Survey of London (1633): An Apology of the City of London

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of the City of London.
of Cities and peopled Townes: And of the com
modities that doe grow by the same: and namely,
of the City of LONDON. Written by way of an
Apology (or defence) against the opinion of some men,
which thinke that the greatnesse of that City standeth
not with the profit and security of this Realme.
CIties and well peopled
places be called Oppida
in Latine, either ab ope
, or ab opibus, or
ab opponendo se hostibus.
They bee named also
Civitates a coëundo, and (urbes) either of
the word urbare, because the first inclo
sure of them was described with the
draught of a Plow, or else ab orbe, for the
round compasse that they at the first
In the Greek a City is tearmed Gap in transcription. Reason: The text is not clear for some reason not covered by other available values. foreign […],
either of the word Gap in transcription. Reason: The text is not clear for some reason not covered by other available values. foreign […], multus, or of Gap in transcription. Reason: The text is not clear for some reason not covered by other available values. foreign […], id est, habitare, alere, gu
In the Saxon (or old English) some
times Tun, which we now call Towne,
derived of the word Tynan, to enclose
or tyne, as some yet speake. But for as
much as that word was proper to every
Village, and inclosed dwelling, there
fore our Ancestors called their walled
Townes, BuGap in transcription. Reason: The text is not clear for some reason not covered by other available values.foreign[…]h or BiGap in transcription. Reason: The text is not clear for some reason not covered by other available values.foreign[…]iGap in transcription. Reason: The text is not clear for some reason not covered by other available values. foreign[…], and we now
Bury and Borow, of the Greeke word Gap in transcription. Reason: The text is not clear for some reason not covered by other available values. foreign […], (as I thinke) which signifieth a
Tower or a high building.
The walls of these Townes had their
name of vallum, because at the first they
were but of that earth which was cast
out of the trench, or ditch wherewith
they were environed.
But afterward, being made of matter
more fit for defence, they were named

A muniendo maenia. By the Etymologie
of these names it may appeare, that
Common Weales, Cities and Townes
were at first invented, to the end that
men might lead a civill life amongst
themselves, and be saved harmelesse a
gainst their enemies: Whereupon
saith, Civitates ab initio utilitatis causa
constitutae sunt. Aristotle, 1. Politicorum
2. saith, Civitas à natura profecta est:
homo enim animal aptum est ad coetus, &
proinde civitatis origo ad vivendum, insti
tutio ad bene vivendum refertur. And
Cicero, lib. primo de inventione, in the be
ginning saith
, Fuit quoddam tempus cùm
in agris homines passim bestiarum more va
gabantur, &c. quo quidem tempore, qui
dam (magnus viz. vir & sapiens) dispersos
homines in agris, & tectis silvestribus ab
ditos, ratione quadam compulit in unum lo
cum, at{que} eos in unamquam{que} rem induxit
utilem & honestam. Vrbibus vero consti
tutis fidem colere, & justitiam retinere
discebant, & aliis parere sua voluntate con
suescebant, &c. The same man discour
seth notably to the same effect, in his
Pro Sestio, a little after the mid
dest thereof, shewing that in the life of
men dispersed
, vis, beareth all the sway:
but in the civill life and society
, ars, is

An Apologie
better maintained, &c. This thing
well saw King
William the Conqueror,
who in his lawes, folio 125. saith
, Burgi
& Civitates fundata, & edificata sunt, ad
tuitionem gentium & populorum Regni, &
idcirco observari debent cum omni liberta
te, integritate & ratione. And his Prede
cessors, King
Ethelstane, and King Ca
nutus in their Lawes, fol. 62. and 106.
had commanded thus
: Oppida instau
rantur, &c.
Seeing therefore that as Cicero, 2.
. saith, Proxime & secundum Deos,
homines hominibus maxime utiles esse pos
And that men are congregated
into Cities and Common-wealths, for
honesty and utilities sake, these shortly
be the commodities that doe come by
Cities, Cōminalties, and Corporations.
First, men by this neerenesse of conver
sation, are withdrawne from barbarous
ferity and force, to a certaine mildnesse
of manners and to humanity and ju
stice: whereby they are contented to
give and take right, to and from their
equals and inferiors, and to heare and
obey their heads and superiors. Also
the Doctrine of God is more fitly deli
vered, and the discipline thereof more
aptly to be executed, in peopled Towns
than abroad, by reason of the facility of
common and often assembling. And
consequently, such inhabitants bee bet
ter managed in order, and better in
structed in wisedome: whereof it came
to passe that at the first, they that ex
celled others this way, were called A
, of the Greeke word Gap in transcription. Reason: The text is not clear for some reason not covered by other available values. foreign […], which sig
nifieth a City, although the terme bee
now declined to the worst part, and doe
betoken evill, even as Tyrannus Sophista,
and some such other originally good
words are fallen: And hereof also good
behavior is yet called Vrbanitas, because
it is rather found in Cities, than else
where. In some, by often hearing, men
be better perswaded in Religion, and
for that they live in the eye of others,
they bee by example the more easily
trained to justice, and by shamefastnesse
restrained from injury.
And whereas Commonwealths and
Kingdomes cannot have, next after
God, any surer foundation, than the
love and good will of one man towards
another, that also is closely bred and
maintained in Cities, where men by
mutuall society and companying toge
ther, doe grow to alliances, Commi
nalties and Corporations.
The liberall sciences and learnings
of all sorts, which bee Iumina reipublicae,
doe flourish onely in peopled Townes,
without the which a Realme is in no
better case than a man that lacketh both
his eyes.
Manual Arts or handy crafts, as they
have for the most part been invented in
Townes and Cities, so they cannot any
where else bee either maintained or a
mended. The like is to bee said of
Merchandize, under which name I
comprehend all manner of buying, sel
ling, bartering, exchanging, commu
nicating of things that men need to and
fro. Wealth and riches, which are
truely called, Subsidia belli, & ornamen
ta pacis
, are increased chifely in Townes
and Cities, both to the Prince and peo
The necessity of the poore and needy
is in such places both sooner to be espi
ed, and hath meanes to be more chari
tably relieved.
The places themselves be surer refu
ges, in all extremities of forrain invasi
on, and the inhabitants be a ready hand
and strength of men with munition to
oppresse intestine sedition.
Moreover, for as much as the force of
the warres of our time consisteth chief
ly in shot, all other Souldiers being ei
ther horse-men or footmen, armed on
land, or Mariners at the Sea: It see
meth to me, that Citizens and Townes
men be as fit to bee imploied in any of
these services, that on horse backe onely
excepted, as the inhabitants that bee
drawne out of the Country.
Furthermore, even as these societies
and assemblies of men in Cities and
great Townes, are a continuall bridle a
gainst tyranny, which was the cause that
Tarquin, Nero, Dionisius, and such o
thers have alwaies sought to weaken
them. So, being well tempered, they
are a strong fort and Bulwarke not only
in the Aristocritie, but also in the Law
full Kingdome or just royalty.
At once propagation of the Religiō, the
execution of good policy, the exercise
of charity, and the defence of the coun

