I. 99. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Treasurer, (fn. 1)
acknowledging the receipt of his letter, commending to the Court of
Aldermen the cause of Naylor and Smith, who had been prevented
from proceeding with certain buildings, not, as they had informed him,
for the size of the timber used by them, but on account of the increase
of new buildings which had been erected for harbouring of poor and
roguish persons, whereby the City had been greatly burdened with
provision, and the commonweal annoyed by such persons. The
matter had been brought by the City before the Council, who had
thought it desirable that the whole subject should be submitted to
Parliament for redress.
I. 353. Letter from Jeamys Crofte (fn. 2) and Sir Francis Walsingham
to the Lord Mayor and Aldermen, reciting the Queen's Proclamation
dated at Nonsuch, (fn. 3) the 8th of July, in the 22nd year of her reign,
commanding all persons to forbear from any new building within
three miles from any of the gates of the City of London, and stating
they were informed that Richard Woodrof had obtained a lease
from William Chambers, Gent., of a piece of ground with buildings
thereupon, in Gunpowder Alley, alias Crown Court, within the City.
The interest in the lease had been conveyed to Thomas Conie, who
had entered into bonds with a great penalty, over and besides the
forfeiture of his lease, to re-edify the building within certain years,
nearly expired, but which the City, by virtue of the said Proclamation,
had prohibited under a penalty of 20l. to the Chamber of London.
They request that he may be suffered to complete the building,
which had been commenced before the issue of the proclamation.
12th June, 1582.
I. 495. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor
and Aldermen, directing their attention to the Queen's proclamation
prohibiting new buildings in and about the City, which gave power to
the Lord Mayor and Aldermen to prevent the same, but which had
been so ineffectually carried out, that buildings had greatly increased
within the City and liberties, to the danger of pestilence and riot; and
directing that steps should be at once taken to find out the number of
houses erected, and by whom, and to certify the same to the Council,
in order that the persons might be called before the Star Chamber, (fn. 4)
and to take into custody the workmen refusing to obey the said
Proclamation, and commit them to close prison, certifying their names
to the Council.
8th April, 1583.
I. 496. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Treasurer in
reply, stating that the Court of Aldermen had taken steps to ascertain
the number of houses erected contrary to the Proclamation; that they
understood from his Lordship, they were not to include any erected
in the late dissolved monasteries and such other places, pretending
exemption from the City's liberties, but that the same should rather
be done by the Justices, of Middlesex, as parcel of that county, and
informing his Lordship that, by the Charters of Her Majesty's progenitors, the Mayor of the City for the time being, and the Aldermen
who had passed the Chair, with the Recorder, were Justices of the Peace
for the County of the City of London and the suburbs thereof, in as
ample a manner as any other Justices of Peace in other counties of
the realm; that in like cases of certificate it had been the custom to
make return of all places as well within the liberties as without, without the intervention of foreign Justices; that these places being in the
heart of the City, and being daily filled with a great multitude of
people of the meaner sort, it would greatly prejudice the citizens, if
they should be delivered from their authority. They therefore
requested his Lordship to sanction their proceeding in this certificate.
I. 514. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor,
complaining of the number of new buildings and the dividing of
single tenements within the City and suburbs, contrary to Her
Majesty's Proclamation. It had been thought desirable to proceed
against every person so offending, to which end the head officers of
the City should be commanded to examine the former presentments,
and make a new inquisition upon the oaths of indifferent persons;
if the parties so charged did not make reformation, the presentment should be engrossed and returned to the Council or to the
Attorney-General before the next term, so that the offenders might be
called before the Star Chamber, to the end that those persons only
should be changed who were culpable. The Council further direct
that due inquiry should be made by a jury who should hear what
answer they might make in their defence, and, if unable to
justify their default, bond should be taken for their appearance
personally before the Star Chamber, the first day in the next term;
if they refused to give bond, they should be committed to prison.
If any buildings begun before the issue of the Proclamation should
be found an annoyance to Her Majesty's subjects, due inquisition
should be made thereof, so that proceeding might be taken against
them according to the Common Law.
21st June, 1583.
II. 17. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor,
directing steps to be taken to prevent the erecting and overcrowding
of small tenements within the City, and that the Aldermen and
their deputies in the various wards should make search, and in cases
of overcrowding, remove the inmates, according to the statute (fn. 5) lately
passed for that purpose.
5th October, 1593.
II. 149. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council,
upon the complaint of Baptist Hicks, against William Priestley, for
erecting a building in Bread Street, to the annoyance of his neighbours; and recommeding that the matter in dispute be referred to
9th March, 1595.
II. 190. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor and Aldermen, requiring them to put into execution Her
Majesty's late Proclamation against the erection of new buildings,
and divided tenements, and for committing to prison all persons found
transgressing the Proclamation.
11th July, 1602.
II. 261. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the
Council, with a return, as ordered by them, of the new buildings lately
erected, and now being erected in the City and suburbs, contrary to
the order of their Lordships and the Star Chamber.
25th March, 1606.
