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is "a franchise within the liberty of London. After a Jury had been sworn, &c., the names of the inhabitants being called over, those who were absent and sent no excuse were amerced, but those who sent “their excuses by their friends, paid only leet pence.” The Court then granted licences to the public houses, and swore in the headboroughs, constables, and other officers.
On the 27th of May the Sheriffs (by invitation, they having no concern with the jurisdiction of the court,) attended the Lord Mayor to Stratford, in Essex, and Greenwich, in Kent, to hold “his Court of Conservancy of the Navigation and Fishery of the River Thames, from Staines-bridge, in Middlesex, down to the mouth of the river Medway, at Sheerness, beyond the Nore;" he “ being personally, himself, by virtue
" of his office, the sole Conservator.” On returning, “ a little after ten o'clock," the party attempted to land at the King's Stairs at the Tower, “but they being shut, and, after waiting some time, the Wardour refusing to open them," they were obliged to proceed to the common stairs near that fortress.
“ Soon after, the Major of the Tower came to my Lord Mayor to acquaint him, that he was sorry for the refusal of which the Wardour had been guilty, whom he had ordered to strict duty, and would oblige him to come and ask pardon for his insolence. Upon this apology, it was agreed that no further notice or complaint should be made; for it is to be known that the Lord Mayor of this City has the privilege of going through the Tower to take water, or on his landing at the King's Stairs, sending reasonable notice of such his intention.".
At a Common Council, held on the 17th of June, it was ordered that every person who had paid the customary fine of 4001. and “ twenty marks more towards the maintenance of the ministers of the several prisons of this city,” with the usual fees, should be exempted for ever, from serving the office of Sheriff, “ unless he should at any time become an Alderman." Previously to that act, the payment of the fine excused only for one year.
Tuesday, June 23d. Attended the Lord Mayor to a Court of Aldermen, at which Abel Aldridge, who had been nominated for Sheriff, came with six Compurgators, and, (according to the act of Common Council, Sir J. Barnard, Mayor,) swore he was not of the value of 15,000). in money and separate debts; and his Compurgators swearing also, that they believed what he swore to be true, he was excused from serving the said office, without payment of any fine."
On the 22d of August the Sheriffs waited on the Lord Mayor at Guildhall, 66 and from thence went in procession to Smithfield, with city officers and trumpets to proclaim Bartholomew Fair." On the 2d of September, “ this day being kept solemn in commemoration of the Fire of London,” they went to St. Paul's in their “ black gowns, and no chains, and heard a sermon on the said occasion." On the 8th of September the Sheriffs waited on the Lord Mayor, in procession, “ the city music going before, to proclaim Southwark Fair, as it is commonly called, although the ceremony is no more than our going in our coaches through the Borough, and turning round by Saint
George's church, back again to the Bridge House ; and this to signify the licence to begin the fair.” The Journalist adds :-“ On this day the sword-bearer wears a fine embroidered cap, said to have been worked and presented to the city by a monastery."
" Monday, September 21st, being St. Matthew's Day, waited on my Lord Mayor to the great hall in Christ's Hospital, where we were met by several of the Presidents and Governors of the other Hospitals within the City; and being seated at the upper end, the Children passed two by two, whom we followed to the church, and after hearing a sermon, came back to the Grammar School, where two boys made speeches in commemoration of their benefactors, one in English, the other in Latin ; to each of whom it is customary for the Lord Mayor to give one guinea, and the two Sheriffs halfa-guinea a piece, as we did. Afterwards, the Clerk of the Hospital delivered to the Lord Mayor a list of the several Governors to the several Hospitals nominated the preceding year. Then the several beadles of all the Hospitals came in, and laying down their staves on the middle of the floor, retired to the bottom of the hall. Thereupon the Lord Mayor addressed himself to the City Marshal, enquiring after their conduct, and if any complaint was to be made against any one in particular; and no objection being made, the Lord Mayor ordered them to take up their staves again : all which is done in token of their submission to the Chief Magistrate, and that they hold their places at his will, though elected by their respective governors. We were afterwards treated in the customary manner with sweet cakes and burnt wine.”
The shrievalty of Mr. Hoare, and his brother officer, expired on the 28th of September, and about seven o'clock in the evening the indentures with the new sheriffs were executed at Guildhall, “and the charge of the gaols and all other trusts relating to this great and hazardous, though otherwise honourable, employment, delivered over to them. And after being regaled with sack and walnuts, I returned to my own house in my private capacity, to my great consolation and comfort."
. In concluding this account of a Manuscript, which illustrates so many of the customs and privileges of the city, it should be mentioned that it includes various notices of the treats or dinners which the Lord Mayor and the Sheriffs give by turns to the Judges, Sergeants, &c. at the beginning and end of the respective terms; as well as of the manner of delivering petitions to the House of Commons, which is generally done by the Sheriff; the City having a right to present Petitions by an officer of its own, and without the intervention of any member.
SPEAKERS OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS.
ALTHOUGH broken in two or three recent instances, it was for centuries the custom of the Speakers elect of the House of Commons to descant in strong disparagement of their own abilities when called to the chair.Sir Christ. Yelverton was singularly eloquent on such an occasion, as we learn from Sergeant D'Ewes's "Journal," (p. 549) under the date 1597.
"Your speaker," said Yelverton, "ought to be a man big and comely, stately and well-spoken; his voice great, his carriage majestical; his nature haughty, and his purse plentiful and heavy. But, contrarily, the stature of my body is small, myself not so well-spoken, my voice low, my carriage lawyer-like, and of the common fashion; my nature soft and bashful, my purse thin, light, and never yet plentiful,"
This apology was, as usual, disregarded; and Yelverton filled the speaker's seat without detracting from its dignity.
About four years previously to the above occurrence, (anno 1593,) as we are informed by the same journalist, the Lord Keeper Puckering, in his reply to the speaker's three customary demands, explained "liberty of speech," to be nothing more than the "liberty of saying Aye and No!"
EXTRAORDINARY ESCAPE FROM DEATH.
THE following remarkable event is related in Hoare's Journal of his Shrievalty, under the date of Monday, November the 24th, 1740.
"This day, (in pursuance of a warrant from his Majesty,) was appointed for the execution of the following malefactors in Newgate, condemned the last sessions:-William Duell, William Meers, Thomas Clack, alias Clarke, Eleanor Mumpman, and Margery Stanton, alias Raggety Madge. But two other men, viz. Abraham Hancock and George White, condemned the sessions before, received a reprieve for eight days longer. At this execution a most extraordinary event happened; for William Duell, aged 17years, indicted for a rape, robbery, and murder, and con