The corporation of Rye: 1575-7

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 Rye: 1575-7', The Manuscripts of Rye and Hereford Corporations, Etc. Thirteenth Report, Appendix: Part IV, (London, 1892), pp. 38-60. British History Online [accessed 17 June 2024].

Historical Manuscripts Commission. "The corporation of Rye: 1575-7", in The Manuscripts of Rye and Hereford Corporations, Etc. Thirteenth Report, Appendix: Part IV, (London, 1892) 38-60. British History Online, accessed June 17, 2024,

Historical Manuscripts Commission. "The corporation of Rye: 1575-7", The Manuscripts of Rye and Hereford Corporations, Etc. Thirteenth Report, Appendix: Part IV, (London, 1892). 38-60. British History Online. Web. 17 June 2024,


1574[–5], January 20.—Certificate by the Mayor of Rye upon the depositions of Guillaume Disbery, merchant, Rephe Serlle, his servant, Gilles Henrison, Corneille Soyer, and Vincent Lailler, residing in Rye, as to a claim by the said Disbery for supplying board and lodging to "Mr Jacques le Breton appelle Mons. le Seneschal" who, with his wife and children, lodged in the house of the said Disbery from 15 November 1572 till January 1573 and then left for London. French.

1574[–5], February 26. London.—William, Lord Cobham, and William Lovelace to the Mayors, Bailiffs and Jurats of the Five Ports and two ancient towns and their members.

"Whereas many and divers metinges have ben betwene your Commissioners of the Ports and the City of London for matters of withernam and in the ende growne towardes some likelihood of agrement. And for that it is a matter of great waight and requirith good foresight, it is thought mete that a gestlinge be holden at Dovour the Wednesdaie in Easter weeke nexte, against which tyme ye are to seke out in every place of your Portes and members, what recordes ye have to defend and countervaill suche matter as the Cittie hath shewid for their sending of proces unto you."

Postscript.—"Ye shall do well also to bring with you at that tyme all such proces and wrytynges concerninge withernam beyond the seas and especially to the Lowe Countries." Copy.

1574[–5], February 28.—Order by the Mayor and Jurats of Rye that all such persons called passengers with their barques and crayres within the town of Rye, between the said town and Dieppe in France, shall orderly take their turns without encroaching one upon the other and each one shall stay until his turn comes.

1574[–5], February 28.—Order by the Mayor and Jurats that the Chancel on the south side of the church shall be closed up and planked for laying in of the town's ordnance and munition, and that a hole shall be made through the stone wall of the church out of the chancel into churchyard, at the charge of the Town.

1574[–5], March 2.—From "my house in London." Lord Cobham to [the Mayor and Jurats of Rye].

"Complainte comes daylie to her Majesties Councell of daily spoilles committed on the seas by sondry pyratts uppon our coast . . . . . . And where at this tyme it is thought that sondry pyrattes be now uppon the coast I praie you learn what they be and what spoiles hath ben latelie comitted by them." Copy.

1574[–5], March 10.—The Mayor and Jurats of Dover to the Mayors, Bailiffs and Jurats of Hastings, Winchelsea, Rye, Romney, Hythe and Sandwich.

Summoning them to a special gestling, assembly or meeting to be held at Dover, on the sixth of April, to deliberate upon divers urgent and weighty causes touching the Liberties of all the Ports. The summoning to such gestling by custom pertaining to the Mayor and Jurats of Dover Copy.

1574[–5], March 10.—Certificate by William Davy, Mayor of Rye, that certain fine yarn was spun by Vincent Gloria and Jane, his wife, and their servants, French people who had inhabited the town of Rye for the space of one year.

1574[–5], March 17.—The Mayor and Jurats of Rye to William Crispe, Lieutenant of Dover Castle.

"Accordinge to the transcripte of our Lord Warden's letter annexed to a letter of attendance concerninge frebutters, we have made dilligent inquirie towchinge the same and cannot fynde eny thinge to be advertised, other then on Monday last there were at the sea fure or fyve miles from Ry about fyve or six vessels of the frebutters but what spoiles hath ben by them lately committed we know not, for within our towne or liberties none of them come nether any are there that deale with them." Draft.

1574[–5], March 18.—The Mayor and Jurats of Rye to the Lord Bishop of Chichester.

"Wheras the ordnaunce and munition perteyning to our towne and wherwith frome her Majestie we are chargid, is from tyme to tyme to great charge unto us in repayring the carriage and necessaries therto belonginge, by reason of want of a necessary storehouse nere unto the place where the same is to be occupied, for the better saefgarde therof, the buildinge wold be so burdenus unto us, considerynge the infinite charge we are at in waterworks and suche lecke as our abilitie not able to reach therunto. Therfore by consent of our commons at a generall assemblie for that purpose, we have thought a certain ile on the south parte of the chancell of our churche, which servith to small purpose otherwise, fytt and necessary to that use, beinge decently closid in frome open seight. And for that we wold not attempte eny suche matter before we had made your Lordship privie therunto, for that your consent is therin to be hadd, we thought good to advertise your Honour of the premises besechinge your good Lordship to graunte us your good will herein, myndinge so to use the same as shall be well thought of in all respectes for the better furtheringe of hir Majesties service as occasion shalbe." Draft.

1574[–5], March.—Correspondence, articles and depositions concerning a dispute between the Mayor and Jurats of Rye and the Company of Fishmongers of London as to the supply of fish for London by the fishermen of Rye.

[1575, March.]—"Wheras sondry good lawes are ordaynid for the abstinence frome fleshe, aswell uppon the accustomed fish daies as in the tyme of Lent, the which, thorough libertie, are smally observid within this town to the evill example of all persons thether resortinge especially beinge a fysher towne. And to the end that the inhabitants within the said towne shuld not be ignorant howe severely thoes lawes are pretendid to be put in execution, nether that eny excuse of ignorance shall prevaille, Mr. Maior and his brethern the jurates do geve warning herby unto all inholders, victulers and other inhabitantes, within the said towne and liberties of the same, that they make no provision of fleshe or other such victuall prohibited against the tyme of Lent or for other accustomed fyshe daies, or suffer eny to be spent in their houses contrary unto the lawes ordaynid for the same (excepte suche persons as by thoes lawes are to be permitted) having licence of Mr. Maior and the minister of the churche. Assuringe all persons that shall be knowen to offend herein that the lawe shalbe put in execution for the same without favor."

1575, April 21.—Certificate by the Mayor and Jurats of Rye to the Mayor and Aldermen of the City of Bristol.

"That forasmuche as we are creadably informid that certaine persons of the Frenche, one namid Thomas Benarde, another Michell Russell and the third Nicholas du Cheyne who about the sixt of this instant came into the Roade of Bristowe in a certain shipe laden with brasell from Rochell, and at this instant staied in the said citie of Bristowe as persons of mislyvinge, usinge spoile and roberies on the seies; and for that it is requested of us to testifie the truth of our knowledges towchinge thoes persons, their lyvinge and demeanor, we cannot but for charitie sake testifie the truthe in suche cases beinge a parte of true Christianitie. And therfore theis are to signific unto you for undoubtid trothe that the sayd thre persons have ben here abyding in the town of Ry by the space of theis thre yeres, fled frome their contrey with their wyves and children for their saftie, and during all this tyme hetherto have used and behaved themselves very honestly and towardes the sustentation of themselves their wyves, children and family have followed the trade of marchandize as tyme hath required, without committing any spoile, robbery or pyracy on the seies so farr as we could ever learn or understand. Nether hath eny complaine of the ill dealinge of them or any of them come unto us at any time. And as towchinge the said Thomas Benarde, marchant of the said brasell, and Michill Russell owner of the said shipe, their two wyves and household at this instant is abydinge in Rye aforesaid; and Nicholas du Cheyne abyding with his father here in Ry, a very honest old man. Wherfore we pray you to extend your lawfull favors towardes them that they be not farther trobled, molested or staied." (Draft.)

1575, April 27.—Letters of consent by the Mayors and Jurats of the Cinque Ports to the nomination of Mr. Justice Manwod and Mr. Serjeant Lovelace to be of the quorum in a general commission appointed to debate certain controversies of withernam, between the City of London and the Cinque Ports.

