Pages 329-349

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

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I. 35. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Treasurer (Burghley), suggesting that, on account of the Plague raging in Lisbon, he should be empowered to take precautions, upon the arrival of ships from that port, to prevent the infection from spreading in the City.
7th June, 1580.

I. 36. Letter from William Lord Burghley to the Lord Mayor, in reply, authorizing him, in concurrence with the officers of the port, to take measures to prevent the lodging of merchants or mariners in the City or suburbs, or the discharge of goods from ships, until they had had some time for airing, and in the mean time to provide proper necessaries on board ships detained. Also suggesting a conference with the officers of the port, touching orders to be taken for preserving the City from infection during the vacation time.

There is a postscript to this Letter respecting a complaint made by the purveyors of grain at Henley-upon-Thames, against the purveyors of the City.
From his House in the Strand, 14th June, 1580.

I. 38. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Mayor and Jurats of Rye, stating that, on account of the Plague raging there, he had received the commands of Her Majesty's Council for staying of persons, ships, and merchandise from being brought to this City, till convenient time for airing them had been allowed, and requesting them to charge the inhabitants of that town, while the infection continued, to forbear from resorting to the City, or sending goods by sea or land of such a nature as might carry infection.
21st June, 1580.

I. 39. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor, informing him of the arrival of a ship in the Thames, from Lisbon, and requesting him to assist the officers of the Port of London in preventing the said ship and mariners from coming near the City, and in limiting them to a certain place, until the merchandise should have been opened and sufficiently aired; and further to prevent any ships coming from foreign parts, where suspicion of the infection existed, or from Plymouth, from landing any merchandise, until proper precautions had been taken.
Nonsuch, 20th June, 1580.

I. 40. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Treasurer, acknowledging the special and earnest commandment received from Her Majesty for the preserving of the City from infection, and reporting the steps taken therein; also requesting the aid of the Council for the redress of such things as were found dangerous in spreading the infection and otherwise drawing God's wrath and plague upon the City, such as the erecting and frequenting of infamous houses out of the liberties and jurisdiction of the City,—the drawing of the people from the service of God and honest exercises, to unchaste plays,—and the increase of the number of people.
17th June, 1580.

Regulations for carrying out this object submitted for the approval of the Council, to the following effect:—

I. 41. 1st. For the avoiding of inmates in places pretending exemption.

2nd. For restraining of the building of small tenements and turning great houses into small habitations by foreigners.

3rd. The increase of buildings in places exempt.

4th. The increase of buildings about the Charterhouse, Mile-end Fields; also at St. Katherine's along the waterside.

5th. The pestering of exempt places with strangers and foreigners artificers.

6th. The number of strangers in and about London, of no church.

7th. The haunting of plays out of the liberties.

8th. The killing of cattle within or near the City.

I. 221. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor and to the Justices of the Peace and other Her Majesty's officers in the County of Middlesex and liberties adjoining the City, stating that information had been given to the Council of the increase of the Plague and other contagious diseases, and directing them to give order that no plays or interludes should be played within the City or liberties until the end of September, or until further order.
10th July, 1581.

I. 265. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor and Aldermen. Her Majesty had been informed that the Plague had of late increased very much in the City and liberties adjoining, through the City not properly carrying into practice the orders passed with respect to infected persons and houses. The Queen had been forced, not only to remove further off, but also to adjourn the term, and unless the cause were reformed with all diligence, the term would be holden in some other place. They request to be certified of the steps taken for executing these orders, and also what answer the City had to give to their previous letter concerning the building of new tenements contrary to Her Majesty's proclamation.
21st September, 1581.

I. 267. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council, in reply, assuring them that every precaution had been taken, and special officers appointed. With regard to the Proclamation touching new buildings, precepts had been issued, and upon their return, indictments would be preferred and certificates made to the Star Chamber, as directed by their letter.
22nd September, 1581.

I. 306. Letter from the Lord Mayor to Sir Francis Walsingham, informing him that the family of one Rowland Winter, dwelling near Fleet Bridge, artificer in cutting leather, in making jerkins, shoes, &c., had been lately visited by the Plague. The house had been shut up, and he had been restrained from going out. Having been informed that he had access to the Court, for the service of his faculty in the things of his art, both for Her Majesty and others of her household, the Lord Mayor requested that steps might be taken to prevent the peril which would grow from his attendance thereat.
22nd March, 1581.

I. 331. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council, informing them that, in conjunction with the Aldermen, he had taken steps for the stay of infection within the City. To this end it had been thought good to restrain the burials in St. Paul's churchyard, which had been so many, and, by reason of former burials, so shallow, that scarcely any graves could be made without corpses being laid open. Some parishes had turned their churchyards into small tenements, and had buried in St. Paul's churchyard. It had been determined to restrain from burial there all parishes having churchyards of their own. To this end the number of parishes to be allowed to use the ground had been reduced from twenty-three to thirteen. The restrained parishes were to use the new burial place provided by Alderman Sir Thomas Rowe, (fn. 1) until they could conveniently build or purchase others. The City desired the Council to issue directions to the authorities of the Cathedral accordingly, the order not being intended to prevent any person of honour or worship being buried there, but only the pestering of the churchyard with whole parishes.
3rd April, 1582.

