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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Your free choice of me to be one of your Barons for the Parliament, and your admittance of me to be one of your corporation have so prepared my affection to all service in token of true and hearty thankfulness. God be thanked, we have a happy beginning of our Parliament and I hope the end will be suitable, and so great is the disposition of our whole House to do all the good we may, as it is not to be doubted but all good motions will be well entertained and speed well. Seal of arms.
"I have received commandment from the Lords of the Higher House of Parliament for the present stay and apprehension of Sir Giles Mompesonne, knight, who, beinge accused for divers great offences, is fled from the custody of a sergeant to whom he was commytted. These are therefore strictly to will and require you to make all speedy and diligent hast in sendinge to all places, portes, and creekes within my government for the present apprehending and staying of the said Sir Giles Momepesonne if he shall come into any part of my jurisdiction, either to hide himself or to be transported beyond the seas."
"Letters were lately addressed hither from the right worshipful and our verie lovinge freind Sir Richard Young, knight, one of the Barons of the Parliament for this port, of the date of the 29th of the last moneth, whereby he signified that uppon the same daye the whole committee of so many of the Parliament house as were then in towne being commanded then to meete, to fitt and prepare matters for their next meetinge, fell into consideration of free trade, and thereuppon motion was made that the merchantes dwellinge in the Cinque Portes were much restrayned, contrary to their charter, in the coarse of their tradinge by particular societies in London, whereuppon it was ordered that on Twesdaye the afternoone next after Loe Sunday in the Exchequer Chamber at Westminster, the committees are pleased to hear what can be said of the Portes or any other to advance the libertie of free trade, and therefore he did thinke it verie necessary that some particuler persons which well understand the circumstances of this busines should be sent from Dovor and Sandwich and from other townes in that government which have trading to attend the commyttees at that tyme, bringing with them the old chartre by which we have freedome of trade togither with all other instructions and papers as may conduce and be of use to obteine libertie of trade.
And forasmuch as much tyme, labor and mony hath allready be[en] spent in the prosecution of this suit (as is well known unto you) we have taken consideration of the same lettres and, (as thereby is required) did communicate this busines to our loving brethren the Maior and Jurates of Sandwich and they and wee have thereupon resolved and given our consentes for the further followinge of the same suit uppon assurance that if uppon this fitt occasion wee do not obteine our free trade, there wilbe little hoope hereafter to gaine it. And because wee are streightened in respect of the tyme appointed for hearinge as that wee could not send to you and receive your answer, wee have agreed that Mr. Rucke and Francis Raworth, town clerk of this towne, shall forthwith prepare themselves to attend the said Committees, being persons best acquainted in this cause having foremerlie followed the same, presuminge that you will not dislike of our election but that you will willinglie contribute to the charge, yet forasmuch as a busines of this nature will require best help that may be added to it in respect of the strong opposition that hath ben and is likelie to be, we think it verie meete, and our brethren of Sandwich desire, that you wilbe pleased to send one or more persons such as you thinke most meete, one of the west portes to joyne with the parties aforenamed in this suite who resolve and have agreed (if God so please) to meete in the middle ile of St. Paul's church, London, upon Sunday next ymediately after prayer there then to have communication of their meetinge and proceedinge on the next day to prepare for the daies work followinge, intending also in their jorney towardes London to have conference and to advise with Mr. Tharbanne upon the drawinge of the petition and otherwise as shall apperteine, it being wished that this day of attending the committees had ben appointed in the terme tyme where he might have stood us in greate stead in this suit."
Whereas it pleased you to appoint Mr. Rucke and me further to solicit our suit of free trade into all parts beyond the seas and for our free buying in Blackwell Hall in the City of London and elsewhere. And according to your directions in that behalf, we made our repair hither at the time prefixed and exhibited our petition for those two grievances, and by direction of Sandwich a third grief was therein inserted, which was to be free of prisages. The same petition was first read on Friday last in the afternoon before the grand committee, and then committed to a sub-committee who are pleased to hear us at large. The first will be opposed by the Merchant Adventurers who seek to keep all trade only to London and against them certain merchants of London, whom they call interlopers, oppose to have as free trade as they. The second grievance is for that we are forbidden to buy freely in Blackwell Hall in which we are likely to be opposed by the Lord Mayor and citizens of London. The third is to be free of prisage of our own proper wines for which we should venture, which is not denied us of such wines as we bring into the Ports but there is a special decree in the Exchequer against us, that we shall not hold this privelege for such wines as we shall discharge at London or other port. This privelege is very much opposed by Sir Francis Barnham, being Chief Butler of England, during the minority of Sir Thomas Waller's son, and he having many honourable friends in Parliament the obtaining thereof will be very difficult, and having had conference with Mr. Thurbane and Mr. Edwards of Faversham, they are of opinion we were better to leave out the third grievance so shall we speed better with the other two.
"We have foremerlie directed our letters to our High Treasurer of England authorezing him to give order to all the officers of our portes to suffer any of our subjectes, that are willing to serve in the warrs of any prince or state in league or amytie with us, freely to passe thither without stay or molestation, wee havinge allwaies professed that indeferent and equall respect to all our frindes and allies as to leave our subjects therein to theire own liking and election, as wee have heretofore done in the warrs of Denmark and Sweden, of Poland, Venice, the United Provinces and divers others. Forasmuch as we are informed, that notwithstanding our said lettres and order thereuppon given by our Treasurer of England unto the severall portes, divers of our subjectes intending to serve our good brother the King of Spaine in his presente warres in the Low Countryes, and seekinge to transporte themselves thither at some of the Cinque Portes are stopped by our officers there for that they are not willinge to take the oath of supremacie and allegiance; it is not unknown unto us that for the most part such as shall offer their service on that side are not conformable to the religion professed in the Church of England and may therefore make difficultie to submitt themselves to that trial which other of our lovinge subjectes would not refuse; nevertheless our meaninge is not to make that equallitie which we professe to all other princes useles to our said good brother the King of Spaine, and that we professe to give libertie in shewe yt shalbe to none or litle in effect as to his service. Our will therefore and pleasure is that you shall give instantlie strict order unto the officers of our Cinque Portes that when any of our subjects shall repair thither to embark themselves for the partes beyond the seas to serve in the warres either [of] the said Kinge of Spaine or the States of the United Provinces or other prince or state in league or amytio with us, ye suffer them quietly to passe without exactinge from them any of the oathes aforesaid or without any other lett, trouble or contradiction of any person or persons whatsoever, unles any of them be persons against whom their may some other just cause of exception be knowne that may make them fitt to be restrained, especialle seeeng this libertie spareth them not from taking the oath at their retorne which is [to] them more necessarie in respect of the danger then at theire going out of the realme."
"Whereas it hath bene an auntient custome that the Lord Wardens of the Cinque Portes have ever used to have from your towne the choyse of the third fishe for his houshold provision, complaint is made to me that of late there hath not bene that forwardnes of respect given by the fishermen of your towne to such as I imploy to take upp the same for me, as hath bene used, and as I may bouldly say I have deserved. Wherefore I thought good hereby to give you this tymely notice that thoughe I shall not looke back to neglects past, yet I shall from henceforth expect (by your care) herein a reformation and to that end, I hereby will and requyre you to cause and commaund the fishermen of your towne to deliver unto my said officer such a proportion of fishe as hath bene used and att such reasonable rates as you shall thinke fitt, and if any shall refuse soe to doe, that you (on complaint made by my said officer) doe cause redresse therein, and if on your admonition any shall be soe obstinatt as to persist in his or their disobedience, I will that you send me a note of his or their names, and the manner of their contempt and neglect of me and my service." Signed. Seal of arms.
Heretofore you were a principal means "for the setting upp of our lecture which now of late one Mr. Wittacre, curate unto Mr. Briant Twyne, our vicar, hath opposed of his owne authoritie, and will not suffer Mr. Warren, our lecturer, to goe into the church; wherefore we beseech your Lordshipp that you would be pleased to be a means that the lecture may still continue." Draft.
Upon their petition to the Archbishop of Canterbury they obtained his leave "for a lecture to be sett upp in our towne, and hath here continued the space of six years and upwards; which lecture of late Mr. Whitacre, curate unto our vicar, Mr. Twine, hath opposed. Of which thinge wee have thought good to certifie your Lordshipp, humbly besechinge you that so worthie a worke, so much conducing to the honour and glory of God, may not be suppressed, but by your Lordshipp's leave and approbation, may still continue. Yet we dislike not Mr. Whitacre for our curate, but desire his continuance here, for we hold him a sufficient preacher; who, beinge your Lordshipp's chaplaine, you can a great deale better judge of his learning than wee." Copy.
"I cannot forget the old love which hath bene mutuall betweene your towne and myselfe as the many letters enterchanged betweene us can testifie; so also the good service done by my brother, Heneage Finch, when by me recommended, he was Burgesse for your towne in Parliament; and because the same affections remaine in mee I doe now write unto you againe not for any other but to entreate the same courtesie from you to be conferred upon meselfe in making me a Burgesse for your towne in this next Parliament; which kindnesse of yours shall both in the Parliament and out of it, with my best strenght and paines, make me endevour your good, and I hope as heretofore so still I shall be able to effect it." Seal of Arms.
"It is but a small tyme since the last time of Parliament which you well know was short and without any acte passed therein, so as no man's service appeared what it was or would have beene unto the place he were Burgis of, to the great discontentment of those who aymed alltogether for the common good and the place they served, and as I conceave the very remembrance (besides their papers in their handes) of every theire instructions is still fresh and perfect. And now it pleaseth his Majesty to call another Parliament in February next for which you are to chuse Burgesses againe, and forasmuch as John Angell, my sonne, a freeman of you allready, was lately one the last time and then so well approved of by the whole house, I am confident thatt if you please to make him one in this (being alltogether devoted to your service) you shall surely find as good cause to thanke him for his endeavours as any other. It may be you are sued unto by many and such no doubt as would be worthy for the place, but seeing he was one before and no concluding act done, and being one without exception for his affection to you, lett me entreate and perswade your worthy freemen to consider you have begunne and made him a practiser for you in thatt honorable howse, leave him not now till he hath finished both his and your intended worke, which I doubt not of, and which not only myself but all my freindes will assist, and withall because your towne hath of all others moste neede of help. I desire when the time ys that you would send one to sollicite and prosecute as neede shall require and for your better ease and effectinge your busines I will entertaine him in my owne howse at bedd and board and every evening wee being alltogether may the better conferre and consider of the best way to doe you service." Seal of Arms. Signed.
