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The Stuart London Project, Humanities Research Institute, The University of Sheffield,
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Customs for Trade. Purprestures. 242

Customs for Trade. Purprestures.

ter Time, they held them on London Bridge, where partly they do yet remain.

The Goldsmiths of Gutherons Lane, and the Old Exchange, are now (for the most part) removed into the South side of West Cheap.

The Pepperers and Grocers, of Soper Lane, are now in Bucklersbury, and other Places, dispersed.

The Drapers, of Lombardstreet, and of Cornhill, are seated in Candlewick-street, and Watling-street.

The Skinners, from St. Mary Pellipers, or at the Axe, into Budge-Row and Walbrook.

The Stock Fishmongers, in Thames-street. Wet Fishmongers, in Knight-riders-street, and Bridge-street.

The Ironmongers, of Ironmongers Lane, and Old Jury, into Thames-street.

The Vintners, from the Vinetree, into divers Places.

But the Brewers (for the most part) remain near to the friendly Water of Thames.

The Butchers, in East Cheap, and St. Nicholas Shambles, and the Stocks Market.

The Hosiers, (of old time) in Hosier Lane, near unto Smithfield, are since removed into Cordwainer Street, the upper Part thereof, by Bow Church; and last of all, into Burchovers Lane, by Cornhill.

The Shoemakers and Curriors, of Cordwainer Street, removed, the one to St. Martins Le Grand, the other to London Wall, near to Moorgate.

The Founders remain by themselves in Lothbury.

The Cooks, or Pastelars, (for the more part) in Thames-street; the others dispersed into divers Parts.

The Poulters, of late, removed out of the Poultry, betwixt the Stocks and the great Conduit in Cheap, into Grass Street, and St. Nicholas Shambles.

Bowyers, from Bowyers Row, by Ludgate, into divers Parts; and almost worn out with the Fletchers.

The Pater-noster Bead Makers, and Test Writers, are gone out of Pater-noster Row, and are called Stationers of Paul's Churchyard.

The Patten Makers, of St. Margaret Pattens Lane, clean worn out.

Labourers, every Work-day are to be found in Cheap, about Sopers Lane End.

Horse-Coursers, and Sellers of Oxen, Sheep, Swine, and such like, remain in their old Market of Smithfield, &c.

That Merchants of all Nations had their Keys and Wharfs at this City, whereunto they brought their Merchandises, before, and in the Reign of Henry the Second, mine Author wrote (of his own Knowledge) to be true; though for the Antiquity of the City, he took the common Opinion.

Merchants of all Nations.

Also, That this City was (in his Time, and before) divided into Wards; had yearly Sheriffs and Aldermen, General Courts and Assemblies, and such like Notes by him set down, in Commendation of the Citizens, (whereof there is no question:) He wrote likewise of his own Experience; as being born and brought up amongst them.

Antiquity of the Government.

And [to confirm his Opinion] concerning Merchandises then hither transported, whereof haply may be some Argument; Thomas Clifford (before Fitzstephen's Time) writing of King Edward the Confessor, saith to this Effect. "King Edward, intending to make his Sepulchre at Westminster, for that it was near to the famous City of London, and the River of Thames, which brought in all Kinds of Merchandises from all Parts of the World, &c."

Antiquity of Merchandise in London.

Tho. Clifford.

And William of Malmsbury, that lived in the Reigns of William the First and Second, Henry the First, and King Stephen, calleth this a Noble City, full of wealthy Citizens; frequented with the Trade of Merchandises from all Parts of the World.

W. Malmesb.

Also I read in divers Records, That (in old Time) no Woad was stowed or harboured in this City; but all was presently sold in the Ships; except by License purchased of the Sheriffs. Till of more later Time, to wit in the Year 1236, Andrew Bokerell, being Maior, by Assent of the principal Citizens, the Merchants of Amiens, Nele and Corby, purchased Letters, ensealed with the Common Seal of the City, That they, when they come, might harbour their Woads; and therefore should give the Maior, every Year, 50 Marks Sterling. And the same Year they gave an Hundred Pound, toward Conveying of Water from Tyburn to this City.

Also the Merchants of Normandy made Fine, for License to harbour their Woads; till it was otherwise provided, in the Year 1263; Thomas Fitz Thomas being Maior, &c. Which proveth, That then (as before) they were here, among other Nations, privileged.

Merchants Strangers privileged.

It followeth in Fitzstephen, That the Plagues of London (in that Time) were, Immoderate Quaffing among Fools, and often Casualties by Fire.

For the first, to wit of Quaffing, it continueth as afore, or rather, is mightily increased though greatly qualmed among the poorer Sort; not of an holy Abstinency, but of mere Necessity: Ale and Beer being small, and Wines, in Price, above their Reach.

Quaffing and ancient Vice here.

As for Prevention of Casualties by Fire, the Houses in this City being then builded all of Timber, and covered with Thatch of Straw, or Reed; it was long since thought good Policy in our Forefathers, wisely to provide; namely, in the Year of Christ, 1189, the first Year of Richard the First; Henry Fitzalwin being then Maior; That all Men, in this City, should build their Houses of Stone, up to a certain Height; and to cover then with Slate, or Brick, or Tile. Since which Time, Thanks be given to God, there hath not happened the like often consuming Fires in this City, as before.

Casualties by Fire.

Lib. Constitut.

Lib. Horne.

Lib. Clerkenwell.

But now, in our Time, instead of these Enormities, others are come in place, no less meet to be reformed. And first and namely, Purprestures, or Encroachments on the High Ways, Lanes, and common Grounds, in and about this City. Whereof a learned Gentleman, and grave Citizen, hath (not many Years since) written and exhibited a Book, as I hear, to the Maior and Commonalty; which Book, whether the same hath been by them read, and diligently considered upon, I know not: But sure I am, nothing is reformed since concerning this Matter.

Purpresture in and about this City.

W. Pattens.

Then the Number of Cars, Drays, Carts and Coaches, more than hath been accustomed (the Streets and Lanes being streightened) must needs be dangerous, as daily Experience proveth.

Carts and Drays, not well governed in this City, dangerous.

The Coachman rides behind the Horse Tails, lasheth them, and looketh not behind him. The Drayman sitteth and sleepeth on his Dray, and letteth his Horse lead him home.

I know, that by the good Laws and Customs of this City, shod Carts are forbidden to enter the same; except upon reasonable Causes, (as Service of the Prince, or such like) they be tolerated. Also, That the Fore-Horse of every Carriage should be led by Hand. But these good Orders are not observed.

Of old Time, Coaches were not known in this Island, but Chariots, or Whirlicotes, then so called; and they only used of Princes, or Men of

Riding in Whirlicotes.


© hriOnline, 2007
The Stuart London Project, Humanities Research Institute, The University of Sheffield,
34 Gell Street, Sheffield, S3 7QY