Appendix
Charter (Edward I to Edward IV)

Sponsor

Centre for Metropolitan History

Publication

Author

John Noorthouck

Year published

1773

Pages

784-799

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'Appendix: Charter (Edward I to Edward IV)', A New History of London: Including Westminster and Southwark (1773), pp. 784-799. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=46783 Date accessed: 03 September 2014.


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No. XXI. Charter of Confirmation of the City Privileges, by Edward I. [See p. 61.]

Permission to present the mayor to the constable of the Tower, in absence of the king and barons.

Whereas our said citizens, by the charters of our said progenitors, have been accustomed hitherto to present every mayor, whom they have chosen in the said city yearly, before the barons of the exchequer, (our progenitor or we not being at Westminster) that he may be admitted by the said barons as mayor for us, notwithstanding that, at the next coming of our progenitor or of us unto Westminster or London, he may be presented to our progenitors, or to us, and so admitted mayor. We, willing to shew more ample favour to the said citizens in that behalf, do grant to them, for us and our heirs; the mayor of the said city, when he shall be chosen by the said citizens, we, and our heirs, and our barons, not being at Westminster or at London, they may or shall be presented or admitted to and by the constable of our Tower of London yearly, in such sort as before they were wont to be presented and admitted; so as nevertheless, that, at the next coming of us or our heirs to Westminster or London, the said mayor be presented to us or our heirs, and admitted for mayor.

Citizens acquitted of pannage, pontage and murage. Sheriffs how to be amerced.

And also, we have granted for us and our heirs, to our said citizens, that they and their successors, citizens of the said city, be for ever quit and free of pannage, pontage and murage throughout all the realm, and all our dominions: and that the sheriffs of the said city, as often as it shall happen them to be amerced in our court for any offence, they shall be amerced according to the measure and quantity of the offence, as other the sheriffs of our said realm have been amerced for the like offence.

Citizens to enjoy their liberties and customs.

Wherefore we will, and straightly charge and command, for us and our heirs, that the said citizens and their successors have all the liberties, freedoms, quittals and free customs aforesaid, and them may or shall use according to our confirmation, renovation, and grants aforesaid, for ever; as by the aforesaid charter (amongst other things) more fully appeareth.

All which the king certified by the following brief to his officers of the exchequer:

Brief to the exchequer.; for admission of the mayor.

Edward, by the grace of God, &c. to his treasurers and barons of the exchequer, Greeting. Whereas, for the good service that our beloved citizens of London have hitherto done us, by our letters patents we have rendered and restored to the same our foresaid city, together with the mayoralty, all their liberties (which city, mayoralty and liberties we have long since caused to be taken in our hands) to be had and held to the same citizens, according to their will, as freely and intirely as they had and held them on the day of the said taking them away, as is contained more fully in our said letters: we command you, that ye permit the same citizens to use and enjoy the liberties which they have reasonably used on the day of the foresaid taking, before you in the exchequer beforesaid, according to the tenor of our foresaid letters.

Witness myself at York, the eight-and-twentieth day of May, in the six-and-twentieth year of our reign.

No. XXII. Constitutions for the regular Government of the City; granted by Edward II. [See p. 64.]

For the citizens of London, concerning new articles then made to be observed.

The king, to all whom, &c. greeting.

Articles of agreement for the composing differences in the city.

Know ye, that whereas our beloved and faithful the mayor and aldermen, and other citizens of our city of London, had lately ordained and appointed among themselves, for the bettering of the same city, and for the common benefit of such as dwell in that city, and resort to the same, certain things to be in the same city perpetually observed and had, instantly beseeched, that we would take care to accept and confirm the same.

We having seen certain letters, patentwise, signed with the common seal of that city, and the seal of the office of the mayoralty of that city, upon the premises, and to us exhibited, have caused certain articles to be chosen out of the foresaid letters, and caused them in some things to be corrected, as they are underneath inserted, viz.

Mayor to be elected annually.

1. That the mayor and sheriffs of the same city be elected by the citizens of the said city, according to the tenor of the charters of our progenitors, heretofore kings of England, made to them thence, and no otherwise.

2. That the mayor remain only one year together in his mayoralty.

3. That the sheriffs have but two clerks and two serjeants; and that they take such for which they will answer.

4. That the mayor have no other office belonging to the city, but the office of mayoralty; nor to draw to himself the sheriffs plea in the chamber of London, nor hold other pleas than those the mayor, according to antient custom, ought to hold.

Aldermen to be annually elected and not re-elected

5. That the aldermen be removed from year to year, on St. Gregory's day, and not re-elected; and others chosen by the same wards.

6. That tallages or aids henceforth to be assessed for the king's business, or for the state and benefit of the city, after they shall be assessed by the men of the wards elected and deputed for this, be not increased or heightened but by the common consent of the mayor and commonalty. And that the money coming from these tallages and aids be delivered into the custody of four honest men, commoners of the city, to be chosen by the commonalty, to be further delivered by the testimony of the said four men; so that they may inform the commonalty to what profit, and for what uses, those monies go.

Strangers how to be admitted.

7. That no stranger be admitted into the freedom of the city in the husting; and that no inhabitant, and especially English merchant, of some mystery or trade, be admitted into the freedom of the city, unless by surety of six honest and sufficient men of that mystery or trade he shall be of, who is so to be admitted into the freedom; which six men may undertake for him, of keeping the city indemnified in that behalf. And that the same form of surety be observed of strangers to be admitted into the freedom in the husting, if they be of any certain mystery or trade. And if they are not of some certain mystery, then that they be not admitted into the freedom, without the assent of the commonalty. And that they who have been taken into the freedom of the city (since we undertook the government of our realm) contrary to the forms prescribed; and they who have gone contrary to their oath in this behalf, or contrary to the state of the city, and are thereof lawfully convicted, lose the freedom of the said city.

Saving always, that concerning apprentices the antient manner and form of the said city be observed.

8. That each year in the same city, as often as need shall be, inquiry be made, if any of the freedom of the same city exercise merchandizes in the city, of the goods of others not of the same freedom, by calling those goods their own, contrary to their oath, and contrary to the freedom of the said city; and they that are lawfully convicted thereof, to lose the freedom of the said city.

Scot and lot to be paid by all freemen.

9. That all and every one being in the liberty of the said city, and that would enjoy the liberties and free customs of the said city, be in lot and scot, and partake of all burthens for maintaining the state of the said city, and the freedom thereof, according to the oath they have taken, when they were admitted into their freedom; and whoso will not, to lose his freedom.

Nonresident freemen to pay scot and lot for their goods.

10. And that all and every one, being of the freedom of the city, and living without the city, and that either by themselves, or by their servants, exercise their merchandizes within the city, be in lot and scot with the commoners of the said city, for their merchandizes, or else to be removed from their freedom.

Common seal how to be kept and used.

11. And that the common seal of the city remain in the custody of two aldermen and two others commoners, to be chosen for this purpose by the commoners; and that that seal be not denied, neither to poor nor rich commoners, when they shall need it; yet so that they reasonably prove the cause of their demand: and that for the putting to of the seal nothing be taken. And that the giving of judgments in the courts of the city, and especially after the verdicts of inquisition taken, in cases where inquisitions have been taken, be not deferred, unless difficulty intervene. And if difficulty intervene by reason of this, giving judgment shall not be put off beyond the third court.

Weights and scales.

12. That weights and scales of merchandizes to be weighed between merchants and merchants, the issues coming of which belong to the commonalty of the said city, remain in the custody of honest and sufficient men of the same city, expert in that office, and as yet to be chosen by the commonalty, to be kept at the will of the same commonalty; and that they be by no means committed to others than those so to be chosen.