1575, May 20.—Articles of Agreement between the City of London and the Ports.

It is agreed that Mr. Serjeant Lovelace and Mr. Recorder proceed to end the matter of private "doleances" of citizens by arbitrament, such as by Letters missive out of any of the Five Ports, which causes to be by them ended before the first day of Michaelmas term; and if they cannot agree by that term then the parties are to abide the order of the Lord Chief Justice, the same order to be made before the last day of Michaelmas term. The corporations of the Ports, from whence such processes shall come, shall before the last day of August, be bound to George Eaton, Chamberlain of the City of London, to stand to the said arbitrament and umpirage.

As to the residue of the matters of strife between the City of London and the Ports for their liberties and customs, further conference is to be had by persons commissioned to compound the same matters, before the fourth of November. Draft.

[Bond, in accordance with the above terms, dated 26 August 1575.]

1575, May.—Depositions of Guillaume Roussel and Alexandre Constance, that being in a barque of Rochelle with one Michel le Clerc, they were boarded by pirates and in the fray the said Michael was killed. Depositions made at the request of Michel Regnoult(?), brother-in-law (frere en loy) of Catheryne, widow of Michel le Clerc. French.

Similar depositions dated 2 June, 1575 by Robert Commissere, Pierre Janderme, John Mesenget and Louis Darque.

[1575], June 8.—From Cobham. Lord Cobham to the Mayors, Bailiffs and Jurats of the Five Ports.

"I send you here inclosed the copie of the Quene's Majestie's lettres directed unto me towcheng the exspellinge of certen persons out of this realme, whom the King of Spaine hathe by his lettres unto her Highnes signified to be rebells unto hym. And like as I am by her Majesty commaundid to see the contentes thereof duly executed within the jurisdiction of the Fyve Portes, so do I require you, and in her Majestie's name, straightlie charge and command you and every of you, that you have unto the same suche care and regarde as is by her Highness required." Copy.

Enclosure.—Letter from Queen Elizabeth to Lord Cobham, Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports dated St. James', 16 April, 1575.

"Whereas our very good brother, frynd and alley, the Kynge Catholique of Spayne hath at our request, accordinge to the treatyes of the auncient amytie now of very longe tyme made and contayned, betwixt his noble ancestors and ours, banished out of

the Lowe Contries suche notorious rebels and traytors as we by our letters have namid, requiringe the leike and reciproke shew of amitie on our parte againste his rebels, of the which the said Kinge hath namid to us by his letters, bearinge date the 25th of November last past, which came not to our handes but in this moneth of Aprill, as the Prince of Orange the principall, and as ayders, helpers and abettors of the conspiration against the said Kinge, the Earles of Coulemberge, Vandenberges, the Lordes of Lunoy, Esquerdes, Lombres, Bernaud de Merode, Lorde of Rumes, Philipp de Marnix, Lorde of St. Aldegonde, Charles Boisot, Doctor Junina, Arnold Vandendrop, Lorde of Mansarte, the Lorde of Haultain, Vandenleple, of Lovain, of Blioul, of Breda, the Lord of Neufville, Anthoney de Lannoy, Lorde of Baylbouel, Lorde of Noyelles, Mr. Reyndr of Eudrscryn, Pietre Wasteel, Philipp Vanderta, John Rubens, Philipp Doublei, Adolphe Vanderta, Floris Botselldre, Philipp de Renes, Christopher de Iselsteyne, Anthony de Broukhorst, John de Holtzwille, Claude Goetgebuer, Jacques of Windgarder de Hugo, Gwillauma de Erelon Matteuessey, William of Nivelt, Thomas Rollema, Doctor Heluncke, Spitloff of Swollis; by whos menes, as the said Kinge hathe advertised us, divers townes bothe in Holland, Zelonde and Gerderlande are revoltid frome the obedience of the said Kinge. Wherefore the said Kinge doth require of us that all theis rebells and all that do adhere unto them shoulde be put forthe of our realme and that neither theye nor none of their shippes, goodes or marchaundize shoulde be admitted into our realme or any traffiquie to be had with them. For the first parte of our said brothers' request to our knowledge, nor cannot understand that any one of the persons so to us namid are within any part of our realme at this present; but yf any be or shalbe founde hereafter to remaine in any parte of your jurisdiction, we straightlye charge and command you to cause them immediatly to avoyde our realme uppon their uttermost perill. And though you shall not understand of any them (sic) to be presently within your jurisdiction, yet shall you geve straight charge and commandment in our name to all officers in our Fyve Portes that none of them be hereafter sufferid, either to come into any the said Portes at any tyme or to have any ayde succor or releiff of men, armor or victuall out of any part of your jurisdictions. And that our subjectes have no traffique with them, untill such tyme as they be reducid to the obedience of theire naturall Lorde and Prince. And this fayle you not to do as you tender our pleasure." Copy.

1575, June 17.—The Mayor and Jurats of Rye to Lord Cobham, Lord Warden of the Five Ports, etc.

"And wheras heretofore your Lordship wrote your lettres to us for the French to avoide the towne by midsomer next, we accordingly gave notice to the Elders of their church and at this instant have put them in mynde thereof, who answerith that they know not what to say therin, and home they are loth to go. And for that the tyme draweth ny, we thought good to send our towneclerke to your Lordship with a booke deliverid as from those seid Elders, conteyninge the whole nomber of them nowe in the towne and to understand your Lordships further pleasure therein. And though we could very well spare them, yet what your Honor shall thinke well of concerninge their departure or abode we shall for our partes leike well of also." Draft.

1575, June 18.—Certificate by the Mayors, Bailiffs, Jurats and Commonalty of Hastings, Winchelsea, Rye and Tenterden that they consent to the appointment of William Lovelace, Esquire, Serjeant at law, Robert Carpenter of Rye, Jurat, Stephen Dowle, Common Clerk of the said town of Hastings and William Appleton Common Clerk of the town of Rye to deal between the said towns and the City of London concerning the matter of withernam.

1575, June 25.—Certificate by the Mayor and Jurats of Rye that "the 22nd daie of June last past arryvid in the harbour of Rye aforesaid a boat of Weymouth called the Marling, wherof Robert White of Weymouth aforesaid is master, with the nomber of four thousand biskettes of Michell Russell's of Ry aforesaid, Frenchman, is now mindid with his said boat and marriners togethers with 30 persons of the Frenche to make his repaire frome Ry aforesaid to Weymouth aforesaid. Which said persons of the French are marriners aperteyning to a shipe of Nicholas Russell of Ry aforesaid, Frenchman, being at Waymouth aforesaid. Theis are to desire you to permit and suffer quietlie the said Robert Whit with his said marriners and passengers to passe by you to Waymouth aforesaid, without any your lettes or hindraunces using them honestly as they ought to do, and so as they offend not in any of our Quenes Majesties lawes."

1575, July 6.—Safe conduct from the Mayor and Jurats of Rye to Michael Russell, mariner, master and owner of a ship called Lesperaunce, together with forty mariners, all being of the French Church, to sail from Ry to "thizles of Surreis" [Azores ?] in lawful trade of merchandise.

1575, July 30.—Memorandum signed by R. Bakere that "one John of Rye dwelling at Newenden, Thomas Rofe of Rye and Thomas Wood of Rye, Robert Collyer of Tenterden and Roger Morris dwelling in Sussex upon Thursday was sennight, being the 21th daye of this moneth, assembled themselves together, as I am enformed, in the Parishe of Stone in the Ile of Oxney, and there the said John of Rye was named by the others to be their Capitayne, and the said Thomas Rofe his Sargent, and the others to be his soldyers and the said John of Rye requyred dyvers of the inhabitants within the said Ile to be sworne to hym to be his soldiers and suche as refused to doo, he abused with threatninge woordes and otherwise."

1575, August 16.—[The Mayor and Jurats of Rye] to Lord Cobham.

