Analytical Index to the Series of Records Known as the Remembrancia 1579-1664. Originally published by EJ Francis, London, 1878.
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I. 35. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Treasurer
(Burghley), suggesting that, on account of the Plague raging in
Lisbon, he should be empowered to take precautions, upon the arrival
of ships from that port, to prevent the infection from spreading in
7th June, 1580.
I. 36. Letter from William Lord Burghley to the Lord Mayor, in reply, authorizing him, in concurrence with the officers of the port, to take measures to prevent the lodging of merchants or mariners in the City or suburbs, or the discharge of goods from ships, until they had had some time for airing, and in the mean time to provide proper necessaries on board ships detained. Also suggesting a conference with the officers of the port, touching orders to be taken for preserving the City from infection during the vacation time.
I. 38. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Mayor and Jurats of
Rye, stating that, on account of the Plague raging there, he had
received the commands of Her Majesty's Council for staying of
persons, ships, and merchandise from being brought to this City, till
convenient time for airing them had been allowed, and requesting
them to charge the inhabitants of that town, while the infection
continued, to forbear from resorting to the City, or sending goods by
sea or land of such a nature as might carry infection.
21st June, 1580.
I. 39. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor,
informing him of the arrival of a ship in the Thames, from Lisbon,
and requesting him to assist the officers of the Port of London in
preventing the said ship and mariners from coming near the City, and
in limiting them to a certain place, until the merchandise should have
been opened and sufficiently aired; and further to prevent any ships
coming from foreign parts, where suspicion of the infection existed,
or from Plymouth, from landing any merchandise, until proper precautions had been taken.
Nonsuch, 20th June, 1580.
I. 40. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Treasurer,
acknowledging the special and earnest commandment received from
Her Majesty for the preserving of the City from infection, and
reporting the steps taken therein; also requesting the aid of the
Council for the redress of such things as were found dangerous in
spreading the infection and otherwise drawing God's wrath and plague
upon the City, such as the erecting and frequenting of infamous
houses out of the liberties and jurisdiction of the City,—the
drawing of the people from the service of God and honest exercises,
to unchaste plays,—and the increase of the number of people.
17th June, 1580.
I. 221. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor
and to the Justices of the Peace and other Her Majesty's officers in the
County of Middlesex and liberties adjoining the City, stating that
information had been given to the Council of the increase of the
Plague and other contagious diseases, and directing them to give
order that no plays or interludes should be played within the City or
liberties until the end of September, or until further order.
10th July, 1581.
I. 265. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor and Aldermen. Her Majesty had been informed that the
Plague had of late increased very much in the City and liberties
adjoining, through the City not properly carrying into practice the
orders passed with respect to infected persons and houses. The
Queen had been forced, not only to remove further off, but also to
adjourn the term, and unless the cause were reformed with all
diligence, the term would be holden in some other place. They
request to be certified of the steps taken for executing these orders,
and also what answer the City had to give to their previous letter
concerning the building of new tenements contrary to Her Majesty's
21st September, 1581.
I. 267. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council,
in reply, assuring them that every precaution had been taken, and
special officers appointed. With regard to the Proclamation touching
new buildings, precepts had been issued, and upon their return, indictments would be preferred and certificates made to the Star Chamber,
as directed by their letter.
22nd September, 1581.
I. 306. Letter from the Lord Mayor to Sir Francis Walsingham,
informing him that the family of one Rowland Winter, dwelling near
Fleet Bridge, artificer in cutting leather, in making jerkins, shoes, &c.,
had been lately visited by the Plague. The house had been shut up,
and he had been restrained from going out. Having been informed
that he had access to the Court, for the service of his faculty in the
things of his art, both for Her Majesty and others of her household,
the Lord Mayor requested that steps might be taken to prevent the
peril which would grow from his attendance thereat.
22nd March, 1581.
I. 331. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council,
informing them that, in conjunction with the Aldermen, he had taken
steps for the stay of infection within the City. To this end it had
been thought good to restrain the burials in St. Paul's churchyard,
which had been so many, and, by reason of former burials, so shallow,
that scarcely any graves could be made without corpses being laid
open. Some parishes had turned their churchyards into small tenements, and had buried in St. Paul's churchyard. It had been
determined to restrain from burial there all parishes having churchyards of their own. To this end the number of parishes to be allowed
to use the ground had been reduced from twenty-three to thirteen.
