Several boxes are filled with miscellaneous documents and papers, and
petitions to the bailiffs, sorted and labelled, extending from the 13th
century to the 19th. I subjoin a chronological list of those which seem
the most noteworthy among the older papers, and of a few selected from
the large bundles of petitions, most of which deserve for their local
interest the careful examination which is being gradually given to them.
Some of these papers have been printed in the Transactions of the
Shropshire Archæological Society.
1. A copy, apparently written in the fourteenth century, but in a hand
which, except in the initial line, has evidently attempted (very successfully) to imitate a twelfth-century original, of an account of the
foundation of the abbey by earl Roger de Montgomery. It is endorsed:
"Carta qualiter domus Sancti Petri fuerat primo fundata."
An abstract of its contents is given in Owen's and Blakeway's
History, II. 19–23, where it is said that the "writing is of very remote
antiquity, scarcely later than the middle of the twelfth century." The
doubtful place-name there printed as Meiluil Hermer appears rather
to be Meiliul Hermer.
2. 1249–50.—Assays of the mint at Shrewsbury. "Rotulus de
assays, factus per custodes cuneorum Salopp., incipient. die Jovis prox.
ante festum Purificacionis Beate Marie ao r. r. H. xxxiijo"; ending
"Die Cinerum anno r. r. H. xxxiiij." The returns for forty weeks, the
assayers being Alan le Prude, William le Bor, and towards the end, in
the place of the former, Thomas Gherard.
Owen and Blakeway, I. 135, where for Pride read Prude.
1267.—Copy made in 1421, 9. Hen. V., from an exemplification in
the Records of 35 Edw. I., 1307, of the agreement between the Abbey
and town of Shrewsbury respecting the mills, entered on the Plea Roll
of 51 Hen. III. Owen and Blakeway, I. 130.
1270.—Receipt-roll of the tolls, and of their expenditure upon the
paving of the town, 54 Hen. III. This should be among the rolls of
bailiffs' accounts. It is noticed in Owen and Blakeway, I. 131–2.
1306–7.—Placita between the town and the abbey about the mills.
Printed in Trans. of Shropsh. Archæol. Soc., 2nd Series, VI. 341–357,
with translation and notes by Rev. C. H. Drinkwater.
1340.—Roll of felonies committed in the year 14 [Edward III.], with
notes in the margin of the fines inflicted, and with two or three entries
carrying on cases to 22 [Edw. III.]. In French. "Les. Jurors de
Salopeburs dient par lur serements de felonyes fetes del an xiiij."
1351, 13 Jan.—Acknowledgment (in French) by Richard earl of
Arundel of the receipt of 20l. in part payment of 300l. due to him from
the bailiffs and commonalty of "Salopbirs"; at Arundel Castle, f. of
St. Hilary, 24 Edw. III.
1374, 26 June, "die lune prox. post f. Nat. S. Joh. Bapt." 48
Edw. III.—Indenture of grant by John Stury and Reginald Mutton,
bailiffs of Salop, with the consent of the whole community, to James le
Dyere, of leave to raise the pavement and turn the channel in length
and breadth between his tenement near the bailiffs' gate, so that the
supervening water may have its course to the Severn near the tenement
formerly John Colle's, with guarantee to him and his heirs of the said
pavement and channel. Witnesses, Richard de Pontusbury, John de
Schettone, William de Longenolre, Richard de Beortone, Richard
Russell, John Perle. Round red seal; a figure kneeling before a figure
holding a key (the "Noli me tangere"?): "Sigillum . . bert' de
1397–8.—"Constabularii ville Salop. tempore Willelmi Willyley et
Nicholai Jerard, ballivorum ville Salop." A sheet of parchment is thus
headed, which gives the names of the burgesses of all the merchant
gilds, beginning with the "Corveysers," and marking the first two, three,
or four names in the lists of several of the companies as being the
Constables. The names of the journeymen ("servientes eorum") are
also given, and the inhabitants of the liberties.
1447, 2 Apr.—Letter from the bailiffs and burgesses of the town of
Osewestre to Thomas Forstere and Adam Goldsmythe, the bailiffs, and
to the burgesses, &c. of Shrewsbury. They certify that their cousin
and countryman Gruff of Kalcote and his son were never guilty of the
matter for which they are indicted, viz., for the "resset" of one Guttyn
ap Madwyn Lloit with his sons and other misdoers. "The said Gruff
hathe dwellet wit youe of a child, of whom we truste to God ye herd
never none untrouthe unto this tyme, nother of his sone."
1462, 31 Dec.—Letter to William Oteley, bailiff, from David Lloyd
ap Sere Gruffuth, asking for the release of a servant of his, arrested in
Shrewsbury, and he will do his law "as ye will awarde hym, for I wot
well that ye woll nott put hym under no strayte jugement but as law
and right will."
[1476–90.]—Two letters, one from the bailiffs of Oswestry to the
bailiffs of Shrewsbury, 5 Feb., the other from Thomas ap Meredith ap
Ric. to "Master M. Thornes, bailiff of Shalop," 4 Feb., respecting the
case of one Edward Sayre, whom the vicar of Oswestry is sueing at
Shrewsbury at the same time that he is proceeding against him at
Oswestry. The latter writer mentions "my cosyn John Davys yor
sone ye law," and returns a book Thornes had lent him.
1491, 23 Jan.—Grant by Thomas, abbott of St. Peter's, Salop, and
the convent, of the next presentation to the vicarage of All Saints,
"Welyngtone sub le Wrekyn," to Humphrey Kynaston, gent., Robert
Thornes, gent., Richard Egge, literate, and Robert Corbet, chaplain.
Seal entirely cut off.
n.y. 30 June, at Llansanfrait.—Letter from John ap Meredith,
parson of Llansantfrait, to the bailiffs of Shrewsbury, "in all hast
possibill," giving a list of successive purchasers of a horse, which he
himself had bought at Ludlow, and which is now attached at Shrewsbury on suspicion of having been stolen.
n.y. 30 Aug. "From thabbey of Wigmore."—Letter from John
Arundell to the bailiffs, desiring them to give to the bearer such money
and goods as were taken with Thomas Elmbough when the writer laid
his action for trespass against him.
1511–12. A parcel of orders from the Council of the Marches to the
bailiffs of Shrewsbury; 3, 4 [Hen. VIII.]. There is also a report to
the Council, at a later date when it was the Prince's Council, from the
Shrewsbury justices appointed for surveying the Severn and its
tributaries, respecting defaults not amended; an order in May, 1567;
1511, 10 Sept.—Letter (indented) to the bailiffs of Shrewsbury from
John Wosewall, of St. Chad's Almshouse, claiming fulfilment of their
promise to make an end of a dispute between him and his father-in-law
Robert Colle, respecting his mother's property, of which he claims to
be wrongfully deprived, and hence has "lyffyd longe in catyvite and in
1515, 27 Oct.—Draft of the return of a commission of enquiry as
to the districts comprised in the liberties of the town; dated Sat. before
the f. of All SS., 7 Hen. VIII.
[c. 1520], 3 March. London.—Letter from George Cowper to his
father, Thomas Cowper, town clerk of Shrewsbury. "If hit please
youe to here of my pore welfare, I was in good helthe at the makyng of
this bill, lawde to God. Also thankyng youe of your gret cost, wiche I
putt youe unto." Cannot as yet return his sword, for he can find no
carrier to take it. Mentions his sister, his uncle Ottley, and his cousin
Mary, who marvelleth greatly that she heareth no word from [her
father] Ottley; and master Done and his wife, whose tokens he hath
delivered to her son and daughter. "Ser, as for newes ther ys none,
but of late ther was herytyks here, which dyd take Luters openyons."
c. 1523.—Application from Thomas Hosier for reimbursement of
5s. 4d. which he paid during his being bailiff [in 1521–2] with Roger
Thornes, for his appearance in Chancery to certify the number of
Frenchmen that were within the franchise of Salop.
