The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 2

Allen, Thomas
1828

The Recorder.

The Recorder.

It is requisite that he should be a grave and learned lawyer, skilful in the customs of the city; he sits with and advises the lord mayor and aldermen, and is a judge of their court, and attends the court of common council, and when especially required, the several committees by them appointed, likewise the sessions of the peace and gaol delivery. He takes place in councils and in courts before any man that hath not been mayor, and learnedly delivers the sentences of the whole court.

The qualifications of the recorder of the city are thus set down in one of the books of the chamber: that he shall be, and is wont to be, one of the most skilful and virtuous apprentices of the law of the whole kingdom; whose office is always to sit on the right hand of the mayor, in recording pleas, and passing judgments; and by whom records and processes, had before the lord mayor and aldermen at Great St. Martin's, ought to be recorded by word of mouth before the judges assigned there to correct errors. The mayor and aldermen have therefore used commonly to set forth all other businesses, touching the city, before the king and his council, as also in certain of the king's courts, by Mr. recorder, as a chief man endued with wisdom, and eminent for eloquence.

The fee of the recorder was sometimes more, and sometimes less, according to time and merit, as appears in the fourth book of Liber Albus. In the reign of Edward I. it was only ten pounds sterling by the year, and twenty pence for each charter written, and each testament enrolled. It was afterwards raised to an hundred marks. And he was to have of the chamber such vesture (Lineatam velpenulatam) lined or faced, and as often as the mayor and aldermen take every year. And his clerk, such as the serjeants of the chamber. The recorder, and his clerk, are wont to sit at the mayor's table.Maitland, vol. ii. p. 1205.

His present allowance is 2,500l. a year.

What the recorder's office was long ago demanded to be, to wit, in the year 1304, may be worthy to be read out of a record, viz. Die lunae, &c. On Monday after the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, in the 32nd of king Edward, before the lords, John Le Blund, mayor, John de Burresorch, sheriff, William de Beton, Walter de Fynchingfield, William de Leyre, Thomas Romeyn, Adam de Folham, John of Canterbury, Simon de Paris, John de Dunstable, Richard de Gloucestre, Henry de Loucestre, Adam de Rokesle, &c. aldermen, meeting together, John de Wengrave, alderman and recorder, was sworn, well and faithfully to render all the judgments of the hustings, after the mayor and aldermen should meet concerning their pleas, and agreed together; and also all other judgments touching the city of London, &c. And that he shall do justice as well to poor as rich. And that all the pleas of the hustings, presently after the hustings is finished, he shall oversee, order, and cause to be enrolled, according to the things pleaded, &c. And that he shall come prepared to dispatch the business of the city, &c. when he shall be lawfully warned by the mayor and bailiffs. For which labour the abovesaid mayor and aldermen have yielded to give the aforesaid John 10l. sterling by the year out of their chamber, and twenty pence of each charter written, and each testament enrolled in the said hustings, &c.

The present recorder is Newman Knowlys, esq. The following is a Catalogue of the Recorders of London, as far back as could be retrieved. Aldermen. 26 Edw . A. D. 1298John de Norton. 32 Edw. I. 1303John de Wengrave. 13 Edw. II. 1321Jeffrey de Hertpoll. 14 Edw. II. 1321Robert de Swalchyne. 3 Edw. III. 1329Gregory de Norton 13 Edw. III. 1339Roger de Depham. 37 Edw. III. 1363Thomas Lodelow 39 Edw. III. 1365Wm. de Halden. 51 Edw. 1377William Cheyne.One of this name was made a justice of the King's-bench, in the year 1416, and anno 1424, lord chief justice there. 13 Rich. II. 1389John Tremayne, common serjeant. 16 Rich. II1392, William Makenade. 18 Ric. II. 1394John Cokain 22 Rich. II. 1398Matthew de Suthworth. 5 Hen. IV. 1403Thos. Thornburgh. 7 Hen. IV. 1405John Preston 3 Hen. V. 1415John Barton, sen. afterwards made a serjeant, 1416. 1 Hen. VI. 1422John Fray, afterwards lord chief baron, 1436. 5 Hen. VI 1426John Simonds. 14 Hen. VI. 1435Alexander Anne. 18 Hen. VI. 1440Thomas Cockayn. 18 Hen. VI. 1440William (alias John) Bowis. 20 Hen. VI. 1442Robert Danvers, common serjeant. 29 Hen. VI. 1451Thomas Billing, afterwards1453, made a serjeant in 1458, made the king's serjeant in 1465, made a justice of King's benchin 1469, made chief justice. 33 Hen. VI. 1455Thomas Urswyck. common serjeant, in the room of Billing in 1472, made chief baron. 11 Edw. IV. 1471Humphrey Starkey, in the room of Urswyck--in 1484, made chief baron. 1 Edw. V1483, Thomas Fitz-William; in 1489, made speaker of the house of commons.

