The River LEE. 48

The River LEE.

with the Owners and Occupiers of the Soil and Ground. The Lord Chancellor, or Lord Keeper, might appoint Sixteen Commissioners, to treat, agree, and compound with such Number of Freeholders, and Inhabitants of the Counties of Middlesex, Essex, and Hartford, for Scouring, Cleansing, Repairing, and Keeping the said River from the Cut to the Town of Ware. Until Order and Means were devised and agreed upon by the said Commissioners, and the Commission returned into the Court of Chancery; the Lord Maior, and Citizens, not to put the said Digging and new Cutting in Execution: Nor to take any Man's Ground until they had compounded with the Owners: And should within Ten Years next after the End of the Session of this Parlament cut and finish the same. That any such as refused to be reasonably compounded withal, the 16 Commissioners to appoint and determine the Composition. The Maior and Commonalty to have the whole Jurisdiction, Conservacie, Rule and Government of the new cut River, and Ground of each Side: and also the Royalty of the Fish and Fishing, and the Profits of the said Ground, Soil and Water; and Authority to punish all Transgressors, &c. If there should happen any Breaches, Inundations, and Hurts, the Maior and Citizens to stop the Breaches: And to make and maintain at their own Cost and Charges sufficient Hedges and Fences between the Grounds so by them taken in, and the Grounds of other Owners; and all convenient Bridges and Ways for Passage of the Queen's Subjects.

The Difficulties, it seems, and the Charges in effecting this Work, appeared so exceeding great, that it deterred the City from attempting it. By a Clause in the Act aforesaid, it was to be finished in Ten Years. But nothing was done towards it in Seven Years after.

For I find that in the Year 1577, the City entred into Consideration, concerning a new Cut to be made in this River, to bring the Passage thereof to Moregate. The Chamberlain signified this to Thomas Fanshaw, Esq; Remembrancer of the Exchequer, and prayed him to let the Lord Treasurer Burghley know of it, (who had a Country House at Cheshunt near this River) adding also that there was good Liking and Hope it would be done: And that he [the Chamberlain] meant to bring a Plat of the Ground and Device to his Lordship. Whereupon Fanshaw prayed the said Lord to call upon the Matter, supposing it would by that means proceed the better. But this good Design never came to any Thing.

The new Cut to be made in this River deliberated upon.

In the abovesaid Year, 1577, Notice was taken of the Foulness of the River, and the Shallowness of the Water in many Places, for want of Cleansing; so that Boats could scarce pass, unless they drew but little Water. So that it was found very needful to look to the remedying of it, lest the Benefit of Navigation thereon should go wholly into Disuse. Fanshaw and Clark, two Gentlemen in the Parts near Ware, chiefly stirred in this Matter. The former, in the Month of October, put the Lord Treasurer Burghley in mind of appointing a Sessions, to be made up first of his Lordship himself, and of a competent Number besides of Commissioners, who should have the Dykegraves before them, and give out effectual Orders for the Examination of the Defects, and for the Reparation of it. And it being now at the lowest, the Faults would best appear, and being once perfected would so continue. Clark meant, before the said Sessions, to make a full Trial of the River, and to present a Note of all the Impediments and Defects. And to make an Experiment in what Condition the River now was, the said Lord Burghley had a Boat, which in this said Month of October was Laden at Ware with two Tun Weight, partly Malt and partly Meal, on purpose to make Proof of her Working and Burden. She came well up to London with that Lading without any stay; and was laden at the Stern to her utmost Depth she was made for, which was Eighteen Inches. By reason whereof she touched the Ground in some Places, but stayed not. Of which Places Notice was taken, that Order might be given for the sinking them deeper, because other Boats could not pass, that were of greater Burden, and especially wider. And tho' the Charge of amending all the Impediments would be but small, yet it was feared they would not be done before a Sessions were appointed by the said Nobleman.

The River foul and shallow, and scarcely navigable. A Sessions moved for Remedy.

It was not till the Year 1580, that it was made Navigable, by cleansing and repairing as far as Ware, by Order from the Queen, and the Lords of her Council; wherein Thomas Fanshaw, Esq; before mentioned, possessing the Manor of Ware Park there, was a great Instrument for his more convenient Conveyance of Goods and Commodities to and from London, as also for the Public Good.

Made Navigable, and cleansed.

But this the Malsters and Farmers, in the Parish of Enfield, and the Parts thereabouts, were greatly angred at; because the Carriage of Malt and Grain by Water to London being made cheaper than could be afforded by such as brought it by Land Carriage, their Benefit was hereby hurt. Whereupon the Country People made Cuts in the River to let out the Water, that it might not have Depth enough to bear the Barges, hoping hereby utterly to defeat the Passage by that River. And a Lock at Waltham was attempted to be burnt. Complaint being made of this to the Lord Burghley, he first in September, 1581, sent his Letters to Sir Henry Cock, Knt. Mr. Fanshaw, and Mr. Bash, Gentlemen in those Parts, to enquire into certain Disorders, and leud Attempts committed in the River of Lee to the Spoil thereof. They met accordingly at Enfield, Waltham, and Hoddesdon, and discovered somewhat: But that being not effectual, the said Lord in October following issued out a Commission of Sewers to several Gentlemen besides to examine these Abuses; whereof William Fletewood, Sergeant at Law, and the Recorder of London, was one. And it was found by the Certificate sent to the Lord Treasurer, and Lord Hunsdon, by the said Recorder, Thomas Fanshaw, Edward Bash, Thomas Colshill, Jasper Leek, and William Clark, Esquires, Commissioners of the Sewers for the River of Lee (who sat at Totenham at Sheriff Martins House there, (where his Cook made them a great Dinner at the same time) that a Bank or Place in Enfield Marsh, called the Pipler, was broken up two several Times with Spades and Shovels, to let the Water run out of the high Stream in the Night time. The River Bank was again cut up to let out the Water, at another Place in Enfield, called Lothersey Gate. A Bank or Jutte newly made at Susternford, for the narrowing of the Water, for the better Passage of Boats, was cut up in the Night time. The Lady Wroths old Lock, the Bank there being firm Ground was cut up; and being stopt divers Times was broken up again in the Night time for the most Part by the Men of Enfield. Waltham Lock was attempted to be set on fire with Brimstone, Rosin, and Straw by night. A new Bank, or Jutty made at Odyeshelp, at Halifield Marsh in Chesthunt, was also cut or broken up in the Night.

A Commission of Sewers for this River.

Cutts made therein privily.

It was also deposed, that one Penifather, Servant to the Miller of Waltham, talking with two Watermen, concerning the setting the Lock on Fire, wished there were a Barrel of Gunpowder in the Bottom of the Lock, and another in the Bottom of their Barge, so the Men were out of

it.