Riots, Tumults, &c.
I. 222. Letter from (the Lords of the Council) to.....
Doubtless he had been informed of the disorder and tumult, by some
apprentices and other lewd persons, which had lately occurred in the
City of London and places adjoining. Upon examination of the
matter it appeared that his servant, lackey and page, began the
disorder. They required that the parties mentioned should be
ordered to attend the Council, that such order might be taken as
should be agreeable to law and justice.
Greenwich, 10th July, 1581.
I. 224. Letter from Henry(Lord) Berkeley (fn. 1) to the Lord Mayor.
He had been informed that a broil betwixt his men and some of the
Inns of Court had lately happened, and that some of his men had
been committed to ward. If by their misdemeanours they deserved
imprisonment, he was willing they should suffer. He believed that in
all other respects they had behaved themselves honestly, saving that
they played on the Sabbath day, contrary to orders and command
unknown to them, for which they craved pardon, and begged that
they might be set at liberty, when they should be sent into the country.
He undertook that, should any other question arise they should be
From his lodging in the Strand, Tuesday,......1581.
I. 232. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor.
As he was desirous of understanding their opinion as to the punishment of the lewd and seditious persons who committed the late rescuse
in Smithfield, they thought it good to signify that the principal
offenders should be indicted and tried by a jury. Those found guilty
should be, upon some open market day, tied to a cart, and from the
prison whipped into Smithfield, and there set upon the pillory for a
seditious rescuse, but without cutting or nailing of ears. For the better
execution thereof, such a guard should be appointed that the inconvenience which happened lately did not fall out again; the rest of the
offenders should be dealt with as he thought best.
17th July, 1581.
I. 233. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council
in reply. The principal offenders had been tried this day at the
Guildhall, and judgment pronounced against them according to the
above Order, the execution whereof had been entrusted to the Sheriffs,
which would be quietly and orderly carried out without inconvenience.
At this Sessions being enforced to supply a jury for trial de circumstantibus, one Rafe........., a Citizen and Bowyer, among other
substantial citizens impanelled for Her Majesty's service in this cause,
obstinately refused, alleging that he was one of Her Majesty's Warders
of the Tower, whereupon he was committed for contempt. The Lord
Mayor requested that order might be given to the Officers of the
Tower not to make any quarrel, but that the credit of the services
might be established. Now an example of the man had been made,
he should be released if the Council so desired.
20th July, 1581.
I. 374. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Chancellor,
informing him of an affray by Watermen at Lyon Quay against
certain citizens and their servants. Several persons, among them Evan
Harrison, wearing his Lordship's livery, and who described himself as
his servant, had been committed to prison. The Aldermen desired to
acquaint him with the facts, and to ascertain his pleasure.
17th July, 1582.
I. 376. Letter from Sir Thomas Bromley, Lord Chancellor, to the
Lord Mayor. He had been informed that one of his Watermen had
been committed to prison for a fray at Lyon Quay, whereof he was not
only guiltless (as he said), but also apprehended and so hauled and
pulled that he lost his purse. He was then committed to prison by
Sheriff Webb, and discharged by him, since which, upon some further
information, he had been committed again, together with Lord Norreys's (fn. 2) man. It was strange that he should be apprehended and
imprisoned twice for one cause. He requested that they might both
be released on bail.
Weild Hall, Essex, 28th July, 1582.
I. 622. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council,
with regard to the informations lately given to them against certain
Serjeants and other Officers of this City for arresting George Pollard,
for which they had been committed to prison by the Council's order.
In order to ascertain the truth of the affray, he had examined the whole
of the circumstances, and found that two of the Sheriffs' Serjeants and
two Yeomen arrested the said Pollard, and were resisted by his friends.
Fearing a rescue, they called upon the constables to aid them. After
some dissembling, the prisoner, with the aid of his friends, escaped.
Touching the allegation that the officers were armed, it had been
proved that they only had their ordinary daggers and short weapons,
which they commonly wore for the preservation of the peace of the City,
their own safety. For the sake of justice and the peace of the City,
he requested the Council to consider the whole matter, and not to
discourage the officers in the execution of their duty.
6th January, 1592.
II. 98. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Treasurer,
reporting the proceedings taken for the punishment of some members
of the Weavers' Company, for publishing a certain pamphlet, and also
the measures taken against the parties concerned in the late riot or
disorder in Southwark.
27th June, 1595.
