The corporation of Hereford: Miscellaneous papers, 1549-1600

The Manuscripts of Rye and Hereford Corporations, Etc. Thirteenth Report, Appendix: Part IV. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1892.

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Historical Manuscripts Commission, 'The corporation of Hereford: Miscellaneous papers, 1549-1600', The Manuscripts of Rye and Hereford Corporations, Etc. Thirteenth Report, Appendix: Part IV, (London, 1892), pp. 317-338. British History Online [accessed 17 June 2024].

Historical Manuscripts Commission. "The corporation of Hereford: Miscellaneous papers, 1549-1600", in The Manuscripts of Rye and Hereford Corporations, Etc. Thirteenth Report, Appendix: Part IV, (London, 1892) 317-338. British History Online, accessed June 17, 2024,

Historical Manuscripts Commission. "The corporation of Hereford: Miscellaneous papers, 1549-1600", The Manuscripts of Rye and Hereford Corporations, Etc. Thirteenth Report, Appendix: Part IV, (London, 1892). 317-338. British History Online. Web. 17 June 2024,

Miscellaneous papers, 1549–1600

1549.—Presentment is made by the second inquest of all the bakers in the city for taking a penny instead of the customary halfpenny for baking a bushel of "wyven"; of the Vicars Choral for not repairing Barr's Bridge and the way leading to it; of Richard Hu[n]tyffylde because "he wille not fylle a quart of alle for halpeny"; and of William Haskett "for kypyng of card pleyng and manteyning men servants in hys howse to pley at cards." Similar presentments respecting card-playing are of frequent occurrence in other years.

1550, 4 Edw. VI.—Richard Huntyfield is again presented for selling ale at a penny a quart, and is amerced in 12d; whereupon follows a representation from the jurors of the inquest to the mayor and his brethren that "wee perceve the sayd Huntyfeld ys offendyd with us, and dothe opynly declare that wee are all false harlots and noughty harlots, to the gret sclaunder of your sayd pore neybours"; and evidence is taken thereon, but Huntyfield denies it all in toto. And all the bakers are again presented for doubling their charge for baking a bushel of "wyven bred," taking a penny "wher the cytesens were wont to pay but an ob." Seven persons are presented for putting hops in ale. John Higgins is indicted for seditiously inciting other persons to break up inclosures, saying that by the King's proclamation all inclosures were to be broken up.

1552, Dec. 15, 6 Edw. VI.—Copy of an agreement made under the authority of the Council of the Marches between the mayor and commonalty on the one part and the tenants and inhabitants of certain neighbouring places on the other, respecting the rights of pasturage on Widemarsh Commons.

Cf. Johnson's Ancient Customs of Hereford, pp. 155–6.

Examination of a wandering tailor who had come from Ireland, and before that had served two years in Guienne, and five years at Boulogne under Capt. Walter Bromwich.

1553, Jan. 19, 6 Edw. VI.—Writ from John Scudamore, Esq., sheriff of the county, to the mayor, Thomas Havard, for the election of two burgesses for parliament.

1553, May 15. At Hereford.—Letter to the mayor desiring him to release Sir Thomas Eawkener, clerk, servant to Sir George Cornewall (one of certain Commissioners sent on some duty not specified), who has been arrested by some of the mayor's serjeants; signed, Jo. Prise, George Cornewall, and Thomas Dansey.

[1554], Jan. 23. Letter to the Mayor, William Smothie from John Hill.—"Yt maye please yowre mastershipp to be advertised that one Wylliam George lyeinge in my house in the cytye of Oxford at the singe (sic) of the Swann there, the xxiii of Januarye laste paste (sic), there beinge wyttnessys presente as shall followe, conveyed in the presens of them a letter being clapssyd in a booke, and so hyd the said letter under the forsaide George his saddle, so that I with the reste of my geste beinge desyeryd and movyd of right to testefye the trwethe have the daye above wrytyn signed this byll to be of a trwethe. From Oxenford the xxiii of Januarye. Yowre frende to his powre John Hyll.

Wytnessys, John Calloweye, gent., Edwarde Curtis, Cristover Edwards, with maynye moo."

1554, Jan. 25, an. 1 Mar.—Copy (directed to John Scudamore, Esq., at Holme Lacy) of a circular letter from the Queen to the Council of the Marches, sending a copy of the marriage articles with the Prince of Spain to be published throughout the county, since "certen yll disposed personnes, meaninge vnder the pretense of myslykinge this mariedge to rebell againste the Catholycke relligion and divine service restored within this our realme, and to take from us ther Soveraigne Ladye and Queene that lyberty whiche is not denied to the meaneste woman in the choyse of ther husbands, cease not to spreade manye false vile and vntrew reportes of our saide Cousyn and others of that nacion": the authors and spreaders of these false bruits and rumours are to be apprehended and punished.

1554, Feb. 1. Homelacy.—Letter to Will. Smothye, mayor of Hereford, signed by John Scudamore, sent with the preceding letter and a copy of the marriage articles, and desiring him to execute the instructions therein.

1553–4, Feb. 4. Nowenham.—John Pollard to Mr. Smotby, mayor, and Mr. Havard, urging them to help the vicar of Holmer in some dispute with one Will George, about tithe-corn.

1554, Feb. 7. At Ludlow Castle.—Order from the Council of the Marches to the mayor, that there be due watch kept nightly within the city, and that the gates be closed and kept safe in convenient time, for "the chouring" of the misorder that might ensue, and for the apprehending of such as would attempt the same.

1554, Feb. 9. At Ludlow Castle.—Order from the same to the same that whereas Morgan Daires and John Hawle have complained that there hath been time out of mind a corporation in the city of goldsmiths, blacksmiths, cutlers, plumbers, glaziers, braziers, pewterers, and card makers, and that the plaintiffs being chosen wardens of the said, crafts for this year, have received their oath according to the custom of the city, yet nevertheless the said mayor has refused to deliver to them the charter of the said corporation and the stock belonging to the same, he do minister justice in the said matter as he will answer at his peril.

1554, Feb. 25. At Ludlow Castle.—The same to the same and his brethren, straitly charging and commanding them, for special reasons, to have such care and regard to the keeping of the watch nightly within the city thet every night there may be a substantial watch kept, and the same to be of the most honest sort of men, and in a good substantial number, as they will answer at their extreme perils.

1554, March 21.—Indenture between the mayor (Will. Smothye) and sheriff (Sir John Prise) of the election of Thomas Havard, Esq., and Thomas Bromwiche, gent., as burgesses for the city in the parliament to be held at Oxford on Apr. 2.

1554, Aug. 24. "Barthilmewe daye." At Estmore.—Letter to the mayor, William Smothe, from Thomas Clyntone, informing him that he has non-suited the plaintiff in a case submitted to his decision between Thomas Careles and Roger Farre.

The blacksmiths present a petition in this year, setting forth that whereas they had admitted the goldsmiths, pewterers, cutlers, plumbers, braziers, cardmakers and glaziers into their fellowship and company of smiths, these the Sunday after Epiphany elected two wardens, of whom, contrary to custom, neither was a blacksmith: they pray therefore that they may be dissevered, and made again one fellowship of themselves. Their prayer is granted, on paying 6s. 8d. to the city.

1554, Oct. 13.—A circular letter from Nicholas [Heath], Bishop of Worcester (signed by him), tilled up for Hereford, and addressed to the Mayor and Burgesses, about election for parliament.

"After my ryghte harty commendacions. Where for diverse causes tending principally thadvauncement of Godes glory and the common wealthe of this Realme, the Quenes maiestie hathe thoughte convenient to calle her maiesties highe courte of parlyament againste the xiith of November next comminge, and hathe for that purpose addressed furthe the king his and her maiesties writte to the Sheref of that countie of Hereford Forasmuche as I knowe assuredlie that her hyghnes pleasure is to have suche elected to be of that house as be of the wise, grave, and Catholique sorte, and suche as in dede meane the true honour of God with the prosperitie of the common wealthe, And for that her highnes by her maiesties speciall letters hathe commaunded me within all my rule to admonishe on her highnes behalf all suche as have thollection of knights citezens and burgenses to chose such, being eligible by order of the lawe, as may be of the sorte before remembred; Therfore, myndinge the due accomplishment of her highness said pleasure, I have thoughte good to geve you notice herof, and on her maiesties behalf to require you to have suche a vigilente eye and erneste care to this matter that those maye be chosene for that citie as be of good Catholique religion, and suche as may answere thexpectacion that her maiestie hathe in you and thinhabitants of that citie; and lyke as by your erneste endevour in following her maiesties pleasure in this behalf you shewe whate good hartes you bere towardes her highnes, whiche I assure you cannott but be thankfully takene by her maiestie, so shalle you geve me iuste occasion to remember the same and to make reporte therof bothe to her maiestie and her highnes moaste honorable Privey Counsaill. Thus eftsones praing you earnestlie to consider this matter, and so to travaile therin, I bid you hartely farewell. From Ludlowe the xiiith of October, 1554.

