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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"I have receved lettres from the right honorable Lord Warden requyringe me to certefye and geve notyce unto all the Portes and their members and especially to the Commissioners there for the restraint of passengers, that they the said Commissioners do at all tymes hereafter keepe the originall pasport of all passengers departinge from their porte, or at the least a trewe copye therof, under the handes of some Commissioners as also the hande or marke of the passenger himselfe." Copy.
"According to the petition delivered to my Lords of her Majesties most honorable Previe Councell, I have moved my good Lord, the Lord Admirall, for a pynace of her Majesties to keepe up and downe uppon that coaste, which he is contented to graunt; the shipp furnished with ordnance, so that yow paye the wages of the master, mariners and all other officers, and allowe for the victuellinge of her and also for the powder and shott duringe the tyme of her service for you." Seal of arms.
"We have received your letters of the 16th of this present February concerneinge her Majesties pynace to be sent downe to keepe up and downe uppon the sea-coast, haveinge had conference with the Commonaltie of our towne touchinge such charges for wages, victualinge and other thinges, as is required to be allowed, we most humbly thank your Honor for your great paynes taken in the behalfe of our poore towne. The charges that is required to be borne for the settinge forth of the pynace is so greate and our towne so poore, as we are not able to accomplish the same, yet notwithstandinge (and please your Honor) we wold be very willinge emongest ourselves to sett out a shippe or twayne, without charginge of her Highnes pynace, for to keape the Leagers in awe, so we might have lycence to take suche as our shippes shall overcome and enjoye the benefytt of such pryzes as they shall lawfully take from the enemy." Draft.
"I perceave that in respect of the charges and your unhabilitie you do not accept of her Majesties shippe but do offer to appoint in warlike manner two of your owne barckes to execute that service, so that you might have leave, and enjoy the benefitt of such prizes as they shall lawfullie take, which ys verie likelie I shall obteyne." Signed. Seal of arms.
"We have decreed and concluded amonge ourselves to set forthe in warlyke manner against the Leagers of Fraunce, a shippe and a barke. The name of the shippe is the Blessing of God, of Rye, of the burthen of 80 tonns, who shall beare of ordynance, eight cast peces and two foulers and shall have in her 60 men. The barke is called the Grace of God, of Rye, of the burthen of 40 tonns, who shall beare foure cast peeces and shall have in her thirty men. So that yt wyll please their Honors to geve us leave as well to make prise and spoyle of such Leagers and their goodes as we shall happen to take, as to surprise all such pouder, shott, ordynance, and other habylymentes of warre, and victuall as we shall take goinge towerdes the said Leagers to releve and strengthen them, without paying any pension or portion of such goodes, so by us to be taken to any person in respect of the great spoyle and losse which we have alreddy susteined by them, as in respect of this our great charge in levying armes and force against them." Draft.
"The contynuall and dayly enormytyes and great losses which we susteine by the Leagers of Fraunce do enforce us to troble your Honor by these our often sutes for some redresse therein to be had, for so it is, if it please your Honor, that the last weke a passenger of this towne, beinge worth in merchauntes goodes of London and of goodes belonginge to this towne, six thousand crownes, was taken by those of that Leage. Wherefore we have sent the berer hereof, being the master of our owne shippe, to attende upon your Honor to knowe your honorable pleasure whether yt wyll please her Majesty to permytt us to make warre against those Leagers." Draft.
1591, April 1.—Order by Thomas Fane, Lieutenant of Dover Castle, to all Mayors, Bailiffs, and Jurats of the Cinque Ports to have a general view and muster of all weapons, armours and furnitures, as well of horse as foot, and to amend all defects and send in a certificate of the same.
Whereas her Majesty's ship called the Hope is unfurnished of the number of one hundred sufficient mariners, being in Dover Roads under the charge of Sir Henry Palmer, Admiral of her Majesty's fleet in the Narrow Seas. These are to desire you to provide twenty able men to serve in the said ship. Copy.
"We understand that one shippe belonginge to this corporation is by your honorable order stayed for her Majesties service, we humbly crave of your Honor that she may be released, to the ende we may ymploye her against the Leagers of Fraunce, by whome our barkes and fysherbotes are dayly anoyed to the great ruyn of this poore towne, wherein we shalbe greatly bound to your Honor." Draft.
"Forasmuch as I ame advertised by letters from the right honorable our Lord Warden, that he hath receved expresse comaundement from her Majestie to cause the forces as well of the trayned as of the untreined bandes presentlye to be put in a redines, as well within the saide Cinque Portes as within the Sheere, and also to cause the beacons along the sea costes to be watched and warded, whereupon his Honor hath (by his Lordship's letters dated the 24th of this instant monnth) geven me an especiall comaundement to requier you and in her Majesty's name streightlye to charge you and every of you, that for your partes there be noe parte of your duty neglected in that behalfe as ye and every of you will answer for the contrarye but that yee and every of you should be verye carefull in the supplies of your bandes and to stand upon your garde. These are therefore on the behalfe of our said soveraigne Lady the Queene's Majestye to will and requier you and everye of you within your severall jurisdictions to be verye carefull in the accompleshinge of the premises, in such sorte as that their be no parte of your dutyes neglected in that behalf." Copy.
"We have receaved of late a precept from your Worship for the takeing up of 20 maryners to be sent aborde her Majesty's shippe under the charge of Sir Henry Palmer wherein we have thought it not amys to advertyse you that the execution of this your precept is dyrectlie against our chartres and liberties, for neither our shippes nor people are compellable to any other service then the service of the Cinque Portes by the which we hold our liberties; albeit of late by her Majesties prerogative and by her Highnes' commission under her great seale of England, maryners have bene taken up within the Portes for her Highnes service, but at no tyme heretofore any such precepte hath bene awarded upon the request of any the capteines of her Majesty's Navy, except upon that present necessyty which happend when the Spanyardes were upon the coste, yet in hope that the lyke warrant in tyme to come shall not be sent unto us and presumyng also that this president shall not be prejudycyall to our liberties we have taken upe—men and sent them aborde the said shippe albeit we have not receaved any presse or conduct monny to beare their charges untyll they come aborde." Draft.
According to the request of Mr. Lieutenant of Dover Castle, I have taken up—mariners and sent them aboard her Majesty's ship under your charge. Albeit I have received neither press nor conduct money to bear the charge of such mariners but have disbursed the same myself of curtesy for the repayment whereof I doubt not you will take present order. Draft.
1591, July 4.—Depositions concerning the heirs of Thomas Veryer. Elizabeth Mylls deposes that Thomas Veryer died about forty years past, and that he had issue Alice Ferryer, who married John Nicholas, and the said John has two sisters Richardine and Gyllyan, and the said John and Alice had issue John, Nicholas and Tabbetta, but what became of them she does not know.
1591, July 31.—Men termed Puritans, being accused by public fame to hold some erroneous opinions, were called before the Mayor and Jurats of Rye and examined upon the same. First, Mr. Radcliff and Nicholas Larder accused George Martin for that he, within these twelve days, said and affirmed that Mr. Grenewood, preacher of the word of God in Rye, was a malicious man, for which the said George was committed to prison till Friday next.
Thomas Hubberd of Rye, cooper, accuseth William Gyll and John Baylye for that they have reported that the right reverend father in God the Archbishop of Canterbury is John of Canterbury and the Pope of England.
Robert Redo of Rye, joiner, answered Francis Godfrey of Rye, joiner, for reporting the words last above recited and for maintaining of divers heresies and errors which are comprehended in writing under his (Rede's) hand. He also accuseth Tate, who is already in prison for striking Mr. Grenewood.
