The city of Exeter: Letters and other papers (2 of 10)

Pages 44-71

Report On the Records of the City of Exeter. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1916.

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The Guildhall.

L. 54. July 12, 1561.—Sir Robert Denys (fn. 1) to the Mayor and Aldermen: "After my verye hartie comendatons I ame enformyd that Henrye Redynge is mynded to leave the kepinge of your hall in Excetre wherein he now dwellethe—yf hyt be so these are hartelye to desyre you to be so good masters to this berer, Rycharde Bartlett, (fn. 2) that he maye have his rome therein, whose approvid trowthe, honestye and knowledge is suche as I doubt not but you shall fynde him a man meete for the same and as I shall fynde your ffryndshippes herein so shall I be more redye to gratefye you or any frende of yours when occasyon shall serve for your courtysie allready receyved whyche I maye not forgett and so do comytt you to God.—Your assured frend, Robert Denys."

In Act Book, X, f. 174 b, March 10, 1663, it is agreed: "That the Guildhall shalbe neue repaired and the sealing in and above the same to be speedilie amended and whereas Mr. Isaac Maudict, (fn. 3) the elder, hath of late provided a faire brasse candlestick to be hung upp in the Guildhall, Mr. Receiver shalbe allowed uppon his Accompte of that he hath laid out about the said (sic)." [See Oliver, p. 208.]

In Book 51, f. 269, Hoker has entered: Md. that this yere (i.e. 1330) the Guyldhall of the Citie of Excester was buylded.

For repairs to the Guildhall in 1377, see T. Wright, 313.

For una shopa juxta Prætorium Gialde in parte occidentali in 1303, see Misc. Roll 2 (28).

The Chapel of St. George.

In his will dated Jan. 20, 1489, Thomas Calewodeley or Calwoodley, who was Mayor in 1467, 1480 and 1486, required his executors to find a suitable chaplain to celebrate Divine Service every year in the Chapel of St. George the Martyr in Exeter. (Report on Charities, 147.)

In Book 51, f. 322 b (anno 1484) this yere the fore parte of the Guyldhall and the Councell Chambre was of newe buylded by the citie. See Izacke, p. 93.

Ibid, f. 323, anno 1486. This Thomas Calwodley (Mayor) was severe agaynst notoriouse and evell offenders and suche as escapid corporall punyshed payed for there redemption, which moneys he employed yn buylding of the fronte and chaple of the Guyldhall.

This chapel is described as "newly built in front of the Guildhall" in the will of John Kelly, Nov. 10, 1486 (recited in D. 1340); or "next the Guildhall" (juxta Guihald) in the will of William Doun, yeoman, May 5, 1510 (D. 1361); or "withyn the Gyldhall" in the will of William Wilford, Esquire, Dec. 31, 1571 (D. 1377, in which he leaves 13s. 4d. "over and above his olde wages" to "the pryste the which shall syng" there); or "in the outer part of the Guildhall," March 2, 1512 (D. 1379a, where the chaplain receives four marks p.a. from the Chamber and a robe of the city livery and takes his daily meal in the house of the Mayor for the time being). It is said to have been built "over the Guildhall," i.e. over the portico, in Cotton, Gleanings, p. 23, or "under the Guildhall" in Stuart Moore's Calendar, II, 1080, but for this there is no authority in the document, which refers to an inventory of the "ymplementys and ornamentis" received by William Bucknam [who was Receiver in 1537; see Receivers' Accounts, 29, 30, H. viii] "off Master Luke then beyng ye Mayor ys chapelyn." The list, which was drawn up on Oct. 10, 1537, appears on a fly leaf at the beginning of Act Book, II, and the items consist of "candlestykks of latyn to sett upon ye awtre, a pax of silver parsell gylt, crewetts off sylver ungyltyd, gilt or silver gilt chalices, a senser of silver ungylt, a single vestment of black velvet, ditto of whyt chamlet broderet with garters, ditto of bord alexand', five corporas casys with ye corporas withyn four of hem off the whiche one is the one syde charged off cloth off gold and the other syde off crymsy velvet and another ynbroderyd with the armys of Mast' Marten, and one withowt a cloth in hem. Item a clothe to hang beffore Saynt George awltr off satyn of brygg' party white and grene. Item ffor Saynt bartholomee ys awltr, a hangyng off whyt chamblet ybroderet with garters. Item, a cloth of yolow sylk to hang above the same awltr. Item to hange one above another benethe off reyme' [? Rheims] to the same awltr'. Item, three awltr' clothys ffor Saynt George awltr' off holond."

In Act Book, I, f. 93, Nov. 4, 1521, "it is holy agreed that William Aysshe the Cyte ys chapelayn shall have yerely 4 l. sterlyng and he to syng in Seint George ys Chapell as he hath usyd and no plase elswere except obits and trentalls and also every day that the Meir goyth yn processyon at seint peter ys churche to sey masse before hym and hys bretheryin in Seynt Katherine yelde or else another for hym."

In Act Book, II, f. 30, Jan, 8, 1527, is a resolution of the Chamber in regard to keeping the Feast of St. George withyn the old Gild of the citie.

In Act Book, II, f. 32, Sept. 21, 1531, it is agreed "that ev'y one of the xxiiij shalbe a brother unto the Frat'nyte of Saynt George withyn the Chapell yn the eldhall and to pay ev'y yere iiijd. upon the payne of viiid."

Alnage of Cloth.

In L. 55, Nov. 18, 1561, are orders taken betwixt the Farmer of the subsidy and Aulnage of Clothes in the Counties of Devon and Cornwall and the Countie of the Citie of Exeter and the Clothiers of the saide counties with a note of sundry statutes relating to the subject, showing inter alia that "Noe man maie putt to sail nor carye out of the Countie whear the Cloth is made anye manner of clothe before the same be surveied and sealed by the Aulnager, who shall have a halfpennye for the sealinge and meassuringe of a cloth and of everye half clothe a farthinge." [For further extracts from this document see Devonshire Association Transactions, xliv., pp. 576, 594.]

L. 159. Exeter, Feb. 16, 1613–4.—The Chamber complain to the Lords of the Council that Thomas Bridgeman the younger [possibly son of Thomas Bridgeman, who was a bailiff in 1584], Deputy Alnager to Mr. Throgmorton for this city and county of Devon, demands for the sealing of every Devonshire kersey (besides the King's subsidy of a penny) a new exaction of half a farthing, whereas nothing is due to him by law. And they pray that Mr. Bridgeman may be compelled to let a case be tried at law or argued before all the Judges of the land.

In L. 162, undated but probably connected with L. 159, is a memorandum concerning the Prisage of wine and Alnage—their origin and nature. It asserts that "the office of Alnage is an auncient office, more auncient than the makinge of cloathe for merchandize in this Realme," and specifying three kinds of abuses of the office.

Disputes with Bishops.

L. 56. Honnyngton [i.e. Honiton], Nov. 23, 1561. William [Alley] Bishop of Exeter to the Mayor &c.: "After my hartie comendations unto you gentill Mr. Mayor and to the rest of the worshipful of your brethren. These are to rendre you all most entier and hartie thancks for your gret gentilnes shewyd towarde me and my Chauncelor [William Leweson]; doynge you to understande that you shall and may cause me to be yours in anything wherein I may pleasure or gratifie you or any of you herafter trustyng that all olde matters which heretofor hathe bredde coler and stomacke betwene us shall be quite and clerelye suppressed and forgotten which on my parte I do most ernestlye promise and assure you, hopynge that you will do the like; and thus I dout not but we shall be faythfull lovers and frendes by God's grace, to whose tuition I committe you.—Your lovynge and assured frind, W. Exon."

[Endorsed : "Geve these." This letter appears to refer to the Mayor's resistance to the Bishop's claim to be made a Justice of the Peace for the city. Izacke, 129; Freeman, 119; Devonshire Association Transactions, xliv., 214. For a similar claim by Bishop Cary in 1622, see L. 217–223, 226, 227, 230–233, page 115.]

For a dispute with Bishop Cotton in 1599 as to the respective liberties of the Church and City, see L. 103, containing two letters in four folios, with Hooker's side-notes, the first beginning: "Right honorable reverende and our very good Lorde, we have receaved of your man Turpin as from your selfe a byll of many Artycles and of certaine greeveaunces . . .," ending: "obediently observe the same." The second, which is much shorter than the first, begins as in the first: "Maye it please the same, we have receaved your boke of Artycles by the hande of your servant Turpyn . . .," ends: "and obediently to observe the same." Endorsed : The Bishoppes awnsweres, 1599.

In L. 138, 139, Dec. 10, 1610, the Chamber ask assistance of the Masters of the Court of Requests and of the Attorney General, Sir Henry Hubbard [or Hobart] against the suit of the Dean and Chapter, who have petitioned the King for two fairs in their Borough of St. Sidwells (fn. 4) as they wrongfully have styled it.

