The History and Antiquities of London, Westminster, Southwark, and Parts Adjacent, vol. 1
History of London from the reign of Henry the Fourth to the reign of Edward the Fourth.
History of London from the reign of Henry the Fourth to the reign of Edward the Fourth.
In the year of Henry the , on the , being the day appointed for his coronation, the mayor and aldermen of the city, dressed in scarlet, and mounted upon stately horses, rode to the , where they received and attended the king to ; where the mayor, assisted by his brethren, the aldermen, officiated as chief butler of the kingdom; and Henry, to declare his affection to the citizens, caused all the blank charters that had been extorted from them in the late reign, to be burnt at the standard in .
By an Act of Parliament made in the of Edward the , the mayor, aldermen, and sheriffs of London, in default of good government in the city, were to be tried as delinquents by a foreign inquest, to be taken out of the counties of Kent, Essex, Sussex, Herts, Bucks, and Berks; and who, upon their being found guilty, for the default were to pay ; for the , ; and for the , the franchises of the city to be forfeited to the king: he also caused these several forfeitures to be repealed by parliament. As a further encouragement to them, it was by the same parliament enacted, that the merchants of London should have the same liberty of packing their cloths, as foreign merchants have within the city; and that all foreign fishermen in amity with the king, as well as domestic, shall have the privilege of retailing their fish in the city, either whole or in pieces, to all persons whatsoever, exclusive of fishmongers.
These favors were partly awarded in return for the ready assistance furnished to the king by the mayor and citizens, on the discovery of the conspiracy projected against him by the Dukes of Aumerle, Surrey, and Exeter, and others, friends of the deposed sovereign.
Towards the end of the year , the Grecian Emperor, John Emanuel Palaeologus, arrived in England, to solicit succour against the Turks. The king and principal nobility met him in great state at Blackheath, and conducted him to London, where he was received with great pomp by the corporate officers and citizens.
In , the parliament, through the influence of the clergy, and the policy of the king, who, having but a dubious title, felt the necessity of paying court to ecclesiastical power, passed the detestable Act for
a statute entirely aimed against the Lollards, or followers of the doctrines of
|Wickliff. The victim was William Sautree, who had been parish priest of St. Osyth, in Syth-lane, London; and was condemned by the ecclesiastical court, as soon as the Act was made. Being immediately delivered over to the secular arm, he was burnt alive, by virtue of the king's writ, directed to the mayor and sheriffs of London, and bearing date on .|
In the same year, the prison called the Tun, in , was converted into a cistern or conduit for Tyburn water; on side of which was erected a cage, with a pair of stocks over it, for the punishment of night walkers; together with a pillory, for punishing of cheating bakers and thievish millers.
The merchants of Genoa, upon their petitioning the parliament, had the privilege granted them of importing their merchandise into London, without paying to the city the duty called , provided they landed their goods at Southampton. And in the same year, we read, that the citizens petitioned against the liberty of le Grand, as a receptacle of murderers, thieves, bankrupts, &c. humbly praying that their privileges might be annulled. To which it was answered, that upon sight of their liberties, order should be taken therein by the king's council.
The year became memorable for a dreadful and destructive plague which raged in this city, and carried off of its inhabitants; whereby corn became so cheap, that wheat was sold at the quarter. But this affliction did not prevent the public diversions; for we read, that the company of parish clerks of this city acted, with great applause, for days successively, at Skinners-well, near Clerkenwell, a play, concerning the creation of the world, at which were present most of the nobility and gentry of the kingdom; who from thence went to Smithfield, where solemn justs were holden between the marshall of Henault, and divers of his countrymen, challengers, and the Earl of Somerset, and the like number of English gentlemen, defendants; in which engagement the last gained abundance of honour, being all victors, save . of each side, after a long and sharp engagement, were parted by the king, without a decision in favour of either party. However, Henry was so well satisfied of the gallantry of those foreign gentlemen, that he not only entertained them in a sumptuous manner, but likewise made them divers presents of great value; whilst he rewarded his own subjects' bravery with the honour of knighthood; which, on such occasions, was more acceptable to the magnanimous, than loads of treasure.