"Whereas this towne of Rye by many yeres past hath bene very populous by reason of the trade betwene England and France, and by reason of fyshinge wherewith, God hath blessed yt, and yet the most part of the people of that towne have bene altogether unlerned, being maryners and fyshermen, whereby yt hath bene thought most necessarye to have a suffycient pastor or precher whereby the ignorant might be enformed of the will and pleasure of God and the better sort reformed in lyves and conversation. For which purpose we have of long tyme ymployed Mr. Richard Grenewood, one of your Honor's chapleynes, a man very suffycient, and by reason of his experyence most meete for this congregation. But so yt is, if it please your Honor, that now of late a smale secte of purytanes, more holy in shewe then in dede, is sprong up among us who seke by all possyble meanes to remove your said chapleyne from us by reason he hath a small cure within fyve myles of Rye where he maynteineth a suffycient curat for such a flocke; and for that purpose, being thereunto procured by certeine mutynous fellowes of this towne who professe to be more pure then others and be indede much worse then in show, have procured one Browne, an informer, to preferre an information againste Mr. Grenwood for non-resydence by vertue of a penall statute. So that your Honors said chapleine is very lykely to be taken from us and to beare the penalty of the lawe." Draft.
"I have hard Francis Godfry say that my Lord of Canterbury is but the Pope of Inglande, and call him John of Cantorburye, and that the Booke of Comon Prayer whiche he alowethe to be sayde in the Chourch is but masse translated and dumdogs to reade it, for thos ministers that do not preache they call them dumdogs, and non oft not to pray exsept they have the gifte of prayer, and that it is not lafull for them to joyne prayer withe the wickeed, and when they have bin to sermon and be com hom, will thay say on to another `Have you bin at chourche?" `Yea,' sayth the other. `Then you have harde mingle mangle compair, as Latemor sayd in his sermon as they call hogs to trof in his cuntry.' `Yea' cothe the other, `I harde what a good peace of worke he made like a proude felo.' Also they say that it is unpossible for an innosent to be saved from damnation because he hathe not the gift of prayer.' Upon a tyme Fraunsis Godfrye did see Mr. Walet passe in the strete he sayd to me `Ther is a dumdog he dothe starve at Gilford and they call the Booke of Common Prayer the starving booke."
"Of late an Italian called Gedevilo Gienily hath bene in these partes by the procurement of sondry gentlemen about certeine water workes, by him to be made, for the makeinge drye of diverse surrounded groundes; and amonge other his affayres he hath taken view of our decayed harbor and haven with all waters, streams, banckes, and sea markes nere aboute us; whereupon he assureth us that he both can and wyll, with a reasonable charge for so great a worke, reduce our harbor to a better perfection for securytie of barkes and shippes of great burthen then ever yt was within any memory; but the meanes howe to bringe to passe he wyll shewe to none but to your Honor and to right honorable Lord Thresurer and Lord Buckhurst." Draft.
1591, August 7.—Robert Rede committed to prison by Mr. Mayor and the Jurats for reporting falsely of Francis Godfrey, in saying that he maintained that there was no visible church in England, where in truth he maintained no such opinion, but only said the Brownist's hold that opinion.
The pattern hereunto joined is the figure of the Port of Rye, made according to the sight which I have had thereof. I esteem that in the space of four or five years the said port may be brought to such perfection as was never done before, except only the parcel called the Chamber at the east to the benefit of the rivers, creeks, or waters which enter into the said port as of the moors or marshes thereunto joined. The cost will be 4000 li. to wit—2000 li. ready money for the first year and 2000 li. "for to continewe yf it shalbe fynished all, to wete 500 li. every year." The conditions for the work are that there should be paid to me my wages and charges in such manner as the Privy Council suggested when I tended on her Majesty's service.
When the work shall be finished with success the said Lordes, for the complement of my recompense shall ordain unto me a pension for 25 . . . . years whereby I may have means to employ me with my industrie to maintain the said work." Plan of Rye Harbour attached.
"The Lords of her Majestie's most honorable Privye Councell have geven in commandement, for that their Honors are given to understand that divers of the soldiers under the conducte of suche captens as serve under the Earle of Essex, her Majesty's Generall in Fraunce, do daylye arrive frome Deipe within the Five Portes and their members; there should be staye made by the hed officer of every porte, or place of their landinge to cause the said persons so arryvinge to be presentlye apprehended and imprisoned at the place of their landinge and that such as come with pasport, the same should forthwith be sent to his Honor with their name or names and to remayne so imprisoned till you shall receve his Lordshipp's directions touchinge prosedinges againste the parties so imprisoned." Copy.
"I understand ther hath bin an Italian with you to take a vewe of your haven who pretendeth in few yeares not onlie to amend yt but to bringe yt to better passe, then ever yt was, for the cominge in of such vessels as shall repaire to that towne yf he maie be ymployed therin. Uppon which his reporte, I thought yt good to praie him to sett downe some breife discourse in Englishe unto me, both to what perfection he would undertake to bringe your porte unto, at what charge, and in what tyme: which he having don I do send the same hereinclosed unto you to consider uppon as you shall thinck good." Signed.
1591, October 9.—The Mayor and Jurats of Rye to Lord Buckhurst. That it may please you to grant to John Bruster, one of our jurats, licence to transport from Chichester 200 quarters of wheat, for that "this towne of Rye standeth in an ilande or corner of the lande nere to the sea and far from any corne contrye. as for that at this tyme there is here great passage and recourse of souldyers and others into and out of Fraunce, by meanes whereof some good quantitye of corne is spent." Draft.
"We have receaved your lettres concernynge the report made to your Honor by an Italyan, for the amendment of this decayed haven and harbor of Rye and as we cannot but lyke very well of his offer, so are bound to praye to God that his presence may take good effect, and that your Honor may have all honorable happyness with long lyffe for your favor offred to us therein and for diverse other curtesyes shewed to us heretofore, and speciallye in our late sute to her Majesty for transportation of certeine graine and beare, which sayd sute we hope is eyther fynisbed or nere at an end by your Honors good meanes. And as the amendment of that our harbor will be a publique benefytt to many, so specyally the same will greatly pleasure us, the poore inhabitantes in this towne of Rye, for the furtheringe and advancement whereof yt shall well appeare that we wyll strayne ourselves to the uttermost, consydering our great charge lately expended about the amendment of our said harbor and our chargeable sutes for some releyffe to be had for the bettering thereof. Nothing doubtinge of her Highness furtherance towardes this worke, tending to so universall a benefytt to her subjectes and necessarye provision of fyshe for her own household." Draft.
Whereas cf the number of men lately sent over into Normandy to the aid of the French King, divers of them are appointed to return home. These are to require you, in case there shall happen to land within any your several jurisdictions any soldier, having the passport of the Lord General or any special officer under him, that you deliver to him five shillings conduct money which shall be repaid to you. Copy.
"The bearer hereof an Italyan, now of late haveng perused our haven and harbor of Rye and all the indraftes, sea markes and water springes nere unto the same, he hathe faithfullye promysed that, within fewe yeres, he will make the said haven and harbor of Rye (the Camber only excepted) more servyceable then yt hath bene at any tyme these forty yeres heretofore; which worke he wold be content to begynne in the springe of this next yere yf the same maye stand with your honorable good pleasures." Draft.
"It is nott unknowne unto yow what streight order and chardge hath allmost every yere byn gyven by expresse comaundement from her Majestie for restraigninge the use of fleshe in the tyme of Lent and other dayes prohibyted, especiall in these late yeres wherein by reason of mortalytye of cattle and unseasonableness of the wether all kyndes of fleshe meate are growne to excessive prices. Nevertheless notwithstandinge these streight inhibitions and such orders as have byn sett downe for remedye of this inconvenience, there hath, to the great and just dyspleasure of her Majestie, so lytle care byn had in seinge those hollsome and necessarye orders putt in execution by all sortes of officers which ought to have care of the same, as yt ys hard to saye whether the offendors or those which should have looked to see better order kept doe deserve more blame. And in that tyme, wherein younge cattle should most be spared for increase, a greater quantitye and store is kylled then in anye other season. For these respectes we are commaunded by her Majestye to lett you understand how her Majestie doth note this slackness and remiseness in you and those that have byn appoynted and authorized in that countye to have care and regard thereof and to send unto you the orders which have byn revewed by us, wyllynge and requiringe you in her Majesties name to cause the justices of the peace and head officers of everye towne to see the same duelye putt in execution within that countye, under your lieutenancy, and to gyve your straight chardge unto all officers to looke to the same as they wyll aunswere to the contrarye." Copy.
