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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1578, November 15.—Inquisition taken at Rye before John Fagge, the Mayor, and others by virtue of a commission directed to them. The jurors say that Captain Stewarde, Captain Stepany, Captain Comissary, Captain Demure, Martin Haward, Lewis Sohier, Robert Castell, Nicholas Dugrange, Morrys du Boys, Captain Depome, Bates of Saltash, Relf of Ower, Sander Harrold, Captain Vallery, Captain Clarse, George Bankes, Captain Bouze, Captain Lumbynion and Danyell Mynge, do not dwell within the liberties of the town of Rye nor have they lands or goods there, that there are two of the name of John Bennct, one a sailor and one a tailor, that John Mylles is not worth anything, that Fraunces Maquery is worth 10li., that Nicholas Purvage is worth 5li., that Manuell Allon is worth 20s., that Robert Farley is worth 10li., that Captain Braband is worth 5li. and Mihill Russell is worth 20li.
As to fines for piracy to be levied upon the following persons at the following ports, viz.:—Hastings, Michael Dallery; Winchelsea, Robert Perse and Francis Bolten; Rye, Michell Russell, Fraunces Maquery, Nicholas Purvaye and Captain Braband; Lydd, Robert Lawles, Robert Barget, John Priduaux, William Seabrand and John Michell; Romney, Robert Symons, James Gardener and William Gaurard; Hythe, George Michell; Folkestone, Richard Goddyn. Copy.
Your messenger delivered to us your commission concerning the apprehension of William Scott, gentleman, and others and with all diligence we helped him with such aid as was most meet in so weighty a business, in which dealing our minister and preacher here Richard Flecher, and Mr. Edolf, one of our Jurats, took such pains and diligent care as no doubt worthy of great commendation, after the apprehension of the said Scott with one who is thought to be a priest; "and beinge brought to towne, the people very desirous to se him and his maskynge apparrell for contentation of their myndes, and to the ende they might behold the vanitie therof, we were so bold to apparrel him accordingly, and passinge the streats was beheld both of yonge and olde to no small nomber whose acclamations and disleikinge of suche vanyties we refer to the report of the messenger." Draft.
"Ye are to make serche within your warde frome tyme to tyme as ye shall se cause, and that with dilligence, for small dagges called pocket dagges, aswell in any man's house to be suspected for the same as in the shoppes and houses of artificers as do make the same, and all them shall cease and take, and them deliver to Mr. Maior or to one of the jurates of your warde.
Ye are to have a dilligent care to suche as ye shall see to carry any dagges, pistolles, harquebusies, calivers and suche leike in the stretes or other places within the liberties (excepte at the days of common musters and to the places of exercise for the shot) and if ye fynde eny to carry eny such peces to staie them and to cease the said peces, and them to present to Mr. Maior or one of the jurates of your ward.
Theis thinges to execute with due dilligence ye may not faill as ye will answer the contrary at your uttermoost perill, and to make certificate to Mr. Maior and his brethern, the Jurats, from tyme to tyme of your doinges herin when ye shalbe therunto called or as tyme may geve present occasion."
Whereas the Lords of the Council have fined Mihill Russell, Fraunces Maquery, Nicholas Purvage and Captain Braband of your town of Rye, for causes of piracy, I charge and command you to levy the said fines upon the said persons.
The persons presented in our town are from home and not at this instant in Rye; Mihill Russell hath but his wife here with her friends and his substance is his ship, Captain Braband has departed to the seas notwithstanding his wife hath promised to pay the money, Francis Maquery is in France and Nicholas Purvage we think will not be long absent. Draft.
1578[–9], February 13.—Certificate of the Mayor and Jurats of Rye, at the request of Vincent Dugard of Dieppe, procurator of the worshipful James Miffant, that there came before them the following honest and credible persons viz.:—John Dallet, Francis le Mercier, Cornelis Soier, Guillam Bucheret, Patrick Harvy, Allen Harry and Anthony Coque, merchants, dwelling in Rye, who being sworne deposed that the said James Miffant, with his wife Francis Soyer, did continually dwell within the realm of England from the feast of St. Bartholomew 1572 until 1578 and there lived for the cause of religion during all that time, not any way intruding themselves into the causes of war nor having any dealings that way, but very quietly behaving themselves like honest and good people.
"This bearer my servaunt John Dowce is both honest and trustye to do her Majestie service. Theis are to desier you that when ye shall have occasion to send ether to the Courte for her Heighnes affaires or beyond the seas or ellswhere by her commaundement and direction, you will be mindfull to use his service therin." Signed and Seal.
