and Injoyneth personall attendance, the rights and profitts are to be
mainteyned, And the Officer of merritt Cherished, Or ells the
King's profit is impayred when the Wardshipp falleth.
The Warden is betweene Silla and Caribdis, soe that either he
15 must through that Gulfe of Avarice run upon the rock of Turpe
lucrum, or thorough the Syrens allurements of Charity, pitty, and
remorse make shipwrack of his owne Estate.
110 THE (ECONOMY OF THE FLEETE.
Presidents of his Majesties Prerogative.
The King is not restrayned by any Act or Stattuto from the
1 K. 2. Actuall Service of his Subjects, For by the Statute of 1 R. 2 by
which mcanes persons are restrayned to imprisonment, The words
of tlie Stattute are, 5
That the Warden of the Fleete shall not suffer any prisoner
being comitted by judgment at the suite of the partie to goe out
of prison bybayle. Mainprise, or Baston, without agreeing with the
party at whose suite he is there, Except it be by the King's writt
or Commandment. 10
H. 4. By the Stattute of 7 H. 4 the Wardens of the prisons of the
Llarshalsey, King's Bench, and other prisons are chargeable accor-
dingly. By which Act there is reserved in the King's power a pre
rogative to free men from imprisonment, And as occasion hath
beene offered the practise of this prerogative hath been continually 15
Exercised, Of which to omitt the raignes of former princes there
are sundry presidents in the raygne of the late Queene Elizabeth.
Eliz. 4. First in 4° of her raigne she released one Tliurland out of the
Fleete, he being at that tyme in Execution there.
1588. In 1588 her jMajestie by her Privy Scale discharged Thomas 20
Trussell out of the King's, being at that tyme in execution there
for 2,000/?. Which Trussell went presently to Tilbury Campe by
Comandment of the Earle of Leicester.
Her ^Majesty after discharged Sir Ri: Skipioith from the Fleete
by her royall prerogative. 25
Nowe whereas there is often tymes mencon of the Orders or
Constitutions made for the perpetuall Governement of the Fleete
Anno 3° Elizabeth which was formerly obteyned and with such
judgment and circumspection passed the great Seale after con-
sideracon was first taken of the old usages and Customes of the 30
THE (ECONOMY OP THE FEEETE. Ill
Flcctc: Here tlicreforc (not trobling the reader with tlie circum-
stances) arc onely sett downe tlic Articles upon Avliicli and the ex-
planation thereof, th'onc and th'other being corroborated oftcntymcs
by the Lords of the most honorable Privy Councell both in his
5 Majesties tyme and in the begining of the Kaigne of Queen Eliza-
beth (of famous memory) the Warden doth found the ordering and
governement of the Fleete, Especially in the two points of Dyett
and allowance for his lodgings, being the mayne revenn^wes by
which he and the place is supported.
3" June, Anno 3" Elicaheth, 1561.
P'irst that it may be lawfull to the said Warden or his I.
Deputie to appoint soe many of the liowshould Servants as to
cither of them sliall seeme good to open or shutt the two utter
15 gates of the Fleete at such howers as the gates of Ludgate and
Newgate are accustomed to be opened and shutt and the said
persons to carry in their hands, halbarts, bills, or any other weapon
as shall seeme good unto the said Warden or Deputie within his
Precinct or Libertie.
20 Item the Warden to take such bond of every person that 2.
shall be brought into the Fleete as Prisoner as shall seeme to him
reasonable at his discretion and according as the cause shall require,
As well for the payment of all manner of dutyes there. As alsoe to
be true Prisoners there, and of good behaviour towards the said
25 Warden and all others wdthin the said precinct of the Fleete in
such manner and forme as heretofore hath becne used.
Item that it is and shall be lawfull to the said AVarden and his •^.
Deputie to take order from tyme to tyme that noc person comeing
in there doe carry any weapon further then the Porters lodge
30 there, be he stranger or other, unlesse he shall be licensed soe to
doc by the discretion of such as the said Warden shall appoint to
keepe the gate there.
