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B^eturns oi Alliens











I 5 2 5—1 571




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Only four hundred and fifty copies privately printed for

The Huguenot Society of London

AT THE University Press



(1) 22 Henry VIII,ch.XIII, passed in 1551:

A.In etartir^g it refers to statutes made under Richardlll,
Henry VII(l)and Henry VIIl(l4-5) for regulating the trade, wk,
& status of Alien and Denizen handicraftsmen in England, which
regulations have been continually broken by the Aliens .Thus

20 Henry VII I (l4 April 1528) recites the statement that
English artificers and handicraftsmen complain of the
gt detriment wh they suffer fr the excessive no.& unrea
sonable begaviour of the sd stranger-artificers, who ix^
fringe and break the sd StatutesCsell godds at excessive
& unreasonable prices, import " bacon, cheeee, pondered
beffes,mottons & other commodyte8",aJid when they have '
made money, take it abroad, &settle there & help the K's
enemie8,whereby ' our Subjectes handycraftsmen..<be
sore lmpoverysshed,siynyssed,and almoost utterly decayed
& destroyed" and " fall to thefte,murder and other gt
off ences" .Considering this and "the gt scarcjrbe of grs^
and vytell at this present tyme" It is decreed this 10
of Feb, 1529, that no Alien shall leep more than 2 alien
.servte Jorneymen, though they may have as many English
ones and apprentices as they can get;that they shall pay
jthe City and Company chfiirges, subsidies and taxes;shall

(assist in the Searches required by St. 14 and 15 Henry 8,
ch 2 j shall be admitted into Companies on swearing fidel-
ity to the King, and obedience to the Laws;and that Deni
zens only shall set up new Shops etc.

This Decree was specifically to protect the Cord-
wainers.But as Surgeons are handier aftsmen(Chlrur
I ' gion coming from cheir the hand and ergon work)

f they wereclassed with Bakers Brewers and Scriv-

eners in the Act of 15^1.
B.The Statute of 15^1 itself cites t he no of Bakers, Brewers
Scriveners and Surgeons who are foreigners causing "gte
doubtes and ambiguuytes .. .whether straungers using any of t
the sayde mysteres or sciences shulde ne understande suche
handcraftsmen as were entended by any the sayde Estatutest
For playne declaration whereof hit is enacted by the King
... th no pson nor psons straui]ger8,beyng a comon baker,
bruer,6Xurgeon or ecyvenour,8halbe enter prey or expounded
hande craftesmen,in,for,or by reason of usyng any of the
sayde ny8teryes,or scyens,of bakyng,hruyng, surgery or
wryt^ng.And that all informations, sutes,accions,and pro-
ce88e,had, taken, or herafter to be taken, upon eny of the say
Estatute8,agayn any suche straionger or straungers, beyng bedc
ers,bruers, sturgeons or scryveners, shall be,l)y auctoryte of
this present acte,voyde and of none effect.


The Returns of Aliens dwelling in the City and suburbs of London, comprised
in this volume, are derived from (1) the Rolls of Lay Subsidies, in the Public
Record Office, (2) the Registers of members of the Dutch Church, Austin
Friars, (3) the State Papers, Domestic Series, (4) the Lansdowne MSS., at
the British Museum, and (5) several printed works, namely, Strype's L%fe of
Archbishop Grindall, his Annals of the Reformation, Haynes's State Papers, and
Burn's History of the Foreign Refugees.

(1) The Lay Subsidies for London, Middlesex, and Surrey furnish nearly all
the returns which have been found between 1523 and 1561, besides many of later
dates. This series of records, although an enormous one, is far from being
complete. The rolls for London and the adjoining counties are very scanty at
the beginning of the i^eign of Henry VIII. , but are very numerous for the end of
that reign, and for the reign of Edward VI., while we could find no assessments
whatever for the reign of Mary. There are some few rolls for the beginning of
Elizabeth's reign, but not many after that till near its end, when we meet with
a large number.

It will be gathered from the Table of Contents that many Subsidy Rolls

have been extracted, and as the names of the Aliens are always more or

less intermixed with those of English subjects, it can well be imagined that

.the task of perusal and selection has been a gigantic one. Besides these,

t'liany other rolls have been examined, and found to contain no names of

1 foreigners ; it being necessaiy to search every roll in each series separately, as

• the catalogues give only the briefest descriptions. It must be added, that

a large proportion of the Subsidy Rolls is much faded and damaged, and

that their decipherment required an infinity of trouble and patience.

