And where in times of God's Visitation by the Plague, such Assemblies of People in Throngs and Press, have béen very dangerous for spreading of Infection: For the same and other great Causes, by the Authority of the Honourable LL. Maiors of this City, and th'Aldermen their Brethren; and especially upon the severe and earnest Admonition of the Lords of the most Honourable Privy Council, with signifying her Majesty's express Pleasure and Commandment in that behalf; such use of Plays, Enterludes and Shews hath béen during the time of this Sickness, forbidden and restrained: And for that the Lord Maior and his Brethren the Aldermen, together with the grave and discréet Citizens in the Common Council assembled, do doubt and fear, lest upon God's merciful withdrawing of his hand of Sickness from us (which God graunt) the People, especially the meaner and most unruly sort, should, with sudden forgetting of his Visitation, without Fear of God's Wrath, and without due Respect of this good and politick Means, that he hath afforded for the Preservation of Common Weals and Peoples in Health and good Order, return unto the undue use of such Enormities, to the great Offence of God, the Quéen's Commandment and good Governance.

Now therefore, to the intent that such Perils may be avoided, and the lawful, honest and comely Use of Plays, Pastimes and Recreations in good sort only permitted, and good Provision had for the Safety and well ordering of the People there assembled: Be it enacted by the Authority of this Common Council, that from henceforth no Play, Comedy, Tragedy, Interlude, nor Publick Shew, shall be openly played or shewed within the Liberties of the City; wherein shalbe uttered any Words, Examples, or any Doings of any Unchastity, Sedition, nor such like unfit or uncomely matter, upon pain of Imprisonment by the space of fourteen Days, of all Persons offending in any such open Playing or Shewing; and 5l. for every such Offender. And that no Inn-Keeper, Tavern-Keeper, nor other Person whatsoever, within the Liberties of this City, shall openly shew or play, nor cause or suffer to be openly shewed or played, within his House, Yard, or any other Place within the Liberties of this City, any Play, Enterlude, Comedy, Tragedy, Matter, or Shew, that shall not be first perused and allowed in such Order and Form, and by such Persons, as by the Lord Maior and Court of Aldermen for the time being, shall be appointed: Nor shall suffer to be enterlaced, added, mingled, or uttered in any such Play, Enterlude, Comedy, Tragedy, Shew, or any other Matter, than such as shall be first perused and allowed, as is abovesaid.

And that no Person shall suffer any Plays, Enterludes, Tragedies, or Shews to be played or shewed in his House, Yard, or other Place, whereof he then shall have Rule or Power; but only such Person, and in such Places, as upon good and reasonable Considerations shewed, shall be thereunto permitted and allowed by the Lord Maior and Aldermen for the time being. Neither shall take or use any Benefit or Advantage of such Permission, before, or until such Person be bound to the Chamberlain of London for the time being, with such Sureties, and in such Sum, and such Form of the kéeping of good Order, for avoiding the Discords and Inconveniences abovesaid; as by the Lord Maior and Court of Aldermen for the time being, shall séem convenient. Neither shall use or exercise any such Licence or Permission at or in any Matters, in which the same, for any reasonable Consideration of Sickness or otherwise shall, by the Lord Maior and Aldermen, by publick Proclamation, or by Precept to such Persons, be restrained, or commaunded to stay and cease: Nor in any usual time of Divine Service in the Sunday or Holiday, nor receive any to that purpose in the Time of Divine Service to see the same, upon pain to forfeit for every Offence 5l.

And be it enacted, That every Person so to be licensed or permitted, shall, during the time of such Continuance of such Licence or Permission, pay, or cause to be paid, to the Use of the Poor in Hospitals of the City, or of the Poor of the City visited with the Sickness, by the Discretion of the said Lord Maior and Aldermen, such Sums and Payments, and in such Form, as betwixt the Lord Maior and Aldermen for the time being, on th'one part, and such Person so to be licensed or permitted or th'other part, shalbe agreed: Upon pain, that in want of every such Payment; or if such Person shal not first be bound with good Sureties to the Chamberlain of London for the time being, for the true Payment of such Sums to the Poor; that then every such Licence or Permission shalbe utterly void. And every Doing, by Force of Colour of such Licence or Permission, shalbe adjudged an Offence against this Act, in such manner, as if no such Licence or Permission had béen had or made; any such Licence or Permission to the contrary notwithstanding.

And be it likewise Enacted, That all Sums and Forfeitures to be incurred for any Offence against this Act; and all Forfeitures of Bonds to be taken by force, mean, or occasion of this Act, shalbe employed to the Relief of the Poor in the Hospitals of this City, or the Poor infected or diseased in this City of London; as the Lord Maior and Court of Aldermen for the time being, adjudge meet to be distributed. And that the Chamberlain of London shall have and recover the same for these Purposes aforesaid, by Bill, Plaint, Action of Debt, or Information, to be commenced and persued in his own Name, in the Court of the utter Chamber of the Guild Hall of London, called, The Maior's Court. In which Suit no Essoine, or Wager of Law for the Defendant, shalbe admitted or allowed.

Provided always, that this Act (otherwise than touching the publishing of unchast seditious and unméet Matters) shall not extend to any Plays, Enterludes, Comedies, Tragedies, or Shews, to be played or shewed, in the private House, Dwelling, or Lodging of any Nobleman, Citizen, or Gentleman, which shall or will then have the same there played, or shewed in his Presence, for the Festivity of any Marriage, Assembly of Friends, or other like Case; without publick or common Collection of Money of the Auditory, or Beholders thereof: Referring always to the Lord Maior and Aldermen for the time being, the Judgment and Construction, according to Equity, what shall be counted such a Playing or Shewing in a private place; any thing in this Act to the contrary notwithstanding.

Upon this Act the Queen's Players made Petition to the Lords of her Majesty's Privy Council, to this purport: "That whereas the Queen's Poor Players (as they stiled themselves) their time of Service drew near, so as of necessity they must exercise, to enable them the better for the same, and also for their better Help and Relief in their poor Living, the Season of the Year being past, to play at any of the Houses without the City of London (as in their Articles annexed to their Supplication might more at large appear.) Their Petition therefore was, that it might please their Lordships to vouchsafe the reading of their Articles sent herewith, and in tender Consideration of the Matter therein mentioned, containing the very Stay and good Estate of their Living, to grant unto them the Confirmation of the same, or of as many, or as much of them, as should be to their Honours good liking: And therewithal their Lordship's favourable Letters unto the Lord Maior of London, to permit them to exercise within the City, according to the Articles. And also that the said Letters might "

The Petition of the Queen's Players against the former Act.