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Index to Stow's original Survey of London written in 1598

ALDERMEN AND SHERIFFS OF LONDON

There be in this city, according to the number of wards, twenty-six aldermen; whereof yearly, on the feast day of St. Michael the Archangel, one of them is elected to be mayor for the year following, to begin on the 28th of October: the other aldermen, his brethren, are to him assistants in councils, courts, etc.

More, there is a recorder of London, a grave and learned lawyer, skilful in the customs of this city, also assistant to the lord mayor: he taketh place in councils and in courts before any man that hath not been mayor, and learnedly delivereth the sentences of the whole court.

The sheriffs of London, of old time chosen out of the commonalty, commoners, and oftentimes never came to be aldermen, as many aldermen were never sheriffs, and yet advanced to be mayor, but of late (by occasion) the sheriffs have been made aldermen before or presently after their election.

Nicholas Faringdon was never sheriff, yet four times mayor of this city, and so of other, which reproveth a bye word, such a one will be mayor, or he be sheriff, etc.

Then is there a chamberlain of London. A common clerk, or town clerk. A common sergeant.

OFFICERS BELONGING TO THE LORD MAYOR’S HOUSE

Sword-bearer,
Common hunt,
Common crier,
Water bailiff.
  esquires, four.
Coroner of London.
Sergeant carvers, three.
Sergeants of the chamber, three.
Sergeant of the channel.
Yeoman of the channel.
Yeomen of the water side, four.
Under water-bailiff.
Yeomen of the chamber, two.
Meal weighers, three.
[475]Yeomen of the wood wharfs, two.
The sword-bearer’s man.
Common hunt’s men, two.
Common crier’s man.
Water-bailiffs’ men, two.
The carver’s man.
  gentlemen’s men, seven.

Whereof nine of these have liveries of the lord mayor, viz., the sword-bearer, and his man, the three carvers, and the four yeomen of the water side; all the rest have their liveries from the chamber of London.

Thus far after my notes delivered by an officer of the lord mayor’s house, but unperfected; for I remember a crowner, an under-chamberlain, and four clerks of the mayor’s court, and others.

THE SHERIFFS OF LONDON; THEIR OFFICERS

The sheriffs of London, in the year 1471, were appointed each of them to have sixteen sergeants, every sergeant to have his yeoman, and six clerks; to wit, a secondary, a clerk of the papers, and four other clerks, besides the under sheriffs’ clerks, their stewards, butlers, porters, and other in household many.

OF THE MAYOR’S AND SHERIFFS’ LIVERIES SOMEWHAT

To follow precedent of former time, the clerks of companies were to inquire for them of their companies that would have the mayor’s livery, their money as a benevolence given, which must be twenty shillings at the least put in a purse, with their names that gave it, and the wardens to deliver it to the mayor by the first of December; for the which every man had then sent him four yards of broad cloth, rowed or striped athwart, with a different colour to make him a gown, and these were called ray gowns, which was then the livery of the mayor, and also of the sheriffs, but each differing from others in the colours.

Of older times I read, that the officers of this city wore gowns of party colours, as the right side of one colour and the left side of another; as, for example, I read in books of accounts in the Guildhall, that in the 19th year of Henry VI. there was bought for an officer’s gown two yards of cloth, coloured mustard villars (a colour now out of use), and two yards of cloth, coloured blue, price two shillings the yard, in all eight shillings. More, paid to John Pope, draper, for two gown cloths, eight yards of two colours, eux ombo deux de rouge (or red), medle bune, and porre[476] (or purple) colour, price the yard two shillings. These gowns were for Piers Rider and John Bukles, clerks of the chamber.

More, I read that in the year 1516, in the 7th of Henry VIII., it was agreed by a common council in the Guildhall that the sheriffs of London should (as they had been accustomed) give yearly rayed gowns to the recorder, chamberlain, common sergeant, and common clerk, the sword-bearer, common hunt, water-bailiff, common crier, like as to their own offices, etc.

1525. More, in the 16th of Henry VIII., Sir William Bayly, then being mayor, made a request, for that clothes of ray (as he alleged) were evil wrought, his officers might be permitted (contrary to custom) for that year to wear gowns of one colour; to the which, in a common council, one answered and said, “Yea, it might be permitted,” and no man said, “Nay,” and so it passed. Thus much for party coloured and ray gowns have I read: but for benevolence to the mayor, I find that of later time that each man giving forty shillings towards his charges, received four yards of broad cloth to make him a gown, for Thomas White performed it in the 1st of Queen Mary; but Sir Thomas Lodge gave instead of four yards of broad cloth, three yards of satin to make them doublets, and since that the three yards of satin is turned into a silver spoon, and so it holdeth.

The days of attendance that the fellowships do give to the mayor at his going to Paules were seven, as followeth:—

1. Alhallowen day.
2. Christmasse day.
3. St. Stephen’s day.
4. St. John’s day.
5. New Year’s day.
6. Twelfth day.
7. Candlemasse day.

