The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 1

Allen, Thomas

1827

About the same time, the English and Scottish armies were exceedingly burdensome to the northern counties of England, insomuch that the parliament judged it necessary for the relief of the said counties, to apply to the city for a loan of , towards the support of the king's army; and for which purpose, on the , they sent a committee of lords and commoners, to solicit the city to advance the said sum, upon the credit and security of the subsidy bills. The committee being returned, the recorder reported, that they had attended the city, but, to their great mortification, could obtain no money; having received for answer, that the citizens were a body not constituted for such purpose, nor able to make laws for the lending of money; and that they could only persuade, and not compel.

Soon after was presented to the a petition, signed by citizens, to accelerate the punishment of the Earl of Strafford;

who,

they said,

had counselled the plundering of the city, and putting it to fine and ransom, and had said that it would never be well till some of the aldermen were hanged up; because they would not yield to illegal levies of money.

The petition also enumerated the grievances they complained of to the

357

king; which they stated to be unattended to, notwithstanding his majesty's promises.

From the spirit of petitioning, they proceeded to unjustifiable measures. Their outrage was directed against the Spanish ambassador's chapel, in , where a considerable mob assembled, and threatened to destroy it, and even to kill the ambassador, for permitting English papists to frequent it. The timely intervention and persuasions of the lord mayor prevented their threats from being carried into execution; and after the mob was dispersed, he set a guard round the ambassador's house, which, while it protected him from insult, prevented the catholics from attending mass at his house.

On the Sunday following, the pulpits rung with the necessity of having justice executed upon a great delinquent, meaning the Earl of Strafford, there being a design to bring the army to London, to surprise the Tower, and favour his escape. This produced such an effect, that next day of the citizens repaired in a hostile manner to , and posting themselves in all the avenues to the , stopped the coaches, and cried out for justice on Strafford: they likewise presented a petition to the house to the same effect.

This commotion continued several days, a report having been circulated, and apparently on good grounds, that a design was in progress to rescue the earl, either by bringing up the northern army, and seizing the Tower, or by contriving his escape by artifice. The lords were insulted, and many of them

grew so really apprehensive of having their brains beaten out, that they absented themselves,

and the populace would not disperse, until they had seen the protestation of both houses of parliament, for the defence of the king and kingdom.

Soon after the bill of attainder was passed by the lords, and the king was next constrained by the popular clamour to assent to the earl's death. He was beheaded on on the .

About this time a dispute arose between the lord mayor and commonalty of the city, about the right of choosing of the sheriffs, which the former claimed by a prescription of years, without the approbation and confirmation of the latter: the commonalty admitted of the mayor's nominating a person proper for that office, but insisted he should not serve unless by their assent. The lord mayor and aldermen applied to the king to determine the controversy; but as he did not choose to interfere personally, in so critical a time, when his own power was publicly disputed, he referred them to the . The peers at recommended an accommodation among themselves; but this not proving sufficiently effectual, their lordships thought proper (with a salvo on each side) to issue the following order:

That, for this time, the commonalty shall forthwith proceed to the nomination and election of both their sheriffs for the year

following; hoping that, for the

first

of the

two

sheriffs, they will make choice of that party that was nominated by the lord mayor: and their lordships do further declare, that this order shall be no way prejudicial to any tight or prerogative claimed by the lords, the mayors of the city of London, for the time being; nor yet to any right or claim made by the commons or citizens in this matter now in question amongst them.

On the their majesties returned from Scotland, whither the king had gone to attend the Scottish Parliament, and were met between and Stamford Hill, by the lord mayor, aldermen, and citizens on horseback, chosen from the different companies, and conducted in grand procession to , where they were splendidly entertained. In the evening they were conducted to the palace at ; the conduits running with wine, and the populace making loud acclamations of joy. Sir Richard Gurney, the lord mayor, by whose influence this entertainment was principally given, was soon afterwards created a baronet. Notwithstanding this apparent cordiality, the king within a few days judged it necessary to retire with his family to , his palace having been several times surrounded by an insulting rabble: on the petition of the city, however, procured by the address of Gurney, which assured him that

the better sort of people

were not at all concerned, he shortly returned to .

But the seeds of discontent lurked beneath these flattering , and in a few days began to be perceptible. On the , (Charles returned on the ) a petition, signed by citizens, was presented to the by Mr. Fookes, attended by merchants and others, complaining of the growth of Popery, and praying the said house, that they would take speedy and effectual means to deliver the city and nation from the danger of being surprised by their bloody hands, from the obstructions they caused in the trade of this city and kingdom, and for immediate reformation in religion. This petition was inscribed,

The humble petition of the aldermen, common-council-men, subsidy-men, and other inhabitants of the city of London and suburbs thereof.

Another petition, of the like nature, was presented the same day by the city apprentices. The petitions were favourably received.

The prevailing animosities were aggravated by a most intemperate protestation presented to the lords by bishops, of whom were in consequence committed to the Tower on the thirtieth of December, and the others to the custody of the usher of the black rod.

