Survey of London (1633): Sports and Pastimes

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Sports and Pastimes of old time used
in this Citie.
LEt us now (saith Fitzste
phen) come to the Sports
and Pastimes,
Of sports and pas
times in this Citie.
seeing it is fit
that a Citie should not only
be commodious and serious,
Every thing hath his time, a time to weepe, a time to laugh, a time to mourne, & a time to dance. Eccles. 3.

but also merry and sportfull. Whereupon,
in the seales of the Popes, untill the time of
Pope Leo, on the one side was Saint Peter
fishing, with a key over him, reached as it
were by the hand of God out of Heaven, and
about it this verse: Tu pro me navēliquisti, suscipe clavem.
And on the other side was a Citie, and
this inscription on it, Aurea Roma. Like
wise to the praise of Augustus Cæsar and
the Citie, in respect of the shewes and sports,
was written,
Nocte pluit tota, redeunt spectaculs
mane, &c.
All night it raines, and shewes
at morrow-tide returne againe;
And sar with almighty Iove
hath matcht an equall reigne.
But London for the shewes upon The
and Comicall pastimes, hath holy
playes, representations of miracles, which
holy Confessors have wrought; or represen
tations of torments, wherein the constancie
of Martyrs appeared.
Every yeere also on Shrove-Tuesday,
(that we may beginne with childrens sports,
seeing wee all have beene children:) the
Schoole-boyes doe bring Cockes of the game
to their Master, and all the fore-noone they
delight themselves in Cock-fighting.
dinner, all the youths goe into the fields to
play at the Ball.
The scholars of every Schoole have their
Ball, or bastion in their hands: the ancient
and wealthy men of the Citie come forth

Sports and Pastimes.

on horsebacke, to see the sport of the Young
men, and to take part of the pleasure, in be
holding their agility.
Every Friday in Lent,
Exercises of warlike feats on horseback with disarmed Lances.
a fresh companie
of young-men comes into the field on horse
backe, and the best horse-men conduct the
rest. Then march forth the Citizens sonnes,
and other young-men with disarmed Lances
and Shields, and there they practise feats
of Warre.
Many Courtiers likewise, when the King
lyeth neere, and attendants on Noble-men,
doe repaire to these exercises, and while the
hope of victory doth inflame their mindes,
they shew by good proofe how serviceable they
would be in Martiall affaires.
In Easter Holydayes,
Battell on the water.
they fight battels
on the water, a Shield is hanged upon a pole,
fixed in the midst of the streame; a Boat is
prepared without Oares, to be carried by
violence of the water, and in the fore-part
thereof standeth a young-man, ready to give
charge upon the Shield with his Launce. If
so be he breake his Launce against the Shield
and doth not fall, he is thought to have per
formed a worthy deede. If so bee without
breaking his Launce, he runneth strongly a
gainst the Shield, downe he falleth into the
water; for the Boat is violently forced with
the Tide; but on each side of the Shield ride
two Boats, furnished with yong-men, which
recover him that falleth, as soone as they
may. Vpon the Bridge, Wharfes and houses
by the Rivers side, stand great numbers to
see, and laugh thereat.
In the Holydaies all the Summer, the
youths are exercised in leaping, dancing,
shooting, wrastling, casting the stone, and
practising their Shields: the Maidens trip
with their Timbrels,
Fighting of Bores, baiting of Beares & Buls.
and dance as long as
they can well see. In Winter, every Holiday
before dinner, the Bores prepared for brawne
are set to fight, or else Buls or Beares are
When the great Fenne or Moore, which
watereth the wals of the Citie on the North
side is frozen, many yong men play upon the
Ice; some striding as wide as they may, doe
slide swiftly: others make themselves seats
of Ice, as great as Milstones. One sits
downe, many (hand in hand) doe draw him,
and one slipping on a sudden, all fall toge
ther. Some tye bones to their feet, and un
der their heeles, and shoving themselues by
a little piked staffe, doe slide as swiftly as a
bird flyeth in the ayre, or an arrow out of a
Crosse-bow, Sometime two runne together
with poles, and hitting one the other, either
one or both doe fall, not without hurt: some
breake their armes, some their legs: but
youth (desirous of glory in this sort) exerci
seth it selfe against the time of warre.
Hawking & hunting
of the Citizens doe delight themselves in
Hawkes and Hounds, for they have liberty
of hunting in Middlesex, Hertfordshire,
all Chiltron, and in Kent to the water of
Cray. Thus far Fitzstephen of sports.
These or the like exercises have been
continued til our time, namely in Stage
playes, whereof ye may read, in Anno
1391. a Play by the Parish Clerkes of
London at the Skinners Well besides
A stage
play that continued 3. dayes, A stage
play that lasted 8. dayes.
which continued three dayes
together, the King, Queene, and Nobles
being present. And of another in the
yeere 1409. which lasted eight dayes,
and was of matter from the Creation
of the World, whereat was present
most part of the Nobility, and Gentry
of England.
Of late time,
Theater & Curten for Comedies and other shewes,
in stead of those Stage
playes, have beene vsed Comedies, Tra
gedies, Enterludes, and Histories, both
true and fained: for the acting whereof,
certaine publike places have beene ere
cted. Also Cockes of the game are yet
cherished by divers men for their plea
sures, much money being laid on their
heads, when they fight in pits, whereof
some be costly, made for that purpose.
The Ball is used by Noblemen and
Gentlemen in Tennis-courts,
The Ball at Tennis play.
and by
people of meaner sort in the open fields
and streets.
The marching forth of Citizens sons
and other yong men on horse-backe,
with disarmed Launces and Shields,
there to practise feats of warre, man a
gainst man, hath long since beene left
off, but in their Citie they have used on
horse-backe, to runne at a dead marke,
called a Quinten.