The princes Thomas and John, of the king's sons, being at an entertainment in , a difference happened between their servants and some belonging to the court; which at last got to such a head, that the mayor, sheriffs, and other citizens, found
|it necessary to repair thither to appease the tumult; and it may be presumed, that, during the confusion, some indignity was offered to the said princes, because the king appointed commissioners to enquire into their conduct in that affair. When the mayor, aldermen, and sheriffs, in obedience to a summons, attended the said commissioners, they were advised by the chief justice Gascoyne to submit themselves, in behalf of the citizens, to the king's mercy; but being conscious of no guilt, they strenuously asserted their innocence, by alleging they had done no more than their duty, by exerting themselves to the utmost of their power to preserve peace. With which answer the king being fully satisfied, they joyfully returned to the city. The king granted to his son, the Prince of Wales, by a writ of privy seal, a magnificent building in , in the ward of Dowgate, called Cold Herbergh, (that is, Cold Inn,) probably so denominated from its vicinity to the river. The place where this stately fabric anciently stood, is at present called Cold Harbour-lane in .|
In the month of March, John Bradby, alias Badby, a taylor, a follower of Wickliffe's doctrine, was convicted before Thomas, Archbishop of Canterbury, of heresy (so called at that time) which he resolutely persisting in, was carried to Smithfield, and there in a pipe or cask burnt to ashes: at whose execution was present Henry, Prince of Wales, who, sincerely compassionating the sufferings of this pious man, was very desirous of saving him; and, to that end, offered him a pardon if he would recant before the fire was kindled; which he refusing, he was then tied to the stake, and fire put to his funeral pile; the flames whereof soon reaching him, occasioned his making a most lamentable outcry: with which the prince was so greatly affected, that he immediately commanded him to be taken out of the fire, and earnestly exhorted him to renounce his errors, and he should be saved; and in regard the fire had made him impotent, Henry graciously promised to allow him a pension of per day, (a very handsome allowance at that time) during life. But this generous offer of the prince's being rejected by the resolute martyr, he was reconducted to the flames, and with an admirable constancy, sealed the doctrine he had so resolutely defended with his blood.
On the , within the space of hours, tides of flood happened in the river Thames; the like of which had never been seen before.
Henry the died in the Jerusalem Chamber at , on the , and was succeeded by Henry, his eldest son, the renowned hero of Agincourt; soon after whose accession, several persons were arrested by the Mayor of London,
| and |
on suspicion of being concerned in a projected rising of the Lollards, the main object of which was to overthrow the ill-used power of the clergy.
Several others were afterwards executed in different parts of the town.
In , as Nicholas Wotton was riding to to qualify himself for the office of mayor, he received from of the king's messengers a letter, acquainting him of the great victory obtained by the king at Agincourt, in France; and returning from , accompanied by the Bishop of Winchester, Lord High Chancellor, &c. they repaired to , where Te Deum was sung with great solemnity; and on the day following, a very pompous and solemn procession was performed by the queen, nobility, clergy, mayor, aldermen, and the several corporations of the city, with the utmost devotion, from to , on foot; where the illustrious company made a great oblation at the shrine of St. Edward, and returned in triumph.
The king soon after returning from France, with great numbers of the French nobility, his prisoners, was met on Blackheath by the mayor, aldermen, and sheriffs of London, in scarlet robes, attended by of the principal citizens mounted on stately horses, richly accoutred; and at St. Thomas a Watering, he was met by a solemn and pompous procession of the London clergy, with rich crosses, magnificent copes, and massy censers; and the city, on this joyful occasion, was embellished in a very sumptuous manner with rich tapestry, containing the glorious actions of his majesty's predecessors, with a beautiful variety of stately pageants, in some of which sat very amiable children,
|dressed in imitation of angels, chanting praises to the Eternal King; to whom Henry justly and humbly ascribed all the honor and glory of the late great victory. During this magnificent cavalcade, the city conduits ran with divers sorts of wine, for the entertainment of the populace; and, the day following, the mayor, aldermen, and citizens presented the king at with in gold, in rich basins of the same metal and value. The citizens also, for the honor of their king and country, received the Emperor Sigismund in the like magnificent manner, who came to England out of a pious design to make peace between England and France. He was met on the road to London, on the , at Blackheath, by the mayor, aldermen, and many of the principal citizens on horseback, gorgeously apparelled; who, conducting him to London, were met upon the road at St. Thomas a Watering, (Fabian says at Saint George's, ) by the king and principal nobility; whence they brought him to the city, where he was received in a very pompous and stately manner.|
This year, Sir Henry Barton, the mayor, ordered lanthorns to be hung out for illuminating the streets by night, for the convenience and safety of the citizens; and wheat was sold at the quarter.
On the last day of , Henry the expired in France, in the flower of his age; from whence his corpse was brought through London (with a funeral pomp suitable to the honor he enjoyed while living) on an open chariot, drawn by fine horses, sumptuously accoutred. On the upper part of the chariot lay an effigy, representing his person in royal robes, with an imperial crown of gold, beset with jewels of an inestimable value on its head, with a sceptre in the right hand, and a globe in the left. The coverlet of the bed whereon this figure lay was a silken brocade, and the canopy over it of an immense richness, supported by divers of the principal nobility. This stately funeral was accompanied by James, King of Scotland, as chief mourner, attended by the princes of the blood, all the nobility, and most of the principal gentry of the kingdom, to ; where the obsequies being performed with the greatest solemnity, the procession set out for , where the royal corpse was deposited among his ancestors.
