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Government, Magistracy, Police, &c. The city and liberties are under three distinct govern. ments, civil, ecclesiastical, and military. The civil divides it into wards and precincts, under a mayor, aldermen, sheriffs, and common council; the ecclesiastical is under a bishop, archdeacon, and subordinate clergy; and the military government under the power of a lieutenancy, which is vested in the mayor, aldermen, and principal citizens; the city being erected by charter a county corporate and a lieutenancy by itself.
The civil government resembles in every respect the legislative power of the empire ; the mayor, exercising the functions of monarchy, the aldermen those of peerage, and the common council those of the third branch of the national legislature.
The mayor, or as he is by courtesy denominated the lord mayor, is the supreme magistrate ; and is an officer of the highest importance. He is the king's immediate locum tenens, or deputy in the city of London. His office was distinguished in ancient times by the title of portgrave or earl of the city. He was constituted by Henry I. justiciary or keeper of the pleas of the crown. As the head of the city, he is the principal in all commissions of felony, &c. and the chief judge for the gaol delivery at the sessions of Newgate*. He is conservator for the river Thames and Medway t; and in every concern of the river Lea, he is
* The judges of this court are the lord mayor, aldermen that are passed the chair, and the recorder, who on all such occasions are attended by both the sheriffs, and generally by one or more of the national judges.
+ This court is yearly held eight times before the lord mayor, at such places and times as his lordship shall think fit to appoint, within the respective counties of Middlesex, Essex, Kent, and Surrey ; in which several counties he has a power of summoning juries, who for the better preservation of the fishery of the river Thames, and regulation of the fishermen that fish therein, are upon oath to make inquisition of all offences committed in and upon the said river, from Staines Bridge in the
always in the commission. He is coroner within the city and its liberties, and chief butler to the king at his coronation. No corporation business is valid without his authority;
west to Yenflete in the east
; present all persons that are found guilty of a breach of the folloying ordinances.
First, That no person shall shoot any draw-net, &c. at any time of the year before sun-rising or after sun-setting; that no fisherman shall still-lie, or bend over any net during the time of the flood, whereby salmons, &c. may be hindered and kept back from swimming upwards ; that no fisherman, or others, shall use any spear called an eel-spear, nor exercise any Aue-trammel, double-walled net, or hooped net, to destroy the sry of fish; that no fisherman use any mill-pots, or other engines, with the heads thereof against the stream ; that no fisherman shall rug for founders between London Bridge and Westminster, &c. but only two casts at low water, and two casts at high water; and that no flounder be taken under the size of six inches; that no fisherman, or other, fish with or use any angle with more than two hooks upon a line, within the limits of London Bridge; that no Peter-men fish further westward than Richmond, to which place the water ebbs and flows; that no fisherman keep two boys in one boat, unless one be at man's estate ; nor take up any wreck or drift upon the water, without notice to the waterbailiff, &c. and all fishermen shall be registered, &c. under divers penalties and forfeitures.
These orders are for regulating the fish westward, between London Bridge and Stanes Bridge; and there are several orders for the government of the fishery eastward, between London Bridge and Yendale, touching unlawful taking of smelts, whitings, shads, fish out of season, royal fish; such as whales, sturgeons, porpusses, &c. and preserving the same, at the court of conservacy of the river Thames.
By an order of the 10th of July, 1673, no person shall draw the shores in the river of Thames, save only for salmon, by persons empowered, &c. and none shall fish with a net under six inches in the meash, on pain of 201. and the water-bailiff hath power to authorize two honest fishermen in any town, &c. to be assistant to him in searching for and seizing unlawful nets, &c. no fisherman, or other person, shall cast any soil, gravel, or rubbish, in the Thames, whereby banks or shelves are raised, and the common passage hindered, nor drive any piles or stakes in the said river, upon which the like danger may arise, on the penalty of 101.
And hy statute 27 Henry VIII. if any person shall procure any thing to be done to the annoyance of the Thames, in making of shelves, mining, digging, &c. or take away any boards or stakes, undermine banks, walls, &c. he shall forfeit 51.
and should another mayor be chosen for the next year in the absence of the present mayor, he being living, the election would be void.
The estate of this magistrate is princely. His attendants are the sword-bearer, common hunt, common cryer, and water-bailiff, all esquires by their office; beside thirty other daily servitors, who have all their domestics.
On state occasions, the lord mayor is superbly habited, either in a knotted gown, like that of the lord chancellor; a crimson velvet gown whenever he precedes the king ; and on lesser ceremonials, he is dressed in a scarlet cloth gown and hood, or one of mazarine blue silk; the three latter robes richly furred. He has besides a rich collar of S. S. with a jewel appendant, or a double chain of gold to distinguish his office.