of the City of London.

is best performed by Townes and
Citties: and this civill life approach
eth neerest to the shape of that mysti
call body whereof Christ is the head,
and men be the members: whereupon
both at the first, that man of God Moses,
in the common wealth of the Israelites,
and the Governours of all Countries in
all ages sithence, have continually main
tained the same. And to change it,
were nothing else but to Metamor
phose the world, and to make wilde
beasts of reasonable men. To stand lon
ger upon this, it were in re non dubia, uti
oratione non necessaria
; and therefore I
will come to London.
The Singularities of the
City of LONDON.
WHatsoever is said of Cities
generally, maketh also
for LONDON specially:
Howbei t these things
are particularly for our
purpose to bee considered in it. The
situation; the former estimation that
it hath had; the service that it hath
done; the present estate and govern
ment of it, and such benefits as doe
grow to the Realme by the mainte
nance thereof.
This Realme hath onely three prin
cipall Rivers, whereon a Royall City
may well bee situated: Trent in the
North, Severne in the South-West, and
Thames in the South-East: of the
which, Thames, both for the strait course
in length, reacheth furthest into the
belly of the land; and for the breadth
and stilnesse of the water, is most navi
gable up and downe the streame: by
reason whereof, London standing al
most in the middle of that course, is
more commodiously served with pro
vision of necessaries, then any Towne
standing upon the other two Rivers can
be, and doth also more easily commu
nicate to the rest of the Realme, the
commodities of her owne entercourse
and trafficke.
This River openeth indifferently upon
France and Flanders, our mightiest
neighbours, to whose doings we ought
to have a bent eye and speciall regard:
and this City standeth thereon in such
convenient distance from the Sea, as
it is not onely neere enough for intelli
gence of the affaires of those Princes,
and for the resistance of their attempts:
but also sufficiently removed from the
feare of any sudden dangers that may
be offered by them: whereas for the
Prince of this Realme to dwell upon
Trent, were to turne his backe, or blind
side, to his most dangerous borderers:
and for him to rest and dwell upon Se
, were to be shut up in a cumber
some corner, which openeth but upon
Ireland only, a place of much lesse im
Neither could London be pitched so
commodiously upon any other part of
the same River of Thames, as where it
now standeth. For if it were removed
more to the West, it should lose the
benefit of the ebbing and flowing: and
if it were seated more towards the
East, it should bee neerer to danger
of the enemy, and further both from
the good Ayre, and from doing good
to the inner parts of the Realme: nei
ther may I omit, that none other place
is so plentifully watered with springs,
as London is.
And whereas amongst other things,
Corne and Cattell, Hay and Fuell bee
of great necessity: of the which, Cat
tell may bee driven from afarre, and
Corne may easily be transported. But
Hay and Fuell, being of greater bulke
and burthen, must be had at hand: only
London, by the benefit of this situation
and River, may bee sufficiently served
therewith. In which respect and Alder
man of London reasonably (as mee
thought) affirmed, that although Lon
received great nourishment by the
residence of the Prince, the repaire of
the Parliament, and Courts of Iustice,
yet it stood principally by the advan
tage of the situation upon the River:
for when as on a time it was told him
by a Courtier, that Queene Mary, in
her displeasure against London, had ap
pointed to remove with the Parlia
ment and Terme to Oxford; this plaine
man demanded, Whether shee meant