In L. 148, Silverton, May 17, 1612, Bishop Cotton writes to the Mayor and the Recorder of Exeter respecting a petition the contents of which he cannot believe till he hears it justified.

In L. 166, June 7, 1615, the Chamber write to Bishop Cotton concerning their liberties, which they say are continually infringed by the Bishop's bailiff, William Moore, and pray that a conference of counsel may be held to settle the dispute.

In L. 326 (undated but endorsed 1629), Bishop Joseph Hall writes to the Mayor: "Good Mr. Maior with my loving remembrance. I heare that divers of my Tenants in St. Stephens fee (and no freemen of the city) are called to appear before you at your Court this day. I shall not need to plead unto you my ancient rights which have bene thus long kept inviolable; so as I am informed never any of them have been called in this kinde only one some twenty yeares agoe was warned thither, and appeared not, without further prosecution. I beseech you let us mutually have all fayre termes without trenching upon ech others libertyes; that so neither part have any cause of greivance. It shalbe enough to have moved you thus farre; not doubting therfore of your iust and loving respects to mee and the immunityes of this Church wherwith I am entrusted, I take leave, and signe myselfe, Your much devoted loving neighbour, Jos. Exon."

Endorsed : "Lo. Bp. Hall about his tenants in his ffee to be returned of the Lawe Jury at the Guildhall."

In L. 352 (undated but endorsed 1631), the same Bishop writes to the Mayor: "Worthy Mr. Maior, I perceave Mr. [Ignatius, see L 210, 290] Jordan will needs putt us to it in a wilfull violacon of our priveledges; in our last conference with your worthy Brethren there was a fayre motion of a peaceable accommodacon of these differences; wherein we are enough confident of our owne right; and if I can understand anything; both our is herein plainly infringed and the Cittyes bond forrfaited, if at least this action of his wilbe owned and maintayned: I doubt not but ere long we shall come to a full resolution of either accordance or suit; Onwards let me desyre you to take some course to restrayne these violences, and to free this servant of the Church from the hard measure which is now offred to him. In full expectacon I take leave and am

your very loving neighbour and frend

Jos. Exon."

In L. 363, Sept. 4, 1634, the same Bishop writes to the Mayor complaining that "one of your seriants hath wilfully and presumptuously incroched upon the right of my fee in taking one Ford out of his house violently and imprisoning him, whom he knew to be within the precincts of my fee," and suing for the speedy release of the prisoner.

In L. 605, Dec. 6, 1811, Bishop George Pelham writes to the Town Clerk from Sidmouth respecting a building which was being erected in St. Bartholomew's Churchyard without his license.

For the Bishop's Fee, otherwise called St. Stephen's Fee or Harold's Fee, including the Cathedral and the close or churchyard in 1447, see Shillingford, pp. 9, 10, 137.

For compromise in regard to this dispute, Dec. 12, 1448, see D. 1196; Book 51, f. 97b ; Misc. Roll 100, 101; Shillingford, pp. xiv., 136; Izacke, 79; Freeman, 177. For further arbitration after the installation of Bishop Hugh Oldham, see D. 1353 (April 18, 1507), where the Bishop and the Dean and Chapter give a bond in 100l. that they will abide by the arbitration of Lewis Pollard, Serjeant-at-Law, John More, John Rowe and John Oreny—with seals of the Bishop and the Chapter.

In D. 1380, Aug. 23, 1513, is an agreement between the Mayor and Bishop Oldham that the former shall not exercise the office of Clerk of the Market in two houses in South Street and one within the Southgate parcel of St. Stephen's Fee, "nor in no nother howseys of the same fee,"—with the Bishop's seal.

In Act Book, I, ff. 27, 28, Jan. 28, 1512, the second of these houses is called the Bull, and the Mayor etc. agree that "they shall not intromytte nother meddle in any thyng concernyng the office of the clerke of the market" in these two houses, "the whyche houses the said Bisshoppe claymyth."

In Book 51, f. 113, are the depositions of witnesses as to the boundaries of the Cathedral Church taken in 1557, "by reason of certyn arestments made by the sergeants of the citie within the saide churchyard and close. Mr. John Peter then Mayor and James Trobleffeld [i.e. Turberville] Bishop."

In L. 63, Nov. 13, 1562, Gregory Dodds, Dean of Exeter, desires the Mayor to enquire concerning the molestation of the wife of his servant Richard Haustyce, who dwells in Saint Mary's Parish and is "moche dysquyetyd, in hys absence by a neybour or twoo."

In Act Book, XIII, f. 187b, Oct. 17, 1704, it is ordered: That the Serjeants for the time to come doe not arrest any person within the Bishop's fee upon pain of being dismist.

Richard Argentyne.

L. 57. London, Dec. 4, 1561.—Matthew [Parker] Archbishop of Canterbury, Edmund [Grindal] Bishop of London, Walter Hadd' [i.e. Hadden or Haddon] and Thomas Huyske [or Huike] (fn. 5) to the Mayor of Exeter :—"After our hartie comendacyons whereas we perceyve by your letters that Richard Argentyne, (fn. 6) clerke, hath of late spred abrode sondrie sedicious lybells within the Citie of Exeter and for the same his lewde demeanour is by you comyttyd to warde." He is therefore to be sent to them. Signed your loving frends, Matthew Cantuar., Edm. London, Walter Hadd and Thomas Huyske. Endorsed : Rec. 15 Dec., 1651.

On the back is the city's answer in Hooker's handwriting, dated Jan. 4, 1562, stating that the prisoner refuses to be bound for his appearance, pleading poverty and sickness—accordingly they ask for further orders.

The Cloth Hall.

L. 59, 60. The Savoy, April 8, 1562.—G[awen] Carewe writes to the Mayor &c. recommending "my manne" (or "the yongman") William Greenwood as Keeper of the Cloth Hall. Signed, "Your to comand. G. Carewe."

In L. 87, Oct. 15, 1582, Sir Gawen Carewe gives a receipt for his fee 2l. (fn. 7)

For the Clerk of the Cloth Hall or Merchants' Hall, see Book 51, f. 141; called the Merchants' Cloth Hall in Misc. Rolls 31 (A.D. 1602), which contains its Acts, Orders, Tables of rates &c.

In L. 409 (undated) is a largely signed petition to the Chamber stating that "Whereas some yeares past the Cloth Markett was ushualie kept in the High Streete, &c.," and "that some private persons inhabitinge in the Southgate Street of this Cittie by their wylie and subtill practises and for theire oune private ends did secreitlie procure some order for the removal of the said markett into ther streete," the petitioners now pray that it may be brought back to its old place "betweene the Guildhall and the little cunduitt in the High Streete." (fn. 8)

In L. 420 the inhabitants of the south and west quarters petition the Mayor, Christopher Lethbridge [1660], that the serge market may be kept "either at the new corne markett and the corne markett removed where it was formerly, or else in the High St. between St. John's Bow and Mary Arches Lane, or at any other place which may be good for the trade of the whole city."

In L. 421 (? 1660) the inhabitants of the parish of St. Laurence petition the Chamber that the serge market may be held before St. John's Hospital in their parish. [See Lloyd Parry, Exeter School, 68.]

In L. 422 (? 1660) the Weavers, Buyers and Sellers of Perpetuanes petition the Chamber that the streets leading to their market place in Southgate Street may be chained up from 8 o'clock till four on market days, as was formerly accustomed, because they are disturbed by reason of the great concourse of carriages and hackney horses. See Izacke, p. 168.

In L. 485, Feb. 8, 1730, is a letter from the Town Clerk for Mr. Heath's opinion about moving the Cloth Fair, whose reply, dated Inner Temple, Feb. 11, 1730, is in L. 486.

Rates of Wages.

L. 65. 1563.—Two printed broadsides, beginning: "Where in the Parliament holden at Westminster, Jan. 12, 5 Eliz. (i.e. 1563)," and fixing a maximum which is not to be exceeded in "the severall Rates and Taxations for wages made and set forth by the Justices of the Peace of the Citye of Exeter."

In L. 73, April 24, 1566, and L. 93, July 20, 1588, the Justices of the Peace retain the rates they first certified on June 15, 1564, viz. for husbandrie: Labourers, 3d. p.d. with meat and drink, or 6d. without, from Sept. 30th to March 1st, rising to 4d. and 5d. respectively from March to September. In the corn or hay harvest a "mowier" has 5d. [10d.], Reapers, Binbers (sic) and Loders 4d. [8d.]. In Hayharvest a man has 3d. [6d.], a woman 2d. [4d.], also for labourers in Hedging, Dyching, Paling, Rayling, Woodemaking, Beatemaking, fixed payments by the pearche, yarde, lugge rope, dosen of woode and hundred respectively as task work. No bailiffe of husbandry or Chiefe Hind is to take over 40s. p.a., for his wages and livery, or serving man over 24 years old 30s. p.a., man servant from 20 to 24 years (26s. 8d. p.a.), from 16 to 20 (20s. p.a.). Unmarried woman servant, 16 to 24 years old (16s. p.a.), and 5s. for her vesture and garment, rising to 20s. and 6s. 8d. at 24 years and upwards. No woman servant under 10 years of age to have any wages, but only meate, drinke and other necessaries. A maister Mason, ditto Carpenter, ditto Joiner, Plasterer, Helier, Tyler, Shingler, Thatcher, or Plumber, having servants and apprentices is to allow them 6d. (or 10d.) p.d., a payre of Sawiers 10d. (or 18d.) p.d. Masons &c. as in above list, not being masters, to have 4d. (or 8d.) p.d. and apprentices 3d. (or 6d.) p.d.

