Calendar of Letter-Books of the City of London: K, Henry VI. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1911.
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31 May, 21 Henry VI. [A.D. 1443], came Alan Johnson, grocer, before John Hatherle, the Mayor, and the Aldermen, and presented certain letters patent dated at the King's manor of Eltham, 28 Feb., 18 Henry VI. [A.D. 1439-40], discharging him from serving on juries and filling various offices. Order by the Mayor and Aldermen thereon.
13 June, 21 Henry VI. [A.D. 1443], came Robert, son of Robert Mayheu, late of Shordich, co. Middlesex, before John Hatherle, the Mayor, and the Aldermen, and asked for his share of the sum of 50 marks brought into Court by his father's executors. Thereupon it being proved by John at Hille, John Waleys, Richard Harry, and William Mayhew of Enfeld, that the petitioner was of full age, and that Martin, Cristina, and John, children of the said Robert Mayheu, were dead under age......[ends abruptly].
4 June, 21 Henry VI. [A.D. 1443], came William Bostone, goldsmith, before John Hatherle, the Mayor, and the Aldermen, and produced letters patent dated at Westminster, 6 May, 21 Henry VI. [A.D. 1443], discharging him from serving on juries and filling divers offices. Order by the Mayor and Aldermen thereon.
Folio 211 b.
9 July, 21 Henry VI. [A.D. 1443], came Antony Astell, John Astell, Thomas Norwode, and Baldewin Butler into the Court of the lord the King, before John Hatherle, the Mayor, and the Aldermen, and entered into bond with John Chichele, the Chamberlain, in the sum of 20 marks.
The same day Michael, son of Michael Randolf, late haberdasher, was committed by the above Mayor and Aldermen as apprentice to Antony Astell, fishmonger, for a term of nine years, to whom also was entrusted the orphan's patrimony on the above security.
Saturday, 13 July, 21 Henry VI. [A.D. 1443], came Thomas, son of Thomas Eyre, late draper, into the Court of the lord the King in the Chamber of the Guildhall, before John Hatherle, the Mayor, and the Aldermen, being of full age, and acknowledged satisfaction for his patrimony received from Robert Kyngison and John Bekyngham, executors of Johanna, the mother of the said orphan.
21 July, 21 Henry VI. [A.D. 1443], came Robert Hunesle, Thomas Holme, Thomas Barnard, William Burtone, and John Edward into the Court of the lord the King, before the said Mayor and Aldermen, and entered into bond with John Chichele, the Chamberlain, in the sum of £10.
The same day the guardianship of John, Margaret, and Alice, children of Thomas Grym, late fishmonger, together with their patrimony, committed by John Hatherle, the Mayor, the Aldermen, and the Chamberlain to Robert Hunesle, fishmonger (who married the said orphan's mother), on his giving the above security.
Folio 212 b.
Saturday, 3 Aug., 21 Henry VI. [A.D. 1443], came Henry Mersche, David Brounyng, William Baker, Thomas White, and other citizens [not named], who were acquainted with Henry, son of William Miles, late taverner, before John Hatherle, the Mayor, and testified that the said Henry was 23 years of age before he died, and was thus legally capable of making a will.
13 Aug., 21 Henry VI. [A.D. 1443], came Godard Pulham, Richard Riche, John Maldone, Robert Bertyn, and Stephen Marchaunt into the Court of the lord the King, before John Hatherle, the Mayor, and the Aldermen, and entered into bond with John Chichele, the Chamberlain, in the sum of £93 6s. 8d.
The same day the guardianship of Peter, Johanna, Alice, Margaret, Anne, John, and Thomas, children of John Walpole, late "bracier," together with their patrimony of £93 6s. 8d., was committed by John Hatherle, the Mayor, the Aldermen, and the Chamberlain to Godard Pulham, draper, who married Agnes, the said orphans' mother.
Wednesday, 16 Oct., 22 Henry VI. [A.D. 1443], came Thomas Purchas, "turnour," before John Hatherle, the Mayor, and the Aldermen, and presented letters patent whereby the King granted to him many liberties, upon consideration of which, and also on account of his increasing old age, the said Thomas was discharged by the said Mayor and Aldermen from serving on juries, &c.
Folio 213 b.
