Privy Council Order regarding Plague

TNA: PC 2/20

pp 211–12 (28 January) (Hampton Court)


A lettre to the lord Maiour and Aldermen of the Cittie of london forasmuch as by the Certificate of the last weeke, yt appearethe the infection dothe increase, which by the favour of God, and with your dilligent obseruance of her Maiestes Comandementes and the meanes and orders prescribed to be put in execution within the Cittie of london maie speedelie cease yeat for the better furderance therof we think yt fitt that all manner of concourse and publique meetinges of the people at playes, beare baitinges, bowlinges, and other like assemblyes for sportes be forbidden, and therefore doe hereby requier you and in her Maiestes name straightlie charge and commande you forthwith to inhibite within your Iurisdiction all plaies baiting of beares, bulls, Bowling and any other like occasions to assemble any nombers of people together (preacheing and devyne seruice at Churches excepted) wherby no occasions be offred to increase the infection within the Cittie, which you shall doe bothe by | proclamacion to be published to that ende and by spetiall watche and obseruacion to be had at the places where the Plaies bearebaitinges bowlinges and like pastimes are vsually frequented and if you shall vpon this publicaon finde any so vnduitifull and disobedient as they will, notwithstanding this prohibition offer to plaie, beate beares or bulles bowle &c. you shall presentelie cause them to be apprehended and comitted to prison there to remaine vntill by their order they shalbe dismissed And to the end the like assemblies within the out liberties adioyning to the Cittie we haue giuen direction to the Iustices of the peace, and other publique officers of the Counties of Middlesex and Surrey to hold the like course not onlie within the said liberties but also within the distance of seven myles about the Cittie which we doubte not they will carefullie see to be executed as you for your parte within the Cittie will doe the like, in regarde of her Maiestes comandement the benefitt of the Cittie; and for the respectes alreadie signified vnto you.

Two other lettres of the like tenour written to the Iustices of the peace within the Counties of Surrey and Middelsex for the prohibition of like assemblies in the out liberties and within seven miles of the Cittie of either Countie.


  • Footnotes
    • A: in display script
    • publicaon: for publicacion; abbreviation mark missing
  • Document Description

    Record title: Privy Council Order regarding Plague
    Repository: TNA
    Shelfmark: PC 2/20
    Repository location: Kew

    The plague order on pages 211–12 led to closure of the Rose for most of the year by 2 February. A further order from the Privy Council was passed on 1 July 1593, to direct the Lord Mayor of London and the sheriffs of Middlesex, Essex, Hertfordshire, and Surrey to restrain people from attending the annual fairs at St Bartholomew's, Smithfield, and at Southwark because of the increase of plague. Both fairs were to be cancelled (TNA: PC 2/20, pp 450–1). The copy of this order directed to the JPs of Surrey mentioned here has not survived.

    For an abstract of the document and details of its transcription history, see the related EMLoT event record.

    22 August 1592–26 August 1593; English; paper; ii + 314 + ii; 355mm x 225mm; ink pagination 1–564 (some numbers obscured by repairs), 2 unnumbered blank leaves, followed by 30 unnumbered 19th-c. leaves (index in a different hand); good condition, some repairs at edges; bound in maroon leather over boards, tooled, gold-stamped title on spine: 'ELIZABETH. | VOL. XI. | COUNCIL | REGISTER. | 22. AUG. 1592. | TO | 26.AUG. 1593.'

  • Manuscript Images

    The National Archives of the UK, PC 2/20

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