Worthy Maiors. 290

Worthy Maiors.

vision made for themselves as heretofore. Which, he said, would cause a further Scarcity, and still raise the Prizes higher. He informed the Treasurer further, That many transported Grain out of sundry Creeks and Havens of the Realm. And because it waxed both scarce and dear about some of the Coasts, some came up higher into the Land to buy Grain: And, as he was informed, that about Royston, Malt rose Three Shillings in a Quarter, and more, of late; and that chiefly by the Kentish Men, who came thither to buy it. And in fine, he suggested to the said great Minister, that unless his Lordship, with the rest of the Queen's Council, would see Redress in Time, it would be an Occasion of making a Scarcity among them too.

This shews him both a careful and discreet Magistrate.

In the Year 1581, Sir James Harvey was Maior. In his Time were great Deceits, by reason of false Weights; and that not only within the City of London, but in other Cities and Places within the Realm. The Reason whereof was, because the true Standard, made according to the Statute for the Sizing of all Weights, could not be found. This was heretofore complained of to the Lord Treasurer; who took some Care for the Reformation thereof: But yet the Abuse continued. This Maior therefore wrote to the said Lord Treasurer, to this Purport: "That, for that he was this Year charged in Conscience, by reason of his Office and Oath taken, to see that Falshood and Deceit punished; he thought it his Duty, not only to remember his Lordship thereof, but to beseech him, that he would give him his favourable Help and Advice, what Order or Course to take in the City, for the Reformation thereof."

Sir James Harvey.

A Standard for Weights.

Let me also leave this good Remembrance of Sir Thomas Blanke, a Merchant, and Citizen born; Maior the next Year, viz. 1582. Which being a Year of Plague in the City, the Lord Treasurer had sent an Order to the said Maior, to make a Catalogue of all the Victualling Houses in London that were infected: Which Catalogue was to be set up, publickly to be read, to the end that all Strangers, that resorted to London about their Occasions, might avoid Setting up or Lodging at those Houses, to prevent their carrying Infection into the Country. And so to do it, from Two Months to Two Months. This Sir Thomas Blanke diligently did: And employing an expert Person to draw up this Catalogue, he had special Regard to two Things: The one, To give such plain Descriptions and Notes of the Streets and Places, as might serve for easy Notice to such as repaired to the City. The other; This List to be so brief and contracted, as it might be brought into less than one Side of a Sheet, to be fixed in Places convenient.

Sir T. Blanke.

A Plague in his Year.

The Maior prayed the said Lord, to consider of the proper Places which he thought good to note; having respect to Westminster, and the way thereto out of the Liberties, and the Entrance all ways into the City.

The Maior put him also in mind, How in Term Time, usually, all the Houses in Fleetstreet, and the Streets and Lanes adjoining, as also without Temple Bar, did use Lodging, Victualling, and Letting out of Chambers: Leaving to his Lordship's Consideration, whether such Houses, tho' they were not Victuallers, should not be likewise noted, if they had been infected within the Space of two Months.

Then he thanked his Lordship for his Honourable and Loving Care of the City, in the Mat- ter of the Infection, and the Repair of the Queen's Subjects thither. And for his own Part, he promised, he would not fail in Diligence, according to his Direction.

And whereas upon a Lord's Day, a great Number of People, being met for Sport at Paris Garden, all the Scaffolds fell down at once, to the slaying and wounding of a great many People; this Maior piously looked upon it as a Judgment of God, for Breach of the Lord's Day; and wrote to the Lord Treasurer to this Tenor: "That it gave great Occasion to acknowledge the Hand of God, for such Abuse of his Sabbath Day; and moved him in Conscience to beseech his Lordship, to give Order for Redress of such Contempt of God's Service. And that he had for that End treated with some Justices of Peace of that County, who shewed themselves to have very good Zeal, but alledged want of Commission; which they humbly referred to his Honourable Wisdom."

The Slaughter at Paris Garden, which happened on a Sunday.

In his Maioralty, he, with his Brethren the Aldermen, and Common Council, entred upon the Business of Establishing of Orders, for the true and upright Use of her Majesties Beam, with the Weights thereto belonging. Which, upon Continuance, did daily wear, and needed to be renewed and sized from Time to Time. And for this End, they were humble Suitors to him, to have in Remembrance the great Want the City and the whole Realm found, for Lack of Order to size Weights; whereby the Commonweal, as he wrote, took Detriment, and private Men presumed (without Order) to sell and use unlawful Weights, both in the City and in the Country, that were accustomed to their Assizing from London. And this Opportunity the said Maior took; because the latter Verdict, touching Weights, was long since delivered before the Treasurer, and the rest of the Court of Exchequer.

The Queen's Beam, and Weights.

This Sir Thomas Blanke was commonly called The Good Knight. He died Anno 1588. His Epitaph, and his Ladies, are preserved in this Book, in Billingsgate Ward.

In the Year 1588, Sir Martin Calthorp was Maior. Then the Queen had a Loan from the City; by reason, I suppose of her extraordinary Charges she had been at in Preparation against the Spaniard, who attempted the Invasion of England this Year. Every Company was taxed new by way of Loan, according to a Direction from the Lord Treasurer to the Lord Maior.

In November was paid into the Queen's Receipt hereupon, 17952l. 10s. But many of the Citizens wilfully absented themselves; and many had wholly left the City, and betaken themselves into the Country: whereby the Loan amounted not to the Sum of 20000l. Which the commendable Zeal of the Maior for the Queen, and for the City's Credit, did endeavour to raise it unto. He, and Sir George Bond, Alderman, sent the several Sums that each stood charged with unto the said Loan, with their Names and Dwellings; and acquainted the Treasurer how effectually this Business had been travailed in. And he wrote, That he was very sorry that he should be occasioned, by the Backwardness of some, to give so hard an Information unto his Lordship, against any that would be accounted good Citizens: But in respect of his Duty, he said, He could do no less, but to lay the Fault and Blame on such as committed the same. And so left it to his Lordship, to take some Course with those Citizens.