Addenda to volume 11: Miscellaneous

Pages 596-602

The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 12. Originally published by W Bristow, Canterbury, 1801.

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PAGE 78.—IT APPEARS that a tallage was assessed on the City and suburbs in the 32d year of king Edward I. on the oaths of the six aldermen.— These were,
Simon Bertelot, alderman of Northgate.
John Holt, ditto, of Newingate.
John de Terne, ditto, of Worgate.
John Andreu, ditto, of Redingate.
Thomas Chiche, ditto, of Burgate, and
Reginald Hurel, ditto, of Westgate. (fn. 1)

PAGE 85. In a manuscript of Matthew Paris's History, written, as supposed by himself, about the middle of the 13th century, in the Royal Library, marked 14, c. vii. is a rude, though nevertheless curious, Map of Stations for a Pilgrimage from England to the Holy Land, consisting of rude drawings of all the towns from London to Jerusalem. That of Canterbury is with this inscription:—Canterbire chef de iglises de Engletetre, and exhibits the cathedral with three towers, and without the walls of the city, a church, superscribed l' abbie Seie Augustin, under this is written Kent. Between each place is written Jurnee, that is a day's journey, and between Canterbury and Dover Pees de Jurnee, i. e. nearly a day's journey. (fn. 2)

In the Benet college MSS. of the first part of the same author, marked C. ix. is a similar map of stations where the towns are differently represented. In the city of Canterbury, without the walls, there are two churches, one of which may be St. Augustine's abbey, the other most probably one of the most antient parish churches, some of the inscriptions are in Latin, and the stage between Canterbury and Dover is here called demie jurnee. i. e. half a day's journey—under the city is Cantebrue, and under this CANCIA.

PAGE 120. It appears by the rolls in the exchequer of the reign of king Henry the IId. that the Sheriff of Kent was discharged in his accounts year after year, for his payment to the porter of Canterbury, who performed the office of executioner of the county—et in liberatione Constituta Portaris Cantuar. qui facit Justitiam Comitatus. (fn. 3)

PAGE 131, vol. i. The reception of the princess MariaHenrietta, daughter of king Henry the IVth, of France, at Dover, by king Charles the Ist, on May 12, 1625, who conducted her to Canterbury, where their marriage was consummated in the king's palace of St. Augustine's monastery the next day, taken from the observations of Sir John Finett, master of the ceremonies, touching the reception and precedence, &c. of ambassadors, published by Howell, 12mo. 1656, p. 151.

"On the 31st day of May, 1625, Madam Maria-Henrietta, second daughter of Henry the IVth, king of France, and the then affianced wife of king Charles, being upon her journey for England; his Majesty prepared for her encounter and reception, went by water to Gravesend, thence by post and coach to Canterbury. A day or two before, the master of the ceremonies had order for the provision and sending down of thirty-two coaches to serve her Majesty, and the duke de Chevereux, employed then ambassador extraordinary from that king, for his presence at the solemnization, and final ratification or consummation of the marriage. The coaches, mentioned to be taken up for the service, were defrayed by the king, but carts and post horses, (brought in by warrant sent abroad to the country) were to be immediately paid for at prices usual by such as should have use of them. The confusion was extraordinary, (for want of orderly directions) in almost all things, but especially in the distribution of coaches, carts and horses; he that first laid hand on them, possessing them, though unworthily, when others of far better quality and more modest, were not at all or ill accommodated.

"His Majesty entering Canterbury was received by the mayor, who had borrowed the recorder, Master Henry Finches mouth for a welcoming speech delivered with much elegance, and was lodged at the lord Wooton's house, parcel of the demolished abbey of Saint Augustine; the great lords and their ladies that attended him from London (which were Arundell, Excester, Devonshire, Saint Johns, Andower, Dacre, de la Ware, Mordant, Wentworth, Harvey, and others) were quartered severally in the city, and had their rendezvous for diet (of his Majesty's providing) at the bishop's palace. The third day following his Majesty leaving the married lords and ladies at Canterbury, went to Dover for view and directions of what was fitting for the queen's accommodation; about which, and in expectation of the news of her approach, he there spent the time from Thursday to Tuesday, when Master Robert Tyrrwhit, servant to his Majesty, returned from France (whither he had been purposely sent) with the news of her departure from Amiens, and her intention to be on Wednesday at Bolloigne, which made the king upon assurance that the queen mother, indisposed in her health, would not come thither with her daughter) alter the resolution he had of passing the seas, and the next day returned to Canterbury, with the reason of giving to the queen some time of refreshing after her sea-distempers before he would see her.