Postscript. "I am entreated to write unto you thatt you would be pleased to make choise againe of Emanuell Jefford, who was the gentleman which my Lord Warden named unto you in the last and hee is allso desirous to doe you service in this Parliament, if againe by his Honor nominated unto you."
On the recommendation of Lord Zouch, made at his request, they have chosen the writer's son as their Burgess in the next parliament. They have, however, through his mistake in not sending the proper description of the candidate, elected his eldest son who is out of the Kingdom instead of his second son, Captain Thomas Conwey, who is with the writer. Begs that the return be amended. Signed.
"I take most thanckfully your favor shewen me in your choyce of my sonne Edward for one of your Barons for this Parlament. You shall dubbelley ty me to you if you now choise this sonne which I have sent to you, and by me was at the first ment, but I take the falt upon myselfe. I will in eavery poynt be answerable to you for his care and dillegence in serving you, and whearin he shold be slack I will myselfe execute. Your buisnes left in my hands bear by Mr. Maior I have put in execution. I have drawne my Lord Admirall to joyne with me to the King soe that I doubt not but that you will have a good ende of it to your liking. If there be anything elce whearin you will command me eyther for your towne in generall, or yourselves in particular you shall eaver finde me with all ardency approove myselfe." Seal of Arms.
Not being acquainted "with any of Mr. Secretary Conwey's sonnes but this" [i.e. his eldest son, Edward], he recommended him for election as a Burgess of Rye, but the Secretary desired the election of his other son, Captain Thomas Conwey. A second writ has now arrived for the election of their "chiefe of Burgesses" and so he entreats them "to be as good they ment" and choose Captain Conwey, who he believes will give them "such a taste of his love and service" that they will "like well of him." Signed. Seal of Arms.
"Whereas many trobles controversies and debates have growne and fallen out amongst us the pore Corporation and inhabitants of the towne of Winchelsea by the disorderly and indirect course, carradge, and proceedinges of some willfull and headstronge persons rescidinge with us, who seekinge rather to please and satisfye their owne unruely passions then to doe anythinge for the furtherance or preservation of peace and tranquility, about the succession of the maioralty in this place, which though it was ordered by the right honourable the Lords of his Majesty's Prevy Counsell and the then Lord Warden, and since by a solleme decree ratified and confirmed by a generall consent of the wholl Corporation to be inviolably kept and observed for ever hereafter, and that there should not be any juratt or freeman sworne before they had subscribed to the allowance and mainteinance of the said decree, yet notwithstanding this soleme and solid decree and from soe high and eminent auctority, these fiery and turbulent spirits have wrunge, wrested, and perverted the true meaninge thereof to their owne imagination and idle construction, which appeareth to be noe lesse the sequell proovinge soe mischeevous. And therefore now to prevent and take away all occasions hereafter of any further trubles, vexations and unquietnes from ourselves and others, it hath pleased the right honourable our Lord Warden to commaund us to write unto you, our lovinge brethren, combarrons and freinds within all the Five Portes and the auntient towne of Rye to intreate your opinions, councell and advise in this busines of ours for the succession of the maioralty (for which our election is at hand) and as your worships shall advise us herein soe wee are to certefie unto his Lordship who in so noble and religious disposition and respect his Lordship hath to the maintenance of peace and quietnes, will take such order herein (that if it be possible) yet at the last a true peaceable goverment may be setled amonge us. By this decree of the succession of the maioralty (as by most of your worships it is not unknowne) the eldest juratt successively is to be chosen Maior yearely if there be no just cause or good reason first shewed to the then Lord Warden, and whereof his Lordship must approve and allow before there be any such proceedinge, contrary to the said decree of succession. And for that (as too lately wee have found by experience) by some colourable causes and reasons pretended and alleaged for the breach of the said decree, strong factions, much envye, hatred and malice ar crept in amongst us (and many have ignorantly suffered for the same) the better to prevent all future mischeeves in that kind (least wee may againe smart for it) we desire to have your worships opinions and to be resolved from you whether the eldest jurat (on whom the maioraltie by the decree of succession ought to be placed) by his discontinuance and now residency from this towne of Winchelsea, hath lost the benefitt of this decree of succession, yea or nay? And wee ar the rather imbouldened to move this question unto your worships for there is one Mr. William Channon, now eldest juratt, for the succession for the maioralty this years to come, who hath his abode farr distant from hence and from whence he hath discontinued these fower months at the least, neither hath he payed scott or lott or done any other duety to the towne or corporation. Now may it please your good worships, if wee shall strictly follow the bare letter of our said decree wee must then choose for our Maior the next yeare according to his seniority and whether he will come heither or noe before the election wee know not, neither [doth the] decree make any mention of resciancy or non resciancy of any juratt that shall soe have the maioralty by succession, and what confusion this may breed wee leave to your wise and judicious considerations. There is likewise one Mr. Danyell Tildeu, one of our eldest juratts, who hath discontinued as longe as the other and paid as little scott and lott and done as little duety, and therefore the like question may be made of him, besides to skipp and leave out any of those elder jurats and choose the next jurats unto any of them in his seniorety wee ar in doubt for feare wee may erre (as some have done before us) in the one or the other. Our request therefore to your good worships is this, that you will be pleased by your opinions in writing (in some place of this paper) to advise us what wee shall doe in this cause that soe goinge on in a just and straight course orderly, wee may be assured from fallinge into any further inconveniences. And further wee intreat your worships' opinions in this one thing allso, whether any juratt or freeman forsaking this place and inhabiting in any other, doe not loose all theire benefitts or previledges of juratts or freemen, ipso facto; for wee ar a corporation and incorporatt body, and had need to have the members of this our body neer at hand to helpe the body, every member according to his place and use, and not to have the members disunited, cut off and severed soe farr from the body, or one member from the other whereby the body shall loose all the use and helpe of such members and soe grow weake and unable to helpe itselfe." Copy.
"Our opinion and advise is that you observe inviolably the course injoyned by the Lords of the Counsell by successive election of your Mayor. And although this scruple be hatched by such turbulent heads favouring rather of faction then of a peaseable disposition, namely, that the bare letter of the Lords' order cannot be satisfied but by election of the senior jurate in succession, though non-resident, yet in our opinion the order ought to receive such benigne reasonable interpretation as may agree in equity and stand with the intent of the institutors of that order and law, otherwise the same intended for peace of your corporation may, by too nice inconstruction, be wrested to greater breach of the peace thereof then was before that order made. Wee ar of opinion therefore that they ought to be housholders and inhabitants at the election day and this accordeth with the opinion of the wholl Ports, at a brotherhood holden at Romney the 23rd of August, anno 19, Henry VIII, where it was decreed that the freemen of every election shall goe together and by the othe which they have taken at theire admittance to theire freedome, all favour love and dread layd assyde, shall elect, name and choose one jurate of the towne which shall be inhabitant and shall be one of the Maior's brethren and associate with him on the bench one yeare before the day of election, and such a one as you shall thinke most meetest and most able to exercise the office in the towne as the King's Leivetennant for the yeare following &c., which decree expoundeth the bare letter of the order in our opinion; for if an absent Maior not inhabiting in the towne be elected by common intendement (because for his non-residens he is not capable and cannot execut the office in person) the election is voyd, ab initio, and the old Maior must serve still, till a competent person be elected. Be pleased to read the decree for in our judgment it will give great [help] to clear this scruple. Wee ar allso of opinion that a jurate or freeman departing to inhabit out of the Ports de jure lose theire freedome and priviledge for the reasons alleadged by you unlesse of favor they be borne with in case they departe for awhile for theire earnest affaires or ease, intending in some reasonable time to returne againe and in the meanetime doe paie scott and lott and be liable to performe all offices and services as apperteyneth to theire place." Copy.
Has made, and sends, two drafts of an Act [concerning the Dungeness Light House]. "I have not expressed Mr. Lampley's interest, nor expressed lesse tyme to you, than for ever, for that, if you obteine this Act to passe, Mr. Lampley's interest will fale of itself, and for the present give him noe collour to oppose, or his friends to object, the King's interest; and yourselves (if you think for ever, to be too longe) may limit a shorter time. . . . . . likewise wish you would make the Speaker as mutch yours, as you cann." Seal, with Crest.
(1.) "The light at Dungen Nease was first projected about 12 yeares since by John Allen, a freeman of the ancient towne of Rye, one of the antient townes of the Cinque Portes, who did assaye to obteine this for the supply of the wants of the said towne, which John Allen wanting strength of frenndes to effect this suite, it was obteined by Sir Edward Howard and others and since transferred uppon Mr. Lampley.
That this light is needfull to be mainteined is proved for that the place is daungerous about it, that a shipp may be in 10 or 12 faddome water and in a quarter of an houres sale may runne uppon land, which would be an evitable danger in the night and dark weather if the light did not better direct the marriners. Besides experience showes that the steeple of Lyd, a towne neere by, doth unhappily present unto straungers uppon those seas, the forme of a sale of some tall shipp which hath binn a meanes oftentimes towards night to incourage marriners to steere their course confidently that way, the rather because it is all low land neere the said steeple which seems as sea afarr off, whereby many shipps have suddenly out of their false supposition of this sea and saile and deepe sounding neere the land when night hath come on, runn on ground and perished, which dangerous mistake this light doth prevent. And likewise before the erection of this light there were many and often shipwracks uppon those coastes, but since that time there hath perished but 2 ships and that as it is thought by the ill maintenance of the light, which is necessarie to be mainteined by a fier and not by candle.
