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Jlemas term, I sent my wife to Sir Henry Bennet, to acquaint him what infinite prejudice this close imprisonment was to me, by reason of a mortgage upon my estate, and the advantage that my te. nants and all other people made of my close restraint, which bindered me from speaking to my lawyers and others, that it nearly concerned me, to treat with, about my affairs; but the secretary told her, that I was a very unhappy person, in regard of my former crimes.

To which she answered, she esteemed me very happy, in that I was comprised in the act of oblivion; but he, with a doubled reflexion on my former crimes, notwithstanding she had put him in mind of the act of oblivion, said, He should not move the king to allow me any more liberty, unless he could be secured, it might be more safe for his majesty, than he could apprehend it. After such a real necessity, as she made it appear to him, there was of suffering persons to come to me, to treat of the concern. ments of my estate, it booted her not, to urge the danger of my health, and all other inconveniences which I suffered by being for ced to make provision for my dispersed family in three places, the intolerable charge of it, and the impossibility of procuring sup. plies, while I was kept thus. All this was neglected, and wrought no other effect, but to turn the undeserved oppressions, I groan under, into as unjust a reproach upon me.

I had not written this narrative, but that I understand, now, after twenty-two weeks close imprisonment in the Tower, instead of being brought to a legal trial or set at liberty, I am to be removed from hence to another prison; and though the form and date of the warrant of my commitment close prisoner to the Tower of London, compared with the day of my first being broughi to town, together with the times and manner of my examinations by Mr. Secretary Bennet, did clearly let me see, how it was resolved I should be disposed of, before it could possibly be known whether I should appear guilty or innocent, if any accusation was given in against me, not having at that time, nor till some days after I had been close prisoner in the Tower, ever been examined by any man; yet it being still more manifest, by assigning me to a prison, in a place so remote from my family and affairs, and so dangerous to my insirm constitution, to say nothing of the intole. rable charge, as that is, to which I hear I must go ; and indeed, neither this where yet I am, whilst I am close kept up, nor scarce any

other isle or castle, that I know of, will be much less mischie. vous to me in those respects. I hold it a duty I owe to my own innocence, to publish this narrative, whether I be sent away, or stay in this prison, it being equally destructive to my life and fa. mily ; leaving my blood, if thus spilt, and the ruin of my family, thus occasioned, to cry to heaven for that justice, which I am not thought worthy of here. And whilst I am yet suffered to breathe, having no other refuge on earth, putting up my petitions to the great judge of heaven and earth, as one not without hope in God, in the words of the prophet David, Psal. xliii. Judge me, O God, and plead my cause, &c.

John Hutchinson, From the Tower of London, April 6,

at Night, 1664,




By JOHN WITHERINGS, Esquire, Master and Governor of the Royal Game of Swans and Cygnets

throughout England,

London, Printed in 1664.

Quarto, containing six Pages.

To the Worshipful John Witherings, Esquire, Chief Master and Governor of the Royal Game of Swans and Cygnets throughout the

Kingdom of England. SIR, Your Deputy, Master Loggins, hearing that I had some ancient notes of the

customs and orders concerning Swans, desired me, that you might have a sight of them; which I have sent you, together with certain precedents, or forms of, commissions for keeping Swan-herds courts, and copies of ancient patents, which I received of a very honest gentleman, Master Edward Clerke, of Lincoln's-Inn, Esquire, Father to Sir Edward Clerke, one of the masters of the Chancery. These he delivered me, about eighteen years since; at which time Sir Lawrence Tanfeeld, late Lord Chief Baron, and myself had a deputation, from Sir William Andrews, of that walk, which Master Loggins now hath from you. Master Clerke was before me; bnt, as I remember, he told me he had his deputation from my Lord of Buckhurst, and not from Sir James Mervin. Howsoever, the titles are truly by me transcribed, as I received them writien with his own hand. There are orders also printed, and yet somewhat differing from these ; which orders were made at one particular court, long ago: And, at a coart holden at Burford, in the County of Oxon, about fifteen years since, by the said Sir Lawrence Tanfeeld and others, some new orders were made, which, Sir Lawrence Tanfeeld said, were warrantable by the commission, and lawful to be made, where and when they were fit and necessary for the preses. vation of Swans; yet so, that those particular orders may be altered, upon occasion ; but the ancient customs, contained under the name of orders, may not. There hath been so little care taken, for preserving and publishing these ancient customs, that they are not of all gamesters known; and your deputies commonly send their servants among us, who, as they are more or less covetous, so do they impose inore or less upon us; and, when we, that are the ancient gamesiers, oppose them, we have some contention. You shall, therefore, Sir, do well, if, comparing these with your other notes, you find them to serve generally for England, as well as for our River of Thames, that you give to all your deputies, and to all commissioners, copies, that so all gamesters may know the certain customs, which are to be kept : And so I bid you heartily farewell.

