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The extent of commerce and manufactures, the glory and strength of London was now manifest. In 1526 the woollen branch was thought of such national importance, that an act of common-council was passed, by which the importation of woad was prohibited to foreigners; and by authority of the same court it was enacted, that no citizen whatever should presume to buy, sell, or maintain any kind of mercantile intercourse with foreigners dealing in woad. We are led to the same conclusion, from the frequent interference of the legislature at this period, in settling the limits of the city's jurisdiction, regulating the qualifications and servitude of apprentices and journeymen *, and extending the powers of in.
corporated * At a court of common-council held on the first day of June, 1527, an act was passed respecting freemen and apprentices; whereby it was agreed, ordained, and enacted, as follows: “ That if hereafter any free. man or freewoman of this city take an apprentice, and within the term of seven years susfer the same apprentice to go at his large liberty and pleasure; and within and after the said term agree with his said apprentice for a certain sum of money, or otherwise, for his said service, and within, or after the end of the said term, the said freeman present the said apprentice to the chamberlain of the city, and by good deliberation, and upon his oath made to the same city, the same freeman or freewoman assureth and affirmeth the said chamberlain, that the said apprentice hath fully served his said term as apprentice : or if any freeman or freewoman of this city take any apprentice, which, at the time of the said taking, hath any wife: or if any freeman or freewoman of this city give any wages to his or her apprentice, or suffer the said apprentices to take any part of their own getting or gains : or if any freeman or freewoinan of this city hereafter colour any foreign goods, or from henceforth buy or sell any person or persons, being foreign or foreigners, cloths, silks, wines, oils, or any other goods or merchandize, whatsoever they be, whether he take any thing or things for his or their wages, or labour, or not: if any person or persons, being free of this city, by any colour or deceitful means, from henceforth do buy, sell, or receive of any apprentice within this city any money, goods, or merchandize, or wares, without the assent or licence of his master or mistress : and, upon examination, duly proved before the chamberlain of the said city for the time being, and the same reported, by the mouth of the said chamberlain, at a court to be holden by the mayor and alderman of the said city in their council-chamber : that as well the said master, as the said apprentice, shall for ever more be disfranchised."
corporated handicraftsmen, for examining and stamping their wares. One of those acts * is interesting to the inhabitants of modern London, as it describes the extent of the suburbs over which the jurisdiction of the wardens of those companies rçached. Their right of examination extended “ two miles from the city, viz. within the town of Westminster, the parishes of St. Martin in the Fields, our Lady in the Strand, St. Clements Danes without Temple Bar, St.Giles in the Field, St. Andrew Holborn, the town and borough of Southwark, Shoreditch, Whitechapel parish, St. John Street, Clerkenwell, Clerkenwell parish, St. Botolph without Aldgate, St. Catharine's, near the Tower of London, and Bermondsey Street." This may be considered as an accurate view of the vicinity of London in the fifteenth year of Henry. But these suburbs had as yet no contact with the city, nor with each other, by a continuity of buildings, as appears by a map published thirty-five years afterwards, which is still extant, and has been frequently copied. St. Giles was then denominated the town of St. Giles, Maryboje was beyond the limits, the greater part of St. Martin's parish, Charing Cross, was actually fields, as also was the upper part of St. Andrew's, Holborn; Westminster, Clerkenwell, Shoreditch, Whitechapel, and the Strand consisted entirely of the mansions of the nobility surrounded by large gardens. The
To this act the court added the following instructions to apprentices:
“ Ye shall constantly and devoutly on your knees, every day, serve God, morning and evening, and make conscience in the due learning of the word preached, and endeavour the right practice thereof in your life and conversation. You shall do diligent and faithful service to your master for the time of your apprenticeship, and deal truly in what you shall be entrusted. You shall often read over the covenants of your indenture, and sce and endeavour yourself to perform the same to the utmost of your power. You shall avoid all evil company, and all occasions which may tend to draw you to the same; and make speedy return, when you shall be sent on your master's or mistress's business. You shall be of fair, gentle, and lowly speech and behaviour towards all med; especially to all your governors. And according to your carriage expect your reward, for good or ill, from God and your friends." * Siat. 14 and 15. Henry VIII. cap. 2.
Strand also was no continued street till about the year 1533; before this time it entirely cut off Westminster from London, and nothing intervened except the scattered houses, and a' village which afterwards gave name to the whole.
The other histories of the times have sufficiently detailed the transactions of Henry respecting his queens, his religious sentiments, his cruelties and his arbitrary conduct, we therefore think it unnecessary to impede our narration of improv. ments by reiterating facts so generally known. We resume the subject of our pursuit at the time when religious anarchy pervaded the country ; but amid the ferment of persecution and cruelty the improvement and police of the metropolis made a respectable progress.