The restrained parishes were to use the new burial place provided by
Alderman Sir Thomas Rowe, (fn. 1) until they could conveniently build or
purchase others. The City desired the Council to issue directions to
the authorities of the Cathedral accordingly, the order not being
intended to prevent any person of honour or worship being buried
there, but only the pestering of the churchyard with whole parishes.
3rd April, 1582.
I. 343. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Dean and
Chapter of St. Paul's, reciting the letter received from the Lord Mayor
with reference to the burials in St. Paul's Churchyard. The Council,
before they issued the order suggested, were desirous of ascertaining
their opinion in the matter, and required them, if they knew of any
lawful and reasonable cause why such order should not be put into
execution, to signify the same at once to the Council.
15th May, 1582.
I. 394. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor
and Aldermen, informing them that, by certificate, it appeared the
number of the dead within the City during the last week had greatly
increased, partly by negligence in not keeping the streets and other
places about the City clean, and partly through not shutting up of
the houses where the sickness had been found, and setting marks upon
the doors; but principally through not observing orders for prevention
of the infection heretofore sent to them by the Council. Seeing that
neither the fear of the putting off the term, nor the absence of Her
Majesty and her train, caused them to have had better regard to their
duty, Her Majesty had directed the Council, in her name, expressly to
command them to see the former Orders of her Council forthwith
put in execution.
From the Court at Oatlands, 1st Sept. 1582.
I. 395. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council,
in reply. Every care had been taken to carry into execution the
Council's orders; the streets had been cleansed every second day; the
parish clerks had been appointed to see to the shutting up of infected.
houses, and putting papers upon the doors. He had also appointed
some of his own officers to go up and down the City, to view and
inform him whether it had been done. At the last Court day before
the receipt of the Council's letter, new precepts had been sent to the
Alderman and Deputy of every Ward, directing them to see the
orders earnestly carried into effect.
1st September, 1582.
I. 409. Letter from the Mayor and three of the Aldermen of
Oxford, to the Lord Mayor, informing him that they would shortly
hold in Oxon their fair, called "Firdeswide Fair," whereunto it had
been the custom of divers of the citizens to repair with their wares
and merchandise. On account of the sickness within the City of
London, they desired him to restrain all citizens in whose houses and
families there were any manifest tokens of infection from going to
the fair, and to direct that all citizens who should decide upon going
or sending their merchandise should first obtain a certificate from
8th October, 1582.
I. 410 . Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor
and Aldermen, informing them that, by order of Her Majesty, the
term had been appointed to be held at Hertford. The Queen had
expressly commanded that the Lord Mayor should, with all expedition, publicly prohibit any merchant, victualler, retailer, or other
person within the City, whose houses either had been or then were
touched with the infection, from resorting or sending into the towns of
Hertford, Ware, Hodston, Stanstead, or other places near to Hertford,
any kind of merchandise, stuff, bedding, victual, or such like, upon
pain of imprisonment, Her Majesty's high displeasure, and disfranchisement.
15th October, 1582.
A Postscript requires that directions shall be given to such of the citizens as might be clear of the infection, and who should desire to resort or send merchandise or victual, &c., to Hertford and places thereabout, not to go without the testimony of the Alderman of the Ward or his Deputy.
I. 430. Letter from the William Lord Burghley to the Lord Mayor,
requesting that at the same time he forwarded the certificate to
the Court, he would send to him an account of the increase or
diminishing of the sickness from the infection in the City, with the
number of christenings.
Hertford Castle, 27th November, 1582.
I. 431. Letter from the Lord Mayor to William Lord Burghley,
Lord Treasurer, in reply, forwarding to him an account of the increase
of the sickness within the City's jurisdiction since the beginning of
the year, and promising to continue it weekly.
6th December, 1582.
I. 447. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor,
informing him of Her Majesty's intention shortly to repair to her
Manor of Richmond, as well as to hold the term in London, and of
the probability of a large number of people resorting to the City and
liberties; and requiring him to cause a diligent search to be made,
as to what inns, ale or victualling houses appointed for the tabling and
receipt of people had been within the last two months infected with
the plague, and to cause a catalogue thereof to be made and printed
in one general bill, to be set up in known and accustomed places of
the City or liberties where proclamations were wont to be set up, that
thereby such as might have occasion to repair to the City should be
forewarned to avoid the same.