For note whereof,
Running at the Quinten, for prizes, Mat. Paris.
read, that in the yeere
of Christ 1253. the 38
of Hen. 3. the youthfull
Citizens, for an exer
cise of their activity,
set foorth a game to
runne at the Quinten, and whosoever
did best, should have a Peacocke, which
they had prepard as a prize.

Sports and Pastimes.

Certaine of the Kings servants, be
cause the Court lay then at Westminster,
The kings servants deriding the Citi
zens, were sore bea
tē, but the Citizens were fined by the King.
as it were, in despight of the Ci
tizens, to that game, and giving re
prochfull names to the Londoners, which
for the dignity of the Citie, and the an
cient priviledge which they ought to
have enjoyed, were called Barons: the
said Londoners being wrongfully abused,
fell upon the Kings servants, and beat
them shrewdly, so that upon complaint
made to the King, he fined the Citie to
pay a thousand Markes. This exercise of
running at the Quinten, was practised
by the youthfull Citizens, aswel in sum
mer as in winter; namely, in the feast of
Christmas. I have seene a Quinten set
upon Cornhill,
Quinten upon Corn
by the Leaden Hall, where
the attendants of the Lords of merry di
sports have runne, and made great pa
stime: for he that hit not the broad end
of the Quinten, was of all men laughed
to scorne; and he that hit it full, if hee
rode nor the faster, had a sound blow in
his necke with a bag full of sand, han
ged on the other end.
I have also in the Summer season,
seene some upon the River of Thames,
Running with staves on the Thames.

