[Orders for Corn, Wood,] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [Habits, &c.]441

[Orders for Corn, Wood,] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [Habits, &c.]

Township, Parish, Village and Hamlet, for strong Watches to be made and prepared within their several Watches. And these Men to be well armed, and furnished with sufficient Armour and Weapon, fit and necessary for that Purpose. And to cause those numbers of Men presently to be put in readiness. That both they [the High Constables] and the said Numbers might be ready upon any sudden Occasion to be employed. And to this Order was adjoyned another Paper, containing Articles to be executed by the High Constables within their several Watches.

The Queen had put forth a Proclamation touching the Assize and carrying of Weapons, which began now to be worn extraordinary long. That is, That they should be of such a length; and should not be carried, as they had been before, upwards, in a hectoring manner. And for the better Observation of the Queen's Proclamation in London, the Lord Maior in the Month of November, set Watches at every Gate, who were to measure every Man's Sword, and to take notice of his way of carrying it. At Ludgate, especially (through which those of the Court usually came) the Lord Maior set Will. Bernard, John Hall and George Monger, Drapers, and others. While they were upon the Watch, there passed a Gentleman through Ludgate into the City, whose Name was Palmer; who said, That he served the Lady Marchioness of Northampton. Trial being made of the length of the Weapon, it was found reformed. Whereof Bernard told the Gentleman he was glad; and warned him not to carry the Point of his Weapon upward, for that it was contrary to her Majesty's Will, and Order of the Council. And Hall bad him, and the rest of the Persons with him to depart in peace, and carry their Swords acccording to the Queen's Order. But if you will carry them up in despight, at your Peril be it. At parting, the said Gentleman turned his Back, and lifted up his Sword as high as he could carry it. Hereupon he was apprehended, and carried before the Maior. And when one Shelden, a young Man in a green Cloak overtook them, and followed them through Pater Noster Row, reproving the Gentleman for going so peaceably, and willing him to resist, and not to go; they seized him, and brought him also to the Maior. Who committed them, till the Council Pleasure were known.

Order for the length of Weapons, and manner of carrying them.

In the same Year (viz. 1586.) a Dearth was in London, both of Corn, and Wood for Fewel. The Dearth of Corn occasioned, as was thought, partly buy the Spoil which certain Dunkirkers made, having taken four or five Ships of Corn coming for London from beyond the Seas; and partly by the great recourse of People to the City at that time: And the Corn accustomed to come up from the Countries about, was stopt by the Justices of Peace, and not suffered to come. For the Redress of this Dearth, which was in danger still to encrease, and the Price of Corn likely to be much enhanced, in October the City went to the Lords of the Council, where the Recorder set forth to them the Reasons of this Evil, and the Means to redress it. Which was, That in the Counties of Kent, Suffolk, Sussex, Hampshire, Norfolk, and other Counties about London (which were wont to serve the City with Corn) Provision of Corn might be made for the said City, and quietly suffered by the Justices of the Shires without Interruption, to come to London. And for that Purpose the Treasurer was moved for obtaining the Privy Councils Letters presently, (for that the Bakers much complained) that Order might be taken that no Corn should be carried out of the Land: That the Merchants that brought Corn from Danske and other Places from beyond the Sea, might have Liberty, the Markets here being furnished, to carry and convey the rest out of the Realm, for the better Management of the Merchants trading in Corn, as their Lordships had been heretofore moved. And that the Lord Treasurer would take Order, that at Westminster and St. Katharines, and other Places about London, Billets might be sold, and Faggots, at the Price taken and set down by the Lord Maior within the City of London: that is, Western and Kentish Billets, 13s. 4d the Thousand; Western Faggots, 5s. 4d. the Hundred. Kentish Faggots, 6s. the Hundred.

A Dearth of Corn and Fewel.

The Custom of the Citizens and Officers thereof was to go well Habited, wearing some of their Wealth upon their Backs. About the middle of the Reign of Q. Elizabeth, the City was grown very Rich; and now endeavoured to get themselves eased of two Statutes made against the Excess and inordinate use of Apparel; the one of 24 H. VIII. the other of 1. & 2. of Philip and Mary: whereby the ancient Habit of the Magistrates would be restrained. The Queen perceiving the Rigour of these Acts, and how they contained over much strictness, by Proclamation dated at Westminster Feb. 16. in the 19th Year of her Reign, and by other Orders more lately published, did in some part mitigate the same. Yet the Mitigation was not such as the same Acts could, with that Mitigation, be observed, within her Majesties City and Chamber of London, without Violation of that decent Order and Conveniency that was by Citizens, Officers and others thought meet to be used and continued. Who though they were not of Substance and Value answerable by the Rates limited by the Book of Subsidy, yet did hold Place of such Worshipful Calling otherwise, as required some larger Limitation, than was generally prescribed by the Statutes and Proclamations. Wherefore Sir George Bond, Maior, in the Month of April, 1588, wrote a Letter to the Lords of the Council; "That forasmuch as they were desirous that some convenient and comely Order, such as might stand with the Honour of the Queen, might be in London used and continued, which could not be without some further Toleration, they thought stood to present to the Lords of the Council a Book; which they caused to be drawn; containing a certain Limitation and Order for Apparel of Citizens and Officers of the City in their several Degrees and Callings; and of their Wives. Which they prayed them by their Honourable good Means to her Majesty, by publick Proclamation, or otherwise, to be allowed unto them: and that observing the same, they might not be impeached for Breach of either of the said Acts, by reason of wearing any Apparel or Stuff, by the same Book desired to be allowed them." This Request was the more necessary, because there were a great sort of Informers now-a-days running up and down, to see who they were that brake those Acts for Apparel: And many of the Citizens were, or were like to be, informed against for their Appearance; and like to be grievously molested by such Informations, in divers of the Queen's Courts, for Offences against the said Statutes and Proclamations. Therefore the Maior, and in his Name the City, besought the Privy Council to be a Means unto the Queen to extend her Favour so far, as to give Order that they might not be molested for any such Offences past: and that some Remedy, as afore is said, might be had in their behalf for the future.

Order for the Habit of Citizens, Ann. 1588.

Bond Maior, his Letter to the Council about it.

Book of Habits.


Measurage of Sea-Coal, and other things measurable upon the River Thames, was an ancient Privilege of the City. But in the Year 1591, it received som Interruption, the Lord Admiral pretending some Right to it. But at length he was brought to allow to the City their Measurage.

Custom of Measurage.