Rights and Privileges.
I. 81. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Treasurer. In
obedience to his letter he had stayed the Coroner of the City from
proceeding in his office upon view of a body slain in East Smithfield,
and had directed the Recorder, with some of the Counsel of the City,
to attend his Lordship and to satisfy him of the jurisdiction of the
City in that place. He begged that this stay of proceeding might
not be used as a precedent to their injury.
21st January, 1579.
I. 89. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council,
complaining of the conduct of Sir William George, Porter of the
Tower of London, and directing attention to the dispute, which had
been for a long time under the consideration of the Council, (fn. 1) between
the City and Sir William, for two matters specially, the one being
for the interest in the soil of Tower Hill; the other, his usurpation
against the Liberties and Franchises of the City, compelling poor
victuallers strangers, coming by water to London by ship or boat with
fish, fruit, or such like victuals, to give him such a quantity as pleased
him to take, as two or three cod-fish from each boat, &c., without payment. Such as refused he caused to be imprisoned in the Tower,
whereby the victuallers were discouraged to come to the City, and their
number much decreased, to the great hurt of the markets and the
victualling of the City, especially at this present time of Lent. The
Lord Mayor prayed that some expedition might be taken in the suit,
and that in the mean time Sir William George should be commanded
8th March, 1579.
I. 94. Letter from the Lords of the Council to Sir William Cordell, Knight, Master of the Rolls, and Mr. (Thomas) Seckford, (fn. 2) one
of the Masters of the Court of Requests, directing them to inquire
into the controversy between the Lord Mayor and Sir William George,
Knight, Gentleman Porter of Her Majesty's Tower of London, and
as soon as possible to acquaint the Council with the facts and their
17th March, 1579.
I. 189. Letter from Thomas (Earl of) Sussex, (fn. 3) to the Lord
Mayor. Her Majesty's musicians had been lately molested with
divers new payments and other charges. Being her servants in
ordinary they had to attend daily upon her, for which reason they
ought not to be chosen to any office, as Churchwarden, Constable,
Scavenger, Watchman, nor charged with subsidies nor fifteenths. He
requested the Lord Mayor to consider the matter, and so prevent them
applying to Her Majesty.
Bermondsey, 17th November, 1573.
I. 229. Same as No. 89.
8th March, 1579.
I. 288. Letter from (the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen) to
(the Barons of the Cinque Ports), acknowledging the receipt of two
letters of pluries, (fn. 4) dated the 18th of October, on behalf of their
combarron, Thomas Young, the one against Zachary May and the
other against Edward Jenyns. Having called them before the Court
of Aldermen to answer the several causes, it appeared that they were
so poor that they were unable to give satisfaction for their debts, and
had absented themselves. At the Gestling Court (fn. 5) for the whole Ports
it was mutually agreed that the manner of proceeding by withernam
should be forborne by both parties until certain orders, by assent, had
been agreed to. The Commissioners sent by them had examined the
City's charters and precedents at the Guildhall, which gave the City as
large powers of withernam (fn. 6) as they had.
12th November, 1581.
I. 375. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Treasurer, complaining of the imprisonment of five or six Citizens of good account,
one being the Alderman's deputy, by the Lieutenant of the Tower, and
begging him to command the Lieutenant to deliver them up and to
imprison no more until the cause should have been heard. Either the
Queen's process and common justice should be executed by the
Sheriffs and officers of the City, or they should be discharged of amercements and actions for not obeying the same.
21st July, 1582.
I. 379. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council.
The variance between the City and the Gentleman Porter of the Tower
touching the interest of the postern of this City, and of the soil of East
Smithfield and the Tower Hill, had been by their Lordships referred
to the hearing of the Master of the Rolls, then Her Majesty's Attorney,
and the Lord Chancellor, then Her Solicitor, to be by them
reported to the Council, with charge given in the mean season to
make no new innovations, which order the City had obediently
observed. One Heming, by appointment of the Gentleman Porter,
had lately set up upon the soil, in variance, on the one side of the
City's wall, sundry new tenements, and, on the other side, laid foundations for more, not only against, their Lordships' said order, but also
against Her Majesty's Proclamation touching new buildings, and to
the City's apparent prejudice, the title for the soil being fully proved
to be the City's. The Lord Mayor therefore requested their Lordships
to give orders against such innovations while the cause was depending,
and that report might be speedily made touching the title, or that the
right might be tried according to law. To the great disturbance of
this City, the hindrance of justice, and the peril of the Sheriffs when
Her Majesty's writs, both for execution and other, were awarded out
of the High Court of Queen's Bench and other Courts, divers persons,
not meaning to pay their debts, had obtained the pretended privilege
of the Tower, and if the Sheriffs attached them good citizens were
taken prisoners into the Tower and there violently detained against
all colour of law. Of late one John Walton, a Blacksmith of London,
and Clerk or Beadle of that Company, being indebted, procured himself to be privileged in the Tower, not being a Warder or other
whose attendance might be requisite for Her Majesty's service. The
Queen's process came out of her Bench to arrest him, whereby he had
been taken and remained in ward. If the Sheriffs did not execute
the processes they would be subject not only to amercements but
also to the complainants' actions, so every way they would be in peril.
