Strype, Survey of London(1720), [online] (hriOnline, Sheffield). Available from:
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The Stuart London Project, Humanities Research Institute, The University of Sheffield,
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[Apprentices.] TheTEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [Freedom.]335

[Apprentices.] TheTEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [Freedom.]

rage Trade and Industry, and to prevent Extortion. And tho' Cities and Towns Corporate are not herein expresly named, they are no doubt by an equitable Construction included, and can by no means make Laws or Ordinances to oppress the Subject, by inhancing the ancient Fees of Offices, especially where Trade and Industry are concerned. Extortion is punishable by the Common Law of England, in many Cases where the Statute Law doth not reach it.

The Lord Chief Justice Coke's Definition of Extortion, Instit. I. Folio 368. viz.

Extortion in its proper Sense is a great Misprision, by wresting or unlawfully taking by any Officer, by Colour of his Office, any Money or valuable Thing, of or from any Man, either that is not due, or more than is due, or before it is due.

In the ancient Rolls of the Maiors are these several Rules and Judgments concerning the Apprentices of London.

Ancient Rules and Judgments about Apprentices.

Apprentices have been discharged from the Service of their Masters for several Causes, as may be understood from what follows.

One was discharged from his Master, because his Master held no Shop, and withdrew himself from the City. Another, because his Master did not teach him. Another, because his Master was in Ludgate, and entrusted him not. Another, because not enrolled within a Year. Another, because his Master was distracted in his Mind. Another, because his Master was so poor that he could not exhibit to him. Another, because his Master diverted himself to other Occupations than his own Mystery. Another, because his Master was a Leper. Another, because the Wife after the Death of her Husband, taught him not. And lastly, another because his Master inordinately chastised him.

Rot. Whiting & Rot. Brembre, 1 R. 2.

Rot. Hadley.

Rot. Standon.

Rot. Sevenoke.

Rot. Crowmer.

Rot. Wotton.

Rot. Lovekyn.

Rot. Marow.

Rot. Otely.

Rot. Olney.

A Bill was once put up in Parliament, for a Statute to annul an Order made by the City, that none should put his Sonn Apprentice to a Citizen of London, unless he might expend twenty Shillings a Year.

Concerning the Freemen and Freedom and Liberties of the City, these things I have noted out of the Cities Records.

Notes of the Freedom of the City.

The Lord Maior might give the Freedom of the City to a certain Number: Which was so disliked, that the City agreed yearly to give him forty Marks to make none free, or two Hogsheads of Wine.

That all Freemen remaining out of the City, return within a certain Time to the same.

That if a Freeman prosecute another Freeman without the City, he shall lose his Freedom, and make a Fine.

A Brief from the King, to the City, that none within the City, having 40l. Land by the Year, but he take Knighthood upon him.

An Act was commenced against one, who took Custom of a Freeman of the City. [For the Citizens are free from Toll and Custom throughout England by Charter.]

Rot. Walworth.

A Letter was sent to the Men of Jernemute, [i.e Yarmouth] that they hider not the Citizens of London of their Liberties: But that they may buy and sell freely, and exercise their Merchadizes. And a Petition was preferred by the Citizens in the Parliament against them, about the End of Edward II.

One lost his Liberty, because he was admitted to the same without the Consent of twelve Men of every Ward.

Another lost his Freedom, because he was convict in Parliament of great Extortions. So commendably did the Citizens cut off from themselves scandalous Members.

The King once sent a Letter to the City for Foreigners to be admitted to the Freedom of it. But the Answer they made was, that the said Stangers would colour the Merchandizes of other Strangers, if they were admitted into the Liberty.]


© hriOnline, 2007
The Stuart London Project, Humanities Research Institute, The University of Sheffield,
34 Gell Street, Sheffield, S3 7QY