The corporation of Rye
1581-90

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Institute of Historical Research

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Historical Manuscripts Commission

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1892

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74-95

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'The corporation of Rye: 1581-90', The Manuscripts of Rye and Hereford Corporations, etc.: Thirteenth report, Appendix Part IV (1892), pp. 74-95. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=67146 Date accessed: 24 September 2014.


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1581–90

1580[–1], January 2.—[The Mayor and Jurates of Rye] to Mr. Holstocke, Controller of the Navy.

"This bearer Nicholas Cheston, our friend and honest neighbor, hath related unto us, that thorough the untrue reporte of one of the company that saylled in his barke, he was staied in the Sergeantes, office of the Admiraltie by a certaine space for conveyinge awaye or councellinge of one Thomas Walker, another of his company, to absent himself, beinge before prest into her Majesties service, (the which ponishment he well deservid, if he had so farre offendid). And that afterwardes your Worshipe shewed him that courtesey as to lett him att liberty uppon his bond to brynge forthe the said Walker within foure monethes, for the which your frendshipe towardes him we yeld you harty thankes, and are further to crave your frendshipe towardes him that ye wold stand so good unto him to release him of his said bonde, beinge at this instant on a voyage and knoweth not when he shall retorne againe, and by that meanes may forfait his bond to his gret troble, if you be not good unto him. We are the bolder to request this much of you for that the said Cheston before us takith God to wytnes that he was not privie of the said Walker's departure in such order nether gave eny suche councell to him, and for our partes we beleve it to be true, the rather for that he is so honest a yonge man emongest us, as is obedient to all thinges as to him apperteynith, and the said Walker is not yet come unto Rye." Draft.

1580[–1.], January 10.—"A Proclamation for revocation of sundrie her Majesties subjectes remayning beyond the seas, under colour of studie and yet living contrarie to the Lawes of God and of the Realm. And also against the retayning of Jesuites and massing priestes, sowers of sedition, and other treasonable attempts." Printed by Christopher Barker.

1580[–1.], January 20.—The Mayor and Jurats of Rye to the Mayors, Bailiffs and Jurats of Hastings, Winchelsea, Romney, Hythe, Dover, and Sandwich.

"Whereas by sundry iron workes and glasse houses already erected and of some continuance, the woddes growinge nere unto the three townes of Hastinges, Winchelsey and Rye, are marvaylously wasted and decayed; and by reason of the same workes and others to be newly erectid, if spedy remedy be not had, the said woodes will in short tyme be utterly consumed in sorte as there will not eny timber be had for shippynge, waterworkes, housebuylding, nor wood for fuell, not only to the utter decaye of thoes thre townes, but also a want to your people inhabytinge farther of, as experience already teachith. And therfore we have gevin instructions to Mr. Gaymer and Mr. Carpenter, barons to the Parliament for our towne, for a bill to be drawen to the Parliament house therby to have a statut to passe for the preservation of the woddes growinge within certaine parishes lyinge nere and aboute the said thre townes." Draft.

[1580–1, January ?.]—Instructions to Mr. Henry Gaymer and Mr. Robert Carpenter, Barons to the Parliament for the town of Rye, for a bill to be drawn for the passing of a statute for the preservation of the woods in the several parishes following, viz.:—"Westfylde, Brede, Gestlinge, Nordiham, Beckley, the Isle of Oxney, Iden, and Woodchurch.

The causes of the destruction of these woods.

There is an iron forge in the Parish of Brede distant five, miles from Rye and one mile from Brede Bridge, at which place the woods are laden with lighters and so brought down to Winchelsea and Rye. The said iron forge is nearer to Winchelsea than Hastings.

There is an iron hammer in the Parish of Westfylde, which hammer is very hurtful to the haven, for by cutting a gate the water is turned from its accustomed course to the channel and so runs to the mill of the said iron hammer.

There was of late a glass house in the parish of Beckley, which destroyed a number of woods, and now there is another in the parish of Nordiham which has already spoiled a great store of woods. Those glass houses are very hurtful for as the woods about them decay so the glass houses remove and follow the woods with small charge which the iron works cannot so easily do.

The causes why those woods in the said parishes are to be preserved.

First, for the building of ships, fishboats &c. which are the maintenance of those towns.

Secondly, the want of timber to maintain piers, harbours, groynes, jetties, capstans to wind up shipping, provisions for sluices and gutters, ship board, barrel board for barrels to preserve fish, timber for gun stocks, wheels for ordnance, planks for platforms, ash trees for "fyters and makers."

Thirdly, the want of timber for re-edifying of decayed houses in the said towns, and for new buildings.

Fourthly, the scarcity of firewood and fuel that all degrees of people there inhabiting hath, and especially the poor fishermen who go to the sea early and late, and in the cold winter and stormy weather must have fire to comfort them at their return. The decay of the fishermen will not only be the utter decay of those towns, but a loss to the maintenance of the navy, for that they are the first that train youth tothe seas, and also the lack of fish will be found in her Majesty's house, the City of London and the country adjoining and also far off.

Fifthly, if the woods be so wasted that there should be want of fuel, the situation of the said towns is so cold, unsheltered, open to the air, on the flat face of the sea, and freighted with poverty hardly able to abide the after winters force—the people will be forced to seek habitation elsewhere and those towns left unemployed and open to the enemy.

Sixthly, The following towns, situate along the sea-coast, are relieved from the woods aforesaid with fuel and with timber for building, and come to have their barques and fisherboats built at Hastings, Winchelsea, and Rye with timber out of the said woods:—Brighthelmston, Michinge, Borne, Hastings, Wynchelsea, Rye, in the County of Sussex; Lydd, Romney, Hythe, Folkstone, Dover, the Downs, Sandwich, and the Isle of Thanet in the county of Kent.

It may please you to make the Barons and Burgesses of such towns on the sea coasts as you shall think best, acquainted herewith and to ground the matter upon the glass houses with some conclusion that the said woods may be preserved to sustain the aforesaid wants and not to any other use.

A proviso that such billets called by the name of Winchelsea billets for Calais, may be made for those towns as formerly so that they keep the ancient size for that kind of billet is the fittest for those towns and for shipping and carrying along the Ports to the aforesaid towns.

Another proviso that not keeping the size of those billets a forfeiture be made and that the said towns of Hastings, Winchelsea, and Rye take the benefit thereof towards the maintenance of their harbours.

1580[–1], February 4.—Order by the Mayor and Jurats of Rye.

"Forasmuch as it falleth out apparently that George Thorpe of Rye, fisherman, tooke certaine nettes and other goodes at the seas unorderly from a man of Treaporte by reason wherof the nettes of the said Anthony Mary and his company were allso taken awaye by thoes of Treaporte, and allso findinge that restitution is not to be had on eny partie of the said goodes and nettes, for finall ende to be had in the cause and without any farther demande to be had eny waye by the said Anthony or his companey for theire nettes, it is ordered by the Maior and Jurattes of Rye aforesaid that the said George Thorpe, his executors, administrators, or assignes, shall well and truly satisfye content and paye or cause to be contentid and paied unto the said Anthonye Mary to the use of him and his company in full satisfaction and contentation of the goodes and nettes taken from them by the men of Treaporte, the some of twenty poundes of good and lawfull money of England."

