An Essay Towards A Topographical History of the County of Norfolk: Volume 3, the History of the City and County of Norwich, Part I. Originally published by W Miller, London, 1806.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
Charles the First was solemnly proclaimed King of Great Britain on the last day of March, 1625; the mayor, steward, justices, sheriffs, and aldermen, joined by the Bishop Sir Thomas Richardson, Knt. serjeant at law to the deceased King, Sir John Corbet, and many others, being present at the ceremony. (fn. 1) On the 13th of May following, Thomas Earl of Arundel and Surrey, Earl-Marshal of England, Knight of the Garter, and one of the privy-council, who resided at his palace here, being appointed Lord Lieutenant of the county of Norfolk, of the city and county of Norwich, and of all corporate and privileged places within those counties and city, as well within the liberties as without, by letters patent the 9th of the same month, did constitute and appoint the mayor of the city for the time being, Sir Tho. Holland, Sir Tho. Hyrne, Knts. Tho. Holl, Esq. the justices of the peace and the sheriffs for the time being, to be his deputy lieutenants in all the city and county thereof, and in all corporate and privileged places therein contained; and on the 19th of the same month, these deputies impressed 50 soldiers in the city for his Majesty's service, and the mayor delivered them to Peter Murford, Gent. to be by him conducted to Plimouth, and there delivered to such captain as should be appointed by the privy council.
On the 12th of July, the King issued a commission directed to the mayor, &c. to scour the city ditches, remove all nuisances in and about the city, repair the walls and turrets, and to tax all residing it, the several wards according to their abilities towards the work in being thought very necessary, in order to stop the plague, which began to spread here, being brought from Yarmouth the latter end of June: for on the 4th of July, the mayor wrote to the bailiffs of Yarmouth, desiring them to order the wherry-men, to carry no persons dwelling in any infected places in their town, to the city; and the constables of every ward gave notice that no person coming from London should be entertained, without notice given to the aldermen of their ward, and watch was set day and night at every gate, to hinder all persons coming from infected places entering the city, and the carriers were commanded to bring no persons, nor any wool whatever; (fn. 2) but notwithstanding all this caution, it began to spread, so that on the 23d of July, the aldermen of every ward named a searcher or two in each ward, to be keepers of such persons as were suspected to be sick or die of the plague; and the bellman, by publick proclamation, warned all persons within the city to put away their dogs and swine out of the walls, on pain of being killed: on the 30th of July, the watch of the gates ceased, it being publickly known that the city was infected, 26 dying this week of the distemper, which increased so by the 11th of August that it was resolved that every alderman should have power to send his warrants to the city treasurers for money to relieve the infected persons; and it abating this week, so that 14 only died of it; orders were issued that the doors of all persons that died of the infection should be nailed up and watched; and information of infected houses being taken, it appeared there were 12 in St. Margaret's, four in St. Benet's, two in St. Laurence, and one in St. Martin at the Oak, which were all ordered to be watched, and every one that begged about the street was to be whipped, the poor being to be maintained, so as no one should have any reason to beg for want of victuals: Sir John Hobart generously gave 10s. a week when he left his city house here, (fn. 3) because he could not relieve them there, and promised to pay all rates as well to the poor as to the infected persons, during his continuance in the country, the same as if he had been in town; others following his good example, encouraged many to send in sums of money for their relief, as Mr. Augustine Scottow, alderman, &c.
Sept. 1, Mr. Toby de Hem informed the court, that the Dutch congregation had retained Peter Heybaud to look to their infected poor, who was ordered by the court to retire himself from company, and never to walk abroad but with a red wand a yard and half long, and his wife and family the same, and not to go abroad after candlelighting but on absolute necessity.
Sept. 21, the gates were watched again, and Mr. Sheriff Powell gave money to the poor instead of his feast: and now there died above 40 in a week; the most that died in any one week during this calamity was 91, of which 73 of the plague; the 15th of March, the two widows who were searchers of the infected poor, and the four bearers, were ordered to reside in Norman's hospital, and carry red staves when they went out, each being allowed 4s. a week. May 13, 1626, the wardens of the weavers were commanded to keep no feast this year, but to meet as private as possible, and choose their wardens, and so they were to continue doing till it pleased God to cease the contagion in the city, which now began to decline, so that Sept. the 2d, the mayor sent a letter to the bailiffs of Colchester, to restrain all such carriers of wool and yarn as usually came to this city from thence, by reason of the great infection in that place, for now though the city was not clear, there died but few, though small numbers continued dying of the plague every week till the beginning of December, 1626, when by God's mercy it totally ceased: the number that died of it during its whole continuance was 1431.
The 19th of October, 1625, the city petitioned the King, (by Alex. Anguish, alderman, who was sent up to London for that purpose,) mentioning their poverty and distress to be such that they had no money to lend on privy seals, and indeed it was as much as could be expected, if not more, for them to maintain the infected and poor at such a time, which they never neglected during the whole calamity, but endeavoured all ways to find them with work. At a court held Nov. 3, the city borrowed 50l. of St. George's company, to set poor people at work in the stone mines or pits; the bellman being ordered to warn all such as wanted work and dwelt not in infected houses, to repair thither with their tools to dig stones, for which they should have reasonable wages, on purpose their families might not want bread.
Jan. 28, Charles Suckling, Esq. in behalf of Sir John Suckling, Knt. Comptroller of his Majesty's household, and one of the privy council came into court, and desired that Sir John, being son of Mr. Rob. Suckling, late alderman, and heretofore twice mayor of the city, might, according to the custom of the city, be admitted to his freedom; and desired that his oath might be respited till after his Majesty's coronation, which he was now forced to attend, and the court being satisfied that the freedom of the city belonged to Sir John as his birth-right, according to the ancient custom and usage of the city, "Mr. Mayor and aldermen in all due and thankfull manner, embraced the said motion, and did consent to admit him," and sent a copy of the freemen's oath to the recorder then at London, desiring him to proceed therein as to him shall seem meet and expedient.
Mr. Augustine Scottow, gave 50l. to be continually lent unto five worsted weavers by 10l. a man, for seven years together, provided every borrower thereof give security, to be approved of by the mayor, sheriffs, and aldermen, before they have the money, and renew the securities as often as the court of majoralty shall require.
In 1626, Sir John Suckling, Knt. by will dated Sept. 30, gave 6l. per annum for ever, to be distributed among the poor of the parishes of St. Andrew, St. Austin's, St. George of Colgate, and St. Saviour's, by the church-wardens and overseers of the said parishes.
Two ships of war being demanded and refused, there were soon after two writs of quo warranto brought against the mayor, &c. who stood the trial; and in 1629, were discharged, having proved that they used nor usurped no privileges but what their charters then produced authorised them to do.
Fourteen soldiers were pressed and sent to Harwich; the lord keeper, lord treasurer, comptroller, and chancellor of the Dutchy of Lancaster, were appointed to come to the city, and sit on the 11th of January, concerning a loan to the King; they were entertained at the Bishop's palace, feasted by the court, and met at their coming, by the mayor and court, and the loan being settled, collectors were appointed for every ward, and the money paid the May following.
In 1627, 400 Irish soldiers came to Norwich, 200 of which were billetted there, 100 sent to Yarmouth, and 100 to Lyn; and in July, an order came for the county and city to levy 250 footmen, of which the deputy lieutenants sent for 25 men out of the city; but the city refused to levy so many; 17 only being their proportion, which were sent to Lyn, to be conducted from thence to Hull. (fn. 4) In November this year, on complaint to the King of some abuse offered in the city to the Earl of Murton in his passage through it to London, the mayor was sent for up, to answer to it, who informed the court of the whole proceeding; and though it was manifest, no blame could be laid upon him, yet in obedience to his Majesty's command it was thought fit, that the mayor, accompanied with Sir Peter Gleane, Mr. Throckmorton, and Mr. Sheriff Lane, should go up to answer personally, and did so.
In 1628, Mr. Francis Cock, alderman, by will dated Dec. 24, gave 50l. to the poor, and 50l. to be lent to five young worsted weavers, of West-Wymer ward, at 10l. a man for three years, giving security to the court for repayment.