I. 343. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's, reciting the letter received from the Lord Mayor with reference to the burials in St. Paul's Churchyard. The Council, before they issued the order suggested, were desirous of ascertaining their opinion in the matter, and required them, if they knew of any lawful and reasonable cause why such order should not be put into execution, to signify the same at once to the Council.
15th May, 1582.

I. 394. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor and Aldermen, informing them that, by certificate, it appeared the number of the dead within the City during the last week had greatly increased, partly by negligence in not keeping the streets and other places about the City clean, and partly through not shutting up of the houses where the sickness had been found, and setting marks upon the doors; but principally through not observing orders for prevention of the infection heretofore sent to them by the Council. Seeing that neither the fear of the putting off the term, nor the absence of Her Majesty and her train, caused them to have had better regard to their duty, Her Majesty had directed the Council, in her name, expressly to command them to see the former Orders of her Council forthwith put in execution.
From the Court at Oatlands, 1st Sept. 1582.

I. 395. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council, in reply. Every care had been taken to carry into execution the Council's orders; the streets had been cleansed every second day; the parish clerks had been appointed to see to the shutting up of infected. houses, and putting papers upon the doors. He had also appointed some of his own officers to go up and down the City, to view and inform him whether it had been done. At the last Court day before the receipt of the Council's letter, new precepts had been sent to the Alderman and Deputy of every Ward, directing them to see the orders earnestly carried into effect.
1st September, 1582.

I. 409. Letter from the Mayor and three of the Aldermen of Oxford, to the Lord Mayor, informing him that they would shortly hold in Oxon their fair, called "Firdeswide Fair," whereunto it had been the custom of divers of the citizens to repair with their wares and merchandise. On account of the sickness within the City of London, they desired him to restrain all citizens in whose houses and families there were any manifest tokens of infection from going to the fair, and to direct that all citizens who should decide upon going or sending their merchandise should first obtain a certificate from him.
8th October, 1582.

I. 410 . Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor and Aldermen, informing them that, by order of Her Majesty, the term had been appointed to be held at Hertford. The Queen had expressly commanded that the Lord Mayor should, with all expedition, publicly prohibit any merchant, victualler, retailer, or other person within the City, whose houses either had been or then were touched with the infection, from resorting or sending into the towns of Hertford, Ware, Hodston, Stanstead, or other places near to Hertford, any kind of merchandise, stuff, bedding, victual, or such like, upon pain of imprisonment, Her Majesty's high displeasure, and disfranchisement.
15th October, 1582.

A Postscript requires that directions shall be given to such of the citizens as might be clear of the infection, and who should desire to resort or send merchandise or victual, &c., to Hertford and places thereabout, not to go without the testimony of the Alderman of the Ward or his Deputy.

I. 411. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Sheriff and Justices of the Peace of the County of Middlesex, to the same effect.
15th October, 1582.

I. 430. Letter from the William Lord Burghley to the Lord Mayor, requesting that at the same time he forwarded the certificate to the Court, he would send to him an account of the increase or diminishing of the sickness from the infection in the City, with the number of christenings.
Hertford Castle, 27th November, 1582.

I. 431. Letter from the Lord Mayor to William Lord Burghley, Lord Treasurer, in reply, forwarding to him an account of the increase of the sickness within the City's jurisdiction since the beginning of the year, and promising to continue it weekly.
6th December, 1582.

I. 447. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor, informing him of Her Majesty's intention shortly to repair to her Manor of Richmond, as well as to hold the term in London, and of the probability of a large number of people resorting to the City and liberties; and requiring him to cause a diligent search to be made, as to what inns, ale or victualling houses appointed for the tabling and receipt of people had been within the last two months infected with the plague, and to cause a catalogue thereof to be made and printed in one general bill, to be set up in known and accustomed places of the City or liberties where proclamations were wont to be set up, that thereby such as might have occasion to repair to the City should be forewarned to avoid the same.
6th January, 1582.

I. 454. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council, in reply. He had caused inquiries to be made of all victualling houses, and other places mentioned, which had been infected during the space of two months last past. A catalogue had been made, with the names of the dwellers in such houses, and a description of the places, which had been prepared for printing, and to be set up as proclamations. The form of the catalogue he sent for their approval. Should they desire it, he would have them printed like a pamphlet, for every one that liked to buy and keep a copy for this instruction. If they thought good, a weekly addition could be made to it.
11th January, 1582.

I. 455. Letter from William Lord Burghley and Sir Francis Walsingham to the Lord Mayor, acknowledging the receipt of the foregoing letter. They had received a like catalogue of infected houses in Westminster, prepared by the Bailiff of that City, which had been misliked, and so returned. They were of opinion that the catalogue prepared by his lordship was somewhat too long. They desired him to send for the Bailiff of Westminster, and cause him to confer with Mr. Norton, and see how a shorter catalogue might be made to be published, which, when agreed to, should be sent for their inspection.
13th January, 1582.

