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Title: Source Book of London History - From the earliest times to 1800
Author: Meadows, P.
Language: English
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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.

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Internet Archive)



                            A SOURCE BOOK OF
                             LONDON HISTORY

                        FROM THE EARLIEST TIMES
                                TO 1800



                               EDITED BY

                            P. MEADOWS, M.A.



[Illustration]



                                 LONDON
                         G. BELL AND SONS, LTD.
                                  1914



                                PREFACE


If the study of History is to be made really valuable from either the
recreative or the educational point of view, it is necessary to have
frequent recourse to original sources and contemporary writings; they
introduce a certain quality of reality and vividness, a kind of
historical atmosphere, which is most essential to a true appreciation of
the subject. This fact is now generally recognised, and many collections
of sources are available for the student of English History. In this
volume will be found a selection of passages, generally from
contemporary sources, relating to the history of London. It is quite
impossible, of course, in a small book to do justice to every aspect of
the subject; and it has seemed best to give special prominence to those
events which concern the City as a whole, its growth, its corporate
life, and its connection with national affairs.

Besides a vast mass of general contemporary literature, a large number
of the most important and interesting documents dealing with London
history have already been printed; but all this material is very
scattered, and frequently rather inaccessible to the general reader. The
Histories by Maitland and Noorthouck, published in the eighteenth
century, contain translations of charters and other documents; Riley's
"Memorials" is invaluable for the fourteenth century; and many useful
suggestions have been derived from Besant's "Survey of London."

The spelling of the extracts has generally been modernised, but in a few
cases the original text has been exactly followed.

It is hoped that the chronological arrangement of the passages, the care
which has been taken in selecting them so as to illustrate events or
circumstances of definite importance in the history of the City, and the
introductory remarks attached to each extract, will save this volume
from being merely a collection of historical scraps, and will enable it
to be of real use to all who are interested in the story of London.

                                                                   P. M.



                                CONTENTS


            DATE                                              PAGE

        TO 1066. LONDON BEFORE THE CONQUEST                      1

           1066. THE CONQUEROR'S CHARTER                         4

           1085. LONDON ENVIRONS IN DOMESDAY                     4

      _c._ 1130. HENRY I.'S CHARTER                              8

           1141. MATILDA IN LONDON                              10

      _c._ 1173. A NORMAN PICTURE OF LONDON                     12

           1177. DISTURBANCES IN THE CITY                       17

           1189. ORDINANCES CONCERNING BUILDING                 19

           1191. THE LIBERTIES OF THE CITY CONFIRMED            22

           1199. JOHN'S THIRD CHARTER                           23

           1202. LONDON BRIDGE                                  25

           1249. OPPRESSION BY HENRY III.                       27

           1258. INTERFERENCE BY BARONS                         29

           1282. THE STEELYARD                                  31

           1282. THE PRESERVATION OF PEACE AND ORDER            33

           1311. THE CITIZENS AND EDWARD II.                    36

           1319. CONSTITUTIONS FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF THE CITY   37

           1326. A REVOLT AGAINST EDWARD II.                    40

           1329. A PROCLAMATION OF EDWARD III.                  42

           1347. ARTICLES OF THE HEAUMERS AND OF THE HATTERS    44

           1350. REGULATIONS CONCERNING WAGES AND PRICES        46

           1364. THE CHARTER TO THE DRAPERS                     49

           1365. A LETTER FROM EDWARD III.                      51

           1374. A LEASE TO GEOFFREY CHAUCER                    52

           1375. THE CITY ARMS                                  54

           1381. WAT TYLER IN LONDON                            56

      _c._ 1400. LONDON LICKPENNY                               62

           1406. WHITTINGTON'S SECOND MAYORALTY                 66

           1413. THE PERSECUTION OF THE LOLLARDS                68

           1415. IMPRISONMENT FOR REFUSING OFFICE               70

           1419. OATHS OF THE MAYOR AND ALDERMEN                72

           1450. JACK CADE IN LONDON                            74

           1464. THE MAYOR'S DIGNITY                            78

           1485. REGULATIONS CONCERNING STRANGERS               79

           1510. THE MARCHING WATCH                             82

           1514. DESTRUCTION OF FENCES                          84

           1517. MORE'S DESCRIPTION OF LONDON                   85

           1517. EVIL MAY DAY                                   88

           1519. THE PAPAL LEGATE IN THE CITY                   91

           1525. WOLSEY AND THE CITIZENS                        93

           1527. THE APPRENTICES                                95

           1533. A WATER PAGEANT                                98

           1549. LATIMER'S EXHORTATION TO LONDON               100

           1553. MARY'S SPEECH TO THE CITIZENS                 102

           1554. SORANZO'S REPORT ON LONDON                    105

           1566. THE ROYAL EXCHANGE                            106

           1575. A LORD MAYOR'S SHOW                           107

           1587. LONDON AND THE ARMADA                         110

           1592. THE CITY'S ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE STAGE         111

           1593. A PLAGUE ORDER                                115

           1598. LONDON SCHOOLS                                121

           1600. A GERMAN VIEW OF LONDON                       123

           1609. LONDON AND ULSTER                             125

           1626. THE DEMANDS OF CHARLES I.                     129

           1629. THE KEEPING OF THE SABBATH                    131

           1640. THE CITY'S PETITION TO CHARLES I.             132

           1642. LONDON UNDER THE EARLY STUARTS                134

           1643. A PROCLAMATION AGAINST THE CITY               136

           1653. CROMWELL IN LONDON                            138

           1660. LONDON AND THE RESTORATION                    140

           1661. STATE OF LONDON BEFORE THE PLAGUE             144

           1665. THE PLAGUE                                    146

           1666. THE FIRE                                      148

           1666. A PROCLAMATION OF CHARLES II.                 156

           1667. EVELYN'S PLANS FOR REBUILDING                 159

           1671. AN ACT CONCERNING THE STREETS                 162

           1679. A LORD MAYOR'S PROCLAMATION                   164

           1681. THE POPISH PANIC                              169

           1681. POSTAL ARRANGEMENTS                           169

           1688. LONDON AFTER JAMES II.'S ABDICATION           172

           1689. A LORD MAYOR'S DAY                            174

           1716. GAY'S "TRIVIA"                                177

           1720. THE SOUTH SEA BUBBLE                          179

           1725. DEFOE'S DESCRIPTION OF LONDON                 181

           1733. A PETITION AGAINST THE EXCISE BILL            183

           1741. THE LONDON STREETS                            185

           1743. THE LOYALTY OF THE LONDON MERCHANTS           187

           1780. THE GORDON RIOTS                              188

           1791. LONDON'S TRADE                                191

                           HISTORY OF LONDON



                      LONDON BEFORE THE CONQUEST.


References to London in the early chronicles are comparatively few;
under Roman rule it took the place for which it was fitted by its
geographical situation—a commercial port, and it flourished or decayed
as trade prospered or declined. The Saxon invaders did not care for
walled towns, and London was neglected; moreover, they did not care for
commerce, and there was no need for a commercial centre or port. The
unsettled condition of the country made it impossible for the city to
prosper, and the invasions of the Danes further interfered with its
growth. But in spite of all these drawbacks, London was definitely
marked out from the first as the best and most convenient centre for
trading and commercial activity; and Alfred fully realised the
importance of the city not only for purposes of trade, but as a bulwark
of national defence.

The following are the most important passages in the Anglo-Saxon
Chronicle relating to London. Its importance as a military station
appears to have been very great in the time of Cnut, to judge by the
efforts he made to capture the town; and the proportion of tribute paid
in 1018 seems to show that the population and wealth of the city must
have been very considerable.


                 =Source.=—_The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle._

AN. 457. Hengist and Æsc his son fought against the Britons at the place
called Cregan Ford, and there slew four thousand men; and the Britons
then forsook Kent and in great terror fled to London.

AN. 886. In this year the army again went west, which had before landed
in the east, and then up the Seine, and there took winter-quarters at
the city of Paris. In the same year king Ælfred restored London; and all
the Angle-race turned to him that were not in the bondage of the Danish
men; and he then committed the burgh to the keeping of the aldorman
Æthered.

AN. 894.... Then those who dwell with the Northumbrians and with the
East Angles gathered some hundred ships, and went south about, and
besieged a work in Devonshire by the north sea; and those who went south
about besieged Exeter. When the King heard that, he turned west towards
Exeter with all the force, save a very powerful body of the people
eastwards. These went on until they came to London, and then, with the
townsmen and with the aid which came to them from the west, marched east
to Benfleet. Hæsten was then come there with his army, which had
previously sat at Middleton (Milton); and the great army also was come
thereto, which had before sat at the mouth of the Limen, at Appledore.
Hæsten had before wrought the work at Benfleet, and was then gone out
harrying, and the great army was at home. They then marched up and put
the army to flight, and stormed the work, and took all that there was
within, as well money, as women and children, and brought all to London;
and all the ships they either broke in pieces, or burned, or brought to
London, or to Rochester.

AN. 994. In this year came Olaf (Anlaf) and Svein to London, on the
Nativity of St. Mary (Sept. 8th), with ninetyfour ships, and they were
obstinately fighting against the town, and would also have set it on
fire. But they there sustained more harm and evil than they ever weened
that any townsmen could do to them. For the holy mother of God, on that
day, manifested her mercy to the townsmen, and delivered them from their
foes.

AN. 1016.... And the ætheling Eadmund went to London to his father. And
then, after Easter, King Cnut went with all his ships towards London.
Then it befell that King Æthelred died before the ships came. He ended
his days on St. George's mass day (April 23rd): and he held his kingdom
with great toil and difficulty, while his life lasted. And then, after
his end, all the "witan" that were in London, and the townsmen, chose
Eadmund for King; and he boldly defended his kingdom while his time was.
Then came the ships to Greenwich in the Rogation days (May 7th); and
within a little space they went to London, and they then dug a great
ditch on the south side, and dragged their ships to the west side of the
bridge, and afterwards ditched the town without, so that no one could
pass either in or out; and they repeatedly fought against the town, but
they boldly withstood them. Then before that, King Eadmund had gone out;
and he rode over Wessex, and all the folk submitted to him. And shortly
after that, he fought against the army at Pen by Gillingham. And a
second battle he fought after Midsummer at Sherston (Sceorstân), and
there was great slaughter made on each side, and the armies of
themselves separated. In that battle the aldorman Eadric and Ælmær
Dyrling gave aid to the army against king Eadmund. And then a third time
he gathered a force and went to London, all north of the Thames, and so
out through Clayhanger, and saved the townsmen, and drove the army in
flight to their ships. And then, two nights after, the king went over at
Brentford, and then fought against the army, and put it to flight; and
there were drowned a great many of the English folk, by their own
carelessness, those who went before the force, and would take booty. And
after that, the king went into Wessex, and collected his force. Then the
army went forthwith to London, and beset the city around, and
obstinately fought against it, both by water and by land. And Almighty
God saved it.

AN. 1018. In this year the tribute was paid over all the Angle-race:
that was in all two and seventy thousand pounds, exclusive of what the
townsmen of London paid, which was ten and a half thousand pounds.



                    THE CONQUEROR'S CHARTER (1066).


William of Normandy might be able, by force of arms, to make himself
master of England, but not until London opened her gates to him could he
be really King. He preferred negotiation to attack, and in return for
the support of the citizens he promised to abide by the laws of Edward
the Confessor, and maintain the rights of the City. Shortly after his
coronation he gave the citizens his famous Charter, the first of a long
series of charters; in it are conveyed in the fewest possible words the
largest possible rights and privileges. The Charter, which is really a
compact between the King and the citizens rather than a grant from the
former to the latter, indicates three all-important points with the
greatest clearness and precision. They are, first, the rights of a
freeman, as understood at the time, and according to the English
customs, were to be secured to every man; second, every man was to have
the right of inheritance; and third, no one was to stand between the
City and the King.

  William the King friendly salutes William the Bishop, and Godfrey
  the portreve, and all the burgesses within London, both French and
  English. And I declare, that I grant you to be all law-worthy, as
  you were in the days of King Edward; and I grant that every child
  shall be his father's heir, after his father's days; and I will not
  suffer any person to do you wrong. God keep you.



                  LONDON ENVIRONS IN DOMESDAY (1085).


In 1085 William the Conqueror, according to the Chronicle, "sent over
all England into every shire his men, and let them inquire how many
hundred hides were in each shire, and what land and cattle the King
himself had in the shire, and what rent he ought to receive yearly in
each. He let them also inquire how much land his archbishops had, and
his other bishops and his abbots, and how much every man had who held
land within the kingdom, as well on land as on cattle, and how much each
was worth."

This Domesday Survey did not include the City of London, but the suburbs
are described as in Middlesex. The most striking fact with regard to
these suburbs is that nearly the whole of the land immediately bordering
the City was in the hands of the Church; all round London was a broad
belt of ecclesiastical manors, and this fact interfered considerably
with the extension of the City. The privileges of London citizens were
confined rigidly to the town within the walls; we notice that at the
time of Domesday Book the adjacent country was very sparsely inhabited,
and the expansion of the residential area outside the City boundaries
was a slow process, often hindered by the ecclesiastical authorities.

  _Stepney._—In Osuluestan (Ossulston) hundred, the Bishop of London
  holds Stibenhede (Stepney) for thirty-two hides. There is land to
  twenty-five ploughs. Fourteen hides belong to the demesne, and there
  are three ploughs there; and twenty-two ploughs of the villanes.
  There are forty-four villanes of one virgate each; and seven
  villanes of half a hide each; and nine villanes of half a virgate
  each; and forty-six cottagers of one hide; they pay thirty shillings
  a year. There are four mills of four pounds and sixteen shillings
  save fourpence. Meadow sufficient for twenty-five ploughs. Pasture
  for the cattle of the village, and fifteen shillings. Pannage for
  five hundred hogs and forty shillings. Its whole value is
  forty-eight pounds; and it was worth the same when received; in King
  Edward's time fifty pounds. This manor was and is part of the see.

  _Fulham._—In Fvleham (Fulham) the Bishop of London holds forty
  hides. There is land to forty ploughs. Thirteen hides belong to the
  demesne, and there are four ploughs there. Among the freemen (franc)
  and the villanes are twenty-six ploughs; and ten more might be made.
  There are five villanes of one hide each; and thirteen villanes of
  one virgate each; and thirty-four villanes of half a virgate each;
  and twenty-two cottagers of half a hide; and eight cottagers with
  their own gardens. Foreigners and certain burgesses of London hold
  amongst them twenty-three hides of the land of the villanes.
  Thirty-one villanes and bordars dwell under them. Meadows for forty
  ploughs. Pasture for the cattle of the village. For half the stream
  ten shillings. Pannage for one thousand hogs, and seventeen pence.
  Its whole value is forty pounds; the like when received; in King
  Edward's time fifty pounds. This manor was and is part of the see.

  _St. Pancras._—The canons of St. Paul hold four hides to Sem
  Pancratium (St. Pancras). There is land to two ploughs. The villanes
  have one plough, and another plough may be made. Wood for the
  hedges. Pasture for the cattle, and twenty pence. There are four
  villanes who hold this land under the canons, and seven cottagers.
  Its whole value is forty shillings; the same when received; in King
  Edward's time sixty shillings. This manor was and is in the demesne
  of St. Paul.

  _Islington._—In Isendone (Islington) the canons of St. Paul have two
  hides. Land to one plough and a half. There is one plough there, and
  a half may be made. There are three villanes of one virgate. Pasture
  for the cattle of the village. This land is and was worth forty
  shillings. This laid and lies in the demesne of the church of St.
  Paul.

  In the same village the canons themselves have two hides of land.
  There is land there to two ploughs and a half, and they are there
  now. There are four villanes who hold this land under the canons;
  and four bordars and thirteen cottagers. This land is worth thirty
  shillings; the same when received; in King Edward's time forty
  shillings. This laid and lies in the demesne of the church of St.
  Paul.

  _Hoxton._—In Hochestone (Hoxton) the canons of St. Paul have one
  hide. Land to one plough, and it is now there; and three villanes
  hold this land under the canons. Pasture for the cattle. This land
  was and is worth twenty shillings. This laid and lies in the demesne
  of the church of St. Paul.

  _Manor._—The canons hold Hochestone (Hoxton) for three hides. There
  is land to three ploughs, and they are there; and seven villanes who
  hold this land; and sixteen cottagers. It is worth in the whole
  fifty-five shillings; the same when received; in King Edward's time
  sixty shillings. This manor belonged and belongs to the church of
  St. Paul.

  _Westminster._—In the village where the church of St. Peter is
  situate, the abbot of the same place holds thirteen hides and a
  half. There is land to eleven ploughs. Nine hides and one virgate
  belong to the demesne, and there are four ploughs therein. The
  villanes have six ploughs, and one plough more may be made. There
  are nine villanes of one virgate each; one villane of one hide; and
  nine villanes of half a virgate each; and one cottager of five
  acres; and forty-one cottagers who pay forty shillings a year for
  their gardens. Meadow for eleven ploughs. Pasture for the cattle of
  the village. Pannage for one hundred hogs. And twenty-five houses of
  the knights of the abbot and of other vassals, who pay eight
  shillings a year. Its whole value is ten pounds; the same when
  received; in King Edward's time twelve pounds. This manor was and is
  in the demesne of the church of St. Peter, of Westminster.

  _Hampstead._—The Abbot of St. Peter holds Hamestede (Hampstead) for
  four hides. Land to three ploughs. Three hides and a half belong to
  the demesne, and there is one plough therein. The villanes have one
  plough, and another may be made. There is one villane of one
  virgate; and five bordars of one virgate; and one bondman. Pannage
  for one hundred hogs. In the whole it is worth fifty shillings; the
  same when received; in King Edward's time one hundred shillings.

  In the same village Rannulf Pevrel holds under the abbot one hide of
  the land of the villanes. Land to half a plough, and it is there.
  This land was and is worth five shillings. This manor altogether
  laid and lies in the demesne of the church of St. Peter.

  _Tyburn._—The abbess of Berking holds Tiburne (Tyburn) of the King;
  it answered for five hides. Land to three ploughs. There are two
  hides in the demesne, and there is one plough therein. The villanes
  have two ploughs. There are two villanes of half a hide; and one
  villane of half a virgate; and two bordars of ten acres; and three
  cottagers. Pasture for the cattle of the village. Pannage for fifty
  hogs. For herbage forty pence. It is worth in the whole fifty-two
  shillings; the same when received; in King Edward's time one hundred
  shillings. This manor always belonged and belongs to the church of
  Berking.



                THE CHARTER OF HENRY I. (_circa_ 1130).


In William I.'s Charter the laws and customs of Edward the Confessor
were confirmed. This was perhaps all that the citizens wanted at the
time, but after a lapse of sixty years they desired a more explicit
definition of their laws and liberties, and obtained it from Henry I. In
his Charter the rights conferred by the Conqueror are not
recited—probably they were taken as a matter of course—but for the rest,
the citizens obtained all that they could reasonably ask or obtain by
purchase. In one respect only was their freedom limited: the King
reserved to himself the right of taxation, and in a medieval kingdom
this was only to be expected. The City was encouraged to grow strong and
wealthy, and the King might take its money freely for himself.

Among the more important points of this Charter may be noted the freedom
of toll to assist the development of trade; the permission to refuse
lodging to the King's household; the right of the citizens to appoint
their own Justiciar; and the grant that they should not plead without
the City walls, obviating the necessity of following the King's Court in
its travels. Altogether, this is a most important Charter, both on
account of the privileges it grants, and the light it throws on the
government of the City.

  Henry, by the grace of God, King of England, to the archbishop of
  Canterbury, and to the bishops and abbots, earls and barons,
  justices and sheriffs, and to all his faithful subjects of England,
  French and English, greeting.

  Know ye that I have granted to my citizens of London, to hold
  Middlesex to farm for three hundred pounds, upon accompt to them and
  their heirs; so that the said citizens shall place as sheriff whom
  they will of themselves; and shall place whomsoever, or such a one
  as they will of themselves, for keeping of the pleas of the crown,
  and of the pleadings of the same, and none other shall be justice
  over the same men of London; and the citizens of London shall not
  plead without the walls of London for any plea. And be they free
  from scot and lot and danegeld, and of all murder; and none of them
  shall wage battle. And if any one of the citizens shall be impleaded
  concerning the pleas of the crown, the man of London shall discharge
  himself by his oath, which shall be adjudged within the city; and
  none shall lodge within the walls, neither of my household, nor any
  other, nor lodging delivered by force.

  And all the men of London shall be quit and free, and all their
  goods, throughout England, and the ports of the sea, of and from all
  toll and passage and lestage, and all other customs; and the
  churches and barons and citizens shall and may peaceably and quietly
  have and hold their sokes with all their customs, so that the
  strangers that shall be lodged in the sokes shall give custom to
  none but to him to whom the soke appertains, or to his officer, whom
  he shall there put: And a man of London shall not be adjudged in
  amerciaments of money but of one hundred shillings (I speak of the
  pleas which appertain to money); and further there shall be no more
  miskenning in the hustings, nor in the folkmote, nor in any other
  pleas within the city, and the hustings may sit once in a week, that
  is to say on Monday: And I will cause my citizens to have their
  lands, promises, bonds and debts, within the city and without; and I
  will do them right by the law of the city, of the lands of which
  they shall complain to me:

  And if any shall take toll or custom of any citizen of London, the
  citizens of London in the city shall take of the borough or town,
  where toll or custom was so taken, so much as the man of London gave
  for toll, and as he received damage thereby: And all debtors, which
  do owe debts to the citizens of London, shall pay them in London, or
  else discharge themselves in London, that they owe none; but, if
  they will not pay the same, neither come to clear themselves that
  they owe none, the citizens of London, to whom the debts shall be
  due, may take their goods in the city of London, of the borough or
  town, or of the country wherein he remains who shall owe the debt:
  And the citizens of London may have their chaces to hunt, as well
  and fully as their ancestors have had, that is to say, in Chiltre,
  and in Middlesex and Surrey.

                  Witness the bishop of Winchester, and Robert son of
                      Richier, and Hugh Bygot, and Alured of Toteneys,
                      and William of Alba-spina, and Hubert the king's
                      Chamberlain, and William de Montfichet, and
                      Hangulf de Taney, and John Bellet, and Robert
                      son of Siward. At Westminster.



                       MATILDA IN LONDON (1141).


The power and influence of the City are well illustrated by the part
which it took in the struggles between Stephen and Matilda for the
throne of England. The Londoners at first supported Stephen; but the
party of the Empress Matilda proved to be the stronger, and for some
time everything appeared to be in her favour. But she ruined her cause
by her foolish behaviour towards the Londoners. She gave grants to a
feudal nobleman, Geoffrey de Mandeville, which practically placed the
City at his mercy, and she made unreasonable demands for subsidies from
the citizens, besides treating them in a very contemptuous fashion.
Finally, when they asked for a renewal of the laws of Edward the
Confessor, she refused, and the citizens rose in revolt and compelled
Matilda to withdraw from the City. The opposition of the Londoners at
that particular time completely altered the aspect of affairs, and
Stephen was shortly afterwards restored to the throne.


                      =Source.=—_Gesta Stephani._

  Having now obtained the submission of the greatest part of the
  kingdom, taken hostages and received homage, and being, as I have
  just said, elated to the highest pitch of arrogance, she came with
  vast military display to London, at the humble request of the
  citizens. They fancied that they had now arrived at happy days, when
  peace and tranquillity would prevail.... She, however, sent for some
  of the more wealthy, and demanded of them, not with gentle courtesy,
  but in an imperious tone, an immense sum of money. Upon this they
  made complaints that their former wealth had been diminished by the
  troubled state of the kingdom, that they had liberally contributed
  to the relief of the indigent against the severe famine which was
  impending, and that they had subsidised the King to their last
  farthing: they therefore humbly implored her clemency that in pity
  for their losses and distresses she would show some moderation in
  levying money from them.... When the citizens had addressed her in
  this manner, she, without any of the gentleness of her sex, broke
  out into insufferable rage, while she replied to them with a stern
  eye and frowning brow "that the Londoners had often paid large sums
  to the King; that they had opened their purse-strings wide to
  strengthen him and weaken her; that they had been long in
  confederacy with her enemies for her injury; and that they had no
  claim to be spared, and to have the smallest part of the fine
  remitted." On hearing this, the citizens departed to their homes,
  sorrowful and unsatisfied.



               A NORMAN PICTURE OF LONDON (_circa_ 1173).


William Fitz-Stephen was a native of London, and lived there much of his
life. This description of his birthplace is prefixed to his "Life of
Thomas Becket," perhaps because he did not wish Canterbury to eclipse
London in his narrative. This account of the capital city is clearly a
fanciful picture, containing much exaggeration; but apart from its
quaintness, it is interesting as showing how a medieval writer treated a
subject which would now be discussed precisely and minutely, with
accurate details and statistics.


   =Source.=—William Fitz-Stephen's _Descriptio Nobilissimæ Civitatis
                               Londonæ_.


                         _Of the Site Thereof._

  Among the noble cities of the world that Fame celebrates the City of
  London, of the Kingdom of the English, is the one seat that pours
  out its fame more widely, sends to farther lands its wealth and
  trade, lifts its head higher than the rest. It is happy in the
  healthiness of its air, in the Christian religion, in the strength
  of its defences, the nature of its site, the honour of its citizens,
  the modesty of its matrons; pleasant in sports; fruitful of noble
  men. Let us look into these things separately....


                             _Of Religion._

  There is in the church there the Episcopal Seat of St. Paul; once it
  was Metropolitan, and it is thought will again become so if the
  citizens return into the island, unless perhaps the archiepiscopal
  title of St. Thomas the Martyr, and his bodily presence, preserve to
  Canterbury, where it is now, a perpetual dignity. But as Saint
  Thomas has made both cities illustrious, London by his rising,
  Canterbury by his setting, in regard of that saint, with admitted
  justice, each can claim advantage of the other. There are also, as
  regards the cultivation of the Christian faith, in London and the
  suburbs, thirteen larger conventual churches, besides lesser parish
  churches one hundred and twenty-six.


                     _Of the Strength of the City._

  It has on the east the Palatine Castle, very great and strong, of
  which the ground plan and the walls rise from a very deep
  foundation, fixed with a mortar tempered by the blood of animals. On
  the west are two towers very strongly fortified, with the high and
  great wall of the city having seven double gates, and towered to the
  north at intervals. London was walled and towered in like manner on
  the south, but the great fish-bearing Thames river which there
  glides, with ebb and flow from the sea, by course of time has washed
  against, loosened, and thrown down those walls. Also upwards to the
  west the royal palace is conspicuous above the same river, an
  incomparable building with ramparts and bulwarks, two miles from the
  city, joined to it by a populous suburb.


                             _Of Gardens._

  Everywhere outside the houses of those living in the suburbs are
  joined to them, planted with trees, the spacious and beautiful
  gardens of the citizens.


                        _Of Pasture and Tilth._

  Also there are, on the north side, pastures and a pleasant
  meadowland, through which flow river streams, where the turning
  wheels of mills are put in motion with a cheerful sound. Very near
  lies a great forest, with woodland pastures, coverts of wild
  animals, stags, fallow deer, boars, and wild bulls. The tilled lands
  of the city are not of barren gravel but fat plains of Asia, that
  make crops luxuriant, and fill their tillers' barns with Ceres'
  sheaves.


                             _Of Springs._

  There are also about London, on the north side, excellent suburban
  springs, with sweet, wholesome, and clear water that flows rippling
  over the bright stones; among which Holy Well, Clerken Well, and
  Saint Clements are frequented by greater numbers, and visited more
  by scholars and youth of the city when they go out for fresh air on
  summer evenings. It is a good city indeed when it has a good master.


                      _Of Honour of the Citizens._

  That City is honoured by her men, adorned by her arms, populous with
  many inhabitants, so that in the time of slaughter of war under King
  Stephen, of those going out to muster twenty thousand horsemen and
  sixty thousand men on foot were estimated to be fit for war. Above
  all other citizens, everywhere, the citizens of London are regarded
  as conspicuous and noteworthy for handsomeness of manners and of
  dress, at table, and in way of speaking....


                             _Of Schools._

  In London three principal churches have by privilege and ancient
  dignity famous schools; yet very often by support of some personage,
  or of some teachers who are considered notable and famous in
  philosophy, there are also other schools by favour or permission. On
  feast days the masters have festival meetings in the churches. Their
  scholars dispute, some by demonstration, others by dialectics; some
  recite enthymemes, others do better in using perfect syllogisms.
  Some are exercised in disputation for display, as wrestling with
  opponents; others for truth, which is the grace of perfectness.
  Sophists who feign are judged happy in their heap and flood of
  words. Others paralogise. Some orators, now and then, say in their
  rhetorical speeches something apt for persuasion, careful to observe
  rules of their art, and to omit none of the contingents. Boys of
  different schools strive against one another in verses, and contend
  about the principles of grammar and rules of the past and future
  tenses....


                     _Of the Ordering of the City._

  Those engaged in the several kinds of business, sellers of several
  things, contractors for several kinds of work, are distributed every
  morning into their several localities and shops. Besides, there is
  in London on the river bank, among the wines in ships and cellars
  sold by the vintners, a public cook shop; there eatables are to be
  found every day, according to the season, dishes of meat, roast,
  fried and boiled, great and small fish, coarser meats for the poor,
  more delicate for the rich, of game, fowls, and small birds. If
  there should come suddenly to any of the citizens friends, weary
  from a journey and too hungry to like waiting till fresh food is
  brought and cooked, with water to their hands comes bread, while one
  runs to the river bank, and there is all that can be wanted. However
  great the multitude of soldiers or travellers entering the city, or
  preparing to go out of it, at any hour of the day or night,—that
  these may not fast too long and those may not go supperless,—they
  turn hither, if they please, where every man can refresh himself in
  his own way.... Outside one of the gates there, immediately in the
  suburb, is a certain field, smooth (Smith) field in fact and name.
  Every Friday, unless it be a higher day of appointed solemnity,
  there is in it a famous show of noble horses for sale. Earls,
  barons, knights, and many citizens who are in town, come to see or
  buy.... In another part of the field stand by themselves the goods
  proper to rustics, implements of husbandry, swine with long flanks,
  cows with full udders, oxen of bulk immense, and woolly flocks....
  To this city from every nation under heaven merchants delight to
  bring their trade by sea.... This city ... is divided into wards,
  has annual sheriffs for its consuls, has senatorial and lower
  magistrates, sewers and aqueducts in its streets, its proper places
  and separate courts for cases of each kind, deliberative,
  demonstrative, judicial; has assemblies on appointed days. I do not
  think there is a city with more commendable customs of church
  attendance, honour to God's ordinances, keeping sacred festivals,
  almsgiving, hospitality, confirming, betrothals, contracting
  marriages, celebration of nuptials, preparing feasts, cheering the
  guests, and also in care for funerals and the interment of the dead.
  The only pests of London are the immoderate drinking of fools and
  the frequency of fires. To this may be added that nearly all the
  bishops, abbots, and magnates of England are, as it were, citizens
  and freemen of London; having there their own splendid houses, to
  which they resort, where they spend largely when summoned to great
  councils by the king or by their metropolitan, or drawn thither by
  their own private affairs.


                              _Of Sports._

  Let us now come to the sports and pastimes, seeing it is fit that a
  city should not only be commodious and serious, but also merry and
  sportful; ... but London ... hath holy plays, representations of
  miracles which holy confessors have wrought, or representations of
  torments wherein the constancy of martyrs appeared. Every year also
  at Shrove Tuesday, that we may begin with children's sports, seeing
  we all have been children, the schoolboys do bring cocks of the game
  to their master, and all the forenoon they delight themselves in
  cock-fighting: after dinner, all the youths go into the field to
  play at the ball.

  The scholars of every school have their ball, or baton, in their
  hands; the ancient and wealthy men of the city come forth on
  horseback to see the sport of the young men, and to take part of the
  pleasure in beholding their agility. Every Friday in Lent a fresh
  company of young men comes into the field on horseback, and the best
  horseman conducteth the rest. Then march forth the citizen's sons,
  and other young men, with disarmed lances and shields, and there
  they practise feats of war. Many courtiers likewise, when the king
  lieth near, and attendants of noblemen, do repair to these
  exercises; and while the hope of victory doth inflame their minds,
  do show good proof how serviceable they would be in martial affairs.

  In Easter holidays they fight battles on the water; a shield is hung
  upon a pole, fixed in the midst of a stream, a boat is prepared
  without oars, to be carried by violence of the water, and in the
  fore part thereof standeth a young man, ready to give charge upon
  the shield with his lance; if so be he breaketh his lance against
  the shield, and doth not fall, he is thought to have performed a
  worthy deed; if so be, without breaking his lance, he runneth
  strongly against the shield, down he falleth into the water, for the
  boat is violently forced with the tide; but on each side of the
  shield ride two boats, furnished with young men, which recover him
  that falleth as soon as they may. Upon the bridge, wharfs, and
  houses, by the river's side, stand great numbers to see and laugh
  thereat.

  In the holidays all the summer the youths are exercised in leaping,
  dancing, shooting, wrestling, casting the stone, and practising
  their shields; the maidens trip in their timbrels, and dance as long
  as they can well see. In winter, every holiday before dinner, the
  boars prepared for brawn are set to fight, or else bulls and bears
  are baited.

  When the great fen, or moor, which watereth the walls of the city on
  the north side, is frozen, many young men play upon the ice; some,
  striding as wide as they may, do slide swiftly; others make
  themselves seats of ice, as great as millstones; one sits down, many
  hand in hand to draw him, and one slipping on a sudden, all fall
  together; some tie bones to their feet and under their heels; and
  shoving themselves by a little picked staff, do slide as swiftly as
  a bird flieth in the air, or an arrow out of a crossbow. Sometime
  two run together with poles, and hitting on the other, either one or
  both do fall, not without hurt; some break their arms, some their
  legs, but youth desirous of glory in this sort exerciseth itself
  against the time of war. Many of the citizens do delight themselves
  in hawks and hounds; for they have liberty of hunting in Middlesex,
  Hertfordshire, all Chiltern, and in Kent to the water of Cray.



                    DISTURBANCES IN THE CITY (1177).


The following story is not altogether free from suspicion, but it was
probably inspired by accounts of the depredations of the young bloods of
the City. Nocturnal disturbances were by no means unknown as late as the
eighteenth century, and the Mohocks were following a tradition which was
as old as the City itself.


 =Source.=—Translated from _Benedict of Peterborough_, vol. i., p. 155.

  During this council the brother of earl Ferrers was slain by night
  in London. When the King heard this he was greatly distressed, and
  swore that he would take vengeance on the citizens of London. For it
  was the custom then in London for a hundred or more of the sons and
  relations of the citizens to make nocturnal assaults on the houses
  of the rich, and rob them; and if they found anybody wandering about
  the streets they would kill him without pity; so that very few dared
  to walk through the city at night for fear of them. Three years
  before this the sons of the "nobility" of London assembled by night
  for purposes of robbery, and attacked the house of a certain rich
  citizen; having broken down the wall with iron bars they entered
  through the aperture thus made. But the occupier of the house had
  been forewarned of their arrival; he donned a coat of mail and
  collected several trusty armed servants, with whom he waited in a
  corner of the house. Soon he saw one of the robbers, named Andrew
  Bucquinte, who was eagerly leading the rest; he hurled at him a pan
  full of hot coals and rushed on him fiercely. When Richard Bucquinte
  saw this, he drew his dagger and struck the citizen, but he received
  no injury because of his coat of mail; he drew his sword and cut off
  the right hand of Richard Bucquinte. Then he raised a cry, "Thieves,
  thieves!" and on hearing it all the robbers fled except the one who
  had lost his hand, and the citizen captured him. Next day he was
  brought before Richard de Lucy, the King's justiciar, and was
  imprisoned. This thief, being promised pardon, informed against his
  companions, many of whom were taken, although many escaped. Among
  those who were taken was a certain John, an old man, the noblest and
  wealthiest of the citizens of London. He offered five hundred marks
  of silver to the King in return for his life, but the King would not
  take the fine, and ordered justice to be carried out, so he was
  hanged.



                     ORDINANCES CONCERNING BUILDING
                             (1189, 1212).


The documents quoted below give good evidence of the style in which the
better class of houses was built during the twelfth and thirteenth
centuries. The greater part of the city was built of wood, the houses
being roofed with straw, reeds, and similar materials. The frequent
fires which took place owing to this manner of building, especially the
great fire of 1135 which destroyed a great part of the City, compelled
the citizens to take some precautions against the recurrence of such a
calamity. Stone was used to a larger extent, and various privileges were
conceded to those who used stone in the construction of their houses.
This material was made compulsory in the party-walls, but the rest of
the buildings might be made of anything, and was usually constructed of
wood. The regulations of 1189 did not produce any great or immediate
effect on the style of building, and a further ordinance was issued in
1212, after a disastrous fire had destroyed London Bridge and a large
number of houses.


    =Source.=—The London Assizes of 1189 and 1212, quoted in Hudson
              Turner's _History of Domestic Architecture_.

  (_a_) In the year of the Lord 1189, in the first year of the reign
  of the illustrious King Richard, in the mayoralty of Henry
  Fitz-Aylwin, who was the first Mayor of London, these provisions and
  ordinances were made by the wise men of the City, for appeasing the
  contentions which sometimes arise among neighbours touching
  boundaries made or to be made between their lands, so that such
  disputes might be settled according to that which was then provided
  and ordained. And the said provision and ordinance was called an
  Assize.

  When two neighbours shall have agreed to build between themselves a
  wall of stone, each shall give a foot and a half of land, and so
  they shall construct, at their joint cost, a stone wall three feet
  thick and sixteen feet in height. And, if they agree, they shall
  make a gutter between them, to carry off the water from their
  houses, as they may deem most convenient. But if they should not
  agree, either of them may make a gutter to carry the water dripping
  from his house on to his own land, except he can convey it into the
  high street.

  They may also, if they agree, raise the said wall as high as they
  please, at their joint expense; and if it shall happen that one
  shall wish to raise the wall, and the other not, it shall be lawful
  for him who is willing, to raise his own part as much as he please,
  and build upon it, without damage of the other, at his own cost.

  And if any one shall build his own stone wall, upon his own land, of
  the height of sixteen feet, his neighbour ought to make a gutter
  under the eaves of the house which is placed on that wall, and
  receive in it the water falling from that house, and lead it on to
  his own land, unless he can lead it into the high street.

  Also, no one of two parties having a common wall built between them,
  can, or ought, to pull down any portion of his part of the said
  wall, or lessen its thickness, or make arches in it, without the
  assent and will of the other.

  And if any one shall have windows looking towards the land of a
  neighbour, and although he and his predecessors have long been
  possessed of the view of the aforesaid windows, nevertheless his
  neighbour may lawfully obstruct the view of those windows, by
  building opposite to them on his own ground, as he shall consider
  most expedient; except he who hath the windows can shew any writing
  whereby his neighbour may not obstruct the view of those windows.

  Let it be borne in mind that in former times a great part of the
  city was built of wood, and the houses were roofed with straw, reeds
  and such things; so that when any house caught fire, a great part of
  the city was destroyed by that fire; as happened in the first year
  of the reign of King Stephen. For it is written in the chronicles
  that in a fire which began at London Bridge, St. Paul's Church was
  burnt down, and the fire proceeded thence, burning all the houses
  and buildings as far as St. Clement Danes. Therefore many citizens,
  to avoid such danger, built according to their means, on their
  ground, a stone house covered and protected by thick tiles against
  the fury of fire, whereby it often happened that when a fire arose
  in the city and burnt many edifices, and had reached such a house,
  not being able to injure it, it became there extinguished, so that
  many neighbours' houses were wholly saved from fire by that house.

  (_b_) A decree made by the counsel of the citizens, for the setting
  into order of the city and to provide, by God's help, against fire.

  First, they advise that all ale-houses be forbidden, except those
  which shall be licensed by the common council of the city at
  Guildhall, excepting those belonging to persons willing to build of
  stone, that the city may be secure. And that no baker bake, or
  ale-wife brew, by night, either with reeds or straw or stubble, but
  with wood only.

  They advise also that all the cook-shops on the Thames be
  whitewashed and plastered within and without, and that all inner
  chambers and hostelries be wholly removed, so that there remain only
  the house (hall) and bed-room.

  Whosoever wishes to build, let him take care, as he loveth himself
  and his goods, that he roof not with reed, nor rush, nor with any
  manner of litter, but with tile only, or shingle, or boards, or, if
  it may be, with lead, within the city and Portsoken. Also all houses
  which till now are covered with reed or rush, which can be
  plastered, let them be plastered within eight days, and let those
  which shall not be so plastered within the term be demolished by the
  aldermen and lawful men of the venue.

  All wooden houses which are nearest to the stone houses in Cheap,
  whereby the stone houses in Cheap may be in peril, shall be securely
  amended by view of the mayor and sheriffs, and good men of the city,
  or, without any exception, to whomsoever they may belong, pulled
  down.

  The watches, and they who watch by night for the custody of the city
  shall go out by day and return by day, or they by whom they may have
  been sent forth shall be fined forty shillings by the city. And let
  old houses in which brewing or baking is done be whitewashed and
  plastered within and without, that they may be safe against fire.

  Let all the aldermen have a proper hook and cord, and let him who
  shall not have one within the appointed term be amerced by the city.
  Foreign workmen who come into the city, and refuse to obey the
  aforesaid decree, shall be arrested until brought before the mayor
  and good men to hear their judgment. They say also that it is only
  proper that before every house there should be a tub full of water,
  either of wood or stone.



                  THE LIBERTIES OF THE CITY CONFIRMED
                                (1191).