Item that noe Prisoner shall buy Beere, Ale, wyne, or any other 4.
victuall out of the said howse, Soe long as he may have sufficient Victuall.
112 THE CF.CONOMY OF THE FLEETE.
and good provided within the same howse in sucli place as sliall be
tlicre appointed att sucli reasonable prices as the same be comonly
sould for within the Citty of London, Except the Warden shall
give licence for any Consideration as to him shall seem good.
C. Item that it may be lawful! to the Warden to take of every 5
such Prisoner (as the said Warden may lawfully license to goe
abroad with his keeper) for the halfe day, that is to say before
Dinner or after, to the Warden's box fowre pence, and for the wliole
day both before Dynner and after eight pence, And for his keeper
tliat shall be with him for the halfe day six pence, and for the 10
whole day Twelve pence.
c>. Item and if it shall happen the Queenes ]\Iajcsty and her honor-
able howshould to be two myles Distant from the Cittyes of
London and Westminster or either of them, and that any Prisoner
shall be sent for by the Councell or any other haveing aucthority to 15
Comand the said Prisoner to be brought before them. That then
the said Prisoner shall beare all manner of such charges as shall
thereunto apperteyne, be it either by water or by land, untill his
rctorne, as well for himselfe as any other that shall be appointed his
keeper for the tyme. 20
7- Item that the said Warden by himselfe or his Deputie shall and
may take and carry downe with him into the Country any such
Prisoner as he may lawfully license to goe abroad with his keeper
at any tymes betwixt the Termcs, Except there shall be expresse
Comandment to the Contrarie by such as shall eomitt thither. 25
8. Item that it may be lawfull for the said Warden or his Deputy
and soe many of his howshould as shall be thought need full to
keepe watch in harness or otherwise within his precinct att all
tymes as he shall see cause for his better safeguard if he shall
suspect any Prisoner within his Custodyc to intend to make an 30
9- Item that it may be lawfull to and for the said Warden to take
order at all tymes for such money as shall be gathered at the Ijox
or otherwise generally given to the poore men there, for the dis-
THE (ECONOMY OF THE FLEETE. 113
tribution thereof amongst them if any contention shall arise, And
that the said poore men shall alwayes keepc one key of the Box
and another key to be at the Warden's appointment.
Item that it may and shall be lawful! for the Warden, if there 10.
5 shall at any tyme happen that any person to be comitted, that shall
not be able to maynteyne neither the Parlor Comons nor the hall
Comons, nor alsoe will take part of the box, That then the Warden Lodgings,
may appoint a Bedd and a Cliamber for any such convenientlye,
The partie agreeing with the Warden for tlie same at his reason-
10 able discretion.
Item that if any that will take part of the box will have more 11.
ease then for the same is appointed, That then it may be lawfull
for the Warden to appoint any such person or persons a Bedd or
Chamber, tlie party agreeing with the Warden for the same as
15 shall be thought reasonable.
Item that the said Warden shall take of every man or woeman 12.
that shall sitt at the Parlor Comons Two shillings fewer pence
weekely for his Bedd and Chamber, And for every man and
Avoeman that shall sitt at the hall Comons fowerteene pence
20 weekely for his Bedd and Chamber lyeing like prisoners two in a
Item whereas by the auncyent Custome, tyme out of memory of 13,
man used in the said Fleete, The Warden or his Deputy for the
tyme being have used and did license such persons as be Prisoners
25 there (not being upon any Condempnation or by expresse Comand-
ment given to the contrary by the Councell or such persons as doe
comitt the said Prisoners thither), to goe abroad about tlicir neces-
sary busines or to their learned Councell or Such like afFayres
with a keeper. Therefore it is and shall be lawfull to the said
30 Warden and his Deputy for the tyme being To ly cense and permitt
all such persons as be or shall remayne there to goe abroad with a
safe keeper about his or their needfull busines aforesaid, Soe
alwayes as any such prisoner doe not lye there upon any Con-
dempnation or that expresse comandment by the (^ueenes jNInjestyes
CAMD. SOC. Q
114 TITE CECONOMY OF THE FLEETE.
Coiinccll or suoli persons as doe comltt the same Prisoners thither
be given or prohibited to the contrary thereof.