Now that this light is a publick good and is mainteined by a publicke chardge it is fitter to be comitted to the chardge and use of a publicke place then a private, and if so, then to the towne of Rye before any place, for these reasons.
1. The light being first devised by the said Allen, a freeman of Rye, and erected within seaven miles of Rye and neere unto there viewe they will better oversee the sufficient maintenance of it then a private man who trusts others to guide the light and cannott knowe of there negligence but by report, being absent from it.
2. This light is so good a guide into the harbour of Rye, which harbour, by the proffitt of this light, God may please to restore as fully as ever it was, that it will alwaies behoufe the towne of Rye as well for there owne good as the publicke good to have a dilligent and vigilant care over this chardge.
3. The towne of Rye hath binn of soe greate consequence to this State that it hath supplied his Majesty's howse and this parte of the kingdome with more plenty and store of fish then any two townes of England. It hath had such trade and traffick that it hath paid 2000l. a yeare custome in Queene Elizabeth's time. It hath binn a towne peopled with a greate number of able and true subjects and soe strongly furnished with shipping and marriners as uppon all occasions they have binn able to doe and have done the King and kingdome greater service then any of the Ports and is also soe convenient a harbour for releefe of succor of shippes in time of fowle wether as well of our owne nation as straungers, and likewise is the convenientest towne of England for passage into the harte of Fraunce, but of late yeares the harbour is much swarved with sand which the sea with fearce windes brings in for want of a sufficient fresh to drive it back to sea, by which meanes the towne is impoverished for want of trade and unpeopled, there being a hundred howses unhabited, there trade and shipping is decayed, to the releeving of which harbour they have not only disbursed much money out of there private purses but likewise soulde the towne landes, and now wanting meanes to proceede further in this good and hopefull worke, if the said light might be as fully confirmed to the said towne of Rye by Act of Parliament and they receave the proffitts thereof soe fully as Mr. Lampley doth, it will not only fully recover there harbour and thereby restore them to there auntient state and course of trading but also incourage many to inhabite the towne who now dayly fly from it by reason of the greate chardg the towne is at for the maintenance of the jetties, keyes, groines and sea walles. The which, yea even the towne itselfe, they will not be able to mainteine unlesse they be supplied by the benefitt of this light or some other chardge raised upon the commonwealth.
That the recovery of this harbour is feasable it plainly appeareth by the experience they have made of a small indraft and sluce which they finde hath donne such reall good that if they were enabled to undergoe the chardge of making and erecting more of such sluces aad indraftes they should undoubtedly sufficiently recover there harbour according to the judgment of the Commissioners of Sewers and all experienced seamen that have viewed it."
"Dunger Nease begineth at the mouth or entrance of the harbor of Rye and runeth alonge from thence out into the sea by the space of six or seven miles, beinge a verye dangerous place for shippinge passinge by everye waye whearupon many ships of great worth hath perished. For saufgard thearfor of all men it was devised by the towne of Rye and put in pracktise by John Allen to create (sic) a light on the utmost poynt thearof whear the light now standeth."
"Maie it please your Most Sacred Majestie your ever faithfull and loyall subjects the Maior and Jurates of your Highnes towne and porte of Rie in your Countie of Sussex doe humbly shewe your most excellent Majestie that whereas the said towne and harbour of Rye is one of the auncient townes of the Cinque Portes and hath binne of great consequence to this State both for the convenient scituation thereof for trade and greate provision of fishe, it havinge supplied your Majesty's howshold, the Cittie of London and the south easterne partes of this kingdome with more store of fishe then anie other sea towne uppon the said coaste, and the trade of traffique heretofore soe greate in the said towne as that in the raigne of the late Queene Elizabeth the yearlie custome of the said towne amounted to two thowsand pounds and upwards and was so strongly furnished with shipping and marrinners as uppon all occasions the said towne hath done the Kings of this realme as great good service as any of the other Portes. And the said harbour hath binne heretofore a greate releife and succour as well to our owne nation as straungers in time of stormes and fowle weather there beinge noe other safe roade or harbour for shippes to lie in betwixte the harbour of Portsmouthe and the Thames mouth, and the said towne is the most convenientest port of England for the passag into the harte of Fraunce. And of late years the said towne hath furnished to sea thirtie fisherboats and upwards manned with above fower hundred men and youth who have proved excellent marrinors and profittable men for this kingdome. Which said harbour of Rye is of late yeares much swarved upp with sand brought in by violence of wind for want of sufficient freshe to drive it backe to sea and is become exceedinge daungerous for shippes to come in, especially in the eveninge and darke weather, which danger is increased by the steeple of the church of Lidd, a towne nere by, which unhappily presents to straingers uppon these seas the forme of the sale of some toll shipp, and the land neere the said steeple beinge all lowe seemes a sea afarr of, whereby many marrinors having binne incouredged to steer theire courses that waye have by that daungerous mistake runn aground and perished, by reason whereof the trade and fishinge of the said towne is much decayed, the inhabitants impoverished, and the towne itself much depopulated, the shipping of the said towne, seafareing men and marranors muche deminished and many shipps uppon the said coastes for want of a sufficient harbour in tyme of stormes have perished. The restoringe of which said towne to the former prosperitie, and regaining of the said harbour, and preventinge the perishinge of shipps passing that waye, and safetie of such as shall in tyme of storme come into the said harbour may happily be effected by erectinge a convenient fier light at the dangerous passages neer the mouth of the said harbour commonly called Dungen Nease which might direct the seamen in cominge into the said harbour, and meanes raised for the openinge and preservinge the said haven by a contribution of such shipps as come in or passe by the same and may take benifitt thereof. May it therefore please your excellent Majestie that it may be enacted by your Majestie, the Lords Spirituall and Temporall and the Commons in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same that a convenient lighthouse and beacon or a stone worke with a fier light therein or thereuppon, be made, erected and mentioned (sic) at or neare the said place called the Dungen Nease being the mouthe of the said naven that thereby the shipps and vessels may passe with safetie as well by night as by day. And for the defrayinge of the necessary charges and continuall maintenance of the same, that it may be inacted by the authoritie aforesaid that there shall be collected and taken of and for every shippe that shall passe that waye, one pennie for every tunn outwards bound and one pennie for every tunne homeward bound, that is to saie, of the marchants an halfe penny and of the owner of the shipps, hoy or barke an halfe penny. And of such straingers as shall happen to passe thereby after the like rate as they shall putt into any port or harbour, allthough they do not unload and discharge any goodes there. And that for the erecting and continuance of the said lighthouse and beacon with a fierlight therein, and for the scouringe of the said harbour, that your Majestie would be pleased it might allso be . . . . . . by the authoritie aforesaid, they the said Maier and jurates for the time being of the said towne and port of Rie and theire successors for ever hereafter shall and may have free liberty, lycence power and authority from henceforth to make, build, erect, sett upp, continue, renewe and mainteyne, or cause to be builded, erected, sett upp, continued, renewed and mainteined in such place and plases of the seashores and uplands neere the sea coastes or free land of the sea, at, uppon or neere the entrance of the said harbour or place, commonly called the Dungen Nease, as to them shall seeme most needful and requisite, a convenient lighthouse and beacon or stone worke with a light of fier or coales to be continuallye burninge therein in the night season, whereby seafaringe men and passengers may take notice of the said daingers, and soe avoid and escape them and the shipps the better come to theire porte without perill. And allso that theie the said Maior and Jurats and theire successors may have, hold, exercise and enjoy the said libertie licence power and authoritie in as large and ample manner and forme and to all intents and purposes as the Maisters of the howse at Deptford Strond in the County of Kent or any other person or persons anie the like liberties, licences, power and authorities now have hold, or enjoy or may or might have, hold or enjoy in any other place or places within this your Highnes' realme of England. And that the said Maior and Jurates of the said towne and porte of Rie and theire successors may have and enjoy to them and theire successors for and towards the defray of theire said charges in erectinge, setting upp, continuinge, renewinge and mainteyninge the said lighthowse, beacon, or stone worke and keepinge the said fier light in or uppon the same, as allso for and towardes the cleansinge, scouring and newe making of the said harbour the said penny for every tunn soe to be collected and taken of every shipp, hoy and barke that shall passe that waye as aforesaid. And that it may alsoe be enacted by the authority aforesaid that all and every the customers, collectors and controwlers and all other the officers of the Customes of your Majestie, your heires and successors now being or which for the time being shall be in your Majesty's porte of London and in all and every other portes, harbours, roades and places within this your Highnes' realme of England to whome and where it shall or may apperteine, that they or some of them from time to time and at all times hereafter before such time as they or any of them doe give any cockett or other discharg, doe collect and receive the said contribution as well of all and every such marchants and straingers as of all and every such shipp, hoy or barke belonging to any marchant or stranger as shall arive or anchor within the Porte of London or any other the portes, harbours roades and places within the realme of England. And that they and every of them doe and shall yeild upp and make due accompts and paiements of all and every such contributions some and somes of mony as by them everie and anie of them shall be soe collected and resceived from time to time to the said Maior and Jurates of the said towne and poarte of Rie to be by them the said Maior and Jurates and theire successors received and reteined by the said Maior and Jurates and theire successors to the proper use and behoofe of the said towne and porte and for and in respect of theire charges in erectinge and mainteyninge the said lighthouse, beacon or stone worke and fier lighte to the use and purpose hereinbefore mentioned without any accompt or other thinge therefore or for anie parte thereof by them the said Maior and Jurates and theire successors therefore to be yeilded, made or given."
They think it their duty to tell him of the Bill they have preferred in Parliament for obtaining "the benefit that is made by the light that is erected and sett upp at Dungeon Neasse beinge at the entrance and mouthe of our harbour." They ask the Lord Warden's approval of their scheme. There have lately come to dwell in Rye "Mr. Abington and his wife, with his sonne and daughter, who are papists." Mr. Abington, they are informed, "was questioned in the treason of the gunpouder plott" and "nott yet cleared." They ask for instructions, if Mr. Abington and his family shall be suffered to remain in the town "for we desire not the company of any of that religion, if possibly wee may lawfully avoid them." They are sorry the Lord Warden has been lately often troubled "with so many complaints made unto you about the difference of our Ministers, for wee have had of late much controversie and devision between those that take Mr. Warren's parte, and others that are for Mr. Whitacre, to the greate disturbance and discredit of our town." They have bound some persons over to appear at the Sessions, and would have proceeded against others "where it not in such cases as perteine to the spirtuall Court, as wee take it." Copy.