An Apologie

also to divert the River of Thames from
London, or no? And when the Gentle
man had answered, No; Then quoth
the Alderman, by Gods grace we shall
doe well enough at London, whatsoever
become of the Terme and Parliament.
I my selfe being then a young Scholler
at Oxford, did see great preparation
made towards that Tearme and Parlia
ment, and doe well remember that the
common opinion and voyce was, that
they were not holden there, because
provision of Hay could not be made in
all the Country to serve for ten whole
dayes together, and yet is that quarter
plentifully stored with Hay for the pro
portion of the shire it selfe.
For proofe of the ancient estimation
of London, I will not use the authority
of the British Historie, nor of such as
follow it (although some hold it credi
ble enough that London was first Tri
nobantum civitas
, or Troia nova, that fa
mous City in our Histories, and then
Luds Towne, and by corruption London,
as they report) because they be not of
sufficient force to draw the gain-sayers.
Neither will I stand much upon that
honourable Testimony which Gervas.
. giveth to London in his booke
De otiis Imperialibus, saying thus, con
cerning the blessing of God towards it.
In Vrbe London, exceptione habet divul
gatum id per omnes aequè gentes Lucani
Invida fatorum series summisque negatum
Stare diu:
Name ea annis 354. ante Romam condita,
nunquam amisit principatum, nec bello
consumpta est.
But I will rather use the credit of one
or two ancient forrain Writers, & then
descend to latter Histories. Cornel. Ta
citus, lib. 4. Annal
. saith, Londinum copia
negociatorum, & comeatu maximè cele
and Herodian in the life of Severus
the Emperour, saith, Londinum urbs
magna & opulenta; Beda lib. Ecclesiastic.
10. chap
. 29. sheweth that Pope Gre
appointed two Archbishops Sees
in England, the one at London, the other
at Yorke. King Ethelstane in his Lawes
appointing how many Mint-Masters
should be in each City, allotteth eight
to London, and not so many to any o
ther City. The Penner of those Lawes
that are said to be made by Edward the
Confessor, and confirmed by William
the Conquerour, saith, London est ca
put Regni, & Legum
. King Henry the
first, in the third Chapter of his Lawes,
commandeth that no Citizen of London
should bee amerced above an hundred
shillings for any pecuniary paine. The
great Chapter of England, that Helena,
for which there was so long and so
great warre and contention, in the ninth
Chapter saith, Civitas London habeat
omnes suas Libertates antiquas, &c
. About
the time of King Iohn, London was re
puted, Regni firmata Columna, as Alex.
writeth: And in the beginning
of the Raigne of King Richard the se
cond, it was called Camera Regis, as Tho
mas Walsingham
reporteth. I passe over
the recitall of the Saxon Charter of
King William the Conquerour; or the
Latine Charters of Henry the first and
second; of Richard the first; of Iohn;
and of Edward the first; all which gave
unto the Citizens of London great Pri
viledges, and of Edward the third, who
reciting all the grants of his Predeces
sors, not onely confirmed, but also in
creased the same: and of the lat
ter Kings, who have likewise added
many things thereunto. Onely I wish
to bee noted by them, that during all
this time, all those wife and politike
Princes have thought it fit, not onely to
maintaine London in such plight as
they found it, but also to adorne, in
crease, and amplifie it with singular
tokens of their liberall favour and good
liking. And whether there bee not
now the same or greater causes to draw
the like or better estimation and che
rishing, let any man be judge, that will
take the paines to compare the present
estate of London, yet still growing to
better, with the former condition of
the same.
It were too much to recite particu
larly the Martiall services that this Ci
ty hath done from time to time: nei
ther doe I thinke that they be all com
mitted to writing; only for a taste, as it
were, I will note these few following.
Almost threescore yeeres before the
Conquest, a huge Army of the Danes,
(where of King Sweyne was the Leader)
besieged King Etheldred in London (then

of the City of London.

the which, as the story saith, then hee
had none other refuge) but they were
manfully repulsed, and a great number
of them slaine.
After the death of this Sweyne, his
sonne Canutus (afterward King of Eng
besieged London, both by land and
by water: but after much labour, find
ing it impregnable, he departed: and
in the same yeere repairing his forces,
hee girded it with a new siege, in the
which the Citizens so defended them
selves, and offended him, that in the end
he went away with shame.
In the dissnsion that arose between
King Edward the Confessor, and his
Father in law Earle Goodwin (which
was the mightiest subject within this
Land that ever I have read of) The
Earle with a great Army came to Lon
, and was, for all that, by the counte
nance of the Citizens resisted, till such
time as the Nobility made reconci
liation betweene them. About seventy
yeeres after the Conquest, Maude the
Empresse made warre upon King Ste
for the right of the Crowne, and
had taken his person prisoner, but by
the strength and assistance of the Lon
doners and Kentishmen, Maude was
put to flight at Winchester, and her Bro
ther Robert then Earle of Glocester, was
taken in exchange, for whom King
Stephen was delivered; I dispute not
whose right was better, but I avouch
the service, seeing Stephen was in pos
The History of William Walworth the
Maior of London, is well knowne, by
whose manhood and policy, the person
of Richard the second was rescued, the
City saved, Wat Tyler killed, and all
his stragglers discomfited, in reward of
which service, the Maior and other Al
dermen were Knighted.
Iacke Cade also having discomfited
the Kings Army, that was sent against
him, came to London and was there
manfully and with long fight resisted,
until that by the good policy of the Ci
tizens, his Company was dispersed.
Finally, in the tenth yeere of the raign
of King Edward the fourth, and not ma
ny dayes before the death of Henry the
sixth, Tho. Nevill, commonly called the
Bastard of Fauconbridge, armed a great
Company against the King, and being
denied passage thorow London, hee as
saulted it on divers parts: but hee was
repulsed by the Citizens, and chased
as farre as Stratford, with the losse of a
great many.
Thus much of certaine their princi
pall, and personall services, in warre on
ly: for it were infinite to repeat the par
ticular aides of men and money which
London hath ministred: and I had ra
ther to leave it to be conjectured at, by
comparison to bee made betweene it,
and other Cities, whereof I will give
you this one note for an example. In
the twelfth yeere of the raigne of King
Edward the second, it was ordered by
Parliament, that every City of the
Realme should make out Souldiers a
gainst the Scots: at which time London
was appointed to send two hundred
men, and Canterbury, being then one of
our best Cities, forty, and no more. And
this proportion of five to one, is now
in our age encreased, at the least five to
one, both in Souldiers and subsidy. As
for the other services that London hath
done in times of peace, they are to bee
measured by consideration of the com
modities, whereof I will speake anon.
In the meane season let the estate and
government of this City be considred,
to the end that it may appeare that it
standeth well with the policy of the
Caesar in his Commentaries is wit
nesse, that in his time the Cities of Bri
had large Teritories annexed unto
them, and were severall estates of them
selves, governed by particular Kings or
Potentates, as in Italy and Germany yet
be: and that Mandubratius was King
of the Trinobants, whose chiefe City
London is taken to have beene. And I
finde not that this government was al
tered, either by Caesar, or his successors,
notwithstanding that the Country be
came to bee tributary unto them: but
that it continued, untill at length the
Britaines themselves reduced all their
peoples into one Monarchy, howbeit
that lasted not any long season: for up
on Vortiger their King, came the Saxons
our Ancestors, and they drave the Bri
into Wales, Cornwall, and Britain in
France, and in processe of warre divided

