parliament on the 22nd
November, met with little favour in the House of Commons. The deputation
presenting them was somewhat bluntly informed that parliament had done
what it had judged fit in the matter of the City’s arrears; that it was
much dissatisfied with the slowness with which they were being got in;
that the City was setting a very bad example to others which might have
ill consequences; that the commands of parliament were expected to be
obeyed, and that prompt measures ought to be taken by the City to carry
them out.(833)


Two days later (24 Nov.) Fairfax wrote to the City from Windsor,(834)
whither the army had removed as soon as the king’s escape (11 Nov.) from
Hampton Court did away with the necessity of its presence in the immediate
neighbourhood of London, informing the authorities that as parliament had
raised an objection to his sending troops to the city for the purpose of
getting in arrears, he was content to wait and see the result of
parliamentary action in the matter and whether the City’s recent promises
bore fruit or not. Should the result prove unsatisfactory, he doubted not
the consequences would be sad, "and that not more to the parliament,
kingdom or army than to the city itself."


On the 1st December Alderman Bide, who had narrowly escaped impeachment
with Gayer and the rest, and who was now sheriff, presented a petition to
the Commons on behalf of the City. This petition, which had been ordered
to be prepared as far back as the 6th November—that is to say, before
Charles’s escape from Hampton Court and the withdrawal of the army to
Windsor—after expressing the City’s humble submission to parliament and
its appreciation of the many benefits it had derived from the course which
parliament had followed, prayed the House to take steps for the removal of
the army to a greater distance from the city and for the strict observance
of the Covenant, and concluded by asking for the release of their Recorder
and of the aldermen recently committed to prison.(835) The Journal of the
House records nothing more than the formal answer which the Commons
returned to the petition: their thanks to the City for expressions of
goodwill, their readiness to consider such matters referred to in the
petition as had not been already taken in hand, and their assurance that
speedy justice should be done to those imprisoned.(836) But from other
sources it appears that the petition created considerable ill-feeling in
the House, and that it was only after Vane had threatened to bring the
army back again that the petition was practically rejected. Had the
petitioners succeeded in their object it was expected that the
Presbyterians in parliament and in the city would have followed up their
victory by restoring the expelled members and preparing for a personal
treaty with Charles without imposing upon him any test whatever.(837)


In the city the royalist cause was gaining ground every day. The merchant
was tired of the disquietude that had so long prevailed, condemning him to
frequent calls upon his purse whilst preventing him replenishing it by his
commercial pursuits. He was ready to support any party that would promise
him peace and quiet. "The citty is subject still to be ridden by every
party and wilbe so rather than endanger trade and stock," wrote a royalist
in March of this year.(838) The more youthful inhabitant was disgusted
with the closing of the playhouses,(839) whilst the shopkeeper was
indignant at having to close his shop on Christmas-day for fear of a riot,
notwithstanding his having parliamentary sanction for opening it. The city
apprentices resisted the interference of the lord mayor and his officers
who would have put a stop to their decorating a pump in Cornhill with
evergreens at Christmas, and not only did ministers who had been deprived
for malignancy occupy pulpits in various city churches on that day, but
they used the Book of Common Prayer.(840)


The mayor, who owed his election to pressure of parliament, and who was on
that account never really popular in the city, unwittingly assisted the
royal cause by another act of injudicious meddling. On Sunday, the 9th
April, 1648, he sent a detachment of trained bands to interfere with the
amusement of some boys playing tip-cat in Moorfields. A crowd of
apprentices and others took the part of the boys, and attacked the trained
bands, getting possession of their arms and colours. With these they
marched, some three or four thousand strong, along Fleet Street and the
Strand, raising the shout of "Now for King Charles!" and intending to make
their way to Whitehall, but before they reached Charing Cross they were
scattered by a troop of cavalry quartered at the King’s Mews, and for a
time the disturbance was at an end. During the night, however, the
apprentices again arose and made themselves masters of Ludgate and
Newgate. Laying their hands on whatever ammunition they could find, and
summoning their friends by drums belonging to the trained bands, they
proceeded to attack the mansion of the unpopular mayor. Whilst a messenger
was hurrying off to Fairfax for military aid, the mayor, the sheriffs and
the Committee of Militia had to repel as best they could the attacks of
the mob, who kept firing through the windows of the lord mayor’s house. At
last the troops arrived, and were admitted into the city by Aldersgate.
They followed up the rioters to the Leadenhall, where arms were being
collected. Resistance to a disciplined force soon proved useless. The
ringleaders were taken and led off to prison, and the crowd was dispersed,
but not without some little bloodshed.(841) The affair made the city
poorer by the sum of £300, that amount being voted by the Court of
Aldermen out of the city’s cash to the officers and soldiers sent by
Fairfax to suppress the riot.(842)


On the 13th April the city authorities submitted to both Houses an account
of what had recently taken place, which the Houses ordered to be printed.
Parliament accepted their assurance that they were in no way responsible
for the outbreak, and thanked the mayor and all others concerned for the
part they had taken in its suppression. A day was appointed for a public
thanksgiving for deliverance from the threatened danger. The Tower
garrison was augmented and the city’s chains removed, in view of a
recurrence of danger, whilst a commission of Oyer and Terminer was issued
for the punishment of those implicated in the late riot.(843)

(M418) (M419)

Six months and more had now passed since Gayer, the late deposed mayor,
and his brother aldermen had been committed to prison, and no steps had as
yet been taken to bring them to trial. At length articles of impeachment
were drawn up by the Commons and sent up to the Lords (15 April),(844)
charging him with having on the 26th July last past, in conjunction with
Thomas Adams, John Langham, James Bunce, aldermen of the city and others,
"maliciously and traitorously plotted and endeavoured with open force and
violence, and with armed power, to compel and enforce the Lords and
Commons then assembled in parliament at Westminster to alter the laws and
ordinances by parliament established for the safety and weal of the realm;
and likewise maliciously and traitorously raised and levied war against
the king, parliament and kingdom." Gayer took exception to the
jurisdiction of the House, and when brought before the Lords and ordered
to kneel at the bar as a delinquent refused to do anything of the kind,
for which contempt he was fined £500. After hearing the articles of
impeachment read, he declared that he disavowed and abhorred the offences
with which he was charged, and asked to be furnished with a copy of them.
He further desired the assistance of counsel and time to answer them, both
of which were allowed.(845) When his brother aldermen and fellow prisoners
appeared before the Lords to hear their several charges read to them and
were ordered to kneel as delinquents, they too refused. Like Gayer they
were severally fined(846) and relegated to the Tower, whence they had been
brought. There the four aldermen remained prisoners until a crisis arrived
in the following June, when the Commons, fearing to alienate the city at a
time when the enemy was almost at its gates, declared (3 June) that they
would proceed no further with the charges.(847) The Lords thereupon
ordered (6 June) their discharge and their impeachments to be


Gayer did not live long to enjoy his liberty. By his will, dated the 19th
December following his discharge, he left a sum of £200 for the purchase
of lands or tenements the rents of which were to be devoted to the
preaching of a sermon on the 16th October of every year in the church of
St. Catherine Cree in commemoration of the testator’s escape from a lion
whilst travelling in Africa. The sermon is preached to this day and is
commonly known as the "Lion Sermon."(849)


In the meanwhile matters assumed a gloomy aspect for the Independents,
culminating in the news that an army was in course of being raised in
Scotland. The object for which this step was being taken was declared to
be the establishment of the Presbyterian form of religion in England, the
suppression of heresy and the Book of Common Prayer, the disbandment of
Fairfax’s army of sectaries, and the opening of negotiations with Charles,
who was to be brought for the purpose to the neighbourhood of London.(850)


Matters were made worse by the continued ill-feeling between the City and
the English army, whose pay was still largely in arrear. No threats of
Fairfax or of parliament had succeeded in making the inhabitants of the
city pay up their arrears of assessments, and unless these were paid the
soldiers had no alternative but to starve or render themselves obnoxious
to the nation by living at free quarters. The City had been already
charged with withholding money for the express purpose of driving the army
to the latter alternative, that so the nation might the quicker be free of
it. The army was fast losing patience, and there was some talk of it
taking the law into its own hands.

(M423) (M424)

On the 24th April the mayor informed the citizens assembled in Common
Council that he had received information from one John Everard of certain
matters which the informer pretended to have overheard at Windsor greatly
affecting the city. He had examined Everard on oath, and the result of the
examination being then openly read, it was resolved to lay the same before
parliament.(851) Accordingly, on the 27th, Everard’s information, which
was nothing more nor less than a threat which he had overheard some
officers make of disarming and plundering the city, was laid before both
Houses, together with a petition from the municipal authorities that the
chains which had been recently removed from the streets of the city by
order of parliament might be restored for the purpose of defence, that the
army should be removed to a greater distance, and that Skippon might be
placed in command of the city’s forces.(852) There was nothing to be
gained by opposing the city’s wishes in the matter of replacing the chains
and the appointment of Skippon, so that these concessions were readily
made, but the question of removing the army could only be decided with the
concurrence of the army itself.


A member of the Common Council, Philip Chetwyn, was charged with having
publicly declared that Skippon’s appointment was not the real wish of the
court, and that "seaven lies" had been voted by the court on the 11th
April last.(853) Chetwyn gave an emphatic denial to the first charge, and
eventually both charges were allowed to drop. The council at the same time
passed a resolution to the effect that whenever a charge should in future
be made by one member of the court against another, and the court take
cognisance of it, the charge itself and the names of the accuser and the
accused should be expressed in the order of the court.(854)

(M426) (M427)

The City lost no time in availing itself of the assent of parliament to
replace the chains in the streets from which they had been removed. They
went further than this. From Saturday night to the following Monday night
(28-30 May) the gates and posterns were ordered to be kept closed and
guarded, the names of all lodgers were to be taken, vagrant soldiers were
to be ordered to their quarters, whilst servants and children were to be
confined indoors, except on the Sunday that intervened, when they might be
escorted to church by their parents or masters.(855) The reason for these
precautions was that there had been unmistakable signs of the army getting
out of hand. An unexpected danger, the revolt of the whole of South Wales,
which meant nothing less than the renewal of the war, served, however, to
consolidate the ranks.


With Wales up in arms for the king and the north of England threatened
with a Scottish invasion the army had enough to do without keeping a
forcible hold on London. The City, therefore, had to be left to itself,
and to be kept in good humour by concessions rather than by force until
the trouble had passed away. The story goes that before Cromwell proceeded
to quell the rebellion in Wales the Council of War resolved that the City
should have all they asked or desired, "there being no other way for the
present to quiet them." It would be time enough when the enemy had been
beaten to "make the City pay for all."(856)


On the 1st May Fairfax wrote to the Commons from Windsor announcing his
intention to despatch Cromwell into Wales and to withdraw the regiments
quartered at Whitehall and Charing Cross, leaving the protection of
parliament to the London forces under the command of Skippon. The same day
that the Commons received this letter (2 May) they communicated with the
Common Council of the city, who were delighted at the execution of their
long expressed wishes that the army should be removed from the vicinity of
London and at the compliment paid them by Fairfax in placing the
protection of parliament in their hands. The sum of £600 a year was voted
to Skippon for his services, a sum just double that allowed him on his
appointment as sergeant-major-general in January, 1642.(857) Fairfax wrote
him a friendly letter complimenting him on his past services to parliament
and the kingdom and expressing regret at parting from him. He at the same
time disengaged Skippon from all ties to himself and the army under his
command, and wished him much happiness in his new sphere.(858)


The civic authorities were not slow to take advantage of the turn of
affairs. If they were to be responsible for the protection of parliament
and the peace of the city, surely, they reasoned, the appointment of their
own Committee of Militia should be left in their hands as well as the
custody of the Tower. Both Houses accordingly were approached with
petitions to this effect (9 May).(859) The Lords hesitated,(860) but the
Commons at once acquiesced.(861) On the 16th the Commons had under
consideration the several names of persons chosen (12th May) by the Common
Council to serve on the Militia Committee,(862) and agreed to the City’s
nomination of Lieutenant-Colonel West to be lieutenant of the Tower.(863)


On the 19th a deputation of Lords and Commons waited on the Common Council
and informed them that both Houses had assented to their wishes. In return
for this favour parliament expected that the City would secure them from
tumult and insurrections, and "did now put themselves really and truly
into the hands of the city." The court was at the same time assured that
parliament meditated no alteration of the fundamental government of the
kingdom by king, lords and commons, that it was resolved to stand by the
solemn league and covenant and preserve the treaties between England and

(M432) (M433)

Once more at an important crisis in England’s history all depended upon
the attitude of the city of London. "The key of the situation was in the
hands of the city, which had it in its power to paralyse the army by
simply maintaining an attitude of passive resistance."(865) But great as
was the detestation in which the army was held by the majority of
citizens, their distrust of the royalists, should they regain the upper
hand, was greater. Under the circumstances the City resolved to maintain
its attitude of standing by parliament, and gave its assurance to both
Houses that it was ready "to live and die with them according to the
solemn league and covenant."(866)


Four days later (23 May) the City presented a petition to both Houses in
which, after acknowledging the joy and comfort they had derived from the
recent announcement made to them that parliament was resolved to make no
constitutional change in the government of the kingdom by king, lords and
commons, and other matters conducive to peace, the citizens prayed that
the Houses would release their Recorder, the aldermen and the rest of the
citizens that were still imprisoned in the Tower. The Commons replied by
at once ordering the release of Glyn and nine other prisoners, and
promised to take into consideration the release of the aldermen, which was
a more serious business, in a week’s time.(867)


Parliament was the more anxious to conciliate the City inasmuch as a
royalist rising had already taken place in Kent (21 May). On the 26th May
a deputation from the Commons waited on the Common Council with a request
for an immediate advance of £6,000. A portion of the money was to be
devoted to the payment of Fairfax’s soldiers, "to enable them to march
out," and give place to the city’s own force under Colonel West. The money
was at once voted,(868) and Fairfax, after giving orders for securing
Southwark, proceeded to occupy Blackheath, the place appointed for the
rendezvous of the insurgents.


Whilst Fairfax was engaged in putting down the rising in Kent the royalist
party in the city was not inactive. On the 30th May a petition was
presented to the Common Council, purporting to emanate from "divers well
affected citizens and other inhabitants" of the city, desiring the court
to approach parliament with the view (_inter alia_) of bringing about a
personal treaty with the king and appeasing the Kentish insurgents "by way
of accommodation and not by any engagement in blood."(869) Contrary to its
usual practice the court consented to forward the petition to both Houses,
which it did on the 1st June, with the result that a deputation from
parliament waited on the court that same afternoon with a verbal reply.
The precise terms of the reply are not recorded. We are only told that
after a "full and large declaration" made by the parliamentary members,
the council expressed itself as completely satisfied.(870)


An appeal was made the same day (1 June) by a certain section of the
inhabitants of the city for a Common Hall to be summoned. The appeal was
made to the Common Council. The court took time to consider the matter.
After consulting the law-officers it was eventually agreed not to accede
to the request, on the plea that, although it was in the power of the
court to assemble the livery for the election of public officers and other
purposes as might be necessary for the public good of the city, it was
neither fit nor convenient to summon them at the present juncture on
account of the present distraction and distempers of the city and places

(M438) (M439)

Two days later (3 June), when a deputation from parliament again appeared
before the Common Council with the news that the insurgents were making
their way to Blackheath under the leadership of the Earl of Norwich,
otherwise known as "Lord Goring," and asked that the Militia Committee
might speedily raise what force it could for the protection of parliament
and the city, the opportunity was again taken of pressing the Houses for
the release of the aldermen, an act which they were assured "would give
good satisfaction to the city and very much quiet their minds."(872) That
same afternoon the Commons resolved to proceed no further with the
impeachments of the aldermen, and on the 6th they were set free by order
of the House of Lords.(873)


Parliament could not well have done otherwise, unless they wished to lose
their main support—the support of the City; for although the Earl of
Norwich found the city’s gates shut against him, as was to be expected
with Warner occupying the mayoralty chair and Skippon in command of the
trained bands, there was, as we have seen, a considerable party in the
city who favoured the royalist cause and would gladly have trusted Charles
if they dared.


Nor were the municipal authorities themselves adverse to the restoration
of the king, but such restoration must be effected on their own terms.
Again and again they called upon parliament to open a personal treaty with
Charles. On the 22nd June the Common Council directed a petition to both
Houses to be drafted, thanking them for setting the aldermen at liberty,
and praying them to allow the king to come to some house near parliament
where negotiations might be carried on.(874) The petition was submitted to
both Houses on the 27th June, and was well received.(875) The Commons, in
reply, declared that they were using their best endeavours in the interest
of peace, and they had already appointed a committee to consider what
further offers could be made to the king, as well as of "time, place and
other circumstances for convenience of address to be made to his


A week later (5 July) the Common Council introduced to the House of Lords
another petition, in which the officers of the trained bands of the city
made a similar request for a personal treaty to be made with the king in
London, and not only repeated a former request made by the City itself
that the London regiments might be associated with those of the adjacent
counties, but asked that the force thus formed might be furnished with a
contingent of cavalry. To all these requests the Lords gave a ready
assent.(877) The Commons, however, to whom a similar petition was
presented the same day, whilst signifying their assent to the amalgamation
of the trained bands, left the other matters for further consideration,
and appointed a committee to confer with the Common Council and the
officers of the trained bands the following afternoon.(878)


The question to be considered was the steps to be taken for the security
of the king’s person in the event of his taking up his quarters in London
for the purpose of negotiating. The Common Council, for their part,
undertook in such an event to venture their lives and fortunes in
defending his majesty against all violence according to the covenant, and
appointed a committee to confer with the parliamentary committee and with
the military officers as to the best means of enabling them to carry out
this engagement.(879)


By the 11th July the committee was in a position to report to the Common
Council the result of the conference so far as it had gone.(880) The
parliamentary committee had propounded seven questions bearing upon the
terms of the City’s engagement to protect the king against violence
pending negotiations, and its intentions as to the king’s person in the
event of such negotiations falling through. To these the city committee
had made replies (now submitted to the council for approval), and had
added certain propositions to the parliamentary committee to enable the
City the better to carry out its engagement. The first two of these
related to the amalgamation and increase of the militia; the third asked
that, pending negotiations, no force should be allowed to come within
thirty miles of London, and that riot and tumult raised in the city during
that period after proclamation made should be met with a death penalty;
and the last that if parliament so willed no one who had ever taken up
arms against it should be allowed within thirty miles of London without
leave. Both the answers and proposals of the city committee were alike
approved by the council, and a house-to-house visitation was organised for
the purpose of getting names subscribed to the city’s engagement.


The demand for a death penalty on rioters in the city was not unwarranted.
There were not wanting signs of disaffection even in the ranks of the
city’s militia. So recently as Saturday, the 8th July, the Speaker
himself, whilst being escorted to his coach by a company of soldiers, had
been insulted by one in the ranks, who cried out to the surrounding mob
"that now he was out of their charge they [the mob] should tear him in
pieces."(881) A few days later (12 July) some prisoners of war were
rescued in the streets of London by the mob, and the lord mayor received a
sharp reprimand for not keeping better order in the city.(882) The
Commons, in consequence, resolved that no more prisoners should be brought
to London.(883)

(M446) (M447)

It was known that about this time secret enlistments were being carried on
in the city, and that horses were being despatched out of the city by twos
and threes to assist the royalists. It was also reported that an attempt
was about to be made to seize the Tower.(884) The majority of the
inhabitants, nevertheless, remained faithful to parliament, and the
Speaker took the opportunity of a petition addressed to both Houses (12
July) from "divers well-affected magistrates, citizens, ministers and
other inhabitants" of the city and parts adjacent, praying them to enter
into no treaty without proper assurances for the maintenance of the
covenant,(885) to compliment the aldermen and great magistrates of the
city on their courage and fidelity. It was a petition—the Speaker said,
addressing the deputation—for peace, and such peace as the House and all
honest men desired. It had come at a most seasonable time, when parliament
was the object of much abuse and men dared not own their true opinions.
The petition was the more valuable from the quality of the
petitioners—"divers aldermen and great magistrates of the city of London,
many reverend ministers, who have always held close to the cause, and
others, the gentlemen of birth and quality that have less valued their
blood than the hazard and loss of so noble an undertaking." On behalf of
the Commons he returned them real and hearty thanks, assuring them that
the House approved of the petition and the matter thereof, and that in
prosecuting the peace it would take care to preserve the religion, laws
and liberties of all those who have been constant to these ends.(886)


On the 18th July the City caused two petitions to be presented to both
Houses, one of which asked for an impost to be laid on Newcastle coals,
and the other repeated the old request for an amalgamation of the city’s
militia with that of the neighbouring counties. To the first no answer was
vouchsafed. To the second the Commons replied that the matter had already
been referred to a committee; whilst the Lords directed an ordinance to be
drawn up pursuant to the wishes of the petitioners. The petition relative
to the militia was met by a counter-petition from "divers well-affected
citizens of London and inhabitants in and about the same," the authors of
which the Common Council wished to discover.(887)


In the meantime enlistments of horse and foot had been to such an extent
carried on clandestinely in the city, under pretext of the parliamentary
powers granted to Skippon, that the municipal authorities began to get
nervous. Servants and apprentices were reported to have enlisted one
another at all hours of the night, and to have issued spurious
commissions. Against the continuation of such proceedings, which
threatened the city with danger, the authorities petitioned both Houses
(22 July). The Lords consented to revoke a commission granted to Skippon
to raise a troop of cavalry for the protection of parliament,
independently of the Committee of Militia; the Commons, on the other hand,
determined to let the order stand.(888) The civic authorities thereupon
yielded to the entreaties of the inhabitants of the city, and resolved (27
July) to raise a troop of horse on their own account to be subject to the
orders of the Militia Committee alone. On the 29th they again petitioned
the Commons.(889) That day being Saturday the House appointed a committee
to confer with the Common Council on the following Monday afternoon, and
undertook to put a stop to irregular enlistments in the future.(890)


When Monday came a deputation from the Commons duly appeared and explained
the reasons for continuing Skippon’s commission and the measures that were
to be taken to prevent irregular enlistments. Several letters were read
for the purpose of demonstrating the dangers with which the country was
still threatened, among them being one from a royalist agent in London, in
which the writer informed his correspondent of the progress of the
royalist cause in the city. "We are in this city," he declared, "generally
right; only Skippon makes some disturbance by listing horse and foot,
which, though inconsiderable to what we have listed for us, yet we hope
not only to null his listing, but out him from his being general of this
city. The Lords have already done something, but wait for some further
encouragement from hence, to which purpose the Common Council are about
framing a petition."(891) The reading of this letter appears to have had a
diametrically opposite effect upon the members of the council than was
anticipated, for they still insisted upon the withdrawal of Skippon’s
authority under which the irregular enlistments were carried on. The
Commons, however, refused to be moved from their former resolution.


On the 2nd August a letter from the Prince of Wales, who had recently
arrived with a fleet off Yarmouth, was read to the Common Council. The
letter had been forwarded to its destination by the company of merchant
adventurers, and contained a copy of the prince’s declaration to the
effect that he was approaching the shores of England to settle religion in
accordance with the terms of the agreement between his father and the
Scots, to restore the king to his throne, and to bring about an act of
oblivion and the disbandment of all armies.(892) He had recently seized
several merchantmen in the Downs—one alone being valued at £20,000—and he
asked the Common Council to pay him that sum to assist him in his
enterprise, promising on receipt of the money to set the vessels


On hearing this letter and declaration read the council forthwith
appointed a committee to draw up a petition to parliament, in which they
repeated their request for a speedy personal treaty with the king so as to
put an end to the present troubles and miseries. After sending for the
original letter the Commons directed (3 Aug.) the City to make no reply to
the prince until the House took further order, and the next day declared
all who aided the prince, by sea or by land, to be traitors and


Disappointed at the way in which the news of the arrival of his fleet had
been received by the City, the prince lent a more ready ear to proposals
from Scotland, and on the 16th August declared his acceptance of the terms
offered. It was still believed by many that as soon as he should raise his
standard in the north the Presbyterians in the city would openly avow
themselves in his favour, and rumour had gone so far as to name the
commanders of their forces. "The lords and the city," wrote one of
Rupert’s correspondents, "understand each other, as also the reformadoes,
that are considerable—8,000 in number."(895)


On the 29th August the City was asked by a committee of the House of
Commons to send money, corn or biscuit to the value of £20,000 for the
relief of the army in the north, and to take active measures for getting
in all arrears of assessments due for the army of Fairfax.(896) But
although the City so far acceded to this request as to take immediate
steps for getting in arrears of assessments, recent events—and notably the
successes of Cromwell and Fairfax at Preston and Colchester, as well as
the seizure of London ships and interference with London trade—had
rendered the citizens anxious that parliament should come to an
understanding with the army.(897)


On the 4th September a deputation from parliament appeared before the
Common Council and asked for a loan of £10,000, to be paid by weekly
instalments of £2,000, to enable the House to proceed with negotiations
with the king. The nature of the security to be given for the loan was
practically left in the hands of the city provided it lay within the power
of parliament. The request was unanimously granted, bonds under the city’s
seal being offered as security to those willing to make advances.(898)


The prospect of negotiations being opened at all with the king was
distasteful to the radical party or "Levellers" in the city, and a
petition was laid before the Commons on the 11th September calling upon
them as the supreme authority in the realm to shake off all control
exercised over them by the House of Lords, and to render kings, queens,
nobles and all persons alike subject to the law of the land. The
petitioners finally asked the House to consider seriously "whether the
justice of God be likely to be satisfied or His yet continuing wrath
appeased by an Act of Oblivion."(899)


This petition had little effect upon the House, and preparations were
rapidly pushed forward. Fifteen commissioners were appointed, of whom
Glyn, the Recorder, was one,(900) to go to Newport in the Isle of Wight
for the purpose of opening negotiations with Charles, who was allowed to
take up his quarters in that little town on parole. The commission held
its first sitting on the 18th September, it being understood that
negotiations were to continue for forty days and no more. They, however,
continued to be carried on long after the allotted time.


Early in November parliament was again pressed for money and was forced to
apply to the City for a further loan of £4,000 to enable it to proceed
with the "Treaty." It at the same time complained of the inadequate guard
provided by the City for the protection of the Houses. The guard, it was
said, consisted of hired men, and not citizens, who often quitted their
posts when on duty. The subject led to an acrimonious debate in the Common
Council. As soon as Alderman Gibbs, who was a member of the Militia
Committee, began to suggest a remedy for the evil, he was interrupted by
Philip Chetwyn, whose plain speaking had once before created trouble, and
who now boldly charged the alderman and others with telling "many long
stories to put the city in fear without cause." He declared that at a
former council the alderman had acted in a similar way, "pretending that
the city was in great danger of having their throats cut whereas there was
no such cause." This speech brought other members of the council on their
legs in defence of the alderman, who declared that this was not the first
time that Chetwyn had done him wrong, and asked the court to right him.
What he had said at a former council about the danger the city was in was
nothing more than what the Militia Committee had authorised him to say,
and this statement was corroborated by other members of the committee then
present. Certain questions were thereupon put to the vote, when it was
decided (1) that Chetwyn had done the alderman a wrong by his speech, (2)
that what the alderman had spoken at a former council was warranted by the
Militia Committee, and (3) that the action by the committee on that
occasion had been for the safety of the city, which was then in
danger.(901) On the 27th November the Militia Committee reported to the
council the steps taken to satisfy parliament that better protection would
be afforded to the Houses in the future.(902)


Before the end of November the army, now at Windsor, had entirely lost
patience both with king and parliament, and on the last day of the month
issued a declaration to the effect that it was about to appeal "unto the
extraordinary judgment of God and good people." The existing parliament
must be dissolved to give place to a succession of reformed parliaments.
Those members who agreed with the army were invited to leave the House and
join the army to form a kind of provisional government until elections for
a new parliament could take place, when the army would willingly disband.


That same night (30 Nov.) whilst the mayor was going the rounds inspecting
the city watches a letter was put into his hands by a trumpeter of
Fairfax, addressed to the lord mayor, aldermen and common council.(903)
Strictly speaking, the mayor had no right to open a letter thus addressed.
Reynardson, however, who had not long been in the mayoralty chair, and who
afterwards displayed strong royalist proclivities, thought otherwise and
broke the seal; a proceeding which received the approval of the Common
Council specially summoned for the next day (1 Dec.)(904) The letter
announced the general’s intention of quartering his army on London, and
demanded a sum of £40,000 out of the arrears of assessment to be paid to
the soldiers by the following night.(905)


The council at once decided to lay the letter before both Houses, and in
the meantime took steps for the immediate payment of an instalment of
£10,000 to Fairfax, to whom a deputation was despatched to assure him that
the City would do its utmost to execute his commands.(906) Both Houses
assented to Fairfax being provided with the money demanded, the Commons
giving the City liberty to communicate direct with the general by
committee or letter as they should think fit.(907)


In spite of a request by the Commons that he would keep at a distance,
lest his approach should involve danger, Fairfax entered London with his
troops on Saturday, the 2nd December, and took up his quarters at
Whitehall. On Wednesday, the 6th—the day on which Colonel Pride
administered his famous "purge" to the House of Commons—a letter from the
general was read in the Common Council in which he desired that 3,800 beds
might be sent to Whitehall by ten o’clock the next morning for the use of
the soldiers, and also sufficient furniture for lodging. The beds and
furniture were to be afterwards returned.(908)


The Common Council immediately nominated a committee to go to Fairfax and
to beg him to excuse the City furnishing the beds as desired. The
committee was further instructed to inform his lordship that if he would
obtain a warrant from the Committee of the Army to the Treasurers at War
for the payment of £10,000, the City would be prepared to pay over the
whole sum of £40,000 (which ought to have been already paid over) by the
next day (7 Dec). There was one other matter. A rumour had reached the
city that it was intended to arrest Major-General Browne, who at the time
was serving as one of the sheriffs of London, and the committee were
directed to point out to his excellency the "inconveniences" likely to
arise from such a proceeding.(909)


Fairfax paid little regard to what might or might not be convenient for
the City, and on the 12th Browne was arrested, together with Waller,
Massey and others, on the charge of having joined in an invitation to the
Scots to invade England, although it was difficult to find evidence
against them. The Court of Aldermen immediately interested themselves in
endeavouring to obtain Browne’s release, guaranteeing to Fairfax, if he
would set the sheriff free, to produce him whenever required, and vouching
for his "civil and quiet deportment" in the city.(910)


Finding that the money (£40,000) which he had ordered the City to furnish
was not forthcoming on the day appointed, Fairfax notified the Common
Council by letter (8 Dec.) that he had given orders for seizing the
treasury at Goldsmiths’ Hall and Weavers’ Hall. The sum of £27,400 was
accordingly seized at the latter Hall; and this sum Fairfax intended to
keep until the £40,000 should be paid. When that was done he would
withdraw his troops, and not before. On learning this the Common Council
sent a deputation to inform his excellency that, if certain concessions
were made, the City itself would be responsible for repayment of the money
seized, and that arrears should be got in as speedily as possible. At the
same time Fairfax was asked to withdraw his troops from the city.(911)


To these proposals Fairfax replied by letter the same day,(912) that if
the City would cause all the money charged on the City for the army up to
the 25th March next ensuing, and still in arrear, to be brought in within
fourteen days, he would repay the money taken from Weavers’ Hall and would
withdraw his troops. Their presence in the city he affected to conceive
would facilitate the collection of the money. On the receipt of this
letter the civic authorities renewed their exertions to hasten the getting
in of assessments.(913)


It was thought that a saving might be effected by the discontinuance of
the trained bands in their duty of guarding the city. They were known to
be very remiss in their duties, piling their arms and leaving them in
charge of some few of their number whilst the others went away and amused
themselves. They had thus become a laughing-stock to the better
disciplined soldiers of the army, and brought discredit on the city. The
question was eventually left to the discretion of the Militia Committee to
continue the guards or not as it might think fit.(914)


In spite, however, of every effort the money demanded by Fairfax was not
forthcoming, and the maintenance of his troops quartered in the city
became an intolerable burden. On Saturday, the 6th January, 1649, a
fortnight’s pay, or, £19,000, was due to the soldiers, and unless the
money was found within four days Fairfax threatened to quarter his whole
army upon the city. A house-to-house visitation for getting in arrears was
organised. A short extension of time for payment to the army was asked for
and obtained. Ministers were charged to exhort their parishioners on the
intervening Sunday to pay up their arrears. The money was eventually
advanced by the Treasurers at War on the personal security of the aldermen
and wealthier inhabitants of each ward.(915)


The feeling of detestation for the army and of inclination towards the
king had in the meanwhile been growing stronger in the city day by day. A
royalist lord mayor, in the person of Abraham Reynardson, had recently
been elected, and it was feared by parliament—or the Rump, as it came to
be called—that the same royalist proclivities would show themselves in the
elections to the Common Council which were to take place on St. Thomas’s
day (21 Dec.). An ordinance was accordingly passed on the 18th against the
election of "malignants" to the city council. This ordinance was amended
two days later (20 Dec.) in such a way as to exclude every citizen who had
subscribed to an engagement for a personal treaty with the king.(916) It
was in vain that representation was made to parliament of the difficulty
of getting a council together under such a restriction. The House was
inflexible and ordered the election to be at once proceeded with. The
election accordingly took place, but when the members came to take their
seats the mayor forbade them unless they were prepared to take the oath of
allegiance, which had not yet been abolished. This action on the part of
Reynardson being reported to the House, it directed him (5 Jan., 1649) to
forthwith summon the Common Council together, but to suspend the taking of
oaths until further order.(917) It at the same time gave orders for the
city chains to be removed and stored in the Leadenhall, the easier to put
down any disturbance that might arise in consequence of the recent
elections.(918) The effect of the "purge" thus administered to the city’s
parliament was soon to be seen.


On the 13th January, by which day a High Court of Justice had been
especially established for the king’s trial and all royalists had been
banished the city by order of Fairfax,(919) the new Common Council began
to assert itself. The court had been summoned to meet at eight o’clock in
the morning (not an unusually early hour in those days), but the mayor did
not put in an appearance until eleven, and then was only accompanied by
two aldermen, the number necessary to form a court. It was soon seen that
there was something wrong. The mayor refused to acknowledge the authority
of the council or to allow the minutes of the last court to be read in
accordance with custom. The council took but little notice of this and
passed on to the next business. This was a petition to the House of
Commons, drawn up and approved by a committee,(920) asking the House to
execute justice impartially and vigorously "upon all the grand and capital
authors, contrivers of and actors in the late wars against parliament and
kingdom, from the highest to the lowest," and to take steps, as the
supreme power of the nation, for the preservation of peace and the
recovery of trade and credit.(921) Such a petition was so diametrically
opposed to the sentiments of the royalist lord mayor and his brother
aldermen that they got up and left the court rather than allow the
petition to be sanctioned by their presence. Strictly speaking there was
no longer any court. Nevertheless an attempt was made to get the Common
Sergeant and then the Town Clerk(922) to put the question, but they
refused to do so in the absence of the mayor and aldermen, and they too
got up and left the council chamber. Thus left to themselves the members
of the court voted Colonel Owen Rowe into the chair. The petition was then
three times read, and after due deliberation unanimously agreed to, twenty
members of the council being nominated to carry it up to the House,
together with a narrative of the proceedings that had taken place that day
in court.(923)


In submitting the petition to the Commons on the 15th January, Colonel
Robert Tichborne, a member of the council, explained the reason why the
petition varied in title from other petitions from the city, purporting,
as it did, to come from the commons of the city alone, and not from the
mayor, aldermen and commons, and with the petition presented a narrative
of the proceedings that had taken place in the council two days
before.(924) The House readily accepted the explanation (as was only to be
expected), and declared that the petition and narrative might and should
of right be entered on the records of the Common Council. "As to the
Common Council of the city of London, and so owned by this House"—the
Speaker went on to say—"they take notice of the extraordinary affections
long since and often expressed by many particular persons, if not by every
member of your present body, especially of that true and publick principle
which carried you on to the framing of this petition, and to your going
through with it, notwithstanding the opposition and withdrawing of your
mayor and aldermen." The Speaker assured the deputation that the House
fully approved of the members continuing to sit as a Common Council in the
absence or dissent of the mayor or aldermen, or both together, and
concluded by saying that both the petition and narrative would receive
speedy consideration.(925)


On the 23rd January two officers from the army waited upon the Court of
Aldermen and informed the members that the sum of £4,000 out of the
£19,000 formerly demanded for the army was still in arrear. The money was
in the hands of the Treasurers at War, but they refused to pay it over
until they had received their security from the wards according to
agreement. Fairfax pressed for an immediate payment, otherwise he would be
under the necessity of quartering troops of horse and foot upon those
wards which had failed to give the promised security for arrears of
assessments. Rather than this should happen the aldermen themselves
engaged to be security to the treasurers for payment of the money.(926)


In the meanwhile the special tribunal established for the trial of the
king had commenced its work. At its head sat John Bradshaw, a
sergeant-at-law and sometime a judge of the sheriffs’ court of the Wood
Street compter in the city.(927) Five aldermen were placed on the
commission, viz., Isaac Pennington, Thomas Andrews, Thomas Atkins, Rowland
Wilson and John Fowke;(928) but only the first two named took any active
part in the trial, and Wilson absolutely declined to serve. Not one of
them affixed his signature to the king’s death-warrant. Among the rest of
the commissioners were, however, two citizens of repute, viz., Robert
Tichborne, afterwards an alderman,(929) and Owen Rowe, both of whom took
an active part in the trial and both signed the warrant for the king’s
execution. When put upon his trial in October, 1660, for the part he now
took, Tichborne pleaded that what he had done was through ignorance, and
that had he known more he would sooner have entered a "red hot oven" than
the room in which the warrant was signed.(930) His penitence saved his
life, and he, like Pennington, spent the remainder of his days in

The proceedings of the trial were unreasonably short and sharp. On Friday,
the 19th January, Charles was brought from Windsor to London. On the
following day he made his first appearance before his judges. On that day
week—Saturday, the 27th—sentence was pronounced, and three days later (30
Jan.) it was carried out before the king’s own banquetting-house at



Within a week of the king’s execution the Commons, confident in their own
strength and that of the army, voted the abolition of king and house of
lords, and declared England to be a Commonwealth.(931) They next proceeded
(14 Feb.) to place the executive power in the hands of a Council of State
of forty-one members, most of whom were also members of their own body,
with Bradshaw as president. Cromwell, Fairfax and Skippon were members of
the council, as also were two aldermen of the city, viz., Pennington and
Wilson.(932) The post of Secretary for Foreign Languages was offered to a
kinsman of Bradshaw, and one of whom the city of London is justly proud,
to wit, John Milton.


The revolution which was taking place in the government of the kingdom
found its counterpart in the municipal government of the City, where the
mayor, aldermen and commons bore close analogy to the king, lords and
commons of the realm. The City was but the kingdom in miniature, the
kingdom was but the City writ large. No sooner was the house of lords
abolished, and with it the right of the lords to veto the Acts of the
commons, than the Court of Aldermen was deprived of a similar right over
the proceedings of the Common Council.


Until the year 1645 the right of the mayor and aldermen to veto an
ordinance made by the commons in Common Council assembled appears never to
have been disputed, but on the 24th January of that year, when fresh
by-laws were under the consideration of the court, and the mayor and
aldermen claimed this privilege as a matter of right, objection was
raised, and the question was referred to a committee.(933) No settlement
of the matter appears to have been arrived at until matters were brought
to a crisis by the action of the mayor and aldermen on the 13th January,
1649, when, as we saw at the close of the last chapter, they got up and
left the court.


In view of similar action being taken by the mayor and aldermen in future,
it was enacted by parliament (28 Feb.),(934) that all things proposed in
Common Council should thenceforth be fairly debated and determined in and
by the same council as the major part of the members present should desire
or think fit; "and that in every vote which shall passe and in the other
proceedings of the said councell neither the lord maior nor aldermen,
joynte or separate, shall have any negative or distinctive voice or vote
otherwise than with and amonge and as parte of the rest of the members of
the said councell, and in the same manner as the other members have; and
that the absence or withdraweinge of the lord maior or aldermen from the
said councell shall not stopp or prejudice the proceedings of the said
councell; and that every Common Councell which shall be held in the city
of London shall sitt and continue soe longe as the major parte of the
saide councell shall thinke fitte, and shall not be dissolved or adjourned
but by and accordinge to the order or consent of the major parte of the
same councell." It was further enacted that "in all times to come the lord
maior ... soe often and att such time as any tenn or more of the Common
Councell men doe by wryting under theire hands request or desire him
thereunto, shall summon, assemble and hold a Common Councell. And if at
any tyme beinge soe requested or desired hee shall faile therein, then the
tenn persons or more makeinge such request or desire shall have power, and
are hereby authorized, by wrytinge under theire hands, to summon or cause
to be summoned to the said councell the members belonginge thereunto in as
ample manner as the lord maior himself usually heretofore hath done."


Pursuant to this enactment the mayor received a written request from
fifteen members of the council for a court to meet at three o’clock of the
afternoon of the 14th June, 1650. The court assembled, but neither mayor
nor any alderman appeared until a message was sent to the Court of
Aldermen then sitting requesting their attendance in the Common
Council.(935) After prayers(936) his lordship declared that he had not
summoned the court inasmuch as the members who came to him on the matter
had refused to acquaint him with the reasons for which it was to be
summoned, and he moved that the subscribers to the request for a court
should state why the court was summoned before any other business was
taken in hand. This proposal met with great opposition, and a debate arose
on the question whether the mayor’s motion should take precedence of the
reading of the minutes of the last court or not, and lasted until nine
o’clock at night. At length the mayor’s motion was negatived and the
minutes of the last court were read. It then became known that the reason
for the court being summoned was to hear a committee’s report read. But
the mayor at this point declared himself tired with sitting so long and
rose to go, promising to call a court the next morning or any time most
convenient. Upon certain members insisting upon the report being read then
and there, his lordship and all the aldermen except one left the court.
Nevertheless the report was read, and the members themselves fixed a day
for another court for taking it into consideration unless the mayor
himself should summon one in the meantime. His lordship was informed of
this resolution by a deputation sent for the purpose.(937)


In the meantime the Common Council had resolved to administer to itself a
further purge. A committee was appointed (17 March, 1649) to "consider
what officers are properly to sitt in this courte as itt is a courte, and
by what authority they doe sitt there, and are to doe and performe service
in the courte, and what sallary or allowance they shall conceive expedient
to bee made to them respectively, and whether those officers shall bee
yearely chosen or to remain for soe long time as they shall well and
honestly use and behave themselves in their places."(938) Another
committee was appointed to enquire what members of the council or others
holding positions under the council had subscribed engagements which
brought them within the purview of the ordinances of parliament of the
18th and 20th December. It was further instructed to devise some good
expedient "to heale upp all breaches and that may tende to union and to
the peace and safety of this citty, and likewise for the begettinge of a
right understandinge and to keepe a good correspondency both betweene the
parliament and citty and betweene the army and this citty."(939) Three
days later (20 March) the Common Council resolved that in the opinion of
the court "such persons as were chosen to any places of trust within the
city (before the two ordinances of the xviijth and xxth of December last
were made) and doe continue in those places and are within the compasse of
any the matters menconed in this same ordinances or either of them are as
equally dangerous to be in any of those places as they that were forbidden
to be chosen to any such place since the said ordinances made," and the
committee last mentioned were to see how best to avert the danger.(940)


When it came to proclaiming in the city the decrees of parliament
abolishing the kingly office and the House of Lords, Reynardson, the
mayor, declined to do so, and defended his action before the House by the
plea of conscientious scruples. He was forthwith deposed from the
mayoralty, condemned to pay a fine of £2,000 and committed to the
Tower.(941) As to the fine, he stoutly refused to pay it. His goods were
therefore seized and, according to the custom that prevailed, sold "by the


Not content with deposing him from the mayoralty, the House deposed (7
April) Reynardson also from his aldermanry and with him four other
aldermen,(943) viz., John Gayer, Thomas Adams, John Langham and James
Bunce—the same who had undergone impeachment in 1648. Bunce was a special
object of aversion to the Council of State, who later on (14 April, 1651)
ordered an Act to be prepared declaring all who had correspondence with
the enemies of the Commonwealth, "and especially with James Bunce, late
alderman of London," guilty of high treason.(944)


The times were so much "out of joint" that it was no easy matter to find
well-to-do citizens willing to undertake an office which had become so
unenviable, and many paid fines varying in amount from £400 to £1,000
rather than serve.(945) By paying a fine for not taking upon himself the
duties of an alderman a man could generally, upon petition, be relieved
from serving as sheriff.(946)


Meanwhile the continued presence of the soldiers of Fairfax in the city
was becoming more and more burdensome. Scarcely a day passed without some
disturbance arising between the soldiers and the civil guardians of the
peace. Occasionally there was bloodshed, and twice within a very few days
appeal had to be made to the general himself to restrain the plundering
and roystering habits of his men.(947) It is not surprising if, bearing in
mind the horrors that the military occupation of the city had recently
brought upon the inhabitants, the Common Council rejected a proposal (17
April) that the custody of the Tower should be placed in the hands of a
national guard in preference to the city’s own trained bands.(948)


A series of royalist successes in Ireland now engaged the attention of
Cromwell, recently appointed (15 March) lord-lieutenant of that country,
but nothing could be done without money. More than a year ago (16 Feb.,
1648) an ordinance had been passed for raising money for Ireland, but in
the city it had been almost treated as a dead letter—"in divers wards no
assessment at all, and in most very little paid in." The civic authorities
had recently (22 March, 1649) been reminded of their remissness in this
respect by a letter from the Council of State, who threatened to enforce
their ordinance if the City could not be brought to execute it from a
sense of duty.(949)


Three weeks later (12 April) a deputation from parliament, including
Cromwell himself, appeared before the Common Council and desired a loan of
£120,000 upon the security of the Act for assessment of £90,000 per month
and the Act for sale of fee-farm rents. The security was not liked,
nevertheless the council nominated a committee to confer with parliament
as to the best means of raising the money.(950)


Want of money was not the only difficulty that Cromwell had to contend
with. The levelling spirit which two years before had displayed itself in
the ranks of the army, and had ever since been fostered by speeches and
writings of the wrong-headed and impracticable John Lilburne, again
asserted itself. The troops refused to serve in Ireland. A mutiny broke
out at "The Bull," in Bishopsgate Street, the soldiers refusing to obey
their colonel’s orders and seizing the regimental colours. An example had
to be made, so one of the ringleaders was shot in St. Paul’s Churchyard.
Five others condemned to death were pardoned. The funeral of the
unfortunate man who was executed was made the occasion of a public
demonstration against parliament and the army,(951) and for some time
afterwards the Levellers continued to give trouble in different parts of
the country.


Time was passing rapidly and yet the establishment of the Commonwealth
still remained unproclaimed in the city. On the 10th May Colonel Venn, one
of the city members, was ordered to enquire and report to the House as to
the cause of the delay.(952) At length, on the 30th May, the formal
proclamation was made by Andrews, the new mayor, assisted by twelve of his
brother aldermen(953) and by a _posse_ of troops which had to be sent for
to preserve order. "It was desired," wrote the secretary of the French
ambassador in England to Cardinal Mazarin, "that this act should be
effected in the ordinary form of a simple publication, without the mayor
and aldermen being supported by any soldiers, in order to show that no
violent means had been resorted to; but a crowd of people having gathered
around them with hootings and insults, compelled them to send for some
troops, who first drove away all bystanders, and thus they finished their
publication."(954) A man named Prior was arrested for attempted riot and
was sent by the mayor to the Council of State, by whom he was committed to
the gatehouse.(955)


Two aldermen, Sir Thomas Soame and Richard Chambers, who had absented
themselves on the occasion, were called before the bar of the House (1
June) to answer for their conduct. Soame, who was himself a member of the
House, boldly declared that the proclamation "was against several oaths
which he had taken as an alderman of London, and against his judgment and
conscience." Chambers said in defence "that his heart did not go along in
that business." Both delinquents were adjudged to lose their aldermanries,
and Soame was also condemned to lose his seat in the House.(956) Whilst
inflicting punishment upon those who determined to remain staunch to the
royalist cause, the House resolved to honour those who supported the new
order of things, and on the 6th June a proposal was made to authorise the
Speaker "to create the dignity of a knight, and to confer the same upon
Thomas Andrews, alderman and lord mayor of London, and Isaac Pennington
and Thomas Atkins [Atkin], aldermen and formerly lord mayors."(957)


Thursday, the 7th June, having been appointed a day of public thanksgiving
for the suppression of the Levellers, the Common Council resolved (29 May)
to invite the Commons of England, the Council of State and other high
officers, as well as Fairfax and the chief officers of the army, to a
dinner at Grocers’ Hall, in order to "manifest the city’s good affections
towards them." The House accepted the invitation and appointed
Christchurch, Newgate, to be the church wherein the thanksgiving service
was to take place.(958) The same deference and respect was paid on this
occasion to the Speaker as was customarily paid to the king, the mayor
delivering the civic sword into his hands on entering the city and
receiving it back again, whilst the chief seat at the banquet was also
surrendered to him.(959)


The City showed exceptional honour to Fairfax and to Cromwell, presenting
the former with a bason and ewer of gold weighing 242 ozs. 14 dwts., and
the latter with another bason and ewer, as well as with two flower pots, a
perfume and chafing dish, two fruit baskets, a kettle and laver and a
warming pan, the whole weighing 934 ozs. 9 dwts. Cromwell was also
presented with a purse containing £200 in twenty-shilling pieces.(960)
Thomas Vyner, a goldsmith of repute, who was sheriff at the time, provided
the plate at a cost of £1,412 15s.(961)


The House was so pleased with the flattering reception it had received
that the next day (8 June) it appointed a special committee "to consider
of some mark of favour and respect" to be done to the City,(962) and on
the 30th it resolved "that the city of London have the New Park in the
county of Surrey settled upon them and their successors, as an act of
favour from this House, for the use of the city and their successors, and
that an Act be brought in for the purpose."(963) Accordingly, on the 17th
July, an Act "for settling the New Park of Richmond, alias Richmond Great
Park, on the mayor and commonalty and citizens of London and their
successors" was brought in and passed.(964)


In the meantime (5 July) Cromwell had again appeared before the Common
Council and had desired a further advance of £150,000 upon the security of
the excise. The matter was referred to a committee.(965) By the 13th
August the new lord-lieutenant had obtained sufficient resources for him
to cross over to Ireland.


Before he set sail a complete victory had been already gained over
Ormond’s forces before Dublin. The news of the success was despatched to
the mayor of London by letter from the Council of State (11 Aug.), who
ordered particulars of the victory to be printed and published in every
church within the lines of communication and thanks to be rendered to
Almighty God for his great goodness.(966) The 29th August was accordingly
kept as a day of public thanksgiving, and whilst the Commons attended
divine service at St. Margaret’s, Westminster, the municipal authorities
listened to sermons at Christchurch, Newgate, and afterwards dined
together at Mercers’ Hall.(967)


The citizens kept such a tight hold upon their purse-strings, and the
money which they had been called upon to advance came in so slowly, that
the Council of State began to lose all patience, and on the 22nd August
wrote to the mayor and aldermen(968) reminding them of their remissness in
obeying the council’s previous orders, and informing them that the
soldiers had got to the end of their pay and wanted more. "It is not
reasonable," the letter went on to say, "that the country, which is far
less able, should bear the burden of the city, or that the soldiers should
quarter upon them to spare you; and if you suffer free quarter to come
upon you it may produce great inconvenience. You are therefore to take it
into serious consideration, and you will then be sensible of the effects
this backwardness in payment may produce. We once more offer this to your
consideration, resolving not to trouble you hereafter with further
letters, which produce no better effect, but that the same clamour and
complaints return to us every week."


On the 25th August Glyn, the city’s Recorder, yielded to pressure and
resigned his office. An attempt had been made in January, 1648, to get him
to resign in favour of William Steele, but he managed to keep his place
notwithstanding his being a prisoner and threatened with impeachment at
the time. On the 9th August, 1649, the Court of Aldermen desired him to
surrender his place on the ground that both law and the custom of the city
demanded that the Recorder of the city should be an apprentice of the law
and not a sergeant-at-law.(969) The plea was a shallow one, and Glyn
declined to accede to their request, as being prejudicial to himself and
as casting a slur upon his profession. This answer he made on the 18th
August. Nevertheless by that day week he had thought better of it, and
came into court and there "freely tendred" his resignation, which was
accepted as "his own free voluntary act." The court voted him the sum of
£300 in recognition of his past services and appointed William Steele in
his place.(970)


When Michaelmas-day, the day of election of a fresh mayor, arrived Andrews
was not re-elected, to the disappointment of a large number of citizens,
who petitioned the Common Council to enquire into the manner in which the
elections had taken place. The court, whilst declaring that the election
had been carried out according to custom, was willing to appoint a
committee to search the City’s Records with the view of getting more
definite information as to the mode of such election, as well as to
enquire into charges that had been publicly made against Sir John
Wollaston in connection with the recent election. Andrews himself appears
to have suffered no little disappointment, if we may judge from his not
presiding at any Common Council or Court of Aldermen after the 9th
October, leaving that duty to Foote, the lord mayor elect, as his _locum


A few days before Andrews quitted the mayoralty the Guildhall was the
scene of one of those trials for which it is historically famous. On the
24th October (1649) John Lilburne was brought to trial for spreading
seditious pamphlets. Parliament had shown every disposition to conciliate
this impracticable reformer, but all its efforts had been futile. "Tell
your masters from me," said he to a friend who visited him in the Tower,
"that if it were possible for me now to choose, I had rather choose to
live seven years under old King Charles’s government (notwithstanding
their beheading him as a tyrant for it) when it was at the worst before
this parliament, than live one year under their present government that
now rule; nay, let me tell you, if they go on with that tyranny they are
in, they will make Prince Charles have friends enow not only to cry him
up, but also really to fight for him to bring him into his father’s
throne."(972) His trial was at length forced on parliament by the
injudicious publication of a pamphlet(973) calculated to excite discontent
in the army, and a mutiny broke out in the garrison at Oxford so soon
after the issue of this pamphlet that it was justly thought to have
occasioned the outbreak. The country became flooded with seditious
pamphlets to such an extent that an Act was passed for their suppression
and for the better regulation of printing. The civic authorities and the
Stationers’ Company were especially admonished to see the provisions of
the Act carried out.(974) What brought matters to a climax was the
discovery that the Levellers were entering upon negotiations with Prince
Charles, and thereupon the House resolved (11 Sept.) that Lilburne’s trial
should at once be proceeded with.(975) A special commission of Oyer and
Terminer, presided over by Andrews, the outgoing Lord Mayor, and including
the Recorder, the Common Sergeant and nine aldermen, was opened at the
Guildhall on Wednesday, the 24th October. The trial lasted three days.
Lilburne made a spirited defence, winding up with a solemn peroration in
which he invoked God Almighty to guide and direct the jury "to do that
which is just, and for His glory." His words sent a thrill of enthusiasm
through the crowded hall, the audience with "an extraordinary great hum"
giving vent to cries of "Amen! Amen!" in such a manner that Skippon, who
was in attendance, deemed it advisable to send for more troops in case of
disturbance. When in the end a verdict of acquittal was brought in, a wild
scene followed. "The whole multitude in the hall, for joy of the
prisoner’s acquittal, gave such a loud and unanimous shout as is believed
was never heard in Guildhall, which lasted for about half an hour without
intermission." The judges turned pale from fear, but the prisoner at the
bar, so far from displaying any excess of joy, remained unmoved and
silent, and "rather more sad in his countenance than he was before."(976)
He was conducted back to the Tower, whence he had been brought, amid the
acclamations of the multitude. At night bonfires were lighted in his
honour. The government made an attempt to detain him still in prison, but
in about a fortnight the general discontent of the people and the
intercession of friends procured his liberation.

(M498) (M499)

The citizens of London further testified their appreciation of this
champion of liberty by electing him a member of their Common Council on
St. Thomas’s Day (21 Dec.), but upon the mayor and aldermen representing
the case to parliament the House declared his election void by
statute.(977) The matter, however, was compromised by Lilburne consenting
to take the engagement "with a declaration of his own sense upon it."(978)
Philip Chetwyn, a man somewhat of Lilburne’s stamp, who had interested
himself in Lilburne’s election, was ordered by parliament to lose the
freedom of the City, and was committed to Warwick Castle.(979)

(M500) (M501)

Colonel Pride, whose famous "purge" had reduced the House to a mere shadow
of its former self, and who was elected a member of the Common Council on
the same day as Lilburne, was allowed to take his seat without
objection,(980) whilst Colonel John Fenton was declared by the House to be
disabled from service as a Common Councilman. On the other hand, the
royalist alderman, Major-General Browne, had to go, notwithstanding his
past services to parliament and the army. According to the record of the
votes of the House of Commons for the 4th December, 1649, preserved in the
Journal of the Common Council, Browne was not only dismissed from
parliament, but was also discharged and disabled from being an alderman of
the city; but in the Journal of the House itself the latter resolution
relating to his discharge from his aldermanry was subsequently erased, and
a note subscribed to the effect that the vote was vacated by order of
parliament made the 26th March, 1659.(981)


The late troubles had sadly depleted the city’s Chamber as well as
increased the number of the poor within the city’s walls. It became
necessary to appoint a committee (18 Sept., 1649) to examine the state of
the city’s finances. The result was that in the following December the
Common Council resolved to cut down the table expenses of the mayor and
sheriffs, which were found to have materially increased since they were
last taken in hand in 1555.(982) Thenceforth it was to be unlawful for any
mayor or sheriff to be served at dinner with more than one course; nor
were they to have at any time "any more sundry dishes of meat at that one
course, to a mess of ten or twelve persons, upon the Lord’s day, Tuesday,
Thursday or any ordinary festival day, than seaven, whether the same be
hot or cold." One or two of the dishes might (if they pleased) be brought
to the table hot "after the first five or six be served." On Monday,
Wednesday, Friday or Saturday the course was to comprise not more than
five sundry dishes of meat or six of fish, to be served in such order as
they pleased. _Hors d’œuvres_, such as "brawne, callups with eggs,
sallettes, broth, butter, cheese, eggs, herings, shrimps," and dishes
"serveinge onely for settinge forth and furnisheinge the table at any of
the said dinners or feasts and not there to be cutt or eaten," were not to
be accounted among the dishes thus limited. Similar restrictions were
placed upon the diet of the members of the household of the mayor and
sheriffs, and no lord mayor or sheriff was to "make any feast" on entering
or leaving office.(983)


Hitherto the mayor and sheriffs for the time being had been accustomed to
sell offices and places as they happened to become vacant and to use the
money so obtained towards defraying the expenses of their own year of
office. This was to be no longer allowed. They were henceforth to be
content with the allowance made to them by the Common Council, viz., a
monthly allowance of £208 6_s._ 8_d._ for the mayor, and a monthly
allowance of £150 to each of the sheriffs.


A committee was at the same time appointed to manage and let to farm to
the best advantage for the City a number of offices, including those of
garbling, package and scavage, metage of grain, coal, salt and fruit, as
well as all fines, issues, amerciaments and estreated recognisances under
the greenwax. It was to have entire control over the City’s new
acquisition, Richmond Park, the timber of which it was empowered to sell
(notwithstanding a proviso in the Act of Parliament to the contrary), as
well as the woods of the manors of Middleham and Richmond, which formed
part of the Royal Contract estate in Yorkshire. All sums of money thus
raised were to be paid forthwith into the Chamber.(984)


The question how to deal with the poor of the city had been for some time
past growing more pressing every day, and in September last (1649) the
"President and Governors for the Poor of the city" suggested to the Common
Council the establishment of a postal system as a means of raising money
for the purpose. The court welcomed the proposal, and promised to forward
any scheme that might be laid before it.(985) A committee was appointed
(25 Sept.) to wait upon the Earl of Warwick, Prideaux, the
attorney-general, and Witheringe, who had the management of the inland
post—a government monopoly recently established—and inform them of the
desire of the court "that the President and Governors for the Poor of the
city of London may use and dispose of the said postage for the good of the
poor, without any obstructions from them in the work."(986) An attempt
(M506) to lay a petition before parliament on Friday, the 16th November,
having failed, the deputation not being admitted, the court appointed a
committee (24 Nov.) to consider the best way of setting the scheme on foot
without delay.(987) The committee had (M507) not proceeded far in the
matter when it was deemed advisable (23 Jan., 1650) to take counsel’s
opinion as to whether there might not be some danger of a _Quo Warranto_
against the City before allowing any further steps to be taken.(988) For a
fortnight, therefore, matters were in abeyance, but on the 6th February,
1650, the opinion of counsel having presumably been favourable to the
city’s action, the committee received instructions to proceed to settle
stages and other matters connected with a postal system without
delay.(989) Before another six weeks had elapsed the City had established
a postal system with Scotland and other places. Complaint was thereupon
(M508) made to parliament (21 March) "that the Common Council of London
have sent an agent to settle postages, by their authority, on the several
roads; and have employed a natural Scot into the North, who is gone into
Scotland; and hath settled postmasters (other than those for the State) on
all that road."(990) The Common Council, it was said, had "refused to come
to the parliament and to have direction from them in it," but this
statement is not borne out by the City’s Records, according to which, as
already narrated, a deputation had at least on one occasion waited on the
House, but had not been admitted. Fortified by the opinion of the (M509)
attorney-general and of the Council of State, the Commons passed a
resolution to the effect "that the offices of postmaster, inland and
foreign, are and ought to be in the sole power and disposal of the
parliament."(991) In the face of this resolution (M510) the City could
proceed no further. A petition to parliament was drafted, but failed to
get the approval of the Common Council, and the City posts were summarily


In the meantime steps had been taken towards raising a fund from the
inhabitants of the wards to enable the municipal authorities to find work
for the poor.(993) On the 2nd April the President and Governors for the
Poor of the city reported to the Common Council that they stood in need of
£12,000 at the least, in order to start the poor on work. The court
thought best to begin by raising only £4,000, and there was some talk of
applying to parliament to increase (if need be) the powers of the
Corporation for the Poor, so as to charge both real and personal estate in
assessments.(994) A year ago (6 June, 1649) parliament had assisted the
City with the sum of £1,000 towards the relief of the poor, and had
consented to convey to the municipal authorities a certain storehouse in
the Minories, as well as the wardrobe near the Blackfriars, the latter to
be used as a work-house.(995) The City now took the opportunity of
thanking the Commons for these gifts as well as for the gift of Richmond
Park, and promised to stand by them "against all wicked practices and
opposite pretended powers whatsoever."(996)


There was another matter of municipal interest which claimed the attention
of the civic authorities about this time. Ever since 1550, when, as we
have seen, the borough of Southwark first became completely subject to the
jurisdiction of the city, the inhabitants of the borough had suffered from
the anomalous position of being ruled by an alderman not of their
choosing, and by a Common Council to which they sent no representatives.
Nevertheless, it was not until the close of 1649 that they began to raise
any serious objection to the existing state of things.  On the 4th
December of that year they petitioned parliament that they might be
incorporated or enfranchised either with or without the City, on the
ground that, as matters stood, their poor were neglected and they suffered
from "diversity of jurisdictions," under which they were subjected to
"double service and charges," such as no other body suffered throughout
the kingdom.(997)


Early in the following year (28 Jan., 1650) the City presented a counter
petition in defence of its rights and privileges in Southwark, and the
whole matter was referred by parliament to the Committee for
Corporations.(998) The inhabitants of Southwark having submitted their
case to the committee, the City were called upon to make reply.(999) They,
in effect, denied that the inconveniences mentioned by the petitioners
were caused by their being under the City’s government. As to the alleged
grievance of being subject to concurrent jurisdictions, that was nothing
uncommon. Not that the City itself countenanced variety of jurisdiction
over the borough. Far from it. In fact, the civic authorities had recently
themselves applied to parliament for the removal of the "Court Marshall"
(or Marshalsea) and the abolition of the "Marshall of the Upper Bench"
from the borough. The answer concluded by assuring the Committee for
Corporations that if any inconveniences arose in the borough from any
defect in the City’s government the City would be pleased to receive the
assistance of the inhabitants in asking the supreme authority of
parliament to amend it.  No defect, however, could justify the separation
of the borough from the City. There was another objection. The
incorporation of Southwark would not only be an invasion of the City’s
rights, but would work injury to the several companies and fraternities of
the city which for trade purposes had become incorporated. These exercised
their power of government over, and received support from, their members
who were not exclusively inhabitants of the city, but dwellers in the
suburbs two or three miles away. A conference was proposed between the
parties,(1000) but nothing appears to have come of it, and the matter was
allowed to rest for another hundred years and more.