6th January, 1582.
I. 454. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council,
in reply. He had caused inquiries to be made of all victualling houses,
and other places mentioned, which had been infected during the space
of two months last past. A catalogue had been made, with the names
of the dwellers in such houses, and a description of the places, which
had been prepared for printing, and to be set up as proclamations.
The form of the catalogue he sent for their approval. Should they
desire it, he would have them printed like a pamphlet, for every one
that liked to buy and keep a copy for this instruction. If they
thought good, a weekly addition could be made to it.
11th January, 1582.
I. 455. Letter from William Lord Burghley and Sir Francis
Walsingham to the Lord Mayor, acknowledging the receipt of the
foregoing letter. They had received a like catalogue of infected
houses in Westminster, prepared by the Bailiff of that City, which
had been misliked, and so returned. They were of opinion that the
catalogue prepared by his lordship was somewhat too long. They
desired him to send for the Bailiff of Westminster, and cause him to
confer with Mr. Norton, and see how a shorter catalogue might be
made to be published, which, when agreed to, should be sent for their
13th January, 1582.
I. 456 . Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Treasurer, in
reply. Mr. Norton had prepared a catalogue that might be brought
into less than one side of a sheet of paper, to be fixed in convenient
places. He recommended that all the houses in Fleet Street and the
streets and lanes adjoining, as also without Temple Bar, used for
lodgings, victualling, or let out as chambers in term time, should be
noted if they had been infected within the space of two months. A
great mishap had happened at Paris Gardens, by the fall of a scaffold,
whereby a great number of people were hurt, and some killed. (fn. 2) This
he attributed to the hand of God, on account of the abuse of the
Sabbath-day; and he requested the Lord Treasurer to give order
for the redress of such contempt of God's service.
18th January, 1582.
I. 458–459 . Letter from the Lord Treasurer to the Lord
Mayor, acknowledging the receipt of his letters of the 14th and 15th
instant, and returning the calendar of names of houses infected, compiled by Mr. Norton, in order that steps might be taken to increase
its brevity, and add the names of the houses at the bars at Holborn,
and then to have it fixed up in the places named. The officers of
Westminster should be communicated with, in order that they might
use the same from of certificate, and include the houses or chambers
let out for lodgings in the streets and lanes leading to Westminster.
With reference to the disaster at Paris Gardens, he would bring the
matter before the Council, and get some general order passed prohabiting such exhibitions. In the mean time he recommended the
Lord Mayor, with the advice of the Aldermen, to issue a general
order to every Ward, for the prevention of such profane assemblies
on the Sabbath-day. With regard to the high price and scarcity of
grain, he would issue orders to the several ports to prevent its transportation, and he desired the Lord Mayor to prevent its shipment out
of the port of London.
15th January, 1582.
I. 497. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor, Aldermen, &c. The infection had much increased, and
the Council were moved again to press upon them the commands
of Her Majesty, that they should see that all infected houses were
shut up, and provision made to feed and maintain the sick persons
therein, and for preventing their going abroad; that all infected
houses were marked, the streets thoroughly cleansed, and a sufficient
number of discreet persons appointed to see the same done. They
desired to express Her Majesty's surprise that no house or hospital
had been built without the City, in some remote place, to which the
infected people might be removed, although other cities of less
antiquity, fame, wealth, and reputation had provided themselves with
such places, whereby the lives of the inhabitants had been in all times
of infection chiefly preserved. They had been informed that divers
chandlers and others were suffered to keep in their houses a great
quantity of gunpowder, to the danger of the whole City. Inquisition
should be made of all that sold gunpowder, either in gross or retail;
those who kept a large quantity should be forthwith required to
remove it into places near the fields, where it might be free from the
danger of fire.
21st April, 1583.
I. 538. Letter from the Lord Mayor to Sir Francis Walsingham,
Knight. For the stay of the plague, the Court of Aldermen had
published certain orders, which they intended to execute with diligence.
Among other great inconveniences were the assemblies of people to
plays, bear-baiting, (fn. 3), fencers, and profane spectacles at the Theatre
and Curtain and other like places, to which great multitudes of the
worst sort of people resorted. Being beyond the jurisdiction of the
City, the restraints in the City were useless, unless like orders were
carried out in the places adjoining. He therefore requested the
matter might be brought to the notice of the Council, that some steps
might be taken to redress the danger.
