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Item, a wharf of stone to be made alonges the downes on the side therof towards the haven, from Risebanke almost to Dikeland, to th’intent that the see (which shalbe stopped within the haven by reason of the travers) were not throgh the said dowmes in processe of tyme, and specially when the wynde shalbe betwixt the est and the south-south west. Item, a strong and a substanciall wall to be made from th'ende of the bray behinde the castelle alonges the full see-marke till ye come as ferr as the newe bulwerk, and then the said wall to kitt over, and joyne with the said newe bulwerke at the end of the newe bray next the castell; and the same to be soo made, that the sluse that is nowe in the wall which gooth towardes Newnham bridge may both lett in and out the water within the said wall. The said wall to be made with a vaund mure for defens, and also a gate to be made out thereof into the filde for a sayly, as the case shall require. Item, a wharf of stone to be made from the ende of the said bray almost as ferr as the rounde bulwerke of erth, for the defens of the see from the north and westerly wynd, like as the wharf on the other side of the haven is devised to be made for the south and esterly wynde. Item, a sluse to be made at Dikeland for the receyving of the see at the floode, and the keping theroftyll the last quarter ebbe, that the water beneth the same in the haven be gon; and then the said sluse to be opened, and the water kept lett passe. Item, a wall of erthe to be made from the said sluse at Dikeland streight up to the highe land of the countrie, the same to goo betwene Frowickes house and Lambertes house, in suche place there as it shalbe thought most convenient; which wall shall serve to kepe and defende the see from overrennyng of the causé, and the low countreth thereaboutes. Item, a wall of erthe to be made on either side of the plashe” at Newnham bridge; to th’intent that, when the see shalbe stopped tyll the half ebbe, the fresh water doo not overren the countreth thereaboutes. Item, that all the erth which shall serve for the making of the said too walles be digged but onely in too places, where by reason therof too grete pondes to be made, wherein so moche the more water shalbe receyved.
Indorsed. A devyce for the fortificacion of Casllis.
* This was a marshy spot, or pool; see the Map. CAM D. SOC. s
REFORMATION OF THE GOVERNMENT OF CAL AIS.
From the unfavourable picture of the material condition of the king's town of Calais, given by the preceding documents, we turn to the still more essential requisites of its discipline and government, which the following paper assures us to have been “far out of order.” It is a report addressed to Cromwell, by sir William Fitzwilliam” and other commissioners, who were specially sent to make inquiry into abuses, and arrived on the 18th of August, 1535.t (MS. Cotton. Caligula, E. II. p. 98.) Sir, The cause for whic we have [not written unto] you sythens our comyng into these parties, soo as the kinges [highness] might bee advertised of our procedinges and doinges in his graces affaires here, is this:–We assure you that we have fownde this towne and marches farre out of ordre, and soe farre, that it wold greve and pitie the hart of any good and true Englissheman to here or see the same. It maye please you therfor to understonde we have had before us as well my lord deputie, the mayre, and all the counsaill of the said towne, as also diverse others of the kinges true servauntes of the same, and examyned every of theym apart, what the cause is that the good, olde, and holsome lawes, ordemances, and constitutiones of the said towne and marches, made by the kinges highnes and his noble progenitours, have not been followed and put in due execution (which surely is a greate cause of the decaye of the said towne and marches). Wherunto they made answere, that they wold not let to shewe the said causes and remedye for the same, as farre furthe as they coulde, and that they were moche bownde unto the kinges said highnes that it pleaseth his grace to have the said towne and marches and theym soo graciously in his remembrance, sayeng that [there] was never more mede nor better tyme soo to have doon [than] now. And upon that we required theym to make [unto] us bookes, particulary of the causes of the said decayes, and the remedies therof; and also of all extorcions and oppressions doon by any manner of person within the said towne and marches, which they not omitted willingly to doe [and] accomplisshe; and upon that we have gadered as well oute of the olde ordenaunces of this towne, as [information] of the kinges good and true servauntes of the said towne, [and have] therupon devised a charge, the breviat whereof [we have] unto you herin enclosed, which we yesterday delivered [unto] inquestes and juries by us charged and sworn, to every [of the] premisses, that is to saye, oon inquest of speres, an [other of] tipstaves with the clerk of the counsaille, a quest . . . . . and an other of constables; all the which persons [receive] the kinges wages, and bee his sworne servauntes ; and of [the town al quest of aldermen, a quest of bourgesses and [another of] commoners, by whom we trust and doubt not but [that the] kinges highnes shalbe enformed of every thyng at length. [But] to bee playen with you, we doo not moche doubt but that [the] moost parte of the articles conteigned in the said charge [will be] fownde and presented, and it bee not the article for treasson], wherin we here of moon as yet soo ungracious as to offsend]. But as to the moost part of the rest, they be confessed alredy. And we assure you, and it bee not a very [few) which set more by their singlier advaille then they doo [by the] common weale, on erth we never sawe people rejoyse more [than they] doo thorough oute of the towne, saying, “How moche ar [we bound] unto our gracioux souverain lord, that it pleaseth his ma[jesty] to loke upon us!" And as now we goo aboutes to tr[y the musters as well of this towne as of Guysnes, Hasmmes, Newenhambridge, Risebank, and of all other men of war [in] these parties, and have gyven such ordre in that behalf, that [we] undertake and adwarrant you the kinges