NOw since that I haue giuen you an outward
view of this City, it shall not be impertinent
to let you take an insight also of the same,
such as a Londoner borne, discoursed aboue
twenty yeares agone, for answere (as it see
meth) to some obiections, that then were made against
the growing greatnes thereof. The Author gaue it me, &
therefore howsoeuer I conceale his name (which it selfe
pretendeth not) I thinke it may without his offence im
part it to others, that they may take pleasure in the rea
ding, as I doubt not but he did in the writing. Long
may they (that list) enuie, and long may we
and our posterity enioy the good
estate of this Citie.

A Discourse of the names and first cau
ses of the institution of Cities, and peopled townes. And
of the commodities that doe growe by the same: and
namely of the Citie of London. Written by way of an
Apologie (or defence) against the opinion of some
men, which thinke that the greatnesse of that
Citie standeth not with the profit
and securitie of this
CIties and well peopled places bee called
Oppida, in Latine, eyther ab ope danda,
or ab opibus, or ab opponendo se ho
. They be named also ciuitates
a coeundo
, and (vrbes) either of the word
vrbare, because the first inclosure of them
was described with The special character yͤ (LATIN SMALL LETTER Y WITH LATIN SMALL LETTER E ABOVE) does not display on all browsers and has been replaced by its simplified form.ye draught of a Plow.
Or els ab orbe, for the round compasse
that they at the first had.
In the Gréeke a Cittie is tearmed ϖόλις,1 eyther of the worde
ϖολὺς,2 multus, or of πολεῖνω ϖολένεον:3 id est, habitare, alere,
In the Saxon (or old English) sometimes Tun, which wee
now call Towne, deriued of the word Tynan, to inclose or tyne,
as some yet speake. But for as much as that word was proper to
euery village and inclosed dwelling, therefore our auncestors cal
led their walled townes,buꞂh or biꞂiȝ, and we now Bury
and Borow, of the Gréeke word πύργος(as I thinke) which sig
nifieth a Tower or a high building.
The walles 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 enuironed.
But afterward, being made of matter more fit for defence,
they were named a muniendo mænia. By the Etimologie of

An Apologie
these names, it may appeare that common weales, Cities and
townes were at the first inuented, to the end that men might leade
a ciuile life amongst themselues, and bee saued harmeles against
their enemies: whereupon Plato saith, Ciuitates ab initio vti
litatis causa constitutæ sunt.
Aristotle 1. Politicorum 2. saith,
Ciuitas a natura profecta est: homo enim animal aptum est
ad coetus, & proinde ciuitatis origo ad viuendum, institutio
ad bene viuendum refertur
. And Cicero, (lib. primo de in
uentione) in the beginning saith, Fuit quoddam tempus cum
in agris homines passim bestiarum more vagabantur, &c. quo
quidem tempore, quidā (magnus viz. vir, & sapiens) dispersos
homines in agris, & tectis siluestribus abditos, ratione qua
dam compulit in vnum locum, at q;eos in vnam quamq; rem
induxit vtilem & honestam. Vrbibus verò constitutis, fi
dem colere, & institiam retinere discebant, & alijs parere sua
voluntate consuescebant, &c
. The same man discourseth nota
blie to the same effect, in his Oration pro Sestio, a little after the
middest thereof, shewing that in the life of men dispersed vis bea
reth all the sway: but in the Ciuile life and societie ius is better
maintained, &c. This thing well saw King William the Conque
, who in his lawes (fol.125.) saith Burgi et Ciuitates fundata
& edificata sunt, ad tuitionē gentium, & populorum Regni, &
idcirco obseruari debent cum omni libertate, integritate, &
. And his predecessors, king Ethelstane, and King Canu
in their lawes (fol. 62. & 106.) had commanded thus: Oppi
da instaurantur &c
Séeing therefore that as Cicero 2. officior. saith, proxime
& secuudum Deos, homines hominibus maximè vtiles esse
. And that men are congregated into Cities and common
wealthes, for honesty and vtilities sake, these shortly be the com
modities that do come by cities, communalties, and corporations.
First, men (by this nearenesse of conuersation) are wtdrawen from
barbarous feritie and force, to a certaine mildnes of manners, and
to humanitie and iustice: whereby they are contented to giue and
take right, to and from their equalles and inferiors, and to heare
and obey their heades and superiors. Also the doctrine of God

of the Citie of London.
is more fitly deliuered, and the discipline thereof more aptly to
bee executed, in peopled Townes then abroad, by reason of the
facilitie of common and often assembling. And consequently, such
inhabitantes be better managed in order, and better instructed in
wisedome: whereof it came to passe that at the first, they that ex
celled others this way, were called astuti of the Gréeke worde
(ἄςυ4) which signifieth a Citie, although the tearme be now de
clined to the worst part (and do betoken euill) euen as Tyrannus,
, andsome such other originally good wordes are fal
len: And hereof also good behauiour is yet called Vrbanitas, be
cause it is rather found in Cities, then elswhere. In summe, by
often hearing men be better perswaded in religion, and for that
they liue in the eye of others, they bee by example the more easily
trayned to iustice, and by shamefastnesse restrained from iniurie.
And whereas common wealthes and kingdomes cannot haue
(next after God) any surer foundation, then the loue and good wil
of one man towardes an other, that also is closely bred and main
tained in Cities, where men by mutuall societie and companying
together, do grow to alliances, communalties and corporations.
The liberall sciences and learninges of all sortes, which be lu
mina reipublicæ
, do flourish only in peopled townes, without the
which a realme is in no better case then a man that lacketh both
his eyes.
Manual artes, or handie craftes, as they haue for the most part
béene inuented in townes and Cities, so they cannot any where
els be eyther maintained or amended. The like is to bee saide of
Marchandize, vnder which name I comprehende all manner of
buying, selling, bartering, exchaunging, communicating of
thinges that men néede, to and fro. Wealth and riches (which
are truely called Subsidia belli, & ornamenta pacis) are in
creased chiefly in Townes and Cities, both to the prince & people.
The necessitie of the poore and needie is in such places both soo
ner to be espied, and hath meanes to be more charitably relieued.
The places themselues be surer refuges in all extremities of
forraine inuasion, and the inhabitantes bee a ready hand and
strength of men with munition to oppresse intestine sedition.
Moreouer, for as much as the force of the warres of our

