I. 53. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Keeper of the
Great Seal, acknowledging a letter received from Mr. Secretary Wilson,
requesting the City's favour on behalf of Lewis Mesnille, a Frenchman, to be a denizen, which they had complied with. Great complaint was made by Her Majesty's subjects, that they were eaten out
by stranger artificers, to the suffering of this country, whereas none
of Her Majesty's subjects were suffered in their country to live by
17th June, 1580.
I. 507. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor
and Aldermen, stating that they had lately received a copy of a libel
which had been cast abroad in sundry parts of the City against
strangers, especially handicraftsmen, and were of no church, and
requesting to be informed both of the numbers of the strangers
residing at present within the City and Liberties, and their trades and
kind of living. It had been suggested in the pamphlet that the
Masters of the Companies' Halls had, for a money consideration,
suffered sundry Flemings to set up what trade they liked; and it had
been thought meet that their principal officers should certify in
writing what licences had been granted to such strangers to work or
occupy their halls for the last six years, and for what considerations,
and that they should be prohibited from granting any more licences
until they should hear further from the Council.
28th March, 1583.
II. 258. Letter from the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen to the
Lords of the Council, acknowledging the receipt of their communication
on behalf of Nicholas Loe(Lowe), a free denizen Crossbow-maker, who
alleged that he and his father had inhabited a house in the parish of
St. Andrew's, Holborn, for thirty years, and had exercised there the
trade of crossbow-making without being molested, and prayed that
he might quietly continue the said trade. Upon frequent complaints
being made, that (contrary to the charters and liberties of the City)
the said Loe used his trade by keeping an open shop within the
freedom with as much privileges as any freeman, order was taken,
according to custom, that the Chamberlain should shut up his
shop windows, for doing whereof he received very ill treatment from
the servants of Loe, who, continuing still to carry on his trade, contrary to the warning, was committed to prison. He shortly afterwards
procured a writ of Habeas Corpus to be brought before the Lord
Chancellor, and, his cause being heard, he was remanded back to
prison, where he continued, refusing to conform to the usage and
customs of the City. He had lately procured a writ to be brought before
the King's Bench, which cause was yet pending. (Circa 1606.)
II. 303. Letter from the Lord Mayor to Lord Chief Justice
Fleming, concerning a trial to be brought before him by Nicholas
Lowe against Thomas Beckford, master of the Blacksmiths' Company,
for proceeding against the said Lowe, who was carrying on the trade
of a smith, not being free of the City.
23rd January, 1607.
III. 19. Letter from (the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen)
to the Lords of the Council, stating that their Lordships were often
petitioned by strangers of the Dutch and French congregations, as to
their being troubled and molested by the City's Officers for using
their trades and occupations in the City as heretofore they pretended to
have done. They had thought it their duty to inform them what a
general grievance was conceived by the Freemen of London in the
matter. The manual artificers found their work taken from them by
the sufferance of so many stranger artisans, and the merchant and
retailer complained of the stranger's manner of trading. Sundry
other reasons for the dissatisfaction of the Freemen, who pressed that
the laws and charters of the City against foreigners might be put in
execution, are detailed. Having thus certified their Lordships, they
were desired to resort to them for remedy; at least that it might not
offend that the remedies ordained were put in execution.
25th July, 1611.
III. 22. The Petition of Abraham de Pint, John Salley, and
other strangers, to the Earl of Salisbury, Lord Treasurer, referred
to in No. 19, stating that they had been lately arrested and sued
in the Lord Mayor's Court, by the Chamberlain of London, for
using their trades and occupations, and praying that, as the late
Queen, and also His Majesty, at the instance of the Lord Ambassador
Caron, (fn. 1) were pleased to direct the late Lord Treasurer to write
letters for the stay of similar proceedings against members of the
Dutch and French congregations, he would write a similar letter for
stay of the present proceedings.
IV. 66. Letter from Sir Noel do Caron to the Lord Mayor, on
behalf of certain distressed persons, members of the Dutch Congregation, who had resided and carried on their trade in London for many
years, by the toleration of the late Queen, the King, and the allowance
of the Lord Mayor's predecessors, but who had lately been proceeded
against by informers, and requesting that the proceedings against
them might be stayed.
