Riots, tumults, etc.

Pages 448-458

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

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Riots, Tumults, &c.

I. 222. Letter from (the Lords of the Council) to..... Doubtless he had been informed of the disorder and tumult, by some apprentices and other lewd persons, which had lately occurred in the City of London and places adjoining. Upon examination of the matter it appeared that his servant, lackey and page, began the disorder. They required that the parties mentioned should be ordered to attend the Council, that such order might be taken as should be agreeable to law and justice.
Greenwich, 10th July, 1581.

I. 224. Letter from Henry(Lord) Berkeley (fn. 1) to the Lord Mayor. He had been informed that a broil betwixt his men and some of the Inns of Court had lately happened, and that some of his men had been committed to ward. If by their misdemeanours they deserved imprisonment, he was willing they should suffer. He believed that in all other respects they had behaved themselves honestly, saving that they played on the Sabbath day, contrary to orders and command unknown to them, for which they craved pardon, and begged that they might be set at liberty, when they should be sent into the country. He undertook that, should any other question arise they should be forthcoming.
From his lodging in the Strand, Tuesday,......1581.

I. 232. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor. As he was desirous of understanding their opinion as to the punishment of the lewd and seditious persons who committed the late rescuse in Smithfield, they thought it good to signify that the principal offenders should be indicted and tried by a jury. Those found guilty should be, upon some open market day, tied to a cart, and from the prison whipped into Smithfield, and there set upon the pillory for a seditious rescuse, but without cutting or nailing of ears. For the better execution thereof, such a guard should be appointed that the inconvenience which happened lately did not fall out again; the rest of the offenders should be dealt with as he thought best.
17th July, 1581.

I. 233. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council in reply. The principal offenders had been tried this day at the Guildhall, and judgment pronounced against them according to the above Order, the execution whereof had been entrusted to the Sheriffs, which would be quietly and orderly carried out without inconvenience. At this Sessions being enforced to supply a jury for trial de circumstantibus, one Rafe........., a Citizen and Bowyer, among other substantial citizens impanelled for Her Majesty's service in this cause, obstinately refused, alleging that he was one of Her Majesty's Warders of the Tower, whereupon he was committed for contempt. The Lord Mayor requested that order might be given to the Officers of the Tower not to make any quarrel, but that the credit of the services might be established. Now an example of the man had been made, he should be released if the Council so desired.
20th July, 1581.

I. 374. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Chancellor, informing him of an affray by Watermen at Lyon Quay against certain citizens and their servants. Several persons, among them Evan Harrison, wearing his Lordship's livery, and who described himself as his servant, had been committed to prison. The Aldermen desired to acquaint him with the facts, and to ascertain his pleasure.
17th July, 1582.

I. 376. Letter from Sir Thomas Bromley, Lord Chancellor, to the Lord Mayor. He had been informed that one of his Watermen had been committed to prison for a fray at Lyon Quay, whereof he was not only guiltless (as he said), but also apprehended and so hauled and pulled that he lost his purse. He was then committed to prison by Sheriff Webb, and discharged by him, since which, upon some further information, he had been committed again, together with Lord Norreys's (fn. 2) man. It was strange that he should be apprehended and imprisoned twice for one cause. He requested that they might both be released on bail.
Weild Hall, Essex, 28th July, 1582.

I. 622. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council, with regard to the informations lately given to them against certain Serjeants and other Officers of this City for arresting George Pollard, for which they had been committed to prison by the Council's order. In order to ascertain the truth of the affray, he had examined the whole of the circumstances, and found that two of the Sheriffs' Serjeants and two Yeomen arrested the said Pollard, and were resisted by his friends. Fearing a rescue, they called upon the constables to aid them. After some dissembling, the prisoner, with the aid of his friends, escaped. Touching the allegation that the officers were armed, it had been proved that they only had their ordinary daggers and short weapons, which they commonly wore for the preservation of the peace of the City, their own safety. For the sake of justice and the peace of the City, he requested the Council to consider the whole matter, and not to discourage the officers in the execution of their duty.
6th January, 1592.