Whereas we are informed that divers of the soldiers that were levied in Sussex and were delivered over to their captains, by indenture, lying at Rye to be there embarked, have fled away with their armour and furniture, whereof two of them only were by the means of Captain Power apprehended and committed to prison. Forasmuch as it is thought meet some exemplary punishment should be shewed them to warn others from committing the like offence, we are informed that by various acts it is reckoned that a soldier having received his press that his departure is felony, we have thought fit to require that the two men seeking to run away from their colours may receive such punishment as the laws provide. Copy.
Whereas divers poor neighbours are complained upon before you for buying of fish, not being thereunto appointed by the Fishmongers of London, for we take it that when her Majesty is fully served with fish that then it is lawful for all manner of people as well "ryppyers" as other householders to buy fish in the fish market of Rye, otherwise if the market shall be restrained to the ordinances of the Fishmongers of London for their private gain, the same would tend to the enriching of that Company of Fishmongers only and their agents, and to the impoverishment of all the fishermen of Rye. Draft.
"Whereas you have sondrye tymes heretofore complayned unto me of the insufficiencye of the late vicar, whearof I, havinge consideration, have procured the sayd vicar to resigne to a verye honest and sufficient man very well allowed and recomended, of whome as I understande not so good care is had as he deserveth; some of his duties (as I am enformed) being kepte from him to his hinderaunce, and prejudice of the right of his vicaredge, the gyfte of which appertayneth to me, by meanes whereof he is dryven to neglecte his studdy, by the which he might be the better hable to instructe you, and forced to consume his tyme in lawe for recoverye of suche duties as to him belonge, wherof I praye you have care for that I have byn myndefull to satisfye your desyres and to supplie the want you complayned of. The which being don and not respected by you maye geve me occasion to thincke that you do not requite my good will therein towardes you as yt deserveth." Signed.
"Where of late her Majesty directed her speciall lettres unto you for the levying, armyng, and furnishinge of 50 hable men to be sent out of the Countye to the Port of Rye, there to be imbarked and transported by the way of Jersey into Bryttanie for her service in those partes, her Majesty findeing now some cause not to use so great a nomber as was purposed, hath aucthorysed us by her lettres to signyfye to your Lordshipps her pleasure to spare for this present the levying of the said momber which you shall by virtue hereof dyscharg untyll her further pleasure may be therin knowen." Copy.
By law and the custom of the parish of Rye the tithe of all kind of corn and grain belongs to the parson, and the tithe of all fruits to the vicar. One of the inhabitants of Rye grows beans, to whom does the tithe thereof belong? Draft.
"Whereas her Majesty of late tyme to her exceeding great charge hath bene often occasioned to send over into Normandy and Bryttenie diverse troupes of souldyers to the ayde of the French Kinge and there enterteyned in her paye under Sir John Norryce and Sir Roger Wyllyams, with purpose to be imployed at occasions for the best advancement of those services. Forsomuch as by daylye experyence yt falleth out that many of those souldyers so sent over do yndyrectly withdraw themselves from those services in great nombers wherby in tyme of nede the nombers supposed to be in paye are very defectyve and weake, and consequently the services much hyndered to her Majesty's great dyshonor and touch of reputation to this natyon in generall. For so much as for the preventing hereof no better meanes can be thought for this present then to take order in this behalf with the offycers of the portes where usually they aryve from Normandy or Bryttenie or any parte of Fraunce, we have thought good to require and charge you, as well the offycers of the Admyraltye as of the Custome Houses, as you the mayors, baylyffes, portreeves, or other officers there, in her Majesty's name, ymedyatly upon receypt hereof as soone as you shall understand of any shippe or vessel to aryve in that place out of Fraunce or out of any partes from beyond the seas, that may be suspected in this behalf, that dyligent serch be made after all such persons as shall so indyrectly withdraw themselves from those services. And if you shall finde any souldyer or other person worthy of suspicion to be examyned whatsoever, knowen merchants only excepted, come out of Bryttenie or Normandy or any other parte beyond the seas without suffycyent pasport from Sir John Norryce or Sir Roger Willyams, whyle they shall be Generall, under their handes and seales, to cause them forthwith to be stayed and comytted to prison untyll further dyreccion from us in that behalf." Copy.
"Upon examination had before me of some roges and sturdye beggers, I have found that one William Randall, clarke, now serving at Uddymer is a comen forger of passportes, whereof I have one to shewe. He is a very daungerous fellowe and wryteth many handes wherefore you shall do well to sende your warrant for his apprehencion." Draft.
John Chambers of Norwich saith that being in the company of George Berdesworth, trumpeter, at Newhaven in Sussex, the said George was requested to sound his trumpet to which he answered he would not sound before he came before the Governor of Caen, and that the Queen could not command his sounds in Caen. When it was said to him that when the Governor of Caen heard the name of the Queen of England he bowed his head the said George made light thereof and said, Tush!
We have received advertisement from Winchelsea which they have heard from their Barons that the liberties of the Cinque Ports are likely to be impeached. Whereupon we have thought good to write unto you to understand whether it be meant that the general liberties of the Cinque Ports shall be dissolved or whether any special part thereof be impugned? Draft.
"Our generall liberties have byn by the Lord Admyrall and others of the Lordes of the Upper House called in questyon, and by them the controversye thereaboutes made so greate as we stoode all in noe smalle feare of the losse and overthrowe of them. But, thankes be to God, our greatest cares be now past for them and the onlye braunche they stand upon at this instant is the proviso for us in the byll of which they cannot as yett be draweu to allowe, bycause of the manye coullors the Portes have heretofore used in defence of straungers, to defraude the Queene, butt our hope is that by the endeavour of good frendes, whome wee have in both houses, they will be wonne to graunte the same thoughe not withoutt some addityon agaynst such forrainers as have of late and shall hereafter creepe in amongest us. Your presidents which you offer to sende wyll stande us in lyke steede for havinge here the generall charter wee deame yt agaynste the controversye being generall." Signed and Seal.
According to your Honours letters, having found in a passenger out of France certain soldiers who are come from thence without their general's passport, I have examined them by what warrant they are departed from her Majesty's service, and they all affirm that their captains left them to the discretion of Otwell Smith at Dieppe, who together with the vice-treasurer shipped them to England. Draft.
"Her Majesty beinge geven tunderstande by reason of the Kinge of Spaynes dyscharginge of many Englysh and Iryshe and Scottyshe fugytyves and rebells of pensions geven by him to them (upon what occasion yt is not certeinely knowen) many of the said partyes so discharged are lykely to come into this realme in covert and secret manner, whome her Majesty wold have safely apprehended and dyscovered by all meanes possyble. I therefore praye you to sende the copy of this my letter to every port and member within the Cinque Portes, with dyrection to the offycers thereof to make diligent serch and enquyrye upon the aryveall of any shippinge whether any such persons as aforesaid shall be transported in any such vessell and to cause all suspycyous persons to be stayed and examyned untyll their condycions may be known, with the cause of their comynge into the realme." Copy.
Whereas we have received letters from the Lords of the Council concerning the staying and imprisoning of soldiers, arriving from part beyond the sea without sufficient passports, now two gentlemen have arrived from Britany without passport from Sir John Norryce. Draft.
1593, May 23.—Depositions of Tempest Sheffeld that he was born at Heth near Wakefield in Yorkshire, that he served voluntarily as a petronel on horseback, that he received no pay as he served voluntarily, that his father and mother live at Wylsden in Yorkshire. Depositions of Christopher Mathew that he was born at Blechinglegh in Survey and at his first coming into France he trailed a pike and afterwards became a carboneer, that he received no pay as he served voluntarily, that he hath a brother, Henry Mathew, Bailiff of Reygate in Surrey.
1593, August 8.—Order that from henceforth that two persons every day throughout the Town do ward at the Landgate, from the departing of the watch till the watch be set, to see that none be suffered to enter the Town who may be suspected to bring infection into the Town.