On the of the same month, the king having discharged Sir William Belfour from the lieutenancy of the , appointed Colonel Lunsford, a person very obnoxious to the , to succeed him. This removal so highly displeased the

359

citizens, whose interest was inseparable from that of the commons, that they drew up and presented a petition to the house, stiled,

The humble petition of divers common council-men and others of the city of London,

the substance of which was,

That the

Tower of London

was more especially intended for the defence of the city of London, which had lately been put into fears of some dangerous design from that citadel.-That Sir William Belfour, a person of honour and trust, is displaced from the office of lieutenant, and the same is bestowed upon Colonel Lunsford, a man outlawed, and most notorious for outrages, &c.-May it therefore please this honourable assembly to take the premises into such consideration as may secure both the city and the kingdom against the mischiefs which may happen, &c.

This petition occasioned the commons to request a conference with the lords; but the latter refused joining with them to address his majesty for the removal of Lunsford; alleging, that they conceived it would be an infringement on his majesty's prerogative. The lord mayor, however, on the Sunday following, waited on the king at , where he represented the dissatisfaction of the people, at the promotion of the said Lunsford, and informed him of a general insurrection being intended by the citizens, should Lunsford be continued in the lieutenancy of the Tower. On which his majesty was graciously pleased to remove him from the said office.

Before this was publicly known, the citizens and apprentices who had petitioned against Lunsford and the bishops, assembled in a large body, and proceeded to , crying out,

No bishops! No bishops! No popish lords!

This so irritated the Bishop of Lincoln, who was then passing to , that he imprudently seized of the most active in the mob; but the populace immediately rescued their comrade, and after dinning his ears with

No bishop! No bishop!

permitted the terrified prelate to depart. Captain Hyde, with some of his friends, being fired with indignation at such treatment of a bishop, was still more imprudent, for he drew his sword, and threatened to cut the throats of those roundheaded dogs who bawled against the bishops; for which he was seized by the apprentices, and carried before the , who not only immediately committed him to prison, but declared him incapable of ever serving his majesty after.

Colonel Lunsford, going through Hall the same day, was so irritated at the insolence of the mob, that he also drew his sword; on which a scuffle ensued, and several persons were wounded. This commotion soon reaching the city, the lord mayor and sheriffs took such precautions as prevented any considerable number from getting out of the gates of the city. After which, his lordship patroled the streets all night, and in the morning raised the trained bands, to preserve the peace of the city.

The appellation of Roundhead and Cavalier, by which the parliamentarians and royalists were afterwards respectively stigmatized,

360

originated in these tumults. It was then the custom of the London apprentices to have their hair cut close and round to the form of the scull, and during their daily progress to , they commonly stopped at , where

the queen observing out of the window Samuel Bardiston among them, exclaimed,

See what a handsome young Roundhead is there.

This term

was perhaps

first

publicly used

by Captain David Hyde, in the riot just mentioned, who drew his sword, and said he would

cut the throats of those Round-headed, cropp'd-eared dogs that bawled against the bishops.

After the entrenchments had been made round London by the labour of the citizens, the royalists made a song against them in the opprobrious style, as

Round-headed

cuckolds come dig.

The king on this occasion sent a message to the common-council, commanding them to preserve peace, and concluding in these words:

We do desire them (the Londoners) not to be disturbed by any jealousies that ill-affected people may endeavour to sow, but to rest most confident, and assured that the safety, protection, and prosperity of the city, shall ever be with us a principal care.

These tumults, which were chiefly confined to the vicinity of , increased daily; insomuch that the person of the king seemed to be endangered by the licentiousness of a misguided mob. In this scene of confusion, some disbanded officers and gentlemen of the inns of court, offered their service to his majesty, to keep the rabble in subjection. The countenance the king gave to this proceeding proved a fatal measure to him; since it gave the a pretence for sanctioning the tumults, and for making a formal demand for a guard to be set over the parliament. This demand, however, was rejected.

The flame of discord now began to blaze without restraint. A prosecution having been commenced by the attorney-general, against peer and commoners, for high treason, both houses of parliament voted all the proceedings to be a breach of privilege.

On the , Charles made his rash and ill-advised attempt to seize the Lord Kimbolton, and the members of the commons, Sir Anthony Hazilrigge, John Pym, John Hampden, Denzil Holles, and William Stroud, Esqrs.; whom, by his attorney-general, Sir Edward Herbert, he had accused on the preceding day of high treason. The king went to the house,

guarded,

says Whitelocke,

with his pensioners, and followed by about

two hundred

courtiers and Souldiers of Fortune, most of them armed with swords and pistols.

Leaving his guard at the door, he entered the house, and sitting down in the speaker's chair, he looked round, and not seeing any of the accused members, he asked the speaker

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whether he saw any of them, and where they were?

