TOWER of London. Accidents. 84

TOWER of London. Accidents.

Ounce. Also the King caused to be coined base Monies [called Testons] to wit, Pieces of 12d. 6d. 4d. 2d. and 1d. in Weight as the late Sterling, in shew good Silver, but inwardly Copper.

These Pieces had whole or broad Faces, and continued current after that rate till the 5th of Edward VI. when they were on the 9th of July called down, the Shilling to 9d. the Groat to 3d. &c. and on the 17th of August, from 9d. to 6d. &c. And on the 30th of October, was published new Coins of Silver and Gold to be made; a Piece of Silver 5s. Sterling, a Piece 2s. 6d. of 12d. of 6d. a Penny with a double Rose, a Halfpenny a single Rose, and a Farthing with a Port-Close. Coins of fine Gold, a whole Soveraign of 30s. an Angel of 10s. and Angelet of 5s. Of Crown Gold, a Soveraign 20s. half Soveraign 10s. 5s. 2s. 6d. and base Monies to pass as afore.

Crowns and half Crowns of Silver Coined, in Edw. 6. his Reign.

Which continued till the second of Q. Elizabeth, then called to a lower Rate, taken to the Mint, and refined, the Silver whereof being coined with a new Stamp of her Majesty, the Dross was carried to foul Highways to heighten them. This base Monies (for the time) caused the old Starling Monies to be hoarded up, so that I have seen 21s. currant, given for one old Angel to gild withal. Also Rents of Lands and Tenements, with Prices of Victuals, were raised far beyond the former Rates, hardly since to be brought down. Thus much for base Monies, coined and currant in England have I known; but for Leather Monies, as many People have fondly talked, I find no such Matter. I read that King John of France, being taken Prisoner by Edward the Black Prince, at the Battel of Poictiers, payed a Ransom of three Millions of Florences, whereby he brought the Realm of France into such Poverty, that many Years after they used Leather Money, with a little Stud or Nail of Silver in the midst thereof. Thus much for Mint and Coinage, by occasion of this Tower, [where the chief Coining hath long continued] (under Correction of other more skilful) may suffice. And now to other Accidents there.

Monies refined under Q. Elizabeth.

Starling Monies hoarded up, 21s. currant, given for an Angel of Gold.

Philip Comin.

Leather Money in France.

First Edit.

In the Year 1360, the Peace between England and France being confirmed, King Edward came over into England, and straight to the Tower, to see the French King then Prisoner there, whose Ransom he Assessed at three Millions of Florences, and so delivered him from Prison, and brought him with Honour to the Sea.


French King Prisoner in the Tower.

In the Year 1381, the Rebels of Kent drew out of the Tower (where the King was then lodged) Simon Sudburie, Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Chancellor, Robert Hales, Prior of St. John's, and Treasurer of England, William Appleton, Friar, the King's Confessor, and John Legge a Sergeant of the King's, and beheaded them on the Towerhill. [The particular History whereof is taken out of John Stow's Annals, in the Life and Reign of Richard II. and transcribed Verbatim by A.M. and by him inserted at length in this Place; and is as follows.]

Rebels of Kent enter the Tower.

In the Year 1381, and the Fourth Year of the Reign of King Richard the Second, was granted to the King a grievous Tax and Tallage of his Subjects, both Spiritual and Temporal; through the which was raised in England a Shipwreck of great Troubles: For divers Courtiers, desirous to enrich themselves with other Mens Goods, informed the King and his Court, that the Tallage was not gathered up faithfully to the King's Use by the Collections. Whereupon they offered to the King, that they would pay a great Sum of Money for the Farm of that which they would gather over and above that which had been paid, if they might be by the King thereunto authorized.

A grievous Tax and Tallage granted to the King, which caused a great Rebellion in England.

Some of them getting the King's Letters and Authority, sate in divers Places of Essex and Kent, and handled the People sore and uncourteously, almost not to be spoken, for the levying of the said sum of Money. Which some of the People taking in evil Part, secretly took Counsel together, gathered Assistants, and resisted the Exactors, rising against them. Of whom some they slew, some they wounded, and the rest fled.

The People misused in very base manner.

This Tumult began principally in Kent, and after this manner, as I find the same set down in a Chronicle of St. Albans: One of the Collectors of the Groats, or Pole Money, coming to the House of John (others say Watt) Tylar, in the Town of Dartford in Kent, demanded of the Tylar's Wife, for her Husband, for her self, for her Servants, and for their Daughter (a young Maiden) every one of them a Groat, which the Tylar's Wife denied not to pay, saving for her Daughter, who (she said) was a Child, and not to be accounted as a Woman. That will I soon wete (answered the Collector) and taking the young Maiden dishonestly, turned her up to search whether she were undergrown with Hair or not; (for in many Places they had made the like shameful Tryal) whereupon her Mother cryed out, which caused Neighbours to come in, and her Husband (being at Work in the same Town tiling of an House) when he heard thereof, caught his Lathing Staff in his Hand, and ran presently home. Where reasoning with the Collector, Who made him to be so bold? The Collector answered with stout Words, and strake at the Tylar. But the Tylar avoiding the Blow, smote the Collector with his Lathing Staff, that the Brains flew out of his Head. Where through great Noise arose in the Streets, and the poor People being glad, every one prepared to support the said John Tylar.

The Kentish Men arise in a Tumult, for there the Mischief began.

The Pole Groat called (by some) the grope Groat.

The Husband cometh Home hastily from his Work.

The Collector slain by the Tylar.

Thus the Commons being drawn together went to Maidstone, and from thence back again to Blackheath. And so (in short time) they stirred all the Country (in a manner) to the like Commotion. Then, besetting the Ways that led to Canterbury, arrested all Passengers, compelling them to swear: First, That they should keep Allegiance to King Richard, and to the Commons: and that they should accept no King that was named John, in envy they bare unto John Duke of Lancaster, who named himself King of Castile: And that they should be ready whensoever they were called: And that they should agree to no Tax to be levied (from thenceforth) in the Kingdom, nor consent to any, except it were a Fifteen.

The Commons flock together in the Tylar's Defence.

An Oath exacted by the Rebels on all Passengers.

The Fame of these doings spread into Sussex, Hertford, Essex, and Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, &c. And when such assembling of the common People daily took Increase, and that their Number was now made almost infinite, so that they feared no Man to resist them; they began to shew some desperate Acts, as they had rashly considered on in their Minds; and took in Hand to behead all Men of Law, as well Apprentices, as utter Baristers, and old Justices, with all the Jurors of the Country, whom they might get into their Hands. They spared none whom they thought to be Learned, especially, if they found any to have a Pen and Inkhorn about him, they pulled off his Hood, and all with one Voice crying, Hale him out, and cut off his Head. The Bondmen, and other of Essex, being joined with them of Kent on Blackheath, there came Knights to them from the King, to enquire the Cause of their Assembly; to whom they made answer, That for certain Causes they were come together to have Talk with the King; and therefore willed the Knights to tell him, that he must needs come unto them that he might understand the Desire of their Hearts.

Evil News do always quickly spread themselves.

Justices, Lawyers, and Jurors beheaded.

Bondmen of Essex joyn with them of Kent.