Offences and offenders

Pages 264-270

Analytical Index to the Series of Records Known as the Remembrancia 1579-1664. Originally published by EJ Francis, London, 1878.

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Offences and Offenders.

I. 4. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor, authorizing him to release Robert Arther, adjudged by the Court of the Star Chamber, for certain lewd misdemeanors, to stand upon the pillory and afterwards committed to Newgate, where he had been for six months, if it should appear that he had sustained such punishment as was ordered by the Court, and upon his giving bond for his good behaviour.
29th April, 1580.

I. 5. Letter from the Lord Mayor, in reply, stating that the prisoner had only served three months, and desiring to know if it was the Council's pleasure to remit his further punishment, and whether the Order of the High Commissioners for his deprivation from the ministry should be carried out.
5th May, 1580.

I. 47. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Treasurer, on having, in conjunction with the Recorder, examined into the allegation made against a Frenchman, a servant of the Duke of Anjou, for using certain words against Her Majesty, and reporting their opinion that the testimony could not be relied upon.
28th June, 1580.

I. 79. Letter from the Lord Mayor to Sir George Carey, (fn. 1) bringing to his notice the complaint made against his servant, Lucas, for using abusive and threatening words towards Robert Winch, Treasurer of Bridewell, and requesting him to take steps to prevent the repetition of such conduct; likewise informing him that his servant, Gold, who had been permitted to lodge in Bridewell, had so conducted himself against the City, that he would not be suffered to remain there. The Court of Aldermen had been informed of his intention to make a request for a part of that house for himself. It was the intention of the City to employ the place for the stowage of corn and other such public uses.
14th January, 1579.

I. 80. Letter from Sir George Carey to the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen, in reply, denying the imputations made against his servants, and alleging that the Treasurer was a person unworthy of credit. It had not been his intention to request a part of Bridewell for himself, but for a friend who had intended to pay for the same.
Somerset House, 15th January, 1579.

I. 100. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council, respecting a suit brought against William Belfeld, a constable. The Court of Aldermen found, upon investigation, that he had only done his duty, and that he was known as an upright and discreet man. It had become the common practice of late to vex these officers by suits and charges, to their great discouragement. The Lord Mayor requested that order might be taken to stay such proceedings.
12th May, 1580.

I. 130. Letter from William Lord Burghley to the Sheriffs of the City of London, stating that he had received information of the great increase in the number of needy persons carrying on lewd practices in the City, enticing, alluring, and concealing Apprentices, not only to lewd life, but also to rob their masters; and requesting that some steps might be taken to punish the malefactors, until a law could be passed for their reformation.
Theobalds, 11th September, 1580.

I. 137. Letter from Mr. Valentine Dale, one of the Masters of the Court of Requests, to the Lord Mayor, stating that the wife of John Hollingshed had petitioned the Queen to grant a reprieve and pardon to her husband, a condemned felon; and directing his execution to be stayed, and a full account of his behaviour and offence to be forwarded to Her Majesty.
19th September, 1580.

I. 138. Letter from the Lord Mayor to Mr. Dale, in reply. He had called before him the officers of Newgate, who stated that Hollingshed had been for a long time a common and notorious thief. This was the fourth time he had been in Newgate for felonies. Upon the last occasion he had been branded with the letter T.
22nd September, 1580.

I. 139. Copies of the several convictions appended to the above letter.

I. 206. Letter from Sir James Croft, Comptroller of the Household, to Mr. William Fleetwood, Serjeant-at-Law, Recorder of the City, requesting him to examine the case of one Gerye, a Woodmonger, who, with others, had been committed to prison for some breach of order; to hear what he could say for himself, and if he could, with reason and conscience, assist him.
1st June, 1581.

I. 207. Letter from Thomas Wylkes to the Lord Mayor, stating that one Beseley, a Woodmonger, had been committed to prison and fined for having transgressed the ordinance for the sale of wood within the City; and requesting that, this being his first offence, his Lordship would, if consistent with his duty, remit the fine, upon his submission, and accept the punishment he had already received in prison as sufficient for his fault.
2nd June, 1581.

