Honourable Citizens. Loans. 282

Honourable Citizens. Loans.

The Wealth of the Citizens had made them once like to have filled the City with Knights: This same warlike King Edward the Third, Anno 1344, requiring all them who had 40l. per Annum, to take Knighthood upon them, within about six Weeks after. And of this, Publick Proclamation was made in London, by the Sheriffs, that such as were concerned should take notice of it.

K. Edw. III. requires the Citizens to take Knighthood.

And this the King required, either for the Honour of the City, or perhaps to get Money out of the wealthier Sort: who, as it appeared by the Sequel, had no Inclination to this Honour, nor the Consequences of it.

This Command of the King was grounded upon a Statute made in the first Year of King Edward II. whereby it was ordered, That all such as ought to be Knight, that is, that had 20l. yearly in Fee, or for Term of Life, should take the Arms of the Knight upon him.

The said King's Brief to the Sheriffs of London, for this Purpose, was as followeth.

EDWARDUS, &c. Vicecomitibus, &c.
i.e. "EDWARD, &c. to the Sheriffs of London, Greeting.
WE Command, firmly enjoining you, That in the City aforesaid, when you shall think convenient, ye cause it publickly to be proclaimed, That all who have 40l. of Land or Rent, as they have Revenue by Year, and have held them for Three whole Years, and are not Knights, take upon them the Order of Knighthood, about the Feast of St. * Laurence next, or at most on the Feast, upon Danger which followeth. And that ye diligently enquire of the Names of those who have 40l. of Land or Rents per Ann. in the said City: And that ye certify Us of those Names, in our Chancery, before the foresaid Feast. And by no means omit ye this." "Witness my self at Westminster, the 30th Day of June; in the Year of our Reign over England the 18th; but of our Reign over France, the 5th."

* August 10.

To which Brief, the Sheriffs returned this Answer.

Proclamari fecimus, &c.
i.e. "We have caused to be proclaimed throughout our whole Bailiffwick, all the Articles contained in the Brief, as it is commanded in the same. We have caused also Inquisition to be made, by the Oath of honest and lawful Men of our said Bailiffwick, if any have 40l. of Land or Rent, by Year, in our said Bailiffwick, and have held them for Three whole Years; and of those that hold a Part in our Bailiffwick, and a Part elsewhere, of the said Value. By whose Oath we find, that all the Lands and Rents in the said City are held of the Lord the King in Capite, as Free Burgage in Fee Farm. Nor is there any that hath 40l. of Land or Rent in the same by the Year certain. Because the Lands in the said City, some are let for more, some for less; and often stand empty, and are not let: Yet frequently have divers Burthens, and require Repairs and Amendments. And for those Causes, and the Burning of Houses, and divers other Dangers happening, the Certainty of the true Value of them cannot be known. And as to the Lands and Rents which the Citizens have out of our Bailiffwick, the Sworn Men say, That they know nothing of the Value of them by Year, nor can enquire."

These Diminutions and Abatements of the Estates of the Citizens, were given in (as it seems) with respect to the Exceptions in the foresaid Statute of 1 Edward II. Wherein such were excused from Knighthood, that had held their Lands but a small Time; or that were bounden in certain Debts in the Exchequer, to be paid yearly out of their Lands; and that held in Manors in Ancient Demesn of the Crown, as a Sokeman; and that must give Tallage, when the King's Demesnes were tallied: And such as held Burgage Lands, altho' they did amount to 20l. yearly.

Such another Writ came from that King, about Twelve Years after, to the Sheriffs, Walter Forster, and Thomas de Brandon, the First of August, the 30th of that King's Reign over England, but of France the 17th. And the Sheriffs Return was the same.

In the Year 1544, Anno 36 Hen. VIII. the Citizens, Members of the Twelve Companies, lent that King, upon Lands mortgaged to them, the Sum of 21263l. 6s. 8d.

The Citizens Loan to King Henry VIII. of 21263l.

When the Maior, Sir Ralph Warren, lent for his Part,500l.
Sir Martin Bowes,300l.
Sir Rowland Hill,300l.
The three Greshams, between them,1073l. 6s. 8d.


Sir Richard Gresham,500l.
Sir John Gresham,800 Ma.
William Gresham, Mercer,40l.

There were then these Knights, and brave wealthy Citizens, that then lent their Proportions, as follow:

Sir William Forman,300l.
Sir William Roche,300l.
Sir John Coles,200l.
Sir Michael Dormer,400l.
Sir John Allen,400l.
Sir John Champneys,200l.

And these Aldermen, not then knighted; tho' divers of them afterwards were.

John Sadler,100l.
John Tolos,200 Ma.
George Barnes,200l.
Ralph Allen,500l.
William Laxton,300l.
Henry Hubberthorn,300l.
Thomas White,300l.
Richard Dobbs,200 Ma.
Richard Jervys,400l.
Richard Rede,200l.
Andrew Judd,300l.
Thomas Lewin,100l.
Henry Amcotes,200l.
John Wilford,100l.

And it hath been from Time to Time the Practice of the Kings of England to borrow Money, for their present Necessities, of the City; and the Custom of the City accordingly to supply their Kings: And likewise sometimes to be Security for Monies borrowed by the King abroad.

The City bound for Monies borrowed by K. Edw. VI. at Antwerp.

King Edward VI. borrowed Money of Anthony Fugger, and his Nephews; who were vastly rich German Merchants, and Bankers at Antwerp. And the City was bound with the King for Payment. As I find Anno 1551, in the Month of

Warr. Book of K. Edward