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

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'Sheriffs', in Analytical Index to the Series of Records Known as the Remembrancia 1579-1664, (London, 1878) pp. 459-466. British History Online [accessed 13 April 2024]


I. 50. Letter from the Queen, under Signet, to the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Commons, directing them to spare, both now and hereafter, her servant, Henry Campion, beer brewer, from the office of sheriff, on account of his having to attend the household in progresses and in places far distant from the City.
Richmond, 29th July, 1577.

I. 51. Letter from the Lord Chancellor to the Lord Mayor, Alder men, and Commons, reminding them of the above letter. He had been informed that some persons, contrary to Her Majesty's express wish, were attempting to promote Mr. Campion's election to the office of Sheriff, and he desired that he should be put among the persons exempted, and freed from election.
From his house near Charing Cross, 19th July, 1580.

I. 160. Letter from the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen to the Lord..............., informing him that his servant, Mr. Gardner, a wealthy citizen, had been elected and chosen Sheriff by the Commons of the City, which office he ought to have served, notwithstanding that he dwelt without the Liberties. Many other citizens, dwelling in distant cities and towns, had, when elected, either served the office or paid the fine fixed by Act of Common Council. Mr. Gardner, pretending that his duties would prevent him from serving, had refused, whereby the fine of £200 had become due to the Chamber and Commonalty of the City, and not to the Mayor and Aldermen. Nevertheless, on account of his lordship's request for a moderation of the fine, it had been agreed to reduce it to £50, which Mr. Gardner still objected to pay. They requested his Lordship to use his influence with him, that he might avail himself of their offer, and so be discharged from serving the office.
8th November, 1580.

I. 228. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Chancellor. Mr. Norton, one of the City officers, had reported to the Court of Aldermen that his Lordship had been informed it was the intention of that body to make some innovation and alteration in appointment and use of the officers under the Sheriffs of the City, both touching the custody of gaols and the administration of justice, and also the disposition of the undershrievalty of Middlesex. There had been no such order or intention of the Court. As touching the acceptation of the office of Sheriff by Mr. Alderman Martin, Her Majesty had wholly exempted him by charter, which she had commanded the City not to violate, nevertheless Mr. Martin had submitted himself by his own free will to take the office, having allowed unto him such benefits as by law pertained to the sheriff, and were not otherwise disposed by the laws of the City, or else to have his sparing continued, which sparing had been assented to and continued. As to the appointment of the under sheriffs of Middlesex, all that had been done had been in accordance with the Act of Common Council, reducing the same to the ancient usage of the City.
13th July, 1581.

I. 242. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor. They had been informed that Thomas Skinner, (fn. 1) a Citizen of London, had been by his Lordship's assent, without free election, chosen about a year since to be one of the Sheriffs of the City. Finding himself very unfit for that office by reason of his great debts, and inability to satisfy his creditors, he had refused for that time to take the office, whereupon he had been committed to prison, and fined 400 marks, and forced to enter into bond for payment thereof. He had lately attended before the Council and declared his estate to be insufficient to pay his debts; the greatest show of his wealth had been only in having in mortgage the manor of Wansted and Campes in Essex and Cambridgeshire, and the money growing therefrom had been assured over for the satisfying his creditors, which would not reach to their full satisfaction by 10,000l. The Council therefore requested that he might be released and discharged from such fine.
14th August, 1581.

II. 19. Letter from the Lords of the Council to Mr. Alderman Bennett, Sheriff elect of the City of London, who after being elected to that office, to avoid serving the same, had threatened to withdraw out of the realm, &c., and flee into foreign parts, ordering him to return before the 24th of June, and to submit himself to the censure of the Lord Mayor and Commons.
3rd June, 1594.
[Addressed to him at Stoad.

II. 20. Answer addressed by Alderman Bennett to the Lords of the Council, excusing himself for going to Stoad; also enclosing a Certificate from Th. Ferrars, Deputy Governor there.
28th June, 1594.

II. 63. A fragment of a Letter to Mr. Alderman Bennett, touching his election to the Shrievalty.
21st July, 1594.

II. 351. Letter from the Lord Mayor to Mr. John Slade, complaining of the manner in which the business of the Sheriffs' Court was conducted.
2nd September, 1609.

III. 114. Letter from the King to the Lord Mayor, reciting that Sir Robert Napier, (fn. 2) Knight and Baronet, having retired from the City into the country, where he had served the office of Sheriff of the County, had reason to think the Commons of the City would call him to be Sheriff thereof, and requiring that, on account of his residence being far off, and of the dignity of a Baronet, which he had been called to, he should by Act of Common Council, or otherwise, be freed from the office of Sheriff, or any other office of charge within the City, and that the bond given by him to the late Lord Mayor should be returned to him, the example being so unfit, that a gentleman called to the quality of a baronet should be afterwards called to be Sheriff.
Theobald's, 11th November, 11 James I., 1613.

