|Locks, Wears and Mills. ||39
ges inserted in prejudice of the Admiral Jurisdiction, and in support of any
Pretence against the same, to be left out; or else to prohibit the Publishing
and Sale of
the said Book. And for so doing, this Signification of his Majesty's Pleasure
your sufficient Warrant. So I rest
Your assured Friend to serve you,
Further Execution of the Letter abovementioned could not be made, for that it
after the Impression was finished and published.
To the Master and Wardens of the Company of
"YOU may understand by the Contents of the Letter
abovementioned, directed unto me, what is required at my Hands to perform. I am
therefore to require you upon your Receipt hereof, forthwith to cause the Book
brought unto you, and to take Order that all the Words, together with the Copy
Letter, and my Answer thereunto, as above made for this Impression, to be
Page 939. Col. prima, verbatim in all the said Books, as well sold, as hereafter
sold, before any further Sale of the said Books be made; and this shall be your
in this behalf."
24. Dec. 1633
A more particular Account of the Locks, the
Wears, and Mills on the Thames .
Publick Orders for the Preservation of it, and
the Fish .
THE Wealth and Health of London is owing chiefly to this
Noble River, in respect of the plentiful Supplies it affords of Water, the
a great and rich Traffick, by the Conveyance of Goods and Commodities outward
inward, and the preserving of the City sweet and clean, by the carrying away of
Filth and Soil that must needs be produced by reason of such a Number of
The Benefit of the River Thames.
And therefore great Care was always taken for the preserving of this River. In
of Time, many Wears, and Locks, and Mills were made on it. Whereby the free
Passage of the Water was hindred. Insomuch that about the Year 1578. or 1579.
were Three and twenty Locks, Sixteen Mills, Sixteen Floud-gates, Seven Wears on
River, between Maidenhead and Oxford. Whereof one John Bishop made a Complaint
to the Lord Treasurer Burleigh. To whom he shewed, how by these Stoppages of
Water, several Persons, to the Number of 15 or 16, in four Years only, had been
drowned, and their Goods lost; having been Persons belonging to Barges and
using the River.
Locks and Wears on it.
But notwithstanding these Complaints, about the Year 1584 or 1585. there were
Seventy Locks and Wears (that is, Thirty more at least than there was but Six
before.) And whereas before there were not above Ten or Twelve Barges employed
and fro, now the Number was encreased to Fourscore; and were of much greater
and Bigness than before was used. Some of these Locks were extraordinary
in passing. The going up the Locks were so steep, that every Year Cables had
broken that cost 400l. and Bargemen and Goods drowned. And in coming down, the
Waters fell so high, that it sunk the Vessels, and destroyed Corn and Malt
they were laden; and especially one Lock, called Marlow Lock, of which there had
great Complaints. It was held by one Farmour. The Streams there were so
the Water had such a dismal Fall, that four Men within a short time were lost;
whereof drowned, and a fourth had his Brains dasht out. And all the Recompence
poor Widow had, was, that Farmour gave her five Shillings. But beside the
was very expen-
sive to the poor Bargemen, the Millers selling the Water in the Stream for above
Year. Two of these Locks, which were most complained of, were viewed by four
Aldermen of the City, and other Citizens, who well perceived the Danger thereof.
The Danger of them.
The Encrease of Barges Westward.
The forementioned John Bishop made Complaint again hereof to the Lord Treasurer;
and in Octob. 1585. made his Petition to the Queen, in the Name of the Widows
Fatherless Children (whose Parents and Husbands were by these Means slain)
the great Mischief done to her Loving Subjects, by the great Number of dangerous
Locks, Wears, Mills and Floud-gates, unlawfully erected and made in and upon
Places of the River, contrary to the Statutes against the same necessarily
prayed her Majesty to give Commandment, that his Complaint, and a Proof thereof
contained in Writing thereunto annexed, might be diligently heard and examined;
thereupon Order taken as the Necessity of the Cause required. He spake of
Kings that made good Laws against these Stoppages of the Water in the Thames,
Henry III. Edward III. Richard II. Henry IV. Henry V. Henry VI. Edward IV.
Henry VII. Henry VIII. Edward VI. and Queen Elizabeth.
Complained of to the Queen.
Those concerned in these Locks, Wears, and Mills, the very Day after this
Octob. 14. gave in a Note by way of Petition to the said Treasurer, of Reasons
Maintenance of them upon the River; with the Causes of the Danger thereof, and
Account of the Persons lately drowned there.
The Case of these Mills and Locks defended.
First, Touching and in behalf of these Mills and Locks upon the Thamyse; That
were of as great Antiquity as the Towns and Villages whereunto they adjoyn; and
ancient Evidence to be shewed for them, as any Man hath for any Land he held
the Realm of England. That they were of such Necessity, as that without them
Multitude and Number of the Queen's People, Inhabitants between Maidenhead
and the City of Oxford, should not well know where to have their Corn ground;
Mealing to the City of London, and other Places. That they were also of great
Necessity for the Passage of Barges, and especially at Low Waters.