(M514) (M515)

Cromwell had not been long in Ireland before the country began to assume
at least a semblance of prosperity. The good achieved by the city of
London and the companies in Ulster in the earlier years of the plantation
had well nigh disappeared during the troublous times of the civil war.
Londonderry itself had suffered two sieges at the hands of the royalists,
but the garrison on both occasions had displayed the same indomitable
courage as that which in later years made them famous in the pages of
history, and with like success. Cruel as was Cromwell’s policy in Ireland
it accomplished its object. By February, 1650, Bradshaw was able to write
to the mayor of London(1001) informing him of the intention of the Council
of State to "plant" the seaports in Ulster, which had by God’s blessing
been reduced to obedience. He understood that the City had or "pretended
to have" some interest in the towns of Londonderry and Coleraine, with
other lands and fishings in Ulster, and he desired to know if the City
intended to vindicate its right or claim. If so, the lord mayor was
advised to depute someone to attend the committee appointed by the Council
of State for Irish affairs and explain to him the nature of the City’s
rights. This letter having been read to the Court of Aldermen on the 19th
February, counsel was instructed to investigate the City’s interest in
Ireland.(1002) A committee of aldermen was subsequently appointed to
confer with representatives of the several livery companies on the matter.
Although Bradshaw’s letter had desired a speedy reply, it was not until
the 9th May that a report was submitted to the Court of Aldermen. This
report, which had received the assent of the companies, recommended that
counsel should forthwith be instructed to assert the rights of the City
and the companies to the towns and lands originally conveyed by letters
patents of the 30th March, 1613, to the Irish Society.(1003)


When Cromwell returned to England at the end of May (1650), having all but
stamped out the rebellion in Ireland, he was met at Hounslow Heath by a
huge concourse of people, including many members of parliament and the
chief officers of the army. At Hyde Park, where it is said that the lord
mayor and the militia awaited him, although no directions to that effect
appear in the City’s Records, he was received with a volley of
artillery.(1004) He had returned at the express desire of parliament, who
required his services in Scotland. No time was lost. On Wednesday, the
26th June, an Act was passed constituting him "commander-in-chief of all
the forces raised or to be raised by the authority of parliament within
the Commonwealth of England,"(1005) in place of Fairfax, and on the
following Saturday he set out for the North.


Two days before parliament thus transferred the command of the army from
Fairfax to Cromwell, Charles II had landed in Scotland and Fairfax had
displayed some scruples in opposing the Scots, who, as he declared, had a
right to choose their own form of government. Not so Cromwell. He saw the
danger that was likely to arise from such a concession, and he resolved
forthwith to make an attempt on Edinburgh. He was, however, out-manœuvred
by Leslie and forced to fall back upon Dunbar. There he was fortunate
enough to utterly rout the Scottish forces (3 Sept.) by one of those
dashing cavalry charges for which his "Ironsides" were famous.


This victory, which contributed more perhaps than anything else to
establish the Commonwealth, was celebrated in the city by a public
thanksgiving. A "convenient dinner" was ordered by the Common Council (12
Sept.) to be provided for that day, to which Major-General Harrison,
Major-General Skippon, the lieutenant of the Tower, and others were to be
invited. The City’s latest acquisition, the New Park at Richmond, was laid
under contribution for venison. The dinner was not on this occasion paid
for out of the City’s cash, owing probably to the low condition of the
Chamber, but was defrayed by the payment of ten shillings by each alderman
and five shillings by each commoner.(1006) The names of those who refused
to observe the day of thanksgiving were afterwards ordered to be taken and
certified by the mayor to parliament.(1007)


A few weeks later (22 Oct.) the city forces and those of Middlesex to the
number of 8,000 mustered in Hyde Park, where they were addressed by the
Speaker and members of the House. Before the end of the month a contingent
of recruits from London was on its way to join the army in Scotland, "but
near half of them," we are told, "ran away in their march, and listed
themselves in the garrisons of Newcastle and other garrisons by the


At Michaelmas Andrews was once more elected mayor. The proceedings of the
committee appointed a twelvemonth ago to enquire into the mode of electing
the mayor of London have not come down to us. Possibly the committee made
no report, for a new committee was nominated a few days before Andrews was
re-elected, "to consider what may be the most right and fitt way for
electinge of all that are wont to bee by the Comon Hall."(1009) On the
26th September (1650) a report on the subject was laid before the Common
Council, and consideration adjourned.(1010) On the 14th October, the court
having considered the report, came to the following resolution:—(1011)
"That it apeareth to them by the auncient charters of this citty that the
lord maior and sheriffs of this citty are eligible by the comons and
citizens of this cittie and that the eleccon of the lord maior and
sheriffs was aunciently by severall persons chosen out of the wards joyned
with the Common Councell. And that the same waye is most convenient still
to bee continued."


The matter was not allowed, however, to rest here. Petitions were sent in
by the livery companies, and debate followed debate until the 7th
December, when the court put a stop to further discussion by ordering that
"this busines shalbee wholey laid aside."(1012) A year later (4 Nov.,
1651) the Common Council passed an Act much to the same effect as the
above resolution. Elections in Common Hall were thenceforth to be by the
aldermen, common councilmen and "a like number of other honest men" of
each ward, and not by the companies.(1013)


Although the kingly office as forming part of the Constitution had been
declared by parliament to be abolished immediately after the execution of
Charles, emblems of royalty might still be seen displayed in the city and
elsewhere many months afterwards. On the western façade of St. Paul’s, for
example, there remained statues of James and of Charles. These the Court
of Aldermen had been ordered to remove (31 July, 1650). They were further
ordered to see that the head of Charles’s statue at the Royal Exchange was
struck off, the sceptre in the effigy’s hand broken, and an inscription
set up hard by proclaiming the abolition of tyranny—_Exit Tyrannus Regum
Ultimus_—and the dawn of liberty. On the 14th August the entire statue was
ordered to be removed.(1014) This was done, and on the following day a
certificate to that effect, under the hand of the Town Clerk, was
forwarded to the Council of State.(1015) Nevertheless there were many
places, many churches and companies’ halls in the city, where the royal
arms and portraits of the late king had been allowed still to remain, and
these the Council of State directed the mayor and aldermen in December to
search for and cause to be removed.(1016) In February, 1651, the Court of
Aldermen showed greater activity in the matter, and the lord mayor was
directed to issue the necessary precept for the removal of all
"monarchichal armes."(1017)


In the meantime, oppressed as the citizens were with constant demands on
their purses, they contributed what they could toward the relief of the
sick and poor of the army in the North,(1018) and on the 7th March, 1651,
their efforts were rewarded by a letter of thanks from the lord general


To such an extent were they ground down by taxation (the city alone being
assessed at a fifteenth of the whole kingdom) that a petition was ordered
to be laid before parliament on the subject a fortnight later (24
March).(1020) Whilst acknowledging the care bestowed by parliament in
managing the affairs of the nation at the least possible charge, and
declaring their willingness to bear their share in defraying expenses with
the rest of the nation, the petitioners prayed for a more equitable amount
of taxation than that which they had hitherto been called upon to bear.
The reasons they gave were (1) the losses which merchants had sustained
within the last few years by the interruption of foreign trade, vessels
belonging to citizens of London having been constantly seized by Prince
Rupert and others who roamed the seas for piratical purposes, and (2) the
withdrawal of the wealthier class of citizens to the suburbs of London,
where houses were increasing, and where taxation was less than in the


Before the House found time to take this petition into consideration(1021)
it had granted (8 April) authority to the Council of State to raise out of
the militias of the several counties a force of horse and dragoons not
exceeding the number of 3,000 horse and 1,000 dragoons. The civic
authorities lost no time in representing to parliament that the City had
always been exempt from the charge of providing horse. They were ready,
however, to bear their proportion of the necessary charge with the rest of
the kingdom.(1022) Later on they became more complaisant, and expressed
their readiness to furnish the number of horse demanded "in respect of the
pressing occasions and necessities now lying on the Commonwealth,"
notwithstanding the proportion laid on the City was greater than that
imposed on any other part of the nation. It was stipulated that the City’s
assent was not to be drawn into a precedent for the future.(1023) The
Council of State, on the other hand, would not for a moment allow that the
City had been called upon to contribute more than its just proportion.
London was a large place, they said, where many opportunities arose for
outbreaks, and where there was not always a force at hand to put them
down. They doubted not there were many well-affected persons within
London, Westminster, the Hamlets and Southwark, able and willing to lend
their horses, with well-affected riders, for the prevention of mischief,
and they recommended that such should be encouraged.(1024)


In June (1651) another attempt at retrenchment was made by the City. A
committee was appointed "to examine what profits or perquisites have been
received by the lord mayor and sheriffs or belong to their places, and how
they came so to belong or to be received" whilst another committee was
appointed "to consider how the service, honour and attendance of the lord
mayor and sheriffs of this city may be continued with all befitting
abatement of diet and all other charges."(1025) The result of the enquiry
was to cut down the profits and perquisites hitherto attaching to the
office of lord mayor to such an extent that when John Kendricke was
elected to the chair on the following Michaelmas-day (29 Sept., 1651) he,
being without sufficient private estate, represented to the Court of
Aldermen (2 Oct.) that he could not undertake the office "upon such terms
as never any had done before him, the ancient perquisites and late
allowances made in consideration thereof being wholly taken away."(1026)
He was afterwards prevailed upon by his brother aldermen to change his
mind and accept office, declaring that he did so "for the city’s quiet and
peace, and in hope and expectation of all due and fit


Ever since the passing of the Act of Parliament of the 28th February,
1649, the relations between the court of Aldermen, including the lord
mayor for the time being, and the court of Common Council had become more
and more strained. It had become a common practice whenever the Common
Council made a proposition distasteful to the mayor and aldermen for his
lordship and such aldermen as happened to be present to break up the court
by taking their departure. Mention has already been made of two occasions
(viz., 13 Jan., 1649, and 14 June, 1650) on which the mayor and aldermen
took this method of expressing their dissatisfaction with the Common
Council. They took the same course again on the 2nd July, 1651.(1028)


The aldermen complained of other encroachments on their rights and
privileges by the Common Council, and determined to lay their case before
the Council of State. They objected (1) to the commons increasing the
number of members sitting on committees, and making a quorum without any
alderman being present; (2) to the commons taking upon themselves to
appoint the executive officers of the mayor and sheriffs, and abolishing
perquisites whereby the mayor, aldermen and sheriffs were rendered unable
to fulfil their duties; (3) to the assumption by the commons of control
over the city’s lands; and (4) the limitation of the right of aldermen to
draw upon the Chamber.(1029) The government endeavoured to arrange matters
by the appointment of a committee (8 Oct.) to confer with representatives
from the Courts of Aldermen and Common Council, and, failing an agreement,
to lay the whole matter before parliament for final determination.(1030)
The livery also petitioned parliament against the innovations introduced
by the recent Act of Common Council (4 Nov., 1651), depriving them of
their right of election in Common Hall.(1031)


When the Common Council was about to hear a report by their own committee
upon this subject of "perquisites and incroachments," they directed the
Common Sergeant to desire the lord mayor and aldermen to withdraw. This,
however, they declined to do.(1032)


In February of the next year (1652) the question of allowances to be made
to the mayor and sheriffs was referred to another committee, with the
result that in the following June the court voted an allowance to lord
mayor Kendricke of £1,500, the same to be reduced by £100 for succeeding
lord mayors, and an allowance of £600 to each of the sheriffs present and
to come. Neither mayor nor sheriffs were to be allowed "standing
houses."(1033) The matter, however, was by no means settled. On the 13th
August the court reverted to the old system of perquisites, and resolved
"that the succeeding lord mayors and sheriffs of this city shall have
allowances from this city towards the maintenance of their public charges,
and that those allowances shall be the ancient perquisites
themselves."(1034) This was followed a month later (15 Sept.) by another
resolution to the effect that future sheriffs should have no allowances
from the city other than the perquisites.(1035)

(M531) (M532)

The election of a successor to Kendricke on Michaelmas-day in the person
of Simon Edmonds was made the occasion of fixing the amount of profits the
new mayor was to enjoy from the various offices of package, scavage,
metage and others.(1036) Edmonds, like his predecessor in office, had
reported to the Court of Aldermen soon after his election that he could
not undertake the charge of the mayoralty without those "encouragements
and allowances" which former lord mayors had enjoyed.(1037) Finding that
Edmonds could not be brought to accept their terms,(1038) the Common
Council discharged him from service (19 Oct.) on the plea of old age and
ill-health, but fined him £600.(1039) The Court of Aldermen subsequently
discharged him from his aldermanry.(1040)


John Fowke, who succeeded to the mayoralty in place of Edmonds,(1041)
always insisted upon his right to know for what purpose a Common Council
was required before he would accede to a request to summon one,(1042) and
upon quitting office he made a speech in Common Hall reflecting upon the
proceedings of the Common Council. His speech was referred to a committee,
with instructions to consider at the same time his grievances and to
endeavour to bring matters to a peaceful issue.(1043) The committee
presented their report to the council on the 24th October (1653). Fowke,
who still occupied the mayoralty chair, got up and left the court as soon
as the report had been read.(1044) He was found by the committee to have
been guilty of various misdemeanours, such as withholding the common seal
and refusing to allow leases to be stamped with it, appointing his own son
to various places, making an open assault upon the custom-house and
seizing the rights and profits of the city to his own use.(1045) Thereupon
the court resolved to appeal to parliament—not the Rump, for that had been
sent to the right about(1046) by Cromwell six months before (20 April,
1653), but to "Barebones parliament," the parliament composed of
Cromwell’s own nominees—to take in hand Fowke’s conduct and to restore to
the citizens those rights of which he had deprived them.(1047) Nothing
appears, however, to have come of the petition. On the 22nd September
(1653) the Common Council resolved that Fowke’s successor should enjoy
"all the perquisites and profits which any lord mayor hath enjoyed for
twenty years last past, before the yeare of our Lord one thousand six
hundred and forty and nine."(1048)


The difficulty of finding an alderman willing to undertake the office of
mayor under the new regulations was as nothing compared with that of
getting men to serve as sheriffs and aldermen, and the Chamber of the city
was largely benefitted by the payment of fines for discharge from
service.(1049) One concession the court of Common Council made to the
sheriffs, and that was to relieve them of the payment of certain fee-farm
rents due from sheriffs for the time being.(1050) Nevertheless the
shrievalty became so unpopular that an order had to be passed against
aldermen who had not already served as sheriff resigning their gowns for
the purpose of avoiding service.(1051)


Notwithstanding Leslie’s defeat at Dunbar, there still remained a strong
royalist army in Scotland, which, in August of the following year, was
pushed on into England with the hope of raising an insurrection in favour
of Charles before Cromwell could overtake it. As soon as this sudden
movement became known Cromwell wrote (4 Aug.) to parliament to gather a
force together with all possible speed to hold the enemy in check until
his arrival.(1052)


The House at once (11 Aug.) communicated with the Common Council, who
pledged themselves, with God’s grace, to adventure their lives and
estates, and to use their best endeavours in the defence of parliament and
the Commonwealth against the king of Scotland and all who should invade
England on his behalf.(1053) The City’s Records are again provokingly
meagre at this period, yielding us but scanty information on matters which
must have deeply affected the citizens in general. From other sources,
however, we learn that three regiments of volunteers were formed in London
and its suburbs for the special purpose of serving as a guard to
parliament. The powers of the Committee for the Militia of the City were
enlarged, and the number of members increased by fifteen individuals,
among whom was Lieutenant-Colonel John Fenton, who had been removed from
the Common Council by order of parliament. The militia throughout the
country was called out, and a month’s pay ordered to be advanced by "each
person who finds horsemen or footmen," the same to be repaid by
assessments authorised by parliament. Anyone joining the Scottish army or
inducing others to join, anyone found with papers or declarations of the
Scottish king in his hands, or discovered inciting to a breach of the
peace, was declared to be a traitor, and as such would be executed. Within
the late lines of communication strict supervision was to be kept over all
houses. Lodgers’ names were to be taken and registered; servants and
children were to be allowed out of doors only at certain hours. The
execution of these and similar orders was entrusted to the lord mayor and
the rest of the Committee for the Militia of the City in conjunction with
the Commissioners for the Militia of Westminster, the Hamlets and
Southwark, who were required to meet and sit daily for the purpose. A
troop of horse was to be forthwith despatched to meet the invaders, the
men to be mounted on horses lately seized in London and its neighbourhood,
the proprietors of which were to receive tickets for payment of their
value in case any of them should be "lost or spoiled."(1054)


On the 25th August a letter (dated 16 Aug.) from Charles, addressed "to
our trusty and well-beloved the lord mayor, aldermen and sheriffs of our
city of London," was read before parliament. The character of the letter
was such that the House ordered it to be publicly burnt by the common
hangman at the Exchange on the following day.(1055) A copy of it was
afterwards burnt (2 Sept.) at the head of every regiment of the trained
bands on the occasion of a muster in Finsbury Fields in the presence of
Lenthall, the Speaker, the lord mayor and the sheriffs, amid shouts and
acclamations.(1056) On the same day Charles, who had recently (22 Aug.)
set up his standard at Worcester, and all his aiders and abettors were
denounced by parliament as rebels and traitors.


On the evening of Wednesday, the 3rd September—the anniversary of his
victory at Dunbar Cromwell made himself master of Worcester after "as
stiff a contest for four or five hours" as he declared himself ever to
have seen;(1057) and Charles was driven forth to wander up and down the
country with a price put on his capture,(1058) until, by the aid of still
faithful friends, he managed to slip over to France. A day for solemn
humiliation (23 Sept.), as well as a day for public thanksgiving (2 Oct.,
afterwards changed to 24 Oct.) was set aside by parliament for deliverance
from threatened danger,(1059) whilst the City not only appointed a day for
thanksgiving (16 Oct.) for the "several victories" obtained by the
parliamentary forces, but kept the anniversary of the battle of Worcester
by performing "the exercise of that day in Laurance Church."(1060)


For some days following the battle of Worcester the streets of the city
were filled with Scottish prisoners of every degree passing on their way
to the Tower or to the new artillery ground at Tothill Fields. Among those
conveyed to the Tower were the Earls of Cleveland and Lauderdale. As they
passed along Cornhill in their coaches, with a guard of horse, the Earl of
Lauderdale was addressed by a by-stander—"Oh, my lord, you are welcome to
London! I protest, off goes your head as round as a hoop!"(1061) The
ill-timed jest, which the earl passed off with a laugh, was wanting in
fulfilment, for he lived to witness the Restoration and to earn the
universal hatred of his countrymen.


On Friday, the 12th September, Cromwell himself reached London, being
brought on his way by the Speaker, the Lord President and many members of
parliament and Council of State, as well as by the lord mayor, sheriffs
and aldermen of the city, amid shoutings and vollies of ordnance and
muskets. The modesty and affability of the Lord General was much marked.
Of the part he had himself taken in the battle of Worcester he seldom made
mention, but of the gallantry of the officers and soldiers he was full of
praise, "and gave (as was due) all the glory of the action unto God." On
the 16th he and his companions in arms received the thanks of the House,
and were afterwards entertained by the City.(1062) Cromwell’s sword was
now sheathed never to be drawn by him again; the rest of his life was
devoted to work requiring weapons of a different kind.



The attempt made to cripple the carrying trade of the Dutch by the passing
of the Navigation Act (Oct., 1651) found little favour with the merchants
of the city. What they of all things desired to see was free trade in the
port of London; and to this end they presented a petition to the Council
for Trade, and appointed (9 Dec.) a committee to maintain it "with the
best reasons they could."(1063)


This Act failed in its purpose, and only led to retaliation and war. In
the spring of the following year (1652) the fleet was got ready to put to
sea. On the 26th March the Council of State wrote to the mayor and
aldermen and Militia Committee of the city(1064) asking that certain brass
guns laid up at Gresham College and other places in the city should be
forthwith delivered to the ordnance officer, as the guns formerly used in
the fleet during the late wars had been dispersed among various garrisons.
By way of postscript—as if an afterthought—the council added: "As there is
a pretension of right made to such guns on behalf of the city we shall be
ready to receive and consider any claim which they shall make to them; and
if it appear that they belong to the city we will take care, after the
service is past to which they are designed, that they are either restored
or satisfaction made according to their value." In May it was found that
the store of gunpowder in the Tower was likely to run short owing to a
breach of contract, and again application for assistance was made to the
City, who were asked to lend such gunpowder as lay in the Companies’
halls.(1065) In March of the following year (1653) the request for guns in
the City’s magazines to be delivered to the ordnance officers for the
public service was repeated,(1066) and by November they were all in the
custody of the lieutenant of the Tower.(1067) By that time a victory had
been gained over the Dutch admirals Tromp and De Ruyter off Portland (18
Feb., 1653) by Blake and Monk, the latter having for a time exchanged land
service for the sea. This success was the more welcome inasmuch as Blake
had previously suffered a signal defeat (28 Nov., 1652) at the hands of
the Dutch admirals and had himself been wounded. Moreover Tromp had been
so elated at his victory that in bravado he had fixed a broom to his
masthead, in token of his resolution to sweep the sea of English vessels.


The example set by parliament of opening a subscription for those wounded
at sea was followed by the Common Council of the city. Each member of the
court was ordered (4 March) to take steps to "collect the benevolence of
the inhabitants in money and old linen, for relief of the wounded soldiers
and mariners which God hath made instrumental in the late great success of
the Commonwealth at sea against the Dutch." In reporting to the court the
total amount thus gathered (£1,071 9_s._ 5_d._) Alderman Fowke intimated
that it was the express wish of many of the contributors that the widows
and children of those that had been killed should share in the charity. To
this the court agreed.(1068) The money was despatched to the fleet by the
hands of Alderman Tichborne, and gratefully acknowledged by the admirals
Deane and Monk in a letter addressed to the lord mayor (2 April).(1069)
Two months later Deane was dead, having been killed in another engagement
with the Dutch, when the English fleet again came off victorious. For this
success a general thanksgiving at St. Paul’s was voted by the Court of
Aldermen, who were invited to attend the public funeral of the late
gallant admiral.(1070)


A few weeks before the Long Parliament was so rudely "interrupted" by
Cromwell (20 April, 1653) it raised the ire of the Common Council of the
city by the action of its commissioners, sitting at Haberdashers’ Hall,
who had prosecuted and fined certain inhabitants of the ward of Farringdon
Within for having contravened the Act touching election of officers upon
the Treasonable Engagement.(1071) A deputation from the court was ordered
to wait upon the commissioners and to get some explanation of their
conduct and to report the result of their interview. The commissioners
assumed a very haughty tone. They were, they said, entrusted with full
powers to deal with such matters by parliament, but expressed their
intention to "be tender to passe severe sentence upon any well affected
citizen. For that they have power to doe it or not to doe it." This was
not at all to the mind of the Common Council, who thereupon resolved (4
March, 1653) to ask parliament to explain who were promoters and abettors
of the Treasonable Engagement, and whether the citizens were to be
considered as promoters and abettors for having obeyed the orders of the
militia authorised by parliament in manning forts and appearing in arms,
as they so often had done, in defence of parliament as well as of
themselves.(1072) Before any answer was given to this awkward question the
Long Parliament had ceased to exist, to be succeeded by another of a very
different character.


"Praise-God Barebone, Esquire," who gave a nick-name to the next
parliament, was a leatherseller of London, and was summoned by Cromwell to
sit as member for the city. "I, as commander-in-chief of the armies of the
Commonwealth," wrote Cromwell to him, "summon you ... to appear at the
council chamber, Whitehall, on 4th July, and take upon you the said trust
for the city of London."(1073) The rest of the members of this Puritan
parliament were for the most part also Cromwell’s nominees.  It was
destined to be short lived. It attacked the law and the Church and
threatened the universities. To save the last mentioned institutions the
city of London intervened and received the thanks of the university of
Oxford.(1074) Afraid of their own acts, which they felt were displeasing
to Cromwell, they agreed to dissolve parliament and to transfer their
powers to the man from whom they had received them. This took place
somewhat suddenly and unexpectedly on the 12th December.


On the 16th Cromwell was solemnly installed as Lord Protector, the lord
mayor, the aldermen and the Recorder being invited to be present, and in
due course his new title was proclaimed in the city.(1075) The lord mayor,
Thomas Vyner, happening to be a goldsmith, the Council of State
commissioned him to supply two services of plate for the use of the "Lord
Protector and his lady."(1076)


Having recognised the new order of things and caused the Lord Protector to
be proclaimed at the Old Exchange and other places in the city,(1077) the
Common Council proceeded to ask him to a banquet to be given in his honour
at Grocers’ Hall.(1078) The invitation was accepted, and the dinner took
place on the 8th February, 1654. The entertainment was given in right
royal style, the mayor and his brother aldermen riding out in state to
meet his Highness, who exercised the privilege of his new position by
knighting the chief magistrate of the city on his departure.(1079)


In July (1654) when there was some talk of sending the city’s Recorder,
William Steele, to Ireland on affairs of State, the Common Council
addressed a petition to the Lord Protector praying him not to deprive the
city of the services of so excellent an officer, and one who was likely to
prove particularly useful both to the city and the whole Commonwealth in
the forthcoming parliament,(1080) the first parliament under the
Protectorate and one of the very few parliaments to which the city sent as
many as six burgesses.(1081)


This parliament, like its predecessor, was of short duration, lasting
little more than five months. One other parliament and no more was
summoned by Cromwell (17 Sept., 1656). It was before this parliament that
Alderman Sir Christopher Pack (the only member for the city, so far as we
have any authentic record), brought forward (23 Feb., 1657) his famous
"remonstrance," desiring the Protector to assume the kingly dignity and to
restore the House of Lords. The question whether the "remonstrance" should
be read was answered in the affirmative by a majority of nearly 100 after
some hours’ debate.(1082) Before it was taken into consideration a day was
appointed for prayer and fasting and to seek directions from the
Lord.(1083) The proposal was particularly obnoxious to the army, and
Colonel Pride had no difficulty in obtaining a large number of signatures
against it.

After many days’ debate, in the course of which the title of the
"remonstrance" was changed to that of "petition and advice,"(1084) the
document received the assent of the Commons, and on the 31st March a copy
of it engrossed on vellum was presented to the Protector at Whitehall in
the presence of the whole House. Its main feature was the creation of a
second House, the members of which were to enjoy their seats for life and
exercise some of the functions of the former House of Lords. Cromwell was
asked to assume the title of king with the right of naming his own
successor. The kingship after considerable hesitation he declined (8 May):
"I cannot undertake this government with the title of king. And that is
mine answer to this great and weighty business."(1085) The rest of the
terms he accepted, and on the 28th June he was again installed as Lord
Protector in the presence of the mayor and aldermen, the mayor to the left
of the Protector bearing the civic sword, with the Earl of Warwick to the
right bearing the sword of state.(1086) On the 1st July public
proclamation was made in the city with great solemnity.(1087)


In due course writs were issued to more than sixty persons—many of them
members of the House of Commons, whilst others were men of the lower
orders, Puritan officers or parliamentary supporters of Cromwell—to form a
new House, a "Peerage of fact," not of descent.(1088) Among them was Glyn,
the city’s late Recorder, now a chief justice; two city aldermen, viz.,
Christopher Pack, the prime mover in the restoration of the second House,
and Robert Tichborne, who, in honour of his promotion, it may be,
presented in the following year a silver bason and ewer weighing 110 ozs.
to the City for the use of the lord mayor and his successors.(1089)
Colonels Pride and Skippon, soldiers of fortune who had done good service
both in parliament and on the field, also found seats among Cromwell’s new
peers, as also did John Hewson, erstwhile a shoemaker and still a member
of the Cordwainers’ Company, which honoured him with a banquet at which
special dishes, we read, were provided for "my lord Hewson."


The new House was not a success. It soon began to give itself the airs of
the hereditary House of Lords and fell foul of the Commons. Cromwell saw
no other course open but to dissolve his second Protectorate Parliament,
which he did on the 4th February (1658).


On Friday, the 12th March (1658), the civic authorities were sent for to
Whitehall, where they were informed by Cromwell that Charles meditated an
invasion, and that Ormond had recently been engaged in enlisting support
for the royalist cause in and about the city. They were asked to put the
city into a state of readiness for the suppression of tumult and disorder
if any should arise, and to place the militia in trustworthy hands.(1090)
The warning came just in time, for the Common Council had that very day
given orders for the sale of broken carriages, guns and other war material
stored at Gresham College, the Leadenhall and in the Guildhall Chapel, and
for the proceeds to be paid into the Chamber.(1091) On the 15th the Common
Council appointed a committee to draw up a representation or petition
expressing the City’s thanks to the Protector for the favour thus shown to
them.(1092) On the 16th the document was presented to the court for
approval, and on the following day carried by a deputation to Cromwell.
Its terms were very flattering. After alluding to the blessings which had
accompanied the Protector’s government and the recent news that "the old
restless enemy" was preparing to execute his wrath against God, his
highness and the nation, the citizens concluded by assuring him that his
enemies would be considered the City’s enemies and his friends its
friends.(1093) The deputation was instructed by the Common Council to
disavow to Cromwell a certain petition which had been addressed to him
purporting to come from "divers citizens and inhabitants in and about the
city of London," and to humbly desire his highness not to look upon any
petition as the petition of the city of London except such as came from
the Common Council in the name of "the mayor, aldermen and commons of the
city of London in Common Council assembled."(1094)


So pleased was Cromwell with the City at this critical time that he
conferred the honour of knighthood upon the lord mayor (Richard Chiverton)
and upon John Ireton, a brother of Henry Ireton, his own son-in-law and
fellow campaigner, now deceased.(1095)


Thanks to the Protector’s caution and advice a royalist _émeute_ in the
city, in which Dr. Hewet, a preacher at St. Gregory’s by St. Paul’s, was
implicated, and for which he and Sir Henry Slingsby lost their heads, was
prevented, the ringleaders being arrested on the eve of the outbreak. It
was remarked at the time that the apprentices engaged in this rising were
for the most part "sons of cavaliers, or else such debauched fellows that
their masters could not rule or govern them."(1096) On the 6th July the
mayor, aldermen and sheriffs, with the city’s Recorder, Sir Lisleborne
Long, waited on the Lord Protector to congratulate him upon "the
deliverance of his person, the city and the whole nation" from the dangers
of the late conspiracy.(1097)


Cromwell’s days were fast drawing to a close, although scarce sixty years
of age. The death of his favourite daughter in August of this year cast a
gloom over his mind and affected his health, and within less than a month
he followed her, dying on the 3rd September—his "fortunate day," as he
called it—the day of Dunbar and of Worcester. The lord mayor and city
officers were allowed each nine yards of mourning cloth, and eighty other
persons of the city four yards each, as on the demise of a
sovereign.(1098) On the 4th Richard Cromwell was proclaimed in succession
to his father at Westminster and in the city, four heralds attending the
mayor on that occasion.(1099)


After a brief trial of a new parliament (29 Jan.-22 April, 1659) the Rump
was restored and its restoration duly proclaimed in the city.(1100) The
citizens affected to see a special interposition of Providence in the new
order of affairs and lost no time in preparing a petition for the
preservation of the privileges and estates as well of corporations as of
individuals, for the speedier despatch of business in the courts of law
and equity, for greater liberty of religious worship, for protection of
universities and schools in their work of education, and for relief from
excessive taxation.(1101) No long time elapsed before the old jealous feud
between parliament and the army was renewed by the former resolving that
all commissions should be received from the Speaker of the House. One of
the first desires of the House was to settle the trained bands of
London,(1102) for upon the goodwill of the militia of London and its
neighbourhood much depended. But although the citizens were zealous in
displaying their loyalty to the government,(1103) they had no mind that
the services of their trained bands or of cavalry raised in the city
should be employed beyond the city’s walls, or that they should be placed
under the command of any but "persons of quality, freemen and inhabitants
of the city."(1104)


Dissension between parliament and the army was for a time hushed by the
threat of a common danger. On the 9th August it was reported to the House
that the lord mayor had discovered the existence of a party in the city in
favour of the rising which had recently occurred in Cheshire with the view
of bringing in Prince Charles.(1105) The mayor, aldermen and Common
Council were thereupon ordered to attend the Council of State at Whitehall
on the following afternoon, when they were formally thanked for the
support they had given to parliament and encouraged to continue in the
same course.(1106)

(M558) (M559)

Nevertheless, when the danger was over the House thought fit to run the
risk of alienating the favour of the City by an attempt to force the
re-election of John Ireton as mayor for the coming year upon the unwilling
citizens. On the 2nd September the House resolved that "John Ireton" [thus
ignoring his knighthood], then lord mayor of the city of London, should
continue to execute the office of lord mayor for the year ensuing, and
ordered "that it be recommended to the city of London to see the same done
accordingly."(1107) The Common Council being in no mood to comply with
such request drew up a long petition to parliament,(1108) in which the
government of the city was shown to depend upon "two strong supports,"
viz., the customs of the city and its charters, confirmed as they had been
by divers Acts of Parliament; that by virtue of these charters and customs
the mayor was chosen by the citizens, that he remained in office for no
more than one year, and was presented to the supreme power of the nation
for approbation. The petition went on to remind the House how on various
occasions, and notably on the 13th January, 1644, and the 6th and 18th May
of the same year, parliament had formally acknowledged the constant
affection and assistance it had received from the city, and concluded by
praying the House to lay no restraint upon the free election of their
mayor by the citizens nor infringe the ancient customs and charters of the
city, a breach of which "would exceedingly hazard, if not totally destroy,
the peace, good order and happiness of the most ancient and well governed
city" in the nation, if not in the whole world.


The House taking this petition into consideration on the 28th
September—the day preceding that on which the election was to take
place—resolved by thirty-eight votes to thirteen "that the city of London
be left at liberty to make choice of their mayor according to their
charter, notwithstanding the previous vote of the House of the 2nd
September instant."(1109)  The citizens thereupon showed their
independence by electing Thomas Aleyne.


A good understanding or "correspondence" between parliament and the city
having thus been arrived at, the Common Council resolved to ask the House
to a dinner at Grocers’ Hall to commemorate Lambert’s defeat of the
royalists. The invitation was accepted, and Thursday, the 6th October,
named as the day on which the House would be prepared to go to the city to
hear a sermon at Christchurch, Newgate, and afterwards dine with the
municipal authorities.(1110)


On that day week (13th October) the House suffered another indignity at
the hands of the army. No sooner had Lambert defeated the royalist
insurgents in Cheshire than he and his fellow officers made extraordinary
demands of parliament. When these were refused they betook themselves to
brute force and sent troops to shut out members from the House.(1111) So
arbitrary a proceeding was distasteful to the citizens of London as well
as to the nation at large.


When lord mayor’s day came round and Thomas Aleyne was to enter upon his
year of office there was some apprehension in the minds of Fleetwood and
the Council of Officers, who were now supreme, lest the day should be made
an opportunity for display of popular feeling in favour of parliament. It
was suggested, therefore, to the Court of Aldermen by Fleetwood that it
might be well to omit the usual shows and attendance of the companies on
that day. The court, however, thought otherwise, and directed a deputation
to wait upon his excellency and acquaint him with the preparations that
had already been made, and with the disappointment which the citizens
would feel if they had to forego the customary solemnities, which could be
carried out, in the opinion of the court, without any risk of


Monk, who was in Scotland, disapproved of the action of Lambert and his
fellow officers, and prepared to march southward for the purpose (he said)
of vindicating the rights of parliament. Whether he had any ulterior
motive in view at the time is not known. Every effort was made by the
officers of Lambert’s army to secure the support of the City before Monk’s
arrival. On the 4th November and again on the 8th, Fleetwood, Whitelock
and others conferred with the civic authorities. On the latter occasion
Whitelock did not hesitate to declare that Monk’s real design was the
king’s restoration at the risk of a civil war. "I shewed the danger of it
to the city and nation and counselled them to provide for their own
safety, and to join for the safety of the whole nation and for
preservation of the peace." The Common Council expressed their thanks, and
resolved to follow the advice thus given.(1113)


On the 23rd November the Common Council received a letter from Monk, which
Whitelock describes as "not relished well by them."(1114) The letter is
not mentioned in the minutes of the court held on that day, which are
confined to an order for the repair of the wall of Richmond Park and to
the appointment of a day (2 Dec.) for a solemn humiliation with fasting
and prayer, that God might bring them through all their "fears, troubles
and darkness unto true rest, peace and settlement."(1115)


Whilst matters were yet in a state of suspense the apprentices of the city
again took the lead and presented (5 Dec.) a petition to the Common
Council on the subject of "how the peace of this city may be preserved."
Their petition was referred to a committee for consideration,(1116) but
the apprentices brooked no delay. Out into the street they ran, in spite
of all precautions to keep them indoors, crying out for a "free
parliament." Amid the confusion Hewson appeared on the scene with a
regiment of soldiers, and there was some little bloodshed, two men being
killed. This brought the army into greater disrepute than ever, and the
cry became general that "it was only kept on foot for the murder of
citizens." The next day (6 Dec.) the Court of Aldermen sent a deputation
to the Committee of Safety to excuse the recent outbreak and to disavow
any complicity in it.(1117) The Committee desired to know particulars as
to how the men came by their death, and to understand how far the Court of
Aldermen would be responsible for the peace of the city. The Committee was
told in reply that the recent deaths were under the consideration of the
coroner, and that as to the steps about to be taken for the preservation
of the peace of the city, further information would shortly be


On the 8th December a Court of Aldermen sat and appointed a committee to
confer with Fleetwood for preserving the peace and safety of the city and
"for a right understanding between the city and army." He was to be
desired in the meantime to keep his soldiers within barracks whilst the
court of Common Council was sitting, unless the mayor or sheriffs
expressed a wish to the contrary, and to cause the removal of certain
"granadoes" recently stored at Gresham College and elsewhere in the city,
which had caused strange apprehensions among the inhabitants. A petition
to the Common Council for a parliament as in 1642 was unfavourably
received, and handed back to the petitioners with a request to them not to
print it.(1119) Anxious as the citizens were to get rid of the army’s
ammunition stored in the city, they were not so anxious to part with their
own little stock of gunpowder, and hesitated to lodge it in the Tower as
requested, lest it should be some day used against themselves. The City
Remembrancer was instructed (17 Dec.) to see Fleetwood on the matter, and
to represent to him the feeling of the inhabitants, that order might be
taken for securing public peace and quiet.(1120)


By the 19th matters were accommodated between Fleetwood and the City. A
parliament was to be summoned which should be free from military influence
or interference. The Common Council, on hearing of the success of the
committee appointed to confer with Fleetwood, were so satisfied with the
manner in which it had carried out its duties that they authorised it to
continue to confer with his lordship from time to time as it should see
cause for prevention of all misunderstandings between the city and the
army.(1121) The action of the mayor, the common council and the committee
in the matter was much canvassed, however, by a certain section of the
community, and they were accused of betraying the rights and liberties of
the city. A "declaration" was therefore drawn up in vindication of their


On the 22nd a fresh committee was appointed to consult for the peace and
safety of the city as well as to consider what answers should be sent to
Monk, to the officers at Portsmouth and to Lawson, who was in command of a
squadron in the Thames, all of whom were opposed to the army in London and
in favour of a parliament.


No time was lost; on the following day (23 Dec.) the committee reported to
the Common Council recommending, among other things, that six regiments of
trained bands should be at once called out and placed under the command of
officers, whose commissions should be under the common seal of the city;
that commissioners should be appointed to confer with Haslerigg, Morley,
Walton and Vice-Admiral Lawson touching the safety of the city and the
peace and settlement of the nation, and "in due time" to give an answer to
General Monk’s letter; and that the commissioners should be authorised to
propound the convening of a free parliament according to the late
"declaration" of the court. These recommendations being approved,
commissioners were there and then appointed, and instructions drawn up for
their guidance.(1123)


The next day (Saturday, 24 Dec.) the Common Council was busy nominating
officers of the trained bands. It also ordered the city’s chains and posts
to be set up in the several precincts, and the gates, portcullises and
posterns to be looked to; but the council afterwards changed their minds
on this matter, and the order was countermanded before the court


The revival of the city’s militia was a welcome sign to the royalists.
"What does the city?" wrote secretary Nicholas from Brussels about this
time. "We know they talk of setting up a militia of their own, and that
some of them say, as they helped to drive out the father, they will help
to bring in the son."(1125) And again, a few days later, "The city should
be made to understand how much their interests are concerned to suppress
the illegal and boundless authority usurped by the army which cannot be
done but by force, and by no force so well as that of the city and
counties adjacent; for if the army shall ... get again to be absolute
masters in London, no citizen or inhabitant there will be secure of
anything they possess longer than it pleases the soldiery, which will soon
make the citizens their absolute slaves." Once more, "The city cannot be
secure," he repeats, "if the army continue their quarter and soldiers
still among them, nor can any parliament be free whilst awed by an
army.... Until it [the army] shall be made to obey orders from a power
superior to it, there can be no security or peace, either in city or


The spirit that had moved Haslerigg, Morley, Walton and Lawson at length
moved the rank and file of the army in London. The soldiers placed
themselves at the command of their cashiered officers. On the 24th
December they marched to Lenthall’s house in Chancery Lane, expressed
their sorrow for the past, and promised to stand by parliament for the
future. On the 26th the Rump was for the second time restored to

(M574) (M575)

The citizens had obtained their desire to have once more a parliament, but
the parliament they got was far from being the free parliament they had
been looking for. They wished to take an early opportunity—lest their
action should be misinterpreted—to inform the Rump that the measures they
had taken for "settling" the trained bands had been taken before "their
honors came together this last time." They desired to explain the reasons
for undertaking the work, and to show that in so doing the city had only
acted within its rights. A petition was accordingly drawn up on the 28th
December, setting forth that disorders in the city had increased "by the
exorbitant actings of many of those men who at first being appointed by
parliament a Committee of Militia within the city of London for their
security and safety, have since their last interruption acted by a
commission under the Great Seal of England against the same parliament,"
and that for the prevention of any disorder that might arise they had
fallen back upon their ancient rights and usages, and had put themselves
in a posture of defence, not for the purpose of acting against parliament,
but for it. Whilst offering these explanations the City was anxious that
parliament would receive into its House all such members as were still
alive and fill up the places of all who were dead. On the 29th the Common
Council resolved that this petition should not be laid before the House
until further order.(1128) The commissioners appointed by the City to
confer with Haslerigg, Morley and Walton at Portsmouth had returned, and
their report made to the Common Council on that day may have given rise to
the postponement.


Monk’s letter to the City, sent in November, had all this time remained
unanswered. At last (29 Dec.) a reply was drawn up, and, after receiving
the approval of the Common Council, was despatched to the general by the
hands of the City Swordbearer.(1129)


On the last day of the year a deputation from the House, including
Lenthall, Haslerigg, Morley and others, waited upon the Court of Aldermen
to confer with them about the safety of the city. The erection of the city
posts and chains, which apparently had been proceeded with, and the
calling out of the trained bands troubled parliament. By the 2nd January
Haslerigg was able to satisfy parliament on the first head. It was
contrary (he said) to the mind of the lord mayor, aldermen and Common
Council to have any posts or chains set up, and those that were set up
should be taken down.(1130) Two days later (4 Jan.) the Common Council
ordered the settlement of the trained bands to be proceeded with, and
nominated a committee to lay before parliament the grounds and reasons for
so doing, the committee being instructed to again press for a full and
free parliament.(1131) The attitude of the City towards the restored Rump
was keenly watched by royalists abroad. "Let me know certainly the
Londoners’ intentions about the Rump," wrote secretary Nicholas, "and
settling their own militia, and also the proceedings of Monk and Lambert,
and how each of them approves the restoring of the Rump."(1132)


The City’s anxiety for a return of a full and free parliament in the place
of the Rump was occasioned in some degree by the fact that in the existing
House they had but a single representative, viz., Alderman Atkin, and
without due representation the citizens refused to be subjected to
taxation. "They were resolved," Pepys notes in his diary (13 Jan.), "to
make no more applications to the parliament, nor to pay any money, unless
the secluded members be brought in or a free parliament chosen."

(M579) (M580)

In the meantime Lambert, who had set out for the north of England with the
intention of stopping Monk’s passage from Scotland, had been recalled, and
by the middle of January Monk and his army were well on their way to
London. On the 6th January he had despatched a letter(1133) to the Common
Council by the hands of the City Swordbearer, who having handed to the
general the city’s late missive, was about to return.(1134) As Monk
approached London Alderman Fowke and two other commissioners were ordered
(19 Jan.) to go out to meet him and thank him for his second letter, and
for his cheerful concurrence with the declaration of the Common Council,
and to desire the continuance of a good understanding between his
excellency and the court for the settlement of the nation and peace of the
city. By the 30th they had returned and were able to report to the Common
Council the result of their interview.(1135) The nature of their report
has not been recorded.

(M581) (M582)

In order to avoid as much as possible the appearance of entering London as
a conqueror, Monk brought with him no more than 5,000 men, a force
considerably less than that which was quartered in London and Westminster.
Having reached St. Albans, he wrote to the Speaker asking that five of the
regiments in the capital might be removed to a distance before his arrival
lest his troops should become disaffected by intercourse with those who
had been so recently engaged in rebellion. The House acquiesced and gave
orders to that effect, but the soldiers refused to leave their quarters,
swearing that they would not go without their money, and threatening if
their pay was not received to "go where they might have it, and that was
the city."(1136) A sum of money having been hastily raised to satisfy
their demands, they consented to march out, and the next morning (3 Feb.)
Monk entered at the head of his force—"in very good plight and stout
officers"—and proceeded to the quarters assigned to him at Whitehall
recently occupied by Bradshaw.(1137)


Monk was anxious to feel the pulse of the City before committing himself
to any definite policy. He had not long to wait before he was assured of
its favour. On the 8th February the Common Council agreed to send a
deputation to the general to congratulate him upon his coming to London
and to thank him for his courtesy to the City’s commissioners recently
despatched to him, as well as to express a hope that the good
understanding which had prevailed between his excellency and the City
might continue.(1138)


The friendly attitude of the City towards Monk, and its recent hostile
attitude towards parliament—some of the Common Council, we are told, had
been "very high" at the last court, and refused to pay taxes until the
House should be filled up(1139)—was so marked that the Rump determined
upon dissolving the Common Council, although it commended the "discreet
carriage" of the lord mayor in conducting the business of the court.(1140)
Not content with this the House went further, and ordered troops to be
quartered in the city "for reducing the city to the obedience of the
parliament." The city’s gates and portcullises, moreover, were to be
removed, and eleven citizens, including an alderman, were ordered into


The unenviable task of seeing these orders executed was, by a clever
stroke of policy, committed to Monk himself. There was no alternative open
to him but to obey, and to carry out the orders of parliament with as
little friction to the citizens as was possible. No sooner had he taken up
his residence in the city for this purpose than he was asked by the mayor
to delay removing the city’s gates until the matter should be communicated
to the Court of Aldermen.


A special court having been summoned Monk attended in person (10 Feb.) and
informed the members of the commands that had been laid upon him by
parliament touching the city’s gates and portcullises. Being told that the
execution of such commands would be "of very ill consequence both to
parliament and the city" the general could only reply that the commands of
the House were so positive that he could only hold his hand on one
condition, and that was that the city should acknowledge the Rump that so
he might have ground for writing to and mediating with the House. The
court was allowed to consider the matter whilst Monk withdrew. Upon his
return he was informed that the Court of Aldermen could not speak on
behalf of the whole body of citizens, "and that the Common Council being
now disabled to meet, there was none in capacity to do it." But, said his
excellency, the Court of Aldermen might declare their own minds? Again
Monk withdrew, only to be told, however, on his return that the court was
of opinion that their doing so "would not at this time be a service either
to the parliament or city."(1142)


The next day (11 Feb.) the Court of Aldermen again met. Monk, too, was
there. He had just despatched a letter to the Speaker of the House
complaining of the invidious work he and his soldiers had been set to do—a
work which served only to bring them into discredit with the city—and
peremptorily demanding that every seat in the House should be filled up by
the following Friday (17 Feb.) as a preliminary to the calling together of
a new parliament. When the aldermen heard of this letter they were
delighted, and ready to accede to anything Monk might suggest. He proposed
quartering troops in the city "for a few days." The aldermen raised no
objection, but asked his excellency to utilise as far as possible the inns
and public victualling houses, "so as may be least offence to the
citizens."(1143) They even displayed a readiness to give up their own
houses to the use of the general and his officers, and promised that his
soldiers should lack nothing.(1144) On his quitting the court such a shout
was raised of "God bless your excellency" as had been seldom heard.
Bonfires were lighted that evening from Cheapside to Temple Bar, bells
were set ringing, and rumps carried in mock procession and solemnly
roasted in token of the approaching dissolution of parliament. So great
was the hospitality offered to the soldiers that most of them got
gloriously drunk.(1145)


The next day being Sunday (12 Feb.) Monk, whose wife had joined him in his
lodgings in the city, attended morning service at St. Paul’s, and in the
afternoon went to a church in Broad Street, probably that of St. Peter le
Poor, in the neighbourhood of his lodgings.(1146)


On Monday (13 Feb.) he held a conference with the mayor and aldermen at
Drapers’ Hall, a stone’s throw from where he lived, with reference to the
peace and safety of the city. Alderman Atkin, a member of parliament, was
sent for to be informed of "sundry matters of great danger to the city,"
of which information had reached the ears of the Court of Aldermen, and
which he was to communicate to the House. But particulars are not


The Council of State were far from being pleased with Monk for taking up
his quarters in the city, and repeatedly urged him to leave the city for
Whitehall, where they could keep a better watch on his movements. They
particularly desired his company at Whitehall on Tuesday morning for the
purpose (they said) of consulting him on matters relating to public
safety, and in order that they might have an opportunity of communicating
to him the recent proceedings of parliament.(1148)


Monk was in no hurry to quit the city. On Wednesday (15 Feb.) he sent for
Alderman Fowke to say that he purposed marching out of the city with his
forces on the following afternoon, but that in so doing he had no
intention of receding from his promise to secure the safety of the city.
He would also endeavour to bring about a right understanding between
parliament and the city. Fowke having reported this to the Court of
Aldermen there was great alarm, and a deputation was despatched, with
Fowke at its head, to beg the general to let his soldiers remain in the
city "if it may consist with his trust." Word was brought next day to the
court that in the event of his excellency quitting the city he would leave
behind two regiments for its safety, and that if the court would give him
the names of persons fit to be officers he would endeavour to get two
regiments of their own appointed by parliament.(1149)


Instead of quitting the city Monk only changed his quarters to the house
of William Wale, alderman of the ward of Farringdon Without, whither he
caused his goods to be removed from Whitehall, as to a more or less
permanent residence.(1150) There he remained, holding frequent interviews
with the leading citizens and preparing to carry into effect the project
of restoring the king.(1151)


In the meanwhile parliament had been busy completing the bill for the
qualifications of electors and candidates for the new parliament, and on
the day fixed (17 Feb.) by Monk writs were ready to be issued. According
to the qualifications passed by the House, no one could be elected a
member of the forthcoming parliament unless pledged to support a
republican form of government. As this meant the exclusion of the members
shut out by Pride’s Purge in 1648 it gave rise to much dissatisfaction,
and Monk was appealed to. A deputation of the sitting members met a
deputation of the excluded members at Monk’s new quarters, when it was
decided that the Presbyterian members shut out by Pride’s Purge should
again be allowed to take their seats. Four days later (21 Feb.) they
attended parliament at Monk’s invitation and were admitted without

The day passed off without any disturbance, although it was feared that
the "secluded" members might attempt to force their way into parliament.
It was also feared that if such an attempt were made it would be backed up
by some inhabitants of the city. The council had therefore asked Monk to
take precautions for securing the freedom of parliament as well as
maintaining peace within the city.(1152)


The recent order of parliament dissolving the Common Council of the city
was declared null and void, the municipal authorities were allowed to set
up the city’s gates and portcullises again, and the imprisoned citizens
were liberated.(1153) That night was a joyous one in the city. Bells were
rung and bonfires were lighted, so that the sky was ablaze with
illuminations, "a most pleasant sight to see."(1154)

On the 28th February—a day set apart for public thanksgiving—Monk was
invited to an entertainment at Grocers’ Hall in honour of the restoration
of a full parliament and of the Common Council of the city; but party
spirit was so rife that it became necessary to warn the general against
receiving anything that he might hear "as the sense of the city."(1155)
Bonfires were forbidden to be lighted in the city that night by order of
the Council of State, lest some discontented spirits might seize the
opportunity to raise a disturbance.(1156)


The day that the Common Council re-assembled (22 Feb.) it received a
deputation from the restored House asking for a loan. With little
hesitation the court voted a sum of £60,000 on the security of the monthly
assessments. It was left to the aldermen, deputies and common councilmen
of the wards to raise the money by subscription, and they were further
instructed to take the best course they could for raising a sum of
£100,000 upon the same account.(1157) It was subsequently (1 March)
arranged that the sum of £27,000 should be advanced upon security of the
six months’ assessment, and in case the same should not be fully collected
out of the assessment, the deficit, as well as the cost of repairing and
setting up the gates, portcullises, etc., should be secured by Act of


The House acceded to the City’s request that its militia might be placed
in the hands of commissioners of its own choice. Monk himself was
nominated by the Common Council (3 March) Sergeant-Major-General of the
city’s forces, a post which he signified his willingness to accept.(1159)
The sooner the militia was settled the sooner would the city be rid of
Monk’s soldiers, of whose excesses the Common Council had had recent cause
to complain.(1160) Armed once more with parliamentary powers, the
commissioners for the militia of the city prepared to raise six regiments
of auxiliaries and some cavalry, as well as a month’s tax at the rate of
£35,000 a month over England for their maintenance or "trophies."(1161)


Having settled the militia of the kingdom as well as that of London,
parliament—the Long Parliament, which during its actual or nominal
existence for nearly twenty years had experienced every vicissitude of
fortune—was at length dissolved (16 March) by its own act, and writs were
issued for a fresh parliament to meet on the 25th April.(1162) The new
parliament was known as the Convention Parliament on account of its
members having been elected without the king’s writs.


Ten days after the dissolution of the Long Parliament there came to the
Common Council of the city a deputation from the Council of State, in
whose hands the sole government of the kingdom then lay, with a proposal
to borrow the sum of half a million of money (£500,000) upon the security
of a moiety of the excise. The court, after deliberation, agreed (2 April)
to lend a sum of money (amount not specified) to the Council of State upon
security of the moiety of the excise "and the honour of the said Council
of State," and ordered that subscriptions should at once be set on foot in
the several wards.(1163)


Scarcely had the House broken up before people began to talk freely of the
king and his probable restoration, a subject on which they had hitherto
dared only to speak in a whisper. So bold indeed did they become that on
the very day of the dissolution a man came with a ladder to the
Exchange—not "Royal," but "Great" Exchange—in the city and obliterated
with a brush the inscription, _Exit Tyrannus Regum Ultimus_, which had
been set up in August, 1650, near the site of the late king’s statue,
destroyed by order of the then Council of State, as already narrated.
Before the end of the month another statue was in course of making to take
the place of the one that had been thus destroyed.(1164) As time went on,
and Monk’s design to bring in Charles became more apparent, the citizens
grew yet bolder. The Skinners’ Company went so far as to set up again the
royal arms in their hall on the occasion of an entertainment given to Monk


Towards the close of April, when it was evident that the king’s
restoration was a mere question of time, the Common Council showed an
anxiety to place on record an account of the attitude taken up by the
City, and to vindicate its action throughout the late troublous times. It
appointed (26 April) a committee "to peruse the records of this court and
report what of them are fit to be considered of, and their opinions
thereupon; and also to prepare a narrative for the vindication of this
court and city touching the same." The committee at once set to work, and
in four days were ready with a draft of "a declaration and vindication of
the lord mayor, aldermen and commons of the city of London in Common
Council assembled," which received the approval of the court (30 April),
and a printed copy of which was ordered to be sent to every member of
parliament and Council of State.(1166)

After expressions of satisfaction at the thought of an end having been put
to the distractions of the kingdom by General Monk, and at the hopeful
prospect of a return to the old form of government by king, lords and
commons, under which the country had so long prospered at home and been
respected abroad, this declaration proceeded to disavow the various Acts
of the Common Council as established in 1648, when, "in the general deluge
of disorder introduced upon these kingdoms" in that year, the government
of the city passed into the hands of "men of loose and dangerous
principles," who proceeded to pass Acts "tending to the murder of the late
king and total extinguishment of kingly government," and who by no means
were a fair representation of the city. It set forth various proceedings
of the Common Council in connection with parliament and the city’s
Engagement to guarantee the personal safety of the late king from the 22nd
June, 1648, down to the 13th January, 1649, when the lord mayor Reynardson
was constrained to leave the council. The terms of this Engagement the
City was prepared to carry out, "but it pleased Almighty God to permit
their good intentions and endeavours to be frustrated by the destructive
counsels and actings of those who had designed to build upp their dominion
and fortunes on the ruin of the king and kingdom." The House of Lords was
dissolved, and all the best members excluded from the House of Commons. By
"pretended ordinances" of parliament, all those worthy citizens who,
according to their allegiance and covenant, had engaged to procure and
secure a personal treaty with the king, were rendered incapable to be
elected into the Common Council or any other office of trust in the city.

What could be expected of a body thus emasculated? They declare themselves
unable to find words to express their abhorrence of the proceedings that
had taken place in the Common Council of the 13th January, 1649, and
"profess their thankful memory of the noble gallant resolutions of the
then lord mayor, Alderman Reynardson, and his brethren the aldermen, who
so valiantly resisted the turbulent disorders of that _mechanicke juncto_
during many hours’ assault and at last prudently retreated and washed
their hands from the guilt of those bloody resolves." In conclusion they
express a hope and trust that since the recovery of the right of free
election the Common Council had manifested an eagerness to act cordially
and strenuously with parliament in everything tending towards good
government, and that soon, by the aid of the parliament recently convened,
they would be put under the protection of the first and fundamental
government of hereditary monarchy according to the ancient laws of the


The City’s declaration and vindication was scarcely printed and published
before a letter from Charles himself(1167) was brought to the Common
Council by Lord Mordaunt and Sir John Grenville (1 May), in which the
prince expressed a wish that the City should know how little he desired
revenge and how convinced he was that the peace, happiness and security of
the kingdom were only to be secured by gaining the hearts and affections
of his subjects. He felt that he could count upon the City to assist him
in re-establishing those fundamental laws upon which the happiness of the
country so much depended, and he avowed a "particular affection" for his
native city, the charters of which he was not only ready to renew and
confirm, but to grant such new favours as might advance its trade, wealth
and honour.


Enclosed in this letter was a declaration known as the Declaration of
Breda, from the place where Charles had signed it on the 4th April
(o.s.)(1168) It offered a general pardon to all except those specially
exempted by parliament and promised liberty of conscience in matters of
religion. Charles further expressed his willingness to leave questions of
title to estates acquired during the late troublous times to be decided by
parliament. He assured the soldiers of arrears of pay and promised to
continue them in his service on the same terms as they then enjoyed.