III. 153. Letter from the King to the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty of the City of London. He had been informed that the Commons had chosen his servant, Sir Arthur Ingram, Knight, to be one of the Sheriffs, and required them, since they could not be ignorant that he was the King's Secretary at York, to make another choice.
Westminster, 27th June, 12 James I., 1614.

III. 155. Letter from the Mayor, &c., of Coventry, to Lord Chief Justice Coke, requesting him to use his influence with the Lord Mayor and Aldermen to procure, if possible, the discharge of Mr. Sampson Hopkins from the office of Sheriff of London, to which he had been elected by the Commonalty.
(Circa 1614.)

III. 156. Letter from the Mayor, &c., of Coventry to the Lord Mayor, to the same effect. This letter states that Mr. Hopkins had served the office of Mayor of Coventry, and was then an Alderman there, and that by his removal the greater part of the poor of that city (who lived under him, and by his trade) would fall to utter decay.
Coventry, 1st July, 1614.

III. 157. Letter from Lord Chief Justice Coke to the Lord Mayor, forwarding the Letter of the Mayor, &c., of Coventry (of which city he was himself a member), and requesting the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen to forbear to impose the office of Sheriff upon Mr. Hopkins.
4th July, 1614.

Note in Margin.— The request of my Lord Coke was referred to a Common Council, where the Letter was read, and upon a question made (out of the City's love and general affection, to gratify my Lord Coke), the whole Commons did generally consent to discharge the said Mr. Hopkins of all offices upon easy terms.

III. 164. Letter from the Lord Mayor to a Citizen, elected Sheriff, requiring him to appear before the Court of Aldermen, and enter into bond for the undertaking and execution of that office.
19th July, 1614.

III. 168. Letter from the Earl of Suffolk, Lord Treasurer, to the Lord Mayor. He had been commanded by the King to intimate that, the Citizens having elected his servant, Sir Lionel Cranfield, (fn. 3) as Sheriff, His Majesty, if the City (notwithstanding his former letter) would have the usual fine, according to custom, would pay it himself rather than lose his services. He requested them to elect another Sheriff, and discharge Sir Lionel.
Northampton House, 27th July, 1614.

III. 169. Letter from the Earl of Suffolk, Lord Treasurer, to the Lord Mayor. The King had written one letter, and the writer, by his command, another in behalf of Sir Lionel Cranfield, about the Shrievalty. Seeing they so little availed, His Majesty had resolved to pay his fine for him. He therefore prayed them to send back the King's letter and his own by some Aldermen.
Northampton House, 1st August, 1614.

III. 170. Letter from the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen to the Lords of the Council, concerning the case of Sir Lionel Cranfield. As the King had, by a former letter on behalf of Sir Baptist Hicks, promised not to require a similar favour from thenceforth for any Citizen, they hoped he would countenance their present proceedings warranted by Charter. As to Sir Lionel's employments, none had been exempted thereby, though they had served His Majesty and the late Queen in more principal offices. They had thought it their duty to intimate these things to the Council, proposing to acquaint His Majesty with the proceedings of the Commons (i.e. the Commonalty) in whose discretions the matter wholly rested, and to beg their Lordships' mediation with the King, that it might not be offensive if in these cases they put into execution the ancient privileges and customs of the City.
1st August, 1614.

IV. 121. Letter from Edward Lord Zouche to the Lord Mayor, requesting that Mr. Henry Bannester (fn. 4) might not be put in nomination for Sheriff, on account of the insufficiency of his estate.
Philip Lane, 21st May, 1618.

IV. 122. Letter from the Bailiffs and Portmen of Ispwich to the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen. They had been informed that Mr. Matthew Browneridge, one of their Company, had been nominated as one of the Sheriffs for the year ensuing. They requested that he might be discharged therefrom, on account of his supplying a place of special service to His Majesty in Ipswich, and of his having twice served the chief office in that town, which he would then have been again serving but that they had excused him on account of his losses.
Ipswich, 25th, May, 1618.

IV. 124. Letter from the Lord Treasurer (the Earl of Suffolk) to the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen. He had received a letter from the Bailiffs and Portmen of the town of Ipswich with reference to the election of Mr. Matthew Browneridge as one of the Sheriffs of the City, and requested them, before His Majesty or the Council should be informed of the matter, to release him therefrom.
Suffolk House, 29th May, 1618.

VI. 26. Petition of Richard Cockes (Cox) to the King, reciting that having, in December, 1621, been sworn Alderman, he had, in June following, been chosen Sheriff, and had thereupon prayed the Court of Aldermen to release him on account of inability; but the Court had refused and complained to the Star Chamber, by whom he was ordered to be bound to hold office. The Star Chamber had afterwards again referred him to the Court of Aldermen, who had fined him 400l. He prayed His Majesty, on account of his having been driven from the City for free trading into Russia, and having been greatly weakened in his estates since by bearing offices in the country, and by suits, &c., to refer the matter to such of his Council as he should think fit, that thereby he might be relieved of the fine if found reasonable.
(Circa 1623.)