Letters of Geoffrey Tothill. (fn. 9)

L. 66. London, Jan. 31, 1563.—Geoffrey Tothill writes to Master John Hooker, chamberlain :—"After my hartye comendacon I have sent you herewith enclosed the copyes of too bylls exhybyted unto the parlyament howse for the Cittye, wherein I pray God send us good successe as I hope. The one for the unytyng of churches ys first in the lords howse, (fn. 10) and the other for orphans in the lower howse. Trustying by that time we have thorolye consydered that byll for orphans (fn. 11) and redye to be sent offe to the lords, the lords byll wylbe redye to come down. I suppose the bylls be indyfferentlye handled. Yf we shuld have putte bothe in at one place then peradventure the howse wold nott be best contentyd with too bylles for our private Cyttye. Other thyngs yn ye artycles shalbe remembred, as for prentyses there ys a byll in the parlyament howse for servaunts which ys comytted to the Master of the Rolls and others. Y hope yf the byll passe to gete a p'vyso, for all cyttyes in England to take prentyses and so Exceter [nott named], (fn. 12) there your wolle or shuld have byn this afternoon yf my leisure had served a byll drawne for the londyners yt shalbe in the name of all the Cyttyes in the west partes and ells where and is not pryvately for us." He desires that 10l. may be "delyvered to my brother Walter to be sent me as I have retayned divers in thes causes and must give money aboute the same. There be alredye butt to bylls past, the one that no horses shall passe beyond the seas and another is for the levyng of ffynes in the north country. I suppose we shal agree upon the subsyde this next wyke. Ther are divers and many other bylls butt as yet not past our house. I praye you make the masters of the Cytty partakers of this my letter and trewth of the too bylls and wrytt and here you leve. from london the last of January."

L. 67 (undated) is a note in the handwriting of Geoffrey Tothill addressed to some person not named, accompanying some extracts from the Records relating to the power of the Mayor to appoint a lieutenant, as he is very sick.

In L. 70, Jan. 31, 1563, is a receipt by John Tothill for Geoffrey Tothill from John Hoker (sic) for fees paid on passing the Sheriffs accounts, including: "Ffyrst due for Mr. Secretorye Cicells ffee, 5l." [See LL. 82, 83, p. 55.]

In L. 74, London, May 31, 1566, Geoffrey Tothill writes to the Mayor: "Right weorshypfull after my hertie comendacons to you and the rest of the masters, this shalbe to advertyse you pft'ly touching the travell hadd by me here this last terme yn the Cytties causes and affaires, ffirst touchyng the londoners causes they ons this last terme toke orders with me to appoynt three for their parte to match Mr. Hay, Mr. Solyceter and myself appoyntyd for the Citties parte and I sendyng my man to the chamblayn of London for to have a daie appoyntyd for the metyng upon the same they chaunged their myndes and wold have three and three and wold have me to assent to have Mr. Hert in for one of the three and to leve out Mr. Hay or Mr. Solycyter, which to yeld unto I doe nott thinke good nor wyll nott, they seme to be desyrous of an ende, and yett they wyll not match your three. And so as you shall wyll me to doo this next terme I shalbe gladd fo fferder the same. And for my own opynyon I doo not now thinke good any man more to be sent upp to the Citties chardge for that the Cittie is now p'sently otherwyse chardged. And also I thinke yf you shuld sende upp of purpose there wold skarse be ende in the same at one terme, but yf there be any of the masters of the cyttye that have any other occasyon of their own this next terme I wold I might be thereof advertysed, and so then I wold appoynt a daie of talke and metyng accordynglie, otherwyse wee three that be here shall stand styll or ells to procede in the sute where unto they be loth to come as me semeth this ys my opynyon in this matter respecting your aunswere herein by twen this and the begynnyng of this next terme. As touching Trew's matter [see p. 28], I have a very good hope for the fyshing of Exe in the parishes of St. Thomas, St. Edmond's and St. Mary Steps, the matter hath byn twyse or thryce throughly harde as well in the Chekers Chamber as at my Lord Treasurer's (fn. 13) house. Your—Geffrey Tothyll, Recorder."

In L. 78 (undated) is "the effecte of the matter yn questyon for the Fishynge of the Ryver of Exe yn the behalffe of the Mayor, Baylyffs and Commonaltie of the Citye of Exeter."

Exeter Guilds.

L. 76. From my Pallace, Sept. 28, 1567.— W.[i.e. William Alley—L. 56] Bishop of Exeter requests the Mayor to "be so much my frende who as yet hath not trobled youe with manye sutes as to graunte unto the bearers hereof their petition who have requested and sued to obtayne your favours to be reduced into one socyetie, felowshipp and companye, which request hath bene graunted by youe, but as yet not confirmed accordinge unto your said graunte for they do request the same as it is in the good cities of London, Yorke, Bristowe and in all other goode Citties and Townes Corporate within this realme of England." Endorsed: "Recd. Sept. 30, 1567." [No guilds are named in the document, but in S. Moore's Calendar the petition is supposed to be that of the Coopers (or Cowpers, i.e. Coverers) and Heliers, whose ordinances are dated Feb. 3, 1567, see Book 51, f. 158b, (not 1566 as Izacke, Pr., p. 66). For the incorporation of the Hellyars and Plaisterers on Dec. 14, 1680, see Act Book, XII, f. 24.]

L. 110 (? 1602) contains the petition "of the Felowship and Companye of the crafts of Weavers, Tokers [i.e. Tuckers] and Sheremen [called Weavers, Fullers and Sheeremen in D. 1739, 1739a, which contain exceptions against their acts produced before the Justices of Assize in 1621] within the Cyttye and countye of Exeter, setting forth their rules and ordinances (13 in number) with the clause of allowance and confirmation by the Chamber. For their Articles and Ordinances dated 1490, see D. 1311. For their Charter of Incorporation, A.D. 1490, see Book 51, f. 71; Izacke, Pr., p. 64. For their Bye-laws, dated Aug. 13, 1602, see D. 1692. For a tenement in Exeter belonging to the Warden of the Fullers and Tinters, see D. 1498, Oct. 7, 1555.

In L. 520 (? about 1750) the Butchers petition the Chamber to be re-incorporated. For their charter of incorporation granted by the Chamber on March 20, 1685, see Act Book, XII, f. 13, repealed Feb. 5, 1722, D. 1825, where they are called the Fraternity of Victuallers and Butchers. For their ordinances, dated Sept. 9, 1575, see Book 51, f. 159b (called their first incorporation in Izacke, Pr., p. 67).

In L. 522 [? circ. 1750] the Barber Surgeons petition the Chamber for leave to prosecute a barber in the Chamberlain's name. For their incorporation A.D. 1487. see Izacke, Pr., p. 64.

In D. 1637, March 29, 1586 (not 1602, as Izacke, Pr., p. 68) is the Deed of Incorporation of "the Artyficers of the Companye of Carpenters, Masons, Joyners, Glaciers and Paynters," with their petition to the Chamber and the ordinances for their government.

For separate charter of incorporation of the Joyners, March 20, 1685, see Act Book, XII, f. 1, with their ordinances of same date, f. 3; ditto of Freemasons, Masons, Bricklayers, Glasiers and Painters, March 20, 1685, Act Book, XII, f. 7, with their ordinances of same date (f. 9).

In D. 1786, July 28, 1691, is a Counterpart of the Deed of Incorporation of the Company of White Tallow Chandlers and White Soap Boilers, with their arms. For their acts and ordinances, see Act Book, XII, f. 30.

Book 51 contains Charters of Incorporation of—

  • () The Cappers and Haberdasshers (. 67, 68) [incorporated 1494, together with the Feltmakers, confirmed 1562. Izacke, Pr., . 65].
  • () The Cordewayeners (. 69), "in this yere 11 Richard II, 1387, the Cordewayners and Curryers of this Citie were first incorporated." ., . 290; Izacke, Pr., . 63.
  • () The Skinners and Gloviers, April 20, 1561 [. a confirmation. They were first incorporated in 1462—Izacke, Pr., . 62]. In , II, . 145, March 21, 1556, it is agreed : "That the Glovyers shall have a corporacioun uppon a resonable ffyne." For incorporation of the White Tawers, Glovers, Skinners, Grey Tawers, Poynters and Parchmentmakers, Dec. 1, 1685. See , XII, . 18.

