I. 50. Letter from the Queen, under Signet, to the Lord Mayor,
Aldermen, and Commons, directing them to spare, both now and
hereafter, her servant, Henry Campion, beer brewer, from the office
of sheriff, on account of his having to attend the household in progresses and in places far distant from the City.
Richmond, 29th July, 1577.
I. 51. Letter from the Lord Chancellor to the Lord Mayor, Alder
men, and Commons, reminding them of the above letter. He had
been informed that some persons, contrary to Her Majesty's express
wish, were attempting to promote Mr. Campion's election to the office
of Sheriff, and he desired that he should be put among the persons
exempted, and freed from election.
From his house near Charing Cross, 19th July, 1580.
I. 160. Letter from the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen to
the Lord..............., informing him that his servant, Mr. Gardner,
a wealthy citizen, had been elected and chosen Sheriff by the Commons of the City, which office he ought to have served, notwithstanding that he dwelt without the Liberties. Many other citizens,
dwelling in distant cities and towns, had, when elected, either served
the office or paid the fine fixed by Act of Common Council. Mr.
Gardner, pretending that his duties would prevent him from serving,
had refused, whereby the fine of £200 had become due to the Chamber
and Commonalty of the City, and not to the Mayor and Aldermen.
Nevertheless, on account of his lordship's request for a moderation
of the fine, it had been agreed to reduce it to £50, which Mr.
Gardner still objected to pay. They requested his Lordship to use
his influence with him, that he might avail himself of their offer, and
so be discharged from serving the office.
8th November, 1580.
I. 228. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Chancellor.
Mr. Norton, one of the City officers, had reported to the Court of Aldermen that his Lordship had been informed it was the intention of that
body to make some innovation and alteration in appointment and
use of the officers under the Sheriffs of the City, both touching the
custody of gaols and the administration of justice, and also the disposition of the undershrievalty of Middlesex. There had been no
such order or intention of the Court. As touching the acceptation of
the office of Sheriff by Mr. Alderman Martin, Her Majesty had wholly
exempted him by charter, which she had commanded the City not to
violate, nevertheless Mr. Martin had submitted himself by his own
free will to take the office, having allowed unto him such benefits as
by law pertained to the sheriff, and were not otherwise disposed by the
laws of the City, or else to have his sparing continued, which sparing
had been assented to and continued. As to the appointment of the
under sheriffs of Middlesex, all that had been done had been in accordance with the Act of Common Council, reducing the same to the
ancient usage of the City.
13th July, 1581.
I. 242. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor.
They had been informed that Thomas Skinner, (fn. 1) a Citizen of London,
had been by his Lordship's assent, without free election, chosen about
a year since to be one of the Sheriffs of the City. Finding himself
very unfit for that office by reason of his great debts, and inability
to satisfy his creditors, he had refused for that time to take the
office, whereupon he had been committed to prison, and fined 400
marks, and forced to enter into bond for payment thereof. He had
lately attended before the Council and declared his estate to be
insufficient to pay his debts; the greatest show of his wealth had
been only in having in mortgage the manor of Wansted and Campes
in Essex and Cambridgeshire, and the money growing therefrom had
been assured over for the satisfying his creditors, which would not
reach to their full satisfaction by 10,000l. The Council therefore
requested that he might be released and discharged from such fine.
14th August, 1581.
II. 19. Letter from the Lords of the Council to Mr. Alderman
Bennett, Sheriff elect of the City of London, who after being elected
to that office, to avoid serving the same, had threatened to withdraw
out of the realm, &c., and flee into foreign parts, ordering him to return
before the 24th of June, and to submit himself to the censure of the
Lord Mayor and Commons.
3rd June, 1594.
[Addressed to him at Stoad.
II. 20. Answer addressed by Alderman Bennett to the Lords of
the Council, excusing himself for going to Stoad; also enclosing a
Certificate from Th. Ferrars, Deputy Governor there.
28th June, 1594.
II. 63. A fragment of a Letter to Mr. Alderman Bennett, touching
his election to the Shrievalty.
21st July, 1594.
II. 351. Letter from the Lord Mayor to Mr. John Slade, complaining of the manner in which the business of the Sheriffs' Court
2nd September, 1609.
III. 114. Letter from the King to the Lord Mayor, reciting that
Sir Robert Napier, (fn. 2) Knight and Baronet, having retired from the City
into the country, where he had served the office of Sheriff of the
County, had reason to think the Commons of the City would call him
to be Sheriff thereof, and requiring that, on account of his residence
being far off, and of the dignity of a Baronet, which he had been
called to, he should by Act of Common Council, or otherwise, be freed
from the office of Sheriff, or any other office of charge within the
City, and that the bond given by him to the late Lord Mayor should
be returned to him, the example being so unfit, that a gentleman
called to the quality of a baronet should be afterwards called to be
Theobald's, 11th November, 11 James I., 1613.
