|TOWER of London. The Constable. ||72
RICHARD, by the Grace of God, King of England and France, and
Lord of Ireland, to the Maior and Sheriffs of London, sendeth
Greeting. Forasmuch as we have understood, that the Constables
of our Tower of London, time out of mind, even to the Time now
last past; and in particular John Darcy, John de Beauchamp, Robert
Le Morle, Richard La Vache, and Alan de Buxhil, heretofore
Constables of the said Tower, have had the Customs, Pence and
Profits underwritten, by Right belonging to the foresaid Tower,
and in quiet manner taken them by themselves, or their Servants:
To wit, Of every Boat laden with Rushes brought to the foresaid
City, such a Quantity of Rushes to be laid upon Tower Wharf, as
may be contained within a Man's Arms: Of every Boat accustomed
to bring Oisters, Muscles, and Cockles, to the foresaid City, one
Maund, thence to be brought and laid upon the said Wharf: From
every Ship laden with Wines coming from Bourdeaux, or
elsewhere, unto the foresaid City, one Flagon before the Mast, and
another behind the Mast: Whatsoever Ship, Barge, or Boat, or other
Vessel, which shall go loose by reason of Storm or Wind, or the
Ropes and Cordage being broke, shall float from London Bridge to
Gravesend, or from thence to the said Bridge, to be taken by the
Constable of the said Tower, or his Servants, and to be applied to
the Use of the said Constable: What Swans soever coming under
the said Bridge towards the Sea, or from the Sea toward the said
Bridge; alli manner of Horses, Oxen, Cows, Hogs and Sheep, which
have fallen from the said Bridge into the Water of Thames; which
the foresaid Constable, or his Servants, may take any such like
Creature swimming thorow the middle of the said Bridge to the
foresaid Tower; which the same Constable or his Servants
aforesaid have taken: Of every Foot of such like Creature feeding
within the Ditch of the said Tower, One Penny: Every Cart empty,
or laden, which shall fall into the aforesaid Ditches, as a
Forefeiture or Fee of the said Constable: And that the foresaid
Constables, as well those before named as others, have used and
enjoyed the Usages underwritten, from the Time beforesaid; to
wit, that no Cart, empty or laden, ought to come from the End of
the Street called Petty Wales, upon the said Tower Hill, nor near
the foresaid Ditch, to the High Street called Towerstreet, unless it
be taken and brought within the said Tower: And that no Cart
shall pass beyond the Bridge between the Ditch of the said Castle,
and the Ditch of the Hospital of St. Katharines, without the Licence
of the Constable of the said Tower; and if it do, and break the Bar,
that Cart ought to be brought within the said Tower, and to make
Satisfaction for the Transgression, according to the said Constable's
WEE, willing to maintain all and singular the Rights and Liberties
of our Tower aforesaid, that they perish not, or be unlawfully
taken away, command you, that you permit our beloved and loyal
Sir Thomas Murrieux, now Constable of the Tower, to take and
have the Customs, Pence and Profits by himself and his Servants
in Form aforesaid, and to use and enjoy the foresaid Usages freely,
and without any Impediment, as he ought to take and have such
Customs, Pence and Profits, and to use and enjoy the beforesaid
Usages; and he and all other Constables of the said Tower have
reasonably accustomed to take and have those Customs, Pence and
Profits, and to use and enjoy the foresaid Usages from the Time
beforesaid. And that by no means neglect
this. Witness my self, at Eltham, the XVI. Day of Novemb. in the
Sixth Year of our Reign.
By the KING.
It agrees with the Record.
This caused the Struggle between the City and the Constables and
Lieutenants of the Tower for a long Time, till King James I. settled
this Matter in favour of the City.
I find certain Injunctions given the Constables by former Kings.
In 11. Henry III. that King issued out his Command to the
Constable of the Tower, to compel those that brought Fish to sell in
Ships to London, and stayed beyond London Bridge, viz. on that
Part of the Tower of London, to bring the said Fish [usq; ad
Hetham Reginæ] to Queenhith, there to be sold, as hath been
Injunctions to to Constables of the
Quod Constabularius turr. London distringat eos qui ducunt piscem
venalem in navibus usq; London, & remanent trans pontem
London, ex parte turris, ad ducendum dictum piscem usq; Hitham
Rot. C. 11. H. III. M. 15.
Pet. Le Neve.
And the Year before, Quod ducet piscem venientem ap. London ad
Ripans Reginæ vendendum.
C. 10. H. III. M. 14.
The Constable of the Tower his Power extended to the Five Ports,
and to arrest their Ships in the Thames, if there were occasion.
Thus a Precept was given forth to him in the 9th of Hen. III. to
arrest those Ships in a Time of Dearth of Corn, to prevent the
Transport of it. The Substance of the Writ was, De arrestando
naves quinque Portuum in Tamesia de Blado non carriando nisi ad
In the 52. Hen. III. the King commanded the Constable to permitt
the Abbot of Westminster, cariare buscam, blada, & alia Victualia
tam per terr. quam per aquam, usq; ad Abbiam predict. ita quod
nulla inde fiat priza ad opus Regis, i.e. to carry Brush or
Underwood, Corn, and other Victuals, as well by Land as by Water,
unto the said Abby: So that no Prizal be made for the King's Use.
In the 14th Edward II. there were Letters Patents for making
Allowances to the Constables of the Tower, pro vadijs Prisonator.
Regis ibm. i.e. for the Wages of the King's Prisoners there, viz. For
a Knight 2d. a Day, and for an Esquire, 1d. a Day.
In the 38th Edward III. That the Constable of the Tower ought to
repair the Defects in the Water, or the Banks thereof, running
from Ware to Waltham, and so to London. This was the River Ley.
Now these were the Fees of the Constable, as it was ordered by K.
Philip and Queen Mary, October 12. in the second and third Years
of their Reign. The Constable shall have of their Majesties at the
Receipt of the Exchequer for his Entertainment the Yearly Fee or
Wages of an 100l. and one other 100l. by the Year for the Diet of
poor Prisoners that have not wherewith of their own to pay for
their Diets. So that the said poor Prisoners may be examined
within seven Days after their coming to his Custody, and
discharged again from his Custody within seven Days next after
they have been examined.
Salary and Fees of the Constable in Queen
MSS. penes me.
The Prerogatives, Duties, and Privileges belonging to the Constable,
and other Officers there.
First, The said Constable shall have of every Duke, if there be any
committed by their Majesties unto the same Tower, for the Suit of
his Irons 20l. And for a Marquis 16l. And for the Board of every
such Duke or Marquis Weekly, 3l. 10s. And for the Chaplains
Board of every such Duke
What to receive of such as are committed