1581, May 6.—Certificate by the Mayor and Jurats of Rye that there came before them "Helen Frotier, the wife of John Frotier of the said town of Rye, lockyer, and complained of the injuries wronges and rigorous usage of hir said husband of longe tyme and at this instant, towardes her the said Helen, in sorte, as she is not only lamyd in hir lymes but allso standith in continuall danger of hir lyff, and therefore ment to departe frome him unto Roan in Normandy, prayinge us to signifie the truth of our knowledges, as well concerning her demeanour towardes the said John Frotier hir said husband as also his mysdemeaner towardes his said wiff. Wherfore theis are to signifie unto you for truth that the said Helen, ever sithens we have known her, hath behavid herself well and honestly towardes the said John Frotier, hir husband, in every respecte as hath becomyd a dutefull wiff, and lekewise towardes all other persones to our knowledges. And that the said John Frotier hir husband is a very drunken and beastly person and hath from tyme to tyme contynually beaten and marvaillous evelly entreated the said Helen, his wiff, wherof she hath often complaynid and we often tymes have ponished him for his lewdnes and yet no amendment followeth, but rather the poor woman in danger of her liff then otherwise."

1581, May 19.—The Mayor and Jurats of Rye to Sir James Croft, the Controller of her Majesty's household.

"Whereas uppon the pitifull complainte of the poore fishermen of Ry order was taken by you and the rest of hir Majesty's officers of hir Highnes' Grencloth upon the 18th of Aprill laste paste, that payement shuld be made unto them of the arrerages behinde for fishe purveyed by the purvyor or his deputie, untill the first of that moneth, and that clere payment for fishe to be purveyed afterwardes, shuld be made every fyftene daies. Nowe the said fishermen have newly complayned unto us that they are not paide the said arrerages nor yet for the fishe purveyed sithens, so as they are almost fyve moneths behinde of their mony which bringeth them in so lowe state as they are not able longer to contynue their trade to the seas (as they informe us) besides the missery their wyves, children, and family are presently in. Whereuppon they meane to sue unto their Honors for some present redresse. But we callinge to remembrance your Honor's late travels taken for them and supposinge their nonpayment contrary to your said late orders is wholy unknowen unto you, have thought it moost metest first to acquaint your Honor with the same and therefore are humble petitioners unto you that the defecte may be examined." Draft.

1581, May 19.—A Proclamation for the continuance of a certain Act against usury. Printed by Christopher Barker.

1581, July 17.—Safe conduct by the Mayor and Jurats of Rye to Charles Baudrye, who, with his wife and mother, has dwelt peaceably and quietly in the town of Rye for the space of nine years, to depart, with his wife and mother and all their household to Boulogne in his ship called the Gift of God manned with ten men.

1581, September 6.—Depositions taken before the Mayor of Rye, at the request of Nicholas Jeue, procurator, for Barthelmewe Arnold, and James Asselin in right of their wives, Loys le Dreu in right of his mother, Catherin Biancoussin, and Jeane, her daughter, resident in Rye, as to whether Loys Biancoussin, late the husband of Mary Vassage, took and enjoyed a cellar full of coals at Dieppe, the property of Nicholas Biancoussin, his brother, deceased. Catherin Biancoussin aged about seventy years deposes that the said Nicholas Biancoussin died about 18 or 19 years past at Dieppe. Jeane, daughter of the said Catherin, aged about thirty-four years, deposes to the like effect.

1581, September 21.—"A Proclamation for adjournment of parte of Michaelmas Terme 1581." Printed by Christopher Barker.

1581, September 26.—[The Mayor and Jurats of Rye to Lord Cobham.]

"Ther is a piratt, wherof is Capten one Peerse, that hath made dyverse spoyles and robberyes uppon such merchauntes and passengers as traffique the passages and other places, which contynually for the space of this moneth hathe remayned against the towne of Rie and doth barr the harboraugh, as none can goe forth or come in, butt he doth with his force apprehend and spoile, too the great losse of the merchauntes and impovrishment of our towne. His spoyles have been dyverse and amount unto greate somes which he hath taken from passengers commynge into our towne. First he did take one of Rye that was bound to Deape, laden with packes too the valew of 700li., cruelly entreatinge our neighbours and sent the barke empty in. Then he did take a Burton's [Breton's] shippe which now the pyratt dothe use for his more force and hath sent all the maryners into Rye in most poore sort and hath fired the man of war wherin he did first robb in. Upon Sunday last past he robbed another passenger which came from Deape unto Rie and detayned them untill Monday morninge and spoyled him of all the goodes he had, where one of Canterbury lost one hundreth and fyfty poundes. Also he robbed another passenger of Rie and tooke from an Irishman three score powndes in money and all goodes ells in the same that sarved his turne. Neyther doth hee cease butt as one that pretendeth too bar all men from us. He yet remayneth in sight of the towne redy to impeach all that shall come in or goo owt, to the overthrow of her Majesty's towne and spoile of her Majesty's lovinge subjectes. And for that, right Honorable, so greate a mischefe is too bee suppressed and such a enterpiller apprehended wherunto wee have most ready hartes if wee were warranted therunto, we do therfore implore unto your good Lordship and in most humble sort beseache your Honor to have consideration of this cawse as by your Lordship's good meanes ther may bee such order taken for the apprehension of this piratt as hee may bee chastysed."

[Postscript.]—"The piratt is stronge and those that are willinge to venter their lives wold gladly be entertayned with some consideration beefore they venter forth and the charges for the shippe and munytions will not bee litle, which is also too bee considered of by your Lordship." Draft.

1581, September 27. Cobham.—Lord Cobham to the Mayor and Jurats of Rye.

Concerning the pirate, your instructions are not so fully laid down to me as that I am able to inform my Lords of what burden, what number of men, or how well appointed he is, wherof you shall do well to certify me at large. Signed, and seal of arms.

1581, September 30.—[The Mayor and Jurats of Rye] to Lord Cobham.

"Concerninge the pirate which annoyeth our town we have made further inquiry of him and of what force he is. And the Brytains whoes shepe he hath taken, which were tenn daies abord him, do certefy us for truth that his barke is of the burden of 35 tonnes or theraboutes mannyd with 26 or 27 persons in the whole, two fawkenets and 6 small bases with certaine calivers and all other munitions for the warr; and, as they suppose, hath in consort another lyttle vessell of the burden of 18 tonnes but the perfait truth therof is not known." Draft.

1581, October 10.—The Mayor and Jurats of Rye to Lord Cobham.

Whereas the messenger we lately sent to your Lordship has related to us that your pleasure is we should articulate under our seal the substance of our request; we have considered thereof, and, if it stand with your Lordship's good pleasure, do think that the same is not the meetest way for divers respects, but that it would please your Honour to procure a commission for the setting forth out of the Ports such competent aid as shall from time to time be needful for the apprehension of such a pirate. Draft.

1581, October 16.—Order by the Mayor and Jurats of Rye "that service in the Church upon the working days shall begin, at six o'clock in the morning for morning prayers, and at five o'clock in the evening for evening prayers; and the sexton to toll to service upon those days half an hour before the hour of prayer. And also from All Saints next the great bell to be rung at four o'clock in the morning and so continue every morning until the Annunciation next."

1581, October 25. Richmond.—Lord Cobham to the Mayor, Bailiffs and Jurats of Rye Winchelsea and Hastings.

I have here inclosed sent unto you the copy of the letter the Lords of her Majesty's Privy Council, directed unto me, wherein I pray you with all diligence and expedition to take order accordingly.


