[The Sheriffs.] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT.155


when King James I. was invited to come and take the Crown of England, Robert Lee, then Lord Maior, subscribed in the first place, before all the great Officers of the Crown, or all the Nobility.

This great Magistrate is always chosen on Michaelmas-day, by the Livery-men of the several Companies, out of the twenty six Aldermen: In which Election the senior Alderman formerly used to be chosen; but of late Years it is not always observed, being at the Electors discretion.

The Maior chosen on Michaelmasday by the Livery Men.

Time out of mind, the Maior of London hath been of such high esteem, that in all Writings or Addresses to him, the Title of LORD is prefixed; which is given to none but to Noblemen, Bishops and Judges; and of late time to the Maior of York.

Hath the Title of Lord.

The Lord Maior of London, for his great Dignity, is usually Knighted.

The Custom and Form of Electing this chief Officer of the City, will be declared hereafter.

The Masters, Wardens, Assistants, and as many as please of the other Members of the Livery of each Company, do annually invite themselves to dine with the Lord Maior at his House, towards the beginning of the Year; by sending to him some of their Members with a Purse and divers Papers of Money in it, each Paper containing two, three, five, or more Guineas in it, and expressing the Name and Place of Abode of the Person that sent them. And then on the day that the Lord Maior appoints, they meet at some convenient Place, and so go together in their Livery Gowns, to dine with him. Who, in requital, towards the latter end of his Year, sends an Officer to every Man's House with the Present of a Silver Spoon Gilt, and withal invites them and their Wives to dine with him and the Lady Maioress at his House on such a Day.

The Custom of the Companies dining with the Maior.

Now for the SHERIFFS of London and Middlesex. They were of old time chosen out of the Commonalty, Commoners, and oftentimes never came to be Aldermen: As many Aldermen were never Sheriffs, and yet advanced to be Maiors. But of later time, by occasion, the Sheriffs have been made Aldermen before, or presently after their Election.

Sheriffs, whence elected.

Nicolas Faringdon was never Sheriff, yet four times Maior of this City; and so of other. Which reproveth a By-word, Such a one will be Maior before he be Sheriff.]

Formerly the elder Sheriff was nominated by the Lord Maior, by his drinking to such a Person, whom he thought fit, calling him by the name of Sheriff for the ensuing Year, wheresoever he were, whether present or absent. And this Nomination was customarily confirmed by the Commonalty. But of late the Commons contended against that Custom; and so both the Sheriffs were elected by the Livery Men of each Company. The Time, the Method and the Form thereof, shall be shewn hereafter. Now very lately the old Custom of the Lord Maior's nominating a Sheriff, is again appointed and ordered by Act of Common Council. And Sir John Parsons, Maior Anno 1704, was the first after that Act, that nominated a Sheriff. The said Act shall in due place be specified.]

Sheriffs, their Nomination.

J. S.

As to the Office of the Sheriffs, it belongs to them to serve the King's Writs of Process, be they Summons, Attachments, or otherwise, to compel Men to answer to the Law for the seizing on Goods, Land, or Bodies, as the Cause requires: Also all Extents, Writs of Possession, &c. And for the better Execution of this Office, after a Resistance, the Sheriff may raise the Posse Comitatus. He is to return Juries for Trials of Mens Lives, Liberties, Lands, and Goods: And upon Actions on the Case for Assaults and Battery, Defamations, Trespasses, &c. And such Jury Men ought to be of honest Repute, and of good Ability to consider of, and deliver their Verdicts according to Justice and the Merit of the Cause. He ought to look after the keeping the Publick Peace. He is to see Condemned persons executed according to their Sentence, except pardoned by the King's Grace. He is to gather in and collect the Publick Monies, by Fines, &c. that belong to the King; and to be accountable for, and to pay in the same into the Exchequer: First deducting his Publick Expences customarily allowed to Sheriffs. If a Rescue be made after an Arrest, the Rescuer is liable to be sued, and to pay the Debt. In all Cases where the King is Party, the Sheriff may break open Doors, if Entrance be denied him; but not upon any private Process; but upon Process of Outlawry after Judgment he may do it, or untile the House to come in: But in all Cases where the Door is open, he may enter, and make Execution of his Writ.

Office of a Sheriff.

R. B.

For the better performing of this Office, the Sheriffs jointly have their UNDER SHERIFF, who is always an Attorney, and generally of known Parts; who enters into Security for his just Performance of an Office of so great Trust. For the Under-Sheriff acts all for the County, but hath no concern within the City and Liberty of London, and keeps his Office in some convenient Place for the same; having his Deputy, and several Clerks to do the Office and Business. And for Bailiffs, there is no want of them.


For the City of London, and the Liberties, the Sheriffs have each their Compter or Prison, and to each their peculiar Officers; as, a Secondary, Clerk-sitters, a Prison Keeper, with Serjeants and their Yeomen, for Arrests, Attachments, Executions, &c.

The Sheriffs Prisons.

They have likewise each their COURT, with a Judge belonging to it, for the Trials of all Causes on such Arrests. Of this Court more will be said in due place. The Lord Maior and Citizens have the Sheriffalty of London in Fee, and Sheriffs are Guardians under them.]

Their Courts.

I end this Chapter with the mention of certain antient Fees due to the Maior and Sheriffs.

Fees to the Maior and Sheriffs.

Gibson, late Town Clerk.

J. S.

To the Lord Maior for Wine,80:00:00
For the Duty of Paccage and Scavage,173:06:08
Out of the Markets,100:00:00
Out of the Beams,100:00:00
In lieu of Wax, Herrings, and Sturgeon, formerly
rendred by the Merchants of the Still-Yard,
The Lord Maior receives also from the Bridgehouse,
towards the Repairs of his House,
And towards the Feast on the Lord Maior's Day,50:00:00
To the Maior in all,548:13:04
To the Sheriffs, out of the Paccage and Scavage,150:00:00
And in lieu of Wax, Herrings, and Sturgeon,5:06:08
And for a Petty Toll,2:00:00
To the Sheriffs in all,157:06:08