Sheriffs deputies.

13. That the sheriffs for the time being commit toll, and other customs belonging to their farm, and other publick offices belonging to them, and to be exercised by others, to sufficient men, for whom they will answer, and not commit them to others. And if any deputed by the said sheriffs to any of the aforesaid offices, take undue custom, or carry himself otherwise in that office than he ought, and is thereupon convicted at the suit of the complainant, let him be removed from that office, and punished according to his demerits.

Non freemen not to sell by retail Brokers.

14. Merchants who are not of the freedom of the city, not to sell, by retail, wines or other wares, within the city or suburbs.

15. That there be no brokers hereafter in the city of any merchandizes, unless elected to this by merchants of the mysteries, in which the brokers themselves may have to exercise their offices; and at least of this to make oath before the mayor.

Non freemen to pay taxes.

16. That the common harbourers in the city and suburbs, although they are not of the freedom of the same, be partakers of the contingent burdens for maintaining the said city, according to the stateof it, as long as they shall be so common harbourers, as other like dwellers in the city and suburbs shall partake, on account of those dwellings. Saving always, that the merchants of Gascoign, and other foreigners, may, one with another, inhabit and be harboured in the said city, as hitherto they have accustomed to do.

Bridge masters.

17. That the keeping the bridge of the said city, and the rents and profits belonging to that bridge, be committed to be kept to two honest and sufficient men of the city, other than the aldermen, to be chosen to this by the commonalty, at the will of the said commonalty, and not to others; and who may answer thereupon to the said commonalty.

Common serjeant and common clerk.

18. That no serjeant of the chamber of Guyhald take fee of the commonalty of the city, or do execution, unless one chosen for this by the commonalty of the city; and that the chamberlain, common clerk and common serjeant be chosen by the commonalty of the city, and be removed according to the will of the same city.

Fees.

19. And that the mayor and recorder, and the foresaid chamberlain and common clerk, be content with their fees antiently appointed and paid on account of their offices, and take not other fees for the abovesaid offices.

Aldermento be taxed as other citizens.

20. That the goods of the aldermen, in aids, tallages and other contributions, concerning the said city, be taxed by the men of the wards in which those aldermen abide, as the goods of other citizens, by the said wards.

Which articles, as they are above expressed, and the matters contained in the same, we accept, approve and ratify; and we yield and grant them, for us and our heirs, as much as in us is, to the foresaid citizens, their heirs and successors in the foresaid city and suburbs, for the common profit of those that inhabit therein, and resort thither, to obtain the same, and to be observed perpetually.

Moreover, we willing to shew ampler grace to the mayor, aldermen and citizens, at their request, have granted to them, for us and our heirs, that the mayor, aldermen, citizens and commonalty of the commoners of the city, and their heirs and successors, for the necessities and profits of the same city, may, among themselves, of their common assent, assess tallages upon their own goods within that city, as well upon the rents as other things, and as well upon the mysteries as any other way, as they shall see expedient, and levy them, without incurring the danger of us or our heirs, or our ministers whomsoever. And that the money coming from such tallages remain in the custody of four honest and lawful men of the said city, to be chosen to this by the commonalty, and be laid out, of their custody, for the necessities and profits of the said city, and not otherwise. In witness whereof, &c.

Witness the king, at York, the eighth day of June.

No. XXIII. Charter of Edward II. exempting the Citizens of London from Levies of Men for carrying on War out of the City. [See p. 65.]

Edward, by the grace of God, king of England, lord of Ireland, and duke of Aquitain; to all to whom these present letters shall come, greeting.

Know ye, that whereas the mayor and the good men of the city of London have of late thankfully done us aid of armed footmen at our castle of Leeds, in our county of Kent; and also aid of like armed men now going with us through divers parts of our realm for divers causes: we, willing to provide for the indemnity of the said mayor and men of our city of London in this behalf, have granted to them for us and our heirs, that the said aids, to us so thankfully done, shall not be prejudicial to the said mayor and good men, their heirs and successors, nor shall they be drawn into consequent for time to come. In witness whereof we have caused these our letters to be made patents.

Witness myself at Aldermanston, the twelfth day of December, in the fifteenth year of our reign.

No. XXIV. First Charter of Edward III. granted by Consent of Parliament. [See p. 67.]

Edward, by the grace of God, king of England, lord of Ireland, and duke of Aquitain; to his archbishops, bishops, abbots, priors, earls, barons, justices, sheriffs, rulers, ministers, and other his bailiffs and faithful subjects, greeting.

Know ye, that we for the bettering of our city of London, and for the good and laudable service which our beloved mayor, aldermen and commonalty of the said city heretofore have often done to us and our progenitors, with the assent of the aforesaid earls, barons, and all the commonalty of our realm, being called to this our present parliament at Westminster, have granted, and by this our charter, for us and our heirs, confirmed to the citizens of the aforesaid city, the liberties here underwritten, to have and to hold to them and their heirs and successors for ever.

Liberties granted by former charters confirmed.

First, whereas in the great charter of the liberties of England it is contained, that the city of London have all their ancient liberties and customs; and the same citizens, at the time of the making of the charter, from the time of St. Edward the king and Confessor, and William the Conqueror, and of other our pregenitors, had divers liberties and customs, as well by the charters of those our progenitors, as without charter by ancient custom, whereupon in divers the circuits, and other the courts of our said progenitors, as well by judgments as by statutes, were invaded, and some of them adjudged; we will and grant, for us and our heirs, that they may have the liberties according to the form of the above-said great charter; and that impediments and usurpations to them in that behalf made shall be revoked and annulled.

Mayormade one of the justices of gaol-delivery.

We have further granted, for us and our heirs, to the said citizens, their heirs and successors aforesaid, that the mayor of the aforesaid city, which for time shall be one of the justices to be assigned of the gaol-delivery of Newgate, and be named in every commission thereof to be made; and that the said citizens may have infangtheft and outfangtheft, and chattels of felons, of all those which shall be adjudged before them within the liberties of the same city, and of all being of the liberty aforesaid, at the aforesaid gaol to be adjudged.

To hold the sheriffwicks of London and Middlesex at 300l. per annum.

And whereas also, by the charters of our progenitors, it was granted to the same citizens, that they should hold the sheriffwicks of London and Middlesex, for three hundred pounds yearly, to be paid at our exchequer, and they are charged with the payment of four hundred pounds yearly, every year to be paid at our exchequer, for the sheriffwicks, contrary to the form of the said charters:

We will and grant, for us and our heirs, that the said citizens, their heirs and successors, may henceforth the aforesaid sheriffwicks hold for three hundred pounds yearly, to be yearly paid at our exchequer, according to the tenor of the aforesaid charters; and that they may be from henceforth acquitted of the said hundred pounds.

To bequeath in mortmain.

Furthermore, we have granted, for us and our heirs, to the said citizens, that their heirs and successors may bequeath their tenements within the liberties of the aforesaid city, as well in mortmain as in other manner, as of ancient time they have been accustomed to do.

Sheriffs to be amerced as other sheriff, on this side Trent.

And whereas in a certain charter of the lord Edward, late king of England, our father, to the said citizens made (amongst other things) it is contained, that the sheriffs of the said city, as often as they shall happen to be amerced for any offence in the court, shall be amerced according to the measure and quantity of their offence, as other the sheriffs of our realm were wont to be amerced for like offences; and the sheriffs of the aforesaid city, after the making of that charter, were otherwise amerced for the escape of thieves, than other sheriffs were on this side Trent for such-like escapes, were amerced only, as it is said, one hundred shillings.

