Offences and Offenders.
I. 4. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor,
authorizing him to release Robert Arther, adjudged by the Court of
the Star Chamber, for certain lewd misdemeanors, to stand upon the
pillory and afterwards committed to Newgate, where he had been for
six months, if it should appear that he had sustained such punishment as was ordered by the Court, and upon his giving bond for his
29th April, 1580.
I. 5. Letter from the Lord Mayor, in reply, stating that the
prisoner had only served three months, and desiring to know if it
was the Council's pleasure to remit his further punishment, and
whether the Order of the High Commissioners for his deprivation
from the ministry should be carried out.
5th May, 1580.
I. 47. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Treasurer, on
having, in conjunction with the Recorder, examined into the allegation made against a Frenchman, a servant of the Duke of Anjou, for
using certain words against Her Majesty, and reporting their opinion
that the testimony could not be relied upon.
28th June, 1580.
I. 79. Letter from the Lord Mayor to Sir George Carey, (fn. 1) bringing
to his notice the complaint made against his servant, Lucas, for using
abusive and threatening words towards Robert Winch, Treasurer of
Bridewell, and requesting him to take steps to prevent the repetition
of such conduct; likewise informing him that his servant, Gold,
who had been permitted to lodge in Bridewell, had so conducted
himself against the City, that he would not be suffered to remain
there. The Court of Aldermen had been informed of his intention
to make a request for a part of that house for himself. It was the
intention of the City to employ the place for the stowage of corn and
other such public uses.
14th January, 1579.
I. 80. Letter from Sir George Carey to the Lord Mayor and
Court of Aldermen, in reply, denying the imputations made against
his servants, and alleging that the Treasurer was a person unworthy of
credit. It had not been his intention to request a part of Bridewell
for himself, but for a friend who had intended to pay for the same.
Somerset House, 15th January, 1579.
I. 100. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council,
respecting a suit brought against William Belfeld, a constable. The
Court of Aldermen found, upon investigation, that he had only done
his duty, and that he was known as an upright and discreet man. It
had become the common practice of late to vex these officers by suits
and charges, to their great discouragement. The Lord Mayor
requested that order might be taken to stay such proceedings.
12th May, 1580.
I. 130. Letter from William Lord Burghley to the Sheriffs of the
City of London, stating that he had received information of the great
increase in the number of needy persons carrying on lewd practices in
the City, enticing, alluring, and concealing Apprentices, not only to
lewd life, but also to rob their masters; and requesting that some steps
might be taken to punish the malefactors, until a law could be passed
for their reformation.
Theobalds, 11th September, 1580.
I. 137. Letter from Mr. Valentine Dale, one of the Masters of
the Court of Requests, to the Lord Mayor, stating that the wife of
John Hollingshed had petitioned the Queen to grant a reprieve and
pardon to her husband, a condemned felon; and directing his execution to be stayed, and a full account of his behaviour and offence
to be forwarded to Her Majesty.
19th September, 1580.
I. 138. Letter from the Lord Mayor to Mr. Dale, in reply. He
had called before him the officers of Newgate, who stated that
Hollingshed had been for a long time a common and notorious
thief. This was the fourth time he had been in Newgate for
felonies. Upon the last occasion he had been branded with the
22nd September, 1580.
I. 139. Copies of the several convictions appended to the above
I. 206. Letter from Sir James Croft, Comptroller of the Household, to Mr. William Fleetwood, Serjeant-at-Law, Recorder of the
City, requesting him to examine the case of one Gerye, a Woodmonger,
who, with others, had been committed to prison for some breach of
order; to hear what he could say for himself, and if he could, with
reason and conscience, assist him.
1st June, 1581.
I. 207. Letter from Thomas Wylkes to the Lord Mayor, stating
that one Beseley, a Woodmonger, had been committed to prison and
fined for having transgressed the ordinance for the sale of wood
within the City; and requesting that, this being his first offence, his
Lordship would, if consistent with his duty, remit the fine, upon his
submission, and accept the punishment he had already received in
prison as sufficient for his fault.
