The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 1
On the , Charles was proclaimed king at the usual places in the city, and with the accustomed ceremonies. In the June following, Henrietta Maria, of France, the new queen, arrived in London; but the preparations that had been making for her reception, were obliged to be laid aside through a dreadful plague that had broke out in the metropolis, and carried off, in the course of the twelvemonth, upwards of persons. Charles's Parliament, which met at in the above month, was speedily adjourned to Oxford, for fear of this calamity; and though its sittings at both places had not exceeded weeks, it was dissolved on the pretence of the spreading of the pestilence:
On the , Charles was crowned at . The lord-mayor and aldermen officiated, as customary, as chief butlers at the dinner; but the accustomed procession through the city from the Tower, was dispensed with on account of the plague.
days afterwards a new Parliament met at , in which the commons acted in the most stubborn manner, refusing supplies, and complaining of various grievances. The impeachment of Buckingham was resolutely proceeded with; and though the king endeavoured to awe the commons into obedience, by committing Sir Dudley Digges and Sir John Elliot to the Tower, for contemptuous words, untruly affirmed to have been spoken by them against the duke, who was highly in favour with Charles as he had been with his father, the attempt was unsuccessful, and he was presently obliged to release the imprisoned members. These compliances with the popular wish were so coupled with unconstitutional assumptions, that they had little effect in promoting the king's views, and the Parliament was dissolved in disgust on the .
The measures that were immediately afterwards pursued by the king's council, evince a determination to reduce the state to a complete despotism. The royal prerogative was held forth as superior to all arrangements of convention; forced loans and benevolences were exacted under the penalty of martial law; taxes were illegally levied; and it was publicly asserted from the
| pulpit by Dr. Manwaring, that the |
He was rewarded with a good benefice, and afterwards with a bishopric; and this after the lords had sentenced him to pay a fine of and to be imprisoned.
Under the oppressive system of coercion that was now instituted, London particularly suffered; and to this cause perhaps the determined support that was given by the inhabitants to the parliament in the subsequent civil wars, may be more directly referred. The attempt upon the city was to exact a loan of ; but this having failed through the resolute opposition of the citizens, the mayor, aldermen, and commonalty were enjoined by precept from the council, immediately to fit out of the best ships in the river Thames for public service, to be well manned, and stored with provisions and ammunition for months; and no intercession could obtain any abatement in this command. Many of the principal citizens were also imprisoned for refusing to subscribe to the loan as individuals, whilst others in a lower sphere were
Similar conduct was pursued generally throughout the country,
The strong disaffection excited by these unjust acts, became at length so violent, that Charles was content to remit his rigour from apprehension of the consequences; and on the advice of Sir Robert Cotton, he ordered writs to be issued for the assembling of another parliament, to meet on the . An order of council was then made for the release of those gentlemen who had been imprisoned or confined for refusing to submit to the loan, and the king had the mortification to learn that out of the number were chosen by the people as representatives for the ensuing parliament.
It was not long, however, before a pretence was found for obtaining a sum of money from the city. Doctor Lamb, a reputed conjuror, a favourite of the king, and the suspected adviser of these arbitrary proceedings, being discovered in the city, on the , was attacked by a mob, who loaded him with the most bitter invectives, and dragged him about the streets, beating and kicking him, till at length he died under their inhuman treatment. The king, hearing of the tumult, hastened into the city in time to have saved his life, had his authority been sufficiently great, or his body-guard strong enough to have rescued him from the exasperated citizens, who, in reply to the king's entreaties, and promises that he would suffer the law to take its course if he could be proven
| guilty of any offence, said, |
and continued their outrageous conduct.
Finding he could neither chastise nor redress this insolence, he returned to his palace; and soon after the privy-council sent a letter to the lord-mayor, aldermen, and sheriffs, commanding them to make strict enquiry after the principal actors and abettors, and to bring them to justice; but so little attention was paid to this order, that an answer was returned that they could not discover any of them. On this, they were summoned to attend the privy-council, where they were threatened with the confiscation of their charter, if they did not apprehend and deliver up the principal actors in the riot. But this made no impression upon their resolution to screen the parties sought after; for their next report was
The king was so incensed at this, that he amerced the city in a fine of , which was afterwards mitigated to , on the committal of several of the rioters. This was in the year , years after the murder had been committed.