It is thought necessary that the "forces and bands" within the Ports should be forthwith prepared for the general muster about to be made and due provision of powder and shot laid in. The Mayors, Bailiffs, and others are, therefore, required, on certain days, to bring before Anthony Hill "our muster master," all such forces to be by him "trayned, instructed, exercised and disciplined to use theire armes and weapons soe as at the ensuing musters they may be found able and prepared." Former muster rolls to be produced. Copy.
"Whereas his Majestie havinge taken into serious consideration the present estate of the Kingdome of Ireland, doth in his princely wisdome observe how great the quiet thereof and saftie of his loving subjects there inhabiting may be troubled and endagened (sic) especially in these doubtfull tymes, by those Irish, who beinge of turbulent spirit and ill affected in religion and otherwise, have been or are imployed in the service of forraine princes. Wee do therefore pray and require your Lordship by his Majesties express command to take present and effectual order that whatsoever Irish shall arrive in any of the Cinque Ports from any port beyond the seas, the magistrate of the place shall examine them, from whome they came, of what conditions they are, where they have spent their time and wither they intend to goe, and, withall, minister unto them the oath of allegaunce; and if they refuse to take the same, they shall then send them up hither in safe custody to be further examined and proceeded with as we shall find cause." Copy.
That day four fishermen of Rye, saw "to theire great greife" six "English traulers" fishing for "place" [plaice] within two leagues of the town in the usual fishing place. On the approach of the Rye men those in the trawlers "shot off twenty muskets of purpose to affrighte and terrifie them." The Mayor and Jurats request the Lord Warden's attention to the matter, "for the good of our poore town; for, if the travelers [trawlers?] be suffered in that place to traul, taking all the fishe, and our men labouring in vaine with tramell nettes, as they are every yeare more and more emporeshed [impoverished?], in short tyme the trade of fishing here wilbe utterly overthrowne." Copy.
Thanking him for his attention to the Town's business in Parliament. "For the moving of the House, touching our sute, wee leave it to such a fitt and convenient tyme as in your judgment and discrecion shall seame most likely and avayalable . . . . . . . for you, beinge continually present in the House, know the best opportunity for such a purpose. Concerning Mr. Bullocke, who saith that he was the first projecter of the Light [at Dungeness], it is easilie to be proved that John Allen, before ever Mr. Bullock knew of it, acquainted our Corporation with it, and moved often tymes the Corporation to sue for it." Copy.
Note.—On the fly sheet is the draft of a letter addressed by the Mayor and Jurats to "Mr. John Davies," a former inhabitant of Rye. They propose to prefer a bill in parliament for "obteyning for our toune the light at Dungen-Neasse, beinge more requisite to be granted to publicke use then a private." They therefore desire him to be their "friend" to the Trinity House, not to oppose the town therein "but rather helpe us that the benefit received by the said lights may be employed about the amending of our harbour."
"The pattent for Dungen Neasse light hath beine in the House this month, and hath had severall hearings by Committee, but is not yett determined, but Fryday next is appointed to the Pattentees to make further defence of theire light by Councell. Now, after that the House hath determined theire right, then will be the time for us to make our request by bill, as I conceave, for certeinly the House will either take the pattent quite away from Mr. Lumley, or else soe moderate the imposition that he will be willing, for a small recompence, to yeeld his rights. But truly the businesses that are in the house at this time are of soe great importance and highe a nature, that these more ordinarie businesses are putt off from time to time and infinitly delayed, but I make noe question this Parlament will be of soe long a continuance that wee shall have fitt and leisurable time to effect our desires for you. I desire that you would strengthen me with some arguments against one Bullocke who intends, as I heare, to laye clayme likewise to this Light as the first projecter, which (as I take it) was John Allen." The writer will, however, pursue a different course if the Mayor and Jurats think proper. Sickness has lately made him "an ill member to the House and a bad servant to you."
We have been again sued unto by a poor woman since our last letter addressed to your grace about poor captives, to certify unto you that she hath a son of hers in Turkey, one Thomas Grenaway, who being in a ship of Plymouth was taken by the Turks some three years since and not able to endure the great and cruel slavery, he has turned as she is informed to their religion. We beseech you that the said Thomas Grenaway may be remembered among such as are to be ransomed. Draft.
"His Majestie hath had information of a foule murther comytted upon the Duke of Croy in his own house at Bruxelles, and besides the intercescion that hath ben made to his Majestie for the discovering and apprehending the offender, in case he repaire into this kingdome, his Majestie, in detestation of so foule a fact and for the especiall estimation he had for the Noble Duke, hath ben graciously pleased to command me to give you direction in his name to cause speciall notice to be taken of all such strangers as shall land in any of the Cinque Portes or theire members, and to cause those that are any way suspicious (wherein you may uppon all occasions take the advice and direction of Monsr. Van Mal, agent for the Archduchesse) to be strictly examyned, and such other meanes used as your wisdome and discretion may direct for the finding out and apprehendinge that murtherer." Copy.
We are requested by the bearers John Dugard and Thomas Martin, masters of barques which were employed in his Majesty's service for the transporting of the soldiers into the Low Countries, to write to you that they may have their pay having performed the service with credit as appears by the testimonial of the Captains. Draft.
"These are to will and require you forthwith on sight hereof to cause good watch to be kept as well at all havens, portes, and creeks, as all other places which you shall thinke fitt or where watches have used to be kept within my government of the Cinque Portes on such importunat occasions as now ar happened, and to cause that at least double watches and wardes to be kept as well in Dover Castle as all other his Majesties fortes and castles within the jurisdiction of the Cinque Portes."
"These are to will and require you forthwith to cause that all the portes and havens within my government be shutt up soe as noe barke, boate, nor other vessell be suffred to goe forth of any of them untill you shall receive further dirrections to the contrary."
I have thought fit, as well out of my affection to your town as to my well-wishing of Mr. Thomas Fotherley whom my Lord has recommended to you for a Burgesship of your Town to this Parliament, to let you understand that he is one of my Lord's Commissioners for his estate and in very great esteem with his Grace besides he is Mr. Lieutenant's brother in law. Seal of Arms.
Whereas long time since, to the end the Commissioners of the passage within the Cinque Ports might better have certain knowledge what persons either were transported out of the kingdom or did come from foreign parts beyond the seas by way of the said Ports, there was a general order taken that all the masters of ships, barques and crayers and all inholders, victuallers, and hackneymen should enter into bonds with such conditions as were conceived fit for that purpose. These are in his Majesty's name to pray and require you to cause the said articles to be duly executed. Copy.
"Better late than never, and I hope my love and affection cannot come soe late but that it will be kyndly excepted by you, especially when you shall understand that when yours of the last of May came to towne I was out of towne and am but lately com to towne, otherwise I should have answered you sooner. As touching your desire for the procuring you a good curatt, know I have not bene unmyndfull of you, but have dealt with Mr. Twyne about it, and assure yourselves (if you please to have a little patience) I shall provide you of a sufficient one which I hope shall be Mr. Rogers, the man you desire. And as for Mr. Bell assure yourselves he shall not come there, doe Mr. Reve what he can, nor noe man els contrary to your good lykeinge. According to your order I swore Mr. Fotherly, as I hope he hath given you to understand not to trouble you any farther att this tyme. In a word beleve you shall have a sufficient curatt speedely, and as in it, soe in all other things you please to use me, you shall fynd me allways most ready to aprove myself." Seal of arms.
Whereas we are at this time unfitted of an able and sufficient minister to keep this solemn and public fast commanded by the King, and hearing by some of our town of your worth, we earnestly entreat you (if you be not otherwise appointed) to let us have your company here upon Wednesday next so long as the fast shall continue to help and assist our minister to perform that pious and holy duty and for your pains we hope to give you that content as shall please you in every respect. Draft.
"We have thought good to certifie unto you of some injury and wronge, as we conceive, that is offered unto our towne by such persons as ar appinted to watch in the country; for wee are credibly informed that your watchmen takinge uppon them more then their commission is, or at least more then they ought to doe, resist and disturb not only such of our towne as ar sound and cleare from the infection to goe about their lawfull callinge and busines, but alsoe doe intercept others from cominge to our towne, usinge to them these threatninge wordes, that if they come to towne they must not retorne againe into the country. Also the ferryman of Guldford hath denyed some of our townesmen who were cleare of the infection to carry them over the ferry insomuch they have bene constrayned to wade over to the endangeringe of their health. And whereas we were lately promised that victual should be brought to the townes end to supplie our want at reasonable prizes, the first market after which was Satterday last, there was onely a small proportion brought, vizt.: butter and oatmeale, and the butter sold at five pence the pound, which is a greate price at this tyme of the yeare. As concerninge the houses infected, there are in our towne sixteene, and the number that have died both of the infection and other sicknesse in eight weekes since it first began are fortie, of which number wee praise God there died this last weeke of the sicknes but fower, so that the reporte in the country of those that die in our towne of the plague is tenn times more then it is. And the houses infected ar onely in two places at the Landgate alltogither, and likewise in the Watchbell Streate nere unto the Gungarden, alltogither. And whereas one died in the Butcherie that houshold removed into the Watchbell Streate; so that all other places in the towne elce, wee praise God, ar cleare."
