Act for preventing Fires. 239

Act for preventing Fires.

XVII. Item, That all Workmen and Labourers belonging to any publick Water-Works within the City, the Seacoal-Meeters, Porters, Blackwel-Hall Porters, Leadenhall Porters, Ticket-Porters, and Package-Porters, do constantly attend the Lord Maior and Sheriffs in such Services. And that a List of all the Names of the aforementioned Persons, with the Places of their Abode, be brought yearly in a Table to the Lord Maior Elect upon the First Day of October, to be placed in the Hall of the said Lord Maior to publick View. And that henceforth the Admittances of all such Persons may be upon the same Condition.

XVIII. Item, That all Persons, unless such as are employed or allowed by the Lord Maior or Sheriffs, Aldermen, Deputies, or Common Council-Men, do keep (during the time of any Fire) within their own Dwellings, until they are summoned to give their Aid; that so Disorder and Confusion in the Streets may be prevented.

XIX. Item, That all the Constables and Watchmen of the Ward where any Fire happens, assemble immediately at such a Place, and there attend on the Lord Maior and Sheriffs, and follow their Directions.

XX. Item, That all Brokers on the Exchange (according to their Obligation at their Admittance) do attend, in order to take care for such Goods and Houshold-stuff as may be removed.

XXI. Item, That yearly there be chosen some able Citizen and skilful Engineer, to attend the Lord Maior and Sheriffs, or any of them, upon such Accident. Who, by their Advice, is to give his Assistance, and to blow up by their Direction such Houses, whereby the Increase of the Fire may be most probably prevented; and that Labourers be appointed to attend such Engineer.

XXII. Item, That the Lord Maior, Aldermen and Sheriffs, Deputies, Common Council-Men, Engineer, and all Persons appointed and required by the Lord Maior and Sheriffs, to be aiding in suppressing and extinguishing the Fire, by blowing up, or pulling down Houses, shall be indemnified by this Court.

XXIII. Item, That all Persons whose Houses shall be blown up, or otherwise demolished, for the Prevention of the Increase of Fire, shall have such Damages as the Common Council shall award; and that all Persons labouring therein shall be awarded, as by Order of the Court of Aldermen shall be appointed; and that a Rate be laid by the Common Council on the remaining Houses of the City and Liberties, for the satisfying thereof.

XXIV. Item, That once a Quarter the Deputy and Common Council of every Ward return Certificates to the Lord Maior and Court of Aldermen, of the Numbers and Condition of their Buckets, Engines, Ladders, and all other Necessaries of that nature. And the Engineer to examine the same: that on all Occasions they may be found in readiness; and that the Certificates of Michaelmas Quarter be returned as well to the Lord Maior Elect, as to the Lord Maior.

XXV. Item, That such Quantities of Powder as shall be thought fit by the Lord Maior and Court of Aldermen, shall be provided by the several Wards, and the several Companies of this City respectively, and laid up in such convenient Places as the said Lord Maior and Court of Al- dermen shall from time to time direct and appoint; and that the principal Engineer make Trial of all such Powder, that being satisfied of the Strength and Goodness thereof, he may the better use it accordingly.

XXVI. Item, That no Person whatsoever be henceforth permitted at any time to make, or cause to be made any sort of Fire-works; or to fire, or cause to be fired any such Fire-works, within the City or Liberties thereof; except such Persons only as shall be thereunto appointed by his Majesty, or any lawful Authority under him.

XXVII. Item, That no Gunpowder be kept within the Walls of the City (except as aforesaid) but in such secure Places as shall be allowed and approved by the Court of Aldermen.

XXVIII. That no Person lay Hemp, Flax, Wax, Gunpowder, Pitch, Tar, Brimstone, Rosin, or the like combustible Commodities, in any Cellar, Warehouse, or other Place on that side next the Street, which by the shaking of Links, Torches, or casting in of other Fire at the Windows next the Street, may be in danger of such Fire.

And it is farther enacted and ordained by the Authority aforesaid, that all and singular the Pains, Penalties and Forfeitures, which shall be forfeited or incurred by virtue of this Act, shall be obtained, levied and recovered, either by Action of Debt, Bill, Plaint, or Information, in the Name of the Chamberlain of the said City for the Time being, in the King's Majesty's Court holden in the Chamber of the Guild Hall of the said City, before the Lord Maior and Aldermen of the said City for the Time being. In which no Essoign, Protection, or Wager of Law, shall be admitted or allowed for the Defendant. And the Chamberlain of the said City for the Time being, in all Suits to be prosecuted by virtue of this Act against any Offender or Offenders, shall recover the ordinary Costs of Suit, to be expended in or about the Prosecution of them, or any of them. And that all such Pains, Penalties and Forfeitures (the Charges of Suit for Recovery thereof being first deducted) shall be divided into two equal Parts, one Moiety whereof to be paid unto the Treasurer of Christ's Hospital for the Time being, to be employed toward the Maintenance of the poor Children harboured and kept in the said Hospital; and the other Moiety to him or them that will sue for the same, any other Act or Ordinance to the contrary thereof notwithstanding. AVERY.

And as the Government of London had taken the best Orders they could for the preventing and suppressing of Fires; so in the Year 1681, they set themselves upon contriving the Insurance of Houses in case of Fire. At a Meeting of the Maior, Aldermen, and Commons of the City, they declared how they had for many Years under their Consideration the better securing and insuring the Inhabitants of this City and Liberties from dangerous Accidents happening by Fire; and now were resolved forthwith to engage a sufficient Fund, and undoubted Security, by the Chamber, in Lands and good Ground Rents, for the Performance thereof. And that a Committee, thereunto appointed, should meet from Day to Day in the Guildhall, every Afternoon, from Three to Six, to perfect the same Undertaking; to the good Satisfaction of all Persons, both Citizens and others, that have, or shall have Interest in any Building there.

The City propounds to insure Houses from Fire.