3rd May, 1583.
II. 275. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council,
acknowledging a letter from their Lordships, and informing them of
the steps taken to preserve the City from the spread of the infection,
and reciting that the following additional order had been passed:
"That every infected house should be warded and kept with two
sufficient watchmen, suffering no persons to go more out of the said
house, nor no searcher to go abroad without a Redd Roade in their
hand," and that a Marshal and two assistants had been appointed to
keep the beggars out of the City.
II. 283. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Chamberlain,
informing him of the increase of the plague in the skirts and confines
of the City, which was likely to spread through the great heat of the
season; and requesting that all stage plays might be interdicted, and
that the justices of Middlesex might be directed to put into
execution such ordinances in Whitechapel, Shoreditch, and Clerkenwell, and other remote parts, as they should be advised for the stay
12th April, 1607.
IV. 87. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor
and Court of Aldermen, stating that the plague was prevalent and
increasing in the Netherlands; recommending to their consideration
the peril to the City, by means of its continual trade and commerce
with that country, and requesting them to advise, with as much expedition as possible, upon some course to be offered to the King and
Council for the safety and preservation of the City.
30th September, 1617.
IV. 88. Order of the Star Chamber, reciting that, upon a paper
delivered to the Board from the Lord Mayor and Aldermen, containing
some overtures for the preservation of the City from the infection of
the plague, it had been ordered that Lord Zouch, Mr. Secretary Lake,
and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, (fn. 4) calling such Aldermen before
them as they should think proper, should consider and report to the
Board what steps should be taken for the safety of the City, without
inconveneince to trade.
10th October, 1617
VI. 57. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor and Court of Aldermen. They understood the plague was
daily increasing in the City, but they could not hear that any good
course had been taken for preventing it by carrying infected persons
to the pest-house, or setting watch upon them, or burning the stuff
of the deceased. They therefore required them, in His Majesty's
name, to take the strictest course usual in such cases.
Whitehall, 25th March, 1625.
VI. 62. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor
and Court of Aldermen. On account of the great infection and other
extraordinary occasions for his service, not only was His Majesty
absent from the City, but the Council were forced to disperse themselves more than at any other time was usual. They should be very
careful not to abandon the government of the City committed to
their charge, and to continue and increase all usual means for
repressing the contagion, and further be very vigilant on all other
emergent accidents concerning the Government, and give speedy
redress, informing one of His Majesty's principal Secretaries, or such
of the Privy Council as were nearest at hand, of their proceedings.
Windsor, 20th July, 1625.
VI. 63. Letter of the Lord Mayor, in reply. He had used all
possible diligence for preventing the spread of the infection; and the
Council might perceive by the Bills (of Mortality), (fn. 5) that within the
walls of the City and the liberties it had not hitherto raged so much
as in the skirts of the City, where the parishes spread into other
Counties, and the multitude of inmates was without measure. Of
this he prayed the Council to take especial notice, that, either by Act
of Parliament or Order in Council, the same might be reformed. For
himself, as he had not hitherto been wanting in the personal execution
of his duty, without respect of the danger, so he should (by God's
assistance) persevere in such manner as to be able to render a good
account of his diligence in the duties of his office.
VI. 64. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council,
referring them to orders issued in the County of Essex, and about to
be issued in other Countries. However reasonable the restraint of
carriers and men dealing with wares might appear, yet to forbid the
resort of higglers, and consequently of all others serving the City
with victuals, was a matter worthy of their consideration; for if the
City should be by public authority restrained of victuals, it was to be
feared it would not be in the power of himself, or the few Magistrates
who remained, to restrain the violence hunger might enforce.
VI. 191. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor, stating that they were informed there was much contagious
and pestilent sickness in Holland, especially in Amsterdam, and also
in France, particularly in Rochelle and the port towns in Bretaigne.
It had already been brought by a merchant ship into the Isle of Scilly,
and several of the garrison had died in consequence, whilst others
were infected. They had received the King's commands to send
speedy directions to all the report towns to use all possible care to
prevent so great an approaching mischief. They therefore required
him not to suffer any persons or goods to be landed in the port of
London until it had been ascertained that the places from which they
came were free from infection, and to prevent persons from going on
board such vessels until the goods had been aired, and so many days
had passed after their arrival as would give hope they were free from
Whitehall, 25th October, 1629.