"Wheras in April last we wryt our lettres unto your Honor on the behalf of John Engram and John Convas, thereby requestinge your favorable letters unto Monsr de la Mailleray, Vice-Admirall at Kilbeff, desyringe his ayde for restitution of a boate and hir furniture, to the value of 24l., pertayninge to the said Engram, stollen out of our creke and there sold; and also for 5l. 10s. due unto the said Convers so as we should have no cause to make staye of any of those parties till restitution were made accordingly. Wheruppon your Honor (we thanke you) did directe your letters to the said Vice-Admirall to that effecte but as we understand, nothinge donne in the cause. And nowe there is one of that partes (and as we thinke) of Kilbeff itself which by force of wether is come into the Camber and dryven upe to a place called Waynewaye. Wherfore we beseche your Honor in the behalf of our said poore neighbours, to direct your Lordshipps letters unto your servant Ratliff therby willinge him, by vertue of your Honors office of Admiraltie, to make staye of him and his boate for that he is within your Lordships jurisdiction of Admiralte, uppon which staie he maye be suter unto your Lordship for the end of the cause betwene our neighbors and him as unto your Honor shall seme good. And as towchinge your letters sent to the Bayliff of Deipe, on the parte of the said Convers againste Nicholas Jorden, the messenger saith he did deliver the same to the Bayliff, but at his comynge awaye the Bailly was not in place to answer him, but Jorden said he had your Lordships letters and answer should be made the next passage, which yet is not done though the passage longe sithens come." Draft.

1575, August 17.—The Mayor and Jurats of Rye to Mons. Sygrine, Captain of Dieppe.

"Wheras one Malherbe of Deipe sent over to Ry this berrer John Burten for recovery of his shallope which was staied at the Nesse, we with our letters to our Lorde Warden aydid him in sort, as his Honor was content the said John Burten should have the shallope againe. Sithens which tyme a new staie was made of hir by reason of a notable pyracie she had done on certaine fishermen of Brighelmeston in mackerell season last, takinge away their mackerels, throwinge their men overborde, robbing them of their monye, hanginge them upe at the yarde and cuttinge of some of their eares, a matter very lamentable and not sufferable. Nevertheless for that we were given to understand the said piracy was committed before the said Malherbe had to deale with the said shallope, we were (of goodwill which we have unto your towne) content to wryte againe to our Lord Warden for releacement of the said shallope, which his Honor grantid also and is deliverid to the said Burten this beirer. It may please you to be advertised that notwithstanding our good willes and courtesy shewed to the said Malherbe in helpinge him againe to his shallope, he the said Malherbe very much misusith us in his speche sayinge that we are the maynteyners of theves, searovers and pirates and such ill persons, castinge it in our passengers tethe so as they cannot be in quiet for him, wherin we thinke ourselves very much misusid and trust that you will not suffer eny of your people so to abuse us for our good willes. And although the said John Burten wich the said Malherbe sent over for his shallope, hath ben sithens his commynge arovinge at the sea and tooke 30s. sterling of a French captaine to go arovinge for him and was arovinge till the Quenis shipes tooke him, and as Thomas Swynet and his company can shewe you sent him awaye, yet for that he is one of your towne we have not ponishid him but referrid the same to your discretion without eny such contumelious wordes as the said Malherbe usith against us." Draft.

[1575, August?—The Lord Warden to the Lieutenant of Dover Castle.]

"Wheras of late the Maior, Jurates and Commonaltie of Ry at their general assemblie in Ry, did for the better government of that towne devise a certaine decre and order for a common councell of 24 of the auncient and discretest commoners to joyne with the Maior and Jurates in the publique affaires of the towne, a thing very godly and necessarye, commonly used in moost good cities and townes; which decre and order was exhibited unto me to be perusid and recordid in my office at Dovor Castle and which I deliverid to Robert Vincent, my clerke, to that ende, and my seale of office to be set thereunto for the better confirmation of the same. Sithens which time, as I am advertised, some evill disposed persons have impougnid the same decre and order with a greate abuse therin not tollerable. Wherfore theis are to will you to make out a commission from my said office to Mr. William Lovelace, Esquire, Sergeant at the lawe, yourself, my Lyvetenant, William Davy, Maior of Ry, Robert Sheperd and John Sharpe of Northiam, Esquires, and Richarde Fletcher, minister of the worde of God within the towne of Ry, to this effect—that yow six, fyve, foure or thre of yow shall have full power and aucthoritie as well to examyn the said decre and order of the Common Councell, howe mete and necessary the same is for the government of the said towne, as also by all waies and means to examyn suche persons as are vehemently suspectid for abusinge the same and the persons refusinge to be sworne, and to be examined to bynde over to appere before me at suche daies and tymes as to your wisdomes shall seme good; and of your doinges herein to advertise me." Copy.

1575, September 1.—Commission from the Lord Warden to the Mayor of Rye and others to examine witnesses upon certain interrogatories.—The interrogatories attached are as to the breaking of the windows of the chambers of George Syere, jurat, and Robert Daniel, on the 6th or 7th of January last past; as to sewing on twenty-four "knaves of cardes" upon an old piece of "linsey wolsey cloth"; as to the writing of certain words on the "backsyde of the Quene of Clobbes" fastened to the same cloth; as to the writing of the letters R D C P upon the knave of clubs, being the foremost card fastened to the same cloth; as to the interpretation of the said letters and as to who hung up the said cloth with those cards above the stairs at the Court hall.

1575, September 12.—Petition of the Bakers of Rye to the Mayor Jurats and Common Council of Rye.

"Whereas as well in auncient tyme as nowe of late daies, good and holsome lawes have bene by the state of this realme devised, ordeynid and enacted for the better maintenance of the subjectes of the same; emongest which said lawes yt is ordeynid how eche sort of people, being handycraftesmen or of occupation, shold use the trade and lyvinge wherein they have bene laufully traynid upe and servid for the same as the said lawes do apointe. Nevertheles it maye please your Worshipes, dyvers persons do seke unto themselves by sinister waies and contrary to those good lawes certaine trades to live by, and not only to lyve by but ynordinatlie to gaine, to the utter overthrow of their neighbours which have laufully used thoes occupations and servid for the same accordinge to the said lawes. Emongest which sort of people certaine of the brewers of this towne use the trade and occupation of bakers, not having bene apprentices to the same nor so lawfully servid in the same trade as they therby maie justlie challenge to use the said occupation of bakinge, to the utter ympoverishment of the bakers of the said towne, ther wyves, children and familye, and contrary to all lawe, equitye and good conscience; wherby we whos names are underwriten shall be constraynid to geve over, and for ourselves to seke some other meanes to live, and to leve our wyves and children, yf in tyme remedy be not by your Worshipes provided for the same." Signed by James Welles, John Mylles, Edward Turner, Phylep Candy and Wylyame Golde.

1575, September 20.—The Mayor and Jurats of Rye to the Bishop of Chichester.

"Wheras we havinge, under hir Highness, the government of this towne of Ry and endevoringe ourselves (as dutie byndeth) to the uttermost of our powers to bringe the people inhabitinge within the same to suche a civill and vertuous order of lyvinge as the worde of God dayly taught unto us doth require, do fynde that for want of ayde by your Lordship we cannot so thoroughly procede therin as willingly we wolde and as with all our hartes we dutifully do wish; for in divers crymes and offences not sufferable emongest the professors of Christian religion we dare not so farr deale as many tymes the present facte requireth, and when cause of correction is ministered, lest it shuld be laid to our charge we ponishe suche crymes as merely dothe apperteyne unto the spirituall jurisdiction, a matter often allegid, wherby vice escapith unponished. The courses wherin we want your Lordships ayde we leve unto the relation of this berer Mr. Fletcher, our precher and minister, which by him to your Lordship being declarid we humbly crave your Lordship's favor and consent, as by you and him shalbe thought mete and in sorte as we maye the more stronglier subdue vice and advaunce vertue, not cravinge anythinge that shall seme hinderfull to your Lordship's officers in thoes causes by diminishinge eny fees or duties, but rather to augment the same in doinge of justice." Draft.

1575, September 26. Chichester.—Richard [Curteys], Bishop of Chichester, to the Mayor and Jurats of Rye.