For this cause an honest citizen, William Shacrost, remained a prisoner
in the Tower, and it had been determined to take more. The Lord
Mayor therefore begged that either the Lieutenant might be commanded to deliver up the said Shacrost, and to forbear such unjust
violence, or that the Sheriffs might not be amerced or subject to
actions for refusing to execute the Queen's processes against such
privileged persons; or that, with Her Majesty's good favour, such
pretended privilege might be decided by law.
20th July, 1582.
I. 380. Letter from the Lords of the Council to Sir William
George, Knight, Gentleman Porter of the Tower. They had committed the hearing of the controversy between him and the City to
certain of Her Majesty's learned counsel, requiring them, after hearing
both parties, to report their opinion thereon, which hitherto had not
been done. The Council were astonished that he, or any under him,
should make any innovation or intermeddle in a matter not yet
resolved, but standing in question and doubt of law, and commanded
him and the said Heming forthwith to surcease to erect or build any
tenements upon the soil in question, or to do any other action which
might tend to prejudice the right, until it should be decided to whom
the same appertained.
22nd July, 1582.
I. 385. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lieutenant
of the Tower. Great complaint had been made to the Council that
he had, under colour of his office, protected divers bankrupts, &c.,
with the pretended privileges of the Tower, and thus prevented their
being served with writs and processes by the Sheriffs or their officers;
and also that he had taken other citizens who had not committed any
offence and imprisoned them in that place. The Sheriffs should be
allowed to execute their office, and he should forthwith set at liberty
all such citizens as he had committed without cause. The Council
intended shortly to hear the matters in dispute.
22nd July, 1582.
I. 408. Letter from the Mayors, Bailiffs and Jurats of the Cinque
Ports and two ancient towns to the Lord Mayor, stating that at a
meeting held at Hithe, in Kent, within the Liberties of the Five Ports,
a complaint had been made by James Oxley, a Freeman of the Town
of Rye, one of the ancient towns of the Cinque Ports, against Sir
John Branch, late Lord Mayor, for an outrage and injustice done to
him by committing him to Newgate for delivering certain letters of
process of withernam to the said Sir John Branch. While in Newgate they had bolts or irons clapped upon his legs, as though he had
been some notorious offender, and he had been detained in prison for
a season, to his utter discredit, for which extreme injury and wrong
imprisonment he prayed the aid of the members of the Cinque Ports.
They desired the Lord Mayor with convenient speed to confer with
the late Lord Mayor about the case, and to award some recompense
to Oxley for the injury suffered by him.
14th September, 1582.
I. 423. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Treasurer.
Upon the controversy raised by suggestion of Antony White
and his deputy, in the Court of Exchequer, the City's ancient
right to the office of Garbler within the City and liberties, confirmed
by charters and statute, had been decreed by the Court on the City's
part well proved, and their title good and substantial; nevertheless,
upon mediation of sundry honourable persons, and in respect of the
poverty of White's widow, who had Her Majesty's Letters Patent for
that office, both within the City and elsewhere throughout England,
the Court of Aldermen had been willing to relieve her with a yearly
pension, which she had refused. Afterwards it had been agreed to
bargain with her for her whole interest, which had been done, and
the sum agreed upon and in part paid. She had since informed the
City that his lordship desired her not to complete the same. He
therefore prayed his lordship's favourable consideration of the City's
interest, and that they might be left to their original bargain.
4th May, 1582.
I. 426. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Treasurer,
requesting that the City's interest in the office of Garbling, depending
before his lordship and the Barons of the Exchequer, and which had
been partly heard last term, might be postponed until another term.
6th November, 1582.
I. 432. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Chancellor,
informing him of the death of Mr. Heydon, (fn. 7) one of the Sheriffs of
the City and the County of Middlesex, and of the election of a new
Sheriff by the Commons according to their charter, by which authority
the Sheriff so elected should be presented to the Barons of the
Exchequer, or, in their absence, to the Constable of the Tower, as
the Mayor had in like case been admitted and sworn, and praying for
direction either by signification of Her Majesty's pleasure, or his good
advice. At the place without the Tower Gate where such oaths used
to be taken had been erected cobblers' sheds, for the profit of the
Gentleman Porter, in which sheds there had been lately three dead of
the plague. When he (the Lord Mayor) attended to take his oath
without the Tower Gate he had Her Majesty's sword carried before
him in the streets, as had been the custom to carry it in Westminster
Hall until they came to the bar of Her Majesty's Court, when the
sword was reversed by the sword-bearer as in the presence of Her
Majesty; and so it had been intended to be done when arriving at the
place where the Lieutenant sat, as had been the custom. They were
met at the corner of Tower Street by two of the Warders, who
commanded Her Majesty's sword to be holden down, and pressed
violently to take it down, but through the good discretion of the
Recorder they were peaceably holden off. The ancient boundary
stone, where the Sheriffs of London used to receive of the Lieutenant
prisoners for execution, and seal the indentures of receipts, had been
removed by order of the Lieutenant, a thing very offensive to the
citizens. If it should be his Lordship's pleasure that the Sheriff's
admission should be at this place, he requested him to direct the
Lieutenant to restore the stone to its ancient position, and to take
care that no offence should be committed by his officers.
