I. 6. Letter from the Lord Mayor to............, stating that, upon
the receipt of a communication from the Lords of the Council, he had
committed to ward one Hewson and others that were parties to the
abduction of Judeth, the orphan of William Cox, and requesting that,
as considerable delay had occurred in their examination, he might be
empowered to release them from close arrest.
19th March, 1579.
I. 7. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Chancellor, the
Earl of Lincoln, Lord High Admiral, and other Lords, acknowledging
the receipt of their letter, requesting that Clement Draper might have
the custody of his wife's child by John Rember, her former husband,
and also the child's portion. The Court of Aldermen requested their
Lordships to leave the disposition of the orphan to them, according to
the laws and usages of the City.
12th April, 1580.
I. 93. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor,
Aldermen, and Recorder, stating that, from information received by
them, it appeared that Robert Huson, with the assistance of certain
confederates, had stolen away Judeth Cox, an orphan, of the age of
fourteen, and had conveyed her to Gravesend, where she was discovered
by her friends and brought back, and directing steps to be at once
taken to arrest and commit to prison Huson and his confederates, in
order that a stop might be put to this evil practice, which had of late
15th March, 1579.
I. 136. Letter from the Lord Mayor to Lady Martin, touching the
orphan children of Sir Roger Martin, (fn. 1) and suggesting certain arrangements for their benefit.
15th September, 1580.
I. 203. Letter from the Lord Mayor and certain Aldermen to
Sir Thomas Bromley, Lord Chancellor, as to a complaint exhibited to
them by William Sherington and Thomas Castill, Her Majesty's ward,
against Mr. Wood and Mr. Fullwood concerning Orphanage, and
requesting the Lord Chancellor to grant a commission to some discreet
persons in the City to examine the whole case.
25th May, 1581.
I. 305. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Bishop of London
(John Aylmer), informing him that his servant, Mr. Benyon, being
chargeable by law and custom, had been often required to give
assurance for the portions of his wife's children, being orphans and
in the charge of the City, which he neglected to do. The Lord Mayor
requested that he might be reminded of his duty, and so prevent the
necessity of any legal steps being taken to enforce the same.
20th March, 1581.
I. 309. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Duchess of Somerset, (fn. 2)
stating that, according to the custom of the City, Elizabeth Saunders,
the daughter and orphan of George Saunders, deceased, was committed, during the pleasure of the Court of Aldermen, to the custody
and care of her Grace's late husband, Francis Newdigate, the child's
uncle. The Court had been informed that she desired to be disburdened of her, and requested that the orphan might be sent to
attend the next Court at Guildhall.
23rd March, 1581.
I. 310. Letter from Anne, Duchess of Somerset, to the Lord
Mayor and Aldermen in reply, stating her surprise that, after having
brought up the orphan from infancy, and being earnestly requested
by the will of her late husband to continue the care of her education
her brother, or any other, should have persuaded the Court to remove
her from out of her custody; and requesting that she might still remain under her care.
28th March, 1582.
I. 311. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Duchess of Somerset
stating that, as she desired to continue the care of the orphan,
subject to the Court being made privy to her bestowing, they
heartily consented, and thanked her for her great consideration for the
1st April, 1582.
I. 355. Letter from Sir Gilbert Gerrard, Knight, Master of the
Rolls, to the Lord Mayor and Aldermen, referring to them for consideration certain matters in dispute concerning the orphans of one
Robinson, a Freeman of London.
The Rolls, Ist June, 1582.
I. 357. Letter from the Lord Mayor to Sir Gilbert Gerrard
Knight, reporting the proceedings of the Court of Aldermen thereon,
and stating that, for his satisfaction, they had directed the parties to
attend and explain the matter to him.
26th June, 1582.
I. 367. Letter from (Mr. Justice) Thomas Meade to the Lord
Mayor and Court of Aldermen, reminding them of their promise to Sir
James Dyer, (fn. 3) Knight, late Lord Chief Justice of the Common Pleas,
to grant to his nephew, Richard Dyer, Citizen and Merchant Taylor,
the sum of 100l. of Orphanage money, he putting in sufficient security
for the repayment thereof; and requesting them to grant the same
with all convenient speed.
Serjeants' Inn, 5th July, 1582.
