A Writing of a Learned Lawyer and Antiquarian, concerning the Laws and Privileges of the City of London; by Charter and Acts of Parliament, composed upon the Occasion of the Quo Warranto, in the Reign of King CHARLES the Second.

HERE follows a Writing of divers Matters relating to the Laws and Privileges of the City, taken out of Magna Carta, and many Charters of London, and other ancient Records: Prepared, as it seems, by William Petyt, Esq; of the Inner Temple, and Keeper of the Tower Records, against the depriving of the City their Charter, which was demanded by King Charles the Second, to be delivered up to him: Kindly communicated to me by Mr. Bellamy, some Time the City Remembrancer.

The Heads of these Collections, as they are set down in the first Page, are 1. The various Titles whereby the Corporation of the City London hath been denoted and expressed in general Records. II. The Antiquities, Grants and Confirmations touching the Lord Maior. III. Of the Sheriffs of London and Middlesex. IV. Of the Confirmations of the Liberties and Customs of the City of London, by Acts of Parliament. V. Concerning Pleas of the Crown. As to these, First, They were tryed anciently before the Justices in Eyer at the Tower of London. Secondly, By the Maior, Sheriffs, and Aldermen of the City. Thirdly, Several Times by particular Commissions at Newgate. Fourthly, But by the Charter of the 23d of H. 6. Quidam certus, verus, determinatus & indubitatus modus in Civitate, de & super Custodia Pacis, & regimine & gubernatione populi ejusdem, &c. i.e. A certain, sure, true, determinate, and undoubted Manner was settled agreed of and upon keeping of the Peace, and of the Rule and Government of the same People.

A Writing of the Laws and Privileges of London.

E. Camer. Lond.

Mr. Bellamy.



The various Titles whereby the Corporation of the City of London hath been denoted and expressed in general Records.

William the Conqueror's Charter runneth thus; William Kyng gret William Bisceop, &c. In English thus, "William the King greeteth William the Bp. and Godfrey Portgrave, and all the Burgesses within London, French and English, friendlie. &c."

Carta Willi. primi per Inspeximus 2. H. 5.

Carta H. I. per Inspex. ut supra. Item in Cod. rubro Scaccarii.

In the Charter of Henry the First, Middlesex is granted Civibus meis London.

Henry the Second his Charter; whereby that King confirmeth the Charter and Liberties of Henry the First to the City granted Civibus meis London. Which not only appeareth by the general Inspeximus's, but also by an original Duplicate Charter, remaining in the City Treasury, without Date.

Carta H. 2. Vid. Inspexim. 2. H. 5. Vid. Cart. originalem.

In the Charter of Richard the First, being a Confirmation of the former Charters, it is thus exprest, Sciatus non concessisse Civibus nostris London. The original Charter is extant, and under Seal in the City Treasury, Dated apud Whinton, 23. Apr. Anno 5to Regni sui.

Per Inspexim. ut supra Vid. Cart. originalem.

King John, in the first Year of his Reign, granteth Civibus nostris London, their ancient Liberties and Customes. The original Charter is extant, and beareth Date apud Sorham 17o Junii.

Cart. Johann. Anno primo per Inspex. 2. H 5. vid. Cart. originalem.

By another Charter in the same Year, the King declareth thus, Sciatis non concessisse, pnti. carta nra confirmasse Civibus Londiniensibus Vicecom. London. & de Middlesex. &c. The Charter beareth Date apud bonam Villam super Tokam 5to die Julii, Regni sui Ann. primo. The original Charter itself is extant.

2da Carta Johann. Ann. 1mo per Inspex. 2. H. 5. vid. Cartam originalem.

In the third Year of the Reign of King John, ad petitionem Majoris & Civium nostrorum London, he granted and confirmed, Quod Gilda telaria non sit de cetero in Civitat. London. For which, reddant prædicti Cives nostri nobis & hæredib. nostris viginti Marcas of Gold, at the Feast of St. Michael, in the Exchequer. The original Charter is extant. Dat. ap. Gornat. 20. Martii, Anno 3tio.

3a Cart. Johis Ao 3io per Inspexim 2. H. 5. vid. Cart. originalem.

In the sixteenth Year of King John, he granteth and confirmeth Baronobis nostris de Civitat. nostra Londoniarum; quod eligant sibi Majorem de seipsis. The Charter is extant, and bears Date ap. novum Templum, 9. die Maii, Ao 16.

4toCart. Johnn. per Inspex. 2. H. 5. vid. Cart. originalem.

Then Mention is made of a Charter made to the City by King Henry the Third, in the 9th of his Reign; and another is his 11th Year, and still others.

In 6. Ed. III. Lib. E. Fol. 233. a. Murage. Letting the Murage to Farm for seven Years. The Maior, Aldermen, and whole Community of the City of London, granted and demised to John Vincent, Clerk, omnes Denarios provenientes de Muragio, in the City.

St. Butolph's Fair. A general Commission or Warrant of Atturney granted by the Maior and Commons of the City to certain Persons, who were their Fellow Citizens, to be Custodes & Attornatos suos in instantibus Nundinis Sti. Botolophi.

7. E. 3. Lib. E. fo. 239. b.

Turk Maior, &c. 24. E. 3. constituted and appointed certain Persons their Concives, to be their Attornatos & Custodes in instantibus Nundinis S. Botolphi.

Aldersgate let. The Gate of Aldersgate let for the Term of twenty Years. Henry Darcy Maior, the Aldermen and Commons demised, and to farm let, to Richard de Felsted, Carpenter, the Gate of Aldersgate, London, with the Houses built upon it.

11. E. 3. Lib. F. fol. 12. a.

This Chapter endeth thus. It were endless to descend lower, so various and different are the several Phrases, by which Records express and denote the Corporation of the City in the Reigns of Richard the Second, Henry the Fourth, Henry the Fifth, Henry the Sixth. But as to the Stile and Title now used, and which is one of the Points in the Quo Warranto, viz. Maior & Communitas, ac Cives Civitatis London; I find it warranted by several Charters and other Records of the City, as high as Edward the Fourth Many of which Mr. Town Clerk hath taken Notice of, in his Collection out of the Charters of those Times; and therefore I have here omitted them.

II. Lord