rowed in Whirries, with staves in their
hands, flat at the fore-end, running one
against another, and for the most part,
one or both overthrowne, and well
On the Holy-dayes in Summer,
Leaping, dancing, shooting, wrestling.
Youths of this Citie have in the Field
exercised themselves, in leaping, dan
cing, shooting, wrestling, casting of the
stone or ball, &c.
And for defence and use of the Wea
pon, there is a speciall profession of men
that teach it.
Mat. Paris.
I reade that in the yeere
1222. and the 6. of King Henry the 3. on
Saint Iames day, the Citizens of London
kept games of defence and wrestling,
neere to the Hospitall of Matilda, at S.
Giles in the field, where they got the ma
stery of the men of the Suburbs.
The Bailiffe of Westminster devising
to be revenged,
A game at VVestmin
on Lam
proclaimed a game to
be at Westminster upon Lammas day:
whereunto the Citizens willingly re
When they had played a while, the
Bailiffe, with the men of the Suburbs,
harnessed themselves treacherously, and
fell to such fighting, that the Citizens
(being sore wounded) were forced to
runne into the Citie, where they rung
the common Bell, and assembled the
Citizens in great number. When the
matter was declared, every man wished
to revenge the fact:
The ad
vice of the L. Maior.
but the Lord Mai
or of the Citie, being a wise and quiet
man, willed them first to move the Ab
bot of Westminster in the matter, and if
he would promise to see amends made,
it was sufficient.
The bad counsel of Constantine Fitz Arnulit as bad fol
But a certaine Citizen,
named Constantine Fitz Arnulit, willed,
that all the houses of the Abbot and Bai
liffe should be pulled downe. Which
desperate words were no sooner spoken,
but the common people (as unadvised
ly) issued forth of the Citie without a
ny order, and fought a cruell battell,
Constantine pulling downe divers hou
ses; and the people (as praising Constan
cryed; The joy of the Mountaine, the
joy of the Mountaine
; God help, and the
Lord Lodowike.
A few dayes after this tumult, the
Abbot of Westminster came to London,
Chron. Don. The Ab
bot of VVestminst. put to his shifts.
Philip Dawbeney, one of the kings Coun
cell, to complaine of the injuries done
to him: the Londoners perceiving it, be
set the house about, and tooke by vio
lence twelve of the Abbots horses a
way, cruelly beating his men, &c.
But whilest the said Dawbeney labou
red to pacifie the vprore, the Abbot got
out at the backe doore of the house, and
so, by a Boat on the Thames, hardly esca
ped, the Citizens throwing stones after
him in great abundance.
These things being thus done,
The Lord chiefe Iu
stice en
tred the Citie of London with an Army.
de Burge
, chiefe Iustice of England, with
a great Army of men, came to the Tow
er of London, and sent for the Maior and
Aldermen, of whom hee enquired for
the principall Authors of this Faction.
Constantine, being constant in the sedi
tion, was more constant in the answer;
affirming, that hee had done it, and that
he had done much lesse than hee meant
to have done.
The Justice tooke him, and two
other with him, and that morning sent
him to Faulcatius by water, with a great
number of armed men, who brought
Constantine to the Gallowes.
But when he saw the Rope about his
Constantine and other hanged.
hee offered for his life fif
teene thousand Markes, yet it would

Sports and Pastimes.

not seeme to save him: so he was hang
ed, with Constantine his Nephew, and
Galfrid that proclaimed his proclamati
on, on the 16. of August.
Also in the yeere 1453. of a tumult
made against the Maior,
Games of defence.
at the wrest
ling besides Clerks well, &c. Which is
sufficient to prove, that (of old time) the
exercising of wrestling, and such like,
hath beene much more used than of lat
ter yeeres.
The youths of this Citie also have u
sed, on holidayes, after Evening Pray
Playing at the Buck
