Survey of London: Singularities of London

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The singularities of the City of London.
WHatsoeuer is saide of Citties generally, ma-
keth also for London specially: howbeit these thinges are particularly for our purpose to bee considered in it. The situation: the former estimation that it hath had: the seruice that it hath done: the present estate and gouernment of it, and such benefites as doe growe to the realme by the mainte-
nance thereof.

of the Citie of London.
This Realme hath onely thrée principall Riuers, whereon a royall Cittie may well be situated: Trent in the North, Seuerne, in the Southwest and Thames in the South East: of the which Thames both for the streight course in length reacheth furthest into the bellie of the lande, and for the breadth and stilnesse of the water is most nauigable vp and downe the streame: by reason whereof London (standing almost in the middle of that course) is more commodiously serued with prouision of necessaries, then any towne standing vpon any of the other two riuers can be, and doth also more easily communicate to the rest of the realme the commodities of her owne intercourse and trafficke. This Riuer openeth indifferently vpon Fraunce and Flaunders, our mighti-
est neighbors, to whose doings we ought to haue a bent eye, and speciall regarde: and this Citie standeth thereon in such conueni-
ent distance from the sea, as it is not onely neare inough for intelli-
gence of the affayres of those princes, and for the resistance of their attempts: but also sufficiently remoued from the feare of any sud-
daine daungers that may bee offered by them: whereas for the Prince of this realme to dwell vpon Trent, were to turne his backe, or blind side to his most daungerous borderers: and for him to rest and dwell vppon Seuerne, were to be shut vppe in a cumbersome corner: which openeth but vpon Ireland onely, a place of much lesse importance. Neither coulde London bée pitched so commodiously vppon any other parte of the same Riuer of Thames, as where it now standeth. For if it were remoued more to the west, it should lose the benefit of the ebbing and flow-
ing: and if it were seated more towarde the East, it shoulde bee nearer to daunger of the enemie, and further both from the good ayre, and from doing good to the inner parts of the Realme: Ney-
ther may I omit that none other place is so plentifully watered with springs, as London is.
And whereas (amongst other thinges) Corne and Cattell, Hay and fuell bee of great necessitie: of the which Cattell may bée driuen from a farre, and corne may easily bee transported. But Hay and Fuell (being of greater bulke and burthen) must be had at hande: onely London (by the benefite of this situation

An Apologie
and riuer) may be sufficiently serued therewith. In which respect an Alderman of London reasonably (as me thought) affirmed, that although London receyued great nourishment by the resi-
dence of the Prince, the repaire of the parliament, and Courtes of iustice, yet it stood principally by the aduantage of the situation vpon the riuer: for when as on a time it was told him by a Cour-
tier, that Quéene Mary (in her displeasure against London) had appointed to romoue with the Parliament and terme to Oxford, this plaine man demanded, whether she meant also to diuert the Riuer of Thames from London, or no? and when the Gentle-
man had answered no, then quoth the Alderman, by Gods grace we shall doe well enough at London, whatsoeuer become of the Tearme and Parliament. I my selfe being then a young scholler at Oxford did see great preparation made towardes that Tearme and Parliament, and do well remember that the common opini-
on and voice was, that they were not holden there, because pro-
uision of Hay could not be made in all the Countrey to serue for tenne whole dayes together, and yet is that quarter plentifully stored with Hay for the proportion of the shire it selfe.
For proofe of the auncient estimation of London, I will not vse the authoritie of the British historie, nor of such as follow it, (although some holde it credible enough that London was first Trinobantum ciuitas, or Troia noua, that famous Cittie in our histories, and then Ludstoune, and by corruption London, as they report) because they bee not of sufficient force to drawe the gaynesayers. Neyther will I stande much vppon that honorable testimony which Geruas. Tiberiens. giueth to London in his booke de otijs Imperialibus, saying thus, concerning the blessing of God towardes it.
In vibe London, exceptione habet diuulgatum id per omnes æquè gentes Lucani prouerbium.
Inuida fatorum series summisque negatum
Stare diu:
Nam ea annis 354. ante Romam-conditam, nunquam a-
misit principatum nec bello consumpta est.
But I will rather vse the credite of one or two auncient for-