VII. 15. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor and Court of Aldermen. They had been informed there
were divers houses infected with the plague in the parishes of St.
Giles-in-the-Fields, Shoreditch, and Whitechapel, and other places
near the City; and required all infected houses to be shut up, and
watchmen set at the doors as usual. Care should be taken that
persons infected or shut up, and those attending them, should be
relieved out of the parishes by contribution. For their better direction, a book, heretofore printed and published, containing instructions
given by the Board, which should be carefully observed, was to be
Whitehall, 12th March, 1629.
VII. 18. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor and Court of Aldermen. Upon further deliberation, they
thought it better that all infected houses should be voided and
shut up, and the inmates sent to the pest-house. As the multitude of
poor Irish, and other vagabond persons with which all parts about
the City were pestered, must necessarily cause great danger of
spreading the contagion, present order should be taken according to
law, for freeing the City and liberties from such persons. They should
likewise see the streets kept sweet and clean, and the ditches in the
suburbs within the liberties thoroughly cleansed, and command
the Commissioners of Sewers and the Scavengers, respectively, to
perform their duty. The Council were also informed that the number
of inmates and ale-houses was excessive. They, therefore, required
that the laws for remedy thereof should be strictly put in execution.
His Majesty was pleased that the College of Physicians should meet
and confer upon some fit course for preventing the infection.
Whitehall, 18th March, 1629.
(This entry contains a detailed and graphic description of the
mode of government of the Hospitals of St. Louis and St. Marcel, in
the suburbs of Paris, for receiving, nourishing, keeping, and dressing
of all infected with the plague, which Hospitals are stated to have
depended upon and been governed and directed by the Governors
of the Great Hospital of Paris.)
VII. 25. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor. They had been informed there came from the City, to a poor
woman's house in Whitechapel, one who died there of the plague;
from which it was supposed that the house whence the person came
was infected, and the sickness there concealed. They therefore
required the Lord Mayor to cause search to be made, and to certify
with speed to the Council from what house such person departed.
Whitehall, 9th April, 1630.
VII. 26. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor, complaining that their former directions for the prevention of
the spread of the infection were not observed, and requiring that all
infected houses shut up (unless the inmates could be removed) should
have guards set at the door, and a red cross, or "Lord, have mercy
upon us!" set on the door, that passers-by might have notice.
Whitehall, 10th April, 1630.
VII. 27. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor. They understood from his certificate, and that of the
Justices of the peace about Whitechapel, that the house of John
Thomas, a butcher in Whitechapel, was infected, and that he had a
boy sick therein, having plague-tokens (fn. 6) upon him, whom he had sent
out to find a lodging; the boy had been harboured at a widow's house,
and died there the same night. In order, therefore, that others might
take example by the ill carriage of Thomas, they required that he
and his wife and children should forthwith be sent to the pest-house.
The Council were further informed that a house in Cree Church
Parish was infected, and that the inhabitants had gone away; and they
required the Lord Mayor to ascertain and certify to what place they
11th April, 1630.
VII. 28. Order of the Lords of the Council, directing the Lord
Mayor and the Justices of the Peace of Middlesex and Surrey, on
account of the danger of spreading the sickness, to prohibit and
suppress all meetings and stage plays, bear-baitings, tumbling, ropedancing, shows, &c., in houses, and all other meetings whatsoever for
pastime, and all assemblies of the inhabitants of several counties at
the common halls of London, pretended for continuance of acquaintance, and all extraordinary assemblies of people at taverns or
Dated in margin, 14th April, 1630.
VII. 30. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor. They were informed that a sick person had been removed
from an infected house in Lothbury, to a Garden-house in Finsbury
Fields, and they required him to cause the said person to be
forthwith removed to the Pest-house, and the house in Lothbury to
be shut up. No infected persons should be permitted to be removed
to any Garden-house or other place but to the Pest-house, or such
common place as was provided for infected persons, and upon which
a watch and guard were kept, and the doors shut up, and a "Lord,
have mercy upon us!" set thereon. If any were disobedient, they
were to be committed; and if the disobedience was great, the Council
should be advertised thereof. He should also forthwith cause the
statute made in the beginning of the reign of King James, for
preventing the increase of the infection, (fn. 7) to be printed, and copies to
be given to all inferior officers of the City, and set on such pillars or
places as would make the same most public.