An Apologie
time consisteth chiefly in shotte (all other soldiers being eyther
horsemen or footemen armed on lande, or Mariners at the Sea)
It séemeth to me that Citizens and Townesmen bee as fitte to be
imployed in any of these seruices (that on horsebacke onely excep
ted as the inhabitantes that be drawen out of the Countrie.
Furthermore, euen as these societies and assemblies of men
in Cities and great Townes, are a continuall brydle against ti
ranny, which was the cause that Tarquin, Nero, Dionisius, and
such others haue alwayes sought to weaken them. So (being well
tempered) they are a strong forte and bulwarke not onely in the
Aristocratie, but also in the lawfull kingdome, or iust royaltie.
At once the propagation of religion, the execution of good po
licie, the exercise of charitie, and the defence of the countrie, is
best performed by Townes and Cities: and this ciuile life ap
procheth nearest to the shape of that misticall bodie wherof Christ
is the heade, and men bee the members: whereupon both at the
first, that man of God Moyses, in the common wealth of the Is
raelites, and the gouernors of all Countries in all ages sithence
haue continually maintayned the same. And to chaunge it were
nothing els but to Metamorphose the worlde, and to make wild
beastes of reasonable men. To stand longer vpon this it were in
re non dubia, vti oratione non necessaria
: and therefore I will
come to London.
The singularities of the City
of London.
WHatsoeuer is saide of Citties generally, ma
keth also for London specially: howbeit
these thinges are particularly for our purpose
to bee considered in it. The situation: the
former estimation that it hath had: the
seruice that it hath done: the present estate
and gouernment of it, and such benefites
as doe growe to the realme by the mainte
nance thereof.

of the Citie of London.
This Realme hath onely thrée principall Riuers, whereon a
royall Cittie may well be situated: Trent in the North, Seuerne,
in the Southwest and Thames in the South East: of the which
Thames both for the streight course in length reacheth furthest
into the bellie of the lande, and for the breadth and stilnesse of the
water is most nauigable vp and downe the streame: by reason
whereof London (standing almost in the middle of that course)
is more commodiously serued with prouision of necessaries, then
any towne standing vpon any of the other two riuers can be, and
doth also more easily communicate to the rest of the realme the
commodities of her owne intercourse and trafficke. This Riuer
openeth indifferently vpon Fraunce and Flaunders, our mighti
est neighbors, to whose doings we ought to haue a bent eye, and
speciall regarde: and this Citie standeth thereon in such conueni
ent distance from the sea, as it is not onely neare inough for intelli
gence of the affayres of those princes, and for the resistance of their
attempts: but also sufficiently remoued from the feare of any sud
daine daungers that may bee offered by them: whereas for the
Prince of this realme to dwell vpon Trent, were to turne his
backe, or blind side to his most daungerous borderers: and for
him to rest and dwell vppon Seuerne, were to be shut vppe in
a cumbersome corner: which openeth but vpon Ireland onely, a
place of much lesse importance. Neither coulde London bee
pitched so commodiously vppon any other parte of the same Riuer
of Thames
, as where it now standeth. For if it were remoued
more to the west, it should lose the benefit of the ebbing and flow
ing: and if it were seated more towarde the East, it shoulde bee
nearer to daunger of the enemie, and further both from the good
ayre, and from doing good to the inner parts of the Realme: Ney
ther may I omit that none other place is so plentifully watered
with springs, as London is.
And whereas (amongst other thinges) Corne and Cattell,
Hay and fuell bee of great necessitie: of the which Cattell may
bee driuen from a farre, and corne may easily bee transported.
But Hay and Fuell (being of greater bulke and burthen) must be
had at hande: onely London (by the benefite of this situation

An Apologie
and riuer) may be sufficiently serued therewith. In which respect
an Alderman of London reasonably (as me thought) affirmed,
that although London receyued great nourishment by the resi
dence of the Prince, the repaire of the parliament, and Courtes
of iustice, yet it stood principally by the aduantage of the situation
vpon the riuer: for when as on a time it was told him by a Cour
tier, that Quéene Mary (in her displeasure against London) had
appointed to romoue with the Parliament and terme to Oxford,
this plaine man demanded, whether she meant also to diuert the
Riuer 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, whatsoeuer become of the
Tearme and Parliament. I my selfe being then a young scholler
at Oxford did see great preparation made towardes that Tearme
and Parliament, and do well remember that the common opini
on and voice was, that they were not holden there, because pro
uision of Hay could not be made in all the Countrey to serue for
tenne whole dayes together, and yet is that quarter plentifully
stored with Hay for the proportion of the shire it selfe.
For proofe of the auncient estimation of London, I will not
vse the authoritie of the British historie, nor of such as follow it,
(although some holde it credible enough that London was first
Trinobantum ciuitas, or Troia noua, that famous Cittie in
our histories, and then Ludstoune, and by corruption London, as
they report) because they bee not of sufficient force to drawe the
gaynesayers. Neyther will I stande much vppon that honorable
testimony which Geruas. Tiberiens. giueth to London in his
booke de otijs Imperialibus, saying thus, concerning the blessing
of God towardes it.
In vibe London, exceptione habet diuulgatum id per omnes æquè gentes Lucani prouerbium.
Inuida fatorum series summisque negatum
Stare diu:
Nam ea annis 354. ante Romam-conditam, nunquam a
misit principatum nec bello consumpta est.
But I will rather vse the credite of one or two auncient for