"Whereas in your letter which I receyved of Mr. Fletcher, minister of your towne of Ry, you made request unto me that the ecclesiasticall jurisdiction might be exercysed within your Porte of Rye. Mr. Fletcher, whom I have acquayntid with my mynd in that behalf, shall certyfye you of my whole resolution therein.

"I am also to desyre your fryndshypp and favor towardes your sayd mynyster Mr. Fletcher, whome nowe I have receyved to be Chapleyne, that you woulde setto your helpynge hande so to sett forwarde the matter as that he maye as well have the lyvynge and vycaridge as he have the troble and charge of your towne. And I will so joine with you as my furderance in no respect shalbe wantynge." Signed.

1575, October 6.—The Mayor and Jurats of Rye to Monsieur Sigoine.

"The boate of this berers husbande with such goodes as was in hir, late taken by men of warre at the seas was by our Lord Warden's meanes rescuid and by his Lordshipe, at our humble sute and request, to hir redeliverid, not doubtinge but that we shall fynde the leike courtesie at your handes in causes leike, though hetherto we have not so founde of them of Deipe, notwithstandinge the frendships we have shewed them and dayly do shew unto them; for not only we, divers and sondry tymes, but also our said Lorde Warden, have wrytten unto the Bayliff and other officers of Deipe in a cause dependinge betwene a poore neighbor of ours named John Convers and one of their towne named Nicholas Jorden and can have no redresse but answers howe they have cald him and examined him and can fynde no suche matter as we wryte for; they, more creditinge his deniall beinge in his owne defence then our ofte wrytinge of the truthe, beinge a thinge manifestly knowen unto us and so true as we cannot for justice sake but avouche the trothe therof and that the said Jorden dothe manifest wronge and injurye to the said Convers what culler soever he laye on the cause to hide the truth therof." Draft.

1575, October 8.—Depositions taken before William Davy, Mayor of Rye. Mathew Tarp of Haukhurst in the County of Kent says that about a month past being at Rye he delivered to the servant of Edward Bryan glover and "ostler of the George," one clock to keep safely and re-deliver to the said Matthew which he hath not done.

1575, October 8.—Depositions taken before the Mayor of Rye concerning the payment of a sum of money borrowed by Nicholas Duailly from "Maistre Richart Mire, advocat en la court de parllement de Rouan, age de xl ans ou environ, resident en ceste ville de la Rie pour raison des troubles de France" for ransoming a merchant ship captured by a privateer of the Prince of Condé. Depositions by Vincent Dugart, merchant of Dieppe, aged 36, resident in Rye by reason of the troubles in France, Mathieu Chauvin of Dieppe, resident in Rye for the same reason, aged 60, and Gilles Lubiais, merchant of Dieppe, resident in Rye for the same reason, aged 45. Signed. French.

1575, October 10. Castle of Dover.—Sir William Broke, Lord Cobham, Lord Warden, Chancellor and Admiral of the Cinque Ports, to the Mayors, Bailiffs and Jurats of the said ports, towns and members.

"Wher as latly we have receyved lettres of advertysement from her Majestie that the Spanisshe Flete was seen in the cost of Devonsheire abowt the beginninge of this monethe of October; the generall of the which flete hath opteyned her Majestyes lycence for their sawffcondiuct in any her Majestyes harboroughes and roades. Whereuppon, one the behalf of her sayd Majestye and by vertewe and aucthoryte of our office aforesayd, wee commande and strictly charge you that yf the sayd flete shall com within her Maiestyes roades or harboroughes within your libertyes, that they be used in favourable sorte and that with all curtysye for so ys yt her Majestys pleasure. And furthermore we charge and command you and every of you that uppon the very fyrst discoverye of the sayd flete by any of your enhabitantes or by any of your selfes, uppon any of your coastes and townes, that you fourthwith with all hast and diligence doo advertise us therof so as wee may bee advertised from tyme to tyme howe they passe and lye at road." Seal broken.

1575, October 14.—Record of the attachment of the goods of John Baptista Barnasalia for a debt of thirty-five pounds owing to the Queen for custom.

[1575], October 16.—The Mayor and Jurats of Rye to the Bishop of Chichester.

"We have by the relation of our minister Mr. Fletcher understoode your Lordship's favour and goodwill towardes us concerninge the exercisinge of the ecclesiastical jurisdiction within our towne, for which we not only yelde your good Lordshippe most harty thankes, but have also under our common seal acknowlidgid the same to procede only frome your Lordship and not frome any right we challenge eny way And as touchinge our friendshipe towardes Mr. Fletcher concerninge the havinge of the vicaridge, what in us is to be donne he shall not want, so as we myght fyrst understande your Lordshipes pleasure which waye to begyn the matter for his furtherance, which we wolde wishe to be in suche sorte as none have cause of greiffe eny waye, and our helpe shall no waye want to our powers." Draft.

1575, October 16.—The Mayor and Jurats of Rye to Lord Cobham.

"Uppon the lamentable complaine of our poore neighbors the bakers, we did with good and longe deliberation consider of their cause and fyndinge that there decaye is suche as without spedy reformation they shall not have wherewith to mayntaine their wyves, children and family which are not fewe in nomber, a thinge in conscience to be lamentid, and we for remisenes in dutie to be gretly blamid. And sith the overthrow of theis poore men is happenid by reason of the brewers (who oughte by the lawes of this realme not to be bakers also) have by our sufferance (but the rather for that Robert Jacson is towardes your Lordship) used bothe to bake and brewe of longe tyme, wherby Robert Jacson (God be thankid) is growen to good welthe and the whole company of the bakers therby utterly impoverished. And fyndinge that by no reasonable perswasion frome us, nether with the lamentable complaine of the bakers, thoes brewers wold leve bakynge, we were dryven by justice and conscience to provide for their releiff the spedier. Wheruppon we did with consent of Maior, Jurates and Common Councell make a certaine decre, lawfull as we thinke for the better mayntenaunce of them their wyves, children and family, a matter in civill government worthy lokinge into when the state of a common weale is preferred before the pryvate gayne of a fewe, which decree we required Mr. Gaymer to acquaynte your Honor with, at his last beinge with you, who uppon his retorne advertysed us that your Lordship had the viewe thereof, and also of your Honor's well lykinge of the same, humbly besechinge your good Lordship's ayde and contynuance therin, wherof we have no doubte, being a matter that doth concerne (and that accordinge to the lawes of the realme) the releiff of those who are brought to the brinke of decay." Draft.

1575, October 20.—Marriage Settlement of John Paplin of Rye, fisherman, and Margaret Almon widow of William Almon, late of Rye, fisherman, deceased.

1575, October 26.—Dieppe.—Mons: Sigongnes to the Mayor of Rye.

Complaining that two fishing boats of Dieppe were boarded by a ship of war from Rye, the captain of which was one George Beuse and the crew partly French and partly Flemings. French. Signed.

1575, October 30.—The Court.—Lord Cobham to the Mayors, Bailiffs and Jurats of the Cinque Ports.

"Of late I receyved a lettre from Mr. Secretarie Walsingham whereby I understand that my very good Lord, the Lord Admirall, did to his great costes and charges sett to the seas two shipps, havinge in them very nighe 200 men, for the defence of the fishermen as well of the coasts of Norfolk and Suffolk as also the Portes; towardes which charges his Lordship thinketh that those which received benefitt therby shuld be contributors for the same. Theis are therefore to requier you and every of you to deale with the fishermen dwelling within the Portes in such sort that my Lord Admirall be so used by them towardes the defraying of his said charges by way of contribution (every man according to his rate)." Copy.

1575, October.—William, Lord Cobham to the Mayor and Jurats of Rye.

"Accordinge to your requeste I ame right well contente thatt the boote of Deape be delyvered, and so to that ende I have taken order wythe Ratclyffe. Seinge the French (specyaeley those of Deape) fyndes us here so reddy to doo them justyce you shall do well by your letters to signeffey unto them thatt you loke for the like att there handes, wyche yf they doo nott perfforme it maye be occasion for us to stey in pleasuringe of them as we have donne." Seal of arms.

1575, November 3.—The Mayor, Jurats and Preacher of Rye to "the Reverend Father" and the rest of his colleagues Commissioners for causes ecclesiastical.

