History of London during the reign of Henry the Eighth.
Upon the demise of Henry VII. on the , his son Henry was proclaimed king in London on the , with the usual solemnities; and, days after, all foreign beggars were banished the city, and compelled to repair to their several parishes.
His majesty, to rivet the affections of the city of London, and of all his subjects, the more securely towards him, committed Sir Richard Empson, knight, and Edward Dudley, Esq. sergeant at law, to the Tower. These were employed by King Henry VII. to raise money, upon penal laws, for filling his coffers, which they did very rigorously in a commission of forfeitures; for which they were now both condemned and attainted by parliament, and, upon the , beheaded on Towerhill. Divers of their inferior agents, called promoters, were set on the pillory in , with papers on their heads, and forced to ride through the city with their faces towards the horses' tails.
Henry's marriage with Catherine, his deceased brother's widow, to whom he had been contracted during the life-time of his father, (a dispensation having been procured from the pope,) was solemnized at Greenwich, in ; and on the of the same month, their majesties were crowned at , with extraordinary pomp. On this occasion, the king and queen, in a magnificent procession, rode from the Tower to . The city was gorgeously embellished with rich silks and tapestry, and part of , and , in , with golden brocades; and the lord-mayor, aldermen, and sheriffs, together with the city companies in their formalities, attended and adorned this pompous shew, whilst the populace incessantly proclaimed their joy. During this whole reign, indeed, the citizens indulged in all the splendid pageantry and profusely expensive spectacles, which were patronised by the court, and became a characteristic feature of the taste of the age.
Henry, in the habit and arms of the yeomen of his guard, came into the city on eve, A. D. , to see the pompous march of the city watch: wherewith he was so highly delighted, that, on the night after, accompanied by his royal
|consort, and attended by the principal nobility, he returned to the city, and in stood and saw the stately march of the aforesaid watch; which was performed every St. John Baptist's vigil, and on the vigil of St. Peter and Paul, according to ancient custom, in the following magnificent manner:|
The march was begun by the city music, followed by the lord mayor's officers in party-coloured liveries; then the sword-bearer on horseback, in beautiful armour, preceded the lord mayor, mounted on a stately horse richly trapped, attended by a giant, and pages on horseback; pageants, morrice-dancers, and footmen; next came the sheriffs, preceded by their officers, and attended by their giants, pages, pageants, and morrice-dancers. Then marched a great body of demi-lancers, in bright armour, on stately horses; next followed a body of carabineers, in white fustian coats, with a symbol of the city arms on their backs and breasts; then marched a division of archers, with their bows bent, and shafts of arrows by their side; next followed a party of pikemen in their corslets and helmets; after whom marched a body of halberdeers in corslets and helmets; and the march was closed by a great party of billmen with helmets and aprons of mail; and the whole body, consisting of about men, had between every division a certain number of musicians, who were answered in their proper places by the like number of drums, with standards and ensigns as veteran troops. This nocturnal march was illuminated by cressets, [large lanterns fixed at the ends of poles, and carried over men's shoulders] whereof were defrayed at the city expence, that of the companies, and by the city constables. The march began at the conduit at the west end of , and passed through , , and to ; whence it returned by Fenchurchstreet, Grasschurch-street, , and so back to the conduit. During this march, the houses on each side the said streets were decorated with greens and flowers, wrought into garlands, and intermixed with a great number of lamps.
Sir William Fitz-William was this year disfranchised, because he refused to serve the office of sheriff. He was alderman of ward, and retired to Milton, in Northamptonshire. On the fall of the cardinal, his former master, he gave him kind entertainment there at his house in the country. For which deed being called before the king and demanded how he durst entertain so great an enemy to the state, his answer was, that he had not contemptuously or wilfully done it; but only because he had been his master, and (partly) the means of his great fortunes. The king was so well pleased with his answer, that, saying himself had too few such servants, immediately he knighted him, and afterwards made him a privy-counsellor.
Roger Achiley, the mayor, caused Leaden-hall, the city granary, to be plentifully stored with all sorts of grain, for preventing
|a scarcity. The said mayor likewise caused to be levelled, and bridges and causeways to be erected over the same.|
In the same year an Act of Parliament was passed, rendering ecclesiastics amenable to the civil law; the clergy preached vehemently against it, but their cause fell into great disrepute, through the infamous murder of a respectable citizen, named Richard Hunne, who, for presuming to bring an action of premunire against a priest, was himself accused of heresy, and imprisoned in the Lollards' Tower, at , where he was found hanged, as if he himself had committed suicide. The coroner's inquest returned a verdict of wilful murder against those who had the charge of the prison; and it was afterwards discovered that the chancellor, Dr. Horsey, assisted, by the bell-ringer, had murdered Hunne, and then hung up his body against the wall. As a means of stifling the vehement clamours which this event excited, Fitz-James, Bishop of London, by the advice of some of his brother prelates, held a court at , in which Hunne, who had now been days in his grave, was condemned as a heretic, for having had a Wickliff's bible in his house, and his body was ordered to be taken up and burnt in Smithfield. This contemptible baseness aggravated the animosity of the laity, yet, although the commons passed a bill for bringing the murderers of Hunne to justice, the clergy had enough influence to cause it to be thrown out by the lords; and, after a long series of conferences, disputes, and bickerings, the whole business terminated in a compromise. The prelacy agreed to drop all proceedings against those who were opposed to them, provided that Horsey's plea of Not Guilty in the court of King's Bench, should be admitted by the king's Attorney-General, as a sufficient answer to the crime of which he was accused. However imperfectly the ends of justice were fulfilled by this decision, it must be regarded as of those efficient steps which, by slow progression, led to the downfall of the Catholic hierarchy. To bring an ecclesiastic to the bar of a civil court, was, in that age, to triumph over the whole body of the priesthood, who thus made at least a virtual acknowledgment of the king's supremacy.
In , the chapel in the White Tower was burnt; and the Sheriffs of London and Middlesex were , by Act of Parliament, empowered to have the empanelling of juries for the city courts, each juror so empanelled to be a citizen worth ; and who, in, case of non-appearance upon the summons, to forfeit , for the , and for every default afterwards the penalty to be double.
A great mortality raged in the city, which swept away a great
|number of citizens; but whether pestilential or not Hollinshed does not mention.|
The inhabitants of the neighboring villages of , , and , having so enclosed their grounds, that the citizens were thereby not only debarred from their usual exercises in those fields, but likewise, when any of them endeavoured to divert themselves with shooting, their bows and arrows were seized and destroyed before their eyes, whilst others were indicted for trespasses; the citizens greatly enraged at this rude treatment, at the instigation of a turner, in a merry andrew's coat, who ran up and down the streets, incessantly crying,
assembled in great numbers, and running to the fields, soon levelled hedges, banks, and ditches. The king sent commissioners into the city to enquire into the cause of the tumult; and being met in the convent of Grey-friars (now ), they convened before them the lord mayor and aldermen to know the occasion of the late sedition; which, when acquainted with, they reprimanded the mayor for not being careful of the peace of the city, and strictly enjoined him to prevent all farther mischief for the future.
In the year , the Thames was frozen over, and so hard, that carriages of all sorts might pass on the ice between and .