When Richard I. set out on his crusade, he left the government of
England in the hands of William Longchamp, as Chancellor. This man made
himself most unpopular by his tyrannical acts, and John, the King's
brother, for purposes of his own, joined the malcontents. Longchamp
attempted to gain the support of London, and at a meeting of citizens in
the Guildhall he denounced John as aiming at the crown, and prayed them
to uphold the King. The citizens, however, received John with welcome,
and he was given to understand that he would receive the support of the
City on certain terms, to which, of course, he agreed. This "commune,"
which was granted by John and the barons, was the first public
recognition of the citizens of London as a body corporate.


         =Source.=—Translated from _Benedict of Peterborough_,
                           vol. ii., p. 213.

  John, with almost all the bishops and barons of England in
  attendance on him, entered London on that day (October 7, 1191), and
  on the following day John and the Archbishop of Rouen and all the
  bishops and barons, and with them the citizens of London, met in St.
  Paul's church, and accused the chancellor of many things, especially
  with regard to the injuries which he had wrought to the Archbishop
  of York, the Bishop of Durham, and his son Henry. Moreover the
  colleagues of the chancellor, whom the King had associated with him
  in the government of the country, accused him of many crimes, saying
  that he had performed everything without their counsel and consent.
  Then the Archbishop of Rouen and William Marshall showed to the
  assembly the King's letter, by which it was ordered that if the
  chancellor did any foolish thing to the harm of the King or the
  realm, the said Archbishop of Rouen was to be appointed in his
  stead.... Therefore John the King's brother, and all the bishops and
  barons and the citizens of London, decided that the chancellor
  should be deposed from the government of the kingdom.... John and
  the Archbishop of Rouen, and all the bishops and barons of the
  kingdom who were present, granted to the citizens of London their
  commune, and swore that they would guard it and the liberties of the
  city of London, as long as it pleased the King; and the citizens of
  London and the bishops and barons swore allegiance to King Richard,
  and to John the King's brother, and undertook to accept John as
  their lord and King, if the King died without issue.


             From _Richard of Devizes_, vol. iii., p. 416.

  On that day was granted and confirmed the commune of London, to
  which the barons of the whole kingdom and the bishops of every
  diocese gave their consent. On that occasion for the first time
  London realized that the kingdom was without a king, by this
  conspiracy which neither Richard himself nor his father Henry would
  have allowed to take place for a million marks. A commune puffs up
  the people, threatens the kingdom, and weakens the priesthood.



                      JOHN'S THIRD CHARTER (1199).


John granted five charters to the City, and in this third charter he
restored to the citizens two privileges, of which they had been deprived
by Matilda and Henry II. The latter, wishing to bring the City under the
direct supervision of the Crown, had retained the appointment of
sheriffs in his own hands; Matilda had annulled the arrangement by which
the citizens were to have the farm of Middlesex on payment of £300 every
year. The restoration of the right of electing the sheriffs was not of
very great importance, for during the period which had elapsed since
Henry II. assumed this privilege the office of Mayor had become
established, and this had considerably lessened the importance of the
sheriffs.

  John, by the grace of God, king of England, lord of Ireland, duke of
  Normandy and Aquitaine, and earl of Anjou; to his archbishops,
  bishops, abbots, earls, barons, justices, sheriffs, rulers, and to
  all his bailiffs and loving subjects.

  Know ye, that we have granted, and by this our present writing
  confirmed, to our citizens of London, the sheriffwicks of London and
  Middlesex, with all the customs and things to the sheriffwick
  belonging, within the city and without, by land and by water, to
  have and to hold, to them and their heirs, of us and our heirs,
  paying therefor three hundred pounds of blank sterling money, at two
  terms in the year; that is to say, at the Easter exchequer, one
  hundred and fifty pounds; and at the Michaelmas exchequer, one
  hundred and fifty pounds; saving to the citizens of London all their
  liberties and free customs.

  And further, we have granted to the citizens of London, that they
  amongst themselves make sheriffs whom they will; and may amove them
  when they will; and those whom they make sheriffs, they shall
  present to our justices of our exchequer, of these things which to
  the said sheriffwick appertain, whereof they ought to answer us; and
  unless they shall sufficiently answer and satisfy, the citizens may
  answer and satisfy us the amerciaments and farm, saving to the said
  citizens their liberties as is aforesaid; and saving to the said
  sheriffs the same liberties which other citizens have: so that, if
  they which shall be appointed sheriffs for the time being, shall
  commit any offence, whereby they ought to incur any amerciament of
  money, they shall not be condemned for any more than to the
  amerciament of twenty pounds, and that without the damage of other
  citizens, if the sheriffs be not sufficient for the payment of their
  amerciaments: but, if they do any offence, whereby they ought to
  incur the loss of their lives or members, they shall be adjudged, as
  they ought to be, according to the law of the city; and of these
  things, which to the said sheriffs belong, the sheriffs shall answer
  before our justices at our exchequer, saving to the said sheriffs
  the liberties which other citizens of London have.

  Also this grant and confirmation we have made to the citizens of
  London for the amendment of the said city, and because it was in
  ancient times farmed for three hundred pounds: wherefore we will and
  steadfastly command, that the citizens of London and their heirs may
  have and hold the sheriffwick of London and Middlesex, with all
  things to the said sheriffwick belonging, of us and our heirs, to
  possess and enjoy hereditarily, freely and quietly, honourably and
  wholly, by fee-farm of three hundred pounds; and we forbid that none
  presume to do any damage, impediment or diminishment to the citizens
  of London of these things, which to the said sheriffwick do or were
  accustomed to appertain: Also we will and command, that if we or our
  heirs, or any of our justices, shall give or grant to any person any
  of those things which to the farm of the sheriffwick appertain, the
  same shall be accounted to the citizens of London, in the acquittal
  of the said farm at our exchequer.



                         LONDON BRIDGE (1202).


It is possible that there was a London Bridge in Roman times, and there
certainly was one, built of wood, before the Conquest. The modern
structure was finished in 1831, and this replaced the old bridge, which
was built between 1176 and 1209, about 200 feet east of the present one.
It consisted of twenty arches, a drawbridge for large vessels, and a
chapel and crypt in the centre, dedicated to St. Thomas of Canterbury.
It was afterwards covered with houses and shops on both sides, like a
street. The last of these buildings was removed in 1757.

The following letter was written by King John to the citizens of London
during the construction of the bridge, and shows that the erection and
maintenance of this important means of communication was a matter for
royal and national, as well as local, consideration.


         =Source.=—Document quoted by Maitland, vol. i., p. 45.

  John, by the Grace of God, King of England, etc.

  To his faithful and beloved the Mayor and Citizens of London,
  greeting.

  Considering how the Lord in a short time has wrought, in regard to
  the Bridges of Xainctes and Rochelle, by the great care and pains of
  our faithful, learned and worthy clerk Isenbert, Master of the
  Schools of Xainctes: We therefore, by the advice of our Reverend
  Father in Christ, Hubert, Archbishop of Canterbury, and that of
  others, have desired, directed and enjoined him to use his best
  endeavour in building your bridge, for your benefit, and that of the
  public: For we trust in the Lord, that this bridge, so necessary for
  you, and all who shall pass the same, will, through his industry,
  and the Divine blessing, soon be finished: Wherefore, without
  prejudice to our right, or that of the City of London, We will and
  grant, that the rents and profits of the several houses that the
  said Master of the Schools shall cause to be erected upon the bridge
  aforesaid, be for ever appropriated to repair, maintain and uphold
  the same.

  And seeing that the necessary work of the said bridge cannot be
  accomplished without your aid, and that of others; We charge and
  exhort you kindly to receive and honour the above-named Isenbert,
  and those employed by him, who will perform everything to your
  advantage and credit, according to his directions, you affording him
  your joint advice and assistance in the premises. For whatever good
  office or honour you shall do to him, you ought to esteem the same
  as done to us. But should any injury be offered to the said
  Isenbert, or the persons employed by him (which we do not believe
  there will), see that the same be redressed, as soon as it comes to
  your knowledge.

                  Witness myself at Molinel, the eighteenth day of
                      April (1202).



                    OPPRESSION BY HENRY III. (1249).


Perhaps no monarch was ever more detested by the citizens of London than
was Henry III.—a weak and foolish ruler, who subjected every class to
his exactions and oppressions. He was himself preyed upon by swarms of
favourites, and enticed into all manner of expensive projects, and could
only free himself from his debts and difficulties by abusing his royal
prerogative. On one occasion he sold his plate and jewels to the
Londoners. "These clowns," he said, "who assume to themselves the name
of barons, abound in everything, while we are reduced to necessities."
Henry certainly seemed to regard their resources as inexhaustible; false
charges were repeatedly made against them, for the purpose of exacting
money; exorbitant sums were demanded for purchasing the King's
good-will, and for the granting of charters; no occasion of soliciting
presents was allowed to pass by; schemes of begging and robbing were
carried on so assiduously by this infatuated monarch that the citizens
were driven, in the end, to offer and render active assistance to the
barons who leagued themselves against him. During this disturbed period
the City did not prosper; it needed a firm and steady Government, and
not till Edward I. ascended the throne did London resume its career of
progress.


                  =Source.=—Matthew Paris, _History_.

  The King began now sedulously to think how he could entirely dry up
  the inexhaustible well of England. For, on meeting with a just
  repulse from the community of nobles, as above mentioned, who stated
  that they would no longer lavish their property to the ruin of the
  kingdom, he studied, by other cunning devices, to quench the thirst
  of his cupidity. Immediately after the festivities of the said
  season, he entered upon the following plan of harassing the citizens
  of London: he suspended the carrying on of traffic in that city, as
  has been before mentioned, for a fortnight, by establishing a new
  fair at Westminster, to the loss and injury of many; and immediately
  afterwards he sent letters by his agents, containing subtle and
  imperious entreaties, asking them for pecuniary aid. On receipt of
  this message, the citizens were grieved to the heart, and said: "Woe
  to us, woe to us; where is the liberty of London, which is so often
  bought; so often granted; so often guaranteed by writing; so often
  sworn to be respected? For each year almost, like slaves of the
  lowest condition, we are impoverished by new talliages, and
  injuriously harassed by fox-like arguments; nor can we discover into
  what whirlpool the property of which we are robbed is absorbed." At
  length, however, although immense sums were demanded, the citizens,
  although unwillingly and not without bitterness of heart, yielded
  their consent to a contribution of two thousand pounds, to be paid
  to the King at a brief period....

  About the same time, the City of London was excited in no slight
  degree, because the King exacted some liberties from the citizens
  for the benefit of the abbot of Westminster, to their enormous loss,
  and the injury of their liberties. The mayor of the city and the
  whole of the community in general, as far as lay in their power,
  opposed the wish (or rather violence and raving) of the King; but he
  proved harsh and inexorable to them. The citizens, therefore, in a
  state of great excitement, went with sorrowful complaints to Earl
  Richard, the earl of Leicester, and other nobles of the Kingdom,
  telling them how the King, perhaps bent into a bow of wickedness, by
  the pope's example, shamelessly violated their charters, granted to
  them by his predecessors. The said nobles were much disturbed at
  this, fearing that the King would attempt a similar proceeding with
  them; they therefore severely reproached him, adding threats to
  their reproaches, and strongly blamed the abbot, who, they believed,
  was the originator and promoter of this wrong, heaping insult upon
  insult on him; which, however, it does not become us to relate, out
  of respect to the order. Thus the prudence of the nobles happily
  recalled the King from his conceived design.



                     INTERFERENCE BY BARONS (1258).


When, in medieval England, the central authority was weak, injustice and
oppression were rife throughout the country, and at such times the men
of London were often hard pressed to maintain intact their privileges.
Under the feeble and vacillating Henry III. there was little restraint
upon corrupt and unscrupulous barons, such as the Hugh Bygot of the
following passage. The right to attend to the administration of justice
within the borders of the City was one of the most essential elements of
the citizen's freedom; no interference in this direction could possibly
be tolerated if the hardly won charters were to be of any avail. It is
not surprising, therefore, that the arbitrary conduct of this justiciar,
who pretended to act by royal authority, being a King's servant, aroused
great resentment among the citizens.


    =Source.=—Fitz-Thedmar's _Chronicle of the Mayors and Sheriffs_,
                        edited by Riley, p. 42.

  This year, John de Gizors was chosen Mayor, and that too, even in
  his absence. This year, after a Parliament held by the Barons at
  Westminster, Hugh Bygot, the Justiciar, went to Saint Saviour's, and
  having Roger de Turkelby for his associate, held there all the Pleas
  which pertain unto the Justiciars Itinerant in the County of Surrey;
  and not only did he there amerce several bailiffs and others who had
  been convicted of offences committed against those subject to them,
  but he caused them to be imprisoned, clerks as well as laymen. And
  yet he ransomed one person for twenty marks, and certain others for
  forty marks, and more; while several others, for but trifling
  reasons, he immoderately aggrieved.

  In these pleas the men of Southwark and others of the County of
  Surrey made complaint against the Sheriffs and citizens of London,
  that they unjustly took custom without the Stone Gate on the Bridge,
  seeing that they ought to possess no such rights beyond the
  Drawbridge Gate. The citizens, coming with their Sheriffs who had
  been summoned by the Justiciars, appeared at Saint Saviour's, before
  the Justiciars, and bringing with them their Charters, said that
  they were not bound to plead there, nor would they plead without the
  walls of the City; but without formal plea, they were willing to
  acknowledge that it was quite lawful for the Sheriffs of London to
  take custom without the gate aforesaid, and that too, even as far as
  the staples placed there, seeing that the whole water of Thames
  pertains unto the City, and always did pertain thereto; and that
  too, sea-ward as far as the New Weir. At length, after much
  altercation had taken place between the Justiciars and the citizens,
  the Justiciars caused inquisition to be made, on the oath of twelve
  knights of Surrey—and this, although the citizens had not put
  themselves on such inquisition—whether the Sheriffs of London had
  taken any custom beyond their limits. Who said, upon oath, that the
  Sheriffs aforesaid might rightfully take custom there, for that as
  far the staples before-mentioned, the whole pertains unto the City,
  and no one has any right upon the Thames, as far as the New Weir,
  save and except the citizens of London.

  After this, the Justiciar before-mentioned, having as his associate
  Roger before-named, came to the Guildhall of London, and there held
  Pleas from day to day, as to all those who wished to make plaint;
  and at once, without either making reasonable summons or admitting
  any lawful excuses, determined the same, observing no due procedure
  of justice; and that too against the laws of the City, as also
  against the laws and customs of every freeman of the English realm.
  This, however, the citizens persistently challenged, saying that no
  one except the Sheriffs of London ought to hold pleadings in the
  City as to trespasses there committed; but to no purpose. Still
  however, the citizens had judgment done upon all persons abiding in
  the City, who had been convicted, or had been cast in making a false
  charge. At the same time also, the Justiciar summoned before himself
  and before the Earl of Gloucester all the bakers of the City who
  could be found, together with their loaves; and so, by some few
  citizens summoned before them, judgment was given in reference to
  their bread; those whose bread did not weigh according to the assay
  of the City, not being placed in the pillory, as they used to be,
  but, at the will of the Justiciar and Earl aforesaid, exalted in the
  tumbrel, against the ancient usage of the City and of all the realm.



                         THE STEELYARD (1282).


The Steelyard was the residence of the Hanse Merchants, who obtained a
settlement in London as early as 1250. Valuable privileges were granted
to them by Henry III., and these were renewed and confirmed by Edward
I., who was anxious to encourage the trade of the City by all possible
means. Many privileges were also conceded to the Steelyard merchants by
the City, in return for which they undertook to maintain Bishopsgate in
good repair and to assist in its defence when necessity arose. In spite
of the jealousy of the English merchants, the foreigners flourished
exceedingly, but towards the end of the sixteenth century their power
began to fail. As English traders became more enterprising, the monopoly
of the Steelyard merchants disappeared, and finally, in 1598, Elizabeth
expelled them from the country.


                   =Source.=—Stow's _Survey_, p. 234.

  Next to this (Cosin) lane on the east, is the steelyard (as they
  term it) a place for merchants of Almaine, that used to bring
  hither, as well wheat, rye and other grain, as cables, ropes, masts,
  pitch, tar, flax, hemp, linen cloth, wainscots, wax, steel, and
  other profitable merchandizes: unto these merchants in the year 1259
  Henry the third, at the request of his brother Richard earl of
  Cornwall, king of Almaine, granted that all and singular the
  merchants, having a house in the City of London, commonly called
  Guilda Aula Theutonicorum, should be maintained and upholden through
  the whole realm, by all such freedoms, and free usages or liberties,
  as by the King and his noble progenitors time they had, and enjoyed,
  etc. Edward the first renewed and confirmed that charter of
  Liberties granted by his Father. And in the tenth year of the same
  Edward, Henry Wales being Mayor, a great controversy did arise
  between the said Mayor, and the merchants of the Haunce of Almaine,
  about the reparations of Bishopsgate, then likely to fall, for that
  the said merchants enjoyed divers privileges, in respect of
  maintaining the said gate, which they now denied to repair: for the
  appeasing of which controversy the king sent his writ to the
  Treasurer and Barons of his Exchequer, commanding that they should
  make inquisition thereof, before whom the merchants being called,
  when they were not able to discharge themselves, since they enjoyed
  the liberties to them granted for the same, a precept was sent to
  the Mayor, and sheriffs, to distrain the said merchants to make
  reparations, namely Gerard Marbod Alderman of the Haunce, Ralph de
  Cussarde a citizen of Colen, Ludero de Deneuar, a Burgess of Triuar,
  John of Aras, a Burgess of Triuon, Bartram of Hamburdge, Godestalke
  of Hundondale, a Burgess of Triuon, John de Dele a Burgess of
  Munstar, then remaining in the said City of London: for themselves,
  and all other merchants of the Haunce, and so they granted 210 marks
  sterling to the Mayor and Citizens, and undertook that they and
  their successors should from time to time repair the said gate, and
  bear the third part of the charges in money, and men to defend it
  when need were. And for this agreement, the said Mayor and Citizens
  granted to the said merchants their liberties which till of late
  they have enjoyed, as namely amongst other, that they might lay up
  their grain which they brought into this realm, in Inns, and sell it
  in their garners, by the space of forty days after they had laid it
  up: except by the Mayor and Citizens they were expressly forbidden,
  because of dearth or other reasonable occasions. Also they might
  have their Aldermen as they had been accustomed, forseen always that
  he were of the City, and presented to the Mayor and Aldermen of the
  City, so oft as any should be chosen, and should take an oath before
  them to maintain justice in their courts, and to behave themselves
  in their office according to law, and as it stood with the customs
  of the City. Thus much for their privileges: whereby it appeareth,
  that they were great merchants of corn brought out of the East parts
  hither, in so much that the occupiers of husbandry in this land were
  enforced to complain of them for bringing in such abundance, when
  the corn of this realm was at an easy price: whereupon it was
  ordained by Parliament, that no person should bring into any part of
  this realm by way of merchandise, wheat, rye or barley, growing out
  of the said realm, when the quarter of wheat exceeded not the price
  of 6 shillings 8 pence, rye 4s. the quarter, and barley 3s. the
  quarter, upon forfeiture the one half to the King, the other half to
  the seizer thereof. These merchants of Haunce had their Guild hall
  in Thames street in place aforesaid, by the said Cosin lane. Their
  hall is large, builded of stone, with three arched gates towards the
  street, the middlemost whereof is far bigger than the other, and is
  seldom opened, the other two be mured up, the same is now called the
  old hall.



                  THE PRESERVATION OF PEACE AND ORDER
                                (1282).


It would appear from contemporary evidence that the Londoners must have
been somewhat turbulent during the thirteenth century. Owing to the
smallness of the houses and the insufficient accommodation for families,
the greater part of the population constantly filled the streets; and,
although the watch and ward arrangements for the protection of the City
may have been sufficient in quiet times, they were quite inadequate when
troubles arose. In spite of stringent regulations frequent quarrels and
riots occurred in the crowded streets, and punishments, fines, and
imprisonments were common. The commonest offences, to judge by the
records of trials, were night-walking after curfew, robbery with
violence, frequenting taverns, and gambling. The following passages
illustrate some of the efforts which were continually being made to
devise improvements in the administration of the City and the
safeguarding of its inhabitants:


    =Sources.=—(_a_) "Provisions for the Safe-Keeping of the City";
       (_b_) "A Royal Mandate for the Preservation of the Peace."
                    Riley's_Memorials_, pp. 21, 36.

  (_a_) On Wednesday next before the Feast of Pentecost, in the 10th
  year of the reign of King Edward, by Henry le Galeys, Mayor, the
  Aldermen, and the then Chamberlain of Guildhall, the following
  provisions were subscribed:—

  As to the trades: that every trade shall present the names of all
  persons in that trade, and of all who have been serving therein;
  where they dwell, and in what Ward.

  Also, each Alderman, with two of the best men of his Ward, shall
  make inquisition as to persons keeping hostels, and the persons
  lodging in the same, making enquiry one by one, and from house to
  house; that so he may know how many, and who, and of what kind or
  condition they are, clerks or laymen, who are residing in his Ward,
  of the age of twelve years and upwards.

  To be remembered:—as to provision made how suspected persons, when
  found, ought to be removed, or under what security to remain.

  Secondly, as to the safe-keeping of the City:—All the Gates of the
  City are to be open by day; and at each Gate there are to be two
  serjeants to open the same, skilful men, and fluent of speech, who
  are to keep a good watch upon persons coming in and going out; that
  so no evil may befall the City.

  At every Parish Church, curfew is to be rung at the same hour as at
  St. Martin's le Grand; so that they begin together, and end
  together; and then all the Gates are to be shut, as well as all
  taverns for wine or for ale; and no one is then to go about the
  streets or ways. Six persons are to watch in each Ward by night, of
  the most competent men of the Ward thereto; and the two serjeants
  who guard the Gates by day, are to lie at night either within the
  Gates, or near thereto.

  The serjeants of Billingsgate and Queen Hythe are to see that all
  boats are moored on the City side at night, and are to have the
  names of all boats; and no one is to cross the Thames at night. And
  each serjeant must have his own boat with four men, to guard the
  water by night, on either side of the bridge.

  The serjeants at the Gates are to receive four pence each per day,
  and the boatmen at night, one penny each.

  (_b_) Henry le Galeys, Mayor of the City of London, presented a writ
  of our Lord the King, in these words:—

  Edward by the grace of God, etc., to the Mayor and Sheriffs of
  London, greeting. Forasmuch as we have heard that the bakers, and
  brewsters, and millers, in the city aforesaid, do frequently
  misconduct themselves in their trades, and that misdoers by night
  going about the city aforesaid with swords and bucklers, and other
  arms, as well at the procuration of others as of their own malice,
  do beat and maltreat other persons, and are wont to perpetrate many
  other offences and enormities, to no small damage and grievance of
  our faithful subjects: We, of our counsel, wishing to apply a
  fitting remedy to all the premises, and to strike both them and
  others with fear of so offending, do command you, and strictly
  enjoin, that you will so chastise such bakers, brewsters, and
  misdoers, with corporal punishments, and so visit the other
  offences, at your discretion, that they may excite in others in like
  case a fear of so offending. And that all corn to be ground at mills
  within the city aforesaid, and without, shall be weighed by the
  millers, and that such millers shall answer in like weight in the
  flour coming therefrom. And the matters aforesaid, and all other
  things which unto the office of the Mayoralty of the same city, and
  to the preservation there of our peace, do pertain, you are to cause
  to be inviolably observed. Witness myself, at York, the 28th day of
  May, in the 26th year of our reign.



                  THE CITIZENS AND EDWARD II. (1311).


The attitude of the City towards the Sovereign was invariably determined
by the respect which the latter paid to the liberties and privileges of
the citizens, who were generally disposed to be loyal enough if they
were treated with proper consideration. The change from the powerful and
competent rule of Edward I. to the feeble government of his son produced
its inevitable effect on London as well as on the kingdom; but the
letter quoted below shows that the citizens were prepared to support the
King during the early years of his reign. Later, however, his arbitrary
measures and foolish actions led to a complete revulsion of feeling,
which expressed itself in actual revolt.


                 =Source.=—Riley's _Memorials_, p. 84.

  To the most noble Prince, and their very dear liege lord, our Lord
  the King of England, his lieges, Richer de Refham, Mayor of his city
  of London, and the commonalty of the same city, all manner of
  reverence, service, and honour, as unto their liege lord. Whereas,
  Sire, we have heard good news of you, Sire, and of your successful
  prosecution of your war in Scotland, God be thanked; we do send you,
  by the bearers of these letters, one thousand marks, in aid and in
  prosecution of your war; and we do pray you, as being our most dear
  lord, that you will be pleased to accept the same; and that, if
  aught shall please you as regards your said city, you will signify
  your will unto us, as being your liege men. Our Lord have you in his
  keeping, body and soul; and may he give you a good life, and long.



                  CONSTITUTIONS FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF
                            THE CITY (1319).


These articles were drawn up by the citizens and submitted to Edward II.
for his approval, which he duly gave in exchange for £1,000. It is clear
that there had been dissensions in the city; the officials had been
endeavouring to obtain favour at Court, and in doing so they had acted,
as the citizens alleged, against their interests. The mayor, when it
suited the interests of the City magistrates, was re-elected at
pleasure; the citizens were taxed in an oppressive manner while the
magistrates are stated to have lowered their own assessments. The
citizens were unable to obtain satisfactory redress from the King's
judges, and proposed these new constitutions, which were accepted by the
King and afterwards incorporated into the charter of Richard II. It is
to be noted that henceforth the only way to the civic franchise was by
becoming a member of the civic gilds.

  Edward, by the grace of God, king of England, lord of Ireland, and
  duke of Aquitaine, to all to whom the present letters shall have
  come, greeting.

  Know ye, that whereas our beloved and faithful the mayor and
  aldermen, and the other citizens of our city of London, had lately
  ordained and appointed among themselves, for the bettering of the
  same city, and for the common benefit of such as dwell in that city,
  and resort to the same, certain things to be in the same city
  perpetually observed, and had instantly besought us that we would
  take care to accept and confirm the same.

  We having seen certain letters, patentwise, signed with the common
  seal of that city, and the seal of the office of the mayoralty of
  that city, upon the premises, and to us exhibited, have caused
  certain articles to be chosen out of the foresaid letters, and
  caused them in some things to be corrected, as they are underneath
  inserted, viz.

  1. That the mayor and sheriffs of the same city be elected by the
  citizens of the said city, according to the tenor of the charters of
  our progenitors, heretofore kings of England, made to them thereby,
  and not otherwise.

  2. That the mayor remain only one year together in his mayoralty.

  3. That sheriffs have but two clerks and two serjeants; and that
  they take such for whom they will answer.

  4. That the mayor have no other office belonging to the city, but
  the office of mayoralty; nor draw to himself the sheriff's plea in
  the chamber of London, nor hold other pleas than those the mayor,
  according to ancient custom, ought to hold.

  5. That the aldermen be removed from year to year, on the day of St.
  Gregory the Pope, and not re-elected; and others chosen by the same
  wards....

  7. That no stranger be admitted into the freedom of the city in the
  husting; and that no inhabitant, and especially English merchant, of
  any mistery or trade, be admitted into the freedom of the city,
  unless by surety of six honest and sufficient men of the mistery or
  trade that he shall be of, who is so to be admitted into the
  freedom; which six men may undertake for him, of keeping the city
  indemnified in that behalf. And that the same form of surety be
  observed of strangers to be admitted into the freedom in the
  husting, if they be of any certain mistery or trade. And if they are
  not of some certain mistery, then that they be not admitted into the
  freedom without the assent of the commonalty. And that they who have
  been taken into the freedom of the city (since we undertook the
  government of the realm) contrary to the forms prescribed, and they
  who have gone contrary to their oath in this behalf, or contrary to
  the state of the city, and are thereof lawfully convicted, lose the
  freedom of the said city.

  Saving always, that concerning apprentices the ancient manner and
  form of the said city be observed.

  8. That each year in the same city, as often as need shall be,
  inquiry be made, if any of the freedom of the same city exercise
  merchandises in the city, of the goods of others not of the same
  freedom, by calling those goods their own, contrary to their oath,
  and contrary to the freedom of the said city; and they that are
  lawfully convicted thereof to lose the freedom of the said city....

  12. That weights and scales of merchandises to be weighed between
  merchants and merchants, the issues coming of which belong to the
  commonalty of the said city, remain in the custody of honest and
  sufficient men of the same city, expert in that office, and as yet
  to be chosen by the commonalty, to be kept at the will of the same
  commonalty; and that they be by no means committed to others than
  those so to be chosen....

  14. Merchants who are not of the freedom of the city, not to sell,
  by retail, wines or other wares, within the city or suburbs....

  16. That the common harbourers in the city and suburbs, although
  they are not of the freedom of the same, be partakers of the
  contingent burdens for maintaining the said city, according to the
  state of it, as long as they shall be so common harbourers, as other
  like dwellers in the city and suburbs shall partake, on account of
  those dwellings. Saving always, that the merchants of Gascony, and
  other foreigners, may, one with another, inhabit and be harboured in
  the said city, as hitherto they have accustomed to do.

  17. That the keeping the bridge of the said city, and the rents and
  profits belonging to that bridge, be committed to be kept to two
  honest and sufficient men of the city, other than the aldermen, to
  be chosen to this by the commonalty, at the will of the said
  commonalty, and not to others, and who may answer thereupon to the
  said commonalty....

  20. That the goods of the aldermen, in aids, tallages, and other
  contributions, concerning the said city, be taxed by the men of the
  wards in which those aldermen abide, as the goods of other citizens,
  by the said wards.

  Which articles, as they are above expressed, and the matters
  contained in the same, we accept, approve and ratify; and we yield
  and grant them, for us and our heirs, as much as in us is, to the
  aforesaid citizens, their heirs and successors, in the aforesaid
  city and suburbs, for the common profit of those that inhabit
  therein, and resort thither, to obtain the same, and to be observed
  perpetually.

  Moreover, we, willing to show ampler grace to the mayor, aldermen
  and citizens, at their request have granted to them, for us and our
  heirs, that the mayor, aldermen, citizens and commonalty of the
  commoners of the city, and their heirs and successors, for the
  necessities and profits of the same city, may, among themselves of
  their common assent assess tallages upon their own goods within that
  city, as well upon the rents as other things; and as well upon the
  misteries as any other way, as they shall see expedient, and levy
  them, without incurring the danger of us or our heirs, or our
  ministers whomsoever. And that the money coming from such tallages
  remain in the custody of four honest and lawful men of the said
  city, to be chosen to this by the commonalty, and be laid out, of
  their custody, for the necessities and profits of the said city, and
  not otherwise. In witness whereof, etc.

                  Witness the King, at York, the eighth day of June,
                      in the twelfth year of our reign.



                   A REVOLT AGAINST EDWARD II (1326).


Although the citizens were at first sufficiently well disposed towards
Edward II., his misgovernment led ultimately to grave dissatisfaction,
which expressed itself in riots and revolt. The King was induced by his
worthless advisers to make claims and attacks upon the rights of the
citizens. He was always in want of money, and believed, like many other
Kings, that the wealth of the City was inexhaustible. In 1321 he
deprived the citizens of their cherished right of electing their own
Mayor, and from that time the condition of the City was perfectly
wretched until the close of his reign. There was no proper authority at
all; the King deposed one Mayor and set up another; the city generally
supported Queen Isabella, and received her and Mortimer with enthusiasm.
All who were thought to favour the King were in danger, and the attitude
of the City was to a considerable extent responsible for the unhappy
King's deposition.


    =Source.=—Aungier, _French Chronicle_, edited by Riley, p. 262.

  At this time, at Saint Michael, Lady Isabele, the Queen, and Sir
  Edward, her son, sent their letters to the commons of London, to the
  effect that they should assist in destroying the enemies of the
  land; but received no answer in return, as to their wishes thereon,
  through fear of the King. Wherefore a letter was sent to London by
  the Queen and her son, and was fixed at daybreak upon the Cross in
  Chepe, and a copy of the letter on the windows elsewhere, upon
  Thursday, that is to say, the Feast of Saint Denis [October 9], to
  the effect that the commons should be aiding with all their power in
  destroying the enemies of the land, and Hugh le Despencer in
  especial, for the common profit of all the realm; and that the
  commons should send them information as to their wishes thereon.
  Wherefore the Commonalty proceeded to wait upon the Mayor and other
  great men of the City, at the Black Friars Preachers in London, upon
  the Wednesday before the Feast of Saint Luke [October 18] which then
  fell on a Saturday; so much so, that the Mayor, crying mercy with
  clasped hands, went to the Guildhall and granted the commons their
  demand, and cry was accordingly made in Chepe, that the enemies to
  the King, and the Queen, and their son, should all quit the City
  upon such peril as might ensue. It happened also on the same day, at
  the hour of noon, that some persons had recourse to arms, and seized
  one John le Marchal, a burgess of the City, in his own house near
  Wallbrook, who was held as an enemy to the City and a spy of Sir
  Hugh le Despencer; and he was brought into Chepe, and there
  despoiled and beheaded.



                 A PROCLAMATION OF EDWARD III. (1329).


The frequent proclamations for the preservation of peace and order in
the City seem to show that some difficulty was experienced in this
direction; it is, at any rate, interesting to note that the authority of
the King is invoked to assist in the discipline and control of lawless
inhabitants. The restriction as to the bearing of arms is very
significant, and the instructions regarding night-walkers and
tavern-keepers, which continually recur in similar documents, show
whence arose the greatest dangers to life and property.


                 =Source.=—Riley's _Memorials_, p. 172.

  This proclamation was ordered by the Mayor and Aldermen, on Saturday
  the morrow of St. Dunstan [May 19], in the 3rd year of the reign of
  King Edward the Third; and on the Sunday following throughout the
  City proclaimed; our said Lord the King being about to cross over to
  the parts of France on the Friday next ensuing, there to do his
  homage; and to the end that, while the King was there, his peace
  might be the more strictly observed.—

  We do command, on behalf of our Lord the King, that his peace shall
  be preserved and kept between both denizens and strangers,
  throughout all the franchise of this city.

  Also,—that no person, native or stranger, shall go armed in
  the same city, or shall carry arms by night or by day, on pain
  of imprisonment, and of losing his arms; save only, the
  serjeants-at-arms of our Lord the King, and of my Lady the
  Queen, and the vadlets of the Earls and Barons; that is to
  say, for every Earl or Baron one vadlet, carrying the sword of
  his lord in his presence; and save also, the officers of the
  City, and those who shall be summoned unto them, for keeping
  and maintaining the peace of the City.

  We do also forbid, on behalf of our said Lord the King, that anyone
  shall be so daring, on pain of imprisonment, as to go wandering
  about the City, after the hour of curfew rung out at St. Martin's le
  Grand; unless it be some man of the City of good repute, or his
  servant; and that, for reasonable cause, and with light.

  And that no one shall hold covin or congregation, to make persons
  pay fine, by imputing to them that they have committed against them
  divers grievances or offences: but let those who feel themselves
  aggrieved, shew their grievances unto the officers of the City, and
  they will do them speedy right, according as the law demands. And
  that no one of the City, of whatsoever condition he be, shall go out
  of this city, to maintain parties, such as taking seisins, or
  holding days of love, or making other congregations, within the City
  or without, in disturbance of the peace of our Lord the King, or in
  affray of the people, and to the scandal of the City. And if any
  person, of whatsoever condition or estate he be, shall from
  henceforth be found guilty thereof, let him be taken and put in the
  Prison of Newgate; and let him remain for a year and a day, without
  being reprieved; and if he be free of the City, let him for ever
  lose his freedom.

  And whereas misdoers, going about by night, have their resort more
  in taverns than elsewhere, and there seek refuge, and watch their
  time for misdoing; we do forbid that any taverner or brewer keep the
  door of his tavern open after the hour of curfew aforesaid, on the
  pain as to the same ordained; that is to say, the first time, on
  pain of being amerced in the sum of 40d.; the second time, half a
  mark; the third time, 10s.; the fourth time, 20s.; the fifth time,
  let him forswear the trade for ever.



                  THE ARTICLES OF THE HEAUMERS AND OF
                          THE HATTERS (1347).


The organisation of industries is a most important and interesting
feature of medieval London history, and during the fourteenth century
the craft gilds played a prominent part in the life of the City. The
story of the development of the various gilds, fraternities, and
misteries, and their connection with the later Livery Companies, has
been the subject of considerable research, and it seems probable that
the origin of most of the City Companies of to-day can be connected with
the medieval organisations. These articles will be found to be
noteworthy chiefly for the information they give regarding the craft
organisations of the time; it is clear that it was considered to be of
the highest importance that the work should be of good quality, and
great care is taken that workmen shall be as skilful as possible in
their trades. The interference of strangers is, as usual, resented, and
every effort is made to strengthen and encourage the native crafts.


              =Source.=—Riley's _Memorials_, pp. 237, 239.

  The points of the Articles touching the trade of helmetry, accepted
  by Geoffrey de Wychingham, Mayor, and the Aldermen, at the suit and
  request of the folks of the said trade.—

  In the first place, that no one of the said trade shall follow, or
  keep seld of, the trade aforesaid within the franchise of the City
  of London, until he shall have properly bought his freedom,
  according to the usage of the said city; on pain of losing his
  wares.

  Also,—forasmuch as heretofore some persons coming in, who are
  strangers, have intermeddled, and still do intermeddle, in the
  making of helmetry, whereas they do not know their trade; by reason
  whereof, many great men and others of the realm have been slain
  through their default, to the great scandal of the said trade; it is
  ordained that no person shall from henceforth intermeddle with, or
  work at, helmetry, if he be not proved to be a good, proper, and
  sufficient workman, by the Wardens of the said trade, on pain of
  forfeiture to the use of the Chamber.

  Also,—that three, or four, if need be, of the best workmen of the
  said trade shall be chosen and sworn to rule the trade well and
  properly, as is befitting; for the security and safety of the great
  men and others of the realm, and for the honour and profit of the
  said city, and of the workers in the said trade.

  Also,—that no apprentice shall be received by any master of the said
  trade for a less term than seven years; and that, without collusion
  or fraud; on pain of paying to the said Chamber 100 shillings.

  Also,—that no one of the said trade, or other person of the
  franchise, shall set any stranger to work, who is of the said trade,
  if he be not a proper and lawful person, and one for whom his master
  will answer as to his good behaviour; on pain of paying to the said
  Chamber 20 shillings.

  Also,—that no one of the said trade shall receive or set to work the
  apprentice or serving-man of another, until the term of his master
  shall have been fully ended; on pain of paying to the said Chamber
  20 shillings.

  The points of the Articles touching the trade of Hat-makers,
  accepted by Thomas Leggy, Mayor, and the Aldermen of the City of
  London, at the suit, and at the request, of the folks of the said
  trade.

  In the first place,—that six men of the most lawful and most
  befitting of the said trade shall be assigned and sworn to rule and
  watch the trade, in such manner as other trades of the said city are
  ruled and watched by their Wardens.

  Also,—that no one shall make or sell any manner of hats within the
  franchise of the city aforesaid, if he be not free of the same city;
  on pain of forfeiting to the Chamber the hats which he shall have
  made and offered for sale.

  Also,—that no one shall be made apprentice in the said trade for a
  less term than seven years, and that, without fraud or collusion.
  And he who shall receive any apprentice in any other manner, shall
  lose his freedom, until he shall have bought it back again.

  Also,—that no one of the said trade shall take any apprentice, if he
  be not himself a freeman of the said city.

  Also,—that the Wardens of the said trade shall make their searches
  for all manner of hats that are for sale within the said franchise,
  so often as need shall be. And that the aforesaid Wardens shall have
  power to take all manner of hats that they shall find defective and
  not befitting, and to bring them before the Mayor and Aldermen of
  London, that so the defaults which shall be found may be punished by
  their award.

  Also,—whereas some workmen in the said trade have made hats that are
  not befitting, in deceit of the common people, from which great
  scandal, shame, and loss have often arisen to the good folks of the
  said trade, they pray that no workman in the said trade shall do any
  work by night touching the same, but only in clear daylight; that
  so, the aforesaid Wardens may openly inspect their work. And he who
  shall do otherwise, and shall be convicted thereof before the Mayor
  and Aldermen, shall pay to the Chamber of the Guildhall, the first
  time 40d., the second time half a mark, and the third time he shall
  lose his freedom.



                    REGULATIONS CONCERNING WAGES AND
                             PRICES (1350).


The Black Death, which broke out in England in 1348, was a terrible
calamity, and it is estimated that at least half of the population of
the country perished by the pestilence, including a large proportion of
the inhabitants of London. The churchyards were speedily filled, and
additional pieces of land were given by the Bishop of London and other
persons for the burial of the victims of this fearful plague. The most
important result of the pestilence was the dearth of labour which was
immediately caused, and the consequent rise in wages was a source of
considerable trouble to the legislature and to all employers of labour.
Parliament passed the Statutes of Labourers, which were intended to fix
the wages of workpeople at the rates which had been customary before the
plague, and in London an attempt was made towards the same object by
this Proclamation, in which wages are laid down "to be observed for
ever." It seems strange that in a commercial city like London it should
be considered possible to regulate wages and prices by an arbitrary
enactment of this kind, and it does not appear that the ordinance was
obeyed. There is little doubt that it was generally ignored, and the
craftsmen continued to make the most of the situation, just as the
agricultural labourers and craftsmen in the country were able, on the
whole, to set at defiance the Statutes of Labourers.


                 =Source.=—Riley's _Memorials_, p. 253.