On the of the following November, the infant son of the deceased monarch was carried in great state from the Tower through the streets of the city on his mother's lap, in an open chair, to the parliament then sitting at , who recognised his right to the throne, by the title of Henry the .
The prosperity, both to the city and to the realm, which the infant years of the king appeared to indicate, under the able
|government of his uncles, the Dukes of Bedford and Gloucester, was woefully destroyed by the turbulent ambition of Henry's great uncle, the imperious Bishop of Winchester, afterwards Cardinal Beaufort.|
The Protector having received intelligence of the bishop's design to surprise the city of London in the night of the lord mayor's day, when the citizens were engaged in banqueting and rejoicing in honor of their new magistrate, he sent to the mayor, and strictly enjoined him, for the safety of the city, immediately to raise a body of citizens, as would be sufficient to baffle all the attempts that should be made against them.
This information soon appeared to be well grounded; for the next morning, a great number of the bishop's faction endeavoured to enter the city from , by the bridge; and being denied admittance, were so highly enraged, that they assembled a great number of archers and men at arms, in order to force their way. The citizens immediately shut up their shops, and arming with the greatest expedition, ran to the bridge to oppose the assailants, and would have sallied out upon their enemies, had they not been prevented by the prudent conduct of John Coventry, the mayor, and his brethren the aldermen; which happily prevented the effusion of much blood.
The Prince of Portugal being at this time on his travels in England, he, with the Archbishop of Canterbury, generously undertook to compose the difference between the protector and bishop; but their endeavours proving unsuccessful, the Duke of Bedford, regent of France, and brother to the protector, for the good of the public, judged it necessary to come over to accommodate the affair in controversy. At his landing, he was met by a great number of the nobility, and at Merton, by the mayor, aldermen, and many of the principal citizens of London, on horseback, who conducted him to and through the city in great state to ; where, the day after, the mayor and citizens presented him with in gold, in gilt silver basins. However, they met with a very cold reception; for their inveterate enemy, the Bishop of Winchester, had prepossessed the Duke with false notions of the citizens.
The king being crowned at Paris, on his return from France was, on the , met on Blackheath by the mayor of London, dressed in crimson velvet, with a large furred velvet hat, a girdle of gold about his middle, and a bawdrick of gold about his neck, waving down his back. He was followed by horsemen on stately horses, clothed in scarlet, bespangled with silver, and attended by the aldermen in scarlet gowns, with sanguine hoods, and the the whole well mounted on horseback, sumptuously accoutred,
| whence they preceded his majesty to London-bridge, with a display of much pageantry and show. The poet Lydgate has described this entry at some length:--
In the year , a great frost began on the , and continued till the following; the river Thames was so strongly frozen, that merchandize and provisions brought into the mouth of the river were unladen, and brought by land to the city.
By the great rains that fell in the preceding autumn, corn was so greatly damaged, that a very great dearth ensued, wherein wheat was sold at the excessive rate of and eightpence per quarter.
In , many of the Burgundians, Hollanders, and Flemings, resident in London, were barbarously murdered by the citizens, in revenge for the perfidy of the Duke of Burgundy, who had broken his alliance with England, and joined his forces to those of France. In the following year, the troops furnished by the city, and
were of great use in compelling the Duke of Burgundy to raise the siege of Calais.
A. D. , Sir William Eastfield, knight of the Bath, and mayor of this city, at his own cost, brought water from Tyburn and Highbury Barn to London; to various conduits which he caused to be erected in , , and at Cripplegate, for the convenience of his fellow-citizens.
On the , as an officer was leading a prisoner from Newgate to , in order to take his trial, of his companions rushed out of Pannier-alley in , wrested him from his keeper, and carried him into the college of St. Martin le Grand, where they all took sanctuary. But Philip Malpas and Robert Marshal, the sheriffs of London, were no sooner acquainted with the violence offered to their officer, and the rescue of the prisoner, than they, at the head of a great number of citizens, repaired to the said college, and forcibly took from thence the criminal and his rescuers, whom they carried in fetters to the Compter, and thence chained, by the necks, to Newgate.
The dean and chapter, in a great rage, went and complained of this breach of privilege to the king, remonstrating, that their sacred immunities were trampled upon; wherefore they earnestly entreated Henry, as their patron, to maintain them in their ancient rights and privileges, as his royal predecessors had hitherto done.
In answer to this, the mayor and citizens undertook to prove, that the collegiate church of St. Martin had no peculiar privilege more than any other church in the city. However, after long debates on that head, the king, by the advice of his council, commanded the sheriffs to bring the prisoners before him in his court of chancery, on the vigil of All Hallows, together with the reasons of their being apprehended and detained.
In obedience to this command, the sheriffs, accompanied by the recorder [and city council, appeared at the time and place prefixed, and delivered up the delinquents; whom the chancellor, by command of the king-, remanded back to St. Martin le Grand, there to remain in sanctuary during pleasure.
