[Laws and Customs.] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [Precedency.]389

[Laws and Customs.] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [Precedency.]

Laws and Customs of the City. Privileges of the Lord Maior, and of the Aldermen. Their Precendencies. Aldermen have a negative Voice. Fares of Watermen, and Coaches, and Carmen. The Watch. The Markets. A Table of Rates for Market Folks standing. The Posts. Packet Boats. A Postmaster for Strangers. Inland Post. Penny Post. Office of Insurance for Houses. Union Fire Office for Insurance of Goods.

ALTHO' under the Consideration of the several Courts, divers Laws and Customs of the City, and Privileges and Immunites of its Magistrates and Members have been remembred; yet for a further and larger Declaration of them, I have set apart this Chapter: wherein perhaps a better Order might be required, in the setting them down, than will here appear: But considering how many and sundry things they relate, and how they were taken up here and there, as they could be met withal, any one sees how difficult it is to write very methodically.

Laws, Customs and Privileges.

J. S.

Some of these Laws and Practices of the City are founded upon ancient Usage, and Acts of the City itself, and some upon Acts of Parliament, as may be observed by the Matters hereafter related.

Whereon founded.

First, to mention a Privilege or two of the chief Magistrates of London, besides what hath been shewn thereof already. The Lord Maior, for the time being, may cause any Person inhabiting within London, or the Liberties, to be summoned to appear before him, upon the Complaint of any Citizen; and for Non-appearance, may grant his Warrant to bring such Person before him. And then (which is more than other Justices of the Peace can do) he hath Power to hear and determine the Differences arising between them.

Privileges of the L. Maior.

Lex Londin.

If any Apprentice, or other Person, shall be carried from the City on Shipboard, or there detained against his Will, the Maior may send his Warrant by his Water Bailiff, and compel the Captain or Commander of the Vessel to release such Person.

The Maior hath Power to grant a Warrant, by way of Certificate, to all Christian People throughout England, in behalf of any Citizen of London, that he may freely use Commerce, buy and sell any manner of Goods, wheresoever he shall come, without all manner of Toll, Let or Hinderance.

The Kings of England from ancient Times, granted unto the Lord Maior of London yearly, certain Warrants for Bucks. And so Queen Elizabeth granted. Which they had, in respect of their Privileges, granted to the City to hunt in all Forests, Parks and Chaces within the County of Middlesex. And accordingly, Sir John Langley, Maior, July 4, 1577, wrote a Letter to the Lord Treasurer, in his own Name, and the Name of his Brethren, that he would move her Majesty herein, as she and her Progenitors anciently had been accustomed to grant yearly. And the Common Hunt was the Bearer of this Letter, and appointed to attend upon him for the same.

Privilege for Venison, granted to the Maior.

And such an high Authority doth he bear within the City, that in former Times the Maior of London thought it not his Duty to stand before the highest Officer of the King, within the City's Jurisdiction. And in matter of Precedency, or taking Place, he would not give way to any Nobleman. As appears by these two remarkable Instances. The Lord Treasurer Anno 1285, or thereabouts, had summoned Sir Gregory de Rokesley, Maior, with the Aldermen and Citizens, to the Tower, to make Inquisition, how the King's Peace had been kept in the City. But the Maior refused to go in the Quality of Maior. Therefore at Berkin Church he laid aside his Maioralty, and committed his Office to one Asly, and so went unto the Tower as an Alderman, or Commoner, upon the said Summons. For which he was imprisoned, and many other Citizens at that Time. And the King [Edward I.] upon this, took away the City's Privilege to chuse their Maior, and set over them a Custos of his own making: with what Justice, I do not dispute.

A Maior refuseth to stand before the King's great Officer.

And at the Serjeants Feast in Ely Place, Anno 1464, Matthew Philip Maior, and the Aldermen, and many Citizens, being invited to the Feast by the Serjeants, the Lord Grey of Ruthen, Lord Treasurer, was seated above him: Whereat the Maior, Aldermen, and the rest of the Comoners left the Place, would not stay, but departed home. And the Maior invited the Aldermen that Day to dine with him. And all the Citizens were wonderfully displeased.

Lord Maior's Precedency.

Stow, Farringdon Ward.

An Alderman a Knight, may take Place of a Commoner Knight. In the beginning of King James the First's Reign, a Contest happened in the City for Precedency. The Commoners being Knights, would take Place of other Knights, tho' they were Aldermen, if the Commoners were Knighted before them. The Aldermen that were Knights, tho' Knighted after them, nay, tho' they were not Knights at all, stood for Precedency as Aldermen, before all Commoners Knights. One of the chief Knights Commoners at this Time was Sir Baptist Hickes, a Mercer in Cheapside: who had been often burstling, he and his Wife, about this Ceremony; the Aldermen Knights, and their Wives, striving for Precedency; and Sir Baptist and his Lady sometimes, for Peace sake, granting it. Sir Baptist kept his Shop after he was Knighted: which was looked upon as some Disparagement to him; it not being usual, as it seems, in those Times, after Knighthood, to keep their Trade going. And this the Aldermen gave a Fling at, in their Petition to the King. For at last the Business came to this Upshot, that they preferred a Petition to the King, for his Determination of this Matter, which was in the Year 1607. Which Petition was to this Tenor:

The Precedency of an Alderman Knight.

To the KING's most Excellent Majesty.


The Humble Petition of the Maior, Knights and Aldermen of Your Honourable City and Chamber of LONDON.

Petition of the Maior and Aldermen Knights, to decide the Precedency.

"THAT whereas it hath pleased Your most Excellent Majesty, of your Princely Favour, both at your Majesty's Coronation, and sithence, to dignify your Suppliants with the"