The day of his taking upon him the office was formerly considered as a grand gala day; the cavalcade by water and land was magnificent; and on many occasions, the royal family have graced the entertainment with their presence. This stately pomp bas however very considerably diminish- . ed; the lord mayor, upon the death of the king, is said to be the prime person of England; for Sir Robert Lee, then lord mayor, was the first subscribing witness, when James I. was invited to take upon himself the government.
Time out of mind, the mayor of London hath been of such high esteem, that in all writings or addresses, the title of Lord is prefixed, “ which," as Stow adds, “ is given to none but to noblemen, bishops, and judges; and of late years to the mayor of York.”
The person of this magistrate was formerly held inviolable; for during a riot in the time of Edward III. two persons assaulted and struck the mayor; for which they were instantly seized and beheaded in Cheapside; the king applauding the measure.
And, for the more effectual preservation of the navigation and fish in the river Thames, the lord mayor, as conservator thereof, has his assistant, or deputy, the water-bailiff; who, together with his substitutes, detect and bring to justice all such persons as shall presume to destroy either the current or the fish of the said river.
A list of mayors who have rendered themselves famous by their patriotic and virtuous actions, is subjoined:
1283. Henry Wallis, built the Tun upon Cornhill to be a prison for night-walkers; Stocks Market for fish and fowl; and erected several tenements round St. Paul's Church Yard, the profits of which he appropriated to the repair of London Bridge.
1337. Sir John Poulteney, draper, built a chapel in St. Paul's, where he was buried; founded a college in the parish church, called from him St. Lawrence Poultney ; erected the church of Allhallows the Less, Thames Street ; and the church of the Carmelite Friars, Coventry. He gave relief to the prisoners in Newgate and the Fleet, and ten shillings per year to the hospital of St. Giles, in High Holborn, for ever. His other charities were unbounded.
1358. John Stody, vintner, gave all the ground on which Vintner's Hall and alms-houses now stand.
1363. Henry Picard. We have before mentioned the entertainment he gave to four kings and their suite.
1367. John Lofken, fishmonger, four times mayor, built Magdalen Hospital, Kingston upon Thames, and St. Michael, Crooked Lane, where he was buried.
1371. John Barnes gave a chest with three locks, containing one thousand marks, to be lent to young men upon sufficient pawn; he built great part of the church of St. Thomas the Apostle, Queen Street.
1378. John Philpot, hired with his own property, one thousand soldiers, and defended the realm from the incursions of the enemy; so that in a short space, his men took John Mercer, a pirate, and all the ships he had taken from Scarborough, besides fifteen Spanish ships richly laden. In 1380, Thomas Woodstock, Thomas Percy, Hugh Calverley, &c. being sent to aid the Duke of Bretagne, this patriotic magistrate hired ships for them at his own charge, and released the armour which the soldiers had pledged for victuals, to the amount of one thousand suits *.
1381. * “ This most noble citizen," saith Thomas Walsingham, “ that had travelled for the commodity of the whole realm, more than all others of
1381. The famous Sir William Walworth, added to the church of St. Michael, Crooked Lane, and founded a college there.
1391. Adam Bamme, goldsmith, in a great dearth, imported large quantities of corn from foreign countries, sufficient to supply the wants of the city and adjacent country.
1400. Sir Thomas Knowles, grocer, erected the present structure of Guildhall; re-edified St. Anthony's Church, and gave to his company, his mansion house, for the relief of the poor, for ever.
He also caused water to be conveyed to Newgate and Ludgate, for the relief of the prisoners.
1405. John Hind, draper, rebuilt the church of St. Swithin, London Stone.
1406. Sir John Woodcock, mercer, caused all the wears on the river Thames, from Staines to the Medway, to be destroyed.
1408. Sir Drew Barentine, goldsmith, built great part of Goldsmith Street, and gave lands, &c. to the company.
1414. Thomas Falconer, mercer, lent to king Henry V. towards the maintenance of his wars in France, ten thousand marks in jewels. Among many other acts of his beneficence towards the city, he caused the ditches to be cleansed, the walls to be repaired, and contributed Moorgate, as an ore nament.
1416. Sir Henry Barton, skinner, ordered lanthorns to be hung out in winter evenings, from Allhallows Day to Candlemas.
1419. Sir William Sevenoke, founded a school and alms, house at Sevenoaks, in Kent.
1421. Sir Richard Whittington. His benefactions have been before mentioned. · '1422. Sir Robert Chicheley, grocer, gave a plot of ground on which stands the church of St. Stephen Walbrook. He also appointed by will, that on his birth-day, a competent
his time, had often relieved the king, by lending him great sums of money ; died in 1384, after he had assured lands to the city, for the relief of thirteen poor people for ever. Stow. VOL. II. No. 28,