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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Requiring them to put in speedy execution the laws and statutes made for putting forth of poor children as apprentices, against unlicensed alehouses and divers other offences, according to his Majesty's late proclamation.
Whereas upon motion made unto us on the behalf of our good brother the King of Sweden, we have given licence to the Marquis of Hamilton and to the captains and officers under him to levy and transport six thousand English voluntaries to be employed for that King in a war just and honourable, not undertaken for private ambition, but for the re-establishing of such Princes, his Majesty's allies, as have been wrongfully deposed, of which sort the distressed estate of our dear brother and only sister cannot but come near unto our heart, and for the general peace of Christendom and the enlargement of commerce. For the good esteem we have of our cousin who hath undertaken this charge, and for the benefit this kingdom will find in disburdening itself of so many unnecessary men, that want employment, and for that the season of the year requires expedition for the raising and transporting so many men into so remote parts, we do therefore instantly require and command you to employ your very best endeavours to the accomplishment of this service. Copy.
[1630–1631.]—Petition of the Mayors, Bailiffs, Jurats and Commons of the Cinque Ports, two ancient Towns and their members for a new Charter. Copy. Note at the end to the effect that the petition was granted.
These are to acquaint you how our affairs stand, we have passed the Signet and Privy Seal and now our Charter is in the hands of the Lord Keeper, but we have not sufficient money. We expected that the eighty pounds we last wrote for would have given a full end to the affair. Our experience in passing these offices which we have already passed, doth show us that the particular charge of passing every office doth far outgo our expectation, moreover there is such notice taken of our said Charter with the greatness of the Port's corporation, as of so many towns incorporate, that there is such general expectation of expedition money in every office, and that of no small sum to gratify them, that unless we do somewhat deal after their expectation we cannot be looked on. Our Charter is grown already into so large an extent by reason of their small skins that we assure ourselves it, will be ten or eleven skins at the least when we have passed the broad Seal and the fine we are to pay will be, according to the fine which was paid for King James' Charter which was four skins and came to eighteen pounds, at the least will be thirty pounds. Signed. Seal of Arms.
Whereas it is reported abroad in the Country that the infectious disease of the plague is in our Town which false rumour causes the Country to forbear to resort to our Town and repair to other places to provide and furnish themselves with such necessaries as they want, wherefore we have thought good to signify to your Worship that herein we are greatly wronged for, we thank God, our town is clear of that infectious disease, only (as it hath been in many other places) we have some few houses in our Town visited with the small pox, of which sickness to our knowledge there have not died above five or six persons. Draft.
Having lately received the Kings writ to provide and furnish a ship of 800 tons, "in warlike manner for his Majesties service," they think it very requisite to hold a general meeting of the Ports and members at New Romney on the 25th of November to consult how to proceed. Signed.
"Whereas it appeareth that greate numbers of his Majesties subjects have been and are everie yeare transported into those parts of America which have been graunted by patent to severall persons, and there settle themselves, some of them with theire families and whole estates, amongst which numbers theire are also many idle and refractory humers, whose only end is to live as much as they can without the reach of authoritie, wee, having—according to the power wherewith wee are intrusted by his Majesties Commission for matter of plantation—seriously considered how necessarie it is for divers waightie and important reasons to take carefull and effectuall order for the stoppinge of such permiscowus and disorderly departinge out of this Realme, doe therefore pray and require your Lordshippe to charge and command the severall officers in the Cinque Ports not to suffer any person beinge a subsidie man to embarque himselfe in any of the said Ports or any the members thereof for any of the said plantations without licence from his Majesties Commissioners, nor any person under the degre of a subsidie man, without any attestation from two justices of peace, living next the place where he dwelt last (or where he lived before, if he hath lived but a while there) that he hath taken the oth of supremicie and allegeance, and like testimony from the Minister of the parish of his conversation and conformitie to the orders and discipline of the Church of England." Returns of those departing for the plantation to be made every half year. Copy.
As for making a bridge at Kent Wall though mending the "greate Roade at Newenden," by them, is more advantage to the whole country, than the want of the bridge can be prejudicial, yet if a bridge can be made at reasonable charge one shall be undertaken. As for the question of navigation, "wee may take it for a certaine rule that in a mayne nothinge can be hurtfull to the harbor of Rye that is not likewise hurtfull to our wett marshes, neyther can there any thinge be good to the generall of the levells, but must likewise be good for your harbor; therefore wee neede the lesse be jealous one of another. Hitherto there is nothinge done but what was done by the hand of God, but when the sea shalbe let into the great quantitie of lowe landes of Wittersham, for which wee pay soe large a rent of purpose to make an indraught, wee have noe doubt but both wee and you shall receave the good we hoped for by our worke. Besides our charge and paynes, wee have had a greate deale of patience and wee must desire you to have a little, till our work be finished." Signatures and Seal of Arms.
"Whereas notice has been given to his Majestie and the Board, by the Lord Warden of the Cinque [Ports], of the landing of great number of strangers at Dover who desire, in respect of troubles abrode, to retire for a tyme into this kingdom for theire better saftie, his Majestie commiserating theire estate, with the advice of the Board, was thereuppon pleased to give them passage, and to order and command that the said Lord Warden shall give expresse directions to all the officers of the Ports within his jurisdiction to make and keep a particular register of the names, surnames, qualities, and professions of all such strangers as [there] were, or [should] hereafter arrive, at any of the said Ports with an intent to reside in this realme; and that they shall from tyme to tyme send up a true copie or transcript thereof to the Board. And that his Lordship should likewise direct and charge the officers respectively not to permit the said strangers, so landing, to dwell or reside in any of the said Ports but to repair to the more inland townes and more remote from the sea." Copy.