In the month of May, on May-day, there were used to be Maygames; all the citizens, who were able, going into the woods and meadows to divert themselves. A notable example of this is given by Edward Hall, who says, that King Henry VIII. in the year of his reign, on May-day: in the morning, with Queen Catherine his wife, accompanied by many lords and ladies, rode a maying from Greenwich to the high ground of Shooter's Hill; where, as they passed along, they saw a company of tall yeomen, cloathed all in green, with green hoods, and with bows and arrows, to the number of : being their chieftain, was called Robin Hood, who desired the king and all his company to stay and see his men shoot, which the king consented to; and then Robin Hood whistling, all the archers shot off at once, and when he whistled again, they likewise shot again. Their arrows were so contrived in the heads of them, that they all whistled when shot off; so that the noise was strange and loud, and greatly delighted the king, queen, and their company.
Moreover, this Robin Hood desired the king and queen, with their retinue, to enter the green wood, where, in arbors made with boughs, and decked with flowers, they were set and served plentifully with venison and wine, by Robin Hood and his men, to their great satisfaction.
About years after this, an accident happened, which occasioned the epithet of evil to be added to this day of rejoicing,
| and that day was afterwards noted by the name of Evil May-day. In the year of the reign of King Henry VIII. the jealousies of the London artificers had been strongly excited by the encouragement that was given to foreign traders who had settled in the suburbs, and, to employ the words of Hall, encompassed |
This as Stow calls it, was blown into open flame by a city-broker, named John Lincoln, who busied himself so far in the matter, that about Palm-Sunday, or the , he came to Dr. Standish with these words:--
And herewith he offered unto the said doctor a bill containing the matter more at large; but Dr. Standish, wisely considering that there might more inconvenience arise from it than he would wish, if he should deal in such sort, both refused the bill, and told Lincoln plainly, that he meant not to meddle with any such matter in his sermon.
Whereupon the said Lincoln went unto Dr. Bell, or Bele, a canon of the aforesaid Spital, that was appointed likewise to preach on Tuesday in Easter week, at the same Spital, whom he persuaded to read his said bill in his pulpit: which bill contained in effect, the grievances that many found from strangers, for taking the livings away from artificers, and the intercourse from merchants, the redress whereof must come from the commons united together; for, as the hurt touched all men, so must all set to their helping hands; which letter he read, or the chief part thereof, comprehending much seditious matter, and then he began with this sentence :--
; i. e.
And upon this text, he showed how this land was given to Englishmen; and as birds defend their nests, so ought Englismen to cherish and maintain themselves, and to hurt and grieve aliens for respect of their commonwealth. And on this text, i. e. , he brought in how, by God's law, it was lawful to fight for their country, and thus he subtily moved the people to oppose strangers. By this sermon, many a light-headed person took courage, and spoke openly against them. And, by chance, there had been divers ill things of late done by strangers, in and about the city of London, which kindled the people's rancour the more furiously against them.
The , divers young men of the city picked quarrels with certain strangers, as they passed along the streets; some they smote and buffeted, and some they threw in the channel; for which the lord mayor sent some of the Englishmen to prison, as Stephen Studley, Skinner, Stephenson Betts, and others.
Then suddenly rose a secret rumour, and no man could tell how it began, that on May-day next following, the city would slay all the aliens, insomuch that divers strangers fled out of the city.
This rumour came to the knowledge of the king's council whereupon the Lord Cardinal sent for the mayor, and other of the council of the city, giving them to understand what he had heard.
The Lord Mayor, as ignorant of the matter, told the cardinal, that he doubted not so to govern the city, but that peace should be obtained.
The Cardinal willed him so to do, and to take heed that if any riotous attempt were intended, he should by good policy prevent it.
The mayor coming from the cardinal's house, about o'clock in the afternoon, on May-eve, sent for his brethren to the ; yet it was almost o'clock before the assembly was set. Upon conference had of the matter, some thought it necessary that a substantial watch should be set of honest citizens, which might withstand the evil doers if they went about any misrule. Others were of a contrary opinion, as rather thinking it best, that every man should be commanded to shut up his doors, and to keep his servants within. Before o'clock the recorder was sent to the cardinal with these opinions, who, hearing the same, allowed the latter. And then the recorder, and Sir Thomas More, late under-sheriff of London, and of the king's council, came back again to the half an hour past o'clock, and there shewed the pleasure of the king's council; whereupon every alderman sent to his ward, that no man, after o'clock should stir out of his house, but keep his doors shut, and his servants within, until o'clock in the morning.
After this command was given in the evening, as Sir John Mundy, alderman, came from his ward, he found young men in Cheape playing at the bucklers, and a great many young men looking on them; for the command seemed to be scarcely published. He ordered them to leave off; and because of them asked why, he would have them sent to the Compter. But the apprentices resisted the alderman, taking the young man from him, and cried,
Then out of every door came clubs and other weapons, so that the alderman was put to flight. Then more people arose out of every quarter, and forth came serving men, watermen, courtiers, and others, so that by o'clock, there were in Cheap or
|; and out of came about . From all places they gathered together, and broke open the Compter, took out the prisoners committed thither by the lord mayor for hurting the strangers; they went also to Newgate, and took out Studley and Betts, committed for the like cause, The mayor and sheriffs were present, and made proclamation in the king's name, but were not obeyed.|
Being thus gathered in crowds, they ran through St. Nicholas' shambles; and at gate Sir Thomas More, and others, met them, desiring them to return to their homes, which they had almost persuaded them to do; when some within throwing sticks and stones, hurt several who were with Sir Thomas More, particularly Nicholas Dennis, a serjeant at arms; who, being much wounded, cried out
and then all the unruly persons ran to the doors and windows of the houses within , and spoiled all they found. After that they ran into , and so on to a house east of Leadenhall, called the green gate, where dwelt Mewtas, a Picard, or Frenchman, with whom dwelt several other Frenchmen. These they plundered; and if they had found Mewtas, they would have struck off his head.
They ran to other places, and broke open and plundered the houses of strangers, and continued thus till o'clock in the morning, at which time they began to withdraw; but by the way, they were taken by the mayor and others, and sent to the Tower, Newgate, and the Compters, to the number of .
The cardinal, being advertised of this by Sir Thomas Parre, sent him immediately to inform the king of it at Richmond; and he forthwith sent to learn what condition the city was in. Sir Roger Cholmeley, Lieutenant of the Tower, during the time of this business, shot off certain pieces of ordnance against the city, but did no great hurt. About o'clock in the morning, the Earls of Shrewsbury and Surrey, Thomas Docwray, Lord Prior of Saint John's, George Nevil, Lord Abergavenny, and others, came to London with what forces they could get together; so did the inns of court: but before they came the business was all over. Then were the prisoners examined, and the sermon of Dr. Bell called in question, and he sent to the Tower. A commission of was directed to the Duke of Norfolk, and other lords, for the punishment of this insurrection. The , the commissioners, with the lord-mayor, aldermen, and justices, went to , where many of the offenders were indicted; whereupon they were arraigned, and pleaded Not Guilty, having day given them till the .
On which day, the Lord Mayor, the Duke of Norfolk, the Earl of Surrey, and others, came to sit in the . The Duke of Norfolk entered the city with men, and the prisoners were brought through the streets tied with ropes; some men, some
|lads but of or years old, to the number of persons. That day John Lincolnand divers others were indicted; and the next day were adjudged to be hanged, drawn, and quartered; for execution whereof pair of gallows were set up in divers places of the city, as at , Blanchapleton, Grass-street, Leadenhall, before each of the computers at Newgate, , at Aldersgate, and Bishopsgate. And these gallows were set upon wheels to be removed from street to street, and from door to door, as the prisoners were to be executed.|
On the , Lincoln, Sherwin, and the brothers named Betts, with several of their confederates, were found guilty, and received sentence as the former; when, within a short time after, they were drawn upon hurdles to the standard in , where Lincoln was executed; but, as the rest were about to be turned off, a reprieve came from the king, to stay the execution; upon which the people shouted, crying,
and thereupon the prisoners were carried back to prison, there to attend the king's farther pleasure.
