The Manuscripts of Rye and Hereford Corporations, Etc. Thirteenth Report, Appendix Part IV. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1892.
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1600[–1], January 2.—Order signed by Lord Howard for the arrest of John Tokens, Thomas Goldnier, Thomas Medcalfe, William Harford, and Richard Storme, late of Hamble in the County of Southampton for piracy committed upon the high seas in a ship called the Hawk, of Rye.
"Where there is a writ sent out of her Majesty's Cort of Exchequer at Westminster with a scedule thereunto annexed against the late Earle of Essex and other of his company, which I send to you and every of you by this bearer, with a lettre of attendance, for you to take coppy of and to execute. Nowe forasmuch as it appeareth by the said writ that the same is to be executed and retorned with all celeritie and speede that maye be, I praye you therefore fayle not to execute and retorne the same hether with all expedition that you can, not respectinge the begyninge of the tearme wherby I may accordingly see the same retorned into her Majesty's said Cort of Exchequer, according to the tenor of the said writ." Copy.
Enclosure. Writ to inquire if the Earls of Essex, Rutland, and Southampton, and many others set out in a schedule attached, held lands in the Cinque Ports. Inquisition taken on 13 March in which the Jury say that the said persons had no lands or goods within the Cinque Ports.
"We have had conference with this bearer, Ralphe Dester, about the recovering and amending of our decayed haven, after hee had thoroughly veiwed and perused the same. And we finde him in our judgmentes, a man very well experienced and hath delivered unto us such sufficient matter as we doubt not but our haven may be restored to his former estate, and that at a more reasonabler charge than we imaged it wold be. We have referred the reporte thereof to be delivered unto your Honor by the said Mr. Dester, most humbly thanking your Lordship for your continuall favor towardes this poore towne." Draft.
I have received letters from Mr. Norris, my Lord's Solicitor, and from Mr. Rogers, his Lordship's Secretary, both touching the sending up of twenty pounds for Dr. Seafor for the last term when your book was under the great seal. My Lord did speak to me that Dr. Seafor should have some consideration and it pleased my Lord to ask what I thought fit for him. I told him ten pounds, but it was thought he deserved twenty. I pray you not to fail but send up to Mr. Angell's house in Old Fish Street, with as much speed as you may, that twenty pounds, lest my Lord should be offended. Until my Lords have the twenty pounds for Dr. Seafor I dare not demand the book. There is also Mr. Rogers must have four pounds, he took great pains in soliciting our cause to my Lords and did always carry our books in his bosom to the Court with my Lords until her Majesty had signed it. And to Mr. More and Lewes I promised twenty shillings, they are of my Lords' Chamber. Copy.
"Wheras by a decree lately made at the towne of Newe Romeney, it was enacted that from thenceforth yearly a Gestlinge should be somoned by that towne which sholde sommon the brodhull to be holden at Newe Romeney aforesaide, to begyne ymediatly after the brotherhood is ended, to which Gestlinge there shold be no more returned of every towne and member but the hed officer, two jurates, the towne clerke, and chamberlen; the somoning of which Gestlinge for this present yere apperteyneth nowe unto us. These are therefore to praye and require yow to be and appeare at a Gestlinge to be holden at Newe Romeney aforesaid the Tewsday next after the feast of St. Margaret, beinge the 21st daye of July next comeinge, imediately after the brodhull is ended, by such persons and so many of your discreetest combarons as by the said decree is required."
"Wheras the bearer hereof, Thomas Berigge, a soldier serving under your comande, hath of late byne with us in our towne of Rye and hath taken veiwe of our decayed harbor, and also hathe shewed unto us divers instrumentes of his owne makinge, intendinge, as he saith, to putt in practize to the uttermost of his power and connynge to amende our said harbor and withall assureth himself by God's helpe to effecte the same yf he may obteyne your Worship's favor and lycence to come into England, whereby he may be imployed in the same worke. And for that we very well know the man, beinge brought up in these partes, to be well experienced and stand in good hope that he maye doe us good yf he may proceed in the said worke, we most hartely desire your Worship that it may stand to your good leikeing to graunt hym lycence to come into England to take in hand the said worke, which yf it take good effecte will be not only a greate benefytt unto this poore towne but also to the state of this land." Copy.
1602, August 9.—Acknowledgment by William Maquery (signed Gilame Maquere), of Dieppe in Normandy, mariner, son and heir of Frauncys Maquery, late of Rye in the county of Sussex, merchant, deceased, for the sum of five pounds ten shillings received from the Chamberlain of Rye for the "rent" of three score pounds for one whole year, which sum was lent to the Corporation of Rye by Frauncys Couchy, late of Dieppe, deceased, uncle of the said William Maquery.
"The fishermen of Rye and Hasting being presented and convicted to have offended in fyshing with netts insufficient, and of unlawfull scale, and at prohibited tymes and seasons, especially contrary to the lawes, in the night season, whereby the fysh disquieted and wanting naturall rest doe become both leane unserviceable and not so well bayted as in former tymes, are by order of this Court fyned, viz.: every boat in Rye and Hastinge shall pay for ther former default only, ten shillings, and to be further straightly charged that they offend no more as they and every of them will answer the contrary at ther uttermost perills. The rest of the forfiture are by his Lordship remitted, the fees of the offices to be payed by the offenders, only excepted."
1602, August 25.—Passport to Anne Heynes, Anne Sympson, and Elizabeth Brown (wives of certain men, who, to the number of twenty, travelled contrary to Her Majesty's Lawes, some of whom were committed to prison and executed at Bury St. Edmunds and others sent to her Majesty's service in the Low countries) to pass to Rye and thence to Chichester.
"Wheras the bearer hereof is sent with letters to the right worshipful Sir Robert Mansfeilde, knight, Admirall of her Majesties shippes servinge in the Narrowe Seas, and to the right worshipful Sir Thomas Fane, knight, Governer of her Majesty's Castle of Dovor, to the ende to sende six shippes which are appointed to come from Holland to be imployed in Her Majesties service to the porte of Portesmouth, where they shall meete the other seven Holland shippes which come from the coast of Spaine and are to joyne with them in the said service. These are to desire you and everie of you that if it shall happen any of the said six shippes doe stopp or putt into any harbor or place aboute you, before they shall come unto the said harbor of Portsmouth, that you will not only geve them spedie advertisement to repaire hether with the said shippes for the purpose aforesaid (for so is her Majesties pleasure) but also that it will please you to be aydinge and assistinge unto this bearer in what you maye, for the better and more spedie performance and execution of his charge and business."
1602, September 11.—Certificate by the Mayor and Jurats of Rye that Anthony Bryant, of Rye, sailor, a Frenchman born, hath dwelt in Rye forty years and hath served an apprentice in the said Town and divers times has been pressed and served in her Majesty's ships. He has been married to two English women and had children by each. All which time he has behaved himself well.
"I understand there hath been of late a practice by some of the fishmongers of London to draw a combination with some fishermen of the Ports tending to the restrayning of her Majesty's prerogative Royal for the provision of sea fish for her own house, to certain particular places and for a lesser proportion than heretofore hath been accustomed, by suggesting divers corruptions and abuses of her Majesty's present officers appointed for the purveying of that kind of provisions whereof an information being exhibited in the Star Chamber, her Majesty has ordered the same to be heard before the Lords and others, her Majesty's Commissioners for her household causes, where the same was fully heard and found to have proceeded rather out of spleen to the said officers rather than any just cause of offence given, and the offenders sentenced to punishment. I have thought good to require you to have regard that all such orders heretofore established as well for the furtherance of her Majesty's service for those provisions, as for the maintenance and governance of the markets be effectually put in execution." Copy.