Whereas three maimed soldiers, lately serving her Majesty in France, are arrived here without their general's passport having the passport of the Duke of Mountpensier, we dare not let them pass by reason of the letters of the Privy Council. We herewith send you their examinations together with a printed book containing the articles of that unhappy truce lately taken in France. Draft.
Enclosure.—The examinations of John Chamberleyne, late serving under Captain Masterson in France, was hurt at Drewze, has a wife dwelling in Huntingdon. Henry Harrys, late serving under Captain Masterson, was born in Devonshire, he was hurt at Drewze. George Holt, late serving under Captain de Boys, was born in Tenbery, Worcestershire, was hurt at Drewze.
"Whereas this bearer, our neighbour Moyses Cocke, beinge by profession a merchaunt, dyd traveyle with diverse inerchaundyse into that realme of Fraunce wherewith her Majesty then was and yet is in good league and amyty; yet that notwithstandinge, certeine men of Aulst in Fraunce dyd trecherously sell this said berer into the handes of Leaguers who made prise of him and put him to raunsom, contrary to all right and good reason, and to the great impoverishing of the younge man. Our humble sute unto your Honor is therefore that it will please your good Lordship to graunt to this said bearer your lawfull favor that he may compleine of this intollerable injury by way of proces tendinge to withernam, that thereby he may be releaved of his damadge herein susteined." Draft.
1593, September 24.—A proclamation for the adjournment of Michaelmas term and for the Courts to be held at St. Albans instead of at Westminster on account of the plague in the Cities of London and Westminster.—Printed by Christopher Barker.
"After the departure of your Honors messenger, a passenger came from Deipe to Hastinge and so the passengers came hether, among whome was Peter Browne, the post, who had her Majesty's packet and other letters to your Honor which are aborde the shippe and which he could not come by untill the barke may recover the harbour of Rye, but so sone as those letters come ashore they shall be sent to your Honor. In the meanetyme may it please your Honor to be advertised that the King of France, and his sister, and Duke de Bullion are at Deipe where Duke Longedevill is shortly expected, and it is reported that the Kinge meanes to remayne there some long tyme. Here is a page arrived which belongeth to a gentleman attendant upon the Queene's sister who alleageth that he is flead for feare of punishement for loss of his masters apparrell and he would go to a Spaniard, which serveth her Majesty, but because I suspect his arrivall to be for some other cause I have thought it good to send him to your Honor by another messenger because this messenger shall not stay." Draft.
"Whereas by all tyme of our memory we have used to chose our Parish clarke by the voyces of the inhabitantes of this our towneshippe, tyll now of late at our last election Mr. Prescott, our vycar, hath aganeseyd our said election affirming that the same only belongeth to him by the canon lawe, and thereupon hath expelled Mr. Richard Porth, whome our towneshippe hath chosen to that office, and hath placed John Roberts thereinto." Draft.
By reason that one John Mussey, one of her Majesty's messengers for France, at his last arrival here gave intelligence to some officers here that one Rowland Parry had spoken divers disloyal and opprobrious speeches of her Majesty in France, which same Parry being arrived here I thought it my duty to send him to your Honour. Albeit it is supposed that he hath been employed in her Majesty's affairs in France. Draft.
"Whereas we are geven to understand that some malycyous people of the parish of Iden have gone about of late to vex and disturbe our honest neighbor Richard Fowtrell, and for that purpose have presented his wyffe of incontynency before the Chauncelor of this Dyocese, which presentment for divers causes our said neighbor hath removed before the Deane of the Arches, to the intent he wold see yf by due corse of lawe this suggestion of his enemyes may be proved trewe. And for that our neighbour feareth least there shall be some synyster practyse to reduce the said sute into the contrye, where he dowteth the matter shall not have such orderly proseding as in the place where nowe it dependeth, our humble sute therefore unto your good Lordship is in his behalf that it will please you to wryte to Doctor Cosen that this his said cause may not be remaunded but may be heard and determyned before him according to lawe and justyce and not otherwyse, without any manner of unlawfull favor to be shewed either for our sakes or his owne." Draft.
"Wheras the inhabitants of the town of Rye have been humble sutors unto us for the repairing and amending of their decayed harbroughe and have recommended unto us for the performance of that worke Frederick Genebelly who hath shewed unto us a platte of the towne and haven and other devises of ingens for the mending of the same, whose intention is (as we perceave) to reduce the harbroughe to his former state and goodness by a newe cutte to be made throughe the salte marshes and other freshe marshes of some two myles in lengthe and three hundred paces broade to lead the waters into his wonted course alonge by the Castle, which will cost as he affirmeth some three thousand pounds, but before the same be undertaken we are desirous to understand with what probabilytie he shall be hable to performe the worke, and have thought good to require you, whose experiences and judgementes in suche causes are to us well knowen, that in some convenient tyme you or any fower of you of whome you Sir Thomas Wilford, William Borrowes and Pawle Ivye to be alwayes two, to repaire to Rye to vewe the said place and harbroughe and to conferre with Genebelly about the same, and by your good endevors to informe yourselves of every particulare that maie concerne the said worke, with the likelyhoode of the performance therof." Signed.
1593[–4], January 15.—Conference between the Corporation and Mr. Jenabell concerning the latter's good success in the suit to their Honours for the amendment of the harbour of Rye, who having shewed that his intent is to make an entrance into this harbour near to Dinsdale Bridge byside Winchelsea, which plan of his is generally disliked by the Corporation as a thing likely to profit others of other places and very prejudicial to them.
"She sayeth that she supposeinge her childe to be bewytched by reason the same was very weake, she went to Hastinge to one Zacharias, who lodgeth within Goodman Combes, whome she had hard to be a connynge man, to know of him what her child lacked, who told to this examynat that one Mother Rogers had bewytched her child and gave her councell to fetch blodd of her in takeinge a knyffe and to thrust it in her buttocke, but she tooke another corse for she prycked her in the hande and thereupon presently her child tooke rest and 2 great gerles dyd heare when the said Zachary gave her that councell."
1593[–4], February 5.—Depositions of Richard Clark of Stonehouse near Plymouth that about Whitsuntide was twelve month a ship called the Gabryell, of Bristol, went from London "on warefare" and that Robert Stretfeld one of the company was drowned while going ashore.
1593[–4], February 15.—Order by the Mayor and Jurats of Rye that by reason that Frederick Jenebill hath most treacherously abused this township by his false illusions in promising to amend the harbour of Rye, it is agreed that henceforth they will no further intermeddle with the said Jenebill nor with any of his devices.
I have lately been acquainted with a letter you wrote in May last to Mr. John Layton, who it should seem hath by Letters Patent a grant in fee farm of all the improvements within the Town and Liberties of Rye, made by the inhabitants of the same Town upon the waste whereof, he supposeth her Majesty to be chief lord. And as it appeared by your letter he then offered you the same Letters Patent by way of composition, if your learned counsel find the said Letters Patent of validity it were good for you to embrace his offer lest such should do it as would not be so conformable as this gentleman. Signed and Seal of Arms.
"Of late at the sute of Mr. John Prescott, the Vycare of Rye, we reteined Mr. Edward Danner to be preacher within this our towenshipp to whome at his request also we graunted a reasonable yerely pencyon. So it is right honorable, that on Sunday being the 7th day of this present Aprill the said Mr. Danner, beinge ascended the pulpytt at evenynge prayer to preach, the said Mr. Prescott publiquely and before the hole congregation requyred Mr. Mayor of Rye to assyst him to expell the said Mr. Danner out of the pulpytt, for that he was a mutynous fellowe, a sower of sedycion, an enemye to the State and one that contempned her Majesty's proceedings; whereupon Mr. Mayor thought it not convenient to dysturbe the preacher during his sermon, but the same being ended we have taken bonde with good suertyes of the said Mr. Danner to be forthcoming to aunswere to those thinges whereof he is by Mr. Prescott accused."