The letter and declaration having been read (1 May), the Common Council
returned thanks to Charles for his condescension towards the City, and
expressed their willingness to submit to his majesty’s government, in
token of which the arms of the Commonwealth (he was informed) had already
been taken down and orders given for those of his majesty to be set up. A
committee was appointed to draw up a formal answer in writing for
conveyance to Charles by the same hands that had brought his letter,
provided parliament would allow the City to return an answer. The late
king’s statue, which had been removed from the Guildhall chapel, was to be
forthwith set up again.(1169)


Charles having shrewdly thrown upon parliament the burden of naming the
terms on which his restoration was to take place, it became necessary that
a parliament should meet forthwith. Another Convention Parliament had
accordingly met on the 25th April. The declaration of Breda reached it on
the 1st May, and on the following day it sent to borrow £100,000 from the
City. The Common Council at once took steps for raising the money.(1170)
One half of this sum was destined for the king’s own use, and sorely he
stood in need of it. Pepys, who had it from an eye-witness, records "how
overjoyed the king was when Sir J. Grenville brought him some money; so
joyful that he called the Princess Royal and Duke of York to look upon it
as it lay in the portmanteau before it was taken out."(1171)


The same day (2 May) that the Common Council undertook to raise the loan
for parliament it voted on its own account a gift of £10,000 to Charles.
It also voted a sum of £2,000 for expenses in sending a deputation to the
Hague; but it was subsequently resolved to divide the sum between the
Dukes of York and Gloucester, and that the members of the deputation
should discharge their own expenses. A further sum of £300 was voted for
Lord Mordaunt and Sir John Grenville, the bearers of the king’s letters,
for the purchase of a ring apiece. The sum of £12,000 was raised among the
livery companies on the understanding that this was an exceptional
occasion and was not to be drawn into precedent.(1172)


Besides returning an answer by the hands of the king’s messengers, the
Common Council appointed sixteen commissioners to wait upon the king at
the Hague with the City’s formal answer.(1173) By the 28th May the
commissioners returned and reported the success of their expedition to the
Common Council. They had been very graciously received by Charles, who had
conferred knighthood upon those who had not already received that honour.
The court gave them a hearty vote of thanks for the great pains and
charges they had been put to.(1174)


In the meantime Charles had been publicly proclaimed king in the city by
the lord mayor (8 May), who, in honour of the occasion, had been specially
provided with a new crimson velvet gown, whilst his Swordbearer in
attendance was scarcely less gorgeous in a damask gown of the finest
"branch."(1175) The Commons of England joining with them, the lord mayor,
aldermen and commons of London unanimously acknowledged and proclaimed
that by inherent right the crown had devolved upon Charles II immediately
on the decease of his father as next heir.(1176)


On the 25th May Charles landed at Dover, and four days later entered
London, being met at St. George’s Fields(1177) by the mayor and aldermen.
The City’s sword having been offered to the king and returned, Charles
conferred the honour of knighthood upon Thomas Aleyne, the lord mayor, and
partook of refreshment in the lord mayor’s tent, set up for the purpose.
From there to Whitehall the journey was one long triumphal procession
through streets strewn with flowers and lined with members of the
companies in their handsome liveries. Never was there such a restoration,
wrote John Evelyn, since the return of the Jews from the Babylonish



On the afternoon of Saturday, the 2nd June (1660), the mayor and aldermen,
accompanied by the Recorder, waited upon the king to congratulate him on
his return and to restore to him Richmond Park, according to a resolution
of the Common Council.(1179) Speaking on behalf of the City, the Recorder
expressly declared that it was done by way of restitution and not as a
gift. He assured the king that it was well that the park had been in the
City’s hands, for they had preserved the wood, vert and game. Not to be
outdone in courtesy the king replied that "the city of London were still
loading him with their kindness, and that he looked upon the said park to
be kept for him, and that he accepted it not as restored, but as freely
given unto him by the city, and thanked them for the same."(1180)


The early days of June were busy days for lord mayor Aleyne, to whose
house the citizens flocked in order to signify their acceptance of his
majesty’s offer of pardon.(1181) On the 5th June the mayor himself and
those aldermen who were not barred by the Statute of Indemnity and
Oblivion (12 Charles II, c. 11), subscribed a declaration of pardon,
whilst members of the Common Council took the oaths of supremacy and
allegiance pursuant to the king’s orders.(1182) Later on the master and
wardens of the livery companies, the presidents of the hospitals, the
president and governors of the Irish Society, as well as the governors of
the Merchant Adventurers and other trading companies, were called upon to
do the like.(1183)


Sir John Weld, who had been dismissed in 1642 from the office of town
clerk(1184) for failing to attend the Common Council, a duty which he was
rendered incapable of fulfilling owing to his having been appointed at
that time high-sheriff of Shropshire, seized the opportunity of presenting
a petition to the court of Common Council (5 June) to be re-instated in
office. A committee to whom the matter was referred reported to the
council that they found that it had been by special command of the late
king that Weld had been prevented carrying out his duties, and recommended
that he should now be restored. The court, however, seemed loth to
re-instate him, and it was not until after the receipt of a letter from
secretary Nicholas and a writ of restitution had been issued that it
consented (21 Sept.) to re-admit him to office, and then only by


John Sadler, who held the office of town clerk at the time, was promptly
got rid of on a charge of having given judgment in "a late pretended court
of justice," and of having signed the death-warrant of Christopher Love, a
zealous Presbyterian and minister of the church of St. Lawrence, Jewry,
who had been accused of treason in 1651 and beheaded on Tower Hill in the
midst of ominous thunderings and clouds of darkness.(1186)


On the 4th September the king wrote to the City stating that as by the
passing of the Act of Indemnity many of the aldermen were rendered
incapable of continuing in office, it was his wish that their places
should be filled by restoring those aldermen who had in times past been
removed for their allegiance to him. As many of the latter had submitted
to pay fines rather than continue in office against their conscience, he
further recommended that these fines should be returned to them.(1187)
Pursuant to the king’s wishes, the Common Council formally declared "that
Sir Thomas Adams, Sir Abraham Reynardson, Sir Thomas Soame, Sir John
Langham, Sir James Bunce and Sir Richard Browne are aldermen of this
city," and called upon them to take upon themselves the execution of their
respective places.(1188)


One of these, Sir John Langham, then in his seventy-eighth year, wrote
from Crosby House to the Court of Aldermen asking to be excused on the
score of his advanced age. He had been, he said, laid aside about twelve
years since and imprisoned in the Tower by order of parliament(1189) (24
Sept., 1647), chiefly to prevent his being chosen lord mayor, and had been
released on the following 6th June without any effort being made on his
part. He had afterwards (7 April, 1649) been removed from office with Sir
John Gayer, Alderman Adams and "brother" Bunce by resolution of "that
remain of a House of Commons that presumed to sit as a parliament," and
others had been chosen in their stead.(1190) The Court of Aldermen acceded
to the veteran’s request(1191)


At Michaelmas the citizens would again have placed the royalist Reynardson
in the mayoralty chair, but he excused himself on the ground of
ill-health,(1192) and the gallant Alderman Sir Richard Browne was elected
in his stead. A twelvemonth later Reynardson was dead, having passed away
on the 4th October, 1661.


In the meantime (5 July) the king and parliament had been entertained at
dinner by the City with great magnificence. The day was unfortunately
rainy, and Pepys, who seems never to have quite forgotten that he was the
son of a tailor, and never put on a new suit of clothes without recording
the fact in his diary, remarks that the rain that day "spoiled many a fine
suit of clothes." The entertainment on this occasion took place at the
Guildhall instead of at the hall of one of the great city companies. The
mayor took the opportunity in the course of the dinner to present the king
with a "welcome cupp according to the usuall custome," as a token of
loyalty and duty. On the following day the members of the Common Council
and the masters and wardens of those companies which had advanced money to
defray the cost of the entertainment dined together in the hall, when
there was "the same musicke as was the day before at the entertainment of
his majesty."(1193)


When the Entertainment Committee waited on his majesty to thank him for
his condescension in accepting the City’s entertainment and to crave his
pardon for whatever had gone amiss, they took the opportunity of
satisfying him on certain matters—viz., the repair of St. Paul’s and the
building a drawbridge on London bridge—about which his majesty desired to
be informed. They at the same time reported the City’s choice of Sir
Richard Browne to be major-general of the City’s forces in the place of
Monk, recently created Duke of Albemarle, who had been obliged to resign
his commission "by reason of the multiplicity of affairs in his majesty’s


On the 14th August a deputation from the Lords and Commons attended a
court of Common Council and desired a loan of £100,000 on the security of
the poll tax. The court declined to commit itself to any promise. It was
much dissatisfied, and more especially with the inequality of the poll
tax; it therefore preferred submitting the matter to a committee for
investigation before giving an answer.(1195) A committee was then and
there nominated to consider the question.

By October matters were so pressing that Charles himself wrote to the
City, insisting upon the money being advanced within ten days upon the
security of the Act for two months’ assessment about to be levied on the
whole kingdom, and out of which he solemnly promised, "on the word of a
king," that the loan, both principal and interest, should be repaid before
any other disbursements were made. The money was wanted for the purpose,
he said, of disbanding the army.(1196)

(M619) (M620)

Notwithstanding this pecuniary difficulty and the existence of certain
grievances of which the City complained, more especially the abolition of
the Court of Wards,(1197) for which the king was to receive another
£100,000 by way of compensation, the good relationship between Charles and
the City still continued; so that when a deputation waited on him with a
petition from the livery companies relative to their Irish estates, the
following gracious reply was given:—"That his majesty would perform what
his father had promised and more, and that his majesty would deny the city
nothing; that his majesty found they dealt honestly with him, and his
majesty would deny them nothing."(1198)


Thus far all had gone well with Charles. Within a month of his first
letters from Breda he had recovered his father’s throne without shedding
one drop of blood. Of his enemies the more powerful were either in prison
or had fled the country, whilst others had paid the penalty for their
implication in the death of the late king with their own heads. Danger,
however, lurked where least expected. A small band of fanatics known by
the name of Fifth Monarchy men, who believed in the immediate coming of
Christ upon earth to rule the world, were in the habit of holding meetings
in Coleman Street. On Sunday, the 6th January, 1661, excited by a harangue
uttered by their leader, a wine-cooper named Venner, they broke out, and
with arms in their hands hurried to St. Paul’s. There they posted
sentries, and demanded of passers-by whom were they for? Upon one of them
replying that he was for King Charles, he was at once shot by the
fanatics, who cried out that they were for King Jesus. Luckily the city
was at the time in the hands of that staunch soldier Sir Richard Browne.
Upon his appearance on the scene with an armed force the rioters retreated
to Highgate, but not before they had killed at least half-a-dozen men.
During the next two days the streets were strongly patrolled; travellers
abroad were strictly examined as to the nature of their business before
being allowed to pass on their way, and suspected persons were disarmed
and compelled to take the oaths of allegiance and supremacy.(1199) Every
moment the return of the rioters was expected, but Monday and Tuesday
passed and none appeared. One of their meeting houses (probably that in
Coleman Street) was ordered to be pulled down. At six o’clock on Wednesday
morning the inhabitants were aroused by hearing again the cry of the
fanatics, "The King Jesus and their heads upon the gates," as they madly
attacked the king’s life guards. Their whole number, it is said, did not
amount to much more than thirty, of whom twenty were killed, whilst Venner
and nearly all the rest were made prisoners. When questioned the prisoners
one and all refused to make any confession, saying that they would not
betray the servants of the Lord Jesus.(1200) Ten days later they expiated
their crime on the scaffold, and the lord mayor, having received orders to
seize all suspected persons in the city, proceeded to imprison a number of
Quakers. These he kept in confinement until the following March, when all
fear of further disturbance having passed away, they were


The Common Council passed a vote of thanks (25 Jan.) to the lord mayor and
sheriffs for their vigilant conduct during the outbreak,(1202) and
appointed a deputation to wait on his majesty to know his pleasure as to
when a day of public thanksgiving should be kept for its timely
suppression. It also appointed a committee (28 Jan.) to enquire as to the
number killed and the best means of raising money for the relief of their
widows and children.(1203)


Having successfully paid off and disbanded the army,(1204) the king turned
his attention to paying off the navy, for which purpose he sent a
deputation from the Privy Council to the City (11 March) with a letter
asking for a speedy loan of £100,000. The city fathers at once took steps
to raise the money in the several wards, and any able inhabitant refusing
to subscribe was ordered to be reported to the lord mayor; but three days
later the king again wrote saying that, as money was coming in from the
country quicker than had been anticipated, the loan would not be


A month had scarcely passed before the Duke of Albemarle, the Earl of
Manchester, the Earl of Sandwich, Viscount Valentia, Denzill Holles, and
Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper appeared before the court of Common Council (9
April) with a letter from the king asking for another loan of £60,000. As
the City was anxious to have its rights and liberties ratified and
confirmed by a new charter, it did wisely in giving an unanimous assent to
this demand, more especially as the loan was to be made upon parliamentary


The City had other expenses to meet. The day fixed for the king’s
coronation (23 April) was drawing near, and preparations had been going on
since February.(1207) The sum of £6,000 had already been spent in
"preparing ornaments for his majesty’s passage through the city to his
coronation," and £3,000 more was wanted. The money was immediately
voted.(1208) On the 1st April the Court of Aldermen nominated twelve
citizens to assist the chief butler on the day of the coronation,(1209)
whilst the court of Common Council voted a sum of £1,000 in gold as a gift
to be made by the City to the king on that occasion.(1210)


The old regalia having been dispersed, broken up or lost after the death
of Charles I, a commission was given to Sir Robert Vyner, alderman of the
city and the king’s goldsmith, to make a new set for the coronation of
Charles II. This was accordingly done, care being taken to follow the old
patterns as far as possible. The new regalia comprised two crowns, three
sceptres, an orb, a mace and a quantity of collars, Georges and garters
for the order of St. George. Vyner also supplied the king with plate for
new year’s gifts and for his majesty’s own use, the entire cost amounting
to over £30,000.(1211)


On the day before the ceremony (22 April) Charles set out from the Tower
to Whitehall. The procession was one of exceptional splendour as it passed
through the streets new gravelled for the occasion.(1212) A special
gallery was erected in Cheapside for the city aldermen, as well as a
triumphal arch.(1213) Pepys, who dearly loved a gala day as affording him
an excuse for putting on new finery, was lost in admiration at the sight
which presented itself to his eyes as he viewed the procession from the
windows of "Mr. Young’s, the flagmaker," in Cornhill, and declared it to
be "impossible to relate the glory of this day, expressed in the clothes
of them that rid and their horses and horse-clothes." The mayor himself
was provided with a crimson velvet gown for the occasion.(1214)

(M628) (M629)

The coronation ceremony was carried out the next day with all the
customary formalities, and the evening was given up to bonfires and
fireworks, not to mention also a considerable amount of tippling. Even
Pepys himself was obliged to confess that he got to his bed only "pretty
well." There was but one accident worth mentioning during the entire day.
Sergeant Glyn, who had formerly been the City’s Recorder, and had
afterwards been raised to the Bench, was nearly killed by his horse
falling on him whilst riding in the cavalcade with Maynard, another
eminent lawyer. Had they both been killed the populace (we are told) would
have only looked upon it as a judgment of a just God for their action
under the Commonwealth.(1215)


Meanwhile the Convention Parliament had been dissolved and a new one
summoned to meet in May (1661). When the elections took place there was a
hot contest in the city between Presbyterians and Episcopalians, resulting
in the discomfiture of the latter, "who went away cursing and swearing and
wishing they had never come."(1216) One writer describes the election as
having been "the greatest appearance that ever the oldest men alive
saw."(1217) Great efforts were made to obtain the re-election of those who
had served the city in the last parliament.(1218) Unfortunately their
names are not known to us with any certainty. The successful candidates
consisted of three aldermen, viz., William Thompson, William Love and John
Fowke and Captain John Jones. Thompson and Love are described as "godly
men and of good parts, Congregationalists," Captain Jones as "a
Presbyterian man," and Fowke as one "not much noted for religion, but a
countenancer of good ministers," and as "deeply engaged in Bishop’s
lands."(1219) Pepys,(1220) who lived in the heart of the city, was himself
surprised at the "strange election," and at the discomfiture of the
Episcopalian party, "that thought themselves so strong. It do so make
people to feare it may come to worse by being an example to the country to
do the same. And, indeed, the bishops are so high that very few do love


Others besides Pepys recognised the effect likely to be produced in the
country by the example set by London; and those who, unlike Pepys, were of
a Presbyterian turn of mind freely expressed their hopes that the keynote
of the election struck by the City would be taken up by the country at
large. "God has overruled the hearts of men and heard the prayers of his
people in the city election, though the Episcopals were high and thought
to have the day; a precedent is given to the whole country," writes a
contemporary to a friend.(1221) "The city of London has set a good
example," writes another.(1222) Another expresses a hope that "other
places will be encouraged by the example of this to choose sober and
moderate men for parliament men"; whilst another declares "the city was
very unanimous and courageous in its choice," and that "if the country do
the same, profaneness and superstition will no longer prevail, but Godly
magistrates and ministers be settled in every place."(1223)

(M632) (M633)

That the court party were afraid of the effect that the result of the city
election would have upon the rest of the kingdom, where elections were
still going on, is evidenced by the fact that these letters just cited, as
well as numerous others despatched to various parts of the country with
details of the election, were intercepted at the post office.(1224)
Neither the hopes of the one party nor the fears of the other as to the
effect of the City’s choice of members upon others were destined to be
realised to the extent anticipated. The electors proved loyal, and the
members returned to the new parliament which met on the 8th May were for
the most part too young to remember the tyranny of the Stuarts.


The new parliament agreed that neither House could claim the command of
the militia nor lawfully make war upon the king. Act after Act was passed
against those who refused to conform to the Established Church. Before the
close of the year (1661) the Corporation Act received the assent of both
Houses.(1225) Thenceforth no one was to be allowed to hold any municipal
office unless he renounced the covenant, took the oath of non-resistance,
and received the Sacrament according to the rites of the Church of
England. By thus excluding Nonconformists (or "Dissenters," as they began
now to be called) from municipal corporation, parliament indirectly
excluded them from seats in the House of Commons.


On the 9th July the Common Council approved of the presentation of a
petition to the king for a confirmation of the City’s charter.(1226) The
time was not inopportune, inasmuch as a "free and voluntary present" to
Charles had recently been set on foot,(1227) and the maxim of _do ut des_
was one well understood between the City and the Crown. It is not
surprising, therefore, that on the 17th an Order in Council was passed to
the effect that the lord treasurer should assure the City that his majesty
was highly sensible of their loyalty and affection, and would renew their
charter with additions if desired and found fit.(1228) The lord chancellor
happening to be in the city one day (8 Aug.) on the business of the "free
and voluntary present," the civic authorities embraced the opportunity of
urging him to press their suit with the king, whereupon "it pleased my
lord chancellor to express much affection and forwardness to this great
concernment of the city," and he promised to see the king on the matter
that same evening, and to get the attorney-general, who was about to leave
town, to defer his journey if the City would at once forward its old
charter to Mr. Attorney for the purpose of renewal. This the Common
Council readily agreed to do.(1229) In spite, however, of the exertions of
the lord chancellor and of the City, no renewal of the charter of Charles
I was obtained until nearly two years had elapsed.


In October the mayor, aldermen and recorder attended his majesty in
council, by request, when Charles repeated the promise made in his letter
from Breda not to diminish or alter the rights of the City; but at the
same time he informed them of his intention to make one exception, _pro
hac vice_, by removing four or five of the aldermen who had been "faulty
in the late troubles," and of putting others "of known worth and ability"
in their places. He promised also to safeguard the City’s interest in the
Act then pending in parliament relative to corporations.(1230) The City
could not do otherwise than submit,(1231) and the king carried out his
threat. The commissioners who had been appointed under the Great Seal to
"regulate" the Corporation removed at least two of the aldermen, viz.,
Tempest Miller, of Candlewick ward, and William Love, of Portsoken, who
had recently been elected one of the city’s representatives in parliament,
their places being filled up by Sir Thomas Rich and Sir Thomas Bludworth,
the king’s own nominees.(1232)


Pending the negotiations for a renewal of the City’s charter, the
Presbyterians of the city and their ultra-radical brethren the Fifth
Monarchy men again caused disquietude. The latter had been "scotched not
killed" after Venner’s outbreak: "they are as bold in their meetings as
before Venner’s plot; Fifth Monarchy men preach and visit with
Presbyterians, and encourage the people to withstand the common prayer and
the oppression and idolatry of the court."(1233) The mayor had recently
succeeded in breaking up a meeting and capturing ten men and thirty women,
whom he lodged in Newgate. When remonstrated with they told the mayor that
they had met to serve God, and when told that he best served God who
obeyed the king, replied that they were not bound to obey him when the
Spirit commanded the contrary.(1234) It was reported that there were no
less than 3,000 men about the city maintained by Presbyterian
ministers.(1235) The danger was increased by the large number of cashiered
officers and soldiers who frequented the city.(1236) The king became
anxious and wrote to the lord mayor (24 Oct.) complaining of the want of
care and vigilance in setting the night watches, which consisted chiefly
of feeble men unable to suppress such disorders as were likely to arise in
those seditious times, and who broke up their watch some hours before
daybreak, thereby giving encouragement to thieves and robbers. He
therefore desired that the number of men should be increased, that only
able men should be appointed, and that the watch should continue until


On Michaelmas-day Sir Richard Browne was succeeded in the mayoralty chair
by Sir John Frederick.(1238) The banquet of the mayor and sheriffs, which
had been allowed to drop in the time of trouble and scarceness, was again
held at the Guildhall,(1239) and the new mayor revived the ancient custom
of visiting St. Paul’s on the day of his taking the oath of office, and
offering a prayer for the soul of the good bishop by whose kind offices
the citizens obtained their first charter from the Conqueror.(1240)
Charles did not attend the banquet which took place on the 29th October,
but viewed the pageants on lord mayor’s day from the windows of a private
house in Cheapside, where he was supplied with refreshments at the City’s


When St. Thomas’s day [21 Dec]—the day for the election of a new Common
Council—was approaching, the king took occasion himself to write to the
Court of Aldermen warning them to "take special care and give strict
orders in your several wards that a peaceable and quiet election be made,
and that the choice be of such persons as are every way well affected to
the established Government, both in Church and State"—otherwise he would
be forced to make a change in such elections.(1242)


That the new council was favourable to the king is shown by the court
passing a resolution (26 Feb., 1662) for expunging out of the city’s
records all acts, orders and other matters passed, made or registered
either in the court of Common Council or the Court of Aldermen since the
beginning of the late troubles "which savour of the disloyalty of those
times and may continue the sad remembrance of them to posterity to the
reproach and dishonour of this city."(1243) This resolution was made on
the king’s own suggestions, but although a committee was at once appointed
to carry it out, it remained a dead letter for twenty years.


The Common Council had previously (7 Feb.) shown its compliance by
acceding to a demand for a loan of £200,000.(1244) But although the
security offered was undeniably good, and every effort was made to get the
inhabitants of the city to subscribe, no more than £60,000 or £61,000 at
the most was collected by the 14th March,(1245) and a month later scarcely
£100,000 had been subscribed. The king made no attempt to disguise his
annoyance, and ordered the mayor to call a Common Council and request them
to take steps for the collection of the whole sum.(1246)


According to Pepys, who got his information from a city alderman, the
finances of the Corporation were at such a low ebb that considerable
difficulty was experienced in raising so small a sum as 1,000 gold pieces
and the price of a gold cup to be presented to Catharine of Braganza on
her arrival in England "and that they were fain to call two or three
aldermen to raise fines to make up the amount."(1247)


Whilst the civic authorities were vainly struggling to raise the last loan
for the king, the House of Commons came to his assistance and voted him a
tax of two shillings upon every chimney.(1248) The inquisitorial nature of
the tax made it very offensive. Returns were to be made of the number of
hearths and stoves in each dwelling by the end of May. As they did not
come in as quickly as was desired an extension of time was granted until
Midsummer Assizes.(1249) Even when sent in many of the returns were
manifestly untrue. The returns made for the city of London and Bills of
Mortality drew forth a remonstrance from Charles, who refused to attribute
it to anything else but gross negligence or deceit.(1250) He was afraid
lest the ill example set by London should influence the rest of the
kingdom. He expressed himself as willing to bear the expense of finding
two or three honest persons in each ward, if required, to join the
constable in an "ocular view." But in spite of every precaution fraudulent
returns continued to flow in, and the collection of the tax to be slow and


The passing of the Uniformity Act(1252) which condemned every minister to
lose his benefice unless he signified his assent to everything contained
in the book of common prayer by the 24th August (1662) caused great
dissatisfaction in the city—always a stronghold of Presbyterianism—and
many a sad scene was witnessed in city churches on Sunday the 17th as
ministers took farewell of their congregations.(1253) Driven from the
national Church, the Presbyterians, like the Baptists, the Quakers and
other "dissenters" formed a separate community, happy if only they were
granted toleration. Many of the inhabitants of the city were already
suffering confinement for attending "unlawful assemblies." On the occasion
of the queen’s first visit to Westminster the king gave directions to the
mayor and sheriffs to release those Quakers and others who were in gaol in
London and Middlesex for having been present at such assemblies, provided
they professed allegiance and had not been ringleaders or preachers,
"hoping thereby to reduce them to a better conformity."(1254)


When lord mayor’s day came round Charles again viewed the pageant from a
house in Cheapside. This time he was accompanied by the queen. The City
supplied the royal party with refreshments as before.(1255) The new mayor,
Sir John Robinson,(1256) had been a promoter of the king’s restoration,
and in return for his services received an augmentation of arms.(1257) He
was a nephew of the late Archbishop Laud, and full of his own
self-importance "a talking, bragging, buffle-headed fellow," Pepys calls
him—boasting of his powers over his brother aldermen, but nevertheless
attentive to the wants of the city.(1258)


A few weeks latter (27 Nov.) the streets of the city again presented a
gala appearance, the occasion being the reception of the Russian
ambassador. For the last three winters there had been, we are told, scarce
any frost, and the opening of the year 1662 had been so exceptionally mild
as to cause apprehension of dearth and disease.(1259) But now, on the very
day that the Russian ambassador was to pass through the city from Tower
wharf, where he had landed, he was reminded of his own country by seeing
the roofs of the houses covered with snow.(1260) At eight o’clock in the
morning 500 men "apparelled in velvet coats with chains of gold, well
mounted on horseback," from the several livery companies made their way to
Tower Hill to escort the ambassador.(1261) The streets were lined with the
city trained bands and the king’s Lifeguards. Pepys was there of course;
he rarely missed any sight. He had been disappointed at not getting a
better view of Sir Harry Vane’s execution, which had taken place in
June.(1262) This time he was more fortunate. The ambassador to be sure was
late, but Pepys beguiled the time with dinner. "And after I had dined"—he
records in his diary(1263)—"I walked to the conduit in the quarrefowr, at
the end of Gracious Street and Cornhill and there (the spouts thereof
running very near me, upon all the people that were under it) I saw them
pretty well, go by." He failed to catch sight of the ambassador himself,
but was struck with the handsome appearance of the ambassador’s
attendants, most of whom carried hawks on their "fists" as a present to
Charles. The strangeness of this sight caused the mob to jeer, upon which
the diarist characteristically remarks, "but lord! to see the absurd
nature of Englishmen that cannot forbear laughing and jeering at every
thing that looks strange." Later on he makes a note of having seen the
ambassador’s retinue at York House engaged in a manner that does not speak
well for their habits of cleanliness.(1264)


On the 2nd February, 1663, the _fiat_ went forth for the confirmation of
the City’s charter, "they having fulfilled the required condition of
displacing four or five of the aldermen."(1265) The charter itself bears
date the 24th June.(1266) It is of all the City’s charters the most ample,
reciting and confirming as it does the entire _Inspeximus_ Charter of
Charles I, as well as the latter king’s letters patent, granted in the
16th year of his reign, confirming to the mayor and citizens the offices
of package and scavage.


Notwithstanding the supplies voted to him by parliament, the advances made
to him by the City, and the handsome dowry he received with his wife,
Charles was continually in want of money. In November, 1662, he had sold
Dunkirk to the French king for £200,000, much to the disgust of the
English nation. Nevertheless, his extravagance soon reduced him to want,
and by the following September (1663) he was in such straits that he sent
to the City to borrow the comparatively small sum of £50,000. Seeing that
the City had so recently received a confirmation of its charter, it could
not refuse; and the money was raised among the aldermen as being a
speedier way than applying to the Common Council.(1267)


On the occasion of the king’s return from a "great progress" in October,
he was met by the mayor and aldermen and 500 members of the several livery
companies, well and substantially horsed and apparelled in velvet coats
and chains of gold according to custom.(1268)


On the 29th October the new lord mayor, Sir Anthony Bateman, entered upon
his mayoralty,(1269) with the customary procession and pageant, followed
by a banquet at the Guildhall. The banquet was made the occasion of what
appears on the face of it to have been a studied insult offered—not by the
municipal authorities, but by the lord chancellor, the bishops and lords
of the council—to the French ambassador. Whether the lord chancellor and
other high officers of state arrived at the Guildhall before their time,
or the French ambassador came late, one cannot say. But, however that may
have been, it appears that on the latter’s arrival the others had already
commenced dinner, with the exception of the mayor himself and the
municipal authorities, who had not yet taken their places. On the
ambassador approaching the table where the lords sat at dinner, intending,
as he informed the French king by letter,(1270) to rally them on their
good appetite, he met with such a cold reception that he left the hall to
go home and dine by himself, in spite of every endeavour on the part of
the civic officials to smooth matters over. Two hours later the sheriffs
presented themselves at the ambassador’s house, accompanied by a
deputation from the Common Council, for the purpose of offering excuses
for the recent _contretemps_. The excuses they had to offer were, however,
of the lamest character, as the ambassador took care to show. Firstly,
they said they had been taken by surprise. This was manifestly false, as
the ambassador attended at the Guildhall upon invitation. They next
pleaded ignorance and incapacity in receiving one of so high degree, when
the ambassador reminded them that they had recently done honour to the
Spanish ambassador; and lastly they endeavoured to throw the whole of the
blame upon the master of the ceremonies. This excuse, however, like the
others, was easily shown to be false, inasmuch as that official was
personally engaged in escorting the ambassador to the Guildhall and had
nothing to do with the banquet. The deputation thereupon withdrew, being
all the more discomforted by the excess of courtesy shown to them by the
ambassador, who himself insisted on escorting them to the door (_je leur
dis que je voulois passer plus avant, et payer un assez mauvais traitement
par une civilité extraordinaire_).


On the 11th November the lord mayor went in state to pay a visit to the
ambassador and to beg his forgiveness. Not being able to speak French
himself, he took with him an interpreter, who explained to the ambassador
on his behalf that unless he (the ambassador) would set the example of
forgiveness eternal shame would rest upon the citizens and they would
incur the displeasure of the king and nation. Thereupon the ambassador
showed himself satisfied and attended the lord mayor to his carriage with
marked courtesy.(1271)


In view of a war with the Dutch, which seemed inevitable, owing to their
interference with English trade, Charles began taking steps to replenish
his exhausted exchequer. In June and again in October (1664) he borrowed
from the city sums of £100,000.(1272) In November the Commons voted him a
sum of two millions and a half, a larger supply than any that had ever yet
been granted to a king of England, and the thanks of both Houses were
tendered to the city for its assistance.(1273) On the 22nd February, 1665,
war was formally declared. Two heralds, in their coats of arms, with four
mace-bearers, nine trumpeters and two troops of horse, assembled at
Westminster, where the trumpet sounded and the declaration was read amid
shouts of joy. "Thence they went to Temple Bar, where the lord mayor and
aldermen, in scarlet gowns on horse-back, conducted them to Temple Gate
over against Chancery Lane, where it was read with more acclamation than
before, the Horseguards drawing their swords and clattering them; then
again in Cheapside and before the Royal Exchange with great demonstration
of joy and sounding of trumpets, after which many nobles of the court came
into the city to dine with the lord mayor."(1274) A day for a public fast
was appointed to invoke the Almighty’s blessing upon the ignominious war
about to commence, and all commercial intercourse with the States was


At this juncture an unfortunate accident occurred which deprived the fleet
of one of its most valuable ships—the ship known as "The London," in which
Sir John Lawson was about to put to sea—and caused the death of nearly 300
seamen. "The London" was being brought round from Chatham to the Hope,
where she was to take on board her commander, when for some unaccountable
reason she blew up and became a total wreck, all her ordnance, numbering
80 brass pieces, going to the bottom. The news of the disaster caused much
excitement in the city.(1276)


The Common Council (17 March) immediately offered its services to the
king, and engaged to build another ship of the same tonnage to supply the
place of the one that was lost. The king gladly availed himself of the
offer of the City, promising "to retain the same in memory for the
advantage of this royal chamber upon all occasions."(1277) Pepys’s
acquaintance with the jobbery of the day, more especially in connection
with naval matters, had his misgivings about the City’s offer. It was a
handsome offer he acknowledged, "and if well managed might be done," but
he had his fears lest the work should be put into ill hands.(1278) The
work was put out to tender, but the final selection of a contractor was
left to the king.(1279) Precepts were issued to the livery companies to
"excite and persuade" their members in every possible way to subscribe to
the undertaking.(1280) The money, however, was very slow in coming in, no
more than £4,200 having been subscribed by May, 1666, when at least
£10,000 was estimated to be required.(1281) Nor is this to be wondered at
when it was a matter of public notoriety that the money voted expressly by
parliament for fitting out a navy had been uselessly squandered. It was
said at the time, although not credited by all, that many showed a
willingness to advance a large sum of money if the Duke of York would
guarantee its being employed on the navy by himself becoming treasurer of
the fund; the Duke declined and the offers fell through.(1282)


Pepys’s misgivings about the City’s new ship, called after its predecessor
"Loyal London," appear to have been justified. The ship had to be launched
in an unfinished state, and when her guns came to be tried every one of
them burst. And yet the vessel was commended by Sir William Coventry, a
navy commissioner and secretary to the Duke of York, admiral of the fleet,
as "the best in the world, large and small."(1283)


At the outset of the war the British fleet was not unattended with
success. On the 3rd June, 1665, the Duke of York gained a signal victory
over Opdam, admiral of the Dutch fleet, in an action fought off the coast
of Suffolk. The report of the guns could be frequently heard on the Thames
and caused much excitement in the city,(1284) to allay which the king
caused a letter to be despatched to the lord mayor as soon as possible,
giving details of the engagement and the losses on either side, and
assuring the citizens of the safety of the Duke of York.(1285) Tuesday the
20th was appointed a day of public thanksgiving.(1286)


Such a victory at another time would have been hailed with unbounded joy.
As it was the enthusiasm of the citizens was damped by the presence among
them of the most awful scourge that had ever yet visited the city. Towards
the close of 1663 there had been rumours of an outbreak of plague on the
continent, and more especially at Amsterdam and Hamburgh. The king
communicated with the lord mayor to learn what measures had formerly been
taken in like case to prevent the spread of infection. It was suggested by
the Court of Aldermen that, after the custom of other countries, vessels
coming from infected parts should perform quarantine at Gravesend or the
neighbourhood, where a lazaretto should be established. The proposal was
accepted,(1287) and to these precautions, taken on the instigation of the
city authorities, was largely due the immunity from infection which the
city enjoyed for the next fifteen months. In June, 1664, the lords of the
council adopted similar precautions as their own and wrote to the lord
mayor, in view of the increase of the plague in the Netherlands, desiring
him "by all waies and meanes possible to be careful that no person or
persons, goods or merchandises whatsoever be permitted to be received or
harboured within the citty of London which come from Holland, Zealand or
any other places infected with the plague, without certificates from the
farmers of the customs or their officers that they have performed their


The plague made its first appearance in the city in June, 1665. The
atmosphere had been very sultry—the 7th June being recorded by Pepys as
the hottest day he had ever felt in his life—and the heat caused the
infection to spread among the crowded population of the city with amazing
rapidity. Many followed the example set by the king and court and fled to
the country.(1289) The lord mayor, however, stuck to his post, and the
aldermen were forbidden to leave the city without giving notice of some
reasonable cause, those who had already absented themselves being ordered
to return.(1290) The good example thus set was unhappily not followed by
the city rectors. Many of them, to their shame, forsook their cures in
abject fear, leaving their parishioners to die without the consolations of
the Church, whilst their pulpits were seized upon by Presbyterian
ministers, who embraced the opportunity of publicly declaiming against the
sins of the court and the ill usage to which they had been compelled to
submit.(1291) The first Wednesday of every month was appointed to be kept
as a solemn fast day of humiliation until it should please God to put an
end to the sickness.(1292) Schools were closed and inns and taverns kept
open only for citizens. The streets were cleansed and kept free from
vagrant dogs—always suspected of spreading infection. Nevertheless, the
death rate rapidly increased. Pest-houses or hospitals were opened and the
best medical aid supplied, whilst subscriptions were set on foot for the
benefit of the poor.(1293) The last week of August claimed 700 victims
within the city’s walls, whilst in the week ending the 19th September no
less than 1,189—the highest number recorded perished within the same
limited area.(1294) The number of deaths that occurred outside the city,
but within its liberties, was often three or four times larger than of
those within the city’s walls. Thus for the week last mentioned the number
of deaths from the plague alone in parishes outside the city, but within
its liberties, is returned in the Bills of Mortality as having exceeded
3,000.(1295) The continued increase in the number of deaths in the first
half of September was a matter of surprise, for cold weather had set in
and the lord mayor had caused fires to be lighted in the open
thoroughfares for the benefit of the poor that lay starving in the
streets, as well as (perhaps) with the view of purifying the
atmosphere.(1296) When the plague was at its height deaths followed in
such rapid succession that the work of burying its victims had to be
carried on night and day. Even then there was only time to huddle the
corpses together in a _fosse commune_, and to cover them with a scanty
supply of earth. Small wonder if complaints were made to the Court of
Aldermen of noisome smells arising from the churchyard of St. Mary’s
Bethlem. The court immediately (5 Sept.) gave orders for remedying the
evil. No more pits were to be dug, but each corpse was to occupy a
separate grave, fresh mould was to be laid over places complained of, and
bones and coffin-boards found above ground were to be interred in the
middle of the churchyard.(1297)

The worst was now over. From the middle of September the number of deaths
in the city began to decrease almost as rapidly as they had risen. In the
first week in November there was a sudden increase on the return of the
previous week, but in the following week there was again a fall, and this
continued until in the first week of December the deaths in the city
numbered only twenty-four. Nevertheless it was thought advisable to
prohibit the usual entertainments which took place after the wardmote
elections on St. Thomas’s day, in order to minimise the risk of
infection.(1298) The mayor was justified in taking this precaution, for
the very next week the number of deaths more than doubled itself (57).
That the city of London was at this time one of the healthiest places in
the kingdom is shown by the fact that just as it was one of the last
places attacked by the plague, so it was one of the first to become free,
in spite of its having been made "the receptacle of all the people from
all infected places."(1299)

The total number of victims in the city proper during the twelve month
ending the 19th December, 1665, is officially given as 9,887. When we
consider that the entire population within the city walls—comprising an
area of one square mile, more or less—could scarcely have reached
100,000,(1300) the extent of the calamity becomes appalling; the city was
literally decimated.

(M659) (M660)

Whilst the plague was raging the English fleet had remained in the Thames,
leaving the Dutch masters of the sea. The opening of the new year (1666)
found England engaged in a war with France, as well as with the Dutch.
Louis, however, was content to leave the English and the Dutch to settle
matters between themselves at sea. On the 1st June a desperate naval
battle commenced off the North Foreland and continued for four days, at
the end of which neither party could claim a victory. Both fleets withdrew
for repairs. It was at this crisis that the "Loyal London" was hastily
launched and application made to the city for a loan of £100,000. The
money was readily voted, contrary to expectations.(1301)


When the last instalment (£1,500) of the loan was paid into the exchequer,
the Guildhall and its surroundings were being threatened with destruction
by the Great Fire,(1302) which, breaking out on the night of Saturday, 1st
September, 1666, or early on Sunday morning, at a baker’s shop in Pudding
Lane, within five days reduced the greater part of the city to ashes. The
king had long ago anticipated such a calamity, arising from the narrowness
of the streets and the overhanging houses built for the most part of wood.
More than a year before (11 April, 1665) he had written to the mayor,
recorder and aldermen of the city(1303) warning them of the danger and
recommending a more diligent execution of the Act for the repair of
highways and sewers. He authorised them to imprison such persons as, after
due warning, continued to erect buildings in contravention of the Act, and
to pull the buildings down. He further desired them to open Temple Bar and
the passage and gatehouse of Cheapside in St. Paul’s Churchyard, as
mentioned in the Act, and he would himself inspect what progress was being
made in carrying out these improvements. He concluded by declaring that he
had made the city his royal residence,(1304) and had received from it such
marks of loyalty and affection as would ever make him concerned for its
wealth, trade, reputation, beauty and convenience.

The outbreak of the fire at first caused no uneasiness, such sights being
only too common. But when no less than 300 houses had been destroyed
within a few hours, and the flames, carried by a strong east wind that
prevailed, threatened others, the inhabitants began to take alarm. The
mayor, Sir Thomas Bludworth, was early on the scene, but he lacked
decision of character and failed to keep his head. He endeavoured to carry
out the king’s orders by pulling down houses to prevent the fire
spreading, but as often as not he was overtaken by the flames. "Lord, what
can I do?" he lack-a-daisically exclaimed in answer to a message from the
king; "I am spent; people will not obey me. I have been pulling down
houses; but the fire overtakes us faster than we can do it."(1305) The
inhabitants were too busy removing their furniture and effects to a place
of safety to render much assistance to the mayor, but he found willing
hands in the soldiers supplied by the king and the Duke of York, both of
whom displayed great personal energy. "The Duke of York," wrote an
eye-witness of the mournful scene,(1306) "hath wonn the hearts of the
people wth his continuall and indefatigable paynes day and night in
helping to quench the fire, handing bucketts of water with as much
diligence as the poorest man that did assist; if the lord maior had done
as much his example might have gone far towards saveing the citty."


In spite of every effort to stay its progress the fire continued to rage
throughout the whole of Monday and Tuesday. By this time Lombard Street,
Cannon Street and Gracechurch Street had been reduced to ashes. The houses
on London Bridge were attacked and Southwark threatened with destruction.
On Wednesday the flames devastated Cornhill and the Exchange. The
following day they got hold of St. Paul’s (at that time undergoing repairs
and surrounded with scaffolding), and were carried by the east wind
towards the Temple and Hatton Garden. The brick buildings of the Temple
offered a more stubborn resistance than the wooden buildings of the city,
and prevented the fire spreading further westward.(1307) In the meantime
resort was had to gunpowder for the quicker destruction of houses in the
city, and by this means much was eventually saved which otherwise would
inevitably have been lost. But this was not done without considerable
opposition from the owners of houses who objected to their property being
blown up if there was a chance of it being saved.(1308) At last the
"horrid, malicious, bloody flame," described by Pepys as so unlike the
flame of an ordinary fire, burnt itself out, and at the close of Thursday,
the 6th September, the inhabitants of the city were able for the first
time since the outbreak to seek a night’s rest without fear of further
danger. When they rose the next morning and contemplated the extent of the
havoc wrought on their city by the fire, the hearts of many must have
fairly sunk within them. At least four-fifths of the whole of the
buildings situate within the walls had been reduced to ashes. The official
report was that no less than 13,200 houses and eighty-nine parish
churches, besides St. Paul’s and divers chapels, were destroyed, and that
only seventy-five acres out of a total of 373 acres of ground within the
walls escaped the conflagration.(1309) These seventy-five acres chiefly
lay in the vicinity of Aldgate and Tower Hill, and probably owed their
immunity from the fire to the free use of gunpowder, for it was in Tower
Street, Pepys tells us, that the practice of blowing up houses began. Most
of the livery companies lost their halls. Clothworkers’ Hall burned for
three days and three nights, the flames being fed with the oil that was
stored in its cellars. The Leaden Hall was partly saved. Gresham House
also escaped; but the Guildhall suffered severely, its outer walls only
being left standing.


Much dissatisfaction was displayed against Bludworth for his want of
resolution during the crisis,(1310) and when Michaelmas-day arrived, and
he was about to go out of office, he was called to account for his
conduct. In anticipation of lord mayor’s day he wrote to Joseph
Williamson, afterwards Secretary of State, bespeaking his favour and
support. He professed not to live by popular applause (he said), but he
needed and desired the support and esteem of government, "having had the
misfortune to serve in the severest year that ever man did."(1311)


As to the origin of the fire the wildest rumours at the time prevailed,
and for years afterwards it was commonly attributed to Papists wishing to
destroy the stronghold of the reformed religion, notwithstanding the fact
that not a scintilla of evidence was forthcoming in support of such a
charge, after a most careful investigation.(1312) The citizens were not
satisfied with the first inquiry, and in March, 1668, a petition was
prepared to lay before parliament to re-open the question and to receive
fresh evidence.(1313) Thirteen years later the belief that the Papists had
a hand in causing the wholesale destruction of the city was formally
promulgated by the House of Commons (10 Jan., 1681),(1314) and the same
belief was perpetuated by an inscription on the Monument commemorating the
fire, an inscription which met with the approval of the municipal
authorities of the day.(1315)


Sir Patience Ward happened to be mayor at the time, but was probably no
more responsible for the inscription than any other member of the Court of
Aldermen or Common Council, notwithstanding the severe reflection passed
upon him by his namesake Thomas Ward,(1316) who, speaking of Titus Oates
and his bogus "discoveries," wrote:

"He swore—with flaming faggot sticks,
In sixteen hundred sixty-six,
That they through London took their marches,
And burnt the city down with torches;
Yet all invisible they were,
Clad in their coats of Lapland air.
The sniffling Whig-mayor Patience Ward
To this damn’d lie paid such regard,
That he his godly masons sent,
T’ engrave it round the Monument:
They did so; but let such things pass—
His men were fools, himself an ass."


On the accession of James II the obnoxious inscription was removed, but
the feeling against Papists had obtained so strong a hold over the popular
mind, that it was again set up as soon as William III came to the
throne.(1317) There it remained until 1830, when, wisdom having come with
years, it was finally removed by order of the Common Council (6
Dec.).(1318) No longer is it true, in the words of Pope, that

"... London’s column pointing at the skies
Like a tall bully lifts the head and lies."


As soon as the fire began to abate measures were taken to provide food for
the houseless poor. A detachment of 200 soldiers was ordered to London
from Hertfordshire with carts laden with pickaxes, ropes, buckets, etc.,
to prevent any further outbreak, whilst the justices of the peace and
deputy lieutenants were instructed to forward provisions to the city,
especially bread and cheese, lest the much suffering inhabitants should
perish from starvation.(1319)


The City received much sympathy and no little assistance from other
cities, both in England and Ireland. The city of York not only despatched
its town clerk to London to express its condolences with the Londoners in
their great loss, but the lord mayor of York wrote (17 Sept.) to the lord
mayor of London to tell him that a small sum of money—"as much as this
poore decayed citty could furnish us with"—was on its way to London for
the relief of the most necessitous and distressed.(1320)


Ten days later (29 Sept.) Lord Ormond and the Lords of the Council of
Ireland wrote to Bludworth expressing their hearty sorrow at the calamity
that had befallen the citizens of London, who had shown so much humanity
and kindness to the Protestants of Ireland in the late rebellion. They
desired to assist the city in its distress, but money was so scarce in
Ireland that they were compelled to ask the city to accept the greater
part of such assistance as that country could offer in cattle, which
should be despatched either alive or slaughtered, as his lordship should
prefer, to any port in Ireland. But before this could be done the assent
of parliament would have to be obtained.(1321)


The inhabitants of Londonderry sent a deeply sympathetic and affectionate
letter to their "deare mother citty," and forwarded a sum of £250 to
assist those "who buylt or howses now their oune are in ashes." They could
not send more (they said) because of the deep poverty that lay upon their
city and the general want of money throughout the country. What they did
send they sent as an expression of their love and duty to their "honoured


In the meantime a special Court of Aldermen had met in the afternoon of
Thursday, the 6th September, and appointed Gresham House for the meetings
of the Court of Aldermen and Common Council, and for transacting the
general municipal business of the city until further order. The mayor and
the sheriffs, whose houses had been destroyed, were also to take up their
lodging there during the remainder of their year of office. The Exchange,
too, was ordered to be kept in the gardens or walks of Gresham House. The
house was to be got ready with all speed, and the governor of the East
India Company was to be desired to see that the pepper stored in the walks
was removed without delay. Temporary sites were at the same time appointed
for the various markets until better accommodation could be found. Those
who had been rendered houseless were allowed to erect sheds on the void
places of London Bridge. It was further resolved to entreat his majesty to
send tents into Finsbury Fields for housing the poor until they could
provide themselves with habitations. The other wants of the poor were to
be supplied as far as possible by the masters, wardens and assistants of
the several companies of which they happened to be members.(1323) On
Friday the court again met at Gresham House, when it gave orders for the
ruins of the Guildhall to be cleared of all rubbish. Melted lead, iron,
and such other materials as were of value were to be picked out and stored
for further use. The passages to the Guildhall were to be boarded up. The
chamberlain was ordered to remove his office to Gresham House; and thither
also were to go the deputy town clerk and the city swordbearer, whose
houses had been consumed. They were to take with them the city’s records
and such books and papers as were in actual use.(1324)


The next day (8 Sept.) the court gave permission for any freeman of the
city to erect a tent or shed wherein to carry on his trade or craft on any
part of the artillery ground, or if he so wished, either outside London
wall between the postern near Broad Street and Moorgate, or within the
wall between the said postern and Coleman Street. He might also erect his
tent or shed in the "Round" at Smithfield. But in every case the ground
was to be set out as apportioned by the mayor and sheriffs with the
assistance of "Mr." [Peter] Mills. Those who had formerly kept shop in the
upper "pawne" of the Royal Exchange were at the same time permitted to
erect sheds under certain conditions.(1325)


On Monday, the 10th September, the Common Council met. It is the first
court since the fire of which any record has come down to us. Its first
care was to order every street and lane in each ward to be cleared of all
rubbish by the late inhabitants, "every one before his grounds," and by no
one else. It next proceeded to nominate a committee of aldermen and
commoners to consider the best means of raising the city out of its ruins,
and it was agreed that the Common Council should sit every Wednesday at
Gresham House.(1326)


When the fire was at its height the king had been anxious to send for the
Duke of Albemarle, but hesitated to do so fearing lest he would be
unwilling to be ordered home whilst engaged in the Dutch war.(1327)
Representations of the king’s wishes, however, having been made to the
duke, he hurried home. On the 12th September a committee was appointed by
the Court of Aldermen to wait upon him with a draft proclamation for the
discovery and restoration of goods taken either wilfully, ignorantly, or
of purpose during the confusion consequent on the late fire.(1328) The
quantity of plate, money, jewels, household stuff, goods and merchandise
discovered among the ruins was very great, and much of it had quickly been
misappropriated. The proclamation ordered all persons who had so
misappropriated property to bring the same within eight days into the
armoury in Finsbury Fields; and by order of the Common Council no such
property was to be given up to any claimant without permission of the
Court of Aldermen or the lord mayor and sheriffs for the time being.(1329)


A month later (19 Oct.) a letter was addressed to the mayor signed by the
archbishop of Canterbury, the lords Clarendon, Albemarle, Manchester,
Arlington and others, complaining that sundry materials of city churches
destroyed by the fire had been embezzled and stolen, and also that smiths’
forges and other artificers’ shops and even alehouses were kept within the
sacred ruins. The mayor was directed, with the assistance of the Court of
Aldermen, to obtain inventories of all communion plate, vestments,
records, books and other goods belonging to each church that the fire had
destroyed, and of all that remained to each church after the fire, and he
was to cause the plate and goods that survived the fire to be preserved
for future use in their respective churches. He was further directed to
collect and preserve the lead, bells and other appurtenances and materials
of the various churches in order to assist in repairing and re-building
them, and to prohibit any trade or selling of ale, beer, tobacco or
victuals within their precincts.(1330)


One effect of the fire, which was estimated at the time to have destroyed
houses of the rental value of £600,000 a-year,(1331) was seen in the lack
of pageantry which usually marked the day when the newly elected mayor
proceeded to the Exchequer to be sworn. When Bludworth’s successor—Sir
William Bolton—went to take the oath on the 29th October, the meanness of
the appearance of the civic fathers was remarked by the on-lookers, who
reflected "with pity upon the poor city ... compared with what it
heretofore was."(1332)


Another result was that when the day for election of members of the Common
Council was approaching, the Court of Aldermen, considering how difficult
it would be, if not absolutely impossible, to hold the customary
wardmotes, resolved to present a Bill to Parliament for permitting the
sitting members to continue in their places for the year next ensuing
without any election being held.(1333)


Fourteen years after the fire (_i.e._, towards the close of the year 1680)
the City projected a scheme for insurance against fire, and in 1681 a deed
of conveyance of city lands of the estimated value of £100,000 was
executed by the City to certain trustees as security to persons effecting
insurances against fire.(1334) That the municipal body of the city should
undertake a business of insurance and thus compete with private enterprise
gave rise to no little discontent among the "gentlemen of the insurance
office" carrying on business "on the backside of the Royal Exchange," who
claimed to have originated the idea.(1335)



The Great Fire had scarcely ceased smouldering before the inhabitants of
the city set to work re-building their devastated houses. Information
having reached the ear of the king that building operations were about to
be carried out on the old foundations, he instructed Sir William Morice,
secretary of state, to write to the lord mayor to put a stop to them until
further orders, as his majesty had under consideration certain models and
plans for re-building the city "with more decency and conveniency than
formerly."(1336) Charles himself also wrote at the same time to the mayor
and aldermen desiring them to afford every assistance to Wenceslas Hollar
and Francis Sandford, whom he had appointed to make an exact survey of the
city as it stood after the fire.(1337) The civic authorities on their part
instructed Robert Hooke to devise a scheme for re-building the city, and
on the 21st September he presented to the Common Council "an exquisite
modell or draught" which found much favour with the court.(1338) Early in
the following month (4 Oct.) the Common Council was informed that for the
greater expedition in carrying out the work of re-building the city, the
king had appointed Wren and two others to make a survey, with the
assistance of such surveyors and workmen as the civic authorities should
nominate. The city’s choice fell upon Robert Hooke, described as "Reader
of the Mathematicks in Gresham Colledge," Peter Mills and Edward Jermyn or
Jarman. By way of preparation for the survey, the owners of houses that
had been destroyed were again ordered (9 Oct.) to clear their foundations
of rubbish, and to pile up the bricks and stones within fourteen days, so
that every man’s property might be "more exactly measured and


The impracticability of re-building the city except on old foundations
soon become manifest, and the handsome design which Wren prepared had to
be dismissed. There was difficulty enough as it was, and the four sworn
viewers of the city whose duty at ordinary times was to guard against
encroachments and other nuisances were unusually busy. Sometimes the old
foundations proved too weak to support a new building, sometimes the new
building threatened to encroach on the public thoroughfare. Such matters
required the constant attention of the viewers. Disputes would also arise
between the landlords and tenants of houses destroyed by the fire. In
order to settle all differences that arose, a special Court of Judicature
was established by Act of Parliament (31 Jan., 1667).(1340) The court sat
at Clifford’s Inn, and the decrees signed by the judges, as well as the
portraits of the judges themselves, are preserved at the Guildhall.(1341)
The city authorities were very urgent in getting this Act passed, and
pressed the judges to give the Bill all dispatch they could, "as a matter
of principal concernment and encouragement to the great worke of
re-building the citty." This their lordships promised to do.(1342)


It was not deemed in any way derogatory in those days to give and receive
presents for services either past or prospective. We need not be surprised
therefore to find that whilst this and other Bills in which the City was
interested were before Parliament, the Court of Aldermen voted a sum of
£100 in gold as a gift to the Speaker of the House of Commons, "as a
loving remembrance from this court for his many kind offices performed to
the State of this citty."(1343)


Whilst a Bill for re-building the city was being prepared for parliament
the civic authorities were busy considering how to find the money
necessary for re-building the Guildhall, the city’s gates, the prisons and
other public buildings. On the 6th November (1666) the Court of Aldermen
resolved to sit every Wednesday afternoon at the house of the new lord
mayor (Sir William Bolton) to consider this important question, and to
continue such weekly sittings until the matter was settled.(1344)  It was
not long before the court determined to apply to parliament for an
imposition of twelve pence a chaldron on coals brought into the Port of
London, wherewith to meet the expense. The advice and assistance of the
solicitor-general and of Sir Job Charlton were to be solicited, and £10 in
"old gold" given to each of them, in addition to "such other charges and
rewards" as might be necessary for the furtherance of the business.(1345)
Later on the court resolved to approach the Lord Chancellor and to entreat
him to recommend the City’s proposals to his majesty and to the House of
Lords.(1346) By the end of November the Common Council had agreed to
certain "heads thought requisite to be inserted" into the Bill for
re-building the city,(1347) and on the 29th December the Bill was brought
in and read the first time.

For fear lest some of the clauses might offend the king a petition was
drawn up for presentation to his majesty, in which matters were explained,
and his majesty’s favourable interpretation and pardon asked for anything
omitted in the Bill or done amiss.(1348) A report had got abroad that the
City had caused a clause to be inserted in the Bill forbidding any one to
engage in building operations who refused to abjure the Covenant. This
made the Common Council very angry, and the mayor and sheriffs were
desired to investigate the matter.(1349) On the 5th February (1667) the
Bill passed the Commons, and two days later received the assent of the

In the meantime the Court of Aldermen had drafted (22 Jan.) a petition to
the king for permission to introduce a Bill for an impost on coals, to
assist the City in re-building the conduits, aqueducts and other public
works, as it had "no common stock, nor revenue, nor any capacity to raise
within itself anything considerable towards so vast an expense."(1351) But
instead of a new Bill for this purpose, a clause was inserted in the Bill
for re-building the city (Stat. 19 Car. II, c. 3), authorising such an
impost as was desired.(1352)


The Common Council directed (19 Feb.) the lord mayor, the recorder and the
sheriffs to attend the king and the Duke of York with the most humble
thanks of the court for the favour they had shown the City in passing the
Bill, and to learn his majesty’s pleasure as to the enlargement of the
streets of the city in pursuance of the recent Act.(1353)


On the 12th March certain proposals for widening streets which had
received the approval of the Common Council were submitted to Charles at a
council held at Berkshire House, now Cleveland House, St. James’s. On the
following day they were returned to the Common Council with his majesty’s
recommendations and suggestions thereon. The same day (13 March), the City
nominated Peter Mills, Edward Jarman, Robert Hooke and John Oliver to be
surveyors and supervisors of the houses about to be re-built; the king’s
commissioners, Christopher Wren, Hugh May and "Mr." Prat being ordered by
his majesty to afford them their best advice and assistance whenever it
should be required.(1354)

In September the king suggested the appointment of Sir William Bolton, the
lord mayor, as surveyor-general for the re-building of the city. The
suggestion was referred to a committee, who reported to the Common Council
(25 Oct.) their opinion that there was "noe use or occasion for a
surveyor-generall," as the work could be well and sufficiently managed by
the surveyors already appointed.(1355)


Pursuant to the Building Act the Common Council proceeded (21 March) to
parcel out the streets of the city, placing them under the several
categories of "high and principal streets," "streets or lanes of note,"
and "by-lanes."(1356) The scheme met with the approval of the king and
council.(1357) Towards the end of the following month (29 April) a
schedule was drawn up of streets and narrow passages which it was proposed
to enlarge.(1358) For the next few months the authorities were busy seeing
to the clearing and staking out of the various streets.(1359) In September
the Common Council resolved that the new street which it was proposed to
make from the Guildhall to Cheapside should be called King Street, whilst
its continuation from Cheapside to the river should be known as Queen


A fresh distribution of markets and market places was proposed (21
Oct.).(1361) Three markets and no more were to be allotted for the sale of
flesh and other victuals brought into the city by country butchers and
farmers, viz., Leadenhall and the Greenyard for the east end of the city,
Honey Lane for the centre, and a market near Warwick Lane, which was to
take the place of Newgate Market, for the west end. Two places were to be
assigned for herb and fruit markets, viz., the site of the king’s wardrobe
(if the king would give his consent) and the ground whereon recently had
stood the church of St. Laurence Pulteney. The markets formerly held in
Aldersgate Street and Gracechurch Street were to be discontinued. A place
was to be found at or near Christ Church as a site for the meat market,
hitherto kept in Newgate market. These suggestions were with slight
alteration accepted in the following February (1668), when provision was
also made for a fish market on the site of the ancient stocks and the
Woolchurch and churchyard.(1362) On the 23rd Oct. (1667) the king went in
state into the city to lay "the first stone of the first pillar of the new
building of the Exchange."(1363)


The impost of twelve pence a chaldron on coals brought into the port of
London was soon found inadequate to meet the expense of re-building the
Guildhall, the prisons and other public edifices of the city, and in 1670
it was raised by statute (22 Car. II, c. 11) to two shillings a chaldron.
Great irregularities, however, were allowed to take place in collecting
and accounting for the duty thus imposed, and between 1667 and 1673 the
City was obliged to borrow no less than £83,000.(1364) In March, 1667, the
Court of Aldermen resolved that all fines paid by persons to be discharged
from the office of alderman between that day and Midsummer next should be
devoted to the restoration of the Guildhall and the Justice Hall, Old
Bailey.(1365) Not only money but material also was required to enable the
City to carry out its building operations. To this end a Bill was
introduced into parliament to facilitate the City’s manufacture of lime,
brick and tile.(1366) A sub-tenant of the City holding five acres of land
in the parish of St. Giles in the Fields obtained permission from the
Court of Aldermen to "digg and cast upp the said ground for the making of
bricke any covenant or clause in the lease of the said ground to the
contrary notwithstanding."(1367) Application was made to Charles for
liberty to fetch Portland stone for the City’s use, but this was refused
as the stone was required for works at Whitehall.(1368)


In the meanwhile negotiations for a peace had been opened at Breda. The
Londoners more especially desired peace(1369) in order to devote their
energies to re-building their city. In anticipation of a cessation of
hostilities Charles set about discharging his navy, leaving the Thames and
Medway open to attack. The Dutch took advantage of his precipitancy and at
once sailed up the Medway, burnt three men-of-war, among them being the
"Loyal London," and carried off a fourth.(1370) This took place in June
(1667). The city never presented so dejected an appearance as on the
arrival of the news of this disgrace. The cry of treason was raised and
endeavours made to fasten the blame upon any one and every one. The Dutch
fleet was every hour expected up the Thames,(1371) and vessels were sunk
in the bed of the channel at Barking, Woolwich and Blackwall to stop its
progress. But so great was the confusion that one of the king’s store
ships for victualling the navy is said to have been sunk among the rest,
as well as vessels that had been fitted out as fire-ships at great
expense. The Common Council interposed on behalf of interested owners of
merchandise on board the ship "Diana," lying in the Thames, to prevent if
possible the sinking of that vessel.(1372)


The Common Council ordered (13 June) every able-bodied man in the city
forthwith to enlist, and resolved to petition the king that the
auxiliaries then to be raised might remain as a guard to the city.(1373)
The same day the city’s militia was reviewed by Charles himself on Tower
Hill. He addressed them in a speech assuring them that he would personally
share their danger. But here, too, was confusion and lack of organization.
"The city is troubled at their being put upon duty," wrote Pepys (14
June), "summoned one hour and discharged two hours after: and then again
summoned two hours after that; to their great charge as well as trouble."


Above all there was a lack of money to pay the seamen. Had the Dutch fleet
sailed up the Thames immediately after its success at Chatham, instead of
wasting its time at Portsmouth and Plymouth and other places on the south
coast, matters would have gone hard with the capital. As it was the delay
gave time for recovery from the recent scare and for measures to be taken
against its approach, with the result that after getting up the river as
far as Tilbury it was compelled to retire.(1374)


On the morning of the 20th June the Dutch fleet was believed to be sailing
homewards, but by midday news arrived of its appearance off Harwich, which
was threatened with an immediate attack.(1375) The next day (21 June) the
mayor and aldermen obeyed a summons to attend upon the king in council,
when, a proposal having been made to fortify Sheerness and other places on
the river, they agreed to raise the sum of £10,000 for the purpose.(1376)
That the government should be driven to borrow so small a sum excited the
contempt of Pepys, who thought it "a very poor thing that we should be
induced to borrow by such mean sums." That the City could afford no more
is not surprising when we consider what had been the state of trade during
the last three years. As it was the money was paid by small instalments.
The coffers of the city merchant or goldsmith keeping "running cashes"
were well nigh empty, and the credit of some of the best men was


There was another difficulty besides the want of money. There was a
deficiency of workmen to carry out the works at Sheerness. Application was
accordingly made to the wardens of the several companies of masons and
bricklayers to furnish able men so that the fortifications might be
completed before the cold weather came on.(1378)


At last negotiations for a peace were concluded and the Treaty of Breda
was signed (31 July). The peace was proclaimed at Temple Bar in the
presence of the lord mayor on St. Bartholomew’s Day (24 Aug.).

The bells were set ringing in honour of the event, but there were no
bonfires at night "partly"—writes Pepys—"from the dearness of firing, but
principally from the little content most people have in the peace." Yet
the terms of the treaty were not wholly ruinous to the country. England,
at least, gained New York, hitherto known as New Amsterdam.


