habitare, alere, gubernare, i.e. to inhabit, to nourish, to govern.

In the Saxon (or old English) it was called sometimes Tun, which we now call Town; derived of the Word Tynan, to enclose, or tyne, as some yet speak. But forasmuch as that Word was proper to every Village, and enclosed Dwelling; therefore out Ancestors called their walled Towns Bury or Borow; and we now, Bury and Borow, of the Greek Word ....., (as I think) which signifieth a Tower, or a high Building.

The Saxon Word Town, whence.

The Walls of these Towns had their Name of Vallum, because at the first they were but of that Earth which was cast out of the Trench, or Ditch, wherewith they were environed.

The Word Wall, whence.

But afterward, being made of Matter more fit for Defence, they were named Mænia, Walls, à muniendo, from a Latin Word that signifies fortifying. By the Etymology of these Names it may appear, that Commonweals, Cities, and Towns, were at first invented, to the End that Men might lead a civil Life amongst themselves, and be saved harmless against their Enemies. Whereupon Plato saith, Civitates ab initio utilitatis causa constitutæ sunt. Aristotle saith, Civitas à natura profecta est: Homo enim animal aptum est ad cœtus, & proinde civitatis origo ad vivendum, institutio ad bene vivendum refertur. And Cicero saith, Fuit quoddam tempus cùm in agris homines passim bestiarum more vagabantur, &c. quo quidem tempore, quidam (magnus, viz. vir & sapiens) dispersos homines in agris, & tectis sylvestribus abditos, ratione quadam compulit in unum locum, atq; eos in unamquamq; rem induxit utilem & honestam. Urbibus vero constitutis fidem colere, & justitiam retinere discebant, & aliis parere sua voluntate consuescebant, &c. The same Man discourseth notably to the same Effect, in his Oration Pro Sestio, a little after the Midst thereof: Shewing, that in the Life of Men dispersed, Vis. Force, beareth all the Sway: But in the Civil Life and Society, Jus, Right, is better maintained, &c. This Thing well saw King William the Conqueror, who, in his Laws, saith, Burgi & Civitates fundata & edificata sunt, ad tuitionem gentium & populorum Regni, & id circo observari debent cum omni libertate, integritate & ratione. And his Predecessors, King Ethelstane, and King Canutus, in their Laws, had commanded thus; Oppida instaurantur, &c. Let Towns be built, &c.

1. Politic. 2.

De Invention. libr. I. in the Beginning.

Fol. 125.

Fol. 62, & 106.

Seeing therefore, that, as Cicero saith, Proxime & secundum Deos, homines hominibus maxime utiles esse possunt. And that Men are congreagated into Cities and Commonwealths, for Honesty and Utility's Sake. These shortly be the Commodities that do come by Cities, Communalties, and Corporations: First, Men, by this Nearness of Conversation, are withdrawn from barbarous Ferity and Force, to a certain Mildness of Manners, and to Humanity and Justice: Whereby they are contented to give and take Right, to and from their Equals and Inferiors; and to hear and obey their Heads and Superiors. Also, the Doctrine of God is more fitly delivered, and the Discipline thereof more aptly to be executed in peopled Towns than abroad, by Reason of the Facility of common and often assembling. And consequently, such Inhabitants be better managed in Order, and better instructed in Wisdom: Whereof it came to pass that at the first, they that excelled others this Way, were called Astuti, of the Greek Word azu, which signifieth a City, although the Term be now declined to the worst Part, and doth betoken evil; even as Tyrannus, Sophista, and some such other originally good Words ae fallen: And hereof also good Behaviour is yet called Urbanitas, because it is rather found in Cities then elsewhere. In some, by often hearing, Men be better persuaded in Religion. And for that they live in the Eye of others, they be, by Example, the more easily trained to Justice, and by Shamefastness restrained from Injury.

The Benefit of living together in Cities.

Officior. 2.

And whereas Commonwealths and Kingdoms cannot have, next after God, any surer Foundation than the Love and Good Will of one Man towards another, that also is closely bred and maintained in Cities, where Men by mutual Society and companying together, do grow to Alliances, Communalties, and Corporations.

The Liberal Sciences and Learnings of all Sorts, which be lumina reipublicæ, i.e. The Lights of the Commonwealth, do flourish only in peopled Towns; without the which a Realm is in no better Case than a Man that lacketh both his Eyes.

Liberal Sciences.

Manual Arts, or handy Crafts, as they have, for the most Part, been invented in Towns and Cities, so they cannot any where else be either maintained or amended. The like is to be said of Merchandize; under which Name I comprehend all Manner of Buying, Selling, Bartering, exchanging, communicating of Things that Men need, to and fro. Wealth and Riches, which are truly called Subsidia belli, & ornamenta pacis, are increased chiefly in Towns and Cities, both to the Prince and People.

Manual Arts.


The Necessity of the Poor and Needy, is, in such Places, both sooner to be espied, and hath Means to be more charitably relieved.

The Places themselves be surer Refuges, in all Extremities of foreign Invasion; and the Inhabitants be a ready Hand, and Strength of Men, with Munition to suppress intestine Sedition.

Moreover, forasmuch as the Force of the Wars of our Time, consisteth in Shot; all other Soldiers being either Horsemen or Footmen, armed on Land, or Mariners at the Sea: It seemeth to me, that Citizens and Townsmen be as fit to be employed in any of these Services, that on Horseback only excepted, as the Inhabitants that be drawn out of the Country.

Farthermore, even as these Societies and Assemblies of Men in Cities and great Towns, are a continual Bridle against Tyranny, which was that Cause that Tarquin, Nero, Dionysius, and such others, have always sought to weaken them: So, being well tempered, they are a strong Fort and Bulwark, not only in the Aristocritie, but also in the lawful Kingdom, or just Royalty.

At once, Propagation of the Religion, the Execution of good Policy, the Exercise of Charity, and the Defence of the Country, is best performed by Towns and Cities. And this Civil Life approacheth nearest to the Shape of that mystical Body whereof Christ is the Head, and Men be the Members. Whereupon, both, at the first, that Man of God, Moses, in the Commonwealth of the Israelites, and the Governors of all Countries, in all Ages sithence, have continually maintained the same. And to change it, were nothing else but to metamorphose the World, and to make wild Beasts of reasonable Men. To stand longer upon this, it were in re non dubia uti oratione non necessaria: And therefore I will come to London.

The Singularities of the City of LONDON.


WHatsoever is said of Cities generally, maketh also for London specially: Howbeit these Things are particularly for our Purpose to be considerd in it. The Situation; the former Estimation that it had; the Service that it hath done; the present Estate and Government of it, and such Benefits as do grow to the Realm by the Maintenance thereof.

Advantages relating to the City of London.