Desiring them to forthwith comply with a warrant by which they were required to send into Dover Castle, by a given day, now past, the rolls cf the last musters taken, expressing the arms charged upon every particular man, together with the proportions of the general and private store of munition, and also the names of all persons in their jurisdictions not imbanded between the ages of 16 and 16 [60?] years.
They doubt not that their previous commands, sent to him on 27 April, have been put into execution; but as the King receives daily advertisment of further preparations both by sea and by land on the part of neighbouring Princes and States—they consider it necessary to give the following additional directions:—The Deputy Lieutenants are to keep particular watch on all the ports and places "apt for landing" in the Cinque Ports. Upon the first notice of appearing or approach of any foreign fleet upon those coasts, all the trained bands of the counties [Kent and Sussex] or as many as shall be found needful, are to be "drawn down thither to repulse the landing of any enemy." Landsmen are, from time to time, to be impressed for the King's ships. All musters are to be made near the coast. Copy.
A great offence has been committed by the clerks of the passage within the Ports, especially at Dover, "in suffering young persons by indirect meanes and without licence to be conveyed beyond seas to be trained up in the Romish religion, which, as a matter of dangerous consequence, his Lordship's [the Lord Warden's] chiefe care hath ever ben to prevent." Extra diligence is, therefore, to be observed in the future, and all the clerks of passage within his Lordship's government are to send him "a particular account of all persons whatsoever that have been allowed passage at any place or creeke within the jurisdiction of the Cinque Ports or their members within the space of three years last past."
Enclosing letter from the Privy Council to the Lord Warden concerning the non-payment of 50l. of the tax assessed on the above-named towns towards the ship lately charged on the counties of Sussex and Kent. The sum in question is to be immediately levied and paid to the High Sheriff of Sussex.
"Whereas his Majestie sent you his writt to provide one ship of five hundred tons to be furnished with men, tackle, munition, victuall, and all other necessaries to be sett forth for the safegard of the sea defences of the realme at the charge of the countie and corporatt townes or the greater parte of them, whereof the Sheriff of the Countie to bee one, shall within thirtie dayes after the receite hereof assesse and sett downe howe much every of the said corporate townes shall pay, and after to proceed on in the further execution of the sarvice as by the said writt appeareth. Wee are by his Majesty's expresse direction and commandment to lett you knowe that hee hath upon important and weightie reasons concerning not only his owne honor and the antient renowne of this nation, but the saftie of yourselves and all his subjectes in this troublesome and warlike times, sent out the aforesaid writt to you and the like unto all other counties, citties, and townes throughout the wholl kingdome, that as all are concerned in the mutuall defence of one another soe all might putt to there helping handes, for the making of such apparation as by the blessing of God may sarve this realme against those dangers and extremities which have distressed other nations and ar the common effectes of ware, whensoever it taketh a people unprepared; and therefore as his Majestie doubteth not of the redines of all his subjectes to contribute hereunto with cherefulnes and alacritie soe hee doth especiallie require youre care and diligence in the orderinge of this buisines soe much concerning his Majestie and all his people that noe inequalitie or miscariage may eyther retard or disgrace the sarvice, which in itselfe is soe just, honorable and necessarie for which cause wee have by his Majesty's lik direction sent you, together with the same writte, thesse insuing advises and instructions for your better proceedinges. First, therefore, whereas by the said [writ] you the said Hight Sherife are only of the quorum for making of the said assesments, it is to be understood by youe all that his Majesty's intention was and is that in case anie of youe, the maiors and head officers of corporate townes, desiring the ease of your owne townes beeyound that which is meete, should make a major parte and pluralitie of vote and thereby lay or leavie a greater burden upon any other of the corporate townes or upon the body of the countie then were fitt, that the Sherife, whoe is presumed to stand alik effected to all the corporat townes, might have some powre to ballance that inequallitie and alsoe might not bee overruled with the major vote to the prejudice of the countie which is the greater body but it likewise to bee understood that his Majestie expectes that equalitie and indifference in you the Hight Sherife that you neyther favor one corporat towne above another, nor the countie itselfe above the corporat townes, but that you use the power given youe by the said writt with such moderation as occasione the greater rediness in all to contribute and may give noe cause to any to grudg or repine for any purrialitie (sic) or inequalite in the assessment. Secondly, because diverse of you may bee unacquainted with the charge of such martan [maritime] preparation, and the mistaking thereof might hinder the sarvice, wee have thought good to lett youe knowe that upon a due and just calculation wee find that the charge of a shipe of that burden soe manned and furnished will be five thousand powndes, and to prevent difficultie in dividing the assessments upon the corporat townes wee have informed ourselves the best wee may of the present condition of the corporate townes and what proportion of that charge each of them is fitt to beare, doe conceive that Hasting with the members may well beare fowre hundred and tenne powndes, Chichester twoe hundred powndes, Arrundell thirtie powndes, Shorham twentie powndes, and the residue of the said five thousand powndes is to bee layed upone the rest of the countie, and thesse rates wee wish to bee obsarved rather then any difference of opinione amoungst youe of the corporations or beetwene you of the corporations and the Sherife of the countie, should retard the sarvice; howbeeit wee are so fare content to [blank] waie to the judgmentes which are upon the place that in case the major of you of the corporations shall agree upon any other rates, and that the Sherife of the countie shall approve the same rates sett by the major parte of you, and approved by the Sherife, shall stand, allbeit thay vary from those expressed in our letters, it being his Majesty's desire and the intention of his Lords that all things should bee done with as much equalitie and justice as is possible for us and you to discerne. Thirdly, when your some [having] agreed upon the generall assessments, what