Honour of Citizens. 305

Honour of Citizens.


In London still they find all Victuals dear;
Hoist up a height to bring our Purses low,
And send Men home with empty Bags, I trow.

This indeed hath occasioned the Gentlemen of the Country to take Offence at the City: Insomuch that it would have been much better for the City, had they abstained from taking up their Dwellings here. For partly the spending or diminishing of their Patrimonies in this Place, partly the splendid way of Living, used by the wealtheir Sort of Citizens, equalling, if not surpassing, many of them, had begot secret Jealousies and Envies against them: And as Opportunity served, they would shew it by affronting them, and doing them ill Turns. And this perhaps was the Ground, that the Court was commonly at odds with the City: On which it commonly look'd with an ill Eye, and did love to oppose and disappoint the Doings and Privileges of Citizens. And this will appear, by two or three Passages which I will take Occasion to relate, all happening in Queen Elizabeth's Days.

The City envied by the Gentry.

J. S.

In this Particular, some of the Court did usually elude the City, that when the Magistrates thereof had taken up Malefactors, and committed them, an Habeas Corpus frequently came from Court, for the Deliverance of those that were so committed: And so all the intended Justice to be done upon them was frustrated. Which Thing did at length so offend the City, that Sir Lionel Ducket, Lord Maior, Anno 1572, complained of this to the Lord Treasurer, and desired Redress thereof.

Habeas Corpus procured from the Court.

And in the Year 1583, one Mr. Nowel of the Court coming to London, caused his Man to give a Blow unto a Carman with the Pommel of his Sword, that he brake his Skull, and killed him. Mr. Nowel and his Man hereupon were indicted.

A Courtier kills a Citizen.

In these Cases, wherein any of the Court was obnoxious for some Misdemeanor committed in the City, great Application was used to be made to the Recorder, in the Delinquent's Behalf. And thus Fleetwood the Recorder signified, in a Letter to the Lord Treasurer.

"I am sure to be much troubled with Letters, and with his Friends, and what by other means, as in the very like Case heretofore I have been even with the same Man. Here are sundry young Gentlemen that use the Court, that most commonly term themselves Gentlemen, [and say,] I am not thus to be used at a Slave's and a Cobler's Hands. I know not what other Plea Mr. Nowel can plead: But this I say, his Fact is foul. God send him good Deliverance. I think in my Conscience, that he makes no Reckoning of the Matter."

The same Year this Accident happened.

"One Abraham of Abraham, a Gentleman of a Hundred Pound a Year in the County of Lancaster, put his Daughter and Heiress unto the Lady Gerard of the Breme. Sir Thomas Gerard and his said Lady being in London, and this young Woman with them, one Dwells, a Fencer, living near Cecil-House, and his Wife, being a kin to her, invited her an all my Lady's Children and Gentlewomen to a Breakfast. They came thither; and at their coming, the Youth and Serving-Men were carried up to the Fencing-School, to play and be merry. But Mrs. Abraham was conveyed by the Wife into a Chamber; and so shutting the Door on her, there she left her. In the Chamber were Four or Five tall Men, whom she knew not. And immediately she fell into a great Fear, seeing them to compass her about. Then began an old Priest to read upon a Book these words; I Henry take thee Susan to my wedded Wife, &c. This done, they charged her never to discover this to any body living; and so sent her down to her Fellows. And Dinner being done, she told some of her Companions very lamentably, what had been done: And they soon after to Sir Thomas and my Lady. Upon Complaint, the Recorder sent for the Fencer's Wife; who would confess nothing. A little while after he went himself with the Fencer's Wife to Bridewell, where there was a full Court: And thither came Sir Thomas, with the young Gentlewoman. And there they bolted out the whole Matter; and did no more. The Woman was returned to the Compter: The young Gentlewoman went with the Lady Gerard. But the Fencer and one Polwhale had the Confidence to tell some of the Lords of the Council, that she was to have been put into Bridewell: Which she never was; and went only thither to accuse the Woman that had so abused her in open Court. But the Fencer easily made Friends at Court; and made such Complaint of the Recorder to the Council-Board, that he was sent for. He appeared, and the Secretary received his Answer: Which gave such Satisfaction, that in fine he told the Complainants, that they had deserved to be hanged. And indeed, the said Recorder found this to be Felony, by the 3d of Henry VII. Cap. 2."

An Indignity put upon the Recorder of London.

All the Reflection the Recorder made upon this to a Great Man at the Court, was, That he thought such Companions as that Fencer and his Wife were, ought not to be allowed to deface such a Man as he was, in such Order before the Lords.

In fine, to conclude this Subject, and this First Book; since we have said all this of the Honour of the Citizens, let us add a few Things, that tend to advance the Honour of the CITY it self.

The Honour of the City.

City's Advoc.

J. S.

LONDON is commonly storied to be before Rome it self was built, and to be rocked in a Trojan Cradle by the Founder and Father thereof, Heroick Brute, or Bryt, as the most ancient Monuments extant bear witness; setting aside all late Fancies that have been superstructed thereupon.

Under Claudius Cæsar, it was the Metropolis of the Trinobantes, the Chief Kingdom of Britain. Under other Cæsars afterwards, it was called Augusta, or the Majestical or Imperial City. And for Hugeness, Concourse, Navigation, Trade and Populosity, it very hardly gives way to any City in Europe; and excels all in the World for good Government, or at least doth match and equal them.

The Citizens of this City have been honoured, and even courted by the Kings and Queens. Some of them, in former Times, have given the Citizens the Honourable Title of Barones, Barons.

The Citizens called Barons anciently.

Matthew Paris hath a Passage, where, in some Instrument of King Henry the Third, are these words: LONDONIENSES, quos propter Civitatis Dignitatem, & Antiquitatem Civium, BARONES consuevimus appellare: "The LONDON-"

ERS,