An Apologie

the Country amongst themselves into
an Eptarchy, or seven Kingdomes, of
the which one was called the King
dome of the East Saxons, which having
in manner the same limits that the Bi
shopricke of London now enjoyeth, con
tained Essex, Middlesex, and a part of
Hertfordshire, and so included London.
Againe it appeareth, that in course of
time, and about 1800. yeeres after
Christ, Egbert (then King of the West
Saxons) Vt pisces saepe minutos magnus
, overcame the rest of the Kings,
and once more erected a Monarchy, the
which till the comming in of the Nor
, and from thence even hitherto
hath continued.
Now I doubt not (whatsoever Lon
was in the time of Caesar) but that
under the Eptarchy and Monarchy it
hath been a subject, and no free City,
though happily endowed with some
large priviledges: for King William the
Conquerour found a Portreeve there,
whose name was Godfrey (by which
name hee greeteth him in his Saxon
Chre) and his office was none other than
the charge of a Bayliffe, or Reeve, as by
the selfe-same name continuing yet in
Gravesend, and certaine other places
may well appeare. But the Frenchmen
using their owne language, called him
sometime a Provost, and sometime a
Bayliffe; whatsoever his name and Of
fice were, he was Perpetuus Magistratus,
given by the Prince, and not chosen by
the Citizens, as it seemeth, for what
time King Richard the first needed mo
ny towards his expedition in the Holy
Land, they first purchased of him the
liberty to choose yeerely from amongst
themselves two Bailiffes: and King
Iohn his successor, at their like suit chan
ged their Bayliffes into a Maior, and
two Sheriffes. To these Henry the third
added Aldermen; at the first elegible
yeerely, but afterward by King Edward
the third made perpetuall Magistrates,
and Justices of the peace within their
Wards, in which plight of governe
ment it presently standeth. This
shortly as I could, is the Historicall
and outward estate of London: now
come I to the inward pith and sub
The estate of this City is to be exa
mined by the quantity, and by the qua
The quantity therefore consisteth in
the number of the Citizens, which is ve
ry great, and farre exceedeth propor
tion of Hippodamus, which appointed
10000. and of others which haue set
downe other numbers, as meete stints
in their opinions to be well gouerned;
but yet seeing both reason and experi
ence have freed us from the law of any
definite number, so that other things
be observed, let that be admitted: nei
ther is London, I feare mee, so great as
populous: for well saith one, Non idem
est magna Civitas & frequens, magna est
enim quae multos habet qui arma ferre pos
Whatsoever the number bee, it
breedeth no feare of sedition: for as
much as the same consisteth not in the
extremes, but in a very mediocrity of
wealth and riches, as it shall better ap
peare anon. And if the causes of Eng
lish Rebellions bee searched out, they
shall bee found in effect to bee these
twaine, Ambition and Covetousnesse,
of which the first raigneth in the minds
of high and noble personages, or of such
others, as seeke tobee gracious and po
pular, and have robbed the hearts of the
multitude, whereas in London if any
where in the world, Honos verè onus est,
and every man rather shunneth than
seeketh the Maiorality, which is the
best marke amongst them, neither hath
there been any strong faction, nor any
man more popular than the rest, for as
much as the government is by a Patern,
as it were, and alwaies the same, how
often soever they change their Magi
strate. Covetousnesse, that other Syre
of sedition, possesseth the miserable and
needy sort, and such as bee naughty
packes, unthrifts, which although it
cannot be chosen, but that in a frequent
City as London is, there shall be found
many, yet beare they not any great sway
seeing the multitude and most part
there is of a competent wealth, and ear
nestly bent to honest labour. I confesse
that London is a mighty arme and in
strument to bring any great desire to
effect, if it may be won to a mans devo
tion: whereof also there want not ex
amples in the English Historie. But
for as much as the same is by the like

of the City of London.