Also Ordinances of—

  • () The Bakers, April 1, 1554 (. 156) [incorporated 1482, Izacke, Pr., . 63. See , xliv, 215].
  • () The Tailors (. 157) [incorporated 1466. Izacke, Pr., . 63. For their charters, bye-laws and two books of their Acts, see ].
  • () Smiths and Cutlers, April 20, 1561 (. 157) [not 1560, as Izacke, Pr., . 66, where the Saddlers are joined with them].
  • () Brewers, Sept. 20, 1579 (. 161) [Izacke, Pr., . 67].

In D. 1821 (A.D., 1717), the Chambre appoint two searchers and sealers of leather.

Letters of Thomas Lord Howard.

L. 77. Bindon, Dec. 19, 1567.—Thomas Howard [Viscount Howard of Bindon (fn. 14) ] prays the Mayor &c. to send to Honiton and to give in charge of his servant a young man who had stolen apparel of two gentlemen of his to the value of 17l. or 18l., and who had been apprehended in Exeter, intending that he shall receive "condigne punyshement." Signed, "Your frende, Thomas Howarde."

Note added : "I pray you also and the reste of all your bretherne for that Lucas Caro hath done his diligence in bringinge of this robbery to light, the rather at this my request to shewe him your lawfull favor and frendeship and not to graunte any warrant of good abearing against him. Thomas Howarde."

In L. 80, Wareham, April 11, 1581, Thomas Howard writes to the Mayor, Thomas Bruarton [or Bruerton], praying him to examine a thief who had stolen goods from his house at Wareham, and to send the thief to him at his house at Wareham, "for that I mean to make an example of so lewde a part in myn own house."—Your loving frinde, Thomas Howarde.

Lord Burghley's Receipt.

L. 82. Nov. 10, 1581.—Receyved the day and yere above wryten of the maier, bayliffes and commonaltye of the Cyttie of Exeter by the hands of John Peryam, gent., for my pencon (fn. 15) dew unto me for one whole yere ended at the ffest of Sainte Mychael laste paste before the date hereof the full some of tenne poundes of lawfull money of Englande.—W. Burghley. [See L. 70, p. 52; L. 81, p. 29.]

L. 83 has a similar receipt dated Nov. 20, 1581, per J. Periam.

Recorders of Exeter.

L. 85, Oct. 4, 1582.—Receipt from Sir Robert Denys, Recorder, for his fee of 10l. Signed, "Robert Denys." See L. 54, p. 44.

D. 1701, Feb. 11, 1606, contains the grant of the office of Recordership from the Mayor, Bailiffs and Commonalty to William Martyn, (fn. 16) of Exeter, Esquire.

In D. 1722, May 24, 1613, Wyll. Martyn is "Receiver [? Recorder] and a member of the Chamber." With his seal and signature.

For Mr. Recorder [Nicholas] Duck, see L. 238, Nov. 9, 1622 (p. 77). For a covenant in his handwriting, see D. 1744, Aug. 1627.

In L. 316, Oct. 10, 1628, John Walter [Chief Baron of the Exchequer] and John Denham (fn. 17) write to "Mr. Mayor and the rest of your Bretheren." "Understanding that by the choyce of your late Recorder (fn. 18) there is a place of one of your City Counsell at lawe at this present voyd Wee have thought fytt out of our respect to the welfare of your City (which may be much advanced by the assistaunce of a learned successor in that place to recommend Mr. Peter Ball to your choise to be of your City Councell, of whose sufficiency and ability to doe you service therein wee have had ample testimony" &c.

In L. 317 (dated Middle Temple Garden, Nov. 1, 1628), Peter Balle thanks the Mayor for "the choice of me to be of the Cittie Counsell."

In L. 442, April 27, 1676, he writes to the Mayor resigning the Recordership (fn. 19) on account of his age and infirmity. The letter bears his seal.

In L. 549, Oct. 15, 1764, Y. [i.e. John] Cholwich writes to the Chamber resigning the Recordership.

In L. 602, dated Heavitree, July 18, 1794, Stephen Hawtrey writes to the Mayor his resignation of the Recordership.

In D. 1220, Aug. 20, 1456, John Radford as executor of the will of Nicholas Radford, late Recorder (fn. 20) of the City of Exeter, gives an acknowledgment to the Mayor &c. for 100 s., being the annual pension granted to the said Nicholas Radford.

In Act Book, I, f. 50, Oct. 2, 1514, it is agreed: "that Master Pollard (fn. 21) shall have gyven unto hym agaynst Cristmas for the good love and favor that he hath unto the Cite a hoggeshed of Gascoyng wyne and 14 canon lofis agaynst Cristmas."

Ibid., f. 50b, Nov. 14, 1514: "that Sir Thomas Denys, knyght, [Recorder from 1514 to 1544] shall have lyke fee for using of the office of the Recordership as Master Pollarde hadde, that is to saye for the fee of the Recordership 4l. a yere and all other casualties as Master Pollarde hadde.

Sir Robert Cary.

L. 86. Oct. 2, 1582.—Receipt signed "Robt. Cary" for his fee (4 l.).

In L. 89, Oct. 1, 1583, is a similar receipt from Sir Robert Cary for the same amount.


L. 88. Aug. 27, 1583.—The Examynacions taken of sundrye witnesses upon the death of Lewes Glavell of the citie of Exon Tayler.

The following is a summary of the depositions:mdash;

Thomas Predeox of Ashperton, gentleman, examined before the Mayor (Michael Germyn) and Nicholas Martyn, justices, deposed that about seven of the clock at night on Aug. 27, 1583, he was at the Southgate of the city when Lewes Glavell followed him and charged him to have said certain days past that he (Glavell) did smell of ale. P. said that he knew him not, and G. said that P. was a very knave and did strike him with his fist two or three blows and then drew his dagger and again assaulted him. Wherewith P. gave ground, backed and was driven back to the place of one Collyns a cutler, without Southgate, and there was like to be slain by the said G. Then P. took a rusty rapier upon Collyns' stall to defend himself withal. He then gave back again and received divers blows, and went from P. again unto the wall of the late Graye ffreers there by Southgate, and never gave blow to G., but G. did run wilfully upon P.'s rapier, which he had taken from the stall.

Edward Winditt, servant to Richard Collins, cutler, was at work in his master's shop when G. quarrelled with P. After receiving two blows, P., who was in the Inne Syde would have avoided, but could not. P. then told G. that he should be contented, for that was no place to quarrel, but G. still pressed him. P. then caught up the rapier at the stall and said: "Nowe I myghte runne through thee if I wolde," and prayed him to depart. Collins the Cutler then came to part them, but G. still pressed upon P. with his dagger, and therewith wrapped his cloak about his arm ran upon P., and in running fell upon the point of the rapier, which P. then had in his left hand, and so was hurted, and P. took up his cloak and went to his Host's house, which was thereby.

George Patrike, servant to George Scarell, baker, saw the two quarrelling, and G. said to P.: "Thou arte an arrant boye" and that he would make him a boy if he had him in the field, gave him a blow with his fist, and said that if it were not for shame he would draw upon him. G. then drew out his dagger and strake the said P., who stepped upon his cloak, which fell from him, and therewith reached his left hand unto the stall and took a rapier there and holding the same before him said: "Now if I wolde I might strike of thy headd or legges," or such like speeches. G. then bid him to do it if he would. Then Collins (who was an old man of 75) came to part them, and had P. by the arm, but P. being in fear shaked himself from Collins. Then G. ran upon P. to strike him with his dagger, and G. therewith was hurted. P. lept away from him, but G., "fyndinge him selfe to be hurted sayde he was killed."

Charles Holl, cobler, deposed that G. overtook P. and said: "You are a boye and you have geven evell wordes by me, and I will make thee a boye." P. denied this. Then G. pulled P.'s hat over his eyes and played with his nose and gave two blows with his fist to the head. P. then gave him ground towards the cutler's stall. After getting the rapier, P. again gave ground "towardes the ffreers wall," and G. thrusted at P. with his dagger so violently that the witness "supposed the said P. to have been hurted rather than the said Lewes."

Richard Collyns, cutler, deposed to the "sharpe speeches" and the "cople of blowes," &c. When P. got the rapier, he said "This coulde I doe and I wolde," but G. casting his cloak about his arm ran upon the point of the rapier, P. never opposing nor giving any blow, "and so running upon the rapier he was slayne."

John Helier, smith, was at work in his master's shop when he saw the two coming together from Southgate. "and were in greate speeches," heard P. say to G. to get him away, for he had nothing to do with him. Then G. "with his hande strooke the said P.'s nose upward," and gave him a blow upon the face with his fist. In the fight that followed G. pressed upon P. and wrapped his cloak about his arm and aimed to have taken the rapier from him. P. therewith backed and forthwith G. oppressed upon him most eagerly, thinking to have come within him, but he was then and there hurted by P., "and yet in what order or howe he cannot tell."