1578[–9], March 7.—Certificate by the Mayor and Jurats of Rye that Nicholas Dugrange, late of Rye, now of the Isle of Guernsey, whose ship was stayed at Poole for a supposed robbery on a Portuguese ship about 25 August 1577, that the said Nicholas had a passport from the Lords of the Council and from the Lord Warden to permit him to pass his ship to Rochell. And that Fraunces le Mercier, William Bucher, Cornelis Sohier, of Rye, merchants and of great credit, who come before the said Mayor and say that the ship of the said Nicholas came into the creek of Rye in the latter end of July and did not leave till the end of September following.
1578[–9], March 14.—Certificate by the Mayor and Jurats of Rye that William Hendy "one of our combarons," late master of a barque called the Heline of Rye, came before them and deposed that "uppon the 12th daie of September in the yere of our Lord God 1577 as he came frome Lysborne he was chased and sett uppon in the Baye of Portingale by two barkes of Faccombe in Normandy, and layinge him aborde tooke out of his barke 8 tonnes of brassell called Farnam bucke; also they tooke frome him his maynesaile, his myssen saile, foure bases, and unrigged all the roppes of his barke and tooke awaye his boate with all his victuals and stripped him and his company of all their apparell, and wrestid one of the company with a rope aboute his hed and very much tormentid him to confess what money he had. Moreover they tooke out of his barke a Frencheman which before was put aborde the same barke by a man of warr, and the same Piere Tollin declarid to this Deponent that, as he supposed, one of the captaines of one of the said barkes of Faccombe was named Captayne Terrie; which said Piere Follin was by the said barkes of Faccombe carryed to Faccombe where he was laide in prison, beinge of kynne to Vincent Gloria of Deipe."
Stephen Duvall, of London, Frenchman, deposed that the said Sebastian Orlanden ought to have a third part with Godfraye Delahay for making "bugles" at Beckley and that the said Godfray had sold to John Smith all the wares, stuffs and instruments which were at Beckley.
John Okes, of Beckley, glassmaker, said that he, being a workman in the glass-house at Beckley knew what glasses "amells" [enamels ?] and other things were made there, and he knew there were made there two great baskets of glass, two "paniers of canvass amell" and ten cases of "ameld" canvas.
"Sondaye Exanta" of Loraine, glassworker, said that the said Godfray did sell to the said John Smyth on 18 January last past, all the goods of the said Godfray remaining in the glass-house at Beckley with all and singular stuff to make "amells and glasse in collers" with a bundle of tools, etc.
1579, March 27.—Certificate by the Mayor and Jurats of Rye that "William Bucher, Anthony Quoc and Andro Harry, marchants, and Matthew Flory, surgeon, have ben of long contynuance within the said towne of Rye, alians borne and now denisons, men of very grave, honest and good conversation, persons allwaies well thought of emongest us and of the cheiff of the Frenche churche, suche as very well understande the Englishe tonge, not spottid with any notorious cryme or infamy to our knowledges. As concerning Francis Tresdemer and John Elson, they are straungers borne and have not ben of leike contynuance with us and therfore not so well knowen unto us as the others aforenamed, but for that tyme they have remaynid emongest us we have not knowen them to be but of honest conversation followinge their vocations in good and Godly order to our knowledges."
The occasion of my writing is, that whereas I am informed by Edward Fowle, my son, that one Mathewe was "abowt a boke to exibite for your toune" to the Queen's Majesty for the amending of your harbour or creek, and as I understand that this Mathewe is deceased and I am advertised that the town of Rye will give 200li. to him who would obtain your request of the Queen; if this be so, if you will agree thereto and your demand be not over much I will travel therein.
Whereas her Majesty has heretofore given order to have levied and trained in every shire a certain number of men and appointed that there should be levied within the Cinque Ports 140 men able to be furnished with calivers and shot and to be trained and kept in rediness, I require you to cause the persons so selected and appointed as aforesaid to be mustered and trained within every of your towns by your captains and leaders in Easter-week and Whitsun-week next coming, for the space of four days. Copy.
"Being of late assembled together abowt causes towching the state of our towne, emongest others twas moved that consideration might be had for redresse of the destruction of woddes nere unto the towne by iron workes, leste very shortlye we shulde be clene spoyled of tymber and fuell to the utter ruen of the publique state of the place, in sort as it were too longe in theis our lettres to explaine. Mr. Carpenter openid unto us your late speches with him in that matter, and therewithall declared what frendly offer you made, not only for yourself but also in the behalf of others which we cannot but well leike of." Draft.