Your verey lovinge frende Nico. Wigorn.

Postscript.—I have thoughte mete to commende unto you Thomas Havard, esquier, and Thomas Bromyche, gent., being as I am credibly enformed mete men for the purposes forsaid to serve the Quenes maiestie at this present."

On 18th Sept. in the following year Bishop Heath, now signing as "Nico. Ebor. electus" (having been elected to York at the end of February, but not receiving the pall until 3 Oct.), and Adam Mytton write again on the same subject; that whereas the King and Queen's majesty have appointed their parliament at Westminster on 21 Oct. next, and their pleasure and expectation is that such be chosen "as be grave men and of good and honest haviour (sic) and conversacion, and specially of Catholique religion, whiche sorte of well ordred men are most mete to consult upon the good order and state of the Realme," therefore they give notice thereof, and require the mayor, aldermen, and burgenses to bend their travail so that persons of the sort aforesaid may be chosen (&c., as in the preceding letter). Dated from Beaudeley.

1554, Dec. 6.—Inhibition from the Court of Canterbury to the diocesan court of Hereford, on account of an appeal, to proceed further in a case concerning tithes, against John Stapeley, claiming to be vicar of Holmer.

[1555], March 20.—Letter to the Mayor from Anthony Wasseburne, Thomas Smythe, Will. Unet, and John Harford, commissioners appointed by letters patent of the King and Queen. "for and concernyng theire affaires and necessary busynes to be by us done" within the county of Hereford, requiring him to admonish all parsons, vicars, curates, and churchwardens of every parish in Hereford, and also two or three honest and substantial men of every parish, to appear before them in the chapter-house of the Cathedral Church on Friday, 22 March, at 9 o'cl., there and then to do that shall further to their duties appertain concerning the contents of the said letters patent; [apparently to inquire concerning heretics].

1554–5, 1 and 2 Phil. and Mar.—A long paper roll containing ordinances for the markets made by the Mayor, Hugh Welsh, and justices; 1, that no persons bring weapons with them to any market or fair, saving that a knight or squire may have a sword borne after them; 2, that the bakers make good and able white bread at 4 loaves, 2 loaves, or 1 loaf, for a penny, and 4 wastells for a penny or penny three-farthings; and wheaten bread of 2 loaves or 1 loaf for a penny, of able weight according to the middle price in the market; and horse-bread, 3 loaves for a penny of beans, peason and "fachers" without bran; 3, regulations for ale sellers and vintners; a cester of ale for 20d.; a gallon of good "metheglen" to be sold for 12d.; 4, for butchers; no bull flesh to be sold "untyll the tyme hyt be slaughter[ed] with houndes"; no beasts to be slain in the streets, &c.; 5, forestallers; 6, sale of fish; 7, sale of corn; "provyded allwayes that no person havyng suffycyent corne of hys owne to fynde hys familye and to so we hys landes shal be force of thys ordynaunce have any lybertye to by corne in the sayd markett oneles he brynge other corne or grayne into the said markett of lycke kynde and value there to be solde" (fn. 1); 8, sale of candles; the pound of good lights and able for 2½d. and no dearer; 9, tallow; 10, sea-coal, to be only sold in the market; 11, tanners; 12, timber not to be left lying in the streets; 13, "that no man cast oute dounge nother mullock, neyther cley at hys dore neyther in any other place within the cytye other then in comyn myskeyns appoynted for the same," and that all persons clean the streets directly against their own doors upon pain of forfeiting, toties quoties, 3s. 4d.; no swine to go at large, upon pain successively of 4d., 8d., and 12d., and then of forfeiture of the swine; nor ducks, upon pain of forfeiture the first time; 14, no man to walk in the streets after 9 o'cl. "and the common belle ronge in the nyghte but yef he be of good name and good fame and have lyghte with hyme", upon pain of imprisonment and fine; and all who have been mayors or who are of the Common Council, and all innholders, vintners, tallow-chandlers and candle-sellers, shall from the vigil of All Saints next to the feast of the Purification have and maintain every night, except the nights that the moon doth shine, a lantern and a candle burning at their doors, the candles to be lighted at 6 o'cl. and to be burning until 8, under penalty of 4d. each time of default; 15, salters not to bring their wains with salt above the Tolsend, to remove their wains within three days after the fair or market, and to make clean the street where they stood; 16, no persons who buy any sea fish, shell fish, or other, may retail the same; 17, no horses to be left standing in the market-place.

1555, May 13.—Examination taken before the Mayor and Justices. "Raffe Coles, of the cytye of Hereford, carpinter, saithe, repoortithe, and is redie to depose, that apon the feast of the Invention off the Holye Crosse last past [3 May], as the canons and mynisters of the cathedral church of Hereford and the mayor and cytezenes of the cytye of Hereford apon information to them then geven that the quens maiestie was brought to bedd of a prince, went in solempne prosession in the said cytye, renderynge therfore lawde and praise to God, accordynge vato theyr most bounden duetye, one John Gillam of the cytye of Hereford carp[ent]er there, and then spake to this examinate theese words followynge, scilicet, Now that there is a prince borne his father will bringe into this realme his owne nation, and putt out the Englishe nation, etc."

1555, June 20.—Order by the Mayor and Council that no victualler take of their guests at meals "in theyr gales and parlors" above 4d. for every man, they having two dishes of boiled meat and one roasted, and not above a halfpenny for one foot man's bed, and not above 4d. for one horse grass of the best for one day and night, and not above 2d. or 3d. day and night for other grass; and "yet any shuter wyll call for a penye worthe of ale in a vitaylynge house within the sayde cytye that he shall have three pyntes for a penye and no lesse."

1555.—A petition from fifteen "cappers" to the Mayor against certain "master cappers" who endeavour to secure a monopoly: "whereas other master cappers to the nomber of vii hathe made [agreement?] within themselves that noe poore man one to another shall not worke noe pece worke but he shalbe preasented and lose viis. vnless he worke the same in one of there shoppes, to the vtter vndoinge of your poore oratours," &c.

Petition from William a Prise, tailor, who has been a long time detained in ward in "Bouthe hall," complaining that he has not the liberty that other prisoners have of "goeinge withe a freeman to the churche to here the devyne service of Almyghtie God, and so withe hym to warde agayne, whiche hathe bene accustomed tyme oute of mynde."

May 22. — Memorandum that John Brayne, clerk, Will. Smothye, Rich. Perteryche, Walter Marshe, Anth. Browne, and Rich. Davyes, mercer, have declared unto the Mayor that Sir Roger ap Rees, clerk, has unjustly taken out of St. Peter's church these parcels of the ornaments of the said church: "Inprimis, one vestment of rede chamlett of selke with a glove, one whyte awbe, one stole, and one fanell with the appurtenances. And two alter clothes of dyaper. Item, one paynted clothe hangyng affore the alter."

