An Apology of the City of LONDON.5

An Apology of the City of LONDON.

in Effect, to be these twain, Ambition and Covetousness. Of which, the first reigneth in the Minds of high and noble Personages, or of such others, as seek to be gracious and popular, and have robbed the Hearts of the Multitude. Whereas in London, if any where in the World, Honos verè onus est, i.e. Honour is truly a Burden; and every Man rather shunneth than seeketh the Maioralty, which is the best Mark amongst them: Neither hath there been any strong Faction, nor any Man more popular than the rest; for as much as the Government is by a Pattern, as it were, and always the same, how often soever they change their Magistrate. Covetousness, that other Syre of Sedition, possesseth the miserable and needy Sort, and such as be Naughtipacks, Unthrifts; which although it cannot be chosen, but that in a frequent City as London is, there shall be found many, yet bear they not any great Sway, seeing the Multitude and most Part there is of a competent Wealth, and earnestly bent to honest Labour. I confess that London is a mighty Arm and Instrument to bring any great Desire to Effect, if it may be won to a Man's Devotion: Whereof also there want not Examples in the English History. But for as much as the same by the like Reason serviceable and meet to impeach and disloyal Attempt, let it rather be well governed than evil liked therefore; for it shall appear anon, that as London hath adhered to some Rebellions, so hath it resisted many, and was never the Author of any one.

London never the Author of a Rebellion.

The Quality of this City consisteth either in the Law and Government thereof, or in the Degress and Condition of the Citizens, or in their Strength and Riches.

It is besides the Purpose to dispute, whether the Estate of the Government, here be a Democraty or Aristocraty. For whatsoever it be, being considerd in itself, certain it is, that in Respect of the whole Realm, London is but a Citizen, and no City; a Subject, and no free Estate; an Obedienciary, and no Place endowed with any distinct or absolute Power: For it is governed by the same Law that the rest of the Realm is, both in Causes, Criminal and Civil, a few Customs only excepted, which also are to be adjudged, or forejudged by the Common Law. And in the Assembly of the Estates of our Realm (which we call Parliament) they are but a Member of the Commonalty, and send two Burgesses for their City, as every poor Borough doth, and two Knights for their County, as every other Shire doth; and are as straightly bound by such Laws, as any Part of the Realm is: For if Contribution in Subsidy of Money to the Prince be decreed, the Londoners have none Exemption, no not so much as to assess themselves; for the Prince doth appoint the Commissioners.

The Subjection of the City.

If Souldiers must be mustered, Londoners have no Law to keep themselves at Home: If Provision for the Prince's Houshold be to be made, their Goods are not privileged. In Sum therefore, the Governement of London differeth not in Substance, but in Ceremony from the rest of the Realm, as namely, in the Names and Choice of their Officers, and in their Guildes and Fraternities, established for the Maintenance of Handicrafts and Labourers, and for Equity and good Order, to be kept in buying and selling. And yet in these also are they to be controuled by the general Law: For by the Statutes of 28 Edward the Third, Chap. 10. And of the 1st of Henry the Fourth, Chap. 15, the Points of their Misgovernment are inquirable by the Inhabitants of the foreign Shires adjoyning, and punishable by such Justiciars as the Prince shall thereunto depute: To conclude therefore, the Estate of London for Government is so agreeable a Symphony with the rest, that there is no Fear or dangerous Discord to ensue thereby.

The Multitude (or whole Body) of this populous City is two Ways to be considered, generally and specially: Generally, they be natural Subjects, a Part of the Commons of this Realm, and are by Birth for the most Part a Mixture of all Countries of the same; by Blood Gentlemen, Yeomen, and of the basest Sort without Distinction; and by Profession busy Bees, and Travellers for their Living in the Hive of this Common-wealth: But especially considered, they consist of these three Parts, Merchants, Handicraftsmen, and Labourers. Merchantdise is also divided into three Sorts; Navigation, by the which Merchandises are brought, and carried in and out over the Seas: Invection, [or Importation] by the which Commodities are gathered into the City, and dispersed from thence into the Country by Land: And Negotiation, which I may call the keeping of a retailing or standing Shop. In common Speech, they of the first Sort be called Merchants, and both the other Retailers. Handicraftsmen be those which do exercise such Arts as require both Labour and Cunning, as Goldsmiths, Taylors, and Haberdashers, Skinners, &c. Labourers and Hirelings, I call those Quorum operæ non artes emuntur, i.e. Whose Labour, not Skill, is bought, as Tully saith, of which Sort be Porters, Carmen, Watermen, &c Again, these three Sorts may be considerd, either in Respect of their Wealth, or Number: In Wealth, Merchants, and some of the chief Retailers, have the first Place, and most Part of Retailers, and all Artificers, the second or mean Place; and Hirelings, the lowest Room: But in Number they of the middle Place be first, and do far exceed both the rest: Hirelings be next, and Merchants last.

The City busy Bees in the Hive of the Commonwealth.




Three Sorts of Citizens.

Now out of this, that the Estate of London, in the Persons of the Citizens, is so friendly interlaced, and knit in League with the rest of the Realm, not only at their Beginning by Birth and Blood, (as I have shewed) but also very commonly at their Ending by Life and Conversation. For that Merchants and rich Men, (being satisfied with Gain) do, for the most Part marry their Children into the Country, and convey themsleves after Cicero's Counsel, Veluti ex portu in agros & possessiones, i.e as it were out of the Havens into the Fields and Possessions. I do infer, that there is not only no Danger towards the common Quiet thereby, but also great Occasion and Cause of good Love and Amity. Out of this, that they be generally bent to travel, and do fly Poverty, Per Mare, per Saxa, per Ignes, i.e. By Sea, by Rocks, by Fires, (as the Poet saith): I draw Hope, that they shall escape the Note of many Vices, which idle People do fall into. And out of this, that they be a great Multitude, and that yet the greatest Part of them be neither too rich nor too poor, but do live in the Mediocrity; I conclude with Aristotle, that the Prince needeth not, to fear Sedition by them, for thus saith he, Magnæ Urbes, magis sunt à seditione liberæ, quod in eis dominetur mediocritas; nam in parvis nihil medium est, sunt enim omnes vel pauperes vel opulenti.

I am now to come to the Strength and Power of this City, which consisteth partly in the Number of the Citizens themselves, whereof I have spoken before, partly of their Riches, and in their warlike Furniture: For as touching the Strength of the Place itself, that is apparent to the Eye, and therefore is not to be treated of.

The Strength of this City.

The Wealth and warlike Furniture of London, is either publick or private, and no Doubt the common Treasure cannot be much there, seeing that the Revenue which they have, hardly suf-

The publick Wealth of the City.