A curious account of the mode of apprenticing at this time, is given in a letter from Mr. Howell to his father.
The use of hackney coaches was but very trifling in ; for, among the many monopolies granted by the king, was which gave rise to the use of sedan chairs in London. This grant was made to Sir Sanders Duncomb, and expressed in the following terms:
This patent was followed by a proclamation against hackney coaches, strictly commanding,
Charles was not altogether so unsuccessful with his parliament as he had been with his former ones; though, for the purpose of securing more devotion to his will, he sought opportunity to intimate at the opening of the session,
He was obliged, however, after many evasions, to agree to the Petition of Right; yet that was nothing more than the
Shortly afterwards, the king, understanding that the commons were preparing a remonstrance against the levying of tunnage and poundage by royal authority alone, prorogued the parliament till October.
In the interval, the Duke of Buckingham, against whom the reprehensions of the commons had been principally directed, was stabbed at Portsmouth by John Felton, who had been a lieutenant in the army, and whose mind had been wound up to the deed,
| On being threatened by Bishop Laud with the rack, unless he discovered his accomplices, he answered, that |
Felton was executed at Tyburn in November, and afterwards hanged in chains.
The parliament, which had been prorogued from , met on the : previous to this time, various new acts of aggression against the laws, and in violation of the rights of the people, had been committed on the part of the crown. Several merchants of the city had had their goods seized, for refusing to pay the demand of the king's officers for tunnage and poundage; and of them, named Vassall, who had defended his refusal before the Barons of , had judgment given against him, and was imprisoned. Similar abuses were practised during the very sitting of the parliament, and that upon the effects of John Rolls, Esq., a member of the house, and merchant of London, whose cause was immediately taken up by the commons, and argued with much vehemence. They even examined the officers of the customs, who answered that they acted in virtue of a commission under the great seal: of them declared, that
-- This direct interference inflamed the house to the utmost, and, in a grand committee, they voted that Mr. Rolls
but when the house was resumed, the speaker refused to put the question, saying,
On this the commons adjourned, with much indignation, till the ; and were then further adjourned, by the king's order, till the , On that day they again assembled, yet the speaker still refused to put the deferred question, and saying he was commanded by his majesty to adjourn the house till the ; he endeavoured to
but was held in it by force, whilst the doors of the house were locked, and a strong protestation drawn up by Sir John Elliot, put to the vote, and approved by the majority,
|though not without great tumult and confusion, and even some blows.|
On the same day the king, by proclamation, declared his intention to dissolve the parliament; and on the next, of the principal members were summoned before the council, to answer for their late conduct. of them, viz. Denzil Hollis, Sir John Elliot, William Coriton, Esq. and Benjamin Valentine, Esq. were all that appeared, and they refusing to answer out of parliament, for what was said in parliament, were committed close prisoners to the Tower. Warrants were also issued for the apprehension of the other , whose names were Sir Miles Hobert, Sir Peter Hayman, William Stroud, Esq. John Selden, Esq. and Walter Long, Esq. These severe measures increased the public discontents, and the ferment was not at all lessened by a proclamation issued by the king, in April, in which he declared that
This, as Lord Clarendon states, was
and Weldon observes, that it
The imprisoned members were afterwards proceeded against in the Star-Chamber, by information of the attorney-general, and several of them were condemned in exorbitant fines. Some of them were afterwards released from confinement on petition, and giving
Sir John Elliot, and the others who refused such an alternative, were kept in prison till they died.
In the year , the principal streets of London having been greatly incumbered by stalls and stands for bakers, butchers, poulterers, chandlers, fruiterers, sempsters, grocers, and venders of oysters, herbs, and tripe, in defiance of the laws against such nuisances, it was judged necessary by order of common-council, to enact,
And in , the enormities of engrossers, victuallers, bakers, &c. had arisen to such a height, that the court of Star-Chamber issued a decree,
In , William Prynne, Esq. was committed to the Tower, for publishing his , a passage in the index of which was, by Archbishop Laud, and other prelates,
construed to reflect upon the queen, who had acted a part in a pastoral about
the objectionable words were published. Prynne himself, after a long confinement, was rigorously prosecuted in the Star-Chamber, and fined , expelled from the University of Oxford and , disabled from following his profession of the law, condemned to stand twice in the pillory, to lose his ears, and to be imprisoned for life: this cruel sentence was most severely executed.
