man ought to be chose by the Maior and the sounder Part of them presently if they would, or could, or else by a prefixed Day: So that they exceeded no 15 Days, to make that Election. Because then the Maior ought, and was wont with the Advice of the Aldermen his Fellows, to appoint an honest, wealthy and circumspect Man for Alderman of that Ward.

And the Men of the Ward, when they had chosen, were to present the elected Person to the Maior and Aldermen, to be admitted. Which Elect after he was admitted, if he refused to take upon him this Office or to undergo it, he should lose his Freedom by the Custom of the City, to which he should not return without making a notable Fine and Payment.

How an Alderman was chosen, and presented.

What penalty upon refusal.

And if the Elect were admitted, he was to swear the Oath accustomed. But if the Maior and Aldermen for some notable Cause thought not fit, that the Elect be admitted, the Ward must proceed again to a better Election. But if they would not, or out of their illwilling and proud Dispositions, chose another whom, for the benefit and honour of the City, the Court would not condescend to admit, the Maior and Aldermen, after 15 Days expectation, as in the former Case, were wont to chuse and admit another.

The Manner of holding a Common Council.


THE Day before, the Maior and Aldermen shall cause to be summoned by the Servants of the Chamber, to come to Guild-hall, out of each Ward, sixteen, twelve, eight or four (according to the greatness or smallness of it) of the Wisest and Wealthiest sort: and that none but they that are summoned come, nor presume to be of this Council, and that under pain of Imprisonment anciently, more lately, under a certain penalty and correction made in an Ordinance in the Time of Nicolas Wotton, Maior. All the Commoners summoned shall be called over singly by a Servant of the Chamber standing higher then the rest: and those that make default a Clerk of the Chamber shall note in a Roll, which he shall hold in his hand, of the Names of the summoned. They that appear shall go together.

How may out of each Ward summoned.

Lib. I. fol. 176.

If a Matter of Controversy and Doubt happen, about which they cannot agree, they shall be examined separately by a Servant of the Common Clerk, and of the Common Sergeant at Arms, by Oath, &c. Note, for the Coming of the Men of one or two Wards, if they have been summoned, the Businesses of the City shall not be delayed: but they may proceed without expecting the coming of the Absent. And every one summoned and not coming shall be amerced 2s. for every time.

In case of Doubt.

Some summoned, and not coming.

The Oath of every one elected to a Common Council is, That he shall swear to be faithful to our Lord the King, and his Heirs, &c. That he shall come when he shall be summoned for a Common Council of the City, unless he be reasonably to be excused; that he shall give good and faithful Counsel according to his understanding and knowledge; and for no Man's favour shall maintain a private Profit against the publick and common Profit of the City, &c. So help thee God, &c.

Oath of a Common Council Man.

In the Time of the Maioralty of John Ward this Ordinance of choosing Commoners for a Common Council of the City was entred: That whereas before these Commoners were chosen by the Wards, hereafter they should be chosen by each Mystery, and not by Wards. viz. Out of Some Mysterys six Men, out of others four, and out of others two. And to do this, Bills were sent by the Maior, not to the Aldermen, but to the Governours of each Mystery. But during that Ordinance, Tumults increased among the People: the Great were despised by the Less. Whence great Controversies and Divisions arose between the Citizens; as appeared in the Election of Nicolas Brembre, John Northampton and other Maiors.

Lib. H. fo. 178.

Chosen out of the Mysteries.

Lib. H. fo. 45, 46.

Afterwards the discreeter and worthier Persons of the City being called together, it was treated about the Amendment of the said Ordinance. And it was finally decreed, that according to the ancient laudable Customs, a solid and approved Common Council should be henceforth chosen by the Wards and not by the Mysteries only. And that Custom in the great Assemblies of the Common Council, is held and kept to this Day.

Afterwards ordered to be chosen out of the Wards.



THE Sheriffs of the City were formerly called Bailiffs. They were Judges of themselves only in their Courts of Personal Pleas. And in the Hustings they were not Judges alone, but also Executors of the Judgments and Precepts of the Maior, &c.

The Sheriffs, Judges; Wherein.

They are also the Maior's Eyes, seeing and supporting part of the Care, which the Person of the Maior alone is not sufficient to bear. For they and all their Officers ought, and have been accustomed to be obedient to the Maior for the Time, as Members serving the Head, in supersending and bringing before him Complaints, had and affirmed with them, to examine, &c. and in performing all other his Commands.

The Maior's Eyes.

When a Question or Debate shall arise between the Sheriffs, and some other belonging to the Sheriffs themselves, or their Officers, it ought, and was accustomed to be determined by the Maior and Aldermen: Because the Liberty of the City hitherto hath not allowed the Sheriffs to be Judges themselves in their own Causes.

Debates with the Sheriffs, how determined.

There happened once, in Edward the Second's Time, great Discords to arise between Sir John le Blund, Maior, and Reginald de Thundersle, Sheriff, and his Clerks and Officers. This gave Occasion to the making of an Ordinance upon the Disobedience of the Sheriffs and their Clerks. Which was this. "Since that many Evils happen to the Communaltie and Sheriffs, by the Disobedience, Ignominy and Rebellion of the Sheriffs their Clerks and Servants, it is agreed and appointed by the Maior and Aldermen, that all Sheriffs Clerks and Servants be obedient and yielding to their Superiors in all lawful Things, and that may be done de jure. And if they shall not, but be, and may lawfully be, convicted upon this; let them be removed from their Office, without having it again afterwards."

Order for Sheriffs Clerks and Servants.

Lib. Horn. fo. 271.

And the Difference between the said Maior and Sheriff received this Accommodation by the Judgment of the Aldermen:

Cognitio & Concordia R. de Thundersle.
"Before the said Aldermen and others, the Discords and Disagreements, arisen between Sir John le Blund, Maior of London, and Reginaldde Thundersle, Sheriff of London, by common Friends mediating, were quieted: and that in the manner under-written: To wit, that the said Sir John remitted and pardoned the foresaid Reginald all manner Rancours and Hatreds between them from the beginning of the World to this Day. And the said Reginald, for the fore said Remission and Pardon, pledged to the same John ten Hogsheads of Wine: So that the said Reginald do not offend against the said Sir John for the future. But if he again offend against him; and upon this may "

Accommodation of the Discord between the Maior and Sheriff.

Lib. Horn, ubi supra.