  To amend and redress the damages and grievances which the good folks
  of the City, rich and poor, have suffered and received within the
  past year, by reason of masons, carpenters, plasterers, tilers, and
  all manner of labourers, who take immeasurably more than they have
  been wont to take, by assent of Walter Turk, Mayor, the Aldermen,
  and all the Commonalty of the City, the points under-written are
  ordained, to be held and firmly observed for ever; that is to say.—

  In the first place,—that the masons, between the Feasts of Easter
  and St. Michael [September 29], shall take no more by the
  working-day than 6d., without victuals or drink; and from the Feast
  of St. Michael to Easter, for the working-day, 5d. And upon
  Feast-days, when they do not work, they shall take nothing. And for
  the making or mending of their implements they shall take nothing.

  Also,—that the carpenters shall take, for the same time, in the same
  manner.

  Also,—that the plasterers shall take the same as the masons and
  carpenters take.

  Also,—that the tilers shall take for the working-day, from the Feast
  of Easter to St. Michael 5½d., and from the Feast of St. Michael to
  Easter 4½d.

  Also,—that the labourers shall take in the first half year 3½d., and
  in the other half 3d.

  Also,—that the master daubers (layers on) shall take between the
  Feasts of Easter and St. Michael 5d., and in the other half year
  4d.; and their labourers are to take the same as the labourers of
  the tilers.

  Also,—that the sawiers shall take in the same manner as the masons
  and carpenters take.

  Also,—that no one shall pay more to the workmen aforesaid, on pain
  of paying 40s. to the Commonalty, without any release therefrom; and
  he who shall take more than the above, shall go to prison for forty
  days....

  Also,—that one person of every company may see that the vessel into
  which their wine is drawn is clean, and from what tun their wine is
  drawn; on pain of imprisonment, and of paying to the Chamber, for
  the first time, half a mark; for the second time, one mark; for the
  third time, 20s.; and every other time a person shall be found in
  like default, let his fine be increased by half a mark.

  Also,—that the measures shall be standing upright, and sealed with
  the seal of the Alderman of the Ward; and he who shall sell by other
  measures, let him go to prison, and further, be amerced in half a
  mark.

  Also,—that the pelterers shall make their furs according to the
  ancient ordinances, of olden time ordained, and according to the
  purport of their Charter; on pain of forfeiture and punishment for
  the same, as of old ordained.

  Also,—that no one should go to meet those who are bringing victuals
  or other wares by land or by water to the City for sale, for the
  purpose of buying them or bargaining for them, before that they
  shall have come to certain places assigned thereto, where they ought
  to be sold; on pain of forfeiture of the victuals and other wares,
  and of their bodies being committed to prison, until they have been
  sufficiently punished, at the discretion of the Mayor and Aldermen.



                   THE CHARTER TO THE DRAPERS (1364).


"Draper" originally meant a cloth-maker, not, as now, a dealer in cloth.
In the Middle Ages the drapers both made it and sold it, but gradually
their particular work was confined to supervising the manufacture and
selling the finished article. The Drapers' Gild must have been one of
the earliest associations of craftsmen, and was incorporated by royal
charter in 1364. One of the most important features of this charter
seems to be the instruction that the mistery of drapery should be
definitely separated from those of the tenterers, tellers, and fullers;
it appears to have been impossible to exercise proper supervision in a
trade which involved so many different operations, and the remedy was
obviously to split it up into several trades, each of which might have
its own organisation.


        =Source.=—Herbert, _Livery Companies_, vol. i., p. 480.

  The King, to the Mayor and Sheriffs of London, greeting. Whereas,
  amongst other things ordained in our last parliament, it was for
  certain causes proposed, and in the same parliament ordained, that
  no English merchant should use merceries or merchandizes by himself
  or another by any manner of covine, unless one only, and which he
  should choose before the feast of Candlemas last past, as in the
  said ordinances is more fully contained.

                  *       *       *       *       *

  And whereas it has been shown to us and to our council, that people
  of divers misteries of the city of London intermix themselves with
  the mistery of Drapery, and cause divers deceits and frauds in the
  use of the same mistery,—to the great damage of us and of our
  people, and contrary to the ordinances aforesaid.

  We, willing the said ordinances should be kept and maintained in all
  points, accordingly have, by the assent of the great and others of
  our council, ordained and granted, that none shall use the Mistery
  of Drapery in the city of London, nor in the suburbs of the same,
  unless he has been apprenticed in the same mistery, or in other due
  manner been admitted by the common assent of the same mistery. And
  that each of the misteries of tenterers, tisters, and fullers, keep
  himself to his own mistery, and in no way meddle with the making,
  buying, or selling of any manner with cloth or drapery, on pain of
  imprisonment and loss of all the cloth so by them made, bought, or
  sold, or the value thereof to us.

  And that none who has cloth to sell in the said city, or in the
  suburbs, do sell the same unless to drapers enfranchised in the said
  mistery of drapery, or that it be in gross to the lords and others
  of the commons, who will buy the same for themselves or servants by
  retail, under the same penalty.

  And that the drapers enfranchised in the mistery of drapery in the
  said city, may elect each year four of their own mistery, who may be
  sworn twice a year in the presence of the Mayor, to oversee that no
  default or deceit be used or committed in the mistery aforesaid, and
  to rule and govern the said mistery of drapery in the same city, to
  the common profit of the people, and that due punishment be done on
  them in whom defaults shall be found, according to the advice and
  discretion of the said four persons, by the aid of the Mayor and
  Sheriffs when need is; the which Mayor and Sheriffs we will shall be
  intendants to the said four persons, when they shall be required by
  them.

  And we also will and give power to the said four persons who may be
  elected and sworn, to take an oath of all those who shall be
  received into the said mistery of drapery in the same city, to use
  and do whatever appertains to the same mistery well and lawfully,
  without fraud, evil design, or subtle management against the points
  and ordinances aforesaid.

  Saving always to our beloved in God the prior of St. Bartholomew, in
  Smithfield, and other lords who have fairs in the said suburbs by
  grant of our progenitors, their fairs, franchises, and free-customs,
  which they have exercised in their said fairs, from the time of the
  said grants, so that no damage or prejudice shall be done to them in
  any way under colour of this our ordinance and grant; and saving the
  franchises by us granted to the merchants, vintners of England and
  Gascoigny, which we will shall remain in force in all points in
  manner as in our letters patent to the said drapers is more fully
  contained.

                  *       *       *       *       *

  Wherefore we command and firmly enjoin you forthwith that at your
  peril you cause to be proclaimed and published in the said city and
  suburbs, and all places where it should be done, that all the said
  things so by us granted may be firmly held and kept in form
  aforesaid.

  And hereof in no manner fail.

                     Given at Westminster the 14th day of July (1364).



                   A LETTER FROM EDWARD III. (1365).


The Battle of Crecy had first demonstrated the immense superiority of
archers over mounted knights in battle. It became necessary to insist
that Englishmen should be fully and properly trained in the use of the
bow and arrow, if this superiority was to be maintained. The youths of
London appear to have been addicted at this time to more exciting and
less serviceable sports than the old exercise of archery, and Edward
III.'s letter is at once a reprimand and an instruction.

  The King to the Sheriffs of London, greeting.

  Because the people of our realm, as well of good quality as mean,
  have commonly in their sports before these times exercised the skill
  of shooting arrows; whence it is well known, that honour and profit
  have accrued to our whole realm, and to us, by the help of God, no
  small assistance in our warlike acts; and now the said skill being,
  as it were, wholly laid aside, the same people please themselves in
  hurling of stones and wood and iron; and some in hand-ball,
  foot-ball, bandy-ball, and in Cambuck, or Cock fighting; and some
  also apply themselves to other dishonest games, and less profitable
  or useful: whereby the said realm is likely, in a short time, to
  become destitute of archers.

  We, willing to apply a seasonable remedy to this, command you, that
  in places in the foresaid City, as well within the liberties as
  without, where you shall see it expedient, you cause public
  proclamation to be made, that every one of the said City, strong in
  body, at leisure times on holidays, use in their recreations bows
  and arrows, or pellets, or bolts, and learn and exercise the art of
  shooting; forbidding all and singular on our behalf, that they do
  not after any manner apply themselves to the throwing of stones,
  wood, iron, hand-ball, foot-ball, bandy-ball, cambuck, or
  cock-fighting, nor such other like vain plays, which have no profit
  in them, or concern themselves therein, under pain of imprisonment.

                  Witness the King at Westminster, the twelfth day of
                      June (1365).



                  A LEASE TO GEOFFREY CHAUCER (1374).


Modern English poetry may be said to have begun in London. Chaucer was
born in London, was the descendant of a long line of Londoners, and
lived in London the greater part of his life. Many of his
contemporaries, including Gower, Occleve, and Lydgate, were connected
with London, and spent much of their time there.

Chaucer's father was a citizen and vintner of London, and owned a house
in Thames Street, close to Walbrook. Geoffrey Chaucer was in all
probability born in this house; it became his own property, and he
parted with it in 1380. Six years before this he acquired the lease of
the dwelling-house above the city-gate of Aldgate, on condition that he
kept it in good repair; he seems to have made this his usual residence
till 1385. In it he must have composed several of his poems, including
_The Parlement of Foules_, _The House of Fame_, and _Troilus_. He did
not commence the _Canterbury Tales_ until the following year.


                 =Source.=—Riley's _Memorials_, p. 377.

  To all persons to whom this present writing indented shall come,
  Adam de Bury, Mayor, the Aldermen, and the Commonalty of the City of
  London, greeting. Know ye that we, with unanimous will and assent,
  have granted and released by these presents unto Geoffrey Chaucer
  the whole of the dwelling-house above the Gate of Aldgate, with the
  rooms built over, and a certain cellar beneath, the same gate, on
  the South side of that gate, and the appurtenances thereof; to have
  and to hold the whole of the house aforesaid, with the rooms so
  built over, and the said cellar, and the appurtenances thereof, unto
  the aforesaid Geoffrey, for the whole life of him, the same
  Geoffrey. And the said Geoffrey shall maintain and repair the whole
  of the house aforesaid, and the rooms thereof, so often as shall be
  requisite, in all things necessary thereto, competently and
  sufficiently, at the expense of the same Geoffrey, throughout the
  whole life of him, the same Geoffrey. And it shall be lawful for the
  Chamberlain of the Guildhall of London, for the time being, so often
  as he shall see fit to enter the house and rooms aforesaid, with
  their appurtenances, to see that the same are well and competently,
  and sufficiently, maintained and repaired, as aforesaid. And if the
  said Geoffrey shall not have maintained or repaired the aforesaid
  house and rooms competently and sufficiently, as is before stated,
  within forty days after the time when by the same Chamberlain he
  shall have been required to do so, it shall be lawful for the said
  Chamberlain wholly to oust the before-named Geoffrey therefrom, and
  to re-seise and resume the same house, rooms, and cellar, with their
  appurtenances, into the hand of the City, to the use of the
  Commonalty aforesaid; and to hold the same in their former state to
  the use of the same Commonalty, without any gainsaying whatsoever
  thereof. And it shall not be lawful for the said Geoffrey to let the
  house, rooms, and cellar, aforesaid, or any part thereof, or his
  interest therein, to any person whatsoever. And we, the Mayor,
  Aldermen, and Commonalty aforesaid, will not cause any gaol to be
  made thereof, for the safe-keeping of prisoners therein, during the
  life of the said Geoffrey; but we and our successors will warrant
  the same house, rooms, and cellar, with their appurtenances unto the
  before-named Geoffrey, for the whole life of him, the said Geoffrey,
  in form aforesaid: this however excepted, that in time of defence of
  the city aforesaid, so often as it shall be necessary, it shall be
  lawful for us and our successors to enter the said house and rooms,
  and to order and dispose of the same, for such time, and in such
  manner, as shall then seem to us to be most expedient. And after the
  decease of the same Geoffrey, the house, rooms and cellar aforesaid,
  with their appurtenances, shall wholly revert unto us and our
  successors. In witness whereof, as well the Common Seal of the City
  aforesaid as the seal of the said Geoffrey, have been to these
  present indentures interchangeably appended.

                  Given in the Chamber of the Guildhall of the city
                      aforesaid, the 10th day of May, in the 48th year
                      of the reign of King Edward, after the Conquest
                      the Third.



                         THE CITY ARMS (1375).


Beneath Pierce's statue of Walworth in Fishmongers' Hall is an
inscription:

              "Brave Walworth, Knight, Lord Mayor, y^t slew
                Rebellious Tyler in his alarmes;
              The King, therefore, did give in liew
                The dagger to the City armes.

          "In the 4th year of Richard II., Anno Domini 1381."

It seems that it has always been a popular belief that the weapon
represented in the arms of the City is "Walworth's dagger"; but, as Stow
points out, it is intended to represent the sword of St. Paul, who was
the patron saint of this Corporation.


                   =Source.=—Stow's _Survey_, p. 222.

  It hath also been, and is now grown to a common opinion, that in
  reward of this service done, by the said William Walworth against
  the rebel, King Richard added to the arms of this City, (which was
  argent, a plain cross gules) a sword or dagger, (for so they term
  it) whereof I have read no such record, but to the contrary. I find
  that in the fourth year of Richard the second in a full assembly
  made in the upper chamber of the Guildhall, summoned by this William
  Walworth, then Mayor, as well of Aldermen as of the common Council
  in every ward, for certain affairs concerning the king, it was there
  by common consent agreed and ordained, that the old seal of the
  office of the Mayoralty of the city being very small, old,
  unsuitable, and uncomely for the honour of the city, should be
  broken, and one other new should be had, which the said Mayor
  commanded to be made artificially, and honourable for the exercise
  of the said office thereafter in place of the other: in which new
  Seal, besides the images of Peter, and Paul, which of old were
  rudely engraven, there should be under the feet of the said images,
  a shield of the arms of the said City perfectly graved, with two
  lions supporting the same with two sergeants of arms, on either part
  one, and two tabernacles, in which above should stand two Angels,
  between whom above the said images of Peter and Paul, shall be set
  the glorious virgin: this being done, the old seal of the office was
  delivered to Richard Odiham Chamberlain, who brake it, and in place
  thereof, was delivered the new seal to the said Mayor to use in his
  office of Mayoralty, as occasion should require. This new seal
  seemeth to be made before William Walworth was knighted, for he is
  not here entitled Sir, as afterwards he was: and certain it is that
  the same new seal then made, is now in use and none other in that
  office of the Mayoralty, which may suffice to answer the former
  fable, without shewing of any evidence sealed with the old seal,
  which was the Cross, and sword of Saint Paul, and not the dagger of
  William Walworth.



                      WAT TYLER IN LONDON (1381).


Froissart's description of the Peasants' Revolt is one of our main
sources of information concerning this important event, and seems likely
to be fairly accurate. He himself was, of course, an aristocrat, and was
in no way disposed to be favourable to the "wicked rebels"; but he seems
anxious to represent their case as fairly as possible, although he is
plainly out of sympathy with the ideas and arguments of the rebels. It
is noteworthy that the rising was almost simultaneous in many parts of
the country, but its chief headquarters were in Kent, one of the most
prosperous counties in the kingdom, where actual distress was least
likely to be prevalent; and it is probable that the peasants in this
county had benefited to no small extent by the economic changes which
succeeded the Pestilence of 1349, and had improved both their material
conditions and their intellectual outlook. The ideas of liberty which
formed the motive of the revolt were somewhat vague, but were
strengthened by numerous concrete instances of injustice and injury; and
the concentration of the insurgents upon London forms one of a long
series of indications of the importance of the city as the determining
factor in vital issues.


                  =Source.=—Froissart's _Chroniques_.

  In the mean season there fell in England great mischief and
  rebellion of the common people, by which deed England was at a point
  to have been lost without recovery....

  It was a marvellous thing, and of poor foundation, that this
  mischief began in England, and to give ensample to all manner of
  people, I will speak thereof as it was done, as I was informed, and
  of the incidents thereof. There was an usage in England, and yet is
  in divers countries, that the noblemen have great franchises over
  the commons, and keep them in servage, that is to say, their tenants
  ought by custom to labour their lords' lands, to gather and bring
  home their corn, and some to thresh and to fan, and by servage to
  make their hay and to hew their wood and bring it home. All these
  things they ought to do by servage, and there be more of these
  people in England than in any other realm. Thus the noblemen and
  prelates are served by them, and specially in the counties of Kent,
  Essex, Sussex, and Bedford. These unhappy people of these said
  counties began to stir, because they said they were being kept in
  great servage, and in the beginning of the world, they said, there
  were no bondmen, wherefore they maintained that none ought to be
  bond, without he did treason to his lord, as Lucifer did to God....
  And of this imagination was a foolish priest in the county of Kent,
  called John Ball, for which foolish words he had been three times in
  the Bishop of Canterbury's prison: for this priest used oftentimes
  on the Sundays, after mass, when the people were going out of the
  minster, to go into the cloister and preach, and made the people to
  assemble about him, and would say thus: "Ah, ye good people, the
  matters goeth not well to pass in England, nor shall not do till
  everything be common, and that there be no villains nor gentlemen,
  but that we may be all united together, and that the lords be no
  greater masters than we be. What have we deserved, or why should we
  be kept thus in servage? We be all come from one father and from one
  mother, Adam and Eve: whereby can they say or show that they be
  greater lords than we be, saving by that they cause us to win and
  labour for that they dispend.

  "They are clothed in velvet and camlet furred with grise, and we be
  vestured with poor cloth: they have their wines, spices, and good
  bread, and we have the rye, the bran, and the straw, and drink
  water: they dwell in fair houses, and we have pain and travail, rain
  and wind in the fields: and by that that cometh of our labours they
  keep and maintain their estates: we be all called their bondmen,
  and, without we do readily them service, we be beaten: and we have
  no sovereign to whom we may complain, nor that will hear us, nor do
  us right. Let us go to the king, he is young, and show him what
  servage we be in, and show him how we will have it otherwise, or
  else we will provide us of some remedy; and if we go together, all
  manner of people that be now in any bondage will follow us to the
  intent to be made free; and when the king seeth us, we shall have
  some remedy, either by fairness or otherwise."

  Thus John Ball said on Sundays, when the people issued out of the
  churches in the villages: wherefore many of the mean people loved
  him, and such as intended to no goodness said, how true; and so they
  would murmur one with another in the fields, and in the ways as they
  went together, affirming how John Ball said truth.

  Of his words and deeds there was much people in London informed,
  such as had great envy at them that were rich and such as were
  noble; and then they began to speak among them, and said how the
  realm of England was right evil governed, and how that gold and
  silver was taken from them by them that were named noblemen: so thus
  these unhappy men of London began to rebel, and assembled them
  together, and sent word to the foresaid counties that they should
  come to London, and bring their people with them, promising them how
  they should find London open to receive them, and the commons of the
  city to be of the same accord, saying how they would do so much to
  the king that there should not be one bondman in all England.

  This promise moved so them of Kent, of Essex, of Sussex, of Bedford,
  and of the counties about, that they rose and came towards London to
  the number of 60,000. And they had a captain called Walter Tyler,
  and with him in company was Jack Straw and John Ball: these three
  were chief sovereign captains, but the head of all was Walter Tyler,
  and he was indeed a tiler of houses, an ungracious patron. When
  these unhappy men began thus to stir, they of London, except such as
  were of their band, were greatly affrayed. Then the Mayor of London
  and the rich men of the city took counsel together, and when they
  saw the people thus coming in on every side, they caused the gates
  of the city to be closed, and would suffer no man to enter into the
  city. But when they had well imagined, they advised not so to do,
  for they thought they should thereby put their suburbs in great
  peril to be brent; and so they opened again the city, and there
  entered in at the gates in some places a hundred, two hundred, by
  twenty or thirty; and so when they came to London, they entered and
  lodged: and yet, of truth, most of their people could not tell what
  to ask or demand, but followed each other like beasts. In like wise
  these villains and poor people came to London, a hundred miles off,
  sixty mile, fifty mile, forty mile, and twenty mile off, and from
  all counties about London, but the most part came from the counties
  before named, and as they came they demanded ever for the king.

  The gentlemen of the counties, knights and squires, began to doubt
  when they saw the people began to rebel; so the gentlemen drew
  together as well as they might.

  This rebellion was well known in the king's court ere any of these
  people began to stir out of their houses; but the king nor his
  council did provide no remedy therefor, which was great marvel.

  In the morning on Corpus Christi Day King Richard heard mass in the
  Tower of London, and all his lords, and then he took his barge with
  the Earl of Salisbury, the Earl of Warwick, the Earl of Oxford, and
  certain knights, and so rowed down along the Thames to Rotherhithe,
  where were descended down the hill 10,000 men to see the king and
  speak with him. And when they saw the king's barge coming, they
  began to shout, and made such a cry, as though all the devils of
  hell had been among them. And they had brought with them Sir John
  Newton, to the intent that, if the king had not come, they would
  have stricken him all to pieces, and so they had promised him. And
  when the king and his lords saw the demeanour of the people, the
  best assured of them were in dread; and so the king was counselled
  by his barons not to take any landing there, but so rowed on down
  the river. And the king demanded of them what they would, and said
  how he was come thither to speak with them, and they said all with
  one voice: "We would that ye should come aland, and then we shall
  show you what we lack." Then the Earl of Salisbury answered for the
  king, and said: "Sirs, ye be not in such order nor array that the
  king ought to speak with you." And so with these words no more was
  said: and then the king was counselled to return to the Tower of
  London, and so he did.

  And when the people saw that, they were inflamed with ire, and
  returned to the hill, where the great band was, and then showed them
  what answer they had, and how the king was returned to the Tower of
  London. Then they all cried out: "Let us go to London," and so they
  took their way thither: and in their going they beat down abbeys and
  houses of advocates and of men of the court, and so came into the
  suburbs of London, which were great and fair, and there beat down
  divers fair houses, and specially they brake up the king's prisons,
  as the Marshalsea and others, and delivered out all the prisoners
  that were within: and then they did much hurt; and on the bridge
  foot they threatened them of London because the gates of the bridge
  were closed, saying how they would bren all the suburbs and so
  conquer London by force, and slay and bren all the commons of the
  city. There were many within the city of their accord, and so they
  drew together and said: "Why do ye not let these good people enter
  into the city? They are our fellows, and that that they do is for
  us." So therewith the gates were opened, and then these people
  entered into the city, and went into houses and sat down to eat and
  drink. They desired nothing but it was incontinent brought to them,
  for every man was ready to make them good cheer, and to give them
  meat and drink to appease them.

  Then the captains, as John Ball, Jack Straw, and Wat Tyler, went
  throughout London, 20,000 with them, and so came to the Savoy on the
  way to Westminster, which was a goodly house, and it pertaineth to
  the Duke of Lancaster. And when they had entered, they slew the
  keepers thereof, and robbed and pillaged the house; and when they
  had so done, then they set fire on it, and clean destroyed and brent
  it. And when they had done that outrage, they left not therewith,
  but went straight to the fair hospital called St. John's, and there
  they brent house, hospital, minster, and all. Then they went from
  street to street and slew all the Flemings that they could find in
  church or in any other place, there was none respited from death.

  And they brake up divers houses of the Lombards, and robbed them and
  took their goods at their pleasure, for there was none that durst
  say them nay. And they slew in the city a rich merchant called
  Richard Lyon, whom before that time Wat Tyler had served in France;
  and on a time this Richard Lyon had beaten him, while he was his
  varlet, which Wat Tyler then remembered, and so came to his house
  and strake off his head, and caused it to be borne on a spear-point
  before him all about the city....

  The Saturday the king went to Westminster and heard mass in the
  church there, and all his lords with him; and then he leapt on his
  horse, and all his lords, and so the king rode toward London; and
  when he had ridden a little way, on the left hand there was a way to
  pass without London.

  The same morning Wat Tyler, Jack Straw, and John Ball had assembled
  their company together in a place called Smithfield, where every
  Friday there is a market of horses; and there were together all of
  one affinity more than 20,000, and yet there were many still in the
  town, drinking and making merry in the taverns, and paying nothing,
  for they were happy that made them best cheer.

  And therewith the king came the same way unaware of them, for he had
  thought to have passed that way without London, and with him forty
  horse.... The mayor of London came to the king with twelve horsemen
  well armed under their coats, and so he broke the press and saw and
  heard how Wat Tyler demeaned himself, and said to him: "Ha, thou
  knave, how art thou so hardy in the king's presence to speak such
  words? It is too much for thee to do so." Then the king began to
  chafe and said to the mayor: "Set hands on him." And while the king
  said so, Tyler said to the mayor: "A God's name, what have I said to
  displease thee?" "Yes, truly," quoth the mayor, "thou false knave,
  shalt thou speak thus in the presence of the king, my natural lord?"
  And with these words the mayor drew out his sword and strake Tyler
  so great a stroke on the head, that he fell down at the feet of his
  horse, and as soon as he was fallen, they environed him all about,
  whereby he was not seen of his company. Then a squire of the king
  alighted, called John Standish, and he drew out his sword and put it
  through Wat Tyler's body, and so he died.

  Then the ungracious people there assembled, perceiving their captain
  slain, began to murmur among themselves and said: "Ah, our captain
  is slain, let us go and slay them all;" and therewith they arrayed
  themselves on the same place in manner of battle, and their bows
  before them. Then the king began a great deed; howbeit, all turned
  to the best: for as soon as Tyler was on the earth, the king
  departed from all his company, and all alone he rode to these
  people, and said to them: "Sirs, what aileth you? Ye shall have no
  captain but me: I am your king: be all in rest and peace." And so
  the most part of the people that heard the king speak and saw him
  among them, were shamefast and began to wax peaceable and depart.



              LONDON LICKPENNY (EARLY FIFTEENTH CENTURY).


This poem is generally ascribed to John Lydgate, a disciple of Chaucer,
but the authorship is doubtful. Whatever its poetical merit may be, it
is full of interest as a picture of contemporary life in London, and the
description of the adventures of the poor countryman, endeavouring to
obtain legal justice in the metropolis, lacks neither pathos nor humour.


    =Source.=—_Minor Poems of Lydgate_, edited by Halliwell, p. 103.

         To London once my stepps I bent,
         Where trouth in no wyse should be faynt,
         To Westmynster-ward I forthwith went,
         To a man of law to make complaynt,
         I sayd, "For Marys love, that holy saynt!
         Pity the poore that wold proceede;"
         But for lack of mony I could not spede.

         And as I thrust the prese amonge,
         By froward chaunce my hood was gone,
         Yet for all that I stayd not longe,
         Tyll to the kyngs bench I was come.
         Before the judge I kneled anone,
         And prayd hym for Gods sake to take heede;
         But for lack of mony I myght not speede.

         Beneth them sat clarkes a great rout,
         Which fast dyd wryte by one assent,
         There stoode up one and cryed about,
         Rychard, Robert, and John of Kent.
         I wyst not well what this man ment,
         He cryed so thycke there indede;
         But he that lackt mony myght not spede.

         Unto the common place I yode thoo,
         Where sat one with a sylken hoode;
         I dyd hym reverence, for I ought to do so,
         And told my case as well as I coode,
         How my goods were defrauded me by falshood.
         I gat not a mum of his mouth for my meed,
         And for lack of mony I myght not spede.

         Unto the Rolls I gat me from thence,
         Before the clarkes of the chauncerye,
         Where many I found earnying of pence,
         But none at all once regarded mee.
         I gave them my playnt uppon my knee;
         They lyked it well, when they had it reade:
         But lackyng money I could not be sped.

         In Westmynster hall I found out one,
         Which went in a long gown of raye;
         I crowched and kneled before hym anon,
         For Maryes love, of help I hym praye.
         "I wot not that thou meanest," gan he say:
         To get me thence he did me bede,
         For lack of mony I cold not speed.

         Within this hall, neither rich nor yett poore
         Wold do for me ought, although I shold dye.
         Which seing, I gat me out of the doore,
         Where Flemynges began on me for to cry,
         "Master, what will you copen or by?
         Fyne felt hattes, or spectacles to reede?
         Lay down your sylver, and here you may speede."

         Then to Westmynster-Gate I presently went,
         When the sonn was at hyghe pryme;
         Cookes to me, they tooke good entente,
         And proffered me bread, with ale and wyne,
         Rybbs of befe, both fat and ful fyne.
         A fayre cloth they gan for to sprede;
         But wantyng mony I myght not then speede.

         Then unto London I dyd me hye,
         Of all the land it beareth the pryse:
         Hot pescodes, one began to crye,
         Strabery rype, and cherryes in the ryse;
         One bad me come nere and by some spyce,
         Peper and safforne they gan me bede,
         But for lack of mony I myght not spede.

         Then to the Chepe I began me drawne,
         Where mutch people I saw for to stande;
         One ofred me velvet, sylke, and lawne,
         An other he taketh me by the hande,
         "Here is Parys thred, the fynest in the land;"
         I never was used to such thyngs indede,
         And wantyng mony I myght not spede.

         Then went I forth by London stone,
         Throughout all Canwyke streete;
         Drapers mutch cloth me offred anone;
         Then comes me one cryed hot shepes feete;
         One cryde makerell, ryster grene, an other gan greete;
         One bad me by a hood to cover my head,
         But for want of mony I myght not be sped.

         Then I hyed me into Est-Chepe;
         One cryes rybbs of befe, and many a pye;
         Pewter pottes they clattered on a heape;
         There was harpe, pype, and mynstrelsye.
         "Yea, by cock! nay, by cock!" some began crye;
         Some songe of Jenken and Julyan for their mede;
         But for lack of mony I myght not spede.

         Then into Corn-Hyl anon I yode,
         Where was mutch stolen gere amonge;
         I saw where honge myne owne hoode,
         That I had lost amonge the thronge:
         To by my own hood I thought it wronge,
         I knew it well as I dyd my crede,
         But for lack of mony I could not spede.

         The taverner took mee by the sleeve,
         "Sir," sayth he, "wyll you our wyne assay?"
         I answered, that can not mutch me greve,
         A peny can do no more then it may,
         I drank a pynt and for it dyd paye;
         Yet sone a hungerd from thence I yode,
         And wantyng mony I cold not spede.

         Then hyed I me to Belyngsgate;
         And one cryed, "hoo! go we hence!"
         I prayd a barge man, for God's sake,
         That he wold spare me my expence.
         "Thou scapst not here," quod he, "under ij. pence;
         I lyst not yet bestow any almes dede."
         Thus lackyng mony I could not speede.

         Then I convayd me into Kent;
         For of the law wold I meddle no more;
         Because no man to me tooke entent,
         I dyght me to do as I dyd before.
         Now Jesus, that in Bethlem was bore,
         Save London, and send trew lawyers there mede!
         For who so wantes mony with them shall not spede.



                 WHITTINGTON'S SECOND MAYORALTY (1406).


Richard Whittington was the son of a Gloucestershire knight, and was
born in 1350. The familiar stories of his roadside adventure in Highgate
and of his fortune-making cat are, in common with many other delightful
and picturesque incidents of history, rejected by historians; but he is
certainly a great and famous man, even when his story is robbed of these
interesting particulars. He was four times Mayor, and his justice and
patriotism became proverbial. He vigorously opposed the admission of
foreigners to the freedom of the City; he was exceedingly generous, and
performed many deeds of charity. The following account of his second
election to the highest dignity of the City illustrates the form and
manner in which the appointment was made in the Middle Ages.


                 =Source.=—Riley's _Memorials_, p. 565.

  On Wednesday, the Feast of the Translation of St. Edward the King
  and Confessor [October 13], in the 8th year etc., John Wodecok,
  Mayor of the City of London, considering that upon the same day he
  and all the Aldermen of the said city, and as many as possible of
  the wealthier and more substantial Commoners of the same city, ought
  to meet at the Guildhall, as the usuage is, to elect a new Mayor for
  the ensuing year, ordered that a Mass of the Holy Spirit should be
  celebrated, with solemn music, in the Chapel annexed to the said
  Guildhall; to the end that the same Commonalty, by the grace of the
  Holy Spirit, might be able peacefully and amicably to nominate two
  able and proper persons to be Mayor of the said city for the ensuing
  year, by favour of the clemency of Our Saviour, according to the
  customs of the said city.

  Which Mass having in the said Chapel been solemnly celebrated, there
  being present thereat the said John Wodecok, the Mayor, John
  Prestone, Recorder, Nicholas Wottone and Geoffrey Broke, Sheriffs,
  the Prior of the Holy Trinity, John Hadlee, William Staundone,
  Richard Whytyngtone, Drew Barentyn, Thomas Knolles, John Shadworth,
  William Askham, William Bramptone, John Warner, William Walderne,
  William Venour, Robert Chychely, Thomas Fauconer, Thomas Polle,
  William Louthe, William Crowmere, Henry Bartone, and Henry
  Pountfreyt, Aldermen, and many reputable Commoners of the City
  aforesaid; the same Mayor, Recorder, Sheriffs, Aldermen, and
  Commoners, entered the Guildhall, where the precept of the said
  Mayor and Aldermen, as the cause of the said congregation, was
  becomingly set forth and declared by the said Recorder to the
  Commoners aforesaid; to the end that such Commoners should nominate
  unto the said Mayor and Aldermen such able and proper persons as had
  before filled the office of Sheriff in the City aforesaid; it being
  for the said Commoners to take no care which one of the persons so
  to be nominated should be chosen by the Mayor and Aldermen to be
  Mayor for the ensuing year. Which being done, the said Mayor,
  Recorder, Sheriffs, and Aldermen, went up into the Chamber of the
  Mayor's Court, within the Guildhall aforesaid, there to await the
  nomination of such two persons. Whereupon, the Commoners peacefully
  and amicably, without any clamour or discussion, did becomingly
  nominate Richard Whytyngtone, mercer, and Drew Barentyn, goldsmith,
  through John Westone, Common Countor of the said city, and presented
  the same.

  And hereupon, the Mayor and Aldermen, with closed doors, in the said
  chamber chose Richard Whytyngtone aforesaid, by guidance of the Holy
  Spirit, to be Mayor of the City for the ensuing year: after which,
  the Mayor and Aldermen, coming down from the Chamber into the Hall,
  to the Commoners there assembled as the custom is, notified by the
  Recorder unto the same Commoners, how that, by Divine inspiration,
  the lot had fallen upon the said Richard Whytyngtone, as above
  stated.



                THE PERSECUTION OF THE LOLLARDS (1413).


The Lollards were disciples of Wyclif, and increased very considerably
in numbers and in power at the beginning of the fifteenth century. A
large number of the citizens of London appear to have become attached to
the new doctrines, which repudiated some of the most important dogmas of
the Church. The clergy were active in their efforts to suppress the new
beliefs, and applied to the King for assistance. Whatever may have been
the personal views of Henry IV. and Henry V. on the matter, they were
compelled by force of circumstances to keep on good terms with the
Church, and measures of repression were adopted. The leader of the
Lollards, Sir John Oldcastle, a man of distinguished military ability,
was imprisoned, but rescued from the Tower by a band of Londoners. A
huge meeting was held in St. Giles's Fields, but was prevented from
doing any damage by Henry V.'s vigilance; the party was vigorously
persecuted, and Oldcastle was captured and hanged. After this Lollardry
languished, and gradually disappeared.

        The King to the Mayor and Sheriffs of London: Greeting.

  Inasmuch as we have been given to understand that certain priests,
  not privileged by law for this purpose, nor licensed by the diocesan
  of the place, nor permitted by the Church, who are said to be of
  this new sect of the Lollards, have been preaching in public places
  within the aforesaid city, and in the suburbs and vicinity thereof,
  in order to excite and win over some who are ill disposed to the
  Catholic faith and the doctrine of holy mother Church; and by their
  own rashness, and contrary to the laws and ordinances of the Church,
  they have preached, nay, rather have profaned the Word of God; or at
  least under pretext of preaching they have in such places been
  emboldened to propagate discord among our people on the pestiferous
  seeds of Lollardism and evil doctrine, after the manner of
  preachers; and as some of our people of our said city and its
  vicinity, under pretence of hearing such preaching, have assembled
  to those places, and have congregated together in large multitudes;
  and, in consequence, murmurs and seditions have in part arisen, and
  will probably arise, to the disturbance and no small marring of our
  peace, unless a remedy be more quickly applied to abolish such
  meetings and pull down such conventicles:

  We, desiring especially to provide for the defence of the Catholic
  faith, the laws and ordinances of the Church, and for preserving our
  peace, command you, that you cause proclamation publicly to be made,
  within our city aforesaid, and its suburbs, in every place where you
  shall find it expedient:

  That no chaplains, of whatsoever degree, state, or condition they
  may be, shall henceforward hold, cherish, affirm, preach, or defend
  such opinions, heresy, or error, contrary to the decision of holy
  mother Church; and that none other our lieges and subjects in this
  matter adhere to or abet them, or lend them counsel or assistance,
  under penalty of imprisonment of their bodies, and the forfeiture of
  all their goods and chattels, to our will and disposal. We further
  command and positively enjoin you that, if henceforth you shall be
  able to find within your bailiwick any such chaplains preaching and
  affirming publicly or secretly, contrary to the aforesaid rescript,
  or any other our lieges and subjects making conventicles and
  meetings, or receiving the same chaplains, or being under probable
  or great suspicion concerning the premises, or in any way
  counselling, favouring, or helping such chaplains in this matter,
  then arrest ye them without delay, and commit them to prison, there
  to remain, until they shall obey the commands of the diocesan in
  whose diocese they may have preached....

                  Witness the King, at Westminster, the 21st day of
                      August, 1413.



                IMPRISONMENT FOR REFUSING OFFICE (1415).


Reluctance to accept positions of dignity and importance is rarely met
with nowadays; we are accustomed to witness keen competition for the
honour and privilege—even if there be no more solid advantage—of a seat
in Parliament or a civic office. But in medieval times there was
frequently considerable unwillingness to hold these now coveted posts;
most men had their own affairs to attend to, and these were almost
certain to be seriously prejudiced by the distractions of public life.
More especially was this the case where Parliamentary representation of
a remote constituency was concerned. The danger, expense, and time
involved in the necessary journeys to the capital were a very serious
consideration, and fines had to be imposed frequently upon burgesses or
knights of the shire, who resented the greatness which their
constituents thrust upon them. The following instance shows that even in
London pressure had to be applied in order to induce the acceptance of
an important office; and it was not until the holders of such posts
began to realise the possibility of deriving profit from them, as, for
example, by exempting their own property from taxation, that these
difficulties were entirely overcome.


                 =Source.=—Riley's _Memorials_, p. 601.

  Forasmuch as a laudable custom which has hitherto prevailed in the
  City of London, has so prescribed and ordained, that the inhabitants
  of each of the Wards of the said city are at liberty to elect an
  Alderman whensoever they need one, to rule them in their own Ward;
  provided always, that the person so elected is presented to the
  Mayor and Aldermen, for the time being, and by them is deemed worthy
  to be admitted and approved.—And whereas, on the 3rd day of January,
  in the 2nd year of the reign of King Henry etc. one Ralph Lobenham,
  late Alderman of the Ward of Farndone Without, having voluntarily
  resigned the rule of that Ward, the inhabitants of the Ward
  thereupon, according to the usual custom, met together at the usual
  place within the Ward, for the purpose of electing an Alderman
  thereof, and there unanimously chose one John Gedeney, citizen and
  draper, to hold the office of Alderman of the Ward aforesaid....

  The said John Gedeney appeared before the Mayor and Aldermen, in the
  Chamber aforesaid, and after the reason for his being summoned had
  been first stated to him, precept was given to him forthwith to take
  his seat there in Court, that he might take the oath that pertains
  unto the office and rank of Alderman. Whereupon, the same John
  Gedeney, after first setting forth his excuses on the ground of his
  inability, and his insufficiency for the office, wholly refused to
  accept it: upon which, he was informed by the Court that he could
  not refuse this office, to which, as being a fit person, he was
  admitted by the Court, without breach of his freedom, and of the
  oath which by him, when he was admitted to the freedom of the City,
  had been made; and this the more especially, as every freeman is
  bound to be a partaker in Lot, which is liability to hold office,
  and in Scot, which means contribution to taxes and other charges, by
  reason of such oath.

  But all and singular the matters before stated notwithstanding, he
  altogether refused to accept the office, like a person who was
  utterly obdurate. And hereupon, the matter having been considered by
  the Mayor and Aldermen, because that it appeared to them that if any
  one, when elected to such office, should be at liberty at his own
  will and pleasure to refuse the post, and pass it by, not improbably
  the City before long would be left destitute, as it were, of all
  rule and governance whatsoever; the same John Gedeney was by the
  said Mayor and Aldermen committed to prison, there to remain until
  the Court should be better advised what to do as to the matters
  aforesaid.



                OATHS OF THE MAYOR AND ALDERMEN (1419).


The following extracts are from the _Liber Albus_, a book on the
government of the City of London, by John Carpenter, who was Town Clerk
from 1417 to 1438. It contains a complete description of the
administration of the City at this interesting point in its history, and
gives particulars of the duties and responsibilities of all the civic
officers. The author explains that before the office of Mayor was
established, the chief person in the City was the Portreeve, who was
also the King's representative and justiciar. Then the "Barons of the
City," who may have been the Aldermen, obtained the privilege of
electing their own Mayor every year; and gradually a custom arose for
the Mayor, Aldermen, Sheriffs, and certain chosen commoners to meet for
the purpose of choosing a new Mayor. At first the same Mayor was
frequently re-elected, so long as there was no expense attached to the
office; but when it became customary for him to give feasts and
liveries, the cost was generally too great for him to continue in office
for more than one year, and the practice arose for the Mayor to retire
at the end of his term, when the Aldermen might offer him a second year.
The Aldermen held their office for life, and had almost despotic
authority in their ward, having their own serjeants to attend them.


             =Source.=—_Liber Albus_, translated by Riley.