highnes shall not bee [displeased] therin; and we had thought to have mustred every other man [of the] towne and marches; nevertheles, by reason that we see th[erein] such a greate nombre of straungiers, and soo fewe Englishemen within the said towne and marches, we thinsk . . . . . . not appere ner bee knowen to straungiers, [we shall] make bookes of theym and their names, and what nombre [there is] in every parisshe; soo as the certaintie thereof shalbe asswell] knowen as though we mustred theym. And finally, please it you to understande that we cannot at this present tyme refourme all thinges which is out of ordre here, for sum thinges there is that cannot be perfaicted without an Acte of Parliament;” and sum other thinges there is that the kinges highnes must put his gracioux hande unto the refourmacion of But loke how many thinges may conveniently be refourmed before our departure from hence, and we shalle not faille not oonly to see the same ordred accordingly, but also all other thinges that is to bee doon shalbe in such wise framed by us before our said departure, that yf the kinges highnes, when he shal have seen theym, or suche of his counsaille as his grace shall appointe therin, doo like theym, there shall not nede moch busynesse to put them in ure; and yf his highnes shall not like alle part therof as we have and shal have devised theym, the same to bee refourmed as shall stande with his moost gracioux pleasure. For we thinke the towne and marches is so farre oute of ordre, and no lawe ner ordenaunces therin perfaicte to shewe and instructe theym there how they shulde amende, that we wold no man shold have the honour of making of those lawes perfaict but oonly the kinges highnes; not doubting but that, by his greate wysdome and [your] good advise and such other of his counsaill as it shall please his highnes to calle therunto, such lawes and ordenaunces shalbe made and ordoned for the suretie and weale of this towne and marches as was never seen ner made . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . of the said towne and marches doe not followe and [keepl the said lawes and ordenaunces, he or they shall not excuse theym by ignorance, but shall by reason therof renne soo farre into his grace's daungier, that [it will be] to hevie for theym to beyre, and yet easye in [ough to be] kept yf they will endevour them selfes to doo their [duties]; and for our partes, we assure you, our ententes with [our] endevours shalbe good to doo unto the kinges highnes [good service] in these matiers, without having respect to any pers[on]. As concerning sundry your lettres to me, sir Willyam Fitzwilliam, lately addressed, which I have receyved [since] my comyng to this towne, I have not as yet examynsed all] such matiers as therein be conteigned, for I and my [company] entende and purpose furst and before all thinges to loke [unto] those things which touche the kinges highnes and suersty of] this his towne and marches; and that doon, we [shall not] omitte to doo and ordre our selfes according to these said lettres soo to me the said sir William written, [and to] loke upon as many other matiers as the tyme [shall] serve us to doo, without taking of any passety[me or] pleasur, by all the tyme of our being here. As [knoweth] the blessed Trinitie, who have you in his moost [holy] tuycion. At Calays, the xxvijth daye of Auguste. Your houne *aseured, WYLLA Fitz-WYLLA. THoMA's WALss H. John BAKER. GEORGE Poulet. ANTONY SENTLEGER.
* At an earlier period, in the year 1525, sir William Fitzwilliam had been one of a commission, of which lord Sandes, sir William Fitzwilliam treasurer of the household, John Hales one of the barons of the exchequer, Christopher Hales solicitor-general, and William Breswoode, met at Guisnes on the 29th Aug. 17 Hen. VIII. and there promulgated “The booke of newe Ordenaunces and decreis for the Countye of Guisnes, made, devised, and ordeyned by the Kinges Justices and Comissioners appoynted for that same, which were delivered to the Baylye and Lawe at Guisnes aforesaid in the Kinges open court, holden there the first daye of February, anno regni regis Henrici octavi xx”.” These ordinances, which are of considerable length, will be found in the MS. Cotton. Faustina, E. vii. ff. 40 et seq. They refer chiefly to the tenure of lands within the county. They were testified by the affixing of the great seal of the king's exchequer of Calais, the seal of the king's comptroller, the usual seal of the mayor and aldermen of Calais, and the common seal of the staple thereof. (fol. 65.)
+ This date is derived from documents in the State Paper Office, to which Miss Wood refers in her Letters of Royal and Illustrious Ladies, vol. ii. p. 226. Turpyn's chronicle (ante, p. 45) records that sir William had made an earlier visit to the town, on the 26th May in the same year, to attend a conference with the French ambassador Chabot.
* Such an act was passed in the following year, 27 Hen. VIII. cap. 63, and will be found in the Statutes of the Realm, vol. iii. pp. 632–650. By another act, the 32 Hen. VIII. cap. 27, divers grants of offices within the towns of Calais, Guynes, Hammes, Ruysbanck, and the marches of the same, and in the town of Barwicke, such being “extraordinary and not the ordinary offices,” &c. as also sheriffwicks in Wales, all which were alleged to have been obtained of the crown by sinister means, were resumed, and made void. (Ibid. p. 784.)
INQUEST INTO THE STATE OF CALAIs. (MS. Cotton. Caligula, E. ii. p. 160a.) This document, from another part of the same volume, appears to be the charge to the jurors, referred to in the preceding despatch of the commissioners. [Yel shalle enquere and truly present unto us yf any personne or personnes, whatsoever he or they be, contrary to the dutie of his or their [alleg]eaunce, have imagenyd, conspired, concelyd, spoken, committed, or doon any treason agaynst our souverain lord king Henry the viijte, [or] agaynst the suertie, weale, and good ordre of this his towne of Calays and marches of the same.
Also yf the deputie of this towne of Calays, the mayre, captayn of
* The line is written by Sir William Fitzwilliam himself, together with his signature; and this word appears to be hovne, for own.