Having taken counsel we find no cause to make any composition with you for any better estate. If you suppose you can recover anything by due course of law, we will lawfully defend it as we may. Draft.
On Wednesday last there came into our town one Paule Formosus, apparelled in such sort as we sent him unto you, a very suspicious person and one who greatly abused the Lord Hounsden. We send you certain notes found about him. Draft.
Forasmuch as her Majesty hath of late years been very badly served with sea fish from your town and at expensive and unreasonable prices, by occasion as we are informed of the evil and indirect dealings of your fishermen, in that they keep not markets in convenient time after their boats return from the sea, but hide and sell away their fish in secret. And by means of disordered buyers, which do privately buy for London and other places in shops before her Majesty be served. These are therefore, in her Majesty's name, to request you to take present order in your town that all the fishermen do from henceforth keep their market within one hour after their boats shall return from sea, and that then they bring all their fish into the market and not to hide or keep it secretly back, as they have used to do. And further that you take order that no buyer of fish for London or other places, be suffered to buy any until such time as the bearer hereof William Angell yeoman purveyor to her Majesty, or his lawful deputy appointed there-unto, have bought so much as shall be needful for her Highness' service and none to be suffered to buy in any shops secretly. Signed and Seal of Arms.
"I have received lettres from our right honorable Lord Warden wherby I am given to understand that upon my humble suit unto his Lordship in the behalf of the Portes, it hath pleased his good Lordship (by earnest motion to the Lords of Her Majesty's most honorable Privie Councell) to procure their enlargement to passe alonge the coast with their boates and shippinge to Newcastle for coales, or els to crosse the seas for Bulloigne or Diepe, so as order be taken that at all tymes there be in a readiness within every porte and his member suche nombre of serviceable marinors to be employed upon 24 hours warninge as in this schedule is conteyned."
"Accordinge to the purport of your lettres which of late we receaved we will provyde to have 20 suffycyent maryners at all tymes in a reddynes, upon very smale warnyng, to serve her Majesty but we humbly beseche that we may receave such warrant by her Majesty's commission for the same service to be donne by them as in lyke cases hath bene used." Draft.
"Whereas diverse of thenhabitantes of this towneshippe have built a new shippe of the burthen of 150 tuns called the Hercules, whereof John Davyes is parte owner and master, we judg that sixtene tonns of such ordynance as the said master of the said shippe shall thinck meete, will be sufficient and no more then necessary for the use and defence of the said shippe, whereof we thought good to advertyse you." Draft.
If we must answer what probability we see that a good haven may be made in the place to us shewn, I, for my part, say none at all, the charges I suppose infintie, and if there were, the continuance very uncertain.
1594[–5], February 15.—Order by the Mayor and Jurats of Rye that Sir Thomas Wylford, Sir Henry Palmer, and Mr. Lieutenant do determine concerning the unjust demands of Fredericke Jenebilly against the Corporation of Rye for 82li. 9s. Od.
1595, August 2.—Order by the Mayor and Jurats that by reason some invasion of the enemy is suspected, it is thought good that the watch be strengthened by appointing some of good credit to search the watch.
1595, August 26.—Mr. Gaymer elected by the Mayor and Jurats of Rye to repair to Dover to understand her Majesty's pleasure concerning the setting forth of five ships to the seas, for her Majesty's service, out of the Ports and their members.
1595, December 18.—Articles of agreement between the Barons of the Cinque Ports and Marck Packman, by which the said Packman undertakes to plead the general Charter of the Cinque Ports in the Exchequer as speedily as he can, for the sum of 20li.
"Now that the shippe of Rye is retorned, with the rest of her Majesty's fleete, from the cost of Spayne, I have thought it good to praye and require you to see the capten and companye of her paide such severall somes of mony as are behinde and unpaid both to them and every of them, as also for the hyer of the shippe, according to your composytion betwene you and the owners, which you may not fayle to do with as much expedytion as may be, which I hope shall be so performed as that I shall heare no more of yt." Copy.
The wife of one George Fremlyn complains unto us that her husband is unjustly sued and arrested at Dieppe for a matter of justice executed upon one Mychaell Voquelyn here in Rye, according to the laws of England, while he was a fugitive from his native country, wherefore we have searched our records and find that about two years ago a certain single woman confessed she was with child by the said Mychaell and finding that he was a very base, lewd, and incontinent fellow, he was censured and fined, and to avoid public scandal the said Mychaell paid ten pounds to the poor of this town, for which said money he now unjustly vexeth the said Fremlyn. We hope that our neighbour shall receive before you indifferent justice as your people resorting hither shall receive here. Draft.
The said Barons pray that her Majesty will grant her absolute commission for the setting forth of ships in the said service and for the taking and making prize of all manner of shipping and goods, without special licence or aid, within any place, ports, havens, or creeks not in amity or league with her Majesty and the men and ships so employed to be under no rule but that of the Barons.
If it happen that any prize taken by the Barons be forced by foul weather to go into other ports out of the Cinque Ports within the realm of England, they may be at liberty to depart at their pleasure.
That the said Barons will be willing to enter into bond, in the Court of Admiralty for the Cinque Ports, not to take or detain wittingly or willingly any ship or goods of persons who shall be at amity or league with her Majesty or any her subjects that shall not offend or by fight resist.
I have considered your petition and articles concerning your offer of shipping to the seas to suppress Her Majesty's enemies that there spoil her subjects, which my honourable Lord, the Lord Treasurer, hath perused and by reason of the uncertainty of your own articles can make no direct answer unto them, but hath set down upon the head of every of them his opinion, for the present, of the which you are to have due regard. Copy.
"Wheras her Majestie havinge byn certefied of great and spedie preparations made in Spaine with intention of some special attempte and enterprise against the realme, thinketh it nedeful that sufficient store of good and serviceable shippinge and maryners be kept in redines in the severall portes, to joyne with her Majesty's Navie on the seas as occasion shall require, for the defence of the realme. It pleaseth her Majestie therefore to commande that for this present time a generall restrainte shall be made throughout all the realme of all shipinge, so as no shippe, exceptinge of such sorte as are hereafter mentioned in this placarde, shall be suffered, after notice hereof given, to goe unto the seas untill her Majesty's pleasure be further knowen in this behalfe, for the delivery and makinge knowen of this her Majesty's commandement. These shall be to will and command you in her Majesty's name, by virtue hereof, to make your spedie and undelayed repaire unto all the porte townes alongest the sea coastes in the counties of Kent and Sussex and to give straight charge and commandment unto all and every the Vice Admiralls and other officers in the townes and portes in the said counties, that upon sight of this our warrant (the copy whereof you shall leave with them) they forthwith cause staie to be made of all such shippes and maryners within their havons and liberties as shall be either found there at this present tyme or shall hereafter repaire thether, lycencinge onely such to departe as shall be certenly knowen either to goe onley alongest the coast of this realme, from porte to porte and not to have any intention to crosse the seas into any forreine partes, or to be ordinarie passengers into the Lowe Contries or to the coast townes of France opposite unto our coaste, or to serve for the transportation of her Majesty's forces or victualles or any other such ordinarie passages into Ireland, or lastly such as shall have lycence from me the Lord Admirall uppon speciall occasion. And to the intent we may be thoroughlie informed of the performance of this service, these shall be likewise to charge and command you to bringe with you at your spedie retorne which you shall make with all dilligence, a particuler and perfecte noate under the handes of the officers of the portes of this charge and her Majesty's commandement delivered by you and of the time when you delivered the same, as also of the nomber of the vessels and maryners so founde and stayed in the severall portes uppon this commandement." Copy.
In the same bundle of letters is a copy of the particular for Rye required as above to be made. The largest ship is the Hercules of 150 tons, next the Blessinge of 100 tons. There are 8 crayers and 25 fishing boats and 150 mariners at home in Rye.
"I received a letter late from our Right Honourable Lord Lieutenant advertyseinge that one Jaques, Sir William Stanlye's lieutenant, is come to Callys and there intendeth to prepare boates to infest our sea cost, for which cause yt is his Lordship's pleasure that there should be very good watch and warde kept in every place along the sea cost where nede shall require, and that the beacons there sholde be very dulye and carefully watched."