About 23 yeares past certeyne prisoners then mislikeing the
Customes and usages put in practise by the Warden there, did
(even as Mr. Chamherlayne and J/r. Hookicood now doe) In forme
against the Warden upon the Statute of 23 H. 6. Whereupon the
Lords of tlie Privy Counccll tooke the inattcr to Consideration and
cxplayned the sence and meaneing of the Constitutions as liere
following appeares and put the prisoners to silence.
THE ECONOMY OF THE FLEETE. 115
At the Court at Whitehall the 24th of Aprill, 1598.
Lord Keeper Lord North
Earle Marshall IMr. Comptroller
5 Earl of Nottingham Mr. Chauncellor
Lord Chamberlayne of the Exchequer
Whereas Information hath beene exhibited by Robert Brough
against George Regnell, Esquire, Warden of the Fleete, upon
pretence of some exactions and extortions supposed to be comitted
10 by him to certeyne Prisoners in the Fleete, whereof there hath
beene complaint alsoe exhibited both to their Lordshipps and in
the Star Chamber, It pleased their Lordsliipps to referre this cause
to the heareing and examination of the Lord Cheif'e Justice of the
Comon Pleas, lier INIajesties Sollicitor Gcnerall 3Ir. Francis Bacon
15 and Mr. Bryan Andoive, JEsqidre.
Forasmuch as it doth appearc by their Certificate to tlieir Lord-
shipps that the foresaid Comissioners did call before them the
Informer and some others that followed the information against the
said Warden, As alsoc one Phillipp Smith, Prisoner in the Fleete,
20 who gave the information ready drawne to the said Informer, and
required of them some proofe and to showe wherein the said
Warden had comitted Extortion or any way broken the exempli-
fied Orders, Their Answeare was that they did not ground their
Information upon tlie Orders, nor that they did proceed against the
25 Warden for anything done against the said Orders, but their infor-
mation was for Extortion supposed to be Coniitted in takeing of
severall somes of money weekely for shcweing ease and favour to
certeyne Prisoners for their Chambers and lodgings contrary to the
Statiute of 23 II. 6.
116 THE (ECONOMY OF THE FLEETE.
The said Comissioners being further desireous to be instructed
from those of whome the money is alledged in the Information to
be taken, in what soart the Warden had dealt with them, and
whether he had by any meanes indirectly any payment from them,
The most and cheifest of them did testifie under their hands, 5
Avhicli alsoe was notefied by the rest, That they neither consented
nor were acquainted with the said Information nor any of them
forced to any payment, But being desireous of more ease and more
Chambers then the Orders (which bynd them to lye two in a Bedd)
doe allowe the same, For the most of them haveing two Chambers 10
or more made voluntary agreement for them, which was verified by
Mr. Anslowe (one of the said Comissioners) to have beene ever
the Custome, and is alsoe in the opinion of all the aforesaid Comis-
sioners allowed to the Warden by the true sence and meaneing of
the 10th, 11th, and 12th Articles of tlie said Orders, Soe as by the 15
opinion of the Lord Cheife Justices and the rest, to whome this
cause was comitted, that there is noe just cause of complaint against
the Warden of the Fleete either for Extortion in takeing of theis
somes of money mentioned in the Information or for breach of the
true meaneing of the Orders exemplified in any point. 20
Upon viewe and consideration of the said certificate their Lord-
shipps comanded the said Informers to be brought before them
to whouie the report of the aforesaid Lord Cheife Justice and the
rest of the Comissioners being read, they could not deny but that
they had beene heard by them, nor were able to alledge any 25
further matter against the said Warden then they had delivered
to the Comissioners. In regard whereof their Lordshipps, consider-
ing the courses that had been taken by the said Smith and others (his
confederates) against the Warden in very malitious soarte. First
alledo-ino; that the Orders Sett downe for the Fees of the Warden 30
were not of record in the Chauncery, Then that the hands of
those honorable personages that subscribed the same were counter-
feited, And straineing by theis troblesome courses his unjust
molestation. Their Lordshipps this day have comanded the Infor-
THE (ECONOMY OF THE FLEETE. 117
mcr to surcease, and noc further to prosecute the said information,
Whereupon he ycilded, And this their Lordshipps Order was by
their coniandnient entered (amongst other things) in the Register
of Councell, &c.