of the Citie of London.
ren writers, and then descend to latter histories, Cornel. Tacitus
lib. 4. Annal sayeth, Londinum copia negociatorum, et come
atu maxime celebris
, and Herodian in the life of Seuerus the
Emperour sayeth, Londinum vrbs magna et opulenta, Beda
lib. Ecclesrastic. 10. Cha. 29. sheweth that Pope Gregorie ap
pointed two Archbishops Seas in England, the one at London,
the other at Yorke, king Ethelstane in his lawes appointing how
many Mint maisters should bee in each Citie, allotteth eight to
London, and not so many to any other cittie. The Penner of
those lawes that are saide to bée made by Edwarde the Confessor
and confirmed by William the Conqueror sayeth, London est
caput Regni, et Legum
, king Henrie the first, in the third chap
ter of his lawes commandeth that no Citizen of London shoulde
be amerced aboue 100.SMALL LATIN LETTER S WITH TILDE ABOVE; ABBREVIATION FOR SHILLINGs. for anie pecuniarie pain. The great
Charter of England (that Helena,) for which there was so long
and so great warre, and contention, in the 9. Chapter sayeth, ciui
tas London habeat omnes suas Libertates antiquas &c
. aboute
the time of king Iohn, London was reputed regna firmata Co
, as Alexander Necham writeth, and in the beginning
of the raigne of Richard the second, it was called Camera regis,
as Thomas Walsingham reporteth. I passe ouer the recital of the
Saxon Charter of king W. the Conqueror the latine Charters
of Henry the first, and second of Richarde the first, of Iohn, and
of Edward the first (all which gaue vnto the Citizens of London
great Priueledges) and of Edwarde the thirde, who reciting all
the grants of his Predicessors, not onely confirmed but also increa
sed the same, and of the latter kinges who haue likewise added
many thinges thereunto. Onely I wish to bee noted by them
that during all this time all those wise and politique Princes haue
thought it fitte not onely to maintaine London in such plight as
they found it, but also to adorne, increase and amplifie it with
singular tokens of their liberall fauour and good liking. And whe
ther there be not now the same or greater causes to draw the like
or better estimation, and cherishing, let any man bee iudge, that
will take the paines to compare the present estate of London,
(yet still growing to better, with the former condition of the

An Apologie
It were too much to recite particularly the martiall seruices,
that this Citie hath done from time to time: neither do I thinke
that they be all committed to writing, onely for a tast (as it were)
I will note these few following.
Almost 60. yeares before the Conquest, a huge Armie of the
Danes (whereof king Sweyne was the leader,) besieged king
in London, (then the which as the storie sayeth then
he had none other refuge) but they were manfully repulsed, and a
greate number of them slaine.
After the death of this Sweyn, his sonne Canutus (afterward
king of England) besieged London, both by Land and Water:
but after much labour, finding it impregnable, he departed: and in
the same yeare repayring his forces, he girded it with a new siege,
in the which the Citizens so defended themselues, and offended him
that in the end hée went away with shame.
In the dissention that arose betwéene king Edward the Con
, & his father in law Earle Goodwin (which was the migh
tiest subiect within this land that euer I haue read of.) The Earle
with a great Armie came to London, and was for all that by
the countenance of the Citizens resisted, till such time as the No
bilitie made reconciliation betwéene them. About 70. yeares af
ter the Conquest Maude the Empresse made warre vppon king
for the right of the Crowne, and had taken his person
prisoner, but by the strength and assistance of the Londoners and
Kentishmen, Maude was put to flight at Winchester, and her
brother Robert then Earle of Glocester, was taken in exchange
for whome king Stephen was deliuered, I dispute not whose
right was better, but I auouch the seruice, seeing Stephen was
in possession.
The Historie of VVilliam VValworth the Maior of Lon
, is well knowne, by whose manhoode and policie, the person
of king Richarde the second was rescued, the Citie saued, Wat
After the com
mon opinion of men of late times.
and all his stranglers discomfited, in memory and re
ward of which seruice the Cittie had a Daggar added to their
shielde of Armes, and the Maiors haue beene most commonly si
thens knighted.
Iacke Cade also hauing discomfited the kinges Armie, that

of the Citie of London.
was sent against him, came to London, and was there manfully
and with long fight resisted, vntill that by the good policie of the
Citizens his company was dispersed.
Finally in the tenth yeare of the raigne of king Edwarde the
, and not many dayes before the death of Henry the sixt,
Thomas Neuell, (commonly called the Bastarde of Faucon
,) armed a great Company against the king, and being de
nied passage through London, he assaulted it on diuers parts: but
he was repulsed by the Citizens, and chased as far as Stratforde
with the losse of a great many.
Thus much of certaine their principall, and personall seruices,
in war onely, for it were infinite to repeate the particular aides of
men and money. which London hath ministred: and I had rather
to leaue it to be coniectured at by comparison to be made betwéene
it, & othercities, whereof I will giue you this one note for an ex
ample. In the 12. yeare of the raigne of king Edward the 2. it was
ordered by Parliament, that euery Citty of the Realme shoulde
make out souldiours against the Scots: at which tyme London
was appointed to send 200. men, and Canterbury (being then one
of our best Citties) 40. and no more. And this proportion of fiue to
one, is now in our age increased, at the least fiue to one, both in
souldiers and subsidie. As for the other seruices that London hath
done in times of peace, they are to be measured by consideration of
the commodities whereof I will speake anon. In the meane sea
son let the estate and gouernment of this Citie be considered to the
end that it may appeare that it standeth well with the policie of the
sar in his Commentaries is witnes, that in his time the
Cities of Britain had large Teritories annexed vnto them, and
were seuerall estates of them selues gouerned by particular kinges
or Potentates, as in Italie and Germany, et bee: and that
Mandubratius was king of the Trinobantes, whose chiefe Citie
London is taken to haue been: And I find not that this & gouern
ment was altered eyther by sar, or his successors, notwithstan
ding that the Countrie became tributorie vnto them: but that it
continued vntill at the length the Britons themselues reduced all
their peoples into one Monarchy, howbeit that lasted not any long