Sept 28.—Letter from Thomas Kerry to the Mayor about the re-erection of fulling-mills. (fn. 2)

"Right worshipfull, after moste hartie commendacions. Where I have undertaken (as ye right well knowe) the newe erecting and edifieing of the late suppressed mylles upon Wye, whereunto I understand all men willing, considering howe it may advaunce that comonwelthe of yours, and no enjury to any others, and forasmuche as the same wilbe to me before it be fynished bothe paynefulle and chargeable, so will the successe be unto you all and your successors greate welth and comodite, for your poore peple hereby shalbe relyved, and your ydell men shalbe sett on worke, whiche cannot but bringe to the citie moche wealth and quiett; and having for the zeale I beare my naturalle contrey travayled by all meanes possyble howe after thereccion of the same mylles they myghte stand for ever, at lenghte by frindes am perswaded to erect the same by Parliament, whereunto I must pray your ayde, whereof allmost I counte myself assured, for that I knowe thernest good wills ye owe unto ytt, and therefore am the bolder to pray you, good master mayor and the rest of my masters your bretherne, to consyder the particulers of a bill herein enclosed, whiche I have caused to be don by advised counsaille; and yet I know yt cannot be so welle perfyted here as by you, unto whom every braynche therof is apparaunt; whiche considered by you at good leynghte, and corrected where nede requirethe, my petycion is, that if the same shalle seme to you alle convenient and requisite, I may receave by your Burgenses (whom I truste you will instructe depely on this case) the same fayre writene in parchement under your hands and comon seale to thentent the said Burgenses, and suche as I shall require to be my good lordes and masters herein, may the bolder and rather exhibite the same to the parliament howse, and overthrowe suche as shall blyndely obiect any matier against yt. Wherein like as you shall chiefly deserve thanks at God's hand, muche benyfytt your common welth, and justly receave the good name due to the furtherers of so godly an acte, to the perpetualle fame of you all and your posteritie, so shall you bynde me and myne to be yours, and fynde me and my service likewise ready to reacquite the same at any tyme (occasione serving) accordingly; as knowith thalmyghtie, to whose tuecion I commett you. From London the xxviiith of September, 1555. Yours to commaund assured. Thomas Kerry."

Sept.—A letter from the burgesses of Leominster to the Mayor of Hereford, requesting that two victuallers who had gone from their town to buy wheat in Hereford market (corn being insufficient at Leominster because the farmers at this time of harvest do not much frequent the market), and were there stayed after purchasing it under colour of the statute of regrating, may be allowed to bring it away, the statute not applying to them as they are no farmers.

Friday, no day of month.—Letter to the Mayor from his "pore frynd assuryd, Gabryell Bleytso," dated from Massyngton, earnestly urging him at once to give judgment in the case between him and Jauncy, according as the xii men gave their verdict, for Jauncy hath laboured out such things that he hath given the writer the overthrow. "My lady Morton sende you and your bedfelow harty commendacions."

Oct. 14, 2 & 3 Phil. and Mar.—Copy of a charter of incorporation granted by the Mayor and commonalty to the goldsmiths cutlers, pewterers, braziers, plumbers, cardmakers, and glaziers [formerly united with the blacksmiths. See under Aug. 24, 1554.]

[1557.]—Directions for providing accommodation for the coming of the Lord President and the Council of the Marches of Wales to Hereford, with the arrangements made thereupon. [From the mention of the Mayor's name, Thomas Havard, it is seen that this visit must have been in 1556–7, and, from the abundant provision of fuel required, in the winter of those years; probably at the beginning of the latter. These papers are now in the bound volume.]

"In primis that ther be preparid within that citie of Hereford the fairist house and of most easment, whiche requirithe to have one lodginge for my lord with ij severall roromes (sic) for hime sealf, one chambre for his 1. gromes, and one chambre for his apparell if this maybe.

Item, my lord lodgid iij of the Counsaill, to be next placid at the least.

Item, the steward, the gentill man usher ore [har]binger, the usher of the haule, with butt[eler, pant]er p . . . verer, with k . . . rer and porter . . . . . within the . . . . . if hit be posyble [some words lost].

Item, xxxtie feather bedds with all thinges belonginge to the same for my lord, the counsaill and their men, at the lest.

Item, vi hogsheds or tenne barrells good beere.

Item, x large wain lodds goad fewell woodd to be had and takine out of the Queenes Majesties wood in place most necessary, and if ther want of her highnes wood then to mak other proviseone as necessarylye as you may.

Item, stables, hey, provandre and litter for xxtie horsses or mor.

Item, grasse for lx gealdinges and nagges for my lord and the counsaill, or mor.

Item, viij large table clothes, iiij towells, iiij cupurd clothes, vj dosine of napkines, and xxxtie candillstickes ether of pewter or lattin, as you may gett them.

Item, one gret pote or cawdrone to boyle beefe ine.

Item, iij lesser potes and iiij pannes of great and smale.

Item, one gridyrone, one frynge panne, and one chafingdishe.

Item, one payre of raks and iiij broches.

Item, xlviij platers, xlviij dishes, and xlviij saucers.

Item, one bryne tubbe or vesell to powdre beef ine.

Item, bucketts and tubbes, with other necessary veassells for water."

"The order ffor the provysyon of my lorde presydent and the counsaill.

In primis, Mr. Lusons (fn. 3) howse ys appoyntted ffor [my lorde presydent and, struck out] two of the counsaill, viz. [ffor Mr., struck out] and ffor iiij beddes [with the steward, gentyllman usher and buteler and cooke, struck out].

Item, Mr. Doctor Baskervyle (fn. 4) ys howse ys appoynted ffor [Mr. Justice struck out] one other of the Ciunsaill and ffor two beddes.

Item, [the sewar and harbinger, struck out and some words lost by the paper being torn] appoyntted [ffor one of the Counsaill, struck out] the . . . . rd and the master [?] porter.

Summa of bedes to be provyded within the Close, xiiij bedes.

Item, John Parteryche ys appoyntted to ffynde stable rome ffor xij horses and two beddes ffor the horse men.

xij horses

Item, John A Thomas ys appoyntted to ffynde stable rome for viij horses, and two beddes.

viij horses

[Item, Harrye Grene to ffynde two beddes, struck out.]

Item, Wylliam Benett to ffynde one bedde in hys howse.

Item, Hughe Kynesham to ffynde one bedde in hys howse.

Item, Mr. Rychard Patteryche, junior, to ffynde one bedde in hys howse, one ffyne table clothe, a dossen napkyns, and foure candyll-stycks.

Item, John Hydde to ffynde one bedde in hys howse.

Item, Thomas Meredythe to ffynde one bedde in hys howse.

Item, Thomas Davyes to ffynde one bedde in hys howse.

Item, Meryane Owyane to ffynde one bedde in hys howse.

Item, Thomas Marble to ffynde a bedde in hys howse.

Item, Mr. Carewyddyn to ffynde a bedde furnysshed into the palyce to Mr. Justice chambor.

Item, Thomas Churche to ffynde one bedde furnysshed into the palyce for hys gromes into the warderoppe. A cossen of sylke.

Item, Roger Gruffythe to ffynde a bedde.

Item, John Gybbes one bedde.

[One short line lost.]

[Item], Wylliam Sy . . es one bedde.

Item, Edwarde Walewene one bedde.

Item, Thomas Benett a gredyorne.

Item, Wylliam Russhell a broche and reckes.

Item, John Shelfard to ffynde a bedde furnysshed into the palyce in the chambor over the kychyn.

John Darnell to ffynde a bedde furnysshed into the palyee in the chamber over the kychyn."

[Then in the same hand, on a separate leaf, come the following additional arrangements for accommodation.]

"The order for the provysyon for my lorde Presydent and the Counsell.

In primis, Mr. Mayre, Thomas Haverd, esquyer, a bedde of dowle, a bolster, two pyllywers with pyllowe beres, a peyre of ffustyan blankettes, a peyre of shettes, a fether bedde.

Mr. Hughe Welshe to furnyshe one bedde ffor Mr. Justyce.

The gentyllman usher and the clerk of the kychyne and buteler and panter to be placed in the palyce with Harrye Grene in two chambers.

Item, Mr. Cressett to ffynde the beddes ffor the usher of the hale [hall] and the eweres.

Thomas Bromewhyche, gent., one ffyne table clothe ffor my lordes table.

Mr. Webbe one ffyne table table (sic) clothe, a dossen of napkyns and a bedde.

Mr. Rawlyns a ffyne table clothe, a towell, a dossen of napkyns.

Rychard Parteryche, senior, a table clothe and a dossen napkyns.

Harrye Dudeson a longe table clothe, a [tow]ell and a dossen napkyns.

Mr. Rouland Rees a table clothe and a dossen of napkyns.

Rychard Bromewhyche, gent., a longe table clothe, a towell, and a dossen of napkyns.

Rychard Veale ffower candyllstyckes.

John Searle [?] a table clothe [altered from a fayer arryes clothe], a towell, a dossen of napkyns.

John Barkeley two arryes clothes."

