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.
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In 1728, was renewed and published the Table to show what Habits the right worshipful Mr. Mayor, Justices, Sheriffs, and Aldermen of the city of Norwich, and such as have been Sheriffs, are to wear upon all festival days, and at other meetings.
The same on Twelfth day; (when Mr. Anguish's commemoration sermon is at St. Edmund's in the afternoon;) Palm-Sunday, Easterday, Wednesday in Easter week, (when the court is at St. Helen's church in the afternoon:) Ascension-day, (at Archbishop Parker's commemoration;) Whit-Sunday, Trinity-fair-day, (to go at 10 o'clock through the fair in procession;) Trinity Sunday, and Sunday in assize week, (to wait on the judges.)
The mayor in scarlet, the justices, sheriffs, and aldermen in black, on St. Stephen's, St. John's, and Innocent's days, St. Matthias (fn. 1) and Midsummer days, if Sundays.
The mayor in scarlet, the justices, sheriffs, and aldermen in violet, on New-year's day, (fn. 2) Easter Monday, Whitsun Monday, St. George's even and Holy-mass day, if Sunday.
Mr. mayor, justices, sheriffs, and aldermen in black, on the 30th of January, Good-Friday, Rogation Sunday, Monday, (fn. 3) Tuesday and Wednesday.
The mayor, and justices in scarlet, the sheriff's and aldermen in violet, on May day, (fn. 4) and Michaelmas day.
The mayor in scarlet, justices and sheriffs in violet, and aldermen in black, on the last Tuesday in Aug. (fn. 5)
In 1729, was an act passed for the better regulating of elections in the city of Norwich, and for preserving the peace, good order, and government of the said city, which took place April 25, 1730, by which it which it was enacted, that at every election for burgesses in parliament, every one that votes must swear, that he hath been admitted to his freedom 12 kalendar months before that election, and that he hath not been polled at that election before, or (in case of an election for two members) but for one person.
And in all elections for mayor or sheriffs, instead of the oath required in the act made in the 9th of George I. each shall swear, that he hath not only been a freeman as aforesaid, but that for six kalendar months last past, he hath been an inhabitant within the liberties thereof.
And all persons in work-houses, hospitals, or prisons, are to poll in that ward in which they inhabited the last six kalendar months before their entering such places, the truth of which they must also swear.
And if any refuse to take such oaths, which are to be administered by the mayor, his deputy, or such sworn clerks as shall be by himself or deputy appointed, such person's votes are to be rejected and disallowed.
In all elections a check, and one of the sworn clerks, shall be admitted to the common gaol, to take the votes of those confined there, and the sheriffs, gaoler, or prison keepers, are to admit them for that purpose, under 50l. penalty for refusal.
At all elections, every person, if required by any one of the clerks at any poll, must first take the oaths appointed by the act of 1 George I. or else their vote to be disallowed, and the presiding officer or the sworn clerks refusing to administer such oaths, forfeit 50l. besides costs of suit.
And if any person takes the oaths appointed by this present act, wilfully, falsely, and corruptly, if they be convicted by information or indictment, they shall incur all such penalties as persons convicted of wilful corrupt perjury are liable to by common law.
There are to be no more than three common-council-men for each great ward yearly elected by the freemen, upon the days appointed by the charters, and the three so elected for each great ward, or the major part of them, shall within 48 hours after their elections, or within six days after such scrutiny as shall be demanded on their polls are finished, upon notice thereof from the mayor or his deputy, elect and fill up the remaining number of common council-men, directed to be elected by the charters of the said city, for each great ward, under 50l. penalty, and all such named by the three are to be as effectually common council-men, as if elected by all freemen; and if any person elected by the common council as aforesaid, shall refuse to serve, or happen to die, the three common council-men entered in the assembly book for that ward where such vacancy is, who shall be then living, shall in 48 hours after notice from the mayor, &c. fill up such vacancy by electing others to serve in their stead the rest of the year.
The mayor, or his deputy, appointed under his hand and seal, or in case of the mayor's death, the surviving justice of the peace, who last served the office of mayor, shall be the presiding officer at every election of mayor, sheriffs, aldermen, and common council-men, and of such scrutinies as shall be demanded thereupon.
