The River LEE. 49

The River LEE.

it. And being reproved for this Speech, answered, that he had said nothing, but what he would stand unto. And further asked the Watermen, What they were the better if they knew who did it; for they could but hang him amongst them. And if he were hanged, they should have ill going by the River ever after. As if he intended, when he was a Ghost, to disturb them.

It was found further, that when Complaint was made to the Lord Treasurer of these Cuts of the Lee Banks; and he thereupon had sent his Letter to Sir Thomas Wroth of Enfield, for the Regulation thereof, the said Wroth sent for certain Persons of Ware, and burst out into these Words to them, viz. "That the Lords of the Council had done them great Wrong in causing them to make a Passage for Barges and Boats, which was to their undoing. And rather than my Lords of the Council shall force us to make up the Breaches again, we will be hanged at our own Gates." And moreover, gave out Words of Encouragement to the Offenders, that were present before him, saying, That he would warrant them Remedy, and that shortly. After which Words spoken, there were more Breaches cut out than were before; for they were not so soon stopped but forthwith they were cut out again.

Sir Thomas Wroth of Enfield, against the Passage of the Barges on the Lee.

Sir Thomas Wroth's Servants flung out these Words against this Carriage of Corn by the Lee, (meaning to shew the great Damage of it to the Country) that there was 2100 Horse numbred by Sir Thomas, in one Morning, travelling between Shoreditch and Enfield. But one Hud, an Inhabitant of Ware, an intelligent Man, and a Dealer in Corn and Malt, and Farmer of the Queen's, shewed, that in Truth the Reason of all the Enfield Men's late Disturbance at the making this River Navigable, was, that they could not oppress the Country, and engross the Corn, and forestall the Market, as they had done before; and leave the City of London unserved, or raise the Prices there as they pleased. His Letter to the Commissioners may not be unworthy here to be set down, especially so much as concerns our City of London.

The Number of Horses employed between Enfield and Shoreditch.

"Pleaseth it you to understand, That whereas there was one and twenty Hundred Horse, Numbred in one Morning by Sir Thomas Wroth, (as his own Servants did faithfully report) between Shoreditch and Enfield; and as it may be truly judged Twenty Hundred of those same dyed in Ditches [kill'd or worn out with Burden and Travail] within less than Seven Years after: Which in so long a Space did devour a marvellous Quantity of good Corn, Hay, and Grass; and dyed, serving to no other Use but their carrying Carcasses to feed the Dogs; the Owners whereof were great Losers by their Death; as it must needs be granted. And the same Hay, and Corn, and Grass, which their Carrion Carcasses did consume and devour, might have been contrived and employed to a great deal more profitable and commodious Use; as to feed three or four Thousand Milch Beasts; which would have increased great Plenty of Butter and Cheese and Milk, able to sustain and nourish a great Multitude of poor People: And whose Carcasses are employed to great Use for to feed Men withal, after that they wax unfruitful; in which there is no Loss, which Way soever they be employed: Whereas the other, after Life is gone, serve to no good Use."

The Inconvenience of bringing Malt and Corn to London, by Land Carriage.

" And notwithstanding all these Inconveniences and Discommodities prevented and holpen, the City of London may be Victualled and Fraught with all manner of Provisions with far less Charges, than the Horsemen of those same Horse did stand in before."

" But if it may please you, this is not the Cause of so great a Tumult and Stir, raised now of late by these lewd Persons; but their greedy Desire of Gain, the Loss whereof is an Hell unto them. For there be certain rich Men now dwelling at Enfield, and in other Places thereby, who before the River of Lee was now lately scowred and redressed, were accustomed to serve the Bakers and Brewers of the City of London, and also the Markets of the same with all kind of Grain; who when they had Four or Five Hundred Quarters apiece bought already of the Farmers of the Country, to come in at Days appointed betwixt them: By reason whereof the Markets in the Country were small, the Prices enhaunced, the City unserved; because by reason of this corrupt Dealing, the Corn for the present Time was come into Mens Hands, for that they had bought it before it came to the Market. And that little which came to serve the Market they would likewise buy up to raise the Prices, to the Intent they might make more Gains of their former Bargains; so that in one Week they were able both to raise the Prices excessively, and also abate the same. And to help the Matter, when they perceived the Bakers, Brewers, and other the Citizens of London, to be destitute, and without Grain, then they would bring in as much Corn as they could. Neither would they pitch it at their Bakers or Brewers in the Markets, but carry it closely to their Inns where they baited their Horses. Who, except they would give four or five Shillings more in every Horse Load than they paid before, the Baker and Brewer neither could have Meal nor Malt."

Bakers, Brewers, and Markets of London, served with Corn by Enfield.

" So that of Necessity the Bakers and Brewers must come to their own Prices; whereby they are constrained to go to the Lord Maior for a smaller Assize to bake by; which my Lord Maior must needs grant according to the Prices as they do pay. And thus was the Commonwealth most shamefully abused, robbed, and deceived, to make Mealmen and Maltmen, by these wicked Practices, unreasonable Gainers; for notwithstanding their great Charges their Horses stood them in, many of them became great Purchasers. And for all that, when their Customers, being Bakers or Brewers, did die or decay, though his Goods came to 500l. all would not pay the Mealman or Maltman. Whereby his Wife and Children were brought into extreme Poverty, and the Mealman had all."

The Injury done to the City hereby.

" But since the River of Lee was reformed (God's Name be praised) they are utterly prevented of these former Practices. For if they will not sell now to the Baker or Brewer, or in the Publick Market for a reasonable Gain, both the Occupiers and other the Housholders go down to Queen Hith, or to the Waterside, and there they make their Provision at reasonable Prices, as the Time doth require. Whereby they are utterly prevented now of their former racking and raising of Prices at their Pleasures. Which is their double Grief, and the chief Cause of their Envy, and their Malice they bear to the Maintainers of the River, seeking the Spoil of the same; for if they were content to deal in the Commonweal for a reasonable Gain, then would they Traffic by the River as other Men do. But he that is carnally minded, and doth lose an excessive Gain (obtained at his Pleasure) and is constrained to content himself with a competent Gain, as other Men do, it is "

These Evils redrest by means of the Lee.

a double