  You shall swear, that well and lawfully you shall serve our lord the
  King in the office of the Mayoralty of the City of London, and the
  same City you shall surely and safely keep to the behoof of the King
  of England, and of his heirs, Kings of England; and the profit of
  the King you shall do in all things that unto you belong to do, and
  the rights of the King, in so far as unto the Crown they belong
  within the said City, you shall lawfully keep. You shall not assent
  unto the decrease, or unto the concealment of the rights or of the
  franchises of the King; and where you shall know the rights of the
  King or of the Crown, be it in lands, or in rents, or in franchises,
  or in suits, to be concealed or withdrawn, to your utmost power you
  shall do to repel it; and if you cannot do it, you shall tell it
  unto the King, or unto them of his Council, of whom you shall be
  certain that they will tell it unto the King. And that lawfully and
  rightfully you will treat the people of your bailiwick, and right
  will do unto everyone thereof, as well unto strangers as to
  denizens, to poor as to rich, in that which belongeth unto you to
  do; and that neither for highness, nor for riches, nor for promise,
  nor for favour, nor for hate, wrong you shall do unto any one; nor
  the right of anyone shall you disturb, nor shall you take anything
  whereby the King may lose, or by which his right may be disturbed.
  And that in all things which unto the Mayor of the said City it
  pertaineth to do, as well in the regulation of victuals as in all
  other things, well and lawfully you shall behave yourself.

  So God you help, and the Saints.

                  *       *       *       *       *

  You shall swear, that well and lawfully you shall serve our lord the
  King in the City of London, in the office of Alderman in the Ward of
  N, wherein you are chosen Alderman, and shall lawfully treat and
  inform the people of the same Ward of such things as unto them
  pertain to do, for keeping the City, and for maintaining the peace
  within the City; and that the laws, usages, and franchises of the
  said City you shall keep and maintain, within town and without,
  according to your wit and power. And that attentive you shall be to
  save and maintain the rights of orphans, according to the laws and
  usages of the said City. And that ready you shall be, and readily
  shall come, at the summons and warning of the Mayor and ministers of
  the said City, for the time being, to speed the Assizes, Pleas, and
  Judgments of the Hustings, and other needs of the said City, if you
  be not hindered by the needs of our lord the King, or by other
  reasonable cause; and that good lawful counsel you shall give for
  such things as touch the common profit in the same City. And that
  you shall sell no manner of victuals by retail; that is to say,
  bread, ale, wine, fish or flesh, by you, your apprentices, hired
  servants, or by any other; nor profit shall you take of any such
  manner of victuals sold during your office. And that well and
  lawfully you shall (behave) yourself in the said office, and in
  other things touching the City. So God you help, and the Saints.



                      JACK CADE IN LONDON (1450).


The rebellion headed by Cade was a manifestation of discontent at the
incompetence of the Government. An expensive and unsuccessful war had
been carried on in France, and there was very little disposition in
England to aid the inadequate resources of the royal treasury, or to
relieve the King from the load of debt which had been contracted. The
King's Ministers were forced to have recourse to arbitrary measures, and
the affections of the people were completely estranged. Cade was able,
by holding out the prospect of redress of grievances, to collect about
him a formidable body of malcontents. They were admitted into the City,
where at first they conducted themselves with comparative moderation;
but very soon indications of violence showed themselves, and the
citizens realised their danger and were able to hold the rebels at bay
until, dispirited by the opposition which they encountered, they
dispersed.


                     =Source.=—Hall's _Chronicle_.

  The captain being advised of the King's absence, came first into
  Southwark, and there lodged at the White Hart, prohibiting to all
  men, Murder, Rape, or Robbery: by which colour he allured to him the
  hearts of the common people. But after that he entered into London,
  and cut the ropes of the drawbridge, sticking his sword on London
  stone, saying: Now is Mortimer lord of this city, and rode in every
  street like a lordly Captain. And after a flattering declaration
  made to the Mayor of the city of his thither coming, he departed
  again to Southwark. And upon the third day of July, he caused Sir
  James Fynes, Lord Say, and Treasurer of England, to be brought to
  the Guildhall of London, and there to be arraigned: which being
  before the King's justices put to answer, desired to be tried by his
  peers, for the longer delay of his life.

  The captain perceiving his dilatory plea, by force took him from the
  officers, and brought him to the standard in Cheape, and there
  before his confession ended, caused his head to be cut off, and
  pitched it on a high pole, which was openly borne before him through
  the streets. And this cruel tyrant not content with the murder of
  the Lord Say, went to Mile end, and there apprehended Sir James
  Cromer, then sheriff of Kent, and son in law to the said Lord Say,
  and him without confession or excuse heard, caused there likewise to
  be beheaded, and his head to be fixed on a pole, and with these two
  heads, this bloody butcher entered into the city again, and in
  despite caused them in every street to kiss together, to the great
  detestation of all the beholders.

  After this shameful murder, succeeded open rapine and manifest
  robbery in divers houses within the City, and in especial in the
  house of Philip Malpas, Alderman of London, and divers others: over
  and beside ransoming, and fining of divers notable merchants, for
  the security of their lives and goods, as Robert Horne alderman, who
  paid 500 marks, and yet neither he, nor any other person was either
  of life or substance in a surety or safeguard. He also put to
  execution in Southwark divers persons, some for infringing his rules
  and precepts, because he would be seen indifferent, others he
  tormented of his old acquaintance, lest they should blaze and
  declare his base birth, and lousy lineage, disparaging him from his
  usurped surname of Mortimer, for the which, he thought and doubted
  not, both to have friends and fautors, both in London, Kent, and
  Essex. The wise Mayor, and sage magistrates of the City of London,
  perceiving themselves neither to be sure of goods nor of life well
  warranted, determined with fear to repel and expulse this
  mischievous head, and his ungracious company. And because the Lord
  Scales was ordained Keeper of the Tower of London, with Matthew
  Gough, the often named captain in Normandy, (as you have heard
  before), they purposed to make them acquainted both of their intent
  and enterprise. The Lord Scales promised them his aid, with shooting
  of ordinance, and Matthew Gough was by him appointed to assist the
  Mayor and the Londoners; because he was both of manhood, and
  experience greatly renowned and noised. So the Captains of the City
  appointed, took upon them in the night to keep the bridge of London,
  prohibiting the Kentish men, either to pass or approach. The rebels,
  which never soundly slept, for fear of sudden chances, hearing the
  bridge to be kept and manned, ran with great haste to open their
  passage, where between both parties was a fierce and cruel
  encounter. Matthew Gough, more expert in martial feats than the
  other chieftains of the City, perceiving the Kentish men better to
  stand to their tackling than his imagination expected, advised his
  company no further to proceed, toward Southwark, till the day
  appeared: to the intent, that the citizens hearing where the place
  of the jeopardy rested, might occur their enemies, and relieve their
  friends and companions. But this counsel came to small effect: for
  the multitude of the rebels drave the citizens from the staples at
  the bridge foot, to the draw bridge, and began to set fire in divers
  houses. Alas what sorrow it was to behold that miserable chance: for
  some desiring to eschew the fire, leapt on his enemies weapon, and
  so died; fearful women with children in their arms, amazed and
  appalled, leapt into the river: others doubting how to save
  themselves between fire, water, and sword, were in their houses
  suffocated and smouldered. Yet the Captains nothing regarding these
  chances, fought on the draw bridge all the night valiantly, but in
  conclusion, the rebels held the draw bridge, and drowned many, and
  slew John Sutton alderman, and Robert Heysande a hardy citizen, with
  many other, beside Matthew Gough, a man of great wit, much
  experience in feats of chivalry, the which in continual wars, had
  valiantly served the King and his father, in the parts beyond the
  sea (as before you have heard). But it is often seen that he, which
  many times hath vanquished his enemies in strange countries, and
  returned again as a conqueror, hath of his own nation afterward been
  shamefully murdered, and brought to confusion. This hard and sore
  conflict endured on the bridge, till 9 o'clock in the morning, in
  doubtful chance, and fortunes balance: for some time the Londoners
  were beaten back to the stulpes at Saint Magnes corner, and suddenly
  again the rebels were repulsed and driven back, to the stulpes in
  Southwark, so that both parties, being faint, weary and fatigued,
  agreed to desist from fight, and to leave battle till the next day,
  upon condition: that neither Londoners should pass into Southwark,
  nor the Kentishmen into London.

  After this abstinence of war agreed, the lusty Kentish Captain,
  hoping on more friends, broke up the gaols of the Kings Bench and
  Marshalsea, and set at liberty a swarm of galants, both meet for his
  service and apt for his enterprise. The Archbishop of Canterbury,
  being then Chancellor of England, and for his surety lying in the
  Tower of London, called to him the Bishop of Winchester, which also
  for fear, lurked at Halywell. These two prelates seeing the fury of
  the Kentish people, by reason of their beating back, to be mitigate
  and minished, passed the River of Thames from the Tower, into
  Southwark, bringing with them under the King's great seal, a general
  pardon unto all the offenders: which they caused to be openly
  proclaimed and published. Lord how glad the poor people were of this
  pardon (the more than of the Jubilee of Rome) and how they accepted
  the same, in so much that the whole multitude, without bidding
  farewell to their captain, retired the same night, every man to his
  own home, as men amazed, and stricken with fear.

  But John Cade desperate of help, which by the friends of the duke of
  York, were to him promised, and seeing his company thus without his
  knowledge suddenly depart, mistrusting the sequel of the matter,
  departed secretly in habit disguised into Sussex: but all his
  metamorphoses or transfiguration little prevailed. For after a
  Proclamation made, that whosoever could apprehend the aforesaid Jack
  Cade should have for his pains a thousand marks, many sought for
  him, but few espied him, till one Alexander Iden, esquire of Kent
  found him in a garden, and there in his defence, manfully slew the
  catiff Cade, and brought his dead body to London, whose head was set
  on London Bridge. This is the success of all rebels, and this
  fortune chanceth ever to traitors. For where men strive against the
  stream, their boat never cometh to his pretenced port.



                      THE MAYOR'S DIGNITY (1464).


One of the privileges of the Mayor which has been very jealously guarded
is that upon which is founded his claim to supremacy in the City; only
the Sovereign takes precedence, and from very early times the Mayors
have insisted upon this pre-eminence. It was not often that their right
was challenged in the City itself, but occasionally there was friction
concerning the Mayor's position in places which were supposed to be
outside his jurisdiction. The instance mentioned below is interesting,
as showing the importance which a fifteenth-century Mayor attached to
his office.


                    =Source.=—Gregory's _Chronicle_.

  Thys yere (1464) abute mydsomyr, at the royalle feste of the
  Sargentys of the Coyfe, the Mayre of London was desyride to be at
  that feste. And at denyr time he come to the feste with his
  offecers, agreyng and acordyng to hys degre. For withyn London he ys
  next unto the Kyng in all maner thynge. And in tyme of waschynge the
  Erle of Worseter was take before the mayre and sette down in the
  myddis of the hy tabelle. And the mayre seynge that hys place was
  occupyd hylde hym contente, and went home agayne with-out mete or
  drynke or any thonke, but rewarde hym he dyd as hys dygnyte requyred
  of the cytte. And toke with hym the substance of hys bretheryn the
  aldyrmen to his place, and were sette and servyd also sone as any
  man couthe devyse, bothe of sygnet and of othyr delycatys i-nowe,
  that alle the howse mervelyd howe welle alle tynge was done in soo
  schorte a tyme, and prayde alle men to be mery and gladde hit shulde
  be a-mendyd a-nothyr tyme.

  Thenn the offesers of the feste, fulle evylle a-schamyd, informyd
  the maysters of the feste of thys mysse-happe that ys be-falle. And
  they consyderynge the grete dygnyte and costys and change that
  longgyd unto the cytte, and anon sende unto the mayre a present of
  mete, brede, wyne, and many dyvers sotelteys. But whenn they that
  come with the presentys saw alle the gyftys, and the sarvyse that
  was at the borde, he was fulle sore a-schamyd that shulde doo the
  massage, for the present was not better thenn the servyse of metys
  was byfore the mayre, and thoroughe-owte the hyghe tabylle. But hys
  demenynge was soo that he hadde love and thonke for hys massage, and
  a grette rewarde with-alle. And thys the worschippe of the cytte was
  kepte, and not loste for hym. I truste that nevyr hyt shalle, by the
  grace of God.



                REGULATIONS CONCERNING STRANGERS (1485).


These regulations are taken from Henry VII.'s charter, which cost the
citizens no less than five thousand marks. The main object of the
charter was to protect the City from the encroachments of foreigners and
strangers, who appear to have been unusually active about this time in
their attempts to gain a footing in the rapidly expanding trade of
London. Their efforts met with great hostility on the part of the
citizens, and these enactments are indicative of the general attitude of
the Londoners towards strangers either from other towns or from across
the sea.


                =Source.=—From the Charter of Henry VII.

  Of all time, of which the memory of man is not to the contrary, for
  the commonweal of the realm and city aforesaid, it hath been used,
  and by authority of parliament approved and confirmed, that no
  stranger from the liberty of the city may buy or sell, from any
  stranger from the liberties of the same city, any merchandise or
  wares within the liberties of the same city, upon forfeiture of the
  same. The said mayor and commonalty, and citizens, and their
  predecessors by all the time aforesaid, have had and received, and
  have been accustomed to receive, perceive, and have, to the use of
  the said mayor, commonalty, and citizens, all and all manner of
  merchandises and wares bought and sold within the liberties of the
  same city as aforesaid, and forfeitures of the same merchandises and
  wares, until of late past time they were troubled or molested.

  The same lord Henry the seventh, by his letters patent as aforesaid,
  for pacifying and taking away from henceforth controversies and
  ambiguities in that behalf, and to fortify and by express words to
  explain and declare the liberty and custom aforesaid to them the
  said mayor and commonalty and citizens, and their heirs and
  successors, and willing the said liberties to be peaceably and
  quietly had, possessed, and enjoyed to the said mayor and commonalty
  and citizens, and their successors, with the forfeitures aforesaid,
  against the said late lord King Henry, his heirs and successors
  granted, and by his said charter confirmed to the same mayor and
  commonalty and citizens, and their successors, that no stranger from
  the liberties of the same city may buy or sell from any other
  stranger to the liberty of the same city, any merchandises or wares
  within the liberties of the same city; and if any stranger to the
  liberty of the same city shall sell or buy any merchandises or wares
  within the liberty of the same city of any other stranger to the
  liberty of the same city, that the same mayor, commonalty and
  citizens, and their successors, may have, hold, and receive all and
  all manner of such like merchandises and wares, so bought and to be
  bought, sold or to be sold, within the liberty of the said city,
  between whatsoever strangers to the liberty of the same city, as
  forfeited; and all the forfeitures of the same, and also the
  penalties, fines, and redemptions whatsoever anyways forfeited, lost
  or to be lost, or to be forfeited or due thereon, to the use and
  profit of the same mayor and commonalty and citizens, and their
  heirs and successors, without hindrance of the same late king, his
  heirs or successors, and without any account or any other thing to
  be rendered or paid thereof to the late king, his heirs and
  successors, any statute, act, or ordinance of us or our progenitors
  made to the contrary notwithstanding; although the same mayor and
  commonalty, and citizens of the said city, or their predecessors,
  have before that time used, abused, or not used those customs and
  liberties: Saving always, that the great men, lords, and nobles, and
  other English and strangers, of what condition they shall be, may
  freely buy whatsoever merchandises in gross for their families and
  proper uses within the liberties of the said city, without any
  forfeiture, loss, or hindrance whatsoever, so that they do not sell
  again the said merchandises to any other.

  And further, the same late king, of his ample grace, by his said
  letters patent, amongst other things, did give and grant to the
  mayor, commonalty, and citizens of the same city of London, and
  their successors, the office of gauger within the said city, and the
  disposing, ordering, surveying, and correcting of the same, to have,
  hold, exercise, and occupy the said office, and other premises, with
  all fees, profits, and emoluments to the said office in any manner
  belonging or appertaining, to the same mayor and commonalty, and
  citizens, by themselves, or by their sufficient deputy or deputies,
  from the twenty-second day of August, in the first year of his
  reign, for ever, without any account to be made thereof, or any
  other thing rendering or paying to the said lord Henry the seventh,
  his heirs or successors, as by the said letters patent doth more
  plainly appear.



                       THE MARCHING WATCH (1510).


The Marching Watch was a kind of annual military muster of the citizens,
embodying all the companies, for the purpose of forming a regular guard
for the City during the ensuing year. The contest for magnificence on
the occasion described in the following extract created an expense so
great and detrimental that Henry VIII. prohibited the show, and confined
the citizens to the proper object of the assembly. It was afterwards
revived on a more economical plan, and continued under the name of the
"Standing Watch," till the force was finally superseded by the City
Trained Bands.


                   =Source.=—Stow's _Survey_, p. 102.

  Besides the standing watches all in bright harness, in every ward
  and street in this city and suburbs, there was also a marching watch
  that passed through the principal streets thereof, to wit, from the
  little conduit by Paul's gate to West Cheap, by the stocks through
  Cornhill by Leadenhall to Aldgate, then back down Fenchurch Street
  by Grace Church, about Grace church conduit and up Gracechurch
  Street into Cornhill, and through it into West Cheap again, and so
  broke up. The whole way ordered for this marching watch extendeth to
  three thousand two hundred taylor's yards of assize; for the
  furniture whereof with lights, there were appointed seven hundred
  cressets, five hundred of them being found by the Companies, the
  other two hundred by the Chamber of London.

  Besides the which lights every constable in London, in number more
  than two hundred and forty, had his cresset; the charge of every
  cresset was in light two shillings and fourpence, and every cresset
  had two men, one to bear or hold in, another to bear a bag with
  light, and to serve it, so that the poor men pertaining to the
  cressets, taking wages, besides that every one had a straw hat, with
  a badge painted, and his breakfast, amounted in number to almost two
  thousand. The marching watch contained in number about two thousand
  men, part of them being old soldiers, of skill to be captains,
  lieutenants, serjeants, corporals, etc., wiflers, drummers, and
  fifes, standard and ensign bearers, demilances on great horses,
  gunners with hand guns, or half hakes, archers in coats of white
  fustian, signed on the breast and back with the arms of the city,
  their bows bent in their hands, with sheafs of arrows by their
  sides; pikemen in bright corslets, burganets, etc. halbards, the
  like the billmen in almain rivets, and aprons of mail in great
  number. There were also divers pageants, morris dancers, constables,
  the one-half which was one hundred and twenty on Saint John's Eve,
  the other half on St. Peter's Eve, in bright harness, some over
  gilt, and every one a jornet of scarlet thereupon, and a chain of
  gold, his henchman following him, his minstrels before him, and his
  cresset light passing by him, the waits of the city, the Mayor's
  officers for his guard before him, all in a livery worsted, or sea
  jackets parti-coloured, the Mayor himself well mounted on horseback,
  the sword-bearer before him in fair armour well mounted also, the
  Mayor's footmen, and the like torch bearers about him, henchmen
  twain upon great stirring horses following him. The Sheriffs'
  watches came one after the other in like order, but not so large in
  number as the Mayor's; for where the Mayor had, besides his giant,
  three pageants, each of the Sheriffs had, besides their giants, but
  two pageants; each their morris dance, and one henchman, their
  officers in jackets of worsted or sea, parti-coloured, differing
  from the Mayor's and each from other, but having harnessed men a
  great many.

  This midsummer watch was thus accustomed yearly, time out of mind,
  until the year 1539, the 31st of Henry VIII., in which year, on the
  8th of May, a great muster was made by the citizens at the Mile's
  End, all in bright harness, with coats of white silk; or cloth and
  chains of gold, in three great battels, to the number of fifteen
  thousand, which passed through London to Westminster, and so through
  the Sanctuary, and round about the Park of St. James, and returned
  home through Oldborne. King Henry, then considering the great
  charges of the citizens for the furniture of this unusual muster,
  forbad the Marching watch provided for at midsummer for that year;
  which being once laid down, was not raised again till the year 1548,
  the 2nd of Edward VI., Sir John Gresham then being Mayor, who caused
  the marching watch, both on the eve of St. John Baptist and of St.
  Peter the Apostle, to be revived and set forth in as comely order as
  it hath been accustomed, which watch was also beautified by the
  number of more than three hundred demilances and light horsemen,
  prepared by the citizens to be sent into Scotland for the rescue of
  the town of Haddington, and others kept by the Englishmen.



                    DESTRUCTION OF FENCES ABOUT THE
                              CITY (1514).


It has already been noticed that the City was surrounded by
ecclesiastical manors in the time of Domesday, and this was still the
case at the beginning of the sixteenth century. It would appear from the
following extract that the practice of enclosure, which at this time was
being extensively adopted in many parts of England, was being attempted
in the neighbourhood of London itself, greatly to the disgust of the
Londoners, who naturally resented the proposed restrictions on their
accustomed liberty.


                     =Source.=—Hall's _Chronicle_.

  Before this time the towns about London as Islington, Hoxton,
  Shoreditch and other, had so enclosed the common fields with hedges
  and ditches, that neither the young men of the city might shoot, nor
  the ancient persons might walk for their pleasure in the fields
  except either their bows and arrows were broken or taken away, or
  the honest and substantial persons arrested or indited, saying that
  no Londoner should go out of the city but in the highways. This
  saying sore grieved the Londoners, and suddenly this year a great
  number of the city assembled themselves in a morning, and a turner
  in a fool's coat came crying in the city, Shovels and spades, and so
  many people followed that it was wonder, and within a short space
  all the hedges about the towns were cast down, and the ditches
  filled, and every thing made plain, the workmen were so diligent.
  The King's Council hearing of this assembly came to the Gray Friars,
  and sent for the mayor and the council of the city to know the
  cause, which declared to them the nusiance done to the Citizens, and
  their commodities and liberties taken from them, though they would
  not yet the commonalty and young persons which were dampnified by
  the nusiance would pluck up and remedy the same. And when the King's
  council had heard the answer, they dissimuled the matter and
  commanded the Mayor to see that no other thing were attempted, and
  to call home the citizens, which when they had done their
  enterprise, came home before the King's council and the Mayor
  departed without any more harm doing, and so after, the fields were
  never hedged.



                  MORE'S DESCRIPTION OF LONDON (1517).


Although the City of Amaurote in "Utopia" is not to be identified
exactly with London, it seems very likely that More had London in his
mind while he was writing this description, which is generally regarded
as drawn, to some extent, from the capital as it was in his day.


                       =Source.=—More's _Utopia_.

  The River Anyder riseth four and twenty miles above Amaurote, out of
  a little spring: but being increased by other small floods and
  brooks that run into it: and, among others, two somewhat bigger
  ones. Before the City, it is half a mile broad (hardly so much now
  as it was in former days, being pent in and straitened to a narrower
  space, by the later buildings on each side): and further, broader.
  By all that space that lieth between the Sea and the City, and a
  good sort of land also above, the water ebbs and flows six hours
  together, with a swift tide; when the sea flows in to the length of
  thirty miles, it fills all the Anyder with salt water, and drives
  back the fresh water of the river; and somewhat further, it hangeth
  the sweetness of fresh water with saltness: but a little beyond
  that, the river waxeth sweet, and runneth foreby the City fresh and
  pleasant; and when the sea ebbs and goes back again, this fresh
  water follows it almost to the very fall into the sea.

  They have also another river, which indeed is not very great, but it
  runneth gently and pleasantly: for it riseth even out of the same
  hill that the City standeth upon, and runneth down slope through the
  midst of the City into Anyder. And because it ariseth a little
  without the City, the Amaurotians have enclosed the head spring of
  it with strong fences and bulwarks; and so have joined it to the
  City: this done, to the intent that the waters should not be stopped
  nor turned away, nor poisoned, if their enemies should chance to
  come upon them. From thence the water is derived and brought down in
  channels or brooks divers ways into the lower parts of the city.
  Where that cannot be done by reason that the place will not suffer
  it, then they gather the rain water in great cisterns which doth
  them as good service. Then next for the situation and walls. That it
  stood by the side of a low hill, in fashion almost square. The
  breadth of it began a little beneath the top of the hill, and still
  continued by the space of two miles, until it came to the river
  Anyder. The length of it, which lieth by the river-side, was
  somewhat more.

  The City is compassed about with an high and thick wall, full of
  turrets and bulwarks. A dry ditch, but deep and broad and overgrown
  with bushes, briers, and thorns, goeth about three sides or quarters
  of the City. To the fourth side, the river itself serveth for a
  ditch.

  The streets be appointed and set forth very commodious and handsome,
  both for carriage and also against the winds. The streets be full
  twenty foot broad. The houses be of fair and gorgeous buildings: and
  in the street-side, they stand joined together in a long row through
  the whole street, without any partition or separation. On the
  backside of the houses, through the whole length of the street, lie
  large gardens which be closed in round about with the back parts of
  the street. Every house hath two doors, one to the street, and a
  postern door on the backside into the garden. These doors be made
  with two leaves, never locked nor bolted: so easy to be opened, that
  they will follow the least drawing of a finger, and shut again of
  themselves.

  They set great store by their gardens. In these they have vineyards
  and all manner of fruits, herbs, and flowers, so pleasant, so well
  furnished, and so finely kept, that I never saw anything more
  fruitful, nor better trimmed in any place: and their study and
  diligence herein cometh not only of pleasure, but also of a certain
  strife and contention that is betwixt street and street, concerning
  the trimming, husbanding, and flourishing, of their gardens, every
  man for his own part: and verily, you shall not lightly find in all
  the City anything that is more commodious, either for the profit of
  the citizens, or for pleasure. And therefore it may seem, that the
  first founder of the city minded nothing more so much as he did
  these gardens. They say, that King Utopus himself, even at his first
  beginning, appointed and drew forth the platform of the City into
  this fashion and figure that it hath now, by his gallant garnishing
  and the beautiful setting forth of it. Whereunto he saw that one's
  man age would not suffice, that he left to his posterity.

  Their chronicles, which they keep written with all diligent
  circumspection, containing the history of 1760 years, even from the
  first conquest of the Island, record and witness, that the houses in
  the beginning were very low, and likely homely cottages, or poor
  shepherds' houses, made at all adventures of every rude piece of
  wood that came first to hand: with mud-walls, and ridged roofs
  thatched over with straw. But now the houses be curiously builded
  after a gorgeous and gallant sort, with three stories, one over
  another.

  The outside of the walls be made of either hard flint, or of
  plaster, or else of brick: and the inner sides be well strengthened
  with timber-work.

  The roofs be plain and flat, covered with a certain kind of plaster
  that is of no cost: and yet so tempered that no fire can hurt or
  perish it: and it withstandeth the violence of the weather, better
  than any lead.

  They keep the wind out of their windows with glass: for it is there
  much used; and some were also with fine linen dipped in oil or
  amber: and that for two commodities: for by this means more light
  cometh in, and the wind is better kept out.



                          EVIL MAY DAY (1517).


Riots were by no means infrequent in the City in the Middle Ages, and
here is an account of a typical disturbance, in which, of course, the
young and hot-headed apprentices took their share. Just at this time
there was intense animosity against the foreign merchants and artisans;
the citizens thought that the presence of the foreigners, pursuing their
occupations within the walls, was not only harmful to their own
interests, but a violation of their charters which had given them the
privilege of exclusive trade. At last the common indignation broke out
in the great riot of May Day, 1517, which was long remembered as Evil
May Day. It had been for centuries a practice of the citizens to collect
in bands on May Day to hold high holiday, and they would sally forth,
headed by mock officers, into the neighbouring fields to indulge in
various sports; on this particular occasion the holiday spirit was not
turned to such innocent and harmless purposes.


                     =Source.=—Hall's _Chronicle_.

  The young and evil disposed people said, they would be revenged on
  the merchant strangers, as well as on the artificers strangers. On
  Monday the morrow after, the King removed to his manor of Richmond.

  Upon this rumour the 28th day of April, divers young men of the City
  assaulted the Aliens as they passed by the streets, and some were
  stricken and some buffeted, and some thrown in the canal. Wherefore
  the Mayor sent divers persons to ward, as Stephen Studley skinner,
  and Bettes and Stephenson and divers other, some to one counter, and
  some to another and some to Newgate. Then suddenly was a common
  secret rumour, and no man could tell how it began, that on May day
  next, the City would rebel and slay all aliens, insomuch as divers
  strangers fled out of the City....

  Then in all haste, every Alderman sent to his Ward that no man
  should stir after 9 of the clock out of his house but to keep his
  doors shut, and his servants within till 7 of the clock in the
  morning. After this commandment, Sir John Monday, Alderman, came
  from his Ward, and found two young men in Cheap playing at Bucklers,
  and a great company of young men looking on them for the commandment
  was then scarce known, for then it was but 9 of the clock. Master
  Monday seeing that, bade them leave, and the one young man asked him
  why? and then he said Thou shalt know, and took him by the arm to
  have had him to the counter. Then all the young men resisted the
  Alderman and took him from Master Monday, and cried 'Prentices and
  clubs. Then out at every door came clubs and weapons and the
  Alderman fled, and was in great danger. Then more people arose out
  of every quarter, and out came serving men, and water men and
  courtiers, and by 9 of the clock there were in Cheap 6 or 7 hundred.
  And out of Paul's Churchyard came 3 hundred, which wist not of the
  other, and so out of all places they gathered, and brake up the
  counters, and took out the prisoners, that the Mayor had thither
  committed for hurting of the strangers, and came to Newgate and took
  out Studley and Petyt, committed thither for that cause. The Mayor
  and Sheriffs were there present, and made proclamation in the King's
  name, but nothing was obeyed. Thus they ran a plump through Saint
  Nicholas Shambles, and at Saint Martins gate, there met with them
  Sir Thomas Moore and other, desiring them to go to their lodgings:
  And as they were entreating, and had also brought them to a stay:
  The people of Saint Martins threw out stones and bats and hurt
  divers honest persons, that were persuading the riotous people to
  cease, and they bade them hold their hands, but still they threw out
  bricks and hot water. Then a sergeant of arms called Nicholas
  Dounes, which was there with Master Moore, entreating them, being
  sore hurt, in a fury cried Down with them. Then all the misruled
  persons ran to the doors and windows of Saint Martin, and spoiled
  all that they found, and cast it into the street, and left few
  houses unspoiled. And after that they ran heading into Cornhill by
  Leadenhall to the house of one Mutuas a Frenchman or Picardy born,
  which was a great bearer of Frenchmen, where they pick purses, or
  how evil disposition soever they were of, and within his gate,
  called Grenegate, dwelled divers Frenchmen that calendared worsted,
  contrary to the King's laws: and all they were so born out by the
  same Mutuas, yet no man durst meddle with them, wherefore he was
  sore hated, and if the people had found him in their fury, they
  would have stricken off his head: but when they found him not, the
  watermen, and certain young priests that were there fell to rifling:
  some ran to Blanche-chapelton, and brake the strangers houses, and
  threw shoes and boots into the street. This from 10 or 11 of the
  clock, continued these riotous people during which time a knight
  called Sir Thomas Parr, in great haste went to the Cardinal and told
  him of this riot, which incontinent strengthened his house with men
  and ordnance. And after, this knight rode to the King to Richmond,
  and made the report much more than it was. Wherefore the King
  hastily sent to London and was truly advised of the matter, and how
  the riot was ceased, and many of the doers apprehended. But while
  this ruffling continued, Sir Richard Cholmeley knight, Lieutenant of
  the Tower, no great friend to the City, in a frantic fury loosed
  certain pieces of ordnance, and shot into the City, which did little
  harm, howbeit his good will appeared. About 3 of the clock, these
  riotous persons severed and went to their places of resort, and by
  the way they were taken by the Mayor and the heads of the City, and
  some sent to the Tower, and some to Newgate, and some to the
  Counters, to the number of 300; some fled, and specially the
  watermen and priests, and serving men, but the poor prentices were
  taken. About five o'clock, the Earls of Shrewsbury and Surrey, which
  had heard of this riot, came to London with such strength as they
  had, so did the Inns of Court, and divers noble men: but before they
  came all the riot was ceased, and many taken as you have heard.



                  THE PAPAL LEGATE IN THE CITY (1519).


Campeggio is well known in connection with the part which he played in
the divorce proceedings between Henry VIII. and his first wife Catherine
of Aragon in 1529. That occasion was not his first visit to England; he
had previously been entrusted with a mission from the Pope to Henry, and
the reception of himself and his train is described in the passage
below. The subject of this embassy of 1519 was to urge Henry to assist
in waging war on the Turks, who were apparently endeavouring to push
their way into Europe; and similar messages were conveyed at the same
time to the other powerful rulers on the Continent. The incident of the
opening of the chests must have created considerable amusement among the
onlookers, and would hardly add to the popular estimation of a Papal
embassy.


                     =Source.=—Hall's _Chronicle_.

  When the Cardinal of York knew, that there was coming a legate into
  England, which should have a greater pre-eminence than a Cardinal,
  he whose ambition was never satisfied, caused a Bishop and certain
  Doctors to pass the sea to Calais to welcome him, and to show him
  that if he would have the Popes purpose, to take any effect in
  England, he should in any wise send in post to Rome, to have the
  said Cardinal of York to be legate also, and to be joined in
  commission with him, which thing was done (not without good rewards)
  so that in thirty and five days, the bull was brought to Calais.
  During which time the Cardinal of York sent to the Legate to Calais,
  red cloth to clothe his servants, which at their coming to Calais,
  were but meanly appareled. And when all things were ready he passed
  the sea and landed at Dover, and so kept forth his journey toward
  London. At every town as they passed, he was received with
  Procession, and accompanied with all the Lords and gentlemen of
  Kent. And when he came to Blackheath, there met him the Duke of
  Norfolk, with a great number of prelates, knights and gentlemen, all
  richly appareled. And in the way he was brought into a rich tent of
  cloth of gold, where he shifted himself into a robe of a Cardinal,
  edged with ermine, and so took his mule riding toward London.

  The night before he came to London the Cardinal of York, to furnish
  the carriages of the Cardinal Campeius, sent to him twelve mulettes
  with empty coffers covered with red, which twelve mulettes were led
  through London, amongst the mulettes of Campeius, which were but
  eight and so these twenty mulettes passed through the streets, as
  though they had been full of treasures, apparel and other
  necessaries. And when they came into Chepe, one of the mulettes
  brake from her keeper, and overthrew the chests, and overturned two
  or three other mulettes carriages, which fell with such violence,
  that divers of them unlocked, and out of some fell old hosen, broken
  shoon, and roasted flesh, pieces of bread, eggs and much vile
  baggage; at which sight the boys cried, See, see my Lord Legates
  treasure, and so the muleteers were ashamed, and took up all their
  stuff and passed forth. And about three o'clock in the afternoon on
  the 29th day of July the said legate entered the city, and in
  Southwark met him all the clergy of London with crosses, censors and
  copes and 'censed him with great reverence. The Mayor and Aldermen,
  and all the occupations of the city in their best liveries stood in
  the streets, and him highly honoured: to whom Sir Thomas More made a
  brief oration in the name of the city. And when he came to St.
  Pauls, there he was received by bishops mitred, and under a canopy
  entered the church: which canopy his servants took for their fees.
  And when he had offered, he gave his benediction to all the people,
  and took again his mule, and so was with all his train aforesaid,
  conveyed to Bath place, and there rested: where he was welcomed of
  the Cardinal of York. And on Sunday next ensuing these two Cardinals
  as legates, took their barges and came to Greenwich, each of them
  had beside their cross two pillars of silver, two little axes gilt,
  and two cloke bags embroidered, and the Cardinals hats borne before
  them. And when they came to the kings hall, the Cardinal of York
  went on the right hand; and there the King royally appareled and
  accompanied, met them even as though both had come from Rome, and so
  brought them both up into his chamber of presence, and there was a
  solemn oration made by an Italian, declaring the cause of the legacy
  to be in two articles, one for aid against God's enemies, and the
  second for reformation of the Clergy. And when Mass was done, they
  were had to a chamber, and served with lords and knights, with much
  solemnity: and after dinner they took their leave of the king and
  came to London and rode through the city together, in great pomp and
  glory, to their lodgings.



                    WOLSEY AND THE CITIZENS (1525).


The incidents related in the following passage are concerned with one of
the periodical efforts of Henry VIII. to raise money in irregular ways.
He seems to have left the matter on this occasion to Wolsey, who issued
commissions for levying the sixth part of the goods of the laity and the
fourth of those of the clergy. This proceeding caused great alarm, and
rebellions appeared imminent in all parts of the country. Whereupon
Henry disavowed the whole business, and told the citizens of London that
he would not exact anything by compulsion, but merely ask for a
benevolence. This was, of course, recognised as an artifice to obtain
the same results by different means, and the citizens sturdily
protested, arguing that benevolences had been declared illegal. Wolsey
experienced very great difficulty in his dealings with the Londoners,
who well maintained their reputation for guarding their independence and
liberty, even when faced with threats and menaces.


                     =Source.=—Hall's _Chronicle_.

  And now since God hath given us victory, the King remembering the
  saying of the Poet that sayeth: It is more mastery to use victory
  gotten, than to get it, thinketh it necessary now in all haste, to
  make an army royal, and he in person to pass the seas, and to
  recover his right inheritance, both of the Crown of France as of
  Normandy, Guyen, Gascony, Aniowe and Mayne, the writings whereof
  comprehending the very title, you may see here present if ye list,
  but I doubt not but you know them well enough. And now I ask you
  this question, whether that you think it convenient, that the King
  should pass with an army or not, for the King will do by the advice
  of his subjects: to the which many said yea.

  Well said the Cardinal, then must he be made able to go like a
  Prince, which cannot be without your aids, and for to shew you what
  the Archbishop of Canterbury and I, which be primates of the realm
  hath done, we have given of our lands, and all lands appertaining to
  the church, the third part, and the temporal lords have given of
  lands and goods, the sixth part, and to jeopard their bodies in pain
  and travail, and now since they which shall adventure their lives,
  doth proffer the sixth part, what should they give which abide at
  home? Forsooth I think that half your substance were too little, not
  meaning that the King so asketh. For he demandeth only no more, of
  fifty pound, the sixth part, and so upon every pound above fifty, to
  what sum soever it amount to, the sixth part that is 3s. and 3 pence
  of the pound and from 20 pound to fifty pound, and so upward. 2s.
  and 8 pence of the pound, and from 20 pound to 20s. 12 pence of the
  pound, and this to be levied according to the first valuation, as
  appeareth by your own valuation, which is but a small matter, to the
  thing that is meant. Then they being astonished, at last one said,
  My lord since the last valuation divers merchants be decayed by the
  seas, and suretyship, and other ways, so that valuation cannot be
  had. Then answered the Cardinal, Sirs, speak not to break the thing
  that is concluded, for some shall not pay the tenth part, and some
  more, it were better that some should suffer indigence, than the
  King at this time should lack, and therefore beware and resist not,
  nor ruffel not in this case, for it may fortune to cost some their
  heads: but I will speak to the King, to be good to you, so that if
  he go not over the sea in person, then you shall have your money
  redelivered, but first let the money be gathered, and lay it where
  you will, and if the King need it not, you may take it again.

  When the Cardinal had thus persuaded the Mayor, and his brethren and
  other head commoners, they took their leave and every day after by
  the space of fortnight, he sent for a certain number of Commoners,
  and told them like tale, but some spake such words to him, and some
  going from him, that they were sent to ward.



                     THE APPRENTICES (1527, ETC.).


During the Tudor period the apprentice was a prominent feature of London
life, and is chiefly famous for his prowess as a disturber of the peace.
The apprentice system was of considerable importance, and many
regulations and ordinances were passed from time to time to govern the
conditions under which apprentices were to be bound and treated during
their term. The story of "Evil May Day," already given, illustrates the
turbulence of the apprentices and the relaxation of discipline in the
City during this period. The Regulations of 1582 show clearly that they
were getting out of hand, and in 1595 further troubles induced Elizabeth
to issue further instructions of a drastic nature.


                              =Sources.=—
   (_a_) An Act of Common Council, 1527, quoted by Maitland, i. 230;
                 (_b_) _ibid._, 1582, Maitland, i. 267;
          (_c_) Strype's edition of Stow's _Survey_, vol. ii.

  (_a_) [_Admonition to the Apprentices_].—Ye shall constantly and
  devoutly on your knees, every day, serve God, morning and evening;
  and make conscience in the due hearing of the Word preached, and
  endeavour the right practice thereof on your life and conversation.
  You shall do diligent and faithful service to your master for the
  time of your apprenticeship, and deal truly in what you shall be
  trusted. You shall often read over the covenants of your indenture,
  and see and endeavour yourself to perform the same, to the utmost of
  your power. You shall avoid all evil company, and all occasions
  which may tend to draw you to the same; and make speedy return when
  you shall be sent of your masters' and mistresses' business. You
  shall be of fair, gentle, and lowly speech and behaviour to all men,
  and especially to all your governors; and according to your
  carriage, expect your reward, for good or ill, from God and your
  friends.

  (_b_) Henceforth no apprentice whatsoever shall presume: 1. To wear
  any apparel but what he receives from his master. 2. To wear no hat
  within the city and liberty thereof, nor anything instead thereof
  than a woollen cap, without any silk in or about the same. 3. To
  wear no ruffles, cuffs, loose collar, nor other thing than a ruff at
  the collar, and that only of a yard and a half long.... 10. To wear
  no sword, dagger, or other weapon, but a knife; nor a ring, jewel of
  gold, nor silver, nor silk in any part of the apparel.

  It was likewise further enacted that every apprentice offending
  against any of the above-mentioned items was for the first offence
  to be punished at the discretion of his master; for the second to be
  publicly whipped at the hall of his company; and for the third to
  serve six months longer than specified in his indentures. It was
  also further ordained that no apprentice should frequent or go to
  any dancing, fencing, or musical schools; nor keep any chest, press,
  or other place for the keeping of apparel or goods, but in his
  master's house, under the penalties aforesaid.