I. 456 . Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Treasurer, in reply. Mr. Norton had prepared a catalogue that might be brought into less than one side of a sheet of paper, to be fixed in convenient places. He recommended that all the houses in Fleet Street and the streets and lanes adjoining, as also without Temple Bar, used for lodgings, victualling, or let out as chambers in term time, should be noted if they had been infected within the space of two months. A great mishap had happened at Paris Gardens, by the fall of a scaffold, whereby a great number of people were hurt, and some killed. (fn. 2) This he attributed to the hand of God, on account of the abuse of the Sabbath-day; and he requested the Lord Treasurer to give order for the redress of such contempt of God's service.
18th January, 1582.

I. 458–459 . Letter from the Lord Treasurer to the Lord Mayor, acknowledging the receipt of his letters of the 14th and 15th instant, and returning the calendar of names of houses infected, compiled by Mr. Norton, in order that steps might be taken to increase its brevity, and add the names of the houses at the bars at Holborn, and then to have it fixed up in the places named. The officers of Westminster should be communicated with, in order that they might use the same from of certificate, and include the houses or chambers let out for lodgings in the streets and lanes leading to Westminster. With reference to the disaster at Paris Gardens, he would bring the matter before the Council, and get some general order passed prohabiting such exhibitions. In the mean time he recommended the Lord Mayor, with the advice of the Aldermen, to issue a general order to every Ward, for the prevention of such profane assemblies on the Sabbath-day. With regard to the high price and scarcity of grain, he would issue orders to the several ports to prevent its transportation, and he desired the Lord Mayor to prevent its shipment out of the port of London.
15th January, 1582.

I. 497. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, &c. The infection had much increased, and the Council were moved again to press upon them the commands of Her Majesty, that they should see that all infected houses were shut up, and provision made to feed and maintain the sick persons therein, and for preventing their going abroad; that all infected houses were marked, the streets thoroughly cleansed, and a sufficient number of discreet persons appointed to see the same done. They desired to express Her Majesty's surprise that no house or hospital had been built without the City, in some remote place, to which the infected people might be removed, although other cities of less antiquity, fame, wealth, and reputation had provided themselves with such places, whereby the lives of the inhabitants had been in all times of infection chiefly preserved. They had been informed that divers chandlers and others were suffered to keep in their houses a great quantity of gunpowder, to the danger of the whole City. Inquisition should be made of all that sold gunpowder, either in gross or retail; those who kept a large quantity should be forthwith required to remove it into places near the fields, where it might be free from the danger of fire.
21st April, 1583.

I. 538. Letter from the Lord Mayor to Sir Francis Walsingham, Knight. For the stay of the plague, the Court of Aldermen had published certain orders, which they intended to execute with diligence. Among other great inconveniences were the assemblies of people to plays, bear-baiting, (fn. 3), fencers, and profane spectacles at the Theatre and Curtain and other like places, to which great multitudes of the worst sort of people resorted. Being beyond the jurisdiction of the City, the restraints in the City were useless, unless like orders were carried out in the places adjoining. He therefore requested the matter might be brought to the notice of the Council, that some steps might be taken to redress the danger.
3rd May, 1583.

II. 234. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Treasurer, informing him of the steps taken to prevent the spread of the plague in the countries of Middlesex and Surrey.
18th April, 1603.

II. 275. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council, acknowledging a letter from their Lordships, and informing them of the steps taken to preserve the City from the spread of the infection, and reciting that the following additional order had been passed: "That every infected house should be warded and kept with two sufficient watchmen, suffering no persons to go more out of the said house, nor no searcher to go abroad without a Redd Roade in their hand," and that a Marshal and two assistants had been appointed to keep the beggars out of the City.
October, 1606.

II. 283. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Chamberlain, informing him of the increase of the plague in the skirts and confines of the City, which was likely to spread through the great heat of the season; and requesting that all stage plays might be interdicted, and that the justices of Middlesex might be directed to put into execution such ordinances in Whitechapel, Shoreditch, and Clerkenwell, and other remote parts, as they should be advised for the stay thereof.
12th April, 1607.

IV. 87. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen, stating that the plague was prevalent and increasing in the Netherlands; recommending to their consideration the peril to the City, by means of its continual trade and commerce with that country, and requesting them to advise, with as much expedition as possible, upon some course to be offered to the King and Council for the safety and preservation of the City.
30th September, 1617.

IV. 88. Order of the Star Chamber, reciting that, upon a paper delivered to the Board from the Lord Mayor and Aldermen, containing some overtures for the preservation of the City from the infection of the plague, it had been ordered that Lord Zouch, Mr. Secretary Lake, and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, (fn. 4) calling such Aldermen before them as they should think proper, should consider and report to the Board what steps should be taken for the safety of the City, without inconveneince to trade.
10th October, 1617

VI. 57. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen. They understood the plague was daily increasing in the City, but they could not hear that any good course had been taken for preventing it by carrying infected persons to the pest-house, or setting watch upon them, or burning the stuff of the deceased. They therefore required them, in His Majesty's name, to take the strictest course usual in such cases.
Whitehall, 25th March, 1625.