In the files for this year several Welshmen are indicted for selling "quoddam genus vini vocatum le Metheglyn" for fourpence the sextary contrary to royal proclamation. Inquests were held on the bodies of eleven persons who had died in prison in "Bystrers Gate" in the months of April and May of the sickness called "the new disease," either gaol-fever or the plague. Many persons are presented for playing at the unlawful game of "the boules" in a bowling-alley in the garden of Gregory ap Res, Esq.; but a much larger number had been indicted at the sessions in 1552, an. 1 Mar.

1557, 16 Jan, 3 & 4 Phil. & Mar. At Greenwich.—Writ to the Bishop, Mayor, and others, sending the copy of an Act passed in the Parliament begun 1 Oct. 1555 for a subsidy, and directing the same to be put in effect. A fine copy of the Act, printed by John Cawode (16 ff.), is attached; and the assessments follow made within the several wards, which exhibit the names of all the inhabitants and the values at which they were assessed in lands or goods. Amongst the papers for this year is a long paper roll of ordinances made by Walter Carwardyne, Mayor.

1557[–8], March 2. Copy of the Will (in English) of William Hyllar, clerk, of the parish of St. Mary Magdalene Hereford.—Leaves his body to be buried before the altar of our Lady in the church of St. Mary Magd.; to the works of the Cathedral, xxd.; to the parish altar of St. Mary Magd. a vestment of red purple velvet with the alb and apparels belonging to the same, a corporas with a case, two altar cloths, two cushions with silk, two panes, one of the image of Jesus and the other of the burying of Christ, and xxd. in ready money to help to fetch home a vestment that lieth in gage with Mr. Meye for iiiis., the which vestment pertains to the said parish; to the church works of All Saints, xxd., and of St. Peter's xxd.; to the parish of St. John Bapt. xiid.; to the vicars of the quire to be a brother with them, iiis. iiiid.; to the church of Davyswalle a corporas with a case, "a fyne shethe for the sepulture" (a burial pall ?), a vestment of tawny velvet with the alb and apparels; to Thomas Philips a portuas and a mass book, and xiiis. iiiid. to pray for his soul and all Christian souls; to Sir Will. Scryven a portuas; to Sir Rob. Preston a black box much like unto a coffer; to Harry Loryman ii angels in gold and vi silver spoons, upon condition of giving xxxs. towards his funerals on the day of his burial; to Eliz. wife of the said Harry ii angels in gold, a painted cloth with the image of St. Francis and three panes of the Passion of Christ; [money to various individuals, a frise gown, a best frise gown "of mantyll fryse," the hangings with the tester about his bed, a short frise gown, a black short gown faced with russell worsted, to a poor child a coat lined with blue buckram, an old gown with white lining, an old frock]; to the prison house within the "Palys" to remain to the prisoners there to lie-upon, a flock bed, a bolster, a pair of blankets, a coarse pair of sheets, and a coverlet; to poor people, where most need is, on the day of his burial in bread xxs., and all his goods to be sold and similarly distributed. A list follows of debts due to him, including 6s. 8d. from Archdeacon Sparcheford and 55s. from Dr. Baskervyle (being 30s. for six ounces of silver at 5s. the ounce, 20s. of old debts, and 5s. for an angel he had of him, and for which he gave a broken French crown*), as well as other sums from others for which he has a pall, a girdle, and silver spoons in gage. "Also I have certen small pieces of silke and suche other stuff that did perteyne to vestments and churche stuff, the whiche I will that it shall be geven to the churche agayne to helpe to mende where nede ys." Proved 1 April, 1558. (fn. 5)

1558, Apr. 17, 1 Eliz.—The company of Smiths and Cutlers petition the three inquests of the city against certain persons who forestal and regrate the sea-coals that come to the city, to their utter undoing, and desire that no man be allowed to buy coals in the market until the smiths and cutlers are first served. The petition is granted, with the stipulation that 12 o'cl. be the hour allowed.

1560–1.—Printed copies of five proclamations issued by Q. Elizabeth respecting the coinage, one dated 2 Nov. 1560, the second year, one 19 Feb. in the third year, one 23 Dec. and two without date, of which the second is imperfect. The proclamations are printed by Jugge and Cawood. A MS. copy of a proclamation issued by the Council of the Marches against those who refuse to take the teston, dated 21 Nov. an. 3 is attached.

1561, 31 March. At Ludlow Castle.—Letter from the Council of the Marches to the Mayor and Steward of the City, forwarding a bill of complaint on the part of one Thomas Handbache of Hereford against Thomas Cubley in a money dispute arising out of an unsuccessful attempt on their part to recover as concealed chantry-lands some small property in Marden formerly belonging to the chantry of the B. Trinity in Marden church. The pleadings in the case are subjoined.

1565, Oct. 22.—It is ordered that the brethren and council of the city, being 31 in number, shall attend upon the Mayor when he goes to the Cathedral or elsewhere to hear any sermon, or to receive the Justices of Assize or any honourable person, or to the burial of any honourable person or one of the brethren or council, or to do any other thing for the worship of the city, under penalty of 2s., if there be no lawful excuse for absence. In another copy of the order, in a shorter form (omitting burials &c.), the penalty is fixed at 12d., and it is ordered that the brethren shall on such occasions wear their tippets about their necks. It is also ordered that from henceforth that part of the book of Customs which concerns obedience to the Mayor (who represents the Queen's presence) in all things lawful and honest shall be observed, upon pain of incurring the penalties in the said book comprised.

1565, Dec 16. Hereford.—Letter from Thomas Havard to John Scudamore, esq., one of the Council of the Marches, and Steward of the city, complaining of infringements of the ancient and laudable laws and customs of the city which the freemen are bound to observe under pain of perjury, whereby the Common Council are grieved, and the body of the citizens, being the best occupiers are offended, in "that certen lighte promoutours be of Mr. Mayor [William Rawlings] receaved by popular accions to molest the fryse men and Welshe clothiers of the Marches of Wales repayringe with theyr fryses and white Welshe clothe to the seyd cytye ther to be uttred to the inhabitants of the same, wherby, as it is reported, fewe fryse men do of late repayre to the seyd cytye, so that the occupyers of the seyd cytye be driven to geve metinge out of the libertyes," specially to the hindrance of the farmer of the Bouthall who made the best part of his rent from the packs coming to the Bouthall with such cloth. And though these enormities have by divers sage persons been revealed to the Mayor, yet he by ignorance neglects to reform the same. Wherefore the writer appeals to Scudamore as bearing the second office in the city to advertise Mr. Mayor to amend such abuses in time.

Dec. 18. At Home Lacy.—Answer by Scudamore to the preceding letter, subscribed "By your owne assured," but not signed. "Havynge receved your gentle Ires I perceue that there is some mysgouernment of the citee. I am right sorry to here yt, you beinge the auncyent father of the citie." Will be ready, according to his bounden duty, to wait on Mr. Mayor and him and others when commanded. "And thus I commytt you to God, who send you a mery Christemas, and many."

1566, May 28. London.—Pass signed by Francis Earl of Bedford, lieut. gen. of the frontiers towards the north parts, governour of Berwick, &c. for Thomas Twynborowe, soldier under Capt. Reade, who is licensed to be absent from service in Berwick for six weeks.

Printed in Johnson's Ancient Customs, &c., p. 163, where for "far anent Scotland" read "for anempst Scotland."

1566, June 5. Everisley.—Letter from James Baskerville [Steward of the city] to the Mayor, William Rawlyns. It is reported to my lord vise. Hereford that the Mayor has stayed two horses ("hosses") upon the proclamation of one George Mantell. Prays him to let them be sent by the bearer, "for I wold not wyshe you to stay them yf you did knowe howe he his favored with the Quenes majesty and the nobles of this realme; and yf they be contrary to the proclamacion my lord vicount will se them reformed, that there may be no more don in the matter."

1566, June 13. Dewles.—Letter to the same from John Parry, certifying that he has received a sum of forty marks for which one John ap Jevan had been arrested.

1566, Nov. 11, 8 Eliz. Ludlow. The Council of the Marches to the Mayor of Hereford.—Having received intelligence that it hath pleased Almighty God to visit the inhabitants of the city of Hereford with the plague of pestilence, they desire him to make proclamation that none of the said inhabitants repair to the place where the Council are nor to the fair of Ludlow now approaching without special license, under pain of imprisonment, since such resort may tend to great danger of infection to the inhabitants of divers parts, and to fix these letters, or a true copy, in some public place.