By different acts of parliament* the Strand, Holborn, from the bridge to the bars, and Southwark High Street, were ordered to be paved with stone. Water was brought from the village of Hackney to Aldgate, where a conduit had been erected for the use of the eastern part of the city. With less wisdom the legislature thought proper to interfere in regulating the markets of the metropolis, and the prices of sundry necessaries of life were fixed by statute; as if acts of parlia. ment could dispense “ rain from heaven, and fruitless seasons.” Experience soon demonstrated the impractibility of this measure, and the statute was very properly repealed. Anderson tells us t, that at this period the butchers in London and the suburbs did not exceed eighty, each of whom killed nine oxen a week, which multiplied by forty-six, the weeks in a year, for during the six weeks of lent no flesh was eaten, gives thirty-three thousand one hundred and twenty, as the total annual consumption of beef in London. The annals of modern Smithfield present a very different account. The disparity between the present period and that of Henry VIII. respecting the price of provisions is exhibited in the following bill of fare, part of a grand entertainment at Ely House, Holborn, to the great officers of state, nobility, magistracy, &c. in 1532, for five days, by eleven gen:lemen of the law on assuming the dignity of the serjeant's coif: Stat. 14 & 15. Hen. VIII. c.2 + Hist. Commerce.
£is. d. Twenty-four large oxen, each at
- 1 6 8 The carcase of a large ox
4 0 One hundred sheep, each at
0 2 10 Fifty-one calves, each at
O 4 8 Thirty-four hogs, each at
0 3 8 Ninety-one pigs, each at
O 6 Ten dozen capons of Greece, each dozen at - 0 1 8 Nine dozen and a half of Kentish capons, each at o 1 0 Nineteen dozen of common capons, each at o 0 6 Seven dozen and nine of grouse or heath cocks, each at
0 8 Fourteen dozen and eight common cocks, each at o 0 The best pullets, at
0 2] Common ditto, at
0 0 2 Thirty-seven dozen of pigeons, each dozen at 0 10 Three hundred and forty dozen of larks, each dozen at
- 0 0 5
The years 1536 and 1538 were productive of vast effects in the religious system of the country, in which London had its share. During the first year no less than three hundred and seventy six lesser monasteries were dissolved, and their vast revenues granted to the crown by parliament; the latter amounting to 32,0001. per year, besides their goods and chattels, which amounted to 100,0001. more *.
The greater monasteries shared a similar fate; and thus in less than two years, the king seized upon the whole monastic revenue and other property; the tricks of the priests were exposed, their pretended miracles detected, and the relics and other instruments of their superstition turned into derision. Among the rest a great wooden idol, called Darvel Gatherin, was brought from Wales to London, and cut up for fuel to burn friar Forest, who had presumed to deny Henry's supremacy t. The king, under various pretences, suppressed no less than six hundred and forty-five religious foundations, of which twenty-eight had abbols who enjoyed seats in parliament.
f Godwin's Annals.-Stow,
Ninety colleges were demolished in several counties; two thousand three hundred and seventy-four chantries and free chapels; and one hundred and ten hospitals *.
In 1540 a statute passed, by which various streets of the city were ordered to be paved with stone, new conduits to be erected, and such as were falling into decay to be repaired; the lord mayor and aldermen were also invested with authority to put the act into execution, by levying the necessary assessments and punishing defaulters. The increasing population and importance of London were evident from the frequent acts of parliament during this reign, which had for their object progressive improvement. The streets paved under this act were Aldgate High Street as far as Whitechapel church, Chancery Lane, High Holborn, Gray's Inn Lane, Shoe Lane, and Fetter Lane. And within three years afterwards the improvement was extended to Whitecross Street, Chiswell Street, Grub Street, Shoreditch, Goswell Street, St. John's Street, Cow Cross, Wych Street, Holywell Street by St. Clement's Danes ; the Strand, from Temple Bar to Strand Bridge; Petty France, Westminster; Water Lane, Fleet Street; Long Lane, West Smithfield ; and Butcher Row, without Temple Bar. Thoroughfares at that time much frequented. Water was conveyed into the city in additional streams from Hampstead Heath, St. Mary la Bonne, Haokney, Muswell Hill, and the springs of St. Agnes le Clair, Hoxton.
The reign of Henry was concluded by injustice and ty, ranny t; and Providence in mercy to the nation arrested his career by death, at the age of fifty-six, after a boisterous reign of nearly thirty-eight years.
* Herbert's Henry VIII.
+ There was, during a long period, up to this time, a barbarous mean. ness, a species of insult, to the unhappy criminals, which are in our days happily changed into every species of tenderness and humanity, consistent with public justice and security. In revenge for the death of the favourites of Richard II. the great earl of Arundel, Richard Fitz-Allan, who had been joined in the comicission as their judge, was some time aster, hurried from his own trial, at Westminster, to execution : his arms and hands being bound; and the king glutred his eyes with the Vol. I. No. 5.