1524, 29 Jan., 15 Hen. VIII., at London.—Letter from William Toft
to the bailiffs of Shrewsbury, desiring them to discharge one of his
farmers, Evan ap Tyther bach, who is troubled by the writer's cousin
Hugh Philipps, whereas he has given his farmers day till Midsummer
next for all debt and duties. "My cosyn Hugh Philipps shall medell
no more with my benefice and with my fermers from hensforth."
n.y. 8 June. London.—Letter from Hew Phelipis to the bailiffs,
about the return of some writs "by Thomas Abromley is counsell"
"Delyver Jevan Aptydyr a baghe for anye mater of myne, for I have
don therewith, I will medyll no more therein."
, 31 Oct. "Alhalow Evyn." London.—Letter to the bailiffs
from Adam Mytton, employed in a suit with the city of Worcester.
Worcester has a charter of 11 Hen. III., the same year as the charter
of Shrewsbury, but the charter of John in his eleventh year to Shrewsbury has been delivered by Mr. Couper, and mention has been found of
one granted in his seventeenth year, for which Couper is going to
c. 1530.—Copy of a petition to the Commissioners of the Marches
from the inhabitants of the townships called the New Franchise of
Shrewsbury, claiming exemption from taxes, general and local, by the
charter granted by Hen. VII. forty years past and above.
[1528.]—Petition from Dr. Duffylde, the Warden, and the Brethren
of the Grey Friars, to the bailiffs and burgesses for further contributions
towards the repair of their house; with notes subjoined of money
granted. Owen and Blakeway, II., 463.
Temp. Hen. VIII.—Petition to the bailiffs from the Bowyers and
Fletchers of Shrewsbury, complaining that the statutes for encouragement of archery, which enjoin that children and servants above 12 years
of age shall have one bow and two shafts, are neglected, as also the
statute that forbids the unlawful games of bowls and tables, dice and
cards, the art of shooting in the long bows being a pastime very commodious for man's health, and in time of war the greatest defence
against the enemy, so that our nation has not only been had in great
terror by enemies but also in veneration by others as the country of
valiant victories gotten thereby. Consequently the most number of
people give themselves to unlawful games; so, although it may be
tolerable for the eminent inhabitants for their recreations to use sometime bowling or the like, yet it is not tolerable to suffer the common
sort of people to run into the fields with the bowls, and bowl all day
long in the open face of all the passers by. Apprentices and servants
not having bows and arrows found them by their parents and masters,
not so few as a hundred persons are betting, and playing by way of bets
their masters' goods, contrary to all good order, by means whereof the
strength of the town, if necessary against rebellion (which God forbid),
is weakened, and the living of the petitioners utterly taken away.
(This paper is amongst those relating to the Trained Bands.)
Temp. Hen. VIII.—Minute description of two men and their dress,
largely of velvet, an old man of 60 with a white beard, and a young
man called Robert Jones, both shoemakers. "If that you do take
them, send worde to Mr. Maior of Oxfforde, or to Mr. Alexander
Miller, taylor to the Kings Majestye in Breadstreite in London."
Temp. Hen. VIII., 13 March. Beaudley.—Letter to Thomas Couper,
"recorder of the towne of Shrewsbury" from Lewes Hanmer, about
some suit with the bailiffs, for which one Cook is appointed to appear on
26 March. Send some one with the words of the charter concerning
the matter, and the circumstance of the matter, "and also the exclamation of the lewd body," considering Mr. Port, Mr. Salter, Mr.
Bromley, and other of the Council will be here.
1548/9, 19 Feb. London.—Letter to the bailiffs from Reignald
Corbett, the recorder, respecting some law proceedings.
1550.—Regulations by Thomas Leigh and Adam Otteley, Richard
Lawley and Richard Leighton, as to the quantities of corn to be brought
weekly on the market-days by the farmers, severally named, from the
places round Shrewsbury, from November to Christmas, in pursuance
of the King's proclamation on account of dearth; with a letter to the
bailiffs from Sir Richard Brereton and Sir Robert Nedeham.
 29 July.—Letter to the bailiffs Purssell and Ireland from
William Heynes about his exchanging a horse with Thomas Harries,
of Terbyn, Cheshire, gent.
[1567 ? after Nov. 1566.]—Petition from a journeyman tailor to the
Council of the Marches against his employer for non-payment of wages,
with the reply of the latter alleging that the amount being under 40s.
the case cannot be tried by that court, and enclosing the list of garments
made by the plaintiff with the prices charged.
 11 March. Haughmond.—Letter from James "Berker"
[Barker] to bailiff Alen, desiring that a suit against one Rondell Lee
may be deferred on account of his being out of the realm on the Queen's
service in Ireland, having been pressed and set forward at the last
voyage of Sir Andrew Corbet and the writer.
1568, 24 Apr. "At my howse at Newetowne."—Letter from A.
Vavasor to the bailiffs, desiring them to enforce some bonds against
Mr. Price, or he will have to show their default to the Commissioners.
[See next article.]
1568, 6 May. London.—Letter to the bailiffs from the Ecclesiastical
Commissioners, Edm. [Grindal bishop of] London, Thomas Yale, and
T[homas] Huycke. Whereas it is thought that they have permitted
Richard Price, clerk, vicar of Kerry, whom they were ordered to
apprehend, to escape, and such manifest contempt and negligence in
the execution of the Queen's orders should be looked into and not
silently passed over, they are to cause the said Price to appear in the
Consistory Court at London on the tenth day after receipt hereof, or else
themselves to appear on the sixteenth day.
1568, 9 Aug.—Letter from the Council of the Marches, ordering the
pressing of four brickmakers and two tilers to be set forward for
Ireland, whither the Lord Deputy of Ireland and the Lord President of
the Marches are going, who require them for the setting forward of
1568, 25 Sept. Eccleshall Castle.—Letter to the bailiffs from Thomas
[Bentham] bishop of Coventry and Lichfield. Whereas there has
been a controversy between Mr. Powell and Mr. Payne about serving
the cure of Ness, which was settled by friends about Candlemas with
the condition that Mr. Payne should then depart thence, but who by
remaining a certain space after has come into great misliking with
many as having neither meant nor done honestly or faithfully, the
writer desires it to be understood that that doing was wholly his and
his officers', and that Payne's longer abode was in no point through his
seeking or procurement, but wholly and only by the bishop's authority
and charge, who found himself prejudiced in that the discharge was
without his knowledge and consent.—Printed in Trans. of Shropsh.
Archæol. Soc., 2nd S., IV. 64.
1569.—Petition from Robert Ireland, the younger, to the Council of
the Marches, complaining of the non-payment to him by the bailiffs
of Shrewsbury of arrears due to him at the time of his ceasing to be
bailiff in the preceding year; with an order thereupon dated 2 Dec.
1570, 13 Aug. Ludlow Castle.—Letter from the Council of the
Marches ordering strict search for, and the arrest of, certain lewd and
seditious spreaders of false and slanderous bruits and rumours that it is
intended to call down money to a lesser value, a thing utterly untrue
1570, 26 Oct. Ludlow Castle.—Order from the Council of the
Marches for the arrest of John Blease as a rebel, and to send him to
appear before the Council on 8 Nov., and also to sequester all his lands
, 3 Nov.—Petition to the bailiffs from Richard Higgons, that
the town will bear his charges in a suit in which he has to appear before
the Council of the Marches this day, which he has brought against
Thomas Poope and others for defacing and pulling down a tower or
bulwark at Creple Loode and for other injuries done against the town.