Enclosure.—Letter from the Lords of the Council to Lord Cobham, dated 22 October 1581, setting out that "Wheras there hath bene here of late, out of sundry portes and creekes of the realm, divers shipps armed fourth unto the sea under coulor and pretence of newe discoveries and voiages into forreyn and unknowen partes, which beinge at the seas have and doe dayly commit piracies and spoiles as well upon the subjects of this realm, as of other princes hir Majesty's neighbours and allies in league and amytie with her Highnes, to the great discreadit of the whole realm and dishonor unto her Majestie: for the preventing of which disorder, she haveinge oftentimes heretofore, by the advice of us of her Privye Councell, sent into the maritime counties of the realme severall commissions and directions to have ben put in execution against such as shold in warleike manner arme and sett forth shipps unto the seas, wherof ther hath followed no redresse, but rather


the disorder increased; hir Majestie therfore, findinge that hir former commandments herein have not ben observed as apperteyned, has willed us in hir name expressely to charge and command you that presently, uppon the receipt hereof, you cause dilligent enquiry to be made in all the portes, creekes and roades within the circuite of your jurisdiction, what shippes are at this present in rigginge and preparinge for leike voiages to the seas, and to certefie unto us the burden of the shipps, to whome they do apperteyne, and by whome they are to be armed and sett forth, and for what places their voiages are intended, and not onely [not] to suffer them or any of them to departe to the seas, but also from this time forth not to permitt any shipp to be rigged and prepared within any of the portes, creekes or roads under your charge, for any voyage to the seas (other then the shippes of knowen merchantes goeinge in ordenary trade of merchandize) unless they shall shew unto you some speciall licence therunto, either from her Majestie or from us of her Privy Councell."

1581, November 11.—A Proclamation for the prices of wine. Printed by Christopher Barker.

1581, November 21.—Lord Buckhurst to the Mayor and Jurats of Rye.

"I am sorie that I shold have this occasion to conceave so just a caus of your hard deling, being alwaies heretofore so desirous to have bene a favorer and fartherer of ye and your causes to my power, and not a misliker as now ye do infors me. I had thought that the private letters of meself shold have bene sufficient to have moved ye in a far greter matter then for the acceptation of my servaunt, Thomas Edolf, into your feloship again, being as ye yourselfes well know both worthy therof and injustly put from the same. But sins it pleased my Lord Cobham to ad his authoryty to my request, methinkes ye shold have had a better respect than so lightly to have regarded both the one and the other, wherin his Lordship and I having conferred together and marveling not a litell that you shold offer any such deling unto us, have yet determined ons again to write unto ye and even so to requier you that if ye can allege no just caus why you shold in this sort kepe out my said servant Edolf as you have doon from out the feloship of a Jurate in your town, that then without farther delay you will readmit him, which if you shall refuse to doe you shal geve just caus unto my Lord Warden especially, and unto me also so far furth as my power may extend, to call in question your injurious delinges therin and to seke suche reformation as to justice and equitie appertaineth."

1581, November 24.—The Mayor and Jurats of Rye to Lord Cobham.

We have received your letters directed to the Mayors, Bailiffs and Jurats of Rye, Winchelsea, and Hastings bearing date the 25th October last together with a letter from the Lords of the Council. Since the receipt of the same letters there hath not been, nor yet are, any ships or barks armed forth to any foreign parts out of this town, but only well known merchants going in ordinary trade and not taking any great voyages but only into France "Burdees or Biscay" for wines oranges or such like merchandise. Draft.

[1580–1581.]—Richard Porth to the Mayor and Jurats of Rye.

"Whereas I, by the most assent and consent of the good parishioners of this towne about 5 yeares past, was electid and appointid your parish clarke and therewith to have all suche wages, duties and commodities perteyning to the same office. And for that Mr. Flecher had appointed Mr. Ruck to serve under him in his absence, a greate parte of that stipent, appertayning to my foresaid fees and wages, was abridged and taken awaye, in so muche as it was scant sufficient to mayntayn me and my poor wif. And the rather by reason of God's longe visitation amongest us, by reason wherof I could not instruct and teach children in kepeing of scole, as in tyme before I have don, which was a greate parte of my lyvinge, and the want therof gretly to my impoverishment. In tender consideration whereof, and in so much as at this instant Mr. Flecher is departid from our towne, and that (as I ame informid) Mr. Ruck hath that stipend appointid to him which Mr. Flecher had, whilest he was minister here, and further for that I know that it lieth most part in your Worshipes handes to restore those duties pertayning to my said office to me agayne, I most humbly beseche your Worshippes to extend your favourable goodwylles towardes me."

1581[–2], January 28.—Petition of the Fishermen and Mariners of Rye for a charter of incorporation.

[1581–2, January.]—The inconveniences which would grow if the fishermen of Rye should obtain an incorporation from her Majesty.

1581[–2], February 4. Dover.—Nichol Barrey to the Mayor of Rye.

"I send yow here ynclosed a letter from Mr. Secretarye Wallsyngham for 6 of your best barkes of your town to mack theyr repayr to Dover for the transportyng of musters and other for her Magystys esspesyall servys. I understand that her Magysty yn person wyll be at Dovor on Tuesday next at the ferthest. Wherefore I praye you all the hast possybell may be made of the sayed barkes to be at Dover, and that you returne aunswer by this berer how many barkes you send and of what burthen." Seal of arms.

1581[–2], February 4.—The Mayor and Jurats of Rye to Sir Francis Walsingham.

"This present Sonday afternone we receyved your lettres and with that dilligence that might be, have appointed fyve barkes the best and all that are at this present to be had in our towne, for that some are beneaped and the rest are dispersed on voyages to sondry places; which said fyve barkes are of the burden, mannyd and victualed as in the note herein closed apperith, and in suche good sorte as so short tyme wolde permit and, God willinge, shall departe from our towne tomorrow morning; being very sory that suche barkes were not at home as we wishe in hart for hir Majesty's service." Draft.

1582, April 1.—A Proclamation to denounce Jesuits traitors. Printed by Christopher Barker.

1582, May 29.—Certificate by the Mayor and Jurats of Rye that Doctor Fletcher, chancellor of this diocese, since the time of his coming to the office of Chancellorship had dealt very justly and uprightly in the execution thereof and therefore as he hath deserved great love among us, so we heartily desire he may long time abide and continue in this diocese, to the glory of God and the benefit of this country. Draft.

1582, June 25.—The Mayor and Jurats of Rye to the Bishop of Chichester.

The year past this bearer Mr. Grenewood, now our preacher, was by the then farmer of the vicarage of Rye retained to be our preacher. He having left his licences with his father in the north country we pray you not to doubt but that he hath those licences and they were shewed unto the Mayor of Rye who was the last year.

1582, October 8.—"A Proclamation for keeping the Terme at Hertford Castell and for adjournement of the same from mense Michaelis until Crastino Animarum" Printed by Christopher Barker.

1582, November 5.—The Mayor and Jurats of Rye to Sir Francis Walsingham.

"There is remayninge in our prison one John Hadmon alias Carter, a papist, which was here staied as he was passinge over sea and hath contynued by the space of 14 wekes past, of whome your Honor hath byn certefyed and of whome we thought good to put you now in rememberauce, for that as yet we have noe order frome your Honor for him, he lyinge in prison miserably without mony or succor otherwise then of the cheritie of the people of our towne to whome he is a charge and they waxinge wery therof." Draft.

1582, November 16., Windsor.—Sir Francis Walsingham to the Mayor and Jurats of Rye.

As regards your letter of the fifth of the present touching John Hamon, now prisoner in your town, the enclosed supplication has been exhibited to me from the said party but as he has not subscribed his name to it, I have thought good to send the same to you, requiring you to cause him to subscribe it with his own hand and that you administer the oath of supremacy to him, both which if he be contented to do, you may set him at liberty.

Signed, and Seal of Arms.

Enclosure. Petition of John Hamon alias Carter, late servant of Sir Thomas Copley, resident in parts beyond the sea, in which he renounces the Romish religion and prays he may be released.