We will and grant, for us and our heirs, that the sheriffs of the same city, which for the time shall be in no wife amerced or charged for the escape of thieves, in any otherwise than as other the sheriffs on this side Trent; and that the aforesaid citizens shall not be charged for the custody of those that fly to the churches within the aforesaid liberty, for to have immunities, otherwise than of old hath been accustomed to be charged; any thing in the last circuit at the Tower of London made or adjudged notwithstanding.

May take away all wears.

And that the said citizens may remove and take away all the wears in the waters of Thames and Medway, and may have the punishments thereof to us belonging.

Merchant strangers to sell their wares within forty days.

Also we will and command streightly, that all merchant strangers, coming to England, shall sell their wares and merchandizes within forty days after their coming thither; and shall continue and board with free hosts of the said city, and other cities and towns in England, without any housholds or societies by them to be kept.

No citizen obliged to plead without the city. Mayor to be escheator. No citizen to be compelled to war out of the city. Constable of the Tower not to arrest ships, &c.

And also we will and grant, for us and our heirs, that the marshal, steward or clerk of the market of our houshold, may not fit from henceforth within the liberty of the aforesaid city, nor exercise any office there, nor any way draw any citizen of the said city to plead without the liberties of the said city, of any thing that happen within the liberties of the same; and that no escheator, or other officers, may, from henceforth, exercise the office of escheator within the liberties of the said city: but that the mayor of the said city for the time being may do the office of the escheator within the said liberty; so as always he take his oath that he exercise the said office, and that he answer thereof to us and our heirs, as he ought to do. And that the said citizens, from henceforth shall not be compelled to go or send to war out of the said city. And that the constable of the tower of London for the time being shall not make any prizes, by land or by water, of victual or other thing whatsoever, of the men of the said city, nor of any other coming towards the said city, or going thence; neither shall or may arrest, or cause to be arrested, the ships or boats bringing victuals, or other such-like goods, to or from the said city.

May hold a court of pye powder in all fairs.

And forasmuch as the citizens, in all good fairs of England, were wont to have among themselves keepers to hold the pleas touching the citizens of the said city assembling at the said fairs: We will and grant, as much as in us is, that the same citizens may have such-like keepers, to hold such pleas of their covenants, as of ancient time they had, except the pleas of land and of the crown.

Sheriffs not compelled to take an oath, except when yielding up their account.

Furthermore, we grant for us and our heirs, that the sheriffs of the said city for the time being shall not be compelled to take any oath at our exchequer, but upon the yielding up of their accounts. Also, whereas the said citizens, in the circuit of Henry Stanton, and his fellow-justices of the lord Edward, late king of England, our father's last circuit at the Tower of London, were compelled, contrary to their ancient customs, to claim their liberties and free customs, and thereupon did claim divers liberties, by the charters of our said progenitors, and of other their liberties and free customs, of old use and custom; which said claims do as yet hang before us undecided:

Old liberties allowed to be recorded; No summons, &c. but by city officers. Sheriffs to have forfeiture of victuals, &c.

We will and grant, for us and our heirs, that the same citizens, their heirs and successors, may have the liberties and free customs, and may use them, as of old time they were wont; and that they may record their said liberties and free customs before us, our justices, and other ministers whatsoever, in such sort as they were wont to do before the said circuit; notwithstanding that the said citizens in the said circuit were impeached upon some like record and liberties and free customs aforesaid; and also notwithstanding any statutes or judgments made or published to the contrary. And that to the allowance of their charters to be had before us in our exchequer, and other pleas whatsoever, one writ shall suffice in all pleas for every king's time. And that no summons, attachments, or executions be made by any of the officers whatsoever of us or our heirs, by writ, or without writ, within the liberty of the said city; but only by the ministers of the said city. And that the sheriffs of the same city (which shall be towards the aid of the same of that city) may lawfully have the forfeitures of victuals, and other things and merchandizes, according to the tenor of the charter thereof made to the said citizens, and shall not be debarred thereof hereafter, contrary to the tenor of the same charter.

To be guided by the laws of king John and king Henry; To be taxed as other commoners.

And that the same citizens, in the circuits of the justices, from henceforth sitting at the tower of London, shall be guided by the same laws and customs, whereby they were guided in the circuits holden in the time of lord John and Henry, sometime kings of England, and other our progenitors; and if any thing in the last circuit was done or attempted, contrary to their liberties and free customs, we will not that they be prejudicial to them, but that they may be guided as of old time they were.

Liberties not to be forfeited for personal trespass.

We have also granted, for us and our heirs, that the same citizens, from henceforth, in and towards subsidies, grants and contributions whatsoever, to be made to the use of us or our heirs, shall be taxed and contributory with the commonalty of our realm, as common persons, and not as men of the city. And that they be quit of all other tallages. And that the liberties of the said city shall not be taken into the hands of us or our heirs, for any personal trespass, or judgment of any minister of the said city. Neither shall a keeper in the said city for that occasion be deputed; but the same minister shall be punished according to the quality of his offence.

King's purveyors not to interrupt the sale of citizens goods, &c.

And that no purveyor and taker, officer and other minister of us and our heirs, or of any other, shall make any prices in the said city, or without, of the goods of the citizens of the same city, contrary to their will and pleasure, unless immediately they make due payment for the same, or else may have respite thereof, with the good-will of the seller. And that no price be made of the wines of those citizens, by any the officers of us or our heirs, or otherwise against their wills; that is to say, of one tun before the mast, and another behind it, nor by any other means; but shall be quit thereof for ever.

Furthermore, we forbid, that any officer of us or our heirs shall merchandize by himself or others within the said city, or without, of any thing touching their offices.

No market to be kept within seven miles of London.

Also we grant, that the lands and tenements (lying without) of the said citizens, which have been, or hereafter shall be ministers of the said city, be bound to keep the said city harmless against us and our heirs, of those things which concern their offices, as their tenements be within the said city; and that no market from henceforth shall be granted by us or our heirs, to any within seven miles in circuit of the said city. And that all inquisitions, from henceforth to be taken by our justices or ministers of the said city, shall be taken in St. Martin's-le-Grand, in London, and not elsewhere; except the inquisitions to be taken in the circuits at the tower of London, and for the gaol-delivery at Newgate; and that none of the freemen of the said city shall be impleaded or troubled at our exchequer, or elsewhere by bill, except it be by those things which touch us or our heirs.

Wherefore we will and streightly command, for us and our heirs, that the said citizens, their heirs and successors, have all their liberties and free customs, and the same may use and enjoy for ever, in form aforesaid.

These being witnesses, W. archbishop of Canterbury, J. bishop of Ely, our chancellor, and others. Given at Westminster the sixth of March, in the first year of our reign.

No. XXV. Second Charter of Edward III. granting the Bailiwick of Southwark to the Citizens of London. [See p. 67.]

Edward, by the grace of God, king of England, lord of Ireland, and duke of Aquitain; to all to whom these present letters shall come, greeting.

Know ye, that whereas our well-beloved, the citizens of the city of London, by their petition exhibited before us and our council, in our present parliament at Westminster assembled, have given us to understand, that felons, thieves, and other malefactors, and disturbers of the peace, who, in the said city and elsewhere, have committed manslaughters, robberies, and divers other felonies, privily departing from the said city, after those felonies committed, into the village of Southwark, where they cannot be attached by the ministers of the said city, and there are openly received: and so for default of due punishment are more bold to commit such felonies: and they have beseeched us, that, for the confirmation of our peace within the said city, bridling the naughtiness of the said malefactors, we would grant unto them the said village, to have to them, their heirs and successors, for ever, for the farm and rent therefore yearly due to us, to be yearly paid at our exchequer: We, having consideration to the premises, with the assent of the prelates, earls, barons, and commonalty, being in our present parliament aforesaid, have granted, for us and our heirs, to the said citizens, the said village of Southwark, with the appurtenances, to have and to hold, to them and their heirs and successors, citizens of the same city, of us and our heirs for ever, to pay to us by the year, at the exchequer of us and our heirs for ever, at the accustomed times, the farms therefore due and accustomed: In witness whereof, we have caused these our letters to be made patents. Witness myself at Westminster, the sixth day of March, in the first year of our reign.