at their Masters doores, to exercise
their Wasters and Bucklers: and the
Maidens, one of them playing on a
Dancing for Gar
lands in the streets
in sight of their Masters and
Dames, to dance for Garlands, hanged
thwart the streets, which open pastimes
in my youth, being now suppressed,
worser practices within doores are to
be feared.
As for the baiting of Buls and Beares,
they are till this day much frequented,
namely in Beare-gardens on the Banke
Beare and Bull bai
wherein be prepared scaffolds for
beholders to stand upon.
Sliding on the Ice is now but childrens
play: but in Hawking and Hunting
many grave Citizens at this present
have great delight, and doe rather want
leasure than goodwill to follow it.
Of triumphant shews made by the Ci
tizens of Lond.
Mat. Paris.
ye may read in the yeere
1236. the twentieth of Henry the third,
Shewes for triumphs.
Andrew Bockrell then being Maior, how
Elianor, daughter to Reymond, Earle of
Provence, riding thorow the Citie to
ward Westminster, there to be crowned
Queene of England, the Citie was ador
ned with silkes, and in the night with
Lamps, Cressets, and other lights, with
out number, besides many Pageants,
and strange devices there presented; the
Citizens also rode to meet the King and
The Citi
zens rode.
clothed in long garments em
broydered about with gold,
red gar
and silkes
of divers colours, their horses gallantly,
trapped, to the number of 306. every
manbearing a Cup of gold or silver in
his hand, and the Kings Trumpetters
before them: These Citizens did mi
nister Wine, as Buttlers, which is their
service at the Coronation.
More, in the yeere 1298. for victory
obtained by Edward the first against the
Scots, every Company, according to
their severall Trade, made their severall
gers Pro
cession for triumph of victory, more than 1000. hors
but specially the Fishmongers,
which in a solemne Procession passed
thorow the Citie, having amongst o
ther Pageants and shewes, foure Sturge
ons gilt, carried on foure horses; then,
foure Salmons of silver, on foure horses,
and after them sixe and forty armed
Knights, riding on horses, made like Lu
of the Sea, and then one presenting
Saint Magnes, because it was upon Saint
Magnes day, with a thousand horsemen,
One other shew in the yeere 1377.
made by the Citizens for disport of the
yong Prince Richard, sonne to the black
Prince, in the Feast of Christmas, and in
this manner:
On the Sunday before Candlemas,
A shew by Torch
light, be
ing a Mummery of more than 100: men on horseback
the night, one hundred and thirty Citi
zens, disguised and well horsed, in a
Mummery, with sound of Trumpets,
Sackbuts, Cornets, Shalmes, and other
Minstrels, and innumerable Torch
lights of Wax, rode from Newgate tho
row Cheap, over the Bridge, through
Southwarke, and so to Kennington besides
Lambeth, where the yong Prince remai
ned with his Mother, and the Duke of
Lancaster, his Vncle, the Earles of Cam
bridge, Hertford, Warwicke
, and Suffolke,
with divers other Lords.
In the first ranke did ride 48. in the
likenesse and habit of Esquires, two and
two together, clothed in red coats, and
gownes of Say or Sendall, with comely
vizors one their faces.
After them came riding 48. Knights,
in the same Livery of colour and stuffe.
Then followed one richly arrayed, like
an Emperour; and after him some di
stance, one stately tyred like a Pope,
who was followed by 24. Cardinals:
and after them eight or ten with blacke
vizors, not amiable, as if they had been
Legates from some forraigne Princes.
These Maskers, after they had entred
the Mannor of Kennington, alighted
from their horses: and entred the Hall
on foot; which done, the Prince, his
Mother, and the Lords came out of the
chamber into the hall, whom the Mum
mers did salute: shewing by a paire of
Dice on the Table, their desire to play
with the yong Prince: which they so