reason serviceable and meet to impeach
any disloyall attempt, let it rather bee
well governed then evill liked there
fore; for it shall appeare anon, that as
London hath adhered to some rebelli
ons, so hath it resisted many, and was
never the Author of any one. The qua
lity of this City consisteth either in the
Law and government thereof: or in
the degrees and condition of the Citi
zens, or in their strength and riches.
It is besides the purpose to dispute,
whether the estate of the government
here be a Democratie, or Aristocratie, for
whatsoever it bee, being considered in
it selfe, certaine it is, that in respect of
the whole Realme, London is but a Ci
tizen, and no City; a subject, and no
free estate; an obedienciary, and no
place endowed with any distinct or ab
solute power: for it is governed by the
same Law that the rest of the Realme
is, both in causes Criminall and Civill,
a few customes onely excepted, which
also are to bee adjudged, or forjudged
by the common Law. And in the as
sembly of the estates of our Realme
(which we call Parliament) they are
but a member of the Comminalty, and
send two Burgesses for their City, as
every poore Borough doth, and two
Knights for their County, as every o
ther Shire doth, and are as straightly
bound by such Lawes, as any part of the
Realme is: for if contribution in subsi
dy of money to the Prince be decreed,
the Londoners have none exemption,
no not so much as to assesse themselves:
for the Prince doth appoint the Com
If Souldiers must be mustered, Lon
doners have no Law to keepe them
selves at home; if provision for the
Princes houshold be to be made, their
goods are not priviledged. In summe
therefore, the government of London
differeth not in substance, but in cere
mony from the rest of the Realme, as
namely, in the names and choice of
their Officers, and in their Guildes and
Fraternities, established for the main
tenance of Handicrafts and Labourers,
and for equity and good order, to bee
kept in buying and selling. And yet in
these also are they to bee controlled
by the generall Law: for by the Sta
tutes of 28. Edward the third, chap. 10.
and of the first of Henry the fourth, chap.
. the points of their misgovernment
are inquirable by the inhabitants of the
forren Shires adjoyning, and punish
able by such Iusticiars as the Prince
shall thereunto depute: to conclude
therefore, the estate of London for go
vernment, is so agreeable a Symphony
with the rest, that there is no feare of
dangerous discord to ensue thereby.
The multitude (or whole body) of
this populous City is two wayes to bee
considered, generally, & specially: ge
nerally, they bee naturall Subjects, a
part of the Commons of this Realme,
and are by birth for the most part a
mixture of all Countries of the same,
by blood Gentlemen, Yeomen, and of
the basest sort without distinction; and
by profession busie Bees, and travellers
for their living in the hive of this Com
mon-wealth; but specially considered,
they consist of these three parts, Mer
chants, Handicrafts-men, and Labou
rers. Merchandise is also divided into
these three sorts; Navigation, by the
which, Merchandizes are brought, and
carried in and out over the Seas: Inve
ction, by the which, commodities are
gathered into the City, and dispersed
from thence into the Country by land:
and Negotiation, which I may call the
keeping of a retayling or standing Shop.
In common speech, they of the first sort
bee called Merchants, and both the o
ther Retaylers. Handicrafts-men bee
those which doe exercise such Arts as
require both labour and cunning, as
Goldsmithes, Taylors, and Haberdash
ers, Skinners, &c. Labourers and Hire
lings, I call those Quorum operae non ar
tes emuntur
, as Tully saith, of which
sort bee Porters, Carmen, Water
men, &c. Againe, these three sorts
may be considered, either in respect of
their wealth, or number: in wealth,
Merchants, and some of the chiefe Re
taylers have the first place: the most
part of Retaylers, and all Artificers, the
second or meane place: and Hirelings,
the lowest roome: But in number,
they of the middle place bee first, and
doe farre exceed both the rest: Hire
lings be next, and Merchants bee the
last. Now out of this, that the estate

An Apologie

of London, in the persons of the Citi
zens, is so friendly interlaced, and knit
in league with the rest of the Realme,
not onely at their beginning by birth
and blood (as I have shewed) but also
very commonly at their ending by life
and conversation (for that Merchants
& rich men being satisfied with gaine,
doe for the most part) marry their chil
dren into the Countrey, and convey
themselves after Ciceroes counsell, Ve
luti-ex pontu in agros & possessiones
: I
doe referre, that there is not onely no
danger towards the common quiet
thereby, but also great occasion and
cause of good love and amity. Out of
this, that they be generally bent to tra
vell, and doe flie poverty, Per mare,
per saxa, per ignes
, as the Poet saith▪ I
draw hope, that they shall escape the
note of many vices, which idle people
doe fall into. And out of this, that they
be a great multitude, and that yet the
greatest part of them bee neither too
rich nor too poore, but doe live in the
mediocritie: I conclude with Aristotle,
that the Prince needeth not to feare se
dition by them, for thus saith he, Mag
nae vrbes, magis sunt à seditione liberae,
quod in eis dominetur mediocritas, nam in
parvis nihil medium est, sunt enim omnes
vel pauperes vel opulenti
. I am now to
come to the strength and power of this
City, which consisteth partly in the
number of the Citizens themselves,
whereof I have spoken before, partly
in their riches, and in their warlike fur
niture: for as touching the strength of the
peece it selfe, that is apparent to the
eye, and therfore is not to be treated of.
The wealth and warlike furniture of
London, is either publike or private, and
no doubt the common treasure cannot
be much there, seeing that the revenue
which they have, hardly sufficeth to
maintaine their Bridge, and Conduits,
and to pay their officers and servants.
Their Toll doth not any more then pay
their Fee-Farme that they pay to the
Prince. Their Issues for default of ap
pearances bee never levied, and the
profits of their Courts of Iustice doe
goe to particular mens hands. Argu
ments hereof bee these two, one, that
they can doe nothing of extraordinary
charge, without a generall contributi
on: another, that they have suffered
such as have borne the chiefe office a
mongst them, and were become Bank
rupt, to depart the City without re
liefe, which I thinke they neither
would nor could have done, it the com
mon Treasure had sufficed to cover
their shame; hereof therefore we need
not bee afraid. The publike Armour
and munition of this City remaineth
in the Halls of the Companies, as it
doth thorow out the whole Realme, for
a great part, in the Parish Churches;
neither is that kept together, but onely
for obedience to the Law, which com
mandeth it; and therefore if that threa
ten danger to the State, it may by a
nother law bee taken from them, and
committed to a more safe Armory.
The private riches of London, resteth
chiefly in the hands of the Merchants &
Retaylers; for Artificers have not much
to spare; and Labourers had need that
it were given unto them. Now, how
necessary and serviceable the estate of
Merchandise is to this Realme, it may
partly appeare by the practice of that
peaceable, politike, and rich Prince,
King Henry the seventh, of whom Po
(writing his life) saith thus, Mer
catores Ille saepenumero pecunia multa data
gratuite juvabat, ut mercatura ars una
omnium cunctis aequè mortalibus tum com
moda, tum necessariae, in suo Regno copiosior
. But chiefly by the inestimable
cōmodities that grow thereby: for who
knoweth not that we have extreme need
of many things, whereof forraine Coun
tries have great store, and that we may
spare many things whereof they have
need? or who is ignorant of this, that
we have no Mines of Silver or Gold
within our Realme, so that the increase
of our Coine and Bulloine commeth
from elsewhere, & yet neverthelesse, we
be both fed, clad, and otherwise served
with forraine commodities & delights,
as plentifull as with our domesticall?
which thing commeth to passe by the
meanes of Merchandise onely, which
importeth necessaries from other coun
tries, and exporteth the superfluities of
our owne. For seeing we have no way
to increase our Treasure, by Mines of
Gold or Silver at home, and can have
nothing without Money or Ware from