I. 433. Letter from the Lord Mayor to Mr. Serjeant Fleetwood,
Recorder, informing him of the death of Mr. Sheriff Heydon and the
election of Mr. Cuthbert Buckle to the office. According to precedent
he should be presented with all speed to the Barons, or at the Tower.
He had written to that effect to the Lord Chancellor and Lord
Treasurer, and forwarded the copy of the letter and a copy of the
writ in such case, according to the precedent of Mr. Priest, (fn. 8) in the
time of King Henry the Eighth. He further requested him to present the letter to the Lord Chancellor and Lord Treasurer.
27th November, 1582.
I. 434. Letter from Mr. Recorder Fleetwood to the Lord Mayor,
acknowledging the receipt of his letter, and stating that, in company
with Mr. Moseley (fn. 9) and Mr. Humfrey, he had waited upon the Lord
Chancellor and delivered his communication. The Lord Chancellor
advised that the new Sheriff should not be presented at the Tower
Gates before Mr. Lieutenant, but at the next term in the Exchequer.
They had also waited upon the Lord Treasurer, who had conferred
with the Lord Chancellor thereon. They agreed that Mr. Sheriff was
a perfect Sheriff, and might do all things appertaining to his office,
having once been sworn in the City according to custom, and directed
that he should be presented at the Exchequer next term. At this
resolution were Sir Walter Mildmay, Master of the Rolls, and the
Attorney-General, with Mr. Fanshaw, and others. By direction of
the Lord Treasurer he was to remain at Court until after the meeting of the Star Chamber, to answer a complaint of Mr. Comptroller
for speaking in defence of the office of Garbler.
Hertford, 28th November, 1582.
I. 436. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Treasurer.
The Court of Aldermen had been informed that Mr. Attorney
had moved for the appointment of a Commission between Her
Majesty and the City, to inquire into the non-using or abusing
of the office of Garbling, since the first year of the reign of King
Henry the Eighth. Inasmuch as the title of the City, both by
Charter and Parliament, had been shown and fully proved, he considered it very unusual to examine into every particular offence of
their officers and servants for so long a period, to the prejudice or
discredit of the City, who had been the only diligent executors thereof
throughout the realm.
28th November, 1582.
I. 464. Letter from the Lord Mayor to Sir Francis Walsingham.
The variances depending between the City and some of the
officers of Her Majesty's Tower had been principally raised and continued by one Heming, servant to the Gentleman Porter, some of
whose doings Sir William George himself had disavowed. The
matters complained of having been deferred by reason of the late
sickness, and by the absence of the Council from London, and now
being daily multiplied, he desired to renew the complaint, and to
pray that a final order might be passed to stay the present wrongs,
and to prevent the evils which might ensue, especially as the Lieutenant was otherwise a gentleman of great worth and a very good
friend to the City. He had thought it good to signify the case
according to the articles enclosed, to the end that instructions might
be given to the Lieutenant to reform the several injuries, and specially
for the replacing of the boundary stone.
29th January, 1582.
I. 475, 476. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the
Council. The examination of the variance between the City of London
and the officers of the Tower had been by them committed to the Lord
Chancellor and the Master of the Rolls, then Solicitor and AttorneyGeneral, before whom the right of the City to the soil and jurisdiction
of these grounds was fully proved, but no report of the examinations had been made to the Council. Mr. Heming (the original
stirrer of the dispute), servant and tenant to the Gentleman Porter,
had since begun to build tenements upon the ground adjoining the
Postern Gate. Before they were finished the Lord Mayor complained
to the Council, who directed the work to be stopped. Heming had
since finished that building and begun some new ones, some being alehouses and houses of suspicious resort. The refuse of the houses, &c.,
was daily cast into the Tower ditch. Heming had also enclosed the
pond-head of the City's great ditch, and so prevented the citizens
using it, reserving it for the use of his own tenants. Upon the day of
the Lord Mayor taking his oath without the Tower Gate, an attempt
had been made by the Warders to take down the sword borne before
the Lord Mayor, and the ancient boundary stone without the Tower
Gate had been removed. On the 15th of November last Mr. Lieutenant made a procession, which they called a perambulation, with a
great number following him with bills and other weapons, and some
with pickaxes, &c., who cut the rails and pales of the citizens' gardens
and broke them down with great violence by command of the Lieutenant. The Lieutenant further commanded those of the hamlet to
bring certain children, about the age of twelve or fourteen, which
children he caused at that perambulation to enter into and through
those gardens by the pales which had been thrown down, to the intent,
as he said, that they might in time to come keep memory of that
entry; and thereof remembrances were made in books, which, if no
order were made to the contrary, might remain to the prejudice of the
City. A sheaf arrow had been given to each boy for a remembrance
that, upon such a day, they had made entrance in right of the Crown.