II. 98. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Treasurer, reporting the proceedings taken for the punishment of some members of the Weavers' Company, for publishing a certain pamphlet, and also the measures taken against the parties concerned in the late riot or disorder in Southwark.
27th June, 1595.

II. 110. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council, reporting that, in accordance with the directions of their Lordships, inquiry had been made by certain Aldermen touching the late disorder stated to have been committed in the heart of the City, by certain persons stopping a carman at the end of Milk Street, next to Cheapside, and making him unload there a pipe of starch which had been gauged by the servants of Mr. Anthon. The matter was much exaggerated and misreported. Mr. Anthon, though invited, did not attend.
14th October, 1595.

II. 113. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council, with respect to the outrageous and disorderly conduct of Mr. Bate, one of her Majesty's Yeomen of the Guard, for which he had been committed to one of the Compters, but, being one of Her Majesty's servants, the Lord Mayor had released him from prison, and now reported his conduct, that he might receive such other correction and admonition as they might think fit.
25th October, 1595.

II. 276. Letter from the Lord Mayor to Lord Fenton, (fn. 3) Captain of His Majesty's Guard, concerning an assault committed by one Cranford, a Yeoman of the Guard, on some poor men and labourers appointed to keep Moorfields.
12th November, 1606.

III. 94. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor and the Justices of the Peace for Middlesex. They had received a complaint from certain porters of the City of London and the Liberties, inhabiting in St. Katharine's and other places adjacent to the City, of an assault committed upon them in East Smithfield by certain riotous persons pretending to be porters, freemen of the City of London, and by that privilege seeking to exclude the rest from the exercise of that labour. They requested the Lord Mayor and the Justices to examine the tumult, punish the authors, and, if possible, finally determine the matter. If they found it necessary that other proceedings should be taken, they should make provisional orders that all might freely labour in their vocation till the cause should be determined, and should certify their proceedings to the Council.
8th April, 1613.

IV. 129. Letter from the Sheriffs to the Lord Chief Justice, acquainting him that at Whitsuntide last one Thurston Hunt, a prisoner, in the Poultry Compter, was removed by Habeas Corpus, returnable before, Mr. Justice Warburton, (fn. 4) at his chambers in Serjeants' Inn. Being brought there in the custody of one of their officers, Hunt escaped into the Temple, where he was rescued by the gentlemen of those houses. The officer was violently taken and cast into the Thames, and there drawn along through the stream in peril of drowing. They had thought it their duty to acquaint his Lordship and the rest of the Judges of the matter, and requested that some order might be taken for reformation of such insolences, too often practised by the gentlemen upon their officers, which could but bring an evil and dangerous consequences, such as they knew their Lordships (out of their love for those fellowships) had rather prevent than punish.

IV. 131. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor. They had been informed that a very great disorder and tumult had been committed by divers unknown persons at the Spanish Ambassador's (fn. 5) house, in Barbican, upon an accident that happened by the hurting of a child. They required the Lord Mayor to take speedy and effectual steps for the safety of the Ambassador's house, and, if necessary, put a good and substantial watch in those parts for the suppression of any disorders which might arise on that or any other occasion, and to certify the manner of the tumult, by whom com mitted, the steps taken for its suppression, and such other circumstances as he should think necessary.
13th July, 1618.

IV. 134. Letter from the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen to the Lords of the Council in reply. The tumult arose in consequence of a child being thrown down by the horse of one of the gentlemen of the Spanish Ambassador. The people, thinking the child had been killed, pursued him to the Ambassador's house in Barbican, and threw stones at the windows. The Lord Chief Justice and the Attorney General, who lived near, went there, and shortly afterwards the Lord Mayor and the rest arrived, and took steps for suppressing the tumult, and for the safety of the Ambassador's house. They had been unable to discover the authors of the tumult, which occurred in the night time, but some suspected persons had been committed to prison. Surgeons had examined the child, and found it had received no bodily hurt. They would endeavour to obtain further information and acquaint the Council with the result
(CircaJuly, 1618.)