After this, all the armed men, which before had kept watch in the city, were withdrawn; which gave the citizens hope that the king's displeasure towards them was not so great as themselves conceived. Whereupon, on the , the king residing at his manor of Greenwich, the mayor, recorder, and divers aldermen, went in mourning gowns to wait upon him; and having admittance to the privy-chamber, after they had attended there for some time, the king, attended with several of his nobles, came forth; whereupon they, falling upon their knees, the recorder, in the name of the rest, spake as followeth:
To which the king replied,
At this speech of the king's, the citizens departed very sorrowful; but having notice that the king intended to be at his palace of on the , they resolved to repair thither, which they did accordingly, though not without the appointment of Cardinal Wolsey, who was then lord chancellor; when as a cloth of state being placed at the upper end of Hall, the king took his place, and after him the cardinal, the Dukes of Norfolk and Suffolk, the Earls of Wiltshire, Surrey, Shrewsbury, and Essex, with several others; the lord-mayor, recorder, and aldermen, together with many of the commons, attending in their liveries; when, about o'clock, order was given to bring forth the prisoners, which was accordingly done; so that in they came in their shirts, bound together with ropes, and halters about their necks, to the number of men and women, after another; which so moved several of the nobility, that they became earnest intercessors to the king for their pardon.
When silence was made, and they were all come into the king's presence, the cardinal sharply rebuked the mayor, aldermen, and commonalty, for their negligence; and then, addressing his speech to the prisoners, he told them, that for their offences against the laws of the realm, and against his majesty's crown and dignity, they had deserved death. Whereupon they all set up a piteous cry, crying
which so moved the king, that, at the earnest entreaty of the Lords, he pronounced them pardoned; upon which, giving a great shout, they threw up their halters towards the roof of the hall, crying, . When this news was bruited abroad, several that had been in the insurrection, and had escaped, came in upon their own accords with ropes about their necks, and received the benefit of the king's pardon; after which, the cardinal gave them several good exhortations tending to loyalty and obedience, and so dismissed them to their no small joy; and within a while after the gallowses that were set in the several parts of the city, were taken down, which so far pleased the citizens, that they expressed infinite thanks to the king for his clemency.
This company was called the Black Waggon; and the day whereon this riot and insurrection happened, bears the name of Evil May Day to these our present times. And thus have you heard how the citizens escaped the king's displeasure, and were again received into favor; though, as it is thought, not without paying a considerable sum of money to the cardinal to stand their friend, for at that time he was in such power, that he did all with the king.
These great Mayings and May-games, with the triumphant setting--up the great shaft, a principal may-pole in before the parish church of St. Andrew, thence called , were not so commonly used after this insurrection on May-day, , as before.
On the this same year, there passed an act of common-council, enacting,
This act was to continue but for years; but, it being found of great relief and advantage to the citizens, it was afterwards continued by several acts of the said council, with some little variation as to the number of commissioners, till the year of King James I., when this laudable institution was confirmed for all debts in the city under , as will be more particularly noted in that year.
About the same time, London was again grievously afflicted with the Sweating Sickness, which carried off a great number of citizens; and the king, to prevent the spreading of the infection into his own family, dismissed many of his attendants and officers. As this distemper was peculiar to England, and to Englishmen in foreign parts, it went by the appellation of , or the English Sweat. King Henry, in the of his reign, granted the citizens of London a charter, by which the sessions of the peace for London, which had hitherto been held in the monastery of le Grand, (to the great dishonour of the city, in having it kept in a foreign liberty) was removed to , where it has ever since continued, to the great convenience of the citizens.
On the , in this same year, his majesty granted a charter of incorporation to the Physicians, who hitherto had been under no regulation.
In , the of Henry VIII. for cleansing and scowering the common ditch, between and the postern next the Tower-Ditch, the sum of was laid out. The chief ditcher had by the day The ditcher The other ditchers And every vagabond (for so were they then termed) penny, and meat and drink at the city's charge. In the year , an infectious distemper raged in this city, which carried off abundance of the citizens; yet, nevertheless, by the great scarcity of corn, wheat was sold at the quarter, and in some places in the country at -and- and , an excessive price at that time.
Next year, the emperor, Charles the , came into England to pay a visit to King Henry, who received him at Dover, and conducted him to Greenwich, where he was received by the queen his aunt; from whence he was conducted by their majesties and the nobility to London, which on that occasion was embellished with the most rich and pompous decorations that could be devised, with a variety of magnificent pageants; and as those great princes approached
|the city, they were received by the mayor, aldermen, and sheriffs in their formalities, attended by a great number of the principal citizens on horseback, richly accoutred; by whom they were conducted through the city to the imperial apartments in Blackfriars; and the princes and nobility of his retinue to theirs in the new palace at .|
The English, in all parts of France, but especially at Bourdeaux, having their effects seized by order of the French king, the French ambassador, residing in London, was ordered to be confined to his house; and all the merchants of his nation were committed to prison, and adjudged to pay large sums for their liberty: however, many of them, after a confinement of days, were released, upon their giving security to appear before the lord-mayor against a certain day, to pay their several fines. The king, now engaged in war with France, had an immediate occasion for money, and, not willing to wait the meeting of parliament, borrowed of the city the sum of ; but the lenders being in a manner compelled to advance the same, it was raised with great difficulties and heart-burnings among the citizens.
Christian, King of Denmark, with his queen (niece to Queen Catherine) came into England to pay the king and queen a visit; and being arrived in London, they were received by the mayor and citizens with the utmost splendour, and by them conducted to the Bishop of Bath's palace, the place appointed for their residence; from whence, on eve following, they were attended by the prime nobility, who conducted them to the King's Head, in , where they beheld the pompous march of the city watch; and afterwards were sumptuously entertained by Sir Thomas Baldry, the mayor.
King Henry being in great want of money for the prosecution of his war in France, Cardinal Wolsey, his prime minister, in a very illegal and arbitrary manner, issued out commissions in the king's name, for levying the part of all the goods and chattels of the laity, and a of those of the clergy; by which absolute and tyrannical proceeding, the whole kingdom was so much inflamed, that the people in all parts were ready to break out in a general rebellion; which so greatly affected Henry, that he openly disavowed those irregular proceedings; and by his letter to the mayor and citizens of London, declared that he would not exact any-thing of his people by compulsion, nor demand any thing of them but by benevolence, as had been practised by his predecessors. But this soon discovered itself to be only an artifice to extort large sums under another name; for what the people refused to pay to the cardinal's commission, they now found themselves obliged to raise by way of benevolence.
The citizens of London being the to be rated to this benevolence, the cardinal sent for the mayor and aldermen, and acquainted them in an expostulatory manner of his majesty's most gracious condescension, in remitting the payment of the of all their effects; and, in lieu thereof, had only appointed them to pay a certain benevolence; therefore, he desired them to return and make proper assessments in their several wards for raising the same. To which the recorder answered, that by a statute of the of Richard the , such benevolences were abolished. The cardinal replied, that laws made by usurpers are not obligatory to legitimate princes; that Richard was not only a tyrant, but a murderer of his own nephews, therefore more fit to suffer by law, than to make any; and who did that with no other view, than by a popular and licentious way to ingratiate himself with the people, as the only means to support his usurpation. But our king, being the true and undoubted heir to the crown, could be thereby no farther affected than it pleased himself; it being absurd to imagine, that a statute contrived by a factious assembly, and confirmed by of the greatest criminals, should bind an absolute and lawful monarch; wherefore, if they had no better argument, they had as good have omitted so ridiculously trifling.