1579, May 11.—Certificate of the Mayor and Jurats of Rye that "consideringe the continual decaye of the harbor of Rye to the utter ruen and overthrowe of the said towne and having to the uttermoost of our powers bestowed great somes of mony uppon the same, wherby ther is great liklyhodd of amendment if farther help might be had, which of ourselves we are not able to supply, and so thorough want, all like to be lost which alredy is imployed upon the same. Knowe ye that we the said Mayor and Jurats and Commonalty with one assent and consent have nominated, elected and chosen Henry Gaymer and Robert Carpenter, two of the Jurats of the said townc, for us and in our names to be soliciters and suters to our Qenis Majestie or her Highnes moost honorable Pryvie Councell for some relieff and succor to be had towardes the furtheringe of the workes by us allreddy begonne for the helpinge and contynuinge of the said harbor."
"The decaye of our harbour doth so dayly growe and therby the state of the towne runnethe to suche sudden ruine as without some present releife and amendment wee shall receave a perpetual overthrow. And for that we hold your good Lordship our only refuge, do lay open the same to the vew of your honorable consideration and have made speciall choice of your Lordship's servants Henry Gaymer and Robert Carpenter to attend upon your Honor as they may by your good Lordship's directyon run such a course (to the Lords of her Majesties Counsell) for some succor therin to be had to our decayed porte, as her Majesties towne may thereby be preserved. The substance of our request which they will imparte unto you—the devise for restoringe of the haven." Draft.
"By letters from Mr. Tresaurer and Mr. Comptroller of her Majesties household I am given to understand of divers desorders doen of late by the fishermen of your towne against her Majesties purvior and taker for sea fishe, contrarie to the articles heretofore made in that behalf between her Majestie and them, a matter somewhat strainge unto me that suche as they be shold show themselfes so contemptuous in the service of her Highnes especially in that thinge which they themselves have agreed unto and thought verie reasonable. For the quieting whereof I will and require you from time to time to have some dilligent care to see the same disorders dulie refourmede." Signed and seal of arms.
"I am sorie to understand of the decaie of your harborowe. I will be readie to pleasure your town in any cause that maie be to your preferment and make for your good therin. I finde that if you proceede to the Commission for Sewers yt will not hinder anie suite you shall undertake heareafter and therefore doe advise yow to putt the same in execution this somer." Signed and seal of arms.
Whereas her Majesty has directed her commission to me and others to examine, try and inquire of misdemeanours and offences done and perpetrated by pirates, their abettors and maintainers within the liberties of the Cinque Ports and their members, and that we should appoint a convenient number of honest, discreet and trusty persons dwelling there, as contained in a certain schedule annexed hereto, to be our deputies in the execution of her Majesty's said service. And whereas we the said Commissioners have received letters from the Lords of the Council accompanied with new orders to be observed for the better execution of the said Commission, we command you that you cause the persons named in the said schedule to appear before me or my Lieutenant and others the Commissioners aforesaid, at the Church of St. James the Apostle in Dover on the 12th of this instant month of August to receive further order for the execution of their said offices. Schedule attached.
1579, August 19.—Certificate by the Mayor and Jurats of Rye that there came before them John Osborne, Nicholas Lynge, Edward Smith, of London, merchants, Thomas Philpot with Thos Rucke of Cranbroke in Kent, merchants, and John le Roye, a post, having her Majestys packet, who declare that on the 18th of this inst. between twelve and two in the afternoon a certain flyboat manned with 30 or 40 persons all Englishmen as they appeared, near the Ness by Rye, boarded the "passage" wherein the said merchants and post came from Dieppe and spoiled them of their apparel and goods.
Enclosure.—A letter from the Mayor and Jurats of Sandwich to the Mayor and Jurats of New Romney, undated, stating that, "we have forborne to send unto you for your resolution touching the repair of our Bailiff to Great Yarmouth. Since the beginning of this letter we have received very credible information from Mr. Cottie that they die 10 or 12 in a day at Yermouthe, and that he nor his wife wilbe there if it stay not. And, from Mr. Love, Mr. Rawe is also advertised, that such as come from the sea die within 24 houres. The aire by that meanes shoulde seeme to be infected and so the perill and dainger of such as should goe, great and very present. Yf you with the reste of the Portes will joyne with us, we will sue unto her Majesty and the Lordes of the Counsell for a dispensation for this yeare. Mr. Cotties house notwithstandinge is clere and dailie ayred. We must have present answer by the bearer hereof or else we must procede on our jornie. Yf you have the resolution of the other portes then we shall nede no further travell."
