I. 589 Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Treasurer, stating
that some controversy had lately arisen between the Lord Admiral
and the City touching the right of measurage of coal and certain
other things upon the River Thames. His Lordship had promised to
aid the City's suit to Her Majesty for her further confirmation of
their right, held and exercised by them time out of mind, and
they besought his good offices with Her Majesty for the settlement of
12th March, 1590.
I. 615. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Treasurer, stating
that, whereas, according to instructions touching the controversy
between the City and the Lord Admiral as to the measurage of sea-coal
and other things measurable upon the River Thames, the AttorneyGeneral (fn. 1) and the Solicitor-General (fn. 2) had perused and throughly reformed
a certain Book of Rules for the measuring of sea-coal, &c., as well on
Her Majesty's part as on the Lord Admiral, who had given his full
assent to have the book so passed as it had been conceived and
amended by them, but had refused to sign and allow the same without
further warrant. The Lord Mayor therefore entreats the Lord Treasurer
to grant the said warrant to the Attorney and Solicitor-General to
certify by signing the book that the same has been reformed; and
further reminds him of the suit still pending between the Tower and
the City, touching the bounds of both places, and requests him
to grant a commission to some discreet persons to hear and determine the matter in dispute.
26th December, 1592.
I. 616. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Treasurer.
Copy of the above Letter, dated 17th December, 1592.
I. 619. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Treasurer and
Lord Admiral, to the same effect as No.615.
24th January, 1592.
II. 105. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the
Council, requesting them to use their authority for the reforming of
the abuses existing among sea-coal owners of Newcastle, who, having
taken on lease the common pits (six in number) granted to that town
by the Bishop of Durham, (fn. 3) suffered them to be unused, and worked
their own private pits, whereby a less quantity and worse quality were
imported, to the increased expense of the poor.
4th October, 1595.
II. 132. Causes of enhancing the price and impairing the goodness of sea-coal by the town of Newcastle.
II. 133. Remedies for reforming these abuses.
II. 134. Reply to the answer made by Henry Mitford and Henry
chapman, in the name of the Mayor and Aldermen of Newcastle,
touching the abuses committed in the prices and mixture of sea-coal.
II. 135. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Mayor and Aldermen, &c., of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, informing them that the Lords of
the Council had issued a Commission to inquire into the abuses
existing in the coal trade in the town of Newcastle, which had
caused great loss both to this City and that town.
21st January, 1595.
II. 136Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Bishop of Durham,
upon the same subject.
3rd February, 1595.
II. 137. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Mayor and Aldermen of the town of Newcastle, being a second letter upon the
appointment of a Commission to inquire into the abuses existing in
the coal trade there.
4th February, 1595.
II. 138. Appointment of Mr. Christopher Lerven (Lewen) by
the City of London as their Commissioner for inquiring into the
abuses existing in the coal trade of Newcastle.
15th February, 1595.
II. 139. Instructions to be pursued by the Commissioners
appointed by the City of London, touching the reformation of the
price and mixture of pit-coal.
Signed by Stephen Slaney, Mayor, (fn. 4)
Nicholas Mosley. (fn. 5)
Benedict Barnham. (fn. 6)
II. 152. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council,
informing them that the City had appointed Christopher Lewen and
Henry Sanderson, of Newcastle, as Commissioners to inquire into the
price and mixture of sea-coal in that town, that the Mayor and
Aldermen of Newcastle had refused to appoint two Commissioners on
their behalf, as ordered by the Council, and requesting them to direct
the Lord Bishop of Durham to proceed with the examination of
31st March, 1596.
II. 153. Letter of thanks from the Lord Mayor to Mr. Henry
Sanderson, of Newcastle, for the trouble he had taken in the matter
of the mixture of coal, and appointing him one of the Commissioners
for the City.
1st April, 1596.
II. 161. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council,
complaining that the Mayor and Aldermen of the town of Newcastle
still refused to appoint two Commissioners to assist the Bishop of
Durham and the two Commissioners selected by the City, and praying
the Council to consider the inconvenience likely to ensue to the poor
of the whole realm by the continued contempt of their former orders
17th July, 1596.
II. 181. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor
and Aldermen, directing them to inquire into the causes of the
excessive price of coals brought from Newcastle and the North,
whether it be by engrossing or no, and what reasonable price,
according to their judgment, should be allowed to the coastmen
bringing coals; and whether the Companies could be moved to
purchase a stock in the summer, and issue them to the poor in the
winter, at the same rates, and so to keep down the price.