The cardinal thereupon resolved to try the mayor and aldermen separately, to know what each were willing to contribute; and, having begun with the mayor, he excused himself from making any declaration in that affair,'till he had consulted the common-council thereon, who, by their former deportment, the cardinal had reason to believe, they never would agree to; he therefore desired the mayor and aldermen in their private capacities to give what they thought proper however, before they complied with the cardinal's proposal, they communicated the same to the common-council, who, instead of agreeing to it, in a rage were for expelling Richard Gresham, John Hewster and Richard Gibson, of their members, for speaking in behalf of so great an imposition; yet, without coming to any resolution in that respect, they broke up in the greatest ferment: however, this stand occasioned the benevolence to be rejected in all parts of the kingdom. In this year the plague raged in London, which occasioned the king's removing to Eltham, and the adjournment of the term, whereby the city was so much deserted by its inhabitants, that the great festival was denominated the Still Christmas.
In , the citizens finding themselves greatly aggrieved by foreign merchants, who had purchased licences for the importation of woad, contrary to law, whereby the freemen of the city were entirely deprived of that trade; it was by the mayor and commoncouncil enacted, That for the future no citizen whatsoever should presume to buy, sell, or have any intercourse, in a mercantile way, with any foreign merchants importers of woad.
In , it became the general talk of the city, that the king
|intended to repudiate his consort; Henry seemed offended threat; and, sending for Sir Thomas Seymer, the mayor, strictly enjoined him to use his utmost endeavours to prevent the like discourse for the future.|
About the same time, the cardinal being appointed ambassador extraordinary to the court of France; on his way thither rode through the city in the greatest pomp, attended by a numerous train of the prime nobility, gentry, and prelates, who, together with his and their domestics, formed a body of horsemen. This magnificent cavalcade was preceded by sumpter-horses and mules, and baggage-carriages, which were followed by a great number of gentlemen, in a rank, richly dressed in velvet, with large golden chains about their necks; then followed gentlemen, each carrying a very large silver cross; next came others, with a stately silver column each, followed by other gentlemen, carrying the great seal of England, and the other the cardinal's hat; after them rode a gentleman carrying the cardinal's portmanteau of scarlet, richly embroidered, with a cloak therein; then came the cardinal gorgeously apparelled, mounted on a stately mule, followed by a led horse, and a mule trapped with crimson velvet; then came the nobility, gentry, and clergy, followed by his and their domestics, all clothed in dark orange-coloured coats, with T. C. embroidered on each, that is, Thomas Cardinal. And his servants daily attending in his house were about , omitting his servants servants, which were many. He had in his hall continually tables, or boards, kept with principal officers; to wit, a steward, who was always a priest; a treasurer, a knight; and a comptroller, an esquire: also a cofferer, being a doctor; marshall; yeomen-ushers in the hall; besides grooms and almoners: then in the hall-kitchen, clerks of the kitchen, a clerk comptroller, a surveyor of the dresser, a clerk of the spicery; all which together kept a continual mess in the hall. Also, in his hall-kitchen he had, of master cooks , and of other cooks, labourers, and children of the kitchen, persons; yeomen of the ordinary scullery, yeomen of the pastry, with other pastelers under the yeomen.
In the privy-kitchen, he had a master-cook, who went daily in velvet and satin, with a chain of gold about his neck, and other yeomen, and a groom. In the scalding-house, a yeoman and grooms. In the pantry, yeomen. In the buttery, yeomen, grooms, and pages. In the chandery, yeomen. In the wafery, yeomen. In the wardrobe of beds, the master of the wardrobe, and other persons attending. In the laundry, a yeomen, a groom, pages, yeomenpurveyors, and groom. In the bake-house, a yeomen and grooms. In the wood-yard, a yeoman and a groom. In the
|barn . In the garden, a yeoman and grooms; a yeoman of his stage; a master of his horse; a clerk of the stable; a yeoman of the same; the saddler; the farrier; a yeoman of his chariot; a sumpterman; a yeoman of the stirrup; a muletier, and grooms of his stable, every of them keeping geldings; porters at his gate; yeomen, and grooms. In the armoury, a yeoman and a groom.|
In his chapel he had a dean, a great divine, and a man of excellent learning; a sub-dean, a repeater of the choir, a gospeller, a pisteler; of singing priests, ; a master of the children; seculars, being singing men of the chapel; singing children, with a servant to attend upon the children. In the vestry, a yeoman and grooms, over and beside divers retainers, that came thither at principal feasts.
For the furniture of his chapel, it exceedeth my capacity to declare, or to speak of the number of costly ornaments and rich jewels that were used in the same continually. There have been seen in procession about the hall, and very rich copes worn, all of suit, besides the rich crosses and candlesticks, and other ornaments belonging to the furnishment of the same. He had cross-bearers, and pillar-bearers, in his great chamber; and in his privy-chambers these persons; , the chief chamberlain and vice-chamberlain: of gentlemen-ushers (beside in his privy chamber) he had daily waiters; and of gentlemen-waiters, in his privy chamber, he had ; of lords or , who had (each of them) men allowed to attend upon them, except the earl of Derby, who always was allowed men. Then he had of gentlemen cup-bearers, carvers, sewers, both of the privy chamber, and of the great chamber with gentlemen (daily waiters there) persons: of yeomen-ushers : of grooms in his chamber : of yeomen in his chamber daily. He had also alms-men, sometime more in number than at other times.
There were attending on his table, daily, of doctors and chaplains (besides them of his chapel) : a clerk of his closet, secretaries, clerks of his signet, and counsellors learned in the laws. And forasmuch as it was necessary to have divers officers of Chancery to attend upon him: that is to say, the clerk of the crown, a riding clerk, a clerk of the hamper, and a clerk of the wax; then a clerk of the check, as well upon the chaplains, as on the yeomen of his chamber; he gave allowance to them all. He had also footmen, who were cloathed in rich running coats, whensoever he rode on a journey. Then had he an herald at arms, a serjeant at arms, a physician, an apothecary, minstrels, a keeper of his tents, an armourer, an instructor of his wards, yeomen of his wardrobe and robes, and a keeper of his chamber, continually in the court.
He had also in his house the surveyor of York, and a clerk of
|the green cloth. All these were daily attending, down-lying and uprising, and at meals. He kept in his great chamber a continual table for the chamberers and gentlemen officers; having with them a mess of young lords, and another of gentlemen. And besides all these there was not an officer, gentleman, or other person of worth, but was allowed in the house, some , some , and all other at least, which amounted to a great number of persons; besides retainers, suitors, and who most commonly dined in his hall.|
ambassadors extraordinary arrived from France, and made their public entry into this city in a pompous manner, attended by a great number of their countrymen of the quality, for whom apartments were provided in the Bishop of London's palace; where they were presented by the mayor and citizens with fat oxen, sheep, swans, cranes, pheasants, dozen of partridges, sugar-loaves, hogsheads of wine, and all sorts of spices, &c.