Tobias de Hem, merchant, by will dated 29 July, 1629, gave 3l. to the poor of the parish of St. Andrew, in which he dwelt, to remain for a stock for the good of the poor. To the military company of the city 5l. for a stock, to be employed for their benefit and use, and 40s. for a supper. To Mr. Peter Murford, lieutenant of the company, 40s. To the mayor and city, a piece of plate of 20l. to be delivered from mayor to mayor. To the city poor 10l.
After our hearty commendations, we have thought fit to let you understand, that upon the deliver here at court of the herring-pyes, which we lately received from you, we find diverse just exceptions to be taken against the goodness of them, which we must require you to answer and take such order that the same may be amended for the future tyme as you would avoid further trouble: the exceptions we take are these, viz.
Thirdly, whereas you should by your tenure, bake in these pasties six-score herrings at the least, being the great hundreth, which doth require five to be put into every pye at the least, we find but fower herrings to be in diverse of them.
Upon which they promised more caution for the future. (fn. 5) This rent of herring pies is the ancient fee farm of the city before it was incorporated, when it was a great place of fishing, before the foundation of Yarmouth, and is still paid by the sheriffs to the King; the city being now in possession of the manor in Carleton, which by its tenure is to carry the pasties to the court. In 1673, this farm was acknowledged to be received by the lord of that manor, (fn. 6) to be carried to the King, by indenture dated at the Gild-hall, Sept. 27, at 10 o'clock in the forenoon, by which, Thomas Lord Richardson, Baron of Cramond, acknowledged that he, by Rich. Eden his tenant, then received of the sheriffs of the city of Norwich one hundred herrings by the great hundred, viz. of the first new herrings that came to the city, in 24 pies or pasties, well seasoned with the following spices, viz. half a pound of ginger, half a pound of pepper, a quarter of a pound of cinnamon, one ounce of cloves, an ounce of long-pepper, half an ounce of grains of paradise, and half an ounce of galangals.
Which said pies are to be brought to the King's house, wherever he is in England; for which service the person carrying them shall receive there, six white-loaves, six dishes of meat out of the King's kitchen, one flaggon of wine, one flaggon of beer, one truss of hay, one bushel of oats, one pricket of wax, and six tallow candles; and now the sheriff's yearly pay this farm, the pies being sent up by them, and placed on his Majesty's table.
In April 1630, the plague brake out again in St. Gregory's parish, one child dying of it, upon which the court met, and swore a woman searcher of the infected, nailed up the door of the house, and by the common cryer ordered, all dogs, cats, tame doves, rabbits, and swine, to be put out of the city, or killed; and in May, the tower next Brasen Door was appointed for the buryers, and for a prison for such infected poor as would not be ruled; and the distemper being much in Cambridge, the carriers thither were prohibited; six houses were erected on Butter-hills near the great Black Tower there, which was fitted up with them for pest-houses, and an acre of land enclosed about them with tall boards, and watchmen were set day and night to keep any from going thither, or coming thence; all that died there were ordered to be buried in the churchyard of St. Peter at South-gate; but it pleased God that this great caution had its desired effect, the distemper not spreading, not above one or two died in a week, so that it being over, the Bishop gave notice to the mayor and court, that he had appointed St. Bartholomew's day for a general thanksgiving in all places of divine worship in this city, for the great deliverance which God had vouchsafed to give them from the pestilence, which so severely visited other places, commending at the same time their care and diligence, to which God had given so great a blessing; recommending to them the strict observance of that day, which he had appointed for so good a purpose; as also that they would join with him in their utmost endeavours to collect what money they could for the poor in Cambridge and Windham, now visited with that grievous plague: to which the court answered, that his Lordship might depend on their causing so due and necessary a duty to God for his extraordinary mercy to them and their city, to be performed in the strictest manner that possibly could be, and that they would do as he desired, and collect what they could for their visited brethren, having a grateful sense of these extraordinary mercies, and that they should not appear so if they did not thank his Lordship for his seasonable and kind letter of direction in this affair; and accordingly the said fast was solemnised with great strictness, and the collections began for Cambridge and Windham, which were carried on with such success, that they collected for the town of Cambridge 164l. 8s. 8d. q. and for Windham 103l. 5s. 7d.; and in July following the pest-houses were taken down, and the city continued clear.
In this and the next year, corn was very scarce, being sold at 30, and sometimes 40s. a comb, which made the magistrates very circumspect in the affair, and first they ordered no corn to be suffered to pass the chain or boom on the river, without license from the justices: the maltsters were ordered to make no malt, but to sell their barley in the open market, and the bakers were to make only three sorts of bread, white, wheatea, and household, and no manchet, spice-bread, or such like. And great care was taken that no starch should be made, as also that every person in every ward, on search made, should declare what quantity of corn they had by them: and the treasurer of the city granary was ordered to buy what corn he could for the present relief of the poor, at such a price as he could buy it for, and the keeper of the granary was to deliver weekly to the several aldermen of the city, a proportionable quantity of corn for the poor at 18s. a comb, one with another, whatever it cost, viz. 2 parts barley, 1 part wheat, and 1 part rye; all which the judges of assize and the lords of the privy council confirmed, and finding the corn not sufficient, they gathered in the city, and raised 114l. 18s. 10d. to buy corn with for the poor; and continued for some years, as long as the scarcity lasted, to take the like care.
In 1631, London being infected, and information given that five persons were dead of the plague in St. Austin's parish, all carriages, &c. from London to Norwich were stopped, the houses shut up, bearers and searchers appointed, two pest-houses ordered on Butter-hills where they were built before, all communication stopped to Windham, which was infected, the gates of the city shut, and watched day and night on Windham fair day, and all precaution taken as before, which had such good effect the second time, that the contagion ceased, and not above 20 or 30 persons died of it.
In 1632, 66l. was collected in the city towards rebuilding St. Paul's cathedral, and Mr. Robert Houghton paid 10l. to the use of the poor of his mother's gift, she was late wife of Thomas Gleane, Esq. and before that of Gregory Houghton, late alderman deceased, his father.
This year, on the 27th of Feb. died that worthy Dr. of Divinity Thomas, son of John Mountford of Norwich, who became prebend of Harleston, residentiary of St. Paul's, and prebend of Westminster, and was buried in the chancel of Tewing in Hertfordshire, leaving his son John Mountford, D. D. rector of Anstie in Hertfordshire, who being a most zealous man for the church of England, was ejected in the time of the Usurpation, as was, James Mountfort, his brother, from the rectory of Tewing, in which he succeeded his father. (fn. 7)
Prudence Blosse, widow of Mr. Alderman Blosse, by will dated March 1, 1633, gave 10l. to the poor, and to the mayor, sheriff's, and commonalty, and their successours, her houses in St. Saviour's parish, to the intent that they may place widows therein, to dwell rent free, they producing security to keep the houses in sufficient reparation during their lives respectively, viz. every widow for the house she dwells in; and so to continue for ever, provided the widows dwelling in St. Saviour's parish, if there be any such, shall have their dwelling in the said houses before others. She gave an 100l. to the Children's Hospital, and to the poor of St. Saviour's an annuity of 13s. 4d. to be paid yearly for ever on the funeral day of her late husband, Mr. Nutting.
In 1634, the contest between the church and city was put to reference, each side were to pay their own charges; the Lord Keeper and Mr. Justice Hutton being arbitrators; the decree bears date July 2, by which all Tombland, Spitelond, Raton-rowe, Holm-street, and all the houses, soil, and ground, and all liberties whatever, were confirmed to the city, the liberty of the dean and chapter being to extend to the outward walls of their precinct, and no further; the dean being excluded from holding any fair, leet, or court, and power of justiceship out of the precinct, and the whole within the walls of the precinct to be in the county of Norwich, but under the jurisdiction of the church; and whereas the city claimed the manor of Norman's, under the title of Queen Elizabeth by virtue of a lease to her made by the dean and chapter in the 21st year of her reign, and also the house and site of the said manor called Norman's Spital or Hospital, by virtue of a lease made to them by the dean and chapter in the 7th year of her reign, for 500 years, it was agreed, that the city should resign up the manor, and the church of St. Paul, &c. and deliver up the rolls and rentals of the said manor, but should hold for 500 years the site of the manor called Norman's hospital, as they do at this day, it being leased out now by the city at an annual reserved rent of about 5l.
