Tracts, Discourses, and other Remarks,
Concerning the STATE of the
City of LONDON.


A Discourse commendatory of the City of London. Of Cities in general. Of the Singularities of this City. The Benefit of its Situation. Martial Services: And Aids to its Princes. Its Government. Its Numbers of Inhabitants. Their Qualities. Their Strength. Their Wealth. Merchants. Retailers. The great Advantages accruing to Prince and Country by London. Rebellions and Tumults of the Citizens. The Causes thereof. And of their Punishments inflicted by some of the Kings.

NOW by Way of APPENDIX shall be added several notable Tracts, and other Discourses, relating to this City; which will farther illustrate the State, Grandure, and general Benefit of it. The two first whereof, with some Part of the third, were collected by Stow himself, and added to his Work, when he first set it forth; the rest are new.

J. S.

The first was written by some learned and ingenious Citizen, (whose Name is lost) and an Acquaintance of Stow's, about the Year 1578; when the City began greatly to encrease in People, and Buildings were multipied in and about the City, for the Entertainment of them. A Thing disliked by the Court and the Politicians, least London might grow too great, and so become formidable; and the Country, with the rest of the Towns and Cities of this Realm, left too empty, and destitute of Inhabitants necessary for them. And hereupon, in those Times, several Orders were made and issued out, to stop any farther Progress in new Edifices, and several threatned to be pulled down. This Gentleman, in this Tract, shews his Opinion in this Matter; and his Judgment was for countenancing the Greatness of the City. He took Occasion here to treat of the Government of it, the Condition of the Citizens, and of their Power and Opulency; and finally, of the great Benefit that redounded by it to both Prince and People. Before this Discourse Stow set a Preface, omitted in the after Editions, which I have restored: And was this that follows.]

NOW since I have given you an outward View of this City, it shall not be impertinent to let you take an Insight also of the same: Such as a Londoner born discoursed above twenty Years agone; for Answer, as it seemeth, to some Objections that then were made against the growing Greatness thereof. The Author gave it me; and therefore, howsoever I conceal his Name, (which itself pretendeth not) I think I may, without his Offence, impart it to others; that they may take Pleasure in the Reading, as I doubt not but he did in the Writing. Long may they, that list, envy; and long may we and our Posterity enjoy the good Estate of this City.

A DISCOURSE of the Names and first Causes of the Institution of Cities and peopled Towns; and of the Commodities that do grow by the same; and namely, of the City of LONDON. Written by Way of an Apology (or Defence) against the Opinion of some Men, which think, that the Greatness of that City standeth not with the Profit and Security of this Realm.


CITIES and well peopled Places, be called Oppida in Latin, either ab ope danda, i.e. from giving Help; or, ab opibus, i.e. from Riches; or ab opponendo se hostibus, i.e. from setting themselves against Enemies. They be named also, Civitates à coëundo, i.e. from coming together; and Urbes, either of the Word urbare, to enclose; because the first Enclosure of them was described with the Draught of a Plow, or else ab orbe, for the round Compass that they at the first had.

Cities, whence so called.

In the Greek, a City is termed polis; either of the Word polus, multus, many; or of pol.a, id est,