[Laws for] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [Orphans.]322

[Laws for] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [Orphans.]

Benevolence of their said loving Friends, if any such Residue shall fortune to remain, any Clause or Article in this present Act contained, to the contrary notwithstanding. Not failing hereof, as ye tender the Common-weal of this City, and advancement of good Justice, and as ye will answer for the contrary at your uttermost Peril.



322

CHAP. XXIV.

The Laws and Ordinances for Orphans and Children of Freemen. The Order taken for them by Act of Common Council, 5 Edward VI. The Act for the Orphans An. 5 & 6 of William and Mary of 4l. per Cent. Freemen and Apprentices. Habit of Apprentices. An Apprentice loses not the Degree of a Gentleman. Apprentices a considerable Body. Exaction of Fees upon Apprentices. Some Notes out of the Records concerning the Freedom of the City.

IN the next place shall be shewn the ancient Custom and Laws for the Orphanage, that is, the Care the City hath taken for securing the Estates of such Children, whose Fathers being Freemen, have deceased, before they be come to Age, or dispose of themselves in Marriage, while their Parents are alive. This Order was made by a Common Council in Edward the VIth's Time, and was as follows:

Custome for Orphans of Freemen.

Ad commune Concilium tentum in Guildhaldia Civitatis Londini xiii die Octobris Anno regni EDVARDI Sexti, Dei gra. Angliæ, Franciæ & Hiberniæ Supremi Capitis, quinto: Coram Andrea Judde Milite, tunc Maiore, & Aldermannis Civitatis illius, ordinata sunt, interalia, inactitata, concessa & stablilita omnia & singula subsequentia.

FOrasmuch as the City of London is of late Years sore decayed, and daily is like to decay more and more, a great Cause and Occasion whereof, among other hath been, for that Freemens Children (Orphans of the said City) sometimes in the Lives of their Parents, and sometimes after their Deceases, being left wealthy and rich, do bestow themselves in ungodly Marriages, for the most part in their young Age, at their own Will and Pleasures, without the Consents, and against the Minds of their Friends, saying and affirming, that the Law and Custom of the said City giveth unto them their Portions, whether they Marry by the Assent of their Friends or not; and so do daily cast away and undo themselves, in Trust to have their said Portions, whether their Parents or Friends will, or will not.

Orders taken for them, and their Portions.

And thereby do they bestow themselves upon simple and light persons, having neither Cunning, Knowledge, Substance, nor good or honest Conditions. By reason whereof such Orphans, inordinately, and insolently, do spend and consume their Patrimony and Portions in short time, not only to the undoing of themselves, and to the great Ignominy and Shame of their Friends, but also to the great Slaunder of the Lord Maior and Aldermen of this City, (who been reputed and taken as Fathers and Protectors of the same Orphanes) and to the great loss and hindrance of the said City.

And forasmuch as the said Lord Maior and Citizens, have by their Laws and Customs, power and authority to make Laws and Ordinances, by their Common Councel, for redress of the same:

It is therfore now (to the intent to reduce the same to a more godly, more profitable and decent Order and Conformity) by the said Lord Maior, and Common Council, and Citizens, in this presentCommon Councel assembled, and by authority of the said Common Councel ordained, enacted, authorized, and established for a Law perpetually to bee observed and kept within the said City: That if any Orphane, or Child of any free Man or free Woman of the said City, do offend in any the things hereafter expressed, and bee thereof lawfully convicted, afore the Lord Maior and the Aldermen or elsewhere, that then they and every of them, shall to all entents, purposes, constructions and meanings, be unabled and barred to demand and claime their Portion or Portions, and also shall lose and forgoe and bee barred for ever, of all and every his, her of their part or parts, and Portions to him or them belonging, by and after the death of his or their said Father or Mother, of the Goods and Cattals, of every such Father and Mother, by reason of any Law, Custome, Ordinance, Usage, Franches, Privilege, Act of Common Councell, or other thing heretofore had or used within the said City: The same Law, Custome, Ordinance, or other thing whatsoe're, heretofore had, made, ordained, allowed, and put in use, to the contrary in any wise notwithstanding. That is to wit: First, if any Man-child, or Woman-child, shall maliciously go about or attempt to do, or cause to be done, any bodily harme, death, or destruction to his or their Father or Mother: Or if any Man-child doe hereafter marry or contract marriage in the life of his Father or Mother (by whom he will claime any Portion) under the age of one and twenty Yeeres, without the consent of his said Father or Mother, by whom he will claime any Portion: Or if any Woman-child doe hereafter marry or contract Marriage in the life of her Father, or other Parent, by whom she shall claime any Portion, before the age of eighteene yeeres, without the consent of her Father, or such other Parent by whom she shall or may claim any Portion: Or if any Man-child be a Theefe, or a Fellon, or a common Whore-haunter, a common Dicer, or a common player at unlawful Games, notoriously known: Or if any Woman-child, shall hereafter commit any Whoredome, or be a common Picket: That then every of the Persons so offending, shall be barred and excluded to have, or demand any Portion.

Provided alwaies, that it shall be lawfull for the Father or Mother of any such Child or Children, to give and bequeath in Legacy, to such Child or Children, as much as the Portion of such Child so offending shall amount unto, by the Custome of the said City. And then such Child thereby to be enabled to have and demand the same, as Portion, this Act notwithstanding, so that the same Legacy be contained in his or their Testament in writing, and not otherwise.

And that then, and from henceforth his said Child or Children, to be admitted and restored to claime

such