Whereas it was ordained by the Mayor and Aldermen, temp. Stephen Broun, Mayor, anno 17 Henry VI., that all tanned hides brought for sale to the City should be warehoused and sold in a certain Seld near the Guildhall, and not elsewhere, to the intent that such hides should be viewed and assayed by officers appointed by the Chamberlain before being exposed for sale, so that the said Chamberlain might take forfeitures and fines for the use of the City; and whereas afterwards, at a Common Council held on Friday, 17 Sept., anno 22 Henry VI. [A.D. 1443], it was, for divers reasons, ordained by Thomas Catteworth, the Mayor, (fn. 2) the Aldermen and Commonalty, that the said Seld should be removed from the Guildhall to some other suitable place, and that the fees and fines for seldage and assay should be let to ferm for £10 a year for a term not exceeding 10 or 12 years, which ordinance had not hitherto been put into execution-it was now ordained, viz., on Friday, 9 Feb., 31 Henry VI. [A.D. 1452-3], by Geoffrey Feldyng, the Mayor, and the Aldermen, that the said ordinance should be executed at the discretion of the Chamberlain.
Saturday the Feast of St. Matthew [21 Sept.], 22 Henry VI. [A.D. 1443], a great number of inferior citizens who had not been summoned entered the gates of the Hall of the Guildhall through the negligence of the gate-keepers, for the election of Sheriffs and other officers, contrary to the custom of the City. Whereupon, the customary proclamation having been made for all persons who had not been summoned to depart, only a very few left; and the cause of the meeting having been explained by the Recorder, as is the custom, John Hatherle, the Mayor, in the presence of John Reynwelle, John Gedney, Henry Frowyk, John Paddesle, William Melreth, William Gregory, John Olney, Nicholas Yeo, William Wetenhale, William Combes, and John Norman, Aldermen, nominated Nicholas Wyfold, Alderman, to be one of the Sheriffs for the year ensuing on behalf of himself and the Aldermen; (fn. 3) and then the said Mayor and Aldermen immediately mounted to the upper Chambers, leaving the Commonalty to make their own election as accustomed. Thereupon, the question being put by the Common Clerk of the City, who was then acting for the Common Pleader, (fn. 4) John Norman, Alderman, was elected the other Sheriff for the year ensuing. Moreover, when the Commonalty were asked about the Chamberlain for the year ensuing, many declared their votes in favour of John Chichele, the Chamberlain of the previous year, whilst many of the more powerful citizens withheld their votes; but the greatest number of the Commonalty, with loud voice and uplifted hands, clamoured "Cotisbrok, Cotisbrok." The matter being reported to the Mayor and Aldermen, they remonstrated with the Commonalty for the slight they had passed upon John Chichele, who had always served them well, and whose diligence and probity had always been acknowledged by the City Auditors, and the City Serjeants were ordered to go down and see if some had voted without being summoned. They certified the Mayor that there was a large number of poor citizens who had not been summoned, and who endeavoured to overwhelm the votes of the better class. Thereupon the Mayor and Aldermen, as men of seniority, wisdom, and substance (ut viri senes sapientes et solidi), caused examination to be made of the written customs of the City, when there was discovered a writ of Edward II., recorded in Letter-Book D, fo. iv, to the effect that elections of Mayors and Sheriffs should be made by the more notable citizens, to the exclusion of others. (fn. 5) The Mayor therefore gave orders for all those, who had not been summoned, to depart, and that the election should be made by those who had been summoned, according to custom. Thereupon, the question being put, John Chichele was nominated Chamberlain with the unanimous consent of the Mayor and Aldermen.
There were also elected then and there as Wardens of London Bridge Thomas Cook, senior, and John Herst, skinner; and Nicholas Wyfold and John Olney, Aldermen, William Cottisbrok, John Milborne, John Derby, and Thomas Davy, Commoners, were elected City Auditors for the year ensuing.
Afterwards, viz., on the eve of St. Michael [29 Sept.], the said Sheriffs were sworn at the Guildhall, and on the morrow of the said Feast were presented and admitted, &c., before the Barons of the Exchequer.
Folio 214 b.