"But on Thursday, the king's fleet not being able (for the wind's opposition) to recover Bulloigne, and left for the same cause on Friday, and two days after, on Munday the 12 of May, about nine of the clock, the reports of cannons from the French coast, and the wind then come faire, made us presume of her Majesty, then shipping, as it did after assure us of her landing at seven in the evening, passing out of her boat on shore by an artificial moveable bridge framed for that use only. The newes of her arriveall was by Master Tirwhit, within half an hour and six minutes carried to the king at Canterbury. Her Majesty rather ill at ease, than sick after her sea motions, was carried from the shore to the town in a litter, and there received wellcome, and presented by the Mayor, she went in a coach, up to the castle, and had there the next day her best and happiest reception from the king, come that morning from Canterbury. Their Majesties dining that day together; the king after dinner gave audience to the duke de Chevereux, the duke of Buckingham, with my service (viz. Sir John Finett, the assistant master of the ceremonies) (fn. 4) introducing him to the presence chamber of the queen, whence the king honoured him, (after his audience) with his company to his Majesty's own presence chamber, for a sight and wellcome of the faire dutches de Chevereux.—After this their Majesties set forth for Canterbury, and within two or three miles of it, on Barham Downs, were attended (for their meeting and reception) by the lords and ladies mentioned, these latter presenting themselves from a sitting distance (where the queen stood) to her Majesty, each in their ranke, with three low reverences kissing her hand, and her Majesty them for their greater honour. That night their Majesties supt and slept together. Sic Consummatum est. The next day they removed to Cobham, near Rochester, and from thence and Gravesend they came with the lowd wellcome of great ordinance from the ships on the Thames to London, May 16."

PAGE 131, vol. i. Extract from a very curious and scarce pamphlet, entitled, A proper Memorial for the 29th of May, &c. London, printed for A. Bettesworth, 1715, 8vo. in which, p. 71, is an account of king Charles the IId.'s reception at Canterbury, at his Restoration, on Saturday, the 26th of May, 1660.

"IN THE MEAN TIME all things were disposed for his Majesty's reception, and the fleet sent over under the command of General Montague. The king embarked on Wednesday the 23d of May, aboard the Naseby, whose name he then altered, calling it the Charles; and with a fair galc soon arrived within two leagues of Dover. There he landed Friday the 25th, being met on shore by General Monk, with whom and the Dukes of York and Gloucester, his two royal brothers, he proceeded by coach to Dover. After a short stay there, his Majesty was conducted by the General, with a guard of horse, and great numbers of the nobility and gentry, besides an infinite multitude of the meaner sort, to Canterbury, and there received and entertained by the Mayor and other Magistrates in their formalities, who presented him with a rich bible, and a gold cup full of broad pieces, as an acknowledgment of their duty. — The king continued at Canterbury all Saturday and Sunday, the 26th and 27th, with all his retinue; and on Monday the 28th went on, first to Cobham-hall, a house belonging to the duke of Richmond, in Kent, and then on forward to London."

THE CORPORATION of the city of Canterbury having lately permitted Cyprian Rondeau Bunce, esq of that city, and an alderman of it, in compliance with his voluntary offer, to form an arrangement of the many valuable materials, that for some centuries past, in the course of the administration of the civil government of the city, have been deposited among their archives, tending to elucidate its History, he has thereby the satisfaction to become possessed of a compleat catalogue of those materials, a copy of which he intends shortly to present to that body. In making this arrangement he was much gratified by taking a variety of extracts from the earliest accounts of the chamber, and many from its records interesting to his brother freemen, as well in relation to their privileges, as, in other respects, throwing a light on the general history of the country, and as such not altogether uninteresting to the public at large.— These extracts he designs also to deposit with the Corporation.

In the mean time being desirous of contributing to the utility of this History, and the amusement afforded by the perusal of it, he has transcribed many articles, of a public nature, from these collections, which, at the Editor's request, Mr. Bunce has consented shall be inserted among the Additions which the Editor proposed making to his History of Canterbury, the following pages therefore contain those parts of Mr. Bunce's Collections which he has kindly communicated to the Editor for that purpose.

