[Orders about a Plague] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [Anno 1582.]450

[Orders about a Plague] The TEMPORAL GOVERNMENT. [Anno 1582.]

To these Observations let me subjoin a few Collections concerning the Plague, in the 25th Year of Queen Elizabeth, Ann. 1582. In the latter End of which Year, the Plague was in London and Westminster; and great care was taken, as well for preventing the encrease of it in both Cities, as against the spreading of it, by infecting such as came out of the Countries to the Term, or on other Occasions; when People usually flocked unto the City, and took up Lodgings in publick Houses, which might have been infected, and so carrying it back into the Country. Therefore the Lord Treasurer in the Month of January, sent Order to the Maior, Sir Tho. Blank, to make diligent enquiry into all Victualling Houses, and Houses for Reception of Strangers; and that wheresoever the Plague was, or had been within two Months before, publick notice should be given, by fixing up in proper Places of the City, a List of those Houses, and in what Streets and Parts of the City they were situate, that they might be avoided by such as should have need of Habour and Habitation, when they came from other Parts.

The Plague in London, 1582.

The Maior did as was commanded him, and gave notice of the same to the said Lord in a Letter dated January the 14th, to this Purport: "That he had, according to his Lordships Direction by his Letters, reformed the Catalogue of Victualling Houses infected within the Liberties of the City, from the 13th of November last, being within the two Months appointed, and that as his Lordship willed, with the advice of Mr. Norton; and that he had informed him, that he had special regard to two Things. The one, to give such plain Description and Notes of the Streets and Places, as might serve for easie notice to such as repaired to the City. The other, that it should be in such shortness, as might be brought into less than one Face of a Sheet of Paper, to be fixed in Places convenient." The Maior also in a Note enclosed, signified the Places, with respect to Westminster, (for the better security of the Court) and the way thither, and the entrance into the City, and desired his Lordship to consider thereof.

The Lord Maiors care against the spreading of it.

"And further, That he thought good to move his Lordship to the same intent, that in Term time usually in manner, all Houses, [not only publick Houses] in Fleetstreet, and the Streets and Lanes adjoining, as also without Temple Bar, used Lodging, Victualling, or letting out of Chambers; whether it were his Pleasure, that all such Houses in those Parts, as did so lodge and let out Chambers, tho' they were not otherwise usually Victuallers, should be likewise noted, if they had been infected within that space of two Months."

And then, like a careful Magistrate, and good Subject, added these Words: "I do likewise humbly thank your Lordship for your honourable and loving Care of this City, in the said Matter of Infection, and the Repair of the Queen's Subjects hither. And for my own part, I will not fail in Diligence by your Directions according to my Duty."

Thus also I find Orders taken at Westminster the 21st of December, the same Year by Mr. Dean of Westminster, Mr. Recorder of London, Mr. Humfrey Smith, and Mr. Owen, by the direction of the Lord Treasurer, to be observed in Westminster, and the Liberties, and also in the Dutchy of Lancaster without Temple Bar. Which were these, viz.

First, Diligent care to be had by search of every Person: and where any such Person shall be found to die of the Plague, that then that House to be shut up by the space of twenty one Days next following: And that no Person be suffered to go forth out of the same House during the time aforesaid, unless the same Person do carry in his or her Hand a white Stick, in Length two Foot, upon pain of open Imprisonment in the Stocks.

Orders about the Plague, in the Liberties of Westminster.

Item, If any House being so visited, and the Parties therein not able to live of themselves, that then Consideration to be had by Contribution of the Parishioners for their Relief and Sustentation.

Item, Upon every such House that shall happen to be infected, as aforesaid, there shall be set up and fixed upon the Street Door in Paper or Parchment, these Words, Lord, have Mercy upon us; and there to remain by the space of twenty one Days together. And if the same shall happen to be taken away, or defaced within the time limited, that then the Owner of every such House shall set up and fix, or cause to be set up and fixed, upon the said Door the like Words, and there to remain as aforesaid.

Item, That no Housholder whatsoever, shall take or receive into his or her House, any sick or infected Person, out or from any other House or Place, upon pain of Whipping, and open Imprisonment as aforesaid.

Item, That the Streets, Allies, Lanes, Canelles, and all other necessary Places shall be scoured; and so from time to time kept clean, before every Man's several House in the Streets; and also that no Hogs shall be suffered to go or wander in the said Streets, nor any vagrant Person, upon pain of Imprisonment.

Item, That no Preson shall take or receive into his or her House or Cellar, any Inmates, upon pain of Imprisonment.

Item, That no Upholster, Broker, or other Person whatsoever, shall buy any old Apparel or Bedding whatsoever, unless they make the Bailiff, Headborough, or Constable of the said Ward, privy, and consenting thereto, upon pain of Imprisonment.

Item, That every Headborough and Constable within his Ward, shall see these Articles to be performed. And for such Offenders as will not be reformed accordingly, to be punished openly in the Stocks, as aforesaid.

Item, That if any Officers, elected and chosen to see these Articles and Orders executed, do not execute their Office and Charge herein, he shall be punished at the Discretion of some one of the said Justices.

Item, If the Infection happen to be in the House of any Baker or Victualler whatsoever, within any of the Liberties aforesaid, that then the said Baker or Victualler not to sell or utter any Bread or other Victuals within twenty one Days after knowledge had of any such Infection, upon pain of open Imprisonment, as aforesaid.

Item, If any Ambiguities or Doubts do arise concerning the Orders aforesaid, that then the Officers to repair to Mr. Dean of Westminster for his direction therein.