of the City of London.

other Countries abroad, it followeth
necessarily, that if we follow the Coun
sell of that good old Husband Marcus
, saying, Oportet patremfamilias
vendacem esse, non emacem
, and doe car
ry more commodities in value over the
Seas, than we bring hither from thence:
that then the Realme shall receive that
overplus in mony: but if we bring from
beyond the Seas Merchandize of more
value, than that which we doe send o
ver may countervaile, then the Realme
payeth for that overplus in ready mony,
and consequently is a loser by that ill
husbandry: and therefore in this part
great and heedfull regard must be had,
that Symmetria and due proportion bee
kept, lest otherwise either the Realme
bee defrauded of her treasure, or the
Subjects corrupted in vanity, by exces
sive importation of superfluous and
needlesse Merchandize, or else that we
feele penurie, even in our greatest plen
ty and store, by immoderate exportati
on of our owne needfull commodities.
Other the benefits that Merchandize
bringeth, shall hereafter appeare in the
generall recitall of the commodities
that come by London, and therefore it
resteth that I speake a word of Retay
lors, and finally shew that much good
groweth by them both. The chiefe
part of Retayling, is but a hand-maid
to Merchandize, dispersing by piece-meale
that which the Merchant bring
eth in grosse: of which trade be Mercers,
Grocers, Vinteners, Haberdashers, I
ronmongers, Millayners, and all such
as sell wares growing or made beyond
the Seas, and therefore so long as Mer
chandize it selfe shall be profitable, and
such proportion kept, as neither we lose
our treasure thereby, nor be cloyed with
unnecessary forraine wares, this kind of
Retayiing is to be retained also.
Now, that Merchants and Retaylors
of London be very rich and great, it is so
farre from any harme, that it is a thing
both praise-worthy and profitable: for
Mercatura (saith Cicero) si tenuis est, sor
dida putanda est, sin magna est & copiosa,
non est vituperanda
. And truely Mer
chants and Retaylers doe not altogether
intus Canere, and profit themselves only:
for the Prince and Realme both are in
riched by their riches: the Realme win
neth treasure, if their Trade bee so mo
derated by authority, that it breake not
proportion, and they besides beare a
good fleece, which the Prince may
sheare when he seeth good.
But here before I conclude this part,
I have shortly to answer the accusation
of those men, which charge London
with the losse and decay of many (or
most) of the ancient Cities, corporate
Townes and Markets within this
Realme, by drawing from them to her
selfe alone, say they, both all trade of
trafficke by Sea, and the Retayling of
Wares, and exercise of Manuali Arts
also. Touching Navigation, which I
must confesse, is apparantly decayed
in many port Townes, and flourisheth
onely or chiefly at London, I impute that
partly to the fall of the Staple, the
which being long since a great Trade,
and bestowed sometimes at one Town,
and sometimes at another within the
Realme, did much enrich the place
where it was, and being now not one
ly diminished in force, but also
translated over the Seas, cannot but
bring some decay with it, partly, to the
impayring of Havens, which in many
places have impoverisht those Towns,
whose estate doth ebbe and flow with
them, and partly, to the dissolution of
Religious houses, by whose wealth and
haunt, many of those places were chief
ly fed and nourished. I meane not to
rehearse particular examples of euery
sort: for the thing it selfe speaketh, and
I haste to an end. As for Retaylors
thereof, and Handicrafts-men, it is no
marvell if they abandon Countrey
Townes, and resort to London: for not
onely the Court, which is now adayes
much greater, and more gallant than in
former times, and which was wont to
bee contented to remaine with a small
company, sometimes at an Abbey or
Priory, sometimes at a Bishops house,
and sometimes at some meane Mannor
of the Kings owne, is now for the most
part either abiding at London, or else so
neer unto it, that the provision of things
most fit for it, may easily bee setched
from thence: but also by occasion ther
of, the Gentlemen of all shires doe flye,
and flocke to this City, the yonger sort
of them to see and shew vanity, and the