"May yt please you to understand that according to your lettres of the 7 of June last past we have caused all that be of yeres of discretion of the Frenche and other straungers abyding within our towne to cum before us and subscribe those articles which within your letters were inclosed. Among whome we found none that semed in any point to impung or dissent in judgment from any part of the same, but redely subscribed and signed them with ther owne handes and signes, as appereth by an instrument thereof herewith sent to your Honours." Draft.

1575, November 5.—The Mayor and Jurats of Rye to the Mayors and Jurats of Hythe, Dover and Sandwich.

"There is come unto us Mr. Barnes with letters from our Lord Warden, and demandith from our fishermen, 16d. for every share of their Yermouth voyage, towardes the charges the Lord Admirall hath bene at for his shipps, for wastinge this yere. And for that it semeth to us the same shippes were sett forth by his Honour at the sute of thoes of Norfolk and Suffolke and we, no warninge thereof eny waye and understandinge Mr. Barnes came alongest the coast from you, thought good to write theis our letters prayinge you to advertise us what you have don therin, and whether you have graunted to eny suche matter or not, or what ye meane to do about the same for that we wolde be lothe to graunt to enythinge that shuld in tyme to come be a president or hurtfull unto or against our people." Draft.

1575, November 24.—The Mayor, Jurats and Commonalty of Maidstone to the Mayor and Jurats of Rye.

"Whereas some discordes have lately happened betwen yowe of the towne and port of Rye and us of Maideston tochyng directly none of ower materiall rightes or titles but rather framed upon poynts of unkindness, that the same may therfor cease, ende and determyne and olde frendship and entrecourse betwene yowe and us spryng agayn and renue, to that intent we are mutually resolved that all causes of our contravercies shalbe herd decyded and finally ended by the indifferent consideration and judgement of Mr. Appleton, your town clerk, and Henry Fyssher, ower towne clerk, to be herd and debated at Maidston aforesaid before Hillarye terme next. And that in the meanetyme the inhabitantes of Maideston aforsaid withowt any impechement or vexation, by withername or otherwise, shall and may resorte unto your towne and port of Rye and elswher within the Fyve Portes and the liberties and members of the same, ther to merchandice and otherwise deale accordinge [to] ther accustomed manner, under your letters sealed with your common seale to be sent unto us imediatly testifieng and affirmyng the same. For whiche shewes of peace and concorde wee gyve unto God our hartie prayses and shall and will under His lovying kindnes bend owerselfes and wee hope so will you to suche intentes and purposes."

1575, December 5.—Order by the Mayor and Jurats of Rye, that the constables in every ward shall each night go through their wards to see lanthorne and candle hung out by such as are of ability to maintain the same; and the Mayor and Jurats in their several wards to see the same executed, and those that make default to send some one person of the house to ward there to remain until it be the pleasure of the Mayor to release him.

1575, December 10.—The Mayor and Jurats of Rye to Monsieur de Sigongnes.

"Long sithens we receyved your lettres requesting us to do what we might to gett at libertie certaine of Diepe staied by Captaine Banse at the seas the which to our powers we did accomplish havinge the said Banse his wiff here at Ry, we founde the meanes that she shuld send to hir husbande to releace his prysoners who saide she wolde, and therfore we wold gladly understand what became of them and whether they were releacid accordinglie or not." Draft.

[1574–1575.]—Lease of the office of the "Waterbayliweke" of the town of Rye by John Yonge to William Didsbury, for the term of four score years.

[1574–1575.]—Petition of John Hamond, carpenter, to the Mayor and Jurats of Rye for payment of his bill of thirteen pounds for a certain piece of work done in the church.

[1574–1575.]—A list of ships belonging to Rye with the names of their owners and masters.

[1574–1575.]—Certificate by the Mayor and Jurats of Rye that John Preston alias Dabredin, the younger, arrived at Rye from France on 28 August 1572 and has used the occupation of surgery and behaved himself very honestly.

[1574–1575.]—Indenture of apprenticeship by which William Appleton of Rye places his daughter, Anne Appleton, to serve eight years as maidservant to Thomas James of Pleyden. Usual clause as to supplying meat, drink and apparel. Draft.

[1575.]—William Davy, Mayor of Rye, and the Jurats of the same town to John Convers, serjeant at the virge within the town of Rye.

Commanding the said serjeant to take in withernam, of the goods and chattels of the commonalty of the City of London being to be found within the town of Rye or liberties of the same, the sum of 33li. 12s. 8d. for the damages of William Appleton, one of the combarons of Rye, which the said William had received by process of withernam, in the nature of an action of trespass, sent to the Lord Mayor and Aldermen of the City of London, against their resiant Eusebius Wodd, and to the said William adjudged in the Court of our Sovereign Lady the Queen held before the Mayor and Jurats of Rye. And if the said serjeant can find no goods nor chattels of the said commonalty of the City of London within the said town of Rye, that he take in withernam the body of some one of the said commonalty if he be to be found within the said town or liberties, and him safely in prison to keep, until such time as he shall have satisfied the said William of the said sum, according to the ancient usages and customs of the town of Rye in such cases provided. Draft.

[1575.]—Complaint addressed to the Lord Warden by Gabriel de Bures, Esquire, Roger Helboult, Jehan le Dentu, Perre Bourdinvill and Nicholas Ruault, merchants of Dieppe, that in February 1575 (French style) they sailed from Dieppe, and were boarded by French and English pirates, amongst whom was Robert Clement of Rye. French.

1575[–6], January 27.—Depositions of John Barrow of Rochell, mariner, of the age of 22 years, taken before William Davy, Mayor of Rye. He says that "about the moneth of September last past, this deponent being at Newport in thizle of Wight where one Captain Charles de la Mason was also, which captaine bought a certen boate of the burden of 5 tonnes or thereaboutes, which boate the said Charles de la Mason did furnish forth of Newport aforesaid to warr against the Papistes their enemies, with victualles and other thinges necessary. Of which said boate one Lewes Lunell of Newhaven in Fraunce was captaine and master, and this deponent one of the company. With which said boate, furniture and victualles the said Captaine Lewes Lunell with his companye did take uppon the seas a certein boate of Kilbeif now at theis portes within the harbour of Rye aforesaid. Which donne the said Captaine Lewes with his company entered into this said boate in the harbour and sent awaie the boate apertaining to the said Captaine de la Mason unto Newport againe with three of his companye." Signed.

1576, January 31.—Power of Attorney by Adrienne Jourdain, widow of Jacques Cousture, the younger, living at Rye in consequence of the troubles in France, to Nicollas Jourdain her father and Guillielme Collent, lawyer, for the disposition of the property of the late Jacques Couster her husband, who died at sea, and which property comes to her by the custom of Normandy. Signed. French.

1575[–6], February 10.—Depositions taken before the Mayor and Jurats of Rye.

Nicholas Goullette of "Pollett" in France, mariner, master of a ship of Rochell, saith that "the said Charles and Birtot about 15 monethes past went a warfare together and did take iiij ships of Portingale laden with salt, wherof iij of them were caried to Rochell and the iiijth the said Charles was put in." He further deposes that the said Charles had eleven shares for himself and one for his boy every share amounting to five francs for which he should have for every share ten livres.

1575[–6], February.—Correspondence between the Mayor and Jurats of Maidstone and the Mayor and Jurats of Rye as to a question of withernam.

1575[–6], March 6.—From the Court, Lord Cobham [to the lieutenant of Dover Castle].

"The Quenes Majestie beinge lately informid by the greveous complaintes of sondry hir merchantes and good subjectes, of the great wronges, spoilles and losses that they have receyvid at the seies by them of the towne of Floshinge besides other insolences committed againste all suche generally as passe the narrowe seas, a matter in nowise convenient to be suffered within hir Highness owne stremes; hir Majesties plesure therfore is, that, uppon this notice gevin unto you by theis my lettres, you shall forthwith geve order throughout all the Fyve Portes to make staye of all suche shippes barkes and other vessels belonginge to any of them of the town of Floshinge where any of them shall aryve, and leikewise to put in saff kepinge all the captaines, masters and mariners and all goodes and marchandizes that shalbe founde in the saide shippes, untill uppon advertisement to be made unto me, by my order further direction shalbe gevin. It is meant that the arrest shall extende to all them of Zealand as to thoes of the partes of Floshinge; and what you shall do herin to advertise me with expedition. Lett the captains of the Downes have also knowledge of theis lettres as well as all the Maiors and Baylliffes of the Cinque Portes." Copy.

