Vintners, Victuallers, And Taverners.
I. 260. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Chancellor. The
Wardens of the Vintners had been commanded to inquire at their Hall
what persons retailed wines in the City without sufficient warrant
by Her Majesty's licence or her grant to Sir Edward Horsey, or
The Company had called before them Roger Richardson,
who affirmed that his brother Robert had licence from Her Majesty
by means of Sir Edward Horsey's warrant, and exhibited his licence
under the Great Seal, made to Robert. It appeared the licence had
been granted to Roger, but he, having authority to sell wine under
the City's Charter, had caused his name to be taken out and Robert's
inserted, whereby Sir Edward Horsey had been defrauded, for which
offence Roger had been committed to ward in the Compter. He
desired to be admitted to bail upon good security, and the Lord
Mayor requested directions as to what steps he should take in the
14th September, 1581.
I. 261. Letter from Sir Thomas Bromley, Lord Chancellor, to the
Lord Mayor, in answer, authorizing the stay of further proceedings.
15th September, 1581.
I. 350. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Mayor of King's
Lynn. Thomas Penn, Citizen and Vintner, had complained to the
Court of Aldermen that he had certain wines at that town, which he
desired to carry elsewhere, but which he had been prevented from
doing by some officers and inhabitants of the town, to his great loss.
The Lord Mayor begged that Penn, as an honest merchant, might be
permitted to use and dispose of his goods as he lawfully might, and
that the inhabitants and officers of the town might be required to
make him some reasonable amends for the damage he had sustained.
3rd June, 1582.
I. 617. Letter from the Lord Mayor and Aldermen to the
Lord Treasurer, acknowledging his Letter on behalf of John Price
recommending the continuance to him of his licence to carry on his
trade as a Victualler in a cellar or room under the Burse. It had been
determined by the City to restrain the carrying on of that trade in cellars
throughout the City, since they found the practice to encourage
drunkenness, whoredom, and receiving and harbouring malefactors,
Touching this particular cellar, it had been found very inconvenient
both to the inhabitants and the merchants who daily resorted to the
Exchange. They therefore regretted that they could not comply with
his Lordship's recommendation.
29th December, 1592.
II. 345. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Earl of Nottingham,
Lord High Admiral, acknowledging the receipt of a Letter from the
King, requiring the Lord Mayor to restrain the cooks within the City
from buying and selling venison, as it tended to encourage the UnderKeepers of His Majesty's Forests, Chases, and Parks, to become
hunters or stealers of venison, and informing him that he had called
the cooks before him, and had taken bond of them not to sell the
flesh of red or fallow deer for the future.
3rd March, 1608.
III. 54. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor
and Aldermen. Information had been given them that of late years
the number of taverns had so exceedingly increased in the City and the
Liberties, "that there is almost no house of receipt, or that hath a back
door, but when it cometh to be let it is taken for a tavern." Although
they had been often put in mind of their duty in the matter, by letters
from the Council and otherwise, yet by connivance or allowance they
had suffered such liberty of erecting taverns as to far exceed the
number meet in a well ordered state. It was the more scandalous
since the best houses, and such as were fit for the receipt of ambassadors or persons of the best quality, were caught up to be converted
into taverns. Moreover, besides selling wine, of late they had got
(by what warrant they knew not) a trade of victualling, and sold more
meat than the ordinaries or any other places of resort within the
City. The Council charged the Lord Mayor and Aldermen, as
magistrates, in His Majesty's name, not to permit any house to be
converted into a tavern without their permission. Little attention
had been shown to the former Orders and Proclamations concerning
the restraint of new houses and divided buildings, and they required
the Lord Mayor to suffer no new building, either within the City or
in any garden or place within the Liberties, and to certify to the
Council any persons who should attempt the same.
10th July, 1612.
III. 121. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the
Council. For the avoiding of abuses in tippling houses to the maintenance of drunkenness and vice he had lately taken some courses
with the Victuallers and Brewers of the City, and done his best to
remedy these enormities; and on account of the excessive quantities
of barley daily converted into malt for the brewing of sweet and
strong beer, had, with the advice of his brethren, limited the Brewers
to the brewing of two sorts of beeronly, the one at 4s. and the other at 8s.
the barrel, and had made proclamation thereof throughout the City.