No. XXVI. Third Charter of Edward III. [See p. 68.]

Edward, by the grace of God, king of England, lord of Ireland, and duke of Aquitain, to all to whom these present letters shall come, greeting.

Know ye, whereas in our parliament at York holden the morrow after the ascension of our Lord, in the ninth year of our reign, it was enacted, That all merchant strangers and English-born, and every of them, of what estate or condition soever, who would buy or sell corn, wine, powderable wares, fish or other victuals, wool, cloth, wares, or other vendible things whatsoever, wheresoever they were, either in cities, towns, boroughs, ports of the sea, fairs, markets, or other places in the realm, whether within liberties or without, might, without impediment, freely sell the same victuals or wares, to whom they would, as well to foreigners, as English-born; the enemies to us and our realm only excepted, notwithstanding of the charters of liberties to any cities or places aforesaid, granted to the contrary, or custom or judgment upon the said charters, as in the foresaid state is more plainly contained; yet nevertheless, because in the statutes, as well in our said parliament, as in other parliaments of our progenitors, sometimes kings of England, made by us and our progenitors, with the common consent of the prelates, earls, barons, and commonalty of our realm, it was granted and established, that the great charter of the liberty of England, in all and singular its articles, should be maintained and firmly observed.

And in the same charter, among other things, it is contained, the city of London may have its ancient liberties and free customs unhurt; and it hath been the intent and meaning, as well of us as our progenitors, and yet is, that the said great charter, in all the articles thereof, may be still observed; and that by pretext of the said statute, or any other, nothing shall be done to the prejudice or infringement of the said charter, or of any article therein contained, or of the ancient liberties or customs of the said city may be unjustly burthened; touching their said liberties and free customs, contrary to such intent, with the consent of the prelates, earls, and barons, assistant with us in this our parliament.

Have granted, for us and our heirs, that the citizens of the said city, their heirs and successors, may have all their liberties and free customs unhurt and whole, as before these times they more fully had the same; the foresaid statute for the said merchants, made to the hurt of the liberties and customs of the said city, notwithstanding.

In witness whereof we have caused these our letters to be made patents. Witness myself at Westminster, the twenty-sixth day of March, in the eleventh year of our reign.

No. XXVII. Fourth Charter of Edward III. [See p. 70.]

Edward, by the grace of God, king of England and France, and lord of Ireland, to all to whom these our letters shall come, greeting.

Mayor's serjeants to carry maces of gold or silver.

Know ye, that we being worthily careful of the conservation and increase of the name and honour of our city of London, and at the supplication of the mayor, sheriffs, and commonalty of the said city to us humbly made, will and grant for us and our heirs, that the serjeants appointed to bear the maces in our said city may lawfully carry them of gold or silver, or silvered or garnished with the sign of our arms, or others, every where in the said city, and in the suburbs of the same, and in the county of Middlesex, and other places to the liberties of the said city appertaining; and also without the said city to meet with us, our mother, consort, or the children of us or our heirs, or other royal persons, when we or any of us shall come to the said city, and also in going forth with us, or any of us, when we shall depart from the said city; as also in the presence of us, our mother, or consort, or our children, when the said mayor, or sheriffs, or aldermen of the said city, or any of them, shall come to us or our heirs, at or without the command or warning of us, or any of us; and as often as it shall happen any of the said serjeants to be sent to foreign places, and without the city, to do their offices at the command of us, or of the mayor and sheriffs aforesaid, they may lawfully carry going and coming publicly, as our own serjeants at arms, attending our presence, do carry their maces; any ordinance or commandment made to the contrary notwithstanding.

In witness whereof, we have caused these our letters to be made patents. Witness myself at Westminster, the tenth day of June, in the twenty-eighth year of our reign of England, and of France the fifteenth.

No. XXVIII.Fifth Charter of Edward III. (See p. 73.)

Edward, by the grace of God, king of England and France, and lord of Ireland, to all men to whom we send, greeting. Among other articles which our lord Edward, some time king of England, our father, the year of his reign XII. by his letters patents hath granted and confirmed to the citizens of the said city of London, for the amendment and common profit of them that dwell in the same city, and of them that repair thereto. In the same letters it is contained, that the aldermen of the foresaid city, that every year they be removed on the day of St. Gregory, by the commonalty of the said city, and that they so removed be not chosen again the next year ensuing; but, instead of them that have been removed, others be chosen by the same wards from which such aldermen were removed, as in the same letters plainly it is contained; concerning which, on the part of the commonalty of the foresaid city, by their petition before us in our great council, now again asked, to us meekly it is besought, that since divers opinions and divers strifes have been sprung between the aldermen and the commonalty of the said city upon the removing of aldermen, for the wrong interpretation of words in the foresaid articles contained, that is to say, that the foresaid aldermen affirm, that by the two words, viz. sint amobiles per communitatem. &c. i. e. let them be removed by the commonalty, they ought not to be removed from the office of aldermanship, without sufficient reason, or some notorious offence to be found in them. But others of the said citizens being of a contrary opinion, and willing to abolish this article, they have besought us to explain the said article, so as to remove all doubt about the premises: We being willing, as much as lieth in us, to contribute to the peace and tranquillity of the said mayor, aldermen, and commonalty, and their successors, henceforward, concerning the interpretation of the said article, do, by and with the advice of our said council, declare, that all and every alderman of the said city, every year, for ever, on the feast of St Gregory the pope, from the office of an alderman utterly and precisely shall cease, and shall not be chosen again; but that, instead of those removed, other aldermen shall be chosen every year, for ever, out of the discreet citizens of good fame, by the said wards from which the said aldermen were removed.

In witness whereof we have caused these our letters to be made patents. Witness myself at Westminster, the twelfth day of November, the fiftieth year of our reign in England, and the thirtysix over France.

No. XXIX. Sixth Charter of Edward III. (See p. 73.)

Edward, king of England and France, and lord of Ireland, to all to whom these letters shall come, greeting.

Merchant strangers to board with freemen. What brokers should act for merchants. No foreigners to sell by retail.

Know ye, that whereas among other liberties granted to the citizens of our city of London, by, the charters of our progenitors, sometime kings of England, which we have confirmed, and by ours, it hath been granted unto them, that all merchant strangers coming England, shall remain at board with the free hosts of the city aforesaid, and of other cities and towns in England, without keeping any houses or societies by themselves; and that there should be no brokers of any merchandizes from henceforth, unless they were chosen thereunto by the merchants in the mysteries in which the said brokers exercise their offices, and thereupon at the least do take their oaths before the mayor of the said city: And also, that the merchants who are not of the freedom of the said city, should not sell by retail any wines or other wares within the said city, or the suburbs thereof. And now our well-beloved subjects, the mayor, aldermen and other citizens of the said city, have humbly beseeched us and our council in the last parliament by their petition exhibited in these words:

City petition to king and parliament.

