Poor and Vagrants.
II. 74. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council,
forwarding for their approval copies of Orders to be enforced against
Vagrants, &c., (fn. 1) and calling their attention to the state of the tenements and their inhabitants in Kentish Street, Newington, and other
places in Southwark.
17th November, 1594.
II. 75. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Justices of the Peace
for the Counties of Middlesex and Surrey, appointing, by request of
the Lords of the Council, a conference with them upon the measures
to be taken for the suppression of Vagrancy.
30th November, 1594.
II. 76. A Copy of the Orders for the suppression of Vagrancy
within the City of London.
II. 85. Causes of the great numbers of begging Poor within the
City of London and other parts of the Realm.
II. 87. Remedy for reforming the abuse of vagrant begging Poor.
II. 102. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council,
concerning the number of Poor begging within the City, and requesting the assistance of their Lordships to prevent the building of small
tenements in Southwark and Kentish Street.
10th September, 1595.
II. 229. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council,
touching the Complaint made by the Justices of the Peace for the
Counties of Middlesex and Surrey, concerning the two houses of
correction proposed to be erected in those counties for the maintenance of the Poor.
II. 231. Answer of the Lord Mayor and Aldermen to the demands
of the Justices of the Peace of Middlesex and Surrey, touching the
contributions required from the Mayor and Commonalty of London
for the erecting and maintaining of houses of correction in those
II. 254. Petition of the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty
to the King, as to the building of the two houses of correction for the
counties of Middlesex and Surrey.
III. 159. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Chamberlain,
detailing the steps taken by him since his appointment for reforming
what he found out of order in the City.
Firstly. He had freed the streets of a swarm of loose and idle
vagrants, providing for the relief of such as were not able to get their
living, and keeping them at work in Bridewell, "not punishing any
for begging, but setting them on work, which was worse than death
Secondly. He had informed himself, by means of spies, of many
lewd houses, and had gone himself disguised to divers of them, and,
finding these nurseries of villany, had punished them according to
their deserts, some by carting and whipping, and many by banishment.
Thirdly. Finding the gaol pestered with prisoners, and their bane
to take root and beginning at ale-houses, and much mischief to be
there plotted, with great waste of corn in brewing heady strong beer,
"many consuming all their time and means sucking that sweet
poison," he had taken an exact survey of all victualling house and
ale-houses, which were above a thousand, and above 300 barrels of
strong beer in some houses, the whole quantity of beer in victualling
houses amounting to above 40,000 barrels; he had thought it high
time to abridge their number and limit them by bonds as to the
quantity of beer they should use, and as to what orders they should
observe, whereby the price of corn and malt had greatly fallen.
Fourthly. The Bakers and Brewers had been drawn within bounds,
so that, if the course continued, men might have what they paid for,
viz., weight and measure.
He had also endeavoured to keep the Sabbath day holy, for which
he had been much maligned.
Fifthly. If what he had done were well taken, he would proceed
further, viz., to deal with thieving brokers or broggers, who were the
receivers of all stolen goods.
And lastly, the inmates and divided houses would require before
summer to be discharged of all superfluities for avoiding infection, &c.
8th July, 1614.
IV. 34. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor
and Court of Aldermen, stating that, forasmuch as there were dispersed
in and about the Cities of London and Westminster, the Borough of
Southwark and other villages and towns adjoining, an infinite multitude of rogues and vagabonds, with other loose and base people,
having no certain places of abode, and living by no lawful labour or
occupation, His Majesty had thought fit, by his Proclamation now
published, to command such good laws as were provided in that
behalf to be speedily put in execution; and that Provost Marshals
should be appointed within the Liberties of the City and in the
Counties of Middlesex, Kent, Surrey, Essex, Herts, and Bucks. It
remained for the Court of Aldermen to see the same carefully performed within the City. The Council, therefore, required the City to
contribute in some reasonable measure towards the maintenance of
Provost Marshals in Middlesex, the charge being but temporary, and
not necessary (as they hoped) to be continued for any long time.