In the December following the Steward of the Tower Court had
called by precept an assembly, in the name of a Leet, without lawful
warrant, who had made a new perambulation of such bounds as
pleased themselves, and caused those hamleters and others so
assembled to record, as they called it, those bounds to remain for time
to come, whereunto none of the citizens had been called. Further, the
officers of the Tower had prohibited the horses of the citizens from
passing by the postern or coming to the ditch-head, and many other
like things had been daily done in contempt of the commands of the
Council and to the danger of disturbance
I. 478. Letter from the Lord Mayor to Sir James Croft,
Comptroller of the Household, with reference to a conference to be
holden in the matter of the office of Garbling. The Court of Aldermen had appointed Sir Rowland Hayward, Sir Nicholas Woodrof,
Mr. Osborne, Mr. Dixy, (fn. 10) and Mr. Hart, Aldermen, to treat with such
persons of quality as were to be named by the Council. He requested
to be furnished with their names in order that those appointed by the
City might attend upon them
19th February, 1582.
I. 481. Letter from Sir James Croft to Sir Thomas Blanke,
Knight, Lord Mayor, acknowledging the foregoing letter. He would
be ready to meet the Aldermen appointed, and bring with him a
convenient number of persons of quality. He forbore to name them
at present, and desired a time and place to be assigned for the
20th February, 1582.
I. 490. Letter from Thomas Wilford to the Lord Mayor and
Aldermen, requesting them to certify the truth of speeches made by
him in the Common Council which had been misreported to his
25th February, 1582.
I. 500. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council,
complaining of the proceedings taken by the Cinque Ports, against
law and equity, under a pretended privilege of Witherman, which the
City had, both by charter and precedent, as great authority to use as
they had. Under this process they had arrested citizens and cast
them into prison, and treated them as if they were the Queen's
enemies or heinous malefactors, until they had consented to pay the
debts of persons whom they had never known. For the prevention
of such proceeding, friendly conference had been had and the City's
books shown, expecting the same on their part, which had not been
done. The Recorder and an Alderman who had passed the chair
had been sent to Dover to confer with them at a Gestling Court, but
they showed no good title or precedent in justification of their proceedings. It had been agreed that reasonable answers should be accepted
on both sides, and a further conference had to determine what should
be held reasonable answers, pending which no process of Withernam
should be issued. To this agreement the Cinque Ports had not adhered,
but of late had more unreasonably used the process, to the ruin of the
citizens of London, and the trade of their own ports. He, therefore, on
the part of the whole City, besought that the Council would give directions to the Lord Warden to cause such proceeding in the ports to
cease; and that, for the speedy settlement of all disputes as to their
pretended privileges, an action might be tried by law before Her
Majesty's judges in one of her Courts at Westminster or before the
I. 502. Letter from the Lord Mayor to Sir Francis Walsingham,
thanking him for the trouble he had taken in the question of the
office of Garbling. The whole question had been referred to the Lord
Treasurer, in whose judgment they had every confidence.
4th May, 1583.
I. 601. Petition of the Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty of
the City of London to the Queen. By divers ancient charters
and grants of privileges from her progenitors, the City had enjoyed
and had, within the City and Liberties, both by land and water,
the survey, search, assay, examination, weighing, and trying of all
kinds of goods, merchandize, victuals, etc., brought to the City, and
had used and exercised the said privileges to the common good.
A suit had been brought against them, calling them to account by
what warrant they held the said right, by which suit the Government
of Her Majesty's Chamber had been disturbed. They besought her
to order the stay of these vexations proceedings.
I. 609. Letter from the Lord Mayor and Aldermen to Sir Michael
Blunt, Lieutenant of the Tower, complaining of the outrageous conduct of Phillips, one of the Warders, to the Constable and Beadle of
the Ward, whom he had struck and otherwise insulted. They had
remitted Phillips to him to be punished at his discretion.
29th November, 1592.
II. 157. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Master of the Green
Cloth of Her Majesty's household, complaining that, contrary to the
rights and privileges of this City, Wm. Beal, one of the Serjeants-atMace of the Sheriffs of London, had been attached by one of the
officers of the Knight Marshal to appear before the Board of Green
Cloth for arresting Lawrence Wright within the liberties of the City,
by a warrant for contempt of the Court of Common Pleas, and
requesting them to excuse his attendance, and to restrain the Marshal's
officer from executing his office within the Liberties of the City in
6th May, 1596.
II. 191. Letter from Sir John Herbert to the Lord Mayor, with
respect to the petition of Robert Aske to Her Majesty against the
Lord Mayor and Aldermen for detaining from him 250l., part of
the profits of the farm of Leadenhall, which complaint had been
referred to Dr. Cæsar and the writer for examination, and requesting
that, as one John Leake (fn. 11) claimed the same, payment might be withheld until the cause had been heard again
12th July, 1602.
II. 193. Letter from Thomas Lord Buckhurst, Lord Treasurer,
desiring the Court of Aldermen to release Mr. John Williams from
prison, to which they had committed him for holding an opinion that
the Mayor and Aldermen had not absolute power of themselves to
dismiss Sir Richard Marten [Martin] from his place of Aldermanship
without the consent of the Ward.
22nd December, 1603.
II. 194. Letter from John Williams to the Lord Mayor, praying
to be released from Newgate.