I. 372. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor
and Court of Aldermen, enclosing a supplication made to the Council on
behalf of the daughter of Mrs. Blackwell, complaining of her mother's
hard dealings towards her, contrary to the custom of the City, whereby
she had not only fallen into great poverty, but had become distracted
in her wits. Being a Citizen's daughter, they desired the Court of
Aldermen to take the matter into their consideration; to send for the
mother, and use such means to bring about some final order as should
be agreeable to equity and justice. If she refused to stand by the
agreement, then to certify their opinion to the Council, that they
might take such further action as should seem convenient.
10th July, 1582.
I. 390. Letter from Sir Thomas Bromley, Knight, Lord Chancellor, to Sir James Harvey, Knight, Lord Mayor, concerning the
orphans of Henry Stanley, wax-chandler.
Weldhall, Essex, 30th July, 1582.
I. 397. Letter from the Lord Mayor to Mrs. Hungerford, widow,
informing her that there remained in the custody of the Chamberlain
a chest of evidences, which by indenture had been delivered to him to
be kept to the use of the heirs of James Barnard, and that Francis
Allen, son and heir of Francis Allen and of Winifride, daughter and
heir of the said Barnard, had prayed the Court of Aldermen to deliver
the same to him, according to the indenture; and requiring her, as she
had been some time wife of Barnard, to signify what lawful cause she
might know why the chest and evidences should not be delivered to
Allen, or else they could not in equity further delay their delivery.
4th September, 1582.
I. 398. Letter from the Lord Mayor to Mr. Powell, informing him
of a complaint by Robert Good, concerning certain orphanage money
belonging to the orphan of one Dunn.
6th September, 1582.
I. 401. Letter from Thomas Powle to Sir James Harvey, Knight,
Lord Mayor, in reply.
Dated from his poor-house at Clayhall, 13th September, 1582.
I. 402. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council,
informing them that steps had been taken to examine into the
unnatural variance existing between Mrs. Blackwell and Richard
Calley, her son-in-law; the matter had been referred to Mr. Recorder
and to Aldermen Osborne, Hart, (fn. 4) and Woodcock, (fn. 5) who, after hearing
both parties, recommended a settlement, which Mrs. Blackwell had
refused to comply with; and forwarding the petition to be dealt with
by the Council.
15th September, 1582.
I. 405. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Chancellor,
informing him that Joan Martin, daughter of the late Sir Roger
Martin, had come to full age, and desired to receive her portion.
For so much as the City had the custody of, they were ready to pay.
It appeared, by a decree made by his Lordship in the Court of
Chancery, that Alexander Denton, one of the executors of Sir Roger
Martin, had, by colour of his office while he lived, got into his hands
and converted to his own use some of the money. They therefore
requested his lordship to take such steps as might appear to him
desirable to recover out of the estates of the said Denton the remainder
due to the said orphan.
13th September, 1582.
I. 510. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Treasurer,
informing him that, upon the death of Ellis Hartop, certain lands
descended to Joan Hartop, an orphan of the City, one of Her
Majesty's wards. There had been left in the custody of one Burbage
Skinner a chest, containing evidences concerning lands belonging to
the orphan, which had been deposited with the Chamberlain. Hartop's
executors pretended that there were in the chest money, leases, and
writings not pertaining to the orphan, and desired that the chest
might be opened and the things belonging to them delivered up, and
such as pertained to the ward retained for her use. If the Lord
Chancellor agreed therewith, he begged that some one might be sent
to see the chest opened, and delivered to such custody as he should
16th May, 1583.
I. 524. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor,
informing him that there had been for some time a matter of variance
between Sir James Harvey, Alderman, and Alexander Avenon, (fn. 6) son
and heir of Sir Alexander Avenon, (fn. 7) deceased, about the non-performance of certain promises made by the said Sir James in respect
of a marriage, concluded chiefly by his own means, between his
daughter and the aforesaid Avenon; and directing the Aldermen
to take effectual pains in the cause, to call the parties before them,
and to make some speedy and friendly end between them, or
to certify to the Council who was in default, and the cause of the
I. 525. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor,
stating they had been credibly informed that Sir James Harvey, being
unwilling that the marriage should be proceeded with, had made
a deed of gift of all his goods to his other children, to the end that
he might disinherit his said daughter, contrary to the ancient customs
of the City; and requiring the Aldermen forthwith to obtain from him
a resolution whether he would perform his promises made to Avenon
in marriage of his daughter, and to certify the steps taken, with their
20th May, 1583.
