Pages 499-517

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. 129. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor. The River Thames, by reason of the number of weirs between the bridge (London Bridge) and Windsor had become choked and almost unnavigable. They requested him, as Conservator of the river, to send the Waterbailiff or some officer to them, with an account of the number of weirs existing from London Bridge to Staines, how many there had been in ancient times, and what number had increased within the past seven years; how many were fit to remain, and to take order for the removal of the others.
4th September, 1580.

A Postscript requests that if there should be a plan of the river existing it might be forwarded to them.

I. 164. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council, in reply. Nicholas Willie, Waterbailiff, had been appointed to attend them. Six new weirs had been made in the river between the places named.
5th September, 1580.

I. 165. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor, acknowledging the receipt of the foregoing letter. They had been informed by the Waterbailiff that fifteen hatches and six stops had been erected, by command of Her Majesty's Comptroller, between Kingston and Oteland, for provision of lampreys and roaches for Her Majesty's household. The hurt caused by the number of weirs upon the river having being brought to the knowledge of Her Majesty, she had commanded that the whole matter should be considered by the City at the next Court to be called for that purpose, and the opinion of those learned in the law taken as to what weirs, stops, hatches, &c., might be removed.
8th September, 1580.

I. 169. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Treasurer, complaining that, contrary to the rights and charters of the City appointing the Lord Mayor Conservator of the River Thames within certain bounds, which jurisdiction had been quietly enjoyed by the City for many years without interruption, during which time the river had been kept in a good state, of late years the Right Hon. Lord Seymour, (fn. 1) Lord Admiral of England, supposing the jurisdiction to belong to his office, had entered into the same, and interrupted the franchise and authority of the City. Upon his decease, his successors had, by their officers, continued the interruption. The Mayor and Citizens, considering the great estate of the said Lords, had not pursued their right, as in law and justice they might and ought to have done. Since the time of the said interruption, the river, eastwards from London Bridge, had become so decayed, that ships or vessels which, within twenty or forty years past, might have come up to the pool against St. Katharine's, could not pass at low water without danger between London and Greenwich. The channel being choked, the lands adjoining were overflowed, to the danger of breaches, and the destruction of the fry and brood of fish, whereby the City lacked the good store of fish which used to be taken in the river. In consideration whereof, and because the City could not be kept out of utter decay and ruin without present amendment of the river, he requested his good offices and advice with Her Majesty and the Lord High Admiral, that the City might be restored to their ancient rights. If any doubts existed as to the City's right, the Judges, after hearing evidence, should determine to whom the right belonged, that steps might be taken for the conservation of the river.
(Circa 1580.)

I. 171. Letter from William Lord Burghley to Sir Gilbert Gerrard, Her Majesty's Attorney-General, Dr. Lewis, Judge of the Admiralty, and Mr. Serjeant Fleetwood, Recorder of London. The Lord Mayor had complained of the conduct of certain Trinkermen (fn. 2) for fishing in the River Thames below the bridge. He requested them to take immediate steps for inquiring into the same.
Dated from his house near the Savoy, 31st December, 1580.

A note is appended, directing the Recorder to inform the Lord Mayor upon the matter, and to receive from him instructions for their proceeding.

I. 172. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the (Lord Treasurer) thanking him for forwarding a copy of the unjust complaint of the Trinkermen, from which it appeared evident that, as they were unable to defend their conduct, they were desirous of causing some unkindness between the City and the Lord High Admiral. According to the advice given by him, the Court of Aldermen had proceeded to inquire into the unlawful proceeding of the Trinkers, and had ascertained that a great quantity of fry had been not only destroyed, but that swine had been fed with them, and the passage of the river made very dangerous; so much so that ships which formerly came to St. Katharine's could not now come to Blackwall. Tiltboats and wherries were scarcely able to pass from London to Greenwich at low water. The Princes and Parliament had in time past thought it best to commit the conservation of the river within certain bounds to the City. Fearing that in time to come the City might be charged with neglect, he requested that Her Majesty might be pleased to command her learned Judges to declare the law in this case, and to whom the jurisdiction belonged. He also forwarded for his Lordship's consideration a Petition from the Brownbakers, complaining of the dearth of grain for the service of the City, more especially for the nobility repairing thereto during term time and Parliament.
1st January, 1580.

I. 253. Letter from the Lord Mayor to Dr. Dale, Master of the Court of Requests. He had received through the Waterbailiff a Petition to Her Majesty from certain Trinkermen, but no directions had been signified from Her Majesty or the Privy Council what they wished the Court of Aldermen to do in the matter. They had complained, as conservators, of the disorders committed, and expressed their desire to limit the men to such orders as by law they ought to be. He therefore requested further instructions from the Queen or the Council in the matter.
7th September, 1581.