12th December, 1602.
II. 232. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Under Treasurer of
the Exchequer. By divers precedents the Mayor and Aldermen
of the City, with certain other officers, to the number of 104, usually
received black at the solemnity of the funeral of the kings of this
realm, which custom was omitted at the funeral of... (fn. 12) He begged
that this might not be made a precedent to their prejudice in the
future, or hinder their endeavours in the service of these intended
funerals for their late most gracious Sovereign, according as it had
been accepted upon like occasions for King Henry VIII., and others
his predecessors. (fn. 13)
4th April, 1603.
II. 233. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council
to the like effect.
8th April, 1603.
II. 236. Petition of the Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty of
the City of London to the King, complaining of certain persons
endeavouring to get a grant from His Majesty of privileges always
enjoyed by this City both by Charter and usage.
Note—No mention is made of the particular privileges referred to.
II. 240. Letter from the Lord Mayor to Sir John Fortescue, (fn. 14)
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, touching the City's right to
a room of two square yards of ground, or therebouts, at Paul's
Cross, which the City had enjoyed time out of mind, and requesting him to refer the matter in dispute to some one nominated by the
Duchy and the City.
8th March, 1603.
II. 298. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Board of Green
Cloth, reporting the proceedings taken against Raymand's man for
creating a tumult in the market and assaulting Richard Weaver, a
sworn officer, for which he had been committed to prison. He had
understood that a summons had been served upon Weaver to attend
their Lordships, but, being contrary to the charters of the City, he had
sent back the Marshal's man without him.
28th November, 1607.
II. 312. Petition of the Mayor, Knights, and Aldermen, to the
King, complaining that some Knights Commoners, who still carried
on trade in the City, claimed priority before some of the supplicants later knighted, and praying that the matter of precedence
might be referred to the Earl Marshal of England.
Order of the King thereon, referring the same to the Commissioners for the office of Earl Marshal.
Newmarket, 12th March, 1607.
III. 32. Letter from the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen
to the Earl of Northampton, Lord Privy Seal. There years since
they exhibited their petition to the King concerning the differences
between them and the Knights Commoners for precedency of place
within the City, the consideration of which had been referred by
the King to his Lordship and the rest of the Lords Commissioners
for the Office of Earl Marshal of England. The Commissioners had
appointed three several peremptory days for both parties to attend
them, with their counsel thereon, on each of which occasions the
City had been ready to maintain their claims, and the Knights
Commoners not only failed and made default, but on the last of the
peremptory days appointed alleged they would no further stand in
opposition in the difference. They requested him to make an order
and decree for settlement of the matter.
2nd December, 1611.
III. 39. The Order of the Lords Commissioners for the office
of Earl Marshal of England, thereupon directing that the Aldermen
shall have precedency within the City of the said Knights Commoners, and such other citizens or commoners as shall hereafter be
made Bachelor Knights, till the Court, on full hearing of the cause,
shall order and adjudge the contrary.
19th February, 1611.
III. 45. Letter from the Earl of Southampton, Lord Warden of
the Cinque Ports, to the Lord Mayor. He was informed that a suit
had lately been revived by certain Freemen of London against certain
officers of His Majesty's Court, holden before the Mayor and Jurats
of Sandwich, to try the validity of one of the ancient customs of the
Ports by process of withernam, and expressing his surprise thereat,
seeing that the custom had been questioned about sixteen years
previously and decided against the Ports as touching the taking of
the body, but in their favour as to the taking of goods in execution
on process of withernam. He requested the Lord Mayor to advise
with the Aldermen, Recorder, and Counsel of the City as to the
grounds that moved them to impugn this ancient privilege and custom
never before contradicted, as to goods, and acquaint him with their
determination in the matter, so that, if on receipt thereof and conference with the Counsel of the Ports he could not satisfy the City,
his defendants might plead next Term.
28th April, 1612.
III. 59. Letter from Sir Oliver Cromwell (fn. 15) to the Lord Mayor.
He had been given to understand that the tenants of Coleharbour
had been called before the Court of Aldermen, and a certain company of the inhabitants of the house required weekly to watch or
else incur a hard censure. He requested that they might be excused
till the midst of the term, when he was to deliver up the house to
his son-in-law, and then either give sufficient satisfaction for their
discharge or yield to any reasonable course.
19th September, 1612.
III. 60. Reply of the Lord Mayor to Sir Oliver Cromwell. It
was conceived by the Court of Aldermen that he was misinformed,
and they wronged, by the pretence of the inhabitants that the Court.
intended to offer any trouble, when they sought but to govern, which
they thought they might lawfully do, the place being within their
jurisdiction. The demeanour of the persons was so contemptuous,
both to the laws of the realm and the customs of the City, that it
could by no means be given way to.
24th September, 1612.
III. 105. Letter from the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen
to the Lord Chancellor, complaining that, upon an arrest made in
London by one of the Sheriffs' officers (by virtue of the King's
writ of execution) on the body of Mr. Palmer, Doctor of Divinity,
the Lieutenant of the Tower had taken in withernam the body of
Mr. Cambell, merchant, and had detained him three days in the
Tower, in lieu of the said Doctor Palmer, which course the judges
had certified to be unlawful, but, since the matter had been revived,
they prayed his Lordship to grant the Plaintiff a writ of special
certiorari to remove his body before him, or take such order for his
release as he should think meet.