Sports and Pastimes.

handled, that the Prince did alwaies
winne when he cast at them.
Then the Mummers set to the Prince
three Jewels,
The Prince did win three Iewels of the Mas
one after another; which
were, a Boule of gold, a Cup of gold,
and a Ring of gold, which the Prince
wanne at three casts.
Then they set to the Princes Mother,
the Duke, the Earles, and other Lords,
to every one a Ring of gold, which they
did also winne. After which they were
feasted, and the Musicke sounded, the
Prince and Lords danced on the one
part with the Mummers, who did also
dance: which jollity being ended, they
were againe made to drinke, and then
departed in order as they came.
The like was to Henry the fourth, in
the second of his reign, he then keeping
his Christmas at Eltham, twelve Alder
men of London, and their sonnes, rode in
a mumming, and had great thanks.
Thus much for sportfull shewes in
Triumphes may suffice.
Now for sports and pastimes yeerely
First, in the Feast of Christmas, there
was in the Kings house, wheresoever he
was lodged,
Lord of Misrule at Christmas
a Lord of Misrule, or Ma
ster of merry disports, and the like had
ye in the house of every Nobleman of
honour, or good worship, were he spi
rituall or temporall. Among the which,
The Maior of London, and either of the
Sheriffes had their severall Lords of
misrule, ever contending, without qua
rell or offence, who should make the ra
rest pastimes to delight the beholders.
These Lords beginning their rule at Al
Eve, continued the same till the
morrow after the Feast of the Purifica
tion, commonly called Candlemas day:
In all which space, there were fine and
subtill disguisings, Maskes and Mum
meries, with playing at Cards for coun
ters, nayles and points in every house,
more for pastime than for gaine.
Against the Feast of Christmas, every
mans house, as also their Parish Chur
ches, were decked with Holme, Ivie,
Bayes, and whatsoever the season of the
yeere affoorded to be greene: The con
duits and standards in the streets were
likewise garnished. Among the which,
I read, that in the yeere 1444. by tem
pest of thunder and lightning, on the
first of February at night,
Tempests of light
ning and thunder fi
red Paulssteeple, o
verthrew the stan
dard at Leaden hall, and threw stones of the paye
ment into mens houses.
Pauls steeple
was fired, but with great labour quen
ched: and toward the morning of Can
day, at the Leaden Hall in Corn
, a Standard of tree being set up in
the midst of the pavement, fast in the
ground, nayled full of Holme and Ivie,
for disport of Christmas to the people;
was torne up, and cast downe by the
malignant Spirit (as was thought) and
the stones of the pavement all about,
were cast in the streets, and into divers
houses, so that the people were sore a
gast at the great tempests.
In the weeke before Easter,
Twisted trees set from the woods.
had yee
great shewes made, for the fetching in
of a twisted Tree, or With, as they ter
med it, out of the woods, into the kings
house, and the like into every mans
house of Honour or Worship.
In the Moneth of May,
May games
namely on
May day in the morning, every man,
except impediment, would walke into
the sweet Meddowes and green woods,
there to rejoyce their spirits with the
beauty and savour of sweet Flowers, and
with the harmonie of Birdes, praising
God in their kinde. And for example
Edward Hall.
Edward Hall hath noted, that
King Henry the eighth, as in the third of
his reigne, and divers other yeeres, so
namely in the seventh of his reigne, on
May day in the morning, with Queene
Katharine his wife, accompanied with
many Lords and Ladies, rode a Maying
from Greenwich to the high ground of
Shooters-hill: where as they passed by
the way, they espyed a company of tall
Yeomen, clothed all in greene, with
greene hoods, and with bowes and ar
rowes, to the number of 200. One, be
ing their Chieftaine,
Robin Hood and his men shot before the King.
was called Robin
, who required the King and all his
company to stay and see his men shoot:
whereunto the King granting, Robin
whistled, and all the 200. Archers
shot off, loosing all at once; and when
he whistled againe, they likewise shot a
gaine: their Arrowes whistled by craft
of the head, so that the noise was strange
and loud, which greatly delighted the
King, Queene, and their company.
Moreouer, this Robin Hood desired the
King and Queene, with their retinue,
to enter the greene Wood, where, in
Arbours made with boughes, and deckt