In , in a general dearth which raged throughout England, and obliged the poor, in many parts, to make bread of fern-roots, and ivy-berries, the wants of the city were greatly mitigated by the praise-worthy conduct of Stephen Brown, the mayor, who had several ships'-loads of rye brought from Prussia to supply the inhabitants. On the , in the same year, great damage was done in London by a terrible storm of wind, which unroofed many churches and houses, and blew down nearly
A splendid specimen of the charity of the citizens occurs in the same year, when Philip Malpas, of the sheriffs abovementioned, gave by his last will and testament to the relief of poor prisoners, and every year, for years, shirts and shifts, pair of sheets, and an gowns of frize to the poor: to poor people in London each; to poor maids in marriage ; to highways ; a year for a graduate to preach; to preachers at the Spital, on the Easter holidays. In which charities he was imitated by Robert Large, mayor, in the same year; who gave to his parish church of St. Olave in Surrey: to , ; to the poor, and to the bridge; towards the vaulting over the water-course of Wallbrook; to poor maids in marriage ; to poor householders , &c.
In the same year, Richard Wick, vicar of Hermetsworth, in Essex, was burnt on for religion; and, being by the people reputed a pious and holy man, the vicar of Barking church, a fraudulent and covetous priest, in that neighbourhood, embraced this opportunity to impose upon the credulous multitude, by mixing ashes with the powder of odoriferous spices, which he secretly strewed on the place where the vicar was burnt, and industriously published the pretended miracle of the fragrancy of the ashes: which was no sooner known, than it produced the desired effect: for the people, in great numbers, from all parts, hurried to the place of execution; where finding the ashes answerable to the report, they begun in a
|tumultuous manner to arraign the justice of the judges for condemning that holy man: and, by the address and dextrous management of the crafty vicar, the people were inadvertently drawn into idolatry; for great numbers resorted thither, and not only invoked him as a God, but likewise at his shrine profusely offered considerable sums of money, statues of wax, &c.; in return for which, they were by the roguish priest supplied with odoriferous ashes, as sacred relics; which he carefully reinstated before the next morning. This practice continued about a week, when, by an order of the government, it was suppressed by the mayor and aldermen; who, apprehending the vicar, and many of those he had gulled, committed them to prison: whereby the imposture was detected and punished, and an end put to the fraud; and the whole scene of villany laid open, by the confession of the said vicar, the iniquitous contriver.|
In , Eleanor Cobham, Duchess of Glocester, was accused, through the base arts of Cardinal Beaufort, in order the more effectually to destroy the credit of the duke her husband,
She was indicted, says Stow, in
as accessary to the charge of
in conjunction with
and Thomas Southwell, a canon of , . Bolinbroke, most probably influenced by the hope of pardon, is stated to have confessed the charge of necromancy, and to have accused the duchess of employing him to
This confession, however, availed not; and on the eighteenth of November he was hanged and quartered at Tyburn; after having abjured all
On that occasion he was
and with him were exhibited
The unfortunate duchess, whose guilt seems to have been confined to making, in the weakness of affection, for her own husband, was condemned to do public penance, and to be imprisoned for life. The penance was performed in the following manner:
In , many persons were killed and wounded in a sudden and dangerous tumult that arose in , between the students of the Inns of Court, and the neighboring inhabitants: and in the next year, such great disturbances were excited through the clamours of various unqualified persons in the choice of a mayor, that the king was obliged to interfere to quell them, by an injunctive letter.
On Candlemas-eve, , in a dreadful storm of thunder and lightning, the steeple of was set on fire, and partly destroyed. In the same year, the new queen, Margaret, was conducted in great pomp through the city of London,
This woman, says Stow,
In , the bloody tragedy which had been commenced by the imprisonment of the Duchess Eleanor, and the deaths of her associates, was consummated by the murder of the Duke of Gloucester, who had been arrested at St. Edmundsbury by the partizans of the queen and cardinal, and
To give a colour to the falsehood of the accusations of treason that had been made against him, a number of his domestics were also accused, and of them being condemned to die,
The king made the queen a present of per annum, out of the profits arising from the , or , in .