A copy of the Mayor's reply follows, intimating that he has made proclamation and has fixed a copy of the letters upon a post standing in the market-place, but that, after conferring with his brethren, he finds that [few] (fn. 6) persons have [lately] (fn. 7) died of all manner of diseases, "so that who so ever dyd gyve unto you any other knowledge is not a just man."

[1566?]—Statement by William Rawlyns, mayor, of his reasons for specially summoning his brethren for their advice respecting wrongful enclosures of common land, with diverting of a water-course, made by Gregory Pryse, esq., John Garmons, gent., and Richard Veale. He is bound by oath to maintain the customs and liberties of the city, and all citizens are bound to help him; but although these offenders have been indicted at the Queen's courts, yet they contemptuously proceed in their wrong-doing, and he of himself cannot reform their enormities; therefore, following the laws of the Book of Custom, he causes his fellow-citizens to be convented before him for their advice and help. In a clerk's hand, with numerous corrections and additions by the mayor himself. W. Rawlins was mayor in 1551–2 and 1565–6; and this paper was found among documents of the latter year.

1566–7.—A list of 36 Acts which passed both Houses of Parliament in the second session begun Sept. 30, 1566, and ended Jan. 2, 1567.

1566[–7], Jan. 9. Westminster. W. Smyth to the Mayor and Burgesses.—After hearty thanks for your gentle token, on my part undeserved, whereas Mr. Grene, one of your burgesses in parliament, has by order of the Privy Council received at my hands some sharp words, and after received again in parliament, for coming to parliament when the plague is in Hereford, and commandment had been given him to remain at home, yet as he hath in the election, for anything I can understand, behaved himself honestly, orderly, and like a good burgess, I have moved their lordships that he might have such ordinary allowances as are made in semblable cases, which their lordships have thought fit to allow. I therefore signify this to you, praying you to have consideration hereof.

1566-[7], 28 Feb. At Ludlow.—Letter from the Council of the Marches to the Mayor, enjoining that the Queen's late Proclamation for the reformation of the unreasonable excess of apparel ("whiche having of late yeres dailie encreased is nowe in thende growen to such extreme disorder as in no wise is any longer to be suffered") be not only observed in their own families, but also at Sessions and other assemblies be put in execution with all earnestness and severity, without any particular respect or partiality. And of their doings and proceeding herein they are to certify the Council before the last day of March next ensuing at the farthest.

1567, Aug. 9, 9 Eliz.—John Barkeley, mayor, with the advice of his brethren, removes Sir Giles Snell, who had been lately appointed Chaplain of St. Giles, from his office, because he hath of long time neglected to do divine service in the chapel, and appoints Sir John Rawelyns, clerk, to be chaplain in his place. (This is copied in the Black Book at f. 203. Rawlins died in 1568, and Sir Robert Lovard was appointed chaplain on Apr. 15; ib. f. 215. Lovatt (sic) surrendered the chaplaincy July 12, 1569, when Sir Richard Mason was appointed (ib. f. 229), who in his turn surrendered it July 31, 1583, and was succeeded by Sir Luke Prosser; ib. f. 404.)

1569.—A long examination of one Rich. Taber, a shoemaker of Trowbridge, suspected as a thief, is entered in the Court Book, to which is attached a certificate signed by John Plumple, parson of Trowbridge, that the said Richard was licensed to depart from his master's service and had liberty to serve elsewhere, according to the Statute in that case made.

1570, Sept. 26. Presteign. Edward Holland to Matthew Geffrey, Mayor of Hereford. — Where [as] the bearer my friend happened, as I am given to understand, to break a man's head, being thereunto provoked against his will, I shall heartily desire your lawful favour towards him, as if a Glamorganshire man should chance to hurt one of my neighbours.

1571, July 25.—The Privy Council to the Council of the Marches, enjoining that on 20 Aug., 12 Sept., and 12 Oct. ensuing, from 7 o'cl. at night until 3 the next afternoon, strict watch be kept in the whole shire, for the apprehension of all rogues, vagabonds, and sturdy beggars, who are to be punished by stocking and sharp and severe whipping. Copy.

Aug. 7.—The Council of the Marches to the Mayor of Hereford, enclosing the preceding.

1577.—A pass from the Lord Chancellor of Ireland. "By the Lord Chauncellor of her Highnesse realme of Irelande. Whereas John Asheton my servaunte ys presentlye to departe this realme into England uppon earneste and necessary affayers in furtheraunce of her Maj. service, These are therefore to will and straightly to chardge you and every of you quietlie to permitt and suffer hyme to passe and repasse without any your letts molestacions or any other impediment as you and either of you will answere to the contrary uppon your extreme perill. Dated at my howse at Dublin, the xxvth of Marche, a0 1577 a0 Reg. nostre Eliz. xix. Will. Gerard, Cancell.

To all Mayors, Shyrriffes." [etc.]

On a day in March of this year which is not stated, a lengthy order was made by the Mayor and Common Council, to which twenty-six signatures are attached, respecting the payment by all the members of their shares of the expense of city banquets, in consequence of the Chamberlain's being "dryven to demaunde allowaunce of a certeyne chardge by them disbursed and leyde out towards a banckett in eatinge of venyson." It is therefore ordered "that at all and every solempne assemblie and meetinge of the Comen Councell or ellection of the said citie uppon sommons to eate venyson or otherwise to banquet and make mery as there have beene accustomed and used to doe," every member, present or absent, shall pay his share, unless some good excuse be given.

Regulations made by the Mayor, Gregory Prise, for the city and markets, fill a small paper roll.

A fragmentary paper contains notes of an estimate for powder and shot, and for the expenses of ten days' training of the trained bands. "Twentie bulletts for the calyver of the Tower is just a pounde weight, and one pounde of powder will make xxvtie (sic) shott allowinge [a] quarters weight of powder to every bullett, and the over[pl]us after that rate is v shott more, which is for touch powder. [So] that in the whole xxtie bulletts are to be made of the pownde, and xxxtie shott to the pownde of powder, whereof v allowed for touch powder. For xvi persons after viiid the day for x dayes, £v vis. viiid. For x dayes for powder after xvid the pounde for xvi persones, £iii. vis. viiid. For bulletts, xxixs. viiid. ob. Towards the trayning about xxs."

1578, 18 Eliz. — Printed Act of Parliament [in a folio book of 18 leaves] for the levy of two fifteenths and one tenth and one subsidy, granted by the temporalty. With this is the assessment of the city for the purpose, and writs and letters thereupon. All these are much injured by damp.

(1578.)—In the accounts of the Mayor (Richard Bromwiche) for this year, in a very long list of "fines transgressionum," occurs the entry of a fine of 4l. imposed on John Baskervile, gent., Walter Baskervile, gent., Simon Dansey, gent., and Henry Watkin, "pro quadam riotta et aliis malefactis et offensis commissis 1 et 2 Oct. anno xx apud civitatem prædictam." xxviis. viiid. were paid "diversis lusoribus in enterludiis diversis generosis."

1578[–9], Jan.—John Halle complains grievously to the mayor and his brethren "that one Rychard, servant to Thomas Bere, dyd under pretence and cowler of frindschyppe abbusse hymselffe to me longe tyme before I cowld perceve hytt, as in glasse wyndowes spiyng, waulle herkenyng, evys droppyng, and standyng in corners in my howsse behynd dors, to sherche for to cari the secrettes of me and my frindes, to my great hyndrance."

1580, Oct. 12, 20 Eliz.—Bond in 200l. from a sergeant-at-mace on his admission to office. Among the rolls of court is a familiar letter from Walter Caradyne [al. Carwardine] to his brother-in-law George Harryes, dated at London, Nov. 20, 1580.

1582, 24 Eliz.—A short vellum roll contains a list of annual subscriptions promised for the relief of one who had been mayor twenty- four years before. It is headed, "The benevolence and goodwill geaven unto Mr. Richard Partriche, gent., sometimes maior of the city of Hereford by the maior, his bretherne, and other good-disposed people towardes his relief and findinge, agreed and concluded uppon xx° die Junii . . . . . . . to be paid quarterlie . . . . . . . and in respect thereof he surrendreth and yeldeth up his rome of aldermanship." Twenty-nine persons promise sums varying from 2s. (in 21 instances) to 10s. (Gregory Price, esq.). Twenty-four names follow to which no sums are attached.