Sports and Pastimes.

with flowers, they were set and served
plentifully with venison and wine, by
Robin Hood and his meyny, to their
great contentment, and had other Pa
geants and Pastimes, as yee may read
in my said Author.
I find also, that in the month of May,
the Citizens of London (of all estates)
lightly in every Parish, or sometime
two or three Parishes joyning toge
ther, had their severall Maynings, and
did fetch in May-poles, with divers
warlike shewes, with good Archers,
Morice-dancers, and other devices for
paStime all the day long; and towards
the evening, they had stage-plaies, and
Bonefires in the streets.
Of these Mayings, we read in the reign
of Henry the sixth, that the Aldermen
and Sheriffes of London, being on May
day at the Bishop of Londons Wood in
the Parish of Stebunheath,
Bishops Wood.
and having
there a worshipfull dinner for them
selves and other commers,
Bishops Hall by Blethen
hall green.
Lydgate the
the Poet, that was a Monk of Bury, sent
to them by a Pursivant a joyfull com
mendation of that seasen, containing
sixteene saves in meeter Royall, begin
ning thus:
Mighty Flora, Goddesse of fresh flowers,
which clothed hath the soyle in lusty green,
The plea
sāt month of May commen
Made buds to spring, with her sweet showers,
by influence of the Sunne shine,
To doe pleasance of intent full cleane,
unto the States which now sit here,
Hath Ver downe sent her own daughter deare,
Making the vertue, that dared in the root,
Called the vertue, the vertue vegetable,
for to transcend, most wholesome & most soote,
Into the top, this season so agreeable:
the baw my liquor is so commendable,
That it rejoyceth with his fresh moisture,
man, beast, and fowle, and every creature, &c.
About the ninth yeere of the reigne
of King Henry the eight, a great he art
burning and malicious grudge grew a
mongst the Englishmen of the City of Lon
, against strangers: and namely, the
Artificers found themselves much a
The num
ber of strangers in London misliked.
because such number of stran
gers were permitted, to resort hither
with their Wares, and to exercise Han
dicrafts, to the great hinderance and
impoverishing of the Kings Liege peo
ple. Which malice grew to such a point
that one Iohn Lincolne a Broker,
Iohn Lincolne a Broker beginner of the in
himselfe so farre in the matter, that a
bout Palme Sunday, or the fift of April,
he came to one Doctor Henry Standish,
with these words; Sir, I understand,
that you shall preach at the Spittle on
Munday in Easter-weeke, and so it is,
that English men, both Merchants and o
ther, are undone by stangers, who have
more liberty in this Land than they,
which is against reason, and also against
the Common-weale of this Realme: I
beseech you therefore,
A bill of
fered by Lincolne to Doctor Standish.
to declare this in
your sermon, and in so doing, you shall
deserve great thanks of my Lord Maior,
and of all his Brethren. And herewith
he offered unto the said Doctor a bill,
containing the matter more at large.
But Doctor Standish wisely considering,
that there might more inconvenience
arise thereof, than he would wish, if he
should deale in such a sort: both refused
the bill, and told Lincolne plainely, that
he meant not to meddle with any such
matter in his Sermon.
Whereupon, the said Lincolne went
unto one Doctor Bell, a Canon of the
foresaid Spittle,
Doctor Bell under
tooke to read Lin
bill in the Pul
that was appointed like
wise to preach upon Tuesday in Easter-weake
at the same Spittle, whom hee
perswaded to reade his said bill in the
Pulpit: which bill contained (in effect)
the griefes that many found with stran
gers, for taking the livings away from
Artificers, and the entercourse from
Merchants, the redresse whereof must
come from the commons knit in one;
for as the hurt touched all men, so must
al set to their helping hands. Which let
ter he read,
The bill contained much sedi
tious mat
or the chiefest part thereof,
comprehending much seditious matter.
And then he began with this sentence:
Cœlum cœli Domino, terram autem dedit
filiis hominum
. And upon this Text he
entreated, how this Land was given to
Englishmen, and as Birds defend their
nests, so ought Englishmen to cherish
and maintaine themselves, and to hurt
and grieve Aliens, for respect of their
Common-wealth. And on this Text,
Pugna pro Patria, he brought in, how (by
Gods Law) it was was lawfull to fight
for their Country:
Pugna pro Patria.
and thus he subtilly
moved the people to rebell against
strangers. By this Sermon, many a
light-headed person tooke courage, and

Sports and Pastimes.