By a great scarcity of corn, a terrible famine happened in this city, whereby many of the meaner sort of citizens were starved; and, had it not been for the king's paternal care in sending a quarters of corn to the city, and the laudable care of the mayor and sheriffs in preventing the bread-carts of from being plundered by the populace, many more must have suffered by this dreadful calamity. In the mean time, great quantities of wheat and rye being imported by the Hanseatic merchants from Dantzic, corn became much cheaper in this city than in any other part of the kingdom.
A war happening between England and the emperor, it put an entire stop to the trade with Spain; whereby the clothiers became such sufferers, that, not being able to dispose of their goods, they were obliged to dismiss their servants; which had like to have occasioned insurrections in divers parts of the kingdom: wherefore the cardinal ordered several of the principal merchants of this city to attend him, whom he simply threatened, that if they did not take off cloths, &c. from the clothiers, as usual, (notwithstanding the merchants being as great sufferers by the war as the clothiers, by their not being able to export piece to the imperial dominions, where formerly their principal commerce lay) the cloth-market should be removed from Blackwell Hall in the city, to : however, it was neither in the power of the king, nor in that of his minister, to execute the aforesaid injunction; wherefore commerce continued on the same foot as before till the conclusion of a peace.
At a common-council, on the , Henry VIII. it was agreed, granted, ordained, and enacted,
To which were added the following instructions:
It is said in the , that none was apprentice, or at least admitted into the city, unless he were , that is, of the quality of a gentleman born. And that, if, after he was made free, it was known he was of servile condition, he
|lost his freedom. As certain citizens, Thomas le Bedel, and others did, that held lands of the Bishop of London in . The sweating-sickness broke out anew in the city, in , with such violence, that it carried off a great number of people in the space of or hours; which not only occasioned the adjourning of the term, but likewise suspended the annual solemnity of the nocturnal march of the city watch, which, on account of its great expence to the city, was afterwards forbidden by the king, and discontinued till the of Edward VI.|
In , the court for enquiring into the legality of the king's marriage with Catherine, assembled in the great hall of Blackfriars, where their majesties then lodged. The slow progress made in the business of the divorce, and the evident duplicity of Cardinal Campegius, who presided, led to the disgrace and downfall of Wolsey, and subsequently to the throwing off of the papal yoke, and full establishment of the Reformation. But Henry's zeal for the Catholic religion was not repressed, however great his anger against the Roman pontiff; and several Protestants were about this time burnt for schism and heresy, in different parts of the kingdom.
Richard Rose, cook to the Bishop of Rochester, according to his sentence, was boiled to death in Smithfield, in , for poisoning persons with porridge, which he had prepared for the destruction of his master, who fortunately escaped the intended mischief by the want of appetite, which prevented his eating that day.
gentlemen of the law being promoted to the dignity of the coif, they gave a splendid and elegant entertainment in the Bishop of Ely's palace in , for days successively; at which were present the king, queen, foreign ministers, lord mayor, judges, master of the rolls, aldermen of the city, masters of Chancery, serjeants at law, principal merchants of London, together with many knights and esquires, and a certain number of citizens belonging to the chief companies of the city.
This being of the greatest entertainments recorded in history, an account thereof will not be unacceptable to the reader; but as there were poulterers concerned in providing the same with poultry, and only of their accounts to be come at, the quantity of provisions will thereby be considerably lessened; however, though the following be only part of the bill of fare, it will nevertheless appear to have been of the greatest banquets that ever was given in this city, to of the most numerous companies, as above specified; and though the said entertainment was given near years ago, the subjoined account will
| shew the vast disparity between the prices of provisions then and now:--
The Reformation of religion advancing apace in this kingdom, Mr Tindal and others translated and published the New Testament in the English tongue; but Stokesley, Bishop of London ordered as many copies thereof to be bought up as could be got; which, out of a false and furious zeal, he caused to be burnt at Cross. But the clergy fell into a , for supporting Cardinal Wolsey's legatine power: wherefore, the convocation petitioned the king to accept of the sum of in full satisfaction for their offence; which Henry agreeing to, they were soon after called upon for the money. The bishops, to ease themselves in raising the said sum, endeavoured to draw in the parochial incumbents of their respective dioceses to contribute towards the same; and Stokesley, Bishop of London, attempting to lead the way with the priests of this city, they so highly resented the same, that in an outrageous manner they forced themselves into the chapter-house of , where they beat and abused the bishop's servants. This so intimidated their master, that, for the security of his own person, he not only for gave them, but, giving them his blessing, exhorted them to depart in charity. But the bishop, by this artifice escaping unhurt, instead of adhering to the remission granted by him, he applied to the lord chancellor for redress, who thereupon sent to the mayor to secure the persons that were chiefly concerned in the riot. Pursuant to this order, priests and their accomplices were arrested and committed to the Tower and other
|prisons, where they suffered a duress, to the no great honor of that implacable prelate.|
In , Henry was privately married to the lady Anne Boleyn, who soon becoming pregnant, on Easter eve he openly acknowledged her as his queen, and addressing his letters to the mayor and commonalty of London, required them to make preparation for conveying her grace from Greenwich to the Tower, and from thence to , preparatory to her coronation on Whit-Sunday. The pageantry exhibited on this occasion was the most gorgeous that the taste of that age could furnish.
and had given the proper orders for the arrangement of the barges of the city companies, &c. they set forward in the following order:
&c. were richly hung with cloth of gold and silk; at the foreship and stern were great banners rich beaten with the arms of the king and queen: the same arms were also displayed from a long streamer on the topcastle, and almost every other part
of flags, banners, and streamers, diversely ornamented, and many of them hung
The different companies followed in succession,
The day afterwards the queen was conveyed through the city to the palace of , attended by all the principal nobility, prelates, and gentry of the kingdom, including new Knights of the Bath, whom the king had dubbed that morning in the Tower. The streets through which the procession passed were
as far as , and
The city were stationed within the inclosed space,
and the houses on each side were hung with rich cloths of various kinds, intermixed with rich arras, &c. making
The queen was borne on
Behind her rode many ladies magnificently apparelled, in chariots, and on horseback, and
In , the queen was greeted by a pageant of children, clothed as merchants, who welcomed her to the city.
At Leadenhall was another
representing among other things, St. Anne, and her numerous progeny, of whom made an oration to the queene of the fruitfulness of St. Anne and of her generation, trusting
At the Conduit in , which
as did also all the others between that and , were
each of whom,
The great Conduit in Cheape was
and the Standert [or Standard] was richly painted with images of kings and queens, and hanged with banners of arms, and in the top was marvellous sweet harmony both of songs and instruments. The
was also newly gilt; and between that and the little conduit, where the aldermen stood, the Recorder of London came to the queen,
and presented her, in the name of the city, with a in a gold purse, which she
At gate was another pageant, in which sate ladies richly clothed, and an angel bearing a crown, with complimentary verses in Latin. At school stood a scaffold with children well apparelled, who rehearsed
to the honor of their majesties. Ludgate
The conduit in was also
On this was raised a tower with turrets, in each of which stood
At , which was
In the middle of Hall, which was richly hung with
and newly glazed, the queen was taken out of her litter, and after a
&c. she gave
and withdrew to her chamber.
On the following day, , the coronation was solemnized in , with great ceremony and magnificence. At the dinner of the principal citizens assisted the Earl of Arundel in his office of chief butler; and at the conclusion of the feast, the Lord Mayor received from the queen's hands the cup of gold which devolved to him of ancient custom.