10th March, 1616.
IV. 67. Petition of the Handicraftsmen of the Outlandish
Churches in London, and especially of Tobias Barde, Jarrett Van
Hoobrooke, and Henrick Scofater, members of the Dutch Congregation in London, to the same effect.
IV. 69. Letter from Sir Noel Caron to Sir Ralph Winwood, (fn. 2)
stating that, notwithstanding the King's Warrant for the peace of the
Strangers' Congregations, divers Thread Dyers and Twisters were
being very hardly prosecuted in the Lord Mayor's Court for using
their trade, and were to be tried by jury the next morning, and
requesting him to write to the Lord Mayor, and signify His Majesty's
pleasure that the proceedings should be stayed.
30th March, 1617.
IV. 114. Letter from Sir Noel de Caron to the Lord Mayor,
directing his attention to the former orders of Queen Elizabeth, King
James, and the Privy Council, for allowing the members of the Dutch
and French Congregations to use their trades as formerly, without
molestation, and acquainting him that one Thomas Browne, an
informer, had commenced a suit in the Mayor's Court against Garrett
Van Hoobrouck and Henrick Schoessetters, Thread Twisters, for
using their trades, and had, yesterday, as he was informed, obtained
judgment against them, and intended to have an execution to-morrow.
He requested the Lord Mayor to stay the execution until the
pleasure of His Majesty or the Privy Council was further signified.
South Lambeth, 22nd April, 1618.
IV. 115. Memorial of John Van Hoobrouck and Henrick Schoesetters to the Lord Mayor, to the like effect.
IV. 119. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor, stating that they had received a complaint from the Spanish
Ambassador, (fn. 3) that Spanish subjects dwelling in the City, or trading
there, were not so friendly and courteously used as was requisite,
considering the perfect amity and correspondency existing between
His Majesty and the King of Spain, and informing him that it was
His Majesty's pleasure, and the Lord Mayor's duty, whenever it
should appear that any Spanish subjects within the City received
injury or hard usage from any officer or other person, to redress the
6th May, 1618.
VI. 9. Order of the Privy Council, reciting that a Report had
been made to the Council by Heneage Finch, Esq., Recorder, assisted
by divers Aldermen and Commoners of the City, touching the late
Commission, by virtue of which an imposition had been laid upon
strangers, which he declared rather augmented than remedied the
inconveniences occasioned by the said strangers, both merchants,
retailers, and artisans. After considering the report, and hearing
the Attorney and Solicitor General thereon, the Council had thought
good to direct that the City should depute some able and fit persons
to take a particular and exact note of the number, condition, and
trades of all strangers and children of strangers dwelling in the City
of London, and in all other cities, towns, and places within the realm,
and of such English as served them as apprentices or journeymen,
and what strangers or sons of strangers served in like qualities.
Further, the Council had directed the magistrates of all places to
which the said deputed persons should repair, to aid and assist them,
that upon perfect knowledge such order might be taken as the
importance of the cause required.
Whitehall, 1st April, 1623.
VI. 24. Petition of the Ironmongers' and Cutlers' Companies to
the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen, reciting that, by an Act of
Common Council of the 9th July, 1622, it was enacted that all
foreigners bringing nails, knives, or other wares made of iron or steel,
or iron and steel and cutlery wares, to the City should bring them to
Leadenhall, there to be shown, searched, housed, and sold, and not
elsewhere within the City or suburbs, on pain of forfeiture of one
fourth of the value of the wares; and that in contempt of such Act,
divers foreigners had sold, and still continued to sell, such wares in
inns, chambers, and other by-places in or near the City; some of them
had taken houses or chambers in the Minories (a privileged place),
where they sold them, to the deceit of His Majesty's subjects and the
great hindrance of the Petitioners, who pray the Court to take steps
for remedy thereof.
VI. 25. Order of the Court of Aldermen, reciting that Mr.
Nicholas Leat, (fn. 4) Citizen and Ironmonger, had informed them that
divers foreign Cutlers and others refused to obey the Act of Common
Council directing them to bring their wares for sale to Leadenhall,
and directing Mr. Bacon (the Remembrancer) to acquaint the Privy
Council with the matter, and desire their order to restrain the foreign
Cutlers from housing or uttering their wares elsewhere within the
City and Liberties than at Leadenhall.