1582. November 16.—The Bailiffs and Jurats of Hastings to the Mayo and Jurats of Rye.

"Forasmuch as at this presente tyme the Citie of London ys greveously infected with the plague (a disease very contagious and infectious) by reason wheareof, thorough the great concourse of people thither resortinge, and buyinge of wares amongest those as were infected weth the same disease, many townes and places hereaboute in the countrey (the more is the pyttie) by theire owne follie are infected with the same. And we—fearinge that the lyke may happen amongest us (which God forbydd) thoroughe the resort of some unrulie people owt from some infectious place about us to our fayre that is to be holden with us one St Clementes day nexte, the 23rd of this instant moneth of November—have thought it good that the same fayre for this tyme, to eschew the same daunger, shall not be kepte."

1582, November 26.—The Mayor and Jurats of Rye to the Bishop of Dover.

Whereas there were delivered to us by one Evernden of Byddenden in Kent a precept directed from you and others, her Majesty's Commissioners in Causes Ecclesiastical, for the apprehending of certain persons abiding in the foreign as also some inhabiting in our Town, to have them forth before you at Canterbury, these are to advertise you we are willing and ready to execute your precept for the apprehending of malefactors, so also are we careful that nothing be done which may be prejudicial to our liberties, which we are sworn to maintain. For such as are within our Liberties we will see they shall be forthcoming to appear before you within any the Cinque Ports, which we desire you to take in good part until we may be advised whether the men of the Ports ought to appear before Commissioners out of their Liberties. Draft.

1582[–3], January 10, Canterbury.—Richard, Bishop of Dover, W. Redman and Nicholas Sentleger to the Mayor of Rye.

Whereas upon special causes us moving, we directed forth process in her Majesty's name to you, Mr. Mayor of Rye, for the apprehension of certain disordered persons, namely, Stephen Harryson and Richard Danyel, commorant within the town of Rye, which process coming to your hands took no effect, but was as we are informed contemptuously rejected, both to the derogation of Her Majesty's authority and the encouragement of those lewd persons in their wickedness. These are therefore to signify unto you that unless you send those two persons to us at our next sitting within the Cathedral Church of Christ in Canterbury, we are determined to proceed against you for your contempt and to impose a fine on you to her Majesty's use. Signed.

1582[–3], February 5.—The Mayor and Jurats of Rye to Richard, Bishop of Dover, and others, the Commissioners for Causes Ecclesiastical.

"The precepts you sent to the Mayor are not executed but by consent of him and his brethren the Jurates, and therfore we thinke ourselves muche abused by those who soe informed you of the contemptuous rejectment of your former proces, for in truth we receyvid the same in that dutifull sorte as became us and wrote our letters unto you touchinge the same which we sent to Mr. Evernden to be conveyed unto you, the which we suppose are not come to your handes, for if they had we doubt not but you would have accepted them in suche good parte as we shuld not have byn thought or accompted contemptuous of her Majesty's aucthoritie, for we are no such persons, and so we trust your Lordship and the rest will think us, whatsoever the informers have informed, whome only we take to be in fault in this case. Theis berers Stevin Harrison and Richard Daniell are appoynted by us to repayre unto you to answer and do as their duties apperteyneth we hoppe they have not so delt as meritith the name of lewde and wicked persons, but we thinke matter more urged against them by the complaynantes than deservith." Draft.

1583, April 18.—The Mayor and Jurats of Rye to the Burgomaster of Dunkirk.

"Wheras heretofore some sute and controversey hath byn dependinge betwene our combaron James Milles of the auncient towne of Rye within the liberties of the Cinque Portes of England, merchant, and divers of your burgeseis and townesmen in sorte as the honest inhabitantes and marchantes of your said towne have withdrawen themselves frome their frendly and accustomid trafiqueinge with the inhabitantes and marchantes of our towne of Rye and other of the Fyve Portes as well to the loose and hindrance of your people as of ours, theis are therefore not only to certefye you for truthe that all such sutes and controversies as the said James Milles had or might have against your said burgeseis and townesmen for any cause whatsoever is wholy fynished and endid, but also that your inhabitantes and marchantes maye frely repaire unto our towne of Rye or unto eny other of the Cinque Portes or their members in their accustomed trade, without any lett or staye of the said James Milles or of eny other for him or in his name, promisings you by theis our letters that you and all other your burgeseis and townesmen shalbe moost lovingly and friendly welcome as in tymes past ye have byn and shall fynde us redy to shewe you eny frendshipe that in us lieth." Draft.

1583, April 19.—Proclamation against Retainers. Printed by Christopher Barker.

1583, December 2.—Presentments before the Mayor and Jurats of Rye of various offences. Common absenters from the church, occupiers of sciences and occupations contrary to the laws of the realm, victuallers for keeping idle and poor people in their houses to drink and play unlawful games, pots and other measures not lawful, several persons fined for selling sack at 8d. the quart and "Gasken wine" at 6d. the quart, forestallers, regrators, and ingrossers, common annoyances, wearing of hats (a large number of persons presented for wearing hats instead of English caps in going to church) butchers for killing of sheep called barren ewes, quarrellings and frays, fines for having wooden chimneys and chimneys that had been on fire, &c.

1583[–4], January 7.—The Mayor and Jurats of Rye to Lord Burleigh.

"Whereas longe sithens a licence was grauntid to the right honorable the Lord Montague for transportation of his woddes convertid into billets, called billets for Callice, a kynde of fuell of longe tyme usid here and alongest the coaste, which licence staieth for that so much of his wodes as were so made into billets is alredy transported and none of his woodes cutt downe to that use for this yere. It may please your Honour to be advertised that notwithstandinge suche as have dealinge in that licence do still transporte the leike billetes in suche sorte as ther are not eny to be had to releyve the want of the pouer sorte of our towne and the coast alongest, which hath them by the peneworth and so forth accordinge to there small abilities a matter to be piteid if it were to your Honor so well knowen as it is to us, whereuppon we have here at Rye made a restraine, not sufferinge eny frome thence to be transported; and nowe the dealers therin go upe with their vessels to Winchelsey and there lade and that no small nomber so as there is not eny of that fuell to be had with us this winter tyme, and restraine ther ladinge there we cannot of ourselves, nether doth our entreaty prevaile beinge out of our liberties and yet the place such as her Majesties enemies may easely from thoes partes be conveied over sea especially under culler of transportation of billets as Docter Marten was in a vessell laden with billets and himself conveyed into a rome made in the midst of them." Draft.

1584.—The Mayor and Jurats of Rye to Lord Burleigh.

Whereas in January 1583 we "were humble petitioners unto your Honor for staye to be made of the transportation of billetes frome Winchelsey beside Rye for divers considerations then to your Honor shewed, beinge before a restraint for the leike at Rye, by meanes wherof they obteynid from your Honor lettres directid to the Mayor and Jurats of Winchelsea and officers of the Custome there prohibitinge them to suffer any bylletes to be transportid frome thence. Yet nowe (your Honors lettres notwithstandinge) for that they either be old in date or els not to be sene, the officers of Winchelsey do daylye suffer all vessels comynge thither to lade and transporte billets frome thence, in sorte as the people of Rye, especiallye the poor can have none for their money, beinge besides a grete nomber of the Frenche who spend much more fuell then was wonte, and lyttel or none to be had but that which comith downe out of the contry by Winchelsey water, which is out of the liberties of Rye and out of your Honors supplyantes aucthoritie to make staye or restrainte therof, by reason of which said ladinge and transportation frome Winchelsey and troble of the informers agaynst the makers of bylletes as lately was complayned to your Honor, the people generally as well Frenche as Englishe, riche and poore of the said towne of Rye are at this instant in a hard case for fuell; and other townes of the portes which were wont to bringe commodityes to Rye wherof the towne had nede, as wheate, malte and such leike and to furnish themselves thare with byllets and other fuell for their provision, refrayne their trafique for that they cannot have the commoditie they were wonte." Draft.

1585, April 26.—Orders by the Mayor and Jurats of Rye that the town be viewed to find out the most meet places for fortifications. That the chancel on the south side of the Church called St. Clere's chancel or chapel shall be used for the powder house.