VI. 27. Letter of Mr. Secretary Conway to the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen, enclosing the foregoing Petition, and requesting them to be the judges of the matter. If, in their own justice and the equity of the suit, they should give the Petitioner satisfaction, he should think His Majesty's trouble well spared. But if they saw reason think His Majesty's trouble well spared. But if they saw reason either not to approve of the motion or to leave it to His Majesty's pleasure, he should desire to be better instructed in what points to move the King, or intreat the parties to use some other mediation if the cause should appear to him not meet to be offered to His Majesty.
Whitehall, 19th November, 1623.

VII. 188. Letter from the King to the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen, requesting them to excuse Mr. Thomas Plummer, who had been elected Sheriff, from serving, and to deliver up to him to be cancelled his bond for 400l. to take upon him that office. "Considering his infirmity in his hearing, and for some other respects best known to ourself, we hold him no way fit to undertake that charge, especially in these times of action."
17th January, 1636.

VII. 192. Letter from the King to the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen, renewing his former request with respect to Mr. Thomas Plumer, and promising that their compliance therewith should not be drawn into a precedent.
Whitehall, 20th March, 1636.

VII. 206. Letter from the King to the Lord Mayor, referring to his former Letters concerning Mr. Thomas Plomer, and commanding that, without further delay, Mr. Plomer's bond should be delivered up to him to becancelled, and that from thenceforth he should not bechosen Alderman or Sheriff of the City of London, but should be absolutely freed therefrom without fine.
Hampton Court, 17th October, 1637.

VIII. 3. Letter from the King to the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen, referring to a former letter requesting that Sir Robert Napier, Knight and Baronet, might be spared from being chosen as Sheriff, because he had served the office in another county; besides which, being a Baronet, he should be exempted, because he could not serve without prejudice to the ancient order of precedence between those that had been Mayor. Notwithstanding his former letter, Sir Robert had been chosen Sheriff; and he required that the bond taken by the Court should be delivered up to him, "for we will have no such precedent."
1st October, 1614.

VIII. 186. Same as No. 188, Vol. VII.
17th January, 1636.

VIII. 195. Order of the Star Chamber upon the petition of the Mayor, Sheriffs, Citizens, and Commonalty of the City of Norwich, praying that Thomas Atkins, a Citizen of London resident in Norwich, and an Alderman of that City, of which he had been Sheriff, and was next in rotation for the Mayoralty, might be remitted from serving the office of Sheriff of London, to which he had been nominated by the Lord Mayor. It had been alleged by the City's Counsel that such course of election of Sheriffs, being Freemen of London, wheresoever resident (being one of the privileges belonging to the City), had been used and enjoyed time out of mind without interruption. The Court of Star Chamber declare that the City of London had, by ancient prescription, charters, and confirmations of His Majesty's Royal progenitors, and by Act of Parliament, lawful and undoubted right of election of Sheriffs in manner aforesaid, and ought to enjoy the same, and direct that the election of the said Thomas Atkins should stand, and that he should serve the office accordingly.
23rd June, 1637.

VIII. 196. Letter from the King to the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen, requiring them to discharge from serving the office of Sheriff without fine Sir William Calley, Knight, a person above seventy-two years of age, who left the City above thirty years since, and who, in respect of his age, had obtained leave to resign an office of much easier execution in the King's service.
10th July, 1637.


  • 1. Son of John Skinner, of Saffron Walden, Essex; married Blanch, daughter of William Waston, merchant to Queen Elizabeth. He was buried in Cripplegate Church. See also note 3, p. 2.
  • 2. Sir Robert Napier, Knight and Baronet, Citizen and Grocer, was elected Sheriff, and refused to serve 24th June, 11 James I. (1613). The next day he entered into bond before the Court of Aldermen to pay on or before the 24th June following the sum of 400 marks, the usual fine. He is called in this entry Sir Robert Napier, alias Sandy. On the 24th October, 1614, the King's letter (No. 3, vol. viii. p. 465) was read to the Court of Aldermen, and the Lord Mayor and certain Aldermen reported that Sir Robert Napier having protested and professed he would be more beneficial to the City than two Aldermen's fines, it was determined to move the Common Council to discharge him from liability to serve the office of Alderman or Sheriff. See also note I, p. 76.
  • 3. Sir Lionel Cranfield was a Citizen and Mercer. He was elected Sheriff July 11th, 12 James, I. (1614), and refused to serve on the 14th July in the same year. He was again elected June 24th, 13 James I. (1615), but was discharged from serving by the Common Council for one year without fine, August 26th, in the same year. See also note 4, p. 161.
  • 4. Goldsmith, elected Alderman of Aldgate, January 31st, 1621; discharged from office, not being worth 10,000 marks, February 4th, 1621.