VI. 62. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen. On account of the great infection and other extraordinary occasions for his service, not only was His Majesty absent from the City, but the Council were forced to disperse themselves more than at any other time was usual. They should be very careful not to abandon the government of the City committed to their charge, and to continue and increase all usual means for repressing the contagion, and further be very vigilant on all other emergent accidents concerning the Government, and give speedy redress, informing one of His Majesty's principal Secretaries, or such of the Privy Council as were nearest at hand, of their proceedings.
Windsor, 20th July, 1625.

VI. 63. Letter of the Lord Mayor, in reply. He had used all possible diligence for preventing the spread of the infection; and the Council might perceive by the Bills (of Mortality), (fn. 5) that within the walls of the City and the liberties it had not hitherto raged so much as in the skirts of the City, where the parishes spread into other Counties, and the multitude of inmates was without measure. Of this he prayed the Council to take especial notice, that, either by Act of Parliament or Order in Council, the same might be reformed. For himself, as he had not hitherto been wanting in the personal execution of his duty, without respect of the danger, so he should (by God's assistance) persevere in such manner as to be able to render a good account of his diligence in the duties of his office.
(Circa 1625.)

VI. 64. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council, referring them to orders issued in the County of Essex, and about to be issued in other Countries. However reasonable the restraint of carriers and men dealing with wares might appear, yet to forbid the resort of higglers, and consequently of all others serving the City with victuals, was a matter worthy of their consideration; for if the City should be by public authority restrained of victuals, it was to be feared it would not be in the power of himself, or the few Magistrates who remained, to restrain the violence hunger might enforce.
(Circa 1625.)

VI. 191. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor, stating that they were informed there was much contagious and pestilent sickness in Holland, especially in Amsterdam, and also in France, particularly in Rochelle and the port towns in Bretaigne. It had already been brought by a merchant ship into the Isle of Scilly, and several of the garrison had died in consequence, whilst others were infected. They had received the King's commands to send speedy directions to all the report towns to use all possible care to prevent so great an approaching mischief. They therefore required him not to suffer any persons or goods to be landed in the port of London until it had been ascertained that the places from which they came were free from infection, and to prevent persons from going on board such vessels until the goods had been aired, and so many days had passed after their arrival as would give hope they were free from infection.
Whitehall, 25th October, 1629.

VII. 15. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen. They had been informed there were divers houses infected with the plague in the parishes of St. Giles-in-the-Fields, Shoreditch, and Whitechapel, and other places near the City; and required all infected houses to be shut up, and watchmen set at the doors as usual. Care should be taken that persons infected or shut up, and those attending them, should be relieved out of the parishes by contribution. For their better direction, a book, heretofore printed and published, containing instructions given by the Board, which should be carefully observed, was to be reprinted.
Whitehall, 12th March, 1629.

VII. 18. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen. Upon further deliberation, they thought it better that all infected houses should be voided and shut up, and the inmates sent to the pest-house. As the multitude of poor Irish, and other vagabond persons with which all parts about the City were pestered, must necessarily cause great danger of spreading the contagion, present order should be taken according to law, for freeing the City and liberties from such persons. They should likewise see the streets kept sweet and clean, and the ditches in the suburbs within the liberties thoroughly cleansed, and command the Commissioners of Sewers and the Scavengers, respectively, to perform their duty. The Council were also informed that the number of inmates and ale-houses was excessive. They, therefore, required that the laws for remedy thereof should be strictly put in execution. His Majesty was pleased that the College of Physicians should meet and confer upon some fit course for preventing the infection.
Whitehall, 18th March, 1629.

VII. 19. "Directions for erecting of an Hospital or Workhouse to be set up in London, according as was said to be at Paris, 1630."

(This entry contains a detailed and graphic description of the mode of government of the Hospitals of St. Louis and St. Marcel, in the suburbs of Paris, for receiving, nourishing, keeping, and dressing of all infected with the plague, which Hospitals are stated to have depended upon and been governed and directed by the Governors of the Great Hospital of Paris.)
(Circa 1630.)

VII. 25. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor. They had been informed there came from the City, to a poor woman's house in Whitechapel, one who died there of the plague; from which it was supposed that the house whence the person came was infected, and the sickness there concealed. They therefore required the Lord Mayor to cause search to be made, and to certify with speed to the Council from what house such person departed.
Whitehall, 9th April, 1630.

VII. 26. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor, complaining that their former directions for the prevention of the spread of the infection were not observed, and requiring that all infected houses shut up (unless the inmates could be removed) should have guards set at the door, and a red cross, or "Lord, have mercy upon us!" set on the door, that passers-by might have notice.
Whitehall, 10th April, 1630.