I. 526. Letter from the Lord Mayor to Sir Christopher Wraye, (fn. 8)
Chief Justice of the Queen's Bench, forwarding copies of the letters
received from the Council as to the variance between Sir James
Harvey, Alderman, and Alexander Avenon; and informing him that on
account of the continual sickness of Sir James, and his subsequent
death, they had been prevented from proceeding therein. He understood that Sir James in his lifetime had committed in trust to him
and certain others the order and disposition of things among his
children. He therefore requested him, with the aid of his cotrustees, to deal between the executors and Alexander Avenon, and
so effect a friendly settlement.
I. 527. Letter from Sir Christopher Wraye to the Lord Mayor
and Aldermen in reply, stating that he had seen Mr. Avenon, and
offered to leave the matter to some friends to be appointed on both
sides; this offer had been made ten days ago, since which time he had
not heard from him.
Serjeants' Inn, 24th June, 1583.
I. 529. Letter from the Lord Mayor and Aldermen to Sir
Christopher Wraye, expressing their satisfaction that the difference
between the parties had been committed to him. According to the
custom of the City, the children being orphans, they had called upon
Sebastian (Harvey), (fn. 9) the sole executor, to bring in an inventory of
the effects, &c., within a reasonable time, but he had refused; whereupon fourteen days had been granted to him to make the return. In
contempt he had departed the City. Before doing so, however, as the
Court had been credibly informed, he had put his sister Clare (for
whom this controversy had been) out of doors, and left her to the
world. The Court fully approved of the order made by Sir
Christopher, and Mr. Avenon being willing to submit himself thereto,
they requested him to direct Mr. Harvey to exhibit the inventory of
his father's goods and debts within a reasonable time.
I. 530. Letter from Sir Christopher Wraye to the Lord Mayor,
stating that he had advised Mr. Harvey to comply with the reasonable demand of the Aldermen, and to furnish the information required;
and expressing his opinion that, if he did not comply, the Court should
deal with him according to the laws and customs of the City, and
that he would assist them all in his power.
8th August, 1583.
I. 578. Letter from Sir Christopher Hatton, Knight, to the Lord
Mayor and Aldermen, stating that he had been informed that by the
decease of John Walker, Scrivener, near Temple Bar, his three
daughters, according to the custom of Orphanage, had been left to
the disposition and government of the City, and, according to usage,
they would commit them and their portions to the custody of those
who would be mindful of their good education. He recommended
that the custody of the youngest, with her portion, should be committed to William Bromeley, his steward.
Ely Place, Holborn,
5th January, 1587.
I. 587. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Treasurer,
stating that an attachment had been issued against John Clark, who,
to avoid suit entered against him in a cause of Orphanage, had withdrawn out of the Liberties of the City, and had exhibited a complaint
in writing, wherein he had charged the Lord Mayor with partial
dealings and other slanderous things; and requesting the Lord
Treasurer to appoint some indifferent persons to hear the matter, and
to report to him thereon.
5th March, 1590.
I. 623. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Treasurer,
touching the estates left by his only son who had lately died, leaving
an infant, upon whose behalf he felt anxious lest any unquiet person
might hereafter question the title; he therefore requested his lordship's favour in his behalf.
8th January, 1592.
II. 40. Letter from Sir John Puckering to the Lord Mayor and
Aldermen, concerning the portion of Edmond Hills, an orphan, paid
into the Chamber of London.
18th November, 1594.
II. 50. Letter from Sir Robert Cecil to the Lord Mayor and
Aldermen, for permission to have the use of the money belonging to
his ward, the heir of Mr. Alderman Buckle. (fn. 10)
19th February, 1594.
II. 51. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor
and Aldermen, requesting them to remove Blanch Loftis, and orphan,
from the custody of John Watts, who, as executor of Bartholomew
Quiney, who married her mother, pretended to have her in ward, and
to place her to her liking with some of her kin.
31st March, 1596.
II. 169. Answer of the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen to
Sir John Fortescue, who desired to have the custody of an orphan,
only daughter of the late Thomas Ridge, regretting their inability to
comply with his request, it being against the ancient customs of the
City, he not being a Freeman.
22nd April, 1601.