openly spake against strangers: and by
mishap, there had beene divers evill
parts (of late) plaid by strangers, in and
about the Citie of London, which kin
dled the peoples rancor the more furi
ously against them.
The twenty eighth day of April,
Quarels urged to strangers as they were in the streets
vers yong-men of the Citie picked qua
rels with certaine strangers, as they pas
sed along the streets: some they smote
and buffetted, and some they threw in
the channell: for which, the Lord Mai
or sent some of the Englishmen to pri
son, as Stephen Studley, Skinner, Steven
son, Bets
, and other.
Then suddenly rose a secret rumour,
and no man could tell how it began, that
on May-day next following,
Evil May-day.
the Citie
would slay all the Aliens: insomuch
that divers strangers fled out of the Ci
This rumour came to the knowledge
of the Kings Councell: whereupon the
Lord Cardinall sent for the Maior, and
other of the Councell of the Citie, gi
ving them to understand what hee had
The Lord Maior (as one ignorant of
the matter) told the Cardinall, that he
doubted not so to governe the Citie, but
as peace should be observed.
The Cardinall willed him so to doe,
and to take good heed, that if any rio
tous attempt were intended, he should
by good policy prevent it.
The Maior comming from the Car
dinals house,
A meeting of the L. Maior and his bre
thren at Guildhall.
about foure of the clocke
in the afternoone on May Eve, sent for
his Brethren to the Guild-hall, yet was
it almost seven of the clocke before the
Assembly was set. Vpon conference
had of the matter, some thought it ne
cessary, that a substantiall watch should
be set of honest Citizens, which might
withstand the evill doers, if they went
about any misrule. Other were of con
trary opinion, as rather thinking it best,
that every man should be commanded
to shut in his doores, and to keepe his
servants within. Before 8. of the clock,
Master Recorder was sent to the Cardi
nall, with these opinions: who hearing
the same,
The Re
corder & Sir Thomas More sent to the Cardinall.
allowed the latter. And then
the Recorder, and Sir Thomas More,
late under-sheriffe of London, and now
of the Kings Councell, came backe a
gaine to the Guild-hall, halfe an houre
before nine of the clock, and there shew
ed the pleasure of the Kings Councell:
whereupon every Alderman sent to
his Ward, that no man (after nine of
the clocke) should stir out of his house,
but keepe his doores shut, and his ser
vants within, untill nine of the clocke in
the morning.
After this commandement was gi
An Alder
man resi
sted, and put to flight.
in the Evening, as Sir Iohn Mundy
Alderman, came from his Ward, hee
found two young-men in Cheape, play
ing at the Bucklers, and a great many of
young-men looking on them, for the
command seemed to bee scarcely pub
lished; he commanded them to leave
off; and because one of them asked him
why, hee would have him sent to the
Counter. But the Prentices resisted the
Alderman, taking the young-man from
him, and cryed Prentices, Prentices,
Clubs, Clubs: then out at every doore
came Clubs and other weapons, so that
the Alderman was forced to flight.
Then more people arose out of every
quarter, and forth came Servingmen,
Watermen, Courtiers, and other, so
that by eleven of the clocke, there were
in Cheape, 6. or 7. hundred, and out of
Pauls Church-yard came about 300.
From all places they gathered together,
and breake up the Counter, took out the
Prisoners, which had beene committed
thither by the Lord Maior, for hurting
the strangers: also they went to New
, and tooke out Studley and Bets,
committed thither for the like cause.
The Maior and Sheriffes were present,
and made Proclamation in the Kings
name, but nothing was obeyed.
Being thus gathered into severall
Sir Thomas More labo
red to pa
cifie the rude mul
they ran thorow Saint Nicholas
shambles, and at Saint Martins Gate,
there met with them Sir Thomas More,
and other, desiring them to goe to their
As they were thus intreating, and
had almost perswaded the people to
depart, they within Saint Martins threw
out stones and bats, so that they hurt di
vers honest persons, which were with
Sir Thomas More, perswading the rebel
lious Rout to cease. Insomuch as at
length, one Nicholas Dennis, a Serjeant
at Armes, being there sore hurt, cryed

Sports and Pastimes.

in a fury,
Nicholas Dennis, a Serjeant at Armes sore hurt.
Downe with them: and then
all the unruly persons ran to the doores
and windowes of the houses within St.
Martins, and spoiled all that they found.
After that they ran into Cornehill, and
so on to a house East of Leadenhal, called
the Green-gate, where dwelt one Mewtas
a Piccard or Frenchman, within whose
house dwelled divers French men,
Mewtas a Piccard.
they likewise spoyled: and if they had
found Mewtas, they would have stricken
off his head.
Some ran to Blanchapleton, and there
brake up the strangers houses,
The stran
gers hou
ses broken up at Blanchapleton.
and spoi
led them. Thus they continued till 3.
a clocke in the morning, at which time,
they began to withdraw: but by the
way they were taken by the Maior and
other, and sent to the Tower, Newgate
and Counters, to the number of 300.
The Cardinall was advertised by Sir
Thomas Parre, whom in all haste he sent
to Richmond,
The King sendeth to know the state of the City.
to informe the King: who
immediately sent to understand the
state of the City, and was truely infor
med. Sir Roger Cholmeley Lievtenant
of the Tower, during the time of this
businesse, shot off certaine peeces of
Ordnance against the City, but did no
great hurt. About five of the clocke in
the morning, the Earles of Shrewsbury
and Surrey, Thomas Dockery, Lord Prior
of Saint Iohns,
The Lords came with power to London.
George Nevill, Lord A
, and other, came to London
with such powers as they could make,
so did the Innes of Court; but before
they came, the businesse was done, as
ye have heard.
Then were the prisoners examined,
Doctor Bell sent to the Tower for his Ser