An Apologie

elder to save the cost and charge of hos
pitality, and house-keeping. For here
by it commeth to passe, that the Gen
tlemen being either for a good portion
of the yeere out of the Countrey, or
playing the Farmers, Grasiers, Brewers,
or such like, more than Gentlemen were
wont to doe within the Country, Re
taylers and Artificers, at the least of
such things as pertaine to the backe or
belly, doe leave the Country Townes,
where there is no vent, and doe flie to
London, where they be sure to finde rea
dy and quicke Market. And yet I wish
that even as many Townes in the Low-Countries
of King Philips doe stand
some by one handy Art, and some by
another: so also that it might bee pro
vided here, that the making of some
things, might (by discreet dispensation)
be allotted to some speciall Townes, to
the end, that although the daintinesse
of men cannot be restrained, which will
needs seeke those things at London, yet
other places also might bee relieved at
the least by the Workemanshippe of
Thus much then of the estate of Lon
, in the government thereof, in the
condition of the Cittizens, and in their
power and riches. Now follow the e
numeration of such benefits, as redound
to the Prince and this Realme by this
City: In which doing, I professe not to
rehearse all, but onely to recite and run
over the chiefe and principall of them.
Besides the commodities of the fur
therance of Religion, and Justice: The
propagation of Learning: The main
tenance of Arts: The increase of riches,
and the defence of Countries (all which
are before shewed to grow generally by
Cities, and be common to London with
them) London bringeth singularly these
good things following.
By advantage of the situation, it dis
perseth forrain Wares, (as the stomack
doth meat) to all the members most
By the benefit of the River of Thames
and great Trade of Merchandize, it is
the chiefe maker of Mariners, and
Nurse of our Navy and Ships, which (as
men know) bee the woodden walls for
defence of our Realme.
It maintaineth in flourishing estate,
the Countries of Norfolk, Suffolke, Essex,
, and Sussex, which as they lye in
the face of our most puissant neighbor,
so ought they above others, to bee con
served in the greatest strength and ri
ches: and these, as it is well knowne,
stand not so much by the benefit of
their owne soile, as by the neighbour
hood and neerenesse which they have
to London.
It relieveth plentifully, and with
good policy, not onely her owne poore
people, a thing which scarcely any o
ther Town or Shire doth, but also the
poore that from each quarter of the
Realme doe flocke unto it, and it im
parteth liberally to the necessity of the
Vniversities besides. It is an ornament
to the Realme by the beauty thereof,
and a terror to other Countries by rea
son of the great wealth and frequency.
It spreadeth the honour of our Country
farre abroad by her long Navigations,
and maketh our power feared, even of
barbarous Princes. It onely is stored
with rich Merchants, which sort onely
is tolerable: for beggerly Merchants
doe bite too neere, and will doe more
harme than good to the Realme.
It onely of any place in this Realme,
is able to furnish the sudden necessity
with a strong Army. It availeth the
Prince in Tronage, Poundage and
other his customes, much more than all
the rest of the Realme.
It yeeldeth a greater Subsidy than a
ny one part of the Realm, I mean not for
the proportion of the value of the goods
onely, but also for the faithfull service
there used, in making the assesse; for no
where else bee men taxed so neere to
their just value as in London: yea many
are found there, that for their counte
nance and credit sake, refuse not to bee
rated above their ability, which thing
never hapneth abroad in the country.
I omit that in ancient time, the Inhabi
tants of London and other Cities, were
accustomably taxed after the tenth of
their goods, when the Country was as
sessed at the fifteenth, and rated at the
eighth, when the Country was set at
the twelfth: for that were to awake a
sleeping dog, and I should be thought
dicenda, tacenda, locutus, as the Poet

of the City of London.

It onely doth, and is able to make the
Prince a ready prest or loane of mony.
It onely is found fit and able to en
tertaine strangers honourably, and to
receive the Prince of the Realme wor
Almighty God (qui nisi custodiat Ci
vitatem, frustrà vigilat custos)
grant, that
his Majesty evermore rightly esteeme
and rule this City, and He give grace,
that the Citizens may answer duty, as
well towards God and his Majesty, as
towards this whole Realme and Coun
try, Amen.
An Appendix containing the examination of such
causes, as have heretofore moved the Princes, either
to fine and ransome the Citizens of LONDON, or to
seize the Liberties of the City it selfe.
THese all may be reduced to
these few heads: for either
the Citizens have adhered
in aid or armes, to such as
have warred upon the Prince, or they
have made tumult, and broken the
common peace at home: or they have
misbehaved themselves in point of go
vernment and justice: or finally, and to
speak the plaine truth, the Princes have
taken hold of small matters, and coyned
good summes of money out of them.
To the first head I will referre what
soever they have done, either in those
warres that happened betweene King
Stephen and Maud the Empresse, being
competitors of the Crown: or between
King Iohn and his Nobles assisting Lew
the French Kings sonne when hee in
vaded the Realme: for it is apparent by
all Histories, that the Londoners were
not the movers of these wars, but were
onely used as instruments to maintaine
them. The like is to bee said of all the
offences that King Henry the third,
whose whole raigne was a continuall
warfare, conceived against this City,
concerning the bearing of Armour a
gainst him: for the first part of his reign
was spent in the continuation of those
warres that his Father had begun with
Lewes. And the rest of his life hee be
stowed in that contention, which was
commonly called The Barons wars. In
which Tragedy London, as it could not
be otherwise, had now and then a part,
and had many a snub at the Kings hand
for it. But in the end, when he had tri
umphed over Simon Mountford at Eve
sham, London felt it most tragicall: for
then he both seized their Liberties, and
sucked themselves dry: and yet Edict
um Kenelworth
, made shortly after, hath
an honourable testimony for London,
saying, Te London laudamus, &c. As for
the other offences that he tooke against
the Londoners, they pertaine to the o
ther parts of my division.
Next after this, against whom the
Londoners did put on armes, followeth
King Edward the second, who in the end
was deprived of his Kingdome, not by
their meanes, but by a generall defecti
on, both of his owne wife and sonne,
and almost of the whole Nobility and
Realme besides. In which trouble, that
furious assault & slaughter, committed
by them upon the Bishop of Excester,
then Treasurer of the Realme, is to bee
imputed, partly to the sway of the time
wherewith they were carried, and part
ly to a private displeasure which they
had to the Bishop.
Finally, commeth to hand King Ri
the second: for these three onely
in all the Catalogue of our Kings, have
beene heavy Lords to London, who also
had much contention with his Nobili
ty, and was in the end deposed. But
whatsoever countenance and aide the
City of London brought to the warres
and uprores of that time, it is notori
ously true, that London never led the
Dance, but ever followed the Pipe of
the Nobility. To cloze up this first part
therefore I affirme, that in all the trou
blesome actions during the reigne of
these three Kings, as also in all that