  (_c_) The ancient habit of the apprentices of London was a flat
  round cap, hair close cut, narrow falling bands, coarse side coats,
  close hose, cloth stockings, and other such severe apparel. When
  this garb had been urged by some to the disparagement of
  apprentices, as a token of servitude, one, many a year ago,
  undertaking the defence of these apprentices, wrote thus, that this
  imported the commendable thrift of the citizens, and was only the
  mark of an apprentice's vocation and calling (and which anciently,
  no question, was the ordinary habit of a citizen), which point of
  ancient discipline, he said, the grave common lawyers do still
  retain in their profession; for the professors of that learning, we
  see, do at this present retain the parti-coloured coats of
  serving-men at their serjeants' feasts; and he wished, that the
  remembrance of this ancient livery might be preserved by the grave
  citizens, in setting apart a particular time or day for the feast of
  their apprenticeship, when they should wear their former
  apprentice's garb; making profession in this way, that they gloried
  in the ensigns of their honest apprenticeship.

  In the time of Queen Mary, the beginning of Queen Elizabeth, as well
  as many years before, all apprentices wore blue cloaks in the
  summer, and blue gowns in the winter. But it was not lawful for any
  man, either servant or other, to wear their gowns lower than the
  calves of their legs, except they were above threescore years of
  age; but, the length of cloaks being not limited, they made them
  down to their shoes. Their breeches and stockings were usually of
  white broad cloth, viz. round slops, and their stockings sewed up
  close thereto, as if they were all but one piece. They also wore
  flat caps both then and many years after, as well apprentices as
  journey-men and others, both at home and abroad; whom the pages of
  the court in derision called flat-caps.

  When apprentices and journeymen attended upon their masters and
  mistresses in the night they went before them carrying a lanthorn
  and candle in their hands and a great long club on their necks; and
  many well-grown sturdy apprentices used to wear long daggers in the
  day time on their backs or sides.

  Anciently it was the general use and custom of all apprentices in
  London (Mercers only excepted, being commonly merchants, and of
  better rank, as it seems) to carry water tankards, to serve their
  masters' houses with water, fetched either from the Thames, or the
  common conduits of London.

  It was a great matter, in former Times, to give £10 to bind a youth
  apprentice; but, in King James the First's time, they gave 20, 40,
  60 and sometimes £100 with an apprentice; but now these prices are
  vastly enhanced, to 500, 600, or £800.



                        A WATER PAGEANT (1533).


The reign of Henry VIII. is famous for the number and splendour of its
pageants. The Field of Cloth of Gold is familiar to all, and every event
of any importance was made the occasion of a display of splendid
clothing, tapestry, jewels, and allegorical groups. The fashion of
extravagance and love of show, which was set by the King, was followed
by all who could afford, and the City was in no way behindhand in taking
part in these functions. The coronation in 1509, the reception of the
French ambassadors in 1518, that of the Legate Campeggio, that of the
Emperor Charles, the coronation of Anne Boleyn—all these afforded an
occasion for a pageant, and the opportunity was never lost. The
following description is of a water pageant in honour of Anne Boleyn.


          =Source.=—Grafton's _Chronicles_, vol. ii., p. 448.

  The xix day of May the Mayor and his brethren all in scarlet, and
  such as were knights had collars of Esses and the remnant having
  good chains, and the council of the City with them assembled at
  Saint Mary Hill, and at one of the clock descended to the New stair
  to their barge, which was garnished with many goodly banners and
  instruments, which continually made good harmony. After that the
  Mayor and his brethren were in their barge seeing that all the
  companies to the number of fifty barges were ready to wait upon
  them. They gave commandment to the companies that no barge should
  row nearer to another than twice the length of the barge upon a
  great pain. And to see the order kept, there were three light
  wherries prepared, and in every one of them two officers to call on
  them to keep their order, after which commandment given they set
  forth in order as hereafter is described. First before the Mayor's
  barge was a foyst or wafter full of ordinance, in which foyst was a
  great dragon continually moving, and casting wild fire: and round
  about the said foyst stood terrible monsters and wild men casting
  fire, and making hideous noises: next after the foyst a good
  distance came the Mayor's barge, on whose right hand was the
  Batchelors' barge, in the which were trumpets and divers other
  melodious instruments. The decks of the said barge and the sailyards
  and the top castels were hanged with rich cloth of gold and silk. At
  the foreship and the stern were two great banners rich beaten with
  the arms of the King and Queen, and on the top castell also was a
  long streamer newly beaten with the said arms.

  At three of the clock the Queen appeared in rich cloth of gold and
  entered into her barge accompanied with divers ladies and
  gentlewomen, and incontinent the citizens set forwards in their
  order, their musicians continually playing and the batchelors' barge
  going on the Queen's right hand, which she took great pleasure to
  behold. About the Queen's barge were many noblemen, as the Duke of
  Suffolk, the Marquis Dorset, the Earl of Wiltshire her father, the
  Earls of Arundel, Derby, Rutland, Worcester, Huntington, Sussex,
  Oxford, and many Bishops and noblemen, every one in his barge which
  was a goodly sight to behold. She thus being accompanied rowed
  toward the Tower, and in the mean way the ships which were commanded
  to lie on the shore for letting of the barges shot divers peals of
  guns, and ere she landed there was a marvellous shot out of the
  Tower as ever was heard there. And at her landing there met with her
  the Lord Chamberlain with the officers of arms and brought her to
  the King, which received her with loving countenance at the postern
  by the waterside, and kissed her, and then she turned back again and
  thanked the Mayor and the citizens with many goodly words and so
  entered the Tower.



                LATIMER'S EXHORTATION TO LONDON (1549).


Quite early in his career Latimer earned considerable fame as an
eloquent preacher, but the boldness with which he proclaimed his
religious views, and his denunciations of ecclesiastical abuses,
frequently placed him in difficult positions. He lost favour towards the
end of the reign of Henry VIII., but on the accession of Edward VI. he
regained his old position of importance, and devoted himself to the work
of an itinerant preacher. In this character his popular preaching
talents exerted a much wider and more permanent influence in the spread
of his opinions than his work as Bishop of Worcester could have done;
and it is certain that his labours contributed very largely to fix the
doctrines of the Reformation in the minds of the people.


             =Source.=—Latimer's _Sermon on the Ploughers_.

  Now what shall we say of these rich artisans of London? What shall I
  say of them? Shall I call them proud men of London, malicious men of
  London, merciless men of London? No, no, I may not say so, they will
  be offended with me then. Yet must I speak. For is there reigning in
  London as much pride, as much covetousness, as much cruelty, as much
  oppression, as much superstition, as was in Nebo? Yes, I think so
  and much more too. Therefore I say, repent, O London! repent,
  repent! Thou hearest thy faults told thee; amend them, amend them.
  And you rulers and officers, be wise and circumspect, look to your
  charge and see you do your duties and rather be glad to amend your
  ill living than to be angry when you are warned or told of your
  fault.... But London cannot abide to be rebuked; such is the nature
  of men. If they be pricked, they will kick. If they be rubbed on the
  gall, they will wince. But yet they will not amend their faults,
  they will not be ill spoken of. But how shall I speak well of them?
  If you could be content to receive and follow the word of God and
  favour good preachers, if you could bear to be told of your faults,
  if you could amend when you hear of them: if you would be glad to
  reform what is amiss: if I might see any such inclination in you,
  that leave to be merciless and begin to be charitable, I would then
  hope well of you, I would speak well of you. But London was never so
  ill as it is now. In times past men were full of pity and compassion
  but now there is no pity; for in London their brother shall die in
  the streets for cold, he shall lie sick at the door between stock
  and stock, I cannot tell what to call it, and perish there for
  hunger. In times past when any rich men died in London, they were
  wont to help the poor scholars of the university with exhibitions.
  When any man died, they would bequeath great sums of money towards
  the relief of the poor. When I was a scholar at Cambridge myself, I
  heard very good report of London and knew many that had relief of
  the rich men of London; but now I can hear no such good report and
  yet I inquire of it and hearken for it; but now charity is waxed
  cold, none help the scholar nor yet the poor. And in those days what
  did they when they helped the scholars? Many they maintained and
  gave them living that were very papists and professed the pope's
  doctrines; and now that the knowledge of God's word is brought to
  light, and many earnestly study and labour to set it forth, now
  almost no man helpeth to maintain them. Oh! London! London! repent,
  repent, for I think God is more displeased with London than ever he
  was with the city of Nebo. Amend therefore; and ye that be prelates,
  look well to your office, for right prelating is busy labouring and
  not lording. Therefore preach and teach, and let your plough be
  doing; ye lords, I say, that live like loiterers, look well to your
  office; the plough is your office and charge. If you live idle and
  loiter, you do not your duty, you follow not your vocation; let your
  plough therefore be going and not cease, that true ground may bring
  forth good fruit.



                 MARY'S SPEECH TO THE CITIZENS (1553).


The project of the marriage between Mary and Philip of Spain caused
profound uneasiness throughout England, and the fear of persecution and
the anxiety of the nobles for their possessions brought about a
formidable conspiracy. The standard of revolt was raised in many parts
of the country, but only Sir Thomas Wyatt achieved any success. He was
soon at the head of fifteen hundred Kentish men, and his avowed object
was to save England from Spain. A force of soldiers sent against him
deserted to his side, and he marched upon London. The situation was
saved by Mary's coolness and courage; she showed no signs of fear,
refused to take refuge in flight, and addressed the citizens of London
assembled in the Guildhall. Her resolute bearing and discreet promises
aroused enthusiasm among her hearers, who had heard of Jack Cade, and
did not wish to see their city in the hands of an armed mob. Men were
hastily enrolled, the drawbridge on London Bridge was raised, and Wyatt
was unable to enter the City. He crossed the river at Kingston, but his
men began to drop away, and he surrendered at Temple Bar. He was
executed shortly afterwards.

This incident, like many others, illustrates the immense importance of
London in connection with political affairs; over and over again the
destinies of the kingdom have been settled by the attitude of the
citizens of London.


          =Source.=—Speed's _History_, book ix., chap. xxiii.

  In my own person I am come unto you, to tell you that which
  yourselves already do see and know; I mean, the traitorous and
  seditious number of the Kentish Rebels, that are assembled against
  us and you. Their pretence, as they say, is to resist a marriage
  between us and the Prince of Spain. Of all their plots, pretended
  quarrels and evil-contrived articles, you have been made privy;
  since which time our Council have resorted to the rebels, demanding
  the cause of their continued enterprise; by whose answers the
  marriage is found to be the reason of their quarrel; or rather, a
  cloak to cover their pretended purposes against our religion; for
  swerving from their former articles, they now manifestly betray the
  inward treason of their hearts, most arrogantly demanding the
  possession of our person, the keeping of our Tower, and not only the
  placing and displacing of our Counsellors, but also to use them and
  us at their pleasures: what I am, loving Subjects, you right well
  know—your Queen, to whom at my Coronation, when I was wedded to the
  Realm, and to the laws of the same, (the spousal ring whereof I have
  on my finger, which never hitherto was, nor hereafter shall be left
  off) ye promised your allegiance and obedience unto me; and that I
  am the right and true inheritor to the English Crown, I not only
  take all Christendom to witness, but also your Acts of Parliament
  confirming the same.

  My Father, as you all know, possessed the Regal estate by right of
  inheritance, which now by the same right, is descended unto me: to
  him you always shewed yourselves both faithful and loving subjects,
  as to your liege Lord and King, and therefore I doubt not, but you
  will shew yourselves so to me his Daughter which if you do, then may
  you not suffer any rebel to usurp the government of our person, or
  interpose our estate, especially so presumptuous a traitor as this
  Wyat hath shewed himself to be; who most certainly, as he hath
  abused our ignorant subjects to be adherents to his traitorous
  quarrel, so doth he intend by the colour of the same to subdue the
  laws to his will, and to give scope to the rascal and forlorn
  persons, to make general havoc and spoil of your goods.

  And this I say further unto you in the word of a Prince, I cannot
  tell how naturally a mother loveth her children, for I was never the
  mother of any; but certainly, if a Prince and Governour may as
  naturally love their subjects, as the mother doth her child, then
  assure yourselves, that I, being your Sovereign Lady and Queen, do
  as earnestly and tenderly love and favour you; and I, thus loving
  you, cannot but think, that you as heartily and faithfully love me
  again; and so, this love bound together in the knot of concord, we
  shall be able, I doubt not, to give these rebels a short and speedy
  overthrow.

  Now, as concerning my intended marriage, you shall understand, that
  I entered not into the Treaty thereof without the advice of our
  Privy Council, yea, and by the assent of those to whom my Father
  committed his trust, who have so considered the great commodities
  that may thereof ensue, as they not only have thought it very
  honourable, but also expedient both for the wealth of our realm, and
  also to our loving subjects.

  But as touching myself, I assure you, I am not so desirous of
  wedding, neither am I so precisely wedded to my will, that either
  for mine own pleasure I will choose where I list, or else so
  amorous, as needs I must have one; for I thank God, to whom be the
  praise, I have hitherto lived a Virgin, and doubt not but, with
  God's grace to be able to live so still.

  But if, as my progenitors have done before, it might please God that
  I might leave some fruit of my body to be your governour, I trust,
  you would not only rejoice thereat, but also I know, it would be to
  your great comfort; and certainly, if I either did know or think,
  that this marriage should either turn to the danger or loss of any
  of you, my loving subjects, or to the detriment of any part of the
  Royal estate of the English realm, I would never consent thereunto,
  neither would I ever marry, whilst I lived; and in the word of a
  Queen, I promise and assure you, if it shall not probably appear
  before the nobility and commons in the High Court of Parliament,
  that this marriage shall be for the singular benefit and commodity
  of the whole realm, that then I will abstain, not only from this
  marriage, but also from any other.

  Wherefore, good subjects, pluck up your hearts, and, like true men,
  stand fast with your lawful Prince against these rebels, both ours
  and yours, and fear them not, for I assure you, I do not, and will
  leave with you my Lord Howard and my Lord Treasurer, to be assistant
  with my Lord Mayor, for the safeguard of the City from spoil and
  sackage, which is the only scope of this rebellious company.



                   SORANZO'S REPORT ON LONDON (1554).


The following is the impression of a Venetian Ambassador, contained in
his report to the Senate:


  =Source.=—_Calendar of State Papers, Venetian, 1534-1554_, No. 934.

  The principal cities of the kingdom are London and York, but London
  is the most noble, both on account of its being the royal residence,
  and because the river Thames runs through it, very much to the
  convenience and profit of the inhabitants, as it ebbs and flows
  every six hours like the sea, scarcely ever causing inundation or
  any extraordinary floods; and up to London Bridge it is navigable
  for ships of 400 butts burden, of which a great plenty arrive with
  every sort of merchandise. This bridge connects the city with the
  borough, and is built of stone with twenty arches, and shops on both
  sides. On the banks of the river there are many large palaces,
  making a very fine show, but the city is much disfigured by the
  ruins of a multitude of churches and monasteries belonging
  heretofore to friars and nuns. It has a dense population, said to
  number 180,000 souls; and is beyond measure commercial, the
  merchants of the entire kingdom flocking thither, as, by a privilege
  conceded to the citizens of London, from them alone can they
  purchase merchandise, so they soon became very wealthy; and the same
  privileges placed in their hands the government of the city of
  London, which is divided into 24 trades or crafts, each of which
  elects a certain individual, styled alderman, the election being
  made solely in the persons of those who are considered the most
  wealthy, and the office is for life; the which aldermen, after
  assembling these trades, create annually a person as their head for
  the current year entitled Mayor.



                       THE ROYAL EXCHANGE (1566).


Sir Thomas Gresham, a wealthy and munificent London merchant, offered in
1563 to build, at his own expense, a Bourse or Exchange, if the City
would provide the ground. The need for some such building was becoming
rather serious; the commerce of the country was growing very rapidly,
and Lombard Street had long been too small for the business of London.
Men were exposed there to all weathers, and had to crowd into small
shops. For twenty or thirty years there had been talk of making a new
place of resort for the merchants, and the example of Antwerp, London's
great rival in trade, inspired Gresham to make his magnificent gift to
his fellow-citizens.

Gresham's building was destroyed in the Fire of 1666, and its successor
was burned down in 1838.


                   =Source.=—Stow's _Survey_, p. 193.

  Then next is the Royal Exchange, erected in the year 1566, after
  this order, viz., certain houses upon Cornhill, and the like upon
  the back thereof, in the ward of Broad street, with three alleys,
  the first called Swan Alley, opening into Cornhill, the second New
  Alley, passing throughout of Cornhill into Broad-street ward, over
  against Saint Bartholomew lane, the third Saint Christophers Alley,
  opening into Broad street ward, and into Saint Christophers parish,
  containing in all fourscore households: were first purchased by the
  Citizens of London, for more than £3532, and were sold for £478, to
  such persons as should take them down and carry them thence, also
  the ground or plot was made plain at the charges of the City, and
  then possession thereof was by certain Aldermen, in name of the
  whole Citizens, given to Sir Thomas Gresham, Knight, Agent to the
  Queen's Highness, thereupon to build a Bourse, or place for
  merchants to assemble in, at his own proper charges: and he on the
  seventh of June laying the first stone of the foundation, being
  brick, accompanied with some Aldermen, everyone of them laid a piece
  of gold, which the workmen took up, and forthwith followed upon the
  same with such diligence, that by the month of November, in the year
  1567, the same was covered with slate, and shortly after fully
  finished.

  In the year 1570, on the 23. of January, the Queen's Majesty,
  attended with her nobility, came from her house at the Strand called
  Somerset house, and entered the City by Temple Bar, through Fleet
  Street, Cheap, and so by the north side of the Bourse through
  Threadneedle Street, to Sir Thomas Gresham's in Bishopsgate Street,
  where she dined. After dinner her Majesty returning through
  Cornhill, entered the Bourse on the south side, and after that she
  had viewed every part thereof above the ground, especially the pawn,
  which was richly furnished with all sorts of the finest wares in the
  City: she caused the same Bourse by an herald and a trumpet, to be
  proclaimed the Royal Exchange, and so to be called from thenceforth,
  and not otherwise.



                      A LORD MAYOR'S SHOW (1575).


It is supposed that the annual pageant connected with the election of
the Mayor had its origin in an old custom that the newly-elected officer
should be presented to the King or his justiciar; we have, however,
little information concerning the earlier processions, and they are
hardly noticed by chroniclers until the fifteenth century. It appears
that the practice of proceeding to Westminster on horseback was started
in 1415, but an infirm Mayor in 1453 introduced the custom of making the
progress by barge on the river; this lasted until the middle of the
seventeenth century, but there was, in addition, always the ride on
horseback from the Guildhall to the point of embarkation. The fashion
for pageantry and display, which was so prominent a feature of Henry
VIII.'s reign, influenced this annual function, which tended to become
more and more elaborate.


    =Source.=—William Smith's _Brief Description of London_ (1575).

  The day of St. Simon and Jude, he (the Mayor) entered into his
  estate and office; and the next day following he goeth by water to
  Westminster in most triumphlike manner. His barge being garnished
  with the arms of the city; and near the said barge goeth a ship boat
  of the Queen's Majesty, being trimmed up, and rigged like a ship of
  war, with divers pieces of ordinance, standards, pennons, and
  targets of the proper arms of the said Mayor, the arms of the City,
  of his company; and of the merchants adventurers, or of the staple,
  or of the company of the new trades; next before him goeth the barge
  of the livery of his own company, decked with their own proper arms,
  then the bachelors' barge, and so all the companies in London, in
  order, every one having their own proper barge garnished with the
  arms of their company. And so passing along the Thames, landeth at
  Westminster, where he taketh his oath in the Exchequer, before the
  judge there (which is one of the chief judges of England), which
  done, he returneth by water as aforesaid, and landeth at Powles
  wharf, where he and the rest of the Aldermen take their horses, and
  in great pomp pass through the great street of the City, called
  Cheapside. And first of all cometh two great standards, one having
  the arms of the City, and the other the arms of the Mayor's Company;
  next them two drums and a flute, then an ensign of the City, and
  then about xx or xxx poor men marching two and two together in blue
  gowns, with red sleeves and caps, with every one bearing a pike and
  a target, whereon is painted the arms of all them that have been
  Mayor of the same company that this new mayor is of. Then two
  banners, one of the King's arms, the other of the Mayor's own proper
  arms. Then a set of hautboys playing, and after them certain
  wyfflers, in velvet coats, and chains of gold, with white staves in
  their hands, then the pageant of triumph richly decked, whereupon by
  certain figures and writings, some matter touching justice, and the
  office of a magistrate is represented. Then sixteen trumpeters,
  eight and eight in a company, having banners of the Mayor's company.
  Then certain wyfflers in velvet coats and chains, with white staves
  aforesaid. Then the bachelors two and two together, in long gowns
  with crimson hoods on their shoulders of satin; which bachelors are
  chosen every year of the same Company that the Mayor is of (but not
  of the livery) and serve as gentlemen on that and other festival
  days, to wait on the Mayor, being in number according to the
  quantity of the company, sometimes sixty or one hundred. After them
  twelve trumpeters more, with banners of the Mayor's Company, then
  the drum and flute of the city, and an ensign of the Mayor's
  company, and after, the waits of the city in blue gowns, red sleeves
  and caps, every one having his silver collar about his neck. Then
  they of the livery in their long gowns, every one having his hood on
  his left shoulder, half black and half red, the number of them is
  according to the greatness of the company whereof they are. After
  them follow Sheriffs' officers, and then the Mayor's officers, with
  other officers of the city, as the common serjeant, and the
  chamberlain, next before the Mayor goeth the sword-bearer, having on
  his head the cap of honour, and the sword of the city in his right
  hand, in a rich scabard, set with pearl, and on his left hand goeth
  the common crier of the city, with his great mace on his shoulder,
  all gilt. The Mayor elect in a long gown of scarlet, and on his left
  shoulder a hood of black velvet, and a rich collar of gold of SS.
  about his neck, and with him rideth the old Mayor also, in his
  scarlet gown, hood of velvet, and a chain of gold about his neck.
  Then all the Aldermen two and two together (amongst whom is the
  Recorder) all in scarlet gowns; and those that have been Mayors,
  have chains of gold, the other have black velvet tippets. The two
  Sheriffs come last of all, in their black and scarlet gowns and
  chains of gold.

  In this order they pass along through the city, to the Guildhall,
  where they dine that day, to the number of 1000 persons, all at the
  charge of the Mayor and the two Sheriffs. This feast costeth £400,
  whereof the Mayor payeth £200 and each of the Sheriffs £100.
  Immediately after dinner, they go to the church of St. Paul, every
  one of the aforesaid poor men bearing staff torches and targets,
  which torches are lighted when it is late, before they come from
  evening prayer.



                     LONDON AND THE ARMADA (1587).


The threatened invasion by the "Grand Fleet" of Philip of Spain was the
occasion of a splendid manifestation of loyalty throughout the kingdom.
The royal fleet contained only thirty-four ships, but every seaport made
its contribution, and every man between the ages of eighteen and sixty
was enrolled for defence, in the event of the successful landing of the
enemy. The instructions conveyed in the Queen's letter to the citizens
of London are an indication of the friendly relations between the City
and the Sovereign, and serve also to show the wealth and power which
London possessed at the time.


        =Source.=—Document quoted by Maitland, vol. i., p. 272.

  Trusty and well-beloved, we greet you well.

  Whereas upon information given unto us of great preparations made in
  foreign parts with an intent to attempt somewhat against this our
  realm, we gave present order that our said realm should be put in
  order of defence; which we have caused to be performed in all parts
  accordingly, saving in the City of London.

  We therefore knowing your readiness, by former experience, to
  perform any service that well-affected subjects ought to yield to
  their Prince and Sovereign, do let you understand, that within our
  said City our pleasure is, that there be forthwith put in a
  readiness to serve for defence of our own person, upon such
  occasions as may fall out, the number of ten thousand able men,
  furnished with armour and weapons convenient; of which number, our
  meaning is, that six thousand be enrolled under Captains and
  Ensigns, and to be trained at times convenient, according to such
  further direction as you shall receive from our Privy Council, under
  six of their hands, which our pleasure is you do follow from time to
  time in the ordering and training of the said numbers of men.

  And these our letters shall be your sufficient warrant for the doing
  of the same.

                  Given under our Signet at our Manor of Greenwich,
                      the 8th of March, 1587, in the thirtieth year of
                      our Reign.



                 THE CITY'S ATTITUDE TOWARDS THE STAGE
                                (1592).


The drama experienced an extraordinary development during the latter
half of the sixteenth century, and its growth was altogether
irresistible. In spite of the opposition of moralists and preachers the
theatre flourished more and more; and the mayors and aldermen of London
were faced with a somewhat serious problem. They looked upon the play
with disfavour; the actors were men of no trade or position, they were
merely vagabonds. All the idlers in the town would assemble to see a
play, and where there was a crowd there was danger to peace and order.
Brawls and disorders would frequently arise, and the thieves and rogues
of the city would take every advantage of the throng. Urged partly by
fear of disorder, partly by the spirit of Puritanism which was rapidly
gaining ground, the city officials did their best to drive out plays and
players from their boundaries; and the theatres had at first to be set
up outside the city jurisdiction. The ordinances of 1574 set forth in
lurid terms the evils which theatres were alleged to bring in their
train, and strict regulations were made, providing that only properly
licensed players should act, in such places as might be approved. The
following documents show how the trouble still continued, and was the
source of great anxiety.


     =Source.=—Malone Society, _Collections_, 1., i., xviii, xxvi:
          (_a_) The Lord Mayor to Archbishop Whitgift (1592);
              (_b_) An Order of the Privy Council (1600).

  (_a_) Our most humble duties to your Grace. Whereas by the daily and
  disorderly exercise of a number of players and playing houses
  erected within this City, the youth thereof is greatly corrupted and
  their manners infected with many evil and ungodly qualities, by
  reason of the wanton and profane devices represented on the stages
  by the said players, the prentices and servants withdrawn from their
  works and all sorts in general from the daily resort unto sermons
  and other Christian exercises, to the great hindrance of the trades
  and traders of this City, and profanation of the good and godly
  religions established among us. To which places also do resort great
  numbers of light and lewd disposed persons as cutpurses, cozeners,
  pilferers and such like, and there under the colour of resort to
  those places to hear the plays devise divers evil and ungodly
  matches, confederacies, and conspiracies, which by means of the
  opportunity of the place cannot be prevented nor discovered, as
  otherwise they might be. In consideration whereof we most humbly
  beseech your Grace for your godly care for the reforming of so great
  abuses tending to the offence of Almighty God, the profanation and
  slander of his true religion, and the corrupting of our youth, which
  are the seed of the Church of God and the common wealth among us, to
  vouchsafe us your good favour and help for the reforming and
  banishing of so great evil out of this city, which ourselves of long
  time though to small purpose have so earnestly desired and
  endeavoured by all means that possibly we could. And because we
  understand that the Queen's Majesty is and must be served at certain
  times by this sort of people, for which purpose she hath granted her
  Letters Patent to Mr. Tilney, Master of her Revels, by virtue
  whereof he being authorised to reform, exercise, or suppress all
  manner of players, plays and playing-houses whatsoever, did first
  license the said playing-houses within the city for Her Majesty's
  said service, which before that time lay open to all the statutes
  for the punishing of these and such like disorders. We are most
  humbly and earnestly to beseech your Grace to call unto you the said
  Master of Her Majesty's Revels, with whom also we have conferred of
  late to that purpose, and to treat with him, if by any means it may
  be devised that Her Majesty may be served with these recreations as
  hath been accustomed, which in our opinions may easily be done by
  the private exercise of Her Majesty's own players in convenient
  place, and the city freed from these continual disorders, which
  thereby do grow and increase daily among us. Whereby your Grace
  shall not only benefit and bind unto you the politic state and
  government of this city, which by no one thing is so greatly annoyed
  and disquieted as by players and plays and the disorders which
  follow thereon, but also to take away a great offence from the
  Church of God and hindrance to His gospel, to the great contentment
  of all good Christians, specially the preachers and ministers of the
  Word of God about this city, who have long time and yet do make
  their earnest continual complaint unto us for the redress hereof.
  And thus recommending our most humble duties and service to your
  Grace we commit the same to the grace of the Almighty.

  (_b_) An order set down by the Lords and others of Her Majesty's
  Privy Council, the 22 of June 1600 to restrain the excessive number
  of play-houses and the immoderate use of stage plays in and about
  the city.

  Whereas divers complaints have been heretofore made unto the Lords
  and others of Her Majesty's Council of the manifold abuses and
  disorders that have grown and do continue by occasion of many houses
  erected and employed in and about the city of London for common
  stage plays; and now very lately by reason of some complaint
  exhibited by sundry persons against the building of the like house
  in or near Golding Lane by one Edward Allen, a servant of the right
  honourable the Lord Admiral, the matter as well in generality
  touching all the said houses for stage plays and the use of playing
  as in particular concerning the said house now in hand to be built
  in or near Golding Lane hath been brought into question and
  consultation among their Lordships; forasmuch as it is manifestly
  known and granted that the multitude of the said houses and the
  misgovernment of them hath been made and is daily occasion of the
  idle, riotous and dissolute living of great numbers of people, who,
  leaving all such honest and painful course of life as they should
  follow, do meet and assemble there; and of many particular abuses
  and disorders that do thereupon ensue. And yet nevertheless it is
  considered that the use and exercise of such plays not being evil in
  itself may with a good order and moderation be suffered in a
  well-governed estate, and that Her Majesty being pleased at some
  times to take delight and recreation in the sight and hearing of
  them, some order is fit to be taken for the allowance and
  maintenance, of such persons as are thought meetest in that kind, to
  yield Her Majesty recreation and delight, and consequently of the
  houses that must serve for public playing to keep them in exercise.
  To the end therefore that both the greatest abuses of the plays and
  playing houses may be redressed and the use and moderation of them
  retained, the Lords and the rest of Her Majesty's Privy Council have
  ordered in manner and form as followeth.

  First, that there shall be about the city two houses and no more
  allowed to serve for the use of the common stage plays; of the which
  houses one shall be in Surrey, in that place which is commonly
  called the Bankside, or thereabouts, and the other in Middlesex....
  It is likewise ordered that the house of Allen shall be allowed to
  be one of the two houses, and namely for the house to be allowed in
  Middlesex. And for the other, allowed to be on Surrey side, their
  Lordships are pleased to permit to the company of players that shall
  play there, to make their own choice which they will have, choosing
  one of them and no more. And especially is it forbidden that any
  stage plays shall be played (as sometimes they have been) in any
  common inn for public assembly in or near about the city.

  Secondly, forasmuch as these stage plays by the multitude of houses
  and company of players have been too frequent, not serving for
  recreation, but inviting and calling the people daily from their
  trade and work to misspend their time; it is likewise ordered that
  the two several companies of players, assigned unto the two houses
  allowed, may play each of them in their several house twice a week
  and no oftener; and especially that they shall refrain to play on
  the sabbath day, upon pain of imprisonment and further penalty; and
  that they shall forbear altogether in the time of Lent and likewise
  at such time and times as any extraordinary sickness or infection of
  disease shall appear to be in or about the city.

  Thirdly, because these orders will be of little force and effect
  unless they be duly put into execution, it is ordered that several
  copies shall be sent to the Lord Mayor of London and to the Justices
  of the Peace of the counties of Middlesex and Surrey, and that
  letters should be written to them straightly charging them to see
  the execution of the same by committing to prison the owners of
  playhouses and players who shall disobey and resist these orders.



                         A PLAGUE ORDER (1593).


Since the Great Plague of 1665 there has been no similar outbreak in
this country, but before that year plagues were of comparatively
frequent occurrence. Despite the enormous loss of life which these
pestilences caused, no effective measures were taken to prevent their
recurrence. Although the outbreaks were by no means confined to the
towns, they appear invariably to have commenced there, and the blame was
usually attached to immigrants, or to the importation of infected
foreign goods. The conditions in the towns, particularly London, were so
utterly insanitary that infectious diseases were positively encouraged,
and the annals of London contain periodical accounts of disastrous
visitations such as the one described by Stow as occurring in 1603. The
early literature concerning the Plague is not very illuminating, and we
get very few details as to treatment. The chief points of the
regulations which were issued on the occasion of every serious outbreak
appear to be isolation of infected persons and special attention to
sanitation. These measures, of course, are exactly those which are
adopted at the present day; but it seems that, excellent though the
regulations themselves might be, they were very imperfectly enforced,
and we are almost entirely in the dark as to the treatment accorded to
the sufferers and the remedies, if any, which were found to prove at all
effective.


                    =Sources.=—(_a_) Lansdowne MSS.,
              Malone Society, _Collections_, 1., ii., xix;
                      (_b_) Stow,_Annals_, p. 857.

  (_a_) 1593. Orders to be sett downe by the Lord Mayor and Aldermen
  of London for taking awaie such enormities as be meanes not only to
  continue but increase the plague and disorders of the Citie; being
  taken out of the proclamations set out by the Citie and the articles
  sett downe for providing for the poor and setting them to work.


                     _Aldermen or their Deputies._

  1. To give charge to Churchwardens, Constables, Parish Clerks and
  Bedells to enquire what houses be infected.

  2. To visit the ward often to see orders observed, especially
  touching cleanness in the streets.

  3. The Aldermen or their deputies in their own persons to appoint
  Surveyors monthly in every parishe.

  4. To appoint that certificate may be made to them what houses be
  infected.

  5. To give charge to all teachers of children that (as nere as they
  can) they permit no children to come to their scoles from infected
  houses, especiallie till such houses have bene clere by the space of
  28 daies, and that none kepe a greater number than their Roomes
  shall be thought fit by the Aldermen or their deputies to conteyne.


                             _Surveyours._

  1. To see the orders for the sick executed daylie and diligentlie,
  upon knowledge from the Aldermen what houses be infected.

  2. To appoint purveyours of necessaries for infected houses (being
  of the same houses), and deliver them reed rods to carry, and see
  that none other resort to their houses.


                             _Constables._

  1. To bring every daie notice in writing to the Aldermen or their
  deputies what houses be infected.


                     _Constable and Churchwarden._

  1. To provyde to have in readiness women to be providers and
  deliverers of necessaries to infected houses, and to attend the
  infected persons, and they to bear reed wandes, so that the sicke
  maie be kept from the whole, as nere as maie be, nedefull attendance
  weighed.


                        _Constable and Bedell._

  1. To inquire what houses be infected.

  2. To view dailie that papers remaine upon doors xxviii daies or to
  place newe.


                         _Clarkes and Sextons._

  1. To understand what houses be infected.

  2. To see bills set upon the doors of houses infected.

  3. To suffer no corpses infected to be buried or remain in the
  churche during prayer or sermon, and to keep children from coming
  nere them.


                        _Scavengers and Rakers._

  1. To see the streets made cleane every daie saving Sunday and the
  soile to be carried away.

  2. To warn all inhabitants, against their houses to keep channels
  clere from fylth (by only turning it aside) that the water maie have
  passage.


                             _Common Hunt._

  1. To kyll dogs, etc., or to lose his place.


                       _Householders and Houses._

  1. Houses having some sicke though none die, or from whence some
  sicke have bene removed, are infected houses, and such are to be
  shut up for a month.

  2. The whole familie to tarry in xxviii days.

  3. To keep shut the lower rooms for the like space.

  4. One licensed to go for provision, etc.

  5. No clothes hanged into the streets.

  6. Such as have wells or pumpes, every morning by six and every
  evening after eight a clocke, shall cause ten bucketts full to run
  into the streets.

  7. Every evening at that hour the streets and channels to be made
  cleane, the water not swept out of the channell, nor the streets
  overwett but sprinkled, etc.

  8. The houses infected and things in them to be aired in the xxviii
  days and no clothes or things about the infected persons to be given
  awaie or sold, but either destroyed or sufficientlie purified.

  9. Owners of houses infected with their familie, may within the
  month depart to any their houses in the countrye, or to any other
  house in the Cyttye without being shut up, so that they abstain from
  returning to the Cyttye, or from going abroad out of house in the
  Cyttye, for a month.

  10. None shall keep dogg or bitche abroad unled nor within howling
  or disturbing of their neighbours.

  11. To have no assembly at funeral dynners or usual meeting in
  houses infected.

  12. None shall for a month come into infected houses but such as be
  of the house and licensed to do service abroad.

  13. No donghills out of stables, Bearhouses or other places to be
  made in the strete.

  14. To have double time of Restraint for consenting to pull down
  bills, and the taker awaie to suffer imprisonement for viii days.


                      _Two Viewers of Dead Bodies,
                    Two Viewers of sick suspected_,

  Shall be appointed and sworne.

  These viewers to report to the Constable, he to the Clarke, and he
  to the chief of Clarkes, all upon pain of imprisonment.

  A pain of standing on the pillory for false reports by the viewers.
  A loss of pension to such as shall refuse.


                        _Mendinge of Pavements._

  That diligent care be had, that pavements be amended where nede is,
  and that principall paviers be appointed to survey the wants of
  paving, especiallie in Channels, and that the dwellers against such
  may be forced to amend them.


                        _Interludes and Plaies._

  If the increase of the sicknes be feared, that Interludes and plaies
  be restrained within the libertyes of the Cyttye.


                       _Phisicions and Surgeons._

  That skilful and learned physicions and surgeons may be provided to
  minister to the sicke.


                _Vagrant, Masterless, and poore people._

  1. That all such as be diseased be sent to St. Thomas or St.
  Bartylmewes hospitall, there to be first cured and made cleane, and
  afterwards those which be not of the Cyttye to be sent awaie
  according to the statute in that case provided, and the other to be
  sett to worke, in such as are least used by the Inhabitants of the
  Cyttye, for the avoyding of all such vagrant persons as well as
  children male and female, soldiers lame and maymed, as other idle
  and loytering persons that swarme in the streets and wander up and
  downe begging to the great daunger and infecting of the Cyttye for
  th' increase of the plague and annoyance to the same.

  2. That all maisterless men who live idlie in the Cyttye without any
  lawfull calling, frequenting places of common assemblies, as
  Interludes, gaming houses, cockpitts, bowling allies, and such other
  places, may be banished the Cyttye according to the laws in that
  case provyded.

  (_b_) In the former year, 1603, the plague of pestilence being great
  in Ostend, and divers other parties of the Low countries, and many
  soldiers returning thence into England, and many ships of war lying
  long at Sea became also infected, who in their return, brought that
  contagion into divers parts of this land, chiefly into the City of
  London: by reason whereof many citizens, and other inhabitants
  thereof, for their better safety went into most shires of this
  kingdom, where in divers places they were kindly entertained, and
  entreated, and in many places most unchristianly, and despitefully
  reviled, and not suffered to have relief, neither for love, nor
  money, saying God must needs plague you, for your monstrous
  wickedness etc. many died in high-ways, fields and barns, near unto
  good towns, and villages, where too many of them were let remain too
  long unburied, but God whose mercy is above all his works, stayed
  his visitation in London, to the honour of his own name, and
  admiration of all men.

  The City of London, the year ensuing viz. 1604, was cleared of all
  infection, and the other cities of this kingdom, most villages, and
  towns corporate, more extremely visited, and some by proclamation
  prohibited from coming to London: and it was Christianly observed in
  the year 1604, in the which it pleased Almighty God to visit the
  whole land with pestilence (London only excepted) that all those
  places were least, or not at all visited, which the year before had
  relieved the distressed. There died in London, and the liberties
  thereof, from the 23rd of December 1602, unto the 22nd of December
  1603, of all diseases, 38,244, whereof of the plague, 30,578: the
  next March following, against the time the King should ride in
  triumph through London, to behold the state and beauty thereof
  besides the Clergy, Nobility, and chief gentry, of every country,
  and great numbers of strangers from beyond seas, there repaired
  thither such great multitudes of people from all places, as the like
  in London was never seen until that day, all which notwithstanding,
  there died that year of all diseases within London, and the
  liberties of London but 4,263.



                         LONDON SCHOOLS (1598).


During the Middle Ages there was little provision for education; the
monasteries and the Universities kept alive such learning as existed,
and it was not until the sixteenth century that the revival of learning
affected England and brought about a widespread interest in education
and the pursuit of knowledge. It is well known that Wolsey and Henry
VIII. at first proposed to divert some of the wealth of the monasteries
to educational purposes, such as the endowment of schools and colleges
in the Universities; and although this intention was not fully carried
out, the cause of education in London was advanced by some of the City
Companies and by private benefactions. The following passage from Stow
gives an entertaining description of the educational methods of his day.


                   =Source.=—Stow's _Survey_, p. 74.