shall be done by every corporat towne and what by the rest of the countie, wee think it fitt you subdivid the same and make the particuler assessments in such sorte as other common payments upon the countie or corporate townes ar most usually subdivided and assessed, and namely that you the Sherife divid the whole charge laid upon the countie into hundreths, lathes, or other divisiones, and those into parishes, must bee rated by the houses and lands lying within each parish or towne as is accoustomed in other common paiments which fall out to bee payable by the countie, hundreths, lathes, divisiones, parishes, townes, saving that it is [his] Majesty's pleasure that wheare there shall happen to bee any men of abilitie by resone of gainefull trades, great stock of mony or other personall estate, whoe perchause have occupied eyther none or littel, and consiquently in an ordinary land scott would pay nothing or very littelle, such men bee rated and asseissed according to theire worth and abilitie, and that the monyes shall bee levied upon such may be applied to the sparing and easing of such as being eyther of weak estate or charged with many children or great debtes or unable to beare so greate a charge as ther land in theire occupation might require in an usuall and ordinarie proportion, and the lik course to bee held by youe in the corporate townes, that a poore man be not sett in respect of the usuall tax of his house or the lik at greater some then others of much more worth and abilitie and to them this may bee effected with much mor equalitie and expedition youe the said Sherife may send forth your warrants to the Counstables of the severall hundreds, requiring them to call unto them some discreete and sufficient men of every parish, towne, or tything and to consider with them howe the same, charged upon each hundred, may be distributed and devided, as aforesaid, and most equallitie and indifference, and to retourne the same to youe which beeing done you may give order for collection thereof by the Counstable and others usually imployed for collection of other common charge and payments, and when any shall bee by them retourned to you, eyther to refuse or to neglect to mak payment, you ar without delay to exicute the ritte upon them, and you, the Maiors and hed officers of the corporat townes obsarving your usuall distributions by wardes, parishes, and otherwise as is accustomed amoungst you for the common paiments for your parte to doe the lik by yourselves and your severall ministres under youe respectively as is before appointed to bee done by the Sherife, as fare fourth as may bee apte and agreeable to the course and state of your severall townes and corporations. And as concerning the clergie albeit his Majesty is resoulved to maintaine all theire due priviledges which they have injoyed in the time of his noble progenitors yet because it hath not hetherto bene madde sufficiently appeare to his Majesty or this Borde what priviledges have bene alowed them in former times touching paiements and service of this nature, his Majestie is pleased that for the present youe, proseed and texe and assesse them for this sarvice and receive and levie theire sessments as you are authorised to doe the rest of his Majesty's subjects with this care and caution that you and the ministers faile not to beare a due respect both to theire person and calling not suffering any inequalities or pressures to bee put upon them, and such your assessments and proceedings his Majestie resoulveth shall not be prejudiciall in the future to them or any of their rightes and priviledges which upon farther search shall bee found due unto them. Lastly, to all other matters not particularly mentioned in theise instructiones you must upon all occurrantes governe yourselves according to the writte to you directed and as may best effect and accomplish the sarvice committed to youre trust." Copy.
"Whereas uppon notyce given by me to his Majestie and the Bord of the landinge of great numbers of strangers in the Portes within my government whoe in respect of troubles abord desyre to retyre into this kingdome for theire better safetie, his Majestie commiserating theire estate with the advise of the Bord was then pleased to admitt them passage and did in May last order and command me to give . . . . directions to keepe a particular booke or register of the names, surnames, qualities and professions of all such strangers as then were arived or from thence forward should arrive at any of the said Portes with an intent to reside in this realme, and that they should from tyme to tyme send up a true copye or transcript thereof. And that I should direct and charge the Maiors and others whome it should concerne not to permit the said strangers so landinge to dwell and reside in any of the said Portes [but] to repaire to any of the said inland townes and more remote from the seas. According to the purport of which order I did addresse my letters to the Porte townes in generall to put the same order in execution, and som of them did only make return unto me of the persons that landed, but have not caused them to departe the Porte townes; neither have they since theire last certificates in Michlemas terme last past made known unto me of the great numbers of people since arrived, wherein they deserve much blame no more to regard his Majesty's command in that behalfe, it beinge so dangerous to this kingdome that if any enimy should arise, the numbers of strangers might neere equalize if not exceede the strength of those townes, and secondly the tyme of yeare cominge on it is dangerous for infection of the plague and other infectious deseases, and thirdlie verie incommodious for theire owne inhabitantes in raysing the prizes of victualls; but not the least of all to myselfe in my accompte to his Majesty when I shall be called thereto, touchinge the performance of this service by them hitherto neglected. And therefore these are to praye and require you to send copies of this my letter unto all the Maiors of the townes within my government to require them that they spedilie put the said order in presente execution in all particulars. And that they shall also spedille give an accompt thereof, especially from the townes of Dover, Sandwich, Margate, and Rye. Nevertheles in respect of the great trade at Dover by merchant strangers by composition lately made for advancement of his Majesty's customes, yf the Maior can shewe me any sufficient reasons for the residence of some fewe in that towne only which are potestants and whole abydinge there, may be good for his Majesty's service, I would be ready to endeavour such theire accommodation; and that the remove of such persons may not be precipitately done nor in a tumultuous way, I leave the well orderinge thereof to the Maiors and heads of the townes after theire discretions, so as the delay therein be not to great. And of all this I require as speedy an accompt as may be, because I knowe not how sone I shall be thereto called myselfe."