5 Concordat cum Registro,
118 THE (ECONOMY OF THE FLEETE.
Att the Court at Wliithall the 30th of Aprill, 1598.
Lord Archbishop of Canterhuiy.
Lord Keeper Lord Buckhurst,
Edward jNhirshall Mr. Comptroller. 5
Lord Admirall Mr. Chamicellor
Lord Chamberlaya of the Exchequer.
Whereas upon Complaint made unto us by George ReipieU,
Esquire, Warden of the Fleetc, That he was unjustly molested and 10
trobled by an informer named Robert Brough, who being instructed
by one Phillipp Smith, Prisoner there, and some other his adherents,
exhibited an hiformation into her ]\Lajesties Court of the Exchequer
upon pretence of Extortion used to the Prisoners. This matter
being comitted to the heareing and Examination of— 15
Sir Edmond Andersoji. Lord Cheife Justice of the Comon Pleas.
Thomas Flejjipige, Esquire, her Majesties Sollicitor.
Francis Bacon Esquire, one of her Majesties Learned Councell.
And Bryan Anslowe, Esquire, one of her Majesties Gentlemen
Pentioners, and some tyme Warden of the Fleete. 20
They did call before them both parties to examyne if the said
George Reynell had unduely extorted from any person, or in any-
thing broken the Orders of that Prison, exemplified under the great
scale, By whose certificate to their Lordshipps because it doth
appeare that they gave full heareing at three severall tymes of all 25
that could be objected against the said Mr. Reynell, And that they
could not fynd that he had unlawfully extorted nor any way broken
the exemplified Orders sett downe lor that howse, Their Lord-
shipps enjoyned the said Robert Brough not to prosecute the said
THE CECONOMY OF THE FLEETE. 119
Information nor to troblc the said Mr. Bei/nell for that cause,
Avliereunto he did submitt himselfe (as by their Lordshipp's Order
is to be seene).
And whereas the said Comissioners doe further certifie for the
5 better explayneing of the exemplified Orders, viz.
To the fowertli Article of the Orders which bindeth every
Prisoner to victuall himselfe upon the Wardens provision unlesse
he agree with the warden to make his owne provision, The said
Comissioners doe thinke meete, for better explanation thereof (being
10 according to the true meaneing of the same), That the prisoners
shall still be reckoned and cast upp as in Comons untill they have
agreed with the Warden for it.
And likewise by the 10th, 11th, and 12th Articles every prisoner
ought to have his Bedd of the Wardens provision, to lye two in
15 a Bedd together, and to pay as he shall be either of the parlor or
hall Comons, or to agree with the Warden if he be of neither
Comons. And soe because by the 11th Article it is expressed that
if any Prisoner (though he be of the Box) will have more ease
then is appointed to him, he must agree with the Warden for it,
20 It is to be understood by the Orders, That if any prisoner what-
soever desireth more ease for Bedd or Chamber then the Articles
allowe, That then they as well as the poore prisoners of the Box
shall agree with the Warden for the same. Their Lordshipps con-
sidering their opinion grounded upon the true meaneing and sence
25 of the Orders exemplified, and the Testimony of Mr. Ansloioe
(who was many yeares Warden there) that the custome hath ever
beene soe, doe thinke meete for better explanation of the same,
and takeing away all ainbiguityes and cavills, that the aforesaid
Articles ought to be soe understood, and shall from henceforth be
30 soe taken and construed, &c.