17th July, 1601.
II. 202. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council,
enclosing, answers to the instructions forwarded by them, to inquire
into the causes of the excessive price of sea-coal.
II. 255. Petition of the Lord Mayor and Aldermen to the Lord
Treasurer, touching the grant of 4,000 chaldrons of sea-coal yearly
from Newcastle, free of impost, for the poor of the City.
III. 101. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor
concerning complaints, made by the farmers of the imposition on seacoals, of abuses by coastmen of Newcastle in the lading of coal ships
by bulk, and not measuring the coals, whereby His Majesty was
defrauded of the imposition due upon them. These abuses could
only be found out by inspection of the coal meters' books, to which
the farmers had hitherto had access, but had lately been refused.
The Council therefore required the Lord Mayor to enjoin the coal
meters to make out books of all coal ships, and the number of coals
unladen from them in the Port of London from the 1st of January till
the last of May last past, and deliver the same to the Clerk of the
Cockets, in order that the farmers or their deputies might inspect
them as they had formerly done, and further, to direct them to
deliver such books in future monthly to the Clerk of the Cockets for
19th June, 1613.
IV. 12. Letter from the Lord Mayor to Lord Chief Justice Coke,
reciting that ships laden with sea-coals had been wont to ride at a
portion of Tower Wharf, holden by grant from the King, for the
better receipt of coals, which was also the most convenient place for coal
ships to lie at, seeing that they had latterly been built of greater burden
than before, and that on account of the shallowness of the water they
could not well float at any other place; that carrs which conveyed
such coals from the ships to the City had usually passed through the
bulwark there, but Sir Jervis Elwis, (fn. 7) late Lieutenant of the Tower, had
prevented their passage, and the bulwark still remained shut up; the
carrs had consequently to go so far round that the cost of carriage was
doubled, and the ship-masters not having their wonted utterance by
carrs, were forced to sell them to the woodmongers and other engrossers,
who had lighters to fetch them, thereby increasing the prices. The
dispute between the Lieutenant of the Tower and the wharfingers
having been referred to the Lord Chief Justice, the Lord Mayor had
felt it right to acquaint him with these inconveniences.
20th January, 1615.
IV. 50. Order of the Privy Council, reciting that complaint had
been made to them on behalf of the towns of Newcastle-on-Tyne,
Lyme Regis, Yarmouth, Harwich, and Woodbridge, and of the Masters
of the Trinity House, concerning an office lately crected for the survey
of coals to be shipped at Newcastle, and that it had been much controverted
as to whether coals shipped from Newcastle were mixed with
any black earth, slate, or other unmerchantable stuff, which pretence
had been the ground and motive for erecting the office, and that many
oastmen and mariners had been prosecuted in the Star Chamber for
such pretended deceit, to their trouble and disturbance. The Council
therefore require the Court of Aldermen to hear the parties, and such
other traders and retailers of coals in the City as could best speak of
the business and certify their opinion thereon. The Council further
order the stay of the proceedings in the Star Chamber, and direct that
if Mr. Andrew Boyde, (fn. 8) the Patentee and Officer for Search and Survey
of Coals shipped at Newcastle, should find cause to bring any man
before the Star Chamber for such deceit, he should make himself
relator to the Bill.
11th February, 1616.
IV. 51. The allegations made by the Patentee in favour of the
creation of the office, and for payment to him of 4d. per chaldron for a
certificate, and the objections and answers made thereto by the several
towns above mentioned. (These are entered at considerable length.)
IV. 52. Allegations against the Patent submitted by the Masters
of the Trinity House.
IV. 53. The like submitted by the Merchants of Newcastle,
Lyme Regis, Yarmouth, and others.
IV. 55. Letter from the Duke of Lenox to the Lord Mayor with
respect to the reference to him to inquire as to the mixture of coals,
and requesting him duly to examine the matter on account of one of
His Majesty's servants, whom the Duke desired to pleasure as far as
he could with equity and reason.
(Marginal note says "On behalf of Mr. Boyde.")
Whitehall, 17th February, 1616.