9th July, 1613.
III. 106. Letter from the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen
to the Lords of the Council to the same effect, and praying that
orders might be given for the release of the citizens and the prevention
of such courses in future.
13th July, 1613.
III. 124. Letter from G(eorge) Lord Carew, to the Lord Mayor.
He had received a complaint from Nicholas Gittins, one of His
Majesty's labourers in the Ordnance, that he had been chosen to be a
Scavenger in the parish of Aldgate, where he resided. Although he
could, by his authority, free the man from the office, he felt sure that
when the Lord Mayor rightly understood the matter he would
himself give order for his release.
The Savoy, 17th January, 1613.
III. 177. Letter from Mr. Secretary Ralph Winwood to the
Lord Mayor, enclosing a request from the poor parish of Little Saint
Bartholomew, of which he was a parishioner, complaining of a novelty
in matter of government, which one James Hudson, Alderman's
Deputy of Farringdon Without, sought to intrude upon it, and
expressing his opinion that the parish was well ordered by the
present government thereof, which, being approved, both by the
records and ancient custom, he begged the Court of Aldermen to
re-establish and continue.
Whitehall, 16th October, 1614.
IV. 54. Letter from R(obert) Lord Lisle, to the Lord Mayor,
informing him that Sir Edmund Dowse, Knight, His Majesty's
Cupbearer, had been wrongfully arrested by certain Serjeants of
London, one of whom had been committed by Sir Stephen Soame, (fn. 16)
but the rest had escaped, and requesting him to make search for them
and inflict such punishment as the law would permit.
Whitehall, 14th February, 1616.
IV. 58. Letter from the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen to
the Dean and Chapter of Peterborough. They had been informed
that their bailiff had taken and seized a sheep and a lamb from
Francis Zachary, a butcher of Peterborough, and a Freeman of
London, for refusing to pay toll there. By the Charter of the City
of London, all the Freemen thereof were absolutely freed from paying
toll in all places and markets throughout the kingdom, both by water
and by land. They requested them to take notice thereof and
restore the cattle. For avoiding further difficulty, counsel on both
sides should confer together in order to end the controversy without
trouble and expense in law.
21st February, 1616.
V. 4. Letter from Sir Allen Apsley, (fn. 17) Lieutenant of the Tower,
to the Lord Mayor. A Mr. Hubbock, (fn. 18) who had a stipend from the
Exchequer to read service in the King's Chapel in the Tower, and
who had never ceased for twenty years to vex and molest the King's
servants and the inhabitants of the Liberty of the Tower, had lately
preferred an imaginary bill against some of them, depending before
his Lordship. An Order of Council had been passed that all suits
and controversies between the Liberties of London and the Liberties
of the Tower should cease till Commissioners from the King should
decide between them. He therefore requested him to throw out the
bill and free the Liberty from expense and unjust vexation.
Tower, 10th January, 1618.
V. 16. Letter from Sir Allen Apsley, Lieutenant of the Tower,
to the Lord Mayor, stating that upon notice that the brickwork or
foundation of a prison or cage was laid upon Tower Hill the workmen would not desist, whereupon he had sent the deputy porter of
the Tower to the Lord Mayor, to inform him that the place was within
the Liberty of the Tower, and had sent with him the Constable of the
Liberty, and some others, to put him in mind of the Order in Council
requiring that neither the Lord Mayor nor the Lieutenant of the
Tower should make any perambulation within the precincts in controversy until the matter was decided. Notwithstanding which, the
Lord Mayor had, in his own person, neglected and broken (if not
contemned) the Order, and had seconded it with a building of more
disburbance than the perambulation, and had used the messengers
harshly, and turned the Constable out of doors, returning answer,
with no other reason than his will, that the prison should be built
there. Constables and forces had been sent to countenance the
work, and on that night and the next day it was finished. A warder
was sent to bring one of the workmen before the Lieutenant, but the
man had been forcibly rescued by others sent by the Lord Mayor.
He had complained of the matter to the Council, and had by them
been required to put his complaint in writing, but he was most
unwilling that any differences between his lordship and himself should
exist. He therefore begged him to neglect those who had misinformed him, and cause the building to be removed into his own
Liberty, which could be done within a quarter of a stone's cast, and
thus, the cause being taken away, all disquiets would die, and he
would join with his lordship to prosecute the performance of the
Order of the Council, which would remove all differences between
the Lieutenant of the Tower and the Lord Mayor of London for ever
Tower, 10th March, 1618.
V. 19. Letter from the Mayor and Jurats of Tenterden to the
Lord Mayor concerning the seizure by his officers of certain cloth
purchased in Blackwell Hall, by Samuel Wilcock, an inhabitant of
the town of Tenterden, being a member of the Cinque Ports, and
certifying that Wilcock was a Freeman of that town, and a Combarron of the Cinque Ports, and entitled to the liberties and immunities
thereof, one of which was that he might freely buy any goods or
merchandize in Blackwell Hall, or elsewhere within the realm of
England. Although similar seizures had often before been made,
the privilege had always been allowed and the goods restored. They
therefore requested his lordship to give order for restitution of the
goods without expense by suit in law.