Concordat cum Eegistro,
120 THE (ECONOMY OF THE FLEETE.
Whereas ]\lr. Edmond Cliamherloyne liatli made and ex-
cited many Clamours and trebles against the AVarden,
Tlie occasion between them hatli becnc as followeth.
June 10, 1C17. When by Warrant from the Barons of the Exchequer the
Warden seized and took certayne money and Jewells betweone the 5
valewe of 3 or 400/y'. from Mr. George Leicester and his then wife,
formerly the wife of Mr. Bahington, Which Leicester being in
Execution for debt marryed Mrs. Bahington there alsoe in Execu-
tion, and she found alsoe in arrere to the King's Majesty 46 thow-
sand pounds, both supposed to keepe an Estate of goods about them 10
in the Eleete.
Mr. Chamhei'laijne who had removed himselfe from the Kings
Bench to the Eleete for his owne case, And is soe clogged with
almost threescore severall accons and executions to the valewe
of 13 or 14 thowsand pounds, that noe Creditor with reasonable 15
charges can remove him back, fell into consultation with divers
fictions Prisoners of the Eleete, how much this seizure made by the
Warden did concerne Chamberlayne himselfe in particular and all
the Prisoners in generall; wherefore they endeavoured and plotted
to take away the money and Jewells from the Warden, whereof he 20
haveino- intellisfence sent it out of the Eleete and afterwards into
the Court of Exchequer by comand of that Court.
Upon tlieis occasions and for that Chamherlayne had offered to
stabb with a knife a gentleman there Prisoner, the Warden tooke
notice what a Turbulent man Chamherlayne was, And finding both 25
that his Estate was made over to other men in trust, and that he
had given noe bond or securitye for his true Imprisonment
according to the Orders of the Prison and yet laye at liberty in the
Wardens Ereehould, yea had two of the Wardens owne lodgings, a
Studdy and another roome, where his wife, children, and Servants 30
THE a-X'ONOMY OF TIIK FLEETK. 121
<lid (as it were) kccpo continuall liospitallitie, gameing and dis-
courseing witli otlicrs over the Wardens ownc Bcdd Chamber, Soc as
tlic Warden when he came Aveary home at night could neither take
his rest nor be private but be overheard by such an enemye in all
o the busines of the office, Therefore after many moneths suffering the
Warden himsclfe fairely praied Jlr. Chamberlai/ne to remove to
some other chamber, whereto (though he seemed to condiscend)
yet havcing said to one Sir John Meeres, hivjht, a Prisoner there,
that he would keepe it in dispight of the Warden, and to another
10 (now dead) he said, that he would not lye there but to that end,
and in divers yeares haveing not paicd anything for his lodgings
and Duties there, but began one while to publish that it was the
King's free prison, and the Prisoners ought to pay noe Duties, and
other while they were to pay but ijs. iiijd a weekefor lodgings how
lo many chambers or roomes soever they enjoyed, And that the
Orders and Constitutions for Governenient of the Fleete were falce
and gotten by indirect meanes, but such as they were, they were at
most but personall and bound noe more prisoners then such as were
in the Fleete 3° Elizabeth, Att which tyme the same were newly
20 revised and confirmed. And therefore he would shake the fabric k
of the prison and those Constitutions; By which meanes Chamber-
layne haveing incyted Sir John Whitbrooke, and many others, to
say and hold of their lodgings as he had putt in their heads, And
further to vaunt that by withholding their payments they would
25 make the Warden to run away, and voyced it that he was then
already soe farr indebted as he would soon be gon, Upon this and
such like rumours there followed a generall defection of payments
by the Prisoners and a confederacy to oppose the Warden by all
meanes they could. The Warden being thereof very sencible both
30 concerneing himselfe and the governement there, after some
moneths that he perceaved noe accord could be had, he againe
dealt more seriously with Chamberlane to leave those lodgings and
to make choyce of any other in the bowse, yea wished [him] to doe
it quickly while lodgings were empty.