2nd June, 1581.
I. 268. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Chancellor,
informing him that Mr. Reekes, servant to Sir Edward Horsey, (fn. 2) had
stated that the Lord Chancellor desired the Lord Mayor and Mr.
Norton to examine into the matter for which Roger Richardson had
been committed to ward, and certify the same to him. They had
accordingly done so, and enclosed certificate; at the same time they
requested the Lord Chancellor, if he could in justice do so, to pardon
the prisoner, a poor Citizen, and confessed by Reekes to be innocent.
22nd September, 1581.
I. 271. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Chancellor,
informing him that the wife of Roger Richardson, a prisoner committed touching the erasure of letters patent for retailing of wine,
had made several suits to him to consider his case, and upon examination it appeared that he was innocent. His neighbours being willing
to be securities for him, the Lord Mayor requested to know whether
he might take bail for his appearance when called upon.
28th September, 1581.
I. 272. Letter from Sir Thomas Bromley, Lord Chancellor, to
the Lord Mayor, consenting that Richardson might be admitted to
bail upon sufficient bonds.
Weildhall, Essex, 30th September, 1581.
I. 318. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor,
stating they had been lately informed that a gentlewoman of good
birth and alliance, Mrs. Moodey, had, upon some suspicion of illbehaviour, been committed to the Compter, and from thence removed
to Bridewell. Some of her friends had caused her to be rescued by
the way, in which attempt one of the beadles was casually slain. The
Council requested an inquiry into the whole case to be made; and if it
should appear that she had not been a party to the officer's death, she
should be set at liberty.
6th April, 1582.
I. 351. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council,
in reply. They had been misinformed of her faults. Whatever
had been stated in her excuse touching her privity to the rescue,
whereupon the murder of Manstanter ensued, that she could not
know of it by reason of her close imprisonment, had been stated
rather to move their compassion than for matter of truth. The poor
woman, the wife of the man that had been killed, having lost her
husband, and the means of her sustenance, desired justice against
this woman. Before the receipt of their letter, steps had been taken
to release her upon reasonable security being given for her appearance
to answer the charge: her enlargement, however, had been stayed until
the Council's further pleasure had been ascertained.
13th April, 1582.
I. 539. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council,
informing them that, in accordance with their directions touching the
vile speeches of Andrew Abraham, the Scottish man, and the circumstances thereof, he had caused the offender to be duly examined, and
had found him sane. He alleged in excuse that he had been drunk
at the time, and denied all knowledge of speaking the words. The
letter details the results of the further examination of the prisoner
and sundry witnesses, and requests the directions of the Council in
9th August, 1583.
I. 624. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council,
stating that, upon the receipt of their commands, he had caused the
Sheriffs forthwith to repair to the house of John Woulters, a stranger,
to arrest him; but, after diligent search, they failed to discover his
whereabouts. They had sealed up the door of his counting-house, and
other places where any writings were likely to be concealed, and
requested further directions from the Council.
9th January, 1592.
I. 627. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council,
informing them that he had received a letter from Mr. D. Stanhope,
with copy of another sent to him from the Council, touching Henry
Huntley, presented by the Wardmote Inquest to the Alderman of his
Ward, for suspicion of incontinent life. He accused the magistrates
of partial and unjust dealings towards him. He was unknown to
them, and even to the Alderman of the Ward. At the Council's
suggestion, however, the whole matter had been referred to the consideration of Mr. D. Stanhope.
17th January, 1592.
I. 660. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Chamberlain,
informing him that he had received a complaint, a copy of which he
enclosed, made by the inhabitants of Fetter Lane, against John Allen,
for disorders committed within his house. For example sake and
the protection of his neighbours, it was intended to proceed against
him for reformation of the abuses complained of.
25th May, 1592.