We have received information from so many several parts of the bold and impudent speeches used by many Romish Catholics of this realm, declaring how much they are offended with the gracious satisfaction given by his Majesty to the Lords and Commons in Parliament in the points concerning the true and pure religion as it is at this day by authority practised in the Church of England. And having just cause to doubt that many violent misled papists through the instigation of the "Jesuited papistes" may be inclined to take part with such as we well understand at this time practise with the King's subjects to raise stirs and tumults which they do not only by persuasion and instigations, but with promise of assistance and seconding them by arms, their pretext being religion, but their ends conquest, pushed thereunto by an unlimited ambition to a general monarchy of which we have too large and too clear proof. And although we do not misjudge and condemn all his Majesty's subjects "Romish Catholics," but believe that many of them will employ their arms and lives in his service, yet because we are not able to distinguish between the well and worse affected we have seconded with our advice his Majesty's gracious inclination to take out of the hands of all Popish recusants, convicted or justly suspected, all such martial munitions, arms and weapons as shall be found in their houses. These are therefore to pray and require you to repair either by your self or your deputy lieutenants to the houses of all Romish recusants convicted or justly suspected, within the precincts of your lieutenancies and take such arms where they be found belonging to such recusants. Copy, enclosed in letter by Sir John Hippisley to the Mayor and Jurats of Rye.
Whereas by a letter from this Board dated the twentieth of August last directed to the Lord High Admiral he was prayed and required for divers reasons to give order that no ships within his Majesty's harbours should be suffered to depart until his Majesty's fleet were first put to sea. In regard that the said fleet is now set forward we think it fit that the Ports be opened. Copy.
We having taken into our consideration the providing for the safety of our dominions and people by all the ways that may be taken, we have found that the trained bands of this our kingdom are so considerable in strength in respect of their numbers, serviceable persons of men, and their own particular interest, as the well experiencing of them in the use of their arms and fitting them for service would settle a great security at home and give terror to any our enemies. We have therefore often recommended to our Lieutenants of our several counties the putting in execution of those plain and exact rules which were formerly conceived and sent now unto them in printed books. And being resolved to peruse the same to effect, we have caused a certain number of experienced soldiers to be sent from the Low Countries hither, to be distributed into several counties there to teach the captains and other officers and leaders of files in each company the true modern use of their arms and order of soldiers, that the officers being well instructed may teach the soldiers. Copy.
"Having this day received summons under his Majesty's privie Signet concerninge the coronation of the Kinge and Queene, I have thought good hereby to pray and require you presantly to geve order under the seale of the office of Dovor Castle to all the Cinque Portes and two ancient townes forthwith to make their election of such Barons as shall be fitt for performance of the service which apperteineth to them, and to cause them to be prepared and in a readiness at Westminster upon the second day of February next, which is the day appointed by his Majestie as by his letter (a copie whereof I herewith send you) appeareth. In the choise of your barrons for this service I would have you give directions that care be taken for the election of men of the meetest and comlyest personages and of the most sufficiencie, otherwise observing therein their ancient customes and priviledges as well for the nomber of men as otherwise." Copy.
Upon the return of a circular letter to the Ports concerning the coronation services "we were much perplexed by reason of the uncertaine answere of Sandwich from whence was cheiflie expected best instructions concerning this solicitation, Mr. Peke lately and others there foremerly, being therein solely imployed. Howbeit the service of such importance requiring both industry and speede, I, the Maier of Hasting, prepared myself accordingly to travell and for my better assistance intreated Mr. Thomas Brian, jurat here, to ryde with me. And so furnished with such instructions and recordes in that behalf collected in writting by our Towneclarke, we departed towardes London on Wensday the iiijth of January instant and arrived there the next day, and first acquainted Mr. Nicholas with our busines, whom wee found verie kind and effectionate, with readines and travell to preferre our suite, and then exhibited our petition to his grace as the inclosed copy appeareth, who graciouslie accepted and referred us to the Earle Marshall, the Erle of Arundel, who all so favourably vouchsafed to promise a privy seale to be presently directed to the Duke, his grace, for our service. Candlemas day by most voices is the day appointed for the Coronation. It is readily affirmed that no Liveries wilbe graunted to any in that service The Lord Steward was not yet certainely knowne neither yet when his Court wilbe appointed and held for allowances of services at the Coronation. And so wee returned hom on Satterday the xiijth of January. Wee are enforced to be breife in writtinge, the brevitie of the tyme requirith so, and referr our larger relation untill our next meetinge. In the mean tyme, we pray your opinion whither you think it fitt to assemble for further conference herein, where, when, and how many from every Town or elc (to spare charge and fowle travell) to forbeare such assembly untill sommons doe come which wilbe verie shortly. Whereuppon when everie towne have made their elections to that service those persons or some one of them from every towne may spedilie travell up to London as well to sue for allowance of their service at the Lord High Stewardes Court as allso to conferre about the manner of their execution herof and to furnish themselves with apparell."
Whereas you have received warrant for the pressing of one hundred and fifty seamen and mariners in the County of Sussex to furnish his Majesty's fleet at Portsmouth, now for that there are divers limbs and ports within the County which are members of the Cinque Ports so, as it is likely that upon notice of the press most of the mariners will resort thither to avoid the same, whereby his Majesty's service may be frustrated, these are therefore to require you to press in the Cinque Ports within the County of Sussex only so many able seamen and mariners as may respectively make up the said number of men which you have warrant to press. Copy.
"Wee have considered of your petition sent by John Pringle and John Nowell, wherein wee did not expect that our favour towardes you in our former abatement should have produced a request for a new abatement, which the condition of the publique safetie will not permitt. But wee are well contented as the said Pringle did desire, that you shall make provision your selves of the two shippes to be readie by the 4th of September next at the place appointed so as they be of the burthen of 200 tonnes a peece, and provided as is formerly directed. And wee do require and authorize you to leavie the charge (as is desired in your petition) as well uppon the inhabitantes of the said Portes and members as uppon the landes and goodes of those who are not there resident according to the abilities of the said inhabitants and value of the said land and goodes, as hath been betwen the said Ports and Members the year 1588 when the occasion of service was." Copy.
"Whereas there have been divers orders made at sundry times by their Majesties by the advice of the Council of State to prevent the unlawful transportation of iron ordnance and shot, and to that end did reduce the making of such iron ordnance and shot to be made and cast within the Counties of Kent and Sussex, by John Browne, his Majesty's founder, and Sacvile Crowe, another founder, who are bound to his Majesty for the whole making thereof and bringing of it to the market place at London. And whereas also by Letters Patent his Majesty hath authorized Mr. Phillipp Burlamack and Phillipp Jacobson to be his sole agents for the transportation of all iron ordnance and shot. Of all which you cannot be ignorant, yet you have suffered divers quantities of shot to be shipped out of your ports which have been made without warrant by men unauthorised and no account given what is become of the said shot. These are therefore to require you that from henceforth you do not suffer any iron shot whatsoever to be shipped out of your ports but such shot as the aforesaid founders shall make and provide for his Majesty's service and the subjects as aforesaid." Signed and Seal of Arms.
"Whereas I have received order from the Lords of his Majesties Privy Counsell, that, in regard of the extraordinary preparations that are making in all partes in hostilitie with his Majestie and particularly in those nerest adjoyning to his Majesties dominions, no shippe shall be suffered to goe to sea without my knowledge, and that untill, uppon true certeficat for what place they are bound and wherewith they are freighted, I shall give them especiall licence. These are therefore to will and require you to give spedie and effectuall order throughout the jurisdiction of the Cinque Portes and their members to make stay of all shipps and barques of what burden soever belonginge to any of his Majesties subjects being now within any of the Cinque Portes or their members or shall come into them, and not to suffer any of them to departe without especiall licence from me under my hand, which restraint is to be so continued until you shall receive order to the contrary to the ende that his Majesties dominions may be provided and furnished with sufficient strength both for defence of themselves and the mutuall assistance ech of other against the attempts of any enimy." Copy. A like letter addressed to the Earl of Nottingham for restraint of vessels within the County of Sussex.
"Whereas as by a former lettre dated the 18th of this instant September I gave order to your Lordship for the stayinge of all shippes and barques within the Countye of Sussex whether soever bound, untill I should give specyall lycence for their release. Now these are to pray your Lordshipp to take a present and discreet course for the releaseing of all shippes and barques which you have or shall stay by virtue of my said former letters that are bounde for any other kingdome, state, country or place whatsoever excepte only such as are bound for any parte of the kingdome of Fraunce, which are still to be restrayned untill you shall receive further order for their release. This letter and directions your Lordship is to keepe secreat as a matter of State and thoughe you release all other shippes yet your Lordship is to declare that those shippes which are bound for Fraunce are stayed onely by vertue of the former letters which you received for a generall restraynte. Your Lordshipp is also to take especiall care that this trust committed to you be carried verie discreetelye and secreatly and not abused nor made a matter of gaine and advantage to such as your Lordshipp shall ymploye in the execucion heereof." Copy.
For the better ease of such as are stayed, upon their repair to me with a certificate whither they are bound from the Mayor or other principal officer of the Ports, I shall be ready to give liberty of passage during the time of the imbarment to any that I shall see cause for. Copy.
"Whereas upon consideration of the great power and preparations of the enemy chiefly by sea, it hath pleased the Lords of his Majesties Privie Counsell to give me order, not onely to cause an exact survey to be taken of all shippes and vessells, but likewise a muster to be made of all sea men and marriners belonginge to everie Porte towne of England and Wales and certificates thearof speedylie to be returned. These are thearfore according to thear Lordshipes saide order to pray and require you forthwith to cause an exact survey to be presently taken and certified to mee, under your hand, of the number, strength and burthen of all the shipps, barques and vessells now in any of the Cinque Portes or thear members, or imployed at sea belonging to any of the Cinque Portes or thear members where you are particulerly to expresse what ordinance are aboard every shippe and what others they are well capable of, and whoe are the owners and parte owners of every of them, and likewise to cause a generall muster to bee forthwith made of all suche marriners, saylors, and fishermen, as are now remayninge or belonging to any of the Cinque Portes or their members, and to returne a true and exact certificate to mee under your hand of thear numbers, names, dwellinge places, and qualities as whether masters, pylotts, gunners, marriners or fishermen and any other considerable circumstance fitt to bee knowne." Copy.