The above writ duly proclaimed on the 12th October, and pursuant thereto there were summoned by the Mayor all those who were of the Common Council (fn. 6) of the City and certain other powerful and discreet citizens from the several Wards for the election of a Mayor on St. Edward's Day [13 Oct.], on which day those that were summoned were called by name at the gate of the Hall, and they only were allowed to enter the Hall. Thereupon, after Mass, in the presence of John Hatherle, the Mayor, John Sevenoke, Prior of Christchurch, Robert "Danvers" the Recorder, William Estfeld, Knt., Nicholas Wotton, John Reynwelle, John Gedney, John Brokle, Henry Frowyk, Stephen Broun, Thomas Wandesforde, John Pattesle, William Melreth, Thomas Chaltone, Robert Cloptone, Ralph Holand, John Olney, John Suttone, Nicholas Yeo, William Combes, William Wetenhale, John Norman, and Nicholas Wyfold, Aldermen, and with their will and assent, Thomas Catworth, by the aid of the Holy Spirit (per viam Spiritus Sancti), was elected Mayor for the year ensuing.
Writ to John "Adderle," (fn. 7) late Mayor, to make a return of the names, &c., of merchants, alien and strangers, residing and trading in the City since the Feast of SS. Simon and Jude [28 Oct.], anno 21 Henry VI. [A.D. 1442]. Witness J[ohn] Fray at Westminster, 3 Nov., 22 Henry VI. [A.D. 1443].
"Please it to the honurable lord the Maire and to our Worchipfull soveranes the Aldermen of the Citee of London to have tendre considerac'on of the grete and noyous and grevous hurt which that long tyme come and allway cometh to the comon people of thys Citee and many other as wele lordes and ladies of this reaume as all other people comyng and passyng by the pultrie of this Citee biside the stokkes and all other pultrie in the principal stretes and weyes of this Citee thurgh the evel rule and demenyng of the pulters kepyng wythin hem Swannes gees heronsewes (fn. 8) and other pultrie wherof the ordure and standyng of hem is of grete stenche and so evel savour that it causeth grete and parlous infectyng of the people and long hath done which hath oft tyme bene compleyned of as well by lordes and ladies as by neyghburghs and many other Which pulters myght purvey and have houses and places in oute weyes nygh London Wall and elleswere in this Citee kepying ther her said pultrye and towchyng other pultrie as capons hennes or chekens that they must have nere home that the ordure of hem myght be voided oute of her houses and forthwyth oute of the stretes twies in the week and that in due tymes whan fewe people passe by Of which matiers as right grete nede is hit please your ryght wyse discrec'ons to ordeine and purveie remedie for the comon welfare of all the people of this Citee and of all repairyng ther to in way of charite."
Folio 215 b.
Be it remembered that the following ordinances (touching assay of leather) were exhibited before Thomas Catworth, the Mayor, and the Aldermen on the 18th Nov., 22 Henry VI. [A.D. 1443], by John Chichele, the Chamberlain, and because it was testified by Stephen Broun and other Aldermen that the said ordinances had been made during the Mayoralty of the said Stephen Broun [1438-9], and were left in the custody of the Chamberlain to be executed, they are ordered by the said Mayor and Aldermen to be here entered of record. (fn. 9)
8 Jan., 22 Henry VI. [A.D. 1443-4], came John Hert, one of the Clerks of the Chapel of St. Thomas upon London Bridge, before Thomas Catworth, the Mayor, and the Aldermen, and prayed that he might continue to be one of the continually resident clerks in the said Chapel for the term of his life, taking the wages and rewards accustomed. His prayer granted.
Friday, 10 Jan., 22 Henry VI. [A.D. 1443-4], came many stranger valets or servants of "Wevers," called "jorneymen," before Thomas Catworth, the Mayor, and the Aldermen, and complained that whereas hitherto they had been accustomed to elect Wardens of the Mistery for presentation before the Mayor for the time being, in order to be sworn according to custom, the Masters of the said Mistery, who were householders, had for the last six years claimed that such election belonged to them and not to the serving men. Both parties having been heard, it was ordained that henceforth the Masters of the Mistery should elect the Wardens, by licence of the Mayor, and that the serving men should have no voice in such election.
Folio 216 b.