Postscript.—"I thought it good also at this tyme to signyfye unto you that the right honorable our Lord Warden being advertysed of your great and superfluous expences commonly used at your generall assemblyes doth much myslyke thereof and wysheth you would spare the same for better uses." Signed.
"Wheras of late yt hath pleased God (for some cause to hym best knowen) to vysytt your towne with one of his greate roddes or scowrges wherwith he often afflicted man for synn, wherof not long sythence wee of our towne of Asheford have had manyfold experience, and as yt pleased hym of hys greate mercye then to rayse us up many frendes to have a fellowe feeling of our myseryes and to contrybute towardes the necessytye of our poore (blessed be his name therfore), so yt hath now pleased hym to move our hartes to contrybute something (according to our small abylytyes) towardes the releaving of the poore sayntes of God amongest you, the some wherof is fyve poundes, the which by this bearer wee have sent unto you, desiring you accordyng to your wisdomes and good discretions to distribute the same amongest them in such sorte and at such tyme as you shall thinke most fytt and convenyent. And thus desiring God (for his Christe's sake) to loke downe mercifully upon you and in his good tyme to withdrawe his heavye hand of correction from you and to make both you and us truly thankfull for all his mercyes and loving kyndenesses towardes us (the which are innumerable) and to give us all grace and wisdome to make use aright of these his loveing corrections upon us." Signed.
"Whereas the right honourable the Lord Cobham late Lord Chamberlain and Lord Warden of the Cinque Portes, for the better government of the said Portes dyd from tyme to tyme as any just occasion was mynystered, conceave and establish divers good and necessary orders, which he delivered unto you to be dulie and carefully putt in execution by you, which in his lyffe tyme under his aucthorytie you dyd see accordinglie performed in the severall Portes as I have bene credybly enformed. Forasmuch as by reason of his Lordship's death you may make some doubt and scruple touching your warrant and aucthority to execute the sayde orders, therefore these are to notyfy unto you and to every one of you as it may concerne, that her Majesty's pleasure and comaundement is that every of you in your severall places and according to your severall officeis do contynue the execution of the said orders with lyke care and diligence and in lyke sorte and manner as you dyd in his Lordshipp's lyffe tyme." Copy.
"By reason of the universall scarsytye of corne and graine we cannot be permytted to exporte from the corne contryes of England provisyon of graine to susteine our poore people, by meanes whereof we are enforced at this time to make staye of a small barke, laden with 20 quarters of barlye, imbarked for one Mr. Bowier of London out of the west partes of this county of Sussex, where the outrage of the meaner sorte of the inhabitants is such as they will not permytt any provisyon of corne to be shipped hether, except the same shold be offered to be done by force, to the dangerous breach of her Majesty's peace. Wherefore we most humbly desyre your honorable protection and warrant that the said burly may be sold here at any reasonable price to be converted into bread for the releefe of our poore distressed inhabytantes." Draft.
"Where a bark laden with twenty quarters of barlye consyned unto you is happened into this harbor where the seareytye of corne and graine is over greate, we most hartelye praye you to content yourself that your smale portion of barly may be here distrybuted to a greate nomber of poore distressed people at the highest price that barly is sold or hath bene sold in these partes, to make breade to supplye the present want here, whereby you shall not only be well paide for your comodytye to the comfort of many but you shall command us in anythinge wherein we may stande you in steade." Draft.
"Whereas yt is thought necessarye in respect of the great preparations that are reported to be made in forreine partes that her Majesty shold have suffycyent store of good and servyceable shippes and maryners to joyne with her Majesty's navye on the seas as occasyon shall require, for the better defence of the realme, or such other necessarye service as shall be thought fytt to be undertaken, her Majesty therefore hath thought it necessarye that a generall restraint shold be made throughout all the portes, havens, and creekes alonge the sea cost, and that no shippe, hulke or other vessel of what burthen soever shall be suffered to departe out of the severall portes where they are untyll there shall be further notyce geven of her Majesty's pleasure in that behalf unles it be from one port to another or suche vessels as doe passe betwixte England and France." Copy.
1597[–8], February 8. "The Queen's Majesties Proclamation, declaring her Princely intention to inhibite her subjects upon most extreme paynes from offending on the seas any persons in their ships or goods, being the subjectes of any Prince, Potentate or State, in amitie with her Majestie." Printed by Christopher Barker.
Setting out that the Queen is purposed "to sett some of her shipps unto the seas" for the better manning of which "there shalbe occasion to take up some nomber of maryners and pylattes," and for that reason requiring him to repair to Dover and along the sea coast to all the several ports, creeks, and harbours to the port of Rye and so to Southampton and to command all Vice-Admirals, Mayors, and Officers to detain ships and mariners leaving for "forreine partes"; excepting such as have received his licence, and those trading from port to port or to the Low Countries, Picardy, and Normandy. Copy.
"Whereas it pleased my Lordes of the Counsell to write their favorable lettres heretofore unto you on the behaulfe of the townesmen of Rye for some benevolent contribution to be collected in that countie towardes their great chardges and workes nowe in hand for the amendment of their decaied haven. And for as much as I am crediblie informed that their is great probalitie and assuraunce of good successe to ensue upon the said workes, and that the state of the haven hath bine alreadie viewed by men of great skyll who have confidentlie delivered their opinyons of great hope and probalitie of good successe, and that some of yourselves have bine previe and actors in the same, wherby there is not onlie great benefitt like to arryse unto the said towne, but also great proffitt and comoditie unto the whole countrey by the meanes thereof. I have therefore thought good (these thinges being so) as well in regard of their Lordshipes said lettres as chieflie in respect of the publick good that will redownde to the whole comonwealth therby, to recommend to your charitable considerations by this my privatt, the great necessitie and convenience to helpe and furder the said workes, and therewithall doe verie hartelie pray you to deale and perswade with the countie by all the best meanes you maie, to yelde to such voluntarie benevolent and commendable contribution for the reliefe and effectinge of the said workes, as to their severall good myndes and discressions shall be thought most fitt and convenient." Signed, and Seal of arms broken.
Though it may seem vain on his part to add anything to what the Council has already written to all the Justices [of Sussex] on behalf of the suit of the town of Rye, yet he gives his own testimonies to the value of the work begun upon the haven at Rye and urges "a benevolent contrybution amongest your westerne rapes towards fynishinge of the same." It is a work "profitable for the common wealth in generall and particulerly for this county of Sussex." The town of Rye has already expended much upon the work and it is a pity it should now "miscarry for a lyttle." The town might take it "veryunkyndely if their owne countrymen should fayle them."
1598, August 23. "A proclamation for the restreining and punishment of Forestallers and Ingrossers of Corne and Graine, and for the prohibition of making of any maner of starch within her Majesties realme and dominions."
"As I have bene formerlie beholdenge unto you, so lett me nowe alsoe intreat your favors in helpinge me to twoe dorsers of your beste fishe and especiallie of some good conger, which I pray you to cause to be sent unto my house att Halinge on Frydaie next, and I will not onelie see the same paied for and the messenger rewarded, but I will requyte your kindenesses herein with any good favor I maie." Signed, and Seal of arms.
Controversies have lately arisen with their new Bailiff, Mr. Hailes which by him are referred to the Lord Warden for determination. They urge the Mayor and Jurats of Rye to write to the Lord Warden— "for so muche as we weare incorporate in the ayde and helpe of your towne of Rye"—on their behalf that by his means they may enjoy their ancient, usages, liberties, and customs." Signed "Herbert Witefeild, Edward Shortt, John Tylden, Edward Jervise, George Phillipes, William Curtis, John Funnell, George Shortt, Thomas Curtis, Thomas Tilden, Robert Tygg."
