[Under-Officers.] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT.171

[Under-Officers.] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT.

and not found in the said Book, I have enclosed between Crotchets; that the Reader may distinguish between the one and the other.] And I have amended it in infinite Places exactly according to the original Copy.



BESIDES the Chief Magistrates, for the better seeing to the Quiet and safe Estate of the City, and such likewise as do belong to the Maior and Guild-hall; there were several Under-Officers belonging to the several Wards. As first, there was in each Ward a Quest of Wardmote, the Charge of whom was to enquire into all Misdemeanours committed within the Ward, and to present them to the Alderman. Of these, something will be spoken hereafter. There were also Beadles, Constables, Scavengers, necessary Officers in each Ward: And the Sheriffs had their Serjeants. All whose Offices may be known by the Oaths they were to take.


J. S.

Quest of Wardmote.

The Oath of the Constable was as followeth.


YE shall Swear, That ye shall keep the Peace of our Sovereign Lord the King, wel and lawfully after your Power. Also, Ye shal arrest al them that make any Riot, Debate, or Fray in breaking of the said Peace: And ye shal bring them to one of the Sheriffs Houses, or Compters of the said Sheriffs. And if ye be withstonde with Strength of any such misdoers, ye shal rere up an Hue and Cry; and ye shal follow them from strete, and fro Ward to Ward, til ye may arrest them.

Constable's Oath and Office Book of Old Custom.

Also ye shal search at al times, whan ye shal be requyred by Scavagers or Beadyl, for the Common Noysaunce of the Ward. [And the Beadle and Raker ye shal help to reare and gather their Salary and Quarteridge, if ye be thereunto by them required.] Also, if there be any thing don within the Ward contrary to the Ordinaunce of the Citie. Also, Such Faults as ye find, ye shal present them to the Maior, and to the Ministers of the City. And if ye be withstand with Person or Persons, that ye may not do your Office, ye shal present him to the Maior, and to the Common Council of the Citie, or Names of them that so trouble you. And this ye shal not lone. So help you God and Holydome, and by this Book.

Added of later times.

[Ye shall also swear, That during the time that ye shall stand in the Office, and occupy the room of a Constable, ye shall once at the least every Month, certifiy and shew to one of the Clerks of the Maior's Court, and in the same Court, as well the Names and Surnames of all Freemen, which ye shall know to be deceased within the Month, in the Parish wherein ye be inhabited; as also the Names and Surnames of all the Children of the same Freemen so deceased, being Orphans of this City. And this ye shall not cease to do; as God you help, &c.]

Added of later times.

The Oath of the Beadle of the Ward, whereby his proper Office will appear, was this.

YE shal Swear, That ye shal wel and honestly keep the Ward that ye be Bedyl. And ye shal suffer no maner Rybaudes, nor none of evil Living, nor Huckster of Ale, nor no Men holding Brothels, nor none other noyous, ether Women slaundred of evil Name, and of evil Life, dwelling within the Ward; but you shal certify the Names of them unto the Alderman; to that intent, that he shal have them out within fifteen Days. And if the Alderman do it not, ye shal anone after the fifteen Days ended, do the Maior to wit. And if any Man make a Fray, or draw any Weapen against the King's Peace, ye shal do the Sheriffs to wit; that they may make levy by their Serjeants of such Misdoers.

The Beadle's Oath. Book of Old Cust.

Also, Ye shal retorne good and lawful Men in the Hustyngs afore the Sheriffs, and the King's Crowner, to the Quest; and not Men suspicious, and maintainers of Persons of evil name. And the Retorne that ye make, ye shall shew them three or four days before the Hustyngs, that they may se the Retorne, whether it be sufficient or no.

Also, Ye shal se that no Poulter, nor none other Victualler, make no Sale of Pultry, Corn, or Meal, or any other Victual, in no privy place, against the Ordinaunce of the Maior; but ye shall warn the Maior and Sheriffs thereof.

Ye shal be none Officer in Court expedient, during time of your Office of Bedylship. Also, Ye shal brew none Ale, ye shal keep no Bakehouse. Also, ye shal be no Regrator of Victual, nor none Hurster of Ale; nor no Partener with none of them. And other things to your Office belonging, ye shal wel and lawfully kepe. So help you God and Holydome, and by this Book.

How this Officer was to be qualified, and how to be chosen, an Act of Common Council was formerly made, Sir John Robinson, Maior, and this last Year reprinted: Viz.

Commune Concilium tentum in Camera Guild-hall, London, Decimo die Octobris 1663, Annoq; Regni Domini nostri Caroli Secundi nunc Regis Angliæ, &c. Decimo quinto.


WHereas the Place of Beadle is an ancient Office in every Ward of this City, and very useful to the Aldermen for the Common Business and Affairs of the Ward, when the same is served by an honest and discreet Person, as it ought to be: But of late times divers very unfit Persons have, by favour and sinister endeavours, procured themselves to be elected to the said place; by whose Insufficiency and evil Execution thereof, much Trouble and Disservice hath ensued to the Aldermen and the Watches; and other common Business and Affairs of the Ward, which depend much upon that Officer, have been neglected and hindred, not only to the particular Damage of each Ward, but also to the general Injury and Disgrace of the Government of this City: For remedy whereof for time to come, Be it Enacted, Established, and Ordained by the Right Honourable the Lord Maior, the Right Worshipful the Aldermen his Brethren, and the Commons in this Common Council assembled, and by Authority of the same, That from henceforth at the accustomed Times of Election, or whensoever the place of Beadle of any of the several Wards of this City shall become void, the Aldermen, with Consent of the Deputy and Common Councilmen, or the major part of them, of the said several Wards, shall nominate to the Inhabitants of every the same Wards in their respective Wardmotes assembled, Two honest, sufficient and discreet Persons for the place of Beadle of the same Wards: And that the said Inhabitants in the said Court of Wardmote, shall elect and chuse one of the said two Persons so nominated to be Beadle of every the same Wards: And the Persons so elected shall have, hold, exercise and enjoy the same fully and effectually, to all intents and purposes; any Custom or Usage to the contrary hereof in any wise notwithstanding.

An Act for the Election of Beadles.

The Oath of Scavagers, or Scavengers, of the Ward, was to this Tenour.

YE shal Swear, That ye shal wel and diligently oversee that the Pavements in every Ward be wel and rightfully repaired; and not haunsed * to the noyaunce of the Neighbours; and that the Ways, Streets, and Lanes be kept clean from Donge and other Filth, for the Honesty of the City. And that all the Chimneys, Redosses † and Furnaces be made

The Scavager's Oath.

* i.e. made too high.