The Council were informed there had been great negligence in
constables and such like inferior officers, in not apprehending notorious
vagabonds and proceeding with them as the law directed, and they
required the Court of Aldermen to reprove the constables sharply
and admonish them.
They deemed it fit that once a week, or as often as convenient,
secret and sudden searches should be made in all victualling houses,
inns, and other suspected places within the City and Liberties, and
that the Justices of the Peace of the adjoining counties should be
secretly informed when such searches were to be made, that they
might at the same instant make similar searches within their limits
IV. 35. Letter from the Lord Mayor to— (the Table of Contents
says "the Justices of Surrey"), stating that the inhabitants of the
Borough of Southwark had informed the Court of Aldermen
they had directed their warrant to the constables to tax those of the
borough under the City's Government, towards the maintenance of
Provost Marshals for Surrey. According to the King's Proclamation,
the Court of Aldermen had already appointed Thomas Dudson
Provost Marshal for the Borough of Southwark, under the City's
grant, and had caused the inhabitants to be taxed for defraying his
26th August, 1616.
IV. 36. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor,
requiring him to appoint a Provost Marshal for the Borough of
Southwark under his government.
Last of August, 1616.
IV. 68. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor and
Court of Aldermen, reciting their former letters for the appointment
of Provost Marshals in the City and in the adjacent Counties. They
had been informed that for the short time such course was tried
it did much good, and that it was more necessary than before,
seeing that the King was about to make a journey into Scotland
with a great part of his Council, and to be absent so long a time.
They required the same practice to be adopted until his return.
Such of the Council as the King should be pleased to leave
behind for that purpose would be ready to assist whenever required
for preservation of the peace. The Council were further given to
understand that no Provost Marshals were appointed last year, either
in the City or the Counties, and that the same course was intended
again, which they altogether misliked, and they required that proper
officers, with a sufficient number of assistants, should be appointed.
16th March, 1616.
IV. 83. Letter from Mr. Abraham William and others, who had
been authorized by the King under the Great Seal for the suppression
of idle vagabonds, and for the licensing of pedlars and petty chapmen,
stating that since their publication of the King's pleasure in the
matter, divers citizens had complained of the wrongs sustained
by them in their trades by such persons as covertly carried wares to
sell within and about the Liberties of the City, and had requested
that no pedlars should be licensed in the City. Though they were
very unwilling to hearken to such request, yet since they had to
answer a great rent to the King for their office, they did not doubt
that it would seem to the Lord Mayor reasonable that those who were
benefited by such a course should contribute to theiryearly charge. Since
they were given to understand it could not be done but by the Lord
Mayor's decree with common consent, they had thought it right to
bring the subject to the consideration of the Court of Aldermen, and
trusted it would be speedily determined, because, though hourly
applied to for licences, they had, out of respect to his Lordship and
the City, forborne to issue any until they should have received the
Whitehall, 17th July, 1617.
V. 8. Letter from the King to Sir Thomas Smyth, stating that
the Court had lately been troubled with divers idle young people,
who, though twice punished, still continued to follow the same, having
no employment. His Majesty, having no other course to clear the
Court from them, had thought fit to send them to him, that at the
next opportunity they might be sent to Virginia, and set to work
Newmarket, 13th January, 1618.
V. 9. Letter from Sir Thomas Smyth to the Lord Mayor, reciting
the foregoing Letter, and stating that some of these persons had
already been brought, by the King's command, from Newmarket to
London, and others were coming. The Company of Virginia (fn. 2) had
no ship ready to sail, and no means to employ them or place to
detain them in, and he requested the Lord Mayor to authorize their
detention and employment in Bridewell, until the next ship should
depart for Virginia.
18th January, 1618.