"Whereas the Lordes of her Majesties most honourable Privie Councell have addressed theire letters to his Lordship that he cause a generall muster to be taken of all the marriners and seafearinge men fitt for service within his Lordship's wardenry and livetenances, from the age of 16 to three score, out of which there shal be choise made and impresed to the nomber of one hundred of the most hable and sufficient men; to which ende theie are to be sent to Chetham with charge upon payne of deathe to present themselves before the officers of her Majesties Navie by the last daye of the present January there to be disposed of as shal be thought fittest, bringinge with them conveuyent apparell, and sword and dagger. And such as shall nott have meanes to furnishe themselves, that then their parentes, masters, or frindes shall furnishe them with sorde and dagger and with necessary aparell. Now forasmuch as our right honorable Lord Warden hath addressed his letters unto me willinge and requiringe me to see the tennor thereof put in execution accordinglie, these are therfore to will and requier you and in his Lordship's name streightly to charge and commande you, that you indelaydlie uppon the sight heereof cause a generall muster to bee made in every your severall portes and lymmes, of all such marryners and saylers as you have, and that theie be in redynes uppon payne of deathe at an ower's warninge to be imprested by his Lordship's officer who shall make all convenyent speed unto you for that service." Copy.
"Having received thenclosed proclamation from our right honorable the Lord Warden this day for the proclayming of King James the sixth, Kinge of Scottes, King of England, France and Ireland, I held it fitt to send the same, that upon sight hereof you cause the same to be performed accordinglie; and for the better demonstration of our joy that we take therein, you are to discharge all such ordinance as you have in every your severall Portes so sone as the proclamation shall be reade, as also to make such bonfyers and such other ceremonies as in the leike cause hath byne accustomed at the proclaymeing of any prince."
The said John Arkinstall saith "that uppon Sonday being the 25th of March this examinant and one Richard Archer, Barker, and Anthony Word, his fellowes (being all fower common players of interludes and shewing forth a licence to aucthorize them) were at Hastinge in Sussex at an inne there where this examinate and his fellowes lodged, and one Holland, a scholemaster at Rye, who serveth a cure under Doctor Joy at Brightlinge, comeinge into the company of this examinate and his fellowes, the said 25th of March, uttered these wordes following, viz.:— that the Kinge of Scottes was proclaymed King of England at London, and after the said Kinge was proclamed, then my Lord Beachampe was proclaymed also by one who was then at libertie, and being demanded by this examinate by whome the said Lord Beauchampe was so proclaymed, the said Holland said by the Erle of Southampton and that he the said Holland had a great horse and wold have a saddle and spend his bloode in the Lord Beauchampe's behalf."
I expect you should yield me the nomination of one of your burgesses for this next Parliament. "In your choise of those of your towne that are to carry the canapy at his Majesty's coronation I wish you to be careful that the same be such, as, both for their person and the rest, may be fit for the service, as it will ymport you much." Signed and Seal of arms.
I have this day received a letter from the Lord High Steward and others of the Lords Commissioners concerning the Coronation, which is out of the ancient course of the Summons in this kind, and ought to have been by the King's Writ; for observation of which custom I have already written and doubt not, if a precedent be found, the same shall within a few days be obtained. I send you a copy of the said letter that you may take notice of the day of Coronation and proceed with the election of persons fit for the performance of the service. In which choice "I wyshe you to be verie cautious and wary that they may be men of the meetest and comliest personage amongest you and of the best sufficiencie otherwise, as I have already geven direction in that behalf."
Whereas in times past the packets have usually been thought fit to be sent to this town as the nearest place of recourse for the service of the State, both by sea and land, until of late years the packets being sent by other ways the continuance thereof hath drawn with it from this poore town the postage and recourse of merchants and others travelling to the sea coast, the occasion whereof we can find to be and to have so long continued, by no other means but by the abuse of the rippiers, who, finding the authority which the packet requires to be drawn other ways, have for their own particular gain so exhausted upon all passengers that none at all have desired to come this way. Therefore for reformation thereof we pray that it would please you to erect a postage here and recommend unto you the bearer hereof, Jeames Apleton, to be the postmaster.
As to the settlement of the claims for service at the Coronation there are six Commissioners appointed by the King, viz.:— the Earl of Shrewsbury, Lord Lumley, Lord Henry Howard, Lord Zouch, the two Lord Chief Justices, Popham and Anderson. We of Sandwich found in record that at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth, a Writ of Summons was sent to the Ports to call them to do their said service which writ I cannot find in any of the offices here. I found in the Red Book of the Exchequer a judgment and a recovery in Edward the Sixth's time for the said service on the behalf of the Ports, the matter being between the Marches of Wales and the Ports. I will search whether you are to have any allowance from the King for scarlet.
I have sought all the records in the Chancery, the Rolls, the Crown Office and the Tower for a Writ of Summons to call the Barons to do their service at the King's coronation, but can find none. The records at Dover are to be searched. His Lordship sent the Lords' letters to Sir Thomas Fane which will be all the Summons the Ports shall have unless they can send me a precedent. I could have got one drawn by a clerk but the Lord Keeper will not put the seal to it, unless he sees a precedent for it. I cannot learn when the Commissioners will hold their Court to receive all claims for any service due to any persons. The Lord Steward will give sentence upon them when he holds his Court, which will be two days before the Coronation. I pray you to let Mr. Mayor, Mr. Peake and the rest of his brethren know the King will not come through the City of London. I fear your service will be to carry the canopy in the church and not from Whitehall, for he will be crowned as privately as may be, ceither will he dine publicly. It is reported that the Queene shall not be crowned at this time but in the winter and then the shows and solemnities shall be. The Ports should therefore agree who shall do the service to the King and who to the Queen.
"It is saide heere the Queene will not be crowned till wynter. His Majestie intendeth (as it is said) to be at St. James Howse two or three dayes before the daye appointed for his Coronation and from thence privatlie to Whithall and there to take his bardge and to be landed at the Parliament stayers, and from thence to be attended by the nobilitie, and no others, to the church, and the canapye to be borne by the Barons of the Portes. And yet I did enquire at the Warderope and cannot lerne that direction is geven to provide a canopie. I meane, God willinge, tomorrow in the morninge, to ride with Mr. Kelk to the Courte and theire I hope to learne whether the Queen shalbe crowned nowe or not. My Lord Steward hath not yet holden his Court or sate aboute the receavinge of the demandes of those that owe suit at his Highnes Coronation, neither is it any daye sett downe as I cane lerne."
Before the receipt of the letters of Mr. Kelk, our town clerk, concerning the services of the Barons at the Coronation, we proceeded to the election of those Barons and chose only three, whereas if the Queen should now be crowned we should have chosen six. Upon sight of those letters we are much confirmed in our proceeding in that we have elected as yet no more.