II. 110. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the
Council, reporting that, in accordance with the directions of their
Lordships, inquiry had been made by certain Aldermen touching the
late disorder stated to have been committed in the heart of the
City, by certain persons stopping a carman at the end of Milk Street,
next to Cheapside, and making him unload there a pipe of starch
which had been gauged by the servants of Mr. Anthon. The matter
was much exaggerated and misreported. Mr. Anthon, though invited,
did not attend.
14th October, 1595.
II. 113. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the
Council, with respect to the outrageous and disorderly conduct of Mr.
Bate, one of her Majesty's Yeomen of the Guard, for which he had
been committed to one of the Compters, but, being one of Her
Majesty's servants, the Lord Mayor had released him from prison, and
now reported his conduct, that he might receive such other correction
and admonition as they might think fit.
25th October, 1595.
II. 276. Letter from the Lord Mayor to Lord Fenton, (fn. 3) Captain
of His Majesty's Guard, concerning an assault committed by one
Cranford, a Yeoman of the Guard, on some poor men and labourers
appointed to keep Moorfields.
12th November, 1606.
III. 94. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor
and the Justices of the Peace for Middlesex. They had received a
complaint from certain porters of the City of London and the Liberties, inhabiting in St. Katharine's and other places adjacent to the
City, of an assault committed upon them in East Smithfield by
certain riotous persons pretending to be porters, freemen of the City
of London, and by that privilege seeking to exclude the rest from the
exercise of that labour. They requested the Lord Mayor and the
Justices to examine the tumult, punish the authors, and, if possible,
finally determine the matter. If they found it necessary that other
proceedings should be taken, they should make provisional orders
that all might freely labour in their vocation till the cause should
be determined, and should certify their proceedings to the Council.
8th April, 1613.
IV. 129. Letter from the Sheriffs to the Lord Chief Justice,
acquainting him that at Whitsuntide last one Thurston Hunt, a
prisoner, in the Poultry Compter, was removed by Habeas Corpus,
returnable before, Mr. Justice Warburton, (fn. 4) at his chambers in Serjeants' Inn. Being brought there in the custody of one of their
officers, Hunt escaped into the Temple, where he was rescued by the
gentlemen of those houses. The officer was violently taken and
cast into the Thames, and there drawn along through the stream in
peril of drowing. They had thought it their duty to acquaint his
Lordship and the rest of the Judges of the matter, and requested
that some order might be taken for reformation of such insolences, too
often practised by the gentlemen upon their officers, which could but
bring an evil and dangerous consequences, such as they knew their
Lordships (out of their love for those fellowships) had rather prevent
IV. 131. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor.
They had been informed that a very great disorder and tumult had
been committed by divers unknown persons at the Spanish Ambassador's (fn. 5) house, in Barbican, upon an accident that happened by the
hurting of a child. They required the Lord Mayor to take speedy and
effectual steps for the safety of the Ambassador's house, and, if necessary, put a good and substantial watch in those parts for the suppression of any disorders which might arise on that or any other
occasion, and to certify the manner of the tumult, by whom com
mitted, the steps taken for its suppression, and such other circumstances as he should think necessary.
13th July, 1618.
IV. 134. Letter from the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen
to the Lords of the Council in reply. The tumult arose in consequence of a child being thrown down by the horse of one of the
gentlemen of the Spanish Ambassador. The people, thinking the child
had been killed, pursued him to the Ambassador's house in Barbican,
and threw stones at the windows. The Lord Chief Justice and the
Attorney General, who lived near, went there, and shortly afterwards
the Lord Mayor and the rest arrived, and took steps for suppressing
the tumult, and for the safety of the Ambassador's house. They had
been unable to discover the authors of the tumult, which occurred in
the night time, but some suspected persons had been committed to
prison. Surgeons had examined the child, and found it had received
no bodily hurt. They would endeavour to obtain further information and acquaint the Council with the result
IV. 135. Letter from Sir Robert Naunton to the Lord Mayor.
The King, being dissatisfied with the result of the proceedings for
correction of the offenders in the late tumult at the Spanish Ambassador's, had directed the Council to provide for the remedy of that
and similar abuses. They had, therefore, issued a Commission of
Oyer and Terminer, wherein some of themselves were appointed to
assist the Lord Mayor and the City authorities in this irregulated and
dangerous season of the year. They had likewise heard of a latter
confluence of loose people about Crosby House, upon a Conventicle
of Anabaptists there assembled. These warnings had moved him, in
the absence of the rest of the Council, to put the Lord Mayor in mind
of the watchful charge which rested properly with him for the government of the City, for which purpose Sir George Coppin (fn. 6) would attend
him with the Commission, in order that a convenient time might be
appointed for the execution thereof.
Whitehall, 30th July, 1618.