1570/1, 15 Jan. Ludlow.—Letter from David Lloid to Humphrey
Onslow and Hugh Beynes, the bailiffs, about a suit brought against the
town by Thomas Pope, in which they have to appear on 6 March.
1570/1, 3 March.—Letter to the same from Sir Andrew Corbett, appointing Monday next for the election of burgesses (for Parliament) in
pursuance of letters from the Queen.
1570/1, 5 March.—Writ signed by Rowland Lacon, esq., sheriff, for the
1570/1, 24 March. Watlesburghe.—Letter to the bailiffs from E. Leighton and Edward Onslow, two justices, to whom an action respecting the
seizure of a gelding had been referred by the Council of the Marches.
1571, 30 July, Hampton Court.—Copy of an order from the Queen
for strict search in every parish by constables appointed for the purpose
on 20 Aug. from 7 p.m. until 3 p.m. next day and on 12 Sept. and Oct.,
on account of disorders which have risen since the last winter, for all
rogues, vagabonds, sturdy beggars, masterless men and all persons otherwise suspected, and to punish them by stocking and sharp and severe
whipping, and then to convey them from constable to constable until they
come to the place of their birth or last place of abode within three years;
and this search to be repeated afterwards every fifteen or twenty days;
"for ther is no greater disorder nor no greater roote of theftes, murders,
pickinge, stealinge, debate and sedicion then ys in those vagabonds and
that riseth of them." Endorsed with lists of names of persons appointed
to make search in the several wards.
1571, 7 Sept.—Letter from Sir Andrew Corbett to the bailiffs, respecting his being ordered by the Privy Council to send up Lawrence
Bannester, esq., of Wem, to the Court, with certain packs and packets
of letters, which will hinder him from assisting them in the executing
the subsidy; makes request also in behalf of Thomas Beech, late
common serjeant of the town, who by that service is in danger, and who
they well know is no wasteful person, riotous, or such like.
1571, 13 Sept.—Letter to the same from Charles Bouthe, Jevan
Moris, and Richard Draper, three Commissioners appointed by the Court
of Star-Chamber to examine witnesses in a certain case, and who have
come to Shrewsbury for the purpose, complaining of the arrest of
William Stringer, clerk to Charles Bouthe, for small debts, he being a
privileged person in his attendance.
1571, 29 Sept., Walford.—Letter from Raphe Clive to the same,
respecting a case of the passing of a counterfeit gold ten-shilling piece.
, 18 Oct. From the Poole.—Letter to Humphrey Onslowe, esq.,
bailiff, from John Hewer [?] condoling on "the great losse and discomfort
that happened unto you by the deathe of your bedfelow"; thanking
him heartily "for my good cheere"; and asking his favour for a friend,
the bearer, who is sued in the bailiffs' court by one David ap David
Bobythen, but who has pleaded a foreign parley, "by reson the wordes
were spoken at Poole out of the jurisdiccion of your court of Salop."
[1571 ?]—Letter to the bailiffs, from London, unsigned, about a grant
of the fee farm rent paid to the Crown, which is being prepared for the
Great Seal. "The suite I confesse doth not countervaile the chardges,
yet in so hard a world we must be content with that wylbe had."
[1571 ?]—Petition to the same, for release from prison, from Nicholas
Lont, glover, committed for misdemeanours in the church of St. Julian
during divine service; after drink he cannot otherwise do, whereof he
was full at the time; he has a great many of children, and a wife, who
live only upon his hands.
1574 (?) Jan.—Petition to the same from the clerks of the four
parishes praying "for God's love" that whereas at their worships'
commandment they "did rynge in their severall churches upon Friday
last past, being the daie of the monethe of the crowenacion" of Q.
Elizabeth, they will see to their orators' pains, and those of other poor
men ringers who not only left their work and business, but also spent
money out of their purses. [Jan. 15, the coronation day, fell on Friday
in 1574, and also in 1563 and 1580.]
1576, 21 Dec.—Certificate by Sir Pirce ap Richard, vicar of Northope,
Flint, of his having this day buried Harry ap Richard, alias Harry
Andrew, glover, who died in his parish.
1576, 28 Dec.—Certified copy of a letter from the Privy Council,
enjoining the observance of abstinence and fish days, the neglect of
which has led to most excessive and extreme prices of victuals, and
also to the great decay of mariners and fishermen, a matter very prejudicial to the strength of the navy.
The Plague: Papers of various dates.
1537–8.—See under Bailiffs' Accounts, supra.
1563.—See under Municipal Registers, supra.
1576.—Letters to the bailiffs from Richard Prince and Andrew
Corbett. These are printed in Owen and Blakeway I., 369–70.
Orders issued by the bailiffs: all swine and dogs to be avoided out
of the town, upon pain of the forfeiture of the swine and killing of
the dogs; all cats to be killed: streets to be cleansed every Wednesday
and Saturday. and all other places and back-lanes once weekly; all
mixens ("mixsones") and "waterloades" to be made and avoided,
on pain of imprisonment: fires to be made every other night in
divers places in every street, on pain of imprisonment. [See also
List of infected houses.
1593. Nov.—Letter from Edward Owen and Hum. Hughes,
the bailiffs, to Mr. Thomas Brabant, pastor of Astley, and Robert
Pawmer, urging that a collection be made for the relief of the people
of Bishop's Castle, visited with the plague; with a similar letter
subjoined from Thomas Laughton; and at the foot the reply of
Brabant, who is sending about six strikes of corn, collected only
from his people of Astley.
1631, Nov.—Petition from John Meighen, "corviser," to the
bailiffs, &c., praying that in return for his viewing the sick at
Kingsland and applying medicines and salves according to the
directions oftentimes received from Mr. Boraston, and distributing
such victuals as were sent, he may be forgiven such blood and affrays
as he and his wife are in. (At first the petition was for "some
reasonable satisfaction," but this was struck out, and the prayer
for escape from punishment substituted !) Noted as being agreed
to, 4 Nov.
1632.—See infra, under that year.
1578.—Representations to the bailiffs Thomas Sherar and Thomas
Chorlton, signed by 18 burgesses, following up a former petition, calling
for inquiry into the government of the town, and complaining specially
of the illegal election of Roger Hayward and John of Gryffyth, alias.
Wynen, as common councillors, and of the misemployment of Robert
1578, 20 July. Pitchford.—Letter to the bailiffs from Adam Ottley,
upon an alleged case of stealing a hedge-bill which had been brought
, 11 Nov. 22 Eliz.—Inventory of papers and money which
Robert Ireland, esq., and John Perche, gent., delivered over in a chest
in the Exchequer to the new bailiffs.
[1580?]—Petition to the bailiffs from Richard Hamond, tailor, who
has been amerced in 3s. 4d. for taking stones out of the town-wall under
the house where he dwells, which was done without his knowledge, and
he has put others in their stead. Endorsed, "To be considered when
we talke of felons' goodes."
[1581 ?]—Petition from Roger ap Loyde (?), a poor creature, now
impotent by reason of having served seven times in the wars, who is
now derided and mocked, calling him Colepytt, and he, for avoiding
of their foolish derision, avoideth them, but now he is presented for
[1581 ?]—Letter to Adam Mytton from Edward Pue, praying him
to stand his friend, and not to let him be committed to prison for
revenging himself upon one who greatly abused him in his own house.