IV. 135. Letter from Sir Robert Naunton to the Lord Mayor. The King, being dissatisfied with the result of the proceedings for correction of the offenders in the late tumult at the Spanish Ambassador's, had directed the Council to provide for the remedy of that and similar abuses. They had, therefore, issued a Commission of Oyer and Terminer, wherein some of themselves were appointed to assist the Lord Mayor and the City authorities in this irregulated and dangerous season of the year. They had likewise heard of a latter confluence of loose people about Crosby House, upon a Conventicle of Anabaptists there assembled. These warnings had moved him, in the absence of the rest of the Council, to put the Lord Mayor in mind of the watchful charge which rested properly with him for the government of the City, for which purpose Sir George Coppin (fn. 6) would attend him with the Commission, in order that a convenient time might be appointed for the execution thereof.
Whitehall, 30th July, 1618.

IV. 137. Letter from the Lord Chancellor (Lord Verulam) to the Lord Mayor and Recorder. There had latterly been sundry disorders and unlawful gatherings of people in the City and Suburbs. He requested the Lord Mayor, more than in ordinary manner, to repress all stirs and beginnings of stirs which might otherwise happen in this vacant and solitary time, when the best were abroad and the worst people remained behind. And because some had doubted whether the Commission of Lieutenancy for the County of Middlesex were still in force, he had written to the Commissioners informing them that the Commission was in full force, and requiring them to let the same be known abroad, and to be vigilant in discharge of their duty and the trust imposed on them by the said Commission.
Gorhambury, 7th August, 1618.

V. 43. Letter from Lord Verulam, Lord Chancellor, to the Lord Mayor. The French Ambassador (fn. 7) had desired that the punishment to be inflicted upon certain persons committed to Bridewell for their insolent and outrageous assault upon him and his people (fn. 8) might be remitted, upon which the Lords of the Council had thought fit they should be discharged without further punishment, but that first they should be carried by their keeper to the Ambassador, if he would see them, otherwise he was to be informed they were sent to ask his forgiveness on their knees, and then to be set at liberty by his grace.
York-House, 3rd December, 1619.

V. 125. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen, with reference to disorders committed in former years at Shrovetide by apprentices and other lewd and illaffected persons. His Majesty expected a real reformation of the licentious and rude customs formerly used at that season, to which the they required effectual order to be taken that every man within the City's jurisdiction should keep in his servants and apprentices on the ensuing Shrove Tuesday, and not suffer them to go abroad on that day; that a good and strong watch should be set at each of the City gates and other places, and that the Military Band, or a competent number of the Trained Bands, should be in readiness for the suppression of tumults.
2nd March, 1621.

VI. 113. Order of the Privy Council, reciting that Francis Palmes, and Thomas Ferneley, Gentlemen, had been by Warrant from the Council committed to the Marshalsea Prison for misdemeanours and outrages committed by them and their adherents upon William Fawcett, of Fleet Street, Mercer, and his servants, and upon John Pierce, a Sergeant at Mace, and directing the Attorney-General to examine Palmes and Ferneley, and proceed ore tenus against them in the Star Chamber, and if matter enough were confessed, or otherwise, to proceed against them and their abettors by information in the said Court of Star Chamber.
Whitehall, 29th November, 1626.

VI. 150. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor. They were informed that, by the fury and outrage of divers dissolute and disorderly persons, one Lambe had been barbarously murdered. His Majesty was very sensible of the scandal cast upon the Goverment of the realm when the chief city, where his own person was resident, by the neglect of the magistrates suffered such a crime to be committed and pass unpunished, and was very highly displeased thereat, and had commanded the Council to require the Lord Mayor forthwith to ascertain the principal actors and abettors, to cause them to be apprehended and committed to prison, and proceeded against and punished in the severest manner.
Whitehall, 15th June, 1628.

VI. 151. Order of the Privy Council, reciting that they had been moved on behalf of the constables and other officers who had been committed for neglect of duty in not apprehending the principal actors in Lambe's murder, and who had promised, if set at liberty, to do their utmost to discover and apprehend them. The Council authorized the Lord Mayor to set them all at liberty on bail, except two servants of the City Marshal who, as they were informed, were present at the time. Their imprisonment should be strictly continued, unless they would undertake, by going abroad, to discover some of the offenders, for which purpose they might be suffered to go out in the company of their keeper.
Whitehall, 23rd June, 1628.