I. 268. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Chancellor, informing him that Mr. Reekes, servant to Sir Edward Horsey, (fn. 2) had stated that the Lord Chancellor desired the Lord Mayor and Mr. Norton to examine into the matter for which Roger Richardson had been committed to ward, and certify the same to him. They had accordingly done so, and enclosed certificate; at the same time they requested the Lord Chancellor, if he could in justice do so, to pardon the prisoner, a poor Citizen, and confessed by Reekes to be innocent.
22nd September, 1581.

I. 271. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Chancellor, informing him that the wife of Roger Richardson, a prisoner committed touching the erasure of letters patent for retailing of wine, had made several suits to him to consider his case, and upon examination it appeared that he was innocent. His neighbours being willing to be securities for him, the Lord Mayor requested to know whether he might take bail for his appearance when called upon.
28th September, 1581.

I. 272. Letter from Sir Thomas Bromley, Lord Chancellor, to the Lord Mayor, consenting that Richardson might be admitted to bail upon sufficient bonds.
Weildhall, Essex, 30th September, 1581.

I. 318. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor, stating they had been lately informed that a gentlewoman of good birth and alliance, Mrs. Moodey, had, upon some suspicion of illbehaviour, been committed to the Compter, and from thence removed to Bridewell. Some of her friends had caused her to be rescued by the way, in which attempt one of the beadles was casually slain. The Council requested an inquiry into the whole case to be made; and if it should appear that she had not been a party to the officer's death, she should be set at liberty.
6th April, 1582.

I. 351. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council, in reply. They had been misinformed of her faults. Whatever had been stated in her excuse touching her privity to the rescue, whereupon the murder of Manstanter ensued, that she could not know of it by reason of her close imprisonment, had been stated rather to move their compassion than for matter of truth. The poor woman, the wife of the man that had been killed, having lost her husband, and the means of her sustenance, desired justice against this woman. Before the receipt of their letter, steps had been taken to release her upon reasonable security being given for her appearance to answer the charge: her enlargement, however, had been stayed until the Council's further pleasure had been ascertained.
13th April, 1582.

I. 539. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council, informing them that, in accordance with their directions touching the vile speeches of Andrew Abraham, the Scottish man, and the circumstances thereof, he had caused the offender to be duly examined, and had found him sane. He alleged in excuse that he had been drunk at the time, and denied all knowledge of speaking the words. The letter details the results of the further examination of the prisoner and sundry witnesses, and requests the directions of the Council in the matter.
9th August, 1583.

I. 624. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council, stating that, upon the receipt of their commands, he had caused the Sheriffs forthwith to repair to the house of John Woulters, a stranger, to arrest him; but, after diligent search, they failed to discover his whereabouts. They had sealed up the door of his counting-house, and other places where any writings were likely to be concealed, and requested further directions from the Council.
9th January, 1592.

I. 627. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council, informing them that he had received a letter from Mr. D. Stanhope, with copy of another sent to him from the Council, touching Henry Huntley, presented by the Wardmote Inquest to the Alderman of his Ward, for suspicion of incontinent life. He accused the magistrates of partial and unjust dealings towards him. He was unknown to them, and even to the Alderman of the Ward. At the Council's suggestion, however, the whole matter had been referred to the consideration of Mr. D. Stanhope.
17th January, 1592.

I. 660. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Chamberlain, informing him that he had received a complaint, a copy of which he enclosed, made by the inhabitants of Fetter Lane, against John Allen, for disorders committed within his house. For example sake and the protection of his neighbours, it was intended to proceed against him for reformation of the abuses complained of.
25th May, 1592.

III. 12. Letter from the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen to the Lords of the Council, reporting the conduct of John Harman, one of the King's servants, who, upon being called upon by the collectors of the Subsidy for payment of the sum assessed upon him, treated them with scorn, and alleged that he was assessed at Court and in Oxfordshire. On being sent for by the Lord Mayor, he treated him with contempt, and put on this hat; the Lord Mayor, upon his alleging that he was the King's servant, and was going to Court to attend his place, forbore to do anything but admonish him. The Court of Aldermen, having heard the witnesses on oath, thought it right to report the matter to the Council, and leave the determination of it to their grave and approved wisdoms.
21st May, 1611.

Note in margin.— "This gentleman was first committed to the Fleet, and afterwards put from his place."