At this time, John Burridge, Gent, for refusing to pay 5l. assessed upon him towards the ship, was committed to prison, but on payment was discharged; this ship-money was the beginning of trouble: at a court held Nov. 19, it was agreed that the mayor of Lyn, and bailiffs of Yarmouth, who appointed to be at Norwich the day following, about the business of the ship, should be entertained at the mayor's house, at the publick cost, and the justices, sheriffs, and aldermen were desired to attend the business; the sum of 10l. being allowed for that purpose, and 15l. more for entertaining the highsheriffs of Norfolk and Cambridgeshire, about the same business; this was the first ship of war asked of them; but next year another was demanded; for I find 10l. charged in the accompts in 1635, for the entertainment of the high-sheriff of Norfolk, the mayors of Thetford, Lyn, and Castle-rising, and the bailiffs and aldermen of Yarmouth, at the making the assessment for the second ship of war: and in 1636, 13l. 6s. 8d. was paid to Mr. Thomas Blomefield for the charge of a dinner on the 22d of November, for to treat them again for the businees of the third ship, and 15l. in 1637, for the fourth ship, and in 1640, 13l. 6s. 8d. at the assessing of the ship-money; which caused many debates between the city and counties of Norfolk and Cambridgeshire, and the burghs of Castle-rising, Lyn, Thetford, Yarmouth, and Wisbitch, concerning the separate proportions that each should bear towards the charge of each ship, which was estimated at 5500l. of which Thetford, Castle-rising, and about 53 coast towns in the county as Cley, Blakeney, Wiveton, Morton, &c. raised 1427l. Norwich 1601l. Lyn 1192l. Yarmouth 940l and Wisbitch 340l. which was levied accordingly, by a tax of 12d. in the pound, on all lands, houses, gardens, stocks, &c in the city; but upon the return made, the privy council were not satisfied with the sum, but ordered 1235l. to be raised more, and ordered that Norwich should pay 330l. of it. This made the city more exact in examining into the due proportion it ought to pay, which produced great animosities between them and the counties, and other burghs, who had procured the council's letters to tax the city at 1100l. each ship, when heretofore the city in all other rates for other services, had usually been rated at no more than a fifteenth part with the county, and sometimes at a 20th, 18th, and 16th part only; but notwithstanding all that could be done, there was nothing abated; upon which the city petitioned the privy council, Earl-Marshal, Lord Matravers, and others, but not being excused thereupon, the mayor, aldermen, &c. were indicted for contempt, and divers transgressions against the King, but by the mediation and advice of Sir John Hobart, Bart. Sir Charles Le-gros, Knt. Mr Rob. Segar, and others, the affair was finished, and the future proportions were thus settled, viz. Norwich to raise 400l. Lyn 200l. Yarmouth 220l. Thetford 30l. and Castle-rising 10l. towards every ship of war of 624 tons.
The latter part of this year, and the beginning of the next was so extreme cold, that at a court held May 20, 1635, a weekly provision of coals was allowed the poor in the hospital, "in respect of the present coldness of the weather." On the 23d of March following, came a letter signed by the King, directed to the mayor, sheriffs, and aldermen, requiring their constant attendance at the sermon preached every Sunday morning, either in the cathedral or Green Yard, and to be there at the beginning of the service after the manner observed in the city of London, and none to absent himself unless allowed by the Bishop; upon which, at a court held July 25,
1636, it was ordered, that the mayor and court should constantly meet at the school, and there attend till service began, and then all should attend the mayor into church, in such a decent manner as his Majesty injoined.
The plague broke out here again in September, in St. Austin's parish, upon which all necessary precaution was taken to hinder its further progress, by making up the Black-tower, stopping the carriers, cleansing the streets, and preparing the watchers, &c. but yet it could not be stopped, though very few died of it till May 1637, when it increased so, that 15 or 16 died in a week; but though it continued here near two years, the caution taken was so great, that by God's mercy it never came to any considerable height.
At this time, the pinnacle of the cathedral, which been injured by fire, was re-edifyed; and now commotions began in the church, the citizens petitioning the mayor to endeavour to get new lectures, catechisings, evening readings, &c. to be erected, and to be performed by such factious persons as they should appoint; but the mayor and court refused them all, and would not apply to the council as they desired.
In 1637, the city of London chose Mr. Thomas Atkyn, alderman of Norwich, sheriff of London; upon which this city petitioned the lords of the council concerning that wrong offered them, but had no redress; wherefore the said alderman requested to be dicharged from his aldermanship in Norwich, which was agreed to, and on 28th June, 1638, Mr. Edmund Burman was chosen in his room, for Conisford ward.
On the 29th of July, Francis Briggs, late of Honingham, clerk, curate of Barnham-Broom, and Welbourn, was deprived, and degraded from bis ministerial function, by Mathew Bishop of Norwich, being convicted of wilfully murdering Rebecca Hunt of Earlham, his servant, on Nov. 1, 1636, and soon after was executed on the gallows out of Magdalen gates for the said fact.
The troubles now increasing in the church, by means of many schismatical and factious persons that were for innovations both in church and state, many of them who could not push on their designs to a crisis so early as they wished, as Mr. Peck, (fn. 8) Mr. Allen, Mr. Ward, Mr. Bridges, &c. being opposed in their proceedings by Bishop Wren, went voluntarily beyond sea, some to Holland, some to New England, and others to divers other places.
In 1638, Mr. Robert Craske, alderman, by will dated 22d May, gave a house in Berstreet in St. John Sepulcher's parish there, to the city, the profits, after repairs and all lawful deductions, to find yearly three sermons, preached by some able preacher of the Gos. pell, to be appointed by the aldermen of South-Conisford ward for ever; one of which sermons to be in St. Julian's church upon St. Stephen's day, in the afternoon, and upon St. John's or Childermas day in the afternoon another sermon in St. Awdry's church; and another sermon at St. Peter's church at the Gates, upon New. year's day, or the Sunday next following; and my desire is, that in every of those sermons, the chief matter that the preacher shall insist upon, should be to teach the hearers, how they shall be discharged at the day of judgement, when they shall appear before God's judgement seat." The preacher to have 5s. for each sermon, and the parson for reading prayers each time 6d. and the clerk of the parish for attendance and ringing the bells 6d. the overplus to be divided into three equal parts, one third part to be divided by the aldermen of South-Conisford ward to the poor of St. Julian's immediately after the sermon there; and a third part to be equally divided into two parts and given to the poor of Trowse Milgate and St. Awdry's, immediately after the sermon there; and the other third part to the poor of St. Peter's at the Gates; immediately after sermon there; each alderman to have 6d. at every such division for their pains: no poor to have any of the money that were not present at the sermon, without reasonable excuse allowed by the aldermen of the ward, who are to keep the house in repair, &c. and if all that receive the money be not at all the sermons, for such neglect they shall have none of the gift for the future; and if any of the ministers of the parish churches aforesaid refuse any licensed preacher chosen as aforesaid to preach in their churches, the whole gift for that year shall be transferred to the poor of St. John's Sepulchre, if refused by the minister of St. Julian's; and if the minister of St. Awdry's refuses, that shall go to St. Peter's at the Gates, and their own also; and if the minister there refuses to let such preacher preach there, both their parts, as well their own, as that forfeited to them, shall be equally divided among the poor of St. John's at Sepulchre, St. John on Timber-hill, and St. John of Maddermarket. The said alderman gave also 75l. to be lent by 12l. 10s, a man, for three years, interest free, and if continued, the bonds to be renewed every three years, to six grocers, freemen of the city, and the "money to be appointed the next court day after St. Andrew yearly for ever, by the mayor, and justices, as other moneys be appointed;" and Mrs. Craske gave 40l. to be lent in like manner to four brewers.
In 1640, fine of 5l. paid by Richard Bough for covering a house with reed, contrary to the act of assembly, was received by the mayor; and another fine of 10l. of Will. Foster, for erecting a malt-house in the city, contrary to the laws, were expended in building the walls round about the pest-house.
And this year the long-parliament began, the members first chosen by the city being Mr. Richard Harman, and Mr. Richard Catlin; Mr. Joseph Scottowe being appointed sheriff, bought off serving the office for 40l. and so did Mr. John Dethick, but the commons not consenting with the mayor and court, he was forced to serve; and now there was a committee appointed to meet, "to consider what things are fit to be petitioned for to the parliament," and to prepare petitions accordingly. A watchman was appointed at every gate of the city, during all Lent, to seize the flesh brought into, or live creatures brought to be killed in the city; and the gates were to be shut at sunsetting, and the keys brought to the mayor or his deputy, and not to be opened till sun-rising.