The lull in the storm afforded the municipal authorities an opportunity of
taking stock of their own Chamber. To this end a committee was appointed
on the 12th February, 1668. For nine months that committee was employed
examining the state of the City’s finances, and then had not finished
their task. Nevertheless, on the 23rd November they made a report to the
Common Council of the result of their labours so far as they had
gone.(1379) The state of the Chamber, they said, was so low that it would
require the utmost care and industry to restore it and save it from utter
decay and ruin, "for what by misemployment of the treasure in the late
troubles and other ill managements," as well as by extraordinary expenses
occasioned by the Plague and Fire, the City’s debt had still increased
notwithstanding its income having been largely augmented by fines of
aldermen and chamber and bridge-house leases, which within the last
fifteen years had exceeded £200,000. It was clear that when these
extraordinary accessories to the City’s income ceased—and they had already
begun to decline—the City’s debt would increase and would indeed become
desperate unless some remedy were found. The committee, therefore, made
certain suggestions with the view of cutting down expenses. The City
Chronologer,(1380) in the first place, could be dispensed with altogether.
The salary of the City Waits, which had lately been increased, should be
reduced to its former amount. Some saving might be made in allowance of
stationery in the various offices, in expenses attending Courts of
Conservancy, in allowance of boots to City labourers and artificers. The
personal expenses of the City’s Remembrancer for diet, coach hire, boat
hire, etc., should be no longer allowed; and the Chamber should not be
called upon to make any disbursement for military purposes beyond the sum
of £4,666 13_s._ 4_d._, for which the City was yearly liable by Act of
Parliament. Lastly, neither the court of Aldermen nor the court of Common
Council ought to have power to draw upon the Chamber for a sum exceeding
£500, except it were in connection with the re-building of the Guildhall
and other specified objects. These and other recommendations of the
committee, being carefully considered by the court, were for the most part
accepted with certain amendments.


On the other hand there was due to the city’s Chamber no less a sum than
£77,409 6_s._ 6_d._ for principal and interest on former loans to the
king. This sum Alderman Backwell undertook himself to pay to the City,
accepting a transfer of the Treasury Bills in the hands of the City
Chamberlain. The Common Council was only too ready to accept the
offer.(1381) Edward Backwell, alderman of Bishopsgate Ward, was one of
those city princes whose wealth brought them into close relation with the
Crown. A goldsmith by trade, he, like others of his class, took to keeping
"running cashes" and transacting generally the business of a banker at his
house known as the "Unicorn" in Lombard Street. Pepys mentions him
frequently in his Diary. In the days of the Commonwealth he was paymaster
of the garrison at Dunkirk, and continued to act as financial agent in all
matters connected with that town until it was sold to the French king. His
house in Lombard Street having perished in the Great Fire, he was, by the
king’s special command, accommodated with lodgings in Gresham College, in
order that his business relations with the king might not be interrupted
pending the re-building of his premises.(1382)


In March, 1669, a riot occurred in the Temple on the occasion of the mayor
and aldermen going to dine with the reader of the Inner Temple. The
question whether the Temple is situate within the city and liberties or
not was then a debateable one, whatever it may be at the present day. The
lord mayor of that time (William Turner) evidently thought that it lay
within his jurisdiction, and insisted upon being preceded by the city’s
sword-bearer carrying the sword up. To this the students strongly
objected. The story, as told by Pepys, is to the effect that on Wednesday,
3rd March, "my lord mayor being invited this day to dinner at the readers
at the Temple, and endeavouring to carry his sword up, the students did
pull it down, and forced him to go and stay all the day in a private
counsellor’s chamber until the reader himself could get the young
gentlemen to dinner; and then my lord mayor did retreat out of the Temple
by stealth with his sword up. This do make great heat among the students,
and my lord mayor did send to the king, and also I hear that Sir Richard
Browne did cause the drums to beat for the trained bands; but all is over,
only I hear that the students do resolve to try the charter of the city."
From a draft report(1383) of the incident which was probably made for the
purpose of being laid before the Council Board,(1384) we learn that as
soon as the civic procession entered the Temple cloisters it was met by a
man named Hodges and others coming down the back stairs of the Inner
Temple Hall; that Hodges threatened the lord mayor if he would not take
down his sword, declaring that the Temple was excepted out of the city’s
charter, that the sword was not the king’s sword, but the lord mayor’s,
and that "they were as good men as he, and no respect was to be given him
there." A struggle then took place for the possession of the sword, in
which the sword-bearer was slightly hurt and some of the pearls from the
scabbard were lost. The students made a snatch at the "cap of maintenance"
worn by the sword-bearer. The marshal’s men who were in attendance
suffered some rough treatment, and narrowly escaped being put under the
pump. The mayor and aldermen in the meanwhile sought refuge in the
chambers of Mr. Auditor Phillips, and awaited the return of Sir John
Nicholas, who with the recorder and the sheriffs had been despatched to
Whitehall to report the matter to the king. As soon as they returned the
mayor and aldermen essayed to make their way out of the Temple, but were
again opposed by the students, with Hodges at their head. The scene was
one of wild excitement and confusion; blows were showered upon the
aldermen, and one of the sheriffs was seized by the collar in the frantic
attempts of the students to pull down the sword. The mayor and aldermen
were called "cuckolds," and their officers "dogs, rogues, rascals and
other very bad names." Some of the students are said to have had weapons
concealed under their gowns, and to have threatened to draw them. The
sheriffs, the recorder and Sir John Nicholas having again been sent to the
king, it was intimated to the mayor by some of the benchers, and by Mr.
Goodfellow, the Reader, at whose invitation the civic fathers were in the
Temple, that he might now leave without any interruption (the "young
gentlemen," according to Pepys, had been persuaded to go to dinner),
which, after some display of opposition, he was allowed to do. Such is the
City’s own version of the affair, which concludes with the remark "that
the proceedings aforesaid were greatly affrontive and dishonourable to the
government of the city," a remark with which most people will be disposed
to agree. Nor is it surprising to find that two years later the mayor and
aldermen declined a similar invitation from Sir Francis North to attend
his "feast" at the Temple, more especially as another disturbance was
threatened if the sword should be borne up before his lordship.(1385)


In July, 1670—at a time when the City could ill afford to part with
money—the king sent to borrow £60,000.(1386) He had recently entered into
a secret treaty with France (1 June), whereby he had pledged himself to
assist the French king in subjugating Holland, in return for pecuniary
support. The City agreed to advance the money, but in order to raise the
sum required it became necessary to draw upon the coal dues.(1387) Much
opposition was raised to the loan by the inhabitants,(1388) so that in
November it became necessary for the city Chamberlain to borrow at
interest more than £1,000 to complete the loan.(1389) In addition to the
loan by the City Charles obtained considerable supplies from parliament
when it met in the autumn. The House had been kept in complete ignorance
of the arrangement that had been made with France, and voted the money on
the understanding that it would be used in assisting the Dutch against
Louis and not Louis against the Dutch.


In order to keep up the illusion Charles treated the Prince of Orange
(afterwards William III of England), who was on a visit to this country at
the time, with the highest consideration and insisted on the lord mayor
giving "hand and place" to his foreign guest (contrary to city custom) at
an entertainment given by the City in the prince’s honour.(1390)


As soon as parliament had voted supplies it was prorogued (11 Dec.),
Charles and his "cabal" being determined to have no restraint put upon
them in carrying out the terms of the shameful treaty with France. No long
time elapsed before they had to face the difficulty of an empty exchequer.
It was useless to declare war without funds. Charles was at his wits’ end
for money and promised high office to any one who should point out a
successful way of raising it. Clifford and Ashley, two members of the
cabal, put their heads together and hit upon the bold plan of declaring a
_moratorium_, or suspension of payments out of the royal exchequer. For
many years past it had been the custom for the goldsmiths of London and
others who had been in the habit of keeping the money of private
individuals, either on deposit or running account, to lend it to the king,
who could afford to pay them a higher rate of interest than they paid to
their private customers. The money was paid into the exchequer, the
bankers taking assignments of the public revenue for payment of principal
and interest, as it came in. Most of this money had already been spent by
Charles in paying off the fleet that brought him over, and in carrying on
the late war with the Dutch;(1391) but the bankers and capitalists who had
provided the money were content to abide by the king’s frequent assurance
that he would continue to make good all assignments until their whole debt
should be wiped out. We may judge therefore of their surprise and
disappointment when they learnt, as they did on the 2nd January, 1672,
that the king proposed to suspend all payments out of the public revenue
for one whole year!


It is true that he promised to add the interest then due to the capital
and to allow six per cent. interest on the whole as some compensation to
his creditors for the delay; but this, even if carried into practice,
proved unavailing to ward off disaster. The inevitable crash came. Many of
the London bankers, and among them Alderman Backwell, who held revenue
assignments exceeding a quarter of a million sterling, were made utterly
bankrupt. A few of them who had interest at court got wind of the
threatened danger and managed to withdraw their money from the exchequer
in time, whilst Shaftesbury, one of the prime movers in closing the
exchequer, foreseeing the inevitable result, took all of his own money out
of his banker’s hands and warned his friends to do the same.


The exchequer having been in this way made richer by £1,300,000, Charles
was prepared to declare war. An attempt to intercept a fleet of Dutch
merchantmen before any declaration of war had been made—a piratical act
admitting of no possible justification—brought matters to a climax and war
was declared (17 March, 1672) by England and France. The 27th March was
appointed by royal proclamation to be kept as a solemn fast for the
purpose of begging the Almighty’s blessing on his majesty’s forces, the
same prayers being used as had been specially ordained for the late


The war, which was chiefly remarkable for the noble stand made by the
Dutch under the young William, Prince of Orange, Charles’s own nephew and
afterwards King of England, soon drained the king’s resources, and once
more he had to face a parliament. The parliament, which met on the 4th
February, 1673, showed itself willing to vote a subsidy of £70,000 a month
for a period of eighteen months, but only on its own terms. These were (1)
the repeal of the Declaration of Indulgence which Charles, who was
beginning to show signs of favouring the Roman Church, had by a stretch of
prerogative recently caused to be issued, and (2) the passing of a Test
Act which should bind all public officers to take the oaths of supremacy
and allegiance, receive the sacrament, and abjure the doctrine of
transubstantiation. By this means parliament hoped to maintain the
supremacy of the Church.


The assessments which the City was now called upon to pay were far beyond
its powers, seeing that many merchants and traders who had left the city
at the time of the Plague and Fire refused to return, preferring to live
in the suburbs, and thus a large number of the houses that had recently
been re-built were left unoccupied. Every exertion was made to get some
remission of the burden, but although the king signified his intention of
making some abatement, little appears to have been done.(1393)


In March of this year (1673) an individual named Philip De Cardonel came
forward with a scheme for raising money by way of annuities to be granted
by the city to every subscriber of £20 or more.(1394) The matter was in
the first instance brought before the Court of Aldermen, who, upon
consideration, declared that the proposal appeared to them "very faire and
reasonable, and in all likelihood of very great advantage to the city,"
and forthwith resolved themselves into a committee of the whole court to
treat with Cardonel and take such further proceedings as might be thought
requisite.(1395) In the following month (11 April) the same proposals were
submitted to the Common Council, where they met with similar favour. The
court also appointed a committee to take them into further consideration,
promising in the meantime that no advantage should be taken or benefit
derived from the scheme without the special leave and consent of the
proposer.(1396) Although the committee reported favourably on the
scheme(1397) it was allowed to drop.


By February of the next year (1674) trade had become so bad that a number
of the inhabitants of the city petitioned the Common Council (13 Feb.) to
seek some relief from parliament. An address was accordingly drawn up,
setting forth the miserable state to which the city had been reduced by
the ravages of the plague and the fire, the increase of new buildings in
the suburbs, which not only injured the trade of the city, but afforded a
retreat for disorderly persons, and excessive taxation (the city being
called upon to pay the same amount of taxes as in its most prosperous
days), and praying the Commons to apply some timely remedy. The address
was to have been laid before the house on Monday, the 23rd February,(1398)
but no mention of it appears in the Commons Journal. On the 24th the House
was prorogued.


In September (1674) the old question again cropt up as to the power of the
Court of Aldermen to veto matters ordained by the Common Council. The
question had arisen, it will be remembered, in January, 1649,(1399) when
Reynardson, the mayor, got up and left the Common Council, followed by the
aldermen, and the court, instead of breaking up according to custom,
proceeded to pass measures in their absence. Its action on this occasion
was reported to parliament, and the house signified its approval of the
court’s proceedings and passed an ordinance which practically deprived the
Court of Aldermen of all control over the Common Council. Since that time
the matter had remained dormant, until jealousy between the two bodies was
again excited by the Common Council passing an Act (17 Sept., 1674) for
compelling the aldermen to reside within the city under the penalty of a
fine of £500.(1400) Against the passing of any such Act the Recorder, on
behalf of the Court of Aldermen, formally reported their protest to the
Common Council, and the Commons as formerly protested against that protest
(13 Nov.).(1401)

It was not that the mayor and aldermen were not fully conscious of the
mischief arising from their own non-residence in the city, for they
themselves passed an order for every alderman to return with his family
into the city before the following Easter on pain of heavy penalty,(1402)
but they objected to the court of Common Council presuming to dictate to


In the meantime the Court of Aldermen had appointed a committee (24 Sept.)
to examine the question of the right of veto, and this committee had
reported (20 Oct.) in favour of the court.(1403) "We find," said the
committee, "that the court of Common Council hath always consisted, and
still it doth, of three distinct degrees of persons, viz., of the lord
mayor in the first place as the chefe magistrate, and secondly of the
aldermen as subordinate magistrates, and thirdly of the commons, or of a
select number of the commons representing all the commoners of the said
city as now is, and for a long time before hath been used." In this
respect the committee proceeded to say, "the Common Councill of the city
doth much resemble the constitution of the Common Council of the kingdom,
and we further find that the order of proceeding in the making of lawes
for the good government of the citty doth imitate the paterne sett them by
the High Court of Parliament, in making lawes for the government of the
nation, in regard that noe ordinance made in the Common Councell of this
city can be a binding law to any without the joint consent and concurrence
of the Lord Mayor, Court of Aldermen and commoners in Common Councell
assembled, they having a joynt power and equal authority in making of
lawes. So that the mayor and aldermen cannot impose upon the commoners,
nor _e converso_; each degree having a power to dissent or assent as to
them seems best."

The committee next pointed out how Bills for the better government of the
city had formerly originated for the most part with the mayor and
aldermen, and had been by them transmitted to the Common Council, where,
after being read in two several courts (and not twice in one court) and
assented to, they became complete acts and binding laws. Such had been the
usual and salient practice. Nevertheless, the committee had found that
sometimes the Common Council had petitioned the Court of Aldermen for
redress of certain grievances and the latter had complied with such
petitions, "and so sometimes Acts of Common Council have been made at the
desire of the lord mayor and aldermen signifyed to the commons by the
Recorder." The conclusion that the committee arrived at was that "the lord
mayor and aldermen have negative votes as the commoners also have, and
contrary to this order of proceeding in making Acts of Common Council wee
cannot find any presedent."

On the 13th November a joint Committee of Aldermen and Commoners was
appointed by the Common Council to search the city’s Records as to "the
respective privileges of the lord mayor and aldermen and of the commons in
Common Council assembled, and of the most ancient and decent method in
making laws within this citty," and to report thereon.(1404) Four days
later (17 Nov.) the Court of Aldermen instructed their committee to make
further search on the question.(1405)

(M708) (M709)

Matters were brought to a crisis on the 12th March, 1675, when the mayor
and aldermen, dissatisfied with the proceedings of the court of Common
Council, got up and left the court. The Common Sergeant—the notorious
George Jeffreys—refusing to follow the example set by the Common Sergeant
in 1649, remained behind, and went so far as to put a question to the
court of which the mayor and aldermen had previously disapproved. For this
he was shortly afterwards called to account. His defence was that he only
obeyed the wishes of the majority; but this being deemed unsatisfactory,
the Court of Aldermen ordered him to be suspended from office.(1406)

(M710) (M711)

He afterwards (23 March) offered an apology to the Court of Aldermen for
his conduct, confessing "that the question by him put at the last Common
Council after the lord mayor was out of the chair was altogether
irregular," and asked pardon. His apology, so far as it went, was accepted
in good part by the court, but upon some explanation being asked of him as
to his not refusing to put a question when commanded to refuse, and his
offering to put another question at the request of some members of the
council, he desired to be allowed time before he made answer.(1407)
Meanwhile the dispute between the Aldermen and Common Council had been
brought to the notice of the king,(1408) who, with his brother the Duke of
York, had recently received the freedom of the City.(1409)

(M712) (M713)

A week later (30 March) the Recorder, John Howell, reported to the Court
of Aldermen(1410) that he and the Common Sergeant had by command appeared
before his majesty the previous day touching the unhappy difference
existing between the Aldermen and the Common Council; that the Common
Sergeant being asked to whom it devolved to put the question on a debate
in council, had in the Recorder’s hearing replied to the effect "that the
question had always been used to be put by the lord mayor or by his
lordship’s appointment and not otherwise, so far as he had observed," and
he had never known the matter disputed; that he had then likewise declared
to his majesty that he was "sorry for his deportment at the last Common
Council, saying that what he did was a sudden act and rashly done without
any intention to make any disturbance, and that he would freely
acknowledge the same wheresoever his majesty should command him"; that
therefore his majesty had commanded the Recorder to acquaint the court
that the best expedient he could suggest, as the case stood, for a
settlement of the difficulty, was that the old order of things should be
re-established, that (among other things) the suspension of the Common
Sergeant should be removed, and that the books and records of the city
should be searched by six such aldermen as the lord mayor should appoint,
and six such commoners as the Common Council should appoint, in order to
satisfy themselves of the respective privileges of the lord mayor and
aldermen and commons in Common Council assembled, and to settle the same
in a quiet and peaceable manner if they could. Failing this his majesty
would appoint a judge to arbitrate in the matter.


The court followed the king’s suggestion so far as related to the Common
Sergeant, and having listened to his expressions of regret for his late
conduct, and his assurances that he would always endeavour to "promote the
honour and government of the city," it removed his suspension.


As regards the real issue between the two Courts of Aldermen and Common
Council, matters remained much as they were before. Although the Court of
Aldermen gave orders (12 April) that the proceedings relative to the
dispute between the two courts should be faithfully recorded, the minutes
of the Common Council at this period are particularly lacking in
information as well on this as on other matters in which the City was


One result of the _contretemps_ which had occurred in the court of Common
Council of the 12th March was that the Court of Aldermen resolved to
retain certain counsel to advise them as occasion should arise on the
question of their rights and privileges, and to create a fund by
subscription among themselves to meet the necessary expenses.(1412)


In April the Town Clerk and the four clerks of the outer court (_i.e._
mayor’s court) were instructed to search the books and records of the city
on the question whether or not it was the province of the lord mayor (1)
to direct and put the question in the Common Council, (2) to name
committees, and (3) to nominate persons to be put in election to any
office.(1413) This last point especially affected the right claimed by the
mayor to nominate (if not to elect) one of the sheriffs by virtue of his
prerogative—a claim which had already been more than once canvassed and
which was destined shortly to bring the City and the Crown into violent


On the 7th September, 1675, the Court of Aldermen directed that the
opinion of counsel should be taken on the power of the mayor and aldermen
to put their veto on matters passed by the Common Council.(1414) After the
lapse of fifteen months the opinions of Sir William Jones, the
attorney-general, Sir Francis Winnington, solicitor-general, Sir John
Maynard and Sir Francis Pemberton, sergeants-at-law, and of "Mr. William
Steele" (_not_ a former Recorder of that name as some have supposed(1415))
were presented to the court (5 Dec., 1676);(1416) and with the exception
of the last mentioned, all the lawyers declared in favour of the mayor and
aldermen. There the matter was allowed to rest for a year or more until in
February, 1678, the opinions of Sir William Dolben, not long since
appointed the city’s Recorder, and of Jeffreys, the Common Sergeant, who
was destined in a few months to succeed Dolben on the latter’s promotion
to the bench, were taken and found to coincide with the opinions already
delivered with the exception of that of William Steele.(1417)

(M719) (M720) (M721) (M722)

In the meantime Charles had concluded a separate treaty with the Dutch (19
Feb., 1674), who continued to struggle manfully against the French king,
with such assistance as they derived from the emperor and the German
states. The Commons were fearful of entrusting the king with either money
or troops lest he should employ them against the Dutch, or against their
own liberties. The successes of Louis at length provoked a general cry for
war against France, and the Commons went so far as to pass a bill (8
March, 1678) imposing a poll tax as part of the supply.(1418) Charles lost
no time in applying to the City for the sum of £100,000 on the security of
this tax, and the court of Common Council signified its readiness to
advance the money (9 April).(1419) Finding that parliament hesitated to
furnish the supplies it had voted, and without which he assured the
members he would have to lay up the fleet and disband some of the newly
raised forces, Charles applied to the City for another £50,000. This, too,
was granted (14 May);(1420) and Charles, in order to show his displeasure
with the Commons, resorted to his usual tactics and prorogued parliament,
but only for ten days.(1421) A few days after the Commons had again met
they resolved (27 May) that if the king would declare war against France
they would give him their hearty support, otherwise they would at once
proceed to take into consideration the speedy disbandment of the
army.(1422) The king refusing to declare war, parliament proceeded (4
June) to carry out its threat and voted the sum of £200,000 for the
disbandment of all the forces that had been raised since the 29th
September, 1677.(1423) The disbandment did not take place, however, but in
its stead a force was despatched to Holland. Scarcely had it arrived
before the peace of Nimeguen was signed.


Just when the war was brought so unexpectedly to an end Charles signified
his desire for another loan by the City to the extent of £200,000. The
matter was brought to the notice of the Common Council on the last day of
July, and on the 1st August the lord mayor issued his precept to the
aldermen of the several wards to invite subscriptions.(1424) For what
purpose the money was required we are not told. It was generally feared
that the king meditated a suppression of the liberties of his subjects by
the introduction of foreign troops. This fear was enhanced by the
knowledge that if Charles died the crown would fall to his brother, an
uncompromising Catholic. The public mind became so unhinged that every
breath or rumour created the greatest trepidation. Within a fortnight
after the City had signified its assent to the last loan the nation was
suddenly surprised by some words let drop by Dr. Tonge, the weak and
credulous rector of St. Michael’s, Wood Street, and the tool of the
infamous Titus Oates. A Popish plot was, he said, on foot and the king’s
life in danger, in proof of which he produced documentary evidence. Oates,
the prime mover in starting the idea of a plot, was ready in the most
shameless way with depositions to corroborate all that Tonge had said.
These depositions he made before a Middlesex magistrate, Sir Edmondesbury
Godfrey. The next morning Godfrey’s corpse was found lying in a ditch near
Primrose Hill. All London was wild with excitement and jumped to the
conclusion that the Middlesex Justice had met a violent death for
listening to Oates’s evidence, although there is reason for believing him
to have fallen by his own hands. The cry against Papists continued
unabated for years.(1425) The city presented the appearance of a state of
siege with its gates kept closed, its streets protected with posts and
chains, and an armed watch kept by night and day.(1426) In October, when
according to custom the king was to be invited to the lord mayor’s
banquet, the Recorder was instructed to congratulate his majesty upon his
recent escape and to make arrangements for a deputation to wait upon him
in person.(1427)


When parliament met on the 21st of this month it passed a new Test Act
rigidly excluding all Catholics from both Houses. Five Catholic peers were
committed to the Tower, and Coleman, the secretary of the Duchess of York,
was tried and executed for having in his possession papers betraying a
design for forcing the Roman Catholic religion on the nation. It next
proceeded to impeach Danby for having been concerned in certain money
transactions between Charles and the king of France. Knowing the danger
likely to arise from such an investigation, Charles dissolved (24 Jan.,
1679) the parliament, which had now sat for more than seventeen years.


When the elections for the new parliament were over it was found that the
opposition to the king was greater than ever. Of the city members who had
sat in the last parliament only one—Alderman Love—was returned, the
remaining seats being taken by Alderman Sir Robert Clayton, Sir Thomas
Player, the city chamberlain, and Thomas Pilkington, afterwards elected
alderman of the ward of Farringdon Without. This second parliament—the
first of a series of short parliaments—in Charles’s reign met on the 6th
March, 1679, but was suddenly dissolved on the 27th May in order to stop
the progress of an Exclusion Bill depriving the Duke of York of his right
of succession to the crown.(1428) It left its mark, however, on the
statute book by passing the Habeas Corpus Act. It also voted a sum
exceeding £200,000 for disbandment of the forces raised since Michaelmas,
1677.(1429) Just a week before parliament dissolved the Court of Aldermen
was asked (20 May) to forward an address thanking both Houses for their
care in securing the personal safety of the king and maintaining the
Protestant religion. The address was referred back in order to include the
king in the vote of thanks, and was then submitted (23 May) to the Common
Council for approval. That body made a further amendment by adding the
words: "The Protestant religion according to the doctrine and discipline
of the Church of England as it is now established by law."(1430)


In August the king was confined to his bed with a fever so violent that it
was deemed advisable to send for his brother the Duke of York. He
recovered however; and on the 11th September a deputation of city aldermen
waited on him to learn when the court might come in person to congratulate
him on his convalescence.(1431) On the 17th the mayor issued his precept
for bells to be set ringing and bonfires to be lighted in the city in
honour of his majesty’s return from Windsor to Whitehall after his late
indisposition.(1432) The Duke of York did not return to England until
February, 1680, when a special Court of Aldermen sat to make arrangements
for presenting their congratulations to him and the duchess.(1433)


The elections for a fresh parliament which had taken place in the meantime
having gone against the court party, parliament no sooner met (17 Oct.)
than it was prorogued; and in consequence of repeated prorogations never
sat again for a whole twelvemonth (21 Oct., 1680).(1434) Nor would it in
all probability have been allowed to meet even then, had it not been for a
constant succession of petitions addressed to the king insisting upon a
session being held. So annoyed was Charles with this demonstration of
popular feeling in favour of parliament that he issued a proclamation (12
Dec., 1679) prohibiting such "tumultuous petitions."(1435)


This led to the presentation of a number of counter-addresses to the king,
expressing the greatest confidence in his majesty’s wisdom, the most
dutiful submission to his prerogative, and _abhorrence_ of those who had
dared to encroach upon it by petitions. The two parties thus became
distinguished as _Petitioners_ and _Abhorrers_; names which were
subsequently replaced by Whigs and Tories.


The citizens were _Petitioners_. On the 29th July (1680) the Livery
assembled in Common Hall for the election of sheriffs took the opportunity
of desiring Sir Robert Clayton, the lord mayor, to beseech his majesty on
their behalf, that for the preservation of his royal person and government
and the Protestant religion he would graciously please to order that
parliament, his great council, might assemble and sit to take measures
against the machinations of Rome.(1436) Clayton showed himself very
willing to comply with the wishes of Common Hall, but pointed out at the
same time that he had reason to believe that parliament was to meet in
November. "If that be so," said he, "I hope your great concern for that
matter might have been spared, being anticipated by his majesties gracious
intention. However, I shall not be wanting with all humility to lay the
whole matter before him." In spite of Jeffreys, the Recorder, having ruled
that such a petition bordered on treason, and in spite of a warning
received from the lord chancellor, Clayton insisted on presenting a
petition, and for doing so was rewarded with the grateful thanks of the
Common Council on his quitting the mayoralty.(1437) Jeffreys on the other
hand was compelled to resign the recordership.(1438)

(M730) (M731)

When parliament was at last allowed to meet the City lost no time in
presenting a dutiful address(1439) to Charles acknowledging his majesty’s
favour and their own satisfaction. They besought him to lend a ready ear
to the humble advice tendered by his great council for the safety of his
royal person and the preservation of the true Protestant religion, and
promised to be ready at all times to promote his majesty’s ease and
prosperity, and to stand by him against all dangers and hazards
whatsoever. Had Charles accepted this address in the spirit with which it
was made matters might have gone better with him, and the Stuart family
might never have been driven from the throne; but he was in no mood to
accept advice either from parliament or the city, and the only answer he
vouchsafed to the citizens was to tell them to mind their own business. He
knew what he had to do, without their advice.(1440)


As soon as the House met it commenced an attack upon Papists. The
Exclusion Bill was again passed, but was thrown out by the Lords. Thus
baulked the Commons revived the impeachment of the Catholic lords. During
the trial of Stafford on a charge of a design to murder the king, more
than ordinary precautions had to be taken by the mayor to maintain order
and prevent too great a crowd assembling at Westminster.(1441) Being
condemned to death, the king was ready to spare Stafford the grosser
indignities attached to a felon’s execution, but the royal act of clemency
was not allowed to pass unchallenged by the sheriffs of London on the
ground that if the king could dispense with some part of the execution why
not of all?(1442) The House had passed a vote of thanks to the City for
its "manifest loyalty to the king" and its care and vigilance for the
preservation of his majesty’s person and of the Protestant religion, and
had got as far as the second reading of a Bill for repealing the
Corporation Act of 1661 when it found itself suddenly prorogued from the
10th January to the 20th.(1443)


During the interval a petition was drawn up by the Common Council (13
Jan.) and presented to the king, in which the petitioners expressed their
surprise at the late prorogation "whereby the prosecution of the public
justice of the kingdom ... have received an interruption," and after
referring to the action taken by parliament for the defence of his
majesty’s person and the preservation of the Protestant religion, prayed
that the House might be allowed to resume its session on the day to which
parliament had been prorogued as being "the only means to quiet the minds
and extinguish the fears of your Protestant subjects."(1444) This
petition, and more especially that part of it which spoke of the
interruption of justice, was highly resented by Charles, and was one of
the causes which led to the issue of the writ of _Quo Warranto_ against
the city in the following year. In the meanwhile it served only to make
the king more determined than ever to dissolve the parliament, which he
did by proclamation on the 18th January. A new parliament was summoned for
the 21st March; it was not however to sit in London, but in the royalist
city of Oxford.(1445)


The City sent up to Oxford the same members that had represented them in
the last two parliaments. The election took place at a Common Hall held on
Friday the 4th February, but no record of the proceedings is to be found
in the city’s archives.(1446) From other sources, however,(1447) we learn
that after an opening speech by one of the secondaries, or under-sheriffs,
Henry Cornish, one of the sheriffs, addressed the meeting and explained
how the mayor (Sir Patience Ward) had been asked to allow himself to be
put in nomination but had declined. One or two aldermen were nominated for
form’s sake, but the choice of the citizens was unanimously in favour of
the old members—Sir Robert Clayton, Alderman Pilkington, Sir Thomas
Player, the city chamberlain, and William Love. The election over, the
Common Hall presented an address to the members, acknowledging their past
services and promising to support them in their determination to grant no
money supply until they had effectually secured the city against Popery
and arbitrary power. To this address Sir Robert Clayton made a brief
reply, promising, on behalf of himself and colleagues, to continue their
endeavours to attain the ends desired. The fact that the new parliament
was to sit at Oxford, a stronghold of the Tory party, caused no little
alarm, and this alarm was increased when it became known that Charles was
bringing his own guards with him. The city’s representatives were brought
on their way by a large number of followers with ribbons in their hats
bearing the words "No Popery! No Slavery!" whilst Shaftesbury and his
supporters made no disguise that they were well equipt with arms.(1448)


Charles soon perceived that he had little to gain from the new parliament,
which insisted on having its own way, and refused even the king’s
humiliating proposal to place the government of the country after his
demise in the hands of a regent, leaving the bare title of king to his
brother, the Duke of York. It caused an impeachment to be laid against an
Irishman named Fitzharris whom Charles had recently removed from Newgate
to the Tower in order to prevent the civic authorities taking the
prisoner’s depositions,(1449) and it otherwise proved so uncompromising
that at the end of a week (28 March) it was sent about its business.
Charles afterwards (8 April) published a "declaration" of his reasons for
taking that course.(1450)


On the 13th May the Common Council passed a vote of thanks to the city
members for their faithful services in the last three parliaments, and
more especially in the late parliament at Oxford. It also agreed by a
narrow majority of fourteen to present an address to the king praying him
to cause a parliament to meet and continue to sit until due provision be
made for the security of his majesty’s person and his people.(1451) The
first attempt (13 May) to present this address failed, the deputation
being told to meet the king at Hampton Court another day (19 May). When it
was presented the deputation were told to go home and mind their own
business. Other addresses—one from the lieutenancy of London and another
from the borough of Southwark—presented the same day, in which thanks were
tendered to his majesty for dissolving the last two parliaments, met with
a very different reception. Undismayed at the rebuff thus administered to
the City, the Grand Jury at the Old Bailey passed a vote of thanks (20
May) to the mayor for the part he had taken in presenting the address, and
ordered a similar address to that of the City to be presented to Charles
on their own account.(1452)



The country seemed to be on the verge of another civil war. A re-action,
however, in favour of the king set in. The nation began to view the
situation more dispassionately and to entertain serious doubts whether
parliament had acted rightly in pushing matters to such an extremity. The
religious question after all might not be so important or so fraught with
danger as they had been led to believe by professional informers.
Addresses of the type of those presented by the lieutenancy of London and
the borough of Southwark, among them being one signed by over twenty
thousand apprentices of the city,(1453) began to flow in; and proceedings
were commenced against Protestants on no better evidence than had
previously been used against Catholics.


Among the first against whom proceedings were taken was a Londoner named
Stephen College, a joiner by trade, who from his zeal in the cause of
religion came to be known as the "Protestant joiner." An attempt to get a
true bill returned against him at the Old Bailey, where the juries were
empanelled by the sheriffs of London and Middlesex, having failed, he was
removed to Oxford and tried there on a charge of high treason. After much
hard swearing a verdict was at length obtained.(1454)


Having secured the conviction of College the council flew at higher game
in the person of the Earl of Shaftesbury. He was arrested at his house in
Aldersgate Street on the 2nd July, but it was not until November that a
bill of high treason was preferred against him at the Old Bailey. The
nomination of juries practically rested with the sheriffs, and the court
party had recently endeavoured to force the election of candidates of
their own political complexion. In this they had failed, although in
December last the king had endeavoured to change the character of city
juries by ordering the mayor (Sir Patience Ward) to issue his precept to
the Aldermen to see that none were returned by their wards for service on
juries "of inferior degree than a subsidy man."(1455) The sheriffs for the
year, Thomas Pilkington and Samuel Shute, who were zealous Whigs, took
care to empanel a grand jury which would be inclined to ignore the bill
against the earl, and under these circumstances the bill was thrown out
(24 Nov.).(1456)


The failure of the court party to obtain a conviction of Shaftesbury owing
to the political bias of the sheriffs for the time being, determined them
to resort to more drastic measures to obtain the election of candidates
with Tory proclivities. In order to understand the method pursued it will
be necessary to review briefly the manner in which the election of
sheriffs had from time to time been carried out.


From the earliest times of which we have any city record until the
commencement of the 14th century it had been the custom for the sheriffs
of London and Middlesex to be elected by the mayor, aldermen and "the good
men of the city" or "commonalty." But a custom sprang up in 1301 of
summoning twelve men only from each ward to take part with the mayor and
aldermen in such elections,(1457) a custom which found little favour with
the bulk of the inhabitants of the city, who insisted upon being present
and taking part in the proceedings. An attempt was made by the civic
authorities in 1313 to put a stop to the noise and confusion resulting
from the presence of such vast numbers at the Guildhall by an order
providing that thenceforth only the best men from each ward should be
summoned to take part in the elections, and two years later (4 July, 1315)
this order was enforced by royal proclamation.(1458) Nevertheless the
practice of summoning representatives from the wards was soon dropt, and
for more than thirty years the sheriffs continued to be elected by the
mayor, aldermen and the "whole commonalty." Another attempt (made under
Brembre in 1384) to restrict the number of the commonalty to "so many and
such of them as should seem needful for the time" (_tantz et tieux come
lour semble busoignable pur le temps_)(1459) was not more successful.


In 1347 we meet for the first time with a new method of procedure. In that
year one of the sheriffs was elected by the mayor and the other by the
commonalty;(1460) and this prerogative of the mayor for the time being to
elect one of the sheriffs continued to be exercised with few (if any)
exceptions down to 1638. Neither in 1639 nor in the following year was the
prerogative exercised. In 1641 the mayor attempted to exercise it, but
through some negligence on his part was declared by the House of Commons
to have forfeited his right, and the election of both sheriffs devolved,
_pro hac vice_, upon the commonalty.(1461)


From 1642 to 1651 the mayor for the time being exercised his prerogative
in electing as well as nominating one of the sheriffs, but the commonalty
always challenged his right to elect, although they paid the mayor the
compliment of electing his nominee to serve with the sheriff of their own
choice. From 1652 to 1660 (or 1661(1462)?) the mayor did not attempt to
exercise a right either of electing or nominating one of the sheriffs, but
in 1662, when the mayor would have elected as well as nominated Thomas
Bludworth as sheriff, the commonalty claimed their rights. Bludworth was
eventually returned together with Sir William Turner.(1463)


In the following year (1663) the prerogative exercised by the mayor passed
unchallenged, and so continued until 1674, when, objection being
raised,(1464) the Common Council appointed a committee "to consider of the
matters in difference and now long debated in this court between ye right
honorable ye lord maior and commons of this citty concerneing the eleccon
of one of ye sheriffes and to finde out some expedient for ye reconciling
ye same."(1465)


We now read for the first time in the City’s Records of a custom in
connection with the election of sheriffs (although that custom is said to
have arisen in the reign of Elizabeth),(1466) namely, the nomination or
election of a sheriff by the mayor drinking to an individual at a public
banquet. It appears that the lord mayor had recently drunk to William
Roberts, citizen and vintner, thereby intimating that it was his
lordship’s wish that Roberts should be one of the sheriffs for the year
ensuing. The commons objected to the mayor thus exercising his
prerogative, whilst the aldermen were no less determined to support
him.(1467) The committee to whom the matter was referred suggested a
compromise, namely, that Roberts should be bound over to take upon himself
the office if within the next two or three years he should be either drunk
to by the mayor or elected by the commons to be sheriff; and that,
further, an Act of Common Council should be forthwith made for settling
the shrievalty and all matters connected with it.(1468)


No Act of Common Council appears to have been passed pursuant to the
committee’s recommendation, but in the following year (1675) and down to
1679 the mayor exercised his full prerogative of electing one of the
sheriffs without opposition, although the person so elected did not always
undertake the office.


On Midsummer-day, 1680, the mayor elected George Hockenhall, citizen and
grocer, to be one of the sheriffs, but Hockenhall refused to serve and was
discharged on his entering into a bond for the payment of £400. The
commons thereupon stept in and elected Slingsby Bethell, leatherseller,
and Henry Cornish, haberdasher.(1469) At this juncture political influence
was brought to bear upon the elections. Bethell was particularly an object
of aversion to the court party. He is reported to have declared himself
ready to have acted as executioner of the late king if no one else could
be found for the job,(1470) and to have made himself obnoxious in other
ways. With Cornish little fault could at present be found. Objection was
raised to both these gentlemen acting as sheriffs, on the ground that they
had not taken the oath or received the sacrament as prescribed by law, and
another election demanded. Before this second election took place (14
July) they had qualified themselves according to the Corporation
Act.(1471) The mayor did not claim his prerogative on this occasion.
Bethell and Cornish were put up again for office, and against them two
others, Ralph Box, grocer, and Humphrey Nicholson, merchant taylor, who,
although nominated like Bethell and Cornish by the commonalty, were in
reality candidates put forward by the court party.(1472) Bethell and
Cornish having been again declared elected, a poll was demanded, which
lasted several days. At its close it was found that Cornish was at the
head with 2,483 votes, Bethell next with 2,276, whilst Box and Nicholson
followed with 1,428 and 1,230 votes respectively.(1473)


The two first named were declared (29 July) duly elected. Bethell has been
described as a "sullen and wilful man," a republican at heart and one that
"turned from the ordinary way of a sheriff’s living into the extreme of
sordidness." Cornish on the other hand was "a plain, warm, honest man and
lived very nobly all his year."(1474) It was doubtless Bethell’s proposal
that the customary dinner to the aldermen on the day the new sheriffs were
sworn in should be omitted. If so, Cornish had to give way to the
parsimonious whim of his fellow sheriff. "What an obstinate man he was!"
remarked Cornish of him, when brought to trial five years later.(1475) The
aldermen refused to accompany the sheriffs to the Guildhall unless they
were invited to dinner.(1476)


In the following year (1681) two other sheriffs of the same political
character, viz., Pilkington and Shute, were elected over the heads of the
same court candidates that had stood the previous year, the defeat of the
latter being still more pronounced.(1477)


The king did not attempt to conceal his displeasure at the City’s
proceedings, and when the recorder and the sheriffs came to invite him to
dinner on lord mayor’s day,(1478) made the following answer:—"Mr.
Recorder, an invitation from my lord mayor and the city is very acceptable
to me, and to show that it is so, notwithstanding that it is brought by
messengers that are so unwelcome to me as these two sheriffs are, yet I
accept it."(1479)


The outgoing sheriffs were presented (27 June) with an address(1480) from
the citizens assembled in Common Hall thanking them for their faithful
discharge of their office of trust and complimenting them more especially
upon their successful efforts to maintain and assert the undoubted rights
and privileges of the citizens and their "continual provision of faithful
and able juries." The address concluded with thanks to them for their
despatch in carrying out the recent "unnecessary" poll in connection with
the election of new sheriffs, and not delaying the matter by troublesome


Opportunity was also taken of thanking the lord mayor (Sir Patience Ward)
and the members of the Common Council for presenting the recent address to
his majesty praying him to confide in parliament,(1481) and desired his
lordship to assure his majesty that the address reflected the true feeling
and desires of all his loyal subjects there assembled in Common Hall,
notwithstanding rumours to the contrary. They also desired to join in the
vote of thanks which the Common Council had passed to the city members
sitting in the last parliament for their faithful services.


It required some courage for the mayor to again face the king and his
chancellor and to run the risk of another rebuff. Nevertheless, on
Thursday, the 7th July, the mayor went to Hampton Court, attended by Sir
Robert Clayton, Sir John Shorter and others, as well as by the sheriffs
Bethell and Cornish (the new sheriffs not coming into office until
September), to present to the king in council another address from the
Common Hall. It was received with no more favour than the last. The
chancellor affected to believe that it was but the address of a faction in
the city, and not the unanimous vote of the citizens at large. "The king
takes notice there are no aldermen," he said, whilst Alderman Clayton and
Alderman Shorter were at his elbow! In fine they were again told to mind
their own business.(1482)


Although the court party had twice signally failed to obtain the
appointment of sheriffs who should be amenable to its control, they were
fortunate in having an adherent in the mayor elected on Michaelmas-day to
succeed Sir Patience Ward. The senior alderman who had not already passed
the chair happened to be Sir John Moore. It does not often occur that in
the choice of a mayor the Common Hall passes over the senior alderman who
is both capable and willing to take upon himself the office; but there was
some chance of it doing so in this case, inasmuch as Sir John Moore had
rendered himself unpopular with a large section of citizens by presenting
an address of thanks to the king for the declaration which his majesty had
published in defence of his having dissolved parliament.(1483) Two
aldermen, Sir John Shorter and Thomas Gold, were nominated with Moore for
the office. A poll was demanded, with the result that Moore was elected by
a majority of nearly 300 votes over his opponents.(1484) On his being
presented (7 Oct.) to the lord chancellor for the king’s approbation, he
was told that his majesty experienced much satisfaction at the choice of
so loyal and worthy a magistrate.(1485) Three days before (4 Oct.) the
Court of Aldermen nominated a committee to take informations concerning
the scandalous remarks that had been made against him in Common Hall on
the day of his election.(1486)


Not content with this success, the king’s advisers determined upon
bringing the City to book for its recent attitude in the election of
sheriffs. The anomaly by which the citizens of London enjoyed the right of
electing their own sheriffs, as they had done with short intermissions for
the past 500 years, whilst in nearly every county of the kingdom the
sheriffs were nominated by the king, must be abolished. A writ in the
nature of a _Quo Warranto_ was accordingly issued to the sheriffs in
January, 1682, calling upon them to summon the mayor and commonalty and
citizens of the city to appear in his majesty’s court of King’s Bench to
answer by what warrant they claimed divers liberties, franchises and
privileges of which the writ declared they were impeached.(1487)


Notification of service of the writ was formally made to the Common
Council on the 18th January. The council showed no signs of dismay; they
scarcely realized, perhaps, at the outset the true significance of the
writ or the consequence it was likely to entail. They had no cause to
think that the mayor, commonalty and citizens had usurped any liberties,
franchises or privileges without due warrant or had abused any to which
they had lawful title. One thing was plain. It was their duty to maintain
the rights of the City. They therefore appointed a committee to consult
with counsel learned in the law, and prepare a defence such as they might
be advised to make, and ordered the Chamberlain to disburse such sums of
money as might be required for the purpose.(1488)


More than a twelvemonth was taken up in preparing the long and technical
pleadings(1489) preliminary to trial, and in the meantime another severe
struggle took place in assertion of the right claimed by the citizens to
elect both their sheriffs. The citizens ranged themselves in separate
factions, the Whig party under sheriff Pilkington, the Tories under the
mayor. Each leader entertained his supporters at dinner.(1490) There was
to have been a banquet held on the 21st April at Haberdashers’ Hall, at
which the Duke of Monmouth, Lord Shaftesbury and others of the Whig party
were to have been present, but the proposal getting wind, the mayor was
strictly enjoined by the Privy Council to prevent it as being a seditious
meeting and tending to create factions among the king’s subjects.(1491)


The Duke of York, who had for some time past resided in Scotland, had not
increased in favour with the citizens of London. It is true that the mayor
and aldermen of the city paid their respects to his highness (10 April,
1682) at St. James’s Palace, on his return from the north, after paying a
similar visit to the king, who had recently returned to Whitehall from
Newmarket;(1492) but a proposal to offer an address to the duke praying
him to reside in London found but little response in the Court of
Aldermen, and was allowed to drop.(1493) It was not so long ago that his
picture hanging in the Guildhall was found to have been mutilated, an
offer of £500 for the discovery of the perpetrator of the outrage being
without effect.(1494) Just when Pilkington was about to lay down his
office of sheriff the duke entered an action against him for slander,
claiming damages to the extent of £50,000. For a time he managed to escape
service of the writ,(1495) but if he was not served before, his presence
in the Common Hall on Midsummer-day for the election of new sheriffs
afforded ample opportunity to serve him then.


This election is one of the most remarkable elections in the City’s
annals. The royalist mayor, Sir John Moore, having previously drunk to
Dudley North at a banquet at the Bridge House (18 May), thereby intimating
that he nominated North as one of the sheriffs for the year ensuing,
according to custom, had issued his precept to the several companies (19
June) to meet in Common Hall for the purpose of _confirming_ his
nomination and electing another sheriff to serve with his nominee.(1496)
This form of precept was objected to, and when the Common Cryer called
upon the livery assembled in Common Hall to appear for the "confirmation"
of North, he was met with cries of "No confirmation! No confirmation!" and
the rest of his proclamation was drowned in uproar. "Thereupon," runs the
City’s Record,(1497) "Thomas Papillon, esq., mercer, John Du Bois, weaver,
and Ralph Box, grocer, citizens of London (together with the said Dudley
North, so as aforesaid elected by the lord mayor), were nominated by the
commonalty, that two of them by the said commonalty might be chosen into
the office of sheriffs of the city of London and county of Middlesex." The
Common Sergeant having declared Papillon and Du Bois duly elected, a poll
was demanded. This was granted and proceeded with until seven o’clock in
the evening, when the meeting was adjourned by the mayor until the 27th.
The outgoing sheriffs (Pilkington and Shute), however, disregarded the
mayor’s order for adjournment and continued the poll for some time longer,
but at last adjourned the meeting to the day fixed by the mayor.


A fresh question thus arose, namely, whether the right of adjourning a
Common Hall was vested in the mayor for the time being or in the sheriffs.
Sir John Moore reported the conduct of Pilkington and Shute to the king’s
council, with the result that before the 27th day of June arrived they
were both committed to the Tower. They were afterwards admitted to

(M761) (M762) (M763)

In the meantime the Common Hall had been adjourned by the mayor from the
27th June to the 5th July. On the latter day the sheriffs duly appeared on
the husting, but the mayor being absent through indisposition, the
Recorder declared his lordship’s order that a further adjournment should
take place until the 7th July. The sheriffs again interposed and asked the
Common Hall if it was their wish that an adjournment should take place,
and the answer being in the negative they proceeded to finish the poll,
with the result that Papillon and Du Bois were again declared elected by a
large majority. Orders having been given to the Town Clerk to place their
proceedings on record, the Common Hall broke up.(1499)


On the 7th the mayor and aldermen appeared in the Guildhall prepared to
proceed with the poll, ignoring all that had taken place two days before.
The Hall was very crowded, and soon debate arose as to whom belonged the
right of adjournment. The opinion of counsel was taken by both parties
then and there,(1500) but with little practical result, and the lord mayor
further adjourned the Hall until that day week (14 July).


In the meanwhile several aldermen and citizens waited on his majesty in
council, and gave him an account of the late proceedings, with the result
that an order was sent to the mayor to hold a new election, the last being
declared irregular.(1501)


The City’s own account of what took place at the Common Hall on the 14th
is thus recorded. After the order for a new election had been read,
"relation was ... _de novo_ made that Dudley North, esq., citizen and
mercer of London, was elected by the mayor by his prerogative, according
to the custom, into the office of one of the sheriffs of the city of
London and county of Middlesex for the year ensuing, that another might be
associated to him by the commonalty. And upon this, after declaration made
that the said Dudley North was confirmed and Thomas Papillon, esq.,
citizen and mercer of London, was chosen sheriffs, certain of the commons
demanded that it might be decided by the voices of the commons between the
said Dudley North and Thomas Papillon and John Du Bois, weaver, and Ralph
Box, grocer (named also by the commonalty), that the two of those four who
should have the most voices might be the sheriffs elected for the city of
London and county of Middlesex for the year ensuing. Whereupon the
sheriffs and other officers of the city in the accustomed manner went into
the upper chamber, where declaration of the premisses was made by the
common sergeant to the mayor and aldermen there sitting; which said mayor
and aldermen, the relation aforesaid well weighing, did declare the said
Dudley North to be rightly and duly elected and confirmed according to the
law and custom of the said city, and immediately came down upon the place
where the Court of Hustings is usually held, and there, in their presence
and by their command, the said Dudley North was solemnly called to come
forth and give his consent to take upon him the said office.(1502) And the
said lord mayor did then direct that the poll should be taken only for the
said Thomas Papillon, John Du Bois and Ralph Box, by certain persons
thereunto particularly appointed by the said lord mayor, that one of those
three who had the most voices might be associated to the said Dudley
North. And afterwards the said mayor and aldermen departed out of the
hall. And the poll for the said three persons last named was immediately
begun, and continued until the evening of that day. And then the said
congregation was, by order of the lord mayor, adjourned until the next
day, being Saturday, the 15th of July aforesaid, at 9 o’clock in the
afternoon [_sic._]. At which day the said poll being continued was in the
afternoon of that day finished. And thereupon relation was made by the
common sergeant to the mayor and aldermen that upon the poll taken by the
severall persons appointed by the said lord mayor as aforesaid, there were
60 voices for Mr. Papillon, 60 voices for Mr. Du Bois, and 1,244 voices
for Mr. Box. By which it appeared that the said Ralph Box had the most
voices, and so was elected into the office of one of the sheriffs of the
city of London and county of Middlesex for the year ensuing. And the same
in the afternoon was so declared by the common sergeant to the commons
then and there assembled, which said election of the said Ralph Box was by
the aforesaid mayor, aldermen and commonalty ratified and confirmed. And
thereupon, according to the form and effect of the Act of Common Council
in that case made and provided, publication thereof by proclamation being
then made in the place where the Hustings Court is usually held in the
presence of the said lord mayor, aldermen and sheriffs, the said Ralph Box
was then and there solemnly called, etc."

Very different is the account of the proceedings as given us in a tract of
the day.(1503) From the latter we learn that a separate poll was opened
the same day by the sheriffs, in which all four candidates were submitted
to the choice of the citizens, and the result of which was declared by
Sheriff Pilkington on the 15th, prior to the mayor’s declaration.
According to this poll, Papillon and Du Bois were again returned at the
head with 2,487 and 2,481 votes respectively. There were only 107 in
favour of confirming North’s election, whilst 2,414 gave their votes
against it. Box found himself with only 173 supporters. It was after the
declaration of this result that the mayor ordered the common sergeant to
declare the result of the other poll, but the declaration of the large
number of votes alleged to have been given in favour of Box caused so much
uproar that he could proceed no further. The mayor and aldermen thereupon
left the hall, and Papillon and Du Bois were declared by the sheriffs duly


It was expected that Box would attend before the next Court of Aldermen to
be held on the 18th July to give bond for holding office as North had
already done, but he failed to appear. A petition, therefore, was
presented to the court praying that as Papillon and Du Bois had been
elected sheriffs the court should call them forth according to custom. The
mayor being advised to postpone giving an answer, another petition to the
same effect was presented at the next court (20 July), whilst yet a third
prayed that a _caveat_ might be entered against North and Box being
admitted and sworn sheriffs. The mayor was again advised to take time to
consider his answer.(1504)


A week later (27 July) the mayor made the following reply to the
petitioners, by advice of the court:—"Gentlemen, this court hath
considered of your petition, and will take care that such persons shall
take the office of sheriffs upon them as are duly elected according to law
and the ancient customs of this city; and in this and all other things
this court will endeavour to maintain the rights and privileges of the
chair and of the whole city; and wherein you think that we do otherwise
the law must judge between us."(1505) This was little to the liking of the
petitioners, who complained that it was no answer to their petition; but
they were summarily dismissed.(1506)


Thus the matter was allowed to rest until the 5th September, when the
Court of Aldermen were again prayed that Papillon and Du Bois might be
called upon to enter into bond according to custom. The only answer
returned was that Box, who in the opinion of the court had been duly
elected one of the sheriffs, had been discharged from service on payment
of a fine, and that another election would shortly take place. Thereupon
murmurs arose. There had been too many Common Halls already over this
affair, cried some, and their choice of sheriffs had been made. The mayor
bade them begone in the king’s name, or they would be looked upon as


The court sat again on the 12th September, when, we are told, a petition
similar to those before presented being again brought forward, a debate
arose which occasioned some sharp words, and the mayor ordered the sword
to be taken up and so dissolved the court; but nothing of this is recorded
in the minutes of the court.(1508) Two days later (14 Sept.), several
petitions were presented to the court, one being from the free-holders of
Middlesex.(1509) To these the same reply was made as had been given to the
petitioners of the 27th July. The petitioners were further told that it
was the mayor’s intention to call a Common Hall on Tuesday, the 19th
September, to elect one to serve in the place of Box.(1510)

(M771) (M772)

When that day arrived and the common sergeant, acting on instructions from
the mayor, put forward the name of Peter Rich, there arose repeatedly the
cry of "No Rich!" and such a din followed, the citizens declaring loudly
that they would stand by their old choice, that nothing else could be
heard. At length the sheriffs were given to understand that a poll was
demanded. The mayor hearing of the proposed poll thereupon came on to the
hustings and declared Rich to be duly elected. The whole business was
carried on in dumb show, it being impossible to hear anything that was
said. Having done this, the mayor dissolved the Common Hall and went home.
The sheriff proceeded nevertheless to open the poll in the afternoon, with
the result that 2,082 votes were found in favour of standing by their old
choice, whilst only thirty-five were for Rich. Hearing that the mayor was
returning, the sheriffs made a hurried declaration of the result of the
poll, proclaiming Papillon and Du Bois to have been again elected, and
dismissed the assembly. The mayor on his arrival caused the gates of the
Guildhall to be closed. Such is the account of what took place on the 19th
September, as given by the diarist of the day.(1511) The City’s Journal
merely records in the briefest manner possible the election of Rich.(1512)


The next day (20 Sept.) the lord mayor and a deputation of aldermen waited
on the king at Whitehall, and informed him of what had taken place. A
council was thereupon summoned for that afternoon, which the sheriffs were
ordered to attend. Upon their appearance they were told that they had
behaved in a riotous manner, and must answer for their conduct before the
King’s Bench.  They were accordingly made to enter into their own
recognisances severally for £1,000, besides finding other security.(1513)


On the 26th, when Rich was called before the Court of Aldermen to enter
into bond to take office, a paper was handed to the court desiring that
Papillon and Du Bois might be called to the shrievalty, but it was to no
purpose. The same answer was returned as on previous occasions.(1514)


Two days later (28 Sept.) Rich and North were sworn into office amid a
great concourse of citizens at the Guildhall, the entrance to which was
strongly guarded by a company of trained bands in case of disturbance.
When the oath was about to be administered to them a protest was made by
Papillon and Du Bois, who attempted to get possession of the book; but
upon the lord mayor commanding them in the king’s name to depart and keep
the peace, they left the hall and with them went several of the aldermen
who were their supporters. The new sheriffs entertained the mayor and
aldermen, according to custom, at Grocers’ Hall, Rich being a member of
that company.(1515) Rich subsequently applied for and was allowed the sum
of £100 out of the fine of £400 paid into the Chamber by Box.(1516) The
election which had been so long and so hotly contested thus ended in a
complete victory for the court party.


It was the custom in those days, as it is now, for members of the livery
company or companies to which a newly-elected sheriff belonged to
accompany him to the Guildhall on the occasion of his entering upon his
office. Dudley North, being a member of the Mercers’ Company, had desired
the officers of the company and several of the livery to pay him this
compliment, but after considering the matter the court of the company
passed a resolution to the effect that neither officers nor members should
attend him on pain of being expelled from the company, but that they
should accompany Papillon to the hall and present him to be sworn as one
of the sheriffs.(1517)


Cornish attended the ceremony at the Guildhall, and afterwards (2 Oct.)
swore an information before Sir William Turner,(1518) a brother alderman,
of the treatment he had received at the hands of the soldiers present. The
information was to the effect that when he and several other aldermen
entered the hall about nine o’clock in the morning they found a guard of
soldiers placed at the hall door, and another drawn up before the
hustings, "who were presently commanded by their officer to stand to their
armes." After a short stay in the Council Chamber they returned into the
hall to meet the lord mayor, and for a quarter of an hour walked up and
down the hall "betweene the clock-house and the doore wch leads up to the
Hustings Court on the north side of the hall." Hitherto they had met with
no opposition from the soldiers, but now they were accosted by
Lieutenant-Colonel Quiney, the officer in command, who desired "they would
give him noe disturbance." To this they replied that "they would give him
none and expected alsoe not to bee themselves disturbed by anie in that
place." Quiney thereupon left, but soon after returned and told them he
had orders from the lieutenancy to clear the hall. He was asked to produce
the order, and if it were found to include aldermen of the city Cornish
and his friends would obey. The order was not forthcoming; it was with the
major, said Quiney, who soon afterwards formed up his men and, again
addressing Cornish and the other aldermen, peremptorily required them to
withdraw or he would expel them by force. Cornish again demanded to see
the order, but the officer forthwith laid hands on him and thrust him out,
declaring that he would abide by the order of the lieutenancy, who were
his masters. So ends Cornish’s information. Proceedings were subsequently
taken against Quiney for keeping persons that were liverymen out of the
Guildhall and offering abuse to others.(1519)


The next day being Michaelmas-day a Common Hall met to elect a mayor for
the ensuing year in the place of Sir John Moore.(1520) Four aldermen were
nominated as candidates, viz., Sir William Pritchard, the senior alderman
below the chair, Sir Henry Tulse, Sir Thomas Gold and Henry Cornish. The
common sergeant having declared that the choice of the citizens lay
between Pritchard and Gold, a poll was demanded and allowed, the result of
which was declared (4 Oct.) to be as follows:—Gold 2,289, Cornish 2,259,
Pritchard 2,233 and Tulse 236.(1521)

This result seems to have satisfied no one, and a scrutiny was asked for
in order that the poll books might be compared with the lists of liverymen
of the several companies. It was discovered that certain members of the
livery of the Merchant Taylors’ and other companies had recorded their
votes although they had not taken the liveryman’s oath prescribed by such
companies. The question of the legality of such votes being submitted to
the Court of Aldermen, that body decided (24 Oct.) against the
voters.(1522) The election was watched with anxious interest. Pritchard,
himself a Merchant Taylor, was known to be of the same political mind as
the out-going mayor, and it was the common belief at the time that if the
majority of votes should prove to be in favour of Gold or Cornish, who
were of the Whig party, the king would interpose and continue Sir John
Moore in office for another year.(1523) His majesty had recently been
amusing himself at Newmarket, but he had been kept posted up in city news,
and immediately after his return to Whitehall was waited on by the mayor
and aldermen (22 Oct.) and informed of the state of affairs. The result of
the scrutiny, according to the paper submitted to the Court of Aldermen,
was still in favour of Gold and Cornish, but according to the return made
by the mayor(1524) (25 Oct.) Pritchard was placed at the head of the poll
with 2,138 votes, as against 2,124 for Gold, 2,093 for Cornish and 236 for
Tulse. The first two named were therefore presented to the Court of
Aldermen for them to choose one to be mayor according to custom, and their
choice falling upon Pritchard he was declared elected, and on the
following feast of SS. Simon and Jude (28 Oct.) was admitted and sworn.


A motion was afterwards made (24 Nov.) for a _mandamus_ directing the
mayor and aldermen to swear Gold or Cornish as duly elected mayor of
London, but nothing came of it.(1525)


The time was thought opportune by the Duke of York for prosecuting his
action for slander against Pilkington commenced in June last. The words
complained of, and for which the duke claimed damages to the extent of
£50,000, were declared on the oath of two aldermen—Sir Henry Tulse and Sir
William Hooker—to have been spoken by him at a Court of Aldermen at a time
when that body was about to visit the duke to congratulate him upon his
return from Scotland, and were to the effect that the duke had burnt the
city and was then coming to cut their throats. That the words, if spoken—a
question open to much doubt—were scandalous to a degree cannot be denied,
but the claim for damages was none the less vindictive. Instead of laying
his action in London the duke caused his action to be tried by a jury of
the county of Hertford (24 Nov.). Pilkington made very little defence (he
probably thought it useless), and the jury awarded the duke the full
amount of damages claimed. The ex-sheriff was of course ruined; he
surrendered himself into custody(1526) and gave up his aldermanry, in
which he was succeeded by Dudley North, the sheriff.(1527)


Still he was not allowed to rest. In the following February (16 Feb.,
1683) he and his late colleague in the shrievalty, Samuel Shute, together
with Lord Grey of Wark, Alderman Cornish, Sir Thomas Player, the city
chamberlain (who had recently been called to account for moneys received),
Slingsby Bethell, and others were brought to trial for the disturbance
that had taken place last Midsummer-day. The trial was opened at the
Guildhall on the 16th February, but the jury being challenged on the
ground that the array contained no peer (a peer of the realm being about
to be tried), the challenge was allowed, and the trial put off until the
next term. On the 8th May, after a long trial, all the accused were found
guilty, and were eventually (26 June) fined in various sums, amounting in
all to £4,100.(1528)


Pilkington’s fall also dragged down Sir Patience Ward, who was proceeded
against for perjury, he having stated on oath at the trial of the late
sheriff that the debate in the Court of Aldermen concerning the Duke of
York was over before Pilkington had arrived, and that there was no mention
made of cutting throats while he was there. After much contradictory
evidence the jury found the defendant guilty, and he, like Shaftesbury
before him, sought refuge in Holland.(1529)


In the meantime, having experienced so much difficulty in bending the City
to his will, and having so far succeeded in his object as to have a
royalist mayor in the chair, as well as royalist sheriffs, Charles took
steps to obtain an equally subservient Common Council. To this end he had
issued a command (18 Dec.) to the mayor to enforce on the electors at the
coming feast of St. Thomas (21 Dec.) the obligation of electing only such
men to be members of the new council as had conformed with the provisions
of the Corporation Act. The king’s letter was by the mayor’s precept read
at each wardmote on the day of election.(1530) It was hoped that by this
means a Common Council might be returned which might be induced to make a
voluntary surrender of the City’s charter instead of forcing matters to an
issue at law.(1531)


The design failed and the king resolved at length to proceed with the _Quo
Warranto_. After the lapse of more than a twelvemonth the trial came on
for hearing (7 Feb., 1683). The solicitor-general, who opened the case,
propounded to the court four questions: (1) Whether any corporation could
be forfeited? (2) Whether the city of London differed from other
corporations as to point of forfeiture? (3) Whether any act of the mayor,
aldermen and Common Council in Common Council assembled be so much the act
of the Corporation as could make a forfeiture? and (4) Whether the acts by
them done in making a certain by-law and receiving money by it,(1532) or
in making the petition of the 13th January, 1681, and causing it to be
published, be such acts as, if done by the Corporation, would make a
forfeiture of the Corporation? After a lengthy argument counsel for the
Crown concluded by asking judgment for the king, and that the defendants
might be ousted of their franchise as a Corporation.


