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life, appeached his confederates, of whom flowers, had also lamps of glasse, with many were taken, and many were fled. oyle burning in them all the night; some Among the rest that were apprehended, a hung out branches of iron curiously certaine citizen of great countenance, wrought, containing hundreds of lamps credit, and wealth, named John Senex, lighted at once, which made a goodly who for as much he could not acquit shew, narnely in new Fish-street, Thameshimselfe by the water-doome (as that law street, &c. was then tearmed) hee offered to the king “ Then had ye, besides the standing five hundred pounds of silver for his life. watches, all in bright harnesse, in every But forasmuch as he was condemned by ward and street of this city and suburbs, a judgement of the water, the king would marching watch, that passed through the not take the offer, but commanded him to principall streets thereof, to wit, from the be hanged on the gallowes, which was little conduit by Paul's gate, through done, and then the city became more West Cheape, by the Stocks, through quiet for a long time after."
Cornehill, by Leadenhall to Aldgate, then It appears that the city of London was backe down Fen-church-street, by Grassesubject to these disorders till 1253, when church, about Grasse-church conduit, and Henry III. commanded watches to be up Grasse-church-street into Cornhill, and kept in the cities, and borough towns, through it into West Cheape again, and for the preservation of the peace; and
so broke up. this king further ordained “ that if any “The whole way ordered for this marchman chanced to be robbed, or by any ing watch, extended to three thousand means damnified, by any theefe or robber, two hundred taylors' yards of assize ; for he to whom the charge of keeping that the furniture whereof with lights, there county, city, or borough, chiefly apper were appointed seven hundred cressets, tained, where the robbery was done, five hundred of them being found by the should competently restore the losse.” companies, the other two hundred by the
This origin of the present nightly watch chamber of London. Besides the which in London was preceded by other popular lights, every constable in London, in customs, or they rather, it may be said, number more than two hundred and forty, assisted in its formation. “In the months had his cresset : the charge of every of June and July, on the vigils of festivall cresset was in light two shillings foure dayes, and on the same festivall dayes in pence, and every cresset had two men, the evenings, after the sun-setting, there one to beare or hold it, another to beare a were usually made bone-fires in the bag with light, and to serve it: so that the streets, every man bestowing wood or poore men pertaining to the cressets, labour towards them. The wealthier sort taking wages, (besides that every one had also before their doores, neere to the said a strawen hat, with a badge painted, and bone-fires, would set out tables on the his breakfast in the morning,) amounted vigils, furnished with sweete bread, and in number to almost two thousand. good drinke, and on the festivall dayes “ The marching watch contained in with meats and drinkes plentifully, number two thousand men, part of them whereunto they would invite their neigh- being old souldiers, of skill to bee capbours and passengers also to sit, and be taines, lieutenants, serjeants, corporals, &c. merry, with them in great familiarity, wifflers, drummers, and fifes, standard praysing God for his benefits bestowed on and ensigne-bearers, sword-players, trumthem. These were called bone-fires, as peters on horsebacke, demilaunces on well of amity amongst neighbours, that great horses, gunners with hand-guns, or being before at controversie, were there by halfe hakes, archers in cotes of white fusthe labour of others reconciled, and made tian, signed on the breste and backe with of bitter enemies, loving friends; as also the armes of the city, their bowes bent in for the vertue that a great fire hath, to their hands, with sheafes of arrowes by purge the infection of the ayre.
their sides, pike-men in bright corslets, “On the vigil of St. John Baptist, burganets, &c., holbards, the like billand on Sts. Peter and Paul the apostles, men in almaine rivets, and aperns of every man's doore being shaddowed with mayle in great number. greene birch, long fennel, St. John's • There were also divers pageants, and wort, orpin, white lilies, and such like, morris dancers attendant on the setting of garnished upon with garlands of beautifull this marching watch. The constables,
were divided into two parties, one balfe 1585, “ a booke was drawne by a grave consisting of one hundred and twenty, citizen, (John Mountgomery,) and by were appointed on St. John's eve, the him dedicated to sir Tho. Pullison, then other halfe on St. Peter's eve.” They l. maior, and his brethren the aldermen,