To our lord the king and his good council, your liege subjects the mayor, aldermen, and commonalty of the city of London shew, That whereas they have often sued in divers parliaments to have consideration how that they are impoverished and undone, by reason their liberties by him and his progenitors to them granted are restrained, and great part taken away; and now at the last parliament held at Westminster, it was answered to them, That they should declare their griefs specially, and they should have good remedy therefore: of which griefs (amongst divers others) these be; that every stranger might dwell in the said city, and keep a house, and be a broker, and sell and buy all manner of merchandizes by retail; and one stranger to sell to another to sell again, to the great inhancing the prices of merchandizes, and a cause to make them remain there more than forty days; whereas, in time past, no merchant stranger might use any of these points, contrary to the franchises of the said city before these times had and used: By which grievance the merchants of the said city are greatly impoverished, and the navy impaired, and the privities of the land by the said strangers discovered to our enemies by spies and other strangers into these houses received.

May it therefore please your majesty and council to ordain in this parliament, that the merchant strangers may be restrained in the points aforesaid, and the mayor, aldermen, and commons in the said city may enjoy the said franchises.

Confirmation of the foresaid liberties concerning buying and selling, and the qualifications of brokers.

We, for the special affection we bear to the said citizens, willing to provide for the tranquillity and profit of the said citizens in that behalf, with the assents of our prelates, nobles, &c. have granted for us, and our heirs, to the said mayor and aldermen, and citizens of the said city, and their successors, upon condition that they put the said city under good government, to our honour, and the profit of our realm of England, and right govern the same, that no strangers shall from henceforth sell any wares in the same city, or suburbs thereof, by retail, nor shall keep any house, nor be any broker in the said city or suburbs thereof; any statute or ordinance made to the contrary notwithstanding. Saving always to the merchants of High Almaine their liberties by us and our progenitors to them granted and confirmed.

In witness whereof we have caused these our letters to be made patents. Witness myself at Westminster the fourth day of December, in the fiftieth year of our reign over England, and of our kingdom of France the thirty-sixth.

No. XXX. Charter of Richard II. (See p. 75.)

Whereas the said citizens, by their petition exhibited to us in parliament, did set forth, That although they, for a long time past, have used and enjoyed certain free customs, until of late years they have been unjustly molested; which customs are as followeth, viz. That no foreigner do sell or buy of another foreigner any merchandizes within the liberties of the said city, upon pain of forfeiting the same. Nevertheless, being desirous, for the future, to take away all controversies about the same, we do by these presents, with the assent aforesaid, will and grant, and by these presents, for us and our heirs, do confirm unto the said citizens, and their successors, that, for the future, no foreigner sell to another foreigner any merchandizes within the liberties of the said city; nor that any foreigner do buy of another foreigner any merchandize, upon pain of forfeiting the same; the privileges of our subjects of Aquitaine in all things excepted, so that such buying and selling be made betwixt merchant and merchant.

No. XXXI. (See p. 80.) A Proclamation made in the Mayoralty of Nicholas Brembre, Knight, Mayor, on Friday after the Feast of the B. V. Mary, and in the seventh Year of the Reign of Richard II. concerning the Liberties lately granted to the Citizens of London, by the Lord the King in his Parliament, and also concerning certain antient Liberties renewed by the Lord the King, and newly confirmed to the said Citizens by his Royal Charter.

It is proclaimed, on the part of the lord our king, and of the mayor of the city of London, by virtue of the confirmation and concession made by the said lord the king, concerning the liberties and ancient customs of the said city, as well by charters of the kings of England granted unto them, as without charters, that it may be made known to all foreigners concerning the following liberties of the said citizens, especially touching as well the said foreigners as the citizens of the city aforesaid:

So that no summons, attachment, or execution be made by any ministers or officers of the lord the king, or of his heirs, either with or without a warrant, within the liberties of the city aforesaid, but by the officers of the city only.

Also the same lord our king has, out of his special grace, by his charter granted and confirmed, as will fully appear by having recourse to the said charters and letters, the gifts, grants, confirmations, innovations, and the ordinances aforesaid; and also all the articles, and all other and every thing contained, recited, explained in all the charters and letters as well of him the lord the king, as any of his progenitors; ratifying and granting all and each thereof, at the instance and request of the commons of the realm of England, in his last parliament, for the nourishing greater quiet and peace among his liege subjects, and for the publick good, and by and with the assent of the prelates, lords, nobility, and great men, assisting him in the same parliament, for himself and his heirs, as much as in him lies, to the citizens of the foresaid city, and to their heirs and successors, citizens of the same city.

Also the same our lord the king has further granted, at the instance and request as aforesaid, and by the assent aforesaid, and also by his own charters confirmed, for himself and his heirs aforesaid, that the foresaid citizens, and their successors, citizens of the city aforesaid, shall be as entirely and fully restored to all their liberties and free customs, as ever they or their predecessors have at any time more freely and fully enjoyed the same under the predecessors of him the lord the king.

Also the same the lord our king willeth, that, although the same citizens, or their predecessors, citizens of the city aforesaid, have not, on any occasion whatsoever, hitherto fully used any or either of the liberties, acquittances, grants, ordinances, articles, or free customs, or other things granted in the said charters or letters, or perhaps have abused any or all of the acquittances, grants, ordinances, articles, or free customs, or any other things, in the same charters or letters, as aforesaid, contained; nevertheless the same citizens and their heirs and successors, citizens of the city aforesaid, may for the future fully enjoy and use all and singular the liberties, acquittances, grants, ordinances, articles, free customs, and whatsoever else is contained in the charters and letters aforesaid, whether the same were not used, or perhaps abused, and every one of them, without let or impediment of the same the lord the king, or of his heirs, justices, escheators, sheriffs, or any other his bailiffs or ministers whomsoever, any statutes or ordinances published, or judgments given, or any charters of the same the lord the king, or of his progenitors aforesaid, in times past made and granted, to the contrary notwithstanding.

No. XXXII. First Charter of Edward IV. [See p. 100.]

Edward, by the grace of God, king of England and France, and lord of Ireland; to all archbishops, &c. greeting.

Confirmation of former liberties and free customs.

Although as we understand such things all together, as ought to be holden and determined by conservators of the peace, and justices assigned for hearing and determining divers felonies, trespasses, and misdemeanors in all the counties of our realm of England by the king's authority, by virtue of the ordinances and statutes of our realm aforesaid, made for the good of the peace, and rule of our people, have always, time out of mind, been used and well affirmed, and yet be in our city of London: Nevertheless, to the end that from henceforth one good, certain, and undoubted manner may be continually had in our said city, for the conservation of the peace, and governing our people of the same, and that the same may always be and remain a city of peace and quietness; we will, of our mere motion, and by tenor of these presents, do grant, for us, and as much as in us is, to the mayor and commonalty of the city aforesaid, and to the citizens of the same, and to their successors for ever, that they may have and hold all and singular their liberties and free customs, as whole and sound as ever they had and held them in all time of our progenitors.

The mayor, recorder, and aldermen past the chair, made perpetual justices.

And further we grant, for us and our heirs aforesaid, to the mayor and commonalty and citizens, and to their successors, the liberties and authorities, acquittals and franchises under-written; that is to say, that from henceforth the mayor and recorder of the said city who now be, and their successors, and the mayors and recorders which for the time shall be, as well those aldermen which before this time have been mayors of the same city, as other aldermen who shall hereafter sustain the charge of mayoralty, and shall be thereof dismissed, as long as they shall there remain aldermen for ever, shall be conservators of the present peace of our city, and the peace of our successors of the said city, and liberties thereof, as well by land as by water; and to keep or cause to be kept all ordinances and statutes, made and to be made for the good of our peace, and for the quietness, rule, and government of our people in all their articles, as well within the city aforesaid as the liberty and suburbs of the same, as well by land as by water, according to all the force, form, and effect of the same, and to chastize and punish whom they shall find offending, contrary to the form and effect of the said ordinances and statutes aforesaid shall be done.