23 Dec., 22 Henry VI. [A.D. 1443], came divers good men of the community of the principal and chief clerks of the parish and collegiate churches of the City before Thomas Catworth, the Mayor, and the Aldermen, and exhibited certain articles agreed upon by John Chichele, the Chamberlain, and the aforesaid community touching the liberties of the said clerks within the City, viz.:-
"First, it is accorded betwixt the Chambirlayn of the Citee of London and the parisshe Clerkis in the same Citee that ther shall be admittid in to the fraunchise and liberte of the seid Citee xxviii personis in noumbre for the whiche admission the seid clerkis shull yeve un to thuse of the chambre of the seid Citee xx li.
"Furthermore, if eny man desire to be enfraunchised as of the seid office of parisshe clerkis hereafterward be hit forseyn allwey that he be that tyme or ellis have be contynuelly before a parisshe clerk of the same Citee or ellis be he nat receyvid and than with trete and a corde with the Chamberlayn for the tyme beyng for suche a summe as shall seme hym resonable and this so witnessid by the goodmen of thoffice of clerkis aforeseid to be presentid and admittid.
"Also the forseid Clerkis shulle take no manere of apprentise to thoffice of Clerkis aforseid but un to all suche maner Craftes as their wifis usen and occupien so as hit may stonde with the fraunchise and custumes of the Citee had before & in non othir wise.
"Also the forseid Clerkys for to have this liberte & fraunchise have grauntid to founde a prest perpetuelly to synge and be present in the Chapell of Guyldhalle at all dyvine service therin to be don savyng at alle suche dyvers tymis in the yeere as the seide prest nedyth to be sent fore by the Maisters of the bretherhode of the seid Clerkys for the tyme beyng for their vigilies Masses & quarterdays at due tymys to be don they fyndyng also to the seid prest brede wyne wex boke vestmentis & Chalise belongynge to thauter of the seid brotherhode callid Seint Nicholas auter in the seid Chapell to the seid perpetuell prest assignid.
"And also the seid Clerkis desiren for as muche as they ben Comune officeris in the seid Citee that they mowe be disported and dispenced with of alle somones wachis and juries on lasse than it touche the Kyng or his person.
"Also the goodmen afore seid desyren that for as moche as thei be nethir marchaundis nether artificers that they been eke dispensid with of the bonde and borowes bounden in recognisance as goith upon marchandis & artificeris that shulle come yn by redempcion as be thordinance theron made in the tyme of John Perneys late Maire with outen hirte or prejudice of theym or of the Chambirlayn as it is in the ordinaunce conteyned. (fn. 10)
Friday, 31 Jan., 22 Henry VI. [A.D. 1443-4], came Ralph Gay, grocer, before Thomas Catworth, the Mayor, and the Aldermen, and presented letters patent discharging him from various duties and offices, dated at Westminster, 15 Oct., 20 Henry VI. [A.D. 1441]. Decree made by the said Mayor and Aldermen thereon.
6 Feb., 22 Henry VI. [A.D. 1443-4], came Henry Purchas, grocer, Thomas Hawkyn, John Tynkildene, John Waldene, and John Bolle into the Court of the lord the King, before Thomas Catworth, the Mayor, and the Aldermen, and entered into bond with John Chichele, the Chamberlain, in the sum of £120.
The same day the guardianship of William, John, Thomas, and Johanna, children of Robert Hulle, late grocer, together with their patrimony of £120, committed by Thomas Catworth, the Mayor, the Aldermen, and the Chamberlain to the above Henry Purchase on his giving the above bond.
7 Feb., 22 Henry VI. [A.D. 1443-4], came Thomas, son of Richard Wythyale, late goldsmith, into the Court of the lord the King, before the said Mayor and Aldermen, and acknowledged he had received from John Chicheley, the Chamberlain, divers sums of money accruing to him from his said father, from Alice his mother, and John his brother.
Folio 217 b.
2 March, 22 Henry VI. [A.D. 1443-4], ordinance of the Common Council that, in order to relieve the increasing debts of the Chamber, the fees for enrolment of apprentices and wills should for the next four years be doubled, viz., for enrolment of wills 5s. 4d., for entrances of apprentices 5s., and the exits of the same 7s. If this be not sufficient to pay off the debts, the fees are to be continued until the debts are paid off.