VII. 27. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor. They understood from his certificate, and that of the Justices of the peace about Whitechapel, that the house of John Thomas, a butcher in Whitechapel, was infected, and that he had a boy sick therein, having plague-tokens (fn. 6) upon him, whom he had sent out to find a lodging; the boy had been harboured at a widow's house, and died there the same night. In order, therefore, that others might take example by the ill carriage of Thomas, they required that he and his wife and children should forthwith be sent to the pest-house. The Council were further informed that a house in Cree Church Parish was infected, and that the inhabitants had gone away; and they required the Lord Mayor to ascertain and certify to what place they had gone.
11th April, 1630.

VII. 28. Order of the Lords of the Council, directing the Lord Mayor and the Justices of the Peace of Middlesex and Surrey, on account of the danger of spreading the sickness, to prohibit and suppress all meetings and stage plays, bear-baitings, tumbling, ropedancing, shows, &c., in houses, and all other meetings whatsoever for pastime, and all assemblies of the inhabitants of several counties at the common halls of London, pretended for continuance of acquaintance, and all extraordinary assemblies of people at taverns or elsewhere.
Dated in margin, 14th April, 1630.

VII. 30. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor. They were informed that a sick person had been removed from an infected house in Lothbury, to a Garden-house in Finsbury Fields, and they required him to cause the said person to be forthwith removed to the Pest-house, and the house in Lothbury to be shut up. No infected persons should be permitted to be removed to any Garden-house or other place but to the Pest-house, or such common place as was provided for infected persons, and upon which a watch and guard were kept, and the doors shut up, and a "Lord, have mercy upon us!" set thereon. If any were disobedient, they were to be committed; and if the disobedience was great, the Council should be advertised thereof. He should also forthwith cause the statute made in the beginning of the reign of King James, for preventing the increase of the infection, (fn. 7) to be printed, and copies to be given to all inferior officers of the City, and set on such pillars or places as would make the same most public.
Whitehall, 16th April, 1630.

VII. 31. Letter from Secretary (Sir) John Cooke to the Lord Mayor. He was informed that in Barnes, where two houses were visited with the pestilence, a child or two were dead out of the house of a Mr. Hilliard, and Mr. Eaton, his son-in-law, who lived there together; that Mr. Eaton had brought some of his children from the house into the City; and that both Mr. Hilliard and Mr. Eaton, who were merchants, had shown themselves on the Exchange.
Dated in margin, 19th April, 1630.

VII. 33. Order of the Lords of the Council for the suppression of all assemblies at prizes by fencers, cock-fights, bull-baitings, and in close bowling-alleys not mentioned, but intended, by the order of the 14th instant, to be suppressed. Dated in margin, 23rd April, 1630.

VII. 35. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor. The King had been informed of the great and dangerous increase of the sickness in Greenwich; and the Council required the Lord Mayor to use all fitting means to stop and cut off all intercourse and passage of people (fn. 8) between that town and the City.
Whitehall, 30th April, 1630.

VII. 36. Letter from Nicholas Spicer, Mayor of Exeter, to Mr. John Goodwyne, informing him that the Common Council of that city had prohibited all Londoners and others, of any infected places, from bringing or sending their wares or merchandise to Exeter at the ensuing fair, and had ordered that no persons should be admitted, unless they brought testimonials of the health of the places from which they came; and requesting him to make this known to his neighbours who usually repaired to Exeter from London.
Exeter, 23rd April, 1630.

VII. 37. Order of the Lords of the Council, reciting the foregoing letter; and directing that, as the sickness in London was decreasing, and was not nearly so bad as was reported at Exeter, merchants and others from London might sell and trade at Exeter fair, if they brought a certificate from the Lord Mayor that they came from houses not infected. The Council commended the care of the Mayor and magistrates of Exeter, but they thought it not fit that any absolute prohibition of trade with that city should be made, on account of the sickness, until they were made acquainted therewith, and had approved thereof.
30th April, 1630.

VII. 38. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor, stating that they were informed the infection was daily increasing in the town of Cambridge; and requiring him to give orders that no waggons, carts, merchandise, or passengers therefrom should be permitted to enter the City, until it should please God to cease the sickness there, or until he should receive other directions from the Council thereon.
Whitehall, 17th May, 1630.

VII. 39. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor. They were informed that, notwithstanding the strict directions which had been given for the forbidding of all intercourse between those that were infected and others that were sound, yet sound persons resorted to infected houses and places which had been forbidden by the printed book lately published by the King's authority. They required the Lord Mayor to direct the Aldermen in their several Wards to see this abuse reformed with all speed, and to cause offenders to be either forthwith shut up in their own houses or sent to the Pest-house, and also to take special care that watchmen were placed at all infected houses.
Whitehall, 18th May, 1630.

VII. 49. Letter from the Lord Keeper Coventry to the Lord Mayor, as to the necessity for keeping clean and sweet the streets and lanes of the City, and parts adjoining, during the infection; and forwarding writs, copies of which had also been sent into Westminster, Middlesex, the Borough of Southwark, and Surrey, commanding a more due execution of the laws in that behalf.
Canbury, 20th October, 1630.