1581, 4 Dec.—Letter to the bailiffs from Edward Hussey. He has,
according to their precept, called together the parishioners of Battlefield,
who are, as is well known, very poor, and unable to yield any weekly
contribution for relief of others. There are two widows who have
relief at the writer's hands, and will be glad to have some further
allowance from the bailiffs. Richard Sandbrooke's wife came to ask
for fourpence more weekly; this the writer refers to the bailiffs' consideration, as the man has fourpence weekly from Mr. Poncebury, and
has of his own one cow and a heifer, and seven sheep, besides geese and
hens and good store of household stuff. There is also one John Richards
that requires relief, but he has only been in the parish since Christmas
last, and belongs to Upton Magna, whither he should be sent back
1581, 22 Dec.—Letter to the same from Edward Bulkeley, asking
for relief for two persons.
158½ March.—Petition from John Smith, to whom the care of an
orphan Richard Davies had been committed, against Thomas Studley
for not paying a sum due; with an order of the bailiffs dated 10 March,
"for that it dothe belonge to the dewtie of the majestrate to have care
of the fatherles, the widow and the oppressed," providing that the
payment shall be made, and for the boy's apprenticeship.
1583, 31 May.—Letter from the bailiffs to the wardens of the company
of bakers, commending to them, as to all the brotherhoods, the case
of John ap Rees, in behalf of whom Mr. Secretary Foxe, a burgess
and one of the Council of the Marches, has written, and to whom a
license has been granted to receive charitable gifts, he having by sudden
rage of fire had his dwelling-house and all that he had consumed.
Subjoined is a note that the bakers gave 3s. 8d.
1582, Aug.—Two bills for expenses connected with a journey to
Hereford to secure a house for the judges at the last assizes, and for
keep for the judges' horses and servants.
1582, 18 Sept. Plaishe.—Letter to the bailiffs from William
Leighton desiring that certain suits against his cook, John Hassald,
now in attendance upon him, may be stayed until the said cook's return
1582, 29 Dec. Langley.—Letter to the same from Richard Lee,
calling upon them to correct misdemeanours and great abuses perpetrated in an alehouse in Great Barwick, a former monition from him
having had no effect. He is continually troubled with complaints that
prentices and servants and other unthrifts do not only wilfully consume
there in unlawful games all that they have themselves but also neglect
their masters' business.
[1582.]—Petition to the same from Frances Andre, now in ward at
the Cage, whose husband John Andre, to whom she was married in
"Dyvelyn" (Dublin) three years ago, appears to repudiate her as not
being his wife.
[1582.]—Petition to the same from Roger Phillips, baker, desiring
that he may be satisfied for a diaper napkin and a box, which were
sent with fine cakes to their worships, and which though often demanded
cannot be obtained.
[1582.]—Letter from Samuel Wisbecke, an apprentice, to his uncle
Robert Harding, praying him to get the bailiffs to cancel his indentures,
that he may serve the rest of his years with some honest man who is
able to keep him and teach him his occupation, for he is evil used;
"I am so simpull in aparell that my master will not suffer me to goe
any further then they nedes must . . . . . When I goe out they
picke quarels on me, and report behind my bake in the stret that I spend
ther goods and that I stele ther tymber." Endorsed with a report of
the hearing of the case before the bailiffs; the master, Thomas Mynors,
and his wife are enjoined to bear no malice towards the apprentice for
his complaint; it appears that he is abused as well by his master for not
having apparel as by the rudeness of the wife of the master; he is to
have all manner of things which an apprentice ought to have for the
wholesomeness of his body; any further complaint to be heard and
[1582.]—Petition to the same from Ellis Beddo, committed to ward,
"for that he, contrary to your worshipes proclamation, did goe to sing
at undue time of night."
There are several petitions from other persons committed for walking
about at undue times at night.
[1582.]—Petition to the same from Thomas Jonson 17 years of age,
an apprentice, who has been fined 10s. for fighting, for which he was
grievously corrected by his master, praying to have the fine remitted,
for that he is a very poor boy, in worse estate than any prentice in
town, not having anything wherewith to satisfy the fine more than the
clothes upon his back, which are not worth ten shillings.
[1582.]—Petition to the same from Thomas Baccus, "translator, alias
cobler," praying that his misdemeanours may be forgiven, for which he
lieth in ward with a mighty pair of bolts, and he will never offend them
or any of their men.
[1582.]—Letter from John Parr to his father John Parr at Shrewsbury, begging that he and the writer's brother will become security for
his appearance at the quarter sessions, to which he is committed by Sir
Arthur Mainwaring, or else he will be sent to gaol (which will utterly
discredit him for ever) upon a pretended charge of attempting to steal
a horse. "This misfortune shall be a sufficient warninge for me
hereafter to beware of evill companie."
1583, 27 June. Salop.—Letter to the Council of the Marches from
William Tenche and Edward Owen, reporting their examination, as
ordered, into an affray between one Richard Dryhurst and the watchmen
on 22 June. The complaint of Dryhurst and a letter from the Council
are with the letter.
1583, 6 Aug. Apley.—Letter from Rowland "Berker" to the
bailiffs, William Tench and Eward Owen, thanking them for their
willingness to let him have the Council House; whatever any other
man will do for the same, he will do the like, and has appointed his
brother Chambers and his brother James "Barker" to conclude with
them. (The signature alone is autograph.)
1584, 1587–90.—Lists of prisoners, and of prison-fetters, &c. in the
custody of the sergeants. There are also lists for 1610, 1618, 1630–95.
1584, 26 March. "From my howse nere Charing Crosse."—Letter to
the bailiffs and schoolmaster from Sir T. Bromley, asking them to grant
a lease of the tithes of Whitchurch to his servant Thomas Mytton.
1584, 7 Sept.—Copy of a letter from the bailiffs to the Council of the
Marches, reporting that they have, as ordered, made diligent search for
Thomas Sturry, esq., but that he is not to be found, and that although
his dwelling is at Rosse hall in the liberty, where his wife and children
now are, and he has lands and tenements, &c., yet these cannot be
sequestered, as Richard Lea, esq., holds them as feoffee of trust.
Further particulars with regard to the property follow on another
1584, 27 Sept. Ludlow Castle.—Order from the Council of the
Marches to Richard Lea, esq., to sequester all the property of Thomas
Sturry, gent., which he holds in trust, the said Sturry having disobeyed
all the orders made by the Council at the suit of Thomas Sherer, gent.
1584, 3 Oct.—"An inventory of suche things which remayne in the
new little chest;" a short list of bonds and other documents. The last
item refers to charitable collections made in the town: "ij acquittances
for the collecc[i]on of Hastings and Geneva."
1584, 8 Oct.—Copy of a further letter from the bailiffs to the Council
of the Marches in the case of Thomas Sturry, reporting that all the
lands, &c. were conveyed by Sturry's father, Thomas, to Rich. Lea and
others for their own use, and not as feoffees of trust, and that Lea, as
survivor, now holds them as his own.
1584, 4 Nov.—"Articles to be inquired of for the profit of the
towne," respecting the making and selling of candles by various
1584, 8, 20 Nov. London.—Two letters to the bailiffs from W.
Weale and John Perche about their proccedings with reference to
proposals for a new charter and obtaining a grant of the office of
[1584?]—Petition to the bailiffs, &c. from two constables of the
"Monks Forrett" (Abbey Foregate) for some allowance for their
pains, mentioning also that one of them spent twopence for candles
"that night when the childe was fownde in St. Chadds churche
1584/5, March. London.—Letter to Adam Mytton from W. Weale
and John Perche; are about to return home, being wearied with the
little progress made in their "endles sute"; all the great personages
with whom they have to deal are so busied in parliament matters, and,
partly, their minds are so altered by the cross travail so earnestly made
against the suit, that the writers are discouraged.
