Worthy Maiors. 289

Worthy Maiors.

One of the wealthiest Citizens of later Times, and a great Benefactor to the Publick, (particularly his Buildings in Grocers Hall, and the College of Physicians since the great Fire) was Sir John Cutler, Knight, Grocer. The Earl of Radnor married his only Daughter. He died Anno 1693. Edmund Boulter, Esq; being his Kinsman and Executor: Who paid the Earl (according to a printed Vindication of himself, and the Trust reposed in him) 39000l. and upwards; being one Half of the Personal Estate, which devolved on the Countess as her Customary Part. The said Boulter, in Funeral Expences, laid out above 7660l. A Moiety of which belonged to the Earl to allow out of his Moiety. Besides which, the Earl enjoyed the Profit of Lands, with his Countess, since her Father's Death, amounting to 14000l.

Sir John Cutler.

J. S.

And here, while I am mentioning particular worthy and wealthy Members of the City, I shall relate a few Acts and Passages of some Maiors in Queen Elizabeth's Reign, that shewed them both wise and good, or stout, or publick-spirited Citizens and Magistrates.

Relations concerning some good Maiors.

Sir Thomas Lodge was Maior 1563; who shewed himself a Magistrate of good Courage, by this Passage which happened to him in his Maioralty.

Sir T. Lodge his Behaviour upon some Threatnings from the Court.

One Edward Skeggs, an unworthy Citizen, (who for some Misdemeanor lost his Freedom of the City, but upon Submission obtained it again) afterwards got to be a Purveyor for the Queen: And thinking, as it seems, to offer some Affront to the City, to make it the more publick, seized upon certain of the Maior's Provisions; and out of Twenty two Capons for the Maior's Table, took Twelve for the Queen; and that with much sawcy Language, not fit for the Chief Magistrate of the City to receive. Sir Thomas made him restore Six of the Twelve he had taken; and threatned him with the biggest Pair of Bolts in Newgate. But away goes Skeggs to the L. Steward, then the Earl of Arundel, thinking he had Tale enough now against the City. And the said L. Steward, and Sir Edward Rogers, the Comptroller of the Houshold, gave too much Ear to an ill Man's Complaint; and presently wrote a very angry, threatning Letter to the Maior, composed in such a Stile, that I believe seldom, or never, the like had been sent to so great and eminent a Magistrate, and so immediate under the Crown.

It began, and proceeded in this Tenor.

"We be advertised that you have much misused Edward Skeggs, Purveyor for the Queen's Mouth, in making Provision for her Highness own Person: As, in denying him of taking of Twelve Capons of Two and twenty. And of the Twelve, delivered you Six again. And for his so doing, you gave him ill Words, and threatning him to Newgate; and gave Commandment, the biggest Pair of Bolts in Newgate should be set on his Heels: And said, the Lord Steward, neither the said Skeggs, should have none of you for the Queen's Majesty. And further said to him, If he took your Capons any more, you would send him to Newgate, and set on him so many Irons as his Body could bear; calling him Villain."

The Letter from thence to him.

" For the which your Misdemeanors, for that it is now a contagious Time of Sickness, we now forbear to do that, which hereafter we shall not forget to execute for her Majesties better Service, and your better Knowledge of your bou0nden Duty. Charging you in the mean Time, to permit him, and all others her Majesties Officers, for the Provision of her Majesties most Honourable Houshold, to do their Duties for the same. And if any of them shall do otherwise than to their Duties appertaineth; advertise us thereof, and we shall hear what may be said therein. And the Matter proved, cause Reformation and condign Punishment of the Party offending. "

"From the Court at Greenwich, the Nineteenth of July.

The Maior being prudent, as well as sensible of his own Quality, and seeing this Storm hanging over him, made what Friends he could at the Court. And the Plague being then in the City, he durst not come himself to the Court, to justify himself; but wrote his Letters to Two of his Friends, the Lord Robert Dudley, and Secretary Cecyl, to acquaint them with the Matter. That to the latter was to this Purport:

"That upon an untrue Report by the said Skeggs, the Lord Steward and Mr. Comptroller had conceived great Displeasure against him. But he assured the Secretary, that Skeggs his Reports were most untrue, and his Demeanor so intolerable, that if the same were duly examined, he would be judged an unfit Man for the Place where he served; as, if the contagious Time were not such that he might repair to his Answer, it should well appear. And that if He, and such like, were more to be credited than He [the Maior] was, he thought himself a far unmeet Man for the Place wherein he served. Yet he had sufficient Witnesses both of that Man's intolerable Comparisons and Demeanours, and of his [the Maior's] Dealings with him. That he had not seen, for his Time, that the Maior of London had been so dealt with. He prayed the Secretary to have Consideration of this his Grief, as it might come in question thereafter; for their Threatning portended a Displeasure to come. What they meant thereby, he knew not. But that it seemed very strange, to be so threatned upon the false Report of so slender a Person: And especially he being of the City, so to be born with against the State of the same; whereat he kicked to his simple Power: Because for his unjust Dealing (before he was retained in the Queen's Service) he was disfranchised; and afterward, upon Suit made, restored again."

So warily, and yet with such a Respect to the Honour of his Office, did Sir Thomas Lodge behave himself.

In the Year 1573, there was a Dearth of Provisions in the City, and in the whole Nation: Sir Lionel Ducket, Maior, out of his Care of both City and Nation, wrote to the Lord Treasurer of England what the Occasion thereof was: Namely, That this Scarcity of Butter, Victuals and Grain, was through the secret Transporting of them beyond Sea, both to France and the Low Countries; where they were then very dear; and that occasioned by their Civil Dissensions at this Time: Whence it came to pass, that there was neither such Tillage used, nor such further Pro-

Sir Lionel Ducket.

Dearth of Provisions.