Writ of Privy Seal granting licence to John Hatherle, the Mayor, and the citizens to purchase 200 fodders of lead anywhere within the realm, at a reasonable price, and to carry it to the City for the work of conduits with Standards, &c., in West Chepe, the rebuilding of a common Granary (Garnariam) and the erection of a handsome Cross there to serve as a cistern (augea) and as a mother (tanquam mater) for the same conduits (fn. 11); and further to impress as many masons, plumbers, and others as were necessary for the work. Witness the King at Chesewik, 25 June, 21 Henry VI. [A.D. 1443].
"Be it proclamed that no maner Fisshmonger Bochier Pulter denizeine ne foreyne nor Baker foreyne selle no manere vitaille upon the Sonday but yef the gretter necessite require it And that in noone opyne shope ne other opyne places upon peyne that the Maire & Aldremen after theire discrecons wille ordeyngne.
"Also that noone herbe wife milke wife ne sellere of Boowis (fn. 12) Flouris (fn. 13) Briddez (fn. 14) ne noone other bringe noone to selle upon the Sonday on the peyne aforesaide But that these and alle othir kepe theire mercate here upon the Saturday," &c. (fn. 15)
Writ to Sheriffs, Mayors, and Wardens of seaports, &c., notifying them that the town of Haveryng atte Boure is of the ancient demesne of the Crown, and that its inhabitants therefore are quit of toll. Witness the King at Westminster, 30 Oct., 22 Henry VI. [A.D. 1443].
Folio 218 b.
Indenture whereby Katherine, late wife of John Carpenter, junior, formerly Common Clerk of the City, grants a right of way through a hostel and garden, &c.-formerly leased to her and her late husband in the parish of St. Peter upon Cornhulle, in the Ward of Lymestrete, by Nicholas Wottone, the Mayor, and the Commonalty-to a Garner which Simon Eyre, draper, was about to erect abutting on her property; (fn. 16) in consideration for which, John Chichele, the Chamberlain, with the assent of Thomas Catworth, the Mayor, the Aldermen, and Commonalty, demises to the said Katherine a certain garden situate to the east of the ancient Chapel there adjoining, for a term of thirty years. Dated 28 May, A.D. 1444.
13 July, 22 Henry VI. [A.D. 1444], came Master John Clipstone, Chaplain and Keeper of the library of the Guildhall, before Thomas Catworth, the Mayor, and the Aldermen, and proffered a petition as follows:-
"Besechith lowely youre prest and bedeman Maister John Clipstone keper of youre liberary atte Guyldehalle, that for as moche as it hath likede you for to take to hym the kepinge and charge of the said liberary Please it to you for to considre the great attendaunce and charge the whiche he hath with it and in waytenge therupone to graunte that he may be made sure of his lyflode housyng and easement of the gardyn which he hath for that occupacioun atte this day that he be nat hereafter putte away therfro ne noo parte theroff nor noone other charge put upone hym So that he may have more cause and occasioun to pray besyly for the weele of you and of the said Citee," &c. (fn. 17)
24 July, 22 Henry VI. [A.D. 1444], four persons nominated by the Commonalty of the Ward of Bridge to Thomas Catworth, the Mayor, and the Aldermen, for one of them to be elected by the said Mayor and Aldermen as Alderman of the said Ward, (fn. 18) viz., Robert Horne and three others [not named]. But because none of them appeared to be sufficient for that office and able to undertake its burdens, in the opinion of the said Mayor and Aldermen, the nomination was rejected according to the ancient custom of the City, and it was agreed that the said Commonalty of the Ward should proceed to another nomination within fifteen days.
Afterwards, viz., on Monday, 27 July, four other persons were nominated, viz., Robert Horne, Philip Malpas, John Lynge, and Thomas Barry, of whom Robert Horne was elected Alderman of the Ward, and on the morrow was sworn and admitted according to ancient custom.
Friday, 10 July, 22 Henry VI. [A.D. 1444], ordinance by the Common Council that the Wardens of the mistery of "Peautrers" shall have a fourth part of all the tin brought for sale to the City at the current price.
Folio 219 b.
Wednesday, 22 July, 22 Henry VI. [A.D. 1444], a petition to the Common Council that the Wardens of the Mistery of "Peautrers" may have power to search and assay all tin melted in the City and the franchise thereof. (fn. 19)
7 Aug., 22 Henry VI. [A.D. 1444], came Thomas, son of John Denley, late saddler, before Thomas Catworth, the Mayor, and the Aldermen, in the Chamber of the Guildhall, and showed that whereas he had been admitted into the freedom of the City in the Mistery of Saddlers, temp. William Estfeld, Mayor, and John Chichele, Chamberlain, viz., on the 15th May, 16 Henry VI. [A.D. 1438], he had long been of the community of the principal and chief clerks of the parish and collegiate churches of the City. He prayed, therefore, to be admitted to the freedom of the City in the said office and community. His prayer granted.