On Candlemas-day, , the inns of court,
entertained their majesties with a splendid and expensive masque; the airs, lessons, and songs for which were composed by the celebrated Lawes, and the music was so performed, that, according to Whitelocke, to whom
this part of the pageant was
| entrusted, |
The theatre for the display of this exhibition, was the banquetting house, at , to which the masquers and their company went in gorgeous procession from Ely-house, in . At the head of the cavalcade,
the marshall himself was Mr. Darrel, of Lincoln's-inn, afterwards knighted by the king, an extraordinary handsome proper gentleman, mounted upon of the king's best horses, and richest saddles, and his own habit was exceeding rich and glorious.
a dozen trumpeters, preceding gentlemen of the inns of court, the most proper and handsome of their respective societies, gallantly mounted on the best horses, and with the best furniture that the king's stable, and the stables of all the noblemen in town, would afford,
After the horsemen came the anti-masquers ;
of cripples and beggars, on horseback, mounted on the poorest leanest jades that could be gotten, had their music of keys and tongues, and the like, snapping, and yet playing in a concert before them.
men on horseback, playing upon pipes, whistles, and instruments sounding notes like those of birds of all sorts, and in excellent concert, followed by the anti-masque of birds :
an owl in an ivy-bush, with many several sorts of other birds in a clustre about the owl.
other musicians, on horseback. playing upon bag-pipes, horn-pipes, and such kind of northern music, speaking the following anti-masque of projectors, to be of the Scotch and northern quarters.
this anti-masque rode a fellow on a little horse, with a great bit in his mouth, signifying a projector, who
wanted a monopoly for the invention of fattening capons with carrots.
in like manner, personated in this anti-masque, and it pleased the spectators the more, because by it an information was covertly given to the king of the unfitness and ridiculousness of those projects; and the attorney Noy, who had most knowledge of them, had a great hand in this anti-masque of the projectors.
of the chief musicians, on horseback, habited as heathen priests, and followed by an open chariot, containing about persons, representing gods and goddesses. Other musicians came next, both on horseback and in a chariot, playing upon excellent and loud music all the way ;
themselves proper and beautiful young gentlemen,
doublets, trunk-hose, and caps, of most rich cloth of tissue, thick studded with silver spangles, with sprigs in their caps, and large white silk stockings up to their trunkhose.
and drawn by horses abreast, richly caparisoned. Each of them contained persons, chosen from the different inns of court, attended by footmen carrying large flameaux,
The number of spectators was immense, and the banquetting-house
Their majesties, who stood at a window to see
that they might see it a time. The masquers then alighted at Whitehall-gate, and were conducted to their assigned places.-The management was directed by a committee of persons, for each inn, viz.
says Whitelocke, was
The queen joined in the dance, with
when their majesties having retired, the masquers and inns of court gentlemen were brought to a stately banquet, and after that was dispersed, every retired to their own quarters. The splendour and expense of this spectacle, appear to have exceeded every thing of the kind that had ever before been exhibited in this country; the charges borne by the inns of court, and their individual members, were alone reckoned to amount to upwards of The queen
The masquers afterwards received the particular thanks of their majesties.
In , writs were issued for the levying of ship-money, a project contrived by the Attorney-General, Noy, for filling the king's coffers, by imposing a general tax upon the country, in form of a commutation for the neglect of supplying shipping for national service. These writs were, at , confined to the port and maritime towns, but were afterwards extended to all inland places, every sheriff being
The demand made upon the citizens of London was for ships of from to tons burthen, properly manned and equipped.
Upon the receipt of this arbitrary command, a common council was summoned to deliberate thereon; wherein it was resolved to present the following petition to the king, for relief against such an illegal and exorbitant demand:
However, it does not appear that the exemption insisted on by the citizens, by virtue of their antient rights and privileges, proved of any service to them; for the king, instead of dropping his project, (which at was only peculiar to the maritime towns) imposed it upon the whole kingdom.
