But note, that anciently the Maiors spent little or nothing more in the Time of their Maioralty, than in another Time; being contented with one, or at most with two Serjeants at Arms with them in their Family. Yea, because then they gave not * Liveries the same Day wherein they were chosen, they went on Foot either by Land, or or by Water in a Boat to Westminster, or the Tower; and there they were burthened with their Charge, and accepted. But great Costs and Expences increasing about the said Office of the Maioralty, the Citizens obtained from King Edward, Son of King Edward, in the twelfth Year of his Reign, towards the End thereof, a Charter, that the Maior should not remain above one Year together in his Office, as appears in the Book of Customs; and the same Charter exemplified in the Book E.

Little Charges to the Maior anciently.


A Charter for Maiors yearly.

Some believe this Article was obtained on this Account, because before, some Maiors had Commissions from the King to remain in their Office as long as the King pleased. Which the People took heavily; as Nicolas Farnedon had. Such a Commission also had Hamon de Chikewelle. When therefore he that was Maior one Year could not be Maior the Year following, unless perhaps he were very instantly required thereunto, and with his own Good Will; so that he could not be compelled to undergo the Burthen two continued Years by the Liberty of the City, both Aldermen and Commons were wont in peaceable Elections to chuse some other to be Maior.

Fo. 90.

On what Account obtained.

Lib. E. fo. 146. & fo. 148.

And no Maior by the Liberty of the City can be compelled to hold his Office two Years. But if any had obtained so much Favour with the Citizens, as to commend him, for his good Government, and instantly to pray him by their common Speaker, to take upon him the Burthen of the Maioralty for the following Year, and he finally refused so to do; then the Commoners presented to the Aldermen the Names of two other Aldermen, the present Maior not being nominated at all. Of which two they accepted one for Maior, whom they would, as was said before.

The Ceremony of going out of the Chamber into the Hall, when the new Maior was declared.


WHO being so accepted, in the going out of the Chamber, the Maior going down into the Hall, was wont to go before, leading by the Hand with him the Maior for the Year ensuing. And the Maior and Aldermen sitting in their Places, the Recorder declared to the People the Name of the Maior Elect for the Year then next following; signifying also to the People, that they should prepare to ride with their Maior towards Westminster on the Morrow of the Festival of St. Simon and Jude next, for the Honour of the chief City: Which being done, the Maior and Aldermen rose, and departed out of the Hall, the People following.

The Recorder declares the new Maior.

If the Elect were not present, the Maior and Aldermen with the Sheriffs were wont to go to his House, to warn him there presently, to provide himself with Requisites for the Office of the Maioralty: and to be present at Guildhall on the Feast of Simon and Jude next following, to take his Oath, as anciently was wont to be done. And then every one went home.

The Manner of the new Maior's taking his Oath; and the carrying of the Sword.


ON the Feast of Simon and Jude, about Ten of the Clock by the Bell, the Maior and all the Aldermen in their Violet Gowns, and many Commoners assembled, and Peace and Audience being proclaimed by a Common Cryer, viz. a Sergeant at Arms, the Recorder sitting on the Right Hand of the Maior, recited to the People the anicent Custom of the City, viz. that that Day the Maior for the ensuing Year should take his Oath; and he used to recommend to him such things as wherein the former Maior had well deserved. And if the Maior would say any thing, he was heard. Which being done, the Maior went out of his Seat; and the Maior that was to be, ascended the same. And the Maior that had been, sat next him on the Left Hand. And then the Common Serjeant at Arms, holding a Book to him with the Kalendar and the Effigies of the Crucifix on the outside, the Common Clerk read to him, holding his Hand upon the Book, the same Oath that he was to make on the Morrow in the King's Exchequer: Which Oath is set down in the Book D. Which being promised, and the Book kissed, the old Maior delivered him the Seal of the Statute of the Merchants Strangers [from whom the Maior received considerable Benefit] together with the Seal of the Maioralty, in two Purses: And the new Maior was heard (if he were minded to speak any thing) praying for Assistance to be given him from his Brethren the Aldermen, the Sheriffs, and all honest Men for his Time, in his Government of the City, &c. Which being done, they rose and went out, the People following. But the Sword was carried before the last Maior, leading the Maior that was to be, by the Hand with him, the Aldermen and People following, unto the House of the said Maior to be. And from thence the Sword went before the past Maior unto his House. And neither of the two Maiors were wont to appear in Publick any more that Day. Yet Necessity urging, the past Maior was bound that Day to exercise his Office outwardly and in publick: Because he is not fully discharged from his Office, until the following Maior be accepted in his Place by the King, or the Barons of the Exchequer, or the Constable of the Tower.

Fo. 1.

Of the Swearing of the Maior at the Exchequer.


ON the Morrow of the Feast of St. Simon and Jude, so it were not Sunday, (for then it was put off to Monday next) as well the new Maior as the old, and the Aldermen also, were wont to meet together on Horseback in a Place without Guildhall about nine a Clock, in one Suit of Garments *, with the Sheriff, and as many as were of the Maior's Livery, and many of the Mysteries or Companies in their Suits †, the Sword being carried up before the new Maior. From thence they rode together thro' Cheapside, and so without Newgate, turning into Fleetstreet, and so to Westminster. Whither being come, the Maior, Aldermen and Sheriffs alight from their Horses, and the Macebearers and the Swordbearer going before them, they went up into the Exchequer, where were the Chancellor of the Treasury, the Keeper of the King's Privy Seal, with the Barons of the Exchequer. And the Maior, Aldermen and Sheriffs standing at the Bar, the Recorder declared, how the City of London, according to their ancient Customs and Liberties, had chosen N. Maior for the Year following: praying the Barons, on behalf of the City, to accept him so Elect, personally then before them. And it being answered by the Chief Baron, or one in his Place, according as he pleased, the Book was brought to the Maior; upon which he laying his Hand, was burdened with the same Oath which he took at Guildhall. Which being done, the Chief Baron, on the Part of the King and the Lords, was wont to charge the Maior, especially to keep Peace and Quietness in the City. And then that he should have a respect to those that sold all sorts

*Una Secta. Vestium.

†In Sectis suis.