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HISTORY AND SURVEY
London & its Environs.
The Exchange built.--Sir Thomas Gresham's Munifi
cence.-- Census of Foreigners.---- First Lottery:---City Marshal appointed.-Plague.-Trial by Battle.--The River Lea made Navigable.-The Citizens trained to Arms.-Combination of the Poulterers.-A Council appointed to assist the Lord Mayor.-High Price of Provisions.-Stage Plays regulated.-- Alehouses suppressed. -Specimens of Ingenuity.-Lamb's Conduit founded.Earthquake. ---Foreigners again numbered.—New Buildings prohibited.-Cheapside Cross defaced. The Turkey Company incorporated.--- Sumptuary Law relative to Apprentices.--London-bridge Water Works begun..Origin of the Nomination of Sheriffs by the Lord Mayor: -Muster of Archers.- Armaments by the City:-School for Pick-pockets.---Ten Thousand Men raised in London.-The Spanish Plan of Invasion defeated by the London Merchants.-Thanksgiving.–Loan.-- Price of Coals.-- Dreadful Pestilence. --Sea and Land Armaments, at the Expense of the City --Scarcity.---The City put under Martial Law.-- Appointment of a Recorder.-One Thousand Citizens pressed.—Preparations against another Invasion.----Origin of the East India Company.--Five Fifteenths assessed on the Citizens. Increase of Hawkers. —New Buildings again prohibited, --Naval Armament.
In the year 1566, Sir Thomas Gresham, an opulent merchant of London, actuated by a laudable desire to facilitate commercial transactions, proposed to the corporation of London to erect, at his own expense, a commodious building for merchants to meet and transact business, provided they would furnish him with a convenient spot for the same.
The city, readily acquiescing in this proposal, purchased fourscore houses, which formed two alleys, leading out of Cornhill into Threadneedle-street, called New St. Christopher's and Swan Alleys, for three thousand five hundred and thirty-two pounds. The materials of these houses were sold for four hundred and seventy-eight pounds; and Sir Thomas Gresham, with several of the aldermen, laid the first bricks of the new building, on the 7th of June, 1566; each alderman laying one, and giving a piece of gold to the workmen, who persevered with such alacrity, that the building was roofed in by the month of November following, and was soon after completed, under the name of The Burse.
Sir Thomas, by his will, dated the 26th of November, 1579, devised this stately fabric to the mayor and citizens of London, and the company of mercers, to be equally enjoyed and possessed by them, with all its appurtenances, and the profits arising thereby, on condition that the citizens, out of their moiety, should pay a salary of fifty pounds per annum each, to four lecturers, to read lectures in divinity, astronomy, music, and geometry, in his mansion-house, viz. Gresham College; and to pay six pounds thirteen shillings and four pence per ann. each, to eight alms-people, situate behind the said college, in Broadstreet; and ten pounds yearly to each of the prisons of Newgate, Ludgate, King's-bench, Marshalsea, and Wood-street Compter. And that the mercers, out
of their moiety, should pay fifty pounds per ann. each, to three lecturers, to read lectures in law, physic, and rhetoric, in his mansion-house; and one hundred pounds per ann. for four quarterly dinners at their own hall, for the entertainment of the whole company; and ten pounds yearly, each, to Christ's, St. Bartholomew's, Bethlehem, and St. Thomas's Hospitals, to the Spital, and to the Poultry Compter.
There being a great increase of foreigners in the metropolis, and a jealousy subsisting between England and Spain, her majesty, in the year 1567, commanded the lord mayor to take the name, quality, and profession, of all strangers residing within the city of London; on which examination there appeared to be as follows: Scots, forty; French, four hundred and twenty-eight; Spaniards and Portuguese, forty-five; Italians, one hundred and forty ; Dutch, two thousand and thirty; Burgundians, fortyfour ; Danes, two; Liegois, one.
The following year, Sir Thomas Rowe; knight, gave a burial ground, at the north-east corner of Moorfields, since called Old Bethlehem Burialground, and containing about an acre of land, for the burial of poor citizens gratis; which he inclosed with a brick-wall. He also appointed a sermon to be preached, every Whitsunday morning, before the lord mayor and aldermen; and gave several other very charitable legacies.
A conduit, for the reception of Thames water, was erected in this year, at Walbrook corner, at the expense of the citizens of London.
The drawing of the first lottery mentioned in the English history, was begun on the 11th of January, 1569, at the west door of St. Paul's, and continued day and night, without intermission, till the 6th of May. The number of lots was forty thousand; the prizes were of plate, and the profits were appropriated to the repair of the havens of the kingdom.
An order of common-council was made in this year, for the beadles belonging to the hospitals to take up all sturdy beggars and vagrants, and to carry them to Bridewell; all sick, lame, blind, and aged, to be carried to St. Bartholomew's, or St. Thomas's ; and all children beggars, under the age
of sixteen, to Christ's Hospital ; appointing to the beadles of each hospital their proper circuit or district, with severe penalties upon their neglect of duty. But this act had not its effect. The streets, next year, swarmed again with beggars, vagrants, and maimed soldiers. It was then resolved to appoint a citymarshal, who, in a more effectual manner, might deliver the citizens from the disgrace and mischief of being over-run with sturdy beggars, &c. And the committee, to whom this appointment was given in charge, chose William Sympson and John Read, two able persons, (for the consideration of six shillings and eight pence' a day, for them and their horses, and six persons a-piece, of their own choosing, to attend on each day, at twelve pence each) whose office was to take some course with those vagrants and wandering people, so as to clear the streets of them, and to deliver them to their several places and punishments, if they deserved it. And for the more ready executing this office, it was ordered, that one month's pay, of twenty-eight days to the month, should be paid to them beforehand; and accordingly the aldermen, by way of loan, disbursed the same, amounting to thirty-five pounds nine shillings and four pence. And it was also thought convenient, that twelve fair partisans, suitably and conveniently armed, should, at present, be provided by the chamberlain for this service, at the charge of the