The speaker, with admirable presence of mind, falling on his knee, answered,

May it please your majesty, I have neither eyes to see, nor tongue to speak in this place, but as the house is pleased to direct me, whose servant I am here; and humbly beg your majestie's pardon that I cannot give any other answer than this to what your majesty is pleased to demand of me.

The king being thus disappointed, quitted the house, amidst the cry of

Privilege! Privilege!

The members, who had been timely informed of the king's design, had left the house about half an hour before his arrival, and taken refuge in the city;

which,

says Clarendon,

was that whole night in arms, in spite of all the lord mayor could do to compose their distempers.

The next morning, the king, accompanied by a few lords, went to , where a meeting of the common-council had been convened by his orders, and where, in a short speech, he demanded the accused members, and professed his attachment to the Protestant religion; which he said he would defend both against

papists and separatists.

He then invited himself to dinner with of the sheriffs,

who was of the

two

,

says Clarendon,

thought less inclined to his service,

and in the afternoon he returned to ;

the rude people flocking together round his coach, and crying out,

Privilege of Parliament!

On the same day, the adjourned till the , having appointed a grand committee of to sit in the of London. During this period, the accused members,

who were at their friends' houses in the city, were highly caressed, and had the company of divers members of the house, to consult together, and to lay their further designs, and they wanted nothing.

On the , the committee, with the Lord Kimbolton and the accused members of the , went to in great state, guarded by long-boats armed with small pieces of ordnance, and ornamented with flags, and were received on landing by the city trained-bands.

When the committee and members were safe arrived, the sheriffs and those who had conducted the boats, were called into the house, and were thanked for their services, and indemnified from future question for their conduct: after which, the house ordered that companies of the trained bands should attend the house daily, and for the security of the stores in the Tower, the sheriffs were ordered to place a sufficient guard around it, both by land and water.

362

 

The use that might be made of the London militia was so manifest to the , that they took them out of the power of the lord mayor, whom they found to be materially influenced by the court; and ordained,

that the persons entrusted with the ordering of the militia of London, should have power to draw the trained-bands of the city into such usual and convenient places, within

three

miles of the city, as to them from time to time should seem meet, for the training and exercising of the soldiers; and that the said soldiers, upon summons, should from time to time, appear, and not depart from their colours without the consent of their officers, as they would answer their contempt to the parliament.

The proceedings in the metropolis had at length assumed so serious an aspect, that the king found it necessary, for his safety, to remove from it. It would be foreign to our purpose to enter into the detail of all the remonstrances, protests, declarations, and messages, which passed between the king and the commons during this period of confusion: we shall therefore confine ourselves to those occurrences in which London bore a principal share.

The event of that description which occurred after the king's departure was a demand on the city by the parliament for large supplies of men and money, which, coming to the knowledge of the king, he sent a letter to the lord mayor, commanding him and the citizens of London not to lend or contribute the said supplies to the parliament, under the penalty of his displeasure, and the forfeiture of their charters. The parliament, in consequence of this, made a declaration, justifying their demands, and promising protection and security to those who should contribute to their assistance. And, as an example of their power and authority, they committed Sir Richard Gurney, lord mayor, to the , for causing his majesty's commission of array to be proclaimed in divers parts of the city; and preferred several articles of impeachment against him, for which he was, by the sentence of the peers, not only divested of the office of mayor, but likewise rendered, for ever, incapable of bearing any office or receiving further honour; and also to remain a prisoner in the during the pleasure of parliament.

On the , the king set up his standard at Nottingham,

in the evening of a very stormy day! and on the same night the standard was blown down by a very strong and unruly wind, and could not be fixed up again in a day or

two

, till the tempest was allayed.

In the following month, Charles began his march towards London, of which the parliament having notice, the trained-bands were ordered to be in readiness, and the passages about the city fortified with

posts, chains, and courts of guard ;

and it

was wonderful to see,

says Whitelocke,

how the women and children, and vast numbers of people would come

and work, about digging, and carrying of earth, to make their new fortifications.

After the battle of Edge Hill, fought on , and in which both parties claimed the victory, London was thrown into great agitation, from the reports of those who had fled on the onset, and stated the parliament's army to be wholly defeated. The Earl of Essex returned to London in the beginning of November, and the parliament voted him for his conduct in the late battle. On the , the king advanced with his army to Brentford, where, after a sharp fight, he defeated Colonel Hollis's regiment, and towards night got possession of the town. Intelligence of the king's progress having reached London, every possible exertion was made by the parliament to assemble a sufficient force to prevent his entrance into the capital; and therefore, with unspeakable expedition, the army under the Earl of Essex was not only drawn together, but the trained-bands of London led out in their brightest equipage upon the heath next Brentford, where they had indeed a full army of horse and foot fit to have decided the title of a crown with an equal adversary.

The earl drew up his forces upon Turnham Green, the whole army

consisting of men; stout, gallant, proper men, as well habited and armed as were ever seen in any army, and seemed to be in as good courage to fight the enemy. Charles now thought it prudent to retire over Kingston bridge to Oatlands, from whence he proceeded to Reading and Oxford.