Tenterden, 16th March, 1618.
V. 64. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lieutenant of the
Tower, acknowledging the receipt of his letter concerning Mr.
Hubbock, Chaplain of the Tower. The Lord Mayor found by the
City Records that it was true the officers and attendants of the
Tower ought to have the privilege of freedom from arrest on any
plaint entered in the Compters or other Courts of London, but that
if writs were issued from the Higher Courts, directed to the Sheriffs
of London, though they might not come within the Tower or its
Liberties to make arrests, yet such as they found in London they
might and usually did arrest, the Sheriffs in such cases being merely
the ministers of justice to superior courts, whose commands they
must obey. He therefore begged that Mr. Hubbock would retain an
attorney to appear for him, which would remove any further question,
or if the Lieutenant could anywise show that their Liberties were
otherwise than as stated, he would willingly yield to him so far as
he could do it with safety to himself and the duty of his office.
13th March, 1619.
V. 123. Letter from the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen to
the town of Yarmouth. They had been informed that certain
citizens of London had been interrupted in the sale of a ship's cargo
of salt in the Port of Yarmouth, contrary to the custom and
privileges of the City, the Yarmouth officers pretending that they
ought, by virtue of the Charter of that town, to have half the cargo
at the rate the merchant paid for it. They begged that the parties
might be allowed to dispose of their cargo, and that a friendly trial
of the right in question might be had and the bonds of the parties
taken to answer the town of Yarmouth for whatever should thereupon
be found due to them.
V. 128. Letter from the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen to
the town of Hull. Complaints had been made to them by divers
merchants, Freemen of London trading in lead, that the officers of
that town had levied upon that commodity a greater imposition by
way of toll than had been, or of right ought to be, taken from Freemen of London. They requested that a conference and consent
might be had between them and some of the City's councel, and a
friendly and legal trial of the right made.
12th March, 1621.
V. 133. Letter from the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen to
the Lords of the Council. It was true that a constable being sent for
by their Lordship's warrant, and apprehended by their messengers,
they all came suddenly to the Court of Aldermen, when it appeared
that the constable on his apprehension had questioned their authority
to take him, and refused to go, whereby a great concourse of people
had been gathered together in the street. The Court of Aldermen
thereupon thought it the best course to send the Sheriffs instantly
to attend the Council with the constable, because the messengers,
publicly in the streets, and openly in the Court of Aldermen, had
slighted the Lord Mayor, for which he had publicly reprehended
them. Although some members of the Court had remembered that
the Council's messengers had sometimes in such cases had recourse
to the Lord Mayor to assist them with the City officers, yet neither
the Lord Mayor nor the Court of Aldermen had expressed an opinion
that no warrant from the Council could be executed in the City
without first acquainting the Lord Mayor.
9th May, 1622.
VI. 79. Order in Council reciting that the Lieutenant of the
Tower (Sir Allen Apsley) on behalf of the King, and the Recorder
and divers Aldermen on behalf of the City, had been heard before the
Council as to informations delivered by them concerning the removal
and carrying away, by divers persons of the Tower Liberty, of a
markstone, placed about two years before on Tower Hill by the City's
order, for distinguishing and bounding their Liberties from those of
the Tower. As the differences appeared to be upon matter of right
concerning the extent of each of their Liberties, and upon matter of
fact as to the setting up and removal of the stone, and as no proofs
had been produced on either side upon which the Council could
determine, it had been ordered that a commission should be granted
under the Great Seal to certain persons named, with authority to
examine on oath, view records and writings, or take other effectual
means to ascertain the extent of each of the Liberties and the truth
of the matter of fact as to the removal of the markstone. The
Council had been further made acquainted that there was question
between the parties as to the extent of their Liberties in other parts
adjacent to the Tower, for the settlement of which they desired some
course to be taken. The Council therefore direct that the matter
should likewise be inquired into by the Commissioners, upon all which
questions the Commissioners should certify in writing to the Council,
and that the Attorney General should prepare a Commission accordingly for His Majesty's signature. They further direct the Lieutenant
of the Tower to cause the stone to be delivered to Deputy Winton,
to be laid down in the place from which it was taken, there to remain,
but not to be set up on either side as a markstone until the Commission had been returned, and the Board had given further directions
in the matter.
Date in Margin, 8th November, 1626.