An Apologie
season: for vpon Vortiger their king came the Saxons our Aun
cestors, and they draue the Britons into Wales, Cornwall, and
Britaine, in France, and in processe of Warre deuided the Coun
try amongst themselues into an Eptarchie, or seauen kingdomes,
of the which one was called the kingdome of the East Saxons,
which hauing in manner the same limmites that the Bishopricke
of London now enioyeth, contayned Essex, Middlesex, and a part
of Hertfordshire, and so included London. Againe it appeareth
that in course of time, and about 800. yeares after Christ, Eg
(then king of the West Saxons) Vt pisces sæpe minutos
magnus comest
, ouercame the rest of the kinges, and once more
erected a Monarchie, the which till the comming in of the Nor
mans, and from thence euen hetherto hath continued.
Now I doubt not (whatsoeuer London was in the time of
sar) but that vnder the Eptarchie and Monarchie it hath béene
a subiect, and no frée Citie, though happily endowed with some
large Priuiledges, for king William the Conqueror founde a
Portréeue there whose name was Godfrey (by which name hee
gréeteth him in his Saxon Chre5) and his office was none other
then the charge of a Bayliffe, or Réeue, as by the selfe same name
continuing yet in Grauesend, and certaine other places may well
appeare. But the Frenchmen vsing their owne language, called
him sometime a Prouost, and sometime a Bayliffe, whatsoeuer
his name and office were, he was perpetuus Magistratus giuen
by the Prince, and not chosen by the Citizens, as it séemeth, for
what time king Richarde the first néeded money towardes his ex
pedition in the Holy Land, they first purchased of him the Liberty
to choose yearely from amongst themselues two Bayliffes: And
king Iohn his successor, at their like suite changed their Bayliffes
into a Maior, and two sheriffes. To these Henry the thirde added
Aldermen, at the first elegible yearelie, but afterward by king E.
the thirde
made perpetuall Magistrates, and Iustices of the peace within their wardes, in which plight of gouernment it presentlie
standeth. This shortlie as I could is the Historicall and outward
estate of London: now come I to the inwarde pith & substance.
The estate of this City is to bee examined by the quantitie and
by the qualitie.

of the Citie of London.
The quantitie therefore consisteth in the number of the Citi
zens which is very great and farre exceedeth the proportion of
Hippodamus which appointed 10000. & of others which haue
set downe other numbers as méete styntes in their opinions to
bée well gouerned, but yet seeing both reason and experience haue
freed vs from the law of any definite number, so that other things
bée This text is the corrected text. The original is b (SM) o serued, let that bee admitted: neyther is London (I feare
mée) so great as populous: for well sayeth onē, non idem est
magna ciuitas & frequens, magna est enim quæ multos ha
bet qui arma ferre possunt
, whatsoeuer the number bée, the brée
deth no feare of sedition: forasmuch as the same consisteth not in
the extreames, but in a verie mediocrity of Welth and riches,
as it shall better appeare anone. And if the causes of English re
bellions be searched out, they shall be found in effect to bee these
twaine, Ambition, and Couetousnes, of which the first raigneth
in the mindes of high and noble personages, or of such others, as
séeke to be gratious and popular, and haue robbed the heartes of
the multitude, whereas in London if any where in the worlde,
honos veré onus est, and euery man rather shunneth then séeketh
the Maioraltie which is the best marke amongst them, neyther
hath there béene any strong faction, nor any man more popular
then the rest, forasmuch as the gouernment is by a Paterne (as it
were) and alwaies the fame, how often soeuer they change their
Magistrate. Couetousnes, (that other Syre of sedition) pos
sessth the miserable and néedy sort, and such as be naughty packes,
vnthrifts, (which although it cannot be chosen, but The special character yͤ (LATIN SMALL LETTER Y WITH LATIN SMALL LETTER E ABOVE) does not display on all browsers and has been replaced by its simplified form.ye in a frequent
City as London is, there shalbée found many) yet beare they not
any great sway, séeing the multitude and most part there is of a
competent welth, and earnestly bent to honest labour, I confesse
that London is a mighty arme and instrument to bring any great
desire to effect, if it may be won to a mans deuotion: whereof also
there want not examples in the English Historie. But forasmuch
as the same is by the like reason seruiceable and méete to impeach
any disloyall attempt, let it rather be well gouerned then euil liked
therfore, for it shal appeare anon that as London hath adhered to
som rebelliōs, so hath it resisted many & was neuer The special character yͤ (LATIN SMALL LETTER Y WITH LATIN SMALL LETTER E ABOVE) does not display on all browsers and has been replaced by its simplified form.ye author of any
one. The quality of this city consisteth eyther in the law & gouern