This list hitherto is imperfect, and is found so in the records.

The names of the Recorders successively. 23 Hen. VII, 1508Sir Robert Sheffield, knt. 23 Hen. VII. 1508John Chalyner, in the room of Sheffield. 2 Hen. VIII, 1518Richard Brook, in the room of Chalyner--in 1521, made a justice of Common Pleas, and 1526, made chief baron. 11 Hen. VIII, 1530William Shelley,--made a justice of Common Pleas, 1527, in the room of Brook. 18 Hen. VIII. 1527John Baker (one of the judges of the sheriffs' courts) in the room of Shelley. 27 Hen. VIII. 1536Sir Roger Cholmley, serjeant at law, in the room of Baker--in 1545, made king's serjeant, and 1546, made chief baron. 37 Hen. VIII. 1546Robert Brook, common serjeant, in the room of Cholmley--in 1552, made a serjeant, and 1554, made justice of the Common Pleas. 1 and 2 Phil. and Mary 1553Ranulph Cholmley, one of the judges of the sheriffs' court, in the room of Brook-made chief justice of the Common Pleas. 5 Eliz. 1563Richard Onslow, in the room of Cholmley--in 1556, made queen's solicitor. 8 Eliz. 1566Thomas Bromley, in the room of Onslow--in 1569, made queen's solicitor. 11 Eliz. 1569Thomas Wilbraham, one of the common pleaders, in the room of Bromley-he was, in 1571, advanced into the court of wards and liveries. 13 Eliz. 1571William Fleetwood, in the room of Wilbraham--made a serjeant in 1580, and 1592, made queen's serjeant. 34 Eliz. 1591Edward Coke, of the Inner Temple, in the room of Fleetwood, who surrendered--in 1606, made chief justice of the Common Pleas, King's-bench. 35 Eliz. 1592Edward Drew, serjeant at law, in the room of Coke-in 1519, made a serjeant, and 1596, made queen's serjeant. 36 Eliz. 1594Thomas Flemynge, in the room of Drew-made a serjeant in 1594, and degraded in 1595. 37 Eliz. 1595John Croke of the Inner Temple, in the room of Flemynge. 1 Jac. I. 1603Henry Montagu, of the Middle Temple, in the room of sir John Croke, employed in the king's service--in 1610, made king's serjeant, and six years after chief justice of the King's-bench. 14 Jac. I. 1616Thomas Coventry, one of the judges of the sheriffs' courts, in the room of Montagu--in the same made king's solicitor. 14 Jac. I. 1616Anthony Benn, of the Middle Temple, in the room of Coventry. 16 Jac. I. 1618Richard Martin, of the Middle Temple, in the room of Benn. 16 Jac. I. 1618Robert Heath, of Gray's-Inn, in the room of Martin--in 1620, made king's solicitor. 18 Jac. I. 1620Robert Shute, of Gray's-Inn, in the room of Heath. 18 Jac. I. 1620Heneage Finch, of the Inner Temple, in the room of Shute--in 1623, made a serjeant. 7 Car. I. 1631Edward Littleton, of the Inner Temple, in the room of Finch--in 1634, made king's solicitor. 10 Car. I. 1634Robert Mason, of Lincoln's-Inn, in the room of Littleton. 11. Car. I. 1635Henry Calthrop, of the Middle Temple, queen's solicitor, in the room ef Mason, afterwards made attorney of the court of wards.Sir Henry Calthrop published a useful book, being Reports of Special cases, collected by himself, touching the several customs and liberties of the city of London. 11 Car. I. 1635Thomas Gardiner, of the Inner Temple, in the room of in the room of Wilbraham-made a Calthrop. 19 Car. I. 1643Peter Pheasant, serjeant at law, and one of the city's common pleaders, in the room of Gardiner, discharged for long absence. 