II. 263. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the
Council, reporting the examination into a cause concerning the
repairing and altering of an ancient brew-house in Southwark, by
Nicholas Park, into several small tenements, contrary to the orders of
the Board, and recommending that he should be allowed to divide
it into not more than three tenements, but that this should not be
drawn into a precedent.
II. 272. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord High Treasurer
(the Earl Dorset) (fn. 6) acknowledging the receipt of a letter from him
concerning a building erected by Humphrey Hall, prejudicial to the
Common Hall of the Innholders, (fn. 7) and informing him that he had
ordered the four sworn viewers (fn. 8) to inspect the same; who reported
that it was built according to the custom of the City, &c.
II. 343. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Countess Dowager
of Derby, (fn. 9) in reply to a letter received from her on behalf of her
servant, George Pendleton, concerning a house which he had divided
into twenty-one tenements, to the danger of infection, and against the
Proclamation of His Majesty, informing her that, falthough he had
been frequently admonished, he still refused to reduce the tenements
to four, and that proceedings would be taken to compel him to
conform to the order.
10th February, 1608.
II. 354. Letter from the King (James I.) to the Lord Mayor
and Aldermen, congratulating them upon the care bestowed upon the
walks of Moorfields, (fn. 10) the re-edifying of Aldgate, and the reparation
of divers churches of the City; also calling their attention to the state
of the steeple of St. Paul's Cathedral, and offering the sum of 500l.,
as a free gift towards the works, if they would take them in hand;
and further appointing a commission to inquire into the expenditure
of the benevolences given towards the restoration of the Cathedral.
24th July (in the first year of his reign), 1603.
III. 57. Letter from the Lord Chancellor (Ellesmere (fn. 11) ) to the
Lord Mayor, enclosing a Petition presented to him by Sir Thomas
Panton, (fn. 12) complaining of a wrong offered to him by one Shackley,
a tailor in Fetter Lane, and also a Certificate by three of the four
sworn viewers of the City in his behalf, in which it was stated that the
building complained of was not only dangerous for fire, and otherwise
noisome and inconvenient, but expressly contrary to His Majesty's
Proclamation; and directing his special attention, firstly to the laudable
customs of the City, whereby none may erect new buildings to the
prejudice or annoyance of their neighbours by stopping or hindering
their lights or otherwise, and secondly, suggesting that if the intended
building were against the late Proclamation, it should be demolished,
and Shackley and his workmen punished for contempt.
York House, 29th July, 1612.
III. 176. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor and Court of Aldermen, informing them that, on account of
the mischiefs likely to ensue through the great increase of new
buildings and divided houses in and about the City, His Majesty
intended to take sharp measures for remedy thereof. He therefore
desired them to inform him of the number of new buildings erected
within the City since Michaelmas in the first year of his reign; what
new buildings had been erected on old foundations, and not with
brick according to his Proclamations; the names of the builders,
present owners, and tenants; the situation of such buildings and their
annual value; and also to certify what houses, since the same period,
had been divided, and by whom first; the owners and tenants of the
parts of the houses so divided; their situation and annual value;
what number of inmates, since the same period, had been harboured
in any house; by whom they were first received; the present owners
and tenants of such houses; their situation and annual value. All
which the Council required to be certified to them in writing, by the
10th of the November ensuing.
16th October, 1614.
IV. 85. Letter from Sir Francis Bacon, Lord Keeper, to the Lord
Mayor, enclosing Petition from John Halliwell, and requesting him to
hear the parties speedily, and take such steps for restraining or
proceeding with the building mentioned as the case should in justice
13th August, 1617.
The Petition of John Halliwell to the Lord Keeper is annexed.
It recites that he had been in possession (without molestation or claim)
of a tenement in Chancery Lane for thirty-three years, but that one
Elizabeth Chare, having sent her husband into the country, on purpose
to wrong the Petitioner, was erecting a tenement adjoining to his, and
had pulled down his walls and undermined the foundations of his
house; and it prays that she may be compelled to rebuild the same,
and be restrained from building till due and legal proceedings had
been had therein.
V. 41. Letter from the Commissioners for Buildings to the Lord
Mayor, stating that by continual experience they found it very difficult
to discover and prevent offences against His Majesty's Proclamations
for buildings, without the assistance of the Constables in their several
precincts. They had assembled before them the Constables of
Middlesex and Surrey, to whom they had distributed several Proclamations, showing that it was with the Constables as well as the Commissioners to restrain offenders; and they begged the Lord Mayor, as
a principal Magistrate and himself a Commissioner, to direct the distribution of the Proclamations enclosed among the several Constables
within the City and liberties, so that all manner of new erections contrary to the Proclamations might be stayed until the Commissioners were
satisfied with the mode of construction, &c.
23rd November, 1619.
V. 66. Letter from Sir Clement Edmonds (fn. 13) to the Lord Mayor,
stating that the King had commanded that the Surveyor of the City's
Works should attend the Lords of the Council at Whitehall, on the
following day. If the City had no such officer, the Lord Mayor was
to appoint a Surveyor to attend, when he would understand their
Lordships' further pleasure.
27th March, 1620.