of the Citie of London.
ren writers, and then descend to latter histories, Cornel. Tacitus lib. 4. Annal sayeth, Londinum copia negociatorum, et come-
atu maxime celebris
, and Herodian in the life of Seuerus the Emperour sayeth, Londinum vrbs magna et opulenta, Beda lib. Ecclesrastic. 10. Cha. 29. sheweth that Pope Gregorie ap-
pointed two Archbishops Seas in England, the one at London, the other at Yorke, king Ethelstane in his lawes appointing how many Mint maisters should bee in each Citie, allotteth eight to London, and not so many to any other cittie. The Penner of those lawes that are saide to bée made by Edwarde the Confessor and confirmed by William the Conqueror sayeth, London est caput Regni, et Legum, king Henrie the first, in the third chap-
ter of his lawes commandeth that no Citizen of London shoulde be amerced aboue 100.SMALL LATIN LETTER S WITH TILDE ABOVE; ABBREVIATION FOR SHILLINGs. for anie pecuniarie pain. The great Charter of England (that Helena,) for which there was so long and so great warre, and contention, in the 9. Chapter sayeth, ciui-
tas London habeat omnes suas Libertates antiquas &c
. aboute the time of king Iohn, London was reputed regna firmata Co-
, as Alexander Necham writeth, and in the beginning of the raigne of Richard the ſecond, it was called Camera regis, as Thomas Walsingham reporteth. I passe ouer the recital of the Saxon Charter of king W. the Conqueror the latine Charters of Henry the first, and second of Richarde the first, of Iohn, and of Edward the first (all which gaue vnto the Citizens of London great Priueledges) and of Edwarde the thirde, who reciting all the grants of his Predicessors, not onely confirmed but also increa-
sed the same, and of the latter kinges who haue likewise added many thinges thereunto. Onely I wish to bee noted by them that during all this time all those wise and politique Princes haue thought it fitte not onely to maintaine London in such plight as they found it, but also to adorne, increase and amplifie it with singular tokens of their liberall fauour and good liking. And whe-
ther there be not now the same or greater causes to draw the like or better estimation, and cherishing, let any man bee iudge, that will take the paines to compare the present estate of London, (yet still growing to better, with the former condition of the same.

An Apologie
It were too much to recite particularly the martiall seruices, that this Citie hath done from time to time: neither do I thinke that they be all committed to writing, onely for a tast (as it were) I will note these few following.
Almost 60. yeares before the Conquest, a huge Armie of the Danes (whereof king Sweyne was the leader,) besieged king Etheldred in London, (then the which as the storie sayeth then he had none other refuge) but they were manfully repulsed, and a greate number of them slaine.
After the death of this Sweyn, his sonne Canutus (afterward king of England) besieged London, both by Land and Water: but after much labour, finding it impregnable, he departed: and in the same yeare repayring his forces, he girded it with a new siege, in the which the Citizens so defended themselues, and offended him that in the end hée went away with shame.
In the dissention that arose betwéene king Edward the Con-
, & his father in law Earle Goodwin (which was the migh-
tiest subiect within this land that euer I haue read of.) The Earle with a great Armie came to London, and was for all that by the countenance of the Citizens resisted, till such time as the No-
bilitie made reconciliation betwéene them. About 70. yeares af-
ter the Conquest Maude the Empresse made warre vppon king Stephen for the right of the Crowne, and had taken his person prisoner, but by the strength and assistance of the Londoners and Kentishmen, Maude was put to flight at Winchester, and her brother Robert then Earle of Glocester, was taken in exchange for whome king Stephen was deliuered, I dispute not whose right was better, but I auouch the seruice, seeing Stephen was in possession.
The Historie of VVilliam VValworth the Maior of Lon-
, is well knowne, by whose manhoode and policie, the person of king Richarde the second was rescued, the Citie saued, Wat Tiler killed,
After the com
mon opinion of men of late times.
and all his stranglers discomfited, in memory and re-
ward of which seruice the Cittie had a Daggar added to their shielde of Armes, and the Maiors haue beene most commonly si-
thens knighted.
Iacke Cade also hauing discomfited the kinges Armie, that

of the Citie of London.
was sent against him, came to London, and was there manfully and with long fight resisted, vntill that by the good policie of the Citizens his company was dispersed.
Finally in the tenth yeare of the raigne of king Edwarde the fourth, and not many dayes before the death of Henry the sixt, Thomas Neuell, (commonly called the Bastarde of Faucon-
,) armed a great Company against the king, and being de-
nied passage through London, he assaulted it on diuers parts: but he was repulsed by the Citizens, and chased as far as Stratforde with the losse of a great many.
Thus much of certaine their principall, and personall seruices, in war onely, for it were infinite to repeate the particular aides of men and money. which London hath ministred: and I had rather to leaue it to be coniectured at by comparison to be made betwéene it, & othercities, whereof I will giue you this one note for an ex-
ample. In the 12. yeare of the raigne of king Edward the 2. it was ordered by Parliament, that euery Citty of the Realme shoulde make out souldiours against the Scots: at which tyme London was appointed to send 200. men, and Canterbury (being then one of our best Citties) 40. and no more. And this proportion of fiue to one, is now in our age increased, at the least fiue to one, both in souldiers and subsidie. As for the other seruices that London hath done in times of peace, they are to be measured by consideration of the commodities whereof I will speake anon. In the meane sea-
son let the estate and gouernment of this Citie be considered to the end that it may appeare that it standeth well with the policie of the Realme.
sar in his Commentaries is witnes, that in his time the Cities of Britain had large Teritories annexed vnto them, and were seuerall estates of them selues gouerned by particular kinges or Potentates, as in Italie and Germany, et bee: and that Mandubratius was king of the Trinobantes, whose chiefe Citie London is taken to haue been: And I find not that this & gouern-
ment was altered eyther by sar, or his successors, notwithstan-
ding that the Countrie became tributorie vnto them: but that it continued vntill at the length the Britons themselues reduced all their peoples into one Monarchy, howbeit that lasted not any long