[1626, October.]—A list of the barques and vessels belonging to Rye with the names of their owners and masters, and their burdens. The largest vessel is the Guift of 40 tons belonging to Thomas Martin, John Dugard, Joseph Dugard and Margerie Michell. There are 16 vessels in all.
"We received a lettre from your Lordship concerninge certeine lands intended to be inned by Mr. Henry Pecke and Mr. Peter Farner and for that cause, as wee conceave, procured your Grace's letter unto us, that if it were not prejudiciall to our habor we should not oppose them. These are to certefie your Lordshipp that our auncestors and wee have found by experience for our own particulars that inning of lands nere and about our habour have ben a principall cause of the decay of our habor, which was a habor, before certaine landes nere unto it were inned, that a shipp of five hundred tonus might have [entered] at low water; and by the ining of the same land a verie good habour, called the Camber, within two miles of our towne is utterly decayed, and this land which now is intended to be inned, if it be suffered, will be the utter distruction of our habor and an inducement for the owners of many hundred acres of salt joining nere our harbor, to inne them, who may as well as they pretend that it will not hurt the same." Copy.
"Whereas uppon the hearinge and debatinge of the complaints of the merchants tradinge for Fraunce touchinge the arrests and seizures of their shipps and goodes lately made in severall partes of that kingdome, it hath pleased the Lordes of his Majesty's Privie Counsell to commaund that no shipps or goods belonginge to any the subjects of the Frenche Kinge should pass out of the port of London or any the out ports or members of the same untill further order. These ar, accordinge to their Lordshipps said order, to praye and require you to take a speedie and effectuall course that noe shipps or goods belonginge to any the subjects of the said French Kinge do passe out of any porte or other place within the jurisdictions of the Cinque Portes or their members, untill further order." Copy.
"Whereas I am informed you have made stay of a French barque or boate of about fifteene or twentie tonnes belonginge to Treport in Fraunce, whereof Patron John is master, which onlie brought over a French gent who being wounded is nowe abidinge in the Towne of Rie, without anie manner of goods or merchandises, I have thought good hereby to pray and require you forthwith to release the said barque or boate together with the said master and companie." Signed and Seal of Admiralty.
"We understand that there is of late brought into your habor a smale boat of Bridgis in which there is two men of the Archdutches subjectes. Our ernest request therefore unto you is that you would so compassionat a poore distressed neighbour of ours John Browne, who was taken by the Kinge of Spaines ships and carried into Ostend, that he may be ransomed for one of the men in your custody which wee hoope you will the sooner condiscend hereunto, for that he is a Portes man, and the men taken by one of the Portes shieps and for this curteosie shewed him wee shall be greatelie beholding to you and thereby you shall bynd him ever to acknowledge it for a great and speciall favor done unto him now in his miserie, havinge sixe smale children destitute of father and mother." Copy.
Since you have left your ministry for the recovery of your health, we are informed that for the zeal of God's glory and the love you bear to our town, you will, if we desire it, come again to us. Therefore we pray you so soon as conveniently you can, let us be made happy by your presence. Copy.
I would have you employ your best care to apprehend Adrian Payes, a subject of the King of Spain, and one John Neway, a saddler of London, who I believe met at Dover or Deal with intent to cross over to Calais or Bologne. [Descriptions of Payes and Neway.] Copy.
Petitioning that the Duke will be a means to procure from his Majesty a brief to help in defraying the expenses in repairing the sea walls, groines, jetties, and sluices, so broken and torn up by the extraordinary raging tides, great tempest and foul weather of late. Draft.
"Whereas I have of late received credible intelligence that by reason of the scarcitie of victualls and meanes to sett the poore on worke in the Provinces under the Archdutches, there is a course there intended to send away those of the poorest and worst condition of French and other for Calais, to be thence by the Governour's assistance put aboard in such vessells as come for England, and there landed; by sufferance whereof not only the enimies of this kingdome may be holpen and these partes of his Majesty's dominions much pestered but many other inconveniences ensue. These are therefore to pray, and in his Majesty's name for the advancement of his service to require you, that noe Wallons, French, or other such necessitous people, as cannot give good reason of their imployment here or have not meanes to maintaine themselves without the pestering and burtheninge of this country, be suffered to be landed within any of your liberties, and if you find or know of any such persons allreadie landed that you give me speedie notice of their numbers and places of abod. And to the end that for the gaine of some one or more particuler men the enimies of this commonwealth may not in this tyme of their dearth be releived and so their strength maintained against this kingdome, these are to praye, and in like manner as before require you, that you have a vigilant care to hinder (as much as in you lyeth) the transportation of all corne and other victualls prohibited to be transported out of this country." Copy.
"Whereas a yearly pay out of the Exchequer is paid to one that receives it, as gunner of Rye, who never doth any service nor resides among us, we have thought good to inform you, and with it beseaching you, to take into your serious consideration the urgent necessity of a gunner's presence here with us in these so dangerous times, and that now some speedy course may be taken through your furtherance to compel him to look to his charge here, which hath been so long time neglected." Draft.
"Whereas we are given to understand that there are observed dayly to come out of the Low Countries without leave from their commanders as well inferior officers as souldiers in great numbers, belonging to those regiments under his Majesties pay there, which having bene likewise made knowne to his Majestie, he hath commanded us to cause them to be apprehended and punished. These are therefore in his Majesties name straightly to will and require you to cause diligent search and inquirie to be made for all such persons, of the condition aforesaid, lodged and harboured within your jurisdiction and to cause them to be apprehended and detayned in safe custodie until you shall have acquainted this Board therewithall and received further order for the disposinge of them. And that you do the like from tyme to tyme for such others of them as shall come over and passe through anye the places within your severall jurisdictions."
"Whereas by my letters of the nine and twentith of July last under the seale of my Lord Warden his Grace's office here, I acquainted you with his Majesty's pleasure and my Lord Warden's direction concerninge the continuance of John Withers and Samuell Helinge in their exercisinge and instructinge the trayned soldiers and others within your liberties, to which they had bene formerly appointed by his Majesty's command. I ame nowe credibly informed that many of the persons in the same your liberties [who] should be exercised and instructed according to the said directions, have of late neglected and refused to be exercised or receive any instructions from the said John Withers, who hath bene resident amongst them, whereby his Majesty's expectation of the benefitt which would have bene reaped by the said instructions is like to be frustrated and myselfe and you disabled to make that good accompt which will in this behalfe be required. These are therefore to pray and (by vertue of the authoritie by my Lord Warden his former command to this purpose given me) require you that you give strickt charge and command to all the persons within your liberties, which are appointed by the directions you have heretofore received, to be exercised or instructed that they faile not in their attendance at tymes convenient to be exercised and directed by the said John Withers accordinge to the intention of the severall commands of the Lordes of the Counsell and my Lord Warden, wherewith you have bene acquainted. And if you shall find any in this respect refractory that you take speedie course for reformation thereof or otherwise certifie their names unto me, whereby I may take such course with them as may best further his Majesty's service." Copy.
As we are best acquainted with the occurances of these troublesome times as nearest to the troubles and dangers, so do we not omitt any opportunity to impart what may concern the Ports in general as ourselves in particular. First touching 116 tuns of wine brought to this harbour by the Ports' ships, the same was sold yesterday and all but 14 tuns thereof found to belong to French merchants, which said 14 tuns are professed to belong to merchants of Flanders the which will fall only to the Ports' share; and for the three ships and Billinder taken by the Ports' ships only the Billinder and 2 bags of flax fall within the compass of our letters of marque. We also hear of a warrant for a press of 200 seamen forthwith within the Ports and their members, which in these times of danger of so potent and ancient an enemy as the French, to be granted, is somewhat strange and likely to tend to our prejudice. For our parts we are yet sensible of our late losses of our men cast away in the three ships the other year on the coast of France near Calais, besides those in the transport of the soldiers of Count Mansfield and since of others taken by the Dunkirkers and of late of the absence of others with their ships at Bordeaux, and of others taken up for pilots all which have and do much depopulate this Township as it hath and doth other Towns of the Ports so that to prevent the utter ruin some speedy and sudden course must be taken.
"You have made a complainte of mee to my Lord Duke of Buckingham his grace because I having a Gunners fee of 6d. per diem and am not resident with you in these so dangerous and perrilous tymes etc. To which I answere that I am sure yow know that this fee belongs not to the service of your towne, it being given by King Henry the VIII., who having warres with Fraunce placed a cannon of brasse in Rie, giving to a gunner for his atendance (only) thereon the said fee, and to be disposed of by the Lord Warden to whome hee should thinke fitt, the Towne ever having other gunners (besides) of theire owne for divers peices of brasse and iron ordinance. The said cannon was at the comming of the Spanish Armada, Anno 1588, sent for from Rie, either to her Majesties Navy or to the Campe at Tilbury and afterwards brought to the Tower of London, where it now is and hath ever since continued. And I nowe living heere am more ready to do service when soever I shal be commanded by the Master Gunner of England, and much neerer then if I should live in Rie, to which place I am not bound, except you can make meanes to have the said cannon brought back again or procure another. And then I shalbe very willing to give my best attendance and performe the utmost of my indeavour among you. Moreover although Mr. Ratliffe and Mr. Portriffe enjoyed the same fee which I nowe have for the space of 36 yeares and upwards, after the cannon was absent from your Towne, yet you had several gunners in those tymes, John Prowse, Robert Burdett and John Bayly, each of thease having theire pay out of the Chamber of your Towne." Signed.