VII. 56. Letter from the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen, reporting their proceedings on the under-mentioned subjects:—

1. As to infected houses and persons. The small number of deaths during the week proved the success of their endeavours.

2. As to abstinence from flesh on fish-days. They had commenced their search, and committed offenders to prison; and had appointed some fishmongers to search, who, for their own interest, would give them best notice. They had also returned some of the forfeited bonds to the Exchequer.

3. As to the River Thames. The Water Bailiff had taken up all stops, and drawn all the stakes. The Petermen, (fn. 9) who destroyed the fry, had promised to forbear their unlawful assemblies and fishing; and the Court would see that they acted accordingly.
Dated in margin, 25th November, 1630.

VII. 59. Further report from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council, of his proceedings for the prevention of sickness, for the reduction of the price of victuals, and for the removal of stops and stakes from the River Thames.
Dated in margin, 23rd December, 1630.

VII. 60. Letter from the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen to the Lords of the Council, reporting their proceedings under the Order of the Council of the 24th October last, with reference to the plague. It recites, inter alia, that ancient women, reputed to be both honest and skilful, had been appointed for visited houses, who appeared by certificate to have carefully discharged their duties; that infected houses had been shut up, the usual marks set upon them, and strict watches appointed so that none went abroad; that persons who had died of the infection were buried late at night; that people who would have followed them had been sent away by threatening and otherwise; and that very few or none went with the bodies, but those appointed for the purpose. Some persons had been punished for removing the inscriptions set on infected houses, and others had been bound over to the sessions, to be proceeded against according to Justice.
Dated in margin, December, 1630.

VII. 64. Further letter from the same to the same, as to their proceedings with respect to the Thames, the plague, &c. As to the restraint of cating, &c., flesh on fish-days and the Eves, by the punishment of some offenders, it had been so well restrained, that few delinquents were found. The Council had desired to be informed of the quantity of bread corn weekly spent within the City and liberties, and they found, by certificate of the bakers, it was 1,550 quarters weekly; that, by estimate, about 1,000 more were weekly spent in the City of Westminster, the towns of Ratcliff, Limehouse, Wapping, and the adjacent parts, and by the French and Dutch bakers who bought in the City markets. The whole by the year, by the calculation for the City, suburbs, and adjacent parts, would amount to between 130,000 and 140,000 quarters.
Dated in margin, May, 1631.

VII. 66. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council, similar in effect to 64.
Dated in margin, 16th June, 1631.

VII. 157. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor, stating that they were informed divers towns and places in France and the Low Countries were visited with the plague; and requesting him to advise as to the best means of preventing its importation, and to see that his orders were carefully executed.
Whitehall, 10th October, 1635.

VII. 158. Answer of the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen, recommending the issue of a Proclamation prohibiting the landing, from vessels coming from infected places, of persons, goods, merchandise, or apparel, without licence from the Customs, and until after the lape of certain days; and that for that purpose waiters or guardians should be put on board vessels by the officers of the Customs.
Dated in margin, 15th October, 1635.

VII. 162. Petition of the wholesale tradesmen of London frequenting the two annual fairs at Bristol, to the Lords of the Council, stating that, on the 25th January inst., one of the usual fairs would be held at Bristol; that it had pleased God, by reason of the late infection (now very much abated), to send a great calamity on the inhabitants of the City of London, which had caused almost a general cessation of trade for six months; that the Petitioners had the chief part of their estates owing them by Chapmen, who met nowhere else but at Bristol, to be furnished with new credit, and pay their old debts. They therefore prayed that, upon their bringing certificates from the Lord Mayor, that none of their families were or had been this year infected of the plague, they might be permitted to have access with their goods and servants, as formerly, without restraint from the officers or inhabitants of the City of Bristol.
(Circa 1635.)

VII. 176. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen, upon the apprehended increase of the plague, requiring them to meet the Justices of Middlesex, Surrey, and Westminster, once or twice a week, and advise with them as to the courses taken upon former like occasions, and as to the best means to be now taken.
7th April, 1636.

VII. 177. Order in Council for the levying of rates in Middlesex and Surrey, for the erection of Pest-houses and other places of abode for infected persons; also directing the Justices of the Peace for Middlesex to join with the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen in making additional orders, to be printed, for preventing the increase of the infection, and authorizing them to make such further orders thereon as they should think fit; also directing the Churchwardens, Overseers, and Constables of every Parish to provide themselves with books for their directions, and requiring the Physicians of the City to renew the former book touching medicines against infection, and to add to and alter the same, and to cause it to be forthwith printed. (fn. 10)
22nd April, 1636.