“in bright harnesse, some over-gilt, containing the manner and order of a and every one a jornet of scarlet there- marching watch in the citie, upon the upon and a chaine of gold, his hench-man evens accustomed; in commendation following him, his minstrels before him, whereof, namely, in times of peace to be and his cresset light passing by him.” In used, he hath words to this effect : • The the procession were the waytes of the artificers of sundry sorts were thereby city, the maiors officers, for his guard well set aworke, none but rich men before him, all in a livery of wosted, or charged, poor men helped, old souldiers, say jackets, party coloured; the maior trumpeters, drummers, fifes, and enginehimselfe well mounted on horseback, the bearers, with such like men meet for the sword-bearer before him in faire armour, prince's service, kept in use, wherein the well mounted also, the maiors foot-men, safety and defence of every common-weale and the like torch-bearers about him; consisteth. Armour and weapons being hench-men twaine, upon great stirring yeerely occupied in this wise, the citizens horses following him. The sheriffes had of their owne readily prepared for watches came one after the other in like any neede, whereas, by intermission order, but not so large in number as the hereof, armorers are out of worke, soulmaiors : for whereas the maior had, diers out of use, weapons overgrowne besides his giant, three pageants, each of with foulnesse, few or none good being the sheriffes had, besides their giants, but provided,'” &c. Notwithstanding these two pageants; each their morris-dance, plausible grounds, the practice was disand one hench-man, their officers in continued. jackets of wosted, or say, party-coloured, There can be little doubt that so great differing from the maiors, and each from an array of armed citizens, was not only other, but having harnessed men a great viewed with distrust by the government, many, &c. This Midsummer watch was but had become of
great charge to the thus accustomed yeerely, time out of corporation, that it was found mutually minde, untill the yeere 1539, the thirty-' convenient to substitute a less expensive first of Henry the Eighth, in which yeere, and less warlike body to watch and ward on the eighth of May, a great muster was the city's safety. The splendour wherein made by the citizens at the Miles end, all it was annually set forth was, however, a in bright harnesse, with coats of white goodly sight, and attracted the curiosity silke or cloth, and chaines of gold, in of royalty itself
, for we find that on St. three great battels, to the number of John's eve, in 1510, king Henry VIII. fifteen thousand, which passed thorow came to the King's-head, in Cheap, in London to Westminster, and so through the livery of a yeoman of the guard, with the sanctuary, and round about the parke a halbert on his shoulder, and there, in of St. James, and returned home thorow that disguise, beheld the watch till it had Oldborpe."
passed, and was so gratified with the In that year, 1539, king Henry VIII. show, that “on St. Peter's night next forbid this muster of armed men, and following, he and the queen came royally prohibited the marching watch altogether, riding to the sayd place, and there, with and it was disused “til the yeere 1548.” their nobles, beheld the watch of the city, When sir John Gresham, then lord and returned in the morning.' In 1519, mayor, revived the marching watch, both Christern, king of Denmark, and his on the eve of St. John the baptist, and of queen, being then in England, were conSt. Peter the apostle, and set it forth, in ducted to the King's-head, in Cheap, order as before had been accustomed; there to see the watch. “ which watch was also beautified by the On taking leave of the old London the number of more than three hundred watch, on St. John's eve, a remark or demilances and light-horsemen, prepared two may be made respecting their lights. by the citizens to be sent into Scotland, for the rescue of the town of Haddington.” After that time the marching watch again fell into disuse; yet, in the year
or it was a light from combustibles, in a Concerning the cressets or lights of the hollow pan. It was rendered portable by watch, this may be observed by way of being placed on a pole, and so carried explanation.
from place to place. Mr. Douce, in his The cresset light was formed of a “ Illustrations of Shakspeare,” gives the wreathed rope smeared with pitch, and following four representations from old placed in a cage of iron, like a trivet prints and drawings of suspended on pivots, in a kind of fork ;
Lamps in the Old Streets,
AND ALSO CARRIED BY THE
Marching Watch of London. Mr. Douce imagines the word cresset “ Watch WARD, and keepe thy Garments to have been derived from the French tight, word croiset, a cruet or earthen pot.
For I come thiefe-like at Midnight." When the cresset light was stationary Whereto Ward answers the injunction, to it served as a beacon, or answered the watch, in the lines following :purpose of a fixed lamp, and in this way our ancestors iliuminated or lighted up
All-seeing, never-slumbering LORD; their streets. There is a volume of ser
Be thou my Watch, Ile be thy WARD. mons, by Samuel Ward, printed 1617-24, Ward's “ lamp, or beacon," is transwith a wood-cut frontispiece, representing ferred from his frontispiece to the next two of these fixed cressets or street-lamps, column, in order to show wherein our with verses between them, in relation to ancient standing lamps differed from the his name and character, as a faithful present. watchman. In the first lines old Ward is addressed thus :
as they have; some pir ?s, some muskets, calivers, or other guns, some partisans, holberts, and such as have armour send their servants in their armour. The number of these are yearly almost two hundred, who, at sun-setting, meetoa the Row, the most open part of the town, where the mayor's serjeant at mace gives them an oath, the tenor whereof followeth, in these words : ' They shall well and truly keep this town till to-morrow at the sun-rising; you shall come into no house without license, or cause reasonable. Of all manner of casualties, of fire, of crying of children, you shall due warning make to the parties, as the case shall require you. You shall due search make of all manner of affrays, bloud-sheds, outcrys, and of all other things that bé suspected,' &c.
