Suburbs without the Walls. New Buildings. 34

Suburbs without the Walls. New Buildings.

"The Queens Majesty perceiving the State of the City of London (being anciently termed her Chamber) and the Suburbs and Confines thereof to encrease daily by Access of People to inhabit in the same, in such ample Sort as thereby many Inconveniences are seen already; but many greater of Necessity like to follow: Being such as her Majesty cannot neglect to remedy, having the principal Care under Almighty God to foresee aforehand to have her People in such a City and Confines, not only well governed by ordinary Justice, to serve God, and obey her Majesty; which by Reason of such Multitudes lately encreased, can hardly be done, without Device of mo new Jurisdictions and Officers for that Purpose, but to be also provided of Sustentation of Victual, Food and other like Necessaries for Man's Life, upon reasonable Prizes: without which no City can long continue. And finally, to the Preservation of her People in Health: which may seem impossible to continue; though presently by God's Goodness the same is perceived to be in better Estate universally, than hath been in Mans Memory: Yet where there are such great Multitudes of People brought to inhabit in small Rooms; whereof a great Part are seen very poor; yea, such as must live of begging, or by worse means: and they heaped up together, and in a sort smothered with many Families of Children and Servants in one House or small Tenement; it must needs follow, if any Plague or popular Sickness should by God's Permission enter among those Multitudes, that the same would not only spread it self and invade the whole City and Confines, as great Mortality should ensue the same, where her Majesty's Personal Presence is many times required; Besides the great Confluence of People from all Places of the Realm by reason of the ordinary Termes for Justice, there holden; But would be also dispersed through all other Parts of the Realm, to the manifest Danger of the whole Body thereof. Out of which neither Her Majesty's own Person can be (but by God's special Ordinance) exempted, nor any other, whatsoever they be. "

The Queen's Proclamation against new Buildings.

" For Remedy whereof, as Time may now serve, until by some further good Order, to be had in Parliament, or otherwise, the same may be remedied, Her Majesty, by good and deliberate Advice of her Council; and being also thereto much moved by the considerate Opinions of the Lord Maior, Aldermen, and other the grave, wise Men in and about the City; Doth charge and straitly command all Persons of what Quality soever they be, to desist and forbear from any new Buildings of any new House or Tenement within three Miles of any of the Gates of the said City, to serve for Habitation or Lodging for any Person, where no former House hath been known to have been in Memory of such as are now living: And also to forbear from letting or setting, or suffering any more Families, than one only, to be placed, or to inhabit from henceforth in any House that heretofore hath been inhabited. "

" And for so universal a Benefit to the whole Body of the Realm, for whose Respects all particular Persons are bound by God's Laws and Man's to forbear from their particular and extraordinary Lucre, She straitly chargeth the Lord Maior and all other Officers, having Authority in the same; and also all Justices of Peace, Lords and Bailiffs of Liberties, not being within the Jurisdiction of the Lord Maior; to foresee that no Person do begin to prepare any Foundation for any new House, Tenement, but that they be prohibited and restrained so to do. And both the Person that shall so attempt to the contrary, and all manner of Workmen that shall, after warning given, continue in any such Work, tending to such new Building, to be committed to close Prison: And there to remain without Bail, until they shall find good Sureties, with Bonds for reasonable Sums of Mony, than they shall not at any time attempt the like, &c. And further, the said Officers shall seize all Manner of Stuff so (after Warning given) brought to the Place, where such new Building shall be intended. "

" And for the avoiding of Multitudes of Families heaped up in one dwelling House, and for the converting of any one House into Multitudes, for Dwelling or Victualing Places, the said Lord Maior, and all other Officers in their several Liberties shall commit any such Persons, giving cause of Offence, to close Prison. And for the Offences in this part of Encrease of many Indwellers, or as they be commonly termed Inmates or Undersitters, which have been suffered within these seven Years, contrary to the good, ancient Laws and Customs of the City, the said Lord Maior, and all other the Officers shall speedily cause to be redrest in their ordinary Courts Lawdays, between this and the Feast of All Saints next. Within which time such Undersitters, or Inmates may provide themselves other Places abroad in the Realm: where many Houses rest uninhabited, to the Decay of divers ancient good Boroughs and Towns, &c. Given at Nonesuch, the 7th of July 1580. in the 22d Year of her Majesty's Reign."


This Proclamation could not hinder this strong Propension in the People towards building new Houses. So that in the Year 1583, notice was taken anew of it; and that in some very publick manner, and some Person punish'd for it, as it seems, in the Star Chamber: For both the Lord Treasurer of England made a Speech against it, and Sergeant Fleetwood the Recorder made another learned one. The former mentioned the Queens Proclamation, and how it was grounded upon a great number of Cases, to avoid great Inconveniences; partly for Preservation of Her Majesty's Person; for Sustenation of her Subjects with Victuals; for preservation from the Plague. The Offences were evident; first, In the Officers that have suffered them. The Example was needful, to punish the Offenders. That this was Her Majesty's own Complaint. And that it was Her special Command to punish the Offenders, and to remedy the Offences. These Buildings were the Complaint of all Officers [by reason of many Misdemeanors:] Occasioned the encrease of the Plague; created a Trouble in governing such Multitudes: a Dearth of Victuals; multiplying of Beggars, and Inability to relieve them: An encrease of Artizans in number more than could live together: Impoverishing of other Cities for lack of Inhabitants. It made lack of Air, Lack of Room, to walk, to shoot, &c. And Encrease of People to rob the Queen's Customs. These were the Heads of the Lord Treasurer's Speech.

The Lord Treasurer makes a Speech against the new Buildings.

The Speech of the other Lawyer, the Recorder, arguing learnedly in Point of Law, ran to this Tenor: "That it was an ancient Principle in Law, that Tenant in Fee simple of Lands and Tenements, may either build or pull down at his free Will. And yet is the same Principle qualified by a Rule of the Common Law: the which is, Sic utere tui, ut alienum non lædas. i.e. So use your own, that your hurt not another. That among the magnalia Coronæ, there were no such Prerogatives as are Leges Forestæ [i.e. the "

The Lawyer's Speech against the new Buildings.