Then follow the names of the jurors (17 in number), "coram Johi Vowell alias Hoker, generoso coronatore," with their verdict, in which they find that P. acted in self-defence, with the additional particulars that the rapier was of the price of iij s. iiij d., that death was caused by a wound of an inch broad and 6 inches deep under the right breast, and that the fray took place "neere unto a wall there called the freers wall in the Queen's highe Streete next the Southgate of the Citie." At the foot is a note: "Concordant cum originali, Teste me Johanne Hoker, Coronatore."

In Misc. Rolls 2, 39, is a coroner's inquisition (1375) on the death of Cecilia, daughter of Walter Sampford, who was killed by a horse in High Street.

L. 90. May 3, 1584.—Inquisition taken at Exilond before John Vowell alias Hoker (sic), gent., coroner, and a jury of 19, showing that: On Sunday, May 3, 1584, between 12 and 1 of the clock at afternone one John Bedecome of Exylond, feltmaker, and Mathew Abbot of Exylond, feltmaker, servants to John Deymon of Exilond, hatmaker, fell at varyaunce and quarelled for and about the wasshinge and sterchinge of certeyn bandes and ruffes and immedyat apoynted to go yn to the feldes and that John Bedecome forthe toke his rapier and went yn to the feldes thereby named Bonnehay, and likewise M. Abbot toke a staff of 7 foote longe and folowed after yn to the same felde, where they bothe mett together, and the said John havinge his rapier yn his hand drewe the same and ranne upon the said Abbot and thrust him yn to the body under the right breste, and then and there felonously gave him a deadlye wonde of vj. enches deepe and one enche broade, of which wonde the sayde M.A. immediately dyed.

Gilbert Sevell, weaver of Exilond, aged about 26 years, sayeth that on that day as he was walking in the ilond by the water side he over took one John Bedecome, having a rapier with him, and his wife talking together, which said wife was weeping, and requested her said husband to go back again, thereupon G. Sevell perceiving some quarrell towards did likewise request J.B. to returne back and to be quiet, but he said that Abbott had called him knave and said that he doorst not to meet him in the field, and as they were now talking one Mathew Abbot came towards J.B. with a staff 7ft . long, whereupon G. Sevell requested him to go back, but he said that he would first come and talk with the said J.B. J.B. then drew his rapier, and G.S. stood between them, but J.B. said:—By the Lord's wondes stand aside or ells I will runne the through. So G.S. gave place. J.B. pierced Abbot in the right side with the rapier, "and with which stroke the rapier broke a too peces. And forthwith Abbott stroke him with his staff, but being redy to fall he dyd request G.S. to succor him, but he fell down and without any further speche dyed."

Richard Denys of Exilond, tucker, aged 30, deposed that at the time mentioned he was sitting in the street at the door of William Haywode, when M. Abbot passed by him, and not long after J.B. also, the latter having a rapier under his arm. As he passed along he struck Abbot and said unto him: Come on thy way. Witness asked Abbot what was the matter, and he answered it was for washing and sterching of 3 bondes of myn by bedecome's wyf unto whom he offerd iijd., but J.B. would have iiijd., and as because he wold not geve the grote he said bedecome shold call him scabb. Witness willed that J.B. should not go out, but he sayd he wold go and showe himself for as the other wold be so stubborn that there shold be quiet with hym hereafter. Whereupon Abbot sought a staff at his master's house and found one in the shop. When they pressed, the witness parted them, but seeing the blood to gushe out he told Abbot that he was dethe wonded, and without speches after that tyme the said Abbot dyed.

In L. 96 (3 folios), June 5, 1589, is the Deposition of John Fawell, of the city of Exon, victualler, made June 5, 1589, before John Hooker (sic), gent., coroner, and the inquest upon the view of the body of Robert Haymon, lately slain in a street quarrel in Idle Lane.

In L. 98, 1593, in J. Hoker's handwriting, are the depositions of three witnesses, two of whom sign their names and the third is a marksman. They are bound over to give evidence at the next gaol delivery against Nicholas Haynes, who is charged with the murder of John Maunder, who was found in a dying condition in Southgate Street.

John Jones, cordwainer (aged 66), deposed that on Tuesday last in the afternoon he and one Henry Horabin went unto the house of William Corbyn, dwelling in the parish of St. Thomas beyond Exbridge, and there found Nicholas Haynes alias Norden, John Maunder and others, including the goodman of the house and two weavers whom he knoweth not, and they being and drinking together, Haynes and Maunder used much horseplay between them sometimes in and sometimes out, but such was the same that the good man of the house misliked it and willed them to depart and to go out of his house, for he liked not their doing and so they departed and came to the West gate of the city and from thence they went into Ffryers Hayes to the witness' house dwelling within the North gate, being then about 5 of the clock in the afternoon. And when they came into his house the said Maunder called for two pots of ale, and then Haynes and Maunder falling out in their former speeches, H. took up the pot and did hurl it at M.'s head and called him by certain foul names, such as the witness doth not now remember. Then H. drawing out his dagger would have stabbed M., but witness and Horabin took H,'s dagger from him, and M. said: "If you take away his dagger then here is mine also, for I owe him no more ill will than to my own body," and thereto delivered his dagger to the maid there standing in the chimney; and the witness desired them to depart out of the house, and desired - Horabin to carry H. away, for said he: "I am bound in recognisance and you will seek my undoing." And so they two departed, but M. stayed some quarter of one hour doubting lest some warrant had been made for the arresting of him at the suit of one Palmer, a shuttlemaker, dwelling in the Northgate St. And more the witness cannot say.

William Southmead, of the parish of St. Thomas, tailor, was at the house of William Corbyn on Tuesday, Jan. 24th, when there came in Nicholas Haynis, hatmaker, and John Maunder, sleamaker, and others. H. pulled down M.'s hat from his head and did cast it upon the ground and trod upon it, and then going into the parlor they called for a fagot and for drink and there sitting together about the space of two hours, they fooled and cast drink one over another and used many such drunken parts, wherewith the company was aggrieved, and there also H. took M.'s hat from his head and threw it into the fire. Then M. being grieved therewith said unto him: "If thou have any quarrel with me meet me at any time here to-morrow— for if we should happen to meet now men would think that we were drunk." and with other such speeches. Then from thence they departed, and when they came to the Westgate they went to the house of one John Jones without Northgate; but witness leaving them at Westgate went about his business. And afterwards he came also to Jones' house a little before they came away, where he heard H. call M. rogue and he called him again: "Oxenhead." Then said H.: "These words are enough, if I had thee in place where to stab thee," whereupon H. Horabyn departed thence, but M. stayed behind, and after requested witness, because he said he stood in doubt of H. they would bring him home, and so shortly after they departed from Jones' house and went home to M.'s and being come thither they knocked to the door but could not come in. Then M. said: "Come let us go over to my neighbour Nicholas his house," for both their houses stand one against the other. So he went over, but witness stayed knocking at M.'s door, and then standing there did hear M. call to H. and said: "Neighbour Nicholas, a can of beer, boys," and so entered in within the foredoor. Immediately he heard a sword flincke, where-with M. would have returned, but the door fell close after him and immediately he cried out: "O Lord, I am killed," and then cried again "O Lord, I would my wife were here that I might kiss her before I die." Then the witness stood knocking at the door until M.'s wife came out with a candle in her hand, and he willed her to go over to her husband, "for (quoth he) I think he be killed." So she went over and witness followed her, and as soon as she was entered in the door she cried out: "O Lord, who hath hurt my husband ?" With that he cried and said unto his wife: "O Lord, wife come kiss before I die." With that she kissed him, and he whispered unto her, witness knoweth not what, and brought him home, and as soon as he was within the door he fell down dead.

John Bawdon (or Bodon), about 8 o'clock on Tuesday last, was coming from the house of my lord the Bishop into Southgate Street, when he heard a great russhling in the entrie of H.'s house, and that M. cried out: "O Lord, I am slain." Witness asked of him who had slain him. He answered: "Nicholas Norden—For goodes sake let me speak with my wife before I die." And forthwith his wife being called, came unto him, and then M. said unto her: "O Lord, wife, I am slain." Quoth she: "Who did it ?" "Nicholas Norden," said he. "O Lord," said she, "where he dyd." Then said he: "O Lord, wife, let me kiss thee ere I die," which when he did they carried him home, and there in his entry he fell down dead. And further the witness saith that at his first coming into Norden's entry he saw it full of blood, but he saw no dagger, which M. had.

L. 101, April 9, 1599, contains the Examinations of Thomas Griffene, wife of William Griffene (taylor) and others concerning the death of Wilmotte Hooper, which took place on Jan. 25, 1599. According to this evidence, Richard Darte deposed that on Monday last about the Sessions week after Christmas, he went to see Wilmotte, who was sick in the house of Margaret Alye. He asked Wilmotte how she did, and she said that she was very ill. He said: Where with ? And she answered that her master and mistress had beaten her, which was the cause thereof. Then he said: Do you say not anything but the truth ? And she answered: I will tell you the truth, and whereupon it was. And she said: I was making of my master and mistress' bedde, and my mistress was in the chamber by trimmynge of herselfe, and her master came up on the steores and sayed unto his wiffe: Whie maye not wee rewarde our mayde as Griffyne rewarded his mayde ? And Wilmotte sayed I thincke there is not any master or mistress that will beate there servaunte without a cause, and herewith her mistress dyd come rounde and with a waund dyd geve her aboute lx. strypes, and assone as she had done her master gave her so many also.