Postscript.—" In the performance of this service, yf the Maior of Dover shall desire the stay of any, they must be protestante, and in that case he must take the advise of the ministers or preachers of the towne."
According to an order lately received from the Lord Warden signifying that divers certificates and attestations have been granted to many strangers, mariners, within his Lordships government by the Mayors and other principal officers of the Ports, whereby they are taken to belong to the Cinque Ports and so go free with their merchandise between Spain and Flanders, answering no composition for custom to the prejudice of his Majesty in his revenue, and requiring that the Mayors of the said Ports should not only forbear to give the like to any strangers hereafter without the consent of the farmers of his Majesty's customs but forthwith to call in all such as they have already given. Copy.
The Lord Warden has made an order for the transport of passengers from Rye to France, "appoyntinge only six vessels and theire severall masters and companies to attend carefully and diligently to that service." And because some persons of Rye, going with fish and merchandize to Dieppe, often take away the passage from those six persons, to their great damage, the Mayor and Jurats request the Governor not to permit any but the six authorized persons to bring back passengers from Dieppe to Rye.
1636, September 2.—Certificate by the Mayor and Jurats of Rye that William Bullock, gentleman, the bearer, had resided at Rye "about his necessary occasions and especially about the repayring of the Light at Dungeon Nesse;" and that the town of Rye, "God be blessed," is, and for many years had been, free from "the infection of the plague." Copy.
1636, September 5.—Similar certificate for Monsieur de la Grile, his wife, man and maid servants, and for James Cawsabor, gentleman, who had landed at Rye about a fortnight previously (since which time they had remained in the town) on their way to the Queen's Court. Copy.
Mr. Blackwood, the curate of Rye, has shown him a letter from the Bishop in which he sees that Mr. Norton, one of the churchwardens of the town, has informed his Lordship of "many abuses committed by divers persons in our toun against God's service, honor, and reverence due to holy and consecrated places, against the lawes, statutes, and canons of the Church, in makinge the chancell, arsenalls, prisons and places of execution of punishment." When this first began, "none now livinge in our Toune can remember"—but the south *** of the chancel has for long been used "for a place to keepe Arteliry, which was sent thither from the Toure of London" for the safeguard, and defence of the town, "and the ordnance, guns, ingins, and other warlike instruments that have been in former tymes there kept, and those that now remaines, are his Majestles, of which ordnance and all other his Majesty's Arteliry," the Earl of Newport, Master of the Ordnance, during the last summer took an inventory, and left them for the town to keep "which part of the chancel thus used and employed for his Majesties service, wee cannot conceive or imagin that any would be so bold to sequester or use for this use and purpose but by order from some Lord Bishop of Chichester lyvinge at that tyme, and for good cause and consideration shewed him for the sufferinge and allowinge of it." Dr. Andrews [Bishop of Chichester 1605–9] when he visited Rye saw the use to which the part of the chancel was put and "did not dislike it for anything wee know, for it concerns not us so much as the Kinges Magistie, whose the ordnance and other Artilery be." This is all the "prophanation" of the place, except that some "unruly servant" has been in times past whipped there by the Mayor's orders. "Thus much wee have thought good . . . . . . for the clearinge ourselves of the aspersion layd uppon us, to signifie unto your Lordshipp." As to the complaint made against the curate "for omyttinge readinge the church service, and for preaching sometymes two howers," the Bishop is informed that "though often tymes he doth reade the Letanie, and tenn commandments, yett sometymes he doth omytt the reding thereof, through weakness of body, as he saith, and wee truly believe; and for the accusation of preachinge two howers long, we do assure your Lordshipp that the accusation is alltogether false; for the mostlie he keepeth himself to his howre, and sometymes preacheth lesse then an howre." Hopes this apology will satisfy the Bishop.
The King has granted to Sir John Meldrum Letters Patent concerning Lighthouses erected and to be erected upon the North and South Forelands. "These are [therefore] to pray and require you to give notice thereof to Maiors, Bailiffs; Jurats and other officers under my government within the jurisdiction of the Cinque Ports and their members" requiring them to be aiding and assisting Sir John Meldrum. Copy.
"These are therefore in his Majesties nome to make diligent scherch for to horse men, one a blacke tale man in sad coler coat with weppon by his side, the other a shorte man in a whit hate and a light coler sute, a young man with a silver belte and weppon by his side. These to men for breke into the house of John Colbeard and beat him and his wife wounding hem with a knife. These are in his Majesties name to atach them and safely to keepe to answer to his Majesties lawes in that case made and provided, and hereof faile you not as you will answer the contrary."
The officers of the Customs at Rye complain to him "that divers watermen, porters, and other poor men that live by their labour about the waterside, refuse to rowe them to or from aboard shipps, to help them open or carry prohibited or uncustomed goods to his Majesties Storehouse" or to afford them other needful assistance. The Mayor and Jurats are therefore ordered to punish offenders and aid the Customs' officers. Signed. Seal of Arms.
He has appointed and authorised George Merefeild of London, fish-monger, "to take present order" in all places within the jurisdiction of the Cinque Ports, "for collecting receavinge and takinge up for my houshold provision, all such respects, rights and priviledges of fish, by waye of pre-emption or otherwise, as have heretofore belonged unto the Lord Wardens of the Cinque Ports, my predecessors." Signed. Seal of Arms.
1637, June 7. Dover Castle.—Circular Letter of John Manwood to the Mayors and Jurats of Hastings, Romney, Hythe, Rye, Winchelsea, Folkestone and Tenterden, the Bailiffs and Jurats of Lydd, Pevensey, and Seaford, and the Commissioners for restraint of passage at any of those places.