1582, Oct., 24 Eliz.—A petition is presented for a second time by John Garnons and Symon Wolffe (supported by others) to the Mayor and Corporation praying that John Eliote, gent., and Richard Davies, fishmonger, may be disfranchised and removed out of the Common Council as being not favourers, obeyers, and followers of the Gospel or of the Queen's laws and proceedings, nor good preservators of the commonwealth, nor men worthy of their worships' society, but rather slanderers of the same. They refuse to come to church to hear the divine service there set forth by public authority, and have been at divers times indicted for the same, and have been excommunicated by the Bishop. Sir Henry Sidney, knt., Lord President of the Council of the Marches, has most painfully, charitably and learnedly used all godly means to reconcile them, but all in vain. Sir James Croft, the high steward, did most godly and honourably advise herein not long ago; and if the said Eliote and Davies and all such other disobedient persons having any place or voice in the Council be not expelled, the petitioners' further suits will be to the Lords of the Privy Council. See infra, under 1585–6.

1583[–4], Feb. 4. At the Court.—Letter from Sir "Jamys" Croft, [Steward of the city] to the Mayor and Aldermen. Has received their letter of 19 Jan. respecting a quo warranto brought against the city; will not fail to confer with the Queen's Attorney, of whose lawful favour he has no doubt. And if they will send him by the bearer the draught of their book concerning larger liberties, he will not fail to further it as time may serve.

1584, Apr. 6. Westminster.—Warrant from the Privy Council authorizing John Walley, of the county of Chester, gent., to make collections on behalf of the town of Nantwich, where by misadventure on 10 Dec. last 800 houses were burned, with most part of the goods of the inhabitants, whereby the town has become waste and desolate; to the relief of which poor afflicted inhabitants her Majesty has herself contributed to a good value. (fn. 8) Copy.

1534, June 17. At our Castle of Ludlow. The Council of the Marches in the name of the Queen to the Mayor and Justices of Hereford.—Our Council in the Marches are informed that there are sundry outrages, unlawful assemblies, banding of people with sundry kinds of weapons, as swords, bucklers, morris pikes, dags, privy coats, and other munition and armour daily walking up and down the cities and towns in the county, "facing and brasing "our quiet subjects, and specially in the city of Hereford many assaults, affrays and tumults have been committed, and no punishment hath ensued; you are therefore to repair to the city on all market days, fair days [etc.], and to bind over all persons found culpable to appear before the said Council.

1585, March 25, 27 Eliz. At our Castle of Ludlow.—The Council of the Marches to the Mayor of Hereford, ordering him to proclaim Richard Parker, Richard Bryan, Richard Partridge the younger, and Jenkin Scandrett as rebels, and to search for them and apprehend them as rebels, and bring them before the Council on 22 Apr. to answer to such matters as shall be objected against them by John Price.

Apr. 12, 27 Eliz. Westm.—Writ to the Bishop, Mayor, and others, ordering the levy of the first payment of a subsidy granted by a recent Act of Parliament, a copy of which Act is transmitted herewith. Seal lost. (In box with the royal Charters.)

June 20. At Greenwich.—Copy of a letter from the Privy Council to the Council of the Marches, ordering the suppression, in accordance with the Queen's Proclamation, of traitorous and slanderous books and libels, especially of one against the Earl of Leicester, [viz. Parsons' Leicester's Commonwealth].

"After our verie hartie comendacons. Upon intelligence given to her majestie in October last paste of certaine seditious and traiterous bookes and libelles covertlye spredd and scattered abrode in sondrie partes of her realmes and dominions, yt pleased hir highnes to publishe proclamations througheout the realme for the suppressing of the same, and due punishment of the aucthors, spredders abrode, and deteiguors of them, in suche sorte and forme as in the said Proclamacion is more at large conteigned. Sithens which tyme notwithstanding her highnes hathe certenlye knowen that the very same and divers other suche like most sclaunderous shamefull and divelishe bookes and libells have byn contynuallye spread abrode and kepte by disobedient persones, to the manifest contempte of her majesties regall and soveraigne aucthoritie; And namelye amounge the rest one most infamous, conteigning hatefull and sclaunderous matter against our verye good lorde the Earle of Leycester, one of her principall noble men and chieffe counsailors of estate, of whiche moste mallicious and wicked imputacions her majestie in her owne cleer knowledge dothe declare and testifye his innocencye to all the worlde, and to that effecte hathe written her gratious lettres signed with her owne hande to the lorde maior sheriffes and aldermen of London, where it was likelye thes bookes wolde be chiffelye caste abrode : Wee therffore, to followe the course taken by her majestie, and knowing manifestly the wickednes and falshood of thes sclaunderous devises against the said Earle, have thoughte good to notifye her pleasure and our owne consciences to you in this case. Firste, that as in trothe her majestie hathe noted greate necligens and remisnes in the former execucion of her comaundement, forasmuch as the said seditious libelles have byn suffred since that tyme to be disperced and spilled abrode, and keapte by contemptuous persones without severe and due ponishment inflicted for the same, soe uowe upon the seconde chardge and admonicion given unto yow, shee verely loketh for the moste strickte and precise observacion therof in the sharpest maner that may be devised, testifying in her conscience before God unto yow that her highnes not onlye knowethe in assured certentye the libelles and bookes against the said Earle to be moste mallicious, faulse and sclaunderous, and suche as non but the Devell himselffe colde deeme to be trewe, but alsoe thinkethe the same have proceded of the fullness of mallice, subtilli contryved to the note and discredit of her princely goverment over this realme, as thoughe her majestie shold have failed in good judgment and discrecion in the choise of soe principall a counsailor about her, or be without taste or care of all justice and consciens in suffring suche heynous and monstrous crymes as by the said libelles and bookes he infamouslye imputed to passe unponished, or finallye at the leaste to wante either good will habillitye or curraige, yf shee knowe thes enormityes were trewe, to calle enye subjecte of hers whatsoe ever to render sharpe accompte for them, according to the force and effecte of her lawes. Alle which deffectes (God be thanked) wee and all good subjects to our unspeakeable comfortes doe knowe and have fownde to be far from the nature and vertue of her moste exelent majestie. And of the other side bothe her highnes of her certen knowledge, and wee, to doe his Lordshipp but righte, of our sincere consciences must nedes affirme, thes strainge and abhomniall (sic) crimes to be raised of a wicked and venomous mallyce against the said Earle, of whose good service, sinceritye of religion, and all other faithefull dealinges towardes her majestie and the realme wee have had longe and trewe experiens. Whiche thinges considered, and withall knowing it an usuall trade of trayterous myndes, when they wolde render the prince's goverment odyous, to detracte and bring out of credit the principall persones about them, Her highnes, taking the abuse to be offred unto her owneselffe, hathe comaunded us to notifye the same unto yow, to the ende that knowing her good pleasure yow maye procede therin as in a matter highely touching her owne estate and honor. And therfore wee wishe and requier yow to have regarde therof accordingly, that the former negligens and remissenes shewed in the execucion of her majesties comaundement maye be amended by the dilligens and severitie that shalbe hereafter used, which amendement and carefullnes in this cause cheffely her highnes assuredly lokethe for, and will call for accompte at your handes. And soe wee byd yow hartelie Farewell. From the Corte at Grenewich the xxth of June, 1585.

Your verey lovinge frendes,
Tho. Bromely, canc. W. Burghley. G. Shrewsburie.
Hen. Darbie. J. Bedforde. C. Howarde.
H. Hunsdon. F. Knollys. H. Sydney.
C. Hatton. F. Walsingham. Wa. Myldemay.

To our verey good L. the Lorde President, and in his absence, To our verey lovinge frendes Sir George Bromeley, knight, and the rest of the Counsaill established in the Marches of Wales. T. Sherer."

This is printed at pp. 170–172 of R. Johnson's Customs of Hereford, but with very many mistakes.

1585, July 5.—Memorandum (signed by Edw. Threlkeld) that when Thomas Davies, Mayor, and Edward Threlkeld, doctor of the law and J.P., went to the house where William Luston, clerk, lately died, "to view a force," they were violently thrust out by James Parry, esq., and others, armed with daggers and a hatchet.