I attended our Lord Warden on Tuesday last but he could give me no information as to whether the Queen would be crowned at his Majesty's coronation. His Honor was much offended that Mr. Edwardes was chosen one of the Solicitors about the Charters, alleging that the inhabitants of Faversham ever opposed themselves against the general Charter of the Ports and against his Lordship's jurisdiction of the Chancery Court of Dover. On Wednesday and Thursday last Mr. Kelk and myself attended at the Court, Windsor and Otelands, on my Lord High Steward who informed us that both the King and Queen would be crowned on the 25th of this month, and that two canopies were in making, yet the coronation would be private and their Majesties would take barge at Whitehall stairs and thence be landed at the Parliament house stairs, where the canopies should be ready to receive them, and from thence to go under the same into the Church of Westminster, and that the dinner, shows, and solemnities would be deferred until some further time. There are to be 32 Barons chosen out of the Ports for this service. I am secretly informed by a friend of mine that the Barons of the Ports ought to have scarlet for their gowns. I searched at the Wardrobe but was referred to the book of liveries which were given at the coronation of Henry VIII. and his Queene which is now in the custody of the Lord Chamberlain and which Mr. Kelk will endeavour to obtain. Scarlet is valued at 3li. 10s. the yard at least and crimson satin at 15s. the yard. The sickness is much more increased this week and is dispersed in all places about the city and therefore it will be fit that those who will be chosen to do this service should be provident where they lodge. The King and Queen and the Prince are yet at Otelands; to-morrow the King removeth to Hampton Court and the Queen and Prince will remain at Otelands till the day before the coronation.
These are to pray you to give order that the Ports send in to the office at Dover certificate of those chosen for service at the Coronation, that the clerk may make his return to the Lord Steward. Copy.
"Whereas one Avery Care (as she nameth herself to be) aboute some moneth past came unto this towne of [Rye] in base attire and in rogishe manner, yet protestinge that she came of noble parrents and was daughter and heire unto Sir Robert Care, knight, and so of longe tyme hath travelled aboute the countrie, deludinge the King's Majesty's subjectes in cosoninge manner. And whereas the said Sir Robert Care hath directed his letters to the Maior of the Towne of Rye aforesaid, as well to have her severely ponished for her abuse offered here as also to have her safely conveyed unto him to London that he may take such order with her that hereafter she may be abbridged from running so lewdly abrod, which ponishement she hath here accordingly receaved. These are therefore in the King's Majesty's name to require all constables and other officers to whome these presents shall come, to be ayding and assisting unto the bearrer hereof (whome we have sent of purpose to convey her to the saide Sir Thomas Care) for the more better and surrer passinge of her from place to place untill she may be brought unto him to receave such ponishement as to such a vagrant person apperteyneth."
"Wheras we writ unto you of late in his Majesties name to geve streight order unto the Cinque Portes for restreynt and staye of any passage for the space of 10 dayes which was intended especially for the apprehencion of Sir Griffin Markham and his bretheren, and one Watson, a preeste. Althoughe the same care and dilligence be still to be continued for the aprehension of the same persons untill they may be taken, nevertheless you shall understand that his Majesties pleasure is that for any letters or messenger that is despatched from the French Ambassador or from the Count Airenburg, the Archduke's Ambasador or from any other Prince's Embassador that is heere, the person or persons beinge certeynelie knowen to be none of those trayterous persons to be aprehended, the passage from the said portes shalbe free and open. And thereof we do pray and requier you to geve notice unto the officers of the said portes, charging them withall that they take verie great heede and be watchfull as much as is possible for them for the aprehencion of the persons above mencioned." Copy.
"We are informed that our passage sent from this Town of Rye to Deipe is restreyned from landinge either passengers, goodes, or merchandize there by reason that it is reported that the plague, is in this towne and nere hereaboutes, and for that we wold resolve your Worshipp faithfullye and trewly concerninge all doubtes or scruple that maye growe concerninge suche goodes, wares, or merchandize as shall passe or be transported from this place to be clere from the infection. These are therefore to signifie unto you for treweth that not only thys towne of Rye but also all the towns, villages and places nere unto this towne adjoyninge by the space of twenty miles and upwardes, the Lordes name be praysed therefore, are clere from the said infection of the plague. And for our better securitie we will not permit any goodes wares or merchandize to be brought to our towne from London or any other place suspected to be visited with the said sicknes. And therefore we desire you that such passengers, wares, goodes, or merchandize which shall from this towne be transported unto Deipe, may be, by your good meanes and tolleration, permitted to be landed and taken on shore at Deipe aforesaid." Draft.
1604, September 11.—Acknowledgement by William Maquery of Dieppe, mariner, of the receipt of eleven pounds from George Emery, one of the Chamberlains for the town of Rye, being due for two years rent or hire of three score pounds lent to the Corporation of Rye by one Frauncys Couchy, late of Dieppe, deceased, uncle of the said William.
"Wheras upon complainte made of the scarcitie, badnes, and dearnes of sea fish in the service of his Majesty's house wee sent our letters unto you in June last by Richard Merredeth, clarke of his Majesty's Accatorye, and William Angell, his Majesty's fishmonger, to enquire and examine the reasons and causes therof and to certefie the abuses (yf any were) to the end wee might prevent by due punishment any which should goe about to hinder the good of his Majesty's service therin, wee find uppon their certifficate that by reason of a great nomber of buyers who doe buye fishe for the Fishmongers of London, and contrarie to all good order doe secretlye combyne with the fishermen to keepe back in their houses and shoppes their best fish to be convayed and carred to London, leaving the markett in a manner altogether unfurnished of good fish wherby his Majesty's Oaste is inforced many times to send to the Court unserviceable fish, being the refuse and leavings of theise menn, and also payeing unreasonable and deare prices for the same, to the great dishonor of his Majesty's service. For reformation wherof the Wardens of the Fishmongers of London, accordinge to an auncient order in their Companie, for prevention of such inconveniences have lately by our good liking appointed and nominated a certayne nomber, such as are knowne to yourselves to be honest and sufficient men, to be Oastes to buye fish for their Companie after his Majesty's Oaste hath bought his proportion of sea fish, and yf any hereafter shall presume to be an Oast or to buye fish for any privat fishmonger but such as are especially appointed by consent of the whole Companie aforesaid, or any so nominated shall presume to buye at any time any sea fish untill his Majesty bee first served, then wee will and require you to comitt the same person or persons, so offending, to prison, and presentlie to certefie his or their names to the officers of the Greenecloth that further order may be taken for punishment according to the qualetie of the offence." Signed. Seal.
"Whereas we are informed that a Commissyon of Sewers being heretofore graunted for the preservation of the Haven of Rye. the proceedinges wherein have ben directly impugned and disobayed (as it is alleaged) by one Alexander Sheppard and others that have of late undertaken to inne certaine salte mershes adjoyning to that haven, who having ben dealte withall to make staye of the said woorckes in respect that the same are founde to be of great inconvenyence and annoyance to the haven, the said persons doe (as is enformed) refuze to yeeld therunto, and notwithstanding goe forward with their said woorke, to the great prejudice and hurte of that towne and others, in case tymely order be not taken for redresse of the said inconvenyence. Forasmuch as it doth importe to preferre the care of the publique good before any privat interestes, and in that respect speciall care is to be taken of that towne, wee have ben moved to requier yow to examen carefully the matter of this complaint, whether the said woorkes which are undertaken by the said Sheppard and the reste, be so inconvenyent and hurtfull to the haven as is pretended, and to certefie us your opinyons thereof." Signed. Seal.