  But touching schools more lately advanced in this City, I read that
  King Henry the fifth having suppressed the priories aliens whereof
  some were about London, namely one Hospital, called Our Lady of
  Rouncivall by Charing Cross: one other Hospital in Oldborne
  [Holborn]: one other without Cripplegate: and the fourth without
  Aldersgate, besides other that are now worn out of memory, and
  whereof there is no monument remaining more than Rouncivall
  converted to a brotherhood, which continued till the reign of Henry
  the 8. or Edward the 6., this I say, and their schools being broken
  up and ceased: King Henry the sixth in the 24. of his reign, by
  patent appointed that there should be in London, Grammar schools,
  besides St. Paul's, at St. Martin's le Grand, S. Mary le Bow in
  Cheap, S. Dunstans in the west and S. Anthony's. And in the next
  year, to wit, 1394, the said King ordained by Parliament that four
  other grammar schools should be erected, to wit, in the parishes of
  Saint Andrew in Holborn, All Hallows the great in Thames Street, S.
  Peters upon Cornhill, and in the Hospital of S. Thomas of Acons in
  west Cheap, since the which time as divers schools by suppressing of
  religious houses, whereof they were members, in the reign of Henry
  the 8. have been decayed, so again have some others been newly
  erected, and founded for them: as namely Paul's school, in place of
  an old ruined house, was built in most ample manner, and largely
  endowed in the year 1512 by John Collet Doctor of Divinity, Dean of
  Pauls, for 153 poor mens children: for which there was ordained a
  master, surmaster, or usher, and a chaplain. Again in the year 1553
  after the erection of Christ's Hospital in the late dissolved house
  of the Grey Friars, a great number of poor children being taken in,
  a school was also ordained there, at the Citizens charges. Also in
  the year 1561 the Merchant Tailors of London founded one notable
  free Grammar-School in the Parish of St. Laurence Poulteney by
  Candlewick street, Richard Hills late master of that Company, having
  given £500 toward the purchase of an house, called the Manor of the
  Rose, sometime the Duke of Buckingham's, wherein the school is kept.
  As for the meeting of the Schoolmasters, on festival days, at
  festival Churches, and the disputing of their Scholars logically,
  etc., whereof I have before spoken, the same was long since
  discontinued: but the arguing of the school boys about the
  principles of grammar, hath been continued even till our time: for I
  my self in my youth have yearly seen on the Eve of S. Bartholomew
  the Apostle, the scholars of divers grammar schools repair unto the
  Churchyard of S. Bartholomew, the Priory in Smithfield, where upon a
  bank boarded about under a tree, some one scholar hath stepped up,
  and there hath opposed and answered, till he were by some better
  scholar overcome and put down: and then the overcomer taking the
  place, did like as the first: and in the end the best opposers and
  answerers had rewards, which I observed not but it made both good
  schoolmasters, and also good scholars, diligently against such times
  to prepare themselves for the obtaining of this garland. I remember
  there repaired to these exercises amongst others the masters and
  scholars of the free schools of Saint Pauls in London: of Saint
  Peters at Westminster: of Saint Thomas Acons Hospital: and of Saint
  Anthony's Hospital: whereof the last named commonly presented the
  best scholars, and had the prize in those days.



                    A GERMAN VIEW OF LONDON (1600).


The author of the following passage was a German lawyer who visited
England while on a three years' tour as tutor to a young Silesian
nobleman, from 1597 to 1600. On his return to Germany he published a
description of his travels, written in Latin, under the title of
"Itinerarium Germaniæ, Galliæ, Angliæ, Italiæ."


            =Source.=—Paul Hentzner's _Travels in England_.

  This most ancient city is in the county of Middlesex, the
  fruitfullest and wholesomest soil in England.... The city being very
  large of itself, has very extensive suburbs, and a fort called the
  Tower, of beautiful structure. It is magnificently ornamented with
  public buildings and churches, of which there are above one hundred
  and twenty parochial. On the south is a bridge of stone eight
  hundred feet in length of wonderful work; it is supported upon
  twenty piers of stone, sixty feet high and thirty broad, joined by
  arches of about twenty feet diameter. The whole is covered on each
  side with houses so disposed as to have the appearance of a
  continued street, not at all of a bridge. Upon this is built a
  tower, on whose top the heads of such as have been executed for high
  treason are placed on iron spikes; we counted above thirty.

  The wealth of the world is wafted to London by the Thames, swelled
  by the tide; and navigable to merchant ships through a safe and deep
  channel, for sixty miles, from its mouth to the city; its banks are
  everywhere beautified with fine country seats, woods and farms....

  The government of the city is lodged by ancient grant of the Kings
  of England in twenty-five aldermen, that is, seniors; these annually
  elect out of their own body a mayor and two sheriffs, who determine
  causes according to municipal laws.

  It is worthy of observation, that every year, upon St. Bartholomew's
  Day, when the fair is held, it is usual for the mayor, attended by
  the twelve principal aldermen, to walk in a neighbouring field,
  dressed in his scarlet gown, and about his neck a golden chain, to
  which is hung a golden fleece, and besides, that particular ornament
  which distinguishes the most noble order of the garter. During the
  year of his magistracy he is obliged to live so magnificently, that
  foreigner or native without any expense, is free, if he can find a
  chair empty, to dine at his table, where there is always the
  greatest plenty. When the mayor goes out of the precincts of the
  city, a sceptre, a sword and a cap are borne before him, and he is
  followed by the principal aldermen in scarlet gowns, with gold
  chains; himself and they on horseback. Upon their arrival at a place
  appointed for that purpose, where a tent is pitched, the mob begin
  to wrestle before them, two at a time; the conquerors receive
  rewards from the magistrates. While we were at this show, one of our
  company, Tobias Salander, doctor of physic, had his pocket picked of
  his purse, with nine crowns du soleil, which, without doubt, was so
  cleverly taken from him by an Englishman who always kept very close
  to him, that the doctor did not in the least perceive it....

  The Mint for coining money is in the Tower. It is to be noted that
  when any of the nobility are sent hither, on the charge of high
  crimes such as treason, they seldom or never recover their
  liberty.... On coming out of the Tower we were led to a small house
  close by, where are kept variety of creatures, viz.—three lionesses;
  one lion of great size, called Edward VI. from his having been born
  in that reign; a tiger; a lynx; a wolf excessively old—this is a
  very scarce animal in England, so that their sheep and cattle stray
  about in great numbers, free from any danger. Near to this Tower is
  a large open space; on the highest part of it is erected a wooden
  scaffold, for the execution of noble criminals; upon which, they
  say, three princes of England, the last of their families, have been
  beheaded for high treason.

  The next thing worthy of note is the Royal Exchange, so named by
  Queen Elizabeth, built by Sir Thomas Gresham, citizen, for public
  ornament and the convenience of merchants. It has a great effect,
  whether you consider the stateliness of the building, the assemblage
  of different nations, or the quantities of merchandise....

  The streets in this city are very handsome and clean; but that which
  is named from the goldsmiths who inhabit it surpasses all the rest;
  there is in it a gilt tower, with a fountain that plays. Near it, on
  the farther side, is a handsome house built by a goldsmith and
  presented by him to the city. There are besides to be seen in this
  street, as in all others where there are goldsmiths' shops, all
  sorts of gold and silver vessels exposed to sale, as well as ancient
  and modern metals, in such quantities as must surprise a man the
  first time he sees and considers them.



                       LONDON AND ULSTER (1609).


The growth of colonisation which marked the beginning of the seventeenth
century is one of the most notable features of our commercial history,
and the plantation of Ulster was in accordance with the new spirit. This
province had become depopulated and almost entirely forfeited to the
Crown, by reason of the frequent rebellions which had occurred there
during the previous century. On the presentation of the following report
a charter was received by the Corporation of London, granting powers to
raise a sum of money and take measures for the plantation of the
province. The first arrangement was that the bulk of the land should be
assigned to the twelve great livery companies, while the City of Derry
and the town of Coleraine should be handed over to a society which was
formed by City merchants for the purpose of exploiting the new colony.


   =Source.=—_Calendar of State Papers (Ireland)_, 1608-1610, p. 207.

  The late ruined city of Derry, situate upon the river of Lough
  Foyle, navigable above Derry, and another place near the Castle of
  Coleraine, situate on the river Ban, navigable with small vessels
  only, by reason of the bar a little above Coleraine, seem to be the
  fittest places for the City of London to plant.

  2. With small charges, these places (especially Derry) may be made
  impregnable.

  3. His Majesty offers to grant to these two places charters of
  incorporation; the whole territory betwixt them, however, which is
  above 20 miles in length, bounded by the sea on the north, by the
  Ban on the east, and the river Derry or Lough Foyle on the west (out
  of which 3,000 acres or more may be allotted to each of the towns
  for their commons), to be planted with such undertakers as the City
  of London shall think fit, paying only for the same the easy rent of
  the undertakers.

  4. These towns to have the benefit of all the customs on goods
  imported or exported, as also tonnage and poundage, and the great
  and small customs, for 21 years, paying yearly 6s. 8d. Irish as an
  acknowledgment.

  5. That His Majesty would be pleased to buy from the possessors the
  salmon fishing of the Ban and Lough Foyle, and bestow the same upon
  these towns.

  6. Also license for free export of all goods growing on their own
  lands.

  7. That the Admiralty jurisdiction in the coasts of Tyrconnell now
  supposed to be in the Lord Deputy by the Lord High Admiral's grant,
  may be transferred to them for 21 years.


       _The Land Commodities which the North of Ireland affords._

  1. The country is well watered, and supplied with fuel either of
  trees or turf.

  2. It supplies such abundance of provisions as may not only sustain
  the plantation, but may furnish provisions yearly to the City of
  London, especially for their fleets, as beeves, pork, fish, rye,
  peas, and beans, and in some years will help the dearth of the city
  and country about, and the storehouses appointed for the relief of
  the poor.

  3. It is fit for breeding of mares and for cattle, and thence may be
  expected store of hides, tallow, &c.

  4. The soil is suited for English sheep, and if need were, wool
  might be had cheaply out of the West of Scotland.

  5. It is fit in many parts for madder, hops, and woad.

  6. It affords fells of red deer, foxes, sheep and lambs, cony,
  martens, squirrels, etc.

  7. It grows hemp and flax better than elsewhere, and thus might
  furnish materials for canvas, cables, cordage and such like
  requisites for shipping. Also for thread, linen cloths, and stuffs
  made of linen yarn, which is finer there and more plentiful than in
  all the rest of the kingdom.

  8. Timber, stone, lime, and slate, and building materials are to be
  had, and the soil is good for making bricks and tiles.

  The goodliest timber in the woods of Glanconkein and Melleitragh may
  be had, and may compare with any in his Majesty's dominions, and may
  be brought to the sea by Lough Eagh and the Ban. Fir masts of all
  sorts may be had out of Loughnaber in Scotland (not far from the
  north of Ireland) more easily than from Norway.

  9. All materials for building of ships (except tar) is there to be
  had in great plenty, and in countries adjoining.

  10. There is wood for pipe staves, hogshead staves, barrel staves,
  hop staves, clap boards, wainscot, and dyeing ashes, glass and iron
  work; copper and iron ore are there found abundantly.

  11. The country is fit for honey and wax.


                    _The Sea and River Commodities._

  1. The harbour of Derry is very good, and the roads at Portrush and
  Lough Swilly (not far distant from Derry) tolerable.

  2. The sea fishings are plentiful of all manner of fishes,
  especially herrings and eels. Yearly, after Michaelmas, above seven
  or eight score of sail of the King's subjects and strangers are
  there for loading, beside an infinite number for fishing and
  killing.

  3. There are great fishings in the adjacent islands of Scotland,
  where many Hollanders do fish all the summer, and plentifully vent
  their fishes into Spain and within the Straits.

  4. Much train and fish oil may be made upon the coast.

  5. As the sea yieldeth fish, so the coast affords abundance of sea
  fowl, and the rivers great store of fresh fishes, more than any of
  the rivers of England.

  6. There be store of good pearls upon the coast, especially within
  the river of Loughfoyle.

  7. These coasts are ready for traffic with England and Scotland, and
  lie open and convenient for Spain and the Straits, and fittest and
  nearest to Newfoundland.


      _The Profits that London shall receive by this Plantation._

  If multitudes of men were employed proportionally to these
  commodities, many thousands would be set at work, to the great
  service of the King, the strength of his realm, and the advancement
  of several trades. It might ease the city of an insupportable
  burthen of persons, which it might conveniently spare, all parts of
  the city being so surcharged that one tradesman is scarce able to
  live by another; and it would also be a means to free and preserve
  the city from infection, and consequently the whole kingdom, which
  of necessity must have recourse hither, and being pestered and
  closed up together can never otherwise or very hardly avoid
  infection.

  These colonies may be a means to utter infinite commodities from
  London to furnish the whole North of Ireland and Isles of Scotland,
  which may be transported by means of the river Ban and Loughfoyle
  into the counties of Coleraine, Donegal, Tyrone, Armagh, and Antrim.

  The city of Dublin being desolate by the slaughter of the
  Easterlings, who were the ancient inhabitants thereof, was given by
  King Henry the Second to the city of Bristol to be inhabited, which,
  without any charge to the King, Bristol performed, whose posterity
  continues there to this day.

  The plantation, thus performed to the eternal commendation of
  Bristol, was not the least cause of civilizing and securing that
  part of the country.

  It were to be wished this noble precedent were followed by the City
  of London in these times, with so much the more alacrity as they
  excel Bristol in ability and means. And so much the rather, since
  the commodities which the City of London will reap hereby far
  surpass the profits which could redound to Bristol by the other.



                   THE DEMANDS OF CHARLES I. (1626).


At the very outset of his reign Charles I. had to face an angry and
discontented City; the late King had shown little respect for the
ancient liberties of London, and the citizens were prepared to find the
same attitude on the part of his successor. The Parliament of 1626
refused to grant supplies until grievances had been redressed, and
Charles dissolved it, determining to raise money without its help. He
began by calling on the City for £100,000, which was refused. There had
been a severe outbreak of the Plague, and London was in a somewhat
impoverished condition. Next came the demand for men and ships for the
projected expedition to Cadiz. The citizens complied with obvious
reluctance, and Charles's habitual disregard of their feelings gradually
estranged their affections and caused them later to give their hearty
support to the Parliamentary cause.


              =Source.=—Rushworth's _Collections_, i. 415.

  His Majesty demanded of the City of London the Loan of an Hundred
  thousand pounds. But the peoples excuses were represented to the
  Council Table by the Magistrates of the City. Immediately the
  Council sent a very strict command to the Lord Mayor and Aldermen,
  wherein they set forth the enemies strong preparations as ready for
  an invasion, and the Kings great necessities, together with his
  gracious and moderate proposals in the sum required, and the
  frivolous pretences upon which they excuse themselves: Wherefore
  they require them, all excuses being set apart, to enter into the
  business again, and to manage the same, as appertaineth to
  Magistrates so highly entrusted, and in a time of such necessities,
  and to return to his Majesty a direct and speedy answer, that he may
  know how far he may rely upon their faith and duty; or in default
  thereof, may frame his counsels as appertaineth to a King in such
  extreme and important occasions.

  Lord Mayor and Commonalty of London petitioned the Council for an
  abatement of the twenty ships rated upon them, unto ten ships and
  two pinnaces, alleging disability; whereunto the Council gave this
  following answer, That the former commandment was necessary, the
  preservation of the State requiring it; and that the charge imposed
  on them was moderate, as not exceeding the value of many of their
  private estates: That petitions and pleadings to this command, tend
  to the danger and prejudice of the Commonwealth, and are not to be
  received: That as the commandment was given to all in general, and
  every particular of the City; so the State will require an account
  both of the City in general, and of every particular.

  And whereas they mention precedents, they might know, that the
  precedents of former times, were obedience, not direction; and that
  precedents were not wanting for the punishment of those that disobey
  his Majesty's commands, signified by that Board, which they hope
  shall have no occasion to let them more particularly understand.

  Hereupon the Citizens were glad to submit, and declared their
  consent to the King's demands, and by petition to the Council had
  the favour to nominate all the officers of those twenty ships, the
  captains only excepted, the nomination of whom appertained to the
  Lord High Admiral of England.



                   THE KEEPING OF THE SABBATH (1629).


The following Order of the Lord Mayor is an example of that Puritan
spirit which exercised such a powerful influence on the lives of
Englishmen during the first half of the seventeenth century. During
Elizabeth's reign many serious and earnest attempts were made to effect
certain changes in the doctrines and practices of the Established
Church, with the idea of introducing a "purer" form of worship and
ceremonial; and the Puritan spirit generally, although open to the
charge of narrowness and intolerance, was based upon a sincere desire to
bring the law of God into closer touch with life. It was characterised
by a hearty hatred of that moral laxity and freedom which the Roman
Church had frequently permitted, and consequently much of its activity
appeared to depend upon various prohibitions and restrictions in matters
of conduct, which frequently proved very irksome to those who did not
sympathise with the Puritan ideals. London contained a strong Puritan
element, and the Order for the better keeping of the Lord's Day well
illustrates the typical activities of the City and the attitude of its
rulers.


         =Source.=—Rushworth's _Collections_, part ii., p. 22.

  Whereas I am credibly informed, that notwithstanding divers good
  Laws provided for the keeping of the Sabbath-day holy, according to
  the express commandment of Almighty God, divers inhabitants and
  other persons of this City, and other places, having no respect of
  duty towards God, and his Majesty, or his Laws, but in contempt of
  them all, do commonly and of custom greatly profane the Sabbath-day,
  in buying, selling, uttering and vending their wares and commodities
  upon that day for their private gain: also innholders suffering
  markets to be kept by carriers, in most rude and profane manner, in
  selling victuals to hucksters, chandlers, and all other comers: also
  carriers, carmen, cloth-workers, water-bearers, and porters carrying
  of burdens, and watermen plying their fares; and divers others
  working in their ordinary callings: and likewise, that I am further
  informed, that vintners, alehouse-keepers, tobacco and strong-water
  sellers, greatly profane the Sabbath-day, by suffering company to
  sit drinking and bibbing in their houses on that day; and likewise
  by cursing and swearing and such-like behaviour, contrary to the
  express commandment of Almighty God, his Majesty's Laws in that
  behalf, and all good government: For the reformation whereof, I do
  hereby require, and in his Majesty's name straightly command all his
  Majesty's loving subjects whatsoever, and also all constables,
  head-boroughs, beadles, and all other officers whatsoever, to be
  aiding and assisting to J. S. the bearer hereof, in finding out and
  apprehending all and every such person and persons, as shall be
  found to offend in any of these kinds; and them and every of them to
  bring before me, or some other of his Majesty's Justices of the
  Peace, in answer to all such matters as shall be objected against
  them, and to put in good security for their good behaviour. Whereof
  fail you not, as you or any of you will answer at your peril.

                                                     _April 20, 1629._



               THE CITY'S PETITION TO CHARLES I. (1640).


The arbitrary government of Charles I. during the "eleven years'
tyranny" sorely tried the loyalty of the citizens of London. We find
that they were, as a rule, quite disposed to support the King's
government, so long as their interests were safeguarded and their
privileges maintained. But they could not tolerate the illegal exactions
and unreasonable demands of the King without vigorous protest. The
Petition of 1640 is particularly interesting as embodying the grievances
which affected not only the trading and commercial interests of the
capital, but indirectly the welfare of the whole country. It is pointed
out that the ship-money had not been applied to its proper purpose of
protecting the coasts and the merchant fleets, while royal interference
continually hampered trade. The prevalent ill-feeling against Roman
Catholics finds expression, and the Petition in general shows that the
City was experiencing considerable difficulty in sustaining its position
of loyal respect for the monarch.


        =Source.=—Rushworth's _Collections_, part ii., p. 1263.

  MOST GRACIOUS SOVEREIGN.

  Being moved with the duty and obedience, which by the laws your
  petitioners owe unto your sacred Majesty, they humbly present unto
  your princely and pious wisdom the several pressing grievances
  following, viz.

  1. The pressing and unusual impositions upon merchandize, importing
  and exporting, and the urging and levying of Ship-money,
  notwithstanding both which, merchant ships and goods have been taken
  and destroyed both by Turkish and other pirates.

  2. The multitude of monopolies, patents, and warrants, whereby trade
  in the City, and other parts of the kingdom is much decayed.

  3. The sundry innovations in matters of religion.

  4. The Oath and Canons lately enjoyned by the late Convocation,
  whereby your petitioners are in danger to be deprived of their
  Ministers.

  5. The great concourse of Papists, and their inhabitations in
  London, and the Suburbs, whereby they have more means and
  opportunities of plotting and executing their designs against the
  Religion established.

  6. The seldom calling, and sudden dissolutions of Parliaments,
  without the redress of your Subjects grievances.

  7. The imprisonment of divers Citizens for non-payment of
  Ship-money, and impositions; and the prosecution of many others in
  the Star-Chamber, for not conforming themselves to Committees in
  Patents of Monopolies, whereby trade is restrained.

  8. The great danger of your sacred person is exposed unto in the
  present War, and the various fears that seized upon your petitioners
  and their families by reason thereof; which grievances and fears
  have occasioned so great a stop and distraction in trade, that your
  petitioners can neither buy, sell, receive nor pay as formerly, and
  tends to the utter ruin of the inhabitants of this City, the decay
  of navigation, and clothing, and the manufactures of this kingdom.

  Your humble petitioners conceiving, that the said grievances are
  contrary to the Laws of the kingdom, and finding by experience that
  they are not redressed by the ordinary course of Justice, do
  therefore most humbly beseech your most sacred Majesty, to cause a
  Parliament to be summoned with all convenient speed, whereby they
  may be relieved in the premises.

                  And your Petitioners and loyal Subjects shall ever
                      pray, &c.



                 LONDON UNDER THE EARLY STUARTS (1642).


The following passage from Clarendon's _History_ states very clearly the
relations between Charles I. and the City in 1642, when the King's
general attitude was anything but conciliatory, and London was
definitely attaching itself to the Parliamentary cause. The royal policy
was not in the least calculated to induce a friendly feeling on the part
of the metropolis; neither Charles nor his father appeared to have
realised the immense importance of gaining the good-will of the
citizens, and Clarendon quite fairly and impartially sets forth the
facts when he refers to the wealth of the City, and the unjust treatment
which it experienced at the hands of the first Stuart monarchs.


    =Source.=—Clarendon's _History of the Great Rebellion_, iv. 178.

  The city of London, as the metropolis of England, by the situation
  the most capable of trade, and by the not [un]usual residence of the
  Court, and the fixed station of the courts of justice for the public
  administration of justice throughout the kingdom, the chief seat of
  trade, was by the successive countenance and favour of princes
  strengthened with great charters and immunities, and was a
  corporation governed within itself; the mayor, recorder, aldermen,
  sheriffs, chosen by themselves; several companies incorporated
  within the great incorporation; which, besides notable privileges,
  enjoyed lands and perquisites to a very great revenue. By the
  incredible increase of trade, (which the distractions of other
  countries, and the peace of this, brought,) and by the great license
  of resort thither, it was, since the access of the crown to this
  King, in riches, in people, in buildings, marvellously increased,
  insomuch as the suburbs were almost equal to the city; a reformation
  of which had been often in contemplation, never pursued, wise men
  foreseeing that such a fulness could not be there without an
  emptiness in other places, and whilst so many persons of honour and
  estates were so delighted with the city, the government of the
  country must be neglected, besides the excess and ill husbandry that
  would be introduced thereby. But such foresight was interpreted a
  morosity, and too great an oppression upon the common liberty; and
  so, little was applied to prevent so growing a disease.

  As it had these, and many other, advantages and helps to be rich, so
  it was looked upon too much of late time as a common stock not easy
  to be exhausted, and as a body not to be grieved by ordinary acts of
  injustice; and therefore it was not only a resort in all cases of
  necessity for the sudden borrowing great sums of money, (in which
  they were commonly too good merchants for the Crown,) but it was
  thought reasonable upon any specious pretences to avoid the security
  that was at any time given for money so borrowed.

  So, after many questions of their charter, (which were ever removed
  by considerable sums of money,) a grant made by the King in the
  beginning of his reign, in consideration of great sums of money, of
  good quantities of land in Ireland, and the city of Londonderry
  there, was avoided by a suit in the Star-Chamber, all the lands
  (after a vast expense in building and planting,) resumed into the
  King's hands, and a fine of £50,000 imposed upon the city. Which
  sentence being pronounced after a long and public hearing, during
  which time they were often invited to a composition, both in respect
  of the substance and the circumstances of proceeding, made a general
  impression in the minds of the citizens of all conditions much to
  the disadvantage of the Court; and though the King afterwards
  remitted to them the benefit of that sentence, they imputed that to
  the power of the Parliament, and rather remembered how it had been
  taken from them than by whom it was restored: so that at the
  beginning of the Parliament the city was as ill affected to the
  Court as the country was, and therefore chose such burgesses to sit
  there as had either eminently opposed it or accidentally been
  oppressed by it.



                A PROCLAMATION AGAINST THE CITY (1643).


On the outbreak of civil war it soon became clear that many of the
trading centres of the country, including London, would take up arms
against the King. The commercial interests of the country had been so
persistently assailed, royal interference in matters of trade had been
so marked, that this situation was not at all surprising. It is hardly
necessary to point out that the King, in the preamble to this
proclamation, shows either insincerity or ignorance. The citizens of
London and of the other towns had no particularly strong object in their
resistance beyond obtaining reasonable security for their interests, and
the attempt to isolate London from intercourse with the rest of the
country was as ill-advised as it was futile.


   =Source.=—Rushworth's _Collections_, part iii., vol. ii., p. 365.

  His Majesty having, with unwearied patience, hitherto expected that
  the City of London, and the Citizens and inhabitants thereof, should
  at last return to their obedience; having used all the endeavours he
  could to reduce them thereunto; but finding that, by the malice of
  their misleaders, they are so obdurate, that the very name of peace
  and reconciliation is with them accounted a crime, and that that
  City is both the seat of rebellion, and the pattern to all
  ill-affected subjects of the kingdom, by whose example and
  assistance some other cities and towns do also stand out against his
  Majesty in open rebellion, not only to the disturbance, but even to
  the destruction of the whole kingdom, if God in his mercy do not
  entirely timely it; his Majesty therefore, by his Royal
  Proclamation, dated at Oxford the seventh day of July now last past,
  for the many reasons in that proclamation mentioned, did prohibit
  all persons, with any of their goods, victuals, or merchandize
  whatsoever, to travel to or from the City of London, or suburbs
  thereof, without his Majesty's express licence for the same, under
  his Sign Manual, under the pains and penalties in the said
  Proclamation mentioned.

  And his Majesty now perceiving, that, notwithstanding that
  Proclamation, that rebellious City, by continuing their trade, as
  well at home, as also from foreign parts, do hereby drain their
  monies from all other parts of the kingdom, and traitorously dispose
  of the same to the maintenance of this unnatural War against their
  Sovereign and fellow-subjects; and that many of the Freemen and
  Citizens of that City, and some of the Aldermen and Trained-bands of
  the City, in their own persons, have lately gone from the said City
  to assail his Majesty, and to fight with him, and were in the late
  Battle near Newbury; and that many of the said City are
  involuntarily compelled to take up Arms, and to expose their lives
  to the slaughter, for the maintenance of the malice of a few; and
  the fuel for all this unnatural fire is taken from the City, who
  spare neither their own persons, estates or fortunes, nor the
  persons or estates of the inhabitants of the neighbouring counties,
  but either persuade or compel them to contribute to this horrid and
  barbarous war:

  Now his Majesty, being moved with a just indignation against that
  City, and some few other Cities and Towns, who in like manner do
  obstinately stand out in rebellion, doth hereby prohibit all
  persons, and straitly charge and command them, upon the severest
  penalties and punishments, which by the law can be inflicted upon
  them as Traitors, aiders, and assisters unto traitors, that from and
  after the time of publishing this proclamation, they, or any of
  them, do not presume, without the King's special Warrant under his
  Sign Manual, either by land or water, to drive, carry, or convey any
  manner of victuals, alive or dead, or any sort of provision for man
  or horse, or any goods or merchandize of any kind whatsoever,
  directly or indirectly, or wilfully suffer the same to be carried or
  conveyed unto or from the City of London, or City of Westminster, or
  suburbs thereof; or to or from the Cities of Gloucester and
  Coventry; or to or from the Towns of Kingston upon Hull, Warwick,
  Northampton, Portsmouth, Southampton, Poole and Lyme-Regis, or any
  of them; or to or from any Cities or Towns within this Kingdom,
  being in rebellion against his Majesty; until they and every of them
  respectively shall return to their obedience; nor do presume to
  trade, or traffick, or buy or sell with the Citizens or Townsmen of
  or in the said Cities or Towns, or any of them, or any other Persons
  inhabiting or residing in any of the said Cities or Towns, until the
  said Cities and Towns respectively shall conform themselves to their
  loyalty and due obedience.



                       CROMWELL IN LONDON (1653).


Throughout the Civil War the influence of the citizens had been very
great. They had contributed money and troops for use against the royal
forces, and both sides frequently appealed to them for support; but the
Corporation continued true to the Parliamentary interest until matters
were complicated by the rise to power of the independent party and
Cromwell. As soon as it became plain that the army was the supreme head
of authority, the City was by no means enthusiastic in its favour; the
citizens had not calculated on this result of the conflict, and Cromwell
never had their confidence. They appeared to acquiesce in his
government, but he never secured their hearty support. Several of the
aldermen refused to proclaim a Commonwealth, and considerable difficulty
was experienced by the Protector in enforcing his legislative measures
in the City; nevertheless, the citizens never openly opposed him, and
even received him with outward manifestations of honour.


               =Source.=—Clarendon's _History_, xiv. 25.

  Proclamation was made by a herald, in the Palace-yard at
  Westminster, That the late Parliament having dissolved themselves
  and resigned their whole power and authority, the government of the
  commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, by a Lord Protector,
  and successive triennial Parliaments, was now established: and
  whereas Oliver Cromwell, captain general of all the forces of the
  commonwealth, is declared Lord Protector of the said nations, and
  had accepted thereof, publication was now made of the same; and all
  persons, of what quality and condition soever in any of the said
  three nations, were strictly charged and commanded to take notice
  thereof, and to conform and submit themselves to the government so
  established; and all sheriffs, mayors, &c. were required to publish
  this proclamation to the end that none might have cause to pretend
  ignorance therein. Which proclamation was at the same time published
  in Cheapside by the Lord Mayor of London, and with all possible
  expedition by the sheriffs and other officers throughout England,
  Scotland, and Ireland. And in few days after the city of London
  invited their new Protector to a very splendid entertainment at
  Grocers' Hall, the streets being railed, and the solemnity of his
  reception such as had been at any time performed to the King; and
  he, as like a King, graciously conferred the honour of knighthood
  upon the Lord Mayor at his departure.



                   LONDON AND THE RESTORATION (1660).


It is not difficult to believe that the City was glad to be freed from
the unconstitutional and distasteful Protectorate, but the universal joy
with which it accepted General Monk's application for assistance in
restoring Charles II. was most remarkable, and the pomp and pageantry of
the King's welcome to London, as detailed below, were clearly a sincere
indication of the general feeling of relief and satisfaction. It was
surely not surprising that Charles, on witnessing this outburst of
loyalty, wondered where his enemies were concealed, and why he had
delayed so long in repairing to his friends.


         =Sources.=—(_a_) Clarendon's _History_, xvi. 240, 246;
                 (_b_) _The Public Mercury_, May, 1660.

  (_a_) The city of London had too great a hand in driving the King
  from thence not to appear equally zealous for his return thither.
  And therefore they did at the same time send fourteen of their most
  substantial citizens to assure his Majesty of their fidelity and
  most cheerful submission, and that they placed all their felicity
  and hope of future prosperity in the assurance of his Majesty's
  grace and protection, for the meriting whereof their lives and
  fortunes should be always at his Majesty's disposal; and they
  presented to him from the city the sum of ten thousand pounds. The
  King told them he had always had a particular affection for the city
  of London, the place of his birth, and was very glad that they had
  now so good a part in his restoration, of which he was informed, and
  how much he was beholding to every one of them; for which he thanked
  them very graciously, and knighted them all; an honour no man in the
  city had received in near twenty years, and with which they were
  much delighted....

  On Monday he went to Rochester, and the next day, being the 29th of
  May and his birthday, he entered London, all the ways from Dover
  thither being so full of people and exclamations as if the whole
  kingdom had been gathered. About or above Greenwich the Lord Mayor
  and aldermen met him, with all those protestations of joy which can
  hardly be imagined; and the concourse so great that the King rode in
  a crowd from the bridge to Temple Bar. All the companies of the city
  stood in order on both sides, giving loud thanks for his Majesty's
  presence. And he no sooner came to Whitehall but the two Houses of
  Parliament solemnly cast themselves at his feet, with all the vows
  of affection and fidelity to the world's end. In a word, the joy was
  so unexpressible and so universal, that his Majesty said smilingly
  to some about him, that he doubted it had been his own fault that he
  had been absent so long, for he saw nobody that did not protest he
  had ever wished for his return.

  (_b_) At Blackheath the army was drawn up, where his Majesty viewed
  them, giving out many expressions of his gracious favour to the
  army, which were received by loud shoutings and rejoicings; several
  bonfires were made as his Majesty came along, and one more
  remarkable than the rest for its bigness, where the States arms were
  burned.

  Thence the army being placed according to his Excellencies order,
  his Majesty marched towards London: and now because God himself,
  when he would set a mark of observance upon his own magnalia, hath
  taken notice of the circumstance of time, it is very considerable
  here that it was his Majesties birth-day. He was heir-apparent when
  first born, but had _jus in re_ now when entering the metropolis of
  his kingdom, he took possession. All lets and hinderances, which
  have interven'd since his Majesties just right, are now so many
  arguments of his future fix'd and peaceable enjoyment. This the
  ancients intimate, when they tell us, Jupiter himself was not quiet
  in heaven till after a long war with the giants; may that God, by
  whom kings reign, long preserve him and the nation, a mutual
  blessing to each other!

  When his Majesty came to St. George's field, the Lord Mayor and the
  Aldermen were in a tent ready to receive him: there the Lord Mayor
  delivered unto his Majesty his sword upon his knees, which his
  Majesty gave back to him. After a repast taken there, his Majesty
  came to Whitehall in this manner: all the streets being richly
  hang'd with tapestry, and a lane made by the militia forces to
  London-bridge, from London-bridge to Temple-bar by the trained bands
  on one side, and the several companies in their liveries, and the
  streamers of each company, of the other side, by the rails; from
  Temple-bar to Westminster by the militia forces, regiments of the
  army, and several gentlemen formerly officers of the king's army,
  led by sir John Stawell; first marched a troop of gentlemen, led by
  major-general Brown, brandishing their swords, in clothes of silver
  doublet, in all about 300, besides their servants; then another
  troop, of about 200, in velvet coats, the footmen and liveries in
  purple; then another troop, led by alderman Robinson, with buff
  coats, silver sleeves, and green scarfs; after this, a troop with
  blue liveries, and silver lace, colours red, fringed with silver,
  about 130; after that, a troop, 6 trumpets, 7 footmen in sea-green
  and silver, their colours pink, fringed with silver; then a troop,
  with their liveries gray and blue, with silk and silver laces, 30
  footmen, 4 trumpets, consisting of about 220, their colours sky,
  fringed with silver; another of gray liveries, 6 trumpets, colours
  sky and silver, of about 105 gentlemen; another troop of 70
  gentlemen, 5 trumpets, colours sky and silver; another troop, led by
  the lord Clevland, of about 200 noblemen and gentlemen, colours
  blue, fringed with gold; another troop of about 100, black colours,
  fringed with gold; another troop of about 300.

  After these came two trumpets, with his Majesties arms, the sheriffs
  men in red cloaks and silver lace, with half pikes, 79 in number;
  then followed the several companies of London, with their several
  streamers, all in black velvet coats with gold chains, every company
  having their footmen of their several liveries, some red and white,
  some pink and white, some blue and yellow, etc.; three trumpets in
  liveries richly laced and cloth of silver sleeves, went before the
  company of the Mercers. After all these, came a kettle-drum, five
  trumpets, and three streamers, and very rich red liveries, with
  silver lace. The number of the citizens were about 600. After these,
  12 ministers, another kettle-drum, four trumpets, then his Majesties
  life-guard, led by the lord Gerrard; another party, led by sir
  Gilbert Gerrard, and major Rosecarron, and the third division by
  colonel Pragues; then three trumpeters in rich coats and satin
  doublets; the city marshal, with 8 footmen, in French green, trimmed
  with crimson and white; the city waits, the city officers in order,
  Dr. Warmstry, the 2 Sheriffs, and all the Aldermen of London, in
  their scarlet gowns, and rich trappings, with footmen in liveries,
  red coats, laced with silver, and cloth of gold; the heralds and
  maces in their rich coats; the Lord Mayor, bare, carrying the sword;
  his Excellency and the duke of Buckingham bare; and then, the glory
  of all, his sacred Majesty rode between the dukes of York and
  Gloucester; afterwards followed a troop bare, with white colours,
  then the generals lifeguard; after which, another company of gentry,
  sky, fringed with gold; after which, five regiments of the army
  horse, led by colonel Knight, viz. his Excellencies regiment,
  colonel Knight's, colonel Cloberrie's, lord Fauconberg's, lord
  Howard's; after whom, came two troops of nobility and gentlemen, red
  colours, fringed with gold. There was never such a sight of noblemen
  and gentlemen that marched then, brandishing their swords all along.
  Soon after his Majesty was passed, all the musketeers that lined the
  streets gave many volleys of shot.

  Thus was his Majesty conducted to his royal palace at Whitehall;
  where after the lord mayor had took his leave, his Majesty went to
  the Lords, where was a speech made to his Majesty, and another in
  the Banqueting-house by the Speaker of the House of Commons, which
  is printed at large by the printers of the said house: which done,
  his Majesty retired himself, and supped with the two dukes in the
  Chast chamber. This day his Majesty dined in the Presence chamber.

  The solemnity of this day was concluded by an infinite number of
  bonfires; it being observable, that, as if all the houses had turned
  out their chimneys into the streets (the weather being very warm)
  there were almost as many fires in the streets, as houses,
  throughout London and Westminster; and among the rest in
  Westminster, a very costly one was made, where the effigy of the old
  Oliver Cromwell was set up upon a high post, with the arms of the
  Commonwealth; which having been exposed there a while to the public
  view, with torches lighted, that everyone might take better notice
  of them, were burnt together.

  The foreign ambassadors and public ministers here did likewise
  highly express their joy for his Majesties happy arrival here on
  Tuesday last, by their bonfires and other public demonstrations;
  specially the ambassadors of France and Portugal, and the
  plenipotentiaries of the king of Sweden; in particular, his
  plenipotentiary lying at Charing-cross, besides his bonfires, giving
  of wine and throwing of money among the people, made very gallant
  emblems upon the business of the day.



                   STATE OF LONDON BEFORE THE PLAGUE
                                (1661).


Besides the insanitary conditions which rendered the City so liable to
outbreaks of infectious disease, there were other nuisances which
afflicted the inhabitants of the City. It is rather difficult to imagine
what John Evelyn would have said about a Black Country town of the
present day, where the effects of smoke must be much more noticeable
than in the London of 1661. But his indictment, although severe, is in
the main true; the smoke nuisance has not decreased since the
seventeenth century, and probably we tolerate it only because we are
accustomed to it. It must be remembered that in Evelyn's day the use of
coal for fuel, although not great, was rapidly increasing; and a tax on
coal was often a source of considerable revenue.


                  =Source.=—John Evelyn, _Fumifugium_.

  That this glorious and ancient city, which from wood might be
  rendered brick, and (like another Rome) from brick made stone and
  marble; which commands the proud ocean to the Indies, and reaches
  the farthest Antipodes, should wrap her stately head in clouds of
  smoke and sulphur, so full of stink and darkness, I deplore with
  just indignation. That the buildings should be composed of such a
  congestion of misshapen and extravagant houses; that the streets
  should be so narrow and incommodious in the very centre, and busiest
  places of intercourse; that there should be so ill and uneasy a form
  of paving under foot, so troublesome and malicious a disposure of
  the spouts and gutters overhead, are particulars worthy of reproof
  and reformation; because it is hereby rendered a labyrinth in its
  principal passages, and a continual wet day after the storm is over.

  The immoderate use of, and indulgence to seacoal alone in the city
  of London, exposes it to one of the foulest inconveniences and
  reproaches, that can possibly befall so noble, and otherwise
  incomparable a city: and that, not from the culinary fires, which
  for being weak, and less often fed below, is with such ease
  dispelled and scattered above, as it is hardly at all discernible,
  but from some few particular tunnells and issues, belonging only to
  brewers, dyers, lime-burners, salt, and soap-boilers, and some other
  private trades, one of whose spiracles alone, does manifestly infect
  the air, more than all the chimneys of London put together besides.
  And that this is not the least hyperbole, let the best of judges
  decide it, which I take to be our senses: whilst these are belching
  forth from their sooty jaws, the city of London resembles the face
  rather of mount Ætna, the court of Vulcan, Stromboli, or the suburbs
  of hell, than an assembly of rational creatures, and the imperial
  seat of our incomparable monarch. For when in all other places the
  air is most serene and pure, it is here eclipsed with such a cloud
  of sulphur, as the sun itself, which gives daily to all the world
  besides, is hardly able to penetrate and impart it here; and the
  weary traveller, at many miles distance, sooner smells, than sees
  the city to which he repairs.

  This is that pernicious smoke which sullies all her glory,
  superinducing a sooty crust or furr upon all that it lights,
  spoiling the moveables, tarnishing the plate, gildings, and
  furniture, and corroding the very iron bars and hardest stones with
  those piercing and acrimonious spirits which accompany its sulphur;
  and executing more in one year, than exposed to the pure air of the
  country it could effect in some hundreds. It is this horrid smoke,
  which obscures our churches, and makes our palaces look old, which
  fouls our clothes, and corrupts the waters, so as the very rain and
  refreshing dews which fall in the several seasons, precipitate this
  impure vapour, which with its black and tenacious quality, spots and
  contaminates whatever is exposed to it.



                           THE PLAGUE (1665).


Pepys and Evelyn give descriptions of the scenes in London during the
terrible visitation of 1665; and Defoe's narrative is extremely vivid
and circumstantial, although he was only four years old at the time and
must have derived much of his information from other sources. The
following account by Vincent is contemporary:


     =Source.=—Rev. T. Vincent, _God's Terrible Voice in the City_.