In 1641, the commons reassumed their old privilege of choosing their new elect, (who for some years had been the senior alderman in course,) and chose alderman Thomas Carver, who died May 31, and Mr. Adrian Parmenter, was chosen in his room, but three days before the gild.
In 1642, July 12, the parliament voted and declared a necessity of taking up arms, and on the 29th of the same month, Capt. Moses Treswell came to this city, to levy 100 volunteers, by virtue of a commission under the hand and seal of the Earl of Lindsey, the King's general, who was to convey them to Newwark; but upon application for liberty to beat up his drums, the city, ripe for rebellion, ordered that he should not do so, according to a resolution passed by the majority of the court, notwithstanding which, proceeding according to the King's commission, and beating up, he was apprehended and committed to prison; and the next day, a letter was sent to the Earl, and Samuel Voute, an inn-keeper where the captain lodged, was examined, who owned he had a bag of money of the captain's sealed up, a cloak-bag, a scarlet coat, and a gray coat, and two horses, which he was ordered to keep safely; on the 10th of August, Mr. Alexander Anguish, and Mr. Mathew Peckover, aldermen, were appointed to carry a letter the day following to the King from the mayor and aldermen, in answer to his letter about the imprisonment of the captain, who, with bis man Gilbert, was sent up by sheriff Lynsey in the beginning of September, upon a 100l. bond, given by Samuel Voute and Ellis Brown, to deliver the captain and his man, their swords, horses, clothes, and money, to the parliament, for which service the court allowed them 15l.
Things being come to this height between the King and parliament, and the city by this action imagining it would be esteemed as a declaration against their Sovereign, thought it proper at the very same court to order a double watch through every ward "in regard of the great distractions and dangers of the kingdom," the watch to be set at nine o'clock, and the gates locked up, and the keys delivered to the constables of the several wards where the gates are, by-them to be kept till next morning: all persons in their turns being obliged to watch by themselves or deputies: the 13th of August 470lib. weight of gunpowder, was sent to London to be exchanged for the best sort: and on the 15th of the same month, the committee for the city magazine reported that they had placed all the arms and powder in the armory above the assembly chamber, and the great pieces of ordnance in the low room under the council chamber; all the doors and windows being made strong; and thus they stood upon their guard: and now a letter of instructions was sent by the Parliament to the mayor, Sir John Hobart, Knt. and Bart. Richard Harman, Richard Catline, John Toley, and Adrian Parmenter, Esqrs. and the rest of the deputy lieutenants of the city, in which they thank them for that acceptable service done to the parliament and kingdom, in sending up Captain Treswell; and that a war being likely to ensue between the King and parliament, they desired them to raise the militia, and take care least the knights, gentlemen, citizens, and inhabitants of the city be drawn together, and in particular that they suffer no persons by colour of warrant from his Majesty, without consent of parliament, to levy or raise any men or assemblies. (fn. 9)
On the 27th following, two proclamations were brought by a messenger from the King, requiring aid from his subjects to repress the rebels coming against him, and to forbid all Papists which would not take the oaths of allegiance and supremacy, from serving him; both which the mayor delivered to the sheriffs, who were on the Parliament's side. At a court held Oct. 22d, there was a general muster of the trained bands and volunteers, and Mr. Livewell Sherwood was appointed captain of that company, and fearing an attack from the King's party, Mr. Cristian, an engineer, was sent for from Lyn to view the city, in order to fortify it, and had 5l. for his advice; and on the 7th of November following, alderman John Toly accounted for 200l, granted the city by order of the House of Commons, and for 50l. part ot the money raised upon the quarter subsidy, all which he had paid to carpenters, masons, &c. about fortifying and repairing the gates, buying steel-caps, muskets, &c. Captain Thomas Ashewell's salary of 50l. per annum, and the cannoneer's salary of 3l. per annum, the salaries of 20s. a year to three scouts being included: and now 40 muskets, 10 croslets complete, and 30 pikes were brought from London to the magazine, and 20 bandeliers, for 2 callivers of pistol bore, and two chains weighing 316lib.; and on 28 Nov. Mr. Alex. Anguish, Mr. Burman, Mr. Peckover, Mr. Watts, Mr. Puckle, and Mr Wenham, were desired to provide earth ready for all such gates on this side the water as they shall think fit to stop up; and the same dav, John Greenford and John Friend were ordered to ride to Barton-Mills to lie there as scouts, and Robert Swallow and Tho. Suggate to Bury, to give speedy notice to the city of the approach of any cavileers, or others that shall come in an hostile manner towards the city or county, there being now a number of worthy gentlemen that belonged to the county, that had declared for their Sovereign against the Parliament; who if they had entered the city; were sure that a great number there would have join'd them, which occasioned this extraordinary care of the Parliament to keep them out.
Feb. 4. Will. Rogers, gunner, was retained by the city at 4l. a month, to teach and instruct all such as the mayor and court ordered, in all things belonging to a gunner; the same day a great iron chain of 24 links, and 28 links more in several pieces, were lent to the town of Yarmouth, to lay cross their haven; on the 25th Conisfordgates were stopped up; St. Giles's-gates locked up, as also Pockthorp and St. Austin's, and the rest strictly guarded day and night: and now it was debated, whether there should be seven bulwarks made according to a platform, at 1323l. expense, besides 124l. 16s. for the breast work against the water, or whether there should be 12 bulwarks beside the breast work, which would cost 2268l.
On the last of Feb. 50 men and horses for dragoons were furnished and sent by the city to the Lord Grey to Cambridge for Col. Cromwell, for the preservation of the peace of this and the other associated counties, viz. Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, and Huntingdonshire. And the day following it was resolved, out of their abundant zeal, to send 100 men and horses, and Mr. Toly, Mr. Sherwood, Mr. Ashwell, Mr. Tim. Skottow, Mr. Sam. Brewster, Hamond Crask, and Mr. Tho. Buret, were to see to the procuring them, and furnishing them out, who being true and trusty in the cause, the very same day obtained orders to be issued for the seizing of all malignants horses in the whole city. (fn. 10)
And now the wicked designs of this cabal were discovered at once; the mayor and all the royalists in the city plainly perceiving their errour, in suffering them to come to this head without opposing them, for William Gostlin, Esq. then mayor, upon his absolutely refusing to confirm any orders to seize the citizen's horses, was on Thursday the second day of March seized, by Will. Lord Grey, Baron of Wark, Major-general for the Parliament for the eastern association, and carried prisoner to Cambridge; and Mr. Parmenter and Mr. Utting were deputed to seize all malignants horses in N. and S. Conisford wards; sheriff Rayley, Alex. Anguish, and Mr. Burman for Berstreet and St. Stephen's wards; Capt. Sherwood and Mr. Lomb, for St. Peter's, and St. Giles's; Mr. Baker, Thucker, Watts, and Hamond Crash, for West-Wymer, Middle-Wymer, and Heigham; Sheriff Greenwood, Mr. Croshold, Peckover, and Sotherton, for the ward beyond the water; Mr. Gray, Ashewell, Tho. Baret, and Will. Lowe for East-Wymer, and Christ Church; who forthwith seized all the horses in the city in the hands of such persons as were supposed to favour the King's cause, or refused to join with them in whatever they projected; by which means they not only immediately furnished out the number of horses they wanted, but scandalously pocketed large sums of money that divers persons paid to redeem their horses out of their hands, as John Lowe, who paid 10l. next morning for the redemption of his two horses seized; and Alex. Anguish 8l. for one horse, &c. Francis Cory, Esq. the recorder, was forced to promise speedily to bring in three horses for three dragoons.
The mayor was no sooner seized in the Gild-hall, but he was obliged to make Adrian Parmenter his deputy, who was voted to supply the place till the mayor's discharge, and to be allowed 40s. a week so long as he continued deputy, being to maintain the swordbearer and other officers, entertain the ministers, and discharge Mrs. Mayoress of all that charge.