No act, order, or ordinance whatsoever, at any time from and after the 25th day of April, 1730, shall be made or passed in the common council or assembly of the representative body of the said city, without the assent of the mayor, sheriffs, and aldermen present at such common council or assemby, or the major part of them, nor without the assent of the commons present at such common council or assembly, or the major part of them.
The Mayor elect, and the mayor for the time being, to nominate and appoint, for the time of his mayoralty, a sword-bearer, two ward officers, and such other inferior officers, as have been customary for them to nominate and elect.
The mayor shall summon the sheriffs, aldermen, and common council-men, to meet at the quarterly assemblies according to custom, and if one of the sheriffs, and the major part of the aldermen or common council-men, shall neglect to meet at the Gild-hall at the time appointed for holding an assembly upon notice left in writing at their several houses 24 hours before the time fixed, each so absenting shall forfeit 5s. over and above such prosecutions as they may be subject to by law, and one of them that shall depart from any assembly without consent of the mayor, shall forfeit 10s. to be paid to the chamberlain for the city, over and above such prosecutions as they may be subject to by law.
All penalties (except the 5s. and 10s.) shall be recovered by action of debt in any of his Majesty's court of record at Westminster, in the name of the chamberlain of the city, and when recovered, shall be for the benefit of the city, and the 5s. and 10s. shall be levied by distress and sale of the offender's goods, by warrant of two justices of peace of the said city, and paid to the chamberlain, returning the overplus, if any be, to the offenders.
In 1730, the right honourable the Lord Lynn, lord lieutenant for the county of Norfolk, and county and city of Norwich, sent down new commissions for Capt. Balderstone, and the rest of the officers of the artillery company.
At the quarterly assembly, on St. Matthias's day, were 161 persons admitted and sworn freemen, and a committee appointed for that purpose, reported that they had treated with St. George's company, who agreed to resign their books, charters, and records, into the hands of the city, which was done, and that company's power suspended, and the following procession agreed upon for the gild day, (fn. 6) instead of the said company's viz.
At nine in the morning, the sheriffs, justices, and aldermen, shall attend the new-elect mayor at his house, and with him wait on the old mayor, and go thence to the Gild-hall, where the common council are to be ready in their black gowns, whence they are all to proceed to the cathedral as follows.
Two trumpeters, a standard-bearer, two blue-coat officers with staves, the common council-men as elected for the great wards two abreast, the speaker of the commons alone, a standard, the city musick, the city officers,the mayor and mayor-elect, the recorder and steward, the justices, the sheriff's, and aldermen, all in their usual habits, the whole being closed by four sheriff's officers.
After divine service, they are to proceed from the cathedral in like manner (the orator and speech boys following the court) to the Gild-hall, and after the mayor is there sworn, they are to go in manner aforesaid to the New-hall, where before dinner (if there be time) the orator and speech boys are each to make their speech, and after the feast, the justices, sheriffs, aldermen, and common council-men (following then the aldermen) are first to attend the new mayor home, and then the old mayor.
And the company of the feast of the mayor, sheriffs, citizens, and common-council, commonly called St. George's Company, being laid aside, together with the procession on the day of swearing the mayor, it was ordered, that for the future, every mayor should be excused making a gild breakfast, and holding any mayor's feasts in May or August, and that in lieu thereof, the new-elect-mayor shall make a feast on the day he is sworn at the New-hall, and there entertain the recorder, steward, sheriffs, justices, aldermen, and their ladies, and common council-men; and every mayor that makes such a feast, he, his executors, or administrators, shall be entituled to an allowance or grant of one hundred pounds, to be paid by the chamberlain of the city, immediately after making the said feast, and the further sum of 50l. shall be paid by the chamberlain to such person as shall be mayor of the city on Christmas day next ensuing such feast.
A new silk damask gown was bought by the corporation, to be worn by the speaker of the common council, on all publick occasions, and was first worn on the gild-day, by Mr. Tho. Johnson, then common speaker.