I. 254. Petition from John Tirry, Peter Wilson, and others, inhabitants and fishermen of Barking, Woolwich, Greenwich, and Blackwall, using their trade of fishing with certain nets and engines commonly called trinkes. It was enacted by Parliament, in the second year of the reign of Henry VI., that it should be lawful for the possessors of nets called trinkes, if they were of assize, to fish with them in all seasonable times, drawing and conveying them by hand, as other fishers did, and not fastening their nets to posts, boats, and anchors, continually to stand day and night, to the destroying of the spawn and fry of fish, which law was still in force, but it contained no fixed assize, nor was the season of the year for fishing named. The conservators of the Thames from London Bridge to Yendall, and of the Medway, had in times past made divers laws and ordinances, which had continued from time to time, as well concerning what assize and mesh the said nets should be, and the times and seasons of the year, and the places where they should fish, to the great hindrance of the Petitioners. They prayed Her Highness to appoint some person to view the said nets and engines, and to survey their manner of fishing, &c., and to grant them licences to fish again without prohibition.
(Circa 1581.)

I. 258. Letter from Peter Palmer to the Lord Mayor, concerning the Petition of the Trinkermen to Her Majesty and the instructions of the Lord Treasurer thereon.
13th September, 1581.

I. 259. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Treasurer. Not having received any satisfactory answer from Mr. Dale as to the pleasure of the Council in regard to the Petition of the Trinkermen, he desired to understand from his Lordship whether the Petition had been sent to the Aldermen to answer, because they had complained of some disorders, which the men in their Petition had partly confessed, or that, upon consideration of the law and ordinances, order should be taken for the lawful exercise of their trade, and thus afford to them the relief desired. If he had any other directions to give, the same should be accomplished with diligence.
14th September, 1581.

I. 269. Letter from William Lord Burghley to the Lord Mayor, acknowledging the receipt of the foregoing Letter, and stating that the Petition had been sent, in order that the Court of Aldermen, as conservators of the River Thames, might consider it, and take such steps as they in their discretion should think best.
21st September, 1581.

I. 273. Letter from Henry Gray to the Lord Mayor, with reference to the Petition of the Trinkermen, and requesting that the same might be speedily determined.
14th September, 1581.

I. 277. Letter from William Lord Burghley to the Lord Mayor, with reference to the Petitions of the Trinkermen, and of the Fishermen, to stay the setting up again of the said Trinkermen's nets. Understanding that it was purposed to call Courts, and to proceed in the matters, without the assistance of the Judge of the Admiralty, the officer of the Lord Admiral to whom only the jurisdiction below bridge belonged, he desired that the proceedings against the Trinkermen might be stayed, without the advice and assent of the Judge of the Admiralty.
8th October, 1581.

I. 362. Letter from William Lord Burghley to the Lord Mayor. He had understood that a controversy between Her Majesty's tenants the inhabitants of Battersca, Wandsworth, Putney, and others, for the right of fishing in the River Thames, had been appointed to be heard by his Lordship that day. Being Her Majesty's steward over them, he would be glad if such proceedings were taken as might avoid further question, and prayed that if upon hearing the matter he could not compound the same to their liking, he would forbear to determine it, and that he, as chief officer over them, would taken an early opportunity to call them before him, and take such order as to prevent further dispute between them.
16th June, 1582.

Postscript.—He had no intention in any wise to prejudice the Lord Mayor's authority for the jurisdiction of the river.

I. 363. Letter from William Lord Burghley to the Lord Mayor upon the same subject. The inhabitants of Battersea and others had informed him that, not only had nothing been done for their relief, but that the Waterbailiff had been more hard towards them. He begged the Lord Mayor to send the Waterbailiff to him to answer the poor men's complaint.
6th July, 1582.

I. 365. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Treasurer, acknowledging the receipt of the foregoing Letter. He had directed the Waterbailiff to attend upon him, and also to present to him a copy of such Orders as had been passed by the City for the jurisdiction of the river.
10th July, 1582.

I. 415. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor and Aldermen. They had been informed that a jury in Middlesex had been charged and empannelled by his Lordship in September last to inquire of the default made in the River Thames, and that the jury reported, in the month of October, amongst other defaults, that a great mass of gravel, rubbish, &c., had been cast into the river between Chiswick and Hammersmith, in the middle of the stream. For remedy thereof the parties had been called before his Lordship, and directed to remove the soil, &c., by Midsummer next, upon pain of forfeiture of 100l. per man, which resolution the Council heartily approved, and prayed the Lord Mayor to see carried into effect, that Her Majesty and her Council might have good cause to like well of the City's government, and to think the privileges and liberties granted to them by Her Majesty and her progenitors to have been well and worthily bestowed.
30th April, 1575.

I. 509. Letter from the Lord Mayor to Sir Christopher Hatton. A sturgeon had been taken in the Thames, which, according to usage, had been sent by the hands of the Waterbailiff to be presented to Her Majesty. He requested him to present the same.
14th May, 1583.