And now the principal of the court and chief of the citizens, when it was too late, saw their folly in suffering the city to be guarded and fortified in such a manner, without any resistance; for on Sunday, March the 5th, 10 soldiers out of every band were ordered to watch and ward, not only the gates, but every church that had sermons, as Christ Church, St. Peter's, St. Andrew's, &c. during the time of service, and to deliver the keys of the gates at night to Hamond Crask, lieutenant of the volunteers: this great caution was taken least such persons as they knew favoured the King, should make their escape; for the day following discovered plainly the intent of these proceedings, Augustine Holl and many Other gentlemen and magistrates of the city, who had associated themselves in order to make an attempt to get the government of it out of their hands, and to hold it to the use of the King, being met at Mr. Holl's house, Lieutenant Crask and his volunteers brought the great ordnance of the city thither, and placing them ready loaded against it, declared if they did not immediately surrender themselves prisoners, he would demolish the house and them in it; upon which they were all taken, and so the King's cause was quite subdued here at once.
The next day. the cannoneer going to uncharge one of the cannon in the market place, by some accident it discharged, and very much injured him, killing and wounding no less than 17 men, women, and children, upon the spot.
March 18, Henry Lane, John Daniel, and John Osborn, three of the aldermen who favoured the King, were put out of their offices, and afterwards Ric. Rosse, and Alex. Anguish, for the same cause; and Will. Symonds, Sam. Puckle, Mat. Linsey, John Greenwood, and Tho. Toft, were placed in their rooms.
|The county of Norfolk to raise every week||1129||0||0|
|Norwich city with Christ Church liberty||53||0||0|
April 1, it was resolved at a court then held, that in regard of the imminent danger, and of the near approach of the Earl of Newcastle's forces towards King's Lyn, and because the country cannot of a sudden send such forces thither as will be sufficient to secure the town, which is of such concern to the county, that Serjeant Major Sherwood and his company of volunteers, should forthwith go thither, there to remain, to secure the town, till further supplies can be provided and sent.
April2, being Easter day, Capt. Livewell Sherwood went accordingly with 100 of his volunteers to Lyn, and the next day, Capt. Ashwell searched Nic. Coppin's and many other citizen's houses, for plate and pistols; and on the 25th, imprisoned Mr. Coppin and others, on pretence of proposition money (as they called it) though he had given them 20l. before, the captain demanding 30l. more.
April 10, it was agreed that Sir Miles Hobart and Sir John Palgrave should have the two brass pieces of ordnance with their carriages, and 12 bullets to each, being the same pieces Sir Miles formerly had, on giving a note for the redelivery. They being designed for the use of the Earl of Manchester in the siege of Lyn.
May 3d, came an order to raise a contribution in the associated counties to fortify Cambridge, for which they gathered from house to house, the well-affected (as they termed them) giving freely, and the rest out of fear.
The 20th of May, it was ordered that one of the sheriffs for the time being, Mat. Peckover, Linsey, and Puckle, should be part of the committee for sequestering the estates of Papists and delinquents (as they termed all that did not come into their wicked schemes) and receiving the rents, &c. and Peter Thacker was appointed clerk of the committee and general receiver. And the same day 110l. of the proposition money (or in plain speech of the money they had violently and forcibly taken from the right owners) was ordered to the committee at Cambridge, to be sent to Col. Cromwell for present supply, which was carried up by sheriff Rawley, who had six men with carbines to guard him all the way.
And now the righteous brethren having gotten Mr. Thacker, one of their crew, elected mayor, sent up a letter by the sheriff, directed to the Lord Gray, "to desire the inlargement of Mr. Mayor after the expiration of his majoralty, in regard of the suffering of his particular affairs," which the Lord Gray understanding well, kept him in durance till two or three days before the gild, and then he was discharged, and came home time enough to be present at the transferring of his office, to one that they were well assured would do as he was ordered.
June 6, a committee was appointed "for assessing of men the 5th part ol their revenue, and the 20th part of their estates," and Mr. Peckover, Lindsey, Will. Simonds. &c. were appointed commissioners; and Major Sherwood was allowed 5l. a month for him and his company to guard the gates, with match, and 60lib. of gunpowder, to keep strict guard on the gild-day, and Conisford-gates, St. Giles's-gates, St. Martin at the Oak-gates, and Magdalen-gates, were rampired up, so to remain till the present dangers be over," all boats whatsoever from Conisford towers to the New-mills, and thence to Hellesden bridge, were taken away, and laid in a secure place in the city, there to remain during the time of the present troubles; Sandlin's fernboat, and all wherrys were chained up at the common slath, and not let loose till their passengers or commodities went immediately for Yarmouth.
This month, the 400l. granted to the city, by order of the house of commons, out of the proposition money raised in the city, towards fortifying the same, was accounted for, among which accounts I find, that there was paid for building Hellesden bridge 80l. to pay the Norforlk. Lent preachers 18l. and about 130l, for the officers, soldiers, &c.; and by an account stated from the 1st of April 1643, to December following, it appears that the city had raised and expended in men, horses, money, and arms, no less than 3543l. 8s. for the Parliament's service, most of which was raised in the city on the inhabitants by way of plunder, under the specious names of proposition money, benevolence, contributions and sequestrations, of Papists and malignants estates, &c.
Among other articles it appears, that 100 soldiers were sent out April 4, under Serjeant-major Knights to Wisbitch, and that 20l. was paid to Serjeant-major Sherwood's volunteers for their service at Leystoft, where there was discovered a design of a counter-association on the King's behalf, made by Sir John Pettus, Sir Edw. Barker, and other loyal gentlemen, and carried so far that Col. Cromwell was in danger of his person, and very near being taken, had not these volunteers rescued him, and sent for 100 soldiers from hence, and 100l. more on the 13th of June: it is observed that they had 60 muskets complete out of the armory, all which were after lost at Newark.
"Item, paid to Captain Swallow who raised a company of soldiers. in this city, at the charge of the young men and maids of this city, who were norsed by Col. Cronwell, for money which they fell short to compleat them forth 18 Aug. 61l."
There were large sums paid to the committee at Cambridge, to the Earl of Manchester, Col. Cromwell, to divers scouts, and to several aldermen, for often attending the committee at Cambridge; to the Committee of association at Thetford, &c. to the city cannoneers for 6 months pay 54l.; and on the 4th of April there were 70 good horses valued at 725l. delivered to Lieutenant Strely by order from Col. Cromwell, which were chiefly taken from the malignants here by open, force.
And now all things prepared, at a court held the 12th of July, it Was ordered, "that Capt. Livewell Sherwood shall watchand guard the city to morrow the 13th instant, in regard that the vow and covenant is then to be taken, for the appeasing of any stir or tumults, that may arise in the said city," And the said captain shall procure a 100 honest men, who will willingly serve in arms for the defence and security of the city, who shall have arms delivered out of the city magazine, and shall be exercised with the rest of his company of volunteers.
August 12, a meeting of the associated counties was appointed, the enemy now approaching, Col. Cromwell was sent to, and this Castle was ordered to be fortified, and on the 23d of August, it was Ordered, " that the twelve grand companyes shall be warned by the aldermen of their companyes to work at the castell-dykes, every grand company a day, and the first company to begin to morrow."
August 29, there were delived to Erasmus Sands, cannoneer, by command of the right honourable Edward Earl of Manchester, Major-general of the associated counties, for the reducing of Lyn, two demi-culverins of brass weighing 4800lib. one demi-culverin of iron weighing 3400lib. two faticonets of brass weighing 600lib. and two which Sir Miles Hobart, had weighing 700lib. with sponges, ladles, shot, powder, &c. (fn. 11) all which Capt. Sotherton guarded to Sechey.
And now Lincolnshire was added to the aforesaid associated counties, at the request of the Earl of Manchester, who came to reduce Lyn, at whose desire Major Sherwood and his volunteers went thither, Sept. 7, and it was surrendered to the Earl of Manchester Sept. 9, who placed a garrison there for the use of the Parliament.
On Sept. 11, came an order from the House, to raise money for the supply of the Lord Fairfax in the north: upon which the aldermen of every ward sat at every church in their wards, to take all the money or plate that any persons in the ward would give or tend, and the ministers were desired to incite the people to contribute freely and cheerfully thereto, "and the aldermen to send for such able persons as do not, and persuade them to lend freely.
