Carts and carmen

Pages 56-60

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

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Carts and carmen.

II. 176. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council, enclosing a petition from the Governors of Christ's Hospital, concerning the recent decision of the Court of King's Bench against the Validity of the Acts of Common Council, Committing the ordering and appointing of carrs and carriages within the City to the said Governors, (fn. 1) setting forth the great inconvenience which had arisen therefrom, and praying that these Acts of Common Council, ordered and ratified after consultation with Her Majesty's officers of the Board of Green Cloth, might not be brought to trial in any other of Her Majesty's Courts of Justice, nor examined by such strict laws as might impeach their force and authority within the City.
30th June, 1601.

II. 177. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor, acknowledging the receipt of the petition above mentioned, and stating that they had determined to hold a conference with the Lord Chief Justice upon the recent decision, and in the mean time that they fully approved of the orders heretofore in use, and recommended the same to be continued, and the carmen to be charged in the name of Her Majesty to disobey them at their peril.
26th July, 1601.

II. 212. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council, certifying the great disorder occasioned in the City by the refusal of the carmen to obey the order made by the City, and carried out by the Governors of Christ's Hospital, for their management, and ordered to be enforced by their Lordships.
30th June, 1601.

II. 216. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council, concerning the great increase in the number of carts and carriages, and certifying to them the refusal of the Woodmongers (fn. 2) to obey the orders issued for the good government of the traffic within the City.
28th February, 1601.

II. 248. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council, informing them of the steps taken in the complaint made against the cart-takers.
23rd November, 1604.

II. 262. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council, as to the supply of 200 carts, with two horses to each, for the removal of His Majesty's (James I.) effects to Greenwich.
(See "Public Affairs.")

II. 264. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council, touching the complaints of the carmen.
31st May, 1606.

II. 274. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lord High Chamberlain (the Earl of Suffolk), (fn. 3) soliciting him to pay the charges due to the hackneymen and coachmen who removed the King of Denmark and his train during his abode in England.
12th October, 1606.

II. 315. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Board of Green Cloth, complaining that the Justices of the County of Surrey had rated the carmen of the City inhabiting in Southwark, together with other inhabitants of the Borough, towards a composition for the carrying of sea coal for the provision of His Majesty's house, and stating that the Borough of Southwark had never been taken for any part of the Country of Surrey, but had always been reputed a borough of itself, and accordingly been known and called by the name of the King's Borough, whereby the Justices of that County never had power to demand contributions for a charge whereunto the County was liable, and that the Borough was under the government of the City; besides, that the carmen of the City were much employed in carrying provisions, &c., not only within London, but to Nonsuch, Richmond, &c. He therefore requested the Board to spare the carmen and the inhabitants of the Borough the contribution.
31st March, 1608.

II. 323. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Board of Green Cloth, acknowledging their letter touching the jurisdiction and government of the Borough of Southwark, which had been thought fit to be heard and determined by the Justices of Assize, and stating that the Borough of Southwark had been anciently annexed to the government of this City by special grant from the Kings of this realm, and that the Lord Mayor had no power to refer the hearing to the Justices of Assize, and further that the service of the carmen dwelling in the Borough did not depend upon this difference; the carmen of this City were incorporated by Letters Patent (15 Henry VIII.) and the number fixed at 400, 100 dwelling in the Borough of Southwark, 200 in the skirts of this City, within the County of Middlesex, and 100 on the Woodwharves of this City; if it were thought fit that those 100 carts dwelling in Southwark should contribute to the service of Surrey, why not the 200 for the service of Middlesex? leaving only 100 to carry on the trade of the City; it was not required in the composition for Middlesex that the carmen of London dwelling there should perform anything towards the same. He therefore requested their Lordships not to alter the present arrangements, which had worked well for the service of His Majesty.
10th June, 1608.

II. 332. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council, concerning the evil practice of persons not licensed carmen setting up carts, whereby the number would grow to such an immoderate excess as to impede the traffic of the streets, and reporting that he had bound over one Blincorne, a carpenter, to appear to answer the offence before their Lordships.
22nd November, 1608.

II. 333. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council, stating that it had pleased their Lordships, upon the complaint of the Woodmongers and carmen, when they were under the control of the Governors of Christ's Hospital, to order and decree that every person trading with carts should pay four nobles a year, together with four shillings by way of quarterage for a single cart, and so rateably for the rest, and that every Woodmonger should pay four marks yearly towards the finding of a long cart for His Majesty's service, as was usually paid time out of mind; since which time it had been thought fit to commit the government of the carmen unto the Woodmongers, and that every person using carts should pay yearly 13s. 4d. for a single cart, together with 4s. for quarterage and no more, and that the number of carts should not exceed 400. He prayed their Lordships to confirm this agreement.
28th November, 1608.

II. 344. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Board of Green Cloth, with reference to the providing of long carts for the Royal service by the keepers of the Woodwharves and the Company of Woodmongers.
19th February, 1608.