Gross ignorance and want of learning had so far prevailed, that at this time, the ancient schools of public foundation were quite neglected and gone to decay. Wherefore, for the restoring of learning, clergymen, the parsons of parishes in the city, petitioned the parliament sitting in the year of this
|king's reign, that they and their successors might be allowed to set up schools in their respective churches, and appoint school-masters in them; viz. in Great Alhallows, St. Andrew's, , in , and St. Mary Colechurch.|
The petition is now among the records in the Tower, and ran in these words:--
The Duke of York taking advantage of the death of the Duke of Suffolk, the king's incapacity to govern, and the mal-administration of the queen, judged it a proper time for him to put in his claim for the crown. To which end he began to sound the inclinations of the people; and for the carrying on his design with the greater security, he pitched upon Jack Cade, an Irishman, who much resembled John Mortimer, a prince of the blood of the family of March, who was beheaded in the beginning of this reign. Under this fictitious name, Cade went into Kent, (where the duke had many friends); and, under the specious pretence of reforming abuses in the government, and rescuing the people from the great grievances and hardships they laboured under, he soon prevailed upon the populace to join him, for the attaining so salutary an end. And having faithfully promised to free them from all taxes and impositions, his army soon increased to such a degree, that he found himself in a condition to march towards London. Being arrived at Blackheath, he encamped there for near the space of a month, frequently sending out parties to prey upon those that would not join him. At this time, there seems to have been a good understanding between Cade and some of the citizens; for he often sent letters of safe conduct to Thomas Cock, a draper, to repair to him for the transacting of certain affairs; and in some of which he strictly enjoined the said Cock to charge all the Genoa, Venetian and Florence merchants, to send him horses, arms, and in money; threatening, in case of
|refusal, to destroy as many of the said merchants as should fall into his hands. This demand was undoubtedly complied with; for, upon Cade's arrival at and during his stay in the city, I cannot learn that he offered the least violence or indignity to any of the said merchants.|
The king assembled an army of men, with whom he marched, in order to fight the rebels. But Cade, receiving intelligence of his approach, retreated (as if afraid) into a wood in the neighbourhood of Oaks, where he formed an ambuscade, expecting the king's army would be emboldened at his retreat, and pursue him in disorder. This stratagem had the desired effect; for the king in reality believed, that the rebels fled for fear of his army, and would soon dissolve, and return to their respective homes. Wherefore he returned to London, contenting himself with sending a detachment against them, under the conduct of Sir Humphry Stafford, with orders, that whatever part of the rebels he should light of, to disperse them. But Stafford, falling into their ambuscade, had the misfortune to lose his life, together with those of his best officers; and his army was cut to pieces.
The rebel, with recruited strength, again advanced to Blackheath, and
Henry, with his queen and council, now retired to Kenilworth Castle in much alarm, leaving the Tower under the command of the Lord Scales. On the , Cade marched into , his near approach causing a strong commotion in the city; and quartering his forces in the neighbourhood, took up his own lodgings at the White Hart. About this period, a requisition for
was ordered by Cade to be demanded
On the ,
The insurgents being thus dispersed, Henry returned to , and issuing a proclamation against Cade, charged him with divers crimes, and offered a for his apprehension, either
Shortly after, Cade was discovered in a garden at Hothfield, in Kent, by Alexander Eden, the sheriff of that county, by whom he was slain in fight, on refusing to surrender. His head was afterwards set up on a pole on London-bridge.
The king, informed of this success, marched his army through the city on the following. On which occasion, the gallant citizens were under arms, ranged on each side the streets through which the royal army passed. And though Henry had not been able to prevent the rebels' entry into London, he was now resolved to bring their ringleaders to punishment; so continuing his march to Kent, attended by the judges, he caused
|(after a legal conviction) and of the principal to be executed. But in his return to London, being met on Blackheath by a multitude of Kentish yeomanry in their shirts, who, with pitiful cries and tears humbly implored mercy, he was graciously pleased to pardon them all. And the citizens, as a further proof of their sincere joy, had erected upon poles upon the bridge the heads of of the chief rebels, among which was that of Jack Cade, their leader; to congratulate him at his entrance into London.|
Godfrey Bullein, Lord Mayor of London in , left, by his will, a to the poor householders in this city, besides to the poor householders in Norfolk, and very handsome legacies to the prisons, hospitals, and lazarhouses.
In the next year, Godfrey Fielding, mayor of this city, was so highly in favor with the king, that he appointed him of his privy-counsellors.
We find, in the year , a bull from Pope Nicholas, to confirm the offerings to be paid by the parishioners of every parish in London, at the rate of farthing for every house, shop, or tenement; and to command the mayor, sheriffs, aldermen, citizens, and inhabitants, to pay the curates of their respective parishes, and to oblige every to do the same, as much as in their power, under pain of the greater excommunication to be incurred; in conformity to a constitution made by Roger, Bishop of London, confirmed and approved by Thomas, Archbishop of Canterbury, and enjoined by a bull from his predecessor, Pope Innocent the . By which said bull, it was further ordained, that heirs should be accountable for what should be left unpaid of those offerings, at the death of any of the said parishioners; and that the ordinaries of the said churches might proceed for the recovery of the said offerings in a summary manner, without citation, and to excommunicate, and otherwise to punish all those who should do any thing contrary to the said bull; which Arnold rehearses at large.
In consequence of this bull, it appears that the clergy in London insisted rigorously on the offerings therein allowed to them by the pope; and the laity, not being able to withstand the power by which they acted, proposed an arbitration and composition for the same, which was concluded and signed on the .