Your loving Friend, From Alborne in Wiltshire,

John D'oyly. this 26th of January, 1631.

The Laws, Orders, and Customs of Swans, taken out of a Book,

which the Lord of Buckhurst delivered to Edward Clerke, of Lincoln's-Inn, Esq; to peruse, Ann. Elis: 26. On the back. side of which Book, it was thus intitled : Taken out of an ancient Book, remaining with Master Hambden, sometime Master of the Swans.

FIRST, If any person doth possess any game of swans, that

may not dispend five marks a year of freehold (except the son of the king) the swans of every such person are forfeited to the king, 22 Edward IV.

2. If any person possess any game of swans, and hath not paid his fine for the same, his game of swans is to be seized for the king, till his fine be paid; which fine is six shillings and eight pence; and no man is to pay it more than once, during his life.

3. But, if any person, having no mark allowed him, have one or more swans given him, or have any land-bird sign-marked, he may keep them in the common river till the next upping-time with out fine, paying the commons and other charges for the Upping.

4. If any person, having swans, either within franchises, or without, be attainted, his swaps are forfeited to the king only, and not to any


whatsoever. 5. Also all swans, that are clear of bill, without mark or sign. mark, are the king's only, whether they be pinioned, or flying

6. Also all stray swans, which no man can challenge by his mark, those are the king's only; and they are to be seized for the king, and marked on the leg, but are not to be carried away the


first year.

7. In all common streams, and private waters, when cygnets are taken up, the owner of the cob must chuse the first cygnet, and the

pen the next, and so in order ; but, if there be three, then the owner of the grass, where they breed, must have the third for the spoil of his grass, and pay to the king twelve pence for the same land-bird, saving in such places, where, of ancient custom, they pay less or more.

8. If an airy be led with one swan only, the half of those cygnets shall be seized for the king, till proof be made, whose the swan was, that is away ; but are not to be carried away that year.

9. The master of the game, or his deputy, shall yearly come, at the usual days of marking swans in that stream, on pain of losing his fees during his absence; and he shall keep a roll, or standard. book, containing all the usual marks of that stream. He shall also keep a register-book of the number of every man's swans, and the place where they are upped; and shall likewise bring the book of the last year; for which every gamester is to give him, yearly,

four pence.

10. Also the master of the game, or his deputy, is to have a penny for upping every white swan, and two pence for every cygnet; and shall have his dinner and supper, and hay or grass for his horse, discharged by the gamesters every upping-day, except in such streams, where, by ancient custom, other composition is used.

11. If any man desire the master of the game to enter any note in his book, other than the notes due to be written, as aforesaid, or to take any note out of his book under his hand, he is to pay four


12. If any marked swan be unpinioned, and thereby do fly, the owner of that swan is to pay four pence; and, if any man take any flying swan, or cygnet, he must bring the same to the master of the game, or his deputy, and take for his pains eight pence, on pain of forty shillings.

13. It is ordained, that no person shall lay leaps, set any nets, or drags within the common streams or rivers, upon the day-time, from the feast of the Invention of the Cross, unto the feast of Lammas, upon pain, so often as they be found so offending, to forfeit twenty shillings.

14. If any swan be found double-marked, embezzled, or by un. skilfulness put out of the right mark, the master of the game is to chuse five gamesters (such as are indifferent) to judge who hath right to that swan; and he, to whom the swan shall be adjudged, shall pay four pence for registering the said embezzled or wrong mark: But, if these five, or the greater number of them, do not adjudge the said swan to one of the gamesters, then the swan due to the king.