That one thousand weight of corn powder be bought for the great ordnance.

1586, August 15.—Order by the Mayor and Jurats that the new work done by John Prowze at Gungarden shall be filled up seven feet to make a foundation, that the higher ground sink not.

1587, July 22.—Order by the Mayor and Jurats of Rye that neither Gillam Vatmer of Rye, Frenchman, nor any of the French nation inhabiting within the liberties of Rye, do retail any canvas, linen, cloth, haberdashery-ware, mercery-ware or grocery upon forfeiture of ten French crowns.

1587, September 6.—Order for Mr. Thomas Edolphe, Mayor, Mr. Henry Gaymer, Mr. Robert Carpenter, and William Appleton "common clerk" to go to Dover to consult with the Lord Warden touching the service to be done on the Narrow Seas with a request "that the same may be don so frankely and frely towards hir Majestie as is possible whereby they may shewe their bownden duties to hir Highnes &c."

1587, September 17.—Report of Thomas Edolphe, Mayor of Rye, Robert Carpenter, and William Appleton, clerk, to the Lord Warden.

"Accordinge to the late communication had with the right worshipfull Mr. Richard Barrey, esquire, your Lord Lyvetenaunte, who certefied us from your Honor, her Majesties pleasure concerninge the service hir Highnes required of the Ports and their members upon the Narrowe Seas with twelve shippes of warr, thoroughly furnished, we have, with the commons of our Towne, deliberately considered therof and fynde that our Towne is so greately impoverished by the ruyn and decaye of the Camber, Puddle and Creeke there, with the decaye of the fishinge, that our people are not able to deal so liberally in this action as their willing and dutifull myndes are redy unto, having spent their goods to helpe the harbor which hathe taken small effecte for want of ayde, yet nevertheles redy in dutifull sorte to performe thuttermoost they can as be comith good and lovinge subjectes. We, and they by us, answer and certefy to your Honor that we will fynde and prepare in a redynes whensoever hir Majestie shall please to command the same, one shippe well armed and appoynted with all thinges necessary for that service although we have no helpe therunto but only one member named Tenterden, hopinge that hir Majestie, towardes that greate charge, will permit us to enjoye the benefit of that which in tharticles underwrytten is mensioned."

    The articles of our request.

  • (1.) That we may have "the placard" of Holland and Zealand in as ample manner as his Excellency granted the same.
  • (2.) That we may have such ships and goods as we shall take of the enemy and such ships and goods as we may rescue or replevy from the enemy.
  • (3.) That we may take and enjoy all such prohibited goods as shall be shipped to transport over the seas contrary to the laws of the realm.
  • (4.) That we may make lawful sale within the Liberties of the Ports of such goods or ships.
  • (5.) That if it happen by weather or otherwise any of our ships with their prizes come into any harbour or place out of the jurisdiction of the Ports that we may be permitted quietly to pass away into the Liberties of the Ports there to make sale without let or contradiction of the Lord High Admiral of England.
  • (6.) That if any question happen to arise for any of the said ships or goods so taken or rescued, that the trial may be had at the Admiralty Court held for the Cinque Ports at St. James' Church in Dover.

The furniture of the said ship to be:—Her burden to be 80 tons, and to be manned with 70 men. "For ordnance to have 3 sacres, 4 mynions, 3 fawcons, 4 fowlers, 20 muskets, 20 calyvers, 4 crossbowes to shote boltes of fyrework, 5 dozen shorte pykes, 1 dozen longe pykes, 4 roulaces of proff and 6 curates of proff."

1587, September 24.—Sale by Peter Keling of his ship and her furniture, except the cock boat, to the Corporation of Rye for 200 li. with an agreement that the same Peter shall have his ship again with her furniture, except the ordnance the Town shall put into her, when she has finished serving in the wars "better cheape by xx li. then wilbe gevin for hir."

1587, October 7, to 1588, May 10.—Money paid by Mr. Edolphe, mayor, towards the building of the pinnace. A book giving the weekly accounts in detail under the headings of shipwrights, timber, pitch, oakum, sailcloth, etc. The sum total is 53 li. 13s. 9d.

1587, November 6.—Order by the Mayor and Jurats of Rye that the watch be continued by the number of eight persons nightly to watch in form following:—at the Landgate two, at the Strandgate two, at the Gungarden two, and the other two to walk and to continue from eight o'clock at night till five in the morning, upon pain of grievous punishment, and not to depart in the morning until they have called at the Mayor's house. Also that the search shall be nightly maintained as it hath been heretofore or should have been by the Mayor and Jurats and those of the common council and to continue the same from half tide to half tide, and whosoever shall make default to forfeit for every time 6s. 8d. and to be imprisoned during the pleasure of Mr. Mayor and the Jurats. (Here follow the names of the Mayor, Jurats and common council appointed to search.)

1587[–8], January 22.—Order by the Mayor and Jurats of Rye that the fourth bell, which is cracked and broken, shall be taken down and sent to London to be sold to the greatest advantage and the money thereof coming to be employed for the buying of powder, match and other provision (in defence of the enemy) for the town of Rye. "And so conveniently as the Town shall be able, there shall be another bell bought at the general charge of the Town and to be hanged up in her room."

1587[–8], January 22.—Order that during the time of these troubles Mr. Mayor and his brethern the Jurats and all other officers of the Town shall be contributors and pay the watch of the Town as other commoners and inhabitants of the same do.

1587[–8], January 29.—Order for the town's ship to be sold to the best profit.

1588, April 8.—At an assembly of the Mayor, Jurats and Common Council, the Lords of the Council's letters to the Ports, dated the first of April, were read whereby the service of five ships is required from the Ports, and also the letters directed from the East Ports for a meeting at Dover were also read; whereupon Mr. Gaymer and Mr. Carpenter were authorised to go to Dover to the said conference.

1588, April 15.—At an assembly of the Mayor, Jurats and Common Council, Mr. Gaymer and Mr. Carpenter made relation of their proceedings at Dover about the service to be done with the five ships and a pinnace. The end whereof was that Hastings and Winchelsea with their members should find one ship of 60 tons, Rye and Tenterden one ship of 60 tons, Romney and Lydd one ship of 60 tons, Hythe to find the pinnace not under 25 tons, Sandwich and his members one ship of six score tons, Dover and his members one ship of 100 tons. These ships to be furnished by the 25th of this month of April for two months.

1588, April 15.—Certain of the Corporation of Rye appointed to deal with Captain Russell for the hiring of his ship to serve for the town in the service required by her Majesty. And upon composition had and made for the ship they are to proceed to the setting forth of the ship in all points meet for the said service.

1588, April 15.—Pier Connyoche, Frenchman, fined for firing his chimney.

1588, April 22.—The Town Council on this day chose Mr. Carpenter, Mr. Beale and Peter Kelinge to join with three of the French which Captain Russell shall appoint to apprize the ship and furniture appertaining to the said Russell, appointed to serve for the Town and to attend upon her Majesty's ships; which persons are to take an inventory and to see all things fitted as appertaineth and to have money from the Chamberlain for the same. The inventory runs as follows:—2 pieces of brass, 2 fowlers, 5 cwt. of powder, 1 cwt. of match, 15 muskets, 15 calivers, 2,500 biscuits, 14 tuns of beer, 300 nail of beef, 100 saltfish, 2 cwt. of bacon, 1 "scave" of pease, 1 cwt. of butter, 1 cwt. of cheese.

Officers of the said ship:—Mr. William Coxson chosen Captain, Mr. Edward Beale chosen Master and Josephe Okeman chosen purser.