Commanding their presence at the Church of St. James the Apostle at Dover on Friday, 2 October, to receive order and direction for the executing the Queen's Commission directed to Lord Cobham and others for the suppressing of pirates, their abbettors, and maintainers. Copy.
"Inprimis, that Margaret Pacienc, the wiff of Robert Pacienc, and Elizabeth Grene, of Ry aforesaid, shall presently upon the decease of eny person within the saide towne, have the viewe of the body deceased whether the same were infectid with the plague or not, wherunto they are sworne.
Item, it is ordered that thoes two persons appoynted to take the viewe shall not be chargid or compelled to stripe the persons so viewed or eny more to come in eny the said houses infectid, after advertisement gevin as aforesaid.
Item, that the house where eny suche person shall dy of the plague after certificat therof made as aforesaid, shalbe presently shette uppe and if it be a tiplinge house, the signe to be taken downe, and not beinge of abilitie to be considered of by common contribution accordinge to her Majesty's order."
1579, December 14.—Order by the Mayor and Jurats of Rye that no person whosoever that die within the parish of Rye, under the degree of the Mayor, Jurats and Common Council or any of their wives, "shall be chested or coffenid for their buriall and so incoffenid to be buried."
"We have receyved your letters concerning your proces of withernam to Hamburgh, and as heretofore in the same cause we have answered so we do nowe, that we have no presidentes of antiquitie concerninge the forren partes. Winchelsey, as we take it, have very good and auncient in the tyme of Edward the third and so followinge, in the whiche the towne clerke there is experte. There remaynith in the custody of Mr. Boys a booke in parchment conteyninge the customes of eche towne of the Portes wrytten in the Latten and French tonge in the tyme of the same Kynge wherin is sett forth in eche of the customals the order to send proces to the partes beyond the seas, where the Kynge of England hath leage or amytie, we toke it that the shewinge of so auncient a booke cannot be hurtfull with Winchelsey's presidentes agreable in usage." Draft.
"It may please you to be advertized that this day John Mercer, of your towne, deliverid to us a letter from our very good Lord Warden to us and the rest of the portes (you exceptid) directid, with the oppinion of his Counsell uppon the unlawfullnes of his disfranchizinge, requiring therby us to consider of our doinges therin and to satisfye the said Mercer that we have not wrongyd hym. And, consideration had, we with our Livetenant of Dovor Castell have satisfied him as apperteynethe, what cause enduced his disfranchisement and what suche a member as he was, ys to be thought of. Neverthelesse for that yt apperethe to us by his outward apparance that he meanethe not to acquaint the rest of the Portes with the same letters." Seal of arms.
"Whereas our towne of Rye scituat uppon the coast and peopled to the nombre of 1800 or 1900 communicantes and for that cause requiringe a lernid and sufficient mynister and preacher; the vicaridge therof hath longe tyme ben entangled to one John Rolf by leace, who, reapinge the fruite of the same yerely to a greater value then the rent yeldid, hath therout made small allowaunce to our minister and preacher, and also in very dissolute sort paid the same, wherethroughe we have ben constreynid to contribute out of our common treasureye a yerely stipend for the better mainetaynance of our mynistrye. The which John Rolf, beinge a very lewd disposed person and a common disturber of the quiet and christian peace in our towne, by makinge himself an instruement of contention betwene party and partie, an enemye to our preacher and one that dispendith the frutes of our vicaredge in actions of common quarrell to the detriment and offence of many of the place, and allso hath incurred forfeyture of his leace as to us semith, for that it is demised to another, which, notwithstandinge Rolf doth still by sute prosequut, wherthroughe our people are wonderfullye drawen unto doubte and dainger of payenge or repayenge the common duties troblesome to the people, not beinge in tymes past so delt with, and allso our great care (not without our singuler detriment) leike to be utterly lefte destitute of so sufficient a man as hath these five yeres and more labored painefully amonge us. In regarde of the premisses we most humbly and hartely beseche your good Lordshipp with the rest to graunt unto one Robert Jacson, one of the Jurates of our towne, who hath the leace in reversion, the sequestration of our vicaredge fruites till suche tyme as the sute, now dependinge betwene Rolf the lesye and one Mr. Wigmore the leasor, be determynid. So that therby both our precher and mynister maye duely receave for his travaill, and allso our people maye knowe unto whome they maie without daunger paie ther accustomed duties." Draft.