An Apologie.
ment thereof: or in the degrées and condition of the Citizens, or
in their strength and riches.
It is besides the purpose, to dispute, whether the estate of the
gouernment here bee a Democratie, or Aristocratie, for what
soeuer it bée being considered in it selfe, certaine it is, that in res
pect of the whole Realme, London is but a Citizen, and no cittie,
a subiect and no free estate, an obedienciarie, and no place endow
ed, with any distinct or absolute power, for it is gouerned by the
same law, that the rest of the Realme is, both in causes Criminall
and Ciuill, a few customes onely excepted, which also are to bee
adiudged, or foriudged by the common law. And in the assembly
of the estates of our Realme (which wée call Parliament) they
are but a member of the Comminaltie, and send two Burgesses,
for their citie, as euery poore Borough doth, and two knights for
their County as euerie other shire doth, and are as straightlie
bound by such lawes as any part of the Realme is, for if contribu
tion in subsidie of money to the Prince be decréede, the Londoners
haue none exemption, no not so much as to assesse themselues: for
the Prince doth appoint the commissioners.
If Souldiers must be mustered, Londoners haue no law to
keepe themselues at home, if prouision for the Princes householde
bée to be made, their goodes are not Priueledged. In summe there
fore the gouernment of London differeth not in substance, but in
ceremonie from the rest of the Realme, as namely, in the names
and choise of their officers, and in their Guildes and Fraternities,
established for the maintenance of Handicraftes, and Labourers
and for equitie and good order, to bee kept in buying and selling.
And yet in these also are they to bée controlled by the general law
for by the statutes 28. E. 3. Chap. 10. and 1. H. 4. Cha. 15. the
pointes of their misgouernment are inquirable by the inhabitants
of the Forren shires adioyning and punishable by such Iusticiars
as the Prince shall thereunto depute, to conclude therefore the e
state of London for gouernment is so agreeable a Symphony
with the rest, that there is no feare of dangerous discord to ensue
The multitude (or whole bodie) of this populous Citie is
two waies to bee considered, generally, and specially, generally

of the Citie of London.
they bée naturall subiectes, 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 bloud Gentlemen, Yeomen, and of the basest sorte, with
out distinction: and by profession busie Bées, and trauellers for
their liuing in the Hiue of this common welth, but specially con
sidered, they consist of these thrée partes, Marchantes, Handicrafts
men, and Labourers. Marchandize is also deuided into these thrée
sortes, Nauigation, by the which Marchandizes are brought, and
carried in and out ouer the Seas, Inuection by the which com
modities are gathered into the Citie, and dispersed from thence in
to the Countrie by land and negotiation, which I may call the
kéeping of a retayling or standing shop. In common speech they
of the first sort bée called Marchantes, and both the other Retay
lers, Handicraftes men be those which do exercise such artes as re
quire both labour and cunning, as Goldsmithes, Taylors and
Habberdashers, Skinners &c. Labourers and Hirelinges, I cal
those quorum operae non artes emuntur, as Tullie sayeth, of
which sorte be Portars, Carmen, Watermen &c. Againe these
thrée sortes may be considered eyther in respect of their welth, or
number: in welth Marchantes, and some of the chiefe Retaylers
haue the first place, the most part of Retaylers, and all artificers:
the second or meane place, and Hyrelinges the lowest roome: but
in number they of the middle place, be first, and do farre exceede
both the rest: Hyrelinges be next, and Marchantes bee the last.
Now, out of this, that the estate of London, in the persons of the
Citizens, is so frendly interlaced, and knit in league with the rest
of the realme, not onely at their beginning by birth and bloude as
I haue shewed, but also very commonlie at their ending by life and
conuersation (for that Marchantes and rich men being satisfied
with gaine doe for the most part) marrie their children into the
Countrie, and conuey themselues after Cicerors counsell, Veluti
ex portu in agros et possessiones
: I doe inferre that there is not
onely no danger towardes the common quiet thereby, but also
great occasion and cause of good loue and amitie: out of this, that
they bée generally bent to trauell and do flie pouertie, per mare,
per saxa, per ignes
, as the Poet sayeth, I draw hope, that they
shall escape the note of many vices, which idle people doe fall into.

An Apologie
And out of this, that they bee a greate multitude, and that yet the
greatest part of them bée neyther too rich not too poore, but doe
liue in the mediocritie, I conclude with Aristotle that the Prince
néedeth not to feare sedition by them, for thus sayeth hee. Magnæ
vrbes, magis sunt a seditione liberæ, quod in eis dominetur
mediocritas, nam in paruis nihil medium est, sunt enim om
nes vel pauperes vel opulenti
. I am now to come to the
strength and power of this Citie, which consisteth partly in the
number of the Citizens themselues, whereof I haue spoken be
fore, partly in their riches, and in their warlike furniture, for as
touching the strength of the peece it selfe that is apparant to the
eye, and therefore is not to bée treated of.
The welth and warlicke furniture of London is eyther pub
licke of priuate, and no doubt the common trasure cannot be much
there, seeing that the reuenew which they haue, hardly sufficeth to
maintaine their Bridge and Conduites, and to pay their officers
and seruantes. Their Tolle doth not any more then pay their
Fée Ferme, that they pay to the Prince. Their Issues for default
of Appearances be neuer leuied, and the profites of their courtes
of Iustice, do go to particular mens handes. Arguments hereof
bée these twoo: one that they can doe nothing of extraordinarie
charge, without a generall contribution: an other that they haue
suffered such, as haue borne the chiefe office amongst them, and were
become Bankrupt, to depart the Citie, without releefe:
which I thinke they neyther would nor could haue done, if the
common treasure had sufficed to couer their shame, hereof there
fore wée néede not be afraid. The publike armour and munition
of this City remayneth in the Halles of the Companies, as it
doth throughout the whole Realme, for a great part in the par
rish churches, neyther is that kept together, but onely for obedi
ence to the law, which commandeth it, and therefore if that threa
ten danger to the estate, it may (by another law) be taken from
them, and committed to a more safe Armourie.
The Priuate riches of London resteth chiefly in the handes
of the Marchantes, and Retaylers, for Artificers haue not much
to spare, and Labourers hau neede that it were giuen vnto them.
Now how necessarie and seruiceable the estate of Marchandize is

