Privy Council Letter to the Master of the Rolls et al

TNA: PC 2/19

pp 414–15 (23 June) (Greenwich)


A lettre to the master of the Rolles Sir Owen Hopton knight Iohn Barnes and Richard yonge Esquiors whereas her maiestie is informed that certaine Apprentyces and other idle people theire adherentes that were authors and partakers of the late mutynous and foule disorder in Southwarke in moste outrageous and tumultuous sorte haue a further purpose and meaninge on Midsommer eueninge or Midsommer nighte or about that tyme to renewe theire leud assemblye togeather by Cullour of the tyme for some bad and mischeiuous intencion to the disturbance and breache of her maiestes peace and Comyttinge some outrageus. To preuente in tyme theis wicked and mischeuious purposes wee haue giuen straighte order to the maior of London for the Cittye and the liberties therevnto belonginge and to all other places nerre to the same to haue regarde herevnto; And so likewyse wee are in her maiestes name straightlie to Chardge and Comaunde yow presentlye vpon sighte hereof to sende for the Constables & some of the Cheifest and descreetest inhabitantes in Holborne Clerkenwell St Giles in the feildes &c and others places nere thereaboutes, and to chardge and Comaunde them to take ordr | order that there maye be a stronge and substancyall watche kept bothe on Midsommer Eueninge Midsommer night and Sondaye at nighte of housholders and Masters of families to Contynue from the beginninge of the Eueninge vntill the morninge, and that all masters of servauntes and of Apprentyses be straightlie Chardged as they will answere to the Contrarye at theire perilles to keepe theire seruantes in theire houses for those two nightes, so as they maie be within the dores before the Eueninge and not suffered to Come forthe nor to haue anye weapons yf they shoulde be so lewdlie disposed to execute anye euill purpose And yf notwithstandinge this straighte chardge and Comaundment any seruantes apprentyces or other suspected persons shalbe founde in the streetes, to see them presentlie Comytted to prison. Especiallie yow shall take order that theis watches of housholders, may be of that strengthe with theire weapons as they maie be hable yf there be anie vprore Tumult or vnlawfull assemblye to suppresse the same. Moreouer for avoydinge of theis vnlawfull assemblies in those quarters yt is thoughte meete yow shall take order that there be noe playes vsed in anye place nerre thereaboutes as the Theator, Curtayne or other vsuall places there where the same are Comonly vsed nor no other sorte of vnlawfull or forbidden Pastymes that drawe togeather the baser sorte of people from hence forth vntill the feast of St michaell. Herein wee are to require yow yourselues to Call to yow the head Constables and other officers and suche principall men as dwell in those quarters, and to take some extraordynarye paines to see theis orders straightlie obserued, and all other thinges effectually performed that maye tende and be necessarye, for the preseruacion of the Peace auoydinge of Tumult and suppressinge of suche disordr as maie happen or be any waie intended and to ioyne and assyste suche officers of the Cittye as shall keepe Watche nerre vnto yow.

Sixe other letters of the like Tenour to the persons and places followinge./


Mr Gardiner
Mr Bowier
Mr Parker
for ye precincts of Newington
Kentish streete
Clinck, Paris garden & the banckside.
Lieutenant of ye Tower.
Master of St Katins
for ye precincts of St Catherins
Lord Wentworthe for yeis precincts Ratcliffe
Lord Cobham for ye Blackfriers.
Sir Thomas Sherley for the Whitefriers.
Bailiue of Westminster Westminster
St Martins
ye Stronde
  • Footnotes
    • A: in display script
    • the: th written over S
    • to take ordr: written on a separate line in the bottom right corner of the page with ordr, for order, functioning as catchword; abbreviation mark missing
  • Glossed Terms
    • hable adj able
  • Endnote

    Official anxiety about the potential for further unrest and disorder at midsummer triggered by London apprentices was clearly in response to the recent riotous events in Southwark when Feltmakers' apprentices clashed with the knight marshal's men: see Letter from the Lord Mayor to Lord Burghley, 1592. The letters directed to those responsible for the precincts in Newington and Southwark have not survived.

    The items in each cell of the left column are encompassed by a brace pointing to the corresponding cell in the middle column, or the far right column in the case of the last row; likewise the items in each cell of the far right column are encompassed by a brace pointing to the corresponding cell in the middle column, or left column in the case of the last row.

  • Document Description

    Record title: Privy Council Letter to the Master of the Rolls et al
    Repository: TNA
    Shelfmark: PC 2/19
    Repository location: Kew

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

    1 October 1591–21 August 1592; English; paper; ii + 340 + ii; 345mm x 245mm; ink pagination 1–557, [558] unpaginated, followed by unpaginated index in different hand and paper (30 leaves, probably contemporary) and another unpaginated index in later hand and paper (30 leaves); bound in worn maroon leather over boards, tooled, gold-stamped title on spine: 'ELIZABETH. | VOL. X. | COUNCIL | REGISTER. | 1. OCT. 1591. | TO | 1.AUG. 1592.'

  • Manuscript Images

    The National Archives of the UK, PC 2/19

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