IV. 130. Letter from Sir Robert Naunton (fn. 1) to the Lord Mayor,
forwarding a Petition (in margin said to be "of the Chimneysweepers"), and stating that His Majesty, conceiving its contents to
be well grounded for the safety of the City and suburbs from casualty
by fire, had commanded him to require the Lord Mayor and the
Recorder to consider the same and certify their opinions thereon, His
Majesty proposing to appoint some person well known and approved
in the City to oversee those allowed for the purpose, that all might be
set on work without prejudicing one another.
Whitehall, 8th July, 1618.
IV. 133. The Petition of the poor Chimney-sweepers of the
City of London to the King, referred to in the foregoing Letter. The
Petition alleges that there were above two hundred of them who, by the
almost general neglect by Householders of their own and the City's
safety, were ready to be starved for want of work, and prays, inter alia,
that an Overseer might be appointed, by Letters Patent, for thirtyone years, with authority to enter houses and compel persons to afford
to the Sweepers access to their chimneys to sweep the same, and to
pay the usual charge for such service, or in default of payment their
goods to be distrained. The Overseer and his deputies to be paid
for their services by the delivery to them of the soot gathered.
IV. 132. Letter from the Lord Mayor to Sir Robert Naunton,
stating that the Recorder, Sir Anthony Benne, (fn. 2) and himself had considered the Chimney-sweepers' Petition, and begged to certify their
opinions that such an appointment would be troublesome, and a needless charge on the inhabitants, there having been, time out of mind,
officers annually sworn to oversee all chimneys, furnaces, &c., and
take care that they were sufficiently made and kept against peril of
fire, both as to the decay of the brick or stone work, and also as to
their foulness by soot; and that as to the proposed additional number
of 100 Chimney-sweepers being permitted, the present number could
not live by their labour.
16th July, 1618.
||Of Letheringham, Suffolk. Born in 1563. Educated at Trinity College, Cambridge.
Attended his uncle, William Ashby, Ambassador from Queen Elizabeth to James the First
of Scotland, in 1589. Sent on a mission to France by the Earl of Essex, 1596. Attended
the Earl of Rutland on an Embassy to Denmark, 1603–4. Knighted at Windsor, September
17th, 1615. Appointed Secretary of State, January 8th, 1618; resigned, 1623. Appointed
Master of the Court of Wards and Liveries, July, 1623; resigned, March, 1635; died in
the same month. He was the author of 'Fragmenta Regalia, Memoris of Elizabeth and her
Court,' first printed in 1641. See Nichols' 'History of Leicestershire.'
||Benn, Sir Anthony, educated at Oxford; elected on the recommendation of King
James, and sworn Recorder, March 15th, 1617. He married Jane, daughter of John Evelyn,
of Godstone. Died September 29th, 1618.