And they, or any four of them, to be justices of Oyer and Terminer, to enquire, hear, and determine of all felonies, trespasses, &c.

We will also, and grant to the said mayor and commonalty, and citizens, and their successors, that the now mayor and his successors aforesaid, and the recorder of the said city, which for the time shall be, and such aldermen as aforesaid, or four of the same, mayor, recorder, and aldermen, of whom we will, that such mayor for the time being and his successors, to be one, be justices, and have so assigned them justices for us and our successors for ever; to enquire, hear, and determine, as often and at such times as to them shall seem meet, of all manner of felonies, trespasses, forestalling and regratings, extortions, and other misdemeanors within the said city, or the liberties or suburbs thereof, as well by land as by water, by whomsoever, or after what manner soever, done or committed, and which from henceforth shall happen to be done; and also to hear, and determine, and execute all and singular other things, which shall pertain to our justices of the peace within our realm of England; so always that the said mayor and citizens, and their successors, may have and hold all and singular their antient liberties and customs, whole, free, and sound, the premises in any thing notwithstanding, given to our sheriffs of the city aforesaid for the time being, and to their successors, and to all whatsoever, citizens of the said city, which now be, and which hereafter for the time shall be, by tenor of these presents, streightly in commandment, that they be attendant, counselling, answering, and aiding the said keepers of the peace aforesaid, the now mayor, recorder, and their successors, and to such aldermen as aforesaid, in all things they do, or may pertain to the office of conservator of the peace, and of such justices within the said city and liberties thereof, according to the form aforesaid, as often and at such times as shall be by them or any of them on our behalf duly required: Saving always to the mayor and commonalty, and citizens of the same city, and to their successors, their customs, liberties, and franchises, which we will and streightly command inviolably be observed in all things, as they and their predecessors, before the making of these presents, have observed the same.

Disputes concerning city custom to be determined in court, upon hearing the recorder's report therof.

And because we understand, that by the most antient custom of the said city, it is there had, and in the circuits of the justices of our progenitors, some times kings of England, it is allowed to the said citizens, that the mayor and aldermen of the said city, for the time being, ought to record all their antient customs by word of mouth, as often and at such time as any thing shall be moved in act or question before any judges or justices touching their customs aforesaid, as in their claims in the last circuit of justices holden at our Tower of London, it is more fully contained: We, considering the same thing, being willing rather to enlarge than diminish the customs of the said city, of our special grace have granted, for us and our heirs and successors, unto the said mayor and commonalty and citizens, and their successors, that whensoever any issue shall be taken in any plea of or upon the customs of the city of London between any parties in pleading, (yea, though themselves be parties) or if any thing in plea, act, and question, touching the said customs, be moved or happen before us, or our heirs, to be holden, the justices of the common bench, the treasurer and barons of our exchequer, or of our heirs, or before the barons of such-like exchequer, or any other the justices of us, or of our heirs, which shall exact or require inquisition, recognizance, certificate, or trial; the same mayor and aldermen of the said city for the time being, and their successors, shall record, testify and declare, whether such be a custom, or not, by the recorder of the same city for the time being, by word of mouth; and that there may be speedy process by that record, certificate, and declaration, such custom so alledged shall be allowed for a custom, or accounted not for a custom, without any jury therefore to be taken, or further process thereupon to be made.

No forfeiture to be taken for any crime or default in the mayor, &c.

And furthermore, we have granted to them, the mayor and commonalty and citizens, that though they and their successors, or the said mayor and aldermen, and their predecessors in times past, or their successors hereafter, have, for some cause, perchance fully not used, or abused any of the liberties, acquittals, grants, ordinances, articles, or free customs, or other thing contained in these our writings, or in other our writings, or of our progenitors some times kings of England, to the same mayor and commonalty granted; notwithstanding we will not, that the same mayor and commonalty, aldermen and citizens, or their successors, shall therefore incur the forfeiture of any of the premises; but that they and their successors may, from henceforth, fully enjoy, and use all and singular the liberties, grants, acquittals, ordinances, articles, free customs, and other things whatsoever, so not used or abused, in the charters aforesaid contained, and every of them, without impeachment or let of us or our heirs, justices, escheators, sheriffs, or other our bailiffs and ministers, or of any other whatsoever ally, statutes or ordinances made, or Judgments given, or any other charters, or any the charters of our progenitors whatsoever in times past granted to the contrary notwithstanding.

All inhabitants of the city liable to be assessed in all taxes; But not in prejudice to the grants to the merchants of Almain.

And we, being willing further to do the same mayor and commonalty a greater pleasure, and also for the bettering and common profit of our said city, will and grant to the same mayor and commonalty, and their successors, that from henceforth all and singular merchants, as well denizens and aliens, abiding within the said city, and the liberties and suburbs of the same, and exercising merchandizing or occupations there by any means, by themselves or others, though they be not of the liberty of the same city, shall be partakers, shall be taxed and contribute according to their faculties in subsidies, tallages, grants, and other contributions whatsoever by any means to be assessed for the need of us, or of our heirs, or of the said city, for the maintenance of the state, and profit of the same, with the citizens of the same city: Yet notwithstanding that this our present grant be not in prejudice or derogation of any grants by us, or any of our progenitors, made or granted to those merchants of Almain, which have an house in the city of London, which is commonly called the Guildhall of the Almains, or their successors.

And further, because it is well known and manifest, that those of the said city which are called, elected, and taken to the degree of aldermen, proper for the conditions and merits requiring the same, have sustained and supported great charges, cost, and pains for the time they make their abode and residence in the same city, being vigilant for the common good, rule, and government of the same, and for that cause oftentimes do leave their possessions and places in the counties there, that therefore they, and every of them may, without all fear of unquietness or molestation, peaceably abide and tarry in such their houses, places, and possessions, when they shall return thither for comfort and recreation's sake.

Aldermen not to be put upon assizes, attaints, or juries, nor to be appointed collectors or taxers out of the city.

We have, of our special grace, granted to the said mayor and commonalty, and to their successors aforesaid, that all and every of these, which be aldermen of the said city, and their successors, which for the time shall be aldermen there for the term of their lives, shall have this liberty; that is to say, that as long as they shall continue aldermen there, and shall bear the charge of aldermen proper; and also those which before had been aldermen, and have also with their great costs and expences borne the office of mayoralty, shall not be put in any assizes, juries, or attaints, recognizances, or inquisitions, out of the said city; and that they, nor any of them, shall be trier or triers of the same, although they touch us, or our heirs or our successors, or other whomsoever.

And that, without that city, neither they, nor any of them, be made collectors or collector, assessor, taxer, overseer, or comptroller of the tenths, fifteenths, taxes, tallages, subsidies, or other charges or impositions whatsoever, to us, our heirs or successors hereafter to be granted or given; and if they or any of them be elected to any of the offices or charges aforesaid, and that the same mayor or aldermen do deny, refuse, or not do the offices or charges aforesaid, then they or any of them shall not, by any means, incur any contempt, loss, fine, imprisonment, or forfeiture, by occasion of their so refusing or not doing, nor shall, for that cause, forfeit any issues by any means.

Southwark, with the waifs, &c. granted to the city; Assize of Bread, &c. there; Execution of writs.

