they were forced to take up, they hoped to repay them by raising considerable Sums in Fines and renewing of Leases of Houses in London, almost expired; when the Fire came and burnt all down. Whereby they were further sunk into Debt.

Ravenhill their Clerk's Acc. printed 1682.

MONIES formerly taken up by them, which was the Ground of their Debt.


To accommodate King Charles I. in his Exigences Anno 1640,
on Security of some of his Peers
To subdue the Rebels in Ireland, Anno 1641: and to relieve
the Protestants there
Lent the City; for which they had their Seal, Anno 1643.45000000

Their Debts.

All which Sums they took up on their Common Seal: Nor were singular therein, but necessitated thereunto, in compliance with all other Companies, and indeed with the whole City.

Upon the taking up this Money, they made a By-Law to levy the same on themselves, if their Stock fell short: and so they continued Payment of their Interest. And as one Creditor call'd for his Money in, they took up others, and paid them off, depending upon getting in their Principal. All which failed them. Till at last their sole hope of advancing Money was by renewing of Leases; many whereof were nigh expired. But the great Fire, Anno 1666, consumed their whole Revenue in London, they having paid for Interest between 1640, and 1666, 3000l. This made them uncapable of paying both Debts and Charities.

Upon this they let their Ground to Builders for Fines on long Leases: Great part of which they were compelled to pay by the Decree of the Judges at Cliffords Inn.

Upon this they set on foot voluntary Subscriptions. Sir John Cutler at his own proper Cost, erected the first Building in the Garden, being their Parlour, and entertaining Room over it. For the Repair and beautifying of the great Hall Sir John Moor advanced 500l. Sir John Frederic, Sir James Edwards, Sir Henry Tulse, and several other Aldermen and Members, contributed largely, for an additional building, to render it convenient and commodious for Habitation of the chief Magistrate of this City, both for Ornament and Use.

Benefactors towards building the Hall.

In the Year 1682, Sir Henry Tulse, Mr. Box, Mr. Winch, and Mr. Reve, Master and Wardens for that Year; and Mr. Beal and Mr. Bourn, two of the late Wardens, the Court of Assistants joyned with them, resolved to finish the great Hall. Which was done with that Speed as was almost incredible; tho' enlarged and made more convenient with many Accommodations. So that it far exceeded any Hall that now is, or probably ever was in London. And the Charge amounted to a far greater Sum than was at first propounded, yet it manifestly appeared to have been the only Means left to keep the Company of Grocers upon a Foundation. For that the Apprentices and Freemen of Estate or Value, who before declined, now daily encreased.

But now to look backward to the antient State of this Company. In the 3 Edw. III. Anno 1329. John Grantham was chosen and held Maior, by the Name of Grocer (whereas before they are supposed to be called Pepperers) And this was before they were incorporated. The first Charter of this Company was in 20 Edw. III. Anno 1345. Which seems to be long before the Mercers were incorporated. The Charter was re-newed several times afterwards, particularly in 7 Hen. VI. by the name of Custodes & Communitas Mystery Grocerij Londini: i.e. The Wardens and Commonalty of the Mystery of the Grocery of London. In the beginning of that Kings Reign, they purchased the Ground where the Grocers Hall now standeth, with the Ground belonging to it, of Walter-Fitzwater; bounding the same betwixt the Old Jury and Wall Brook.

The ancient State of this Company.

The Grocers were so considerable long before that time, that they were the only Men intrusted with the management of the King's Beam; peculiar to them, as principally using the same. And had the naming of the Weigh-master; and also the naming, placing, removing, and governing of the Four Porters; all to be elected out of their own Company.

The Grocers had the King's Beam;

Among other Privileges and ancient Usages of this Company, it is recorded as high as Edward the Fourth's Days, that this Company had power of Inspection of Abuses and Irregularities of all Persons in the City or Suburbs, any way using or exercising any kind of Grocery, and also to assay the Weights they bought or sold by; and to take notice of all Defaults, and to return them to be fined at the discretion of this Fellowship; and to take 4d. of every Person for their Labour herein. Which Usage was always continued. And in the Charter renewed to the Company 15 Cha. I. this Privilege is confirmed and expressed to extend Three Miles from the City, as well within Liberties as without.

And Privilege to inspect Weights.

This Company formerly never wanted an Alderman of their Members, to succeed Master Warden of the Company. And so faithfully did they acquit themselves of those Charities they were intrusted with, that it gave them the greatest Reputation of any Company in London. In so much that many well disposed Persons did covet to make this Company the Treasury of their Charities.

Formerly an Alderman always Master.

Those of this Company of Grocers, that attained to the Honour of the Chief Magistracy of the City, were these, as far as can be fetched backward from Ancient Times.

Maiors of the Grocers Company.

Andrew Bokerel, stiled Pepperer, seven Years Maior successively; that is to say, from the Year 1232 to 1238 inclusive.

Alan Zouch [written also Suche] Custos An. 1268. Of whom the Lord Zouch was descended. This Alan Zouch was Lord Chief Justice, and slain in Westminster-Hall. Sed Quære.

Sir John Gisors, Pepperer, Maior 1311, 1312, and 1314. Buried at Saint Martins in the Vintrie.

Hamon Chickwel, Pepperer, Maior 1319, 1321, 1322, 1324, 1325, and 1327. Buried in St. Pauls.

John Grantham, Maior 1329. This Family continueth yet in Lincolnshire.

Andrew Aubery, Maior 1340, 1341, and 1352.

Simon Dolsey, or Dolseby, Maior 1360. He dwelt in the same House, which was afterwards the Cutlers Hall. Where for some hundred Years after were his Arms in the Glass. Which was Nebule, Azure, and Argent.

John Nott, Maior 1364. Of him there was long after Issue remaining.

John Ward (or Wyard) Maior 1376.

Sir Nicolas Brember, Maior 1378.

Sir John Philpot, Maior 1379. Of him Philpotlane took name. But he was buried at Christ's Church An. 1384. The Family remained long after in Hampshire. He was sometime Representative for the City in Parliament: and seasonably interposed there for its Liberties: as is shewn elsewhere.

John Hadley, Maior 1380, and 1394. Buried at St. Pancras by Sopers Lane.