The Government of it.57

The Government of it.

longing to each Burgess or Headborough were not called, as they are in London, by some certain fixed Name, but after the Names of the Burgesses that were appointed over them. And here I shall first shew how the twelve Wards of Westminster were bounded, and the Constables belonging to each: And then the Manner of choosing Burgesses, and their Assistants, with other Officers, for the better governing of these Wards,

In St. Margaret's Parish were 8 Wards; in St. Martin's 3; and in St. Clement's, and the Strond 1. Which were thus bounded, beginning with those in St. Margaret's Parish: The first Ward was from St. Stephen's Alley to the Sanctuary Gate on the East Side of King's-street, the Round Wool-staple only excepted. Of this Ward, John Dodington, Gent. was Headborough; and it was commonly called John Dodington's Ward. The second Ward was from the Clowson to the Sanctuary Gate, on the West Side of the said Street, and St. Stephen's Alley. Of this Ward, John Fisher, Yeoman, was Headborough; and commonly called John Fisher's Ward. The third Ward was from the Queen's Majesty's Gate in King's-street, to the Clowson on the West Part, and to St. Stephen's-Alley on the East Part of the said Street. Of this Ward, William Staunton, Gent. was Headborough; and commonly called William Staunton's Ward. The fourth Ward was Thieving Lane and Long Ditch. Of this Ward, John Savage, Yeoman, was Headborough, and it was commonly called John Savage's Ward. The fifth Ward was the New Palace, and long Wool-staple. Of this Ward, Richard Garret, Ale-Brewer was Headborough, and it was called Richard Garret's Ward. The sixth Ward was the Old Palace, Round Wool-staple, and the Bowling Alley. John Jennings, Inn-keeper, was Headborough of this Ward, and it was called John Jennings his Ward. The seventh Ward was Tuthil-street, and Petty France. Tho. Clarke, Cook, and Servant to her Majesty, was Headborough of this Ward, and called Thomas Clarke's Ward. The eighth Ward was the Sanctuary. This was called the Sanctuary Ward. John Collier was Headborough of this Ward.

The Wards in St. Margaret's Parish.

And then there were three Wards more in the Parish of St. Martin's in the Fields; and they and their Headboroughs were as follow: The first Ward here, being the ninth in Number, was, from the Mansion-House of John Shortridge, called the Goat's-head, unto the House of Thomas Fowel, overagainst Durham Place, on the Land Side; and from the House of Rob. Mansfield, overagainst St. Martin's-Lane, unto Durham Place on the Water Side. Of this Ward Thomas Fowler, Gent. was Headborough, and it was called Thomas Fowler's Ward. The second Ward in this Parish, being the tenth Ward in the City of Westminster, was from the House of Thomas Fowel, overagainst Durham Place, unto the L. Treasurer Burghley's House, on the Land Side; and from Durham Place unto Ivy-Bridge on the Water Side. Of this Ward, John Colbrand, Gent. was Headborough, and it was called John Colbrand's Ward. The third Ward in this Parish, being the eleventh in Number, was from the Goat's-head aforesaid unto the Mews on the Land Side; and from the Mews to the Timber-Yard on the Land Side; and from the said Mansfield's House unto the Wall called Scotland-Wall on the Water Side. Of this Ward, Davy Powel, Gent. was Headborough.

Wards in St. Martin's in the Fields.

The twelfth and last Ward was in the Parish of St. Clement's and Strond within the Liberty of Westminster. The Bounds of this Ward were from Temple-Bar to the White Hart in Strond. Christopher Gibson, Inn-keeper, was the Headborough of this Ward, and it was called as the rest, by his Name, viz. Christopher Gibson's Ward.

The Ward of St. Clement's and Strond.

To this City and Liberties belong one High Constable, and to these twelve Wards thirty petty Constables; that is, to the first Ward, two; to the second, three; to the third three; to the fourth, three; to the fifth, one; to the sixth, two; to the seventh, five; to the eighth, four; to the ninth, two; to the tenth, one; to the eleventh, one; and to the twelfth which contains St. Clement's and the Strond, three.

Constables belonging to these Wards.

In case any Ward fell vacant by the Death of the Headborough, or otherwise, the Court usually held in Easter-Week, presented three Persons Inhabitants of the said Ward, to the High Steward, to choose one of the three, according as he thought good: And it was done by them in these Words in Writing, as I find in the Year 1585. "May it please your Honour to be inform'd, that whereas at this Present there is wanting one of the Headboroughs, and so hath continued since the Death of Richard Gibbes; for the Supply whereof, may it please your Honour to accept any of these three Persons, whose Names follow." And then the Names and Qualities of them are set down.

The Manner of chusing Burgesses.

The Way of choosing Assistants, was, that the Names of three Persons resiant in each respective Ward, were written down, and presented likewise to the High Steward, for Choice by him to be made of one out of the three for each Ward.

And Assistants.

And an High Constable being also to be elected at the aforesaid Court, three fit Persons were likewise presented to him to choose one; and in this Form of Words written: "Also there is to be eleceted and chosen for the said City and Liberties, one other, to be High Constable in Place of Staunton; May it therefore please you Honour to accept one of these three Persons whose Names follow." And then their Names and Qualities are subscribed.

And an High Constable.

At the same Court, after the twelve Burgesses were elected, then out of them two were elected, which are called Chief or Head Burgesses.

Two chief Burgesses.

There is also a Chief Officer, which is called the Bailiff of Westminster, who hath his Deputy.

Bailiff of Westminster.

The present Government of WESTMINSTER.


The City of Westminster itself consists but of one Parish, called St. Margaret's, which is of large Extent; but the Liberties comprehend six Parishes, viz. St. Martin's in the Fields, St. James's, St. Anne's, St. Paul's Covent-Garden, St. Mary Savoy, and St. Clement's. For the Government of both, the Dean and Chapter of the Cathedral Church of St. Peter, are invested with Ecclesiastical and Civil Jurisdiction, and not only within the said City and Liberties, but likewise within the Precincts of St. Martins le Grand, near Cheapside, London, and in some Towns of Essex, exempted as well from the Jurisdiction of the Bishop of London, as from that of the Archbishop of Canterbury: But the Management of the Civil Part, since the Reformation, is left in the Hands of Laymen, elected for that Purpose from Time to Time, and confirmed by the Dean and Chapter.


Of these Magistrates, the Principal is the High Steward, usually one of the Prime Nobility, who is chosen by the Dean and Chapter, and holds this high Office durante Vita; the Nature of it being not much unlike the Chancellorship of an University: But upon his Death and Resignation, a Chapter is called for the Election of

High Steward.