The Life of JOHN STOW. xiij

The Life of JOHN STOW.

" London, wherein he spent Eight Years in searching out of ancient Records concerning Antiquities both for London and Southwark; Hath been an humble Suiter unto Us, that we would be pleased to grant him a Licence under our Great Seal, to gather the Benevolence of well-disposed People within this our Realm of England, in Recompence of his said Labour and Travel, and towards his Relief now in his old Age; having left his former Means whereby he lived, only employing himself for the Service and Good of his Country: We, tendering the poor Estate of so loyal and painful a Subject, who hath so well deserved of Us, and all our whole Realm and Subjects; and being desirous that his said Industry and Labour should be recompenced in some bountiful and good sort, of our especial Grace and Princely Compassion have been pleased, that Collection should be made for the Recompence and Relief of our said Subject John Stow, in this our Realm of England. "

" Know ye therefore, that we have given and granted, and by these our Letters Patents, do give and grant unto our said Subject John Stow, and to his Deputy, the Bearer hereof, full Power, Licence, and Authority, to ask, gather, receive, and take the Alms and charitable Benevolence of all, our loving Subjects whatsoever, inhabiting within our Cities of London and Westminster; and the Suburbs thereof, and in our Counties of Middlesex, Surrey, Kent, Sussex, Essex, Hertford, Cambridge, with the University there; Norfolk, with the City of Norwich; Suffolk, Huntington, Bedford, Buckingham, Berk, Oxon, with the University there; Northampton, Warwick, Leicester, Derby, Nottingham, Rutland, York, with the Bishoprick of Durham; Lincoln, Southampton, Wilts, Somerset, Dorset, Devon, Gloucester, Worcester, Salop, Stafford, Chester, Lancaster, Hereford, and Monmouth. And in all Cities, Towns Corporate, and Privileged Places, Parishes, Villages, and in all other Places whatsoever, within any of our said Cities and Counties, and not elsewhere, for and towards the Relief of our said Subject, John Stow, now in his old Age. "

" Wherefore We will and command you, and every of you, that at such time and times as the said John Stow, or his Deputy, the Bearer hereof, shall come and repair to any your Churches, or other Places, to ask and receive the Gratuities and charitable Benevolence of our said Subjects, quietly to permit and suffer them so to do, without any manner your Lett or Contradiction. And you the said Parsons, Vicars, and Curates, for the better stirring up of a charitable Devotion, deliberately to publish and declare the Tenor of these our Letters and Patents unto our said Subjects; exhorting and persuading them to extend their liberal Contributions in so good and charitable a Deed; any Statute, Law, Ordinance, or Provision heretofore made to the contrary, in any wise notwithstanding. "

" In witness whereof, we have caused these our Letters to be made Patents for the Space of one whole Year next after the Date hereof to endure. Witness our self at Westminster, the Six and twentieth Day of October, in the Second Year of our Reign of England, France, and Ireland; and of Scotland, the Eight and thirtieth.
God Save the King. "

Printed by Thomas Burfoot.

There was another Brief granted to Stow in the First Year of the King, as this above was granted the Second; that first expiring within a Twelvemonth, and so probably before the Collection was every where finished. This first Brief was seconded by a Letter from the King, recommending the said Stow's Condition: Which was to this Tenor.

"JAMES, by the Grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c. To all our well-beloved Subjects, Greeting: Whereas our Loving Subject, JOHN STOW, a very aged and worthy Member of our City of London, this Five and forty Years hath, to his great Charge, and with Neglect of his ordinary Means of Maintenance, for the general Good, as well of Posterity, as of the present Age, compiled and published divers necessary Books and Chronicles: And therefore WE, in Recompence of these his painful Labours, and for Encouragement to the like, have, in our Royal Inclination, been pleased to grant our Letters Patents under our Great Seal of England, dated the 8th of May, 1603. Thereby authorizing him, the said John Stow, and his Deputy, to collect, among Our loving Subjects, their voluntary Contribution and kind Gratuity, as by the said Letters Patents more at large may appear. NOW, seeing that our said Patents, being but One of themselves, cannot be shewed forth in divers Places or Parishes at once, as the Occasions of the speedy putting them in Execution may require, WE have therefore thought expedient, in this unusual Manner, to recommend his Cause unto you, having already in Our own Person, and of our special Grace, begun the largest, for the Example of others Given at our Palace of Westminster." It is without Date, this seeming to be the first Minutes of a Letter intended to be Printed, and shewn by the Collectors for the more Speed; where the original Letters Patents could not so soon be produced.

The King's Letter accompanying his Brief.

On the backside of this Letter, I find set down what was collected of the Parishioners