"Where compleynt hath byn made that divers badd and evill affected persons, of late going over and comyng from beyond the seas, have passed without examynation taken of them by the Commysioners for restraynt of passengers, the faulte whereof is supposed to be partlye for that suche owners and masters of shippes and boates, inkepers, victuelers, and others as have byn bound in this case have not soe duly regarded the performance of their bondes and dutyes therein as they ought, and partlye for that there are at this tyme dyvers persons that are owners and masters of shippes and boates and also dyvers inkepers, victuelers, and others that are growen upp, and admytted sythence the taking of the last bondes, that never were nor yet are bound, who in respect that they stand unbownd make no reckonynge to suffer any bad persons to passe without presenting them to the Commissioners, ior redresse whereof, and for that I wold have a due and strict course observed within and throughout my jurisdiction to prevent the great daungers that otherwise might happen to the state of this her Majesty's realme, I have thought good to have newe bonds taken for that purpose throughout the Cinque Portes and their members as well of those that have byn formerly in my Lord my father's tyme, as of all others that now stand unbowned. For which purpose pray command my servant Marck Packnam, Clerk of the office, to goe alongst the Cinque Portes and their members to take such bonds and to bring them into the office. And so praying you to advertise the Portes as much by your letters, when Packnam shall goe aboute yt.
"We have perused certaine orders and articles indented agreed upon and signed by divers of the fyshermen of your towne of Rye, and Mr. Angell, her Majesty's cheife purveyor of sea fyshe, of the which we doe very well like, and have caused the same to be recorded in the comptinge house; whereof we thought it good to advertisse you, requiringe you and the sayed fishermen from tyme to tyme to see the same to be duely and truely performed, whereby her Majesty may be hereafter bothe better served and the fyshe allso maie be brought in more convenient tyme to the Courte then of late yt hath usually ben; wherein you Mr. Maior and the Jurats of your towne have ben very much to blame. Heretofore, for her Majesty's better service of sea fyshe, there have ben many good orders sett downe but by your remysse and slacke dealinge they have ben utterly neglected, but hereafter we hope that you will be more carefull of yt, for as from and under her Majesty you doe enjoye many good and profitable previlidges, so, for your better contynuance of them, it is expected by a carefull performance of your duetyes in thes services, you doe expresse your thankefull and lovinge myndes towardes her Highenes. And whereas we are informed that one Swayne of your towne, att Mr. Angell's last beinge with youe, very obstinately refused to sett to his hande to the sayed articles indented, we therefore require you Mr. Maior forthewith to call him before you and eyther procure him to sett his hande unto them or ells to take good bonde of him for his present aparance before us at her Majesty's comptinge howse, and there we doubte not but by his example other such froward and disordered persons shall be taught hereafter more obedyently to performe there duetyes, as well towardes her Highnes as allso unto you and others, which under her have authorytie over them. Of all the contentes of these our letters we will and require you to imparte them unto the whole companey of fyshermen and others allso of your towne whom yt maye eny waye concerne, whereby hereafter no man may excuse himselfe by ignorance." Signed, and Seal of arms.
1599, June 30. Confession of Harry Davys.—He was found as a vagrant within the town. "He is a Welshman born at Acham within two myles of Shrewsbury and that he saith that at Michelmas last was twelve monethes he was pressed at Winsor by my Lord Russell to serve in Ireland and ymediately was sent with other soldiers to Westchester, and so tooke shippinge for Ireland and landed at Waterford where he hath remayned a soldier untill Thursday last was three weekes, and then tooke shippinge at Diveling and came back againe to Westchester, having a passport from the Lord Russell to passe to Westchester, where as he saith he left his passport with on Mr. Greene, the mayor of the towne, and so hath travelled without pasport to London and so unto Rye. And for newes he reporteth that about sixe or seven dayes in May last past the Erle of Essex travelinge from Waterford to Dumdarricke in a wood was mett withall by the wild Irishe and sett upon where he lost fifty thousand men and the Erle himselfe was wounded in the ryght arme with a muskett in such sort as he was leike to losse his arme."
"According to your commission to us given we have earnestly and painefully a longe tyme as we thinke travelled, wherin we have shewed our good will and best skill for the longe looked and hoped desire which God be praysec her Sacred Majesty this Mondaye being the 9th of July hath graunted our request to my Lord Threasurer whome we have fownde in the ende our very good Lord. And our Lord Warden hath with might and mayne dealt most honorable. We have found Mr. Attorney Generall in the knittinge up, a speciall favorer of our sutes. Our lerned Counsell we have both much trobled and hindered. Our owne paines and indevors we desire to be thought as we have deserved. The booke shall be perfected and all thinges finished as sone as her Majesty retorneth from prograce. My Lord Threasurer this Tewsdaye and our Lord Warden hath willed us to departe and goe home and my Lord Warden will send word when all is reddy to be finished. My Lord Thresurer himself told us that he and my Lord Warden wold see it be done accordinge to our desire as sone as her Majesty doth retorne. We do sende you word the rather because it were fitt you come furnished with mony that is to be defrayed for such charges as we hope you and all shall thinke well bestowed, which you must thinke is for charges past and to come for the full accomplishinge of all." Copy.
"Even now I have received letters from the Lordes, who in their providence and contynewance of care of the state hath recommended unto mee this especially, that if this rumor contynewe trewe, that so many gallies be assembled at the Groyne, their designe will be for the River of Thames and to keepe themselves from any discovery they will keepe as near the French coast as they can; their Lordships have therefore commanded mee to give straight dyrection and commandiment to you, that upon the sight hereof you sett fourth your fishermen to ply over to the French coast that by them I may trewlie bee advertised of their coming, and that by post for life this with all speede is to bee done and doubt not but you will have that care as the importance of the cause requiers, which I chardge you in her Majesty's name, as you will answer to the contrarie, see it presentlie perfourmed." Signed, and Seal of Arms.
"We receaved your Lordships letters of the third of this present August the fourth of the same, and accordinge to your direction on Sonday last past, we sent out of our harbor of Rye two fisher boates of our towne well manned with 13 men apeece besides the masters, and thoroughly furnished with victualls, muskettes, powder, shott, and other munition meete for that purpose, to sayle and ply over to the French coast for advertisement to be given of the comeing of the Spaniards. And this present Tewsdaye by reason of fowle weather they were constreyned to retorne backe againe and came into the harbor of Rye. And for newes they doe certefye unto us that yesterday, being Monday, the two boates of Rye did make chase to twoe Skotishemen upon the coast of Fraunce and inquired of them what newes they could tell of the Spaniardes and one of them, beinge the bygger barke, came from Rochell and the master tolde them for certeyne trewthe that the reporte was at Rochell that there was lyinge at Groyne, abowte a fortnight past, one hundred and fifty sayle of Spaniers whereof there were 40 gallies and that they were prepared for Callyse and Flanders. And the lesser barke came from Newhaven on Saturday last past, and the master of the said barke reporteth for treweth that there is a Spanishe shippe come unto Newhaven laden with Threasure, and that the Governor of Deipe is com thether to make staye thereof. Also they saide unto our fyshermen that theire is lyinge reddy at Bryst 2 Spanishe gallies, which is all the newes they cold lerne. And thus much we thought it our duties to certefie unto your Honor and that the boates, if God send faire wether, are reddy to goe oute againe the next tyde so we here not to the contrary. We hope by your honorable good meanes the great charges in settinge oute of theese boates shall be borne by her Highness in respecte of the poore estate of our poore towne." Draft.
"Wee have receyved lettres from my Lordes of the Councell which were sent unto them from the Governor of Brest, to lett their Honors know that seaven gallies belonginge to the Spanish Fleete were putt into the harborough, and that 200 sayle of shipps were seene a seaboord standing for our channel. Ther came also a pincke from the Governor of Callice this present Monday which wrote unto us confyrming the same intelligences. Wee doe therefore pray you and hartylie requyre you, as you tender her Majesty's services, to cause a couple of small barques of Dover to stand over into the sea, as farre to the westward as they can, to give us notices yf they see any fleet comyng this way, that wee may have some tyme to be lose from our anchors and that you will wryte to the Porte of Rye to doe the lyke, and satysfaction for the charge shall be made here by the Threasorer of her Majesty's Navie, Reare Admyrall of the Fleete. And we doe further pray you to cause the Mayor of Dover to send a boat hither to the Downes with 50 tonnes of ballast." Copy.
