[Royal Charters] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [of the City.]347

[Royal Charters] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [of the City.]

"and hath accustomed through his whole Life, so freely and securely to tarry there, as it were in the House or Chamber of the King. And thence it is, that the same holy King Edward, among other things, by his Laws remaining of Record and Treasury of Guyhald of the said City, and reciting the City itsef to be the Head of his Kingdom, and that it was founded like, and after the manner of old great Troy; and that it containeth in it the Laws, Liberties, Dignities and Royal Customs of great Troy; he appointed and ordained, that the same City of London may have and keep every where, by one Inviolability always, all her old Usages and Customs, wheresoever the King himself shall be, whether in an Expedition or otherwise. And afterward King William the Conqueror, King of England, by his Charter, which remaineth of Record in the same Treasury, granted to the Men of London, that they be worthy of all that both Law and Right, as they were in the Days of the aforesaid Edward. And moreover the same William the King, among other their Laws, at the said City made, with the Consent of the noble and wise Men of the whole Kingdom, and remaining in the said Treasury, likewise remaining of Record, appointed and ordained, that if Servants remain sine Calumpnia, i.e. without Complaint, by a Year and a Day in a Burgh compassed with a Wall, or in Castles, or in the Cities of the said King: whence the said City of London to that Time, and from all Time before, was one, and the more principal of the whole Kingdom, as is said before, from that Day let them become Freemen; and let them be for ever free and quit from the Yoke of their Servitude. It follows out of the said Tower Record. It is to be noted, that the Laws, Recitements and Statutes of holy King Edward, of which mention is made above, are contained in fo. 34. of this Book, in the Title De Heretochiis & Libertatibus London. And in fo. 113. of the Book of Customs of the said City: and in fo. 36. of the Book called Recordatorium London, &c. It is also had in fo. 162. of the Red Book of the Exchequer, called, The true Charter by which the foresaid Lord, the Conqueror, hath confirmed to the Citizens of London all Rights and Laws which they had in the Time of the Holy King Edward: together with certain other Charters, by which the said Lord, immediately after the Conquest, gave the whole Hyde and Land of the City of London, whereof he then had been possessed in his Demesne, to the Men of the said City, Patent and remanent under the Seal of the said King in the Custody of the Chamberlain in the Treasury of the said City. Which Charters are contained and incorporated in the Great Charter of the Liberties and Customs of the City of London; and are confirmed by the Lord the King [Henry VI.] and his Progenitors. But the Tenors of the said Charters are patent in the Latin Tongue, in fo. 238. of the Book of Ordinations of the said City." This is the Sum of what Account the City sent to King Henry VI. of their Liberties; which they fetched from Edward the Confessor, and how they were confirmed by the Conqueror. Now to proceed in the Charters given to the City.

The first Charter commonly remembred among the Royal Charters granted to the City, is that of King William the Conqueror; from whom, by means of William, a Norman, Bishop of London, the City obtained, in those rough Times, the Continuance of their Laws, Liberties and Privileges, according as they enjoyed them in the Times of the Saxon Kings. This venerable Charter (which is still extant in the City Archives, where I have seenit) consisted not of above eight or nine Lines, with a Seal of green Wax, carefully preserved in Silk, and (which was a Favour) was writ, not in the French, but Saxon Language, in these Words, according to a Copy taken from it by Horne, Anno Dom. 1314. which I transcribe exactly as followeth, only changing the Saxon Letters into the modern, (which I do the rather, because of so many Transcripts wretchedly miswrit.)

William the Conqueror's Charter.

WIlliam Kyng gret William Bisceop, and Gosfregth Porterefan, and ealle tha Burhwarn binnen Londone, Frencisce and Englisce frendlice. And ic kithe eow thaet ic wille thaet get ben eallra theera laga weorde the git weeran on Eadwerdes daege Kynges. And ic wille theet aele child beo his faeder yrf nume after his faeder daege. And ic nelle ge wolian thaet aenig man eow eanig wrang beode. God eow ge healde.

Under which the Transcriber, Horne, wrote thus: Hoc est Transcriptum Carte Regis Willielmi Conquestores facte Civibus London, que ad modum suprasciptum in veteri lingua Saxonica, 1. Angilica, mirabil. quantum ad modernam scripturam, que taliter nunc scribitur. Videlic. Ao Dni M CCC XIIII. That is, "This is the Transcript of the Charter of William the Conqueror, made to the Citizens of London, which after the manner above written in the old Saxon, that is, English Language, it is wonderful how much it comes to the modern Writing, which is now Anno 1314, thus written."

And then followeth the same Charter writ in the Saxon then in Use; which differed somewhat, but very little, from the Saxon in the original Charter.

Which Transcript was thus rendred into Latin by the same Hand:

Wilhelmus Rex salutat Wilhelmum Episcopum, & Gosfridum Portgrevium, & omnem Burgware infra London, Franciscos & Anglicos, amicabiliter. Et ego vobis notum facio, quod ego volo, quod vos sitis omni lege illa digni, qua fuistis Edwardi diebus Regis. Et volo quod omnis filius sit patris sui heres post diem patris sui. Et ego nolo pati, quod aliquis homo aliquam injuriam vobis inferat. Deus vos salvet.

And lastly, take an old English Translation of this Charter with the rest; which is as followeth: "William Kynge grete William Bysshop, and Godfrey Portreve, and al the Burgeis within London, French and English. And I graunte you, that I wyl that yee be al your Law worth that yee were in Edwardys days the Kynge. And I wyl that ech child be hys faders eyer: And I nill suffur that ony man you any wrong beed. And God you kepe."

Old Book of Customs.

After William the Conqueror, the City obtained divers large Grants from the succeeding Kings of England. As one Charter from King Henry I. Wherein he grants to his Citizens of London to hold Middlesex to Ferme for 300l. to account to him and his Heirs. And that the Citizens chuse a Sheriff, such as they will of themselves. With several other Privileges.

Other Kings that granted their Charters.

Lib. Horn.

The which Charter of Henry the First granted to the City of London, was in these Words, viz.

HENRICUS Dei Gratia, Rex Anglorum, Archiepiscopo Cantuar' & Epicopis, Abbatibus & Comitibus & Baronibus & Justiciariis & Vicecomitibus & omnib' fidelibus suis, Francis & Anglicis, totius Angl' Salutem. Sciatis me concessisse Civibus meis London' tenend' Middlesex' ad firmam pro ccc libris ad compotum ipsis & heredibus suis, de me & heredibus meis: Ita quod ipsi Cives ponent Vicecomit' qualem voluerint de seipsis, & Justiciar' qualem voluerint de seipsis ad custodienda placita corone mee, & ad eadem placitanda. Et nullus alius erit Justiciar' super ipsos homines Londinens' Et Cives non placitabunt extra

E lib. Custum. in Cam. Lond.