Whitehall, 16th April, 1630.
VII. 31. Letter from Secretary (Sir) John Cooke to the Lord
Mayor. He was informed that in Barnes, where two houses were
visited with the pestilence, a child or two were dead out of the
house of a Mr. Hilliard, and Mr. Eaton, his son-in-law, who lived
there together; that Mr. Eaton had brought some of his children
from the house into the City; and that both Mr. Hilliard and Mr.
Eaton, who were merchants, had shown themselves on the Exchange.
Dated in margin, 19th April, 1630.
VII. 33. Order of the Lords of the Council for the suppression of all assemblies at prizes by fencers, cock-fights, bull-baitings, and in close bowling-alleys not mentioned, but intended, by the order of the 14th instant, to be suppressed. Dated in margin, 23rd April, 1630.
VII. 35. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor. The King had been informed of the great and dangerous
increase of the sickness in Greenwich; and the Council required the
Lord Mayor to use all fitting means to stop and cut off all intercourse
and passage of people (fn. 8) between that town and the City.
Whitehall, 30th April, 1630.
VII. 36. Letter from Nicholas Spicer, Mayor of Exeter, to Mr.
John Goodwyne, informing him that the Common Council of that
city had prohibited all Londoners and others, of any infected places,
from bringing or sending their wares or merchandise to Exeter at the
ensuing fair, and had ordered that no persons should be admitted,
unless they brought testimonials of the health of the places from
which they came; and requesting him to make this known to his
neighbours who usually repaired to Exeter from London.
Exeter, 23rd April, 1630.
VII. 37. Order of the Lords of the Council, reciting the foregoing
letter; and directing that, as the sickness in London was decreasing,
and was not nearly so bad as was reported at Exeter, merchants and
others from London might sell and trade at Exeter fair, if they
brought a certificate from the Lord Mayor that they came from
houses not infected. The Council commended the care of the Mayor
and magistrates of Exeter, but they thought it not fit that any
absolute prohibition of trade with that city should be made, on
account of the sickness, until they were made acquainted therewith,
and had approved thereof.
30th April, 1630.
VII. 38. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor, stating that they were informed the infection was daily
increasing in the town of Cambridge; and requiring him to give
orders that no waggons, carts, merchandise, or passengers therefrom
should be permitted to enter the City, until it should please God to
cease the sickness there, or until he should receive other directions
from the Council thereon.
Whitehall, 17th May, 1630.
VII. 39. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor. They were informed that, notwithstanding the strict directions which had been given for the forbidding of all intercourse
between those that were infected and others that were sound, yet
sound persons resorted to infected houses and places which had
been forbidden by the printed book lately published by the King's
authority. They required the Lord Mayor to direct the Aldermen in
their several Wards to see this abuse reformed with all speed, and to
cause offenders to be either forthwith shut up in their own houses or
sent to the Pest-house, and also to take special care that watchmen
were placed at all infected houses.
Whitehall, 18th May, 1630.
VII. 49. Letter from the Lord Keeper Coventry to the Lord
Mayor, as to the necessity for keeping clean and sweet the streets and
lanes of the City, and parts adjoining, during the infection; and
forwarding writs, copies of which had also been sent into Westminster,
Middlesex, the Borough of Southwark, and Surrey, commanding a
more due execution of the laws in that behalf.
Canbury, 20th October, 1630.
2. As to abstinence from flesh on fish-days. They had commenced their search, and committed offenders to prison; and had appointed some fishmongers to search, who, for their own interest, would give them best notice. They had also returned some of the forfeited bonds to the Exchequer.
3. As to the River Thames. The Water Bailiff had taken up all
stops, and drawn all the stakes. The Petermen, (fn. 9) who destroyed the
fry, had promised to forbear their unlawful assemblies and fishing;
and the Court would see that they acted accordingly.
Dated in margin, 25th November, 1630.
VII. 59. Further report from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of
the Council, of his proceedings for the prevention of sickness, for the
reduction of the price of victuals, and for the removal of stops and
stakes from the River Thames.
Dated in margin, 23rd December, 1630.