For the benefit of those who are unacquainted with these rolls, it may
be as well to explain that the first column of moneys represents the values
of the possessions of the persons assessed, while the second column shows
the amounts at which they were taxed. Only one sum follows the name of
a servant, journeyman, or apprentice, as a rule, being that of his "poll-
money ". The two most complete assessments in this volume are those of 1540-1
and 1649, which respectively give the names of about 2,500 and 2,200 strangers,
not of course including women and children.

(2) The Lidmaten Boeken, or Registers of Members, of the Dutch Church
of London were examined by permission of the Consistory of that Church,
and a number of them having been selected for transcription, they were lent


to the Huguenot Society for that purpose. The earliest list of members is
dated 1550, and is written in a small and obscure handwriting, which gave
considerable trouble, but as we have had the advantage of several suggestions
from Mr. W. J. C. Moens, F.S.A., President of the Society, who edited the
Registers of baptisms, marriages, and deaths of the same church some years ago,
it is believed that this list has been faithfully reproduced.

Some later notes in the same Register, under date of 1560, show that
"the German Church," as it is there called, was then meeting for the pur-
poses of worship and catechising the young in the church of St. Margaret
Pattens, Rood Lane, as also appears still more clearly from some notes of
baptisms contained in the register, but not quoted in this work.

A return of members of the Dutch Church, dated 22nd June, 1561, by
which time they had become settled in the church of the Austin Friars,*
is not now extant among its records, but has been found among the State
Papers. The Church records, however, comprise a list of members which was
" commenced " in that year, and which contains some names which were no
doubt added from time to time in later years.

On 8th September, 1562, Grindall, then Bishop of London, wrote to
Secretary Cecil that he had required the ministers of the Dutch and French
churches to furnish him with a list of their communicants.t No list made
on this occasion has been found for the Dutch Church, but there is an
undated one for the French Church in London, now among the State Papers,
which is probably the list actually supplied to the Bishop. This has already
been printed by Baron F. de Schickler, in his exhaustive work entitled, Les
Eglises du Refuge en Angleterre. The French Church was then settled in
St. Anthony's Hospital, Threadneedle Street.t

A letter from Bishop Grindall to Cecil on 22nd July, 1567, enclosed a
petition of foreigners driven from the Low Countries, but it gives no names. §
We have, however, another record of the Dutch Church members in that
year, which is very similar to an undated list printed in the Appendix to
Strype's Life of Grindall, and referred to by Strype in the Life under the
year 1566,11 when, he states, orders were given by the Privy Council for a
return of all strangers in London to be made, in order to satisfy King Philip,
who had complained to Queen Elizabeth of his subjects being harboured by

Since the text of this work was printed, the original of Strype's list has
been discovered in the Lansdowne MS. 9, ff. 144-146, No. 31.4 It is not

* Calendar of State Papers, Domestic, 1547-1580, p. 150. There was then or had been a "smaller" branch of
this church in Southwark, as appears in the letter of the Rev. John a Lasco [Nov., 1552], Lansdowne MS. 2, No. 91,
printed in Strype's Cranmer, App. LI., and by Dr. A. Kuyper in Joannis d Lasco Opera, ii., 672. The same letter
mentions "St. Catherine's" in apposition, as it were, with "the greater church" of Austin Friars, and therefore it
would seem that most of the members resided in the Liberty of St. Catherine, near the Tower.

t State Papers, Domestic, Elizabeth, vol. xxiv.. No. 24. J Calendar of Venetian State Papers, vii., 2.

§ State Papers, Domestic, Elizabeth, vol. xliii., Nos. 29, 30. || P. 164. See also Burn, p. 187.

II There are numerous misprints in Strype's version, the most important being the following : p. 372, Belgico
should be Belgio ; ib., col. 1, More — Moir; p. 373, col. 1, Wouterus — Wouters ; col. 2, Ver [Van] Strype — Verstrype ;
Danelu — Dauelie; p. 374, col. 1, Nenem — Neuen ; Verkens — Veickeus ; col. 2, Hortzwoet — Hortzeboet ; Boyr — Beyr ;
p. 375, col, 1, Salween — Salebeen ; the words omitted in the middle of p. 375 are " hos supra adscriptos viros " ;
p. 376, col. 1, Gysbaert — Govaert ; Drieffche — Driesche ; col. 2, Boerte — Koerte ; col. 2, after Van Pene, " factor for the

Dighbrotes " is added by Grindall; Anwerpen — Anwepem ; p. 377, col. 1, A. , Arnoldus; col. 2, Artiis — Artys.