The City’s Recorder, Sir George Treby, rose in reply. His argument in
favour of the City(1533) tended to show that the corporation of London
_quâ_ corporation could not forfeit its existence either by voluntary
surrender or by abuse of its powers, much less could its existence be
imperilled by the action of those representatives of the city to whom its
government had been confided. The corporation of the City was a governing
body elected for specific purposes; if it proceeded _ultra vires_ to
establish market tolls or to offer a petition to the king which was
seditious, an indictment lay against every particular member of that body,
but no execution could be taken against the mayor, commonalty and citizens
of London, a body politic that is invisible, one that can neither see nor
be seen.

Counsel on the other side had laid stress on the fact that the liberties
and franchises of the City had been often seized or "taken into the king’s
hands," adducing instances with which the reader of the earlier pages of
this work will be already familiar; and if they could be so seized, they
could also be forfeited. The Recorder argued that this conclusion was a
wrong one. The effect of the seizure of the City’s liberties in former
days had only been to place the government of the city in the hands of a
_custos_ or warden. The Corporation continued as before; it might sue and
be sued as before; it was neither suspended nor destroyed. How could the
king seize a Corporation? Could he himself constitute the mayor,
commonalty and citizens of a city, or make anyone else such? No, a
Corporation was not, to use a legal phrase, "manurable"; it could not be
seized; nor had anyone (he believed) ever imagined such a thing as a
dissolution of a corporation by a judgment in law until that day. At the
conclusion of his speech the further hearing of the case was adjourned
until April.


On the resumption of the hearing (27 April)(1534) Sir Robert Sawyer, the
attorney-general, at whose suggestion and by whose authority the writ
against the City had been issued, took up the argument, commencing his
speech with an attempt to allay the apprehension excited by the prospect
of forfeiture of the City’s charter. "It was not the king’s intention," he
said, "to demolish at once all their liberties and to lay waste and open
the city of London, and to reduce it to the condition of a country
village," as some had maliciously reported, but to amend the government of
the City "by running off those excesses and exorbitances of power which
some men (contrary to their duty and the known laws of the land) have
assumed to themselves under colour of their corporate capacity, to the
reviling of their prince, the oppression of their fellow subjects and to
the infinite disquiet of their fellow citizens."(1535) History had shown
that the City had never been better governed than when it was in the
king’s hands. Its ancient customs had not been destroyed, but only
restrained in subordination to the general government of the kingdom, and
therefore the danger now threatened would not prove so fatal to the City
as had been suggested.


After the conclusion of the arguments on both sides, nearly three months
were allowed to pass before judgment was given, in the hope that the
citizens of London might follow the example set by Norwich, Evesham and
other boroughs, and freely surrender their charter. "I do believe nobody
here wishes this case should come to judgment," was the remark made by
Chief Justice Saunders at the conclusion of the hearing; but at length the
patience of the Crown or of the judges was exhausted, and judgment was
pronounced (12 June) by Justice Jones in the absence of the Lord Chief
Justice, who was now on the point of death. Briefly, the judgment
pronounced was to the effect (1) that a corporation aggregate might be
seized; (2) that exacting and taking money by a "pretended" by-law was
extortion and a forfeiture of franchise; (3) that the petition was
scandalous and libellous, and the making and publishing it a forfeiture;
(4) that an Act of Common Council is an Act of the Corporation; (5) that
the matter set forth in the record did not excuse or avoid those
forfeitures set forth in the replication, and (6) that the information was
well founded. The result of these findings was that the franchise of the
Corporation was ordered to be seized into the king’s hands, but this
judgment was not to be entered until the king’s pleasure should be known.
As to the right claimed by the citizens to have and constitute sheriffs (a
right which they had recently shown no disposition to forego) and the
claim of the mayor and aldermen to be Justices of the Peace and to hold
Sessions, the attorney-general was content to enter a _nolle prosequi_.


A few days before delivery of judgment the Common Council agreed to
expunge from the records of the court all minutes of proceedings during
the late civil war that in any way reflected upon the late king.(1536) The
list of the various minutes thus ordered to be annulled was a very long
one, occupying more than ten pages of the city’s Journal, and embraced a
period of eighteen years (1641-1659). The municipal authorities may have
thought that by this egregious act of self-stultification they might
mitigate the judgment that was impending over them. If so they were sadly


Finding that further resistance was useless the Common Council
unanimously(1537) agreed (14 June) to present a humble petition to his
majesty asking pardon for their late offences, and declaring their
readiness to submit to anything that he might command or direct.
Accordingly, on Monday the 18th June, the lord mayor proceeded to Windsor,
accompanied by a deputation of aldermen and members of the Common Council,
to lay this petition before the king in council, and his majesty’s reply,
given by the mouth of the lord keeper, was reported to the Common Council
on the following Wednesday.(1538)


The king, he said, had been very loth to take action against the City, but
had been driven to do so by the recent elections. Their petition would
have been more gracious if presented earlier; nevertheless, his majesty
would not reject it on that account. He would, however, show the City as
much favour as could be reasonably expected. It was not his intention to
prejudice them either in their properties or customs, and he had
instructed Mr. Attorney not to enter judgment lest such a proceeding might
entail serious consequences. The alterations he required were few and
easy. They were these, viz., that no mayor, sheriff, recorder, common
sergeant, town clerk or coroner of the city of London or any steward of
the borough of Southwark should be appointed without his majesty’s
approval under his sign manual; that if his majesty should express
disapproval of the choice of a mayor made by the citizens a new election
should take place within a week, and if his majesty should disapprove of
the second choice he shall, if he so please, himself nominate a mayor for
the year ensuing; that if his majesty should in like manner disapprove of
the persons chosen to be sheriffs, or either of them, he shall, if he
please, proceed to appoint sheriffs by his commission, but subject to this
restriction the election of these officers might take according to the
ancient usuage of the city; that the lord mayor and Court of Aldermen
might with leave of his majesty displace any alderman, recorder, common
sergeant, town clerk, coroner of the city or steward of Southwark; that
where an election of an alderman had been set aside by the Court of
Aldermen another election should be held, and that the Justices of the
Peace should be by his majesty’s commission. These terms accepted by the
citizens, his majesty would consent to confirm their charter in a manner
consistent with them. But if they were not speedily complied with his
majesty had given orders to enter up judgment by the Saturday following,
and any consequences that might follow would be at the door of the
citizens themselves.


A "long and serious" debate, we are told, followed the reading of this
answer in the Common Council, after which a poll was taken on the
question: whether the court should submit to the king’s terms or not, with
the result that 104 votes were recorded in favour of accepting them as
against 85 votes to the contrary. Whereupon it was "unanimously" ordered
that his majesty should be informed of the court’s submission, and that
the Midsummer-day elections should be put off until the 18th July.(1539)


Whilst these proceedings against the city were going on, a writ had been
obtained by Papillon and Du Bois for the arrest of Pritchard, the mayor,
Dudley North, the sheriff, and several aldermen, for having made a false
return to a _mandamus_ directed to them in November last.(1540) The writ
was directed to Broom, the city’s coroner, who executed it by lodging the
parties in his own house (24 April). No sooner was this done than one of
the city sergeants proceeded to arrest the coroner, who was taken to the
compter, where he had to pass the night, whilst the mayor and his
fellow-prisoners made their way home. A cry that the Whigs had seized the
mayor and carried him off caused great consternation, and the trained
bands were immediately ordered out for the security of the city. The
citizens themselves were much divided in their opinions on the matter,
"some condemning it and others approving it, according to the different
tempers of persons."(1541)


A committee was appointed (26 April) by the Court of Aldermen to consider
what was fit to be done by way of vindicating the honour of the mayor and
the government of the city, as well as for punishing the authors of the
indignity;(1542) whilst the Common Council caused it to be placed on
record (22 May) that neither they nor the citizens at large had any
participation in or knowledge of the action against the mayor, which
Papillon and Du Bois alleged had been brought in the name of the citizens
of London.(1543) Broom’s conduct, as well as the terms on which he held
his appointment, were made the subject of an investigation by a


After Pritchard’s year of office expired he brought an action on the case
against Papillon for false imprisonment, and eventually (6 Nov., 1684)
obtained a verdict and damages to the respectable amount of £10,000. This
verdict, whilst it caused amazement to many, met with the avowed approval
of Jeffreys, recently promoted to be Lord Chief Justice, who complimented
the jury upon their good sense. "Gentlemen," he remarked at the close of
the trial, "you seem to be persons that have some sense upon you, and
consideration for the government, and I think have given a good verdict
and are to be greatly commended for it."(1545) Papillon thereupon


Within a few days of delivery of judgment against the City, discovery was
made of a plot against the lives of the king and the Duke of York.(1546)
This was the famous Rye House Plot, which brought the heads of Lord
Russell and Algernon Sydney to the block. Among the minor conspirators
were two men who had been employed by Broom, the city coroner, in the
recent arrest of the lord mayor. Broom himself was suspected of being
implicated in the conspiracy, and was on that ground ordered into custody
for the purpose of being examined by a justice of the peace. In the
meantime he was to be suspended from his office of coroner, as well as
from his duties as a member of the Common Council.(1547)  Concurrently
with the Rye House Plot there was, so it was said, a design to raise an
insurrection in the city, in which Alderman Cornish was believed to be
implicated.(1548) The municipal authorities, however, as a body, were
indignant at the threatened attack on the king and his brother, and lost
no time in voting an address (2 July) of congratulation upon their escape,
assuring the king at the same time of their readiness to hazard their
lives and fortunes in defence of his person and the maintenance of the
government in Church and State.(1549)


On Thursday, the 27th September, the mayor laid before the Common Council
drafts of a surrender of the City’s franchise to his majesty, and of a
re-grant from his majesty which the Attorney-general had prepared for
their acceptance. After long debate the opinion of the Attorney-general,
the Solicitor-general, and the Recorder was taken upon the following
questions, viz., (1) Whether the surrender was agreeable to the submission
of the Common Council already made and necessary for the regulations
required by his majesty; (2) whether by this surrender the office of
mayoralty was surrendered; (3) if so, whether the customs and
prescriptions belonging to that office were not thereby surrendered and
lost; (4) whether in case judgment should be entered up (as the king had
threatened) the consequences would not be worse than a surrender; and (5)
how far did the re-grant confirm and restore the city to the liberties,
etc., therein mentioned. On the following Tuesday (2 Oct.) the opinions of
the several counsel were ready.(1550) Two of them, viz., that of the
Attorney-general and that of the Solicitor-general were decidedly in
favour of the City surrendering its liberties in preference to allowing
judgment to be entered up. The Recorder took a diametrically opposite view
of the matter, one of the reasons urged by him against a surrender being
that such action would be against their oaths, and that if they freely
surrendered their liberties there would be no redress left open to them.
If, on the other hand, they suffered judgment to be entered up, they could
take proceedings against it by writ of error. These opinions gave rise to
much debate, and many hard things were spoken against the Recorder. At
last the matter was put to the vote, when 103 were found against sealing
the deed of surrender as against 85 who were in favour of it; and so this
momentous question was settled, and the council broke up at eleven o’clock
at night.(1551)


Judgment was forthwith (4 Oct.) entered against the City. The mayor and
the new sheriffs were summoned to attend the king. Pritchard received a
commission to continue in office during pleasure, and similar commissions
were handed to the new sheriffs. The Recorder was dismissed and his place
given to Sir Thomas Jenner.(1552) Eight aldermen were turned out and their
places filled by nominees of the king.(1553) On the 25th October the Court
of Aldermen was informed of his majesty’s commission having been issued
for Sir Henry Tulse to be mayor for the ensuing year, and on the 29th he
was sworn with the usual accompaniment of civic procession and


Having thus reduced the Corporation of the city to submission, Charles
proceeded to take similar action against the livery companies, with the
object of getting into his own hands the power of appointing and
dismissing their governing body. Seeing that opposition was useless, they
submitted with the best grace they could, surrendering their former
charters and receiving new charters in their place. The first master,
wardens and assistants were usually named in these new charters, which
provided (_inter alia_) that they should be removable at the king’s
pleasure by Order in Council, that they should take the oaths of
allegiance and supremacy and make the declaration prescribed by the
Corporation Act, that none should be elected members who were not of the
Church of England, and that in all things concerning the government of the
city they should be subject to the mayor and aldermen.


Notwithstanding the treatment that the citizens had received at the king’s
hands they heard of his sudden illness (2 Feb., 1685) with unfeigned
sorrow, and the Court of Aldermen (5 Feb.) instructed the sheriffs to
attend at Whitehall every morning and Sir William Turner and Sir James
Edwards every evening during his majesty’s illness.(1555) Their
attendance, however, was not long required, for next day (6 Feb.) the king



"They will never kill me, James, to make you king," the late king is said
to have cynically remarked to his brother; and, indeed, the accession of
the Duke of York was accepted by the nation in general, as well as by the
City of London in particular, with considerable foreboding. The new king
for a short while was content to feel his way before plunging into the
headstrong course of action which eventually lost him the crown. Although
suspected of being a Catholic at heart, it was only during his last
moments that Charles had accepted the ministrations of the Roman Church.
The new king had for years been an avowed Catholic; nevertheless, in his
first speech to the Privy Council he announced his intention of
maintaining the established government, both in Church and State. This
speech, made within an hour of the late king’s death, was received with
rapturous applause. It was quickly followed by a proclamation of his
majesty’s wish that all persons in office at the time of the decease of
the late king should so continue until further notice.(1556) Another
document proclaiming the death of the late king and the devolution of the
crown to the Duke of York was at the same time drawn up by the Lords
Spiritual and Temporal, with the assistance of the privy council, the
mayor, aldermen and citizens of London and others.(1557) This document did
not bear the signature of the mayor as that proclaiming James I had done.


James had not been many days on the throne before the question of supply
had to be settled. More than one-half of the whole revenue of the crown
was derived from the customs, and these had been settled on Charles for
life only, and could not therefore be exacted by his successor without the
assent of parliament. No parliament had been summoned since the
dissolution of the parliament at Oxford four years since (28 March, 1681).
As time was pressing and some delay must have taken place before a new
parliament could meet, James took the advice of Chief Justice Jeffreys,
and did violence to the constitution by proclaiming (9 Feb.) the
continuation of the payment of customs as a matter of necessity, whilst at
the same time he intimated his intention of speedily calling a
parliament.(1558) The pill thus gilded was swallowed without protest. The
excise duties was another matter and was dealt with differently. The
"additional excise," like the customs, had been given to the late king for
life, but there was a clause in the Act which empowered the Lords of the
Treasury to let them to farm for a term of three years without any
limitation as to their being so long due. A lease was now propounded as
having been made during the late king’s life (the document bearing date
the 5th February, the day preceding his decease), although there was every
reason for supposing it to have been made after his death and to have been
post-dated. The judges were appealed to, and with every desire to curry
favour with the new king, the majority pronounced the document to be good
in law. Thus fortified, James no longer hesitated to issue a proclamation
(16 Feb.) for the continuation of the excise.(1559)


A parliament was summoned for the 9th April, but did not meet until the
19th May. In the meantime the king and queen had been crowned at
Westminster on St. George’s day (23 April). The City put in their
customary claim,(1560) but this was at first disallowed "in regard of the
judgment upon the _Quo Warranto_ for seizure of the cities franchise."
Upon appeal being made, however, to the king himself the claim was
allowed, and the mayor, aldermen and citizens were treated with high
honour both in the Abbey and at the banquet in Westminster Hall, the mayor
being presented by the king with the cup of pure gold and cover, weighing
in all upwards of twenty ounces, with which he had served his majesty with
wine.(1561) A few days before the banquet took place Sir Robert Vyner sent
to the mayor to borrow the City’s plate for the occasion. The matter was
laid before the Court of Aldermen and permission was granted the lord
mayor to lend such plate as could be spared.(1562)


When parliament met (19 May) the majority in favour of the court party was
enormous. This was in no small measure due to the reformation that had
been forced on other corporate towns besides the city of London. They had
been made to surrender their charters, and the late king had in return
granted them new charters in which Tories alone were named as members of
the corporations. Only one more step was necessary in order to secure the
return of a Tory parliament when the time for fresh elections should
arrive, and that step was taken. The parliamentary franchise in boroughs
was restricted to members of the corporations.(1563) In London the Whigs
were kept down by fear, and the Tory party reigned supreme. The mayor and
half the Court of Aldermen were nominees of the Crown, acting by royal
commission. No Common Council sat, or if it did it was only for the
purpose of enrolling a proclamation by the king or a precept by the mayor.
As the election drew near the king, in order to render the result in his
favour more sure, authorized the Court of Aldermen to grant liveries to
several of the city companies, taking care that such only should be
admitted to the livery as were of "unquestionable loyalty" for the purpose
of voting.(1564) By this means four of the most pronounced Tories in the
city were returned, all of them being aldermen. These were Sir John Moore
and Sir William Pritchard, both of whom had been placed in the mayoralty
chair, one after the other (in 1681 and 1682), by court influence, Sir
Peter Rich, who had served as sheriff with Dudley North in 1682, and Sir
Samuel Dashwood, who filled the same office the following year with Peter
Daniel, both of them, like their immediate predecessors, being nominees of
the Crown. As soon as the House met the Commons unanimously granted the
king the full revenue which had been enjoyed by his brother.(1565)


The bent of the king’s mind was quickly discerned in the sentences
pronounced by judges eager to secure his favour. Titus Oates was taken out
of prison and whipt at the cart’s tail from Aldgate to Newgate the day
after parliament met. Two days later he was again whipt from Newgate to
Tyburn, and the punishment was so mercilessly carried out that it nearly
cost him his life. Precautions had to be taken by the mayor to prevent a
display of force by Oates’s partisans, who overturned the pillory on which
he was to stand.(1566) Dangerfield, another professional informer, was
made to undergo a punishment scarcely less severe. He survived the
punishment, but only to die from the effect of a vicious blow dealt him by
a bystander as he was being carried back to gaol from Tyburn.


On the other hand Richard Baxter—the most learned and moderate of
Nonconformists—was tried at the Guildhall on a charge of having introduced
into his commentary on the New Testament some seditious remarks respecting
the attitude of the government towards dissenters. The infamous Jeffreys
presided at the trial, and spared neither counsel nor prisoner his
insolent invectives. The whole proceedings were nothing less than a farce,
and the evidence adduced was of such a flimsy character that Baxter
volunteered a remark expressing a doubt whether any jury would convict a
man on it. He was, however, mistaken. The sheriffs, like the mayor, were
but tools of the court party, and the jurymen selected to sit on the trial
did not hesitate to bring in a verdict of guilty. He was fortunate to get
off with no worse sentence than a fine of 500 marks and imprisonment until
it was paid.(1567)


There was doubtless a large number of inhabitants of the city who would
gladly have assisted Monmouth—"the champion of the dissenters and extreme
Protestants"—had they been in a position to do so. But as soon as the news
of the duke’s landing in Dorsetshire reached London orders were issued by
the mayor for a strict watch to be kept by night throughout the city, and
for the arrest of all suspicious characters, whilst the duke and his
supporters were proclaimed traitors and rebels. It was forbidden to
circulate the duke’s manifesto in the city, and on the 16th June, or
within five days of his landing, a price of £5,000 was put upon his
head.(1568) After Monmouth’s defeat at Sedgmoor (6 July) he and his
companions sought safety in flight. Monmouth himself fled to the New
Forest, where he was captured in the last stage of poverty, sleeping in a
ditch, and was brought to London. He was lodged in the Tower, where his
wife and three children had already been sent. Thousands of spectators,
who, we are told, "seemed much troubled," went forth to witness his
arrival by water on the evening of the 13th July. Two days later he was
executed on Tower Hill.


The utmost cruelty, both military and judicial, was inflicted on
Monmouth’s supporters. Many were hanged by royalist soldiers—"Kirke’s
lambs," as they were called—without form of law. Others were committed for
trial until Jeffreys came to hold his "Bloody Assize," when to the cruelty
of the sentences passed on most of them was added the ribald insolence of
the judge. The opportunity was taken of giving the city of London a
lesson, and Henry Cornish, late alderman and sheriff, was suddenly
arrested. This took place on Tuesday the 13th October. He was kept a close
prisoner, not allowed to see friends or counsel, and deprived of writing
materials. On Saturday he was informed for the first time that he would be
tried on a charge of high treason, and that the trial would commence on
the following Monday (19 Oct.). His attitude before the judges was calm
and dignified. Before pleading not guilty to the charge of having
consented to aid and abet the late Duke of Monmouth and others in their
attempt on the life of the late king (the Rye House Plot), he entered a
protest against the indecent haste with which he had been called upon to
plead and the short time allowed him to prepare his case. He asked for
further time, but this the judges refused.

One of the chief witnesses for the Crown was Goodenough, who had a
personal spite against Cornish for his having objected to him (Goodenough)
serving as under-sheriff in 1680-1, the year when Bethell and Cornish were
sheriffs.(1569) Goodenough had risked his neck in Monmouth’s late
rebellion, but he had succeeded in obtaining a pardon by promises of
valuable information against others. With the king’s pardon in his pocket
he unblushingly declared before the judges that he, as well as Cornish and
some others, had determined upon a general rising in the city at the time
of the Rye House Plot. "We designed," said he, "to divide it (_i.e._, the
city) into twenty parts, and out of each part to raise five hundred men,
if it might be done, to make an insurrection."(1570) The Tower was to be
seized and the guard expelled.

Cornish had been afforded no opportunity for instructing counsel in his
defence. He was therefore obliged to act as his own counsel, with the
result usual in such cases. He rested his main defence upon the
improbability of his having acted as the prosecution endeavoured to make
out. This he so persistently urged that the judges lost patience.
Improbability was not enough, they declared; let him call his witnesses.
When, however, Cornish desired an adjournment in order that he might bring
a witness up from Lancashire, his request was refused. His chief witness
he omitted to call until after the lord chief justice had summed up. This
man was a vintner of the city, named Shephard, at whose house Cornish was
charged with having met and held consultation with Monmouth and the rest
of the conspirators. The bench after some demur assented to the prisoner’s
earnest prayer that Shephard’s evidence might be taken. He showed that he
had been in the habit of having commercial transactions with Cornish and
was at that moment in his debt; that on the occasion in question Cornish
had come to his house, but whether he came to speak with the Duke of
Monmouth or not the witness could not say for certain; that he only
remained a few minutes, and that no paper or declaration (on which so much
stress had been laid) in connection with the conspiracy was read in
Cornish’s presence; that in fact Cornish was not considered at the time as
being in the plot. Such evidence, if not conclusive, ought to have gone
far towards obtaining a verdict of acquittal for the prisoner. This was
not the case, however; the witness was characterised by one of the judges
as "very forward," and when Cornish humbly remonstrated with the treatment
his witness was receiving from the bench he was sharply told to hold his
tongue. The jury after a brief consultation brought in a verdict of
guilty, and Cornish had to submit to the indignity of being tied—like a
dangerous criminal—whilst sentence of death was passed upon him and three
others who had been tried at the same time.


The prisoner was allowed but three clear days before he was hanged at the
corner of King Street and Cheapside, within sight of the Guildhall which
he had so often frequented as an alderman of the city, and on which his
head was afterwards placed. He met his end with courage and with many
pious expressions, but to the last maintained his innocence with such
vehemence that his enemies gave out that he had "died in a fit of
fury."(1571) The injustice of his sentence was recognised and his
conviction and attainder was afterwards reversed and annulled by
parliament (22 June, 1689).(1572)


Of the three others who had been tried with Cornish, two were reprieved
(one was afterwards executed), but the third, Elizabeth Gaunt, was burnt
at Tyburn the same day that Cornish suffered (23 Oct.) for having
harboured an outlaw named Burton and assisted him to escape beyond the
law. He had been implicated in the Rye House Plot, but with the aid of
Mrs. Gaunt, who lived in the city, had contrived to avoid capture. In
order to save his own skin the wretch did not hesitate to turn king’s
evidence and to sacrifice the life of his benefactress, a woman who is
described as having "spent a great part of her life in acts of charity,
visiting the gaols and looking after the poor." She too died with great
fortitude, arranging with her own hands the straw around her, so as to
burn the more speedily.(1573)


Parliament began to be alarmed at the favour shown to Catholics, and this
alarm was increased by a report from France that Louis XIV, with whom
James was known to be closely allied, and on whom he depended, like his
late brother, for pecuniary support, had revoked the Edict of Nantes
granted by Henry IV in favour of his Protestant subjects. The report was
soon confirmed by the appearance of numbers of French Protestants—refugees
from persecution—in England, and more especially in the city of London.
What Louis had done in France James, it was feared, would carry out in
England by means of his standing army commanded by Roman Catholic
officers. Hence the alarm which pervaded not only parliament, but also the
city and the nation at large.


Hence too it was that when the Houses, which had been adjourned during the
campaign in the West, met on the 9th November,(1574) they remonstrated
with him for the favour he had shown to Catholics in direct contravention
of the law. Finding himself unable to bend parliament to his will, he
determined to do without one, and accordingly, after a brief session, it
stood prorogued (20 Nov.),(1575) never to meet again during the present


Without a parliament James could act with a free hand. By a piece of
chicanery he managed to get a legal decision acknowledging the dispensing
power of the king.(1576) He established an Ecclesiastical Commission
Court, with the infamous Jeffreys at its head, the first act of which was
to suspend the Bishop of London for upholding the Protestant faith. He
removed the Earl of Clarendon (son of the late Chancellor), who had
recently been appointed Lord Lieutenant of Ireland,(1577) and appointed as
lord deputy the Earl of Tyrconnel, a Roman Catholic of low character, who
had gained an unenviable notoriety as the "lying Dick Talbot." The country
was over-run with Papists from abroad. All the laws against the exercise
of the Roman Catholic religion were set at defiance. There was no
disguise. Mass was publicly celebrated at Whitehall and Roman Catholic
chapels sprang up everywhere, giving rise to no small dissatisfaction and
tumult. The agitation in London was great, but greater in the city, where
men had been less accustomed to the sight of the Romish ceremonial than
those who lived in the neighbourhood of the court. Riots in the city were
of frequent occurrence, more especially on Sundays, when the Roman
Catholics were more in evidence than on week days. A Roman Catholic chapel
had recently been erected by the Elector Palatine in Lime Street. An
ineffectual attempt had been made by the mayor and aldermen to stay the
work. They were summoned to appear before the king and reprimanded. The
work was accordingly allowed to go on and the chapel was opened. On
Sunday, the 18th April (1686), the priests attached to the chapel were
followed by a mob into Cheapside, and matters would have gone hard with
them had not the mayor and aldermen appeared on the scene with a regiment
of trained bands. James again sent for the mayor and told him that if he
could not keep better order in the city he should himself send some
"assistance."(1578) Nevertheless another riot broke out on the following
Sunday. A mob entered a Roman Catholic chapel and carried away a crucifix,
crying out they would have no "wooden gods." A cross was set up on the
parish pump and mock obeisance made to it. The priests were insulted, but
no violence was offered them. When the mayor appeared to quell the tumult
the crowd affected to disbelieve that his lordship was in earnest. "What!
the lord mayor of our city come to preach up popery! too sure, it cannot
be!" When the trained bands were ordered to disperse the crowd they
declared that in conscience they could not hinder them in their


These disturbances were very injurious to the trade of the city, and
caused a considerable fall in the amount of customs paid for merchandise
entering the port of London. A regiment or two of the standing army which
James had formed might any day appear in the city. "I shall not wonder if
the Scotch regiment of guards now quartering at Greenwich be quartered in
Cheapside before this week is out," wrote a contemporary on the 27th
April.(1580) A month later the army was encamped at Hounslow, the king
himself being also there, ready to send "assistance" to the city should
occasion arise.(1581)


For a time James had entertained the hope of obtaining favours for the
Catholics with the goodwill of the Church of England, whilst continuing
the persecution of dissenters. Finding this impossible he determined to
make friends of the dissenters, and to include them in a general
declaration of indulgence. Accordingly on the 4th April, 1687, there
appeared a Declaration of Indulgence suspending all laws against Roman
Catholics and dissenters alike.(1582)


James would willingly have obtained parliamentary sanction for his
declaration if he could. To this end he again took to tampering with
corporations throughout the country, in the hope of securing thereby a
parliament favourable to his policy of toleration. Six commissioners were
appointed in November to "regulate" all the corporations of England, by
turning out all who were opposed to the abolition of the penal laws and
Test Act and putting in their place those who favoured it.(1583) In London
dispensations were granted to the livery companies relieving their members
from taking the oaths and test, whilst similar dispensations were included
in the royal commissions appointing aldermen. In many of the companies
Tories of a too pronounced character were turned out and their places
taken by dissenters.(1584) Everywhere dissenters were treated with the
greatest consideration. Notwithstanding every effort, however, to capture
the constituencies at the next elections, James found public opinion
against him to be too strong, and all thought of summoning a fresh
parliament had to be abandoned.


In the meanwhile addresses flowed in from various parts of the country
thanking the king for his declaration. Presbyterians, Quakers,
Independents, Congregationalists alike sent addresses, but as yet no
address was presented on behalf of the Court of Aldermen—the governing
body of the city, now that the Common Council was in abeyance. That body
had to be largely remodelled before it would consent to present any such
address. On Thursday, the 16th June, the infamous Jeffreys, who had been
rewarded with the seals for his work at the Bloody Assizes, appeared
before the Court of Aldermen and declared his majesty’s pleasure that in
future that court should nominate and recommend to the Crown such persons
as they thought fit to be aldermen as vacancies occurred, and that no one
so nominated should be exempt from service except for insufficiency of
estate, to be declared on oath. Those who were capable of serving and
refused to serve when nominated by the court were to be fined, and the
fines were to be devoted to the use and benefit of the city’s orphans. The
ancient privilege, too, of the mayor drinking to a future sheriff received
the king’s sanction.(1585) Having listened to the lord chancellor’s
message the court resolved to wait upon the king at Windsor on the
following Sunday to thank his majesty "for that and all other his
majesties acts of grace to this court and city."(1586) Both the mayor and
the Court of Aldermen lost no time in exercising their privileges, but
they experienced great difficulty in getting any one to serve sheriff or
alderman. Fines ran up apace, until no less than £8,500 had been paid by
persons desirous at any cost to be discharged from filling either of those
thankless offices. Many of the aldermen either voluntarily resigned their
gowns or were dismissed from the court because they were unwilling to vote
an address of thanks to James for his declaration.(1587)


At length the court was sufficiently packed with dissenters to pass an
address to the king (26 July) thanking him for his declaration, and
assuring his majesty of their readiness to stand by him with their lives
and fortunes.(1588) The orphans of the city also voted an address,(1589)
as well they might, seeing the amount of money that the declaration had
been the means of bringing into the orphans’ fund.

(M818) (M819) (M820)

Not every dissenter welcomed the king’s declaration. To many of them it
seemed—what the king intended it to be—only a lever for raising the Roman
Catholics. Baxter, to whom friendly overtures were made by government to
win him over, refused to join in any address of thanks for the
declaration.  John Howe declared himself an opponent of the dispensing
power, and Bunyan declined to enter into any negotiations on the matter at
all.  William Kiffin, on the other hand, an influential Baptist in the
city, succumbed to the threats, if not to the blandishments, of
James.(1590) In addition to possessing spiritual gifts of no mean order,
Kiffin was also a man of wealth and position in the world of commerce. In
every way he would prove a valuable ally, if only he could be won over.
Against this, however, there was one great impediment: the recollection of
the judicial murder of his two grandsons, Benjamin and William Hewling, by
Jeffreys at the Bloody Assizes. Fondly imagining that the memory of that
foul act could be blotted out and the stricken heart salved by an increase
of wealth or elevation in rank, James sent for him to court, and after
some preliminary remarks touching the royal favour that was being shown to
dissenters, told Kiffin that he had put him down as an alderman in his
"new charter," alluding no doubt to the royal commission of 6th August, in
which Kiffin’s name appears as alderman of Cheap ward in the place of
Samuel Dashwood. On hearing this Kiffin replied, "Sir, I am a very old
man,"—he was seventy years of age when he lost his grandchildren—"I have
withdrawn myself from all kind of business for some years past, and am
incapable of doing any service in such an affair to your majesty or the
city. Besides, sir," the old man continued, with tears running down his
cheeks, and looking the king steadily in the face, "the death of my
grandsons gave a wound to my heart which is still bleeding, and never will
close but in the grave." For a moment the king was abashed, but quickly
recovering himself told Kiffin that he (James) would find "a balsam for
that sore." The old man still held out, until, hearing that legal
proceedings were about to be taken against him, he took counsel’s opinion
as to what was best to be done. He was told that he was running a great
risk by refusing to become an alderman, for the judges, as they then were,
might subject him to a penalty of ten, twenty, or thirty thousand pounds,
"even what they pleased." Under such circumstances he consented to be made
an alderman, rather than bring ruin on himself and family. He, however,
put off the evil day as long as he could, and was not sworn into office
until the 27th October.(1591)

Kiffin expressed himself as pleased with the reception he met with in his
ward, where he was almost a stranger. But much of the business which the
Court of Aldermen was called upon to execute in those days was distasteful
to him. "We had frequently orders from the king" (he writes) "to send to
the several companies to put out great numbers of liverymen out of the
privilege of being liverymen, and others to be put in their rooms; most of
which that were so turned out were Protestants of the Church of England.
There has been a list of seven hundred at a time to be discharged,
although no crime laid to their charge." The royal commission which
appointed him an alderman also created him a justice of the peace and a
member of the Court of Lieutenancy, but to use his own words, "I never
meddled with either of those places, neither in any act of power in that
court [_i.e._, Court of Aldermen] touching causes between man and man, but
only such things as concerned the welfare of the city and good of the
orphans, whose distressed condition called for help, although we were able
to do little towards it." He was not called upon to discharge his
invidious duties for any great length of time; for after being in office
only nine months he obtained his discharge, to his "very great
satisfaction." He continued to live for another thirteen years, dying on
the 29th December, 1701, in his 86th year, and he was buried in Bunhill
Fields—that "God’s acre" which holds the dust of so many of his fellow


In September the king had issued a patent for Sir John Shorter to be lord
mayor for the year ensuing. Shorter was a dissenter—"an Anabaptist, a very
odd ignorant person, a mechanic, I think," wrote Evelyn(1592) of him—and
on that account a clause was inserted in his commission permitting him to
have any preacher he might choose.(1593)  His granddaughter was married to
Sir Robert Walpole. He was at one time alderman of Cripplegate ward, but
in December, 1682, he fell foul of Charles II for attending a conventicle
at Pinmakers’ Hall, and the Court of Aldermen received orders to remove
him.(1594) He had recently, however (6 Aug., 1687), been restored to his
aldermanry and to his rank of precedence by commission from James,(1595)
and now, by the same usurped authority, he was to become lord mayor. The
feast of SS. Simon and Jude (28 Oct.) happening this year to fall on a
Friday, the installation of the new lord mayor, as well as the banquet to
which James and the Papal Nuncio had been invited, was postponed until the
following day. The aldermen agreed to defray the cost of the entertainment
out of their own pockets,(1596) each laying down the sum of £50. Kiffin
also sent £50, although he had not yet been sworn a member of the court;
but he afterwards regretted having done so when he learnt that the Pope’s
Nuncio and other priests had been invited as guests.(1597) The day passed
off well. The Goldsmiths’ Company, of which the new lord mayor was a
member, made a particularly brave show. The entire roadway from Charing
Cross to the city had been fresh gravelled that morning, and the king, who
was accompanied by the queen, expressed himself as well pleased with the
entertainment afforded him.(1598)


The Dissenters now had matters all their own way. The livery companies had
become so leavened with an influx of new members, whose claim for
admittance rested chiefly on their antagonism to the established Church,
that most of them now sent in addresses to the king thanking him for his
Declaration of Indulgence. The Barber-Surgeons and the Apothecaries had
already done so; so had the Clothworkers, the Mercers and the Glovers.
Their example was now followed by the Cutlers, the Goldsmiths, the
Haberdashers, the Joiners and the Weavers.(1599) The mayor, who kept his
mayoralty at Grocers’ Hall, openly held a conventicle there on Sunday, the
6th November,(1600) whilst he declined to listen to a sermon by the
learned Dr. Stillingfleet in the Guildhall chapel.(1601) More than this,
he would have turned the chapel itself into a conventicle could he have
had his own way.(1602)


In the Spring of 1688 James published a second Declaration of Indulgence
varying but slightly from the former one, and ordered it to be read in the
churches of London and Westminster on the 20th and 27th May, and in the
country on the 3rd and 10th June. This was more than the clergy could
stand. A meeting of bishops was held at Lambeth for the purpose of drawing
up a petition to the king praying that the clergy might be excused reading
an illegal document in the midst of public service. This petition was
signed by Sancroft, the primate, and six bishops. Although the Bishop of
London was not among those who signed the petition—he at the time being
under disability—there is reason for believing that Compton had been taken
into counsel by those who drafted it.(1603) On the petition being
presented James pretended the utmost surprise, and insisted that the
presentation of such a petition was "a standard of rebellion." This took
place on Friday preceding the first Sunday (20th May) when the Declaration
was to be read in the London churches. When Sunday arrived people flocked
to the churches to hear what would happen. Only a few of the London clergy
attempted to read the Declaration.(1604) In the country not more than 200
clergy carried out the king’s orders, "and of these some read it the first
Sunday, but changed their minds before the second; others declared in
their sermons that though they obeyed the order they did not approve the
Declaration." One minister in particular told his congregation that though
he was obliged to read it they were not obliged to hear it, and waited
until all had left the church before he commenced reading the hateful
document. In other places the congregation took the initiative and rose to
go as soon as the minister commenced reading it.(1605)


What followed is well known. On Friday the 8th June the Archbishop of
Canterbury and the six bishops who had signed the petition were summoned
before the council and asked if they acknowledged their respective
signatures. They were next required to enter into bond for appearance
before the King’s Bench. This they declined to do, and were thereupon
committed to the Tower.(1606) To have carried them through the streets of
the city might have caused a riot; they were therefore conveyed to the
Tower by water, "and all along as they passed the banks of the river were
full of people, who kneeled down and asked their blessing, and with loud
shouts expressed their good wishes for them and their concern in their
preservation."(1607) The enthusiasm of the Londoners did not end here.
They continued to flock to the Tower, filling the small chapel where the
bishops attended service to overflowing in order to gaze upon their
beloved pastors and receive their blessing.(1608) After being kept in
separate confinement, and allowed to meet only at meals and in chapel, for
ten days, the bishops were allowed to come out on bail.


On the 29th June they appeared before the King’s Bench on a charge of
publishing a seditious libel. A technical difficulty presented itself at
the outset, but this was got over, and after a trial of some hours the
question of their innocence or guilt was left to a jury drawn, not from
London, but from the county of Middlesex. One of the panel stuck out
against the rest, and wished to bring in a verdict of guilty, but after
being locked up through the night he allowed himself to be persuaded by
his fellow-jurymen, and on the morning of the 30th June a verdict of not
guilty was found. Thereupon "there were such shoutings, so long continued,
and as it were echoed into the city, that all people were struck with
it."(1609) Bonfires were lighted, guns discharged and church bells rung,
not only in London but throughout the kingdom.


The beginning of the end was approaching. Already the troops encamped at
Hounslow, on which James placed so much dependence, showed signs of
disaffection. He had hoped that his army would have overawed London,
instead of which the free spirit of London had, as a result of his policy,
entirely captivated his army. So long as the king was in their midst the
troops maintained a respectful demeanour, but as soon as his back was
turned they threw off all restraint, and joined in the general exultation
at the late joyful deliverance to the Church of England.(1610)


The birth of a prince (10 June), which had recently taken place, served to
hasten the crisis. Those who were willing to have waited patiently for a
recurrence to the old order of things at the king’s death now saw their
hopes dashed to the ground. The king’s heir and successor, brought up, as
he undoubtedly would be, in the tenets of his father, promised them little
relief. Even before the birth of the prince overtures had been made to
William of Orange to appear in England at the head of an army.
Nevertheless the Court of Aldermen displayed its loyalty by resolving that
the conduits in Cheapside and at the Stocks Market should run with claret
on Thanksgiving-day. The sheriffs were to take the matter in hand, whilst
the sum of £50 was raised by the court to defray the cost, the mayor
contributing £10, each of the sheriffs £5, and the rest of the aldermen
the balance between them.(1611) Later on (29 June) the mayor, aldermen and
sheriffs waited upon the infant prince and kissed his hand. The various
nurses were presented by the Chamberlain with the respectable _douceur_ of
sixty guineas, whilst ten guineas were given to the lord chancellor’s
messenger who brought the news to the city of the prince’s birth.(1612)


The day that saw the bishops acquitted a letter was despatched, signed by
Shrewsbury, Danby, Compton (the suspended Bishop of London) and others, to
the Prince of Orange, again inviting him to land in England with an armed
force, and promising to render him every assistance. After some hesitation
William accepted the invitation, and began to make preparations, both
naval and military, for his descent on England. Towards the close of
September news came from Holland of the vast preparations that were being
pushed forward in that country. A fleet of sixty sail was in readiness,
and the prince himself was shortly expected on board. James lost no time
in informing the lord mayor of the state of affairs, and desired that he
and the aldermen would take measures for preserving the city in
peace.(1613) On the 28th he issued a proclamation informing his subjects
of the threatened invasion, and calling upon them to lay aside all
jealousies and to unite in defending the country against the foreign


James saw, when it was too late, that he had over-taxed the patience of
his subjects. He was now ready to make any and every concession. As for
the citizens of London, they should have their charter restored.
Accordingly, on Saturday the 6th October Lord Chancellor Jeffreys appeared
before the Court of Aldermen with two separate grants under the great
seal, the one appointing Sir John Chapman to be mayor (in the place of Sir
John Eyles(1615)) up to the feast of SS. Simon and Jude (28 Oct.), with
liberty to the citizens in the meantime to elect one of their own choice
to be mayor for the year ensuing; the other, continuing in office Sir
Samuel Thompson and Sir Humphrey Edwin, then sheriffs, until a new
election of sheriffs should be made by the citizens. The newly-appointed
mayor and the existing sheriffs thereupon went down into the Guildhall,
accompanied by the lord chancellor, who informed the citizens of the
restitution of their liberties.(1616) The mayor and sheriffs having taken
the oaths and subscribed the declaration prescribed by the Corporation
Act, the aldermen returned to their chamber, and such as had been aldermen
at the time of the judgment upon the writ of _Quo Warranto_ and were then
present were forthwith sworn in for the respective wards from which they
had been deposed. The court next proceeded to draw up an address to the
king, in which his majesty was assured that with all duty and faithfulness
they would cheerfully and readily _discharge the trust reposed in them_ to
the utmost hazard of their lives and fortunes.(1617) One cannot help
noticing how studiously different the wording of this address is from
those previously presented. Not a word about defending his majesty’s
person with their lives and fortunes; these are thenceforth to be expended
in guarding their own liberties! When the Court of Aldermen met three days
later (9 Oct.) the common sergeant, the town clerk, the comptroller,
swordbearer, common crier and other officers who had been ousted from
their places under the _Quo Warranto_ were formally re-instated;(1618) and
the same day Chapman issued his precept for a Common Hall to meet on the
11th for the election of sheriffs for the year ensuing.(1619) Several
aldermen who had lost their places in 1683 declined to be re-instated,
among them being Sir Robert Clayton.(1620) Sir George Treby, who had been
recorder at the time of the confiscation of the city’s liberties, also
refused to accept office again; but the Court of Aldermen finding great
difficulty in getting a suitable person to accept the appointment, Treby
was finally induced to change his mind, and before the end of the year he
occupied his old place and continued to occupy it until, in 1692, he was
made chief justice of common pleas.(1621)

The city was still without a Common Council, and it was not until the 26th
November that the Court of Aldermen advised the mayor to issue his precept
for an election of common councilmen to take place on the 28th. The
council so elected was to be but a provisional one until the regular
election should take place on St. Thomas-day (21 Dec.).(1622) On the 1st
December the new Common Council sat for the first time,(1623) none having
met since the 2nd October, 1683.


The day that a new Common Council was elected Jeffreys (who was already
packing up to be off) notified that writs were about to be issued for a
new parliament. The House was to meet on the 15th January (1689). James
had purposed summoning a parliament for November (1688), and some of the
writs had been actually sent out, but the Dutch preparations so alarmed
him that the writs were recalled.(1624)


In the meantime an extraordinary council had been held at Whitehall (20
Oct.) which the mayor and aldermen of the city had been invited to attend.
The object of the meeting was to dissipate any doubt that had been
entertained as to the infant prince being actually the king’s son. There
had been rumours to the contrary, and as the king was about to enter upon
a dangerous enterprise in person, he declared his intention of settling
the question beyond all doubt before leaving. Some twenty witnesses were
accordingly examined then and there as to the prince’s legitimacy, the
king offering to send for the queen herself if the meeting so wished. This
offer, one need scarcely say, was declined.(1625) The same day
proclamation was made for guarding the sea coast and withdrawing all draft
cattle into the interior.(1626)


The feast of SS. Simon and Jude (28 Oct.) falling on Sunday, Sir John
Chapman, who had been re-elected mayor by free choice of the citizens,
proceeded to Westminster by water according to custom on the following
Monday, accompanied by the aldermen, and was sworn before the barons of
the exchequer. He returned to Grocers’ Hall and there entertained the
lords of the council, the judges and many of the nobility. Notwithstanding
the precautions taken against riot during the mayor’s absence from the
city the mob broke out and sacked and burnt a "mass house" in
Bucklersbury. For this disturbance the mayor and sheriffs were called to
account by the king.(1627)


On the 5th November the Prince of Orange successfully effected a landing
in Torbay. As soon as the news reached London James again sent for the
mayor and aldermen, ordered them to take care of the city, and, if he
should fall in battle, to proclaim the Prince of Wales successor to the
crown.(1628) William proceeded to march upon London. At Exeter he was well
received, but some little time elapsed before the gentry showed any
disposition to throw in their lot with the prince. On the 17th James set
out with his army to meet the invader, after receiving an assurance from
the mayor and aldermen that they would take care of the city during his
absence.(1629) He reached Salisbury, but soon found himself deserted by
officers and friends. Among the former was Lord Churchill, afterwards
known as the Duke of Marlborough, and the greatest soldier of the age.
Left almost alone, James returned to London, having been absent from the
capital less than ten days. Like his name-sake the Conqueror, William made
no haste to reach London, but advanced by slow marches, putting up at
various gentlemen’s houses on the way. It was agreed that both armies
should remain at a distance of forty miles from London in order to allow
the new parliament to meet in safety.


Since the news of the prince’s landing there had been a renewal of the
attacks made on Roman Catholics and their places of worship in London. On
the 11th November the mob broke into St. John’s, Clerkenwell, where rumour
declared there were stored gridirons, spits and other instruments for
torturing Protestants. The troops were called out and one or two of the
rioters killed. It was deemed advisable to close all the Roman Catholic
chapels except the royal chapels and those belonging to foreign
ambassadors.(1630) Another sign of the times was the fact that the sceptre
belonging to the statue of Queen Mary set up in the Royal Exchange had
either accidentally fallen or (as was more probable) had been forcibly
struck out of her hand.(1631) On the 7th December the mayor issued a
precept to the aldermen of each ward for a careful search to be made in
the city for all Papists and suspicious persons. He did this because he
understood that the inhabitants of the city were much alarmed at the great
resort of Papists to the city who were believed to be meditating some
attack upon London.(1632)


The negotiations which had been opened with William were only intended by
James to serve the purpose of giving the latter time to place his wife and
child in a place of security before he himself should seek safety in
flight. On the 11th December he attempted to make good his escape. As soon
as it was known that the king had left London a great number of lords,
both spiritual and temporal, came to the Guildhall, as to a place of
security, the better to consult and take measures for the common weal.
Having informed the Court of Aldermen of the king’s flight the lords
retired into the "gallery adjoining to ye councell chamber," and there
drew up a Declaration,(1633) containing in effect their resolution to
assist the Prince of Orange in maintaining the religion, the rights and
the liberties which had been invaded by Jesuitical counsels. This was
communicated to the Court of Aldermen, who thanked the lords for the
favour shown to the Court. As the occasion was an important one it was
deemed advisable to summon forthwith a Common Council, as well as the law
officers of the City, to advise the aldermen as to what was best to be
done.(1634) A Common Council was accordingly held that same day. Being
informed of the state of affairs, the court quickly resolved to follow the
example set by the lords, and themselves to present an address to the
prince.(1635) An address was accordingly prepared, in which, having warmly
acknowledged the prince’s zeal for the Protestant religion and expressed
regret at the king’s measures and his recent flight, the citizens implored
the prince’s protection, promising him at the same time a hearty welcome
whenever he should repair to their city. The lieutenancy of the city
followed suit the same day with another address, in which his highness was
assured that measures had been taken for preserving the city in peace
until his arrival.(1636) The lords, having finished their business in the
city, dined the same evening with the lord mayor at Grocers’ Hall.(1637)


On the 17th a letter from the prince was read before the Common Council.
The terms of the letter are not recorded in the City’s archives, but it
probably contained some reference to the peace of the city, for the
council, after preparing an answer to it, forthwith gave orders for the
guards of the trained bands to be increased by three regiments.(1638)


The following day (18 Dec.) the prince himself entered London, and the
council, having heard of his arrival, immediately despatched the sheriffs
and the common sergeant to learn when his highness would be pleased to
receive a deputation from the city. It was arranged that the aldermen and
their deputies and one or two members of the council of each ward,
according to the number of its representatives, should form the
deputation.(1639) The lord mayor (Chapman) being indisposed was unable to
attend. He had recently been seized with a fit of apoplexy whilst trying
the terrible Jeffreys, who had been discovered and apprehended in disguise
at Wapping. But Treby, the recorder, was there, and made a speech on the
City’s behalf.(1640)

(M838) (M839)

By this time James, who had been foiled in his first attempt to reach the
coast, and had returned to London, had, with the connivance of the Prince
of Orange, been more successful in a second attempt, and had crossed over
to France, where he spent the remainder of his days. The country was
therefore left without king, parliament or legal system for its
government. In London the Corporation of the city was almost the only
authority that remained unaffected by the king’s abdication; and it is
significant as well of its power as of the respect which that body
commanded that when William was endeavouring to form an authoritative
assembly by summoning all the members who had ever sat in parliament under
Charles II,(1641) he likewise desired that the lord mayor of the city, the
entire Court of Aldermen and fifty representatives of the Common Council
should attend.(1642) This assembly met on the 26th December, and after due
consultation decided to adopt the same procedure as was adopted in 1660
before the return of Charles II. As there was no king there could be no
writs for a parliament, but William could call a Convention, which would
be a parliament in everything but name. A Convention was accordingly
summoned to meet on the 22nd January, 1689. The election of the city
members to serve in the convention was ordered to take place on Wednesday
the 9th January,(1643) when the choice of the citizens fell upon their
former well-tried representatives, Sir Patience Ward, Sir Robert Clayton,
Pilkington (who had regained his liberty in August, 1686)(1644) and Love.


In the meantime (8 Jan.) the prince wrote to the civic authorities setting
forth the inadequacy of the revenue to supply three pressing wants. These
were the maintenance of the navy, the partial disbandment of the army and
the furnishing of a force for the speedy relief of the Protestants in
Ireland. He desired the City, therefore, to advance him such a sum as
could be "conveniently spared."(1645) The City was still to keep up its
character as the purse of the nation. The Common Council, having heard the
letter read, at once resolved to assist the prince to the utmost of their
power. A committee was appointed to settle with the revenue officers the
nature of the security, and orders were given for precepts to be sent to
the aldermen to raise subscriptions in the various wards.(1646) Sir Peter
Rich, who had recently been re-instated in the office of city chamberlain
from which he had been ousted, was instructed to pay into the exchequer
all money received on account of the loan, and to strike tallies for the
same in his own name in trust for the use of the several lenders. Ten days
later (18 Jan.) the committee reported the steps taken for the security of
repayment of the money already paid into the exchequer, and the council
recommended that similar steps should be taken with respect to those sums
yet to be paid in. It was at the same time unanimously agreed to ask the
Prince to dinner in the city, and the recorder, the sheriffs and the
common sergeant were instructed to wait on his highness and learn his


On the 22nd January the Convention met. On the 28th the Commons declared
the throne to be vacant, and on the 6th February a vote to similar effect
was passed by the Lords. Some over-zealous inhabitants of the city had in
the meanwhile prepared a petition, which they purposed presenting to the
House of Lords, praying that the crown might be offered to the Prince of
Orange and his consort. The prince ordered the lord mayor to put a stop to
such proceedings, and a precept (200 copies of which were ordered to be
printed) was accordingly issued to this effect.(1648)


A Declaration of Rights was drawn up condemning the unconstitutional acts
of James II, and offering to settle the crown on William and Mary and
their children, with remainders over. On the 13th February this offer was
accepted,(1649) and the prince and princess were forthwith proclaimed king
and queen with the usual ceremony. The next day the Common Council
unanimously agreed to wait upon their majesties and congratulate them upon
their accession to the throne.(1650)


At the coronation banquet of the king and queen, which took place on the
11th April, the masters of the twelve principal livery companies were for
the first time nominated by the Court of Aldermen to join with the lord
mayor in assisting the chief butler,(1651) and they continued to be so
nominated on like occasions up to the coronation of George IV, when in
consequence of a change of masters taking place between the time of their
nomination and the day of the coronation, the new masters presented a
petition to the Court of Claims praying to have their names inserted in
the place of the former masters whose term of office had expired. This
petition was opposed by the Remembrancer, on behalf of the City, on the
ground that the masters of the livery companies enjoyed no peculiar right
to serve on such occasions, and after some deliberation the commissioners
declined to interfere, inasmuch as the power of nominating the twelve
citizens rested absolutely with the Court of Aldermen.(1652) The lord
mayor and swordbearer were resplendent at the coronation ceremony in new
crimson and damask gowns, whilst the city’s plate—again lent for the
occasion—added lustre to the banquet.(1653)



The Convention having been converted by a formal Act into a true
parliament (23 Feb.),(1654) one of the first motions put to the House was
that a special committee should be appointed to consider the violations of
the liberties and franchises of all the corporations of the kingdom, "and
particularly of the city of London." The motion was lost by a majority of
24.(1655) The House nevertheless resolved to bring in a Bill for repealing
the Corporation Act, and ten days later (5 March) the Grand Committee of
Grievances reported to the House its opinion (1) that the rights of the
city of London in the election of sheriffs in the year 1682 were invaded
and that such invasion was illegal and a grievance, and (2) that the
judgment given upon the _Quo Warranto_ against the city was illegal and a
grievance. The committee’s opinion on these two points (among others) was
endorsed by the House, and on the 16th March it ordered a Bill to be
brought in to restore all corporations to the state and condition they
were in on the 29th May, 1660, and to confirm the liberties and franchises
which at that time they respectively held and enjoyed.(1656)


A special committee appointed (5 March) to investigate the nature of the
city’s grievances, and to discover who were the authors and advisers of
them, presented, on the 29th May, a long report to the House,(1657) giving
the whole story of the election of sheriffs in June, 1682, and of
Pritchard’s election to the mayoralty in the following September; of the
fines that had been imposed on Pilkington, Shute, Bethell, Cornish and
others for so-called riots whilst engaged in asserting the rights of the
citizens; of Papillon having been cast in damages to the amount of £10,000
at the suit of Pritchard, and of other matters which led up to the
proceedings under the _Quo Warranto_, when, as the committee had
discovered, two of the justices of the King’s Bench—Pemberton and
Dolben—were removed from the court because their opinion was found to be
in favour of the city. The committee refer to the City’s Records in
support of the claim of the lord mayor to elect one of the sheriffs, and
say "that from the twenty-first of Edward the IIId unto the year 1641 the
way of making sheriffs was that the lord mayor named one to be sheriff and
presented him to the Common Hall, who did confirm him, and chose another
to act with him; except in three or four years within that time, when the
Common Hall chose both the sheriffs, the persons drank to in those years
by the lord mayor having refused to hold and paid their fines." They
capitulated to the House the various occasions on which the mayor
exercised his prerogative unchallenged, and those when the Common Hall
refused to confirm the mayor’s nomination, down to 1682, when matters were
brought to a crisis by Sir John Moore claiming to have _elected_ Dudley
North by drinking to him according to custom; and in conclusion they
reported their opinion to be that Sir John Moore and Dudley North were
among the "authors of the invasion made upon the rights of the city of
London in the election of sheriffs for the said city in the year 1682."


In the meantime the civic authorities themselves had not been idle. The
Common Council had already (1 March) appointed a committee to take steps
for obtaining a reversal of the judgment on the _Quo Warranto_ with the
assistance of the recorder and the city’s representatives in parliament.
Before the end of May a draft Bill had been prepared for the purpose and
been submitted to the court for approval.(1658)


There was another matter pressing very heavily upon the City just now, and
one which later on would also claim the attention of parliament, and that
was the relationship of the civic authorities to the city orphans. By the
custom of London the mayor and aldermen were the recognised guardians of
all citizens’ orphans, and as such took charge of their property until
they came of age or married. A Court of Orphans was established, with the
common sergeant as its chief officer, which exercised the same
jurisdiction over the bodies and goods of orphans in the city that the
Court of Chancery exercised outside. In course of time the fund paid into
this court became very considerable, and in order to prevent it lying idle
and thus deprive the orphans of interest that might accrue on their
estate, the court lent large sums to the Crown on the security of
exchequer bills. Could any guardian or trustee have acted more honestly or
with greater prudence? They had not reckoned, however, upon a king being
on the throne who should be sufficiently dishonest to stop all payments
out of the exchequer in discharge of principal and interest of past loans.
This is what Charles II did, as we have seen, in 1672; and his action not
only ruined many bankers and merchants of the city, but inflicted great
hardship upon the city’s fatherless children. The City’s revenue at the
time of William’s accession was little more than sufficient to meet the
necessary expenses of the municipality, to say nothing of repaying the
orphans their confiscated estates. This fact was recognised by the orphans
themselves, who saw no other hope but to apply to parliament for
assistance with the aid of the Common Council.


To this end "a large number" of orphans of the city presented a petition
to the court on the 1st March.(1659) Their fortunes (they said) had been
paid into the Chamber of London according to the custom of the city, and
they were now left destitute of support and reduced to great hardships and
extremities, very many of them having their whole portions in the Chamber.
They prayed the court, therefore, to appoint a committee to consider the
whole matter with the view of approaching parliament with some
recommendation. To this the court readily gave its consent, and a
committee was then and there nominated.


A week later (8 March) this committee made a report to the council.(1660)
They had found upon investigation that the debt owing by the Chamber was
very great, being upwards of £500,000 due on principal money to orphans
and nearly £100,000 more due to others, besides "finding money" and
interest. The committee were of opinion that before any application was
made to parliament the City should first do what it could on its own
account for the relief of the orphans. The City’s lands of inheritance
were estimated as bringing in about £4,000 a year, subject to a charge of
£500 or £600 for charitable uses, and the committee recommended that lands
to the value of £3,000 a year rental should be sold. By this means it was
thought that £70,000 or thereabouts would be raised, and the sum being
devoted to the relief of the orphans would be "a good introduction to
request a further assistance from the parliament." The charges of
municipal government must be met with the residue of the "casual profits"
of the Chamber. If parliament (the report went on to say) would be pleased
to assist by granting a duty on coals and allowing the City to tax hackney
coachmen at 5_s._ a head, the whole debt, or at least the principal, might
be liquidated. A Bill which the committee had prepared for presentation to
parliament for this purpose was then read and referred to the town clerk
and the city solicitor, as well as to the attorney and the
solicitor-general for their opinions.