1604[–5]. March 21.—Depositions of William Palmer of Rye, fisherman, that on the nineth of February last while sailing in his boat, as a passenger from Rye to Dieppe, and carrying with him Sir John Wentworth of the County of Essex, knight, at a place called the Sowe he came upon about five or six and thirty sail of French fishermen, one of whom, as he supposes, thinking he came to board them to see with what engines they fished waved their caps for this deponent and his company to come aboard, when this deponent saw ten or twelve men armed with muskets, calivers and pikes to spoil this deponent and his company if they came near.
1605, May 10.—Depositions of Peter Norry of Dieppe that being in his ship with his company and about ten passengers going from London to Dieppe, while lying at anchor right against "Landes Inde, strappinge his floude" there boarded him on the night of the seventh instant a boat wherein were about twenty Englishmen and "bestowed" this deponent his company and passengers, and took away all their money and left aboard them eight of their men. And in the morning the said pirates set sail on his ship and came athwart of "Farley" [Fairlight?] and landed this deponent his company and passengers and carried away the ship and all their goods.
"There hathe binne a practise as a kynd of trade used by Irishe people to transport themselves into France and there, by begging and theire nakednes, to moove the people to compassion to give alms unto them, and after they (by this begginge trade) have gotten some money, they retorne hither or their contry. Theise kynd of base people resorting thither of late in soe greate multitudes and their hipocrisie beinge espied there is order taken to banishe them out of that kingdome, by reason whereof they come over hither in great companies and nombers and soe come up to London and disperse themselves over all the realme, to the great annoyaunce of all men in those places where they doe come. To prevent this inconvenience and swarminge of theis idle, and sluttishe, and noysome people who maie live in their contry, where all thinges (at this present) are att reasonable rates, with more ease, but take theis beggerly and idle courses upon them onlye to gett money. We doe pray your good Lordship that you will give speciall direction to the officers of the Cinque Portes, that they suffer none of theise Irishe people to be sett one land in any sorte, whither they are transported in Englishe or Frenche bottomes, and to give further order that soe soone as they come into the Rodes they maie be searched what money they have, which may be ymployed for the sendinge of them by sea into their contry. But if they be brought hither in Englishe vessells, the same boates that bring them hither maie be enjoyed to retorne them backe or to undertake the transportation of them into Ireland; yf any Frenche vessell, and uppon searche made, they have money emongest them to paye for theire transportation, then order is to be taken there may be shipping provided with the money founde aboute them to convey them into Ireland, otherwise that they be not permitted to be sett one lande, which order wee praie your Lordships to cause dulye to be observed in all the Cinque Portes, members, and creeckes, and other portes of the coast and to cause certificatt to be sent to your Lordship of the names, surnames, sex, and age of those that shall be brought thither." Copy.
"Whereas upon the discovery of the most horrible treason that ever was intended against the person of the King's Majesty and the whole State of this Realme, it is thought expedient to make staie of all manner of passengers that shall offer themselves to be transported owt of this realme into forreine partes, untill the accesaries and parties unto this conspiracy maie be apprehended, who no doubte will make what shifte they can to fly the realme. Theis are to praie your Lordship to take order within your commaund of the Cinque Portes that no person be suffered to passe out of those portes, under what color or preteuxt soever, but that stay be made of all manner of shipes and passengers for a tyme, untill your Lordship shall receave direction to the contrary. And besides his Majesty's further pleasure is that you cause diligent searche and enquirey to be made within the precinct of those portes for the person of Thomas Percy, according to the deriction of the proclamation inclosed, and yf he shall be found and apprehended there, that order maie be taken for the safe custody of him and for the sendinge of him unto us at the Courte under sufficient garde." Copy.
"Whereas I have this afternoone receaved letters from our right honorable Lord Warden in the name of all the Lordes of his Majesty's most honorable Privye Councell for the staying and aprehending of a certaine damnable traitor whose description I sende you hereinclosed, who hath bene actor in the most barbarous and divelish treason that ever was invented or put in practice in any state or kingdome. Wherefore these shall be very heartely to pray and desire you and in his Majesty's name streightly to charge and commande you that foorthwith you make presente and diligent searche everyone in your severall lymittes and precincte, for the apprehension of such a most traiterous and dangerous person, and that everyone of you be carefull for the stayeinge of all such as you shall have any cause to suspect, especially if in any sorte he answer this subscribed description, to send such person or persons so taken unto mee that I may foorthwith take instant order for sendinge them up to his Lordship and the Councell."
Postcript.—"He is a tall man with a great broad beard, a good countenance, the coulor of his beard and head mingled with white haires very much, and the head more white then the beard, his face is well coulored, he stoopeth somewhat in the shoulders, his legges small, his foote longe."
Whereas by an order of the Admiralty court at Dover dated 17 August, 1602 it was set out that the trawl nets, commonly used by the fishermen of Hastings and other foreigners and fishermen, were reputed to be great destroyers of the fry and food of fish and should therefore be utterly prohibited and damned as altogether inconvenient. After further trial of the said nets it is ordered that they be no more used within the jurisdiction of the Cinque Ports under pain of forfeiture of the said nets and twenty shillings fine. It is further ordered that the "droitgatherer" of the Lord Warden do burn or cut in pieces all such nets found.
That he affirmeth it was a merrier world when ministers might not marry, that now they ought not to marry and that their children are illegitimate that he absented himself from church at Northiham for half a year, and was a profaner of the Sabbath in entertaining men's servants in playing of cards and dice. That he threatened to pull Mr. Frewen out of the pulpit and spit in his face and made the said Mr. Frewen come to him on his knees, and threatened that songs should be made of him.
The matters I wrote to you about I am to recommend from the King's own mouth to myself. "I must require you with all speede possible to awake the Portes and charge them to putt on all their eyes of caution and curiouse observation whether any man do lande in port or creeke that is of little personage, a sharpishe nose, a shrimpishe face, a beard light auborne or somwhat more enclyninge to a reddishe yellowe, that he may be either stayed, till I have word or sent up, with sure garde of two or three, with so great care in the keepinge him from accesse or speeche of any man till he be brought to me as I may answer both for myself and for the diligence and discretion of those that are putt in the leike trust in my absence to have an eye to these occurrences under me. It is likely that he will not tell his name, but he is northerly, which circumstance in his tongue may geve you some light also wherby to gesse at the right man, yf it be so happy that he fall into their handes, that knowe the right waye howe to handle him." Copy.
Requesting him to accept "a poore dishe of fyshe," consisting of "one codling, three gornards, one playse, one scalloppe, thirty rochettes, eight whitinges, and a thorneback" in consideration of his care in soliciting the suit for the amendment of the harbour of Rye. Draft.
"Wheras ther hathe byn a folysh rumor spred abrode withowt any sertan grownd of som dangurus and dyseasteras accident faling upon the person of his most excellent Majesty, I have this morning received letters from owr ryght honorable Lord Warden singnyfing that the same reportt is most false and untrue and that his Majestie, thankes be to God, is verie well, lustie, and in perfett hellthe, and fre from the touch of any such unhappie efeacktes, as have byn brutied, to the exeding grett joye and comfortt of all his Majesty's loving subjects. According to the tenor of his Lordship's saied letters I have hyld fytt for the which to aquaynt you wythe the premases."