1588, May 6.—Order by the Mayor and Jurats of Rye that the ship which is appointed to serve for the Town shall go forth on her voyage with all the expedition she may, and to be manned with 50 men and 5 boys.

1588, August 7.—Order by the Mayor, Jurats and Common Council of Rye that an inventory be taken of the pinnace and her furniture which appertaineth to the Town, and the same to be apprized and to be sold at that price, and if she cannot so be sold to be ventured to the sea by the Town by such as will venture in her at their own charges.

1588, August 7.—Account of the freight of the town ship which was taken by those that had authority to let the same ship forth to freight, and there remained due to the town clear 33li. 19s. 0d.

1588, October 13.—Mr. Awdeley Dannet and Mr. Robert Carpenter, jurat, chosen barons to the parliament and Mr. Carpenter to be allowed by the town for his parliament wages 4s. a day.

1588, October 13.—The Mayor, Jurats and Commons of Rye choose Mr. Coxon, jurat, to ride to Canterbury to meet Mr. Lieutenant there with the town certificate concerning the two ships and pinnace to be set out from the town. And his charges with a guide to be borne by the town.

1589, January 27.—Declarations before the Mayor of Rye by Pierre Destyn, Seigneur de Villeotz, living and a refugee, at Rye, damoyselle Marthe Vannissein also a refugee at Rye, wife of Maistre Jehan Lyein, minister of the Holy Gospel living at Sedan, as to the conveyance of land at Dieppe. Witnesses Jean le Forstier and Debault. French.

1588[–9], January 30th.—Account of money received and disbursed by Mr. Carpenter in setting forth the ship for the service of her Majesty in her fleet in the Narrow Seas. His receipts come to 181li. 9s. 0d. his payments to 191li. 3s. 4d.

1589, August 5.—Recognizance made before the Mayor of Rye by Pierre Destin, Sr. de Fivilldoetz, Marie de St Delys, widow of Charles de Nominant(?) Sr. de Sancourt and Marthe de Vannissein, wife of Jehan Lyenim, Sr. de Beaulieu. Mention also of Marye Calletot, widow of Richard Mayeu of Rouen, and her sons Danyel and Michael Mayew. Witness Jehan Wiard "advocat." Signed. French.

1589, September 13, Maidstone.—Thomas Randolph, Master and Controler of her Majesty's Posts, to Henry Gaymer, Mayor of Rye.

"Her Majesties pleasure is that for better expedition of such lettres as come to her Majestie's self or her Hignes Councell out of France, post horses should be layde from your towne to London in places most convenient, and to that effecte hathe given me expresse commaundement to see performed with all speede. Wherfore I praie you, Mr. Maior of Rye, to make choice in your towne of the most sufficient man that either keapeth an inne or comonlie servethe suche of horses as ordinarilie arrive out of Fraunce, and in her Majesty's name to require him to furnishe himself of thre sufficient and hable post horses at the leste to carry her Majesty's lettres or such as come from her Councell, so ofte as ether her Majestie herself or either of them please to send. And for that they shall knowe that this their service shall not be unconsidered, her Hyghnes is content to allow unto eyther of them 20d. per diem from the daye of their placeinge, duringe that service to be receaved quarterlie at my handes or so sone as I can have warrant for the same without faill. And to the intent they shall be the better hable to do her Majesty's service, they shall be allowed of everie man that rideth in poste 2d. the mile for eche horse that he rideth with, and 4d. for the guyde." Signed. Seal of Arms.

1589, November 12.—Agreement, made before the Mayor of Rye, between Pierre de Stin, Lord of Villerez, dwelling in the Parish of Villerez "Viconte de Dandely" at present residing at Rye by permission of the King of France, and Marye Calletot, widow of the late Richard Mayeu, burgess of Rouen, as guardian of Daniel Mayeu, her son, at present dwelling at Rye; concerning certain sums of money. Witnesses Jacques de la Haize on behalf of Pierre Figue "Viconte de Monstier-villier" and Jean le Forestier on behalf of "Morguy Bailliage de Gisors." Signed. French.

1589, November 12.—Licence from Henry Gaymer, Mayor of Rye, to John Allen to carry twenty or thirty thousand billets by the next convenient "passenger" to Dieppe for provision of himself and others of the Reformed Church there, who are greatly in need of them.

1589, November 13.—"A Proclamation against vagarant souldiers and others." Printed by Christopher Barker.

1589, November 16.—Agreement, made before the Mayor of Rye, between Nicolas du Val, burgess of the town of Harfleur, at present residing at Rye by permission of the King of France, and Marye Calletot widow of the late Richard Mayeu, burgess of Rouen, as guardian of Daniel Mayeu, her son, at present dwelling at Rye concerning certain sums of money. Witnesses Marye Poullain, widow of the late Master Pierre de Freueuse, councillor of the king at the Palace of Rouen at present having fled to the town of Rye, Jacques de la Haize on behalf of Pierre Figue "Viconte de Monstiervilier" and Jehan Regnard of Harfleur. Signed. French.

1589, November 21, London.—Henry Gaymer, Mayor of Rye, to William Tolken, deputy of the Mayor of Rye, and the Jurats there.

Mr. Knatchbull is a great suitor to the Lords of the Council to "inde" certain marshes lying above Bromhill. I told their Honours that it was so well known to me that the inning of marshes has overthrown the famous harbour of the Camber and also her Majesty's town of Rye, and therefore for my own part I thought that his intent could bring no improvement to the town of Rye or the harbour by the inning of the marshes.

Tenderden is taking a new charter, how far we may be prejudiced therein I pray you think upon, and send me your minds.

1589, November 28, Rye [London ?].—Henry Gaymer Mayor of Rye to Mr. Tolken and the Jurats of Rye.

My Lord Cobham is of mind that inning of Bromhill destroyed the Camber, and that generally inning of marshes mar good havens. He told me that her Majesty was minded to grant supply to Rye but doth stay the same for a time, and therefore he willed me to attend for her resolution. I told his Honour that it was thought at home that I trifle out the time and in the end there will nothing come.

Her Majesty having built divers new ships is minded to take from us all the ordnance that was in the Grayhound to put in the same ships. Seal of arms broken.

1589, December 1.—Obligation by Jacques Franquen of Rye, merchant. Flemish.

1589, December 2.—View of the salts pertaining to Guildford, Chayne Court and Christchurch, by John Stoneham and others.

"That thoes saltes of the Weanewaye and the Camber hed have many greate creekes issuing frome the mayne creeke called Weneway unto thoes saltes. And also many small creekes issuing and spreadinge abroade from thoes great creekes. And that every monethe water dothe cover the said saltes 12 tydes at the least the depthe of thre foote in some place uppon the very plaine grounde, and uppon some place more and uppon some place lesse, accordinge as the grounde dothe heithen or fall. And that the hedd of the Stoune nowe is, which some tyme was the hed of the Camber, is only mayntayned by thoes waters of the Weanewaye and wold with some small helpe, in respecte, become a very good Camber agayne in shorte tyme which otherwise by strayghteninge of thoes waters will utterly decaye, and the barr at the enterance of the Havon of Rye spedely increase, to the utter ruyn and decaye of the towne."

1589, December 18.—"A Proclamation for the prices of Wines." Printed by Christopher Barker.

1589, December 30, Blackfriars.—Lord Cobham to Thomas Fane.

"I have nowe by Williams receyved from you the certificate of the musters of the Portes in which I find their defaultes mensioned in this schedule inclosed, prayinge you with spede to lett every particular captayne understand of his wantes, and to give order unto them that the said wantes may be presently supplyed but especially to have their nomber of muskettes and stoore of powder increased. And the same to be certefied unto me with expedition for that I meane not to give in any certificate to my Lords till it be accordingly performed." Copy.