Pranciscus de Marcsinij should follow Gherardt Artys.


mentioned in the index to the Catalogue of that collection, and hence it was
overlooked. There is an endorsement by Grindall, and others by Strype.
In fact, most of the letters and papers in the first 122 volumes of the Lans-
downe MSS. are originals, and wei^e formerly known as " the Burghley Papers ".
Many of them bear official notes and endorsements by Cecil, Grindall, and others,
and later notes by Strype, who purchased them.

(3) The Domestic Series of State Papers comprises several important
returns, but none of early date, unless there be any at the end of the reign
of Henry VI II., the Calendar for that period being as yet incomplete.
Under date of 3rd December, 1528, commissioners were appointed to inquire
how many strangers artificers were then dwelling "within the City and
suburbs, and witiiin two miles compass of the same " ; and in their certifi-
cate, dated 1st February, 1529, they refer to a schedule giving the number
and names of the strangers, but it is not now extant. The commissioners
state that they had allowed ten " strangers cordwainers " to keep house, with
two servants each, and had ordered all the rest of that trade who refused
to serve with Englishmen "to avoid out of the realm".

The earliest return in this seines is a very brief one, without heading
or date, but if is supposed to be a list of Venetian merchants resident in
London in 1557. This is the only record of strangers we have found for
the reign of Mary. No doubt all the strangers who had not been naturalised
or made denizens by Henry VIII. or Edward VI. were compelled to quit Eng-
land on Mary's accession. In the Privy Council Proceedings, under September,

1553, there are warrants to the Mayors of Dover and Rye to permit French
Protestants lately living in London to pass out of the realm ; and in March,

1554, it was positively commanded "that all foreign refugees, oiot being
denizens, should depart out of the realm ".* If any French Catholics not natural-
ised remained after this, they wovdd likewise have to depart on Philip's declai^a-
tion of war with France ; and considering the compai'atively small number of
Frenchmen mentioned in later returns, it would seem that many of that nationality
who had become denizens in the year 1544, returned to France about this time,
notwithstanding the saving clause just quoted.

Burn says that between 1560 and 1569 several searches were made in
London for strangers, and on each occasion every City Ward sent a retui^n
of names, trades, church-membership, and other particulars. None of these
returns have been found among the State Papers, except the lists of members
of the Dutch and French Churches in 1561 and 1562, before referred to.

A "certificate" at the beginning of the year 1563 gives no names, but
is of great value because it specifies the total number of strangers then residing
in the C'ity, Southwark, and Westminster, viz., 4,534, the majority of whom,
2,860, came over here " before the Queen's Majesty's reign ". Of the minority,
712 came over on religious grounds, and 962 were "not come for cause of
religion ". From these statistics two inferences may be drawn. One is, that
Queen Mary's order for all foreigners not naturalised to quit the realm had
probably been obeyed, as neai'ly five thousand had been made denizens be-

* Letters of Denization, etc., by Mr. Page, p. xxx., quoting Schickler, I., 71.


tween 1535 and 1563, most of whom doubtless belonged to London,* and
they or their descendants would almost entirely compose the number of 2860
above mentioned. The other is, that although the persecutions of Protestants
had continued in France and the Netherlands for several years previous to
1564, comparatively few strangers had come to London on religious grounds;
but it may be that a much larger number of refugees during the first five years of
Elizabeth had made settlements at Norwich, Colchester, Rye, Sandwich, Canter-
bury, and other parts of England, t

There are several lengthy returns of strangers in the State Papers under
date of 1571, one of which is included in the present volume, and will for
convenience be noticed further on.