Has lately received orders from the Lord Warden (in pursuance of instructions from the Privy Council) to obtain from all those to whom the letter is addressed "a perfect roll or list of the names, surnames, and qualities of every person which hath taken passage" for any of the American plantations, "since the last account;" the same roll or list is to be returned "into the office here." The writer further directs that a similar list be sent to him from each of the above places "half-yearly at the least." Copy.
1637, June 14. London.—Warrant signed by Edward Broomfeilde, Lord Mayor, addressed "to all Constables and other his Majesty's Officers and Ministers whatsoever"; for the arrest of Robert Edmondes for stealing from the lodging of Rodolph Gee in Chancery Lane, and other places, "one watch with a silver case, a scarlett coate with silver lace and divers other thinges to the value of 40s." Edmondes is described as being "of a middle stature," as haying "a little blackisshe beard," and as being dressed in "a whiteshe gray suite and coate." Seal of Arms.
1637, June 21.—Examination of Robert Edmondes of the parish of St. Dunstan's in the West, London. He has known Randolph Gee, who is his wife's brother, but he (the examinant) was never his servant, though he had sometimes done business for him. Denies having the possession of Randolph's cloak or watch or any things of his, "but knowes that he had such a watch and scarlet cloak, which, he hath pawned in Drury Lane for 40s." Signed.
"Whereas Robert Edmonds is in prison in your toune of Rye, being apprehended by vertue of a warrant signed by the Lord Maior of London for stealinge from me one watch, one scarlet coate, and other thinges, theise are to certifye you that I have since that tyme heard of my goods againe, and find the said Robert Edmonds to be cleere of the said felony, although I had greate cause to suspect him in regard I lost my goods about the same tyme he went from me, besides goinge away without taking any leave of me."
We have in our gaol at Rye "a prisoner who being found guilty for having two wifes, praied his clergie, which we have granted him, but for want of an Ordinary to hear him reade, we adjorned our Sessions to an other day." They pray him to depute and appoint Mr. Richard Marten, the rector of Iden, Mr. Christopher Blackwood, curate of Rye, and Mr. Edward Gee, curate of Playden, to attend the adjourned Sessions and to hear the prisoner read. Mr. Blackwood will pay him what belongs to him for the commission. Copy.
As to a sentenced felon, who—having being allowed the benefit of clergy—"was so unhappie as not to reade, so as he might have escaped the sentence of death." If there is any likelihood of obtaining the King's pardon, he thinks the respite of the felon's execution may be arranged amongst themselves.
We have been made acquainted with your letter to the Earl of Suffolk concerning the abuse of the searcher of your Town in suffering two English gentlemen to pass without licence, and have thereupon thought good to commit the said searcher to prison and thereby to give you thanks for that your care. It seems by your letters that it hath been a common practice amongst the officers of that port to suffer gentlemen to pass without licences upon slender excuse or upon a ticket only from the farmers of the Customs at London, which is such an abuse as cannot be answered and therefore we pray you continue your care and vigilancy to discover all such officers or others as connive at such passengers. Signed.
Ordering a meeting to be held at the sign of the Bull at Lewes on the third of November to make assessment for raising 5000li for providing a ship of war of 500 tons for his Majesty's service and defence of the realm. Signed.
Complaining of certain persons of the Town of Rye who trespassed over the lands of his cousin Sir Henry Gilford at Winchelsea and took away the "olives and puetts" that breed there every year upon the beach lands and grounds. Signed. Seal.
We make no doubt but that you are sensible of the grievance of the Ports concerning the impost and tax of fifty shillings upon all foreign salt brought into the Ports, which (as we conceive) might have been remedied if we had been vigilant to prevent it as other towns who by humble petition to his Majesty got themselves free, as all the western towns and Ports as far as Southampton. We think some course should be taken to take off this great charge. Draft.
A circular letter calling attention (as speaker of the Ports) to the grievances offered by the undertakers of the sole making of Salt, and desiring the opinions of the various Ports touching the prosecution for the freedom of the Ports from the same thraldoms. In the replies of the Ports, the Mayor and Jurats of Dover think the Ports should join with the fishmongers of London and that Mr. Lanesdale, town clerk of Rye, or some other of that town, should go to London to join in solicitation with the said fishmongers. The Mayors and Jurats of Folkstone, Hythe, New Romney, Rye, Hastings, and Winchelsea reply in the same terms. The Bailiff and Jurats of Lydd are of opinion that the sole making of Salt is a grievance of particular towns and does not concern them. The Bailiff's and Jurats of Pevensey, Seaford and Tenterden and the Mayors and Jurats of Faversham and Fordwich agree with the Bailiff and Jurats of Lydd.
