Memorials of the Guild of Merchant Taylors of the Fraternity of St. John the Baptist in the City of London. Originally published by Harrison, London, 1875.
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XXVIII. PRECEPT TO PROVIDE A WATCH, 1571.
October 20th, 1571.
A PRECEPT TO WATCH AT EV'RY GATE AND POSTERNE IN THE CITY.
Ffirste at this daye, a Precepte directed from the Mayo' to the Maister and his Wardens, conserninge the appoyntinge and nominatinge of some sufficient, hable, and discreete men to joyne with the Company of Veynteners, who are likewyse appoynted to set forthe other and hable and discreete men to joyn with this Company in watche, on Monday nexte, beinge the 22nd daie of this instante monthe of Octob', at ev'ry gate and posterne, as in the said Precepte hereafter wrytten menc[i]oned, was openlie redd, the tenor whereof followeth:—
"Wee straightlie charge and commande you that you immediatelye upon the receipt hereof, do call and assemble togeder so many of your Companie as you shall think mete and expediente, and that ye take such order forthwithe among yourselfs that ye appointe tenne sufficient, able, and dyscrete p'sones to joyne wth the Companie of Vynten's, who are likewise appoynted to sett forthe tenne able men to joyne with you to watch at every gate and posterne hereafter named, that is to say: at Newgate two, at Ludgate two, at the Bridge two, at Billingsgate two, at Moregate two, at Cripplegate two, at the posterne beside the Tower two, at Aldgate two, at Bishoppsgate two, at Aldersgate two; and that they be ready uppon Munday nexte, being the 21st daie of this instante monthe, by sixe of the clocke in the morninge, and they theire continuallie to remayne from the said houre of six until five of the clocke at night, watchyng and havinge continuallie duringe the sayde tyme a vigillant eye to all and ev'ry suche suspect and idle p'sones as shall passe and returne in, at, and by the same gate, and upon suspicion to staie and examine them, and so manye as they shall fynde suspecte and faultie to commit to warde under safe custodie untill o' pleasure shall be knowne therein for their deliv'rance, and that ye certifie me, the said Maior, of the names and surnames of such as ye shall comyt, and in what prison they shall remayne, and the cause ye comyt them for, to th'ende I maye take order for theire further examinac[i]on, and forasmuche as other Companies of this Cittie are by us appoynted to followe you in the like watche, so as your turne cometh agayne to watche the tenthe daie from yo' saide firste daie of watchinge.
These are therefore also to commande you to observe the saide order of watchinge ev'ry tenthe daie as y' turne comethe untill you shall have otherwise from us in commandement. Ffayle ye not hereof as you will answere for the contrarie to yo' p'rill."