I hear that the commissioners for passage at Dover and Margate have been of late very remiss in suffering great numbers of Irish beggars to be brought over and landed here, contrary to the express directions from my Lords of the Council. I pray you let them understand from me that if it be true, as it is reported, they shall not only run into danger themselves by their negligence, but cause an imputation and blame upon me. Copy.
The death of his friend Mr. Hamon causes a vacancy in Parlisment for the town, "which (as I take it) is in your guyft." Recommends, therefore, "a gentleman, whome I much esteeme . . . . . for whom I can promise, an for myselfe, that he shalbe carefull for your good." If they expect direction from the Lord Warden, he asks them to withhold their election until he "may speake with his Lordship, which wilbe within a fortnight." He will send them the name of his friend when they tell him of the date fixed for the election. Seal of Arms.
"Though I never meant to presse furder upon your curtesie in those thinges that belonge to your owne right then reasone moves, and then in your owne enclynation doth admitte, yet presuminge upon the kindnesse which I dayly more and more observe, to my comfort, towarde me, I make bolde to recomende to your acceptance my requeste for the choise of Mr. Hennage Finche into the place of Hamonde one of the Burgesis for your towne. The jentilman for his decretion and towardaesse in the study of the lawe shall be verie able to performe that service to the credite of the corporation that belonges to him and the place requires, and I am the rather induced to write in his behalf bycause he will be willinge in respecte of his aboad in this place to ease you of that dayly and large allowance which was befor allottid to the prediscessor; and bycause I have found both his father and Sir William Twisenden [Twysden], his brother-in-lawe, so kindly and constantly affected, to the furdernance of any good that my invention ore industry doth entende, ore can devise to drawe to your corporation. From myself, you shall ever expecte and be sure to receive as many lovinge and faythfull offices as my meanes can worke; and I think myself more happy in the love which I finde both in you and other members of my charge to my self then any fortune that I enjoye nexte to the Kinge's favour." Seal of Arms.
"At my attending on my Lord Warden, I did so præsent unto his Lordship your regard of him in this business [the choice of a candidate for Parliament], which naturally belonged to your selfes, that it hath wonne confirmation of his good affection unto you, as you may perceave by his owne letter of his consent herewithall sent . . . . . The gentleman for whome I moved yee, is my brother Heneage Finche, Sir Moyle Finche's sonne, a barrester of the Inner Temple, who I will assure you is very willinge and able, not now only, but at any time heerafter, to advise as well as ayde and pleade for yee if neede shalbe." Seal with Crest.
The boat to be of Hastinge, the nettes to be provided equally betwine Hastinge and Rye. Yf it hapen that Hastinge cannot fyshe with tramells, that then the townesmen of Rye to yeald recompence for their nettes and to have them to ther oune usse. The Tryers to be iij Dover, viz.:—Gregory Michaell, Henry Tydde man, James Neales, Thomas Wallop of Heithe, Mychell Rycke, Thomas Lovett [and] Paul Hutson. The Tryers to retorne certyfycatt upon oth after the season of fyshinge ended, yf the fyshinge sesson prove nott proffitable then the tounes of Rye and Hastinge to make them recompence for ther hinderance as the Court shall awarde. To fyshe the whole seasson." Copy.
"Notwithstandinge the course taken the last yeare by our most honorable Lord Warden in repellinge and beatinge those insolent and irregular fyshers which yearlie have used to come in swarmes from Deipe, Traporte, and the places nere adjoyninge, to the prejudice of your townsmen in their trade of fishinge, and soe consequentlie to the detriment of the whole state of your towne; and notwithstandinge that the French Kinge hath byn pleased by his late proclamation to inhibitt such their unwarranted fyshinge uppon paine of deathe, yet that there is a present preparation in seacrett and underhand in Deipe and more appertlie in Traport by some malignant spirits, that have neither sence of dutye to their Soveraigne's comaund, nor conscience to distinguish betweene theire owne interests and other mens, to thrust out against this approachinge season, dyvers boates in their wonted and unlawfull manner. Albeit, I doubt not but this is as well knowne to yourselves as to me; yet I could not chuse (in my affection to you and my dutie to the place wherein I serve) but recommend this preparation to your advised consideration wherein I would desire you to consider whether yee shall be able with your owne forces to preserve your owne fyshing, and whether yee will undertake the same, as I have been enformed by some of yourselves yee willinglie will doe, so as yee may have the one moyetie of the boates, nettes and ransom yee shall take soe unlawfully fyshinge, in leiwe of your chardge and adventure, which to my understandinge yee may safely undertake and to your proffitt performe by reason your neereness to the place and acquaintance with their manner of fyshinge, will give you oppertunity to surprize them in the night without your danger, they beinge then bysye at worke. I desire to receive your resolution in this pointe with your fyrst convenience which I exceedingle [desire] maye be between this and Twelvetyde, for that yf yee shall finde this course inconvenient for you, that then some other may be thought on." Signed. Seal of Arms.
"We wishe you to be well advised before you proceede to the execution of eny, uppon the statute of I Regis Jacobi, for that it is the onely statute now in force against such as doe use invocation or comunication of evill spirits or consult, covenant with, entertaine, feede or rewarde any such wicked spirit. In that estatute, power is given to any justice of peace to enquere, and although it were made one yere before the charter, yet the estatute [charter?] gevinge noe aucthoritie to any justice of peace to inquire of any such invocation nor any such wordes in your newe charter to inquire of it expresly, nor of eny other estatutes (sic), but of such as autoritie is geven by statute to inquire of by justices of peace (althoughe in the newe comission of the peace some wordes to leike effecte be inserted) yet you, not having eny such wordes, cannot as we thinke and are informed by the best lerned of these partes, inquire, heare and determyn them. And wee write soe much the rather unto you because we have byn requered to graunt a certiorari for the removinge of an inditment against Mr. Tayler's wife which is informed us to be done uppon former mallice and hope of gaine thereby, and thereuppon you have called an especiall Sessions which wee assure our-selves you will forbeare to proceede therein, untill it may be resolved upon that you may lawfully proceed therin lest some former imputations laid to your towne be verified. Thus wishing you not to proceede but to forbeare, as Tenterden doth, untill full resolution and order may be had for a due and orderly proceedinge therein." Copy.
"At my beinge at London the last tearme, I had your counsaile concerninge the triall of a woman imprisoned in our towne uppon the statute in the first yere of the King's Majesty's raigne against conjuration, witchcraft and dealinge with evill and wicked spirits, and accordinge to your advice, and with the direction of Mr. Thurbarne, at our last general sessions holden in Rye, we proceeded to the triall of her, where she was indited, arrayned and condempned to death but in regarde she is with child, execution is staid. Sithence which tyme wee have received this inclosed letter from Sir John Boyes, who certifieth us that we have no aucthoritie nor power by the said statute nor by our charter, to inquere of the said cause. Wherefore these are most earnestly to intreate and desire your advice and direction what is best for us to doe in this case. I have intreated Mr. Thurbarne to attend uppon you for our further resolution herein."
