A Libell, fixte vpon the French Church Wall, in London. Anno 1593o

[Discovered by Arthur Freeman in the Bodleian Library, MS.Don.d.152 f.4v, and transcribed by him in his article 'Marlowe, Kyd, and the Dutch Church Libel', English Literary Renaissance 3, 1973.]

Ye strangers yt doe inhabite in this lande
Note this same writing doe it vnderstand
Conceit it well for savegard of your lyves
Your goods, your children, & your dearest wives
Your Machiavellian Marchant spoyles the state,
    Your vsery doth leave vs all for deade
Your Artifex, & craftesman works our fate,
And like the Jewes, you eate us vp as bread
The Marchant doth ingross all kinde of wares
    Forestall's the markets, whereso 'ere he goe's
Sends forth his wares, by Pedlers to the faires,
    Retayle's at home, & with his horrible showes:        Vndoeth thowsands
In Baskets your wares trott up & downe
    Carried the streets by the country nation,
You are intelligencers to the state & crowne
    And in your hartes doe wish an alteracion,
You transport goods, & bring vs gawds good store
    Our Leade, our Vittaile, our Ordenance & what nott
That Egipts plagues, vext not the Egyptians more
    Then you doe vs; then death shall be your lotte
Noe prize comes in but you make claime therto
    And every merchant hath three trades at least,
And Cutthrote like in selling you vndoe
    vs all, & with our store continually you feast:        We cannot suffer long.
Our pore artificers doe starve & dye
    For yt they cannot now be sett on worke
And for your worke more curious to the ey[.]
    In Chambers, twenty in one house will lurke,
Raysing of rents, was never knowne before
    Living farre better then at native home
And our pore soules, are cleane thrust out of dore
    And to the warres are sent abroade to rome,
To fight it out for Fraunce & Belgia,
    And dy like dogges as sacrifice for you
Expect you therefore such a fatall day
    Shortly on you, & yours for to ensewe:            as never was seene.
Since words nor threates nor any other thinge
    canne make you to avoyd this certaine ill
Weele cutte your throtes, in your temples praying
    Not paris massacre so much blood did spill
As we will doe iust vengeance on you all
    In counterfeitinge religion for your flight
When 't'is well knowne, you are loth, for to be thrall
    your coyne, & you as countryes cause to f(s?)light
With Spanish gold, you all are infected
    And with yt gould our Nobles wink at feats
Nobles said I? nay men to be reiected,
    Upstarts yt enioy the noblest seates
That wound their Countries brest, for lucres sake
    And wrong our gracious Queene & Subiects good
By letting strangers make our harts to ake
    For which our swords are whet, to shedd their blood
And for a truth let it be vnderstoode/                Fly, Flye, & never returne.
per. Tam-


Mondaie in Easter Hollydaies
16o Aprilis, 1593

These letters following were signed apart this presente day
at the Court at St. James', by the

Lord Archbishop.               Lord Admirall.
Lord Keeper.             Lord Chamberlaine.
Lord Treasurer.            Sir Roberte Cecill.
Earl of Essex.                 Sir John Wolley.
Sir John Fortescue.

. . . A letter to the Lord Maiour of London. Whereas there was a lewde and vyle ticket or placarde set up upon some post in London purportinge some determynacion and intencion that the apprentyces should have to attempt some vyolence on the strangers, and your Lordship as we understande hath by your carefull endevour apprehended one that is to be suspected and thought likelie to have written the same. Because oftentymes it doth fall out of soche lewde beginninges that further mischeife doth ensue yf in tyme it be not wyselie prevented, wee have thought good to praie your Lordship to cause the person by you apprehended and committed upon suspition to have written that libell to be strictlie and very carefullie examined of his meaninge and purpose to make that writinge, who were any waie privie to the same and did give him advice or incouragement, and what he is hable to discover of that facte, and yf there shalbe pregnant matter to argue him to be guiltie of the writinge of the saide placarde, and yet he will not by faire meanes be broughte to utter his knowledge, wee thincke it convenient he shalbe punyshed by torture used in like cases and so compelled to reveale the same. Wee trust you are so carefull in the government of the citty as yf some lewde persons had soche wicked purpose to attempt any thinge againste strangers that by your carefull forsighte the same shalbe prevented. And herein we praie you to certefie us what you shall further understande and learne by th'examinacion of this lewde fellow or by anie other meanes.


Forenoone on Sondaie. At the Court at Whitehall,
xxij Aprilis, 1593


Lord Archbishop.                    Lord Cobham.
Lord Keeper.                          Mr. Treasorer.
Earl of Derby.                      Sir Robert Cecill.
Lord Admyrall.                    Sir John Wolley.
Lord Chamberlaine.          Sir John Fortescue.

. . . A letter to Mr. Doctor Cæsar, one of the Masters of the Requestes, Sir Henry Killigrewe, Sir Thomas Wilkes, knightes, William Waad and Thomas Phillippes, esquiours. The Quene's Majestie havinge bin made acquainted with certaine libelles latelie published by some disordered and factious persons in and about the cittie of London, shewinge an intente in the artyficers and others who holde themselves prejudiced in theire trades by strangers to use some course of vyolence to remove the saide strangers or by way of tumulte to suppresse them, a matter very dangerous and with all deligence to be prevented. Her Majestie therefore, out of her princely care to remove a myschiefe of that qualitie, hath made choice of you to examine by secrete meanes who maie be authors of the saide libelles, and by your industries to dyscover what the intencions are of the publishers thereof. For which purpose you maie by authoritie hereof call unto you soche persons as you shall thincke fittand maie in likelihoode be hable to give you lighte in this cause, as namely any stranger within the citty of London or other at your discrecions, and by soche good, secrete and due meanes as you maie to finde out the authors, favorers and abettors of the libells and libellours, and to dyscover theire intencions and purposes, wherewith you shall ymediatlie acquainte us, that order maie be taken to prevent all inconvenyence likelie to growe thereof. Herein you are to use you uttermost endevours, accordinge to the truste in this case reposed in you.


(And, following the posting of the Dutch Church Libel on 5th May)

At the Starr Chamber, on Friday, being the
11th of May, 1593


Lord Archbishop.                    Earl of Derby.
Lord Keeper.                      Lord Buckhurst.
Lord Threasurer.                Sir Robert Cecill.
Sir John Fortescue.

A letter to Sir R. Martin, Anthonie Ashley, Mr. Alderman Buckle,&c. There have bin of late divers lewd and malicious libells set up within the citie of London, among the which there is some set uppon the wal of the Dutch churchyard that doth excead the rest in lewdnes, and for the discoverie of the author and publisher thereof her Majestie's pleasure is that some extraordinarie paines and care be taken by the Comissioners appointed by the Lord Maiour for th'examining such persons as maie be in this case anle waie suspected. Theis shalbe therfore to require and aucthorize you to make search and aprehend everie person so to be suspected, and for that purpoze to enter into al houses and places where anie such maie be remayning, and upon their aprehencion to make like search in anie the chambers, studies, chestes or other like places for al manner of writings or papers that may geve you light for the discoverie of the libellers. And after you shal have examined the persons, if you shal finde them dulie to be suspected and they shal refuze to confesse the truth, you shal by aucthoritie hereof put them to the torture in Bridewel, and by th'extremitie thereof, to be used at such times and as often as you shal thinck fit, draw them to discover their knowledge concerning the said libells. We praie you herein to use your uttermost travel and endevour, to th'end the aucthor of these seditious libells maie be known and they punished acording to their desertes, and this shallbe your sufficient warraunt. So, &c.

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