1575[–6], March 24.—"From my house at the Tower hill." Lord Cobham to Mr. William Crispe, Lieutenant of Dover Castle.

"The Quenes Majestie being given to understand that dyvers captaines and souldiers, her Majesties subjectes, do prepare themselves to passe the seas to the service of some forren prince or governors, a matter heretofore forbidden, that is much to her Majesties discontentation; her pleasure therefore is and so I am commanded to signifie unto you that you geve present order thoroughout all the lymits of the Fyve Portes that none of her Majesty's subjectes be suffered for that purpose and in suche sorte, to passe without her Majesties lycence." Copy.

1576, May 3.—Certificate by the Mayor and Jurats of Rye to the Bishop of Chichester that Richard Fletcher, M.A., and late fellow and president of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, being called hither of such as have the dealing in that behalf, to preach in the church of Rye, hath administered the sacraments as becomes a good minister of Jesus Christ and no less in the other life amongst us visiting our sick with diligence and doing his duty to the good example of the people.

1576, May 3.—Examination of John Bennet.

"Jhon Bennet being called before Mr. Maior and Mr. Fletcher, who hath the ordinary jurisdiction, upon May-day last in the church of Rye to answer to his beinge in a tabern house in tyme of Divine service and preching upon Ester Munday in the forenone, which day is appointed by law to cum together to hear the word of God and to pray, used these or such like quareling wordes, when according to his fact he was apoynted to pay 12d. to the use of the poore, that it was extorted from him and never would prosper with the poor and that yt was done only of malice and spite agaynst him. Which and other contumclious wordes Mr. Fletcher, precher, having by commission jurisdiction in causes of correction, hering, reproved, with whom he furthwith made comparison that he was as good, as honest and well born as he, that he the said Mr. Fletcher did eat and drink him; to which quareling when Mr. Fletcher answered that he never cost him since his coming to town a cup of could water, he answered—nor never shuld, dwelt he never so long there—in the presence of Mr. William Davy Maior, Mr. Dunning, Mr. Harris, Mr. Mercer, jurats and others. Farther he said at the bench upon the market place that he was as good a man and well born as Mr. Fletcher, for his father was a butcher and Mr. Fletcher's father a wever, with other reproches. His brother Robert also departing within the church sayd openly that he would call the churchwarden, knave of yt."

1576, May 16.—Depositions taken before the Mayor of Rye touching certain vessels sailing under the authority of the Prince de Condé. French. 8 pp.

1576, May 31.—Articles of agreement between the Barons of the Cinque Ports and the Bailiffs of Yarmouth touching the jurisdiction at Great Yarmouth during the Fair. Copy.

1576, June 30.—The Mayor and Jurats of Rye to the "Borroughmasters of Donkerke."

"Havinge great workes in hande aboute our harbor and nedinge the advice of men of experience, and understandinge that with you are certaine persons well seane in suche affayres, we thought good to address theis our lettres unto you therby to desier your good willes for the furtheringe of this berer James Milles, whome we send as a speciall messenger to bringe frome Donkerke suche a man as is well seane and conynge in suche workes, that the rather by your helpe the person mete for our purpose may come with this said messenger who we hope shall safly aryve here and his paines and travell well recompencid." Draft.

1576, July 25. Westminster.—The Lords of the Council to all Vice Admirals, Justices of the Peace, Mayors, Sheriffs, Bailiffs, Constables and all owners of ships, shipmasters and others.

"We do signifie unto you hir Majesties pleasure that upon the seight of theis our letters to be brought unto you by Robert Heythar, the berrer hereof, you shall geve order that if there be any shippes belonginge to hir Majesties subjectes or laden with the goodes of any hir said subjectes presently within any haven or creke of that county or shall arryve thether at any time, that they departe not from thence untill further order shalbe gevin by us in that behalf. And further if the said berrer shall have occasion uppon such instructions as he hath recyvid from us, to send to the seas any small boate, pynase or barque you shall in that behalf see him provided as well of suche a vessell as shalbe nedeful, as of men, mariners and victualls and of all other furnitures and necessaries requisite for the purpose at reasonable and convenient prices. And of this you may not fayle, as ye tender the furtherance of her Majesties intendid service to the benefytt of hir subjectes, and will answer to the contrary at your perilles." Copy.

1576, September 4.—Report of the three Dutchmen, namely, Mihill de Browne of Dunkirk, Aumon Duport of Newport and Anthony Morreau of Dunkirk, carpenter.

They have viewed and seen the harbour of the Camber and see no likelihood of bringing it to the first estate, because the sea has carried away the head thereof, yet the next "brack" that is joining to it might with great charges be made a head with a great depth and length within the said Camber. And in consequence of the great charges and the small assurance they see in the continuance of it, they "mean not to council you to go about it."

They recommend another scheme for carrying three waters into one channel, building out the jetty, etc.

Aumon Duport and Anthony Morreau promised to come again when sent for.

1576, September 24.—[The Mayor and Jurats of Rye] to the Bishop of Chichester or his Judge appointed at Lewes about the late order taken for the bringing in of Wills and Administrations.

"Upon publique citinge in our church of all suche . . . executors and administrators sithens the begynninge of the yere 1570 to bringe in all their Wills, Administrations . . . . Inventories to Lewes before the fyrst of October next, our people are very doubtfull what the cause shulde be, and think themselves gretly burdenid to travell so farr, and thereuppon have made complaint unto us, divers beinge at Yermouth on fyshinge, some beyond the seaes, some are women and covert baron and their husbands frome home, some are impotent persons and not able to travaill, some povertie will not permit; and over that the nomber are not fewe that shuld appere which semith strange that suche a sudden apparence shuld be of so gret a nomber uppon so short a warninge the fyrst publishinge therof beinge but on Fryday laste. For all which causes, and to avoid the greiffe and charge of our people herin, and also willing to shewe ourselves obedient, we have thought good to wryte unto your Honor by this messenger moost humblie desyringe that it will plese your good Lordship to signifie unto us what the cause is of bringinge in their Willes, Administrations and Inventories and also that it wold please you for the ease of our people to appointe some person mete, and as to your Honor shall seme good, to sitt here at Rye to have the viewe and orderinge of such Willes, Administrations and Inventories as now are called for." Draft.

1576, October 18. Hampton Court.—The Lords of the Council to [the Mayor and Jurats of Dover].

Forasmuch as complaints have been made to us that upon pretence of writs of withernam, you have arrested divers subjects of her Majesty's allies for small sums which is likely to cause inconveniency to her Majesty's subjects trafficking abroad, we have thought fit to require you forthwith to send to us some person of your town sufficiently instructed as well of your said right claimed by Charter as also of the particulars of the arrest of some men of Dunkirk in Flanders and one Andrew Muller, a skipper of Hamburg. Copy.

1576, November 12.—[The Mayor and Jurats of Rye] to Mr. Serjeant Haynes and Mr. William Haynes.

There is a young man named Richard Clarke with whom we have been divers times troubled for small "pykers," and we suppose that if he were straightly kept and under correction, he would amend his folly. We therefore request your aid to help his friends to place him in Bridewell. Draft.

[1576], November 14. Serjeants Inn.—B. Lovelace to the Mayor and Jurats of Rye.

Requesting that search may be made for such records as are in the town of Rye, touching the custom of process, whereupon withernam doth lie. Signed.

1576, December 11.—[The Mayor and Jurats of Rye] to the Bishop of Chichester.

"In November laste certaine of our neighbors accordinge to ther yerly order laide ther monies together to make their provision of wheat for their housholdes; somme a quarter, somme two quarters according to their abilities, and with a small boate of 10 tonnes went to Sidlesham in Sussex hoping to have furnished themselves as in tymes past, and repayred to your Honor for lycence, who, as they said, wold graunt them none, uppon which annswer they retorned home without brynginge any grayne at all savinge bread made of two bushels of meale; sithens which tyme, as it is said, one Kybe, miller of Sidlesham, and others have ben called before your Lordship for the same supposinge they were such persons as were not to be victualed." Draft.