"After Mr. Mayor of our Town and his brethren received your letters and Mr. Hearnes' and other writinges theere inclosed, and there finding that I was chosen to joyne with the Fishmongers and traders in Salt of the Cittie of London and others of the Southwest Portes in the solicitation of the salt business against the intended patentees thereof, they wer verie ernest with me not to neglect any tyme, but with all speed to take my jorney for London and not to stay for any further approbation, the major part of the Portes and their Members havinge consented thereunto. Whereuppon I rid towardes London and uppon the xxijth day of November last betimes in the morninge came thither and repaired to Mr. Hearne, Mr. Cookram of our Towne going with me where we met with Mr. Legey of Southampton; Mr. Hearne presentelie then sent for Mr. Davis, who [had] ben (as he said) a principall agitor in this busines. And being come to us, after we had conferred about our designes, we respited further communication thereof untill Satterday following, appointinge to meete together againe at the Mermaid in Breade streat with Waymouth men and others of the South-west Portes, where accordinglie we all met. Allso one Mr. Perott for Yarmouth and Mr. Cockram was there likewise present, where we of the Northeast Portes informed them of the Southwest Portes that we intended to farme the Salt busines at as easie a price as we could, demaunding of them if they would joyne us therein. But they utterlie rejected it resolving to petition the King for free trade, and said that they would shew sufficient reasons to induce his Majestie thereunto. We, seinge they would not be removed from theire grounded and setled resolution and opinion, moved them that we might all joyne together in one petition for free trade, which by no meanes they would graunt unto us, being yet free and exempt (as they said) from the imposition of 48s. 6d. the weigh for forreine salt imported upon the former contract. So they left us to petition by ourselves. Nevertheless we agreed then amongst ourselves to meete againe on Wednesday followinge in the afternoon, that we might have the sight of either of our petitions and be privye to each others proceedinges. At which time and place we met and there reading and perusing our severall petitions, reasons, and certificates, we concluded to deliver them on Sunday followinge to the Lordes of his Majesties most honourable Privye Counsell. And then after we of the Northeast portes were come on Sunday last in the afternoon to Whithall, we found there those of the Southwest portes, who certified us that they had delivered theire petition and hooped that it should be read that day. We forbore then at that tyme to deliver in ours for that we were promised a certeficat from the Trinitie Howse on our behalfe. But that day there was nothing done. Upon Wednesday last we all attended againe the Lordes and then delivered in our petitions. And after the Lords were risen wee understood that the petition of the Southwest portes was read and an order entred that they should attend the Board on Wednesday come seavennight. And thus farr we have proceded in our busines. And for so much as Mr. Hearne and Mr. Davis allwaies were since my cominge up and still continue of opinion, that neether they of the Southwest Portes or we of the Northeast portes shall obteine our suite for free trade being against the Kingea revenue and profet, which the Lordes so much stand for, they have often tymes and at this instant are vere ernest and importunate with me to write unto the Portes and theire Members that they would be pleased (if they shall like thereof) to give further Commission and authoritie to Mr. Cockram and myselfe by theire letters with all speede to fall upon theire first intended project, which they are allready acquainted with, it we cannot prevaile in our suite for free trade. And Mr. Perott hath to this end and purpose writ to Yarmouth, desiring them to send up two of the most ablest men of theire Towne to assist him herein. Thus havinge related to your worshipps our proceedinges hetherto in the Salt business I leave the determination and prosecution of the farminge of it to the grave and discreet consideration of the Portes and their Members, intending (if wee prevaile not in our suite for free trade) to procead therein as I shall have warrant and directions from you. I have sent this messenger of purpose with this letter and our petitions and certificates there inclosed, desiring you with all convenient speede to send your answeres, allso that you would be pleased to writ unto everie particular Towne to send me their severall proportions of mony thought fit by Mr. Maior of our Towne and his Brethren (as appeareth by their answer to your letter) to be sent unto me for defrayinge all such needefull and necessarie charges as is incident to busines of this nature. And allso to order what everie Towne shall pay to this messenger for his travaile paines and hire of his horse rydinge through the Portes and theire Members and retorninge hither."
1638, December 19.—Order of the Lords of the Council assembled at Whitehall, that upon consideration of the several petitions presented in the name of the Cinque Ports and their members, and the Towns and Counties of Southampton and Poole, and the Towns of Weymouth, Melcomb Regis, the Town and Fishery of Great Yarmouth, Lewes and the traders in salt and fish in the City of London touching the making and vending of Salt made at the Shields, and upon hearing of the agents of the said Ports and their counsel and of the answer of Thomas Horth and the new undertakers of the Salt business, His Majesty and the Board conceiving it to be a matter of great advantage to the Kingdom that Salt made within his Majesty's dominions should be preferred and used before foreign salt and finding upon debate that salt made within his Majesty's dominions is sufficient for use if skilfully handed, did therefore order that the said business be forthwith established.
"In my foremer letter I signified unto you that uppon the reading of the petition of the Southwest Portes exhibited before unto the Lordes of his Majesties Privie Counsell an order was made that they should attend the Board the 12th of this instant. And our Petition was not then delivered because we staidd for a Certificate from the Trinite Howse, which beinge afterwards sent to us on Fryday the 9th of this present, we delivered our Petition and certificates, but could not have them then read nor the Sunday followinge, but by meanes of friendes on Tuesday at a private setting they were read and there ordered that the next day in the afternoone our petition and Certificates and the Southwest Portes petitions and reasons should be then taken together into consideration. Where we then attended, and after the rysing of the Lords we were certefied that they had deferred the hearinge of our cause and greviances untill Wednesday followinge. The next day wee went for the Order in which we were injoyned that we should in the meane tyme deliver unto Horth and his Associates copies of our petitions and Certeficates. Upon the day assigned us to attend the Board we meete together at Whithall where in short tyme after we were come, we wer called into the Counsel Chamber where the King was presente. Mr. Recorder of London and Mr. Hearne being of our Counsel went in with us. And after Mr. Recorder had delivered and made knowne to his Majestie and the Lords the full scope and most material points of our petitions, reasons and certificates and throughly proved them, Mr. Horth in defence and approbation of the Sheilds Salt, delivered to the Board his answere in writinge to all that we in our petitions, reasons and certificates did object against the salt or against himself, which I send you here inclosed with the certificate of the Trinitie Howse and all the orders of the Lords concerninge the imployment of the Salt busines, whose answere both the King and Lords greately favored and approved, when whatsoever Mr. Recorder or we said was litle regarded. This busines thus argued and debated on both sides it was thought fit by his Majestie and the Lords that Horth and his associates shall not be left to theire own libertie to sell salt, but the prize *** salt shal be regulated by the Lord Treasurer and Lord Cottingdo which will be one chefe thinge in the order which is now to comforth, which we went often for but could not for that the King will first have the sight of it. Upon Fryday last I received from the Portes and Members their severall answers about the farming of the salt wherein I perceive that the greatest part will not consent to the farminge of it although some are verie ernest and forward therein. But I havinge no sufficient warrant to proceede therein I surcease further to present it. And allthough that is not effected which we desired, yet seeinge the prize of salt will be regulated, the subject thereby shall be removed, which will recompence our charge and expences which else might have ben otherwise.