of the Citie of London.
4This text is the corrected text. The original is 65 (KL)81
to this Realm, if may partly appeare by the practise of that peace
able, politike, and rich Prince king Henry the seauenth, of whome
Polidore (writing his life) sayeth thus, Mercatores ille sæpe
numero pecunia multa data gratuitò iuuabat, vt mercatu
ra (ars
vna omnium cunctis æquè mortalibus tum cōmoda, tum
necessaria) in suo regno copiosior esset
. But chiefly, by the in
estimable commodities that grow thereby: for who knoweth not
that wee haue extreame néede of many thinges, whereof forraine
countries haue great store, and that wee may spare many thinges
whereof they haue neede? or who is ignorant of this that wee
haue no mines of siluer or golde within our Realme? so that the
increase of our coyne, and Bulloine commeth from else where,
and yet neuerthelesse we be both fed, clad, and otherwise serued
with forreine commodities and delightes, as plentiful as with our
domestical: which thing commeth to passe by the meane of mar
chandize onely, which importeth necessaries from other countries,
and exporteth the superfluities of our own. For seeing we haue
no way to encrease our treasure by mines of gold or siluer at home,
and can haue nothing without money or Ware from other coun
tries abroad, if followeth necessarily, that if we follow the councel
of that good old Husband Marcus Cato, saying, oportet patrem
familias vendacem esse, non emacem
, and do carrie more cō
modities in value ouer the seas, then wée bring hether from thence:
that then the Realme shall receiue that ouerplus in money: but if
we bring from beyond the seas marchandize of more value, then
that which we do send ouer may counteruaile, then the Realme
payeth for the ouerplus in readie money, and consequently is a
looser by that ill husbandrie: and therefore in this part great and
héedefull regard must be had that Symmetria, and due proportion
be kept, least otherwise, eyther the Realme bee defrauded of her
treasure, or the subiectes corrupted in vanitie, by excessiue importa
tion of superfluous and néedelesse Marchandize, or els that we féele
penurie, euen in our greatest plentie and store by immoderate ex
portation of our owne néedefull commodities. Other the benefites
that marchandize bringeth, shall hereafter appeare in the gene
rall recitall of the commodities that come by London: and there

4This text is the corrected text. The original is 66 (KL)82
An Apologie
fore it resteth that I speake a worde of Retaylors, and finallie
shew that much good groweth by them both. The chiefe parte
of retayling is but a handmaid to marchandize, dispersing by péece
meale that which the marchant bringeth in grosse: of which trade
be Mercers, Grocers, Uinteners, Haberdashers, Ironmongers,
Millayners, & all such as sell wares growing or made beyond the
seas: & therefore so long as Marchandize it selfe shalbe profitable, &
such proportion kept as neyther wée loose our treasure thereby,
nor bee cloyed with vnnecessarie forrein Wares, this kinde of re
tayling is to be retayned also.
Now that Marchantes and Retaylers of London be very rich
and greate, it is so farre from any harme, that it is a thing both
praise worthie, and profitable: for Mercatura (sayeth Cicero) si
tenuis est, sordida putanda est, sin magna est & copiosa non
est vituperanda
. And truely Marchantes and Retaylers doe
not altogether intus Canere, and profit themselues onely: for the
Prince, and Realme both are enriched by their riches: the realme
winneth treasure, if their trade be so moderated by authority, that
it breake not proportion, & they besides beare a good fleece, which
the Prince may sheare when shée séeth good,
But heere before I conclude this part, I have shortly to aun
swere the accusation of those men, which charge London with the
losse and decay of many (or most) of the auncient Cities, Corporate
Townes, and Marketes within this Realme, by drawing from them
to her selfe alone (say they) both all trade of traffique by sea, and
the retayling of wares, and exercise of manuall artes also. Tou
ching Nauigation, which (I must confesse) is apparantly decayed
in many port townes, and flourisheth only, or chiefly at Lon
, I impute that, partly to the fall of the Staple (the which be
ing long since a great trade, and bestowed sometimes at one town
and sometimes at an other within the Realme, did much enrich
the place where it was: & being now not onely diminished in force,
but also translated ouer the seas, cannot but bring some decay with
it (partly to the empayring of Hauens, which in many places haue
empouerished those Townes, whose estate doth ebbe and flowe
with them, and partly to the dissolution of Religious houses,

of the Citie of London.
4This text is the corrected text. The original is 67 (KL)83
by whose welth and haunt, many of those places were chiefly fed
and nourished. I meane not to rehearse particular examples of e
uery sorte: for the thing it selfe speaketh, and I hast to an ende.
As for Retaylers therefore, and Handicraftes men, it is no mar
uaile if they abandon Countrie Townes, and resort to London:
for of nonely the Court, (which is now a dayes much greater and
more gallant then in former times, and which was wont to bee
contented to remain with a smal company, sometimes at an Abbey
or Priorie, sometimes at a Bishops house, and sometimes at some
meane Mannor of the kings own) is now for the most part eyther
abiding at London, or els so neare vnto it, that the prouision of
thinges most fit for it, may easily be fetched from thence: but al
so by occasion thereof the Gentlemen of all shires do flie, and flock
to this City, the yonger sorte of them to sée and shew vanity, and
the elder to saue the cost and charge of Hospitality, and house kée
ping. For hereby it commeth to passe that the Gentlemen be
ing eyther for a good portion of the yeare out of the Countrie, or
playing the Fermours, Grasiars, Brewers or such like, more
then Gentlemen were wont to doe within the Countrie, Retay
lers and Artificers, at the least of such thinges as pertayne to the
backe or belly, do leaue the Countrie townes where there is no
vent, and do flie to London, where they be sure to finde ready and
quicke market. And yet I wish, that euen as many townes in
the Low Countries of king Phillips do stand some by one handy
arte and some by an other: so also that it might be prouided here,
that the making of some thinges might by discrete dispensation be
allotted to some speciall Townes, to the end, that although the
dayntenesse of men cannot be restrayned, which will néedes séeke
those thinges at London, yet other places also might bee reléeued,
at the least by the Workemanshippe of them.
Thus much then of the estate of London, in the gouernment thereof, in the condition of the Citizens, and in their power and riches. Now follow the enumeration of such benefites as re
bound to the Prince and this realme by this City: In which do
ing I professe not to rehearse all, but onely to recite and runne ouer the chiefe and principall of them.