[1585.] — Articles exhibited against Thomas Wilkoxe. i. He is indicted for felony before the Mayor of Hereford. ii. He is excommunicated, and disquieteth the parish in the time of divine service. iii. He is a horrible usurer, taking 1d. and sometimes 2d. for a shilling by the week. iv. He has been cursed by his own father and mother. v. For the space of two years he hath not received the Holy Communion, but every Sunday when the priest is ready to go to the Communion, then he departeth the church for the receiving of his weekly usury, and doth not tarry the end of divine service thrice in the year. vi. He is a common breaker of his neighbours hedges and pales in the night time. vii. On Sundays and other holy days when his neighbours are at church, and likewise when they are in bed, he usetb to keep his cow and horse in their corn fields and pastures. viii. He hath most beastly, filthily and lewdly abused the common well from which his poor neighbours drew all their water. ix. He bribed one of the serjeants at mace in Hereford on 20 Oct. last, 1584, [with several other charges].

The files of this year are stitched to a fragment of a fourteenth-century breviary, with musical notes to the responds. See under 1615—6.

1585–6.—In the files of this year (a large parcel) several papers call for notice.

Gregory Prise, esq., brings an action as holding the rectory of St. Peter's, Hereford, against William Hosier, the vicar, for payment of a customary annual pension of 5l.

A case of seizure of a number of Roman Catholic books deserves transcription at length :—

"Jhesus. (fn. 9) Johannes Eliott, generosus, queritur versus Philippum Hall in placito transgressionis. Et unde idem Johannes per Georgium Penry, attorn. suum, queritur quod prædictus Philippus xxviii die Marcii anno regni dominæ Reginæ nunc vicesimo octavo, vi et armis bona et catalla (videlicet, unum librum intitulatum Alphonsus de Castro, unum alium librum intitulatum Opus oureum, per Magistrum Antonium [ ], unum alium librum intitulatum Confutatio cavillationum [per Steph. Gardiner, Episc. Winton] unum alium librum intitulatum Textus sacramentorum [cum commento] Magistri Johannis C[h]aneysii [Lugd. 1505], duos libros intitulatos Titulmanni [Tilemanni Smelingi], Segebergensis de Septem sacramentis [Col. Agr. 1538, etc.], unum alium librum intitulatum Exegesis [Evangelicæ veritatis] autore Johanne Adevantrea [i.e. a Daventria, Colon. 1537], unum alium librum intitulatum Defentio regiæ assertionis contra Babilonicam Captivitatem [Jo. Fisher, Episc. Roff., 1525], unum alium librum intitulatum Johannes Capnion [i.e. Joh. Reuchlinus], unum alium librum intitulatum' Demonstrationum Religionis Christianæ ex verbo Dei [libri tres] per Franciscum Sonnium [1557 et 1563], unum alium librum intitulatum De originis peccato disceptatio per Theodorum Beltarum (i.e. Peltanum, Colon. 1576], unum alium librum intitulatum Johannes Garretins de universali ecclesia [ ], unum alium librum intitulatum Theologiæ misticæ Henrici Herphii [Harphii libri tres, 1538, etc.], unum alium librum intitulatum Johannes Hessells Probatio [Corporalis præsentiæ in Eucharistia, Lovan., 1564], unum alium librum intitulatum Diacosio Martirion Johannes Whytte [Episcopi Wintoniensis, Lond. 1553], unum alium librum intitulatum Petri Lizecii Alverni Montigenœ adversum pseudo-Evangelist heresin [Par. 1551,] unum alium librum intitulatum Hierarchiœ ecclesiasticœ assertio per Albertum Pighium [Col. Agr. 1572], unum alium librum intitulatum Brevis et Catholica symboli Appostolici explicatis, autore Johanne Hessells [Lovan. 1562], unum alium librum intitulatum Loci communes Johannis Caspari [Rutlandi, Colon. 1560, etc.], unum alium librum intitulatum Psalterium Davidis in Latina, et unum alium librum vocatum A paper booke of notes) precii vili. xiiis. iiiid., ipsius Johannis Elyote hic apud civitatem Hereford infra jurisdiccionem hujus curiæ inventa cepit et asportavit, et alia enormia intulit, ad grave dampnum ipsius Johannis, et contra pacem dictæ dominæ Reginæ nunc, etc., unde dicit quod deterioratus est et dampnum habet ad valorem xli. Et inde producit sectam, etc."

These books doubtless belonged to some priest who was lodged in Elliott's house; and the latter may have been emboldened to bring his complaint from the fact that no missal or breviary was found among them. The names of the panel for the jury follow, and only eight were marked, many doubtless being challenged; then "decem tales" were summoned out of whom two were taken; and the list is endorsed, "xxi die Junii, ad ixam. Dicunt pro querente, et ass. dampnum prædicti querentis ad vli., et pro misis et custagiis suis, viis. Ideo judicium, xiii. Julii."

The Mayor, William Maylard, issues in this year a "proclamation" straitly charging all manner of persons, of what estate, degree, condition and calling soever, that they keep the Queen's peace, and by advice of the judges of assize commands that all men coming to the city shall not bear or wear any armour or weapon in the streets to the terror or fear of any of her Majesty's subjects, or bring any unlawful weapons as long forest-bills, main-pikes, and such other, within the gates, but shall leave the same at some convenient place without the gates, except the Sheriff and the justices of the peace and their servants, and others travelling through the said city upon their lawful business; and also that none seek, stir, or pick, any quarrel against any person or persons, but lawfully demean themselves, upon pain of fine and imprisonment; and that none receive and take into their houses in any secret or undecent order any unlawful weapon or weapons. And the mayor openly publishes that if any, of what state, degree or condition soever, offend or are found culpable in any respect, they shall be presently committed to gaol until they enter into sufficient bonds to appear before the Council of the Marches.

John Hampton sues Hugh Morris for 18s. due out of 33s. 4d. for glazing the windows of Old Radnor Church, according to an agreement made 20 Sept., 14 Eliz. (1572); to which the said Hugh replies that the case had been already heard before the Council of the Marches on 7 June, 22 Eliz. (1580) and dismissed.

William Davies sues John Catchemaie for 8s., the price of "unum bumbardum, Angliee vocatum a callyver," which it appears was supplied to the Bishop, and which the defendant was to pay for out of money which he owed to the latter.

A letter from the Council of the Marches, dated at Ludiow, 24 Nov. 1585, and signed by Charles Foxe, H. (?) Touneshend, and The. Atkyns, requests the postponement of a case of debt for four silver spoons against Edmond Scrope, one of the clerks in attendance upon the Council, because he is unable to appear at short notice.

The weavers of the city present a petition representing their distressed condition, partly due to the admission of strangers, and of persons not duly apprenticed, whereby they are like to fall into utter ruin.

An instance of a double Christian name occurs in the case of one Thomas William Parry.

1586, Nov. 8, 28 Eliz. Ludlow Castle.—Order from the Council of the Marches to the Mayor that, whereas letters have been received from the Earl of Pembroke, Lord President of the Council, that divers persons naming themselves Jesuits and Seminaries, or rather to be called Massing priests, have of late under colour of that their feigned religion become most wicked traitors to the State, and most hurtful poison to [the Queen's] true and loving subjects, as not long sithence hath manifestly appeared unto the world by the writing and inventing of divers treasons, and whereas also they are given to understand that divers evil-disposed persons, not contented with this quiet state of government, for the disquiet thereof, the dishonour and danger to [the Queen's] person, the slander to the Privy Council and others in principal place of service, have and do daily spread abroad false tales and rumours, he is to cause diligent search and enquiry to be made for all such offenders, and them to apprehend, and to bring forthwith before the Council of the Marches, and the Privy Council to receive advertisement thereof; and he is to put this service in execution from time to time by all good means and policy, with secrecy.

1587.—In May the freemen and guild-merchants present a petition to the Inquests of the wards (to which the Inquests agree) that whereas no porter of any gate, by ancient custom of the city time out of mind, should presume to arrest any freeman or guild merchant unless he had previously disobeyed some summons, "notwithstandinge this good, lawdable and auncient custom heretofore used, the porters now adaies do not only procure fees of men, but lieth in bulks and holes to snatche and arest them, not only the worst but those that are of credyte, as thoughe theye were the fugitives persons that might bee, which is moste detestable, and clene contrary to the owld and auncient custome of this citie"; wherefore they pray that the old customs may be renewed and put in ure. (fn. 10)

—, June 4.—Letter from the Mayor (Luke Garnons) and aldermen of Gloucester to the Mayor &c. of Hereford, enclosing questions to be put to one Thomas Williams, a surgeon, respecting discourse had by him with an intimate friend John Reade, a surgeon at Gloucester, about a marriage proposed for Reade, whose first wife died at Bath at Whitsuntide last, "not by the visitation of God, as it is thought, but rather by his devilish practise."