An Apologie
season: for vpon Vortiger their king came the Saxons our Aun-
cestors, and they draue the Britons into Wales, Cornwall, and Britaine, in France, and in processe of Warre deuided the Coun-
try amongst themselues into an Eptarchie, or seauen kingdomes, of the which one was called the kingdome of the East Saxons, which hauing in manner the same limmites that the Bishopricke of London now enioyeth, contayned Essex, Middlesex, and a part of Hertfordshire, and so included London. Againe it appeareth that in course of time, and about 800. yeares after Chriſt, Eg-
(then king of the West Saxons) Vt pisces sæpe minutos magnus comest, ouercame the rest of the kinges, and once more erected a Monarchie, the which till the comming in of the Nor-
mans, and from thence euen hetherto hath continued.
Now I doubt not (whatsoeuer London was in the time of sar) but that vnder the Eptarchie and Monarchie it hath béene a subiect, and no frée Citie, though happily endowed with some large Priuiledges, for king William the Conqueror founde a Portréeue there whose name was Godfrey (by which name hee gréeteth him in his Saxon Chre1) and his office was none other then the charge of a Bayliffe, or Réeue, as by the selfe same name continuing yet in Grauesend, and certaine other places may well appeare. But the Frenchmen vsing their owne language, called him sometime a Prouost, and sometime a Bayliffe, whatsoeuer his name and office were, he was perpetuus Magistratus giuen by the Prince, and not chosen by the Citizens, as it séemeth, for what time king Richarde the first néeded money towardes his ex-
pedition in the Holy Land, they first purchased of him the Liberty to choose yearely from amongst themselues two Bayliffes: And king Iohn his successor, at their like suite changed their Bayliffes into a Maior, and two sheriffes. To these Henry the thirde added Aldermen, at the first elegible yearelie, but afterward by king E. the thirde made perpetuall Magistrates, and Iustices of the peace within their wardes, in which plight of gouernment it presentlie standeth. This shortlie as I could is the Historicall and outward estate of London: now come I to the inwarde pith & substance.
The estate of this City is to bee examined by the quantitie and by the qualitie.

of the Citie of London.
The quantitie therefore consisteth in the number of the Citi-
zens which is very great and farre exceedeth the proportion of Hippodamus which appointed 10000. & of others which haue set downe other numbers as méete styntes in their opinions to bée well gouerned, but yet seeing both reason and experience haue freed vs from the law of any definite number, so that other things bée bserued 2, let that bee admitted: neyther is London (I feare mée) so great as populous: for well sayeth onē, non idem est magna ciuitas & frequens, magna est enim quæ multos ha-
bet qui arma ferre possunt
, whatsoeuer the number bée, the brée-
deth no feare of sedition: forasmuch as the same consisteth not in the extreames, but in a verie mediocrity of Welth and riches, as it shall better appeare anone. And if the causes of English re-
bellions be searched out, they shall be found in effect to bee these twaine, Ambition, and Couetousnes, of which the first raigneth in the mindes of high and noble personages, or of such others, as séeke to be gratious and popular, and haue robbed the heartes of the multitude, whereas in London if any where in the worlde, honos veré onus est, and euery man rather shunneth then séeketh the Maioraltie which is the best marke amongst them, neyther hath there béene any strong faction, nor any man more popular then the rest, forasmuch as the gouernment is by a Paterne (as it were) and alwaies the fame, how often soeuer they change their Magistrate. Couetousnes, (that other Syre of sedition) pos-
sessth the miserable and néedy sort, and such as be naughty packes, vnthrifts, (which although it cannot be chosen, but The special character yͤ (LATIN SMALL LETTER Y WITH LATIN SMALL LETTER E ABOVE) does not display on all browsers and has been replaced by its simplified in a frequent City as London is, there shalbée found many) yet beare they not any great sway, séeing the multitude and most part there is of a competent welth, and earnestly bent to honest labour, I confesse that London is a mighty arme and instrument to bring any great desire to effect, if it may be won to a mans deuotion: whereof also there want not examples in the English Historie. But forasmuch as the same is by the like reason seruiceable and méete to impeach any disloyall attempt, let it rather be well gouerned then euil liked therfore, for it shal appeare anon that as London hath adhered to som rebelliōs, so hath it resisted many & was neuer The special character yͤ (LATIN SMALL LETTER Y WITH LATIN SMALL LETTER E ABOVE) does not display on all browsers and has been replaced by its simplified author of any one. The quality of this city consisteth eyther in the law & gouern-