Lest the farmers and officers of his Majesty's Customs should allow
the breach of the said Orders, by which his care would be frustrated,
he begged that they might be instructed by the Council not to permit
any beer to be transported without his knowledge.
31st December, 1613.
III. 126. Letter from the Lord Mayor to Lord Coke. (fn. 1) Knowing
it to be his duty to prevent scarcity and dearth of corn, and finding a
large quantity of malt and corn to be weekly used by Brewers in
brewing strong beer and ale, and in supplying tippling houses therewith, and finding, upon a survey of all the victualling and tippling
houses,—which were upwards of 1,000 in number—that in some cellars
some men had 200 and others 300 barrels, and the whole quantity in
such houses exceeded 4,000 barrels, he had done what he could to
reform the abuse and save needless waste of corn. Notwithstanding
his endeavours and orders for that purpose, reducing the number of
alehouses, and limiting their number of barrels to twenty, by which
means corn and malt had been reduced 5s. or 6s. per quarter in a fortnight, and above 2,000 quarters weekly had been saved, the brewers,
combining with such as kept tippling houses, furnished them in the
night with their accustomed quantity of barrels, and by their indirect
dealing the price of corn had again risen 3s. 6d. per quarter, for
prevention whereof he had had a Bill prepared by counsel which he
recommended to his consideration and furtherance.
20th January, 1613.
III. 131. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor and Court of Aldermen, forwarding a complaint made to them
by Edmund Pye against the conversion of a house on Ludgate Hill
into a tavern, and expressing their hope that the Court of Aldermen
would have such care as should be meet for the prevention of the
increase of taverns.
8th February, 1613.
III. 132. Letter from Sir Henry Hobarte, Knt. and Bart., Lord
Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, to the Lord Mayor, on behalf of
the bearer ("Mr. Locksmith" in margin), who by reason of the writer's
having removed from his office of Attorney-General had lost the
place he held under him, and was desirous, for the better support of
himself and family, of converting a house which he had lately purchased
on Ludgate Hill into a tavern.
Serjeants' Inn, 13th February, 1613.
III. 133. Letter from Sir Lawrence Tanfield, Knight, Chief Baron
of the Exchequer, to the Lord Mayor, praying him to prevent the
conversion by Mr. Locksmith of the house without Ludgate, not far
from the house of the writer, into a tavern.
Dated from his house near Ludgate, 17th February, 1613.
III. 135. Letter from Sir Thomas Lake to the Lord Mayor,
forwarding a petition presented to the King by Edmund Pye, Gentleman, against Mr. Locksmith, and intimating that the King, knowing
how the City was pestered with taverns, and understanding that they
had already taken order in the matter, and that the Lords of the
Council had likewise written to them on behalf of the petitioner, and
still Mr. Locksmith was not satisfied, had commanded him to signify
His Majesty's pleasure that the intended tavern should be stayed
according to the direction of the Lords.
Whitehall, 14th March, 1613.
III. 136. Copy of the petition of Edmund Pye and other the
inhabitants of the parish of Saint Martin-at-Ludgate to the King,
referred to in the preceding letter.
III. 140. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the
Council, reciting the steps taken by him to restrain in the brewers from
consuming excessive quantities of corn and malt in the brewing of
stronger beer than was allowed by law, whereby the price of corn
had been reduced 4s. or 5s. per quarter. The brewers continued to
brew such beer, alleging it to be made for use at sea, though they
conveyed it at night to the tippling-houses. He requested the Council
to restrain the transportation of any beer exceeding the assize of 8s.
and 4s. the barrel.
26th March, 1613.
III. 145. Letter from the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen
to the Lords of the Council. By the charters and customs of the
City, the Lords Mayor for the time being had the search and correction
of all cooks, innkeepers, alehouse-keepers, and other victuallers and
tipplers within the City and Liberties. For preventing the inconveniences arising by their receiving into their cellars whatever quantities of headstrong beer they liked, orders had been prescribed which
had been approved by the Lord Chief Justice, and had since been
confirmed by an order of the Council of the 27th March last. The
cooks had lately very secretly and surreptitiously, upon wrong suggestions, obtained a new charter from the King, with a non obstante to
dispense with all Statutes, Proclamations, Orders, and the aforesaid decree of the Council. They therefore prayed the Council to
mediate with His Majesty, that the said letters patent might be
referred to the consideration of the Judges to certify whether they
were agreeable to law and the charter and good government of the
21st May, 1614.