About this time an order was made for shutting up all shops in London, that the shop-keepers and apprentices might be at greater freedom to attend to the defence of the kingdom. And, in order to increase their forces, an ordinance was published, for the encouragement of apprentices to enlist; in which they were promised security against the forfeiture of indentures, bonds, or franchisements; and that, when the public service was ended, their masters should be compelled to receive them without punishment or prejudice. The masters were also promised satisfaction for whatever losses they might sustain by the absence of such apprentices. Much intrigue was exerted by both parties during the winter, to secure the assistance of the citizens; but the parliament having the advantage of local influence, finally prevailed. Pennington, who had been rechosen to the office of lord mayor, was a firm adherent to the commons; and the sheriffs, Langham and Andrews, were as equally devoted to the popular cause.

In , the common-council, after passing an act for fortifying the city with outworks, &c. enacted, that all

the passages and ways leading to it should be shut up, except those entering at Charing-cross, St. Giles' in the fields, St. John's-street,

Shoreditch

, and Whitechapel; and the exterior ends of the same

streets should be fortified with breast-works and turnpikes, musketproof: that the several courts of guards and rails at the extreme parts of the liberties of the city, be fortified with turnpikes musketproof; that all the sheds and buildings contiguous to London-wall, without, be taken down; and that the city wall, with its bulwarks, be not only repaired and mounted with artillery, but likewise that divers new works be added to the same at places most exposed.

For carrying these works into execution, -fifteenths were directed to be levied in the different wards; and on the , this act of common-council was confirmed by an ordinance of parliament, which also empowered the deputy lieutenants and magistracy, having jurisdiction without the liberties of the city, to raise certain sums upon every house above the annual value of , that was situated

within the line of the trenches and fortifications,

to go in aid of the said works.

These works principally consisted of a strong earthen rampart flanked with bastions, redoubt, &c. surrounding the whole city and its liberties, including . From Virtue's print, it may be seen that the line begun below the Tower, at the junction of the river Lea with the Thames, and went northward toward the windmill in ; then inclining to the north-west, it crossed the Hackney and Kingsland roads, near , and turning to the south-west, crossed the end of St. John's-street, Gray's-inn-lane, Bloomsbury, and Oxford-road, near pound. Then proceeding westward to Hyde-park corner and , it inclined towards turnpike, Tothill-fields, and the Thames. Again commencing near , it run northeastward to St. George's-fields, then making an angle to the east, crossed the Borough-road at the end of , proceeded to the end of , on the , and inclining to the north-east, joined the Thames nearly opposite to the point where it began. This line was defended by a chain of forts, &c. The ,

a bulwark and half, on the hill at the north end of

Gravel-lane

;

2nd

, a horn-work, near the windmill, in

Whitechapel road

;

3rd

, a redoubt, with

two

flanks, near

Brick-lane

;

4th

, a redoubt, with

four

flanks, in Hackney-road,

Shoreditch

;

5th

, a redoubt, with

four

flanks, in Kingsland-road,

Shoreditch

;

6th

, a battery and breast-work, at Mount-mill;

7th

, a battery and breast-work, at

St. John-street

end;

8th

, a small redoubt, near

Islington

pound;

9th

, a large fort, with

four

bulwarks, at the

New River

upper pond;

10th

, a battery and breast-work, on the hill east of Black Mary's-hole;

11th

,

two

batteries and a breastwork, at Southampton-house;

12th

, a redoubt with

two

flanks, near

St. Giles's

pound;

13th

, a small fort, at the east end of Tyburn road;

14th

, a large fort, with

four

half bulwarks, across the road at

Wardour-street

;

15th

, a small bulwark at Oliver's mount;

16th

, a

large fort with

four

bulwarks, at

Hyde Park Corner

;

17th

, a small redoubt and battery on

Constitution-hill

;

18th

, a court of guard at

Chelsea

turnpike;

19th

, a battery and breast-work at Tothill-fields;

20th

, a quadrant fort with

four

half bulwarks, at

Vauxhall

:

21st

, a fort with

four

half bulwarks, at the Dog and Duck,

St. George's

fields;

22nd

, a large fort, with

four

bulwarks, near the end of

Blackman-street

; and

23rd

, a redoubt, with

four

flanks, near the

Lock Hospital

, Kent-road.

About this time, and whilst the treaty entered into with the king at Oxford was yet pending, the commons

passed an ordinance for a weekly assessment throughout the kingdom, for the support of the war; by which was imposed upon the city of London the weekly sum of

10,000l.

; and to this they added other ordinances,

of which

was for the sequestering and seizing of the estates of all who adhered to the king.