The deponent says that King James, neglecting to do justice, lost his right to the Kingdom, and King Charles going on in the same courses is an usurper and saith that if he had his right he should enjoy the Kingdom. "His ground for this is that in Ecclesiastes that better is a poore and a wise child then an old and folish King."
Of late one George Goodwyn coming to our Town said he was the King of England and had right to the Kingdom. He said he had been in Bridewell for these speeches and from thence to Newgate and at the Sessions he was, by the Lord Mayor, discharged. Draft.
"Accordinge to his Majesty's command latelie signified to me, these are to will and require you to take care and order within your severall liberties that if any Spaniardes or Hollanders shall, by reason of the present fight betwen them at sea on this Coast, be forced on shoare for succour, that you cause them to be received and accommodated with provisions of meate, drink, and lodging for theire mony in such convenient places and manner as may be without prejudice to his Majesties subjectes."
"Whereas his Majesty hath now resolved to call a Parliament and for that I intend to recommend one unto you in your election to be chosen one of your burgesses I have thought good to signify my intention to prevent your engagements otherways." Signed. Seal.
Having already written to you to spare your engagements to any other for one of your Barons or Burgesses places but to reserve the same for my recommendation, wherein I request no more than you have freely done to my predecessors, I do now accordingly recommend unto your election my beloved son, Thomas Howard, to be one of the Barons or Burgesses of your Town in this ensuing Parliament. Signed, Seal of arms.
"I am one who hath made means for your knightship this Parliament, but being like to be overborne by many powerful competitors in the west ports, out of an earnest desire notwithstanding to do my country service I look out for myself, and finding letters from your corporation to my late honoured father I am encouraged to commence unto you."
Upon his Majesty's first declaration of a Parliament I recommended unto you for one of your burgesses Sir John Sackvill, my kinsman, but since his occasions are such that he cannot so act without much prejudice to his fortune, I shall desire you that you would be pleased to make choice of John White, Esquire, my Secretary. Signed.
"The great care we have had of the safty of this our Kingdom and the peace of our subjectes hath bine of late manefested unto them by the chardgable and warlike preparations we made to withstand the disroyall designes of such ill-affected persons (whoe as much as in them laye) indevored the disturbance of both. Nor is it at present unknowne to our subjectes howe just reasons we have to continewe the same preparations and to be in like reddynes as formerly, and therefore we have with the advice of our Privie Councel thought fitt and doe by these presentes athorize and requier you to cause 300 able and serviceable men to the warres to be levied in that our County of Cambrig, 300 men in our Cinq Portes, 600 men in our County of Dorsett, and 600 like able men in that our County of Suffolk under your leftenancie, and to observe in the choyce of the men and the ordering and disposeing of them, such directions as you shall herewith receive by letters from the Lordes and others of our Privie Councel, with such care and diligence as the importance of this present occasion for which these forces are to be levied doth requier." Copy.
"We have thought good hereby to pray and require your Lordship to give present and effectual order to your Deputy Lieutennant in each County respectivelie forwith to meete and in the first place to distribute the numbers of men to be raised in the severall Hundreds of every particular County, and to take especiall care that there be a verie good choise of the men of the trained bandes there, that they be of able bodies, and yeares meete for this employment. Where any freeholder hath used to have his armes borne by an other man, that other man is to be pressed to serve if he be of able body, and where a freeholder hath served with his owne armes, and is not fitt or willinge to serve himselfe, he is to finde another able man to serve in his place, and if he cannot procure an other then your Lordship or your Deputy Lieutennant are to cause an other able man to be pressed to serve, and where any man hath used to beare the comon armes of the parisshe, if he be fit and able of body he is to be taken, but if he be unfit a sufficient man is to be pressed in his steed. Your Lordship is especiallie to take care that in the libertie given to change men to serve in the place of trained soldiers, there be not any rewardes or money taken which was an abuse to much practized in the last yeare in some counties and now in examination to recevie condigne punishment. As for the choise of men our verie good Lord, the Erle of Northumberland, Lord Generall of his Majesties Army, will forthwith send into those Counties Command*** to assist your Lordship or two of your Deputy Leiutennentes in the choise and listinge of them. And when they shall be in such manner listed, your Lordship is to take effectuall order that there shall be no alteration of any of them, without a particular warrant under the hand of your Lordship or two of your Deputy Leiutenantes. The men to be raised in each county are to be appointed to meet in companies of one hundred a peece at theire particular rendezvous in each County respectively most convenient for each hundred men, untill they shall be brought to the generall rendesvouze in the severall Counties to be weakelie exercized with false fiers or no fire by such Inferior Officers as the Lord Generall shall send downe to instruct them in, their postures and the use of their armes. To which purpose your Lordship is to cause the Armes of the trained bandes to be lent to them which shall be delivered back when they shall march out of the Counties. Your Lordship is likewise to take order that there be prest and sent with the said soldiers one drum to everie hundred men who shall enter into his Majesties pay as soone as the said soldiers shall march out of the Counties, besides each particular rendevouze where the severall companies of one hundred a peece are to make in those Counties, your Lordship is to cause a generall rendevouze to be appointed on the confines of each shire most convenient for the soldiers march towards the severall portes or places following (vizt.) The six hundred men from the County of Dorset unto