15. The usual days for upping of swans are not to be altered without consent of the greater number of gamesters of that stream, and that by proclamation made in all market-towns near the said stream. 16. No person


go on marking, without the master of the game, or his deputy, be present, upon pain to forfeit forty shil. lings : But, if, by sickness, or other occasion, he be absent at the usual upping-days, the company may go on, so that some sworn gamester keep the register-book, and receive all the dues, and deliver them to him, at his coming.

17. If any person do embezzle, rase, or alter the mark of any swan, to the loss or hindering of any man's game, he shall suffer one year's imprisonment, and be fined three pounds six shillings and cight pence, and for ever be disabled to be a gamester.

18. And, to the end that, in upping-time, no swan be embezzled, it is ordained, that no man draw blood of any swan, till the master of the game, or his deputy, have viewed the said


and decla. red whose the swan is.

19. No swan, other than clear-billed, is to be marked for the king on the beak, but only on the leg; for two marks on the beak are unlawful.

20. The master of the game may presently sell, or carry away, all swans that are clear-billed, embezzled, as aforesaid, and all swans forfeited for want of freehold, or by attaint of the owner. 21. And yet neither the master of the game, nor any


gamester, may take away any swan, which is in brood with any other man’s, or which is coupled, and hath a walk, without the other's consent for breaking the brood.

22. It is ordained, that commons, that is to say, dinner and supper, is to be paid daily by every banker or commoner, whether he be present, or absent; but, if he be absent, the master of the game is to lay it out for him (as likewise all other dues) till the

next meeting, or upping; but the said commons shall not exceed above twelve pence a man, and, if the company will spend more, they are to pay the overplus by the poll.

23. To the end that diet may be had at a reasonable rate, and likewise lodging, the place of taking both is to be chosen by the greater number of the commoners.

24. If any person be found carrying a swan-hook, within forty lugs of any stream, saving on the upping-days, and not accompa. nied with two swan-herds, he shall forfeit one pound ten shillings and four pence. But, upon the upping-days, every gamester, that carrieth not a hook (except such gentlemen as, for pleasure, go to -see their own game) shall forfeit cight pence a day; the one half to be for the master of the game, the other half for the company.

25. No person shall take up any swan or cygnet, marked or unmarked, unless it be done in the presence of two other swan. herds, and that by allowance of the master of the game, or his des puty; for which allowance he is to pay four pence, upon pain to forfeit forty shillings.

26. If any swan-herd depart before he have made even with the master of the game for all dues, he is to forfeit twelve pence; for which, as for all dues, the master of the game, or his deputy, may distrain the game, and, at the next upping, may pay himself by distraining and sale of the game, rendering to the party the over. plus.

27. If there be any person or persons, that have swans, that do airy upon any of their rivers, or several waters, and afterward come to the common water or river, they shall pay a land-bird to the king, and be obedient to alt swan-laws; for divers such persons do use collusion to defraud the king of his right.

28. If any person shall take away the egg or eggs of any swan, every such offender shall be imprisoned a year and a day, and shall pay thirteen shillings and four pence for every egg so taken away; whereof half to the king, and half to the owner of the swan, 11 H. VII.

29. If any person do drive away any swan breeding, or provi. ding to breed, be it on his own ground, or on any other man's, he shall be fined thirteen shillings and four pence, and shall suffer one year's imprisonment, 11 H. VII.

30. If any dog shall drive any swan away from her nest, the owner of such dog shall forfeit thirty shillings and four pence; but, if any dog shall kill any old swan, the owner of such dog shall forfeit to the king forty shillings, whether he be there, or not.

31. If any person shall hunt any ducks, or any other chace in the water, with any dog or dogs, in fence-time (that is, from the feast of Easter till Lammas eve) he shall pay, for every offence, six shillings and eight pence.

32. It is ordained, That, if any person doth set any snares, or any manner of nets, lime, or engines, to take bitterns, or swans, from the feast of Easter, to the sunday after Lammas-day; he or

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