In 1733, July 11, at an assembly then held, the right honourable Sir Robert Walpole was complimented with his freedom, and sworn in person in the Gild-hall, and was then presented by the mayor with the copy of his freedom in a gold-box, after which he made a short speech, thanked them for the honour they had done him, and assured them of his endeavours at all times to promote the city's welfare.
In 1734, a new silver mace, weighing 168 ounces, gilt and finely exchased, was presented to the city by the right honourable Sir Rob. Walpole; on the cup part of it are Sir Robert's arms, and the arms of the city; it was first carried before the mayor on the 29th of May.
Nov. 20, died her most sacred majesty Caroline Queen of Great Britain, &c. and was interred Saturday, Dec. 17, when at six in the evening, the great bell of every church in this city began to toll, and continued tolling till 11 at night. The mayor and court appeared in deep mouring at church on Sunday. Of whom the following deserved encomium was then made: (fn. 9)
When as Heaven's gift, the crown she wore, None e're deserved it, none adorn'd it more, Belov'd and honour'd thro' each various scene, As friend, as wife, as mother, and as Queen: Her life, of all the learned the esteem, The maid's example, and the matron's theme: Her death, the wish and comfort of the wise, Religion's honour, and great vertue's prize.
In 1739, Oct. 30, being the King's birthday, war was proclaimed against Spain, by the court, on horseback, in six different places of the city; the two sheriffs appeared then first with their gold-chains on, which were given by Tho. Emerson of London, a native of this city, to be worn by the sheriffs for the time being; they cost 100 guineas each.
This winter was extremely cold and sharp, a deep snow fell about Christmas day, and laid till March, and when it brake up, was a prodigious flood; it exceeded the coldest days in the sharp winters in 1708, and 1715, and continued so long, that had not the poor in this city, and other places, been generously relieved by the wealthy, many must have perished.
In 1740, wheat was above 20s. a comb, and other corn very dear. The season held so cold, that on the 5th of May in the morning, it snowed so much, that at 10 o'clock, the snow hung on the cathedral spire, from its top to the second windows.
This year, on pretence of the scarcity and dearness of grain, there was much rioting throughout the kingdom, and at most of the principal places in Norfolk, as Yarmouth, Lyn, &c. at Wisbitch assizes fourteen were found guilty, but were not all executed; in Norfolk two were convicted and executed accordingly. There were none executed for the riot in this city, which came to such a height, that the magistrates were obliged to seek for assistance from the soldiers quartered here, whose commanding officer, fired upon the populace in order to quell them, by which means several unconcerned persons were accidentally killed, and only one of the rioters, who was said to be the chief ringleader: a lad, who was shot in the knee, died of the wound, and was said in the publick papers to be the 7th person that lost his life by this riot.
In 1741, at an assembly held May 3, it was ordered, that no person for the future, being a foreigner, should be permitted to exercise any trade in the city longer than six months, without taking up the freedom of the city.
Mayors and Sheriffs.
Burgesses In Parliament.
1741, Horatio Walpole, Esq. and Tho. Vere, Esq. are the present members. (fn. 10)
And thus I have brought down the history of this city from its
rise to the present year 1742,
September 29, when the whole corporation, consisting of the mayor, sheriffs, recorder, steward, justices, aldermen, common council-men, and other officers, are as follow,
The right worshipful William Wigget, Esq. Mayor, (fn. 11) who was chosen alderman of Coslany ward, July 11, 1733.
William Greenaway, Esq. sheriffs. (fn. 12)
Robert Britiffe, Esq. recorder, (fn. 13) chosen May 3, 1737, on the resignation of Richard Berney, Esq.
William Brooke, Esq. steward, (fn. 14) chosen June 14, 1727, on the resignation of Richard Berney, Esq.
The Aldermen (fn. 15) past the chair, and consequently justices of peace, in the whole city and county thereof, are,
The city is divided into four great wards, out of which 60 of the chief commoners are yearly elected common council-men, (fn. 16) to be of the assembly to join with the mayor, sheriffs, &c. to consult, advise, determine, and enaot, any thing concerning the state of the city, viz.
3. Edmond Hooke. (fn. 17)
Mr. John Ewan, foreign-receiver, (fn. 18) and deputy-clerk.