  Now the citizens of London are put to a stop in the career of their
  trade; they begin to fear whom they converse withal, and deal
  withal, lest they should have come out of infected places. Now roses
  and other sweet flowers wither in the gardens, are disregarded in
  the markets, and people dare not offer them to their noses lest with
  their sweet savour, that which is infectious should be attracted:
  rue and wormwood are taken into the hand; myrrh and zedoary into the
  mouth; and without some antidote few stir abroad in the morning. Now
  many houses are shut up where the plague comes, and the inhabitants
  shut in, lest coming abroad they should spread infection. It was
  very dismal to behold the red crosses, and read in great letters,
  LORD HAVE MERCY UPON US, on the doors, and watchmen standing before
  them with halberts; and such a solitude about those places, and
  people passing by them so gingerly, and with such fearful looks as
  if they had been lined with enemies in ambush, that waited to
  destroy them.

  Now rich tradesmen provide themselves to depart; if they have not
  country-houses they seek lodgings abroad for themselves and
  families, and the poorer tradesmen, that they may imitate the rich
  in their fear, stretch themselves to take a country journey, though
  they have scarce wherewithal to bring them back again. The ministers
  also (many of them) take occasion to go to their country-places for
  the summer time; or (it may be) to find out some few of their
  parishioners that were gone before them, leaving the greatest part
  of their flock without food or physic, in the time of their greatest
  need. (I don't speak of all ministers, those which did stay out of
  choice and duty, deserve true honour.) Possibly they might think God
  was now preaching to the city, and what need their preaching? or
  rather did not the thunder of God's voice affrighten their guilty
  consciences and make them fly away, lest a bolt from heaven should
  fall upon them, and spoil their preaching for the future; and
  therefore they would reserve themselves till the people had less
  need of them. I do not blame any citizens retiring, when there was
  so little trading, and the presence of all might have helped forward
  the increase and spreading of the infection; but how did guilt drive
  many away, where duty would have engaged them to stay in the place?
  Now the highways are thronged with passengers and goods, and London
  doth empty itself into the country; great are the stirs and hurries
  in London by the removal of so many families; fear puts many
  thousands on the wing, and those think themselves most safe, that
  can fly furthest off from the city.

  In August how dreadful is the increase: from 2010, the number
  amounts up to 2817 in one week; and thence to 3880 the next; thence
  to 4237 the next; thence to 6102 the next; and all these of the
  plague, besides other diseases.

  Now the cloud is very black, and the storm comes down upon us very
  sharp. Now Death rides triumphantly on his pale horse through our
  streets; and breaks into every house almost, where any inhabitants
  are to be found. Now people fall as thick as leaves from the trees
  in autumn, when they are shaken by a mighty wind. Now there is a
  dismal solitude in London's streets, every day looks with the face
  of a Sabbath day, observed with greater solemnity than it used to be
  in the city. Now shops are shut in, people rare and very few that
  walk about, insomuch that the grass begins to spring up in some
  places, and a deep silence almost in every place, especially within
  the walls; no rattling coaches, no prancing horses, no calling in
  customers, nor offering wares; no London Cries sounding in the ears:
  if any voice be heard, it is the groans of dying persons, breathing
  forth their last: and the funeral knells of them that are ready to
  be carried to their graves. Now shutting up of visited houses (there
  being so many) is at an end, and most of the well are mingled among
  the sick, which otherwise would have got no help. Now in some places
  where the people did generally stay, not one house in a hundred but
  is infected; and in many houses half the family is swept away; in
  some the whole, from the eldest to the youngest; few escape with the
  death of but one or two; never did so many husbands and wives die
  together; never did so many parents carry their children with them
  to the grave, and go together into the same house under earth, who
  had lived together in the same house upon it. Now the nights are too
  short to bury the dead; the long summer days are spent from morning
  unto the twilight in conveying the vast number of dead bodies unto
  the bed of their graves.



                            THE FIRE (1666).


By the terrible conflagration of 1666, the whole of the City was
destroyed, except a narrow circle round its boundaries. It is not at all
difficult to account for the outbreak: the closeness of the streets, the
wooden structure of the houses, the number of families occupying the
same house, the common use of wood for fuel—all these circumstances were
favourable to the origin and spread of the flames. But obvious as these
causes were, there was evidenced an enormous anxiety to fix the blame
upon some unpopular party, and wildly improbable and grossly exaggerated
accounts were given. The republican party were first charged with the
crime of setting fire to the City; then the Dutch were believed to be
the authors. In neither case was there any shadow of reasonable proof.
In the end it was fixed upon the Papists, on the strength of a single
confession of a mad Frenchman, who told a ridiculous and contradictory
story of a Roman Catholic conspiracy; only the extraordinary temper of
the times can explain the credulity with which this story in common with
many others concerning Roman Catholics was received. Although the
slander could not stand examination, it was inscribed on the Monument,
and remained there during the whole of the eighteenth century. (_See_
1681, Popish Panic.)


                    =Sources.=—(_a_) Pepys' _Diary_;
               (_b_) _London Gazette_, September 8, 1666.

  (_a_) _September 2, 1666._—Some of our mayds sitting up late last
  night to get things ready against our feast to-day, Jane called us
  up about three in the morning, to tell us of the great fire they saw
  in the city. So I rose and slipped on my nightgowne, and went to her
  window, and thought it to be on the back-side of Marke-lane at the
  farthest; but, being unused to such fires as followed, I thought it
  to be far enough off; and so went to bed again and to sleep. About
  seven rose again to dress myself, and there looked out of the
  window, and saw the fire not so much as it was and further off. So
  to my closett to set things right after yesterday's cleaning. By and
  by Jane comes and tells me that she hears that above 300 houses have
  been burned down to night by the fire we saw, and that it is now
  burning down all Fish-Street by London Bridge. So I made myself
  ready presently, and walked to the Tower; ... and there I did see
  the houses at the end of the bridge all on fire, and an infinite
  great fire on this and the other side the end of the bridge; which,
  among other people, did trouble me for poor little Michell and our
  Sarah on the bridge. So down, with my heart full of trouble, to the
  Lieutenant of the Tower, who tells me it begun this morning in the
  King's baker's house in Pudding Lane, and that it hath burned St.
  Magnus's Church and most part of Fish-Street already. So I down to
  the waterside, and there got a boat and through bridge, and there
  saw a lamentable fire. Poor Michell's house, as far as the Old Swan,
  already burned that way, and the fire running further, that in a
  very little time it got as far as the Steele-yard, while I was
  there. Everybody endeavouring to remove their goods, and flinging
  into the river or bringing them into lighters that lay off; poor
  people staying in the houses as long as till the very fire touched
  them, and then running into boats, or clambering from one pair of
  stairs by the water side to another. And among other things, the
  poor pigeons, I perceive, were loth to leave their houses, but
  hovered about the windows and balconys till they burned their wings,
  and fell down.

  Having staid, and in an hour's time seen the fire rage every way,
  and nobody, to my sight, endeavouring to quench it, but to remove
  their goods, and leave all to the fire, and having seen it get as
  far as Steele-yard; and the wind mighty high and driving it into the
  City; and everything, after so long a drought, proving combustible,
  even the very stones of the churches, and among other things, the
  poor steeple by which pretty Mrs. ⸺ lives, and whereof my old
  school-fellow Elborough is parson, taken fire in the very top, and
  there burned till it fell down: to White Hall ... and there up to
  the King's closett in the Chappell, where people come about me, and
  I did give them an account that dismayed them all, and word was
  carried in to the King. So I was called for, and did tell the King
  and the Duke of York what I saw, and that unless his Majesty did
  command houses to be pulled down nothing could stop the fire. They
  seemed much troubled, and the King commanded me to go to my Lord
  Mayor from him, and commanded him to spare no houses, but to pull
  down before the fire every way. The Duke of York bid me tell him
  that if he would have any more soldiers he shall; and so did my Lord
  Arlington afterwards, as a great secret. Here meeting with Captain
  Cocke, I in his coach, which he lent me, and Creed with me to
  Paul's, and there walked along Watling-street as well as I could,
  every creature coming away loaden with goods to save, and here and
  there sicke people carried away in beds. Extraordinary good goods
  carried in carts or on backs. At last met my Lord Major in
  Canning-street, like a man spent, with a handkercher about his neck.
  To the King's message he cried, like a fainting woman, "Lord, what
  can I do? 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."
  That he needed no more soldiers; and that, for himself, he must go
  and refresh himself, having been up all night. So he left me, and I
  him, and walked home, seeing people all almost distracted, and no
  manner of means used to quench the fire. The houses, too, so very
  thick thereabouts, and full of matter for burning, as pitch and tar,
  in Thames-street; and ware houses of oyle, and wines, and brandy,
  and other things. Here I saw Mr. Isaake Houblon, the handsome man,
  prettily dressed and dirty, at his door at Dow-gate, receiving some
  of his brother's things, whose houses were on fire; and, as he says,
  have been removed twice already; and he doubts (as it soon proved)
  that they must be in a little time removed from his house also,
  which was a sad consideration. And to see the churches all filling
  with goods by people who themselves should have been quietly there
  at this time. By this time it was about twelve o'clock; and so
  home....

  While at dinner Mrs. Batelier came to enquire after Mr Woolfe and
  Stanes ... whose houses in Fish-Street are all burned, and they in a
  sad condition. She would not stay in the fright. Soon as dined, I
  and Moone away, and walked through the City, the streets full of but
  people and horses and carts loaden with goods, ready to run over one
  another, and removing goods from one burned house to another. They
  now removing out of Canning-Street (which received goods in the
  morning) into Lumbard-Street, and further; and among others I now
  saw my little gold-smith, Stokes, receiving some friends goods,
  whose house itself was burned the day after.

  We parted at Paul's; he home, and I to Paul's Wharf, where I had
  appointed a boat to attend me, and took in Mr. Carcasse and his
  brother, whom I met in the streete, and carried them below and above
  bridge to ... see the fire, which was now got further, both below
  and above, and no likelihood of stopping it. Met with the King and
  Duke of York in their barge, and with them to Queenhithe, and there
  called Sir Richard Browne to them. Their order was only to pull down
  houses apace, and so below bridge at the water side; but little was
  or could be done, the fire coming upon them so fast. Good hopes
  there were of stopping it at the Three Cranes above, and at
  Buttolph's Wharf below bridge, if care be used; but the wind carries
  it into the City, so as we know not by the water-side what it do
  there. River full of lighters and boats taking in goods, and good
  goods swimming in the water, and only I observed that hardly one
  lighter or boat in three that had the goods of a house in, but there
  was a pair of Virginalls in it.

  Having seen as much as I could now, I away to Whitehall by
  appointment and there walked to St. James's Parke, and there met my
  wife and Creed and Wood and his wife and walked to my boat; and
  there upon the water again, and to the fire up and down, it still
  increasing, and the wind great. So near the fire as we could for
  smoke; and all over the Thames, with one's face in the wind, you
  were almost burned with a shower of fire-drops. This is very true;
  so as houses were burned by these drops and flakes of fire, three or
  four, nay, five or six houses, one from another. When we could
  endure no more upon the water, we to a little ale-house on the
  Bankside, over against the three Cranes, and there staid till it was
  dark almost, and saw the fire grow; and, as it grew darker, appeared
  more and more, and in corners and upon steeples, and between
  churches and houses, as far as we could see up the hill of the City,
  in a most horrid malicious bloody flame, not like the fine flame of
  an ordinary fire.... We staid till, it being darkish, we saw the
  fire as only one entire arch of fire from this to the other side of
  the bridge, and in a bow up the hill for an arch of above a mile
  long; it made me weep to see it. The church, houses, and all on fire
  and flaming at once; and a horrid noise the flames made, and the
  cracking of houses at their ruine. So home with a sad heart, and
  there find everybody discursing and lamenting the fire: and poor Tom
  Hater come with some few of his goods saved out of his house, which
  is burned upon Fish-Street Hill. I invited him to lie at my house,
  and receive his goods, but was deceived in his lying there; so as we
  were forced to begin to pack up our owne goods, and prepare for
  their removal; and did by moonshine (it being brave dry, and
  moonshine, and warm weather) carry much of my goods into the garden,
  and Mr. Hater and I did remove my money and iron chests into my
  cellar, as thinking that the safest place. And got ready my bags of
  gold into my office, ready to carry away, and my chief papers of
  accounts also there, and my tallys into a box by themselves. So
  great was our fear, as Sir W. Batten hath carts come out of the
  country to fetch away his goods this night. We did put Mr. Hater,
  poor man, to bed a little; but he got but very little rest, so much
  noise being in my house, taking down of goods.

  _September 3rd._—About four o'clock in the morning, my Lady Batten
  sent me a cart to carry away all my money, and plate, and best
  things, to Sir W. Rider's at Bednall Green, which I did riding
  myself in my night-gowne in the cart; and, Lord! to see how the
  streets and highways are crowded with people running and riding, and
  getting of carts at any rate to fetch away things. I find Sir W.
  Rider tired with being called up all night, and receiving things
  from several friends. His house full of goods, and much of Sir W.
  Batten's and Sir W. Penn's. I am eased at my heart to have my
  treasure so well secured. Then home, with much ado to find a way,
  nor any sleep at all this night to me nor my poor wife.

  (_b_) On the second instant, at one of the clock of the morning,
  there happened to break out, a sad and deplorable fire, in
  Pudding-lane near Fish Street, which falling out at that hour of the
  night, and in a quarter of the town so close built with wooden
  pitched houses, spread itself so far before day, and with such
  distraction to the inhabitants and neighbours, that care was not
  taken for the timely preventing the further diffusion of it, by
  pulling down houses, as ought to have been; so that this lamentable
  fire in a short time became too big to be mastered by any engines or
  working near it. It fell out most unhappily too, that a violent
  easterly wind fomented, and kept it burning all that day, and the
  night following, spreading itself up to Gracechurch Street, and
  downwards from Cannon Street to the water-side, as far as the Three
  Cranes in the Vintrey.

  The people in all parts about it distracted by the vastness of it,
  and their particular care to carry away their goods, many attempts
  were made to prevent the spreading of it by pulling down houses, and
  making great intervals, but all in vain, the fire seizing upon the
  timber and rubbish and so continuing itself, even through those
  spaces, and raging in a bright flame all Monday and Tuesday,
  notwithstanding his majesties own, and his royal highness's
  indefatigable and personal pains to apply all possible remedies to
  prevent it, calling upon and helping the people with their guards,
  and a great number of nobility and gentry unwearied assisting
  therein, for which they were requited with a thousand blessings from
  the poor distressed people. By the favour of God, the wind slackened
  a little on Tuesday night and the flames meeting with brick
  buildings at the Temple, by little and little it was observed to
  lose its force on that side, so that on Wednesday morning we began
  to hope well, and his royal highness never despairing or slackening
  his personal care, wrought so well that day, assisted in some parts
  by the lords of the council before and behind it, that a stop was
  put to it at the Temple-Church, near Holborn-Bridge, Pie-corner,
  Aldersgate, Cripplegate, near the lower end of Coleman-Street, at
  the end of Basinghall Street, by the Postern, at the upper end of
  Bishopsgate street, and Leadenhall-street, at the standard in
  Cornhill, at the church in Fenchurch street, near Clothworkers-Hall
  in Mincing Lane, at the middle of Mark-lane, and at the Tower-dock.

  On Thursday by the blessing of God it was wholly beat down and
  extinguished. But so as that evening it unhappily burst out again
  afresh at the Temple, by the falling of some sparks (as is supposed)
  upon a pile of wooden buildings; but his royal highness, who watched
  there that whole night in person, by the great labours and diligence
  used, and especially by applying powder to blow up the houses about
  it, before day most happily mastered it.

  Divers strangers, Dutch and French were, during the fire,
  apprehended, upon suspicion that they contributed mischievously to
  it, who are all imprisoned, and informations prepared to make a
  severe inquisition thereupon by my lord chief justice Keeling,
  assisted by some of the lords of the privy-council, and some
  principal members of the city, notwithstanding which suspicions, the
  manner of the burning all along in a train, and so blown forwards in
  all its way by strong winds, makes us conclude the whole was an
  effect of an unhappy chance, or to speak better, the heavy hand of
  God upon us for our sins, shewing us the terror of his judgment in
  thus raising the fire, and immediately after his miraculous and
  never enough to be acknowledged mercy in putting a stop to it when
  we were in the last despair, and that all attempts for the quenching
  it however industriously pursued, seemed insufficient. His Majesty
  then sat hourly in council, and ever since hath continued making
  rounds about the city in all parts of it where the danger and
  mischief was greatest, till this morning that he hath sent his grace
  the duke of Albemarle, whom he hath called for to assist him in this
  great occasion, to put his happy and successful hand to the
  finishing this memorable deliverance.



                 A PROCLAMATION OF CHARLES II. (1666).


It seems clear from this proclamation that the King and his advisers not
only realised the faults and dangers of the recently destroyed City, but
entertained worthy and lofty ideals for its re-erection. Ingenious
schemes were not lacking, and only a strong and firm and enthusiastic
government was required to insure the building of a beautiful, safe, and
convenient city to replace the old picturesque, but dangerous,
unhealthy, and crowded buildings. However, royal favour and public
convenience could not prevail against "vested interests"; and most of
the pious hopes of Charles, and the plans of enlightened architects and
others, were not fulfilled.

  Charles, R.—As no particular man hath sustained any loss or damage
  by the late terrible and deplorable fire in his fortune or estate,
  in any degree to be compared with the loss and damage we ourself
  have sustained, so it is not possible for any man to take the same
  more to heart, and to be more concerned and solicitous for the
  rebuilding this famous city with as much expedition as is possible;
  and since it hath pleased God to lay this heavy judgment upon us all
  in this time, as an evidence of his displeasure for our sins, we do
  comfort ourself with some hope, that he will, upon our due
  humiliation before him, as a new instance of his signal blessing
  upon us, give us life, not only to see the foundations laid, but the
  buildings finished, of a much more beautiful city than is at this
  time consumed.

  In the first place, the woeful experience in this late heavy
  visitation hath sufficiently convinced all men of the pernicious
  consequences which have attended the building with timber, and even
  with stone itself, and the notable benefit of brick, which in so
  many places hath resisted and even extinguished the fire: and we do
  therefore hereby declare our express will and pleasure that no man
  whatsoever shall presume to erect any house or building, great or
  small, but of brick or stone; and if any man shall do the contrary,
  the next magistrate shall forthwith cause it to be pulled down, and
  such further course shall be taken for his punishment as he
  deserves. And we suppose that the notable benefit many men have
  received from those cellars which have been well and strongly
  arched, will persuade most men, who build good houses, to practise
  that good husbandry, by arching all convenient places.

  We do declare, that Fleet Street, Cheapside, Cornhill, and all other
  eminent and notorious streets, shall be of such a breadth, as may,
  with God's blessing, prevent the mischief that one side may suffer
  if the other be on fire, which was the case lately in Cheapside; the
  precise breadth of which several streets shall be, upon advice with
  the lord mayor and aldermen, shortly published, with many other
  particular orders and rules, which cannot yet be adjusted: in the
  mean time we resolve, though all streets cannot be of all equal
  breadth, yet none shall be so narrow as to make the passage uneasy
  or inconvenient, especially towards the water-side; nor will we
  suffer any lanes or alleys to be erected, but where, upon mature
  deliberation, the same shall be found absolutely necessary; except
  such places shall be set aside, which shall be designed only for
  buildings of that kind, and from whence no public mischief may
  probably arise.

  The irreparable damage and loss by the late fire being, next to the
  hand of God in the terrible wind, to be imputed to the place in
  which it first broke out, amongst small timber houses standing so
  close together, that as no remedy could be applied from the river
  for the quenching thereof, to the contiguousness of the buildings
  hindering and keeping all possible relief from the land-side, we do
  resolve and declare, that there shall be a fair key or wharf on all
  the river-side; that no house shall be erected within so many feet
  of the river, as shall be within few days declared in the rules
  formerly mentioned; nor shall there be in those buildings which
  shall be erected next the river, which we desire may be fair
  structures, for the ornament of the city, any houses to be inhabited
  by brewers, or dyers, or sugar-bakers; which trades, by their
  continual smokes, contribute very much to the unhealthiness of the
  adjacent places; but we require the lord mayor and aldermen of
  London, upon a full consideration, and weighing all conveniences and
  inconveniences that can be foreseen, to propose such a place as may
  be fit for all those trades which are carried on by smoke to inhabit
  together, or at least several places for the several quarters of the
  town for those occupations, and in which they shall find their
  account in convenience and profit, as well as other places shall
  receive the benefit in the distance of the neighbourhood; it being
  our purpose, that they who exercise those necessary professions,
  shall be in all respects as well provided for and encouraged as ever
  they have been, and undergo as little prejudice as may be by being
  less inconvenient to their neighbours.

  In the mean time, we do heartily recommend it to the charity and
  magnanimity of all well-disposed persons, and we do heartily pray
  unto Almighty God, that he will infuse it into the hearts of men,
  speedily to endeavour by degrees to re-edify some of those many
  churches, which, in this lamentable fire, have been burned down and
  defaced; that so men may have those public places of God's worship
  to resort to, to humble themselves together before him upon this his
  heavy displeasure, and join in their devotion for his future mercy
  and blessing upon us; and, as soon as we shall be informed of any
  readiness to begin such a good work, we shall not only give our
  assistance and direction for the model of it, and freeing it from
  buildings at too near a distance, but shall encourage it by our own
  bounty, and all other ways we shall be desired.

  Lastly, that we may encourage men by our own example, we will use
  all the expedition we can to re-build our custom-house in the place
  where it formerly stood, and enlarge it with the most conveniences
  for the merchants that can be devised; and, upon all the other lands
  which belong unto us, we shall depart with any thing of our own
  right and benefit, for the advancement of the public service and
  beauty of the city; and shall further remit, to all those who shall
  erect any buildings according to this declaration, all duties
  arising to us upon the hearth-money for the space of seven years.

  Given at our court at Whitehall the thirteenth day of September, one
  thousand six hundred and sixty-six, in the eighteenth year of our
  reign.



                 EVELYN'S PLANS FOR REBUILDING THE CITY
                                (1667).


After the Fire had demolished a considerable portion of the City, many
plans and suggestions were submitted for its reconstruction, and those
of Sir Christopher Wren and of John Evelyn were distinguished by their
excellence and thoroughness. The occasion offered a magnificent
opportunity for a wise and far-seeing scheme of town-planning, and the
ingenious ideas of Evelyn are particularly interesting in view of the
attention which is now being given to the subject.


   =Source.=—_London Restored_, quoted by Maitland, vol. i., p. 447.

  It might haply be thought fit to fill up, or at least give a partial
  level to some of the deepest valleys, holes and more sudden
  declivities within the City, for the more ease of commerce,
  carriages, coaches and people in the streets; and not a little for
  the more handsome ranging of the buildings: for instance, that from
  about the Fleet to Ludgate; which yet should be no more than might
  only afford a graceful and just ascent from thence up towards St.
  Paul's; the only spot in the whole city, where I would plant that
  ancient and venerable Cathedral again: but here is to be considered
  the Channel running thence through Holborn, which would be so
  enlarged, as not only to be preserved sweet (by scouring it through
  flood-gates into the Thames on all occasions) but commodious for the
  intercourse of considerable vessels thwart this portion of the town;
  and which therefore should be accordingly wharfed on both sides to
  the very key of the river, and made contiguous to the streets by
  bridges arched to a due level, as it might easily be contrived, (and
  with passage sufficient for lusty barges and lighters under them)
  were the valley so elevated as it is projected. There is only this
  care incumbent; that all foundations upon this new ground be
  searched to the old and more solid basis; from whence they may also
  store themselves with vaults and cellarage in abundance: The same
  might be considered in some sort from the descent of the hill
  towards Thames-Street, so as to come down upon the future key by a
  far less declivity, which would give those houses that should be
  built fronting to the river a more becoming aspect, and an easier
  footing to the ranges above them, which would peep over one another
  successively; with a far better grace, than those do at Genoa, where
  the ascent is too precipitious.

  These considerations and employments would greatly forward the
  prompt and natural disposal of the more useless and cumbersome
  rubbish; unless it might be thought more expedient (if there should
  not be sufficient for both) to design it rather towards the
  enlargement of a new and ample key; which I wish might run parallel
  from the very Tower to the Temple at least, and, if it were possible
  (without augmenting the rapidity of the stream) extend itself even
  as far as the very low-water mark; the basin by this means kept
  perpetually full, without Slub or annoyance, and to the infinite
  benefit and ease of access, like that of Constantinople, than which
  nothing could be imagined more noble: what fractions and confusions
  our ugly stairs, bridges and causeways make, and how dirty and nasty
  it is at every ebb, we are sufficiently sensible of; so as, next to
  the hellish smoke of the town, there is nothing doubtless which does
  more impair the health of its inhabitants....

  For the rest of those necessary evils, the brew-houses, bake-houses,
  dyers, salt, soap and sugar-boilers, chandlers, hat-makers,
  slaughter-houses, some sort of fish-mongers, etc. whose
  neighbourhood cannot be safe, (as I have elsewhere shewed, and a sad
  experience has confirmed) I hope his Majesty will now dispose of to
  some other parts about the river; towards Bow and Wandsworth on the
  water; Islington and about Spital-Fields, etc. The charge of
  bringing all their commodities into the City would be very
  inconsiderable, opposed to the peril of their being continued
  amongst the inhabitants, and the benefit of the carriage, which
  would employ a world of people, both by land and water, without the
  least prejudice.

  I suppose the Custom-house cannot be better situated than where it
  was, and as it may hold communication with the Tower: here might the
  Admiralty and Navy-Office be fitly placed.

  I have not forgotten the hospitals, public workhouses to employ the
  poor in, and prisons; which being built and re-endowed at the common
  charge, should be disposed of in convenient quarters of the City:
  the hospitals would become one of the principal streets: but the
  prisons, and tribunal for trial of criminal offenders, might be
  built (as of old) near some entrance of the City; about Newgate were
  a fitting place, as my plate represents it.

  The College of Physicians would be in one of the best parts of the
  town, encircled with an handsome Piazza for the dwelling of those
  learned persons, with the Chirurgeons, Apothecaries and Druggists in
  the streets about them; for I am greatly inclined to wish, that all
  of a mystery should be destined to their several quarters: those of
  the better sort of shop-keepers, who sell by retail, might be
  allotted to the sweetest and most eminent streets and piazzas: the
  artificers to the more ordinary houses, intermediate and narrower
  passages (for such will hardly be avoided) that the noise and
  tintamar of their instruments may be the less importunate: the
  taverns and victualling houses sprinkled amongst them, and built
  accordingly: but all these too, even the very meanest, should
  exactly respect uniformity, and be more substantially built than
  those in Covent-Garden, and other places; where once in twenty or
  thirty years they had need be built again, and therefore to be
  indulged a longer term.

  Spaces for ample courts, yards and gardens, even in the heart of the
  City there may be some to the principal houses, for state and
  refreshment; but with great reservation, because of the fractions
  they will make; and therefore rarely towards any principal street:
  and I hope it will please his Majesty to prescribe by a public and
  irreversible edict, that no houses whatsoever, may for the future
  presume to be erected, not only about this City, but all the Nation
  besides, within such a distance from magazines, places of public
  records and Churches, which should be preserved as sanctuaries.

  The gates and entries of the City, which are to be rebuilt, might be
  the subjects of handsome architecture, in form of triumphal arches,
  adorned with statues, relievo's and apposite inscriptions, as
  prefaces to the rest within, and should therefore by no means be
  obstructed by sheds, and ugly shops, or houses adhering to them: and
  I wish this reformation, and the infinite danger of their being
  continued, might extend to the demolishing those deformed buildings
  on London-Bridge; which not only endanger all the rest, but take
  away from the beauty of it, and indeed of the whole City near the
  Thames: instead of them, if there went a substantial baluster of
  iron, decorated with statues upon their pedestals at convenient
  distances, and the footway on each side, it would be exceedingly
  convenient; whilst, to secure the passengers by night, it might be
  guarded by responsible house-keepers in their turns: or, if they
  will need have shops, let them be built of solid stone, made narrow
  and very low, like to those upon the Rialto at Venice; but it were
  far better without them.



                 AN ACT CONCERNING THE STREETS (1671).


Such statutes as the following are particularly useful in enabling us to
understand in detail the conditions which governed matters of everyday
life in the City. The fact that certain proceedings are forbidden
implies that it was found necessary to issue the prohibition by reason
of the common occurrence of such proceedings. From this statute and from
similar sources we obtain the inevitable impression that the streets of
London during the seventeenth century must have been dangerous and
disagreeable places. These instructions, of course, were issued at a
time when special attention was being directed to the care of the city
from reasons of health and safety.

  I. Item, That hereafter all streets within this city, called, known,
  or set down to be High Streets, shall be paved round, or causeway
  fashion: and upon notice given to the commissioners of any defective
  pavements in any of the streets, lanes, and passages within this
  city and liberties, the same shall be forthwith made good and
  amended, unless by general consent some better expedient be found
  and published.

  II. That inasmuch as it hath been found by common experience that
  the paviours, to hide and cover their bad workmanship, have
  oftentimes spread and laid great quantities of gravel over their
  pavements, to greater charge of the persons setting them on work
  than was needful, and which, upon a sudden rain, did either choke
  the common sewers, or turn to dirt and mire in the streets;
  therefore the said paviours are required, that hereafter they do
  forbear to lay or spread any more gravel on the pavements than will
  only fill up the joints of their work, and cause the same to be
  swept and well rammed, and leave the pavements bare of gravel, and
  keep a regular method of paving, not paving one door higher than
  another, upon pain of paying five shillings for every complaint.

  III. That the breadth of six foot at the least from the foundation
  of the houses, in such of the said High Streets which shall be
  allowed to be posted, shall be paved by the inhabitants or owners
  with flat or broad stone for a foot passage; unless such parts
  thereof as shall lie before any gateway, which may be done with
  square rag by the said breadth of six feet, upon pain of paying five
  shillings for every week the same shall be omitted to be done after
  notice given.

  VIII. That the several inhabitants within this city and liberties,
  or their servants, do take care that the dirt, ashes, and soil of
  their houses be in readiness for the carmen, their agents, or
  servants, either by setting out the same over night in tubs, boxes,
  baskets, or other vessel, near and contiguous to their houses, or by
  bringing out the same within convenient time, before the hours for
  their departure as aforesaid.

  XIII. That the said carmen undertakers, their agents or servants,
  shall give notice of their being in the street with their tumbrels
  or cars by loudly knocking a wooden clapper, especially in courts,
  alleys, and other back passages, upon pain to forfeit three
  shillings and fourpence upon every complaint duly proved.

  XX. That no man shall cast or lay in the streets, lanes, or common
  passages, or channels within this city or liberties, any dogs, cats,
  inwards of beasts, cleaves of beasts feet, bones, horns, dregs or
  dross of ale or beer, or any noisome thing, upon pain of ten
  shillings for every offence.

  XXVI. That no artificer, labourer, or other person, shall make any
  stop or dam in any channel, nor shall slake any lime in the streets,
  lanes, or passages, upon pain to pay two shillings for every
  offence.

  XXVII. That no man shall feed any kine, goats, hogs, or any kind of
  poultry, in the open streets, upon pain to forfeit three shillings
  and fourpence for every offence.

  XXVIII. That no man shall cast into the ditches or sewers, grates or
  gullets of the city, any manner of carrion, stinking flesh, rotten
  oranges or onions, rubbish, dung, sand, gravel, or any other thing
  that may stop the course of the same, upon pain of forfeiting forty
  shillings for every offence.

  XXXI. That no tyler, bricklayer, or other person, do throw out of
  gutters, or off roofs or other parts of houses, any tyles, loam, or
  rubbish, into any street, lane, or common passage; but do bring down
  the same in baskets or trays; upon pain to forfeit three shillings
  and four pence for every offence.



                  A LORD MAYOR'S PROCLAMATION (1679).


Among documents relating to the City there are many of a similar nature
to the following proclamation. Many of the Mayors and Corporations
appear to have been of opinion that although they might be unable to
organise an efficient government of the City, which should definitely
prevent crime and disorder, at any rate they might draw up elaborate
codes of rules and instructions, as a manifestation of their earnestness
of purpose. Many of these rules and orders are proclaimed and enacted
over and over again; the precautions and the measures taken against the
flagrant evils which existed were very often utterly futile, and
improvement was extremely slow.


                             BY THE MAYOR.

  The Right Honourable the Lord Mayor having taken into his serious
  consideration the many dreadful afflictions which this City hath of
  late years suffered, by a raging plague, a most unheard-of devouring
  fire, and otherwise; and justly fearing that the same have been
  occasioned by the many heinous crying sins and provocations to the
  Divine Majesty: and his Lordship also considering the present
  dangers of greater mischiefs and misery which seem still to threaten
  this City, if the execution of the righteous judgments of God
  Almighty be not prevented by an universal timely repentance and
  reformation: he hath, therefore, thought it one duty of his office,
  being intrusted to take all possible care for the good government,
  peace and welfare of this City, first, to pray and persuade all and
  every the inhabitants thereof to reform, themselves and families,
  all sins and enormities whereof they know themselves to be guilty;
  and if neither the fear of the Great God, nor of his impending
  judgments, shall prevail upon them, he shall be obliged to let them
  know, that, as he is their Chief Magistrate, he ought not to bear
  the sword in vain; and therefore doth resolve, by God's grace, to
  take the assistance of his brethren the Aldermen, and to require the
  aid of all the Officers of this City in their several places, to
  punish and suppress, according to the laws of the land, and the good
  customs of this City, those scandalous and provoking sins which have
  of late increased and abounded amongst us, even without shame, to
  the dishonour of Christianity, and the scandal of the government of
  this City, heretofore so famous over the world for its piety,
  sobriety, and good order.

  To the end therefore that the laws may become a terror unto
  evil-doers, and that such, in whose hearts the fear of God, and the
  love of virtue, shall not prevail, being forewarned, may amend their
  lives for fear of punishment, his Lordship hath thought fit to
  remember them of several penalties provided by law against notorious
  offenders; as also of all Constables and Public Officers (who are to
  put the said laws in execution) of their duty therein.

  First, Every profane curser and swearer ought to be punished by the
  payment of twelve pence for every oath; and if the same cannot be
  levied upon the offenders goods, then he is to sit three hours in
  the stocks.

  Secondly, Every drunkard is to pay for the first offence five
  shillings; and in default thereof to sit six hours in the stocks,
  and for the second offence, to find sureties for his good behaviour,
  or to be committed to the common gaol; and the like punishment is to
  be inflicted upon all common haunters of ale-houses and taverns, and
  common gamesters, and persons justly suspected to live by any
  unlawful means, having no visible way to support themselves in their
  manner of living. And no person is to sit or continue tippling or
  drinking more than one hour, unless upon some extraordinary
  occasion, in any tavern, victualling-house, ale-house, or other
  tippling-house, upon the penalty of ten shillings for every offence
  upon the master of such house; and upon the person that shall so
  continue drinking, three shillings four pence....

  Fourthly, All persons using any unlawful exercises on the Lord's
  day, or tippling in taverns, inns or ale-houses, and coffee-houses,
  during divine service on that day, are to forfeit three shillings
  four pence for every offence, to be levied by distress, and where
  none can be had, to sit three hours in the stocks; and every
  vintner, innkeeper, or ale-house keeper that shall suffer any such
  drinking or tippling in his house, is to forfeit ten shillings for
  every offence; and no person may sit in the streets, with herbs,
  fruits, or other things, to expose them to sale, nor no hackney
  coachman may stand or ply in the streets on that day.

  And therefore all Constables and other Officers, whom it doth or may
  concern, are required, according to their oaths solemnly taken in
  that behalf, to take care for discovering and bringing to punishment
  whosoever shall offend in any of the premises; and for that end they
  are to enter into any suspected houses before mentioned to search
  for any such disorderly persons as shall be found misbehaving
  themselves, or doing contrary to the said laws, and to levy the
  penalties, and bring the offenders before some of his Majesties
  Justices of the Peace of this City, to be dealt withall according to
  law.

  And whereas there are other disorders of another nature, very
  dishonourable, and a great scandal to the government of this City,
  and very prejudicial to the trade and commerce of the same; his
  Lordship, therefore, is resolved by God's blessing, with the
  assistance of his brethren the Aldermen, to use his utmost endeavour
  to prevent the same, by putting in execution the good and wholesome
  laws in force for that purpose, with all strictness and severity;
  some of which he hath thought fit to enumerate, with the duties and
  penalties upon every Constable and other officer concerned therein.

  As first, the great resort of rogues, vagrants, idle persons, and
  common beggars, pestering and annoying the streets and common
  passages, and all places of public meetings and resort, against whom
  very good provision is made by the law, viz.

  That all such persons shall be openly whipped, and forthwith sent
  from parish to parish to the place where he or she was born, if
  known; if not, to the place where he or she last dwelt for the space
  of one year, to be set to work; or not being known, where he or she
  was born or dwelt, then to be sent to the parish where he or she
  last passed through without punishment.

  That every Constable that shall not do his best endeavour for the
  apprehension of such vagabond, rogue or sturdy beggar, and cause him
  or her to be punished or conveyed according to law, shall forfeit
  ten shillings for every default.

  Secondly, The not paving and cleansing of the streets: the
  redressing whereof being by a late act of Parliament put into
  Commissioners appointed by Common Council, his Lordship doth hereby
  recommend the same to the Deputies and Common Council of the several
  wards within this City, to use their utmost diligence in that
  affair, and especially to mind their respective Commissioners of the
  duty incumbent upon them, and of the daily damage which the City
  suffers by the neglect thereof. And his Lordship doth declare he
  will appear at the said Commission of Sewers as often as his more
  urgent occasions will give him leave, and doth expect such
  attendance of the other Commissioners as may render the act more
  effectual than hitherto it hath been.

  Thirdly, The neglect of the inhabitants of this City in hanging and
  keeping out their lights at the accustomed hours, according to the
  good and ancient usage of this City, and acts of Common Council in
  that behalf.

  Fourthly, the not setting and continuing the watches at such hours,
  and in such numbers, and in such sober and orderly manner in all
  other respects, as by the acts of Common Council in that behalf is
  directed and appointed.

  And his Lordship doth strictly require the Fellowship of Carmen to
  be very careful in the due observance of the good and wholesome
  rules and orders which have been made for their regulation: his
  Lordship intending severely to inflict the penalties imposed in
  default thereof.

  And to the end that no Constable or other Officers or Ministers of
  Justice may be any ways discouraged in their lawful, diligent, and
  vigorous prosecution of the premises, it is provided, that if they
  or any of them shall be resisted, in the just and lawful execution
  of their charge and duty, or in any wise affronted or abused, they
  shall be encouraged, maintained, and vindicated by the justice,
  order, and authority of his Lordship and the Court of Aldermen, and
  the offenders prosecuted and punished according to law.

  Dated at the Guildhall, London, the 29th day of November 1679, in
  the 31 year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord Charles the Second,
  by the grace of God, of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland,
  King, defender of the faith, etc.

                           GOD SAVE THE KING.



                        THE POPISH PANIC (1681).


The Monument, in commemoration of the Great Fire of 1666, was erected in
1671 near Pudding Lane, where the fire began, and the following
inscription was added in 1681. The suspicion, which was attached to the
Roman Catholics, of deliberately setting fire to the City was altogether
unreasonable and baseless, but the people who had listened to Titus
Oates were ready to believe anything, and the inscription is sufficient
indication of the prevalent feeling against Papists. It is referred to
by Pope—himself a Roman Catholic—in the lines:

             "Where London's column, pointing to the skies,
             Like a tall bully, lifts its head and lies."

The inscription was effaced during the reign of James II., was again
placed on the base of the column in the reign of William III., and was
finally removed in 1831.

  This Pillar was set vp in Perpetvall Remembrance of that most
  dreadful burning of this Protestant city, begun and carryed on by ye
  treachery and malice of ye Popish faction, in ye beginning of Septem
  in ye year of our Lord 1666, in order to ye carrying on their horrid
  Plott for extirpating the Protestant Religion and old English
  liberty, and the introducing Popery and Slavery.



                      POSTAL ARRANGEMENTS (1681).


The Government monopoly of Post Office business dates back to the reign
of James I., who appointed a Postmaster to have the "sole taking up,
sending, and conveying of all packets and letters concerning our service
or business to be despatched to foreign parts," others being forbidden
to convey letters; and our postal system was first really founded by an
Act of Parliament in 1656 "to settle the postage of England, Scotland,
and Ireland." It ordered the erection of one general post office, and
one officer styled the Postmaster-General of England and Comptroller of
the Post Office. Private individuals occasionally attempted to establish
postal services, and in 1680 William Dockwra set up a profitable penny
post for London. This, like Povey's halfpenny post in 1708, was
suppressed by a lawsuit, and the management and profits of the Post
Office were definitely attached to the Government.


        =Source.=—Delaunay's _Present State of London_, p. 345.

  This Office is now kept in Lombard Street, formerly in Bishopsgate
  Street; the profits of it are by Act of Parliament settled on his
  Royal Highness the Duke of York. But the King, by Letters Patents,
  under the Great Seal of England, constitutes the Postmaster General.

  From this General Office, letters and packets are despatched—


                             _On Mondays._

  To France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Flanders, Switzerland, Denmark,
  Kent, and the Downs.


                             _On Tuesdays._

  To Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Ireland, Scotland, and
  all parts of England and Wales.


                            _On Wednesdays._

  To all parts of Kent and the Downs.


                            _On Thursdays._

  To France, Spain, Italy, and all parts of England and Scotland.


                             _On Fridays._

  To Flanders, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Denmark Holland, Kent, and
  the Downs.


                            _On Saturdays._

  All parts of England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland.

  Letters are returned from all parts of England and Scotland,
  certainly every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; from Wales every
  Monday and Friday; and from Kent and the Downs every day; but from
  other parts more uncertainly, in regard of the sea.