Note in margin.—Upon this letter, the Cooks' new charter was
referred to the consideration of the Lord Chief Justice Coke.
III. 175. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor and Court of Aldermen, reciting that there were divers
good and wholesome laws enacted for restraining the excess of
victuallers and brewers, and against the brewing and sale of beer and
ale of unreasonable strength and price, the execution whereof had
been so much neglected, that the greatest part of the tillage of the
kingdom, usually employed for wheat and other bread corn, had been
converted to the sowing of barley, which would produce dearth and
scarcity unless some remedy were speedily taken. The Council
intended to provide for prevention of this great abuse, and for the
better execution of the before-mentioned laws throughout the
kingdom; to begin, therefore, with London, the principal City of the
realm, where these abuses were most practised, they required every
Alderman in his Ward to call before him the innholders, victuallers,
alehouse-keepers, cooks, and all those who brewed and sold again in
bye-places, and to examine the quantity and prices of such ale and
beer as they had received into their houses and cellars since Christmas,
1613, to ascertain the names of their brewers, and to report the
particulars in writing to the Council.
15th October, 1614.
IV. 100. Letter from Sir Julius Cæsar, Master of the Rolls, to
the Lord Mayor. Lythan Price, desiring to use his trade as a cook,
had bought the lease of a house and shop in Southwark, and set up a
tippling-house without licence; but as he had done it in ignorance, he
prayed his Lordship's favour in his behalf.
From the Rolls, 10th February, 1617.
V. 27. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor and
Court of Aldermen. They had been informed by a Petition from the inhabitants of the parish of St. Mildred, in London, that one Zacharie Letherland, who about seven years before had erected a tavern in the house
wherein Sir Alexander Avenon kept his Mayoralty, in the parish of
Allhallows, Bread Street, was about to erect another tavern in the
parish of St. Mildred, in a house formerly inhabited by an Alderman.
They were further informed that the City had within these few years
become so pestered with taverns, that latterly the better sort of houses
were taken up by vintners, at unreasonable rents, and converted into
taverns, to the maintenance of riot and disorder, and the great inconvenience and disquiet of the neighbours. They understood that, by
ancient Acts and Laws, made for the good government of the City, the
number of taverns had been limited to forty, and their places
assigned; but it was said there were now upwards of four hundred.
As the Vintners, above all other trades, were permitted to keep eight or
ten apprentices apiece, they would in time increase to such a number as
to be insufferable in a well-governed city. The Council, therefore,
desired that some speedy remedy might be applied by Act of Common
Council for the restraint of this enormous liberty of setting up taverns.
They also desired to commend the Court of Aldermen for the steps
already taken by them, forbidding Letherland to proceed further in the
erection of the tavern, and required them to hold a strict hand with
him, and, in the event of his disobedience, to commit him to prison
until he had given security to desist his present enterprise and never to
attempt the same again.
Hampton Court, 25th September, 1618.
V. 73. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor
and Court of Aldermen, with reference to taverns crected near to
churches, some within the churchyards, and others so near thereto as
to occasion offence and scandal both to civil government and to
parishioners at times of divine service, requiring them to ascertain
exactly all such taverns as were nearer to churches than was fitting,
or were any ways offensive thereto, and to take effectual order for
their removal, and for the prevention of similar erections for the
future, and to report their proceedings, with all convenient expedition,
to the Council.
28th June, 1620.
VI. 12. Order in Council reciting that the Mayor and Aldermen
of the City of London had reported to them that one Robert Burchmore having been called before them, and admonished to forbear
converting his house into a tavern, they had, upon his refusal to
conform himself to their order, committed him to Newgate, and
directing that he should remain a prisoner therein until he submitted
himself to the order's of the Court of Aldermen, or the Council
should give further directions in the Matter.
Whitehall, 30th May, 1623.
