Suburbs. The Rolls Liberty. 71

Suburbs. The Rolls Liberty.

I shall begin at the Corner of Cursitors Alley, next to Chancery Lane, taking in the South side unto the Rose Tavern; where it crosses into Whites Alley, which it takes all in, and so into Bonds Stables. All which it takes also in, except two or three Houses on each side next to Fetter Lane; and there it crosses into the Rolls Garden, which it likewise takes in; and from thence runs into Chancery Lane by Sergeants Inn, and crossing Chancery Lane runneth into Jackanapes Lane, about the middle of which it crosseth into Popes Head Court, which it takes all in, as it doth the East side of Bell Yard, almost unto the End next Temple Bar, except some few Houses on the back side of Crown Court, which is in the City Liberty. And then crossing Bell Yard near Temple Bar, runs cross the Houses into Shear Lane, taking in all the East side: and again crossing over to Lincolns Inn new Court, runs up to the Pump by the Pallisado Pales, where it crosses over into Chancery Lane, taking in the St. John's Head Tavern, and thence to the Corner of Cursitors Alley, where I began its Bounds or Girt Line.

The Bounds.

The Rolls, formerly a Church, now used for the Custody of the Rolls and Records of Chancery: as also made use of on Sundays in Term Time for Divine Service and Preaching. Here the Master of the Rolls always resides. It is a large, but very old and decayed House, much wanting new building, there being Room enough to erect a state- House thereon.

The Rolls.

In the Chapel, where Divine Service is performed, the Records are kept. This also would admit of new Building. In the Yard belonging to the Rolls, is the Examiners Officer, being two in Number with their Clerks.

The Chapel.

Chancery Lane (wherein these Rolls are situate) (formerly called Newstreet) is a Place of great Resort and Trade, occasioned by its Vicinity to the Rolls, the Six Clerks Office, Sergeants Inn, with Simonds Inn, and the other Inns of Court and Chancery. But the upper Part of this Lane next Holborn, lying in St. Andrews Parish, is best built and inhabited, having also the Prospect of Lincolns Inn Gardens.

Chancery Lane.

The particular Places in Chancery Lane, are these.

On the South Part, beginning next to Lincolns Inn is,

Bishops Court, new built, with good Houses, having a Freestone Pavement, and a Passage into Lincolns Inn. Where there is a pair of Gates with open Iron Bars.

Bishops Court.

Chichester Rents, a pretty broad Court, with a Passage also into Lincolns Inn through a pair of Gates, shut up a Nights as those at Bishops Court. It is a Place not over well Inhabited, nor neatly kept, although it might be otherewise, as having a good Freestone Pavement. Next to this is a small and narrow Place called Feathers Alley, which hath a Passage into the upper End of Bell Yard.

Chichesters Rents.

Feathers Alley.

The Six Clerks Office, is a large Building, the Office is kept above Stairs, where the Sixty Clerks in one large Room have their Seats, but the Six Clerks have there each their Apartments.

Six Clerks Office.

Entring into this Six Clerks Office on the Right Hand is the Enrolment Office of the Chancery.

Enrolment Office.

The Masters of the Chancery have their Office in Chancery Lane, near Jackanapes Lane, being a Room, where generally one or two attend in their Turns to take Affidavits, &c. and sit for Business. It is situate in a Yard where the Queens Head and Rolls Tavern is kept. Their dwelling Houses are elsewhere.

Masters of Chancery.

The Masters of Chancery are twelve, Doctors of the Civil Law, who are Assistants to the Lord Chancellor. When Sir Thomas Smith writ his Commonwealth, there were but Six, besides the Master of the Rolls. The Nature of their Office, and what Encroachments were made upon them a good while ago, may appear by a Letter Petitionary, preferred to the Lord Treasurer, Anno 1608. drawn and signed by Sir John Tyndal and other of the Masters: Complaining against extraordinary Masters in Chancery, the Act of taking away the Rewards of Suitors, losing the Benefit of the Alienation Office, and other Matters; which had greatly diminished the Benefit of their Places. The Letter was as follows.

The Masters of Chancery.

J. S.

" Right Honourable and our very good Lord,
We, the Masters of the Chancery, which be the Masters of the Chancery in ordinary, and so known, (whose Names be hereunto subscribed) on the Behalf of our selves, and our Fellow Masters in ordinary now absent, do most humbly and in all Duty shew unto your Lordship, that where by the antient Institution of the High Court of Chancery, there were only twelve principal Assistants appointed to attend the Lord Chancellor in the Affairs of that Court, which be called The Masters of the said Court, of whom the Master of the Rolls is the chief: Unto which Number the noble Kings of this Realm, have given bountifully Allowance of Diet and Robes, and many great Things also towards the Charge of their Service, besides many Fees of Right and Custom belonging to their Places: So it is, Right Honourable, that as in many other Cases, so of later Times, we know not by what deserved Punishment, but by our Unhappiness (as it seemeth) all our antient Allowances in a Manner (in this extreme Encrease of Charges, when our Pains and Service by Reason of the Multitude of Suits are doubled and trebled) are taken from us, partly by Monopolies of great yearly Revenue, of such Things as belonged principally to the ordinary Masters, made by Patents, unto such as have not at all served in the said Court; partly by a late severe Statute whereby all Reward from Suitors is taken from them, a Matter admitted in all other Commonwealths; and not a little by the making in these Times of many extraordinary Masters, which originally were not at all: but in Process of Time a very few were used only in the remotest Parts of the Land, for the Ease of those Subjects. But now, tho' they be not of the Kings Fee, nor give Attendance in Court, do not only gleane, but carry away, whole Sheaves from the Ordinary Masters. So as in Effect there is left unto the true Masters towards their great Pains and Charge, a bare Yearly Stipend from the Kings Majesty of about twenty Nobles towards their Robes, and certain petit Duties; which the Extraordinaries take upon them also against all Right and Reason, to carry from them. "

Their Complaint to the Lord Treasurer.

" And for a plain Evidence thereof, may it please your Lordship, to be informed, that the Duties which are payable in the Alienation Office, whereof your Honor hath now under his Gracious Majesty the Governance, which do belong to a Master of the Chancery, were ever before the Erection of that Office belonging only unto the Masters, and at the first Erection of that Office a Master in Ordinary was placed there. But in the Time of the last Lord Treasurer, we know not by what Means, but as we believe chiefly by not knowing any Difference between the two Functions, an Extraordinary was placed there; to the great Prejudice and Damage, and (if we durst say it) to the Wrong of the Ordinary Masters. Now forasmuch as the same Person is yet employed in that Service in the said Office, We therefore, the Ordinary Masters of the said Court of Chancery, his Majesty's dutiful, faithful and most painful Servants in that Court, encouraged by the publick Fame of your admirable Disposition to Justice and Equity, do humbly beseech your Honour, to be a Means unto his Gracious Majesty, that his most humble Subjects and Servants might in some reasonable Sort, according to their Places and Service by respected; And your Honour in this very Particular Case, would "