IV. 59. Letter from the Lord Mayor and Aldermen to the Lords
of the Council, certifying that having heard the parties to the controversy concerning the mixture of coals at Newcastle, and also the
coal meters of the City, they did not find any pretence for the suggestion. But they found that there were several sorts of coals in
those parts, sometimes arising from one and the same mine,—that such coals were usually mixed together, and that it could
not well be otherwise when they came from the same mine. They
were of opinion such mixture was necessary for the good of the
subject, both for increasing the quantity and keeping coals at a reasonable price, and were informed by men of experience that such
mixed coals burned better and were a more lasting fuel. No
complaint had been made to the Court of Aldermen of such
mixture, which they thought a great argument that no grievance or inconvenience was found from it. The worst coals were not
unmerchantable stuff, being used by lime-burners, brick-makers, and
dyers. Moreover, it was generally confessed by traders in coals that
those unserviceable for the hearth could not be distinguished by view,
but only by trial by fire. They therefore left for the consideration of
the Council the necessity or use of the office of Surveyor of Coals.
21st February, 1616.
V. 117. Petition of the Mayor, Commonalty, and Citizens of the
City of London to the King, reciting that they had for many years
past, at their own charge, provided a stock of sea-coals to be sold to
the poor in winter at easy rates, and that, to encourage them to continue
the practice, His Majesty had been pleased to grant by Letters Patent
that they might buy and provide 4,000 chaldrons at Newcastle-onTyne, or elsewhere within the realm, for conveyance to London free
of all tolls, dues, &c. In the Letters Patent, however, Newcastle had
been described as in the County of York, whereas it was a county of
itself, and a question had arisen as to whether they might have
allowance of such coals according to the measure of Newcastle. A
doubt had also been raised whether the farmers of the Customs could
make allowance of the 12d. in the chaldron on the said 4,000 chaldrons
without forfeiture of their lease.
In margin, October, 1621.
(Note.—This Petition is apparently incomplete, no prayer being
VI. 171. A General Warrant from Richard Weston (fn. 9) (Lord
Treasurer) to the Comptrollers and Searchers of Customs at the Port
of Newcastle, reciting that the late King had, by Letters Patent, granted
to the City of London that they might provide for the use of the poor
4,000 chaldrons of sea-coal free of impost or other charge, and
requiring the said officers to permit such persons as the Mayor and
Commonalty of the City of London should appoint to buy and
provide yearly such quantity for such purpose, and transport them to
the Port of London, and to take entries of the quantities shipped, and
record them in the quarter books returned to the Surveyors of the
outposts, that allowance for defalcation might be made to the farmers
for duties due to them by their lease for each chaldron so shipped.
Whitehall, 24th April, 1629.
VII. 1. Letter from Richard Weston, Lord Treasurer, to Sir
John Mildrom, (fn. 10) 1 Knight, similar in effect to Volume VI., No. 171.
20th August, 1629.
VII. 34. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor
and Court of Aldermen, stating that a Petition had been presented to
them from masters and owners of coal ships, acknowledging the
King's care of them in the ships employed for their safeguard under
the command of Sir Henry Mervin, (fn. 11) Knight, and affirming that they
could not be sufficiently secured without a constant convoy to waft
them as they had had for two years past. The Council finding, by
divers complaints and late experience, the excessive rates of coals, and
having regard to the great prejudice and danger that might befall the
City through the scarcity and want to coals, had thought fit to send
to them Captain James Duppra, who had been formerly employed in
that service, to advise as to some course for the safety of coal ships by
settling a constant convoy for them.
Whitechall, 26th April, 1630.
VII. 41. Letter from the Lord Mayor, &c., to the Lords of the
Council, acknowledging receipt of their letter of 13th April last as to
the safe fetching of coals from Newcastle. Finding the business overdifficult for the City of London, they had called before them the
Master of the Trinity House and several of the principal men of that
Society, whose opinion they submitted, and being of the same mind
with them, thought six ships would be a sufficient convoy. As to the
return of the ships lately arrived from Newcastle, such as were ready
might go sufficiently wafted by the Greenland fleet, now ready to
depart. For the rest, seeing it was a work that concerned all the
maritime parts of England in rateable proportion, they prayed the
Council to mediate with the King in the business as fittest to be
carried on by a Royal undertaking.
Dated in margin 18th May, 1630.
