Survey of London: Temporal Government of London

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The temporall gouernment of this Cittie, some-
what in briefe manner.
THis Cittie of London being vnder the gouern-
ment of the Britons, Romaines, and Saxons,
the most ancient and famous citie of the whole
realme was at length destroied by the Danes,
Aserius Me-
and left desolate:
Florencius Wigor.
as may appeare by our hi-
stories. But Aelfred king of the west Sax-
ons, hauing brought this whole realme (from many partes) into
one Monarchie, honorablie repaired this Cittie, and made it a-
gaine habitable, and then committed the custodie thereof to his
sonne in law Adhered Earle of Mercia: after whose decease the
Citie with all other possessions, pertayning to the said Earle re-

Of Lazar houses.
turned to king Edward surnamed the elder, &c. And so remained
in the kings handes, being gouerned vnder him by Portgraues (or
) which name is compounded of the two Saxon words,
Porte, and Gerefe or Reue. Porte betokeneth a Towne, and
Gerefe signifieth a Gardian, ruler, or kéeper of the towne.
These Gouernors of old time (saith Robert Fabian ) with the
lawes and customes then vsed within this cittie, were registred in
a booke called the Doomes day, in the Saxon tongue: but of later
daies when the said lawes and customes were chaunged, and for
that also the saide booke was of a small hande, and sore defaced, it
was lesse set by, so that it was imbeseled, and lost. Thus farre
Notwithstanding I haue found by search of diuers olde Regi-
sters and other records, namely in a booke sometime appertayning
to the Monasterie of S. Albons,
Li. S. Albani.
of the Portgraues and other go-
uernors of this Cittie as followeth.
First, that in the raigne of king Edward the laſt before the con-
1, Wolfegare was Portgraue: as may appeare by the char-
ter of the same king,
Citizens of London cal-
led Burgesses.
in these words. Edward king greeteth Alf-
B.2 and Wolfe graue my Portgraue, and all the Burgesses
in London
. And afterward that in an other, king Edward grée-
teth William Bishop and Leofstane, and Alffi Portgraues.
In the raigne of William Conqueror, William Bishop of Lon-
, procured of the said Conqueror his charter of liberties, to the same W. Bishoppe and Godfrey, Portgraue, and to all the Bur-
gesses of the citie of London, in as large forme as they enioyed the same in the time of K. Edward before the conqueſt3: and then in the raigne of the ſaid Conqueror, and of William Rufus, Godfrey de Magnauille was Portgraue (or Sheriffe) as may appeare by their Charters, and one Richard de Par was Prouost.
In the raigne of King Henry the firſt, Hugh Buche was Port-
graue, and Leofstanus Goldsmith Prouost.
After them Aubery de Vere was Portgraue, & Robert Bar Querell Prouost. Tis Auberie de Vere was slain in the raigne of K. Stephen.
It is to be noted also that K. Henry the 1. gran-
ted to the citizens of London, the Shriuewicke thereof, and of Middlesex, as in another place before is shewed.

Temporall Gouernment.
In the raigne of King Stephen, Gilbet Becket was Portgraue, and Andrew Bucheuet Prouost.
After him, Godfrey Magnauile, the son of William, the sonne of Godrey Magnavile, by the gift of Maulde the Empresse, was Portgraue or Sheriffe of London and Middlesex, forthe yearely farms of thrée hundreth pound, as appeareth by the Charter.
In the time of King Henry the ſecond, Peter Fitz Walter was Portgraue: after him, Iohn Fitz Nigel was Portgraue: after him, Ernulfus Buchel became Portgraue: and after him, William Fitz Isabell. These Portgraues
Portgraues, since called Shriues and Iudges of the Kings Court and haue therefore vn-
der shriuesmẽ learned in the lawe, to sit in their Courts. Domesmen or Iudges of the kings Court.
are also in diuers records called Uice-
counties, Uicounties, or Sheriffes, as béeing vnder an Earle, for that they then, as since, vsed that office as the Sheriffes of London doo till this day. Some authors do call them Domesmen, Eldermen, or Iudges of the Kings Court.
William Fitz Stephen noting the estate of this Cittie, and go-
uernment thereof, in his time vnder the raigne of King Stephen, and of Henry the ſecond, hath these words.
This Cittie (saith hee) euen as Rome, is diuided into words, it hath yearly Sheriffes in stead of Consuls, it hath the dignitie of Se-
nators and Aldermen, it hath vnder Officers, & according to the quallitie of lawes, it hath seuerall Courts, and generall assemblies vpon appoynted daies
. Thus much for the antiquitie of Sheriffes, and also of Aldermen, in seuerall Wards of this cittie, may suffice. And now for the name of Bailiffes, and after that, of Maior I finde as followeth.
In the firſt yeare of King Richard the firſt, the cittizens of London obtained to be gouerned by 2. Bailiffes,
Bailiffes of London.
which balliffes are in diuers auncient déeds called Shriues, according to the spéech of the lawe, which called the Shire Balliua, for that they like as the Portgraues, vsed the same office of Shriuewicke, for the which the citie paid to fée farm of thrée hundreth pounds yearly as afore, since the raigne of Henry the firſt, which also is yet paid by the citie into the Exchequer vntill this day.
They also obtained to haue a Maior, to bee their principall Go-
uernour and Lieftenant of the cittie, as of the Kings chamber.
  • 1189.
    The names of the first Bailiffes (or Officers) entring into their

    Temporall gouernment.
    office at the feast of Saint Michael4 Th’archangell, in the yeare of Christ 1189. were named Henry Cornhill, & Richard Reynere, Bailiffes or Sheriffes.

King Iohn beganne his raigne the ſixt of Aprill, 1199.

King Henry the third, beganne his raigne the 19. of Octo-
ber, 1216

King Edward the first, began his raigne, the 16. of Nouember. 1272.

Edward the second began his raigne the 7. of Iuly, the yeare of Chriſt 1307.

Edward the third, began his raigne, the 25. of Ianuarie, the yeare 1326.

Richard the second beganne his raigne, the 21. of Iune, in the yeare 1377.

Henrie the fourth began his raigne the 29. of Septemb. the yeare 1399.

Henry the fift began his raigne the 20. of March, the yeare 1412.

Henry the sixt began his raigne the 31. of Auguſt, the yeare 1422.

Edward the fourth began his raigne the fourth of March, in the yeare 1460. after the account of the church of England.

Edward the fift began his raigne the 9. of Aprill in the yeare 1483. Richard the third began his raigne the 22. of Iune, in the yeare 1483.

Henry the seuenth began his raigne the 22. of Auguſt, in the yeare 1485.

Henry the eight began his raigne the 22. of Aprill the yeare 1509.

Edward the sixt began his raigne the 28. of Ianuary, in the yeare 1546.

Queene Mary began her raigne the 6. of Iuly the yeare 1553.

Queene Elizabeth began her raigne the 17. of No-
uember, in the yeare of Chriſt 1558