1579[–80], January 25.—Order by the Mayor of Rye that a gathering or tax should be made towards the sustentation of the sick, and that Cowper, Widow, be appointed to go to the houses of the sick to ask what they want, and shall deliver such necessaries to them at their doors.
"Whereas the town of Rye at this instant is not the best provided of corne, especially of wheate, and to prevent the sudden want that might insue we have by our frend this berer, namyd Robert Ludgater, made provision of two hundred and fyftie quarters of wheat in Norfolk to be laden at Kynges Lynne about the which he now travelith. Theis are to desire your Honor to stande somuche our good Lorde, as to graunt unto the same Robert Ludgater your favorable lettres unto the officers there for the quiet transportation of the same to Rye aforesaid; wherein your Lorshipp shall do a great good to the poore of the same towne and we bound to you for the same." Draft.
"In the hulk that lately was cast awaye within the barr of the haven of Rye ther were certaine harquebusies and such leike peces, not of any grete valewe for that they are all unfurnished, in the custody of some of the towne, as Mr. Ratlyff your Honors servant well knowith, which we claime to have to the use of the towne, accordinge to our priviledges, and as is ordaynid in the booke betwene your Honor and the Portes, in the 13th article, wherein it is to be senne that forasmuche as the spoyle happenid within the haven the same apperteynith to the towne. Notwithstandinge we thought good to signifie soe much unto your Honor and therwithall to crave your lawfull favor for the enjoyinge of thoes peces before we wold take them into our handes." Draft.
"Whereas in November laste by the pursute of Richarde Daniell of Rye, a yonge man namyd William (his surname to the said Richaude is forgotten) was at your cittie attached uppon suspicion of fellony for thinges by him imbeaselid out of the house of the said Richarde Danyell in Ry aforesaid, and the same William, so being attached as I am informid, was commytted to her Majesties gaole within the said Citie and the said Richard bownde before yow (as he saieth) by recognizance in 20li. to appere at the next Assises to be holden in Kent ther to geve evydence against the said prisoner. It may please yow to be advertised that it hath pleasid God of late to visit our towne with sickness, yet God be thanked somewhat stayed, notwithstanding for that the same Richard at this instant hath one sicke in his house but whereof is not yet knowen, it is thought to be dangerous that he shuld appere at the Assises amongest so great a company and himself very lothe to presume so to do lest it might be hurtful to others, consideringe the sickness is somwhat contagious, and therby himself offensive to many, whereof he wold be sory. The premises considerid, he hath desired me to signifie unto you howe it standith with us at this instant and therwithall to praye you to shewe him your lawfull favor, that for his non-apparance to geve evidence, as the case standith, he may not be dampnified by his recognizance which he saieth restith only in your courtesey." Draft.
"Nowe for that the tyme of mustringe draweth nere I have thought good to put you in remembraunce, and allso in her Majesties name to require yow and every of yow, that yow do cause the selected shott, within every of your severall jurisdictions, to be mustred and trained by the space of four daies in Easter weeke next, beginninge on the Mondaye; and in the like sorte in the Whitson weeke next cominge accordinge as it is appointed in the said instructions."
"Where as longe sithens I and others had your Lordship's consent for the attachinge of John Rolfe to be bownde to his good abaringe, and by your letter to Dovor Castle had a warrant frome thence to that effecte, untill Easter Monday last, the said Rolf could by no meanes be mett withall (havinge knowledge therof as it semid) uppon which daie he came to churche and being callid before me and commanded to warde untill he founde suerties for that cause, he delivered unto me a wryt of supersedeas out of the Kinge's Benche for discharge of the peace and good abaringe, a thinge never senne before within the Portes and, as it is supposed, lyeth not no more then other her Majesties wryttes in other causes. And for that I was not resolvid whether his wrytt wold serve him or not I commyttid him to warde untill I were advised." Draft.
"It may please your Honor to be advertised that on Twesdaye the 29th of Marche last the passage from Deipe beinge serched, there was one Stevin Taillor, (as he saieth) servant to the Erle of Shrewsbury, staied for that ther were certaine lyttle books called the Jesus Psalter to the nomber of two dosen founde aboute him by the sercher's depute, who sent one of them to your Honour by a messenger, and in the meanetime the said Taillor kept in salf custody untill your plesure were therin knowen. And for that hetherto I have not harde enythinge therof, uppon ernist request and good bonde for his apparance before you, I have sent him with this beirer namyd Mr. Cornishe, a gentleman which is here wel knowen and often hath passed this waye, to be presented unto you with one of the said bookes herin closed, with him to deale as to your Honour shall seem good." Draft.