1585, 30 June. Harnege.—Letter to Adam Mytton from William
Fouler; desires to know the state of the sickness in the town, that he
may signify the same to the judges.
[1585 ?]—Things which the bailiffs and burgesses desire the Queen
should be petitioned to grant to the town: i. the uniting to the town of
the parish of the Cross wherein the Moncke Forriat is situated; ii. the
site of the old decayed castle for a town gaol; iii. the confirmation of
existing charters, the erection of a weekly court instead of a fortnightly
one, and the providing endowment for a preacher. [These particulars
were granted in the charter of 1586.]
1586/7, 6 March. Sarum.—Letter to the Sheriff of Salop, &c., from
Henry, earl of Pembroke, appointed President of the Council of the
Marches, ordering a muster of all men able to bear arms, and provision
to be made for weapons, &c.
Printed in Trans. of Shropsh. Archæol. Soc., 2nd S., I. 432.
1588, 13 Aug.—Copy of a letter from the Privy Council to the Lord
President of the Marches. Whereas advertisement has been received
that the Spanish fleet, having taken their course northward, is come to
a place called Mor[a]y Frith, and has landed some men, and it is not
yet known whether their purpose is to join with the evil affected of
that realm, or only to stay and take in fresh water and other necessaries,
therefore the 600 footmen and 32 lances, directed to be ready for
northern service in the county of Salop, are to be prepared to be sent
to any place that may be appointed upon any warning.
1589, 7 Nov.; 1590, 15 Apr.—Two letters to the bailiffs of Shrewsbury from Richard Paule and Hugh Savage, the bailiffs of Bridgnorth,
complaining of the illegal taking of toll at Shrewsbury from burgesses
of that town.
1590, 2 June.—Letter to the bailiffs from William Gryffith and
Robert Brownesword, bailiffs of a town not named, complaining of like
illegal taking of toll from burgesses of "this poore towne."
1591, 7 Aug. At Sheffield Lodge.—Letter from Gilbert [earl of]
Shrewsbury to the justices of peace in the county, urging collections
in each township for the relief of Shiffnal, where both the town and
church have been almost entirely consumed by fire, and suggesting
the giving a license to the inhabitants to gather benevolence in two
1592.—There is a file of the bailiffs' papers for this year in a very
tattered condition, containing coroner's inquisitions, petitions, warrants, &c. Amongst them is a fragment of a copy of a letter from the
Council of the Marches to the bailiffs, respecting a suit brought by
Francis Englefield to recover some lands granted by the Queen to the
Earl of Essex as forfeited by the attainder of Sir Francis Englefield,
Knt., for high treason. With the coroner's inquisitions there are
inventories and valuations of the goods of two persons who drowned
1592, July. Cause Castle.—Letter from John Thynne to the
bailiffs, offering himself for election as burgess in parliament, to which
he has been moved by his good friends in the incorporation, and which
he the rather desires "for that my aunsetors weare neare inhabitauntes
to Shrewsburye, and for that I conceave a speciall good likynge of your
towne and the good governmente thereof." [He was not elected.]
1592, Oct.—Order for return of names of all ale and beer sellers,
who are to be charged not to use any manner of game, as tables, cards,
dice, "slydethrist" otherwise called "shuffelbord," upon pain of being
put down; until further order be taken for the suppressing the great
number of ale-houses, being one of the great sores of this commonwealth.
1592, 28 Dec., at Hampton Court.—Letter from the Earl of Essex
to the bailiffs, &c., recommending his servant Robert Wright, who is
thoroughly known to them, for election as a burgess in parliament.
[1592.]—Letter, written from the Court but not dated, to the bailiffs,
signed "W. Burghley," desiring that out of the bequest of 100l. now
coming to the town by the bequest of Sir Thomas White, a portion may
be granted to Thomas Browne of Shrewsbury. "What the man is, how
he hath and doth behave himself, what service he hath done to her
maiestie and the whole state . . . . is well knowne unto you."
The bequest referred to is the tenth share of money for charitable
loans, left to 24 corporate towns, to be taken in turn, and the first
occasion for Shrewsbury's receiving it was in 1593. This letter therefore belongs probably to 1592 or 1593. Browne's service in discovery
of a supposed plot was in 1571, and he was again busy in 1574. See
Vol. V. of Trans. of Shropsh. Archæol. Soc.
1592/3, 11 March. From the Court.—Letter to the bailiffs from the
Earl of Essex, thanking them for the election of his servant Wright as
burgess in Parliament.
Owen and Blakeway, I., 550, where for Eynes read Eyres.
1593, 15 June. Beawdley.—Letter to the same from M. Sherer,
advising them as to steps to be taken to solicit the resort to Shrewsbury
of the Council of the Marches.
1593, 8 Oct.—Letter to the same from Richard Herbert and another,
certifying that John Mytton, gent., is assessed in Montgomeryshire for
the subsidy granted in the last parliament.
1593, 31 Oct. "From my house at Coton in Wemes parish."—Letter
to the same from Richard Harrison, expressing his readiness to cease
sueing (being bidden by Christ to forgive those that trespass) Robert
Kempe upon a bond for money due from his deceased brother John
Kempe; will send an attorney to pay what is due from himself to some
in Shrewsbury for Mr. John Newport, of Wellington, deceased.
1593, 19 Nov. Grinshill.—Letter to Mr. Laughton, "chiefe precher
of the towne of Salop," from John Lawrence, minister of Grinshill,
with a list of contributions of rye received for relief of the poor people
of Bishop's Castle. "To amplifie it myselfe I am not able, for my
stipend for servinge the cure beinge but iiijli is verie litle (you know)
for me to live upon, and not sufficient but that I take paynes in teachinge
of children, and thereby gett something although not much."
1593, 21 Nov. Ludlow Castle.—Letter to the same from the Council
of the Marches, signed by W. Leyghton and H. Touneshead, desiring
that a collection may be made on behalf of the inhabitants of Church
Stretton who have had their dwelling-houses and goods consumed by
fire. On 20 March following, in reply to a letter from Fr. Phillipps,
46s. 10d. were paid over as the amount of the collection.
[159¾.] At Mr. Norton's, at the Blue Boar in Bookbinder Lane,
London.—Letter from Thomas Holand, apothecary, to Mr. Fouler at
Harnege Grange, asking his advice as to proceedings, for some alleged
wrong, against the bailiffs of Shrewsbury, whose disobedience he had
showed to Sir George Carey and Sir Thomas Heneage, being at dinner
with one of the sheriffs of London. "I will set them out in print, as
you shall se very shortly, that all England may singe and laugh at ther
159¾, 19 Jan. Salop.—Letter from Adam Mitton to William
Fowler, esq., in answer to the preceding letter, which refers to a quarrel
in the streets on a Sunday night when Holland was "very farre
overseene with drinke."
159¾, 17 Jan. "From Bu[shop's] Castle."—Letter to the bailiffs,
signed by eight persons (bailiff and aldermen) with hearty thanks for the
contribution of 20l. 0s. 2d., for the relief of their poor people, specially
acknowledging the help given by the preachers, Mr. Laughton and
159¾, 11 Feb. Park Hall.—Letter to the bailiffs from Ro. Poucl,
the High Sheriff, about his endeavours to procure the holding the assizes
Trans. of Shropsh. Archæol. Soc., 2nd S., V. 294.