V. 56. Letter from the Company for Virginia to the Lord
Mayor, expressing their regret that differences should have arisen
between the Committees for the City and themselves. Seeing that
these differences had no solid foundation, and that the Company
had now solemnly ratified, as much and more than in their former
letter was offered, which they understood had been accepted and
approved by the Common Council, — that on the City's part the money
had been collected and the children provided— that the Company
had supplied a fair ship for transporting them, and the Privy Council
had, at the City's desire, granted their warrant for the shipment of
such children, the Company trusted that the Lord Mayor and
Aldermen would proceed to the speedy ending of the differences.
VI. 172. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor, referring to the satisfactory results which had arisen from
the steps taken in accordance with their former directions for the
suppression of vagabonds and wandering persons in the City. Of
late they had very much increased, and they were commanded in
the King's name to require him to take speedy and effectual order
for their suppression.
Whitehall, 16th April, 1629.
VI. 173. Reply of the Lord Mayor and Aldermen, detailing
the steps taken by them, and stating that they found such persons
were mostly foreigners and Irish, very few of whom, when set to
work, would undergo the labour with the slender diet in that case
allowed. The foreigners, at their own request, had been discharged
with correction or relief of money, those who came from the several
quarters of the City had been returned to their parishes. They
requested the Council to give order to force the Irish vagrants
into their own country, and that those who by the strict search which
had been made had been driven into Middlesex, Surrey, and Essex,
might be so proceeded with that they should not fill the City again.
Dated in margin, 20th April, 1629.
VII. 103. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor with respect to their former letters for the execution of His
Majesty's Book of Orders concerning charitable uses, and for the
punishment of wandering rogues and vagrants, and requiring him
to be more careful and vigilant in the performance of his duty
15th January, 1633.
VII. 149. Letter from Mr. Secretary Windebank to the Lord
Mayor and Court of Aldermen, calling their attention to the King's
letters, previously sent to them, in favour of William Davis, Provost
Marshal of the City of London, and requiring that he should be
re-established in his place and his arrears paid. The King required
them either to give Davis satisfaction, or forthwith certify the
cause of their refusal.
Westminster, last of July, 1635.
VII. 154. Answer of the Court of Aldermen concerning Provost
Marshal Davis. He was admitted 22nd September, 1625, with an
annual allowance of 80l. and Two Freedoms, which had been paid him
till Lady, Day, 1632. Since Michaelmas, 1632, he had been yearly
paid 60l. and Two Freedoms. He never purchased his office. The
City had paid 40l. per annuam to another to supply his place.
18th September, 1635.
VIII. 89. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor and Court of Aldermen, transmitting a commission, orders,
and directions for the relief of the poor, and for the punishment
31st January, 1630.
VIII. 120. Same as No. 103. Vol. VII.
VIII. 205. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor and Aldermen, requiring them to proceed more effectually
in the execution of the laws for the suppression of vargrants, and
to report their proceedings at the end of every them.
16th June, 1638.
VIII. 212. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor and Aldermen with respect to the great number of wandering
poor in the City, requiring order to be taken for the relief of the
poor according to the laws, that they might have no pretence to
wander and beg, and for the punishment of the rogues and vagabonds.
20th March, 1638.
IX. 10 Letter from Secretary Edward Nicholas, by command
of the King, to the Lord Mayor and Common Council. His Majesty
had been informed there had existed for some years past a
corporation for the relief and employment of the poor within the
City and Liberties which had caused many hundreds to be employed
and relieved. He desired the City to continue their care of this
institution until the reassembling of Parliament, when order should
be taken for constituting the corporation.
8th October, 1660.
IX. 40. Order of Council, authorizing the Lord Mayor
and Court of Aldermen to direct a collection for the relief of the
poor to be made every Sunday during Lent in the several parish
churches within the City.
19th February, 1661.
IX. 56. Letter, signed John (fn. 3) Nicholas, from the Lords of the
Council to the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen. Similar in
effect to No. 40.
IX. 103. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor and Court of Aldermen, acknowledging their memorial
for authority for collections to be made for the relief of the poor
every Sunday during Lent in the several parish churches within the
City and Liberties. Order of the Council accordingly to the Churchwardens, &c
19th February, 1664.