19 Car. I. 1643John Glyn, recorder of Westminster, in the room of Pheasant, who resigned--in 1649, made a King's-bench. serjeant--in 1660, again made a serjeant-and afterwards in the same year, made king's serjeant. 25 Aug. 1649William Steele, of Gray's-Inn, in the room of Glyn-in 1655, made lord chief baron. 1 Junii, 1655Lisleborn Long, of Lincoln's-Inn, in the room of Steele. 18 Martii, 1658John Green, one of the judges of the sheriffs' court, in the room of Long, deceased. 3 Novemb. 1659William Wylde, of the Inner Temple, in the room of Green, deceased--in 1661, made a king's serjeant--in 1688, made a justice of the Common Pleas-and in 1672, made a justice of the King's bench. 20 Car. II. 1668John Howell, deputy recorder, in the room of Wylde. 29 Car. II 1676William Dolben, of the Inner-Temple, in the room of Howell, who surrendered--in 1677, made king's serjeant--in 1678, made justice of the king's-bench. 30 Car. II. 1680. Sir George Jeffreys, common-serjeant in the room of Dolben--in 1680, made a serjeant--next year made king's serjeant, and in 1683, made chief justice of the king's bench. 32 Car. II. 1680George Treby, of the Middle Temple, in the room of Jeffreys-1692, made chief justice of the Common Pleas. 85 Car. 1683Sir Thomas Jenner (by commission) in the room of Treby -1685, made one of the barons of the Exchequer. 2 Jac. II. 1685Sir John Holt (by commission) in the room of Jenner. 3. Jac II. Maii 12, 1687Tate, serjeant at law (by commission) in the room of Holt. 4 Jac. II. Feb. 20, 1688sir Bartholomew Shower (by commission) in the room of Tate. 4 Wil. and Mar. Junii 10, 1692sir Salathiel Lovell, serjeant at law, in the room of Treby, who had been restored upon king James's regranting the city's liberties, and was now made justice of the Common Pleas--in 1708 made baron of the Exchequer 7 Annae, 1708sir Peter King, of the Inner Temple, in the room of Lovell--in 1714, made chief justice of the Common Pleas. 1 Georgii, 1714sir Wm. Thompson, of the Middle Temple, in the room of King--in 1716, made king's solicitor general, and after one of the barons of the Exchequer. 13 Georgii II. 1739John Strange, esq. his majesty's solicitor-general, in the room of Thompson, deceased. 16 Georgii II. 14 Dec. 1742, Simon Urlin, esq. serjeant at law, in the room of sir John Strange, who resigned. 19 Georgi II. 14 Maii, 1746, John Stracey, esq. senior judge of the sheriffs' court, on the death of sir Simon Urlin 21 Georgii II. 17 Jan. 1749Rich Adams, esq. senior of the four common pleaders, on the death of Stracey, and, being made a baron of the Exchequer, resigned. 26 Georgii II. 15 Feb. 1753William Moreton, esq. (afterwards sir William) senior judge of the sheriffs' court, in the room of sir Richard Adams. 3 Georgii III. 7 April, 1763James Eyre, esq. on the death of Moreton, afterwards sir James Eyre, knt. successively chief baron of the Exchequer, and chief justice of the Common Pleas. 13 Georgii III. 17 Nov. 1772John Glynn, esq. serjeant at law, on the resignation of Eyre. 19 Georgii III. 12 Oct. 1779James Adair, esq. serjeant at law, on the death of Glynn. 29 Georgii III. 30 June, 1789Sir John William Rose, knt. senior of the four common pleaders, serjeant at law, on the resignation of Adair. 43 Georgii III. 20 Oct. 1803John Silvester, esq. common serjeant, on the death of Rose, afterwards sir John Silvester, bart. F. R.S., F.S.A., and D. C. L. 2 Georgii IV. April 10, 1821Newman Knowlys, esq. common serjeant, on the death of Silvester.