The same day Thomas Hatfeld, of co. Essex, a text-writer, prayed to be admitted into the freedom of the City in the office and community of the principal and chief clerks of the parish and collegiate churches, &c. His prayer granted.
31 July, 22 Henry VI. [A.D. 1444], four persons nominated by the Commonalty of the Ward of Bredstret to Thomas Catworth, the Mayor, and the Aldermen, for one of them to be elected Alderman of the said Ward, viz., Stephen Forster, William Dere, Thomas Beaumond, and William Chapman, of whom Stephen Forster was elected Alderman of the Ward, and on Wednesday, the 4th Aug., he was sworn and admitted according to the ancient custom of the City.
10 June, 22 Henry VI. [A.D. 1444], came Robert, son of John Higham, late draper, before Thomas Catworth, the Mayor, and the Aldermen, in the Chamber of the Guildhall, and acknowledged satisfaction for his patrimony, which had been brought into Court by John Langley, mercer, and Thomas Clerke, writer of the court-letter, his father's executors, and which he had now received from John Chichele, the Chamberlain.
27 Aug., 22 Henry VI. [A.D. 1444], came Isabella, widow of Nicholas Egremond, late "peautrer," Ralph Stokes and Thomas Shrubbe, grocers, Peter Alfold and William Bere, mercers, into the Court of the lord the King in the Chamber of the Guildhall, and entered into bond with John Chichele, the Chamberlain, in the sum of £30.
The same day the guardianship of John, William, John junior, and Margaret, children of the above Nicholas Egremond, together with the sum of £30, their patrimony, committed by Thomas Catworth, the Mayor, the Aldermen, and the Chamberlain to the above Isabella their mother, on her finding security as above.
Folio 220 b.
Writ to the Mayor and Sheriffs bidding them to take steps for keeping the bank of the river and the streets and lanes of the City free from dirt and rubbish, as formerly they used to be kept. Witness the King at Westminster, 1 Aug., 22 Henry VI. [A.D. 1444].
Indenture of lease by John Chichele, the Chamberlain, with the assent of John Hathirle, the Mayor, and the Aldermen, to Richard Sturgeon, Clerk of the Crown of the lord the King, of a parcel of the common land in Westsmythfeld, as set out by metes and bounds; to hold the same for a term of sixty-six years, at an annual rent of a red rose at Midsummer. Dated 6 Oct., 1443.
"Please it you souveraigne lord to considre that þof [sic] it be so that diverse persounes nat welle enfourmede objecte by motives disclosed unto youre highnesse that your high grace late graunted unto youre Chambre and Citee of London shoulde be prejudiciall unto the good publique of youre Shire of Surre it may please unto your moost abundant grace tassigne certein notable persounes to whom that the Counseille of youre said Citee may shewe theire reasons and replicacions in that partie the whiche shewed unto youre highnesse shalle sufficeantly answere and contente every persoune reasonable so as they shalle by reason conceyve that youre said grace oweth to be gret pleasire to godde and you profitable unto youre said Citee and also the good publique of youre said Shire of Surre and nothinge unto youre trewe liege people of the said Shire hurt nor prejudiciall." (fn. 20)
Much controversy having arisen as to tenants' rights to fixtures, according to the most ancient custom of the City, it is declared by the Mayor and Aldermen, after consulting the records and judgments of the City, that as to easements affixed to the houses, &c., by tenants without special licence from the landlord, if they be affixed by nails of iron, or wood, or with mortar, or if plants throw out roots, branches, &c., they shall not be removed by tenants at the end of their term, but shall always remain with the landlord. [No date.]
11 June, 23 Henry VI. [A.D. 1445], letters patent dated 4 May, 19 Henry VI. [A.D. 1441], having been received by Henry Frowyk, the Mayor, and the Aldermen, to the effect that William Straunxhille, skinner, should be discharged from serving on juries, &c., the said Mayor and Aldermen decree accordingly.