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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[City's Condition under] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [the Quo Warr]353

[City's Condition under] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [the Quo Warr]

"safed them, by reason of his Majesty's not requiring Judgment to be immediately entred thereupon. That considering their distressed Condition, they humbly cast themselves at his Feet, imploring his Princely Compassion and Grace to be extended towards this his ancient City, and begging his Majesty's Pardon for all Offiences that they did, in the Name of themsleves and all the Citizens humbly tendred: And prayed his Majesty to accept their most solemn Promises and Assurance of constant Loyalty and Obedience to him, his Heirs and Successors; and of their regular and dutiful Administration of the Government of the City for the future; submitting to his good Pleasure, and begging his Commands and Direction."

Upon reading of which Petition, the Maior, Aldermen, and Citizens, were commanded to withdraw. And after a while being called in again, the Lord Keeper spake to this purpose: "That for the sake of so many of the present Magistrates and other eminent Citizens of undoubted Loyalty and Affection to his Majesty and his Service, the King woud shew the City all the Favour they could reasonably desire, &c. That it was not for Punishment, but meerly for the Good of the City, that he took this course. That it was not his Intention to prejudice them, either in their Properties or Customs. Nay, lest entring a Judgment upon Record might have Consequences fatal to them, he had caused his Attorney to forbear the same at present, that the City might have some time to consider their own Condition. That the City had not been well advised to defer their Application to his Majesty thus long, till even the Court had pronounced Judgment. That his Majesty's Affection was too great to reject that Suit for that cause. That he had resolved to make Alterations as few and as easy as might be consistent with the good Government of the City, and Peace of the Kingdom. And they to be these following:"

Ld. Keeper's Speech to the Petitioners.

That no Lord Maior, Sheriff, Recorder, Common Serjeant, Town Clerk, or Coroner of the City, should be capable of, or admitted to, the Exercise of their respective Offices, before his Majesty shall have approved them under his Sign Manual.

New Regulations of the City, required by the King.

That if his Majesty shall disapprove the Choice of any Person to be Lord Maior, and signify the same under his Sign Manual to the Lord Maior; or, in default of a Maior, to the Recorder, or senior Alderman, the Citizens shall within one Week proceed to a new Choice. And if his Majesty shall disapprove the second Choice, he may, if he please, nominate a Person to be Lord Maior.

That if his Majesty shall in like manner disapprove the Persons chosen to be Sheriffs, or either of them, he may appoint Persons to be Sheriffs.

But this Elelction of Officers may be according to the ancient Usage of the City.

That the Lord Maior and Court of Aldermen may, with Leave of his Majesty, displace any Alderman, Recorder, Common Serjeant, Town Clerk, Coroner of the said City, and Steward of the Borough.

Upon the Election of any Alderman, if any presented by the Ward to the Court shall be judged unfit; upon such Declaraion by the said Court, the Ward shall proceed to the Choice of other Persons in their room. And if the Court shall disapprove such second Choice, then the Court may appoint others in their room.

The Justices of Peace to be by the King's Commission. Which his Majesty will grant according to the usual Method; unless upon extraordinary Occasion, when his Majesty shall think it necessary.

Then the Lord Keeper went on thus:

My Lord Maior,
"These Regulations being thus made, his Majesty will not only pardon this Prosecution, but confirm your Charter in such manner as may be consistent with them. That the City ought to look upon this as a great Condescension on his Majesty's part; it being but in the name of a Reservation of a small part of what is already in his Power by the Judgment. That if the City should look upon it with another Eye, and neglect a speedy Compliance, yet his Majesty hath done his part. And if there should be any heavy Consequence of this Judgment (which would behoove them well to consider) the Fault would lie at their own Door. That it was his Majesty's Pleasure, that the Maior should should return to the City, and consult with the Common Council, that he might speedily know their Resolution hereupon, and give his Direction. And that they might see the King was in earnest, he [the Lord Keeper] was commanded to let them know, that the King had given order to the Attorney General to enter up Judgment on Saturday next, unless they prevented by their Compliance."

And in this Condition stood the City from thence, viz. from 33 Car. II. and all along King James the Second's Reign, the Maiors and Sheriffs being appointed by Commission from those Kings.

Indeed, in the last Year of King James, when he was in the uneasy Apprehension of the Prince of Orange's invading of him, he appointed the Lord Jefferies Lord Chancellor (who had been very instrumental to have Sentence pronounced against the Charter of the City in the Reign of King Charles II. Anno 1683.) to carry back the Charter to Guildhall, in great Formality, and to make a Resignation of the same to the City; that King hoping hereby to sweeten the City that was weary of his Government.

King James sends back the Charter.

And thus it stood, till by a Statute of the 2d of William and Mary, the Proceedings were declared illegal and arbitrary, and that Judgment, and every other Judgment given and recorded in the said Court, for seizing the Franchises of the said City, were reversed and made void, and Vacats entred upon the Rolls; and that the Maior, Commonalty, and Citizens of London did remain a Body Politick, by the name of Maior and Commonalty and Citizens of the City of London; and to have and enjoy all their Rights and Charters: And that all Charters, Letters Patents, &c. concerning any of the Liberties, Lands and Tenements, Rights, Titles, &c. made since the said Judgment by the late Kings, Charles and James, were thereby declared void. Also, the Officers, Companies, and Corporations were restored.

The City restored to its Franchises by Parliament under K. William.

This Act of Parliament that had reversed the Judgment of the Quo Warranto, seemed to require another for the Explanation of it. For many worthy Citizens, and of eminent Rank, had taken a disgust against such as were put in, and held Places of Honour and Wealth in the City by King James, when the Charter was gone; as certain Aldermen, the Chamberlain, and divers Members of the Common Council: who still, after the Act for restoring the City Charter, remained, and acted as before. They were generally (though not all) hot Dissenters, and busie Men, and no Friends to the good old Orders and Customs of the City. Whereupon a great many considerable Members of the Common Council preferred a Petition to the Parliament Anno 1690, to this Purport: "That they hoped"

Divers Citizens petition the Parliament concerning such as had obtained Places, the Charter being seised.


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