VII. 180. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor, complaining that the Red Cross and the inscription "Lord, have mercy upon us", were placed so high, and in such obsure places, upon infected houses, as to be hardly discernible; and that they were so negliently looked to that few or none had watchmen at the doors, and that persons had been seen sitting at the doors of such houses. The crosses and inscriptions should be put in the most conspicous places, the houses strictly watched, and none permitted to go out or in, or sit at the doors. Such as wilfully did so should be shut up with the rest of the infected persons. Officers who had failed in their duties should be committed to Newgate as an example to others.
11th May, 1636.

VII. 182. Order in Council, directing the Attorney- General to draw up a Proclamation for the King's signature for putting of Bartholomew Fair, on account of the plague.
Windsor, 17th July, 1636.

VII. 186. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor and Aldermen, upon the decrease of the plague, and requiring them to take effectual order that all houses infected this summer, and the goods therein, were aired, cleansed, and purified.
9th December, 1636.

VIII. 65. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen, requesting them to have infected houses cleansed and secured from future contagion, and specially the household stuffs and bedding therein, the using of diligence wherein might encourage His Majesty to approach sooner to the City, and give confidence to all to repair thither.
4th December, 1625.

VIII. 167. Same as No. 177, Vol. VII.
22nd April, 1636.

VIII. 168. Same as No. 176, Vol. VII.
7th April, 1636.

VIII. 168. Same as No. 176, Vol. VII.
7th April, 1636.

VIII. 173. Same as No. 180, Vol. VII.
11th May, 1636.

VIII. 180. Letter from the Mayor and Commonalty of New Sarum to the Lord Mayor, expressing their gratitude for the assistance rendered by the City of London to the poor there when that city was afflicted with the pestilence; and forwarding 52l., collected by them for the relief of the poor infected in the City of London.
4th October, 1636.

VIII. 181. Same as No. 186, Vol. VII.
9th December, 1636.

VIII. 183. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor with respect to the money collected for the relief of the poor and visited people in the Cities of London and Westminster and the suburbs, which had been entrusted to him for distribution in all those places, though out of his jurisdiction— requiring him, having regard to the long continuance of the plague, which must have very much impoverished the poor, whether infected or not, to extend his care to both sorts.
13th November, 1636.

VIII. 184. Letter from the King to the Lord Mayor, expressing His Majesty's anxiety at the sudden increase of the plague, which he believed had arisen from want of care, especially by the streets being pestered with beggars, rogues, wanderers, and dissolute persons, many of of whom probably came from infected places, and with plague sores about them; and forwarding further instructions for the guidance of the Lord Mayor and the Justices of the Peace of Middlesex, Surrey, and Westminster.
29th December, 1636.

VIII. 187. A copy of No. 183.
13th November, 1636.

VIII. 207. Letter from the Aldermen and Burgesses of Bury Saint Edmunds to the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen and the several Companies of the City, expressing their thanks for their contributions for the relief of the poor afficted with the plague there.
23rd April, 1638.

VIII. 218. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor and Aldermen with respect to the recent spreading of the plague, and requesting them to revive the execution of former orders sent in the time of the late infection.
31st July, 1639.

IX. 69. Letter from Secretary William Morrice to the Lord Mayor. The King had taken notice that the plague had broken out in some neighbouring countries, and desired to be informed what course had been taken and means used in like cases heretofore to prevent the conveying and spread of the infection in the City.
18th October, 1663.

IX. 70. Letter of the Lord Mayor in reply. He had caused search to be made, and had found many directions and means used to obviate the spreading of the infection at home, but no remembrance of what course had been taken to prevent its importation from foreign parts; the plague of 1625 was brought from Holland. The Court of Aldermen advised that, after the custom of other countries, vessels coming from infected parts should not be permitted to come nearer than Gravesend, or such like distance, where repositories, after the manner of lazarettos, should be appointed, into which the ships might discharge their cargoes to be aired for forty days.
22nd October, 1663.

IX. 73. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor and Aldermen. The King had received notice that the cities of Amsterdam and Hamburg were visited with the pestilence; he also acknowledged and approved the Lord Mayor's proposal (70), but recommended that the lazaretto should not be nearer than Tilbury Hope, and that all ships, English or foreign, coming from infected ports, should be liable to be stopped and unloaded if necessary. The Mayor and Aldermen should consult with the Farmers of the Customs upon the subject.
23rd October, 1663.

IX. 74. Reply of the Lord Mayor and Aldermen. They had held a consultation with the Farmers of the Customs, and had agreed to the following recommendations:—

1st. That the lazaretto should be at Moll Haven, in a creek which would receive 100 vessels.

2nd. That one or more of His Majesty's ships might be placed conveniently below the haven to examine every vessel, whether from infected places or not, and to see that if infected they came to the haven.

3rd. That a guard of twenty persons or made should be appointed, to prevent any communication being held with the persons on shore.

4th. On the arrival of any infected vessel, a list should be made of all persons on board, and, if any should die, the body should be searched before casting it overboard. At the end of forty days, if the surgeons reported the vessel free from contagion (all the apparel, goods, household stuff, bedding, &c., having been aired in the mean time on shore), it should be allowed to make free commerce.