1580, April 16.—Certificate by the Mayor and Jurats of Rye, "that on Fryday morninge being the viijth daie of this instant moneth of Aprill there arryvid here, within the havon of Rye aforesaid, a certaine smalle vessel of Allaredo in Spaigne, laden with orrenges and lemondes, of the burden of 18 tonnes or theraboutes, namid the St. John, whereof is master under God, Peter Leucres, and sett on lande one Mr. Grafton of London, marchant, who (as himself reportid) was presently bownde to the Courte with her Majesties packet frome thoes contries. The said vessell as the master saieth, bownde for London or Andwerpe, as they shulde se occasion, with their ladinge. The which said vessel, master and mariners, on Wednisdaie the 13th of this said instant moneth of Aprill, was staied under arrest by the officers of towne of Winchelsey, nere unto the said towne of Rye, but for what cause we knowe not, but that only is the cause of the said master's here abydinge so longe, so farr as we understand."
We thank you "for your courtesey offerid to us and the people of our towne as by relation of Mr. Appleton, our towne clerke, and William Coxson, our neighbor, we have conceyved, uppon which your freindly offer and the credit we have in them we have had conference, and thought mete hereby to request you that forthwith you will make your repaire unto us with your apothecary, havinge (as we take it) a surgion sufficient that shall geve his attendance uppon you and be at your commandment. And for that we are fully perswadid by the foresaid persons that after your comynge ye will so do your endevor as we shall not nede your presence much above 6 daies, we mynde not to request eny more at your hande (excepte of your own good will ye will longer remaine) and for that tyme and for your travell and paine, the towne shall geve you 10li., which we will se truly paid unto you, besides your availes at their handes which are of abylite, the which our offer we desire you to accepte in good parte, and therwithall to accomplishe our request, not doubtinge but that God will give you good success with increase of your fame and credit." Draft.
1580, May 31.—Certificate by the Mayor and Jurats of Rye that John Dowce, a freeman of Rye, hatter and capper, trades in the making of white felts and keeps servants in the same town occupied in the same trade. Which felts he used to send up to London "to be orderid and died in such cullers as he plesith to have them, and so returned downe to Rye againe." Which same felts ought to have free passage to and from London.
Commanding the said Mayors Bailiffs and Jurats in consequence of the piracies committed upon the coast to enter into bonds not to permit any ship to be rigged, victualled or pass to the seas out of their ports except it were by some known merchant and upon trade of merchandise. Copy.
1580, September 26.—Depositions by Nicholas Jene of Dieppe, that being in a boat, riding at anchor in the Downs, come from London to Rye, there came a ship of war of the burden of 80 tons whereof one Martyn was Captain and one John Sohier one of the company, who boarded the boat of Dieppe aforesaid, and by force of arms took from this examinant his goods and apparel.
"I ame given to understand that you have arrested of late certaine Frenchemen of the company of Captain Bawdry, whom you refuse to release without bondes for your indemnitye, in case any charge should be layde to their charge hereafter. Forasmuch as I am informed that there can be nothinge brought agaynst them whereby they maye be justely charged, these are to praye yowe, unlesse there maye appeare some juste cause of deteyninge them, uppon your receipte hereof to sette them at libertye withe theire bagge and baggage."
1580, October 26.—Bond of Patrick Tornoye of Edinburgh to deliver up a ship with her furniture to Nicholas Corbewe at Rye which the said Patrick, being upon the Narrow Seas in warlike affairs under the licence of the Prince of Condé, had taken
1580, October 28.—Certificate by the Mayor and Jurats of Rye that on Sunday after Bartholomew day last past, the Jurats and freemen of Rye to the number of fourscore persons being assembled at the accustomed place in the church-yard, after some consultation, did chose and elect by the voice of threescore persons as Mayor, Robert Jacson. The whole number of the freeman of Rye being not many above a hundred persons, of whom, by reason of the sickness, some came not, therefore those that say that the Mayor, in the absence of the most part of the town, was by great labour chosen Mayor have most untruly uttered the same.
