Ludgate, What it is; not what it was.29

Ludgate, What it is; not what it was.

sufficient to maintain a Man a whole Month, taking in withal that Allowance which cometh in by the Lord Maior's Basket. Some other Matters are also pertinent to his Office, which, as Occasion serves, he doth perform with a pregnant Reason, and a very commendable Honesty, according to that Trust reposed in him by the Charity Men and the whole House. I shall next speak of,

III. The Under Steward.

TOuching whose Duty and Office there can no absolute Alteration be made in any Particular from that of the Master of the Box, he being indeed in Power and Form the same, in the Absence of the other, and his Authority and Actings of the same Latitude and Extent. For he is chosen as a Delegate or Adjutant to the former, to help him in the true and exact keeping and stating of the Accounts, and for the writing out the same in the Accout Book every Month; and, in a Word, to do all Things in his Absence, and to perform all those particular Duties mentioned in the foregoing Paragraph of the Master of the Box. I shall therefore end with them two, and come to

Under Steward.

IV. The Office and Duty of an Assistant.

I Have made Mention of seven several Assistants, that is, one for every Day of the Week, and they are so. But forasmuch as their Office and Duty is all one and the same, without any Alteration or Difference, I shall make the Description of one serve to delineate all the rest.


He that is an Assistant, is chosen, as hath been said, every Month, by all the Prisoners at an Election, next after the electing of the two Stewards; and by the Orders then read, is enjoyned to the several Duties following, viz. To attend in the Watch Hall all his Day, to see what Strangers come to speak with Prisoners, and to call them down to them; and to attend for the changing Money for the Cryers at the Grates; (which Duty now is wholly neglected.) Also, to set down in Writing what Moneys or other Gifts, of what Kind soever, are sent in for the Prisoners in his Day; and what Money is given to the Boxes, and to keep an Account thereof, and the same to charge the Stewards withal at the Account Day; and to see the Accounts truly cast up, as well for all the Prisoners as for themselves; (by which, we see, they ought to be Charity Men;) and to see whether the Charges of the House, ordinary and extraordinary, brought in by the Stewards, ought to be allowed upon Accounts: And that, if he shall refuse to hold the said Employment before chosen thereto, then to forfeit one Shilling, for a Fine, to the Use of the House, or to wear the Bolts or Shackles three Days, or three Nights, unless mitigated by the Master Keeper, Stewards, and Assistants, for the Time being, or the major Part of them: Thus far the Contents of the Orders in general. Now he likewise hath Power, either by Assumption or Consent, that if one Prisoner abuse another, or that a Prisoner abuse or wrong any Stranger, to commit to the Stocks, Bolts, or Shackle, any such Disturber or Offender, without calling a Table of Officers for the publick adjudging of the same. You must note, that the Time that every Assistant cometh into his Office, is at Eight of the Clock at Night, and so continueth 'till Eight the next Night; and the Time of the Boxes opening is at Five in the Afternoon, and at Nine at Night. His Duty for the Day being performed, and the Day ended, it is his Care (by some collateral Order) to see the Cellar cleared by Ten of the Clock, of all Prisoners, and the Prisoners to be in their Lodgings quietly and civilly, for which (by either an Order or Custom of their own constituting) six Pence is allowed out of the Charity Money every Night, and is accounted thus to be spent; two Pence for the Assistant, two Pence for the Master of the Box, and the other two Pence allowed, in Money or Drink, to him that is the Running Assistant, or to the Scavenger, for bearing two Candles before them: (Good Pay for idle Employment in a Prison!)

Thus you see the Sum of the Duty of an Assistant: I have purposely omitted the Magnificence of an Assistant's going down the first Night, with the flaring Illumination of forty or fifty great Candles, provided by the Prisoners, with the Expence and Charge which they were at therein, because it is lately laid aside, and I also judge it a Matter both very vain and superfluous: And herein, I think I have left out nothing of the Office and Duty of an Assistant, at least, nothing which is material, but what will be taught them who shall come to that Preferment. For Salary, I think the better Sort of them take none, I am sure there is nothing allowed them; but I believe the poorer Sort borrow of the Charity what they cannot pay, and so discount for their Duty. I come now to handle,

V. The Office of Running Assistant.

HE that is so stiled, attends upon the Criers for changing of Money; and also their Boxes at appointed Hours, opens them at Five in the Afternoon, and at Nine at Night; sets up the Candles in their respective Places, waits upon the Assistants and Stewards, when they go to see the Cellar cleared of Company after Evening Prayers, looks to the Clock, rings the Bell to Prayers, is the Crier for Sale of Markets to Charity Men, hath many other small Employments incumbent upon him, for which his Salary is four Shillings eight Pence per Month, and two Pence out of the sixteen Pence paid by every Prisoner at his first Coming. This Officer stands in the Choice of the Master Keeper, Stewards, and Assistants, as their Prerogative, as I shewed before, in treating of the Appointment and Nomination of the Reader. Now follows,

Running Assistant.

VI. The Office of the Churchwardens.

THere is a Decorum observed in the Number though not in the Quality, with the Churchwardens in Parishes, they having the Stock of the Parish in their Hands, these having none at all. Two of the youngest Prisoners are nominated at every Election to that Office, for the Month ensuing, who refusing to hold it, are fined four Pence to the Use of the House, and so by Gradation of two, 'till some wanting Money to fine, are forced to hold. He that first holds upon such Nomination and Election, is stiled the Upper Churchwarden, and hath no Duty but only on Sabbath Days; the other is Under Churchwarden, and is, for all the Week Days, to call to Prayers when the Bell is rung: Their Duty likewise being to set down such of the Charity as comes not to Prayers, who should be therefore fined one Penny; but that Order is now altogether neglected: He that performs his Duty, hath, at the Account Day, for his Reward, one Groat, and no more.