"Forasmuche as by letters from owr right honorable Lord Warden of the 30th of November last directed unto me his Lordship hathe sygnyfied that the Lordes of the Cownsell being lought to charge or trubell the contrye with any unnecessarie borthen, are content to dysemyse the becken wache and wachies along the see cost untyell further nesytie shall requier, and hathe wylied me to discharg the same accordingly. Thes ar therfor to wyell and requier you, in har Majesty's name to charg and comand you and evrie of you, that emediatly uppon the resett or syght herof you case all the saied wachies within ether of your townes, members, and lyberties to be therwith dismysed and dyscharged untyell a new warnyng." Signed.
[1599.]—Letters of Attorney by the Mayor, Jurats, and Commonalty of Rye, appointing their "Combaron," Thomas Hamon, then Mayor of Rye, to become "humble sutor" to the Queen and the Council "for some releefe to be had towerds the amendment of this decayed haven of Rye." Draft.
"Whereas about Mychaelmas last (beinge our accustomed tyme for that purpose) we chose this bearer Roberte Gyllam to be our Parish clark, with the consent of Mr. Smyth, our vycaire, yet of late (for what cause we know not) the said Mr. Smyth seketh to molest him and by compleintes made to your Worship against him to convent him before you, and also offereth at his pleasure to displace him and to place another at his owne wille, contrary to all use and custome tyme out of mynde here used in such causes. Our humble sute therefore unto you is that the injunctyons in ecclesiastycal cases and our customes, that point may be kept invyolable, that there be no emulation betwene Mr. Smyth and us nor dyscord for matters of usadge which by any and all lawful meanes we shall support and mayntein to our power. And if Mr. Smyth will seke indyrectly to usurpe upon us we shall be sory for his follye, that he, succedeing so many grave and lerned men, shold intrude himself into unnaturall sutes with us which his predecessors wold never attempt to do." Draft.
"Where there is one Espinola, a Spaniard, a young man aboute the age of 22 yeres, of stature tall and slender, with a longe spare face, of complexion sallowe, and black heared, having very lyttle on his face, is this night broken out of prison, purposeing no doubt to convey himself over. These are therefore very hartelye to praye you to cause diligent and carefull serch to be made for him in all shippinge and other vessels comyng from hence, and to cause him to be apprehended yf he may be found, and commytted to sure and saffe custody untyll I may upon advertysement from you geve you other dyrection. I praye you wryte your letters to Sandwich, Rye, and the rest of the portes that they may take order to do the lyke there." Copy.
"I have receaved your letter of the thirde of this instante concerninge the complainte made by the vicare of your towne againste Brooke, for certeine speeches by him delivered againste the supremacie, wherof for that the speaker of those woordes mentioned in your letter (as I do conceave) seemes to be scarsely well advised, I wish you to take good consideration and to examyne thoroughlie by the course of his other actions whether he be a man sownde in his senses or not, and whether there hath beene no former grudge or controversie betwyxte the vicar and him, and to advertise me therof, with such other circumstances as are in such a case necessarie to be weighed and considered, and what you judge to be the cause that transported him into this furye or passion of hard speeche, and upon your aunswere I will send you myne opinion what I thinke fitt to be done." Signed, and Seal of Arms.
"Accordinge to your honorable directyons we have called Brooke before us in the presence of Mr. Vycaire and have strictlye examyned him what hath moved him to denye her Majesty's supremacye; who answered us that he dyd the same with no intent to deprive her Highnes of any her regall dignyties upon earth, but that he dyd conceave that none cold be supreme but God only and next under God he acknowledged her Majesty to be the princypall governor in all causes over all her domynions. And heinge demaunded whether he dyd attribute any supremacye to any other upon earth then only to her Majesty within her government? He said no. Then we shewed him the othe of the supremacye and demaunded of him whether he wold willinglie take the same or no. And when he had deliberatly read the same he aunswered that he wold most willingly take the same and so dyd, and said further that he held him no good subject of her Majesty that wold refuse the same. Then (our good Lord) we very well knowinge of our owne knowledges that Brooke is rather over precyse in religion, haveinge read more than he understandeth then any waye affected to any papacye, and we further well knowinge that Brooke haveinge often found fault with Mr. Vycar his kinde of teachinge, wherein is small or no instruction (which opynion in Brooke we condempe not), Mr. Vycare doth greatlye envye the poore man and wold willingly accuse him unto us yet further for recusancy, upon which pointe we also examyned Brooke who answereth that he refuseth not to come to the church but doth very often repayre thether and yet syth he receaveth no instructions in the church for the good of his soule he doth sometymes absent himself from church and imployeth himself to reade the Scriptures of God at home, wherein he can better enforme himsel. then Mr. Vycarre can. Now yf it please your Honor we have thought it convenient to dyscrybe unto you the qualytye and estate of this Brooke. He is by profession a tayler and of late cold not reade but by his industry, haveinge obteined knowledge to reade English, he hath waded therein farther than his capacytye can reach unto, whereby he hath over gonne his senses and consumed himself by followinge the letter of the Scriptures contrary to the intent and meaning thereof, to the detriment of himself onlye. And so haveing delt herein so farre as our knowledges will permytt us, the imperfections whereof we doubt not but your Honor will pardon." Draft.
1600, June 2.—"A Proclamation conteyning her Majesties pleasure how those shalbe dealt withall, which have falsly slandered her Majesties proceedings and her Ministers, by spreading vile and odious libels and brutes to stirre discontentment among her people: containing also a sharpe commandement to all Justices of Peace and other principall persons in the Countreys, to see Ingrossers of Corne and Graine duely punished." Printed by Robert Barker.
"On Satterday last there came to the handes of me, the Mayor of Rye, certeine lettres wrytten by Mrs. Smyth, our vycar's wyffe or rather by Mr. Smyth, our vycar, in his wyff's name, and dyrected to their father-in-lawe in London, and in those letters was inclosed a crucyfix of silver which herein I sende to your honor. Whereupon I sent for Mr. Smyth and enquired of him where he had that crucyfix, who aunswered that his wyffe had had the same a long tyme, as of the gyfte of her mother, and that now shee sent the same for a token to a child of hers in London to weare about the neck of it. Which aunswere I, the said Maior, at that tyme receaved de bene esse untyll I might further understand of the truth of the cause. And afterwards he was convented before me, the said Maior, and others the Jurates of Rye, and againe demanded how he came by that crucyfix. He made such aunswere as before. And because we wold not enterprise to charge or dyscharge him concernyng this matter untyll your Honor's dyrection were had therein, he was offered to use his libertye upon bond to be forthcomyng yf your Honor shold call for him, which he consented then unto. Now this day, being our Court day, we sente for him to enter into the said bonde, he refused so to do and in most unreverent and savadge manner reviled me, the said Mayor, willing me to do what I durst, and affyrmed that I dyd injustyce to offer to take such bonde of him with farre more reproachfull wordes then is meete to be repeated. For which his said abuse and to have him forthcoming untyll your Honor's pleasure be knowen, we have comytted him to prison, most humbly desiring your Honor's will and dyrection herein." Copy.
About August last I wrote to you touching the bearer Mr. Smith, your Curate of Rye, whereby I did require you to take bond of him for his personal appearance before me. Since which time I have received no answer from you, whereat I do greatly marvel forasmuch as Mr. Smith hath been here with me and offered to make answer to such things as are objected against him; you will therefore with convenient speed send unto me what you can charge him withal. Signed, and Seal of Arms.
It may please your Grace to be advertised that we never received your letters of August last touching Mr. Smith, notwithstanding we took bond of him to appear before the Privy Council. The matters that Mr. Smith is charged withal are contained in a letter to Lord Cobham. Draft.
"Grene leaves grene
Agrene leaves greane
My harte in howlde
Thre hundred fowlde
And greene leves betwene."