It is requisite that he should be a grave and learned lawyer, skilful in the customs of the city; he sits with and advises the lord mayor and aldermen, and is a judge of their court, and attends the court of common council, and when especially required, the several committees by them appointed, likewise the sessions of the peace and gaol delivery. He takes place in councils and in courts before any man that hath not been mayor, and learnedly delivers the sentences of the whole court.

The qualifications of the recorder of the city are thus set down in of the books of the chamber: that

he shall be, and is wont to be,

one

of the most skilful and virtuous apprentices of the law of the whole kingdom; whose office is always to sit on the right hand of the mayor, in recording pleas, and passing judgments; and by whom records and processes, had before the lord mayor and aldermen at Great

St. Martin's

, ought to be recorded by word of mouth before the judges assigned there to correct errors. The mayor and aldermen have therefore used commonly to set forth all other businesses, touching the city, before the king and his council, as also in certain of the king's courts, by Mr. recorder, as a chief man endued with wisdom, and eminent for eloquence.

The fee of the recorder was sometimes more, and sometimes less, according to time and merit, as appears in the book of In the reign of Edward I. it was only

ten pounds

sterling by the year, and

twenty pence

for each charter written, and each testament enrolled.

It was afterwards raised to an . And he was to have of the chamber such vesture ) lined or faced, and as often as the mayor and aldermen take every year. And his clerk, such as the serjeants of the chamber. The recorder, and his clerk, are wont to sit at the mayor's table.

His present allowance is a year.

What the recorder's office was long ago demanded to be, to wit, in the year , may be worthy to be read out of a record,

282

viz. , &c.

On Monday after the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, in the

32nd

of king Edward, before the lords, John Le Blund, mayor, John de Burresorch, sheriff, William de Beton, Walter de Fynchingfield, William de Leyre, Thomas Romeyn, Adam de Folham, John of Canterbury, Simon de Paris, John de Dunstable, Richard de Gloucestre, Henry de Loucestre, Adam de Rokesle, &c. aldermen, meeting together, John de Wengrave, alderman and recorder, was sworn, well and faithfully to render all the judgments of the hustings, after the mayor and aldermen should meet concerning their pleas, and agreed together; and also all other judgments touching the city of London, &c. And that he shall do justice as well to poor as rich. And that all the pleas of the hustings, presently after the hustings is finished, he shall oversee, order, and cause to be enrolled, according to the things pleaded, &c. And that he shall come prepared to dispatch the business of the city, &c. when he shall be lawfully warned by the mayor and bailiffs. For which labour the abovesaid mayor and aldermen have yielded to give the aforesaid John

10l.

sterling by the year out of their chamber, and

twenty pence

of each charter written, and each testament enrolled in the said hustings, &c.

The present recorder is Newman Knowlys, esq.

This list hitherto is imperfect, and is found so in the records.

283

 

