[The City insist upon] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [their Charters.]359

[The City insist upon] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [their Charters.]

The Citizens upon all Occasions insist upon their Charters. Sometimes contend with the King. The good Orders and Government of the City depend hereon. Articles for the City confirmed by the Broad Seal. Provisions of Flesh, Fowl, and Fish, rated by the Maior and Sheriffs at the King's Commandment. Care taken about Provision for Bread.

UPON these their Charters, and the Liberties and Privileges granted by vertue thereof, the City hath been wont to insist, and to contest sometimes with the Prince, and sometimes with others. Whereof I have collected a few Passages out of the Records of the Chamber, or of the Tower, or elsewhere.

The City insist upon their Charters.

J. S.

EDWARDUS HENRICI Filius existens in Scotia, &c. Edward [the First] Son of Henry, being in Scotland at Lanercost, directed his Brief to the Maior and Sheriffs of London, in the 35th Year of his Reign, that they should observe the Articles and Statutes set forth at Wynton. And this was the Return of the City to the said Brief.

King Edward to the City, to observe the Statutes of Winton.

Lib. Horn. fo. 314. b. In lib. majori nigr.

"Adhuc respondemus, &c. We answer further, That at the Eves, as it is fit, in Wards, and also at taking Inquisitions of Transgressions and Felonies, when need requires in the City, in each Ward, about Malefactors and Receivers; we were always ready, and will be, for the keeping of the King's Peace. But to keep the Statute of Winchester, in all its Articles, in the said City, as it is contained in that Brief, onerari non possumus, i.e. We cannot be charged in the foresaid City, by reason of divers CUSTOMS in the said City hitherto used. Yet Vagrants, Wanderers up and down, and such as are suspected of Evil in the said City, being found, we have arrested; and always, when there shall be need, will cause to be arrested, and will have them forth coming before the Justices of the Lord King, as it hath been appointed before, and after hath been accustomed to be done in the same City."

To which the City answer, refusing to comply in certain Articles.

"Concerning the Inquisitions, as to returning under Seals the Articles contained in the Brief before you, without the City, it never was accustomed to be done; and therefore we have returned none thence."

In the Reign of King Edward II. there was an Order made by the King's Council to lay a Tax upon the Estates of those that held Demesn Lands of the King. And under that Denomination, it was concluded upon, to tax the City also. Upon which the City had a notable Struggle with the Court. The Particulars are set down in one of the City Records, and are to be seen in the Book Horn, under this Title, Memoranda de Allegationibus; i.e. Some memorable things concerning the Allegations that were made by the Maior and Citizens of London, before Lord King Edward, Son of King Edward, viz. that they ought not to be taxed of their Rents and Cattalls, as they who are of the Demesns of the Lord the King.

Memorandum, That on Saturday next before the Feast of the Circumcision of the Lord Christ, in the sixth Year of King Edward, Son of King Edward, John de Gisors, Maior of London, the Aldermen and Sheriffs, were called before the Council of the Lord King; viz. Lord Walter Bishop of Worcester, then Chancellor of the King, the Lord Adomar de Valentia, Earl of Pembroke, Lord John de Sendale, the said King's Treasurer, and othersof his Council, met together at the Friers Carmelites, [i.e. White Friers.] To which Maior and Aldermen on the King's part it was intimated, That it was provided by the King's Council, that he should lay a Tax upon his Demesns, Cities, and Boroughs throughout England; as he might well by the Right of his Crown. By whom it was asked of the foresaid Maior and Citizens, if they would make a Fine for their Tallage, or that they be assessed by their Heads, as well of their Rents as Catalls. And when the said Maior and Aldermen hath spoken together upon the Premisses, they sued, that they might from hence have Conference with the Commonalty of the City. And it was granted them. Afterwards Conference being had with the Commonalty, the Maior, Aldermen and Citizens came, and said, that altho' the said Lord King at his Will might tax his Demesns, Cities and Boroughs, yet they understood, that they of the City of London were not talliable. For, they say, that they and their Predecessors were free, and ought to be so. And this, by the Charter of the Kings of England, the Progenitors of the Lord the King, and of the King now. Wherein it was contained, that the Citizens of London, have all their Liberties and free Customs, which they have had in the Time of King Henry, Grandfather of King Henry, Great Grandfather of King Edward, the King's Father now. From which Time hitherto, as they understood, they had been quit of such Tallages.

The City contend with the King about taxing them. Lib. Horn. fo. 324.

That moreover, it was contained in the Great Charter of the Liberties of England, that the City of London might have all her ancient Liberties and free Customs. Whence from the Time that they anciently were so free, that in the before noted Form they had not been accustomed to be taxed, they sue, that now, if it please the King, they may not be taxed.

Besides, they say, that because as well the Prelates, Earls, Barons, and the rest of the Nobles of the Realm, as the Citizens themselves, do possess some Rents and Tenements in the said City, the Citizens themselves, without the Counsel of the said Nobles, cannot grant such Tallage. Because this would be to the disinheriting of the said Nobles, and the too heavy burdening of their Tenements.

In like manner they say, that the Citizens themselves hold the foresaid City of the Donation and Grant of the now Lord King his Progenitors, heretofore Kings of England, for a certain Fee Farm per Ann. to be paid to the Lord King's Treasury, for all Services. By which it seems to them, that they ought not to be taxed in the foresaid Form.

And they sue, if it please the Lord King, that this Tallage be deferred until the next Parliament, that then they, together with others the Nobles of the Kingdom of England, who possess Tenements and Rents in the said City, may obtain that which is just in this behalf.

The foresaid Reasons, and many other, being propounded, at length it was granted to the said Citizens by the aforesaid Council of the Lord King, that if they would lend the said Lord King