VI. 163. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor, conveying the usual directions for the prevention of Riots by apprentices and others on Shrove Tuesday.
Whitehall, 14th February, 1628.

VI. 164. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor. It had come to their knowledge that upon an affray happening on the Exchange, in which Mr. Nicholas Lanier and others, His Majesty's servants in ordinary, mentioned in the Petition enclosed, were concerned, the constables and others who came had, under pretence of keeping the peace, in an unwarrantable and barbarous manner carried them along the streets to prison, refusing to take them first before a magistrate. The Council had heard some of the parties, but had found it was not a fit matter to trouble them with, and therefore referred the examination of it to the Lord Mayor at the same time intimating their opinion that if, as was stated, he was aware of the conduct of the officers, and had passed it over without reproof, he had wilfully failed both in discretion and duty. The more they considered it the more they marvelled at the insolence of the officers, and the connivance of himself and other the chief magistrates of the City. They expected not only a good account of the examination in the matter, but the King required, not as a respect only, but a duty, that in future in any similar cases affecting his servants, proceedings against them should be by appeal and information first to the Lord Chamberlain, or, in his absence, to such other principal officer as it concerned.
Whitehall, 16th February, 1628.

VI. 165. The petition of Nicholas, Jeromy, Clement, Andrea and John Lanier, (fn. 9) to the Council, giving their account of the affray referred to in the foregoing letter.

VI. 166. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council, forwarding his certificate of the result of the examinations of the parties concerned in the above affray. For his own part in the matter, he hoped the Council would be able to judge there had been no connivance.
(Circa 1628.)

VI. 167. An abstract of the examinations of several persons (named in the margin) concerning the tumult raised at and near the Exchange by Mr. Nicholas Lanier and others, His Majesty's servants, on the 6th February, 1628. In this statement it is asserted that the Laniers had struck one Allen with their fists. Upon the arrival of a constable, they abused and struck him too, and went into Cornhill flourishing their drawn swords. The people began to throw stones, but were soon prevented. The Laniers being called upon, on their allegiance, to keep the peace, and deliver their weapons, had refused with oaths and blows. There being no other remedy, they were by force apprehended and reduced to reason by restraint of their persons.
(Circa 1628.)

VI. 178. Letter from Edward, Viscount Conway, to the Lord Mayor. He had heard of a great disorder committed last night in Fleet Street, and as he was going to Court, he would not be unprovided to report to the King all particulars of the matter. He therefore requested the Lord Mayor to send by the bearer a written relation of all the material circumstances, which he should use in such manner as the duty of his place required, and as would tend to the preservation of the peace of the City.
July 10th, 1629.

VI. 180. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor, requiring him to shut up the taverns in Fleet, Street, from which the persons who caused the tumults there came, and to commit the masters of such taverns to the houses of such Citizens as he should think fit, there to remain till further order of the Council.
Whitehall, 15th July, 1629.

VI. 181. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor. As the Attorney-General had certified that in all the examinations as to the late tumults in Fleet Street there did not appear any crime against the widow Sutton, keeper of the Mitre tavern, and John Marshall, keeper of the King's Head tavern, they might be let out on bail, to appear when called upon, and be allowed to continue their trade.
Whitehall, 21st July, 1629.

VI. 182. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor. In the examination as to the late riots in Fleet Street, the City was found to be very poorly stored with shot and powder. The Trained Bands, when called upon to take arms, were unfurnished for the service. They required the Lord Mayor to take order that each person of the Trained Bands provided a sufficient proportion of each, always to remain in readiness in his house and custody, in case for any sudden cause His Majesty required to employ them.
Whitehall, 14th August, 1629.

VI. 183. Order in Council, authorizing the release from restraint of John Clopton, vintner at the Globe, tavern, Fleet Street, upon bail.
Whitehall, 1st August, 1629.

VIII. 45. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor, requiring him to have strong and sufficient watches, and some of the Trained Bands, to the number of 800, in readiness for the prevention of riots and tumults by apprentices, &c., on Shrove Tuesday.
23rd February, 1622.