November 8, Lyn was ordered to be fortified by the whole association, and 72 soldiers pressed in Norwich to be sent thither, the, citycannon which they lent, though earnestly requested to be redelivered, Was ordered to be continued there, and the city to be paid for them out of the 3d part of the sequestration money, which proceedings much angered the court, who now began to perceive that the same restraint of liberty they had first imposed on their fellow citizens, was by this time straitly laid on their own backs, and (according to the proverb) the saddle at least (though not the burthen) was placed on the right horse.
November 18, four of the court were fined 10l. apiece for not gathering up the proposition money quick enough, so that now there was no receding; and on the 21st following, came an order from the Earl of Manchester, by power of the Lords Commissioners, and Earl of Essex, appointing Henry Kyng, Rob. Feltham, Francis Shouldham, John Swallow, Tobias Freer, Gent. Capt. Wild, Capt. Warner, Capt. Doughty, Capt. Ashwell, Capt. Denew, Capt. Jenny, Capt. Huntington, Serjeant Major Sherwood, Alderman Puckle, Sam. Brewster, Hamond Crask, merchants of Norwich, Bernard Utber, and John Allen, Gent, or any two of them, to assess, collect, and levy, all and every such sums of money, as ought to have been done by virtue of any former ordinance of parliament, within the county of Norfolk or city of Norwich, and they to have 6d. in the pound for each pound levied without distress, and 1s. if by distress, and John Cory of Norwich, merchant, was appointed treasurer.
This plundering commission, as it was justly called, was immediately executed by force and arms: at a court held the next day, it was ordered, that the sequestration money received of the Bishop, and the money raised upon the sale of goods of other delinquents sequestered, be forthwith paid to Mr. Cory, and that the 100 more, for which there is surety given for the Bishop's goods, be likewise paid the said treasurer, as soon as the same be received." (fn. 12)
On the 19th of July, was a great tempest of thunder and lightning, so that above 140 crows, rooks, &c. were found dead in oue wood; and on the 2d of August, in the even, was another tempest, which killed a multitude of fish, above 40 combs in the city river only, as was then reported. (fn. 13)
And this year, on Nov. 2d. the excise began; the excise office was get up at Mr. Alderman Parmenter's house, for 6d. a barrel to be paid for small beer, and 2s. for best, and all beer above 6s. a barrel value.
According to an ordinance of parliament, a subscription was put on foot here for raising money towards regaining the town of Newcastle, and 516l. 5s. was gathered in the several wards, and the names of all such in the several wards that refused giving any thing, were returned, in number 432, of the principal citizens; which may make us the less wonder at the great cost and expense they were at in keeping such a number of soldiers to guard the city, when they knew the King had so many well-wishers here; among those returned were, Francis Norris, John Salter, Tim. Skottow, John Freeman, Mr. Watts, John Balderston, Will. Crowe, Tho. Cory, Mr. Larwood, Mr, Brook, senior and junior, Joseph Paine, Mr. Pettus, Lady Pettus, Nic. Sothertou, Will. Gostlin, late mayor, Fra. Cory, Mr. Aldrich, Earl, Davy, and Burman, Alderman Utting, Alderman Croshold, Dr. Browne, Dr. De-lawne, Mr. John Osborn, Rog. Mingay, Rob. Deye, Peter Hasbert, Edw. Mayes, James Rant, H. Herne, &c.
January 10, the 100l. taken of the Bishop for sequestration was dicharged, and 200l. more assessed on him for proposition money; to supply Capt. Ashwell's company their pay, and in the 24th of the same month, the day watch was to cease, and the night watch to be performed by all citizens under the degree of aldermen; the keys of every gate to be delivered to the constable of the ward every night at 9 o'clock; and at the same court, "Committes to view the churches for pictures and crucifixes" were appointed, it being "ordered, that sheriff Toftes, Mr. Linsey, Puckle, Sherwood, and Greenwood, aldermen; Mr. Ket, John Knight, Mr. Allen, Brewster, Crash, Davy and Rye, or any four or three of them, shall from time to time meet together, and repair to the several churches in this city, and view the same, and take notice of such scandalous pictures, crucifixes, and images, as are yet remaining in the same churches, and demolish or cause the same to be demolished, and also to take the names of all such persons as can give any information of any misdemeanors of scandalous ministers, and to certitye from time to time their doings therein to the maior and the rest of the deputy lieutenants in the said city, at the councell chamber, who are agreed to sit there every Tuesday and Thursday in the afternoon, to receive their informations, concerning the same, and to proceed further therein, as the cause shall require." Upon this, these new constituted reformers, relying on the support of their soldiers, began to view the churches, deface the monuments, break the windows, file the bells, dash in pieces the carved works, and reave the brasses off the stones and monuments; and in short by the forwardness of Toft, who was the ringleader of the rabble, but little escaped his felonious hands, when he had once got a taste of the value of the brasses he pulled off, the cathedral alone affording him above a hundred; all which he seized, thereby defacing the memory of the ancestors of many of the most ancient and worshipful families in the county; pulling down the pulpit in the Green Yard, and placing it in the New-hall Green, which had lately been the Artillery Yard; for after the church government was destroyed " it is tragical to relate the furious sacrilege committed under the authority of Lindsey, Tofts the sheriff, and Greenwood; what clattering of glasses, what beating down of walls, what tearing down of monuments, what pulling down of seats, and wresting out of irons and brass from the windows and graves; what defacing of arms, what demolishing of curious stone work, that had not any representation in the world but the cost of the founder, and skill of the mason, what piping on the destroyed organ pipes; vestments, both copes and surplices, together with the leaden cross which had been newly sawn down from over the Green-Yard pulpit, and the singing books and service books, were carried to the fire in the public market place, a lewd wretch walking before the train in his cope trailing in the dirt, with a service book in his hand, imitating in an impious scorn the tune, and usurping the words of the litany. The ordinance being discharged on the guild day, the cathedral was filled with muskateers, drinking and tobacconing, as freely as if it had turned alehouse." (fn. 14) This parade was on March the 9th, at which time the court was then sitting in the Gild-hall in the market, and "ordered, that seaven Popish pictures that were taken from St. Swithin's the angel and four Evangelists taken at St. Peter's, and Moses and Aaron and four Evangelists that came from the cathedrall, and some other superstitious pictures, shall be burnt in the open market this day." (fn. 15)
By the direction of Tofts, the pulpit was removed to the east end of the cathedral, and placed on the south side, where now is Bishop Overal's monument, and the seats of the court fixed where the altar stood, and the cross fixed upon the publick market cross was takes down, such was the reformation of these furious times.
February 17, came an order for 6000l. for the advance money for the Scots, and 265l. of it was laid on the city; 174l. on Yarmouth, 132l. on Lyn; 27l. 18s. 9d. on Thetford, and the rest on the county, Valentine Walton being governour of Lyn, and Edmund Hudson, mayor.
March 2, orders were issued to guard the river, by sending for an engine to deepen it, stopping the passage by the two towers, and by nailing up all doors that were dangerous, on pretence they now feared many should desert the city that way.
At a court held on Saturday March 23, it was agreed concerning keeping the fast day on Wednesday next, which falls on the coronation day, that the whole day shall be solemnly kept in humiliation, as olber fast days are kept, and that the aldermen shall attend the mayor at the sermon in the forenoon at St. Andrew's, and in the afternoon at St. Peter's, and at night when the fast is ended, the great guns shall be shot off, and the bells rung, after St. Peter's bells be set out, but none before; and at night who will, may make bonfires.
On March 25, 1644, two scouts were sent to get intelligence how the business in Lincolnshire went on, and five of the city gates were ordered to be always kept shut, and two companies of the trained bands were sent to Cambridge under Capt. Rawley, " in respect of the eminent danger of the approach of the enemy towards these associated counties." And all horses found, were to be taken up, to send them on, and sent to the Half-moon in the market, by tbt aldermen of the several wards: this produced a great stir among these couragious captains, Capt. Rayley and Lieutenant Cock, Ensigt Thacker, Serjeant Ashwell, and Serjeant Beaumond, refused absolutely to go with their companies as appointed, Rayley threw up his commission, and the officers insisted that lots should be drawn who should go.
Sir Miles Hobart, Tho. Hasewell, and Mr. Harry, captains for the Parliament, facing Newark, were routed by Prince Rupert, and all their ordnance and ammnnition taken, so that Capt. Ashwell did not bring home above 30 soldiers of all the companies that went from hence, and but little armour.
