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mon gamesters, and persons justly suspected to live by any unlawful means, having no visible way to support themselves in their manner of living. And no person is to sit or continue tipling or drinking more than one hour, unless upon some extraordinary occasion, in any tavern, victualling-house, ale-house, or other tiplinghouse, upon the penalty of ten shillings for every offence
person that shall so continue drinking, three shillings four pence.
“ Thirdly, Every person maintaining houses suspected of common bawdry, by the law, is to find sureties for their good behaviour; likewise all night-walkers, and persons using that impudent and insufferable practice of attempting others modesty ir the streets, are to be punished at the House of Correction, and find sureties for their good behaviour.
“ Fourthly, All persons using any unlawful exercises on the Lord's day, or tipling in taverns, inns or ale-houses, and coffee-houses, during divine service on that day, are to forfeit three shillings four pence for every offence, to be levied by distress, and where none can be had, to sit three hours in the stocks ; and every vintner, innkeeper, or ale-house keeper, that shall suffer any such drinking or tipling in his house, is to forfeit ten shillings for every offence; and no person sit in the streets, with herbs, fruits, or other
things, to expose them to sale, nor, no hackney coachman may stand or ply in the streets on that day.
“ And therefore all Constables and other officers, whom it doth or may concern, are required, according to their oaths solemnly taken in that behalf, to take care for discovering and bringing to punishment whosoever shall offend in any of the premises ; and for that end they are to enter into any suspected houses before mentioned to search for any such disorderly persons as shall be found misbehaving themselves, or doing contrary to the said laws, and to levy the penalties, and bring the offenders before some of his Majesties Justices of the Peace of this City, to be dealt withall according to law.
“And whereas there are other disorders of another nature, very dishonourable, and a great scandal to the government of this City, and very prejudicial to the trade and commerce of the same; his Lordship, therefore, is resolved by God's blessing, with the assistance of his brethren the Aldermen, to use his utmost endeavour to prevent the same, by putting in execution the good and wholesome laws in force for that purpose, with all strictness and severity; some of which he hath thought fit to enumerate, with the duties and penalties upon every Constable and other officers concerned therein. “ As first, the great resort of rogues, vagrants,
idle persons, and common beggars, pestring and anoying the streets and common passages, and all places of publick meetings and resort, against whom very good provision is made by the law, viz.
“ That all such persons shall be openly whipped, and forthwith sent from parish to parish to the place where he or she was born, if known; if not, to the place where he or she last dwelt for the space of one year, to be set to work; or not being known where he or she was born or dwelt, then to be sent to the parish where he or she last passed through without punishment.
“That every Constable that shall not do his best endeavour for the apprehension of such vagabond, rogue, or sturdy beggar, and cause him or her to be punished or conveyed according to law, shall forfeit ten shillings for every default.
“ Secondly, The not paving and cleansing of the streets : the redressing whereof being by a late act of Parliament put into Commissioners appointed by Common Council, his Lordship doth hereby recommend the same to the Deputies and Common Council of the several wards within this City, to use their utmost diligence in that affair, and especially to mind their respective Commissioners of the duty incumbent upon them, and of the daily damage which the City
suffers by the neglect thereof.' And his Lordship doth deelare he will appear at the said Commission of Sewers as often as his more urgent occasions will give him leave, and doth expect such attendance of the other Commissioners as may render the act more effectual than hitherto it hath been.
Thirdly, The neglect of the inhabitants of this City in hanging and keeping out their lights at the accustomed hours, according to the good and antient usage of this City, and acts of Common Council in that behalf.
“Fourthly, the not setting and continuing the watches at such hours, and in such numbers, and in such sober and orderly manner in all other respects, as by the acts of Common Council in that behalf is directed and appointed.
“ And his Lordship doth strictly require the Fellowship of Carmen to be very careful in the due observance of the good and wholesome rules and orders which have been made for their regulation: his Lordship intending severely to inflict the penalties imposed in default thereof.
“And to the end that no Constable or other Officers or Ministers of Justice may be any ways discouraged in their lawful, diligent, and vigorous prosecution of the premises, it is provided, that if they or any of them shall be resisted, in the just and lawful execution of their charge and duty, or in any wisé affronted or abused, they shall be
encouraged; maintained, and vindicated by the justice, order, and authority of his Lordship and the Court of Aldermen, and the offenders
prosecuted and punished according to law.
" Dated at the Guildhall, London, the 29th day of November 1679, in the 31 year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord Charles the Second, by the grace of God, of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, King, defender of the. faith, &c.
GOD SAVE THE KING." I shall not attempt to ascertain whether imprisonment for debt is cruel, politic, or useful, as one of the customs of the country. It is enough, for the present occasion, to say, that I believe the general amelioration of manners has extended to this particular. More than an hundred years past, the system of arrests had assumed a most formidable appearance; and we find, by “ Poor Robin,” that the Poultry Compter-gate was surrounded by bailiffs, who waited for employment as porters now do at the Temple, and other places. It is not impossible but the then state of society rendered prompt measures necessary, to prevent the ruin of tradesmen who gave credit, as we are well aware the depredator enjoyed greater liberty in his pursuits, than the numerous statutes made since 1677 now allow him.
A pleasing and laudable custom has very long prevailed in England of endeavouring to perpe