Borough of Southwark. The Marshalsea. 19

Borough of Southwark. The Marshalsea.

Years last past (it was now about the Year 1579.) well near an hundred Persons died, and between Michaelmas and March about a dozen Persons; besides others that had been extreamly sick and hardly recovered; and some remained still sick, and in danger of their Lives, through a certain Contagion, called, The Sickness of the House: which many times happened among them; engendring chiefly, or rather only, of the small or few Rooms, in respect of the many Persons abiding in them; and there, by want of Air, breathing in one anothers Faces as they lay, which could not but breed Infection; especially, when any Infectious Person was removed from other Prisons thither. And many times it so happened, namely, in the Summers Season, that through want of Air, and to avoid Smoldring, they were forced, in the Night-time to cry out to the Marshal's Servants, to rise and open the Doors of the Wards, whereby to take Air in the Yard for their refreshing. Whereupon these Prisoners, about March 1579. put up a Petition to the Lords of the Queen's Privy Council, setting forth all this their lamentable Condition; and beseeched them to take some Order for the enlarging of the said Rooms for preservation of their Lives, that then remained there, as of others that should fortune to be committed thither: And also for building of some Chappel, or Place of common Prayer; they being driven to use for that purpose a certain Room, through which was a continual Recourse. And that they would the rather be moved hereunto, in that the same House or Lands were the Queen's Inheritance; and the Marshal there answerable to Her Highness for a yearly Rent therefore; and also being Her Highness's Principal Goal.

For seconding this Petition Sir Own Hopton, Kt. Lieutenant of the Tower, Fleetwood the Recorder, and several Aldermen and Justices of the Peace, sent their Letter to the Lords, testifying the truth of the abovesaid Complaint, and moreover assuring their Honours, that there was not one convenient or several Room in the whole House, wherein they might sit, for the executing of the Queen's Majesty's Commission, but were forced to use a little low Room, or Parlour, adjoining to the Street, where the Prisoners daily dined and supped: So that were it not for the discharging of their Duties that ways, and some pitiful Remorse toward the help of some Prisoners hard Cases, they could be contented to tarry from thence, as well as some others of their Collegus did, for the Inconveniency aforesaid.]

Then is the Marshalsea another Goal, or Prison, so called, as pertaining to the Marshals of England. Of what continuance kept in Southwark I have not learned: but like it is, that the same hath been removeable at the pleasure of the Marshals. For I find, that in the Year 1376, the fiftieth of Edward the Third, Henry Piercy, being Marshal, kept his Prisoners in the City of London, where having committed one J. Prendargest of Norwich, contrary to the Liberties of the City of London, the Citizens, by perswasion of the Lord Fitzwalter, their Standard Bearer, took Armour, and ran with great Rage to the Marshal's Inn, brake up the Gates, brought out the Prisoner and conveyed him away, minding to have burnt the Stocks in the midst of the City; but they first sought for Sir Henry Piercy to have punished him; as I have noted in my Annals.

Marshalsea in Southwark.

More, About the Feast of Easter next following, John Duke of Lancaster, having caused all the whole Navy of England to be gathered together at London, it chanced a certain Esquire to kill one of the Shipmen. Which Act the other Shipmen taking in ill part, they brought their Suit into the King's Court of the Marshalsea; which then as chanced (saith mine Author) was kept in Southwark: but when they perceived that Court to be too favourable to the Murderer; and farther, that the King's Warrant was also gotten for his Pardon; they in great Fury ran to the House wherein the Murderer was Imprisoned, brake into it, and brought forth the Prisoner with his Gives on his Legs, they thrust a Knife to his Hear, and sticked him as if he had been a Hog: after this they tied a Rope to his Gives, and drew him to the Gallows. Where when they had hanged him, as though they had done a great Act, they caused the Trumpets to be sounded before them to their Ships, and there in great triumph they spent the rest of the Day.

Sailors break up the Marshalsea.

Also the Rebels of Kent, in the Year 1381 brake down the Houses of the Marshalsea and Kings Bench in Southwark, took from thence the Prisoners, brake down the House of Sir John Immorth, then Marshal of the Marshalsea and Kings Bench, &c. After this, in the Year 1387, the eleventh of Richard the Second, the morrow after Bartholomew Day, the King kept a great Council in the Castle of Nottingham, and the Marshalsea of the King was then kept at Lughborough, by the space of six Days or more. In the Year . Sir Walter Many was Marshal of the Marshalsea, the two and twentieth of Henry the Sixth. William Brandon, Esq; was Marshal in the eighth of Edward the Fourth. In the Year 1504. the Prisoners of the Marshalsea, then in Southwark, brake out, and many of them being taken were executed, especially such as had been committed for Felony or Treason.

Rebels of Kent break up the Marshalsea.

Occurrences there.

In June, Anno 1592. happened a dangerous Insurrection in Southwark, occasioned by the serving a Warrant from the Lord Chamberlain, by one of the Knight Marshal's Men, upon a Feltmaker's Servant; who was committed to the Marshalsea, with certain others that were accused to his Lordship by the said Knight Marshal's Man, without cause of Offence, as themselves did affirm. He entred the House where the Warrant was to be served, with a Dagger drawn, affrighting the good Wife, who sate by the Fire with a young Infant in her Arms: and after, having taken the Prisoners, committed them to the Marshalsea; where they lay five Days without making their Answer. Certain Servants of the Feltmaker assembled together out of Barnsey Street and the Blackfriers, with a great number of loose and masterless Men, apt for such Purposes, to rescue these that were committed to the Marshalsea.

Upon committing a Feltmaker to the Marshalsea, the Feltmakers rise.

J. S.

They assembled themselves by occasion and pretence of their meeting at a Play on a Sunday; which, besides the breach of the Sabbath, gave opportunity of committing these and such like Disorders.

Sir William Webb, Lord Maior, hearing of this Tumult, sped away with one Sheriff, to Southwark, and made Proclamation, and dismissed the Multitude; and apprehended the chief Doers and Authors of the Disorder, and committed them to Prison, to be farther punished as they deserved. And sending next Morning for the Deputy and Constable of the Borough, with divers others of best Credit, who were then present, to examine the Cause and Manner of the Disorder, he found by the Testimony of the Inhabitants, a great cause of it to be the rough dealing of the Marshal's Men, in the serving of their Warrant; not using themselves with that good discretion and moderate Usage as were meet; but after a rough and violent manner; provoking Men by such hard Dealings to contend with them, which would otherwise obey in all dutiful sort. And when these People were thus assembled in this disorderly manner, it was observed that the Knight Marshal's Men, being within the Marshalsea, issued forth with their Daggers drawn, and

Complaint of the Marshal's Men.