The 23rd of Henry VIII., these companies had place at the mayor’s feast in the Guildhall, in order as followeth; I speak by precedent, for I was never feast-follower:—

1. Mercers, the wardens, and seventeen persons, five messes.
2. Grocers, the wardens, and sixteen persons, four messes.
3. Drapers, the wardens, and twelve persons, four messes.
4. Fishmongers, the wardens, and twelve persons, four messes.
[477]5. Goldsmiths, the wardens, and ten persons, three messes.
6. Skinners, the wardens, and eight persons, three messes.
7. Merchant-tailors, the wardens, and nine persons, three messes.
8. Vintners, the wardens, and six persons, two messes.
9. Ironmongers, the wardens, and four persons, four messes and a half.
10. Merchant-haberdashers, the wardens, and fourteen persons, four messes and a half.
11. Salters, the wardens, and eight persons, two messes and a half.
12. Dyers, the wardens, and six persons, two messes.
13. Leathersellers, the wardens, and eight persons, three messes.
14. Pewterers, the wardens, and five persons, two messes.
15. Cutlers, the wardens and five persons, two messes.
16. Armourers, the wardens and three persons, one mess.
17. Waxchandlers, the wardens and six persons, two messes.
18. Tallow-chandlers, the wardens and three persons, two messes.
19. Shiremen, the wardens and five persons, two messes.
20. Fullers, the wardens and nine persons, two messes.
21. Sadlers, the wardens and four persons, two messes.
22. Brewers, the wardens and twelve persons, four messes.
23. Scriveners, the wardens and six persons, two messes.
24. Butchers, the wardens and seven persons, three messes.
25. Bakers, the wardens and four persons, two messes.
26. Poulterers, the wardens and one person, one mess.
27. Stationers, the wardens and two persons, one mess.
28. Inholders, the wardens and four persons, two messes.
29. Girdlers, the wardens and four persons, two messes.
30. Chirurgeons, the wardens and two persons, one mess.
31. Founders, the wardens and one person, one mess.
32. Barbers, the wardens and four persons, two messes.
No Clothing. Upholders, the wardens and two persons, one mess.
34. Broiderers, the wardens and two persons, one mess.
35. Bowyers, the wardens and two persons, one mess.
36. Fletchers, the wardens and two persons, one mess.
No Clothing. Turners, the wardens and two persons, one mess.
38. Cordwainers, the wardens and four persons, two messes.
[478]39. Painters-stainers, the wardens and five persons, two messes.
40. Masons, the wardens and one person, one mess.
41. Plumbers, the wardens and two persons, one mess.
42. Carpenters, the wardens and four persons, two messes.
43. Pouch-makers, the wardens and two persons, one mess.
44. Joiners, the wardens and two persons, one mess.
45. Coopers, the wardens and one person, one mess.
No Clothing. Glaziers, the wardens and two persons, one mess.
No Clothing. Linendrapers, the wardens and two persons, one mess.
No Clothing. Woodmongers, the wardens and two persons, one mess.
49. Curriers, the wardens and two persons, one mess.
No Clothing. Foystors, the wardens and two persons, one mess.
No Clothing. Grey Tanners, the wardens and two persons, one mess.
52. Tilers, the wardens and one person, one mess.
53. Weavers, the wardens and one person, one mess.
54. Blacksmiths, the wardens, and one mess.
No Clothing. Lorimars, the wardens and two persons, one mess.
56. Spurriers, the wardens and two persons, one mess.
57. Wiresellers, the wardens and two persons, one mess.
No Clothing. Fruiterers, the wardens and two persons, one mess.
No Clothing. Farriers, the wardens and two persons, one mess.
60. Bladesmiths, the wardens and two persons, one mess.

These companies severally, at sundry times, purchased the king’s favour and license by his letters patents, to associate themselves in brotherhoods, with master and wardens for their government: many also have procured corporations, with privileges, etc.; but I read not of license by them procured for liveries to be worn, but at their governor’s discretion to appoint, as occasion asketh, some time in triumphant manner, some time more mourning like, and such liveries have they taken upon them, as well before, as since they were by license associated into brotherhoods, or corporations. For the first of these companies that I read of to be a guild, brotherhood, or fraternity, in this city, were the weavers, whose guild was confirmed by Henry II. The next fraternity, which was of St. John Baptist,[479] time out of mind, called of tailors and linen-armourers of London; I find that King Edward I., in the 28th of his reign, confirmed that guild by the name of tailors and linen-armourers, and gave to the brethren there of authority yearly to choose unto them a governor, or master, with wardens, etc. The other companies have since purchased license of societies, brotherhoods, or corporations, in the reigns of Edward III., Richard II., Henry IV., Henry V., Henry VI., and Edward IV., etc.