Locks, Wears and Mills. 39

Locks, Wears and Mills.

" ges inserted in prejudice of the Admiral Jurisdiction, and in support of any other 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 may be your sufficient Warrant. So I rest Garlicke Hith,
21. Dec. 1633
Your assured Friend to serve you,

Further Execution of the Letter abovementioned could not be made, for that it came after the Impression was finished and published. HENRY MARTEN.

To the Master and Wardens of the Company of STATIONERS.


"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 to be brought unto you, and to take Order that all the Words, together with the Copy of the Letter, and my Answer thereunto, as above made for this Impression, to be imprinted Page 939. Col. prima, verbatim in all the said Books, as well sold, as hereafter to be sold, before any further Sale of the said Books be made; and this shall be your Warrant in this behalf."

Doctors Commons
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 Maintenance of a great and rich Traffick, by the Conveyance of Goods and Commodities outward and inward, and the preserving of the City sweet and clean, by the carrying away of all the Filth and Soil that must needs be produced by reason of such a Number of Families and Employments.

The Benefit of the River Thames.

J. S.

And therefore great Care was always taken for the preserving of this River. In Process 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. there were Three and twenty Locks, Sixteen Mills, Sixteen Floud-gates, Seven Wears on this 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 the 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 Vessels using the River.

Locks and Wears on it.

But notwithstanding these Complaints, about the Year 1584 or 1585. there were above Seventy Locks and Wears (that is, Thirty more at least than there was but Six Years before.) And whereas before there were not above Ten or Twelve Barges employed to and fro, now the Number was encreased to Fourscore; and were of much greater Bulk and Bigness than before was used. Some of these Locks were extraordinary dangerous in passing. The going up the Locks were so steep, that every Year Cables had been 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 wherewith they were laden; and especially one Lock, called Marlow Lock, of which there had been great Complaints. It was held by one Farmour. The Streams there were so strong, and the Water had such a dismal Fall, that four Men within a short time were lost; three whereof drowned, and a fourth had his Brains dasht out. And all the Recompence the poor Widow had, was, that Farmour gave her five Shillings. But beside the Danger, it was very expen- sive to the poor Bargemen, the Millers selling the Water in the Stream for above 300l. a 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 and Fatherless Children (whose Parents and Husbands were by these Means slain) against 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 many Places of the River, contrary to the Statutes against the same necessarily provided. He prayed her Majesty to give Commandment, that his Complaint, and a Proof thereof contained in Writing thereunto annexed, might be diligently heard and examined; and thereupon Order taken as the Necessity of the Cause required. He spake of Eleven Kings that made good Laws against these Stoppages of the Water in the Thames, viz. 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 Complaint, Octob. 14. gave in a Note by way of Petition to the said Treasurer, of Reasons for the Maintenance of them upon the River; with the Causes of the Danger thereof, and some 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 they were of as great Antiquity as the Towns and Villages whereunto they adjoyn; and as ancient Evidence to be shewed for them, as any Man hath for any Land he held within the Realm of England. That they were of such Necessity, as that without them the great Multitude and Number of the Queen's People, Inhabitants between Maidenhead Bridge and the City of Oxford, should not well know where to have their Corn ground; besides 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.