[1589.] Appointment of Nicholas Fowler to be pilot to the town of Rye during the term of his life, it being necessary to appoint such an officer in consequence of the decay of the harbour called the Camber, and the Puddle and Creek of Rye.

1589[–90], January 13.—Order by the Mayor, Jurats and Commonalty of Rye that all ships of the country and nation of France trading or coming into the Town of Rye as merchants and all men of war of the same country or realm (except those of Calais and Boulogne) being of the burden of 40 tons and upwards shall pay 6s. to the use of the poor of the same town, and every vessel or man of war under the burden of 40 tons to the burden of 30 tons shall pay 3s.

1589[–90], January 13.—"A Proclamation for the calling in and frustrating all commissions for the making of salt peter granted forth before that to George Evelin and others the 28 of January 1587, whereby many of her Majesties subjects were greatly abused as also that all peter made by the said latter commissions doe bring the same unto her Majesties store, etc." Printed by Christopher Barker.

1589[–90], January 20.—The Mayor and Jurats of Rye to Thomas Fane, Esquire, Lieutenant of Dover Castle.

"We meane to augment the nomber of musketes in lieu of calivers which we must do by courteous perswacions for that we have, with somwhat ado, alredy augmented them to the nomber of 29 and to increase them farther will require some tyme. But as towchinge our provision of powder which is omitted out of our roll of the selected bande; theis are farther to certefye and to that roll to be augmented, that the store of powder for our towne is one last and a half over and besides every private persons provision for the furnishing of their muskets and calivers." Draft.

1589[–90], January 25. The Court.—Sir Francis Walsingham to the Mayor of Rye.

"I have receaved your lettre conteyning your request that the Counties of Kent and Sussex might be directed to contribute towardes your charge in relieving the sick souldiers lately come out of Fraunce, and having made my Lordes acquainted therewithall I find them willing to take some course therein for your good, yet not resolved in what sorte untill they bee more particularly advertised frome you both of the certaine nomber of the said sicke souldiers with a catalogue of their names, the shires out of which they were imprested, the captains under whom they served, and with what pasport dismissed as also what pay they have receaved and what further they challenge to be due unto them. This done you shall receave their Lordships' further direction." Signed, and Seal of arms.

1589[–90], January 26. The Court.—John Wylgest (?) and John Colepeper to the Mayor and Jurats of Rye.

"We have recevid comaundment from the right Honorable the Lord Buckhurst for the bestowinge of the soldiers which were sent out of this countre into Fraunce and now ready to returne to their former places of abode so sonne as they shalbe landed. And also to see their armor and weapons saflie bestowed for the owners and that we should emparte his Lordships pleasuer herin to the Maiors of Rye, Winchelse, and Hastinge for their aide in the execution of the premises when any of the soldiers shall there lande. These are therfore to pray you yf any of the said souldiers do lande in your said towne that you would geve straight commaundement unto them presentlie to repayer to the place of their severall abodes upon payne of ymprisonment yf they be founde wanderinge without a passporte. And therefore it shalbe very well yf it would please you to make them a pasporte to pase directlie to the place of their abode and yf you think not so good to geve them comaundement to goe to the next justice in their waie to make them a pasport; but as we understand the proclamation, it appertayneth unto you to make them a pasport for that you are the next justice to the place of their arryvall yf they land in your towne, which matter we refer to your consideration. As tuchinge their armor and weapon yf they bringe anye we praie that you will make staie thereof and cause it to be laide upe for the owners, taking a note of the soldiers, of the names of the said owners and of their dwellinge places, and causeng some note to be made or marke of the armors and weapon so as the owners maie knowe them when they shall send for them" Signed.

1589[–90], February 2.—Order that 15li. of the money belonging to Francys Macquerye's children being 60li. and remaining in the Mayor's hands to the town's use and by the town to be answered to those children, shall be disbursed towards the sustentation of the poor soldiers.

1589[–90], February 5.—The Mayor and Jurats of Rye to [Sir Francis Walsingham].

"We tooke a viewe of the sicke and diseased soldiers in Rye and found eighty and odd that rested uppon the townes charge eight daies in moost miserable sorte, full of infirmities in their bodies, wonderfull sicke and weake some wounded, some their toes and fette rottinge of, some lame, the skyn and fleshe of their feete torne away with contynuall marchinge, all of them without money, without apparell to cover their nakydnes, all of them full of vermyn, which no doubte wold have devoured them in very short tyme if we had not gevin them moost spedy supply, whereby we were constrayned to washe their bodies in swete waters, to take from them all their clothes and strippe them into new apparrell, both shirtes, peticootes, jerkyns, breches, and hoose made of purpose for them. Then we appoynted them severall houses for ther dyet and kepers to watche and attend them, and also chirurgions to cure their woundes and rottennes and by theys meanes we saved some 48 of them which wilbe able to do hir Majestie good service, which otherwise had perished as the other did before we could provide the leike remedy to them all, and this hath byn to the town of Rye so great a burden as we are not able to beare. And that nowe happenith amongest us is much to our greiff (God of his mercy staye it in his good tyme) for the persons in whoes houses they were lodged and dyeted and the wemen that did attend and watche them are for the moost part fallen very sicke and every day ther dieth 4 or 5 of them with the infection that they had from thoes soldiors. In consideration wherof we are humble petitioners unto your Honor and unto the Lordes of hir Majesties moost honorable Privie Councell that the burden of this great charge which we have in chearitie and dutie performed towardes God and her Majestie, be not imposed uppon us, but that we may have releiff as to your Honors shall seme moost meetest to unburden us of so great a charge. The charges appere by a cataloge of the names in the booke which herewith we send your Honour which amounteth to the some of 55li. 11s. 3d. besides the contynuall charge of the soldiors, that remsyne in Rye at this tyme which wilbe above 40s. every day." Draft. Enclosure.—List of sick soldiers shipped at Dieppe and arrived at Rye without passports.

1589[–90], February 12.—A writ from Queen Elizabeth to the Captains or Constables "of our castles, portes, and blockhouses or their deputies" and to all other officers to whom it may appertain.

Whereas for our special service we have appointed sundry brass ordnance with their "mountures" and shot to be removed from certain of our forts, castles, and blockhouses for the furnishing therewith of sundry new royal ships, which otherwise cannot in convenient time be supplied, as the necessity of the service requireth, and that we mean to furnish all the said forts with sufficient iron ordnance of the like kind with their "mountures" and shot without delay; and therefore our will and pleasure is that you shall deliver out of your charge, to such person as the Admiral of England and our General Master of our Ordnance or to such person as shall by the Lord Warden and the Master of our Ordnance or the Lieutenant assigned or deputed, all such brass ordnance, as shall be specified in a schedule, to be conveyed by sea to the Tower of London. And whereas in the 27th year of our reign a supply of ordnance, powder, shot, munition and other habilments of war were sent to our forts, castles and blockhouses, our further will and pleasure is that a general survey be taken of all such ordnance, powder, shot, munition and other habilments of war.

In the schedule attached is given the number of "culverings demiculverings, cannons and demi-cannons and curtal cannons" to be taken from various castles and towns all along the south coast of England. At Dover are to be taken 17 "brasse ordinance in one capten Sampson's handes that brought them from Portugall vyoge." At Corf Castle "to bring away all the brass ordinaunce that was sent in the . . . . . Spanish shippe." At the end is an order that whereas divers brass ordnance of sundry kind brought into the realm "of the . . . . Portugall vyoage" and other like voyages which of right belong to her Majesty, that inquiry be made in any of the places westward of the river of . . . . of any such ordnance and the same so found to take to the Queen's use giving to the parties that make any lawful claim a note of hand acknowledging the receipt to her Majesty's use. Copy.

1589[–90], February 24. London.—Lord Cobham to Thomas Fane.