III. 31. Letter from the King to the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Common Council, stating that whereas they had made a good law both to prevent thefts and relieve those robbed, yet by the neglect of the execution thereof the City had become the chief place in all the kingdom to foster and cover such lewd people; and requiring that such persons should be severely punished.
Westminster, 24th November, 9 James I., 1611.

III. 33. Letter from Sir Francis Bacon to the Lord Mayor, complaining of the severity of the course pursued by him and the Court of Aldermen in imposing a heavy fine, disfranchising, and committing to prison Mr. Barnard for words spoken against them.
Gray's Inn, 27th December, 1611.

III. 151. Letter from Sir Edward Phelipps (fn. 3) to the Lord Mayor, informing him that the King had given orders for the apprehension of one Richard Smarte, "the greatest spoiler of his Deere in the fforest of Waltham that ever lyved," who had been found in a house in or near Coldharbour; and requesting him to give order for his apprehension.
From the Rolls, 22nd March, 1614.

IV. 4. Letter from George (Abbott), Archbishop of Canterbury, to the Lord Mayor, informing him that, by a late arraignment and some examinations, it appeared to the King that there were divers persons in or near London who professed to tell fortunes and reveal past and future secrets, and others who desired responses from them as to things lost, or as to future matters. The King, as well to show his Christian zeal as to manifest his detestation of such proceedings, had commanded him to require the Lord Mayor to apprehend such persons, that they might undergo the penalty of the law, or at least to certify their names and the names of those who resorted or were suspected of resorting to them to the writer or the Bishop of London, that such punishment might be inflicted upon them as in Ecclesiastical censure should be held fit.
5th November, 1615.

IV. 76. Letter from the Lord Chancellor (Sir Francis Bacon) to the Lord Mayor, stating that justice having been done upon a Constable for abusing his office to the wrong of a servant of his, yet because the punishment was likely to fall so heavily upon the Constable as might tend to his utter undoing, he requested that he might be released from imprisonment, disfranchisement, and the fine passed upon him.
6th June, 1617.

IV. 136. Letter from the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen to the Lord Chancellor, enclosing a Petition presented to them by Thomas Powle, one of the City Constables, complaining that having been required to go into a house in the City to attach the bodies of two persons who lived in a suspicious manner, the parties, pretending it to be a riot, had served him with process to appear in the Court of Star Chamber, where they had been admitted to sue in form a pauperis. It being known that the complainants were of very base condition, and had only taken such proceedings for vexation, and to put the Constable to expense, they prayed the Lord Chancellor to revoke the admittance in form a pauperis, and to refer the matter to one of the Judges, that upon report being made to him he might take such further order as he should think fit.
(Circa 1618.)

V. 127. Order in Council, directing that Thomas Martin, Grocer, a Freeman of London, who had refused to obey an order of the Court

of Aldermen of the 22nd January last, concerning matters in difference between himself and other citizens, should be committed to Newgate for contempt till further order, or until he submitted himself to the Court as became a citizen and Freeman of London.
Dated from "Sheriff Raynton's House," (fn. 4) 4th April, 1621.

VI. 179. Order in Council for the removal (on account of the danger he was in from divers hurts) of Thomas Shelden, Gentleman, a prisoner in Wood Street Compter, to the house of Lawrence Lisle, Esq., provided Mr. Lisle gave bail for his forthcoming when called upon, or until he was lawfully discharged.
Whitehall, 15th July, 1629.


  • 1. Eldest son of Henry, first Lord Hunsdon, cousin of Queen Elizabeth; knighted, 1571; succeeded to the title as second Lord Hunsdon on the death of his father in 1596; made Lord Chamberlain, March 1597; Lord Chamberlain of the Household, 1598; K.G., April 22nd, 1597; died, 1603.
  • 2. Ambassador to Austria, 1577; Governor of the Isle of Wight, 1577–80.
  • 3. Of the Middle Temple; made King's Serjeant, May 18th, 1603; knighted, July 23rd, 1603; was leading counsel for the Crown in the trial of Guy Fawkes and the other conspirators in the Powder Plot; M.P. for Somersetshire, 1604; chosen Speaker, March 19th, 1604; was Chancellor to Henry, Prince of Wales; Master of the Rolls, January, 1611; died 1614.
  • 4. In Lombard Street.