III. 42. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Lords of the Council, reciting that the Council had determined that the number of licensed carts within the City liberties should be limited to 400, and that none should be permitted unless licensed, and stating that the Wardens of the Woodmongers (to whom by charter the government and execution of the orders had been committed) had complained that one Thomas Morley had set up carrs at his pleasure without limitation of numbers, order, or licence, and that in accordance with the orders of the Council, he had bound him over to answer the complaint before them.
21st March, 1611.

III. 43. Order in Council thereon, directing that Morley should submit and conform himself to the orders of the Board, or else that the Lord Mayor should commit him to prison.
22nd March, 1611.

III. 46. Letter from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor, stating that, notwithstanding their recent order with respect to the number of carrs to be licensed within the City, complaint had been made to them by the Company of Woodmongers that certain persons therein named obstinately refused to obey the said orders, and requiring him to cause them without delay or excuse to submit themselves, or else to commit them to prison, there to remain until they conformed.
20th April, 1611.

III. 100. Letter from the Lord Mayor to the Board of Green Cloth, stating that the Justices of Surrey were about to rate and assess the carmen, &c., inhabiting in Southwark towards the composition of wood and coal, and the carriage thereof, for the provision of the King's house, and reminding the Board that upon a former similar occasion they had acquitted them from any such charge, but that the carmen having ignorantly omitted the entry of the order at the time, the question had been set on foot again; and further requesting the Board to spare them from any such contributions.
10th July, 1614.

V. 84. Letter from the Lord Bishop of London, (fn. 4) Sir Julius Cæsar, (fn. 5) and Sir Henry Hobart (fn. 6) (Commissioners to whom the grievances between the Wharfingers of London, on the one part, and the Woodmongers and Carmen on the other part, had been referred by the King), to the Lord Mayor and others, stating that having heard the parties, they had considered the matter, and had put certain points into writing, which they considered required reformation, and had forwarded them to the Lord Mayor and the rest, requesting them to take steps in accordance with their suggestions, but nothing had been done; they therefore requested that the matter might be determined as soon as possible, and a certificate of their proceedings forwarded.
27th August, 1620.


  • 1. It would appear from entries in the Records that the Corporation regulated the standing of carts from very early times. Standings were fixed for carts in Tower Street and Tower Hill, September 23rd, 1479. The government was transferred from the Woodmongers' Company to Christ's Hospital in 1582. This was confirmed by Act of Common Council in 1586. Acts were passed for Regulating Carts and Carmen, Oct. 22nd, 1605; August 2nd and 23rd, 1654; July 1st, 1658; May 10th, 1661. This last Act was repealed, and other regulations passed, June 21st, 1665. This was also repealed, and fresh arrangements made, April 2nd, 1667, and Oct. 15th, 1681. The last Act passed for licensing and regulating carts, &c., May 11th, 1838.
  • 2. This ancient Company was made a fellowship by Henry the Eighth. Incorporated by James the First, Aug. 29th, 1603.
  • 3. Thomas Howard, created Earl of Suffolk, K.G., 1603.
  • 4. John King. Born about 1559; educated in Westminster School; student of Christ Church, Oxford, 1576; was Chaplain to Queen Elizabeth; Archdeacon of Nottingham, 1590; D.D., 1602; Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, 1605; consecrated Bishop of London, Sept. 8th, 1611; died March 30th, 1621; buried in St. Paul's.
  • 5. Sir Julius Cæsar Adelmare, or, as he was more generally known, Sir, Julius Cæsar, was educated at Magdalen College, Oxford; B.A., 1575; M.A., 1578. Was Counsel for the City in 1583; appointed Judge of the Admiraly Court, April 30th, 1584; Master Extraordinary of the Court of Requests, January 10th, 1590–1; Treasurer of the Inner Temple, 1593; Master of St. Catherine's Hospital by the Tower, 1596; Knighted by James the First, May 20th, 1603; M.P. for Westminster, 1603; appointed Chancellor and Under Treasurer of the Exchequer, April 11th, 1606; Master of the Rolls, Sept. 13th, 1614; married, first, Dorcas, daughter of Alderman Sir Richard Martin; secondly, Alice, widow of John Dent, merchant of London; thirdly, Anne, daughter of Henry Woodhouse, of Waxham, Norfolk, by his wife Anne, daughter of Sir Nicholas Bacon, Lord Keeper. Sir Julius Cæsar died April 18th (o.s.), 1636, and was buried in St. Helen's, Bishopsgate, where a monument to his memory still exists. A life of him, giving many interesting particulars of his family, was published by Wilkinson in 1810. See also 'Annals of St. Helen's,' by the Rev. J. E. Cox, D.D., Vicar.
  • 6. Called to the Bar, June 24th, 1584; appointed Attorney-General, July 4th, 1606; created a Baronet on the institution of the Order in 1611; Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, November 26th, 1613; died, December 26th, 1625.