and the Sermon of Doctor Bell called
to remembrance, and hee sent to the
Tower. A Commission of Oyer and
Determiner was directed to the Duke
of Norfolke, and other Lords, for pu
nishment of this insurrection. The se
cond of May, the Commissioners, with
the Lord Maior, Aldermen and Iusti
ces, went to the Guildhall, where many
of the offenders were indicted, where
upon they were arraigned, and pleaded
not guilty, having day given them till
the 4. of May.
On which day,
The Duke of Norfolke entred London with 1300 men.
the Lord Maior, the
Duke of Norfolke, the Earle of Surrey
and other, came to sit in the Guildhall.
The Duke of Norfolke entred the City
with one thousand three hundred men,
and the prisoners were brought through
the streets tyed in ropes, some men,
some lads but of thirteen or foureteene
yeeres old, to the number of 278. per
sons. That day Iohn Lincolne and divers
other were indicted, and the next day
thirteen were adjudged to bee drawne,
hanged, and quartered: for execution
Ten paire of Gal
lowes set up in di
vers streets of London.
ten payre of Gallowes were
set up in divers places of the City, as at
Aldgate, Blanchapleton, Grasse-street, Lea
, before either of the Counters;
at Newgate, Saint Martins, at Aldersgate
and Bishopsgate. And these Gallowes
were set upon wheeles, to bee removed
irom street to street, and from doore to
doore whereas the prisoners were to be
On the seventh of May, Iohn Lincoln,
one Shirwin, and two brethren, named
Iohn Lin
the Broker executed, but the rest respi
ted by the King.
with divers other were adjudged
to dye. They were on the Hurdles
drawne to the Standard in Cheape, and
first was Lincolne executed: and as the
other had the ropes about their neckes,
there came a commandement from the
King, to respit the execution, and then
were the prisoners sent againe to prison,
and the armed men sent away out of the
On the thirteenth of May, the King
came to Westminster-hall, and with him
the Lord Cardinall, the Dukes of Nor
, and Suffolke, the Earles of Shrews
bury, Essex, Wiltshire
, and Surrey, with
many Lords and other of the Kings
Councell; the Lord Maior of London,
Aldermen and other chiefe Citizens,
were there in their best liveries, by nine
of the clocke in the morning.
The pri
soners were brought before the King at Westminster Hall.
came in the prisoners, bound in ropes
in a ranke one after another, in their
shirts, and every one had a Halter a
bout his necke, being in number 400.
men, and 11. women.
When they were thus come before
the Kings presence, the Cardinall laid
sore to the Maior and Aldermen their
negligence, and to the prisoners he de
clared how justly they had deserved to
dye. Then all the prisoners together
cryed to the King for mercy,
The King graciously pardoned all the pri
and there
with the Lords besought his grace of
pardon: at whose request, the King
pardoned them all. The generall pardon

Of Watches inLONDON.

being pronounced, all the Prisoners
shouted at once, and cast their Halters
towards the roofe of the Hall. The pri
soners being dismissed, the Gallowes
were taken downe, and the Citizens
tooke more heed to their servants: kee
ping (for ever after) as on that night, a
strong watch in Armour, in remem
brance of Evill May-day.
Evill May-day.
These great Mayings and Maygames
made by the Governours and Masters
of this City, with the Triumphant set
ting up of the great shaft (a principall
May-pole in Cornehill, before the Parish
of Saint Andrew) therefore called Vn
, by meane of that insurrection
of youths, against Aliens on May-day,
1517. the 6. of Henry the eight, have
not been so freely used as before. And
therefore I leave them, and will some
what touch of Watches, as also of
shewes in the night.

Cite this page

MLA citation

Stow, John, Anthony Munday, Anthony Munday, and Humphrey Dyson. Survey of London (1633): Sports and Pastimes. 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): Sports and Pastimes. 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): Sports and Pastimes. 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): Sports and Pastimes
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

<bibl type="mla"><author><name ref="#STOW6"><surname>Stow</surname>, <forename>John</forename></name></author>, <author><name ref="#MUND1"><forename>Anthony</forename> <surname>Munday</surname></name></author>, <author><name ref="#MUND1"><forename>Anthony</forename> <surname>Munday</surname></name></author>, and <author><name ref="#DYSO1"><forename>Humphrey</forename> <surname>Dyson</surname></name></author>. <title level="a">Survey of London (1633): Sports and Pastimes</title>. <title level="m">The Map of Early Modern London</title>, Edition <edition>7.0</edition>, edited by <editor><name ref="#JENS1"><forename>Janelle</forename> <surname>Jenstad</surname></name></editor>, <publisher>U of Victoria</publisher>, <date when="2022-05-05">05 May 2022</date>, <ref target=""></ref>. Draft.</bibl>