L. 145, Jan. 26, 1612, contains deposicions and examynacions of witnesses taken the 26th daie of Januaraie, being Sondaie before William Martyn, (fn. 22) Esquyer, Recorder of the Cyttye of Exon, and William Tyckell [or Tickhill, Chamberlain from Sept. 15, 1601, to June 7, 1613], gentleman, Coroner of the countye of the same cyttye, anno regis Jacobi 9°, as to the murder of Mr. William Peters [or Peter] of Whipton House, by Edward Drew of Fullarton, in the parish of Broad Clyst. For a summary of these proceedings, see Worthy, Suburbs, pp. 12–14, where the papers are said to be "very voluminous." They cover 11 ff.

L. 225, June 26, 1622, contains depositions concerning a dispute in Southernhay arising from a dispute of two rival archers as to who hit the mark and took the prize.

L. 568, Sept. 17, 1707, has inquisition concerning Treasure Trove found in the Dung Court in the parish of St. Sidwells, viz. old gold and silver coins and plate to the value of 23l.

Letter of Sir John Popham.

L. 92. July 27, 1587.—Holograph letter of Sir John Popham [Attorney General] to Thomas Chappell, the Mayor, respecting the suit between Trosse and Levermore, (fn. 23) which appears to have gone against Levermore through partiality of the jurors. He intercedes for Mrs. Levermore, and suggests a compromise. "Yf you shall see and suffer the jurors of your Cyty thus to pass agaynst all treuth and agaynst your and their own consciences and trwthes you can but kepe Godes wrath upon Your cyty.—Your lovyng ffrend, J. Popham."

Joachim Porsel.

L. 94. Feb. 15, 1584 [received March 11, 1584].—The Lords of the Council write to the Mayor respecting the robbery of Joachim Porsel, master of the hulk called the Jonker of Dansk, taken and brought into Plymouth on his journey from London towards the said porte. In his lodging at the Inn called the Sea Horse in that town there was imbeseled from the said John by the hosteler of the said Inn 45l. 5s. 0d. in gould, of which 23l. had been recovered, and that the ostler hath confessyd onely of thembeselinge of 23l., which is now in your custodie, and that there is verie great presumption that the rest came to his hands or knowledge. With signatures of Christopher Hatton, Francis Walsingham, J. Hunsden, J. Buckhurst, J. Fortescue, J. Wolley, T. Perrot, T. Heneage.

The Armada.

L. 95. The Court at Somerset House, Nov. 26, 1588.—Sir Francis Walsingham writes to the Mayor and Aldermen of Exeter:—"After my hertie comendacions whereas I am geven to understand that at such time as ther was order geven (fn. 24) this last sommer for the settinge fourthe of certain shippes out of your Citie yt appeirethe that emongst others you tooke a man of warre, beinge a shippe appertayning unto Mr. George Rawley, (fn. 25) making agreement with him for the furnishing and setting of her fourthe for her Majesties service, but now that the said Mr. Rawley demaundethe satisfaction from you for the said composicion which you made with him for the said shippe, you refuse to yeld him that contentment which ys dew unto him in that behalfe ffor as much as the matter ys so reasonable which he claymethe of you and that I have staied him from acquaynting their Lordships with your slacknes herein upon the perswation I have that this my own letter shall sufficientlie prevaile with you without occasioning him to use any furthur sute, which would be to your molestacion. I shall therfore praie you to consult together and take order emongst yourselfs that the seut maie (sic) aunswered of so muche as you have promised to yeld unto him without any more delaye. And so I bid you hartelie farewell.—Your loving frende, Fra. Walsingham." Endorsed : Recd. this Letter by hands of John Dyer, the xviijth of December, 1588.

In Act Book, IV., f. 285b, June 17, 1588, it is agreed that Mr. Herte (see p. 78) shall deale with Mr. Secretarie Walsingham concerninge a new supplie to be made of a new victualinge required by the Lord Admyrall his letters.

In Act Book, IV, f. 288, July 3, 1588, the Chamber agree : that where there was provyded at the charge of the cytie a good Quantitie of Rye for the provysion of the Cytie for sundrye causes as well for doubte of Invasion of the Enemyes as also for to beate downe the pryse of corne and now the same rye is to be despatched awaye and newe to be taken in yf nede require and shalbe thought necessarie. That therefore the order and disposition of the said corne and dyspatche shalbe referred to the discrecion of Mr. Maior, Mr. Nicholas Martyn, Mr. Prouze and Mr. Thomas. The same to be done with as much convenient spede as may be.


In Book 55, f. 181, London, June 6, 1589, Thomas Raindolls, Controller and Master of her Majesty's Posts, writes to the Chamber:—

"After my very hartye comendations. The lordes of her Maiestyes most honorabell privye Counsell being geven to understande of the greate abuses dailey comitted by sondrye rydinge in poste in the Countereys and places as they passe betwene the courte and Plimouthe contrarey to her maiestyes gracious pleasure that tendereth no thinge elsse then the disquietinge and evell usinge of her lovinge subiectes, have thoughte it good in their wisdomes to beethinke them of the beste and rediest meanes and howe to meete with theis disorders and there uppon directinge their letters unto mee the master of her maiestyes postes have willed mee to signifie unto all the magistrates and speciall officers of the Townes where heretofore Postes have been layde westwarde, and the Justices of the Peace next adioyninge. That wheras the postes or parties rydinge in poste have usuallye payde unto after the rate of one peny the myle, sometymes lesse and at the moste bute three halfe pence, and wilfullye taken mens horses forther then a due stage, charginge them with cariges and burdens verey unreasonable: Nowe from hencefourthe after the recepte of this letter it shalbe lawfull for the parties whose horses shalbe taken to ryde in poste to demaunde and take of the ryder after the rate of twoo pence the myle for everye horse and the same to aske and receve at the firste delyvery of his horse, who also shall bee rydden forther then the next appointed stage, nor carey aney burden besydes the Ryder that shall exced the waighte of fortie powndes withoute the hyers (sic) or owners good lyckinge and consent, any Orders or ordinaunces imprinted or sett downe by ther lordshippes heretofore not with standinge. This being their lordshippes pleasure and honorable meaninge for the relefe of the countrie for the presente untill her Maiestye maye convenientlye bee movied for some allowaunce of wages by the daye and so signified unto mee I have thoughte it expedient to certefye the same unto youe and everye of youe whome it shall concerne and with all in their lordshippes name to requier youe that Order bee foorthwith taken in your severall Townes or villages that some discreete and able personne bee appointed to attend the service, assisted and releved by youe and the voluntary contribution of the Counterey next youe as to his travell and the necessetye of the service shalbe founde expedient. And uppon aney disorder herin offered or arisinge to take the advice and assistaunce of the Justices of the Peace next adioyninge, by whom ther lordshippes pleasure is that your endevors shalbe speciallye favored and fortheride as need shall requier. London, this vith of June, 1589.—Your very lovinge ffrende, Thomas Raindolls, Controwler and Master of her Maiestyes Postes."

Places heretofore allowed and nowe also appoynted for ordinary Stages for Postes layde towardes Plimouthe, viz. :— London : 15, Stanes ; 16, Hartford bridge ; 8, Basingstocke ; 15, Andivor, 15, Sailsburye ; 18, Shaftesburye ; 12, Shirborne ; 12, Crookhorne ; 15, Honyton ; 13, Exeter ; 16, Ashburton ; 18, Plimouth.

L. 329. Whitehall, Nov. 21, 1629.—The Lords of the Council write to the Lord Mayor of London and the Mayors of Salisbury, Exeter and Plymouth. Whereas his Maiesties posts of the Westerne Stages from London to Plymouth have propounded unto us [see Cal. Dom., 1629–1631, p. 199] that for the better dispatch both of his Maiesties service and the common good of others they would undertake the speedye dispatch of all privat letters weakly from London to Plymouth and from Plymouth to London, besydes the faithfull delivery of all Letters and Dispatches of other business upon the road and 20 myles out of the road if neede shall requier; And to provide post horses for all that will ryde with the Letters for single post paye from stage to stage (viz.) for twod. ob. the myle without further charge except 4d. to the guide for returne of his horse. Which course for the reasones aforesaid wee doe very well approve of. And therefore for their better encouragement and cheerfull p'ceedings in the operation of their said undertakinge wee doe hartely intreat the Lord Mayor of London and the Maiors of Salisburye, Exeter and Plymouth and every of them and all others whom it may concerne (and the rather for that by this course the said posts shall be the better enabled to p'forme his Maiesties service), not only to p'mitt and suffer the said posts and their agents from hencefourth to Imploye and address them selves to the p'formance and operation of the service aforesaid without any of your oppositions or contradictions, but allso to countenance and encourage them therein and to be assistinge unto them as occasion shall requier for the furtherance of the said service, and so not doubting, &c.

