II. 326. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Farmers of the
Custom House, as to the alteration in the rates of Porterage, for the
lading and unlading of all Coasters' goods brought into, or carried
out of, the Port of London.
8th August, 1608.
V. 141. Petition of Maltsters of Henley-on-Thomas to the Lords
of the Council, complaining of a charge lately levied upon them by
the Lord Mayor, and praying that he might be required to show before
their Lordships, or some of the Judges, by what right the exaction
was made, and to stay further exaction until it should be found lawful,
because it was a very recent claim, and might, as the Petitioners conceived, be added to yearly by every Lord Mayor, as he pleased.
(The leaf partially destroyed.)
V. 142. Answer of the Lord Mayor and Aldermen, to the foregoing Petition, reciting that the City of London, had had, time out of
mind, and still possessed, the Portage, of all things measurable brought
into the Port of London; that the Company, of Porters of London
had been time out of mind a fraternity called the Billingsgate Porters;
that they were bound on all occasions to attend that service, and to
carry corn to His Majesty's granaries; they were all freemen
of the City, and, before being allowed to work, had to find sufficient sureties for their good conduct. They only took for that
service the amount settled by Act of Common Council. (fn. 1) in the
Mayoralty of Sir William Cockayne, and the Lord Mayor required
nothing but the orderly performance of the Act of Common Council,
which all the Petitioners willingly observed. The privilege of Portage
being so ancient a right of the City, and one upon which the livelihood of so many poor freemen and their families depended (there
being about 300 or 400 of the fraternity), the Court of Aldermen
prayed that it might not be interrupted by the suggestion of a few
turbulent persons, who, out of will rather than any just ground,
presumed to trouble the Council in a business so well settled.