III. 12. Letter from the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen to
the Lords of the Council, reporting the conduct of John Harman,
one of the King's servants, who, upon being called upon by the
collectors of the Subsidy for payment of the sum assessed upon him,
treated them with scorn, and alleged that he was assessed at Court
and in Oxfordshire. On being sent for by the Lord Mayor, he treated
him with contempt, and put on this hat; the Lord Mayor, upon his
alleging that he was the King's servant, and was going to Court to
attend his place, forbore to do anything but admonish him. The
Court of Aldermen, having heard the witnesses on oath, thought it
right to report the matter to the Council, and leave the determination
of it to their grave and approved wisdoms.
21st May, 1611.
Note in margin.— "This gentleman was first committed to the
Fleet, and afterwards put from his place."
III. 31. Letter from the King to the Lord Mayor, Aldermen,
and Common Council, stating that whereas they had made a good
law both to prevent thefts and relieve those robbed, yet by the neglect
of the execution thereof the City had become the chief place in all
the kingdom to foster and cover such lewd people; and requiring
that such persons should be severely punished.
Westminster, 24th November, 9 James I., 1611.
III. 33. Letter from Sir Francis Bacon to the Lord Mayor, complaining of the severity of the course pursued by him and the Court
of Aldermen in imposing a heavy fine, disfranchising, and committing
to prison Mr. Barnard for words spoken against them.
Gray's Inn, 27th December, 1611.
III. 151. Letter from Sir Edward Phelipps (fn. 3) to the Lord Mayor,
informing him that the King had given orders for the apprehension
of one Richard Smarte, "the greatest spoiler of his Deere in the
fforest of Waltham that ever lyved," who had been found in a house
in or near Coldharbour; and requesting him to give order for his
From the Rolls, 22nd March, 1614.
IV. 4. Letter from George (Abbott), Archbishop of Canterbury,
to the Lord Mayor, informing him that, by a late arraignment and
some examinations, it appeared to the King that there were divers
persons in or near London who professed to tell fortunes and reveal
past and future secrets, and others who desired responses from them
as to things lost, or as to future matters. The King, as well to show
his Christian zeal as to manifest his detestation of such proceedings,
had commanded him to require the Lord Mayor to apprehend such
persons, that they might undergo the penalty of the law, or at least
to certify their names and the names of those who resorted or were
suspected of resorting to them to the writer or the Bishop of London,
that such punishment might be inflicted upon them as in Ecclesiastical
censure should be held fit.
5th November, 1615.
IV. 76. Letter from the Lord Chancellor (Sir Francis Bacon) to
the Lord Mayor, stating that justice having been done upon a Constable for abusing his office to the wrong of a servant of his, yet
because the punishment was likely to fall so heavily upon the Constable as might tend to his utter undoing, he requested that he might
be released from imprisonment, disfranchisement, and the fine passed
6th June, 1617.
IV. 136. Letter from the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen to
the Lord Chancellor, enclosing a Petition presented to them by
Thomas Powle, one of the City Constables, complaining that having
been required to go into a house in the City to attach the bodies of
two persons who lived in a suspicious manner, the parties, pretending
it to be a riot, had served him with process to appear in the Court of
Star Chamber, where they had been admitted to sue in form a pauperis.
It being known that the complainants were of very base condition,
and had only taken such proceedings for vexation, and to put the
Constable to expense, they prayed the Lord Chancellor to revoke the
admittance in form a pauperis, and to refer the matter to one of the
Judges, that upon report being made to him he might take such
further order as he should think fit.
V. 127. Order in Council, directing that Thomas Martin, Grocer,
a Freeman of London, who had refused to obey an order of the Court
of Aldermen of the 22nd January last, concerning matters in difference
between himself and other citizens, should be committed to Newgate
for contempt till further order, or until he submitted himself to the
Court as became a citizen and Freeman of London.
Dated from "Sheriff Raynton's House," (fn. 4) 4th April, 1621.
VI. 179. Order in Council for the removal (on account of the
danger he was in from divers hurts) of Thomas Shelden, Gentleman, a prisoner in Wood Street Compter, to the house of Lawrence
Lisle, Esq., provided Mr. Lisle gave bail for his forthcoming when
called upon, or until he was lawfully discharged.
Whitehall, 15th July, 1629.