An Apologie.
ment thereof: or in the degrées and condition of the Citizens, or in their strength and riches.
It is besides the purpose, to dispute, whether the estate of the gouernment here bee a Democratie, or Aristocratie, for what-
soeuer it bée being considered in it selfe, certaine it is, that in res-
pect of the whole Realme, London is but a Citizen, and no cittie, a subiect and no free estate, an obedienciarie, and no place endow-
ed, with any distinct or absolute power, for it is gouerned by the same law, that the rest of the Realme is, both in causes Criminall and Ciuill, a few customes onely excepted, which also are to bee adiudged, or foriudged by the common law. And in the assembly of the estates of our Realme (which wée call Parliament) they are but a member of the Comminaltie, and send two Burgesses, for their citie, as euery poore Borough doth, and two knights for their County as euerie other shire doth, and are as straightlie bound by such lawes as any part of the Realme is, for if contribu-
tion in subsidie of money to the Prince be decréede, the Londoners haue none exemption, no not so much as to assesse themselues: for the Prince doth appoint the commissioners.
If Souldiers must be mustered, Londoners haue no law to keepe themselues at home, if prouision for the Princes householde bée to be made, their goodes are not Priueledged. In summe there-
fore the gouernment of London differeth not in substance, but in ceremonie from the rest of the Realme, as namely, in the names and choise of their officers, and in their Guildes and Fraternities, established for the maintenance of Handicraftes, and Labourers and for equitie and good order, to bee kept in buying and selling. And yet in these also are they to bée controlled by the general law for by the statutes 28. E. 3. Chap. 10. and 1. H. 4. Cha. 15. the pointes of their misgouernment are inquirable by the inhabitants of the Forren shires adioyning and punishable by such Iusticiars as the Prince shall thereunto depute, to conclude therefore the e-
state of London for gouernment is so agreeable a Symphony with the rest, that there is no feare of dangerous discord to ensue thereby.
The multitude (or whole bodie) of this populous Citie is two waies to bee considered, generally, and specially, generally

of the Citie of London.
they bée naturall subiectes, a part of the commons of this Realme and are by birth for the most part a mixture of all countries of the same, by bloud Gentlemen, Yeomen, and of the basest sorte, with-
out distinction: and by profession busie Bées, and trauellers for their liuing in the Hiue of this common welth, but specially con-
sidered, they consist of these thrée partes, Marchantes, Handicrafts men, and Labourers. Marchandize is also deuided into these thrée sortes, Nauigation, by the which Marchandizes are brought, and carried in and out ouer the Seas, Inuection by the which com-
modities are gathered into the Citie, and dispersed from thence in-
to the Countrie by land and negotiation, which I may call the kéeping of a retayling or standing shop. In common speech they of the first sort bée called Marchantes, and both the other Retay-
lers, Handicraftes men be those which do exercise such artes as re-
quire both labour and cunning, as Goldsmithes, Taylors and Habberdashers, Skinners &c. Labourers and Hirelinges, I cal those quorum operae non artes emuntur, as Tullie sayeth, of which sorte be Portars, Carmen, Watermen &c. Againe these thrée sortes may be considered eyther in respect of their welth, or number: in welth Marchantes, and some of the chiefe Retaylers haue the first place, the most part of Retaylers, and all artificers: the second or meane place, and Hyrelinges the lowest roome: but in number they of the middle place, be first, and do farre exceede both the rest: Hyrelinges be next, and Marchantes bee the last. Now, out of this, that the estate of London, in the persons of the Citizens, is so frendly interlaced, and knit in league with the rest of the realme, not onely at their beginning by birth and bloude as I haue shewed, but also very commonlie at their ending by life and conuersation (for that Marchantes and rich men being satisfied with gaine doe for the most part) marrie their children into the Countrie, and conuey themselues after Cicerors counsell, Veluti ex portu in agros et possessiones: I doe inferre that there is not onely no danger towardes the common quiet thereby, but also great occasion and cause of good loue and amitie: out of this, that they bée generally bent to trauell and do flie pouertie, per mare, per saxa, per ignes, as the Poet sayeth, I draw hope, that they shall escape the note of many vices, which idle people doe fall into.