VI. 40. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor. They had received a Petition from Henry Friar, complaining
of the annoyance and prejudice sustained by him in consequence of
the conversion, by John Burdett, vintner, of a goodly house, anciently
inhabited by gentlemen, into a tabern. After referring to proceedings
of the Court of Aldermen of the 27th January last, in relation thereto,
and also to a letter from the Council, of the 25th September, 1618,
for remedying the inconveniences occasioned by the great multitude
of traverns within the City, they require the Lord Mayor to take
steps for converting the house in question to some other use.
(Marginal note says, the house was without Cripplegate.)
15th April, 1624.
VI. 73. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor and Court of Aldermen. The King had been informed of
great abuses committed by evil-disposed persons selling and retailing
tobacco throughout the kingdom, and keeping under colour thereof
tippling-houses and places of resort for lewd persons. The Council
required steps to be taken to search, examine, and find out all persons
selling tobacco by great or by retail by the pipe, and to be certified,
within seven days, of their names, residences, conditions, and professions.
Whitehall, 25th August, 1626.
VII. 53. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor. The King foreseeing the present dearth and scarcity, had, by
a late Proclamation, required that there should be an abstinence from
flesh on fish-days, and no suppers on fasting-nights, in inns, taverns,
&c., which Proclamation contained no new thing, but pointed directly
to laws and statutes formerly made and still in force for the keeping
of fasting-days, and restraining the eating of flesh in Lent and on
fish-days, as in the 2nd and 3rd Edward VI., cap. 19; 5th and 6th
Edward VI., cap. 3; 1st Elizabeth, cap. 5; and 35th Elizabeth, cap. 7.
It seemed very strange to the King and the Council that a Proclamation grounded on so many good laws, &c., and in a time of such
scarcity should be so much contemned in every tavern, ordinary, &c.,
in the City and suburbs, and the King was resolved to have it
reformed; and to make the reformation thereof within the City an
example to other places, it was His Majesty's command that the
Aldermen and their Deputies in their several Wards and the Justices
of the Peace should strictly examine as to offenders since the
Proclamation had been issued, and inflict due punishment on
delinquents, and in future see the laws put in constant examination
in victualling-houses, &c., and especially the Law of the 2nd and 3rd
Edward VI., Whereby offenders were to be imprisoned and kept without flesh during their imprisonment. His Majesty further commanded
that the Lord Mayor should appoint fit persons, to be nominated by
the Fishmongers' Company, to make search and present offenders,
and to see them punished, certifying every fourteen days to the
Council. The officers of the Ecclesiastical Courts had been commanded by the King to take order, according to their jurisdiction, that
offenders were punished according to the Statute 5th and 6th Edward
VI., cap. 3. That the reforming of the one abuse might not give
advantage to the practising of another, the Court of Aldermen should
take such a course with the Fishmongers' Company that the prices of
fresh or salt fish were not enhanced, and that the markets were well
served. The King's desire to see a reformation of these abuses by a fair
way might thus be perceived; but, if he found no speedy effect, he
would think of a sharper course to bring such wilful contemners of
the laws and of his commands to better conformity.
Whitehall, 12th November, 1630.
VII. 77. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor, referring to their directions for the prevention of the sale of
drink by defective measures, and for the employment of the penalties
levied on the offenders for the relief of the poor, and requiring a
strict account of the moneys received as penalties in each parish,
and also from unlicensed victuallers, and how they had been disposed of.
Whitehall, 15th November, 1632.
VII. 91. Order in Council with respect to three newly erected
taverns in the City, of which complaint had been made by the Lord
Mayor and Court of Aldermen, intimating that they, to whose care
and charge it belonged, must judge of the convenience or inconvenience of any new taverns, and accordingly either permit or make
stay thereof; and requiring a return of the number of taverns erected
since the former Order of Council of the 10th July, 1612; how many
of them were in inconvenient place; how many were in one man's
hands; whether more than one man were interested by partnership in the
keeping of one or more taverns; how many taverners used victualling,
and how long they had done so.
17th July, 1633.
VII. 94. Certificate from the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen (in answer to No. 91) that there were sixty-one taverns in
the City of which three were in inconvenient places—one in Finch
Lane, another (the White Lion) in Candlewick Street, and another in
Cheapside, of which the sign was not yet up. They could not ascertain whether more than one tavern was in one man's hands, or whether
more than one were interested in one or more taverns. As to
victualling, there was scarece a tavern which did not most frequently
use it, and had not done so more or less of late years.
Dated in margin, 8th October, 1633.