At the same season, a -fold conspiracy was carrying on by the royalists, for the purpose of seizing the capital, the lord mayor, and the principal members of parliament, and in fine, for the complete restoration of regal authority. From Waller, the poet, himself a member of the house, who was at the head of of the branches of this conspiracy, this bears the name of

Waller's Plot;

yet the principal promoter appears to have been Sir Nicholas Crispe, Knt.

a citizen of good wealth, great trade, and an active, spirited man, who had been lately prosecuted with great severity by the

House of Commons

, and had thereupon fled from London, for appearing too great a stickler in a petition for peace in the city.

This gentleman procured a commission from the king (dated ), constituting himself, with other persons named in the commission, and others left for the commissioners to appoint, a council of war for the whole metropolis; with full power and authority to raise forces,

and with them to fight against our enemies and rebels, and them to slay or destroy, or save,

&c. This commission was brought privately to London by the Lady Daubigney, with whom Waller was in habits of confidential intercourse, and was by some unknown means obtained possession of by the parliament. This discovery being connected with some discourse having a similar bearing to that which passed between Waller, and Tomkins his brother-in-law, (who was

Clerk to the queen's council,

) and which was overheard by a servant, was considered of such high importance, that the parliament ordered a

day of thanksgiving to God for their wonderful delivery.

Waller with great difficulty saved his life by the most degrading submission and cowardly disclosures; but was fined Tomkins and Chaloner his intimate friend,

a citizen of good wealth and credit,

were hanged; the former near his house in , by the end of ; the latter,

by his house in

Cornhill

, by the

Royal Exchange

.

The others

were not proceeded capitally

against, but had their estates sequestered.

This plot led to the framing of the Sacred Vow and Covenant, which was solemnly taken by both houses of parliament on the .

On the , the king, by a proclamation dated at Oxford, interdicted all intercourse of whatever kind with the city and suburbs of London; a measure which, whilst it produced no possible advantage to his own affairs, did him great detriment, by exasperating the rancour of his enemies. On the following day, the common council ordered to be raised for the defence of the city, on the security of the city seal.

A rumour prevailing at this time among the citizens that the parliament were disposed to accommodate matters with the king, the lord mayor summoned a common council, who presented a petition in the , in the strongest terms, against a reconciliation. When his lordship presented the above petition, he was attended by such a prodigious concourse of citizens, that many of the members withdrew from the house through fear; and those who continued and received the petition, requested his lordship to prevent such riotous proceedings for the future. The petition was approved of, and the propositions of peace with the king were rejected.

This was soon after followed by another petition, intituled,

The humble petition of many civilly-disposed women, inhabiting the cities of London and

Westminster

, the suburbs, and parts adjacent.

It was carried up on the , by some thousands of the meaner sort of women, with white ribbons in their hats, The purport of their petition was,

That God's glory, in the true reformed religion, might be preserved, the just prerogatives of the king and parliament maintained, the true liberties and properties of the subject, according to the known laws of the land, restored, and all honourable ways and means for a speedy peace endeavoured.

The commons, after reading their petition, returned them for answer that they were no enemies to peace, and that they hoped in a short time to answer the ends of the petition. But this not satisfying them, they continued about the house, and before noon increased to upwards of ; among whom were several men dressed in women's clothes. They crowded about the house, calling out

peace! peace!

and demanding the traitors who were averse to it, particularly

that dog, Pym.

At length, these

civilly-disposed women

became so outrageous, that it was found necessary to oppose them by force. A party of the trained-bands was therefore sent for; but, instead of being intimidated at their appearance, the mob assailed them with such fury, that they were forced to fire in their own defence; when several being killed and others wounded, the rest thought it prudent to withdraw.

Gloucester being closely besieged by the king, the relief of that

367

city was now the object of immediate consideration. The common council ordered the city companies to advance more; for which they were to be secured by a joint bond from the lord mayor and aldermen. The parliament issued an ordinance, commanding all shops, within the line of communication, to be shut, until the siege of Gloucester should be raised. The committee of the trained-bands sent out regiments, of horse, of trained bands, and of auxiliaries; who, joining the main army under the Earl of Essex, marched with all expedition to the neighbourhood of Gloucester. On their arrival near the city, the royalists were so intimidated, that the king raised the siege with great precipitation.

The relief of Gloucester was followed by a very severe battle fought at Newbury, in which the city trained-bands behaved with such bravery and resolution, as to be the means of not only preserving the army of the Earl of Essex, but also contributing greatly to the success of the parliament in their future proceedings; for it disabled the king from making any farther attempts to reduce London to his obedience, and ruined his interest among those dubious persons, who waited to declare for the strongest party. The battle of Newbury was the longest and most desperate of any during the course of this unnatural war; for it began about o'clock in the morning, and continued till at night, with the greatest obstinacy on both sides.

On , the

Solemn League and Covenant

was taken in , , by both houses of parliament, the assembly of divines, and the Scottish commissioners; and within a few days afterwards, it was also taken by all the principal citizens and inhabitants of London.