An Apologie
And out of this, that they bee a greate multitude, and that yet the greatest part of them bée neyther too rich not too poore, but doe liue in the mediocritie, I conclude with Aristotle that the Prince néedeth not to feare sedition by them, for thus sayeth hee. Magnæ vrbes, magis sunt a seditione liberæ, quod in eis dominetur mediocritas, nam in paruis nihil medium est, sunt enim om-
nes vel pauperes vel opulenti
. I am now to come to the strength and power of this Citie, which consisteth partly in the number of the Citizens themselues, whereof I haue spoken be-
fore, partly in their riches, and in their warlike furniture, for as touching the strength of the peece it selfe that is apparant to the eye, and therefore is not to bée treated of.
The welth and warlicke furniture of London is eyther pub-
licke of priuate, and no doubt the common trasure cannot be much there, seeing that the reuenew which they haue, hardly sufficeth to maintaine their Bridge and Conduites, and to pay their officers and seruantes. Their Tolle doth not any more then pay their Fée Ferme, that they pay to the Prince. Their Issues for default of Appearances be neuer leuied, and the profites of their courtes of Iustice, do go to particular mens handes. Arguments hereof bée these twoo: one that they can doe nothing of extraordinarie charge, without a generall contribution: an other that they haue suffered such, as haue borne the chiefe office amongst them, and were become Bankrupt, to depart the Citie, without releefe: which I thinke they neyther would nor could haue done, if the common treasure had sufficed to couer their shame, hereof there-
fore wée néede not be afraid. The publike armour and munition of this City remayneth in the Halles of the Companies, as it doth throughout the whole Realme, for a great part in the par-
rish churches, neyther is that kept together, but onely for obedi-
ence to the law, which commandeth it, and therefore if that threa-
ten danger to the estate, it may (by another law) be taken from them, and committed to a more safe Armourie.
The Priuate riches of London resteth chiefly in the handes of the Marchantes, and Retaylers, for Artificers haue not much to spare, and Labourers hau neede that it were giuen vnto them. Now how necessarie and seruiceable the estate of Marchandize is

of the Citie of London.
to this Realm, if may partly appeare by the practise of that peace-
able, politike, and rich Prince king Henry the seauenth, of whom Polidore (writing his life) sayeth thus, Mercatores ille sæpe-
numero pecunia multa data gratuitò iuuabat, vt mercatu-
ra (ars vna omnium cunctis æquè mortalibus tum cōmoda, tum necessaria) in suo regno copiosior esset
. But chiefly, by the inestimable commodities that grow thereby: for who knoweth not that wee haue extreame néede of many thinges, whereof for-
raine countries haue great store, and that wee may spare many thinges whereof they haue neede? or who is ignorant of this that wee haue no mines of siluer or golde within our Realme? so that the increase of our coyne, and Bulloine commeth from else where, and yet neuerthelesse we be both fed, clad, and otherwise serued with forreine commodities and delightes, as plentiful as with our domestical: which thing commeth to passe by the meane of mar-
chandize onely, which importeth necessaries from other countries, and exporteth the superfluities of our own. For seeing we haue no way to encrease our treasure by mines of gold or siluer at home, and can haue nothing without money or Ware from other coun-
tries abroad, if followeth necessarily, that if we follow the councel of that good old Husband Marcus Cato, saying, oportet patrem familias vendacem esse, non emacem, and do carrie more cō-
modities in value ouer the seas, then wée bring hether from thence: that then the Realme shall receiue that ouerplus in money: but if we bring from beyond the seas marchandize of more value, then that which we do send ouer may counteruaile, then the Realme payeth for the ouerplus in readie money, and consequently is a looser by that ill husbandrie: and therefore in this part great and héedefull regard must be had that Symmetria, and due proportion be kept, least otherwise, eyther the Realme bee defrauded of her treasure, or the subiectes corrupted in vanitie, by excessiue importa-
tion of superfluous and néedelesse Marchandize, or els that we féele penurie, euen in our greatest plentie and store by immoderate ex-
portation of our owne néedefull commodities. Other the benefites that marchandize bringeth, shall hereafter appeare in the gene-
rall recitall of the commodities that come by London: and there-