"Whereas last yere certeine orders were sent unto you for restraint of kyllinge and eating of flesh in the tyme of Lent, which, although for lack of due execution, wrought not that good effect which was required, yet her Majesty upon hope of better care to be had hereafter hath streightly charged and commaunded me to see the same orders to be now likewise put in execution in all the cheyfe townes and places in my Levetenancy and that I shold geve specyall order and dyrection unto you to have an extraordynary care and regard to see the said orders, which herewith I send you, more duly and diligently observed within their severall lymyttes and jurisdictions then it hath bene heretofore: which I do very ernestly recommend unto you, that with all diligence you will see them most carefully to be kepte and executed within all the Portes and their members according to the trust reposed in you. And to the ende her Majesty's gracyous purpose herein may not be defrauded by cullor of fayned sycknes or other excuse, it is thought meete that no lycence shalbe geven to any bocher or other victualler to kyll and sell fleshe, in tyme prohybyted, to any person whatsoever without speciall lycence from me the Lieutenant and that to suche only as upon good cause of sicknes and greater necessyty shalbe thought requisyt, that the prejudice dayly growing to the realme by dysordered eating of flesh in contempt of the lawes may be prohybyted." Copy.

1589[–90], March 9.—Certain persons appointed to deal for the vicarage of Rye to deal also for a lease of the parsonage of Rye, from Lord Buckhurst.

1589[–90], March 13. London.—Lord Cobham to Thomas Fane, Lieutenant of Dover Castle.

"I am to lett you understand that in respect of these troblesome tymes my Lordes of her Majesties most honorable Privy Counsell do think yt good that with as convenient speede as you maye, ye wold cause all the masters, subofficers, maryners and gooners, both in the Cinque Portes and members of the same, to be presentlie mustered and the names of all to bee taken from 16 to 60, chardginge them upon payne of deathe not to bee out of the way uppon any warninge; as also that yee wold cause the names to bee taken of suche as bee forthe in voyages and are shortlie too returne home, that uppon their arryvall the like commandement be also layed upon them, that uppon any sodden occasion they may be in a redynes. Which doon I hartely praie you to send me the rolles of the said musters that I may enforme my Lordes the names and number of the men and their severall habytations wher they dwell, and this to bee doon with all expedition."

1589[–90], March 19.—The Mayor and Jurats of Rye to [Lord Buckhurst].

"Whereas your Honor hath made a composition with Thomas Hebletwhaite for the vycaredge of Rye to our use, we humblye thancke your Honor therefore and for sondry other honorable curtesyes bestowed upon us. And do further herebye signyfye unto you that we will, with all honestye and care, observe suche covenauntes and conditions as your Honor hath made with Hebletwhayte." Draft.

1590, April 1.—Order signed by Sir John Hawkins, Sir Henry Palmer, W. Borough and B. Gonson that "whereas there have bene of late and nowe are in hande certayne newe shippes builded for her Majestie at Debtford and Woolewich, the makinge of which have bene comitted of trust to her Highenes master shipwrightes, for which woorkes they have used comissions under her Majesties great seale for takeing upp of timber, planke and other provisions and for the cariage of the same, as allso for takeing upp woorkemen for fellinge, squareinge and saweinge of timber and otherwise, in sondry shires of the realme, for which provisions, cariages and woorkemanship, to the ende the countrey in every place where such provisions have bene taken maye be fullye satisfied and payde for so much as is yet owinge and unpaide by the said shipwrightes or otherwise for the use of the Navye, the Lord Admirall and the officers of her Majesties Marine Cawses have thoughte good to cause proclamations to be made in such townes of every such shyre as may beste give knowledge to the inhabitantes of the same shyre, that they and everie of them maye bringe in notes to the Mayor, Bayliff or cheif officer of everie suche towne, within such convenient tyme as shalbe lymited, of such particular debtes as ys oweing within the same shyre for such provisions, cariages, woorkemanship, &c. and to whom and wherefore the same is dewe." Signed.

1590, April 6.—Order by the Mayor, Jurats and Commonalty of Rye that the Town ship be forthwith trimmed and furnished with all necessaries to make a voyage at the charge of the Corporation.

1590, April 25.—Order by the Mayor and Jurats of Rye that the Town ship being now ready to go on such voyage as she is hired for, and yet the restraint is not open, that the said ship shall presently by the grace of God go forward on her voyage and if any trouble grow by the passing of the ships and mariners without licence, the Corporation shall bear the charges thereof. And further it is agreed that the said ship shall have "an yron fawcon" which is in the possession of Edward Harris and that she shall have one of the Town's "sacres" of brass for the better furnishing of her and powder and shot from the Town store.

1590, May 8. London.—Henry Gaymer, Mayor of Rye, to Mr. Tolken and the Jurats of Rye.

The vicarage house has run to great decay and the reparation of the same will fall upon us if we provide not for the mischief before Heblethwaite seal his lease; I pray you therefore let the house be discretely viewed, for I mean to inform my Lord Buckhurst of the state of the house that Heblethwaite may be compelled at his own charge to leave the house to us well repaired, for so I am sure we must do at the end of our lease. The chancel also is much decayed that belongeth to the parsonage, of that also I pray you let a view be taken. Seal.

1590, May 12.—The jurats and commons of Rye to Henry Gaymer, Mayor of Rye, now being in London.

"According to your direction we have with good advice taken view as well of the vicaredge howse as of the chauncell and finde them to be greatly at reparations. The vicaredge howse wanteth three newe selles one in the hall, another in the entry and the third in the kytchen, and a newe grate and two newe postes. All which carpenter's work will cost 3li. at the least besides the mason worke for the repayringe of the walles and other leike worke will cost at the leike 30s. For the roofe of the said howse we cannot estemet the reparations for that the chambers are seeled. Also the chauncel belonginge to the parsonage, the most part of the roofe thereof is to be repaired with newe shingle the which will amounte unto 16 m.' of shingle at the least. So the reparations therof with the glase windowes will cost 15li. or 16li." Draft.

1590, May 13. London.—Henry Gaymer, Mayor of Rye, to Mr. Tolken and the Jurats of Rye.

My Lord Cobham told me this morning that he had moved her Majesty of our suit which she liketh, and my Lord doubts not but she will shortly grant it after she has talked with my Lord Treasurer. I would to God it were granted "for I feare yt will have yet now some groovinges of an agew" for suits at the Court go forward by fits.

The money that we relieved the soldiers is not paid to Sir Thomas Fludd. He giveth me very good words when it shall be received. I perceive he looketh for remembrance, you may if you please bestow a dish of fish upon him. Seal of arms broken.

1590, June 3. The Counter in Woodstreet.—Thomas Hebylthwayte farmer of the vicarage of Rye to the Mayor of Rye.

Touching the vicarage of Rye.

1590, August 12. Dover Castle.—Thomas Fane to the Mayors, Bailiffs and Jurats of the Cinque Ports.

The Lords of the Council have thought it convenient that the forces under the Lord Warden's jurisdiction should be put in a present readiness, and my Lord Cobham has required me with all convenient speed to signify to the Captains of the trained and untrained bands within the Cinque Ports, that, by the end of harvest now ensuing, their bands may be mustered. And by rolls of the musters in 1589 it appeareth that divers of the bands have but a small number of muskets (which her Majesty greatly disliketh) for the increasing thereof my Lord Cobham requireth that the jurats of every port town and member shall each furnish one musket or more at the least, as their several abilities will serve. Copy.

1590, December 1.—Order by the Mayor and Jurats of Rye that all the records of this Town except the books of entry, the Hundred books, books of the Chamberlain's accounts, other files of the last year shall remain in the chest in the Court hall, those books before excepted to be in the custody of the Town Clerk.