1594, 9 Oct.—Letter from the bailiffs to William Fowler, one of the
Council of the Marches and steward of the town; about the murder of
one Thomas Lacon in a street-quarrel; with a letter from Jo. Croke
and Fowler, at Ludlow, 11 Oct., and another from Fowler alone,
13 Oct., relating to the enquiry.
1594, 2 Nov. Haughmond.—Letter to the bailiffs from Rowland
Barker, complaining of the assessment of a servant for the subsidy, who
is not liable.
1594, 19 Nov. Cond[over].—Letter to the same from H. Touneshend,
desiring postponement of the hearing of a case on account of the absence
1594, 28 Nov. Cudington.—Letter to the bailiffs from Rondulphe
Brereton, George Bostocke, and Roundale Dod, respecting the due care
of certain assignments of trust kept in the exchequer at Shrewsbury
for the benefit of the four daughters of John Heath, their kinsman,
1594, 22 Dec.—Letter to the same from a poor minister, John Parker,
thanking them earnestly for the collection, at the motion of Mr. Thomas
Laughton, of 2l. 5s. 2d. for his relief: "being left and forsaken of this
people, and not above x or xii persons of 500 families performinge the
payment of my promised stipend, and all by reason I cannot accomplish
the servyce requyred at my hands."
1594.—Papers relating to the weekly assessment for relief of the
poor, with a list of defaulters in St. Chad's parish.
1594.—Pleadings before the Council of the Marches in a case of
Pigeon v. Owen and Hughes, 36 Eliz.
1594/5, March.—Copies of three orders from the Privy Council for the
providing horses for the conveyance from place to place of Captains
Jenkin Conway, John Goring, and William Mustion, or Mastion, who
are appointed to conduct companies of footmen for service in Ireland;
with an order in the case of the last-named to the lord mayor of London
and others for the impressing of a chirurgion and a drum for his company. 1 Apr.—Copy of letter from Will. Chandos and Henry Poole
at Gloucester, requiring the providing of post-horses for Capt. Mastian
(sic), and lodging and diet for his company of 94 footmen, who are to
embark at West Chester for Ireland.
1594/5, 19 March. Dublin Castle.—Pass for William Mynors, gent.,
to repair to the Court in England.
1595, 7 Apr.—Letter to the bailiffs from Thomas Leighton; understands that one has come to Shrewsbury with commission to press a
drum for service in Ireland, and is desirous to take Roger Moynes, who
has been always employed by the writer as a drum for the training of
his soldiers; and whereas he is charged to be ready with all his
soldiers at an hour's warning for the Queen's service, he desires that
the bailiffs will take care that the said Roger Moynes be not pressed.
1595, 11 Apr.—Letter to the bailiffs from Richard Prynce, asking
that a collection may be made at the next sermon at St. Chad's for the
relief of a very poor man, Thomas Shaw, aged 91, who is not able to
[1595.]—Letter to the same from Richard Anderton, a sherman,
desiring that a general watch may be kept this night for John Raban, a
carrier dwelling in "Bernyngam"; he and the whole crew went to
Tong on Wednesday, yesternight to Bruton in Cheshire; this night
they are appointed to be at Chester, whither the writer will ride
presently, for so he has sent word to Mr. Waadde the secretary of
her Majesty's Council. [This was found among the papers of 1571, but
must relate to the business of the following letter.]
1595 [Apr.].—Letter to the same (very roughly and indistinctly
written) from Richard Anderton, a prisoner in ward, demanding to
know the cause of his commitment, and that he may be released forthwith to go to London to attend upon his master lord Hunsdon upon
St. George's day. He came post with his commission concerning
certain traitors that John Raban conveyed from London. Two of the
said traitors he followed on foot to Hampton; on Wednesday night last
they all lay at Tunge; on Thursday they separated, but the writer
brought two, one being the chief traitor, Mr. Jonson, Master of Arts,
brought up at Oxford, well known to Mr. Jordan, preacher and
minister of Wyllynton parish, and the other unknown, to Shrewsbury on Thursday at 11 o'cl. at night, but could at that time find no
bailiffs or sergeants, and the traitors "went over thys brygge to what
place I know not" [and escaped].
The description of Jonson, the Oxford M.A., follows on a separate
scrap of paper: about 30 years of age, a proper fine man with a yellow
beard, a "toppynge" hat, a doublet of black lye grogram laid on with
black lace, a pair of old (?) boots, and a gold ring on his fourth finger:
Mr. Jurdan of Welyngton knoweth the traitor: "nowe rydden
towards the Poole, as I understand; therefore let the sheroffe rid
1595, 19 Apr. Whitehall.—Copy of an order for the supply of posthorses to William Rowland, gent., employed in her Majesty's affairs to
the town of Carnarvon.
1595, 30 Apr. Greenwich.—Similar order with regard to William
Wyne, esq, going to the county of Carnarvon.
1595, 18 May. Ludlow Castle.—Letter to the bailiffs from W.
Leyghton and Thomas Cornwaill, two members of the Council of the
Marches, desiring the stay of a suit respecting the title of the ground
called Kingsland and the right of common there, until the time
previously fixed, viz. 18 June, by the Council for the ordering of the
matter by Richard Corbet, esq. and Francis Newport, esq.
1595, 25 May. Okes.—Letter to the same from W. Sherer respecting
some letters sent by him to the Council of the Marches.
1595, 3 June. Harnege.—Letter to the same from William Fouler, on
behalf of his friend John Shelvocke, who having had his house and
barn, with all his goods to the value of 60l., besides his books, utterly
consumed by fire, has obtained letters placards from the Council in the
Marches to take the charitable benevolence of well-disposed people.
Desires that Mr. Lawton and the rest of the ministers may be asked to
cause his letters to be read in their several parishes, that he may receive
some relief, and that the magistrates will show him what favour they
1595, 8 July. Mariton.—Letter to the same from Rychard Lloyd,
John Hockleton and George Harries. Forasmuch as it hath pleased
God to visit their vicar with sickness, so that he cannot do the requisite
duties, such as he usually did accomplish, they have thought it very
necessary to procure some other minister to supply his place, sufficient
for learning, honest for behaviour, and sound and zealous for religion,
and finding their neighbour, the bearer hereof, Mr. Jervis Thomas, a
graduate of the university of Oxford, and a qualified preacher, they
request that he may be approved to supply the necessity, not in any
sort to dispossess the Vicar, neither to diminish his living, being but
poor and having no other means; but if it should please the Almighty
to call the poor man away, that then this bearer should succeed him,
according to the desire of the parish. [The name of Jervis Thomas is
not found in Foster's Alumni Oxonienses.]
1595, 11 Nov. High Ercall.—Letter to the same from Sir Francis
Newport.—Hearing that they intend to build a new market-house he
commends to them a mason of approved skill and honesty, Walter
Hancocke. It is not unknown to them that the writer has had great
cause to make trial of workmen, and therefore can well write of his own
knowledge and experience that they cannot match the man in these
parts in science and judgment of workmanship, or in plainness and
honesty to deal withal; prays that he may undertake the work more in
good will to the town than to him, although he loves the man well;
knows that if Mr. Justice Owen were in the country, he would say as
much on Hancock's behalf.
[1595.]—Petition to the same from Evan Davyes, curate of St. Mary's,
who had long served under Mr. John Tompkys the late minister, and
was appointed by the preceding bailiffs to serve in the same place after
his decease, for one quarter, which expired at Michaelmas day last; but
the bailiff of the school, the usual payer of the minister's stipend,
refuses to pay him.
[1595.]—Petition to the same from Adam Bradshaw for the yearly
allowance of 26s. 8d. for keeping the clock in the Booth Hall.