VII. 60. Letter from the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen
to the Lords of the Council, reporting their proceedings under the
Order of the Council of the 24th October last, with reference to the
plague. It recites, inter alia, that ancient women, reputed to be both
honest and skilful, had been appointed for visited houses, who
appeared by certificate to have carefully discharged their duties; that
infected houses had been shut up, the usual marks set upon them, and
strict watches appointed so that none went abroad; that persons who
had died of the infection were buried late at night; that people
who would have followed them had been sent away by threatening
and otherwise; and that very few or none went with the bodies, but
those appointed for the purpose. Some persons had been punished
for removing the inscriptions set on infected houses, and others had
been bound over to the sessions, to be proceeded against according to
Dated in margin, December, 1630.
VII. 64. Further letter from the same to the same, as to their proceedings with respect to the Thames, the plague, &c. As to the
restraint of cating, &c., flesh on fish-days and the Eves, by the punishment of some offenders, it had been so well restrained, that few delinquents were found. The Council had desired to be informed of the
quantity of bread corn weekly spent within the City and liberties, and
they found, by certificate of the bakers, it was 1,550 quarters weekly;
that, by estimate, about 1,000 more were weekly spent in the City of
Westminster, the towns of Ratcliff, Limehouse, Wapping, and the
adjacent parts, and by the French and Dutch bakers who bought in
the City markets. The whole by the year, by the calculation for the
City, suburbs, and adjacent parts, would amount to between 130,000
and 140,000 quarters.
Dated in margin, May, 1631.
VII. 157. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor, stating that they were informed divers towns and places in
France and the Low Countries were visited with the plague; and
requesting him to advise as to the best means of preventing its
importation, and to see that his orders were carefully executed.
Whitehall, 10th October, 1635.
VII. 158. Answer of the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen,
recommending the issue of a Proclamation prohibiting the landing,
from vessels coming from infected places, of persons, goods, merchandise, or apparel, without licence from the Customs, and until after the
lape of certain days; and that for that purpose waiters or guardians
should be put on board vessels by the officers of the Customs.
Dated in margin, 15th October, 1635.
VII. 162. Petition of the wholesale tradesmen of London frequenting the two annual fairs at Bristol, to the Lords of the Council,
stating that, on the 25th January inst., one of the usual fairs would
be held at Bristol; that it had pleased God, by reason of the late
infection (now very much abated), to send a great calamity on the
inhabitants of the City of London, which had caused almost a general
cessation of trade for six months; that the Petitioners had the chief
part of their estates owing them by Chapmen, who met nowhere else
but at Bristol, to be furnished with new credit, and pay their old debts.
They therefore prayed that, upon their bringing certificates from the
Lord Mayor, that none of their families were or had been this year
infected of the plague, they might be permitted to have access
with their goods and servants, as formerly, without restraint from the
officers or inhabitants of the City of Bristol.
VII. 176. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor and Court of Aldermen, upon the apprehended increase of the
plague, requiring them to meet the Justices of Middlesex, Surrey, and
Westminster, once or twice a week, and advise with them as to the
courses taken upon former like occasions, and as to the best means to
be now taken.
7th April, 1636.
VII. 177. Order in Council for the levying of rates in Middlesex
and Surrey, for the erection of Pest-houses and other places of abode
for infected persons; also directing the Justices of the Peace for
Middlesex to join with the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen in
making additional orders, to be printed, for preventing the increase of
the infection, and authorizing them to make such further orders
thereon as they should think fit; also directing the Churchwardens,
Overseers, and Constables of every Parish to provide themselves with
books for their directions, and requiring the Physicians of the City to
renew the former book touching medicines against infection, and to
add to and alter the same, and to cause it to be forthwith printed. (fn. 10)
22nd April, 1636.
VII. 180. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor, complaining that the Red Cross and the inscription "Lord,
have mercy upon us", were placed so high, and in such obsure places,
upon infected houses, as to be hardly discernible; and that they were
so negliently looked to that few or none had watchmen at the doors,
and that persons had been seen sitting at the doors of such houses.
The crosses and inscriptions should be put in the most conspicous
places, the houses strictly watched, and none permitted to go out
or in, or sit at the doors. Such as wilfully did so should be shut
up with the rest of the infected persons. Officers who had failed
in their duties should be committed to Newgate as an example to
11th May, 1636.
VII. 186. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor and Aldermen, upon the decrease of the plague, and requiring
them to take effectual order that all houses infected this summer,
and the goods therein, were aired, cleansed, and purified.