On the , the king issued anew prohibition against the trade and commerce of the metropolis, by which it was declared that all persons who had any dealings with its inhabitants, should suffer every severity of the law that could be inflicted on traitors.

In the same month, an act of common council was passed, by which watchmen were ordered to be provided, and paid by the several wards and precincts, for the better security of the city by night.

Notwithstanding his majesty had, by proclamation, prohibited all manner of trade and intercourse with the city of London, yet matters had been concerted to bring about a treaty of reconciliation by some who were advocates for the royal cause, that his majesty, on the , wrote a letter for that purpose, directed to the lord mayor, aldermen, and all other well-affected subjects of the city; which his majesty desired might be read in a common-hall, to be called on the occasion. This business, however, being discovered to the parliament, Sir Basil Brook, and others, who were the principal projectors of the negotiation, were taken into custody, together with the king's letter; and a committee of lords and commoners were deputed to lay this underhand transaction

368

before a common hall. The Earl of Northumberland, who was of the lords deputed, spoke at the hall so strongly against a design which he represented as a popish scheme to disunite the parliament and the city, that new assurances were reciprocally given, of abiding by each other; and the members of both houses were invited to dine with the corporation at Merchant-Taylors' hall.

The wants of the parliament were exceedingly pressing, and they were consequently obliged to have recourse to new expedients to raise money. Accordingly, in the latter part of this year, they laid a tax on beer and ale, in all the counties within the limits of their power; calling it by the new name, Excise. This was the origin of the excise duties, which afterwards met with so much opposition from the people.

In the beginning of , the city sent regiments of auxiliaries to join the parliament army under Sir William Waller, who gained a victory over the royal forces shortly after. In the battle, the troops belonging to the city behaved with the greatest courage and intrepidity; and the victory was considered of such importance, that a public thanksgiving was ordered to be observed, on the , throughout London and the bills of mortality.

In the beginning of , the city gave a splendid entertainment at Merchant-Taylors' hall, to both houses of parliament, the earls of Essex, Warwick, and Manchester, with other lords, the Scottish commissioners, and some principal officers of the army. The company assembled

at sermon, in Christ-church,

Newgate-street

, and thence went on foot to the Hall,

the lord mayor and aldermen leading the procession; and

as they went through

Cheapside

, on a scaffold, many popish pictures, crucifixes, and superstitious relicks were burnt before them.

This entertainment was given in consequence of the discovery of the design to read a letter from the king at a common-hall, the obvious tendency of which was to destroy the prevailing unanimity of the citizens in favour of the parliament.

On the , the lord mayor, aldermen, and common council, presented an address or petition to the parliament, thanking them for the great care they had taken for the public good, and exhorting them to perseverance. They particularly thanked them for their especial care of the and Castle of Windsor; but expressed some dissatisfaction at the discontinuance of the committee of parliament, at the want of execution upon delinquents, the not putting Tilbury Fort into safe hands, and at the endeavours of divers members of parliament to gain re-admittance, after having betrayed their trust by bearing arms against the parliament.

The commons returned a full and satisfactory answer to all these points, and concluded with declaring, that they would, in a most particular manner, be mindful of the merit of the city, which, upon

369

all occasions, they should acknowledge, and would endeavour to requite.

The decisive battle of Naseby, in which the king was so effectually defeated, that it produced the irretrievable ruin of his affairs in all quarters, was fought on the ; and on the , both houses attended a thanksgiving sermon, at Christ-church, ; after which they were elegantly entertained by the citizens at Grocers'-hall. A short time after a committee was sent by the parliament to solicit a loan from the city of , to enable them to pay arrears due to the Scotch army. The corporation complied so readily with this request, that they received the thanks of both houses on the occasion.

The late defeats and dispersion of the king's troops occasioned great numbers of the royalists to resort to London, and a rumour was spread that the king himself intended to come privately to the city. This report so alarmed the Parliament, that besides empowering the trained-bands to search for delinquents, and expel them from all places within the bills of mortality, they issued other ordinances;--the enjoining the city-militia to secure the king's person, should he come, or attempt to come within the lines of communication;--the commanding all papists, and those who had borne arms against the parliament, to depart the metropolis;and the , declaring that whoever should harbour or conceal the person of the king, should be proceeded against as a traitor to the commonwealth. Charles, however, instead of coming to London, had retired northwards; and whilst with the Scottish army, at Newcastle, he wrote a letter to the lord mayor, aldermen, and common council, expressing his full resolution to comply with the parliaments of both kingdoms, in

every thing for settling truth and peace.

This was dated .

About this time, considerable dissentions began to prevail in the city, among the different sectaries (of which the principal were the Presbyterians and Independents), and petitions for the furtherance of their respective objects were presented to the parliament by both parties. The proceedings were marked by that acrimony which is least accordant with the true spirit of religion; yet, after various success, and a long contest, the Independents finally prevailed.