The London clergy, imagining themselves not so rich as their predecessors, owing as alleged, to modern defalcations; they charged the citizens with various corrupt acts, as appears in the following petition:
For inspecting into the pretended grievance, the king referred the petition to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Keeper, Earl Marshal, Bishop of London, Lord Cottington, Secretary Windebank, and chief justice Richardson, or to any or of them, whereof the archbishop always to be . While the referees were endeavouring to settle the tithes in controversy, divers citizens petitioned the king and council against their manner of proceeding; when, after sundry hearings, it was (upon the king's proposal) reciprocally agreed, between the citizens and their parsons, to submit the point in dispute to his majesty's arbitration.
However, the king was afraid to make an absolute decision thereof, seeing it was against the general sense of the people.
Some time after, the king, to prevent the spreading of the
|dreadful contagion raging in the city, which within the year carried off of the citizens, by proclamation of the , prohibited the keeping of either Bartholomew or fairs.|
The raising of ship money met with great opposition in most parts of the kingdom, but more especially in this city, where great numbers refused to pay; among whom was Richard Chambers, a merchant, who, for his peremptorily refusing to pay, was by Sir Edward Bromfield, the lord mayor, committed to prison; against whom he commenced a suit for false imprisonment, the legality whereof was to have been tried in Trinity term; but such was the iniquitous partiality of Robert Berkley, of the justices of the King's Bench, that he would not suffer the lawfulness of ship money to be controverted by Chambers' counsel; but declared in court, that there was a rule of law and another of government, and that many things that could not be done by the rule of law, might be done by that of government.
This distinction was looked upon to be new and dangerous, and the quashing of the cause, instead of serving to promote the peaceable payment of the money demanded, had quite a different effect; for, by this proceeding, the citizens of London became more obstinate than ever, insomuch that the privy council thought proper to write to them to submit: but having received an answer not agreeable to their expectations, they wrote the following letter to the lord mayor and aldermen:
The lord mayor and aldermen, perceiving by this threatening letter that they could not shake off the burden, drew up and presented a petition to the council, for an abatement of the number of ships rated upon the city, and that, instead of , his majesty would be graciously pleased to accept of . Which petition being rejected. they were told that the pressing necessities and preservation of the state required their immediate submission, whereby they would happily obviate an occasion of shewing them more particularly what is due to those that disobey his majesty's commands on such an emergency.
In , the grand question of the legality of ship money, brought forward by the patriot Hampden, was finally decided in the king's favour, in the courts at , only of the judges, Croke and Hatton, declaring for Hampden. In this year
The convictions in the Star Chamber were this year carried to an excess of cruelty and extortion. Burton and Bastwick were each fined , condemned to lose their ears in the pillory, and to be imprisoned for life for writing against episcopacy: and Prynne, whose former sentence has been mentioned, was now tried for schism, in writing
On this occasion he was condemned to lose the remainder of his ears in the pillory, to pay and to be branded with an S in both cheeks, for schismatic.
Notwithstanding the discontent which prevailed at this time between the citizens and the king, yet, in , he granted the corporation of London a charter, wherein he confirmed all their former privileges, the garbling of tobacco only excepted. The granting of this charter, however, must not be considered as a free gift; for the citizens paid very considerable sums to obtain that confirmation of their ancient privileges from Charles, which had been so readily granted by his predecessors.
These recently confirmed privileges were not long respected; for, in the next year, the ministry, in an arbitrary and illegal manner, commenced a suit in the court of Star-chamber, against the lord mayor and citizens, together with the governor and assistants of the new plantation in the province of Ulster, in Ireland, in order to deprive them of the improvements they had made, at a very considerable expence in that province; when, after a hearing of days, the defendants were condemned to lose all their lands and possessions, which had been granted them by his late majesty in that kingdom; and at the same time, the court amerced the citizens in a fine of : but this fine was remitted by the king.
In the year , Charles once more felt it necessary to summon a parliament: it was therefore assembled at on the , but requiring, as a condition to the granting of supplies, that the national grievances should be redressed, the king dissolved it in anger on the .