The strong opposition which Henry had met with in his attempt to get divorced from queen Catherine, determined him to free himself from the yoke of ecclesiastical bondage, however unwilling he might be to suffer his subjects to enjoy liberty of opinion. During the sitting of the parliament therefore, which met at , in -,
In this parliament, Elizabeth Barton, commonly called the , with several of her adherents, was attainted of treason, her pretended visions having an evident tendency to shake the allegiance of the people. In the April following she was
at Tyburn, with several of her ill-fated supporters; the
and the other heads on the gates of the citie. About this time also, according to Holingshed, Pavier,
hung himself, apparently through a proud spirit of indignation at the measures that were then pursuing. The historian says, that he had heard him affirm,
An act of parliament was passed in this year for paving the west end of the high street in London, between Holborn-bridge and Holborn-bars, and also the streets of ; and that every should maintain the said pavement before his own ground, or forfeit to the king sixpence for every square yard.
According to Hakluyt, from about the years and , to the year , divers tall ships of London, and also of Southampton and Bristol, had an unusual trade to Sicily, Candia, and Chios, and sometimes to Cyprus, and to Tripoli, and Baruth in Syria. They exported sundry sorts of woollen-cloths, calf-skins, &c. and imported silks, camblets, and rhubarb; malmsey, muscadel, and other wines; oils, cotton-wool, Turkey carpets, galls, and India spices: yet, in those days, they were generally months in those voyages, as were ships going this year from London to Candia and Chios; which voyage was found so hazardous and, dangerous, that of these ships was put into dock, and never more went to sea. In the next year a ship of
|tons, with persons in her, went from London on the same Levant voyage, and returned in months, having settled factors in those places.|
Though Henry had renounced his subjection to the see of Rome, he was, in several respects, a bigoted Catholic, and a strict adherent of many of the Popish tenets: besides he had written a book against Luther, who, in his reply, had not treated him with much respect. This had incensed Henry beyond a possibility of reconciliation; in fine, Henry wanted to be the pope's rival, but without being either a Lutheran or a Sacramentarian: he still preserved the invocation of saints, but under certain restrictions. It was with him equally a crime to believe in the authority of the pope, and to be a Protestant; and in the course of his reign, he alike condemned to the flames those who spoke in favour of the Roman pontiff, and those who declared for the reformed religion. In particular, he now ordered the prior of the Carthusian monks of the Charter-house, London; the prior of Hexham; Benase, a monk of Sion college; and John Haile, vicar of Isleworth, together with monks of the Charterhouse to be hanged and quartered at Tyburn, on the , this year (), for refusing to submit to the new laws: and a little before, orders were given for burning Protestants, viz. John Frith, a man of great learning, Andrew Hewet, and men and women, born in Holland, to convince the world, that his severity to the ecclesiastics was not actuated by any fondness he was charged with for the new religion.
In the year , the common-council granted fifteenths towards defraying the expenses of bringing water from Hackney to , where a conduit was erected for the use of the eastern part of the city.
On the , in this year, Henry assumed the title of supreme head of the church; and he maintained it with so much jealousy, that he spared none who called it in question.
Among other victims of this jealousy may be enumerated Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, and Sir Thomas More. The king, who was irritated against them for their opposition to his divorce and marriage, and also knew their attachment to the see of Rome, determined to make them acknowledge his supremacy, or to make them examples that none who opposed it should escape with impunity. The bishop was tried on the , and found guilty of high treason in having denied the king's supremacy; and was beheaded on on the . days after, his friend, Sir Thomas More, was tried and found guilty of the same offence, and suffered the same punishment on the .
Henry was a prince of impetuous passions, and, at the same time, fickle and capricious. He had surmounted many difficulties to obtain the hand of the beautiful Anne Boleyn, and had enjoyed the greatest conjugal felicity with her; but, in the beginning of the year , a new object (Jane Seymour) captivated his heart. This new passion extinguished all his former love, which was succeeded by the most furious, and, as far as appears, unfounded jealousy. On the , there was a grand tournament at Greenwich, at which the king, queen, and all the court were present. In the midst of the diversion, the king rose suddenly from his seat, went out, mounted his horse, and rode off, attended by only persons. The cause of his abrupt departure is unknown; but on the following day the queen was sent to the Tower, and such was Henry's severity, that he debarred her from seeing all her relations and friends: even her almoner was denied admittance. On the she was brought to her trial in the great hall of the Tower, before less than half the then number of peers of England; she was found guilty, without a shadow of proof, of having conspired the king's death, and sentenced to be burnt or beheaded as the king should direct. On the , she was beheaded on a scaffold erected on the green within the Tower, from which all strangers were excluded; the only persons present at her execution being the Dukes of Suffolk and Richmond, Chancellor Audley, Secretary Cromwell, and the mayor, aldermen, and sheriffs of London. Little respect was shewn to her remains: no coffin having been provided, her body was put into a chest made for holding arrows, and instantly buried in the chapel in the Tower.
The next day, Henry was privately married to Jane Seymour, who, without the least attention either to decency or shame, was at
and on the ,
doubtless, on account of his recent marriage.
In this year parliament directed that all French wines should be sold for the gallon, and Malmsey and Romney sack, and all other sweet wines, at .
The years and were productive of vast effects in the religious system of the country, in which London had its share. During the year no less than lesser monasteries were dissolved, and their vast revenues granted to the crown by parliament; the--latter amounting to per year, besides their goods and chattels, which amounted to more.
The greater monasteries shared a similar fate; and thus in less
|than years, the king seized upon the whole monastic revenue and other property; the tricks of the priests were exposed, their pretended miracles detected, and the relics and other instruments of their superstition turned into derision. Among the rest a great wooden idol, called Darvel Gatherin, was brought from Wales to London, and cut up for fuel to burn friar Forest, who had presumed to deny Henry's supremacy. The king, under various pretences, suppressed no less than religious foundations, of which had abbots who enjoyed seats in parliament. colleges were demolished in several counties; chantries and free chapels, and hospitals.|
About , coals were sold at Newcastle at the chaldronn,
The spirit of mercantile adventure, which had sprung up in the preceding reign, still continued and increased; and the circle of trade was gradually enlarged. Many voyages were now undertaken for the discovery of unknown countries, but the accounts we have of them are very imperfect. In this year, Mr. Hore, a merchant of London, prevailed upon young gentlemen to accompany him in a voyage of discovery on the north coast of America, with a view to find a north-west passage to India. They sailed from Gravesend, in , with ships, the Trinity and the Minion; and after having been reduced to the last extremity for want of provisions, reached England again in the month of October of the same year. Though this voyage was unfavorable to the proposed object, it gave rise to the very beneficial fishery on the banks of Newfoundland; which island, with that of Cape Breton, were discovered in the early part of it.
The suppressing of the monasteries had now begun; and though several partial insurrections broke out in consequence, they only served to forward the king's measures, by giving the colour of necessity to the vengeance that was inflicted; and Tyburn became the place of frequent executions both for heresy and treason.
In October, the hospital of St. Thomas of Acres in London was suppressed; and in November, the monasteries of the Black Friars, the White Friars, the Grey Friars, and the Carthusians of the Charter-house, all underwent the same fate.
In the year , the common council passed an Act to enforce the observance of a statute, which had been made by the parliament for preserving the navigation of the river Thames, whereby it was enacted as follows:
Which act or ordinance is still in force.