On the 24th of April, 1644, 54 soldiers were pressed for him as recruits, and it is plain he made but a poor figure at his return, for the court ordered a sword to be delivered to the captain, which was John Manning's, the which they promised to return, and Lieutenant Burton had a back breast and head-piece given him, and 40s. a piece towards buying them horses and pistols, and carrying them up to the army again,,and Joseph Atteway, his ensign, was to have the same. (fn. 16)
In August, there was a petition on foot to the Parliament, for uniting the parishes, and providing maintenance for an able ministry, but it was laid aside, by reason of their own disagreement in what manner to proceed.
In 1645, the gild was not held, least any uproar might follow, and in August the King's forces took Huntington, and alarmed Cambridge, upon which all the trained bands of the associated counties were hastily raised, and those belonging to the city marched as far as the TownClose, and came back again, thinking it the safest/way to sleep in a whole skin.
In September came a letter directed to the mayor and aldermen, dated at Westminster, 25 of the same month; and the year following another in the same words, directed to the mayor, M r. Smith, recorder, Mr. Wenman, sheriff, Mr. Baker and Parmenter, aldermen, Mr. Lynsey, Rayley, Toft, Alderman Baron, Dr. Haws, &c. viz.
The Parliament being desirous above all things to establish truth and righteousness in these kingdoms, towards which, the settlement of a church government is very conducible, hath resolved to settle a Presbiterial government in the kingdom. For the better effecting whereof, you are required with the advice of godly ministers and others, to consider how the county of the city of Norwich may be most conveniently divided into distinct classical Presbiteries, and what ministers and others, are fit to be of each classis, and you are accordingly to make such divisions and nominations of persons for each classical Presbitery. Which divisions and persons so named for every division, you are to certifie to this House with all expedition. I am your very loving friend.
The day before Christmas day, the mayor directed warrants to all the ministers and church-wardens, charging them to have no sermons nor communions in their churches the day following, but set open their shops that day. (fn. 17)
And now began such displacing of the loyal clergy, that there was published a publick remonstrance, setting forth the violent proceedings against them; upon which was published a pamphlet entituled, Vox Populi, or the Voice of the People; answered by another (printed for Edward Martin, bookseller in Norwich, at the sign of the Upper Half-Moon in the Market-place, Ao. 1646,) entituled "An Hue-and-Cry after Vox Populi, or an Answer to Vox Diaboli, or (The Voice of the Devil) a libellous pamphlet falsely styled Vox Populi. reviling the Magistrates and Ministry of Norwich, wherein is laid down the Truth of the Rise and Progresse of the said Ministers of Norwich, their late Remonstrance. Together with the deceitful dealing of the Independents, in getting hands to their petition there annexed, and their judging in other Petitions in the city, as also what entertaiment their Petition found in the Court of Majoralty and Committee for the county, &c."
But it now appearing that the two sects had as great objections against each other, as either of them could have against the church of England, silence was strictly ordered on both sides, and so the paper war for this time ceased.
On the 27th of April, 1646, the King went in disguise from Oxford with Mr. Hobson and Mr. Ashburnham, and by a private way came to Newcastle to the Scots army, and committed himself for protection into their hands, who, Judas like, sold him to the Parliament for 200,000l.; and in August, by the King's own command, all his majesty's garrisons were yielded up to the Parliamentary forces.
It was also agreed, that St. Saviour's and St. Austin's parishes should be united, and if Mr. Collinges would accept them, when the city shall be possessed of the 300l. per annum out of the revenues of the dean and chapter, voted by committee of parliament for plundered ministers, to be settled on this city, for the better maintenance of the parochial clergy, that he shall have 20l. per annum out of it, as an addition to those parishes; and it was voted to unite Martin at Oak and Maries parishes, Peterpermountergate and Julian's, Simon's, George's of Tombland, and Peter of Hugate." (fn. 18)
In 1647, beef was sold at 5s. a stone, and corn, and all provisions were very dear; on the 11th of November Capt. Blackwell, by order of the Parliament, took the lead off the Bishop's palace and chapel, defacing the chapel, letting them out to poor people for dwelling houses and tap-houses. Nov. 28, fell a great snow, and next day, when it laid knee deep, there was exceeding much thunder and lightning; and on the 1st. of Dec. the apprentices of Norwich assembled in the Castle Yard, subscribed a petition for the observation of Christmas day, and presented it to the mayor.
In 1648, a petition was presented about the beginning of April, to John Utting, Esq. mayor, Sam. Smith, Esq. recorder, Erasmus Earl, Esq. steward, and the rest of the court, subscribed by about 150 persons, for a more speedy and thorough reformation, wherein they complained, that those (whom they called) their faithful ministers, were discouraged and slighted, and the ejected ministers (of the church of England) preferred and encouraged, old ceremonies and service book constantly used, and the directory for worship not observed; and therefore they petition, that ejected ministers may be suspended preaching, till they, have given satisfaction to the assembly of divines, according to the ordinance of parliament of 22d Jan. 1644; "then (say they) shall not Mr. Lock and Cadime with others, be tollerated nor promoted to popular auditories, to the discouragement of all well affected persons."
They insisted also, that all the ordinances against superstition and idolatry and defacing of images, may have a particular order for the more speedy execution, and that the remaining pictures in several churches may be demolished or taken away," so shall the crusifix on the cathedrall gate be defaced, and an other in the roofe of the cathedrall neere the west door in the inside, and one upon the freeschool, and the imadg of Christ upon the parish house of St. George's of Tomland be taken down, and many parish churches more decently made for the congregation to meet in, &c (fn. 19) But the mayor, who was for the King, took but little notice of this, or other orders of the like nature, which were often brought him by such tools, so that Sheriff Ashwell, Mr. Ket and Tho. Buret, went to London, and gave information to the Parliament against him, which being soon known, the commons were prodigiously exasperated against them. Upon this, on the 22d of April, a pursuivant or messenger came hither, to carry the mayor up to the Parliament, there to answer to such things as should be alleged against him, who delivered the following order and letter as his authority for so doing.
"Ordered by the commons assembled in parliament; that Mr. Xpr. Baret alderman of the city of Norwich, be appointed to execute the place of mayor of the city of Norwich, in the place and stead of Mr. John Utting now mayor of the said city, in the absence and restraint of the said Mr. Utting.