CAMD. SOC. R
122 THE CECONOMY OF THE FLEETE.
1617. Each tyme from the loth of October, untill the 23th of the
same, wryteing downe the messages by those that delivered them,
and never soe much as menconlng any demaund of payment,
that not being soe much the Warden's drift as to have quiett in
his owne roomes, But Mr. Chamherlayne answeared uncerteynely o
and at other tymes negatively, And when the fayrest Chambers in
the liowse are taken upp by others he then (too late) made meanes
to the Lord Cheife Justice, whom the Warden attended and fully
satisfied him touching his proceedings, But Mr, Chcmiherlayne still
aspireing to the very best lodgings (which were two and three one 10
within another) where great persons used to lye, and where the
Warden never used to lodge men of suncken Estates, Especially
without bonds given, And perceaveiug that he was a man of that
prowde Condicon, thought not fitt to beare his pride and danger
any longer, Wherefore feareing some defeature in putting him out 15
of his lodgings in the day tyme, Aswell because then in the Terme
tyme, the Warden and his servants must all day be abroad about
their attendancs, And the Prisoners with their Servants being
many hundreds, were all day within the Fleete, He (the Warden)
about 8 a'clock at night when the severall precincts of the prison 20
were locked and much Company avoyded and M)'. Chainberlaijiies
wife not tliere, sent to Cliarnherlayne to pray him to come downe
and speake with him, but he refused to come. Then the Warden
sent him word it was about avoydeing the Chamber.
Then ^Ir. Chamherlayne locking and bolting his dore went to 25
Bedd, and when the Warden sent word that if he Avould not ycild
the Chamber the dore should be broken open, 1'hen he said. That
he was in God's peace and the King's in his Chamber, which w\as
his castle, and he could not be put out but by speciall warrant.
But the Warden (well knoweing that if nowe he suffered the 30
repulse it would be taken as a president, and further being informed
how comon a thing this had beene in other Wardens' tymes) Bidd
his servants breake open the dore, who (little thinkeing and lesse
provideing for such resistance) tooke a small fire forke from the
THE CECONOMY OF THE FLEETE. 123
Warden's chimney to wrench open the dove, and thrustinge it
bctwecne tlic dorc and dore post (soe as if Mr. Cliamherlayne had
stood in the way it could not touch him), yet untouched and before
the dore was opened, he, to rayse the intended mutiny, cryed out at
5 thewindowe, Murther, IMurther; Arme, Gentlemen, I shall he killed
in my Chamber by the Warden.
But the Warden satisfied all the howse with present answeare
that there was nothing to be done, but either Chamherhujne to goe
or to be carryed to another chamber.
10 After AAdiich the Warden's Servants opened the dore by force,
and both they and many of the prisoners did pcrswade Mr.
Chamherlm/iie to goe to another chamber in the same gallery where
one Sir Henry Sling shy had lycn, and where two yeares together
Mr. Cliamherlayne himselfe had formerly layen in tlie other
15 Wardens tymes and had made a Studdy in it and paied 8s. a wceke
for it, and sometymes for it and another xvis.
This Chamber was dressed and a fyer made, onely it tarryed for
Mr. Cliamherlayne' s bedding, which when he would not suffer it to
come, the Warden's servants and others prayed him to putt on his
20 cloathes, for his Bedd should be carryed away, but he would not,
The Bedd being carryed he wiliiilly stood in his Shirt and would
not suffer them to put his gowne about him, whereof the ^Vardcn
being informed and to prevent his wilfuU hurt at such a tyme