Before this year, reading the Bible in the English tongue was interdicted under very severe penalties; but at this time, Henry's unsteady mind appears to have experienced another change; for we find a copy of the New Testament printed in this year by Robert Redman, without Temple-bar, in the suburbs of London,
In the year , Henry VIII. having understood that there was a learned man, named John Nicolson, but who, to secure himself from his former persecutors, had assumed the name of Lambert, a schoolmaster of London, who denied the real presence in the sacrament, to which the king was blindly devoted, thought this a favorable opportunity for him at once to exercise his supremacy, and display his learning. He therefore determined to have the glory of disputing with this reformer, who had appealed from a sentence given against him by archbishop Cranmer. Public notice was accordingly given, that the king designed to enter the lists against Lambert; and scaffolds were erected in Hall, for the accommodation of the audience, without any regard had to the injustice of thus mixing the disputant with the judge.
Divers articles were ministered to him by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Bishop of Worcester, and other; but namely, the king pressed him sore, and in the end offered him pardon if he would renounce his opinion, but he would not, wherefore he was condemned, had judgment, and was brent in Smithfield. Had any spark of real generosity resided in Henry's bosom, he would doubtless on this occasion, after having gratified his vanity by mingling the disputant with the judge, have spared the life of his antagonist. Soon afterwards a man and a woman were committed to the flames in Smithfield as Anabaptists; and on the , the Marquis of Exeter, the Earl of Devonshire, Henry, Lord Montacute, and Sir Edward Nevil were beheaded on .
The king, under whose commission directed to the Lord Mayor, Sir William Foreman, this muster had been made, reviewed the procession at , and expressed himself highly pleased with the martial appearance of the men. Those who were mustered at this time, seem to have composed only a
of the inhabitants of the city and its liberties, whose names had been registered under the commission.
The state of shipping in the port of London was still very low
| about this time, if we may give credit to Wheeler, who wrote in defence of the company of merchant-adventurers, to whom he was secretary. In his Treatise on Commerce, published in , he says, that, about years before he wrote, |
The king, having restrained the annual custom of the city watch, owing to its great expense, endeavoured to preserve the manly exercise of shooting, of which he was very fond, by granting a charter to the company of archers, who were called the fraternity of St. George; by which they had a power to use and exercise shooting at all manner of marks, as well in the city as suburbs, with long bows, cross bows, and hand guns; with this clause, that, in case any persons were shot and slain in these sports, by some arrow shot by these archers, he was not to be sued or molested, if he had, immediately before he had shot, used the word,
The chieftain of these archers was called Prince Arthur, and the rest of them his knights. The principal place of exercising their sport was Mile-end, where they were frequently honoured with the presence of the king himself.
About this time the stews, which had been hitherto licensed on the bank-side, in , were put down by the king's proclamation and sound of trumpet.
On the arrival of Anne of Cleves, Henry's new bride, she was met on Blackheath, on the , by the Hanseatic merchants, and those of Genoa, Florence, Venice, and Spain resident in the city of London, together with a number of the principal citizens, common-councilmen, and aldermen, to the number of , richly dressed in velvet, with chains of gold, and mounted on stately horses, and accompanied by the king, divers foreign princes, the nobility, and the lord mayor, was conducted in great magnificence to the royal palace at Greenwich.
The marriage was solemnized on Twelfth-day; and on the , being the day appointed for their majesties' removal to , the lord mayor and aldermen, in the city barge, attended by the principal companies, in their respective barges, most pompously equipped, repaired to Greenwich, whence they conducted the king and queen by water to .
However Henry might have been deceived in the representations of the beauty of this princess, he does not seem to have been displeased with Cromwell, the principal adviser of the match, for some time after it, since in April following he conferred the title of Earl of Essex upon him; but this appearance of satisfaction was of short duration. On the a sentence of divorce passed the houses of convocation; and on the of the same month, Cromwell was beheaded on . He was accused of heresy and treason, but it is probable the accusation was unfounded, for a bill of attainder was passed against him,
|without trial, on the more general representations of the king's council.|
Some few days after Cromwell's death, Henry gave a terrible instance of that cruelty which seemed to take possession of his soul: papists and reformers were alike the objects of this infernal passion, and suffered in the same flames. Dr. Barnes, who had made a figure in an embassy to the German princes, Thomas Gerard, a reforming minister, and William Jerom, vicar of Stepney, who had been, unheard, attainted of heresy by the parliament, were now condemned to the stake; but when they came there, neither they nor the sheriff knew for what they suffered. Along with them Gregory Buttolph, Adam Damplip, and Clement Philpot (all bigotted papists) were hanged, drawn, and quartered, for denying the king's supremacy. To increase the absurdity of this indiscriminate cruelty, they were drawn to the place of execution on hurdles, a Catholic and a Protestant on each.
In , the hospital of St, John of Jerusalem, at Clerkenwell, was dissolved.
On the this year, Catherine Howard, to whom the king had been some time privately married, was publicly declared Queen of England. By this marriage the popish interest was strengthened, and that party made a strong push at Cranmer; but the king's affection for him was so immoveable, that their endeavours proved abortive.
About this time, Robert Brocke, chaplain to the king, invented the method of making leaden pipes for conveying water under ground, without using solder. Robert Cooper, a goldsmith of London, was the who made them, and put the invention in practice.
In the year , much blood was shed on the scaffold, and many persons of different ranks were executed. The most illustrious of these victims was the aged Countess of Salisbury, the last of the royal race of the Plantagenets. This venerable matron had been attained by parliament in , and had been kept in prison from that time. Without regard to her sex, her age, or her royal descent, she was brought to a scaffold in the Tower, on the , to be beheaded, where, though in her year, she behaved with great spirit and magnanimity; when she was desired to lay her head upon the block, she obstinately refused, saying,
shaking her grey locks,
In consequence of this, she was rather butchered than beheaded.
It is impossible to discover what provoked Henry to this act of cruelty; her only crime was that of having held a correspondence with her own son, Cardinal Pole. But the truth is, we are much
|better informed of the punishments than of the crimes of many eminent persons in this reign.|
In this year a statute was passed, by which various streets of the city were ordered to be paved with stone, new conduits to be erected, and such as were falling into decay to be repaired; the lord mayor and aldermen were also invested with authority to put the act into execution, by levying the necessary assessments and punishing defaulters. The increasing population and importance of London were evident from the frequent Acts of Parliament during this reign, which had for their object progressive improvements. The streets paved under this Act were Highstreet, as far as , ,, , , and . And within years afterwards, the improvement was extended to , , Grub-street, , , St. John's-street, Cow-cross, , , by St. Clement Danes; , from Temple-bar to Strand-bridge; , ; , ; , ; and , without Temple-bar: thoroughfares at that time much frequented. Water was conveyed into the city in additional streams from Hampstead-heath, St. Marylebonne, Hackney, Muswell-hill, and the springs of St. Agnes-le-Clair, .
We learn, from Hakluyt, that the merchants of London and Southampton traded to the Brazils in and .
Archbishop Cranmer having prevailed on the king to grant a privilege for printing the Bible in English, the same was executed accordingly, and made its appearance about this time, under the following title:
In the year , the having sent their sergeant at arms to demand the release of George Ferras, member for Plymouth, who had been arrested at the suit of White, for , the sheriffs and their officers belonging to the Compter, then situate in , assaulted the sergeant at arms, and
|broke his mace; for which they were ordered to attend the house; when, after a severe reprimand for their contempt, the sheriffs and White were committed prisoners to the Tower, and the arresting officers, and others, to Newgate, where they were confined for a considerable time, till, by the interposition of the lord mayor, and the application of many friends, they were discharged by an order of the house.|
On the , in this year, Catharine Howard, late queen of England, and her confidant Lady Jane Rochfort, were beheaded on a scaffold, erected within the .