The king’s intimation to the House (1 March) that he was prepared, with
its assent, to abolish the odious Hearth Tax was received with universal
joy. The Commons immediately voted an address of thanks, and passed a
formal resolution to stand by the king with their lives and fortunes in
supporting his alliances abroad, in the reduction of Ireland, and the
defence of the Protestant religion,(1661) whilst the Common Council of the
city resolved to present a humble address of thanks to his majesty for the
welcome relief from a tax that had been from its commencement obnoxious.
The court at the same time resolved to return its thanks to both Houses of
Parliament for their resolution to stand by the king.(1662) The Commons,
in acknowledging the address, represented to the deputation by the mouth
of the Speaker that they had taken notice of the courage and constancy
displayed by the City in the late revolution, and more especially its
action in advancing so large a sum of money to his majesty at so critical
a time. The City’s care for the public would never fail to receive the
like return from the Commons.(1663)


On Sunday the 17th March a special Court of Aldermen sat. The lord mayor,
Sir John Chapman, had died at ten o’clock that morning, and it became
necessary to take steps for the election of a mayor to serve for the
remainder of the mayoralty year, and to secure, in the meantime, the peace
of the city. Three aldermen were despatched, accompanied by the town
clerk, to inform the king of the state of affairs, and to assure him that
care would be taken to prevent disorder until a new mayor should be
elected. To secure this latter object a precept was at once issued by the
court for a double watch to be kept until further orders, whilst another
precept was issued for a Common Hall to meet on the following Wednesday
(20 March) for the election of a new mayor.(1664)


When the Common Hall met the choice of the citizens fell upon their old
friend and champion, Pilkington, and Thomas Stampe; but a poll was
demanded by the supporters of two other candidates, viz., Sir John
Moore—who had already served (1681-2) and in whose mayoralty there had
been such a fight over the election of sheriffs—and Jonathan Raymond. It
is said that the Tory party in the city put up Moore for re-election by
way of showing their disgust at a recent resolution passed by the House of
Commons to the effect that Moore had been a betrayer of the liberties of
the City during his mayoralty.(1665) But however that may be (and no
record of such a resolution appears in the Journal of the House), the
result of the poll placed Stampe and Pilkington—with 1975 and 1973 votes
respectively—far ahead of either of the other candidates. Moore, indeed,
was at the bottom of the poll with only 780 votes, whilst Raymond only
polled 930. Stampe and Pilkington having been returned to the Court of
Aldermen for them to select one, according to the custom, they chose
Pilkington, and he was accordingly admitted and sworn mayor for the
remainder of the year, being presented to the Governor of the Tower by
order of the king instead of before the barons of the exchequer.(1666) A
few weeks later (10 April) he received the honour of knighthood.(1667)


At Midsummer (1689) a difficulty again arose with the election of sheriffs
for the ensuing year. The Common Hall elected Christopher Lethieullier,
alderman and dyer, and John Houblon, grocer,(1668) but these preferring to
pay a fine to serving, the Common Hall refused to elect others in their
place. The Court of Aldermen, finding themselves in a fix, sent for the
attorney-general to peruse the City’s Records and to give his advice in
the matter. Lethieullier had determined to cut all connection with the
Corporation, and had paid another fine to be relieved of the aldermanry of
the ward of Coleman Street. Nevertheless, by the 10th September both he
and Houblon had been persuaded to change their minds, and professed
themselves ready, if the Court of Aldermen so willed, to take upon
themselves the office of sheriffs.(1669)


The wheel of fortune had taken a sudden turn. Those who had suffered
during the last two reigns for vindicating their liberties and upholding
the reformed religion, found themselves again in favour. Papillon and
Bethell, who had sought safety in Holland, returned to England, and the
former was appointed a commissioner for victualling the navy.(1670) In
June the attainder of Cornish was reversed by Act of Parliament,(1671) and
in October, Ralph Box, who had refused to allow himself to be forced into
the shrievalty in 1682 against the wish of the citizens, had the honour,
as master of the Grocers’ Company, of conferring the freedom of the
company upon the king, who, in his turn, created Box a knight.(1672)


North, on the other hand, was subjected to a severe cross-examination
before a committee popularly called the "murder committee," and narrowly
escaped a criminal trial for having systematically packed juries during
his shrievalty. His statement that he had never troubled himself about the
political opinions of those he had placed on the panel, but had only taken
care to have good and substantial citizens, was with difficulty
accepted.(1673) Broom, who had been deprived of his coronership for
arresting North and Pritchard, the royalist mayor, was re-instated in
January, 1690.(1674)


William had achieved the crown of England without bloodshed. In Ireland,
as well as in Scotland, he had to fight for his crown. The news that James
had landed in Ireland (12 March) created no small excitement in the city.
Volunteers were called for, and were readily found. The trained bands were
augmented and new officers appointed.(1675) When it was found that James
was marching to the north of Ireland, where the citizens of London held a
large interest, the excitement was increased. On the 18th April he
appeared before the walls of Londonderry, expecting the city to
immediately surrender. Thanks to the strength of those walls, repaired and
fortified by the care and at the charges of the citizens of London,(1676)
and still more to the stout hearts behind them, the town was able to stand
a long and dreary siege, with all its attendant horrors of slaughter and
starvation, and at last, after heroic resistance and patient suffering for
105 days, to come off victorious. There is one name more especially
honoured in connection with the famous siege, that of George Walker, who,
although a clergyman and advanced in years, inspired the besieged with so
much energy and courage that from first to last there was no thought of
surrender. Attempts were made to win over the garrison by intrigue, and
among the devices set on foot for establishing communication between
besiegers and the besieged was that of placing a letter in an empty shell
and firing the latter into the town.(1677) When Walker made his appearance
in England he was graciously received by the king, who made him a present
of £5,000 and promised to have a care for the rest of the garrison.(1678)
The king afterwards desired Walker to furnish a list of the officers who
had displayed such determined courage during the siege and blockade.(1679)


Whilst Londonderry was thus besieged a discovery had been made by means of
intercepted letters of further designs which James hoped to carry out with
the assistance of the French king. On the 19th June Sir George Treby, who
was both the city’s recorder and the king’s attorney-general, laid before
the Common Council at his majesty’s request certain letters which had been
seized on board a ship at Liverpool and forwarded by special messenger to
the government. The letters, which had already been submitted to both
houses, were now read to the Common Council, and this having been done the
council resolved to present an address to the king thanking him for his
favour and condescension, and assuring him that they would stand by him
with their lives and estates.(1680)


Michaelmas-day this year (1689) happening to fall on Sunday, the election
of a mayor for the year ensuing took place on the previous Saturday, when
Pilkington was re-elected.(1681) Tuesday, the 29th October, was lord
mayor’s day, but why the ceremony of swearing in the lord mayor should
have been observed on that day instead of on the feast of SS. Simon and
Jude—the 28th October—as was the custom, is not clear. The lord mayor’s
show was (we are told) "very splendid," and was witnessed by the king and
queen and the Prince of Denmark from a balcony in Cheapside. After the
show they were entertained, together with the members of both Houses and
high officers of state, at a banquet in the Guildhall. The cost of the
entertainment was defrayed by voluntary subscriptions among the aldermen
and members of the Common Council.(1682) In order to prevent unpleasant
crowding the Commons were invited to make their way into the Guildhall
through the church of St. Lawrence, Jewry.(1683) The king took occasion to
knight the two sheriffs (Lethieullier and Houblon), and also Edward Clark
and Francis Child, two aldermen who were chosen sheriffs the next


Within a few weeks of this entertainment it was found that the portrait of
William set up in the Guildhall had been maliciously mutilated. The crown
and sceptre had been cut out of the picture by some Jacobite, and the
reward of £500 offered (21 Nov.) by the Court of Aldermen failed to
discover the perpetrator.(1685)


On the 30th October (1689) a parliamentary committee was appointed to
prepare a Bill for "restoring and confirming of corporations." A Bill was
accordingly brought in, read for the second time and committed.(1686) The
Bill was mainly concerned with those corporations that had _surrendered_
their charters, and a great struggle took place upon the committee’s
report (2 Jan., 1690) over an attempt to introduce a clause providing that
every municipal officer who had in any way been a party to the surrender
of a borough’s franchises should be incapable of holding any office in
that borough for a period of seven years.(1687) The city of London had not
surrendered its charters. It preferred, as we have seen, on the advice of
its Recorder, to let judgment be entered up against it, and allow its
privileges and franchises to be confiscated by process of law rather than
voluntarily surrender them. London was therefore excepted out of this
Bill, saving a clause touching the not taking or subscribing the oath and


On the 6th February, 1690, the Convention Parliament was dissolved. Its
greatest achievement had been the passing of the Bill of Rights, the third
Great Charter (as it has been called) of English liberties. The Bill of
Rights embodied the provisions of the Declaration of Rights, and strictly
regulated the succession to the crown. It constituted the title-deed by
which the king was thenceforth to hold his throne, and the people to enjoy
their liberties. The late parliament had been none too liberal to William
in the matter of supply. Money was much needed for carrying on war with
France and for reducing Ireland. Extraordinary aids were voted from time
to time, but the money came in so slowly that the king was fain to seek
advances from the City.(1689) A new parliament was summoned to meet on the
20th March.(1690)


The election of members to serve the City in the coming parliament took
place on the 19th February, and was hotly contested. There appears to be
no record extant among the City’s archives of what took place, but from a
petition laid before the new House (2 April) by Pilkington (the lord
mayor) and three others, viz., Sir Robert Clayton, Sir Patience Ward and
Sir William Ashurst(1691)—all professing more or less Whig principles—we
learn that they claimed to have been elected by the Common Hall. A poll
had been granted, and a scrutiny was in course of being held when (as they
complained) the sheriffs declared the election to have gone against them.
The petitioners had afterwards learnt that upon the completion of the
scrutiny the majority of those that had a right to vote had proved to be
in their favour. They prayed therefore for relief. Their petition was
referred to the Committee of Privileges and Elections for them to consider
and report thereon to the House; but nothing came of it. It was in vain
that Pilkington issued precepts to the livery companies for returns to be
made: (1) of the names of those who were on the livery at Midsummer, 1683;
(2) of those who had been admitted since; (3) of those that had died since
1683, or who were absent; and (4) of those who had omitted to take the
prescribed oaths for a freeman or liveryman—in order to affect the
scrutiny.(1692) The result was declared to be in favour of two aldermen
and two commoners of distinct Tory proclivities. These were Sir William
Pritchard, Sir Samuel Dashwood, Sir William Turner (once an alderman and
soon to become one again) and Sir Thomas Vernon. Upon Turner’s death in
February, 1693, Sir John Fleet, then lord mayor, was elected in his
place.(1693) In the country the elections were carried on with the same
heat as in the City,(1694) and with like result. The majority of the
members of the new parliament were Tory.


In November last (1689) a new committee was appointed to prepare a Bill
for the reversal of the proceedings upon the _Quo Warranto_ and for the
removal of other grievances.(1695) The provisions of the Bill had been
scarcely settled before the House, of its own motion, granted (8 April)
leave for a Bill to be brought in to reverse the judgment on the _Quo
Warranto_ against the City as arbitrary and illegal, and appointed a
committee to prepare such a Bill.(1696) A Bill was accordingly prepared,
was brought in, and passed the first and second reading on the 14th
April.(1697) On the 7th May it passed the committee stage and was ordered
to be engrossed, and on the following day it passed and was ordered to be
carried up to the House of Lords.(1698) On the 14th the Bill passed the
Lords without amendment, after counsel for the City had been heard during
its progress through the House.(1699)


Pursuant to provisions of the Act (sec. 10) thus passed an election of
mayor, sheriffs and city chamberlain took place on the 26th May, and an
election of a Common Council on the 10th June following. Such as were then
elected were according to the statute to hold office not only for the
remainder of the usual term, but to continue in office throughout the year
ensuing. On the 26th May Pilkington was again elected mayor, although the
majority of votes in Common Hall was in favour of Sir Jonathan
Raymond,(1700) whilst Edward Clark, mercer, and Francis Child, goldsmith,
were chosen sheriffs.(1701) Sir Peter Rich was re-elected chamberlain by a
narrow majority over the head of Leonard Robinson, who had ousted him the
previous Midsummer,(1702) but he was not admitted to office, his rival
being imposed upon the citizens as chamberlain in spite of his having been
in the minority.


When the elections for a new Common Council took place on the 10th June
there were severe contests in several of the wards between the "Church
party" and the Whigs, involving irregularities which led to disputes
between the aldermen and the Common Council.(1703) The working of the new
Act, as a matter of fact, gave rise to much dissatisfaction, and scarcely
was it passed before the Court of Aldermen resolved (27 May) to take
counsel’s opinion upon some of its clauses.(1704)

(M866) (M867)

The state of affairs was at length brought to the notice of parliament by
a petition subscribed by members of the Common Council and presented to
the House of Commons on the 3rd December.(1705) The petitioners explained
to the House that they had conceived and hoped that the late Act would
have restored the city to its ancient rights and privileges. It had,
however, done quite the contrary. They then proceeded to relate how,
notwithstanding the Act, several aldermen of the city who had been
appointed by commissions under the late king continued to act as such by
virtue of certain doubtful expressions in the Act; that by their illegally
assumed authority Pilkington had been declared and made mayor, although
not duly returned by the Common Hall; that by the contrivance of the said
mayor and the aldermen Leonard Robinson had been made chamberlain,
notwithstanding another having been declared duly elected by the sheriffs,
and the Common Hall had been thereupon dissolved. Nor was this all. The
petitioners went on to complain that divers members of the Common Council
had been illegally excluded, whilst others who had been duly elected had
been refused admittance; that the place of town clerk having been vacant
for three months and more—an office, they remind the House, of great trust
in the city and one to which only the Common Council had the right of
appointment—the mayor and aldermen had of their own authority appointed
several persons to execute the office against the consent of the Common
Council; that the petitioners had not been allowed to meet and consult
about the necessary affairs of the city according to their ancient rights
and customs; and that a Common Council having met on the 3rd October, and
a majority of the members having agreed upon the presentation of a humble
address to parliament with the view of explaining the recent Act and
settling the rights of the city, the mayor refused to allow the question
to be put and immediately dissolved the court. The petitioners therefore,
finding all their ancient rights and privileges thus invaded, prayed the
House to grant them relief. Having heard the petition read the House
ordered a copy of it to be given to the mayor and aldermen,(1706) and
appointed Monday, the 8th December, for hearing both parties by themselves
or by counsel. Accordingly, on that day the petitioners were heard by
their counsel, and divers witnesses were examined, after which the further
hearing was postponed until the morrow. On the 9th the case of the mayor
and aldermen was opened by counsel and was continued on the 10th and the
11th, when by a majority of thirteen it was decided to adjourn the matter
for a week.(1707) It never was taken up again, parliament being probably
unwilling to run the risk of losing the favour of those in the city who
were in power at a time when interference on its part might be the cause
of stopping the flow of money into the coffers of the exchequer.(1708)


As early as January, 1690, William had made up his mind to go to Ireland
in person for the purpose of reducing the country into subjection, but
although every effort was made to push on the necessary preparations
nearly six months elapsed before he was ready to set out. On the 30th May
the assistance of the City was invoked. The Common Council willingly
agreed to raise money to assist the king in his enterprise,(1709) and on
the 2nd June the mayor waited on his majesty at Kensington Palace,
accompanied by the recorder, the aldermen and the sheriffs, and wished him
a prosperous journey, promising at the same time to secure the good
government of the city during his absence.(1710) On the 4th William set
sail, and ten days later (14 June) landed at Carrickfergus. His arrival
was a surprise to James, who flattered himself that the state of affairs
in parliament and "the distractions of the city" would not allow of his
leaving England.(1711) During the king’s absence the queen took an active
part in the administration of the kingdom, and by her tact and kindliness
won many friends. As soon as it was known that William had safely landed
in Ireland the sheriffs were deputed by the Court of Aldermen to attend
her majesty and desire when the court might wait upon her to offer its
congratulations upon the good fortune that had so far attended the


The defeat of a combined English and Dutch fleet off Beachy Head on the
last day of June caused a great commotion, although some compensation was
found in the news of William’s victory at the Boyne. Seeing that a French
force might any day be expected in England, the government, as was its
wont, turned to the city of London. On the 7th July the mayor, the
aldermen and some members of the Court of Lieutenancy(1713) obeyed a
summons to attend upon her majesty in council. The state of affairs having
been fully explained to them, they were asked as to the numerical strength
of the City’s militia, and more especially as to the number of horse and
dragoons the City could raise on an emergency. The mayor professed himself
unable to give a reply off hand to these questions, and desired time to
consult the Common Council on the matter.(1714) Whatever political or
religious differences existed at the time of the recent city elections,
these were now laid aside in the face of a common danger, and "London set
the example of concert and of exertion."(1715) No time was lost. Already
the mayor had, in pursuance of an order from the Privy Council (3 July)
issued precepts to the several aldermen (5 July) for search to be made in
private as well as public stables for horses for military service.(1716)
On the 10th the Court of Aldermen resolved to apply to the hackney-men
plying their trade in and about London, and to learn from them the number
of horses they could supply on an emergency like the present, and upon
what terms.(1717) The Common Council at the same time resolved to raise a
regiment of horse and another of dragoons.(1718) The next day (11 July)
the mayor and aldermen and a deputation of the lieutenancy again waited
upon her majesty sitting in council and assured her of their loyalty. The
city militia, the queen was informed, consisted of about 9,000 men, well
equipt and ready for active service, and six regiments of auxiliaries were
about to be raised. As to the horse and dragoons, the Common Council had
unanimously resolved to raise by voluntary contributions a large regiment
of horse and 1,000 dragoons, and to maintain them for a month if need be.
We have seen how jealous in former days the city had been in the matter of
appointing its own officers over its own forces, but now all signs of
jealousy were wanting, and the queen herself was desired to appoint
officers over the cavalry that was in course of being raised.(1719) On the
21st her majesty reviewed the city militia in Hyde Park, and expressed
herself as much gratified.(1720)


The City was ready not only with men but money. On the 22nd July the
Common Council was asked to assist her majesty by making a speedy loan of
£100,000 "or what more can be advanced" on the security of the hereditary
revenue. The court at once gave its consent, and precepts were issued to
the aldermen to raise the money in their respective wards without


Fortunately for England the French fleet, which kept hovering for more
than a month off the south coast in the hope of being able to effect a
landing, at last was seen to be sailing homewards. When all danger was
past the queen sent for the lord mayor (15 Aug.) to thank his lordship and
the city for their readiness in advancing money and raising forces, and to
inform him that there was no immediate necessity for the horse and
dragoons which were then being raised.(1722)


Hearing of the danger that was threatening England, William had serious
thoughts of leaving Ireland and returning home in July.(1723) He did not
return, however, before September. Landing in England on Saturday, the
6th, he proceeded by easy stages to London, where he arrived on the 10th,
and took up his residence at Kensington Palace. The bells of the city rang
out a welcome, bonfires were lighted, and the tower guns fired a
salvo.(1724) On the 9th the sheriffs were instructed by the Court of
Aldermen to wait upon his majesty to learn when and where he would be
pleased to see them.(1725) An appointment having been made for Thursday
morning (11 Sept.) the mayor and aldermen proceeded to Whitehall and
congratulated his majesty on his safe return, their example being followed
by the bishop and the clergy of London in the afternoon of the same
day.(1726) The Common Council, not to be outdone in display of loyalty,
also craved an audience, and on the 18th were permitted to wait upon his
majesty to offer their congratulations.(1727)


Early in 1691 William again left England for the purpose of attending a
congress at the Hague. Before leaving he gave an audience to the mayor and
aldermen, who desired to wish him a prosperous voyage. He took occasion to
thank them for the care they had formerly taken of the city during his
absence and desired them to do the same again.(1728) A few days later (16
Jan.) he embarked at Gravesend and did not return to England until the
following April, when he received the usual welcome from the city.(1729)

(M874) (M875)

His presence was much needed, for the Jacobites were becoming more
dangerous every day. One plot, of which Lord Preston was the ruling
spirit,(1730) had been discovered before William left for the Hague, and
another was on foot. Nevertheless the state of affairs on the continent
would not allow of his remaining long in England; so, after a brief stay
he again set sail for Holland (2 May), with Marlborough in his train, to
open a regular campaign against the King of France.


The king had not been gone long before the queen sent to the City (18
June) to borrow £120,000 to be employed in the reduction of Ireland, a
business left to the Dutch General Ginkell, afterwards created Earl of
Athlone, to carry out. The sum of £75,000 was to be advanced on the
security of the parliamentary imposts on wine, vinegar and tobacco, and
the remainder of the loan on the security of similar imposts on East India
goods and other commodities.(1731) The Common Council readily consented to
find the money, notwithstanding its having so recently as February last
advanced no less a sum than £200,000 towards fitting out the fleet.(1732)
These advances were, however, still insufficient to meet the necessities
of the times. Long before the year was out the citizens were called upon
to lend another £200,000 to assist in paying off the ships of war that
were about to lay up for the winter.(1733) In the following year (1692),
when parliament laid the foundation of the National Debt and decided on
borrowing a million of money for the support of the war, the City was
asked at different periods to advance no less than three sums of
£200,000(1734) and one of £100,000.(1735)


In view of the elections which were to take place on Midsummer-day, 1691,
a motion had been made in the Common Council on the 18th June (immediately
after the court had agreed to lend the queen £120,000) for repealing the
clause in the Act of Common Council of the 6th June, 1683, touching the
confirmation of one of the sheriffs of the city and county of Middlesex
chosen by the mayor for the time being. A debate thereupon arising the
previous question was put, and was declared by the lord mayor to be
carried. A poll, however, was demanded, when the previous question was
lost by 35 votes to 30, and the original motion being afterwards put was
carried by 30 votes to 29.(1736) Such is the narrative of what took place
in the Common Council on the 18th June, 1691, as related in the Journal of
the court, according to which the clause in the Act of 1683 would have
been repealed. We know however, as a matter of fact, that the clause was
not repealed until three years later.(1737) An explanation is afforded us
by Luttrell, the diarist, who says that the minority against repealing the
clause immediately withdrew from the court "so there were not enough left
to make a Common Council, so the Act continues in force."(1738) He adds
that the mayor (Pilkington) thereupon went to the Bridge House and drank
to Sir William Ashurst as a "recommendatory sheriff" for the ensuing year
to hold office only on condition that the choice should be approved by the
Common Hall, "otherwise no good sheriff." When Midsummer-day arrived, the
common sergeant having asked the Court of Aldermen for instructions as to
how to proceed to the elections, was ordered to "pursue such directions as
he should receive from the sheriffes, and in his report of the elections,
to declare it as the report of the said sheriffes." The court further
ordered that the Common Hall should be opened by proclamation in these
words: "You good men of the livery of the several companies of the city
summoned to appear here this day for the election of sheriffs and other
officers usually chosen at this time, draw near and give your attendance,
etc."(1739) The claims of the Livery in Common Hall to elect both sheriffs
being thus allowed, the electors were satisfied to pay the mayor the
compliment of electing Sir William Ashurst, his nominee, to be one of the
sheriffs, whilst choosing Richard Levett to be the other. There was
another candidate in the person of William Gore. A poll was demanded and
allowed, the result of which was declared on the 2nd July, when it
appeared that Ashurst had polled 3,631 votes, Levett 2,252 and Gore 1,774.
A keen contest again took place between Sir Peter Rich and Leonard
Robinson for the office of chamberlain, in which the latter came off

(M878) (M879)

In the spring of the next year (5 April, 1692) the Court of Aldermen had
before them a Bill, the object of which was to settle the election and
confirmation of sheriffs for the future. After due deliberation amongst
themselves, and after consulting the attorney-general upon its provisions,
the Bill was recommended to the Common Council to be passed as an Act of
that court.(1741) Of the particulars of the Bill we are not informed. It
was laid for the first time before the Common Council on the 6th May, when
it was referred to a committee. On the 26th ult. it was read the first
time and on the 31st a second time, but upon the question being put
whether the Bill should be then read a third time it passed in the
negative,(1742) and nothing more is heard of it.


A Bill for regulating the election of members of the Common Council itself
met with better success. Of late years divers inhabitants of the city who
were not freemen (and among them the doctors and other gentlemen of
Doctors’ Commons) had been in the habit of exercising the franchise at
wardmotes, to the prejudice of freemen, to whom alone belonged the right
of voting. Many complaints having been made to the Common Council of the
rights of freemen having been thus infringed,(1743) an Act was at length
passed (26 Oct., 1692) declaring that the nomination of aldermen and the
election of common councilmen for the several wards of the city
appertained only to freemen, being householders in the city, and paying
scot and bearing lot, a list of whom was thenceforth to be prepared and
kept by the beadle of each ward, as well as a separate list of the other
householders. A copy of the Act was to be appended to all precepts for
wardmotes, and the provisions of the Act were to be publicly read to the
assembled electors.(1744) At the next election of a Common Council, which
took place in December, the Whigs, we are told, were, after a hard fight,
returned by "above 50 more voices than last year."(1745)


When William returned from abroad in October, 1691, it was to find Ireland
completely subjugated. The mayor and aldermen waited upon his majesty at
Whitehall, as usual, to congratulate him upon his safe arrival. The king
thanked them for the care they had taken of the city during his absence,
and more particularly for supplying the queen with the sum of £200,000 to
enable her to carry on the necessary affairs of the kingdom, and bestowed
the honour of knighthood on Richard Levett, one of the sheriffs, Sir
William Ashurst, the other sheriff, being already knighted. Leaving
Whitehall, the mayor and aldermen next proceeded to Kensington to offer
their compliments to the queen and to thank her majesty for her good
government during the king’s absence.(1746) A fortnight later (4 Nov.) the
Common Council resolved to pay their respects also to the king and to
congratulate him upon the success of his arms in Ireland.(1747)


The king did not long remain in England. Early in March of the following
year (1692) he returned to the Hague to make preparations for renewing the
war against France both by sea and land, leaving the queen to carry on the
government in England. On the morning of the 12th March the mayor and
aldermen, accompanied by the recorder, proceeded to Whitehall to offer the
queen their congratulations upon the receipt of news of the king’s safe
arrival in Holland, as well as of her majesty’s assumption of the reins of
government. The recorder assured her of the City’s loyalty, and desired
her only to put it to the test.(1748)


The City had not long to wait. Within a week (18 March) application was
made to the Common Council, on behalf of the queen, for a loan of
£200,000.(1749) This was the first of the three loans of that amount
already mentioned as having been advanced this year. The council readily
consented to raise the money, and so successful were their efforts that
within four days one-half of the whole loan was already paid into the
exchequer. By the king’s orders the whole of the £200,000 was kept intact
"for some extraordinary occasion."(1750)


Such an occasion was at hand. Whilst England and Holland were preparing to
make a joint attack on France, France had been getting ready a navy for a
descent on England with the view of restoring James to the throne. As soon
as intelligence arrived of a threatened invasion great excitement
prevailed. This was towards the close of April (1692). The trained bands
were called out, not only in the city, but throughout the country, and
more especially in those counties bordering on the coast. The Court of
Lieutenancy had orders to administer the oaths to every officer and man,
and any that refused were to be instantly cashiered and disarmed. The same
with Papists and all suspicious persons found in the city. The oaths were
to be tendered to them, and if any refused to take them they were to be
disarmed and banished ten miles from the city.(1751) The mayor issued
instructions for closing coffee-houses in the city on Sundays.(1752)
Troops that had been ordered to Flanders were now countermanded, and a
camp was formed at Southampton.(1753) The lord mayor was given a
commission as general of all the city’s forces—trained bands and
auxiliaries—during the king’s absence abroad, and on the 10th May was
complimented by her majesty at the close of a review held in Hyde


At length—on the 19th May—the French fleet, which was to cover the
invasion of England, met the combined Dutch and English fleet off La
Hogue, and was so signally beaten that all further thought of an invasion
had to be abandoned. News of the victory reached London on the 21st, and
was received with every demonstration of joy. Medical aid was at once
despatched to tend the sick and wounded at Portsmouth, whilst the
hospitals were got ready to receive those who should be brought to


The formal announcement of the victory to the Common Council of the city
(26 May) was thought a fitting opportunity for asking for a further loan
of £100,000 to enable her majesty to pay and "gratify" the seamen who had
so gallantly warded off invasion and to refit the fleet. It need scarcely
be said that the money was readily promised.(1756)


This sum, however, proved altogether inadequate for the purpose, so that
by the end of August the queen was compelled to send for the mayor and
aldermen and ask for £200,000 more. The mayor promised to summon a Common
Council at an early date to consider the matter, and to further her
majesty’s wishes to the best of his power.(1757) A court accordingly met
on Tuesday the 6th September and agreed to raise the money, as usual, by
subscriptions in the wards and from the livery companies,(1758) and within
a very few days the mayor was able to signify to the queen the City’s
compliance with her wishes, and to inform her that £70,000 had been
already subscribed.(1759)


On the 18th October William once more set foot in England, and at seven
o’clock in the evening of the 20th he passed through the city—the houses
of which were illuminated and the bells set ringing—to Kensington. Two
days later (22 Oct.) the mayor and aldermen went in state to wait upon his
majesty to congratulate him upon his safe return, and to ask him to favour
them with his presence on the coming lord mayor’s day, when Sir John Fleet
entered on his year of office.(1760) The king accepted the City’s
invitation and conferred the honour of knighthood upon Salathiel Lovell,
who in June last had been chosen recorder on the occasion of Sir George
Treby being appointed chief justice of the common pleas.(1761)


The entertainment, which was given at the expense of the aldermen and not
charged in any way to the city’s Chamber,(1762) was made the occasion by
the king of suggesting another city loan of £200,000, making the third
loan of the kind within the year, besides another loan of £100,000. The
king’s wishes were laid before the next Common Council (2 Nov.) and met
with a ready response.(1763) Before leaving the Guildhall his majesty
conferred the honour of knighthood upon Alderman Gore, Alderman Houblon,
Leonard Robinson, the city chamberlain, and others.(1764)


Scarcely had William turned his back on England in the spring of the
following year (1693) in order to prosecute the war with France before the
Common Council was asked (25 April) to advance another sum of £200,000
upon the credit of a recent Act of Parliament authorising the raising of a
million of money for military purposes.(1765) The money, which was wanted
for the purpose of paying the wages of seamen and for refitting the fleet,
was immediately voted.

(M891) (M892)

The same ill-success followed the arms of the allied forces this year on
the continent as in previous years. But the fall of Mons in 1691, of Namur
in 1692, and the bloody field of Landen this year were far less disastrous
in their effect to the Londoner than the damage inflicted on the Turkey
fleet of merchantmen in Lagos Bay. For months the fleet, valued at several
millions, had been waiting to be convoyed to the Mediterranean, and so
great had been the delay in providing it with a sufficiently strong escort
that the city merchant had already lost much of the profit he had looked
to derive from the voyage. When at length a convoy was provided it was on
the understanding that the greater part of the force should withdraw as
soon as the most critical point of the voyage should be passed, leaving
but barely twenty sail, under Rooke, to accompany the merchantmen through
the Straits of Gibraltar. It was in vain that Rooke protested. The danger
was the more hazardous inasmuch as no one could say where the French fleet
was lying. Nevertheless, on the 5th June the main fleet parted company and
returned to the Channel, leaving Rooke, with only seventeen men-of-war, to
look to his charge as best he could. As time went on and no news could be
got of the movements of the French fleet the underwriters in the city got
more and more nervous.(1766) The end is well known. At Lagos the English
admiral found his passage blocked by the French fleet. A sharp fight
ensued, during which many merchantmen succeeded in making good their
escape, others were burnt or sunk. "Never within the memory of man," wrote
Macaulay, "had there been in the city a day of more gloom and agitation
than that on which the news of the encounter in the Bay of Lagos arrived.
Many traders, an eye-witness said, went away from the Royal Exchange as
pale as if they had received sentence of death." The Turkey merchants in
their distress sent a deputation to the queen.(1767) The deputation met
with a kind reception, and was assured by Somers, on the queen’s behalf,
of her majesty’s deep sympathy. An enquiry, he said, had already been set
on foot as to the cause of the recent disaster, and care would be taken to
prevent its recurrence.


On the 15th August, after voting a loan of £300,000 to her majesty for
payment of the forces in Flanders, the Common Council prepared an address
to the queen, in which they expressed their deep sense of the infinite
goodness of God in preserving the king through all the perils of war, and
thanked her for the sympathy she had displayed with the ruined merchants
and for the steps she had taken for the better protection of trade in
future. To this address a clause was added at the next meeting of the
court (17 Aug.) referring to their cheerful readiness to advance a further
sum of money for her majesty’s necessities, and assuring her of their firm
resolution to continue upon all occasions to support her authority and
government against all persons to the uttermost of their power.(1768)


In October the Court of Aldermen invited her majesty to dinner on lord
mayor’s day—the day on which Sir William Ashurst entered into office. On
this occasion it was agreed that the mayor and sheriffs should bear the
whole expense of the entertainment, without the aid of the aldermen.(1769)
Ashurst appears to have been unpopular with his brother aldermen. On the
feast of SS. Simon and Jude (28 Oct.), when the usual court was held for
swearing in the new lord mayor, no less than ten aldermen absented
themselves. Whether this was intended for a studied insult or was the
result of mere negligence does not appear. But, however that may be, the
court marked its sense of their conduct by fining six of the delinquents
100 marks a-piece, whilst it took time to consider the case of the other
four, they being members of parliament.(1770)


The 29th October falling on Sunday, the lord mayor’s banquet took place on
the following Monday at the hall of the Grocers’ Company,(1771) but the
queen was unable to attend as she had gone to meet the king, who had
landed at Harwich on Sunday afternoon.(1772) On the 2nd November the mayor
and aldermen attended at Whitehall to offer their congratulations upon his
safe return. His success, said the city’s Recorder, addressing his
majesty, had not answered the expectations and hopes of his subjects,
nevertheless they were assured that God, who had protected him in so many
dangers, would in His own good time work a deliverance. The king received
them very graciously, gave each his hand to kiss, and conferred the honour
of knighthood upon Thomas Abney, one of the sheriffs.(1773)



Soon after parliament resumed its sittings (7 Nov., 1693) the attention of
the Commons was drawn to a high-handed act done by the wealthy and
autocratic company known as the East India Company. For nearly a century
that body of merchants had enjoyed a monopoly of trade with the East
Indies and had frustrated all attempts of "interlopers" to share their
privileges. It had received its first charter at the hands of Queen
Elizabeth on the 31st December, 1600, but it was not until after the
Restoration, when its privileges were confirmed by another charter, that
it began to enter upon a career of such unexampled prosperity as to become
at once an object of envy and fear. The management of the company’s
affairs rested in the hands of a small number of proprietors, the leading
spirit for many years being Sir Josiah Child, one of the merchant princes
of the city. With him was associated, at least for a time, Thomas
Papillon, the zealous Whig. He had become a member of the company as early
as 1657, and for many years took an active part in its management. He was
one of the directors from 1663 to 1670; was re-appointed in 1675, but lost
his seat on the board the following year, as also did Child, through the
intervention of Charles the Second, who disliked their Whiggish
principles. After a short interval both of them recovered their positions,
and in 1680 and 1681 Papillon was deputy governor.(1774) When Child turned
courtier and threw over his old colleagues, Papillon and other Whig
shareholders sold their stock and severed their connection with the
company. Their places on the directorate were filled up by others who were
devoted to Child and his policy, and thenceforth Child became the autocrat
of the company. "The treasures of the company were absolutely at his
disposal.... A present of ten thousand guineas was graciously received
from him by Charles. Ten thousand more were accepted by James, who readily
consented to become a holder of stock.... Of what the dictator expended no
account was asked by his colleagues."(1775) His policy was so far
successful as to obtain a decision in favour of the company’s privileges
from Jeffreys and a renewal of its charter from James. Just at a time when
the prospects of the company looked brightest a sudden change of fortune
was occasioned by the Revolution and the subsequent accession of the Whigs
to power. The outcry raised by the general merchants of the city against
the company became louder than ever, not so much on account of the company
being in possession of a monopoly as because it was ruled by a single
individual, and his rule, while benefiting himself and his creatures, was
prejudicial to the public welfare. To this outcry Papillon, who had now
returned from exile, added his voice and thereby subjected himself to a
charge of inconsistency.


There was but one remedy for the existing evil in the opinion of the
majority, and that was to form a new company from which Child should be
excluded. Without waiting for an Act of Parliament many traders in the
city formed themselves into an association which, although unrecognised by
law, acquired the designation of the New Company, and commenced to carry
on its business at the hall of the Skinners’ Company in Dowgate. For years
the city was kept in a ferment by the rivalry existing between the Old and
the New Company, between Leadenhall Street and Skinners’ Hall, the former
being supported by the Tories, the latter by the Whigs.


The sanction and assistance of parliament was sought for by both
companies. The majority of the Commons were in favour of a compromise.
They would have retained the Old Company, but wished to remodel it and to
incorporate with it the members of the New Company. Such a proceeding,
however, Child would not listen to, and his obstinacy so provoked the
House that in February, 1692, it presented an address to the king praying
him to dissolve the Old Company and to grant a charter to a New Company on
such terms as to his majesty’s wisdom might seem fit. The king replied
that it was a matter of very great importance to the trade of the kingdom;
that he could not be expected to give an immediate answer, but he would
consider the matter and give an answer shortly.(1776) The company sought
to avert the impending danger by offering the king the sum of £200,000 by
way of loan for three years without any interest.(1777) A twelvemonth
later (Feb., 1693) the Commons again petitioned the king to dissolve the
Old Company upon three years’ warning;(1778) but in spite of these attacks
the company contrived to obtain a confirmation of its monopoly under the
Great Seal in the following October.(1779) This was only obtained by a
lavish distribution of money.


In the meantime the management of the Old Company’s affairs had been
placed ostensibly in the hands of Sir Thomas Cook,(1780) an alderman of
London and member for Colchester, although there is reason for believing
that Child still continued to be the actual manager.


Within a few days of the order of the Privy Council for sealing the
company’s charter, and before the king, whose return from the continent
was daily expected, could give it his sanction,(1781) the directors, in
the moment of victory, committed an act of incredible rashness which led
to serious consequences. A number of city merchants had recently chartered
a vessel named "Redbridge" and placed on board a valuable cargo. Her
papers showed her to be bound for a Spanish port, but suspicion pointed to
her being intended for a voyage to the East Indies in contravention of the
company’s charter. Acting on this surmise, the company procured an order
from the Privy Council to have the vessel stopt, and stopt she accordingly
was from the 21st October until the following 9th November, each day’s
delay in sailing inflicting heavy expense on the owners. Such high-handed
proceedings of the Company might create little excitement if carried out
on the high seas and at a distance from home, but in the port of London
they were not to be tolerated. The owners of the "Redbridge" laid their
grievance before the Commons (30 Dec.).(1782) They pointed out that the
conduct of the East India Company was "greatly prejudicial to all foreign
trade and navigation in general, and more particularly to the petitioners,
who by the present laws of the kingdom can have no reparation." They
prayed, therefore, that the like inconveniences might be prevented for the
future. Their petition was referred to a committee of the whole House,
together with other petitions against the company, as well as the
company’s charters. In due course the committee, with Papillon in the
chair, reported that the stopping of the "Redbridge" was "a grievance, a
discouragement to trade and contrary to the known laws of the
kingdom,"(1783) and further that, in the opinion of the Common Hall, "all
the subjects of England have equal right to trade to the East Indies
unless prohibited by Act of Parliament." This resolution was accepted by
the House without a division,(1784) and for some years at least there
nominally existed free trade with India.(1785)


Between March, 1689, and February, 1691, little appears to have been done
towards solving the difficulty of the claims of the City orphans. Another
committee was appointed at the expiration of that time to consider the
matter, and in November, 1691, the committee reported to the Common
Council. They recommended that certain rents of the value of £8,000 per
annum should be set aside towards the payment of four per cent. per annum
for the immediate relief of the orphans, and that parliament should be
asked to authorise the raising of a sum of £24,000 to be vested in the
Corporation for the satisfaction of debts to existing orphans, and for
security of the money of orphans that should be paid into the Chamber in
future. The recommendation of the committee was accepted by the court (20
Nov.), and three days later a draft petition to parliament was read and
approved.(1786) The petition set forth that in the troublous times during
and after the reign of Charles I the City lost divers large sums of money,
and that by reason of this, as well as of the destruction of the greatest
part of their estate in the great fire and their losses consequent on the
illegal judgment on the _Quo Warranto_, their debts to the orphans had
amounted to a sum far larger than the City was able to pay without the
assistance of parliament. It proceeded to lay before the House the scheme
proposed by the committee, and prayed the House to assist the petitioners
to raise a sufficient sum for an annual payment to be made in lieu of the
said debts, or such other provision for the same as the House might think
fit. On the 27th November leave was granted to bring in a Bill, and on the
3rd December a Bill was brought in and read the first time, but nothing
further appears to have come of it.(1787) On the 6th August, 1692, a
committee was appointed to consider the question how best the City’s
revenues might be improved with the view to the easier discharge of
orphans’ claims. The committee showed itself very active, meeting at least
once and often twice a week. Nevertheless it was not until the 2nd
November it was in a position to make a report to the Common
Council.(1788) What was thought of the committee’s recommendations is not
recorded, but a few days later (11 Nov.) we find the court resolving to
present a petition to parliament in precisely the same terms as their
former petition.(1789)


The matter was allowed to drag on until the 17th February of the next year
(1693), when a committee was appointed by the House to prepare and bring
in another Bill. A Bill was accordingly brought in on the 20th, read the
first time on the 21st, read the second time on the 22nd and committed.
Before the Bill passed through committee the City desired to be heard by
counsel against the Bill on the ground that it divested the City of all
its revenues, deprived it of much of its ancient and necessary
jurisdiction, and would not answer the ends proposed.(1790) In March
progress was reported, but before anything further could be done the House
was prorogued.(1791)


When the House re-assembled in November (1693) the City again presented a
petition in terms similar to their former petitions. The petition having
been referred to a committee of the whole House that committee reported
(17 Feb., 1694) to the following effect,(1792) viz., that (1) a
rent-charge of £8,000 per annum should be set aside out of the City’s
revenues towards payment of interest due to orphans, (2) that the City
should be permitted to raise a sum not exceeding £2,000 per annum upon
personal estates in the city to satisfy the orphans’ debts, (3) that the
patentees of a new kind of glass light known as convex lights(1793) should
contribute an annual sum of £600, (4) that an additional duty of 4_d._ per
chaldron should be imposed upon coal entering the port of London and 6_d._
per chaldron on coals imported into the city for a term of fifty years
commencing from the determination of the duty already existing in respect
of re-building St. Paul’s, (5) that an additional duty of 4_s._ should be
laid on every tun of wine entering the port of London, (6) that the
improvements about to be made in the water supply of the city(1794) should
also contribute, and lastly (7) that every person bound apprentice in the
city should contribute 2_s._6_d._, and every person made free of the city
5_s._ towards the same object.


A Bill(1795) was subsequently introduced embodying these resolutions, but
with an additional proviso that when the tax of 6_d._ per chaldron on
coals, to be imposed for a term of fifty years, should cease the City’s
lands should be charged with an annual sum of £6,000 over and above the
rent-charge of £8,000 previously mentioned. The Bill was read the first
and second time on the 22nd February, and the third time on the 12th
March. A few days later (21 March) it passed the Lords without amendment,
and on the 23rd received the royal assent.(1796)


On the 6th March (1694) the lord keeper came to the Guildhall, accompanied
by the lords of the treasury, to ask the Common Council for a loan of
£200,000, upon security of the land tax, for naval and military purposes.
The court at once assented, and before the end of the month the whole
amount had been paid into the exchequer.(1797) The money was raised in the
usual way from the inhabitants of each ward and from the livery companies.
The Corporation itself was by no means well off, and encouragement was
given to anyone who could suggest a means whereby the City’s revenues
could be increased.(1798) Recourse was had, among other things, to
nominating for sheriff the least suitable men for the office, and such as
would prefer paying the fine to serving. In no other way can one
reasonably account for the fact that the fines for refusing to undertake
the office of sheriff amounted for this year (1694) to over £5,000.(1799)


This loan was but as a drop in the ocean compared with the necessities of
the times. The estimates for the year 1694 were enormous. The army, which
was already the largest standing force that England had ever seen, was to
receive a large increase, whilst considerable sums of money were required
for payment of arrears, no less than for the future expenses, of the navy.
Notwithstanding the renewal of the land tax, the imposition of a poll-tax,
the revival of stamp duties, and the raising of a million of money by a
lottery loan, there yet remained a large deficit before the estimated
revenue of the year balanced the estimated expenditure. At this juncture
Charles Montague, poet, politician and _savant_, took up a scheme
propounded to government three years before by William Paterson, an
enterprising if not always successful Scotsman, but allowed to drop. This
scheme was none other than the formation of a national bank. The idea was
not altogether a new one. Before the close of the reign of Charles II
several plans of the kind had been suggested, some being in favour of
establishing such a bank under the immediate direction of the Crown,
whilst others were of opinion that its management should be entrusted to
the Corporation of the city. It was now proposed to raise the sum of
£1,200,000 for the use of the government by way of loan at eight per cent.
interest, the subscribers being incorporated by the name of the Governor
and Company of the Bank of England. The matter was introduced into
parliament for the first time on the 28th March, in the shape of a Bill
for granting their majesties certain tonnage duties on wine, ale and other
liquors.(1800) Although it was not easy to recognise in the terms of the
Bill the germ of "the greatest commercial institution that the world had
ever seen,"(1801) it met with considerable opposition in the House, and
still more outside. With their recent experience of the evils arising from
a rich and powerful body like the East India Company, men were cautious in
allowing a Corporation to be erected in their midst which, as many feared,
would absorb the wealth of the nation,(1802) and might render the Crown
independent of parliament and people. This last consideration was not
unimportant, and, in order to avert the possibility of such a danger, a
clause was inserted in the Bill forbidding under the severest penalties
the new Corporation advancing money to the Crown without the authority of
parliament.(1803) Subject to this and other conditions the Bill passed the
Commons, and on the 24th April was agreed to by the Lords.(1804)

At the head of the Commission, issued under the Great Seal for the
establishment of the new bank, stood the name of the lord mayor, Sir
William Ashurst; and out of the twenty-four original directors at least
four rose to be chief magistrate of the city, whilst others are known to
have taken an active part in the affairs of the municipality.(1805) In the
city the undertaking met with a success beyond all expectation. The very
first day (21 June) that the subscription lists were opened at Mercers’
Hall nearly £300,000 was received, and within a week that amount was
doubled. Sir John Houblon, who succeeded to the mayoralty the following
year, and became the first Governor of the Bank, subscribed £10,000, the
largest amount any one individual was allowed by the terms of the charter
to subscribe before the first day of July. The same amount was subscribed
by the lords of the treasury on behalf of the queen. By mid-day of the 2nd
July the whole of the money (£1,200,000) had been subscribed and the books
closed.(1806) The Great Seal was put to the bank charter, and business was
commenced in the hall of the Grocers’ Company.

Hitherto, as we have seen, the city of London had always acted (as indeed
it claimed to be) as the king’s Chamber, and the occupier of the throne of
England for the time being had never hesitated to draw upon this Chamber
whenever he was in need of money. The mode of procedure was nearly always
the same. The lords of the treasury would appear some morning before the
Common Council, and after a few words of explanation as to the necessities
of the time, would ask for a loan, offering in most cases (we are bound to
confess) undeniable security. Supposing that the Council agreed to raise
the required loan, which it nearly always did, the mayor for the time
being was usually instructed to issue his precept to the aldermen to
collect subscriptions within their several wards, whilst other precepts
were (in later times at least) sent to the master or wardens of the livery
companies to do the same among the members of their companies. There were
times, also, when the companies were called upon to subscribe in
proportion to their assessment for supplying the city with corn in times
of distress.(1807) Times were now changed. Instead of applying to the City
for an advance in case of need, the king thenceforth drew what he required
from the Bank of England. During the remainder of his reign William only
applied twice to the City for a loan: once, towards the close of 1696,
when he required money for the army and navy, and again in 1697, when it
was necessary to pay off his continental allies and lay up the navy after
the peace of Ryswick (10 Sept.).(1808) The City, in its corporate
capacity, was no longer to be the purse of the nation.


In December of this year (1694)—soon after his return from an unsuccessful
campaign—William suffered an irreparable loss by the death of the queen.
The old adage touching an ill wind received a curious exemplification at
Queen Mary’s death, for although that event sent down the stock of the
Bank of England three per cent., it benefited the East India Company by
causing a rapid rise in the price of muslin, a commodity of which we are
told that company happened to possess a large quantity.(1809) The Court of
Aldermen put themselves into mourning,(1810) whilst the Common Council
voted an address of condolence to the king and ordered statues
("effigies") of both king and queen to be erected at the Royal
Exchange.(1811) The king followed the advice given to him by the city
fathers not to suffer too much "resentment" over his recent loss, and
diverted himself by practising shooting on horseback in Richmond Park
whilst his dead wife was still above ground.(1812)


The funeral did not take place until the 6th March (1695). In anticipation
of that event the Court of Aldermen had some time since (18 Jan.)
appointed a committee to consider of the right and title of the lord
mayor, aldermen and sheriffs of the city to their mourning and their
places in the funeral procession, as also of the mourning due to the
several officers of the city. Four days later (22 Jan.) the committee
reported(1813) to the effect that they had found from the records of the
city that it had been the custom for the lord mayor, aldermen, recorder,
sheriffs and the principal and other officers of the city to have mourning
allowed them by the Crown at the public interments of kings and queens,
but as to the places and precedency of the lord mayor and aldermen on
those occasions the committee had only found one instance of a funeral
procession, and that was at the funeral of Henry VII, when it appeared
that the aldermen walked "next after the knights and before the great
chaplains of dignitys and the knights of the garter being noe lords." The
lord mayor (the report went on to say) was not named in the procession,
but at the mass and offering at the interment it appeared that the lord
mayor, with his mace in hand, offered next after the lord chamberlain, and
the aldermen who had been mayors offered next to the knights of the garter
and before the knights of the body, after whom came those aldermen who had
not been lord mayor.(1814) The committee concluded their report by
recommending that a deputation should wait upon the Privy Council and
assert the right of the Court of Aldermen to mourning. The representation
thereupon made had the desired effect and the usual mourning was allowed
by warrant (29 Jan.).(1815) The citizens marked their respect for the late
queen by shutting up their shops on the day of the funeral.(1816)


The session of 1695 of William’s first parliament was signalised by the
discovery of a system of wholesale corruption. That every man had his
price was scarcely less true in William’s day than it was in the later age
of Sir Robert Walpole. The discovery of one delinquent guilty of receiving
money for services, real or supposed, quickly led to another, until
suspicion turned upon the City of London itself. A rumour rapidly gained
ground to the effect that the funds of the City as well as those of the
East India Company had been largely employed in winning the favour of men
in power, and the name of Sir John Trevor, the Speaker of the House of
Commons, was mentioned among others.


On the 7th March the House appointed a committee to investigate the
matter, with power to send for persons and papers.(1817) On the 12th the
committee reported to the House that they had discovered an order of a
committee appointed by the Corporation for the purpose of seeing the
Orphans’ Bill through parliament, dated the 12th February, 1694,
authorising the payment of 1,000 guineas to the Speaker, Sir John Trevor,
as soon as the Bill should pass. This order, they said, was signed by
every member of the committee except Sir James Houblon and Mr. Deputy
Ayres, and was endorsed to the effect that the money had been delivered
and paid to the Hon. Sir John Trevor on the 22nd June, 1694, in the
presence of Sir Robert Clayton and Sir James Houblon, brother of Sir
John.(1818) When summoned to account for his having refused to sign the
order of the committee whilst allowing himself to witness the actual
payment of the money to the Speaker, Sir James excused himself by saying
that he had accompanied Sir Robert Clayton, at the latter’s request,
professedly for the purpose of thanking the Speaker for his pains about
the Orphans’ Bill; that this being done, the Chamberlain, who had gone
with them, pulled out a note or bill which he handed to the Speaker, but
as to the nature of the note or bill Houblon declared himself to have been
ignorant until subsequently informed by the Chamberlain. Other members of
the Corporation Committee also gave evidence as to the warrant for payment
of the money having been originally made out with a blank space left for
the name of the payee. The report further declared that sums of money had
been paid to Paul Godrell, clerk of the House of Commons, to the city
solicitor, the solicitor-general and the chairman of the Corporation
Committee in respect of the Orphans’ Bill, whilst the orphans themselves
had been prevailed upon to give security for the payment of five per cent.
on their whole property to certain other parties who professed to be able
to render valuable services in the event of the Bill being passed.(1819)


By the time that the reading of the committee’s report to the House was
finished it was growing dusk, and candles were called for. A resolution
was then moved and put to the house by Trevor himself, that the Speaker,
by receiving a gratuity of 1,000 guineas from the city of London after
passing of the Orphans’ Bill, had been guilty of a high crime and
misdemeanour. The resolution was passed, and four days later (16 March)
Trevor was expelled the House.(1820)


A month later (18 April) the House of Lords were busy investigating the
conduct of the Marquis of Normanby in accepting, and of the Corporation of
the City in granting, a lease of a certain plot of land lying behind
Clarendon House, part of the City’s estate known as Conduit Mead. It was
shown by oral and documentary evidence that a longer lease than usual had
recently been granted (Jan., 1695) to the marquis as "a gratification," he
being a person of distinction who had shown himself very friendly to the
interests of the City and likely to continue so.(1821) Negotiations for a
lease had been commenced so far back as January, 1694, "before the
Orphans’ Bill was on the anvill in the House of Commons."(1822) It was not
denied that the City entertained the hope that the marquis would use his
interest in expediting the passage of the Bill, and that this hope had
been realised. On the other hand it was shown that when the marquis learnt
that one of the conditions of the lease was that he should "covenant" to
procure an Act of Parliament for settling some doubts of title to the land
conveyed, he at once declared that such a thing was not in his power, but
lay with the king, the lords and the commons; nevertheless, he consented
to use his best endeavours in that direction. The marquis, it was said,
had also been indiscreet enough to divulge certain proceedings of the
House of Lords in the matter of the Convex Lights, and this formed the
subject of an investigation by the House at the same time as the granting
of this lease. After careful consideration the House entirely acquitted
his lordship of blame in both cases.(1823)


In considering the City’s action in respect of the Orphans’ Bill we must
not forget to take into account the condition of the age. It was one in
which peculation and venality were predominant. Nearly every official who
was worth the buying could be bought, and the world thought none the worse
of him provided that these pecuniary transactions were kept decently
veiled. The "gifts and rewards" bestowed by the City with the object of
expediting the passage of the Orphans’ Bill were as nothing compared with
the vast sums which the East India Company was reported to have disbursed
in order to obtain the confirmation of its charter. It was the practice
when Sir Thomas Cook was in power for the directors of the company to sign
warrants for any sum that he might require without demanding particulars
from him. In seven years (1688-1694) more than £100,000 had been disposed
of for the company’s "special service," nearly £90,000 of which had been
disbursed whilst Cook was governor (1692-1693).(1824)


A parliamentary committee endeavoured to obtain some account as to how
this large sum of money had been expended, but could learn nothing more
than that it had been spent on the "special service" of the company and
that a great part of it had been entrusted to Sir Basil Firebrace.(1825)
Firebrace denied this, but confessed to having received upwards of £16,000
for which he had accounted to the company. The committee’s report
proceeded to inform the House that the company had spent considerable sums
of money, under the guise of contracts, in buying up the interests of
"interlopers" and getting them to join the company. They had found Sir
Samuel Dashwood, Sir John Fleet, Sir Thomas Cook (all aldermen of the
city), Sir Joseph Herne and John Perry to have been cognisant of these
proceedings, but they being members of parliament the committee did not
think fit to send for or examine them.(1826) Acting upon the committee’s
report, the House called upon Sir Thomas Cook (26 March) to give an
account of the sum of £87,000 which he had received of the company’s
money, and upon his refusing committed him to the Tower.(1827) A Bill was
within a few days introduced into the House for compelling Cook to make
disclosure and rapidly passed (6 April).(1828) In the Upper House the Bill
met with the strongest denunciation by the Duke of Leeds (who saw in it
considerable danger to himself), as also by Cook himself, who was brought
from the Tower for the purpose of allowing him to plead against the
passing of such a Bill. At the Bar of the House the latter earnestly
implored the Peers not to pass the Bill in its present form. Let them pass
a Bill of Indemnity and he would tell them all. The Lords considered his
request reasonable, and after a conference with the Lower House it was
agreed that the Bill should take the form of an Indemnity Bill, and so it
was passed (19 April), a joint committee of both Houses being appointed to
examine Cook and others.(1829)


His examination, which took place in the Exchequer Chamber on the 23rd
April, confirmed the committee’s previous suspicions.(1830) The sum of
£10,000 had been paid (he said) to Sir Basil Firebrace about November,
1693, when the charter of the East India Company had been confirmed, and
he had always been under the apprehension that Firebrace had pocketed the
money "to recompense his losses in the interloping trade." A further sum
of £30,000 had been paid to Firebrace on various contracts. There had been
a contract involving the payment of £60,000 on account of procuring a new
charter, and another of the value of £40,000 on account of getting the
charter sanctioned by an Act of Parliament, but as no Act was passed this
latter contract fell through. There was a further sum of £30,000 which had
been lost to the company on account of certain stock it had agreed to
purchase from Firebrace at the price of £150 per cent. at a time when the
company’s stock was standing at par. Firebrace had always refused to give
him any account as to how this money was disposed of, and had declared
that "if he were further pressed he would have no more to do in it." Such
was the sum and substance of Cook’s confession so far as it affected


The next day (24 April) Firebrace appeared before the committee. As to the
£10,000 he had received from Cook, that was (he said) a gratuity which had
been given to him before the granting of the charter. The other sum of
£30,000 was due on a contract "for favours and services done." He was
positive that both sums were intended "directly for himself and for the
use of no other person whatsoever"; that he paid nothing thereout towards
procuring either charter or Act, nor had promised to do so. He
acknowledged himself to have been very active in his endeavours to gain
over interlopers, and to improve the stock of the company, but when
pressed by the committee for particulars he asked to be excused giving an
immediate answer on the score of ill-health; he had not slept for two
nights and was much indisposed.(1831) On the 25th and following day he was
well enough to volunteer further evidence incriminating the Duke of Leeds.
He told the committee of an interview he (Firebrace) had had with Sir
Thomas Cook, when the latter expressed his apprehension lest the passing
the East India Company’s charter should be opposed by the lord president.
They had then agreed to endeavour to win his lordship’s favour by an offer
of 5,000 guineas. That sum had been actually left at the duke’s house, and
it was only returned on the morning the enquiry opened. After the payment
of the money both Cook and himself had enjoyed free access to the duke and
found him willing to give them his assistance.(1832)


Among others who gave evidence was Child himself, who acknowledged that he
had suggested an offer of £50,000 to the king in order to induce his
majesty to waive his prerogative and allow the company to be settled by
Act of Parliament. William, however, was impervious to a bribe and
declined to meddle in the matter.


The result of the enquiry was that the Duke of Leeds was ordered to be
impeached, whilst Firebrace and Cook were committed to the Tower.(1833)
They recovered their liberty in April, 1696, and in July, 1698, Firebrace
was created a baronet.(1834)


In July, 1702, the rival companies were content to sink their differences,
and a union was effected.(1835) Shortly before this took place the Old
Company voted the sum of £12,000 as a free gift to Cook for his past
services.(1836) Firebrace, who had used his best endeavours to bring about
the union, brought an action against the Old Company for compensation for
his services, but consented to drop all proceedings on receiving stock in
the company to the amount of £10,000.(1837) In 1704 Cook was elected
mayor, but the state of his health not allowing him to serve, he was
discharged. He died in September, 1709.(1838)


On Sunday the 12th May, 1695, William again set out for the continent, and
did not return until the 10th October. The great feature of the campaign
was the brilliant siege and recovery of the town of Namur, which had been
lost to the allied forces three years before. Baulked in a proposed design
against the king’s person by his unexpected departure, the Jacobites had
to content themselves with other measures. On the 10th June, the birthday
of the unfortunate Prince of Wales, a number of them met at a tavern in
Drury Lane. Excited by wine they sallied forth, with drums beating and
colours flying, and insisted on passers by drinking the prince’s health.
This roused the indignation of the neighbours, who sacked the tavern and
put the revellers to flight, one of the ringleaders being seized and
afterwards committed to Newgate.(1839) When, in the following August, the
whole of London was on the tiptoe of excitement, waiting for news of the
fall of Namur, the citizens were suddenly amazed at the sight of a
horseman in military uniform riding through the main streets and
announcing that William had been killed. That the wish was father to the
thought became sufficiently clear to the by-standers when they heard the
man declare with pistol in hand and sword drawn that he would kill anyone
who denied the truth of his statement. A serious disturbance was avoided
by his being incontinently dragged from his horse and carried before the
lord mayor, who committed him to prison.(1840)


When the king returned in October, with the laurels of victory fresh on
his brow, he determined to seize the favourable opportunity for dissolving
parliament. The result of the elections for a new parliament—the first
triennial parliament under a recent Act—justified the course he had taken.
The citizens, who had been among the first to welcome him on his arrival
in London, and whose sheriffs—Edward Wills and Owen Buckingham—he had
recently knighted,(1841) instead of returning Tory members, as in the late
parliament, returned four Whigs, viz., three aldermen, Sir Robert Clayton,
Sir John Fleet and Sir William Ashurst, and one commoner, Thomas Papillon.
The election was strongly contested, a poll being demanded by three other
candidates, viz., Sir William Pritchard, Sir Thomas Vernon and Sir William
Russell, against the return of Clayton, Ashurst and Papillon. The result
of the poll, however, left matters undisturbed.(1842) The contest in
Westminster was more severe than in the city, but, like the latter, ended
in a victory for the Whigs. Cook, who was still a prisoner in the Tower,
again contested Colchester, but lost his seat.(1843) On the 22nd November
the Houses met.


The king’s return was a signal for fresh action on the part of the
Jacobites. It was resolved to assassinate William on his return from
hunting in Richmond Park. The management of the conspiracy was entrusted
to Sir George Barclay, a Scotch refugee, who succeeded in getting together
a small band of men willing to take part in the desperate enterprise. The
plot was, however, discovered, and some of the leading conspirators
arrested. On the evening of Sunday the 23rd February (1696) the lord mayor
(Sir John Houblon) was summoned to the Privy Council and informed of the
narrow escape of the king. He was charged to look well to the safety of
the city. On Monday morning all the city trained bands were under arms,
and on Tuesday the Common Council voted a congratulatory address to the
king upon his escape.(1844)


By that time parliament had been informed of what had taken place. The
Commons immediately suspended the Habeas Corpus Act and agreed to enter
into an association for the defence of their king and country. An
instrument was forthwith drawn up whereby each individual member of the
House pledged himself to uphold King William and William’s government
against James and his adherents, and in case his majesty should meet with
a violent death to unite with one another in inflicting condign vengeance
on his murderers, and in supporting the order of succession to the crown
as settled by the Bill of Rights. On Tuesday (25 Feb.) the House was
called over; the association engrossed on parchment lay on the table, and
every member present went up and signed, those who from sickness or other
cause were absent being ordered to sign the document on their first
appearance in the House, or publicly declare from their seat in the House
their refusal to do so.(1845) The next day the Common Council of the city
unanimously resolved to enter into the like association, the livery
companies of the city being afterwards called upon by the mayor to do the


For weeks and months strict search was made in the city for Papists and
suspect persons,(1847) and among them for Sir John Fenwick, for whose
arrest a proclamation was issued on the 22nd March.(1848) He was
eventually captured whilst making his way to the coast for the purpose of
escaping to France, and was committed to Newgate. When a motion was made
in November for proceeding against him by Bill of Attainder the sheriffs
of London surrendered their charge to the sergeant-at-arms of the House of
Commons. After his execution on Tower Hill in January of the following
year (1697) some officers of Sheriff Blewet, whose duty it had been to
keep watch over Fenwick by night and day whilst lying in Newgate, had to
apply to the Court of Aldermen before they could get the sheriff to pay
them the money (£9 10_s._) due to them for that service.(1849)


The discovery of the assassination plot had the result of rendering
William’s seat on the throne more secure than ever, and won for him the
unqualified support of parliament. Early in February (1696) a Bill had
been brought in to exclude from the House every person who did not possess
a certain estate in land. The Bill met with much opposition in commercial
circles, and more especially in the city of London,(1850) and the king
being unwilling to estrange those merchants and traders who had so often
assisted him, exercised his prerogative and declined to give his assent to
the Bill. Thereupon some violent Tories moved that whoever advised the
king to take this course was an enemy to him and the nation; but the House
displayed its loyalty by rejecting the motion by an overwhelming majority
and ordering the division list to be published.(1851)


The City was not behindhand in renewing its assurances of loyalty. The
liverymen of the several companies assembled in the Guildhall for the
election of a mayor on Michaelmas-day passed a resolution to stand by the
king with their lives and fortunes, and desired the city members of
parliament to see that a searching enquiry were made into the late
conspiracy as the best means of preserving the king’s person, establishing
the government, and reviving trade and credit.(1852)


At the time when this resolution was passed the king was expected home
from the continent, whither he had gone in May last. During his absence
there had occurred a monetary crisis—the first since the establishment of
the Bank of England—which, after causing for several months a great amount
of distress, was destined to be succeeded by a long period of unbroken
prosperity. An Act had recently been passed for calling in all clipt money
and substituting milled money in its stead,(1853) and the crisis was
brought about by the old money being called in before the new money was
ready for issue. Saturday, the 2nd May, was practically the last day clipt
money was received by the exchequer. Three days later the stock of milled
money in the coffers of the Bank of England at Grocers’ Hall had run out,
and the governor of the Bank, Sir John Houblon, who happened at the time
to be also lord mayor, had to propitiate the numerous claimants for the
new money by offering them part payment in the old coin and the rest in
the new as soon as it was minted.(1854)


Towards the end of July matters became worse. In spite of the
extraordinary activity displayed by the Mint authorities, at the Tower and
in divers parts of the country, the supply had not equalled the demand,
yet a large sum of money was now imperatively demanded for payment of the
army on the continent. The king himself had written to say that unless the
money was forthcoming his troops were ready to mutiny or desert. Nothing
less than a million would satisfy the requirements of the army in
Flanders, a like sum was wanted for the navy, whilst half that amount was
necessary for the army in England.(1855) How was this enormous sum to be
raised? It was thought that the City might vote something towards it, but
the Chamberlain declared that any proposal for a loan at that time would
with difficulty be carried into execution owing to the scarcity of
money.(1856) Some private individuals, however, managed to raise £200,000
for the king, whilst others, like Sir Josiah Child, Charles Duncombe and
Sir Joseph Herne, were prepared to stand security for £300,000 more, which
the Dutch were ready to advance. After long deliberation the Bank of
England agreed (15 Aug.) to advance another £200,000.(1857) These sums
sufficed for the more immediate wants of the king, and allowed time for
the issue of the new currency.