VII. 96. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the
Council, forwarding Certificate required by their letter No. 77.
Dated in margin, 8th October, 1633.
VII. 97.Order in Council reciting that the Certificate of the Lord
Mayor and Court of Aldermen (No. 94) only gave the number of taverns
erected since 1612, but not how many were licensed by the King and
how many by the Vintners' Company, nor the whole number within
the City and Liberties, all of which they intended by their former
order, and of which they required Certificate by the 6th November
25th October, 1633.
VII. 99. Order in Council for the suppression of all taverns
having signs and stairs to the water, "having regard that loose
persons, bankrupts, and such as are otherwise obnoxious, may
privately resort thither, and likewise shift away, and withdraw themselves from the justice of the realm."
6th November, 1633.
VII. 100. Certificate from the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen to the Lords of the Council, that the whole number of taverns
within the City and Liberties was 211, of which six were licensed by
the King, 203 by Vintners, and two by neither, the situations of which
are given. Another is also mentioned, which had been omitted in
their last certificate.
Dated in margin, 6th November, 1633.
VIII. 33. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor
and Court of Aldermen with respect to a complaint made by merchants of the City dealing in French wines, that the vintners bought
of the Frenchmen and other strangers rather than of the said merchants, to their continual loss and hindrance; and requiring the Court
to have the parties before them, and ascertain and certify to the
Council the price at which the vintners usually bought of the merchant, and the price at which they retailed.
24th April, 1616.
VIII. 82. Order in Council (upon the complaint of the Lord
Mayor and Court of Aldermen that John Price, Citizens and Vintner,
would, contrary to their order, set up a tavern in an unfit and
dangerous place, adjoining a warehouse in which flax and other combustibles were stored) directing that, forasmuch as the fitness
and unfitness of places for setting up of taverns belonged to
matter of government, and so therefore properly appertained to
the said Court, the contrary whereof could not be understood or
intended, either by the Statute or the Patent granted to the Vintners'
Company by King James, the said Price should submit himself to
the order and determination of the said Court, and not proceed nor use his
trade without their licence, but remove himself and his goods within
such time as they should appoint.
18th November, 1629.
VIII. 83. Further Order in Council, upon complaint of the Lord
Mayor and Court of Aldermen, that Price had refused to conform to
the above Order, instructing the Lord Mayor to give speedy directions
for shutting the doors of the tavern, and taking down the bush (fn. 2) there
set up, and ordering a warrant to be issued for the committal of Price
to prison for contempt.
9th December, 1629.
VIII. 84. Further Order in Council, upon information that Price still
continued to keep open the tavern and sell wine, and had taken in a great
store of wine, intending to continue the sale, directing the Lord Mayor
and Sheriffs to shut the doors of the tavern, and take down the sign
or bush before the same (if any there were), and to require Price, his
wife, and servants, not to sell any wine by retail there, and, if they
refused, to commit the said servants or any other persons to prison till
19th February, 1629.
VIII. 107. Same as No. 91, Vol. VII.
17th July, 1633.
VIII. 108. Same as No. 77, Vol. VII.
15th November, 1632.
VIII. 116. Same as No. 99, Vol. VII.
6th November, 1633.
VIII. 130. Same as No. 99, Vol. VII.
6th November, 1633.
VIII. 169. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Clerk
of the Peace or Town Clerk of the City of London, for a list of alehouse keepers and tipplers licensed in the City, distinguishing the
places and parishes where they dwelt, their Christian and surnames,
and their sureties, and the number of all the recognizances entered
into by any alchouse keeper.
31st December, 1635.
VIII. 171. Letter from the King to the Lord Mayor and Court of
Aldermen, with respect to his recent Proclamation against the unlawful
destruction of game, requiring them, as a ready vent was found for
the same in every tavern, inn, and alehouse, to cause every taverner,
innkeeper, ordinary-keeper, common cook, and alehouse-keeper, once
in every year, to become bound in the sum of 20l. not to dress, or
suffer to be dressed, or directly or indirectly to buy to sell again, any
such game. He had appointed two Commissioners to see the same
put in execution. He requested them to have an eye to such as,
being victuallers, transgressed therein, as unfit to be licensed, and to
certify their names to the Privy Council.
4th April, 1636.