"I have had conference with Mr. Mills touchinge the Star Chamber matter, and he sayeth that the reporte you heard of is utterly untrue for the cause is in such sorte dismyssed that neyther in part or all it can by any meanes be revived, and therfore wold have you free of care in that behalf. Whilest by the favorable countenance of the Lord Chefe Baron, your greate frend, by the good advyse of your Counsell and by the mosion of your Serjeant, I went about to entrench the cause of errors, and by the bulwarkes aforesaid to have made it free from the enymye and in safty, ye and beynge persuaded to have had peace, consideringe our ernest endevour on the one side and the carelesnes on the other syde, and uppon this persuasion sessed not to delve to fynyshe the trenche, and behold uppon a sodayne (as many times it chanceth in sutch affayers) the adversary, even as a lyones robbed of her whelpes, cometh with myght and mayne and maketh a merveylous forcyble and freshe assault in sutche sorte, that by my trenchinge tooles I hardly could withstand hym, for my implementes and furnytures of warre, I meane the bookes, were forgotten and lefte behynd at Caunterbury, so that yf God had not helped, it had ben harde with spades and mattockes to have made defence agaynst hot shott and longe pykes. But thus it happened that the sonne did come about and gave forth his chereful brightnes, and Mercer, the generall at this bussines, havinge impedimentes in his ies in sutch sorte that he could by no meanes abyde the dayelyght, the assault began to wexe more cold and the generall not able to abyde the saver of our mase which for the comfort of our stomaches we did use, was fayne to hyde hymself, he was so farre spent. But yet nowe with a gallant and brave shewe comes his lieutenant one Mr. Cyssy and he supployes a freshe assault. Wherfore I beseche you that yf you can send me ayde from your towne of warr, suche bookes as you have concernynge your lybertyes (which I will terme calyver shott) and from Dover Castle sutche bookes as concerne the hole Portes, the Court of Shipwaye, and Writes of Errors there brought, which I will terme bases, culveringes, dymyes cannons and . . . . . the very sight wherof maye dant the hart of the adversary."
"This is to beseche you in most lamentable wyse to thinke upon us and our myserable estates which we have sygnyfyed unto you by wryghtinge allredy more then once, which pytyfull complaintes of ours we ar well assured that yf the same had ben exhibeted unto the Lordes of the Quene's Majestie's Prevey Counsayll, ther Honners would have vouchsafed to shewe both pyty and compassyon towardes us; but we cannott understand that you dooe so much even as think upon us which lye her at your pleaser in this your howsse which should be a place of correction but is more liker a place of tormentes, which we to truly fynd, for we ar glad to take the clothes from our owen bakes to stoppe the wyndowes and broken places, to kepe out the force of such wether as God at this present hath sent, and yet it is so lyttel purpose, wherfor we ar lyke to perysh by means therof, and therfor doe the rather give you to understand for that you maye be inexcusable when as our bloud shall, as we knowe it wyll, call and crye unto the magesty of our ryghteous judge for vengance agaynste you, for although he, for whome we undertoke, be a wicked and perverste man not havinge the fear of God before his face nor the love of his nyghbour in his harte, yet you are in Godes place to mynester justic wyth mercy. You know, God wylleth not the death of a syner, but you kepe us her wher we be in danger of our lyfes by meanes of the wether and opennes of your howse and allso would have us to put into your hands all that lyttel thinge which we be worth and so we should com to greater myssery if it pleas God to lengthen this wretched lyfe of ours, which we knowe would be no pleasuer to any of you. Thus hopinge that if ther be any bowells of mercy wythin you we shall not remayne longe in this myssery, which we pray God to bringe to passe, unto whose tewition we commytt you."
Whereas we understand there hath been resort of pirates to divers ports within the jurisdiction of the Cinque Ports, where they are daily received and harboured by the inhabitants of the said places, making open sale of their spoils without interruption. These are therefore to pray you to take order for the staying and apprehending of such pirates. Copy.
[1579–1580].—Certificate by the Mayor and Jurats of Rye that one George White of Rye, turner, is the son of John White, late of Sandwich, baker, deceased, and was born at Calais. The said George is minded to set out for the town of "Blanelwall" in Wales where his kindred live and there to make claim to certain lands.
"Imprimis, by the auctoritie of auncient charters and priviledges heeretofore to you and your predecessors graunted, for the better tranquillitie of your towne at your next comen assembly to sett downe, ennacte, ordaine and establishe, that yearely for ever hereafter, the Maior of the towne of Rye, for the tyme beinge, and the jurates there, or the more parte of them (not havinge any leafull cause or necessarie impediment to excuse their absence in his behalfe) on the usual day of the election of your Maior, betweene the hours of 8 and 9 of the clocke in the forenoone of the same daie, shall assemble themselves together at the common hall of the said towne, and before 10 of the clocke in the same forenoone, the said Maior and Jurates, or the most parte of them, by their towne clerck, for the time being, to sett downe in writtinge under their handes or signes, or the handes or signes of the major part of them, the names and surnames of three honest and discreete persounes of the said Jurates, to the ende the commons may freely electe and chuse one of those three to be Maior there for the yeare following and soe quietly to departe untill the hour of their commen ellection of the Maior.