Maimed Soldiers.

L. 99. Greenwich, Aug. 20, 1594.—The Lords of the Council command the Mayor to relieve the bearer, William Prigs, a native of Exeter, who has done good service and received "hurts and maimes" in the Queen's service in the wars of France and the Low Countries and elsewhere, on the certificate of Sir Roger Williams and others as to his good service. With signatures of W. Burghley, the Earl of Essex [Robert Devereux], Howard [i.e. Charles Lord Howard of Effingham], Robert Cecyll [son of William Lord Burghley], J. Wolley, J. Buckehurst, W. Cobham, and H. Fletcher [? as secretary apart from the others].

In L. 121, Whitehall, May 31, 1607, the Lords of the Council command the Mayor &c. to pay to Margaret Harrys, late wife of John Harrys, deceased, the arrears of three years' pension of four marks yearly due at the time of his death, to the said Harrys (as a maimed soldier) out of the City of Exeter, which had not been claimed by him because he was sick in London.

In L. 122, Sept. 8, 1607, is a certificate of the death of the said Harrys at Newington, Surrey, on Lady Day last past.

Dearth of Corn.

L. 100. Columb John, March 5, 1595.—John Aclande writes to the Mayor &c.:—"After my harty commendacions &c. Whereas you write unto me that there is not sufficyent care taken accordinge to Her Majesties and her most honnorable privie counceylls directions (fn. 26) for provision of convenient store of corne for your marcketts of Exon by meanes whereof they are lately risen vjd. or viijd. in a boshell, and yett not sufficyent brought in to serve your torne and therefore doe request me to see redresse thereof to be made with all convenient speed. Trewly I am verry sorry that yt so falleth out and muste excuse myselfe therein for that my occasyions have lately beene suche at Londone as I have not at all by meanes of my absence intermelled with those services, but am and wilbe allwaies redy to yeald my beste and uttermost endevoure to procure your marcketts to be throughly served as appertaineth and to doe your cyty any further good I cane, but you knowe this matter lyeth not in me alone, which yf yt did I woulde I ashewre you verry redily see yt reformed, and will uppon Sunday next, God willinge, be at Exeter in the morninge purposely to conferr with Sir Thomas Dennys and some other justices of peace of these partes for some speedy redresse to be taken therein. And soe with my verry harty commendacions doe leave you to God: from Collom Jhon, &c.— Your frinde ashewred to use, John Aclande.

Good Mr. Maior, I cannot but yealde you verry harty thannks for dealinge so well and consyonably with my neighboures your tenants, for which noe doubte God will reward you.

I learne by Bennett that in the note I sente you I sett downe for his office but xxxli., which I ashewre you was by me mistaken, for I mente to have written xxxvli. as the trewth was."

For "the severall accomptes of the Rye solde at St. John's," see Hooker's List, No. 40.

In D. 1710, 1711, Nov. 4, 1608, the Chamber enters into a contract with Simon Leach for the supply of 4,000 bushels of "sweete, good, holsome and marchantable rye" at 5s. 3d. a bushel, for the relief of the poor of the city.

In L. 133 (undated) (? 1609), is a notice from the Chamber desiring subscriptions of French rye and corn for the relief of the poor on account of the scarcity of corn.

L. 132, Jan. 31, 1610, contains a proclamation sent from the Lords of the Council to the Mayor &c., to prevent the making of "soe needles a commodite as starch" because it increases the scarcity of corn.

In L. 284, Collumpton, Oct. 5, 1625, Dr. Bartholomew Goche sends 20l. to the Mayor for the relief of the poor distresed people of Exeter. "Receive yt I beseech you from him that will ever wish well to your town and Rest your loving poore frend, Bar. Goche."

In L. 333, Whitehall, June 13, 1630, the Lords of the Council, on account of the scarcity of corn, command the Mayor, &c., to prohibit the exportation of it, to limit the amount to be made into malt, to suppress the unnecessary number of alehouses, to put in execution the laws against brewing of strong ale in Alehouses, against Ingrossers and Forestallers of corn, &c. [See Cal. Dom., 1629–1631, p. 281; Rymer, VIII, iii., 106; Izacke, 153.]

In D. 1757, March 20, 1640, the Chamber agree to spend 200l. to provide "Seacole" for the poor of the city.

Poor Prisoners.

L. 102, Nov. 18, 1599, has a receipt for 20s. by the hands of John Martyn for the Tresorers of the poor of the Cytie for "one yeres exhybycon collected towards the releefe of the poor prisoners in her Majesties benche and Marshalsey ended at Michaelmas last. Signed, J. Popham." [See L. 92. p. 63.] (fn. 27)


L. 104. Undated [? circ. 1599].—Petition of the inhabitants and freemen of Exeter to the Chamber complaining that foreigners inhabitants in Powderham, Dawlish, Exmouth, Kenton, Toppisham and other places intrude upon them bringing salt to the city by land from the said places and" selle the same before our owne dores in greate vessells and bagges, allurynge and callyng our customes from us, saying they will selle better cheape then ourselves." The petitioners pray that salt shall only be brought to the city by water, and that if foreigners are allowed to "intrude upon us" they may have a place set apart for them and be compelled to use measures.

In L. 386 (undated, ? circ. 1640), the freemen of Exeter petition the Chamber that foreigners may be prevented from selling by retail in the city, and suggest (in L. 387), that "the hygher roome of Sent Johns be ordenyd to be a store as a roome annyxt unto the New In halle (see L. 147), to reseve all wols brought unto thys Cyttaye by foreners."

In L. 385, Nov. 17, 1640, the apprentices of Exeter complain to the Chamber that persons who serve no apprenticeship are made free of the city and that they are much injured by that custom. "Whereas an Apprentice is to serve 8 or 9 years, and some more, for the havinge of that liberty and freedom, others are taken in for a small some of money or for favor and made free and thereby bereave us of our Trades and priviledges."

In L. 441 (undated, ? 1674), the Freemen, "many of them by longe and harde Apprenticeshipps, others with their moneys, have dearly purchased the freedom of this oure famous Citty," petition against foreigners being allowed to keep shops in the city.

For bye-laws (1686), respecting the punishment of foreigners residing in the city, see Miscellaneous Papers.

In L. 519 (? circ. 1750), the incorporated Butchers of Exeter petition the Chamber that foreign butchers shall be limited to their accustomed hours.

In L. 543 (dated Bristol, July 21, 1701), Matthew Brickdat forwards to Mr. William Williams a note as to the mode of procedure at Bristol in foreign attachments.

In Misc. Rolls 2 (47) is a verdict that it is lawful for foreigners, to sell "alea et cepe," in houses and outside. Also an order [ibid. 2, (48)], that free butchers being partners with foreign butchers are to pay custom.

Vagabonds, Carriers, &c.

L. 105 (temp. Elizabeth).—Fragment (much torn) of a printed order of the Lord Mayor of London requiring "all vagabondes, sturdy beggars, idle persones, masterles men (fn. 28) and roges of what kynde, age or sorte soever they be" to departe the city within 8 days, also forbidding carriers (fn. 29) to bring "any boyes, maydes, children, lame, poore in" and leave them within the city being unprovided for, and that sand of the river is at least as good for building as any sand of the field or other sand.

D. 1655, April 27, 1590, contains a licence from the Mayor and Justices of the Peace to all Justices, Mayors, Sheriffs &c. for one Thomas Tyrrell of Exeter, "beinge a man of honest conversacion and livinge and who dothe daylye furnishe the marquettes here to be a common drover, badger, kydder, carier and transporter of butter and cheese in such sheres, counties and places where it hath been wonte yn tymes paste.

In L. 552, dated Hawker's Office, Sept. 9, 1765, A. Cracherod (fn. 30) writes to Thomas Hayman, esquire, concerning Hawkers' Licences.

City Mills.

L. 106. July 14, 1600.—Anthony Coplestone writes to the Mayor concerning a dispute respecting the water not being permitted to pass Pyne's Mills in sufficient quantity to turn Duryard Mills and attacking the millers of Pyne's Mills within the City of Exeter. Signed, "Your neighbour Christian Brother Anthony Copleston."

In L. 173, Feb. 3, 1616, John Martin [the Chamberlain] informs William Martin [the Recorder] that "our cause against Coplestone is not yet heard."

In L. 415, Dec. 3, 1657, is a receipt by John Copleston from the Chamber for 4 s., the rent of a tenement called Glosseford in Upton Pyne.

In D. 1702, 1703, 1704 is an award, March 30, 1606, in a dispute between the Mayor &c. and certain tenants, farmers and occupiers of the city's "Gryst, Tuckinge and fulling mills" in the parishes of St. Mary Steps and St. Edmunds without the Westgate, chiefly relating to tenants of the Bonhay [see L. 90, p. 59], allowing sufficient water to pass their mill to turn the other mills.