[1575–1576].—Complaint of Robert Wyman of Hawkhurst to the Mayor and Jurats of Rye that whereas by the last will and testament of Johan Welles of Rye, late deceased, widow, a certain legacy of 50l. was given for the purpose of purchasing lands within two years after the decease of the said Johan, the issues whereof to go towards the relief of the poor of Rye. The said Robert Wyman being the next heir of the said Johan calls the attention of the Mayor and Jurats of Rye to the fact that the money has been misappropriated, and begs them to inquire into the matter. Extract of the Will of Joan Wells attached.

[1575–1576.]—Certificate by William Davy, Mayor, and the Jurats of Rye that whereas by complaint of the honest persons of the occupation of "cordiners or shomakers" within Rye that their living in their trade decreases to the apparent impoverishment of their families, apprentices and covenant servants by reason of foreign incomers as also by reason of the French and other foreign strangers flying to the said town for succour, and there use the same occupation whereby the honest householders of the said occupation are not able to live. It is therefore granted to the said householders and their successors that they shall be one company and fellowship and shall elect yearly one master and two wardens of the said company and fellowship with power to make ordinances, etc. Endorsed "A like copie of the Mercers grant made to the Cordiners."

1576.—Robart Paynter, servant unto the Queen's Majesty and deputy for the Earl of Warwick, master of her Highness' ordnance and William Pelham, Esquire, lieutenant of the same, to the Queen's lieutenant of her ancient town of Rye or his deputy.

"This shallbe in the Quen's Majesty's name be vertye of har hitnes kommycon unto me doreted straytlye to charge and kommand you, all ackuses layd a parte, and a pone the resete her of that you do in quer withe in your harber, of anye bote or vesell that is redye to go to London and to staye him untell the later end of the holydayes to kary salt peter to the touer for the Quen's use."

1576[–7], February 3. Hampton Court.—The Lords of the Council to Lord Cobham.

"Wheras we are creadably informid that divers masters of ships and passengers, specially of the towne of Dover, returninge from Calice, Dunkerk and other places of beyond the seas for lucre and gaine contrary to their duties and good orders of auncient tyme observid, have of late used to land some of their passengers in the Downes and other crekes frome whence they have passed without any searche or knowledge of hir Majesty's officers who have charge to looke unto suche matters. Forasmuche as we are gevin certenly to understande that by this meanes divers fugitives and other disordered subjectes which heretofore had retyred themselves into thoes partes, are returned into the realme, wherof some remayninge yet unknowen, secretly workinge and procuringe great mischief emongest other her Highnes well disposed subjectes, we have thought good to require your Lordship to geve order that it may be duly examined, what masters of shippes and passengers of the said towne of Dover or other places under your jurisdiction, have within the space of three moneths last past brought over out of Flanders, frome Callies or any other place of the realme of Fraunce, any person whom for rewarde or other cause they landid in any other place then in any ordinary porte, what he was, and whether he myndid to repaier, together with suche other particularities and circumstances fytt to be understood therin wherof we shall desier your Lordshipp to certefie us as sone as ye conveniently maye. And to the intent the leike inconveniences happen not hereafter, hir Majestie's plesure and commaundement is, that your Lordship shuld straightly charge and commaunde all and every masters of ships and passengers, ether at Dover or in any other place under your jurisdiction, usinge to repaire unto the places of beyond the seas, not to land any passengers comynge into this realme but in the ordinary and accustomed portes where her Majesties officers be resident, unlesse it shall be by necessary cause and constrainte of tempest and fowle wether and in that case also bringe the persons, if it conveniently may be, or at least the names of the passengers so landed to the next officers of the port or portes adjoyninge." Copy.

1576[–7], February 10.—The Bailiff and Jurats of Hastings to the Mayor and Jurats of Rye.

"We are given to understand that presently in the Parishe of Westfield nere unto Brede there is a forge to be erectyd, the which yf it take effecte wylbe to the undoyng of these towneshipes. And forasmuch, worshipful syrs, as before this tyme we have travaylyd in and about the like matter and by meanes of our sute, staye therof made, as you do know, we have thought it good to make you prevye thereof praying of you to consider of it among yow and that we by your letters may knowe what you do mynde to do therein either to lett it pass or ells to joyne togethers in sute to the Lordes of the Councell for the staye of the same, as heretofore we have done and by their Honors order stayed."

1576[–7], February 12.—[The Mayor and Jurats of Rye] to the Mayor and Jurats of Hastings.

"We have received your letters makinge mention of a iron furnes leike to be erected at Westfyld, but ye geve no present note by whome, or who be the aueters and cheiff doers therin, which is the principall matter to frame our sute uppon, for such persons may have the delinge therwith as good advise must be had before we begyn; but assure yourselves that we for our partes will not be remise in that sute, wishing for that you be nerest that place that by some meanes ye travell to understand the whole and present truth of thoes procedinge by what persons and in what forme, and then frame a letter to all the whole portes and their members, declaringe that excepte ye have their ayde ye shall not be able to resist it, and put them in mynde howe that not only you but Ry, Winchilsey, Lidd, Hide, Dover, Sandwich, the whole lzle of Thanet and divers other places alongest the seacoast shall feele the smarte therof not only for want of fuell, but specially for tymber, as well for buildinge of shipes, crayres, botes and other vessels, as also for buyldinge of houses, tymber and piles for water workes which nowe is had, and hereafter will not if this worke take place. And so beyond you as farr as Brightelmeston is leikewise served frome thes partes. Your letter framed to this effect with present knowledge given of the proceedinge therin shall cause these partes alongest the [coast] rather to joyne with you and to make frendes accordingly." Draft.

1576[–7], February 16. Westminster.—The Lords of the Council to all Mayors, bailiffs and head officers of Cities and others which have or shall have the appointments of searchers and sealers of leather.

"Where dyvers tanners in sundrye partes have often tymes made earnest and humble complayntes to us that they weare not able to performe certeyne braunches of the statute made in the fifte year of the Quene's Majestie's reigne, and have therefore of late procured our well beloved frende Edward Dier, Esquier, to be a suter to her Majestie to moderate the extremytie of the statute. Whereuppon her Majestie of her gracious disposition, havinge regarde to the benefytt of her subjectes, graunted power by her Highenes letters patents to the said Edward Dier, in her Highenes name, to dispence with certeyne suche braunches of the said statute in which the inconvenience and ympossybylytie by the tanners was alledged. By the which graunt not only the said tannors but also all lordes of lyberties and others havinge the appointment of searchers and sealers of lether, are most graciously releved and provided for; for the more true and perfect dealinge towardes her subjectes her Highenes pleasure and commaundement is, that you and every of you from heusforthe shall make choice of sufficient and convenient searchers and sealers of leather according to the braunche of the said statute in that case provided, and that upon request unto you or any of you to be made by the said Edward Dier, his Deputye or Deputies, you shall presently and from thensforth yearly appointe, sware and bynde the said searchers and sealers to be appoynted in good somes of money to her Majestie's use with condition that they nor any of them shall not allowe or seale in their offices of searchinge or sealinge any lether but suche as shalbe well wrought, sufficiently tanned, and allowing by the wrytinge indented of the said Edward Dier, or his Deputie or Deputies, accordinge to her Majesties letters patents to hym graunted." Copy.

1576[–7], February 20. London.—Lord Buckhurst to the Mayors, Bailiffs and Jurats of Hastings, Winchelsea and Rye.