In , John Norman, being chosen mayor for the year ensuing, changed the custom of riding to (to qualify himself for that office), to that of going by water; to which end, he caused to be built a stately barge at his own expense, and on the usual anniversary, was rowed thither, attended by the several
| companies of the city, who had imitated their chief magistrate's example. The alteration was of such advantage to the watermen, that they made a song in praise of the said mayor, beginning with |
In , the battle between the partizans of the rival houses of York and Lancaster was fought at St. Albans; where, after a dreadful slaughter of the king's friends, the royal army was routed, and Henry himself made prisoner by the duke, who, with the Earls of Warwick and Salisbury, carried the king to London,
Soon afterwards, the Duke of York was appointed, by the Parliament which assembled at in July, Protector of the realm; the Earl of Warwick was made Captain of Calais, &c. and the Earl of Salisbury was chosen Chancellor of England. These nominations were set aside early in the following year, by the returning influence of the Queen and her party.
The queen, suspecting this riot might have been fomented by the adherents of the Duke of York, from thence took occasion to convey the king from London to Coventry, under the specious pretext of
In the of Henry VI. new schools were set up in the following churches in London, by the care of the Archbishop of Canterbury and Bishop of London, confirmed by the king's letters patent; viz. within the church-yard of , a at the collegiate church of le Grand, another at St. Mary de Arcubus (that is, Bow Church in ), another at St. Dunstan's in the East, and the at the hospital of St. Anthony.
This was done to suppress other smaller schools set up by
|illiterate men, who did the youth more harm than good, as is hinted in the said letters patent.|
About the end of the year , there were taken in the river Thames at Erith, whales, a sword-fish, and called , which, by the superstitious, were regarded as prognostics of future troubles.
The prisoners in Newgate having broke out of their several wards, got upon the leads, where they defended themselves with great obstinacy against the sheriffs and their officers, insomuch that these were obliged to call the citizens to their assistance, before they could be reduced to their former state.
The contests between the clergy and laity, which arose in London by the power given to the curates of this city to levy certain offerings or rates, as above, in the year , were now finally adjusted after this manner, according to Arnold: The Composition of all Offryng within the City of London, and Suburbs of the same.
, that every person, dweller and inhabytant in ony houses in London, or Suburbys of the same, hyred and occupied as for the ful rente and pensyon of xs. yerly, shal offer to God, and to the chyrche in whose parysshe such place standeth, ferthyng every day in the festis that folowynge: that is to say, in every Sonday in the yere, Christmasse-Day, Circumcision, Epyphanie, Puryficacyon of our Lady, the assencion of our Lorde, Corpus Christi, Saynt Mathewe, Apostle Symon and Jude, Alhalowen, Andrew Apostle, Concepcion of our Lady, Thomas Apostle, John Baptist, Peter and Pawle, James Apostle, Bartylmew Apostle, Assumpcion and Nativity of our Lady, Dedicacion-Day, whiche from the daye forward shall be through all London, and for the parish-chyrches in London that be hallowed the iii day of Octobre: also day of the principal festes of the patron of every chirch through London, and the Suburbs of the same, yerely, without contradiction. And, if such inhabited houses be letten for xxs. halfpenny; and if for xxxs. farthings; for xls. for penny farthing; and so every assendyng and dyssending by xs. into what somm that everi it be, shall alwai offer a farthing after the rate of xs. in the feasts abovesaid. And, yf such dwellyngs, occupied and inhabyted houses, be not letten, but peradvente the owner that dwelle therein, or frely let, or otherwise occupyd, as for a dwellyng, that then the offering shall be as it was leten before, or else after a common value: and dowte thereof the rente to be exemptyd by the chirch-wardeins for the tyme beyng. And, yf a man dwell and inhabite dyvers places and houses within the sayd cyte, in or divers paryshes,
|he then shal, after the rate and dayes aforesaid, offer every house to the chirch in whoes paryshe they stonde. Provided always, that when of the festes aforesayd falle upon day, than the offering shal be for day. Item, Where ony dwelled in the sayd cyte, inhabyted or occupyd a dwellyng-place an howse under the prys, rent or pensyon of vis. viiid. that than he shal be bounde to offer iiii dayes in the yere, in the iiii princypall fetsys of the chirch there as he is parishen of. And, yf such pensyon or rente extend to the ful some of vis. viiid. or above, and not fully to the some of xs. that than them habytant for every S. shal pay to the chyrch i.d. onys in the yere. Provyded always, that, yf the sayd dweller corn before his curat, and say upon his fayth and trouthe, that he may not pay his sayd money, accordyng to the ordinance aforesayd, be nether xs. that the sayd curat shal holden hym content with such as he wyll gyve hym, aught or naught, and the dweller thereupon shal be quyte. Also, and the pensyon of rent of such inhabytant houses extend above the some of xs. and not fully to the some of xxxs. and so to ony some beyng betwene x and x, than the inhabytant shall pay onys a yere to the curat for every shelyngie of the sayd some, beyng betwenex and x, id. . yerely. Item, where as a dwellyngis house is hyred of great, and after leten out by partyes to sondry folkis, that than the hyrer in grete, yf that he dwell in the principal parte of the same