III. 153. Letter from the King to the Lord Mayor, Aldermen,
and Commonalty of the City of London. He had been informed that
the Commons had chosen his servant, Sir Arthur Ingram, Knight, to
be one of the Sheriffs, and required them, since they could not be
ignorant that he was the King's Secretary at York, to make another
Westminster, 27th June, 12 James I., 1614.
III. 155. Letter from the Mayor, &c., of Coventry, to Lord Chief
Justice Coke, requesting him to use his influence with the Lord Mayor
and Aldermen to procure, if possible, the discharge of Mr. Sampson
Hopkins from the office of Sheriff of London, to which he had been
elected by the Commonalty.
III. 156. Letter from the Mayor, &c., of Coventry to the Lord
Mayor, to the same effect. This letter states that Mr. Hopkins had
served the office of Mayor of Coventry, and was then an Alderman
there, and that by his removal the greater part of the poor of that
city (who lived under him, and by his trade) would fall to utter decay.
Coventry, 1st July, 1614.
III. 157. Letter from Lord Chief Justice Coke to the Lord Mayor,
forwarding the Letter of the Mayor, &c., of Coventry (of which city he
was himself a member), and requesting the Lord Mayor and Court of
Aldermen to forbear to impose the office of Sheriff upon Mr.
4th July, 1614.
Note in Margin.— The request of my Lord Coke was referred to a
Common Council, where the Letter was read, and upon a question
made (out of the City's love and general affection, to gratify my Lord
Coke), the whole Commons did generally consent to discharge the
said Mr. Hopkins of all offices upon easy terms.
III. 164. Letter from the Lord Mayor to a Citizen, elected
Sheriff, requiring him to appear before the Court of Aldermen, and
enter into bond for the undertaking and execution of that office.
19th July, 1614.
III. 168. Letter from the Earl of Suffolk, Lord Treasurer, to the
Lord Mayor. He had been commanded by the King to intimate that,
the Citizens having elected his servant, Sir Lionel Cranfield, (fn. 3) as Sheriff,
His Majesty, if the City (notwithstanding his former letter) would have
the usual fine, according to custom, would pay it himself rather than
lose his services. He requested them to elect another Sheriff, and
discharge Sir Lionel.
Northampton House, 27th July, 1614.
III. 169. Letter from the Earl of Suffolk, Lord Treasurer, to the
Lord Mayor. The King had written one letter, and the writer, by his
command, another in behalf of Sir Lionel Cranfield, about the
Shrievalty. Seeing they so little availed, His Majesty had resolved to
pay his fine for him. He therefore prayed them to send back the
King's letter and his own by some Aldermen.
Northampton House, 1st August, 1614.
III. 170. Letter from the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen to
the Lords of the Council, concerning the case of Sir Lionel Cranfield.
As the King had, by a former letter on behalf of Sir Baptist Hicks, promised not to require a similar favour from thenceforth for any Citizen,
they hoped he would countenance their present proceedings warranted
by Charter. As to Sir Lionel's employments, none had been exempted
thereby, though they had served His Majesty and the late Queen in
more principal offices. They had thought it their duty to intimate
these things to the Council, proposing to acquaint His Majesty with
the proceedings of the Commons (i.e. the Commonalty) in whose discretions the matter wholly rested, and to beg their Lordships' mediation with the King, that it might not be offensive if in these cases
they put into execution the ancient privileges and customs of the City.
1st August, 1614.
IV. 121. Letter from Edward Lord Zouche to the Lord Mayor,
requesting that Mr. Henry Bannester (fn. 4) might not be put in nomination for Sheriff, on account of the insufficiency of his estate.
Philip Lane, 21st May, 1618.
IV. 122. Letter from the Bailiffs and Portmen of Ispwich to the
Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen. They had been informed that
Mr. Matthew Browneridge, one of their Company, had been nominated
as one of the Sheriffs for the year ensuing. They requested that he
might be discharged therefrom, on account of his supplying a place of
special service to His Majesty in Ipswich, and of his having twice
served the chief office in that town, which he would then have been
again serving but that they had excused him on account of his losses.
Ipswich, 25th, May, 1618.