Item, that when their accustomed assemblie is made to the intent and purpose aforesaid, and at the usual place for the same election, the Maior and Jurates of the said towne or the more parte of them then presente, and in the presence of the Commons of the said towne, to deliver to their town clerck aforesaid the schedule, wherin the said names of the three Jurates shalbe written, to make present publication of them to the Commons aforesaid; and with an audible voice in their presence to will and require them in her Majesties name in quiet and freindly manner to proceede to the nomination and election of one of those three soe named in the said schedule or bill, to be Maior of their towne for that yeare following, withowte any disturbance or secrete practises to be used or procured by anie of the same competitors or by anie other for them or in their behalf, upon the paine of forfeictinge of some goode and round some of money, to be imposed and infliged upon the offendors in that behalf, by the discretion of the olde Maior and the consentes of the Jurates of the said towne or the most parte of them, to be distributed towardes the releiff of the poore people of your towne.
Item, that whomsoever of the said three, the said Commons by their most voices shall freely elect and give consent to be Maior of the said towne, the olde Maior for the yeare past presentely to give a corporall othe, as heretofore it hath ben accustomably used to be doen, to the newe Maior of the said towne soe elected for the yeare following which order and maner of election of the said Maior, the said Maior, Jurates and Commons to ennacte, ordeyne and decree to be kept and observed for ever, upon paine that whosoever attemptith or goeth about to violate or infringe the same, to forfeicte everie tyme he shall soe offende the some of 40li., leaful money of England, the one half wherof to be to the use of your towne and the other halfe to the use of him or them that will sue for the same by bill of complainte, comprehendinge the effecte of this order and decree with the maner of the parties offence contrarie to the tenure hereof, to be exhibited and prosecuted in the Chauncelrie Court for the Portes usually holden and kept in the church of St. James at Dovor. And further the said partie or parties soe offending in anie of the said orders, for everie suche offence to be punished by waie of ymprisonment withowte baile or maine price for the space of three monethes next after the time of his conviction for anie of the said offences soe committed or doen.
Item, for the more suere performaunce herof in time to come to furder ordeyne and decree that all person and personnes hereafter to be chosen Maior or Maiors, Jurate or Jurates of your said towne, at the severall times of their elections, to be sworne in like maner well and truly to observe, fulfil, keepe, defend, and mainteyne to all intents and purposes, soe farr as in them shall lie, this order and everie thinge therin contained accordingly which othe yf anie refuse to take then he or they soe refusing the same not to be admitted to the office or degree of Maior or Jurate of the said towne but therof and of all benefittes that maie rise and growe unto him therebie to be for ever hereafter debarred and disallowed, anie lawe, priviledge or custome used or not used hertofore within the said towne, to the contrarie, in aniewise notwithstanding.
Item, more to establishe and ordeyne emongest you that from henceforth from time to time, as ocasion shall require, suche nomber of men as shall want of the Commen Councell of the said towne to be chosen, appointed, and named by the Maior and Jurates there for the time being or the most parte of them, beinge present at a commen assembly which Commen Councell with the said Maior and Jurates or the most parte [of] them, at all times hereafter at a commen assembly, shall elect and appoint owt of the said Jurates, the Burgesses to the Parliament for their said towne, and the bearers of the Canabie for Royall service and all other officers of the said towne, as often as neede shall require, except always all suche officers as heretofore of good right have been nominated and chosen by the Maior of the towne for the time being to be and remaine still at the said Maior's election and appoinctment as before it hath been usually accustomed and doen.
Item, to conclude, lett it be decreed that the Maior and Jurates or the more parte of them being presente at a commen assembly for ever hereafter as often as anie juratshipp by death or otherwise shall happen to be voyed and wanting, shall make choise and election of suche sufficient and hable person or personnes, owte of the commen councell of the said towne, as to them or the most parte of them shalbe thought most meete and convenient for that degree, to be Jurate or Jurates in his or their places, anie lawe, prescription, usage, or matter within the said towne to the contrarie herof notwithstandinge."
1580.—Petition by the Churchwardens and Sidesmen of Rye to the Mayor and his bretheren. Whereas they have presented divers persons for drunkenness, and considering their estate were not able to bear the charge of presentment in the Spiritual Court, they pray that no taverns or victualling houses shall suffer any of those persons to drink either in or at the doors of their houses under a penalty, which they think will do a good service to God.