The masters and chief fishermen of Rye are grateful to Waller for "the great love and care" that he has had for their poor estate in writing as to the French fishermen. The Rye fishermen "all protest and vowe that to the uttermost of their powers they are most willing to imploy their best indevors for the repellinge and beatinge awaye of those insolent and irregular French fishers. But so it is right worshipful that the fyshermen of our toune doe thinke themselves altogether unable (without the helpe of a pynnys of his Majesty's to be aydinge and assistinge unto theire boates, at the sea) to suppresse and repell the force of the French fysher boates by reason that they are soe many in nomber and so strongly prepared, armed, and violently beat to defend their unlawfull proceedinges; for the whole nomber of our fisher boates which goe to sea this winter are not above sixteene and for the moste parte of our fyshermen they are forced to attend their fyshinge with great care, otherwise they shall not be able to maintaine their great charge of wyfe, children, and famelie, their estates beinge so poore. Besides they do assure themselves that yf it shall be knowen or intelligence given unto the French that the fyshermen of Rye shall take uppon them in warlike manner to suppresse and repell them from their unlawfull fishinge, without the ayde of his Majesty's ships or pynnysses to stande in their defence, that they of Deipe and Treyport will bend all their forces against them that they shall not be able to abide the seas in their lawfull fishinge without great danger of bloodshede. In consideration whereof and in regarde that the said French fyshers neither respect the feare of God nor their Kinge's stricte comandement to the contrary, our said fyshermen most humbly beseche your Worship that you will vouchsafe so farre to favor their distressed case that by your good meanes unto our most honorable Lord Warden, a pynnys of his Highnes may be graunted to come and lye in the harbor of Rye this present fyshinge season, to goe to sea, at tymes convenient, with our fysherboates, and they all doe faithfully promys that they will from tyme to tyme as occasion shall serve be redey to geve due attendance uppon the said pynnys and arme themselves for the apprehension of the said French fyshers, in the beste manner that they canne or may. And for their paines and sallery to be taken therein they most humbly submit themselves to be considered of by our right honorable good Lord Warden to receave for the same as they shall worthely merit and deserve. And this much they have intreated us to signifie unto your Worship."
Postscript.—"Wee have sithence the wrytinge of this letter bene very credably informed by one Henry Dunne (?) sayler, a master of one of our passage boates of Rye who came from Deipe about three dayes past, that Mr. Bellier (?) the Purveyor for the French Kinge, did send Dunn to informe our fishermen of Rye that there are twentye fysher boates of Deipe sent to Treport by certeine men of Deipe and their they are manned and sett forthe to fyshinge, notwithstanding the French King's proclamation to the contrary; and that they have alredey bene at sea afyshinge and doe bringe by horsbacke from Treyporte to Deipe sometymes 20 horse loades of soles and playce in a day; and that Mr. Bellier wold have advertised so muche by his letters but that he dares not to writt for feare lest he should be killed amongest them." Copy.
1608, March 10. (New style.)—Appointment by Clara Larder of Rye, widow, daughter and heir of John Vanvost, late Ypres in Flanders, deceased, of Tobias Streekeman of Rye, her son and heir, and William Dennys of Faversham, fisherman, her son-in-law, as her attornies to take possession of her property in Ypres. Copy.
Enclosure:—Copy of the King's warrant, setting out that there is great abuse in the granting of victuallers', tiplers' and alehouse keepers' licences, and directing the observance of the following directions in granting the same for the future:—
- (1.) The High Constables of Hundreds, and the churchwardens and constables of parishes are to present, at the next Easter Sessions, the number of necessary alehouses in their districts, and the fittest persons to keep them. All old licences are to be brought in.
- (2.) Future licences are to be granted at the General Quarter Sessions.
- (3.) Certain articles of "good order" for ale house keepers, are to be "conceaved" by the Justices of the Peace, and to be duly observed; these are to be reported to the Privy Council before the end of the next Trinity term.
- (4.) Alehouse keepers are to be bound by recognizances against unlawful games.
- (5.) All licences for ale house keepers are to be "sealed with a common seale, ingraven in brasse with a rose, and the inscription of the countie, cittie or towne-corporate haveing authoritie to hold sessions of the peace."
- (6 & 7.) As to the custody of this Seal, the fees payable for licences granted under it.
- (8 & 9.) A register of Licences is to be kept.
- (10.) The number of alehouses is "not to be increased but diminished."
- (11.) Justices of Assise on their circuits, and Justices of the Peace at General Quarter Sessions, are to inquire as to the due execution of those orders.
They have taken order with the masters of the Rye "fysher boates" for the redelivery of all such things as their companies have taken away from the French fishermen. The Rye fishermen fear attacks from the French fishermen who "fysshe for herrings and coddes in great barkes, and our men fysshinge by them in small boates, they may (as heretofore they have done) spoyle their nettes by ronninge over them, and so utterlye overthrowe their fysshinge for that Yermouth season, and leikwise for the Scarborow voyage, yf by some good meanes they be not prevented." The Rye men hope the Lord Warden will find means to protect them. Copy.
They are ready to provide money for the purchase of "tramell" nets. The boat for the "tryal" is ready for the coming of the "tryers" according to the order. They have asked the Lord Warden to move the Mayor and Jurats of Rye to obtain these nets for them in Rye "our reasons are, that having never used here such kynd of netts (as you knowe) we are altogether unfurnisht both of such netts and stuff to make them, and also unskillfull how to make them as they ought to be."
Enclosing revised directions, as to licencing ale houses, made after conference with "divers principall gentlemen dwelling within the shyres neerest to this cittye"; these directions have been printed by public order. Copy.
"The seals, that by certain articles concerning the licencing of victualers are appointed to be used to seale these licences, are made at the Kinge's ingraver's; he dwelleth in the lower end of Foster Lane over against the Goldsmith's Hall. He is to have 20s. for every seal by order and warrant under the late Treasurer's hand (which I did see) and so much I paid for one for this town, assuring myself I shall have allowance thereof again and would wish that your town clerks should send thither for their seals if they buy them [not] elsewhere, yet this engraver sayeth he is promised the 20s. for every county, city, and town, and therefore to his book he taketh the name of every person that payeth him to be subscribed with his own hand."
He has received a petition on behalf of Anne Taylor who is kept a prisoner in the common gaol at Rye, "uppon the unjust accusation of a lewde woman and some pryvate displeasure conceaved by your selfe against her" though she has tendered good bail and is by law bailable.
"As I like at no hand that authority be made a maske to revenge private injuries, so ame I not credulous of every information I receave against the magistrates for due execution of justice, yet in this case I could be well contented in respect of her sex and her present state, beinge now with childe, and growen very weake by reason thereof, and the lothsomness of the prison, to afforde her all favour warrantable by lawe." Desires, therefore, that the charges against her be set down and delivered to her husband, whom he has appointed to attend Sir John Boys and Mr. Haddes that they may decide whether she is bailable. Signed. Seal of Arms.