IV. 137. Letter from the Lord Chancellor (Lord Verulam)
to the Lord Mayor and Recorder. There had latterly been
sundry disorders and unlawful gatherings of people in the City and
Suburbs. He requested the Lord Mayor, more than in ordinary
manner, to repress all stirs and beginnings of stirs which might otherwise happen in this vacant and solitary time, when the best were
abroad and the worst people remained behind. And because some
had doubted whether the Commission of Lieutenancy for the County
of Middlesex were still in force, he had written to the Commissioners informing them that the Commission was in full force, and
requiring them to let the same be known abroad, and to be vigilant
in discharge of their duty and the trust imposed on them by the said
Gorhambury, 7th August, 1618.
V. 43. Letter from Lord Verulam, Lord Chancellor, to the Lord
Mayor. The French Ambassador (fn. 7) had desired that the punishment
to be inflicted upon certain persons committed to Bridewell for their
insolent and outrageous assault upon him and his people (fn. 8) might be
remitted, upon which the Lords of the Council had thought fit they
should be discharged without further punishment, but that first they
should be carried by their keeper to the Ambassador, if he would see
them, otherwise he was to be informed they were sent to ask his forgiveness on their knees, and then to be set at liberty by his grace.
York-House, 3rd December, 1619.
V. 125. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor
and Court of Aldermen, with reference to disorders committed in
former years at Shrovetide by apprentices and other lewd and illaffected persons. His Majesty expected a real reformation of the
licentious and rude customs formerly used at that season, to which the
they required effectual order to be taken that every man within the
City's jurisdiction should keep in his servants and apprentices on the
ensuing Shrove Tuesday, and not suffer them to go abroad on that
day; that a good and strong watch should be set at each of the City
gates and other places, and that the Military Band, or a competent
number of the Trained Bands, should be in readiness for the suppression of tumults.
2nd March, 1621.
VI. 113. Order of the Privy Council, reciting that Francis Palmes,
and Thomas Ferneley, Gentlemen, had been by Warrant from the
Council committed to the Marshalsea Prison for misdemeanours and
outrages committed by them and their adherents upon William
Fawcett, of Fleet Street, Mercer, and his servants, and upon John
Pierce, a Sergeant at Mace, and directing the Attorney-General to
examine Palmes and Ferneley, and proceed ore tenus against them in
the Star Chamber, and if matter enough were confessed, or otherwise,
to proceed against them and their abettors by information in the said
Court of Star Chamber.
Whitehall, 29th November, 1626.
VI. 150. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor.
They were informed that, by the fury and outrage of divers dissolute
and disorderly persons, one Lambe had been barbarously murdered.
His Majesty was very sensible of the scandal cast upon the Goverment of the realm when the chief city, where his own person was
resident, by the neglect of the magistrates suffered such a crime to be
committed and pass unpunished, and was very highly displeased
thereat, and had commanded the Council to require the Lord Mayor
forthwith to ascertain the principal actors and abettors, to cause them
to be apprehended and committed to prison, and proceeded against
and punished in the severest manner.
Whitehall, 15th June, 1628.
VI. 151. Order of the Privy Council, reciting that they had been
moved on behalf of the constables and other officers who had been
committed for neglect of duty in not apprehending the principal
actors in Lambe's murder, and who had promised, if set at liberty,
to do their utmost to discover and apprehend them. The Council
authorized the Lord Mayor to set them all at liberty on bail, except
two servants of the City Marshal who, as they were informed, were
present at the time. Their imprisonment should be strictly continued,
unless they would undertake, by going abroad, to discover some of
the offenders, for which purpose they might be suffered to go out
in the company of their keeper.
Whitehall, 23rd June, 1628.
VI. 163. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor, conveying the usual directions for the prevention of Riots
by apprentices and others on Shrove Tuesday.
Whitehall, 14th February, 1628.
VI. 164. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor. It had come to their knowledge that upon an affray happening on the Exchange, in which Mr. Nicholas Lanier and others,
His Majesty's servants in ordinary, mentioned in the Petition
enclosed, were concerned, the constables and others who came had,
under pretence of keeping the peace, in an unwarrantable and barbarous manner carried them along the streets to prison, refusing to
take them first before a magistrate. The Council had heard some of
the parties, but had found it was not a fit matter to trouble them
with, and therefore referred the examination of it to the Lord Mayor
at the same time intimating their opinion that if, as was stated, he
was aware of the conduct of the officers, and had passed it over without reproof, he had wilfully failed both in discretion and duty. The
more they considered it the more they marvelled at the insolence of
the officers, and the connivance of himself and other the chief magistrates of the City. They expected not only a good account of the
examination in the matter, but the King required, not as a respect
only, but a duty, that in future in any similar cases affecting his
servants, proceedings against them should be by appeal and information first to the Lord Chamberlain, or, in his absence, to such other
principal officer as it concerned.