The names of the Recorders successively.
23 Hen. VII, 1508Sir Robert Sheffield, knt.
23 Hen. VII. 1508John Chalyner, in the room of Sheffield.
2 Hen. VIII, 1518Richard Brook, in the room of Chalyner--in 1521, made a justice of Common Pleas, and 1526, made chief baron.
11 Hen. VIII, 1530William Shelley,--made a justice of Common Pleas, 1527, in the room of Brook.
18 Hen. VIII. 1527John Baker (one of the judges of the sheriffs' courts) in the room of Shelley.
27 Hen. VIII. 1536Sir Roger Cholmley, serjeant at law, in the room of Baker--in 1545, made king's serjeant, and 1546, made chief baron.
37 Hen. VIII. 1546Robert Brook, common serjeant, in the room of Cholmley--in 1552, made a serjeant, and 1554, made justice of the Common Pleas.
1 and 2 Phil. and Mary 1553Ranulph Cholmley, one of the judges of the sheriffs' court, in the room of Brook-made chief justice of the Common Pleas.
5 Eliz. 1563Richard Onslow, in the room of Cholmley--in 1556, made queen's solicitor.
8 Eliz. 1566Thomas Bromley, in the room of Onslow--in 1569, made queen's solicitor.
11 Eliz. 1569Thomas Wilbraham, one of the common pleaders, in the room of Bromley-he was, in 1571, advanced into the court of wards and liveries.
13 Eliz. 1571William Fleetwood, in the room of Wilbraham--made a serjeant in 1580, and 1592, made queen's serjeant.
34 Eliz. 1591Edward Coke, of the Inner Temple, in the room of Fleetwood, who surrendered--in 1606, made chief justice of the Common Pleas, King's-bench.
35 Eliz. 1592Edward Drew, serjeant at law, in the room of Coke-in 1519, made a serjeant, and 1596, made queen's serjeant.
36 Eliz. 1594Thomas Flemynge, in the room of Drew-made a serjeant in 1594, and degraded in 1595.
37 Eliz. 1595John Croke of the Inner Temple, in the room of Flemynge.
1 Jac. I. 1603Henry Montagu, of the Middle Temple, in the room of sir John Croke, employed in the king's service--in 1610, made king's serjeant, and six years after chief justice of the King's-bench.
14 Jac. I. 1616Thomas Coventry, one of the judges of the sheriffs' courts, in the room of Montagu--in the same made king's solicitor.
14 Jac. I. 1616Anthony Benn, of the Middle Temple, in the room of Coventry.
16 Jac. I. 1618Richard Martin, of the Middle Temple, in the room of Benn.
16 Jac. I. 1618Robert Heath, of Gray's-Inn, in the room of Martin--in 1620, made king's solicitor.
18 Jac. I. 1620Robert Shute, of Gray's-Inn, in the room of Heath.
18 Jac. I. 1620Heneage Finch, of the Inner Temple, in the room of Shute--in 1623, made a serjeant.
7 Car. I. 1631Edward Littleton, of the Inner Temple, in the room of Finch--in 1634, made king's solicitor.
10 Car. I. 1634Robert Mason, of Lincoln's-Inn, in the room of Littleton.
11. Car. I. 1635Henry Calthrop, of the Middle Temple, queen's solicitor, in the room ef Mason, afterwards made attorney of the court of wards.Sir Henry Calthrop published a useful book, being Reports of Special cases, collected by himself, touching the several customs and liberties of the city of London.
11 Car. I. 1635Thomas Gardiner, of the Inner Temple, in the room of in the room of Wilbraham-made a Calthrop.
19 Car. I. 1643Peter Pheasant, serjeant at law, and one of the city's common pleaders, in the room of Gardiner, discharged for long absence.
19 Car. I. 1643John Glyn, recorder of Westminster, in the room of Pheasant, who resigned--in 1649, made a King's-bench. serjeant--in 1660, again made a serjeant-and afterwards in the same year, made king's serjeant.
25 Aug. 1649William Steele, of Gray's-Inn, in the room of Glyn-in 1655, made lord chief baron.
1 Junii, 1655Lisleborn Long, of Lincoln's-Inn, in the room of Steele.
18 Martii, 1658John Green, one of the judges of the sheriffs' court, in the room of Long, deceased.
3 Novemb. 1659William Wylde, of the Inner Temple, in the room of Green, deceased--in 1661, made a king's serjeant--in 1688, made a justice of the Common Pleas-and in 1672, made a justice of the King's bench.
20 Car. II. 1668John Howell, deputy recorder, in the room of Wylde.
29 Car. II 1676William Dolben, of the Inner-Temple, in the room of Howell, who surrendered--in 1677, made king's serjeant--in 1678, made justice of the king's-bench.
30 Car. II. 1680. Sir George Jeffreys, common-serjeant in the room of Dolben--in 1680, made a serjeant--next year made king's serjeant, and in 1683, made chief justice of the king's bench.
32 Car. II. 1680George Treby, of the Middle Temple, in the room of Jeffreys-1692, made chief justice of the Common Pleas.
85 Car. 1683Sir Thomas Jenner (by commission) in the room of Treby -1685, made one of the barons of the Exchequer.
2 Jac. II. 1685Sir John Holt (by commission) in the room of Jenner.
3. Jac II. Maii 12, 1687Tate, serjeant at law (by commission) in the room of Holt.
4 Jac. II. Feb. 20, 1688sir Bartholomew Shower (by commission) in the room of Tate.
4 Wil. and Mar. Junii 10, 1692sir Salathiel Lovell, serjeant at law, in the room of Treby, who had been restored upon king James's regranting the city's liberties, and was now made justice of the Common Pleas--in 1708 made baron of the Exchequer
7 Annae, 1708sir Peter King, of the Inner Temple, in the room of Lovell--in 1714, made chief justice of the Common Pleas.
1 Georgii, 1714sir Wm. Thompson, of the Middle Temple, in the room of King--in 1716, made king's solicitor general, and after one of the barons of the Exchequer.
13 Georgii II. 1739John Strange, esq. his majesty's solicitor-general, in the room of Thompson, deceased.
16 Georgii II. 14 Dec. 1742, Simon Urlin, esq. serjeant at law, in the room of sir John Strange, who resigned.
19 Georgi II. 14 Maii, 1746, John Stracey, esq. senior judge of the sheriffs' court, on the death of sir Simon Urlin
21 Georgii II. 17 Jan. 1749Rich Adams, esq. senior of the four common pleaders, on the death of Stracey, and, being made a baron of the Exchequer, resigned.
26 Georgii II. 15 Feb. 1753William Moreton, esq. (afterwards sir William) senior judge of the sheriffs' court, in the room of sir Richard Adams.
3 Georgii III. 7 April, 1763James Eyre, esq. on the death of Moreton, afterwards sir James Eyre, knt. successively chief baron of the Exchequer, and chief justice of the Common Pleas.
13 Georgii III. 17 Nov. 1772John Glynn, esq. serjeant at law, on the resignation of Eyre.
19 Georgii III. 12 Oct. 1779James Adair, esq. serjeant at law, on the death of Glynn.
29 Georgii III. 30 June, 1789Sir John William Rose, knt. senior of the four common pleaders, serjeant at law, on the resignation of Adair.
43 Georgii III. 20 Oct. 1803John Silvester, esq. common serjeant, on the death of Rose, afterwards sir John Silvester, bart. F. R.S., F.S.A., and D. C. L.
2 Georgii IV. April 10, 1821Newman Knowlys, esq. common serjeant, on the death of Silvester.