I. 598. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Treasurer, forwarding the Certificate from the Masters of the Trinity House touching the mills (for grinding corn) begun to be built on the south side of the Thames, near to London Bridge. They found that the same would in no way be hurtful either to the bridge or stream. He requested his Lordship to give his furtherance to the work, which would greatly benefit the poor citizens.
14th July, 1591.

I. 602. Letter from the Lord Mayor to… Some time since the City had begun to build certain mills for the grinding of corn on the south side of the Thames, near to the bridge, and the consent of the Privy Council had been requested to the said work. The Council had directed the Master of the Trinity House and other experienced persons to report the inconveniences (if any) likely to arise to the bridge or river, and they had certified that no danger would arise. They had also again, by direction of the Lord Chancellor and Treasurer, surveyed and certified to the like effect. He requested that Her Majesty might be entreated to grant to the City permission to proceed with the work.
26th July, 1591.

I. 603. Copy of the Certificate, signed by five Masters of the Trinity House, and six Masters of the Watermen's Company, certifying that they were of opinion the erection of the mills on the south side of the river near London Bridge would in no way be prejudicial to the river or bridge.
26th July, 1591.

I. 605. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Chamberlain, (fn. 3) requesting him to use his good offices to obtain a favourable answer to the City's suit for erecting mills at London Bridge.
30th July, 1591.

I. 610. Letter from the Lord Mayor and Aldermen to the Lords of the Council, recounting the steps taken by them for building the mills at London Bridge, upon which they had spent more than 2,600l., and which were stayed by their Lordships' direction, and requesting that they might receive leave, under the Great Seal, to proceed with the work, especially as the poor would derive great benefit therefrom, an abatement of fourpence or sixpence a bushel upon meal. If, after the certificate of the Commissioners appointed to examine into the danger likely to accrue to the river, there should still exist any doubts, the City were willing to undertake to remove any shelves or sandbanks which might be caused by their use.
23rd November, 1591.

I. 629. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Chamberlain, thanking him, in the name of the Court of Aldermen, for furthering the City's request for proceeding in the building of the mills at London Bridge, and reciting the steps taken by the City to prevent any inconvenience arising to the bridge or river from their construction. It was their intention to apply to Her Majesty for permission under the Privy Seal to proceed in the work. They requested his good offices with Her Majesty on their behalf.
8th February, 1591.

I. 657. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Chamberlain, requesting him to intercede with Her Majesty for granting the City power to proceed with the building of their mills at London Bridge, which had been delayed for a long period without any just cause.
23rd April, 1592.

II. 121. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Board of Green Cloth, complaining that the Knight Marshalman had, by their direction, arrested the Waterbailiff of this City within the precincts and liberties of the same, contrary to the Charters granted by the Kings of this realm, and confirmed by Her Majesty, for seizing certain unlawful flue-nets, made with double walls, at Sunbury, for which he ought rather to have been commended than disgraced, and stating that he had been directed to attend them thereon.
6th November, 1595.

II. 123. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord High Admiral, in reply to his Lordship's Letter touching the reason why certain fishermen of Hampton had been restrained by the Waterbailiff from using their nets and other lawful engines for catching fish in the River Thames. The fishermen had not been restrained from using lawful nets, but for erecting stops and weirs, contrary to the-statute of the 17 Henry VIII. c. 18.
13th November, 1595.

II. 206. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord Bishop of London, concerning the controversy between the fishermen of Chiswick and Hammersmith about Hammersmith Hope, and forwarding the Orders of the Court of Aldermen, copied from the Repertory in the time of Sir William Allen, Lord Mayor, (fn. 4) when this matter was in question, and at that time determined by a verdict of an inquest.
(Circa 1601.)

II. 245. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord High Admiral (the Earl of Nottingham), touching the settlement of the dispute between the fishermen of Hammersmith and Chiswick.
(Circa 1604.)

II. 270. Letter from the Lord Mayor to (the Lord High Admiral), upon a complaint made by the fishermen of the River Thames, of certain persons that of late had, by warrant from his Lordship, fished for salmon before Chelsea, which place had never before been allowed for fishing, and that in consequence divers other fishermen had taken the liberty to fish disorderly in other parts, to the great discontent of many poor men, and the prejudice of the government of fishing in the river, the Conservancy being in the Mayor of this City; and requesting his Lordship to withdraw his said warrant.
(Circa 1607–7.)

II. 292. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord High Admiral, as to the restoration of certain goods forfeited by Bennett Jay, and the trial by law of the unlawful fishing at Chelsea.
12th June, 1607.

II. 319. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord High Admiral, in answer to his Letter complaining of the conduct of the Waterbailiff for driving stakes in the Thames before his Lordship's house, for marking the fishing bounds.
21st May, 1608.

II. 322. Further Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord High Admiral on the same subject, and requesting him to let the matter rest until the return of the Waterbailiff from Yorkshire.
9th June, 1608.

