To be upon the Charity of the House, is the accounted Benefit which a poor Man receives; and that he is admitted unto by Petition, and shewing the Copy of his Freedom to the Master Keeper, two Stewards and seven Assistants; and of this Kind there are about fifty in Number, sometimes more, seldom less now-a-days, who partake of what Money is begged at the Grates, &c. as I shall demonstrate.

Charity Men.

I gave you an Account of six Cryers, and their Manner and Turns of Crying; and also that the Money by them begged was put into the Custody of the Master of the Box until the Accompt Day: And it is so. At which Time it is cast up by the Stewards and Assistants, and after the Charges of the House is taken out of it for that Month, as the buying of Bread for the Charity Men and Ample Men, (that is, such as are not upon the Charity) the buying of Candles, the paying of Officers their small Salaries,and other Things incident and necessary for the House, as I have shewed; then, I say, they, in the next Place, cast it up into Shares or Dividends for each Charity Man; which done, the Bell being rung, they come all up into the Chapel, where the Under Steward reads in the Account Book to this Purpose: "We the Stewards and Assistants, having perused the Account for this Month, being such a Day of the Month, do find that it hath pleased God to bestow upon us out of the Boxes, by good Benefactors, (the House Charges beiong deducted) the Sum of eight Pound eight Shillings (or the like) to be divided amongst fifty Charity Men and Women, which comes to three Shillings four Pence a piece, for which we bless God, and give Thanks."

A Man hearing this read, would he not, being on the Charity, expect to receive it, think you? But stay, when he comes to the Master of the Box to have his Share, he shall find him to write thus in a Paper:

Lodging 2s. 4d.
Post and Chamberlain3d.
Markets (perhaps)5d.

This I have often found to be the Account, nay, sometimes nothing at all in a Month, when formerly every Man's Share hath come to sixteen, eighteen, or twenty Shillings a Month; and at a good Time, as Easter and Christmas, it may be, three or four Pound a-piece: Therefore this may well be called Ludgate, What it is; not what it was.

This is done, because, with the Keeper it is, Sic volo, sic jubeo, &c. Though there is a Pretence of an Order of the Lord Maior and Court of Aldermen for his receiving it, but I could never see it; and if there be, it was granted when Charity did (as Justice should do) run down like a mighty Stream. But the Channel being now almost quite dried up, the Banks thereof having been cut by the oppressing Hand of Wars and Calamities, it is now high Time for the present Lord Maior and Court to search into the Reason of its granting, and to abrogate it. For poor Mens Lives are much concerned therein, to my Knowledge; for three Shillings four Pence will go farther with a sick and indigent Man, than a Groat or six Pence will, especially in a Prison.

I will give you a short Example of an honest and charitable Act of the Master Keepers's, for which, I think, he had no Order of the Lord Maior and Court of Aldermen. It pleased God to inflict Sickness upon me, after my being in Prison about a Month or six Weeks. I then not being upon the Charity, and being a very poor Man, and altogether friendless, (a poor Wife and Child excepted) was, at the Account Day, allowed four Shillings eight Pence by the Stewards and Assistants, in Consideration of my Charge in my Sickness, and my known Poverty; which the Keeper understanding, took half of it for Lodging, and left me the other, to repair my broken and dislocated Fortunes I could give other like Examples of his Kindness to Prisoners, but that is not here my Business.

The freest Gift, and now most esteemed Benefit, is that of the Lord Maior's Basket, which is twice (or thrice sometimes) in a Week, and is divided amongst poor Prisoners: His Lordship likewise sends in light Bread sometimes, when he takes it from the light Bakers, which is likewise a great Help when it comes.

What is sent in by the Clerkof the Market, as Chumps of Beef, or any other Kind of Provision; and likewise by the Water Bailiff, as unsized Fish, (but that very seldom) is, as I told you, exposed to Sale, as in a Market, amongst the Charity Men, by which Means every Man receives a like Benefit.

I may conclude this fourth Head with this observable Truth, That all the Benefits (I mean of Legacies) formerly given to Prisoners, doth not add to their Relief a Farthing a Day, which is small Allowance; and that if it were all bestowed amongst the Prisoners in general, as it should be, it would not amount to a Penny a Day for each Man. To come now to

The Charges to Prisoners at their Entrance and Exits.


A Freeman of London being arrested by Action entered in either of the Compters, may refuse to go to the Compter, (as is usual) but may require to go immediately to Ludgate: Which the Keeper thereof cannot deny to receive into Custody, although no Duci facias be brought then, but shall afterwards be sent for: Which Way, if practised, would save many a Pound to poor Men, which the Serjeants and Yeomen do daily extort from them. But the usual Way, indeed, is to go to the Compter, being arrested, and take a Duce, which costs sixteen Pence, and so go to Ludgate with the Officers; for which Service only, they will often exact three, four, or five Shillings, sometimes more of a poor Man, though their just due is but two Pence.

The Prisoners Charges.

When the Officers have brought him to Ludgate, the Turnkey takes him into Custody upon Sight of his Duce, and enters his Name and Addition into a Book kept for that Purpose; for which Entrance (or turning of the Key) the Prisoner pays fourteen Pence.

Having paid that, and being turned into the Prison, his next Work is to for himself with a Lodging, which is of three Sorts, or several Rates, and is one Penny, two Pence, or three Pence per Night.

Being furnished by the Chamberlain of the House with Lodging, his next Payment is for Sheets, which is eighteen Pence, and is paid to the said Chamberlain, who is accountable to the Master Keeper at a certain Rate for the same, whose Goods they only are.

Before he shall repose himself in his new provided Lodging, his Chamber Fellows will acquaint him with a Garnish of four Shillings, to be by him paid, and by them spent, either in Coals or Candles, for their own proper Use, or else in a Dinner or Supper, as they can agree; for Non-payment of which, though through Poverty, or for refusing through Obstinacy, his Cloaths shall be taken privately from him in