In the year , there was a great mortality among the cattle, which occasioned an enormous increase in the price of meat; in consideration whereof, the lord mayor and common-council made a sumptuary law to restrain luxurious feasting; wherein it was ordained, that the lord mayor should not have more than dishes at dinner or supper; the aldermen and sheriffs were limited to , the sword-bearer to , and the mayor's and sheriff's officers to ; upon penalty of for every supernumerary dish.
It was likewise enacted, by the same authority, that neither the lord mayor, aldermen, nor sheriffs, should buy cranes, swans, or bustards, after the ensuing Easter, under the penalty of for every bird so bought; but the purchaser was at liberty to clear himself by his own oath.
The parliament, which met in January of this year, resumed the consideration of the bad state of those parts of the metropolis which still remained unpaved and were become almost impassable, and made an act as follows:
they are directed to be paved with stone, and a channel made in the midst of them, at the
| charge of the ground landlords, |
And it was also enacted,
And further it was enacted,
By another act of parliament passed in this year, Marsh, in the county of Middlesex, is directed to be divided by certain persons assigned, or by any of them. And Cornelius Wanderdelf, who, at his own charge, inned, imbanked, and recovered the same, being drowned, Richard Hill, of London, mercer, his assignee, shall have the moiety thereof to him and to his heirs, it having been before this time within the flux and tide of the Thames.
These acts of parliament, with that passed in , will enable us to form a tolerably correct idea of the suburbs of London at this period.
The plague raged so violently in London during this year, that a great number of the citizens fell victims to it, and the term was adjourned to St. Albans.
Sir John Allen, who had served the office of lord mayor in , and was honoured with the rank of a privy-councellor to Henry the , died this year. By his will, he gave a rich collar of gold, to be worn by future lord mayors, and to be a stock for sea- coal; he also directed the rents of his lands, purchased of the king, to be distributed yearly to the poor in each ward for ever; besides many other liberal benefactions to the prisons, hospitals, lazarhouses, and the poor of other parts within miles of the city. He was buried in a chapel belonging to St. Thomas of Acres, which he had built.
In the year , the city companies advanced the king , upon a mortgage of crown lands, towards the charges of his war with Scotland. This, however, being found insufficient, his majesty afterwards sent commissioners into the city to assess the Londoners, in an arbitrary manner, by way of benevolence. Alderman Richard Read not only objected to this illegal proceeding, but positively refused to pay the sum demanded of him; for which Henry, whose tyrannical spirit would endure no opposition, enrolled him as a foot soldier, and sent him to Scotland with
|the army, where he was taken prisoner, and, after undergoing very severe hardships, was obliged to pay a considerable sum for his liberty.|
A proclamation, issued in this year for prohibiting
carries the date of the circulation of these vehicles of information to a much earlier period than has generally been assigned to it. Chalmers, in his life of Ruddiman, states the Gallo-Bellicum, a kind of State of Europe, or Annual Register, to have been the English , and the Venice Gazette, which is considered as the original, was circulated in manuscript till the end of the century, as appears from a collection of them in the Magliabechian library at Florence; these, therefore, appear to have been the printed newspapers ever circulated.
The proclamation states that,
This year the parliament passed an act, in which it was ordained, that every citizen and inhabitant within the city and liberty thereof should, for every annual rent, pay to the vicars of their respective parishes, ; and for every rent of , and so on in proportion as the rents advanced. It was also enacted, that every person possessed of in real and personal estate, was properly qualified to serve on the grand jury.
In the month of August this year, the citizens of London, at their own expense, raised and completely fitted out a regiment of foot, consisting of men, as a reinforcement to the army in France.
A peace being concluded between England and France, the
| same was proclaimed in the city with great solemnity, on Whitsunday, . On this occasion, a general procession was made, |
Several persons suffered this year on account of their principles in religion; among whom was Mrs. Anne Askew, or Ascue, a gentlewoman of good birth and excellent education, who was well known to many persons at court. This lady, being convicted of denying the real presence in the sacrament, was condemned to the flames, and chose to suffer death rather than purchase pardon at the expense of abjuring her faith. The Lord Chancellor, who was a zealous papist, imagining that her resolution proceeded from the encouragement given her by persons of distinction about the court, who were friends to the Reformation, caused this poor woman to be put to the rack in prison, though already under sentence of death; and is even said to have assisted with his own hands, in administering the torture, which was done in such a merciless manner, that almost all her bones were dislocated, This she bore, however, with amazing fortitude; nor could they extort a syllable from her in accusation of any . At length, on the , she was conveyed to the stake, and suffered with men, condemned on the same account: Shaxton, Bishop of Salisbury, who had been imprisoned for the same offence, but saved his life by recanting, attended them to the place of execution, where he preached a sermon, reproaching them in the harshest terms for their obstinacy and heresy.
On the , Claud Annebaut, ambassador extraordinary of France, arrived at London from Dieppe, and landed at the Tower Wharf, where he was met by the mayor, aldermen, and citizens, and conducted to the bishop's palace; and on his departure, after having sworn, in the name of his sovereign, to perform the articles of the peace, he was presented by the city with large silver flagons, richly gilt, valued at , besides wine and other costly presents,
Towards the end of the year, the Duke of Norfolk, and his son, the Earl of Surrey, were committed to the Tower, charged with treason; and on the , the earl was brought to trial at , before the Lord Mayor and a common jury, by whom he was found guilty, and received sentence of death: he was beheaded on , on the . His father being
| a peer, the proceedings against him were obliged to wait the determination of parliament, by whom he was attainted; and the warrant for his execution was signed: but the king's death, which happened on the , rendered it of no force, and it was not thought advisable that the commencement of the young king's reign should be followed immediately by the execution of the nobleman of the land; for which reason his life was spared, but he remained in confinement during all this reign. King Henry VIII. having dissolved the priory and old hospital of St. Bartholomew, in Smithfield, he, a short time before his death, founded it anew, and endowed it with the annual revenue of , on condition that the city should pay an equal sum. The proposal being accepted, the new foundation was incorporated by the name of |
 Hall's Chron.
 Brayley's London, i, 240.
 Maitland, i, 226.
 On this occasion the crosse in Cheape was new gilt, and eleven pageants were devised on stages very faire and excellent to behold.
 Maitland, i, 227.
 Lord Herbert's Life of Henry VIII.
 Maitland's London, i, 229.
 Hall. Chron.
 Fab. A. D. 1528.
 Stow's Survey of London, 1531.
 Stow's Ann. p. 949-50
 Stow's Ann. p. 951.4.
 Ibid. p. 963.
 Vol. ii. 96
 Lambert's London, i, 515
 Godwin's Annals.-Stow.
 Stow's Ann. 972.
 Ibid. 973.
 Ibid. 974.
 Herbert, p. 227.
 That part of Chancery-lane now to be paved is thus described: From the bars beside the Rolls lately set up by the Lord Privy Seal, unto the said highway in Holborn. All the streets directed to be paved are said to be very foul, and full of pits and sloughs, very perilous and noyous, as well for the king's subjects on horseback as on foot, and with carriages.
 Hughson's London, i. 121.
 Herbert's Life of Henry VIII.
|View all images in this book|
|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|