An Apologie
fore it resteth that I speake a worde of Retaylors, and finally shew that much good groweth by them both. The chiefe parte of retayling is but a handmaid to marchandize, dispersing by péece-
meale that which the marchant bringeth in grosse: of which trade be Mercers, Grocers, Uinteners, Haberdashers, Ironmongers, Millayners, & all such as sell wares growing or made beyond the seas: & therefore so long as Marchandize it selfe shalbe profitable, & such proportion kept as neyther wée loose our treasure thereby, nor bee cloyed with vnnecessarie forrein Wares, this kinde of re-
tayling is to be retayned also.
Now that Marchantes and Retaylers of London be very rich and greate, it is so farre from any harme, that it is a thing both praise worthie, and profitable: for Mercatura (sayeth Cicero) si tenuis est, sordida putanda est, sin magna est & copiosa non est vituperanda. And truely Marchantes and Retaylers doe not altogether intus Canere, and profit themselues onely, for the Prince, and Realme both are enriched by their riches: the Realm winneth treasure, if their trade be so moderated by authority, that it breake not proportion, & they besides beare a good fléece which the Prince may sheare when shée séeth good,
But heere before I conclude this part, I have shortly to aun-
swere the accusation of those men, which charge London with the losse and decay of many (or most) of the auncient Cities, Corpo-
rate Townes, and Marketes within this Realme, by drawing from them to her selfe alone (say they) both all trade of traffique by sea, and the retayling of wares, and exercise of manuall artes also. Touching Nauigation, which (I must confesse) is apparantly de-
cayed in many port townes, and flourisheth only, or chiefly at Lon-
, I impute that, partly to the fall of the Staple (the which bée-
ing long since a great trade, and bestowed sometimes at one town and sometimes at an other within the Realme, did much enrich the place where it was: & being now not onely diminished in force, but also translated ouer the seas, cannot but bring some decay with it (partly to the empayring of Hauens, which in many places haue empouerished those Townes, whose estate doth ebbe and flow with them, and partly to the dissolution of Religious houses,

of the Citie of London.
by whose welth and haunt, many of those places were chiefly fed and nourished. I meane not to rehearse particular examples of e-
uery sorte: for the thing it selfe speaketh, and I hast to an ende: As for Retaylers therefore, and Handicraftes men, it is no mar-
uaile if they abandon Countrie Townes, and resort to London: for of nonely the Court, (which is now a dayes much greater and more gallant then in former times, and which was wont to bee contented to remain with a smal company, sometimes at an Abbey or Priorie, sometimes at a Bishops house, and sometimes at some meane Mannor of the kings own) is now for the most part eyther abiding at London, or els so neare vnto it, that the prouision of thinges most fit for it, may easily be fetched from thence: but al-
so by occasion thereof the Gentlemen of all shires do flie, and flocke to this City, the yonger sorte of them to sée and shew vanitie, and the elder to saue the cost and charge of Hospitality, and house kée-
ping. For hereby it commeth to passe that the Gentlemen be-
ing eyther for a good portion of the yeare out of the Countrie, or playing the Fermours, Grasiars, Brewers or such like, more then Gentlemen were wont to doe within the Countrie, Retay-
lers and Artificers, at the least of such thinges as pertaine to the backe or belly, do leaue the Countrie townes where there is no vent, and do flie to London, where they be sure to finde ready and quicke market. And yet I wish, that euen as many townes in the Low Countries of king Phillips3 do stand some by one handy arte and some by an other: so also that it might be prouided here, that the making of some thinges might (by discrete dispensation) be allotted to some speciall Townes, to the end, that although the dayntenesse of men cannot be restrayned, which will néedes séeke those thinges at London, yet other places also might bee reléeued, at the least by the Workemanshippe of them.
Thus much then of the estate of London, in the gouernment thereof, in the condition of the Citizens, and in their power and riches. Now follow the enumeration of such benefites as re-
bound to the Prince and this realme by this City: In which do-
ing I professe not to rehearse all, but onely to recite and runne ouer the chiefe and principall of them.

An Apologie
Besides the commodities of the furtherance of Religion and Iustice: The propagation of Learning: The maintenance of artes: The increase of riches, and the defence of Countries (all which are before shewed to grow generally by Cities, and bee common to London with them) London bringeth singularlie these good thinges following.
By aduantage of the scituation it disperseth forraine Wares (as the stomacke doth meat) to all the members most commodi-
By the Benefite of the riuer of Thames, and greate trade of Marchandize, it is the chiefe maker of Marriners, and Nurse of our Nauie: and ships (as men know) bee the wodden walles for defence of our Realme.
It maintayneth in florishing estate, the Countries of Norfolke, Suffolke, Essex, Kent, and Sussex, which as they lie in the face of our most puissant neighbour, so ought they (aboue others) to be conserued in the greatest strength and riches: and these (as it is well known) stand not so much by the benefite of their own soile, as by the neighbourhood and nearenes which they haue to Londō.
It releeueth plentifully, and with good policie, not onely her owne poore people (a thing which scarcely any other Towne or shire doth) but also the poore that from ech quarter of the realme do flocke vnto it, and it imparteth liberally to the necessitie of the Uniuersities besides. It is an ornament to the realm by the bew-
tie thereof, & a terror to other countries by reason of the greate welth and frequencie. It spreadeth the honor of our Countrie far abroade by her long nauigations, and maketh our power feared, euen of barbarous Princes. It onely is stored with rich Mar-
chantes which sort onely is tollerable: for beggerlie Marchants, do byte too neare, & will do more harme then good to the realme.
It onely of any place in this realme is able to furnish the sodaine necessitie with a strong Army. It auaileth the prince in Tonnage, Poundage and other her customes, much more then all the rest of the Realme.
It yeeldeth a greater Subsidie then any one part of the realme, I meane not for the proportion of the value of the goodes onely,