III. 15. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord High Admiral, enclosing a paper of matters complained of as wrongs offered to the City by some of his officers concerning the Conservancy of the River Thames, and appointing Sunday next for the hearing of the matter.
13th June, 1611.

III. 16. Letter from the Lord High Admiral to the Lord Mayor in reply, complaining that he had appointed a time and had given him not two days warning; but agreeing to meet such as he might appoint at the Council Chamber, Whitehall, on the next Thursday.
15th June, 1611.

III. 35. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor and to Sir Daniel Dunn, Knight, (fn. 5) Judge of the Admiralty, and other officers of the Admiralty. On account of grievous complaints made to the Council of the great spoil and destruction of fry and small fish in the River Thames by the Trinckermen and others, through their unlawful manner of fishing, it had been lately ordered, on the motion of the Lord High Admiral, that he should appoint two sufficient and discreet persons, to join with two others to be appointed by the Lord Mayor, to go down the river and take notice of the abuses complained of, and define some cause for prevention thereof. The Council had been informed that some special persons had been appointed by the City and the Admiralty, yet, by whose default they knew not, the course directed had not succeeded, and the abuses still continued. They therefore required the Lord Mayor and the Judge of the Admiralty to appoint, each of them, two sufficient and discreet persons, without delay, to go down the river and examine particularly the abuses complained of, as well concerning the Trinckermen as the Heybernemen, and to consider some means for prevention thereof, and submit the same to the Council.
12th January, 1611.

III. 162. Letter from the Lord High Admiral to the Lord Mayor. He understood the Waterbailiff had molested the fishermen of Chelsea, whom the writer had allowed to fish there, as had been usual time out of mind, but who had lately been complained of to the Lord Mayor for fishing out of their bounds. He requested the Lord Mayor to give directions that they should not be further troubled in the matter.
Hampton Court, 14th July, 1614.

IV. 43. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen. Having before written to them on behalf of Mr. Digby, and recommended him for a redress of a wrong received from one Robert Elliott, by an encroachment made by him upon the Thames below the bridge, to the prejudice of the waterworks there, the Council did not anticipate (considering the benefit derived by the City from that engine) that a second letter would have been necessary. Elliott still continued his unlawful courses of throwing in rubbish and encroaching upon the river, thereby diverting the stream from the engine. The reason for his protraction they could not conjecture, the wrong being apparent enough, and twice found by a jury before the Commissioners of Sewers, who ordered the piles set up by Elliott to be removed. Although Elliott had proceeded against the officers appointed by the Commissioners of Sewers to execute the order, the Court of the Exchequer had, as the Council were informed, left the cause to the Court of Aldermen to proceed therein as they should think fit. The Council had, therefore, written this second letter to the Court of Aldermen, requiring them, for the public good and for Mr. Digby's, who demanded nothing but justice, to give directions for the suppression of the encroachments.
22nd November, 1616.

IV. 47. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor, reminding him that the King had previously directed his attention to the necessity for the removal of shelves and banks in the river, which it was thought would speedily choke it up, and so hinder the passage of shipping as to prejudice very greatly the trade of the City. His Majesty now commanded him, without further excuse or delay, to call a Common Council, and by authority thereof take effectual steps for the removal of such sands, shelves, and banks, within the City's jurisdiction, as were offensive, or meet to be taken away for the conservancy of the river, or impeded the passage of boats, vessels, or ships, and to put in execution such statutes as had been formerly made for the due conservancy of the river.
Whitehall, 29th December, 1616.

IV. 116. Letter from the Lord High Admiral to the Lord Mayor. He had been informed by Sir Henry Marten, Knight, Judge of the Admiralty, of daily encroachments on the jurisdiction of the Admiralty on the River Thames. He had thought it fit, before taking any other course, to inform the Lord Mayor of the matter.
Whitehall, 24th April, 1618.

IV. 123. Copy of Petition of Innocent Lanier, (fn. 6) Alfonso Ferabosio, and Hugh Lidiard, to the King, reciting that, in consequence of the number of shelves daily increasing in the River Thames, prejudicial to the navigation, and dangerous to the shipping, the City had, so far as in them laid, made an agreement with the Petitioners for cleansing the river, as appeared by the Certificate annexed; yet the Petitioners could not undertake the work unless His Majesty allowed them some recompense from all strangers' ships and vessels, as well as they had from the City, and also means to vent the gravel, soil, and sand, which the City had no power to make provision of. The Petitioners therefore prayed that the City might be in some part eased, and themselves in some part recompensed, by His Majesty allowing a charge to be made on all strangers' ships and vessels coming into the river, of twopence per ton per voyage, and granting that all who took ballast upon the river should take the same for thirty-one years next ensuing of the Petitioners only, at the usual rates then paid for land ballast, and that all builders, brickmakers, and others using river sand, might do the same, and that it might be lawful for any of His Majesty's subjects to take the same for ballast if they should think good.
(Circa 1618.)