In conclusion, they recommended, as a cheap and easy course, that one of the King's ships should be anchored low down the river and stop every vessel; if they found, by their papers, that they came from any of the infected ports, they should be sent back to sea. His Majesty should also issue a manifesto to his allies informing them that no ships or vessels would be allowed to enter the Port of London, unless they brought with them a certificate from the port authorities whence they came.
(Circa 1663.)

IX. 92. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor, informing him that the plague had broken out in the States of the United Provinces, and directing steps to be taken to prevent the infection from being brought into this country, either by passengers or merchandise, and all ships to be placed in quarantine, according to former orders, until the Farmers of the Customs gave their certificate.
27th June, 1664.


  • 1. Rowe, Sir Thomas, Merchant Taylor; elected Alderman of Porsoken, June 22nd, 1557; removed to Bishopsgate, January 18th, 1560; Sheriff, 1560; Lord Mayor, 1568. Richard Pype, elected Alderman of Bishopgate, loco Rowe, September 26th, 1570. He was the son of Robert Rowe, Citizen and Merchant Taylor, and grandson, of Reginald Rowe, of Lee, in Kent. He married Mary, daughter of Sir John Gresham, Knight, Alderman. She was a cousin of Sir Thomas Gresham's. The Master, Wardens, and Assistants of his Company gave him 50l towards the expenses of the Mayoralty, and appointed several of their members to hold counsel with him from time to time as to the ordering and trimming of his house. Upon his death, which occurred on the 2nd September, 1570, all the livery were summoned to procceed with the Master to Shacklewell, to accompany the corpse to his burial at Hackney church. Directions for his burial are printed in Lysons's 'Environs of London,' 1811, vol. ii. p. 302. An extract from his will is given in 'The History of the Merchant Taylors' Company' p. 287. A monument to his memory was erected in Hackney church. See memoirs of him in Wilson's 'Merchant Taylors' School' pp. 5 et seq., and pedigree of his descendants in Rowe-More's 'History of Tunstall,' p. xvii. Also see Robinson's 'History of Hackney,' and 'London and Middlesex Archaeological Transactions,' vol. iii; 'Visitation of London, 1560,' pp. 20, 21. Three members of this family were Lord Mayors. The Marquis of Downshire is a descendant of Sir Thomas Rowe. "In the year 1569, Sir Thomas Rowe caused to be enclosed with a wall of brick about one acre of ground, being part of the Hospital of Bethlem, to wit, on the west, on the bank of Deep Ditch, so called, parting the said Hospital from the Moorfields. This he did for burial in case of such parishes in London as wanted ground convenient within their parishes. The lady, his wife, was there buried (by whose persuasion he enclosed it), but himself, though born in London, was buried in the parish church of Hackney. This was called New Churchyard near Bethlem. One the south side of this churchyard, over a folding gate, this inscription was engraven in great letters; "Thomas Roe, miles, cum Practor esset Londinensis, hune locum Reipublicae, in usum publicae Sepulturae communem, suo sumptu dedicavit. Anno Dom. 1569." See Strype's 'Stow,' vol. i. book ii. p. 96. The site is shown in Ogilby's 'Plan of London, 1677.' The station of the North London Railway now occupies the site.
  • 2. See note 1, page. 17.
  • 3. See 'Plays and Players,' vol. ii. Letter 171.
  • 4. Sir Fulke Greville.
  • 5. The total number who died from the plague in the year 1625, as given in the Bills of Mortality for London within and without the walls, was 35,403; throughout the country, 68,596. There is curious collection of the original Bills of Mortality in the Library of the Corporation.
  • 6. The plague is said to have been an acute epidemical, contagious, and raging fever, generally destroying life within four or five days; and to have been accompained with tumours, or small red spots like flea-bites, which latter were perculiarly called the tokens.
  • 7. James I. cap. 31, 1603–4.
  • 8. A broadside is preserved in the collection of the Society of Antiquaries, entitled "A Looking-glasse for City and Countrey; wherein is to be seen many fearfull examples in the time of this grevious visitation; with an admenition to our Londoners flying from the City," printed in 1630. It has a large woodcut, representing the Londoners flying into the country, some in carriages, others on foot and on horseback,
  • 9. Petermen and Trinkermen are mentioned in the Fishery Ordinances issued in the Mayoralty of Sir Thomas Pullison, in September, 1584. A Peternet is therein defined to be a net two inches large in the mesh.
  • 10. The book was entitled, 'Certain necessary directions as well for the cure of the Plague as for preventing the infection,' reprinted in 1636. (See copy in Library.) There were numberless publications of specifies against and cures for this infection, the earliest, as entered in the records of the Stationers' Company, are as follows:— "Recevyd of Henry Rocheforth for his lycense for prynitinge of a certayne Medecyne for the plage, iiijd. 1562–3." "Recevyd of William Grefteth for his lycense for plyntinge of a Comfortable Drynke or Medysen for the plage or pestelence, to be taken and used at all tymes, 1563–4." 'Stationers' Company's Registers,' edited by Edward Arber, F.S.A.