Honour of Citizens. 304

Honour of Citizens.

" and in a free Parliament to establish the Religion and Laws of these Kingdoms upon a sure and lasting Foundation. We have hitherto looked for some Remedy, for the Oppressions and imminent Dangers we, together with our Protestant Fellow-Subjects, laboured under, from his Majesty's Concessions and Concurrences with your Highness's just and pious Purposes, express'd in your gracious Declarations. But herein finding our selves finally disappointed by his Majesty's withdrawing himself, we presume to make your Highness our Refuge; and do in the Name of this Capital City implore your Highness's Protection; and most humbly beseech your Highness to vouchsafe to repair to this City; where your Highness will be received with universal Joy and Satisfaction."

And as Learning and Wisdom do no less adorn than Wealth, and other Accomplishments, so the City hath not wanted Learned and Wise Men: That on that Account have been preferred to the Courts of Princes, or have been of very good Use to the City, for their prudent Advice and Counsil, as there has been Occasion. Such was Dr. Colet, Dean of St. Paul's, the Son of a Citizen, and Sir Thomas More, Lord Chancellor of England, well known among the Learned; Sir Thomas Paget, Secretary of State to King Henry the VIIIth, and Privy Counsellor also to the Two succeeding Princes; the Lord Rich, Lord Chancellor to King Edward the VIth; Sir William Fitz- Williams, Earl of Southampton; and Sir John Allen, before-mentioned; Sir Lionel Cranfield, Lord Treasurer to King James I. But among those that have justly acquired an honourable Remembrance for their Abilities in Prudence and Sober Advice, George Stadlow, Citizen and Haberdasher of London, must not be forgotten; who made that memorable Speech to his Fellow-Citizens, how to manage themselves in a very difficult Juncture: When in the Year 1551, the Duke of Somerset, Lord Protector, and the other great Lords of the Court were in Dissension: And both going to gather Forces against each other. Then did the Duke in the King's Name send to them for Aid; and the other Party sitting at Ely House in the City, requiring Aid of them on the other Hand. A dangerous Matter on either Side, and very difficult for the City to steer right, so as to preserve her self in Safety. When the Recorder had urged the City to assist the Lords with 500 Men, and the Citizens remained silent, not knowing which Way to take, Stadlow stood up and said, That it was good to think of Things past, to avoid the Danger of Things to come. And then mentioned a Passage that he had read in Fabian's Chronicle, somewhat parallel to their present Circumstance. Which was, That in the Barons Wars, under King Henry III. the Barons then demanded Aid of the Maior and City, as the Lords now did: And that even in a rightful Cause for the Commonweal; namely, for the Execution of certain good Laws, which the King would not suffer to be executed. Whereupon the City did Aid them. And the Barons prevailed against the King. Afterwards upon certain Conditions the King and his Barons came to Agreement. One of which Conditions was, That the King should grant his Pardon to the Lords and to the Citizens. And so he did. And the Pardon ratified by Act of Parliament. And what followed it, said he? Was it forgotten? No, surely, nor forgiven neither, during the King's Life. And the Liberties of the City were taken away. Strangers appointed to be our Heads and Governors: And the Citizens given away, Body and Goods, and miserably afflicted. Such, said he, is the Wrath of a Prince. Whereupon he very prudently advised, that both the Lords and the Citizens might join together, to make humble Petition to the King, that he would hear such Complaints against the Government of the Lord Protector, as might be justly alledged and proved. And then he made no doubt, the Matter would be so pacified, that neither the King, nor the Lords should have cause to seek for further Aid of Soldiers, the last Extremity. This was the wise and moderate Advice of this Citizen: Which took place. And the Commons stayed. And the Lords took another Course; namely, of addressing the King. And so the City escaped that Danger.

Citizens Honourable for their Wisdom and Learning.

A Citizen's wise Advice.

This George Stadlow seems to have been very studious in History, and the Art of Government. It was he that excited Ralph Robinson to translate More's Utopia into English, a Book that discovers a well-governed Commonweal.

It may also be placed among the Honours of this City, that so many Noblemen and Persons of high Quality have, in former Times especially, resorted hither, and took up their Residences here for some Part of the Year, with a numerous Retinue, when they came up. And not only great Noblemen, but the chief Churchmen, as the Bishops, Abbots, Priors, &c. of the Kingdom, had their Houses here, which were called their Inns; where was great House-keeping. Whereof a Poet in Queen Elizabeth's Time thus versified:

The Nobility and Gentry honour London by inhabiting in it.

Noblemens Inns in London.

Tho. Churchyard.

For when they came to London there to stay,
They sent fat Beeves before them for their Store, &c.
Kept House in Inns, and fed the Poor thereby.

And such was the Wealth, the Pleasure, and the Diversions of London, that the Gentry also could not forbear, but left their Country-Seats, to visit the City, and for a Time to become Citizens: Where also many of them chose to reside, rather than among their Tenants in the Country. Some for the Sake of the Sports and Games of it, and some for Variety, Company, the Fashions and Gaiety there. But London in the mean Time wiped them of their Money, and Estates, and their Families often rued it at Home. The foresaid ingenious Poet that lived less than an Age and an half ago, wrote a Satyr against the Gentry upon this Occasion: Censuring them for affecting so much to resort and tarry in London, to the Decay of Hospitality, and Injury of their Estates:

Pleasures and Diversions of London.

Fine Shops and Sights, fine Dames and Houses gay,
Fine Wares, fine Words, fine Sorts of Meat is there;
Yea, all is fine, and nothing gross, they say.
Fine Knacks cost much: Cost spoils us every where.
A Canker crept in Court, for some Men's Cross,
That eats up Lands, and breeds great Lack and Loss.

And then shewing the Debt and Beggary brought upon the Gentry by these London Temptations.

Oh Lord, how soon a Man is o're his Shoes!
That wades and steps in Streams or Waters deep?
How soon some Town in Country we have News?
That some spend all; for they can nothing keep.
If such Lads were at Home in Bed asleep,
'Twere better sure, than live in London thus,
Upon the Score, or like Bankrupts, I wus.


I muse, why Youth, or Age of Gentile Blood,
Born unto Wealth and worldly Worship here,
In London long consumes both Land and Good,
That better were at Home to make good Chere.