At the end of the Petition is an order from the King, dated at Greenwich, the 28th May, 1618, directing the Lord Mayor and Recorder to certify their opinions as to the conveniency of the suit.
(Signed, Christopher Parkins.)

IV. 139. Certificate from the Lord Mayor and Recorder, with reference to the Petition of Lanier and others with respect to the cleansing of the River Thames. The Court of Aldermen, having considered the matter, were of opinion—

As to the charge of twopence per ton on strangers' ships,
1. It would be grievously taken by the merchant stranger;
2. It might lead to a similar imposition on English ships abroad;
3. It would enhance the price of merchandize, to the detriment of trade and prejudice of the Customs;
4. It would discourage the importation of victuals from abroad.

As to the taking of ballast for ships, it would be fit and convenient if the strangers would willingly ballast their ships with river ballast and sand; but they should not be compelled to do so.

The suit of the Petitioners was unexpected, seeing the City had long before agreed to pay them, for the cleansing of the river, twopence for every ton taken thereout, and to find them lighters to carry it and wharves to cast it upon. But it appeared that they desired a further benefit by this suit, which they had concealed from the City for six weeks after His Majesty's reference, by which means the summer had been lost.
(Circa 1618.)

V. 14. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen, concerning the removal of shoals from the River Thames, and recommending to their notice a new engine for that purpose, invented by John Gilbert, Gentleman, (fn. 7) one of His Majesty's servants, and Anthony Gibson, Citizen of London, and recommending its employment if found useful and advantageous.
16th February, 1618.

V. 22. Petition of Anthony Gibson and John Gilbert to the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen, stating that their engine for the cleansing of the banks and shelves in the river had been idle for six months past, that Mr. Lanere (fn. 8) and his partners had promised, more than three months ago, to set it on work, but had neglected to do so to hinder the Petitioners from seeking other employment for the same, and praying the Court to give directions for its use, and for the payment of a competent allowance in respect thereof.
(Circa 1618–19.)

V. 45. Letter from Mr. Secretary Calvert to the Lord Mayor. The King had been informed that the Court of Aldermen had cited divers shipwrights and ships' carpenters to appear at a Court, to be holden at Westminster on the 13th December, for some supposed misdemeanours on the River Thames, which His Majesty thought strange, considering the persons were merely depending on the Admiralty, His Majesty therefore desired that the men should be discharged of their appearance until he had heard the cause himself, or by such as he might appoint.
St. Martin's Lane, 12th December, 1619.

VI. 6. Copy of Order of the Court of Aldermen, upon receipt of a Letter from the Portreeve and Steward of the town of Gravesend, directing the Common Serjeant, (fn. 9) Mr. Stone, and Mr. Pheasant, (fn. 10) to confer with the Council of that town touching the orders offered by the Portreeve, Jurats, and inhabitants of the towns and parishes of Gravesend and Milton, to be observed concerning the ferry and passage from Gravesend to London, (fn. 11) and to report in writing thereon what they conceived fitting for the Court to do for the maintenance of both ferries.
30th January, 1622.

VI. 7. Certificate from John Stone and Peter Pheasant to the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen thereon. In their opinion the Orders proposed would not be prejudicial to the City's ferry, but a means to help them of Gravesend, for the better and more orderly government and maintenance of their ferry.
(Circa 1622–3.)

VI. 15. Order in Council directing Mr. Serjeant Crewe. (fn. 12) and the Attorney-General to peruse the Orders made by the Portreeve, Jurats, and inhabitants of Gravesend and Milton, and agreed to and confirmed by the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen of the City of London concerning the ferry and passage from Gravesend to London, and to certify their opinions thereon to the Council.
Whitehall, 18th June, 1623.

VI. 19. Letter from the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen to the Lords of the Council, intimating their approval of the Orders made by the inhabitants of Gravesend and Milton, for the regulation of the ferry and passage from Gravesend to the City, and their willingness to assist them as far as possible, should the Council think fit to sanction such Orders.
(Circa 1623.)

VI. 20. Copy of the Petition of the Portreeve and Jurats of the town of Gravesend to the Lords of the Council, reciting that of late years, in consequence of their lack of power to regulate the watermen and others serving the ferry from Gravesend to London, many persons had been drowned, and many misdemeanours and disorders had been committed; that they had made certain orders with penalties, in imitation of those made by the City of London for the better government of the said passage, but they were unable to enforce the penalties without continual suits at law. They therefore prayed that some punishment might be inflicted on the delinquents for breach of the Orders, and refusal to pay the penalties, and that they might have such further powers as the Council should deem expedient.
(Circa 1623.)

VI. 43. Application from John Gilbert, His Majesty's ancient servant, and William Burrell, Esquire, to the King, beseeching that orders might be given to the Lord Mayor and Aldermen that the first inventor, and Mr. Burrell, now owner, of the engine to cleanse the river, might be employed, and that those who neither were at charge for engine nor invention (but by a colourable undertaking to do the service) should not reap the benefit of others' invention and labours.
(Circa 1624.)