II. 222. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Keeper,
informing him that in accordance with the order made by the Court
of Chancery, the 29th May, in the cause depending between Richard
Coop and others, plaintiffs, and Baldwin Dereham, defendant, touching
the custody of the children and orphans of the late Mr. Coop, they
had referred the same to Mr. Richard Whecler, Common Serjeant,
Baptist Hickes, and others, who had held several meetings, but the
plaintiffs would not appear before them, denying their jurisdiction.
26th October, 1602.
II. 227. Letter from the Lord Mayor and Aldermen to the Lord
Chief Justice, in reference to the suit pending between this City and
Mr. Caldecott, touching the orphans of Peter Bouncher.
30th January, 1602.
II. 239. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Chancellor,
certifying that the Court of Aldermen had taken into consideration
the orphanage cause referred to them by the Court of Chancery on
the 1st May, 44th Elizabeth, and enclosing their certificate.
8th March, 1603.
II. 243. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the
Council, concerning the marriage of Mary Noble, an orphan.
15th April, 1604.
III. 120. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Archbishop of
Canterbury (Abbott), stating that Mr. John Gilpin, Gentleman, of
Croydon, had got into his custody Mary Rogers, an orphan of the
City, who had been committed by the Court of Aldermen to the care
of her grandmother, and requesting him to take steps for her delivery
to the City's Officer, the bearer of the letter, and either to examine
the abuse or bind over the parties to appear before the next Court of
19th December, 1613.
III. 122. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Chief Justice
Coke, requesting him to grant his warrant to the City's Officer for the
taking of Mary Rogers and conveying her to the City, where the
Court of Aldermen could take course for her safer custody and
1st January, 1613.
Note in margin.— Upon this letter my Lord Coke granted his
warrant to Mr. Apjohn, and the orphan was brought and restored to
IV. II. Letter from Thomas, Earl of Suffolk, to the Lord Mayor
and Court of Aldermen, on behalf of a widow named Wetherby, who
had a case depending before them, concerning an orphan, who had
been abused by one Edward Field.
17th January, 1615.
IV. 44. Letter from the Earl of Nottingham, Lord High Admiral,
to the Lord Mayor, requesting him to take steps for settlement of an
orphanage cause, in which Arthur Grimes, His Majesty's servant, was
Chelsea, 25th November, 1616.
V. 35. Letter from George (Abbott), Archbishop of Canterbury,
to the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen, stating that he understood a claim had lately been made by some of the City's Officers of
a custom that not only Freemen's goods should be ordered by the
Orphans' Court, and divided into three parts, or into moieties, if the
party died without wife or children, but that the goods of freewomen
also, whose husbands had been free, should be ordered and divided
amongst their children accordingly, which claim neither he nor any
of his officers had heard of until the last year. Being desirous to
maintain the jurisdiction incident to his place and to avoid all suits
and contentions with the City, he prayed the Court of Aldermen
to inform themselves by examination of their ancient courses and
records, and by advice of Counsel, of the true state of the custom,
and not to challenge a general power in that behalf, or to encroach
upon an authority to which he would not entitle himself were he not
fully assured it lawfully belonged to him in right of his See. Upon
receipt of their answer, he would either receive or endeavour to give
satisfaction, so that the difference might be determined without suit.
Lambeth, 16th October, 1619.
V. 51. Letter from the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen to
the Archbishop of Canterbury, in reply. They conceived his Grace
had been misinformed. But since he gave them no particulars, either
as to the officers who made the claim, or when or where it was made,
they were unable to give him the satisfaction he expected. Upon
receiving particulars, they would inform themselves and endeavour to
satisfy him in the matter.
10th January, 1619.
V. 130. Letter from the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen to
the Lord Chamberlain (William, Earl of Pembroke), forwarding a
Petition presented to them, showing the complaint of two orphans,
and recommending the same to his consideration.
28th March, 1622.
In margin.— "Touching the orphans of Cornelius."
V. 136. Letter from the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen to
Lucy, (fn. 11) Countess of Bedford, reminding her of their frequent applicauntess of Bedford, reminding her of their frequent applications on behalf of the orphans of Richard Clarke, late of London,
Merchant Taylor, deceased, for payment of the money due by her
Ladyship to them.