"It hath pleased the House of Commons to order you to be deputymayor of the city of Norwich, and county of the same, during the time of the restraint of Mr. John Utting the present mayor, who is sent for in safe custody. It is desired that your self, the sheriffs, and aldermen your bretheren be very carefull in the well governing of the said city of Norwich, and it is expected that the sheriffs and aldermen do attend upon you, and give you their best advice and counsell, so as no disturbance happen amongst you, as of late hath been, and that you take care that the orders and ordinances of Parliament be duly and punctually observed, and not slighted as farmerly. Not having more in command from the house, I remain your very loving friend,
Upon this, the mayor's friends drew up a petition to the parliament, testifying his good government and behaviour, which was carried about the city till Monday, being signed by many hundreds. The commons remembering how Mr. Gostlin was used, seeing the same coming upon this mayor, began to assemble on Sunday, calling out that it might thank Tom Baret, but before they had done, they would make him a poor Tom Baret indeed, and as for the pursuivant and sheriff, they would hang them upon the Castle-hill, upon Gardiner's mare, (meaning the gallows,) and ham-string any body that should offer to carry Mr. Mayor away; and it being reported that the mayor was to be carried off in the night, they went in a body to all the gates, locked them up, and carried away the keys, and watched themselves all night; the mayor sent them word, he desired they would depart, not fearing his being carried away; but to no purpose, for about midnight they grew into a large body in the market place, being armed, and gave out a watch-word to be known by, viz. For God and King Charles. Christ. Bransby, Dr. Brooks, and Rob. Suffield, were the chief persons that managed for them, though they did it with caution: and it appears that there was a design to have kept their mayor, and declared for the King, for Mr. Bransby openly told them, "that if they suffered the mayor to be carried away, they would have a governour put in, (as was done at Lyn,) and then all would be tried by martial law; and then we had as good be free of Catton, as free of the city, for freemen would have no freedom at all in any choice." And therefore he advised them to keep the city gates, considering what a dishonour it would be to the city, to have two mayors carried away, when Lyn would not suffer their mayor to be carried away, nor Yarmouth their bailiffs. Mr. Spurgyn also went to them, and said, he hoped they were ail for the King, and that they would not let the mayor go, who was told that it was so, and that on a shout given at eight in the morning there would be 500 armed men together at once; accordingly on Monday the 24th in the morning a shout was given in Chapel-Fields, and a great number immediately assembled, and went thence to the King's-head in the market, where the messenger was; and about ten in the morning it being; reported that the mayor was about taking horse, they ran to seize the messenger, and had not the mayor and justices hindered them, had killed him on the spot: Joseph Paine and Felix Forby, persons much beloved by the commons, were sent for, and Mr. Forby made a speech at the market cross, to dissuade them from their proceedings and to go home, but they would not, alleging that all freemen were bound by their oaths to support their mayor, and keep him in the city during his year: and now being got to such a number, they openly avowed they were for the King, that they would purge the bench and common council, and pluck the round heads out, and put such honest men in, as would go to church and serve God. The messenger seeing how things went, desired to be gone without the mayor, and took horse about eleven o'clock, but had not Mr. Forby, Palgrave, and others, gone with him near two miles out of the city, he had been killed by those that followed him, who after they returned, joined the rest, and went to Sheriff Ashwell's house, who was captain of the militia, and lived at the corner house over against the south side of St. Michael's at Plea church, by the Red-wall, broke the windows, entered the house, and seized all arms they found there; hither came the mayor and court, read the proclamation, and got what arms they could to be carried to the Gild-hall, but they still went on, carrying out all the victuals, wine, and beer, and plundered and spoiled the goods: about two o'clock they went from thence, and searched divers houses for arms, in particular Alderman Parmenter's, who dwell in the house where now the judges usually lodge, against Hog-hill, that being the Excise Office then, where they expected to have found a large sum of money, but it being conveyed away, they plundered the house, &c. as they had done Sheriff Ashwell's; at three o'clock they went from thence, calling out, Let us go to the Committeehouse, where the county arms are lodged, and arm ourselves; which was agreed upon: coming thither and finding it secured by Samuel Cawthern, the keeper of that magazine for the committee, they brake open the doors, entered and threw out the arms from all parts, which being known, the citizens luckily shut up their shops; while they were entering the house, some of them within, shot and killed a boy, which so enraged them, that they threatened death to every one of them, and indeed Cawthern narrowly escaped; having got possession, they began quickly to arm themselves in Chapel-Fields, and now their dry was, "Gentlemen, Norwich never did so much before, but if we be not true among ourselves, and keep our arms, we are but dead men." Which indeed proved true sooner than they expected, and before they had laid down their arms: for news being sent to Colonel Fleetwood's fleet troop, then billeted in the country, they came about five o'clock, and the troopers fell so fiercely upon them, that many ran away, and others retired to the Committee-house, which soon after, whether by accident, which is most likely, or by design, was blown up, no less than 98 barrels of gunpowder going off at one crack, (fn. 20) which not only blew up many of them into the air, but by the violence of the shock, which was perceived in the greatest part of the county, many windows were shattered in pieces, and much mischief done by the stones and timber at a great distance. (fn. 21) This terrible shock so affrightened them, that they all dispersed, but had it not happened thus, the troopers, about 80 in number only, could never have forced them. There were above 100 persons slain and wounded on both sides, as well troopers as citizens, and several that were no ways concerned, as they walked in the field at a great distance, were lamed, bruised, or killed, by the fall of the stones and timber blown up.
The day following, the mayor, of his own accord, accompanied with some of his officers and other friends, rode to the parliament, and was confined to his house in Brandon, May 19, to the 1st of July ensuing, when he and John Tooly, late mayor, were fined, (fn. 22) and then discharged; Christ. Baret acting as deputy in his absence. And this day Mr. Collings, moved for a thanksgiving day to be set for the deliverance from the mutiny raised yesterday; and Tuesday following was appointed for that purpose, and Mr. Carter was desired to preach in the forenoon at the cathedral, and Mr. Collings in the afternoon there, and each to have 20s.; the aldermen to be in scarlet gowns, attended by the livery of the city: and a sum of 250l. was granted to the troopers and their company for their service, and three of the six troops in the city were desired to stay for the safety of the same, and a letter was ordered to be sent to Col. Wanton, governour of Lyn, to acquaint him with this affair.
Soon after this, the Lord General Sir Tho. Fairfax came to Norwich, and the deputy mayor and his brethren, with sword and mace, met him at the gates, in scarlet, &c. and treated him. (fn. 23)
At a court held Nov. 8, a letter was sent to Mr. Atkins, to procure a commission of oyer and terminer for the city, for the speedy trial of the mutineers, to send it to Mr. Earl. On Christmas day, Serjeant Keeble, Serjeant Earl the recorder, and other justices of the city, (fn. 24) held their sessions, before whom 108 persons were prosecuted, of which, these received sentence of death, viz. Christ. Hill, brasier; Anthony Wilson, blacksmith; William True, dyer; Thomas and John Bidwell, brethren, labourers; Henry Goward, sadler, and Gray an oatmeal-maker, who were all executed in the Castle ditches Jan. 2, many others being fined; at which time, an old woman named Tirrel, one of the hospital, and an other woman, were put to death for witchcraft. (fn. 25)
August 15, "agreed in regard of the sad distractions of the kingdom, and the judgement of God in the unseasonableness of the weather, and of the great extremities of the poor, that Mr. Mayor, and Mr. Sheriff Ashwell shall not keep their feasts at next sessions, but shall pay 15l. apiece to the poor of the city."
Die Martis September 5, 1648, ordered by the Commons assembled in Parliament, that all such persons as have been in any of the late insurrections, be not returned to be upon, nor serve on, any jury in any county. (fn. 26)
Jan. 26, at an assembly then held, "Agreed, that a congratulatory letter be written to Lieutenant General Cromwell, for the favours he hath done formerly for this city, and to desire his furtherance for speeding of the ordinance towching elections, and the ordinance for gaining the jurisdiction of Christ-church, &c. And further, that an ordinance be drawn to enable the assembly to appoint and choose the preachers to preach at the cathedrall upon the Sabboth day in the forenoon, instead of the combination, &c." And an act for regulating the elections was accordingly made.
On the 30th day of this month, 52 minutes after one in the afternoon, was his most sacred Majesty Charles the First barbarously beheaded by his own rebellious subjects at Whitehall, to the unspeakable grief of all the royalists, and joy of all that vile part of the Parliament, which then usurped his regal power, seized on his dominions, banished his Queen and children, proclaimed his son and heir traitour, who to save his own life, was forced to flee from those villains that had taken away his father's.
John Warner of Norwich, by will dated June 5, 1648, ordered his executors to buy a piece of ground of 40s. per annum, and settle it on the city, and the rent of the first nine years after his wife's decease, to be disposed to divers parishes as stocks for their poor, viz. three years rent to St. Andrew's, to be lent to any honest tradesmen in the parish for three years, by the church-wardens and chief parishioners, on security given them; and the like to St. Peter's of Mancroft, &c.; and after the nine years be expired, "the clear yearly rent as aforesaid to go and continue for ever as followeth, viz. to the town of Denton in Norfolk, (between Harleston and Bungay,) the third part of the clear yearly rent: also to the town of Calton by Norwich, the 6th part of the clear yearly rent: also to the townes of Sprouston cum Beeston by Norwich, another 6th part of the clear yearly rent: and to the parish of St. Martin at the Oak within the said city of Norwich, another 6th part of the clear yearly rent, and to the parish of St. Michael at Plea in the said city, the other 6th part of the clear yearly rent." The several sums to be divided among the honest poor in those parishes, on the first Lord's day in the month of November, yearly for ever. (fn. 27)
Mayors And Sheriffs.
Burgesses In Parliament.
1 Ditto. John Sucklinge, Knt. Comptroller of the Household, Tho. Hyrne, Knt. (fn. 28)
15 Ditto. Tho. Atkins, John Tooley. (fn. 29)
The Committee-house was where now  Mr. Sterling's house on the eastside of Bethelem yard, and Bethelem itself now stands. A certificate was returned to the Parliament by the Court, that the damage and loss was 1004l.