VI. 51. Petition of Fishermen of the River Thames between Staines and Yantleet to the King, reciting that, with a view to the reformation of abuses in the matter of fishing, they were desirous of being incorporated and entrusted with powers for that purpose. Aiming at no intrusion upon the privileges of the City of London, they had petitioned the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen for their assistance, who had referred the matter to a Committee. The House of Commons, upon consideration of the Petitioners' Bill, had much commended it, but the Lord Mayor and Aldermen having since been informed by some who wished the interruption of the design, had forborne to put forward their request. The Petitioners therefore prayed His Majesty to recommend their suit to the Court of Aldermen.
(Circa 1623.)

VI. 52. Order of the King thereon. As he conceived the endeavour of the Petitioners would tend to the preservation of fish, he desired the Lord Mayor and Aldermen, if the liberty and privileges of fishing in the River Thames between Staines Bridge and the waters of Medway of right belonged to the City of London, to consider the said Petition, and certify what they thought meet to be done for furtherance of the suit.
At the Court at Greenwich, 9th June, 1623.
(Signed) Sidney Mountague.

VI. 53. Answer of the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen, certifying that the liberty and privileges of fishing in the River Thames, and the Conservancy thereof between Staines Bridge and the waters of Medway, of right belonged to the City of London. For their better information as to the Fishermen's suit, they had caused a book to be drawn in the form of a charter, upon which both parties might, advise, wherein it was provided that if the proposed Corporation should be found inconvenient, and so declared by the Court of Aldermen, the same should be void; that the ordinances to be made should be approved by the Court of Aldermen before they should be put in execution, with other necessary provisions, and a saving of the City's rights and privileges and conservancy of the river. They thought it meet (if it pleased His Majesty) to incorporate the fishermen under the aforesaid reservations, &c., and such others as were contained in the said draft, so prepared in the form of a charter, which they prayed might be perused by the Recorder before it was passed. It would be a means the better to discover and reform the abuses practised by fishermen and others, with unlawful nets and engines, and at unseasonable times.
12th October, 1624.

VII. 2. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Earl of Wimbledon. (fn. 13) He had received his Letter, by which he understood the King was not satisfied as to his pleasure signified concerning the view of the River Thames. He regretted the misunderstanding which had occurred as to the time fixed for the view, of which he thought the Lords appointed for the purpose had taken notice. There was yet time, however, for there were two views yearly, the first, which was past, was to impanel a Jury, and charge them on their oaths to strict inquiry of all defaults on the river. The second view was from Staines downwards to the bridge, to see whether the defaults presented were amended, and Wednesday next was appointed for that purpose. If the day fixed was inconvenient for His Majesty's service or their Lordships' other important occasions, it should be altered.
(Circa 1629–30.)

VII. 9. Petition of Captain John Gilbert to Thomas Lord Coventry, Lord Keeper, stating that his Lordship had required an answer from the Court of Aldermen this day whether the passing of the Petitioner's Grant would prejudice the City. Finding no prejudice, they had not returned an answer, but had appointed a Committee to determine some difference between the Petitioner and another who had retained the benefit of his engine ever since his surrender. They had not appointed a day for hearing the difference, which only prolonged the time, to the prejudice of His Majesty's service, and to endeavour to deprive him of his Grant. He therefore prayed that the grant might pass under the Great Seal.

A Note in the margin says the Grant was "concerning the cleansing of the Thames."
(Circa 1629.)

VII. 10. Order of the Lord Keeper, directing the Petition to be shown to Mr. Bacon, the Remembrancer, that he might return a speedy answer as directed. If the matter did not concern the City, but some particular person, the meeting of a Committee was needless, for the party grieved might as well show his reasons against the Patent to the Lord Keeper. If, however, it concerned the City, he approved of the Committee's meeting, but their decision must be speedy.
11th November, 1629.

VII. 43. Letter from the Lord Mayor to Viscount Dorchester, similar in effect to No. 2.
Dated in margin, 28th August, 1630.

VII. 45. Letter from Mr. W. Trumball (fn. 14) to the Lord Mayor, intimating that the day fixed for the view of the River Thames would be inconvenient to the Commissioners, and requesting that it might be adjourned till the King's coming to Hampton Court.
Whitehall, 9th September, 1630.

VII. 46. Letter from the Commissioners fixing a day for the view of the River Thames.
Hampton Court, 26th September, 1630.

VII. 63. Further Letter from the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen to the Lords of the Council, detailing the steps taken by them for freeing the river from hatches, stops, &c., and with respect to the plague and the reduction of the prices of victuals. With respect to the removal of vagrants, the Marshals and other officers were instructed to disperse themselves in couples throughout the City, and upon sight of a vagrant to inform the nearest Constable, who, if he did not apprehend, punish, and pass away the vagrant according to the statute, was called before the Court of Aldermen and fined for the use of the poor.
Dated in margin, 30th March, 1631.