(4) The important return compiled at Easter, 1567, and contained in
the Lansdowne MS. No. 10, is printed from a transcript kindly lent by Mr.
Moens, and the names and figures have been carefully checked while it was
passing through the press. It must first of all be remarked that this return
comprises the City of London only, and does not include Westminster, as
stated in the endorsement by Cecil, from which the description in the Lans-
downe Catalogue is derived. It states the nationality of each stranger, whether
he had a wife and children, how long he had been in England, and whether he
was a denizen or not. Two totals are given, 3,324 and 2,730. The latter agrees
with the analysis given of the numbers contributed by the different nationalities : —

Dutch 2,030

French 428

Burgundians .......... 44

Itahans 140

Spaniards and Portuguese ........ 45

Scots 40

Danes ............ 2

Liegeois ........... 1


It seems probable that this "book," as it is called, at one time contained
a separate return for Westminster, which is now wanting ; and therefore it
would be made by the Bishop of London, and not by the Lord Mayor, to
the Privy Council. The presence of two totals would thus be accounted for,
the larger one being the grand total for the two cities. If so, the number
of strangers in Westminster at this date would be 594. This return did not
apparently include Southwark and the other liberties mentioned in the return
of 1564, and therefore we are not able to ascertain whether the foreigners
had increased or decreased in the interval.

Although the persecutions abroad were continuing with unabated rigour,
it is noted by Cecil that, out of the total of 2,730, only 232 had settled in
London in the year preceding Easter, 1567. Another note, however, calls
attention to the fact that "the times of continuance" of many persons are
not stated.

* Letters of Denization, etc., by Mr. Page, p. lii. A large proportion of them resided in the south-western

f Ibid., pp. xxxiii., xsxiv.


Towards the end of the following year, 1568, Alva published his famous
" Arrest " of the goods of Enghshmen found in the Netherlands, and Elizabeth
retaliated by ordering a counter "Arrest" of all the goods of Philip's subjects
found in England, which is alluded to on pp. 386, 387 and 399. In consequence,
several lists, now in Lansdowne MS. 10, were made of such of his subjects as
frequented the English, French, Dutch and Italian Churches in London, for the
reasons set out by Strype.*

(5) A certificate of the numbers of strangers was made by the Bishop
of London towards the close of the year 1567, and is printed by Haynes
from the Cecil MSS. Inquiry was made for this return at Hatfield, but it
could not be found, and there is no notice of it in the Calendar of the MSS.
of the Marquis of Salisbury.! It gives much higher figures than the return
made at Easter in the same year, the total for the City now being 3,760,
including 1,252 of one year's continuance and under. It would therefore
appear that between March and December rather more than one thousand
strangers settled in the City. The Bishop also returns 1,091 strangers residing
in Westminster and in the Eastern suburbs, the gross total thus being 4,851,
or more than 300 in excess of the return of 1564; but as South wark is not
included, the real increase was much greater.

This certificate is referred to in a letter from Bishop Grindall to "Mr.
Secretary" (Walsingham), dated 11th May, 1568,1 in which he enclosed a
copy of "The Articles inquired of in the search for the strangers within
the" City of London and about the same, in the months of November and
December last past". The articles were six in number, and are briefly
as follows : —

1. How many strangers in each parish, and of what nation they are.

2. How long they have dwelt there, and their names.

3. Of what trade, living, or occupation ; how many are suspected of evil living, or to be

favourers of " any naughty religion or sect ".

4. Whether they resort to their parish churches, as other parishoners are bound to do.

5. How many absent themselves from the same.

6. How many resort to the churches appointed for strangers.

To these articles the Bishop appends a "Remembrance," expressing his
" wish " that all such strangers as were suspected of heresies or errors, or
of crimes committed before coming over, and all French and Dutch, except
known merchants, who did not join the French or the Dutch Church, or
who, knowing "our language," did not resort to their parish churches, should
be commanded to depart out of the realm within twenty days after warning
given them by himself, or by the Lord Mayor.

In his Annals, Strype prints fragmentary extracts from what was evi-
dently a most elaborate certificate, made by the Lord Mayor to the Privy
Council in 1568, of the names of strangers in all the city wards, and these

* Life of Ch-iiidall, p. 197. These lists were also transcribed by Mr. Moens. We have added a copy of a
paper relating to the election of a postmaster by the Italian and other merchants, on 23rd July, 1568, from the
same Lansdowne MS.

tit appears, however, to have been seen by Burn, who quotes the names of "two Gretians" from "the
Bishop's of London's return ". Haynes gives no names, but probably contented himself with giving merely the

I Lansdowne MS. 10, ff. Ii7, 148, Nos. 45, 46.