In D. 1585, Oct. 10, 1577, is a lease from the Mayor &c. to Sir Robert Denys, Knight, for 21 years, of two grist mills and one malt mill called the "Bonhaye mylles" and a moiety of the pasture of the Bonhay provided that the lessee shall not hinder persons from fishing or washing clothes or walking or taking recreation on the Bonhay.

In D. 1794, Dec. 18, 1694, is a 99 years' lease of the Bonhay Mills determinable on certain lives.

In D. 1843, March 5, 1758, is a surrender of the Bonhay Mills to the Chamber by Lady Frances Chichester.

In D. 1752, is a lease Dec. 22, 1632, from the Mayor &c. of four grist mills, a malt mill and [eight (see Report on Charities, p. 42)] fulling mills called Duryurd Mills. For subsequent leases of Duryurd Mills, see D. 1778 (Oct. 21, 1673); D. 1795 (April 16, 1695).

For yearly Accounts of the Bailiffs of the Manor of Duriurd from A.D. 1368 to 1724, see Duriund Accounts. For a Book of the Court Rolls of Duryurd Manor, A.D. 1620 to 1697, see Book 182.

In Misc. Rolls 2 (37), Sept. 29, 1276, are memoranda of a lease of the manor of Duryurd, Cowley and Goseforde to Alured le la Porte for 10 years at a rental of 20l.

In D. 1374, April 13, 1511, is a composition between the Mayor and the Wardens of the Exebridge and Robert ap Howell, Rector of St. Mary Steps, "for the tithinge of the Tucking Mills" [alias "a fulling mill next Crekelpyt mill"], whereby the tenant of the mill is to pay 5d. p.a. in lieu of tithe. For the token mylles new buylded without the west gate without the Citie at the Crekepytt mylles, Dec. 12, 1559, see Devon. Assoc. Trans., xliv, 217.

In L. 1772, June 24, 1659, is a lease of Crikellpitt Mills granted by the Mayor, Bailiffs and Commonalty. Similarly D. 1842 (June 28th, 1755); D. 1844 (Aug. 18, 1760).

In D. 1808, April 3, 1705, is a lease of six fulling or tucking mills with three wheels and six stocks near the west gate towards Crikel Pitt Mills.

In D. 1335, Sept. 10, 1500, the City's mill is called "Crekilpytt Mille," and in the same document is a mention of the fulling mill of Edward Earl of Devon.

In D. 1780, April 1, 1679, is a lease of fulling mills near Crikellpitt Mills granted by the Mayor &c; also similarly in D. 1783 (May 22, 1683); D. 1810 (April 3, 1705). Also of tucking mills below Crikelpit Mills in D. 1766 (Feb. 24, 1651). Also of fulling mills adjoining Headwere Mills in D. 1829 (June 2, 1727). Also of the Cuckingstole (fn. 31) Mills in D. 1771 (May 12, 1659); D. 1836, 1837 to a fuller (Sept. 11, 1733); D. 1841 (March 16, 1704); D. 1850 (Nov. 16, 1785); D. 1852 (Jan. 23, 1798). For agreement for rebuilding the Cuckingstool Mills, with plan, see D. 1849 (June 7, 1785).

In L. 411, Dec. 10, 1652, John Butler desires the Chamber to repay him 20l. lent to them in 1644, when he was a member of the Chamber (fn. 32) and asks that it may be set off against the high rent of New Mills due from him. For memoranda concerning lease of a mill belonging to the Chamber, Jan. 11, 1551, see Act Book, II, f. 194.

In Act Book, IX, f. 87b, Jan. 27, 1652, it is ordered that the mills called Taylor's Mills be forthwith sold for the payment and discharge of the extent laid upon the city's lands for the debt due to Mr. Rowe and his partners.


  • 1. * Son of Sir Thomas Denys [see L. 3], who died Feb. 18, 1561.
  • 2. † He was elected sword-bearer Sept. 30, 1567. Oliver, 244.
  • 3. ‡ For Isaac Mawdit, who was Mayor in 1673, 1681, see p. 19.
  • 4. * It was made part of the City of Exeter by Act of Parliament in 2 Edward VI (1548); Book 51, f. 123b; Charter XXXV; Cal. Dom., 1603–1604, p. 651. Not 4 Edward VI (1550), as Oliver, 269; Freeman, 118.
  • 5. * The three latter were Commissioners in 1561. Strype, Ann., i, 411.
  • 6. † Or Argenton in reply on dorse. He was also calles Sexten. D.N.B., ii, 80.
  • 7. ‡ Granted to him for life in 1574. Freeman, 120.
  • 8. * For order (1634 ?) of Charles I that the cloth market shall in future be settled in Southgate Street, see Cal. Dom., 1634–5, p. 425.
  • 9. * Recorder, 1563–1576. M.P. for Exeter in Parliament, 5 Elizabeth, from Jan. 11, 1563, to Jan. 2, 1567. He received an annuity of 20 marks from the city in 1564. Izacke, 132. For his instructions dated Jan. 1563, see Devon. Assoc. Transactions, xliv, 213.
  • 10. † It was introduced in the Lords on Feb. 22, 1563, passed second reading March 4 and conclusa March 16, 1563. Lords Journals, i, 594, 603, 604. It was read in the Commons, March 18, 20, 1563. Journals of Commons. i, 69.
  • 11. ‡ See Charter XXXVII, confirmed by Act of Parliament, 5 Elizabeth, see Letters Patent, May 3, 1563; Oliver, p. 287.
  • 12. § Added subsequently in a blank space.
  • 13. * i.e. William Paulet, Marquis of Winchester, since Jan. 21, 1559. See L. 36, page 35.
  • 14. * i.e. since 1559. Complete Peerage, iv, 261.
  • 15. † Granted in 1564 in remuneratione servitii. Izacke, 132; Jenkins, 124; Freeman, 120.
  • 16. ‡ He was the author of Lives of the Kings of England, published at Exeter in 1615.
  • 17. * Called "J. Denham, kt., one of the Barons of his Majesty's Courte of Exchequer" in L. 362, May 31, 1634.
  • 18. † i.e. Nicholas Duck, died Aug. 28, 1628.
  • 19. ‡ He was appointed Recorder Aug. 21, 1632, and died in 1680. Oliver, 236.
  • 20. § i.e. from 1442 to 1454. Radford, p. 9; not 1453, as Oliver, 235.
  • 21. ‖ i.e. Lewis Pollard, Recorder. Oliver, 236.
  • 22. * See page 55.
  • 23. * i.e. The widow of Morris Levermore, who was Mayor in 1564, or possibly John Levermore, who was Governor of the Merchant Adventurers Society in 1582.
  • 24. † For order (April 1, 1588) to Exeter and Topsham to furnish three ships (or two—Ibid, p. 112) and one pinnace to repaire to Sir Francis Drake at Plimmouth by April 25, see Acts of Privy Council, XVI, 9, to which Exeter pleaded "wante of sufficient habilytye to yeild such contribucions for the provision and furniture of the said shippes and pinnaces," Ibid, XVI, 55 (May 9, 1588), though by April 11, 1588, they had furnished one ship and one pinnace (Cal. Dom., 1581–1590, p. 475). and on July 16, 1588, the Mayor, John Periam, urged that the charge might be lessened—(Ibid, p. 503). For Exeter's contribution see fly-leaf in Act Book, V, with particulars of the arming of the Bartholomew, the Rose and the Guise, in Book 55, f. 179b; also Devon. Assoc. Trans., xliv, 218.
  • 25. * He was the eldest brother of Sir Walter Raleigh. Brushfield, Raleghana, 14.
  • 26. * i.e. in 1594. See Acts of Privy Council, XXV, pp. 8, 26.
  • 27. * For Commissioners for poor prisoners, April 27, 1598, see Acts of Privy Council, XXXVIII, 423. For letters from the Council on behalf of prisoners for debt, April 9, June 10, 19, 1600, see Ibid, XXX, 240, 371, 392. For gifts of Laurence Seldom under his will in 1598 to poor people in the prisons of the city and castle of Exeter, see Report on Charities, p. 302.
  • 28. * This phrase does not occur in the Statutes of 1547, 1572 or 1598. Stat., IV, 7, 593, 899.
  • 29. † See Stat., IV, 149.
  • 30. * i.e. Anthony Cracherode, Solicitor to the Commissioners of Hawkers and Pedlars. Treasury Papers, 1742–1745, p. 49.
  • 31. * In Exeter the Cuckingstool (see Devon. Assoc. Trans., xliv, 222) was a "Skelvingstool," see Wright, 315, who quotes from Receiver's Account, 1357, i.e. 20d. paid for making "one skylving stool" and 8d. for conveying it to Crollediche.
  • 32. † He was a bailiff in 1640. Izacke, 156.