In the beginning of the year , the city advanced to the parliament, on the security of the excise duties, and the sale of the bishops' lands: this sum formed part of the demanded by the Scots before they would agree to deliver up the king to the parliamentarian commissioners. In the April following, a was advanced for the public service, by the city on

good security.

The dispute between the parliament and the army was now

370

arriving at its height, and the approach of the latter towards London excited general alarm. The commons at seemed determined to maintain their authority; a committee of safety was appointed, and the trained-bands were ordered immediately to arm under pain of death; yet, on further consideration, they were dismissed, and strong guards only were stationed upon the line which encircled the metropolis. A correspondence between the lord mayor and common council, and the army, was now carried on by consent of parliament, the former acting as mediators, and, for a time, some appearance of conciliation was maintained. At length, in May, the Presbyterians assumed sufficient spirit to pass an ordinance for choosing

a new committee of militia in the city of London,

and none were chosen but of their own denomination. This measure was soon followed on the part of the army, by the accusing of of the most active members of the commons in the Presbyterian interest, of high treason; and the accused persons, after a few days, thought it prudent to retire from the house till the heat of the contest was allayed. In the month following, the commons found it necessary to revoke their ordinance in respect to the militia, yet this revocation was again rescinded on an imperious petition from many apprentices and young citizens, who, as appears from Whitelocke, were instigated by some of the common council to overawe the parliament by violence, and

many among them came into the house of commons, and kept the door open and their hats on, and called out as they stood,

Vote! Vote!

and in this arrogant posture stood till the votes passed in that way.

In , a great tumult, originating in ,

about tippling and gaming on the Lord's Day, contrary to an ordinance of parliament,

agitated the metropolis for days,--and, but for the vigorous conduct of Fairfax, would probably have led to the overthrow of the then existing government. The people overpowered a party of the trained-bands, and seizing their colours and drums, beat up for recruits; and forming into something like military order, surprised Newgate and Ludgate in the night, and seized the keys. Then dispersing into different bodies, and greatly increasing in number, party proceeded towards , but were repelled by the soldiers at , whilst another beset the house of the lord mayor, and took from it a piece of ordnance (a drake), with which they proceeded to Leadenhall, and got possession of the magazine; they also broke open different houses to obtain arms and ammunition, and some houses were plundered. They next invited the mariners and watermen on the river to join them, their cry being

For God and King Charles!

In the night, Fairfax held a council of war, wherein it was determined to attack the insurgents with the only regiments that were then in London, rather than afford them more time to embody their strength; and

371

in the morning, these troops entering at Aldersgate, marched without opposition to Leadenhall, where they charged the rioters, who, firing their drake, wounded a captain and lieutenant, and killed a woman, but then fled. Several of the insurgents were put to the sword, and many wounded and taken prisoners. The other parties were dispersed without resistance, and

the city gates set open, and all quiet before

ten

o'clock.

This tumult had been fomented by the royalists; but effectually to destroy their hopes, the commons ordered the Tower to be garrisoned by foot, besides horse. The city chains and posts were also directed to be taken down; yet soon afterwards, on petition of the common council, they were again restored.

Many of the members of both houses of parliament, intimidated by this violence, retired from London, and sought protection from the army. Fairfax took advantage of this circumstance to advance towards London, under pretence of restoring the members to their seats. In this conjuncture, the want of unanimity was severely felt: at time, it was determined to defend the city against him, and, on the next moment, it was proposed to enter into terms' with him. In the mean time, Fairfax continued his march; and, on his arrival, the citizens withdrew their militia, and delivered up their fortifications without resistance. The lord mayor and aldermen met the general at Hyde-park, and congratulated him on his arrival; and he was saluted in the same manner by the common-council, who waited for him at Charing-cross. Thus the army became masters both of the city and of the parliament.

Soon after the arrival of the army, a loan of was demanded from the city, for their service; which not being complied with, the parliament passed a vote for demolishing the fortifications round London, , and .

A few days after, an ordinance of parliament was made for empowering the lord mayor and sheriffs of the city to pull down and destroy all the play-houses within their jurisdiction; and to cause all the actors and players thereunto belonging to be apprehended and punished as common rogues and vagabonds; and also every person frequenting such play-houses, to forfeit the sum of .

This year corn was so excessively dear, that wheat was sold at , , and the quarter; and other grain in proportion.

The contention between the army and the parliament greatly strengthened the king's interest; and, in the course of the year, risings of the people in his favour took place in different parts of the country. Several lesser tumults arose in London, and the city was greatly agitated by the rival parties, and the lengthened dispute about providing pay for the army. A treaty was once more

372

commenced with the king, and during the absence of Cromwell in Scotland, the Presbyterians again obtained predominance in parliament, and even charged Cromwell himself with high treason, though the exertions of his party prevented the charge being entered into. Shortly afterwards, the officers of the army presented their celebrated remonstrance to the parliament, and dispatched a party of horse to the Isle of Wight, to secure the person of the king, who had some time before privately withdrawn himself from . The commons, however, having voted in direct opposition to the army, the latter marched forward to London; and on the and , was quartered by Fairfax about and its neighbourhood.note

The general and his army marched to London, and took up their quarters in

Whitehall

, St. James's,

the Mews

, York-house, and other vacant houses, and in villages near the city.