The meeting of this parliament, after a lapse of full years, had created a strong ferment in the public mind; and the king's council had already ordered the lord mayor to call out of the trained bands, to prevent tumult; yet, after its dissolution, that number was thought insufficient to maintain tranquillity, and the whole of the trained bands was ordered to be
if necessity required. days before this, on , Archbishop Laud, to whose advice the dissolving of the parliament was principally attributed, was attacked in Lambeth-palace, by a rabble of about
|city-apprentices, who had assembled in consequence of an inflammatory paper having been posted up days before at the . As the Archbishop had provided for the defence of the palace, and had himself left it by water, no other mischief was done by the rioters than the breaking of a few glass windows, and the release of some prisoners: but the judges having resolved it to be treason, of their captains, a cobler, was hanged, drawn, and quartered for it, and his limbs set on London-bridge.|
These outrages greatly alarming the court, the privy council sent an order to the lord mayor, to provide a double watch, and to oblige every housekeeper to keep his apprentices and servants at home, and not suffer them to go out of their houses at any hour, till further orders.
The lord mayor strictly obeyed these orders; notwithstanding which, so turbulent and enraged were the citizens in general against the court and ministry for their despotic government, that they stuck up papers in various parts of the city, exciting the people to a general insurrection. This occasioned another order from the privy council, commanding the lord mayor to draw forth the city trained bands, the more effectually to suppress all disorderly and riotous meetings.
Notwithstanding these indications of general disaffection, the king continued firm to his infatuated purpose of subduing the spirit of the people. The privy council summoned the lord mayor and aldermen to attend in order to give in the names of such citizens in each ward, as were able to advance money for the service of the king. The sum demanded by the privy council was , which the lord mayor and aldermen were ordered to raise, according to the abilities of the respective wards. Several aldermen, who refused obedience, were committed to prison; and an order was afterwards issued by the privy council, to prosecute the lord mayor and the sheriffs of London and Middlesex, for default in the prosecution of the writ of ship money.
Shortly after, the king ordered the citizens to raise men, to join the army intended to march against the Scots; which they complied with, on a promise that the expense should be repaid out of the exchequer.
The citizens, after this, advanced the king the sum of ; in consideration of which, he granted them another charter, confirming all their former privileges of package, scavage, bailage, &c.; to which he now added that of the carriage and portage of all merchandize whatsoever; with a clause to prohibit every porter or other person from carrying, lading, or unlading any goods, without the special licence of the mayor and commonalty; and it concludes with giving power and authority to the said mayor and his proper officers, in the foresaid employment,
This charter is dated the , in the year of his reign.
The grievances under which the nation had so long laboured continuing unredressed, the citizens of London drew up a petition to the king to call a new parliament, in the hope of being freed, by its means, from the many impositions which had been laid on them. As this petition contains a summary of the complaints which then agitated the people, and will throw great light on the short sketch of the civil war, which the limits of this work will admit of, it is inserted at length.
The privy council, suspecting that disagreeable consequences might arise to them from the presenting this petition to the king, in order to prevent its being carried into execution, sent a letter to the lord mayor and aldermen, telling them, that such a petition was very dangerous, and unwarranted by the charter and customs of the city; and that it was unnecessary, as his majesty was already taking the said grievances into consideration. The citizens paid little attention to this letter from the ministry, but, on the contrary, sent the petition by a deputation from the court of aldermen and common-council to his majesty, who was at that time with his army at York.
This petition had so far the desired effect, that his majesty, in a letter dated the , promised them a parliament should be immediately called, to redress their grievances; but a request was at the same time added, for a loan of on the security of the
This had its effect, and that sum was engaged to be furnished in equal monthly payments.
Soon after the parliament had assembled, orders were issued by the commons, for the removal of Prynne, Bastwick, and Burton, from the places where they had been confined under the direction of the Star-chamber court, to London; and as they were considered to have been victims to the popular cause, their entry into the metropolis was hailed by an assembled multitude with the loudest acclamations of joy.
It was, probably, on this occasion, that the king made the Lord Cottington constable of the , and placed there a garrison of men, to keep the city from tumults; but the , and others without, being much dissatisfied threat, the king took off the garrison and commission of constable, and left it to a lieutenant (Sir William Balfour), as before.