  A letter containing a whole sheet of paper is convey'd 80 miles for
  2d., two sheets for 4d., and an ounce of letters for 8d., and so
  proportionably; a letter containing a sheet is conveyed above 80
  miles for 3d., two sheets for 6d., and every ounce of letters for
  12d. A sheet is conveyed to Dublin for 6d., two for 1^s/-, and an
  ounce of letters for 12d.

  This conveyance by post is done in so short a time, by night as well
  as by day, that every twenty-four hours the post goes 120 miles, and
  in five days an answer of a letter may be had from a place 300 miles
  distant from the writer.

  Moreover, if any gentleman desire to ride post, to any principal
  town of England, post-horses are always in readiness (taking no
  horse without the consent of his owner), which in other Kings'
  reigns was not duly observed; and only 3d. is demanded for every
  English mile, and for every stage to the post-boy, 4d. for
  conducting.

  Beside this excellent convenience of conveying letters, and men on
  horseback, there is of late such an admirable commodiousness both
  for men and women of better rank, to travel from London, and to
  almost all the villages near this great City, that the like hath not
  been known in the world, and that is by stage-coaches, wherein one
  may be transported to any place, sheltered from foul weather, and
  foul ways, free from endamaging one's health or body by hard
  jogging, or over-violent motion; and this not only at a low price,
  as about a 1^s/- for every 5 miles, but with such velocity and
  speed as that the posts in some foreign countries make not more
  miles in a day; for the stage-coaches, called the flying-coaches,
  make 40 or 50 miles in a day, as from London to Oxford or Cambridge,
  and that in the space of twelve hours, not counting the time for
  dining, setting forth not too early, nor coming in too late.



              LONDON AFTER JAMES II.'s ABDICATION (1688).


The citizens of London took a prominent part in the exciting events of
the years 1688-89. In no part of the country was there a stronger
anti-Popish feeling, and none of the believers and propagators of the
notorious Popish Plot of Titus Oates had been so conspicuous as the
Londoners. They took the lead in the demonstrations which attended the
issue of the famous trial of the seven Bishops, and were foremost in
suggesting the practicability of expelling James from the throne. As
soon as the King realised his danger, he sent for the Lord Mayor and the
Aldermen, and informed them of his determination to restore the City
Charter and privileges, which had been confiscated by Charles II. He
hoped by this to gain the powerful support of the citizens, who,
however, were not to be bought by this tardy act of justice. The Court
of Common Council sent an address to the Prince of Orange, promising him
a welcome reception; and the Corporation waited on him, on his arrival
in London, with an ardent address of congratulation.

The feelings of the mob, always fierce when roused by any unusual event,
appear to have led them to somewhat violent measures in their
expressions of hatred towards Roman Catholics. A similar panic, attended
by similar outbreaks, was witnessed in 1780, when proposals to grant
some relief to Papists caused the "Gordon Riots."


           =Source.=—_The London Mercury_, December 12, 1688.

  No sooner was the King's withdrawing known, but the mob consulted to
  wreak their vengeance on papists and popery; and last night began
  with pulling down and burning the new-built Mass-house near the
  arch, in Lincoln's Inn Fields: thence they went to Wild-house, the
  residence of the Spanish Ambassador, where they ransacked, destroyed
  and burnt all the ornamental and inside part of the chapel, some
  cartloads of choice books, manuscript, etc. And not content here,
  some villanous thieves and common rogues, no doubt, took this
  opportunity to mix with the youth, and they plunder'd the
  Ambassador's house of plate, jewels, money, rich goods, etc.: and
  also many other who had sent in there for shelter their money,
  plate, etc.: among which, one gentleman lost a trunk, in which was
  £800 in money, and a great quantity of plate. Thence they went to
  the Mass-house, at St. James's, near Smithfield, demolished it
  quite; from thence to Blackfriars near the Ditchside, where they
  destroyed Mr. Henry Hill's printing-house, spoiled his forms,
  letters, etc., and burnt 2 or 300 reams of paper, printed and
  unprinted: thence to the Mass-house in Bucklersbury and Lime-street,
  and there demolished and burnt as before: and this night they went
  to the Nuncio's, and other places at that end of the town; but
  finding the birds flown, and the bills on the door, they drew off:
  thence they went into the City, threatening to pull down all
  papists' houses, particularly one in Ivy Lane, and the market house
  upon Newgate Market, for no other reason but that one Burdet, a
  papist, was one of the farmers of the market; but by the prudence of
  the citizens and some of their trained bands, they were got off
  without mischief doing anywhere.

  Tuesday night last, and all Wednesday, the apprentices were busy in
  pulling down the chapels, and spoiling the houses of papists; they
  crying out the fire should not go out till the Prince of Orange came
  to town. There were thousands of them on Wednesday at the Spanish
  Ambassador's, they not leaving any wainscot withinside the house or
  chapel, taking away great quantities of plate, with much money,
  household goods and writings, verifying the old proverb "All's fish
  that came to the net." The spoil of the house was very great, divers
  papists having sent their goods in thither, as judging that the
  securest place.

  Then they went to the Lord Powis's great house in Lincoln's Inn
  Fields, wherein was a guard, and a bill upon the door, "This house
  is appointed for the Lord Delameer's quarters:" and some of the
  company crying, "Let it alone, the Lord Powis was against the
  Bishops going to the Tower," they offered no violence to it.

  Afterwards they marched down the Strand with oranges upon their
  sticks, crying for the Prince of Orange, and went to the Pope's
  Nuncio's, but finding a bill upon the door, "This house is to be
  let," they desisted. Lastly, they did some damage to the house of
  the resident of the Duke of Tuscany, in the Haymarket, carrying away
  some of his goods, when one Captain Douglas, coming thither with a
  company of trained bands to suppress them, a soldier, unadvisedly
  firing at the boys with ball, shot the Captain through the back, of
  which he lies languishing. They also went to the houses of the
  French and other Ambassadors, but finding them deserted and the
  landlords giving them money, they marched off.

  On Thursday, an order of the Lords coming forth, warning all persons
  to desist from pulling down any house, especially those of the
  Ambassadors, upon penalty of the utmost severity of the law to be
  inflicted on them: since which they have been very quiet.



                        LORD MAYOR'S DAY (1689).


The following passage indicates the good-will which existed between the
citizens and their new Sovereigns. The Lord Mayor invited their
Majesties to witness the festivities, and the King expressed his
satisfaction by knighting the sheriffs. Just before this the King had
allowed the Grocers' Company to choose him as their Master, and when,
some days after the pageant described below, some disaffected person
expressed his disapproval of these manifestations of cordiality between
the King and the City by cutting away the crown and sceptre from the
King's picture in the Guildhall, the Lord Mayor offered a reward of £500
for the discovery of the perpetrator. These civilities were preliminary
to the complete restoration of all the corporate rights of the citizens,
which had been seized by Charles II. The Act of 1690, declaring the
franchises, rights, and liberties of the City of London to be fully
restored, was the last of the long series of confirmations of these
treasured privileges.


             =Source.=—_London Gazette_, October 28, 1689.

  This day Sir Thomas Pilkington being continued Lord Mayor for the
  year ensuing was, according to custom, sworn before the Barons of
  the Exchequer, at Westminster, whither he went by water, accompanied
  by the Aldermen and the several companies, in their respective
  barges, adorned with flags and streamers; passing by Whitehall they
  paid their obeisance to their Majesties, who were in their apartment
  by the water-side. The river was covered with boats, and the noise
  of drums and trumpets, and several sorts of music, with the firing
  of great guns, and the repeated huzzas of such a multitude of
  people, afforded a very agreeable entertainment.

  And their Majesties, the Prince and Princess of Denmark, and the
  Lords spiritual and temporal and Commons assembled in Parliament,
  having been pleased to accept of an humble invitation from the Lord
  Mayor, Aldermen, and Common Council, to dine in the city on this
  day, about noon their Majesties came, attended by his Royal
  Highness, all the great officers of the Court, and a numerous train
  of nobility and gentry in their coaches, the militia of London and
  Westminster making a lane for them, the balconies all along their
  passage being richly hung with tapestry, and filled with spectators,
  and the people in great crowds expressing their joy with loud and
  continued acclamations. Their Majesties were pleased from a balcony
  prepared for them in Cheapside to see the show; which, for the great
  numbers of the citizens of the several guilds attending in their
  formalities, the full appearance of the artillery company, the rich
  adornment of the pageants, and hieroglyphical representations, and
  the splendour and good order of the whole proceeding, outdid all
  that has been heretofore seen in this city upon the like occasions;
  but that which deserves to be particularly mentioned was the royal
  city regiment of volunteer horse, which being richly and gallantly
  accoutred, and led by the Right Honourable the Earl of Monmouth,
  attended their Majesty's from Whitehall into the city.

  The cavalcade being passed by, the King and Queen were conducted by
  the two Sheriffs to the Guildhall, where their Majesties, both
  Houses of Parliament, the Privy Councillors, the Judges, the Ladies
  of the Bedchamber, and other ladies of the chiefest quality, dined
  at several tables; and the grandeur and magnificence of the
  entertainment was suitable to so august and extraordinary a
  presence. Their Majesties were extremely pleased, and as a mark
  thereof, the King conferred the honour of Knighthood upon
  Christopher Lithiullier and John Houblon, Esquires, the present
  Sheriffs, as also upon Edward Clark and Francis Child, two of the
  Aldermen.

  In the evening their Majesties returned to Whitehall with the same
  state they came. The militia again lined the streets, the city
  regiments as far as Temple-bar, and the red and blue regiments of
  Middlesex and Westminster from thence to Whitehall, the soldiers
  having, at convenient distances, lighted flambeaux in their hands;
  the houses were all illuminated, the bells ringing, and nothing was
  omitted through the whole course of this day's solemnity, either by
  the magistrates or people, that might show their respect or
  veneration, as well as their dutiful affection and loyalty to their
  Majesties, and the sense they have of the happiness they enjoy under
  their most benign and gracious government.



                         GAY'S "TRIVIA" (1716).


_Trivia_ was one of the earliest productions of John Gay, and although
its poetical merit is by no means conspicuous, it is one of the poet's
most notable productions, as a vivid description of the streets of
London two hundred years ago. The piece is too long to print in full,
but the extracts which are given are typical and representative of the
general style and matter of the poem.

         But when the swinging signs your ears offend
         With creaking noise, then rainy floods impend;
         Soon shall the kennels swell with rapid streams,
         And rush in muddy torrents to the Thames.
         The bookseller, whose shop's an open square,
         Forsees the tempest, and with early care
         Of learning strips the rails; the rowing crew,
         To tempt a fare, clothe all their tilts in blue;
         On hosier's poles depending stockings ty'd,
         Flag with the slacken'd gale from side to side;
         Church-monuments foretell the changing air,
         Then Niobe dissolves into a tear,
         And sweats with sacred grief; you'll hear the sounds
         Of whistling winds, ere kennels break their bounds;
         Ungrateful odours common-shores diffuse,
         And dropping vaults distil unwholesome dews,
         Ere the tiles rattle with the smoking shower,
         And spouts on heedless men their torrents pour.

           If cloth'd in black you tread the busy town,
         Or if distinguish'd by the reverend gown,
         Three trades avoid: oft in the mingling press
         The barber's apron soils the sable dress;
         Shun the perfumer's touch with cautious eye,
         Nor let the baker's step advance too nigh.
         Ye walkers too, that youthful colours wear,
         Three sullying trades avoid with equal care:
         The little chimney-sweeper skulks along,
         And marks with sooty stains the heedless throng;
         When small-coal murmurs in the hoarser throat,
         From smutty dangers guard thy threaten'd coat;
         The dustman's cart offends thy clothes and eyes,
         When through the street a cloud of ashes flies;
         But, whether black or lighter dyes are worn,
         The chandler's basket, on his shoulder borne,
         With tallow spots thy coat; resign the way,
         To shun the surly butcher's greasy tray.

           If drawn by business to a street unknown,
         Let the sworn porter point thee through the town;
         Be sure observe the signs, for signs remain,
         Like faithful landmarks, to the walking train.
         Seek not from 'prentices to learn the way,
         Those fabling boys will turn thy steps astray;
         Ask the grave tradesmen to direct thee right,
         He ne'er deceives—but when he profits by't.

           O bear me to the paths of fair Pall-mall!
         Safe are thy pavements, grateful is thy smell!
         At distance rolls along the gilded coach,
         Nor sturdy carmen on thy walks encroach;
         No lets would bar thy ways were chairs deny'd,
         The soft supports of laziness and pride:
         Shops breathe perfumes, through sashes ribbons glow,
         The mutual arms of ladies and the beau.
         Yet still e'en here, when rains the passage hide,
         Oft the loose stone spirts up a muddy tide
         Beneath thy careless foot; and from on high,
         Where masons mount the ladder, fragments fly,
         Mortar and crumbled lime in showers descend,
         And o'er thy head destructive tiles impend.

           Where Covent-garden's famous temple stands,
         That boasts the work of Jones' immortal hands;
         Columns with plain magnificence appear,
         And graceful porches lead along the square:
         Here oft my course I bend; when, lo! from far
         I spy the furies of the foot-ball war:
         The 'prentice quits his shop, to join the crew,
         Increasing crowds the flying game pursue.
         Thus, as you roll the ball o'er snowy ground,
         The gathering globe augments with every round.
         But whither shall I run? the throng draws nigh,
         The ball now skims the street, now soars on high:
         The dext'rous glazier strong returns the bound,
         And jingling sashes on the pent-house sound.

           Where Lincoln's-inn, wide space, is rail'd around,
         Cross not with venturous step; there oft is found
         The lurking thief, who, while the daylight shone,
         Made the walls echo with his begging tone:
         That crutch, which late compassion mov'd, shall wound
         Thy bleeding head, and fell thee to the ground.
         Though thou art tempted by the link-man's call,
         Yet trust him not along the lonely wall;
         In the mid-way he'll quench the flaming brand,
         And share the booty with the pilfering band.
         Still keep the public streets, where oily rays,
         Shot from the crystal lamp, o'erspread the ways.



                      THE SOUTH SEA BUBBLE (1720).


The scenes in 'Change Alley during the period of the rise and fall of
South Sea Company shares have often been described. The mad spirit of
speculation which seized all classes alike, the foolish and unreasoning
belief in the possibility of realising fabulous wealth, the floating of
innumerable companies, many of which were of a most absurd character,
the panic which followed inevitably on the inflation of prices—all these
things were witnessed in London, the centre of the financial affairs of
the nation. There was great indignation against the Ministers and
directors who had made large profits, and a parliamentary inquiry
disclosed the fact that there had been bribery and corruption on an
extensive scale. The distracting effect of events of this kind was
extremely injurious to the City, and the attitude of the citizens is set
forth in their petition to the House of Commons.


     =Source.=—_The Journal of Common Council_, quoted by Maitland,
                            vol. i., p. 530.

  Your petitioners beg leave to return their most humble thanks to
  this honourable House for the great pains they have taken to relieve
  the unhappy sufferers, by compelling the offenders to make
  restitution; as likewise for their continued application to lay open
  this whole scene of guilt, notwithstanding the industrious artifices
  of such sharers in the common plunder, as have endeavoured to
  obstruct the detection of fraud and corruption. And your petitioners
  doubt not, but the same fortitude, impartiality and public spirit
  wherewith this Honourable House have hitherto acted, will still
  animate them in the pursuit of those truly great and noble ends.

  We are too sensible of the load of public debts, not to wish that
  all proper methods may be taken to lessen them: and it is an
  infinite concern to us, that the payment of a great sum towards them
  (which was expected from the late scheme) is now rendered extremely
  difficult, if not impracticable; and yet, as a cloud, hanging over
  the heads of the present unfortunate proprietors of the South-Sea
  Company, and a great damp to public credit. We will not presume to
  mention in what manner relief may be given in this arduous affair;
  but most humbly submit it to the consideration of this Honourable
  House. Your petitioners therefore most humbly pray this Honourable
  House will be pleased to take such farther measures as they, in
  their great wisdom, shall judge proper, that trade may flourish,
  public credit be restored, and justice done to an injured people.



                 DEFOE'S DESCRIPTION OF LONDON (1725).


This account of the capital is useful, as indicating its extent and
dimensions two centuries ago. Defoe was an accurate observer, and had
noticed the rapid expansion which had taken place even during his own
day. As trade and commerce increased, the boundaries of London were
extended farther and farther, and it would appear that the questions
with which this extract concludes are as far from being answered as they
were when Defoe asked them.


     =Source.=—_A Tour through the Whole Island of Great Britain_,
                    1724-1727, vol. ii., pp. 94-97.

  _London_, as a City only, and as its Walls and Liberties live it
  out, might, indeed, be viewed in a small Compass; but, when I speak
  of _London_, now in the Modern Acceptation, you expect I shall take
  in all that vast Mass of Buildings, reaching from _Black Wall_ in
  the _East_ to _Tothill Fields_ in the _West_; and extended in an
  unequal Breadth, from the Bridge, or River, on the _South_, to
  _Islington North_; and from _Peterburgh House_ on the Bank Side in
  _Westminster_, to _Cavendish Square_, and all the new Buildings by,
  and beyond _Hanover Square_, by which the City of _London_, for so
  it is still to be called, is extended to _Hyde Park Corner_ in the
  _Brentford Road_, and almost to _Maribone_ in the _Acton Road_, and
  how much farther may it spread, who knows? New Squares, and new
  Streets rising up every Day to such a Prodigy of Buildings, that
  nothing in the world does, or ever did, equal it, except old _Rome_
  in _Trajan's_ time, when the walls were Fifty Miles in Compass, and
  the Number of Inhabitants Six Millions Eight Hundred Thousand Souls.

  It is the Disaster of _London_, as to the Beauty of its Figure, that
  it is thus stretched out in Buildings, just at the pleasure of every
  Builder, or Undertaker of Buildings, and as the Convenience of the
  People directs, whether for Trade, or otherwise; and this has spread
  the Face of it in a most straggling, confus'd Manner, out of all
  Shape, uncompact, and unequal; neither long nor broad, round or
  square; whereas the City of _Rome_, though a monster for its
  Greatness, yet was, in a manner, round, with very few Irregularities
  in its Shape.

  At _London_, including the Buildings on both Sides the Water, one
  sees it, in some Places, Three Miles broad, as from _St. George's_
  in _Southwark_, to _Shoreditch_ in _Middlesex_; or Two Miles, as
  from _Peterburgh House_ to _Montague House_; and in some Places, not
  half a Mile, as in _Wapping_; and much less, as in _Redriff_
  [Rotherhithe].

  We see several Villages, formerly standing, as it were, in the
  County and at a great Distance, now joyn'd to the Streets by
  continued Buildings, and more making haste to meet in the like
  Manner; for Example, 1. _Deptford_, This Town was formerly reckoned
  at least Two Miles off from _Redriff_, and that over the Marshes
  too, a Place unlikely ever to be inhabited; and yet now, by the
  Encrease of Buildings in that Town itself, and by the Docks and
  Buildings-Yard on the River Side, which stand between both the Town
  of _Deptford_, and the Streets of _Redriff_ (or Rotherhith as they
  write it) are effectually joyn'd, and the Buildings daily
  increasing; so that _Deptford_ is no more a separated Town, but is
  become a Part of the great Mass, and infinitely full of People also;
  Here they have, within the last Two or Three Years, built a fine new
  Church, and were the Town of Deptford now separated, and rated by
  itself, I believe it contains more People, and stands upon more
  Ground, than the City of _Wells_.

  The Town of _Islington_ on the _North_ side of the City, is in like
  Manner joyn'd to the Streets of _London_, excepting one small Field,
  and which is in itself so small, that there is no Doubt, but in a
  very few years, they will be intirely joyn'd, and the same may be
  said of _Mile-End_, on the _East_ End of the Town.

  _Newington_, called _Newington Butts_, in _Surrey_, reaches out her
  Hand _North_, and is so near joining to _Southwark_, that it cannot
  now be properly called a Town by itself, but a Suburb to the
  Burrough, and if, _as they now tell us is undertaken_, _St. George's
  Fields_ should be built with Squares and Streets, a very little Time
  will shew us _Newington_, _Lambeth_, and the _Burrough_, all making
  but one _Southwark_.

  Westminster is in a fair Way to shake Hands with Chelsea, as _St.
  Gyles's_ is with _Marybone_; and Great _Russel_ Street by _Montague
  House_, with _Tottenham Court_: all this is very evident, and yet
  all these put together are still to be called _London_: Whither will
  this monstrous City then extend? and where must a Circumvallation or
  Communication Line of it be placed?



               A PETITION AGAINST THE EXCISE BILL (1733).


The equitable distribution of taxation is a problem which no financial
minister has ever solved to the satisfaction of all the interests in the
country, and Walpole, one of the ablest of financiers, was unable to
effect an adjustment of the burden which would please everybody. In the
reign of William III. a land-tax had been imposed to meet the expenses
of the French war, and this was alleged to press heavily and unfairly on
the country gentry, who demanded that the wealthy trading interests
should pay more. Walpole tried a salt-tax, which, of course, was very
hard on the poorer classes; and in 1733 he proposed to turn the Customs
levied at the ports on wine and tobacco into an excise levied on these
articles in the possession of the traders. His reason was that owing to
the prevalence of smuggling the Customs did not produce as much as they
ought, and he thought that the excise duties would be more efficiently
collected. The proposal was violently opposed; it was stated that the
necessary inspection of warehouses was a violation of liberty, and
Walpole was forced to give way. The citizens of London shared the
general hatred of the measure, and set forth their reasons in a petition
to the House of Commons.


        =Source.=—Document quoted by Maitland, vol. i., p. 560.

  Your petitioners observe in the votes of this Honourable House, that
  a Bill has been brought in, pursuant to the resolutions of the
  sixteenth day of March, for repealing several subsidies, and an
  impost now payable on tobacco of the British plantations, and for
  granting an Inland-duty in lieu thereof.

  That they presume therefore, in all humility, by a respectful
  application to this Honourable House, to express, as they have
  already done in some measure by their representation to their
  members, the universal sense of the City of London, concerning any
  further extension of the laws of excise.

  That the burden of taxes already imposed on every branch of trade,
  however cheerfully borne, is severely felt; but that your
  petitioners apprehend this burden will grow too heavy to be borne,
  if it be increased by such vexatious and oppressive methods of
  levying and collecting the duties, as they are assured, by
  melancholy experience, that the nature of all Excises must
  necessarily produce.

  That the merchants, tradesmen, and manufacturers of this Kingdom
  have supported themselves under the pressure of the excise-laws now
  in force, by the comfortable and reasonable expectation, that laws,
  which nothing but public necessity could be a motive to enact, would
  be repealed in favour of the trade of the nation, and of the liberty
  of the subject, whenever that motive should be removed, as your
  petitioners presume it effectually is, by an undisturbed
  tranquillity at home, and a general peace so firmly established
  abroad.

  That, if this expectation be entirely taken away; if the Excise
  laws, instead of being repealed, are extended to other species of
  merchandizes not yet excised, and a door opened for extending them
  to all; your petitioners cannot, in justice to themselves, to the
  merchants, tradesmen, and manufacturers of the whole kingdom, and to
  the general interest of their country, conceal their apprehensions,
  that the most fatal blow which ever was given, will be given on this
  occasion to the trade and navigation of Great Britain; that great
  spring, from which the wealth and prosperity of the public flow,
  will be obstructed; the mercantile part of the nation will become
  not only less able to trade to advantage, but unwilling to trade at
  all; for no person, who can enjoy all the privileges of a British
  subject out of trade, even with a small fortune, will voluntarily
  renounce some of the most valuable of those privileges, by
  subjecting himself to the laws of excise.

  That your petitioners are able to shew, that these their
  apprehensions are founded both on experience and reason; and
  therefore your petitioners most humbly pray, That this Honourable
  House will be pleased to hear them by their Counsel against the said
  bill.



                         LONDON STREETS (1741).


We have abundant evidence from many sources as to the deplorable
condition of the streets of London down to comparatively recent times.
It is somewhat surprising that this neglect should continue, while the
danger was thoroughly understood. In the days of the Plague, John Evelyn
was fully aware of the horrible conditions, and strongly inveighed
against the nuisances of smoke and dirt. It was recognised that the
existence of these filthy conditions had contributed to the spread of
the Plague, and that there was an ever-present danger so long as these
conditions remained; and yet, in spite of this knowledge, we find it
possible for an indictment such as this to be made as late as 1741:


      =Source.=—Speech by Lord Tyrconnel, January 27, 1741, quoted
                     by Maitland, vol. i., p. 593.

  The filth, Sir, of some parts of the town, and the inequality and
  ruggedness of others, cannot but in the eyes of foreigners disgrace
  our nation, and incline them to imagine us a people, not only
  without delicacy, but without Government—a herd of barbarians, or a
  colony of Hottentots. The most disgusting part of the character
  given by travellers, of the most savage nations, is their neglect of
  cleanliness, of which, perhaps, no part of the world affords more
  proofs than the streets of London, a city famous for wealth,
  commerce, and plenty, and for every other kind of civility and
  politeness; but which abounds with such heaps of filth, as a savage
  would look on with amazement. If that be allowed, which is generally
  believed, that putrefaction and stench are causes of pestilential
  distempers, the removal of this grievance may be pressed from
  motives of far greater weight than those of delicacy and pleasure;
  and I might solicit the timely care of this assembly, for the
  preservation of innumerable multitudes; and intreat those who are
  watching against slight misfortunes, to unite their endeavours with
  mine, to avert the greatest and most dreadful calamities.

  Not to dwell, Sir, upon dangers which may perhaps be thought only
  imaginary, I hope that it will be at least considered how much the
  present neglect of the pavement is detrimental to every carriage,
  whether of trade or pleasure, or convenience; and that those who
  have allowed so much of their attentions to petitions relating to
  the roads of the kingdom, the repair of some of which is almost
  every session thought of importance sufficient enough to produce
  debates in this House, will not think the streets of the capital
  alone unworthy of their regard. That the present neglect of
  cleansing and paving the streets is such as ought not to be borne;
  that the passenger is everywhere either surprised and endangered by
  unexpected chasms, or offended and obstructed by mountains of filth,
  is well known to everyone that has passed a single day in this great
  City; and, that this great grievance is without a remedy, is a
  sufficient proof that no magistrate has, at present, power to remove
  it; for every man's private regard to his own ease and safety would
  incite him to exert his authority on this occasion.



                  THE LOYALTY OF THE LONDON MERCHANTS
                                (1743).


The position of the mercantile interests on occasions of political or
dynastic complications is made quite clear by the following letter. The
merchants of London were in no way influenced by the sentimental or
other considerations which induced a number of Englishmen to support a
Stuart Pretender at a time when the country had experienced half a
century of steady and prosperous government, free from the difficulties
which had always been associated with the Stuart monarchs; and the
protestations of personal loyalty to George II. may be understood to
signify a determination to adhere to the established system of
aristocratic government, and to run no risk of a return to the
disturbances and distractions which marked the seventeenth century.


        =Source.=—Document quoted by Maitland, vol. i., p. 634.

  We, your Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the merchants of
  your City of London, having observed, by your Majesty's most
  gracious message to your parliament, that designs are carrying on by
  your Majesty's enemies, in favour of a popish pretender, to disturb
  the peace and quiet of these your Majesty's kingdoms, think it our
  indispensable duty, not to omit this opportunity of expressing our
  just resentment and indignation at so rash an attempt.

  We have too lively a sense of the happiness we enjoy in our religion
  and liberties under your Majesty's mild and auspicious reign, and of
  the flourishing condition of our trade and commerce, even in the
  midst of war, under your paternal care and vigilance, not to give
  your Majesty the strongest assurance of our highest gratitude for
  such invaluable blessings; nor can we doubt, but by the blessing of
  God upon your Majesty's arms, and the unanimous support of your
  faithful subjects, the attempts of your enemies will recoil upon
  themselves, and end in their own confusion.

  We therefore humbly beg leave to declare to your Majesty our
  unshaken resolution, that we will, on this critical conjuncture,
  exert our utmost endeavours for the support of public credit, and at
  all times hazard our lives and fortunes, in defence of your
  Majesty's sacred person and government, and for the security of the
  protestant succession in your Royal Family.



                        THE GORDON RIOTS (1780).


The Gordon Riots were the most formidable popular rising of the
eighteenth century. In 1778 a Bill, brought forward by Sir George
Savile, for the relaxation of some of the harsher penal laws against
Catholics, passed almost unanimously through both Houses. Protestant
associations were formed in Scotland; a leader was found in Lord George
Gordon, a silly young man of twenty-eight years of age, and the
agitation spread to England. Mobs collected in London, and interfered
with the House of Commons; as they realised their strength, they
proceeded to various excesses, destroying Catholic churches and the
houses of prominent Romanists. The original objects of the agitation
were entirely lost sight of in the disturbances, which were merely the
unreasoning ravages of a wild mob. For five days the City was terrorised
by the rioters, who were at length dispersed by the military
authorities.


                 =Source.=—Boswell's _Life of Johnson_.

  While Johnson was thus engaged in preparing a delightful literary
  entertainment for the world, the tranquillity of the metropolis of
  Great Britain was unexpectedly disturbed by the most horrid series
  of outrages that ever disgraced a civilised country. A relaxation of
  some of the severe penal provisions against our fellow subjects of
  the Catholic communion had been granted by the legislature, with an
  opposition so inconsiderable, that the genuine mildness of
  Christianity, united with liberal policy, seemed to have become
  general in this island. But a dark and malignant spirit of
  persecution soon showed itself, in an unworthy petition for the
  repeal of the wise and humane statute. That petition was brought
  forward by a mob, with the evident purpose of intimidation, and was
  justly rejected. But the attempt was accompanied and followed by
  such daring violence as is unexampled in history. Of this
  extraordinary tumult, Dr. Johnson has given the following concise,
  lively, and just account in his "Letter to Mrs. Thrale."

  "On Friday, the good Protestants met in Saint George's-Fields, at
  the summons of Lord George Gordon, and marching to Westminster,
  insulted the Lords and Commons, who all bore it with great tameness.
  At night the outrages began by the demolition of the Mass-house by
  Lincoln's Inn. An exact journal of a week's defiance of government I
  cannot give you. On Monday, Mr. Strahan, who had been insulted,
  spoke to Lord Mansfield (who had, I think, been insulted too) of the
  licentiousness of the populace; and his lordship treated it as a
  very slight irregularity. On Tuesday night they pulled down
  Fielding's house, and burnt his goods in the street. They had
  gutted, on Monday, Sir George Savile's house, but the building was
  saved. On Tuesday evening, leaving Fielding's ruins, they went to
  Newgate to demand their companions, who had been seized demolishing
  the chapel. The keeper could not release them but by the Mayor's
  permission, which he went to ask; at his return he found all the
  prisoners released, and Newgate in a blaze. They then went to
  Bloomsbury, and fastened upon Lord Mansfield's house, which they
  pulled down; and as for his goods, they totally burnt them. They
  have since gone to Caenwood, but a guard was there before them. They
  plundered some Papists, I think, and burnt a mass-house in
  Moorfields the same night.

  "On Wednesday I walked with Dr. Scot to look at Newgate, and found
  it in ruins, with the fire yet glowing. As I went by, the
  Protestants were plundering the Sessions House at the Old Bailey.
  There were not, I believe, a hundred; but they did their work at
  leisure, in full security, without sentinels, without trepidation,
  as men lawfully employed in full day. Such is the cowardice of a
  commercial place. On Wednesday they broke open the Fleet, and the
  King's Bench, and the Marshalsea, and Wood St. Compter, and
  Clerkenwell Bridewell, and released all the prisoners.

  "At night they set fire to the Fleet, and to the King's Bench, and I
  know not how many other places; and one might see the glare of
  conflagration fill the sky from many parts. The sight was dreadful.
  Some people were threatened. Mr. Strahan advised me to take care of
  myself. Such a time of terror you have been happy in not seeing.

  "The King said in Council 'that the magistrates had not done their
  duty, but that he would do his own'; and a proclamation was
  published directing us to keep our servants within doors, as the
  peace was now to be preserved by force. The soldiers were sent out
  to different parts, and the town is now (June 9) at quiet.

  "The soldiers are stationed so as to be everywhere within call:
  there is no longer any body of rioters, and the individuals are
  hunted to their holes, and led to prison; Lord George was last night
  sent to the Tower. Mr. John Wilkes was this day in my neighbourhood,
  to seize the publisher of a seditious paper.

  "Several chapels have been destroyed, and several inoffensive
  Papists have been plundered, but the high sport was to burn the
  gaols. This was a good rabble trick. The debtors and the criminals
  were all set at liberty; but of the criminals, as has always
  happened, many are already retaken; and two pirates have surrendered
  themselves, and it is expected that they will be pardoned.

  "Government now acts again with its proper force; and we are all
  under the protection of the King, and the law. I thought that it
  would be agreeable to you and my master to have my testimony to the
  public security; and that you would sleep more quietly when I told
  you that you were safe.

  "There has, indeed, been a universal panic, from which the King was
  the first that recovered. Without the concurrence of his ministers,
  or the assistance of the civil magistrates, he put the soldiers in
  motion, and saved the town from calamities, such as a rabble's
  government must naturally produce.

  "The public has escaped a very heavy calamity. The rioters attempted
  the Bank on Wednesday night, but in no great number; and, like other
  thieves, with no great resolution. Jack Wilkes headed the party that
  drove them away. It is agreed that if they had seized the Bank on
  Tuesday, at the height of the panic, when no resistance had been
  prepared, they might have carried irrecoverably away whatever they
  had found. Jack who was always zealous for order and decency,
  declares that if he be trusted with power, he will not leave a
  rioter alive. There is, however, now no longer any need of heroism
  or bloodshed; no blue riband is any longer worn.

  "Such was the end of this miserable sedition, from which London was
  delivered by the magnanimity of the Sovereign himself. Whatever some
  may maintain, I am satisfied that there was no combination or plan,
  either domestic or foreign; but that the mischief spread by a
  gradual contagion of frenzy, augmented by the quantities of
  fermented liquors, of which the deluded populace possessed
  themselves in the course of their depredations."



                      THE TRADE OF LONDON IN 1791.


The following account of London's trade at the end of the eighteenth
century is, of course, concerned with the manufacturing and commercial
activity of the whole country as well as with the particular work of
London; but the City was the chief port and centre of a trade which had
grown with marvellously rapid strides. The mechanical inventions in the
textile industries, the phenomenal growth of manufactures at this time,
the stimulus given to English trade by the disturbances on the
Continent, all assisted in an amazing development of commerce, of which
London was the centre.


                =Source.=—_The British Directory_, 1791.

  The commerce of the world being in perpetual fluctuation, we can
  never be too watchful, not only for preserving what we are now in
  possession of, but for availing ourselves of the mistakes or
  negligences of other nations, in order to acquire new branches of
  it. Who could have imagined, three hundred years ago, that those
  ports of the Levant, from whence, by means of the Venetians,
  England, and almost all the rest of Christendom, were supplied with
  the spices, drugs, etc., of India and China, should one day come
  themselves to be supplied with those very articles by the remote
  countries of England and Holland, at an easier rate than they were
  used to have them directly from the East; or that Venice should
  afterwards lose to Lisbon the lucrative trade of supplying the rest
  of Europe with them; or lastly, that Lisbon should afterwards lose
  the same to Amsterdam; or that Amsterdam and Haerlem should
  gradually lose, as in great part they have done, their famous and
  fine linen manufactures to Ireland and Scotland? At present, our
  woollen manufacture is the noblest in the universe; and second to it
  is our metallic manufacture of iron, steel, tin, copper, lead, and
  brass, which is supposed to employ upwards of half a million of
  people. Our unmanufactured wool alone, of one year's produce or
  growth, has been estimated to be worth two millions sterling; and,
  when manufactured, it is valued at six millions more, and is thought
  to employ upwards of a million of our people in its manufacture;
  whereas in former times all our wool was exported unmanufactured,
  and our own people remained unemployed. Even within the three last
  centuries, the whole rental or value of all the lands and houses in
  England did not exceed five millions; but by the spirited exertions
  of the City of London, seconded by the merchants of the principal
  trading towns in the country, the rental of England is now estimated
  at twenty millions per annum, or more; of which vast benefit our
  nobility, gentry, and landholders begin to be fully sensible, by the
  immense increase in the value or fee-simple of their lands, which
  has gradually kept pace with the increase and value of our
  commercial intercourse with foreign nations, of which the following
  are at present the most considerable:

  To Turkey we export woollen cloths, tin, lead, and iron, solely in
  our own shipping; and bring from thence raw silk, carpets, galls,
  and other dyeing ingredients, cotton, fruits, medicinal drugs, etc.

  To Italy we export woollen goods of various kinds, peltry, leather,
  lead, tin, fish, and East India merchandise; and bring back raw and
  thrown silk, wines, oil, soap, olives, oranges, lemons,
  pomegranates, dried fruits, colours, anchovies, etc.

  To Spain we send all kinds of woollen goods, leather, lead, tin,
  fish, corn, iron and brass manufactures, haberdashery wares,
  assortments of linen from Germany and elsewhere for her American
  colonies; and receive in return wines, oils, dried fruits, oranges,
  lemons, olives, wools, indigo, cochineal, and other dyeing drugs,
  colours, gold and silver coins, etc.

  To Portugal we mostly send the same kind of merchandise as to Spain;
  and make returns in vast quantities of wines, oils, salt, dried and
  moist fruits, dyer's ingredients, and gold coins.

  To France we export tobacco, lead, tin, flannels, horns, hardware,
  Manchester goods, etc., and sometimes great quantities of corn; and
  make our returns in wines, brandies, linens, cambrics, lace,
  velvets, brocades, etc. But as a commercial treaty has so lately
  taken place with France, added to the attention of its people being
  drawn off from trade, and almost wholly engrossed with the
  establishment of its late wonderful revolution, it is impossible to
  state the relative operations of this trade at present.

  To Flanders we send serges, flannels, tin, lead, sugars, and
  tobacco; and make returns in fine lace, linen, cambrics, etc.

  To Germany we send cloth and stuffs, tin, pewter, sugars, tobacco,
  and East India merchandise; and bring from thence linen, thread,
  goatskins, tinned plates, timbers for all uses, wines, and many
  other articles.

  To Norway we send tobacco and wollen stuffs; and bring from thence
  vast quantities of deals and other timber.

  To Sweden we send most of our home manufactures; and return with
  iron, timber, tar, copper, etc.

  To Russia we send great quantities of woollen cloths and stuffs,
  tin, lead, tobacco, diamonds, household furniture, etc.; and make
  returns in hemp, flax, linen, thread, furs, potash, iron, wax,
  tallow, etc.

  To Holland we send an immense quantity of different sorts of
  merchandise, such as all kinds of woollen goods, hides, corn, coals,
  East India and Turkey articles imported by those respective
  companies, tobacco, tar, sugar, rice, ginger, and other American
  productions; and return with fine linen, lace, cambrics, thread,
  tapes, madder, boards, drugs, whalebone, train-oil, toys, and
  various other articles of that country.

  To America we still send our home manufactures of almost every kind;
  and make our returns in tobacco, sugars, rice, ginger, indigo,
  drugs, logwood, timber, etc.

  To the coast of Guinea we send various sorts of coarse woollen and
  linen goods, iron, pewter, brass, and hardware manufactures,
  lead-shot, swords, knives, firearms, gunpowder, glass manufactures,
  etc.; and bring home vast numbers of negro slaves, and gold dust,
  dyeing and medicinal drugs, redwood, Guinea grains, ivory, etc.

  To Arabia, Persia, East Indies, and China we send much foreign
  silver coin and bullion, manufactures of lead, iron, and brass,
  woollen goods, etc.; and bring home muslins, and cottons of various
  kinds, calicoes, raw and wrought silk, chintz, teas, porcelain,
  coffee, gold-dust, saltpetre, and many drugs for dyer's and
  medicinal uses. These are exclusive of our trade to Ireland,
  Newfoundland, West Indies, and many other of our settlements and
  factories in different parts of the world, which likewise contribute
  an immense annual return.

  Our trade to the East Indies certainly contributes one of the most
  stupendous political as well as commercial machines that is to be
  met with in history. The trade itself is exclusive, and lodged in a
  company which has a temporary monopoly of it, in consideration of
  money advanced to the Government. Without entering into the history
  of the East India trade, within these twenty years past, and the
  Company's concerns in that country, it is sufficient to say, that,
  besides their settlements on the coast of India, which they enjoy
  under certain restrictions by Act of Parliament, they have, through
  the various internal revolutions which have happened in Indostan,
  and the ambition or avarice of their servants and officers, acquired
  such territorial possessions as render them the most formidable
  commercial republic (for so it may be called in its present
  situation) that has been known in the world since the demolition of
  Carthage. Their revenues are only known, and that but imperfectly,
  to the Directors of the Company, who are chosen by the proprietors
  of the stock; but it has been publicly affirmed that they amount
  annually to above three millions and a half sterling. The expenses
  of the Company in forts, fleets, and armies, for maintaining those
  acquisitions, are certainly very great; but after these are defrayed
  the Company not only cleared a vast sum but was able to pay to the
  Government £400,000 yearly for a certain time, partly by way of
  indemnification for the expenses of the public in protecting the
  Company, and partly as a tacit tribute for those possessions that
  are territorial and not commercial. This republic, therefore, cannot
  be said to be independent, and it is hard to say what form it may
  take when the term of its charter is expired, which will be in the
  year 1794. At present it appears to be the intention of Government
  that its exclusive commercial privileges shall then finally cease,
  and no new charter be granted.

              BILLING AND SONS, LTD., PRINTERS, GUILDFORD.



                          TRANSCRIBER'S NOTES


 1. Silently corrected simple spelling, grammar, and typographical
    errors.
 2. Retained anachronistic and non-standard spellings as printed.
 3. Enclosed italics font in _underscores_.
 4. Enclosed bold font in =equals=.





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