Newcastle uppon Tyne, the three hundred men from the County of Cambridge and the six hundred men from the County of Suffolke to Yarmouth And the three hundred men from the Cinque Portes to Gravesend. To which generall randezvouze in each County respectively those of the County of Dorset are to come the 10th of May to remaine there till the 20th, then to march towardes Newcastle. Theise of the County of Cambridge are to come to the generall rendevouze of that County on the 25th of May to remaine there till the 5th of June then to march to Yarmouth, that they be there ready to be shipped on the 10th of June. Those from the County of Suffolke are to come to the generall rendevouze in that County on the 27th of May there to remaine till the sixth of June, then to march to Yarmouth that they may be ready there to be shipped on the eighth of June. Those of the Cinque Portes are to come to theire generall rendevouze on the one and twentieth of May to remaine there till the first of June, and then to march to Gravesend that they may be ready there to be shipped on the fourth of June. And they are all to be at the said generall rendevouze of the severall counties exercised and put in order for theire marche towardes the said portes and places by such Commanders and Officers as shall be sent thither by the Lord General, to whom your Lordship is to send present advertisment what places you appointe for each generall rendevouze for everie County. The soldiers are to be allowed at the charge of every County respectively 8d a piece per diem for everie day they shall be exercized at each particular rendevouze in Companies as aforesaid of 100 a piece in everie of the said Counties, as allso for the tyme they shall remaine at the generall rendevouze in their severall Countyes untill they march out of the County when they are to enter into his Majesties pay. Your Lordship or at the least two of your Deputy Leiutennants for everie County are to be at each generall rendevouze of the said Countyes by the tymes afore sett downe for the same as well to assist for the departinge of the men in order to take care for the receivinge back of the said armes from them and to deliver the said men over by Indenture to such Comanders and Officers as shall be appointed to receive and take charge of them." Copy.
"We, yestorda had our pettition drawn and ingroced to his Maiestie in the names of the Maiors, Balyfs, Jurats, and Freemen, and Inhabitantes of the 5 Portes, 2 Ancient Townes and there Members by the advice of Mr. Sargent Finch and Mr. Short, and in the evening left the same with Mr. Read, servant Mr. Secretary Windebank, one of the Burgesees for Hasting, who promised to procure Mr. Secretary to get it redd at the Bord this afternoon for that he did know his Majestie wold make no order therein without the Lordes, my lord keeper, therle of Dorcet and Sir H. Fann, as favors were desyred therein, but the Spanish. Imbassador being to have audience, his Maiestie and the Lordes did not sytt above 1 hower and rose, and so our pettition was not redd, but only profored by the clark of the Councel to be redd, and refused, for that it was said there was an order therein allredy, of which I did tell him we never had notis. To morrowe morning we shall have coppi of it and then according to advice I shall tak other corse. Upon perusal of our Charter by our Councel we find we have not expresse and full wordes to free us of the service by land, by sea there is expresse wordes and yet you know seamen are daly impressed, howsoever we trust we shall get free of this required service, although not soe soone as you may expect it. We hope Sir John Manwood will doe the Portes the favor to forbeare the returne of certifficat in the buesnes some daies to which we doubt not but you will move it. We, this evening, received your letter touching which we here the Lordes gave full direction and that the choyce of the men is left to my Lord Warden and his lifftenant, so that Sir John Manwood is to be requested to do the same you write of. There is no hope here to gett the directions already given in the buesness altered in any port. We hope to do it in the whole and therein God willing shall doe our utmost indevor whatsoever it costes."
"Whereas accordinge to his Majesties Command and the directions of the Lordes of his Majesties most Honourable Privye Counsell given to my Lord Warden for the levying of 300 able soldiers within the Cinque Portes for his Majesties service, I latelie proportioned the certaine number of men to be raised out of everie Port, Towne, and place within your Liberties for that service, and gave directions for your respective levyinge of such monies as might be sufficient for the coating and conduct mony and other allowance to be made for the same 300 men, so that they may be at the generall rendevous completelie armed and furnished for his Majesties service at such tyme as I should signfie unto you. Theise are now in his Majesties name to will and require you in your severall Liberties to conduct and bringe or cause to be conducted and brought into the Towne and Port of Dover (where the generall rendevous for the said Soldiers is appointed) upon the first day of June next, before noon, the severall numbers of soldiers upon everie of your Portes, Townes, and places by me so as aforesaid proportioned and charged, amounting in all to the number of 300, as in a schedule annexed to my last letter in this behalf directed unto you set downe and expressed, takinge especiall care that the said soldiers be all able and well proveded for in theire armes, coatinge, conduct money, and otherwise."
Upon certain notice of the Duke of Lennox, being Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, to the Mayor and Jurats of this town, as to the employment concerning the taking of three hundred soldiers, and their charges being left to this town, the said Mayor and Jurats sent us to London in the name of the whole Ports therein to petition his Grace. Our petitioning his Grace in the business we found to be very well liked, and the effect of the business being understood by his Grace he said he would do us all the right he could therein, and afterwards attending for an answer to our petition his Grace willed us to draw a petition to his Majesty taking coach to Roehampton (his Grace being then to ride in the coach with him) so that he might on the way have conference with his Majesty therein, whose command we accordingly pursued and upon their return to Whitehall we waited for an answer. His Grace informed us that his Majesty would not take any of our priveleges from us. Copy.