Annexed is an estimate of six ships, of 240 or 250 tons each, or
thereabouts, furnished with munition and ordnance, for the guard and
convoy of the Newcastle trade:—
|"The pay of 6 Shipps at £70 ye Shipp ps month is||£42000|
|"The pay of Wages for 65 men in each Shipp is in all
for 690 men at 22s. the month||£42900|
|"Victualls for the said proportion & nombr men at 22s.
the man prmonth is||£42900|
|"The whole charge of 6 Shipps prmonth||£1,27800|
|"The total of the 6 Shipps for 6 months||£7,66800"|
VII. 42. Letter from the King to the Lord Mayor, &c., stating
that he had been informed that ships laden with coals from Newcastle
were cleared without certificates from the collectors of the subsidy of
tonnage and poundage outwards, and without certificate for the payment of the duties for lights at Wintertonness, (fn. 12) according to the
Letters Patent granted by King Charles the First to Sir William
Earskin and Sir John Mildrum, and requiring them, upon sight of the
letter, to pay to the former collectors or their assigns whatever had
been omitted since the 21st of April inst. In future no entry of
such ships should be taken without a certificate from the collectors.
The letter should also be published in the Court of Aldermen, and
there registered, and then returned to the assignees aforesaid to be
shown to the collector of the subsidies of tonnage or poundage in
the Port of London inwards, that he might suffer no ship-master or
merchant liable to pay for the said lights to pass an entry till the dues
Whitehall, 30th April, 1630.
VII. 193. Petition of the Mayor and Aldermen of the City of
London to the King, reciting that by Letters Patent of the 29th
April, 20th James I., they were authorized to buy yearly, for ever, for
the relief of the poor of the City of London and Borough of Southwark, 4,000 chaldrons of sea-coals, stone-coals, or pit-coals, of the
water measure of Newcastle-on-Tyne, at Newcastle, or elsewhere,
and bring them to London free of toll, tallage, or any charge whatever; that of late a new charge had been demanded of every chaldron,
which would tend to prejudice the poor. The petitioners, therefore,
pray that they may enjoy the benefit of the said Letters Patent.
A note is appended that the King had referred the Petition to the
Lord Treasurer and Lord Cottington, to consider and order as they
should think fit.
Note in Margin.—Delivered to the King, 20th April, 1637.
VII. 194. Letter from William, (fn. 13) Lord Bishop of London, Lord
Treasurer, to the Bishop, the Governor, and the rest of the Society of
Oastmen (fn. 14) of Newcastle-on-Tyne, reciting the foregoing Petition and
reference, and directing them to permit the petitioners to bring in
the said 4,000 chaldrons of coals, free of all duties and impositions
Fulham House, 9th August, 1637.
VII. 200. Warrant from the Lord Treasurer to the Farmers of
the Customs, authorizing the 4,000 chaldrons of coals for the poor of
the City to be brought in free of all charges, till further order.
London House, 12th July, 1637.
VIII. 215. Order in Council, reciting certain Orders made by the
Governor, Deputy-Governor, Wardens, and Assistants of the Society
of Coal Merchants, with respect to the vend and delivery of coal
within the City, and for regulating the discharge of coal vessels in the
river, and suspending the said orders which tended to the private profit
of those of the said Corporation, and to the keeping up of the price
of coal, and directing that, for better observance of the Order of
Council, copies should be sent to the Lord Mayor, to be published in
such ports and places as he should think fit, and a copy to the
Governor of the said Corporation.
15th May, 1639.
IX. 48. Letter from Edward Nicholas, by command of the King,
to the Lord Mayor and Common Council, directing that, on account
of the increased consumption of sea-coal, three additional coal
meters should be appointed, upon the nomination of Sir John
Robinson, (fn. 15) Knight and Baronet, Lieutenant of the Tower, increasing
the number to fifteen.
2nd August, 1662.
IX. 61. Order in Council (signed Robert Southwell (fn. 16) ), directing
the Lord Mayor to consider the petition of John Grey and Edward
Dorsell, masters of ships trading for coals to Newcastle, who had
been committed to the Fleet Prison, for refusing to sell coals at the rates
set down by Act of Parliament, and if he conceived it reasonable, to
enlarge the petitioners. His warrant to the Warden of the Fleet
would be a sufficient discharge for their release.
19th April, 1663.
IX. 105. Order from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor and Court of Aldermen, requesting their attendance, with
some of the Justices of the Peace of Middlesex, Westminister, and
Southwark, at the Council on the 13th of March ensuing, to give an
account of their proceedings under the late Act of Parliament,
entitled "An Act for regulating the measures and price of coals." (fn. 17)
10th March, 1664.