4This text is the corrected text. The original is 68 (KL)84
An Apologie
Besides the commodities of the furtherance of Religion and
Iustice: The propagation of Learning: The maintenance of
artes: The increase of riches, and the defence of Countries (all
which are before shewed to grow generally by Cities, and bee
common to London with them) London bringeth singularlie
these good thinges following.
By aduantage of the scituation it disperseth forraine Wares
(as the stomacke doth meat) to all the members most commodi
By the Benefite of the riuer of Thames, and greate trade of
Marchandize, it is the chiefe maker of Marriners, and Nurse of
our Nauie: and ships (as men know) bee the wodden walles for
defence of our Realme.
It maintayneth in florishing estate, the Countries of Norfolke,
Suffolke, Essex, Kent, and Sussex, which as they lie in the face of
our most puissant neighbour, so ought they (aboue others) to be
conserued in the greatest strength and riches: and these (as it is
well known) stand not so much by the benefite of their own soile, as
by the neighbourhood and nearenes which they haue to Londō.
It releeueth plentifully, and with good policie, not onely her
owne poore people (a thing which scarcely any other Towne or
shire doth) but also the poore that from ech quarter of the realme
do flocke vnto it, and it imparteth liberally to the necessitie of the
Uniuersities besides. It is an ornament to the realm by the beu
tie thereof, & a terror to other countries by reason of the great
welth and frequencie. It spreadeth the honor of our countrey far
abroade by her long nauigations, and maketh our power feared,
euen of barbarous Princes. It onely is stored with rich Mar
chantes which sort onely is tollerable: for beggerlie Marchants,
do byte too neare, & will do more harme then good to the realme.
It onely of any place in this realme is able to furnish the sodain
necessity with a strong Army. It auaileth the prince in Tonnage,
Poundage and other her customes, much more then all the rest of
the Realme.
It yeeldeth a greater Subsidie then any one part of the realme,
I meane not for the proportion of the value of the goodes onely,

of the Citie of London.
4This text is the corrected text. The original is 69 (KL)85
but also for the faithfull seruice there vsed, in making the assesse,
for no where else bee men taxed so neare to their iust value
as in London: yea manye are founde there, that for their
countenaunce and credite sake, refuse not to bee rated a
boue their abilitie, which thing neuer happeneth abroade in the
countrie. I omit that in auncient time, the inhabitantes of Lon
and other cities, were accustomably taxed after the tenth of
their goodes, when the Countrie was assessed at the fiftéenth, and
rated at the viij.when the countrie was set at the xij.for that were
to awake a sléeping Dogge, and I should be thought dicenda, ta
cenda, locutus
, as the Poet said.
It onely doth and is able to make the Prince a ready prest or
loane of money.
It onely is founde fit and able to entertaine strangers honora
blie, and to receaue the Prince of the realme worthely.
Almightie God (qui nisi custo diat ciuitatem, frustra vigilat
) grant, that her Maiestie euermore rightly estéeme and
rule this Citie, and he giue grace, that the Citizens may answere
duty, aswell towards God and her Maiestie, as towardes this
whole realme and countrie, Amen.
An Appendix containing the examination of such causes
as haue heretofore moued the Princes, eyther 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 eyther the citizens haue adheared (in aide
or armes) to such as haue warred vpon the Prince: or they
haue made tumult, and bro
ken the common peace at home: or they haue misbehaued themselues in point of go
uernement and iustice: or finally (and to
speake the plain truth) the princes haue ta
ken hold of small matters, and coyned good summes of money out
of them.
To the first head I will referre whatsoeuer they haue done ey

4This text is the corrected text. The original is 70 (KL)86
An Apologie
ther in those warres that happened betwéene king Stephen and
Maude the Empresse, being competitors of the crowne: or be
twéene king Iohn & his nobles assisting Lewes the French kinges
sonne when he inuaded the realme: for it is apparent by all histo
ries, that the Londoners were not the mouers of these warres,
but were onely vsed as instruments to maintaine them. The like
is to be said of all the offences that king Henry the third (whose
whole raigne was a continuall warfare) conceyued against this
Cittie, concerning the bearing of armour against him: for the first
part of his raigne was spent in the continuation of those warres
that his father had begun with Lewes. And the rest of his life he
bestowed in that contention, which was commonly called the Ba
rons warres. In which Tragedie London (as it could not bee
otherwise) had now and then a part, and had many a snubbe at the
kinges hand for it. But in the end when hee had triumphed ouer
Simon Mountford at Euesham, London felt it most tragicall:
for then he both seysed their liberties, and sucked themselues drie:
and yet Edictum Kenelworth (made shortly after) hath an hono
rable testimony for London, saying, Te London laudamus &c.
As for the other offences that hee tooke against the Londoners,
they pertaine to the other parts of my diuision.
Next after this, against whom the Londoners did put on armes,
followeth king Edward the second, who in the ende was depriued
of his kingdome, not by their meanes, but by a generall defection,
both of his owne wife and sonne, and almost of the whole nobilitie
and realme besides. In which trouble, that furious assault, and
slaughter committed by them vpon the Bishop of Excester6 (then
Treasurer of the Realme) is to be imputed, partly to the sway of
the time wherewith they were caried, and partly to a priuate dis
pleasure which they had to the Bishop.
Finally commeth to hand King Richard the second: for these
thrée onley in all the Catalogue of our kinges, haue béene heauie
Lordes to London, who also had much contention with his nobi
litie, and was in the ende deposed. But whatsoeuer countenance
and aide the Citie of London brought to the warres and vprores
of that time, it is notoriously true that London neuer ledde the
dance, but euer followed the pipe of the nobility. To close vp this