of the Citie of London.
but also for the faithfull seruice there vsed, in making the assesse, for no where else bee men taxed so neare to their iust value as in London: yea manye are founde there, that for their countenaunce and credite sake, refuse not to bee rated a-
boue their abilitie, which thing neuer happeneth abroade in the countrie. I omit that in auncient time, the inhabitantes of Lon-
and other cities, were accustomably taxed after the tenth of their goodes, when the Countrie was assessed at the fiftéenth, and rated at the viij.when the countrie was set at the xij.for that were to awake a sléeping Dogge, and I should be thought dicenda, ta-
cenda, locutus
, as the Poet said.
It onely doth and is able to make the Prince a ready prest or loane of money.
It onely is founde fit and able to entertaine strangers honora-
blie, and to receaue the Prince of the realme worthely.
Almightie God (qui nisi custo diat ciuitatem, frustra vigilat custos) grant, that her Maiestie euermore rightly estéeme and rule this Citie, and he giue grace, that the Citizens may answere duty, aswell towards God and her Maiestie, as towardes this whole realme and countrie, Amen.
An Appendix containing the examination of such causes as haue heretofore moued the Princes, eyther to fine and ransome the citizens of London, or to seize the liberties of the City it selfe.
THese all may be reduced to these few heads: for eyther the citizens haue adheared (in aide or armes) to such as haue warred vpon the Prince: or they haue made tumult, and bro-
ken the common peace at home: or they haue misbehaued themselues in point of go-
uernement and iustice: or finally (and to speake the plain truth) the princes haue ta-
ken hold of small matters, and coyned good summes of money out of them.
To the first head I will referre whatsoeuer they haue done ey-

An Apologie
ther in those warres that happened betwéene king Stephen and Maude the Empresse, being competitors of the crowne: or be-
twéene king Iohn & his nobles assisting Lewes the French kinges sonne when he inuaded the realme: for it is apparent by all histo-
ries, that the Londoners were not the mouers of these warres, but were onely vsed as instruments to maintaine them. The like is to be said of all the offences that king Henry the third (whose whole raigne was a continuall warfare) conceyued against this Cittie, concerning the bearing of armour against him: for the first part of his raigne was spent in the continuation of those warres that his father had begun with Lewes. And the rest of his life he bestowed in that contention, which was commonly called the Ba-
rons warres. In which Tragedie London (as it could not bee otherwise) had now and then a part, and had many a snubbe at the kinges hand for it. But in the end when hee had triumphed ouer Simon Mountford at Euesham, London felt it most tragicall: for then he both seysed their liberties, and sucked themselues drie: and yet Edictum Kenelworth (made shortly after) hath an hono-
rable testimony for London, saying, Te London laudamus &c. As for the other offences that hee tooke against the Londoners, they pertaine to the other parts of my diuision.
Next after this, against whom the Londoners did put on armes, followeth king Edward the second, who in the ende was depriued of his kingdome, not by their meanes, but by a generall defection, both of his owne wife and sonne, and almost of the whole nobilitie and realme besides. In which trouble, that furious assault, and slaughter committed by them vpon the Bishop of Excester (then Treasurer of the Realme) is to be imputed, partly to the sway of the time wherewith they were caried, and partly to a priuate dis-
pleasure which they had to the Bishop.
Finally commeth to hand King Richard the second: for these thrée onley in all the Catalogue of our kinges, haue béene heauie Lordes to London, who also had much contention with his nobi-
litie, and was in the ende deposed. But whatsoeuer countenance and aide the Citie of London brought to the warres and vprores of that time, it is notoriously true that London neuer ledde the dance, but euer followed the pipe of the nobility. To close vp this

