[Woodmongers.] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [Carmen.]227

[Woodmongers.] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [Carmen.]

"October, in the Maioralty of Sir Thomas Cambel, Knight."

"All Persons vending and uttering Sea-coal by Retail, shall, when they carry or send any Coals within London or Liberties, carry along with their Coals a good lawful Bushel, sealed according to the Bushel of the Guildhall, allowed for measuring of Sea-coal: Which agreeth with the Fat anciently used for measuring Sea-coals. Which Bushel shall be and contain in Breadth from out to out, (the Ring not exceeding half an Inch) nineteen Inches and an half; and in Depth within the Bushel seven Inches and an half. If they bring Coals without such Bushel, to forfeit 10s. for the first and second Offence; and for the third, the Car or Carrs of the Offender so to be seized, and carried to the new Store-Yard."

Their Bushel.

" And whereas the Woodmongers and others, using to sell and utter Coals by Retail, have commonly gone or sent down the River Thames, or otherwise travelled or employed their Agents, to meet the Ships and Vessels coming from Newcastle, and other Parts, and at distant Places from the City, or by their Contract within the said City and Liberties, have bought up and forestalled and engrossed great Quantity of Coals, which should have been brought to the City by the Owners and Sellers thereof, to be there sold at reasonable Prices: And the same have conveyed and brought to the City, to sell again at high and excessive Prices, against the Custom and Privileges of the City, to the Publick Detriment and Oppression of the Poor: It was enacted, That no Person inhabiting within the City or Liberties, provide by Barge or Contract for any Sea-Coals, Scotch-Coal, Pit-Coals, or other Coals coming towards the City to be sold, other than such as shall be provided to be spent within their own private Houses; nor shall sell or utter the same by Retail or in Gross; but that the Owners and Sellers thereof shall and may bring the same Coals to the City themselves, here by them to be sold, upon pain of forfeiting 5s. for every Chaldron; and the like Sum for every Tun of Scotch-Coals or Pit-Coals."

None to forestal Coals.

" That the Yeomen of the Wood-Wharfs of this City diligently oversee, that all Persons coming or repairing to this City with any Coals forementioned to be sold, do observe the Orders and Rules before going; and use the like Diligence for the Discovery and Punishment of all Offenders in and about any Particulars thereof."

Yeomen of the Wood-Wharfs.

" And that all Pains, Penalties and Forfeitures in and by this Act limited, may be recovered by Action of Debt, Bill, or Information, in the name of the Chamberlain of the City, and in his Majesty's Court holden before the Maior and Aldermen in the said City, in the Chamber of the Guild-Hall. And after Recovery thereof, one Moiety to the Informer, after Charges deducted, and the other Moiety to the Poor of Christ's Hospital."


The Carmen would make themselves an ancient Fellowship, and joined in the same Corporation with the Woodmongers. And of later times fell out with the Woodmongers; who kept their own Carts for carrying out their Wood and Coals; to the great Prejudice of the Free Carmen of London. Whereupon they brought their Case before the Court of Common Council against the Woodmongers for working unlicensed Carts; and for procuring 140 Carts by an Act of Common Council, to 420 old licensed Carts, to the impoverishing of them. The Case by them stated was as followeth.


The CASE of the ancient Free CARMEN of London, humbly offered to the Consideration of the Honourable Court of Common Council.


THE Carmen of London were made a Fellowship by the City in the Reign of Henry VIII. and in the 3d Year of King James I. were incorporated with the People called Fuellers, by the name of Woodmongers, and so continued till the Year 1668. About which time several Complaints being made to King Charles II. by divers great Personages, of the Woodmongers Frauds in buying and selling of Sea-Coal and other Fuel, his Majesty recommended the Redress thereof to the City of London: Upon which a Committee of Common Council was chosen, who reported their Frauds and Abuses in the Measure of their Fuel; and amongst divers other Matters, That no effectual Course could be taken for Redressing thereof, but by prohibiting the Woodmongers from keeping and working Carts of their own for carrying abroad their Fuel. Upon which Report, the Court of Common Council passed an Act to effect the same.

That the Woodmongers still continuing their evil Practices, particularly their grand Abuses done to the Carmen, application was made to the King in Council for the Carmens Relief; upon which the Woodmongers appealed to the Parliament, where their Abuses were made so apparent, that, for fear of Prosecution and Punishment, they surrendered their Gharter: And hereupon the Carmen were made a Fellowship by the City, by the name of The Free Carmen of the City of London, Ann. 1668.

The Free Carmen.

That the Woodmongers contemning the aforementioned Act of Common Council, several Suits were brought against them for working unlicensed Carts; and the Act being found to be deficient in matter of Form, upon Argument in the Courts at Westminster, the Judges gave particular Directions how it should be amended; which the Common Council having done, it was by them passed into an Act in the Year 1681. And the Woodmongers still refusing to conform, Actions were brought against them in London; which they removed into the Court of Common Pleas and Exchequer; where the Validity of the Act was argued by Council learned, and the Honourable the Judges of both Courts, pronounced the said Act to be a good By-Law, and granted Procedendo's thereupon.

That the Woodmongers, after having put the City, Christ's Hospital, and the poor Carmen to the Expence of thirty Years Time and Treasure, finding the said By-Law to be binding, did apply themselves to the City, and by their crafty Insinuations, have obtained an Act of Common Council for allowing them 120 Carts, over and above the 420 old licensed Carts which they now work; so that near 200 old licensed Carts stand idle daily for want of their rightful Labour, to the impoverishing and undoing several hundreds of the ancient Free Carmen.

And now may it farther be offered to your Considerations, that we the said poor Carmen of London, have paid time out of mind 400l. a Year, for the Relief of the poor Children of Christ's Hospital. And tho' we are now opprest by the new Addition of 120, over and above the ancient number of 420, yet we continue to pay it still.

And that the said ancient Carmen do not desire to lessen the Authority the City of London and the Hospital ought of right to have over them, but to establish the number of 420, those being more than a sufficient number to perform all the Services of the City.