Which done, they all march in orderly array through the principal parts of the town, and then they are sorted into several companies, and designed to several parts of the town, where they are to keep the watch until the sun dismiss them in the morning. In this business the fashion is for every watchman to wear a garland, made in the fashion of a crown imperial, bedeck'd with flowers of various kinds, some natural, some artificial, bought and kept for that purpose; as also ribbans, jewels, and, for the better garnishing whereof, the townsinen use the day before to ransack the gardens of all the gentlemen
within six or seven miles about NottingAn Old Beacon,
ham, besides what the town itself affords
them, their greatest ambition being to Standing Lamp. outdo one another in the bravery of their It will be seen from this engraving
garlands." So pleasant a sight must that the person, whose business it was to
have been reluctantly parted with; and “ watch
and trim the lamp, did not accordingly in another place we find that ascend for that purpose by a ladder, as
this Midsummer show was held at a much the gas-lighters do our gas-lamps, or as
later period than at Nottingham, and the lamp-lighter did the oil-lamps which with more pageantry in the procession. they superseded, but by climbing the
St. John's Eve Watch at Chester. pole, hand and foot, by means of the projections on each side.
The annual setting of the watch on St
John's eve, in the city of Chester, was an St. John's Eve Watch at Nottingham.
affair of great moment. By an ordinance The practice of setting the watch, it
of the mayor, aldermen, and common Nottingham, on St. John's eve, was main- councilmen of that corporation, dated in tained until the reign of Charles I., the the year 1564, and preserved among the the manner whereof is thus described :
Harleian MSS, in the British Museum, a “ In Nottingham, by an ancient custom, pageant which is expressly said to be they keep yearly a general watch every dained to consist of four giants, one uni
according to ancient custom;" is orMidsummer eve at night, to which every inhabitant of any ability sets forth a man, corn, one dromedary, one camel
, one as well voluntaries as those who are luce, one dragon, and six hobby-horses charged with arms, with such munition
* Deering's Nottinghamn
with other figures. By another MS. in which being made, “as it aunciently was, the same library it is said, that Henry with a ship to turn round," cost four Hardware, Esq., the mayor, in 1599, pounds, including the hiring of the caused the giants in the Midsummer show * bays," and five men to carry it. The to be broken," and not to goe the devil charge for the ship, and new dressing it, in his feathers ;” and it appears that he was five shillings. Strutt, who sets forth caused a man in complete armour to go these particulars, conjectures, that the in their stead : but in the year 1601, John ship was probably made with pasteboard, Ratclyffe, beer-brewer, being mayor, set that material seeming, to him, to have out the giants and Midsummer show as of been a principle article in the manufacold it was wont to be kept. In the time turing of both these movable mountains. of the commonwealth the show was dis- The ship was turned, he says, by means continued, and the giants with the beasts of a swivel, attached to an iron handle were destroyed.
underneath the frame; the “ bays" was At the restoration of Charles II., the to hang round the bottom of the frames citizens of Chester replaced their pageant, to the ground, and so conceal the bearers. and caused all things to be made new, Then there was a new “ elephant and because the old models were broken. castell, and a cupid," with his bows and According to the computation, the four arrows,“ suitable to it;" the castle was great giants re to cost five pounds covered with tip foil, and the cupid with a-piece, at the least, and the four men to skins, so as to appear to be naked, and carry them were to have two shillings and the charge for these, with two men to six-pence each; the materials for constructo carry them, was one pound sixteen shiling them were to be hoops of various lings and eight-pence. The “ four beastes sizes, deal boards, nails, pasteboard, called the unicorne, the antelop, the scaleboard, paper of various sorts, buck- flower-de-luce (?) and the camell, cost one ram, size-cloth, and old sheets for their pound sixteen shillings and four-pence body-sleeves and shirts, which were to each, and eight men were paid sixteen be coloured; also tinsel, tinfoil, gold and shillings to carry them. Four boys for silver leaf, and colours of various kinds, carrying the four hobby-horses, had four with glue and paste in abundance. The shillings, and the hobby-horses cost six provision of a pair of old sheets to cover shillings and eight-pence each. The charge the “ father and mother giants," and three for the new dragon, with six naked boys yards of buckram for the mother's and to beat at it, was one pound sixteen shildaughter's hoods, seems to prove that lings. Six morris-dancers, with a pipe three of these monstrous pasteboard and tabret, had twenty shillings; and figures represented females. À desire to “hance-staves, garlands, and balls, for preserve them may be inferred from an the attendants upon the mayor and sheentry in the bill of charges :—" For ars- riffs cost one pound nineteen shillings.' nick to put into the paste, to save the These preparations it will be rememgiants from being eaten by the rats, one bered were for the setting forth of the Midshilling and four-pence.” There was an summer-watch at Chester, so late as the item in the estimate--"For the new mak- reign of Charles II. After relating these ing the city mount, called the maior's particulars, Mr. Strutt aptly observes, mount, as auntiently it was, and for hire that exhibitions of this kind for the diing of bays for the same, and a man to versions of the populace, are well descarry it, three pounds six shillings and cribed in a few lines from a dramatic eight-pence.” Twenty-pence was paid to piece, entitled “ A pleasant and stately a joiner for cutting pasteboard into se Morall of the Three Lordes of London:"veral images for the “merchant's mount,"
"Let nothing that's magnifical,
• Strutt s Sports.