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John READ was, however, far more bountiful, in 1651, as he

gave

51. yearly, to The Master, Wardens and Assistants of The Carpenter's Company, for this refined article of dress, 4

* Rep. iv. p. 157.

COALS.

The history of Coals, as an article of consumption in London, is interesting and curious.

In 1306, Sea coals being much used in the Suburbs of the Metropolis by Brewers, Dyers, and other persons requiring great fires, the Nobility and Gentry who resorted thither, complained of the same to King EDWARD the first, as a public nuisance, - the air being thereby, they said, infected with a noisome smell, and a thick cloud, to the great endangering of the health of the inhabitants,—whereupon a Proclamation was issued, strictly forbidding the use of that fuel. But little regard being paid to it, the King appointed a Commission of Oyer and Terminer to inquire after those, who had contumaciously acted in open defiance to his. Proclamation, strictly commanding all such persons to be punished by pecuniary fines,--and for

the second offence, to have their kilns and furnaces destroyed."

In 1442, John Costyn, bequeathed to The Corporation of London, after the decease of JOHAN his wife, and ALICE his daughter, all his lands and tenements in the city, on condition of their distributing every year 100 quarters of Coals to poor men, householders in the parish of Allhallows Staining, and“ in perpetual sus“ tentation of the work of the Water Conduits of the City for ever.”2

In 1536, Coals were sold at Newcastleupon-Tyne at two shillings and two pence the chaldron,—and Mr. MAITLAND imágines, that they were then sold in London at about four shillings.3

In 1548, ROBERT WRIGHT directed by his will, that 20s. should be paid yearly to the parish of Allhallows, in Lombard Street, to “ provide 24 sacks of horse

2

Maitland's History of London, vol. i. p. 109. Rep. vi. p. 175. 3 Maitland's History of London, vol. i. p. 236.

coals well filled," to be distributed among the poor

" in the dead time of Winter.' 4 In 1563, HUMPHREY BASKERFIELD gave to The Mercers' Company 2001. to be lent out to four young men of The Company, who, in consideration thereof, were each to deliver annually to the two youngest Wardens of The Company, two cart loads of Charcoals, each load containing 30 sacks,—who were to distribute the same among the poor of four parishes, and the poor Beadmen of WHITTINGTON COLLEGE.5

In 1572, THOMAS JENYNS, Citizen and Fishmonger, devised to The Fishmongers' Company his shop in Bridge Street, otherwise New Fish Street, to the intent, that out of the rents and profits thereof, they should distribute yearly to the poor of seven Parishes therein mentioned, 20 sacks of Coals, called Charcoals," or 8d. for each sack:6

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* Rep. iv. p. 71. 5 Rep. iv. p. 132. 6 Rep. iv. p. 118.

In consideration of the benefit derived by The Ironmongers' Company from the bequest of MARGARET Dane, in 1579, they are enjoined to provide for the poorest people of the Twenty-four Wards in London, " at the best hand," Twelve thousand faggots, every year for ever,the same to be distributed to each Ward, part and part alike, at the discretion of The Master and Wardens of the Company, half at Christmas and half at Hallowtide. In respect of this gift, the Deputy of each Ward now receives 11. Os. 10d. from The Company annually for distribution in their respective Wards.?

On the 2d of September 1600, MARGARET SHARLES bequeathed to her poor tenants within the parish of Christ Church 61. yearly, to be bestowed in the manner following,-1l. 6s. 8d. for a load of great coals,–16s. for one thousand billets, to be distributed among them three days before

7 Rep. Iv. p. 121.

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