Whitehall, 16th February, 1628.
VI. 165. The petition of Nicholas, Jeromy, Clement, Andrea and
John Lanier, (fn. 9) to the Council, giving their account of the affray
referred to in the foregoing letter.
VI. 166. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council,
forwarding his certificate of the result of the examinations of the
parties concerned in the above affray. For his own part in the
matter, he hoped the Council would be able to judge there had been
VI. 167. An abstract of the examinations of several persons
(named in the margin) concerning the tumult raised at and near the
Exchange by Mr. Nicholas Lanier and others, His Majesty's servants,
on the 6th February, 1628. In this statement it is asserted that the
Laniers had struck one Allen with their fists. Upon the arrival of a
constable, they abused and struck him too, and went into Cornhill
flourishing their drawn swords. The people began to throw stones,
but were soon prevented. The Laniers being called upon, on their
allegiance, to keep the peace, and deliver their weapons, had refused
with oaths and blows. There being no other remedy, they were by
force apprehended and reduced to reason by restraint of their
VI. 178. Letter from Edward, Viscount Conway, to the Lord
Mayor. He had heard of a great disorder committed last night in
Fleet Street, and as he was going to Court, he would not be unprovided
to report to the King all particulars of the matter. He therefore
requested the Lord Mayor to send by the bearer a written relation of all
the material circumstances, which he should use in such manner as the
duty of his place required, and as would tend to the preservation of the
peace of the City.
July 10th, 1629.
VI. 180. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor,
requiring him to shut up the taverns in Fleet, Street, from which the
persons who caused the tumults there came, and to commit the
masters of such taverns to the houses of such Citizens as he should
think fit, there to remain till further order of the Council.
Whitehall, 15th July, 1629.
VI. 181. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor.
As the Attorney-General had certified that in all the examinations as
to the late tumults in Fleet Street there did not appear any crime
against the widow Sutton, keeper of the Mitre tavern, and John
Marshall, keeper of the King's Head tavern, they might be let out on
bail, to appear when called upon, and be allowed to continue their
Whitehall, 21st July, 1629.
VI. 182. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor.
In the examination as to the late riots in Fleet Street, the City was
found to be very poorly stored with shot and powder. The Trained
Bands, when called upon to take arms, were unfurnished for the
service. They required the Lord Mayor to take order that each
person of the Trained Bands provided a sufficient proportion of each,
always to remain in readiness in his house and custody, in case for any
sudden cause His Majesty required to employ them.
Whitehall, 14th August, 1629.
VI. 183. Order in Council, authorizing the release from restraint
of John Clopton, vintner at the Globe, tavern, Fleet Street, upon
Whitehall, 1st August, 1629.
VIII. 45. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor, requiring him to have strong and sufficient watches, and
some of the Trained Bands, to the number of 800, in readiness for the
prevention of riots and tumults by apprentices, &c., on Shrove Tuesday.
23rd February, 1622.
VIII. 60. A Copy of No. 45.
VIII. 214. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor with respect to disorders committed on May Day by apprentices
and others, and requiring that, besides the keeping of strong and fit
watches, 800 of the Trained Bands be mustered on May Day next for
the prevention of riots and tumults.
24th April, 1639.
VIII. 225. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor, requiring, for the prevention of riots and tumults by apprentices
and others on Shrove Tuesday, that strong watches be set, and that
800 men of the Trained Bands be kept in readiness.
16th February, (1639).
VIII. 227. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor, upon occasion of the late tumultuous assembly in and about
Lambeth, requiring double watches to be kept in the City, to continue
till five o'clock in the morning, and that every, householder should be
answerable for the peaceable and quiet behaviour of his apprentices
and servants; and that a good and sufficient watch of twenty or
thirty men should be kept every night until further order at the bridge
foot, to intercept vagrants, and to prevent any concourse of people
passing in to or out of the City.
12th May, 1640.
VIII. 229. Warrant from the King to the Lord Mayor, requiring
him forthwith to raise 1,000 able and well-affected men of the Trained
Bands, or as many more as he should think necessary, to suppress,
slay, kill, destroy, and apprehend all such as should be tumultuously
assembled in or about Southwark, Lambeth, Blackheath, or elsewhere
in parts adjacent.
15th May, 1640.
And see "Southwark."