[1595 ?]—Twelve minute "Interrogatories to be ministered to Marie
Modlicot alias Higgons," as to her attendance upon her brother Richard
Modlicott during an illness, tending to show that she had been bribed
to poison him, by some "herb, powder, root, confection, oil, ointment
or other thing." A letter from Richard Modlicott to Adam Mytton
about some law proceedings, dated 19 Apr., is written by him as "a
[1595 ?]—Petition to the bailiffs from five persons who, having a
special care and love towards the maintenance of artillery, as a game
not only allowed by the laws of the realm of England but also most
laudable to be exercised by all men, did of their own proper costs and
charges erect for the parish of St. Julian's in the common lane near to
the Hermitage, in the liberties, a pair of butts, complaining that one
Thomas Griffiths (son of Griffith Lewis, the common apparitor or
somner for the diocese of Coventry and Lichfield, whose house called
the Hermitage is accompted a house to retain people of bad behaviour)
did pull down and subvert the said butts, to the only intent to suppress
that good exercise and to maintain bowling; they pray that he may
not only receive condign punishment, but may erect the butts again.
1595/6, 24 Feb.—Letter to the bailiffs from William Fouler, recommending two persons to be licensed to sell ale; will not write on the
behalf of any but such as he takes to be honest and of a good conversation
and behaviour in their house.
1596, 12 Sept. Greenwich.—Copy of an order for post-horses for
Capt. Henry Tolliet going to Chester to embark for Ireland.
1596, 26 Oct. Serjeants' Inn, Fleet Street.—Copy of a letter to the
justices of peace in the county of Salop from William Peryam and
Matthew Ewens, respecting the Queen's instructions for the providing
for the due bringing of corn to market and mitigating the great price
[1596–7?]—[Ten] "Articles injoyned by the Q. Majesty uppon
her subjects for thavoidinge of God's wrathe against this realme," in a
time of dearth and scarcity. Prayers on Wednesdays and Fridays;
fast days to be observed, and that which is saved by sparing to be given
to the poor; collections to be made; persons not to break up house and
leave their habitations, nor discharge servants for [the sake of] sparing;
1597, 14 Apr. Whitehall.—Copy of an order for post horses for
Capt. Crofts appointed to go into Ireland with 100 men levied in the
counties of Montgomery and Radnor.
1597, 30 July.—Similar order for John Welsore.
1597, 25 Apr.—Copy of a letter to the justices in the county from
Will. Peryam and Matth. Ewens, for a return of the number of alehouses, in pursuance of commandment from the Lord Keeper for utterly
suppressing their unnecessary number, and that none be henceforth
suffered to continue but such as shall be very needful and well ordered.
1597.—Two letters, from London, to Mr. Webb and Mr. Gibbons,
the bailiffs, the one signed by Edw. Bulkeley and Th. Laughton, dated
10 May, the other from Laughton alone (Bulkeley's son-in-law) "from
my house in Great St. Bartholomew's," dated 2 July. Having been
asked to find a preacher for the town, they have endeavoured to do so
but those whom they thought qualified decline the place on account of
the stipend being too slender for these hard times. They proposed the
uniting of St. Mary's to the preachership, but have had no reply to their
proposal. Langhton is now so infirm and ill that he desires to be eased
of the burden of finding a preacher and that the bailiffs will take it upon
themselves; but he recommends Mr. Thomas Higgons who is near them
and well known to them.
1597/8, March.—Papers relating to the purchase of 600 quarters of
wheat, "manckcorn," rye (200 quarters) and barley by the Corporation
of Shrewsbury from one Thomas Oxwick of Walsingham, Norfolk, for
transportation by sea to Bristol, and thence by the Severn, for the relief
of the poor people of Shrewsbury, in a time of scarcity. Petition from
the Corporation to the Council of the Marches for warrants from the
Privy Council for free transportation. Letter from Thomas Browne,
an agent employed in procuring the corn; in consequence of 4,000
quarters of rye being sent to Ireland, the price of rye has risen from
30s. to 34s. a quarter, to be had of the merchants at Bristol by Bristol
measure (which is better than London or Winchester) at 40s. Copies
of other letters and instructions.
1598.—Proceedings in a long suit concerning tolls levied in Shrewsbury, 40 Eliz.
1599, 16 Apr.—Letter from the bailiffs of Shrewsbury, John Perche
and Richard Dawes, to Thomas Brabant, the minister of Astley,
notifying the appointment of overseers with the churchwardens, for
relief of the poor in St. Mary's parish (of which Astley is a member)
according to the Act of Parliament, and desiring a return of the poor
persons to be relieved in Astley; with his answer subjoined, giving a
list of seven people relieved by the churchwardens and overseers in the
1600, 2 June. Clifford's Inn.—Letter from Nicholas Gibbons to the
bailiffs, respecting a case as to the staying of some corn from crossing
the bridge until the pontage-toll was paid, whereas it was not due until
the bridge was crossed.
1601, 31 May. Greenwich.—Copy of a letter from the Privy
Council to the High Sheriff and Justices of Salop. A great part of the
Welsh cloths which are taken to London are bought by French
merchants, and of late years fault has been found with them after their
being transported into France, whereby the cloth of this realm that
heretofore had reputation to be the truest and best made, hath not only
been discredited, but the French King hath taken occasion to confiscate
all those English cloths that have been found, upon trial by water or
otherwise, to shrink, cockle, or be in any wise defective; therefore if
the abuses in making of false cloth be not corrected, the trade will be
in peril to be overthrown. And the chief abuse being in colouring
defects by stretching defective cloths upon tenters, a thing forbidden by
Act of Parliament, therefore not only the use of tenters in stretching
cloths or cottons shall not be suffered, but all ropes, rings and wrenches
to stretch cloths, with the heads and lower bars of the tenters and all
other engines and means for straining of cloth either in length or
breadth, shall be abolished and quite taken away.
temp. Eliz.—A petition to the bailiffs signed by 17 persons prays
that they will without delay see that the arrears of the fee-farm rent to
the Crown and the proffers in the Exchequer are paid, as otherwise the
charter of the town may be forfeited.
temp. Eliz.—Letter from H. Touneshend, the steward of Shrewsbury, to the bailiffs, bidding them to come prepared with their charters
to justify before the Council of the Marches their imprisoning of a
person who has petitioned against them; the Castle at Ludlow, 24 Feb.
temp. Eliz.—Copy of an order from the Council of the Marches to the
bailiffs of Gloucester, to appear at Ludlow Wednesday after Midlent
Sunday to answer to a complaint of the burgesses of Shrewsbury for
arresting merchandise passing by the Severn for toll, contrary to their
temp. Eliz.—Petition from John Gyttyns the younger, for discharge
from imprisonment, having been committed "for playing at the foot balle
upon Shroftusdaie, and for throwinge the balle from hime whene the
serigent Hardinge demaunded the same."
temp. Eliz.—Petition from Margaret Freman for release "oute of
this misserable prison" of the Burgess Gate, where she lies upon the
bare boards, overpressed with irons, and ready to starve with hungers,
justly punished for speaking certain idle words of Mr. Tonks [Tomkys]
the public preacher.
temp. Eliz.—Petition in the name of the burgesses: 1. that the
pasture called Behind the Walls may be enclosed this winter season
from rooting with swine, and that the inhabitants may have their cattle
there: 2. that the pastures be not let to any private person, but kept
for the use of the poor burgesses, after the rate of 10s. a beast summering: 3. for that some think it more beneficial to set it to such as
will give most for it, "for answere therto I say . . . . so many of
you as be of that mynde have small regard to the due consederacion
of the comon welthe, for ys yt a comon welthe to opprese ourselffs with
our owne, and not to be comforted and cherished by the same?"