Concerning Anne Tayler, in her own examination she had confessed that she "was from tyme to tyme acquainted by one Susan Swapper (since that tyme before us tryed and condempned uppon the last statute of witchcrafte) with her conference and conversinge with spirittes, and that she, the said Anne, delivered to her divers thinges which she demanded for the said spirittes." At the last general sessions of the peace held at Rye, the said Anne was duly convicted for aiding and abetting the said Susan. Before Anne's conviction, but subsequent to her examination above referred to, her husband promised that she should appear when called upon; but, contrary to that promise she withdrew herself into Kent for half-a-year. Lately she came secretly to Rye and whilst making stay there, used "some outrageous behaviour" upon her maid servant, for which behaviour and for "divers other matters and suspicions concerning witchecraftes . . . . . come to light since her departure," she was apprehended and committed to gaol where she hath remained a few days. No good or sufficient bail has yet been tendered for her. "It hathe not at any tyme heretofore byn used amongst us or often hearde, that persons indicted for felonie, especially in suche cases where the benefitt of clergye is taken awaie, have byn bayled." Serjeant Shorley, the town's counsel advised that on apprehension she should be kept without bail. Still the Mayor and Jurats are rendy, at the Lord Warden's request, to accept the said Anne's husband as her bail. Copy.
He has recommended the Board of Green Cloth to write to the town to see that the fishermen are placed nearer the fishmarket " and the Ostes farther off," which was considered desirable "although it wilbe alleadged that teuants are not to be put out without sufficient warneinge, nor without their own likeinge, it may well be aunswered, that by reason of their common inconveniences, bred and offered by themselves, many waies, we are driven thus to doe, as well for the ease of the King's officer there, as also for betteringe the King's service, especiallye for keeping the markett betimes." Seal of Arms.
The contents of his letter has been communicated to the "Hostes and Fysshermen" who are willing to abide thereby. "In regarde that in the winter season every particular fyssherman hath his shoppe unto hymselfe, and in the somer tyme when they goe with tramells the whole company of one boat use but one shopp; for them, we thinke it most fitt that they should change shoppes with the hostes between this, and All Saints about which tyme the boats come from Yermouth." Copy.
I have received a warrant from my Lord and master to give notice to all Ports that one Sir Nicholas Hales and Captain Henry Fortescue, on Thursday last, came out of London intending to pass over the seas and there to fight a challenge made here in England between them. These are to give you notice that you permit no such persons to pass but to stay them till further orders.
1608, October 8.—License by the Earl of Northampton to John Hangney of Dieppe, fisherman, with his boat and servants to fish at the place called the Sowe upon the English Coast out of respect for the service of the French King.
"Humbly shewing unto your honorable Lordship that of late by the violence of the seathear is so muche sande broughte into our harbor and lyeth so highe that it causeth the sea (rowling over that sand) to fall with such an exceeding force upon our jetties, keyes, and caulseys and other defences thereabouts that it is very likely in short space to undermyne the same; the highe waye to the towne is almost eaten upp and the gate and streate that leadeth to the towne is almost undermyned, which in short time will growe to the utter ruyne and decaye of the whole towne if speedie remedie be not had. And your poor suppliants have alreadie byn at such chardge in seeking to amend the haven and to withstand the violence of the sea thear, that they have well neere spent the whole revenues of the same towne and so ympoverished themselves thereby that they are not able to doe any more by their owne meanes or abilitie; by reason they being but feu in number and very much ympoverished for wante of trade but onely fishing, and the houses there so meanly rented, and soe many standing emptie, that it seemeth a thing unpossible to levy uppon the saide corporation or of the lands and tenements within the same any proportionable some of money for the effectuall repayring thereof.
Nowe may it please your good Lordship in tender comisseration of our poor estates (and consideringe all meanes to helpe ourselves is taken from us) referring ourselves wholly to your Honor's protection, humbly beseech you of your accustomed goodnes to be a meanes to his Majestie for us for some speedy supply and releife in this our distressed estate, or els the whole towne is likely to be utterly ruynated and decayed, his Majesties service thereby neglected and a number of us very likely to be undone."
I have received your letters by this bearer Goodman Baylye and upon receipt thereof we petitioned immediately to my Lord of Northampton who was very forward to do you any good, and willed us to petition the Lords of His Majesty's Council which we did. The answer from the Council consisted of two points first that if we could benefit ourselves by a Commission of Sewers we should have a new commission with as large words as we could devise and if this could do us no good the Lords of the Council would direct their letters to the country for our present relief.
These are to give you notice that we have appointed to execute our commission at Lewes on 25 April and to require you to warn and summon in every parish within your port and the liberty thereof, all freeholders that they be before us at Lewes aforesaid.
We have received letters from the right worshipful knights of the County of Sussex concerning the levying of aid for making Prince Henry, his Majesty's eldest son, a knight, which for our part we are persuaded that we are clearly discharged from the payment of any aid by the Charter of the Ports.
"Whereas we have resceaved letters from our most honorable Lord Warden to cause present restraynt and staye to be made throughout all the Portes and members, of all such barkes as the copie hereinclosed dothe mention, and that noe person bee permytted to passe over the seaes with any of the saide barkes whatsoever. These are therefore to will and requier you the Maiors, Bailliffes and Jurattes of the severall Portes, twoe auncient townes and theire members to have an especiall care and respect to see his Majesties comandement in that behalfe most carefully obeyed." Copy.
"For that I perceave the pointe of fisheinge betwen the French and you ys lyke to bee exceedinglye pressed against you wherein I understand ther are above thirtye severall depositions taken on the other syde that will be enforced against you, and ther are only fyve deposed on your parte to proove that the Broad Smooth ys parte of the Sow and hathe ben tyme out of mind so reputed, and of the extent therof; least thys number should seeme to be sumwhat overwayed with multitude of opponants I pray you indelayedly upon the receyte heerof, yf therebe any others in your towne that out of their experience or by waye of tradition are able to depose to thatt point, that Richard Oake and the other two lately deposed before you, that you lykewyse take their depositions and haste them up to be without fayle att London att my Lord Privy Seale's house on Satterday night or Sundaye morninge att the furthest. You may be noe meanes fayle to have twoe men for the business of the petition as was formerly appointed." Signed. Seal of Arms.
A circular letter as to whether the Ports have the power under the Charter of Edward IV. to try offenders under the Statute against conjurations or for other offences made felony since the said Charter.
"The question between the French and yow for the right of fisheinge upon the Sow and Broad Smoothe, which to muche importes the state and lyfe of your towne of Rye, ys exceedinglye prest above by the French Embassador and to farr urged as yt behooveth, that yee be not sylent nor secure when your adversaries doe importune and are soe vigillant least the state should conceave ytt ys not so important to you as hathe been pretended, and our most honorable Lord Warden should growe weerye of carryeinge your burden yf yee shall nott be redye to sett to your helpeinge hande. Ytt ys conceaved to be more then convenient, most necessarye, thatt yee send upp 2 discreet parsons to be att London one Frydaye next which shall delyver a petition on Sondaye morninge to hys Majestie in the name of all the inhabitants of Rye. They that yee shall imploye in thys sarvice shall finde either Mr. Packnam or Mr. Warde at the Starr in New Fishstreet whoe shall delyver them the petition reddye drawne and shall directe them farther as occasion shall requyre." Signed. Seal of Arms.
"I think you understood in generality howe the cause of fyshing went at the Counsayle table this last weeke, but now by this you shall know more particularly what was done. The Lords that then heard it agreed to referre the hearing and determining thereof to the Lord Kinlasse, Sir John Herbart, Sir Julius Cesar, Sir Thomas Parry and others; the Commission to that end I have drawn.