The campaign of 1696 had been carried on in a very desultory way. All
parties were anxious for a peace. Towards the end of April, 1697, William
once more crossed over to Flanders,(1858) and the French king having for
the first time shown a disposition to come to terms, it was arranged that
a congress should meet near the Hague. The result of the congress was the
conclusion (10 Sept.) of the Peace of Ryswick, whereby Louis consented to
acknowledge William’s title to the throne. The news was received in the
city four days later with every demonstration of joy; the Tower guns were
discharged, flags hung out, bells set ringing and bonfires lighted.(1859)


The Court of Aldermen resolved to give the king a more than ordinary
reception on his return. Search was made for precedents as to the manner
in which former kings had been received on their return from progresses or
from parts beyond the sea, and these precedents, from the time of Edward
IV down to that of King Charles II, were duly reported to the court by a
committee appointed to make the search.(1860) The committee was next
instructed to consider of suitable ways and methods for the reception of
his majesty if he should be pleased to pass through the city, and on this
also the committee reported with elaborate detail.(1861) These and other
preparations were all made under the apprehension that the king was about
to return immediately. Weeks went by and no king appeared. The Court of
Aldermen availed themselves of the delay to put the finishing touches to
the programme of welcome that was to be accorded him, and to commit into
custody any suspicious character they found.(1862) At length, after long
and impatient expectation, news came that the king had landed at Margate
on the 14th November.(1863) By the following night his majesty reached
Greenwich and rested in the handsome building which, at the desire of his
beloved queen, had been recently converted from a palace into a hospital
for disabled seamen.(1864)


The lord mayor immediately issued his precept to the several livery
companies (they had received a previous warning to prepare for the
occasion on the 1st October)(1865) to be ready in their stands by eight
o’clock on the morning of Tuesday the 16th November, well apparelled and
with all the ornaments of their companies before them.(1866) That morning
witnessed one of the finest sights that had ever been seen in the city of
London, famous as it always had been for its pageantry. No expense had
been spared in providing new gowns for the magistrates and new banners for
the companies. The mayor, aldermen and sheriffs rode out "in their
formalities" as far as Southwark, where they met the king, and where the
usual ceremony took place of surrendering the civic sword into his
majesty’s hands, to be immediately returned to the lord mayor. This done,
the procession was formed, and the king was escorted with trumpets and
kettle-drums through the entire length of the city, the streets being
guarded by the six regiments of trained bands, and the houses rendered
bright with hangings of tapestry.(1867)


On Wednesday the mayor, aldermen and sheriffs, accompanied by the
recorder, waited upon his majesty and congratulated him on the peace and
on his safe return. The king in reply thanked them, and conferred the
honour of knighthood upon the sheriffs, Bartholomew Gracedieu and James


The rejoicings terminated with a thanksgiving service at St. Paul’s (2
Dec.), the work of Sir Christopher Wren being sufficiently advanced to
admit of divine service being held there. The mayor and aldermen attended
in state. The king did not attend lest his presence should draw off
congregations from other churches; but he attended service in his private
chapel at Whitehall. Not only in London but throughout the kingdom the day
was solemnly observed, whilst the night was given up to festivity and


When, in 1698, the first triennial parliament had run its course and a new
election of members for the city took place all the old members retained
their seats except Sir Robert Clayton. His place was taken by Sir James
Houblon, a Tory. On this occasion the election for the city did not take
place until the returns of many constituencies in the country had been
made known. As a rule the returns of the metropolitan constituencies were
looked forward to as an augury of the political complexion of the coming
parliament. This parliament was not allowed to live its full time, but was
dissolved in December, 1700, a new parliament being summoned to meet in
the following February (1701).(1870) Sir Robert Clayton regained his seat,
and with him were returned Sir William Ashurst (who headed the poll),
Gilbert Heathcote and Sir William Withers.(1871) Upon Heathcote being
declared by parliament disqualified to sit owing to a technical breach of
trust his seat was taken by Sir John Fleet.(1872)

(M935) (M936)

After the death of James II at St. Germains (5 Sept., 1701) Louis broke
his vow (made at Ryswick) not to do anything to disturb or subvert the
government of England, and forthwith proclaimed the late king’s son to be
heir to his father’s throne. The whole English nation was stirred against
the French king for having dared to acknowledge as their sovereign the boy
who had been held to be supposititious and whose title to the crown had
been rejected by parliament. The citizens of London were among the first
to express their loyalty to William and their readiness to do their utmost
to preserve his person and government against all invasion. The king was
on the continent at the time, but an address to this effect, unanimously
agreed to by the Common Council (26 Sept.), was forwarded to him by the
lords justices, who held the reins of government during his absence, and
who in due course were instructed to inform the City of the great
satisfaction its address had afforded his majesty. The example thus set
was quickly followed by others, and similar addresses began to flow in
from all parts of the kingdom,(1873) whilst the City’s address was by the
king’s orders translated into foreign languages for transmission to the
several courts of Europe.(1874)


A few hours before the City’s address reached the hands of the lords
justices the citizens had assembled (29 Sept.) in Common Hall to choose a
mayor for the ensuing year. Sir Charles Duncombe, who had amassed a large
fortune as a goldsmith and banker, and who, although returned by the
livery at the head of the poll the previous year, had been set aside by
the Court of Aldermen in his contest for the mayoralty probably on account
of his Tory principles,(1875) was again put up as a candidate, although in
point of seniority he was one of the youngest aldermen. This time he
failed to get a majority of votes at the Common Hall, but his popularity
was still sufficiently strong to return him second on the poll, and his
name was submitted in conjunction with that of William Gore to the Court
of Aldermen for them to select one. It was quite within their province to
select if they chose the second name submitted to them—they had frequently
done so before—but in the face of Louis’s recent act of insolence they
preferred to call to the mayoralty chair a man whose Tory principles were
not too pronounced rather than one who had accepted an alderman’s
commission from James II, and Sir William Gore was accordingly declared


The parliament which assembled in February, 1701, enjoyed a still shorter
existence than its predecessor, for it was dissolved in the following
November. Another was summoned to meet in December.(1877) Great excitement
prevailed in the city over this election. The Whigs met at the Crown
Tavern behind the Exchange and agreed to put up three of the old members,
viz., Clayton, Ashurst and Heathcote, and to run a fresh candidate in the
person of Sir Thomas Abney. The Tory or "Church party" opposed these
candidates with four others, viz., Sir William Gore, the lord mayor, Sir
John Fleet, Sir Richard Levett and Sir Charles Duncombe, the recently
defeated candidate for the mayoralty. When it came to polling all four
Whigs were returned by an overwhelming majority.(1878) This was the last
parliament of William’s reign. On the 20th February (1702) he was thrown
from his horse whilst riding in Richmond Park and broke his collar-bone.
His health had previously shown signs of giving way. On the 8th March he



On the day that William died the Lords Spiritual and Temporal met together
and, "with the assistance" of the Privy Council, a number of other
"principall gentlemen of quality" and the lord mayor, aldermen and
citizens of London, proceeded to draw up a document proclaiming the
Princess Anne successor to the crown. The day happened to be Sunday;
nevertheless on that same afternoon public proclamation of the queen’s
accession was made at Temple Bar and the Royal Exchange in the presence of
the mayor and Court of Aldermen, whilst the sheriffs were despatched to
learn when her majesty would be pleased to receive the aldermen.(1879)

(M940) (M941)

Two days later (10 March) the Common Council voted an address condoling
with the queen on the death of the late king and congratulating her upon
her accession.(1880) The Court of Aldermen resolved to put themselves into
"close" mourning, each alderman providing himself with a mourning gown at
his own expense, whilst the Chamberlain was instructed to provide similar
gowns for the chief officers of the Corporation at the City’s expense, as
had formerly been done on the demise of Charles II.(1881) They further
resolved, with her majesty’s permission, to cause her portrait to be
painted and to be set up in the Guildhall and a statue of her to be set up
at the Royal Exchange. It was found on enquiry that the statues of kings
and queens already in the Royal Exchange had been set up at the expense of
the companies, except those of William and Mary, which (as we have seen)
were erected by order of the Common Council. On the other hand, the
pictures of Charles II, James II and of William and Mary had all been paid
for by the Chamber. Artists were invited to send in sketches or designs
for her majesty’s picture; and this having been done, the work was
entrusted to Closterman.(1882)


At the coronation, which took place on the 23rd April, the mayor, aldermen
and twelve representatives of the principal livery companies were present,
care having been taken by the City Remembrancer that their proper places
were assigned them both in the Abbey and at the subsequent banquet in
Westminster Hall. The civic dignitaries started from the city as early as
seven o’clock in the morning in order to be at Westminster Hall by eight
a.m. The mayor was provided at the City’s expense with the customary gown
of crimson velvet for the occasion, the sword-bearer being only a little
less resplendent in a gown of damask.(1883)


Before the Revolution it had been the custom for parliament to cease to
exist immediately on the demise of the crown. It was held that inasmuch as
the king was the head of the parliament, and as the members of a living
body could not continue to exist without a head, so a parliament could not
continue without a king, but must with the death of the king, _ipso
facto_, itself expire. The inconveniences arising from this had at length
become so apparent that an Act had recently been passed permitting a
parliament in existence at the demise of the crown to be continued for a
period of six months after such demise.(1884) By virtue of this Act the
parliament, which had met for the first time on the 30th December, 1701,
was allowed to sit, notwithstanding the king’s death, until dissolved in
July, 1702.


The "good" Queen Anne, warmly attached as she was to the Church of
England, was naturally inclined towards the Tories in preference to the
Whigs, and lost no time in dismissing Somers, Halifax and other Whig
ministers of the late king and filling their places with Tories. Her
action in this respect influenced the coming elections more especially in
the city of London, where a new commission of lieutenancy appointed by the
queen had already turned out six colonels of Whiggish proclivities and had
put in their place others of a different political character.(1885)


Only one of the old Whig members managed to retain his seat, viz., Gilbert
Heathcote, who had recently been elected alderman of Walbrook ward in the
place of Sir John Moore, deceased, and who may have inherited some of the
Tory principles of his predecessor together with the aldermanic gown.
There is nothing like office for chastening a man’s political opinions.
However this may have been, his three colleagues elected to serve with him
in the coming parliament were also aldermen of the city and staunch
Tories. These were Sir William Pritchard, Sir John Fleet and Sir Francis
Child. A scrutiny had been demanded by Clayton, Ashurst and Abney, the
defeated candidates, but it failed to disturb the result of the
poll.(1886) Clayton was successful in finding a seat for Bletchingley, co.


When Michaelmas-day came round and Sir Samuel Dashwood—a tried Tory who
had sat for the city in the only parliament convened under James II, as
well as in the first parliament under William and Mary—was elected to the
mayoralty chair, the choice of the citizens was highly commended by the
lord keeper,(1888) and the queen accepted an invitation to dinner on lord
mayor’s day. It was proposed to invite both Houses of Parliament to the
city on that occasion, but it was found that the accommodation at the
Guildhall was insufficient for the purpose.(1889) The cost of the
entertainment to her majesty was not thrown on the Chamber, but was
discharged by the aldermen, each of them agreeing to subscribe the sum of
£25 for the purpose. The entertainment, however, was given on so lavish a
scale that these contributions had to be doubled, in addition to which the
outgoing as well as the incoming mayor contributed £300 respectively and
each of the sheriffs £150. The whole cost of the entertainment amounted to
£2,000.(1890) The queen acknowledged the hospitality thus offered by
conferring the honour of knighthood upon Francis Dashwood, brother of the
lord mayor, Richard Hoare, the goldsmith of Fleet Street, Gilbert
Heathcote, the city member, and upon "Mr. Eaton," the linendraper, of
Cheapside, from whose house she had witnessed the pageant.(1891)


Scarce a fortnight elapsed before the queen again visited the city (12
Nov.), the occasion being a public thanksgiving service in St. Paul’s for
the successes of Marlborough, Ormond and Rooke. In July Marlborough had
opened the campaign against France and Spain, war having been declared
against those countries on the 4th May,(1892) and although he had been
unable to bring the enemy to a general engagement he had succeeded in
reducing several important towns and in cutting off the communications of
the French with the Lower Rhine. At sea the English and Dutch combined
fleets under the command of Sir George Rooke, with a large number of
troops on board under the command of the Duke of Ormond, had succeeded in
capturing a rich booty in Vigo Bay.(1893) Both Houses of Parliament
attended the service. The order of the procession and the distribution of
seats within the cathedral are given in detail in a report laid before the
Court of Aldermen (15 Dec.).(1894) The queen, who was attired in purple,
and wore her collar and George, was met at Temple Bar by the mayor,
aldermen and sheriffs on horseback. The city sword, having been presented
to her majesty and restored to the mayor, was carried by him next before
her majesty’s coach to the cathedral. The streets from St. James’ to
Temple Bar were lined by the Westminster militia, and from Temple Bar to
Ludgate by two regiments of the city trained bands. The balconies and
windows were hung with carpets and tapestry. On arriving at St. Paul’s her
majesty was met at the door by the Peers and escorted to the choir of the
cathedral by the Duke of Somerset and the lord chamberlain, the sword of
state being borne before her by the Duke of Ormond. The spectacle which
presented itself inside St. Paul’s on this occasion has scarcely ever been
equalled. Opposite the altar, on a throne of state, sat the queen. The
Peers were accommodated with seats in the body of the choir, whilst the
Commons sat in the stalls and upper galleries on either side. In the two
lower galleries next the throne sat the foreign ministers and ladies "of
quality." There were two other galleries near the altar, one on the north
side and the other on the south side of the church. The latter was
occupied by the mayor, aldermen and sheriffs, whilst the former was
occupied (as usual) by their ladies. The sermon was preached by the Bishop
of Exeter. The night was given up to bonfires and illuminations.(1895)


Two years later the city’s minster—now rapidly approaching completion—was
again the scene of a similar gathering, the occasion being a thanksgiving
service for a signal victory gained by Marlborough over the French and
Bavarian forces at Blenheim, near Hochstadt in Germany (2 Aug.,
o.s.).(1896) The 7th September was set apart as a day of public
thanksgiving.(1897) The City in the meanwhile voted (30 Aug.) an address
to her majesty(1898) congratulating her on the success that had attended
her arms and complimenting her on her judgment in selecting Marlborough
for the command, whose courage and conduct had "settled the tottering
empire, relieved Savoy, chastised the Elector of Bavaria, and curbed the
ambition of the French king." They prayed that her majesty might long live
a terror to her enemies, a defence to her injured neighbours and a delight
to her subjects. The next day (31 Aug.) the mayor issued his precept to
the several livery companies to prepare their rails, stands, banners and
other usual "ornaments of triumph" with the view of taking up such
position in the street as should be assigned to them.(1899) Several of the
companies, viz., the Girdlers, the Scriveners and the Glovers, refused to
obey the precept, and were thereupon summoned before the Court of Aldermen
to answer for their conduct, whilst others like the Dyers, the Cooks and
the Poulterers were excused.(1900) A little difficulty arose touching the
seats assigned by the lord chamberlain in St. Paul’s to the civic
dignitaries, who claimed the right to occupy the seats and places where
they usually sat, the more so on this occasion because, parliament not
being then in session, the members of neither House were to be in
attendance. How matters were eventually arranged does not appear, but the
Court of Aldermen up to the last moment were emphatic in their resolution
that the lord mayor should insist on keeping his place in the cathedral,
and a week later (14 Sept.) appointed a committee to search for precedents
as to the place occupied by the mayor and aldermen in processions and
their seats in St. Paul’s on occasions of any king or queen coming there
to hear a sermon.(1901) In other respects everything passed off well.


On the morning of the 14th December Marlborough arrived in London,
bringing in his train Marshal Tallard and other general officers whom he
had made captive at Blenheim. On the 20th an invitation was sent for his
grace to dine with the Court of Aldermen and the sheriffs at Goldsmiths’
Hall, the residence of Sir Owen Buckingham, the lord mayor, on any day he
might name. The invitation having been graciously accepted for the 6th
January, the duke was further requested to bring with him what company he
pleased, for his grace would find none others there besides the lord
mayor, aldermen and sheriffs to entertain him. Each alderman and sheriff
was called upon to subscribe the sum of £25 towards defraying the cost of
the entertainment.(1902)

On the day appointed the duke was conveyed to the city in one of her
majesty’s own coaches, accompanied by the Duke of Somerset, the foreign
ministers and a large number of the nobility and general officers of the
army. At Temple Bar he was met by the city marshal, by whom he was
conducted to Goldsmiths’ Hall. There a "noble treat" was set out for the
guests, "the queen’s musick playing all the while, and everything
performed in great splendor."(1903) The Common Council acknowledged the
great public spirit thus displayed by the Court of Aldermen and the
sheriffs by passing an unanimous vote of thanks to them.(1904)


In the meantime, whilst Marlborough had been so successfully carrying on
the work which the late king had set himself to do, the city of London had
been busy setting its house in order. The poor were with them in greater
numbers than ever. The statute (13 and 14 Chas. II, c. 12) passed in 1662
for the better relief of the poor of the kingdom, authorising the erection
of workhouses, necessitated the expenditure of a great deal of money, and
a sum amounting to nearly £5,000 had to be periodically raised for the
purpose by assessment of the several parishes of the city.(1905) Besides
this there was a yearly sum of £8,000 due by the City to the orphans and
its other creditors, a sum which exceeded the City’s yearly revenue. The
consequence was that the City had become greatly in debt. To remedy this
state of affairs various methods were resorted to. An attempt was made at
the commencement of the present reign to get the queen’s sanction for
compelling every governor, deputy governor, or committeeman of both the
East India companies to take up the freedom of the City. The question was
referred to the attorney-general, whose opinion on the matter was duly
reported to the Common Council.(1906)

On the 1st July, 1703, another committee was appointed to examine the
state of the Chamber, and to consider of ways and means for its supply and
for the support of the government of the city. On the 18th August this
committee recommended to the Common Council that an exact survey of all
the City’s estate should be made in each ward by the alderman and his
deputy, and that such surveys should be sent to the town clerk so that
they might be entered in a book. The court approved of the recommendation,
and ordered that it should be carried out "with all expedition
imaginable."(1907) The City’s markets,(1908) the City’s beams(1909) and
everything else that could be let on lease were let at improved rentals,
and everything that could be sold was sold. On the 4th November (1703) the
lord mayor (Sir John Parsons) informed the Common Council that towards the
payment of the City’s debts his lordship and the two sheriffs had agreed
to lay before the court certain papers showing (1) what the several places
under the Corporation would sell for, (2) what the lord mayor himself and
the sheriffs were willing to take for their share of each place, and (3)
what part of the purchase-money might be devoted to the liquidation of the
City’s debts.(1910)

The schedule is an interesting one as showing the value attached to
various offices under the City. Thus a water-bailiff’s place would sell
for £2,200, a sword-bearer’s for £2,500, and that of a clerk of the
Chamber for as much as £2,600 (the highest of all), whilst a City
solicitor could purchase his place for £1,500, and a City remembrancer
could do the same for £1,200. The scheme proposed by the mayor and
sheriffs on this occasion affected no less than one hundred and
sixty-three places of employment, and was simplicity itself, being nothing
more than that they themselves and their successors should forego
one-third of the value of any place that became vacant during their year
of office, and that this third should be devoted to payment of the City’s
liabilities. The total value of these purchaseable places amounted to
£107,860, one-third of which, viz., £35,953 6_s._ 8_d._, would, if this
proposal were carried out (and _if every place fell vacant within the
year_), be available for the discharge of the City’s debts. In a second
schedule were set out certain other places filled chiefly by artificers,
who, by their extravagant charges, had contributed (it was said) in no
small degree to the City’s indebtedness. These were to be excluded from
the scheme, much to their disappointment. When any one of them died,
surrendered his place or was dismissed from it for just cause, his place
was not to be filled up, and the payment of 10_s._ a week, more or less,
which such artificer had been in the habit of receiving from the City,
"work or not work," was to cease.

The proposals thus laid before the Common Council met with the approval of
the court, and the committee was instructed to embody them in a Bill. A
Bill was accordingly drawn up and read the first time on the 4th February,
1704. It passed on the 24th,(1911) and the thanks of the Common Council
were returned to the mayor and sheriffs for their generous offers.


In March, 1705, Marlborough sailed for Holland to resume the campaign. By
July he had succeeded in forcing the French lines which stretched across
the country from Namur to Antwerp. For this success another thanksgiving
service was held at St. Paul’s, and attended by the queen in person (23
Aug.).(1912) Had the general been allowed a free hand by his Dutch allies
a decisive battle might have been fought. The Dutch officers refused,
however, to co-operate in an attack, and Marlborough had to give way with
the best grace he could.


During Marlborough’s absence the parliament of 1702, which would soon have
terminated by efflux of time under the provisions of the Triennial Act,
had been dissolved (5 April) and a new one summoned. Once more the
political pendulum swung back and a Whig parliament was returned. The
Tories rather injured than aided their cause by raising the cry that the
Church was in danger, whilst the Whig party was daily increasing in favour
not only with the queen, who highly resented such a cry, but also with
Marlborough and Godolphin. In the city both parties put up four
candidates, but when the poll was declared it was found that all four
Whigs had been returned by an overwhelming majority.(1913) One of the
results of an understanding arrived at between Marlborough and the Tory
leaders with the Whig Junto was a modification of an article in the Act of
Settlement, which, after the accession of the House of Hanover, would have
otherwise debarred ministers and other placemen from the House of Commons.
A compromise was effected whereby only those who enjoyed a pension or
office created after the 25th October, 1705, were to be disqualified from
sitting in the House, whilst all other offices were declared compatible
with a seat if the holder presented himself to his constituents for
re-election at the time of his appointment.(1914) This arrangement is
still in force, although the necessity of it has long since disappeared.


After a brief stay in England, where he had arrived at the opening of the
new year (1706), Marlborough again crossed over to Holland before the
spring. A few weeks only elapsed before he gained fresh laurels by another
signal defeat of the French at the little village of Ramillies (12 May,
o.s.).(1915) On the 24th May the Common Council voted an address to the
queen congratulating her majesty on the victory.(1916) The 27th June was
set apart as a day of public thanksgiving, for which the City made the
usual preparations.(1917) But seeing that these gala days followed so
closely on one another the Court of Aldermen resolved that the new crimson
velvet gown with which the lord mayor was furnished on these occasions at
the City’s expense should no longer be appropriated by him, but should be
carefully laid up by the hall keeper for future use.(1918) At the humble
request of the lord mayor (Sir Thomas Rawlinson) her majesty graciously
consented to bestow the trophies and colours recently taken in Flanders
upon the City to the intent that they might be hung up in the Guildhall.
It was not, however, until the 19th December, when the Duke of Marlborough
was sumptuously entertained at Vintners’ Hall, that twenty-six standards
and sixty-three colours, taken at Ramillies, were brought into the city in
great state, there to be displayed on the walls of the Guildhall.(1919)


These successes were not achieved without great expenditure of blood and
money. At the close of the previous year (1705) the lord mayor had
received an order under the royal sign manual requiring him and the Court
of Aldermen to forthwith impress 1,000 men—such as had no visible means of
subsistence—for service by land or sea,(1920) whilst in the following
March (1706) it was found necessary to open a subscription at Mercers’
Chapel for furnishing Prince Eugene with £250,000 to assist him in
carrying on the campaign in Italy. Notwithstanding the depressed state of
the Corporation finances, the city abounded in wealth, and by the close of
the first day no less than £160,000 of the whole loan had been
underwritten, Sir Gilbert Heathcote, Sir William Scawen, Sir James Bateman
and Sir Henry Furnese making themselves each responsible for the sum of
£4,000.(1921) With the pecuniary assistance thus afforded him, and with
the reinforcements which Marlborough despatched to him from Holland, the
prince was enabled to raise the siege of Turin (7 Sept., 1706).


It was not long before the crimson velvet gown was again brought into
requisition. So great success had attended the allied armies in 1706 that
the queen ordered another day of public thanksgiving to be kept on the
last day of the year, when she paid another solemn visit to St. Paul’s,
accompanied by both Houses of Parliament. Strange to say the records of
the Court of Aldermen are absolutely silent as to the preparations made
for the occasion, but from another source we know them to have been on the
same scale as formerly, and we may depend upon it that the crimson velvet
gown was there.(1922)


The city was at this time in great danger from the passage of large
quantities of gunpowder through the streets on its way to the Tower. One
can realise the immense risk which the merchant and trader ran in pursuing
his regular vocation when one reads that on the 10th July (1706) a cart
with iron-bound wheels and laden with twenty-five barrels of gunpowder had
been overturned on Fish Street Hill and the gunpowder scattered. Nor was
this the only accident that had occurred; the wonder is that the entire
city had not been blown up long since, seeing that gunpowder was a
commodity dealt in by grocers! The Common Council took the matter up and
made a representation to the queen.(1923) Next year a Bill was introduced
into the House of Commons by Sir Gilbert Heathcote and Samuel Shepheard,
two of the city members, for preventing the dangers arising from bringing
or laying up quantities of gunpowder within the city and liberties, but
before the Lords and Commons could come to an agreement parliament was
prorogued (24 April, 1707).(1924) The municipal authorities were not
content to let matters rest here, but prepared a petition to parliament
for leave to bring in another Bill. The petition was ordered to lie on the
table (24 Feb., 1708),(1925) and in the meantime the citizens had to be
satisfied with an undertaking already given by powder-makers not to carry
any gunpowder to any wharf or stairs within half a mile of London


The Articles of Union between England and Scotland having, after prolonged
discussion, been ratified by both the English and Scottish parliaments and
received the formal assent of the Crown, a day of public thanksgiving (1
May, 1707) was ordered to be observed for the happy conclusion of the
treaty between the two kingdoms. A proclamation had previously been issued
(29 April) constituting the existing Houses of Lords and Commons the first
parliament of Great Britain for and on the part of England, whilst sixteen
peers and forty-five commoners were to be elected to represent Scotland in
the same parliament. The first meeting was to take place at Westminster on
the 23rd October.(1927) Meanwhile addresses of congratulation to the queen
arrived from various parts of the kingdom; but in consequence of the
Article of Union declaring the Presbyterian form to be the true Protestant
religion, no such address came from the University of Oxford. It was
otherwise with the city of London, where Presbyterianism had always been
in favour. On the 9th May the Common Council voted an address to her
majesty congratulating her upon the happy union of the two kingdoms, a
blessing which Heaven (they declared) had reserved for her to accomplish,
who was the true and sincere lover of piety, unity and concord.(1928)


The Londoners entertained sincere affection for Queen Anne, and lost no
opportunity of showing their loyalty. Such an opportunity presented itself
in the spring of the following year (1708), when Scotland was threatened
by a French invasion in favour of the Pretender. The citizens hastened to
assure her that the French preparations inspired them—her majesty’s most
dutiful and loyal subjects—with no terror. The repeated tenders of their
lives and fortunes were (she was asked to believe) not empty words, but
they would be ready when occasion offered to demonstrate to the world
their unfeigned loyalty in support of her majesty and the maintenance of
the Protestant succession against the Pretender and all other enemies at
home and abroad.(1929)


Not satisfied with mere assurances of support, parliament proceeded to
pass a Bill "for the better security of her majesty’s person," by virtue
of which the oath of abjuration was to be administered to all suspected
persons, and those who refused it were to be at once treated as convict
recusants. The Habeas Corpus Act was suspended, and the House of Commons
engaged to make good any extra expense her majesty might be put to by
reason of this threatened invasion.(1930) On Tuesday, the 30th March, a
letter from the Privy Council was read before the Court of Aldermen in
which the magistrates of the city were commanded to meet as soon as
possible for the purpose of tendering the oath, according to the
provisions of the recent Act. The court thereupon gave orders for precepts
to be immediately issued to the deputies and common councilmen of the
several wards requiring them to return a list in writing under their hands
to the town clerk of all disaffected or dangerous persons found in their
wards. The returns were to be made before the end of the week.(1931) This
could have been no easy matter considering the number of particulars that
were to be set out in the return according to the terms of the precept.
The deputy and common councilmen of each ward were called upon to
distinguish (1) all Papists or reputed Papists, (2) all such as preached
in or frequented Jacobite meetings, (3) all non-jurors, _i.e._, such as
had refused to take the oaths appointed to be taken in place of the oaths
of supremacy and allegiance, (4) all such as were found guilty of casting
aspersions upon her majesty and the government, (5) all persons suspected
of holding correspondence with her majesty’s enemies abroad, and lastly
(6) all spreaders of false and seditious reports. The christian names and
surnames of each and all of these, together with their place of abode,
were to be returned in less than a week in order that they might be
summoned and have the oath tendered to them.(1932)


On the 1st April parliament was prorogued; a fortnight later it was
dissolved and writs for a new parliament were sent out on the 26th,
returnable on the following 8th July.(1933) Although the Whigs again
obtained a majority in the country, and although they succeeded before the
end of the year in ousting all Tories from the ministry, they were losing
ground in the city of London. In November last Withers, the lord mayor,
had obtained Clayton’s seat (on the latter’s decease) in the Tory interest
as already mentioned.(1934) He was again returned after a close contest
with Sir Samuel Stanier, and with him another Tory in the person of John
Ward, who subsequently became an alderman and sat in the first parliament
of George I. The other two seats were retained by the Whigs, Ashurst and


Before the elections were over news arrived of another victory gained by
Marlborough. The French had been utterly defeated at Oudenarde (30 June,
o.s.).(1936) The fact that the Common Council allowed some weeks to slip
by before voting a congratulatory address to the queen(1937) may possibly
be accounted for by the growing strength of the Tory party in the city,
with whom the war was never in favour. The victory was followed before the
close of the year by the capture of Lille, one of the strongest fortresses
in Flanders, and the recovery of Bruges and Ghent, which had fallen into
the hands of the French general, Vendôme.(1938)


The general joy which succeeded the victory of Oudenarde was damped by the
somewhat sudden death of Prince George of Denmark, the queen’s husband.
For some time past the prince had been suffering from asthma, but it was
not until Monday, the 25th October, that graver symptoms appeared.(1939)
On that day he was attacked with dropsy and hæmorrhage, and the Court of
Aldermen thought so seriously of the attack that three days later (28
Oct.) they instructed the City Remembrancer to repair daily to Kensington
to enquire after the prince’s health.(1940) That same afternoon, however,
the prince died, and the City’s address, presented to the queen a month
later, whilst congratulating her on her victories abroad, condoled with
her majesty on the loss she had sustained at home.(1941) The sad event
happening so close upon lord mayor’s day, when Sir Charles Duncombe was to
be sworn into office, the customary pageant on such occasions was
foregone, the mayor-elect contenting himself with driving to Westminster
Hall attended only by some of his brother aldermen.(1942)


After a futile attempt to arrange terms for a cessation of hostilities
both parties again took the field. Tournay having been reduced by the
allies under Marlborough and Eugene, they next proceeded to threaten Mons.
In order to protect this stronghold Villars, the French marshal,
entrenched himself at Malplaquet. From this post, however, the allies
succeeded in driving him after a "very bloody battle," in which the
victors lost more men than the defeated (31 Aug., o.s.).(1943) The
citizens of London, in an address to the queen, expressed their delight at
the prospect of the French king being soon compelled to accept
terms.(1944) Tuesday, the 22nd November, was ordered to be observed as a
day of public thanksgiving for the victory of "Blaregnies," by which name
the battle of Malplaquet was sometimes known.(1945)


Before another campaign was opened the ascendancy of the Whigs had passed
away. They had rendered themselves the more obnoxious to the citizens by
the passing of an Act for the naturalization of foreign Protestants,(1946)
the result of which had been to overcrowd the city with needy foreigners
at a time when there was a great scarcity of provisions. A cry was raised
that the price of corn and bread was being enhanced by the action of
forestallers, and the lord mayor was instructed by letter from Sunderland
(3 Oct., 1709) to put the law in force against all engrossers,
forestallers and regraters of corn. The mayor in reply assured the
secretary of state that there were no such engrossers in the city, but
that the present dearness was caused by the exportation of large
quantities of corn and grain to foreign countries. The city authorities
had, moreover, been informed that wheat was selling in the north of
England at 40_s._ a quarter and less. They therefore suggested that
government should furnish a sufficient convoy for the purpose of bringing
it to London.(1947) The representation as to the evils arising from
exportation of corn had the desired effect, for a Bill was shortly
afterwards passed limiting such importation,(1948) whilst another Bill was
passed for regulating the assize of bread.(1949)

(M965) (M966)

The bitter feeling against the Whigs engendered by their overbearing and
dictatorial conduct whenever in power was increased by a sermon preached
at St. Paul’s on the 5th November before the lord mayor and aldermen by
Dr. Sacheverell, a high church Tory. Taking for his text the words of the
Apostle, "In perils among false brethren" (2 Cor., xi, 26), the preacher
advocated in its entirety the doctrine of non-resistance, condemned every
sort of toleration, and attacked with much bitterness the Dissenters. Sir
Samuel Garrard, who had but recently entered on his duties as lord mayor
(having been elected in place of Sir Jeffery Jeffreys, who had been
excused from office on the ground of ill-health),(1950) was himself also a
high Tory, and as such was greatly pleased with the sentiments put forth
by Sacheverell. He congratulated the preacher on his sermon, and is said
to have expressed a hope that it would be printed. If so, it would appear
to betoken some doubt in his mind as to his brother aldermen consenting to
print such a polemical discourse. As a rule all sermons preached on state
occasions before the mayor and aldermen were ordered by the court to be
printed as a matter of course, the sum of forty shillings being voted
towards the expense. Two sermons recently preached before them, one at St.
Paul’s and the other in the church of St. Lawrence Jewry, were so ordered
(8 Nov.) to be printed by the court; but when on the same day the question
was put to them that Dr. Sacheverell should be desired to print his sermon
it was negatived.(1951) Sacheverell took no notice of this rebuff, but
printed the sermon on his own responsibility and at his own expense, with
a prefatory dedication to the mayor.(1952) The sermon was immensely
popular with the high church party, and a large number of copies were
circulated, much to the disgust of the Whigs.


At length the ministry resolved to take proceedings against the author. On
the 13th December a complaint was made to the House of Commons of this
sermon, as well as of another sermon of similar character which had been
preached by Sacheverell before the judges at the last summer assizes at
Derby. After some debate the House resolved that both these sermons were
"malicious, scandalous and seditious libels highly reflecting upon her
majesty and her government, the late happy revolution, and the Protestant
succession as by law established," and ordered that Dr. Henry Sacheverell
and Henry Clements, his publisher, should attend at the Bar of the House
the next day.


Accordingly the next day (14 Dec.) the doctor and the bookseller appeared.
Sacheverell owned that he was the author of the two discourses, and gave
an account of what had taken place between himself and the lord mayor; but
whilst expressing his regret at having incurred the displeasure of the
House, he showed no contrition for the doctrines he had promulgated. The
lord mayor, who was present in the House in his capacity as member for
Agmondesham, was thereupon asked if he had given any orders for causing
the sermon preached at St. Paul’s to be printed, but he denied having done
so.(1953) The doctor being called upon to retire, the House resolved to
impeach him of high crimes and misdemeanours and in the meantime committed
him to the custody of the sergeant-at-arms. Application was made a few
days later for bail to be allowed, but this the House refused.(1954) It
was, however, subsequently granted by the Lords, but at a very high
amount, viz., Sacheverell himself in £6,000 and two sureties in £3,000
respectively. One of these sureties was no other than the Vice-Chancellor
of Oxford University, of which Sacheverell was a member.(1955)


It was originally intended that the trial should take place at the Bar of
the House of Lords, but as the Commons insisted upon being present as a
committee of the whole House, the Lords appointed Westminster Hall to be
the place of trial and instructed Sir Christopher Wren to make the
necessary preparations as speedily as possible.(1956) The trial commenced
on the 27th February and continued for three weeks. Day after day as
Sacheverell passed from his lodgings in the Temple to Westminster Hall and
home again his coach was besieged by crowds striving to kiss his hand and
shouting "Sacheverell and the Church for ever!" So again when the queen,
impelled by curiosity, attended the trial, as she did on more than one
occasion, shouts were raised as she passed on her way of "God bless your
majesty and the Church! we hope your majesty is for Dr. Sacheverell!" Had
the mob confined itself to this kind of demonstration little harm had been
done. Unfortunately it allowed itself to be carried away by excitement and
took to attacking meeting-houses and damaging the property of
Dissenters.(1957) The arguments on both sides having at last been
concluded, the Lords, by a narrow majority, pronounced Sacheverell guilty.
They did not venture, however, to proceed against him with any greater
severity than to order his sermons to be burnt at the Exchange by the
common hangman, in the presence of the lord mayor and sheriffs, and to
prohibit him from preaching for the next three years.(1958) Such a
sentence was virtually a victory for the Tories and a defeat of the Whigs.
Lord mayor Garrard contrived to escape the humiliation of presiding over
the burning of a sermon of which he in his heart approved, and this part
of the sentence was carried out in his absence under the supervision of
the sheriffs.(1959) The verdict was welcomed in the city with
illuminations and bonfires, accompanied with some little tumult and
disorder. The queen complained to the Court of Aldermen by letter, and
thereupon the court appointed a committee to investigate the recent riots
(27 March, 1710). The result was that the ringleaders were arrested and
bound over to the sessions.(1960) The streets were flooded with republican
pamphlets which the House ordered to be burnt by the common hangman.(1961)
Addresses were sent in from all parts of the country, some in favour of
the existing parliament, but the majority advocated a speedy
dissolution.(1962) The Common Council voted an address (but only by a
small majority) in which her majesty was assured of the City’s hatred of
all "anti-monarchical principles," its continued loyalty to her person and
government, its zeal for the Church of England, its tender regard for
liberty of conscience and its resolution to maintain the Protestant
succession. The address concluded by saying that in obedience to her
majesty’s commands the civic authorities would do their utmost care to
prevent and suppress riotous assemblies.(1963) The address, together with
one from the lieutenancy of London, was presented to the queen on the 13th


The queen seized the opportunity afforded her by this outburst of Tory
enthusiasm to get rid of the Whig ministry. For some time past she had
been anxious to free herself from Marlborough and the domineering
influence of his wife. During the trial of Sacheverell Marlborough had
been on the continent. In view of the approaching struggle between Whigs
and Tories, both parties preferred to be relieved of his presence. To this
end Sir Gilbert Heathcote, one of the Whig members for the city, had moved
an address to her majesty (16 Feb.) praying she would order the duke to
Holland, "where his presence will be equally necessary to assist at the
negotiations of peace and to hasten the preparations for an early
campaign."(1965) The address, having received the unanimous assent of both
Houses, was graciously received by the queen, and Marlborough had set out.
In his absence the queen proceeded cautiously to effect her object. One by
one the Whigs were removed from office and their places filled up by
Tories. Sunderland was the first to go, the seals being transferred to
Lord Dartmouth. It was feared in commercial circles that his dismissal
betokened a general change of ministry and that a panic would follow. The
queen, however, assured Sir Gilbert Heathcote, at that time governor of
the Bank of England, that she had no immediate intention of making further
changes, but that if any were made she would take care that they should
not be prejudicial to the bank or to the common cause.(1966)
Notwithstanding the assurances thus given, less than two months elapsed
before Godolphin was made to follow Sunderland. After this many of the
Whig ministers resigned, whilst others waited to be turned out.

(M971) (M972)

A few weeks after the dismissal of Godolphin the queen insisted on
dissolving parliament, and writs were issued (27 Sept.) for a new House to
meet in November.(1967) Harley, who was the queen’s chief adviser, having
failed in an attempt to form a coalition of Tories and moderate Whigs,
placed all his hopes in the result of a general election. Every effort was
made to get a Tory majority returned, and with success. Bishop Burnet,
whose Whiggish proclivities are apparent in every page of his history,
took no pains to disguise his opinions as to the way the elections were
generally carried out, and more particularly in the city of London. "While
the poll was taken in London," he writes,(1968) "a new commission for the
lieutenancy of the city was sent in, by which a great change was made;
Tories were put in and Whigs were left out; in a word, the practice and
violence now used in elections went far beyond anything that I have ever
known in England." If freedom of election was to count for anything, the
worthy bishop entertained grave doubts as to the new parliament being a
representative parliament at all. Only one of the old members was returned
by the city, viz., Sir William Withers. With him were elected another
alderman of the city, viz., Sir Richard Hoare, who had been defeated in
the Tory interest at the last election, Sir George Newland and John
Cass,(1969) who afterwards became an alderman, and who, at his decease,
left money for the foundation of a school in the parish of St. Botoph,


The new House of Commons being strongly Tory, Harley and St. John found
themselves compelled to form a purely Tory ministry. On the 27th the queen
delivered a speech in person, reflecting, as was supposed, the policy of
the new ministry. To carry on the war with the utmost vigour was, she
declared, the surest way of procuring a safe and honourable peace for
England and her allies, and in February of the following year (1711)
Marlborough was despatched for the avowed purpose of carrying this policy
into execution, the Commons being called upon to furnish supplies. Yet in
the midst of all this Harley commenced opening secret negotiations for a
peace with France, regardless of the interests of England’s allies. By
September (1711) these negotiations had so far progressed that
preliminaries for a peace were actually signed, but for fear lest the
favourable terms obtained for England should provoke the jealousy of the
Dutch a garbled edition of the treaty was specially prepared for the
edification of our allies. Such was the political morality of the age!


The High Church party being in power, the queen took the opportunity of
enlisting their support for a project she had much at heart. For some time
past the want of new churches in the fast increasing suburbs of London had
engaged the attention of convocation, by whom the matter had been
represented to the queen. Her majesty now commended "so good and pious a
work" to the attention of the Commons, a commendation which received
additional force from the presentation of petitions from ministers of
various parishes in and around London for assistance in carrying out
repairs. The Commons showed considerable zeal in the matter, declaring, in
their reply to her majesty’s address, that neither the long expensive war
in which they were engaged nor the pressure of heavy debts should hinder
them from granting whatever was necessary.(1970) A Bill was accordingly
brought in (18 May) for the purpose of building fifty new churches,
computing 4,750 souls to each church, as well as for providing annual sums
of money to be expended on the completion of Westminster Abbey and
Greenwich Hospital. The cost was to be defrayed by a further duty on coal.
By the 28th May the Bill passed the Commons.(1971)


In June (1711) parliament was prorogued and did not meet again before
December. A compromise was then effected which reflected little credit
upon either of the political parties, but secured the passing of the
Occasional Conformity Bill, a Bill on which the queen and the high Tories
had set their hearts, but which had already been defeated twice by the
Lords. The object of the Bill was to inflict penalties upon those
Dissenters who, having qualified themselves to sit as common councilmen or
as officers in corporations or elsewhere by receiving the Sacrament,
afterwards betook themselves to places of worship where the Book of Common
Prayer was not used, and where neither the queen nor the Princess Sophia
were prayed for.(1972)


In September (1711) party spirit ran high in the city, the occasion being
the election of an alderman for the ward of Broad Street in the place of
Sir Joseph Woolfe, deceased. No less than four candidates were nominated
by each side, two out of each four being already aldermen. The Tory or
Church party were represented by Sir William Withers and William Lewen,
aldermen, Sir George Newland and Sir Robert Dunkley, commoners. The Whigs
or Dissenters advocated Sir John Houblon and Sir Samuel Stanier, aldermen,
Sir John Scott and Gerrard Conyers, commoners. The wardmote was held at
Drapers’ Hall, and was presided over by Sir Gilbert Heathcote, the mayor,
a strong Whig. It appears from a newspaper of the day(1973) that although
the mayor caused the Act of Common Council, setting forth the
qualifications of persons who had a right to vote on the occasion, to be
read at the wardmote, he refused to make proclamation that those who were
not qualified should depart from the hall. The result was that a large
number of foreigners and other unqualified persons voted. The lord mayor
having declared the show of hands to be in favour of the four Whig
candidates, a poll was demanded, which reversed the mayor’s decision. A
scrutiny was next asked for and allowed, but the mayor steadily refused to
express any opinion as to who of the voters were qualified and who were
disqualified without first consulting counsel. The result of the scrutiny
was declared (27 Oct.) by the mayor to be in favour of all four Whig
candidates, and on the following day he made a report to that effect to
the Court of Aldermen, who thereupon elected Gerrard Conyers alderman of
the ward. The mayor’s decision, however, was challenged, and a motion was
made in the Queen’s Bench for setting it aside as being manifestly wrong
and not in accordance with the number of lawful votes. After Heathcote’s
year of office had expired the assistance of the Common Council was
invoked in support of the rights of electors against such arbitrary
proceedings as had recently taken place. The court agreed to the necessary
legal expenses being defrayed by the Chamber.(1974)

The practice of nominating as many as four candidates for a vacant
aldermanry had prevailed since the commencement of the 15th century,(1975)
but the inconvenience arising from this practice became so manifest during
this last election that the Common Council passed an Act before the result
of the election had been declared, abolishing the custom and enacting that
henceforth only two candidates should be put in nomination, one an
alderman and the other a commoner.(1976) Even this number was found too
many, and within three years was reduced to one commoner,(1977) thus
reverting to the primitive custom of the city before it was enacted,
_temp._ Richard II, that two (commoners) _at least_ should be nominated
for every vacant aldermanry.(1978)

In July, 1712, another dispute arose over the election of an alderman. Sir
John Fleet, alderman of the ward of Langbourn, had recently died, and it
was necessary to appoint a successor. Four candidates were put up for the
post, of whom two were to be selected for nomination to the Court of
Aldermen according to the provisions of the recent Act. The wardmote was
opened on the 9th July at Pewterers’ Hall. Sir Robert Beachcroft, the lord
mayor, was himself one of the candidates, the other three being Sir
William Withers, alderman, Sir Samuel Clarke and Peter Delmé, commoners.
The show of hands being declared to be in favour of Withers and Clarke,
two Tories, a poll was demanded on behalf of his lordship and Delmé. The
result, however, was the same, and a scrutiny followed. To the great
surprise of a large body of the electors, the mayor eventually declared
(22 Aug.) the majority of votes to be in favour of himself and Delmé, but
like his predecessor he steadily refused to give any explanation as to how
he had arrived at that conclusion. Again there appeared to be no remedy
but to apply to the Queen’s Bench. The Common Council was again appealed
to (6 Sept.), but whilst the matter was in course of debate the lord mayor
was suddenly taken ill, and the court had to break up before coming to any
resolution on the matter. On the 12th November, however, the council
agreed to assist the petitioners as before, but refused any assistance to
Delmé, who had already been admitted alderman, and was about to be put on
his defence.(1979)


In 1713 the relations between the Courts of Aldermen and Common Council
became still more strained. The latter complained of the city’s business
being hindered from insufficient Courts of Aldermen, and of a newly
elected alderman not having been sworn in on a certain day by reason of
there not being a _quorum_ of aldermen present. On the 15th May a joint
committee of aldermen and commoners was appointed to enquire into the
matter. Six weeks elapsed before the committee was ready with its report.
At length, on the 30th June, the committee certified(1980) that having
examined the minute books of the Court of Aldermen it had found that
between the 24th March and the 15th May last six courts had been summoned
to meet, but for want of a _quorum_ only one full court had been held. On
the other occasions only seven, eight, nine, ten or twelve aldermen
appeared, inclusive of the mayor. The committee also found that the courts
were in the habit of meeting between twelve and one o’clock, and reported
its opinion that such a late hour for meeting was prejudicial to the
citizens and others who had business there.

Touching the other matter which had been referred to them, the committee
found that on the 7th May the lord mayor had reported to the Court of
Aldermen the nomination and election of Sir William Withers, alderman, and
Joseph Lawrence to succeed Sir Owen Buckingham in the aldermanry of the
ward of Bishopsgate; that Withers declining to remove, had moved that
Lawrence should be called in and sworn, according to the provisions of the
Act of 1711 for regulating the elections of aldermen; that thereupon a
petition was offered and part of the Act was read; that after some debate
Lawrence was sent for and came into court; that upon the Common Sergeant
being called in to give his opinion seven of the aldermen withdrew from
the court, but one of them presently returned, and after hearing the
Common Sergeant deliver his opinion—viz., that notwithstanding any
petition the court was bound by the Act to admit and swear in
Lawrence—again withdrew, notwithstanding the lord mayor’s expressed desire
that he should remain; that by this means a full court was not kept (only
eleven aldermen being left with the mayor), and so Lawrence, although
present, could not be sworn.(1981) The committee’s report was ordered to
be entered on the Journal and likewise to be forthwith printed and a copy
sent to every member of the Common Council.


In the meantime the queen had been persuaded to dismiss Marlborough on his
return to England (Nov., 1711) from all his offices, and to place the Duke
of Ormond, a strong Tory, in command of the English forces in the
Netherlands. Negotiations with France were simultaneously pushed on, in
spite of a personal visit which Eugene himself paid to London (Jan., 1712)
in the hope of obtaining a continuance of English support for carrying on
the war. The presence of the illustrious prince was heartily welcomed by
the Whigs, by whom he was hospitably entertained. On the 15th January a
motion was made in the Court of Aldermen and carried to the effect that
the court was prepared to join with as many leading citizens (not
exceeding sixty in number) as should be willing in providing an
entertainment by private subscription for his highness, provided they
first obtained her majesty’s permission. Two aldermen were thereupon
nominated to wait upon Lord Dartmouth, principal secretary of state, in
order to learn her majesty’s pleasure. There was nothing unusual in this
proceeding. Nevertheless the idea of the prince being publicly entertained
in the city was so distasteful to the queen and her government that she
found fault with the citizens for daring to approach her with a mere
verbal message (she was suffering from gout at the time),(1982) and
declined to return an answer to any message which was not brought to her
"with the same respect as has always been paid by the city of London to
her predecessors."(1983) That there might be no mistake about the matter
the queen’s answer was sent to the City in writing by Lord Dartmouth. The
Court of Aldermen at once appointed a committee to search the City’s
Records for the purpose of ascertaining how and in what manner messages
had been delivered from the court to her majesty and her predecessors,
whether they had usually been in writing or only verbal. On the 5th
February the committee reported that they found that such messages had
been delivered in a variety of ways: sometimes by the lord mayor alone,
sometimes by two or three aldermen, and at other times by the recorder and
sheriffs only. One instance had been found of a message having been sent
by a single sheriff. Not once did they find that a message had been
delivered in writing.(1984) It need scarcely be said that under the
circumstances all idea of the entertainment was dropt.

In spite of the prince’s high character the greatest calumnies were
whispered against him behind his back. He was said to be conspiring with
Marlborough and the Whigs to raise an insurrection in the streets, fire
the city and seize the person of the queen. A general panic prevailed.
Even the roysterings of a few drunken revellers calling themselves
"Mohocks"(1985)—the successors of the "Roreres" and "Riffleres" of a past
age—were looked upon as signs and tokens of some deep laid plot, so that
more than ordinary precautions had to be taken, both in the city and
elsewhere, to prevent riot.(1986) Finding at length that his presence in
England did not promote his object the prince, after a stay of some weeks,
returned to the Hague.


By the 6th June negotiations with France had so far advanced that the
queen went down to the House of Lords to fulfil, as she said, her promise
of communicating to her parliament the terms of peace before it was
absolutely concluded. What pleased the citizens most in her elaborate
speech was the announcement of the steps taken to secure the Protestant
succession to the House of Hanover and for protecting British commerce.
For these measures they returned to her majesty their hearty thanks, and
expressed their sincere hopes that she might speedily finish the good work
which had advanced so far notwithstanding "the artful contrivances and
envious efforts of a factious and malicious party."(1987) In August a
proclamation was made of a suspension of hostilities,(1988) and on the
31st March, 1713, the Peace of Utrecht was signed.

A fortnight later (14 April, 1713) the Common Council voted a
congratulatory address to her majesty on the conclusion of the peace with
France, but no copy of the address was to be shown to anyone until it had
been actually presented.(1989) On the 5th May the lord mayor and Court of
Aldermen attended at Temple Bar to assist at the proclamation, whilst
Tuesday the 6th July was observed as a day of public thanksgiving at St.
Paul’s. The queen did not attend the service owing probably to
indisposition, and the livery companies were on that account excused
attendance. The mayor and aldermen displayed no little anxiety to have
their proper seats reserved for them in the cathedral.(1990)


Shortly before the conclusion of the peace the term of Sacheverell’s
suspension expired. His popularity became greater than ever. The queen
presented him with the living of St. Andrew’s, Holborn, whilst the House
of Commons, which had formerly condemned him, now invited him to preach
before them.(1991)


The days of Queen Anne were now fast drawing to a close. For some time
past her health had been failing, and at the close of the year (1713) she
was confined to her bed at Windsor. Upon notice of her indisposition being
conveyed to the Court of Aldermen they at once instructed the sheriffs and
the city remembrancer to proceed to Windsor and enquire after her
majesty’s health.(1992) The fact that in the event of the queen’s death
the legal heir, the Electress Sophia, and her son, the Elector of Hanover,
were favourable to the Whig party, drove the Tories to make overtures to
the Pretender, the queen’s brother, who was still living in France,
although by the terms of the Treaty of Utrecht Louis had promised to
abandon his cause. On the 1st February (1714) the queen wrote to the lord
mayor(1993) (Sir Samuel Stanier) informing him that she was recovering her
health and hoped soon to return to her "usual residence." She further
informed his lordship of her determination to open her parliament on the
16th, according to the notice given by proclamation, and desired him to
communicate the same to the Court of Aldermen and to her other loving
subjects of the city. Again the sheriffs and remembrancer were instructed
to go to Windsor and tender the court’s acknowledgments of her majesty’s
favour and to assure her that they would discountenance to the utmost of
their power and put a stop to "those malicious rumours which had been so
industriously spread by evil disposed persons to the prejudice of credit
and the imminent hazard of public peace and tranquility."(1994) Saturday
the 6th was the queen’s birthday, and extra precautions were taken in the
city to prevent tumult or disorder.(1995) A week later her majesty had so
far recovered her health as to meditate returning to town, and the Common
Council prepared (12 Feb.) to greet her with a congratulatory


On the 21st June (1714) a royal proclamation was issued offering a reward
of £5,000 for the apprehension of the Pretender in case he should effect a
landing.(1997) The proclamation afforded the City an opportunity of
further testifying its loyalty to the queen and its determination to
uphold the Protestant succession as by law established, and at the same
time to thank her majesty for passing an Act entitled "An Act to prevent
the growth of Schism"—an Act aimed against the Whigs, and which forbade
anyone keeping a school without licence from the bishop.(1998)


On the morning of Friday the 30th July the queen was seized with her last
illness. Notification was immediately despatched to the lord mayor, who
reported the news to a special Court of Aldermen that afternoon. The
Secretary of State, who had written to the mayor, had desired his lordship
to take immediate steps to preserve quiet in the city. The court, on being
informed of the turn of affairs, despatched the sheriffs, the common cryer
and the water bailiff to Kensington to enquire after the queen’s health
and to assure her majesty that every possible care would be taken to
preserve the peace of the city in any event.(1999) Two days later (1 Aug.)
Anne was dead.



   M1 The accession of James, 24 March, 1603.

    1 Journal 26, fo. 73.

   M2 Correspondence between the king and the City.

    2 Letter to the mayor, etc., of London, 28 March.—Journal 26, fo. 75b.

    3 Letter dated 29th March.—Journal 26, fo. 76. The Court of Aldermen
      allowed Fletcher forty marks towards the expenses of his
      journey.—Repertory 26, pt. i, fo. 119b.

    4 Letter dated Newcastle, 11th April, 1603.—Journal 26, fo. 80. See

   M3 James leaves Edinburgh for London, 5 April.

    5 Journal 26, fos. 78b, 82, 82b, 88.

    6 Journal 26, fo. 81b.

    7 Repertory 26, pt. i, fo. 131b.

   M4 The citizens ride forth to meet him, 7 May.

    8 It is computed that more than 230 knights were created by James on
      his passage from Edinburgh to the Tower. The lord mayor (Lee) was
      knighted at Greenwich on the 22nd May. At the king’s coronation,
      which took place in July, all the aldermen of the city who were not
      already knights were knighted at Whitehall.—Nichols, "Progresses of
      King James I," i, 113n, 120, 234.

   M5 The plague of 1603.

    9 Howes’s Chron., p. 827; Journal 26, fos. 74, 114b, 116b; Repertory
      26, pt. i, fo. 171.

   10 Journal 26, fo. 98.

   11 Repertory 26, pt. ii, fo. 361.

   12 Journal 26, fos. 103b, 122b, 124b, 125b, 127; Repertory 26, pt. i,
      fo. 149b. In May of the following year the king himself lost two
      beagles, which had strayed and probably been killed.—Journal 26, fo.
      211b. In 1611 the queen also lost her dog, and a liberal reward was
      offered for its recovery. The animal was described as being "lowe
      and thicke, of a meene coulor, and his taile turninge up to the
      middle of his backe."—Journal 28. fo. 284.

   13 Journal 28, fos. 116, 126, 126b.

   14 Journal 28, fos. 145, 145b. The Merchant Taylors contributed the
      largest quantity (936 qrs.): they were followed by the Grocers (874
      qrs.), the Mercers (820 qrs.), the Goldsmiths (809 qrs.), next to
      which came the Drapers (768 qrs.) and the Haberdashers (724 qrs.).

   M6 The king’s public passage through the city, 15 Mar., 1604.

   15 The amount at which each company was assessed will be found printed
      from the City’s Records in Nichols’ "Progresses of King James I," i,
      400, 401.

   16 Journal 26, fos. 163, 164, 178, 179b.

   17 Journal 26, fo. 178b.

   18 Journal 26, fos. 186, 188; Repertory 26, pt. ii, fo. 311.

   19 Nichols, "Progresses of King James I," i, 360, 361.

   M7 Catholic plots against the king, June, 1603.

   20 Journal 26, fos. 111, 117b, 118b.

   21 Id., fo. 174.

   M8 The first parliament of James, Mar., 1604.

   22 Return to writ of parliament, 31 Jan.—Journal 26, fo. 171.

   23 For particulars of his life, see Remembrancia (Analytical Index), p.

   24 Id. p. 23n.

   25 Id., p. 176n.

   M9 Proposed union of England and Scotland.

   26 Peace with Spain, for which negotiations had been entered into as
      soon as James came to the throne, was concluded in the summer of
      this year (18 Aug.), but was not acceptable to the nation at large,
      and much less to the citizens of London. "I can assure your
      mightiness," wrote the State’s Ambassador, Caron, "that no
      promulgation was ever received in London with more coolness—yes,
      with more sadness.... The people were admonished to make bonfires,
      but you may be very sure not a bonfire was to be seen."—Motley,
      "United Netherlands," iv, 223, 224. For payments made by the city
      chamberlain to heralds on the occasion of proclamation of the peace,
      see Repertory 26, pt. ii, fo. 436.

   27 James assumed the title of King of Great Britain by proclamation
      dated 20 Oct., 1604.—Journal 26, fo. 271.

   28 King’s writ of proclamation of the union to the mayor and sheriffs
      of London, dated 22 Oct., 1604.—_Id._, _Ibid._

  M10 Attempt to put down purveyance.

   29 The first charter of Edward III, granted to the citizens of London
      (6 March, 1327) with the assent of parliament, expressly forbade the
      king’s purveyors taking goods contrary to the will and pleasure of
      the citizens, except for cash; and no prisage of wines was
      thenceforth to be taken under any consideration.—_Cf._ Stat. 4, Edw.
      III, c. 3; 5, Edw. III, c. 2; 25, Edw. III, c. 1; 36, Edw. III, c.

   30 Journal 27, fo. 36.

   31 Remembrancia, ii, 262 (Analytical Index, p. 409).

  M11 The House of  Commons and Free Trade.

   32 Journal House of Commons, 21 May, 1604, i, 218.

   33 The fact that the custom dues of London amounted to £110,000 a year,
      whereas those of the rest of the kingdom amounted to only £17,000,
      was adduced in support of their case.

   34 Journal House of Commons, i, 218.

  M12 The Speaker and Commons entertained at Merchant Taylors’ Hall, 3
      July, 1604.

   35 Journal House of Commons, 3 July, i. 251, 252.

  M13 Prince Henry becomes a Merchant Taylor, 17 July, 1607.

   36 The Merchant Taylors displayed no little jealousy at the
      Clothworkers having forestalled them; and as the mayor for the time
      being—Sir John Watts—happened to be a Clothworker, it was thought
      that he would do his best to prevent Prince Henry also from joining
      the Merchant Taylors. They accordingly declined to invite the mayor
      and aldermen to the banquet.—Clode’s "Memorials of the Merchant
      Taylors’ Company," pp. 147-160.

  M14 A City loan of £15,000, Aug., 1604.

   37 Journal 26, fos. 241b, 243b; _Cf._ Letter Book BB, fos. 288, 289b.

   38 Letter Book BB, fo. 259b.

  M15 The gunpowder plot, 1604-1605.

   39 The king to the lords commissioners [for the plot], 6 Nov.—Cal.
      State Papers Dom. (1603-1610), p. 241. The "gentler tortoures" were
      to be applied first, "_et sic per gradus ad ima tenditur_."

   40 Journal 27, fos. 3b, 7.

   41 Id., fos. 2b, 5b, 6.

   42 Journal 27, fo. 4.

   43 Journal 27, fo. 5; _Cf._ fos. 14b, 15, 19.

   44 Id., fo. 8b.

   45 Howes’s Chron., p. 881.

   46 Journal 27, fo. 19.

   47 Journal 27, fo. 17.

   48 Howes’s Chron., p. 882.

  M16 Rumour of the king being assassinated 22 March, 1606.

   49 Journal 27, fo. 30b.

   50 Journal 27, fo. 48b.

  M17 Visit of the king of Denmark to England, July, 1606.

   51 Id., fo. 73.

   52 Id., fos. 73b, 75.

   53 Repertory 27, fo. 252b.

   54 Journal 27, fo. 75b.

  M18 The city’s water supply.

   55 Proclamation, 7 July, 22 Eliz. (1580).—Journal 21, fo. 54.

   56 Remembrancia (Index), _s.v._ "Buildings."

   57 Stat. 35 Henry VIII, c. 10.

   58 Stat. 13 Eliz., c. 18.

   59 Journal 21, fo. 251; Journal 22, fos. 47, 53b. The Common Sergeant
      of the city, Bernard Randolph, also rendered him pecuniary
      assistance.—Remembrancia (Index), p. 553.