"Whereas we are given to understand that there hath bene of late observed to be a greate resorte into this kingdome from forraigne partes of all sorts of strangers, beinge for the most parte of the meaner sorte, and those, in such numbers as may well be conceived to have bene purposely sent away to discharge and unburthen those places from whence they come, who as wee are informed are usually at their first cominge over, sett ashore in the severall Porte townes and places within that county. These are therefore straightly to will and require you to cause expresse order to be taken within the Cinque Portes and members of the same, or any landinge places within their jurisdiction, that either they suffer not any strangers of such condition as aforesaid to come ashore at all, or in case they shall be landed to cause them to be reimbarquet and sent back againe. And that for all such strangers and forriners of better qualitie as shall come over and happen to land in any the aforesaid portes or places and shall not upon examination taken, yeild sufficient reasons for their cominge over, so as you may find just cause to lett them passe, that you cause them to be stayed and detained in safe custodie untill you shall have made certificates thereof to this Board and received our further directions therein. And that for suche of them as you shall suffer to passe as aforesaid, that you doe nevertheless make entry of their names and of the occasions by them pretended for their cominge over, as allso of the places where they intend to lodge at their cominge upp hither. And that you certifie the same to this Board from tyme to tyme."
"Whereas for the giving of certaine intelligence to the Commissioners for the passage within the Cinque Portes and their members, as well of such persons as were transported out of the kingdome as of those that were brought from beyond the seaes into the same by the way of the said Portes or their members, order hath bene taken by the honorable predecessor of my Lord Warden his Grace that all masters of ships, barques and craiors and all inholders, victuallers and hackneymen there, should enter into bonds with such conditions as were conceived fitt for the purpose above recited. And whereas the right honorable late Lord Zouch (for the better execution of the same order) did in his tyme add thereunto diverse articles wherewith he acquainted you, amongest which one was (as I doubt not you remember) that all Maiors and Jurates, Bayliffes and Jurates of the Cinque Portes, two auncient townes and their members should within fowerteene dayes after notice given from the office here, certefic into the same office, as well the names of the masters of all shipps, barques and crayors as the names of all inholders, victuallers and hackneymen within their severall portes, townes, members, and liberties, with a speciall note uppon every one of those who used more then one of the said trades to the ends, bonds might be prepared for them according to another of the said articles. Now forasmuch as our Lord Warden his Grace that nowe is (well weighinge how much the due observance of the said former and later orders conduce to the service and safetie of his Majestie and this realme and what danger might ensue by the omission of the same) hath well approved of the said orders and commanded that the said orders be from tyme to tyme within his government of the said Cinque Portes, townes and members, duly observed. These are to pray and require you that, in performance of one parte of the said orders, you forthwith send into his Grace's office here a true and perfect certificate as well of the names of the masters of all and every the ships, barques, and crayors as of the names of all the inholders, victuallers, and hackneymen within every of the severall liberties, with note whereby every of those which use more then one of the said trades may be knowne, and bonds here may be prepared for their sealinge as is fitt and hath bene heretofore accustomed." Copy.
"I formerly received lettres from the Lords of his Majesties Privie Councell for the impressinge of 200 marriners and seafaringe men for his Majesty's service in his Majesty's fleete shortly to be put to sea, to send the same men so imprest to Chatham there to be put aboard such shipps as by his Majesty's officers shold be directed and appointed. These are to advertize you that I now lately received a letter from the Clerke of the Checkes according to my Lord Wardens command, by him received beinge now at Chatham, with a list of all those mens names which have appeared there, beinge prest, the true coppies whereof I herewith send you that upon the perusall thereof you may understand that divers of those men which soe made their appearance are since run away, and that you may perceive who they are by this marke as you shall finde it in the Clerke of the Checkes letter, as it is written in the margent of the aforesaid list against the names of those who are runawaies. Also you shall further understand that their was wantinge of the whole number 60 men which never appeared at all, beinge most parte of them prest. Wherefore I pray and require you that with all expedition you cause a strict and diligent scrche to be made for the findinge out of those which are supposed to be runawaies and allso of those that never appeared beinge prest, and that you cause some of them to be exemplarely punished whereby the rest may take warninge, without the which undoubtedly his Majesty's service will suffer for want of men, and that you see the whole number to be made upp of what is wantinge accordinge to your former warrant and directions."
"Whereas I have received expresse order and comand for preventinge intelligence and for divers other important reasons of state that noe shipps, barques, or other vessells, whither belonginge to his Majesty's subjects or strangers, of what qualitie or burthen soever, which are at this presente or which hereafter shall come into or ride within any of his Majesty'e portes or roads, betwen this and the goinge forth of his Majesty's fleete nowe preparinge, shall be suffered to departe and putt to sea untill further order. These are accordingly to will and require you to cause a sure stay to be made of all shipps, barques, and other vessells whatsoever, whither belonginge to his Majesty's subjectes or strangers." Copy.
"Whereas I am credibly informed that notwithstanding the strict order and commaund given for a generall restraint of all shipps, barques, and vessells, there doe dayly passe out of your porte or the members thereof aswell sloopes as barkes and other vessells to the infringement of the King's expresse comaunds and prejudice of his Majesty's service. Wherefore these are to will and require you not only to inquyre and certifye me what barques or vessells (since the said restraint) have passed out of your porte, and by whose directions, licence, helpe, and meanes, and whether they have gonne, but to take a more strict and vigilant course, that noe shippe, barque, sloope, or other vessell whatsoever of what quallity or condition soever, whether belonging to his Majeaty's subjects or straingers doe by any meanes passe or goe forth of your said porte, roade, or harbor untill further order from me or the Lieutenant of Dovor Castle." Signed. Seal of the Admiralty.
Whereas the Duke of Buckingham our Lord Warden has commanded us to make strict stay of all ships and vessels going forth of our harbour until further order be given, we have made stay of all fisherboats which go ordinarily to sea for the taking fish for his Majesty's provisions, which the King's house will fail of by reason of this restraint. Insomuch we have thought good to write you and to be advertised if we shall continue to stay them or suffer them to go to sea for taking of fish for his Majesty's provision. Draft.
"Whereas your Grace is informed (as we conceive by your Honours letter of the 26th of this instant) that notwithstanding the strict order for a general restraint of all ships there do daily pass out of our harbour sloops and barques. These are to certify your Grace that since the restraint there hath not any sloop, barque, or vessel gone out of our harbour save only small boats as ordinarily go afishing but now we have given them strict charge to forbear to go to sea till we receive order to the contrary." Draft.
As the King cannot be sufficiently supplied on fasting and fish days unless the fishermen of Rye may freely use their fishing, notwithstanding the restraint they may put to sea upon giving bonds for their return every tide into harbour and shall bring such fish caught to be disposed of for his Majesty's service. Signed and seal of the Admiralty.
Commanding them to send to Dover "the Spaniards, Portugalls, and Dunkerkers" now prisoners at Rye that they may be exchanged for His Majesty's subjects prisoners in West Flanders. Signed and seat of the Admiralty.
"Whereas by former order from his Majesty and the Lordes of hi Majesty's Privie Counsell I gave you formerly two severall stric commands not to permitt any shippe, barke or vessell, whither fisher boat or other to departe or passe out of any porte or place within the jurisdiction of the Cinque Portes without especiall licence from m under my hand, thereby to prevent all intelligence which otherwise might be given to forraigne states. Now forasmuch as credible information is given that notwithstanding such strict order and comman there have many barques and other vessells, either throwgh negligent or conniviencie of mony gone out of severall partes of the Cinque Ports from by-crekes and places principally, whereby letters have bene carric into forraine partes to the great prejudice of his Majesty's service are the State. These are to pray and require you to take an effectual are strict corse throughout the Cinque Portes and their members not only enquire after and certefie all such as have transgressed contrary to his Majesty's and their Lordshipp's said command but to make sure stay of all shipps, barques, fisherboates and other vessells of what qualitie soever belonginge to any of his Majesty's subjects or strangers beinge now within or shall come into any porte, harbor, rode, creke, or other place within the Cinque Portes or their members and not to permit any of them to departe or passe other then such as are in his Majesty's immediate service without especyall lycence and directions from me under my hand." Copy.
"I have this day received letters from my Lord Warden wherein charge is given me accordinge to the order of his Majesties Privie Counsell to cause an able and strict watch to be kept throughout the jurisdiction of the Cinque Portes, two auntient townes and their members. These are therefore to pray and require you to cause his Grace's said command to be putt in speedie and punctuall execution in every particular accordinge to the purport thereof and if you shall finde any negligence or faulte in observanc of any point of his Grace's said command that you certefye me from tyme to tyme thereof whereby I may be able to give that accompt which is in this behalf required I should. And whereas I am informed that the watches within diverse of your liberties have bene heretofore performed by the poorest sorte of people and such as have least cause to be carefull of so greate charge as is commytted to them, these are to praye and require you as you tender the saftie of the state of this Kingdome and yourselves, that duringe these tymes of danger you appoint the most sufficient and ablest men within every of your liberties for performance of this service." Copy.
I, being of late in London, obtained by special favour order for the opening and discharge of the restraint of passage of all ships, so that it is now permitted that all ships may pass and go forth putting in good bond that they shall not cross or pass the seas or have any connivance with Frenchmen or such like. Copy.
1627, July 16.—Proclamation by the Duke of Buckingham, Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, for the mustering, surveying and exercising of the trained and untrained bands of the Cinque Ports, both of foot and horse, and for having all beacons furnished and provided with convenient materials for firing them if need shall so require.
I have lately received directions from one of his Majesty's Secretaries of State for the stay of the person, trunks, and other packs of one who is called by the name of Old Fraunces, a man of low stature, aged seventy years, and gray-haired. He hath now bought divers cloaks which he intends to transport, and under colour thereof he seeketh passage to Flushing and thence to Calais. There is great blame laid in general upon the officers of the Cinque Ports for suffering some lately to pass which have done bad offices to the state as this Old Fraunces is suspected to do. Copy.
I have this day received letters from his Majesty's Secretaries of State whereby I am required to make stay of the body and letters of one, Short, who is now coming out of France with directions and letters for such as are agents here for that Country. Copy.