And further, as we understand, lord Edward, some time king of England, the third after the conquest, our progenitor, with the assent of the prelates, earls, barons, and commonalty of the realm of England assembled in parliament holden at Westminster, in the first year of his reign, at the petition of the then citizens of the said city, by his letters patents granted for him and his heirs to the same citizens the town of Southwark, with the appurtenances, to have and hold to them and their successors, citizens of the same city, of the same our progenitors and their heirs for ever, pay ing unto him by the year, at the exchequer of him and his heirs, at the terms accustomed, the farm therefore due and accustomed, as in the said letters patents more fully is contained: And now the mayor and commonalty of the same city, and their predecessors, have and hold certain liberties and franchises in the town aforesaid, by virtue of those letters patents, and do use the same as their predecessors have had and held them, and have used and enjoyed them; and they now fear that divers doubts, opinions, varieties, and ambiguities, controversies, and dissensions, may light, and be likely to spring, grow, be imagined, holden and had in time to come, in and about the use and exercise of such liberties and franchises, for want of more clear and full declaration and expressing of the same, for that divers diversly interpret, judge, and understand: We therefore, to the end to take away from henceforth and utterly to abolish all and all manner of causes, occasions, and matters, whereupon such opinions, ambiguities, varieties, controversies, and dissensions may spring, be holden, and moved in this behalf, have, of our special grace, and from our mere motion, granted to the said mayor and commonalty of the said city which now be, and their successors, mayor and commonalty and citizens of that city, which for the time being shall be for ever, the town of Southwark, with the appurtenances, with all chattels called waif and estray, and also treasure found in the town aforesaid, and all manner of handiwork, goods and chattels of traitors, felons, fugitives outlawed, condemned, convicted, and of felons defamed and denying the law of our land, wheresoever, or before whomsoever justice shall be done upon them; and also goods disclaimed, found, or being within the town aforesaid; and also all manner of escheats and forfeitures which may there pertain unto us, as fully and wholly as we should have them, if the same town were in our hands: And that it shall be lawful to the same mayor and commonalty, and to their successors, by their deputy and ministers of the same town, to put themselves in possession of and in all the handiworks and chattels of all manner of traitors, felons, fugitives, outlaws condemned, convicted, and of felons defamed and denying the laws of our land; and also of and in all goods disclaimed, found, and being within the same town; and also of and in all the escheats and forfeitures to us and to our heirs there pertaining: And that the same mayor and commonalty and citizens, and their successors, by themselves, or their deputy or ministers, may have in the town aforesaid assay, and assize of bread, wine, beer and ale, and all other victuals and things whatsoever saleable in the said town; and also all and whatsoever doth and may appertain to the office of clerk of the market of our house or of our heirs, together with the correction and punishment of all persons there selling wine, bread, beer, ale, and other victuals, and all other inhabiting and exercising any arts whatsoever; and with all manner of forfeitures, fines, and amerciaments to be forfeited, and all other which there do, and in any time to come may there pertain to us, our heirs or successors: And that they shall have in the said town the execution of all manner of writs of ours, or of our heirs and successors, and of all other writs, commandments, precepts, extracts, and warrants, with the return of the same by such their ministers or deputy whom they shall thereunto choose; so always that the clerk of the market of our house, or of the house of our heirs, or the sheriff or escheator of the county of Surrey, which now is, or hereafter shall be, do not, by any means, intermeddle, enter, or do any execution.

To hold a fair and court of pye-powder for three days.

We have also granted to the same mayor and commonalty and citizens, and their successors for ever, that they shall and may have yearly one fair in the town aforesaid for three days; that is to say, the seventh, eighth, and ninth days of September, to be holden, together with a court of pye-powders, and with all liberties and free customs to such fair appertaining; and that they may have and hold there at their said courts, before their said ministers or deputy, the said three days, from day to day, and hour to hour, from time to time, all occasions, plaints, and pleas of a court of pye-powders, together with all summons, attachments, arrests, issues, fines, redemptions and commodities, and other rights whatsoever to the same court of pye-powders any way pertaining, without any impediment, let, or hindrance of us, our heirs, or successors, or other our officers and ministers whatsoever; and also that they may have there a view of frankpledge, and whatsoever thereto pertaineth, together with all summons, attachments, arrests, issues, amerciaments, fines, redemptions, profits, commodities, and other things whatsoever, which there may or ought therefore to pertain to us, our heirs or successors.

To carry thieves thence to Newgate.

And furthermore, the aforesaid mayor and commonalty and citizens, and their successors, may, by themselves, or by their minister or deputy in the said town appointed, take and arrest all manner of felons, thieves, and other malefactors found within the said town, and may lead them to our gaol of Newgate, safely to be kept, until they shall be by process of law delivered.

Archbishop of Canterbury's right reserved.

And further, the said mayor and commonalty and citizens, and their successors, may, for ever, have in the town aforesaid all manner of liberties, privileges, franchises, acquittals, customs, and rights, which we should or might there have, if the said town were and remained in our hands, without any thing to be by any means given or paid to us or our heirs, beside only ten pounds for the antient farm therefore due, and without impeachment, let, molestation, or disturbance of us, or our heirs or successors, justices, escheators, sheriffs, officers, or ministers of ours, or of our heirs or successors whatsoever; the rights, liberties, and franchises of right belonging to the most reverend father and lord in Christ, Thomas lord archbishop of Canterbury, and of other persons there, always saved; although express mention be not here made of the true yearly value of the premises, or of any other gifts or grants to the mayor or aldermen, sheriffs and citizens, or to their successors, or any of them made, according to the form of the statute thereof had, made, and provided, or any other statute, ordinance, act, thing, cause, or matter whatsoever notwithstanding.

These being witness, the reverend father Thomas archbishop of Canterbury, William archbishop of York, George of Exon, chancellor, and William bishop of Ely, and our dear brothers George of Clarence, and Richard of Gloucester, dukes, &c. Given by our hand at Westminster, the ninth day of November, in the second year of our reign.

No. XXXIII. Second Charter of Edward IV. [See p. 100.]

Edward, by the grace of God, king of England and France, and lord of Ireland, to all to whom these present letters shall come greeting.

Weighing of wool confined to Leadenhall.

Know ye, that for certain and notable causes us specially moving, of our special grace and certain knowledge, we have granted to the mayor and commonalty, and citizens of our said city of London, that the tronage and weighing, and measuring, laying-up, and placing, and housing of whatsoever wools, by whomsoever, from whatsoever parts, brought or to be brought to the city aforesaid, or which have before time been accustomed to be brought to the staple at Westminster, shall from hence be, and be made in the place called Leadenhall, within our city aforesaid, and in no other place within three miles of the said city, to have the laying up, placing, and housing aforesaid, together with all fees, profits, and emoluments to the same laying-up, placing, and housing, or any of them due, used, or accustomed to the aforesaid mayor and commonalty, and citizens of the same city, and their successors, for ever, without any account to be made, or any other thing therefore to us to be paid, although express mention be not in these presents made of the clear yearly value or certainty of the premises, or of any other gifts or grants by us or our progenitors to the said mayor and commonalty, and citizens, and their successors, by any means made, or any other statute, act, ordinance, or any other thing whatsoever made to the contrary notwithstanding.

In witness whereof, we have caused these our letters to be made patents: witness ourself at Westminster, the twenty-seventh day of August, in the third year of our reign.

No. XXXIV. Third Charter of Edward IV. [See p. 103.]

Edward, by the grace of God, king of England and France, and lord of Ireland, to all to whom these presents shall come, greeting.

On condition of 1923l. 9s. 8d. released to the king. Gives liberty to purchase lands inmortmain to the value of 2 comarks per annum.