   60 Repertory 22, fos. 270, 281, 376b.

   61 Repertory 22, fos. 270, 281, 376b.

   62 Journal 23, fos. 209, 210.

  M19 Hugh Middleton and the New River Company, 1609-1613.

   63 The bill was introduced into parliament on the 30 Jan., 1606, and
      passed the Commons on the 30 May.—Journal House of Commons, i, 261,
      310. By Stat. 4 Jas. I, c. 12, the former Act was so far amended as
      to allow the City to convey water underground.

   64 Journal 27, fos. 54, 77, 89b, 144b, 396; Journal 28, fos. 16b, 81.

   65 Journal 27, fo. 89; Repertory 27, fos. 312, 269b.

   66 Journal 27, fo. 377b. Another agreement was subsequently drawn up
      bearing date the 28 March, 1611, and this being executed by
      Middleton the former agreement was ordered to be
      cancelled.—Repertory 30, fo. 100.

  M20 Opposition to Middleton’s work.

   67 The lord mayor to the lords of the council, 10 July,
      1609.—Remembrancia, ii, 347 (Index, pp. 554-555).

   68 See Paper containing "objections against the river," with
      answers.—Cal. State Papers Dom., vol. lxxviii, No. 106.

   69 Journal House of Commons, i, 442, 445.

   70 "Mr. Beaulieu to Mr. Trumbull, resident at Brussells," 9 May,
      1610.—Winwood’s Memorials, iii, 160.

   71 Repertory 29, fo. 231.

  M21 Pecuniary assistance granted to Middleton by James, May, 1612.

   72 Journal 28, fo. 176b.

   73 These "king’s shares," as they were called to distinguish them from
      "adventurers’ shares," were sold by Charles I in 1636 for an annuity
      of £500, entered on the company’s books and paid yearly as the
      "king’s clog." Both classes of shares have become so valuable that
      they have been subjected to frequent sub-division. At a sale by
      auction, which took place in London, 15 Nov., 1893, an undivided
      adventurers’ share fetched £94,900.

  M22 The New River opened, 29 Sept., 1613.

   74 Alderman of Queenhithe and Coleman Street Wards; Sheriff 1603. From
      1624 to 1626 was one of the representatives of the city in
      parliament. His brother Robert had sat for the same constituency in
      the parliament of 1614.—Repertory 26, pt. i, fo. 146b; Repertory 31,
      pt. ii, fo. 282b; Parliamentary Return 1879 (Appendix), p. xxxix.

  M23 Compulsory use of the New River water, 1616.

   75 Remembrancia (Index), p. 557.

   76 Id., p. 558.

   77 Id., p. 559.

   78 The first dividend was paid in 1633.—Smiles, "Lives of the
      Engineers," pp. 130, 131.

  M24 A City loan of £3,000 to Middleton, Sept., 1614.

   79 Repertory 31, pt. ii, fo. 396.

  M25 Middleton created a baronet, Oct., 1622.

   80 In 1611 "James offered the title of baronet to all who would pay the
      exchequer £1,080 in three annual payments, being the sum required
      for the pay of a hundred foot-soldiers for three years."—Gardiner,
      "Hist. of Eng. (1613-1616)," i, 560.

   81 Cal. State Papers Dom. (1619-1623), p. 455.

   82 Remembrancia, iii, 114, viii, 3 (Index, pp. 462-465).

  M26 The City votes Middleton a gold chain, Nov., 1623.

   83 "Court and Times of James I," ii, 433.

   84 Repertory 38, fo. 12; Letter Book II, fo. 51.

   85 Letter Book II, fo. 51b.

  M27 Death of Middleton, 10 Dec, 1631.

   86 Repertory 47, fos. 45b, 58, 89b, 105b, 300b.

  M28 Grant of £1,000 to Lady Middleton, 1634.

   87 Journal 36, fos. 37, 292, 292b.

   88 Repertory 49, fo. 195b.

  M29 The New River Company petition the City for an immediate grant of
      all that had been conveyed to Middleton. 10 June, 1726.

   89 Journal 57, fos. 143b, 144.

  M30 The plantation of Ulster.

   90 Report of Commissioners, 20 Dec., 1608; Second Report, Jan.,
      1609.—Cal. State Papers Ireland (1608-1610), pp. 117, 139.

   91 "Orders and Conditions of the Ulster Plantation."—Cal. State Papers
      Ireland (1608-1610), p. 139. Chichester to the Privy Council, 10
      Mar., 1609.—_Id._, p. 157.

   92 See the City’s Petition to the House of Commons, in Jan.,
      1641.—Journal 39, fo. 164.

   93 Cal. State Papers Ireland (1608-1610), pp. 207-210.

  M31 Motives and reasons to encourage the City to take part in the
      plantation, 28 May, 1609.

  M32 The matter laid before a special Court of Aldermen, 1 July, 1609.

  M33 Referred to the livery companies.

   94 Repertory 29, fo. 52b.

   95 Journal 27, fo. 386b. The following were the companies to whom, in
      addition to the twelve principal companies, the precept was
      sent:—Dyers, Leathersellers, Pewterers, Cutlers, Whitebakers, Tallow
      Chandlers, Armourers, Girdlers, Saddlers, Barber-Surgeons, Plumbers,
      Innholders, Coopers, Joiners, Weavers, Woodmongers, Scriveners,
      Stationers and Embroiderers.

   96 Repertory 29, fo. 60b. The answer of the companies is not entered, a
      blank space being left.

   97 Repertory 29, fo. 61b.

  M34 A conference with the lords of the council.

   98 Journal 27, fo. 387b.

  M35 Commissioners appointed by the City to view the plantation, 1 Aug.,

   99 Journal 27, fo. 398. John "Mun," or "Muns," mercer, was afterwards
      substituted for Hugh Hamersley.

  M36 The system of deception practised on them.

  100 Two letters from the lords of the council to Sir Arthur Chichester,
      3 Aug., 1609.—Philadelphia Papers (Transcripts, Public Record
      Office), vol. i, pp. 498-501.

  101 Sir John Davys to Salisbury, 28 Aug., 1609.—Cal. State Papers
      Ireland (1608-1610), pp. 280-281.

  102 Sir Arthur Chichester to Salisbury, 18 Sept., 1609.—Cal. State
      Papers Ireland (1608-1610), pp. 285-287.

  M37 Report of commissioners, 28 Nov., 1609.

  103 Repertory 29, fos. 137b, 138. The Chamberlain having paid over to
      them. £415 9_s._, the court subsequently ordered the bridge-masters
      to repay the chamberlain that amount.—_Id._, fo. 149b.

  104 These directions unfortunately appear to have been neglected in both
      cases, for the report does not appear either in the Journal or

  105 Journal 28, fo. 16.

  M38 The City’s proposal to undertake the plantation and to raise the sum
      of £15,000 for the purpose, 15 Dec., 1609.

  106 Id., fos. 19-20b.

  M39 The City’s offer to raise £15,000 rejected as insufficient.

  107 Id., fo. 24.

  M40 The sum of £20,000 levied on livery companies according to corn

  108 Another sum of £5,000 was levied in the following March, another in
      August, and the remainder in March, 1611. The Merchant Taylors,
      being assessed at 936 quarters of corn, were called upon to
      contribute £1,872 towards the £20,000 by instalments of £468; the
      Grocers (the next highest in the corn assessment) £1,748, the
      Mercers £1,640, and so on in a descending scale to the Bowyers, the
      Fletchers, the Woolmen and the Musicians, each of whom subscribed
      respectively £10.—Journal 28, fos. 24, 32, 32b.

  109 Journal 28, fos. 53, 53b.

  110 Id., fos. 103, 113-114b.

  M41 The "Articles" of the plantation signed, 28 Jan., 1610.

  111 Cal. State Papers Ireland (1608-1610), pp. 136, 137, 359-362. An
      abstract of the articles is printed in "a concise view ... of the
      Irish Society" (pp. 9-13); where, however, the date of signing the
      agreement is given as Jan., 1609, this date being in accordance with
      the Old Style.

  M42 The formation of the "Irish Society."

  112 Journal 28, fos. 46-49b.

  113 Lords of the council to Sir Arthur Chichester, 4 Feb., 1610.—Cal.
      State Papers Ireland (1608-1610), p. 378.

  M43 The City forced to surrender 2,000 acres of their Irish estate,
      July, 1610.

  114 Journal 28, fos. 90, 115.

  M44 Difficulties experienced in raising the £20,000 for the plantation.

  115 Repertory 29, fos. 219b, 235b, 250b, 253b, 254.

  116 Remembrancia (Index), p. 172.

  117 Chichester to Salisbury, 27 June, 1610.—Cal. State Papers Ireland
      (1608-1610), p. 473.

  M45 The companies to take up allotment of Irish estate, Jan., 1611.

  118 Journal 28, fos. 159b, 163.

  119 Id., fo. 176.

  M46 A further sum of £10,000 to be raised for the plantation, July,

  120 Journal 28, fos. 239b, 240.

  121 Id., fo. 323.

  M47 The Irish Society  incorporated, 29 March, 1613.

  122 Minutes of the Grocers’ Company, 24 July, 1612.

  M48 Another £10,000 demanded of the companies, 30 April, 1613.

  123 Journal 28, fo. 344b.

  124 Journal 29, fo. 49.

  M49 The Londoners charged with remissness in carrying out the work of
      the plantation.

  125 Cal. State Papers Ireland (1611-1614), p. 310.

  126 Cal. State Papers Ireland (1611-1614), pp. 228-229, 270.

  M50 Two special commissioners sent to Ireland, June, 1613.

  127 Journal 29, fo. 74b, 75.

  M51 Their report submitted to the Common Council, 8 Nov., 1613.

  128 The report was dated Dublin, 15 Oct.—Journal 29, fos. 116b-118.

  M52 Allotment of the Irish estate among the companies, 17 Dec., 1613.

  129 Journal 29, fos. 178b-186.

  130 Skinners’ Company and the Irish Society (House of Lords, p. 12).

  131 17 Dec, 1613.—Journal 29, fo. 186. The money was to be forthcoming
      before 1 Feb., 1614.

  132 11 Jan., 1615.—Journal 29, fo. 299. £5,000 was to be raised by the
      end of the month, and the residue (£2,500) before the 1st day of

  133 Skinners’ Company and the Irish Society (Appendix to case before
      House of Lords, p. 13).

  M53 The right of the companies to sell their Irish estate questioned.

  M54 The select Parliamentary Committee of 1890.

  134 Report of Select Committee on Irish Society and the London Companies
      (Irish estates), 4 May, 1891, p. iii.

  135 One of the articles (No. 10) of the plantation expressly stated that
      after five years the undertakers should be at liberty to alien to
      all persons except the "mere Irish" and such persons as refused to
      take the oath prescribed for the undertakers.—Skinners’ Company and
      the Irish Society (Appendix to case before House of Lords, p. 147).

  M55 The plantation of Virginia, 1609.

  M56 Application to the City for assistance.

  136 The letter is not entered on the City’s Records, but it will be
      found printed in the late Mr. Clode’s "Memorials of the Merchant
      Taylors’ Company" and in Mr. Brown’s "Genesis of the United States,"
      i, 252. The letter does not bear any date, but must have been
      written before the 16th March, 1609, as on that day the mayor issued
      his precept to the several companies, enclosing a copy of the
      letter, and asking them to "make some adventure" in so good and
      honourable an undertaking.—Journal 27, fo. 346b.

  M57 Contributions by the livery companies.

  137 Brown’s "Genesis of the United States," ii, 857, _seq._

  138 See bill of adventure granted to the Merchant Taylors’ Company, 4
      May, 1609 (printed from the company’s archives).—Brown, i, 308.

  M58 The company’s new charter, 23 May, 1609.

  139 Brown, i, 208-237; ii, 890.

  M59 Outbreak of yellow fever among the colonists.

  140 Brown, i, 329.

  M60 The company again re-constructed, 12 March, 1612.

  141 Letter from the clerk of the company to Mr. Brown, 18 April,
      1885.—"Genesis of the United States," i, 442.

  142 Brown, i, 465-469.

  143 Id., ii, 540-553.

  M61 A public lottery in aid of the company.

  144 Art. xvi.

  145 Baker’s Chron., p. 413; Howes’s Chron. (ed. 1615), p. 913.

  146 Vid. sup., vol. i, p. 507.

  147 Extract from Grocers’ records.—Brown, ii, 591.

  148 Extract from Vestry Minutes.—_Id._, ii, 571-572.

  149 Extract from Churchwardens’ book.—_Id._, ii, 572.

  150 Howes’s Chron. (ed. 1615), p. 913.

  M62 The public lottery of 1614.

  151 Neither this letter nor anything else connected with this lottery
      appears to be entered on the City’s Records. The letter will be
      found printed (whence taken we are not told) in Brown’s "Genesis of
      the United States," ii, 685. The letter is not entered in the Minute
      Book of the Merchant Taylors’ Company, as was the former letter.

  152 For the mayor’s letter on this occasion, see Brown, ii, 688.

  153 Clode, "Early Hist. of the Merchant Taylors’ Company," p. 325.

  154 Brown, ii, 686-688.

  M63 The Virginia Company and the House of Commons.

  155 Journal House of Commons, i, 487-489; Chamberlain to Carleton, 19
      May, 1614.—Cal. State Papers Dom. (1611-1618), p. 234.

  M64 Vagrant children sent to Virginia, 1618-1619.

  156 Journal 30, fos. 374b, 396.

  157 Chamberlain, writing to Carleton under date the 14th Oct., mentions
      the fact of the City shipping to Virginia 100 boys and girls who
      were starving in the streets.—Cal. State Papers Dom. (1611-1618), p.

  158 Journal 31, fo. 122 (125).

  M65 Disagreement between the City and the Virginia Company.

  159 Remembrancia, v, 56 (Analytical Index, p. 362).

  160 The company appears to have applied through Sir Edwin Sandys, its
      new treasurer, for a warrant to "enforce" the transportation of the
      hundred children to be sent to Virginia at the City’s expense, 28
      Jan., 1620.—Cal. State Papers Dom. (1611-1618), p. 118.

  M66 Loafers about the court transported to Virginia. 1619.

  161 Remembrancia, v, 8 (Analytical Index, p. 361).

  162 Remembrancia, v, 9.

  M67 Copland’s sermon at Bow Church, 18 April, 1622.

  163 The sermon is reproduced in "Memoir of Rev. Patrick Copland," by
      Edward D. Neill (New York, 1871), chap. iii.

  164 This prophecy was literally fulfilled by the gift of half a million
      of money for the relief of the poor of London by the late George
      Peabody, himself a descendant of an emigrant to North Virginia.

  165 Journal 32, fo. 66.

  M68 The king’s financial condition, 1610.

  166 Upon the occasion of Prince Henry coming of age and receiving
      knighthood in 1609 James demanded an "aid" of the City, and thus ran
      the risk of offending the citizens for a paltry sum of
      £1,200.—Journal 27, fo. 357; Journal 29, fo. 304.

  167 Proclamation for dissolution, dated 31 Dec., 1610.—Journal 28, fo.

  M69 A City Loan of £100,000, April, 1610.

  168 Repertory 29, fos. 207-209b, 220, 225.

  169 John More to Ralph Winwood, 15 Dec., 1610.—Winwood’s Memorials, iii,

  170 Repertory 30, fo. 108b.

  171 Remembrancia, iii, 58 (Index, p. 189).

  172 "Account of the amount paid for principal and interest on a loan of
      £100,000 by the citizens of London to his late majesty (James I).
      The money was lent in Easter Term, 1611 (1610?), and was repaid in
      April, 1613, £22,500 being paid for interest."—Cal. State Papers
      Dom. (1625-1626), p. 203.

  M70 Concessions made to the city by James, 1608-1610.

  173 Charter dated 24 Sept., 6 James I (preserved at the Guildhall, Box

  174 A full description of the water-fight, fireworks, etc., which took
      place on the occasion is printed by Nichols,—"Progresses of James
      I." ii, 315-323.

  175 Journal 28, fo. 96.

  M71 The king’s "privy seals," 1611.

  176 "The privy seals begin now to come abroad thick and threefold. On
      Sunday was seven-night; most of the strangers were greeted with them
      in form of letters as they came out of church; a course, in my
      opinion, not so well taken, to be done in view and sight of all the
      world, which might have been better performed in delivering them to
      every man privately at home."—Chamberlain to Carleton, 18 Dec.,
      1611.—"Court and Times of James I," i, 153.

  M72 The marriage of the Elector Palatine with the Princess Elizabeth, 14
      Feb., 1613.

  177 Journal 28, fos. 336b, 345; Repertory 30, fo. 397b.

  178 Nichols, "Progresses of James I," ii, 466.

  179 Chamberlain to Carleton, 4 Nov., 1612.—"Court and Times of James I,"
      i, 202; _Cf._ Cal. State Papers Dom. (1611-1618), p. 145.

  180 Journal 28, fo. 345b.

  181 Repertory 31, pt. i, fo. 1.

  182 On the 8th Nov., the day following the prince’s death, the lords of
      the council directed the mayor to put down all plays, shows,
      bear-baitings, etc., as being unsuited to the times and a scandal to
      good government at any time.—Remembrancia, iii, 64 (Index, p. 410).

  183 Chamberlain to Carleton, 19 Nov., 1612.—"Court and Times of James
      I," i, 207.

  M73 A further search for Recusants, Feb., 1613.

  184 Remembrancia, iii, 66, 67 (Index, pp. 131, 132); Journal 29, fo. 3.

  185 Remembrancia, iii, 74 (Index, p. 132).

  M74 The king and court entertained in Merchant Taylors’ Hall, 4 Jan.,

  186 "The lord mayor was sent for by the king to entertain the new
      married couple, with their friends and followers; but he making an
      excuse that his house was too little to receive them, it was not
      accepted, but word sent back that he might command the biggest hall
      in the town."—Chamberlain to Carleton, 5 Jan.—"Court and Times of
      James I," i, 288.

  187 Repertory 31, pt. ii, fos. 235, 239b. The minutes of the Court of
      Aldermen relative to the proposed entertainment are printed in
      Nichols, "Progresses of James I," ii, 731.

  188 £671 4_s._ 3_d._ was the exact sum disbursed by the chamberlain on
      account of the entertainment.—Repertory 31, pt. ii, fo. 243b.

  189 Repertory 31, pt. ii, fo. 235.

  190 Nichols, "Progresses of James I," vol. ii, p. 726.

  M75 The "addled parliament," 1614.

  191 "Our aldermen have new privy seals for £200 apiece before their old
      money be paid."—Chamberlain to Carleton, 10 June, 1613.—"Court and
      Times of James I," i, 244; _Cf._ Cal. State Papers Dom. (1611-1618),
      p. 186.

  192 "This Meeting or Assembly is to be held a blank parliament, or
      rather a parley, not leaving so much as the name of a session, but
      (as the words went) ’_Parliamentum inchoatum_.’"—Chamberlain to
      Carleton, 9 Jan.—"Court and Times," i, 322.

  M76 A City loan of £100,000 declined, July, 1614.

  193 Chamberlain to Carleton, 30 June, 1614.—"Court and Times," i, 328;
      Cal. State Papers Dom. (1611-1618), p. 239; Remembrancia, iii, 152
      (Index, p. 190).

  194 The same to the same. 7 July, 1614.—Cal. State Papers Dom.,
      (1611-1618), p. 242; City’s Records, Letter Book EE, fo. 244.

  M77 Sheriffs’ fines.

  195 Repertory 31, pt. ii, fos. 348b, 362, 362b, 369b, 422; Repertory 32,
      fos. 104b-139b, _passim_; Letter Book EE, fo. 240b.

  M78 Peter Proby, sheriff and ex-barber.

  196 "On Tuesday last he [Sir Arthur Ingram] was chosen sheriff of
      London, but hath procured the king’s letters to be discharged. They
      have chosen two or three more, both before and since, and none of
      them hold. Some say it is because they will not be matched with
      Peter Proby, who, from being some time secretary Walsingham’s
      barber, was lately chosen alderman, and contrary to expectations
      took it upon him; which troubles them all, for he is a shrewd
      nimble-witted fellow."—Chamberlain to Alice Carleton, 30 June,
      1614.—"Court and Times of James I." i, 330; Cal. State Papers Dom.
      (1611-1618), p. 240.

  197 Journal 30, fo. 60.

  M79 The city’s trained bands, 1614-1618.

  198 Journal 29, fo. 237b.

  199 Journal 29, fos. 239b _seq._

  200 Id., fols. 242b-244.

  M80 The trained band divided into four regiments, 1616.

  201 Journal 29, fos. 329, 349b.

  202 Letter dated 17 March, 1616.—Journal 30, fo. 47b; Letter Book FF,
      fo. 147b.

  M81 Letter from the lords of the council, 24 April, 1616.

  203 24 April. The letter was read to the Common Council the 24th
      May.—Journal 30, fo. 60.

  M82 A muster in Finsbury Fields, 6 Aug., 1616.

  204 Journal 30, fos. 74b, 89.

  M83 Commission of lieutenancy granted to the City, 30 April, 1617.

  205 Commission, dated 30 April, 1617.—Journal 30, fo. 233.

  M84 The commission withdrawn, May, 1618.

  206 Journal 30, fos. 374b, 375.

  207 Id., fo. 376.

  M85 The old Company of Merchant Adventurers suppressed, 21 Feb., 1615.
      12 Aug., 1617.

  208 By proclamation, dated 23 July, 1614.—Cal. State Papers Dom.
      (1611-1618), p. 247.

  209 By proclamation, dated 12 Aug., 1617.—Cal. State Papers Dom.
      (1611-1618), p. 481.

  M86 The City consents to a loan of £30,000, July, 1615.

  210 13 July, 1615.—Nichols, "Progresses," iii, 95; Cal. State Papers
      Dom. (1611-1618), p. 294.

  M87 The king entertained at Alderman Cockaine’s house. 8 June, 1616.

  211 Chamberlain to Carleton, 8 June, 1616; the same to the same, 22
      June.—"Court and Times," i, 411, 412.

  M88 Knights of the Bath at Drapers’ Hall, Nov., 1616.

  212 Chamberlain to Carleton, 14 Nov., 1616.—"Court and Times," i, 437.

  M89 Request for a loan of £100,000, 1617.

  213 Letter dated 20th January, 1617.—Journal 30, fo. 159; Letter Book
      FF, fo. 250; Remembrancia, viii, 44-90 (Index, p. 198).

  214 Cal. State Papers Dom. (1611-1618), p. 428. He contrived, however,
      to raise the sum of £60,000 on them in another quarter.—_Id._, p.

  M90 Difficulty experienced in raising the money.

  215 Chamberlain to Carleton, 15th March.—Cal. State Papers Dom.
      (1611-1618), p. 446.

  216 Remembrancia, iv, 79 (Index, pp. 190-191).

  217 Remembrancia, iv, 81-84 (Index p. 191).

  218 Letter dated 28th May. 1617.—Remembrancia, iv, 75 (Index, p. 190).
      On the previous 23rd April the Earl of Suffolk, writing to Sir
      Thomas Lake, had remarked that the city did not yield quite £80,000,
      but that the council would try and obtain the full £100,000.—Cal.
      State Papers Dom. (1611-1618), p. 461.

  M91 Reception of James on his return from Scotland, Sept., 1617.

  219 Journal 30, fo. 228b.

  220 Repertory 33, fo. 166b.

  221 Nichols, "Progresses," iii, 437. Freeman afterwards became alderman
      of Bishopsgate Ward, sheriff in 1623, mayor in 1633.

  M92 Letter from lords of council touching king’s inability to repay
      loan, 17 March, 1618.

  222 Remembrancia, iv, 103.

  M93 Death of the queen, March, 1619.

  223 Nichols, "Progresses," iii, 534-535.

  224 Chamberlain to Carleton, 17th April.—Cal. State Papers Dom.
      (1619-1623), p. 37.

  225 Sir Gerard Herbert to Carleton, 31st May.—Cal. State Papers Dom.
      (1619-1623), p. 49. "A note of the division of the cloth receyved
      from the Kings Maties wardrobe for the mourneing garments of the
      Lord Maior Aldermen and their followers, at the funerall of the late
      Queene Anne, wife to or Soveraigne Lord King James."—Journal 31, fo.
      69. The length of cloth amounted to 648-1/2 yards.

  M94 Sebastian Hervey and his daughter.

  226 Rev. Thomas Lorking to Sir Thomas Puckering, 24 May, 1619.—"Court
      and Times," ii, 166-167.

  227 Chamberlain to Carleton, 15 July, 1619.—"Court and Times," ii, 182.

  228 The same to the same, 31 May.—Nichols, "Progresses," iii. 549.

  M95 The commencement of the Thirty Years’ War, 1618.

  M96 The Elector applies to the City for assistance, Nov., 1619.

  229 Remembrancia. v, 39 (Index, p. 411).

  230 Id. v, 58.

  231 Id. v, 60.

  232 This was mere pretence on the part of James, for Lord Doncaster, who
      had been sent abroad in April (1619) to concert measures for a
      peaceful settlement, had returned at the opening of the year (1620),
      and James had for some weeks been busy investigating the Elector’s
      title.—Nichols, "Progresses," iii, 584; Gardiner, "Hist. of England
      (1617-1623)," i, 308.

  M97 Formal application for a city loan of £100,000, 28 Feb., 1620.

  M98 The City agrees to advance the money.

  233 Remembrancia, v, 62 (Index, p. 412, where the sum required has been
      inadvertently printed as "£10,000").

  234 Nethersole to Carleton, 20 Feb.—Cal. State Papers Dom. (1619-1623),
      p. 124.

  235 Gardiner. "Hist. of England (1617-1623)," i, 316. Chamberlain to
      Carleton, 20 Mar., 1620.—Cal. State Papers Dom. (1619-1623), p. 131.

  236 Nethersole to Carleton. 21 Mar.—Cal. State Papers Dom. (1619-1623),
      p. 132.

  237 Remembrancia, v, 65 (Index, p. 412).

  238 It has been said that application was in the first instance made to
      the companies, but they declined to advance money on so slight a
      security as a verbal recommendation from the king.—Gardiner, "Hist.
      of England (1617-1623)," i, 316. There is no indication of this,
      however, in the City’s Records.

  239 Journal 31, fo. 167.

  M99 State visit to St. Paul’s, 26 March, 1620.

  240 Journal 31, fos. 157-158, 164, 164b; Repertory 34, fos. 377, 379;
      Nichols, "Progresses," iv, 593-602.

  241 Nethersole to Carleton, 21 March.—Cal. State Papers Dom.
      (1619-1623), p. 132.

  242 Repertory 34, fo. 389.

 M100 James determined to assist the Elector.

  243 Writ dated 6 Nov.—Journal 31, fo. 253.

  244 Cal. State Papers Dom. (1619-1623), p. 185.

 M101 Application to the City for assistance.

  245 Remembrancia, v, 89 (Index. pp. 412-413).

  246 Sir Clement Edmonds to the lord mayor, 3 Dec., 1620, reminding him
      that the lords of the council were awaiting the City’s
      reply.—Remembrancia, v, 92 (Index, p. 413).

  247 Journal 31, fo. 262b.

  248 Repertory 35, fos. 59, 59b.

  249 Remembrancia, v, 102, 118 (Index, pp. 413, 414).

  250 Repertory 35, fo. 57b. On the 22nd Dec. Chamberlain wrote to
      Carleton to the effect that the City thought it hard that, though
      their loan of £100,000 was still retained without interest, and a
      contribution given to Bohemia, another large loan should be asked;
      that the City compromised it by giving £10,000, and would sell plate
      and dispense with feasts until it was paid.—Cal. State Papers Dom.
      (1619-1623), p. 201.

  251 Lords of the council to the mayor, etc., 4 Dec., 1620.—Remembrancia,
      v, 94 (Index, p. 413).

  252 Petition of Apothecaries’ Company to the king, Oct.,
      1621.—Remembrancia, v, 118 (Index, p. 414).

 M102 The parliament of 1621.

  253 Journal 31, fo. 264.

 M103 The citizens and the  Spanish ambassador.

  254 The Spanish ambassador for the time being often fell foul of the
      Londoners. In 1612 his hat with a valuable jewel in it was snatched
      off his head amid the jeers of by-standers.—"Court and Times," i,
      191, 192. In 1618 an attack was made on his house because one of his
      suite had ridden over a child and nearly killed it. A commission sat
      at the Guildhall to punish the offenders, but the mayor treated
      those who had offered the insult to the ambassador with such
      leniency that the king waxed wroth.—_Id._, ii, 81-82, 85, 86.

  255 Meddus to Mead, 6 April. [Dr. James Meddus was rector of St.
      Gabriel’s, Fenchurch Street.] Mead to Stuteville, 9 April.—"Court
      and Times," ii, 245-249. Chamberlain to Carleton, 7 April.—Cal.
      State Papers Dom. (1619-1623), p. 244.

  256 Repertory 35, fos. 141b, 142.

  257 Journal 31, fo. 303.

  258 Repertory 35, fo. 142b.

  259 Repertory 35, fos. 142b, 143.

 M104 Insult offered to the Elector and his wife.

  260 "Court and Times," ii, 256; Gardiner, ii, 14.

 M105 The City asked to advance £20,000 on security of subsidy, March,

  261 Remembrancia, v, 103 (Index, p. 413).

  262 Marginal note to the lord treasurer’s letter.

 M106 Joy in the city at the return of Charles from Spain, Oct., 1623.

  263 Mead to Stuteville, 29 March, 1623. The writer of this letter
      appears to have lost the point of the jest, and ascribes the
      circumstance to the pure simplicity of the clergyman, who mistook
      the nature of the order.—"Court and Times," ii, 381.

  264 Chamberlain to Carleton, 5 April, 1623; Mead to Stuteville, 5 April,
      1623.—"Court and Times," ii, 383-385.

  265 Journal 32, fo. 222.

  266 Chamberlain to Carleton, 11 Oct., 1623.—"Court and Times," ii, 422.

 M107 The parliament of 1624.

 M108 The French alliance.

 M109 Efforts made to raise money in the city, July, 1624.

  267 "Court and Times," ii, 463-464.

  268 Remembrancia, vi, 125 (Index, pp. 195-196).

 M110 Mansfeld in London, Sept., 1624.

 M111 Stat. 21, Jas. I, c. 2 (1624), relative to concealed lands.

  269 An Act for the general quiet of the subjects against all pretences
      of concealment whatsoever.—Stat. 21, James I, c. 2.

  270 Remembrancia, iv, 126 (Index, p. 115).

  271 Cal. State Papers Dom. (1619-1623), pp. 4-5.

  272 Cal. State Papers Dom. (1619-1623), p. 89; Remembrancia, v, 81
      (Index, p. 116).

  273 Remembrancia, v, 82 (Index, p. 116).

  274 The chief objections raised were that the new charter exempted the
      citizens from serving at musters outside the city, but it granted
      the City forfeitures for treason and estreated recognisances, the
      custody of Bethlem and a number of houses intended for the relief of
      the poor, etc.—Cal. State Papers Dom. (1619-1623), p. 192.

  275 Repertory 34, fo. 593; Letter Book GG, fo. 282; Cal. State Papers
      Dom. (1619-1623), pp. 177, 189, 192.

  276 Journal House of Commons, i, 672, 752, 757.

 M112 The City to press 2,000 men for service in the Palatinate, Oct.,

  277 Remembrancia, vi, 67.

  278 Remembrancia, vi, 68; Journal 32, fo. 330.

  279 Remembrancia, vi, 69.

  280 Journal 33, fo. 7.

 M113 Mansfeld’s expedition.

  281 Chamberlain to Carleton, 9 Oct., 1624.—"Court and Times," ii, 476.

  282 The same to the same, 8 Jan., 1625.—"Court and Times," ii, 490; Cal.
      State Papers Dom. (1623-1625), p. 441.

  283 "There is a warrant for a new press here of 2,000 men, the moiety of
      the city and liberties, the other in the out-suburbs" (Letter to
      Rev. Joseph Mead, 28 Jan.).—"Court and Times," ii, 492. Letter from
      the lords of the council to the mayor, 19 Jan.—Remembrancia, viii,
      69 (Index, p. 255).

  284 Journal 33, fo. 23b.

 M114 A city loan of £60,000 to King Charles, 1625.

  285 Journal 33, fo. 85b.

  286 Id., fo. 105.

  287 Repertory 39, fo. 226b.

  288 Journal 37, fos. 367-390b.

  289 Repertory 39, fo. 243b.

  290 Remembrancia, vi, 78 (Index, p. 194).

 M115 Arrival of Henrietta Maria in London, June, 1625.

  291 Journal 33, fo. 6.

  292 Journal 33, fo. 129; Meddus to Mead, 17 June, 1625.—"Court and Times
      of Charles I," i, 29.

 M116 The expedition to Cadiz, 1625.

  293 Remembrancia (Index, p. 255); Chamberlain to Carleton, 14 May.—Cal.
      State Papers Dom. (1624-1626).

  294 Remembrancia, viii, 74 (Index, p. 255).

  295 Remembrancia, vi, 108 (Index, pp. 251-252).

  296 Journal 33, fo. 98b.

 M117 The plague of 1625.

  297 Journal 33, fo. 130b.

  298 Dr. Donne to Sir Thomas Roe, 25 Nov., 1625.—Cal. State Papers Dom.
      (1625-1626), p. 158.

  299 Mead to Stuteville, 10 Sept., 1625.—"Court and Times," i, 46.

 M118 The City called upon to furnish five ships for the defense of the
      river, Jan. 1626.

  300 Journal 33, fo. 168b.

  301 Repertory 40, fo. 38.

  302 Journal 33, fos. 159, 162b.

  303 Lords of the council to the mayor, 23 Jan., 1626.—Remembrancia, vi,
      93 (Index, p. 248). The letter referred to a committee of three
      aldermen with instructions to obtain relief from so great a
      burden.—Repertory 40, fo. 78b.

  304 The mayor and aldermen to the lords of the council, 13 Feb.,
      1626.—Cal. State Papers Dom. (1625-1626), p. 254; _Cf._
      Remembrancia, vi, 95 (Index, pp. 248-9, where the date of the letter
      is given as "_circa_ 1625").

 M119 The parliament of 1626.

  305 Journal 33, fo. 164. "Here be daily proclamations come forth; one
      strict enough against papists and recusants, if it may be duly
      executed; but it is thought to look forward to the parliament, which
      is to begin the 6th of February."—Chamberlain to Carleton, 19 Jan.,
      1626.—"Court and Times," i, 72.

  306 Mead to Stuteville, 18 Feb.—"Court and Times," i, 81.

  307 "Court and Times," i, 111-113.

 M120 A demand for a city loan of £100,000 not complied with, Jan., 1626.

  308 Remembrancia, vi, 89 (Index, p. 195); Repertory 40, fos. 266b, 272.

  309 Repertory 40, fo. 278b. "London has lent the king £25,000 _sic_,
      scarce enough to buy a dozen points," wrote a contemporary. Cruse to
      Lady Carnsew (July?).—Cal. State Papers Dom. (1625-1626), p. 392.

  310 Lords of the council to mayor and aldermen, 6 July.—Remembrancia,
      vi, 90 (Index, p. 195).

 M121 A demand for 4,000 men and 20 ships, July-Aug., 1626

  311 Journal 33, fos. 267b _seq._; Cal. State Papers Dom. (1625-1626), p.

  312 Journal 33, fos. 279b _seq._; Remembrancia, vi, 98 (Index, p. 249).

  313 Mead to Stuteville, 24 July, 1626.—"Court and Times," i, 130.

  314 Journal 33, fo. 280. Letter to Mead, 11 Aug.—"Court and Times," i,
      136, 137.

  315 Repertory 40, fo. 338b; Journal 33, fo. 280b, 282.

 M122 The sum of £18,000 to be raised for fitting out the vessels.

  316 Repertory 40, fos. 299b, 300b, 303b.

  317 "Court and Times," i, 148, 149, 150, 153, 154; Repertory 40, fos.
      400b, 407b; Journal 34, fos. 3b, 16b, 41, 56. As much as £6,000 was
      paid out of the chamber in respect of the fleet of twenty ships in
      the months of January and February, 1627.—Repertory 41, fos. 90b,
      92, 104b, 133b.

 M123 Unpopularity of the Duke of Buckingham.

  318 Journal 33, fos. 304, 319; Journal 34, fo. 27; Remembrancia, vi, 96,
      97 (Index, p. 249). Pory to Mead, 17 Aug., 1626.—"Court and Times,"
      i, 141.

 M124 The Forced Loan, 1626.

  319 Letter to Mead, 6 Oct., 1626.—"Court and Times," i, 154. It was not
      until June, 1627, that pressure was brought to bear upon the
      citizens themselves to contribute. Beaulieu to Puckering, 20
      June.—"Court and Times," i, 244.

  320 Journal 33, fo. 318b.

 M125 The loan declared illegal.

 M126 Ten of the city’s ships to be victualled for a descent on Spain,
      Nov., 1626.

  321 Journal 34, 19b.

  322 Id., fo. 20b.

  323 Id., fo. 21.

  324 Pennington to Buckingham, 28 Dec, 1626.—Cal. State Papers Dom.
      (1625-1626), p. 507.

 M127 The City and the Forced Loan, 1627.

  325 Remembrancia, vi, 105 (Index, p. 195).

  326 Letter to Mead, 30 June, 1627.—"Court and Times," i, 249.

  327 Beaulieu to Puckering, 7 Nov.; Letter to Mead, 16 Nov.—"Court and
      Times," i, 283, 285.

 M128 The expedition to Rochelle, 1627.

  328 Remembrancia, vi, 101, 102, 103 (Index, p. 250); Journal 34, fos.
      88, 90b; Repertory 41, fos. 189b, 219b; Cal. State Papers Dom.
      (1627-1628), p. 238; Letter to Mead, 30 March, 1627.—"Court and
      Times," i, 209.

  329 Journal 34, fo. 143b; Repertory 41, fo. 311b.

  330 Journal 34, fo. 162b.

  331 Gardiner, "Hist. of England (1624-1628)," ii, 163.

 M129 The Royal Contract, 1627-1628.

  332 In April, 1627, when the king’s proposal was first made known to the
      Common Council, the amount due to the citizens from Charles exceeded
      £200,000.—Journal 34, fo. 80b.

  333 Journal 34, fos. 197b-201b.

  334 Journal 34, fo. 196.

  335 Remembrancia. vi, 144 (Index, p. 196); Cal. State Papers Dom.
      (1627-1628), p. 554.

  336 This occurred to the master and wardens of the several companies of
      Plumbers, Sadlers, Founders, Joiners and Glaziers.—Repertory 42,
      fos. 58b, 60, 60b.

  337 John Chamberlain, a member of the Drapers’ Company and alderman of
      Billingsgate, was fined £300, or double the amount he was originally
      called upon to contribute.—Repertory 42, fo. 55b; _Cf._ Mead to
      Stuteville, 19 Jan., 1628.—"Court and Times," i, 314.

  338 Mead to Stuteville, 12 Jan., 1628.—"Court and Times," i, 311.

 M130 £20,000 advanced by the aldermen, Feb., 1628.

  339 Repertory 42, fos. 100b-101, 104.

 M131 Buckingham and Dr. Lamb.

  340 Mead to Stuteville, 21 June.—"Court and Times," i, 364, 365.

  341 The same to the same, 29 June.—_Id._, 367, 368.

  342 Remembrancia, vi, 150 (Index, p. 455); Letter printed by Rushworth
      (Hist. Coll., i, 618).

  343 Repertory 42, fo. 213b.

  344 Remembrancia, vi, 151 (Index, p. 455).

  345 Journal 36, fos. 37, 50, 51, 173-175.

  346 The placards are said to have run thus:—"Who rules the kingdom? The
      king. Who rules the king? The duke. Who rules the duke? The
      devil"—ending with threats of personal violence against the
      duke.—Mead to Stuteville, 29 June.—"Court and Times," i, 368.

  347 Repertory 42, fo. 217b.

 M132 Preparations for another expedition to Rochelle, 1628.

 M133 The Duke of Buckingham assassinated 23 Aug., 1628.

  348 Remembrancia, vi, 153 (Index, p. 197).

  349 Journal 34, fos. 279-280b.

 M134 Tonnange and Poundage, 1628.

 M135 Dissolution of parliament 10 March, 1629.

  350 Proclamation, dated 2 March.—Journal 35, fo. 44b.

 M136 Sickness and famine, 1629-1631.

  351 Journal 35, fos. 74, 112, 138, 270b.

  352 Cal. State Papers Dom. (1629-1631), p. 387.

 M137 The birth of Prince Charles, afterwards Charles II, 29 May, 1630.

  353 Remembrancia, vii, 40 (Index, p. 419).

  354 Journal 35, fo. 205.

  355 The precise cost of the cup is given as £1,046 14_s._ 7_d._, and
      that of the velvet case as £6 13_s._ 4_d._ There were fees besides,
      paid by the City, comprising £20 to the queen’s midwife, £20 to the
      prince’s nurse, and a like sum to the prince’s _rockers_!—Repertory
      44, fos. 366-366b.

  356 Repertory 47, fo. 1.

 M138 Loss of the queen’s plate and jewels, 1631.

  357 Journal 35, fo. 349.

  358 Chamberlain to Carleton, 14 June, 1623.—"Court and Times of James
      I," ii, 404.

  359 Order of the Council, 12 Nov., 1634.—Cal. State Papers Dom.
      (1634-1635), p. 288.

 M139 City gifts to king and queen, May-June, 1633.

  360 Repertory 47, fo. 226.

  361 Id., fos. 273b, 287, 302b.

 M140 Christening of the Duke of York, Nov., 1633.

  362 Repertory 48, fo. 24.

  363 Journal 36, fo. 185b.

 M141 Demand for ship money, Oct., 1634.

 M142 Search to be made for precedents, Nov., 1634.

  364 Repertory 49, fo. 18.

  365 Id., fo. 5b.

 M143 Petition of Common Council against demand for ships, 2 Dec., 1634.

  366 Journal 37, fos. 19-20; Rushworth, ii, 266.

 M144 The City forced to submit.

  367 Journal 37, fo. 21.

  368 Id., fo. 18.

  369 The king to the mayor, 19 Oct.—Cal. State Papers Dom. (1634-1635),
      p. 241; Repertory 48, fo. 464.

  370 Remembrancia, vii, 132 (Index, p. 467). According to Dr. Gardiner
      ("Hist. of England, 1628-1637," ii, 89), the mayor and the city
      lawyers were "reprimanded" and "intimidated" by the council, and a
      "stormy meeting" of the citizens took place, but nothing of this
      appears in the City’s Records.

  371 Repertory 49, fos. 50b _seq._

  372 Repertory 49, fos. 97b, 106b. The names of these ships were _The
      Samson_, _The Freeman_, _The Royal Exchange_, _The William and
      Thomas_, and _The Pleiades_.

 M145 A fresh writ for ship money, 4 Aug., 1635.

  373 Cal. State Papers Dom. (1634-1635), p. 531; _Cf._ Repertory 50, fo.

  374 Repertory 49, fo. 289.

  375 Minutes by Nicholas, 29 Nov., 1635; Cal. State Papers Dom. (1635),
      p. 509.

 M146 Richard Chambers and ship money, 1636.

  376 The mayor, etc., to the lords of the council, 13 July, 1638.—Cal.
      State Papers Dom. (1637-1638), p. 563. Rossingham to Conway, 16
      June, 1640.—Cal. State Papers Dom. (1640), p. 307. Gardiner, "Hist.
      of England (1637-1649)," i, 69.

 M147 The City’s forfeiture of its Irish estate, 1635-1638.

  377 In September (1635) the city presented a petition to the king at
      Hampton Court against the exaction of the fine.—Remembrancia, vii,
      155 (Index, pp. 63-64).

  378 Journal 37, fo. 202; Remembrancia, vii, 181 (Index, p. 64).

  379 Journal 37, fos. 257-258.

  380 Id., fos. 288 _seq._, 296b, 307b, 345.

  381 Journal 38, fos. 199b, 204; Repertory, 53, fo. 104.

 M148 Other grievances of the City.

  382 Remembrancia, vii, 171 (Index, p. 421); Journal 37, fo. 121.

 M149 Corporation of tradesmen, etc., created, 1636.

  383 Remembrancia, vii, 178, 191 (Index, pp. 227-229); Journal 37, fo.
      291; Journal 38, fo. 21b; Repertory 50, fos. 191b, 205b.

 M150 A third writ for ship money, Oct., 1636.

  384 It was laid down that when the good and safety of the kingdom in
      general were concerned, and the whole kingdom in danger, the king
      might by writ command all his subjects to furnish such ships as he
      should think fit.—Remembrancia, vii, 189 (Index, p. 468).

  385 Journal 38, fo. 17; Repertory 52, fos. 19b, 83b.

  386 Journal 38, fo. 174.

  387 Repertory 53, fo. 81.

  388 Journal 38, fo. 224b.

 M151 Charter of Charles to the City, 18 Oct., 1638.

  389 Journal 38, fo. 104.

  390 The money was raised (or at least £8,000 of it) by the companies
      according to their corn assessment.—_Id._, fo. 163.

 M152 Disorders in Scotland, 1639.

  391 Remembrancia, viii, 216 (Index, p. 256); Journal 38, fos. 208b-209b,

  392 Id., fos. 229, 297.

 M153 Demand for a loan of £100,000, June, 1639.

  393 The king to the mayor and aldermen, 4 June, 1639.—Cal. State Papers
      Dom. (1639), p. 276.

  394 Gardiner, "Hist. of England (1637-1649)," i, 239, 240. No mention of
      this application for a loan appears in the City’s Records.

 M154 The trained bands called out.

  395 The king’s warrant, dated 18 Feb., 1639.—Journal 38, fo. 217;
      Remembrancia, viii, 220 (Index, p. 538).

  396 Journal 38, fo. 224.

  397 Order in Council for the reformation of defects and abuses in the
      trained bands, 13 Feb., 1639.—Remembrancia, viii, 221 (Index, p.

  398 Order in Council. His appointment by the king had been far from
      popular in the city, and considerable difficulty was experienced in
      finding his pay.—Remembrancia, viii, 210, 213, 222; Journal 38, fos.
      212, 284; Journal 39, fo. 12b. Secretary Windebank to the mayor and
      aldermen, 10 March, 1636.—Cal. State Papers Dom. (1635-1636), p.

 M155 The City’s free gift of £10,000, 31 July, 1639.

  399 Journal 38, fo. 303.

  400 Id., fos. 301-302b.

 M156 The "short parliament," 1640.

 M157 Attempt to force a city loan of £100,000, April-May, 1640.

  401 Henry Montague, Earl of Manchester, who had been the City’s Recorder
      from 1603-1616.

  402 Rossingham to Conway, 14th April, 1640.—Cal. State Papers Dom.
      (1640), pp. 31-32.

 M158 Four aldermen committed to prison, 1640.

  403 Rushworth, State Trials, 586.

  404 Rossingham to Conway, 12 May, 1640.—Cal. State Papers Dom. (1640),
      p. 155.

 M159 Impeachment of Sir Thomas Gardiner, Recorder, 1642.

  405 Howell, State Trials, iv, 167-170.

 M160 Riot at Lambeth, 11 May, 1640.

  406 Remembrancia, viii, 229 (Index, p. 458); Journal 29, fos. 84b, 85.

 M161 The aldermen released, 15 May, 1640.

 M162 Collection of ship money in the city enforced, June, 1640.

  407 The mayor had issued precepts to the aldermen for its collection on
      28 Nov., 1639, and 3 Jan., 1640.—Journal 39, fos. 13, 24.

  408 Rossingham to Viscount Conway, 16 June.—Cal. State Papers Dom.
      (1640), pp. 306, 307.

 M163 Demand for a city force of 4,000 men for service in the North, 11
      June, 1640.

  409 Journal 39, fo. 97.

  410 Id., fo. 82b.

 M164 Application to the Common Council for a loan of £200,000 renewed, 23
      July, 1640.

  411 "Hist. of England (1637-1649)," i, 396.

  412 No minutes of a court having been held on that day are recorded in
      the City’s Journal.

 M165 Application to the livery companies for £120,000, Aug., 1640.

  413 Rossingham to Conway, 4 Aug., 1640.—Cal. State Papers Dom. (1640),
      p. 554.

 M166 A last effort to obtain a city loan of £200,000, Sept., 1640.

  414 Charter (preserved at the Guildhall, Boxes 21 and 30).

  415 Cal. State Papers Dom. (1640-1641), p. 94.

  416 Journal 39, fos. 137, 137b; Remembrancia, viii, 233; Cal. State
      Papers Dom. (1640-1641), p. 101.

  417 State Papers Dom., vol. cccclxix, No. 22 (Calendar, 1640-1641), pp.

  418 The king to the mayor, etc., 8 Oct.—Remembrancia, viii, 232 (Index,
      p. 256).

  419 Notes by Sec. Windebank, 7 and 9 Oct.—Cal. State Papers Dom.
      (1640-1641), pp. 146, 151.

 M167 Edmund Wright elected mayor _loco_ Garway, 29 Sept., 1640.

  420 Journal 39, fo. 138b.

  421 Windebank to the king, 6 Oct., 1640.—Clarendon State Papers, ii,
      128. See also Notes by Windebank, 30 Sept.—Cal. State Papers Dom.
      (1640-1641), p. 115.

 M168 The loan reduced to £50,000.

  422 Vane to Windebank, 13 Oct.—Cal. State Papers Dom. (1640-1641), p.

  423 Windebank to the king, 14 Oct.—Clarendon State Papers, ii, 129-131.
      Notes by Windebank.—Cal. State Papers Dom. (1640-1641), p. 170.

 M169 The Treaty of Ripon, 21 Oct., 1640.

 M170 Meeting of the Long Parliament, 3 Nov., 1640.

 M171 Speaker Lenthall.

  424 Between 1631, the year of Finch’s death, and 1635, when Gardiner was
      elected Recorder, there had been three other Recorders, viz., Edward
      Littleton, Robert Mason and Henry Calthorp, not one of whom sat in
      parliament for the city.

 M172 The City and the Earl of Strafford.

  425 On the 3rd November the mayor issued his precept for steps to be
      taken to prevent further mischief.—Journal 39, fo. 143.

 M173 Necessity of raising money, Nov., 1640.

  426 Gardiner, "Hist. of England (1637-1649)," ii, 22, 23.

  427 Journal House of Commons, 2 Dec., ii, 43; Repertory 55, fo. 21.

  428 7 Jan., 1641.—Journal 39, fo. 162.

 M174 Alleged Popish plot, Nov., 1640.

  429 "Proclamation ordering Popish recusants to repair to their homes,
      and not to come to court or within ten miles of London without
      special licence, 11 Nov., 1640.—Journal 39, fo. 147.

 M175 Impeachment of Archbishop Laud, Dec., 1640.

  430 "Hist. of the Rebellion" (ed. 1839), pp. 85, 86.

  431 Journal House of Commons, ii, 49.

 M176 The Scottish commissioners in the city.

  432 Clarendon, "Hist. of the Rebellion," p. 81.

 M177 City loan of £60,000, Jan., 1641.

 M178 Reprieve of Goodman, 22 Jan., 1641.

 M179 Excitement in the city.

  433 Journal House of Commons, ii, 71.

  434 Journal 39, fo. 167.

  435 "These sessions a priest was condemned at Newgate whom the king
      reprieved, whereupon the city absolutely refused to send in their
      moneys. The issue of it will be that in a day or two the man will be
      hanged and we shall have our money." Uvedale to Bradley, 25 Jan.,
      1641.—Cal. State Papers Dom. (1637-1649), p. 432.

  436 Journal 39, fo. 167b.

 M180 Letters from Lenthall to the City touching the loan of £60,000, 6
      and 19 Feb., 1641.

  437 Journal 39, fo. 167.

  438 Id., fo. 180.

  439 "I think now we shall proceed clearly and speedily for moneys."
      Uvedale to Bradley, 16 Feb., 1641.—Cal. State Papers Dom.
      (1640-1641), p. 462.

  440 Journal House of Commons, ii, 88.

  441 Repertory 55, fo. 86.

 M181 Trial and execution of Strafford, March-May, 1641.

  442 Journal 39, fo. 185b.

  443 Journal House of Commons, ii, 118, 125.

  444 Rushworth, iv, 233, 234.

 M182 The City stops the loan until justice is executed on Strafford, May,

  445 Uvedale to Bradley, 3 May.—Cal. State Papers Dom. (1640-1641), p.
      569. The day after Strafford’s execution the Court of Aldermen
      intimated their readiness to pay over £80,000, part of £120,000
      promised by the City, to Sir William Uvedale and the Earl of
      Warwick.—Repertory 55, fo. 136.

 M183 The "Protestation" accepted by the City, May, 1641.

  446 Journal House of Commons, ii, 132.

  447 Repertory 55, fo. 133.

  448 Journal 39, fo. 203b; Journal 40, fo. 2b.

 M184 Establishment of a poll tax for disbanding the armies, July, 1641.

  449 "A proclamacon for the speedy payment of the moneys assessed by
      parlyament for disbanding the armies," 6 July, 1641.—Journal 39, fo.

  450 Journal 39, fo. 216.

 M185 The "friendly assistance," July, 1641.

  451 Journal House of Commons, ii, 78.

  452 Journal 39, fo. 218. "The Scots are now put to a push, for the city
      within these two days, besides the poll money, have advanced £40,000
      to send them away, and to disband both armies" (Wiseman to
      Pennington, 29 July, 1641). "This day London pays £40,000" (Bere to
      the same, 29 July).—Cal. State Papers Dom. (1641-1643), p. 62.

  453 Wiseman to Sir John Pennington, 29 July.—Cal. State Papers Dom.
      (1641-1643), p. 62; Journal House of Commons, ii, 229.

  454 "The poll money comes in cheerfully and so fast in Guildhall that
      they want tellers to receive it" Smith to Pennington, 6 Aug.—Cal.
      State Papers Dom. (1641-1643), p. 76.

 M186 The queen mother in England.

  455 Journal House of Commons, ii, 231.

  456 Repertory 52, fo. 293; Journal 38, fos. 164, 164b.

  457 Repertory 53, fo. 3b; Journal 38, fo. 173.

 M187 The king sets out for Scotland, 10 Aug., 1641.

  458 Journal House of Commons, ii, 246.

 M188 Adjournment of the Houses, 8 Sept.

 M189 A day of public thanksgiving, 7 Sept.

  459 Journal 39, fos. 202, 229.

  460 Journal 39, fo. 221b; Journal House of Commons, ii, 276.

 M190 Judgment of Star Chamber _re_ the City’s Irish estate reversed, 26
      Aug., 1641.

  461 Journal 39, fos. 164-166b.

  462 26 Aug.—Journal 40, fo. 6b; Journal House of Commons, ii, 272.

 M191 Disbanded soldiers in the city, Sept.-Oct., 1641.

  463 Journal 39, fo. 236.

  464 Journal 39, fos. 237b, 238. Return of the mayor to the council
      touching the steps he had taken for ridding the city of loose and
      disorderly persons, sending home disbanded soldiers, and shutting up
      infected houses. 20 Oct.—Cal. State Papers Dom. (1641-1643), p. 141.

 M192 The Irish rebellion of 1641.

 M193 The City asked for a loan of £50,000, 2 Nov., 1641.

  465 Journal 39, 240.

  466 Before the end of December nearly the whole amount had been paid to
      the order of the Commons.—Journal 39, fo. 262; Repertory 55, fos.
      223, 230b, 231b, 333, 351, 351b.

 M194 The City declares against the Catholic lords and the bishops, 12
      Nov., 1641.

  467 Journal House of Commons, ii, 314. As regards protections, the
      Common Council had drafted a petition to the House in the preceding
      May.—Journal 40, fo. 3.

 M195 Charles entertained in the city, 25 Nov., 1641.

  468 "Hist. of England (1637-1649)," ii, 316.

  469 Repertory 55, fo. 227.

  470 Journal 39, fo. 243b.

  471 Journal 40, fo. 8. "Preparations for the king’s reception. He is to
      dine at Guildhall and be escorted thence by the city companies to
      Whitehall. I am glad we are thus dutiful; it makes the sectaries
      look about them, and the consideration of his majesty having the
      love of the able citizens will certainly conduce much to settle his
      affairs" Wiseman to Sir John Pennington, 18 Nov.—Cal. State Papers
      Dom. (1641-1643), p. 168.

 M196 The Recorder’s speech, 25 Nov.

  472 Journal 39, fo. 245b.

  473 "This day the city is busy receiving his majesty; all is very
      stately and well, but that I am told the present which was spoken of
      is wanting" Bere to John Pennington, 25 Nov.—Cal. State Papers Dom.
      (1641-1643), p. 178. Again, "They say a great present is to be
      presented to the king after dinner" Slingsby to the same, 25
      Nov.—_Ibid._, p. 180.

 M197 The king’s reply.

  474 Gardiner, "Hist. of England (1637-1649)," ii, 329.

  475 "Recommendations submitted to Nicholas suggesting the substance of a
      speech to be delivered by the king on his public reception in the
      city of London on his return from Scotland."—Cal. State Papers Dom.
      (1641-1643), p. 177.

  476 Journal 40, fos. 9, 9b.

 M198 Honours for the Mayor, Sheriffs and five aldermen.

  477 The Recorder signified the fact to the Common Council on the 30
      Nov.—Journal 40, fo. 9.

  478 Maitland (i, 345, 346) gives their names:—Cordell (Queenhithe),
      Soame (Cheap), Gayer (Aldgate), Gerrard (Candlewick), and Wollaston
      (Farringdon Without). Both the sheriffs happened to be aldermen,
      viz., George Garrett of Castle Baynard and George Clarke of Bridge

 M199 Measures prepared for restoration of Irish estate, 30 Nov., 1641.

 M200 A London mob at Westminster, Nov., 1641.

  479 Journal 39, fo. 253b.

 M201 The character of the mob.

  480 Wiseman to Pennington, 9 Dec.—Cal. State Papers Dom. (1641-1643), p.

 M202 Petition to the House, 11 Dec., 1641.

  481 Slingsby to Pennington, 16 Dec., 1641.—Cal. State Papers Dom.
      (1641-1643), p. 202.

  482 Maitland, i, 349-350.

  483 Journal House of Commons, ii, 350.

 M203 The new Common Council, 21 Oct., 1641.

  484 The returns of elections to the Common Council are not entered on
      the City’s Records. Considerable irregularities appear to have been
      practised at this election.—Journal 40, fos. 21-22b.

 M204 Fresh riot at Westminster, 27 Dec., 1641.

 M205 The trained bands called out, 28 Dec.

  485 Bere to Pennington, 30 Dec., 1641.—Cal. State Papers Dom.
      (1641-1643), p. 216.

  486 Slingsby to Pennington, 30 Dec.—_Ibid._, p. 217.

  487 This appears in a marginal note by Nicolas to a letter from the king
      to the mayor, 28 Dec.—_Ibid._, p. 214.

  488 D’Ewes’s Diary, Harl. MS, clxii, fo. 287b, cited by Dr. Gardiner,
      "Hist. of England (1637-1649)," ii, 371.

  489 31 Dec.—Journal 40, fo. 10 (printed in Rushworth’s "Historical
      Collections," iv, 469).

 M206 A guard for parliament refused by the king, 3 Jan., 1642.

  490 Rushworth, iv, 471.

  491 Minutes Common Council, 4 Jan., 1642 (expunged in 1683).—Journal 40,
      fo. 11.

 M207 The arrest of the five members demanded, 3 Jan., 1642.

  492 Journal House of Commons, ii, 367.

  493 Warrant from the king to the mayor, 3 Jan.—_Ibid._, p. 235.

  494 Latche to Nicholas, 4 Jan.—Cal. State Papers Dom. (1641-1643), p.

 M208 Meeting of the Commons, 4 Jan.

  495 Warrant of the king to the mayor, 4 Jan.—_Ibid._, p. 237.

 M209 The king at the Guildhall, 5 Jan., 1642.

  496 Slingsby to Pennington, 6 Jan.—Cal. State Papers Dom. (1641-1643),
      pp. 242-243; _Cf._ "The arrest of the five members," by John Foster,
      pp. 258-263.

 M210 The City’s petition to the king, 5 Jan., 1642.

  497 Journal 40, fo. 12. Printed in Rushworth’s Collections, iv. 480. The
      date is there given as 7 Jan.

 M211 The Common Council vote £2,000 for the defence of the city.

 M212 Panic in the city, 6 Jan., 1642.

  498 Precepts by the mayor, 4 Jan., 1642.—Journal 39, fos. 263b, 264.

  499 Journal 39, fo. 264b.

  500 The council to the lord mayor, 8 Jan., 1642.—Cal. State Papers Dom.
      (1641-1643), p. 249.

  501 Journal 40, fo. 14b; Cal. State Papers Dom. (1641-1643), pp. 247,

 M213 The king’s reply to the City’s petition. 8 Jan., 1642.

  502 Journal 40, fo. 13; printed in Rushworth’s Collections, iv, 481. "A
      fierce reply."—Gardiner.

 M214 Skippon to command the city’s forces, 10 Jan.

  503 Journal 40, fo. 15.

  504 Journal 40, fo. 16; Precept, 21 Jan.—Journal 39, fo. 273b.

  505 Journal 40, fo. 16b.

  506 Id. _ibid._

  507 Journal 39, fo. 274b.

 M215 Charles quits London, 10 Jan., 1642.

  508 Journal House of Commons, ii, 370. Bere to Pennington, 13th
      January.—Cal. State Papers Dom. (1641-1643), p. 252; Rushworth, pt.
      iii, i, 484; Clarendon (ed. 1839), p. 162.

 M216 The Tower held for the king.

  509 Byron to Nicholas, 22-28 Jan.—Cal. State Papers Dom. (1641-1643),
      pp. 265-269.

 M217 A loan of £100,000 demanded of the City for the Irish war, 22 Jan.,

  510 Journal 40, fos. 17, 17b.

 M218 The City’s reply, 24 Jan., 1642.

  511 Id., fos. 18-19b.

 M219 Money raised by promise of confiscated lands.

  512 Journal House of Commons, ii, 425. According to Dr. Gardiner ("Hist.
      of England, 1637-1649," ii, 433), this "monstrous scheme of
      confiscation" was suggested by "some London citizens," who
      represented that there were 10,000,000 acres in Ireland liable to
      confiscation, and that there would be no difficulty in raising
      £1,000,000 if a quarter of these lands, or 2,500,000 acres, were
      assigned to subscribers.

  513 Precept to the Aldermen, 22 Feb.—Journal 39, fo. 281.

  514 March.—Journal 39, fo. 282b; Journal 40, fo. 21. It appears from an
      order of the Lords and Commons, 18 March (Cal. State Papers Dom.
      1641-1643, pp. 298-299), that the contribution by the companies was
      allowed to be devoted more especially to the relief of Londonderry.

  515 Journal 39, fo. 285.

  516 Id., fo. 287.

 M220 The militia ordinance, 31 Jan., 1642.

  517 Journal House of Commons, ii. 406.

  518 Journal 40, fo. 25.

 M221 The Common Council uphold the ordinance, 17 March, 1642.

  519 Id., fos. 27-28b.

  520 This concession was made by order of the committee of parliament
      sitting at Grocers’ Hall, 19 Jan.—Journal 40, fo. 17b.

 M222 Commissioners for the city’s militia, 4 April.

  521 J