On the following day, guards were placed in all the avenues of the Parliament-house, and a detachment, under Colonel Pride, attended at the door of the commons, and seized members, and refused admittance to about others: by which procedure, the house was reduced to about persons, many of them officers. This proceeding, which, Dugdale informs us, was called

Colonel Pride's purge,

threw the citizens into the greatest consternation, which was still increased by the discharge of the trained-bands; yet their apprehensions were somewhat quieted by the strict discipline maintained by Fairfax among his troops, who were restrained from plundering and violence, under pain of death. On the next day, Cromwell returned from Scotland; and

many more of the members of the house of commons were seized and secured.

On the , by order of the general and council of the army, regiments of foot, and several troops of horse were quartered in the city, and upwards of was seized in the treasuries of Weavers', Haberdashers', and Goldsmith's Halls, for payment of the arrears due to the army. The next day, more regiments were marched into the city; and, in answer to some propositions made by the common-council, Fairfax replied, that if all the arrears and assessments required for the support of the army, till the ensuing , were paid up within days,

the troops should withdraw; but that in the mean time their quartering in the city would facilitate the work.

The army having now determined to bring the king to trial, the commons, on the , passed an ordinance for that purpose; a special provision being inserted,

in case the king should refuse to plead to the charge against him.

On the , the

High Court of Justice,

assembled in the painted chamber, and the preliminary arrangements being completed, removed on the to Westminster-hall, which had been properly fitted up for the trial.

373

The king, who had been removed from Windsor-castle to St. James's, and thence to Sir Robert Cotton's house, was now placed at the bar; but refusing to acknowledge the legal jurisdiction of the court, during that and the following days, the court adjourned to the painted chamber, and proceeded to hear witnesses against him on the charge of

traiterously levying war against the people.

On the , the court resumed its sittings in Hall; and the king being again brought up, he was sentenced to be put to death, as a

tyrant, traitor, murderer, and public enemy, by the severing of his head from his body.

days afterwards, () this sentence was fully executed on a scaffold erected in the street before ; the king submitting to his sad fate with exemplary and truly Christian fortitude.

 
 
Footnotes:

[] Rush. Col. vol. iii. 1.

[] Rapin's Hist. vol. ii. p. 403. n. 3.

[] Ibid.

[] Rush. Col. vol. iv. p. 493.

[] Whit. Mem. p. 50.

[] Hist. Reb. vol.i. p. 2. p. 360.

[] Whit. Mem. p. 51. Clarendon says, that when it was known in what house they were together, Lord Digby offered to go into the city with a select company of gentlemen, whereof Sir Thomas Lunsford was one, to seize upon them, and bring them away alive, or leave them dead in the place: but the king liked not such enterprises.--Hist. Reb. vol. i. p. 360. In another place Clarendon says, it was very well known where the accused persons were, all together in one house in Coleman-street. --Hist. Reb. p. 363.

[] Clar. Reb. vol. i. p. 720.

[] Whit. Mem. p. 60.

[] Jour. Com. Coun. Mait. Lond. p. 237. edit. 1739.

[] Brayley's London, i, 353.

[] Clar. Reb. ii. 172.

[] Clar. Reb. ii. 249-260.

[] Rush. Col. iv. 1.

[] Ibid.

[] Clar. Reb. iii. 59.

[] Whit. Mem. p. 263.

[] Whit. Mem. p. 299.

[] Ibid. p. 300.

[] Ibid. p. 855.

[] Ibid. The foot were quartered in private houses, the horse in inns.

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 Title Page
 Dedication
 Preface
 Chapter I: History of London and its environs, from the earliest period of authentic record to the defeat of the Britons by Suetonius
Chapter II: Historical account of Roman London, with notices of remains discovered.
 Chapter III: History of London from the departure of the Romans till the time of the Conquest
 Chapter IV: History of London from the Conquest to the reign of Henry the Third
 Chapter V: History of London from the reign of Henry the Third to the reign of Edward the Second
 Chapter VI: History of London from the reign of Edward the Second to the reign of Richard the Second
 Chapter VII: History of London from the reign of Henry the Fourth to the reign of Edward the Fourth
 Chapter VIII: History of London from the reign of Edward the Fourth to the reign of Henry the Eighth
 Chapter IX: History of London during the reign of Henry the Eighth
 Chapter X: History of London from the reign of Edward the Sixth to the accession of Elizabeth
Chapter XI: History of London, during the reign of Elizabeth.
 Chapter XII: History of London during the reign of James the First
Chapter XIII: History of London during the Reign of Charles the First
 Chapter XIV: History of London during the Commonwealth and the reign of Charles the Second
 Chapter XV: History of London during the reign of James the Second