house, shal offer to God and to the chirch in the days aforsayd, for the rent of all the holy rent, yf the sayd house be inhabyted and occupyed as dwellyng places and ellis, after the rule that followeth: and yf the sayd hyrer in grete dwelle not in ony parte thereof, but lete it out agayne, that than he that dwelleth in the pryncypal parte shall offer all, and the remenant iiiid. by yere. Item, Altho' in the sayd cyte, or suburbs, or that occupied houses not inhabyted as shoppys, celars, shadys, warehouses, stables, wharfes, kranes, tymbre-hawes, teynter-places for fullers, or other places, gardens, shal onys in the yere, for every pounde that they be leten for, yf they be hyred, or after a common value, yf they be not hyred, gyve unto the curat of the chirche there, as such houses ben, vid. without any other offryngis for the sayd houses, assendyngis and dessendyngis after the rate of of the pounde, and for xs. iiid. and so after the rate assendyngis and dessendyngis, without more charge of offerynge for it. Item, that all apprenticyes, servaunts, and hyred men within the sayd citie, not charged with such rent and housyngys, whyche shal be houselder at Ester, or about Ester, shall iiii tymes in the yere, at iiii pryncypal festys, offer to God, and to the chirche. Also, as for personal tythes, the parysshens by this ordinance shal neyther be charged nor discharged; savyng that herafter shal no curat vex, trouble, sue, ordayne sacramentis or service for no payment of the same, but leve them to good devocyon and con|
|science of the paryshens. Item, all offryng is undone before this day, or any other attempted contrary, besyde, or against thys present wrytyng, by ony person or persons, shall stonde quyte and not be remembered as unto ony sute or stryf; but all such things before thys day done shal clere be remet and forgiven on boothe pertyes.|
Be it in mynde, that thys bonde and arbitrement is made the xvii day of Decembre, the yere of the incarnacyon of our Lord by master Laurence Bothe, master William Radclyf, master Lucas Lancock, master John Aleyn, master John Lyleford, Geffrey Feldyng, William Taylour, master Robert Kent, arbytrators chosen upon the premise, as in the tenor of the compremysse thereupon openly made it may appere.
The King and Queen, together with the Dukes of York, Exeter and Somerset, the Earls of Warwick, Northumberland and Salisbury, and several Lords being arrived in the city, and the smallest of their retinues consisting of men, as their respective guards; Godfrey Buloine, the mayor, for the better securing the peace of the city during the stay of these potent guests, caused citizens completely armed to mount guard daily under his own command, and by night, under the command of aldermen. By this wise precaution peace was preserved in all parts of the city, during the stay of those personages and their respective troops.
About the same time happened a great tumult in , between the students of the inns of court and the neighboring inhabitants; wherein was killed the queen's attorney: the consequence was, the principals of Furnival's, Clifford's, and Barnard's inns were committed prisoners to the castle of Hertford; and William Taylor, alderman of Farringdon ward without, and others, were committed to the castle of Windsor. At the same time, all the Genoese merchants in this city were by the king's special command committed close prisoners to the Fleet, by way of reprisal for the capture of an English ship in the Levant, by a ship of war of that nation: and, to make good all damages sustained by the master and owners of the said ship, the said merchants were amerced in the sum of .
Henry VI. receiving advice at Coventry of the landing of the Earls of March, Warwick, Salisbury, &c. at Sandwich in Kent, from Calais, immediately commanded the Lord Stales to march with a considerable body of troops and possess himself of the city of London, as the most important place of the kingdom; which, if he could secure it, would of itself be sufficient to baffle all the efforts of the rebels. Lord Scales, accompanied by the Earl of Kendal and Baron Lovell, set out immediately for the city; where being arrived, he in the king's name demanded admission,
|assuring the mayor and citizens, that his master, out of his great love to them, had sent him to protect the city from being pillaged by a great body of rebellious traitors, that were now almost at their gates. The mayor, who secretly favoured the designs of the above-named lords, answered, that he wanted no help, either to defend or govern the city; and therefore would not permit an armed power to come within his jurisdiction. This resolute answer highly enraged Lord Scales, who perceived the disloyalty of the citizens, and plainly foresaw, that they intended to admit the malcontents at their arrival. For the preventing of which, he possessed himself of the , and threatened, that in case they admitted the rebels, he would batter and lay the city in ashes. However, it appears that those menaces had but little weight with the citizens; for upon the arrival of the Earl of March with his army, they immediately opened their gates, and received him with the greatest demonstrations of joy.|
This mighty point gained, of having the city declare for him, March set out with an army of men in search of the king; having left the Earl of Salisbury with a considerable power, to defend the city against the attempt of the Lord Scales in the Tower, who incessantly from thence plied the city with his ordnance, and beat down and destroyed a number of houses, with their inhabitants. Wherefore Salisbury blocked up that fortress on all sides; and, by erecting a battery on the opposite bank of the Thames, he reduced the garrison to such straits, that Scales was soon obliged to desist from firing upon the city.