IT MAY NOT BE IMPROPER, says MR. BUNCE, as hereafter I shall have occasion frequently to mention the twelve jurats, or sworn men of the chamber of Canterbury, officers who, for ages, have been unknown in the body corporate of the city, to remark, that previous to the mayoralities, (which began A. D. 1448, and not, as stated by Mr. Somner, who though in general accurate, begins his list of mayors in 1449, and in which, for want of reference to the records, he is otherwise very imperfect) while the bailiffs had the government of the city vested in them, the whole business of the chamber, and the principal part of that which is now transacted in the burghmote, was committed to the management of twelve of the most respectable citizens, six elder and six younger, called the twelve sworn men of the chamber; who were elected annually, as assistants to the bailiffs, and with them and the then six aldermen and thirty-six worshipful men, sworn to the council of the city, had seats and voted together in that court.—It was the particular province of the jurats, to admit and swear the freemen; to compound with intrants or new comers for leave to open shop within the liberties of the city; to take proof of and register the wills of citizens, then usually recorded in burghmote; to let and superintend the estates of the city; to receive from the cofferers of the chamber their yearly account of the income and expences of the corporation, and to register and pass those accounts with the bailiffs.

The cofferers, who were generally four in number, till 1412, when they were reduced to one only, assisted by the clerk and sergeant of the chamber, by their office were to receive the rents and dues of the corporation, to pay their bills, and do all matters of that kind; but, as the greater part of the jurats' business, in time became transferred to the court of burghmote, that court, in 1452, and the year following, discontinued the offices of jurat and cofferer, and appointed two of the aldermen by the name of chamberlains, to manage the concerns of the chamber in their stead. In 1454 the appointment of the 12 jurats was resumed, and that of chamberlain suspended, and so continued until 1465, during which period the office of cofferer was confided to the clerk and sergeant of the chamber, who accounted with the 12 jurats, and they with the mayor and house of burghmote. From thence, till 1503, the court appointed two of the aldermen chamberlains; but, from that year, one chamberlain only was elected, and the office has so continued to be executed by one chamberlain, assisted by the clerk and serjeant of the chamber, from thence until the present day.—The office of the twelve jurats and of the cofferers ceased when the appointment of a chamberlain became regular.

As the language of the cofferer's oath is singular, as well as explanatory of the nature of the office, it may not be uninteresting to your readers to see a copy of it, which is taken literally from the record, where it is thus written:—

" This here ye Maier, That y shal be trewe to kyng Edward, king of Englond, and to his heirs, kynges of Englond; and trewly doo and execute the office of a co" ferer for the chamber of the citee of Cauntbury, and the coe we'll of the same. Y shall not bie ne selle with the money of the said citee to my use, ne noon other man" ny's, ne have noon therof. Y shal trewly kepe the dayes assigned for the 12 men, and a trewe accompte of all my receytes make and yelde, and all other thynges doo, be" langgyng to my office and the usagez and custumes of the citee abovesayd- so helpe me God at the holy dome."

The temporal government of the city before the time of the bailiffs, says Mr. Somner, is somewhat obscure. Yet, questionless, it always had a special and distinct magistrate to preside over it, stiled either præfect, portreeve or provost; names differing more in sound than in sense or signification. The single became changed into a double portreeve, bailiff or provost, yet was not elective, by the vote and suffrage of the citizens, until 18 Hen. 3d. A. D. 1234, when the king, by charter, granted the town to the citizens in fee farm, at a certain yearly rent paid into the exchequer; and infranchised them with licence and power, yearly, to chuse bailiffs of their own: From which time the city continued a bailiff town; that is, was governed by bailiffs, until the change thereof into a mayoralty, by charter 26 Hen. 6. A.D. 1448. Fifty years afterwards, viz. A.D. 1498, king Hen. 7th. in the 13th year of his reign, by his charter, called Novæ Ordinationes, increased the number of aldermen from 6 to 12, and decreased that of the common council from 36 to 24; when the government of the city became vested in a mayor, 12 aldermen, and 24 common council, under the general title of mayor and commonalty of the city and county of Canterbury.


  • 1. Register A. in the Treasury of Christ-church, among the archives of the dean and chapter, f. 572, 573.
  • 2. See the annexed Plate, Fig. 1.
  • 3. Magn. Rot. 5. Hen. II. rot 9.a Chent—12 Hen. II. rot. ga Chent—14 Hen. II. rot. 14.a 32 Hen. II. Kane m. I.a See Madox Excheq. 4to. vol. i. p. 373.
  • 4. Sir Lewes Lewknor, master of the ceremonies, died on the March following, when Sir John Finett, having the reversion of that office by the king's letters patent, succeeded to it.