VI. 22. Petition of William Astropp, and Lucy, his wife, late
wife and sole Executrix of Tristram Diamond, Citizen and Draper
of London, deceased, to the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen,
concerning certain suits touching the orphans of the said Diamond;
and praying the Court to intercede with the Lord Keeper for the
appointment of Commissioners to settle all matters in dispute between
VI. 23. Letter from the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen to the
Lord Keeper, stating that upon the suit above referred to being opened
before him he, perceiving that it concerned an orphan of the City, had
referred the matter to the Sheriffs, to examine and report how the
accounts stood between the parties; they had found the matter would
require time and good consideration, and that some of the parties were
not able to endure the charge of a suit. The Court of Aldermen therefore prayed that he would refer the determining of the matter to the
former Commissioners, or such others as he should think fit.
VI. 30. Extract from the Repertory of the Court of Aldermen,
of the certificate of Sir Thomas Middleton, Knight and Aldermen,
Edward Allen, (fn. 12) Esq., Aldermen, and Thomas Jones, (fn. 13) Esq., Common
Serjeant, concerning matters in dispute between Roger Roydon and
Edward Blount, and Elizabeth his wife, widow and administratrix of
Richard Bankworth, Citizen and Stationer, of London, deceased, and
the orphans of the said Richard Bankworth, with the Order of the
Court of Aldermen thereon.
2nd December, 1623.
VI. 35. Letter from the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen to
Roger Middleton, Ralph Egerton, and John Edwards, Esqrs., of
Stanstey, in the county of Denbigh, and Thomas Foster, Gentleman,
of Alington, in the said county, or any three of them, requesting
them to view the lands there offered to be assured by Roger Roydon
for debts due to the orphans of Richard Bankworth, deceased, and to
the late wife of the said Bankworth, and to certify their situation,
12th January, 1623.
VI. 55. An Order of the Court of Aldermen, reciting that the
executors of Mr. Alderman Prescott (fn. 14) had informed them that Roger
Haughton, (fn. 15) deceased, had lent 1,000l. to the Earl of Salisbury, (fn. 16) upon
his Statute; that his widow and executrix had subsequently married
Mr. Alderman Prescott, the said debt (amongst others) having been
by a covenant made over to him and his heirs, by which covenant the
widow bound herself not to challenge his estate beyond 500l. a year,
for her jointure during her life; after the decease of the Alderman, she had married Dr. Lister, and had since died, making him her
executor, by virtue whereof he claimed the right and interest of the
debt, and had received the same. The Statute still remaining in the
hands of the Alderman's executors, the Court referred the case to the
consideration of the Recorder, the Common Serjeant, and Mr. Stone.
2nd December, 1624.
VI. 65. Letter from the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen to
Sir Arthur Savage, informing him that Ann, one of the daughters
and orphans of Mr. George Smithes, late an Alderman, had with their
consent, married, and requiring him to take notice thereof, and
provide that her portion and the use-money due according to the
custom of the City, might be forthwith paid to her.
VI. 66. Letter from the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen to
the Earl of Salisbury, with reference to the debt of 1,000l. due by
him to the estate of the late Alderman Prescott, and requesting him
to pay the same into the Chamber of London.
VIII. 86. Letter from the King to the Lord Mayor and Court
of Aldermen, with respect to the case of Edmond Waller, (fn. 17) who had
married Anne Banks, the orphan of John Banks, late a citizen of
London, stating that, having pardoned the said Waller and the other
defendants to the information before the Court of Star Chamber, he
expected of the Court a like clemency on their part, and required
that such sums of the said Anne's portion as were in their hands
might be paid to the said Waller.
13th December, 1631.
VIII. 88. Letter from the King to the Lord Mayor and Court
of Aldermen, requesting them to use all expedition for putting an
end to the suits brought by the son and heir, who was also the sole
executor, of Robert Angell, late of London, merchant, against his
father's late widow, Dame Elizabeth, now the wife of Sir George
Marshall, Knight, with intent to defraud her of the thirds due to her
by the custom of the City.
July, 1631 or 2.
VIII. 191. Letter from the King to the Lord Mayor and Court
of Aldermen: he had been informed that administration had
been granted by the Prerogative Court of Canterbury to William,
Lord Craven, (fn. 18) of the goods of Thomas Craven, his brother, who died
intestate, aged eighteen years, where he had given security to account,
and requiring them, for preventing of all differences between the
Archbishop's Court and the Court of Orphans, to attempt no innovation to the prejudice of the jurisdiction ecclesiastical, or impeachment
of the said administration.
23rd April, 1637.