[Laws and Customs.] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT.305

[Laws and Customs.] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT.

Assemblies where their Rites and Discipline are followed, they will become contemptible and despicable to their Adversaries; and their Members will be deprived of the Comfort and Incouragement they find in their glorying of being of the same Religion with the Church of England; and that the Queen's most Excellent Majesty is

Defender of their Faith, and of their Interest in the World.

Wherefore it is humbly hoped, That a Proviso or Clause may be added, for their Exemption in the said Bill concerning Occasional Conformity, they performing their Exercises in the Dutch and French Languages.]



Laws, Customs and Usages, ancient and modern. Assizes of Annoyances. Statutes for the Streets: For paving and cleansing them. Old Customs for Freedom. Laws of the Market. An Act to prevent Forestalling and Engrossing the Market. An Award in a Case between the Farmers of the Market and the Market-Folks. Rates for standing. Rates for Hackney-Coaches and Chairs.

AND thus at length by the Order and Government of the City in general, and in particular of the Trade and Traffic in the several Societies and Corporations, it hath maintained it self for many Ages in great Wealth, Splendor, and Reputation. Now we descend to more special Matters relating to the Government, and without which no political Body can subsist, namely, the Laws, Usages, and Customs observed and practised in the City.

Laws and Customs of the City.

J. S.

And as a Preface I shall begin with a few things in general concerning the Customs of London, and in Vindication of them; taking them from an ancient Tract, written in Queen Elizabeth's Reign, reprinted Anno 1652. the Author some Learned in the Law, unknown (whom I guess might be Fleetwood Recorder) entitled, A brief Discourse, declaring and approving the necessary and inviolable Maintenance of the laudable CUSTOMS of London.

Customs, their Commendation.

"Laudable Customs are the principal Joints, and very Sinews of all good Corporations and Fellowships; and also the Maintainers of a sacred Unity and natural Amity between the Husband and his Wife, the Parents and their Children; which (as the wise Philosopher termed it) is the Beginning of a City. For what is a City, but a manifold and joint Society, consisting of many Housholds, and living under the same Laws, Freedoms and Franchises? And so the said Customs must needs be the Procurers and Causes of sundry good Effects to the general Estate of the City, wherein they be observed, &c."

"And to come nearer to the Matter, this famous and renowned City of London hath many laudable and ancient Customs; which, tho' they derogate and differ from the Rules of the Common Law, yet have they been not only approved by inviolable Experience of sundry Ages, but also have been of old ratified and confirmed by sundry Acts of Parliaments, and Charters of Princes: And namely, by Statute of Magna Charta, by these Words following, Quod Civitas London habeat omnes Libertates suas antiquas, & Consuetudines, quas habere consuevit: i.e. That the City of London have all their ancient Liberties and Customs, which they have used to have. The Words following for other Cities be, Quod habeant omnes Libertates, & liberas Consuetudines suas. Which signifieth, that they shall still retain their Liberties and free Customs; that is to say, their Freedoms and Immunities, as to be discharged of Toll, Pontage, and such like; wheras the City of London hath Provision made by that Estatute, for all Usages and Customs whatsoever. Verily, as the City of London beareth Odds and Prerogative over other Cities in England, being the Metrolpolis, or Mother City thereof, so are the Inhabitants of it no less necessary, than profitable Members of the Commonwealth, in transporting our Commodities into other Lands, and enriching us with the Benefits and Fruits of other Countries, &c."

"London, being worthy of the Title, Epitome totius Angliæ, in respect of the necessary Repair and frequent Assembly of all Estates therein, whether it be for Justice by the Laws of this Land, which are here administred, or by Trade of Merchandize, which is here so great, that it may be termed Totius Occidentis Emporium; and chiefly because of the favourable and often Sojourn of our most Royal and Gracious Sovereign, whose Majesties Chamber this is, (as it always hath been of her most noble Progenitors) the same is no less worthy of sundry Pre-eminences, which by Custom and Charter it enjoyeth above other Cities of this Land, &c."

"That concerning the Prerogative given this City above other Cities in this Realm [in respect of her Customs] we read in the 7th Year of Henry VI. that in a Nativo habendo, brought by the Lord to recover his Villain, it was adjudged a good Return made by the Sheriff of London, that such was the Custom of London, that a Villain having remained there the space of one whole Year and a Day, could not be fetched or removed out thence. For so great is the Prerogative of that Place, that it giveth Protection to the Villain, or Bondman, against his Lord, while the said Bondman shall be resiant there."

A Prerogative of the City.

"Likewise it was taken for a good Custom in the City of London, that no Attaint should be maintained for a supposed false Verdict given in that City. In the which Case the Sheriff of London made Return upon a Writ of Attaint, sued against a Londoner; that such was and had been always the Custom of the City, that no Attaint should be allowed against a Commoner, or other Citizen of the same; for which Cause he might not, Salvis Libertatibus, without Impeachment of their Liberties, serve of execute the Writ. Then was there a Writ directed out of the Chancery to the Justices of the King's Bench, with express Commandment to allow to the Maior, Sheriffs and Citizens all their Liberties, Immunities and Customs. And further, out of that Writ was a Venire facias, directed to the Maior and Sheriffs; whereby was Day given them to come and make Declaration of their Custom. At which Day the Parties, Plaintiff and Defendant, being present, the Maior and Sheriffs had full Allowance of their Customs; the Sheriffs were holden excused for their Return; and the Parties Writ was abated, and"

7 H. 6. 32.

And the same Case was adjudged in 2 Ed. 3.