—, Aug. 28, 29 Eliz. Ludlow Castle.—Order from the Council of the Marches to the Mayor that, whereas they have received letters from the Privy Council "purporting aswell the greate plentie of corne and grayne which yt hathe pleased God to blesse this our realme withall this present yeare, as alsoe the necessarie relief of the poore after soe harde tymes paste," he is therefore to have vigilant eye and due care and regard to the sizes of bread, ale and beer, and to see the same proportioned according to the statute, whereby the poorer sort may be the better relieved.

1587, Sept. 6, 29 Eliz. Ludlow Castle.—Order from the Council of the Marches to the Mayor, that whereas proclamations have been lately made for the preservation of hares, pheasants, partridges, and other wild fowl, and for the preventing of the spoil and destruction thereof with guns and other engines, and keeping of greyhounds, and nevertheless there is daily unlawful spoil and destruction of the said games by some evil-disposed persons, he is from time to time to call suspected persons before him, and them to swear and examine, and to bind over such as he shall find faulty to appear before the Council.

___,____Roger Squyre petitions for the place of musician and head wait of the city, void by the death of William Jackson. He has "from his youthe byn broughte up in musycke, and dothe presently keepe and meynteyne servaunts in the arte of musycke to play on divers instrumentes," and if admitted "he trusteth that in shorte tyme he will attayne to suche knowledge in the instrumentes of shalmes and lowde noyce as shalbe to your good lykinge and contentacion."

1588, Feb. 14, 30 Eliz. At Hereford.—Order from the Council of the Marches to the Mayor, that, whereas none are suffered to sell within the city any flesh killed, or bread baked, out of the city, nor any candles unless they be free within the city, which may breed great scarcity there during the time the President and Council make their, abode there, by reason of the great assembly of people resorting to the Council, he shall therefore make proclamation that it shall be lawful during that time for all persons, of what country or place whatsoever, to resort thither on Wednesdays and Saturdays with any kind of wholesome victuals, as flesh, fish, bread, and candles, with hide and tallow therewith, to be sold, free of molestation.

— Feb. 23.—Order from the same to the same that, whereas by some evil and lewd persons the preceding order has been misconstrued, and speeches given out that liberty was given to the citizens and others to eat flesh in Lent time, which was not the meaning of the Council, but that the Lent and all other days prohibited from flesh should be strictly kept, he is to proclaim that all persons shall abstain according to the laws, and that all persons found faulty shall be sent for to answer the same.

—, May 21. Westminster. — Letter, signed by W. Burghley, Wa. Mildmaye, and Roger Manwood, to the Mayor, desiring him to send, before the feast of St. John Bapt. next ensuing, some sufficient person to the Exchequer, to receive, according to the Queen's proclamation of Dec. 12 last, the standard weights provided by the Court of Exchequer, viz., a pile or case and box of Troy weights, and a suit of great weights and a pile of small weights of Avoir de poiz, provided as good cheap as could be had, and rated according to their true valuation at 9l. 8s. 11d., viz., the Troy weights at 3l. 8s. 1d. and the Avoir de poiz at 6l. 0s. 10d.

[1588], June 29. Bewdley. Charles Booth to the Mayor, Paul Philpots.—Desires his immediate resolution about the purchase of the Katherines; Mr. Harford's demand was forty marks, but it may be had for twenty; Harford is about to be delivered out of ward, and perhaps it will be dearer then than now. Twenty loads of hay must be laid in, and wood, for "my lord and ladie bothe meane to remaine with you all the winter, soe that provision must be made accordingly."

1594, July 11, 36 Eliz. Westm.—Writ to the Bishop, Mayor, and others, ordering the levy of the second of three subsidies granted by a recent Act of Parliament, of which Act a copy is sent herewith. Fragment of seal in white wax. (In box with the royal charters.)

1596.—On the application of William Wellington, a tower of the city wall in the back lane behind St. Owen's gate is granted to him at an annual rent of 6d. on condition of keeping it in repair.

The toll-accounts of the Keepers of Widmarsh gate are found in this year, and again in 1603, and in a few other years; but are wanting in many.

Petition from the Clerk of St. Peter's Church asking for increase of wages for ringing the hell called the Commons bell from the feast of All Saints to the feast of the Annunciation, from 8 to 9 at night, for which he is paid 11s. 8d. (viz., 2s. by the Mayor, 4s. 8d. by the Chamberlains, and 5s. out of Widmarsh money), which is a very small wage, for when this was granted every thing was more plenty and better cheap than it is now, and he has to pay three halfpence every night for the ringing, and to repair the baldrick. The second inquest agrees to allow him 5s. more, but the third inquest refuses.

1597, Aug. 13. Plymouth.—The Earl of Essex to the Mayor, Aldermen, &c., desiring to have the nomination of burgesses for Parliament. "After my verie hartie commendacions. Being heere at Plymmouth expecting a good winde, I am advertised that her Majestie is resolved presentlie to call a Parliament: which geveth me occasion before my departure to intreat this curtesie of you, that you will be contented to graunt me the nominating of your burgesses, nothing doubting but I shall be returned from the present expedecion for her Majesties service in tyme convenient for this nominacion, which if you doe leave unto me assure yourselves I will be carefull to preferr unto this verie woorthie and sufficient men. I pray you send your aunswer of this my letter to the Court, to my secretarie Edward Reynolds, whome I have appointed to receave the same against my returne, that I may therbie understand your resolucion. I will take your readines to satisfie this my request in verie thankefull part, and deserve it upon all good occasions. So I committ yow to Gods protection. From Plymmouth the 13 of August 1597.

Your verye assured frend Essex."

Only the signature is autograph.

1600. On 12 and 15 Oct. the Welsh servant of a tailor and William Cowper, a stationer and book-binder, are examined very strictly about "a popishe ballett" (unfortunately no further described) which the former found, sealed, one morning upon opening his master's stall, and took to the latter to read for him, who kept it in his pocket.

1600. Memorial from Thomas Kerry to the Mayor. Aldermen, and the three Inquests, for the letting of some land whereon to build some addition to his almshouses.—"Whereas Thomas Kery, of London, esquier, being borne in this cytie, hath of late for the benefite of the poore thereof erected an hospitall for three men and xii women to contynue for ever, praieth to have the fee ferme of the garden or voide grounde betwene Byster's gate and Saint Owen's gate, and also of the garden by Eigne gate now in the tenure of John Gery, to be to hym graunted at doble the rent is nowe paide for the same, and upon reasonable covenants therein to be conteyned, to thende he maie theron make some necessarie buylding for the ease and commoditie of the said poore, who will daily praie for your worships and the rest of this cytie, wherein you shall further this good work alredie begon." Subscribed with the consent of the inquests in this form—

"The . . . Inqueste dothe spare this bille"


  • 1. * A list is found in the same parcel of papers of persons returned for infringing this ordinance. It is headed, "Thys be the names of the baggars that bye corne without lycence or necessitye." The names of twelve persons are given (amongst them two with double Christian names, John Nycolle Phellyps, and Richard John Jevan), with a valuation of their land, stock, or goods.
  • 2. * The mills had been destroyed by order of Hen. VIII. See Johnson's Ancient Customs, where, however, this letter is not noticed.
  • 3. * William Lewson, Prebendary of Church Worthington 1540–1583, and Treasurer of Hereford Cathedral 1558–1583.
  • 4. † Edward Baskerville, Chancellor of Hereford Cathedral from 1555; died in 1566.
  • 5. * The bond given by Baskervyle for this debt, signed by him and dated 10 March 4 & 5 Ph. & Mar. [1558], is in a parcel of bonds filed in 5–8 Eliz., 1563–5.
  • 6. † This will is printed, with some mistakes, in Rich. Johnson's Ancient Customs of the City of Hereford, second edit. 1882, pp. 86–88.
  • 7. * Blanks are left for the number and the time.
  • 8. * Hereford appears to have contributed 53s. 4d.; cf. Johnson's Ancient Customs, &c., p. 148.
  • 9. * This invocation of our Lord heads many of the law papers throughout the century.
  • 10. * This is printed, with some mistakes, in Johnson's Ancient Customs of Hereford, p. 108.