Soon afterwards, the garrison,
but the Lord Scales attempting to escape by water, to take sanctuary at , was
On the , the confederate lords came to London with their royal captive, whom they caused to summon a parliament to meet on the . This delay was wanting to give time for the arrival of the Duke of York, who was then in Ireland, and who did not reach London till days
| after the parliament had opened. The duke rode immediately to , and alighting from his horse, went into the painted chamber, where the lords were sitting, and |
But the silence of the peers convincing him that his intentions were not generally approved, he withdrew in chagrin to his own house; and within a short time prepared a
This was immediately taken into consideration; yet, after a debate of several days, it was determined that Henry should continue to enjoy the throne during his life; but that the duke should be declared the
These, with other resolutions, were subsequently passed into an Act; and on the
the king, wearing the crown upon his head, went in procession with the Duke of York and parliament to . On the Saturday following, the duke was solemnly proclaimed
by sound of trumpet, throughout the city.
When the queen was informed of the compromise between her husband and the duke, which at once excluded herself from power, and her son from the succession, she was incensed to vengeance, and immediately began to raise an army in the north, for the purpose of releasing the king, and overwhelming her enemies. Her efforts were successful; in the dreadful battle of Wakefield, the Duke of York, who had imprudently engaged the queen's forces with far inferior numbers, was defeated and slain; and his head having been encircled with a paper diadem in derision of his claims, was fixed upon of the gates of York city. The queen next advanced towards London, and having worsted the Earl of Warwick at the battle of St. Albans, released the king from captivity, and prepared for her entry into the metropolis.
The citizens had in general supported the cause of the Yorkists, and were now under dreadful apprehensions of being plundered by the queen's troops, to whom a promise of all the spoil south of the river Trent is said to have been given, and who had already committed great ravages in the town and neighbourhood of St. Albans.
Stow, speaking of the event of the battle, says,
To appease the expected resentment of the queen at these transactions, the mayor, and more eminent inhabitants, sent a deputation to Barnet, where the king's council was assembled; and engagements were made, that the queen's army should be admitted into the city as soon as the common people were quieted. The queen, therefore, contented herself with detaching
intending speedily to follow with her whole army. But all her measures were disconcerted by intelligence that the Earl of March, son to the late Duke of York, (who had been engaged in levying forces in Wales at the period of his father's death,) had in conjunction with the Earl of Warwick, totally defeated the Earls of Pembroke and Ormond, at the battle of Mortimer's Cross, and was now rapidly marching towards the metropolis. The queen knowing she could place very little dependence on the Londoners, judged it prudent to retire into the north; and the Earl of March immediately hastened with his troops to the capital, where he was received with every demonstration of joy.
Within a day or afterwards, on the , anno ,) the earl's army was mustered in fields, Clerkenwell, amidst considerable numbers of people, when the Lord Fauconbridge seizing the opportunity, read aloud the agreement which had been made between the King and the Duke of York, and appealing to the multitude, told them, that Henry had notoriously violated his contract, and asked whether he
The people cried,
and he then enquired whether, agreeably to the settlement ratified by the parliament,
and this expression of the popular voice being admitted to be legitimate in a great council of prelates, nobility, gentry, and magistrates, held on the ensuing day at Baynard's castle, the Earl of March was
conducted in great state to and thence to Hall, where
an appeal was then made to the people, who, with loud acclamations, declared, that they accepted him for their sovereign. He was then conducted with great solemnity to the Bishop of London's palace, where Henry used to lodge when within the walls of the city; and on the day
|following was proclaimed king in London and the neighboring places, the title of Edward the .|
 Stow's Ann.
 Stat. Larg. 27 Edw. III.
 Rym. Foed. Vol. VIII. p. 178.
 Stow's Survey Lond.
 Maitland, i, 185.
 Stow's Ann. Engl. p. 551.
 Fab. Chron. pt. 7, p. 358.
 Stow's Survey of London.
 Chron. Preci.
 Ibid. p. 624.
 Stow's Ann. p. 634.
 Ibid. p. 631.
 Stow's Ann. Engl.
 Arnold's Chron.
 Fab. Chron. p. 7.
 Maitland, i 197.
 N. B. At this time there were 118 parish-churches in London and its suburbs.
 Fab. Chron. part 7. page 417.
 Maitland i. 199.
 Stow's Ann. p. 669.
 Ibid. p. 670.
 Cot. Rec. p. 665.
 Cott. Rec. p. 665.
 Stow's Ann. p. 678-.9
 Hall's Chron.
 Brayley's London, i. 217.