In the course of the proceedings of this parliament,
yet so little confidence had the people in the good faith of his ministers, that
The leading men in the , among whom was Cromwell, afterwards Protector, the patriot Hampden, Pym, Hasilrigge, Fiennes, and Sir Harry Vane, were either Presbyterians or Independents, and, of course, equally inimical to episcopacy; they may, therefore, without violating probability, be regarded as the promoters of a petition, and long schedule of grievances against the government, discipline, and ceremonies of the church, which was presented to the house, by Alderman Pennington, on the , and was signed by citizens. It is so curious a document that it is here inserted it at length:--
That whereas the government of archbishops, and lords bishops, deans, and archdeacons, &c. with their courts and ministrations in them, have proved prejudicial and very dangerous, both to the church and commonwealth; they themselves having formerly held, that they have their jurisdiction or authority of human authority; till of these latter times, being further pressed about the unlawfulness, that they have claimed their calling immediately from the Lord Jesus Christ; which is against the laws of this kingdom, and derogatory to his Majesty and his state royal: And whereas the said government is found by woeful experience to be a main cause and occasion of many foul evils, pressures, and grievances of a very high nature unto his majesty's subjects, in their own consciences, liberties, and estates, as in a schedule of particulars hereunto annexed may in part appear.
We therefore most humbly pray and beseech this honourable assembly, the premises considered, that the said government, with all its dependencies, roots, and branches, may be abolished, and all laws in their behalf made void, and the government according to God's word may be rightly placed among us. And we your humble suppliants, as in duty we are bound, will daily pray for his majesty's long and happy reign over us, and for the prosperous success of this high and honourable court of parliament.
 Rapin, vol. ii, 243.
 Whit. Mem. p. 8.
 Ibid. See more of these despotic proceedings in Rushworth, vol. i. p. 422-429.
 Captain Bailey, an old sea officer, first set up four hackney coaches with the drivers in liveries, with directions to pfy at the May-pole in the Strand, where now the new church is, and at what rate to carry passengers about the town.Gough's British Topography.
 Hughson's London, i. 176.
 Rap. Hist. ii, 276.
 Clar. Hist. i. 27.
 Whit. Mem. p. 11 The council, by the king's directions, required the opinion of the judges on the question, Whether Felton might be racked by the law? They answered unanimously, that By the law he might not be put to the rack. --Ibid. That this torture was in use for state purposes, within the preceding ten years, is proved by a warrant to the lieutenant of the Tower, dated in 1619, and signed by the Lord Chancellor Bacon, the Earl of Worcester, Lord Privy Seal, the Earl of Arundell, Lord Carew, Lord Digby, Secretary Naunton, and Sir Edward Coke, by which one Samuel Peacock was ordered to be put to the torture, either of the manacles or the rack. --Brayley's London, i. 330.
 Whit. Mem. p. 12.
 Rap. Hist. vol. ii. p. 278. The protestation consisted of the three following articles. First: Whosoever shall bring in innovation of religion, or by favour, or countenance, seem to extend popery or arminianism, or other opinion disagreeing from the truth and orthodox church, shall be reputed a capital enemy to this kingdom and commonwealth. Second: Whosoever shall counsel or advise the taking and levying of the subsidies of tunnage and poundage, not being granted by parliament, or shall be an actor or instrument there in, shall be likewise reputed an innovator in the government, and a capital enemy to the kingdom and commonwealth. Third: If any merchant or person whatsoever, shall voluntarily yield or pay the said subsidies of tunnage and poundage, not being granted by parliament, he shall be reputed a betrayer of the liberties of England, and an enemy of the same.-Rush. Col. vol. i. p. 660.
 Whit. Mem. p. 12,
 Hist. Reb. vol. i. p.67.
 Co. of K. Charles, p. 194.
 Whit. Mem. p. 18 The words were,-- Women Actors Notorious Whores.
 Whit. Mem. p. 18-21.
 Brayley's London i1 336.
 Clar. Reb. i. 68.
 Maitland, i. 306.
 Whit. Mem. 24.
 Hist. Reb. ii. p. 202.
 Whit. Mem. p. 37.