are reproduced in this volume. It appears to have been at one time among
the " Burg[hley] MSS.," now forming the first portion of the Lansdowne
Collection, but it could not be found among them, nor at Hatfield. The
order for this return to be made appears to have been given in a letter of
Secretary Walsingham, dated 15th September, 1568.* In it we once more
find evidence of a progressive increase, the total number of strangers in
London, the "liberties adjoining," and Westminster being now 6,704. Strype
has omitted the separate total for the City, but gives the total for the liberties
and Westminster as 2,598. If this may be relied on, the numbers in the City
proper had decreased from 3,760 to 3,106, while those outside its boundaries
had more than doubled. Possibly some of the refugees had departed from
the City, and gone to form the settlement at Southampton, referred to in
Grindall's letter of 22nd July, 1567.t

Burn likewise refers to the return of 1568, and also to a list of strangers
complained of in respect of their trades in the same year. He gives no
reference to the former, but states that the latter was among " the papers
at the Dutch Church ".

The last and most important return in the volume is derived from the
State Papers. It is addressed to the Privy Council, apparently by the Lord
Mayor, in May, 1571, J and gives exact particulars of the nationality and
occupation of every stranger in each Ward, with the names of his wife and
children, and of his servants, when he had any, and states how long he and
they had dwelt in England, and whether he had become a denizen or not.

This certificate deals with the City only, and gives the total number of
strangers therein as 4,587, once again showing a large increase. The numbers,
however, actually specified of the different nationalities, when added up, make
the total somewhat less, that is, only 4,269, as will be more clearly seen when
they are put into modern figures,

French .
Dutch .
Portuguese .
Scots .
Frieslanders .
Danes .











In all the grand totals which have been referred to, it will have been
remarked that the numbers of the Dutch immigrants greatly exceeded those
of the French, the proportion in the last instance being more than seven to

* state Papers, Domestic, Elizabeth, vol. xlvii.. No. 72.

+ Ibid., vol. xliii., Nos. 29, 30.

\ The date does not occur at the beginning or at the end. Each Ward probably made a separate return,
and the dates of such returns would vary a little. Only one date is copied into the "book," and will be found
on p. i2i.

Co3?dwalner3 or Shoemakgra are to be digtingulahed
fro m oobblera .The Gordwainera were originally
workera In oordwan,the leather prepared from goat-
aklna at Cord ova, which wag the beat in mediaeval
Europe, The Cordwainers, though one of the amaller
Compafiiea,laya claira to being one of the oldeat
tho' itg recorda were deatroyed in the Fire, A
large part of the reoorda recently printed by C<,H«i
LOlNrPON .reviewed LTIS 14 Jan 1932) la given over %t
an unending dlapute between the Gordwainera(who
made new ahoes)& the cobblers (who in mediaeval
times bought old ahoea, repalre;' them & sold thei
again) oThe dispute waa concerned with the amount
of new leather which a cobbler mt be allowed to
use in this process, without making the old ahoe
a new one & ao infringing the rta of the cordwaim
ers#The dispute went on for over 2 centuries & thil
elaborate documents on thia point read rather li
a satire on the littleness of human nature, But ti
la only one aide of the meticuloua trading-sregul
tiona of the Middle Ages.The other side is also ;
presented in the excellent rulea laid down for aj
prentices and the meana taken to detect and punlB
bad work

Oorwainere' Matters in REMEMBRAMOIA lPS7Q»1^^ ,pp.i7A-9
,1)1580,25 April: From Serjeants' Irmthr from Sir Roger Manwood
and Thomaa Meade( Justice of Common Pleas) to Ld Mayor^res-
pcting a controversy betw the Free & Foreign Oordwainers
of L. It hd been referred to them by the Star Chamber .The
Free Oordwainers hd declared that the Foreign C'sCpayii^g
their^rage money to them) sd be free to buy leather in the
Leadenhall Markets as they were; the foreign C's sd th they
were only permitted to buy leather on the Monday and not on
Wednesday or Friday,as the Free C'b did. They requested the
Ld Mayor to inform them of the reason why the Foreign Os
! were so restrained(I:l)

(2)1580,26 April:The Ld Mayor's Answer, stating th he hd called be
fore him and his brethren(the Aldermen) the Wardens and some
of the Ancients (Assistants) of the Free Oordwainers, who de-
nied th they hd either yielded or promised the Foreign Cs
th they sd be free to buy leather in the Leadenhall I^Jarket,

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