9th December, 1636.
VIII. 65. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor and Court of Aldermen, requesting them to have infected
houses cleansed and secured from future contagion, and specially the
household stuffs and bedding therein, the using of diligence wherein
might encourage His Majesty to approach sooner to the City, and
give confidence to all to repair thither.
4th December, 1625.
VIII. 180. Letter from the Mayor and Commonalty of New
Sarum to the Lord Mayor, expressing their gratitude for the assistance
rendered by the City of London to the poor there when that city was
afflicted with the pestilence; and forwarding 52l., collected by them
for the relief of the poor infected in the City of London.
4th October, 1636.
VIII. 183. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor with respect to the money collected for the relief of the poor
and visited people in the Cities of London and Westminster and the
suburbs, which had been entrusted to him for distribution in all those
places, though out of his jurisdiction— requiring him, having regard
to the long continuance of the plague, which must have very much
impoverished the poor, whether infected or not, to extend his care to
13th November, 1636.
VIII. 184. Letter from the King to the Lord Mayor, expressing
His Majesty's anxiety at the sudden increase of the plague, which he
believed had arisen from want of care, especially by the streets being
pestered with beggars, rogues, wanderers, and dissolute persons, many of
of whom probably came from infected places, and with plague sores
about them; and forwarding further instructions for the guidance of
the Lord Mayor and the Justices of the Peace of Middlesex, Surrey,
29th December, 1636.
VIII. 207. Letter from the Aldermen and Burgesses of Bury
Saint Edmunds to the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen and the
several Companies of the City, expressing their thanks for their contributions for the relief of the poor afficted with the plague there.
23rd April, 1638.
VIII. 218. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor and Aldermen with respect to the recent spreading of the
plague, and requesting them to revive the execution of former
orders sent in the time of the late infection.
31st July, 1639.
IX. 69. Letter from Secretary William Morrice to the Lord
Mayor. The King had taken notice that the plague had broken
out in some neighbouring countries, and desired to be informed what
course had been taken and means used in like cases heretofore to
prevent the conveying and spread of the infection in the City.
18th October, 1663.
IX. 70. Letter of the Lord Mayor in reply. He had caused
search to be made, and had found many directions and means used
to obviate the spreading of the infection at home, but no remembrance
of what course had been taken to prevent its importation from foreign
parts; the plague of 1625 was brought from Holland. The Court
of Aldermen advised that, after the custom of other countries, vessels
coming from infected parts should not be permitted to come nearer
than Gravesend, or such like distance, where repositories, after the
manner of lazarettos, should be appointed, into which the ships might
discharge their cargoes to be aired for forty days.
22nd October, 1663.
IX. 73. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor and Aldermen. The King had received notice that the
cities of Amsterdam and Hamburg were visited with the pestilence; he also acknowledged and approved the Lord Mayor's
proposal (70), but recommended that the lazaretto should not be
nearer than Tilbury Hope, and that all ships, English or foreign,
coming from infected ports, should be liable to be stopped and
unloaded if necessary. The Mayor and Aldermen should consult with
the Farmers of the Customs upon the subject.
23rd October, 1663.
2nd. That one or more of His Majesty's ships might be placed conveniently below the haven to examine every vessel, whether from infected places or not, and to see that if infected they came to the haven.
4th. On the arrival of any infected vessel, a list should be made of all persons on board, and, if any should die, the body should be searched before casting it overboard. At the end of forty days, if the surgeons reported the vessel free from contagion (all the apparel, goods, household stuff, bedding, &c., having been aired in the mean time on shore), it should be allowed to make free commerce.
In conclusion, they recommended, as a cheap and easy course, that
one of the King's ships should be anchored low down the river and
stop every vessel; if they found, by their papers, that they came
from any of the infected ports, they should be sent back to sea.
His Majesty should also issue a manifesto to his allies informing them
that no ships or vessels would be allowed to enter the Port of
London, unless they brought with them a certificate from the port
authorities whence they came.
IX. 92. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord
Mayor, informing him that the plague had broken out in the States
of the United Provinces, and directing steps to be taken to prevent
the infection from being brought into this country, either by passengers
or merchandise, and all ships to be placed in quarantine, according to
former orders, until the Farmers of the Customs gave their certificate.
27th June, 1664.