of the Citie of London.
4This text is the corrected text. The original is 71 (KL)87
first part therefore I affirme, that in all the troublesome actions
during the raignes of these thrée kinges, as also in all that heauing
in, and hurling out, that afterward happened betwéene K. Henry
the 6
. & king Edward the fourth, the citie of London was many
times a friende and fautor, but neuer the first motiue or author of
any intestine war or sedition.
In the second roome I place a couple of tumultuous affraies
that chaunced in the daies of King Richard the first, the one vpon
the day of his coronation7 against the Iewes, which contrary to
the Kings owne proclamation, would néedes enter the Church to
sée him sacred, and were therefore cruelly handled by the common
people. The other was caused by William with the long beard,
who after that he had inflamed the poore people against the richer
sort, and was called to answere for his fault, tooke Bow Church
for sanctuarie, and kept it Castle like, till he was fiered out.
Here is place also for the stoning to death of a Gentleman (ser
uant to the halfe brother of King Henry the third) which had be
fore prouoked the Citizens to furie by wounding diuers of them
without any cause 1257. for the riotous fray betwéene the ser
uants of the Goldsmithes and the Taylors, 1268. for the hurlie
burlie and bloodshed betwéen the Londoners and the men of West
, moued by the youngmen vpon an occasion of a wrestling
on S. Iames day, 1221. & made worse by one Constantine an an
cient Citizen: for the braule and businesse that arose about a Ba
kers loafe at Salisbury place 1391. for the which and some other
misdemeanors K. Richard the 2. was so incensed by euill counsell
against the Londoners, that he determined to destroy them, and
raze their Citie, and for the fight that was betweene the citizens &
Sanctuarie men of S. Martins 1454. vnder K. Henry the sixt.
And finally for the misrule on euill May day 1519. and for such
other like, if there haue beene any.
To the third head may be referred the seiser of their liberties, for
a false iudgement giuen against a poore widow, called Margaret
1246. The 2. seueral seisers in one yere 1258. for fals pack
ing in collections of money and other enormities: And finally the
seiser made by King Edward the first for taking bribes of the Ba
kers 1285. But all this seueritie in seising and resuming of the

4This text is the corrected text. The original is 72 (KL)88
An Apologie
liberties (which was in old time the onely ordinary punishment)
was at length mitigated by king Edward the third, and King
Henry the fourth
in their statutes before remembred.
In the last place stand those offences, which I repute rather
taken then giuen, and do fall within the measure of the adage, vt
canem cedas, cito inuenias baculum
: for King Iohn in the
tenth of his raigne
deposed the Bayliefes of London, because they
had bought vp the Wheate in the market, so that there was not
to serue his Purueyers. King Henry the third his sonne compel
led the Londoners to pay him 5000.£. because they had lent to
Lewes the French the like summe, of a good mind to dispatch him
out of their Citie and the realme, at such time as the Protector
and the whole Nobility fell to composition with him for his depar
ture. And the same King fined them at thrée thousand markes,
for the escape of a prisoner out of Newgate, of whom they tooke no
charge: for he was a Clearke, prisoner to the Bishop of London
vnder the custody of his owne seruants, and as for the place, it was
onely borrowed of the Londoners to serue that turne. Hitherto
of these things to this ende, that whatsoeuer misdemeanor
shalbe obiected out of historie against London, the
same may herein appeare, both in his
true place, and proper


  1. I.e., πόλις. (LB)
  2. I.e., πολὺς. (LB)
  3. I.e., πολεῖνω πολένεον. (LB)
  4. I.e., ἄστυ. (LB)
  5. I.e., Charter. (JB)
  6. I.e., Walter Stapledon. (KL)
  7. I.e., 3 September 1189. (KL)

Cite this page

MLA citation

Stow, John, and William fitz-Stephen. Survey of London: An Apology for the City of London. The Map of Early Modern London, edited by Janelle Jenstad, U of Victoria, 15 Sep. 2020, mapoflondon.uvic.ca/stow_1598_apology.htm.

Chicago citation

Stow, John, and William fitz-Stephen. Survey of London: An Apology for the City of London. The Map of Early Modern London. Ed. Janelle Jenstad. Victoria: University of Victoria. Accessed September 15, 2020. https://mapoflondon.uvic.ca/stow_1598_apology.htm.

APA citation

Stow, J., & fitz-Stephen, W. 2020. Survey of London: An Apology for the City of London. In J. Jenstad (Ed), The Map of Early Modern London. Victoria: University of Victoria. Retrieved from https://mapoflondon.uvic.ca/stow_1598_apology.htm.

RIS file (for RefMan, EndNote etc.)

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

A1  - Stow, John
A1  - fitz-Stephen, William
ED  - Jenstad, Janelle
T1  - Survey of London: An Apology for the City of London
T2  - The Map of Early Modern London
PY  - 2020
DA  - 2020/09/15
CY  - Victoria
PB  - University of Victoria
LA  - English
UR  - https://mapoflondon.uvic.ca/stow_1598_apology.htm
UR  - https://mapoflondon.uvic.ca/xml/standalone/stow_1598_apology.xml
ER  - 


RT Web Page
SR Electronic(1)
A1 Stow, John
A1 fitz-Stephen, William
A6 Jenstad, Janelle
T1 Survey of London: An Apology for the City of London
T2 The Map of Early Modern London
WP 2020
FD 2020/09/15
RD 2020/09/15
PP Victoria
PB University of Victoria
LA English
OL English
LK https://mapoflondon.uvic.ca/stow_1598_apology.htm

TEI citation

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