285

 
 
 
Footnotes:

[] Maitland, vol. ii. p. 1205.

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 Title Page
 Dedication
 CHAPTER I: History of London, from the Accession of William and Mary, to the reign of George the Second
 CHAPTER II: History of London during the reign of George the Second
 CHAPTER III: History of London from the Accession of George the Third, to the year 1780
 CHAPTER IV: History of London continued to the Union
 CHAPTER V: History of London from the Union to the Jubilee, 1809
 CHAPTER VI: History of London from the Jubilee to the Peace of 1814
 CHAPTER VII: History of London continued to the accession of George the Fourth
 CHAPTER VIII: Account of the Civil Government of the City by Portreves, Bailiffs, and Mayors, with a list of the latter...
 CHAPTER IX: An account of the Aldermen and Sheriffs, with a list of the latter
collapseCHAPTER X: Lists and brief Accounts of the various Officers and Courts within the City
collapseCHAPTER XI: Some account of the Ecclesiastical Government of the city of London, with a List and Biographical Notices of the Bishops of the see
collapseCHAPTER XII: Some Account of the Military Government of London, and the Artillery Company
collapseCHAPTER XIII: An Account of the twelve principal Companies of the City of London
collapseCHAPTER XIV: An Account of the Companies of the City of London, alphabetically arranged
 CHAPTER XV: An Account of the River Thames
collapseCHAPTER XVI: Historical and topographical account of London Bridge, Westminster Bridge, Blackfriars Bridge, Waterloo Bridge, Southwark Bridge, and the Thames Tunnel
collapseCHAPTER XVII: Topographical and Historical Account of the Tower of London
This object is in collection:
Edwin C. Bolles papers
Subjects
London (England)--History
Antiquities
Permanent URL
http://hdl.handle.net/10427/44305
ID: tufts:UA069.005.DO.00067
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