IV. 124. Letter from the Lord Treasurer (the Earl of Suffolk) to
the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen. He had received a letter
from the Bailiffs and Portmen of the town of Ipswich with reference
to the election of Mr. Matthew Browneridge as one of the Sheriffs of
the City, and requested them, before His Majesty or the Council
should be informed of the matter, to release him therefrom.
Suffolk House, 29th May, 1618.
VI. 26. Petition of Richard Cockes (Cox) to the King, reciting
that having, in December, 1621, been sworn Alderman, he had, in June
following, been chosen Sheriff, and had thereupon prayed the Court
of Aldermen to release him on account of inability; but the Court
had refused and complained to the Star Chamber, by whom he was
ordered to be bound to hold office. The Star Chamber had afterwards again referred him to the Court of Aldermen, who had fined
him 400l. He prayed His Majesty, on account of his having been
driven from the City for free trading into Russia, and having been
greatly weakened in his estates since by bearing offices in the country,
and by suits, &c., to refer the matter to such of his Council as he
should think fit, that thereby he might be relieved of the fine if found
VI. 27. Letter of Mr. Secretary Conway to the Lord Mayor and
Court of Aldermen, enclosing the foregoing Petition, and requesting
them to be the judges of the matter. If, in their own justice and the
equity of the suit, they should give the Petitioner satisfaction, he
should think His Majesty's trouble well spared. But if they saw
reason think His Majesty's trouble well spared. But if they saw
reason either not to approve of the motion or to leave it to His
Majesty's pleasure, he should desire to be better instructed in what
points to move the King, or intreat the parties to use some other
mediation if the cause should appear to him not meet to be offered to
Whitehall, 19th November, 1623.
VII. 188. Letter from the King to the Lord Mayor and Court
of Aldermen, requesting them to excuse Mr. Thomas Plummer,
who had been elected Sheriff, from serving, and to deliver up to
him to be cancelled his bond for 400l. to take upon him that
office. "Considering his infirmity in his hearing, and for some other
respects best known to ourself, we hold him no way fit to undertake
that charge, especially in these times of action."
17th January, 1636.
VII. 192. Letter from the King to the Lord Mayor and Court of
Aldermen, renewing his former request with respect to Mr. Thomas
Plumer, and promising that their compliance therewith should not
be drawn into a precedent.
Whitehall, 20th March, 1636.
VII. 206. Letter from the King to the Lord Mayor, referring to his
former Letters concerning Mr. Thomas Plomer, and commanding that,
without further delay, Mr. Plomer's bond should be delivered up to him
to becancelled, and that from thenceforth he should not bechosen Alderman or Sheriff of the City of London, but should be absolutely freed
therefrom without fine.
Hampton Court, 17th October, 1637.
VIII. 3. Letter from the King to the Lord Mayor and Court of
Aldermen, referring to a former letter requesting that Sir Robert
Napier, Knight and Baronet, might be spared from being chosen as
Sheriff, because he had served the office in another county; besides
which, being a Baronet, he should be exempted, because he could not
serve without prejudice to the ancient order of precedence between
those that had been Mayor. Notwithstanding his former letter,
Sir Robert had been chosen Sheriff; and he required that the bond
taken by the Court should be delivered up to him, "for we will have
no such precedent."
1st October, 1614.
VIII. 186. Same as No. 188, Vol. VII.
17th January, 1636.
VIII. 195. Order of the Star Chamber upon the petition of the
Mayor, Sheriffs, Citizens, and Commonalty of the City of Norwich,
praying that Thomas Atkins, a Citizen of London resident in Norwich,
and an Alderman of that City, of which he had been Sheriff, and
was next in rotation for the Mayoralty, might be remitted from serving
the office of Sheriff of London, to which he had been nominated by
the Lord Mayor. It had been alleged by the City's Counsel that such
course of election of Sheriffs, being Freemen of London, wheresoever
resident (being one of the privileges belonging to the City), had been
used and enjoyed time out of mind without interruption. The Court
of Star Chamber declare that the City of London had, by ancient
prescription, charters, and confirmations of His Majesty's Royal progenitors, and by Act of Parliament, lawful and undoubted right of
election of Sheriffs in manner aforesaid, and ought to enjoy the same,
and direct that the election of the said Thomas Atkins should stand,
and that he should serve the office accordingly.
23rd June, 1637.
VIII. 196. Letter from the King to the Lord Mayor and Court of
Aldermen, requiring them to discharge from serving the office of Sheriff
without fine Sir William Calley, Knight, a person above seventy-two
years of age, who left the City above thirty years since, and who,
in respect of his age, had obtained leave to resign an office of much
easier execution in the King's service.
10th July, 1637.