VII. 166. Same as No. 172, Vol. VIII.
19th January, 1635.

VIII. 8. Letter from the Lord Chancellor (Lord Verulam) to the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen, directing their attention to his former Letter, with respect to the delay in raising money in the City for the repair of Staines Bridge (fn. 15) and Egham Causey, according to the King's Letters Patent, and requesting a return of the names of such as should make default of their speedy payment.
28th June, 1619.

VIII. 9. Letter from the Lord Chancellor to the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen, referred to in the foregoing Letter.
2nd February, 1618.

VIII. 34. Letter from William (Lord) Beauchamp to the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen with respect to the injury done to his house and garden wall in Blackfriars, by reason of divers wharves not many years past erected on Bridewell side, and of the daily access of barges and other great vessels thereto.
30th May, 1620.

VIII. 50. Letter from the Earl of Nottingham, Lord Lieutenant of the county of—(Middlesex) to the Lord Mayor, requesting him to cause two mills, built by Sir Thomas Lake, near Sunbury, on the River Thames, to be suppressed, because they prevented many poor men from getting a living by the river.
9th April, 1623.

VIII. 51. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor, as Conservator of the river, requiring him to take speedy measures for the clearing and well keeping of the same, and for the repairing and maintaining of the bridge (London Bridge).
30th May, 1623.

VIII. 53. Letter from William Herbert (fn. 16) to the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen, requesting them to give directions for the necessary repair of the City wall next Bridewell, which ran along his house and garden in Blackfriars, and which was marvellously broken down and decayed through the daily resort of barges into that dock.
Amesbury, 15th July, 1624.

VIII. 104. Letter from the King to the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen, on having renewed the patent granted to John Gilbert for the use of certain engines for the removal of shelves in the River Thames, the gravel from which was by Act of Parliament to be disposed of for ballasting ships; and requiring them, as he could not proceed with effect unless the gravel were taken off his hands, to give directions for the employment of the said Gilbert and James Freeze, his fellow patentee, (fn. 17) and to report by what means the sand or gravel might be disposed of.
30th August, 1632.

VIII. 172. Letter from the King to the Lord Mayor and Court of Aldermen with respect to the cleansing of the River Thames, and keeping it free from shelves, &c., informing them that he had thought fit to revive the statute of Henry VIII., prohibiting the using of land ballast, and requiring all ships in the Thames to use river ballast only, and had appointed Thomas Smith, Esquire, Receiver-General of the Duchy of Cornwall, and others, to undertake the service, and requiring them to conclude with him for the allowance by them of twopence per ton for all gravel, &c., taken from the river, with such further allowances for wharves and lighters as formerly they had agreed for.
19th January, 1635.

IX. 33. Order in Council upon the Petition of John Chapman, one of the Yeomen of His Majesty's Great Chamber, who claimed a right and interest in the gravel and sand, and to ballast ships and vessels in the River Thames, by virtue of a lease granted by the late King under the Great Seal for thirty-one years, at a rent for the first five years of 466l. 13s. 4d. per annum, and afterwards at 1,000 marks yearly. The Order recites the opinion of the Attorney-General that the gravel and sand belonged by right to the King, but that the Lord High Admiral, the Trinity House, the City of London, as conservators of the river, one Gilbert and Colonel Careless, all claimed the same, either by prescription or grant, and his recommendation that the question should be settled by a trial at law. The Council agreeing therewith, order the question to be tried the next Michaelmas term in the Exchequer, and the Trinity House to give security for answering the same.
25th September, 1661.