VI. 114. Order of the Privy Council, reciting that the Recorder
(Mr. Serjeant Finch) had informed them that Sir Allen Apsley,
Knight, Lieutenant of the Tower, had at several times, by way of
withernam, taken and imprisoned there divers Citizens of London,
and that such proceedings on the part of the Lieutenant were directly
contrary to two Orders of the Council, dated respectively the 3rd
October, 1695, and the 13th July, 1613, both which Orders were
grounded on a Certificate made to them by the Chief Justice of
the Queen's Bench, the Master of the Rolls, and the Chief Justice of
the Common Pleas, on a former similar complaint. (The Certificate is
set out at length.) The Council, after hearing the Recorder and Sir
Allen Apsley, had ordered the immediate release of the Citizens, but
deferred the full determining of the controversy till the present sitting,
and, having now again heard the Recorder and the opinion of the
Attorney General, they approved the former decrees of the Board,
and, for prevention of future contentions, directed them to be observed
by the Mayor and Commonalty and their successors on the one side,
and the Lieutenant and officers of the Tower and their successors on
the other side, as a final determination of the question. The Council,
after giving instructions in detail as to the carrying out of this order,
further direct the Lieutenant of the Tower so to exercise the rights
and privileges of his place, and to hold such friendly correspondence
with the magistrates and citizens of London, for the good of the King's
service on all occasions, that the Council should not be further troubled
with such complaints.
Whitehall, 10th December, 1624.
VI. 138. Order of the Court of (Aldermen), reciting that
they had been informed that certain Citizens of London were
molested by the Mayor and Aldermen of the City of Gloucester for
non-payment of toll, notwithstanding that it had been certified to
them, under the City Seal, that Citizens of London and their goods
were, by charter, exempt from all toll throughout the King's dominions,
as well on this side as beyond seas, and directing that, before other
steps were taken, a letter should be sent to the said Mayor and
Aldermen, suggesting that the matter should be lovingly heard and
determined by counsel on either side, and that Mr. Bacon, the
Remembrancer, should prepare and submit to the Court a letter
22nd January, 1627.
VI. 139. Letter to the Mayor and Aldermen of Gloucester
prepared in accordance with the foregoing Order.
VI. 193. A Copy of No. 114.
10th December, 1624.
VII. 202. Order in Council reciting that the Yeomen Warders
of the Tower had petitioned the Board that, having hitherto been
freed from all offices and services abroad on account of their
service in the Tower, they had lately been pressed to bear office and
do service in the City of London and elsewhere, and for refusing had
not only been bound over to appear at the Sessions, but committed to
Newgate, and directing that the Petition should be sent to the Lord
Mayor, and that he should send his answer in writing thereto next
At the Court at Hampton Court, 29th September, 1637.
VII. 203. Answer of the Lord Mayor. Some of the Yeomen
Warders who were the Chief complainants dwelt and kept shops in
the City, and were required, as other Freemen and inhabitants, to find
watch and ward, or contribute to that charge, from which it did not
appear they were ever formerly exempted. Upon their refusal he
proceeded against such of them as resided and traded in London,
according to law, and the rather, seeing that the Council, by letter of
the 30th November, 1630, had directed the keeping of strong watches
for the safety of the City without exempting any persons whatever.
6th October, 1637.
VII. 204. Order in Council, reciting the preceding Order and
Letter, and directing that all warders who dwelt or kept shops and
traded for their benefit within the City, should find watch and ward,
or contribute to the charge thereof, from which they ought not to be
Hampton Court, 8th October, 1637.
VIII. 193. A copy of No. 204, Vol. VII.
8th October, 1637.
IX. 54. Letter from the Lord Mayor and Aldermen to the
Marquess de Lande, Lord Ambassador from the King of Poland,
acknowledging the complaint made by him of the detention of his
coach. It had been attached, according to the laws and customs of
the City, as the coach and for the debts of Sir Augustine Coronell,
and the suits had since been removed into the superior courts. They
regretted they were unable to comply with his wishes for its return
until the cause had been determined.
IX. 58. Letter from Sir William Compton, (fn. 19) Master of Ordnance
at the Tower, to the Lord Mayor, Sir John Robinson, Knight, com
plaining that William Prichard, one of the King's Officers in the
Tower, had been chosen to serve as Constable, which would interfere
with his duty, and requesting that he might be relieved.
30th February, 1662–3.
IX. 60. Letter from James (Duke of York) (fn. 20) to the Lord Mayor
and Court of Aldermen, informing them that the principal officers
and commissioners of His Majesty's Navy found daily great difficulties
and inconveniences through their inability to act as Justices of the
Peace within their office by reason of its being situated within the
Liberties of the City, and recommending that they might be enabled,
with the concurrence of the Mayor and Aldermen, to act within their
office, but not in any way to intermeddle in the government of the
20th March, 1662.
IX. 62. Letter from the Earl of Manchester to the Lord Mayor,
enclosing an Order of Council for the relief of the King's servants
from bearing offices, according to the ancient privileges of His
23rd May, 1663.
The Order follows at length, dated the 8th of May, 1663.
IX. 91. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor, complaining that several officers, artificers, and attendants of
the Ordnance had been chosen to serve certain offices in some of the
wards and elsewhere, contrary to the privileges of those employed
in His Majesty's service, and some had been threatened with
imprisonment for refusing to serve, and directing that they should be
excused without further molestation.
15th June, 1664.
IX. 94. Letter from Lord Berkeley (fn. 21) and (Sir) Henry Bennett to
the Lord Mayor, informing him that they were interested in certain
houses and lands, called Blanchappleton and Stewards' Inn, and offering to submit their title to two counsel, to be chosen by the Court of
Aldermen and themselves.
7th August, 1664.