The French confesse the Sowe to be the King's wholly and promise never to use it more without leave, but when it cometh to be questioned where the Sowe lyeth and how much it conteyneth they allow us a peece of the sea about five miles from our shore and in length and breadth about some seaven myles, which as you know is not nigh the Sowe by many leagues, and this is so confidently avowched as yf it were most true. Those that be of counsayle with the French have shewed me the mapp that they have drawen to this effect, and for that parte which you accompte the Sowe they terme it the Vergoye and the Aleppo and soe with strange names they intend to put us quite besydes the Sowe. With this opinion they have fully possessed the French Embassador and their Counsayle, soe that of necessity you must take this course. You muste send, at the least, ten of your moste sufficient auntientest and wisest fyshermen to goe of purpose with a boate in the day time to sound and as they can measure the Sowe in this manner, they must observe for the length from east to west, right over to what parte of Fraunce the east end lyeth and to what parte of England; soe likewise right over to what part of Fraunce the west end lyeth and soe to England. Then for the breadth, to what part of Fraunce the nighest part of the Broadsmoth or the Sowe lyeth and howe nigh to that coast; then must they as nigh as they can gesse and observe the juste length of the Sowe from east to west and the juste breadth from south-east to north-west. This being done, they must come up hyther when I send for them to depose this upon theyr oathes, and soe I doubt not to procure an order for perpetuall quietnes by the honorable Commissioners that it shall remaine without question herafter. Nowe is the tyme to settle your quietnes in this matter for ever. Your Lord Warden is your most honourable Lord and most zealous patron herin. Therfore be not wantinge to yourselves nowe, and with all alacrity take the matter in hand which I have prescribed you and lett it be dispatched quickly, for there will be neede heere very shortly of the oathes of those men that shall thus surveye it."
You lately wrote that the day after the date of your letter I should receive from you by Mr. Beveridge the plat which your fishermen had taken of the Narrow seas and the Sowe, but as yet I hear not either of Mr. Beveredge or it, for which cause I write desiring you to send it with all speed. Seal.
"By my Lord of Northampton his meanes the Kings Majestie hath pleased to grant your petition for the Chanell of Apledore and the lands conteyned within it, and his Lordship hath geven order to Mr. Atorney for drawing the conveyance unto your Corporation with a clause of a yearly accompt to be made unto the Lord Warden for the time being of the imployment of the proffitt thereof unto the use of the haven in such manner as is expressed in your petition."
Whereas I have given license with his Majesty's privity to seven boats more to fish for the service of the French King for the reasons therein expressed. And whereas liberty is given to the French to begin their fishing the fourteenth day of February which is one month before the time limited by the constitutions, because that their Lent falleth out commonly before ours, therefore because I will have them enjoy no privilege whereof you shall not partake I am well content that you begin your fishing at the same time. Signed. Seal of Arms.
Enclosure. Copy of licence to the French fishermen granted at the request of Monsieur de la Bodery, late resident ambassador in England for the French King, Henry the fourth.
1609[–10], March 18.—Depositions of Richard Colbrand of Holborn in the County of Middlesex, musician. He says that while lodging at the house of Fraunces Daniell of Rye, innholder, he heard the said Daniell say, "We have a Puritan to our Mayor and therefore you may play as long as you will at his door, but he will give you nothing." And that was the occasion that they stayed from playing and showing their music unto Mr. Mayor.
1610, July 18.—Depositions of Joan Bayly of Rye aged four score years and upwards. She saith that the child of Thomas Hart, fisherman of Rye, "had not all her friends about her" and she thought the child was bewitched, therefore she told Susan the wife of the said Thomas to get her a piece of red cloth, three score needles and a halfpennyworth of pins and by God's help she would cure the child. Which needles and pins being brough to her, she did stick them in the said red cloth and put the same on the fire upon the "emeryes" and stuck a dagger in the midst and she should know thereby the party that had bewitched the child, as the party that did the deed would come into the house if the child were bewitched. And she saith it was a long time before the said cloth was consumed and at length it did seem to be like unto a toad but no party came in nor does she know who bewitched the child.
The bearer "Mr. John Stoneham one of his Majesty's gard, and well knowen to be a very good and ingenious workman about the amendinge of waterworkes and havens" has, of late years, been largely employed at Dover (where his father was also employed) about the works upon the pier and harbour there. He has now taken in hand the amendment of the haven of Rye, assuring himself that by your honourable good meanes, there may be procured sufficient money for the repairs which will make Rye haven as serviceable as ever it was. He will suggest how such work is to be done, and how the requisite money is to be raised without charge to the town of Rye, "the which, he himself by your honourable favour will take upon himself, to effecte at his owne charge." Copy.
1610, September 7. Certificate by the Mayor of Rye that Henry Blackborne "chirurgion and occulist by his profession, about one yere nowe last past, by the helpe of Almightie God, his arte and skyll, did recover divers persons within the toune of Rye aforesaid that were blinde, unto their sight againe." Those restored to sight were Agnes Blakey of Rye, widow, 74 years of age who had been "darke and blinde" about two years; Jane the wife of William Hurlstone of Rye, fisherman, 65 years of age, who had been "blinde of bothe eyes" about ten years; and Alice the wife of Joseph Stare of Hastings, fisherman, 75 years of age also blind of both eyes. All these three persons are "yet alive, in good sort, can see, and goe aboute the toune without any guide." Draft.
1610, October 26.—Certificate by the Mayor and Jurats of Rye that, time out of mind, the citizens and free men of the City of London have paid to the Corporation of Rye the following duties. " Anchorage of all such shipps and barques of theirs as doe arive in the harbor of Rye," and also "keyage and wharfage" for their goods and merchandize brought from beyond the sea to Rye. Seal torn away.
Begging his aid in obtaining an Act of Parliament granting to them, for " a certain tyme," tonnage at the rate of 3d. a ton (in like manner as had been granted to Dover) to be bestowed on the repair of their haven, which is so decayed that without repairs—for which the town can no longer afford to pay—"there is nothing to be expected but onely the losse of his Majesty's poore toune, which in very short tyme will be eaten and beaten doune by the rage of the sea, in regarde that our jetties and timber works are broken and worren awaye."
1610, November 20.—The Mayor and Jurats of Rye to John Griffithe, chief Secretary to the Lord Warden; James Thurbarne "at Grayes Inn in Holdberne;" Sir William Twysden "at his house in Reed Crosse Street near the Crosse;" and to Hennage Finch, and John Young, members of Parliament for Rye.
Stating that the Lord Warden had promised his aid towards obtaining for them an act of Parliament for granting to the town tonnage, at the rate of 3d. a ton "in suche sort as heretofore by Act of Parliament hath been granted to Dover haven" towards the amendment of this "poor decayed haven of Rye"; and begging the assistance of those to whom they write towards the passage of such a bill through the House of Commons. Copies.
1610, December 3.—Certificate made at "His Majesties Court," held in Rye, by the Constables and Churchwardens of Rye that they do not know or believe there are any "popish recusant, or other refusers of the Kinge's Majesties laws ecclesiastical" within the parish or liberties of the town.
1610, December 4.—Deposition of Francis Cossen of Cranbrook, Kent, to the effect that one Ralph Wood was never apprenticed to the trade of tallow chandler, though he dwelt with Francis Harris of Rye "who used to make candles, but was no chaundler or brought upp in that trade."