Ludgate, What it is; not what it was.31

Ludgate, What it is; not what it was.

Mrs. Cocke, Widow, by the Salters5s.
Mrs. Margaret Dane, Widow, gave 12 Stone of Beef, and 8 Dozen of Bread, by the Ironmongers, containing1l
Mr. John Heydon, Alderman, by the Mercers3l.
The Lady Mary Ramsey, by the Treasurers of Christ's Hospital2l. 10s.
Mr. Peter Blundel, by the Salters 2l
The same Mr. Blundel gave more by the Ironmongers2l
Mr. John Bennet, by the Armorers1l.
Mrs. Holligrave, Widow, by the Clothworkers5s.
Mr. Robert Rogers, by the Leathersellers1l.
Mr. Hugh Offley, Alderman, by the Leathersellers5s.
Mrs Margaret Simcots, Widow, by the Chamberlain every nine Weeks, in Bread5s.
Mrs. Joan Sambach, Widow, by the Churchwardens of St. Brides1l.
Mr. John Simmons, by the Mercers4s.
Mr. John Marsh, by the Mercers5s.
Mr. John Wooller, by the Merchant-Taylors1l.
Rich. Shipsey, Yeoman, gave, to be paid in ten Years, by 5s. per Year2l. 10s.
Mr. William Parker, by the Merchant-Taylors1l 10s.
Rich. Jacob, Vintner, gave yearly to paid for 257 Years, by Joseph Hewet, Haberdasher, and Sarah his Wife, or by their Heirs &c. out of the five Tenements in Lincoln's Inn Fields 2l.
Mr. John Highlord, Senior, Skinner, gave to be paid by twenty Shillings per Year5l.
Mr. Thomas Chapman, Skinner, by the Churchwardens of St. Pancras6s.
Mr. James Hodgson, Vintner, by the Churchwardens of St. Sepulchre's10s.
Mr. John Kendrick, by the Drapers, for the Relief of one Prisoner of the Company1l. 10s.
The Lady Mary Carey, Wife of the Lord Carey, by H. Rochford, her Executor2l.
John Jucksey, Merchant-Taylor, for the releasing a Prisoner out of this House, to be paid out of certain Lands in Moreclack in Berkshire1l.
Lancelot Andrews, Lord Bishop of Winchester, gave two thousand Pounds, for purchasing of an hundred Pound Land by the Year, to be distributed in four Kinds: 1. Aged Men. 2. Aged Women. 3. Fatherless Children and Orphans. 4. For Release and Relief of poor Prisoners out of the four Prisons in London, and one in Southwark: Of which, five Pounds cometh to this Prison yearly, the Thursday before Easter, one Half for Relief, the other for Release of Prisoners, now paid by Mr. Shambrook on Coleman-street, Dr. Salmon in Stepney, and Mr. Jones of the Temple5l.
Sir Ralph Freeman, Lord Maior of London in 1633, by the Company of Clothworkers5l.
From the Chamber of London, in lieu of 250l. this Prison is to receive 1l. 11s. 3d. the Half of 3l. 2s 6d. the other Half to others; the Gift of Mr. William Middleton1. 11s. 3d.
John Stone, Haberdasher, some Time living in Bow Church Yard, gave for ever, out of a Tenement in Bow Lane, called the White Griffin2l.
It was paid 'till the Year 1650. 
In Anno 1632, John Meredith of London, Skinner, gave for ever to buy Coals every November yearly, Elizabeth his Wife his Executrix.1l. 2s.

Here I observe two Things: First, That some whose Names are in the forementioned Table, are not set down in this Book of Legacies, out of which I took this Catalogue, for there is wanting Sir Stephen Foster, Sir John Allen, Mercer, Mr. Wyat, &c. And secondly, That what Legacies are now belonging and paid to the Prison, are only the later Gifts of Benefactors: Those large Donations of Charity given before the Reformation, being too full of Superstition, and looking with Faces like the meritorious Gifts of Papists; and therefore thought good by Avarice and Covetousness to be obliviated: Nor knew they a surer Way to do it, that they might be utterly obscured from the Eyes of after Ages, but by consulting (as it were) with their Religion and tender Consciences, who soon resolved them, that the wisest Way would be to demolish the idolatrous Tombs and Sepulchres of those best of Men, and greatest of Benefactors; and to take from before the Eyes of the Godly, those Monuments of Brass, which spake only of their good Works and Deeds, defacing them as vain-glorious, and pretending they would be more advantageous to a thriving State, to have them exposed to Sale.

The Sum of these known Legacies is about 70l. but some of them I find are out of Date, having run their full Race and Time out, therefore I do think 60l. is the Extent of what annually comes in.

The smaller Sort I find to be rightly bestowed, that is, for the Relief of the Prisoners in Bread, or otherwise, and those are commonly received by the Master of the Box: The greater Sums are bestowed for Release of Prisoners, as they call it. The Way of Relief is to be understood the supplying of them with Necessaries, as Victuals or Money. That called Release is thus, That when a poor Man hath got his Discharge from both Compters, and run the Gantlope of Clerks Fees and fobb'd Actions, whereby his small Stock is utterly exhausted, and he hath not wherewith to run quite through the Regiment of Extortions, he stops at the Door: By the Turnkey is brought him a Bill of Fees to be paid (which I shall speak of when I come to treat of Charges and Fees) wherein Lodging leads the Van; which he not being able at present to pay, shall be detained until he either doth, or else give Security to pay it (though, perhaps, his Creditors took his own Bond for twenty Times a greater Sum) if he can procure no such Security, there he must lie until the next Quarter, or that some Legacy be brought by some Company, or other Person, for to discharge Prisoners; and then by Petition to them presented, signed by the Keeper (which he doth for his own Ends) very likely the Man shall be immediately turned out.

The Manner of Release.

Corruption in some, and Policy in others, hath made it customary now, that these larger Gifts never come within the Prison, but are swallowed up in the Paper Office, by the Keeper, for Lodging and Fees, (which is that Scylla or Carybdis I before spake of) contrary to the Intendment of the deceased Donors.

Corruption, by Demand of Lodging and Fees.

I have heard it credibly spoken by a knowing and rational Man, that these Moneys (and much more than these) was, at their appointed Times, used to be paid to the Stewards of the House, who kept the Moneys in Stock; and if a Prisoner lay there, that might be discharged from his Creditor or Creditors for the Sum of three, four, or five Pound, did, by his easy Address, procure the said Money, and his Discharge immediately followed.

Note, That Lodging was not then exacted cum privilegio, as now it is, the more the Pity: But this I am confident of, that of this sixty Pound a Year, or thereabouts, there is not above Ten that the Prisoners taste of; the rest, by that other Project, is converted into Lodging Money, as I have sufficiently shewed.

Now I have begun to unlock the hid Treasures of Ludgate, I intend, according to my poor Ability, to signify what more I understand to be given them freely, and for their necessary Sustenance, and not to the Use before spoken of.