18th November, 1624.
VI. 39. Order of the Privy Council, directing a search to be
made of all strangers, &c., in England. (A copy of No. 9.)
1st April, 1623.
VI. 41. Petition of the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Commons of
the City of London to the Lords, &c., of the Council, reciting that by
several grants and charters there had been granted to them the search
and allowance of all foreign Loriners', Nailers', and Cutlers' wares, in
order that all false and unmerchantable wares might be forbidden,
until viewed and allowed by the Wardens of the Companies having
the government thereof. Of late, to avoid such search, divers
persons had secretly conveyed their wares to inns and secret corners
of the City, where they were privately sold to strangers and others,
who, for want of skill, were daily deceived thereby. Hitherto they
had been, and ought to be, brought to the public market at Leadenhall. A competent number of shops and warehouses had been built
there, of freestone, with all conveniences for the purpose, at
the cost of the City, and two days a week had been appointed as
market days for the accommodation of those trades, and an easier
rent was required for the shops than the parties now paid in their
lurking-corners. The Nailers and Loriners had been lately content
to resort for sale of their wares to the place so appointed, but the
foreign Cutlers refused to conform, and had taken shops in the Friars'
Minorites (Minories), a privileged place, where they uttered their
false wares at their pleasure. The Petitioners therefore prayed that
the foreign Cutlers might be enjoined by the Order of the Council
not to sell their wares in any other than the appointed place.
IX. 22. Order of the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor,
Aldermen, and Common Council, stating that, according to a former
Order of the Council, the Governor and Company of Merchants of
England trading into the Levant seas had presented to the Council
their answer concerning the inserting of a proviso in their Charter,
about to be renewed, obliging every person inhabiting in or within
twenty miles of London to take up the Freedom of the City before
they should enjoy the benefit of the Charter. The Non-Freemen of
the Company who opposed the proviso had attended the Council, and
been heard. After due consideration the Council finally ordered that
all such noblemen and others as had never been apprenticed nor bred
up or applied themselves to a course of trade should enjoy the benefit
of the Charter without being Free of the City, and that all those who
were Free of the Company and not Free of the City before the horrid
murder of His late Majesty should not be compelled to take up
the Freedom of the City, but might use and continue their trade
as formerly; and that other Non-Freemen admitted to the Company
since the 30th of January, 1648, should enjoy for three years next
ensuing their liberty to trade without being compelled to take up
their Freedom, at the end of which time such as should be
unwilling to do so must remove beyond the twenty miles distance.
6th March, 1660.
IX. 23. Copy of the Petition of the major part of the Company
of Levant Merchants to the King, requesting to be heard before the
Council against being compelled to take up the Freedom of London.
IX. 44. Petition of the Lord Mayor and Aldermen to the King,
complaining of the great increase of the Jews in the City, their
interference with the trade of the Citizens, and their correspondence
with their countrymen in other states upon the affairs of this
kingdom, to the prejudice of His Majesty and the commonweal, and
praying His Majesty to take steps to preserve those societies already
erected, and to reduce those trades that were not yet associated into a
government by Charters, in such a way as would exclude any but
native subjects from the Freedom of regulated trades; to put in
execution the former laws against the Jews, and to recommend
Parliament to enact new ones for the expulsion of all professed Jews
out of the Kingdom.
IX. 71. Letter from Sir William Morrice to the Lord Mayor,
forwarding, for the consideration of the Common Council, a Petition
from the Ministers and Elders of the Dutch and French Churches
within the City of London, for permission for the Protestant strangers,
members of those churches, to use their trades, and requesting them
to report whether such privileges had been before granted, and, if so,
whether it would be convenient to comply with the prayer of the
24th October, 1663.
IX. 72. Copy of the Petition above referred to.
IX. 90. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Governor of the
Turkey Merchants trading to the Levant, stating that the time fixed
by the Charter granted by His late Majesty to the Company for
making the members Free of the City had expired, and calling their
attention to the fact that several of their members had not availed
themselves of the provisions of the Charter, and were disabled from
trading in the City.