"Whereas there was lately a general restraint of passage from the Cinque Ports into any foreign parts, yet I am informed there was not only during that time of restraint a common allowance of men's passage from you into France, but also some barques, hoys, and other vessels, and in particular one laden with coals bound for France then suffered to pass out of your harbour, peradventure you had some superior authority for these things, if so it is well; however that I may be able to render the account which is required for these things I desire you to certify me by what authority those things were done. There hath also been lately a special command for the strict examination of such as resort into this kingdom from beyond the seas and apprehension of all that might be suspicious, how this service is performed by you I desire in like manner to be certified, for I have hitherto been informed of no man stayed by you, albeit I know there is many more passengers land with you than in some other Ports where good services in this respect hath been lately done." Signed and seal of office.
I am commanded by special order from the King and Council to haste away which I intend, God willing, with the first tide although I stand deficient of many sufficient men. Therefore I am forced to solicit you to command the men that have been pressed within your precincts to attend upon me. Of the 26 pressed by John Jacob, only 2 have appeared, of 10 pressed by Mr. Rabonet, only one has appeared. If I come not to anchor in the Downs I will make "2 or 3 bordes" before Dover and shoot three pieces, which shall be a sign for these men to come aboard there, in case I stop not at the Downs. The urgent occasion of this service, which is for the relief of my Lord Duke and his army, will I make no question invite you to be extraordinary careful in the performance of this service. Copy.
Whereas it is come to the knowledge of his Majesty and the Board that divers gentlemen and others inhabitants of the Cinque Ports have of late years, and do daily more and more, withdraw themselves and desert their habitations and dwellings in those parts, whereby the said Ports and places lying most in danger of foreign attempts and therefore needing the most population of defence are left naked and exposed to the invasion of an enemy. And whereas in regard of some late advertisement from foreign parts of the great fleet coming from Spain with intention to join with a good fleet prepared at Dunkirk, pretended to be in aid of the French King, it is found very necessary that the said Cinque Ports and members of the same and parts adjacent should be strengthened and secured all that possibly may be. We therefore by his Majesty's express command do hereby require you to summon and command all and every such persons, housekeepers, as have at any time within the space of three years last past had their habitation and dwelling within the said Cinque Ports, to make their immediate repair back together with their families to their several dwellings there. Copy.
Whereas 60 men were lately impressed within the Cinque Ports for manning of His Majesty's ship commanded by Sir John Chudleigh there hath not been above ten of them appeared, whereby the service wherein the said ship is to be imployed is like to suffer if not altogether frustrated. We have thought good to require you to cause the full complement to be instantly supplied and cent aboard, and those formerly pressed who have not appeared to be apprehended and committed to prison. Copy.
We have received letters from the Lords of his Majesty's Privy Council to summon all and every such persons or housekeepers as have at any time within three years dwelt within the Cinque Ports to make their immediate repairs back with their families to their several dwellings there. These are therefore to command you forthwith to repair hither with your families. Draft.
1627, February 7.—Brief from Charles I. empowering the Mayor and Jurats of Rye to collect alms and charitable benevolences within the Cities of London and Westminster and the Counties of Sussex, Surrey, Kent, Southampton, Dorset, Essex, and various other cities and counties for the repairs of the harbour of Rye. Print.
Whereas by letters lately received from the Lord Warden according to order he hath received from the Lords of the Privy Council, I am required to impress forthwith twenty able pilots and one hundred and fifty mariners and seafaring men within the Cinque Ports and their members for his Majesty's service in his fleet, now preparing in the River of Thames, for the relief of Rochelle, and to send the same men into the Downs there to be put aboard his Majesty's ships there. These are therefore to require you "undelayedly" to impress seventy-two able pilots and seafaring men according to the proportions underwritten. Folkstone 6, Hythe 6 and 2 pilots, Romney 3, Lydd 6, Rye 20, Hastings 30. Copy.
I have received express order to prevent intelligence and for divers other important reasons of state, that no ships or vessels which are now within or which shall come into any Port or harbour within the jurisdiction of the Cinque Ports shall be suffered to go to sea, until further order. Copy.
By directions from the Lords of the Council you are to give order that all ships and vessels within the jurisdiction of the Cinque Ports (especially the men of war that belong to the States and United Provinces) be released and suffered to proceed in their intended voyages, having first paid his Majesty's customs and other duties.
"This nobleman is landed at Lydd out of one of the King of Denmark's ships of war by the help of a Hollander, and hath required of us to send them down ten men to help to bring the ship into the harbour as also a boat to bring some other of their company to land. The wind being contrary, our fishermen are not able to go to sea and thereby not able to yield them the help we would. We have thought good to write unto you desiring you to send with all possible speed a boat and ten men sufficient to supply their wants, as by his letter and this messenger's relation, you may see needful. The Dunkirkers have taken away ten of their best men and many more of the company are hurt and sick so that they are not able to weight their own anchor so that the ship in great danger of being lost for want of men."
"Mait pleis this presentt is to lat you know that I am heir areiffitt befor Leid in on of ye King of Denmarkis schipis, and hes matteris of grytt importance and hes lositt the best of our men vith the Dinkirkeris, and our boott, so that I maid my retraitt heir to this toone to the ballyeis heir and at thair request hes vreittine to you and your maigestrates vith you for asistanc of the nomber of tene sayllaris, or uthervayis ye schipe is in danger of losing both men and guidis. So loiking for your performanc as you vill be ansverabill to your King and mester, for be asuiritt I vill reportt your dilygenc or disobedienc as I sall tak atasstacione of all vith me to his Majestic."
According to your request (considering your extreme necessity) we have delayed no time, as you may perceive, but with all the diligence we could use, have provided and sent to you a boat and the number of men you wrote for, not doubting but that your Lordship will see these men shall be well satisfied for their service. Draft.
The occasions are more apparent and every day more frequent why all provident care should be used for the securing of the Cinque Ports from the danger and spoil of enemies, especially at the present his Majesty having had advertisement of some hostile preparations. And therefore we pray and require you to take effectual order for the careful watching and looking to, of the beacons of the Cinque Ports and their members. Copy.
I have received letters from the Lord Warden to use my best endeavour for the apprehension of one, John Shorte, lately a prisoner in the Tower and thence escaped, he is described to be a low man of little stature, his face pale and wan, his hair black, clothed in black "russesuite" and an old pair of russet boots. He pretendeth himself to be a Frenchman but speaketh perfect English. These are to require you that strict examination be taken of all persons seeking for passage in every of your several liberties that the said Short may by no means escape through any of them.
According to the direction of the Lords Commissioners of the execution of the place of Lord Admiral of England. These are to require you forthwith to take survey of the ships, sailers, and mariners within the Cinque Ports.
These are to certify your Lordship of such ships, barques, and vessels as belong to our town with their owners and part owners, masters, mariners, or fishermen. Draft. Certificate of ships and ressels in the Port of Rye with their owners, masters and mariners, enclosed. In all five ships (of which the two largest are of 60 tons) and 9 fishing boats of 14 tons.
According to orders received from the Lord Warden these are in pursuit of his Majesty's commandment to give you notice of the good agreement between his Majesty and the French King, and to desire you that you give order to the several Ports that ships of reprisal against the French go not forth to that intent and purpose. And it is his Majesty's pleasure that if any French do arrive or land within the Cinque Ports you give them all friendly and courteous entertainment as befitting his Majesty's friends. Copy.
Whereas there was lately a great tumult in Fleet Street in which many insolent persons did in a rebellious manner resist the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs who were forced for the suppressing of them and the maintaining of his Majesty's peace, to employ the trained bands. Forasmuch as it may be doubted that some of them will seek to convey themselves out of the Realm we have thought fit hereby to pray and require you to give present order to all the officers of the Cinque Ports not only not to suffer any gentleman or any other person that may be likely to have had any hand in the tumult, to pass without special warrant, but also if any such person do seek to pass to stay him and take strict examination of him. Copy.
The abuses and neglects of the trained bands of the several Counties are by connivence and want of due care grown so customary, as the directions of the State for reformation are commonly received for matters of form only, and so slightly executed as the wished and necessary effects are not at all produced. And since so essential a part of the strength and safety of the Kingdom consists in those bands, and in having them well chosen, well armed and well disciplined, and that neither the serious recommendations from us nor the iminent dangers of the times can serve for sufficient admonition, we are resolved to take a strict account ourselves of the performance of each man's duty in that so important service. Our will and pleasure is that you cause a general muster to be taken of all the trained bands, horse and foot, under your lieutenancies and that you make equal impartial and indifferent charge, according to the value of each man's lands and means, whether the owners be resident or not for finding horse and foot, and see the horse and arms so charged and sufficient men to ride the horses. Those that are to be enrolled in the trained lists are to be of gentry, freeholders, good farmers, and their sons, that are like to be resident in the country and ready to serve with the arms they bear and are trained in at the musters, and that the meaner sort of people and servants whose residence cannot be expected to be constant be avoided at least where any servant is enrolled it shall not be in his masters power to change or put him away without the licence of you, because by such changes the benefit of training and teaching the use of arms is utterly lost. Copy.
Whereas we are informed that as well in Holland and especially in Amsterdam as also in France and more particularly in Rochell and in the Ports and towns of Brittany, there is at this present much contagious and pestilent sickness, whereof great numbers daily die, and that the said infection is already brought into the Isle of Scilly, we charge and command you not to suffer any persons or commodities to be landed until you have first fully inquired and informed yourselves whether the place from whence they come were free from infection or not, and if they have come from places infected that you cause them to forbear coming on shore till such course be taken by them for airing of their goods and so many days after their arrival as may give hope and likelihood they are free from danger and infection. Copy.
Orders for all masters of ships, barques, and crayers and all innholders, victuallers, and hackney men in the Cinque Ports to enter into bonds, that the commissioners of passage may have certain knowledge what persons are transported out of the kingdom or come from beyond the seas.
Notwithstanding the order forbidding the export of corn I am informed that divers persons daily ship and export great quantities of wheat and barley, that the store of corn in those parts is so far exhausted, and the prices so much enhanced that without some speedy remedy a great dearth is likely to ensue. These are therefore to charge you that no person be permitted to export or ship any wheat or barley. Copy.
Requiring that the proclamation touching the peace agreed upon between his Majesty and the King of Spain be publicly declared throughout the Ports, and especially to all owners, masters, and officers of ships.