I have received your writing concerning my woods and ironworks at Oer and in answer, I thank you for your neighbourly manner of proceeding. It is manifest that the abundance of woods within three miles of every of your towns is so great that it would be impossible for twenty such towns as yours to use them as fuel. Besides this it seems strange that you of Rye should seek fuel out of my woods being for the most part eight miles distant, and I cannot tell what to imagine, knowing that heretofore and all likelihood for ever hereafter, you must be wholly provided from "Beckly, Northyham, Udymer and Iden," and insomuch as you in respect of your great store and abundance, both have been and daily are the transporters of no small quantity of the same woods, even to parts beyond the seas; and within the last two years you have sold and transported not so little as 1,000 tons of timber. As to you of Hastings and Winchelsea the one being distant from my woods five miles and the other very near two there are plenty of woods lying nearer to you and of better sort than mine, and the proportion of fuel you yearly spend being very small I cannot see what reason you can imagine that the use of my fuel for ironworks can bring any damage to you.

1577, April 1.—Certificate by the Mayor and Jurats of Rye, that there of late dwelt at Rye one John Davison, who afterwards dwelt at Winchelsea where he died. He had three sons of whom one named John, the eldest, is now an ironmonger dwelling in London. And that John Davison the father was brother to Thomas Davison who sometimes dwelt at Rye and married the widow of one Hearne.

1577, April 24.—Lord Cobham to the Mayor and Jurats of Rye.

"I had procured letters from my Lords of her Majesty's Counceil to the Justyces and Commissioners of those musters, nott to deale with the portes and there members, whereuppon you shall not nede to obey their warrants butt curteously to lett them to understand thatt yow are discharged from there proceadinge wyth yow, wyche shalbe shorteley signeffyed unto them. You are notwithstandinge to understand that you are to be charged wythe the furnisshinge and trayninge of certeyne herquebussers as shalbe delivered and appoynted unto you by my order." Signed. Seal of arms.

1577, April 24.—[The Mayor and Jurats of Rye] to Lord Cobham.

"At midnight last we recyvid a precepte frome the Lord of Aburgaveney for the apprehension of one Thomas Worsley, who presently we apprehended and have him in salf custody and have answered his Honor that we may not deliver him without order frome the Lordes of her Majesty's most honorable Privy Councell to our Lorde Warden, and how that with spede we have advertised your Lordship. The precepte we herwith send your Honor and certaine letters which the said Worsley had in his tronke. The cause of his apprehencion, as we are informed, is, that on Monday last ther was found at Tonbridge uppon the bedd where the said Worsley laye, and two of his frendes that came down with him to Rye, a coppie of a bull made against her Majestie and the state of the realme wheruppon the other two returninge backe by Tunbridge were staied by the Lord of Abergaveney and caried with him to his place at Comfort. We thought it not good to sende the said Worsley as he required but first to acquaint your Honor therof and to have him sente as heretofore hath ben accustomed in such cases as well in consideration of your Honors privileges as our liberties."

[Postscript] "John Mewes William Button
The two gentlemen afore spoken of."


1577, May 21.—The Mayor and Jurats of Rye to M. Mihill de Browne of Dunkirk, Aumon Duport of Newport and Anthony Mordau of Dunkirk.

Whereas in September last you came to Rye to view our harbour and give your advice for the amendment thereof (for which we thank you) and you, Aumon Duport and Anthony Mordau, promised to come whensoever we should send for you; we now having fully determined to proceed with the works, desire you upon the receipt hereof to come to us with as much speed as may be. And we desire you Mr. Mihill de Browne to forward your two neighbours to us according to your promise. Draft.

1577, May 22.—[The Mayor and Jurats of Rye] to the Lieutenant of Dover Castle.

"Accordinge to your late letters concerninge the musters for which we yeld yow harty thankes, we have procedid and we and our member of Tenterden met at Winchelsey, with Hastinges and their members, for the selectinge of thos 40 persons which by the portes and their members in Sussex is to be found towardes the nomber of 300 in Sussex, where we agreid that we and our member shuld fynde 20 of thoes 40 which was well liked of. Hastinges with his members would find 16 and Winchelsey wold be charged but with thre, so as some difference is betwene them for one man; not doubtinge but they will agree frendly therin. For our parts our men shall be ordered and trayned as apperteynith. And whensoever your Worshippe please to come to take the musters ye shalbe hartely welcome, and we redy to geve our attendance as dutie requirith." Draft.

1577, May 25.—Safe conduct from John Lucas, Mayor of Dover, and the Jurats of the same place, for William Edwardes, Captain and late "servitor" in Flanders, who arrived at Dover May 22 with four score soldiers of his retinue, and remained there to hear if her Majesty pleased to entertain them, and having received answer was minded to repair to Rye with thirty of the same retinue. Seal of arms.

1577, May 26.—Certificate by the Mayor and Jurats of Rye that on May 25 1577 Fraunces Meicher, Cornelis Sohier and Michell Falloys, merchants of Rye, made declaration that Frances de Tresegnys abiding within the town of Rye did marry in the said town one Anne de la Porte of "Valencine" [Valenciennes ?] and had issue a daughter named Anne who survived her mother for three months and was buried here at Rye.

1577, May 30. Dover Castle.—Richard Barrey to the Mayors and Bailiffs of Dover, Folkstone, Hythe, Romney, Lydd, Rye, Winchelsea, Hastings and Faversham.

Letter of summons to be at St. James' Church, Dover, on Tuesday June 4 to confer upon certain letters of commission and instructions from the Queen. Copy.

1577, June 4.—Safe conduct from the Mayor and Jurats of Rye for William Edwardes alias Captain Edwardes late "servitor" in Flanders who lately came from Dover with thirty of his retinue, and is now minded to go to Hastings, and so along the coast to the City of Chichester and from thence to Portsmouth there to pass over to the Isle of Wight to Captain Horsey. The said Captain and the "said xxxty persons have contynued emongest us not idely but occupied in tryninge our people to the caliver shoot wherein him self and others of his said retynue have showed them selves (to our judgmentes) worthy and good soldiors." Draft.

1577, June 20.—The Mayor and Jurats of Rye to the Burgomaster of Dunkirk and others his assistants in Justice there.

We thank you for showing us the courtesy to permit these bearers Mathewe Rickward and Cornelis Rickeward, his son, to come to us when we sent for them and request you will show us that friendship as to suffer them or one of them (if both may not be spared) to return to us within ten or twelve days to finish that piece of work which they have begun, otherwise our common people will report that they have taken the thing in hand which they are not able to end. Draft.

1577, June 23. The Court.—William, Lord Cobham, to the Mayor and Jurats of Rye and the Bailiff of Hastings.

Requesting particulars of piracies committed by Frenchmen upon her Majesty's subjects upon the English Coast Copy.

1577, July 1. Greenwich.—The Lords of the Council to all Mayors, Sheriffs and other officers of her Majesty's ports.

Order that Nippevile alias Etemer or Stevin Debruese, a Frenchman, escaped from the custody of the Serjeant of the Admiralty, be not permitted to cross the seas. Copy.

1577, July 1.—Petition of the Company and Fellowship of Drapers and Tailors within the town of Rye that whereas by grant under the common seal there were granted to the said Company divers articles and orders by them to be executed, and especially that none should occupy the mystery or occupation either of woollen draper or tailor within the said town, other than such as had either been apprenticed with one of the said Company or being freeborn should first make agreement with the said Company, upon a certain pain for every day occupied. That divers persons occupy the said trades, contrary to the said grant for which the said Company beg redress. Copy. Note on back. Answered, to have redress according to the true intent and meaning of the grant.

1577, August 2.—Lord Cobham to Mr. Richard Barrey, Lieutenant of Dover Castle.

Her Majesty having of late heard that sundry spoils and depredations have been committed upon the seas by certain disordered persons suspected to be Englishmen, and having their repair to and fro into sundry ports and havens within the Five Ports for the redress whereof, and preservation of good peace between her Majesty and other foreign Princes, her Majesty has commanded that you give order in all ports and havens and other places under my charge, that from henceforth no ship or other vessel be suffered to depart to the seas until the owner, lader and master thereof do put in bonds and sufficient sureties to the value of the ship and furniture to her Majesty's use, not to damage any of the subjects of any foreign Prince with whom her Majesty is in amity and specially the subjects of the realm of Scotland. But it is not meant that fishermen or coastmen or known merchants going only to their trade without any warlike furniture shall be subject to this order, unless there be some apparent cause of suspicion. Copy. Enclosure:—Form of bond.