vision made for themselves as heretofore. Which, he said, would cause a further
Scarcity, and still raise the Prizes higher. He informed the Treasurer further,
many transported Grain out of sundry Creeks and Havens of the Realm. And
it waxed both scarce and dear about some of the Coasts, some came up higher into
Land to buy Grain: And, as he was informed, that about Royston, Malt rose Three
Shillings in a Quarter, and more, of late; and that chiefly by the Kentish Men,
came thither to buy it. And in fine, he suggested to the said great Minister,
his Lordship, with the rest of the Queen's Council, would see Redress in Time,
would be an Occasion of making a Scarcity among them too.
This shews him both a careful and discreet Magistrate.
In the Year 1581, Sir James Harvey was Maior. In his Time were great Deceits,
reason of false Weights; and that not only within the City of London, but in
and Places within the Realm. The Reason whereof was, because the true Standard,
made according to the Statute for the Sizing of all Weights, could not be found.
was heretofore complained of to the Lord Treasurer; who took some Care for the
Reformation thereof: But yet the Abuse continued. This Maior therefore wrote to
said Lord Treasurer, to this Purport:
"That, for that he was this Year charged
Conscience, by reason of his Office and Oath taken, to see that Falshood and
punished; he thought it his Duty, not only to remember his Lordship thereof, but
beseech him, that he would give him his favourable Help and Advice, what Order
Course to take in the City, for the Reformation thereof."
Sir James Harvey.
A Standard for Weights.
Let me also leave this good Remembrance of Sir Thomas Blanke, a Merchant, and
Citizen born; Maior the next Year, viz. 1582. Which being a Year of Plague in
City, the Lord Treasurer had sent an Order to the said Maior, to make a
Catalogue of all
the Victualling Houses in London that were infected: Which Catalogue was to be
publickly to be read, to the end that all Strangers, that resorted to London
Occasions, might avoid Setting up or Lodging at those Houses, to prevent their
carrying Infection into the Country. And so to do it, from Two Months to Two
Months. This Sir Thomas Blanke diligently did: And employing an expert Person
draw up this Catalogue, he had special Regard to two Things: The one, To give
plain Descriptions and Notes of the Streets and Places, as might serve for easy
to such as repaired to the City. The other; This List to be so brief and
contracted, as it
might be brought into less than one Side of a Sheet, to be fixed in Places
Sir T. Blanke.
A Plague in his Year.
The Maior prayed the said Lord, to consider of the proper Places which he
good to note; having respect to Westminster, and the way thereto out of the
and the Entrance all ways into the City.
The Maior put him also in mind, How in Term Time, usually, all the Houses in
Fleetstreet, and the Streets and Lanes adjoining, as also without Temple Bar,
Lodging, Victualling, and Letting out of Chambers: Leaving to his Lordship's
Consideration, whether such Houses, tho' they were not Victuallers, should not
likewise noted, if they had been infected within the Space of two Months.
Then he thanked his Lordship for his Honourable and Loving Care of the City, in
ter of the Infection, and the Repair of the Queen's Subjects thither. And for
Part, he promised, he would not fail in Diligence, according to his Direction.
And whereas upon a Lord's Day, a great Number of People, being met for Sport at
Paris Garden, all the Scaffolds fell down at once, to the slaying and wounding
great many People; this Maior piously looked upon it as a Judgment of God, for
of the Lord's Day; and wrote to the Lord Treasurer to this Tenor:
Occasion to acknowledge the Hand of God, for such Abuse of his Sabbath Day; and
moved him in Conscience to beseech his Lordship, to give Order for Redress of
Contempt of God's Service. And that he had for that End treated with some
Peace of that County, who shewed themselves to have very good Zeal, but alledged
want of Commission; which they humbly referred to his Honourable Wisdom."
The Slaughter at Paris Garden, which happened on a Sunday.
In his Maioralty, he, with his Brethren the Aldermen, and Common Council, entred
upon the Business of Establishing of Orders, for the true and upright Use of her
Majesties Beam, with the Weights thereto belonging. Which, upon Continuance,
daily wear, and needed to be renewed and sized from Time to Time. And for this
they were humble Suitors to him, to have in Remembrance the great Want the City
the whole Realm found, for Lack of Order to size Weights; whereby the
as he wrote, took Detriment, and private Men presumed (without Order) to sell
unlawful Weights, both in the City and in the Country, that were accustomed to
Assizing from London. And this Opportunity the said Maior took; because the
Verdict, touching Weights, was long since delivered before the Treasurer, and
of the Court of Exchequer.
The Queen's Beam, and Weights.
This Sir Thomas Blanke was commonly called The Good Knight. He died Anno 1588.
His Epitaph, and his Ladies, are preserved in this Book, in Billingsgate Ward.
In the Year 1588, Sir Martin Calthorp was Maior. Then the Queen had a Loan from
City; by reason, I suppose of her extraordinary Charges she had been at in
against the Spaniard, who attempted the Invasion of England this Year. Every
Company was taxed new by way of Loan, according to a Direction from the Lord
Treasurer to the Lord Maior.
In November was paid into the Queen's Receipt hereupon, 17952l. 10s. But many
the Citizens wilfully absented themselves; and many had wholly left the City,
betaken themselves into the Country: whereby the Loan amounted not to the Sum of
20000l. Which the commendable Zeal of the Maior for the Queen, and for the
Credit, did endeavour to raise it unto. He, and Sir George Bond, Alderman, sent
several Sums that each stood charged with unto the said Loan, with their Names
Dwellings; and acquainted the Treasurer how effectually this Business had been
travailed in. And he wrote, That he was very sorry that he should be
the Backwardness of some, to give so hard an Information unto his Lordship,
any that would be accounted good Citizens: But in respect of his Duty, he said,
could do no less, but to lay the Fault and Blame on such as committed the same.
so left it to his Lordship, to take some Course with those Citizens.