4. That the poor may have the benefit and partiality be avoided, let
the names of the most needful, who have kine to be relieved, be put in
a bag to the number of 100 more or less, and so many be taken out
for the first year as the pasture will well bear, and the rest remain for
the next year.
[1605 ?]—Petition to the bailiffs from William Gylson, milner,
imprisoned for profaning the Sabbath-day, in carrying of meal and
travelling with his ware, contrary to their proclamation.
1608, 23 Nov. York House.—Letter to the bailiffs from Lord
Ellesmere, the Chancellor, recommending a petition from Thomas
Higgons, gent., "whoes father I knew long, and loved for the good I
knew in him; and I hear no lesse good report of this his sonne."
1614.—Petition to Richard Hunt and Thomas Gardner, the bailiffs,
from Thomas Stubbe, complaining of the noisome condition of the lane
leading from St. Alkmund's vicarage to the Hey Street, one end of
which was granted to the parishioners of St. Julian's, and by that
means stopped, and made a mixen place and worse, and offering to take
the place at a yearly rent, and he will pave it and drain it, "and withall
will plante that odious place with odoriferous herbes and flowers." An
order to view and report is subjoined, but apparently nothing was done,
for in 1622–3 there is a petition from George Hunt complaining of the
same lane as being most vilely and unseemly polluted, and that there is
a noisome mixen continually haunted with swine.
1615, 28 Aug.—Pardon under the great seal to John Davies, miller,
for knowingly receiving and harbouring one William Dennys who on
28 Nov. 1613, broke into the Exchequer of Salop, and stole
29l. 7s. 6d.
1622/3, Feb.—Returns, in pursuance of an order from the High
Commission, to the bailiffs of the quantities of overplus-corn remaining
in the liberties and in the parish of St. Julian which can be brought to
1623, 1 Sept. Shiffnal manor.—Letter to the bailiffs from Edward
Bromley, complaining that they have not punished one Walter Grynsell,
tanner, for shameful speeches offered by him in open court to the
writer's cousin Thomas Owen, the town clerk, and desiring that they
will bind Grynsell over to appear at the next gaol delivery, and
meanwhile to be of good behaviour.
1628, 9 June. Chirbury.—Letter to the bailiffs from George Bray
and Hugh Whalley, churchwardens of Chirbury, informing them that
on last Sabbath day, 8 June, an instrument was fixed on the church
door by the apparitor of the Bishop of Hereford, intimating to the
patrons that Mr. Davies, late vicar, had resigned the vicarage; which
they therefore notify, as the advowson has been conferred under the
Great Seal on the bailiffs and burgesses.
1629.—Petition to the bailiffs, Rich. Gibbons and Will. Rowley, from
Peter Studley, curate of St. Chad's, desiring that in consideration of
his, for peace sake, giving up his claim to some small tithes in Frankwell which the Free School has deprived him of, by his consent,
because he has not leisure nor liking to attend upon troublesome suits,
they will grant him 44s. yearly to make up the rent of 7l. 4s. which he
has to pay yearly to the Crown for his Easter book and for some
pastures belonging to the town, and towards which they have for the
last three years given him 5l. yearly. In this they will settle peace
between the Church and the School, and gratify the request of the
Bishop and the Chancellor. He also asks that they will pay 53s. 2d.
which Mr. Typton hath caused to be spent in a needless suit, for which
he will forego the two last years' rents of tithes, for which he has not
recovered one penny.
1632, March.—Petition from Thomas Lloyd, vicar of St. Alkmond's,
to be admitted a burgess without fine, he being a widower, and not
likely to have any issue, in consideration of his having ever since the
plague began read morning prayer daily within his parish, where the
people of the town daily resort in a greater number than they formerly
did, to his great danger. Agreed to, 30 March.
1634/5, March.—Petition from Richard Davyes, a "trowman" (or
boatman), praying that he may have his burgesship freely, in consideration of his assisting to break the ice in the river when the last great
frost went away that it might have passage through the Stone Bridge,
bringing timber, &c., when part of the bridge fell, and his saving a
woman from drowning. Granted, 23 March.
1639, 3 July, Ludlow.—Letter from Tym. Tourneur (the Recorder)
to Thomas Jones, Esq., mayor. "The assises nowe drawe neare. You
know how you were blamed the last assises that you had not done
fitting observances to my lords the judges of our circuite in producing
to them our new charter, and presenting them with velvet coates, or to
make them coates; the things to be done are neither chargeable nor
trowblesome. The displeasure that may encrease by the neglect may be
verie prejudiciall to our towne, and confirme our censure of pride. It
is unsaffe and indiscreete for us to contend with judges. I pray you
consult with the company about it, and resolve on a course to recover
that we have lost."
1641.—Petition from the fraternity or company of corvisours, representing that in other cities and corporations, market-places and certain
days are assigned for the open searching, sealing, and selling of leather,
in accordance with the law, but that for want of such in Shrewsbury,
tanners sell leather there in private, some half-tanned and some halfdried, and the searchers and sealers visit and seal privately, by which
covert dealing much ill-tanned and bad-conditioned leather is vented,
and the petitioners and others defrauded and deceived. They pray
therefore that a fitting market-place and a certain weekly market-day
be appointed for the public searching, sealing and selling of all leather.
Endorsed with an order on 12 Nov. 1641 for consideration and report.
1644, March-Oct.—Warrants and orders respecting the collection of
assessments for Prince Rupert's forces, with depositions of many persons
respecting their income, including one William Boraston, gentleman and
practitioner in physic.
1660.—A roll of eighty-six declarations, on parchment, chiefly by
tradesmen of Shrewsbury, of their laying hold of the King's pardon as
promised in the Breda Declaration. Among the signatures are those of
Capt. Edward Turner and of several soldiers in his company, Richard
Bagot, esq., Daniel Jenks, gent., Robert Lathropp, gent., Humphrey
Mackworth, esq., John Evanson, gent., Richard Smith of Great Ness,
gent., Edward Baudewin of Diddlebury, esq., Gabriel Lloyd of Poole,
gent., Francis Tallents, clerk, Richard Heath, vicar of St. Alkmond's,
Moses Leigh, clerk, and Creswell Tayleur of Rodington, esq.
The list of names is printed, with notes by Rev. N. Auden, in Trans.
of Shropsh. Archæol. Soc., 2nd S. II. 144–158.
1661, 15 Nov.—Copy of a petition from the Corporation to the
House of Commons, praying that nothing may be done to hinder the
working of the coal mines at Madeley, Broseley, and Bentall, which have
been erroneously represented as being in danger of being wholly exhausted,
by the introduction of coal from other places, which is being endeavoured
by the making the brook Stower in Staffordshire and Worcestershire
navigable, for private interests upon pretence of public good.
1688, 8 Dec.—Copy of a letter [from the Mayor] to a peer, informing
him that the town is open and ungarrisoned, and that he can enter
without any opposition.
Owen and Blakeway, I., 499.
1798, 6 Nov.—Printed form of license for aliens, filled up with the
name of John Juison, licensed to reside in Shrewsbury for one month;
in pursuance of the proclamation for registering of aliens.
A bundle of tattered and imperfect market accounts of sales of cattle
and horses, extending from 1525 to 1668 in occasional years, possesses
interest, not merely from their being probably unique in point of date,
but from their giving descriptions of the animals, with prices, and names
of buyers and sellers.
W. D. MACRAY.