An Apologie, &c.

heaving in, and hurling out, that after
ward happened betweene King Henry
the sixth, and King Edward the fourth,
the City of London was many times a
friend and fautor, but never the first
motive or author of any intestine warre
or sedition.
In the second roome I place a couple
of tumultuous affraies, that chanced
in the daies of King Richard the first: The
one upon the day of his Coronation a
gainst the Jewes, which, contrary to the
Kings owne Proclamation, would needs
enter the Church to see him sacred, and
were therefore ctuelly handled by the
common people. The other was caused
by William with the long beard, who
after that hee had inflamed the poore
people against the richer sort, and was
called to answer for his fault, took Bow
Church for Sanctuary, and kept it Ca
stle-like, till he was fired out.
Here is a place also for the stoning to
death of a Gentleman, servant to the
halfe Brother of King Henry the third,
which had before provoked the Citi
zens to fury, by wounding divers of
them without any cause 1257. for the
riotous fray between the servants of the
Goldsmiths and the Taylors, 1268. for
the hurly burly and bloodshed between
the Londoners and the men of Westmin
, moved by the Youngmen upon an
occasion of a wrestling on Saint Iames
day, 1221. and made worse by one Con
an ancient Citizen: for the
brawle and businesse that arose about a
Bakers loafe at Salisbury place 1391.
for the which and some other misde
meanors, King Richard the second was
so incensed by evill counsell against the
Londoners, that he determined to de
stroy them, and raze their City, and
for the fight that was betweene the Ci
tizens and Sanctuary men of Saint
Martins 1454. under King Henry the
sixth. And finally, for the misrule on
evill May day 1519. and for such other
like if there have beene any.
To the third head may bee referred
the seizer of their liberties, for a false
judgement given against a poore wid
dow, called Margaret Viel, 1246. The
two severall seizers in one yeere
1258. for false packing in collections of
money and other enormities: And fi
nally, the seizer made by King Edward
the first, for taking of bribes of the Ba
kers 1285. But all this security in sei
zing and resuming of the liberties,
which was in old time the onely ordi
nary punishment was at length mitiga
ted by King Edward the third, and King
Henry the fourth, in their statutes before
In the last-place it and those offen
ces, which I repute rather taken than
given, and doe fall within the measure
of the Adage, Vt canē caedas, citò invenias
: for King Iohn in the tenth of
his reigne deposed the Bailiffes of Lon
, because they had bought up the
wheate in the Market, so that there was
not to serve his Purveyors. King Henry
the third his sonne compelled the Lon
doners to pay him 5000. pound, be
cause they had lent to Lewes the French
the like summe, of a good mind to dis
patch him out of their City and the
Realme, at such time as the Protectour
and the whole Nobility fell to compo
sition with him for his departure. And
the same King fined them at three thou
sand markes, for the escape of a priso
ner out of Newgate, of whom they took
no charge: for he was a Clarke, priso
ner to the Bishop of London, under the
custody of his owne servants; and as for
the place, it was onely borrowed of
the Londoners to serve that turne. Hi
therto of these things to this end, that
whatsoever misdemeanor shall bee
objected out of History against Lon
, the same may herein appeare,
both in his true place, and proper co

Cite this page

MLA citation

Stow, John, Anthony Munday, Anthony Munday, and Humphrey Dyson. Survey of London (1633): An Apology of the City of London. The Map of Early Modern London, Edition 7.0, edited by Janelle Jenstad, U of Victoria, 05 May 2022, Draft.

Chicago citation

Stow, John, Anthony Munday, Anthony Munday, and Humphrey Dyson. Survey of London (1633): An Apology of the City of London. The Map of Early Modern London, Edition 7.0. Ed. Janelle Jenstad. Victoria: University of Victoria. Accessed May 05, 2022. Draft.

APA citation

Stow, J., Munday, A., Munday, A., & Dyson, H. 2022. Survey of London (1633): An Apology of the City of London. In J. Jenstad (Ed), The Map of Early Modern London (Edition 7.0). Victoria: University of Victoria. Retrieved from Draft.

RIS file (for RefMan, RefWorks, EndNote etc.)

Provider: University of Victoria
Database: The Map of Early Modern London
Content: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

A1  - Stow, John
A1  - Munday, Anthony
A1  - Munday, Anthony
A1  - Dyson, Humphrey
ED  - Jenstad, Janelle
T1  - Survey of London (1633): An Apology of the City of London
T2  - The Map of Early Modern London
ET  - 7.0
PY  - 2022
DA  - 2022/05/05
CY  - Victoria
PB  - University of Victoria
LA  - English
UR  -
UR  -
ER  - 

TEI citation

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