Know ye, that whereas the sum of twelve thousand nine hundred and twenty-three pounds nine shillings and eight pence is by us, amongst other things, due to our beloved and faithful subjects, the mayor, commonalty and citizens of our city of London, as in the receipt of our exchequer more plainly appeareth; of which sum the said mayor and commonalty are willing to remit and release unto us nineteen hundred and twenty-three pounds nine shillings and eight-pence, to the intent we should vouchsafe to grant them licence, that they and their successors might purchase lands, rents and services, and other possessions whatsoever, to the value of two hundred marks by the year, over all charges and reprizes, although they should be holden of us or of others by any manner of service, of whatsoever person or persons willing to give, bequeath or assign the same to them; to have and to hold to the same mayor and commonalty, and their successors aforesaid, forever, in form following:

We inwardly pondering, not only the premises, but also the manifold pleasures to us by the mayor and commonalty of the said city before this time acceptably done, and willing (as we are bound) before all other things wholly to pay and recompence our debts, have, of our special grace, and for that the said mayor and commonalty, for them and their successors, have remitted and altogether released unto us the said sum of nineteen hundred and twenty-three pounds nine shillings and eight pence, granted and given licence, and by these presents do grant and give licence, for us and our heirs (as much as in us is) to the said mayor and commonalty, that they and their successors may purchase lands, revenues, rents, services, and other possessions, whatsoever, to the value of two hundred marks, by the year, over all charges and reprizes, of any person or persons willing to give, grant, bequeath or assign the same unto them, although they be holden of us or others by any manner of service, in full satisfaction and contentation of the said sum of nineteen hundred and twenty-three pounds nine shillings and eight pence, to them by us due, without any fine or fee to be paid to the use of us or our heirs, to have and to hold to the same mayor and commonalty and their successors for ever.

And we have by tenor of these presents given special licence to the same person and persons, that he or she may give, grant, bequeath or assign lands, tenements, rents, possessions and services, to the yearly value aforesaid, over and above all reprizes and charges as aforesaid, unto the said mayor and commonalty, and to their successors as aforesaid, for ever, without hindrance of us or our heirs, our justices, escheators, sheriffs, coroners, bailiffs, or other the ministers of us or our heirs whatsoever; and this without any other the king's letters patents, or inquisitions upon any writ of ad quod damnum, or any other the king's commandments in this behalf, by any means be had, prosecuted and taken; the statute concerning lands and tenements not to be put in mortmain, or any other statute, act or ordinance made to the contrary notwithstanding.

And we also will and grant to the said mayor and commonalty, that they and their successors may have so many and such writs ad quod damnum, and other royal letters patents executory, from time to time, upon the licence aforesaid, in full satisfaction and contentation of the said sum of nineteen hundred and twenty-three pounds nine shillings and eight pence.

In witness whereof we have caused these our letters to be made patents. Witness myself at Westminster, the twentieth day of June, in the eighteenth year of our reign."

No. XXXV. Fourth Charter of Edward IV. [See p. 103.]

Edward, by the grace of God, king of England and France, and lord of Ireland, to all to whom the present letters patents shall come, greeting.

On condition of 7000l. released and remitted to the king.

Know ye, that whereas the sum of twelve thousand nine hundred and twenty-three pounds nine shillings and eight pence, is, amongst other things, due by us to our well-beloved the mayor and commonalty of our city of London, as in the receipt of our exchequer more fully appeareth; of which sum the mayor and commonalty are willing to remit and release unto us the sum of seven thousand pounds, to the intent we should vouchsafe to grant to the said mayor and commonalty, and their successors, the offices and occupations under-written, to be had in form following:

Grants the office of package; Carriage, portage.

We inwardly pondering, not only the premises, but also the manifold pleasures to us by the mayor and commonalty of the said city before-time acceptably done, and willing, as we are bound, before all other things, to pay or recompence our debts, have, of our special grace, and for that the said mayor and commonalty have, for them and their successors, remitted and released unto us seven thousand pounds, parcel of the said twelve thousand nine hundred and twenty-three pounds nine shillings, and eight pence, granted and by these presents do grant, to the said mayor and commonalty, and their successors, in full satisfaction and contentation of the said sum of seven thousand pounds, to them by us due: the offices of packing of all manner of woollen cloths, sheep-skins, calves-skins, goat-skins, vessels of amber, and of all other merchandizes whatsoever, to be packed, tunned, piped, barrelled, or anywise to be included with the oversight of opening all manner of customable merchandizes arriving at the port of safety, as well by land as by water, within the liberties and franchises of the said city and suburbs of the same, as well of the goods of denizens as of aliens, wheresoever they shall be accustomed; and also the office of packing all woollen cloths, sheep-skins, lamb-skins, goat-skins, and calves-skins, with picking and poundering of the same, and all amber vessels, and of all other merchandizes to be packed, picked and poundered in London, or the suburbs of the same, or to be carried by land, or to be accustomed, as well concerning the goods of merchants denizens, as of aliens; and also of the office of carriage and portage of all wools, sheep-skins, tynn bails, and other merchandizes whatsoever, which shall be carried in London from the water of Thames unto the houses of strangers, and contrariwise from the same houses to the said water, or of other merchandizes which ought to be carried, being in any house for a time.

Garbling, gauging, winedrawers.

And also the office of occupation of garbling of all manner of spices, and other merchandizes coming to the said city at any time, which ought to be garbled; and the office of gauger within the said city; and also the office of wine-drawers, to provide for the carrying of wines brought to the port of the said city, and laid on land wheresoever it be, and elsewhere to be carried, to have the occupations and offices aforesaid, and every of them, and the dispositions, ordinances, oversights, and corrections of the same, together with all fees, profits and emoluments to the same offices or occupations, and other the premises, and every of them due, used and accustomed to the said mayor and commonalty, and citizens of the same city, and their successors for ever; and also the exercising of the same offices by themselves, or by their sufficient deputies, without any account or any other thing to us or our heirs therefore to be given or made, in full satisfaction and contentation of the said sum of seven thousand pounds.

Office of coroner.

And further, whereas our most dear cousin Anthony earl Rivers hath of our grant, by our letters patents, the office of our chief butler of England, under a certain form in the said letters patents specified; by reason of which office, the earl hath granted, and pretendeth to grant, the office of coroner within the said city and suburbs of the same; we likewise, in satisfaction and contentation of the said sum of seven thousand pounds, to the said mayor and commonalty, as is aforesaid, due, have of our special grace granted that the same mayor and commonalty, and their successors may lawfully and safely grant the said office of coroner to any person who shall please the said mayor and commonalty and their successors, and may make a coroner there whom shall please them immediately, and as soon as the said office of chief butler of England, or the office of coroner aforesaid, shall happen to be void, or to come to our gift, by the surrender of the said earl, or by any other cause whatsoever.

And we will by these presents, that the same office of coroner be from henceforth severally and distinctly and altogether separated from the coroner so made by the said mayor and commonalty, or their successors, may have full power and authority to exercise and do all and singular things, which to the office of coroner within the said city, and suburbs of the same, do pertain to be exercised and done; so that none other our coroner, nor of our heirs or successors, shall by any means intermeddle within the said city or suburbs of the same; although express mention of the true yearly value or certainty of the premises, or any of them, or if any other gift or grants, by us or our progenitors to the said mayor and commonalty, and citizens, or to their predecessors before this time by any means made, be not in these presents made, or any statute, act, ordinance or provision thereof made, published or ordained to the contrary, or any other thing whatsoever notwithstanding.

In witness whereof we have caused these our letters to be made patents. Witness myself at Westminster, the twentieth day of June, in the eighteenth year of our reign.