VIII. 60. A Copy of No. 45.

VIII. 214. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor with respect to disorders committed on May Day by apprentices and others, and requiring that, besides the keeping of strong and fit watches, 800 of the Trained Bands be mustered on May Day next for the prevention of riots and tumults.
24th April, 1639.

VIII. 225. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor, requiring, for the prevention of riots and tumults by apprentices and others on Shrove Tuesday, that strong watches be set, and that 800 men of the Trained Bands be kept in readiness.
16th February, (1639).

VIII. 227. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor, upon occasion of the late tumultuous assembly in and about Lambeth, requiring double watches to be kept in the City, to continue till five o'clock in the morning, and that every, householder should be answerable for the peaceable and quiet behaviour of his apprentices and servants; and that a good and sufficient watch of twenty or thirty men should be kept every night until further order at the bridge foot, to intercept vagrants, and to prevent any concourse of people passing in to or out of the City.
12th May, 1640.

VIII. 229. Warrant from the King to the Lord Mayor, requiring him forthwith to raise 1,000 able and well-affected men of the Trained Bands, or as many more as he should think necessary, to suppress, slay, kill, destroy, and apprehend all such as should be tumultuously assembled in or about Southwark, Lambeth, Blackheath, or elsewhere in parts adjacent.
15th May, 1640.

And see "Southwark."


  • 1. Henry, twelfth Baron; posthumous son of Thomas, eleventh Baron Berkeley, who died in 1534. He died November 20th, 1613.
  • 2. Sir Henry Norreys or Norris, of Rycote, Oxfordshire, sent as Ambassador to France, 1567; recalled, 1570; created Baron Norris, 8th May, 1572; died 1600; buried in Westminster Abbey.
  • 3. Thomas Erskine, second son of Sir Alexander, Erskine, of Gozar. Born 1566, same year as King James. He was educated from childhood with the King; made Gentleman of the Bedchamber, 1585. He was one of those who rescued the King from the attempt upon his life by the Earl of Gowrie, whose brother, Alexander, Ruthven, he killed with his own hand, August 5th, 1600. He succeeded Sir Walter Raleigh as Captain of the Yeomen of the Guard, 1604; created Viscount Fenton, May 18th, 1606; Earl Kellie, 12th March, 1619;died 12th June, 1639.
  • 4. Warburton, Sir Peter, of Lincoln's Inn. Called to the Bar, February, and, 1572; created Serjeant, November 29th, 1593; Justice of the Common Pleas, November 24th, 1600; died September 7th, 1621.
  • 5. One of the suite of Gondomar, the Spanish Ambassador, riding down Chancery Lane, rode over a little boy, and was followed by an infuriated crowd to the Spanish Embassy in the Barbican. The Ambassador was supping with the Earl of Worcester. .The mob broke the windows and smashed in the door, and in a few moments would have wreaked their vengeance upon the man, when the Lord Mayor and Chief Justice Montague, with officers, arrived. The King ordered the Lord Mayor to go and ask Gondomar's pardon; the Ambassador expressed himself satisfied, but the King issued a special commission to inquire into the assault, when seven unlucky lads were punished with six months imprisonment and a fine of 500l. each. This was remitted at the request of Sanchez, the Secretary to the Embassy, and the King issued a proclamation pardoning the offenders, September 10th, 1618.
  • 6. Of Norfolk, Knighted at Whitehall, July 23rd, 1603.
  • 7. Count de Tilliers; entertained by James I. at Wanstead, September 11th, 1619.
  • 8. On the 28th October, 1619, a tumultuous assemblage took place before the house of the French Ambassador, resulting from a quarrel between his boy and a carman, in which his servants and other passers-by took part; a constable, who went to appease them, being taken in to the Ambassador's house, a report was circulated that he was slain there, and much uproar arose which was stilled by his reappearance, when the people dispersed. Vide 'Calendar of State Papers,' Domestic, 1619–23, p. 95.
  • 9. The Laniers were Italians. Nicholas and Clement were in the King's Band of Musicians, 1605, and probably the other brothers were also members of the band.