of the Citie of London.
first part therefore I affirme, that in all the troublesome actions during the raignes of these thrée kinges, as also in all that heauing in, and hurling out, that afterward happened betwéene K. Henry the 6. & king Edward the fourth, the citie of London was many times a friende and fautor, but neuer the first motiue or author of any intestine war or sedition.
In the second roome I place a couple of tumultuous affraies that chaunced in the daies of King Richard the firſt, the one vpon the day of his coronation against the Iewes, which contrary to the Kings owne proclamation, would néedes enter the Church to sée him sacred, and were therefore cruelly handled by the common people. The other was caused by William with the long beard, who after that he had inflamed the poore people against the richer sort, and was called to answere for his fault, tooke Bow Church for sanctuarie, and kept it Castle like, till he was fiered out.
Here is place also for the stoning to death of a Gentleman (ser-
uant to the halfe brother of King Henry the third) which had be-
fore prouoked the Citizens to furie by wounding diuers of them without any cause 1257. for the riotous fray betwéene the ser-
uants of the Goldsmithes and the Taylors, 1268. for the hurlie burlie and bloodshed betwéen the Londoners and the men of West-
, moued by the youngmen vpon an occasion of a wrestling on S. Iames day, 1221. & made worse by one Constantine an an-
cient Citizen: for the braule and businesse that arose about a Ba-
kers loafe at Salisbury place 1391. for the which and some other misdemeanors K. Richard the 2. was so incensed by euill counsell against the Londoners, that he determined to destroy them, and raze their Citie, and for the fight that was betweene the citizens & Sanctuarie men of S. Martins 1454. vnder K. Henry the sixt. And finally for the misrule on euill May day 1519. and for such other like, if there haue beene any.
To the third head may be referred the seiser of their liberties, for a false iudgement giuen against a poore widow, called Margaret Viel 1246. The 2. seueral seisers in one yere 1258. for fals pack-
ing in collections of money and other enormities: And finally the seiser made by King Edward the first for taking bribes of the Ba-
kers 1285. But all this seueritie in seising and resuming of the

An Apologie
liberties (which was in old time the onely ordinary punishment) was at length mitigated by king Edward the third, and King Henry the fourth in their statutes before remembred.
In the last place stand those offences, which I repute rather taken then giuen, and do fall within the measure of the adage, vt canem cedas, cito inuenias baculum: for King Iohn in the tenth of his raigne deposed the Bayliefes of London, because they had bought vp the Wheate in the market, so that there was not to serue his Purueyers. King Henry the third his sonne compel-
led the Londoners to pay him 5000.£. because they had lent to Lewes the French the like summe, of a good mind to dispatch him out of their Citie and the realme, at such time as the Protector and the whole Nobility fell to composition with him for his depar-
ture. And the same King fined them at thrée thousand markes, for the escape of a prisoner out of Newgate, of whom they tooke no charge: for he was a Clearke, prisoner to the Bishop of London vnder the custody of his owne seruants, and as for the place, it was onely borrowed of the Londoners to serue that turne. Hitherto of these things to this ende, that whatsoeuer misdemeanor shalbe obiected out of historie against London, the same may herein appeare, both in his true place, and proper colour.


  1. Chre is Charter-from footnote 2 of The Singularities of the City of London in Kingsford (JB)
  2. I.e. observed (SM)
  3. Possibly this Philip, since he also ruled England. (JB)

Cite this page

MLA citation

Stow, John, and William fitz-Stephen. Survey of London: Singularities of London. The Map of Early Modern London, edited by Janelle Jenstad, U of Victoria, 26 Jun. 2020,

Chicago citation

Stow, John, and William fitz-Stephen. Survey of London: Singularities of London. The Map of Early Modern London. Ed. Janelle Jenstad. Victoria: University of Victoria. Accessed June 26, 2020.

APA citation

Stow, J., & fitz-Stephen, W. 2020. Survey of London: Singularities of London. In J. Jenstad (Ed), The Map of Early Modern London. Victoria: University of Victoria. Retrieved from

RIS file (for RefMan, EndNote etc.)

Provider: University of Victoria
Database: The Map of Early Modern London
Content: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

A1  - Stow, John
A1  - fitz-Stephen, William
ED  - Jenstad, Janelle
T1  - Survey of London: Singularities of London
T2  - The Map of Early Modern London
PY  - 2020
DA  - 2020/06/26
CY  - Victoria
PB  - University of Victoria
LA  - English
UR  -
UR  -
ER  - 


RT Web Page
SR Electronic(1)
A1 Stow, John
A1 fitz-Stephen, William
A6 Jenstad, Janelle
T1 Survey of London: Singularities of London
T2 The Map of Early Modern London
WP 2020
FD 2020/06/26
RD 2020/06/26
PP Victoria
PB University of Victoria
LA English
OL English

TEI citation

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