[Order of Precedency] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [of Aldermen.]391

[Order of Precedency] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [of Aldermen.]

"Knights of the Body. Next after those Knights, all the Aldermen that have not been Maiors."

This was the Aldermens Plea. But those on the other Side, in the behalf of Sir Baptist urged, that this Difference about Precedency had been started by the Pride of the Citizens, and their Wives. For before, whatsoever was pretended, a Knight took Place by Antienty of Dubbing. And so the Heralds directed. And Sir Baptist Hickes, in a Letter to his Brother Sir Michael Hickes of the Court, written upon this Occasion, tells him, That after he was Knighted, he presently went to the chiefest of the Heralds, to be informed by him, what his Place of Precedency was, in case he should meet with some Aldermen, later Knighted than himself in London; and then he had it under that Herald's Hand, that he was to take Place of them according to the Antienty of Knighthood. He writes likewise in the same Letter, That before that Time never any Alderman made Question to take Place of a Knight: And that he well remembred, that [in Queen Elizabeth's Reign] Sir Rowland Hayward, who was (as he said) a stout Alderman, would never take Place of a Bachelor Knight, Knighted before him. And that Sir Thomas Pullison, Sir Richard Martin; and before them, Sir Tho Gresham, Bachelor Knights, took, and take Place according to the Antienty of their Knighthood. And that there were many Knights that took Place of Aldermen Knights, who had and did give them Place in London, by reason of the Antienty of Knighthood. And that therefore the contrary was an infringing of the Dignity of Knighthood.

This Precedency not always.

The Earl of Dunbar seemed also to be of the same Judgment, and promised Sir Baptist, that he would speak himself to the Earl of Northampton, one of the chiefest Commissioners for Earl Marshal, that his Right should receive no Blemish nor Disgrace. For this Knight, with Sir Herrick, another Commoner, maintained this chargeable Suit against the whole Court of Aldermen; till at last, after divers Years, they let the Business fall: and the Lords Commissioners of the Earl Marshal's Court, the Court of Aldermen still persisting in the Suit, made this Decree, That the Knights Aldermen, should have Precedence in the City. And these are the very Words of the Order, as it was transcribed out the Herald's Books, and humanely communicated to me by Sir Henry St. George, Kt. Garter.

At a Marshals Court holden at White-hall, on Wednesday Morning the 19th of February, 1611.


"WHereas upon the humble Petition of the Maior, Knights and Aldermen of the City of London, exhibited to the King's most Excellent Majesty, complaining, That divers Citizens and Commoners of the said City, being Knighted, did challenge Precedency of Place before the Aldermen, at public Meetings within the City; it pleased his Majesty, for the upholding of the ancient and seemly Orders of the said City, to refer the Consideration of that Difference unto the said Lords Commissioners; to the end, such Order might be set down, as might stand with the Preservation of the Credit and Reputation of such as, under his Highness, had Authority in the Government of the said City: And whereas the said Lords Commissioners, having prefixed and appointed two several Days to both Parties, for the hearing and ending of the said Difference, at both which Days the said Knights Commoners made default; their Lordships did thereupon appoint the 19th day of November then following, and now last past, to both the said Parties peremptorily, to attend with their Council at Whitehall, to receive such absolute and final Determination in the Cause, as to Justice should appertain: And that either of the said Parties failing, or making default, should be adjudged to have thereby concluded themselves, for questioning the said Difference any more thereafter: Forasmuch as the said Knights Commoners did then also make default, and alledging, that they would no longer stand in Opposition to the Premisses; their Lordships have thereupon ordered, that the said Aldermen shall have and take Place and Superiority, in Precedency within the City, before the said Knights Commoners, which now are Freemen or Citizens of the said City, and such other Citizens or Commoners, as hereafter shall be made Bachelor Knights; until We, the said Lords Commissioners, upon full Hearing of the Cause, and the Proofs and Allegations on both Parts, shall see good Cause to order and adjudge the contrary."     
H. Northampton. T. Suffolk.     
Lenox. E. Worcester.     

Judgment for Precedency betwixt the Aldermen of London and Knights Commoners.

The Knights Bachelors of the City may also take Notice of this Rule for their Precedencies: That their Seniority of Knighthood doth not always give them a Right to Precedency. For sometimes a junior Knight, upon some signal Honour done him, shall take Place of a Senior. For which an Order at a Court Marshal, March 19, 1609, may be taken Notice of; viz.

An Order for Precedency of the Knights of the City.

J. S.

"Some Question arose between Sir Thomas Smith, lately employed by his Majesty, Ambassador to the Emperor of Russia, and certain Knights Bachelors of the City of London, more ancient than he, according to the Grounds of Honour, as well as the Precedents of former Times; by vertue of that Power and Authority which we have from his Majesty, by Strength of his Commission, to decide Doubts and Questions of like nature; We do resolve and judge, that the Precendency is due to him, in respect of the Honour which he hath had to stand covered in the Presence of a King: And do further decree, that the same Right be yielded hereafter unto others, that upon like Reason shall pretend the like Privilege."     
Northampton. Nottingham.     
E. Worcester. T. Suffolk.

At a Court Marshal, Ex Offic. Armor.

The Aldermen have a negative Voice in the Common Council; as was found by several Aldermen, and others of the Common Council, appointed in the Year 1683, Pritchard Maior, to inspect Acts and other Proceedings, entred in the Journal of that Court: Who reported, among other things, "That they had seen several Entries in the Journal of this Court, that the Lord Maior and Aldermen, upon Matters propounded, had taken Time to advise and consider thereof: and to others have declared their Dissent. And even in those worst of Times, as March 4, 1641, upon two Petitions brought into the Common Council by a Committee, to be presented to the Parliament, they were read, but not voted, because the Lord Maiors Locumtenens, and the major Part of the Aldermen thought fit to advise upon the same. And Jan. 24, 1644, it was declared by the Maior and Aldermen, that they had a negative Voice in Common Council, by the ancient Custom and Charters of the"

Aldermen have a negative Voice.