V. 67. Letter from Sir Clement Edmonds to the Lord Mayor,
stating that upon information made to the King and Council of two
houses erected at the west gate of St. Paul's, one a victualling house
and the other a tobacco shop, a warrant for their removal against His
Majesty's coming to that church had been issued, which had been
duly executed. The Council had been informed that already some
sheds or shops were being erected near the same place, and the Dean
and Prebends had that day complained before them that they were
unable to give order in the matter without the authority and assistance of a Civil Magistrate. The Lord Mayor would therefore do well
to make a speedy stay of such shops and sheds, and bind over the
owners and workmen to answer their contempt before the Council.
28th March, 1620.
V. 78. Letter from the Commissioners for Buildings to the Lord
Mayor, similar in effect to No. 41.
22nd July, 1620.
V. 113. Letter from the King to the Commissioners for Buildings
in and about the City of London, stating that, both by his own eyes
and information from others, he found the boldness of people increased
in attempting to frustrate that so glorious a work of building so well
begun, and so honourable to himself and beneficial to his people. He
therefore commanded the Commissioners with all diligence to
endeavour to meet with such attempts, to take steps to suppress the
abuses, and punish the offenders. He had directed the Privy Council
to aid them with their authority if required, and the Attorney-General
to inform in the Star Chamber against such offenders as the Commissioners desired to be made examples.
Theobalds, 21st September, 1621.
VII. 76. Petition from............ to the Lords of the Council, complaining of the multitude of newly erected tenements in Westminster, the
Strand, Covent Garden, Holborn, St. Giles's, Wapping, Ratcliff, Limehouse, Southwark, and other places, which had brought great numbers
of people from other parts, especially of the poorer sort, and was a
great cause of beggars and other loose persons swarming about the
City, who were harboured in those out places. That by these
multitudes of new erections the prices of victuals were greatly
enhanced, and the greater part of their soil was conveyed with the
sewers in and about the City, and so fell into the Thames, to the
great annoyance of the inhabitants and of the river. That if any
pestilence or mortality should happen, the City was so compassed in
and straitedned with these new buildings, that it might prove
very dangerous to the inhabitants. They therefore prayed the Council
to consider the great inconveniences of these new erections, and to be
a means to the King that some restraint might be had.
Dated in margin, October, 1632.
VII. 78. Order in Council reciting the foregoing petition against
newly erected tenements, and referring the subject to Lord
Cottington, (fn. 14) Mr. Secretary Cooke, and Mr. Secretary Windebank, (fn. 15)
with instruction to call before them such of the Commissioners for
Buildings as they should think fit, and also the Attorney-General and
the Recorder, and to advise on fitting remedies, reporting their proceedings to the Council.
Whitehall, 29th November, 1632.
VII. 185. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the
Council, forwarding certificate of houses built or divided in the City
of London and liberties during the last seven years.
10th May, 1637.
VII. 187. Order in Council to the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs of
the City, and to the Justices of the Peace of Westminster and
Middlesex, reciting their former orders for the demolishing of all new
buildings erected within the said cities and suburbs, contrary to His
Majesty's Proclamation, and for staying the erection of certain
buildings by the Earl of Bedford (fn. 16) in a passage or alley leading
from Covent Garden to St. Martin's Lane; and requiring the said
Lord Mayor, &c., to inquire what houses had been erected since, and
contrary to, the said orders; and the said Justices to view whether the
Earl of Bedford had stopped the erection of his said buildings, and to
18th December, 1636.
VII. 190. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor, requiring a survey to be made of all houses built within the
last seven years for the habitation of poor people chargeable to the
parish in which such houses were situate, with the names of the
owners and occupiers thereof; of all houses which had been divided
into several habitations within the same period, the names of the
owners and occupiers, and whether any of the under-tenants were
chargeable to the parish; of all houses similarly divided above seven
years past and since Lady-day, 1603, with the names of the owners,
&c., as before; of what inmates, placed within seven years past, in any
houses whatsoever and wheresoever built, were continued;—the names
of the inmates, and of those by whom they were placed and continued.
8th March, 1636.
VIII. 19. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor for the appointment of four Aldermen, to see to the putting in
execution of His Majesty's Proclamations for preventing the great
increase of new buildings.
29th March, 1617.
VIII. 40. Letter from Sir Thomas Coventry and Sir Robert
Heath (fn. 17) to the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen, requesting
them to take speedy course for preventing William Oxebo… a brazier,
who had taken a house in Leadenhall Street, next adjoining to that in
which Mr. Auditor Sawyer (fn. 18) kept the records and accounts of His
Majesty's revenues in several countries—from erecting a forge there for
melting and hammering, to the great annoyance of the clerks, who
were daily writing, examining, and casting accounts.
29th June, 1622.
VIII. 95. Same as No. 78, Vol. VII.
29th November, 1632.
VIII. 182. Same as No. 187, Vol. VII.
18th December, 1636.
VIII. 185. Same as No. 190, Vol. VII.
8th March, 1636.
IX. 32. Letter from Edward Nicholas (fn. 19) to the Lord Mayor,
directing him to put into execution His Majesty's late Proclamation
for restraining the exorbitant growth of new buildings in and about
the City, and for regulating the manner of all new buildings.