  • 1. Thomas Lord Seymour, of Sudeley, brother of the Lord Protector Somerset and of Queen Jane Seymour, one of the wives of King Henry VIII., whose widow, Queen Catharine Parr, he subsequently married. Committed to the Tower and beheaded, 20th January, 1549.
  • 2. So called from the nets used by them, called treinekes or trinks, of the width (in the meshes) of one inch and a half, and not more narrow. Regulations made for the use of the trinks by Act of Parliament, 2 Henry VI., c. 19, 1423. See also 'Liber Albus,' 'Statutes at Large,' 'Liber Custumarum,' &c.
  • 3. Henry Lord Hunsdon.
  • 4. Leatherseller, afterwards Mercer; served the office of Warden of the Leathersellers' Company, 1550–51; Master, 1558–9, when he obtained a renewal of their Charter from the Queen; elected Alderman of Bridge Without, May 10th, 1558; removed to Billingsgate, January 19th, 1559; Sheriff, 1562; removed to Bridge Within, March 7th, 1564; Lord Mayor, 1571; President of St. Thomas's Hospital, 1573 to 1580. Buckell elected Alderman of Bridge Within, loco Allen, deceased, June 2nd, 1586. He was the son of William Allen, Citizen and Poulterer. He dwelt, when Sheriff, in Bow Lane, and whilst Lord Mayor, in Tower Street. He was buried at St. Botolph, Bishopsgate, in which parish he was born. (Note in 'Machyn's Diary,' p. 379.) By a deed dated October 27th, 1567, he gave 101l. 10s. to the Skinners' Company, on condition of their paying 6l. per annum to the poor of the parish.
  • 5. Educated at Oxford, where he took the degree of D.C.L., July 20th, 1580. He subsequently became Master of the Court of Requests. Appointed by Queen Elizabeth one of the Commissioners to treat with the Danes at Bremen, 1602; Knighted, 1603, and returned to Parliament, as one of the first two Burgesses elected by the University of Oxford after they were enfranchised, 1603; appointed Judge of the Admiralty Court, February 7th, 1608; died, September 15th, 1617.
  • 6. On the 14th October, 1619, licence was granted by the King to Alphonso Ferabosco, Innocent Lanier, and Hugh Lydiard, to cleanse the Thames of flats and shelves, with grant of the fines, &c., incurred under statute 27 Henry VIII., c. 18, 1535–6, and permission to sell the sand and gravel they dug out, and of an allowance of one penny per ton on strangers' goods imported and exported. 'State Papers (Domestic),' 1619–23, p. 85.
  • 7. Licence granted by the King, July 16th, 1618, to John Gilbert, to make an engine, called a water plough, for twenty-one years. 'State Papers (Domestic),' 1611–18, p. 555
  • 8. Lanier.
  • 9. Thomas Jones, Esquire, of Gray's Inn.
  • 10. Peter Pheasant, of Gray's Inn; called to the Bar, 1608; Reader of Gray's Inn, 1624; Serjeant, May, 1640; was one of the Common Pleaders of the City. Elected Recorder, May 2nd, 1643; resigned May 30th, 1643; Justice of the Common Pleas, September 30th, 1645; resided in Boswell Court, Fleet Street. Died October 1st, 1649; buried at Upwood, Huntingdonshire.
  • 11. The Ferry between Gravesend and Tilbury was an appartenance of the manor of Parrock, and the ferriage is mentioned in a rent-roll of the Manor as early as 1364–5. The Manor, with all its rights, was purchased by the Corporation of Gravesend, of Geo. Etkins, in 1694. The Long Ferry from Gravesend to London was confirmed to the men of the town by Henry IV. in 1401, and by subsequent monarchs, until Queen Elizabeth incorporated the town, when she confirmed it to the Corporation of Gravesend. This was again confirmed by Charles I., March 13th, 1632.
  • 12. Created Serjeant, 1623; chosen Speaker of the House of Commons, February 19th, 1623; and again upon the accession of Charles I., June 18th, 1625; died, February, 1633.
  • 13. Edward Cecil, grandson of the famous Lord Bughley. Born in 1571. A celebrated military commander; he served in the Netherlands for thirty-five years, commanded the fleet against the Spaniards and Imperialists, 1625; created Baron Cecil of Putney, November 9th, 1625; Viscount Wimbledon, July, 1626; died, November 16th, 1638.
  • 14. English Resident at Brussels, 1615–24. Subsequently one of the Clerks of the Privy Council. King James I., in 1623, gave him Easthampsted Park, Berks. He died in 1635. See Lysons's 'Berkshire,' p. 285; Le Neve's Knights,' p. 391.
  • 15. 1618–19. February 18th. Proclamation of a Brief for collections throughout Middlesex and the Western Counties for repair of Staines Bridge, and maintenance of the causeway of Egham, county Middlesex: the tolls only bringing in 24l. yearly, the inhabitants cannot meet the expense, which will be 1,000l., without help. Vide 'Calendar of State Papers (Domestic),' 1619–23, p. 15.
  • 16. Third Earl of Pembroke, K.G.; appointed Governor of Portsmouth, 1610; Lord Chamberlain, 1618. Died at his house in London, April 10th, 1630. And see note 2, p. 7.
  • 17. The patent was renewed on the 18th September, 1629, for a period of twenty-one years. See 'State Papers (Domestic),' 1629–31, p. 59. The patent itself is set out at length in Rymer's 'Fœdera,' edit. 1722, vol. xix., p. 305. The 'State Papers' also contain the following additional references to this patent:— "April 16th, 1631.—Petition of the Master of the Trinity House against Gilbert's engine." 'State Papers (Domestic)' p. 12. "1632.—A Petition from Captain Gilbert, stating that, on account of the opposition, he had gained nothing by his invention, and asking that something might be done for setting the disputes." 'State Papers (Domestic),' p. 477. "September, 1633.—Copy of Report of Lord Cottington and AttorneyGeneral Noy to the King upon this Petition." 'State Papers (Domestic),' p. 224.