[Insurrection of] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [Apprentices.]333

[Insurrection of] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [Apprentices.]

sterless Men, and Tradeless, and the like. Who prying for Mischief, and longing to do it, have been the very Authors of all that is vile, discourteous to honourable Strangers, (all travelling Strangers ought to be used as such) rude towards Natives, seditious among their own, and villainous every where.

The Apprentices in Queen Elizabeth's Days sometimes made such Mutinies. And so they did in the beginning of September, 1586. when they made a formidable Insurrection, (amounting to little less than Treason) against the French and Dutch: And they had, it seemeth, premeditated this Insurrection, and had a Captain: So that it threatened as much Mischief as that Evil May Day in the Reign of King Henry VIII. But by the timely Care that was taken by the Magistrates, it was prevented, and some of them taken. And so the Recorder, Mr. Fleetwood, acquainted the Lord Treasurer in a Letter writ the 6th of Spetember, "That that Day from two of the Clock until six, the Lord Maior, with some of the Aldermen his Brethren, and himself, had examined certain of these Apprentices for conspiring an Insurrection in this City against the French and Dutch; but especially against the French. A thing as like unto Ill May-Day, (as the Recorder added) as could be devised, in all manner of Circumstances, mutatis mutandis. There wanted nothing but Execution. That they had taken five, all of an Age, yet all under 21. Four of them Darbyshire born, the fifth born in Norhampshire. And that they were searching and seeking for the principal Captain, and hoped that they should hear of him that Night; for he had been walking all that Day in the Whitehall at Westminster; and at his coming home they trusted to have him. That they had that Night set a standing Watch armed, from nine until seven in the Morning; and meant to continue the same so long as it should be thought convenient unto his Honour, and the residue of the Lords. And that that Night Mr. Atturny General sent his Man to him [the Recorder] to set his Hand and Seal unto a Warrant, to summon an Inquest of Inquiry to appear to morrow at Westminster-Hall. And that the Citizens, when they should hear of it, would like it very well: For they all cried out, that Justice might be done upon these Traytors. The foresaid Apprentices, who were of the Mystery of Plaisterers, were committed to Newgate, upon the Queen's Highness and her Council's Commandment; where they were like to remain, till they were delivered by special Warrant. And so concluded, beseeching God to preserve, first her Majesty, and then his Lordship, from all these Traitors, and such other like People." Written from Guild-hall.

The Apprentices make an Insurrection against Foreigners.

Hall. fol. 61. An. 9. H. 8.

Grafton, fol. 1021. An. 9.H. 8.

Abusive Ballads and Libels were too common in the City in Queen Elizabeth's Time, therein reflecting too boldly and seditiously upon the Government; particularly in case of a Dearth: often against the Strangers that came and settled here, and followed their Trades: Which the Apprentices and others took greivously, without considering their miserable State, being forced to leave their own native Countries, by reason of Cruelty and Persecution. But of these seditious Practices, and Magistrates of the City took Notice, and committed the Dispersers and Authors, when they found them; and withal informed the Court thereof. Thus in the Year 1595, Sir John Spencer, Maior, wrote to the Lord Treasurer in the Month of June, "That that Morning coming from the ordinary Place of the meeting of him and his Brethren, in St. Pauls's Church before Sermon, at the Steps, a Libel (a Copy whereof, literatim, was enclosed) was delivered unto him by one of Sir Richard Martins's Servants, who told him, that it was that Morning found under the said Sir Richard's Door. And hereof he thought it his Duty by his Letters humbly to advertise his Lordship. In this Libel he, the Lord Maior, was reproached, and the said Alderman, in whose House it was found, was commended. Concerning which, and what might be gathered thereof, he left to his honourable Consideration."

Libels dispersed.

And as tho' this Libel were an Introduction to a Mutiny, (or a Mob, as we call it) " That while the Maior was writing this, he understood of such great Disorder of a Multitude of rebellious Apprentices in several Parts of this City, as, he feared, the same would not be suppressed, until some of them were punished by Martial Law; and their Masters also fined and punished: Whom he, the Maior, by several Precepts had commanded to keep their Servants within their Doors. And so he expected to understand further of his Lordship's Will or Advice. Informing his Lordship in the Concusion, That since his Writing, he had apprehended divers, and sent them to Ward. But that his Sword-bearer was hurt at the Tower, being held by the Lieutenant's Man himself, and the Sword pulled down." For commonly these Mutineers met in Tower-Hill, or in some Parts near the Tower.

Apprentices rise.

The Swordbearer hurt at the Tower.

And the next Year, Sir Stephen Slany, Maior, in the Month of July was brought to his Hands a certain Ballad, containing a Complaint of great Want and Scarcity of Corn within the Realm. "And forasmuch as it contained in it certain vain and presumptuous matters, bringing in the Queen, speaking with her People Dialoguewise, in very fond and undecent sort, (as the said Maior in his Letter, wrote also to the Lord Treasuer, shewed) and prescribing Order for the remedying this Dearth of Corn; which was extracted, as it seemed, out of a Book published by the Lords the last Year; but done in that vain and indiscreet manner, as that thereby the Poor might aggravate their Grief, and take occasion of some Discontentment: Therefore he thought fit to acquaint the said Lord, that he called before him both the Printer and the Party by whom it was put to print; who pretended a License for it. But that finding it to be untrue, he committed him to one of the Counters, and took Sureties of the Printer himself for his Appearance."

And then the Maior desired the Lord Treasurer's Direction, whether he thought it fit to inflict any further Punishment upon him.

The Maker of this scurrilous Ballad was one Delonie, an idle Fellow, and one noted with the like Spirit, in printing a Book for the Silk Weavers: Wherein was found some such like foolish and disorderly matter. Him the Maior also was in Search for, but could not yet find him; as he signified also to the said Lord, and sent him a Copy of the foresaid Ballad. The Magistrates of the City would by no means allow in those Days any unworthy Reflections or Speeches against the Prince.

A Libel for the Silk-Weavers.

Delonie the Writer.

A little after, the said Slany, Maior, sent the Lord Treasurer two Libels more, which were found, and brought to him: and now in September two more were likewise found, that were dispersed by some seditious Persons in the City. Which he likwise sent to his Honour, referring the matter unto his further Consideration.

More Libels discovered.

And this Fondness of Wit and Spight in abusing Superiors, could hardly be remedied here in London by Punishment. For before this, when divers Apprentices, and such like other disorderly Persons, had suffered Punishment in the begin-